The Photo
Chapter 1

Caution: This Romantic Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, Heterosexual, Slow,

Desc: Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 1 - A Black-and-white photo of a young woman, the model, and a shy young man... a broken engagement and eventual love.

Unfortunately, the original ‘Photo’ is no longer available at Domai. The Model was known there as Sabrina22, but that was five years ago!


It was elegantly simple; a black-and-white photo from the waist up of a nude woman. He couldn’t tell if her hair was black, brown or auburn, of course, only that it was dark and somehow gathered up on her head, leaving clear her slim, elegant neck. Her face was in profile, looking to her left, features in perfect proportion; her body half turned the same way. Shoulders back, pert breasts thrust forward, revealing their perfection, nipples half erect. She looked cool, poised, wonderful. He was captivated.

Normally a ‘leg man’, Mike might not have given the picture a second glance, but somehow he couldn’t tear his eyes away from it. To the extent that he ordered a large print, had it framed, and hung it on the wall in his lounge.

Now you need to know that Mike’s shy. He manages well enough in a work situation, dealing with customers as long as it’s technical; he’s polite and well spoken, well groomed and neatly (if unfashionably) dressed. It’s just that, in the presence of a woman he’s attracted to, he’s inarticulate, blushing and obviously uncomfortable. As a result, his few girlfriends have had to make all the running. Sadly, they very soon got tired of that. Porn ... or erotica, anyway, was his staple diet, hence the picture; although it might have been described as ‘arty’ rather than porn.

He had to travel to London to deal with a technical problem for a customer. You might ask why he was sent when there was a main branch of the business in the capital. Well, even though you didn’t, I’ll tell you. It’s because he’s very, very good at his job. He seems to have a sixth sense when it comes to computer problems, so he’s the trouble-shooter to go to, particularly when everyone else has failed. On this particular occasion, he was staying at a small, but very friendly and comfortable despite its lack of stars, hotel, not far from the place where he was working. For once his ‘gift’ seemed to have deserted him; He’d begun work when he’d arrived in London the previous day and had, he thought, eliminated all the obvious and several unlikely faults as being the cause of the problems, but after a full day he felt no closer to identifying the actual fault. As a result, he’d returned to his hotel, puzzled and fascinated, and was slowly enjoying his evening meal while his mind processed what he knew.

As Mike Barrett chewed over his meal and his conundrum, Siobhan O’Callaghan was facing a different one. Her companion, a tall, ruggedly handsome man with cropped hair and designer stubble was pleading with her while another young woman looked on from a a little way away.

“Siobhan, we talked about this...”

No, Cass, you talked about this, and I made my position very clear. If I’m not enough for you, find another...” she bit off the word she was about to use, glancing across at the other woman, who, to her amazement, smiled slightly and winked, “ ... woman who is okay with it. Since I’m obviously not enough for you, I’ll be leaving. I do not want to talk to you again.”

She tore the ring from her finger, threw it at him, turned and marched into the bedroom to throw her clothes into a case before leaving. At the reception desk, the concierge was apologetic.

“I’m really sorry, Miss O’Callaghan ... but we just do not have another room for you. I might find you one at another hotel...”

“That might even be better ... er ... Robert,” she read his name off his badge and bestowed a thousand-Watt smile on him, which had the effect of delaying his efforts on her behalf by a significant amount.

As he began dialling, her former companion entered the reception area and tried to talk to her. The concierge anticipated a problem and pressed an unobtrusive button under his desk. When she ignored her ex, he grasped her shoulder to turn her to face him. It was a mistake; her hand impacted on his cheek with a crack that was clearly audible across the room. He then punched her in the eye just before he was grabbed by the hotel security.

‘Robert’ rushed out from behind his desk to help her to her feet.

“Thank you,” she said. “I don’t wish to make trouble for the hotel by pressing charges. Besides, a suit for my loss of earnings as a result of his assault will probably cost him more. However, I would be glad if you would continue to find me another hotel...”

“We could ask him to leave...” offered ‘Robert’.

“Let’s hold that in reserve if you can’t find me somewhere,” she responded.

“Perhaps you’d like to sit in the bar and enjoy a drink on the house? Or I could ask for something to be brought to you?”

“Thank you. Perhaps a dry Martini? And ... would there be a resident doctor?”

“My apologies, I should have thought of that. We have a doctor on call. Two in fact, a man and a woman. The woman is Doctor Lewis. I’ll have her here in ten minutes.”

Two hours later, she was checking in to the small, privately owned Park House near Hyde Park, on the recommendation of ‘Robert’. “It’s small, and only rated two stars, but regulars love it. Very friendly and the food is excellent,” he told her, “not that I’m supposed to tell you things like that.”

Mike passed her on his way to bed as she was checking in, but didn’t give her a second glance. Siobhan just registered the good-looking, preoccupied young man briefly as he passed.

He was awake early with an idea tickling at the back of his head; he pulled on sweats and trainers and went out to run in Hyde Park. He ran easily, his mind ticking over in free-association mode, his feet making little sound, ignoring the dog-walkers. He ran ten miles at the seven-minute rate and returned to the hotel shortly after the tickle changed into a theory.

Siobhan was emerging from her room as he passed on his way to his room for a shower. It occurred to her that normally she would have been offended by proximity to a sweat-soaked man, but somehow didn’t mind. She paused and watched speculatively as he disappeared into his room.

The small dining-room was well populated when she entered and she was not surprised when the manageress asked if she minded sharing a table. She shrugged.

“Mr. Barrett,” the manageress said, “is a pleasant, quiet, young man. He might not be down before you finish, anyway, but usually he’s up by now.”

Her usual breakfast of bran-flakes, skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, and fruit juice was even less satisfying than usual. Shrugging, she requested black coffee and croissant in addition and, throwing caution to the winds, added sunflower spread and jam to the croissant. Butter, however desirable, was a step too far.

Mike, after a brief word with Mrs. Dunn, the proprietress, approached the table, offered a brief, distracted ‘Good morning’, to his table companion, and poured coffee into a cup; a plate of ‘full English breakfast’ was placed before him and he consumed it neatly enough but apparently without paying attention to what he was eating. Siobhan looked at the food wishing she dared to eat such a breakfast herself. They finished almost together and Mike left, muttering to himself. Siobhan went to her room and called her agent, who agreed to deal with the legal fallout from the previous evening. He suggested she consider leaving London discreetly to avoid media interest. In her room, she examined her face in the mirror. The injury was obvious, though the full effect of the bruising had not yet emerged.

Mike had a good day. His theory in respect of the problem proved to be accurate and working without a break, he had the system up and running perfectly in time to go for a late lunch in the Imperial War Museum cafeteria before spending a couple of hours wandering round the exhibits, gazing at the aircraft suspended in the air, reading the information on the displays (though quite familiar with most of it anyway) and marvelling at ground warfare items which included one of the first tanks to be used in the First World War.

He walked back to the hotel, took a shower and considered staying another day in order to visit the Science Museum; the company wouldn’t object – he’d just saved them a lot of money.

At dinner, he took note of his table companion for the first time. He didn’t recognise her, which might be surprising, but after all, his attention was drawn magnetically to her obviously bruised face.

“Oh ... my word ... are you all right?”

“Of course I’m all right. I just love being punched in the face and walking around with a black eye.”

Her satisfaction in her sarcastic retort disappeared with his response; he blushed strongly and appeared to shrink before getting up and fleeing the room. Mrs. Dunn, as if by magic, appeared at the table. “Miss O’Callaghan ... what happened there?”

Siobhan was not used to dealing with the shy and sensitive and was taken aback by Mike’s abrupt departure. She took several seconds to answer.

“He ... asked me if I was alright.”


“I was sarcastic.”

“Well ... it’s up to you, but Mr. Barrett is a very pleasant, polite young man, though he is very shy. I feel sure he was expressing sympathy, not invading your privacy.”

Siobhan was silent, but met the other woman’s eyes.

“I think he went outside,” Mrs. Dunn said.

Siobhan nodded, rose and left the table. Mrs. Dunn caught the eye of her waitress, who removed the meals she had not long since placed on the table.

Mike had not gone far, he was sitting on the steps of the hotel entrance, chin cupped in his hands, elbows on knees. Siobhan sank with unconscious grace to sit beside him and laid a hand on his shoulder gently.

“Mr. Barrett ... I apologise.”

He turned to look at her and sat up a little straighter, but didn’t speak.

“The last day or so have not been a good time for me and I took out my anger on you. It was quite unfair.”

“I ... you...” he took a deep breath and swallowed. “Apology accepted. I’m sorry about asking...”

“Will you come back in and enjoy your dinner with me?”

“I ... er ... think I’ll stay out here a little longer...”

“Perhaps I could stay here too, then.”

Mike’s jaw dropped for a moment before he shut it with an almost audible snap, then, “Why would you do that?”

“Well, it’s quite a pleasant evening ... but I think I’d like to be reassured I really am forgiven. If you’d come in to eat with me, I was going to ask, if it’s not being rude, why you were so preoccupied this morning, but happy this evening ... until I upset you.”

Mike blushed hotly. “That was only because I was nosy.”


It seemed quiet, despite being close to the heart of Britain’s capital city. After a short while, Mike stood and, rather awkwardly, held out his hand in an offer to help her to her feet. It wasn’t that he doubted her ability to stand on her own, it ... just seemed the right thing to do.

Certainly Siobhan wasn’t offended; quite the opposite, judging by the blinding smile she bestowed upon him as she took the proffered hand and rose – as gracefully as she’d sat in the first place.

When they returned, together, to the dining-room, Mrs. Dunn smiled to herself.

“What do you do?”

“I’m a trouble-shooter for commercial computer systems. The company I work for maintains computer systems all over the country,” Mike explained, “for some reason, I’m really good at it, so I get sent all over to sort out problems other techs can’t. I was really puzzled about this one this morning, so I went for a run in the park ... my mind seems to work things out ... subconsciously, I suppose ... but I got an idea this morning and was thinking it through over breakfast.” He continued with the explanation... , not really noticing her expression glaze over with incomprehension, ending with “so I spent a couple of hours at the Imperial War Museum and I think I’ll treat myself to a visit to the Science Museum tomorrow...” he stopped and looked at her. “I’m sorry ... I’m boring you. I get carried away with enthusiasm, you see. But ... tell me to mind my own business if you don’t want to talk about it ... do you want to tell me about your black eye?”

She studied his expression and decided he was being genuinely concerned.

“You weren’t boring me – I asked. You lost me with the technicalities, though. The black eye is easy to explain; my ex-fiancé and I had an argument and when he wouldn’t let me alone I slapped his face. He then punched me. Which is why I’m here. But I need to think what I’m going to do for a week or so; I can’t work like this.”


“I’m a model”

He nodded thoughtfully. “You’re certainly very beautiful.” Then he blushed again.

She smiled brilliantly. “Don’t be embarrassed. No woman objects to being told she’s beautiful! You might be surprised, though, how many models need the reassurance of being told. Lots of us are insecure.”

“You ... don’t seem insecure ... I mean...”

“I know. We ... I ... are practised at putting up a good front. Tell me, though, do you want me to go on calling you Mr. Barrett, or can I use your given name?”

Mike was stunned into silence; the whole situation was way outside his experience and he was getting uncomfortable. He croaked something, cleared his throat and managed to get out, “My name’s Michael, but mostly people call me Mike.”

“How do you do, Mike. I’m Siobhan,” she pronounced it ‘She-vawn’, “spelt S, I, O, B, H, A, N,”

“Pleased to meet you, Siobhan. I’d guess that’s an Irish name.”

“And you’d be right. My Grandparents were from Ireland. Would you do something for me, Mike?”

“Sure, if I can.”

She wondered what she was saying even as she was saying it.

“Take me with you when you go to the Science Museum, and explain why you like it so much.”

The encounter had a positive effect on Siobhan; she was distracted from her obsessional, circular thoughts about her relationship with Casey Sharp, drawn out of her focus on herself. Not one to frequent museums, she thought the next day would at least be different; maybe even fun. Mike Barrett was definitely not the sort of escort she would normally have sought out. However, she couldn’t help but think that her previous relationships had in the end been a lot less than satisfactory; Cass Sharp had only been the worst example, not the only one. So, she went to bed enjoying a pleasurable sense of anticipation, took a leisurely bath and slept well.

Mike, however, was in a state closely resembling panic. He had difficulty getting to sleep and woke early feeling sluggish. He fell back on habit; dressed in running shoes, t-shirt and shorts and left the hotel to run in the park. It took considerable self-discipline to get over his body’s torpid reluctance and it took longer than usual to find his ‘second wind’, but eventually he was running at his usual rate, his mind drifting and beginning to relax. After an hour and a half, and about twelve miles, he’d achieved a degree of composure. He told himself he had nothing to worry about. She’d asked him. If nothing else, he’d spend some time with a very attractive woman, which was more than he might have anticipated twenty-four hours previously.

Siobhan woke refreshed and composed. She showered, dressed with care; she didn’t want to intimidate Mike or draw attention to herself. A little carefully applied makeup concealed most of her injury; flat shoes completed the ensemble ... if she was going to be walking around she might as well be comfortable.

Mike, in his place for breakfast, saw her enter the dining-room. A memory – a book, a film, something his parents had said? - prompted him to stand and pull out her chair and to seat her, which caused her first to raise her eyebrows then to bestow one of her brilliant smiles on him. She couldn’t remember anyone treating her with such old-fashioned courtesy before. She decided rapidly that she liked it.

It would be an exaggeration to say they chatted easily over breakfast, but Siobhan did her best to put Mike at his ease ... with a fair amount of success.

They walked the mile or so to the museum. That was something new to Siobhan; she was reasonably fit in view of the time she spent in the gym, but walking as a means of getting from A to B (rather than to and from a taxi or limousine) took her back to childhood. The spring day was cool enough for the exercise to be pleasant.

Mike had thought about a plan for the day. In view of his own expertise, he began with Babbage’s ‘Difference Engine’ – the enormous, beautifully made, never completed mechanical calculator that was the predecessor of all computers, and guided her through a history of computing in a way that, somewhat to her surprise, was both interesting and comprehensible. With frequent breaks for refreshment, Mike tried hard to give her opportunities to say she’d had enough, but at the end of the day as they made their way back to Park House, she reassured him by thanking him for an edifying and fascinating day.

As the hotel came into view, however, it was apparent it was in a state of siege.

“Oh, shit, “ Siobhan muttered, touching Mike’s arm. “Can we sit in the park for a minute or two?”


“Looks like the muck-rakers have caught up with me.” She pulled out her mobile phone and speed-dialled her agent.

Mike, though, didn’t listen to her conversation, he made a call himself – to Mrs. Dunn. She happily explained how to find the rear entrance to the hotel.

“Don’t want to face reporters...” Siobhan was subdued.

“Neither do I. We can try to sneak in the back way,” Mike stood and held out his hand to her.

She took it and, standing, suddenly pulled it round her and pressed against him, wrapping her own arms round him. Reflexively, he held her.

“Thank you, Mike,” she whispered.

“You’re welcome,” he said, puzzled.

They detoured and approached the hotel rear entrance. The alleyway, just wide enough for a van, was tidy enough, but clearly not the sort of place hotel guests would be expected to use and there were no obstacles, human or otherwise, to their access. Mrs. Dunn met them and suggested they go straight to their rooms; she’d serve them meals in their rooms if they preferred.

“Perhaps Mike would like to eat with me, since I’ve been sharing his table in the dining-room,” Siobhan suggested, glancing at him.

Mrs. Dunn’s lips twitched slightly, unnoticed by the two of them.

“I, I, would like your company,” Mike said to Siobhan.

She smiled at him, then turned to Mrs. Dunn. “If it’s okay, then, we’d like dinner in my room.”

“It’s no trouble. Would you like a snack now?” Mrs. Dunn’s lips were quivering noticeably by that point. “Ring down when you’d like to order,” she added, turning away hastily and disappearing into her office.

“I’m going up,” Siobhan said. “If you’d like to come, a cup of tea would be welcome before I have a bath and get ready for dinner?”

The situation was unreal ... or perhaps surreal would be better ... for Mike. In a way, that helped. He was being carried along on a tide of events.

They went upstairs and ordered tea. Mike was hungry and asked for buttered toasted tea-cakes. Siobhan, with a shrug, decided to have a scone and to hell with her diet...

Mike discreetly excused himself as soon as they’d finished their snack, to give her privacy. They agreed he would return at seven-thirty.

They ate together, silent for the most part. But the silence was comfortable. Mike should not have been comfortable, but he was. Siobhan, too, was surprised at how comfortable she felt with her companion. As they sipped coffee at the end of the meal, she said quietly, “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

“How do you mean?”

“My agent wants me to clear off out of town for a few weeks. It’ll take a couple of weeks for the bruising to clear up and I certainly don’t want to be chased by reporters. I don’t know what to do.”

Mike didn’t speak immediately. His idea was crazy, definitely. There was no way this lovely woman would go for it. But ... nothing ventured ... faint heart never won fair lady...

“Siobhan ... you could come home with me.”

She looked at him, stunned. “I’m sorry?”

“I said ... I said ... you could come home with me. I’ve got a house ... three bedrooms, lots of room. It’s on a busy road and can be noisy, but you could have a back room. There’s shops nearby, and a park...”

“Are you serious? Do you really mean that? I could come and stay with you?”

“Well, yes, of course, if ... well, if you’d like to, I mean...”

“Mike, you’re a life-saver. Yes. That would solve most of my problems. If we can get there without being pursued. Thank you. Yes, please.”

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Story tagged with:
Ma/Fa / Consensual / Romantic / Heterosexual / Slow /