Switch II: The Taming of the Switch by Ardie Stallard
The adventures of full-time college student and part-time Dominatrix/switch Felicia Culbertson continue in this second volume of the Switch series.
Now in a serious relationship with Joe Guthrie, the Dominant she met some months before and who brought out her own submissive side, she discovers her new partner has a submissive alter ego she didn’t even know he possessed—but even so, submission Joe-style would tax the nerves of even the most patient Domme and it almost always leaves her wondering exactly who’s on Top at any given moment, him or her.
With Joe’s support Felicia is ready to step back from her off-campus livelihood and face her final semester of college head-on, concentrating on academics and doing her best to catch up on all the experiences she missed out on while she made a living as “Lady Antonia.” But she’s at the age for some growing pains as well and when she successfully auditions for the part of Katharine in her college’s production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, she finds herself leading lady to a young actor as handsome as Joe, but even more obnoxious than the character Petruchio. Both he and the actress playing Katharine’s sister Bianca become smitten with her, and let her know it.
How far would “too far” be in leading “Petruchio” and “Bianca” on, enjoying a little lighthearted romantic, erotic D/s horseplay like a proper college girl should, and yet still remaining committed to Joe—who, by the way, winds up being thrown into a few incidents and accidents of his own that challenge his relationship to Felicia? Which Shakespearean maxim will prove to apply best to the couple, all’s well that ends well, or that life’s a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and is heard no more? There’s only one way to find out: open the book, turn the page, and…
Includes Spanking (M/f, F/f and a bit of F/m), Ass Play, Roleplay, Damsel in Distress, Male Domination, Female Denomination, submission, Shibari, Fornophilia.
STALLARD SWITCH II: THE TAMING OF THE SWITCH EXCERPT
The scene might have come from the pen of Shakespeare himself, had females been permitted onstage in his day: a thoroughly enraged Felicia stalking out the double doors of the auditorium as if she were a diminutive Sherman tank, down the hall parting groups of other students as she charged through, out the Jackson Building’s front exit and down the steps two at a time even as short as her legs were—pursued frantically by Jack Filgrave, who in turn was followed with just as much eagerness by an anxious Dr. McCarthy, scared witless he was about to have his department’s finances compromised.
“Rose! Rose! Please stop and let me talk to you!” Jack begged. “Believe me, I’m sorry that we got off on the wrong foot during the summer! Please, just hear me out for a few minutes!”
Finally he managed to lay hold on a dangling strap of her backpack. Still seething and glaring daggers, Felicia halted abruptly and turned to face her pursuers four-square. “If you’ve got business with me, spit it out, then!” she raged. “I don’t have any desire whatsoever to waste my time with you!”
Jack stopped short a few inches from her upturned frown, panting a little from both his run and his efforts to slow Felicia down. Dr. McCarthy, still bringing up the rear, appeared to be even more out of breath. “But Rose!” Jack pleaded, “can’t you see that you’re the ideal Katharine? Your reaction to me just now is exactly what the character needs!”
“Do you not recall that you very nearly publicly humiliated me this past summer? Almost right in front of my boyfriend, and that the only reason you didn’t follow through was that he stopped you? And who, by the way, is my fiancé now, just so you know?” she shot back as she thrust her engagement ring upward and under his nose.
“Uh-huh. And do you recall that you set my poor ass on fire with a paddle lick that you intended for that very same boyfriend—who didn’t act any too happy when he found out your plans?”
Felicia blushed to the roots of her hair, glancing all around her and wondering how many passing students had just heard Jack’s accusation. She decided on Joe’s Dominance approach for her reply. “Oh, that little anemic swat hurt you? Poor thing! I’d be ashamed to admit it, if I were you!”
Jack’s eyes turned angry, but only for a moment as Dr. McCarthy caught up with them and he and Jack exchanged a conspiratorial smile. “See what I mean? Katharine through and through!” Jack chuckled. Dr. McCarthy happily nodded agreement, and began his own pitch.
“Please, Miss Culbertson, give the play a try!” he urged. “You’ve already outdone every aspiring Katharine we’ve seen today—we might pick one out for your understudy, but I don’t think anyone else can do as well as you, let alone better. Besides, it’s what Jacob here wants, and the Filgrave Foundation… well…” he looked up at the Fine Arts Building, and then turned his head back to Felicia. “Need I say more? The Foundation can be very generous. And, too: I’ve not met my Elizabethan Drama class yet, but I do recall seeing your name, as well as Miss Brokamp’s, on the class roll. Not to mention Jacob’s! I’m not supposed to publicize this, of course, but class will end as soon as the play’s run is complete and your successful performance in ‘Shrew’ will be a guaranteed ‘A’ for the course! Of that I promise you. So how about it?”
Her anger cooling slightly, Felicia took a deep breath. She almost felt sorry for the professor, if for no other reason than the fact he was being forced to toady to Jack Filgrave. “Well, Dr. McCarthy,” she answered slowly, “give me a little time to think about it. I’ll email you.” Here she shot another poisonous glance at Jack. “But know this, Doctor: if I accept the part, it’ll be for your sake, not his.”
“I’ll be looking forward to your email, then, Miss Culbertson,” Dr. McCarthy unctuously replied. “Um… I’d better leave you two alone. Jacob, we’ve got some more auditions to hear, but… perhaps you and Miss Culbertson can settle your differences sufficiently at least to work together onstage?” Jack nodded and the professor retired with a smile, obviously glad for the opportunity to follow through legitimately on at least a few of his remaining duties without Jack Filgrave at his side. Felicia treated Jack to another baleful gaze, then made to leave once more.
“Rose,” Jack continued in a softer tone now, “look. Give me a chance to make things up to you. All you know about me is what you saw in the APS a couple of months ago, and I’m really not that bad of a fellow—at least I hope not. And, although I kinda hate to admit it, well…” here he paused for a deep breath before blurting, “I’ve… well, I’ve been smitten with you you ever since we met. It’s why I’ve been combing the annuals to find a picture of you. At least let me try to make a more favorable impression on you? Please?” His face was a study in earnestness.
Felicia looked discomfited. Callie’s new partner Amandine had only just gotten past her own jealousy of Felicia, over Jeff. She didn’t need one more admirer a year younger and proportionately less mature than she was. Or… might her self-confidence actually benefit from the boost?
“Well, the reason I don’t do college annuals is that I prefer a low profile. That’s my own business. And remember, I’m engaged,” she stressed, holding up her ring once more. “If you can behave yourself, maybe we can be friends, but don’t push it any further than that. Understand?”
Jack smiled softly. “All I want is a chance,” he answered, “after all, being engaged isn’t the same thing as being married. Maybe I can talk you into a disengagement! But whether or not you give me a shot at it, I still think a diamond necklace would look better on you than that black choker. You were wearing that thing at the APS back in the summer, weren’t you? And… it doesn’t really match your outfit today, does it? Diamonds’ll go with anything.”
Felicia’s anger flared again at Jack’s obvious put-down of her collar, but she realized that if he wasn’t in the D/s community he was apt not even to know what it meant. But then again, maybe he did. “Joe bought both the choker and the engagement ring for me, and I wear them equally proudly,” she replied in her best and most imperious Dominatrix tone.
“Ah. Joe. I remember his name now,” retorted Jack with a sardonic grin. “Average Joe. Joe Six-Pack. Joe the Plumber. ‘Kid, yo’re fulla piss an’ vinegar, an’ I hain’t so shore about the vinegar,’” he quoted, mockingly exaggerating the southeastern Transylvania accent Joe had let slip in his anger. “Rose Culbertson, you deserve better things in life than Average Joe can give you.”
Felicia’s eyes flashed fire again. “I see you learned about Sarah Palin’s campaign in high school Civics and college Political Science, just like I did! Bravo!” she growled. “Now listen up. If you think you’re scoring points with me by mocking the man that’s both my lover and my best friend, you’re badly out of it. And Joe’s not a plumber, but there wouldn’t be one damn thing wrong with it if he was! So I better not hear any more of your put-downs!”
“So then, Joe’s not a plumber. What’s he do? A butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker? Brakeman for a wheelbarrow, maybe?” Jack chuckled.
Felicia’s anger boiled up further. “If you must know, he teaches medical instrument repair!” she spat, “and even if he made his living with only a shovel, he still knows how to work, which I doubt can be said about you!”
“Oh. Medical instrument repair? Biomedical stuff is my old man’s business. Who does Average Joe work for, then?”
Suddenly Felicia felt her stomach lurch. She knew in reason that she’d said too much already, way too much to take back. “Never… mind,” she grumbled, trying to sound angry and not bringing it off quite as well as she’d hoped, “where he works is none of your business anyway.”
“Oh. For Dad, then,” Jack laughed. “Well! How delightful! Small world! All in the family! Sure, he’d kick my ass all over the courthouse steps, like he threatened! Let him try! But I guess I’d better get back inside and help Dr. McCarthy with some more of his auditions. Listen, Rose, please. I know I’ve given you a hard way to go both last summer and today, and I’m sorry, really, but you’re Katharine the Shrew, hands down. Nobody else’ll quite do. Be Kate to my Petruchio. I promise, you can take your revenge on me in spades, in Act Two!” Here, to the amusement of other students passing by and to Felicia’s extreme embarrassment, he made a dramatic obeisance on one knee. “I beg of thee, Kate, be mine! Like the play says, ‘never make denial; I must and will have Katharine!’” he declaimed.
“But not for your wife!” countered Felicia, whose professional career had made her a discriminating judge of kneeling men. This guy put on a good show, but in any scene he might have paid her for in a professional context she’d be making him sweat for all his mockery. “Now quit bothering me. When I’ve made my decision I’ll email Dr. McCarthy.” She turned as if to leave.
“Well then, what will that decision be, prettiest Kate in Christendom, my super-dainty Kate, Kate of my consolation?”
“That’s for me to know and you to find out!”
“What a stupid expression! How’m I going to find out unless I ask?”
“You’re a bright boy; you’ll figure out something,” replied Felicia, smiling at him before she caught herself. Her smile turned to a gasp of astonishment and then outrage, though, as the young actor suddenly grasped her right hand, pulled it towards him, and kissed it before he sprang back up in front of her with a lecherous grin and wink. “Will you, nil you, Kate,” he chuckled, and then wheeled and sprinted rather than walked back up the paved pathway leading to the Jackson Building. Felicia glared hard at his retreating back, not quite able to ignore the inviting-looking denim-clad bottom she’d mistaken for Joe’s and which had so tempted her at the APS a couple of months before.
What a jerk this guy was! She’d never been so exasperated with a man since…
Since Joe, on the night she’d met him.
… Felicia finally reached her Corvette and opened the driver-side door. The weather was still warm enough for the interior of the car to radiate heat, so as soon as she sat down—the black leather of the seats was tantalizingly hot on her shorts-clad hindquarters—she turned up the air conditioner and checked her email on her cell as she waited for the cool air to kick in. First up was an enthusiastic little missive from Jess:
Jacob emailed asking your e-addy, and told me he’s almost talked you into taking the part! Do be my Sister Katharine, and let’s rehearse soon! Hugs’n’kisses—Bianca
And then one from Jack himself:
Never make denial; I must and will have Katharine 😉 Come on, it’ll be fun! Jack <3
Felicia sighed as she looked up Dr. McCarthy’s contact information and began to compose a message with her thumbs. Her cellphone keyboarding skills never ceased to impress Joe, whose own thumbs were too big to function in that fashion no matter how talented they proved to be in bed, in the shower, or wherever he and Felicia opted to give them some exercise otherwise:
Dear Dr. McCarthy: After thinking things over I’ve decided to accept the part of Katharine the Shrew. I hope you’ll get an understudy ready just in case, though. Sorry for my mixture of optimism and pessimism. Email me the rehearsal schedule as soon as possible, please. Thank you for both your consideration and your patience. I look forward to your Elizabethan Drama class, as well as working with you onstage.
She felt a little twist in the pit of her stomach as she finished typing, but took a deep breath and clicked “Send” anyway. She could almost hear the Imp of the Perverse giggle softly.
Damn you, Imp.