This is a guest post from the NS's web editor, Caroline Crampton.
As we enter the art gallery that is his apartment, I spot the box from the bakery lying on the counter, bearing the insignia of “Richard’s Cakes” from Manchester, England. Part of me wonders who ever could have sent us such a thing, but a larger part of me just wants to grab a spoon. Although he did make me eat two desserts at the restaurant.
Instinctively, I reach for the box. Suddenly, I feel his hand close round my wrist, restraining me in a deliciously vice-like grip.
Stopped in my tracks, I hiss at him: “You are quite the disciplinarian.”
“Oh, Anastasia, you have no idea.”
“But Christian, I don’t understand why I’m not allowed to eat the cake.”
He cocks his head to one side, grinning at me. “Anastasia, you know I have my rules. You may only eat when and what I say you may. And I say you may not eat this cake.”
I can feel myself flush. I almost bite my lip, but at the last minute remember what happens when I do that. My inner goddess is prancing around inside my head, daring me to defy him, while my subconscious has lost all sense of herself – any second now she’s just going to bellow “ME WANT FROSTING” and be done with it.
He quirks his eyebrow at me. His gaze is dark obsidian.
I look at the unopened lid of the box, and then back at him. I cock my head to the side.
“But the nice people from Manchester sent this cake all the way here,” I plead. “It seems like a waste not to have a slice.”
“Trust me, I can afford it. I’ll reimburse them for the shipping.”
I drag my eyes up to his. As his gray eyes, burning with unfathomable emotion, hold mine, my mouth goes dry and I feel myself blush.
My hands reach for the lid of the box and slowly reveal what it contains. My lips quirk into a smile.
Fifty shades of cake, that is.
Photograph courtesy of Richard's Cakes  in Manchester. Their manager, Emma Ball, is the creator of this amazing confection.