When he is confident and points to his lap, it is as straight-forward as a dictionary. Between ‘strength’ and ‘trust’, exists ‘surrender’. It takes minimal courage; it requires little faith. He leads with ease and she follows with certainty.
This — this way his body sighs — is different. He is tired. He hurts. Accustomed to his vulnerability, she is, however, a stranger to his defeat.
In her presence, he has always remained unbroken.
Today, he sits. He stares at her, his silence a symphony of emotion. Today it is not dominance which commands her to his side, but the slope of his shoulders which moves her.
She edges herself between his thighs — a location of familiarity — and cradles his head between her breasts. As he has done for her, she allows him as many inhales and exhales as he needs. As he has done for her, she allows him this weakness without questioning his strength.
She stands there, caressing his neck and smoothing his hair, while he collects himself — just as he has done for her.
Today he may not spank her.
She will lead him to the bedroom. She will unfold the covers and they will curl together, his hand moving up and down with the slowing rhythm of her heart.