Master’s Fine Leather
The sign said 'Masters'
Fine Leathers'. It was the place I was looking for, the place where, I had
heard from a friend of a friend, they were looking for someone. The only
problem was that I had no experience as anything but a waitress. And looking at
the place was intimidating. It certainly didn't look like Wal-Mart – where I
had already applied and not found work.
The exterior was weathered
brown brick. It had a mullioned bay window, the frame of which was made of some
dark, glossy wood, like mahogany. The door was of solid wood, with a small,
discrete plaque. This was certainly no cut-rate shop, and from what a glance
through the lightly tinted window showed – leather gloves and boots on red
velvet, unlikely to hire a novice.
I looked at my jeans with
the frayed bottoms and my bright yellow shoes with the orange laces, and
decided that it wasn't likely a look which would enhance my credibility at this
kind of shop. No, this place screamed “snob”. Still, I was desperate for work,
so I hurried home and ransacked my closet looking for something appropriate.
And then I remembered my
sister's closet, and darted across the hall to look through it. Yes, Sara was
always more into leather than I was, and she had a pair of leather pants –
which were way too small, and a leather skirt, which was merely too small. Oh,
and a leather vest which was cute.
I bit my lip with indecision.
Going in wearing a short skirt was not my idea of a good introduction – though
I do have great legs. On the other hand, if it was a man hiring it might help.
And at least if I wore leather it might show an interest in what they sold!
I wound up in my mom's blue
silk buttoned shirt under Sara's black leather vest, her too-short leather
skirt, my high-heeled leather boots (though they really did make me too tall)
and one of my mom's business suit jackets, which, like Sara's things, was a bit
I was a freak at five feet
eleven. You know how hard high school is when you're five feet eleven? You can
only date really tall boys, and most of them are on the basketball team, which
means they're arrogant jocks and treat you like you're an accessory. They mostly
pay attention to you when they want sex, and aside from that they don't care.
My previous job had been at
O'reilly's pub. I wore a short kilt and a too-tight, midriff baring top I was
grateful my parents had never seen. The tips were great, but it was still all
about carting dishes of food out and dirty dishes back. Not very exciting
except when one the drunks started getting touchie feelie. And then the pub had
closed last month so I was out of luck and out of money. My parents were far
from rich, so I definitely needed to find something. Now!
I bit my lower lip (a bad
habit I haven't been able to kick) while examining myself in the mirror. I
didn't look very sophisticated. I needed to do something about my hair, maybe
apply some makeup. I did my hair half up, half down, with cute bangs, and
donned lipstick, eyeliner and rouge, then put on the leather and hoped for the
The first thought as I
stepped through the door into the tasteful and subdued lighting (no fluorescent
lights in this place) was that it really was a store that catered to the
moneyed set. The shelves and counters were of dark wood, and the walls were of
dark brick and wood paneling. A pair of boots by the door had a price tag of
four hundred and eighty dollars!
My second thought is kind
of hard to describe, because as my eyes swept over the store I realized that
some of the boots had absurdly high heels, while others were incredibly,
ridiculously high, as in thigh high! The gloves were the same. Some clearly
went up past the elbows. There were leather skirts and leather pants too.
And leather bondage gear. A
lot of it. There were a lot of different kinds of leather collars and
restraints. Various whips dangled from the wall in a long row which seemed
divided by length and thickness. One counter had a number of mannequin heads
all with different types of leather blindfolds, hoods and gags.
“May I help you, miss?”
I was speechless for a long
moment, just absorbing it all, and then absorbing the guy talking to me.
He was, I don't know, maybe
mid-thirties. He was taller than me, which I always appreciated, wearing a
dark, stylish three piece suit which seemed to be tailored to his … his really
well-built body. I mean, he had broad shoulders without being too wide, you
know, like football players. They angled down to a nicely built chest and slim
It was a man's body, sleek
and powerful, but not bulging, with a short, graceful neck leading to a
well-shaped head. He had high cheekbones, piercing blue eyes, a short,
aristocratic nose and full lips. I felt myself going momentarily breathless
just taking him in, and that was on top of my shock at realizing what kind of a
store this was.
I think if I'd had the time
to think I'd have found a way to lie about why I was there. But my instant,
flurried thinking was that if I said I was a customer he'd think I was some
kind of perve looking for handcuffs or something, so I had no choice but to
“I uhm... I heard you
were... looking for someone,” I gulped, wide eyed.
He kind of cocked his head
a little, encouragingly.
“I mean, for a sales
person,” I said.
“You heard incorrectly,” he
“Oh, okay,” I said,
starting to back out.
“Or at least, not entirely
correctly. I am looking for a person, but not for sales. And truth to tell, you
don't seem the sales type. You give up too easily.”
He had a nice voice! I
mean, it was masculine and deep, but also melodic, and not too deep, if you
know what I mean.
“I uhm, you are looking
“I do need an assistant,”
he said. “To handle stock, for the most part, see to displays, perhaps run a
few errands and be my general gopher.”
I could be a gopher! I
mean, but then I remembered, and looked around nervously.
“I see you like leather,”
he said, looking down at me.
“Well, uhm, yeah,” I said.
“I just hadn't realized that uhm...”
“What kind of leather we
sold?” he asked.
“Does it offend you? Shock
“Oh no!” I said hurriedly.
I wasn't about to confess
that anything shocked me. I mean, I was almost twenty! That made me extremely
sophisticated and world-weary! Sort of. At least I my mind. Or at least, I felt
the need to put up the front.