Mate and Whip Hand are two futuristic short stories with a good, but not too much heavy, D/s theme. Terry is a submissive working as secretary in an iper-technologic firm. During the day he is the perfect employee, and during the night he is the perfect sub for Daphne. Terry doesn’t particularly like Daphne but he craves the touch of a Dom, and female Doms are rare and he doesn’t want to lose her.
After a leak of info on the firm computer system, Terry is questioned by d’Schane, a computer wizard of only 20 years. While Daphne, a tall and strong woman, probably more clever than Terry, fits perfectly the role of the Dom, d’Schane, small and I think also with a complex of inferiority towards his parents, is not exactly what Terry would choose as his partner. But d’Schane doesn’t give him a choice, and by the way, he is the one who manages to beat Terry on a chess game, and I think that Terry more than the physical strength appreciates the cleverness in his possible partners.
They are really a strange couple, Terry so self-confident and balanced and in need of someone who will master him, and d’Schane so jumpy and iperactive, not exactly the epitome of quiet strength that usually you associate with a Dom, but indead he is perfect for Terry. The fact that both of them have never actually considered a man as their preferred partner is almost irrilevant, it’s not their gender that binds them together, but something more deeply. As I said, this is more a match of mind than body.
Even if usually the futuristic settings, above all when they have also an apocalyptic feeling (the world in which Terry and d’Schane are living is so full of pollution they cannot stay outside for long period of time, and the consequences are that the setting is a bit claustrophobic, the characters living always inside some building, with artificial light and no really difference in weather), these two stories were not at all heavy, on the contrary, I found them quite light and sometime even funny. Probably it was a consequence of d’Schane young age, and of his unlikely role of Dom, I read him more like a teenager playing with his parents’ toys, and the little rebellion Terry will have is plenty justifiable.
If I’m to be true, I did’t like so much the third story, The Melting of the Snowflake, mainly since I think the main character, Artere, was worthy of something more. In a fantasy matriarchal society, Artere, first son of a queen, was used as a pawn in a political marriage; his sister, the new queen, forged an alliance with a nearby kingdom having his own brother married to the other queen. But queen Keluria treats Artere like a cherished pet, not like an husband; when he is sad, she administer her care to him, when he is good, she almost doesn’t realize he is around. Despite the treatment, Artere longes for her touch like a puppy for his master’s love. But nothing he can do will awake Keluria’s love, and soon Artere will realize that he has no future with her.
Amazon Kindle: MATE: And More Stories on the Erotic Edge of SF/Fantasy