The majority of her wounds healed and soreness dissipated. He believed it was a bruised rib that was the main issue. The rest were bruises, scratches, and cuts. He put them there. He examined and tended to each one, gently. He helped her get into a warm bath. There weren’t many words exchanged between them. She faltered, breaking-in words like “Sir” and “Master.”
She preferred the shower. He allowed her to shave. He watched her. She returned the razor to him when she was finished. He would sit silently on the toilet, his head lolling from one side to the other in appreciation. He took the razor. She closed the curtain and finished bathing. He left the bathroom to go back to whatever he was doing. She caught him, once. He was standing with his back to the doorjamb, listening. She was singing in the shower.
Dressing was a game. He gave her first choice. A sharp “stop!” from the doorway … and she knew her outfit for the day was chosen, even if she only had on parts of it. There were days when she wasn’t allowed clothes at all. The weather was warm enough that bare flesh and lite materials were not an issue. But the evenings…
He initiated the walks. She wore a collar. It’s soft, black leather didn’t make up for its heaviness around her neck. At least it didn’t rub her horribly. She had trouble keeping up with his pace. His leash was short. Heavy chain looped through the thick O-ring on her collar. She wanted to wander. He wanted her right by his side. He was anxious about letting her out. She was anxious about being out.
The collar and chains kicked up a puff of dirt when they fell from her neck. They walked in the house with the sun setting behind them. She felt the eggshells she walked on would give into the burden of what to say next.
“Thank you, for taking me with you… on the walk, Sir.” She shivered while she moved around, using the lamps to bring the room to a warm glow.
“You’re welcome, pet.” He freed his feet of his boots at the door and smiled on his way to take up the length of the couch.
“It’s a little chilly, Master. Would you make a fire?” She gave him a hopeful smile.
“No. I’m warm. It would make sense that if you want to be warm, you would be over here next to me.” She didn’t know how to say ‘no’ to him without riling him up. She stayed on the floor, in silence.
He looped through the channels until he found something he liked. She chuckled at the show. He playfully poked her with a sock’ed toe. Inside jokes from the days when they were a “real” couple riddled their time together. Those moments caught them off guard and confused his new order of operations.
Well into the night, the breeze that trickled through the open windows in the home got the best of her. She scooted herself closer to the couch, inching towards warmth.
“You going to hide down there when December comes, pet?” He chuckled. Eggshells, again. Some things were so familiar. Some things scared her to speak about.
“Hopefully you’ll give me a blanket by then, Sir.” She couldn’t imagine being kept on this property, being his little pet, until winter.
“I believe I just gave you my answer on that one.” He reached down and twirled a lock of her hair around his finger. His touch could quickly go from good to bad, from bad to worse.
“Were you not listening?” He let the lock of her hair slip through his fingers and fall back down to her shoulders. She turned around to look at him.
“To be honest, Sir… I need to go home. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t bite my tongue. I can’t snuggle and call you ‘Master.’ It’s not true. You know I don’t feel that way. I’m scared of being here. I’m scared of you hurting me. I don’t feel the same about you.” She was pouring on a thin layer of confidence. Trying to control that much apprehension left her visibly shaking.
He turned his head to look at her.
“You’re not going home. You’ll snuggle and be glad I let you. You’ll call me Master because I own you. Trust me, you’ve got plenty of time to get comfortable with it. You best make sure that I know you’re comfortable with it, too. I expect you to make progress. You might not have feelings for me like before, but you will. You’ll submit again. It’ll be easier this time.” He reached out and tugged at a lock of her hair, playfully.
“Smile, pet. No need to fight a battle you can’t win.” He went back to his television show.
She was speechless. Her attention drifted towards the television, too.