Memoirs of a Companion: Ask and Ye Shall Receive
Saturday, March 14, 2009

Post-BDM. Our companion takes time getting to know Dylan, a promise is made. Part 2:


Disclaimer: Joss/Mutant Enemy/Universal pwn. That's all there is to it. And we can't stop it.

Warning: The following contains slash.


His name was Dylan Haymer, and he is the single most influential person in my life.

Over the course of this autobiography, the reasoning behind this will become clear. If I were to disclose the full nature of just how much he changed me at this point in the story, anything that followed it would seem anticlimactic to you, the reader. There is nothing anticlimactic about what is to come, however, so I therefore must keep it from you for the moment. Begging your pardon, I will forge on with my tale. My "hero's journey," to put it in technical terms, was only just beginning.

After I left him in that alley and made my way back to House Jami'ah, I felt a tiredness wash over me, like it had been draining to be in his presence. Maybe it had. Whatever the driving force behind the weariness, I did not dally before returning to my quarters. At once, I collapsed onto the silk linens of my bed, but sleep didn't find me right away. Rather, I lingered in that dozing, semi-conscious state where one is awake yet still dreaming.

Strange things found me in my slowly fading consciousness and I became lost in my own mind. I was a child once more, watching companions come and go, helping them whenever they allowed. Only, the corridors of House Jami'ah seemed to go on forever and I could never seem to find my way to the gardens, which I was striving so hard to locate. Around every corner was another companion, each of them giving me that trademark flick of their eyes before turning and walking through dark doorways from which icy drafts emanated and slamming the doors behind them. It was the first day of my training, and I was hanging on my instructor's every word, just as before. He was explaining guild laws and taboos. For some reason, every student in the class was staring at me, all with the same look of anxious desperation on their faces. I vaguely recalled seeing that look somewhere else, but I was unable to recall the memory before the scene shifted once more. I was at the annual ball, just standing there beneath the chandelier while everyone was dancing merrily around me. The laughter on each face seemed almost grotesque as they whirled about, and I kept turning, darting about the crowd, looking for something, someone, but I didn't know what or who and the dancers kept spinning me, confusing me, causing me to panic-and then I woke with a start.

At some point, I must have fallen asleep completely, as I had woken myself up by rolling off of the bed. My silk shirt was drenched in sweat, causing it to stick uncomfortably to my skin. The unsettling dreams kept chasing each other around my head, confusing me even more in my waking state than they had when I'd been asleep. I didn't know what to make of those dreams that day, but looking back on them now, it is quite clear to me.

The day seemed to have flown by, and before I knew it, I was standing in the foyer of the extravagant Haymer estate, waiting for Dylan to join me. It turns out that he was the nephew of former Alliance commander Durran Haymer, who now enjoys his retirement in a floating estate on Bellerophon. Dylan's father, and Durran's brother, Dorian, was a politician on the Persephone council and also an art collector, hence the beauty of their home.

Instead of Dylan joining me, however, a butler informed me that I would be joining Dylan. His face was measured with indifference as he led me to Dylan's private quarters, but the occasional glance he cast at me spoke highly of his distaste. I tried not to think about that as we walked, grateful when we arrived and he gave me the stiffest bow I've ever seen and walked away.

I had barely even begun knocking when the door flew open and Dylan motioned me inside, closing it quickly behind me. It was a bit comical to me, but I would not comment about it. I was a companion and he had paid for my services, I was here to make him feel good, not embarrassed. His expression was less pleading, yet more nervous than at the bazaar. Time for me to put him at ease.

He greeted me with a small smile, leading me over to a small sofa and a table set for tea-which I had requested be set up the previous day. The tea ceremony was an essential part of a companion's service, and we perform it as we would any ritual. I noticed that his hand shook as he held his own cup, and I gave him a reassuring smile, leaning back into the cushions. He was much too tense and I was determined to alleviate his stress by whatever means it took. I wasn't cheap, after all, but I wasn't a cheat; I like to be worth what you pay for me.

Dylan put his cup down, mostly for something to do, I think. When he sat back up, I leaned towards him and asked softly, "Why did you ask me to come here tonight, Dylan?"

The response was the one I had expected. He was visibly frightened by the prospect of telling me exactly what he wanted, but also because he wanted me to be there. "I-I-I... Isn't it obvious?" he finally asked, barely audible, his face brick red as he tried to avoid my gaze, which I was making difficult by being so close and staring so intensely.

I smiled again, leaning even closer, my face just inches away from his. "Oh, I know what you're expecting of me, Dylan," Studies show that using a person's name in conversation invites comfortability and familiarity. "But why did you ask me here?"

He just stared at me, that pleading in his eyes once more, but I wasn't giving in. I needed for him to understand that he was in complete control of the situation, and the only way I could do that was to force him to admit it to himself. I'm sure he would have much rather preferred for me to just domineer him into this experience, but I only did that for people confident enough with themselves to tell me that that's what they wanted.

"Why does anyone ask a companion to stay the night with them?" he asked, still evading. He tried to lean away from me, but was hindered by the arm of the couch.

"You'd be surprised." I replied, "There are many aspects of the services we offer that appeal to people." I told him, placing my hand very purposefully, yet almost casually on his thigh. He didn't seem able to decide if he liked this very much or if it scared him even more.

"Why are you so determined to make me say it?" he asked.

"Why are you so determined not to?" I countered.

"What does it matter?" he asked, "You're going to do it anyway, aren't you? It's what you do."

I chuckled and leaned back, though I kept my hand on his leg. "No." I said, "I'm not going to do it."

"What? But I paid you, you can't just leave." he told me.

In situations like these, it's always best to employ that ever popular eye flick. "I didn't say that I was leaving, Dylan." I squeezed his leg as I said this, and he squirmed. "But I won't have sex with you if it makes you so uncomfortable just saying the words." I said kindly.

"B-but-" he began, though the tension in his shoulders seemed to have lessened some. Finally, I was getting somewhere.

"I will have sex with you the moment that you ask me to, Dylan, but until then, I think we should pursue activites more in your comfort zone." I leaned towards him once more, now trailing my leg up his thigh. With the knowledge that I wasn't having sex with him at the present time, he was much less disturbed by this simple action. I actually saw a glimmer of pleasure flash across his eyes. "I want this to be as enjoyable as possible for you, because I surely hate to disappoint." I said, looking down at my hand with a coy smile. If he had continued to be stubborn about it and had just told me to get on with it, I probably would have. Like he said, I was being paid and I had to give what he asked, but neither of us would have enjoyed it with the condition he was in.

"What did you have in mind?" he asked, and I was pleased to hear that a certain degree of calm had entered his voice.

"Plenty." I said, flicking my eyes back up to his. I slid my hand up to his waist, allowing the other to join it on his other side, pulling him just a little bit closer. "I'm going to kiss you now." I said very softly. "And I think you'll find that it's not as horrible as you're expecting."

His eyes grew slightly wide, and his tension was tangible beneath my hands, but he said nothing and made no move to stop me. I gave him a reassuring smile before closing the final distance and pressing my lips to his in one of the softest, sweetest kisses I'd ever given. For a fraction of a second, his eyes became comically wide, and then the slipped closed and I felt hesitant hands rest against my back. Goal accomplished, I pulled away, watching him closely, still impossibly close to him. He looked a bit shocked, but otherwise pleased.

Bringing one hand up to gently stroke his lips with my thumb, I said, "Was that so terrible?" Slowly, he shook his head. "I promise that I'll never do anything that makes you uncomfortable."

That night was the beginning of the end. Of me. Of who I was and everything I held most dear. The very first time that I became someone other than the person I had thought I was. If only I had known then... Yet, I don't think I would change it if given the chance.


Did you know?:

- "Hero's journey" really is a literary term, which describes the trials and changes the protagonist of any story undergoes.

- Jami'ah is the Arabic word for university.



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