“You tied naked to my bed and begging me to have any sort of sex with you,” said Janet Patterson smiling before adding as if it was some sort of explanation: “Well you did ask.”
Gordon Lister felt beads of sweat forming on his forehead as he mumbled a stuttering “I…I…I meant….” before the tightening in his throat prevented anything more like a coherent response.
“What’s the matter Gordon?” she continued, “Am I making you nervous? Do you think I’m serious? Is that it?”
Gordon shook his head and tried to laugh. “Err……n, n, no of course not. I just, I mean, I ….”
She stepped closer and ran her tongue around the inside of her partly-open mouth as if she was licking her lips, “So you don’t think I was serious, but it made you nervous anyway? Why would that be Gordon? Do you have naughty thoughts or something? Do you think I’m attractive?”
“No…. Err Yes… I mean of course I didn’t… but I do…. because you are…” His mumbled reply was stopped by Janet Patterson putting her finger to his lips. “Shh Gordon. I’m only teasing. I was feeling about down about reaching what is supposed to be such a landmark age, and when you asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I couldn’t resist.”
Gordon Lister relaxed and took several deep breaths to regain his composure before he replied: “No it’s not something I’ve ever thought about. I’ve never been tied up by anybody. I don’t know what it would be like.”
“Nor me. I don’t know what it would be like either,” said Janet Patterson shaking her head, “But it might be a little bit of harmless fun, so maybe if you….” She left the sentence unfinished, turned round and walked towards the pile of presents stacked neatly on the kitchen worktop.
Gordon stood silently watching her slowly remove around a dozen cards from their envelopes and tried to work out if the gentle shaking of her shoulders was because she was trying not to laugh, or trying not to cry.
“So when I asked what you wanted for your birthday, what you said was a joke?” asked Gordon still unsure as to whether his mother’s friend had been testing him, teasing him, or something in between. She didn’t reply. She just stood with her back to him arranging and rearranging birthday cards while he stared at her slender figure and wondered how he could possibly have misunderstood the intentions of a woman more than twice his age in a pink and yellow floral-patterned dress so thin that he was certain she was wearing pure white underwear beneath it.
He felt uncomfortable about offending someone who appeared so innocent, and when he suddenly remembered that her husband had been in hospital for months began to feel guilty for ruining her birthday with his insensitivity. It felt like hours, but it was probably only minutes before he decided to lighten the mood by making a suggestion Mrs Patterson could respond to in many ways without any embarrassment. “So it’s definitely something you’ve never done? You don’t know what it feels like? Well if you can look me in the eye and honestly tell me that, I’ll let you tie me up for your birthday. But I’m not taking any clothes off.”
Janet Patterson turned slowly round, and stood up on her toes so that their eyes were almost level. “No, never. I don’t know what it feels like. And you letting me tie you up for my birthday sounds like it would be fun, and a far better present than whatever’s likely to be in those boxes.” She gestured towards the small pile in the corner and added, “And whatever my guests are bringing to tonight’s party.”
Janet Patterson took a still-uncertain Gordon Lister by the hand and led him out of the kitchen, up the stairs and into her bedroom, where she pushed him gently back onto a double bed and swung his legs round so that his feet were pointing towards a dresser and his head resting on pillows close to an ornate headboard.
She opened one of the dresser’s drawers without speaking, took out a handful of silk scarves, crouched down and tied his ankles to opposite corners of the bed. He sat up, more out of curiosity than discomfort, as Janet Patterson stood up and pushed him back down before opening up a drawer in a bedside cabinet and taking out two pairs of handcuffs.
She snapped one onto each of his wrists and then onto opposite corners of the headboard, before reaching down into the open drawer and taking out what looked to Gordon like a red ball with a strip of material coming out of each side. “What’s that?” protested Gordon, puzzled. “Why do you have one of those, and why do you have handcuffs if you’ve never done this before?”
“It’s to keep you quiet until I want you speak. Or plead. Or agree to whatever it is I want you to agree to although I did tell you what I wanted earlier Gordon. And I’ve got some handcuffs because I don’t have enough scarves, and even if I did, they take too long to tie.”
“But you said you’ve never done this before!” he protested just as Janet Patterson stuffed the little red ball in his mouth and fastened the strap round his neck.
“No Gordon, you said you’ve never been tied up, and I said I hadn’t either, which is true. I don’t know what that’s like, and I don’t want to. But this isn’t the first time I’ve tied a man to a bed, and as it’s been a while since my husband’s heart attack this is now going to be a very special birthday….”