The email was in my inbox when I turned on my pc Monday morning.
Subject: Your submission
Date: May 3 2010 04: 33
I viewed your profile on the SeattleLifestyleScene website and would like to explore the possibility of a short-term relationship. Should it become mutually satisfactory, there would be an option to extend the term.
Please reply to this email by the end of the day with a simple "yes" or "no," depending on your interest in this arrangement. If your answer is yes, then further instructions will be emailed to you. If your answer is no, I will not contact you again.
Please do not be alarmed at the fact that I know your real name. I am a powerful presence in Seattle's business community and have many means at my disposal. Rest assured that your identity is safe with me; I will not use my knowledge for illegal purposes. For reasons of discretion, I cannot reveal my identity to you until you have complied with certain formalities.
I await your response.
What the fuck?! How the hell did he find out my real name?! I am so very careful with my online presence. I never use the same email twice when posting on BDSM websites and never use my real name in the email settings. This is very unsettling, almost frightening, and I'm not someone who frightens easily.
And then the most bizarre thought occurs to me: OMFG, could this be Bill Gates!? Is Bill Gates in The Lifestyle? "Powerful presence in Seattle" and incredible technical resources – it all adds up.
Then the question becomes, do I want to sub for Bill Gates? I don't know. I've been active in the Lifestyle for the last seven or eight years and have subbed for some rather strange people. Strange kind of goes with territory in New Orleans, which is where I'm from.
I stare at the screen for what seems like hours but I know they're really only minutes. Finally, I hit "reply," type "yes," and hit "send." There, done. My decision has a calming effect and my thinking takes a more rational turn. There are many high-profile businessmen in Seattle's tech corridor and this could be any one of them. But now I'm dying to know if it really is Bill Gates.
Whoever it is must have been waiting for my reply, since there is an immediate response.
Subject: re: Your submission
Date: May 3 2010 08: 12
Thank you for your positive response.
At 3 p.m. today, please go to the Starbucks at 3rd and Pike. My aide, Mr. Taylor, will find you and give you your instructions. If you cannot be there at that time, send me a response with your preferred time, otherwise, do not respond to this email.
Obviously Mr. Taylor has seen my profile picture so I won't have to bother with any cloak-and-dagger shit like I've sometimes had to do in the past. All that "wear a red blouse," "carry a copy of War and Peace," blah, blah, blah, it's just so fucking silly.
Since Mr. May-or-may-not-be-Bill-Gates knows my name, I don't doubt that he knows I'm a graduate student at UW's School of Social Work. It's also likely that he even knows my class schedule, which is why he knows he can schedule a 3 p.m. appointment today. This is just more evidence that there is no such thing as privacy in the digital age.
I have a cohort meeting at 11 that's done by 12:30; this gives me time to grab lunch at my place, then head downtown to the Starbucks. Parking can be a bitch there so I allow myself enough time to cruise for an on-street spot, even if it means I have to walk a couple blocks. The weather's nice so I don't mind walking and my mini Cooper will fit just about any size spot. I arrive at the Starbucks about twenty minutes to three, which is fine. I get myself a latte, take out my ereader, and settle in to wait for Mr. Taylor.
At 3 p.m. on the dot a tall, buzz-cut, well-dressed young man stands next to me and says, "Excuse me, Ms. Thibodeaux?" I look at up him and answer, "Yes. Mr. Taylor?" He replies politely, "Yes, ma'am. May I?" indicating the chair next to me. I reply, "Please do," and he seats himself.
He takes a document out of a large manila envelope he's carrying and hands it to me. "This is a non-disclosure agreement, Ms. Thibodeaux. You'll need to sign it before we can proceed further. I have an extra copy for you."
I peruse the document. I worked as a legal secretary in a small law office when I was an undergrad so while I'm not a lawyer, this seems like a fairly standard document, similar to many other NDAs I've seen before. I sign it, hand it to him, and take the copy.
He folds the signed NDA, puts it in a small envelope, puts that in his inside jacket pocket, and hands me the manila envelope. "Your further instructions are in the envelope, Ms. Thibodeaux. The information there is complete; however, should you have any questions, you will also find contact information. Thank you for your time." With that, he rises, pushes in his chair, and leaves the Starbucks.
Well, shit, if that's all there was to this, couldn't he have chosen a Starbucks closer to the UW campus? Did I really have to fucking drive all the way to downtown just to sign a fucking agreement and get some papers? These power brokers and their stupid games really annoy me sometimes.
It's times like these that I think it would be simpler just to cruise the clubs on weekends and take my chances with random Doms. But then I remember the close call I had back in NOLA…
"So pretty, mon petit chou," he breaths in my ear, "so very pretty." He stands behind me with a collar in his hand and a leash attached to it; he rubs the collar against my skin from my throat down to my crotch and back again, slowly, slowly. When he's back up at my throat he fastens the collar and lets the leash trail down my bare back.
"Do you like soft things against your skin, cherie?"
"Do you like hard things against your skin, cherie?"
"Oh, you will be so happy, yes, happy." He walks away and I hear him open the door and exit the room. A minute later I hear footsteps that I assume are his, but then I also hear a soft clip-clop. WTF?!
He steps in front of me, leading a fucking goat! How the fuck did he get that in here?
"Please meet my friend, Pierre. We will have a good time, the three of us, no?"
NOOOOOO! I don't fuck with animals! CHA – Consenting Human Adults! Only!
"RED!" I scream.
"No, no, petit chou, we will not hurt the goat, we will have fun!"
"REEEEEEEEEEDDDDDDDDDD!" I scream at the top of my lungs, "unshackle me you goat-fucking motherfucker, NOW!"
"Okay, okay, please do not scream so," he says as he starts removing the shackles.
I don't even remember gathering my clothes or leaving the place; I only know I never went back to the club scene in NOLA after that. I had a couple of contractual arrangements subsequently, but then Katrina hit, the area became a hellhole, and a year or so later I took a job in Seattle.
So I guess a drive downtown was not that big a deal in the whole scheme of things. I open the envelope and take out the documents. The first is a letter addressed to me.
Ms. Severine M. Thibodeaux
1400 NE 45th St.
Seattle, Washington 98105
May 3, 2010
Dear Ms. Thibodeaux,
Enclosed you will find a contract detailing the arrangement between you and me. Please review this document thoroughly. I will discuss it with you on Wednesday at 4 p.m. at my penthouse. Mr. Taylor will meet you in the lobby and escort you. Should you not be able to make this appointment please let me know by email as soon as possible.
Mr. Christian Grey
Seattle, Washington 98889
As I read the name under the signature, I'm flooded with relief that it isn't Bill Gates; that would have been just too weird. Then I try to remember what I know of Christian Grey. He is definitely a powerful presence in the Seattle business community but the scuttlebutt has always been that he's gay. I wonder - it's possible he bats from both sides of the plate. I'm sure I'll find out, although the thought of watching swordplay is not at all a turn-on for me; if he enjoys that, I hope he does it on his own time.
I turn my attention to the contract. A quick skim tells me that it's fairly standard, although this one is a little more elaborate. He seems to be a lot more controlling than the other Doms I've been with. Still, it seems fairly boilerplate so reviewing it should not take that long.
I gather everything up, get a latte to go, and head out to my car. On the drive back to my apartment I go over in my head the details we need to discuss: hard limits, soft limits, toys, etc. As I review these I feel the familiar tingle of anticipation. It's been over a month since my last Dom left for a job transfer back east. Since then it's been a frustrating search for someone compatible; some don't make it past the email stage, the rest have washed out after the first meeting.
Back home, I fix myself a small salad and pour a glass of wine; I find some Sibelius on my mp3 player and settle into my chair to study the contract in detail. As I thought, the body of the contract contains the usual terms common to many of my previous arrangements. The appendix is interesting; this guy likes to control everything. I've never had a Dom insist on a personal trainer or a list of foods; Master sounds like a real health nut. His hard limits mesh with mine but I will add fisting, genital clamps, hot wax, and maybe one or two other things.
My review of the contract finished, I need to do some internet research. Like most people in Seattle, the name is familiar to me, heard frequently on the news and seen in business articles. The photos I find show a man who's seriously good-looking and seriously rich but whose social life seems to be restricted to trade association and charity events. The only women he's pictured with are family, which is what probably fueled those gay rumors. Delving into his personal data, I find that he's about two years younger than me. That might explain the minimal social life – he's so young to have amassed the fortune he has, so obviously he's a workaholic. What I've seen so far makes me think that this arrangement just might happen.
Reading the contract and seeing his photos has me tingling again. I so hope this works out – I long to be under the control of a Dom once more. I've missed it; I need it. I am now really looking forward to meeting him on Wednesday.