Before sitting she had removed her blazer; it was a fine wool, more expensive than she could normally afford, but she had gotten it on clearance at the end of last season, before the separation. She wore it tonight because it was her favorite, she loved the way it held her, loved the aura she felt as she wore it over the plain white blouse, loved the rich autumnal brown, just a hint of green, and the way it made her skin glow, set off her blonde hair. And she wanted him to see her in it; she had not had the opportunity to wear it last fall for it was already too cold, and by springtime, as the heavier coats were put aside, she was already alone.

No, not alone precisely. Apart from him.

And now she sat across from him in the restaurant, in a quiet back corner where the crowd noise and background music didn't reach, but neither did the heat, at least not any longer. It had felt warmer when they had been seated, but maybe, she thought, it had been her that had been warmer. At any rate she regretted removing the blazer, knowing full well that if she wore it sitting for the entire evening it would crease, and shatter the casual elegance of the garment. Perhaps she could just drape it over her shoulders, and she waited for the proper moment, a break in his long-winded list of his feelings and observations of their time together since their separation.

As soon as that unkind opinion of his monologue formed she admonished herself. It wasn't his fault he suddenly discovered emotions and feeling. It seemed in retrospect to have been almost inevitable that he would, in response to their parting, develop something in reaction, or uncover the latent ones that had eluded him so well. During their marriage emotions and feeling had been her responsibility; she had expressed for both of them; felt love for two, passion for two, empathy for two, anger for two. At the start she had expressed for them both in an effort to extrude his; later as retribution. The more he withheld, the more she showed, and vice versa, in a downward spiral.

He droned on, and she smiled lightly, proud but melancholic to see the progress in him, to see the growth he had accomplished, the hint of what could have been. But under it all, she heard the unspoken words, saw the perspective of leanings he had encountered; it remained about him, not them. In an academic way it was interesting to see him get in touch with himself, but the change did not touch her. Maybe one day there would be hope for him, that he would complete the half person he was, and long to be whole with another, to allow another to person to complete him. But he gave no hint that he felt a yearning for such growth, or even the acknowledgement that such development might exist.

She smiled wanly, wondering how he saw her expression, and knew as soon as she thought that he was far too immersed in presenting his position to recognize an honest emotional response from a living human being. And hadn't that been the issue all along? Or was she imposing that judgment of him from before, on this him, now? Was she being fair and objective? Could she be?

Sure, she bore resentment over the separation. No, that wasn't true either. For her, the separation had been better than easy, it had been a step toward fulfillment, to becoming whole. No, it had been the months before the separation that had been hardest, as she struggled vainly to elicit any emotional response from him. Finally tired of carrying the weight for both of them, tired of the unresponsive nature, the absence of emotion, she could, after the agreement to separate, put down his portion of the relationship, and begin to carry only her own, in the direction she wanted, unencumbered to her own fulfillment. It had been a breath of fresh air when they finally agreed to separate.

Agreed. She blew out a thin breath with her smile. That would have required participation from both of them. Decision would be more accurate. She had decided; it was time. He took the news, emotionless and unresponsive, as he had taken all her attempts and challenges to extract some reaction from him. She wanted the love that had seemed so close, so possible when they dated and married, she wanted the understanding and connection that had once accompanied their conversations. She wanted the closeness that their intimacy had brushed against, but seemingly never embraced. But they did not come, no matter how she tried to expose them.

That potential had been there, when they met and dated. She saw them, or rather, the promise of them, and committed to him for the possibility of what they might one day be, sure of her ability to draw them out. Even at the beginning of the marriage she saw them, an image of something just below the surface of a pond, obscured but visible through her own reflection on the surface. So close to coming out, to breaking through. But any attempt to reach for it disturbed the surface, and the image disappeared from view.

And when the love, the companionship and closeness did not come, she worked towards other emotions, any emotions. Anger. Resentment. Hostility. Disdain. Where once she struggled to unsuccessfully provoke a loving reaction from him, needing the return and feeling for them both, she now turned to instigation and insolence. In her frustrated efforts, instead of trying to please him she tried to anger him. She ignored him, disregarded him. Defied him. Shamed him. Betrayed him. She went out, stayed out. She looked at other men, in front of him, spoke of them, but got no reaction. She pursued them.

The more he did not get angry, the more anger she felt towards him. But still she failed, and every attempt resulted only in her increasing hostility towards him; like love, she felt it for them both. Each attempt pushed harder, each time she failed, her anger increased, then her disdain, and finally her hatred. Not just against him, but against herself; she found herself feeling for herself what she wanted him to feel for her.

Each step determined to make him react, each failed, each one exceeded by the next. She dated men. She did not hide it. She flaunted it, brought them home, took them to their bed, in front of him. She brought home more men, then several men. She brought home women. Then men and women. Groups. Debased herself in front of him. Allowed herself to be abused, then demanded abuse. When even that fell short, she pulled the plug. She told him they were separating. She packed, and she left. And still she got no reaction.

She did not miss him, had not missed him. In the nine months apart she had pursued her own needs, lived for herself. She was making up for lost time, years that she had devoted to him, years wasted trying to find the good, then desperate to incite the bad. She did not hate him for it any more; she felt nothing, it was who he was. She had resigned herself to the fact that she had tried to do the impossible, and failed, and forged ahead to something new. She was whimsical now, seeing him, at life's cruel irony; the door she had beaten herself against for six years had opened as soon as she stepped away. In separation, even she had gained understanding and perspective.

And now here he was, feeling and emoting, as if human, almost the person she had thought she had once wanted. She thought she could see the man she had fallen for. On closer inspection she realized it was an illusion; what she saw was the man she had thought the man she had fallen for would one day become. She grimaced at the concept; the idea was more complex than her life had become. But for all her failed efforts and her wasted, soiled and ruined emotions, there was something of that man she had once imagined now sitting across from her. Not the one who she thought he would be. But maybe close enough that he could play that man in a movie. And as much as his revelations were all about him, the emotions looked good on him, as she had always hoped they would.

He had issues, clearly. He was seeking help, and she silently wished him the best. She did not know what the conclusion would be at the end of his story; he seemed bent on detailing every revelation, as though he had invented emotions, and not just discovered his own. What she did know was that his conclusion mattered little, if at all. There would be no reconciliation, no trying again. She had tried. Hard. She had failed. She had moved on, she would not go back. And since moving on she had found not what she thought she wanted, not what she was looking for, but what she had needed, and it had come from an unexpected direction.

She had arranged this date on the night she left, thinking then, still somewhat innocently, that the time apart would make him realize what he had not done, and would allow her to forget all she had done. Imagine. Getting back together. So sorry, dear, for being an unfeeling automaton, for holding you away and freezing you out. My Mommy didn't hug me enough, or something. Oh yes, me too, dear, sorry for the cuckolding, and the orgies in our house, and fucking all those cocks in front of you like that. A bit immature, but I was desperate, you see. Forgiven?

Yeah right. He seemed to be winding down, which was good. She was still chilly, and interruption be damned, she lifted her blazer and slipped it over her shoulders. He never even broke his stride, just barreled merrily along, as absorbed in having some emotions as he'd been in having none. There was no inquiry as to whether she was cold or getting ready to leave; he assumed she was there to hear him, as he had always assumed she would love him and stay with him, regardless of his actions, or lack thereof. At some point he would wrap up. She owed it to him to let him finish. And while the end result of their discussion tonight was preordained, there were two things she hoped for.

First, that he would conclude that they divorce amicably, as she had already done. It would make it so much simpler. She had already decided as such, and if he came to the same conclusion it would make things so much simpler, so much easier. But it would be divorce, there was no other option. The only remaining variable was whether he wanted to or not, and if not, how ugly would it be. Please, she thought, let him have the sense to see this marriage done.

And the second thing she hoped for was that he not ask what she is doing now, was she seeing anyone, was she happy. Not that she couldn't answer, or wasn't proud of what she was doing now. She was with a wonderful man now; a man who knew where she was tonight, understood why she had to be here, and that the result would be divorce. A man who showed her the emotions she needed to feel, to experience, to return. A man who understood her pride in their relationship. In fact, she was under strict instructions that if her estranged husband asked that question, she must answer him, completely and in detail.

It wasn't that she was embarrassed or ashamed of what she had become; not at all. But to her mind he was not entitled to the knowledge. What had he ever done to share in her reward? Sure, he had played a role in their meeting, but he was a bystander, at best, a dramatic device, stage dressing, a mere prop. He had not earned the right to share in her happiness. He had done nothing. He should get nothing.

But if he asked, she would tell; Karl had ordered her to do so, to tell him all. And though he was not here with her, waiting at home for her certain return, she would obey as though he watched her. She would not defy him, and she would certainly not deceive him. If asked she would dutifully raise her head and jut her chin proudly. And she would tell him yes, actually, I am very happy, wonderfully happy. And she would explain, in plain and simple terms and a clear voice, how her life had changed.

She had discovered her true nature and happiness by accident during that last year, as their marriage crumbled around her and she had descended into her maelstrom of debauchery. Love had failed; she had tried to incite jealousy and failed, then anger. Flirting first, then teasing, then dating and staying out. She had escalated her efforts, trying to get a reaction from him, finally bringing her lovers home, fucking them in front of him to her increasing frustration at his lack of reaction. The harder she pushed, the more he withheld. One lover, at first; then more than one, letting them take her together, in front of him. Later, a group of men. They used her, debased her. She took their cocks in all her holes, let them cum on her, in her face. She sucked them after they fucked her. Took them in her ass as she screamed. Later it was larger groups, and even women. She had sucked cum from a pussy, from an ass; showed him, flaunted her debauchery, to no effect. Every few days she pushed the envelope, crazed by her obsession to extract a reaction from him.

She sought more; each group she met introduced her to others, until the night she brought home three women, late, when she knew he would be in bed already. She took them to their bedroom, and practically on top of him, allowed them to abuse her in spectacular ways. All the while he lay there, awake and impassionate, his vacant eyes watching as the women tormented her, tortured her. She licked their cunts on command, tongued their assholes. Her nipples pulled and twisted. She sucked a strap-on dildo fresh from her own ass. They fisted her, punching into her stretched cunt until she screamed in pain and ecstasy. They pissed on her, made her drink their urine, then held her legs up and forced her to piss into her own mouth.

One of those women, Sarah, a tall, muscular woman, had pulled her aside when the spectacle was over. "I don't know what you're doing here," she'd said, "but I know that women are not your thing, I can see that. But you really enjoy the debasement and humiliation. I know a guy," she had continued, and told her about Karl.

She had introduced them, brought her to Karl, offered her to him. And she knew, almost immediately, that she had found her place, her fulfillment. In his face she had seen it, from the beginning. Right there, in front of Sarah, he had taken her, pushed her limits, abused and punished her, humiliated her. Commanded her. But she felt it, in her debasement that night, the reciprocation she had sought for so long. He reacted, loved her for her submission. He returned her emotion. He took, and she gave, and he recognized and appreciated her efforts and devotion.

She had grown to want the abuse, the humiliation, to need it, and Karl gave it to her. All she had done out of anger at her husband she did now out of devotion, but at Karl's commands, and he filled the emotional chasm inside her with appreciation for her submission. He abused her, let others abuse her. He spanked and whipped her, marked her as his own. Humiliated her; debased her. And she loved him for it, for giving her what she wanted, needed, and for the love and concern and pampering he bestowed on her in appreciation for her obedience.

She lost herself briefly in the musings of her servitude and devotion. Karl was her life, had given her life. Her estranged husband prattled on as she reflected, what was his name again? She could not recall; Karl was everything. He led her to the trough of abuse she so needed, bade her eat, gave her sustenance, and whispered soft encouragement at her gluttony, harsh criticism when he felt she fed too lightly, relief and appreciation when she was done, and punishment when she disappointed him. All for her, for her needs, and she served him to fulfill herself.

She found herself eager to have the night end, for better or worse. She was free of him, this shallow sham of a man who had nearly trapped her into a life empty of emotion and response. If he agreed, fine. If not, she would return to Karl, tell him of her failure, and revel in the delicious attention he would devote to her punishment. Her eyes narrowed at the thought of the pain, the stretching, the plugs he would stuff inside her. His fist, crammed into her. Her screams as she suffered and let loose her splashing orgasm. She felt herself become wet, as Karl had said she would, and recalled his instructions.

"You will tell it all, in detail, my Pet," he had told her. "But only if he is clever enough to ask. He does not deserve the likes of you, never did, but if he is curious enough to ask you will tell him everything." She felt a shudder as she recalled the whispered instructions, Karl's voice impaling her head as his cock penetrated her cunt, HIS cunt. "If he tries to stop you, you will insist, demand that he listen. You will not whisper, or hang your head; you will hold yourself proud and high, unashamed of the wonder you have become." His cock had slammed into her, stroking the tender flesh between her legs, still sore from the beating he had delivered to her the night before, at the hands of another, slapping her tender cunt until she came, sqirting and screaming in delight. "As you speak the words you will be excited; you cannot stop it. This cunt, MY cunt, will be wet and open between your legs as you tell him what you do, how good it is, how you enjoy it." She'd heard him grunt, felt his pulses as he had filled her, staring into her eyes. "And you will show him. As you finish your tale, you will spread these lovely legs for him at the table, and shove your hand inside, your whole hand. You will look at him, make him watch," He had pulled his cock from her cunt, then, and released the clamps at her nipples, the tormenting rush of blood spurring her orgasm. "And you will show him your hand, wet with your cunt and my cum. You will show him your life, and as he stares at you, eyes wide with horror and mouth open in fascination, you will smear your delicacy on his face. And then you will leave, and return here, to me."

Her eyes closed, remembering, and then she was startled by sudden silence. He had stopped talking, at last. She opened her eyes again to see him looking at her.

"I said, I think we should get a divorce."

Yes, she thought, yes, we should. I never want to see you again, you useless, denying bastard. She trembled a little, thinking her night over, and agreed. He smiled weakly, politely, as though he had learned a trick, and she tried to return it. Reaching for her purse, her legs coiled to spring her from her chair, and she began to voice her exit.

"What about you?" he asked suddenly, and her legs froze in mid-rise, and then she relaxed, and re-settled herself into the seat. "I guess I kind of monopolized the conversation," he smiled, as though a moment of good nature might redeem him.

"Maybe," was all she managed, and she sat upright in her chair, coming fully erect in preparation. Her elegant neck, embraced by the choker, extended her head high. She inhaled, and waited.

He watched her, then asked naively, "So, what have you been up to?"

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