A/N: I've decided to end my hiatus with another installment of IaSS.

Leila PoV

Being honest with Sir was a double-edged sword. I learned many things that brought misery to no-one but myself. I attempted to hint around about my feelings until Sir finally demanded an explanation for my behavior. When I finally admitted to a desire for more, he completely closed himself away from me. He painstakingly itemized every reason that a more intimate relationship was not possible, citing several elements of our agreement in minute detail. Unfortunately, he was completely truthful. He had broken no promises to me, nor had he led me on in any way. Sadly, his very existence was the siren luring his submissives to their doom.

I finally tried to make him jealous, which did not result in sparking a jealous streak within him, but a harried call to his personal physician for an emergency medical screening. He was disgusted by the notion that he could've been risking his health by dipping his cock in a polluted well. It occurred to me much too late that Sir had never considered any of my previous sexual partners. As long as I had been deemed clean and monogamous, he had absolutely no interest in my past. I knew far more about his sexual history and predilections than he did mine for one very simple reason: as long as I was fulfilling my end of the contract, Sir just didn't give a fuck.

Finally able to talk him down, I firmly assured him that I had had no other partners or outstanding contracts, but I let him know that I couldn't possibly have noticed the interest I had garnered elsewhere from parties willing to give me more than Master's standard BDSM contract with its no room for deviation. While at first Sir attempted to compromise, it was clear that his idea of bargaining and mine widely diverged. He envisioned buying me more clothes and accessories, while I thought it was time for me to meet his family. We were not only not on the same page, we weren't even located in the same bookstore! He mulled over it for a few brief moments, then nodded decisively, saying he respected my decision and our association had come to a close. Motioning me out of his office, he returned to his position behind his desk, eyes on his computer screen. I had been dismissed. I stumbled upstairs to my beautiful suite, wanting nothing more than to fall onto my sumptuous coverlet and weep.

Moments later, I received a ping on my phone. He'd made it plain that I was free to leave immediately and he would have my personal items delivered to my apartment by the end of business, which to him was less than three hours, even if it was a Saturday because Sir's business schedule was 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. I hastily made my way to my bedroom closet with tears filling my eyes. I quickly placed as much as I could in a couple fairly large duffel bags. I dragged dresses off their hangers, rolling then stuffing them into the bags. My shoes and accessories were stored also. I emptied my lingerie drawers as they were many, and finally placed my jewelry case and perfumes into my tote.

I stood in the center of my room, taking in my surroundings as if for the last time. My three-wall watercolor mural, my light peach satin sheets and coverlet, my white furniture with its gilt trim and scrollwork. My armoire, open, its contents taken. I had not even left the apartment yet the room lay desolate. Forsaken and lonely, like me. Always alone.

I walked to the foyer, burdened with several bags. Taylor appeared on my left, taking the bags from me, disappearing as silently as he appeared. "He's taking your things and depositing them in your car."

"Thank you."

"The rest of your things can be delivered in less than two hours. Would you like your furnishings sent on as well?" My Sir-no-longer inquired from his seat at the piano.

"No, I won't be needing them," I replied lowly. "I'd have no space for the furniture in my apartment."

"That's fine, we could just as easily have your items placed in storage for a few months so you can retrieve them at your leisure. They're quality pieces after all."

I should know. I remember poring over numerous catalogs, making sure everything appeared just so. There were even a couple Tiffany lamps I'd used as lights for my nightstands. Sir had given me carte blanche. Money was no object. My only limit was my imagination. He said I deserved beautiful surroundings.

"That won't be necessary," I refuted. "Though I appreciate the offer."

"One moment," he uttered. I looked at him, eyelashes lowered. Perhaps…

"Leave your phone on the table," he ordered. Oh, no more contact with Sir, I thought, gingerly placing my cellular on the corner of the table. "I've deposited a few thousand in your account to cover your tuition."

"Thank you, Sir," I replied, surprised he'd remembered my tuition was due, and grateful that he still cared somewhat for my welfare. I guess this is how wealthy people throw out their trash.

Taylor swiftly returned sans baggage, walking towards Sir, murmuring quietly, but I picked up the gist of their conversation. I was able to pick out the words the usual, codes, change, elevator, garage, exit and Elena are mentioned. Mistress. Bitch.

"Please follow me, Ms. Williams," instructed Taylor, escorting me to the elevator. He rapidly punched in a different sequence of numbers, but I only recognized the number '0'. As the elevator doors slide closed, I hear the beginning tones of one of Chopin's Nocturnes. We reach the garage level where my car is supposed to be parked, only it was no longer there. Before I could say anything, he informed me that my car had been cleaned and topped up, taking me to a guest lot where my car is parked, pristine and gleaming. Before I can open my door, Taylor hands me a key ring with a copy of my car key.

"Are you sure you won't be needing the rest of your things, Ms. Williams?" he asks in a low voice.

"No, thank you," I answered. Then I turned and asked curiously, hardly expecting a reply, "What will happen to the things I don't want?"

"The things that remain will be donated or discarded, and the room will be returned to its original condition," Taylor supplied, surprising me. Wow. In less time than a salon visit, it would be as if I never existed.

"Stay safe, Ms. Williams," he commanded gently. Before I could frame an appropriate reply, Taylor had walked away, the door behind him locking automatically with a low hiss. I got into my zippy red Audi, exiting Escala for the last time.

Returning to my tiny apartment, I staggered into my room, falling onto to my bed, mentally spent. I couldn't believe how this day went. What had begun with so much promise had ended in utter disaster. Grabbing my forehead, I covered my eyes in disgust. Why did I listen to that plastic bitch? Because she told you the truth. It couldn't continue this way. Would you be happy if this moment came further down the pike when you had invested more into this relationship, having nothing to show for it except a completely shattered heart? But maybe with more time… No. It's time to give it up. He's just not the committing type. The sooner I put this in perspective, the better.

Sitting up, I grabbed one of the larger duffel bags to begin unpacking. But after unzipping it, I found a large manila envelope on top. Curious, I opened it, surprised that there's a check for $50,000 along with a receipt denoting payment of my lease and medical costs through this year. Even from a distance, Sir cared for me. I guess I always knew that, but oh how I wished it was enough.

Since my most pressing concerns seemed resolved for the moment, I took time to consider my future. The community was my life. I had not spent much time in the clubs since this last arrangement and unfortunately, great subs vastly outnumbered the best Doms. It was not just a question of wealth, but physical and sexual appeal. A few subs I knew lived in 24-7 power exchanges with their Doms, in arrangements that were somewhat like marriages, often taking part in collaring ceremonies to solemnize their commitments to one another. Temporary associations and playdates left me cold. Ascribing to an alternative lifestyle shouldn't preclude me from having a fulfilling, committed relationship. The happily married couples within the community illustrated that.

I didn't know how to grasp the life I wanted. Mother always said that I should wait on the Lord and a good man meant for her would fall into her lap. I wasn't so sure my parents would approve of a man who openly encouraged nipple clamps and clit rings as fashion accessories. We rarely speak anyway. Her answer to all things is to be gentle, sweet, feminine, and defer to your husband in all matters. But honestly, how could I possibly trust a woman with relationship guidance whose husband fucks her for five minutes every other week except on Sundays, especially if there's not even a hair out of place moments afterward? I guess my life prepared me for Sir, as my parents didn't share a bedroom, though Mother cleaned his room diligently.

My younger brother, born long after they'd given up hope and adopted me, was their poster-child. He could do no wrong in their eyes. Still, there was no sibling rivalry since he'd already won every contest from the moment he'd been born with a dick. We got along well once I realized he wasn't the goody-goody saint my parents held him up as to the rest of the world. My brother had several little secrets just on the other side of the tracks. I guess the club lodged firmly up dear old dad's ass prevented him from explaining the birds and the bees to my brother. And somehow the stupid fuck never learned how to use condoms.

I couldn't knock it, though. Growing up in my family taught me several great survival hacks. Like knowing how to grin and bear it. Father used every excuse to punish me. He would whip me with a belt until he got tired. And he didn't tire easily which was amazing considering he only fucked my mother for around twenty minutes a week. It didn't take me long to figure out he unleashed all of his stored-up frustration on me. I could never confide in my mother lest she spill her guts to the parish priest on my behalf. But at least I learned to stay on my knees for long periods of time. There was bound to be an upside. I was quick to discover that silence and invisibility were my bywords. Stealth was my superpower. And finally, leverage was my friend, and secrets were my currency.

As I laid in my bed, my mind was besieged by the scenes we shared leading up to my ending of the contract. Had Sir ever done or said anything that would cause me to believe that if I ran, he'd chase me? He had the milk, the cow and the pasture and could still afford more. Like Taylor intimated, I was replaceable. Did Elena already have another sub waiting for him in the wings? If I had returned, would he have accepted me back? No. Sir respected submission, not groveling. He'd have me blackballed in the community quick as a blink, virtually guaranteeing that no decent Dom would have me.

No, I had to take the high road and suck it up for now. Maybe Sir would be between subs and be in need of a release. I knew I was the best he ever had, and as long as I kept it light, he might keep the line of communication open. All I had to do was be patient and wait for my chance. Success was inevitable. But one thing had to happen. I had to get the hell out of this place. These four walls were driving me batty. I needed a vacation, and I had fifty grand to burn. Las Vegas was calling.

Vegas drew all kinds. Rich, poor, sexy, sloppy, drunk and jaded. There were so many beautiful women there and I didn't want to come off as one the lemmings, so I was gonna go all out to look the part, faking it 'til I made it. Maybe I'd pick up a high-roller or two. I needed a good, hard fuck, and if I couldn't get that in Sin City, something was broken.