Tammy slowly opened her eyes. She could feel dried blood on her forehead. Her shoulder stung from the bite of her seat belt. She couldn’t remember what had happened exactly, but the depth of the snow on her car told her she had been there for some time. She gathered a few possessions and slowly opened the driver’s side door. The snowflakes were falling heavily. It was not unusual for blizzards in the high mountains, but this would be the worst storm Pennsylvania had seen in forty years.
Her eyes quickly adjusted to the blinding snow, and she could make out her cars path down the hill from the highway. She began to recall the bright flash of her headlights reflecting off of an icy snow bank. Just long enough for her to lose control and leave the roadway. Her car was invisible from the road, and she knew from experience that the road would be closed by now. Her chances of being found were slim to none. She knew her only hope was to make her way to safety on her own. She decided to head down the mountain, hoping to see some lights or a structure of some kind. After the first hour she knew she was in a real pickle.
Just as she felt desperation grab hold, a small light pierced the veil of snow. With her heart pounding in her ears, and her lungs aching from the frozen air, she made her way down toward the light. Breaking through the trees she found herself on a small jeep trail. At the end of the trail was the most inviting of cabins. The solid column of smoke meant warmth, and that someone was inside.
She could not hesitate now, inside was her only chance at life. She knocked hard against the solid door. Hoping the occupants were an elderly couple, she began to feel fear. The door slowly opened, revealing at first glance a huge roaring fire. As the door opened further a huge figure of a man, backlit by the fire, loomed from behind the frame.
Overwhelmed by fear and fatigue, she swooned into his arms. When she awoke, she was on a comfortable sofa and covered with a blanket. Scanning the room for him, she noticed the room was well furnished. It had the feel of a hunting lodge, the kind of room that spoke to her in a masculine voice. No animal heads as one might expect, just books.
Old leather bound volumes of varying sizes and subjects. Intermingled with the books where stacks of loose notes, the mark of someone not accustomed to visitors. She quickly stood and looked for him in earnest. She meekly called out, “Hello”. He appeared silently from the back of the house. “ I wondered if your were hurt worse than I had thought. You have been sleeping for some time.”
“ My name is Ian, Ian Fletcher. Pleased to finally meet you!” Tammy was still uneasy, but extended her hand for a proper introduction. “Tammy Lincoln”, she said as he grasped the ends of her fingers. “ Are you feeling better, hungry?” Ian asked. She graciously accepted his offer for a bite and something to drink.
He asked,“ So what brings you to my door?” She explained the circumstances that led her to him. He listened intently, and did nothing to interrupt her as she related the endless chain of events that brought her here. His patience made her begin to feel more at ease.
“Can I use your phone, please”, she queried. He explained that he had no phone. His only contact with the outside world was through his computer, and the occasional trip down the mountain for supplies.
He told her that she could E-mail someone if she wished, but it might be difficult with the weather being so bad. He explained that his computer used a direct satellite link. “The storm may last a few days” he said. “I have never seen one this bad.” Glancing out the window, she could see he was right. She had never seen a storm quite like this one. The path that brought her this far was completely obliterated by the snow.
Ian had told her to make herself at home. He placed her things in his guestroom, and went to stock up the wood locker next to the fireplace. She took the time to explore her temporary home. The kitchen had every modern convenience. A large well-stocked pantry full of canned fruits and bins of corn and potatoes. There appeared to be a large fresh water tank in the corner of the room. It was obvious to her; she would not be hungry for the duration of the storm. The cabin was warm and safe. She felt comfortable here.
The door creaked open suddenly, and Ian entered without a sound. He was a large man, about 6′2″ and 220 pounds. He was well muscled and appeared to be in good health. His isolated lifestyle had apparently not taken any toll on this gentle giant. His face was one of a man who had seen his share of sadness, but his eyes had a quality that was mysterious but also immediately disarming. Tammy noticed for the first time that her host rarely afforded her a direct gaze into his eyes, choosing to keep his distance and only glancing at her when he spoke, which appeared to be a rare occurrence.
She began to wonder if her presence was uncomfortable for him, as if his need for isolation from the outside world was crucial to his existence. She would soon learn she was much nearer to the truth than she could have known. But for now she was comfortable to weather the storm and felt no fear or apprehension. She realized that had her benefactor could have taken full advantage of her weakened condition when she arrived. As he had not forced himself on her as she lay sleeping, it was unlikely he would do so now. But she was uncomfortable with the silence and hoped to find out what circumstance would bring a man to a life of seclusion.
Ian had stocked the firewood and settled finally into the role of host.
“ Are you feeling better?” he asked. Tammy was nearly startled by the break in the quiet, and smiled at the opportunity at last speak about their situation. “ Yes thank you, I feel much better now. And thank you for allowing me to enter your home uninvited.” She sighed,’ I was really at the end of my rope!”
Ian smiled, “ I think you would have made it, you had a lot strength to get this far in a storm like this.” Tammy returned his smile,” I hope I never have to find out how much more I could have taken.” “I am just lucky I found you, there is no visible signs that a house was here, let alone one so beautifully built.” “None of my friends would have missed me for some time as I didn’t tell anyone where I was going.”
“I built myself a few summers ago, I was looking for a place to reflect and this spot seemed ideal.” “Yes, there seems to be plenty of peace and quiet here.’ “If I may ask, why would you want to isolate yourself?” Tammy tensed as she thought she may have pushed her luck with that question. Ian responded angrily, “No you may not ask, and while you are my guest please do not ask again!’ Tammy quickly lowered her eyes, “Please forgive my curiosity, and I meant no offence.”
Ian smiled,” Forgive my reaction, we each have our own reasons for taking the path we have chosen.” Tammy smiled and sighed in relief, she was certain he was going to through her back into the storm. “I would like to cook for you as long as I am surviving on your graces” she said. Ian was quick to accept her invitation, he was a very well read man, but only adequate in his kitchen. Tammy went to work in his well-stocked pantry while Ian pondered a drink from his small collection of aged wines.
They ate in relative silence. Tammy was famished, and Ian had not tasted such a well-prepared meal in years. As they ate they exchanged small items of interest about each other’s past, nothing solid, but enough to become more at ease with one another. But the wine was beginning to take its toll on Tammy and she began to notice that Ian was in fact a very handsome man. That coupled with her romantic surroundings began to make her want to know much more about this mysterious man.
He motioned for her to sit by the fire while he cleared away the dishes. He appeared to like thinks tidy and well ordered. He moved to the chair opposite her and refilled her glass. “That was a wonderful meal, I must admit I have not enjoyed the company of a woman in years” Ian continued, “Especially one so beautiful!” Tammy thanked him for the compliment and began to view Ian as more interesting.
She rose from her chair and sat at his feet looking up into his gaze. ‘You don’t mind if I sit closer, do you?” Ian engaged her eyes hard and spoke in a warm deep voice, “I willed you to sit at my fit, that is why you moved to be closer” Tammy somehow knew he was telling the truth, she did feel drawn to sit at his feet. But as she was a strong willed woman she dismissed his comment.
As Ian’s gaze became more direct she began to feel warm and very relaxed. Each time he spoke with that strong but soft voice she became more and more relaxed. She could barely focus on anything but his eyes and his words. As he bid her to relax deeply and think of nothing but his voice, she quickly became so deeply relaxed that her mind could recall nothing but the sound of his voice and the warmth from the fire.
His eyes were dark and she could clearly see the fire reflecting from his hard gaze. At that moment she tumbled into his eyes and was lost to the world. Her eyes were wide and glassy, she was living in the moment and his voice was her only guide. He spoke to her of her deep love for him and how she was totally devoted to his pleasure and comfort. Her mind fully accepted this as she knew she truly loved being his slave for many years and lived to meet his every wish as her own true desire. Her mind had replaced her past life with this new life without question. For Tammy had wandered into a hidden place, a secret place, a place where a powerful mind had taken refuge. Her eyes closed fully and she sank into her new life with abandon.
When she awoke, she was still at Ian’s feet. No time had passed in her mind. All was as it should be except she desperately wanted to please her Master as she was certain he would want to be pleased. Tammy looked once more into his gaze and spoke,” How May I please you Master?” Her life continued from that moment on as a slave’s life would, serving her Master with all the strength she possessed. She was his to command as she new it should be, for Tammy truly was a slave to her love and her Master!