My head was on my arms on the table and I groaned a little.
"What's up now?" He asked. We'd ended up last of our group in the pub, and he was probably just worried I'd drunk too much and he'd have to help me outside to puke.
"Nothing, just men doing my head in." I replied, and sat up to take a sip of water.
He tutted. "I don't know why you let them hurt you like this, I know you're into all that, but..."
I stopped him. "Chance'd be a fine thing! He's not doing anything to hurt me, that's the problem!"
He frowned at me. "Oh, I don't want to know this..."
I didn't listen. "I'm just... bored. I can't get on with my life because I'm craving some nastiness, some darkness..."
"Can't you just, I don't know, fuck yourself up a bit?"
"What do you think I'm doing now?" We stared at each other a little too long. Eventually I looked away and broke the silence, "It's not about pain, anyway. It's just a means to an end."
"So what is it about?"
I sighed, and declared the obvious. "Control."
He considered this for a while then stood up. "I need another drink."
There was a pint on the table in front of me. "Oh, I don't know, I think I've -"
"Drink." His tone was strange, I had the glass to my lips before I knew what I was doing. "Do you want to be my pet?" He continued casually.
I spluttered and went red. "Wh- What do you mean?"
"I was just wondering if that was what all this was about, if you were trying to get me to... take charge." He sipped his drink and looked at me with an odd expression.
"No, God, no, sorry..." I was thrown. I'd been flirting with him recently, but I didn't think it was going anywhere. Still... When he'd asked... I'd felt something like... joy?
I looked down at the table, he was idly drawing something in some spilt beer, something like a zigzag? A circle? I went cold. It was a spiral. I looked up and he met my gaze. "Drink," he said again. I complied.
Somehow I managed to speak. "I'm not, you know... I'm not trying to get off with you.
He laughed. "I should hope not, I don't find you very attractive" I was cut, his words stabbing into me like hot blunt knives. I felt tears in my eyes. His smile was familiar and unsettling at the same time. "Shh, pet, what's wrong? I thought you liked some emotional pain, a little psychological torture?"
Things seemed to be spinning wildly. "What's going on?" I whispered shakily.
"Same as always, we're just hanging out, fucking with each other's heads, I was just suggesting... that sometimes... you can let me win..."
I rushed outside into the cool night air, and retched up my guts on the pavement.