Alice was giddy. When she got up to nurse her baby in the middle of the night, she watched Hackett’s sleeping form with a wide grin, and giggled silently to herself as she replayed the memory of their love making through her mind. When his alarm went off in the morning, she was wide awake with him, snuggling against him and showering his face with kisses.
“Thank God it’s Sunday,” she whispered into his ear as her fingers played with his hair, and he kissed her back.
They both smelled heavily of sex, which kept the butterflies dancing in Alice’s chest, and goosebumps frequently dotted her skin. She clung to him for as long as she could before the baby woke up, then held his hand as the three of them moved into the kitchen.
“You were amazing!” she gushed. “Just absolutely amazing.”
“As were you,” he replied with a smile, and touched his forehead to hers.
“You know, we should do that again sometime. How does tonight work for you?”
“I’ll have to check my schedule, but I think it’s open.” He winked, and Alice giggled.
She started the coffee brewing with her free hand, then sat down to watch Hackett mix up pancakes for their breakfast. “This girl is getting heavy,” she said as she tickled Alicia’s cheeks. “Can you believe that she’s a month old already? My arms are starting to wear out from carrying her around.”
“I’m impressed that she slept through all of that noise you made last night.”
“Hey! That was your fault!” Alice stuck her tongue out at Hackett. “Besides, she was a very good girl for mommy and daddy by staying asleep. Though, Alicia says that we shouldn’t expect her to be so gracious forever, because she’s a growing girl with lots of needs, and she’s going to scream if she doesn’t get what she wants the second she wants it.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Hackett tipped an imaginary hat towards the baby. “Thank you, ma’am.”
They both laughed.
Hackett turned and poured pancake batter onto a large cast iron pan that had been heating on the stove, while Alice cuddled her baby with her cheek against Alicia’s soft hair, her gaze fixed intently on her husband. “I never knew that sex could be like that,” she murmured. “I felt so beautiful and feminine … like a princess. So, um, thank you for not treating me like a living doll.” She blushed.
He flipped the pancakes over, then turned to Alice and gently pulled her head against his stomach to embrace her. “Thank you for not acting like a dead fish,” he murmured in reply, and they both began to giggle.
Several minutes later they were sitting together at the table with a plate of pancakes, a bottle of maple syrup, and mugs of hot coffee. Hackett gave Alice a roguish grin as he picked up the maple syrup and poured a generous amount into her coffee, laughing as her eyes grew wide.
“What are you doing?” she exclaimed.
“It’s delicious,” he crooned. “Stir it in and try it with some half-n-half. You’ll see.”
Alice did, and closed her eyes as she took a sip. “You’re right! How did you get to be so smart?”
“Just am.” Hackett winked.
“I’m so glad that we’re married, Basil.” Alice looked up at him earnestly. “I want it to always be like this forever, so I won’t ever let us ever drift apart. I swear it.”
“You might not feel that way in a few years.”
“I might have some bad days, but I really do mean it. I can’t imagine spending my life any other way.” Alice shyly traced the table top with her finger. “I didn’t make any vows in front of everyone like you did at the barbecue, but I’m being just as serious about this. I’m your wife, and our marriage will always come first above anything else. I’ll do everything that I can to make sure that we have a ‘happily ever after.’”
“Heh. I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, Alice, but sometimes I wonder how you can possibly be for real. Aren’t 21-year-old women supposed to be obsessed with education and careers? What if I die and leave you a widow?”
Alice wrinkled the bridge of her nose. “Yeah, sure, I’ll just go to college and join a study group of BFFs,” she said sarcastically. “I’ll totally fit right in, especially when I talk about how I dropped out of high school and ran away with some loser who got me incarcerated, but it turned out okay because I married the warden. Oh, and lets not forget about the baby while we’re at it!”
Hackett chuckled. “I see your point.”
“It’s just … is it wrong to want to be a mother? I spent the entire time I was pregnant scared that they’d take my baby away from me the moment she was born, and now I can’t imagine being separated from her for any length of time. It would break my heart, you know? Besides, I don’t want to change what we have now; I like being here to greet you when you get off work, and I like spending our nights hanging out together. Maybe it is boring and unimpressive, but it makes me happy.”
“My dearest darling, you truly were a diamond in the rough.” Hackett reached across the table to hold her hand, stroking her skin with his thumb.
“Hey, Basil … what did you mean last night when you said something about programming?”
“Hm? Nothing.” He pulled away to take a sip of coffee, then began eating.
“No, I want to know why you said that. Please tell me.”
“It’s a theory, more than anything.” Hackett hesitated. “And probably not a suitable topic for the moment.”
“Well … Damon is smart. He knew exactly what he was doing with you.” Hackett sighed as he sat back in his chair, then fixed his eyes on Alice. “He targeted you, kept you off-balance with drugs and alcohol, and essentially brainwashed you to keep you compliant and loyal to him. Fact is, I asked him about it a couple of weeks ago, and he said that he had no choice but to abandon you because you were becoming self-aware.”
Alice sat silent and still, staring down at her uneaten pancakes.
“I had suspected as much from the beginning. That’s why I put you alone in the tower and dressed you in white, instead of in a cell in a prison jumpsuit. If I had put you in the trappings of a criminal during your time in prison, you would have become one instead of finding yourself, because you were lost without your master.” Hackett abruptly cut off and covered his eyes with his hand. “Forget I said that. I shouldn’t have.”
“No …” Alice choked down the lump that had formed in her throat. “It’s okay. He pretty much was … back then, and I did feel lost.”
“I was perfectly aware that you were acting like you wanted to sleep with me – I am a man, after all – but I didn’t know if that was genuinely how you felt, or if you were only acting that way because you thought it would satisfy me the same way it had satisfied Damon.”
“Is …” Alice swallowed hard. “Is that why you asked me to be your baby girl? To replace Damon and my ‘programming’ with yourself?”
“No.” Once again, Hackett took Alice’s hand across the table. “I asked because I’m a kinky bastard, and I want to hold you down and fuck you hard, then lavish you with love and care.”
Alice blushed. “It’s weird to hear you talk like that.”
“It’s the truth.”
“You know … I’m not surprised at all – you’ve already been acting like a Daddy Dom towards me, but I just thought it was because I’m so much younger than you. I wonder if everyone would be shocked to learn that Warden Hackett has such a twisted side to him?” Alice couldn’t help but smile. “It’s our secret, just for the two of us. You can tie me up and we’ll rut like rabbits every night, but on the outside we’ll look like a perfectly boring couple, through and through.” She placed her cheek against Alicia’s head and added, “But we should be careful of what we say around little ears.”
“Agreed.” Hackett stood and took Alicia in his arms. “Go on and eat now, and forget about all of that. I don’t want it to spoil our day.”
“What if I don’t want to eat? Will you spank me for being naughty?” Alice teased.
He gave her a flat look. “No. I’ll just be disappointed.”
Alice picked up her fork, cut off a large piece of pancake, and popped it into her mouth.