He liked her, simple as that. He liked her company. He wanted to pick her brain and go deep. What did she really think, not what she was supposed to think, but her actual thoughts.

This surprised him because he was nomadic and never attached. He didn’t like people. He used people. He was very clear in his intentions. And people lined up. Men, women, boys, girls, subs, brats. Even an occasional top wanted to take off his “Top Hat”.

This suited him well. He had a variety of playthings and he was never bored.

Oh sure, he loved once. But she was gone and that suited him fine, too. It barely hurt anymore.

But she was different. She was a strange combination of woman and child. She flitted around the scene bouncing from party to party. She was infectious. She wasn’t shy about asking to try this or that but she hasn’t approached him yet. By now she must have heard of him. His reputation preceded him.

Her giggle invaded his scene one night and he glanced over. His concentration went out the window because instead of thinking about his play partner, he was wondering what she was thinking.

This won’t do at all. When was she going to ask him to play? When was the last time he’d asked anyone to play? Suddenly his confidence gone, he went home alone. A rarity after a play party, for sure.

When would he see her next? Would he dare to ask her to play? Actually he wanted to ask her to coffee. Was he just lonely or horny? What made this girl special? He knew that he looked forward to being in her company. He needed to formulate a plan to get to know her. She was quickly invading his thoughts. Every day he wondered about her.

The next week when she floated by him smiling that brilliant smile and the giggling filled his ears he did something he’s never done before.

Shame and loathing filled his chest as he “accidentally” bumped into her. Reaching out to steady her and apologizing, he hoped she didn’t see beyond his ruse.

How incredibly high school of him. He could have simply said hi. But instead he was helping her step back into her heel.

“That was horrible, you could have just said hi.”

“Yes, I was just thinking that. Umm hi. Sorry. I’m not normally like this”

“What are you normally like?”

“Smoother. More smooth. Um. Yeah. I’m forty-three. I should be able to do this by now. Ok look you don’t know me but damn you intrigue me. Id like to find out why you invade my thoughts. I don’t want to play with you. Well that’d be a lie. I do. But mostly I just want to talk to you and make you giggle. I like your giggle. I’m babbling. Sorry. So um ok what’s your name? I’m bad with names.”

“I haven’t told you.”

“Tell me”

“Is that an order?”

He knew what his answer was. Yes. Its an order. People don’t question him. He doesn’t like people. He uses people. He tried in vain to remember this about himself. But he couldn’t because then she smiled at him.

And he just wanted to talk to her. His nervousness left. He squared his shoulder and said honestly “No. It isn’t. I’m Maxwell….”

Instead of supplying her name she asked him a question. He equally liked and disliked that about her. She wasn’t going to tell him her name. Oh she was going to be fun.

“Do people call you Max?”

“No, never.”

The pause waiting for her reply excited him more than anything in recent memory.

He didn’t recognize himself with her. It felt odd. It felt…



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