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About the author:
At night Rebecca Symmons, 44, is a freelance writer of erotic fiction. By day she can be found in the shop of her south London picture framing business. After studying art history at university she moved abroad with her husband, living in the south of Spain until 2009. Acting on the slogan ‘everyone has a novel inside them’ she finally put finger to keyboard in 2013. Following the often quoted advice ‘write what you know about and are interested in’ she produced Seventy Three, the first book telling the story of Oakham, a discreet London society.
What inspired you to write your book?
The freedom of mass communication to share experiences.
Here is a short sample from the book:
From Chapter 7:
By midday all the pictures were in place, and it looked good.
“Kate, this label doesn’t match this painting.”
“Doesn’t it? Oh sorry, I’ll sort it out.” She took the offending label over to the desk and sat down to print a replacement, Helen joined her.
“Kate are you alright? You’ve moved these pictures around endless times, you’ve said hardly anything all morning and now you’re labelling them wrong, that’s not like you.”
“I’m sorry, there’s nothing wrong, honestly, I’m just a little preoccupied that’s all. I didn’t mean to be rude.”
“You’re not rude, don’t be silly, but this is Helen, your best friend, the one who knows when you have something on your mind. Do you want to tell me about it?”
This is what Kate had dreaded. She didn’t want to lie to Helen, they always shared their secrets, but she also didn’t want to tell her the truth and, at best, have Helen think badly of her and at worst leave her disgusted. The problem now was that Kate knew Helen wouldn’t stop pestering her until she gave her something to satisfy her and stop her worrying. So that’s what Kate decided to do. She would tell Helen just a little bit of the truth to fend her off.
“Look, it’s just gone twelve and we’ve got things sorted here, apart from some bits, so why don’t we go for a nice long early lunch and finish this later, my treat.”
“Oh well, if you’re paying, and who am I to argue with the boss, come on.”
As it was so early their favourite table at the cafe was free. It was Kate’s ideal table. It’s in the corner therefore nobody was behind you; away from the counter so nobody’s pushing past and by the window, so good for people watching. Being a creature of habit Kate always felt some resentment when strangers had taken “her” table. They spent a long time deciding what to order, the relatively few items on the menu seemed to make the task more difficult. Kate ordered, paid and returned to the table.
“So, come on then, don’t think that I’ve forgotten. What’s ruffled the feathers of the unflappable Mrs. Adams?” Here goes, Kate thought, let’s get it over with.
“Helen, promise me you’ll keep this to yourself.”
“You know I will, silly, go on.” Her impatience began to show.
Kate had mentally rehearsed this many times using various openings but had now forgotten her best option, so she swallowed hard and made a start.
“I want to share this with you but I don’t want you to judge me, OK?”
“Of course I won’t, what on earth have you done?”
“Nothing, nothing at all, it’s what I’m going to do actually, well, hopefully.”
“Kate, what are you talking about?”
“You know last year, when we all went to that bar in town, the sleazy place by the station?”
“And had way too much to drink? Oh, do I ever, my head pounded for days.” Helen recalled the incident with a laugh.
“Yes, that’s the one, and I’d had so much I started telling you about me and Richard and what we had got up to, you know, in the bedroom.”
“Yes, when he tied you to the bed and had his evil way with you? You haven’t done it again have you, you little hussy you.”
“Will you take this seriously; it’s hard enough for me as it is.”
“Sorry, really, I’m all ears.” Helen pulled an imaginary zipper across her lips.
“Well, as it happens, we have on several occasions, if you must know, and that’s the problem.”
“What do you mean? Did Richard go too far and hurt you?”
“No, he didn’t. That’s the problem.”
“I don’t get it, what’s the problem?”
“It’s just that, the fact that he didn’t go far enough.” Helen looked at her with a blank expression, trying to understand what she was being told.
“So,” Kate continued “I’m going to take it further.”
“What, you’re going to have an affair, cheat on Richard? Helen paused for thought. “You wouldn’t do that would you?”
“No, don’t be silly, I would never do that, Richard knows about this and is part of it.” Helen’s previously shocked face turned to one of confusion. Kate makes use of Helen’s speech deficiency to continue. “We’ve talked about it a lot, and now an opportunity has come up where we can explore some of our fantasies for real.” She then paused to await the inevitable reaction.
“I don’t get it, what are you telling me?”
“I told you, on that drunken night that I had these fantasies about being, well, submissive to another person and doing what they say, being used by them, and that’s the problem. Richard loves me too much to be able to treat me how I’m treated in my fantasies, so… we’ve taken the first step to having that role carried out by other people.” She paused again, but this time waited the age it took for all this to sink in. Kate hoped that Helen understood what she was telling her and didn’t react in a negative manner.
“What do you mean, ‘that role carried out by other people,’ and who are these ‘other people’?” Phew, thought Kate that was better than expected. Questions were far more preferable than being met with disdain. Helen continued. “Let me get this straight. You want to have a group of people tell you what to do?”
“Do what sort of things?”
“Whatever they want, but mainly, I suppose, sexual things.”
“And who are these people?”
“Well, we don’t actually know yet.”
“Is this some sort of wind-up? You know, make Helen look a twit day.”
“Helen, I would never do that.” To clarify the story and convince Helen of its authenticity Kate recalled the events to date but, concealed Elizabeth’s identity.
“So you’ve applied to become a member of a group, who will do whatever they want to you, and basically use you as some sort of sex object?”
“I suppose that’s about it, yes.”
“Kate, that’s dangerous, and just, I don’t know, sick.”
“That’s one point of view I suppose.”
“Has Richard forced you into this?”
“No, not at all, he’d never do that; in fact it’s more like the other way round.”
“Kate I don’t believe this”, said Helen, shaking her head. “I wouldn’t go as far as to call you a feminist but you want what’s right for women, your independent, in control, strong. Why would you want to join this, thing?”
“Just because of all those things you’ve just mentioned, I get a thrill out of giving up control, letting go, and doing as I’m told. I’m a grown woman who knows what she’s doing, I think, and I’m willing to take the risk of finding out if this is the right thing for me.”
“And you’re doing this of your own free will, yeah; you’re not being blackmailed or something? People like you don’t do things like this, you’re… well… you’re normal.” Helen seemed to be getting more desperate to find a reason for Kate’s actions, anything but to come to terms with the fact that this is what her prim and proper, straight laced, best friend, really wanted.
“No, I assure you that it’s what I want, what we both want. This is for real Helen, and I am normal, we both are. Normal people do this sort of stuff all the time look at all the porn sites on the Internet, you can buy whatever you want to do with sex, see whatever you want and meet whoever you want, people love this stuff. Look at all the sites of ‘normal’ housewives in the nude and doing all sorts of other things, it’s just that they’ve decided to live out their fantasies and we haven’t.”
“But it’s just not you; what people like you do.”
“I know that, and that’s the problem; Mother Nature decides who has what feelings, emotions and urges, but society seems to have decided who’s allowed to act on them. Just because it’s not seen as the sort of thing a middle aged, middle class woman like me should be doing doesn’t make the urges go away. It just means that it’ll be harder for me to get over the moral barriers.”
Helen’s voice softened “You might be right, but why now, you’re 42, when did you suddenly start to want this?”
“Oh it’s not sudden; I’ve always felt like it, I suppose I was born like it. I just didn’t know what it was. I remember when I was little getting a kick out of being the captive when we played and getting excited about princesses being locked in towers, and that sort of thing. In later years, as I became more aware I started to look out for that sort of material, and with the dawning of the Internet, well, whatever you want to know is there at your fingertips. The feelings, fantasies and needs seem to get stronger as you absorb more material and here I am, at the point of being ready to do something about it.” Helen picked up her glass and finished her drink before replying.
“I understand what you mean; at least I think I do. But have you thought it through, the consequences?”
“Helen, we’ve talked it to death. Every possible scenario we can think of, and still we’ve decided to apply to this group. I mean, we may be turned down and that’s an end to it, or we may be lucky and then we’ll have to see what happens.”
“So if it’s not finalised, why are you telling me this now? You might not get the offer and then I would have been none the wiser.”
“You’re my best friend and I don’t want to keep things from you. But more selfishly I’ve been so excited about it, I just had to tell somebody. Anyway I don’t mind you knowing, I’m not ashamed of how I feel.”
“Do you think that you could go through with it, if they accept you?”
“I suppose I won’t know until I try but I would give it a real go. Do what I’m told, accept orders, the whole thing.”
“What if they want you to things that you’re not willing to do, can you just say no?”
“I don’t know, but it would defeat the whole point a bit wouldn’t it. There can’t be much demand for a submissive who won’t follow orders.
Helen’s face brightened and she gave her first smile since the start of Kate’s story.
“I suppose not.”
“You won’t be able to do it you know, it’s just not you, taking orders and stuff. You’ll be out of there like a shot.”
“Well perhaps they’ll be into bondage as well so that’ll solve that problem won’t it.”
“Kate, behave.” Kate was happy that Helen at least seemed to have accepted the situation even if she didn’t concede to it.
It seemed a good time to make the break from lunch and return to the gallery to finish off the preparations for the opening. Little more was said on the subject during the afternoon but Kate could see that Helen was deep in thought about the whole thing. Kate hoped she wouldn’t worry about her too much.