New series Suitable for all readers

The Chocolatier's House

A “New Captain Scarlet” story for Valentine’s Day

By Skybase Girl



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“For Valentine’s Day, 14th February.  A deeply sensual chocolate experience with a touch of romantic glamour and the excitement of hidden messages.”


Wow!  This is some catalogue.  I’m salivating already – no wonder she’s so keen on this stuff.  I had no idea it could be so – well, so seductive.  I mean, chocolate’s chocolate, right?  It’s a sweet fact, you either like it, love it, or hate it.  I know there are people who think it hits more erogenous zones than sex, but I’ve never been able to get my head around that one.  I think they must just be doing it wrong – the sex, not the chocolate, of course.

But The Chocolatier’s House – this is a whole different world as far as I’m concerned. It’s a bit like an introduction to a new religion, one which exists solely for the worship of hedonistic pleasure.  At one time, I would have scoffed at the idea of chocolate as an aphrodisiac, but looking at this, I’m prepared to believe it.



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The Luscious Lips Gift Bag.  An irresistible bag of goodies to melt your Valentine’s heart, with love hearts and hot lips in milk, dark and white chocolate.”


 Irresistible, eh?  That sounds promising.  And this is only page one!  I don’t know, though.  Maybe those hot lips are a bit tacky. Don’t want to send out the wrong message; I’ve only kissed her once and I am prepared to go on record in declaring it as one of the most delicious, sublime, heartfelt experiences of my entire life. Definitely nothing tacky or cheesy about it.  It was kismet, or more accurately, kiss-met; as soon as our lips touched, it was as if we were meeting each other all over again for the first time.  The most amazing thing is that I got the distinct impression she felt the same; one of those stops-you-in-your-tracks events, when you know that afterwards, nothing will be quite as it was before.  The law of averages tells me that when two people get to that place at the exact same moment, something is definitely happening.



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Sealed with a Kiss. A glamorous collection specially selected for those hopelessly head-over-heels; with liquid caramels, ravishing truffles and melting pralines, all in the shape of beautiful hearts, passionate lips and more.”


Hmm.  It seems we’re back to the lips again; and it’s a heart-shaped box.  Whilst I’m not doing this in traditionally anonymous fashion – hell, I want her to know who sent them, for goodness sake – I also don’t want to scare her off.  Maybe this is a bit too blatant – perhaps I should stick to flowers this time around.  On the other hand, maybe it’s just me being too cowardly to wear my heart on the proverbial sleeve.  Men don’t, do they?  It’s an indisputable fact, something all women learn the moment they hit puberty.  Okay, I concede that some men probably do – those who are either braver or more in touch with their feminine sides than I am ever likely to be.  But then, if I’m prepared to send her flowers and chocolates on Valentine’s Day without concealing my identity, surely that is wearing my heart on my sleeve.  Maybe I shouldn’t be such a wimp about all this.



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Melting Choc and Cookie Chip Block.  A glorious fusion of mellow milk and praline chocolate studded with shortbread and cocoa cookies, for a satisfying contrast of crispy crunch and smooth chocolate.


Well, this just sums her up, really.  She is a glorious fusion; all that smooth milk chocolate skin and those amazing eyes combined with an intellect that could certainly be described as crispy.  As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing more irresistible than that. I imagine that if I were to lick her body, she would taste just like the product in this picture.  God – maybe I’d better turn the page now; the idea of licking her all over has been fuelling my most erotic dreams for some time now.  I find myself becoming too easily distracted, for want of a better word.




“Room Service.  A real adventure, with flavours to stimulate both mind and body for a smooth night in.  Tongue-tingling prosecco, lickably soft milk chocolate, spreadable Smudge, a black satin blindfold and more...” 


Oh, no.  No.  Spreadable chocolate, satin blindfolds.... oh Christ, that’s more distraction than I can cope with.  Down, boy.  Remember we’re still on baby steps here; this is about romance, not lust.  The raw sex, if there is to be any, may be a whole lot further down the line.

It’s quite strange actually; it’s hard to pinpoint when the lust began, although it’s true to say that she and I hit it off the moment we both arrived on Skybase.  That’s a little surprising, considering we don’t really have all that much in common – apart from what we do for a living, of course.  Our backgrounds couldn’t be more dissimilar and we don’t always like the same things.  For instance, I’ve always been really sporty and she has absolutely no interest in watching men “chase each other round a pitch”, as she puts it.   She’s very musical, whereas it would be impossible to overstate my inability to carry a tune.  She’s elegant, feminine, and full of grace; I’m large, powerful and pretty masculine, I like to think, but no-one would ever call me graceful.  But the thing is, she gets me.  Really gets me, you know?  Despite our differences, she just delves right into the heart of me in a way no-one else can.  I absolutely love that about her.



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“Serious Dark Fix.  A dark chocolate adventure brimming with deep cocoa flavours; smooth pralines with hazelnuts and chilli, truffles with Scotch whisky and West Indian rum, oozing caramels and more.”


Thinking back, I guess things started to change when she had that awful experience with the Mysteron bugs that were trying to destroy Skybase.  I remember being taken aback at how protective the whole episode made me feel – overnight, it was like she’d become my responsibility.  I’ve never told her that, of course, because I suspect she wouldn’t be too pleased.  She’s one of the toughest, most resourceful people I know and she doesn’t really need looking after.  I just enjoy being responsible for her, that’s all.

However, responsibility issues notwithstanding, I guess true possessiveness didn’t really kick in until she almost lost her life at the hands of her father in the nuclear reactor incident. God, that was dreadful – I couldn’t believe how close I’d come to losing her.  I never ever want to feel anything like that again. After it was all over, I did worry about the effects of the radiation she’d been exposed to, despite Doctor Gold’s reassurances, but to be honest, I was more bothered about her mental state.  In order for her and Scarlet to get out of that place alive, she had had to kill her dad.  Okay, he turned out to be a Mysteron scumbag who hadn’t hesitated to sacrifice her, but still......most of us would never in a million years imagine that in trying to save the planet, we’d be forced to murder our own father, even if it was in self-defence. So I knew that despite outward appearances, she had to be in a really dark place.  Fixing her, putting her back together again, became my pet project, the details of which I won’t bore you with here.  Suffice to say that it didn’t happen overnight, but something else did.  I fell in love.



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“The Chocolatier’s House, Saint Lucia, West Indies.  For the ultimate chocolate experience, visit our exclusive hotel, perched spectacularly between Saint Lucia’s iconic Piton Mountains.  Stay in one of our Cocoa Pods and discover what it takes to grow the rare and vintage cocoa that features in all our products; or choose a Cocoa Villa and explore cooking with cacao in your own kitchen.”


 This is amazing.  These people think of everything.  The Chocolatier’s House actually has its own hotel!  Looks beautiful, if these photos are anything to go by.  I remember her telling me that her family used to holiday in Saint Lucia when she was a kid and how much she loved it.  I can see why, now.  I’d love to take her there someday, try to make new, good memories, so that not everything is tainted by what the Mysterons have done to us.

I guess I haven’t mentioned the moment I knew she’d become my girl.  Well, it’s kind of corny, I suppose.  Towards the end of Project Serena, when she could smile and laugh again, when the light in her eyes had returned, I took her to a concert in Baltimore.  Not just any concert, you understand; this was Joan Alexander and her band.  If you haven’t heard of her, don’t worry – neither had I until I found out that not only is she the greatest jazz singer of her generation, but she’s an absolute icon as far as Serena is concerned.  Tickets for this thing were rarer than gold dust, so I knew I’d played a blinder.  And it was fabulous; jazz is not really my thing, but it was worth it to watch her so enraptured.  She was singing along to everything, knew the words off by heart; to my tone-deaf ears, she knocked Joanie into a cocked hat.  All right, so I’m biased.  But when it ended, when I grabbed her hand to fight our way through the throngs heading for the exit, I noticed she was crying.  It wasn’t until we finally got outside into the late night air that she explained the last time she had seen Joan Alexander in concert was just before her twelfth birthday and her dad had taken her as a treat.  That was, she said, the last happy memory she had of him.

You can imagine how I felt.  I thought I’d ruined everything.  But then she tucked her arm into mine and told me that she was grateful to me for giving her the opportunity to relive a good memory and that she finally realised that those were the ones she needed to hang on to.  So that was when I kissed her.  It seemed the obvious thing to do, really.  And she did taste of chocolate; I knew it was the remains of the ice cream we’d eaten in the intermission, but it was great anyway.  In fact, the whole thing was wonderful.  And that, dear reader, is why I’ve ended up here, nailing my colours to the Valentine’s Day mast, in the hope that the genie who leapt out of the bottle on that fantastic Baltimore night may be persuaded to work his magic again.



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“The Nibblatrons.  Five milk chocolate mini robots, programmed to be utterly delicious, presided over by the Chief Nibblatron.  Clad in his finest circuitry, he has only one thing to say – We Will Obey!”


Oh, man.  How fantastic is this?   Chocolate robots!  Forget Mysterons, think Nibblatrons instead. Pity the Mysterons don’t melt away as these things undoubtedly do.  Still, thinking of the Mysterons as chocolate robots makes them seem a hell of a lot less threatening.  These little guys are so cute, I could really be tempted.....  but no, I’m not sure they give out the right sort of message on this occasion.  Ah well, another time perhaps.



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“The Love Book.  Be the star of your own true romance with two intricately engraved love hearts sealed with grosgrain ribbon – one heart in fruity milk and cookies chocolate and the other in dark caramel and pecan nut chocolate.”


Ah.  This is more like it.  In fact, I think this says it all, really. Simple, classy and pushes all the buttons.  Let’s hope they’ll be the right buttons.  Well, you’re used to living dangerously, Svenson, so let’s just get on with it.   Okay, order completed, credit card details punched in..... so, that’s it.  No going back now.



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You Crack Me Up. With one shell in pure milk chocolate and the other in mellow milk with a dash of white, and ten irrepressibly cheery chocolates inside, including smiley face pralines and brownies, fried eggs, Easter bunnies and chicks.


Oh, sorry.  You’re probably wondering what’s going on with me now.  Well, time has moved on a little and this is the Easter brochure I’m looking at.  Now that Valentine’s Day has been and gone, I’m a confirmed chocoholic.  I’ve eaten more of the stuff in the last few weeks than in the whole of my life so far.  There is a reason for that – not only did we have to nibble our way through the Love Book, but then there was the box of Nibblatrons that she bought me, together with two tickets for the Superbowl.  (A monumental sacrifice on her part, I realise – but hey, didn’t I tell you that this woman gets me?)

In fact, things are going so swimmingly well, next Valentine’s Day, we may well end up at The Chocolatier’s House, Saint Lucia, for the total chocolate experience, complete with our own “Love Dipping Adventure.”



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The End



Authors notes


The idea for this piece of fluffy confectionary came to me as I perused the pages of a “Hotel Chocolat” brochure.  I would like to place on record not only my love for their products, but my deliberate and shameless pilfering of words and images from their website. Despite Hotel Chocolat turning into The Chocolatier’s House, I have borrowed some product names and descriptive prose with artistic licence.  In mitigation, I can only offer up my whole-hearted thanks and endorsement of the fabulous chocolate they make and my sincere hopes that they don’t sue me.  As always, I would like to thank my beta-reader Hazel Kohler for stepping up to the plate once more and Chris Bishop for her efforts in making it fit for the website in double-quick time.  It’s a real privilege to have a story posted so early into the tenth anniversary celebrations.


The usual thanks go to Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and their colleagues, whose work over forty-plus years has richly fuelled my imagination and given me so much pleasure.

I hope everyone finds their own little bit of romance on Valentine’s Day, whether or not chocolate is involved.


Skybase Girl

February 2011.     






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