tagRomanceTrust in the Time of St Valentine

Trust in the Time of St Valentine

byTarnishedPenny©

There are any number of categories this could fit into. It's my entry for the

St. Valentine's Day contest, so Romance it will be.

The story is dedicated to the one who owns my heart.

May your days be filled with as much happiness as they have given me.


+

"Do you trust me?"

The question came out of the blue. We were sitting on the couch in his apartment, binge-watching a much-heralded on-line silent film festival. An almost-empty bottle of rosé, glasses and the ruins of various snacks littered the coffee table in front of us.

We both enjoyed old movies and the one drawing to a close, 7th Heaven, was one of the best. It might be considered stilted, even saccharine by many today, but looking at it through 1927 eyes, it was remarkable. I found myself sniffling happily when Charles Farrell entered the final scene, blinded but alive. Janet Gaynor's brilliant, joyous smile alone would've won her an Oscar.

"Um... do I what?"

"Do you trust me?"

"Trust you with what, silly?" I turned my head on his shoulder to look at him.

He smiled lovingly at me and just repeated his question. "Do you trust me?" He lowered his head to kiss my forehead gently.

"Of course, dear. Why do you ask?"

"Just thinking." And that was the last I could drag out of him. I put the question from my mind.

Several weeks later, he was called out of town on business. "I'll be back for St. Valentine's Day," he told me. "Can you get the day off?"

I assured him it would not be a problem. "Good," he said. "I'll get you the details later."

Sometimes I hate mysterious, but he can be so good at surprises. I let the hanging question hang for the time being.

We kept in touch, talking nightly and sending the odd sext to each other.

The Monday before St Valentine's Day, the department secretary came into my office carrying a large courier envelope. "It's for you, marked personal, Jenny." I thanked her.

It was of course from him.

My eyes popped when I opened it. The envelope contained five $100 bills, a black velvet blindfold and a sealed, high-bond envelope with the inscription in his handwriting, "Do you trust me?" Intrigued, I opened the envelope with a thumbnail. In it was a carefully-written note on matching notepaper.

You are invited to a private St Valentine's Day function.

Dress: Formal, with blindfold. Panty-hose forbidden.

You will be judged.

Time: 4:00 PM.

A driver will be sent.

XO


I smiled, knowing his dislike of pantyhose, something he'd once called 'the most mood-breaking garment ever invented'. But the blindfold and the business about 'being judged' was a bit perturbing. And I earned more than he did, so sending me money was curious. I decided to interpret it as his encouragement to forego my usual careful budgeting and indulge myself instead.

I looked at the envelope again. "Do you trust me?" Well, yes, I did, but...

I decided to play some things by ear.

Hitting the local shops, I settled on a low-cut, royal blue gown with a built-in bra, one side of the skirt slit almost to my hip. I had shoes and a gold clutch which would work well with it and, turning in front of the mirrors at the store, I could see that I wouldn't be ashamed to wear this to Oscar Night.

I had some nice lingerie (more smiles, knowing how much he liked it) but decided to treat us both to a matching thong and garter belt in pale, pale blue lace. Getting into the spirit of things, I splurged on a creamy set of real French silk stockings.

On the morning of the Day, I had an appointment with my stylist. She did an amazing job with my hair, but it was embarrassing not being able to tell her where we were going that night. "It's a surprise from my boyfriend," was all I could say, for beyond asking me what colour my dress would be, he had not been willing to discuss it over the phone. She assured me she thought that was very romantic.

"You're so lucky!" she said. "I wish my boyfriend did things like this for me. "

I could see her point, but hadn't mentioned the blindfold.

I took my time with makeup, nails and grooming, shaved here and there, applied his favourite perfume and was finally ready to dress by 3:30. I made myself a tea while I waited. When the time came, the sensation of the raw silk being pulled up my legs was stirring. The night would obviously merit my mother's pearls and I put them on, thinking of her as I did so. One double-strand necklace, a triple-strand bracelet on my right wrist and pendant earrings.

I checked myself in the mirror at 5 minutes to the hour. Knockout!

My eyes fell on the blindfold I'd left by the front door. Nope -- I was so not putting that on. I picked it up however and was holding it when the bell rang.

When I opened the door, he was standing there in a perfectly-tailored tuxedo with a red bow tie and cummerbund. A small rose of precisely the same shade was fastened to his lapel. He looked amazingly handsome, endlessly desirable. I could feel yearning building inside me.

Behind him, in front of the house, was a long grey limo, complete with uniformed chauffeur holding the door open. The day, even in February, was warm and sunny. Sometimes the weather gods smile on we mortals.

His eyes widened as he took in my outfit. "Gorgeous," he breathed. He kissed my lips, lightly.

He looked down at the blindfold in my hands and I knew what he was going to say. I put my fingers to his lips to cut him off. "Yes, I trust you, but this is a bit weird."

He smiled softly. "You'll understand soon, love." He led me by the hand to the waiting car and helped me in. The vast passenger compartment smelled of leather and polish. The door chuffed behind us as it was closed. My lover lowered the privacy curtain between us and the chauffeur. The car remained still.

He handed me a small box. In it was a wrist corsage (a wise choice, given my dress) consisting of a single yellow rosebud. It matched my outfit, perfectly. He fastened it on my bare wrist. I lifted it to my nose to smell its honey.

He held my hand, raised the blindfold. "You don't have to," he said, "but this is kind of central to the event. It's your choice, but I think you will enjoy yourself more with it on. You'll understand soon, I promise."

He leaned forward and kissed me very lightly on the lips. His right thumb brushed along my cheekbone.

"Do you trust me?"

I knew him. He was no creep and he'd obviously put a lot of effort into this, whatever it was. I bit my lip, nodded and bent my head to allow him to fasten the blindfold. Surprisingly comfortable, it blocked my vision completely.

I heard him speak, presumably on the intercom with the chauffeur. "Let's go," he said.

The limo accelerated gently away from the curb. We sat next to each other, holding hands but not talking.

"This is exciting," I said eventually. He squeezed my hand; I felt his other hand stroke my hair.

"I hope so, dear." I felt his hand run along my thigh and began to tingle.

The car turned here and there, accelerated onto a freeway of some sort, exited. Even having lived in Miami my whole life, I was still soon lost.

He leaned in for another light kiss, careful not to disturb my makeup. "I love you," he whispered. My heart fluttered at the words.

The car made some slow turns, stopped. I sensed the chauffeur get out of the car, walk around and open our door. I could hear birds singing, palm leaves in the breeze.

"Ready?" he asked. I nodded, both excited and nervous.

His hand took mine and helped me out of the limo. The door closed behind us and I heard him dismiss the driver. "Thank you, Paul. That will be all for today."

It struck me as odd, the way he said it. "... for today." Were we not going home later?

He carefully led me along a sidewalk, under trees and out into sunlight again. We turned, paused, and I could hear a metal gate opening, then closing behind us once we moved through it. We were on grass now, level and firm enough that my heels gave me no trouble. We stopped, the sun warm on my shoulders.

Taking me by the shoulders, he gently moved me a step to the right. "Our table is right in front of you," he told me. Reaching out, I felt the edge of a cloth-covered table. I felt a chair being moved against the backs of my knees and, lifting my skirt a little, sat. He shifted the chair behind me, moving me closer in to the table, reached around me and placed a napkin on my lap. He kissed my cheek before sitting down opposite me.

There was chamber music playing softly in the background and the sound of trickling water nearby.

"I hope you don't mind," he said. "I've taken the liberty of ordering for you."

"I don't mind. You know my tastes." I felt on the table for cutlery but my fingers found nothing. I started to lift the bottom of the blindfold, just enough to see the table, but his hand caught my wrist, tenderly but firmly.

"No cheating," he said gently. "Please."

I could hear something being placed in front of me, leaned down, tried to catch the scent.

"Salad," he announced. I heard him shift, felt something cool press against my lips and opened my mouth. It was a piece of crisp lettuce, with some sort of raspberry vinaigrette dressing. It was delicious. As I chewed, I could hear him feed himself.

He reached across the table and carefully led my hand to a wineglass. I sipped, a delicate white wine.

The lettuce was followed by pieces of pear, more lettuce, raspberries, candied walnuts and small cubes of a creamy blue cheese (gorgonzola, perhaps?). It was exquisite. Bite by bite, he fed me the entire dish.

"Thank you, dear," I said. "This is so much fun."

"I'm glad you like it," he said. I could hear the love in his voice. "Do you trust me now?"

Again?

"Yes, of course."

"Good, because the next course will cost you."

"A kiss?" I guessed, smiling.

"No, my love," he replied. He rose and I felt his lips on mine. "I claim that as your boyfriend. The next dish will cost you a shoe."

"A shoe?"

"Mmm-hmm. Your choice of left or right."

What's this? He doesn't normally do Kinky.

"Um, my right."

In a moment, I felt him unbuckle the strap and slip the shoe off my foot. Strong fingers gave me a brief foot massage and I sighed with pleasure.

Plates changed in front of me. In a moment, a hot spoon arrived at my lips. It proved to be a carrot soup, flavoured with saffron and... something else I couldn't place. In any case, wherever we were, their chef was an artist.

From time to time, he wiped my lips with a cloth. My hand caught one of his and kissed it. Even through the blindfold I could feel his smile.

I could hear the spoon clink in the empty dish and the dish being moved away. The sun was moving from my back to over one shoulder. I felt warm, loved, cherished.

Without asking this time, his hands stroked down my left calf, caressed my ankle, removed the shoe. I again sighed as his thumbs stroked my sole.

The next dish was a fine-grained, delicate poached fish. Bringing out the flavour perfectly, the sauce featured white wine, capers, soft lemon.

Bite by bite, he lovingly fed me.

"Hon?" I asked. "May I ask a question?"

"Mmm-hmm."

"What did you mean by my being judged?"

He thought for a second. "Who is your harshest critic?"

"Myself," I responded immediately. "Always."

No question about that, but having said it, I considered the implications for a moment.

"Where are we?" I asked.

Again he paused before speaking. "Somewhere safe. Somewhere where pretensions are pointless."

"That's not what I meant."

"Do you trust me? If this bothers you too much, it's OK. Take off the blindfold and we'll just have a nice dinner."

I took a stab in the dark. "Has anyone else taken off theirs?"

There was silence.

"OK," I said. "I do trust you. You know that, right?"

"I know that you are the love of my life and that I would never do anything to hurt you."

After a pause, I replied, "I guess I'll settle for that."

I could hear him get up and come up to my side. There was a soft sound and his hands were on my head. He turned my face towards him and kissed me -- not gently this time, but in a way calculated to not smear my makeup. I felt my nipples tighten.

He stood behind me, bent over and hugged me, fiercely.

"Are you sure?" he asked. "There's another course coming."

The implications of that question ricocheted around my mind.

"Wait -- no!"

"No?" he whispered in my ear.

"I... This dress..." I stammered.

I could feel his still hand on the zipper tab between my shoulder blades.

I tried to calm myself. I knew him. We'd been a couple for years. He had stood by me, stood up for me, defended me, supported me, praised me, loved me. He had cradled me when I cried, soothed me in my rage, cuddled me when I couldn't sleep, laughed at my jokes, entertained my small nieces. He shared my fears, my pains -- and my joys. I was way outside my comfort zone, but, yes, I trusted him.

"Yes," I said.

"I love you," he said softly. His one hand came over my shoulder and grasped both my wrists while his other moved softly down my back, opening the zipper as it went.

With my arms held away from my body, the top of the dress fell in a circle on my lap, leaving my breasts exposed.

"So beautiful," he said in my ear. Releasing my wrists, his hands ran up my sides, lingered over my shoulders, slid down over my breasts, cupping them, fondling them. The avalanche of sensation buried for the moment any apprehension or embarrassment I had been feeling.

In a minute, he let go, moved my napkin to cover my dress. Another plate was placed at my place. My wineglass was changed.

Unable to see, I concentrated all my energy to my other senses. I felt the sun on my breasts and a warm breeze on my stomach. I heard a bird fly overhead. I could smell food in front of me.

It was beef and it was outstanding -- tender, flavourful and juicy. There were roast carrots and a stuffed potato of some sort. The gravy had been stolen from a heaven filled with chefs and the red wine rescued from a mystic vineyard tended by warrior monks.

Bite by bite.

Once he came around and licked a drop of gravy from my lip. It was the most erotic thing I had ever experienced.

I was becoming very aroused. The fear of being watched by unknown people had drained away.

I sensed that the beef was almost done. He got up, knelt beside me, kissing and nibbling one stiff nipple, his fingers exploring and teasing the other. I could feel wetness between my legs.

He leaned back. My one wet nipple felt cool in the breeze. "Do you trust me?"

I felt for his head and kissed him furiously. To hell with the lipstick.

He got to his feet, took my hands in his and said, "Stand up for a second."

"But..." I thought, remembered my trust, and stood. I could feel the lustrous fabric of my dress flowing down over my hips and legs, pooling at my feet, leaving me exposed to the world wearing a tiny thong, garter belt and stockings.

And Momma's pearls. Don't forget the pearls.

And the rose on my wrist. Heavens, I was practically dressed!

His arms moved down slightly, still holding my hands. I took the hint and sat again. I could now feel the rough fabric of the chair under my thighs.

Another plate was put in front of me. The spoon at my lips held a nutty chocolate mousse with some sort of berry sauce on it. Again, it was to die for.

Bite by small bite... And, denied sight, every sense was heightened. I could feel my pulse. The breeze on my skin was a sensual massage, stoking my arousal.

Finally, there was the sound of the spoon being gently laid down on a plate. The sun had moved lower, but the day was still warm.

"Happy Valentine's Day, my love," he said softly. "Would you like some coffee?"

I thought for a moment, then grinned. "Will that cost me, too?"

"Of course," he replied. "But this time, you have a choice."

"What?" I retorted. "Left or right stocking?"

"No," he said softly. "Either your thong or your blindfold."

The choice suddenly terrified me. I had accepted being slowly undressed in front of an unknown audience, but I had no idea who was out there. What if there was somebody important, or worse, somebody I knew? I knew my thong would be almost transparent with moisture by now. Would it be worse to lose that last faint token of modesty in front of an unknown crowd or to acknowledge their presence by being able to see them, losing the frail pretence of their not being there in the first place?

My hands shook; I knocked over the glass. I could smell the wine. "Sorry!" I gasped. I could feel it trickle onto my thighs from the table.

"It doesn't matter," he said. He came around. I could feel his tongue moving languidly, gently over my legs, followed by a gentle napkin.

"Do you trust me?" he asked.

"Who's here?" I whispered.

"The most important people in the city," he said softly. "People you know and love. People who love you deeply. People who are astonished at your beauty and poise. Your audience - your very select audience --- has been watching you with rapt admiration."

I thought of bolting, but running would mean pulling off the blindfold.

"Why?" I whispered.

He got up, gently pulled me to my feet. I leaned into him, felt his arms go around my bare back. Instead of fondling me as I expected, one hand clasped my waist while the other simply ran up and down my back in slow, gentle, comforting strokes. I could feel his clothes against me, smell him and his boutonniere. For some reason, I was surprised to not feel his hardness between us.

"You are so beautiful," he said. "I'm so proud of you, love you so much. I would never do anything to hurt you. Keep trusting me."

I leaned my head into his shoulder, took a deep breath, nodded.

His hand moved up my back, stroked my neck. A gentle tug and the blindfold ties came loose, fell on my shoulders.

I shut my eyes, unwilling to witness my witnesses.

He lifted my head, kissed me gently. "Open your eyes, dear." I did so.

We were alone in a small but gracious backyard garden bordered by tall hedges. A fountain burbled water into a fish pond. A table with warming trays stood beside a larger one with a red stain still spreading on one corner. Soft music was playing from a small sound system behind him.

I looked around. "Where...?"

"A friend's house. He's out of town for the week and said I could use his place."

"The food...?"

He smiled at me, love in every part of his face. "A caterer delivered it an hour ago. And like I said, only the most important people in the city are here -- you and me."

My heart pounded.

"But... judged?"

He stroked my cheek. "I liked what I was seeing. And, as I said, who judges you more critically than yourself?"

He smiled kindly, hugged me tightly. "How do you feel about yourself now?"

I realized that there were two ways I could take this. The first is that he had used me, toyed with my shyness and modesty to inflate his own ego in a bizarre perversion of very concept of affection. The other was that he'd gone to immense trouble to provide me with an astonishingly loving, sensual experience on the day of romance, something I would treasure for the rest of my life. With some men, I would have instantly been sure it was Door Number One, but I saw the love in his eyes and was suddenly overwhelmed with gratitude.

"Thank you," I said, smiling. "It's been wonderful."

I looked down at the two of us. "But you have too many clothes on, mister."

He smiled and reached up to undo his bow tie. I stopped him. "My turn now."

I slowly pulled it loose, leaving the ends sticking out from under his collar. I unbuttoned his collar, ran my hand down the inside of his shirt, studs pulling loose as I did.

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