Chapter 37 - Swim
A couple of weeks later, me and my master were basically in the middle of this… like… heated disagreement type thing.
He’d had to go back to teaching me some more complicated statistics stuff so I could get my head round what his dirty great ‘analytical engine’ bit was up to - that was sort of the most important bit of his whole future predicting computer program thing.
Of course all this stuff was way harder than anything we had even looked at in school… and one of the ‘stretch questions’ that he’d set for me this time was basically tied right in to the work he was trying to do at the moment.
We’d been sort of rowing about that one question for over an hour… and he’d already sort of admitted that he… like… basically didn’t even know the answer himself… and then I sort of found myself sort of trying to sort of tell him that he was thinking about it in… like… totally the wrong way…
And I was even kind of having to let Ro out of her box to try and convince him.
Which was basically a totally whacky kind of a thing for me to be doing…
And it was… like… even whackier that he was even basically letting me get away with it!
And then suddenly he went… like… totally silent on me.
The first time he’d done this, I’d sort of been a bit worried; but he’d done it a couple of times now and I guess I was starting to recognise the signs: sitting bolt upright… the whole staring into space bit… and his slightly clenched right fist with the knuckle of his first finger sort of tapping on his teeth. I knew that this was what he looked like when there was basically… like… proper brainwork going on.
And I had to sort of squish down this little bit of a snigger thing that was kind of threatening to leak out. For a couple of days now, I’d basically just been wearing one of his t-shirts as a mini-dress… with no knickers, of course… just kind of… like… waiting for this sort of a chance to come along so I could basically… like… test him, I guess!
So I casually lifted one foot up onto the chair and rested my chin on my knee, kind of waiting for a bit of a reaction.
Not a thing!
So I gently twizzled my office chair until my naked bits were… like… facing straight towards him.
Still not a dicky bird! Is this guy human?
“It’s obvious…” he said suddenly and I gave this little bit of a guilty jump and sort of dropped my leg back down and tried to look all innocent.
But then he went back to doing his thinking stuff again… so I guess it obviously wasn’t all that… well… obvious after all. And so I sort of wandered over to the kitchen and put the kettle on.
The coffee was ready by the time he came out of his whole ‘deep thought’ bit. He nodded his thanks as I handed him his mug and then I knelt down next to him and sort of snuggled into his thigh.
We enjoyed each other’s company for a bit as we drank our coffee, his hand playing sort of casually through my hair.
“It’s obvious,” he repeated at last and I smiled up at him.
And he started to explain what it was that was so obvious. It was a simple… but basically totally beautiful… mixture of the two different ideas we’d been rowing about.
I mean… obviously nobody but him would ever have thought it was obvious…
But the idea was so… well… like… perfect that it basically just had to be right.
And two things were sort of… well… sort of obvious.
Firstly, that Mr M was super brainy. I’d always sort of guessed it but this was the first time I’d ever been able to really understand what his mega-brain power was actually all about.
And secondly, that at least half of his new understanding bit came from the stuff I’d been saying. The feeling of… like… accomplishment and self-worth that that kicked off was totally unlike anything I had ever felt in my life.
We were quiet for a bit as we finished our coffee but then I had a bit of a brainwave. I scurried across to my desk and collected my pack of gold stars. “You deserve one of these, don’t you?” I said as I scurried back.
He exploded with laughter and said, “I think we deserve to share one!”
So I handed him one of the stars and he stuck it to the top bit of his computer screen. “Thank you, Babygirl,” he said when he was done.
He gave me a kiss but that didn’t stop me from playing one of his tricks back on him. “For…” I said simply.
He gave me a bit of a look… telling me that he knew exactly what I was doing and that I would pay for it later… but that just then he was much too excited! “For helping me to understand this. It’s been frustrating me for weeks.”
I could feel myself sort of glowing with pride.
“I rather fancy a swim,” he announced, all sort of casually. “Would you care to join me?”
A swim? That one had me totally puzzled. I mean… his bath was pretty big but nothing like big enough for that. I might just about be able to float in it but there was no way you could swim in it. I did my confused puppy thin for a bit until I decided it really wasn’t me being stupid after all. So I did one of his silence things back at him - with a bit of added ‘frown and head held slightly on one side’ thing thrown in for good measure.
“Are you, by any chance, mocking me, Young Lady?”
“Just making full use of the set of non-verbal communication techniques you have so carefully taught me, Master!”
“So, yes! Remind me to spank you later!” Since that evening, it had become this… like… totally freaky sort of a joke thing between us.
“With pleasure, Master!”
“OK,” he went on. “You recall that I told you that I would only make you stay here until you no longer wished to leave?”
’Yes… Master…” I answered sort of cautiously, basically pretty worried about where this whole thing was going.
“I take it you would not wish to leave now, even if you were to be allowed.”
I had to have a little think about that. “No, I guess not,” I answered at last. I mean… hadn’t thought about the whole thing in ages. I mean… why would I bother?
“Then,” he said, “you are now officially permitted to leave. Of course that does not mean I want you to leave but, should you decide to do so, I will do nothing to dissuade you. In fact, if you tell me where you want to go, I’ll give you a lift.”
“I don’t know…” I stuttered. “I don’t know what to say.”
“I don’t believe that there is any pressing requirement for you to say anything. This offer is not time limited. Consider the matter and decide what you would like to do. In the meantime, however, we are no longer constrained to remain down here. I have a swimming pool, upstairs in the main house, and I would like you to join me for a swim. Is everything clear?”
I suppose it was sort of clear…like… totally astonishing… and unimaginable… but clear, I guess.
“Yes, it’s clear. And yes, I’d love to join you for a swim.”
But as we made our way towards the exit, a wave of something pretty close to panic built up inside me. Those four rooms had been… like… my whole world for the last six months and the memory of how terribly I’d hurt my master, the last time I’d gone through that door, was still… like… horribly fresh in my mind and I basically totally froze.
And, in an instant, Mr M sort of flipped from the fun, brilliant man he had just been into my loving, caring master. He put his arms round me and quietly said, “Quote rule one, Babygirl.”
“The girl will instantly obey all instructions given to her by her master?” I might have been a bit sort of uncertain and hesitant about pretty much everything else but there was no way I was ever going to forget my rules!
“Come upstairs with me, Babygirl.”
By now, doing what I was told was kind of wired into my brain and my feet were sort of already moving before my brain had the chance to do any more of its panicky type stuff. My master took me by the hand and led me out through that first heavy, metal, bank-type door, up the tiled stairs and then through a second metal door, pretty much like the first one.
“The space down below is a high-end emergency shelter and safe room,” he explained. I guess he was sort of answering the question that I would have been asking if my brain hadn’t been basically running around in circles, screaming.
There was a funny looking wooden door in front of us and, when he opened it, it turned out to be sort of hidden away in the wooden panelling of a really grand, old fashioned looking entrance hall and corridor type thing. There was a posh looking front door off to the left and this fancy sort of staircase with a carved wooden bannister going across in front of us.
I guess he’d managed to work out that my brain had pretty much turned to sludge so he took me by the hand and led me through a more normal looking door into a modern bit of the house… a sort of conservatory type thing, I guess… where there was a swimming pool and lounger type of chairs and that sort of stuff.
“I’ve not got a swimming cossy,” I said, sort of vaguely. I still really hadn’t… like… got my head around what was going on.
“Babygirl, nobody else will be coming into the house until tomorrow morning and there is not a thing under your clothes that I haven’t had the opportunity to inspect… and to appreciate… in minutest detail.” He gave me a bit of a look and I guess that, looking back, I should basically have worked out it was a bit of a warning.
But I still stood there totally sort of numb.
“Babygirl, remove that t-shirt and get in the water.”
I might have been a bit stunned but the whole doing as I was told thing was basically automatic so, in a bit of a daze, I whipped the oversized t-shirt off and tried to… like… lower myself down the steps.
But the water was pretty chilly so I guess I was a bit slow.
And of course Mr M was never going to have any truck with that. “Babygirl!” he said in a sort of teasy-threatening type voice. “That’s much too painful to watch. Just jump in or I’m going to throw you in!”
“No, Master, please don’t!” I replied in this wild sort of panic type thing. I gripped the hand-rail of the steps so tight that my knuckles turned white.
Of course, as soon as he saw that, he flipped right back into my lovely, loving, caring master. “I’m sorry, Babygirl,” he said, scooping me up and hugging me to him. “I didn’t mean to frighten you.” We were both… like… totally starkers but, with the whole panic thing that was going off, I was basically never going to get fussy about that. He gave me this reassuring little kiss on the cheek. “I take it that means that you’re not yet completely comfortable in water?”
“It’s just my face,” I managed to explain as the crashing panic thing started to sort of wind down a bit.
“OK, then I promise that I won’t throw you in… or even make you jump in… until you permit me to do so,” he said.
I didn’t say anything but I guess he must have read my mind.
He’s annoying like that!
“Trust me, you will, Babygirl. I pretty much promise that, by the end of the week, you will be jumping in for fun.”
I mean… I was finding it pretty tricky to believe him but he’d promised not to chuck me in so I really didn’t care.
He casually lifted me up and held me up with a hand under my bottom and, without really thinking, my arms went round his neck and my legs sort of wrapped around his hips.
He gave me a quick babygirl kiss on my cheek and I guess I should have found the position kind of fun but, before I got the chance to enjoy it, he’d sort of squatted down, casually put his free hand on the edge of the pool and kind of hopped in… and then he… like… ducked straight down so the water came up to our necks.
My face didn’t go under but I still squeaked from the shock.
“But I’m not going to have you creeping down the ladder like a sloth either,” he said, giving me a quick kiss on the lips. “It’s much too painful to watch!”
“It’s cold!” I grumbled… but I wasn’t really all that stroppy with him. I guess it really was better to get the whole shock thing over with in one go like this.
“Then get swimming,” he said. He gave me another kiss and then popped me down on my feet with a friendly sort of squidge on the bottom. “You’ll soon warm up.” He let me go and began to… like… wizz through the water like a dolphin. I followed him, basically looking much more like a washing machine.
We swam for a while until I got all knackered - I wasn’t used to the whole swimming thing - and then I sort of hung around in the shallow end while my master zoomed up and down for a bit longer.
At last he was done and, as he stood up, the water all sort of cascaded down off his naked body and it was basically quite a… well… quite a pleasing sort of a sight.
He smiled when he saw me ogling him but then said, “Babygirl, come over here.”