"I'm sooo sleepy, let me go beddy byes..." She bit her lip, wanting to unsay the words. She hadn't meant to use babytalk with him, although it always seemed to happen in relationships eventually, from both sides, he was too cool and cynical, he was going to tear her to pieces for it, wasn't he?
Instead he stroked the back of her neck, pulled her into his chest, "Aw, of course, sleepy girl, time for night night." His tone of voice was soothing, caring, and she fell bonelessly against him. He pulled her up gently, and supported her into bed. As he drew the covers around her, she looked in wonder through lidded eyes. Was he really going to look after her? Was she really going to let him?
Somehow they fell into a rhythm, he seemed to know when was the right time to let her be independent, when to discipline her brattyness, when to put her completely under his control, and when to let her feel small and protected.
Then sometimes, he was the tired one, he was the one needing the blanket pulled around him, his head resting on her warm breasts while she soothed him into sleepy safety. As never before, she felt right doing it, and she realised there was something powerful between them, a trust that went beyond their roles.
She held onto this when she was naked, gagged and bound, when he held the sharpest of knives to her throat, when he asked, "what are you going to do when the man you trust to protect you is the one you need saving from?"