Since spitfiredhoni94 stole the first three chapters of this story and posted them as his/her/its own on this site I thought I'd better set the record straight: these stories were written by myself and my co-author lamignonne, and posted on bdsmlib.com in November of last year.
READING ALLOWED, Part 2
By lamignonne and Zenmackie
The day was endless and agonizing for Marie. She’d been tempted to stay in bed. Surely, if she went to class and work and followed her normal routine, everyone who crossed her path would somehow be able to tell that she’d been a very, very naughty girl the night before. Recalling her behavior made Marie groan and bury her head under the covers.
There was no way she could blame anyone but herself—he’d made sure of that. No, she had made the choice to stay behind in the store, to pull down her pants for him. She had begged him—begged him! —to spank her, to fuck her. She couldn’t help imagining how her mother, her grandparents, or her professors would react if they knew. The thought made her physically cringe. Why, she’d been shameless, a total slut. She was supposed to be a nice girl, date some nice boy here, and eventually marry him. She was a nice girl—but for as long as she could remember, there was this part of her, some deep, mysterious, primitive part of her, that had craved being dominated, being in someone’s power. When she was very young, she hadn’t known that her fantasies of being tied up, held captive, or enslaved were sexual, just that they brought her pleasure. Now she knew—but until last night she had only been able to guess just how thrilling it would be when one of her fantasies finally came true.
It had taken the bright light of morning to bring on her regrets. Last night, after she’d hurriedly dressed in the dark alley behind the bookstore and driven back to campus, hyper-conscious of the fact that she wore no panties, Marie had flung herself on her bed and masturbated feverishly. Recalling the whole evening in detail, what he’d said to her, what he’d done to her, she’d come three times before finally dropping into an exhausted sleep.
At first, when he’d shoved her out the door without a single affectionate word, Marie had been hurt. Is he really that eager for me to be gone? But then she remembered how he’d praised her, how he’d told her she belonged to him, and how he was going to keep her panties with him all day, and she smiled. And he wanted her to come back.
Now, going through the motions of her ordinary routine, this was the question that tortured Marie: Was she going to go back, or wasn’t she? She was tempted to hide in her room tonight, take a solemn vow never to set foot in the bookstore again. He’d told her to ask to be punished. What would he do, she wondered. Would he spank her again? Or would he think up something… worse? She shuddered.
But Marie’s body knew no hesitation. Every time she thought about going back, her pussy would heat, her nipples start to tingle. She was so horny she had to fight down the urge to blow off her afternoon classes in order to masturbate back in her room.
In the end, it was the thought of his reaction to her absence that decided Marie. She pictured him, glancing at her panties throughout the day where they lay nestled in his cash register drawer; she pictured him thinking of her. He expected her. She imagined his disappointment and anger if she didn’t show up. No, she wouldn’t disappoint him like that.
But Marie also decided she had to talk to him. He had seemed so wise, and he had seemed, somehow, to know the very core of her. Maybe if she told him about her conflicting feelings, her confusion over her own behavior, he’d be able to reassure her. She just couldn’t spend another day torturing herself like this. She needed some answers.
Somehow she managed to make herself wait until just before closing time before driving back to the bookstore. She spent the time pacing back and forth in her room, trying not to think about the events of the night before or imagine what might happen when she went back. Because she knew that if she did she’d be unable to resist the urge to masturbate. And even though she had done so the previous night she somehow knew that he would disapprove if she did so now.
And that nagged at her too. How could he possibly know whether she had masturbated or not—and why should she care if he approved or not?
But he would…and she did.
She agonized over what to wear. Should she dress the same way as yesterday? Should she wear something girly and feminine? Something slutty? And why did she want so desperately to please this man she hardly knew?
In the end, Marie obeyed her strongest instinct and went for “cute.” She was hardly a femme fatale, after all. When she stepped out of her car in the bookstore parking lot, she had on a short, fluttery skirt, a pale pink top, and sandals with a low heel. She’d left her straight blonde hair down and wore minimal makeup. Her bra and panties were both white, and the panties had a little pink bow on the waistband in front. She’d always meant to cut it off and had never gotten around to it. Now, she was hoping her intuition was correct and that he’d like it.
It was late when the bookstore closed, and long past dark outside. But he saw her from the windows when she crossed through the bright pool from a streetlight in the parking lot. She was walking somewhat stiffly, as if propelling herself forward out of sheer determination, and hugging her purse to her chest with crossed arms.
He allowed himself to feel a measure of relief. He’d known he hadn’t been wrong about her, but if she hadn’t shown up, it would have meant she wasn’t ready. He thought of the wisp of pink lace buried in his cash drawer. Yes, that would have been a shame.
Then she was there, standing quietly across from the checkout counter, waiting for him to finish with the last couple of customers. Their eyes met once, and she gave him a trembling little smile which he thought was adorable. He didn’t smile back, and after that she waited with her eyes on the floor.
She kept her gaze lowered, still hugging herself nervously, as he went through the routine of closing the store. No one seemed to have noticed that she had stayed behind as he locked the doors. When he had finished the close, he walked past her, and without saying a word, headed for the staff room at the back of the store. He’d stashed some supplies from home in there early this morning, and now he retrieved them, started arranging them neatly on the long folding table where they’d fucked last night.
A minute or two later, she appeared in the doorway, and he watched her eyes go straight to the stuff on the table. They widened as she took in the sight of the handcuffs, several different lengths of rope, nipple clamps connected by a short chain, three different types of gags, a leather belt, and thin, menacing wooden paddle. She stared, transfixed, until finally he got impatient and snapped, “Look at me.”
When she did, dragging her eyes reluctantly away from the fascinating and forbidding array of toys, he said, “Come here.”
He mentally held his breath. This second encounter was crucial, and he wasn’t entirely sure she wasn’t going to flee at any moment. She wanted it, yes—he could see the temptation and longing in her eyes when she looked at his supplies. But all her reactions last night had been those of a woman experiencing BDSM for the first time, and she’d had twenty-four hours to convince herself that she’d done something sinful and dirty. In all probability, they were going to have to have a serious talk. But first he wanted to test her. If she submitted to him now, while she was still plagued by uncertainty, it would bode well for the future.
Marie hesitantly came forward. She was trembling. At the sight of the stuff on the table, she’d felt a surge of excitement and arousal that had gone straight to her pussy. She wanted so badly to let him use that stuff on her… but she was confused, and a little scared. What if it was more than she could handle? Wasn’t she crazy to even think about letting a total stranger tie her up? Her heart pounded.
When she stopped a few feet from him, he said, “Now, don’t you have something you want to ask me?”
Marie’s mind raced. She had never worked out how to bring up the subject of her doubts about last night, about what she was doing back here again. Now that she was here, she wasn’t sure she wanted to interrupt this fascinating game they were playing—if it was a game. She wasn’t sure about that either. Just play along for now, she decided finally. If it gets to be too much, then you can make him stop. At least, she hoped she could make him stop—she was relying heavily on that instinct that told her she could trust him.
She tried to look into his eyes, but her gaze slid away as she said haltingly, “Please—please punish me.”
“Punish you? For what?”
Blushing furiously, Marie stammered, “For—for coming… without your permission.”
He took two steps forward, grabbed her chin, and forced her to look at him. “And why can’t you come without my permission…princess?” he asked softly. He released her chin and was pleased to see that she kept her eyes on his a little longer this time before they dropped to the floor.
Distracted by the name he’d called her, Marie cast about in her mind for the right answer. He had called her princess—and suddenly all the things he had made her read out loud the previous night, all the images of that princess’s humiliation, came rushing into her mind and stopped her breath. Her arousal began to soar as the answer to his question became obvious.
“Because—because—I’m your property,” she finally managed, her voice subsiding to a strangled whisper. Her pussy heated, and she felt her nipples harden as she said it.
She looked so vulnerable, standing there with her face flaming and her body trembling, and he could hardly wait to get his hands on her. But he wasn’t quite through toying with her. What else could he make her do for him?
He took her purse from her and tossed it onto the table behind her, then turned back to her and said. “Show me your panties.”
Marie almost moaned out loud. God, she just loved the sound of his voice when he gave an order like that. Her hands went to the hem of her skirt and she raised it slowly to her waist, letting him see her white panties with their little bow.
“Lift it higher.”
Marie obeyed, bunching the fabric in her hands and lifting it high out of the way, baring her legs and ass. She suddenly wished her breasts were naked, too. They felt swollen and confined in her shirt, her nipples tingling.
“Turn around.” She turned her back to him, letting him look his fill at her pert, panty-covered bottom. “Now bend over.”
This time Marie did moan. She bent at the waist, hyper-aware suddenly of the way her panties stretched over her cheeks. She had the urge to spread her legs, to make the fabric even tighter. She shuffled her feet a little further apart. She thought maybe he would touch her, thought all at once that she might die if he didn’t touch her, but before she could moan again he was saying, “Stand up and turn around.”
She did, and he noticed she was panting slightly. Her face was still flushed and her pupils were dilated. “Those are very nice panties, princess,” he said, and watched her close her eyes, take a deep breath, then open them again. “Did you wear them just for me?”
“Yes, Sir,” she whispered, without hesitation, and he was pleased that she was sinking deeper into her role. But then, abruptly, she gasped, and her whole body went rigid. She clapped her hand to her mouth, a gesture he remembered from the night before.
Marie felt her stomach sink as it suddenly occurred to her that she hadn’t obeyed all his orders. When he complimented her panties, it had come back to her… After she got out of bed this morning, she’d taken a shower and automatically washed her face, as she did every morning. She had completely forgotten that he’d told her not to! “I washed my face!” she blurted out, confessing before she could stop herself. She saw him raise his eyebrows and looked away, wondering that she felt so ashamed of herself. “I just did it without thinking,” she added miserably.
He’d been momentarily nonplussed by the outburst, but he hoped he hadn’t shown it. Now, as she stood there obviously waiting for him to rain condemnation down on her, he just said mildly, “Did I tell you could drop your skirt?”
She blanched visibly and groped for her hem, hastily yanking her skirt back up to her waist. He couldn’t help smiling. It was very gratifying to have her at such a disadvantage. “You’ve been a very bad girl, haven’t you?” Ohhhhh… Marie felt a sudden spasm in her pussy at his words, followed by a moment of sheer terror as she felt herself teetering on the edge of orgasm. She bit her lip, hard, as she began to hyperventilate. Oh, God, if she came now, without his permission…
“Look at me!” His voice was a lash and Marie forced herself to meet his glance. Having to look into his eyes, to see him watching her while she fought down her orgasm, knowing that he knew exactly what was happening to her made it so much more difficult…oh, God, impossible! She was losing control, she was going to… NO!
She fell to her knees. She threw her arms around his legs and hugged herself to them. Then she burst into tears.
“I’m…I’m so sorry, Sir!” she sobbed, her voice muffled against him. “I’m a ve-very b-b-bad little girl…S-Sir!”
She felt the orgasm retreating as she spoke and almost fainted with relief. She continued to cry for a moment, her chest heaving, then made herself look up at him. With tears still streaming down her face she begged, “Please… Please p-punish me, Sir!”
He stared down at her, his face expressionless, for a long moment, and Marie was sure he was going to order her to leave and never return, which only increased her sobbing. But she held his glance and waited. And when he finally spoke his voice was warm and even held a touch of humor.
“Well, for starters you can lick your snot off my pants.”
Marie was so relieved she felt weak. He wasn’t disgusted with her. A little bemused, maybe, but he wasn’t going to kick her out of the store. Well, she was bemused by her own behavior, too. What possessed her to grovel at his feet like this, crying like a little girl? She should be worried about it, but the truth was, Marie felt better now than she had all day. Maybe she just needed an emotional release. Maybe he wouldn’t reduce her to a sobbing wreck the next time they met.
But for now she had to figure out if he was serious about licking her own snot. She peeked up at him. He certainly looked serious. Well, she was in enough trouble already, she thought. She should at least try… Gingerly, she stuck out her tongue and leaned towards the big wet stain near the knee of his jeans.
She looked so disgusted when her tongue made contact, her eyes squeezed shut and her nose wrinkled, that he was hard pressed not to laugh. Like Marie, he was also feeling relieved. It was obvious that something in her had snapped, allowing her to transcend her inhibitions in his presence. And now, bless her heart, she was valiantly trying to clean up the mess she’d made crying all over him. He was pleased. But he wasn’t about to go easy on her.
“Get up,” he ordered, and again had to fight off a smile as she stood, then belatedly remembered to hold up her skirt, grappling with the hem and glancing at him with trepidation. He was going to have to make her do something sexy right away, because if she kept being cute, he was going to start grinning and that would ruin the mood.
He began unfastening his belt.
Marie stared, fascinated. She felt a little foolish and very vulnerable standing there holding up her skirt, especially since she could tell without even looking that the crotch of her panties was visibly wet. And what was he going to do now? Unfastening his belt could mean any number of things—was he going to fuck her? Whip her?
She watched the thin black leather sliding out from his belt loops. Watched him double the belt in his hands and flex it a couple of times. She waited to be told to bend over, her breath beginning to accelerate again.
She was mystified at first when he slid the end of the belt through its buckle again and pulled the belt into a small loop. But then he seized her wrists and brought them together in one of his hands so that she had to drop her skirt. With a quick, dexterous move he slipped the loop over her hands and tightened it around her wrists, binding them tightly together.
He quickly looped the belt around her wrists a couple of more times then threaded the end through the entire loop and pulled it out to its full length. Marie’s attention darted back and forth between what he was doing and the intense, focused expression on his face. If she hadn’t felt like his property before she certainly did now. Oh, God, what was he going to do to her?
She found out immediately, as he used the end of the belt to jerk her arms up over her head then dragged her over to a set of metal bookshelves bolted to one side of the hallway. They reached all the way to the ceiling and were filled with haphazardly stacked books and a few cartons. He spun her around and pressed her back against the shelves, then pulled up on the belt that tied her wrists until she was forced to stand on her toes, gasping. Only then did he loop the end of the belt around one of the supports and tie it off.
When he was satisfied that his knot would hold he stood back to admire his handiwork. Marie watched his gaze travel slowly from her wrists to her face—she didn’t dare speak—and linger momentarily on her breasts before continuing on down to where she was practically dancing on her toes. The backs of her sandals were flopping in mid-air and he bent down on one knee to remove them, placing them to one side.
He stood again, his face close to hers now. He studied her closely for a moment, his eyes intent. Then he said, “I thought I told you to hold up your skirt.”
He was so deadpan in his delivery that for a moment Marie thought he was serious. But then she saw the glint in his eyes and had to repress a smile. “Sorry, Sir,” was all she trusted herself to say.
He made little tsking noises as he raised the front of her skirt and tucked it into her waistband. Then he made her gasp again by thrusting his hand between her legs and roughly fondling her there for a moment, his eyes on hers the entire time. Then he withdrew his hand saying, “Your panties are wet. Are they wet for me?”
“Yesssssss…. Yes, Sir. My panties are wet for you, Sir,” Marie managed to say, in a cross between a whisper and a groan.
He walked away. This time, though, Marie knew he would return, and he did. He stopped in front of her.
“Have you ever seen these before?” He held up the short chain with the nipple clamps at either end.
She hadn’t, but she could guess what they were for. She recalled the pain of the binder clips on her nipples the night before and shivered. “No, Sir,” she whispered.
“What do you think they’re for, princess?” he murmured, his face very close to hers.
“They’re so you can—can—cla—” she began, but her voice dried up under the heat of his intense gaze. Her nipples throbbed as if they knew they were under discussion. She squirmed in her bondage, instinctively trying to cover her breasts, soothe the ache in them with her hands.
“I suggest you finish that thought,” he was saying, quietly, silkily, “or you’ll wear these for twice as long.” He opened one of the clamps and let it spring shut, demonstrating the force of its rubber-covered jaws. He reached for her shirt and started to pull it up.
“They’re so you can clamp my—my nipples!” Marie finally cried out. He paused to look into her eyes, the wicked gleam back in his own as he said, “Exactly.”
As he was pushing her shirt, then her bra, up above her breasts, Marie was thinking how diabolically clever of him it was to force her to narrate this experience, to make her beg for everything he did to her. She was allowed no chance to escape into sensation. How easy it would be to get drunk on her arousal, on the very idea that this was her deepest, truest fantasy coming to life. How easy to be innocently swept away by lust, to not think about exactly what she was doing. But he wouldn’t let her. He was forcing her to be totally present in this moment, forcing her to feel everything—the lust, but also the uncertainty and the fear and the shame, all of it swirling together to make her feel so intensely alive, making her body tremble…
Her thoughts evaporated as he took one of her nipples into his mouth.
She moaned, and her back arched of its own accord as he held her nipple between his lips and teased it with the tip of his tongue. But he continued just long enough to bring it fully erect then withdrew, leaving her gasping for a moment before he turned his attention to her other nipple.
Oh, she wanted to cradle his head with her hands, run her fingers through his hair, press herself more deeply into his mouth. But she was completely helpless.
It was wonderful.
She tried to watch him as he teased her with his lips and tongue, knowing that he wanted her fully present for him at all times, but as she became more aroused she was unable to stop her eyes from closing as she began to drift off into a world of pure sensation…
“UHH!” she cried out, as a shock of pain traveled from one nipple straight down to her loins. Her eyes flew open and she looked down just in time to see him attaching the second clamp to the nipple he had just been teasing. The shock repeated itself but this time Marie was more prepared and managed to confine her reaction to a small grunt. It wasn’t nearly as bad as the binder clips he had used on her last night, she thought…
…Until he seized the chain between the clips with his hand and began lifting it straight up, slowly. Her nipples and then her breasts began to stretch, and then burn with pain, and she began to dance on the very tips of her toes in an attempt to lessen the intensity. She whimpered with the pain. Her eyes began to water and she stared beseechingly into his eyes, but his expression was merciless.
He put his face against hers. “Pay…ATTENTION!” he whispered harshly.
Without moving his face or releasing the chain he shoved a knee between her legs and kicked her feet apart, causing her heels to sink to the floor and the pressure on her nipples to increase to a level of pure agony.
Then with his free hand he began to spank her pussy.
He wasn’t hitting her hard, and when Marie cried out it was with surprise. Her body jerked with his first slap and the movement increased the pain in her nipples. She did her best to hold still, even though her nipples were on fire, even though tears ran down her face… but the spanks between her legs were coming regularly, rhythmically, and she suddenly found herself wishing he would spank her harder. Her pussy felt swollen and hungry, and she found herself torn between the two sensations, the sharp ache in her breasts and the dull, pulsing ache between her legs. The tension was unbearable. Her eyes had been squeezed closed, but now she opened them to look at him and gasped out, “Oh, please… I’ll pay attention, I promise, Sir! Please let go—it hurts!”
His hand kept spanking her, a little harder now, his words coming in rhythm with the blows. “Tell me what a bad girl you are.”
She hesitated, and he suddenly gave the nipple clamps a hard yank. She squealed and shook her head desperately, but she cried, “I’m—I’ve been a very bad girl, Sir!” Her voice broke. “Please—please punish me!” God, she’d beg him all day as long as he’d keep spanking her like that, giving her clit what it wanted…
But he stopped. Instead, his hand cupped her through her damp panties, his fingers pressing, stroking, but avoiding the one place she most needed his touch. He let go of the nipple clamps, but didn’t remove them. Marie was on her toes immediately, shamelessly trying to arch her hips and press her crotch against his hand. He deftly avoided her, whisking his hand away. He leaned in close, lightly brushing her ear with his lips as he murmured, “Oh, I intend to punish you, princess. I intend to punish you very well.”
He ran his hands lightly over her body, unable to resist giving the clamps a little twist, making her flinch. When he reached her hips he snagged the waistband of her panties and jerked them quickly down and over her feet. As she stood there, stretched and unable to resist, he pried open her jaw with his thumb and shoved them deep into her mouth. “Don’t you dare spit them out,” he warned, then walked away without another word.
Marie was confused. He promised to punish her—so spanking her pussy, putting clamps on her nipples, and gagging her with her own panties, wet with her arousal, wasn’t punishment? The nipple clamps had sure felt like punishment. She looked down at her breasts, at the angry purple color of her nipples as they were crushed securely in the clamps.
Or maybe this was the punishment, being left here to suffer in frustrated arousal, the desire he had so cruelly and efficiently roused to a fever pitch. Marie thought to her shame that at this moment she would probably hump anything that came near her crotch. Her nipples seemed to have gone numb and she even wished for that pain to return, just to have some kind of sensation. No, Marie thought as the long minutes passed and he did not return, this is the punishment. Being left here, alone and exposed, defenseless—it was horrible. She couldn’t help picturing what she must look like with her shirt and bra pushed up over her breasts, her nipples clamped, her pussy naked and a wad of panties poking out of her mouth. Oh, God, if someone from school were to see her like this… She shuddered. It didn’t bear thinking of.
It was getting cold in the hallway. Marie’s mouth was dry from the gag and goose bumps rose on her skin. She felt tears prick her eyes. Why didn’t he come back? Didn’t he know she’d do anything he wanted, as long as he didn’t leave her alone here any longer?
She quieted her breathing as much as she could and strained to listen, hoping desperately to hear the sound of his returning footsteps.
She was cold now, and her calves and shoulders ached terribly. Suddenly she heard, through the wall, a barely audible sound. The cash register opening, she thought. But he had already closed out the register, why would he…
Suddenly she smiled, as or came as close to smiling as she could with her mouth stuffed with her panties. Her panties! The pink ones he had taken from her last night! He was going to bring them back here…to do what, she wondered. But she didn’t care what as long as he came back to her.
She heard the register drawer close, and suddenly she wished she had her hands free just long enough to straighten her hair and maybe somehow straighten her clothing without actually changing the way it was. She wanted desperately to please him, to be as pretty for him as she possibly could under the circumstances.
There! The employees’ door, opening! His footsteps coming nearer! Marie felt suddenly, blissfully happy, as if he had been away for weeks instead of a few minutes. Her…her Master! Yes, her Master was coming back to her!
And yes, there he was, walking towards her, carrying her pink panties in one hand and in the other a large shopping bag with the bookstore’s name printed on it. Again Marie tried to smile as he approached…
But he passed her by without a glance.
Marie sagged in place. She heard him throwing things into the bag—the ropes and paddles and other things he’d brought, she realized.
And then he was there, facing her. He dropped the bag to the floor beside her then reached up and, still not paying the slightest attention to her, unfastened the end of the belt from the bookshelf and let her drop onto her heels.
Her knees were so weak that she almost collapsed and had to lean back against the bookshelves for support. Her shoulders screamed in agony as she lowered her arms in front of her.
He quickly loosened and removed the belt from her wrists and held it in his hand. He bent her forward and pulled her shirt and bra over her head and tossed them on the floor.
He stood her upright again then unfastened her skirt and allowed it to drop around her ankles. He took her by the shoulders and pulled her forward so that she had to step out of her skirt, naked now but for the chain and clips she wore on her breasts.
He pushed her down to her knees and then onto all fours. He pulled her pink panties out of the bag and fitted them over her face so that the crotch covered her nose and she was looking out through the leg-holes--the other panties, bulging from her mouth, keeping her nose free for breathing. Though what she was able to breath was mostly the funk of their stale juices from the night before.
He looped the belt in his hands once more then placed it over her head and around her neck, pulling it snug.
He picked up the bag with his free hand. “Come on,” he said gruffly, then pulled on the end of the belt and led her down the hall. Marie crawled after him as fast as her aching limbs would allow. He led her to the same door he had pushed her out of the night before and opened it. He switched off the lights.
Then he led her outside to the alley.
He paused long enough to close the door behind them and make sure it was locked, then led her down the alley, her hands and knees scraping and painful on the rough asphalt, until they reached the sidewalk.
Without hesitation he turned to the right and continued along the street.
Marie glanced frantically around her. Oh god, she was being led down a public sidewalk on her hands and knees, naked except for the chain on her breasts and the panties over her face! There was no one around, thank God—it was late and this was a small connecting street with little traffic even during the day, but still! Someone could drive by, or be taking a late-night stroll, or who knows what?
This was too much--she had to beg him to stop, to take her back to the store and return her clothes, even if it meant he never wanted to see her again. It was one thing to be his slave in private—she would gladly submit to any humiliation he could think of as long as they were alone—but she couldn’t….
He stopped, so suddenly that she nearly ran into him from behind. He put down the bag and fumbled in his pocket for a moment before coming up with a set of keys with an electronic beeper attached. He pointed the beeper at a van parked at the curb in front of them and Marie heard the doors unlock.
He dropped her leash and opened the passenger-side door. “Get in,” he said, then picked up the bag, walked around to the driver’s side, opened the door and climbed in. pulling the door shut behind him. He threw the bag onto the rear seat, then turned and looked at her expectantly.
Marie hesitated only an instant before scrambling up onto the seat beside him and closing her door. Anything was better than being left out on the sidewalk as she was.
“Sit up straight. Hands behind your head.”
Marie complied as he started the van and drove off. She glanced over at him several times, wishing he would speak to her, if only to tell her where they were going. But after a few minutes it became apparent: He was heading downtown.