The evening was warm with just a hint of a breeze from time to time. The trees and shrubbery lining the garden walls were trimmed with tiny fairy lights and there were even lights in the softly bubbling fountain in the back corner. The guests were seated in two rows of chairs curved slightly toward each other leaving an aisle between them. Each guest held a flickering votive candle in a frosted glass cup. No one spoke, the only sounds were the occasional rustle of movement and the music playing softly in the background. At the end of the aisle, seated on an ornate wood and leather chair sat a man I have known since my early years exploring this lifestyle. I considered him one of my closest friends. That was why I stood in a position of respect to his left holding a small velvet covered tray.
I’ve never been an overly sentimental person. I don’t get all gooey over puppies and I don’t cry at weddings. In fact, I’ve never really cared for weddings. I can’t remember ever wanting to be a bride in white walking down the aisle. I’ve had friends and family who have gotten married and I have wished the happy couples all the best, but I’ve pretty much always known that wasn’t for me. I’m wired differently. At least I always thought so.
I observed my friend as he sat, letting the anticipation of the guests build. He was a definite showman. He’d chosen silk and leather for his attire, pants of soft black and a poet shirt of deep purple. He was almost regal sitting there on his throne. If I hadn’t been watching him I would have missed the signal he gave; a slight nod of the head. It was time.
At first there was no indication that anything was happening, but then came the soft tinkling of bells. Not tinny bells, but delicate musical bells like fairies dancing. His eyes were fixed on the shadows at the other end of the aisle so I know he saw her first.
She walked with her shoulders back, her head held high but her eyes demurely lowered. Shining steel cuffs graced her wrists and with each step she took was accompanied by the sound of the bells. She wore a simple sheath dress of sheer silvery silk so that as she paced up the aisle the flickering light of the candles and the will of the evening breeze gave hints at what lay beneath.
As she reached the end of the aisle and stopped before his chair she reached up to her shoulders and with a small shrug the silk of her dress dropped to the ground at her feet. She stood for a moment wearing only the cuffs at her wrists, the string of slave bells around each ankle and then gracefully lowered herself to her knees. Her head bowed and she raised her hands to chest height, palms upward in supplication. When she spoke her words came softly yet strong, she wasn’t a bit nervous.
She spoke of her devotion, of her wish to belong to him in all ways, to please him and honor him. She spoke of the joy she had found under his guidance and control and asked that he accept her submission now and for always. When she had finished speaking he simply sat and watched her for several long moments, as if considering.
Finally he rose and stepped toward her, standing so close that the toes of his boots touched her knees. He laid a hand on her head and vowed to take into his keeping all that she was and to help her become all that she could be. He promised to treasure the gift of her submission and guide her with a firm and loving hand.
Knowing my cue I stepped forward and offered the tray I was holding. Lying on the bed of black velvet was a gleaming silver circlet and a tiny padlock with a single diamond embedded in its side. At a word from him she raised her head and looked him in the eye. I had never seen a woman look so radiantly beautiful and confident in herself. He took the circlet and placed it around her slender neck and secured it with the padlock. He then looked out at the guests and declared that as she had freely offered herself and he had accepted she was now his. He had staked his claim. He lifted her to her feet and turned to walk into the house, she followed leaving her gown there in the grass.
When they had disappeared inside I turned back to the guests and informed them that they were invited inside to celebrate in the best way we knew how.
The dungeon was open.