For the second time that week I was on the 149 bus bearing breakfast: a carton of Tropicana (smooth with no bits) and croissants. Madame Caramel had asked for ham and cheese but I couldn't find any on Church Street. Faced with the choice of either failing to deliver what She had ordered or being late for my 9:15 appointment, I'd bought strawberries in the hope of appeasing and pleasing Her.
It hadn't been my most productive few days at work; I'd barely been able to think about anything else since my interview. Apart from trying to imagine how it would be to recreate the artwork of Namio Harukawa under the majestic frame of Madame Caramel, I'd been preoccupied with complying with Her instruction to shave - completely. Sitting nervous on the bus, it felt strange (and slightly erotic) to be wearing trousers over legs now naked as a plucked chicken.
I arrived at Her apartment in good time and, to my relief although She asked about the ham and cheese croissant, She did not seem too annoyed at my failure to deliver it. Instead after serving breakfast, Madame Caramel permitted me to worship her feet for the first time.
It's hard to explain the intensity of the excitement and joy, the blissful sense of completion I feel kneeling before a powerful Woman, slowly pressing my lips to shoe leather or, if I'm lucky, to skin. When I first came out to myself as kinky, this kind of role play was just that: a performance. Over time it has become real and heartfelt, 'the outward sign of an inward state' as the Catholics say. This fundamental position of the slave has become more than external expression of submission: it's a gateway to joyful, willing immersion in the service of a Goddess.
Several hours later, on our way back from the studio I was to tell Madame Caramel: "You owned me from the moment You told me to kiss your feet".
Unfortunately there was no time to extend my descent into subspace. Ms Caramel had a schedule and I had been summoned early to be useful, not to indulge myself. Guests were about to arrive from Canada at her other apartment, the Hoxton Dungeon Suite, and She had an appointment with a client at around the same time. A receptionist was needed for the visitors. After I'd tidied her lounge, done the washing up and helped Her on with her shoes, we set out to walk the short distance to the dungeon. Mistress lead the way while I followed a few paces behind, carrying Her jacket.
The dungeon was a revelation: a luxurious bedroom, kitchen and bathroom complemented two contrasting studios equipped with every conceivable instrument of discipline, torture and delight. I tried not to reveal my curiosity and excitement as I was given my instructions. I was to wait for Mistress Michelle and her boy to arrive, greet them politely, help with their luggage and show them round. Mistress left me her phone in case they called for directions. I put on my collar, hung my jacket and Hers in the hall cupboard and started to explore discreetly.
I had barely entered the main dungeon room when I heard a taxi pull up outside, followed by negotiations with the driver and a knock on the door.
If Mistress Michelle was surprised to find me there, she did not show it. I explained Madame Caramel’s absence while helping the boy (in his mid forties, bespectacled and bearded) with what seemed like an endless stream of bags. While he started to unpack, I made Mistress a coffee, we talked about Toronto, where She lived and Her plans for a week in London. She was very happy with what she had found in the apartment.
“You can’t really tell from what you see on the internet”, she said. “But this place is great. Why stay in a hotel when you can be somewhere you can have so much more fun?” She cast an imperious glance at her boy and smiled.
Realising that I was now superfluous, I wished them a pleasant stay and left, remembering to take Madame Caramel’s phone with me. I decided to walk back towards Her other flat and wait by the main entrance; if She had a client I didn’t want to disturb her. That was my second mistake. I had yet to realize my first.
After waiting for half an hour Madame’s Blackberry rang. I saw that the incoming call was from an American number and answered it.
“Francis, where are you?” Somehow I'd missed her.
I explained and was told to head back to the dungeon quickly. Before I reached it, I met Madame coming the other way. She wasn't happy. She was now behind schedule and walking at a very brisk pace. As we headed up the stairs of her apartment block, she turned to me.
“Where’s my jacket?”
I felt a stab of anxiety. Things had been going so well. I thought I’d been making a favourable impression.
“Er…I left it at the dungeon, Ma’am”
There was a slight break in Her stride; then an ominous silence. We turned a corner and arrived at her front door. She went to the living room and sat in a tall chair.
“Francis, come here.” Her voice was calm but icy; she pointed at the floor by her feet and I knelt.
“Closer”. Head bowed, I shuffled forward.
“Look at me”.
She took my chin firmly in her left hand, lifted my face and slapped me. Hard.
I felt tears pricking but held them back.
“If you are to be of any use to me, learn to look after my things” Another stinging blow.
She didn’t need to say anything more by way of chastisement; Her look was enough.
“Now go upstairs and fetch the suitcase on my bed, we’re late. I don’t think I’ll risk another jacket. You’ll probably lose it.”
A few minutes later, ashamed and seething with annoyance at myself for my stupidity, I followed Madame downstairs to wait for a taxi.
We were on our way to Red Spot Studios and my initiation as Madame Caramel’s slave for Femme Fatale Films.
To be continued