“We’re all mad here.” – Simone, quoting the Chesire Cat.
This installment brings Simone’s sexuality into focus. What she needs, the contradictions, within and her past is shaping her complicated relationship with Elliott. This insight comes from an encounter she has with Aidan, her previous lover. They were almost right for each other – he’s a classic Dominant. She likes pain. The problem is, she doesn’t like submission. But we’ll get back to that.
First, we open at a party given by Trent Boudreaux (introduced in the first installment as the future governor of Louisiana). Trent invited Simone, and Elliott was invited by his friend Barry. Elliott knew Simone would be there, but that’s not why he’s at the party — at least, that’s what he tells himself. As for Simone, she only goes to the party to make Elliott jealous. But, “It hadn’t worked that way. The moment she’d seen Elliott, she wanted to smack him across that perfect mouth. Then shove him onto his knees and make him use that mouth on her. Then smack him again. Or better yet, have him smack her.” Simone and Elliot have a chilly encounter; She’s still angry that he pushed her away, and now he’s kicking himself for it.
She goes back to Elliott’s place, and they have super hot sex. But Elliott is completely uptight and Type A and full of all these “ground rules.” Maybe it’s her confusion of the push-pull of their relationship, or maybe it’s just her need to go back to something familiar, but she follows her evening with Elliot by meeting up with Aidan.
Aidan shows up for dinner with his new girlfriend, a pretty blonde submissive named Corinna. At first, Simone is jealous of Corinna. She doesn’t want to be with Elliott — they didn’t work together. But it’s still tough to see a former lover with his new lady. But then she sees how much Corinna is struggling with her own role when it comes to Elliott. She has the opposite problem of Simone: Corinna likes submission, but not pain. Back at Aidan’s house, she gets a voyeuristic thrill from watching the two of them (We all know how Simone loves to watch), and this sends her running to Elliott’s place. She is really hot an bothered, and Elliott is happy to oblige her by giving her the belt – something he has never done before. Everything’s going well – until she mentions that she just came from her ex-lover’s house. Elliott becomes incredibly jealous. She challenges this, “You said you didn’t want to date.” She tells him that what she does outside of their sexual relationship shouldn’t matter to him. And he confesses that it does.
This installment draws clear distinctions between the sexual relationship of Simone’s past and what she’s found with Elliott. It makes it more understandable that she would put up with his nonsense. And the ending gives us hope that he’s realizing he can’t walk away so easily from her, either.