Our Story

“I’ve never thought about marriage, but since I’ve known Matt, he’s changed my views about getting married.”

Those were her words to me. If he could change Kerry’s mind on marriage I had to meet him and high-five him. She’d had more boyfriends than I’d had had hot dinners. Possibly, quite literally.

I first met Matt at an aikido grading. As it turned out, he worked in the back offices of the same building that I trained in. He was of an average height, slim, with mousey-brown hair and blue eyes. I warmed to him almost immediately, I felt safe around him, comforted by him.and his being there. He was kind and funny- exactly my kind of human.

Two weeks later, I attended the village carol service. It was a cold, December evening and my first Christmas without my grandad. I felt melancholic and sad, but I decided to go, anyway. I stood at the back and watched, unwilling to take part.

“Elena!”, I heard a voice cry,  it was Matt. He came over to me and stood with me to chat. We talked about his work,the grading and Kerry- his girlfriend, my best friend. It made sense for us to get to know each other, under the circumstances. 

The following year, I started a small, voluntary job as a web designer for the dojo and ended up working alongside Matt. We talked, laughed and joked a lot and it became the office joke that we would end up dating each other. We denied it, of course, we were just friends – after all, Matt and my best friend were already in a relationship!

That September, I turned eighteen. By that time, Matt had lost his job, I was no longer studying aikido and Matt and Kerry had split up. At the same time, Kerry and I were no longer really friends and she’d even tried to ditch me from her seventeenth. I’d already invited them both to my eighteenth birthday party as a couple and wanted so desperately for Matt to attend as my friend. When I saw Matt climbing the stairs to the function room, I smiled. There was one person I’d really wanted to attend the party, one person I’d really wanted to be there – him, my new best friend.

At the party, my cousins thought we would make a great pair. Of course, each time they tried to get Matt and me to dance together, we’d smile, admit that it was awkward and part ways. Later in the evening, Matt tried to speak with Kerry to try and establish at least an amicable frriendship. That upset my cousin and “T“, who was in the military, threatened to attack Matt. At the same time, my other cousin threatened to attack Kerry. Knowing what “T” was capable of, my Mum quickly prevented him from reaching Matt and my uncle, his wife and my cousins were all forced to leave. To keep Matt safe, my Dad offered him a ride home, once we’d tidied up from the evening. 

In the early hours of the following Sunday, Matt and I stood in my parents’ back garden with two glasses of prosecco and talked and laughed under the stars. We reminisced on the events of the evening when I admitted to Matt that after I’d given up alcohol for my ex-boyfriend, I wasn’t even sure if I even wanted to drink the wine.

“I’ll give you a kiss if you take a sip” he whispered softly.

I smiled and, with my eyes still locked on his, I willingly took my first sip of birthday prosecco.


Matt got the nickname “Ten Shades” as a subtle nod to the books and given his lack of wealth, equally kinky and sadly equally troubled history. Just like the fictional Anastasia Steele, I love Matt wholly, completely and unconditionally, regardless of his past. We have an equally kinky and equally beautiful true story and love for each other that we wanted to share with the world.


Our full story, including how we got into BDSM and our happy ever after, will be out on in eBook format soon! 


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I dont have the answers, just a lot of questions.


Musings on life and a 24/7 D/s relationship

Penny Berry

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