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Ceremony

It is difficult to explain how they got here.

Long ago, it felt like long ago but really it was not, she had asked him whether he had a collar that she could wear during what had become very their very kinky sex and romance. It seemed of a piece with the cuffs and straps and leather implements, creating a mood and providing one more means of restraint.

"Collars are not toys", he had said, "at least not to me. There are some who treat them that way, as a plaything or as fashion. But I am among the people who give them significance."

At the time, she had remembered hearing about collaring as something that people did, and that it symbolized submission or slavery, or, well, she wasn't certain. What she knew for certain was that this was a topic that she had, a moment ago, had less than no interest in, and he had said a few words and she was suddenly eager to hear more.

That kind of thing seemed to keep happening with him.

So she had asked what that significance was, to him.

"It is the visible manifestation of a bond", he had said, "one that is deeply personal, very mutual, and very powerful. To me, the collar is surrender, and the acknowledgement of that surrender. The exchange of power, and the duties and freedoms inherent in that."

What duties and freedoms, she wondered, could there possibly be in that? What does "acknowledgement of surrender" mean, exactly? Somebody gets to tell somebody what to do and they have to obey. That's not exactly a "bond". What does any of this mean?

He had gone on to say many more words that added no clarity but seemed very earnest.

That all seemed maddeningly vague and oblique, and very romanticized, but, in that moment, a seed took root in her imagination.

Of course she would never want to wear a collar, at least in the way he described it. That would be absurd. She didn't understand why anyone, anyone with any self respect, would want that.

Why then did she keep turning the idea over in her mind? Why did she continue to wonder about submission and surrender and all of his words about this?

Why did she wonder about these two women, who did not seem crazy, wanting to wear his collar.

Why would she, a sane person, keep thinking about collars so much?

***************************
The funny thing about the kinky sex was that it began to bleed into everything else.

What were playful and romantic in intimate moments began to feel like something missing in the moments that were ordinary.

He was so ready to compromise and go out of his way to be considerate and take her feelings into account, most of the time. And she loved that about him.

But in the realm of sex, more and more she found herself thrilled by the way he took charge, and the way he took what he felt like taking, whenever he felt like it. Of course she always had a word that she could say that she knew would make him instantly become his considerate self, worried that he had hurt her or upset her. But she never said that word, ever, except once when she had hurt him by mistake and he tried to keep going. She had to use a safe word to make him stop his own bleeding.

She found, more and more, that he liked that world where he was in command, though she loved the man who was not.

What began to form in her mind was that the two men, the two sides of him, were really not distinct. They were different manifestations of the same infuriating man that she loved, and loved to be used by. The gentleness, and the quite significant lack of gentleness, were each a different view of the same person.

And she began to feel the absence of the man who takes when all of the lights, and all of the clothes, were on.

***************************

It wasn't that she saw collars everywhere, although she did. If you are looking for them they are everywhere.

It wasn't that she saw women, and men, with unusual necklaces and wondered if they had hidden meanings.

It wasn't that she had gathered the courage to attend kink events with him, and seen collared men and women, some led on leads, some only referring to their partner by honorifics. At one time that would have been a source of bemused amusement, but it meant more for some reason.

But it wasn't any of those things.

It wasn't the collars for sale. She saw some that were beautiful and she mentioned the ones that she was most covetous of to him, but it wasn't them either.

It was that she just kept imagining what it was to give up her own striving and desires, the force of will that had propelled and tortured her throughout her life and subordinate them all to him.

Why did she want to let go of her own propulsive energy and just serve him? He never asked for that.

Well, except during sex.

And his torture was more fun than her own.

Eventually the dots made their inevitable connection, and she realized that what she was wanting was the surrender. What she was wanting was his collar.

When she finally had gathered enough courage to ask, he surprised her by asking himself.

It was morning and she was enjoying the coffee that he had so carefully made for her, exactly as she liked it. For someone whom she planned to serve, he certainly seemed to provide her excellent service.

He had been bustling about but then sat with is own coffee and smiled at her as he sipped it.

She seized the moment. "I have been thinking about collars", she said. She had thought carefully about what she was going to say, but he spoke before she could continue.

"Would you like to wear my collar?", he asked, smiling more broadly.

She couldn't, at first, tell whether he was joking or if he was seriously proposing to collar her. Most likely the latter with the plausible deniability of the former, she thought. But he had asked.

"Yes", she said, "I want to wear your collar."

He looked into her face and there was a moment of hesitation.

"I would be honored and overjoyed if you would", he said.

He paused again. "I have done this twice before, and twice it did not work. There are many reasons for this and many things within myself that I am not proud of that made their contribution, but I have thought about this for a long time and, if you are ready, then I am."

"This is what I want", she said.

"What I never had", he continued, "was a ceremony, a collaring ceremony. The internet has videos of them, and books describe them, some solemn, some hilarious, but all moving in their own way. Most are much more elaborate than I would want. I am imagining something simple, but meaningful. Would you like that?"

"I believe I would", she said.

***************************

There could have been anything in the room. He could have been dressed in strange robes, the place could be festooned with disturbing objects, he could be holding something menacing. She didn't know what he had in mind and her imagination was always vivid.

But, but she opened the door and stepped in, and he was himself, dressed as he normally would be, though a bit heavier on sombre colors. His face was anything but sombre, however. The cheer, and mischief in his face were infectious, and she felt some of her trepidation melting away.

The room was just the room, though it was lit only by candles, more than she thought were in the whole house.

He stood as far from the door as he could be standing, with a tiny table next to him, holding a colorful box about the size of a book. In the light of the candles she could see that the colors of the box were her favorites and she wondered how he had managed that.

Directly in front of him was a rectangular rug, just big enough to stand on. It looked very fluffy and thick and she wondered about it.

There was one more addition to the room, a white file box off to one side of the rug. She had read a story of his that involved such a box, and she began to suspect its purpose.

"Are you ready?", he asked.

"Yes", she said.

"Then come and stand next to me", he said.

She was not expecting that. It didn't seem to go with the purpose of the ceremony. But she did as he said.

He seemed to be studying her face, gazing into her eyes and trying to read something in them.

"Pick up the box on the table, and open it. Please look inside but do not touch the contents.", he said.

When she picked up the box she already knew what would be in it, but she was surprised even so. She was expecting there to be a collar, but the collar was one that she had admired at an event that they had gone to together. No, not really that collar, one almost exactly like it, but made to her size.

She gazed at it for a long time, only looking away when he spoke again.

"Do you understand what this is, and what it means, and the significance it carries?", he asked.

Of course she did, but it made sense for him to ask. "Yes", she said.

"Do you want this?", he asked. There was something in his voice, an eagerness but also a note of suspense, as if he really was uncertain of what she would say.

She began to answer, of course she would say yes, and then she stopped herself. Did she want this? There was no rational way to answer, no thought process, no appeal to sense. Maybe an appeal to a deeper sense.

"Yes", she heard herself say, "I want this."

"Take your clothes off", he said.

Remembering the story that he wrote, she reached down and took the lid off the file box. She put her shoes next to it, but for the rest she folded each item as she undressed, and placed it in the box.

She was very aware of him watching her, and, although he had seen her body many times before this moment, this felt different. He watched as each piece of clothing came off and she bent down to put them in the box. And when she was done, and put the lid on, she stood up and felt more naked than she had ever felt before.

He looked at her for a while as she stood, and didn't speak. He was drinking in what was before him, no longer pensive, but admiring, and, it appeared, hungry. After what seemed a long while, he spoke.

"Stand in front of the rug", he said.

She was essentially doing that already, but she made an effort to comply and stood directly in front of what she could see was a padded bath mat. She realized what it was for and thought about him worrying about her knees hurting as she pledged herself to his service. He was a study in contradictions, it seemed.

"Kneel". He said the word that she was expecting and she knelt, appreciating the soft little rug all the more in that moment. She would have knelt on the hard floor, or on gravel, or sandpaper. He must have known that. But here was the rug, soft and compliant.

"Will you take and wear my collar? Will you wear it as a symbol that you are mine, and a symbol of your service to me?", his voice seemed to catch as he spoke, and his face softened, all the mischief gone.

"I will", she said, and then suddenly added, "I will wear your collar and I will be yours."

And there it was. With all of the words and nuance that he had tried to define this with, with all of the thought and trying on feelings and consideration of the meaning of this that she had put into this, with all of the preparation and anticipation, this was simple and raw and real. She had agreed to be owned.

More than agreed. Agreement was not enough. This was much more.

He had spent hundreds, perhaps thousands of words talking about the bond and surrender. But they danced around the truth.

He took the collar out of the box and held it in his hands for a moment.

And in the light of the candles she saw tears forming in his eyes. It seemed like he had prepared some portentous words (perhaps pretentious also, she thought), but that they had escaped him in this moment.

He slowly put the collar around her neck, then paused again.

"With this collar", he stopped. He began again. "I put, I place this collar around your neck and I take you as, I take", he struggled with the words, and then said, "and you are mine", almost in a whisper.

"I am yours", she said.

He fastened the collar, a bit more loosely than it needed to be, and, though he had been staring fixedly into her eyes, it felt like, in this moment, he truly met her gaze.

He stepped forward, close, his body close to her face. It seemed natural, logical, that he would take down his pants and instruct her, as her first act as his property, to take his cock in her mouth and show her eagerness to please him. She was eager to please him, and she rather liked the idea of pleasing him in this way.

But he met her gaze again, and reached down with his hands and laced his fingers into her hair. And, as she knelt, naked, wearing his collar, ready for him to take his pleasure, whatever it might be, he leaned down and kissed her. He felt his fingers tighten in her hair, but not painfully, just enough to feel the tug at the back of her scalp.

He looked in her eyes again. "You are mine", he said.

Before she could speak he reached down and said, "Stand", helping her up, pulling her up, as he did so.

She stood to her full height, very close, and again feeling very naked, but, oddly, wonderfully naked this time.

He touched her face with his hand, and gently stroked her cheek.

"This is mine", he said.

His hand slid down, stroking her neck and her shoulders, then her breast. He held it gently, then ran his finger around the nipple.

"This is mine", he said again.

His hand slid over her waist and hips, and then suddenly he was fingering her, feeling what she realized was her growing wetness.

"This is mine", he said, and he slid one finger inside her.

She closed her eyes and said, "Yes, all yours."

She thought for a moment. With her eyes closed it all seemed unreal. But there was also clarity.

"What is your will? How may I serve you?", she asked.

That was the question, wasn't it? He was a puzzle box without a solution. What did he actually want?

He took a breath, and a moment. Then he spoke.

"I want you to love yourself. That is very difficult, and I will help you with that by loving you. I want you to protect the master's property, even from the master himself. And that, most specifically, includes your body and your mind."

He paused again.

"When I tell you to be naked, you will be, no matter the circumstances. You will allow me to see all of you and touch all of you and have all of you. I want you to give your body to me, fully, and hold nothing back."

He took a breath.

"You will be truthful with me, even it it is a truth that I do not want to hear. You will always keep yourself safe. You are mine and you must treasure what is mine."

He seemed to struggle with his words. He almost seemed in tears.

"What I want, what is my will is not even clear to me. It is a journey. I will guide you and sometimes you will guide me. But we will find it together."

She could see the words were stuck in his throat.

"Sir, would you please kiss me? Is it OK for me to ask?"

She could not complete the sentence because he was on her, kissing her, holding her.

After a long moment he said, "It is always OK to ask that."

"Sometimes I think that I am not strong enough to own you. No man is, but I feel specially challenged", he said.

"That is one of the things makes me want so much to be owned by you", she said.

He was quiet again for a while, the spoke suddenly.

"I want you to show me how you masturbate. Sit down on the floor and do that. Allow me to see everything."

That was a shock, but after a moment she sat, as he had told her, and began positioning herself for best exposure. When she felt that the viewing angle was right, she closed her eyes and began.

She could feel his eyes on her and feel herself being used for entertainment, and she was filled with an eagerness that surprised her. She rubbed herself vigorously and climax came more quickly than she was expecting.

"Hands and knees", she heard, and she got into that position as quickly as she could.

"Keep rubbing", and she did as she was told, not surprised when she felt his cock inside her.

"Who do you belong to?", he asked.

"I belong to you", she said.

She felt him press as deeply as he could into her. His hand pulled back her hair.

"Who does this pussy belong to?", he asked, beginning to pull his cock back also.

"It belongs to you", she said.

"Good girl", he said, thrusting again. His hand reached down and ran over her breast. His fingers found her nipple.

"Who does this body belong to?", he asked.

"It belongs to you. I belong to you", she said.

"Keep saying it. Shout it", he said.

He fucked her, thrusting with more and more force and she was repeating, louder and louder, "I belong to you. I belong to you."

In a while they were a sweaty heap on the floor. She touched her collar, almost to see if it was there, and when she felt it, she sighed happily.

He rose to his feet and walked in front of her. He held his cock in his hand.

"Clean it", he said.

She worked with enthusiasm to comply. Then she sat back and closed her eyes, sighing.

"Now", she heard his voice say, "mix me a drink."


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