I have to know now.
After all the sleep I got yesterday from concerned insistence, it kind of dawned on me that unpleasant things like that can be inevitable.
I can't help it. The part of me that loves what Mistress does to me wants me to ask her to whisk away the world for good, where I'm only aware of her and little else. But that majority would never fully silence the nagging sensation that there's something else about our arrangement.
I still work at UnEng while filling out applications elsewhere; the resignation letter had been contingent on me completing my duties in the project before I left or was terminated. No special order had come from anyone about that issue, so I'm just operating like normal, and never letting myself lose sleep over the job or letting it stress me out anymore.
The pressing issue in my mind, I want to bring it up with Mistress. As much as she likes me being candid, she wants it too I think. And then, since the first night I can remember being with her, something remains hidden from me, purposefully. I'm not sure who exactly this issue could hurt more if it comes out; if she really wants things out in the open, it's hurting us both. I've often wondered if this is something I'm supposed to forget; something that Mistress has tried to suppress one way or another. Unlikely, maybe. I wish I was content enough to let this go, to just continue on as whatever she wants us to be. I've had no real reason to complain till now. Then again, I see myself kneeling before her, asking for her hand in marriage, followed by the fear of her admitting to me that this won't last that long for whatever reason, and the sorrow and memory of that experience wiped away from my memory.
Looking down at the dinner reservations for two I just made, I place it on the wall near the black and white photo of the red-lipsticked woman. I want to pretend it's Mistress and profess how much I love her, how much I need her, and that I'm willing to do whatever makes her happy. But the foolish changed man in me starts to dial her cellphone number and inform her of the dinner plans.
The night of our dinner, I arrive at her place 20 minutes early, asking myself over and over again how this should play out, if at all. I don't have to be honest with myself tonight, but I know there's a good chance I will be. I'm so deep in thought that I don't even notice Her until she's knocking on the passenger window. I get out and mutter something about beauty and her dress, and she smiles deeply, getting me slightly weak in the knees. I move toward her side to open the door for her, she holds my cheek and kisses it before getting in, not making it any easier for me. Neither of us says anything as I drive; she looks comfortable enough to just enjoy the surprise. I didn't tell her where we were going; her favorite French restaurant should be surprise enough. The way her face lights up as we arrive, it paid off.
You'd swear it was Valentine's day as full as the restaurant is, with the dance floor very active tonight. The way she looks out at it, I know I'll be asking her to dance sometime tonight. From the moment we sit and our orders are taken, I just start speaking causally to her, about her week, the weather, everything but what I brought her here to talk to her about. When she finally asks me something, I shut up completely.
"So you came to get me earlier than expected; you barely noticed me when I approached you, which is a first," she says playfully. She doesn't let me apologize and asks "What had you so deep in thought?"
I'm looking down after looking at her face, filled with the rising need to chicken out.
"It must be important for all you're trying to do to avoid it."
I'm still silent, prompting her to take my hands in hers and make me look up at her again.
"I'd like my Subject to be talkative again; it would please me greatly to hear what's on your mind."
"You might need to hypnotize me for that."
"What makes you think you're not under my spell already?"
"Because this would be the last thing on my mind if I was."
Squeezing my hands firmer, I hear "now you HAVE to tell me."
I look over at the people dancing and envy those who look so happy that the don't need words to convey feelings.
"Would dancing help you be more forthcoming?"
Her puzzled look makes me go on. "Why are you with me? Of all men, I think the most bewitching woman in existence could clearly have anyone she wants. Maybe you see something in me that I don't see, but that still doesn't mean there aren't better men who couldn't do for you."
Now she's looking at me strange, like I've trigger something in her now. "...why do you love that question so much?"
I really don't remember asking her that question all the time; I doubt it's something I'd ask deep in trance. When I ask her about it, she gets silent again, and I have to delve deeper.
"What are you hiding from me?"
Now her look borders on surprised.
"Mistress, I know something is up. Whatever it is you're hiding, I'm really curious to know now. I've tried to forget it, tried to let being with you ride out as long as it can, but what scares me the more than that is knowing one day this could all end. Whatever this secret is, I'll bet it's designed to shield that end."
I firmly grasp her hands as much as she does mine, and I kiss hers.
"The truth is, I know you don't have to tell me anything, and can probably erase this night from my memory, and eventually reinforce whatever you're hiding. I can't stop that, and I won't. I trust you with myself. I...love you. I really love you. I want to marry you someday. I want a life with you. This has all been a dream, and I don't care if I wake up, as long as you're there somehow. But like I said, I know you have the power to do what you will with me; you even have my permission. I just needed to tell you that. If tonight is our last night, if the adventure is over, I hope I can dance with you before it's over, something to remember this by."
A single tear ran down her eye. I try to wipe it away, but she doesn't let go of my hands. She kisses the back of my hand, and takes a long look at me, searching my face for something. When she finds something, she takes my left hands and intertwines the fingers with hers. She kisses around the base of my fingers, and the weirdest sensation comes over my hand.
Something metal circling my finger.
I stopped breathing when I notice a similar band around Mistress's fingers, pressing against mine.
I start breathing sharp breaths, and one feels like it's going down the wrong pipe. I cough deeply and excuse myself to the bathroom and gracefully as I can, leaving Mistress at our table.