The Next Step

by JDG

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© Copyright 2014 - JDG - Used by permission

Storycodes: F/m; bond; tape; rope; belts; chairtie; tease; tickle; torment; denial; first; mast; climax; cons; X

When I graduated with my bachelor's degree, I immediately went into the work force. I was phenomenally lucky, however, and a few years later I was accepted into a program at work. I got a fellowship to take a year off from work so that I could go to school and get my master's degree. Even better, I would still be collecting three-quarters of my normal salary during this year.

So I found myself living the life of a grad student, but with appreciably more income than my peers. I was far from rich, but I had some disposable income.

This was an almost perfect life, but with one exception. I was lonely. I have to put most of the blame for this on myself; I am almost terminally shy. I'm not bad looking, perhaps a bit on the thin side, but in not too bad of shape. But I really have no idea how to approach or meet women. Even worse, with my low self-esteem, at least for interpersonal things, if a woman was particularly attractive, I would immediately assume that she must either be already dating someone, or at the very least would never be interested in someone like me. Rather than make some awkward pass for a date, get rejected, and have my ego crushed, it was easier (or at least safer) to just not try.

So it was with great surprise that I found myself becoming friends with Linda. I had a small apartment a few blocks from campus, and she had an apartment on the next floor up. I had seen her around here and there, but always in passing. She was attractive enough. She was by no means a model, but she had a runner's lithe body. I would have loved to be dating her, but I assumed, as I always do, that she was either seeing someone else, or would have no interest in me.

Then one day, we happened to meet. I noticed one afternoon as I was leaving the engineering building that the wind had picked up quite a bit, and the sky was rather dark. I figured that we were in for a rather bad thunderstorm, so I hurried towards my apartment hoping to beat the storm. I saw Linda ahead of me, also heading home.

Just as I was about to catch up to her, the thunderstorm struck. There was a large gust of wind, and then the rain came pelting down. I quickly pulled a small umbrella out of my backpack. It offer scant protection from the rain, and the wind threatened to flip it inside out, but it was better than nothing.

When I got the umbrella out and settled and started scurrying back to the shelter of the apartment building, I saw that Linda apparently had not brought any rain gear with her that morning. She just hurried on herself, her head bent down, rapidly getting soaked to the skin.

My desire to be chivalrous outweighed my innate shyness, so I called out her to join me under my umbrella. She looked up, startled, but then she apparently recognized me as a neighbor in her building and decided to take me up on my offer.

My offer had been more gallant than practical, because particularly with the wind, the umbrella barely offered protection for one. With two of us huddled under it, the protection was almost more of moral support.

I can't say that I regretted being that close to her and periodically brushing against her, but we were so intent on getting to the warmth and dryness of our apartments, that we really had no chance to talk.

We were both pretty wet when we finally reached the foyer of the apartment building. It was then that we could finally step away from each other and take stock of ourselves. Linda thanked me for my valiant gesture and apologized for making me get half soaked.

This would have been the ideal time to strike up a conversation, but my shyness came roaring back. I just said something lame like "no problem" and turned to head to my apartment. To my surprise, though, Linda came to my rescue. She said that the least she could do to repay me was to invite me in for some tea or coffee to take off the chill.

My first reaction was to say "No, that's OK", but then I realized that I might never get another chance like this, so I said, "that would be great. Why don't I change into something a bit drier, then I'll swing by?"

She said that she would start the water, and we parted. I quickly went to my place, changed my wet clothes, ran a comb through my hair, and went up to her apartment. Even though this wasn't a real "date", I had never done something like this before, and my stomach was full of butterflies. Having already accepted, however, I couldn't back out now, so I knocked on her door. She promptly answered it and ushered me in.

That was the day that my life changed. As we sat and talked, we discovered that we had many shared interests and similarities. In the end, we sat there and talked much longer than I expected, and we found that we liked each other.

That started a friendship that continued to develop over the course of the semester. We weren't a "couple" and we didn't really "date". It turned out that Linda was also on the shy side (although not nearly as shy as I was), and was currently in a long stretch between boyfriends. So we developed this strictly platonic friendship.

We would get together every week or two, and maybe see a movie or go for a hike. Sometimes she would invite me up to her apartment to have dinner or watch a movie, and sometimes I would invite her to my place. We didn't have any classes in common, but since we were both somewhat lonely, sometimes she would come to my place, and we would both study or work on our projects, and sometimes I would go to her place.

Overall, I was very happy with this new development in my life. It was much better than just coming home to an empty apartment at the end of every day. I would have loved to "take it to the next level", but on top of my normal insecurities was the thought that I could screw up our friendship and lose even that. So I settled for making the most of our friendship as it was.

I had one deep, dark secret that I dared not even hint about to Linda. I liked to be tied up. Bondage was an interest of mine since probably late High School. But as one might surmise from my lack of a social life, I had never had the opportunity to indulge this interest of mine with a partner.

So I had turned to a professional. Trolling the internet one night, and visiting my normal (and some new) web sites, I ran across the page of a Mistress Christine, a professional dominatrix. She seemed to be more into the lighter aspects of BDSM, which was fine with me. Even better, she was located only about an hour's drive away. Her services weren't that cheap, but having most of an engineer's salary and living the lifestyle of a college student, I had a little disposable income. I didn't visit Mistress Christine too often, but I did manage to go a few times.

So life went on through the Christmas break, and we progressed into the spring.

One evening, after a late session doing homework with Linda, I decided that perhaps it was time for another visit to Mistress Christine. I wrote her a quick email asking her to schedule another session. The next morning, after I got up, I checked my email and found her reply. I was just opening it to see when she would be available, when there came a sudden and hurried knocking on my door.

"Who the heck could that be?" I muttered to myself as I went to answer the door. When I opened it, I saw Linda, who sort of pushed past me as she darted into my apartment. She was talking nonstop as she did so. "I'm-terribly-sorry-to-bother-you-this-early-in-the-morning, but-I-left-my-notebook-here-last-night-and-I'm-already-late-for-class. I'll-just-get-it-and-go."

But then Linda and her stream of words came to an abrupt halt as she stood there staring at my computer screen. With a twinge of horror, I realized that it still was showing Mistress Christine's reply. Normally I wouldn't have worried because most email messages look the same unless you stop to read them carefully, but her email messages ended with a graphical image of "Mistress Christine", written in a florid (and unfortunately large) ornate font.

I quickly dashed over, closed the message, reached over, grabbed her notebook, and handed it to her. I was fervently hoping that if I pretended that nothing had just happened, nothing would in fact have happened.

Linda seemed to be in a state of shock, but she suddenly came out of it, took her notebook, thanked me, and dashed back out the door. As I closed the door and willed my heart rate to slow down, I couldn't help thinking to myself, "Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!"

Well, it couldn't be undone. I knew that I wasn't ever going to bring it up, and I hoped that Linda would not either. I was a bit nervous the next time we met up, but Linda acted like she always did, so I began to relax. I started to believe that Linda actually hadn't seen anything after all.

A few weeks later, she invited me one Friday to have some lasagna with her for dinner. This wasn't unusual, so I thanked her and said that I would be there. But when I got there that night, I found that things were subtly different than they had been previously. The biggest difference was that Linda had placed some wine glasses on the table and was opening a bottle of wine. We had never had wine with our shared meals before.

I was a bit wary, as I didn't know what this meant, but Linda explained that a friend had given her this bottle as a gift a while back, and as one bottle was too much for her to drink by herself, it had had sat in her cupboard waiting for some occasion. She had finally tired of waiting for some occasion to happen and had decided that our friendship was occasion enough.

I began to relax as the dinner progressed similar to the way it had always done. The wine wasn't too bad, and no doubt it helped relax me. By the end of dinner, we had finished the bottle and I was decidedly mellow. I was just draining the last of my glass when Linda said, "So, tell me about Mistress Christine..."

To say that I was shocked would be an understatement! I was not expecting that question in the least. I think I must have gasped or something and inhaled some of the wine or something, because I launched into a violent fit of coughing. So much for remaining cool under pressure.

When I stopped coughing, Linda asked me again who this "Mistress Christine" was, and what did I have to do with her?

I thought about trying to make up some innocuous story, but I don't think that fast under pressure, and a poor attempt at a lie would probably be worse than the truth. The half bottle of wine that I had drunk had also lowered my inhibitions a bit, which I later realized had been precisely its purpose. So I haltingly started telling Linda about my occasional visits to Mistress Christine's.

I was waiting for Linda to become horrified at the pervert that she thought was her friend, and to throw me out, but it didn't seem to bother her. She seemed more interested in Christine and the fact that she could make a living, or at least a pretty good sideline by tying people up. She was even more amazed when she found out how much people (e.g. me) would be willing to pay her to dominate them.

"I don't know how she can command such prices," Linda said, "That's a heck of a lot more than a plumber charges, and plumbers already charge an outrageous fee."

"It's a matter of supply and demand," I answered. "There is a reasonable demand and not much supply, so the price goes up. Besides, being a dominatrix isn't as easy as you might think."

"How hard could it be?" Linda retorted. Then after a pause, a strange gleam came to her eye. "I'll make a bet with you. Next Friday you come back here after dinner, and I'll tie you up. If I'm as good as this 'Mistress Christine', then you'll owe me a dinner at the restaurant of my choosing. If I'm not, then I'll..." She paused for a second in thought. "I'll make dinner for you for a week."

I just sat there in shock at what I just heard. "You want to what???" I finally blurted out. (As I said, I'm not the fastest thinker under pressure.)

"You heard me," Linda said, "Or is it that I'm not good enough to tie you up?"

"No, no, no," I stammered, "Actually, I find you quite attractive." Dang, I thought to myself, that wine was really getting to me.

"Then it is time to put your money where your mouth is," she said, "So do we have a bet?"

At this point, I felt that I had been railroaded, and I could find no reasonable way to say no. So grudgingly I agreed.

"I picked up a few video rentals," Linda said, "Any of them catch your interest?"

Eager to put the recent awkwardness behind me, I quickly chose one of the videos and we sat down to watch it. The rest of the evening progressed as if that strange conversation had never taken place, much to my relief.

I ran across Linda a few times over the following week, and the bet never came up. Once the wine had worn off, I realized that this whole thing was probably a bad idea that might irreparably harm our friendship. But I didn't have the guts to find Linda and call it off either.

I had no idea what was going to happen on Friday, and as the week went by without it being mentioned, I almost thought that I must have misheard her or something. But when I came home from classes on Thursday, I found a note had been slipped under my door. All it said was "Be at my place tomorrow night precisely at 9. Mistress Linda". I was both amused at her presumption, claiming that title, and also a bit fearful that it was actually going to happen. I doubted that our relationship would be the same afterwards.

Friday I had difficulty concentrating on my classes. I had an early dinner, and then I took a long shower. I wasn't sure what I should wear. For some reason, I was a lot more nervous about this than when I visited Mistress Christine. Eventually I settled on a black tee-shirt, a pair of khakis, and my Frye motorcycle boots. I don't know how many times I looked at my watch, but eventually it was 8:59, and I went upstairs. I waited a few seconds, and when my watch said 9:00, I knocked on the door.

Linda must have been waiting on the other side of the door, because she opened it immediately and showed me in. As I looked around, I had to say that she was making a good first attempt. The lights were low, and there were candles placed here and there throughout her apartment. She was dressed in a silk blouse, a skirt that was a little longer than a mini, and some knee length high-heeled boots. With those boots, she could look me right in the eye.

She looked more nervous than I.

"So how, um," she hesitantly asked, "how does this sort of thing start?"

"I'm no expert," I replied, "You're running this show. Just tell me where you want me to go, and then tie me up."

"OK," she said, taking a deep breath and trying to look more stern than she apparently felt. "Go sit in that chair." She pointed to a stout wooden chair that was sitting in the middle of the living room floor.

She seemed to get a little more courage as we walked over and I sat down. "I've spent the week doing my own research," she said. "Some of it was rather..." Here she paused for a second, and then continued, "interesting."

"I'm not that good with knots," she went on, "and I'm sure that you don't want to be able to get free, so I thought I would take the easy way out." She reached over and took out a roll of duct tape that had been left nearby. "Cross your wrists behind the chair back."

She ended up putting quite a large amount around my wrists, and pulling it fairly tight. I thought that if I had enough time to work at it, I might be able to get them free, but doing so would be neither quick nor easy.

Then she came around in front of me, knelt down, and proceeded to pull off my boots. She then positioned my ankles to the outside of the front chair legs and proceeded to tape them firmly in place. Standing up, she asked, "What do you think so far?"

I flexed my wrists a little, then said, "Well, I don't think I'm going very far."

"I'm not finished, though," she said, and walked into her bedroom. She came out a moment later carrying one of her wide belts and length of clothesline. She looped the belt around the slats of the chair back and then around my waist. The belt almost wasn't long enough, but then she got it to buckle on the first hole. She walked behind me, and I could hear her tying the rope to the stretcher of the chair. She then passed the rope up and between my arms, over the mass of tape around my wrists, and back down to the stretcher. Then she pulled it tight and tied a knot at the stretcher. I have no idea what kind of knot she used, but I pulled on my wrists and the knot held.

"So now what do you think?"

I struggled for a bit and found to my complete surprise that for a beginner, she had done a darned good job. I really could not move much at all. I could tell that my hands would probably go numb in a while, but it was certainly something that I could put up with. "I'm definitely not going anywhere," I finally said.

She walked slowly around me, the only sound the clicking of her heels on the hardwood floor. When she was in front of me, she just stood there, looking down at me.

Then she seemed to shrink or sag, and the look of fear came back into her eyes. "What do I do now? I guess I never really thought beyond this point..."

I tried to stifle my sigh. "You really should be running this show," I said. "One of the things that excites me is not knowing what is going to happen, and being powerless to stop it from happening."

"Well, what does Christine do to you?"

I thought for a moment. "Well... she usually gags me." I thought a bit more. "Then she'll touches me, tickles me, teases me, and tries to make me absolutely frantic."

She just stood there, looking indecisive--almost with that "deer in the headlights" look. I decided to give her some encouragement, so I said, "Look at it this way. I really can't move or do anything. You can do whatever you want to me. Be creative!"

That seemed to reassure her. She said "OK" and straightened up, assuming what she thought was a stern and commanding visage. She bent over, reached under her skirt, and slowly pulled down her underwear. She balled them up, stepped closer to me and said "open up".

I complied, and she stuffed them into my mouth. I'm guessing that she had changed just before I arrived, because they seemed fairly clean. Still, there was a bit of a taste and a smell to them, so perhaps Linda was beginning to get excited about this situation herself.

She grabbed the roll of duct tape and pulled off a long strip. I saw her intent, and shaking my head I spit out the wad and said, "Don't use duct tape around my head--it will be hell to get off of my hair."

Her eyes widened, and she dropped the tape. "Oh, oh," she stammered, "I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking." She looked off in the distance for a moment, thinking, then she said, "Don't go away..." and hurried into the kitchen.

I have to say that while the whole situation was a trifle awkward, it was also arousing as heck. For one thing, being tied up and without the means to release myself was itself arousing. Secondly, that this was being done by Linda, who I have already admitted to finding attractive. Thirdly there was her attire. While I hadn't mentioned it to her, I had rather a fondness for boots, particularly high-heeled ones, and her short skirt didn't hurt much either.

She came back in a moment, the sound of her heels being one that I always loved to hear. In her hands she held a roll of plastic wrap. She picked up the underwear from where it had fallen into my lap, said "open up", and then once again filled my mouth with it. Then she pulled out a bit of the plastic wrap and proceeded to wrap it around the bottom of my face.

I was a little nervous, but she was careful and twisted it as it came around the front of my face, so that it didn't cover my nose. When she tore it off the roll, smoothed the end down, tossed the box aside, I noticed that her breathing had quickened a bit.

"Let's test that," she said, and without warning she suddenly dug her fingers into my sides. I don't know how she knew, or whether she was just guessing and got lucky, but my sides are particularly ticklish. It caught me completely off guard, and I shrieked and spasmed, rocking the chair back slightly. I howled and waved my head back and forth. My fingers clutched air convulsively, but not much else of me moved a whole lot.

I say that I shrieked and howled, but the gag augmented by the plastic wrap around my lower face did an amazingly good job of keeping me quiet. All that came out was sort of a cross between a hum and a thin keen.

She walked slowly behind me, trailing one finger lightly across the base of my neck and over my shoulder. I shuddered once. "So, what should I do with you, now that I have you?" she asked rhetorically. She bent down so that her mouth was right next to my ear. "I know," she said pausing, then continued in a whisper, "anything that I want to...". She playfully nibbled on the base of my neck, and I jerked again.

She ran her fingers lightly up and down the insides of my arms, and I broke out in goose bumps. Now that the tying business was out of the way, Linda seemed to have become a bit more sure of herself. She reached around me and pulled my tee-shirt out of my pants, and then started running her fingers across the skin of my stomach and my sides.

I was thoroughly enjoying myself. Her touch was on the borderline between sensual and ticklish. After a while, she slowly started crossing that line, paying more attention to my sides, and increasing the pressure. I tried to resist the increasingly ticklish sensations, but there was not much I could do. I started laughing and jerking every now and again, but as she got more into the tickling, my jerking became almost continuous.

Her bonds held firm, however. I could tip the chain slightly, shake my head around, and flutter my fingers, but that was about all I could do. At one point she stopped and just held her hands against my sides while I caught my breath. She bent over next to my ear and said in a low husky voice, "Is this what you were looking for?" Her fingers bent so that her finger tips were against me. "Being helpless and subject to whatever I want to do to you?" She gave me a quick tickle, and I spasmed again.

"But I can be good as well as mean," she said, and she bent down and nibbled on the side of my neck again. This was veering more to sensual from ticklish, and my shoulders hunched up.

"Let's see how sensitive you are," she said, and reached around me to my chest. She began to run a finger back and forth along the bottom of my areola, just brushing against the bottom side of my nipple. I started squirming, and now it was my breathing that quickened. I had already been aroused before this, and my nipples erect, but with just these fleeting touches, they perked up all the more.

"Do you like this?" she continued to whisper into my ear. "But I'm really not doing anything to you... yet." She paused for a second, then continued. "If I really wanted to get your attention, I would do this..." At the same moment she said "this", she dragged a nail across the front of each nipple. I made an inarticulate noise and gasped, jerking at my bonds.

"Oh... are they sensitive?" she coyly asked, pretending to be innocent. She proceeded to just ever so lightly scratch the tip of each nibble with the tip of one of her fingernails. The effect on my senses was electrifying. I was moaning into my gag and twisting around (as much as I could), but she didn't stop. Each stroke sent a jolt as of electricity shooting through my being, and I was helpless to do anything about it.

At this point my poor nipples were at full attention (as was another appendage of mine), seemingly eager to get yet more attention. Linda switched her technique, now rubbing the fleshy part of her thumbs over my nipples. To my amazement, this generated a totally different sensation, which caused me to squirm all the harder.

Linda seemed to be in no hurry to stop this. I could do nothing but moan and twitch. The constancy of the stimulation was maddening. There was no let up, no break. It seemed to stretch on endlessly. Just when I began to get used to one technique she would switch to another.

I do not know how long it was before Linda stopped, but when she did, I just sagged, letting my head drop forward, gasping for breath.

I dimly heard the clicking of her boots as she walked around to the front of me. I glanced up at her, and she looked quite pleased with herself. She reached down and unbuckled the belt holding my waist to the back of the chair. On one hand, I was a little disappointed that she was calling it quits so soon, but on the other hand, she had already surpassed my expectations of the evening.

I waited for her to undo something else, but to my surprise she just grabbed the bottom of my tee shirt and pulled it up and over my head so that it settled over my arms. As she proceeded to reattach the belt, I must have made a puzzled-sounding noise because she looked at me smirking. "Did you think I was done? That was only the warm-up!"

She sat on my legs facing me, and proceeded to run her fingertips lightly across my chest, my stomach, my sides, and pretty much everywhere but my nipples. This sensual not-quite-massage served to rekindle my arousal, which had flagged slightly as I had rested.

After a while she said, "You know, your nipples should be a lot more sensitive now that they're not covered with that nasty old cloth. Let's find out..."

I thought that my nipples had been as erect as they could be, but when she started gently stroking their sides, they stood up even prouder. Then when she first dragged her nails over their tops, it was like a large jolt of electricity shot through me. I thought it had been intense before, but now it seemed ten times stronger. I found myself just shaking my head back and forth, fluttering my fingers, and moaning incoherently.

While the sensations were at first pleasurable, eventually the pleasure became so intense that it was almost painful. The fact that I could do nothing to stop, slow, or change this only added to my libido.

When I thought that things couldn't get any worse, she leaned down, put one nipple in her mouth, and started tonguing, sucking, and gently nibbling on it. This new assault drove me wild. I think that if she hadn't been sitting on my lap, I might have pushed the chair over backwards as I jerked.

She then switched to the other nipple, continuing her ministrations upon the first one with her fingers.

The ceaseless assault upon my senses was almost too much to bear, but bear it had to--I had no choice in the matter. That fact made it all the worse. Time ceased to have meaning to me, and when at last she stopped, I was a wreck. I sat there with my head down, gasping for air, exhausted.

This had been very different from my sessions with Mistress Christine, and in many ways it had been more intense. It seems that I had underestimated my friend Linda.

As I sat there trying to regain my senses, I was dimly aware of Linda once again loosening the belt that held me to the chair. But then I found her loosening the belt in my pants and pulling them and my underwear down to my thighs. While I was trying to process this, she reattached the belt around my stomach, this time pulling it one notch tighter than before.

It was at this point that I first began to know a bit of fear. I hadn't known what to expect, but I had never expected things to get this far. Here I was, tied to a chair such that I could barely move, much less escape. I was thoroughly gagged and could say nothing remotely intelligible. I was even more afraid when I suddenly realized that we had never discussed limits or safe words, and in fact I had inadvertently told her that she could do whatever she wanted with me. I was now afraid of how far she might go.

Linda ran one fingernail along the length of my cock, and I jerked. It had already been stiff, but it now leapt to full attention. "Someone seems to be enjoying this," Linda said.

She bend down, blew on it, and lightly tickled it with her tongue and lips. Then she put the tip in her mouth and lightly started sucking on it.

I was terribly conflicted. On one hand, I was horny as hell and desperately wanted relief. This voice inside of me wanted Linda to continue and go all the way. On the other hand, my rational side was firmly opposed to the idea. I was worried about what this might do to our existing relationship. Sure, I had often fantasized about making love to Linda, and the idea in theory held a lot of appeal, but not like this. I wanted it to be because we were in a loving relationship, a sharing between equals, a giving of ourselves to each other, not as attempt to win a bet.

The rational side won out. I shook my head back and forth and tried to say "no, no". The words were lost, but the sound was clear. Linda evidently understood, because she stopped and looked at me. "You want me to stop? OK. Then you must want more of... this!"

At that she dug her fingers into my side, and I erupted into a paroxysm of laughter. When it seemed I couldn't take any more, she switched to my nipples and renewed her assault on them. They were still very sensitive from what had gone on before, and while the sensations were erotic rather than ticklish, they continued to drive me mad.

I thrashed in my bonds, my knees shaking back and forth. My struggles gradually grew more feeble. When at last she stopped, I again sat there, gasping for air through my nose, utterly spent.

She gave me a moment to recover then bent over and once again put her lips around my cock. It felt so good. This time it was harder to moan "no, no," through my gag.

Linda sat up and looked me in the eye. "You really don't want me to do this, do you?" she asked. "Then you want more of this?" She reached towards my chest. Once again, I weakly shook my head no.

"Hmm," she pondered, "I can't leave you like this..." She thought for a moment. "How about if I just use my hand, would that be OK?" At that compromise, my opposition crumbled. Part of me still wasn't sure this was a good idea, but I was too weary and too horny to listen to it. I faintly nodded my head "yes".

Linda grinned, reached down, and started stroking it firmly. The effect on me was electrifying. I tensed in my bonds, and an inarticulate moan escaped by throat.

In the state I was in, I couldn't last long. I felt myself approach the cliff. I momentarily fought my way back from the edge, but then I went over.

It was pure bliss for a moment, and then it was over, and I slumped in the chair.

I was dimly aware of Linda getting up, going into the kitchen, getting a warm wash cloth, coming back, and cleaning up the mess I had made.

On one hand, I felt very satisfied and lethargic. This had been very different than my experiences with Christine, more personal, and in some ways more extreme. But on the other hand, I felt that my relationship with Linda had just irrevocably changed, and I was afraid of what it would be.

Linda unwrapped my gag and removed the sodden fabric. I croaked out, "water". She got me a glass and daintily helped me sip a mouthful. Then she untied my arms and unwrapped the tape. I lost more than a few hairs on my wrists at the end, but at this point that a minor concern. As I fiddled with the belt around my waist, she untaped my ankles.

I stood, somewhat unsteadily, pulled my pants up, and said a lame, "thanks." I was at a loss as to what to do next, but once again Linda saved me. She leaned over and gave me a big bug, and I earnestly returned it.

She took my hand, and led me to sofa. As we sat, Linda said, "When you feel up to it, let's talk about what just happened..."

With me being in the afterglow, my memory of that conversation is a bit fuzzy. On the other hand, with my defenses destroyed, I was probably more open and honest with Linda than I had ever been in the past.

I told Linda that I had long wished that our relationship was more intimate and less platonic, but I had been afraid to go there lest I screw things up.

Linda in turn told me that she basically felt the same way about me, but being almost as shy as I was, she didn't know how (or perhaps was too afraid) to take the next step herself.

Then came the fateful morning when she saw that unexpected email on my screen. She admitted that she had googled Mistress Christine, and so she actually had a fair idea of what was going on before our dinner date.

While she had never tied anyone up or been tied up, the idea had piqued her interest. She had invited me to dinner (and opened the bottle of wine) hoping that our discussion might show her a way to forward our relationship. In the end, it gave an idea on how to break the ice, so to speak.

When she had finished tying me earlier that evening, she had had a panic attack, worried that she might being going too far and destroying our relationship. She had come very close to calling the whole thing off, but my reassurances had let her continue.

Eventually, she finished telling me, she had decided to try positive thinking and that she already had what she was seeking. That is, she decided to mostly ignore the tying stuff and just do to me that she would want to do if we were already in an intimate relationship.

Linda had gradually grown quieter during her monologue, and at the end she was staring down into her lap. In a whisper that I could barely hear, she finished, "I hope I didn't do the wrong thing..."

Now the ball was in my court.

As I've said, I'm not the fastest thinker under pressure, and with my limited social skills and innate shyness, my first thought was to make some lame excuse and bolt from the room. Fortunately, I wasn't quite such a moron that evening.

I reached over with one hand, and putting one finger under her chin, I raised her head and pointed it towards me. Then I kissed her. When we finally broke that kiss, I whispered back, "you didn't..."


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