The story so far…
Analicia Cobalt is a young woman, recently graduated and on a teacher training assignment in her home town of Watford. When she goes to the job centre to tell them she is no longer looking for work, she meets Marcus Beige, a dashing young man to whom she is immediately attracted. Following a date at a coffee shop, Marcus invites Analicia back to his house. They chat in the kitchen, but before he will let her go into what he calls the main room he produces a non-disclosure document and insists that she sign it. Intrigued by the idea, Anali signs it and is then shocked at being blindfolded before being led to the main room door…
The silken scarf tickled my temples as Marcus positioned me in front of the paneled door. He held my wrist rather than my hand, a protective but also controlling gesture, and I waited for him to say something. My senses, augmented by the effect of the blindfold, reached out for the slightest sound, the slightest scent, the slightest waft of air that could indicate that the door had been opened.
"Relax," he purred in my ear, and I jumped but then forced my shoulders to lower. What was I worried about? What was I excited about?
At that moment I heard the tell-tale sound of the latch springs compressing in their casing like an over-wound clock. There was the whisper of a door arcing across a deep carpet pile and then silence.
"Step forward Anali," the deep, sensuous voice in my right ear said. I did so, under his control both physically and psychologically. My shoeless feet sank into the carpet and I knew I was inside the room. I took another step, and now a strange smell was noticeable. Jasmine and possibly honeysuckle and underneath that, leather. A continuous sound, a bubbling burble, came from my right.
"You may remove the blindfold," my guide told me, releasing my wrist.
I waited for a few seconds. A fingertip traced lightly, so lightly, down my spine, eliciting a shiver. Now it was gone I could not tell if I had imagined it or not. I waited again. Silence, broken only by the quiet bubbling.
Slowly, I brought my hands up to the sides of the blindfold, inserting my thumbs under the slick material. It instantly loosened and fell away, but it took a few blinks for my eyes to focus and then my mind to assimilate the view in front of me.
Immediately ahead was a large settee in leather the hue of lightly tanned skin. Well worn but well looked after, the hide had become slightly baggy on the frame. Cushions of ivory satin were symmetrically aligned at either end of the three-seater. To its left, stood a matching armchair, again with a couple of cushions. A coffee table sat in front with a copy of Heat magazine, two TV remotes and an empty cup sitting on top. To the right of the settee, an LCD TV screen was mounted on a teak-effect unit with a Sky Plus box underneath. To the right of that a second teak unit supported a small aquarium complete with bubbling filter system. A plethora of tropical fish painted a swirl of neon flashes behind the glass. Low on the wall to the rear of the fish tank, a double power socket supplied, on one side, the aquarium through a multi-way adaptor, and on the other, a plug-in air freshener. Below, a mobile phone charger sat on a carpet the colour of weak tea, awaiting its turn to feed from the mains.
"Please, sit here," Marcus indicated the armchair, "Would you like a cup of coffee?"
I looked up at him and then back around the room, trying to understand. I realised I had sat down as he had requested.
"Yes, er, I mean no, thank you," I stammered, noticing for the first time the print of Constable's 'The Hay Wain' in an ornate frame on the wall above the TV. It stood out in contrast to the subtly striped wallpaper and cream paintwork. I looked back at Marcus. He was staring at me, his beautiful grey eyes half closed in the pink-tinged light from the aquarium. He licked his lips in a sensual, almost feline way.
"But Marcus, I don't understand," I whispered, "Why did I have to sign the non-disclosure agreement?"
Marcus paused for a moment as if weighing up whether to tell me the secret, the secret that was so important to him, the secret that required a legally binding agreement between us.
"Well you see my darling Anali," he began, reaching out to curl a lock of my hair with his strong, thick fingers. "You see, I'm afraid I don't have a TV licence."
And so began our relationship. In spite of a façade of normalcy, Marcus Beige proved to be a seething mass of middle class, suburban values. While those unthinking automatons around us were indulging in bouts of drinking, drug taking and debauchery, we were illicitly satisfying ourselves with outlandish activities like going to work, laundry and cutting the lawn. And once every few days, Marcus would entice me into the main room where we would close the curtains, turn off all the lights and watch mad, passionate TV programs. At these times, Marcus was undoubtedly 'The Master' and deftly wielded the remote whilst I offered him a cup of tea, maybe even a biscuit.
We established a set of 'safe phrases' we could use if things were going a bit far and one of us wanted to stop. A racy scene in Downton Abbey might be interrupted by "Have you put the recycling out dear?" or "Shall we see what's on BBC2?"
Our exciting new relationship was not confined to the main room. We soon had a very nice television installed in the bedroom, courtesy of Argos, and we would often watch the 10:30 news in our jimjams with a cuppa. BDSM and other perverted sexual shenanigans are all a bit old hat we concluded; you cannot beat a custard cream and a cup of PG.
That is not to say we did not try new things. Once, Marcus said he wanted to try bourbons. I even offered to go down the shops after tea to satisfy him.
Before long I knew my old life was over and things could never be the same again. I knew I could not go back to being the old Analicia Cobalt, could not unlearn the experiences he had shared with me. I knew I would forever be in the thrall of the man his parents called Marcus Beige.
If you would like to read more about the pedestrian adventures of Analicia and Marcus, please look out for the forthcoming sequels: Fifty Shades Beiger and Fifty Shades of Very Light Brown.