He was two minutes late, but I was still standing right by the door.
I wanted to surprise him.
I had been standing there for ten minutes already.
And exactly five minutes ago he'd sent me a text saying that he'd missed his bus from the grocery store and was going to be fifteen minutes late.
I could have gone upstairs to my room. Grabbed a book. Waited for the knock on the door. Or I could have gone back to the kitchen, looked my ingredient list over again, made sure for the fifth time that I had everything. Maybe grabbed a broom for a third pass of the floors. I could have gone back to the chatroom to quadruple-check that there weren't any hidden messages in our talk from the night before, but I knew that that was useless; as far as I could tell there was nothing hiding in there, as far as I knew he hadn't returned to the chatroom since the evening, but if he didn't want me to know...
I shivered with the thought of it.
And I wondered if my choice of dress was my choice. Though I was aware of what I was wearing, which suggested that I had chosen it deliberately. Or I suppose, I was aware of what I wasn't wearing. I had a nice apron on that I'd never worn before, a pair of frilly light blue panties, and... that was all. From the front, I looked perfectly normal—well, maybe a little odd for not having any socks or longer pants or dress on—but from the sides or the back my lack of clothing was very clear.
He was four minutes late. But I knew he would be.
It was a three-minute walk from the Cavendish stop. If he had caught the bus he meant to, he'd have arrived by then. I paced a bit. I thought about putting on some clothes and walking out to meet him at the bus... would it have been more effective to walk in, kick off my sandals, and drop my dress to be basically naked? I tried to imagine what he might have commanded me to do if he had given me suggestions. Wednesday I had been slowly stripping out of my clothes, step by step, and then we had eaten supper with me in the nude; maybe that's what he would have preferred? Maybe I should go and get dressed up so he can manipulate me into removing everything, a little at a time, I thought. There's a lot of time, I could go get dressed and make myself pretty for him...
But I wasn't doing this for him, I thought, standing in front of the full-length mirror in my room. I absolutely would do it for him, if he wanted me to, but... I looked in the mirror again. I was doing this for me, not for Darryl, and I looked hot, and I looked hot on my own terms, and if he didn't like it...
I giggled. If he didn't like it, it would change. And there was something extremely comforting about that. It wasn't that I couldn't make a mistake, it's that any mistake I made could be corrected with no fuss. With no thought. No awareness, even. I would just blink and whatever I'd done wrong would be made right. It was an emotional security blanket better than anything I could have come up with myself—and something I could never have achieved without his help.
I wondered briefly what that might mean.
I looked at myself again, and decided that I wasn't, in fact, fully dressed. I decided to use a little of the extra time to accessorize instead of pacing.
I pulled my hair up—better for food preparation, anyway—and tried on a number of different pins, ties, and accessories, until I found the perfect blue scrunchie that matched my panties and used it to put my hair in a cute bun. A necklace, a gold chain with a teardrop-shaped piece of blue glass, finished the ensemble. I had looked sexy before, now I was feeling it. I could imagine Darryl's hands slowly running through my hair, pulling the bun, loosing my hair, kissing his way down the back of my neck...
I took my hands out of my apron and checked the time. There was a message from Darryl on my phone, too: Just got off the bus, be right there.
Good, I could be at the door for the dramatic reveal. I got downstairs just in time to see him turn onto my front walk, so I opened the door and stood there waiting for him. From the front, no one would be able to tell anything was amiss.
And that was a thrill all its own.
He had bags of groceries in his hands, so he couldn't wrap his arms around me right away. "Hi Darryl," I said, trying to sound casual. I felt odd, though, saying it, and it took me a moment to realized why.
I was excited. Excited, and not nervous.
I wasn't sure that I knew how to be excited and not nervous. I wasn't really sure that I knew how to be not-nervous in the first place.
"Hey Rosa," he said as he climbed the steps. "Nice to see you."
I backed into the house, holding the door open. "Nice to see you, too."
He put the bags down. "There, stuff for a salad, and a lovely lemon cake for dessert."
I opened my arms and he wrapped me in a hug, and I got to feel him tense up in surprise as his hands felt my bare back. We looked at each other. I gave him a mischievous grin and a smoking hot kiss right there, which he returned with excitement and energy.
"Been waiting a while for that," I said as we stepped apart.
"Been waiting all day," he replied, kicking off his shoes. "And much as I'd like to explore more of what's under the apron, I'm starving."
I laughed. "There's lots of time for that. I skipped lunch, so..."
He nodded. "So did I. So I brought a lot for salad. Should we just hop in?"
I turned and wiggled a bit at him. "Follow me." I picked up one of his shopping bags and headed in towards the kitchen.
"No way I wouldn't," he said. I imagined his eyes on my ass, which is probably where they were, and I tried to walk with a little sway.
He put the bag he was carrying in the fridge and I put mine on the counter. Then we switched positions, I pulled out a cutting board and a couple sharp knives as he pulled out some vegetables and glass bottles of liquid. "I'll get to work on the main course if you'll do the salad?" I offered, pushing the kitchen equipment along the counter towards Darryl.
"Sure, where can I get a big bowl?"
I grabbed one from the cupboard and handed it over. "Need anything else?"
"Not immediately," he said, "but at some point I'll need a small bowl and a spoon for mixing, and a bit of salt." He pulled a large cucumber from the bag, took off the plastic wrap, washed it, and started chopping.
I got him the utensils he needed and pointed him towards the spice cupboard, then went to the fridge to get the chicken breasts out. They had been marinating since the morning in a mix of oil and spices, and they smelled lovely. I pulled out a large baking sheet, lined it with aluminum foil. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Darryl glancing my way every so often, so I tried to make sure I was turned a little away from him to give him more of a view of my bare back. I started slicing potatoes, leaning forward a little to expose the side of my breast. I felt, really felt sexy, and not just because I was basically naked. The chicken went on the baking sheet, and then the potatoes went into the oil and spices from the chicken.
"Shit!" Darryl gasped. I turned. He was holding his left thumb. He looked down at the vegetables he was chopping. "Didn't get any on there, at least."
I moved over, concerned. "You alright?"
He seemed a bit embarrassed. "I was a little, um, distracted. Paid for it. I'll be fine in a minute or two."
I flushed a little. "Distracted? Uh, come on, I have bandages in the bathroom."
"Heh, yeah, I, uh, wasn't exactly watching what I was doing." He sighed. "Should've known better."
"Oh?" I led him upstairs. There was a powder room on the main floor, but we didn't need a toilet or sink.
"I was staring. At you."
I had suspected that. I grinned to myself. This was still a serious situation, I had an injured friend to take care of, but... it was so very nice. I opened the door to the master bathroom, with its spacious shower. "Need to wash it out?"
"No, but..." He turned the water on. "Better safe, right?"
I opened the closet and pulled out the little box of adhesive strips. I hadn't needed them for a while, and they showed their age; the bandages were falling apart in my hands. "Uh. I might not have an up-to-date first-aid kit," I apologized.
He shook his head. "It's fine. I'll just clean it out, we'll get back to work."
I slid up next to him. "Let me kiss it better?" I said in a tiny voice.
He laughed and held up his thumb to me. "If you want, I'm not gonna stop you."
The cut was small and shallow, but blood was still welling up to the surface. I chickened out and kissed him on the flat of his thumb, not the tip where the injury was. I managed not to get any blood on myself as I leaned over and gently pressed my lips to the wounded digit. "All better," I said, flushing.
He was looking down my apron. He didn't seem to care that I knew.
"S-should we g-get back to supper?" I asked, stepping back, suddenly shy.
"Well, I am having other thoughts..."
I was suddenly very aware that my bedroom—and my bed—were just a door away.
"... but," he continued, "I'm very hungry."
"Heh... y-yeah, me too." I nodded, and probably too quickly moved towards the door. Having him look, even having him too distracted to cut right, was one thing; having him look when I was right there in reach was another entirely.
I felt like his eyes were on my ass the whole way back to the kitchen. Or he was possibly being more careful now. Maybe he was worried about falling down the stairs. We got back to our respective workstations, both being a little more careful. I set the oven to preheat as I finished laying out the potatoes on the baking sheet. "Should be about forty minutes for the main course, how are you doing?"
I turned and saw Darryl with his thumb in his mouth. "Hm, not great." He shook his hand out. "But I'll fight through it. Don't really like the idea of dealing with the balsamic vinegar, though..."
I took a breath. "Well, um, if you like..." I looked at the chopped up cucumber and celery and the half-finished (and very juicy) red bell peppers. "I could... do the salad... but I have a condition."
"Two, actually," I said. "First, you have to put the stuff in the oven when the preheat's done."
He nodded. "No problem."
"Good because I'm gonna be busy making your salad," I teased with a grin. "And second, you have to hypnotize me into doing it."
He actually rolled up his sleeves. "I like hypnotizing a lot more than I like chopping cherry tomatoes, especially when the acid'll get into my cut thumb..."
I put on my prettiest smile and batted my eyelashes at him. "Think you can handle me... Sir?"
"Don't think I really have a choice, now, do I?" He looked at his thumb, no longer bleeding. He put his index finger in the air and started to draw slow, lazy circles with it. "Think you can resist me?"
I played with the ties of my apron. "Don't think I really want to." I was already following the tip of his finger around and around, and even felt myself swaying on my feet a bit.
He didn't say anything, just lifted the finger up. I leaned forward, straightened up, and then realized how silly I must have looked, like a puppy chasing a treat. Or a puppet on a string.
He smiled and slowly brought his finger back down to my eye level. I couldn't read that smile, but I knew it had to mean something. I smoothed my apron with my hands as I kept watching that finger going around. And around. I wondered if he was going to do anything with it, and just as I thought about it, he turned his hand and used that finger to beckon.
I stepped closer, surprised that I would.
Puppet on a string, I remembered.
His slowly-circling finger was right in front of my eyes, and I had to work to keep it in focus. Just the thought of it made me feel tired. The finger went up (I went up too) and then down, and my eyes closed unbelievably quickly before snapping open again to see that finger right in front of my face, doing little laps in my thoughts. For a moment I saw two of them before my eyes did what was required to resolve the image.
The finger didn't go up this time. Just down. My eyes went closed in an instant. Then opened again much more slowly. He didn't hesitate this time; the finger dropped and my knees buckled, and I felt his arms around me, and finally there were words, but I couldn't understand them.
My job was to cut. I was a machine. A creation for an infomercial. I sliced. I diced. If we had any, I would have julienned fries. I was pointed towards a collection of vegetables that needed cutting. My job was to cut. I was the ultimate in safety. Precise. Measured. Exact. Every bit of pepper properly chopped. There was a bag with vegetables. Cherry tomatoes were sliced lengthwise and tossed into a bowl. Carrots were washed and sliced into bits. I heard the oven open nearby and the sound of something being put inside, but I was focused on the carrots.
New directions were given. A small bowl, a spoon, two bottles. Two spoonfuls of one, five spoonfuls of the other. Stirring and mixing. Adding in spices. Stirring. Mixing. The ingredients didn't want to combine, so it took a great deal of stirring. Eventually, though, it was done, the best mix in the business. I could hear the live studio audience cheering as I spooned out well-blended salad dressing onto the vegetables.
New directions were given. I took my apron, now stained with oil and vegetable juices, to the laundry hamper, and returned to sit at the table while I was served a bowl of delicious-smelling salad. I was handed a fork as I started to wake up. I ate, and the taste was delicious, perfectly tangy and a fantastic mix of flavours. I looked across at Darryl. "That was... different."
He winked at me. "Limited time offer, four low, low payments..."
I laughed. "I'm sure you'd be the first to put in a purchase."
"Oh, definitely! Especially if she looked like you."
I blushed but laughed. "I'm surprised you'd look anywhere but here," I said, pointing my fork at my bare breasts, aware of the blue stone between them.
"They do have a certain appeal..." He looked unabashedly.
"Maybe they're hypnotic," I said, swaying back and forth in my seat and watching his eyes follow. "Maybe with a snap of my fingers you'll drop right down into a trance."
"They're beautiful, but they're not that... uh... I mean, I... heh." He took a big bite of his salad to silence himself.
I laughed. It was a rare opportunity to see Darryl flustered like that. He always seemed to be able to find the right words in any situation. I decided to press my advantage, or maybe my luck, and put my hands up behind my head. "Oh, I see, not so eloquent when you have to come up with words on the fly, huh. When you're safe behind your keyboard and you can edit before you send, you're practically Oscar Wilde, but with the right pair of boobs in front of you, you get as tongue-tied as I do."
He swallowed and coughed. "I, um, well, uh—"
"Are they beautiful?" I asked with a smirk.
He nodded. "Yes, of course, but—"
"Are they beautiful enough to hypnotize someone?" I swayed a bit.
"Naturally. I mean, obviously, but—"
"Are they beautiful enough to hypnotize you?"
"I mean, it's possible, d-definabl—uh, definitely, but—"
"Then why don't you just relax a bit and let me—"
"Because there's smoke coming out of your oven."
"Shit!" I hopped to my feet and quickly ran to the offending appliance. "Darryl, can you grab a tea towel and keep the smoke away from the smoke detector in the hall?"
I wasn't paying any attention to him at all, just to the oven and my potentially-ruined main course. I was lucky, it wasn't serious; I had left a little too much oil on the potatoes, and Darryl had unintentionally poked a hole in the aluminum foil that, combined with the warped and cracked baking sheet and bent oven rack, allowed that excess to spill on the lower burner. Eventually it smoldered enough to cause smoke, but no fire, thankfully. I grabbed the oven mitts and pulled the barely-cooked food out, then shut off the oven. Which left me with a bit of a problem; I couldn't clean the oven out while it was still hot, but I couldn't turn it back on safely until after I cleaned it. I had a toaster oven, but that wouldn't take a pan that size.
I made a mental note to put more foil down next time. And replace the baking sheet. And the oven rack. And the oven.
Darryl popped his head back in. "No smoke out here, I think we're good."
I nodded. "Yeah, and the food's fine, just... not cooked. Not sure what to do about it."
I shook my head. "Can't clean it, no good until I can. It'll throw smoke every time, and it's a fire hazard." Even the underside of the pan had oil on it, which would drip down... I'd need to redo the lining and clean everything.
"Hm." He looked at the pan sitting on the stove top. "Have you got more foil, and a barbecue?"
I nodded. "Yeah out back, you thinking we could cook it on there?"
"Yep, no problem at all. Uh, though, you might maybe want to get dressed if we're cooking outside..." He took in the view again. "Real shame, if you ask me. Tell you what, you go get dressed, I'll wrap the stuff up to throw on the grill."
"You got a deal," I replied. "Beats cooking in small batches in the toaster."
I went upstairs and put on a nice black skirt and a blue top, and came down to find all the potatoes wrapped in a large foil packet on the dining table, and Darryl busily getting each chicken breast into its own similar package. I patted his butt as I walked by, and he made a hum of appreciation as I grabbed the potatoes and went out the back door, slipping on my sandals as I went, to turn on the barbecue. Propane resources were plentiful, and it didn't take long before it was at an internal temperature where I felt comfortable putting the potatoes on to cook. Darryl arrived shortly after that, and we put the four chicken breasts on as well, neatly wrapped up. I went back in to grab tongs and a plate, and Darryl brought our salad out to the lawn, and we had a nice appetizer there on the grass, watching to make sure our main course didn't set itself on fire for a second time.
"Not the dinner I'd planned," I said after a moment or two.
He laughed. "Has any of our meetings gone according to plan?"
I thought back. "W-well the... there was the first one, the garden, was pretty good I think?"
"That's true," he conceded. "And, well, all our dates have been good—even great—but have they gone to plan?"
I let out a slow breath. "The park was... yeah, good, but there really wasn't a plan. Then the movie, I arrived early, panicked, and you left for a sec, but before you got back there was that suggestion for me to have that warm hug, and I called you 'Sir' in public. So, okay. The book sale. You had me read that paragraph and imagine it like I was really there, and there was that thing you did to me on the bus, and I didn't kiss you. Dinner at the mall. Phantom touches. Public trance. Blindfolding me. Next meeting we put your shelves together. Well, half the shelves, we got a little distracted after that, and I walked home at two in the morning."
"Which brings us to today," Darryl concluded.
"Seems to me, Darryl, that when plans go sideways, you're involved in them somehow." I speared two tomato halves and ate them quickly.
He shrugged. "What can I say? Chaos tends to follow me around, I guess."
"Maybe it thinks you're as cute as I do."
"Maybe it does."
I polished off the last of my salad and politely turned down Darryl's offer of more, instead going to turn the items cooking on the barbecue. The evening was ... nice. Pleasant. Sun was warm, birds were singing, we could hear the shouting of some of the kids playing elsewhere in the neighbourhood. It felt normal.
I tried not to think too hard about how a few minutes ago I'd been a chop-a-matic, and how after we ate I was likely going to be in that headspace again. And more.
Darryl contented himself with a little walk around the yard. I was no gardener, but I had an apple tree growing pretty well near the back fence, and a small patch of flowers near the house. I paid a couple of the local boys to mow the lawn, mostly so that I wouldn't have to, so everything was pretty well-kept. I took the salad and the bowls inside and came back out with oven mitts and a knife. I checked the biggest piece of chicken, and it was definitely cooked, and the potatoes had become nice and crispy.
"I think it's ready," I said as Darryl walked up behind me.
"Great, can I help with anything?"
I turned off the barbecue and started putting the foil-wrapped food on the plate. "Hm. Drinks? Anything you like from the fridge, I just want a water."
"On it." He patted me on the shoulder and headed inside.
I realized as I brought the food in that I'd forgotten to set the table. Darryl was already fixing that oversight, hunting through drawers and cupboards. I put the hot food down. "I. Um." I looked down at myself. "Have an... admission. Um. I wondered if..."
"Yeah?" Darryl put two glasses of water on the table and looked at me.
"I was wondering if the way I was dressed when I met you was... um... I remember how much you liked me taking my clothes off..."
He looked me in the eye. "I loved what you were wearing when I got here, and how you were wearing it. I love what you're wearing now and how you're wearing it. And I get the best of both worlds. I got to experience Rosa in all her glory, and now I get to see what it's like to slowly peel back the layers from my Rosiegirl."
I shivered. "Th-thank you Sir." I bowed my head and blushed with pride. "After dinner?"
"Dessert can wait," he said with a gleam in his eye.
I was on the edge of my seat. The chicken was excellent, but I almost couldn't taste it. Darryl seemed to be taking his time, savouring it, and clearly enjoying both the food and my eagerness. Finally, when I was half done my second piece of chicken and he had just finished his first, he held up his finger, pointed right between my eyes. I gasped, looking right at it, and held my breath. He turned his hand and crooked his finger upwards. I understood, put my utensils down, and stood up.
"I want your top off."
I bowed my head again and slipped my blouse off, revealing my white cotton bra and my blue pendant, and moved to sit back down, but Darryl lifted that finger in the air, pointing straight up towards the ceiling. "Wait," he said.
He set to eating his potatoes, eyes only leaving my body for those moments when he had to look at his plate.
I waited. On edge.
He cleaned his plate. Took a big drink of his water.
One foil-wrapped chicken breast remained unopened. Half of one, along with a healthy serving of potatoes, sat uneaten on mine.
I was planning to finish my meal, mostly out of nerves, but I wasn't really all that hungry. I'd had plenty. "Not really, Sir."
He stood up. "Lead me."
It was happening. I didn't run, but I wanted to, so I walked quickly back to the stairs. Darryl followed me. I went up. I heard him behind me. I opened the door to my room. I had made sure it was well-cleaned.
"Take off your bra."
I felt his arms around me, his hands cupping my breasts. His breath was warm on my cheek. "Are you ready to drop deep for me, Rosiegirl?"
I nodded and swallowed. "Yes, y-yes, Sir."
He started to talk. Words swam in my mind. I fell to my knees at some point, and he was in front of me. I was standing again and we were kissing and there were more words. His hands helped me remove my skirt and teased me through my underwear, and I was on my knees again. He sat on the edge of my bed, and I helped him take off his shirt. He stood, and I undid his belt buckle and slipped off his pants, and his socks—socks which smelled faintly of the grass from my yard.
Clothing-wise, we were in the same state that we'd fallen asleep in the last time we saw each other.
I hesitated. So did he.
"Shall we remove my underwear?"
I swallowed and nodded. "Yes, please, Sir."
He'd said 'we,' but he did it while I knelt and watched. His solid, dark cock sprang up as he exposed it, and my mouth went dry. Trying to intuit what should happen next, I moved forward on my knees. I kissed the insides of his thighs, and felt his hand in my hair, pulling out the bun, letting it fall free. And like in our roleplay two nights before, he pulled my head back. There was a question in his eyes. There was acceptance in mine.
I took him in my mouth, eagerly, and started sucking.
He shivered and moaned, his encouraging hand on my head guiding, not forcing. He moved with me, pressing towards me as I moved back, but letting me set the pace. Already I could taste the salt and sweat of him, and I knew more would be on its way, when—
I stopped. I let him out of my mouth. "Sir?"
"No. Uh. Yellow."
I got to my feet. "Darryl? What's wrong?"
"I..." He stammered. He looked around. "I just... I'm sorry, Rosa, I'm..."
I watched him fall apart. His hardness receded. He scrambled about, finally grabbing hold of his underwear, flailing to try to get them on. "Darryl?" I asked again. "What's going on? Did I do something wrong?"
He shook his head, pulling up his grey briefs, and licked his lips, looking anywhere but at me. "I should... I'm sorry, I'm making a mess..."
I put a hand on his shoulder. "Darryl?" I took a breath. "Can I sit with you?"
He closed his eyes. He looked trapped. "Please," he said, and I'd never heard his voice sound small before that moment.
I sat with him. If there was something I could recognize, definitely understand, it was a panic attack. I put my arm around his shoulders, and we sat there.
He breathed, slow, but not easy. I could feel the tension in his body.
"Want to talk?"
He sighed. "I... yeah, I... but I can't find..."
I nodded. "There's so much less pressure in the chat room, huh."
"A lot less, yeah," he laughed. It wasn't a comfortable laugh, but it wasn't entirely nervous, either. Progress.
An idea hit me. "Do you... want to talk there?"
He blinked. "What... Rosa, what do you..."
I pointed at my computer. "I can turn that on. If you have the chat client on your phone, we could use that. Or, if that won't work, I have an old laptop in my closet that we could put to use. Might take a few minutes, but..." I shrugged.
"No," he said, "that's fine, I have the client on my phone, like you said, but... d-do you think it'll help?"
I smiled at him as gently as I could. "Couldn't hurt, right? And..." I took a chance. I wrapped my arm around his and put my head on his shoulder. "And it keeps you here with me while we work this out."
We stayed there for a long moment. Finally, he said, "Okay. Yeah. Alright. Worth a try."
His voice had a mixture of optimism and skepticism that was so familiar to me that it almost broke my heart.
"Do you want to be in a separate room?" I asked him, letting him go and walking over to my computer to wake it.
"I dunno. Maybe. I ... do you mind if I wander around a bit?"
I sat in my office chair. "I'll stay right here. You go wherever you need to." Just don't leave the house, I silently pleaded.
He picked up his pants, looked at them like he was considering putting them on, then just fished the phone from his pocket. "I'll start downstairs, alright?"
I clicked the chat client open. "Alright, Darryl."
He walked out the bedroom door. I heard him going down the stairs.
I knew he would have to come back to get his clothes, and briefly considered hiding them. Instead, I opened our private chat room and waited for the acknowledgement of his arrival.