The encounter


“Come in my dear, sit, rest. You must be tired after such a long journey.”

The voice was soft, yet insistent, somehow more powerful for it’s gentle tone, manipulating, controlling without any obvious effort, without the need for threat or the merest hint of dominance. Kate obeyed almost instinctively the possibility of resistance never entering her mind. What was there to resist? This kind and gentle man before her, his face a mask of concern for her wellbeing, his attentiveness protective rather than invasive. Everything about his manner, his voice, his bearing suggested sanctuary, safety, security.

He smiled, watching her through eyes at once soft, yet penetrating seeing more in one glance than most people see in a lifetime, taking in every nuance of her demeanor, every subtle clue to the story of her life, every tiny crack that his words could force open to reveal the delicate fabric of her psyche. In that moment he knew her as a hunter knows his quarry, knew her triggers, her fears, the depths of her mind, and in that knowing saw the key to her control…

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