“Strip,” Sir says. We stand in the living room. There is a door open to outside, and I can hear the noises in the neighbourhood. Sounds of people coming home from work, kids chasing each other, and dogs barking. It is both strange and wonderful to have this secret life behind such a thin façade.

Sir wraps the new rope across my back, from over one shoulder to under the other a couple of times. He makes an interlocking X between my shoulder blades that holds the lines steady and reasonably taut. The ends trail over my skin and flick my nipples to awareness and teasing attention. The rope is maddeningly ticklish as he ties and tightens. He moves my hands in front and has me grab opposite elbows, the insides of my forearms turned together to protect nerves and tender areas. He wraps the rope around my arms and ties it back to the harness that controls my shoulders. He lowers me to my knees. I keep my eyes forward. I hear him moving various impact toys around as he makes his first selection.

“Take a deep breath, Honey,” he says.

“Yes, Sir,” I say.


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