I was stretched out in Downward Dog, concentrating on raising my pelvis and sliding my shoulder blades down my back, so I didn’t immediately jump to answer it.
There was another knock.
I dropped to my knees and stretched my back in Child’s Pose.
“Coming,” I said loudly, although it was a little muffled by the mat.
Another insistent knock.
I opened the door to find a small child, dressed like cupid, and holding a white box, tied with ribbon. He bowed seriously and held the box out to me.
“For your Valentine’s pleasure,” he said, in a practiced voice.
“Who sent you?” I asked as I took the box.
“Here, let me get you something for your trouble.” I rummaged in my wallet and came up with two dollars. I held them out to him. “Who sent you?” I asked again.
“Kim,” he said, giggling, and ran off down the hall.
Inside I set the box on my coffee table. I carefully pulled the satin ribbon and found the box was packed with red rose petals. I poked my finger into them, but could feel nothing. In the kitchen I grabbed a glass mixing bowl and poured the rose petals into it. Immediately my apartment filled with the scent of roses… roses and something else… I sniffed the petals and the lid of the box. Vanilla. The scent of your perfume. (You think of every detail, don’t you?)
In the bottom of the box was a tiny, white envelope. Inside was a hand-lettered card. In gold ink, it read: “Please join me this evening at 8 p.m. at my home. I am making chocolate fondue in your honor.” The card was dated 2/14/2003, and signed “K”. There was a chocolate fingerprint next to your signature.
After the sun had set, I took a long, hot bath, taking care to scrub the rough parts of my body and condition my hair. I pulled my special occasion black silk boxers out of my dresser and put them on. Finally, I dressed in my best-fitting jeans – just a little worn in the right places – and the black tuxedo shirt I know you find especially fetching. The shirt is a little thin, and I wasn’t wearing a bra, but then we weren’t planning on going out. I added a black leather concha belt with turquoise accents and I shined my black Tony Lama boots before pulling them on over red and white heart-print socks.
Finally, I threw on my leather jacket and gathered up the flowers I’d bought for you. The paper bundle in my arms made me feel like Miss America, but only for a moment. I knew your eyes would light up at the sight of three-dozen long-stemmed apricot tulips — the exact kind you love — special ordered out of season and ridiculously expensive – the sort of flowers that would let you know I had planned thoughtfully and weeks in advance. Hey, that’s the kind of girl I am.
I felt a little flutter at your door — like a high school kid on a date. I rang the bell and fidgeted, pulling down the back of my jacket and smoothing my hair.
When you opened the door, you took my breath away — as you have done so many times, but more so.
Your hair was shining and hanging loose around your face. You were barefoot on the Oriental carpet, each toenail shining red and perfect. Your dress just knocked me out. A deep chocolate brown, it was made of that wonderful Victorian stuff that is velvet in places and see-through in others. Thin straps bared your shoulders. The bodice clung to you and the skirt swirled around your legs.
You were delighted with the tulips and kissed me gratefully, drawing me into the house.
“I thought we’d eat upstairs,” you said. And as I followed you up the wide, curving staircase I could see through your skirt in places and knew there was nothing between you and that dress.
My mouth watered for chocolate – the chocolate fondue and the chocolate of your dress.
You had filled your sitting room with candles. A fire burned in the grate. On the marble-topped tea table in front of the old-fashioned sofa there was a fondue pot, already filled with melted chocolate. A plate was heaped with strawberries, pieces of cake, orange slices, and marshmallows. Oh, you remembered how I love marshmallows.
I let my jacket slide down my arms and hung it on the back of a chair.
Your eyes wandered over me approvingly.
“That would be lovely,” I said.
You handed me the bottle of Veuve Clicquot and a clean linen towel with which to grasp it. I placed the bottle between my knees and gently turned it until the cork gave way with a gentle pop. Without spilling a drop, I presented you with the cork and wrapped the towel around the bottle to catch any drips. You held out the champagne flutes and I filled them, then placed the bottle on the table and took a stem from you.
We clinked our glasses and drank to each other, looking at each other across the rims of our glasses. I broke the gaze first, turning my head to the side slightly, suddenly uncomfortable under your scrutiny.
You took my glass and set it down, standing in front of me. You stepped closer still, our breasts almost touching though the thin velvet of your dress and the thinner cotton of my shirt. I could smell the warm vanilla scent of your skin.
For a moment there was no sound at all – not even breathing – and then my heartbeat began to drum in my ears. The room was warm. I was warm.
“Are you ready for chocolate fondue?” you asked, still not touching me.
You turned to the bookshelf by the window and returned with a small vase filled with paintbrushes. Some of the brushes were long and silky; some were short and bristly. There was a fan-shaped one, and one shaped like small housepainter’s brush.
“You’ll have to undress,” you said.
I stood frozen to the spot as the realization of what you wanted to do sank in.
My first impulse was to resist. After all, I don’t take orders well.
You walked around behind me, still carrying the brushes and whispered into my right ear, your breasts barely brushing my back. “You’ll have to undress,” you said again.
Then you turned and sat on the couch, leaning back against the tapestry cushions, your legs spread under the velvet skirt, one arm flung languorously across the top of your head.
“Take your time,” you said.
I’ve never stripped for anybody, so I felt a little awkward with you there, watching me disrobe.
I pulled off my boots and socks and set them aside. I saw a smile flicker on your lips as you saw the heart-patterned socks.
I unbuckled my belt and opened the fly of my jeans. Just as I was poised to pull them down, over my hips, I heard your voice.
“Go slower, please.”
And so I did, sliding the jeans slowly down my legs and stepping out of them, leaving them there on the floor. I began to unbutton my shirt with the top button, moving slowly to the next one, pausing to run my hand through my hair. I was self-consciously putting on a little show, but trying to be natural, not campy. There’s not a campy bone in my body.
As I reached the last button, I realized I was so turned on I thought I would faint. The crotch of my boxers was wet between my legs. When I slowly pulled my shirt open, the light brush of the starched fabric across my hardened nipples nearly brought me to orgasm. I let it slide from my shoulders to the floor and stood there in my boxers, looking down.
“Ummm,” I heard you say, softly, and I looked up at you. The full, draping skirt of your dress had slid farther up your thighs, and the tip of your ring finger was between your lips, where you sucked it softly.
I blushed and, continuing, reached for the waistband of my boxers.
“Leave those for me, please,” you said.
There was another of those incredibly long moments as you lay there looking at me. Despite the warmth of the room, I felt goosebumps rise along my arms, and I gave an involuntary shiver.
“You’ll need to prepare the floor,” you said. “On the chair behind you is a folded painter’s tarp. Please spread it out on the floor.”
I did as you asked.
“There’s also a folded white flannel sheet. Please spread that on top.”
Again, I did as you asked. I felt vulnerable crawling around on the floor in my boxers as you watched me from the couch, and I suspected you knew this.
“Now please move the table over to the edge of the sheet. Carefully.”
I did. The table was surprisingly heavy. I rubbed my biceps as I straightened up.
“Here,” you said, holding out your hand. In it was a velvet bag with a drawstring cord.
“Open it, please.”
Inside there was a set of four velvet cuffs that fastened with buckles, a velvet collar, and a blindfold.
I looked at you in disbelief.
“Put them on,” you said. Although your voice was soft, I noticed you didn’t say “please”.
“On myself?” I asked. “Don’t you want to put them on me later?” I laughed nervously.
I wasn’t sure I liked the idea of being restrained.
“I want to watch you put them on yourself,” you said. “Sit down in the middle of the sheet. Start with your ankles.”
And so I did.
You reminded me to make sure they were fastened firmly and had me tug on them to show you. I bent my head forward, fastening the collar behind my neck.
Finally, I sat there with the blindfold in my hands. I looked at it and swallowed. I hate blindfolds. They terrify me.
“Please don’t make me…”
“Wait,” you said, and stood at the edge of the sheet near my feet. I looked up at you. The light of the fire backlit your form and glowed softly through the dress between your thighs. You reached for the hem of the dress, and in one long motion, pulled it off and over your head. You shook your head to straighten your hair and tossed the dress aside.
I was sitting at the feet of the goddess. I stared up at you, unable to breathe.
“There,” you said. “Now put it on.”
Reluctantly, but with your image burned into me, I placed the velvet blindfold across my eyes. It was padded and felt secure, comforting even.
“Here,” you said.
I felt my champagne glass at my lips and drank thankfully.
“Now lay back.” I felt you place a velvet cushion underneath my head.
There was a pause.
“Taste,” you said.
I felt the warm smoothness of chocolate on my lips. I licked at it.
“Bite,” you said, and I bit into a marshmallow, dipped in the chocolate and becoming soft with the warmth of it. The sweetness filled my mouth
There was another moment of silence.
I jumped as I felt the touch of a brush on my nipple, the silky warmth of the chocolate, almost hot to the point of stinging.
“Too hot?” you asked.
I shook my head. “It’s okay.” My voice was barely a whisper, my mouth sticky with chocolate.
“Are you comfortable?”
I nodded, breathing shallowly through my mouth.
I heard you sorting through the paintbrushes.
“Good, because I’m going to paint every inch of you before I’m done.”