The Songs of Dominance were released as an experiment. I wanted to write in Jonathan’s POV, but did not know how readers would react. So I released Jessica to the people on my mailing list. The response was phenomenal, so I released the second story, Sharon, to my ever-growing list.
They were traded peer-to-peer on the Goodreads group, CD Canaries, and on my Facebook page. I’d like to thank Canaries Tony, Erik, and Donna for their generosity of spirit in sending out the email repeatedly.
But the stories have become canonical, and things are revealed here that will be come important later, so I feel they need to reach a larger audience.
Please read these after Submit, or you’re going to run into major spoilers. It’s best if you read before Control, but not a big deal if you read Control first.
(This begins after the Eclipse show, when Jonathan drives away from Monica’s house)
I watched Monica close the door behind her and felt the car dive off that cliff of a hill. Her house would be a deathtrap in an earthquake, and the hill was probably already falling into the backyard. I considered rectifying it. She was no good to me under forty tons of clay and detritus. She was only any good writhing under my hips like a pinned kitten. God, she was one big nerve ending, that girl, and those big brown eyes got just a little wider when she was close. And those bruises. And how she begged for them.
I knew she was special the night I met her, I just didn’t know how special.
I’d gone up to K with Eddie and two other guys from Penn. I was meeting Wendy afterward in one of the hotel rooms. I had one foot in LA from a disaster of a trip to New York, and the other in Seoul for a trip that could not, under any circumstances be anything but a roaring success, or I was going to have to answer questions. I hated answering questions.
So I’d just done the easy thing and took them to K. There had been plenty of nonsense before the tall girl with big, black eyes and long brown hair twisted into braids brought our drinks. The guys were bullshitting about ball and women, when we all stopped to watch waitress come toward us. The night was over. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Everything was in the right place, naturally. My staff has to look as stunning as the guests. But this girl wasn’t just beautiful, because they all are, she was something else entirely. I was trying to figure out what it was, and she just looked right back at me, as if daring me to make an even bigger ass of myself.
Then she spilled gin on me, and Freddie fired her. The guys tried to reason with Freddie, but the waitress was gone and I had to let him do his job however he saw fit. I was an hour to Wendy with her legs up in the air and I suddenly found the idea depressing. She was gorgeous and shrill and shallow. She blew too much coke and giggled at all the wrong times. She exhausted me. The thought of another night in one of my hotel rooms drained the life out of my limbs.
Freddie told me the waitress’s name, and that she was a sexual harassment case waiting to happen. But I couldn’t let the ebony-eyed girl walk away. I had to look at her again. Five minutes. I’d give her a severance. Whatever.
I heard her outside my office and I seized up a little. I wanted to look at her, but had to be discreet. She slipped in, and I wanted to f**k her immediately. She was so long, so curved, so smooth. Her skirt cupped her ass, and her heels brought her to a couple of inches shorter than me. As my eyes dragged over her br**sts, and over the length of her neck, I realized she’d seen me looking again. She put her hands on her hips. Definitely a harassment case waiting to happen, especially considering she was telling me about Freddie’s f**king stupidity. I looked into her eyes. Fire, and pride. Not an ounce of fear. What was going on with that gaze was ten times more interesting than the curves of her body.
“I was going to offer you severance,” I’d said.
“I don’t want your money,” she’d shot back.
“Let me finish.”
She obeyed not just with her mouth, but her heart. Her face got red and she cast her eyes down. Her fingers twitched, but didn’t move otherwise. Holy f**k. I almost lost my breath. This gorgeous, proud creature was submissive.
I couldn’t let her walk into Los Angeles and disappear.
And it had only gotten worse since. Of course, I couldn’t fall in love with her, even if I tried, but I could pass a lot of time with her. A lot.
I wanted to know every twitch, every growl, every moment of desperate need, and eat her alive. If she needed me to be exclusive, I could do it. I’d just put Sharon on ice and stop looking around. How long could Monica last? A month? Two? How long could she make me laugh before she started asking for more? How many things could leave her lips that would make me want to put my face on hers? She couldn’t stay so attractive for long. She’d burn herself out soon enough, but for the time being, I could not have created a more flawless woman.
I felt bad about bruising her, but I hadn’t done half the damage her ex-boyfriend’s piece had done. What a dick. And as soon as I saw that guy, what he’d done, and the way he looked at her, I wanted her for myself. I knew she was going to ask for exclusivity, I could see it in her face, and once I saw that piece, I was ready to give it to her. The thought of her getting hurt bothered me. It wasn’t her personally as much as it was wrong to make their private business so public. It wasn’t that hearing her cry made my fist clench, or that I felt as though I saw some shameful part of her she’d wanted to keep hidden. It was an overall, amoral wrongness. Could have been anyone, and I would have been just as mad.
Well, maybe not as mad.
Damn. I should have taken her home. I had a weird compulsion to reach out to her.
—Thank you for tonight. I’ll call you during the week to check on that baseball—
A flat, emotionless response. Odd. I regretted letting her out of arm’s reach.
—Speaking of…They’re playing the Mets the day after I get back—
—Ok good night—
I sat back. Not even a joke or wisecrack. I shouldn’t have cared, but I did. My phone dinged again, but it wasn’t Monica loosening up. It was Jess.
Interesting that Erik wasn’t there. He usually followed her around like a little beta puppy. Exactly what she needed. Half a man. I took a calming breath and called her.
“Jon. Where are you?”
She didn’t sound good, and if I judged the whooshing background right, she was already home.
“Coming up LFB.” Our shortcut for Los Feliz Boulevard, from when I was whole and had someone to make up little acronyms with.