He had no idea how long he had sat there holding her hand. Time was gone. She lay so still. She looked so tiny. How often had he admired her body before and never noticed how small she really was? He closed his eyes and remembered her bound and squirming with anticipation, the sheen of arousal on her skin, her heady scent. All that was now masked by the hospital smells, the bandages, and the machines.
He had been angry at her early. He had been surprised to arrive home and not find her waiting. At first he counted the minutes, imagining her distress as she saw the time, knowing the punishment would increase for every five minutes she was late. At an hour late, he began to plan a suitable punishment. He was surprised by a knock on the door.
Grateful he was still dressed in his work clothes and not his leather clothing he answered the door. He was surprised to see a pair of police officers. The tall black officer looked uncomfortable to be there. His partner, a petite Hispanic woman did all the talking, “Are you William Henderson?”
“Yes,” he kept his voice level and polite, his mind trying to find a reason for the officers at his door, “Can I help you.”
The woman consulted her small pad of paper, “You are married to Marie Henderson?”
Coldness gripped at him deep inside, “Yes. Is there a problem?”
The black officer looked away, studying the street, unwilling or unable to make eye contact. The female officer had a sympathetic look on her face, “Perhaps we should come inside?”
And see the toys laid out? “No, please just tell me whatever it is you need to tell me.” Will knew his voice was cold, but it did not matter.
The woman looked at the man. He shrugged and continued his study of the neighborhood.
“Mr. Henderson, this afternoon, your wife was involved in a vehicular collision. A drunk driver hit her car. She was flown by helicopter to the trauma center downtown.”
“Is–” he couldn’t say it. He couldn’t ask.
“She is in intensive care, Sir. Do you have a friend you can call?”
The ride to the hospital was a blur of streets, sympathetic comments from his friend, nurses and doctors. The sight of his precious Marie lying so still caused him a pain that had not left since.
He had grabbed her hand and whispered to her, “Don’t you dare leave me! Don’t leave me!” over and over.
An odd numbness mingled with the pain and it filled him now. How could he imagine life without her? When did the pleasure of her submission to him, become a total love on his part for her? He could not imagine not having her snuggled next to him at night, nor her childlike delight at simple things. Her joy and pleasure were life to him.
“Don’t leave me….”
He did not bother to blink back the tears, as he held her hand, his thumb caressing her hand. When was the last time he had told her in words that he loved her? This morning? Last night? Had it been days? Why hadn’t he told her more often?
She often said it to him. She would be lying in his arms, still trembling from their play, her body glistening and marked from the lash, and she would look at him with that softness that melted him and whisper, “I love you.”
“Don’t leave me….”
Somewhere out there, a driver was looking at his car and wondering if the dent could be fixed, could they hide their hit and run. He wanted to hunt down this person and hurt them. But he could not leave her, his pet, his love, his wife.
He remembered the first time he saw her. She had been moving into the apartment above his on a hot June day. She wore a white tank top and jean shorts. Was it the way she moved or the irritated look she gave him as he blocked the hall? He couldn’t remember now, but he did know that he loved her in the same moment. He could still see her, the soft curve of her breasts pushing against the thin tank top. He tried not to stare at the clearly outlined shape of her nipples.
“Do you plan to move or stand and stare all day with your mouth hanging open?” she stood with her hands on her hips, her head cocked in a way that belied the tone of her words.
His friends had teased him that the Don Juan has been snared. He would have given up the lifestyle for her, but it turned out he had not needed to do so. She had surprised him. He thought he had hidden the books and toys well, but somehow she had known. He thought he was just coming over for dinner. The living room was dim, lit only by what seemed to be hundreds of candles. On the coffee table was a bottle of wine and two glasses.
“Make yourself comfortable,” she had called from the kitchen, “I’ll bring the food out in a moment.
He had opened the wine and poured, settling on the leather sofa completely unaware of her plan.
She came out of the kitchen carrying a plate. He stared at her in amazement and delight. She was completely naked. Her flawless skin shone in the candlelight. Soft shadows hid the cleft between her legs, teasing him more than any lingerie. Her breasts were perfect and the dark nipples were hard, showing her eagerness.
With a playful smile, she knelt with a dancer’s grace and offered up the plate, “Your food.” It was statement and invitation.
He felt the Dom in him rise to the occasion and he lifted his eyebrows, “You don’t always entertain this way, do you?”
“Only for you,” there was no shy lowering of her eyes or any play at false submission.
“And your reason for this?” he couldn’t jump to conclusions.
“You didn’t seem to take the other hints, so I offer myself to you this way, naked, open, willing to serve you,” she looked at him with deep feeling.
“To serve me?” he wanted her to say it.
She gave a soft sigh, almost an irritated sigh, “I want you to be my Dom, my Top, my Master? Do I need to make it any more clear?”
He laughed and took the plate from her, putting it aside by the wine, “You have made yourself clear, Marie. But if I take you, you will be punished for the insolent tone of voice you just used.”
She smiled impishly, “Do you think you are strong enough to keep me in line?”
He had his momentary doubts but he smiled wickedly at her and pulled her over his knees. He ran his hands over her smooth, firm ass and lifted his hand to spank her.
Now, her flawless skin was marked and bruised but not by him. Her playful spirit hidden by the careless actions of another.
“Don’t leave me…”
He remembered their wedding. He was nervous and his best man almost had to tie him up to keep him there. He hated the formal setting, the tuxedo, the collection of family and friends all looking equally nervous or upset depending on the person. His first sight of her in the white gown and he knew he would never be able to leave her. She was more beautiful than ever. There was no one else but them.
“Do you take this woman?”
He had taken her months ago with the placement of a simple collar around her neck as she knelt at his feet. He had said vows to her then that he would always care for her, but he had not said then what he said now.
“For better or for worse, in sickness and in health, ’till death do us part.”
He bit his lip, realizing he had not proclaimed before God and family that he loved her with every ounce of his heart. Why hadn’t he done that? He had whispered it in her ear while she slept; he had thought he had shown her with his body. He needed more time. He needed to tell her. They were supposed to grow old together, not to be ripped apart.
“Don’t leave me…”
She had obeyed his agonized command. To the doctor’s amazement, she had lingered. Against hope, her heart still beat and she still breathed on her own. He knew he was being selfish, wanting to keep her when she must be in so much pain. There was no safe word for this. It was up to him to allow her release.
“Marie, what do you choose for your safe word?”
“I don’t think we need one, Will. I trust you.”
“I want you to have one,” he played with a nipple while she lay spread and strapped to the bed, “I know you trust me, but there could be a time when I push you too far, when you are hurting in a way I cannot tell, I want to know that you have the option, a way of saying enough.”
She moaned softly, aroused by his playing, aroused by the bonds, aroused because she knew he had a new flogger he wanted to use, “Fine, ummm… pumpkin. Is that okay?”
“Pumpkin it is then.”
Pumpkin. Oh to hear her say it now.
“Don’t leave me…”
“Mr. Henderson?” the doctor stood in the doorway looking serious.
He could not leave her; he held her cool hand in his and did nothing to hide the tears, “Yes?”
“Have you thought of what you would want to do if she takes a turn for the worse? Do you want us to resuscitate her if her heart should fail or put her on a ventilator if she should stop breathing?”
Will looked at her, barely breathing, so very still, so unlike the woman he loved. Marie was life and energy and sunshine.
“She wouldn’t want that,” he whispered.
The doctor made a noise of understanding and pushed a clipboard at him, “If you could sign this. It is a form indicating your wishes.”
He signed. He wished she would wake up. Why didn’t they have a form for that?
He glanced at his watch and realized that it was almost dawn. He loved her at dawn. She was his sleepyhead, snuggling under the covers for another five minuets. He would give her ten minuets, an hour, anything to be there at home with her now.
“Don’t leave me…”
She did not move, but he swore there was a soft moan from her. He could not bear to see her this way. He mouthed the word “pumpkin” and stroked her fingers. She couldn’t say it. She couldn’t beg for the release he knew she needed. Only he could.
“Rest my love,” he whispered to her, “You have obeyed in all things, rest now, Pumpkin.”
She made no response, no movement, no final words; but the monitors showed the slowed respirations and then a flat line. She had obeyed in all.