The small corporate jet to New York took off in a rush, nothing at all like a commercial flight. It was exhilarating despite a pang of disappointment that ran through me that the interior wasn't more luxurious. It was almost utilitarian, but all business. Like Max.
Max had his own little area that was almost a mini-office containing a computer, two monitors, and a phone. I sat across from him, still not quite comfortable being so close to him again and leaned back to enjoy the flight. Baxter, Max's combination butler, valet, chef, chauffeur, security guard, sat near the rear of the plane.
Images of all the things Max had done to me in his dungeon the week before floated in my mind. It wasn't just experiencing my fantasy of incredible sex in a real dungeon, or the whips, or the chains. It was more than that, much more. It was the way he dominated me, the way I simply submitted to him, independent woman that I am, and the way he made me feel. Feelings I'd only dreamed of. And now we were on our way to a slave auction and the reality was sinking in.
He looked up from his computer. "Yes."
"About this slave auction. They're really going to buy and sell people?"
He chuckled. "Yes."
"I know I asked before, but are you sure you're not some sort of trafficker or something?"
"Positive. You see, many people in the BDSM lifestyle indulge in what is known as a Master/slave relationship. It's their kink. They want it. They need it. They live it. Mostly it's short term; sometimes it's long term, sometimes it's purely a financial arrangement and sometimes it's romantic. There are so many different kinks and ways of expressing them, there's something for everyone. No one is kidnapped and trafficked."
I frowned, concentrating. "Okay, but how does it work? You bid on them like you would a painting and you own them?"
Max pursed his lips. "Umm, no. It's not that simple. Different auctions have different rules. For this particular auction, what you're bidding on is a one year contract with the person being sold. But you still have to negotiate the final details of the contract with that person. If you reach an agreement, fine. If not, you get half your bid back. The remainder is split between the house and the slave. For this auction, half the proceeds from each sale go to charity. Everybody wins."
I sat there a moment taking it all in. "I guess I'll just have to learn as I go."
He gave me a sly grin. "You keep asking questions, curious cat. You'll do fine. I have no doubt about that."
His confident tone warmed me and I smiled in return, then looked out the window at the clouds passing below.
I turned from the window and he handed me a duplicate of his own leather briefcase. Inside rested a folder containing a thick stack of papers.
"I'd like you to read through that proposal in the next few days and tell me what you think."
"Me? But... but... I'm just your personal assistant," I said, emphasizing the personal.
Max quirked that smile of his and his deep green eyes twinkled. "I told you that you wouldn't be spending all your time in the dungeon, didn't I?"
Piqued at his tone, and the reminder of my signing a contract becoming his personal assistant not an hour earlier, I could only mumble, "Well, yes, but..."
"And didn't I tell you that you'd also be working on a real project?"
I gulped and nodded. The gods only new what kind of high powered project it was and I wasn't sure, even with my scattered training in business and accounting and computers, that I could have a valid opinion about it. I took a deep breath and squared my shoulders. "I'll get right on it."