Summary: This story tries to tell what could well be everyday situations between a female Dom / male sub in a loving relationship.
Chapter 1 - The First Session
Since the early ages of my adolescence, I recall having fantasies about a woman exerting power over me, both psychologically and physically. She'd tie me up and immobilize me to have me at her complete mercy, without my being able to do anything to prevent what she was about to do to me. She'd use me at her own will and for her own pleasure. She would humiliate me and insult me, degrading me verbally. I never had the courage to talk about this with anyone, but with my last and current girlfriend, with whom I had and have a relationship of profound love, mutual respect and complete openness about myself, I felt it could be somewhat different. So I told her about my unusual desires and fantasies and I roughly described to her what the BDSM world was like.
The feeling that I got from our little talk was that she listened with attention and that she respected me and loved me a lot, despite everything I had just told her, but that she wasn't at all interested and that, frankly, she didn't like this business. So I resigned myself to keep on dreaming at night about this and jerking off in my loneliness, watching videos of tied up and tormented girls.
One day like many others, I arrived at her home to see her. It had been a couple of days since we last met, so I was particularly looking forward to holding her tight and kissing her for a long while. But that day something was different...
We were alone, so she made me go upstairs to her room. She walked in after me (she didn't let me let her go in first, as it should have been), and as soon as she closed the door she said to me in a severe tone
This took me completely by surprise, so I stayed there for a couple of seconds absolutely still, repeating the words Michelle had just said, lost in a daydream. She quickly brought me back to reality when, realizing I wasn't moving at all, she came close and spanked me hard on the ass.
"I told you to strip naked... are you so stupid that you can't follow simple orders?"
Immediately I came back to the moment and answered, "Yes", unbuckling my belt.
"Yes, what?" was her response.
"Yes, Mistress," I answered without hesitation.
"From now on you won't speak unless talked to or asked something, understood?"
Another hard spank on my ass was her reply to me. "YES MISTRESS!! And I expect not to have to tell you again," she warned me.
"Yes, Mistress," I answered.
I finished unbuckling my belt, took off my shoes and socks, unzipped my trousers and let them drop to the floor. I quickly unbuttoned my shirt and threw it with the rest of my clothes.
Seeing me hesitate, Mistress Michelle told me, "Your underwear too, slave."
My underpants ended up on top of the pile with the rest of my clothes. I stood there still for a moment, with my hard-on clearly visible.
"So it looks like this turns you on... I don't want your cock hard yet! I want it immediately back to its pathetic original size!" she said.
I looked at her puzzled, not knowing what to do to make that happen.
"It seems that you don't understand, shitty slave," and Mistress Michelle got closer slapping my erect penis. "Kneel, sit down on your toes and stare at the floor."
I promptly followed my Mistress' instructions. She went looking for a box she kept in her wardrobe that was locked with a padlock. She put it on one of the two beds she had in her room and opened it. The light in the bedroom was very dim, so I could not make out what was in the box. Anyway, I kept staring at the floor as my Mistress had instructed me. Taking out something from the box, she came near me and I could notice it was a leather collar.
"Kiss your collar, slave. Now you belong to me and I'll do with you as I please, you understand? Would you like that?" she asked.
Mistress Michelle brought the collar near my lips and I gave it a tiny kiss. She then adjusted it around my neck. Mistress Michelle took my head between her hands, and raising it, she kissed me deeply and romantically. She moved away slowly, breaking the kiss and biting my lower lip, softly at first but then with strength. She took a blindfold from her toy box and left me 'blind'. The blindfold was pretty effective.
"Stand up," she ordered.
Without hesitation I stood up and waited for the next order from my Mistress. She pushed me onto the bed and I fell on it hard, face up. Mistress Michelle climbed to the bed and on top of me straight away, sitting on my stomach. She took my left wrist and secured it to the left post of the bed with some handcuffs. She repeated the process with my other wrist, and then she stood up. Nothing happened for a few seconds, I guess my Mistress was contemplating her handiwork and staring at my nakedness. She proceeded to bind my ankles to the other ends of the bed, leaving me perfectly tied up on the bed in a spread-eagle position, not being able to move much.
I heard the sounds of clothing falling. Surely my Mistress was getting herself more comfortable. Then, she climbed again on top of me. I immediately noticed her pants were gone. She still had her panties on, though. She brought her mouth next to mine and kissed me profoundly, like she had done few times before. She then lay over me, and I discovered that her torso was completely nude. Feeling the touch of her tits against my naked chest took my turned-on level a little higher.
She whispered in my ear, "Do you love me?"
"Yes, Mistress," I replied.
"Louder, tell me that you love me."
"I love you, Mistress!"
"I can't hear you. Convince me that is true."
"I LOVE YOU WITH ALL THE POWER OF MY HEART, MISTRESS!!" I screamed. It was the absolute truth, and now, more than ever.
"And what are you?" she asked.
"Your slave, Mistress."
I then felt her fingers caressing the head of my erect penis.
"Completely yours, Mistress."
"Body and soul?"
"And your useless cock is also mine?"
"Yes, Mistress, I'm all yours."
"And I can do with it and with you whatever I want?"
"Really anything I want? Consider that obscure and evil thoughts may come out of my head," she warned me.
"You can do with me anything you want, Mistress. I exist to serve and please you."
"What a good slave!" she said, and then she kissed my cheek and moved her hand away from my needy cock. I was already desperate to feel her hands touching me.
"Ok, my little whore," she said to me, "kiss me until I tell you to stop."
She moved her neck towards my lips and I started to kiss her neck. I'd always known that's one of the parts of her body she enjoys most to be kissed, and I had become very good at pleasing her that way. Shortly after, she pushed her round and perfect shaped breasts against my mouth so that I would kiss them, and as soon as my lips touched them for the first time in the day, my Mistress let out a moan. I was getting her turned on, and that not only made me happy, but also got me even more excited at the same time. I kissed her breasts with enthusiasm. I kissed all around them, and then I paid special attention to the area surrounding her nipples, ultimately taking them entirely into my mouth and sucking them with eagerness. My Mistress kept letting me know she was extremely turned on by the sounds she was making.
Suddenly, she pulled her breast from my mouth. She turned around, sitting on top of my, by now, very hard cock, and she moved her feet close to my mouth. I sucked her toes gladly, licking and kissing her feet as if they were the tastiest candy I could eat. While I was doing this, she twisted her butt on my cock, making it jump and tremble. I also moaned and wailed.
Letting my cock aside, again with it wanting more, my Mistress took her tits back to my mouth. I kissed them once more and sucked on her nipples the way she likes me to, nibbling on them softly. This took her to a state of supreme excitement, so it seemed.
"You're getting me pretty turned on, you know? You like to turn me on, my little bitch?" she asked.
"It looks like you're very turned on too; your cock is so hard."
"Would you like to cum?"
"Yes, Mistress, please..."
"Please, Mistress, allow me to cum. It would be the most precious gift you could give to your piggy whore slave. Please, Mistress, I beg you."
"Ok, little piece of shit of mine, you've convinced me. Would you like to know how much you've managed to turn me on?"
So Mistress Michelle stood up, took her panties off, thus getting completely naked, and stuffed my mouth with her underwear drenched in vaginal juices, getting it deep down my throat, making me taste her delicious wine. She secured her precious treasure on my mouth closing it with tape.
I soon felt her tongue over my balls, licking them and driving me towards climax. Shortly after, she was also licking my penis, and she didn't take long to engulf it in her mouth. I wanted to let out howls of pleasure, but the effective panty-gag wasn't letting me do it. And the taste in my mouth was driving me to insane pleasure as well.
My Mistress kept sucking my cock until the point I almost climaxed. She stopped and went looking for something. She covered my cock with a condom, and grasping my prick with both hands, she asked me if I really wanted to cum. I nodded yes, and she then inserted a butt-plug in my ass, slowly... moving it with expertise. While she was doing this, she started to whack me off with her expert hands, making me release my load on the latex condom, whilst she was still fucking my butt with the plug.
After my orgasm, my Mistress kept raping my ass with the plug, moving it in and out and not letting me gasp for air, keeping me in a supreme level of pleasure. Suddenly, she left it in, as deep as possible, and she took my gag off. She kissed me intensely.
"You are my slave. You must do anything I tell you to do," she told me while taking the condom off my cock. "Now you will swallow all your filthy waste, shitty pig."
My expression turned to complete surprise and repulsion instantaneously, but the blindfold and my Mistress' quickness prevented me from doing something about it. She had already emptied the contents of the condom on my tongue and was demanding that I swallowed it. So I did...
"That's what I like. A good slave has to be able to clean his own waste," she said.
"Yes, Mistress," I answered.
Mistress Michelle turned her attention back again to my impaled ass and fucked me with the plug for a while. Every now and then I let out a moan of pleasure, which surely pleased my Mistress plenty.
When she took the plug out of my butt she told me angrily, "Look how dirty this is! Do you think it's nice to get dirt this way on the toy you like so much?"
"You like me to fuck you up your ass, don't you whore?"
"Tell me how much you like it."
"I love it Mistress."
"What do you love?"
"That you fuck me up my ass, Mistress."
"I can't put this away as dirty as it is. You'll clean it, right?"
"Yes, Mistress," I replied, certain that she would then release me so I could go to the bathroom and clean it with soap and water. But I was going to find out soon just how wrong I was...
Without warning, Mistress Michelle stuck the butt-plug in my mouth and urged me to lick it clean. I tried to protest, but the plug suffocated my pleas. I tried to put it aside, but I was firmly bound and unable to take it out of my mouth. I tried to move my mouth aside, but my Mistress was faster than me and kept the plug inside my mouth. Soon I stopped resisting and started to clean my feces from the toy. At the beginning it gave me nausea, but then I got used to the smell and taste and I soon left the butt-plug shining clean. This pleased my Mistress a lot, who then proceeded to untie me, although she left my blindfold on, and instructed me to lick her pussy so she could have her own orgasm.
I didn't waste any time to overwhelm her pussy and clit with my tongue, giving her waves of orgasms in a short while. My Mistress returned the favor and rewarded me for licking the butt-plug clean so well by taking my cock once again to her mouth, sucking it for about five minutes and making me cum once more, this time on her breasts.
"I love you, my slave. Let's take a nap," she told me while she got under the blankets, taking me with her and subsequently taking my blindfold off. I hadn't realized how tired I was, hence I fell asleep pretty fast.
When I woke up, I found myself once again naked and bound spread-eagle to the bed, blindfolded, ball-gagged and with something up my ass; I couldn't figure out what it was.
I felt a feather tickling my chest and armpits. It seemed that my Mistress had awakened before me and was willing to keep on playing. She tickled me mercilessly all over my chest and armpits, all over my stomach and crotch. Then she went on to tickle the soles of my feet and my inner thighs, until finally she centered her attention on my genitals. I was twitching and twisting from side to side, unable to move much and being forced to bear the torment.
After a few more minutes of this, Mistress Michelle stopped. She talked to me straight into my ear and told me, "I'm gonna say something to you. That thing you have up your ass is an enema nozzle. I only want you to jerk off for me. If you are able to cum for me in less than three minutes, I'll take that off your butt, untie you and let you make love to me any way you want. I'm going to be real wild. If you're not able to cum, however, I'll let the enema flow free, and then I'll clamp your ass with an inflatable, and very huge, butt-plug I have. Then, I'll leave you like that, suffering with the liquid in your bowels, for as long as I see fit to. What do you say?"
Without hesitation, I nodded my head yes. I knew that cumming in three minutes -or even less- was no problem. I don't mean I cum too early or something like that, but providing that there is enough speed in the masturbation and a good level of excitement, I could achieve such a thing with no trouble at all. And as far as the level of excitement was concerned, my cock was completely hard and rigid once again.
My Mistress took my blindfold off and let me see her smile of satisfaction. She was fully dressed. She untied my left hand, so I looked at her inquiringly.
"I didn't tell you I was going to let you jerk off with your right hand, did I?" she said smiling. Despite the fact that I am right handed, I was still confident I could achieve my goal. And the vision of my Mistress fulfilling her promise if I accomplished it was sufficiently stimulating.
"Ready? GO!!" said my Mistress turning on a chronometer.
I started to whack off with my free hand, applying as much speed as I was able to. Suddenly my Mistress announced I had only one minute left. But I was already feeling I was very close to an orgasm. And then, my Mistress grabbed the base of my penis, squeezing it hard. This impeded my cumming, and I failed to achieve my goal. My face abruptly began to reflect deep concern for what was then going to happen next. My entrails would find themselves flooded by the liquid of the enema and forced to hold it for an indefinite period of time.
My Mistress secured my left hand back to the post of the bed. She opened a valve and the enema began to flow.
After a short while, Mistress Michelle took the enema nozzle off my ass and replaced it with the butt-plug. It was big indeed, and it became even bigger when she pumped it a couple of times. I was feeling completely filled and invaded because of the enema and the plug that didn't let me expel it.
My Mistress turned around and walked towards the door.
"I'll be back in a while, I'm going shopping," she said.
My face became even paler. When Mistress Michelle was reaching for the door to leave, she remembered something.
"Oh! Here you have something so you don't get bored during my absence," she said as she came near me and turned on the vibrator on the butt-plug. She adjusted its speed at approximately 5/6 of the maximum and then left.
I have no idea how long it was until my Mistress finally returned, but to me it seemed eternity. The liquid inside my body had grown into an unbearable pain, and I had lost almost completely the sensitivity of my ass because of the vibrating butt-plug.
My Mistress untied me and, without removing the vibrator, walked me to the bathroom. Walking turned out to be very difficult for me. When I got to the bathroom I told her I loved her a lot. Immediately I realized I had spoken without permission, but my Mistress didn't care about that and kissed me deeply saying "me too" with an ear to ear smile.
Mistress Michelle left me in the bathroom, where I removed the vibrator from my ass and finally expelled all the liquid, which went out in a clearly brown color. Without doubt, my predicament had also helped to clean me in depth.
"Are you finished?" my Mistress asked from the other side of the bathroom door.
"Yes, Mistress," I answered. After that she came into the bathroom and pushed me against the wall, kissing me passionately. Without wasting any time, she got undressed, and we both went into the shower where we made love like we'd never done it before, drunk with passion and exhilaration as we had never experienced before.
CHAPTER 2 - Mistress Michelle fucks her new toyboy
After taking a shower it was nighttime already, and we both were pretty tired. We went straight to bed and slept peacefully.
When I woke up, I saw her asleep, her naked body lying right beside me. Michelle looked like an angel. It seemed unbelievable that hours earlier she had been playing the role of a "cruel" Mistress. I lay there just watching her, waiting for her to wake up. When she opened her eyes, I surprised her with a passionate kiss.
"I love you", I said to her. "How did you know with such precision what I liked?"
"I've been investigating on the Internet. I also checked those stories you keep on your hard drive and I visited some of your favorite bdsm web sites. I downloaded a couple of stories, and to prepare the scene I combined the things you liked most along with those I myself found exciting. After that, I got to practice here on my own, trying to develop the character I decided to be," she told me
"And did you like what you did yesterday? Did it turn you on?" I asked.
"A lot, but that doesn't mean I like good old-fashioned regular sex any less" she answered me, rubbing my thigh with her leg.
She kissed me, and before long, we were turned on and making love. After having my orgasm and releasing my sperm inside her, I sucked on her clit and licked her pussy until I made her cum too.
I got dressed and left. The day before had been a day that would remain in my memory.
A couple of weeks went by before we found ourselves engaging in BDSM activities again. That time struck me also by surprise. I entered her home and she sneaked up on me from behind, covering my mouth with a handkerchief drenched in something. When I felt my legs relaxing, I realized it was chloroform.
When I awoke, I was once again tied naked and spread-eagled on her bed. The moment I became aware of my condition, I felt my cock getting hard.
Michelle, excuse me, Mistress Michelle, was standing by the bed, wearing only a dark blue thong and watching me attentively.
"It seems that sleeping beauty finally woke up. I don't want to hear any sounds coming out from that mouth," she said to me in a severe tone, "I'm saying it for your own sake. If I hear anything, you'll get punished," she added. I nodded, letting her know I understood what she was saying to me. "Mmm... you know you're cute bound and naked like that, at my complete mercy? And that useless cock of yours is already hard again; it seems that it doesn't get tired. Let's see..."
She moved her head down slowly, opening her mouth to engulf my dick inside her warm throat and the moist home of her tongue. She licked the head of my penis, flicking it with her tongue until she finally licked the whole length of my cock along the lower part until she reached my balls, loaded with sperm and ready to be emptied. She licked them for a few seconds, and she even took one of them inside her exquisite mouth, sucking it entirely.
But finally, she left my genitals alone and moved towards me. She sat with her butt on my hard-on, facing me and staring at me with a deep look. She stroked her breasts, rubbing and pulling her nipples, tilting her head backwards and moaning softly. She moved her butt a little rubbing my cock, making me disobey her, moaning in need for it to be stimulated more directly.
"I thought I'd made clear that I didn't want you to utter any sound, little whore of mine," she said to me. "Now I'm going to have to punish you. But I'll leave that for later. Now I want you to give my feet a good licking." And with that said, she moved her beautiful and gorgeous feet towards my mouth.
I licked her big toe and the rest of her toes with eagerness. I took them to my mouth and sucked on them with abandonment. I also ran my tongue around her sole and her instep. I made an effort to please her completely. I repeated the job on her other foot. My Mistress seemed satisfied.
While I was sucking on her toes as if they were lollipops, she kept rubbing her butt on my cock, exciting me to nearly unbearable levels. Right then, she moved her feet away from my mouth and stood up.
"I think you've had enough of this torture, right?" she said to me. "I think you're ready to get some milk out of your useless cock, ain't that so?
I nodded immediately, desperate to cum. Mistress Michelle brought both her hands to my dick and started to jerk me off with strength and speed, moving her hands up and down along the whole length of my shaft. It really wouldn't have taken much of this to make me cum, so soon I was on the verge of climax. Just at that moment, my Mistress stopped.
"Mmm... I changed my mind, I think I'll rather have this insignificant cock totally flaccid, just to show you just how pathetic you are, my little whore," she said. And then she brought an ice cube to my dick and rubbed it all over my cock, until my erection subsided and my penis became reduced to its minimum size. Despite this, my level of excitement was steadily rising.
Mistress Michelle kept that ice cube on my cock, keeping it just the way she wanted it to be, while she rubbed another one all over my chest and nipples, making me quiver in cold and my nipples harden.
Leaving my chest alone for a moment, she gagged me with a ball-gag explaining to me that she didn't want me to make any sound, and that I had proven that I couldn't control myself in that respect. As soon as she had the gag in place, she slid an ice cube up my bum. I wiggled in my restraints because of the cold and the unexpected invasion of my rectum, but a second ice cube followed the first one. Sticking her finger deep inside my ass, she pushed the cubes well inside it.
Mistress Michelle proceeded to release my ankles and retie them, but this time to the headboard which kept my wrists immobile, making my whole body bend and leaving my ass extremely vulnerable.
I felt my Mistress starting to slide a finger inside my anus, moving in circles around the opening and inserting it slowly. Another finger followed it seconds later. I couldn't see well from my position, but given it wasn't too hard for her to fill up my ass with her fingers, I assumed she was using plenty of lubricant. To my surprise, my Mistress did not stop, not even after she got her third finger up my butt... or the fourth. Soon I had all five of her fingers of her right hand inside me. She began to move them around, expanding my anal opening and making me let out muffled moans. She was fucking me with her fingers, and with an expertise I didn't know she had, since she was rubbing my prostate in an extremely erotic and exciting way.
She noticed my cock got hard again, so she rubbed a cold ice cube on my cock again, without stopping her fisting of my ass, until my hard-on was once more reduced. I felt like I would explode in pleasure. Suddenly, my Mistress took her hand out of my ass.
Without losing any time, she stimulated my anal entrance with a strap-on dildo. She had just put it on her waist and she was teasing my ass opening with its tip.
"I told you you were my little whore... but I hadn't had the pleasure of taking you yet. Now I'll fuck your brains out, slave of mine," she said.
She leaned over and kissed me on my cheek, and immediately after stuck her cock in my ass hard. She started to fuck me with the strap on. She was sliding it in and out of my butt, and my cock once again rebelled and got hard. This time, my Mistress did nothing about it.
My Mistress kept taking my ass increasing her speed progressively, and she began to moan in pleasure. My mouth let out screams of pleasure also, of course, but they were muffled by the effective gag that kept me quiet. My Mistress kept fucking me faster and faster. Her strap-on had some kind of device that rubbed her clit each time she pushed it in me.
"I'm about to cum inside of you, slut of mine!!" she announced. Seconds later I felt a warmness filling my ass, while my Mistress yelled in pleasure when she reached her orgasm. The strap-on she was using was also capable of "ejaculating" with some liquid it was loaded into it previously. My Mistress had chosen the exact moment when she reached her orgasm to "ejaculate" inside me.
After she came, my Mistress collapsed on me, with her cock still deep inside my ass. She kissed my chest and then she thrust her dick in and out of my anus once again, slowly this time. At the same time she began to jerk me off, increasing her tempo progressively, but keeping the dildo's speed constant in and out of my ass.
"You may cum" my Mistress authorized me. Eventually, I screamed with all my might (although muffled by the gag), pulling my body upwards and cumming all over my chest, even getting some cum on my face.
My Mistress finally slid herself out of me and untied my ankles, letting me stretch a bit. She removed my gag and threw herself on top of me, kissing me passionately, grabbing my head strongly and piercing my mouth deeply with her tongue. I responded with equal passion.
"You look good with all that sperm covering your face" she said to me, almost laughing. "You really seem to be my very own slut".
She then released my hands and instructed me to get off the bed and kneel on the floor.
"I've given you lots of blowjobs, slave. I want you to be the one doing it now. Suck!! Suck my cock clean!".
"Yes, Mistress" I replied.
I then got down to the task of give her a blowjob. Being a man, I knew pretty well how I liked it to be done on me, so I tried to do it on her cock in a similar manner. I slid half the latex cock down my throat, and I rubbed all its length with my tongue on the sides, finally making circles on its tip. I moved my head back and forth, sucking with abandonment. My Mistress grabbed me by my hair, pushing my head towards her, and making the strap-on dildo stimulate her clit. I could smell her distinctive feminine scent, and I realized that despite the fact she had just come she was still extremely turned on.
I kept on sucking until my Mistress was satisfied. She held my head away from the strap-on until she took it off and then she sank my face back on her crotch, this time getting direct contact with her sex. I licked her pussy lips, sliding my tongue in and out of it as well. I sucked on her clit, and I gave it a similar treatment to that I had given to her fake cock, making circles once more around the source of her most intense pleasure. I even took the liberty to run my tongue a little lower down, licking her anus lightly, which resulted in a sudden drenching of my face with her vaginal juices, as she climaxed yet again.
While her orgasm faded away, my Mistress held my face stuck to her pussy. I kept licking and I could feel her vaginal lips throbbing. She then had me stand up and kissed me deeply, making me fall on the bed with her on top of me.
We stayed there for a few minutes to try to catch our breath. I asked for permission to talk, which was granted.
"Michelle, that was one of the most exciting things that ever happened to me. I doubt I've been as turned on and have had such a powerful orgasm before in my life," I said to her.
"I'm glad, my pet" she replied, smiling. "But there is still a pending issue, do you remember? You disobeyed me, you little piece of shit! I ordered you to not make a sound and you couldn't do it... so now I'll punish you for it as you deserve."
"Yes, Mistress," I managed to answer, lowering my head and ashamed.
Still nude, Mistress Michelle asked me to stand up. She tied my wrists together in front of me and then my ankles. I tried to not fall to the floor with my feet bound together. She took a moment to dress. Then she brought a chair and sat on it.
"Come here, lie on my lap facing down" she ordered.
As soon as I was in the desired position, she brought her hand down on my butt with strength.
"Count" she instructed.
"One, two, three, four, five, six... seven, eight, nine, ten... eleven, twelve... thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen... twenty, twenty-one... twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five".
All of a sudden she stopped. My ass was burning, but I knew that I deserved my punishment for having disobeyed her orders. My cock, erect once more, was trapped between her legs. I heard her looking for something, without leaving her seat. It wouldn't be long until I found out what it was.
Around one minute after the last spank, she hit my ass with a hairbrush. She repeated this five more times, taking more time between each blow than when she had spanked me with her bare hand.
"I hope I will not have to do this again in the future" she said to me. "I love you a lot, and even if it's true that spanking you turns me on, I'll rather have you following my instructions accurately than to punish you."
"Yes, Mistress, I'll do my best not to disobey you at all from now on."
"I like that, my pet," she said, while caressing my hair as if I were a dog.
After this, she made me get down from her knees, she untied me and we took a shower together. Once more, we made love in an unusually passionate way under the water. It was becoming evident that our BDSM relationship was turning us on a lot more than regular sex and that it could become very important in our lives from then on.