Here it is, the last episode of this story. I have finally managed to write a longer story to the end. I hope I still have managed to surprise you a little.
Returning home was strange. It had all come so easy to me during the trip. There had been so little reluctance, so little protest. I wanted it. That was the truth I had begun to live with, I wanted it.
We had a rather blessed month. He was home a lot and I spent most of my time in his flat. I was naked a lot, I knelt a lot and somehow this made it easier for me. The formality, the positions, the poses, the movements and the words, all seemed to make it normal and acceptable to be what I was, or had become. I was his slave.
It was a silly word. I knew all about slavery, the social context and the implications of it and what I experienced was nothing compared to that. Still there was something of a truth in calling me a slave.
I did accept it, I was the one allowing it, so in a way it was by free will and by definition a long way from slavery. But inside that bubble, in the context of being with him, it was still true. He commanded and I obeyed, he used me and I provided what he wanted, I pleased him and did what he required of me.
There was bliss in that. It was good to be free of the responsibility and I had showed myself and him that I was prepared to go through a lot of ordeal to live up to his expectations.
It was no smooth sailing. He sometimes wanted to assert himself, to show me who I was. Sometimes he just fancied it. And this meant spelling out on my body the truth of my position, it meant him taking his whip to me.
It was all part of the deal, part of being loved by him and loving him, trusting him and being with him. In some strange way, I was happy those weeks.
It all changed. It didn't happen in a sudden but the change was still dramatic.
It all started one evening, when I had gone to his flat after my lectures. As ordered, I stripped off in the hallway and put away my clothes. I went into the flat, naked, and looked around to make sure that everything was in order.
I didn't know when to expect him so I couldn't start cooking for him and the rooms were meticulously cleaned. I saw that the flowers needed water so I attended to that.
This was not as easy as it may sound. It meant standing in the window for some time and expose myself to anyone who happened to be watching. I know he liked that and wouldn't mind the rumours but I was still embarrassed.
When I was done, I sat down to read. I had to wait for him quite a while and when he finally opened the door I was bored. I flew up and hurried into the hallway to greet him.
He smiled at my 'welcome home, Sir' and took his coat off and gave it to me.
It was then it happened. I held the coat close to my face and smelled it, a silly gesture of affection.
My heart started beating. I had smelt something new, someone new. I was quite sure it wasn't a man.
Smell is strange. It is one of the most powerful senses there is, yet it is illusive. I wasn't sure I could pinpoint the smell, still I knew I had felt something different.
My mind started racing, my heart was beating hard. I gathered myself and asked him what he wanted for dinner.
I didn't much like the sense of distance I felt between us, the question marks that seemed to stand before me. I had to ask him, my trust in him demanded it.
'Sir?' I said, a little later.
'Yes, what is it?'
'Do you have someone else, besides me?'
'What do you mean?'
'I mean, do you have other women?'
'You are my one and only.'
'I am glad, Sir.'
I felt calmer. I trusted him. Still I couldn't get the nagging feeling out of my head. I felt as if I betrayed him by thinking like that and thought that I probably was.
I had managed to forget the whole incident until one evening when he took me to a party. It was a quite formal thing, with black ties and cocktail dresses.
As usual I was dressed in a short clinging thing that made me feel naked. I had come to almost enjoy this sensation. It was as if the dress was the sign of ownership, like it showed me off as his woman, his slave.
He introduced me to a colleague of his, a woman dressed in a red dress, less revealing than mine but still quite stylish and attention seeking.
She seemed really happy to see him and hugged him closely. In her friendliness and perhaps as a token of her appreciation of him she hugged me too.
I knew in that instance who she was. I knew she had hugged him before. How much do you have to hug a man to leave your scent on him? More than a friendly embrace, surely.
I looked into her face and she smiled at me. I knew she had been with him, she told me as clearly as if she had spoken the words.
I had to ask him. There was no other way. I simply had to find out.
I tried to think about what it meant if he really was intimate with this woman. Did I have the right to keep him for myself? If I really was his slave, his woman, who was I to demand that of him? I didn't know how I would react but I needed to know.
The whole evening my head was full of strange images of this woman coming home to his flat. In my mind she sometimes sat in the sofa with him and I hurried around, naked, waiting on them, or she watched when I was whipped, maybe she even touched me. Maybe I had to watch them kiss, or worse. Sometimes I saw her with pulled up skirt, knickers around her knees, getting the cane.
I tried to calm my beating heart and thought that this was my next ordeal, my next test of loyalty.
'Sir,' I said, as we returned to his flat, 'you have had that woman.'
'What makes you say that?'
'I know you have, Sir.'
'What if I have?'
'It is true, isn't it?'
'Only a couple of times. It doesn't change anything.'
'Sir, it does.'
'No, it doesn't, I have never promised to be faithful, what makes you think you have exclusive rights?'
I stood in silence for a while, looking at him.
'You don't get it, Sir.'
'No, I don't get it, what's the matter with you?'
'You told me you hadn't been with her.'
'I didn't want to hurt you.'
'You lied to me, Sir, you lied when I asked you a question. You don't see what you have done, do you?'
'What have I done?' He looked annoyed and a little bewildered.
'You have wrecked it all, that is what you have done. You don't get it, why would you? You went off with another woman, and I have tried to get my head around what it would be like sharing you with someone else. I know I would be jealous, angry, hurt and envious but I think, no, I know you would help me with that, maybe the whip would come in handy for jealousy, and I think, I really think that I could cope with it. I have gone through so much with you, been forced to accept and like things I never thought was possible, never thought I could cope with. You have helped me through it with carrot and stick, literally, so why wouldn't I manage this too? No, I am sure I would. But that is not the point. I obey you in everything and the one thing I need from you, the only thing that has to be firm and constant, the only thing that matters at the end of the day, that is trust. I don't know if I could live without being loved, maybe it would be possible but I know I have to trust you. And now you have broken that trust. You have lied to me. It's over, it was sweet, but now it is gone.'
I turned around and opened the door. He said nothing as I went out into the night and left him behind.
I walked through the streets, in my clinging dress, in my thin shoes, crying like a baby. I didn't care. It was over. I didn't know why I was so sure. I just knew I couldn't be with him if I couldn't trust him.
I don't know how I got through those days. Sarah, dear Sarah helped me. She held me and let me cry, she didn't try to talk and give advice, no she just stayed there and held me close.
He contacted me. He wanted me back. Maybe he understood what he had done, maybe not. He didn't apologise and I am not sure it had made any difference.
I crashed this time too, as I always did when a relationship didn't work out. And again I got my feet back on the ground, slowly.
I was back at work and I knew I loved it. I was a changed person though. He had added something, or opened up a passage to a part of me that had been hidden.
I didn't stop my research, I stuck to my guns, I was still the same. The difference was that now I knew what I longed for. I still blush when I think of it, how I long to kneel naked at someone's feet.