The Power Struggle
Chapter 1, Carla
by Doc Tone
She had a lot to be proud of herself for. If one measured success in terms of material wealth, professional achievement and the respect of one’s peers then she was very successful. Yet it wasn’t in her character to exude pride. Instead, if one had to describe her demeanor, the term 'subdued self confidence' would most likely come to mind. She found herself positioned on life’s fast track not so much because that was what she desired, but more because it just seemed to be the natural path for a woman of her intelligence, personality, and natural beauty.
Carla Williams was an extremely successful attorney. Those who worked with her knew that her success was driven not so much by her impressive litigating skills as it was by her compassion for those she represented and her undying belief in the ideals of justice. Her trump card (as opposing counsel sometimes liked to quip, her secret weapon) was her talent for conveying her sense of justice and fair play to judge and jury alike. Any attorney who found themselves unlucky enough to be representing the other side knew that they would have to conjure up the best closing argument of their career if they were to stand a chance of neutralizing Carla’s summation. She could turn even the staunchest of jurist’s hearts with a subtle smile, a well-timed turn of her trim figure on a fashionably high heel, or a small lilt of her voice. And yet, there was never any hint that she was consciously exploiting her good looks. If someone asked her what she thought the key to her success was she would answer that it was the collaboration and legal research work of her litigating partner, fellow attorney and second chair, Sheena Demir.
Sheena and Carla had started the same week at the law firm of Hudson, Davis & Clarke, one of the city’s most respected and successful corporate law firms. Within days they had discovered each other’s complementary strengths and immediately hit it off. More importantly, the higher ups in the firm recognized them as well. They were soon assigned as a team to some of the firm’s most prestigious cases. By sharing the talented resources of Toby Henderson, their assigned paralegal, the two women seemed to develop a one-two punch that was extremely beneficial to clients and extremely intimidating to the opposition.
Sheena herself was a brilliant attorney. She knew case law almost as well as people knew the names of their family members. But while Carla was captivating with her wit and charm, Sheena had an aloof coolness that some found discomfiting. She was extremely attractive, maybe even more attractive than Carla, but there almost seemed to be an unemotional hardness about her. While Carla always seemed to be tastefully dressed in the latest feminine Paris fashions, Sheena chose a more restrictive, almost militaristic, yet still flattering wardrobe. She made no attempt to accent her natural beauty with any makeup at all. When firm members would gather for happy hours on Friday, or go out together to celebrate a victory in court, Sheena would more often than not politely, yet firmly decline the invitation to join them. She seemed to have her own personal life that she kept very private from everyone, Carla included.
Carla herself had a very limited life outside of the firm. Most of her time was spent working. She really didn’t have time to develop any relationships in her personal life. She found that men would almost lust after her. She could certainly have any one of them she chose to have. Just slightly taller than most women at 5' 9", with a naturally well toned body, curvaceous figure, and shoulder length blonde hair with natural accents framing an attractive and tanned face. In the eyes of many Carla was considered downright striking. And while she certainly didn’t mind flirting, she found that the effort involved in nurturing an emotional relationship detracted from her professional life. On the very few occasions when she allowed herself to become involved with someone they would soon become disenchanted with the competition with her devotion to her job and leave.
If there was one man who she would say that she was attracted to it was Bradley Davis, the youngest of the firm’s founding partners. At thirty-three years of age he was five years older than Carla. He looked ruggedly handsome in both his well-tailored suits and those rare occasions when she had seen him casually dressed in jeans. She enjoyed his company and he hers. They had worked many late hours alone together and had always found themselves seated next to each other at conferences and luncheons. At one point Bradley had confided that he had feelings for her, but also told her he recognized that it would be improper for him to act on those feelings with an employee. And while Carla was deeply flattered she had to agree with him and refused to allow herself to act on any of her feelings as well.
When a new partner position opened at the firm the short list of candidates to fill the vacancy consisted of Carla, Sheena, and Charley Wilkins. And when Charley’s father-in-law offered him a senior partner position at his own firm the list shortened to just Carla and Sheena. At first Carla felt that this would create an awkwardness in her working relationship with Sheena. She decided to face it directly and invited Sheena to lunch to discuss the situation. At the lunch, when Carla raised the subject, Sheena feigned insult and then laughingly told her that it wasn’t really a big deal to her. With an odd look in her eye that Carla had never seen before Sheena mockingly said, "Have no fear… I have faith that the best girl will ultimately win. And besides, I already am making other arrangements". Relieved that this rather tender subject had been settled successfully, Carla ordered another glass of wine for each of them and then paid the bill. As they left the restaurant Carla couldn’t help but realize that she had never heard Sheena laugh before.
Several weeks had passed since that luncheon meeting. Both Carla and Sheena had been put through a seemingly endless series of interviews, reviews, and meetings with senior partners. Then one day, as Carla returned to her office from a recess in court she saw Toby grinning widely at her as she handed her a message memo, "They want to see you in the main conference room, now!". Carla had no idea why an unscheduled conference of such urgency would be called at this moment. All of her cases seemed to be going well. She hurried off to the conference room as fast as she could. As she entered she saw all of the partners seated around the conference table. There were two armchairs positioned facing the conference table, and one of those chairs was already occupied by Sheena. As Carla took her seat in the other vacant chair she realized that this was it…the partners had reached a decision on which of them would be the new partner. After a few brief words from Richard Clarke, the eldest and most senior partner, he announced that Carla was now a partner of Hudson, Davis & Clarke. With that all of the partners rose as one and gave a brief, but heartfelt round of applause for Carla. Carla couldn’t help but catch a glimpse of Sheena out of the corner of her eye. Surely this would be devastating to her. But she was surprised to see that Sheena was also applauding, although Carla could have sworn that for the briefest moment she sensed a fiery look of anger in her eye.
Each partner came over and shook hands with both women. Brad Davis was the last to shake Carla’s hand, and as he did so he leaned over and whispered in her ear «Now that you’re no longer considered an employee, but a fellow partner, I think we should talk about a few things." Carla found herself clutching Brad’s hand with both of hers as she whispered back «Yes, I’d like that very much».
Outside the conference room Carla saw Sheena standing alone, talking on her cell phone, perhaps giving the disheartening news to a friend or relative. She approached Sheena to offer her condolences, but as she did so Sheena flipped her cell phone closed and smiled broadly at the approaching newest partner of the firm. "Sheena, please allow me…", but before she could finish Sheena interrupted her and gave her a big hug. "Come on boss…ha! I think I’m going to have a hard time saying that to you! Let me buy you a drink to celebrate your new found success!". Relieved, Carla readily agreed. She grabbed her latest messages from a beaming and obviously very proud Toby, threw them on her desk and told her to hold all of her calls. She was done for the day.
Sheena insisted on taking Carla to a special place that Carla had never heard of before to celebrate. As they jumped into the cab Sheena gave the driver an address in the part of town where Carla had never been before. It had the reputation for having some rather wild and far out clubs. But Sheena seemed to be familiar with it so she didn’t even give it a second thought.
As the cab pulled up in front of the establishment Sheena tipped the driver and practically dragged Carla out of the cab. The door to the club was opened by two female attendants perched on extremely high-heeled shoes dressed in red two piece outfits made of what appeared to be shiny rubber. Around their necks they wore high steel collars. The arm that was holding each of their respective doors was encased in a steel bracelet matching the collar around their necks. If Carla didn’t know better she would swear she saw a slight glimmer of a chain leading from the girls' bracelets to the handle of their door. She couldn’t see their other wrist, as each attendant seemed to be holding them rigidly behind their backs. As they passed, both women, as if on cue, lowered their heads, gave a slight curtsy and in unison said, "Welcome, Mistress". Inside Sheena motioned to a strikingly beautiful and tall women dressed in a full-length dress made of that shiny black rubber material. She approached the pair with a pleasant smile, "Good evening, Sheena. It’s good to see you again. And this must be Carla. My, you are even more beautiful than Sheena described you! Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Helena, the manager of the club. Your table is ready and all arrangements have been made."
Arrangements? Carla started to wonder why Sheena was going to all of this trouble for her. She began to feel a pang of guilt. After all, it was she who was the winner. Shouldn’t she be doing something nice to assuage Sheena’s disappointment? Helena led them to a small, secluded table in the corner of the darkened club. As they strode to the corner Carla noticed that almost every patron was a woman and they all seemed to be dressed in outrageous outfits of all sorts of exotic materials. So maybe this was why Sheena kept so much to herself! Carla almost felt ashamed that Sheena would not trust her to let her in on her secret life. After all, Carla certainly did not consider herself to be a judgmental person. If this was what she was into then that was fine with her, although she admitted it really didn’t appeal to her. She was aware of what most people called the «kinky scene» but hadn’t really paid much attention to it. As long as she was in the company of Sheena she really didn’t give it a second thought. As they seated themselves Helena said «Misty, your waitress, will be over shortly to accept your order." Then she lightly placed a gloved hand on top of Carla’s and said, "I sincerely hope that you enjoy your time with us." And with that she glanced briefly over at Sheena and thought she saw the two exchange conspiratorial looks.
After they were seated a waitress dressed completely in a tight red rubber mini dress with what appeared to be red rubber stockings encasing her legs and impossibly high heels came to their table to take their drink orders. Around her neck she wore a wide silver collar similar to those worn by the door attendants. As they each gave their order the waitress curtseyed, just as the door attendants had, and replied, "Yes Mistress". How odd! As the waitress departed Carla couldn’t help but notice that the waitress seemed to be taking rather unnatural, short halting steps. As she looked at her feet she noticed a slim chain of about twelve inches connecting the waitress’s ankles.
Carla felt her bladder pressing against her and asked Sheena where the Ladies' Room was. "No problem! I feel the call of nature as well! Follow me!". They went through a heavy set of double doors into a well-lit and very sterile looking lavatory. Carla noticed that the only other occupants were two girls dressed alike in what appeared to be red vinyl maid’s uniforms with the now seemingly obligatory collars, emptying the wastebaskets into a large, heavy rubber bag. Like the waitress, their ankles were also connected by a short chain. "See you in a bit", smiled Sheena as she disappeared into a stall and closed the door behind her. Carla entered an empty stall two doors down.
After relieving herself Carla heard Sheena’s stall door open. She hurried herself because she felt rather embarrassed to be seen alone in this strange club. She didn’t want any of the other patrons to get the wrong idea about her. Her anxiety was short lived as she saw Sheena waiting for her in front of the wash basins. But then she was startled by the transformation. Sheena had removed her business suit and was wearing only some sort of black rubber bra and panty outfit, her beige nylon pantyhose replaced with black fishnet stockings. Her arms were encased in shiny black shoulder-length rubber gloves. She had also changed her shoes. Instead of the high-heeled pumps that she wore around the office she was now wearing black patent high-heeled ankle boots. For the first time Carla saw Sheena with makeup on. And while the makeup was rather stunning on her, it was done up in a rather exotic style. Then Carla’s jaw dropped as she noticed what appeared to be the loop of a riding crop hanging on Sheena’s gloved wrist. "Well, Carla, you seemed to have gotten something on the back of your blouse." Sheena approached her and wrapped her arm around the stunned Carla’s neck. As Carla turned her head to see what Sheena was reaching for she noticed the two maids approaching her from behind with the large rubber bag. Suddenly she felt a sharp stabbing prick on the side of her neck. As she began to rapidly lose consciousness she saw Sheena standing over her with a now empty syringe in her hand. The last thing she remembered was Sheena’s seemingly distant voice in a cruel tone saying, "Don’t be so surprised Carla. After all, I DID tell you that the best girl would ultimately win!"
If there were anyone in the alley behind Club Domina that night they would have seen a side door opened and two red clad figures struggling with a heavy rubber bag stepping out into the cool night’s air. Another woman partially clad in black stepped out after the other two, closing and locking the door behind them. As the three women daintily, yet expertly walked across the littered alley in impossibly high heels, a silver limousine pulled around the corner. The limo pulled up to the waiting trio and their mysterious cargo. The door of the limo opened. Suddenly the crack of a whip against vinyl ricocheted down the alley. "Hurry up, you lazy cunts! If you keep the Supreme Mistress waiting you’ll have hell to pay!"