She’d developed a bit more panache during her junior year in college after getting some help from an unexpected source. After finishing her Associate’s degree, she transferred to a small state university to get her Bachelor’s. The school had an outstanding program for landscape design, but it was in a rural area, and didn’t offer the benefits of anonymity she would have had on a larger campus. She’d been nervous about joining the tightly-knit community where the other students had been established for two years. Even more nervous when she saw that she was assigned a roommate who looked like a fashion model, and was obviously from a wealthy family.

As it turned out, Emily had her own insecurities, but Tessa hadn’t known that for several weeks. Emily hid her unhappiness behind a perfectly manicured Miss Congeniality persona. The facade crumbled one day when Tessa walked in on her crying. Emily told her that she was the youngest of four children. All three of her siblings had been National Merit Scholars, and they had all attended Brown. Emily hadn’t had the grades or the test scores to get in, despite the fact that both of her parents were well-connected alumni and major donors. She’d barely made it through high school with the help of tutors, and college was even more of a struggle. Although she studied constantly, she’d just been placed on academic probation. If she couldn’t bring her grades up, she risked not graduating on time or perhaps ever.

From that day forward, Emily and Tessa were close friends. Tessa helped Emily study more efficiently, and little by little, Emily transformed Tessa into a chic, confident coed. After a few weeks and several dozen beauty tips, Tessa started getting invited to parties and soon after that, she was dating Karl. Emily’s grades improved, and she managed to graduate on time. At the ceremony Tessa posed for pictures with Emily, Karl, and the other friends she had made. Afterward, when she and Karl went out to dinner with his parents to celebrate, Tessa flashed back to the day of her high school graduation. She remembered the loneliness and despair she had felt when she was rummaging in that dumpster. Life had gotten better, but the past could still sting if she let it.

As she looked in the mirror, making a final assessment of her Genting escort appearance, it dawned on her that her lover had noticed her before the makeover. Noticed her and loved her. He had looked past her dowdy clothes and off-putting mannerisms and seen someone interesting. What she still didn’t understand was why he hadn’t approached her back then, at least as a friend. Hardly anyone ever talked to her in high school, and one friend would have made a big difference. She wondered about it as she drove to the school. Maybe he had been an outcast too. Or shy. He certainly wasn’t shy now, and it seemed like he’d had a better home life than she had. 

There was no point in ruminating over lost time. They were together now, and now was as perfect as it could possibly be. She pulled into the parking lot by the baseball diamond. He was right. No one was around, although she could hear the drum line practicing in the distance and a football coach barking instructions through a bullhorn as players ran through drills. It made her happy to realize that she could be on this campus without being upset by painful memories. If things had been different in high school, she might not have such a perfect lover now.

Her phone buzzed, and she glanced at the screen. It was a message from him. Almost there. She put on the blindfold and waited. A couple of minutes later she heard his car pull up next to hers. His door opened and closed. Then he opened her door and took her hand. She got out and was instantly enfolded in his arms. “It was a long day waiting for you,” he told her.

“It was,” she agreed. “But nice having something to look forward to.”

“Let’s get you home.” She smiled, wondering if he realized that he had just referred to his house as their home. Whoever he was, he was sweet and charming and fearlessly committed. She’d promised herself she wouldn’t utter the L-word until she had a name and face to attach the feeling to. But saying it and feeling it were two different things. It was strange to think that she had seen him before, probably many times. For whatever reason, he hadn’t made enough of an impression for her to have an inkling of who he was. Why? Why hadn’t she been able to see him for the kind, sweet man that he was? She knew it would all make sense as soon as the blindfold came off. She was torn between wanting to indulge this kinky fetish for as long as possible, and needing to understand how her past with this man fit in with their present and future together.

As soon as they arrived ‘home’, her lover pressed her against the wall and smothered her with kisses. The desire that had been building in Tessa all day came out of its cage, and she responded by fumbling with the buttons on his shirt. “Don’t make me wait any longer,” she whispered.

“You got it, baby,” he said, sweeping her up in his arms and carrying her up the stairs. “How do you want it to be this time?”

“Rough. Tie me up again. I want to feel how strong you are.”

“I was hoping you would say something like that.” She squealed as he dropped her on the bed. She tried to scoot away only to be grabbed by his muscular arms and pulled back. “Where do you think you’re going?” He stripped her clothes away in a matter of seconds and held her arms behind her back, while she struggled, her breath quick with excitement. He tied her up differently this time, with silk cords instead of velvet, and hogtied instead of spread eagle. Tessa had never been in this position before, and the feeling of helplessness turned her on more than she expected. She was discovering a lot about herself; how kinky and uninhibited she could be with this man. How much pleasure her body could endure. She felt an overwhelming desire to suck his cock. Her performance anxiety was long gone.

After he tied her up, he moved away. She could hear him removing his clothes. She whimpered a little, struggling against the silk ties. She was immobilized without being in pain. She could hear his breath, feel him close to her, but he wasn’t touching her. “Please,” she begged.

“What do you want, darling?”

“I want to suck your cock.”

She felt it brush against her cheek. 

“You’re getting very bold. Last time you were still a little shy. And that was adorable. But I like it that you can tell me what you want.” She turned, trying to take the head of his cock into her mouth, but he moved away. “Of course if I give you what you want right away, that defeats the purpose of tying you up. You should wait a little while.” 

She protested and wriggled around, trying to get closer to where she thought his cock was. He started slapping her in the face with it, letting her feel its hard length against her cheek, but holding it out of reach of her needy mouth. He continued toying with her until she broke down crying and begging. “It’s all right, honey,” he said, gently nudging the head into her mouth.

As soon as she felt his cock enter her mouth, she began sucking greedily. He grabbed her by the hair and began moving in and out of her, using shallow strokes at first, and then going deeper when he realized that was what she wanted. She started to choke a little when she felt him push against her throat, and he eased off immediately. “I’m sorry, honey.” In response, she took him as far as she could down her throat, making herself choke again. He groaned. “I love this mood you’re in.” He reached down to rub and pinch a nipple. “However...” He pulled out of her mouth in the midst of her protests, and untied her legs, leaving her hands bound behind her back. “Sorry sweetheart. Your legs are turning purple. I don’t want you to get hurt. And I really want to put this load of cum in your pussy.”

Tessa was gasping, longing for his cock. An uncomfortable tingling sensation raced through her feet and legs as the feeling returned. She had gone completely numb without realizing it. He massaged her legs until the feeling returned and the tingling stopped. “Umm... neither of us have come yet,” she reminded him.

“Are you in a hurry?” he asked. The circulation had returned to her legs and she was able to kneel with her hands still bound behind her. He lowered his mouth to her breast and sucked hard at her nipple, plunging Tessa into the depths of an unexpected orgasm.

She shrieked, her whole body quivering as his tongue worked the sensitive peak. A stream of juice made its way down her thigh, and he reached a finger down to touch it, bringing it to his lips as he released her nipple from his mouth. “I guess I was in a hurry,” she said, trying to catch her breath.

“Do you think you could come again like that?”


To her shock and delight, she felt his hand come down on her tits, giving them a good slap. It stung a little, but didn’t really hurt. He did it a few more times, causing her to moan and whimper. He grabbed her firmly by the shoulders and took a nipple into his mouth again, a little rougher this time, using his teeth on her sensitive flesh, making her cry out again as another orgasm coursed through her. She felt a little dizzy as she came down from the second orgasm, and he grabbed her and held her close before she could fall over.

After she recovered, he reached behind her and untied the silk cords. She wrapped her newly freed arms around his torso and leaned against his chest. She could feel his erection pressed against her belly, and she tried to reach down and touch it, but he grabbed her by the wrists and prevented it. “Do you still want rough?”

“Yes,” she replied without hesitation.

He pushed her onto the bed and she let out a shriek of panic. “Oh my god, did I hurt you?”

“No. The blindfold came loose. I didn’t see you, though.” Her eyelids had snapped closed before she could get a good look.

He laughed. “If you did see me and that was your reaction, I’d be upset.” She heard him click off the lamp and the light showing through her eyelids disappeared. “I love to look at your gorgeous body, but it’s fun to play in the dark, too.” He took the blindfold and tossed it aside. Then he took her hands in his, lacing their fingers together and knelt over her, covering her face with kisses. Just when she thought she would melt under so much tenderness, he remembered his promise to be rough, and pinned her down, prodding her legs apart with his knee before entering her with a swift, powerful thrust. An instant shock of pleasure raced through her as he began thrusting hard. “Damn, you’re wet,” he told her.

“That’s your doing,” she whimpered. She brought her knees up as he penetrated her, repeatedly hitting her G-spot. The pleasure was so intense that her pussy started clenching around him and she had trouble catching her breath. An orgasm washed over her, one of those delicious, multi-peak orgasms that melted right into the next one and the one after that. He pushed her knees up to her shoulders and continued pounding her pussy, making her shake and moan.

Her ecstasy had reached its zenith when he let out a groan and filled her with cum. At that instant, the roughness was gone. As his cock spasmed inside her, his hands clasped hers in a gesture that was sweet and loving. When his climax was over, he leaned forward and kissed her again, murmuring her name with such affection the word itself felt like a caress. She loved feeling him next to her in the velvety darkness, being enveloped in his arms. It was like being bathed in love. “I love you so much, my beautiful Tessa.”

They cuddled for several minutes until Tessa’s stomach growled. She was embarrassed, but he just laughed and said, “Me too. Let’s go have dinner.” She closed her eyes so he could turn on the light and find the blindfold he had tossed on the floor. He handed it to her and guided her to the bathroom so she could freshen up and get dressed again. 

When she emerged a few minutes later, dressed and freshly combed with her blindfold back in place, she could hear the clatter of dishes downstairs in the kitchen and the voice of Frank Sinatra accompanied by that of her lover, who was a lovely tenor. She carefully made her way out of the bedroom to the hallway, not daring to go any farther because she wasn’t sure where the stairs were. “Can you come and get me?” she called out.

“Be right there, sweetheart.”

He was at her side within seconds, carefully leading her down the stairs and into the kitchen, which was starting to smell deliciously spicy. “Chinese?” she asked.

“That’s right. General Tso’s tofu.” A new song came on, but it was still Sinatra. “I think this one’s for us,” he told her, taking her into his arms. She leaned against his shoulder and they slow danced to lyrics that did indeed seem to be just for them.

It was magical until the song ended. The next track was a big band song with blaring trumpets that startled them out of their romantic reverie. Then her lover suddenly remembered that something on the stove desperately needed his attention, and he led her to a chair and hurried to rescue the tofu from being burned.

Despite the moment of panic, dinner was delicious. “You’re a very talented cook,” she told him. “Do you work in a restaurant?”

He swatted her playfully. “Stop fishing for information.” He laughed at her efforts to use chopsticks blindfolded and got her a fork. “Do you still keep a diary?”

“No. I gave that up.”

“Did I spoil it for you?”

“No. I’m not really sure why I quit. I wanted to make a fresh start in college and my diary was part of high school. It seemed like a kid thing to do. I do have a gardening blog though. Does that count?”

“Of course it counts. You’re a good writer. I’m glad you’re still doing something with it.” 

“Thank you. What about you? Do you write?”

“If you do a Google search, you’ll find a substantial amount of Star Wars fan fiction by an anonymous author who called himself ‘Intrepid Jedi’. It’s pretty awful. Just keep in mind that was from several years ago.”

Tessa laughed. “You’re built like a jock, but apparently you’ve got this nerd streak. By any chance do you own a comic book store?”

He burst out laughing. “Are you serious? You think I’m Mason Hicks? He’s like six inches shorter than me.”

“I’m sorry. I promised I wouldn’t try to figure it out. I have no clue. I did think you felt a bit brawny to be him. I just don’t think you realize how small my circle of acquaintances was in high school. Acquaintances. I didn’t have any friends at all.”

“Were you disappointed that I wasn’t Corey?” Tessa fell silent when she heard those words. For several seconds neither of them spoke. She felt his hand on her shoulder, pulling her closer. “I’m sorry. That was too personal. I shouldn’t have pried.”

“How did you know I thought it was him?”

“He’s the most likely candidate, right?”

“Yeah. But that’s pathetic as hell. He wasn’t popular by any means, but he had his circle of friends. At best, I was on the outermost fringes of it. Sometimes I would go through an entire school day and he was the only person who said hi to me.”

“Did you ever try saying hi first?”

“Not often. But your point is well taken. People didn’t reach out to me, but I didn’t do my part either. Being invisible served me well at home, but I didn’t know how to turn it off and get people to notice me at school.”

His lips brushed against her neck. “I noticed you. Every single day.”

“How come you never said anything?” She’d promised herself she wouldn’t ask him that again, that she would let go of this nagging question.

“I couldn’t.”

“But why?” Let it go, Tessa.

“Just... couldn’t.” His kisses burned a path from her throat to her lips and she let herself sink into his tender caress. “I’m sorry about that.”

Suddenly the past didn’t matter anymore. All that mattered was now. “Can we...go back upstairs?” she whispered.

“That’s a wonderful idea.” He gathered her up in his arms as easily as if she were a child and carried her back to the bedroom. He laid her on the bed and undressed her, kissing her and rubbing his hands all over her body. As soon as she was completely nude, she rolled over onto her belly and arched her back a little in a gesture she hoped he would understand. He did. “Are you offering me your ass?”

“You want it, don’t you? I’ve never done this before.”

“But you want to now?”

“Yes. I want tonight to be special. I want to give you something I’ve never given to anyone else.”

He reached for something on the bedside table and returned. He ran his hand up her thigh, over the curve of her butt, around her waist to touch her clit, the sudden spark of pleasure causing her to jump and arch her back even more. He slipped a lubed finger into her hole and she let out a nervous whimper. “You can change your mind if you don’t like it,” he told her.

“I’m not going to change my mind.”

“I love it that you can let yourself go with me. You used to be so shy.” 

He started moving his finger in and out, and leaned forward, planting a kiss on the small of her back and then running his tongue slowly up the length of her spine, making her shiver as he did so. He withdrew his finger and lubed his cock. Tessa felt a moment of apprehension as his position shifted, and she felt the head of his cock probing her ass. She bit her lip and steeled herself for the initial penetration. It hurt, but not as much as she expected. He was slow and gentle. She hadn’t needed to say a word for him to know this wasn’t the time to be rough. This time was all about tenderness and newness. She hadn’t known what to expect when she offered herself to him this way, but despite the initial discomfort, she liked it. He reached a hand around to stroke her clit. “Mmmmm,” she said, feeling the desire burning in her belly. She was getting used to having his cock inside her. The pain was already subsiding, and she started moving a little, matching his rhythm.

With his free hand, he lifted up her hair and planted a kiss between her shoulder blades, and then a string of kisses going up to the nape of her neck. “Is it okay if I go a little faster?”

“Yes,” she replied breathlessly.

He picked up speed and she let out a shriek, clutching the bedsheets in her fists. The need for gentleness was over now and they both knew it. He wasn’t fucking her hard, but he was going deep, penetrating her with slow rhythmic thrusts. Her body responded. Her pussy was drooling down her thighs. “Are you okay?” he asked.

“Oh god, I love it,” she said.

He grabbed her by the hair and pulled her head back, leaning forward to plant a kiss on her lips. He picked up speed and his hips started moving at a more rapid pace. Tessa hadn’t expected to enjoy this so much. He had never requested anal, but she had somehow sensed how much he wanted it. It was that unspoken desire from him that had sparked the need in her, which was now being satisfied in such an intense and intimate way. Wanting to connect to him even more, she reached back and clasped his hand, the new point of contact bringing them closer still, close enough that she started to come, moaning and shrieking her way through the orgasm as it coursed its way through her body. He came a couple of minutes later, and she quivered with excitement as she felt his cock pulsating inside her.

They collapsed on the bed, exhausted. He spooned her, tightening his arms around her and nuzzling his face into her hair. “I love you, baby,” he whispered.

“Thank you,” she said, cherishing those words even though she couldn’t say them back to him yet.

“Can you stay the night?”

“I shouldn’t. I’m meeting a landscaping crew at a job site on the other side of town at sunrise. But I’d like to lay here with you for a few more minutes if I could.”

“Fine with me. I can get by on just a few hours if I have some coffee.”

“Me too. It’s worth being a little tired tomorrow to spend a few more minutes in heaven tonight.”

They were still and silent for a few minutes, not sleepy, just enjoying the comfort of being near one another. She wondered what he was thinking. She was about to ask what was on his mind when he spoke. “My parents are coming to town for Thanksgiving. I’d like to introduce you to them as my girlfriend. Show you off.”

“Thanksgiving? That’s two months from now.”

“Do you think you’ll be willing to look at my ugly mug by then?”

She reached a hand back and touched his cheek. “I think that’s plenty of time for us to get this incredibly weird kink out of our systems. Although I might still want to be blindfolded once in a while for nostalgic reasons.”

“Oh yeah. This blindfold is definitely going to become a family heirloom. A prop for when we tell our grandchildren the story of how we met.”

“I think Intrepid Jedi had better leave out a few things when he writes that story for posterity.”

He laughed, nuzzling her neck. “I’ll do my best.”

Tessa reluctantly lifted herself up into a sitting position. “I should probably go. What time is it?”

“Almost midnight.”

“Change probably to definitely. But we left dishes on the table. I want to help you clean up first.”

He laughed. “How the hell are you gonna do that? You’ll either break all my dishes or slice your hand open with a knife.” She felt the bed move as he got up and pulled on a pair of pants. “You’ve got the rest of your life to help me do the dishes.” She could hear him moving around the room, gathering up things before he took her by the hand and led her to the bathroom door. “I left your clothes and purse on the counter in the bathroom so you can get changed. As soon as you’re ready, I’ll take you back to your car.”

“Okay.” Tessa paused, her hand on the doorknob. “Intrepid?”

“What is it, sweetheart?” He answered to the impromptu nickname without missing a beat.

“You’re not messing with me, are you? All that stuff about meeting your parents and everything?”

Suddenly he was right in front of her, grabbing her by the shoulders and planting a kiss on her lips. “Listen to me. I’ve been thinking about you for more than ten years. Yeah, I’ve dated other people, even had a couple of long-term relationships. But you were always my ideal. I just hope I’m yours.”

“I’m sorry I doubted you. Sometimes this feels too good to be true.”

“I get it. You’re in a vulnerable position, but so am I. Your feelings about me could change in an instant.”

“Are you really that worried?” 


It was her turn to reassure him, wrapping her arms around him tight and snuggling against his chest. “I can’t imagine a future without you.”

They didn’t talk much on the drive back to Tessa’s car. He drove with one hand, like he always did, his right hand clasping hers. “Do you get weird looks driving around with a blindfolded woman in the passenger seat?”

“No. Tinted windows.”

She smiled. “That’s a relief. I was worried someone might recognize me and see who I was with, and spoil the surprise.”

He helped her back into her car and they shared a final kiss. “I’ll call you tomorrow evening,” he said. “I want to see you again soon. I love you.” After a final kiss, he closed the car door for her, and a minute later she heard him drive away.

She removed the blindfold and held it in her hand, looking at it. Family heirloom. He was absolutely serious when he said that. They were going to need a little time to get their story straight before Thanksgiving.