It was clear she was being expected to change in front of them. As she undressed, she could sense the two women behind the table watching her intently and realised this was to ensure she did not try to secrete anything such as a pen, paper or mobile. When Virago had said she was only to wear her outfit at the event, they clearly meant it. She decided to make a point of remaining fully naked for a few moments before putting on her costume to show she had absolutely nothing to hide. Having put on the tights and leotard, Kate zipped up her black boots and put on her mask. I wonder what Mark would say if he saw me now, she thought, feeling quite wicked. She handed over the bag containing her clothes, wallet and car keys and watched as the second lady rolled up the neck and attached her pass-card to it with a bulldog clip.
‘Good,’ the first lady smiled. ‘You can have this back when you’re ready to leave. You will find everyone through the opposite flap. There a conservatory in which you will find food and drinks and a washroom to the left but you must not walk around the rest of the house. You are free to wander around the grounds, though. Have a nice evening.’
Kate opened the other flap and found a huge garden with flower beds and shrubberies displaying a mass of colours. The rear lawn had tram-lines showing it was well cared for. And around the garden and inside the conservatory were women clad in Blue, Black, Yellow and Green leotards, as mirroring the colours of the garden. As Kate looked around, she noticed there were two women clad in red talking only to one other. The majority of the women wore blue or black, making the ladies in yellow stand out. The effect of everyone wear masks was a little disconcerting. Deciding to talk initially to fellow Enyos, Kate made her way to the conservatory where she could see a few black leotards amongst the blues and greens. This was going to be a very interesting evening.
Two of the other Enyos were in a corner of the conservatory drinking white wine.
‘Come and join us,’ smiled one with wavy blonde hair. Her hairstyle seemed to match a bubbly personality. ‘I saw you walking in looking a little nervous. This is Firebrand and I’m Foxy.’
‘Lara,’ Kate replied, shaking their hands. ‘Pleased to meet you. I guess this is your first meeting too?’
‘For both of us,’ said Fox. ‘I’ve come down from Newcastle and found Firebrand is staying in the same hotel so we can compare notes later.’
‘That’s nice,’ Kate smiled. ‘It was a fairly short drive for me. Are you parked at the front?’
‘I got a taxi,’ said Firebrand, revealing a broad Yorkshire accent. ‘I like to have a few drinks.’ She laughed nervously.
This was clearly a national event. Both the women seemed very young but even with everyone wearing masks, it appeared there was not just a broad geographical but also a wide range of ages amongst the membership. Almost everyone appeared in reasonable shape, however. Some were a lot slimmer than others but no one could be described as fat.
‘Everyone looks after themselves here, don’t they?’ Kate observed.
‘They have to,’ Foxy replied. ‘If you get to fat, the Demeters require you to go on some kind of bikini boot camp; I’ve heard they’re hell but they work!’
I hope I never get sent on one, Kate thought, pinching her stomach. The Lakes weekend was bad enough!
‘You’ve nothing to worry about.’ Foxy laughed. ‘Have you earned any credits yet?’
‘Just one,’ Kate admitted. ‘I’m still thinking how to spend it.’
‘Me too,’ said Firebrand. ‘I want to use mine wisely.’