Bought: Highest Bidder(3)

By: Lauren Landish


I’ll see you soon,

L





An asymmetric smile plays on my lips as I take in her message. I may be a Sir, but she is certainly a Madam. I sit back in my leather desk chair and tap the parchment against the desk as I debate on whether or not I should attend.

It’s been nearly a year since I’ve been to Club X. Even longer since I’ve had a Submissive, and only one of those was purchased at one of the monthly auctions. She lasted the longest, but only because she was required to.

It would be a nice distraction from the mundane. I muse, staring absently at the back wall lined with black and white sketches from an up-and-coming artist.

Before I can decide, my desk phone rings, bringing me back to the present. I lean forward with annoyance and answer it.

“Stone,” I answer.

“Lucian,” my sister’s voice comes through the line. It’s bright and cheery, everything my younger sister embodies. Bubbly is what she likes to be called.

But her happiness doesn’t rub off on me. Not after reading the fucking emails from our parents’ lawyer. I doubt she knows, and it’s not her fault.

She reminds me of them, though. I wish it wasn’t like this. I wish I could separate the two, but I can’t. They manipulate her, and it’s only a matter of time before they’ll come up in conversation. Shit, our parents could be why she’s calling now.

“Anna, how are you?” I ask her casually. I trace my finger along the wax seal of the envelope as I listen.

“I’ve been good, but I’ve been missing you...” she trails off as her voice goes distant. I don’t respond. I don’t care to admit my feelings either way. Yes, there’s a bit of pain from losing contact with my sister, but she chooses to keep in touch with them. She made that decision. And I refuse to have any contact with them.

“It’s been too long,” she says in a sad voice and then her tone picks up. “We should do lunch sometime soon.”

I take in a long breath, not wanting to commit to anything. Lunches are quick unless it’s a business meeting. Then they aren’t really lunches. But beyond that, I don’t have much to tell her. I’m certainly not going to be telling her what she wants to hear.

“Maybe soon,” I finally reply.

She huffs over the phone, “You say that when you really mean no.” Her voice is playful and forces a rough chuckle up my chest. She may only be nineteen, but Anna’s a smart girl. I can’t deny her. No matter how much I wish I could, I have a soft spot for her.

I lean forward and pull up my calendar. “I can do Thursday.”

“Deal,” she quickly agrees, and I can practically feel her smile through the phone. It warms my chest that I can make her happy. Unlike the rest of them, she doesn’t take, take, take from me. She truly just wants to see me.

“I’ve missed you, too, Anna.”

“Well you won’t have to, since I’ll text you and see you on Thursday,” she says confidently.

“I will. I’ll talk to you then.” I’m quick to end the call before she can drag me into a longwinded conversation. She can do that on Thursday for all I care.

“Talk to you then. I love you,” she says brightly.

“Talk to you then,” I answer and hang up the phone.

As I do, my eyes catch sight of the card and I pick it up and rise from my desk, slinging my jacket over my arm and thinking about the last time I was there.

It’s been a long time since I’ve set foot in Club X.

And a visit is long overdue.





Chapter 2





Dahlia





God, I wish I could wear this color, I think to myself as I slowly slide my fingertips over the rich, velvety purple fabric that lays across my desk. A fabric that will hopefully be turned into an award-winning gown. I suck in a breath, holding it and hoping that I’ll be able to contribute to the design.

It’s the new in vogue color this season, and it’s only a matter of time before models will be flaunting it down the runway. I just hope that I can eventually be one of those fashion designers that proudly walks the runway at the end of a successful show. One day.

I like purple; it’s probably up there with red and black as one of my favorite colors. I just don’t look good wearing it. I gently lay the fabric down on the desk, thinking. Black suits me better, and it’s probably why nearly all of my closet consists of black and greys. Even now, sporting dark silk slacks, a blouse the color of midnight and a cropped black leather jacket with my dark brown hair pulled up into a sleek ponytail, I look like I’m modeling for the grim reaper.

I think I need to stop wearing so much black, I tell myself, maybe then I’ll stop being so damn depressed.