50 Shades of Frederick

50 Shade of Navy, The Secret Life of Wentworth and His Lady

Frederick called up to his wife, “Anne dear, would you come and help me?”

The black silk scarf he twined through his fingers weighed nothing. As it passed over the back of his hand it did nothing more than gently tug at the hairs thereon. Its role to play in the evening’s entertainment was—

“Yes, Frederick, what do you wish of me?” Anne descended the stairs, her eyes sparkling with candlelight and infinite trust.

He put out his hand and took hers, bringing her to the bottom of the stairway. “I have a great surprise for you.” He turned her around and in an instant, the silk scarf covered her eyes.

Her husband was always playing tricks on her, and Anne was used to being suddenly caught in his exciting and mysterious games. He pushed her hands away from the scarf when she tried to pull it from her eyes.

“Naughty, naughty, my dear. You must do as you are told in order to get your treat.” He tied the scarf just a fraction tighter, and quickly spun her to face him.

He was so close, their bodies pressed together— “Frederick, I must see to the children—”

Anne could barely hear Frederick whisper in her ear, “The children are gone. We are alone in the house.” His breath tickled the wisps of hair worked loose from her pins.

Being alone with her husband was a rare treat indeed, and one that she had come to treasure.

He turned her again, taking her wrists in his large hands, and began to guide her away from the stairs.

The suddenness of his attack, the anticipation of his “treat,” and the fear of being so utterly out of control left her confused as to where in the house they were headed.

Frederick kept hold of her wrists behind her back and snaked his other arm about her waist to steer her as he liked. Anne ever so slightly pulled her arms away from his grasp and he tightened his hold. The pressure on her shoulders and wrists was now becoming uncomfortable. “You must obey to get your surprise, Annie.” Having no vision, his voice came from everywhere around her.

She did not know if they had moved to the right or to the left of the stairs. Were they going to the dining room? Or to the library? The library offered warmth and intimacy. There was the elderly red leather desk chair with wooden arms worn smooth from years of hands grasping them. There was the hand-rubbed rosewood expanse of Frederick’s desk dominating the room to consider. The thick Karastan rug they bought before leaving Bath was before the hearth and it was a place on which they had taken refuge from the troubles of the world before. The dining room also offered many possibilities—

Frederick’s arm across her waist pulled her to a stop and pressed her against his chest. Her warm breath returned to her and Anne knew she stood before the door of whichever room he had chosen for the night.

She was bursting with anticipation and wished Frederick would stop playing his games, and get on with the evening’s amusements.

“I want you to know, from here on out, everything that is done is for you alone.” His voice was low and a bit ragged. Did he anticipate as well…

Simultaneously the scarf loosened and the door handle clicked to open—

“Surprise! Happy birthday, sister! Aunt! Dear friend!”


No, this isn’t a book launch. And I’m sure some of you are thinking “what the … ” or that I chickened out somehow. I purposely chose the title and worked up the cover art to lead you to believe one thing when I meant something completely different. Writers do it all the time and I just wanted to emphasize how things in the Fan Fiction world are all abuzz with talk of the erotic epic, 50 Shades of Grey. It’s appropriate to write about since it began it’s online life as Master of the Universe, a Twilight fan fic piece. For any of you that are offended by this shot at the dark side of Fan Fiction, I apologize. I’m not trying to be controversial for controversy’s sake. I’m just trying to show that it’s easy to take these beloved characters to places Jane never fathomed.

50 Shades of Navy could be a big hit, I think. But really, I cannot, with a straight face, write scenes of Frederick lashing Anne to various objects around the house, physically tormenting her, and then wiping her tears with kisses. Or, in the spirit of equality, make  Anne the Mistress of the Whip.

Will I ever take the Wentworths down the sadomasochistic road? Nah.

There’s too much to research. Frederick would want to show off by tying esoteric knots from romantic foreign ports. I’m not inclined to dig around to find any for him. And Anne, being a gentleman’s daughter, would demand real Cordovan leather straps and sterling silver implements. You start Googling the wrong things and those questionable search words follow you around for life. The Internet is forever after all.

Then there’s my granddaughter. “Read me a story, Gramma,” she’d ask. “One of the ones like you write.” When she gets into school, I’m certain some smart alecky kindergartner would love to show her websites that by that time have outed me and connected me with erotica. “Gramma, what’s erotica?” is not a question I’m prepared to answer. Now or ever.

I don’t believe in ghosts, and I don’t worry about Jane Austen haunting me if I debauch her characters. But I do believe there are places in the human psyche I’m going to leave unexplored.

Take care–Susan Kaye
I also blog at Jane Started It!
Follow me on Twitter, @susankayewriter
Read, None But You and For You Alone


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