The Institute:Daddy Issues(4)

By: Evangeline Anderson

“I thought you knew all about it, Sug­ar­baker.” Cap­tain Douglas fol­ded his arms over his nar­row chest.

“I know it’s some kind of kinky re­sort,” I said. “Is it a BDSM thing? Are Salt and I go­ing to have to dress up in leather and use whips and chains on each other?”

Salt’s face darkened. “I will not whip Andi. She is too del­ic­ate for such treat­ment.”

In the be­gin­ning of our part­ner­ship, that kind of state­ment would have pissed me off. Now I knew it was just Salt pro­tect­ing me. Still, I nudged his mus­cu­lar shoulder and made a face at him.

“Who said you would be do­ing the whip­ping, huh? You think I can’t be the one wield­ing the paddle? I’m plenty dom­in­ant enough to be a dom­in­atrix.”

Salt gave me a coolly ap­prais­ing stare. After a mo­ment, it got hard to hold his ice-blue gaze but I re­fused to drop my eyes and lose the little star­ing con­test we found ourselves in.

“No,” he said at last. “You are dom­in­ant to many men but not to me, Andi. This I will not al­low.”

Cap­tain Douglas cleared his throat which broke my con­cen­tra­tion. I looked back at our su­per­ior, los­ing the star­ing con­test.

“A-hem. Un­for­tu­nately, though the In­sti­tute does prac­tice a form of BDSM, it’s not the kind you tra­di­tion­ally think of when you’re talk­ing about the kink com­munity.”

“Well, what is it then?” I de­man­ded. “If it’s not whips and chains, I mean.”

He sat back in his chair and frowned at both of us.

“Have either one of you ever heard of ‘Age Play’?”

“What’s that?” I asked blankly. Tampa has a pretty large kink com­munity but since Salt and I are Hom­icide and their prob­lems usu­ally fall un­der Vice, we don’t have much to do with them. Con­sequently, most of my kink edu­ca­tion con­sisted of what I could glean from watch­ing the 50 Shades of Gray movie which I’d thought was pretty stu­pid, to be hon­est.

Al­though there was that one scene where the guy puts the girl over his knee and spanks her…but I pushed the thought away. That kind of thing never did any­thing for me—I had no idea why that par­tic­u­lar scene lingered in my mind when the rest of the in­sipid movie was thank­fully for­got­ten.

“Age Play is where one part­ner acts much younger than they ac­tu­ally are and the other part­ner as­sumes an older role.”

“Huh?” I said and Salt said,

“I do not un­der­stand.”

Cap­tain Douglas sighed. “Look, it’s not my area of ex­pert­ise either. But ba­sic­ally one of you will have to dress up as a little girl and the other one is the Daddy.”

“What?” I de­man­ded. “Cap­tain, you can’t be ser­i­ous! That’s sick.”

“I’m afraid I am ser­i­ous, Sug­ar­baker,” he said, frown­ing. “Look—it’s not what you think. It’s not about in­cest or pe­do­philia—it’s…ah, hell…” He sighed. “I’m mak­ing a mess of this. Let me get someone in here who can ex­plain it bet­ter than I can.” He picked up his phone and spoke into it while I sat fum­ing. I knew ex­actly who was go­ing to be the little girl and who was go­ing to be the Daddy. It wasn’t like Salt would look good in a sailor dress and knee socks!

There was a subtle rap at the Cap­tain’s door and then a middle aged man with thin­ning gray hair and spec­tacles poked his head in.

“Hi, ex­cuse me. I’m Pro­fessor Stevens and I was told to come back?”

“Come on in, Pro­fessor.” The Cap­tain made a wel­com­ing ges­ture and I thought I saw re­lief on his face. He was passing the buck—bring­ing in the ex­pert so he could sit on the side­lines and not have to take the fall for whatever hareb­rained scheme had been cooked up for me and my part­ner. I crossed my arms and tapped my fin­gers im­pa­tiently as the man came to sit in a chair be­side the Cap­tain, across from Salt and me.