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.
.... There is more of this story ...