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Breaking the Girl: A Novel

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    #16
    Chapter Eleven

    Dani's chopstick technique was as elegant as her outfit. She had poise and control, despite the fact that she was eating the most ridiculous mayonnaise and cream cheese rolls known to man. I was a purist - I wanted good rice soaked in good wine, with good fish on top. She wanted deep fried madness - mango and peanuts, avocado and eel, sriracha and roe... she didn't order anything remotely traditional, but watching her enjoy it was delightful. She did this little dance when she bit into a new roll. I sat across from her at the cramped little table and the smile that spread across my lips at her unfettered joy was genuine.

    She was adorable.

    "Wait," I gaped, genuinely surprised as they served her another roll. "Does that actually have beef on the top of it?" It certainly smelled like beef.

    "Yep!" she wiggled in her seat, a side-to-side motion with a grin as big as the world on her face, snatching up a piece with her chopsticks. "They cook it with a blowtorch right on top of the roll. It's actually really, really good." Her taste in sushi was bizarre, but I was glad she was letting go. She seemed bouncier at this meal than Jess had been at hers, and Jess was certainly a Little.

    "So," I decided to roll the dice. "What's your purse's name?"

    "What?" she sputtered, choking a bit on her bite before she took a long sip of water. "What do you mean?"

    "Your purse," I nodded to the squirrel slung over the back of her chair. "Did you name it?"

    "Well," she blushed... and then mumbled something I couldn't make out.

    "What?" I asked, leaning forward a bit. "I couldn't hear you."

    "His name is Forrest," she whispered, blushing and looking away. I couldn't help it, I reached over and tucked a lock of her hair back behind her ear, pushing it away from her face.

    "Hey there," I said gently, revealing the barest part of my caring self. "You don't need to be embarrassed. I was pretty sure that you had already named him. I was going to guess Nutsy."

    "No," she laughed softly, looking up - her eyes were vulnerable but she was on the defensive - she was waiting for me to make some crack, to hurt her. I stroked her cheek gently with the back of my hand, caressing her with the lightest of touches.

    "I like that you named him," I spoke in a low, soothing tone. "And it's a great name. He seems like he's been a really good friend to you." Whoops. I pushed a little too far there. Tears welled up in her eyes. "Hey, Dani.. it's okay, everything's okay. I can see you're really embarrassed and I'm sorry. I think it's wonderful, and I really appreciate you being vulnerable with me."

    She nodded and looked down, hiding her face behind her hair. She sniffled and wiped her face before looking up, a fake smile etched on her lips.

    "I'm fine," she lied. I wanted nothing more than to pull her into my lap and cuddle her, to hold her tight and promise her that I would never judge her, certainly not for wanting to indulge in cute things. But we weren't there yet.

    "It's okay to like cute things," I assured her. "It doesn't make you less of a professional, it doesn't make me respect you less, and it doesn't make you less attractive. In all honesty, you carrying that purse in the club is what made me want to talk to you initially."

    "Really?" her eyes were shining as she looked up at me. "You don't think it's dumb?"

    "Of course not," I promised, silently wishing I could throttle the "friends" who had drilled this insecurity into her. "I'm really glad you told me, I'm really glad you opened yourself up to me, and I'm really glad to meet Forrest. I'm going to make sure I have a small bag of peanuts next time we get together, just for him."

    That got a small laugh, which finally broke her tension.

    "You're silly," she laughed, "I didn't think you'd be silly - you look so important."

    "Appearances can be deceiving," I smiled - with no motive, no message. Just a genuine, relaxed smile before I popped a nigiri in my mouth. "But there are always little hints to the truth. Right, Forrest?"

    It took her a moment to recover, but she went back to enjoying her ridiculous roll with a more relaxed air. When the rolls were gone and she seemed satisfied, I ordered a small bottle of sparkling sake.

    "Oh, I've never tried that," she smiled.

    "It's for you," I informed her. "I'll have a taste, but I've got a pretty firm rule about drinking and driving - I won't drive if I've had even one drink. It's too dangerous, too easy to hurt yourself or someone else."

    "Yeah," she blushed - I already knew she wasn't as responsible with that as she should be, especially in the ride-sharing-app world we lived in now. "Oh, this is good." Her smile was wide and genuine as she sipped the sweet drink - so much like a Little to enjoy the sweeter things. "Why haven't I tried this before?"

    "That I can't say," I smirked, "but I hope to show you many things that you never knew you liked."

    "I'd like that, Vanessa," she laid her hand on mine and smiled a serious smile.

    * * *

    After dinner, we had gone to a stand-up comedy show. Clean jokes, puns, a little bit of topical humor - no heavy political humor, nothing terribly charged... a great night out. It had gone just as I had hoped - the seats were good, the performer was good, the company was amazing. We had cuddled close at our table as we watched, her head on my shoulder. I would say I would cherish the moment forever, but I hoped to make lots of little moments like that - moments of tenderness, of kindness.

    But there was a reluctance to her kiss tonight, as we stood at the door to her apartment. Something was holding her back, something was keeping her from allowing herself to fall, to lose herself. Something was bothering her.

    And it was almost certainly Julian. I wished I already had the dirt on him - everyone had a story, and most of them had a great big patch of darkness in it.

    "I had a great time tonight," she said softly as she held on to my upper arms. I enjoyed the way she looked in this shadow, her raven hair sucking the very light from the area. Her skin didn't look so tan in this light, next to that darkness, her lips so deeply red. I wanted to take her back to my place right then. To pull her into my bed and to hold her close, to find out what was weighing on her so heavily, to chase all of her problems away. To make her feel safe and secure... to make her mine.

    "I did too," I agreed. "I really enjoy your company, Dani. You're a sweet and kind person and I look forward to getting to know you better."

    "I'd invite you in," Dani said softly, looking down - she was embarrassed. "But my place is a mess."

    "I'm sure it's not that bad," I reassured her. Most people said that - oh, my place is so messy... but it wasn't usually true.

    "I don't... I spend all of my time at work cleaning up other peoples' messes, so I tend to be a little lazy at home." She was trembling a bit, she was really afraid of being judged. There was some trauma there, someone had hurt her.

    "If you don't feel comfortable," I kept my voice low and soft, gentle, "it's okay. You don't have to rush with me, I'm patient. You don't have to do anything you don't want to do."

    "Well," she took a deep breath, "just... promise me you won't judge?"

    "I won't judge," I promised.

    Dani's apartment was a disaster. I had expected clutter, a mess of papers, a stack of books, a pile of mail... I hadn't expected what awaited me behind her door. She had empty food containers strewn about her living room, a pile of laundry by the front door, empty glasses and cans everywhere. There were stacks of empty Amazon boxes littered around, a clear path leading to the couch and another to the hallway that undoubtedly led to her bedroom.

    "Sorry," she whispered, her face a deep red. She needed someone to take care of her. She hung Forrest on a hook by the door and led me to the couch, tossing a pile of laundry on the floor. "It's clean," she assured me. "I just haven't put it away yet."

    "It's no big deal," I lied. I wrapped an arm around her, pulling her close. "Hey, it's okay. Everything's fine."

    "I should've cleaned," she whispered. "I... I didn't know the date was going to go so well."

    "Well thanks," I teased, feigning hurt. She panicked. "I'm teasing, I'm teasing. Everything is okay. Hey, I have an idea - how about I get my laptop from my trunk and we just play a game? No pressure, no judgement. We'll just play some casual matches. You can show me your Support chops."

    "That sounds nice," she smiled weakly. "And next time... let's go to your place."

    * * *

    I reflected on the evening as I drove home - Dani was attractive, fun, and had so many Little tendencies that I was feeling hopeful. Julian hadn't come up once, not that I expected him to - it wasn't exactly couth to discuss one person you were dating with the other. I reasoned that her reluctance in our kiss had been embarrassment about the mess she lived in. And it was a mess. She definitely needed someone to help her handle that particular Little tendency - Seth would have flipped at that sty. Jess wouldn't be able to sit for a week if he had come home to that apartment, but Dani wasn't mine... yet.

    But I would have her. My resolve was stronger than ever.

    Playing with her had been fun - all Littles were good at playing. She had been nervous at first, but she was skilled. She was right, her micro - specifically her precision - needed work, but it wasn't hard to mitigate her mistakes. We played too late into the night, I still had to get up and face the day tomorrow, but I had been loath to leave. The sound of her laughter as we enjoyed our shared hobby was music to my ears. We won more than we lost and we quit on high spirits.

    But I felt like I might be lying to myself about her kiss... that same reluctance had been in our final kiss, long after I had convinced her that I wasn't bothered by her cleanliness. Which I wasn't bothered, in a way - her tidiness wouldn't be a problem once she was my Little. I'd clean up for her, she'd only have to make sure the toys in the nursery were tidy and I'd take care of everything else.

    I'd take care of her.

    I dreamt of her that night - that same candlelit room, flickering flames everywhere, but instead of Lauren waiting for me on that bed, it was Dani. Naked and vulnerable, her runner's figure lithe and toned as she lay spread-eagled on the bed. When I pulled the diaper out from under the bed and smiled at her, she smiled back. The diaper was covered with frolicking squirrels, thick and fluffy. I lifted her hips gently and slid it beneath her. I traced my finger gently around her exposed lips before I powdered her, caressing the sensitive spot where her thigh met her hip and twisting a finger delicately in her pubic hair. When I pulled that diaper closed between her legs, it was joyous - the look on her face as I fastened those tapes, sealing her in. It was an expression of contentment, of peace. I patted her padded crotch gently, rubbing my hand over the plastic backing.

    I was sad when I woke. I wanted that dream to be real, for her to be that vulnerable with me, to throw shame and adulthood both out the window and surrender.

    To be mine.
    Please, if you like my writing - leave a comment, they really do mean the world to me.

    Here's a list of my other stories!

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      #17
      This is a sweet little chapter. However its got me overly curious why Dani is reluctant with the kisses. I'm really hoping I can figure out why. They seem like their going to be good for each other.

      Thankies for posting

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by LilPeaches View Post
        This is a sweet little chapter. However its got me overly curious why Dani is reluctant with the kisses. I'm really hoping I can figure out why. They seem like their going to be good for each other.

        Thankies for posting
        We'll have to find out

        Thanks for commenting, Peaches. I'm glad you're enjoying the story - if anyone else is reading, I'd love to hear if you're enjoying it. Let me know who your favorite character is, it would make my day!
        Please, if you like my writing - leave a comment, they really do mean the world to me.

        Here's a list of my other stories!

        Comment


          #19
          Chapter Twelve

          I managed to survive both Thursday and Friday without running into Aubrey, but she still sent me a text reminder that I needed to take Kailee out, and soon. A-Tech decided they wanted me to handle the firing - the C-level didn't think the directoral level would be able to handle it, especially as I had recommended that the junior management layer be eliminated entirely, along with several entire teams. Their org chart was too tall by far, and there were managers just managing managers - fine in a functional organization an order of magnitude larger, but there was a lot of dead weight in the company. If they wanted it to be fit, they'd have to trim. Thankfully for them they listened to me - I was reasonably certain the company would survive. They had interesting ideas, they had some core differentiation, they had some valuable assets.. it was promising.

          I was a little troubled that Seth hadn't gotten back to me about Julian, but he hated being "nagged" when doing a favor. I was wishing that I had just done the legwork myself, like I had with Dani - he was probably just busy with his day job and it got moved to the back burner since he knew that things were going reasonably well with Dani anyway. I was probably just being paranoid.

          Dani was busy that weekend, but Kailee - to my chagrin - was not.

          When I showed up at her door, she tackled me, throwing herself into my arms and nearly bowling me over.

          "Mommy!" she cheered, squeezing me tightly around the neck.

          "Hello Kailee," I smiled a smile that said 'We will have a fun time tonight if you behave'. She was wearing a very tight scoop-neck white shirt that read "I <3 Mommy" under a too-short suspender skirt.

          "Hewwo Mommy!" she wiggled. "Where are we goin'? Are we gonna get candy?"

          I stepped back and took her by the shoulders, turning her around - as I suspected, the shirt was a onesie, the bottom of it peeking out beneath her skirt... as was the edge of her diaper. I could see the blue and green pattern of a Little Paws and by the bulge, she was wet - though it was hard to tell with the onesie, she might have just doubled up on the boosters. Kailee liked her diapers to be thick. Honestly, I wouldn't have been surprised to learn that she was wearing two. I pushed her gently into the apartment, spotting Aubrey looking sour on the couch.

          "Kailee," I said softly but sternly. "We can't go out with you dressed that way. You can wear a onesie, but not one that's so brazen. You can wear a skirt, but it has to cover your diaper."

          "But I don't wanna," she whined, stomping her foot. "I look cuuuuuute."

          "What you are doing is not okay," I crossed my arms over my chest. "We've talked about this before - it's good that you're not ashamed of your kink, but it's not okay to flaunt it in public. It's not okay that you're forcing other people to participate in your fantasy."

          "But mommy," she continued her whining - I hated that tone of her voice, "I like it when they look at me funny, when they know I'm just a baby."

          "That's not right," I scolded. "That's a consent violation. If they don't get a chance to tell you that they're willing to participate, then you are being unkind and unfair. Go change."

          "Nooooo," she fussed, crossing her arms and turning her back to me.

          "Then we're not going anywhere."

          "You have to!" she whirled on me, "Aubrey said you had to! You can't just change your mind, you have to take me out!"

          "The only thing I have to do," I countered. "Is paddle your bottom for your attitude. You don't get to decide what I have to do, just like you don't get to decide where we're going or what you're eating. Unless you want to be the boss? Is that what you want?"

          "No," she wilted. "I don't."

          "Then go change."

          "I don't wanna," she pouted, as if that ever worked. The evening hadn't even begun and already I was exhausted by her attitude. She was unbearable.

          "Aubrey," I addressed her roommate finally, stepping further into the room. "Kailee doesn't mind it when other people who are not part of the scene witness her play, I do - and so I ask you: if I spank your roommate right here, right now, as she so richly deserves - do you consent to be present and witness it, or should we move this to her room?"

          "You can't spank me in front of Aubrey!" Kailee objected, stomping again.

          "Go nuts," Aubrey shrugged. "I just want her to be happy."

          "Wait, no!" Kailee begged as I grabbed her by the wrist and pulled her to the couch, gently shoving aside the corner of the coffee table so she didn't accidentally bump into it with her inevitable flailing. "Mommy, please!"

          "I'm not your mommy right now, Kailee," I said sternly as I pulled her over my lap. She wasn't really resisting, not really - I could tell she was reluctant, she was embarrassed, but she was flush and her breathing was rapid. She was enjoying this. "We are not together. I'm taking you out tonight because we want to be friends, remember? But you, dear girl, are being a spoiled brat."

          I pointed her diapered bottom right at Aubrey on the other end of the couch. She moved to the very edge to give us space, and I could see some concern on her face out of the corner of my eye. I had never disciplined Kailee in front of her before, it was always behind closed doors. I had never intended for her roommate to learn of my fetish, the fetish that Kailee also fell in love with, we had kept the play to my place. I had no idea that she had been caught until after we had broken up.

          "Mommy please," she pleaded, ignoring my words. Her rear would pay for that. I hooked a finger into the legband of her thick diaper - she was wearing two - and pulled it aside, exposing a little more of her bottom, and with an ever-so-slightly cupped hand, I struck her, lightly, just where the curve of her buttocks met her thigh. I gave her a few more, warming the flesh and making it nice and pink before I started in. I didn't bother even touching her other thigh, I would give her no relief - I focused all of my attention on her right leg.

          "We are going out tonight, little girl," my voice was even and calm as I struck her, really starting in and hitting her quite hard after her flesh was warmed. I wouldn't go too far, I wouldn't make her bleed - Aubrey was right there. "And you are going to put on a more appropriate outfit and then apologize to Aubrey for behaving the way you did."

          The spanking continued in full force until Kailee was yelping at every hit, squirming helplessly over my knee. As I neared the end of what Kailee could actually take without bruising or bleeding, Aubrey was wincing with each blow, clutching a pillow to her chest tightly. A soft whimper came from her when Kailee began crying in earnest.

          "Vanessa, I'm sorry. I'm sorry! I'll go change, Vanessa stop!"

          When I was done, I rubbed her leg gently further down and stood her up - the back of her right thigh a bright, angry red.

          "Go," I pointed toward the hallway. "Change."

          "Holy shit," Aubrey breathed after Kailee had left the room. "Holy fucking shit, Vanessa - you beat her!"

          "She wanted it," I pointed out. "You saw the way she was acting."

          "She was begging you to stop!" Aubrey was shaking, she was horrified at what she had just seen. The reaction seemed extreme... which meant there was likely some past trauma there that I wasn't aware of. I had never done any kind of recon on Aubrey - it could be anything. She seemed triggered, however, so I needed to proceed with care. One thing I did know from the past in dealing with the woman was that she did not like being spoken down to. Trying to comfort her in my usual ways would only cause her to lash out.

          "She enjoys begging," I pointed out reasonably. Audrey seemed unconvinced. "If she truly wanted me to stop, she would have said 'red'. We kept our safewords simple, and I know how much she can take. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that she's masturbating in there right now."

          "Are you serious?" she asked, shocked. "This is what she wanted all along? For you to beat the shit out of her!?"

          "Kailee is what we in the scene call a 'brat' - and a selfish one at that, sadly," I chose to ignore Aubrey's accusation and focus on explaining rather than defending. "There's nothing wrong with bratting, as long as you still approach it with care to your partner. Kailee doesn't care if her fussing bothers me or not, it's too much fun for her." I turned to look at Aubrey directly. "It's why I broke up with her."

          "So you... you were actually bothered by her whining?" Aubrey had a puzzled look on her face, the shock of the violence she had just witnessed fading. Her shaking subsided - she went from triggered to mildly disturbed.

          "Of course - I came to take her out to dinner, not to argue about her clothing." I flexed my wrist - I had almost overdone it myself, my hand stung a great deal. Were I at home I would have gotten some ice for it, but here I had an image to maintain. "We're already twenty minutes later than I planned. I'm glad I didn't pick a place that requires reservations."

          "Wait, so let me get this straight... she was complaining because she wanted you to spank her? You would've stopped if she said the word 'red'?"

          "Of course," I nodded. "It's paramount to have a clear safeword, or a signal. Otherwise it would be abuse. I'm not abusive, regardless of what you think of me. What you just witnessed was a game. I promise, she got a thrill out of the fact that it all happened right in front of you. Are you okay? Do you need to talk about your feelings?"

          Aubrey looked at me in pure shock, her mouth hanging open just a bit.

          "I... I'm fine. Why wouldn't I be fine? You didn't hit me ," she looked nervous, uncomfortable. "Don't hit me," she added quickly. Definitely trauma there.

          "I would never," I promised, "I had Kailee's consent for that, she let me pull her over to the couch, she let me turn her over my knee, she let me spank her. If she truly didn't want it, she would have struggled more, and she would have used our safeword. As for you, you just witnessed some reasonably intense violence against a person you care about deeply. It's very understandable if you're shaken. This is why I asked your permission first - permission, consent... is everything."

          "I see... but- "

          Her thought was interrupted by Kailee returning to the room, dressed in a dark blue blouse over a ragged-edged fairy skirt that fell to her shins. Much better. Without a word, I took her by the wrist, turned her around, and lifted her skirt - displaying her diaper clearly. It was wet, without a doubt now that the onesie was gone. I turned her back around to face Aubrey.

          "And you are going to say?" I prodded.

          "I'm sorry Aubrey," Kailee answered, contrite. She dragged one toe along the ground, looking down. "I'm sorry you had to listen to me fussing."

          "Did you... did you enjoy what just happened?" Aubrey asked, clearly concerned. Even Kailee should have been able to pick up on her anxiety.

          "Uh huh," Kailee grinned, the sorrowful façade dropped instantly. "Momm... Vanessa is really, really good at domination and spanking. She's better than anyone I've ever met... I love that feeling."

          "Thank you for being truthful," I added, standing. I looked at Aubrey, adopting my date-persona again and giving a warm smile. "I'm going to take her to dinner and we'll be back soon. Don't worry, I'm sure she'll be a good girl now that she's remembered who she wants to be the boss."

          Kailee let out a small squeak as we walked for the door, leaving Aubrey wide-eyed on the couch.

          Vanillas were an interesting bunch to me, you never knew how one might react to seeing the spicier side of life - some would turn away, some would turn toward it. I wondered which one Aubrey would be.
          Please, if you like my writing - leave a comment, they really do mean the world to me.

          Here's a list of my other stories!

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            #20
            I hate Kailee. Plain and simple. She's the exact type of little I find annoying and makes others look like weirdos. I really hope Vanessa finds a way to teach her how to live the lifestyle in a healthy and balanced relationship. I'm not sure who my favorite character is yet. Though I must say I find Jess and Seth to be a very cute couple. I like how Seth truly wants to help Jess feel little but still insures that there is balance. Jess is a handful, but she still considers how much stress she's putting on Seth. They are perfect for each other.

            Thankies for posting

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              #21
              Originally posted by LilPeaches View Post
              I hate Kailee. Plain and simple. She's the exact type of little I find annoying and makes others look like weirdos. I really hope Vanessa finds a way to teach her how to live the lifestyle in a healthy and balanced relationship. I'm not sure who my favorite character is yet. Though I must say I find Jess and Seth to be a very cute couple. I like how Seth truly wants to help Jess feel little but still insures that there is balance. Jess is a handful, but she still considers how much stress she's putting on Seth. They are perfect for each other.

              Thankies for posting
              Kailee is the Little that I'm afraid I'm perceived as. I like to whine, I like to fuss, and I know it's sometimes draining on my partner. Jess is the Little I'd like to be but I don't know if I am - Kailee is kind of an expression of my own self-doubt and anxiety. And yes, she makes us all look bad - I've never been one for "public play" for the reasons Vanessa explained. So Kailee is an exaggeration of my fears.
              Please, if you like my writing - leave a comment, they really do mean the world to me.

              Here's a list of my other stories!

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                #22
                Chapter Thirteen

                I walked Kailee to my car, leading her by the wrist rather than by the hand. She look at me with a puzzled expression for a moment when we reached the vehicle and I opened the back door for her. How quickly she forgot.

                "Littles don't ride in the front," I reminded her.

                I laid a towel down over the leather seat before I allowed her to climb in. The moment she was seated, I pulled the seatbelt down across her lap and buckled her in.

                "Thanks momm- " she began, a sharp look cut her off.

                "I want to be friends with you, Kailee," I lied. "But if you insist on ignoring my boundaries and calling me 'mommy', you're going to make that very hard on me. I'm not your mommy, I'm not anyone's mommy right now. Please, just let me be your friend."

                Surprisingly, Kailee actually looked like she understood. She looked down, breaking our eye contact after a moment.

                "I'm sorry, Vanessa - I'm just really excited to see you again. I've missed you."

                "It's okay, just try to remember?" I patted her on the head and closed the door - I had engaged the child locks before I left my place, she would have to wait for me before she could get out of the car again.

                I climbed in myself and drove us to the local McDonald's, ordering myself a grilled chicken sandwich with an unsweetened tea and a "happy meal" for Kailee... with an extra sandwich in case that wasn't enough. One upside to Kailee was certainly that she was a cheap date. She bounced and cheered when she realized what she was getting for dinner, and after I had it in hand, I drove us to a secluded part of Vasona County park.

                I left her in the car, where she panicked a bit and knocked on the window, but another stern look calmed her down. I laid a blanket out on the grass behind a small grouping of trees before I came back and opened the door.

                "Did I say you could unbuckle yourself?" I spoke sharply, staring down at her from on high.

                "No but I- "

                "I did not warm your other thigh yet, little girl. Are you trying to make sure it is attended to as well?"

                "No m.. Vanessa," she squeaked, reaching to buckle herself back in.

                "Don't touch that buckle," I snapped. "Get out of the car, and if I catch you buckling or unbuckling yourself again, the spanking you got for fussing will look mild in comparison, do you understand?" Kailee looked to be on the verge of tears as I berated her, but I could tell by her posture and her breathing that she was quite turned on. I didn't honestly enjoy being this fierce authoritarian, but it's what she wanted and I was determined to give it to her, possibly even more than she wanted.

                I led her over to the blanket where she sat down, and I handed her the red box she coveted.

                "Eat your sandwich and your apples before you open your toy," I instructed, tucking into my own meal.

                "Apples?" she whined, "I wanted fries!"

                "One more complaint about it and we're getting back in the car and I'm driving you home and I will spank you there - because it's wrong to do it in public. Do you understand? Is this the end of our outing? Are we just going to put you right back in your car seat and drive home, where you will get a spanking and a time out?"

                "I'm sorry," she deflated, munching sullenly on an apple slice, but I could sense the thrill at her imaginary car seat.

                "Good girl," I smiled, returning to my meal and munching with purposeful contentment on my own french fries.

                The rest of the visit to the park went well, we finished lunch, she got a "My Little Pony" toy in her happy meal, which she was overjoyed about. I took her to the playground - blissfully empty on a Friday night near dusk - and pushed her on the swings for a bit. She behaved for the most part, and when her whining began to become too much, a sharp word put her back in line.

                That was the worst part about Kailee, she enjoyed whining so much and cared so little for the opinions of others. She was the very embodiment of selfishness and it was grating.

                When we got back to her apartment, she had waited for me to unbuckle her - she likely didn't want to tempt fate on another spanking right outside her own door. I walked her to the door and gave her a hug before squeezing the padding between her legs.

                "You need a change," I whispered.

                "Will you change me?" she asked, her eyes hopeful.

                "I won't," I shook my head. "I understand that you enjoy getting to indulge your Little self, and there's nothing wrong with that. But we have a ways to go on our friendship before we reach that point. I won't be offended if you find another mommy, I don't know how long it will be before I feel capable of playing that role for you." It was a lie - I knew exactly how long it would be, and the answer was never... unless she somehow, miraculously changed some fundamental part of her. But that didn't seem likely and I had my eyes elsewhere.

                "Thanks for the trip to the park, Vanessa." She sounded sincere, so I rewarded it. I planted a kiss on her forehead and gave her a hug.

                "We'll keep trying to rebuild our friendship," I said softly.

                "Yeah," she agreed before she slipped through the door to her apartment.

                I wondered how Aubrey would handle her now that she had some new insight into Kailee's inner workings...

                * * *

                I heard Kailee turn the knob before she came in. My heart was pounding like crazy, I had no idea whether this was a good idea or not... but that cold bitch Vanessa had been right. Kailee's vibe was sitting out in the open, right next to the discarded snap-crotch shirt she had been wearing, still plugged in. She had been masturbating right after that spanking. She did enjoy it. And maybe, just maybe, I could use that. I wouldn't hurt Kailee, not like Vanessa did but...

                "Did you have a good time?" I asked, trying to look casual on the couch.

                "I really did - I got a happy meal and we went to the park and I played in the sandbox and she pushed me on the swings and it was really nice. I'm gonna go rest now, I'll talk to you later?"

                "Rest?" I smirked, I couldn't help it. "Do you need your vibe to help you rest?"

                "You went in my room?" she asked, a little surprised. We didn't do that, we didn't go in each other's private spaces.

                "I didn't - you left the door open and the vibe on your bed, I saw it when I walked by," I lied. I had peeked in on purpose - I had to know. "Vanessa said you probably went to masturbate before you changed. I gotta say, I was surprised. Why is that so hot to you?"

                "Because she's so strong!" Kailee gushed, walking over to the couch and leaning on the arm. I hadn't really noticed the way she was walking before, but she had a pronounced waddle now. "She takes what she wants, she makes me feel small and controlled... it's all I want."

                "You want someone to make you feel small and controlled?" I echoed. It didn't make sense to me, I wanted to be the one in charge in a relationship. I was hotter than most girls Benny could get, so I had the power. He did what I wanted or I'd leave him. That's what made the relationship feel safe for me. He wanted me more than I wanted him. Wanting someone else to have the power just didn't click.

                "Uh huh," Kailee nodded, starry-eyed. "I really do. It's the best feeling ever. When she grabbed my wrist and dragged me over to the couch... oh man, Aubrey. My heart was beating like crazy. She's so powerful. Oh, I want her back so badly."

                "Even after your date? She's so cold, she's so stern - why do you even want her back?"

                "Because no one makes me feel the way she does," she sighed. "And no one understands what feeling Little means to me."

                "I think I have some Idea," I smiled.

                "I'm gonna go rest," she said, moving toward the hall. This was it - now or never.

                "No you're not," I said, trying to make my own voice sound commanding. "You're going to march your butt into the kitchen and do the dishes, right now. It's your turn." I knew what she had planned, she was going to turn on her music and work that vibrator like crazy while she dreamed about Vanessa spanking her.

                "Not right now - I'll do them tomorrow."

                "Kailee Jo," I tried that same warning tone that all moms seemed to have, throwing in her middle name for good measure. "If you don't march your diapered butt into that kitchen right now and do the dishes, I will spank you - and what Vanessa did will seem mild."

                "What?" she asked, turning around with a confused expression on her face. I pulled out the wooden spoon I had grabbed from the utensil holder before she came home.

                "I said, you're going to do the dishes," I looked at her sternly.

                "You're joking, right? You don't know anything about spanking, you're a freaking vanilla." I had no idea what that meant, but I didn't like the way she said it. She wanted to be spanked, she wanted someone to take control, to make her feel small. I could do this. I could make her happy, get her away from Vanessa and maybe get a better roommate out of the deal. I loved Kailee - but even I had to admit she was kind of a slob. I had been hoping Vanessa would have scared her off, or that Kailee would realize what a heartless bitch the woman was, but she obviously wasn't going to get there on her own.

                "I'm not joking," I countered, channeling my mother. "Now go do the dishes."

                "Forget it, Aubrey. Don't even- "

                "One," I cut her off, holding up a finger with my left hand, the spoon still in my right.

                "You wouldn't!" she crossed her arms and glared, the same look she had when she had been challenging Vanessa. She wanted this, I was doing the right thing.

                "Two," I continued, adding a second finger and taking a step toward her. She took a step back, her arms dropping and a look of panic spreading across her face.

                "Aubrey, no - this isn't funny, you're my roommate, my friend. Not- "

                "Three," I dropped my counting hand and strode forward. One thing I had learned from my own stern mother growing up was that there could be no such thing as an idle threat - once you made a threat, you followed through with it, no matter how horrible it had been. Empty threats just made you look weak - so you didn't make a threat unless you were going to carry it out to the letter. I grabbed Kailee around the wrist just as I had seen Vanessa do and I bent her over the arm of the couch.

                "Aubrey!"

                I slammed the spoon into her butt, but instead of a smack sound, it made a dull thud. And she laughed. She actually laughed at me.

                It was the diaper. When Vanessa had spanked her, it had all been on the thigh - so I started in on her thigh. After the first smack she was no longer laughing. After three she was hissing in pain. As I finished swat number six, she was whimpering.

                "Okay Aubrey," she pleaded. "I give - please let me up. Please don't- ow! Aubrey! Ow! Aubrey stop! You're not my mommy, cut it out!"

                "I may not be," I replied, "but you're going to obey me anyway." I hit her three more times in the same spot, one right after the other.

                "Aubrey stop!" she cried out, putting her hand in the way. "Ow fuck that hurts!"

                "Move your hand," I said in a threatening tone. "Or are you ready to go do the dishes?"

                "I'll do the dishes," she whimpered, her hand still covering the spot on her thigh. "No more!"

                I let her up and realized my foot was wet - she had a trail of fluid running down her leg. She had peed while I was spanking her, and her damned diaper leaked.

                "Change your diaper first," I groused, grabbing a towel and mopping a bit off the floor and my foot. "And don't bother to put your skirt back on. You don't have anything to hide here, I already know you're not potty trained."

                She wobbled a bit as she walked when I said that - I had found a button to push.
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                  #23
                  Originally posted by bbykimmy View Post

                  Kailee is the Little that I'm afraid I'm perceived as. I like to whine, I like to fuss, and I know it's sometimes draining on my partner. Jess is the Little I'd like to be but I don't know if I am - Kailee is kind of an expression of my own self-doubt and anxiety. And yes, she makes us all look bad - I've never been one for "public play" for the reasons Vanessa explained. So Kailee is an exaggeration of my fears.

                  I'm a bit of a brat too. I'm pretty whiny alot of the time. I throw small tantrums when I don't get my way. However I always ask daddy if I'm being too difficult for him. I am always making sure he's happy. I turn off my little side when he needs to deal with important stuff. I'm kinda lucky because he and I have a great relationship where we communicate with each other openly.

                  I hate Kailee because she seems to think her role as a little is to do whatever she wants whenever she wants. She doesn't check in with Vanessa to see if it fun for her too. She ignores overly obvious hints that's she needs to tone it down. Not to mention the whole thing with her going outside with her diaper on full display to the public, just so she can get her jollies.




                  This new chapter had my head spinning. I dont know how I should be feeling about everything. Venessa is lying to Kailee about a possible future. Then Audrey comes out of no where and takes on a dominant role with Kailee. I am so confused as to why Audrey is acting the way she is. I will say that I loved this chapter. It only makes me more curious about future chapters.

                  Thankies for posting

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                    #24
                    Originally posted by LilPeaches View Post


                    I'm a bit of a brat too. I'm pretty whiny alot of the time. I throw small tantrums when I don't get my way. However I always ask daddy if I'm being too difficult for him. I am always making sure he's happy. I turn off my little side when he needs to deal with important stuff. I'm kinda lucky because he and I have a great relationship where we communicate with each other openly.

                    I hate Kailee because she seems to think her role as a little is to do whatever she wants whenever she wants. She doesn't check in with Vanessa to see if it fun for her too. She ignores overly obvious hints that's she needs to tone it down. Not to mention the whole thing with her going outside with her diaper on full display to the public, just so she can get her jollies.




                    This new chapter had my head spinning. I dont know how I should be feeling about everything. Venessa is lying to Kailee about a possible future. Then Audrey comes out of no where and takes on a dominant role with Kailee. I am so confused as to why Audrey is acting the way she is. I will say that I loved this chapter. It only makes me more curious about future chapters.

                    Thankies for posting
                    Thanks for commenting, as always

                    Your analysis on Kailee is spot on. We'll just have to see if Aubrey's motivations are revealed as we go
                    Please, if you like my writing - leave a comment, they really do mean the world to me.

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                      #25
                      Chapter Fourteen

                      It was Sunday evening before I heard from Dani again, all of her replies since our date - which had seemed really successful - were short and to the point. That night, we logged on and joined voice communications for a game session. The session itself was great, we went won four matches and only lost one, we were finding a good rhythm, discovering each other's strengths and weaknesses. She was honestly pretty good, even moreseo now that she was likely more comfortable in her own space without having to worry about what I thought. I wondered how she would perform from my place - I wondered if I'd be able to put her at ease. Her voice was strained, however. There was some hurt, some worry she wasn't talking about and it was obvious she wasn't ready. Even though it gnawed at me, even though I wanted to prod and pry, I knew it would only push her away. So I waited.

                      Monday night it was more of the same - she hopped on and we played, three and zero that night... she should have been in great spirits, but that distance, that tautness was still in her voice.

                      At the end of the night, the shoe finally dropped.

                      "Vanessa, I have something I want to share, but I'm really afraid it's going to hurt your feelings." There was the source of the strain.

                      An inauspicious beginning, to say the least.

                      "I'm listening," I said softly. "What's on your mind?" I refused to panic. She hadn't actually said anything yet, it could be literally anything. Assuming the worst was to invite disaster. Better to be patient and still, take the problem as it came.

                      "Firstly, I want to say how much I've enjoyed playing with you," she began. "You're a lot of fun. You're sweet and nice and you have this... I don't know, depth to you that most people just don't seem to have. I feel like I can share anything with you."

                      "I appreciate that," I added after a momentary pause. She was struggling.

                      "I'll understand if you don't want to hang out with me after this," her voice shook a little, she was honestly frightened. "But things are getting... more serious with Julian. I really like him and I want to give it an honest shot. Ugh, this sounds so cliché but I just want to be friends. I don't want to lose you, I want to keep playing with you, but I can't date you right now."

                      "I understand," I said evenly. I was hurt, it was true - I had thought she would be mine. Damn Seth for not having that dirt already so I could avoid this pain. So I could have driven him away by now and had Dani all to myself. "Dani, I still want to be your friend." That much was true, but it wasn't the full truth - I still had designs on her, and I still felt that she could be mine. "I'm not going to abandon our blossoming friendship just because you don't want to date me. It's really hard to make a friend as an adult and I feel like our friendship could grow to be one that is very deep. You're a really special person, and I'm glad that I met you."

                      "Wow," she breathed her relief, I could almost feel it through the headphones I wore. "Thanks Vanessa. Wow, I really expected you to be upset... "

                      "I'll be honest," I interjected, "I'm disappointed. I deeply enjoyed our dates and I don't think friendly outings will be quite the same, but I respect your decision and I value your friendship too highly to just walk away."

                      "That's... incredibly mature."

                      "You sound surprised," I teased gently. "Did you think I was immature?"

                      "No!" she said quickly, "Not at all - it's just that most people don't handle rejection this well."

                      "You're not rejecting me," I countered. "You're accepting someone else's advances and that means I have to back off - that's not a rejection, just because someone else has your affection doesn't mean you don't like me."

                      "Exactly!" she sighed. "I was so scared you wouldn't understand, I'm sorry I doubted you."

                      "No worries," I said softly, "Are we playing tomorrow?"

                      "Absolutely," I could hear the joy in her voice, the comfort. "Goodnight, Vanessa. And thank you."

                      "Goodnight, Dani. Sleep well."

                      My heart sank and I took a deep, cleansing breath as I set the headset down. I pondered starting the hunt anew, trying to find another Little-to-be... but Dani seemed so perfect. The Little lurking under the surface was waiting to be rescued. She had so much pain and fear over being judged - for her preferences, for her tastes. I wanted to help her with that, to show her that she could have all of those feelings in a safe place, in my arms. She could be silly and cute and young-at-heart in my embrace. I wanted to unlock that part of her and set it free...

                      And I wanted it too strongly to give up now.

                      * * *

                      Seth finally contacted me on Tuesday evening, after a mildly harrowing day. One of the firings had become extremely awkward. It was standard policy to deny someone access to their workstation and desk once they had been given news - their belongings would be packed up and returned to them in a box, but this individual was insistent that she needed her journal that very afternoon, but that no one was allowed to retrieve it.

                      I ended up having to get it myself, as most of the other people handling this part of the process were male and this made her deeply uncomfortable. Personally, I didn't care about her discomfort and would have been fine shipping her belongings to her like everyone else, but the request had been granted by the COO. The journal was a pink thing with the words "be positive" scrawled across the front, and this young lady had been visibly relieved to receive it, but needed several reassurances that I hadn't even opened the cover. Why someone would leave something so intensely personal in a workspace was beyond me, but she had concealed it quite well in the cabinet of her cubicle.

                      There hadn't even been anything of note in it - it was mostly her recollections and feelings, there was no sensitive data in it and thus no security breach.

                      So when Seth finally appeared on my television - unannounced, as was becoming disturbingly regular - I wasn't particularly in the mood to talk.

                      "Hi Nessa," Jess bubbled at his feet before he could even offer a greeting, drinking what appeared to be orange juice from a tall glass with a positively ridiculous curly straw.

                      "Hi," I returned. I didn't really have the energy to fake emotion after having done so all day, coddling and consoling distraught ex-employees. So it took me a moment longer than usual to register Seth's expression - genuine concern.

                      "Dani's in danger, isn't she?" I asked, sitting up straighter and setting my dinner aside. "He's a psycho, isn't he?"

                      "He's clean," he said solemnly. "Stand up guy, network engineer, on the path to upper management, does volunteer work, no arrests, streams in his spare time - but he runs a clean channel. He's actually a nice guy, and attractive. The worst thing I could find is that he has a bad habit of being late to return his library books... yeah, he still goes to the library on the regular."

                      "Well shit," I groaned. "What are the odds of that?"

                      "In this town? You know as well as I do. That's why this took me so long - I looked everywhere I could think of. The guy's just... clean."

                      Seth knew she had asked to be "just friends" for now - I wasn't hurt by it, I was still hopeful, but this development might push the timetable out longer than was reasonable. I might have to start looking again soon if I wanted to find my Little - no matter how perfect Dani seemed, there was always another girl out there somewhere who could be my match. There was no such thing as a "soul mate", a perfect person. It was all just degrees of compatibility and if Dani wasn't going to be available any time soon... well, I might need to give up.

                      The thought was saddening.

                      "Nessa?" Jess' asked gently. "Are you okay?"

                      "I'm okay - it's good news. She's got a boyfriend who is a really great guy. I should be happy for her, right?"

                      "It's okay to be sad," Jess answered softly. "I wish you were here so I could hug you."

                      "Thanks, Jess," I sighed. It was going to be difficult to compartmentalize these emotions before I played games with Dani tonight - I wanted to keep that routine going, just in case. And being sad that she was happy was NOT the way to stay friends with her - no one wanted to be reminded that they caused negative feelings in someone else.

                      "How about we go to the club this weekend?" Seth offered, his usually impassive expression gentle, concerned.

                      "Honestly Seth, I'm not ready to start hunting anew, and especially not there. Subs already know the joy of submission, and the Littles either want a more extreme fix or... I'm just not ready."

                      "I understand - if you change your mind... "

                      "I'll let you know. Thanks for doing all the legwork. It would have driven me crazy sifting through all of that while finishing this A-Tech job. It's almost done."

                      "Well that's good news, you'll have some free time again soon." His voice was subdued, gentle.

                      "Yeah," it didn't feel like good news - it felt like I was losing a great distraction.

                      * * *

                      I sighed sadly and rested my cheek on Daddy's leg. It didn't seem fair that Nessa couldn't just find a Little. I mean, I understood - I hadn't exactly been head over heels with the idea at first, but that felt like a lifetime ago now. I had almost laughed in Seth's face the first time he had tried to diaper me. Little games before that had been so innocent in comparison to what they were now - teasing about how young I was acting, telling me how adorable and cute I was, prodding me about getting to the bathroom on time. It all seemed so obvious now, but at the time I had no idea what he had been working toward.

                      And now, I wouldn't trade it for the world. His hand came down and gently caressed my hair, his fingers digging in and massaging my scalp. His hands were so big, so strong. Some days it felt like he could just pick me up with one hand and hold me there.

                      "It doesn't seem fair," I said to him quietly. "Nessa would be a great mommy. This Dani girl must be stupid."

                      "Hush Cupcake," he scolded, but his voice was soft. I wasn't in trouble. "Some Littles don't know that they're little. I seem to recall a very fierce woman named Jessica who was absolutely convinced she was a big girl."

                      "Yeah, well she was a big dumb dummy-head, too. You and Nessa can tell a Little from an adult, even if we can't - her Dani should just lay down and get diapered already. She'd be so much happier."

                      "If I know Vanessa," he chuckled - and he did know her, better than anyone. "She's not only picked someone who doesn't know they're a Little, she's picked someone who thinks they're vanilla. She won't have even gotten a closet kinkster like you were."

                      "What can we do to help her, Daddy?" I climbed into his lap slowly, giving him lots of time to object and put me back in my place on the floor - he didn't, which meant cuddles were okay right now. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled myself into his lap, his hand on my bare thigh, so near the thick diaper he had taped me in when he came home.

                      "We can't, Cupcake. We can't. If we try, we'll only make things worse. Either something gives with Dani, or Vanessa gives and we play emotional support again."

                      "But she didn't even ask for support with Lauren," I pouted. "I didn't even know she was serious until I was in trouble - she had been so sure and Nessa's never wrong."

                      "Everyone is wrong sometimes, sweetie." He kissed me on the nose... I couldn't help but giggle.

                       "Not you, Daddy."
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                        #26
                        I wonder if Danni may have been given a subtle warning before things got too far?
                        True friendship is found within the faces of those who truly care.

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                          #27
                          Originally posted by Jayme Ann View Post
                          I wonder if Danni may have been given a subtle warning before things got too far?
                          Interesting question - who would have warned her?
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                            #28
                            Chapter Fifteen

                            Vanessa looked awful, and she had barely touched her dinner. Granted, this wasn't her favorite restaurant but she was obviously out of it. Her A-Tech job had kept her quite busy for the past two weeks - longer than she expected, and hatchet jobs were always rough on her. Jess couldn't tell, the waitress couldn't tell, but I could tell. Just like I could tell Jess had wet herself about fifteen minutes ago - she had been wiggly, then had gone very still for a long moment, before returning to her wiggling. Everyone had tells, for their feelings, for their thoughts - it was just a matter of seeing them. Vanessa's was the was her left hand kept drumming on the table, twitching. Vanessa wasn't a twitchy person, not one of those restless-leg types... Vanessa was still and calm as a pond on a windless day. Normally. Tomorrow was supposedly her last day, however, and if I knew Vanessa... the pay for that job would keep her going for quite a while. She'd bounce back. She always did.

                            She smiled the same, those myriad expressive smiles, but they didn't quite reach her eyes. She was off her game. She had been telling us about her gaming sessions with Dani, how they were a gateway into the woman's life.

                            "I just don't think this Jenni is a good influence on her," she explained, stopping her tapping for a moment to take a long sip of water. "They've been friends since college - they were roommates, apparently - but they've drifted apart a little as Jenni has grown more judgmental of Dani's Little tells. The purse, the earrings, the cute clothes... she's stifling her, and it bothers me deeply."

                            There was more than what she was saying, of course.

                            "What was the catalyst?" I asked. It was never good to beat around the bush with Vanessa, she didn't like the dance and preferred when people just got to the point.

                            "Jenni got married to a religious nut," she shrugged. Aha. There it was. Vanessa came from a very conservative family - I didn't know the whole story, but they had apparently thrown her out of the house when she came out as gay... Vanessa and religion did not get along. She had moved to the Bay Area to get away from it - that and to use her tech skills, though she found more success with her analytical and interpersonal skills than she did actually working on computers. She wasn't a bad systems administrator though. Religion didn't bother me as much, I was agnostic, I was raised agnostic, and Jess was lapsed. It wasn't even a thing I thought about, but I knew it bothered Vanessa.

                            "And now she's passing her hubby's judgements on her friend?" I prompted.

                            "That's my guess," she nodded.

                            "But you've been talking to her every night, right? That's good. Any info on how things are going with Julian?" It was a dangerous question, but Vanessa was no fragile flower.

                            "We've been playing, but we avoid the Julian subject," her hand twitched again, her nails dragging on the tabletop. "It would be awkward. She hasn't complained, so I assume everything is copacetic there. I can tell when they're out - she shows up later, some nights she doesn't play at all... but we're becoming good friends. She trusts me, and I like her. I really think- "

                            The sound of her phone ringing, a surprisingly jaunty tune for Vanessa, interrupted her train of thought. She apologized and pulled the singing phone out of her purse - out of the corner of my eye, I could see it said "Dani".

                            "Hello?" she asked quietly, preparing to take the phone call outside. "Anything. What's up?" She sat back down in her seat, her face ashen - whatever Dani was saying wasn't good news. "Do you need a place to stay?" Another pause, concern. If things seemed to be going well with Julian, surely she wouldn't be wanting to hole up at Vanessa's... unless that's what went wrong, but then... "Do you have renter's insurance?" Ah. Catastrophe. Interesting that in a moment of crisis, she reached for Vanessa and not this Jenni or even Julian. It was promising - it sucked that she was in this spot, but there was a silver lining.

                            I glanced over at Jess who was watching intently. I reached over and threaded my fingers through hers while we waited. My sweet little cupcake obviously wasn't picking up everything that was going on, but that was okay. Jess was plenty smart, she didn't need to be a brainiac like Vanessa to be a good match for me.

                            "Seth," Vanessa's face looked a little graven as she put her phone away. "I need help."

                            "Robbery?" I asked. It was pretty reasonable to not want to sleep in a place that just got robbed.

                            "Fire," she shook her head. "Lost everything - neighbor left the stove on."

                            "That sucks. What do you need me to do?"

                            "I have a guest on the way and I have a crib to break down before she gets there. Can you keep some stuff at your place for me? I don't think she'll understand the things that are in the guest room closet."

                            * * *

                            "Dani's going to move in with Nessa?" Jess asked hopefully from the back seat of the car. "That's exciting!"

                            "Now Cupcake," I said with a smile that she couldn't see as we raced down the 101 toward Cupertino, "If we meet Dani tonight... and we might, you can't - CAN NOT - act happy that she's moving in with Vanessa."

                            "I know that!" she said defensively, picking up Buttercup Jolly Hooves - her stuffed pink unicorn - and hugging it tightly. I had hurt her feelings. "I'm not dumb."

                            She always hugged that stuffie when she had hurt feelings, Buttercup Jolly Hooves was her favorite... and I interrupted my own train of thought when I realized that I used the stuffie's ridiculous "full name" in my mind - Jess insisted that I use the full name when referring to her friend.

                            "I don't think you're dumb, sweetie," I assured her. "But you're excited. I know you really want Dani to fall in love with Vanessa and become her Little so you have someone to play with." I could see my girl blushing a bright red in the rear view. "But they aren't even dating right now, okay? They're just friends and Dani doesn't know anything at all about Littles or Bigs or anything like that, she's a vanilla just like you were."

                            "I know Daddy, I have to use vanilla rules." Vanilla rules was our codeword for when we were going to be in a social situation where she had to be Jessica, and not my cute little Cupcake. Trips to the DMV, visits to the doctor, situations that could be uncomfortable if she called me Daddy. She didn't like it, but she would do the right thing. When we pulled into the parking lot of Vanessa's apartment, she was already inside. I unbuckled Jess and we headed up.

                            "Best behavior, Jessica. We're starting vanilla rules now, just in case." She nodded her understanding and we slipped into Vanessa's apartment. It was honestly a little weird to be there in person - I saw it all the time via video chat, but generally she came to visit us, not the other way around. I stepped into the guest room where she was breaking down the crib and transforming it into a relatively normal looking day bed and asked, "What can we do to help?"

                            "Get some garbage bags," she nodded toward the kitchen, "And start packing up diapers and baby clothes."

                            I stepped quickly to her kitchen and grabbed the bags, giving one to Jess and taking one myself. I pointed to the dresser and started emptying the closet. It was such a shame - I knew we weren't actually throwing any of this away, but she had such a beautiful nursery set up. It was meticulously organized - the clothing in the closet was ordered not only by color, but also by function and warmth. It almost hurt to take the clothes - hangers and all - and stuff them roughly into the garbage back. It felt too much like a purge, which most of us had been through in the days before we learned to love ourselves. I knew I had. Every now and again, that feeling of shame would come back - that feeling that wanting to keep your partner in diapers was wrong. The urge to throw it all away and pretend the feelings weren't real.

                            I had done it twice before I met Jess. Doing this right now for Vanessa hurt. I just had to remind myself that this wasn't a purge, I'd keep her collection safe and sound... though she might lose a few stuffed animals to a certain Cupcake.

                            "Jessica," I chided. "Put the squirrel in the bag and keep helping." She had stopped to cuddle a particularly soft looking stuffie and pouted at me.

                            "Actually," Vanessa perked up. "That one can stay. Let's put him on the bed."

                            We had four bags in the trunk of my Audi and the room was almost done - the dresser was empty, the closet was mostly empty - all that was really left was a few t-shirts that were vanilla enough. Tinkerbell and the like. I had just bagged a small assortment of diapers and a few outfits, a couple of bottles and bibs, and one of those great oversized pacis. Vanessa had ordered one in blue right after I got Jess her pink one. I was loading them into the last bag when a knock came from the front door.

                            "Shit," Vanessa hissed, giving me a pleading look. It was beyond strange to see her flustered.

                            "Jessica," I said softly, reminding her of vanilla rules. "Go to the kitchen and pour some drinks, then go sit on the couch."

                            "Yes Da... no problem." I sighed a bit as Vanessa stared at the bag in my hands.

                            "I've got this, go answer your door," I promised. She headed for the front door and I slipped into her bedroom and stuffed the last bag under her bed. It would have to do.

                            "Dani," I heard her voice come from the entryway. "I'm so sorry this happened, come on in."

                            Dani was a smaller woman, a lithe build in her black capris, a patterned blouse, and a blue blazer. She looked sharp, and her look suited her raven black hair. She also looked shaken and worn, sad around the eyes. She needed comfort. I could see exactly why Vanessa had homed in on her - that squirrel purse did indeed scream "Little", and her entire demeanor demanded to be swept up and held, cherished, protected. I shot a quick glance to Jess, who had poured four glasses of ice water and set them on the counter. It was taking everything she had not to squee and run over to hug Dani.

                            "Oh," Dani said nervously. "I didn't know you had company, I'm so sorry... "

                            "Don't worry," Vanessa assured her, gesturing for her to come in. "This is my best friend Seth and his girlfriend Jessica. They just came over to help me clean up a bit." She turned her head so that Dani could only see half of her face and raised an eyebrow at me, the one Dani couldn't see. I smiled reassuringly. What, does she think I just poured out the bag on her bed? She was being paranoid.

                            "And we just finished, so Jessica and I will be heading home. It was a pleasure to meet you... " I paused, as though I didn't know her name.

                            "Dani," she offered, holding out her hand. I shook it gently, she seemed quite delicate. Her skin was soft and she had a complicated perfume - but the base of it smelled like sugar cookies.

                            "A pleasure, Dani. I'd love to stay and chat, but I've got to head back home. I hope I get to see you again." I gestured for Jess to follow and stepped toward the still-open door.

                            "Oh Dani," Jess gushed - I was really worried she was going to blow it all here. "It's great to meet you. You're really pretty."

                            "Um, thanks?" Dani stepped aside, obviously feeling a bit awkward. I grabbed Jess around the waist and waved, pulling the door shut behind us.

                            "Sorry, she's excitable," I heard Vanessa's voice explain softly as I led Jess down the hall.

                            "Ohmygosh," my Little squeed as soon as we were outside the apartment building. "She's. So. Cute!"

                            "Should I feel threatened?" I asked her teasingly. "You're not going to try to steal her away from Vanessa, are you? Going to replace me?"

                            "Silly Daddy," she grinned, standing on her toes and wrapping her arms around my neck. I pulled her closer, my arm around her waist again and I lifted her for a kiss. "Nobody can ever replace you, you're perfect."
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                              #29
                              I sense a disturbance in the force m

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                                #30
                                Chapter Sixteen

                                I had imagined many different scenarios regarding how I would bring Dani to my apartment... but this was not even close to any of them. I felt off-guard, off-center. I had been waiting for this moment, but it was so far from what I had imagined. I was supposed to bring her in after a long, romantic dinner and make love to her. To show her a tender side of me, to coax out that vulnerable part of her. To get her to admit that she enjoyed being cared for. To hold her and caress her and reassure her that what I wanted from her more than anything else was her trust and her vulnerability. To show her the joys of gentle domination.

                                Now she was standing here in my living room, and I had no plan, no play, and she was bothered by Jess.

                                "Sorry, she's excitable," I explained. "She's a really sweet person though."

                                "It's no big deal," Dani smiled reassuringly, dropping her laptop bag just inside the door as I closed it. "They seem like nice people."

                                "Seth is the best," I agreed. "We've been friends for quite a few years now. I value him. Come on, I'll show you to the spare bedroom. I've cleaned it up a bit - I use it for work sometimes, but I've emptied it out for you."

                                "Oh, I'm so sorry," Dani apologized, sounding pained. "I didn't mean to inconvenience you."

                                "It's not a big deal, I swear." I led her back to the guest room, hoping that we hadn't missed anything odd, a pacifier on the floor or something. The bed didn't look exactly normal - the headboard and footboard had been lowered to half-height, the back crib railing was all the way up, but the front railing was folded beneath the bed and beneath the skirt, invisible. It just looked like a slightly odd daybed. "This is it, you're welcome to stay here as long as you need. I'm really sorry about the fire. Hopefully renter's insurance will have you back on your feet in no time."

                                "Yeah," Dani sighed, setting her backpack down just inside the door. "I started the claim, but they've got quite a few from that building. I hope they can process them quickly." She looked to be on the verge of tears.

                                I simply opened my arms and welcomed her into a hug. She stepped into my embrace and I wrapped my arms around her tightly, breathing in her peach scent. It took a good twenty seconds before she relaxed in my arms, and her body began shaking with sobs. I made soft, soothing noises as I held her, just listening to her cry. My heart broke for her, this kind, gentle girl who didn't deserve this pain.

                                "All my stuff is gone, Vanessa. All I have is the clothes I'm wearing and my computer. I don't know what I'm going to do. Everything's falling apart... Jenni isn't talking to me right now and yesterday Julian and I got in a fight," she said after her sobs began to subside. Her face was buried in my shoulder, my hand stroking her hair softly.

                                "Do you want to talk about it?" I asked gently, guiding us over to the bed and sitting with her on the mattress. I wanted nothing more than to hold her in my lap, to hold her tight. The calculating part of me noted how vulnerable she was right now, how easy it would be to cut her off from the people who hurt her and guide her to the life I wanted for her... but that wouldn't be healthy for Dani in the long run. It was hard to weigh that against my own desires.

                                "I guess I do," she laughed a halting laugh as she wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. "I hadn't even planned on saying anything... you give really good hugs." I gave her a comforting smile and waited. Dani lowered her eyes and folded her hands in her lap, obviously struggling with where to begin. "I don't want to burden you." She said dejectedly.

                                "Your pain is not a burden to me," I promised her, wrapping an arm around her shoulder. "I am offering to listen. You don't have to tell me about it, but if you want to, I'm here."

                                "I got really mad at his best friend at dinner the other night," she began, a deep, shuddering sigh exiting her lips. "I said something about his silly tie - it had tabasco sauce bottles on it - and he made fun of my purse. I told him that it wasn't okay to mock that, that I really like my purse and he just... he kept piling it on. Why is it so wrong for me to like a stuffed animal purse? Do you know how many different people have hassled me about Forrest? At work, on dates... ugh! Why should I have to conform to what they want?" She was almost shouting by the end, I simply leaned over and kissed her on the temple.

                                "You shouldn't," I said softly.

                                "Julian didn't defend me. When we got back to his place after dinner, he told me... " she choked up. I gave her space to breathe, just holding her with one arm. I wanted so badly to hug her, to grab her phone and dial Julian and bawl him out. "He told me I was being immature over the whole thing. He said I was acting like a child, that it was just a stupid purse, that Andrew didn't mean anything by it. I tried to get Jenni to see my side of it later, but she agreed with him! She said I should just throw my purse away and get a 'real' one!" She broke down again, burying her face. "Maybe they're right, maybe I'm being stupid."

                                "Hey," I squeezed her, reaching behind us with my free arm and picking up the plush squirrel that I had almost sat on. "I don't agree. In fact, I got you this." I held the toy out to her, a great big grey squirrel with a soft, bushy tail. It didn't matter that I had probably had it for years, as far as she knew, I bought it yesterday. "I figured Forrest needed a squirrel friend, even though he already has you for a bestie."

                                "Oh my... " she breathed, taking the squirrel toy in her arms and holding it tight. "Oh Vanessa, thank you." She sniffled and the tears began anew. "This is the nicest thing anyone has done for me in a long time. But I can't... I have to stop doing this to myself. I'm an adult, it's time I grew up." She sniffled. "Jenni and Julian are right and I know it." Tears streamed down her face as she told the lie, it hurt me so much to watch her do it to herself.

                                "So what if you like stuffed animals? So what if you have a cute purse? Why is that such a bad thing?" I voiced her own thoughts back to her. She needed to hear that I was on her side. "You're not hurting anyone."

                                "Aren't I though?" she sighed. "It makes it hard to take me seriously. Maybe it's been hurting my career advancement all along? I mean, I've followed Jenni's advice and updated my wardrobe... " she trailed off as her face fell. "Which I don't have any more. Crap, what am I going to do for clothes?"

                                "We're going to go shopping," I smiled a smile that said 'Everything is going to be fine' and squeezed her again. "Your renter's insurance should cut you a check to cover the damages, including replacing your clothing."

                                "But what am I going to do in the meantime? I got the claim started, but what about right now? I still have to go to work tomorrow." She frowned down at her outfit. "And I don't get paid for another week.. I don't have the cash to buy new clothes right now!"

                                "I'll buy you some clothes tonight," I stroked her arm and pulled her head gently back to my shoulder.

                                "I can't let you do that," she protested. "You're already doing so much for me!"

                                "Tomorrow is my last day with A-Tech," I assured her. "They're cutting me a check for the second half of the contract, so don't worry about that. We can spend a little bit to buy you a few outfits. Are you sure you don't want to call in sick tomorrow? I think 'my house burned down' qualifies as a legitimate reason to take some time off."

                                "I can't," she groaned. "My project deadline is next week and if I miss any time and we miss that deadline... well, I'll be looking for an apartment and a job."

                                "Well let's go buy you some clothes then. And don't worry about looking for another place right away. I've always thought it was kind of dumb that I had a two bedroom, but I've always liked the space and I'll be honest... I think it's going to be nice sharing it with you. I mean," I pitched my voice in a gently teasing way, "voice comms are great and all, but now when I need my healer you'll be in the same room."

                                "You're right," she laughed. "We won't even need headsets! Thanks, Vanessa. Thanks for everything. I just... I didn't think I could face Julian and ask for his help right now... I think things are going to be okay between us, but moving in with a boyfriend after dating them for only a couple of weeks smacks of desperation, right?" She laughed nervously and I hid the hurt that I felt from that comment. She really didn't think of me as a romantic contender at the moment, and I wasn't sure how to correct that.. "Moving in with the girl you dated three times is much more secure, I guess. Thanks for being your amazing self, Vanessa. You.. "

                                "You don't have to say anything," I took advantage of her pause, trying to give her an out. She was overwrought and overwhelmed - if she were my Little, she'd be going down for a nap.

                                "I want to," she said confidently. "I don't deserve you. We went on three dates and I ditched you, but you've been my friend this whole time. You haven't pushed, you haven't prodded. You haven't asked me anything about Julian... all you've done is be my friend and I don't... I don't deserve your friendship."

                                "Shh," I couldn't resist it any longer, I did pull her into my lap as I scooted back on the bed, turning her body so her face was buried in my shoulder. "It's okay. You do deserve my friendship, you deserve that and so much more. You're a beautiful, kind person. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to express your happiness in a way that makes you feel good without anyone's opinions bringing you down. You are a wonderful woman, Dani - and I'm deeply glad I've gotten to know you."

                                She cried in my arms for a while, wracking sobs as the pain and fear of the past few days overwhelmed her. I held her while she cried, stroking her hair and rocking her gently. My poor princess. My sweet girl, so hurt that she lost her things, so hurt that her boyfriend had been mean to her. She was a fragile flower and I wanted nothing more than to protect her.

                                Eventually, her tears slowed... and she drifted off to sleep. I laid her down on the bed, wishing with everything I had that I could raise the bars on the crib, that I could keep her safe and sound. I slipped the stuffed squirrel into her arms and tucked a pillow beneath her head before I walked out of the room to make her something to eat... she had likely just come from work and hadn't eaten anything.

                                I stood in the doorway for a long moment, watching her slumber. This was so close to what I wanted, so close to perfect... and I had more hope in that moment than I had in weeks.
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