Hell Is In The Heart

Chapter 1 - Courting Danger

by alectashadow

Tags: #cw:noncon #dom:female #dom:male #f/f #f/m #pov:bottom #sub:female #boss #clothing #cw:misogyny #D/s #demotion_fetish #emotional_manipulation #emotional_sadism #gaslighting #humiliation #inappropriate_workplace_relations #lesbian_to_straight #misogyny #office #psychological #sadomasochism #social_demotion #sub:feminism #trauma #workplace

Once again, given the peculiar nature of the subject matter, this story warrants a special disclaimer. This is a fantasy, not a manifesto. As famous erotica author All These Roadworks usually puts it, “my kinks are not my politics”. Do not use this story to promote a political worldview. Practice your relational life consensually, or not at all.

People are the source of their own unhappiness.

Oh, we’re very good at denying that. Deflecting blame is a talent innate to all humans. We can turn anything into an excuse, a rationalisation. But in truth, we are – more often than not – the originators of our own misery.

“Anyone wants coffee?”

Such an innocent question to ask, in most cases. My voice doesn’t even tremble, even though my fingers do, twined as they are under the table. My heart is pumping, my pupils are dilated, and I’m uncomfortably aware of the sweat, pearling under my forehead.

But my voice is steady, because like a true damaged kinkster, I am incredibly efficient at seeking out my addiction.

As always, I ask myself why I’m taking such a stupid risk, and as always, I’m incapable of stopping. The adrenaline rush is… compelling.

If we really are the source of our own misery, here’s a corollary: we’re also incredibly creative at finding new ways to bring about our destruction.

“I was just going to get some for me anyway,” I add, to cover my tracks. Like any good incognito kinkster should. Of course, it’s important to not overdo it. Few things are as conspicuous as fake sincerity. But if you act casual enough, well…

That innocence is my shield. I’m just being kind to my fellow board members. I only do it once every few meetings, too, so it doesn’t look too suspicious.  

I get a murmur of acknowledgement from the room, and a few muttered thanks here and there. I give a stiff nod and walk away, hoping nobody notices my unsteady step.

I concentrate on holding my perfect, corporate composure until the thick mahogany door closes shut behind me; only then do I allow myself a sigh of relief. Relief, and exhilaration.

Because there’s nothing innocent about my question.

To the three men in the boardroom, this is a non-event, a footnote in a boring meeting they don’t really want to attend. But for me, it’s a thrill that makes my body tingle. As I make my way down the hallway, it takes a conscious effort not to swoon.

Like I said: the source of our own misery. I’m a living testament to this thesis.

You can face mental health issues with blazing defiance, and overcome your crippling anxiety.

You can get the job of your dreams, and move to the city you always wanted to live in. You can rub your victories in the face of everyone who’s ever doubted you. You can face your failures, and conquer your fears.

You can do all that, and more…

And still nurse this unfathomable longing. This wordless need. Sad, reflective, and most of all, empty. The kind of void that even all the financial security and personal affirmation on Earth couldn’t possibly fill.

It’s a hunger far nastier and more ancient than what I thought I liked about sex. A need that defies vocabulary and description. 

It whispers to you, in the dead of night. It suggests that there might be ways to fill the emptiness inside. Ways that would be most unwise…

Those are only midnight thoughts, of course, and they evaporate under the light of the warm sun… sometimes. Unfortunately, damaged adults make suboptimal choices. That only furthers the damage, and on and on it goes. Always has. Always will.

So, I feed the hunger, with the occasional crumbs here and there. I feed it because, when it starves, so do I. Crumbs like, for example, serving coffee at board meetings. But there are other ways for an office girl to surreptitiously serve…

There’s plenty you can get away with, so long as you stay in the realm of friendly banter. Oh, no problem Jason, I can wait, feel free to use the photocopier first. Oh Frank, you dropped that, here, let me pick it up – and linger one moment longer than I need to on my knees, of course…

There’s so much service-sub attitude that you can channel into pretending to be merely courteous. Holding the door open for someone. Letting someone choose the place for a working lunch, and then offering to pay for it.

Not just any someone, of course. A man. That’s the important part.

I tell myself that it’s safe enough, that I’m not really risking anything. After all, interns and low-level employees are expendable, and if things truly were to ever get out of control, I'm fairly confident I can put them in their place.

All these tiny gestures or pretend submission are tiny crumbs for my hunger. But the coffee, oh… that’s where the true vertigo comes in.

Boardrooms are a nexus of power and symbolism. Top of the food chain, and just like that word choice would suggest, they’re filled to the brim with predators. Quite frankly, I think one out of three among my peers is a psychopath, and the second is an asshole.

What does that make me? I don’t know, but I’ve worked my ass off to get a seat in that room. Which is what makes it so cathartic to pretend – even for just a few minutes at a time – that I don’t belong. I’m a simple coffee girl, and nothing more.

But that’s not the whole story.

This isn’t simply about catharsis, or giving up control, it’s not even about the men themselves, which I don’t really care for. I know what it’s truly about, I think glumly as I fish for spare change in my purse.

Over the course of many years, I have assembled all the pieces of the puzzle of my life. I have wealth, respect, comfort, security… and some degree of power, in a corporate context, at least.

Unfortunately, even if you do put your puzzle together, sometimes you will find – just as it nears completion, just when you thought you were finally going to be okay – that you don’t, in fact, have all the pieces. In fact, that you miss the one.

For me, that piece was Remy.

No – no, that’s a lie. That piece was the things that Remy ordered me to do. It was what she whispered to me, while she utterly and unapologetically dominated me. It was the ultimate taboo, the ultimate destruction…

“Need some help, ma’am?”

The question almost startles me. I gasp, take a step back, my cheeks reddening like they’re on fire. For a second, my brain is utterly convinced that I’ve been caught red-handed doing something terrible. Something unspeakable. Something unforgivable.

Then, my sense of reality returns.

It’s just my administrative assistant, Eric. He’s carrying a thick folder under his arm – budgetary reports for Smith, I remember.

No one would ever think of Eric as threatening. He’s the stereotype of a white collar junior worker: thin, diligent, impeccably shaved, unfailingly polite… and completely forgettable. I feel silly for being so jumpy that even he scared me.

Calm down, Claire. It’s fine. You’re just getting coffee.

“Don’t sweat it,” I say with a cordial smile. “I’m just getting coffee.”

He arches an eyebrow. “Well, ma’am,” he says kindly, “you have two hands, and there are four cups. I’ll help.”

I don’t want him to, obviously. He doesn’t know it, but he’s intruding in my personal fantasy. He should be a floor below, where we normally work. When I asked him to bring the reports to Smith, I should have specified that I meant after the meeting.

“No need, I’ll use a tray,” I say. There’s a few neatly stacked atop the machines, just for this purpose.

He studies me, his pale eyes seeming to narrow in my direction, and for a split second I’m curious to know what he’s thinking. Is he confused? Weirded out? Does he find it unremarkable?

How does my covert kinky behaviour look like, to a coworker (or in this case, a subordinate) who has no context for it?

Well, I can’t exactly ask him. And just like that, the moment passes. Eric gives a polite nod, before finally turning back down the hallway, and towards Smith’s office.

Crisis averted.

Coffee cups neatly arranged on the tray, I make my way back to the boardroom, grateful that the tray is stable enough in spite of my trembling hands. I belong in this room, I really do. And yet… re-entering it with a coffee tray in my hands feels like a completely different experience.

Like all my pretensions to power and importance are being washed away, leaving behind just a serving girl, some kind of waitress for these men in their suits.

These men, portly and bald, well-dressed and sweaty, still reeking of cigar smoke. These men, bored out of their skulls, disinterested in anything but their greed. These predators.

Sigh. I know it’s fucked up, but come on, what's the harm? How bad could it possibly get to be weak willed and a pushover, once? To feel what it's like, being bossed around by a man?

I wonder which one of them would do it. I wonder, as I savour the rush of adrenaline I felt while serving them coffee, pretending I have no responsibility, no knowledge, no pressure. No entitlement to respect.

If only they knew…

But they do not. The board meeting proceeds without incident: each man takes his own cup with muttered thanks, and I sit among them, as a well-respected equal.

In a way, I suppose it’s fitting: they’re not really the object of my private fantasy anyway. I’ve never liked men. This isn’t about them.

It’s about Remy.

As the meeting goes on, even my untethered kinky imagination can do nothing against the soul-crushing power of empty corporate speak. The thrill of kink begins to recede, as we delve into the boring mundanity of quarterly results and performance bonuses for top management.

Alas, the real world is nowhere near as interesting as the kinky, embattled mental universe I inhabit. It’s also less dangerous, though. For us women, the world is fraught enough with dangers as it is. From harassment to assault, from casual belittlement to intentional discrimination, we get this and more in spades.

So… why am I actively courting this danger?

Because Remy fucked me up in the head, that’s why.  I should be happy, god damn it! My puzzle is almost complete. Claire, well-respected businesswoman, has everything she could possibly want in life! A girl, at my age, making way in a man's business world.

A lesbian and feminist to boot, I show up to work in my power suit, outspoken, and unafraid.

Except, of course, no businesswoman, no feminist, and especially no goddamn lesbian would feel a perverse, addictive thrill in fetching coffee for my male colleagues.

Sometimes it occurs to me, rather idly, that other lesbians out there might be upset I still call myself one of them, even as I fantasise of my will being subsumed to a man’s. But I’m jealous of this identity. I’ve kept it close to my heart, it’s warmed me in the coldest periods of my life. I don’t want to give it up.

Even if it is, admittedly, somewhat at odds with the blush I get when I think of a girl down on her knees, muzzled and tamed, sucking cock…

I lean back against the chair, trying to focus on Bearman’s droning voice. Even the straightest woman on earth would find it impossible to think naughty thoughts while listening to that monotone.

It sucks, doesn’t it? Having to actively choose boredom, because the kinks you’re addicted to are inherently self-destructive. Maybe I should just… break out of this pattern. Seek a therapist, whatever.

The adrenaline rush of my secret serving-girl moment feels impossibly distant now. That makes me very self-conscious of how wrong my behaviour is, how screwed up I am. It gives me the clarity to know that I really, really ought to stop.

The adrenaline rush feels impossibly distant, now.

That makes me ache with want. It gives me the clarity to know that no matter what I tell myself now, I am absolutely going to do this again.

Because people are the source of their own unhappiness.


Sometimes, I think I perpetrate this on purpose. The unhealthy, maladaptive pattern I’m locked in, that is.

I make money hand over fist. I could seek the best therapists, or go on some insane and megalomaniac trip meant for corporate overlords, or pick up some utterly insane hobby. Anything that might fix the damage Remy did to me.

Instead, I carry it with me. Like it’s been etched into my heart. It almost feels like the wounds she inflicted me are all that’s left of our relationship. My last remaining connection to her. I feed the pain, cherish it, cradle it close to my chest.

Maybe it makes me feel dramatic and noble. Maybe I just like the pain. Like the idea that, for all that I’ve achieved in life, here I am, lounging in bed at night, thinking about my ex-girlfriend. Nursing a broken heart.

It’s been three years now.

What’s truly mad is that I don’t actually miss Remy, as a person. We didn’t leave things on the best of terms, and for good reason. She was a black hole of attention, emotions, feelings. She’d suck in everything you directed at her, and you’d never get anything in return.

It was unhealthy, codependent, and destructive. Unfortunately, that’s also what made my submission to her so hopelessly, unprecedentedly… hot.

It didn’t feel like a game, because in a way, she never really took my boundaries seriously. That made me feel truly used. Quintessentially… dominated. You don’t know what that word is, until a person takes your boundaries, and crushes them in their fingers like a soda can.

And you beg for more.

Just thinking about how that felt is enough to distract me. It’s devouring my professional life, draining away my ability to concentrate on anything else. To see the world clearly, without this permanent stain distorting everything I look at.

I’d chase that feeling to the ends of the Earth, and destroy myself in the process, if it meant that I could truly have it back. And that’s  why I should really try to stop. This time I will for real, I tell myself. Enough is enough.

Except of course that, again and again, during more and more meetings, the need speaks with my voice. Again and again, just as I’m about to sit down in my chair, the words leave my lips, unbidden.

“Anyone up for coffee?”

Stupid, stupid girl. I’m a fucking addict, and I know it, but the symbolism is just so powerful. In my mind’s eye, I’m not a girlboss anymore, not with a tray in hand. I’m… a secretary. A coffee girl. An impostor whose proper place in the office is to be demure, underpaid, dismissed... and useful.

Of course it’s the woman that’s fetching coffee, what other contribution could she possibly bring to a board meeting?

Well, there is one more, maybe, her lesbianism be damned…

“Getting coffee again?”

Once again, the question startles me to the point that I nearly lose my balance. Once again, I find myself standing before my assistant, Eric.

“I get cranky without it,” I say with improvised snark, and for a second I’m actually impressed with my lightning reflexes. But then, I frown.

Yesterday, Eric had reason to be here: I’d asked him to deliver those documents to Smith’s office. But now, it doesn’t look like he’s busy with anything. He’s leaning against the wall, nonchalant, his arms crossed.

Eric looks unassuming. Unthreatening. Sandy hair, thin build, a bland expression that rarely betrays any degree of emotional investment. But his pale eyes feel almost… unsettling as he contemplates me.

“Same, boss,” he says in his usual, polite but distant voice. “Can’t wait for my next break, so I can get my caffeine fix, too.”

You look like you’re on break right now, is what I want to tell him. I have a bit of a reputation for cracking the whip at work – which is something I cultivate deliberately. The bossier I look, the better my cover for the fact that I am, in fact, a spineless submissive at heart.

I’ve never really needed to use it with Eric, though. He’s always been diligent, a typical office drone that the nine-to-five life has already ground into dust. It’s very unusual for him to just be hanging out here in the hallway, on this floor, visibly with nothing to do.

But that’s not what I tell him. Instead, in a fit of madness, I nod towards the machines. “Want some?”

I cringe internally as the words leave my mouth. God, I hope I’ve left enough ambiguity, enough plausible deniability, that it seems like I’m inviting him to join me for a coffee… not offering to fetch him one myself.

My heart is pounding in my chest, and my head is spinning. Am I insane? Have I really just asked a subordinate if… if…

Eric’s eyes seem to lock on to my own, and for a long, loud heartbeat, we say nothing. “No, thanks ma’am,” he says at last, politely but coolly.

I nod, stiffly, trying to ignore the slick heat of arousal building up between my thighs. My fingers shake even more than they usually do, as I set out to complete my task.

I notice Eric s not offering to help me carry the tray back to the boardroom, this time. In fact, I feel his gaze on my neck as I prepare, then carefully place the four coffee cups on the tray. When I walk past him again, it’s all I can do not to blush like a schoolgirl.

My male administrative assistant is watching me fetch coffee like I’m the office’s puppy girl.

That makes the thing inside me very, very happy.


I’ve been thinking about this all day.

I’ve absent-mindedly replied to emails, pretended to peruse quarterly reports and charts, talked with no interest to one of our lawyers about potential IP infringement from a rival firm, sat through three boring meetings that might as well have been emails.

I’ve done all of that, while thinking of just one thing. One moment.

Getting home to masturbate.

Now, here I am, in bed, in the cold silence of my empty home. I can get started, appease the desire that’s been feverishly absorbing me all day. And yet, I’m staring at the ceiling. Thinking of Remy, and what she would have said, if she’d seen me make a fool of myself in front of Eric. My own assistant.

Not because I’d care about her opinion, not really. It’s the words I’d pay literal money to hear. I’m sure she would concoct something great, the sort of sadistic, humiliating sentence that would pierce straight through all my defenses, and sear itself in my brain for years to come.

She was damn good at doing that.

I’ve always been submissive, but all the BDSM I’ve ever had before Remy feels like a mild, milquetoast game in comparison. And I’m not referring to what we physically did. This was a different sort of edge. It was about emotions.

It wasn’t Remy’s boot, grinding my face into the floor, that made me an addict.

It wasn’t feet, collar and cuffs, binds and blindfolds, chastity, or her whip, that broke me.

It was always her words.

The way she would make every interaction, every conversation, exclusively about her. My feelings never mattered. She could place boundaries, I couldn’t. It wasn’t a relationship, not really, I was being sucked into her ego, a mere accessory to her life. She used me and threw me away as she saw fit.

Eventually, she discarded me for good.

I know you like it when I gaslight you, she told me once, with an unforgettable smile, a grin that’s etched itself into my brain. I really do own you, don’t I? I could do anything to you.

She did. She could.

I’d feed you scraps from my table, and you’d lap it up and thank me for it, like the pathetic, love-starved puppy dog you really are, she told me, and I hated every word, and I loved it so much that I begged her to say it again and again…

I replay every word she’s ever said to me in my head. It’s my prayer to the dark when I rub myself at night. I’ve even stopped watching porn, and as for the erotic stories that help me get off, they seem to get darker with every passing month.

That feels so dumb to verbalise, doesn’t it? How emotionally stunted do you have to be, to be so attached to one fantasy? To dream about reliving it, over and over? But I can’t stop.

Out of all the things she told me, there was one in particular that… It was this kink…

I give out a tiny gasp as I realise my hand has finally snaked its way between my legs. Just reciting her words in my mind has been sufficient to prime me for this, which is honestly fucking pathetic, and that only makes me want to play with myself even more.

I should yank my hand away, I really should. I’m merely reinforcing my obsession by behaving like this. I’m flooding my brain with happy chemicals every time it tortures me with memories of Remy. That’s just gonna make me fall deeper, become even less inhibited, more impulsive, more self-destructive. I should totally stop.

Unfortunately, my hand isn’t listening.

I bite my lower lip and squirm under the sheets, my muscles beginning to contract. I almost feel like a passenger, as my brain walks down familiar, disturbing, mentally harmful memories.

She would drive me to my knees, and tell me that her grip on me was so tight, that she’d make me betray my own lesbianism just for her amusement. That she’d force me to submit to men.

Eventually, it became a totalising fantasy. An adrenaline rush. It’s not about the hypothetical man in question, at all, see? It’s about the power. The power to violate me in the most personal way possible.

Over time, it became our favourite fantasy. My brain learned to associate that with the crazy adrenaline rush, the weakness in my limbs, the furious beating of my heart.

I bet you’d suck cock for me, she would say. Little lezzie would put on a show for Mistress, right?

She never did make me do it, of course… though each time she mentioned it, she sounded a bit more serious. And I felt more and more incapable of pushing back.

How could I, when she trapped my chin between her fingers, and drowned my eyes in hers, and whispered that…

You love me, right? If you truly love me, let me see your lesbian identity fade from your eyes. Let me see the moment I use a man’s cock to break you…

Men never actually feature much, when I’m touching myself, poisoning my brain, pushing myself closer to the edge. The attention is all on Remy and me, on her voice, on her words, on my shattering self-respect.

They’re just formless, faceless figures, plot devices really, tools in Remy’s hands. They have no agency, no impact on the story. They’re just there for Remy to do her magic.

But this time, as I think back of her promise to break me with a man’s cock, the faceless visage swimming before me studies my weakness with a pair of inquisitive, unsettling, pale eyes…

And that’s when the orgasm hits me. My tribute to Remy, to my damaged state, my self-conditioning that guarantees that I’ll do this again. My breathing is shallow and my muscles contract, but it doesn’t even really feel good. Almost perfunctory. I chased one because I needed it, not because I actually wanted it.

That’s a shame. It means I’ll need to go again. Because, unfortunately, I do need it.

That’s the point, isn’t it? That’s how conditioning works, the power of association. That’s how Remy domesticated me, like I was just some dumb farm animal for her to harness. I’m just… carrying on her grand tradition. And to hell with the consequences.

As I close my eyes, readying myself to go again, it occurs to me that Eric is not like the men in my fantasies. He’s not a tool in Remy’s hands, or a plot device. He’s a real person, with thoughts, feelings, and his own agency.

I’ve been making myself a fool in front of him. I’m behaving inappropriately, and even if he doesn’t know, I’ve been acting out a fantasy without his consent. Because I’m twisted, and sick, and I really should stop.

But those thoughts recede rapidly. After all, that’s what whispering Remy’s utterances does to me. And the masculine, amused eyes I’m imagining, that make my hips twitch and my fingers rub faster, well, is it my fault if they go oh so well with Remy’s voice, with her words?

What’s the harm? It’s only a coincidence, it doesn’t really mean anything that they’re so cold, and inquisitive, and pale.

Nothing at all…

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