34 years and we still blunder…

Last Friday, I also received fantastic news about my brother. The experimental treatment he’s on has really made great strides and his test results are looking amazing. Ironically, I received his text while I was sitting in an emergency room in more pain than I can remember going through in a long time.

Thursday, I had a nagging headache. It wouldn’t leave me alone. I wanted nothing more than to go home and sleep it off, but both our kids reached out with issues they wanted to discuss. Fast forward, it’s midnight, my head is screaming and my stomach is decidedly unhappy. I’ve done all I can do parent wise and I try to sleep. My head had other plans. I woke in severe pain several times. I told my Love, I was staying home from work. I didn’t think I could drive there anyway. Since he was taking off the following week, he felt he needed to go in and that playing hookie wasn’t an option. I get it. He’s a stand-up guy. Loyal. Doing what’s right matters to him.

As the day progresses, I get sicker and sicker. I began to think I had stomach flu in addition to the migraine. I kept thinking if it doesn’t let up I’m going to have to go to the doctor. I knew I couldn’t drive and I knew my Love was miles and miles away. I thought about calling another member of my family for a ride. Clearly, I wasn’t thinking properly.

I know I come first. Nothing is more important to my husband than I am.  He tells me this all the time. He makes me repeat it on occasion. I knew if I told him ‘come home’, he would have. I was trying to put his need to finish out the work day ahead of my need for him. Big mistake. Huge.

Our daughter was texting and texting and looking at the screen was killing me, so I explained that I was ill and considering asking for a ride to the doctor. She immediately reached out to my Love. He raced home, got me into the car and off we went.

His anger was palpable. Even through the pain, I knew he was seriously pissed that I hadn’t explained just how sick I was. In my mind, I had, but I had also shared my hope anytime it felt even marginally better. I hadn’t realized just how mixed the signals I was sending really were.

Fast forward – I’m being loaded into the ambulance. I knew he was standing outside the door watching. By that time, fear was coming off him in waves. I’m afraid the image of me inside the back of it would haunt him for a long time. He’s mentioned it a few times already.

The first person I saw when they opened the door was my Love’s face. He stayed with me the entire time, even going down with me for the tests. A couple family members showed up, but he still didn’t leave me side. He is my rock.

Once they finally figured out the chemical concoction to get me feeling as close to ‘normal’ as I ever am, they let me go home. I don’t think I was in the car ten minutes before the lecture set in. We now have a ‘signal word’ much like a safe word that will let him know that he needs to come home immediately. I’m sure we aren’t finished with the conversation. I’m still feeling a bit under the weather and I know he’s treating me with kid gloves. Once they come off, I suspect I’ll get an ass beating I won’t soon forget. Don’t tell him, but I’m mostly looking forward to it. I need the punishment to let go of the guilt of scaring him. The guilt of not telling him I needed him. The guilt over considering calling someone else to take me to the doctor when I know I should have turned to him.

Wednesday will be our 34th wedding anniversary. I guess it doesn’t matter how long you’re together, sometimes there will be blunders.

Teeter Totter

Life is doing its teeter totter BS again. On the high side-His Lucky Day, part of the Sensory Limits Anthology, is now out on Amazon and all the major retailers. It’s been on the bestseller list since the e-version was available for early download, so to say I’m super excited would be an understatement.

On the balanced side of the teeter, work continues to be an issue. My energy for dealing with manufactured drama is dwindling fast. The only positive is that one way or another there will be a resolution in October. The frustrating part is our way of dealing with the daily grind stress is kinky fuckery and we currently have a family member living with us. I had no idea how loud spankings, paddling and other slap-happy events can be. Forget screams of pleasure, the mere action makes enough noise to cause guests to raise their eyebrows. Caning is about the only impact tool that is quiet enough and that’s not a daily use activity – for us anyway.

On the down side, my brother who was seemingly doing very well on the experimental treatment received some devastating news. The tumors in his neck were visibly smaller and he had very few outward side effects. Unfortunately, no one realized tumors were amassing in his kidneys-to the point where they have to be removed. ASAP. Next week he will enter the hospital so they can take him off his heart meds in preparation for surgery. Once he’s stable they will go in and do what’s necessary. The odds aren’t great, but the other options are worse. I hope he has hit the bottom of the totter and starts to swing upward. He’s seriously been through enough.

SensoryLimits_PromoSquare_OutNow

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Friends…

I’ve been pondering a few things this week. Dangerous, I know.

At what point does a person move from an acquaintance to a friend? I’m on several BDSM boards and there are often posts about ‘coming out’ with friends and family. My question is – if you are in the lifestyle, if it’s a way of life for you, not some kinky fun you enjoy in the bedroom – and your friends don’t know – are they really your friends?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think ‘friends’ need to know what goes on behind closed doors, but if they know nothing about a major component of your personality/life, I wonder if they count as friends. For me, the answer is no they’re not. They are someone I chat with on a superficial level.

A friend is someone I can trust. Someone who has my back and I have theirs. Someone that shares my same values. We don’t have to agree on politics or brand loyalties, but underneath all the fluff, we need to be in sync. I don’t share that with many people.

The biggie for me is respect. If you run down your significant other, we’ll never be friends. This is the person you’re supposed to love above all others. As soon as I hear a phrase such as – ‘you won’t believe what my stupid ________ (bf, gf, wife, husband), did now’, I’m out. People think they’re being funny. They’ll tell you, if you call them on it, they don’t mean it like that… Geez, what’s your problem?

My problem is, it’s hurtful. You’re diminishing how other’s look at your loved one in order to gain something – attention, sympathy, laughs…

Of course there with be times when something happens and you’re confused or hurt by your SO’s actions. But shouldn’t the conversation at least start between the two of you? Your lunch buddies won’t be able to tell you why your (bf, gf, wife, husband) overdrew your checking account or has a questionable picture on their phone. So sharing your laundry with them only serves a negative purpose.

This one person I’ve known for more than half my life thought it was perfectly fine to eat lunch daily with coworker they were attracted to. They had no intentions of taking it beyond a coworker/friend relationship so what could possibly go wrong? I’m sure you can see where this is going. A hell of a lot went wrong. Bashing their respective spouses  turned into a frequent occurrence. Instead of talking to their loved one about an issue, they’d let it fester. They’d chat with their coworker and garner sympathy.  The coworker, who only heard one side of the issues, naturally sided with their ‘friend’ and would converse accordingly. “Why do you put up with that? They shouldn’t treat you that way!”

Then my long time buddy made the fatal mistake. In an argument, they told their spouse what the coworker had said about them. The spouse knew immediately that the coworker had been privy to all their dirty laundry. The spouse felt betrayed (in my opinion – rightfully so). The marriage dissolved.

You may be wondering how we went from telling the difference between a friend and an acquaintance to divorce, but in my warped mind they connect. The road linking them is called trust. The difference between a friend and an acquaintance is the level of trust you have for that person.

The person you give your heart to, should be the person you trust more than anyone else. Period, end of sentence. If something isn’t right between you two, trust them to care enough to listen and to make changes. Trust them to have your back and give them that in return.

See it was a twisty, dirt road, but it did eventually get to the point.

dirt road

Change… Is it good?

Nothing ever stays the same. I know this, but… I don’t always like it.

I’m feeling melancholy today. Mother nature seems to be too. It’s a hazy, blah, kind of day here in what’s widely known as the Valley of the Sun.

My youngest and I have been working at the same company for over a year now. We work in different divisions, but we still found time to eat lunch together a couple of times a week. I enjoyed that time together. We laughed a lot and that got us a few odd stares. By nature, we’re very reserved and quiet unless we’re around people we’re comfortable with. That doesn’t happen often at work.

Last week, he turned in his two week notice. He took a great position with a different company. I’m proud of him and it’s the right move. They’re thrilled to get him. They made that plain, but goodness I’m going to miss him.

It has me wondering if it’s time I look elsewhere too. I rarely stay in one place more than five years. I get bored easily and need new challenges. That’s not the only reason though. Truth be told, I don’t like to form bonds with people. I like to keep it light and superficial. Having my son there helped. Before he started there, I was having lunch a couple of times a week with coworkers. We were getting tighter than I’m comfortable with. Once he started with the company, I was able to pull back and stay out of the ‘lunch click’.

Our two divisions have very little in common. He worked with techno types and I work with researchers. For the most part our two divisions never interacted, which kept our lunches usually just the two of us.

Now there’s nothing holding me there. My day to day job is boring. It isn’t challenging me in the least these days. The big question mark is my co-workers. They’re wonderful. Truly a great bunch of people. I enjoy interacting with them and for me that’s a problem. They’ve tried to include me in social events outside of work hours and I’ve managed to evade them for the most part. I don’t like to become entangled with others. I know that might be hard to understand if you’re the gregarious type. But I seriously find people draining, even the awesome group I work with.

My husband is my focal point. He’s truly the only other person on the planet I’m comfortable spending time with. He’s the opposite of everyone else. He energizes me. My kids are a breath behind him. After that, the rest of my crazy family falls somewhere on a wide outer ring. I love them, would do anything in my power to help them when needed, but I need them at arms reach.

Friends fall somewhere behind that. I’ve been stabbed in the back by friends so often my guard rarely comes down these days.

I’m still in contact with a gal I grew up with. We’ve known each other over forty years. We’ve been together through thick and thin. Yet, she doesn’t understand or condone D/s. She can’t accept it. Our talk everyday, know everything about each other, relationship has turned into a meet once a year for coffee. Literally, once a year.

My closest co-worker stabbed me in the back when she learned about my books. She considered D/s to be disrespectful to women and decided to explain my crimes in a loud voice in a crowded restaurant and when that didn’t get the response she was after, she told everyone who would listen in our workplace. Around the same time, I shared the news of my books being published with my brother. He went behind my back and told my family. Suffice to say, it didn’t go over well with them either.

After all that, I vowed to stop handing people a knife and clear path to my back.  I was much more cautious, but one person got through. I hate to think of myself as an optimist. In my mind that conjures up sappy, perky sort of people that make me shake my head in disgust. Yet, maybe I am. Even though I know better, I keep trying to find people I feel comfortable with.

This person believes in D/s as deeply as we do. So I shared a lot of myself. I thought I had found a kindred soul. Two subbies each needing a safe haven to share ideas and discuss the trials and tribulations assorted with D/s, husbands, kids and life in general. Two maybe three years went by with our bond deepening as each day went by. We didn’t agree on everything, but our core values were the same. A few months ago, that came crashing down. We hit a crossroads and our paths diverged. Once again, I find myself questioning why I let them in, why I thought it would be any different this time.

Which brings me to the question of the day – do I stay in my current job and risk getting closer to these people or do I jump ship?

Hello, job board…

jump ship

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Sam hunts a black widow. Will he untangle the web of lies and deceit or will he be her next victim?

Two men, in the prime of their lives, are now dead. The only link is the beautiful, but deadly, Eliza James. Sam Rivers must follow the cold trail of a murderer. His instincts lead him away from the rich widow, though why he couldn’t say. All the evidence points to her guilt. Is he falling into her trap as his fellow agents warned? To unravel the secrets from years gone by, Sam must listen to a voice long dead—one that challenges his view of the mysterious and sexy widow.

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Totally Bound

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Can’t wait?

Against the Grain is now available for early download through Totally Bound 

Sam hunts a black widow. Will he untangle the web of lies and deceit or will he be her next victim?

Two men, in the prime of their lives, are now dead. The only link is the beautiful, but deadly, Eliza James. Sam Rivers must follow the cold trail of a murderer. His instincts lead him away from the rich widow, though why he couldn’t say. All the evidence points to her guilt. Is he falling into her trap as his fellow agents warned? To unravel the secrets from years gone by, Sam must listen to a voice long dead—one that challenges his view of the mysterious and sexy widow.

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Eliza finds the handsome diplomat too good to be true. He reawakens a desire within her that she thought had been lost. Yet their time together has a stopwatch ticking. Knowing that every moment counts, she accepts his bold proposal to explore her sexuality. Through pleasure and pain mingled together, she discovers a hidden strength that could mean the difference between life and death.

Together they must sift through lies and betrayals to unearth the truth before time runs out.

Available for pre-order through Amazon

Sometimes fantasies really do come true

About ten years ago, I shared a secret fantasy with my Love. We talked about it at length. We discussed why I wanted to try it, what the long term ramifications were and what the dangers were. After giving it a lot of thought, my Love decided it wasn’t the right time.

I was disappointed, but he’s the boss. No, meant no and I accepted it.

Fast forward to our anniversary last month. As we were going through our previous interest inventories he noticed a discrepancy. Since his decision, each time I would complete an updated inventory I would draw a line through the interest options in regard to that topic.

In my mind, I was showing respect. He had decided it wasn’t right for us and since I respect his decision I stopped asking to try it. I simply drew a line through the choices. As we compared our lists and reflected upon our journey, we touched upon my fantasy once again.

That portion of our conversation was short, not much more than a recap. He asked if I still had a desire to try it. I told him I did, but I assured him I was okay with his decision. As is so often the case, that topic brought up another and we quickly moved on. Little did I know that a plan was taking shape in my Love’s mind.

Saturday our daughter called out of the blue and insisted I go shopping with her. My Love told me I needed to go. He firmly believes that you should never turn down the opportunity to spend time with the kids, even when it’s inconvenient as hell. So, off I went.

We shopped and had a good time. A few hours later when I pulled into the drive, I noticed the windows along the front of the house were drawn. My Love enjoys natural light and it was highly irregular for him to want block off our view. As soon as I stepped into our home, I knew he had a scene planned.

During the next few hours, my fantasy played out. My emotions ran the gamut. It was so much more intense than I had expected. I quickly realized he’d been right to say no all those many years ago. I wasn’t ready. I couldn’t have handled it. At the end of the scene, as he held me in his arm, I cried like I’ve rarely cried before. It’s my body’s way of  processing the rush. The line between passion and pain blurred often. Fear had mingled with pleasure. Though I had waited years to experience this fantasy, twice I had to use my ‘slow down’ safeword.

Each time, he changed the direction of the scene just enough that we were able to continue without losing stride. That was a change for him as well. Many moons ago, on those rare occasions when I would need to ‘slow down’, he would stop the scene entirely. He feared for my safety and even though we had clearly defined reasons for saying ‘yellow’ or ‘red’, his concern overrode everything. As the years have gone by, he’s learned my reactions and now responds accordingly.

The culmination of a long term fantasy was like a dream come true and it reinforces my faith in his ability to continue to lead us on our amazing journey. Thank you, my Love, I’m truly blessed that you chose me as your life partner.

wish

I’ve Got Your Back

Today, I’m very pleased to have a very special guest blogger visit. I’m under the gun, so to speak. My deadline for Against the Tide has come and gone and I’m still working on it. To help me out, my Love decided to pitch in and write this week’s post himself.

Alpha Wolf

Tori and I met when we were in high school. We fell in love, married shortly after graduation and as I’ve said many times, it was the smartest choice I ever made. I attribute the success of our marriage to many factors, but there is one trait Tori has always shown that I consider a cornerstone. I have always felt like I had her complete support. No matter how crazy my plan was or how intimidating the circumstance I was facing, I knew she was there for me.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come to her with an idea or plan that I wasn’t even really sure of myself only to end up having her talk me into trying out my own idea. Some were a great success, others not as much, but regardless the outcome, she was my cheering section. Not my critic. Please don’t misunderstand, when I do something extra stupid and that happens more often than I’d like to mention, she calls me on it, but it’s constructive, not judgmental. Simply put, she has my back. But it goes much further than that.

I am a complete gearhead. Always have been. From bicycles as a kid to cars as a teenager and as an adult, I’m always tinkering with some machine or other. But unlike other married couples I know, when I go to the junkyard my wife comes too. And not just to sit in the car. We work together. She gets dirty right along with me. It means a lot to me. I know tearing the interior out of a ‘72 Javelin or the disc brakes from a Chevelle isn’t something she always wanted to do, but I appreciate her help and her company. And some of our adventures have made for great memories. Like the time she pretended the hood we were carrying back to the car had broken her little finger. I was terrified. Till she showed how she could bend it backwards and said “just kidding.” I still spank her ass for that one.

On many occasions, especially early on, I had to make repairs to our cars I’d never done before. Armed with only the service manual and hopefully the right tools, I would tear into the job, all the while hearing her say, “You can do this, honey. You can do anything you set your mind to. I believe in you.”

I’m not the stop and ask for directions type. Big surprise, right? I’ve always been a sort of alpha lone wolf. It’s just how I’m wired. And I know I can be hard to live with when I go all stubborn and refuse to change my mind.  I can say with absolute certainty though, I am a better, smarter, stronger and even kinder man because of Tori’s love and support for me. The alpha male wolf would be completely lost without his alpha female. I love you, Angel. You are THE best.

chicken smoothie

Nothing stays the same

Friday night at dinner, my Love told me we needed to talk. Rarely is that a good thing. His demeanor was serious and I began to fret. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember anything that I’d done wrong. Well I’m constantly in trouble, but not the serious – we need to talk -kind of trouble.

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Our wedding anniversary was the following Tuesday  and to celebrate my Love took off the whole week. Since we’d just gotten back from a business trip, we decided to spend the time together at home.

My guy is not what you could call a couch potato. He’s constantly working on one project or another. So I assumed he’d spend a significant portion of our time completing this, that, and the other. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

After dinner  my Love pulled out a copy of our first interest inventory. Hell it was so old, I’m surprised it wasn’t written on parchment paper. Going through our hard limit list, we had a good laugh. I hadn’t remembered that some of my current favorite activities had once been taboo. We had a great time walking down memory lane.

What I loved most was the way my Love remembered our ‘first time’ scenes. As he was describing them, I had the opportunity to ‘see’ them from his mind’s eye. He talked about my reactions and how they fed his need. It was intoxicating. I’d never felt more sexy than I did listening to him that night.

As we went through the previous inventories, I knew he was showing them for a reason. He was pointing out the trends of the past in order to chart the future. He asked me pointed questions. Ones that made me squirm in my seat. Questions I found I was a little embarrassed to answer. That in itself was amazing. We’ve been together so long and we’ve talked about everything under the sun and yet I felt my face heating.

You see once one fantasy has become reality, another takes its place. Naturally, it’s a little racier or a little more taboo than the one before it. Each time I bare my soul, I’m taking another risk. Will he think I’m going too far? Will it differ from his interests? Will it turn him off? A million fears go through my mind. My heart rate rises and I get shaky. And wet. I’ve known my guy since 1981. I’ve been his wife since 1984. I know he loves me. I know he supports me, but each time we venture into new territory the rush is still the same.

That night we charted a new course. We talked and talked and talked some more. I described a scene that had been bouncing around in my head for a while. It’s different from anything we’ve ever done.

I was honest with him. I explained why it pushes my buttons, but that I’m not sure it would in real life. It’s something I don’t completely understand so discussing it objectively isn’t easy. I stammered a lot.

The next day he was pretty strict. Every playful act I engaged in was met with immediate punishment. After a few hours, I asked if I’d done something to upset him. He winked and told me it was time to refine my training…

All week long, it’s been much the same. He took my fantasy, twisted it to fit his own style and brought it to life. Our relaxing time at home has been nothing, and I mean nothing, like what I had expected. It’s been so much more. At times he’s been dark, strict and unmerciful. He’s pushed my boundaries. And I’ve loved it.

We’ve begun a new chapter. I’m not sure where it will lead, but I’m ready and wanting.

My Man

At fifteen, he was terribly handsome with his longish, sandy-blonde hair and striking blue eyes. He was over six feet with a barrel chest and killer arms. He had an infectious laugh and a cocky grin.

By divine providence we ended up in the same sophomore biology class, where my gaggle of girlfriends and I managed to get on the teacher’s last nerve. In what he thought was a brilliant maneuver, he created a seating chart that placed me right beside the guy I would eventually fall head over heels in love with.

His looks certainly drew me in, but it was his character that had me stand up and take notice. He despised bullies and when he saw someone picking on others, he would intercede. He helped others without caring if they could ever repay his kindness. He was, at fifteen, a better man than most of our peers are today at age fifty.

We would spend all night talking on the phone. We shared our dreams and planned our future.

I was with him when he got his first car. I helped scour the junkyards for parts and I watched as he loaned out tools to even the shadiest looking of characters, but he always got them back. It was like people knew he was a good soul and they treated him in kind.

He landed a good job and moved up quickly. With high school diplomas in our pockets we decided we were now adults and it was time to marry.

Our childhood home lives weren’t the best. Neither of us had what you could call a role model for a happy marriage. Some of our ‘friends’ refused to attend our marriage because they didn’t think that at eighteen years old, we had a snowballs chance in hell of making a successful go at it. But the biology teacher was there. He knew.

I still remember his excitement when we got our first house together and his shock when the faulty furnace singed his eyebrows and mustache.

In our second home, I remember how he held me when the pepper tree crashed into our bedroom during a monsoon storm and what an amazing father he became with the arrival of our baby girl.

As time marched on, we thought our family was expanding and we moved into a bigger home. Sadly, we lost the baby before we had the chance to even hold him. It was a tough time, but it pulled us closer together. That summer, we lived through temperatures reaching 122 degrees, but it wasn’t all bad. My Love bought the car of his dreams and he has it still.

Next, we moved across the country. We went from extreme heat to negative twenty-two. It was an adventure. My Love had the opportunity to interact with his family from the point of view of an adult and he learned the meaning of ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’. On the plus side, our household grew once more and we were thrilled to bring our baby boy back to the only land we’ve ever really called home.

Back in the valley of the sun, our life fell into a daily grind. I was caring for a terminally ill parent, going back to school and doing my share of raising our two kiddos. I can honestly say my Love was a significantly better husband than I was wife during that time, but he never complained. While living in that house, we lost my mom and his dad. Our kids began school and I graduated. My Love bought and restored the car of my dreams.

As the kids grew bigger, the neighborhood grew shady and it was time to move again. Throughout all the moves and all the upheaval, my Love was the glue holding us together. He worked hard, everyday and moved up the ladder. With my new diploma in hand, we were able to buy our dream home out in the country.

My new job made it impossible to be there on the first day of school or to attend parent teacher conferences, but my Love never missed a one. He was always there and we all knew he was never more than a phone call away.

As soon as life fell into a normal routine, I started looking around and wondering is this all life had to offer. I was feeling like a frumpy soccer mom and I wanted something different. Something more.

I started reading romance novels. I’d always been an avid reader but never that subject. Eventually, I found a book that spoke to me. The hero was dominant and deeply in love with his soulmate. I approached my Love and begged him to read it. He didn’t read fiction and certainly not romances. It was a hard sell, but he realized it meant a lot to me. After he read it, we talked. Then talked some more. Turns out both of us were searching for more, but not sure what more looked like.

In our journey to find the elusive ‘more’, we discovered D/s. We tried it on for size and it fit perfectly. We tailored it here and there to better suit our ever changing needs.

Next week, we celebrate 33 years of marriage and I can honestly say, I’ve never been happier. Those plans we sketched out in the wee hours of the morning thirty-five or thirty-six years ago, have very little in common with today’s reality, but I wouldn’t change a thing. My fair-haired boy has grown into a stand-up man that I love with all my heart and soul.

People who meet us today think we have the perfect marriage, the stars aligned just so and granted us the fairy tale. In some ways, they’re right. We have been very fortunate, but I attribute it to something more than luck or fate. I give the credit to my husband. Each time we came to a crossroad, he listened to my needs, my wants and my desires. When my mom was ill and my attention was pulled in every direction but his, he didn’t ask – what about me. He asked – how can I help.

Was I blessed that he chose me? Absolutely! Without a doubt and I try to be worthy of his love each and every day.

Happy Anniversary, my Love. May God grant us another thirty-three plus years of walking this earth together.

my-hubby

*Image found on Pinterest