People think I'm crazy. Ok, maybe not crazy but they think something is definitely wrong with uh guy who lets a woman treat him like Ame treats me — in public, no less.
She tones it down when we're around the family — her active ordering me around, at least. I still have to follow the rules of behavior when she's there. And she won't go to church with us because she is not a believer an' won't be disrespectful. But if you catch us at home, and I'm naked, that's your lookout.
That's not everyday — Ame's not completely insensitive to Granddad so on days when he's actually up, I stay dressed — but so long as this is her home, I follow orders.
I sleep on the floor. Two years ago, she gave me a dog bed for Christmas. Everybody figured we'd be getting a big dog soon. I still laugh when someone asks about it. Ame gets the whole queen-sized to herself most nights. Once every other month or so, the occasional holiday, my birthday, other 'special' special occasions, I get to sleep with her. I get to be Dom and she submits to any filthy, disgusting thing I want. Of course, usually all I want is to eat her out and fuck her hard, but we don't do that often. Normally, it's whips and muzzles and electrical charges up my dick.
Pain. In as many ways as she can think of without out leaving traces that get the police involved.
So, people think I'm crazy but mostly, I think they're jealous. I have the perfect life. I have a job I love, a home near a close family I adore, plenty of money and a woman who makes me believe that God is good and thank him every day for bringing her to me.
This is not to say that it's flawless. Working the fishing dock even for the family business can be hard and stressful. And Granddad has reached the final stages of Alzheimer's. We've had a live-in nurse for years but now the family has to decide if we want to put him away. I hate living with him like this but I can't stand the thought of his last years being with a bunch of strangers. Ame, gracefully, has left the matter in my hands — although that may be because it causes me emotional pain and any pain is a good thing to her.
But on balance, my life is good. I think about all this on my way home one summer afternoon. The business is doing well and the family is doing well. The only thing I don't have is what the evening mail reminds me of.
A wedding invitation from one of my high school buddies. Not a big deal. But it reminds me that Ame has said no for four years straight. No marriage, no kids, no ties. She wants to be available to walk out as soon as she gets bored. But she's not bored. And she makes just as many long term plans as I do. She's the one who wants to remodel the basement and install a pool out back. Those are not temporary or cheap. We argue about who forgot to pick up the dry cleaning and who goes to the ATM too often and other married stuff. Hell, we have a joint bank account. All I want is a ring and a photo to go with it. And a son.
I get to spend the first hour of my nights with Granddad. I'm rarely alone — my family drops by often and without warning — but Ame again is very gracious about the whole thing. I won't bore you with the details of my visits with Granddad but imagine watching the strongest man you have ever known slowly wasting away to less than nothing and you pretty much can fill in the details. If I didn't have to pull myself together and do things for Ame, I don't know how I would keep from curling up into a fetal ball and crying every night.
But, I do have to. So. I undress. And put on something house appropriate — leather collar and leash, ball-gag, anything that leaves most of my body bare but shows that I am someone else's property. Then I cook dinner. We eat together and discuss our day. Then, after I clean the kitchen, I do something to pamper her. I went to cosmetology school for like two semesters — on the very QT — to learn how to give her a manicure and a pedicure. She likes me to paint my toenails the same color as hers (which is a fucked up thing to explain at family outings). I also give her deep tissue massages, wash and condition her hair, give her facials and — very, very rarely — enemas to keep her clean and happy and comfortable. And lovely — which she would be even if neither of us did a damn thing.
Then later, after we watch a little TV or whatever else needs to be done in the evening, we go upstairs and she causes me pain. I came so hard once, I threw my back out.
Tonight, as I lie in my dog bed and revel in the ache and pains still lingering down my body, I have to ask again. "Ma'am?"
She doesn't respond at first. I'm not actually supposed to speak at this time. "Yes?"
I sit up. "I want to marry you."
"We have discussed this and..."
"I know, I know. You keep sayin' no. But, I don't want Granddad ta pass without a great grand son. I don't want Mom ta keep sayin' 'I won't ask, I promise' when I know she really just wanna know if we ever getting' hitched..."
" ... we're not..."
"I know. You say that and I know but please, Amelia, do this for me. Marry me. Have one kid. I will never ask another sacrifice of you again. You can use me as a toilet from the second you say yes 'til they put me in the ground. I will do anything, to be your husband. You'd actually have paperwork that say you own me."
"No, you'd have paperwork to own me. Marriage enslaves the bride not the groom."
"We'll rewrite the vows. I'll love, honor, cherish, and obey. Hell, I do it anyway. I just wanna do it publicly; I wanna do it so that everybody in the world know how we feel about each other."
She looks thoughtful — which was a first for this conversation. "And would I finally be your only mistress?"
"You already are. Unless you mean God."
"You know who I mean." She sits down at her dresser and starts combing her hair — a stress habit despite how relaxed she looks. "Would I finally out rank Peter?"
The world goes silent as that name echoes out of my ears and across the state.
"Peter was never my..." I start but I cannot look in her direction and finish that sentence. She has never asked me directly. I wonder how long she's known. "You always have." I lie softly.
"Really?" She pulls a few more strokes. "What's rule number one?"
I pause then say, "Don't be late." Her reflection stares at me and I break quickly. "No running, no jumping, no swimming."
"Because it was the rule Peter set the day after he saved me." I whisper it.
"I will not marry you, because I will always be second. I cannot compete with someone who owns not simply your body but your actual soul." She counts another ten strokes. "Now, if he gave you to me that would be another matter. But it's taken you five years to admit it was him. I sincerely doubt he or little miss priss would ever hand you over completely."
"He would — he will." I rush, crawling halfway to her. "Far as he concerned, he gave me ta you back in college." I take a breath and control myself. "He has not taken advantage of my lingering issues. And Gwen has never had any authority. Hell, she lived with us for two years an' never figured it out."
"Did you cheat on me?" She asks, her hand pausing in mid-stroke.
"The night you meet Peter, the four of us went to dinner. You remember that?"
"You told me you ain't want me seein' any one else. Well, that night, me an' Peter had our last session. He said, I couldn't have two so I had ta pick one of you. And I picked you, Ame. It's been you since we meet."
I can see her considering this. She puts down her brush. "Braid." I crawl behind her and braid her hair into one thick loose braid to sleep in. I'm almost finished when she says. "I didn't know. I suspected. For a while, I mean. But at school, I really didn't know." I don't say any thing; my mouth is my weak spot she often reminds me. "You were just insubordinate enough to look like siblings not lovers. Beth, I suspected about and you as much let slip once when you were entirely too drunk. But Peter ... I couldn't quite confirm it." She got up and climbed in to bed. I did like wise as she turned out the light.
Then, in the darkness, she says, "Tell me about him. Everything."
There isn't much to tell. Peter was the Dom, I was sub. He said it, I did it. "He rarely do more-n spank me because he ain't into pain. But, I don't know, something 'bout the way he would look at me when he gave me an order. I just knew, if he wanted, he'd make me pay if I didn't do it. I fucked this married girl once — teacher — he 'bout killed me. Once uh year or so, we'd take uh boat and go out, just the two of us." I find myself unconsciously fingering the scar on my scrotum. "That's where he'd extract any real pain. You the only one ever made me scream like that. 'Course, you only one ever done uh whole lotta shit ta me."
She doesn't respond. I'm awake most of the night trying to figure out which of them I've just been more disloyal to. The next morning, I'm up and out by 5am. I'm just a touch grouchy, which most people presume is due to trouble with Granddad. I was the same way just before Grandma died.
At lunch, my phone rings. "I want to meet him." Ame says.
"You already know him. We have dinner like once a week."
She's silent and suddenly, I realize what she means. She doesn't want to meet Peter, she want to met My Dominant. She wants to see him run me through my paces and humiliate me in front of her for his own amusement.
"We don't..." I start but I don't finish. It's true, we don't but even a look from him still gets me. "Gwen."
She hangs up.
After dinner, she goes to bed. I find my dog bed at the top of the stairs. I'll be honest; I can take this treatment from her for about two days. Then I will literally beg her to take me back. It's happened on rare occasion before. There is no point in me trying to prove I'm a man. With her, I'm not. I'm a pussy-whipped little punk who will take whatever shit she gives me and thank her for it.
The next night, I don't go home. I go to Peter's.
"Hey, what up?" He greets me at the door, still in his swim trunks. I can't help but take a glance around for Gwen then feel him up. He smacks my hand away, "Come on, dude," He laughs, "my wife's around here somewhere. Go on out back. I'll grab uh couple beers." He smacks my ass hard as I go past him. How Gwen doesn't know we used to fuck, I have not a clue.
I'm there for about an hour before I finally blurt it out. "Ame knows about us."
He chokes. "Come again?" he coughs out.
"I asked her to marry me and she asked if she would out rank you if she said yes."
He gets that hard, cold closed look. The one that made me start callin' him 'Sir' in the first place.
"What did you say?"
"Sir-" It slipped out and he glares at me. I gesture helplessly, "Peter, what could I say? She wants to meet you. I mean, 'you' you. Y'know..."
"I know what she means." He stops me before I get too wound up. He sits still for about another minute then he picks up the phone. "Ame. I guess we need to talk." He quiet for a long time. Then he looks at me. "Yeah, ok." He says. "I can do that. Let me check my calendar and get back to you." He hangs up and takes a deep breath. "Go home, Alex. She and I will handle this."
It's ok, little boy, mommy and daddy will make it all better. Run along and play.
I want to break something.
I have one trump card in my house. When I get home, I play it. "Get dressed." I tell Ame. "We're going out." When I'm mad — really, truly, utterly, pissed off — we go dancing. I lead, she follows and we stay on the dance floor until I say we sit down. I take her to my favorite club and we salsa for a good two hours before I yield.
"Do you want to discuss it, now?" she asks as we find a table and catch our breaths.
"I don't appreciate you an' Peter treatin' me like I'm ten."
"But that's what you are." She states plainly. "A child being taken care of by a Dominant and a Mistress. You make no decisions for yourself. I do. Or Peter does. I don't know how often you turn to him instead of me."
"Never." I hit the table then pull my hand in before I go too far. "You are it now. Only you."
"But you never really stopped obeying Peter, did you? He just stopped giving you orders." I could claim that those are the same thing but they're not and I know they're not. "I can't marry you if he could countermand at any time. If I become your wife — if I give you that kind of authority — I want to know that I am the only one."
"Ame, what's the difference? Why are you making this so damn hard?"
"Once we are married, people will make assumptions. Man and wife. He finally won her. You will become publicly, the master. I don't want to place myself in a position where you might think you have some power."
"Ame," I laugh, "I have so little power. If you told me ta slit my wrist, I'd likely do it. All I want is to be able to show publicly that you love me as much as I love you. Give me that ring, and I'll do what ever you want 'til hell freeze over."
"I want to watch you and Peter together. I want to see what his hold over you is and I want him to give you to me." She looks away from me. "Do that and I might say yes."
"But I plan the service..."
" ... of course..."
" ... and I will not say traditional vows..."
" ... say anything you want so long it end with 'I do'..."
" ... And you will be collared."
I trip on that one. "At my wedding?" Then I let it go. "OK, sure. Whatever. You sayin' yes?"
"I'm thinking about it."
"If Peter give me to you and I do all the rest, will you marry me?"
"If. I am not making any promises."
"If. Ok, if. Amelia," I get on my knee beside her and take her hand. She hates these kinds of public displays but I can't help myself. "Amelia Da'o Wilson, if I promise to be a good slave and love and honor and cherish and obey you, will you marry me?"
She actually blushes. She looks at everything around us. She tries to pull her hands away but I won't let them go. "Yes." She finally whispers.
I don't stop grinning for two days.
Despite herself, I keep catching Ame grinning too.
She won't let me make a big public announcement but a couple days later, she mails out very tasteful announcement cards. I know the family starts receiving them when my Mother jumps me on the dock as the boats are coming in. She's waving the card and yelling. "Why didn't you tell me!" She hits me hard after she kisses me.
"Mom! We on the dock —"
"I don't care! Oh, Baby, I'm so happy! When are you having the service?" She takes a breath and comes up short. "Or is this another of Ame's 'things'. Does she not want to have a service?"
"We're having a service." I grab the rope tossed at me. "Mom. Let me finish up here, ok? Ame and I will come by later tonight, ok? You two can figure out all the details. Ok?"
It was useless. In the next half hour, all of my aunts show up at the dock house pestering me and half the rest of the family calls.
I had to call Ame. "We gotta go to Uncle Julius' house tonight."
"We have to?"
"If Ima get any more work done here today, yeah."
She's silent for a moment. "Fine. I'll meet you there." She hangs up.
Since I was a ten-minute walk from the house, I beat her there by a couple hours and relate the edited version of how I proposed a good fifty times. All my cousins show up. A couple of them know how things really are with Ame and I and ask what Peter thinks of all this. I tell them if Peter doesn't like it, he can go fuck himself. I almost believe it.
Beth, Peter, Gwen and Darrell arrive together. Beth, Peter and I slip upstairs for a couple minutes.
"I owe you guy everything." I say. It was the only thing I could say. They just hold me.
By the time we make it back downstairs, everyone but Ame is there. "Don't make a big deal about it." I keep saying. They get some of Caesar and Willow's construction paper and put up a big congratulations poster.
Willow and Caesar are actually the ones who greet Ame at the door. Even she can't resist hugging them. "You two are wrinkling my suit." She complains but she doesn't push them away, I notice. "All of this is really unnecessary. I would hardly think this is unexpected. Honestly, how long can anyone live with him pestering them on a daily basis?"
"Not long." Peter agrees. "But still, congratulations." He kisses her cheek and whispers something to her.
Over dinner, the conversation never strays from where, when and how the ceremony will take place. Aunt Rachael offers the front yard and to my shock, Ame accepts. I'm getting' married under the traditional family willow tree. The colors will be peach and lavender. One bride's maid, one groom's man.
"Dude?" I say.
"On it." Peter answered.
As if there was any question.
"I'm sure I don't need to tell you all that I do not intend to have a traditional service or say traditional vows?" Ame asks.
"This is a family wedding." My mother starts but Dad cuts in.
"Ame, I think so long as you keep in mind that the children will be present, we can be very flexible."
"George!" Mom snaps, "Don't you men have something to do with yourselves?"
"Not if I'm cuttin' the check for this I don't."
"Dad, it's cool." I hadn't even thought about cost. "We got this. Right, Hon?"
"Of course." Ame looks annoyed — she always is by money. "The bride's family pays for the wedding traditionally. I would never dream of asking you to pay for it."
"Yeah, but yo' Daddy ain't here." Uncle Julius spoke up. "So we'd be please ta fill that roll in this case. An' although, I hate ta bring up such things, but ya'll need ta have yo' attorneys draw up pre-nuptials an' what not."
"Daddy!" Aunt Elizabeth got up and took his empty plate. "Now, you hush up all that foolishness! This is uh celebration. Thay can talk 'bout all that non-sense later. You just let them enjoy bein' in love fo' just un minute."
"He can't help it." Aunt Rachael laughs. "If there isn't a contract, it isn't true love."
"Hush up, woman." He grouses.
"Uncle Julius, I appreciate your offer," Ame wipes her mouth delicately. As soon as her napkin, fork and knife hit her plate, I'm up and clearing her dishes. "But he and I are quite able to afford what I have in mind."
"Ya'll can hush up with that foolishness as well." Uncle Julius booms over her. "Marcus an' Candice ain't here ta give ya'll uh proper send off. Least I can do for my brother is see his grandson get uh proper weddin' an' honeymoon. Now I'm not hearin' unother word on who payin' fo' what, you jus' best get with George an' Charles an' yo' personal attorney an' see ta them legal details. Hear?"
I go into the kitchen. Ame is stubborn but Uncle Julius always wins. He is not above playing dirty to get his way. By the time I return, Ame is thanking him for his generosity and Julius is looking smug.
"Thug." Aunt Rachael kisses him as she finishes clearing the table.
"My house, my rules." He says, settling back comfortably. "Now, you got any idea when you wanna have this here weddin' or you still workin' that out?"
"September." Ame doesn't even hesitate.
"Oh, the fall will be lovely." Mom's eyes light up. "But why so soon?"
"We met in fall. It seems appropriate." She sees the look on Mom's face. "Oh. No, there's only one announcement here — we're not with child."
"I never even thought that." Mom denies and snickers pass around the table.
"Oh, you so did." Aunt Elizabeth teases. The rest of the evening is taken up with discussions of proposals and short engagements — in my parent's case one week — and past weddings.
We are on our way home when it hits me. I actually stop the car in the middle of the street — there's no traffic but Ame stares at me like I'm crazy.
"You ain't seen Peter an' me yet."
"But you send out the announcements. You started planning."
"Yes." I stare at her, grinning 'cause for once, I think I won. "Peter stopped by my office a few days ago. We had lunch and discussed a few things. We will still have our private ceremony but Peter was able to convince me that his interest in you is ... familial."
"Yes. Sunday." She looks away; Ame's not good with emotional stuff. "We'll have a public service to satisfy your family in September. I'm sure that will keep your mother and my sister happy. But our wedding will be Sunday. Just those who need to be involved."
"You, me, Peter." I'm shaking. I'm getting married on Sunday.
The rest of the week is a fog. I'm getting married on Sunday. But I can't tell anyone that. The crews all give me shit about having cold feet three months before the wedding being understandable if you about to marry the wicked witch of the fuckin' east.
Sunday, after church, Peter goes home with me. Ame is reading to Granddad when we get there. He doesn't seem to know who reading or what but we all take turns doing it anyway. She joins us in the living room when she finishes the chapter.
"How do you want to do this?" Peter asks her.
"I want to understand. I can never replace you. You'll always be right there. But if I understand what he gets from you, then maybe I can provide it." She looks thoughtful. "Part of it. I suspect some of it is the masculinity; I can never provide that."
"You could find him a boyfriend." Peter suggests. He's joking. I think.
"Or I could let him play with you once in a while."
"Me?" Peter looks at me. I don't say anything; she came out of left field with that one. "Gwen would never go along with that."
"Does she approve of today?"
"She doesn't know."
"Then why tell her about anything else?"
"She's my wife. Look, Ame, I'm only here because marrying you is Alex's favorite subject. If this is what it takes, then fine. But I'm not endangering my relationship with Gwen just 'cause you wanna watch two guys fuck."
"Eloquent." Ame purses her lips.
Peter's face gets that set look. Oddly enough, I realize that Ame has almost the identical expression. "Alex." He goes straight to 'command form' like he's never stopped. "Do you still have your collar and cuffs?"
"Yeah." They cost too much to toss but I have no idea where they are. "Somewhere."
"Get them." I head upstairs. "And your leash." I start with the most likely place and get lucky. All three are wrapped neatly in a protective case. I look at them for a moment. The leash we bought at Petco. But the leather collar and cuffs were handmade in Bangkok. They're beautiful. I hope to God they still fit — Peter will have no qualms at all with choking me today. I'm almost out the bedroom door when it dawns on my that I'd better get the metal collar, cuffs and chains that Ame lets me wear on special occasions. And I remember to grab her purse — she'll want that if we go out today.
In the living room, Ame and Peter seem to have worked out the initial tension. Peter shows her the leather pieces and tells her about the day we got them. He shows her my tattoo — which she'd already seen — and explains why the St. Andrew design and why on my spine. He puts on the collar and cuffs. They're a bit tight but I'll live.
"I never made him wear the leash in public, but I threatened to." Peter smiles. "It's amazing how well behaved he can be when he's got uh boner."
"Yes. I've found that too." Ame strokes the collar. "It's beautiful work. Do you mind if he keeps it?"
"Not at all. I'd planned to hand delivery them to his new master or mistress but, well, things didn't quite work out that way."
"Why didn't you want to tell me?"
"Incest is a touchy subject at best." He shrugs. "And when it became apparent that you were in it for the long haul, it just seemed better ta let it die." Peter sits down. "Did he tell you how it all started?"
"That you rescued him from drowning and one thing led to another." She looks at me. "He was a bit vague about the details."
Peter tells her everything. In minute detail. Lisa. My suicide attempt. The very first beating. I sit and listen. It all sounds sort of unreal; no one's life is that jacked up. Ame leaves the room.
She returns with a wooden spoon. My dick jumps. I can't help it. I can't even cook with wooden spoons without thinking about getting beat with one.
"You never mentioned that to me." She strokes my cheek with the head of it.
"No, Ma'am." I manage to keep my voice level.
"I think I'll save this for later."
I swallow hard. I cannot wait for later. Peter goes on with my life story. Jessie. Brandon. Lindsey.
"He had this aggressive streak. It became apparent real fast that he didn't know what consent meant." Peter looks at me. "My biggest fear still is that one day you'll just forget. You'll get drunk or angry and rape someone. I worried about you, Ame, for a long time. I don't know how you've kept that demon of his in check for so long..."
"I haven't." she says simply. "I let him unleash it on me occasionally."
" ... Oh." Peter stays quiet for a few minutes absorbing that one.
I open my mouth then shut it. If they want my contribution to this, they'll ask. I'm uh sub, be uh sub.
"You thought I'd castrated him completely."
He starts to deny it then nods. "Yeah. Whole family does. Most of 'em pretty upset over it."
"What would I do with a tiger with no teeth?" Ame looks at me almost fondly. "The whole fun of it is that if I lose control of him, he'll win. If I actually break him, there's no sport."
"So what if you do manage ta break him?" Peter's voice goes quiet. I open my mouth again but, again, my input is not required. It's maddening sitting like a piece of furniture but I should be used to it. I'm not, but I should be. "Will you just walk out on him?"
She seems surprised by the question. "Of course. I told him I didn't want to make this permanent. He's the one who wants the marriage. He'll have to take the emotional risk that I'll leave."
"You sure 'bout this, Alex?" Peter suddenly asks.
"Yes, Sir." I look at Ame and smile. "I've never been more sure about anything. I love her."
"He loves anything that hurts him." She shakes her head. "It's a wonder he's not more self destructive."
"He used to be."
She frowns. "I haven't eaten yet. Make us all lunch."
I wasn't expecting that. "Yes, Ma'am." I check on Granddad; he's asleep. I make something quick for him and his nurse and something nice for Ame and Peter. I set the table; they're still talking softly. I come stand at the door 'til she acknowledges me. Sometimes I feel like such uh pussy. I used to have balls.
"Yes?" She finally says impatiently.
"You want lunch or what?" I snap back. Internally, I wince. Peter never minded if I broke a little discipline so long as I didn't break a rule. Ame is considerably more strict.