Having a choice is not always a good thing. Take me, for example. I had two choices. The first was to keep my pride and continue struggling physically, emotionally, and financially. The second was to swallow my pride and do what needed to be done to get through life. Door number two is how I came to be here, kneeling on the floor, patiently waiting on one of my owners to arrive. Yes, I said owners. I chose to sell my virginity on an auction block to pay for my mother's hospital bills and rent, which were already past due. It was not something I ever thought I'd do, but when I heard bits and pieces of a customer's conversation with their friend while I was at work and then they gave me their business card, the wheels in my head started to turn.
I was supposed to keep my virginity safe for someone special, but after all the years I waited, I decided to kill two birds with one stone. Not only would I come out of this an actual woman, but I would be a somewhat rich woman. At least until I paid my outstanding debts. What I had not counted on was the buyer being plural. I was to be shared between friends.
As I kneel, I think back to almost a year ago when I was brought through the exact front door I am now kneeling in front of. The man who purchased my virginity had explained some of the rules on the ride here, explaining that those with whom he would be sharing me have different tastes than he did. He is the only one for whom I have to kneel. As long as I make myself available to all of them at any given time, the others will not make me kneel. Punishments are a different story. "They love punishing bad girls," he told me. That statement scared me then, and I tried to figure out if there was a way to return the money and go home.
The two enjoyed teasing me that night while waiting for the other friend to show up. They stripped me right there in the foyer and inspected every crevice. If memory serves me, I tried running out the door, even being butt-ass naked, but they caught me around the waist, and I experienced my first spanking. Nothing surprised me more than to find out that getting spanked does delicious things to my body. I was ashamed that my body would betray me like that, but I was also hoping that it would mean that losing my virginity would not be as bad as I thought it would be.
Finally, I hear voices outside the door, pulling me from my thoughts. My knees are still not accustomed to kneeling for extended lengths of time, so excitement fills me at the voice getting closer. A second voice follows the first, and my heart skips a beat. I love all my men, but there is a special place in my heart for the one who has held that spot for the last nineteen years. When the door opens, I am greeted with, "Hello, Baby Doll." I lean into the giant hand sliding through my hair. I am lifted onto my feet when I hear, "There's my beautiful girl!" and I'm crushed into an embrace before his soft lips dominate mine. It is within these arms that I feel most at home.
When I was finally introduced to my third and final owner, it was as if the world tilted. I stopped breathing momentarily, and the room started spinning as I became dizzy. I believe it was the first time that I came close to fainting….
6 Years Old
"Will you marry me, Knox?" I handed the dark-haired boy a handmade ring that I had made out of a dandelion stem. We have been best friends since he and his parents moved next door to us a year ago. It took him about a week to warm up to me with my energetic attitude. I scared him just a little bit. My mom used to say that I could have been the energizer bunny in another life, but he finally accepted that he couldn't get rid of me that easily and now we are inseparable.
Knox is sitting on the ground under my tree house, playing around an ant hill with a stick. He's been in a bad mood since he came out to play with me, making me think his parents were fighting again. Most likely, his dad came home drunk again. My friend always gets quiet and occupies himself with anything he can when his parents get like this. It's how the fighting usually starts, and then Knox comes running over to my house.
"Knox Hamilton, I asked you a question!" still not answering my question, I sit beside him, shoving the handmade ring close to his face until he looks me in the eye with his light blue eyes. I smile sweetly, "Are you going to marry me or not?"
"You are my best friend, so I can't marry you, silly." he slaps the ring out of my hand, "We are too young to get married, Aria!" I watch as the ring falls apart when it hits the ground.
Standing back up, I put my fists on my hips and glared at my friend, "Why do you have to be so mean? It took me a long time to make that ring for you!" I feel the stinging in my eyes, and I'm trying hard not to let the boy before me see my tears, but I can't hold back the tremble in my bottom lip. Before I break down completely, I turn around and run back to my house, slamming the door behind me.
I don't stop running until I get to my bedroom. Throwing my little body onto my purple princess comforter that covers my bed, I squeeze my eyes closed and try my hardest not to cry. I've always been a bit emotional, but since becoming friends with Knox, I have tried to act tougher than I really am. I don't want my friend to see me cry or look weak. I don't want him to think I'm not tough enough to be his friend.
Once my eyes no longer sting, I sit on my bed and look towards my window facing our backyard. Scooting my butt to the edge of the bed, I slide down to the floor and take a few steps over to the window. I
expect Knox to still be sitting under my tree house, but he isn't. I can still see the indent in the grass from where he was sitting, but he's nowhere to be found.
A few days later, I kick the ground with my foot as I sit on a swing in our yard. It's Saturday afternoon, and I'm bored out of my mind. I don't know what to do with myself without my best friend. Usually, Knox and I are together all day long, but I haven't seen him since I stomped off two days ago after he threw my ring away. There are no other kids in our neighborhood, which is why we became friends to begin with. So, I deeply feel the loss of Knox's company and sulk by myself in the backyard.
The shuffling of feet draws my attention, and I look up. Knox has his head down as he makes his way over to me. He stops right in front of me but doesn't look up. The ground is more interesting to him. Keeping his head down, he lifts his arm before opening his little fist. There's a circle of twine sitting in the palm of his hand.
"What is this?" I ask, trying to figure out what he's up to.
"I'm sorry I ruined the ring you made me, Aria. I didn't mean to." His voice is barely above a whisper. "I made one for you and one for me." He lifts his other hand to show me he's already wearing his.
I need clarification as to why he is acting so shy. It's not like him. I take the ring of twine from his palm and slide it on the ring finger of my right hand. I take hold of his hand and give it a little tug. His dark head finally lifts, and that's when I see it. The black and blue bruising around the outside of his left eye isn't hard to miss. Neither is my reaction, so he holds up his hand to stop me from talking.
"Don't say anything, Aria. I'm okay; it doesn't even hurt." He tries to give me the smirk that always makes me smile but fails miserably.
"What happened?" I don't really need to ask because I already know. My best friend tried to protect his mom.
He shrugs, "You know how my old man gets. I wanted to try and put him in his place when he went after Mom," He touches the bruise and tries to hide the flinch, "but he caught me off guard."
My friend always tries acting tough, but I know it's just for show. "Knox, you are seven years old! How do you expect to beat up a grown-up?" I'm not trying to make him sound like a wimp. He needs to know that he is too young to try and fight back like that.
"Whatever, I can take my old man, Aria." He kicks at the ground, "He just got in a lucky shot."
I don't want to make him mad, so I change the subject. "Thank you for making me the ring, Knox."
He shrugs again, "I owed it to you." His blue eyes meet mine, "I was serious about us being too young, though. Maybe these can be promise rings for when we grow up."
A big smile breaks out on my face, and I throw my hands around Knox's neck, "You're my best friend in the whole wide world, and one day you will be my husband, Knox Hamilton!"
I fully expect him to push me away because he's usually not a hugger, but he surprises me when he hugs me back, squeezing me tightly. I don't know how long we stand there hugging each other. It doesn't matter though because I have my best friend back.
When I go to let go, Knox holds me tighter. Before I can say anything, he whispers into my ear. His words stun me, but then another smile forms on my face. He finally steps away and shoves me on the shoulder, "Last one to the tree house is a rotten egg!" He takes off, leaving me standing there, replaying his whispered words….
"You will always be my best friend, Aria, and one day I will make you my wife, and I will love you forever!"
When I opened my eyes again, I remember staring at those beautiful light blue eyes from my past. And I decided at once that I had made the right decision. No matter whether it's right or wrong, my choice led me to where I knew I belonged. It not only brought me to them, but it brought me back to HIM.