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A Story for Gregg

Author: Unknown

Filed in: femdom, love at first sight, pushing limits

The sun was starting to set, taking with it what little warmth was to be had on this late October, New England day. I was feeling chilled - cold actually - and not just because of the weather. In fact, the wind was freshening from the north, and I would not have even noticed, except for the fluttering of the two pieces of paper that I held clutched in my hand.

Pretty innocuous to look at them, actually - you'd never think of them as the root of such turmoil - just two somewhat ragged and crumpled slips of paper. A single sheet of scented stationary and an envelope sealed with a blood red kiss. Nothing really very life shattering, and yet, I had been sitting out here, in the cold, trying to regain perspective since I'd first opened the envelope and read the enclosed note.

As I had uncounted times over the last four hours, I unfolded the note and reread it, trying to convince myself that I'd been mistaken.

The words had not changed, and the world grew darker and colder.

And infinitely more lonely.

Something landed on me, covering my head and blocking out the ambient house lights that partially illuminated the landscape. I struggled against this attacker and finally defeated it, only to discover I had overcome my goose-down parka. "If you are going to sit out here in the freezing cold, at least have the good sense to dress properly." came the silky-steel voice behind me.

"Susan." I said, acknowledging her presence without turning around to face her. Shifting in my seat to get it around my back, I slipped on the parka, letting it deal with the superficial, external cold, at least.

Without any other words, she moved around to the step up onto the floor of our old fashioned wooden glider swing, settling herself on the seat opposite me.

Deja vu.

How many times had we sat here on this very swing, toasting the sunset with a glass of wine? Just the two of us, relishing a fiery sunset and the warmth of our love and commitment? That was why I had built the thing in the first place, for just that type of old fashioned romantic interlude, reminiscent of times long past.

Only one difference. In our past, we had always shared one of the swing's bench seats, the enforced physical closeness paling in comparison to the intimate closeness of our love. Just as the physical distance between us seemed to pale next to the emotional schism I felt between us at this very moment.

Susan is my love, my life, my heart's mate.

My owner.

We had first met over five years ago in rather unusual circumstances. She was a professional dominant and I was a client. Actually, that is not quite true - I was the client of another woman who had taken ill earlier on a day I had been scheduled for an appointment with her. Rather than endanger both of us by conducting the session anyway without regard to her health, she had offered me a choice. I could attend her later, after she had recovered from her illness, or I could serve a dear friend of hers who was visiting from out of town. I had asked to meet her friend first, outside the dungeon, before I made a decision.

That fateful meeting had taken place at a small "Mom and Pop" coffee shop a block or two from the dungeon. I was *terrified* - so much so that I almost bolted before she arrived, but courtesy and manners won out. Still, I had pretty much convinced myself that I would buy her a nice "high tea", thank her for her time and consideration and then tell her I had decided to wait until my Mistress had recovered.

It was a great plan, but one that died on my lips the moment she slid into the booth opposite me. One look into those sea green eyes, and my heart, mind and soul were lost forever. I was so besotted, it was hours later that I realized she had auburn hair (". . do not EVER refer to me as a 'redhead'. ." had been her first direct order to me).

All she said to me in those early instants was "Matthew?" in a softly polite voice. At least, that is all I remember. What I do know is that we never went to the dungeon. Instead, we ended up taking a long hand-in-hand walk on the Green, riding about the lake on the swan boats and generally ignoring anything or anyone else that might have inhabited the world with us. The intensity of those early emotions consumed us. I have always considered myself a logical, highly rational human being, and as such, have always pooh-poohed the concept of "love at first sight" as resulting from overactive glands. So it was something of a come-down for me to acknowledge that I had fallen deeply, irrevocably in love that warm summer's afternoon.

Only Susan's own admission (much later, of course) that she had fallen just as hard, just as quickly, made me feel a bit less silly about it. Curiously, for such a hard, sudden fall we embarked upon a long, relatively cautious courtship and engagement. Only part of that was uncertainty about the depth of our "love at first sight". A much bigger issue for both of us was the *why* of our first meeting - in other words, dominance and submission.

While both of us had been involved with others before, neither of us had shared *that* aspect of ourselves with our significant others. She had always kept her professional relationships separate from her personal ones, preferring not to mix business and pleasure. As a result, most of her personal liaisons with her male companions had started out and had remained fairly vanilla.

For my part, it was mostly cowardice. I had tried, earlier in my life, to introduce some kink into ongoing relationships, but with no success. After the third time a woman had broken up with me for suggesting a little bondage play, or some other game, I had gotten the message. "Nice" girls did not want to play. That "discovery", coupled with some youthfully all- knowing and stupidly unsubstantiated stereotypes of women who did play, led me to keep the two aspects of my sexuality tightly compartmented and separate. I continued this habit even after I knew better - dating vanilla women for companionship and sex, while seeking out and serving professional dominants who helped me cope with my need to submit.

Much of our courtship was spent in what I can only call negotiation, although that was significantly different from what is normally thought of as pre-scene negotiation. Looking back on those very cautious days, what we were actually doing was being very, very careful with our newfound love. Neither of us wanted to push too far, too hard or too fast, and ruin something so beautiful.

Still, the pull of it had been very strong for both of us. Susan gloried in the submission of the men who served her in her professional life, and hungered for its like in her private life. I had always cherished the dream of a life with *the* woman who could command my obedience while owning my heart and soul. With so much on the line, it is not surprising that our first few trial attempts did not go very well.

Just the memory of that first, tentative "toe in the pool" scene *still* has the power to reduce either of us to laughter. We were so on guard throughout, almost shy. The professional domina who all but succumbed to heart palpitations the first time I squealed under her paddle. The experienced submissive who broke out in a fit of giggles at the image of himself trying to do everything for her *so* perfectly. Hell, I had all but tied myself up for her.

It got better, though. Susan was simply too superb a domme not to know how to deal with my overeager, unintentional topping from the bottom. And I became so attuned to her and her fears and feelings, that I was able to support her and reassure her on those occasions when the play had gotten a bit rough - when she'd worried that she might have pushed a little too hard, or might have gone a bit too far.

Gradually, over the course of nearly a year, everything just seemed to come together. Each of our families loved our chosen mate, and our loving and living were only enhanced by the sweet-hot spice of our secret play together. The day we exchanged rings was one of the two happiest days of my life. The other came a short time later when we made our private vows of ownership to one another, in the shadowy darkness of the dungeon we had built together in the bowels of our dream home.

The intervening years had been wonderful; filled with the special laughter and tears, fights and reconciliations that make the love between two people a divine gift. Until recently, that is.

About three months ago, Maitresse Susan had suddenly changed her training style. Prior to that, her sessions had centered around teasing, bondage games, and corporal themes. That is not to imply she was not strict and demanding. She loved taking me to hell with her canes, whips and straps. In fact, just a few months ago, she'd put me through a very harsh session with her strap and had *almost* driven me to safewording.

Then, all that abruptly ended, and her scenes became totally devoted to sexual torment and deprivation. Moreover, the games moved out of the bedroom and the dungeon and pervasively into our every aspect "normal" lives. Controlling climax became a focal point of every scene. Withholding sexual favors, such as making me masturbate, while denying me orgasm, became correction. Punishment took the form of a male chastity that prevented any sexual contact or relief for days at a time. In the past months, I could not remember any week when we'd made love, not counting oral service to the Maitresse, more than twice in the entire seven days.

That had been at the heart of today's self imposed exile. I had spent the week being punished, wearing that damned chastity belt, for some infraction that I *still* didn't understand. Susan had unlocked the belt for me this morning as I was dressing to go to the gym for my regular Saturday workout.

The kiss sealed envelope had been taped to the keyhole when I had returned.

The enclosed note had laid out her plans for a session that would take the remainder of the afternoon, starting as soon as I entered the house. All I had to do was keep from cumming for the duration of the session, and she would let me make love to her again. Failure meant another week in the belt.

Anger tore through me again as I recalled those words. I had no chance of holding out against her that way, and she knew it as well as I did. First, she is the most beautiful and exciting woman I have ever met, and I cannot imagine being able to hold out for anything remotely approaching the specified duration of the scene. Second, she knows every inch of my body and can bring me off practically at will, even after I'd already climaxed once or twice. And finally, I had not cum in almost a week, thanks to the belt, and I had already been hard for her when I'd arrived at home. The scene's ending was a foregone conclusion, and harbingered yet another week without making love with the woman I love.

"You are awfully quiet, Matthew." the soft voice spoke again, bringing me out of my reflections. "I suspect you have some things you are just *dying* to say to me."

I lifted my eyes toward her, seeing her for the first time since she had come out to me, and almost gaped at the sight of her. My exacting little love looked almost unkempt. Her hair, though hanging loose about her face, was still slick with the mousse she only uses to get that heavy mass to adhere to her head in the severe, skull-hugging, scalp pulling pony tale the Maitresse prefers. Her face showed signs of a ruthless scrubbing, although I could still detect a few stray traces of cosmetics - little bits of color - about her mouth and above one eye. Both eyes were rimmed with red, as though she had been crying.

She looked so incredibly small sitting there, huddled up in her own winter coat, and so bereft of the strength upon which I have come to expect from her. One of the things that always had added piquance to my submission to her was her stature, or rather, her lack of stature. She has always been so incredibly. . . powerful, and yet, I tower over her, and mass out almost double her weight. We both know that I could snap her like a dry twig, just as we both know, that I never would.

"Well, don't you?" she challenged again, her voice trying to be hard, but breaking at the end.

"Don't I what, Susan?" I asked obtusely.

Momentary fires blazed in her eyes that went out just as suddenly. "You have my note, Matthew." she said flicking an accusatory finger at my hand, "Have had it, by my estimate, for at least five hours. Instead of following my orders, you have chosen to hide out here. I would think there was something that needed to be said, don't you?" Her voice was so calm, so devoid of inflection, that I knew she was fighting for control as much as I was.

"Your note said 'As soon as you walk in the door. . .'" I recited from memory. "I chose not to walk in the door."

"That is a very fine distinction. You know what I meant. What were you going to do? Stay out here for the rest of the weekend?" she asked caustically.

Was that what I had been doing? "I was just trying to figure that out, Susan. I don't have an answer to that question yet, either. I just knew, at that moment, I could not go inside and play out yet another of these loveless scenes of yours."

A look akin to agony swept across her face before she regained control. "Loveless." The word came out slowly, as if she was savoring the word's meaning in each letter and syllable. "Loveless." she repeated.

With great deliberation, she stood and got off the swing, and just walked about wordlessly for several minutes. Finally, she came back, standing behind the seat she'd vacated, her eyes locked on mine. "Since you seem to be thinking along the same lines, Matthew, I will tell you that I am considering relinquishing my ownership of you." She said in that same cold, toneless voice.

I would like to say I was stunned, but I was too numb for that to sink in at that particular moment. Instead, I simply answered "You know? That is one thing I hadn't considered - recanting my oath of fealty, that is. I thought of it in that first flush of hurt and anger, but I discarded it quickly enough."

"May I ask why?"

"Because I love you, Susan, in all your many and fascinating guises. I fell in love with you-the-person first, before I ever exulted under your dominance. My oath to you was made in love, and to recant it would be to diminish that love."

Her icy facade seemed to crumble at that. "Then why the hell are you out here hiding, dammit?!? Part of our promises to one another included ways of dealing with things like this. Don't you see what you've done, Matthew?"

"I think. . . well, . ." I stammered before an answer came into me head. "I walked away before I said or did something unforgivable, Susan." I said, a ring of triumph tingling my voice.

Her hands slammed down hard on the vertical supports of the swing. "NO, YOU DIDN'T, DAMMIT!" she roared. "YOU . . . RAN . . . AWAY!!" Susan spun away from me for a moment, and when she turned, tears were glistening down her cheeks. "You came up against a limit, and instead of facing it, instead of using the tool we put in place to help resolve just such a problem, instead of coming to me, your Maitresse and owner, and trying to communicate with me, you *ran*!"

This time, her words did cut through the numb haze around my brain, shocking me. Unbelieving, I asked "You mean - safeword?" I held up the offending letter. "Over this?" My voice cracked for the first time since adolescence, my disbelief was so great.

"Yes, you blind idiot." her whispering voice thundered. "Safeword. You've been around, damn you. Safewording doesn't just mean 'too much pain' or 'too much humiliation', Matthew. It simply means 'too much' - *period*! You obviously feel that way, given that you feel what I want to do is so "loveless"."

"But. . .but. . I *never* safeword." I fumbled out.

That *really* set her off. "No, you don't, do you? Matthew Davis, supersub." she said, derisively. "Too damnably proud to protect yourself during a scene. Do you know why I have embarked upon these so-called *loveless* scenes of mine? No, of course you don't. You are too damned stiff necked-proud of the pristine, unblemished perfection of your oh-so-pure submission to even *begin* to understand something like that. I did it to protect you, you damned fool!" And then, all the emotion seemed to drain out of her. "And to protect myself."

Susan seemed to wilt with fatigue, and then trudged around the swing to resume her seat. Her eyes seemed so hollow when she looked at me again. "You still don't get it, do you?" she finally asked. All I could do was shake my head.

"Remember that last strapping I gave you? I went so deep into my headspace that I lost touch with what I was doing to you. You just kept taking it and taking it - for *ME*. I felt so. . .so exalted. . .so revered, because you cared for me enough to give me that gift of yourself. And then," her voice and face darkened. "I came down and saw what I had *really* done to you - to the man I love more than my own life. I *injured* you, Matthew. You missed three days of work, and the only reason you were only off three days is that you'd have needed a written doctor's excuse for more time off. You should have safeworded, Matthew, but you wouldn't. Not you."

"So I tried to force you to safeword in our next scene. I even brought out the single tail, knowing how much you hate that bloody whip. After I had promised myself I would never use it on you again because of how devastated you'd been the one time I had used it on you."

"But. . . that scene was nothing like as bad as the strapping. I never came close to actually needing my safeword. I thought about it, because you're right - I do hate that whip, but I didn't *need* it."

Susan laughed mirthlessly at that. "No, you didn't. Because we had reached *my* limits, Matthew. Knowing I could not trust you to help me protect you, I never allowed myself to even approach my domme-space during that abortive session. I had hoped your fear of the single tail, coupled with the memory of the strapping and some good healthy strokes would be enough to get you past that stupid macho block of yours against safewording. It didn't work, so I ended the scene. I couldn't go any further because it was hurting me far more than it was hurting you, and to no good effect, to boot."

"But why the . . ." words failed me as I tried to ask the key question.

"Why the sexual denial and orgasm control scenes?" she asked, reading my mind. "Another obviously failed attempt to get you to safeword. I know you, Matthew Davis, inside and out. I know how much you love making love to me, how much you want to give me pleasure. You are almost as arrogant about that as you are about never having used your safeword. I had hoped that this regimen would eventually frustrate you so much that you'd use that tool."

Still angry, I half mumbled "Didn't stop you from getting yours off."

She shrugged. "I could say that's because *I'm* the domme and you're not, but that's neither here nor there at this point. I can tell you precisely how many times you brought me to unreciprocated orgasm during that period because I kept track. Just so you recall it *correctly*, it was only about twice a week for every week you were . . .out of commission. I didn't like it that way any better than you do, Matthew. It was like you weren't there for me or with me. I only ordered you to orally pleasure me so you would not become too suspicious and so that I would not get so frustrated that I did something out of character and somehow made things even worse.

Her lips lifted in a weary half smile. "If you'll remember, I even pardoned your chastity belt sentence once because I wanted you so badly I could not keep up the act any longer. I was afraid I had seriously set everything back with that bit of self indulgence, but now, after today's debacle, I don't think it really mattered. Do you?"

Shivering more from emotion than the cold, I chose to ignore the questioning jibe and instead, held up the note again. "And this?" I asked hesitantly.

"That piece of paper" and she waved the note away resignedly, "was in the way of being the straw to break your stiff camel's back. It did not work because *you* were too damned proud to communicate with me properly about what was bothering you."

Her words cut me like a knife, slashing at my self perception of myself as her man and submissive. "Doesn't . . .doesn't using . . using that word mean I have failed you?"

"Bull. You *know* better than that, Matthew, or at least, you ought to. An honestly given safewording is not failure. It means that I, as your owner, have gone somewhere that you don't feel you can follow. That I have asked for something that you don't think you can give."

"Why didn't you simply order me to use it?"

Her lips twisted into a smirk. "You cannot even bring yourself to say it now, can you? *Safeword*, Matthew." she said tauntingly. "As to why I did not simply order you to *safeword*? Well, I thought about it, but I decided to try another way. I wanted you to use the safeword for yourself, not because I ordered you to use it. I even considered trying to incorporate a caution word, like 'yellow light', but that would only work if *you'd* use the damn thing. I could have ordered you to do *that*, too, but to what benefit? In the back of my mind, I figured that you'd probably decide that using either word in a scene didn't count as *really* safewording if you did it because you were under orders to do so."

I thought about what she'd said, and remembered how she had looked when she'd described the session that I'd been strapped past the point of injury. She'd looked so . . . hurt. . .so diminished. Because of me?!? My foolish pride had caused *her* pain.

Tears still streamed down from her eyes as I searched her face, and found nothing but truth. Every protective instinct inside me rebelled at having brought her down like this. There was only one answer for it. Stiffly, I stood, muscles cramped from too long in the cold, and then knelt before her. "Susan . . .Maitresse . . .wife . . .owner. I give you my solemn word, on the love I have for you, that I will never willingly do this to you again. I promise to try to safeword when things begin to get too rough. Maybe we do need another, less final code word for a momentary stoppage. We can always recommence after we worked out the problem."

"You think you can really do that?" she asked doubtfully.

I grinned, knowing she was correct. "I will have to practice. Maybe we will have to plan it that I will safeword so many times a month." She cocked an eyebrow at me in challenge. "And you can punish me if I don't do it often enough." I waggled my brows at her. "Even with the belt." I wheedled.

She still did not look convinced. "You really are sure you can do that?" I could hear the hope creeping into her voice.

"I have to." I answered simply. "I love you, and I was . . .*am* hurting you - evidently far worse than you have ever hurt me. I would do anything to protect you from hurt and pain. I expect I will still slip up, but we can work through that, too, can't we?" She nodded, a trace of her usual wicked grin on her lovely mouth. "And another thing. I promise never to run away again. I promise that I will face problems forthrightly with you in the future."

Smiling, she rose and drew me up and off the swing, then pulled me down into a crushing hug and kiss. Everything went blank as I reacted to the clinging warmth of her embrace and sought to bury my soul in her love.

Long, uncounted heartbeats later, we broke the kiss and came up for air. Both of us were breathing very hard, and I saw that secret twinkle in her eye that said she had devilment on her mind. Freeing herself teasingly from my arms, she bent down and retrieved something from the ground at our feet. When she stood back up, she held the wadded up note in her hand. In my total concentration on her mouth, I had dropped it. "Catch, Matthew." she said as she flipped the ball at me.

Instinctively, I snatched the paper out of the air just before it would have bounced off my head, much to her amusement. With a gleeful chuckle, she reached out and took my free hand in hers. As she led me up toward the house, she pointed at the paper I held in my free hand. "Ready to that a go at that now, Slave?"

"Darling Maitresse? Dearest wife?" I said softly.

"Yes, beloved Slave and husband?"

I freed my hand from hers and took the paper between both hands. "Safeword!" I said, and then tore the offending document into tiny pieces of confetti. Susan's laughter rang out as, once again hand in hand, we walked through the door which no longer posed a limit for me or for us.

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