"Honestly, for god's sake... I can't believe you made such a careless mistake."
Delta stood awkwardly to the side of the meeting room, fiddling with their fingers. Why had she brought them here? They had fully expected their Mistress to just leave them outside while she dealt with whatever business conflict was going on, but instead, she'd just brought them in and told them to stand to the side. Delta got more than a few awkward looks, people questioning what they were doing there, but every time someone looked their way, they just smiled awkwardly, and it seemed nobody wanted to cross their Mistress enough to push further.
The meeting was held on one of the floors of the mall. It seemed their Mistress actually had part of her business in here. It made sense to them, their Mistress having a part of the mall to herself. After all, she was, as she'd said, incredibly rich.
Delta didn't really understand what was going on, or what the mistake was, but they did understand it wasn't something that could be easily forgiven. Not judging by how many insults their Mistress spat out, and how biting her tone was. At one point, she outright laughed in one of the others' faces over how stupid they were being.
I'm just glad that's not me. As much as they — apparently — enjoyed being degraded in a sexual manner, they would never have wanted to be on the other end of this particular intervention. They sort of felt bad for everyone involved. Someone was probably going to be getting fired the next day. Most likely a man with a bushy beard and round glasses named Jared, who seemed to be at the center of the conflict.
The meeting only lasted about fifteen minutes. It was clear that Mistress just wanted to solve things quickly and get the hell on with her day. Her subordinates left the room sighing with slumped postures. Someone turned to Delta as he walked out the door, giving them a half smile. Most of the others seemed to just want to get out of there immediately, though. Delta watched each one of them go out the door.
Finally, once everyone was gone, Delta turned to their Mistress, who was still sitting down with her head in one of her hands. Her expression might have looked passive, were it not for her eyes being flared wide open in rage. Delta didn't really know who to feel bad for. The subordinates who caused such a mess, or their Mistress who was getting the short end of the stick? Or at least, they thought, to an extent — she's probably by far still the richest person in the room.
Delta waited a few minutes, the silence hanging over them as they waited for her to say something. Finally, unable to bear it any longer, they spoke up.
"Um... do you want me to clean up here?" they asked, not sure what else they could or should be doing.
Their Mistress took a deep breath before answering. "Please."
Delta tidied up the room, stacking the papers that were left behind and pushing in the chairs. They moved to erase the whiteboard, but were cut off by their Mistress.
"I need to remember just how much my workers messed up," she chuckled halfheartedly. Luckily, nobody had been eating or anything messy like that, so cleanup only took a couple of minutes.
Once they were done, they turned back to their Mistress, awaiting further orders. She said nothing. By now sick of the silence, and not particularly enjoying seeing her this way, Delta spoke up again.
"I don't really understand what happened, but, um, I'm sorry it did. I... I hope things get solved."
Their Mistress lifted her head, still not meeting Delta in the eyes and instead staring blankly ahead. Delta really didn't know what happened — obviously — and to be fair, they probably still wouldn't understand even if it was explained to them. They had never been good with numbers or business terms or the like. But their Mistress was kind enough to pamper them so much today — getting them that stunning dress and all the clothes they could ever want — so they wanted to return the favor, at least somehow. Even if it was just giving her an apology for something they didn't do.
The silence loomed around the two, Delta waiting for their Mistress to give them an order, or take her anger out on them, but instead there was... nothing. Somehow, that felt worse, so Delta said the first thing to come to mind that might make it better.
"Do you want... a massage?" they asked. They groaned internally. Was that really the best thing I came up with?
Their Mistress gave them a puzzled look. Was she going to make fun of Delta for asking such a silly question? If she wanted to, she didn't have the energy to laugh at them. "Yes, please," she finally sighed. "That would be nice."
Delta moved behind her, and put their hands on her shoulders, starting to slowly massage her. They started with light movements, moving up in intensity and across her shoulders. Never actually having given a massage before, they wondered if they were doing it right, and hesitated as they worried they were making it worse. Their Mistress seemed to be enjoying it, though — or at least, she didn't look like she was not enjoying it. They kept doing what they were doing for a while, and they could feel her muscles relaxing under their amateur ministrations.
"Stop," she said after a long pause. "That's enough."
Delta took their hands off of her and stepped back to give her room to stand up. She stretched quickly, combed her hair with one of her hands haphazardly, and then turned around to Delta.
"Your technique is not great, to say the least. I don't think you even tried to guess the right places to go. You don't really know how to give massages, do you?" she scolded.
Delta shrunk a little, a little disheartened that their attempt to make her feel better had failed. "No, I... I never got trained in it, or anything. I'm sorry if I made things worse."
"Well, maybe I'll have to teach you then," she huffed, beginning to gather her belongings. Delta went over to grab the bags of clothes that they were holding, and stopped when their Mistress spoke up again.
"Thank you for trying to cheer me up."
Delta turned around to face her. Before they could respond, she kept going.
"You really are a delightful and loyal servant, no matter how stupid you are." Oddly, she smiled at that in a way that Delta could only describe as warm. "I'm glad I bought you."
They felt a little thrill at the reminder — the reminder that they were, quite literally, hers. They briefly locked their legs together, grimacing as they realized how desperate they must look. With some effort, they unlocked them. With a shaky smile, they nodded. "Me too."
That warmth faded in an instant as words echoed in their mind, more insistent than before. Not fair...
Their Mistress checked her phone, grimacing as she saw the time. "Well. If we rush, we can make the time for our makeovers. I trust you can keep up with my pace?"
Delta nodded. Their Mistress chained her wrist back to their waist again, though. Just in case.
Breathing heavily, their Mistress walked into a salon on the thirteenth floor, Delta right behind her. They were still reeling over the sight of the mall through the glass elevator they'd taken. It was just so... big. They didn't even recognize most of the stores, and the only thing that stuck with them was how expensive everything looked.
Their Mistress made them change out of their normal attire into the dress they got while they waited, because she was 'sick of walking around looking like she was hanging out with a homeless person she found on the streets.' She had just as quickly clarified that of course, she would never do such a thing. But as lovely as the dress was, it was still difficult to walk in. Thankfully, their Mistress didn't require them to wear the heels that went with it — just nicer dress flats.
Their Mistress unchained their waist as a slot became available for both of them. She had checked them both in for the "extra full service" makeover, which, she'd explained, included not only makeup, but also a manicure, a pedicure, and a haircut with a choice of one color.
Delta sat in the massage chair, their Mistress sitting in the one next to them. They each had three people helping them, one doing nails, one doing makeup, and one doing toenails. Their Mistress was quiet and calm, and it was clear this was not the first time she was doing something like this. Delta, on the other hand, just kept smiling sheepishly at how out of place they felt. Delta picked a deep black for the nails with a red sparkle — they'd originally wanted to go with just blue, but their Mistress "encouraged" them to go for black with red, although she insisted it was their choice. They were never the kind of person to do makeup on their own, and it was a good thing their Mistress hadn't forced them to start... not yet, anyway. But they did love how the people here were doing it. The smooth foundation they chose, and how nicely done their eyeshadow colors were.
Soon after their makeup was done, one person remained at their station to do their hair. They were offered to have one color done as a streak. Without looking at their Mistress, they asked for a suggestion.
"I've decided on this part already," she said. "We'll both get a bright red streak. You on your left side, mine on my right."
Delta couldn't say they weren't disappointed by not being able to pick their own color, or even where it went, but a red streak would be nice. The two had their hair washed, Delta letting the warm water coat their scalp, and the dresser put the color in. They made light conversation with Delta and their Mistress while they waited for the color to set, though nothing said was particularly important or memorable.
The stylist did their hair, and Delta stared into the mirror, trying to make out just what the hairstylist was going for. They normally didn't like people touching their hair, but they didn't really have a choice... and this person seemed like she was experienced enough to be trustworthy, especially given where she was hired. At least their Mistress wasn't forcing them to get some sort of extravagant hairstyle, and was letting them keep their hair nice and bushy. It wasn't so much of a haircut as it was a trim, and even then it was more just tidying up.
Once the stylist was done with the cutting, Delta watched as she blow-dried their hair. Their eyes drifted to their Mistress, who was getting hers done as well. That surprised Delta, considering her hair was much longer, and she was probably much more demanding with what was to be done with it.
"And.... done!" Delta's hairdresser announced, swinging Delta towards the mirror. They gasped at the vibrant red streak in their hair, practically giving off its own light. Somehow, with that small curl at the tips, that hair felt right. The color, and everything. Combined with the dress, they looked absolutely gorgeous, and they reveled in that.
Their Mistress was done soon after. If Delta didn't look stunning enough, she surely was a Goddess. She stood up as the cape was taken off of her, and gazed at herself in the mirror. Surprising Delta, she roughly grabbed their arm and pulled them next to her to look at both of them in the same mirror. She tilted her head in various directions, admiring each angle her hairstyle showed off.
"What do you think?" she asked, and Delta couldn't help but grin again.
"We look great."
Delta strutted out of the salon and down the halls, the same grin still on their face. They occasionally took out their phone's camera to look at themself from various angles, admiring their hair and makeup and clothes and just about everything. For the first time in a long time, they felt truly beautiful. And it didn't feel like being beautiful was a bad thing, either. When they came into the mall, they felt neutral about their appearance... actually, they didn't feel anything at all. It just kind of existed. Now, they glowed.
A part of them wanted to thank their Mistress again. But something still felt off — after all, they were still her property. As far as Delta knew, as soon as today was over, she could just lock Delta in their room for them to be fucked, over and over again with no food or water, until the day they die. That thought shook Delta to their core. They feared that this kindness wasn't going to last, and they were going to go back to what one bought a person for as soon as today was over.
Their Mistress noticed their mood, but said nothing. She kept walking, pulling her wrist's chain to give Delta a hint to keep up.
Kassandra's words rang in Delta's head again. And now that Delta had a quiet moment, that felt right. This wasn't fair. Out of the dozen or so others that were sold off at the auction, Delta was lucky to get a Mistress who would buy them nice clothes and expensive haircuts. Who knows what some of their other friends were doing? Who knew if some of them were... were even still alive?
And that wasn't even touching on how this wasn't fair to Delta, even. Delta was her property. They didn't have a life of their own, or a chance to have dreams, or ambitions, or anything. They were a piece of meat, physical entertainment, a plaything. Their Mistress got to live her life and be a successful business woman, and Delta got to be her eternal sex toy.
Delta wasn't bitter, but they could feel something in them building. Panic? When faced with a frightening situation, Delta wasn't one to fight or run away. Delta would just freeze — stand there and let it happen, because they couldn't think to do anything else.
They were jolted out of their thoughts as their Mistress stopped walking straight and pulled them to the side. She turned to them, and Delta tried their best to focus.
"Before we leave, we're going to go to the restaurant on the top floor. There's a performance going on that we're going to have the front table to see. Is that understood?"
Delta paused to collect their thoughts. "Yes, Mistress."
She slapped them lightly across their face. The slap itself didn't so much hurt, but what really shocked Delta was the fact she did it in public. Luckily, no one seemed to be staring, but Delta was still stunned.
"You hesitated. Why did you hesitate?"
Delta shifted again, looking down at the ground and tilting their head away. "N-nothing, Mistress. I just... I have a lot on my mind."
"Oh? Didn't think you were smart enough to think," she smirked. "Care to share with the audience?"
Delta kept looking down. They weren't sure if they should tell her, but... they couldn't keep it inside.
"It's just... I just don't see why me. Like, why you're being so nice to me. I don't understand. And I just... I think about some of the other people from the auction, and wonder how they're getting treated. Like, you know, what people are doing to them. And I... you're so nice to me, and I just... I don't feel like I deserve it. I'm not good enough."
Their Mistress stared at them. Delta almost wanted to wait for her to interject, but their own momentum kept them going.
"I just don't understand why I deserve this. I'm not special. I'm not particularly good or anything, I don't think I'm good at anything, and—" Delta could feel their voice cracking and their lip trembling, but they were resolved not to cry. "I just can't do anything for you, but you can do everything for me, and you just... I'm a waste of space, and money, and I—"
Delta was cut off as their Mistress pulled them into her chest for a tight embrace. Delta blinked, surprised by the warmth. This was a hug that friends or loved ones shared, not one that someone's literal owner would give. They couldn't tell if their Mistress was trying to calm them down or shut them up. Whichever was her intent, it did both.
"Breathe," she ordered, and Delta began breathing in deeply instinctively.
"Just melt into me," she said. Delta shifted into her, collapsing in a way that felt familiar for no reason they could place. She held their weight without so much as a grunt. As slender as she was, she was stronger than she let on.
"The mist is coming back into you as you inhale. Breathe it in. One, two..." she counted, and Delta could feel the mist filling them up, and that was what had been familiar, bringing them deeper and deeper into that dark place. They could feel their Mistress still talking to them, but as the mist filled their ears, their mind, they were having more and more trouble making out what she was saying. That didn't matter. The mist heard. Everything became darker, and they slid into that mist...
You're doing so well, my loyal plaything.
You haven't done anything wrong.
You're always learning to be better and better for me.
I'm very, very grateful to have you in my life.
I love spoiling you and showing you off as my property.
Learn to have some faith in yourself, Delta.
Take a deep breath...
Feel the mist retreating...
And... wake up.
Delta came to moments later — or at least, they thought it was just moments. They had a brief moment of panic as they wondered if Kassandra had popped out. But they didn't feel her presence, so... it was probably fine. They looked around, eventually meeting eyes with their Mistress, who was holding them near one of the bench areas away from the general public.
They blinked. What had just happened? They felt so much better, well rested, and yet...
Delta snapped to attention, turning their eyes back to their Mistress. "Um, sorry. I must have spaced out."
Their Mistress sighed, and then gave off a small chuckle. "Yes, that was sort of the point."
They cocked their head in confusion.
"Just to make sure — I am talking to Delta, yes?" When Delta nodded, she continued. "I put you in a small trance. I didn't put you in one deep enough that I worried it would bring Kassandra out, but one calm and quiet enough to calm you down."
Delta stood there, staring at her and gaping a bit. They were in a trance? How did they not know? Were they not able to fight back against it... well, if they'd wanted to? They felt their muscles complain, still asleep, and they tried to wake them up by moving their limbs and shifting their body.
"Do you feel better, plaything?" she asked.
"Um... I suppose so. I don't really remember what..."
"You were upset because you thought you didn't deserve my kindness. Let me be clear about something." Her face turned soft to firm. "I am not pampering you because I feel bad for you, or because I know you want it. I am treating you this way because I want to, and I get what I want. Is that clear?"
Delta bit their lip and nodded. They did sort of remember now. Guilt that their Mistress was spending so much time and money on them, and feeling like they didn't deserve it. Kassandra's words still faintly echoed in their mind, which stressed them out more. But they tried their best to get their mind off of it for now. Surely their Mistress wouldn't want to have to put them in a trance again, or call their day off.
On cue, she stood up. "Let's go. Don't make me late."
The top floor of the mall took a while to get to. They still couldn't believe how big the place was. Surely they thought they'd reached the top before, but the elevator ride had taken them up twenty stories. Delta looked out the glass window in awe. They were never one to fear heights, so they were able to fully appreciate the view from the top. The sun was setting, and they took in the sight of the sun casting its oblique light on the buildings in the distance, painting the clouds a beautiful array of colors. They weren't able to stay staring for long, as their Mistress tugged them away from the window to go grab their reservations. It was clear she didn't care about the view as much as Delta did.
The restaurant itself was also something to gawk at. Delta had never been in a restaurant so fancy, and it was ten times more than any dream they'd had of being in the fanciest restaurant they could imagine. Clearly only a select few were able to come, not because others weren't allowed, but because they outright couldn't afford it. Their Mistress checked them in, but her words were lost to Delta's fascinated gaze until she gave them another tug to follow her.
They sat down, and Delta had their waist unchained so they could sit across from her. The waitress didn't seem to notice that Delta was being treated like the property they were — that, or she'd seen similar things, with the clientele she catered to. She handed them the menus, and asked for their order. Delta looked at their Mistress, waiting for her to order for them.
"You can have anything you want," she rolled her eyes, nodding her head towards the drink menu. "Just order."
Delta looked through the menu quickly, not wanting to keep their Mistress waiting. It had to be unusual, they inherently knew, for a person who was literally property to be allowed to drink and eat whatever they want. Then again, that had been the case for this entire day — not many other people like them were able to get pampered and spoiled like they were. They felt grateful for what they did have, though a part of them still mourned the lack of freedom they had.
"Um, I'll have a strawberry margarita, please. With sugar." The waitress wrote it down, and took the menu from Delta.
"I'll have sparkling water to start," their Mistress said, closing the drink menu and handing it off to their waitress as well. She nodded at them and walked away after, of course, Delta thanked her.
Delta stared at their Mistress, not wanting to ask the obvious question. She noticed, of course. "Is something wrong, plaything?"
"No, I was just... you don't...?"
"I don't drink, no," she responded, crossing her arms and putting one leg over the other. "No one would take me seriously if I drank enough and became a drunken mess, would they?" There was a pause, and then she sighed. "The glass ceiling is already high enough. For women, and for trans women especially."
Delta hummed in agreement. They may not have been a trans woman, but they had learned from experience that trans people had a harder time getting ahead in the world. At least they and their Mistress had that in common.
"W-well, um, I know you said to thank everyone who helped us today," they started, stumbling over their words. "So... thank you. Today was fun."
Their Mistress stared at the menu, barely acknowledging them, although the corners of her lips were turned up. "It was a pleasure. I particularly enjoyed," she paused to flip through the menu. "...showing you off to random passerby as my property."
Delta smiled back. Well, that had been the main goal of today, wasn't it? For their Mistress to have some sort of power trip by proclaiming her dominance over Delta. But it was still fun. Even without the lavish and expensive trips to the mall, Delta could honestly get used to their new life. They didn't have to worry about any responsibilities or anything — they didn't have any obligations other than to be their Mistress' sex toy, and even then, that wasn't so bad. They were treated well during the sex. They weren't forced down by their wrists — not against their will, at least — and weren't made to do terrible things. Things were fine, at least for now.
The waitress brought them their drinks as the two shared some meaningless small talk. Delta, after thanking her, took a sip of their drink, and immediately recoiled. It was extremely strong — still very fruity and sweet, but they could definitely taste at least three kinds of alcohol.
"I wonder how you'll look as a drunken mess," their Mistress mused, smiling at them as they returned to the drink hesitantly. Even at just half of the glass, Delta could already feel it having an effect on them. They weren't a lightweight. How concentrated was that? Their mind was foggy, and their sight was already warping. "I wonder if you know just how much I'd punish you if you embarrassed me."
"I won't embarrass you, Mistress," Delta responded immediately. "At least... I don't think I will..."
"You won't," she reassured. "Because if you do, I'm going to make sure you never will be able to again."
She laughed at them. They laughed along, even though they knew it was a laugh of mockery. If they weren't already in a good mood, the alcohol certainly helped.
Eventually, their Mistress put the menu down, and stared at them. "Filet mignon. Does that sound good?"
"Um... I've never had it. Is it good?"
"It is, and it's also expensive, just as I like," she smirked.
Delta nodded, smiling a little too widely back at her. They shook their head, trying to smile normally. "Sure. Let's get it then." They weren't entirely sure if their opinion mattered anyways. A thought occurred to them, and they took one quick glance through the menu — and sure enough, that was the most expensive course on the menu. What else would they expect from her? The waitress came over to take their order, and Delta thanked her again, just in case — and then asked for another two strawberry margaritas.
The food took a fair amount of time more than Delta would have expected from a restaurant this fancy to get onto the table — wouldn't a fancier restaurant have faster service? But once it was, they dug right in. Delta had never had food quite this rich before, but it was clear that their Mistress was far past used to it. I need to work those off later, they thought absently, but that didn't matter right now. Right now they were too content to care, and getting to the point where they were too drunk to care about caring.
An in-house performance started later in the night, and it seemed to be some sort of opera-comedy hybrid. Delta tried their best to understand the words through the singing, but to be entirely honest, the characters didn't have the best singing voices, and soon enough Delta was having a hard enough time following the plot because of it. It may also have been because they got a third drink, and at that point, they just didn't care enough. They thought their Mistress would care, but she seemed to be just as disinterested as Delta was.
"I'm going to file a complaint for them wasting my money," their Mistress muttered. Delta couldn't help but giggle. It was nice to be the property of someone who had so much influence.
They left the restaurant after the performance — Delta made a joke about leaving early because they had nothing to stay for, which earned them a scolding slap on the leg from their Mistress. She didn't seem to disagree, though.
They took a limousine back to Delta's apartment. Their Mistress would have accepted no lesser expense, and Delta appreciated getting to ride in such a fancy vehicle. They didn't appreciate the driver's off-kilter comment on how drunk they were, though, and their Mistress had shot him a Look. He hadn't talked for the rest of the ride. She tried to make conversation with Delta, but Delta could only muster a low tone and slurred speech that was almost impossible to understand.
Instead, they rested their head on their Mistress' shoulder, who gave them a small kiss before turning to look out the window at the flower fields they passed on the way there.
"Delta, walk up the stairs normally. It's not that hard."
Their Mistress tried in vain to knock some sense into the inebriated Delta as they tried to make their way up the five or so stairs to the apartment, tripping just about on each one.
Even once they reached the top of the very few stairs, Delta could barely walk straight. They leaned against the wall in the hallway for support as they tried not to trip on anything else. Their Mistress sighed, grabbing them and just leading them to the room herself. She was probably frustrated with them being so drunk. They worried about potentially having made her upset, ruining their chances of having another such fun day, yet they couldn't help but giggle as they recalled the day's events as their Mistress pulled them into the bedroom and sat them down on the bed.
"Well, aside from getting shitfaced, you made me very happy today, plaything," their Mistress smiled as Delta looked up at her with a smile. "Are you ready to make me even more happy?"
Delta giggled as they tried to get out a 'mhmm.'
"Stop giggling," she ordered, and Delta stopped immediately. "It's childish, and you're an adult. And I'm not going to fuck you like a little kid." Her face twisted in disgust for a moment at the idea. She looked down at Delta, rubbing a hand on the top of their head. Then grabbed a fistful of Delta's hair, eliciting a yelp. "Are you ready to get your mouth fucked?"
"Uh... Mm-mmhmm," Delta murmured, barely able to think through the sudden pain and drunken stupor.
Their Mistress let go of their hair, and lifted up the dress she had changed into during their shopping trip. Delta could already see the bulge in her lingerie, and there were wet spots from pre she must have dripped out during her power trip. Delta was almost drooling, especially when she pulled down her panties to bring the full seven inches of her dick before Delta's face.
"Start worshipping me," she commanded, and Delta complied immediately. They started kissing down her stomach, each kiss getting rougher and longer as they got lower. Their saliva began to drip out onto her dick, and they could tell that was only turning her on more. Delta moved through the last few kisses before her cock, and began to kiss along the length. When they got to the tip, they could already taste her precum, and when they pulled back a strand of it connected her to their lips. Their Mistress continued to play with their hair, silently coaxing them to go for more.
Before too long, their Mistress groaned. She stopped stroking their hair and gripped it again, and Delta gritted their teeth against the pain.
"I'm impatient. Open wide," she snapped at them, and Delta slowly opened their mouth, another strand of drool dripping as her cock came into focus between their eyes again. Their Mistress pushed forward, entering their mouth with just her tip, and Delta began licking and sucking at it, savoring the taste of her as she grabbed the back of their head and pulled herself deeper into their throat. Delta choked a bit, their gag reflex kicking in, but quickly composed themself as their Mistress began slowly fucking their mouth. She went faster and faster, not caring that Delta was slightly choking and almost couldn't breathe — in fact, that made her harder, and made her go quicker.
"You really enjoy this, huh?" she spat down at them. "You're such a fucking cumslut, taking my dick so nice and long. I'm not surprised, really. You're such a slut that you're drooling all over me."
Delta tried to nod, but they couldn't move their head. Their Mistress noticed the motion anyway, and gave them another rough tug on their hair.
"Suck harder, plaything," she growled, and Delta complied without hesitation. It was getting hotter and hotter, and her moans were getting louder through Delta's moans as well. Delta could feel their pussy getting wet just from being treated so roughly, and being so close to their Mistress.
"Good, good plaything," she cooed through her moans, letting out one final gasp as she jerked, dumping her load into Delta's mouth. There was so much, and it was thick, making it hard for Delta to swallow. Not that they had a choice. Their Mistress grinned down at them as she finished in them, her expression slackening in bursts of pleasure as she let Delta clean her up. She eventually got out of them once they were done, her dick going limp. She took a moment to catch her breath, as did Delta. Their Mistress stroked their head, congratulating them for a job well done.
"You are so good to me," she said fondly. "Do you think I'm repaying that kindness, plaything?"
Delta nodded, not trusting themself to speak with how drunk they were, and their mouth still filled with her cum.
"Good," she smiled. "Let's go to sleep."
Delta didn't remember much about that night, but they dreamed of the moment she came into their mouth, and how good it felt. They would always remember that much.