Free Time

    She knelt in front of him, wearing nothing but an ornate leather collar. The collar was a rich chestnut with gold thread, every stitch perfect. The leather was soft to the touch but thick, and D-shaped rings hung from the front and each side. She bowed her head and he gently pulled her hair to the side, exposing the silver buckle at the back of her neck. He removed the collar, hung it on a hook on the wall, and offered his hand to help her up from her knees. She took his hand, rose to her feet, and kissed him.
    “I have a request, sir.”
    “What may I do for you love?” he replied, a little surprised at how softly she spoke and the deferential “sir”.  The honorific wasn’t necessary. This was “free time” when she could do as she wished and speak freely.
     “I don’t need this time any longer,” she said, “You care about me more than I care about myself. You take care of me so well. I don’t even have anything to say during free time anymore. You know what I need before I need it, and I get everything I could ever want by asking as a respectful sub.”
    He watched and listened, taking it in and making sure he understood what this was and where it came from. He needed to make sure that he understood her, that he knew not just what she said, but what it meant. If this wasn’t right for her, he would deny this request, tell her that she needed free time for now. If she was going to give this up, it had to be for the right reasons.
    “I would like my night collar to hang on the door of the shower room during shower time and I would like you to put my day collar on before we come out. I would like to be yours every minute of every day.”
    She was calm and serious. She had put real thought into this. It wasn’t a spur of the moment decision. He scrutinized her every facial movement, listened to her tone carefully. She didn’t appear to be doing this for him, giving up something she should not. She wanted what she was asking for. He waited and looked at her, wanting to hear more. It worked.
    “Free time is the only stressful moment of my day. I feel pressure to be an equal, to behave as an equal, to represent myself in some different way. I don’t feel free, I feel adrift, lost, unconnected, even though you’re right next to me.” she said, looking into his eyes. She put out her hand and he took it. “I know that I’m an equal. When we are in public you treat me as an honored wife, and when we are alone you treat me like a treasure. I know how much you appreciate me.”
    She looked down, appearing deferential, but he knew better. She was simply choosing her words. She was thinking.
    “I am only scared when my collar is off. I know you will protect me and love me whether I wear a collar or not, but I don’t feel it the same way. I know you love me and that I am yours, but when I have my collar on I don’t just know it in my head, I know it in my heart. I never want to be without my collar again. Shower time is special, but I want my night collar on the door. And I would like my day collar on before I walk out of the shower room so that I am never without you.”
    He was having trouble keeping perspective. He wanted to take her collar off the hook on the wall and hang it on the outside of the door to the shower. But it wasn’t the time for that. He put his hands on either side of her jaw, gently lifting her face up so that she was looking into his eyes again. Her expression was calm. She was not eager or deferential or even proud. She had put enough thought into this that she could hand him the information and know that he understood. Now she waited for a response and trusted him to do the right thing.
    “What a beautiful offer. You are amazing,” he said, “Whether I accept or not, it makes me proud to hear you say those things. Thank you.”
    She remained still, her breathing slow and easy, watching him.
    “I think I should give this a little time and make sure that whatever I decide here is the right thing. I will get back to you soon with a decision or any questions that I might have.”
    Her eyes dropped down to his cheekbones, but they weren’t focused on him. She looked surprised that he didn’t accept immediately. He believed her, but he had not accepted. Why? Did he think she wasn’t ready? Was it too much? Was it better to hold on to free time forever to make sure that she was safe? It was just a few minutes every morning and her life was already wonderful. A few minutes of stress each day was nothing. But why?
    This was what she hated about free time. The doubt. She was never sure that she was doing the right thing during these moments. It was so much easier to tell him what she felt and trust him to care about her. It was so much easier with the reassuring touch of her collar.  
    The movement of her eyes was a tiny thing, but he read her so well.
    “I’m sorry dear,” he said, “I think that you expected this to be easy. It’s not a tough decision, but it is a big one. I never thought you would want to give up free time. I never thought there would be any reason to get rid of it.”
She listened, hanging on every word.
    “I love the idea,” he said, “But it’s a big step that I know I shouldn’t make based on emotion. You have thought this out, I can tell from your words, but I haven’t. A big decision that involves your happiness deserves some consideration.”
    “I understand,” she said, her shoulders dropping as she relaxed. Her eyes rose back to meet his.
    “It would be easy to be influenced by my emotions. I would love to give you this. I would love to have it for myself. But I want to make sure that I’m making the right choice and there may be things that we need to discuss before we eliminate free time altogether.” he said, running his thumb over her cheek. “I just want to make sure it’s the right choice because I have not spent time with this idea like you have.”
    She smiled. It made sense. This was why she trusted him. Why had she doubted, even for a moment, that he was thinking about this for a good reason and that he had her best interests in mind? This was going to be fine either way. She just missed her collar during these moments. She reached for him, put her arms around him and he held her for a moment, standing there next to their bed. He kissed the top of her head.
    “Ready for the shower my love?” he asked.
    “Yes sir,” she said.
    He took her hand and lead her through a door on the far side of the room. The floor of the shower room was dark tiles made of rough stone. A large shower was behind a glass door on the left side of the room. The shower more than large enough for two with shower heads on both sides. A jacuzzi tub big enough for two was set on the opposite side, and thick towels hung on the wall between the shower and the tub.
    He hit a button on a digital display set into the wall next to the shower door, and the water came on inside. The red numbers on the display climbed from 81 up to 107 and steam filled the room. He opened the door for her and she stepped inside. She turned to the right, took one step, and folded her arms to her chest. The warm water washed over her breasts and down the front of her legs.
    He followed, stepped up behind her, and wrapped his arms around her, holding her upper body in a bundle. She laid her head back, resting it on his shoulder, and he leaned forward until his cheek was next to hers. This was one of her favorite things. These few moments at the start of the shower when he held her and they were completely alone but together. She let out a sigh, low and soft. She was content.