Read Telepaths Don't Need Safewords, by Cecilia Tan Online

Authors: Circlet Press

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Telepaths Don't Need Safewords, by Cecilia Tan

BOOK: Telepaths Don't Need Safewords, by Cecilia Tan
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Telepaths Don’t Need
Safewords


Age of Majority”
Ebook Edition

by Cecilia Tan

Circlet Press, Inc.

Cambridge, MA

Copyright Information:

Telepaths
Don’t Need Safewords and other stories

Copyright
© 1991, 1992, 2009 by Cecilia Tan

Original
Cover Art © 1992 by D. Cameron Calkins

All
Rights Reserved

Originally
printed in chapbook form, March 1992. Released in ebook form in
November 2009.

This
ebook edition does not replicate the original printed book. It
contains the same stories but does not have the same introduction or
other matter. It was prepped for upload in-house at Circlet Press and
then converted to multiple ebook formats by the Smashwords
"Meatgrinder."

Published
by

Circlet
Press, Inc.

39
Hurlbut Street

Cambridge,
MA 02138

www.circlet.com

Please
do not support online piracy of copyrighted works. Copies of this
ebook may be purchased through the Amazon Kindle Store, Fictionwise,
Barnes & Noble.com, Scribd, Smashwords, All Romance eBooks, and
many other online sites, as well as from the publisher s own site at
circlet.com.

Selected Other Titles also by Cecilia Tan

Edge Plays

Royal Treatment

The Siren and the Sword (Magic University, Book One)

The Hot Streak

Mind Games

White Flames

Black Feathers

The Velderet

Contents

Introduction

Telepaths Don’t Need Safewords

Cat Scratch Fever

Heart’s Desire

About the Author

Introduction

I
know it is hard to believe, but
Telepaths Don’t Need
Safewords
is now 18 years old. Yes, that’s right, people
who were born when the story was are now old enough to read it.
Scary.

The story had its
initial release into the wild in 1991, onto an Internet newsgroup
called alt.sex.bondage. The reaction to the story, which was posted
in four separate parts, because in those days of the early text-based
Internet a thousand words was considered a long post, was
overwhelmingly positive. I decided perhaps a printed version was in
order.

But
once I had decided on a printed version, I decided to go all the way
with it, and start a whole publishing house. I went out and got a PO
Box, an ISBN prefix, and a Very Big Stapler.

Yes,
I hand-stapled those first 100 printed copies of Telepaths, on the
floor of my Boston apartment. Why the floor? Because the apartment
was too small to have a table, and my desk was taken up with my
computer.

The
rest, as they say, is history. I sold out of copies at the first
convention I brought them to, Lunacon in Rye, New York, in March
1992. The second printing was done at a commercial printer, 500
copies. Then a thousand. Then two thousand.

In
the meantime, Circlet Press had begun to take off, too. What was then
a ground-breaking idea, to combine the erotic with sf/fantasy,
excited many readers and writers besides me, and the press grew to a
peak of at one point doing 10-12 trade paperbacks per year.

Then
came the “returns crisis,” the bankruptcy of our
distributor, 4500 independent bookstores went out of business over a
span of just a few years, leaving us with only 500, then our next
distributor went belly up, and so on. Circlet’s output trickled
to near zero. We had to beg for donations to print Best Fantastic
Erotica in 2006.

But
a funny thing happened. Although the book retail and book printing
world has gone through massive upheaval and decline over the past 18
years, writers and readers didn’t change all that much, and the
changes that did come were for the better. Readers opened their minds
to more combinations of the erotic with the fantastic. The genre of
paranormal romance was born and has become the dominant category in
romance right now, spilling over into other genres like young adult
(Twilight) and traditional fantasy and science fiction (The Last
Hawk, Sebastian, and many more). But with the bookstores dwindling
and the big chain bookstores clueless about what readers actually
want, the readers turned to the place they originally found stories
like “Telepaths Don’t Need Safewords.” The
Internet.

So
here we are come full circle, as this ebook edition of Telepaths
Don’t Need Safewords is now on your screen.

I
have refrained from changing the story from its original form. In 18
years, my writing style has matured and refined, but too many people
have told me over the years that this is the story that changed their
life, changed the way they thought about BDSM, changed the way they
thought about love, for me to muck around with it now. I didn’t
know when I wrote it that I was bucking the conventions of erotica
writing, that writing an “established relationship”
instead of an “encounter story” was radical and
different, nor that writing a story that limned the difference
between “scene-aware” consent and nonconsent had rarely
been done. I just wrote what I would have enjoyed reading myself, the
fantasies that I had which included not just whips and chains, but
concepts like “true love.” In fact, all three stories in
the original chapbook involve that theme. (Perhaps it shouldn’t
be a surprise that the winding path of my writing career has recently
led me to writing romance novels.)

There
are a few people I should thank, before I close. The original printed
edition thanked Ian, corwin, D!, Lauren P. Burka, Elf Sternberg,
Regis, and Flynn & FF. Thanks to you all again. This book, and
who I am, wouldn’t have been the same without you.

Cecilia
Tan

November
2009

Telepaths Don't Need
Safewords

Arshan tugged on the leash and
gave me a bare-toothed smile, insistent and yet as catty as if he had
winked. I replied with a sullen look, half a sneer really, saying
with the look what I thought
—You
know how much I hate this leash and you know how much I love this
scene. He dangled the leash over his shoulder, leading me across an
open plaza toward the Hall. I kept my eyes down, not out of
submission but to watch his feet. Arshan stands about 6'4". With
the leash over his shoulder, I didn't have much room to avoid his
long legs. I may have been playing the slave, but the last thing I
wanted was to look like a klutz. I could feel him smiling.

At the door we exchanged looks
again, and he thought,
It's
been a while.

I know. But I'm up for it if
you are,
I assured him,
making a last mental check on our costumes. He carried no weapon, no
instrument, no tool, save pieces of his costume which had more than
one use. We'd worked hard perfecting it, the belts, the waist length
cape, the boots. His colors, as always, were black and dark green. My
own costume had fewer elements, just a basic black halter stretched
over my breasts and black mid-calf dance tights, bare feet. Oh, and
the leash. I draped myself against him as he presented our pass to
the door man. We donned simple eyemasks, and proceeded down the
carpeted hallway.
Think
people will remember us?

* * * *

The ceiling of The Hall is at
least fifty-feet high, perhaps higher, with one long wall made
entirely of glass, overlooking the Galdarin River. Echoes of laughter
came down from balconies on the opposite wall, and crystals and
lights and chandeliers flickered everywhere. Arshan made his way
straight for Cleopatra, one of our old friends.

She dripped with black beads,
completely covered, yet not covered at all by a complex network of
beaded strands, hanging in long wings from her arms, and cascading
down her back from her black hair. She turned from the conversation
when she saw us, throwing up her hands and kissing Arshan on the
cheek. "Arshan! You've arrived! We've missed you, you know. And
you, Mriah." she added, turning to me. "It got very dull
here for a while." She sighed, fluttering her eyelids. I love
Cleo's act. And she loves ours.

Arshan smiled. "It's good to
be back."

"Easy for you to say," I
said, tossing my head.

He turned on me, shortening up the
leash and speaking harshly. "I am trying to converse with the
Lady Cleopatra. Now, will you be quiet or will I have to cut your
tongue out?"

I gave no answer at all except to
nod my head toward Cleo.

She smiled. "As I said, it
was getting very dull around here."

* * * *

We
were lounging by the pool later, with some people we knew and some we
didn't, when Arshan slapped me at last. Maidi and Bivon had been
taking turns whipping Danielle, and when they were done, she thanked
them for it on her knees. Gallen, a blond haired fop that Cleo
favored started in with "She's a proper pretty one. All slaves
should behave so well, don't you think, Arshan?"

"She's very beautiful,"
Arshan said to Cleopatra.

Cleo swallowed a bit of plum. "I
believe she's for sale."

"Oh?" Gallen sat up a
bit in his lounge chair. "Maidi, how much?"

Maidi and Bivon sat on the grass,
coddling Danni between them. "No, she's not for sale,"
Maidi said.

"I'd say she's worth 40,000,"
Gallen continued. "Whereas I wouldn't pay more than 5000 for one
like yours, Arshan."

"Not that I would go with
you, anyway." I replied from where I sat at Arshan's feet.
Arshan jerked on the leash.

"You haven't broken her,
yet?"

Cleo laughed. "Arshan likes
them with their teeth intact."

Gallen was unfazed. "Imagine
that. I think she needs a lesson."

I sneered. "From you? I'd
rather put out my own eyes."

Arshan jerked the chain so hard I
pitched forward onto my hands. "That will be quite enough,
slave." He sat up in the lounge chair a little, then settled
back, shortening the chain so I remained on all fours. "I can
handle her myself, thank you." He smiled obsequiously at Gallen.

"Oh, it's no fault of yours,
I'm sure." Gallen picked up a plum from the bowl between
Cleopatra and him. "Still, I can see why she's talking back. You
don't even have a bat for her."

"I've never needed one."

Cleo applauded the point by
tapping her own crop in her gloved palm. "Arshan has many
methods."

"Still, I wonder how she
would respond to some of my own." Gallen stood, placed himself
in front of me, snapped his fingers. "Look at me, slave."

I drew my eyes up his leg, stopped
at his crotch. I let half a smile onto my face.

"I said, look at me."

"I am."

He lifted my chin with his boot. I
held his gaze for a moment, then dropped back down to admire his
groin again. There wasn't much to see really, at first. But as he
grew more angry, he grew. I watched the bulge thicken as he made a
fist. "You have to put fear into her, Arshan. Like this."
He drew back his foot to kick me.

Arshan was up in an instant,
between us. "Think again."

Cleo laughed, tugging on Gallen's
velvet sleeve. "No one strikes her but Arshan, dear, and she
obeys no one but him."

"Well, what good is she,
then." Gallen said sullenly, sinking back down into the chair at
Cleo's side. I was already holding onto Arshan's leg. I let my hands
run up and down his thigh. I closed my eyes and rubbed against him
with my cheek.
That was
close.

He's obviously an asshole. I'd
let you bait him more except I think he's dangerous.

I don't know...
I drew my hand between his legs to caress his crotch, letting the
heat from his stiffening penis flow into my fingers.
Shall
I show him what good am I?

Arshan made some meaningless small
talk with Cleo as I came around his leg to kneel in front of him. The
loose fitting pants he wore didn't end in seams on the inside. And
Arshan never wore underwear. I had his cock in my mouth then. "You
see," he was explaining, "she is extremely loyal. And
always grateful." I would have added something of my own, but my
mouth was full. Using my lips I squeezed some pre-come into my mouth
and swallowed. I let my tongue work the underside, the tender cleft
just at the base of the head until he was having trouble keeping up
the conversation. I felt him start to go, his hips began to buck, and
then I ducked.

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