Alice tried to remember who had given her the key…surely it could not have been her lover, Thomas, though the man’s words perfectly mimicked his voice. Whoever that man was gave her a choice to make, and Thomas never afforded her that luxury.
She pondered his statement of the key. “You are always free to not love me, and if ever you decide that you no longer love me, set yourself truly free and be gone. But if you love me, you will commit to me and hand me this key back, considering all your other freedoms mine. You will be present at all times for my desires, always within acquiescence access of whatever I decide to do to you.”
She felt herself shaking at the words, and forced herself to inhale – held for a feeling of control, exhaled and released her tension…well, most of it. She knew Thomas as a demanding lover, a commanding presence both in his professional and private life. She also knew he was perceptive and not unduly harsh – the latter a fact his household staff appreciated, the first they groaned at when everything was noticed when not done correctly. His praise was sparse, but when it came, it was so gloriously felt.
Alice did not want to think; she wanted to have this momentous decision taken from her. She did not relish the responsibility for her own possible demise. And she certainly didn’t want to admit that she was willing to sacrifice so much to another’s will.
Yet, she did love him, and she felt like she fully came alive under Thomas’ love. She knew he loved her, though those words were as rare as his praise. She fancied a quick daydream where he was pacing in his bedroom, awaiting her decision. Smiling, she shook her head a little at how preposterous that idea was, and found her feet moving of their own accord towards his room.
Nervously, her hands once again shaking, she knocked. She gripped the key so tightly in her fist she felt that she would cut herself on the metal, felt like the imprint would forever be there to be viewed whenever she uncurled her fingers and exposed her palm. When he granted permission to enter, she opened the door a little too vigorously and stood stumped in the threshold.
In the immense room, he was sitting on the couch by the window, reading a book, the sun cascading over his fabulous form, beaming on half of him, casting shadows on the other. Such a complicated man, she thought.
“Yes?” he asked, one eyebrow raised in askance.
His voice was soft and collected, as it always was, but she flinched as if he yelled at her. She spun around and shut the door, took another long breath and stared at the wood, realized she still had no idea what she would decide to his proposal, had half hoped she would simply enter and he would sweep her up and make the resolution for her.
Her back felt warm, and she hoped he wasn’t staring at it as she stared stupidly at a door for far too long. She turned around again.
The key hurt in her hand.
The walk was incredibly long to span the room.
His gaze was steadily following her, the book placed beside his solid thigh. She stared at the floor as she moved, hoped she looked like she confidently floated, felt like was in danger of falling at every move. She saw his feet and glanced up at the man. Why was he not talking, not moving? It was unnerving.
It was her move to make.
Knowing he waited on her, she sunk down the floor, grateful to not be relying on unstable legs to hold her up any longer, grateful for the fullness of her skirts shielding what felt like tangled limbs underneath. She couldn’t take his piercing look any more and looked to his hands, those beautiful hands that played her body as if she was a instrument capable of heavenly music, now rested on his lap.
“I-,” she closed her mouth quickly, knowing she wouldn’t be able to get words out of her mouth fully formed, capable of the depth of her thoughts right now. She raised her hand and offered the key, offered her will and her love to him. One of his hands moved- she imagined it hesitated in enjoyable surprise- and gently, softly, as if he was afraid she would close her palm and didn’t want to alert her with touch, took possession of the key. It disappeared into a pocket.
Alice had a conflicted instinct to smile at his almost childlike insistence and a desire to run away from the firmness of the man before her.
“Yours.” She was proud she didn’t squeak that word, that she sounded collected and assured.
Suddenly she was seized at her throat and her hair, her head forced up and her eyes directed at Thomas. He seemed to be searching her expression for clues, she tracked the movement of his eyes calmly.
She was His.
He pulled her up from that position and dragged her across the couch, the forgotten book barely noticeable under her thighs, kissed her on the mouth for a profound length of time, till she ached and was breathless. He uncovered his body from hers, kneeled beside her gasping body, raised her skirts to her knees, the fingers warm and teasing against her skin. Relaxed, at peace, she rested her gaze comfortably on his face and watched him. He removed her boots and stockings and she felt something cold encompassing her ankle before hearing a click. She leaned up on elbows and curiously looked at the thin shackle on her ankle, surprised that she felt no panic, surprised at the gesture and felt pleased with the gift. She imagined him running rope through it to hold her down, and felt herself grow wet with the thought.
When he completed the other ankle, he moved to her head. His hands again took position of her head by means of throat and hair so she couldn’t look away. “What are you committing to?”
She gulped, hated that he asked her for words. She felt herself grow hot and wished she could turn her gaze away from him. She felt the unfamiliar weight on her ankles. “I belong to you. I am yours. I am whatever you want me to be, whenever you will have me.”
He smiled and she felt so proud of his approval. He leaned down and kissed her again, this time more tenderly but with no less passion.
She loved this man who had given her the key.