There was no rhyme or reason to it, she didn’t understand it but whenever she found a man she cared for, she pushed and pushed him, to the limit of his tolerance, until he was close to throwing in the towel with anger, just so she could see where that point was, where she could push to. For no other reason except knowing where she stood.
Last time she had pushed a man to the brink of violence, there were slammed doors and a lot of steam to be vented, then she caved and apologised, she never pushed him that far again, there was no need, the ground had been gaged.
This time, she found herself in the familiar cycle, pushing, testing, watching his reactions and she suddenly realised this man was different, he was more fragile. Still loving and respectful, still complex and interesting, still a very strong man, just in a different way. Yet she was suddenly very nervous about hurting him, breaking him down to somewhere she could not help him return from.
What’s more, he wasn’t hers to test.
A lovely, genuine man with a troubled home life, who could not put a voice to his needs and desires where they were should be spoken but for some strange reason felt he could tell her anything, to bare his soul. She had to learn not to misuse that trust.