Rows of sleeves visible on racks, shirts and dresses lined up chest to back in a tightness that emphasized the cramped warren of the space. At the door, a display of corsets were rectangles without a body to fill them, showing a liquid warmth in satin, brocade and pleather. From time to time a pattern caught her eye, or the shape of a piece of trim and she would nudge the garment from the press of its neighbours to examine it more closely. It was its own kind of intimacy, accompanying the woman he wanted to possess him while she shopped.
When she brought something out for more scrutiny, the metal hooks scraped in protest against their poles, as if they didn’t want to be singled out. She was fussy and ruthless, checking size tags and materials, but also the attachment of trim and buttons, pulling on seams a bit. He stood a respectful pace away from her, even though she kept him magnetically focused, without much to say to interrupt. Behind him, he was intimately aware of the display of shoes and boots, shining on glass shelves. Most had their own platforms, some as tall as the width of his palm. One pair stood at an impossible angle, spike heels supporting it on its toes. She was wearing something that was a reminiscent echo, Doc Martens beat to hell and back, then polished to smooth the nicks and dimples of regular wear. She had told him, the first time he kissed the toes, they were plastic masquerading as virtuous leather, and the era of when they were good boots was long gone.
Mistress cared about things intensely, and noticed fabrics and stitches. When they were alone she treated his body with the same scrutiny and an attraction that stole the breath out of his chest. He was unsure he remembered being noticed that much, ever.
They were one of the few shoppers at 10 AM on a weekday, casually watched by a woman with a ring through each of her thin brows, her hair a fresh fire engine red/black combo that had the odd lengths of an undercut half way to grown out. A faded t-shirt for a band he only vaguely recognized was held together by safety pins, slit and ragged in an intentional fashion. It was clothing perfectly suited for the milieu, conveying a chic creativity, but also a louche lack of enthusiasm that carried in her slouch. This shop minder had been easy to shake off, not even insisting to run them through the sales litany, but letting them pace themselves.
There was another scrape as some possible treasure was lifted up. He nervously touched the collar she’d put around his neck, when they had met up earlier that morning. “I am not collaring you in the formal sense,” Mistress had said. “This is simply a reminder and decoration for me to admire.”