A couple of days before Thanksgiving, Davis asked if I would fly home with him to Houston to meet his mother. I told him I would’ve loved to meet his mother, but I already had plans with my mom and Lucy, and they would be devastated if I canceled. That’s when he suggested we bring them with us.
To tell him no was so much harder than anything I’d done in a long time. And to see this pride he shows when he introduces me to his friends, it makes even someone like me, who tries to keep a distance from people…melt.
He met Allie, and she absolute adored him.She even went so far as to tell me that if I didn’t try to marry him I was an ass. Yes, she called me an ass. Best friends! Kitty and Peter had been gone since mid-November and really we didn’t expect to see them all that much, considering the life of a pilot and an airline stewardess.
However, Peter happened to make it home for Thanksgiving, so I stayed the night at Kitty’s to give them privacy that night. When Mickey showed up later that night drunk, looking for Kitty, I was frightened.
We’d all known Mickey and his boys since we were small girls. I even dated one of them when I was fifteen, with a not so pleasant outcome. His boys were out in their car waiting for him. Doyle honked his horn and winked at me as Mickey climbed back in and they drove off.
It was at times like these I really wished I could put my fears behind me, and go to my brownstone in Beacon Hill. I didn’t tell Davis what happened on that Thanksgiving; in fact I kept quite a few secrets from him.
Except for the one night he apologized, he hadn’t stayed the night again. I didn’t want him to see the real me, the unpolished woman who talks with a Revere accent, who has panic attacks when she’s overcome with fear.
I was afraid if he saw the real me, the damaged me, the no-makeup and nothing to hide behind me, then what? The reason I was so secure in my role as a dominatrix is, I know who I am when I’m with these submissive men. I know my role, and I have my disguise on as well. With Davis, I was lost in uncharted territory, and that frightened me.
Some weeks passed, and it was getting close to Christmas.I recalled the first Christmas after the incident with Jonathan, Kitty made a game of trying to make the craziest tree we could come up with. It was a lot of fun and considering our upbringing, it cheered us up as well at this time of year.
Usually it was the three of us girls who would go to the corner tree lot, and pick out the best tree we could for our Christmas activities. But if one of us was gone, or even two of us, we always managed to get a tree and pick out a theme for that Christmas.
The very first Christmas tree wasn’t our best. We came up with the underwear tree, which at the time seemed pretty funny. That was until Kitty’s latest flavor of the month put his dirty, butt-streaked tidy whites on as the tree topper. I didn’t think, at that time, a grown man couldn’t wipe his ass well enough to prevent something so foul. It seems I was wrong. Luckily for us Kitty was done with him after that, and we got a pair of thongs and threw the underwear… and the thongs into the garbage can.
I think the scariest tree we did was the circus clown tree. Allie watched an old movie where the circus clown was so adorable, or so we were told, and we should have clowns all over the tree. So clowns were put all over it, along with red ornaments and popcorn bags. After two days Kitty threw a blanket over the tree and it stayed there until Christmas. Come to think of it, we threw the whole tree away, clowns and all! It was that creepy.
This year it was empty beer cans and rubber packets, and for a tree topper…a man’s chastity belt. The look on Peter’s face was classic when he saw what topped our tree. And we all laughed so hard that Kitty wet her pants when he asked if I ran it through the dishwasher, to make sure it was clean before we stuck it on the Christmas tree.
It was the end of the day, and I was just finishing up some work in my office that I wanted to have completed before the weekend. Then a call came in. “Yes.”
“Ms. Black, a Mr. Mills is on line one for you,” my secretary told me.
“Thank you,” I said before pushing him on. “Hello.”
“Hey sugar. How was your day so far?” he asked, and I heard him writing.
“Fine, just trying to complete some extras for Mr. Thompson before I head out this evening,” I told him, finishing up on the computer.
He sighed. “I want to ask you something.”
I stopped typing and sat back at the tone of his voice. “Okay…”
“Why don’t you want me to meet your momma?”
That made me sigh. “It’s not a matter of if I want you to meet her or not. At this moment, you just can’t, Davis.” I tried to make him understand without telling him anything.
“Is it because of the accident you told me she had?”
“Yes, that’s part of it. But there’s so much more to the story than that. It’s something I don’t talk about, and don’t want to relive,” I whispered into the phone.
“Do you think you could tell me about it one day? I want to know everything about you, Abie, and not only the good things, baby.”
My hand went to my forehead. “One day, Davis. But I would want to talk to my mom about it, make sure she wouldn’t be embarrassed to see you if you knew,” I explained to him. He remained quiet as my words started to shape a picture of what possibly happened to her in his mind.
“Look, I’ll talk to her tonight. See if she’d be okay to meet you on Christmas Day? That is if you’re still going to be here, and not heading back home.”
He chuckled at me. “I told you I was spending it with you. Whatever you do or wherever you go, it’ll be fine with me,” he promised. “That reminds me, I have a Christmas party to go to tomorrow. Would my woman be able to make it?” he inquired.
A very unladylike little snort came from me. “And if I told you I couldn’t make it because of the extremely short notice my pet has given me…” I jested with him.
“Then I wouldn’t go, it’s as simple as that. But Abie, I really need to go, sugar,” he laughed.
That had me laughing as well. “Oh, so you have to go? And this is what, you backing me into a corner to say yes, then?”
“I knew my girl would get it,” he said with a smile in his voice.
“What time do you need me ready?”
“I’ll have the car pick you up at six.”
“Is it formal?”
“No, just suit and tie, sugar.”
“All right, Davis, I’ll be ready at six for you,” I told him as I got ready to leave.
“Sounds good, Abie. I can’t wait to see you! It’s been a long week and we’ve only seen each other once,” he pouted.
“Yes, but it was a very entertaining night, was it not?” I purred.
“Damn it, sugar, don’t go bringing up things that we did when I have to wait to see you!” he growled at me, and I could just see him running his hand through his hair in frustration.
That had me chuckling at him.“I’ll call you when I get back from my mom’s tonight,” I told him with a smile.
He was quiet; what I’d said just slipped out. Calling him was something I just didn’t do. Some things were still difficult for me, like sharing information. But with Davis things just came easily when he’d ask me about my day, and the way he crinkled his forehead when he listened… I just reveled a little bit more in how he was breaking through my barriers.
“I’d like that, sugar… I’d like that a lot.”
“Okay then, until tonight… Bye,” I said softly.
“Yeah, sounds good, sugar, bye,” his voice deep and content.
I hung up, staring at the hand that had just hung up the phone. I stood, snatched up my briefcase, and went to the door. In the cab on the way to go see my mother, I sat back, letting my mind wander.
Things had been going extremely well between Davis and myself. Just like before I hung up the phone, I told him I would call him, when truthfully I wanted to go over to his place, have his arms wrap protectively around me, and cuddle in bed with the man.
What the hell was happening to me? I wished I really knew. I’d predicted this man was dangerous to me, I just didn’t realize it was my heart that was endangered. All I knew was that he was nothing like the men I’ve known throughout my life…he was so much better.
Some things are still difficult for me. He doesn’t obey me and that can get quite irritating, but it’s also quite entertaining to have someone argue with you.Allie and Kitty would always tell me that make-up sex is something beyond words. I always just laughed at them. My men obeyed me, there was no need for such things; I had punishments if I wasn’t listened to.
But now, with this very vanilla male that I now had in my life, I could honestly vouch that the sex after an argument can be…well, what comes to mind is, mind blowing! No, not strong enough. Earth shattering! Closer, but still not quite right. Oh, I know, orgasmically fucking fabulous! Yes, I think that nailed it.
In February I’d be heading to Beijing to work on the Mewong Corporation, and even though this was huge for my career, the thought of being away from Davis for seven weeks was…difficult. But this was my life.
I had fought for the respect of my peers, the respect of my associates over the years, and I knew I had it. When a corporation said my name, they knew they were getting the best in the business, and I liked that. But there had been a shift in what I value in my life, and I knew a pushy beautiful man was the reason for the flaws that were appearing in my well-made plans.
Another one of the things that had me concerned was, I looked forward to seeing him every day. I missed him when he was away from me, and that made me feel…special, happy. That’s something I hadn’t truthfully felt in a very long time.
Even with his influence and money, Davis was very generous and easygoing. He loved coming to Allie’s little apartment, and made no one around him feel unimportant or beneath him. His laugh was contagious, and my rules were starting to disintegrate before me. Even though I still had them in place in my life, I found myself wishing they weren’t.
When I thought back to my relationship with Jonathan, I was never really happy with him. I think I was more dazzled by him than anything else. Now I saw my relationship with that man wasn’t a normal one either. I’m just realizing that now since I’ve been with Davis. He’s what’s considered normal for a vanilla relationship.
The holding hands, spending time together, listening to his day, and him listening to mine: that’s what’s normal. I’m embarrassed to say that just sitting on the couch with him watching some TV was nice.
There were some very fun and exciting things to be said about the vanilla world. But of course I threw in some habañero to spice it up… If you’re going to have it spicy, might as well have it sting a little.
I told Davis that I needed a day to go visit my mother. He hinted that he would’ve loved to meet her. The only problem was, she was still deep in her depression, and the fear of a man she didn’t know walking into her vicinity would become a disaster right now. Not how I wanted to introduce this man to my mother.
As soon as the cab pulled up to Morgan House, all other thoughts that were running through my head receded, and she became my first priority. Before I left this morning I’d put a little box in my bag, knowing I was coming to see my mother today after work. I knew it was two weeks before Christmas, but I wanted my mom to have one of her gifts early.
Walking into the building, the first person I looked for was Lucy. But I only saw Marybeth sitting at the counter. “Hey, where’s Lucy at?” I asked.
Marybeth glanced up, then back to her work. “She had to go back to Georgia. Something to do with her family from what I was told,” she said, smacking her gum.
“Well, I’m heading back to visit with Mom for a bit,” I told her, as she nodded, blowing bubbles and writing.
When I got to her room, Mom looked to be back to normal. “Hey Mom. How are you feeling today?” I asked, making my way into her room.
“Kitten!” she cheered.
That was a little more excited than I was expecting. Then I saw how she’d put herself together today. “My, Mom, you’re awful…vibrant this evening,” I commented on my mother’s attire. I’ve never seen this woman anything but picture perfect, and today it looked as if a child had picked out her wardrobe.
She smoothed down her dress, seeming very proud. “I know, I used to wear this for your father when we were dating. He loved me in blue,” she reminisced, looking lost and a little dazed.
I went over and took her by the arm, sat by her on the bed. “Dad? What’s got you thinking about Dad, Mom?” I asked, baffled.
She was off as she looked at me. “Your father’s such a handsome man, kitten. The first time we made love I was wearing a blue dress like this one, and he told me how beautiful I looked in blue,” she confessed with a smile.
My nerves were starting kick in over my mother’s confusion. “Mom, are you sure it was blue that Dad liked, and not fuchsia?” I asked, trying to gauge her mindset at this moment.
She giggled, as a teenage girl would have. “No, kitten, blue was his favorite color. Just like my dress,” she said once again.
“Okay… Well, you look absolutely stunning tonight!” I assured her, in her fuchsia-colored dress. She nodded and was trying to get up, but I kept her on the bed. “Are you hungry for dinner?” I asked.
Her hand subconsciously drifted over her stomach, and her brows pinched together. “Oh, I haven’t been hungry lately, kitten,” she told me nervously.
I observed the cheekbones that protruded just a little bit more than normal on her heart-shaped face. Her collarbone was popping through her skin; I could see that even with the lime-green cardigan sweater she had managed to find somewhere. “Well, why don’t I go get something for us to eat, then you can tell me what’s been going on lately and why you want to look beautiful for Dad,” I placated her.
That’s when she got upset with me. “Adire, I’m not hungry, that’s all, and I’m not a child!” she roared at me now as her hands clenched onto the material at her waist. That was also very strange, the way she guarded her stomach.
My hands sprang up to let her know I didn’t mean to offend her. “Okay, Mom. You just seem to have lost a little weight. And you’re already so trim, that I wouldn’t want your beautiful outfits not hanging right on you. That’s all I was pointing out.”
She started to giggle at me again. “Oh no, I’m fine kitten, just fine,” she let me know, as she patted my knee. The mood swings that she was having just sitting in her room were unsettling. Why wasn’t I called about this?
Getting up from the bed, I kissed her cheek. “I’m going to go get myself something to eat, all right? I haven’t eaten since ten this morning, and I happen to be starving,” I smiled down at her.
“Okay, kitten. Then we can watch the game show channel together when you get back,” she said, not quite there at the moment, as she sat back in her little chair.
I watched her for a minute, just seeing what she would do when she thought I’d left. But she didn’t move. It was as if she was in her own little world, and when she thought I left, her mind went vacant. Quietly I made my way out of the room, and headed right for the front counter. “Marybeth, is Dr. Bill still here?”
Her head popped up. “No, Dr. Evans is on right now. Is everything okay, Adire?”
My eyes went down the hall to Mom’s room, then back to her. “No, I think something’s really wrong with Mom,” I told her.
She got up from the desk, making her way around. “Okay, sweetie. Come on back and follow me.”
We went to the back of the building, where Dr. Evans’s office was. She knocked on the door, then popped her head in. “Chad, Adire Black is here to see you. She thinks something might be wrong with Loretta.”
I heard a chair creak. “Sure, let her in.”
I walked in the room, shook his hand, and took the offered seat in front of him.
“Ms. Black, it’s nice to finally meet you. I’ve only been here a couple of weeks now, but Loretta is a charming woman,” he started to tell me, but I interrupted him. “How long has my mom been not eating?” was my first question.
He sat back at that, regarding me. “I wasn’t aware that she wasn’t eating.”
“She looks to me like she’s dropped a good ten pounds since Thanksgiving,” I informed him. “And also, has a man come by to see her lately? I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but my mother is afraid of men, but now she’s telling me she’s dressing up for my father. And I know for certain she hasn’t seen that man in thirty years,” I explained, as my fists clenched together to stop their shaking.
His hand went under his chin like he was thinking. “Well, I couldn’t be sure about the visitors. We can check out the front desk for that. But as for everything else, I can see your concern. When was the last time you saw your mother?” he now asked me, concerned.
“It was about a week and a half ago. I’ve been very busy with work. But normally Lucy keeps me abreast with everything that happens with Mom. Can I ask when she’s going to be back?”
The doctor sat forward. “Lucy has asked for some personal time off, that’s all the information I can give you at this time. Now, is there anything else that you’ve noticed that’s concerned you with your mother this evening?”
“Yes, her mind seemed muddled, confused, and she’s having mood swings something terrible.”
He nodded his head, thinking. “I know a couple months ago some of her white blood cells were low, but they came back to within normalcy. I know Bill was keeping an eye on her. But…with mood swings and confusion, I think with that we might have to take a look at her for dementia, or Alzheimer’s,” he replied, coming around his desk.
“Alzheimer’s…” I started to panic with the thought of mother finally losing any sanity she had left.
“Ms. Black…may I call you Adire?” he asked, and I nodded. “The things that you’ve brought up I know have you concerned. I can tell with the mention of Alzheimer’s you look downright frightened. But these are just a guess, nothing to put value on until testing can be done.” I got up and walked over to the door to leave, still not liking the answers I was being given.
“I will make sure Bill knows all the things that you’ve brought to my attention this evening. And tomorrow we’ll run some tests and see what the outcome is. There’s nothing you can do right now, and I’m sure Loretta would love to see you,” he said.
I nodded my head, lost in my thoughts. “I truly believe that she’s fine,” he continued,“but I’ll let you know if they find anything.” He was now placating me, as I walked out of his office.
My mother and I spent the next two hours together. I did go to the kitchen and get some food, just so Mom would maybe see it and regain her appetite, but she didn’t. I also didn’t give her the Christmas gift that I’d brought her. I figured I’d wait until we all knew what was going on, before I brought her the gift I knew would be important to her.
Standing in front of the building, waiting for my cab, my heart felt so damn heavy. I knew Kitty was away, and Allie was home but Peter was with her for the next couple of days. And all I really had left in the world was my mother, and my brownstone.
My hands were trembling once again. It seemed as if they trembled all the time now. Since when did the bad-ass dominatrix start to lose her cool? When did my world start to dissolve all around me?
Should I just go to my brownstone, try to make it through the night there? Maybe if I just broke down and had my panic attack there and then, it would all subside, and I’d once again have a place of my own instead of floating around like a gypsy.
Maybe it was having a relationship that was bringing this all on me. If I just left Davis, and went back to the way things were before him, would that put me back on stable ground? Or would I still feel like I was walking in quicksand?
One thing I was very sure of. For the first time in my life, I’d never felt so utterly alone. But it was also the first time I’d felt so confined to a single space. I’ve always traveled, never letting my mind settle too long in one spot to wonder: is this the problem?
Being in a vanilla relationship was casting doubt and turmoil on my well-oiled life. Having a man do my bidding is what I know; why change it? It was clear to me now what I needed to do, might as well just go and get it done. If I wanted my life back on track, I had to immediately end things with Davis.