My partner and I are finally in the same time zone again.

I arrived at a reasonable time in the morning, local time, but travelling east folded the day back onto itself and those precious hours that represent sleep disappeared into the ether at 33,000 feet.

As I pushed my trolley out of the luggage area at Heathrow, I started scanning the faces of the people on the other side of the barrier. We’d joked about him holding up a sign with my name on it; there was a thin layer of people on the other side of the barrier nearest the door, most of whom were holding such signs and looking bored. He wasn’t among them, so I rounded the corner to the right and kept going. That’s when I saw him at the end of the passage. I pushed the trolley up to him, stopped, and then we grabbed at each other, hugs and kisses. We’re both introverted and often self-conscious, but in that moment, neither of us gave a flying fuck about who might have been watching and what they might have been thinking.

I was travel weary, overheated, and my face needed a wash, but just about the first words out of his mouth (when we resumed speech) were a compliment on my appearance. For international travel, comfort is my priority, but I also wanted to look good, in part because lately I feel like I look good. My strategy involves yoga pants, and he liked my clingy T-shirt.

As soon as we were together, he took over. It made sense that, as the visitor just off a long flight, I let him lead. But we’ve also been playing at a bit of a D/s vibe, so there was also a slight undercurrent to it all, enhanced by his fervor and intensity.

He commandeered my trolley and led me through the bowels of Heathrow to the coach station, where I was happy to stand back and let him sort out the tickets and then lead me to the platform. We unselfconsciously hugged and just held each other while we waited to be let onto the coach, ignoring the few people around us. When we took our seats (with me tucked beside the window), he got me to take off my watch so he could grip either of my wrists as the mood struck. We stayed in constant contact for the whole trip – over an hour.

Then it was a 10-minute walk back to his room, which will be our room for the next two months. So far, I haven’t seen much else.

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