We are finishing dinner. Jefferson made my favorite: Breakfast for dinner. We both make it for our kids when we’re too lazy to think of anything creative.
Omelets with mushrooms and cheese. Bacon. Fruit. Was there toast? I can’t remember.
He is sitting, watching me eat. We are not speaking; just taking each other in.
His expression changes; I know this one. I have seen it during our online dates, when he’d cocked his head and looked at my image on his computer screen. I knew what he was thinking: That in this dark room, with the light from the stove hitting the side of my face, I looked more familiar. I looked like my webcam to him.
“Madeline, would you like to go do something? We could go for a drink, or coffee or something.”
“I don’t want to go anywhere.”
“Me, neither. So, honey, it’s 6:30. Shall we go watch the evening news?”
The pope was dying; there were live reports from Vatican Square. The Person of the Week was the organizer of a project which involves photographers across the country photographing children awaiting adoption. I got a little teary. I can’t help it; I’m a parent.
Peter Jennings is interviewing the ABCnews Medical Editor about the Pope’s condition. Peter looks a bit off. He makes strange faces and clears his throat at inappropriate moments. Jefferson and I both wonder: What’s up with Peter Jennings?
News over, television off. We decide to watch Secretary. Jefferson pours bourbons and makes popcorn. He has never seen the movie. I love it, and make sure to pause the DVD when he gets up to freshen our drinks.
The movie ends, and we are alone. I swear, that film never fails to give me a hankering for a good beating. Jefferson senses this. He asks when I’d like to be worked over. “Now,” I say.
Truthfully, I don’t remember much of the slapping, biting and whipping; only my responses to it. At one point Jefferson was spanking my ass and I was so excited I let loose with uncontrollable giggles into the mattress. This is a good thing.
My wrists are bound, though I can change positions. Jefferson beats and licks and chews on my ass, my thighs and my calves. The bites and the slaps leave marks; the rope lashes on my back and bottom are welts, but disappear overnight. He unties my wrists, takes me into his arms and holds on.
The next morning, after my shoulder bite, we are getting ready for Marcus' arrival. Jefferson comes back up to the apartment with the clean sheets. He kisses me hello, then tells me that he’s just run into Mr. Lansky at the elevator, who says to him, “Well, you look very…domestic.”
Funny; that’s just how we are feeling. Nevermind that the reason he’s got those sheets in his arms is that he’s just been fucking for about 24 hours with a five-hour sleep break.
I help remake the bed. I make good on my promise to teach Jefferson the fine art of folding a fitted sheet.
We decide that the word “domestic” fits. We decide to use it as our code word for ‘fucked.’ As in, “God, I feel so domestic.” Or, “I could sure go for a little domestication right now.”
Besides, this morning, after fucking, Jefferson had a dream about Martha Stewart, Domestic Goddess, and how she brought us together.
Speaking of which:
I enjoy the coming together of aggression and tenderness; that duality of being slapped or bitten or choked, then comforted is one of my favorite experiences. It is not something I will do with just anyone; it requires much trust and communication. And I am always in control. If something is too intense, I can stop it. But what an amazing ride it is with a person who pays attention to what works for me; who knows what gets me off.
I think the duality of hot sex and domestic comfort is just as thrilling. The ease of being at home—doing dishes, refilling coffee, making beds—is even nicer when, in the midst of it, great sex happens. It’s feeling close to someone on those seemingly disparate levels which brings about real comfort.
The most interesting thing about the whole weekend was not how many “firsts” we chalked up (though those were considerable!); it was how strangely comfortable I felt in this space, with this person I’d known for seven weeks but only just met.
Four days later, while waiting to board my flight home, I read that Peter Jennings has cancer. I call Jefferson's cell and leave a message.