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hold my hand | oh, baby, it's a long way down

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Kate sighs dramatically, collapsing back onto her bed. I carefully sit down on mine, swinging my legs anxiously.

“It’s not scary, really. And safewords are called safe words for a reason...honey, you’re gonna be just fine.”

“I don’t feel like I’m gonna be just fine.” I feel like I’m going to throw up just thinking about Christian’s proposition, actually, but Kate seems worried enough already, and if she gets any more worried than this she won’t really be much help.

“Are you sure you’re not just nervous, Ana? It’s totally fine to be nervous, by the way.”

“No, this is...different. And I don’t know if it’s my inexperience or...what.”

Kate sits up, squinting and taking a long, deep breath.

“You’ve never been with a man.”

“Kate, I’ve barely ever even touched myself.

Kate sighs yet again. Harsher this time, and she closes her eyes like she’s trying to forget that I just said that.

“And you’re legitimately considering hooking up with some dude who’s freakishly into bondage shit?”

My stomach sinks a little, and I have to keep myself from fidgeting.

“I don’t think it’s freakish, the ropes and stuff. It’s kinda...hot.”

“That wasn’t the point, Ana. The point is that this guy is putting you in the front seat of a Lamborghini and telling you to go from zero to sixty without teaching you how to drive a fucking car. That’s not something that anyone should be doing, sweetheart.”

Her voice sounds mostly annoyed and sad, but this time, I’m the one that sighs.

“This just might win the award for the single worst pep talk you’ve ever given me.”

“I don’t understand what you want, then. I’m not about to send you off into the arms of someone who isn’t going to love you like you deserve, Ana.”

Well, that hurts more than I might have expected it to. I’m at a loss for words, at least for an excruciatingly long and awkwardly heavy moment. When I start to find them, I’m unusually careful not to mumble.

“I...I guess I just thought...you could show me some pointers or something.”

“Oh.” Kate seems surprised, but her expression doesn’t change much. “Well, showing you pointers has an entirely different group of possible contexts than how you began this conversation.”

I groan, and she cocks an eyebrow at me.

“But I’m willing, if you’re really ready.”