“Kate.” There’s a warning there in the frustrated growl and Magnus feels Kate freeze, the silk that brushed against her skin in random swirls fluttered away.
“Sorry.” She whispers, not sounding as sorry as she should.
This was hard for Kate, a blessing in disguise, a balm for the shadows and the ghosts. Kate was fond of pushing. She liked to find the smallest bit of wiggle room and exploit it. As long as she had an out she felt safe. It had kept their relationship on the fringes of anything meaningful- push became shove far too easily. It had always been Magnus’ job to skirt the line, to deny Kate that indulgence, to pull her close and not let her squirm away. It had been easier before when physical presence had brokered a promise.
They had struggled in the beginning. Kate had been hesitant, leery and Magnus frustrated at the sudden absence of so many of her usual tools: body language, keen observation.. She had to learn to trust Kate and Kate had to learn to allow herself to be vulnerable, expressive. These were Magnus’ new tools, words instead of looks, touches instead of gestures. Kate had to step up to that line willingly, to scuff her toe and hold her breath.
What had been about endurance, bearing witness, and overcoming became about selflessness, fear, and belief. ‘Stop’ comes with colors, and requests with expectations. Exploring and experimenting meant revisiting old favorites instead of new adventures. It meant, when asked, Kate complied without question, or at least that had been the theory up until a moment ago.
“Sorry. I’m almost done. One more knot.”