Submitted by Nicolae Parx
Roxana despised clocks and kept few in her home. When Nicolae awoke, he knew it was morning, yet he had no bearings on the familiar to figure out the 'when' he required to plan his day. Shaking his head as if to jostle some sense back into it, he could determine only that it felt like morning and the cool ocean breezes made staying under the warm comforter more desirable.
He sat up slowly with the down wrapped around him as if to protect him from unseen and unknown forces that seemed to swirl in the breeze that snuck into the room through the oversized windows. For the first time, he looked around Roxana's suite.
Beige and sand and orange and peach infiltrated his vision. Her colors were obviously carefully selected, yet Nicolae could discern no single pattern whose purpose it was to draw the rooms into any sort of single entity. Yet it fit together, he surmised, because it was supposed to. After all, Roxana revealed new parts of her every moment. Why should her decorating seem finished?
The houseboy walked in without knocking and placed a tray on the table in the sunny alcove.
"Coffee," he informed Nicolae unnecessarily as the aroma filled the room. "Mistress requires you in the den in 45 minutes."
As he turned to exit, Nicolae inquired, "How do I know when it's 45 minutes?"
The boy's response was as straightforward as it was confounding. "Either figure it or be early," he smirked and strode out of the suite.
When he exited, Nicolae realized for the first time that the boy's body was well toned and tan. From behind and through the almost sheer white silk shorts he wore, Nicolae saw the very type of ass that Roxana had once referred to as her only fetish. Tight. She liked asses, and the tighter there were, the better. He remembered her words like they were seared into his brain and he kept them in his thoughts for every long hour he spent in the gym.
"The first hour is for you," she told him whenever he talked about going to the gym. "The second hour is for me."
One night, during a marathon cell phone conversation, he had related to her the story of Gold's Gym, his music and his workout. It was the first time she had been quiet long enough to listen to everything he felt the need to share to with her and her silence urged him on. He didn't omit a detail.
"Finally, the music built and built and there was this crescendo coming," his voice rose in pitch like the music that played in his ears. "And then, just when I thought I couldn't run anymore and the treadmill was tilted and I was damn near running uphill and my legs were burning, then the damned machine stopped! The time was up but I couldn't even imagine stopping! No, the music was getting ready and I was ready and I finished my water and turned it on again."
Unseen on her own coast, Roxana's eyes filled with the threat of tears.
"Right then, I knew it, I knew that it was now your hour and I turned that thing on high and started the music and my legs started running. It wasn't for me. I ran, well, my legs ran, and I know I turned around and was running backwards for a while and all the time the music was blaring in my ears and I could feel it coming on."
Rather than sounding exhausted, his voice was strong and intent. He had a story to tell and nothing was going to stop him. Roxana listened through her tears.
"I was running and dancing, twisting and turning, I'm not sure which or when, and I have no idea where it came from, but it was for you. The others who were there? They must have looked at me like I was crazy. And I felt crazy - just crazy enough to run backwards up hill and feel the sweat just pouring off me. I didn't have to look at myself in any of those mirrors; nope, I knew what I would see. I'd see someone," he paused for the briefest of moments, "who was doing it for you."
He took a breath and Roxana sobbed quietly into the phone. He knew what she was feeling but he was relentless. The story had to be completed.
"It built and built - - the music was the only thing I heard and my body, well, it wasn't mine. Not for that time. No, it was a body running into nowhere and doing it for you. I never even thought that I couldn't run anymore and it was a whole lot more than I ever ran in one session, but it didn't matter. Only doing it mattered. Only doing it for you mattered."
Roxana's voice would have broken if she had tried to interject a sentence. Even a continent away, Nicolae knew it, too, and continued his story inexorably into her ear.
"I knew right then, somehow, that one day you'd touch my ass. I just knew it. And I was going to make damned sure that it was rock hard under your hand. I was running for me, and then for you."
Unable to take anymore of his genuine honesty, Roxana vowed that one day she would indeed touch his ass and she knew, without having to think about it, that it would be rock hard to her touch. The gift he gave her that night in that phone call was one of his first steps into authentic submission. It was genuine, no matter how far away it was. Having felt that validity only rarely in her life, Nicolae's gift brought her new meaning.
"And then I stopped," his determined voice concluded and Roxana broke down and cried. For several minutes, they both listened to dead air time before he asked her if she were all right.
"My sweet boy," she managed into the mouthpiece, "I will touch you - - one day."
At that moment, there was nothing left for either of them to say.
The darkness was surprisingly invigorating to Nicolae when he entered the den. The single candle's glow that interrupted the blackness invading his eyes was at first a disturbance but soon became a welcome respite from the tension that lay within him so deeply that it seemed to emanate from his bones. The soft aroma of gardenias, which he inhaled when he allowed himself to breathe, infected his senses beyond simply that of smell.
What captured his attention so assiduously was that it was utterly silent. Neither ocean nor street noises attacked his concentration nor did any extraneous sound interrupt his absorption in the process. She had warned him that he must not anticipate the destination. Instead, she reminded him repeatedly that he must savor the journey.
His body sank onto the couch as he tried to become one with it, as she had told him in so many ways and so many times. Although being one with a couch had made no sense to him when she explained it so painstakingly, the task seemed within in physical and mental grasp when he actually laid himself on the soft afghan. The fluffy blanket surrounded him both physically and emotionally and the more he allowed it to encompass him, the more it enveloped him.
Only the glow of the single candle and the aroma of gardenia filled his senses. Along with the heady feeling of floating within the afghan, he felt almost relaxed. Before she left the room, Roxana had promised him a respite from reality - a perfect moment - and his eagerness to absorb every second of that sacred time competed with his resolve to cede his control to whatever she had planned. It was always like that; it seemed to him as his mind raced ceaselessly, every opportunity was wasted in the mêlée that his mind forced upon his body. Even though she promised that this time would be a different reality for him, he felt resigned to yet another experience that would be lost and he cursed silently his own inability to simply let go.
The room was warm and the balmy ocean air impressed itself upon every inch of his skin. Concentrating on the blushing flame behind his head, he tried to expose himself physically to its glow. Calculating that the more of his skin that touched the soft light or drank in the fragrant aroma, the more he would be hastened into that special space, he turned his legs outward and placed his palms up as if to render more of his physical being available to what he craved.
The only problem was that it wasn't working.
The tension wouldn't subside; the world's anxiety wouldn't recede from his supine shoulders. Nicolae's gut was wrenching of its own accord and even as he fought to control its turmoil, he noted that his ankles were getting stiff. When he worked tenaciously at overcoming that particular problem, another arose as he recognized the ache in his neck - the one that he got almost every afternoon from sitting in front of a monitor that could be bigger or adjusted better and on a chair that felt, at times, like it simply didn't fit. Helplessness and hopelessness filled his thoughts, as he understood completely that he would never achieve what she had promised - a single moment.
All she had promised him was something that he had never felt before. Good intentions, he mused as he watched the flame dance to an unseen and unfelt breeze. But he knew better; good intentions never suffice. Not with him. He just didn't work that way.
Naked meant just that and he was amused when she stripped the watch from his wrist prior to arranging him on the couch. Now he wished he had a way of determining just how long he had been there in that useless and unproductive position. Ten minutes? An hour? Longer? Fighting with the schedule that seemed omnipresent inside his brain, he wondered what things he could have accomplished in the time he had just spent so ineffectually.
After counting the tiles on the ceiling and pumping his fingers into fists several dozen times, he felt a strange sensation behind his head.
Someone was there.
Unable to determine if it were one person or more or even where they had come from, his body tensed in response to the realization of another human form behind him. When earphones were slipped around his head and a soft murmuring filled his brain, he could no longer listen for telltale signs that would enable him to compute the number of extra people who might be in the room. At least his ankle stopped hurting and he was thankful for the brief respite from his concentration.
Sniffing almost desperately to recapture the gardenia fragrance and ground himself again in the reality that was his for this time, he felt an odd feeling of dryness in his throat that surprised him. At least the candle's glow still surrounded him and gave him a strange sense of peace even with a dry throat and agonized mind.
Fingers from nowhere drew what he anticipated would be a blindfold around his eyes. Once in place, he realized that it was not the black leather or fabric he predicted; rather, it was an odd foam barrier between his face and his eyes' ability to focus. Although the shield wasn't opaque, it distorted the candle's glow so that his eyes witnessed a kaleidoscope of images that danced simultaneously in front and behind the translucent screen that separated his eyes from reality.
His senses were being invaded one at a time and he was having trouble keeping up with the intrusions Roxana was apparently inflicting upon him. Inhaling frantically to gain another whiff of the floral aroma, blinking his eyes to focus on the unseen, straining his ears to hear any discernible sounds, and shifting noiselessly to feel more than the apparition of floatation in which his body seemed immersed, Nicolae's body was a struggle-in-motion that, to an outside observer, seemed almost inert. Anger welled within him as he fought for control. Yet he did not move. Not much.
Fingers touched his temples from behind. Round strokes massaged the aching sides of his face until he finally closed his eyes to any distraction the odd goggles sent toward his retinas. For the moment, he gave in to the circular motions and sent his awareness singularly to those fingers. The pressure they bore was minimal; the result they provided was blissful. For that moment, he felt only his temples and whatever pain had been in his ankle was now a mere memory.
What next, he wondered. Roxana's agenda was as clear to him as it was likewise vague: a perfect moment unlike any other he had experienced. Unable to define either her motives or her plan, Nicolae's thoughts coalesced into a rapid torrent of questions interrupted only by the heavenly comfort attached to his temples. The questions lurked but quickly diminished. He fought to push them behind his present into somewhere and sometime less important.
Nicolae felt like he was failing.
An inch at a time, and sometimes even less distance than that, the fingers moved across his face. Circling his eyes, cheeks, jaw and nose, they brought a sort of reassurance mired in relief to his neck and shoulders. Her fingers were the essence of gardenia and his lungs drank in the taste. Desperate for more, he shifted slightly on the bed. Trying to set the schedule for her plan, Nicolae's body strove to make her aware of his enjoyment in a silent pleading for more.
The fingers withdrew and his body shifted again, in silent communication with the unseen hands that had suddenly fled. He wanted more. His body craved it; his mind demanded it. She withheld it.
Silence, except for the murmuring in his ears, suffocated him. His eyes chose not to open and his body lay absolutely still as the struggle within him beleaguered his thoughts. The only outward sign of his inner turmoil would be invisible to most viewers, but she saw the slight shudder that his body performed. It was time, she assessed.
Grasping his hands, Roxana lifted him from the couch and walked him blindly ahead. Obviously walking behind him, Nicolae felt her body touch his own and their skin mingled during the short walk to wherever his destination lay. Her hands surrounded his chest and lay on his nipples; her arms encased him and her warm skin converged with his own. Unsteadily, he walked until she grasped his midsection and brought him to a halt.
Together, they walked down several steps into water that was warm and motionless. The air was unscented, the room silent. One by one, the accoutrements were lifted from his ears and eyes, and he was alone, with her, in black silence.
He felt her legs wrap around his waist and lift him onto his back. His head, now tilted backward, lay on her chest. His legs splayed before him and floated aimlessly in the wet black darkness. It was utterly peaceful.
Together they became one elongated body.
The struggle diminished and Nicolae's thoughts seemed to float of their own accord away from his body into the wet cocoon that encircled him. Hovering above and below the water, he no longer felt the differentiation between her legs and his hips. Her hands became extensions of him and the fingers she placed on his scalp seemed to belong there. Tiny circles became larger ones; minute pressure increased. The places she touched became alive for that moment of contact and he longed for the instant to become eternity.
When Roxana touched his shoulder, Nicolae wanted to cry out in approval but his voice would not respond. Fingers danced along every muscle and kneaded the distress from each. Tracing the striations, she encircled his arms down to his fingertips as he felt the stress of a lifetime flush into the warm water.
He wanted to stay there forever.
With a sudden yet gentle lift, he felt her body remove itself from beneath him and place his head on a soft shelf. Alone and floating, he felt more pressure fall into the water and he rose higher.
Her tongue touched between his toes with a feeling of warmth that bedeviled his sensibilities. Each toe was gifted; his
insteps were kneaded gently; and his calves felt her ministrations. Had it been hours, he wondered, or mere minutes?
Expert manipulation assaulted his calves and knees as she moved her touch to his watery thighs. Parting them gently, she placed herself between his legs and took his midsection within her arms. For a moment, her head rested on him and the two created yet another single body whose soul strived for a singular goal.
Her touch was complete, total and yet surprisingly asexual. She held every part of him, including a piece of his soul, in her fingers, hands, mouth and arms. And when she was done, his mind levitated briefly and for that instant - he felt absolutely nothing.
The nothingness juxtaposed alongside his very real being metamorphosed into a ravenous hunger that shunned thought. Unable to concentrate or merely to think, he could only feel. And what he felt was simply nothing.
Unsure of how long that heavenly moment lasted, he gave in to it. When it ended, he craved its return - yet he was incapable of achieving it alone. Feeling powerless and leaden, he yearned for her touch yet she held it back from his real and eager longing.
And then, out of nowhere, her fingers touched his temples as his head lay on her chest. And she began again.
Over afternoon tea, the conversation was filled with Nicolae's questions that were shot in rapid-fire succession and that demanded answers that Roxana's smile served as the only reply he would receive. The morning was gone, he realized, and for the first time figured out that she had him in that pool for at least 3 hours. Because he didn't know what time he started, he had no concept of when it finished, much less any concept of what time it was now.
He inhaled a huge breath and felt the rising tension dispel.
"What happened?" he asked plaintively.
"Why don't you tell me?" Roxana asked plainly and without a hint of sarcasm or challenge.
Biting the scone, Nicolae reflected before answering, a process that Roxana silently applauded. "I think that's called sensory deprivation," Nicolae commented.
"Did you feel deprived?" she asked with a small smile.
"Oh no!" he almost shouted. "No, not in any way. No, I felt… full. I just don't know what was filling me." Nicolae's voice wandered a bit before he collected his thoughts again. "I was empty and full at the same time, wasn't I?"
Her eyes looked into his own and Nicolae felt her gaze penetrate deep into his chest. Taking her own deep breath, Roxana replied. "You were cluttered," she began. "Filled with this trying to please me and not understanding what it is that really pleases me," she concluded.
Nicolae agreed silently with a single nod.
"How can you be what I want you to be, and what you want you to be if you're full of junk?" she laughed quietly as he stared at her curled lips and felt his own move upward. "Think of it as housecleaning," she spoke through her smile.
Nicolae took another small bite of his scone and sipped hot tea while he thought about the meaning she wasn't offering to him. His mind was aflutter with a myriad of thoughts and ideas and conclusions and possibilities, but he was equally certain that he just didn't get it yet. Priding himself on figuring it out and always "getting it," Nicolae's demeanor turned suddenly serious.
"I don't know that I'll ever know what pleases you," he whispered.
Roxana grinned widely and touched his hand across the small table. "That's the first step on our journey," she spoke into his eyes. "Are you ready to take another step with me now?"
Nicolae's chest swelled with the hunger that he knew so well from their late night chats and phone calls when all he could feel was acute need for her presence and her touch. Just below his heart and above the bottom of his rib cage, the rising tension centered into a sort of extraordinary tightness he'd felt so often, sometimes when a mere piece of email from her showed up in his inbox or a message appeared in his chat software.
"I'm not ready," he spoke syllable by syllable. "But I need to," he whispered. "I've got to!" he finished in a stronger voice. And Roxana knew that he'd have no more to say right now; instead, it was time for him to take the next step on his journey. As evening fell, she made him work out with her houseboy in the gym as she readied what she was going to need and steeled herself for what would surely be a spectacular evening.