Chapter 34: Trust

“Your mind is racing like a fast car,” Valois murmured, pressing a kiss to Gunther’s temple. “Have I not taken you slowly enough through this?”

“It’s not that.” Gunther settled even more comfortably against Valois. “You’ve taken me slowly enough that I’ve not stumbled. When I find the rare things that excite me so much, I have a habit of falling headlong into them, full-pelt, and then I trip myself up. I’m just trying to make sense of all this.”

“Ahh, oui. The realisation of a thing that, until very recently, you could not admit to yourself that you needed so desperately.”

Read the chapter here, then please return to this post if you have feedback.

10 responses

  1. This is my most favorite chapter so far. I knew this was coming and I knew I would love it. There is something about being feed that is just wonderfully awkward and loving and I enjoyed every bit of it. I have also had those moments in which I would be standing somewhere and I’d be like “what do I do with my hands?” I’m sure everyone has had that moment. Its easy to tell that maître meant master but I googled it anyways.
    My favorite pose was the one with Valois sitting at the table and Gunther was positioning himself to sit on the pillow. Not because of Gunther, but mostly because it give us a great perspective on how everything was laid out. The table, the couch, chairs and tables. But most especially, the way Valois is sitting, as though he belongs there. Which he does. I’m sure Gunther would have no problem at all with being touched twenty times a day or even more, especially since he has fallen so hard into this beautifully dangerous pit. Just when I think there is no way for him to sink any deeper he just kinda swan dives a bit further. Hes basically an extremely beloved pet now. I can’t wait to read the next chapter, though this’ll be my favorite for a long time.

    Also, how are you enjoying the world of ASMR? Any on YouTube you really like? I highly suggest Ephemeral Rift as he adds interesting aspects to it through story telling, characters, and… hes just awesome.

    • I loved writing this one, because – like you – I adore that combination of awkwardness and love that comes with feeding someone else, especially hand-feeding. You can be assured that, now he’s comfortable with it, Gunther will be permitted to lick Valois’s fingers clean every time he gets food on his hands (with, of course, the exception of things like raw meat – blech!) when he’s cooking. I’ll try to remember to include that as a little moment somewhere along the line.

      The poses were interesting to do this time around, as I only had two spoon-feeding poses (from this set) that worked, and those had Gunther with very confident body language, so it took not a little bit of camera manoeuvring to exclude that part, as well as only having one good subservient kneeling pose (at the time; I’ve found a few more now) and having to write around that. Gunther is, indeed, now an extremely-beloved pet and I think that shows in the final poses where Valois has him cradled in his lap on the couch. For all his little cruelties (as he puts it, in the narrative aside in this chapter) Valois has a very strong nurturing instinct and he needs someone to love and care for in every way. In that sense, Gunther is as much a diversion to give Valois something to do in his long life as he is a lover.

      Heh, I loved this bit: “Just when I think there is no way for him to sink any deeper he just kinda swan dives a bit further.” That’s so true, and it’s what Valois wants and Gunther needs. At the moment, while Gunther is still a public figure, he needs to retain some authority and autonomy. But a few decades down the line, when they’ve had to move on? Valois wants him completely subsumed – as deep as he can possibly go – and he’s taking Gunther down so gently that Gunther is all-but begging to go to that place. He’ll be ready when the time comes.

      I’ve barely scraped the surface of ASMR, beyond my Tumblr post of yesterday. I was really surprised to discover a whole community around it, although with the way the internet is I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised! I’ll definitely check out Ephemeral Rift’s videos :)

  2. Something tells me this is all one sided and even though Gunther is ok with this, if and when he knows the hole story, he may feel differently. I just get a bad feeling about this

    • It’s not all one-sided (Gunther genuinely does love Valois, and he genuinely does have a submissive side that he’s been too scared and in-denial to explore before now), but I’m just going to say that you’re right to trust your gut instinct ;)

  3. As you well know, I’ve been Team Valois from the beginning. With this chapter in particular, though, I’m getting what Valois sees in Gunther (aside from his looks). He really does make the sweetest sub. He’s so trusting, guileless and eager to please. I love Gunther’s facial expression in the pic right after Valois crying. He looks peaceful and rather dreamy.

    I’m excited to see we’ve reached this stage. At first, I was surprised to see Valois using a spoon to feed Gunther but then, of course, Valois introduces everything in baby steps. Gunther certainly leap-frogged that step quickly. He’s such a good boy for his master. Love the last line, after Valois restored Gunther’s collar & cuffs. Utterly perfect. :D

    Speaking of sweet and perfect … my darling Valois is weeping? *speaks to Valois* Yes, my darling, you deserve to love someone and to be loved in return. I cannot argue with your logic. Isn’t that what we all want, after all?

    • Gunther really does make the sweetest sub, yes, and Valois’s tears came about primarily as he realised just what a perfect fit Gunther was for him. Not only is he submissive enough to sink deeply into headspace, but he’s also intelligent and well-read enough to carry on a long and wide-ranging conversation. The last thing Valois wants is a mindless slave as his companion through eternity. He expects obedience and will not tolerate direct argument, but contrary opinion offered in a civil, intelligent (and, in Gunther’s case, respectful) manner is always permitted.

      That’s also the main reason why he’s taken Gunther into this so slowly and gently: he wanted Gunther to fall of his own accord and trust that Valois will catch him. Of course, he’s manipulated and twisted things – especially in the earlier days – and he takes advantage of Gunther’s vulnerability sometimes (it’s a weakness he has; he loves seeing his boy so uncertain and turning to him for assurance) but he knows that Gunther is strong-willed and aware enough to bolt if he’d rushed things through. He’s come close to doing that on a couple of occasions, so that’s why Valois is taking baby steps through the whole thing.

      Valois has been, in turn: feared, hated, persecuted, and lonely throughout his very long existence. Lonely, most of all. So little love, so little trust in his life. And now he has Gunther, who both loves and trusts him, and was pretty much made for him, by the Veil.

      • I always get so much from your responses to my comments. Sometimes it’s simply more insight into the characters and storyline, which I adore and eat up with a great big spoon. Oftentimes, though, I find myself drawing parallels in my own life. For example, this –> “The last thing Valois wants is a mindless slave as his companion through eternity.” So true. It reminds me of the differences between some of the men I dated when I was in my 20’s and the man I ultimately married. The cute, dumb ones didn’t make it past the first date or two. If you can’t carry on a decent conversation with someone, how can you have a future with them? What fun is a snarky sense of humor when your other half can’t throw it right back at you? Thanks for reminding me that, while all is not perfect, I made the right choice 22 years ago. I guess I’m feeling a little introspective since tomorrow’s my birthday … yet again. *sigh*

        • Thank you! Replying to comments such as yours usually gives me the chance to flesh out things that I’d previously not considered, so it’s a two-way ‘muchness-getting’ (totally a phrase, that). You get more info or insights, and I get to figure out little bits of backstory or things going on inside the characters’ heads, which in turn helps me to write them better (and sometimes can spark off ideas for little things I want to include. Eg: see my reply to TheGYouLoveToHate earlier about Gunther being allowed to lick Valois’s fingers).

          And happy birthday for tomorrow! :)

  4. That meal they shared was so romantic, I mean, I understand the romance between them, and the dynamics of their relationship. Does Valois just want Gunther naked at his house all the time because he wants to see all of Gunther or because he’s trying to get Gunther to let go of what people think of him (wandering around the house in the day naked isn’t appropriate to most) or is he just playing with his embarrassment kink? LOL. I’m curious.

    • It’s actually a mix of all three of those reasons. Valois loves to see all of Gunther; he loves seeing lots of naked skin and he appreciates his boy’s body as something gorgeous (Gunther is exactly his type!). He also wants Gunther to let go of his inhibitions (so, again, we’re back to removing those societal cages that Gunther has been locked into for so long), and–of course!–he’s also playing with that embarrassment kink. The fine line that he has to tread is between keeping Gunther submissive and respectful at his own home, and yet not letting him be so subsumed by it that he can’t survive without it when he has to face the real world.

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