“Puss, say she don’t want no plastic and my fingers aren’t long enough to scratch the itch you created…

She say she wanna know why they call you Mr. Turn You Out, and if you’d be gentle if she ever let you in…”

“What’d you say, Lyric? Why are you muttering now?”

Lyric jumped at the sound of Tasha’s voice. They were waiting in line at the Cafeteria, the new restaurant in downtown Madison specializing in hearty home cooked meals for less. Closing her journal she shook her head at Tasha.

“It’s nothing, girl, just tryin’ to get this rhythm right.”

“Ooh, you’re finally writing again? I wanna see!” Tasha squealed more excited than a child at Christmas.

Lyric laughed. “You already know I’m not gonna show you unfinished pieces and besides this isn’t something you need to see.”

Tasha’s eyes narrowed, “You’re writing about Cassius again, aren’t you? I don’t know why you won’t let’im know how you feel. I mean you guys have known each other since we were fifteen.”

“It’s not that easy Tash, technically I’m his sister and on top of that his parents are like my own. I don’t wanna lose all that.”

“See, if I were you I’d push all that to the side, for real! Girl, we already know he’s got his shit together and he’s passed the walker test like a thousand times over-

“Tash, just drop it. There are a lot of reasons I can’t ask Master Donavon…–“

Lyric stopped. At first she thought Tasha hadn’t heard her slip of the tongue and then the moment of recognition came.

“What the hell?! Did you just say Master Donavon?!

“Tasha Marie Niles not another word, or so help me…” Lyric said in exasperation as people were beginning to stare.

The man behind the counter had the grace to keep his composure as he rang up her order of Shepherd’s Pie and Lemon Water. He smiled at Lyric as she balanced her tray on her walker and waited for Tasha. Lyric knew they were going to have Starzbet this conversation eventually but she’d hoped to be more prepared for it. Dominance and Submission were not discussed in polite society and she worried her bottom lip as she thought of telling Tasha the truth. Hell, Lyric herself had trouble wrapping her brain around these desires how was she supposed to explain it to someone else?

“Look, there have been rumors about the Donavon men for a long time. I just never figured you’d believe the hype.” Tasha said when they’d found a table.

“I don’t believe the hype; what I know I know from…hmm…observing.”

“Observing?” Tasha’s sepia eyes rounded in astonishment. She’d always figured that Lyric was the stereotypical good girl.

“Yeah, there’s a reason the prayer room has a lock on it. I’ve never been so taken with anything in my life. I mean, I thought I would be repulsed but honestly it was beautiful. I mean, being able to trust someone that much… especially Cassius….it was fascinating…”

Lyric felt flush with heat as she remembered the night she’d discovered the secrets of the prayer room. It was the twenty-sixth of July heat and humidity pressed against her as she fought for sleep. Lyric groaned in frustration at being in barely there panties and a pale yellow tank top yet still being stifled. Nights like this were meant for swimming; she could swim ’til morning and sleep in the afternoon especially since she didn’t have to work. The house was quiet no one would know about her midnight swim.

. “O-oooh jeez…damn baby…….”

At first Lyric thought the heat had finally driven her crazy but as she neared the front door she heard the sounds again. A pool of light drew her towards the prayer room giving her first hand knowledge that rumors about the Donavon men were true.

“Deeper…please …deep-per…”

The sounds of their pleasure held Lyric between jealousy, Starzbet Giriş envy and curiosity; with jealousy and envy winning out. She wanted to be the one between Zeke and Cassius but she knew they would never allow her the pleasure.

The fire from that night roared to life as she struggled to sit still praying Tasha wouldn’t ask any more questions.

“That’s why you live above Honey Dripper’s? You moved out because of that night; didn’t you?”

Tasha’s tone told Lyric her questions weren’t questions. It was the tone of someone who’d finally solved a complicated rubrics cube. The truth nestled itself in the silence as the nights she’d spent searching for what Cassius wouldn’t give flashed before her.

“We can’t talk here; let’s get boxes for the food, some wine, and head to my place.”

Honey Dripper Booksellers sat kitty-corner to the dairy on East Washington about two minutes before it melts into the Capital Square. Appealing because it was close enough to campus that it attracted the students and yet far enough away that she wasn’t assailed by their antics. Lyric, like many black Madisonians, had a love-hate relationship with campus. As a writer she enjoyed the vibrant artisan community and the many venues where poetry was spoken. But as a woman of color she knew campus could turn colder than this December’s first snowfall. Just this past summer a cry of outrage from the vibrant community she loved washed over the city after a mock lynching was held on Langdon Street. Tingles slid through Lyric that had little to do with the chill of the night. She pulled her coat closer and reached for her keys.

“How can you live above a bookstore? Doesn’t it creep you out?” Tasha’s voice drew Lyric from her thoughts.

“Tash, when you see what I’ve done with the place you’ll want to move in.” Lyric answered stepping into the elevator toward home. Pocket doors opened to a monochromatically purple Starzbet Güncel Giriş world accented with muted warmth of gold, red and turquoise.

Hardwood floors ran from the entry way to the kitchen with plush black carpeting running alongside it in the living room continuing into the office and the Master bedroom.

“You’re right, I wanna move in.” Tasha said deciding to get comfortable on the purple sectional sleeper.

“No you can’t.” Lyric answered a smile teetering on her lips as she stretched out on the sectional next to Tasha.

“I see you’re saving this space for you and the guys.”

“The guys and I are just friends besides there’s no way I can compete with the females chasing them.”

For reasons she didn’t want to examine right now it was easier to admit this facing away from Tasha whose hands were wrapped at her waist.

“Ever notice that none of those females are around longer than a week? How many do you know make it past one night status? “

“Tash, relationships are messy; they start off hearts and candy then the fighting starts next thing you know you’re avoiding all the places you used to frequent. I can’t do that.”


It hung in the air unspoken between them and Tasha tightened her hold whispering

“Cassius and Zeke are nothing like Will.”

“I know!”

“Are you sure you know because it sounds like you’re afraid to go after what you want because of that asshole. There’s a huge difference between being a dominant and being domineering; sweetie.”

Lyric knew Tasha was right but the humiliation of her saga with Will still stung; bringing unshed tears to her eyes.

“I know now a submissive can’t seek a Master; a Master must seek a submissive.”

Tasha held her tongue knowing Lyric needed to believe that because the pain threatened to overwhelm her.

“I let him become a habit now I ache all the time I can’t sleep. I’m a mess and the only thing keeping me from picking up the phone is I know he thinks it’s a game.”

Hot tears slid free from her eyes unchecked as the grief of unrequited love gripped her. Sobs shook Lyric and Tasha held her letting them fall without comment.