Can you meet me? Please? Izzy
I press send. That’s it. I can’t turn back now. I order a gin and tonic and knock it back far too quickly, hoping that it will help me find the courage to actually tell Seb what I want.
I pick the bar where we first met, the bar where we’ve met each time since. It somehow seems fitting that it could be the first and last place I see him. And doesn’t that send my heart pounding and my stomach churning? That’s another little message from my body, reminding me of how crazy this all is. I’ve only known the guy for a few weeks and know next to nothing about him.
My phone buzzes across the bar top and I grab it quickly. Maybe Seb’s out of town and can’t come? Maybe he’s busy? With someone else? If I don’t do this today, I’m never going to have the courage to ask him. It’s a gut reaction and one I have to see through.
Sure, Izzy, I’ll be there in a few minutes. S
I close my eyes and remember Phil’s face after I asked him to spank me. The anger when he realised that this is what I really want was plastered across his face. How he shut me out completely and dismissed me. He didn’t want to understand. We’ve been together for eleven years, more if you count the two we dated, but does he really know me? Hell, do I really know me? I’m not even sure of that. I check my watch and silently curse Seb for taking his time.
I order a coffee to sober up. There’s a knot in my stomach and I feel physically sick. It is that mixture of dread and excitement—the good kind of nerves that make your heart beat faster and palms sweat.
I’ve gone over this too many times in my head. What will Seb think? Will he understand? How will I tell him? Just say it. Come out and say it. Tell Seb that you need something more, that you want more. The what-if’s are ruining me.
There have been enough email and text messages with suggestive content, skirting around the topic of sex with flirting and innuendo. He’s seen my profile on the BDSM site and I can guess he’s also seen the images I like on Tumblr. There is clearly more to Seb than he openly portrays. Whether his controlled and sophisticated flirtation is simply a façade, I don’t know, but I am going to find out.
Hands grip my shoulders and trail down my arms. Seb circles around me and takes the seat opposite, and I relax a little at seeing his face. He rewards me with his sexy smile. Breathe. Just breathe.
“Seb, I need to… well… want to tell you something important.” I stumble over my words in my haste, but I have to get my thoughts out this minute or lose the small amount of Dutch courage I’ve built up. There’s no room for “hi” or “hello.”
“Okay, Izzy, what’s so important?”
“It’s just that… well…”
He reaches out for my hands. “I’m all yours. Take a breath and tell me. ”
“This is really hard to say.” Am I really going to tell him? This could ruin everything.
“Come on, Izzy. Tell me.”
His deep tones wrap around my chest and make my heart speed up. I can do this. I want to do this.
I focus on his chest and open my mouth to step over the line I desperately hope Seb doesn’t want to keep in place. “Phil and I haven’t really been ‘together’ for a while, not in the physical sense.” I look up at him but he doesn’t say anything. His thumb gently strokes my knuckles, giving me courage to say more. “He doesn’t understand what I’ve told him I need. We’ve been growing apart for a long time and I’m not happy. I’ve changed, and I… I… Well, I need something different from our relationship. At least… I think I need it. But Phil can’t… I’ve tried to explain, but he won’t try to be the man I need him to be for me.” I pause, hoping to re-gather my rambling thoughts. I risk another quick look into his face. His eyes are hard and he’s sitting as still as a statue. Even his thumb on my hand has stopped moving. “He thinks I’m asking him to rough me up, and that’s not it at all. I don’t want violence. I want to submit.” I look down for a moment. “I’m tired of being responsible for my own sexual pleasure. I want the freedom I’m hoping to find in submission. I want a partner who takes the time to arouse my mind and my body, and I want to abandon myself to him.”
I study his face to see any emotion or reaction to what I’m trying to say. Did I convey myself right? Does he get what I mean?
The only thing I notice is the vein in his neck. It throbs hard and fast. My lips part as I imagine my tongue running up his neck to below his ear. I shake the thought away and focus again on his chest. “I asked him to tie my hands, and he did, but when I asked for something else, he got angry—well, a bit more than angry, actually.”
“Did he hurt you, Izzy?”
“No, not physically.” I relax my shoulders and let go of all the air inside me, physically slumping now that it is out. Will he understand what I am trying to say? I hope so. I want to be open with him. For some unknown reason, I feel I can trust him.
“It’s just I told him it wasn’t a one-off thing I wanted to try, and he… doesn’t want that.” Seb sits motionless. My eyes drop down, unwilling to see what I think must be rejection in Seb’s face. I try to pull my hands away from his grip.
Seb grabs hold of my retreating hands and pulls them closer to him. “Izzy, are you asking me what I hope you are?”
I look up into his beautiful eyes. My world is lost in his hopeful gaze. Our eyes lock together and heat erupts from within me, warming my skin at this simple connection.
“Izzy, you need to be very clear with me on this.” I nod, my courage already used up. “You are telling me that you want to experience submission at my hands, to cross a line, in order for you to understand if this is what you truly desire. You want to know the reality of submission… not the fantasy in your head or the online world you get lost in. Understand what it really is like to put yourself in another’s hands—and you want it with me. Is this correct?”
I take in a breath, my mind racing in a million different directions. Did he just offer me more? Is this really happening? A smile spreads across my lips and I’m unable to stop the warmth that creeps across my cheeks. Our eyes still focus on each other. With my cheeks on fire, I nod. The hard grip he had on my hands gentles and his gaze softens. It is the only change in his expression. “But I’ll need…” I pause, trying to give my brain time to process. “I need you to hold my hand, to guide me. I don’t even know where to begin in this, and…”
I break eye contact, suddenly shy about what I’ve admitted. Shit, shit, shit.
“I understand.” He squeezes my fingers and chuckles.
I did it! My heart stampedes in my chest. If I don’t get my breathing in check, I’m going to pass out. I can’t look at him. My chest heaves with every breath. Adrenaline courses around my body. This is it.This is what has consumed my mind 24/7, and now I can’t look at him.
My stomach takes a nosedive as his finger lightly runs down my jaw and tips my head up until my eyes follow and meet his. “This is the address of my flat.” He hands me a beautiful, simple card with a few solitary lines of text. It’s the same thick card as the one he first gave me, but this one also has an address in the city.
“7:30, Tuesday evening. Take a deep breath, knock on my door and I’ll hold your hand. And, Isabel, don’t be late.”
Hearing my full name sends goose bumps across my skin. I’m struck by the intensity of the desire I feel for Seb as I look into his eyes. Aquamarine. They aren’t blue, but a brilliant aquamarine. Blues and greens mix into a bright and clear shade that I hope conceals a darker promise. He still shows little emotion. Smile. Please smile. Or something, anything. I silently plead with him to give me his trademark smile. Why did he call me Isabel? Is he cross with me? But I want to hear him call me Isabel again. Over and over.
“Sebastian,” I breathe. I finally see a response as his lips part to draw in a deep breath. “Okay.” I put a voice to my acceptance and follow it up with a shy smile. But before I have a chance to fully register everything, he stands and walks out. I feel shocked and vulnerable but aroused as hell.