Tali Ch. 05bylitmoir©
Sorry my writing has slowed to a crawl. Real life has been intensely busy for me.
As always, please be sure to read the previous chapters, or this may make completely zero sense. There is still no sex, but instead just a master/slave making a journey.
I'd love to hear comments/feedback to have an idea of how to improve or continue. The ones left so far have been encouraging and are greatly appreciated!
Tali and her master spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing. She knelt by his side, head resting on the floor, dozing slightly at his encouragement to not worry about anything for a few hours. He read for a while, though his mind wandered constantly to the events of the last few days.
It had been quite a while now since Tali received a real punishment, something to feel truly sorry over. He knew that the lack of such discipline could lead to irrationality, and that she would start to fray more if she couldn't empty out some of those emotions.
"Tali," he broke the silence. She took in a deep breath as she cleared her mind from the haziness of relaxation.
"Yes, master?" she replied, keeping her reluctance of the situation where he had used her name from her voice. She wished she could take it back, make him forget... make herself forget.
"I'm starting to get hungry."
Tali started and became alert at once. Had that much time passed? She always starting dinner without being prompted...
"I...I'm sorry, master, I lost track of time," she hesitated as she thought of what to say. The last time she made food for him, she failed miserably, assuming he only wanted food for himself, not that she had to make enough for two.
Still... it felt so wrong! She didn't want anything. She didn't deserve the same food her master ate. Training dictated that she never express desire for anything besides necessity, and even then there was a dangerous line to toe.
"Master..." she began tentatively.
"Yes? Don't you have something you should be doing now?"
She flinched, "yes master! I... I was just wondering if.. perhaps..." she trailed off for a moment, hating her question no matter how cautiously she could try to phrase it, "would it please you if I ... er.. made something for myself to eat, too?"
Miro thought for a moment. She said "something", implying it wouldn't be the same as what she intended to make for him. He sighed.
Tali's fingers extended themselves and spread wide on the ground as she bowed over at her waist, trying to stabilize her swell of self-hatred for thinking this could possibly be what he wanted. She worked to keep her voice free of what she felt for herself, "I... I'm sorry master! I didn't mean it, just... I don't want any food. I don't need any food."
"Make yourself enough of whatever I'm having to feel full."
She couldn't balance out her feelings. Surely she had done nothing to earn the privilege. She wanted to desperately to please him, though, she just had to make sure...
"Will that please you, master?" Tali asked softly. She would do anything that would please him.
"Are you suggesting that you thought of not doing what I said?" Miro asked, half in amazement and wonder. That half never made its message across to her, however.
"No! I mean.. no master..." but it wasn't true, she hadn't wanted to do it, "I... I mean, I want to do the right thing, and... and I don't know what..." her mind spun through what to say next rapidly. What the right thing to do is? What he wants her to do? What she's supposed to do? What... "what will make me the best slave for you, master," she finished.
"Hm... it would please me if we ate the same food today." He avoided responding to what would make her the best slave. That definition seemed to be changing and even he couldn't keep up with it.
She couldn't understand... why would that please him! She wanted to challenge his statement, but her compulsion to obey and please won over.
"As you wish. Thank you, master, for the food," she preemptively thanked him. She noticed the dodge but didn't pursue the topic further. He would talk about it if he wanted to. She stood up and moved to begin preparing dinner.
She would cook another of his favorites tonight. The thought of eating the same type of food as him was a little disturbing, as she measured out more of everything for herself as well. She didn't need high quality meat! It was a waste of money on her...
When she finished cooking, Tali found her master and knelt before him. She bowed her head, speaking softly, "dinner is ready, master."
"Good, I'm starting to feel ravenous!"
Miro made his way to the kitchen, with Tali a step behind. As soon as they approached the table, she sped up to pull the chair out for him to sit down. She then went to serve him his food.
She had prepared 3 items for the meal. Salad, steak, and scallops. She served him a healthy portion of the steak and scallops, with a little salad. Tali intended to eat mostly salad herself for dinner.
She silently placed his plate in front of him on the table, bowing respectfully to signal that she hoped he was pleased.
"Thank you," he broke the silence.
"I... err, it's my pleasure, master?" she wasn't sure what she was supposed to say, but also added, "I hope you like it, there's more if you want."
"Where's your plate?"
"I.. I was going to eat what was left, after you had your fill, master."
"Make yourself a plate and sit down with me."
"As you wish, master." Tali had anticipated that he would require this and had prepared herself mentally for exactly this moment. She retrieved a plate for herself and filled it with salad, in case her master wanted more of the meat himself.
After she sat down, she picked up a fork and stared at her plate, pushing around the leaves a little, slowly spearing them in a bunch one at a time. She didn't want to be in the middle of chewing a huge mouthful in case she needed to get him something.
Every so often, she glanced at her master's plate to see if he seemed to be enjoying his food.
"Why aren't you eating? Do you find my company displeasurable?"
"No! Of course not, master!" Butterflies fluttered through her stomach, "I... just want you happy, and... and hope you enjoy the meal," she glanced at his plate and noticed the scallops were gone.
She stood up and started towards the extras being kept warm, "let me get you more, I made plenty of food for us both!"
When she got back to the table and was about to slide them onto his plate, he held up his hand to stop her, "save some for yourself, girl. I can tell these are the last of them."
Tali grimaced slightly, "I have enough salad to stuff myself silly, master, I made these for you! Please, master, I want you to have them." The guilt she felt over her master paying this much attention was hard to bear. Why did he care anyway? She was nothing.
"I insist, have some for yourself."
In a flare of defiance neither could have predicted, Tali pushed, "I don't want any, it would just get wasted." She looked away to make her point, as if shunning the food.
Silence stretched. All of a sudden, Tali slowly started to look back towards her master, but the closer she got, the more it dawned on her just how she was behaving. She was scared out of her wits with what she would find staring back at her. She forgot to breathe as she was caught in his stony gaze.
"Is that what you think of me?" His tone chilled her to the core. She shook her head in a silent plea but he continued, "I want to give you something and you deny me?"
"Please..." it came out barely a whisper and her throat seized up. The blood pounded in her head and her eyes kept losing focus as her head spun.
He pushed on relentlessly, "do you think I will just sit here and let you disrespect me?"
She started to scoot her chair back so she could get out and kneel.
"Stay where you are!" he spat. He let his anger flare.
Tali started shaking. She wanted to obey him, why didn't she just do what he said? She hated denying him anything... what happened? She didn't know what to do. She put her hands spread, palms down on the table, trying to submit, trying to stabilize the situation.
"Eat a good portion of everything you made tonight. I will determine after the fact whether what you ate counts as 'good'. Do you understand?"
"After the meal, you will clean up then meet me in the room."
"Y...yes.. master... may I serve the food for myself?" Tears were running down her face and dripping off her chin, some making it down her neck. This time her punishment would be her own fault.
He almost felt sorry for her, but steeled himself. Comfort would have to come later.
"Yes, of course, how else do you plan to carry out my orders?"
"I..I'm sorry, thank you master," she got up and quickly served herself what looked like more than enough steak and scallops for herself, then put some more salad on his plate.
The rest of the meal was finished in silence. When he finished his food, she asked, "may I take your plate, master?" Tali wasn't sure what to do... she normally wasn't eating when he finished and was able to clean up as soon as he was done.
"No, you can clean it up altogether after you're done."
"Yes master, thank you for teaching me," she replied, though the thought of leaving his dirty dish there unattended clawed at her mind. She should have taken care of it immediately! He had told her otherwise though...
As she finished her own meal, Tali began dreading what was going to happen afterwards. Her chewing slowed, then sped back up as she realized she was delaying the inevitable.
When Tali finished cleaning everything up after the meal, she dried her hands on a towel... then dried them again on her shirt as she walked because they were moist with sweat again. It had been a long time since she approached the room knowing that she had made a real mistake.
He was waiting for her as she approached. Silent... watching. She followed proper protocol as always, this part was the same. She went to the center of the room, grabbed the rope, and fell to her knees so she faced away from her, rope presented for him behind her back.
He tied her arms together, then went to the wall where he began to hoist her up. He drilled her with every long tug of the rope.
"Was I speaking unclearly?"
"No, master," and so it begins, she thought. She felt nervous as her arms started rising behind her.
"Was I unclear with my intent?"
"No, master," she tried to hold in her emotions, being strong for as long as she could. She felt her shoulders tighten as her hands continued to be pulled higher.
"Did you think you would just get away with your behavior?"
Her knees came off the ground. "I... I don't know, master!"
"You don't know?"
"Please..." her arms started supporting almost her full body weight, "please master, I wasn't thinking..."
"You were thinking enough to decide to deny my desires."
The dam holding back her feelings broke. She started sobbing as her feet came off the ground. The pain mingled with her thoughts, making any coherent sentence elusive.
"I didn't... I'm sorry... master.. please..." she wanted to get something across!
He just stood there with his arms crossed.
As the pain continued to assault her senses, something finally clicked. She was making excuses. She was trying to diminish her punishment. What was she pleading for? It wasn't right... it should be...
"I'm sorry for... for disappointing you, master," she spoke through clenched teeth. As soon as she finished the sentence, her concentration broke and her mind scattered again. She hurt. Not just from her punishment, but from knowing she had done something so impossibly wrong to him. Disrespecting him. Her state of mind fell as she opened herself up to the sensations.
He noticed that slight shift in the way her body held itself. He recognized that from so long ago as the moment her resistance shattered. He considered bringing her down now, but knew that she would think herself weak if he shortened the session.
Miro left her there for the normal two hours before he returned. He was surprised to find the she was still sobbing as much as when the punishment first started.
As he started to let her down slowly, she noticed and started shaking her head.
"Please, master... please I deserve more," Tali sobbed.
"You deserve what I decide you do." He lowered her and her feet touched the ground.
"No..." she whispered, "disappointed..." she lifted her feet to try to keep herself from touching the ground to relieve her arms. Tears still managed to roll down her face. She deserved to suffer more for her disobedience.
He kept lowering her until even her scrunched up legs touched the ground, knees first. She choked on her sobs. She didn't deserve to be let down.
She kept crying with her head down, her arms still bound behind her.
"Tali, look at me."
Look at him... she wanted to do everything right. She instantly looked up and looked him in the eyes.
He was surprised at the responsiveness to that command. So was she. He held her pillow.
He gave her the warmest smile one could give to someone they were starting to love as a person, not as an object.
"Good girl," he approached her and undid her arms, massaging out the soreness, helping her wrap them around the pillow that he held to her chest.
Tali was speechless. It felt so good.. what he did for her, but... still... the punishment wasn't complete. She stiffened when she felt him draw closer, his arms surrounding her from behind.
He whispered, "I forgive you," and chills sped down her spine. She broke down as always. He was prepared, holding her as she rocked back and forth, apologizing endlessly for what she did, thanking him profusely for teaching her and forgiving her.
Finally, he stood up and helped her stand as well.
"Still feeling rebellious?"
She felt her face redden with embarrassment, "no, master, I'm sorry," she hated to be reminded of her mistakes.
"We're going to buy you some new clothes tomorrow."
"And take you to a nice restaurant."
Miro stopped for a moment to think. He assumed the punishment helped settle her, but now wasn't the time for assuming.
"How do you feel?" He wasn't used to asking about her, but Kien had made it a point to remind him constantly to figure out what she was thinking.
Tali really hated that question. She was afraid that her master would take her feelings the wrong way.
"I feel... stupid, master, like I wronged you unnecessarily... it just..." she knew he wouldn't like what she had to say next. "Hatred for myself still lingers..." she lowered her eyes and looked at the ground in shame, "I know that forgiveness should dispel those feelings, master, I'm sorry."
Before any real sorrow could set in, Miro jumped in.
"It's just a hate for displeasing me, not a hate for yourself," he said, "isn't that right?"
She paused, then nodded.
"So it's not a bad thing. You just don't want to repeat what you did." He spoke with more confidence than he felt, but it did the trick. Tali nodded again, her mind drinking in his words of encouragement.
He tipped her chin up and gave her another smile. She was starting to feel out of place, being at the receiving end of ... whatever that was, but somehow she felt her devotion grow stronger. She wanted to see it more often!
"Come on, Tali," he helped her stand up, as she was still clutching her pillow to her chest, "I'm sure you're tired and need sleep now."
She nodded in agreement, "yes, master."
"And where would you like to sleep tonight?"
Not this question again!
"I... um.. just to clarify, master, you are asking where I would like to sleep, and not where I deserve to sleep?" Although... really, she wanted to sleep where she deserved, or... what pleased him... that would never change!
He held in a sigh. Those only served to frustrate her and then him in return.
"Yes, without thinking about what you think you deserve, or what you think I think you deserve, where would you like to sleep?"
She almost never slept in bed with him. But... oh how nice it would be, to feel his warmth as she fell asleep... to be in those blankets, in the soft bed - her mind reeled and did a 180, her recent conditioning causing her to shudder at the thought.
"The... the bed.. but.. the comfort... master, please, I don't want the comfort, just... just want to be near you, please believe me master," she hoped he understood what she was trying to convey.
He cursed himself for the thousandth time for having had that be her last punishment before this all started. She would have a hard time letting it go... she was the perfect slave, after all. The old lessons were absorbed like a sponge, and he would have to try to wring some of them out.
"It's ok, girl, I am pleased with your choice. Enjoy the comfort as a bonus." He steered her towards the bedroom.
She smiled at the thought of not having to worry.
"Yes, master, thank you."
As they settled in to bed, Tali started out on the edge of the bed, afraid of assuming he would want her nearby. He fixed that thought by reaching out and pulling her in to him, pillow and all, and tucked the blankets around them both.
"Good night, Tali."
This time, she was in such a happy place, she didn't even care or notice that he used her name.
"Good night, master."