The Story of Mallory Ch. 15bySAWade1968©
Mallory looked down at the ring encircling her finger; the symbol she was still Kyle's wife. Tears filled her eyes as she took the ring and tenderly placed it in her jewelry box beside a wooden broach shaped like a donkey she had since she was a child. I wonder if he will even notice I am not wearing it any longer, she thought to herself as she finished getting ready for work.
Even though she was not ready to ask for a divorce, Mallory no longer wanted to wear her wedding ring. She was more in love with Michael than she could admit to him, or even to herself. They spent a great deal of time together out of the office now; surprisingly with Kyle's consent.
"I have tickets to see Michael Feinstein this Saturday," Mallory approached her husband one evening over dinner, "I thought it would be fun if we went out to dinner first then went to the show."
"Who is that?" Kyle asked, cutting into his steak, not bothering to look at her.
"He's a singer," she responded, "Allison the new HR assistant gave me tickets because I have been helping her learn her position."
"Oh," he said, disinterested, "Never heard of him. Sounds boring."
"Come on," she tried not to beg too hard, as she really did not want him to come, "We could use a night out."
"Nah," he kept eating, "Why don't you take your gay friend Michael? It sounds like it would be right up his alley."
Mallory had no idea what made him think Michael was gay; however, she was thrilled he had made the suggestion. She was certain her work crush would agree to the invitation, or at least she was hoping he would.
The next day at work, Mallory eagerly asked Michael if he wanted to go with her; she made certain to let him know her husband had suggested she ask him so he would not think she was being forward. She was ecstatic when he decided he would accompany her and inquired if she wanted to have dinner beforehand. She could hardly contain her excitement when she responded yes.
Saturday could not come soon enough; when Mallory saw him arrive at the restaurant, her heart dropped. He looked gorgeous in all black; she did not know how she was going to make it through the evening without begging him to rescue her or run away with her.
They had a sumptuous dinner, chatted, and laughed easily over a bottle of wine, the evening flying by far too quickly. They moved to the ballroom for the show and continued with another bottle of wine, joking about being the youngest people there. Mallory watched how his eyes danced in the dim light, his smile was so warm and inviting, his deep sexy voice so enticing. She had to resist the urge to scoot close to him and cuddle against his large frame as the romantic music lulled her into relaxation.
The performance ended and the lights to the ballroom flashed brightly, Mallory was snapped back into her bitter reality, "Well, thanks for coming with me," she turned to him as she headed for the door.
"I'll walk you out," he politely replied.
"Oh, thank you," she should have expected it from him, he was so gentlemanly.
They walked silently to her car; she did not want the night to end, and she could sense he did not want it to either.
"Mallory," he said as they approached her vehicle, "I had a great time tonight. Thank you."
"I did, too," she said, her voice starting to crack as she held back tears, "I wish..."
"What, Mallory?" he asked.
"Oh, nothing, Michael," she did not know what else to say. She knew he was too good for her; she could not say she loved him, she was stuck with Kyle.
"Come on, Mallory," he coaxed, "Just say it."
"I have to go," she stepped into her car and started to pull on the door, "Or I'll get into trouble."
He just shook his head and watched her pull her car away.
Michael and Mallory spent as much time together in the office as they did out; every chance she could find, she would drop by his office or sit next to him in a meeting. One night she volunteered to help him organize his desk so he could complete his employee reviews.
As she sat at his computer color-coding the 700 plus emails in his inbox, her cell phone rang behind her; ignoring it, she did not realize he glanced over and saw the caller ID indicating her husband.
"So, Master Kyle is it?" he asked her.
"What?" Mallory turned around, her face flush, her heart racing.
"Master Kyle," he said again, "Your phone. Is that what you call your husband?"
"Well, uhm..." she was stammering trying to think of a plausible reason as to why she would have such a nickname on her phone. Especially one so important as "Master"; she did not want to have to explain something to Michael that he may be judgmental about. "It's just... it's well..."
"I know what it is, Mallory," his calm voice reassured her as he put his hand on her leg, "It's obvious. The way you talk about 'getting in trouble', the way you are so eager to please everyone, now, seeing that you call him 'Master'; I should have known..."
"What do you mean?" she was near tears now.
"It's not supposed to be this way, Mallory," he suggested, seeing she was about ready to cry, "Let's go have a drink and talk. We shouldn't really talk about this here."
Mallory looked around, realizing they were still at the office; she nodded her agreement.
As she drove to the bar to meet him, she wondered what Michael meant and if he knew she was a slave. She thought about his strong personality and how powerful and commanding his behavior was, not just with her, but with everybody. It was possible he was a Master, but if he was, what difference would it make to her, she was already owned by Kyle.
Mallory sat down across from Michael and started talking as quickly as she could; she was nervous and could not help herself. She explained how she had learned about Gor and being a slave, how she was terribly unhappy with Kyle but felt like she was stuck with him forever, and how she thought she had been in love with Ryan but how she was happy he had left because he turned out to be a disappointment.
As she talked, she drank glass after glass of wine; it took a few glasses for her to notice Michael mostly listened and said very little. He did not look shocked or even surprised to learn of this fictional place called Gor; and he certainly did not seem to be judging her for accepting the role of slave.
Still, he seemed concerned, "Mallory," he started, "I am not sure if you'd be surprised to learn that I'm familiar with Gor myself."
Mallory kept her head down, she did not want to hear of him owning a slave or having any other loves in his life. She did not think she could stand the thought of him being with anybody else; she was not naive, she realized he had been with other women, and the chances of him loving her were slim, but still.
"I don't think you are being treated right," he continued, "I don't like to judge other Masters, but you're being abused; if not physically, at least mentally."
At him saying "other Masters", she knew he was a Master, but she hoped he would never tell her of his past; still, she was interested in listening to him.
"You shouldn't be so scared to be in trouble all the time," he opined, "Discipline is about training and should not always be punitive. Does that make sense to you?"
"Yes, but..." Mallory tried to defend Kyle, but she simply did not know how, "I'm not sure he means to ... well, to hurt my feelings."
"Mallory, do you learn when he strikes you?"
"Well, sometimes it is not necessarily about learning something," she responded, "Like when I spilled the drink in the car. What was I supposed to learn?"
"That is exactly my point," he stated, "What were you supposed to learn? It was an accident. You didn't mean to spill the drink, yet you were terrified even to go home. What did the lashings do for you except hurt your feelings and make you angry?"
Mallory thought about the things Michael was saying to her, but she could not wrap her head around the thought that she might be mentally abused. Kyle was the same man she had tried so hard to please for so many years; he was just selfish sometimes.
"I can't tell you what to do," Michael said as he signed his name to the bill, "But I would love to see you happy. You need to figure out what you want. I think you know what that is, you just have to figure out how to get there, and take a chance."
They walked out to their cars, Mallory shivering from the cold weather, and now from the realization that she wanted Michael more than ever. She kept her hands in her pockets and swayed back and forth trying to maintain distance as Michael said goodbye to her, struggling the temptation to melt into his arms.
"Think about what I said, Mallory," his deep voice forcing her heart to skip a beat.
"Good night, Michael," she closed the door tightly against the night air and watched him walk to his car.
Mallory sat in her car looking out at the mountains, the stereo blasting; she did not want to go home. She longed to be with Michael, to be swept off her feet, especially knowing he was a Master. She wanted to be trained properly, to be loved and cared for; but she wondered if she would ever be good enough for him.