Monday, April 9, 2012

Prelude to the Lunch Date

Grace smoothed her skirt and her hair, and wondered if she were crazy to be doing this. A good friend, to whom she had confessed her desires and revealed her submissive nature, had given her the address of the club she now stood before. She debated, having left herself enough time for the inevitable inner dialog, outside whether this is really what she wanted. She knew that she was unfulfilled in her relationships. She knew she was weary. She knew that she longed for someone to be in charge, someone to take charge, for that finely honed masculine edge. Pursing her lips tightly, she rushed through the door before she could talk herself out of it. 

She approached the reception desk, trying to appear confident. From behind the highly polished, dark wood desk, an equally polished woman turned from her computer to face Grace with a warm smile, “Mr. DeMay is waiting for you, Miss O’Malley. Please have a seat, love.” Grace blushed, nodded, whispered a thank you, and took a seat on the elegantly understated and extraordinarily comfortable settee. She watched with admiration the fluidity with which the other woman moved, and was just studying the collar which circled her neck when the woman looked up, and said with a smile, “Mr. DeMay will see you now.” She rose and gestured to the door behind her desk, then as Grace approached she opened the door and held her arm out to usher Grace inside. 

An equally elegant gentleman rose, “Ah, Miss O’Malley, a pleasure.” He extended his hand to her and clasped her hand between his, “Please, sit.” He smiled warmly to the woman, “Thank you, Jenna, tea please.” The woman smiled and inclined her head slightly, “Of course, Master.” Grace’s eyes widened slightly, though she tried to remain inconspicuous. Her surprise was noted, and Micah covered his smile with a gesture, and it went unnoticed by Grace.

Grace was trying to appear even a fraction as poised as these elegant people, but her hands trembled, so she clasped them in her lap, chewed the inside of her lip and settled her eyes on the hem of her skirt. Micah smiled, laid a lovely tray of cookies on the table before her, along with a bone china plate and linen napkin, then went to the door and opened it for Jenna in a seemingly perfectly timed dance. Jenna entered and set a tray with a steaming pot of tea, cream, sugar and a plate of beautifully sliced lemons.  “And how do you take your tea, Grace?” he asked informally. Grace’s eyes flicked up momentarily, “With lemon and one sugar, please.” Micah spooned sugar into the china cup, then took a slice of lemon placed it in the cup, muddled it slightly with the spoon, and poured beautiful dark tea over top, turning the lemon a few times before placing a saucer beneath the cup and extending it to Grace. “Please relax, Grace, you’re entirely safe here.” Grace smiled uncertainly.

Micah took a seat in the opposite chair, set down his teacup and picked up a prepared folder at the side of his chair. He smiled easily, “So tell me, Grace, why have you decided to explore this part of your personality?” Grace nearly jumped out of her skin at the sound of his voice, she muttered an embarrassed apology and began, “Well, it is something I have always felt. But I have never felt that what I had to give was appreciated or accepted by my partners. I came here on referral of a friend, Maggie.” Micah smiled, “Yes, I remember Miss Warner quite well. We made a most successful match for her.” 

Grace smiled wistfully, “Yes, she is quite happy.” She raised her eyes to meet Micah’s for the first time and said softly, earnestly, “I would like to be as happy.” Micah reached over and placed his hand on hers, “We strive for no less.” She smiled gratefully before her eyes dropped again. Micah took up his pen, and said softly, “Please tell me, Grace, what it is you seek? Please be as specific as possible, don’t worry that it may seem fanciful to you. If you could create your perfect Prince Charming, what characteristics would he have?”
A smile passed across Grace’s lips, and touched her eyes which sparkled for a moment, before she began, “I would like someone possessing of quiet command, someone who can be felt when he enters a room, before he is ever seen. I would like someone in control, but not controlling. I would like someone who can make me feel small…not insignificant, but small and protected…cherished. I would like someone who understands that I give all of myself. I would like someone who will inspire my trust, my confidence, my obedience, my service and my devotion.”

Micah scribbled notes in the folder, nodding at points to indicate he was attentive. Laying down his pen, he said, “I have someone who may be a good match. He is seeking a life-partner, not a play partner. It sounds liked you are amenable to such an arrangement.” Grace smiled shyly and nodded. “Good,” Micah smiled and touched the intercom, asking Jenna to bring a file into the inner office. She complied a few moments later, and Grace noticed the way their fingers caressed the other’s as they passed the file, and she did not miss the look that accompanied the gesture and she sighed, yes, she thought, that kind of devotion. 

“This is the gentleman I mentioned,” Micah spoke softly, “His name is Thomas Ward. He has been a client and friend for many years. I can personally attest that he possesses many of the characteristics you describe. Please review the file, and if you are amenable, I will then share your file with him. Then we can arrange a first meeting.” Grace scanned the file and found the data to be quite intricate, several candid photos, where he shopped, dietary preferences, political affiliations, charities supported, volunteer activities, alcohol and tobacco consumption. 

She remarked on the completeness, and Micah laughed, “But my dear, that is what gave you the confidence to come through us, is it not?” Grace blushed and nodded, “And you have this information on me as well?” Micah nodded, “Yes dear, you signed the disclosure statement with your application, we began investigating then.” Grace nodded dizzily. Running through a dialog in her head, pros and cons,  and then Maggie’s obvious happiness, and the man on the paper before her that was seeming more like Prince Charming by the minute. Grace took a breath, and said softly, “He seems ….almost perfect.” Micah smiled and nodded. 

He presented her with a questionnaire, and explained, “Limits, my dear, what activities you are willing to engage in. You understand the terms hard and soft limits?” Grace nodded. Micah smiled and handed her the paper and a pen. She filled out the paper, sure that the tameness of her responses would dissolve the burgeoning match. When she finished she handed the paper to Micah, who passed them quickly into his tablet, and printed a report which showed a 100% match. Grace gasped. He smiled, “Thomas is also quite mild in his tastes. Shall we proceed?” Grace nodded. 

Smiling, Micah rose and helped Grace to her feet, “Most excellent. We will be in touch within a few days.” Grace thanked him and exited the office, passing Jenna, and thanking her as well. Jenna’s warm smile eased her anxiety a bit. When she exited the office Micah presented her file to Jenna and asked her to fax it to Thomas.
Thomas was just leaving his office when he heard the trill of the fax machine. He turned back, and with interest saw the fax from Micah’s office, with the note that he would want to read this right away. Thomas closed his eyes, dare he hope? He had given up hope of finding someone that shared his values, and his particular tastes. He took the last sheet off the fax and sat down at his desk, the more he read, the more his heart raced.
The next day, at lunch, Thomas went to the place she noted she favored for lunch, and he observed her. He found the reality of her much like the woman described on the papers he had received. She was sweet, unassuming and had a humble heart. She was exceedingly honest and unassuming, because she was more than she represented herself to be on the paper. He also noted with surprise that many of her reactions were genuine and childlike, he could see barely contained hurts, and joy that burst to be released over the simplest of things.Thomas’ heart squeezed in his chest, his eyes closed, and he resolved to reveal himself to her tomorrow. He got in his car and called Micah and asked him to please call Grace and let her know that Thomas would like to arrange a lunch meeting.
When Grace arrived home that evening, she had a message on her machine that Thomas had approved of her file, and would like to meet. The message went on to say that he would meet her for lunch one day the following week, in her favorite lunch spot, which was quite public. A very nervous excitement settled over Grace. And she went through the evening making plans on what to wear and what to say, because somehow she was sure that he would not make her wait long.

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