Kismet of Submission: Episode 4

Tamara still is hesitant. Sleeping with a man has always meant having sex, whether wanted or not. Drunk or sober never seemed to make a difference, she was expected to put out and the few times she didn’t—rape is an ugly word. She’s never met a woman who hasn’t been raped. The anger at self is the most common theme. What did you expect? Boys will be boys. So much for female solidarity: her mother’s contempt still rings in her ears.

The fact that the man of the house was quick with a cold beer, and even quicker with his feet and fists, seems to have been okay with most adults growing up. Tamara was the bad girl, the slut; the whore who got knocked up on purpose by the town’s Golden Son who could do no wrong. He was the first of several who wouldn’t take no for an answer.

The daughter they had together three months after the wedding, only made things worse. He always blamed them for having to give up his dreams. Ten years later, he was in his grave, the police finally doing what no one else could. Justice delayed, was justice ice cold in hate.

That hate drove them from her hometown, constantly on the move, always searching for the mythical safe harbor. Tamara poured all her efforts into keeping her daughter stable.

‘You’re safe with me, Tamara.’

‘That’s easy for you to say.’

‘I understand. But it’s the truth. Now, how about that lunch?’

‘Fine. I’ll decide after we eat.’

‘No pressure.’

She collects her purse and snorts.

‘Something funny?’

‘No, sir, it’s that men don’t have to worry about “The Walk of Shame.”’

‘I see.’

‘I doubt it. I expected to stay the day, not the night, so I have no clothes or toiletries.’

‘I could buy you some.’

At this naïve pronouncement, Tamara sags against the wall and bursts out laughing. ‘That makes it even worse! Don’t you know anything about women?’

‘I know that I respect them and fall in love with their uniquenesses.’

‘You’re a strange man.’

‘It’s been said before. Doesn’t bother me. In fact, it’s kinda my trademark.’

Body language is fascinating. As they walk down the hallway to the elevator, they are clearly not a couple, yet we wonder at their apparent ease with which they converse. He’s the one who presses the down arrow. He holds the door motioning her in first. He pushes the L button. His head bops to the music. They don’t talk in the car—elevator etiquette, and he waves her out second. ‘Such a polite young man’, says the granny as she hobbles out first, ‘You should hang onto him, good men are hard to find.’ We readers can picture this scene quite well because it’s happened to all of us at one time. Mistaken identity and intent. Most of the time, a pro forma protest is lodged.

‘Thank you, ma’am, I find he’s growing on me.’

Out into the bright sunshine of a hot summer’s day, the glare off the windshields is blinding. Heat rises through their soles. The inevitable panic flares.

‘You do like Mexican? Is that okay? I mean we can go someplace else if you like.’

‘I’m supposed to be the nervous one here! Mexican is fine.’

The cold air hits them with a sharp slap when he opens the front entrance for her. He always holds the door for ladies and the elderly. Not once has he ever been chastised for being old-fashioned. In his worldview, being polite has never gone out of style.

‘Table for two, please, booth if you have it.’

He looks around the restaurant; moderately busy, blue-collar guys on break nudge each other and check out Tamara. He rests his hand on her lower back, guiding her past harried families. The married couples are building matching forts out of sugar substitutes and hot sauce. The guys he ignores, he knows the type, worked with them for decades; crude, crass, foul-mouthed, misogynistic; but not in a threatening predatory manner, more of a bonding pack mentality before going home and kissing their wives and daughters.

‘Ah! Fresh tortilla chips. All you need to know about how good a Mexican restaurant will be, is if the chips and salsa are homemade.’

‘Interesting concept. Of course, having worked in restaurants, I’m pretty jaded to the whole process. The stories I could tell you.’

‘My mama always said, “Eat a peck of dirt before you die.”’

‘This is a lot worse than dirt, sir.’

‘You don’t have to keep calling me sir, Tamara. My real name is M—’

‘No! No, don’t tell me, your pen name is fine. Besides, sir is more impersonal. I’ve always hated it when customers call me Tamara as if I’m their best friend. I’m slinging slop and you’re paying, I don’t need your life story and I certainly won’t fuck you for a lousy tip.’

‘I totally agree. People see a nametag, and automatically think you’re their bitch. I ain’t in service, honey, this is a trade. I give you something and you pay. That’s it. Have a nice day and take your attitude somewhere else.’

By the time they order, the tension Tamara feels has dissipated, much like any lingering soreness in her bottom. In fact, despite wiggling on the padded bench, she can’t sense anything to indicate the recent spanking. She can’t help but giggle inside, imagining herself bending over the table, guacamole and fajitas shoved aside, while Sir whales away on her ass. She’s surprised at the ease with which he’s captured her attention. No leers, no come-ons, no innuendoes; just a clothed spanking, an invitation to spend the night sleeping and now a friendly and delicious lunch.

Before she’s even aware, she’s talking about her daughter, and how proud she is of her academic achievements. When she reveals a little bit about her past Tamara is startled by the warm hand reaching across and touching her wrist.

‘I don’t need to know, if it’s too painful.’

‘It was a long time ago.’

‘Some scars always seem like they happened yesterday.’

Their palms meet in silent solidarity.

To read all the Kismet of Submission episodes in order, please go to this page for individual links.

8 Comments

  1. Loving this, LS! Well done 🙂

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  2. Love seeing the way this ‘relationship’ develops 🙂

    Rebel xox

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  3. Apologies for taking so long to catch up on this, but it was very important for me to do so: as I’ve mentioned to you before, I feel that this story ranks highly among your very best work, stylistically, and in it’s beautifully drawn character-driven story. I certainly believe you made an excellent choice in utilising the present tense; for this story in particular, I find the immediacy completely absorbing.

    For me (and I’ve already made it perfectly clear how highly I rate this, so I may be biased!), these are among your most exquisite characters, understated yet with a great depth partially uncovered with each section of the story. They resonate highly with me, and I have to say that I like everything about ‘sir’ very, very much, right from the way he handled their very first meeting to his astuteness, understanding, his baby steps with her, and his use of words. I read something the other day which listed the qualities of a Dom, the last being a soft heart. I am hoping that he remains the character that my head has turned him into!

    Oh, and it did kinda win me over with the Mexican food…! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • No apology necessary, Ina, reading your recent posts about depression resonates with many bloggers. I dare say most of us feel overwhelmed at times.

      I normally struggle with present tense, it always feels forced and when read aloud seems to be hobbled. This story though flows in a three-way pattern, so present tense would be the only way to tell it. It is fair to say that the characters have yet to move much beyond the social depths of idle conversation. The question remains in the balance of how deep and how fast they will decide to plunge into a relationship. I do think Sir has a soft heart, but like a peach, it is easily bruised. Tamara is not the only one who has suffered.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Present tense is a strange beast to control (why I keep using I, I will never know because I can find it makes for strange writing, which sometimes seems to state the glaringly obvious, but being the awkward soul that I am, I persist!). However, you do an incredible job of manipulating the narrative. I truly am impressed with the skills you’re showing in this work.

        I don’t think you need to rush the characters, certainly not into a physical relationship. Their real appeal is in the way they are getting to know one another – okay, in the quirkiest of ways, which you pull off so wonderfully – and the psychology of the characters. Relationships are many things. Theirs has the potential to be something very special, if they treat it right.

        It’s that soft heart which, I have already read between enough lines to see has been hurt, which endears Sir to me. I read, and I am coming to know all sides of him, slowly. Reader’s plea, early on: please don’t let Tamara do anything to hurt him irretrievably. (What am I saying? It’d probably be me who would write the version that leads her to stab him with a fence post then jump off a bridge to crash on the rocks below!!)

        Liked by 1 person

        • She would turn into Lilith!!!!!!!!

          I have a particular dislike of romantic fiction that thrusts the female character into peril due to the stupidity of the male lead. I think from Sir’s standpoint, being hurt hasn’t rendered him willing to lash out willy-nilly, but rather a sense of optimism.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, but you know how much I LOVE Lilith!!

            I’m with you on this. I find idiotic male leads irritating at best. If she’s going to put herself in peril, let it be something intrinsic in her that causes it, so she can learn from it.

            I’m glad that Sir is unlikely to lash out. I don’t think that would help his situation with Tamara in the slightest. It seems, so far, that this is something she’s known plenty of already, in the past. A different tack might work wonders for her.

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