Updated: Mar 3, 2020

By Chef

I’d seen him a thousand times. It’s kind of hard to not see him. He was part of a three man maintenance team assigned to our floor. There’s nothing about him that stands out but there’s something interesting about him. He also scared me a little. There was something I can’t quite put my finger on. He had dark features and striking good looks. Even behind his thick glasses you could see how deep his eyes were. I can only liken it to a Ted Bundy kind of charm. During his work order, I would see him talking with the other women I work with and they all seem mesmerized by him. I think a lot of them are still a sucker for a man in uniform. For me I only see him in passing and we keep it at a simple nod of the head. I see the least amount of action in the hospital, as the research lab assistant I’m more into long nights in the lab than an operating room. But because of our hours we usually see each other in the cafeteria. Tonight I was deep into research about immunity and cell mutation. I was taking advantage of the emptiness of the cafeteria before the shift change. In my headphones, one of my favorite songs by the Ahmad Jamal Trio. A fun jazzy something to help break the boredom of big words. Suddenly I felt someone standing behind me. I took one earbud out and tucked it in my shirt and turned around to see him. He was looking at me with a slight grin. But mostly he was staring at me. It was so intense it felt like he could’ve seen right through me. I was instantly uncomfortable. “You like to be tied up.” It wasn’t exactly a question but I felt obligated to say something. I could feel my face go flush. And my words were trapped in my throat. I shifted nervously in my seat as I looked up at him. Surely I’d just heard him wrong. “Excuse me?” I stammered. Still behind me he bent down close to my ear and whispered “You like to be tied up.” Having him so close to me I felt like my heart would beat out my chest. He leaned in and touched my neck gently.“Your necklace. It’s made of rope.” He laughed widely showing a beautiful perfect smile. I looked down and touched at my neck. I’d bought this cord necklace years ago on my travels and it just became one of my favorites. He sat down in the chair next to me. Still smiling he put the free earbud in his ear and started drumming to the beat. He was so close to me our legs were touching. And the whole time he never left my gaze. I could never meet it and looked away. “You have good taste in jewelry and music.” I managed to say thank you and tried to reach for my book. “Oh if I’m disturbing you I’m sorry. I’ve just seen you around and wanted to say hi.” A few people from the graveyard shift entered the cafeteria and sat down, greeting him from across the room. He got up to continue the conversation with them, but not before giving me one last smile. I was left sitting in my chair. Soft jazz playing in my ear. Thinking about this weird Mr. fix It. He still creeped me out and after this current encounter I decided staying away was best. A few weeks past and I hadn’t seen him. I decided to take an earlier lunch. And I even used a different route to navigate the extensive halls of the hospital. One night I was working late and decided to grab a snack from the vending machine. All of a sudden there he was. I almost ran right into him and out of reflex backed into the wall behind me. He continued walking forward until he and I were face to face with my back against the wall. I looked down frozen. He ran his hands slowly from the side of my face to my necklace. And lightly over my lips. I tried to move away. But my legs wouldn’t budge. He lifted my chin and rested it in his right hand. I closed my eyes tight not wanting to look at him. “Open your eyes”...his voice was both cold and comforting. My heart was beating so hard, I was sure he could hear it. All I could do was open my eyes and look at him. His smile seemed sadistic. I scanned his face in panic trying to make sense of what was happening. With his left hand still stroking my neck, I felt his grip tighten. I closed my eyes again not wanting to face this reality. My body was starting to betray me. I could feel my face getting hot. My breathing was getting heavier. And every part of me began to pulsate. “Please” I managed to say through closed eyes. I could feel the air leaving my throat... His smile seemed sadistic. I scanned his face in panic trying to make sense

of what was happening. With his left hand still stroking my neck, I felt his grip

tighten. I closed my eyes again not wanting to acknowledge reality. My body

was starting to betray me. I could feel my face getting hot. My breathing was

getting heavier. And every part of me began to pulsate. “Please” I managed to

say through closed eyes. I could feel the air leaving my throat. “Open your eyes”

he said more forcibly. He squeezed harder. I opened my eyes slowly. I felt exposed. And vulnerable. I felt embarrassed that I was powerless. But I also felt all the stress of work melt away. All the weight of decisions. It all disappeared. I heard myself exhale deeply. I lost myself in the feeling of this freedom. And all the while he just smiled at me never letting go. I tried to grab at his hands, but with ease he applied pressure, and I began lifting off my feet. My eyes widened as I tried to catch my breath. I got the hint and stopped trying to claw at him.

“You always seem so far away. But it looks like now you’re perfectly within reach”. He leaned in to kiss me still squeezing my throat. The closeness was jarring. And I instinctively bit at his lips. He didn’t look angry, just amused. “You need me.” He said coyly, returning delicately placed bites on my neck. The alternating sensation of pain and pressure was overwhelming. And a few times I whimpered out in pain. “ I don’t even know you” I whined. I felt like I was going to start crying. He moved a piece of hair from in front of my face. “You know me. Because you know what you need. I know what you need” he growled at me. All I could do was shake my head in defiance as he continued biting down my neck. He moved his hands down my arms, stopping at my wrists. He held them both in one hand lifting them over my head. I felt my heart racing as I let him guide my body. He had me pinned, and with my arms over my head I couldn’t offer any more resistance. “I’m not going to keep telling you to open your eyes” he said into my ear. “You can’t run away from this. But I will give you the choice”.

He relaxed his grip and suddenly there seemed to be romance in his eyes. He never lost his control but there was something more approachable in his demeanor. I let my arms fall slowly to my side. I wanted to rub my neck. I could feel it throbbing where his fingernails were dug in. It was like he was reading my mind because he began massaging my throat. Cooing softly to me he looked me in my eyes. I wasn’t sure if it was in fact a massage or a reminder that he still had me in his control. It was like he was a cat toying with a mouse.

Once again he tilted my chin to look him in the face. “I know what you are. You think you picked that by chance?”. He hooked his fingers in my necklace, tightening it around my throat. “You can’t fight who you are”.

Every word was like electricity running through me. I was paralyzed, almost entranced by what he was saying. I felt like all my internal noise was silenced. And all I could hear was his voice. I tried to open my mouth to say something but a stifled moan escaped instead. I tried hard to regain composure. To shake off the spell I was in. How long had we been in the snack room? Was anyone going to come in? My mind was racing.

He wrapped his hands around my face. Tenderly holding me close. “Just tell me you don’t want me to free you.” I could only look at him. “I don’t know what that means” I said. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes. And I was losing the ability to keep them back. I bent my head shaking off his hands. He raised my face again and looked me in my eyes. In an instant I felt the tears pour down my face.

“There is no pleasure without pain. I want you to find the freedom in that pain.” He said.

As my tears turned into full on sobs he rubbed my hair releasing it from its ponytail. He began breathing deeply and naturally I began to mimic his pattern. In between breathing he massaged my head igniting a series of dopamine and serotonin. I rocked with his rhythm, calming down. I noticed I was no longer crying. I looked at him, blinking away the last of my tears.

Without pausing he wrapped my hair around his hand pulling me down to his chest, forcing me to look up at him. The romance was gone from his face...

To Be Continued...

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