The studio smelled of oil paints and acrylics, scents that have always made me feel at home.
I walked up the stairs in heavy black clogs, my bag for the Citadel held tight against me. Bent was in less than an hour. I wanted to get there around when it started, before it got too busy, so Master could properly collar me for the evening. I love having that moment with him, where I bend my head down and press my forehead to his leg as he slips the leather around my neck…
Kane had invited me to his open studios a couple of months ago, after the first time I saw his studio. Now, the studio was full of people. Wine. Snacks. When I had first been led up its stairs the entire building had been nearly deserted, outside of a few artists who were set on working well into the night.
As always, Kane was one of them. We had connected over artwork, discussing our pasts, our mediums, and our connection to the creative process long ago. He could get lost in his work, and a world ago when I was his I used to kneel at his feet and get lost in his world with him.
He led me through the winding studios to his little corner to show me the pieces he was working in. Big blocks of color, pops of playfulness and inspiration that he had reclaimed after a hard year for him. It was good work. Not my type of work, but good work.
It started with him scooting closer to me, slowly, our bodies swaying together like they were pulled by magnets. Somehow, our arms found their way around each others’ waists, and then around each other, so that we were holding one another. And then we were kissing in the middle of the studio, shy at first…
It was easy. Letting him touch me, letting him kiss me. It was so familiar, so nice. He whispered in my ear that he had missed me, pulling me against him so that I could feel him hard underneath his jeans. He told me every last little thing that I had wanted to hear a year ago. That he fantasized about me, that I was his one that got away. That it wasn’t just my body, it was the woman behind it. My body was nothing without my mind, my spirit, my fight. That he had hated me not being in his life. That letting me go was one of his biggest regrets.
I found myself transported back over a year. I was on my knees, my head on his leg, while he pet me and painted. He would touch me, kiss me, give me some attention, and then go back to his piece. It felt so easy… so easy I almost forgot that it was a year later. That we had ended horribly. That he had hurt me more than he would ever realize.
Eventually, the painted stopped. He ordered me to clean his brushes, a task I had once loved. Happily, I did so. He had me appraise his work; make constructive criticism as an artist that didn’t always see his creations with the kindest of eyes.
He mentioned that the bathrooms at the studio were very large and cleaned nightly.
“It would be very easy,” he said ” for a dirty little girl to get on her knees and take a cock into her mouth in there…”
I was drenched, and wanting, and hungry. I had lost track of time. James was working a party, and I was going there after Kane’s studio. My mind didn’t even register time as I watched the sun set from the studio window’s with Kane behind me, his hands inside my pants, feeling along my ass. He spanked me, hard and quick and unrelenting, and then toyed me ever so lightly. I moaned, missing him, wanting him, and then his voice brought me back to reality.
“I should tell you,” he said, “I sort of have a girlfriend. And I’m sort of supposed to be a good boy and be monogamous.”
I froze, my body growing cold at his words. Not again. I would not be the other woman again. I had been that for nearly a year, and had hated every last moment of it. I wouldn’t let him do that to me again.
“We can’t.” I said, quietly, sadly. The truth is, as wrong as it was I still wanted it. It was the farthest we had gone in over a year and it felt so good, so familiar. Pulling away from him and asking to leave, saying I had to get to the party… It fucked with my head. I hadn’t realized until that moment that there was a part of me that remained his. That longed to be his, to wear his collar and cuffs and greet him naked at the door on my knees as I used to. There was a part of me that so easily slipped into that role.
I walked away. We didn’t do more than kiss. I couldn’t do that to his girlfriend.. I knew too well what it felt like.
Unlike last time, the studio was filled with people, wine, and music. I navigated the hallways on my own, pausing to look at work mounted on the walls as I wrestled with the idea of being there. He probably didn’t even remember inviting me back for the open studio. Who knew who else was here..
Eventually, I found him holding court with prospective buyers in his little corner. He was heartbreaking familiar and incredibly strange to me, and for a couple minutes I stood there simply absorbing a world I had never really been a part of. I let myself look at new work that he had finished after my visit. He came over, hugged me, and briefly we discussed his work. I was about to mention some paintings of birds on pieces of wood that I had surprisingly loved when a group came over and started chatting with him.
They remarked on the beautiful desserts he had at his station. Kane smiled. “My girlfriend made them.”
“Such a talented couple, the two of you! Well suited for one another.”
All the while I watched, smiling to myself. Yes. Such a talented couple. Right place, at the right time.
She came over soon after, and I tried to sneak away, to escape back to my world. My collar jingled in my bag.
Awkwardly, I shook her hand. She was older than me, taller, larger, but her body shape was similar, as were her brown hair and eyes. She wore her hair similarly to how I always had, up in a bun unless Kane had ordered it down. He had loved my hair down. He told me once that he had grown up with straight blonde hair all around him and it bored him. He loved my curly, dark locks for being the exact opposite.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you. Your medium is sculpture, right? Are you working on anything new? Have you been to the studio before?”
I was surprised he had told her about me.. although I wondered what he had told. I chanced a quick glance at Kane before returning my gaze to his lady. His eyes avoided mine.
Yes, I had been there before.
And I’m not sure I will ever be back.
No, I had no new work.
And I’m not sure what you would make of my old work.
Many things were left unsaid. As Kane came over and put his arm around his girlfriend I smiled, echoing what I had heard the group saying about them being a talented couple. His lady glowed and looked up at him.
“Oh, I’m definitely overshadowed by this one here.”
I recognized the look she gave him. I knew it all too well. That look of pure adoration. Love. Almost worship. I had given him the same time and time again when I was on my knees in front of him awaiting my next task.
Walking away that day at the studio had been the right thing. The ache, the last tinge of regret, faded as I smiled at the happy couple. I lifted my bag and mentioned to Kane that I had to get to the Citadel. There was a party tonight. James was waiting for me.
He smiled sadly. For a moment, we locked eyes, both our minds on a different time. I think we both saw the door close. Both knew that we had finally fully moved in different directions and that there was no going back, no freezing time. It was done.
“Have fun.” he whispered, so softly I almost didn’t hear him.
I smiled, gave him one last wave, and ran from the studio back to my world. As I relaxed on the car ride over to the Citadel my hand slipped inside my bag to wrap around my leather collar.
Yes, I had made the right choice in multiple ways. It was a good thing, this door closing. It felt oddly nice to fully complete that chapter of my life.
Time to turn the page and see what’s next in store for me.
Yours, as always