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‘You can do this,’ the message on Claire’s mobile read.
But she felt anything but brave and capable. It had been three months since her Master’s death, but the wound felt as open, as raw, as it had that night as she held His still body in her arms. His death like His life was His choice. The ravages of the illness that had plagued His once strong body and mind for as long as she had known Him had become more than He could bear.
He had told her from the beginning that when that day came, He would take His own life. Slaves don’t argue with Masters, but she had watched Him battle those demons for so long that she would not have, even if she could. Her only request had been that she wanted to share His final moments, just as they had shared much of the last five years.
It was a risk, they both knew that. His family barely knew of her existence. He wanted to protect His teen sons and ex-wife from the reality of His lifestyle. They knew her only as a casual girlfriend. And while it was uncommon, there was always the possibility that she could be prosecuted for assisted suicide if they knew her part in it. Even though He had taken the pills by His own hand.
It had been worth it though. She would not have missed those final moments of laughter and loving for anything. Of course, the tears had come after. As she lay holding His still body in her arms. Even though her lips pressed to His had shared His final breath, taking some small part of His spirit inside of her, or so she wanted to believe, still she found herself staring at His chest, looking for some sign of breath for hours it seemed.
Finally, she did as they planned, slipping quietly from His home into the bright sunshine. She had wiped at her face with the back of her arm, blaming the sunlight for the tears that blurred her vision. She waited until she was safely at her home before calling His ex-wife. She had performed her final scene with such aplomb. She should have received an Oscar or BAFTA for such a performance.
“Have you heard from Him? I haven’t in a couple of days. I am so worried. This is not like Him. Would you mind going over? Just to check on Him? You are so much closer, otherwise I would go myself. Yes, yes, thank you. I am sure it is nothing, but I feel so much better. Yes, please do call me, just to reassure me.”
Then it had begun. She had waited. For hours for a call that never came. Finally in desperation, she had phoned back. His oldest son had answered. When she asked to speak to his mother, she had been put on hold. For fifteen minutes. Then just as she was about to hang up, a voice came on the line. A male one…older. His brother this time. He informed her that now was not a good time as the family was in mourning.
So she had been pushed completely aside. All that they had shared for the past five years had counted for nothing. Their bonds that to both of them were deeper and more meaningful than those that either had felt in their marriages meant nothing to these people. His family. His ‘real’ family had taken over. She had not even gone to the memorial service. Not that one anyway.
This one was hers. Hers and their friends in the BDSM community. They had had so many. Before His illness got so bad they had gone to munches and play parties. Even afterwards, they had remained close to their friends. They texted and messaged. They even occasionally hosted dinner parties…during His good spells.
Those friends had been there for her these past few months. The lifestyle really was a community. Bound together not just by their shared kink but by the very thing that had torn her apart. They were outcasts…all of them. And only among themselves were they free to be themselves.
Once more she brushed at her face with the back of her arm, just as she had that day. But the darkness of the ladies’ bathroom did not afford her the convenient excuse of sunlight upon which to blame her tears.
“There you are?” came the voice from just over her shoulder. “We have all been looking for you.”
Claire swallowed past the tightness in her throat and forced a smile at her sister. Not her ‘real’ sister of course. But the truth was that this woman was far more of a sister than the ones that shared her DNA. Just as He had been far more to her than any husband could be.
“I can’t seem to get this damned corset on,” and like flood waters after the dam broke, her tears cascaded down her cheeks. Her friend engulfed her in the tightest embrace she had known since those final moments. And though it was the soft warmth of ample bosoms that comforted her and not the fresh manly scent of her ‘fuzzy pillow’ it was enough in that moment.
“Damn it!” she cursed as she pulled back from her friend’s embrace and stared in the mirror once more. She turned on the water and splashed some on her face. Though it did nothing to hide the swollen redness of her eyes.
The firm hand upon her shoulder squeezed its reassurance. “Good thing He never liked you fully casino siteleri made up. Your bottom would be lined with scarlet cane marks if He had. You know how much He expected His property to looks its best.”
Claire chuckled as she nodded at her friend in the mirror. “Well, then would you help me get this thing laced up? I can’t disappoint Him.”
Their friend nodded as tears glistened in her own eyes. “You never could, sweetie. That man loved you as few in this fucked up world ever know.”
Claire sniffled as she fought back the tears once more. “And I loved Him as I could never imagine loving another. But you better get to it. Or this damned thing will be over before we get out there.”
“Hey, who do you think you are?” her friend joked as she landed a sound slap upon Claire’s bottom. “You better remember some respect, dear. I am the Domme after all.”
They both chuckled and chatted as they got about the work of lacing up the corset. “Is that tight enough, sweetie?” her friend enquired. “Can you breathe?”
“Then it ain’t tight enough,” they both chuckled as her friend pulled tighter at the lacing on the back. “Breathing is so over-rated,” she quoted Him perfectly.
With one final glance in the mirror, Claire gathered her strength. She reminded herself that she was among friends, family even. She held her head high just as He had taught her. She gathered her friend’s hand in hers and held tight as they walked to the door. “Let’s do this then,” she sighed as she opened it.
Claire did not know what she had expected. She had been hiding in the bathroom for close to half an hour. And in that time, the tiny pub that had hosted so many of the munches they shared with their friends had filled to over-flowing. The intimate get together that usually number a dozen or so kinksters had grown to at least fifty and perhaps even a hundred people, if the heads she could see through the windows were any indication. “Oh my god,” she exclaimed.
Her friend’s fingers tightened around hers. “What did you expect, sweetie? You know how much your blogs meant to this community. The intimate way that both of you opened your hearts and minds up to all of us has touched so many. Of course, people want to say good-bye to Him. Want to be here to support you now.”
Claire was conflicted. This was so much more than she expected. A few of their closest friends was all she had thought when someone suggested that they honour Him at the next munch. Claire, herself, had been a virtual hermit since that sunny summer day that seemed so at odds with all that had happened. She wanted desperately to run back into the bathroom. To hide until this day was over.
But that was what she had been doing. For the past three months. As if rather than that final kiss breathing some of His spirit into her, it had as He did as part of their gentle breath play games sucked the very life from her. Except this time, He had not been there to breathe it back into her at the exact moment when her lungs burned from lack of oxygen and the world blurred before her eyes. So instead she had slipped into some self-imposed grave with Him.
She knew it was not what He wanted for her. What He would expect of her. In that moment as she faced that reality, as she battled the need to turn and run, she could almost hear Him. “I am disappointed.” The words she hated most. His ultimate punishment. The one that she had heard so rarely.
She closed her eyes and gathered all the courage. The strength. His steely strength that had seen Him thorough things that would break lesser men. She gathered it all within her heart. And she resolved to make Him proud. This final time before their friends, she would do Him proud. Be the intelligent and independent woman that He had crafted her to be. His woman. His partner. Simply His.
Claire moved through the next couple of hours numbly drawing upon those reserves. Faces blurred as she shared memories with their friends. It seemed that everyone they had ever met were crowded into the dimly lit corners of the local pub. And more than a couple that they had never met.
It was one of those that drew her attention. She had felt eyes upon her. For a moment she took solace that perhaps He had been wrong and for just once she had been right, that perhaps there was an afterlife. And perhaps He was looking down on her from wherever it was. But it did not quite feel the same as it always did when He watched her flit from friend to sister and back to His side. It was not His eyes she felt upon her.
She had looked up, searched the room. She was about to dismiss the whole thing as emotional silliness, her ‘girl brain’ as He would call it. Then she had seen him. Leaning casually against the bar. It was dark but she knew. Somehow she knew. It was his eyes that had been following her about the room for the past half an hour at least.
She boldly stared back him. He seemed familiar somehow. But she could not place him. Was almost canlı casino certain that she did not know him. Slowly she made her way in that direction, shaking hands, and making small talk with a dozen or more people. But still she felt those eyes upon her.
Finally she made it to the bar. “Can I have a glass of the pink stuff?” she teased the bartender that they had known for so long. Five years. Had it really been just five years since she had first arranged to meet Him at this very munch. She had needed Dutch courage to meet Him then too. But His writings had spoken to her soul just as they had to so many others in this room now.
“He’ll be missed,” said the bartender as he pressed a tall glass of wine into her trembling hand. She tried to hand him a note, but he brushed it aside. “All drinks are on the house today.”
She nodded her thanks as she brought the glass to her lips. She drained half of it in a single gulp before turning to the young man next to her. He was boldly staring now. “Have we met before?” she asked.
He shook his dark blonde head, “No, I’ve never had the pleasure.”
She returned his stare equally as boldly. Despite his words, there was something shockingly familiar about him. Something she could not quite place.
“It’s time for you to speak,” she heard the familiar voice of her friend even as she felt the woman’s hands grab her own and pull her towards the raised area just to the right of the bar.
“Speak? What do you mean speak?” Claire stammered as her friend pressed a microphone from out of nowhere into her hands. “I can’t,” she denied as her trembling fingers tried to pass it back again.
Her friend just shook her head. “You can and you will. Because that is what He would want. These people came here today to honour Him. They are His friends and way more family than those people that turned their back on you. He needs you to speak to them now. Because you are all they have left of Him.”
Claire watched the tears trail down their friend’s face. Black mascara flowed in their wake. And for the first time since that sunny day Claire did not feel alone. His going had affected others. Left voids in their lives too. And as she said Claire was His voice to comfort them, just as He had comforted her so often.
“Don’t disappoint Him,” she said as she stepped down from the dais. Claire smiled down at their friend as she began to speak in a trembling voice. She would never remember exactly what she said that slightly overcast autumn afternoon. But she would never forget the sea of smiling faces, tears streaming unchecked down the face of subs, Dommes and even a couple of Doms.
She was shaking when she finally stepped down from the platform. The room spun about her. She knew that she had done it. Done Him proud. Given to Him that final portion of herself that she thought was beyond her.
And she was drained. Faces swam in front of her. The room was stifling. She could not breathe. For a moment she felt the same rush that she always had just before He breathed His life back into her. She felt her knees begin to buckle.
Then out of nowhere, she felt large hands about her waist, gripping her tightly, holding her up. Then she was being propelled across the room before she even had time to think. A door flung open somehow and the brisk evening air swooshed back into her lungs, filling them to bursting. She was deposited in a chair in the corner of the beer garden.
“Do. Not. Move.” came the deep voice. The command in its tone was as clear as the words themselves. She wanted to protest that he had no right to speak to her like that. That he was not her Dom. But before she could form a coherent thought he was gone. Honestly, she was not even certain who he was. The room had been so dark. And she was so confused. And tired. So damned tired.
Then a cold glass was pressed into her fingers. “Drink. This.” Large hands covered her own, forcing the glass to her lips. Her throat burned like land consumed by a lava flow as the strong liquor made its way to her stomach. He kept the glass there until the last drop was gone.
“Thank you,” she stammered. “I think,” she amended as she looked up into the face of the young man that had been staring at her from the bar. “Who are you?” she demanded.
He shrugged shoulders as broad as the ones that she had missed every night for the last three months. “Does it matter?” he smiled. “A friend.”
Claire shook her head. It made no sense. This man was a stranger. But the zing that she had felt when his hands had gripped her waist, guiding her through the crowded room, she knew that feeling. Only He ever gave that to her.
It had happened. At last. It was official now. She had finally gone completely crazy. Or so it seemed in that moment. Panic unlike any she had felt since that day five years ago when she nervously anticipated meeting Him welled up inside of her stomach. It churned. Her hands covered her mouth. For a long moment, she kaçak casino feared that the acidic liquor would be re-tracing its earlier steps. Visions of amber liquid forming a projectile like a cheesy scene from some low budget horror film danced before her eyes. She chuckled nervously and the nausea began to abate.
“I am getting you out of here,” that baritone caressed her senses.
She shook her head. She opened her mouth to protest. ‘I don’t know you. I am not going anywhere with a stranger.’ But the words came out as only a small whimper.
“Where is your coat?” His eyes scanned her from her bare shoulders and soft breasts that threatened to swell out of the too tight corset to her garter belt and black stockings. The ones with the seams up the back of course. She had made certain that they were perfectly straight. Just the way He liked. She had worn her black patent leather Mary Jane’s too. It was the same outfit that He selected dozens of times when they went out together.
So why did she feel practically naked when this young man looked at her like that? He was a kid. Barely older than her son or His. Looking more closely, perhaps not even as old.
Once more he shook his blonde head, “Never mind. You’re useless right now. I’ll find your friend. She should know.”
Then he was gone once more. Simply vanished. Disappeared.
Useless. Those words ricocheted through her frozen mind. Bouncing off glacial memories that rose stalwart from the churning chilly seas of her life until they threatened to consume her. How many times had He used those words? That twinkle in His bright blue eyes that came only from pushing her beyond her limits into the embracing recesses of subspace. He would chuckle and yank the tether that He held to her very soul, calling her back to Him.
But He was gone. And those words were His. His alone to command her with. She tried to straighten herself, staring at the empty shot glass. She willed it full once more, just as she had lain for so long holding Him, willing His chest to rise and fall once more. As if by sheer will alone she could breathe life back into her fuzzy pillow. As nasty as the stuff had been, she wanted another shot. Needed more Dutch courage before facing him again.
It was not to be. He reappeared as suddenly as he had gone as if some illusionist under the bright lights of the Las Vegas stage. Across his shoulder was slung her over-sized purse and her coat was draped over his arm. He held out his other hand for her. She stared at it for a long moment.
“We are getting out of this place before you collapse, Claire. I left my mobile number with your friend so someone knows where you are. And she has assured me that she will make your excuses to that mob and send them off satisfied.” He fixed that steely gaze that has first drawn her attention upon her once more. “Your only choice now is do you stand up and put on her coat like a good girl or do I throw you over my shoulder and carry you out of here? Your choice?”
Claire stared at him wide eyed as if watching the ancient monster itself rise out of the foaming waters of Loch Ness. She opened her mouth, “You wouldn’t dare,” came out more as a strangled gasp than actual protest.
He threw back his head and laughter erupted like spring rains over the parched desert. Claire fought back the urge to join him. But real laughter was an ancient memory to her now. For all she had pretended with their friends, she had not truly found anything funny since that sunny summer day. The sound drifted away on the cool autumn winds.
It was almost dark now and the cold was beginning to seep into her just as the warmth had slowly seeped out of His body while she held Him that day. Silence filled the gulf between them, stretching outwards towards eternity. She looked up at the first twinkling star in the sky. The little girl inside of her cried out, ‘Wish I may, wish I might, wish upon the first star I see tonight.’ Her wish was obvious. She wanted to wake up and the past three months be nothing but a nightmare.
But even as she thought it, she felt the betrayal to her core. He died as He lived…on His own terms. And she was being a selfish little cunt to wish it otherwise. Sobs threatened to break loose at any moment. He truly would be ‘disappointed.’ For the first time since their parting, she hoped He was right. That this shitty life really was all that you got. The idea that He was out there somewhere appalled her, where once it had been like the suckling teat of a mother.
She felt the warmth of wool enfolding her like clouds. Then she felt the solid wall of granite like some Tintagel rising up from the very depths of the ocean, guarding and protecting its inhabitants, a stalwart fortress against all that would challenge its might. She collapsed against it as she felt his warm breath against the side of her face. “I’ll have you out of here in a minute. I promise.”
She closed her eyes, the will to fight fleeing her then. She nodded her head and the constellations swam on the dark pallet of her eyelids. She felt herself being propelled at the speed of light, racing towards some unknown galaxy, some uncharted course. And she did not have even the will to fight anymore.
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