Hi readers, this story explains the incident that happened with Nidhi during her journey.
“What is the purpose of your trip today?”
“I’m visiting a friend,” Nidhi replied.
Her voice sounded strong and sure, nobody would guess that she was anxious as hell.
“Have any of your belongings been out of your sight at all since you arrived at the airport?”
The guard scanned her boarding pass, placed a sticker on her passport and handed it back to her. She proceeded through the security checkpoint and went directly to her boarding gate. She didn’t have much of a layover in Calgary, barely enough time to go through the security line actually. She was glad her checked bags would be transferred directly from one plane to the other. She arrived at her gate as the plane was already nearly loaded. Her boarding pass was efficiently scanned and she was hurried onto the plane in a matter of moments. Too late to back out now. Well, in truth, it had been too late the minute she agreed to this insane trip. She’d already committed, or maybe she should be committed, she thought ruefully as she found her seat and settled in for the nine-hour flight. She’d been surprised to learn that it actually took less than twelve hours to go from her little local airport to London. Somehow, she’d imagined that it would be much more difficult but the only obstacles had been $1500 for a last-minute ticket and what to tell everyone about her absence. She’d dutifully arranged for someone else to provide care for her aging mother while she was away. She’d finally settled on the story that she had to go help her uncle in Haida Gwaii and would be out of cell phone range for the week. Since her uncle was a bit of a hermit and a known eccentric, there wouldn’t be any questions.
She’d given a friend all the details of her trip and her itinerary, including Madhur’s address and contact information. Even though they’d been talking online for well over a year, the trip could be a disaster or Madhur could be a serial killer or white slaver or something. She bit her lip again. This was such a bad idea for so many reasons. Why would anyone spend any kind of money to fly a middle-aged woman halfway around the world just to have sex? It didn’t really make any sense. Nidhi wasn’t special. She wasn’t anything unusual or interesting even. Her best years were behind her. She was trapped in a miserable little town that was too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. She wasn’t wealthy or beautiful. She had nice eyes and good legs, but she was overweight and had stretch marks rippling over her body.
When she’d mentioned the plane ticket months ago, she’d been joking. It has been an attempt to cheer Madhur up. He’d had a rough week and she commented that if it was that bad, she’d start saving her airmiles. It had become a bit of running joke between them since. Suddenly though, just a few days ago, he’d asked her if she’d really do it. Would she get on the plane and come spend Valentine’s Day with him? She’d barely given it any thought before responding with an emphatic “Yes.” Nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that. By the time she woke up, he’d purchased her ticket. She would fly out on Friday afternoon and be there for ten days before returning home. This could be the “something” special she’d hoped to find her entire life. What, exactly, that “something” might be Nidhi couldn’t begin to guess. But she desperately wanted to find out if this developing relationship between them could make both of their lives better.
Her virtual relationship with him had saved her sanity more than once and he’d become an important part of her narrow little world. He was her dominant, but he was also her friend. He’d been with her through some of the most difficult experiences in her life. He’d encouraged her when she needed it. He’d even forgone sleep and stayed up all night with her on Skype a few times to support her through some really bad nights. She often felt like she was annoying, maybe even a bit pushy and far too needy for him. He’d never told her that or expressed any displeasure with her though. So, she wasn’t sure if that perception was all in her head. They’d shared recipes and even cooked “together” sometimes. She did try very hard to be good for him and not stress him out too much. She’d never refused any of his requests unless she’d thought carefully and could articulate why she couldn’t do what he asked. But even that had only happened once and he’d been understanding and approving of her response. She was used to messaging him when she was traveling, mostly so that someone in the world would miss her if she drove off a cliff or got into an accident on her way. God knew, nobody else would think to wonder what became of her, other than to wonder why she hadn’t taken the garbage out or cleaned for them lately. She messaged him nearly every day and, although she didn’t expect him to reply, he always did. He’d told her many times that she was a good submissive. His Nidhi, his kitten and, occasionally, his good girl.
Up until she’d met him on an online message board, Nidhi had been alone all her life without anyone who really cared about her. It was the fate of an unwanted child. Nidhi knew she had been an accident, she’d been told from a young age to stay out of the way and be useful, so she tried. She tried to please people, tried to make life good for everyone around her, but somehow, she’d lost herself in the process. She’d ended up being the carer and nurturer in her family. She was the one everyone turned to anytime something was wrong or someone needed something. But she knew she wasn’t really important to anyone. She was a convenience, a doormat that they took for granted. Madhur had been instrumental in helping her work through some of her self-image issues and encouraged her to advocate for herself. In the last year, she’d finally learned to say no. With his support she was stronger and less afraid. But still, she wanted to belong with someone, to someone, somewhere, just once. She wanted to matter to someone, she hoped she mattered to Madhur. She sighed and shook herself out of her pity party. She knew that was why she would risk everything for even the remotest possibility that someone actually could want her.
She tried to close her eyes, but rest wouldn’t come. She tried to read, but her mind was too busy. This was insane. What was she thinking? Nothing good could come of this. Why would it? She hadn’t had good luck in life. Sometimes she told people that if it wasn’t for bad luck, she wouldn’t have any at all. She’d only ever really seen photos of him so it was hard to guess his height or weight. His physical appearance didn’t actually matter to her though. She liked him for his personality. It was what had attracted her from the very beginning. He had a sense of humour and a unique perspective on the world. Besides, she hadn’t really been completely honest about her age in the beginning, but what woman was? But then again, he’d seen her. Really seen her. He’d seen inside her soul and her deepest desires and he’d seen her body. Every awful, ugly and imperfect inch of her. There wasn’t a single ounce of her that he hadn’t examined. She shuddered at the thought of her body in pictures and snapped the blue rubber band she’d put on her wrist to ease her anxiety.
Why in the hell was she doing this? She hesitated as she looked at the immigration information card in her hand that she’d need to fill out. She thought about getting off the plane and going directly to the ticket counter. She could get back on a plane for home without ever exiting the secured area. She wouldn’t even need this card. She’d never actually have to see Madhur. She sighed and finished filling out the card.
Oh, who was she kidding, she wasn’t going to stop this crazy trip now. She grabbed her carry-on bag and went to the washroom. She’d worn yoga pants and a tee shirt, but she’d packed a black skirt, cute black heels and a pretty grey blouse to wear off the plane. She changed her clothes and fixed her hair. Her makeup was minimal, as always, but she did powder her freckles a little. The freckles were a by-product of her golden blonde hair. She studied herself in the little mirror. Observing that her bottom lip was slightly puffy from where she’d bitten it a little too hard or too often. She smoothed lip balm on and stood still. She looked as good as she was going to look. The blouse made her eyes look a stormy shade of grey. Turbulent and troubled. The plane dipped and shuddered, causing her to gasp and shake off the melancholy that threatened. Turbulence for a turbulent girl, she thought.
She snapped the elastic band on her wrist again, letting the sting ground her racing mind. She took a calming breath, looked at the time and saw there was less than an hour left of the flight. She packed away her travel clothes and then, impulsively, stripped off her underwear. She was wearing thigh-high stockings and the hem of her skirt fell just above her knee. Nobody would know. She stood there, clutching her thong in her fist, and tried to decide if this was the right thing to do. Was she sending the right message? The right message, the bizarre thought making her snort out loud and swallow a flood of hysterical laughter. There wasn’t a ‘right message’ when you were meeting a stranger for sex, was there?
She snapped the elastic on her wrist again, then glanced at the row of vicious red welts ringing it. Shit. She hadn’t meant to do that, she must have unconsciously snapped it a lot more than she’d realized during the flight. Between her lip and her wrist, it was going to be hard to hide her anxiety from Madhur. They’d talked about her anxiety and she’d denied it completely. He wasn’t going to like this. She quickly pulled off the elastic and thrust it and her underwear into the little carry-on bag. She quickly returned to her seat and proceeded to try to rub away the welts. She hoped Madhur wouldn’t notice. Maybe, if she was lucky, they’d fade before he met her.
When the plane landed at Gatwick’s North Terminal, Nidhi made her way through the sprawling complex of seemingly endless corridors to the passport control area. They asked her the requisite questions about her visit and she passed through quickly. She grabbed her bags at the baggage claim and proceeded through customs. There was nothing particularly notable about her or her luggage so she was processed without any delay. She made her way toward the overly crowded arrivals area, scanning faces as she walked, worried that she wouldn’t recognize him. She breathed a small sigh of relief when she picked him out in the crowd and made her way to him. He stood still and studied her as she approached a slight smirk on his face.
“You came,” he stated, rather unnecessarily.
Nidhi’s lips twitched.
“Hmmm…well, not yet, but I’m hoping you’ll help me out with that?”
“Cheeky girl.” He smiled and shook his head at her stupid joke as she walked into his arms, resting her forehead briefly against his neck and breathing in his scent for the first time. He smelled vaguely of sandalwood and cigarette smoke. She reluctantly stepped back.
“Er…uhm…would you like to pop into one of the bars or cafés before we begin the drive to my house?”
Nidhi liked that Madhur seemed a little nervous too. He didn’t feel like a stranger and she didn’t feel afraid of him at all. She suddenly felt a wave of happiness and was glad she’d come.
“No,” she responded a little shyly. “I think I’d rather we go to your house now. I didn’t sleep on the flight and I’m a bit worn out.”
He took her hand and raised it to his lips, “You really are far more beautiful in person than any photo you’ve ever sent, my girl.” He gazed at her wrist and ran his finger lightly over the still visible welts. He lifted an enquiring eyebrow.
Nidhi felt the heat rise in her cheeks and looked awkwardly at the floor.
“We’ll have a chat about this later. You do realize that eventually I am going to break you of that habit?” He said lifting her chin and winking at her. “Let’s have those bags then.”
They walked through to the short-term parking area and he got her and her luggage settled. Opening her door for her and leaning down to lightly kiss her lips before starting the car and beginning the long drive.
He began talking to her about his home in Swanwick and the little pub that he liked to frequent. She felt herself relaxing, his voice soothing as they travelled the busy three lane motorways. She struggled to stay awake as her eyes closed and her head nodded. The monotony of the drive and the caress of his voice, finally caused her to lose her battle. She leaned her head back and let sleep claim her. She woke when the car slowed, blinking her eyes furiously.
“Welcome to Swanwick, kitten. We’ve just come off the motorway and are quite close now.”
Nidhi took in the scenery as the car drove downhill into the little town. It was a pleasant town near the water. She admired the boats moored at the marina. Madhur pulled the car into the parking lot of a little pub and turned to her.
“I’m going to guess that you haven’t eaten anything since yesterday or the day before. They serve good food here all day on Saturdays. We’ll get a quick bite and maybe a glass of wine or two for you.”
Nidhi smiled, “Yes, you’re right. My stomach was in knots so I’ve barely eaten the past few days actually. I’m sorry I fell asleep on you. I tried to stay awake.”
Madhur smiled and shook his head. “I hoped you would sleep. Don’t apologise for that. It’s only just past noon, you napped for a little over an hour. A cat nap, really. Not long enough to disrupt your sleep tonight.” He tapped her on the nose. “I wouldn’t have let you sleep all day anyway. I can’t have a wide-awake little kitten keeping me up all night.”
Nidhi smiled at him, once again struck by how untroubled and happy she felt in his company. Madhur stepped around the car and opened her door. The pub was a Tudor style building of white with red brick accents and appeared exactly as she had imagined a stereotypical English Pub would look. Madhur ushered her inside and settled her in a quiet corner. The décor featured lots of hard wood with brown leather chairs. Nidhi’s stomach growled softly as she took in the aroma of food that permeated the room and she self-consciously patted it. She raised her head and caught his gaze. She assumed he’d bring a menu with the drinks but he only arrived at the table with her wine and his beer.
“I’ve ordered for us. We’ve cooked often enough together that I have a pretty good idea what you like by now. Besides, you’re starving.”
Nidhi smiled at him sheepishly and nodded. She’d been terrified that she wouldn’t know what to say, but the conversation was easy. They talked about her flight since she’d never travelled internationally before so everything had been new and fascinating to her. Madhur asked questions and time slipped by quickly. She loved the mushroom dish he’d ordered her and had a second glass of wine. She felt completely relaxed and comfortable in his presence. When the plates had been cleared away and she had another glass of wine in front of her, he lifted her hand and held it firmly.
“Well, pet?” He stroked the still visible welts on her wrist. “Ready to tell me about this?”
Nidhi felt a flash of terror wash through her, fearing his anger but Madhur was looking at he calmly. He appeared merely curious. She took a breath and blew it out then explained about the anxiety. His hand caressed her skin as she spoke. When she’d finished, even telling him about taking it off before the flight landed, he smiled.
“You know you should have talked to me about what to do to control your anxious thoughts?”
She nodded, her gaze sliding to the table.
“Nidhi.” His voice was a firm command now. “Nidhi, look at me.”
She complied, the heat infusing her face as she slowly lifted her head.
He reached across the table and captured her other hand.
“Nidhi, this is important. When anything is wrong or bothering you or you are anxious, I want you to talk to me.” He gave her a small smile, “Besides, you don’t need to beat yourself up. That’s my job.”
“Okay,” she released the breath she’d been holding. “Okay.” She said again. “I’ll talk to you, I promise.”
“Good girl.” He said softly and she felt the tension leave her in an instant. He smiled and nodded. “Well then, shall we go home?”
Nidhi nodded and they walked back to the car, his fingers entwined with hers.
It was only a few minutes before he pulled the car up in front of another Tudor style building.
“Here we are, pet.” He moved around the car and pulled her into his arms. He smoothed back a lock of her hair, then released her and moved to get her bags. He opened the door for her and put the bags down. Nidhi had thought about this moment for months, she’d even dreamed it a few times. Her anxiety was back full force. Fear that he’d reject her, fear that he’d hurt her, fear that she wouldn’t be good at this. But it wasn’t going to stop her. She knew exactly what she wanted.
She bit her bottom lip, she moved in front of him and slid to her knees. Keeping her gaze down, she slipped off one shoe and then the other, lowering her head to kiss the top of each arch. She heard him open his zipper and she lifted her eyes slightly. She was swamped a sudden wave of inadequacy. Her actual sexual experience could be catalogued on one hand. Her oral skills had been learned entirely from books and movies. But, she’d always heard that enthusiasm and desire were more important than experience, so she licked her lips and moved closer.