Single, Female, Unmarried and ultimately Unowned. She knew there was an element of vulnerability about her position, but as of yet she had come to no harm.
She had those who knew, those who could not claim her yet had a stake in her welfare and for that she was grateful, it meant she never fully felt alone.
Tonight was different; there was a stirring within her, a subtle release of adrenaline that was enough to starve off fatigue, which in turn led to acute alertness akin to merriment.
There was something deliciously decadent about parties in the winter. The hustle of the city, less free and easy as in summer where the heat of the days set about a romance into the air. People drift, days are long and the light is bright and energising. Winter is the exact opposite, days are short and people move quickly from outdoors to indoors chasing the warmth, their attire is layered, and they breathe plumbs of mist as their breath meets the stark cold air. The light fades with a watery winter sun and all too soon the darkness of the morning returns to take hold of the night once again.
She had been aware of his presence all night. She knew she was and had been a focus for his attention because each time she saw him his eyes locked onto hers with a stare not a look. Under normal circumstances she would have been plotting her escape, counting the minutes until it was an appropriate enough time to leave without fear of looking rude. Steering away from unknown men and toward those who could protect her.
The night wore on; friendships were won and lost, arguments were fought and settled, drink won the sober stakes, and she found herself adopted into a group of friends. As with any circle there were leaders, followers, clowns and observers, partakers, dancers and those who kept things grounded. It falls to those who hold the ability to engage with those strangers outside the circle to integrate them in such a way they feel a natural part of the proceedings. This is how she had been acquired. She had been patiently waiting her turn at the bar when one rather rude gentleman cut in front of her demanding his order and waving his notes in the air. Having been witness to this, 2 men talking at the bar manoeuvred themselves in such a way she was able to bypass rude gent and cut straight to the bar. She turned to thank the men and from there they ensured she was to meet the rest of their crowd.
Suddenly she was standing right next to him.
“A moment outside madam” he said in a hushed tone.
Ahh, and so it begins, she didn’t need to speak after all- he made the first move, she turned and smiled; her eyes flashed green with a smug sense of achievement in holding out. “I am fine thank you” she replied with complete conviction of her part in this dance.
“You misunderstand child…I am not asking” he whispered in hissed tones whilst the grip he exercised on her elbow only further emphasised his words.
Her mind became a muddle, as if a hundred different thoughts had just engulfed her mind and it felt like she had her head plunged under-water. Who was he? His words began an unlocking inside her, she knew him, but at the same time he was a stranger to her…though she clearly was no stranger to him.
She didn’t want to go outside, but she had to, he was already walking and his grip was still tight on her arm. Even if she had wanted to call out to her new friends she was unable, all she could do was follow him. A couple of them acknowledged her dismissal and privately gave a knowing smile to each other. Assumptions were made.
He passed by many people, marching her away leading her on a very direct path to an exist onto a side street outside of the hotel, as they reached the door and passed through it the cold air took her breath away. Rationally her mind started to counterbalance her physical senses reasoning that he could not expect her to be outdoors for a very long time or he would have suggested getting her coat from the cloakroom.
There were a few people in the side street, near enough to witness but not near enough to hear the conversation. They were preoccupied with dragging on their cigarettes and bantering to notice their presence.
He turned to face her, leaving go of her arm. He was taller than she was yet his dominance towered over her. “You desire me”
Conflicting messages rushed to her already confused mind. He wasn’t asking the question, that was clear enough but what exactly was he saying? She fought to regain a semblance of order. “I…I desire you?”
Her questions seemed to amuse yet perplex him. He bent over her more forcing her to bend backwards to accommodate him.
“Think child…think back, remember…”
The more he spoke, the more something was becoming vastly familiar.
She felt drunk yet she wasn’t. Briefly she wondered if her drink had been spiked.
Her legs began to give way, she was going to fall, her eyelids were heavy and keeping them open became a task. Many emotions began to rise within her she was conflicted, this man, whoever he was seemed to have such a commanding presence he was literally extracting something from within her…but what exactly was he doing? Hypnosis? Suggestion? Rationally she knew at any moment she could leave, she could break away from this, the more she thought about that she felt the control coming back to her. She regained some of the use of her legs.
“I don’t know you, what is your business with me?!” there was an air of indignation in her voice.
He paused, in one move he looked her deep in the eye inches from her face her eyes looking up locked into a stare she could not escape. Intensity, passion- he was angered.
“Child I knew you since before you would ever remember. I know your journey but I also know the right path. You DESIRE me!”
This time her legs gave way, she was falling, his arm deftly snaked around her waist, cradling her back and holding the back of her head. Her eyes heavy, battling to remain conscious and losing the battle.
He was holding her, the weight of her easily carried on one arm whilst his other arm remained at his side.
Her breathing became shallow, adrenaline causing her heart to beat as if it would burst. She was becoming aware of another level of consciousness, she opened her eyes and looked up at him. The alley way was dark and dank, one or two of the smokers seemed to be aware of something happening, but for all the world they were invisible.
“Tell me child...” his words whispered softly, waiting with a patience she had not yet seen.
“Help me…” her words devoid of voice, yet audible.
He inhaled deeply “Yesssss…” as weak as she became, he grew in strength.
She felt empty, as a rag doll balancing on his arm and yet she knew within her being, she had never felt so safe.
As she exhaled, he inhaled, she opened her eyes and was aware for the first time of a golden light, as her eyes focused, she could make out a dust, a covering in the light, strands of it beginning to build.
“I…..” words she had to say, yet ability failing…“I NEED you!” she managed; exhaling deeply and with everything she admitted with her mouth, her inner being released. Years of darkness, fear and insecurity began to leave her as a magnet attracts an opposite, so the dark could not resist the light. As he exhaled the dark he turned it to light more strands wove their way around the Master.
“Yes child” he said as he breathed in deeply, concentrating on catching anything that could possibly hinder whilst at the same time she knew all the dark must be expelled before she could fully be healed.
There was no other way, and she wanted to try nothing more than this. Nothing else would work anymore and the way she felt within the very fibre of her being, she knew with an absolute certainty that this man had the answer to her every need.
“Take me Master, I give myself to you for now and ever more. I love you and I choose you”
With that final act of submission she felt the very deepest of her darkness make one last bid to hang on, it clawed at her insides, desperate not to loose the reign of control that had been present for so long. Her back arched as she let out a cry, he wrapped both arms around her as her body went taught, bracing for pain.
She cried out.
He bent forward and gently whispered in her ear “You are mine, for now and ever more. I bought you with a price and I love you. I will always love you”.
And so it was done.
The strands of light became blinding as they wove at high speed, circling and encompassing the two, binding them together radiating a gentle heat that touched every aspect of her spirit.
As they slowed down they swirled slowly around her neck, twisting and weaving until the golden light changed from one state into another, from vapour to solid, that of the purest gold. She opened her eyes and gazed at him, her Master. She smiled and he smiled back- everything looked so different to her, although she knew the alley was dark and dirty suddenly it became intolerable to her yet looking on him she feared nothing. Her hand touched her neck and felt the collar. It was smooth to the touch, resting gently on her collarbone.
“What happened?” she asked
“It is your collar child” he replied “it is a perfect circle that cannot be broken, there is no clasp because you are not in bondage, it is formed with love and by love. As far as the east is from west, so I love you, there is no beginning and no end, and so this collar represents my command over your life”.