One Ring:Suncoast SocietyBy: Tymber Dalton
Several people had gathered around. On the table, a naked woman lay facedown. As Mel watched, Crawford used a lighter to light something inside small, rounded glass jars and stick them to her back.
“It’s actually an old Chinese medicine technique,” Marcia told her. “There’s also cupping with suction cups, but the fire cupping adds heat to the mix and makes it feel even better.”
“What’s it do?”
“If you ever get really bad shoulder knots? It’s amazing. I’m such a fire cupping slut. There is a lot of stuff it supposedly helps. He also does acupuncture. He’s one of the few demonstrators who can legitimately say, ‘I’m a professional,’ when he does stuff like this.”
“Can I go watch?”
“Sure. That’s why he’s here. He’ll even do it to you, if you want.”
Heat filled Mel’s face. “I don’t know if I could get naked in front of people.”
“You’re wearing a bra, right?”
“That’s like a bikini. Unless you don’t have underwear on.” Marcia smiled.
The heat in her face deepened. “I’m not going commando.”
“It’s okay,” Marcia said. “You don’t have to try it if you don’t want to. And if you did, and want me or Derrick to stand right there, we can. You can wrap a towel around you, if you want. You’d be facedown on the table.”
Actually, she did want to try it. “My neck and shoulders are really tight,” she said. “Stress. And being hunched over computers all week.”
“Then it’s perfect. Want me to introduce you?”
“But isn’t that like interrupting his scene?”
“Normally, yes. But he’s doing a demo, and I know him, and I know that he doesn’t mind talking to people and answering questions. If I didn’t know all of that already, I’d say we’d wait to talk to him until after.”
That being said, Marcia grabbed Mel’s hand and led her over and around the group, until they were standing at the head of the massage table and a couple of feet away.
Crawford glanced their way. “Are you bringing me a fresh victim, Marcia?”
In fact, the guy reminded Mel a little of Professor Snape, except with a playful smile and without the heavy British accent.
“She’s a friend who’s really new to the lifestyle. A close personal friend. And she’s on a computer all week. I thought, what better way to dip her toe into the kinky pool than to toss her at you?”
His serene smile looked calm, relaxed, as he lit whatever it was inside another of those glass globes and quickly stuck it onto the woman’s back. There were now eight of them there, and Mel could see purple discolorations forming under some of them.
“Ah, I get to pop a newbie’s fire cupping cherry. You know I can’t resist that. Why do you tempt me so?”
“Because you’re evil in all the good ways, dude.” Marcia grabbed Mel by the shoulders and made her trade places with her. “You stay here. I’ll go grab you a couple of towels.”
Mel nervously swallowed, but nodded.
“So,” Crawford said. “What is your name, my dear?”
“Amelia. Mel,” she quickly corrected. At work, she was Mel. She wanted to be Mel here, too.
“Crawford.” His focus didn’t shift from the woman in front of him even as he kept talking to Mel. “Did Marcia tell you what I’m doing?”
He started to explain again. She suspected the people gathered around had already heard some of this. But as he prepared another cup with what turned out to be alcohol and lit it, quickly adhering it to the woman’s oiled back, he gave her a detailed step-by-step of what he was doing, and why.
“So…there’s no sex?”
A few people laughed, but it wasn’t the bad kind of laughter. Crawford’s smile widened. “There can be, but not usually. Too much risk of dislodging the cups and having them hit the floor and shatter. And sex isn’t allowed here anyway.”
“Oh. So it’s just…this is what you do?”
“One of the things. This is something therapeutic I do with my clients in my office. Where things can really get kinky here is with acupuncture and a violet wand.”
“I don’t even know what that is.” She’d heard a couple of people talking about them.
“I can demonstrate that later tonight,” he said. “They can be interesting.”
“Does this hurt? What you’re doing to her?”
The woman on the table turned her head to face Mel. “If I could tie him up and take him home with me, I would. It feels amazing.”
“Sorry, Celia,” Crawford said. “You know I don’t swing that way, love. I’m strictly a Top.” More laughter from the spectators.
Marcia returned with a couple of towels. “Can she be next?”
“Sure. I hadn’t yet selected my next victim.”
Marcia gently bumped hips with her. “Don’t let him fool you. He’s the sweetest damn sadist you’ll ever hope to meet.”