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‘I’m taking ownership of you.’
That’s what the message said, that landed in his inbox at nine minutes past midnight. He smiled after opening it, turned the light out and rolled over to get some sleep. There was no profile photo. No information. So it couldn’t be taken seriously. To his knowledge he’d never spoken to a ‘Lady Sheba’ before anyway. It still didn’t stop him from fantasizing a little as he drifted off to sleep though. He visualized whoever she was in a very strange attire; a neon green lace outfit with tight black latex trims and thigh high boots. As consciousness left him he tried to conjure up a face as well. All he saw were lips in his mind’s eye – jet black ones. He thought of them instructing him, moving seductively as they gave commands, breathing warm air onto his sac as he hung suspended by ropes from the ceiling. Slightly aroused, he squirmed and burrowed deeper beneath his duvet until the warmth subdued his silly sub imaginings.
In the morning, his day appeared to be proceeding as normal. He was behind his desk by eight a.m and already logged onto the grid by eight fifteen. By eleven oh six, the regular trajectory of his humdrum, number crunching morning was intercepted by Meredith, the office junior bringing him his mail and a cup of rather stale coffee. He accepted it anyway, not being one to complain and set about opening his letters. The first two were of little consequence and the third remained unopened till lunch time, due to him having to deal with an accounting crisis, issued by one of their top clients.
Just after one, he opened the third envelope while waiting for the kettle to boil in the staff room. Mid chew on a mouthful of BLT, his eyes fell to the name of the sender – the one and only mysterious and presumably fake ‘Lady Sheba.’
‘The fuck?’ he whispered to himself.
I hope this missive finds you well. As per our discussion last night, I have decided to accept you as my submissive. There is however, a probationary period of two weeks. If I am pleased with your actions and attitude during that time, I will engage you on a more permanent basis – as in, under contract.
The first task you face, will begin between the hours of two and three this afternoon. A package will arrive. It will be marked with myself as the sender. You must sign for it. You are not to open it under any circumstances. Do not even pick at the tape. If you do, you won’t hear from me again. And I will know. There will be absolutely no second chances.
You will take the package home with you and await further instruction.
He had not expected the letter from Lady Sheba at all. At least no more than he expected a meteor strike. Clearly she knew things about him. Things she wasn’t supposed to know. If she was in fact a she at all. Maybe it was a dude.
It had to be someone he knew.
He looked around the office furtively. Everyone seemed preoccupied. But the culprit wouldn’t be looking would they?
‘Package for Finlay Holmes,’ said a voice near reception.
He cringed when the courier headed his way. As foretold by Sheba, he had to sign for it and the sender was indeed herself.
The box was fairly small. But not small enough to put in his bag. He had to carry it in his hands when leaving work.
He was wedged between two tough but weary looking black men on the underground, when the box began to buzz loudly.
‘Da fuq?!’ said the one to his right.
The other stared with whiter than white eyes.
‘What the hell is that man?’
‘Don’t know,’ said Finlay, staring in horror at the box. He should have just disposed of it, he thought miserably. But it was too late now.
‘You mean to say you don’t know what da fuq is in that thing?’ said the passenger to his right.
‘Not really. Mistress never told me.’
Whiter than white eyes covered his mouth with the back of his hand, stifling a gold toothed chuckle.
‘Oh it’s like that is it. You white boys are all the damn same. Pretty sho I know what yo Mistress has fo you in that box. Question is…how big is it? And can you take it?’
The guy on the right slapped his thigh.
‘Shit! This is comedy gold, right here. Open up dat box you pussy and let’s see what you got in there. C’mon!’
Finlay wrapped his hands protectively around the juddering box and shook his head.
‘I can’t. She told me I must not open it until she says.’
‘I think I want to meet your Mistress,’ said the tallest one. He wore a grey coloured beanie with a weed logo on the front and had a grizzly, wire haired moustache.
Finlay got up to stand; his stop was next.
‘I’m afraid you can’t. I haven’t even met her myself.’
He shoved his way through the crowds once off the train and made his way through the grime of the city, hoping he wasn’t being followed.
Inside his apartment, he shed his pea coat and tie and set the box on the worktop where it hopped about like a frog on acid. Still it vibrated, but every now and then there was a definite thud from within the box. Although tired, Finlay felt an answering pulse in his groin. He poured a whiskey and sat down to watch it, imagining Sheba was watching him.
‘I’m being good,’ he said, clinking an imaginary glass against his.
The phone in his pocket buzzed.
‘I know you are,’ the text said.