Gromet's PlazaLatex Stories

Together Is Not An Option

by AmyAmy

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© Copyright 2018 - AmyAmy - All rights are retained by the author. This work may not be reproduced for profit or without this attribution.

Storycodes: M/f; latex; catsuit; rubber; hoods; boots; gloves; corset; hobble; collar; cuffs; bond; nipple; encased; sen-dep; drugs; aphrodisiac; intense; pleasure; pain; sex; climax; cons; X

story continued from part two

Chapter Three

She jiggled from her knees, trying to let him know she didn’t want any of it. It was pretty much the limit of her communication ability.

But hadn’t she said he could do anything to her? That she wanted him to? She froze and tried to pretend she’d never moved. Even this was something she’d agreed to. She wouldn’t go back on her word.

He gave an awful guffaw. “That looks hilarious, but I don’t know what you’re trying to tell me.” He pushed back his laughter, trying to get serious again. “Now, this,” he pointed to the green bottle, “this induces arousal in men or woman, shuts down inhibitions and higher reasoning ability. Sounds like alcohol, but it’s nothing like it. It reduces a human-being to the mental level of a hedonistic horny squirrel. Feels good while you’re on it, and you tend to have fun. Lots of fun. Plus, even horny squirrels understand self-preservation, up to a point. But still not advised to be used unsupervised. You don’t want to be crossing a busy road while you’re on this stuff. It also plays havoc with some people’s memory, allegedly.”

Maeve shuffled forward and bumped against him. She didn’t want any of these things. What was he planning? It would be nice if he stopped rambling on and got directly to the sex. If he kept on talking much longer she’d lose her mood and the stuff she was wearing would start to feel like hell.

“The purple one is a straightforward knock-out. Flavorless, odorless, and fast acting. Duration of effect depends on dose. Perfect for waking up in surprise situations. I’m guessing that in many scenarios it would not be a nice surprise though. It will probably save lives because, in future, kidnappers won’t have to rely on chloroform, sleeping pills, alcohol poisoning, or violent blows to the head.”

He pointed to the red bottle. “This one creates an overwhelming sexual hunger, in men, or women, and makes you numb to anything but arousal, or maybe, turns any sensation into pleasure. Any sensation, the stronger the better. Pain works especially well. While you may understand consciously that sandpapering your nipples is a bad idea, it feels so good it’s hard to stop doing it. This one is definitely dangerous. Most people need to be kept in restrictive bondage the whole time they’re on it so they don’t do themselves any harm. So, given your outfit, it’s an option.”

Her instincts were telling her that he planned to use this one on her, and she had agreed to let him do whatever he wanted. She couldn’t go back on that, not even to avoid this. It sounded horrific. She stayed very still, as if somehow the impending disaster would not notice her, and pass by without anything happening.

He looked at her, head tilted, then back at the bottles. “Then there’s the black. The red might sound bad, but this is worse. I can’t guess on what principle it works, but if you take this stuff, anything anyone says to you is the best idea ever. If they tell you to do things, you can’t help yourself from doing what they say. Like a hypnotist show, but real, and it works on unwilling victims. Initially unwilling obviously. Once this is inside them, they’re reduced to a puppet. They’ve probably been using it for military interrogations for years already.”

He fiddled with the fittings on his suit. “I’ve been warned that overdosing it can result in brain damage. Permanent loss of volition. I wouldn’t put it past a malicious person to use it to turn people into a sort of, well… something like a zombie.”

He stopped, seemed to have planned to say something else and thought better of it, ended simply staring into space.

“It was the blue in the water bottle by the way. I used it while you were in the shower. You can try one of these, or more than one if you want. They are safe to combine, if you can call any of it safe. Obviously, the blue, and the purple are off the menu. Anything else, it’s up to you. If you choose the black, I might tell you to be my slave forever. Not sure if that will work, so worthwhile experiment, eh?” He grinned, maliciously.

Maeve stared at the yellow bottle that Paul hadn’t explained. It would be a bad idea to catch his eye just now.

“And here we have a selective muscle relaxant that leaves the target fully conscious and breathing, yet unable to move so much as a muscle. Makes you completely limp, like a rag-doll. I would imagine the garden variety date-rapist would prefer the pink or the green. And if I was a real evil shit, I’d pick the black every time. You could use it anywhere, in a pub or club for example, then tell the victim to come home with you, make the whole thing look consensual to all the witnesses. Whereas this… People notice you lugging an unconscious woman about.”

Maeve considered that it might not always be a woman, but he’d arranged it so she couldn’t comment on that either.

He scratched at his chin absent-mindedly, leering at her again. “I suppose it’s for people who like a really passive partner. Really, really passive. Or I guess you could use with a cold shower if you were a real weirdo, if you follow my drift. It might suit women who think enjoying participating in sex is a sin or something… I’m really struggling here.”

Every logical thought in her brain counseled against letting any of these poisons in her body, and her sense of morality screamed in horror at the idea of them existing at all, and yet the thought of being at the mercy of them was a terrifying fantasy, the ultimate letting-go. It was the kind of fantasy that made her wet and afraid at the same time, a fantasy too far.

Some dreams were better left that way. Bringing them into the physical world and acting them out would be insane. But the pink and the green were supposed to feel good, weren’t they? Perhaps even the black or the yellow could be thrilling if used in the company of the right person at the right time. It would be like the excitement she’d been feeling a minute ago, but sustained, on and on, for hours. Paul had seemed to be hinting that the red would be best. Dressed as she was, bound as she was, she wouldn’t have much ability to hurt herself.

He was still talking. She’d missed part of it, only catching the end. “… and according to the instructions, if you mix the black and the green, it turns the user into a perfectly obedient idiot zombie, somewhat dumber and hornier than a sex robot, and considerably less chatty. I can imagine all the working girls dosing themselves up with it to get through the day. The era of coke, meth and heroin was ending already, before these things appeared, but the future possibilities are going to nail down the coffin lid.”

Why had anyone assembled such a collection of horrible potions? Every one of them seemed devoted to making sex worse, or getting someone to have sex against their will, or in a way they’d never have wanted, or should never have wanted, and would always regret. No wonder Hanley-Muller decided not to release them commercially, though the deeper question was why had they developed them in the first place? And if they’d developed them, how had some obscure Chinese company ended up copying them so closely? And if they had, why weren’t Hanley-Muller chasing them over patents?

Her gaze jumped to the red bottle, then to the pink, then the green. Every one of the bottles was full of terrifying possibilities. Maeve’s thoughts were running out of control, possibilities flashing through her head, so many options, moving fast, like ball-bearings poured onto a tiled floor.

“The pink is probably more than you’re ready for, to be honest,” he said.

It was a good thing he’d taken the use of her arms away, or she’d have socked him one. He knew how impossible it was for her to resist a challenge.

* * * * *

Maeve stared at the ominous bottles, loaded with their looming possibilities. What color would be the worst. If she had to empathize with a victim, some day in the future? Which one would be hardest to understand? Or which more useful in protecting herself, if her own drink was spiked?

Surely, for a victim, the black would be the worst, to obey your destroyer, and then for it to wear off, leaving you aware of what you’d done, and how you’d been helpless to stop it, how you’d facilitated it. Wouldn’t that sort of violation destroy most people? To learn that they could be used so completely, so easily, and that they had not even thought to resist at the time?

But the black would leave Ridley in an awkward position. What could he ask her to do, really, that she hadn’t already consented to? And it would be so lonely, so sad. She knew well the solitude of being on top. She’d imagined it would be wonderful to play that game of demands, and at first it had been funny to order him around. But as she’d moved past the novelty and started to think about how the process of submission was supposed to excite him, to turn him on, to make him feel things he was otherwise afraid to feel, she’d found it a burden. She was constantly second-guessing herself on top. It couldn’t be that different for him, could it?

For the top, the whole thing was about the experience for the bottom. If they felt nothing, you weren’t making an impression. If they felt only misery, it would be awful, unless you were some kind of psychopath. And everything you did could be taken as a hint that you wanted to experience something similar yourself.

She couldn’t let go, couldn’t be free as a dominant, there was too much to worry about. It was only when he was in charge that she could really let go. There was a certain kind of pleasure in seeing him helpless, dependent, reliant on her for escape, or release, but there was no joy in his obedience. Trying to think, to act as if it was all about her pleasure was not something that came naturally. That level of selfishness was beyond her reach. Maybe that meant that her attempts at domination were entirely fake, nothing but an act. Probably they were, but her submission had a dishonesty to it too. It was the joking, fantastical nature of the game that made it fun. If it were deadly serious, how could anyone enjoy it?

But she ought to choose.

For a victim, the green would also be awful. If it impaired their memory like the date-rape drugs she’d heard about, and left nothing but a gap and the sneaking suspicion that something disgusting had happened, it would be dreadful. She couldn’t afford to forget this day anyway, couldn’t risk letting her memory go awry. What if she forgot her reason for being here? Either way, it would be dull for Paul, and lonely like the black. Only he would recall what had happened during the time she was dumber than a dog and hornier than a bitch in heat. He would have to handle that memory alone, worrying always how much to tell her about it, unable to discuss it, or properly unburden himself.

Being rendered physically helpless with a chemical defeated the purpose of all the elaborate bondage devices. So, for practical purposes, that left the pink, or the red. Somebody might try to use it on her one day, she could never be sure. It might help to be alert to the effects. Just possibly, it could make it possible to resist them.

Perhaps, even the black could be overcome, with the right sort of practice. But it sounded dangerous to undertake an experiment like that, as if people had already tried, if Paul’s warning was anything to go by. Probably, repeated controlled use only made the user more susceptible. By using it even once, she might be increasing her future vulnerability. There was another risk too. What if he ordered her to tell him things, used it to pry into her most secret thoughts? Then she really would understand the violation of a victim. She could hope he’d never do anything so awful, but there was always the chance he’d be too thick-headed to see how bad it was. As for his threat of trying to enslave her long-term with it, that had to be a joke. It couldn’t possibly work anyway, could it?

There really wasn’t any alternative. It was the pink or the red. Or avoiding all of them wouldn’t be such a bad option either.

* * * * *

Maeve’s attention moved from the colored bottles to Paul, and back to the bottles again.

“I’ve probably done this in the wrong order. I’ll unclip your arms so you can pick what you want and add it to your water,” Paul said.

So, they weren’t padlocks after all? It had made no difference, she’d been just as helpless.

It took an instant for him to remove the simple clips holding her arms folded behind her back, forearm-to-forearm. The relief… She was aching already.

“Just squeeze a pinch into the dropper, and then add three drops to the water.”

She could hardly see what she was doing. If the bottles hadn’t been so brightly colored, she wouldn’t be able to tell one from another through the dark lenses in the hood.

She reached out, her hand hovering over the pink. She blinked the sweat from her eyes again, moved her hand to the red. Didn’t it make sense to turn the aches and pressure of the heavy rubber into pure pleasure? It sounded impossible, but tempting, intriguing.

The little dropper unscrewed easily from the clear, unlabeled bottle. She pinched the bulb and charged the glass tube with a liquid so intensely red that it seemed to glow despite the dark-tint muting her vision.

Paul held out the pink water bottle and she squeezed out the drops, counting in her head. One. Two. Three. There it was, the die was cast. She’d just committed herself to taking a powerful dose of a substance that she suspected should never be used on anyone, ever. She had no idea at all how addictive it might be. She knew it was a bad idea. Paul had told her as much, and yet he had suggested it anyway.

“They all turn clear in water you know?” He screwed the top with the drinking tube onto the bottle and placed it on the shelf in front of her. He gestured for her to turn. “Arms behind your back again.”

She folded her arms across the small of her back, reaching for the opposite elbow with each hand. The snap of the clips was barely detectable, but when she tried to draw her arms apart, she was properly helpless again.

He backed her up against the wall next to the shelves, so she could lean against it for support, then walked away and vanished from her restricted, upward-tilted field of vision. With no sense of hearing, she had no idea where he was or what he was doing.

When he reappeared, he was locked into the heavy suit, a hood over his face with holes for mouth and eyes. Beneath the hood, his nose was probably plugged.

“I don’t need any more of the blue,” he said. “It lingers worse than the others, I think. Only just starting to peak now.” He took the bottle off the shelf and held the drinking tube in front of her mouth. “Take this in your mouth if you want it.”

Between the effects of the corset, the posture collar and her bound arms, it wasn’t easy to lean forward. Afraid of toppling over, it took her a couple of tries to manage it in a way that felt safe. Her tongue found the tube and helped it into her mouth. Of course, there was no way for her to actually suck, with the ring-gag in place. Maybe if there’s been some kind of seal, but he hadn’t thought of that.

He squirted a burst of the liquid into her mouth. She had to choose between swallowing or choking, and her body selected the former before she understood what she’d done. It sank in a moment later, a rising panic. Then another squirt of liquid splashed into her mouth. She calmed herself and swallowed, no point worrying now. He pumped more liquid and she kept on swallowing. She couldn’t feel anything special. How long would it take? Minutes? Hours?

Maybe it had all been a hoax? A trick on his part, for all she knew, the bottles were nothing more than gel food coloring.

An odd chill came over her. No. Not a trick.

Her skin turned clammy beneath the rubber, quickly becoming a pleasant, minty kind of chill. She couldn’t taste with her skin, and the water had lacked any flavor, or smell, and yet she tasted mint. What was the name for it? Synesthesia? Definitely something about the sensation, the tingling, that was somehow minty, as if he’d smeared icy-hot muscle relief cream all over her body.

Then the chill started to turn into a burning.

It started in her crotch and spread outward. She needed to scratch and rub at her clitoris. She desperately needed to. Need wasn’t a strong enough word for it. There was a burning itch like no other, and it was pulsing outward to the rest of her body. She could feel each muscle in her vagina wanting to be stretched. Each muscle in her anus, longing for the same thing, to be stretched hard, to the point of tearing, or beyond. Disgusting. She’d never been big on anal, but she wanted it now. What was wrong with her? If he had one of those oversized butt-plugs, with a vibrator in it, that would be perfect. She would welcome it right now. Even the muscles of her urethral sphincter were present in her mind, aching to be stretched and wrenched.

The sensation spread beyond her pelvis, burning longing setting fire to her belly, her chest, her thighs, her feet, her face, her lips. Oh, her lips…

Her breasts demanded to be touched and handled roughly. Her nipples needed to be pinched, twisted, pulled, anything as long as it was done hard. She twisted against her bonds, pressing against the limit of the heavy rubber and the clips, but she couldn’t get free. If she could get free, she’d show him. Did he have any idea how this felt? Had he tried this himself? Had he tried it? Had he?

A part of her mind tried to cling onto thought, onto rationality. It seemed to be shrinking smaller and smaller with every passing second. A screaming mass of squirming desire was expanding to fill her thoughts, pushing out every other idea. Imagine if this had been done against her will, how would she fight it?

Simple. Fighting this is impossible. You just lose.

It would break anyone, would turn the strongest person into a panting, aching, quivering puddle of needful desire. Maybe that was just self-justification… Maybe she was just weak?

She launched herself off the wall, at Paul, the way a cat might spring at a mouse. He caught her and they went down together in a tangled heap. Ignoring the pain of the fall and the bonds making her effectively helpless, she scrambled ferociously to get on top of him and climb onto his penis. She rubbed her exposed nipples against him, crushed her breasts under her weight, tried to kiss him despite the gag and hood. It didn’t matter if she had to pull or twist, didn’t matter about the pain in her shoulders, or the way the corset crushed and reshaped her as she tried to bend in ways it wouldn’t permit. The pain of the conflict flowed like more of that cool minty liquid feeling she’d felt at the start. Wonderful, delicious release. Her muscles tensed against the constraining bonds, and the pressure was pain, and the pain was pleasure.

He helped her on top of him, and ground herself down onto his penis, crushing herself against him. Her crotch was wetter than it had ever been in her life. It felt as if fluid was pouring out of her, not dripping, or oozing, but running, as if from a tap. Surely, all the fluid in her body would simply drain out of her, and she’d be nothing but a shriveled husk? It was probably impossible, and it didn’t matter anyway. She would do what she had to, for as long as she could.

It wasn’t enough, she began to slide up and down on his thick, rubber-covered penis. She needed more, and increased the pace until she was bouncing up and down on him at a frenzied pace. Thick rubber of her restrictive boots dug into the backs of her knees, and it hurt, and that hurt was wonderful too.

She couldn’t look down to see him, not with the collar on. She was in a world of her own, alone except for the mind-melting sensations wracking her flesh. Lost in the dim, isolated world of the hood, with only the thundering of her blood for company, she could hardly breathe, but the pain in her chest was a fire driving her on. The more she endured, the more she wanted it.

Her arms wouldn’t come free, no matter how she wrenched. If only she could release them, she could finally satisfy herself. The frustration was unbearable. Unbearable? She thought she’d known what that word meant, but now she could understand. She was at the foot of a mountain, looming over her was a climb to a summit where unbearable could actually be found, a perilous climb, a dangerous path, and Paul had her bound down here, safe in the rubber, unable to escape, unable to even begin the climb.

She tensed the muscles in her shoulders and arms again, trying hope-against-hope to tear free, to break the clips, or rip a d-ring from its mounting.

As her legs began to ache, she only felt better. She could go like this forever, and nothing could stop her. The rolling tension of an orgasm flowed through her, blessed cool relief that dragged on and on, an orgasm longer and deeper than anything natural. She stared into the white light of an exploding sun until it seemed her eyes had been burned out. Gradually, it faded, her vision returning, and the dreadful burning came with it too, leaving her with no sense of relief at all. She still needed another orgasm. Her chest was on fire, her heart was bursting, and the pain of it lifted her up. She loved it.

Paul reached up and grabbed her exposed nipple, peeking through the holes in her suit. He pulled and pulled, like he was trying to tear it off. With each wrench, another flash of pleasure, another moan of delight. Were those sounds her? How could she hear them through the hood and the ear-protectors?

What would be perfect would be if he could just put some of big fish-hooks through them and pull really hard.

Paul’s other hand gripped around her breast, and then there was a sudden pain, or more like a sudden burst of pleasure. She orgasmed again. Something sharp and nasty was biting into her tender nipple. It felt better than anything she’d ever felt in her life.

As the orgasm faded, he did the same thing to the other breast, and she was floating again, swimming in that white light of amazed delight.

And so it went on.

And on.

* * * * *

Maeve lost track of time, lost count of the orgasms, if she’d ever been counting in the first place. She wasn’t even sure what way was up, or where she was, whether Paul had his penis in her mouth, suffocating her so her chest burned with pleasure-pain, or whether he was hammering into her vagina, or taking her from behind, abusing her poor sphincter in a way he’d never done before. Her desire didn’t decline with each release, it only grew.

She started to fantasize about more of those fish hooks, hundreds of them tearing her flesh apart. A perfect release. It wasn’t a new idea, where had she seen it before? The more she thought about it, the more appropriate it seemed.

When the drug finally started to fade, the pain started to bleed through the need, just a little at first, and then enough that she slowed, then came to a halt. When it was so debilitating that she couldn’t move anymore and fell sideways, whimpering in despair, Paul stripped off the posture collar and the hood, leaving her arms bound. He strapped her down to the bed with chains that clipped onto the d-rings on her corset so she couldn’t sit up or go anywhere.

He unclipped the hobble between her feet and stretched her legs out wide, roped them to opposite bedposts. She thrashed about and fought him, but it was useless. Her arms were trapped underneath her, which was frustratingly arousing at first. As the pain seeped into her consciousness, she began to wish he’d chained her wrists to the bedposts, because the position she was in put her under a lot of stress.

He’d gone.

After a while he came back and remove the gag. He didn’t speak. Her jaw was cramped and she couldn’t move it. By the time it had relieved enough to form words, he’d gone again.

She lay restrained, helpless, for what seemed to be hours, but could just as easily have only been minutes. He was nowhere to be seen, and she shouted for him, but he didn’t come to her call.

After a few more yells she rested. Her throat was agony, like the rest of her. Her crotch was like somebody had been walloping it with a paddle for three hours straight, her genitals raw, and with a worryingly deep pain underlying the burning. Her bottom was sore and itchy, and her nipples were crusted with dried blood, purple, swollen into a horrible mess that set her mind racing down anxious paths.

Common sense told her that he’d probably used crocodile clips on her, or something like that, and the damage was only superficial, but it looked awful. It hurt like hell, which presumably had been the point. A lot less damaging than tearing out fish hooks. An old movie with a puzzle-box. She’d seen it as a teenager when she wasn’t supposed to, had forgotten about it until now. Or perhaps it had always been there in the back of her mind? It had been a metaphor for something.


She’d craved it. Part of her was still craving it, still needed the power of a sensation that drowned out everything else, all the dumb boring stuff that polluted her head and made her stupid. It has been wonderful to be so clear headed, single-minded, so certain of what she needed.

She lay there in the worst pain of her life, alone and helpless, and if she could have taken another hit of the drug to twist the pain back into pleasure, she might have done it, even knowing where that might lead. No. She was over that now, the need was fading, there was only pain, and the memory of being the best she’d ever been. The rest of her life was going to be a disappointing anticlimax after this. She would never dare take the red again, and all the sex ahead of her, no matter how she tried, would never add up to what it had given her today.

If only I could have that perfect magnificent clarity back again. But it was just a drug. Not really me.

Time passed, and there was only the pain. The worst pain. But that was just her thinking the worst, wasn’t it? The worst pain of her life? Probably she would face many more painful things in years to come. Childbirth was supposed to be pretty tough going, and… She probably wouldn’t ever do that, but how could she be sure? And major surgery? People didn’t have much choice about that kind of thing, and most of it hurt like hell, didn’t it?

Was it worse than this? Was it worse than knowing I can’t have that pure clear need back again?

She gritted her teeth and groaned while her eyes grew wet with tears despite herself.

“Please Paul. Please,” she begged. “Let me free.”

She didn’t expect him to answer, but he did. “Shush now Maeve. The neighbors have heard enough of you already. Can you imagine what they think we’re doing?”

He strolled over to the bed, still wet from the shower, wearing nothing but a towel draped around his shoulders. His penis was still erect, painfully hard. The head thrust out, dark purple. It looked uncomfortable. Very.

“Please, just rebind my arms out straight. This is agony.”

“You agreed to this Maeve. Anything. Don’t be a spoilsport now.”

He offered her the pink water-bottle, pressed the tube to her lips. “Don’t worry. There’s nothing in it but water. Or maybe there is. After all, as you agreed to anything, who knows what might be in there?”

She desperately wanted to tell him what a louse he was being, but she wanted the water more. She sucked at the tube. The liquid came frustratingly slowly.

She finished it and spat out the tube. “More please.”

After she’d swallowed two more bottles, she started to worry that she might need to pee, but for now the urge wasn’t pressing at all. At least she didn’t have that pain to endure on top of everything else.

“I ache all over.”

“After what you just did, I’m not surprised.” He smoothed her hair back from her forehead. “You want more of the red to fix it?”

She shifted her gaze sideways, looking at the opposite wall from where he was standing. She considered yes, but he was probably just tempting her. “No. Just pain killers.” She hesitated. Was it a serious offer, or was he just testing her? “I do want it. I want the red. Just can’t.” She watched his expression, “It’s not enough that I can’t handle it. I’ll handle it. I’ll handle…” She cursed.

She slumped back, letting the tension out of her body, really feeling the aches.

He nodded. “It sent you wild. If you weren’t restrained, I don’t think I could have controlled you. I’ve never seen you like that before.”

“No kidding. I’m too uptight huh?”

“No. You’re a fine. The thing I had sex with just now wasn’t human, it was an animal, a dangerous animal. It wasn’t you. It bent the d-rings on the arm-binders.”

She cursed. “Are you going to keep on torturing me? Or what?”

He gave a long sigh. “Alright. Maybe I’m too trusting.”

He unclipped the chains from her corset and helped her to sit up. He reached around and set her arms free. All he had to do was release three clips. Three little clips had kept her helpless, took away the use of her hands and her arms. Human independence was a fragile thing. Perhaps he’d been careless to put his trust in so little, what if they’d failed and she’d broken free?

When the blood rushed through her shoulders and into her arms, it felt as if she was on fire all over again. It took all her concentration not to cry out.

He handed her a glass of water.

She gulped it down. It was far better than drinking from the tube.

She handed him the empty glass. “What would you have done if I’d begged for more red? Kept on begging?” Her ankles were still roped to the bedposts, and she leaned forward to untie them. It wasn’t easy with the gloves on.

“You’d have stayed tied up until you stopped, of course.”

“What if I hadn’t stopped?”

He turned away. “Don’t be ridiculous.”

“Have you tried it? That stuff?”

He pretended to do something with the discarded restraints, but it was obviously only fidgeting. “No. If my cock hadn’t taken over my brain at the time, I would never have let you try it out it in the first place. Once you went crazy, if I hadn’t been on the blue, hadn’t wanted to fuck you so bad, I would have been afraid to go near you, the way you were acting. I’m surprised you didn’t dislocate a shoulder.”

“So am I.” She pushed her fringe out of her eyes. Where was the headband? “Have you tried any of the others?”

“I put myself in basic self-bondage once, and tried the green. Once I’d taken it, I was too stupid to get myself free. Which I expected. It’s a really odd sensation. I think I’d have to be a different kind of person to enjoy it.”

“What about the black?”

“No. How could I try that alone?”

She had some ideas how, but didn’t voice them. “I wonder if it’s like the red, but more cerebral? Like the act of obeying is the greatest thrill? You don’t just want to obey, you want to want to obey…”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about. You probably need to sleep.”

* * * * *

Maeve was still slightly drunk, slightly hung-over. She lay staring at Paul’s bedroom ceiling. It was fuzzy, lost in the darkness. She twisted her head and checked the clock. Four-thirty… Her head was pounding, another headache. It was the heat. She was naked, in the small hours, and it still wasn’t cool enough for comfort.

Maeve’s Saturday afternoon had been pain-killers and cups of tea. The day had ended in a long night’s sleep and further recovery. Sunday had been taken up with drinking, too sore for sex. They’d gone to bed early again. Now she was very much awake, head painfully clear, despite the lingering effects of too much alcohol.

She got up and fetched a glass of water without turning on the lights. She sat down on the bed, on top of the rumpled sheet. Paul rolled over and blinked at her, and she clicked on the bedside light.

The muted glow from the LED panel cast an orange tint across her bare legs and his face. He was naked too, a rough arrangement of muscled humps, dark smears of hair marked out by the warm glow of the lamp reflecting from his sweat beaded skin.

“What are you doing?” His voice was slurred, still sleepy.

She had to tell him now, or she might go back on her plan. It would be too easy to keep on doing this, too easy. She had to stop.

“I’m breaking up with you Paul. I just want you to understand, it has nothing to do with what we did today, or yesterday. They were great. In fact, I did those things as a way of saying goodbye. Going out on a high. I’d already decided this before I came over. I’ve been thinking about it, planning it for a while.”

She paused, waited for a response.


“If that sounds cold, well I guess it is,” she said.


Was he even listening to her?

Now she’d committed herself. She couldn’t go back on her word now. She wouldn’t meet him outside of work again. And she wouldn’t come to his house, or meet him in discrete locations. And if he came anywhere near her at work, or called her at home, she’s pretend she didn’t know him. Though he probably wouldn’t do either of those things.

“What?” he said. He was more alert now, but still not quite all there. He pulled himself into a sitting position and rubbed at his eyes. “We’re breaking up? You’ve been thinking about it for a while? Did I really hear that?”

She pulled the sheet up, hiding her body under it. “I guess it’s not even a real break-up, is it? We were never really together, were we? Never could be. You’ve got your career, and I’ve got mine. Or I might have. This isn’t helping either of us.”

She had to do this. If they had both been seasoned officers at the same rank, their relationship might have been officially acceptable, but with the differences in age and rank between them, it would be impossible for her to escape his shadow. Worse, if their affair became public, and then ended, every male officer would see her as fair game. She’d have the reputation of an easy lay, a slut trying to sleep her way to promotion, no matter how she tried to avoid it. It would be bad for him too, but it would definitely be worse for her.

She had to keep her momentum, freeze her heart. If she hesitated now, she’d melt, she’d never be able to do it.

She ran her fingers through her hair. “It is what it is.”

He leaned forward, put his head on his knees and gave a low groan, but didn’t speak.

She turned to him. “You understand, don’t you? It’s nothing specific, it’s just everything about the way we are?”

He lifted his head and cursed. “I’m exhausted Maeve. Can’t we talk about this in the morning? When I can get my head straight? If there’s something wrong, maybe we can fix it? Even if it’s everything.”

She swatted a mosquito that she’d noticed on her arm. She’d done it without thinking, and now there was a filthy red mess all over her fingers. Her blood. She resisted the urge to wipe it on the sheets.

“No Paul. How can we be fixed? It’s not like we’re broken. We’re just…” She wanted to say, ‘too late’, but she daren’t, in case he understood.

“Too good to be true?” he said.

She took a deep breath, searching for a better word. “No. We’re just too limited.”

He rubbed his eyes again, as if her words weren’t getting through.

She got off the bed, walked around to his side. He watched her silently.

She put a hand on his shoulder. “I’m going to take a shower, and then leave. You can go back to sleep.”

“Oh come on. It’s the middle of the night. How are you going to get home?”

“The first bus is at five-thirty. I don’t have to rush.”

He shook his head. “I see. You’re planned this out pretty well. Sorry. I’m just tired. I hear you. You’re right of course. You deserve better than this. You have a life ahead of you. A real life. I don’t know what the hell I’ve done with mine.”

“I didn’t mean it like that. Don’t we both deserve better than this?”

“I guess it’s goodbye then?”

“Yes. I guess it is,” she said. He’d avoided agreeing with her. Didn’t he feel he deserved her? Maybe there was an opening to a genuine conversation with him there. But it was too little, too late.

She leaned over, kissed him on the cheek. “Later. Ok?”

She took her shower. He was asleep again when she left, or pretending to be.

I can’t believe it, I’ve done it.

At least he hadn’t made it harder for her to go, hadn’t asked why. Hadn’t made her explain. Why? That was obvious, wasn’t it? The only way they could stay together was if she quit the force, and there was no way she was doing that. Not for him, not the way he was. He clearly wasn’t serious about her. Lacked any real commitment. Never let her in. Whenever she’d tried to get closer, he’d edged away. The only thing he had his heart set on was making D.C.I.

They’d had their time. It had been quite a ride, but it was enough, and it was over. If he’d really been fair, he would have dumped her instead so she didn’t have to go through these mental contortions. She could just have hated him and wept, then got over it. That would have been easy.

A few days later, she wondered if he blamed her decision on what they’d done that weekend, when it was the other way around.

She’d done those things because she intended to end it. But what if he’d got it back to front? Thought she was running away from herself? Was scared by the drug? She’d told him though, hadn’t she? But had he really been listening? Wasn’t it important that he understood?

Either way. He stayed away from her at work, didn’t come to her flat, and he didn’t call her mobile, which made it easier to move on. Which was for the best.

Of course, there were days where she wished he would corner her in some quiet spot at work, wanting to talk, and there were nights she hoped, just a little, that he’d call her on her phone, even just a text… But he never did, and after a while, those days and nights grew further apart, and the sad, disappointed feeling that all the things they’d done had come to nothing spread its tendrils into everything, the way that mold grows into bread.


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