She pulls into the empty parking lot, the sun just going down. It’s a place she’s never been, even the address unknown to her until the hour before, the address, and the key code to the building’s door.
She circles the lot looking for the specified number, finds it, slows to a stop and, after a long pause, puts the car in park and turns off the ignition. Shifts uncomfortably in the seat, feeling the thing inside her, thrusting up inside her, uncomfortably. Sighs, opens the car door and gets out. Slowly.
She walks to the entryway, dragging her feet the way she’s always done before an encounter she doesn’t want, reaches the door, enters the code in the keypad. The light turns green and the door unlocks with a loud click. She jumps at the sound, even though she’s known all along it’s coming, moves the door forward and enters the dimly lit corridor.
The door swings shut behind her, and locks. Her stomach rumbles … fear? expectation? A certain knowledge of what’s eventually coming, even though the particulars of how it’s going to happen remain unknown?
She walks down the hallway, her heels clicking on the tile floor as she passes closed doors. It looks like a medical office, but she can’t really tell as only the exit lights are on, and she’s been explicitly told not to turn on any of the switches. She’s sure he’d thought about making her close her eyes and feel her way to the right door, something he’d do just to add to her terror, but guesses he decided against it because it would add an element of uncertainly that he’d prefer to avoid. Nothing ruins the aesthetics more than a twisted ankle, and besides, the hallway she’s moving down is upsetting enough with her eyes open.
She walks on, looking at the passing doors by the low red illumination of the exit signs … 25 … 27 … 37 … 53, that’s the one her instructions point her to, so she stops and tries the handle. And sure enough it’s unlocked.
She opens the door enough to fit through and goes inside into the dark office. The door swings closed behind her, leaving her in the pitch-dark, with not even an LED shining.
Inside the office she feels for the table she’s been instructed will be by the door, finds it, then dutifully undresses down to only her shoes, placing her clothes on the table in as tidy a pile as she can manage. The combination of darkness and nudity is unnerving, and the preternatural quiet adds to her fears.
She stands there, naked, feeling the faint breeze from the building’s heaters flowing across her skin from an unseen vent. Her skin puckers, her flesh crawls as she strains to see, struggles to hear … but nothing’s there, nothing at all, only the darkness, the quiet, and the feeling of the air moving over her flesh.
Now she gropes her way forward along the wall towards the internal door she’s been instructed to find. She wonders why she hasn’t tripped over any furniture; her senses tell her the room is empty, and she suspects he’s found an unoccupied office for this scenario. Either that or he’s taken the trouble to have the furniture moved, again a sign of his thoughtfulness, or of his obsessive attention to minute detail.
As she moves forward she feels the plug filling her behind slip, quickly reaches a hand back to stop it falling, pushes it back in until it’s reseated, the sensation of fullness and the accompanying dull ache returning as she thrusts it back in.
She’s wearing a medium-sized plug, not small, but not as large as the one her instructions promise she’ll be having later; she dislikes the sensation, but, as shameful as it is to admit it, its presence makes her very very wet between her legs.
She’s felt her way about 15 feet forward, and suddenly her hand runs across the doorjamb she’s been expecting. She pauses, fumbles her hand for the knob, turns it, pushes the door open and goes in.
This room is also dark, but her senses tell her it’s much bigger, the drafts are greater, the clicks of her heels are more reverberative; it’s a *large* room. And although it’s pitch black, she feels an intense itching of her skin as if she’s been watched by unseen eyes.
Whose eyes? Where? How, in this darkness? She doesn’t know, only knows that feeling of surveillance, of heightened exposure. Perhaps there’s no one there, perhaps there are cameras rather than people. Regardless, the idea’s in her mind, and she can’t shake it out.
She recalls a meeting with him where he made her undress and turn away from the hotel window, which he then opened, pulling the shades completely back. They were on the second floor and she hadn’t looked to see how visible she’d be, he hadn’t given her time, he’d just walked in and told her to turn, strip and stand.
She remembers how her flesh crawled then, imagining eyes, not knowing if there were any, not knowing if anyone in an adjoining building could see a damn thing.
But it didn’t matter then, the idea was in her mind and it stayed there throughout what he did with her. Just as it’s embedded itself in her brain now, and can’t be shaken as she prepares for what’s going to happen.
Parking lot, entryway, hall, outer room, and, now, here. A straightforwardly linear sequence, if it were a movie it’d be cheap to film.
She turns from the wall and heads off at a right angle, shuffling forward to avoid the obstacles her mind conjures up.
A light suddenly comes on, very dim, but enough to reveal the outlines of a mostly empty room, larger even than she’s imagined, some sort of furniture in its center. Is the light proof of someone’s watching? Or is it automatic, she doesn’t know. He’s all too adept at kindling these kinds of summersaults in her mind, there seems to be almost no effort he needs to expend to cause her to panic a great deal. Is this because he’s so good at it, or is she just easily influenced? Or, worse, is it that she *wants* to react to what he says, that it’s less him pushing her forward than her pushing herself, diving into the sensation — arousing, terrifying, and, always, intoxicating.
She moves further out away from the wall towards the room’s center. It’s likely only 30 feet, but the dark and her nudity telescope that distance, or maybe it’s time that her mental state’s altered.
That’s a concept she’s fully familiar with: the distortion of time by dread, or anticipation, or desire, or a combination. It’s not something she’d like to admit, that he can do that to her, but he can. A well-placed threat, a seemingly offhand promise of a dreaded event to be … implemented … they leave her suddenly reeling, time slowed down.
The way she’s feeling now standing there naked in this room, in the dark, with wafts of air blowing over her skin. Time’s slowed down, the walk to the center and the thing there — whatever it might be — an eternity. She knows it isn’t, but her brain doesn’t know anything other than triggers from its most primitive portion, spikes of fear and desire from down in the brainstem, from the hindbrain. She’s got air blowing on her, and she’s still sweating. Why?
If you asked him — and if he were to answer you — you’d learn that anticipation is an art form, and that merely doing things isn’t a trigger for anything other than a check against a list of things to do and then done.
If you asked — and if he answered — he might tell you the story he heard once from a friend who visited a “dungeon” south of Los Angeles in Orange County, and how he laughed at the thought of an above-ground “dungeon” (no basements in the earthquake zone) in a garage, with pegboards with “toys” arranged on the walls, as he’d expected. That’s admirable creativity about working in limited circumstances, but it’s hard for him to think of it kindling much of anything other than respect for a can-do attitude.
If he wanted to answer, he’d probably say that anticipation and desire and dread are packaged together and delivered to the hindbrain by a delicate pulling of triggers, by knowing what makes the other person jump in the dark, and also knowing what makes her reach between her legs. And then using those triggers, deliberately, so that she knows, so that she feels the manipulation, and so that she feels safe with it enough to be terrified by it. And aroused and eager for more.
(to be continued)