In the realm of dreams was where she found peace. When reality was too much too bear, she could at least find some solace in the deepest recesses of her mind.
As she lay in her blankets, asleep and unbothered, Nola’s mind began to create a pool of images—some more vivid than others until it eventually formed into a more cohesive setting.
Slowly, she found herself sitting on a chair right outside a café in Italy on a hot summer’s day. The streets were filled with bustling people as idle chatter filled the air. Right in front of her was a round table with a steaming cup of cappuccino on a saucer.
She smiled. Of course, she’d order a hot drink on a hot day. It was just like her to do so.
She reached over, looping a finger through the cup’s handle before she brought the beverage to her lips. She breathed in the scent of the delicious aroma and pressed her lips against the porcelain before taking a gentle sip.
She returned the cup, leaned back on her chair, and took deep, gentle breaths. Why was she here? She wondered. She certainly couldn’t afford to be on vacation, much less at a country like Italy but she certainly wasn’t complaining. After racking her brain for a few minutes, she finally remembered why she was here. It was to meet him—the same person who had invaded her dreams more times than she could count. How could she be so forgetful?
“I hope you haven’t waited for a long time.” A smooth velvety voice startled her from the peace and quiet. Her eyes fluttered open, soft hazel irises meeting a pair of coal-black ones with a hint of gold.
“No, not for long,” she said gently, feeling flustered at how incredibly handsome the man looked. Funny, she had seen him in her dreams for many nights now, but she hardly knew his name. For some reason, she didn’t feel she had the right to. It wasn’t like he was making his way to get to know her name anyway, so she figured she could keep her identity a secret for now.
“May I have a seat?” He gestured to the empty cafe chair across from her. She nodded and watched as he pulled out the chair.
He was wearing a black summer suit made with light fabric. The entire ensemble looked to be perfectly tailored and matched his frame with ease. His long raven hair was kept in a low ponytail and he looked to be perfectly relaxed and confident as he sat down comfortably across from her.
He rested an elbow, his hand reaching out to her with his palm open. Nola knew this gesture all too well, she had met him countless times and their constant trysts came with habits that only the other can recognize.
She reached out, placed her hand delicately on his palm before he leaned down and kissed her palm gently in greeting. His eyes momentarily shut at this which sent a shiver of pleasure through Nola. How could a simple gesture mean so much? She was beyond pathetic.
“You waited for me, that is good,” he said, clearly pleased that she stayed for him like the good girl she was. It was an offhand observation that many wouldn’t think twice over, but Nola knew that every praise and scolding came with a reason . . . at least with him.
She shivered once more. A sense of pride swelled within her at the fact that he was pleased with her so far.
“You may speak,” he said, lacing his fingers through hers.
She swallowed, her nerves suddenly going haywire.
“I miss you,” she admitted. Her face turning red at the confession. She turned away almost instantly, hating herself for being so vulnerable with him.
“And what have you missed about me?” he asked casually. Nola could picture his lips curled into a satisfied smirk, teasing her for all she’s worth.
“Everything.” She breathed out and forced herself to look at him. “I . . . I know we’ve seen each other for a while now. It’s silly, I know, we haven’t done anything of . . . of that nature yet, but I think . . .” she faltered slightly and feel her face growing hotter by the second. “I think, I’d like to . . . to try with you.” She willed herself to meet his gaze. If the earth could swallow her whole right, then and there, she’d be eternally grateful.
The man’s smile grew wider and he pressed her hand gently against his cheek. He didn’t seem to mind that they were in public and that such gesture was so intimate for such a setting.
“I don’t even know your name,” she blurted out. “I feel like I’m asking so much from you. My reality is far from ideal, and when I’m here with you, I feel I could escape the loneliness for a while and enjoy myself, so when I wake up I . . .” She stopped talking and covered her mouth with a free hand. No, she will not cry. Not in front of him.
He squeezed her hand in assurance. “I think I understand you, bella,” he said gently though his voice still held some dominance. “You have grown attached to me. You want more than just conversations, holding, and kissing, yes?” he looked into her eyes, a flash of gold hinted that he ordered her not to look away.
Nola bit her lower lip and nodded.
“I see,” he gently unlaced his fingers from hers and placed it palm down on the table. Both his hands covered them to keep her in place. “Cara, you have been a good girl so far. I’d be lying if I said you haven’t tempted me the same way,” he said gently, his accent laced through every word. “So far you have proven yourself more than just a mindless date. You have wit, intelligence, a sweetness and innocence I long desire, but I have a confession . . .” he trailed off, avoiding her gaze for the first time.
Nola leaned closer. Her eyes widened with curiosity and apprehension. Was he trying to let her down easy? Did he actually not like her in that way? Was he choosing the right words to end their rendezvous so he won’t break her heart?
She bit her lower lip; the threat of unshed tears grew with each passing second but she held back. She wanted to be patient for him. She knew he hated when he was interrupted and Nola would willingly wait for him however long it takes.
A few agonizing minutes have passed. After letting out a breath, he looked back at her once more. His dark eyes now focused on her and her alone.
“How much do you want to try having sex with me?” he asked seriously, changing the subject.
Nola swallowed. “I’m willing to wait for you until you’re ready. I just know that it has to be you and you alone.” She longed to reach out and caress his face but held herself back. She suspected he didn’t like to be touched so freely and she would willingly abate her desires time and time again until he trusted her.
He smirked slightly. “I know you grow wet at the thought of me.”
Nola’s face turned red at this, yet she didn’t look away.
He shifted in his seat. “I know you think of me when you wake up.”
Nola bit her lower lip at this and nodded.
“You long to touch yourself in your bed and imagine me inside you, but for some reason you didn’t, at least not yet.”
Nola nodded once more, embarrassed beyond belief. She won’t deny it, she couldn’t even if she tried.
He tilted his head to the side. His lips grew wider into a grin and she noticed two sharp canine teeth protrude from his lips. She blinked at the sight but as soon as she leaned forward to examine it closer, it suddenly disappeared.
Was she imagining things?
He hummed and leaned back on his seat. “I will take you up on your request, but I have a set of conditions.”
Nola blinked, surprised at his response. She wanted to squeal in delight at him considering her request, but she held it back. He hadn’t exactly said yes yet.
“What are your conditions?” she asked.
He let her hand go. She frowned and withdrew it from him, already missing his touch.
“Before I state my conditions, I need you to state explicitly if you agree or disagree. If you feel there is need for negotiations, you must let me know. Understand?”
“Yes,” she replied.
“Yes, master,” he corrected her.
“Yes, master,” she followed suit, swallowing her nerves.
“Good girl.” He smiled. “Are you ready?”
He nodded and placed both hands on the table before he steepled his long fingers. He regarded her with a cool, calculating gaze. Nola had never felt so belittled and bothered before in her life. What was happening to her?
“One, I will do my best to earn the right to possess your mind, body, and soul. In exchange, I expect you to do your best to serve me, communicate to me your needs and desires, and to bequeath your problems to me—no matter how small the issue is. Do you understand?”
Nola thought this over. “May I ask what you mean by problems?” She wasn’t sure if she understood what he meant and she didn’t want to have any future miscommunications.
He nodded. “Any problems you may have whether physical, mental, professional, or personal shall be relayed to me. You tell me the problems you have with let’s say . . . finding a job, and I will listen to you without judgment. I will also offer advice if you need them. Is that understood?”
Nola nodded. She had been so lonely and with zero friends in the city, she could use a friendly face—even if it’s a mysterious guy in her dreams.
“Shall we continue to the next conditions?” He started.
“Yes, master,” she replied obediently.
“Next, I require a ritual with my submissive. If you are to have me as a lover, I expect you to take care of yourself physically and psychologically. Do I make myself, clear?”
“And by that, I mean regular exercise, a healthy diet, and if you require someone to talk to, you must request the aid of a psychologist. While I may be your dominant and caregiver, I am not equipped to care for all your problems and you must take responsibility for them as well. Is that understood?”
“Next, I require you to strip your body of all clothes prior to meeting me. It means to take off whatever it is you’re wearing before you head to sleep. Make sure your curtains are shut and your doors are locked.”
Nola’s heart raced at this. “May I ask why?”
He looked at her in silence and she shrunk away, worried that she had offended him in some way. She had never slept naked before, much less been naked with any man—even an imaginary one.
“Because I want you to be comfortable with your body and to trust me to take care of it. If you are not comfortable with it yet, we shall build up to it. Does that make it any better?”
Nola’s eyes widened. “I think I’d like to build up to it, if . . . if it’s okay.” Yes, she would like to sleep with him someday but it was more than that. She knew deep down that for her, she longed more than just sex with him. She wanted to understand him, to have him trust her, and to make him feel like he could also be vulnerable with her. She knew that would take time, and while she had zero experience in dating and sex in general, she couldn’t let him go. She didn’t want to.
“Of course, it’s okay, my pet. You will have all that and more.” His voice brought her out of her sad thoughts and she looked at him like he was the brightest star in the night.
“Do you promise?” she asked, letting out a breath she didn’t know she was holding in until now. A surge of hope grew within her.
He smiled. “I promise.”
– written by an upcoming erotic romance author