She lights the candles scattered around the room, taking her time to allow the darkness to become thin slices of light in his narrow field of vision against the mask. There is only the steady sound of each other breathing, the smallness of which fills the entire room and she waits, holding the quiet between them in suspense.
He hears the clink of metal and the soft shuffle of her heels on the carpet. The sound appears to surround him and he cannot tell where she is in the room. As instructed, he keeps his head down as he kneels on the carpet in the centre of the room.
He wants to know where she is, to look up and see her silhouette against the light and feel reassured that she is still there. A moment of panic, of childish need and quiet desperation runs through him and he is tempted to raise his head but he hesitates and breathes in deeply. The heady scent of leather and the light touch of Miss Olivia’s hand cream from where she had caressed his face before blindfolding him steadies his nerves.
Fingers trace lightly on his back. In the few moments he had let his awareness slip away, she has slipped closer to him. The sensation shocks him back in to the present.
“Where were you?” she demands.
“I was wondering where you were Mistress.” His voice tightens in his throat, dry and brittle as the words come out.
A warmth strokes across the side of his face: her breath close to him.
“Then you were not here,“ she whispers.
“In fact,” He feels the warmth pull away from him “You have been quite remiss. I have been calling you and you have only just answered.”
He feels another warmth in his cheeks, this time burning with embarrassment.
“I’m sorry Mistress, I don’t remember hearing you call me. Please accept my apologies if my mind had wandered again.”
“Not now. Not here. Before. I have been calling you for some time.”
“I’m sorry Mistress, I don’t understand.”
“I am the siren’s call in your dreams, I am Lilith come back for you, I am the writhing sweat-soaked sleep you call rest.”
A coldness slithers down across his back and encircles his wrists behind him. A click as the chains are padlocked together.
The panic rises up again. How does she know? Only an hour before they had been sat together over dinner, conversing with ease and now, here he was naked, blindfolded, and chained in his hotel room.
“I know what you dream of at night,” she continues. “I know that you come home tired and by the time you crawl into bed you’re completely exhausted. I know that you long to sleep but sleep is no respite as the dreams prevent restful sleep.”
He lifts his head up in curiosity. It is met by a forceful push back down.
“Sorry Mistress.” He gathers his thoughts. “I was wondering how you know about my dreams?”
She stands closer to him, clasps a handful of his hair and pulls his cheek against her leg. He feels the softness of her stocking, the tautness of her strong muscles and feels overcome with emotion. He cannot say what it is, only that it is a rising feeling like fear or overwhelming happiness. Tears begin to well up in his eyes behind the leather mask and small sobs punctuate the stillness of the room. Her hand strokes his exposed neck.
“I know what you have been hiding from. It is time to stop hiding.”
He nods in agreement, thankful that the mask prevents his tears from damping his Mistress’ leg.
“You dream of me…you dream of me,” she soothes.
Deeper sobs erupt from him, pulsations of deep-buried fear and she allows him to be, close to her, vulnerable but safe. A hand reaches behind his head and removes the blindfold. She moves in front of him, lifting his chin with her hand.
“Slowly open your eyes.”
In the flickering darkness, as his vision returns, he sees before him the woman of his desires, this alchemist of desire, unattainable and yet here in front of him. Her very presence begins to quell the emptiness he feared would haunt him forever.
“Do you trust me?” she asks.
“I do, Mistress. I trust you completely.”
“Then we are ready to begin,” she smiles.
He focuses on her eyes glinting in the dark and feels the weight of the chains behind his back and for the first time in many years, feels that he is truly free.