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Meg goes shopping and has to pay for her goods.
Even from the comfort of my own rooms, cats curled on top of me, as many cigarettes as I wanted, the work did its damage fast. On a Thursday, I was enjoying a day off after months of nothing but days off. I left the house. Money would soon be coming in, a tremendous stress relief. I flirted with a monk on the sidewalk. People at the clinic marveled at how well I looked and had those self-satisfied looks of people doing their lives' work really well. I forgave them.
Twenty-four hours later I was insane. It could be what they call "rapid cycling" in bipolar speak (I hate that term because I picture fuzzy white bears at some Ice Storm swinger party). Or cheap CA wine. Or pretending to be seven years old and enjoy it and having all my ACLU support... in question, at the least.
He had only asked me to call. I wrote, "I might, but you have a wife, everyone around you, and a whore with swelling eye sockets."
Between shifts I did do a number on myself. I was in a lot of pain, needed him, did something he'd never do to me. Behind his back, cheating on us, I hit myself and the bruises continue to worsen and blossom. I just took pictures. They aren't shiners, but I look slightly different to myself. I still can't, even camera in hand, tell him what good that could ever do. He forbids it, but knows if I didn't love him so much I wouldn't hurt when he's gone.
We talked this over on the phone. All my "sorrys" for treating him mean on Friday were rejected. How the hell do you talk to a loved one if he doesn't want you to grovel? I don't know. "You weren't mean," he told me, "you were frustrated and alone and in pain."
He's scared, too, and not just for my sanity. That I wouldn't love him the same if he were real and not a constructed image. He apologized for still being a teenager, even as I'm the one taking handouts from parents... We're different kinds of teenagers, my Owner and me. He works long hours. He takes care of his wife. Just when I had wrapped, after ten months, that idea around my brain that he meant what he said about loving her, honoring his promise to her, not being a bastard, he said something else.
I might not like living with him.
"What if I did show up on your doorstep with my bags packed? I'm not easy to live with." He seems to think if I had more time with him, I would fall out of love. Though I know this additional reason doesn't change the reality that he will remain married, it makes it easier to tolerate. That he's not just good, but also scared of exposure, of knowing me as a person beyond a persona carefully created through thought out communication by email, through the elegance of BDSM traditions. Maybe he's scared that the magic of fleeting afternoons and delirious overnight sessions would be damaged. These are reasons I can relate to more than his honor.
"The thought of never kissing you or holding my slave fills me with dread, but I don't want my Ownership to tear you up like this." "I don't want this to end," I tell him. "I belong to you, Sir." "I'm too selfish to give up my precious possession." "Keep me, please. This doesn't feel over because we care about each other too deeply. We're lovers." "We are. The lust and affection I feel for my slave is real. We have a bond that is undeniable." "We're fucked." He sighs. "We're fucked."
Then I make a real confession. I came close to calling him in my hysteria a couple of nights ago. While I was fending off further self-injurious impulses and muffling my screams with my pillow, I considered calling him late at night on the cell number that was obviously for emergencies only. 'Well, this is a fucking emergency!' I thought and imagined calling to tell him I am in pain and I need him, even if such a call would ruin his life.
"It would have been awkward," he said with a laugh, "but of course I would have spoken to you."
"Of course. I tell you I want to be there for you. What good is that if I'm not when you need me?"
I think I just ask, "Really?" a few more times, in disbelief.