Part Seven: Growth and Endurance

Next Part Eight: More than a Session
Previous Part Six: Learning and Loving: Nathan

Chapter 16: Happy Birthday

It was a Friday in late July, and Roselie and I were reviewing our work lists one last time to make sure everything that had to be done had gotten done. I wanted nothing left over to distract me over the next two days. This weekend was going to be mine.

The weekend before had been one of the now twice-monthly "Mistress Monique" weekends. Last weekend had been very demanding, and Monique had been moved to tell me how proud and pleased she was with me. In fact, I was beginning to feel pretty good about the training aspect of this courtship. Regardless of that positive feeling, however, I was still very glad that I did not have to face that aspect of my love for a few more weeks, because the corporal aspects of last weekend's training still colored my backside. She had used her hand, a paddle (thankfully, a gentler one as directed by Dr. Danvers), and for the first time, a riding crop in her scenes. Atypically of the way this type of training had evolved between us, the swats had been given over the entire weekend. Never enough to drive me to safewording her, as she had learned more of my physical and willpower limits, but enough so that I was sitting tenderly the entire weekend. When I was allowed to sit, that is.

Bruising had been and was still extensive, and Wednesday's session and mini-sessions had been kept very mild as a result. I was given long, extensive and highly detailed training in the finer points of oral worship of Mistress Monique. I was also kept at a very fine edge of physical frustration. She teased the hell out me, all the while correcting in the most minute nuance, the movements of my tongue and lips over a wide variety of erogenous zones. I had never thought of the back of a woman's knee as erotic. Monique's are, I remembered happily.

In any case, all tenderness was gone and I was looking forward to taking Monique to an art exhibit at the Smithsonian she had wanted to see, and to simply puttering around with her. I made a mental note to pick up some colorful flowers before picking her up to go to the museum.

Roselie closed her notebook, and sat back in her chair. "Well, that is that. Nothing outstanding for this week, and most of next week's known work well in hand. We can enjoy the weekend. Are you going shopping this weekend?"

I gave her a blank stare. "I always have to go shopping, but I don't think that is what you meant. Is there something special?"

Her look of disbelief turned to amusement. "I ought to let you muddle along and take what you deserve, Evans, but I won't. You'd both be hurt too much." She shook her head, trying to control her laughter. "Wednesday, August third?"

I thought I understood, now, but only nodded with a questioning look on my face.

"Yes, well, that is Monique's birthday."

"Damn!" Roselie's laughter only made it worse. "I did not know... I never thought to check. Oh hell, what an I going to buy her?"

Roselie was almost in tears by then, laughing so hard. "Poor Nate, trying so hard to do everything perfectly, and he almost misses the lady's birthday!" Then her eyes sent wide and she laughed even harder. "Omigod, Nate. It is a Wednesday, too! Imagine what Mistress would do to you if you forgot her birthday! And you such a stickler for calendars."

That was the first time Roselie had ever admitted any knowledge of Monique's and my little Wednesday rituals. I had been sure that she had known all about them, what with her teasing and knowing looks, but this was the first time she had openly talked about what went on. I wondered how much she did know. "So, you do know, do you?"

Wiping tears from her eyes, and talking in gasps, "Of course I know. I have been serving her for over two years, Nate. Besides, she is also a very dear friend. Girls talk, Nate. We talk about you, sometimes." She gave me a smirk and then stage whispered across my desk, "Gonna get some really special undies for her birthday, Nate?"

My mouth dropped open and I felt the heated color speed to my hairline. Trying to regain my equilibrium, I sat silently for a moment or two. You should have known, I told myself. Monique had told me she wanted to share this aspect of our lives with Roselie. I should not have been surprised that she had started already. "Yes, well, whatever I do, Roselie, I will definitely try to make it special."

Her grinning nod of approval told me that I had handled her thrust about as well as could be expected. We chit-chatted for a bit longer until Roselie had to leave for her car pool. Monique had a late meeting of the company executives that night, so I would not see her until tomorrow afternoon. I packed up my own things and made my way to my car, and then to home.

At home, I sat quietly brooding over coffee in my den. I had plans to make. What gifts could I give to Monique? I definitely had things to do. The only problem was that I needed help to pull off part of what I wanted to do. Roselie was too close to Monique, and might accidently blurt out what I had in mind. Sudden inspiration had me running for my phone book to consult the yellow pages. The number I found was to an answering service, but they relayed my call for me, and shortly before nine that night, I had all the help I could handle.

Once I knew the whats, hows and wheres, the actual doing was completed well before I was due at Monique's house. All the gifts, including the very special one I had needed help with, were locked in my car trunk, wrapped in gaily colored paper. Amazing, I thought, they even did the wrapping for me.

Wednesday seemed not to want to happen that week, probably because it was the first time in weeks that I had actually looked forward to Wednesday. Since I had made my bargain with Monique. Finally, the big day arrived.

Rigged out in the (yes, Roselie) very carefully selected panties, and carrying the two gifts that would be given during the day, I sailed into the office, as excited as if were my birthday. I made coffee, got my morning work out of the way, and waited for Roselie to arrive. Monique arrived before she did, though, and she frowned before returning my normal, everyday, unbirthday-like greeting as she went into her office.

Once Roselie arrived, I asked her to let me know the minute she could come into Monique's office with me for a little surprise. She looked at me curiously, and when I would not elaborate, she tore through her morning routine in record time. At shortly after nine, carrying one of the gifts, and two other gift-wrapped parcels, I ushered Roselie into Monique's office. Monique looked up in some consternation when she realized I was not alone. I imagine she was looking forward to baiting me about forgetting Mistress Monique's birthday.

Roselie and Monique both looked to me to lead off; Monique because she knew I had brought Roselie with me to what was normally our first play time of the day on Wednesdays, Roselie because she had no idea what I wanted. "Monique," I said softly, "Would you please lock the doors?" Curiosity, surprise and maybe a whisper of hope flitted across her very expressive face as she reached up and activated the door locks.

Once they clunked shut, I walked to Monique and offered her the gift box. "Mistress Monique, May I please wish you, a very happy birthday, and offer you this token of my deep affection and respect?"

I have surprised Monique before, even a couple of times in her "Mistress-mode", but never before had I seen that look of total disbelieving wonder on her face. It made me feel wonderful, because, in truth, it was the first of my gifts. It was the first time I had spoken to or of Mistress Monique with anything resembling affection. Monique knew I tolerated this aspect of her personality, that I strived to challenge her in that role, but I did it because of my goals for Monique. Today, I had started the process of trying to stop seeing them as separate; the Monique persona from the Mistress persona.

Her hand trembled a bit as she took the proffered gift. It was box shaped, about one and one half feet long by six inches by three inches. Once opened, the gift wrapped revealed a wooden carrying case, much like an instrument case. The wood was a rich, glossy cherry with fine brass fixtures on the handle and for the closures. An engraved brass plate proclaimed the box and it's contents to be the "Property of Mistress Monique" in elegant calligraphy. She opened it and peaked in, keeping the box positioned so that neither Roselie nor I could see inside. She gasped and opened it wide.

She pulled out the black leather implement and looked at it wonderingly. "A tawse!" She said, reverently sliding her hands along the fine leather and gently touching the split fingers at its tip. Then she held it up for Roselie to see who oo'ed and ah'ed over it, too. "An old style tawse. Where in heaven did you find such a thing, Nathan? How did you get it? How did know to get one? I mean, I have wanted one for quite a while, but have not had the time to look for one."

Her obvious delight in the new toy softened the anxiety I felt for what I knew would shortly come of her having the thing. "Dr. Danvers is in the Yellow Pages under Physician, Mistress. She put me in touch with the right people." I did not tell her that she had also used her influence to help me get the work done on very short notice. "She also knew you wanted one, so that made the choice easier."

I had originally planned on buying her a whip, but Jennifer had felt that I was still a little new to the game to put such an implement in Monique's hand. "She might decide that you are telling her you are ready to start playing really deeply, Nathan. If you are, well, that is one thing. If you aren't yet sure.." and had gone on to tell me about the tawse. "Besides, if you buy it, you can buy one with nice soft leather fingers. It won't save you forever, dear, but it will give you a while longer to develop your mental and emotional pain controls."

"Thank you, Mr. Evans." Her eyes were glistening with moisture and with the glow of her smile. "It is lovely." She swished it a couple of strokes to hear the air whistle about it. "I will look forward to using it."

I cleared my throat to catch her attention. She looked up at me. "Mistress, if I might speak and continue? I have another gift?" She indicated that I should proceed, but gave Roselie a confused look as I handed each of them an identical package. Slowly, recognition and wonder filled her eyes as she recognized the package to be the type in which I wrapped her the panty of the week. "Mistress, you told me that eventually, you wanted to involve Roselie. You graciously acceded to my request that she not participate, at least for awhile. Mistress Monique, I still only want to make love with you and to you, but as part of my gift to you, I withdraw the requested limit on Roselie's involvement in my periods of submission to you." Both women were grinning at me and each other like loons. "Emblematic of that decision are these packages. If you will open them, please?"

Bright red paper was shredded in seconds, as both women held up two seemingly identical panties. While they had unwrapped theirs, I had unwrapped mine, and was folding my trousers.

The panties were satin, french cut and vermillion with white lace piping at the waistband. "Mistress, this is the first time I have ever given you panties different from mine. Roselie's and mine are identical. The difference is subtle to see, but major in implication." I turned to face them.

I had them put the panties side by side on Monique's desk. The front panel Roselie's pair, and mine, were embroidered in thick white script "Mistress Monique's". Monique's pair was likewise embroidered, but hers said simply "Mistress Monique".

"You once told me that one of your dreams was to mark us with a sign of our mutual devotion, dear Mistress. This is not permanent, and it is not quite mutual, at least from my perspective, but I wanted to make a start."

She ran a nail along the fine stitching on Roselie's, then her own. "How?"

I blushed. That had been the hardest part, because there was only one way to do it. "I bought the panties at a lingerie shop, Mistress. They make many specialty items there as well. I, ummmmm, just asked the saleslady to have it done." Actually, the lady had not so much a lifted an eyebrow at my request, simply told me that would triple the price of the panties. "Ummm, Mistress, do they meet with your approval?"

"Meet with my approval?" She shouted. Suddenly, she was out of her chair and plastered against me, her arms wrapped tightly around me. A second impact heralded the arrival of Roselie. Both women were hugging me and each other, and crying and laughing. After a few very pleasant minutes, Monique pushed away, and after patting her eyes with a tissue, said. "Oh, yes, Mr. Evans, they most definitely meet with my approval."

She handed me the panties, and I knelt before her. I slipped the panties up her legs under the watchful eye of both women. When Roselie reached over to pick hers up, Monique stopped her. "Mr. Evans will see to that, Roselie. Please remove your undergarments." Roselie did. Fortunately, she did not wear pantyhose either. Monique handed me Roselie's pair, and I performed the same very intimate task on the shorter, but rounder bottom of Roselie. There was one other surprising difference. Roselie did not have any pubic hair. Monique told me to stand, and I did to the welcoming embraces of more hugs.

"I think we will call this session at an end, Mr. Evans." Which meant I could dress again.

I hesitated. "Umm, Mistress, there is one thing more." She looked at me with renewed interest, and indicated that I should proceed once more. "Your birthday spanking. I thought Roselie should be here and participate, too."

"What??? You think you are going to spank me?? Today??!?!" Laughter bubbled up at the thought.

"No no no! I meant with me in the classic position of whipping boy." I pointed to the tawse. "I won't even count so you won't be telling me your age." I said cheekily. Her answering grin was positively wicked and was matched by the one on Roselie's gamine face.

She did not count either, but I think that after she and Roselie got done playing with that toy on my butt, I had taken a lot more than her age and one to be good on. I was very grateful for Jennifer's kind advice on what to buy. My butt stung, and it definitely felt warm, but I could sit the rest of the day.

Our Wednesday night scene on her birthday did not last long. I got another birthday spanking, and was "forced" to worship her orally to several orgasms before she finally called an end to it. Actually, I think that the stack of brightly colored packages that I left in the foyer may have contributed to her desire to finish quickly. After a quick dressing, I retrieved the gifts and brought them into the den where she was waiting impatiently.

Watching her tear into her gifts was a deeply satisfying experience. The blaze of joy and pleasure that lit her face made my gut knot. Nothing was more important than being able to bring that kind of happiness into her life. And if that meant that I would periodically feel the fool, or not be able to sit comfortably, well, I could pay that price. Happily.

Each gift was ripped from its packaging and suitably admired with lots of hugs and kisses of gratitude thrown in. The first gift was a fresh bakery cake with her name emblazoned on it in frosting. The royal purple satin nightgown and peignoir set was a big hit, for both of us. Particularly when she stripped off the severe white blouse and tailored black slacks she wore for the session, down to the skin, and slipped it on right there in the den. The knot in my belly got a lot more urgent. The last gift was a gift certificate at a gourmet cook ware store in the city. I had hated the impersonality of a gift certificate, but what I knew about designer cooking things would fill a short paragraph. The gift certificate was a good compromise.

The gifts opened and the wrapping paper reduced to colorful shred on the floor, we moved to sit on the rug in front of the fireplace, while feeding each other the sweet gooey cake with our fingers. It was a very good thing the new peignoir was washable. I had a very hard time getting all the crumbs of cake and frosting up with my tongue. When the clock struck eleven, I made the effort to leave. Monique blocked my exit by standing in the door way to the hall, her hands locked on the door molding, shaking her head slowly.

"Uh uh, Mr. Evans." She said with a soft, sultry smile. "It is still my birthday, and I have one more present I want to unwrap." Her hands moved to the buckle of my belt. She leaned up and kissed me softly, never letting go of my belt. The knot twisted hard and passion flared hot and needy. She turned, and still holding my belt, led me up the stairs to her bedroom.

It was a good thing that I had taken to keeping a spare suit and toiletries at work. I never did get home that night. And both Monique and I spent the better part of the next day with very vacant and dreamy looks on our faces.

At lunch, I took her to the Monuments and we walked, hand in hand, along the cherry tree lined path that wound around the water near the memorials. The further we walked, the closer our bodies became until we were all but joined from hip to shoulder. The blossoms were long since gone for this year, but that did not matter. I would not have noticed anyway.

Chapter 17: Moments in Time - Courtship and Trial

Once we had taken the step of becoming lovers, that trust and commitment helped foster the confidence we both needed to take other risks. I took her home, to my upstate New York roots. My kid sister, Gerri, loved her on sight. Monique fell hard for my niece and nephew, That surprised me. I had never thought of her as a person who enjoyed kids. Other possibilities, ones I had not allowed myself to consider since my first wife's miscarriage, started to present themselves. We weren't too old, were we?

While I was grilling burgers and hot dogs, my sister cornered me and told me, in the very blunt terms of a bossy younger sister, that I better not let that lady get away from me.

We walked through the woods near my old home to a waterfall gorge where we picnicked on its grassy shore. Summer wild flowers were splashes of vibrant color in the green meadow. In the sultry warmth of the summer sun, closeness became passion, and we made love in the shade of a great sugar maple. The waters of the falls catch basin were cool and sweet as we frolicked like children, skinny dipping to wash away the sweat and sandy dirt. With the spray of the falls cascading over us, we made love again, nearly drowning when our climax claimed us.

Later, dressed, sated and warmed by the sun, we walked back to the road and our waiting car. As we started off, a "For Sale" sign caught my attention. The land we had been roaming was on the market. I made a quick note of the Realtor's number on my car's dashboard notepad, much to Monique's delight.

There was no buildings on the plot, only twenty five acres of what had been farm, grazing and wooded lands. The property was on the market because the current owner was no longer farming and wanted the money to pay for needed improvements to the old farmhouse located on the part of the original farm plot he was keeping. Impulsive action had always been unusual for me, but that was before Monique. Before we left for home, I had put earnest money down to buy the land. Gerri was going to keep track of the progress of the sale with the Realtor and her husband, a local general contractor, was going to look into likely spots for a summer vacation cottage on the land.

Chapter 18: Fun and Games

Maybe the strengthening commitment gave Monique more courage, more confidence in me. I don't know, but she started becoming much more open with me, in fact, volunteering information about her time in Europe as a professional, and about her domination experiences since her return to the United States. She actually had very few limits in what she would do for a client; even fewer restrictions in what she would do for a submissive she cared for personally. If a submissive wanted something that did no one harm, then she would do her best to give that person the maximum benefit of the experience she could provide, or that they could really take. "Actually, the only thing I have ever refused to do was scat."

When I gave her a blank look she explained the term. She did not laugh at me when I blanched either, simply told me that there were safe ways to play those games, but that she could not get past her own inhibitions to play them. "I did most everything else, though." I asked her what was the most extreme event she had ever participated in. "A client of Sondra's wanted to be seriously flogged. Not the routine session, where there would be, at worst, some bruising and welting that would keep him sleeping on his tummy and eating his dinner standing up. No, this was different. He wanted to be stretched, taken where he had never been. He even arranged for medical assistance and two weeks vacation to recover from it.

"Sondra had a physician who was herself a dominatrix oversee the scene. We made him hold a rubber ball throughout entire thrashing. Every time he dropped it, we stopped and the doctor would examine him. Her word was law. Either she or he, using his safeword, or the Mistress in charge of the correction could stop the scene." She shook her head at the memory. "He took an ungodly amount of punishment. I was the warm up, with two dozen strokes of my paddle. Two other women used a rattan cane and a strap on him. Sondra herself finished him with a very heavy, multi stranded whip. The whole thing took over two hours because we stretched it out, and because, towards the end, he kept dropping the ball."

I just looked at her. It was beyond my comprehension. "Why?" was all I could say.

Monique understood what I wanted, what I was asking. "I am not sure there is an answer that will satisfy you, Nathan. He did it, because it affirmed his image of himself, as a strong person, who could and would take great pain. One thing I did not mention was that his wife, who was also his Mistress, attended the spectacle. She sat in front of him, throughout the session, watching him take that beating. She never said a word, but whenever he looked like he was going to break, to give in, he would look at her, and she would smile at him. Somehow, each time, he smiled back, not a pretty smile, mind you, but a smile none the less, and then he would signal for the Mistress to continue his flogging. Although he never said so, I know that he did it for her, that he took that incredible beating as a gift for his Wife-Mistress. Just as I know that, she was incredibly honored and pleased with his gift of devotion."

She was right. I did not understand, at least, not all of it. I could understand taking a great deal in the name of love and devotion. I could not understand a mentality that needed that type of demonstration. I told Monique that, questioning what type of insecurity fostered the need for such abject displays of devotion.

"He could have quit, Nathan. At anytime. She could have done nothing to extend the scene because our commitment, our agreement was with him. He was there, as he was with her, purely of his own free will. The gift he gave, Nathan, was not of pain, but of constancy, of commitment. It is indescribable, that feeling, to know that he can leave, and in spite of whatever you ask, whatever you supposedly demand, he does not quit; he does not leave. She was crying with him, Nathan, when we took him down. She was the one who saw to the worst of his cuts. She cherished him for that gift. I don't know any other way to explain it to you."

I still did not understand.

The other result of her increasing comfort was that her games took a definite turn for the kinkier following her birthday and our vacation in New York. The Wednesday after our return, found me in one of her bedrooms, nude and blindfolded, tied spreadeagle on a bed. The bed's mattress was sheathed in a stretchy sheet that felt and smelled like a latex condom.

Now, parts of Monique's games were beginning to sometimes turn me on. This session was, or at least, started out as a major turn on. She called it learning her body by oral Braille. She would present a part of her to my mouth and I would have to identify it by lips and tongue alone. A correct answer earned me a favor, and an incorrect answer earned a penalty. Favors were kisses, a gentle sucking of my cock or a massage on tight muscles. Penalties were teasing pinches, nipple tweaks, bites and unmerciful tickles - nothing really hurtful, just sharply sensual. By the time she settled her venus mound over my mouth, I was rampantly aroused. She straddled my head, and bent over to ply my penis with teasing little licks that just drove me mad. I responded by trying to consume her whole, to leave not a single nerve ending in her sex untitillated.

As her hips starting the uncontrollable dance to fulfillment, she suddenly sat up, and planting herself more firmly on my face. Her buttocks relaxed momentarily to slip my nose deeply into her crease before they tightened to grip me fiercely, all but cutting off my air. She was in the full throes of her climb, now, rocking back and forth on my nose and mouth, her cries and pants muffled by the lock of her thighs on my ears.

The blindfold was swept away just as her body went rigid for a one two three-count, and then a keening wail of pure feminine pleasure pierced through. Her weight bounced up and down, squashing my nose into my face and making me bite my lip. I tried to ride with her, but the firm mattress kept me from avoiding much of the battering ride. She relaxed, and bent back to my cock, engulfing it in the wet heat of her mouth, her fingers teasing the shaft and balls. I was only seconds away from my own orgasm. I started to spasm, the surge unstoppable, and then, my eyes, nose and face were deluged in hot, acrid fluid. I bucked, trying to avoid the stinging wet, but she only gripped me tighter with her legs, sucked me deeper and started a second wild climax of her own.

It took her a while to calm me down, once I realized what she had done. Although I had read of uroganglia, or water sports in the books she gave me, I had never anticipated having them played on me. What upset me the most was how great, how much fun the scene had been before she had urinated on me. Scenes that were exciting and fun, without reservation, were rare and this one was heading in that direction when she had "ruined" it.

We talked long into the night after that. Her assurances that this had not endangered my health since she was herself in good health helped cool hot running emotions. And a shower, during which Monique was very meticulous in seeing that I was thoroughly sanitized, washed away the bad smell and most of the bad feelings. Particularly since that culminated in a wonderful, slow lovemaking in her huge bathtub surrounded by hot soapy water and mountains of bubbles.

Monique let me work my way through the emotions of that scene by myself over the next few days. She did not mention it nor did she change how she related to me at the office or in our growing private lives. She simply let the whole matter stew and waited for me to come to her. "Piss on you" has always been a particularly vile epithet, and I came to realize that I was reacting to that. Recognizing that fact, and knowing that Monique rarely did things she did not enjoy, I worked to deal with my anger.

Added to the emotional reaction was that it had come as a complete surprise - a very big, very unnerving surprise. When I questioned her in the safety of her unlocked office, Monique's response had been one part shy lady and one part aggressive domme. "Like many domination fantasies, water sports is about power, Nathan, power and the expression of that power. I don't do pee games often, but when I do, it is an incredible feeling, having that much control over someone, and knowing that someone cares enough, trusts enough to surrender that control. I was afraid you would refuse out of hand if I suggested this type of play, so I surprised you with it. Now, you have done it, and you know that I like doing it to you. I will leave the final decision for future water play in your hands, Nathan. I won't do this again without you agreeing to the scene before we play."

She knew, of course, that denying her anything she found pleasurable was very difficult for me. Telling me it was my choice was just another way of forcing my ultimate capitulation on the subject, but I was still concerned about the health issues involved. Not that I thought Monique would be untruthful about something that critical, but there are times that looking something up for yourself is the only way to put an issue to rest.

Reviewing some of the text materials relaxed me by reinforcing what Monique had told me. I ended up reading the entire sections about other unusual practices that were normally considered taboo, at least in our society. Strangely, I found at least one other of those taboos very exciting.

Thus, after careful consideration, I decided that I could live with water sports. It certainly had been exciting up until the surprise of it, and the orgasm and the subsequent lovemaking had been glorious. We would have to try it again when I knew it was coming. Smiling, I remembered the first time I had screwed up my courage to "eat pussy". Shortly after starting, I was hooked. Now, it was my favorite way of making love. I would definitely try yellow sports again, and decided that I would probably come to enjoy them. Besides, if I was going to convince Monique to let me try the other, I might need the water sports as quid pro quo.

Monique's response to my acceptance of these games was gratifying, to say the least. Squealing in pleasure, she threw her body into my arms and hugged me so hard I thought my neck would snap. "Oh, you beautiful, beautiful man. I was so afraid you'd decide that I had gone too far, that I had abused limits."

"It occurred to me. Even though we never said you could not pee on me, Monique." I told her in a mock serious voice.

She became serious. "There are limits, and there are limits. Just because we have not formally negotiated some limits does not make them any less real. If you thought some physical act or requirement so unreasonable that you did not even consider discussing it, then that is a limit. Your limit, Nathan. I may not know of it, but it still exists, it is still real. In this case, well, I decided to walk the line, and see what came of it." She hugged me tightly and kissed me thoroughly. "And, I guess I just got lucky."

"Well, just remember two things, sweetheart." She pushed back to look up at me intently. "Don't count too much on luck for one."

She nodded. "Okay, that is fair. What is the other?"

"You owe me one. I get to surprise you and you have to go along under the same conditions."

Her brows knitted as she considered what I meant, then shrugged. "If you really think you can, Nate, you are welcome to try. I would not want to think you staid." That earned her a nip on the ear.

Not every confrontation ended so equitably. Later that month, I went into Monique's office with a hot problem from one of the hotels in Chicago. The problem had fallen on my desk, initially, because Monique was closeted with the other V.P.'s. I had just hung up the phone, having made the last arrangement for how I proposed to solve the mini-disaster when I saw Monique sail by my open door into her office. If she had not shown up at that very moment, I would have simply set the whole thing in motion and briefed her afterwards, but she was here now and she was the boss. Picking up my notebook, I went into her office, my mind fixed on the problem at hand.

The doors locked immediately behind me, but I did not notice. I have a habit of mind that, in time of crisis, fixates on the problem and the solution to the exclusion of everything else. Right now, the solution had me in its grasp. "Monique, I need your.."

"What did you call me, mister Evans?" Her near yell brought me up short, and frankly, confused me. What the hell was that all about?

I tried again. "Monique, we have a problem.. This is impor.."

"Evidently, we most certainly do! Let me remind you that this IS Wednesday, the doors are locked and you are Mistress Monique's slave."

Finally, I saw what she was getting at. I also saw red. I had just spent two solid hours trying to fix this disaster, and she was so fixated on playing her damned dominance and submission games that she was not even letting me get a word in edgewise.

Totally ignoring her, I walked to her desk, and picked up the intercom to call Roselie. She answered halfway through the first ring. "Roselie? Nathan. Call Mr. Burgess in Public Relations and tell him to go ahead. Monique is not interested in the problem at the Chicago hotel, so he can go ahead and implement the plan we cooked up. No, don't bother to tell him all that, just tell him he has the go-ahead." I listened a few more seconds. "Nope, she is just more interested in being Mistress than in playing at Executive Vice President. Bye." I hung up the phone and turned into the shocked, wide open eyes of Monique.

"If you are interested, you can come to my office and I will tell you about the problem you just solved." I reached over, tripped open the locks and strode out of the room before she could recover. In my office, I threw down my notebook and was out of the office in seconds. I took my entire lunch hour walking in the park near the office. I was still pretty steamed when it was time to return, so I stopped off at Burgess's office to check on the PR problem at Chicago. Fortunately, we had been in time to defuse the situation there, and it looked like that crisis was not going to become a real problem. Unlike what I had waiting for me upstairs, I thought.

Back in the office, I was greeted by the sight of Monique, sitting in my chair, with her high heeled feet resting on my desk and her eyes shut. She opened them and sat up when I moved into my office. "Ahhh... Burgess called while you were out. Your plan worked." She said in a quiet tone. I moved over to a chair I usually offered to guests and sat down.

"I know. I stopped on my way back up. So, now you know what we were dealing with?" She nodded jerkily.

"That Mistress and Executive crack was pretty low, Nathan, particularly to Roselie."

"Yes, well, I apologize. For saying it to Roselie, not for saying it or thinking it because it was true. You never gave me a chance to even tell you what was going down after having been out of the office all damned morning. And this is an office, dammit, and office work ought to be the damned priority."

"There is no need to curse, Nathan, you've made your point. I don't suppose that we can continue this discussion in my office? It is more private and more comfortable in there." She offered tentatively, starting to rise.

I shook my aching head. "I don't think so. It is over, done with, but since it is Wednesday, and I am still angry, I don't think I care to be in that office just now."

She looked hurt and I felt like an ass, but I was still an angry ass, so I held my place. "All right. I find that I don't feel very playful just now, either. Please, tell me one thing, though, Nathan. Why didn't you use your safeword? If the time for my games was inappropriate, why not use that to get my attention?" It was the very question I had been wrestling with myself. Surely, what I had done instead had been needlessly cruel, even humiliating to her.

"I never even thought about it, Monique. All I was thinking of was the potential major problems of the Chicago situation, and the need for quick action. Then you would not even listen to me. You were right. I did not realize that it was Wednesday and what that meant until you told me, and by that time, I was too angry to care."

She walked to the door, and opened it before turning back to face me. "Yes, I understand. I can see how not listening to you in that situation would upset you. In my defense, I had a wonderful idea for a game that I thought we would both enjoy for a change, and was overeager to get started. I guess we both lose today, Nathan." She turned back to the door, then stopped again. "In the future if we are still playing, I will let you take care of business first. Since that is the priority, or at least, it would seem to be your priority." Her voice was coldly mocking. "Thank you, Nathan. Very efficient of you." And she left, leaving me to feel like a heel.

Roselie came in and sat down, shaking her head. "Screwed that one up, Nate."

I shot her a scowl that was at least part anger at Monique, part anger at me. "I was right, dammit. And what the hell were you doing listening?"

"Right? Interesting choice of words. And to answer your other question, remember that your office is not sound proofed. Now. Was it right to embarrass her the way you did?" Direct hit, Roselie. "And was it right to imply that what happens in this office is more important than what the two of you are trying to build together?" Her tone was chiding, and made me feel like a school boy caught putting a frog in a well-liked teacher's desk to prove he wasn't teacher's pet. And she was right. I really should have used the safeword once I realized what was afoot, but I didn't, and now being "right" did not seem so "right" anymore. "You have some major groveling and scraping to do, my friend. And I" she said with awful emphasis, "Hope she makes you savor each mouthful of dirt slowly." She drew out the last word, making it several syllables long. She stood, and stomped (at least as much as her heels would permit) out of my office. I had to get my own coffee and my own mail for the rest of that day.

I was waiting when Monique finally emerged from her office. I had moved one of the waiting chairs to directly in front of her door and had sat there since Roselie had departed. She stopped and did a double take when she saw me obviously waiting for her, her face going quickly from surprised to blank.

She started to walk around and past me but I moved to block her path. She gave me a weary, disgusted look as her purse and briefcase sagged floorward in her hands. "Look, Nathan, I am not in any condition for any more confrontations on the inappropriate nature of my behavior. I have admitted you were in the right, but let's not press your luck too far today, all right? Now, please, let me by. I am exhausted and I want to go home."

I reached down and took her case. She let go immediately rather than continue even the slightest skin to skin contact. "I am not here for that." I said quietly. "I want to apologize."

She grimaced. "Whatever for? I should know better than to play at work. The time you caught me with Roselie should have been a lesson to me." She shot me a glare reminding me how that was ended. "I am disappointed, though. I had hoped you were loosening up, becoming more comfortable with the little rituals. Such as safe words and their uses."

"Monique, I am sorry. I should have used the safeword to get your attention. While it is true that it never crossed my mind to use it in that situation, I should never have done what I did or said the things I said to Roselie. Your games have not interfered with anything before this, and truthfully, they would not have interfered today if I had not lost my temper." I grinned ruefully. "I do have one. And commitment to doing a good job is one of my quickest triggers."

"Very well, I accept your apology. I forgive you. Anything else? I really want to leave." She gave me an expectant, bored look.

I should not have expected this to be easy. I had hurt her, badly, and she may have said the words, but that was not the way she actually felt. I pulled out two envelopes. "You can use either or both of these, as you wish."

She opened the first, read it and all but snarled at me when she tore it up. "Dammit, Nate, you are going to have to quit throwing letters of resignation at me when we quarrel. We are going to quarrel. We are two strong minded, strong willed people who have differences and we will clash." She threw the tiny squares of paper at me. "That is not the answer." Breathing a sigh of relief, I watched as she opened the other envelope and extracting the two sheets of paper contained inside. The first was a vacation request form, asking for the remainder of the week off. She shuffled the other page to the front. Her eyes snapped to mine and then back to the page.

Her face turned black with fury. "An offer to void my promise concerning go-no go corporal discipline and to present yourself for whatever retribution I deem fit??" She was trembling in anger now. "Retribution?? Retribution?? You think for one instant that I would fall so low as to degrade my art for that? For revenge? Damn you, Nate."

A sharp nailed finger jabbed hard into my chest. I think she would have drawn blood except for the lapelled sports coat. "First, that is abuse, not dominance. I do not abuse people. And secondly," the finger jabbed again harder hitting the already tender spot with unerring accuracy. "You are my lover! I am in love with you. I am considering marrying you, you damned blockheaded male! I would never abuse anyone that way, let alone the man I love."

As quickly as the storm had started, it subsided. She again looked weary and spent. "I am not up for this, Nathan. I don't feel well and I would like to go home." She was practically reeling, as if that last emotional outburst had taken her last reserves.

I moved to support her gently, and kept her briefcase. "C'mon" I said, "let me help you up to your suite."

She shook her head in an exaggerated, child like motion. She was exhausted. "No, I want to go home. I don't want to be here tonight." she said in a tired, but petulant voice.

"You are in no shape to drive." I said, trying to sound firm and authoritative.

"I will be fine, I just want to go home." She swayed slightly and looked a little green around the gills to me. I tightened my grip around her waist, afraid she would keel over on me. Still, she tried to pull away from me.

"Let me take you home. I will take a cab back to my place so you will have your car in the morning." I could almost see the will to fight draining out of her. At last, she nodded, too weary to fight anymore.

She did not resist as I helped her into her car and got in to drive out now familiar route to Great Falls. The evening was unseasonably cool for the Greater Washington area in early August, and I cracked open the windows to let in the fresh air once we were off the Beltway. At her door, my attention no longer had to be fixed on driving a strange car, I turned to Monique. She looked awful. Her face drawn and her eyes still closed, she looked incredibly fragile and that as much as anything scared the hell out of me.

I hustled her into the house and got her settled on a couch in the den. I checked her forehead for a fever, but found none. Still, the obvious discomfort on her face and in her body's position really concerned me. I wondered if I should call a doctor and said so.

Listlessly, she shook her head. "I am not ill, Nathan. I will be fine."

"You look damned ill. I am going to call Jennifer."

A tired grin answered that. "Oh, so it is Jennifer now, is it? I had forgotten she was the mover behind that lovely tawse strap you gave me for my birthday. Nathan. I do not need a doctor." The grimace of pain that crossed her face gave serious cause to doubt.

"That does it! You hurting! I am calling Dr. Danvers." I headed for the phone, when her plaintive cry stopped me.

"Naaa-ate!" The disgusted sound came out in two distinct syllables. "I am not ill. My..." She actually flushed. "Ummm, monthly visitor hit me this afternoon, rather harder than usual. Normally, my period is fairly easy, and I barely notice it except for the inconvenience. However, about once a year, Nature has a way of forcibly reminding me that I am female, and this is one of those times. I will be fine in the morning. Just go home and let me be."

"No way! I love you, although I have been an ass today, and you need some coddling. I am staying." I said with as much authority as I could muster.

She chuckled in spite of herself. "Nathan, Nathan, Nathan. What do you think you are going to do? Hold my hand? I will be fine. I have lived in this body with its little foibles for enough years to get through this."

"If it will help, I will hold your hand. I will do what ever else you need. Debbie, my ex, used to like warm things on her tummy and back rubs to relax the muscles and relieve the cramping. I will fill hot water bottles, find heating pads, tuck you in, make soup or tea...."

She grabbed her stomach in distress. "Please, do not talk about food just now." She resettled her self. "Well, if you are going to stay, you may as well be useful. Entertain me, Evans, distract me." I looked at her blankly. She pointed to a doored entertainment cabinet. Inside, I found... "Board games?"

She grinned. "Yes, board games. You are pretty good at conquering the world at Risk, Mr. Retired Navy Officer, but how are you at Monopoly?"

Not as good as she was. I got stomped, but her improved animation heartened me. Toward the end of the game, she even managed, before completely and humiliatingly bankrupting me, to force down some tea and toast.

She made sounds like shooing me off home so she could go to bed, and I demurred. "I won't insist on sharing your bed, love, but I am going to be here in case you need me in the night."

She gave me a dirty look. "Afraid to sleep with me because I am 'unclean'?'"

I gave a bark of laughter. "Not a bit of it. The idea of woman expressing her femininity in such a basic way is a turn on for me. The thought of you doing it turns me on incredibly." Her stunned look of disbelief made me chuckle again. "Trust me, you always excite me and every facet of you turns me on in one way or another. I just thought I might not be welcome after today. I have not had a chance to sufficiently grovel yet, and figured that asking for your bed would be pushing my luck."

I had, for once, surprised her. "Grovel? Is that what you have been doing?"

I gave her what I hoped was a dismissing shrug. "No, I waited for you at work to grovel. Since then however, I have been taking care of the woman that I love. We can go back to groveling when you are up to handling your end of it." We both laughed and she stood up to hug me.

"I am too messy for love making, Nathan, but if you are going to insist on staying here, I am going to insist that you stay in my bed."

She was wrong, at least about the lovemaking part. She did try to convince me, though, and came to bed in floor length flannel granny gown that almost made her curvy body look shapeless. Good thing I already knew what she looked like and have excellent visualization skills. A gentle back massage relieved her cramping, and aroused her until she was arching into my hands and purring.

Slipping one arm under her tummy, I lifted her hips until she was on her knees, then quickly moved under the skirt of her gown. I laid on my back and shouldered my way up between her splayed legs until I was looking up at her pantied crotch. Her panties bulged in front, evidence of the sanitary pad she had put on. She realized what I had done and where I was and tried to shift away, but I caught her hips in my hands and held her. I swiftly slid her panties down her thighs, effectively tieing her legs together around my head. The scent was strong, but feminine. I took a tentative taste. It was still the familiar flavor of Monique, but a little saltier, even a little coppery, but not nasty or even unpleasant. Sort of like the taste of licking a bleeding cut when you were a kid.

I became bolder, slipping my tongue out to tease the little places I had learned so well from both Monique and Mistress Monique over the past few months. Her hips rocked hard at the teasing touches, and she squealed. Her legs started pumping again, trying to escape, but the panties and my teasing hands held her firm. "Nathan!! Stop that, you can't want that.. I flow hard from the staaarrrrttt!" Her voice breaking as I fixed my attention momentarily on the swollen bud at the top of her woman mound. In short order, the skills I had learned and my own natural enthusiasm erased her will to resist. Feathery licks combed her silky hairs, parting them to reveal the treasures for my feasting. Hard, pointed tongue licks outlined her lips, and teased around, but not on her clitoris. She was starting to grind herself against me, trying to increase the sensation, the friction, but I held her back, lightening the caresses to drive her higher. "Damn you, Nathan, if you going to eat me, then eat me. Harder, damn you! There!! Yes!! That's it!" Her commentary came fast and furious.

I slipped one hand up to tease at her nipples, gently flicking them with a finger nail. The flavor of copper became stronger, and the taste of her became sharper, stronger, but I was as far gone as she was and kept going deeper, kept savoring and worshiping more fully. A sharp scream announced her first orgasm, but I did not stop. I kept worrying at the little places that became super sensitive after her climax and drove her back up before she had a chance to completely come down. She was nearly incoherent as I licked, teased, tickled and kissed. My nose got repeatedly mashed by the sharp point of her pubic bone as she thrust down hard to meet my tongue.

I raised my mouth to her clitoris and sucked it in, holding it gently with lip covered teeth. Making my tongue as hard as I could, I vibrated just the tip end back and forth across her woman's erection as fast as I could. She sat up and went rigid, unmoving for the space of three long heartbeats, and then screamed in triumph. Her thighs locked hard on my head as she bounced and moved in uncontrolled release before collapsing back to the bed, face first. I stayed beneath her for a bit longer, using tongue and lips, gently now, to ease and relax her, still savoring the taste and the power of her most intimate self.

Finally, I slipped her panties back up and eased out from under her and beneath her gown. Padding into the bathroom, I was shocked at the amount of red on my face. Turned out, most of it was mine. One of those pubic bone punches to the face had bloodied my nose. I cleaned up, then took a warm washcloth and towel back to the bed where I rolled my love over and gently cleaned her inner thighs and vulva. After carefully reseating her pad and panties, and rinsing out the cloth and towel, I returned to the bed expecting my reward. I got it, too, just not what I was expecting.

My love had fallen into a deep, relaxed sleep with a smile of pure contentment on her face. Looking down at my painfully erect cock, I sighed at the success of my ploy to help her relax. Obviously, I had succeeded too well. I slipped into bed beside her, covered us both, and pulled her into my arms. Her eyes never even twitched. I did not sleep much that night - Monique wiggles a lot in her sleep - but all things considered, it was still a great night.

Part Eight: More than a Session
Previous Part Six: Learning and Loving: Nathan