I was just chilling out after a hard day at the office, letting my hormone level gradually rise as I contemplated some scantily dressed pain sluts prancing, as if to the commands of an imaginary master, on the dance floor. Black leather G-strings, of course, and black fishbone corsets, laced painfully tight to coax a carelessly overfed figure into the classic hourglass shape. Pushed up with nowhere to go, their plump breasts bulged out of the black chiffon, silently clamoring for the attention of flesh-hungry Tops. A shame, I mused, those corset things take all the bounce and jiggle out of boobs.

Then I noticed him, skulking almost invisibly at the far end of the bar, nursing what looked like wine in a tumbler. I'll be damned if I knew what that guy was doing in a leather bar. In fact, I was surprised he hadn't been turned away at the door: while there was no official dress code, black seemed to be an unspoken common denominator. In his white bathrobe and sandals, he seemed out of place at first glance. But then I realized pain was the other theme, and he embodied it in the way he stood, the way he moved. Long hair and a beard made it hard to guess his age, but I hadn't thought anyone was still a Hippie these days. For the moment I'd lost interest in the pain sluts. I had trouble taking my eyes off the marks on his hands and his forehead, like cuttings gone terribly wrong a long time ago and healed into ugly-as-hell scars. Here was a Sub looking to be hurt real bad. As he twisted the tumbler in his hands, his face seemed to reflect an inner struggle.

As if knowing what to expect, he turned his head to the door. A buxom Domme, black leather on black skin, was checking her raincoat. I surmised they had a date, because after scoping out the room she beelined for the empty stool beside him. I noticed she walked with a slight limp, as though recently Charley horsed. Curious, I migrated from the cloud of sweat and rhythmic thumping that was the dance floor to that of cigarette smoke, creaking leather and hushed conversation that was the bar, hoping to catch a bit of their exchange.

"... Lucie," she was completing her introduction, then made her voice lower and more imperious, "but you will call Me Mistress Satin."

"Jesus, Mistress Satin," he softly replied, head bowed.

Slap! Her fingers found his face. "Of course you find me desirable! But I'll have no more rude comments like that from you."

Of course he was supposed to say "Yes, Mistress Satin," but now he was too intimidated to say anything unasked. She let it slide. "So is this your first session?" she interrogated him, his chin in her hand.

"I've known pain before," he started, then awkwardly finished with "Mistress Satin." "But there is still so much, both temptation and pain. There are people in pain all around me, and I need to..."

"I see," she cut him off, not wanting to be bored with details. "But I have to warn you: I can torment like nobody else. I can take you straight to Hell! Even the greediest pain sluts have been reduced to grovelling and whimpering out their safeword. So... say the word and I will –reluctantly– end the session. So what will it be?"

"What will what be... Mistress Satin?"

The safeword, you pawn. What's your safeword?

"Father," he said, after a moment's hesitation.

"That's strange. Most people say Uncle," she mused. "OK then, let's get downstairs, and put you on the rack!"

"Into your hands I commend my body," I heard him mumble as she towed him to the stairway.

I was in luck: they hadn't paid extra for a private scene, so the door was open for other guests to follow the proceedings. Of course it would have been blatant to stalk right after them, so I had another drink.

When I ambled in, more intent than usual on acting casual about it, they seemed to be well beyond the warmup. She was heating up her nail file in the flame of a black candle, then poking him in the ribs with it. The smell was awful, as were his groans reverberating off the concrete walls. Strapped to the rack, he was yelling "Oh God, why me?" But he was steadfast in not using his safeword. Somewhat unnerved, I decided I needed another drink, and sidled out to get it.

The familiar sound of the bullwhip rose from the stairwell. Silently, I counted over three dozen strokes; I don't think I'd ever seen anyone take that many. When the lashes stopped, curiosity got the upper hand and I peeked in again.

He was kneeling in the stocks and she was mistreating his face with a riding crop. She was breathing heavily and sweating with exertion; but everytime she hit his face, it seemed he would turn the other cheek. Her assured poise had given way to a desparate recklessness as she paced around him, dealing him cuts from all sides. "Damn you!" she cried. "No one can resist me! How can you take this, why won't you break down and surrender?"

Blood was running down his back, but he insisted, in a hoarse whisper: "While there is suffering and pain all around..."

Finally, exasperated, she flung the whip across the room and unfastened him while he observed her, hurt and confused. "I'm not done with you yet! Be here same time tomorrow, I'll finish you off," she screeched as she ran for the door.

Naturally I was there too. This time it was her sitting at the bar, despondently slumped into a picture of unhappiness. She held watch while other guests came and went. Finally, the Devil went home crying and Jesus never even showed up...

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