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Sweet Slavery

Sweet Slavery


F. E. Campbell Sweet Slavery

Chapter One

Female.

    It had begun as one of those small jokes which, if the mood took them, could be turned into reality, a tacit but giggling contemplation of the delicious. They made a big deal of debating the length of time, they called it 'the sentence', during which Griselda would be handcuffed. They toyed delightfully with six months. . twelve?
    Certainly nothing less than three! There was also the portentous question of in front or behind Griselda's back? and should she wear something or be nude? Each girl knew the answers but it was warmly erotic to roll alternatives off the tongue. And the lady must protest?!
    "But, 'Tonia, behind my back I won't be able to do a thing."
    "I'll do it all, darling. It's not the first time, y'know." Griselda pouted.
    "You'll get tired of that. I bet you unlock me the second day."
    "You know I won't It's you who'l be pleading? and it never has stopped us making love."
    Each tucked the inevitable into a mental recess, the suspense of evanescence was too precious to deny. They savoured an erotic possibility they could so easily make real. Reflectively, Antonia Noyes questioned: "How long have I owned you, Griselda?"
    "Always."
    "Yes, I know. But since I first brought you here?"
    Griselda laughed. "I was handcuffed then, don't you remember? It was four years ago, four years and five months. I was twenty-two." She laughed again. "We'd both agreed on a week-end."
    "Suppose I never did unlock them, just left them on you?"
    "So? So, alright. There's nothing to stop you."
    "That's a dare. You're being foxy."
    "Want me to go and get them?"
    "That black pair, the expensive one's."
    "O.K."
    Ilona Paisley was uncertain whether to be intrigued or annoyed. They could be putting her on. Or perhaps her reputation had preceded her. In interviews like this it was so important to hold on to initiative, but her's had slipped. The naked girl on the floor, even though she had spoken no word, had stolen it.
    "Paisley Publications." She asserted. "I am Ilona Paisley."
    "Yes, of course." The voice was beautifully modulated. "I have to feel honored, and I have to ask why?"
    "Well, you are the daughter of Senator Noyes. He wasn't small potatoes." Miss Ilona Paisley allowed her attention to stray to the nude beauty reclining against her hostess's knee. "And word does get around, y'know. I've always given the avant garde a lot of space. They fascinate the middle classes, and that's where the circulation is."
    "I'm not one of them."
    Miss Paisley nodded at the girl on the rug. "I'd say she was your price of admission." She hesitated, then demanded: "Her arms are handcuffed, aren't they, behind her back?"
    "Yes." The smile was amused. "Does that make me 'way out'?"
    "Way far out. What I'm looking at is good copy."
    "It's also private. I once read an article about you in one of your own magazines.
    It called you the 'Sybarite Tycoon'."
    "Yeah, wrote it myself. Can't have people messing with me in print. Look, I'll give your story any treatment you like? write it yourself if you want?"
    "Griselda, cocktails please." The smile was still amused. Miss Ilona Paisley was entranced. Story or no, this was worth the price. Aware of excitation, she registered every motion for future reference. These were an elusive pair to docket. They appeared of an age, the late twenties. One of her favourite words, 'soignee' applied to both, even the nude was immaculately sophisticated. In a single unfolding fluidity it rose to its feet and went to the bar.
    Ilona Paisley watched the impossible. The damn girl was handcuffed but it did not seem to matter. One bare arm circled back to accommodate the other, a twist of an exquisite torso, reaching fingers only partly inhibited by steel. Straining like that, the girl showed the loveliest breast the publisher had ever seen. There was the tinkle of glass and gurgle of a bottle. . By the same expedient the glass was carried and tendered without spillage. Miss Paisley had the feeling she was being laughed at. But she trod lightly. "Care to tell me what goes?"
    "Actually, nothing. Griselda belongs to me, that's all."
    "Hmmmmmm, Am I allowed to speak to her?"
    "Oh, yes. She'll answer what she wishes to."
    Ilona Paisley was conscious of two pairs of extremely feminine eyes regarding her with polite attention. If one was subservient and the other a Mistress their faces gave no sign. The naked girl seemed totally self possessed, relaxed, intelligent.
    "How long have you been wearing handcuffs, Miss. . ?" She searched back to the introduction, "Miss Sanderson?"
    "On and off for over four years, Miss Paisley." It was another voice to remember, educated, articulate.
    "But this time? Did you put them on 'specially for me?"
    "They have been as they are now for more than two months."
    "You're putting me on?"
    "No, really! It was something we both wanted." The words were patient in understanding. "You noticed with the drink, I'm not completely helpless. But what I can't do myself 'Tonia does for me."
    "Would you mind backing up and letting me see your wrists and hands. . and the cuffs?"
    Again the exquisite fluidity, this girl was ageless. Miss Paisley found herself gazing at a round taut bottom, above which two hands were open and relaxed and two wrists pulled tight the metal linkage of their bond. But there was something else:
    "Your derriere's got. . marks?"
    "It was caned a few days ago."
    Ilona Paisley experienced lust. There was something wickedly sexual about what was being offered for her attention and about the quiet acquiesence of Griselda's tone. Momentarily at a loss, she fingered the shining chrome bands. They' had been made firmly snug on the wrists they confined. She could not tell the degree in which the skin was chafed, certainly it was slightly red. But then, if the girl did not struggle. . ! "Thank you." She said evenly. "Naturally I'm curious. Care to tell me anything?"
    "We're just what you see. No mystery. Griselda, give Miss Paisley another drink."
    "Could we make it first names? I'm Ilona."
    "Of course." Antonia gave her Mona Lisa smile. "I'd pictured publishers as fat and forty or tweedy British. You're a relief."
    "Mind if I watch this girl of your's, I find what she's doing utterly beyond belief."
    "Griselda's very special, she won't spill a drop."
    "What's with you? Mistress and slavegirl?"
    "We don't see it like that. We're just two girls."
    "But those marks on her bottom?"
    "She earned them. If she spilt your drink she'd earn some more. You could watch her receive them."
    Ilona's pulse thudded. She longed for a dropped glass. "Alright then." She conceded, "What's with you two? B amp;D. . ? I've run a feature or two on S amp;M. I think they're for the birds. Anyone can get horny over a whipped ass, especially a cute little can like she's got."
    "We don't use those names. They're not really us." Antonia Noyes was enjoying her visitor's avid curiosity, it bestowed a pleasant omnipotence. She was envisioning Ilona Paisley in the nude and with a well striped bottom! The woman was not a great deal older than herself, as a diversion she might be worth while. She would amuse Griselda. "You'd like to whip Griselda's bottom." She suggested blandly. "I can tell."
    Ilona Paisley was again viewing the buttocks in question. They came along with her fresh drink. The lines across the rounded curves were definite, they had been placed there by some slender instrument of punishment. She was shocked by her wave of concupiscence they evoked. Forthrightly, she admitted: "Well, yes I would.
    You two seem to have dragged something out of the closet. Don't tell me you'd let me?"
    "Ask Griselda, it's her bottom."
    "If it would give you pleasure, Ilona. Why, of course you can." Griselda's eyes were limpid pools. But she was a woman bestowing a privilege on another as an equal. "I'm afraid you'd have to tie me though. I can't stand still while. . it happens."
    Ilona was annoyed with herself. These two had got under her skin. They were so impregnable, their beautifully svelte exteriors were more than a facade. She was accustomed to shocking others. . she was not even coming close, but they had managed to get her into a dither of desire.
    "Why don't you let Griselda give you the Grand Tour?"
    Were they playing with her? Perhaps! But what had she to lose! Ilona Paisley said, with some sincerity: "I'd like that. You're really being very kind to a nosey Parker."
    She got to her feet.
    The damn girl was magic, erotic as all get out. Nothing about her fitted a pattern.
    Despite the handcuffs, it was like having the President's wife show you around a bawdy house. Ilona supposed it was the handcuffed wrists and the weaving bottom, walking ahead, that was arousing her responses. She was heatedly aware of them.
    These two positively had to be lesbians to reach out and grab her as they did. And the agility! Griselda opened doors and pointed things out with the same dexterity she had employed in serving drinks. Maybe she actually had been handcuffed like this for weeks and weeks?
    "There's really only the punishment room and where we sleep." Griselda was faintly apologetic. "And, of course, the dungeon."
    "I'd like to see the dungeon."
    "It's a bit cold now. I haven't been naughty for a couple of days." Griselda smiled from some remote solitude all her own. "I'm not a bit fond of the dungeon. You're suspecting I'm a masochist but I'm not. And the chains are so heavy."
    "Chains?"
    "Yes, of course. A girl put in a dungeon is always chained. It's Purely punitive? I mean, it's part of her punishment."
    The Publisher looked around in journalistic joy. What a story! The damn place actually was a dungeon. Any medieval monster would have been proud of it. And there were the chains, the cuffs of their shackles open and waiting. . hanging from the stone of the wall. She turned to her guide: "You mean, you get locked in this awful place, and you wear all that hardware on your wrists and ankles?"
    "Of course." There was a hint of impatience at so redundant a query. "As I said, I don't enjoy it one bit. But it's a punishment, and a girl's not supposed to enjoy her punishments."
    "Take it seriously, don't you!"
    "Is there any other way?" There was a hint of reproof.
    "I suppose not." Ilona was now having to cope with breasts and pubic hair of which their owner seemed unaware, but which were affecting her breathlessly. Their contours and their colours could not be ignored. Hiding arousal, she enquired: "The other room?"
    "Of course. It gets used more often. I don't always deserve the dungeon, y'know.
    We go back upstairs."
    "You get a kick out of this stuff!" Ilona Paisley gazed around the large bright chamber with an interest only slightly tinged with disapproval. "I mean. . having it. . happen to you?"
    "How quaint? your expression? 'Happen to me'. The answer is yes."
    "You'd let yourself be fastened in those stocks, or hoisted up on that pulley? And isn't that what they used to call a 'horse', a girl sits on it with her thingummy squashed?"
    "Yes, if 'Tonia orders me."
    The blasted girl was showing a faintly superior boredom. The Paisley Publishing House felt itself slighted by a nude product of Vassar whose wrists were handcuffed behind a strikingly beautiful back. Ilona's retort was terse: "Suppose I ordered you?"
    "No. I'm sorry. But you can always ask 'Tonia? about me, I mean. I'll do whatever she says."
    "You are a slave then? Or a masochist?"
    "We find such terms offensive, if you don't mind?"
    Dammit, she was being talked down to, a plebeian being put in her place. Ilona Paisley had a momentary vision of whipping the pert bare bottom that had such a high opinion of itself. At that moment it would be a most satisfying act. Gruffly, she demanded: "How'd you feel about it if I did ask that girl friend of your's about using you some way?"
    "Oh, by all means! I can't promise 'Tonia's answer? Oh, and I should warn you, if I have to experience pain I make the same sounds as any other girl."
    "Who said anything about pain?"
    "Your face, Miss Paisley. For a moment it was avid."
    "Look here, Griselda Sanderson, d'you realize you're talking at me as though I'm a moron fresh from Skunk Hollow?"
    "Oh. . ! Oh, I'm really sorry, I didn't mean?!" The words were undoubtedly sincere. "Tonia and I have something most people don't understand, so now I don't even expect them to? and since it doesn't really matter. . ! I say, would you like me to show you our own room, our bedroom? It's probably a bit different??"
    It was different! Ilona Paisley looked around and wished she shared such erotic luxury with her guide, the bed screamed of female love.
    "As you see, it's a four poster, and the posts are heavy and joined across the top to make them very, very solid." Griselda's voice had become more softly tolerant. "I can be tied, chained, fastened to it in a hundred poses?"
    "Poses?"
    "We like that word. 'Tonia and I want anything that's done with me to be aesthetic."
    "Tied to her bedpost. . ! Why?"
    "Ohhh, I think you know. Wouldn't you like to drowse in that bed with me. .
    arranged to please?"
    Ilona conceded a smile. "The way you explain that? It grabs. Some other female, no. But with you, yes. I suppose you realize you've got a built-in eroticism that makes this whole thing credible?"
    "Oh, yes, I know." The admission was vaguely abstract. "But here's something else you should see."
    The fluid coping with chained hands once more came into play. With simian dexterity Griselda used a bare foot to snare a chain and lift it to the coverlet. At the end was an open shackle. Contorting her nudity, she contrived to fit the metal circlet round her left ankle and snap it shut. Gracefully, she got to her feet and walked around the bed, the chain swirling on the rug with every step. Brightly, she enquired:
    "D'you like it?"
    Ilona Paisley liked it very much. It was absurd, but in this situation it possessed a rightness. "What's it for?" She asked breathlessly.
    "It lets me go to the bathroom and around, but it won't allow me to reach the door or the key on the far wall. When my ankle's locked this way 'Tonia knows where I'm at."
    "But to chain you! It implies a wish to escape. Do you want to?"
    "Of course not. But everything we do must be totally valid. If I walked around free and wore clothes we'd simply be a couple of girls who slept together."
    "So?"
    Griselda smiled. "You know better than to toss that 'So?' at me. You're just probing. I think you're managing to put a label on 'Tonia and I. Most people can't, and it doesn't matter."
    "I'm flattered. I'm going to ask your Antonia to order you to do something."
    "Very well. May I ask what?"
    "To service me."
    Ilona Paisley's bomb did not explode. Griselda's reply was unconcerned. "Yes, I understand. I will do whatever 'Tonia tells me."
    "Dammit', you're too improbable to exist, and too bloody beautiful. Where's that key, I'll unlock your foot."
    "Oh no, you mustn't! That would spoil it. Don't you see, you've started something.
    Go and ask 'Tonia I'll stay here and wait. I have to, don't I. Afterwards. . then you can set me free."
    Antonia Noyes laughed unaffectedly. "I've been wondering which you'd ask for. I guessed wrong, I thought you'd want to cane the darling's bottom? your face when you saw her marks. . !"
    "I'd like to do that too."
    "D'you want to include that in your request?"
    Ilona was breathing heavily. "Right now I wish I'd kept my mouth shut. I feel a fool."
    "But why?" Antonia was concerned.
    "Well. . barging in here the way I've done! You've both been so. . so. ."
    Ilona laughed nervously, "Superciliously tolerant. I have to wonder why?"
    "The darling and I sense you as belonging. We get the right vibes. Don't act a role with us. You don't need to."
    "I'm trying to put a label on you two. But I'll stop, it doesn't matter. Look, Antonia, I called myself a sybarite: it's true enough up to a point. But my pleasure seeking never got close to what you do. The bed thing, sure! You tagged me there right quick. I'm damn good at the bed games, I shed my inhibitions with my clothes.
    I think you'd like me naked, I stop being a publisher. Dammit', I'm only thirty-three."
    Antonia laughed. "I'd be glad to see you naked. Oh, and I'll bet you left Griselda with a chain on her ankle?"
    "It was her idea. That girl and everything she says or does is pure aphrodisiac."
    "And she's awaiting my decision in trepidation?"
    "Hell, no. I think she sees me as passing trivia. There's something ageless about her. You sure the two of you haven't been around a couple of millenniums?"
    "We're not witches. Griselda becomes very human when she's whipped. She screams beautifully."
    "May I whip her?"
    "No."
    "May she service me?"
    "No."
    "Dammit', I expected you'd say Yes. Griselda doesn't like the idea, eh?"
    "It would amuse her. The negative is mine."
    "No poaching on the preserve, eh?"
    "Well. . " The calm smile lit the lovely features in friendliness. "What would you say if you were me?"
    "A resounding negative." The publisher shrugged ruefully. "You've got something, why cheapen it! But you say Griselda would be amused? How d'you know?"
    "We know each other's thoughts. I can't explain. But the darling has an incredible tongue, and she's proud of it. So far as whipping her bottom goes, she thinks you'd blow it and retreat in confusion."
    Ilona shook her head sadly. "The girl's psychic. Why d'you keep referring to her as
    'The darling', she's a long way from being a child?"
    "It's right for us, that's all. Ilona, don't you realize you keep calling her a 'girl'.
    She's as old as I am. There's not all that many years between the three of us."
    "Would money buy her? Could I throw a rug round her and take her home?"
    "No. But that one would really amuse her. Why don't you go and let her in on the offer. Oh, and while you're there you can let her loose."
    They had given her everything and nothing. Ilona Paisley made her way back to the chained girl, speculating possibilities, loathe to take no for an answer yet glimpsing the impregnability of Antonia Noyes and the girl called Griselda. They lived in a Pre-Raphaelite Arcady that would have delighted Burne-Jones and inspired John Millais. They were timeless and ageless and the most sensual experience of her career. One moment she saw them as distantly ethereal, in the next they exuded a rampant female sexuality which set her afire with longing.
    Griselda was seated at the vanity, lost in thought. When she turned about she sent the chain swirling from her ankle in a provocative clash of links. Her reflective smile was as sincere as her condolence: "I hope you're not terribly disappointed, Ilona?"
    "You knew all the time."
    "I'm afraid so. The real disappointment is mine. I would have liked to feed between your thighs and had you whip me. I'm more precocious than I appear."
    "Let's do it anyway?"
    "No."
    It was the same negative finality: Griselda was owned.
    Ilona switched: "You kicked that chain out for my attention." She accused.
    "Yes. You like it, I know you do."
    "Yesssss. . you're right." Ilona acknowledged slowly. "What the hell's with this chain. . and those handcuffs?"
    "The door's open but I can't leave this room. I'm naked and I cannot clothe myself. I am owned. Only 'Tonia can change anything for me. I live in a perpetually excited awareness of obedience to her."
    "But your life, the real You?"
    "This is Me. Anything else is a sham. You envy me."
    "Envy! Oh, c'mon, now!"
    "Yes you do. You're not what you show the world at all. You should give yourself to 'Tonia but you won't, not now."
    "I could never be like you."
    "You are like me."
    "You're a slave, there's no other word. Or would you sooner be called a prisoner?"
    "I'm just a girl whose hands have been cuffed behind her back for more than two months, and I love the girl who locked them there." Griselda smiled companionably.
    "Don't try and make me complex? Ilona, please get the key off the wall and hold it, the key to my shackle."
    Ilona Paisley plucked the bit of metal from its ring, with it came a curious excitation. She turned to the naked girl. "Well?"
    "Hold it. Sit down. Talk."
    The publisher relaxed in a chair. "Can I ask questions?"
    "The answer to all of them is in your hand." Griselda bestowed a pixie smile.
    "You hold the key to my freedom or captivity. While you control that key I belong to you. Feel anything?"
    "Good gosh, yes!" Ilona was startled by the demanding flare of heat between her legs. "I've been feeling something ever since I walked in here. I just made Antonia an offer to buy you."
    "That's wrong way round. Let 'Tonia buy you."
    "You're so gorgeously gorgeous?" Ilona shook her head as though dazed. "It isn't as though you're opulently endowed or voluptuous or any of the cliches. But there you sit with those marvellous breasts and that positive jungle of pubic hair. .! And you don't seem to possess a tummy. You're the most provocative female I've ever seen.
    You're the original Eve."
    "Tonia says things like that. But she's the same. Maybe sometime you'l see her naked."
    "Look, Griselda, this is outrageous, but I want to whip you."
    "Of course." Griselda's agreement was calmly insouciant. "I'd love you to whip me. I want to watch your face. . that's if I was tied any way that would let me."
    "I've never whipped a girl? I suppose you realize I'm talking about whipping you because it's generating my secretions by the pint? It's a beautiful agony."
    "Me too! Want to test?" Griselda stood invitingly.
    Such carnality from a creature so immaculately nubile. Ilona Paisley thought of this only briefly as her hand made its invasion of a forbidden place and was enveloped in heat.
    "Griselda, you're scorching, you're?!"
    "I know I am. But feel me properly."
    The hand came away wet and glistening. Ilona looked at it hungrily. Her eyes sought those of the handcuffed girl. "Darling. . " Her voice was choking. "Oh, darling. . !"
    "Make me lick it dry for you. I like to taste myself." Ilona Paisley raised her hand.
    In amazement she beheld Griselda's tongue as it lapped and laved. It started as an impudent pink tip, then elongated into inch after inch of a seeking probe. "I use it a lot." Griselda explained matter-of-factly. "Its grown. So has 'Tonia's."
    "But, it's incredible!"
    "Yes, isn't it! We're so proud of them."
    "After seeing that I'd feel foolish."
    "You shouldn't. Anything about any girl is delectable." The confined shoulders twisted in frustration. "I wish 'Tonia hadn't said 'No'. You seem so lonely."
    "We mustn't blame her. After all, I did intrude." The publisher made a moue of resignation. "And. . and, I do realise I'm out of my class. You. . you're so exquisite. You make my adventures sort of. . seamy and soiled."
    "Could I taste you now, please?"
    Hope leaped in Ilona's breast. "You? you mean??"
    "Oh, no, but I'm so sorry. Oh dear, how foolish!" Griselda's features pleaded understanding. "I mean perhaps you'd wet your own hand for me? I can't do it because I'm handcuffed."
    "Don't you hate those handcuffs?"
    "I adore them. They're 'Tonia's hand on me. I'm conscious of them day and night.
    But, your hand. . ? I mean, you don't have to?"
    Up under her dress, thrust aside the soaked panties, cup her throbbing sex! The publisher of women's magazines wondered if this was really she or someone else. The heat between her thighs could not match that of the handcuffed girl but she was shocked at its intensity. When she raised her inundated palm to the waiting mouth her eyes sought those of the younger girl and locked fast. While the prehensile tongue sought and absorbed its nourishment the two of them became one. They were sisters.
    "Mmmmm. . You don't taste a bit like 'Tonia. We're right about you, y'know."
    "What you're saying is I ought to be naked and handcuffed like you?" Ilona laughed uncertainly. "Oh, and with a shackle and chain locked tight on one of my ankles?"
    "Of course! What's so strange?"
    "Well, dammit girl, until I walked in here?!"
    "I'm glad you came. You're glad too." Griselda's eyes danced. "Buy a pair of handcuffs and wear them sometimes at home. You can fantasize that it was 'Tonia or me who locked them on your wrists."
    "No, I'm not going to play sad lonely little games like that. I shouldn't need to. I want you."
    Griselda's eyes wel ed sympathy. "I expect you're right." She admitted slowly. "But talk to 'Tonia. I won't do anything she does not tell me to, but perhaps. . !"
    Ilona held up the key. "Want your ankle back?"
    "Yes. I expect 'Tonia will be wondering." She held out a bare foot and its shining shackle.
    When she inserted the key Miss Ilona Paisley was breathless. Unlocking the shining band from the slender ankle she clasped it round her own and clicked it shut.
    Sharing Griselda's amusement she walked a few paces this way and that against the drag of the metallic links. Cautiously, she headed for the door but was snubbed short.
    "If you weren't holding the key, Ilona, we could keep you always. There's no escape from that shackle." Griselda twinkled. "We could take the key away from you
    ??"
    Thought of Griselda's insinuation was a high voltage shock. Captive to the two of them! Prisoned by a band of steel to which they held the key! It was a prospect utterly absurd, incredible, enchanting! Paisley Publications dissolved into limbo. She had become a captive maiden on a chain!
    "You poor dear!" The girl in handcuffs had read her thoughts. "You want to, don't you. If I wasn't helpless you'd love me to grab that key. Poor, poor Ilona."
    When they rejoined Atonia Noyes, the flushed but forthright publisher lost no time: "One hundred thousand dollars for her?" She bid firmly.
    "No. We're both sorry, but no."
    "For the same sum, give her to me for one week?"
    They kissed her sadly in their understanding of desuetude.

Chapter Two

Mistresses and Girls.

    "Was I selfish? I feel a bitch."
    Griselda nuzzled 'Tonia's troubled cheek and rubbed a bare breast against one that was clothed. "Of course you were selfish, darling. But I belong to you. I can't be shared around just because I was getting naughty thoughts about her. You'll have to punish me for that, y'know."
    "Oh, don't worry, I will. But I felt sorry for that woman, she's conquered her world, and she's lonely. We had a shocking impact on her. I'm surprised that, with her resources, she's never discovered herself."
    "She hasn't discovered herself yet, she's looking in the wrong mirror." Griselda said pensively. "And of course we had an impact. We're not the least bit ordinary, and I teased. Darling, how about using a whip on me this time instead of the crop?"
    "I'll use both." Antonia assured absently. "But now I'm wondering what to do if she approaches us again."
    "No problem." Griselda was again excited. "You lay down the Law. She gets stripped, tied and whipped within thirty minutes or you don't let her in."
    Antonia laughed. "Shouldn't we allow time to give her a drink."
    "Alright, forty minutes. I terribly want to see her naked. I bet she's got the loveliest things for me to play with and you to punish."
    "But, Griselda dear, think of what she is! She came too far too fast today. I bet right now she's ashamed of herself and tucking us away in a closet."
    Griselda giggled. "She didn't come at all, and she really needed to, I longed to make it happen. And what she's thinking of right now is my bottom and my bush.
    She'll probably rape her secretary, and it will be all our fault. Oh, and I think I should get a sort of medium punishment for getting sexually aroused over her, don't you agree?"

    "I'll decide what you get, you outrageous odalisque." Antonia sighed happily.
    "You're adorable. I ought to whip you daily."
    "Why don't you?"
    "Shortage of skin? though I suppose we could do a sort of rotation. Your bottom on Tuesday, back on Wednesday, shoulders for Thursday. . But then we'd have to move round to your front. You might not mind but I would!"
    "Darling, would you really consider whipping my breasts?"
    "No I won't! It's a good thing one of has a bit of restraint." Antonia examined a thought. "Griselda, today's been a sort of happening. Would it be the day to take off your handcuffs? It's been a long time?"
    "Do you want to?"
    "They frustrate me sometimes, like now in fastening you to be punished."
    "Mmmmm, what a delicious decision! I can't possibly make it." Griselda clinked and tugged the bands on her wrists, twisting her shoulders to emphasize impotence.
    "Decisions are your department, darling."
    "Oh sure, and I nearly always decide what you want."
    "That's because we both want the same things. I'm not sure about my handcuffs,
    'Tonia, they frustrate me a lot more than they do you. But they're a part of ME. It would be a sort of excision." Griselda pul ed even more fretfully, clinking the link that robber her of her hands. "A Case of: 'parting be such sweet sorrow'."
    "But is it sensible to rob us both of your hands forever, establishing some sort of a record there's only us to laugh over?"
    "We've got an investment already, a sort of vested interest, darling. Way over two months. . ! And I've loved every moment, and I've learned to do so many things."
    Griselda giggled. "Did you see Ilona's face when I poured her drink?"
    "Oh alright then, you concupiscent mink. We'll go on from day to day, each day another little victory in the handcuff marathon, and it certainly does keep you delightfully damp beneath your bush." Antonia pursed her lips. "I should simply announce the decision to keep you handcuffed like that for the next couple of years.
    You wouldn't be a bit happy over that."
    "Yes I would. You should try handcuffs, behind your back of course, the effect's meltingly devastating. Oh, 'Tonia, I love my handcuffs. Let's make that a deal? no, a sentence! Two Whole years! Oh, darling. . !"
    "You can precede me to the punishment room." Said Antonia stiffly.
    Punishment between them was rarely inflicted without a preliminary debate: the instrument, the severity, the binding. The discussion was serious enough towards its end result, but there would be laughter and wave after wave of hot lechery as they plotted their erotic mix. With mock seriousness they debated now.
    "Handcuffed like that, I can't possibly get at your back." Antonia complained.
    "But there's my bottom, and my thighs, and several bits and pieces!"
    "Caning your hands used to make a nice change." 'Tonia mused thoughtfully. "It would serve you right if, instead of your back, I used the soles of your feet."
    "But, darling, my bottom's absolutely virgin today. There's plenty of room on it to be punished all you want." Griselda affirmed anxiously. "And as for the soles of my poor feet, you know what I think of that!"
    "If I decided to do it you couldn't stop me. That's one dividend I get out of your handcuffs."
    "Oh, darling. . !" Griselda's exclamation was loaded with reproach. "If you decided to do that awful thing to my feet you know I'd let you, I'd be obedient. Even without the handcuffs I'd always obey"
    She was hugged and kissed by an Antonia repentant for doubt. "Sorry, pet. That was thoughtless."
    "Well, alright." Griselda conceded. "But you know me. You've got me excited about my feet. How do you go about whipping a girl's feet? Didn't they call it the bastinado?"
    "Forget it, pet, that's not for you."
    "But it's a bit of me we've never thought of!" Griselda was intrigued. "And if I stay handcuffed. . ?"
    "The pain would be awful, and not a bit erotic."
    "How d'you know?"
    "I've read about it. People limp afterwards, or can't walk at all."
    Griselda pouted. "I read about it too. It said the lucky girl got the bottoms of her feet rapped with limber wands, not hard enough to damage, but after a couple of hours she gets awfully cheesed off with the constant attention."
    "Fine. Now we both know all about it. I won't do it to you."
    "Another time, maybe? A 'once over lightly' so's we find out?" Griselda's plea was pensive.
    "I'll think about it."
    Griselda giggled. "So will I? that's the trouble."
    "Very well, if it get's too bad I'll cure you. But not today. Why do you want the whip on your bottom instead of the crop? The crop's much the most suitable?'
    "Darling, you've complained so much 'bout not being able to whip my back you've got me thinking erotically about the whip. If you use that short single thong it does a lovely job on me? so long as you don't lap it over my hip."
    "I intend to lap it across your hip every stroke. You're a churning bundle of sexuality that needs a lesson."
    "Then let's go to bed?"
    "I should take you there and drain you so dry you'd come back here for your whipping cold, no erotic surges left to blunt the pain."
    "Oh, 'Tonia, Mmmmmm. . "

    Antonia Noyes knew what she must do. It was never a good idea to allow her captive to gain the initiative, even in girl talk. From a pul ey above she drew down a hook and inserted it between the steel bands on Griselda's wrists. A moment later the girl to be punished was bending painfully forward with her cuffed arms drawn high behind her back. As her head bent lower and her hair cascaded to the floor, she gasped.
    "Tonia, I'm handcuffed. Remember? Not tied with rope."
    "Hurt bad?"
    "Jeepers, yes."
    "Good. Still set on the whip?"
    Griselda turned a pink face to peer back and up. "I think I'd like to call this whole thing off." She admitted unhappily. "I don't seem to feel in the mood. Couldn't we go to bed?"
    "Later. Not now. When we do go it will be me who has the fun. Your's will be the only tongue used. That's part of your punishment."
    "Ohhhhh. . Oh, darling!"
    "This the whip you want?"
    "Well, it's the one I thought about. But I don't seem to actually want it any more.
    Sorry!"
    "Griselda, do you always have to quibble? I've heard all this before."
    "Weeeel, yes. But if you were in the spot I'm in you'd quibble too. Gosh, 'Tonia, you've bent my bottom tight as a drum."
    "The better to whip you, my dear. Want a gag?"
    "No, I'll scream. You're terribly unkind."
    "Prefer the dungeon, dear?"
    "No!" The denial was emphatic.
    "I knew you wouldn't. Ready for me to start?"
    "Oh alright. I suppose you have to."
    It was a most satisfying mark. It leaped across the twin curves like a scarlet beacon. The girl who had placed it there stood and gazed at it's formation into a weal, her heart thudding, her sex aflame. This first mark upon the taut bent bottom was pure beauty. Griselda's foot bent back from the knee, flexing in agony, but she did not utter a sound. Antonia Noyes struck again.
    "Ohhhhh. . Oh damn! Oh, darling, d'you have to do it so hard?"
    "Of course. You know I do."
    "I'm trying not to scream."
    "How very sweet! Keep trying."
    "Tonia, you're still dressed?!"
    "So I am. How thoughtless. It's that woman. . Hold on, it won't take me a minute."
    "Please don't hurry. And, darling, when you're bare come and stand by me so's I can pick up your scent."
    "No, you're being punished."
    "Ohhhh, oh please! It's such a little thing. It would help me with the pain. I think I'm behaving awfully well considering how hard you're belting me."
    "Oh alright!" The girl with the whip thrust her pubic hair against the bent head.
    With her free hand she grasped Griselda's chin and raised the punished head.
    "There, you can see as well as smell. Satisfied?"
    "Oh yes, oh thank you! Darling, If you'd help me I'd??"
    "No you won't. You're being whipped. No diversions."
    "Darling, you're so beautiful when you're naked. Why d'you ever bother with clothes. You're every bit as beautiful as me."
    How sweet she was! Innocent even in pride. Adoring and adorable. Antonia's naked breasts were heaving as she again took her stance and swung the whip.
    "Ahhhh. . Ohhhh, Oh wow Oh, 'Tonia, I'll scream next time, I can feel it coming." The errant foot kicked at nothing several times before it subsided to the floor.
    It was their custom that, no matter what Griselda's punishment might be, Antonia Noyes should be naked for its infliction. Both girls were certain that when the whip was used it struck harder when swung from a bare arm, or that after the heavy chains and the thudding door were locked by a white nakedness the dungeon would seem doubly drear. Nudity became them both, even in their diverse roles. Carefully selecting her target, Antonia Noyes struck hard.
    Griselda screamed.
    The sound was as satisfying as the thin red lines. Antonia stood, with heaving breasts and absorbed her beloved's paean to her pain. First one bare foot, then the other proclaimed anguish as the slim hips weaved. Above the strained and helpless arms the pul ey creaked and the tether vibrated as the punished girl distressfully fought her bonds in a response purely instinctive. The girl with the whip took a deep, deep breath and cut at the crease between soft thighs and derriere. Antonia Noyes stood, enraptured, while the bound girl screamed.
    "You are too beautiful, Griselda. I could whip you forever." She heard her own voice as from far away.
    "Oh. . oh. . oh! Oh, darling!" The exclamations came as gasps, pantingly under stress. The lovely bent features looked back, pinkly, "I can't help it, 'Tonia, it hurts so terribly."
    "But you are happy."
    "Yes. . Oh, yes!"

    This time the thong deliberately spent its force upon a hip. Griselda yelped in shock, then screamed. Her bare feet beat the floor in anger as well as pain, her torso heaved and surged within the confines of her handcuffs and the rope. Across her hip the whipweal spawned purple and a drop of blood. When her sounds and motions subsided she asked haltingly:
    "Tonia, may I spread my legs?" They both knew why.
    "You want an orgasm, Griselda. Why should I give you one?"
    "I'll die if you don't. I'm? I'm? oh, 'Tonia, please!"
    "Very well. I shouldn't do this. But open up."
    The naked feet and naked thighs spread far apart. It was invitation to the greatest agony a girl could know. Antonia measured distance and shrewdly struck up and under into the open crotch.
    Griselda's orgasm cut short her scream, converting it to amplified sounds of brutal coitus. Unaware of the agony of her chafed wrists she worked out the spasms and convulsions in a writhing gavotte which left her sweat drenched but still captive at the end of it. When she could again speak, her voice was husky and breathless.
    "Thank you. Oh, 'Tonia, thank you so much." Then, in a whisper: "How many more strokes?"
    "You must never know that, darling." Said 'Tonia cheerfully, then swung her whip in a wide arc of female joy.
    They had a tacit understanding, Ilona had no doubt of that. But the afternoon and Paisley Publications had sapped her courage. The work now placed upon her desk eroded it further. It was first class: letters, drafts, estimates. The girl was good.
    She looked up into the serenely beautiful platinum blonde smile in which there were no more reservations now than when she had hired a secretary five hours ago.
    "I'm good at this too, Miss Paisley." The young voice was quietly assured. It was also amused, and there was a faint tinge of sly reproof.
    "You're damn good, Susan." It was the approving publisher who spoke. She riffled the papers. "I'm more than pleased."
    "Will there be anything else, Miss Paisley?"
    The girl was trying to help. She must not be told to leave along with the rest of the office because it was five o'clock. Angrily fighting down inhibitions, Ilona contrived coherence: "Yes, of course, the thing we spoke of."
    "I wasn't sure." The wise young eyes wel ed sympathy. "You're finding this difficult?"
    "Surprisingly difficult, Susan."
    The girl nodded. "It shows, and it doesn't need to be difficult, not with me. I should be the one who's shy and awkward, not you." The smile widened. "You're?
    you're? well?"
    "Yes, I'm Paisley Publications. That's the trouble. I've been Paisley Publications all my life."
    "But why have you left. . this, so long?"
    "Too damn busy to notice. Then there was an incident." Ilona smiled ruefully. "It shook me enough to go looking for you. Susan, what d'you want out of life?"
    "A Mistress. I have to have a Mistress or I'm not happy. I had one but? oh, never mind."
    "l do mind. Tell me."
    "She was killed in a car crash. Not too long ago. We loved each other. . That's why I'm running around loose."
    "Metaphorically? Or did she actually??"
    Susan smiled in memory "Both. I'm shockingly at a loose end. But, yes, she did keep me?" The smile became shy. "Well, we can call it 'restrained' if we want to be very proper. Mostly she chained me and kept me naked. It's surprising how many jobs a girl can do when there's a bit of chain attached to her someplace."
    Ilona Paisley sighed thankfully. The hurdle was past. They were communicating.
    She thought of Griselda and the shackled ankle, the memory flaring heat through her sex. But in spite of it her next question was still hard to phrase: "Did she? Did she punish you?"
    "Of course. She was awfully good at it. Would you like to whip me, Miss Paisley?"
    "Yes, I would."
    "I can tell you've never whipped a girl, Miss Paisley. Don't feel awkward about wanting to. If you don't think you're good at it I'll give you lessons."
    "How the devil did I find you, it's miraculous!"
    "We're both lucky, Miss Paisley. It's not a bit easy. I'm a natural submissive, and there's a lot of demand for submissive girls, but it's mostly with people who are just plain awful? Ugh!"
    "You know so much. Susan, I'm thirty-three, but you make me feel about thirteen."
    "You're a very beautiful woman, Miss Paisley. If you'l let me I'll make you a lot more beautiful. You'll find me a very competent slavegirl."
    "You use that word: slave?"
    "Of course. That's what I am. May I start calling you Mistress?"
    "I'd love it. Susan, you're too good to be true. I'm way behind?"
    "You must whip me quite soon, Mistress. It will set our relationship. I need whipping often. You've probably noticed how easily I get bossy."
    The girl was pure delight. Ilona Paisley recognized good fortune. But, in human perversity, the hand of Paisley Publications still rested heavily on her shoulder. To thrust it far away would need all the moral support she could get. Hesitantly, she laid bare her conscience:
    "Susan, this means a new life for me. Much less time in the business. D'you ever get bothered by good old Protestant work ethic?"
    "Why should I?" A slender finger pointed at the typescript on the desk. "I can produce as much as most. If you want your slave to be a part time secretary, a chain on my ankle or a collar round my neck won't stop me typing." The lovely young features brightened in amusement. "You could allocate quotas and award penalties."
    "Mmmmm. . That's because you're highly intelligent. But let's look on ourselves as ordinary people who are playing out two roles because it heats our pussies. So much of all human existence revolves around the compulsions of our glands? It's something I've always deplored. In you and I creating a relationship, a life together in which we will be constantly sexually aroused, are we diminishing ourselves?"
    "You poor dear Mistress, how you do torture yourself!" Susan's eyes danced. "I think you're confusing hedonism with emotional identity. We're not seeking pleasure, we're just trying to be ourselves." Susan stopped short. "Say, am I being a bore?"
    "Go on. I want you to."
    Susan grinned, her agile mind easily finding words. "Don't you see that, up until socialism, the world was divided into slaves and their Masters and Mistresses. Other names were used, but that's what it boiled down to. Socialism destroyed this human force of gravity, they insisted everyone was, and should be, exactly the same. This left about half the human race out on an emotional limb. Slavery was abolished, they had nowhere to go." Susan giggled, her young girlishness laughing at her words.
    "Gosh, Mistress, that sounds stuffy!"
    "Dear girl, you should know whereof you speak. You've been a slave looking for a Mistress."
    "Well, yes. But money and society will pressure us, at least it will you, into thinking we're playing a role. We have to kill that. We're not acting, we're for real!"
    The youthful face was pinkly animated. "That's why we must have restraints and punishments. When you whip me or lock me in a cage it keeps me in my place. In inflicting my punishments you'll do some serious thinking."
    "But it's still wickedly erotic, a sexual thing."
    "Given the least chance, anything at all involving females becomes erotic. Read the papers: it doesn't matter what happens to anyone of us it comes out sexual."
    They gazed at each other in wry amusement. Ilona laughed. "So I could be a better publisher because I whip your bottom?"
    "Don't laugh, Mistress, it could be so. I'd be a happier girl because I'd been told what to do and knew I'd better do it or else. It would be a return to civilization."
    "When I have that chain on you I'm going to order you to write articles for the mags'. The stuff coming out of your pretty head will sell."
    "Oh, yes, I want you to do that." Susan was alight with enthusiasm. "But don't let's make the mistake of apologizing for ourselves by being solely intellectual. If the kitchen floor needs scrubbing and polishing, make me do it. Whip me if I pout."
    "Do you realize what you do to my glands when you say something like that, Susan?"
    "Of course I do. It works with me too, y'know." Susan grinned confidingly. "I'm frightfully casual with that cute expression: 'whipping my bottom'. But whipping me is something you absolutely must take seriously. If it gives you a wet pussy, that's a bonus. We eat because we must, but we also get great pleasure from it. We mustn't dwel on these coincidentals. Once you start whipping me you'l realize there's a lot more than my bottom, and a lot of different ways and instruments. You use 'em according to the end result you're seeking. It does not matter that the first few strokes wet my puss and make me tremble, that just happens. After they're done with I take my whipping very seriously indeed, just as I've said you'll have to."
    Ilona Paisley knew herself under scrutiny. To this lovely creature across the desk she must seem archaic, a pathetic relic striving to catch up lost ground. Action was vital. Pinkly shy, she said, awkwardly: "I should take you home now."
    "Of course." The young eyes twinkled. "Or does Paisley Publications have a dungeon?"
    Best to keep it light. Ilona chuckled. "I wouldn't keep you in a dungeon all the time anyway. It would be a waste of gorgeous girl. At home I've had a room prepared."
    She laughed at the memory: "The lies I told to get the work done. . !"
    "I'm ready, Mistress. We can send for my stuff another day. I brought a small suitcase with me. Being a slave girl is awfully handy, y'know? no clothes!"
    "You'll come home with me on trust, Susan?"
    "Oh, you mean about getting carved up or sold to a brothel!" Susan negated such ideas by a wave of gorgeous hair. "You're not the type, Mistress."
    Ilona Paisley wondered if the thudding of her heart could be heard in the elevator.
    Its pounding was actually painful. The ride to the underground garage and her private stall was the most pregnantly exciting of her life. Susan reached and held her hand, the platinum beauty was utterly at her ease. If she was being delivered into slavery, no one would know.
    In the car, Susan once more advised on what was proper.
    "We mustn't drive back like this, Mistress." The younger girl was genuinely shocked. "You must tie my hands, behind my back of course."
    "But what could you do! Susan, I mean??"
    "I could get out and run. I could push you out and steal the car. Please, Mistress, we have to start sometime."
    "But you wouldn't do those things!"
    "How d'you know? If you'd just punished me cruelly and I was angry, running would be most natural? You should never give a slavegirl the least chance. Tie me."
    "But I can't, I haven't any rope."
    "Mistress, please. . !" Susan's tone was almost severe. "Fortunately I've got some cord in my bag."
    Ilona accepted the loops of nylon. Stupidly, she admitted: "I've never tied a girl. . or anyone."
    "I can tell that. If you fumble I'll try and set you straight."

    The cord imparted a new sensation. Ilona ran its length through her fingers, breathlessly conscious of its purpose and her own intent. But she felt only dismay when her insouciant companion turned on the seat and crossed her wrists behind her back.
    "Always make me cross my wrists. That tie is the most positive." Susan's instruction were cheerfully patient. "But if you want to tie my elbows too, then you have to tie my hands palm to palm." Susan peeped back over one shoulder and winked. "The elbows are for when you don't trust her, or if she's good at getting loose."
    "What do you recommend now?"
    "My recommendation is purely selfish, Mistress. You shouldn't trust it."
    "Let's have it anyway"
    "Since its only cord and will hurt like blazes I'll plump for my crossed wrists."
    "Thanks. Now put your hands palm to palm."
    "Oh, Mistress!" The long sigh was ecstatic. "That's so much better. I was beginning to wonder."
    So far so good! Ilona picked up intense vibrations and returned her own. Feeling inadequate but excited, she passed the cord twice round the passive wrists.
    "That's right, just two or three strands. That hurts me if I struggle. But get 'em over and under and round and round. Then cinch 'em through the centre."
    Such a sense of power. And such a flame of heat! Ilona tugged, she circled and tugged again. She found the centre and plied her cinch. The soft skin was exquisitely indented by her strength.
    "Now make me struggle. Then take up the slack." Susan was heavily involved in what was taking place. "See, like this."
    It was pure beauty. Ilona Paisley sighed in happiness and wondered what she would have done without her slave. She patted her work in approval and, grasping strained shoulders, turned their owner back to normal on the seat. "You've forgotten my elbows, Mistress."
    Feeling foolish, Ilona turned the complaisant slave around and used more cord.
    Susan had been right, the thin stuff did indeed bite cruelly into maiden flesh. She used strand after strand to minimize the pain.
    "Now you sort of push my elbows together with your forearms while you pull on the cord." Susan explained helpfully.
    It worked. Ilona grasped the technique. When she was finished the two bare elbows were tight together, pinioned painfully.
    "You've done better than I thought you would, Mistress." Susan struggled and twisted. "I really don't believe I can get free." She peeped back mischievously. "What about my ankles?"
    "You mean I have to tie them too?"
    "If the door opened I could leap out and run. Mistress, you have to watch slavegirls, we're tricky."
    "Oh alright. If you say so. But there's not much cord."
    "You'll find handcuffs in my bag, Mistress. Use them, it will save you bother."
    Handcuffs! Ilona's heart leaped. Pictures of handcuffed maidens ran through her mind. She had always wondered why arrested girls were so routinely robbed of their hands when put in the police car. She had guessed at motives. . ! Now she held the bright chrome circlets in her hands.
    "They're not meant for ankles, Mistress, but they will go round, just the first or second notch, or maybe tighter while I'm sitting. When I stand the tendons swell."
    So many things to know! Ilona clasped hard and managed two clicks. The shining metal was lovely over the sheen of nylon. Susan was now completely helpless. Susan belonged to her. She owned Susan, and there was nothing Susan could do about it anymore. Her breasts were heaving.
    "Do you wish to gag me, Mistress? It's considered wise."
    "I don't want to. But, should I?"
    "You should. There's two in my bag, a rubber ball affair and a band with a rubber phallus. Don't be shocked."
    Ilona chose the phallus, it seemed more practical and less obscene than the ball.
    By virtue of Susan's uncomplaining cooperation she inserted the beastly prong and strapped it tight. Susan winked slyly and relapsed into the corner of the seat. She had become an exquisite platinum package, totally enslaved.
    The woman who had been Miss Ilona Paisley of Paisley Publications started the motor and drove up into daylight.
    "This is your room, dear. Ooops, I forgot!" Ilona tugged at straps and took the wet phallus from Susan's mouth. "I had to unlock the handcuffs so's you could walk.
    Shouldn't I untie your arms'?"
    Susan wet her lips with an impudent tongue. "I'm not supposed to have anything to say about that, Mistress." She explained demurely. "But while you're showing me around I ought to be helpless."
    "But your elbows. . ! They must hurt. . '?"
    "They hurt terribly. I have to put up with it. Mistress, remember, I'm a slave."
    "But I don't want to be unkind?" Ilona felt herself slipping. "Oh well, I'm sure you know?"
    The girl with hurting elbows looked around with bright interest. Ilona had the feeling she was looking for something, something seemingly not there. "It's a really lovely room." Susan breathed gratefully. "Are you going to keep me here sometimes?"
    "When, it's your's." Paisley publishing sensed hidden depths. "I'm a great believer in a good night's rest."
    "Yes, of course?" The lovely young features were still seeking. "Mistress, could I see your room, your bedroom? That would be fun."

    It was the same thing again. Ilona felt like the curator of a museum whose visitor finds the dinosaur skeleton less than expected. "You've got a lovely home, Miss Paisley." Susan ventured uncertainly, "But what about the evening. . the night?"
    She turned limpid but enquiring eyes upon her uneasy companion. "I mean, am I a nine to five girl? Slaves are supposed to stay slaves all night, y'know"
    "Oh dear, you mean there aren't any??"
    Susan laughed. "That's right, there's nothing. Not a chain, a ring, a post, a bit of rope, no whip hanging on the wall as a reminder?"
    It was Ilona who blushed. "I never even thought? Oh, Susan you must think me so? so?. Well, anyway we can fix things whatever way you want. Just tell me. Oh, and please, don't call me Miss Paisley."
    "Poor Mistress!" Eyes dancing, Susan planted a kiss on hungry lips. "I'm afraid there'l be a list. Let me be bossy that long, then stop me cold. You're going to have to punish me unmercifully, I've been running around loose far too long. I do respond to punishment, y'know. I become a sweetly submissive small girl Who's a little frightened and wouldn't say boo?"
    "You're sweet now, sweet to put up with my fumbling." Ilona kissed back and patted a captive cheek. "What's the worst deficiency so far?"
    "A ringbolt in the floor beside your bed is sort of de rigueur, Mistress. If you're displeased with me or want to sleep alone you lock my collar to it and I sleep on the floor. If you want me in bed with you there should be a shackle somewhere for my ankle, or maybe one wrist. I must never be completely free but, in bed, it's nicer for you if most of me is."
    Paisley Publications was busy with pencil and paper. "O.K., Susan, what next?"
    "Mistress, we're lesbians. Talking about it doesn't bother me, but how do you want me to put a name on what I do for you as your slave? Do I 'service you' or do I 'eat you'?" The tied girl giggled. "I always think of it as 'nibbling'. I'm terribly good at it."
    "Susan, you can see I'm blushing. Call it anything that pleases you. We'll just let it happen. Now, about that collar?"
    "Oh yes, it's locked on me always. I have one with my things, or you can buy me whatever you like. There's shops y'know, they have the loveliest stuff?" Susan paused and wrinkled her brow. Her tone was flatly decisive. "Mistress, I do think you should take me to that room?"
    Ilona Paisley was trembling, a seething welter of desires. Desperately, she longed to thrust her Publishing House over the horizon of consciousness. It was an intruder between herself and this glowing radiance. She longed to acquit herself well as a Mistress to so willing a slave. She wanted Susan's respect but had not yet earned it.
    She wished to enfold this sensual delicacy in hungry arms but was defeated by the girl's bound elbows and wrists, she was too much a novice to believe in the making of physical love when one partner was tightly bound. Most of all she wanted her 'Room'
    to find favour. She was proud of her room, and threw open its door with a flourish.
    Susan took a slow but starry eyed survey of the compartment equipped to give her pain. Her breathing quickened as she took quick inventory of the things for which Ilona had paid so much in cash and courage. Then, in a gesture of contrition, she sank to her knees before her new Mistress and buried her face in the folds of Ilona's dress. "It's wonderful, you've thought of everything." Her voice was husky with a threat of tears. "And I've been so bitchy and critical and? and snooty."
    "You've been sweet, you're always sweet, and I still need help." Ilona grinned shyly.
    "The next thing is you can help me whip you."
    Susan sparkled, she was a girl-child ecstatic with a promise. "Oh, may I, I do so want to. I'll only tell you things this first time. After this you mustn't let me say a word."
    They became two girls having fun in a shared experience. Both were breathless.
    Ilona asked questions rather than waiting to be told: "Susan, had I best untie you now?"
    "Yes, I have to strip. When we do this next time I'll already be naked and you'l have to fasten my feet, or control me some way when you free my hands. That's a first rule: I just must never be without restraint."
    Susan's elbows were cruelly lovely as the Mistress peeled the thin cord from the redly indented skin. "You poor darling!" Ilona was shocked. "This must have hurt?!"
    "It sure did. You must remember my elbows, Mistress, they're one of the punishments. I'd sooner be whipped than have my elbows tied all day."
    The slender wrists were better. As she unbound them Ilona found no wounds.
    They had been well tied. She felt proud, but she still sought knowledge: "If you'd been alone long enough could you have wriggled free?"
    Susan laughed. "I can't tell that. Once you've tied a girl's elbows she's had the course. Even a sloppy tie on her wrists doesn't matter, tied elbows defeat everything.
    That's something else to remember."
    The large well lit chamber designed for punishment suddenly held magic as Susan deftly cast aside the scraps by which she had been covered. Naked, she posed, her voice mischievous: "Like me, Mistress?"
    "My pussy's throbbing in agony at the sight of you." Ilona admitted. "But seriously, Susan, you must be one of the most beautiful girls in the world. You're lovely? all the superlatives."
    "I am, aren't I! I know I am." The admission was without conceit. The platinum statue broke pose and massaged her rope weals while she talked. "Mistress, unless you have another idea like putting me in those stocks or tying me to that whipping post over there, may I suggest the trapeze bar? It's controlled by a hidden motor, isn't it? That makes it easy for you and stretches me any tension you like. I don't think there's a better way of making a girl vulnerable to be whipped? or more helpless."
    "Of course, darling." Ilona pressed a switch.
    As Susan's willing wrists were strapped, one to each end of the lowered bar, the two girls were very close, bombarding each other with vibrations and female musk.
    Their eyes were meeting easily now, bright with anticipation and an increasing knowledge or each other. When the straps were drawn tight on Susan's wrists, buckled and tested, it was she who suggested:
    "You can stretch me to different heights and tensions, darling. Experiment as you whip me, see which one you prefer." There was a breathless pause. "Oh, Mistress, I called you darling? I shouldn't have."
    "I liked the sound of it. Call me anything you find natural to the moment." Ilona kissed her rueful slave. "Don't let's be slaves to titles. That word, Mistress, could become a bore. Call me Ilona if you want. I bet the whip will hurt just as much."
    "You have to select a whip, Ilona, or whatever you're going to use. . But get my arms up first."
    So exquisitely easy! The Mistress clicked the switch and beheld the bare arms rise.
    As freedom slipped away, Susan turned and smiled. When the tug of the trapeze on her raised wrists stopped she look up at her captive hands.
    "Mmmmm, it will do for a start, Mistress. I'll be able to jig around a bit. But I'm helpless."
    Ilona was enraptured, entranced by beauty. "Mind if I ogle a bit, sweetheart?"
    She asked reverently. "Not that it would do you any good to say no. I'd look anyway.
    You're one of the loveliest things I've ever seen."
    "It's a flattering pose, darling, my arms up like this." Ilona circled the nude helplessness.
    "You could kick me." She pointed out reasonably.
    "Too crude, Ilona. You could then tie my ankles together. That would be too crude too. Besides, you've forgotten the best part. If I kick I get punished. I'm frightfully vulnerable, y'know."
    "Keep teaching me, you absolutely delectable creature." Ilona was lost in joy. To think she possessed such loveliness as she now beheld! The bonds gave her power over Susan's nakedness, but Susan's affection and submission were far more powerful arousals. She gazed down at her slavegirl's pubic hair in her first genuine examination.
    Susan giggled. "I can't explain it, darling. I must have had an Indian ancestor to get black curls down there along with what I've got up above. I rather like it though
    ? nice contrast."
    "Oh, sweetheart. . !" Ilona stood in erotic contemplation of a new found treasure. "And there's so much of it! You've got a marvellous, wonderful, beautiful bush! I don't mean it overflows. It's all right where it belongs. . But such a rich sheen. . ! And the thick curls."
    "Why don't you feel it, Mistress?" Susan giggled. "It does belong to you, y'know?
    along with the rest of me. Feel my pussy too, you'll get a wet hand."
    Ilona got a wet hand. But she left it there to cup the swollen lips and their secretions. Her breasts were tumultuous. She was suddenly aware of Susan's laboured breathing. "We must stop this." She said firmly. "Another minute and I'l unstrap your wrists and take you to bed."
    "Mmmmm oh, darling, me too. But the whip will cure me. It won't please my bottom but it will make my pussy behave herself? oh, and your hand: make me lick it dry."
    In a daze of wonder, Ilona Paisley lifted her wet palm to willing lips and beheld a tongue at least twice the size of her own. It was delightfully pink, muscular and competent. She remembered Griselda. Would her own?? In time??
    "Oooooo, they're lovely!" The naked beauty looked down to where Ilona had strewn the instruments of her impending punishment on the floor. "I'd love to swish them; you know, get their feel. But I can't. So why not use a riding crop on my bottom and a whip on my back? It will be good practice. . ?"
    "Point out your choice, Susan, and tell my why."
    A bare pink toe made its choice. Ilona picked up the items chosen and put the rest away. Her heart was pounding furiously.
    "The crop's slender, Mistress. It will hurt like crazy but it won't bruise. The whip's not a long one and it's only a single thong. It will be easier for you to control and be accurate with. A long lash curls and cuts sometimes where you don't want it to."
    "Like your breasts?"
    "Yes. That short one with the slim lashes: that is the one for my breasts if you ever want to whip them."
    "Did your previous Mistress whip your breasts, Susan?"
    "Not very often. She was sort of in love with them."
    "I'm in love with them too. They're out of this world."
    "But if you want to whip them, then you must. I don't like having them whipped, but it's one of the punishments. . ! What I mean, darling, is: after today you mustn't let me influence you."
    "Ready to be whipped, sweetheart? Want me to start?"
    "Yes, oh yes! Hurry! A couple of hard one's across my bottom may stop this orgasm?"
    It was quite unreal, a turgid dream. With the lovely slenderness of the crop Ilona struck and struck again with all her strength. Panting, she stood back and surveyed the picture her own hand had wrought.
    Susan's nakedness went wild. Feet kicked, hips twisted and swayed, arms heaved against strapped wrists, fingers clenched and then spread wide. From Susan's mouth came sounds. . Suddenly the lovely torso and its limbs tensed in spasm? again?
    and then again. . ! The moans changed tempo. When the sweat bedewed nakedness hung limply from the bar a girlish plea for forgiveness came from shamed lips.
    "Oh, Mistress. . ! It happened. I climaxed. Oh, damn, I'm so sorry. .
    Punish me."
    "But it's not your fault!"
    "I'm supposed to control it better, to keep them for you. You have to punish me."
    "Oh alright, we can say that's what I'm whipping you for. Did I do alright?"
    "Ohhhh, Mistress, I don't even know. I just exploded."
    "The marks on your bottom are wickedly gorgeous."
    "Run your fingers along them, Ilona, I can probably tell."
    "Like this?" Ilona traced the angry flesh with sympathetic fingertips. "I feel a brute. But, gosh, they're lovely!"
    "Mmmmm. . !" The platinum slenderness writhed in a plethora of sensation.
    "Mmmmm:. . Mistress you did well. Ohhhh. . my poor bottom!" Susan managed a grin. "But it says thank you."
    "There was a cane. Would you sooner I used that?"
    "No. That's the British thing. You use a cane on my bottom when you make me bend over. It's awful."
    "How many strokes should I give you?"
    "Six on my bottom for this first time, darling. I don't want to cheese you off with my contortions. It hurts shockingly, y'know."
    "Ready?"
    "Mmmmm. . Four more. You can space 'em out a bit. I'm not terribly heroic."
    Ilona Paisley took a deep breath and swung her arm. Never had she felt so involved in sensation. Sensation possessed her. She stared fixedly at the thin red weal forming on Susan's innocent skin, a wound inflicted there by her own hand. . !
    Miss Ilona Paisley of Paisley Publications climaxed in the most eruptive orgasm she had ever known. For a long time she quivered under spasm after spasm as she heard her own keening wail blend with Susan's moans. As expressions of physical anguish they were remarkably similar.
    "Oh, Susan, I'm? we're both?!"
    "We are, aren't we!" The whipped girl laughed at Ilona's chagrin. Their panting gasps had subsided, their loins quiescent. Ruefully, they gazed upon each other and laughed again.
    "I'll let you loose dear."
    "Whatever for?" Susan writhed cheerfully against her strapped wrists. "I'm O.K."
    "But? but? isn't it sort of all over for both of us, for the time being at least?"
    "Poor darling!" Susan giggled. "Do you suffer from what the clinical boys call
    'post coital depression'?"
    "Well. . " Ilona blushed again.
    "A mixture of feeling drained and guilty?"
    "Well. . sort of."
    "Oh, Mistress, you'l have to do better than that. It's in the mind, y'know." Susan giggled and scratched the inside of a bare leg with an agile toe. "I never feel that way for more than a minute. Right now my fire's starting to bum again. Being in the spot I'm in helps, of course. Why don't you take your clothes off? I think you should."
    It was a new idea. Ilona examined it. In the course of doing so depression vanished. Doubtfully, she asked: "But does that go along with my role? I always thought?"
    "Darling, we're not acting, we don't have roles. You're thinking of jack boots and black leather." Susan was vehement. "But if you want to be classic I believe female slave owners used to disrobe when whipping naughty maids. The idea was they got a less restricted swing with the whip. And there was always the afterwards."
    "Afterwards?"
    "The poor whipped girl had to service her, silly. You should make me do the same for you. It's a real punishment, darling, because the whipped girl wants it in the worst way, but all she gets to do is give it to someone else."
    "You really think we should continue? You've still got three to come with this awful crop."
    "Add one. Make it four. I called you silly. Don't ever let me get away with anything like that. I told you: I'm bossy."
    "You're wonderful, Susan."
    "Yes, I am. Now take your clothes off."
    Knowing herself under a spell, Ilona obeyed. Impelled by erotic mischief, she did her strip before the interested eyes of the girl strapped to the bar. With Susan she felt no shyness, only a feminine unity. Without realizing it, she shed years along with her clothes.
    "Oh, darling. . !" The youngster's voice was hushed. "Why do you ever wear clothes!"
    "You like?" Ilona stretched and posed. "I've never done anything to hurt my figure.
    Tell me it's good."
    "I'll tell you how good it is. It makes me wish I was free. I'd have a hand between your legs so fast?"
    "I'll undo those straps. Oh, Susan. . !"
    "No!" The girl undergoing punishment seemed suddenly the elder. "Mistress, you have to control such impulses. I'm your's, you can use me anytime. Right now I'm being punished." Slyly, Susan insinuated: "I thought you were feeling all washed out?"
    "Weeee. . Oh, damn!" Ilona ineffectually stamped a bare foot. "This is so new.
    You were right about the clothes: I'm horny."
    "You're a really terrible Mistress." Susan pouted. "For a successful tycoon, you've got the most un-orderly mind. It would serve you right if I stopped prompting and just foxed you around to please myself."
    Ilona pursed her lips. "O.K. Fox me now."
    "I can't." Susan giggled. "You called my bluff. You'd best use that crop on my bottom some more. I'm on number four out of seven."
    Ilona made the swift backward swing. It was true! A female did shed inhibitions with her clothes. She had never felt so vigorous or so free. With the lithe motions of nudity she cut another vivid etching on virgin skin.
    Susan did not scream, she did not kick. Her only tribute to agony was a controlled sinuous undulation to the tune of pantingly suppressed gasps. As the first wickedness of pain subsided she volunteered: "I'll scream next time. But I have to do this now and then just to tell myself I can." She looked back apologetically. "Don't you think you should lift my arms a bit more, Mistress?"
    It was easily done. Ilona gasped at the effect. Susan's breasts were taut, her bel y was taut, her rib cage beginning to manifest itself. The girl was superb. Ilona struck the wealed twin curves once more. Susan's scream was the peal of nightingales.
    When the seventh mark had been placed upon the tender rounds, Ilona took her tautly stretched slavegirl in her arms. Their kiss came close to a lasting bond.
    "Shall I let you down now, sweetheart?"
    "Mmmm. . of course not. My bottom's just had the prelude, now you move on to the symphony." Susan rubbed an affectionate cheek against Ilona's.
    "But aren't you tired, and your wrists hurting?"
    "Of course they are, silly! Ooops, there I go again! I'll tell you how to punish that later. But being tired and having hurting wrists is part of the package, I've been naughty."
    "You couldn't be naughty, Mistress. It's one of the precepts you have to remember.
    All pretty girls are whippable. Doesn't seem fair to the homely one's."
    "You want a rest though, don't you? How about a cocktail?"
    "Mistress, you're hopeless. Punished girls don't get cocktails. They're lucky to get a drink of water."
    "Just this once, this first time?" Ilona snickered. "I could use one myself."
    "Alright, darling. You're sweet. But don't do it again. Slavegirls absolutely must NOT be spoiled."
    Ilona Paisley felt like a teenager again. The publisher had vanished. She was a vibrant young woman who held a platinum beauty captive and was about to whip her back. That she would do so under the guidance of the victim herself added piquancy to a situation already incredible. Busily, she slopped the spirits and the mix. The drinks were strong.
    "I'll get tipsy on this, darling." Susan opined as she sipped from the tilted glass.
    "I'll tell you to do the most atrocious things to me."
    "I won't do them, sweetheart."
    "Some of 'em sound so innocent you won't know. Look, darling, while I'm still sober can I give you a couple of helpful hints about whipping my back?"
    "Go ahead. Your back's very precious to me."
    "With a whip you have to sort of get the range. It doesn't matter about the tip snapping on my back, backs are like bottoms they're designed for it, but it's so easy to overlap, and then the tip snaps on my breasts or my bel y or my hip or across my bottom rib." Susan grinned apologetically for being verbose, and took several more quick sips. "If my front has to be whipped sometime there's other kinds of whips, not the one we're going to use now."
    "I'll be careful, sweetheart. How about I put your bra' back on? Would it shield?"
    "I'm not supposed to wear a bra: while I'm whipped." Susan chuckled. "And my bra' wouldn't even shield my nips."
    "Gosh, darling, I don't know how you manage to be so carefree about something that hurts so much."
    "The secret is to not believe it will happen 'till it happens. The other thing to watch, darling, is how hard you whip me? there's such a range. . ! Al the way from a love stroke to a slash bad enough to cut me in two."
    "But you're going to guide me?"
    "Sure I am. But when it gets to hurting bad I may get a bit biased. Watch out I don't cheat."
    Ilona did not care. This lovely creature could cheat all she pleased. Susan might be calm, but she herself was quivering at the prospect of what she was about to do.
    "How many should I give you?" She asked breathlessly.
    "How about ten, Mistress? One extra for calling you silly makes eleven. Hurry up, darling, I'm starting to tremble."
    How beautiful she was! How exquisite the white back across which the thin white line turned pink, then red, its skin rising in tribute to the blow she had just inflicted!
    Ilona stared at her work in awe, while Susan responded in the, now recognizable, sounds and motions of extreme pain. Choosing the strained shoulders, the Mistress cut her second stripe across their breadth.
    After the scream, the futile kicks, and all her acknowledgements of agony had run their course, Susan gasped: "I expect that's about right, Mistress. Gollies, it hurts!
    But still. . ! Darling, there's something else?"
    "I don't want to hurt you any more."
    "It's sort of part of the same, Mistress? oh, and are my marks nice?"
    "They're lovely. . redly graphic. They've made me all wet."
    "I'm so glad. Now, a bit to each side, there's a ring in the floor. Tie my ankles out to them so as to spread my legs wide apart."
    "But what's the need, Susan, you're helpless?"
    "Just do it, darling. . Please!"
    Ilona obeyed. It was a thrilling enough task. The separation of her slavegirl's legs created a new beauty all its own with Susan's nudity. Her hand automatically went to the damp junction of her slavegirl's thighs. She kneaded it with a wet palm while she kissed its owner's lips.
    "Mustn't indulge me, darling, that's enough. Now stretch my arms up some more."
    "But, Susan dear, tying your ankles out the way I've just done has the same effect.
    You look awfully tight."
    "Well, yes I am. But you can give me the other nine quickly and get them over with. I'll scream a lot but that doesn't matter. If you have me stretched so I can't twitch you'l have seen the whole range of this position. Stretched like you're going to do me I'll be in the ultimate helplessness, open for whatever you want to do."
    "Aren't I doing enough?" Ilona clicked the switch but almost instantly clicked it back as Susan's nakedness snapped into a tension to make the ropes and straps creak in protest. "I'm going to hurry. Then I can let you down."
    "Darling, out of nine strokes slip three of them inside my spread legs. A girl's inside things are gorgeously sensitive, and you can snap one up into my pussy."
    "Susan, I can't!" Ilona was shocked.
    "Yes you can, and you will. Remember I'm running this one. That's why I had you tie my feet apart, so's you experience the whole range."
    "But your pussy! Sweetheart. . !"
    "Do it, Mistress, do it!"
    Miss Ilona Paisley did it with a joyous competence in which she felt much shamed.
    Long afterwards when their kiss ended and their mingled sweat had dried in their embrace, Ilona guiltily exclaimed:
    "I forgot, I've left you stretched while?"
    "It doesn't matter, darling. It's another Must. You leave the whipped girl as she is for an hour or two to think over her sins and their penalty. It's frightfully potent."
    "But you're hurting so terribly??"
    "I'm managing to bear it. But, O.K. let me down a little while we talk."
    Ilona could not get at the switch fast enough. Happily, she watched Susan's nudity lose its graphic delineation of bone and sinew and return to normal. The bar and its strapped wrists kept the bare arms raised but with elbows bent. Susan could not free herself but the stress was gone.
    "I'm longing to see my marks!" The irrepressible Susan giggled joyously. "Please, Mistress, don't keep me here more than a couple of hours."
    But the Mistress had sunk to her knees between the slavegirl's spread thighs. In a desperate hunger for female communion her face was buried in Susan's pubic hair.

Chapter Three

Blind Bondage.

    "Whatever made you think of yourself as a Mistress?"
    Susan's lips returned to Ilona's left nipple while she teased its twin with knowing fingers.
    The Mistress sighed, not in perplexity but in simple content. The massive new four poster embraced them lovingly, and Susan was as exquisite in the arts of love as in all else. "It was that girl I told you about." She explained, absently. "It was my first?"
    "I bet you didn't want to whip her bottom at all, darling. You wanted to nibble her." Susan gently nipped with small white teeth. "I must be the most nibbled slavegirl extant, and you're quite fabulous at it. I'm climaxed to a climax."
    "I'm not a very good Mistress, am I?"
    "You're terrible as a Mistress, darling. That is, for a girl like me who needs constant discipline."
    "You don't need it at all, you just love it."
    "You've got the loveliest nipples, Ilona. I bet you never knew. I bet if I flicked one it would twang."
    "Go ahead." Ilona giggled. "You could call it twanging my tit."
    "You wouldn't have said that a week ago." Susan judged sagely. "And all the rest of you's grade 'A' too? good enough to eat. I might have eaten you up by now if you hadn't been so busy eating me."
    "I keep seeing those workmen's faces." Ilona mused.
    "They were in and out of here for three days. They must have guessed something."
    "How would I know! You made me sit in the stocks all day and tied me to that bed in what you call my room at night." Susan complained, then amended: "Oh sure, I know I told you it was the best way of disposing of me."
    "You looked sweet in the stocks, your feet peeping through."
    "I'm terribly grateful, darling, for all the things." Susan held up her left hand.
    Around its wrist was the snug shine of a steel shackle. It was heavy, as was the chain trailing across the coverlet to lose itself somewhere on the floor. "This is simply pussy perking, Ilona, I really know it's there. It doesn't just follow, I have to tug. But it let's me do anything? leastways in this bed it does."
    "The bed meet your specs'?"
    "Mmmmm! It will take us a month to tie me in all the ways it's designed for."
    Two girls in a huge bed, both naked, one vividly striped by whipmarks. Both satiated by an orgy of lovemaking that had gone on and on. In the mind of each was a query of the future, a future in which they knew themselves already enmeshed. For Ilona Paisley the publishing house was receding into the distance. For years it had held her captive. Now she beheld other more fascinating captivities of which she had never dreamed. Susan could be a way of life, absorbing her utterly. She stirred responsively under the attentions of lips, teeth and fingers. Heat was again building within her loins. She wondered at the seemingly inexhaustible regeneration the platinum haired beauty had the power to provoke. She had entered a lotus eating land of infinite delight.
    "What are you going to do to me tomorrow, Mistress?"
    "Love you."
    "But, darling, I need discipline. You're using me like a lesbian equal."
    "I didn't think they ever were equal."
    "Well, not really. But I'm not just a lesbian, I'm a slavegirl. Remember?"
    "I can't possibly whip you again. You're still terribly marked. They're lovely"
    "You do things for me and let me tell you what to do. You shouldn't, y'know. Right now, with my former Mistress, I'd be sentenced to a hundred lashes, or maybe tied to a post for a week."
    "What on Earth for?"
    "That's the point, darling, you don't know. When I'm bad you don't know I'm bad.
    You're in love with me."
    "What's wrong with that?"
    "It gets in the way, Ilona. When it comes time to punish me you feel mean and unkind."
    "I've got you chained right now, sweetheart."
    "My wrist, yes. But you'd have forgotten if I hadn't reminded you."
    Ilona Paisley was too happy, too relaxed, to be anything but amused by the bright eyes and pouting lips so close to her own. She was besotted by this lovely girl with platinum hair, lost in the flood of her own pent up sexuality. "Can't we love each other for a few days before I start being brutal to you, Susan?" She asked sleepily.
    Susan's heart was easily touched. She was unsure of her own feelings towards this far too liberal Mistress. But the least she could feel was affection. Ilona was so lost, so visibly needing help. She looked down at the lovely nakedness with which she had been idly playing. It was lovely, and it was pussy heating. It was far more provocatively female than its owner realized. For a minute she lowered her lips again to the hard wet nipple before retorting: "Of course we can love, darling. Loving her Mistress is the biggest part of a slavegirl's life. I could love you to pieces no matter how many whipmarks I wore or how heavy my chains."
    "Aren't we lucky." Ilona's voice was dreamy with content.
    Susan sighed. She had a feeling she was still grappling with Paisley Publications.
    Determinedly, she straddled her Mistress's passive nakedness and lowered her wet sex upon an unresisting tummy. Leaning forward, she placed the top of her index finger on the tip of a somnolent nose. Her voice was firm. "After our loving, Ilona, you absolutely must treat me as a slave. Will you?"
    "Of course I will. Come and cuddle."
    "What I really mean is, can you?"
    "Yes I can. Don't be tiresome, sweetheart. Lay beside me so I can get my hand into your fur."
    "Now I'm going to tell you of punishments. You must start using them on me in a couple of days. Don't tell me what I'm going to get, you just pick one?"
    "You're so sweet. Mmmmm. . !"
    "If you won't listen properly I'll cry or throw a tantrum."
    Ilona perked. "I'd love to see you throw a tantrum."
    Susan pouted. "You wouldn't like me a bit, Mistress. I become a nasty little girl who says the awfulest things and stamps her feet."
    "Please throw one now."
    "I'm not mad enough. Besides, you're too nice. Now, are you listening?"
    "Shall I make a list?"
    "Ilona, darling, take me seriously."
    "Oh alright. I'll flog you the first day, then you tell me."
    "Well. . " Susan had lost steam. "There's hanging me by my wrists, it's very effective. After an hour with my toes off the floor I become delightfully meek."
    "Mmmmm. .!"
    "Then there's the pillory, my neck and wrists yoked. I'm always terribly grateful when the yoke gets lifted."
    "I think you're a masochist, but carry on."
    "There's a horse thing you can make me sit on, tied so I can't get off. It cuts a girl's crotch in two and makes her awfully easy to deal with."
    "I bet! But doesn't it ruin her pussy?"
    Susan sighed again. "Pussies are almost indestructible, Mistress. You'll be surprised. . Ilona, are you listening?"
    Ilona giggled. "We were putting your pussy on a painful perch."
    "I ought to put your's on one, you might wake up."
    Susan sniffed disdainfully. "Anyway, there's also just tying me up. There's so many ways of doing it just a bit painfully so as the hours go slowly by. . ! I was tied tight, standing against the post, all night once. Gee, when I think of all the vows I made about behaving. . ! The rope marks in my skin made me look like an old time convict."
    "We must try that one, it sounds cute."
    Susan shifted enough to enable her to make a sudden savage bite at an unsuspecting nipple. Ilona yelped. "That was to get your attention, Mistress." The implacable slavegirl settled herself comfortably astride. "The next lesson is to get you to understand all the things I have to be punished for."
    "If you say so, dear."
    "That remark's no help. D'you want me to go looking for another Mistress?"
    "No!" The negative was a small explosion.
    "Alright then! Look on me as a pretty plant that has to be nourished in unusual ways. Without discipline I die."
    "Oh, darling, so dramatic!"
    "I have to keep you listening. Do you realize my former Mistress would have thrashed me three times already for the outrageous way I've been talking to you?"
    "But I like it!"
    "O.K. So when you're in the mood you give me permission to be bratty. Or, if I feel it coming on, I kneel and ask. You don't have to say yes."
    "I rather like that one. You now have my permission to play with both my nipples while we talk."
    Susan wrinkled her nose. "There you go again. That should have been an order."
    Susan's hands became busy. "There, instant obedience. Forgive my wrist chain rubbing you, I can't help it."
    Their eyes met, Susan's pout dissipated under a flood of affection. Soon, her tongue would once more seek its prey, her fingers tingled their vibrations into receptive breasts. Ilona smiled. The perfume of girl musk enveloped them.
    Ilona removed her shoes. She was ashamed of peeking but was under a compulsion she could not control. She wished to see but not be seen. Within her mind was a turmoil with which she had become familiar, a small cyclone of emotions with Susan at its centre. . She tip-toed cautiously and peered around the punishment room door.
    It was a picture so exquisite she was obliged to stifle a gasp. It was a picture she herself had created an hour ago. But, like most masterpieces, it had mellowed with age. Rebellious flesh and muscle had lost their tensions, the naked girl hung passively without motion, the tight straps upon her wrists sustaining her weight, her toes several inches above the floor. Al of Susan's femaleness had flowed in pain and fatigue to create a picture of resigned helplessness. Her head was bowed, her eyes closed.
    Breathless, Ilona Paisley drank in the pure beauty of the nude who believed herself alone. Every detail would be forever etched upon her mind. The tension of suspension had ironed out nothing of Susan's loveliness. Her breasts were tautened but remained superb cones. Her Venus Mound was actually accentuated, as was the pubic triangle crowning its visible contour. Her bel y was flat beneath the delineated rib cage, her bottom impudent but motionless. High above, the straps bit deep round punished wrists, the hands limply open, fingers drooping in resignation. For' several minutes the Mistress watched her punished slavegirl, then silently returned from whence she came.
    It had begun at breakfast. Pertly handcuffed, Susan was toying with toast and belabouring her favourite topic:
    "Darling, you simply have to punish me." As usual she was animatedly vehement.
    "I was rude to you in the bathroom, I tore your bra' strap, and I made some rotten coffee. I've been a lousy slave."
    "I never noticed, darling. Besides, I punished you yesterday. You sat on that horse thing, remember?"
    Susan sniffed. "Sure I did? for thirty minutes."
    "Well, you didn't like it. I know you didn't."
    "You should have left me there at least four hours."
    "That, would have been far too long. Sweetheart, I'm fond of you, I can't possibly be that brutal."
    "Then I'll never be a proper slave. I want you to punish me properly, and very severely, today. How are you going to do it?"
    "I'm not. You're far too sweet for these excessive disciplines. The worst I'll do is change your handcuffs from front to back."
    There had been a silence while they nibbled. Then, Susan had picked up a cup and admired it. "It's lovely, I bet it's imported?"
    "Uhuh. English bone. Shockingly expensive."
    Susan deliberately dropped the cup. It shattered on the tile.
    Ilona surveyed the damage in dismay. She had cherished those cups a long time.
    Angrily, she accused: "You did that on purpose."
    "Yes."
    No apology. Nothing! Just a cool speculative appraisal. Furious, with herself and with Susan, Ilona had demanded: "You wish to be punished?"
    "Not a wish. I need to be punished."
    They had glared at each other for long minutes before the Mistress muttered:
    "Very well, come with me."
    And that had been that. Ilona had hung a pouting Susan by her wrists and gone away. But not before the delinquent had demanded: "Four hours, eight if you want, but nothing less than four. Then whip me." She had emphasized her dictum by a frosty: "And good-bye."
    It had been one of the longest hours of her life. As one of four or of eight, Ilona saw it as impossible to endure. Perhaps Susan could endure it but she could not.
    Returning from her silent survey, she sat in the lounge and mixed herself a drink.
    She saw the glass but it was superimposed upon the punished loveliness of the naked girl. She made the drink last as long as she could. Then she went to the phone.
    In the punishment room nothing had changed. Susan had learned long since that, in a suspended nakedness, motion hurt. She still hung motionless. It would have been easy to suppose her asleep. Ilona knew she was not. Susan was absorbing her punishment in silent pain.
    Determinedly, Ilona Paisley went to the switch. A moment later Susan's feet were firmly on the floor. She was still obliged to stand with raised arms, but her agony had been stolen away. The Mistress took the helpless nudity in her clasp and kissed and kissed again. Soon, Susan kissed back. Moments later Ilona was on her knees feeding avidly at the centre of her loved one's being.
    "It was too soon." Susan moaned out the accusation with the final spasms of her climax. "Ohhhh, darling, I had hours yet to go. I still have."
    "No you haven't. You've had enough."
    "No. . Oh no. . Oh, darling!"
    "O.K., so it's me who's had enough." Ilona said crisply. "I can't stand it, knowing you're hanging here all alone."
    "But, my punishment. . ?"
    "You've had it!"
    Susan hung her head in defeat. Spontaneously, as though triggered by the same need, tears wel ed from both girl's eyes. Ilona clung harder and rubbed her wet cheek to mingle its salt drops with those of the punished girl. "I'm sorry," she sobbed, "I'm so, so sorry. . "
    It was an epitaph.
    Susan did not dress. She wore the handcuffs in an absent minded manner as though they had just happened. She had mixed their drinks and downed her own savagely. She mixed a second and sat in the lounge chair to sip it while contemplating her Mistress with sad, sad eyes.
    "I've let you down, Susan." Ilona Paisley said flatly.
    "You've loved me and been kind."
    "But that isn't enough."
    "It would be if we were just lovers. Darling, you love so gorgeously, you give so much."
    The woman who had been Paisley Publications smiled somberly. "Sweetheart, don't let's rehash, don't let's debate. I'm supposed to be an executive type, y'know. Let me try something constructive. I'm a dud as a Mistress, I love you too much. Let me see if I can give you what you want."
    In a single anguished motion Susan was on the rug and leaning on her Mistress's knees. She looked up longingly, her voice was choked: "You're too good to me, darling, I don't deserve?"
    "You've given me the greatest happiness I've ever known. And, Susan, we're not talking about an end. We're going to talk about an idea."
    "Yes, Mistress." The handcuffs clinked as Susan raised her glass. "Tell me about the idea. For once, I'll shut up."
    Ilona laughed, her fingers riffling through platinum hair. "Ever read the story of
    'O'?"
    "Of course. Are there any of us who haven't!"
    "Remember the first chapter when he ties her hands behind her back and takes her to Roissey?"
    Susan sighed nostalgically. "It was beautiful."
    "She didn't know where she was going or what lay ahead, but when he sent her to the door she went willingly?"
    "She must have been scared to death." Susan mused. "I mean, with her hands tied behind her back, and a strange house, and then the way they made her wait in the anteroom."
    "Would you do it, Susan?"
    "Me! But I'm not in love with any silly young man like Rene."
    "Rene always seemed to me a neuter. Who needs him!" Ilona studied the young intent face reflectively. "Suppose I drove you to a house, handcuffed you, and told you to do exactly what 'O' did?"
    Susan's sudden inhalation of breath was an answer in itself. The young eyes became bright with query. "Oh, darling, there'd be the door? and on the other side of it??"
    "I can't tell you exactly. But you would find things I don't seem able to give you, things you've got an emotional need of."
    "A Mistress?"
    "Yes, a Mistress." Ilona laughed. "But whether she matches the picture in your mind only you can tell."
    "And if she doesn't, can I come home?"
    "Not at your own request. She will decide."
    Again the inhalation. "I'd be. . a prisoner?"
    "You're my prisoner here now, sweetheart."
    "Mmmmm, I suspect I could talk myself out of it with you, darling. Could I with her?"
    "I would believe not. But I've arranged for you to phone me in a week. That reassures us both."
    Susan held up her joined hands. "I'm handcuffed. I'm ready?"
    Ilona bent and kissed the eager young lips. "Yes, sweetheart," She whispered gently. "You're ready, you're terribly ready."
    If you love something, set it free.
    If it returns, it is your's.
    If it does not
    It never was.
    The lines haunted Ilona Paisley without cessation. Her mind was filled by a vision of platinum hair, and of Susan flaunting her cuffed hands to wave good-bye before she entered the opened door. Ilona Paisley was in love.
    Paisley Publications re-possessed her. She saturated herself in work, dreading to return home. She chided herself constantly for what she believed to be an erotic romanticism. But she could not delude herself into a belief she could erase the etch marks on her mind made by the three females she could not forget. She condemned herself for setting the period of a week before Susan's phone call would be made, a couple of days would have imposed far less stress. But on the other hand the prisoner might need that time in which to properly assess her new captivity. She counted the days. On the seventh day she thought only of the phone and Susan's voice, she was shivering with excitement at the call.
    It did not come.
    On the eighth she used the phone herself, but there was no answer. She called every hour throughout the day and on into the night. The lovely voice of Antonia Noyes did not respond.
    Ilona considered the possibilities, but soon realized she was not prepared to live with any of them. On the ninth day she walked the path up which she had sent her love.
    The maid was as svelte as the Mistress, her trim uniform a costly creation. She was black but only slightly. She cocked as supercilious an eyebrow as the visitor had even seen. Her whole effect was one of pert insolence. But her response was polite and instant.
    "This way please, madam." The girl stood aside, opening the door wider in welcome.
    Miss Ilona Paisley walked through the portal into darkness.
    She awoke to darkness, a close warm stifling darkness, delaying consciousness and perception. Ilona lay in it drowsily until she realized it was not the darkness of night.
    It was something else! Something was wrong, wrong, wrong. . ! She was blind.
    She sat erect. But to do even that was an awkward and inhibited motion. She took a deep breath, fighting panic, and took what inventory she could of her condition.
    She was hooded. Soft leather was moulded to her features and her head. She could breathe, so presumably there were orifices. But no light reached her eyes.
    Lifting her hands to explore, she found them shackled. A band of metal round each wrist, a few links of chain. . From the center link another chain went down between her legs to connect with the chain between her similarly shackled ankles. If she stood she would be unable to lift her hands above her hips. But, sitting, they could find slack enough to explore the hood.
    It was laced at the back. Tight! It also seemed part of a collar round her neck, a collar which contrived to hide the ends of the laces and was fastened by a padlock.
    But the padlock did more. It also secured the end link of a chain which trailed down her back and beyond her reach. Presumably she was tethered.
    Her tracing fingers discovered the slit for her mouth and the small round holes beneath her nostrils. Evidently she was not meant to suffocate. But, tug as she would, she could move nothing to give her sight. She was captive in darkness. Feeling foolish, she spoke aloud to herself, but the hood restricted her chin and the words came to her muffled ears as an odd distortion.
    Cautiously, she stood up. The chains permitted her to do so. Hands restricted at a level below her waist, she took a tentative step which she guessed as ten or twelve inches before the links s sprang tight, four more hobbled paces and her collar was snubbed to bring her to a halt. She stood, literally at the end of her tether, feeling absurd, frightened and terribly lost. Her next discovery was surprisingly late in reaching her consciousness.
    She was stark naked. Ilona fought the hood. It was her first and worst enemy.
    True, the chains would hold her captive, but in this darkness it imposed she was frightened to move for fear of hurt. Crouching down to gain slack chain, she tore and scratched and sought to grasp. But the thing was a part of her, tight everywhere, locked immovably, the collar and padlock mocked her silently. On all fours she moved back. She found the wall, and in it the anchor of her chain tether. She was held by bonds it would be useless to fight. She made herself as comfortable as she could, her back resting against the wall, her knees drawn up so that she could clasp over them her shackled hands. Miss Ilona Paisley was a prisoner. Ruefully, she wondered whose prisoner she might be.
    She suspected chloroform. The maid may have had a soaked pad, or perhaps a man had been hidden behind the door. Her brief struggle before unconsciousness had been against strong hands. But what had happened to Antonia Noyes! Above all, what had happened to Susan! She herself may already have been taken far away.
    She thrust aside the possibility of white slavery, it was too melodramatic. But on the other hand. . ! What a haul for a brothel the four of them would make! Uneasily, she fingered the metal bands by which she was made prisoner. She had been penetrated only a few times, and had found the impalements of her sheath disagreeable and unrewarding. Miss Ilona Paisley shivered. She had been made naked, it was not a hopeful sign.
    The footsteps were firm, they were female. The voice was that of the maid who had opened the front door. It was an educated supercilious voice. But, as before, it was polite.
    "You are awake, Miss Paisley. Not too uncomfortable, I hope?"
    "You know damn well I'm uncomfortable." Ilona was ashamed of the sound of her voice. "I am also naked, I am chained up, there's a hood locked on my head."
    "That's right, Miss Paisley."
    "What do I have to do or promise to get released?"
    "Nothing, Miss Paisley, just nothing. You ain't going to be released."
    "Then, if I'm to be kept prisoner, may I have this hood removed?"
    "No, maam, you may not."
    "Do you realize how frightening this is for me?"
    "I'm sure it is, Miss. I'd be frightened."
    "Well, can't you have a little pity on me then? Take off this infernal hood."
    "No, Miss Paisley, you have to wear that hood."
    "Who says that? Is there someone I can speak to?"
    "Just me, Miss."
    Ilona was shocked. "You mean I'm your prisoner?"
    "Sort of."
    "Where is Miss Noyes?"
    "You want a drink of water, Miss Paisley?"
    "I asked you a question."
    "I'm going to put a glass of water in your right hand, Miss."
    The captive drank it gratefully. The glass was refilled.
    Handing it back, empty, she said: "Thank you. Do you have a name?"
    "You can call me Nora, Miss."
    "Nora, I would pay a great deal of money to get rid of this hood."
    "I expect you would, Miss."
    Ilona sighed wearily. "Alright, so I have to stay blind. Will you tell me what sort of a place this is? I mean, so I won't hurt myself trying to stumble around."
    "Just a room, Miss. A bare room with nothing but you. There's chains on your wrists and ankles, and they're connected so's you can't try and hit me. There's a collar round your neck and it's padlocked to a seven foot chain fixed in the wall. That's as far as you can go: seven feet."
    "Thank you, Nora. You'd be surprised how that helps. Look, if I can't have the hood off, will you tell me why it's on?"
    "I think it's for a punishment, maam."
    "But I haven't done anything!"
    "No, Miss, but a girl doesn't have to do much to get punished."
    "Couldn't you use handcuffs on me?"
    "Could, but you got to wear them irons."
    "Nora, this is all damn awful for me! How long have I got to be like this?"
    "You ain't supposed to know, Miss." Was there a hint of satisfaction in the superior voice! "Maybe you stay this way the rest of your life."
    "I'd go insane in a week."
    "Not likely, Miss. Here, it's a pail and a cover. You take and put it against the wall yourself. That way you know where it's at. You know what it's for." Nora's footsteps receded and were gone.
    Even if someone was watching, the hood hid Ilona's blush. She would never know if she was observed. . and to use this pail before a dozen eyes. . ! She began to understand the insidious punishment of the hood. In loathing, she pushed the essential utility well off to one side. She longed to cry, but the hood inhibited tears.
    Alone in dark silence, Ilona Paisley toyed idly with her chains. They were far heavier and uglier than need be to keep her restrained. No doubt they were, like the hood, a punishment. Someone did not like her. Ruefully, she saw her nakedness as practical, both to herself and to her captors. She wondered, shrinkingly, if silent eyes came and feasted on her breasts and pubic hair. She would never know.
    It could be a kidnapping for ransom, her present plight a softening up before the demand for cash. Perhaps the three others were held as she was held. Her thoughts drifted, she was in limbo. Soon she slept.
    For Ilona Paisley there was neither night or day. But three times in each twenty-four hours she was given milk or soup which she sucked up through a straw.
    "You're a lucky girl, Miss Paisley. The hood will lose you weight. It's too tight under jaw for solids, you can't chew properly."
    "I'm not fat. Nora, how much money do you want to set me free?"
    The pain was fearsome in her darkness. It slashed across her shoulders like a fiery brand. Ilona yelped in shock, her chains rattling.
    "Please do not try and bribe me, Miss." The voice was cold.
    "Was that you? It was a whip, wasn't it?"
    "It was me, Miss. I will whip you as I think needful."
    "But, Nora, I don't even know when I'm doing wrong. I don't know anything? this beastly hood! Please don't hit me without warning. It's? it's too frightening."
    Another cut! It laced the length of Ilona's thigh. She screamed at the hatefulness of what was being done to her. It was too awful, not knowing, not seeing! While her chained hands were exploring her wound Nora's calm voice continued.
    "You do not give orders, maam, you do not complain. You are a white cunt that must be humbled."
    The four letter word was as frightening as the lash. Quivering with apprehension, Ilona said: "I'll do what you want. Please tell me. So I don't get whipped."
    "The whip will teach you, Miss Paisley, it will teach you far better than anything I can say."
    "But in the dark. . ! It's so awful? the not knowing. Oh please, Nora?"
    The whip cut her sentence as it cut her skin, this time her other thigh. In pure animal fear, Ilona tugged and twisted at the chains. . She was chained everywhere. It was too, too cruel, the links snubbed her every act. No animal had ever been chained as she was chained. The collar on her neck seemed a personal mockery.
    "That was a complaint, Miss. It earned you a stroke."
    "I'm sorry, Nora. I will try."
    "Good. That way you just get properly whipped at proper times. You will know it's going to happen."
    The naked woman froze. 'Properly whipped'! She believed she knew the meaning behind the term, but she was compelled to ask.
    "You will be whipped from time to time for punishment, Miss Paisley. The whip will humble you. That is desired."
    "But, Nora, am I proud? I didn't think I?"
    She should have known! The thong cut her from hip to armpit. In desperate misery she fell sideways and writhed out her pain amidst a clash of chains. When the paroxysm ended Nora pul ed her back to sit against the wall. The girl's voice was faintly amused.
    "When you are properly whipped, maam, I will inform you of what you are sentenced to, and just how you must stand or kneel. Perhaps I may take you to where you can be properly tied or strapped to receive your whipping."
    "Thank you."
    "I don't think that was sarcastic, Miss. It sounded better."
    "I will try, Nora, honest I will. I'm frightened."
    "You're supposed to be frightened, Miss Paisley. I'd be frightened too."

    The naked prisoner was no longer entirely alone, now she had pain to keep her company. Desperately keeping the ghosts of darkness at bay, she traced the whipweals Nora had bestowed, wincing and thankful that for the moment there would be no more. It was a change from fingering the metal links of her chains like a rosary. Over and over in her darkness she thought of the word, humility. She had to be humble, someone wished to break her, reduce her to naked compliance. It was not really a clue, there could be many motives behind such a wish.
    Ilona saw herself as a planet drifting in dark, dark space. She could measure neither the space or the time. Mostly she was alone. Nora's visits became increasingly important to her. Often they brought pain but she came to know that Nora and pain was better than no Nora at all. She could not know if others observed her. It was possible. Nora proved its possibility by sometimes coming silently and standing beside the chained captive until a sound or an instinct betrayed her presence. There were other times when Ilona was driven to speak to someone who either was not there or did not answer.
    The first of her whippings was traumatic. As whippings go, it was by no means cruel, only the darkness made it so. Nora's hands and Nora's voice guided her to stand and face the wall and to bend forward enough to place her forehead against its surface that she might find support and have an anchorage easy to find after her responses. It was suggested she should stand quite still for the six strokes to which she was sentenced, but neither girl believed this possible.
    "Nora, am I forbidden to scream?"
    "No, Miss, but as time goes by I'll teach you not to." She would once have asked why that need be. But she had learned not to ask such questions that might hint of criticism. Meekly, she held her forehead as directed, the long chain dropping away from her collar, her hands clenched and tight against their shackles below her waist.
    She was quite helpless and knew herself cruelly open. She could shield nothing.
    Miss Ilona Paisley waited to be whipped.
    She had come to understand the hood. It was the most potent of her punishments, eminently practical in doubling and trebling the intensity of all she must suffer. To sit chained and blind was an infinitely worse captivity than to sit, restrained, but with all her faculties. She found bitter frustrations in her compulsive need to explore the limits of her chains. Again and again she would rise and shuffle this way or that until her neck was snubbed. She tugged and twisted her hands and arms and kicked her fettered feet against their linkage. Then it became a hazardous and frightening journey back to the wall. She had learned to identify her place by the warmth her flesh had bestowed upon where she sat and where she leaned.
    The first lash came, circling her waist to spend its venom on her forearm, a forearm pulling frantically against a chain that would not yield.
    Her lonely need or stability in darkness kept her head bent in contact with the wall while she moaned and writhed. But the second stroke, lapping both her bottoms and her hip sent her convulsing on the floor in a reckless abandonment to anguish.
    Matter-of-factly, Nora lifted her to her feet and pressed her forehead once more into contact.
    "Don't you worry, Miss Paisley, Nora will give you all six real good." Whatever emotion the maid's voice dealt with, it was unfailingly polite.
    "Thank you, Nora."
    Was it humility, or was it gratitude for such small benefits as the maid bestowed!

    Ilona did not know. Miss Paisley received her other four strokes with various reactions and various sounds. When her forehead left the wall for the last time it received a firm warm kiss to leave the captive more lost than ever. Perhaps it was a clever psychological trick to keep her off balance, or a kindly gesture to keep her sane. But how could she tell! She could not tell. Nora had left her alone with her pain. This time she bore weals where her chained hands could not reach back to comfort.
    There were other things besides the whip.
    "Miss Paisley, I want you to kneel, up on your knees, erect."
    "Yes, Nora."
    Even so small a thing was fraught with awkwardness and the clink and pull of chain. The naked prisoner knelt as bidden, expectant, quivering and frightened. The tension of her arms dragged a chain up inside her crotch and through her pubic hair. Silently, she waited for the voice or the blow.
    "Well, Miss?"
    "What must I do, Nora?"
    "Nothing. Just tell me what you feel."
    "Naked and frightened. Nora, I think I'm facing you, and you're standing close."
    "Where's the chain between your legs, Miss Paisley?" Ilona knew what to do.
    Lifting her shackled hands as high as she could, she said: "There, the chain between my legs is tight up against my cunt."
    "You hate using that word?"
    "Yes, Nora."
    "What can you smell?"
    Every sense alert in her darkness, the kneeling girl became aware of a close proximity. "I can smell woman scent, Nora."
    "In plain earthy language, please Miss?"
    "I can smell your sex."
    "One more try before the whip, Miss Paisley."
    "I can smell your cunt, Nora."
    Strong fingers grasped her hair and thrust her hood and its orifices hard against what Ilona knew to be the black girl's pubic hair. The pungency of female sex was overpowering. She was held so for many seconds before being pushed back.
    "If I ordered you to eat me, Miss Paisley, would you obey?"
    "Yes, of course, yes please! If you only knew my hunger. . " Ilona was shamed by her own words, but Nora's musky spiciness had triggered her terrible need of feminine communion. Susan had been gone so long! Miserably, she mourned: "But I'm hooded, I can't."
    It had been one more emphatic victory for the hood.

    Long after Nora had left her alone, Ilona continued to kneel. She relapsed upon her heels for comfort, the pose catering to the illusion of a female presence. Her chained hands rested between her thighs, feeling her own heat. She wondered if anyone was looking, she suspected she looked pretty and pathetic like that.
    Ilona Paisley's second whipping was a tremendous adventure.
    "This time you get ten strokes, maam. We're going to do it right. You're going for a walk."
    She was speechless with emotion as the padlock clicked open on her collar and the chain fell to the floor. It immediately snapped shut again, but she was no longer attached to the wall.
    "I'll hold your arm and guide you, Miss. We'll take it easy."
    Her steps were pathetically short, and accompanied by a tremendous clatter. One after the other her ankles were snubbed in her slow progress to punishment. Nora's grasp on her bare arm partly defeated the dark.
    "Will anyone else watch my punishment, Nora?"
    "Figure that out for yourself, Miss Paisley. You get one extra stroke for asking."
    "I'm sorry. . I should have had more sense. Nora. . If you have to free something so's I can be fastened to be whipped, I promise I won't struggle or be silly.
    I'll obey you."
    "Like I said, Miss, the whip teaches you things. You wouldn't have said that before you got the hood." The fingers on her arm squeezed approvingly.
    The hobbled walk was a joyous thing: absurd but true. Without the tether, and with Nora's hand on her arm, the chained woman took her tiny steps with a sense of immense freedom. She was walking to a punishment but the walk itself revived hope.
    It was a longish walk for restricted steps but ended far too soon.
    "We are there, Miss Paisley. I am going to free your wrists. Your ankles stay chained."
    Even without her promise, Ilona could have done nothing to escape. Her feet were chained, the hood was locked fast. She was as impotent as though her arms were tightly bound. When the irons fell to the floor with a clatter she let her hands hang limply at her hips, even that felt good.
    "I'm going to tie your hands above your head, maam."
    "O.K., Nora. Here, I'll hold them for you."
    In spite of what it portended, the upward stretch of arms too long held below her waist came as one more small pleasure. Ilona guessed her wrists were being spread apart and tied to some sort of solid bar. Cords circled and were tugged tight, but her feet remained flat on the floor, she was not tip-toe. True, she was completely delivered to the whip, but still. . !
    "Ten strokes, maam, and one extra for the question you asked."
    "Thank you, Nora."
    "From your thighs to your shoulders, Miss Paisley. No particular number on any particular place."
    "Yes, I understand. I'll try to not scream too much."
    "Should you wish to test yourself, Miss, you can be forgiven the extra stroke by remaining silent."
    The small wait in darkness was as agonizing as the blow Ilona momentarily expected. She wondered if there was an audience and, if there was, were they approving her behavior or seeing her as a spineless female already whipped into submission. Ruefully, she realized the hood had reduced her far more than the stripes upon her skin. She tensed into a gasping immobility as number one encircled her taut waist.
    Long after her whipping, Ilona was to wonder whether the remission of one single stroke was reward enough for the loss of the relief of screams. Probably it was a poor bargain, but she treasured the victory of silence. If there were watching eyes they would respect her fortitude, Nora would respect it, and she herself would be strengthened. But she had clenched her teeth.
    Desperation finds what solace it can. Ilona Paisley, naked under the whip, tugged one chained ankle against the other, she gasped in huge inhalations and exhalations, sometimes she lifted herself and her chains off the floor in a silent but agonized reflex. At such times her wrists did not matter, only her whipped flesh. She writhed, she twisted and tugged, but she did not scream.
    In these whippings there was never any pretence of awfulness beyond the simple fact of being whipped. Nora never spoke of them as floggings or of the use of more cruel instruments than an ordinary whip or slender crop. They were simply the whipping of a girl who was required to be punished. Even so, they were awful enough.
    The ten strokes seemed interminable to the nude woman who received them in a dogged silence. Screams did help! She knew now they helped tremendously. But she would not utter them. Somewhere in this saga of submissions she had a need to prove she was still Ilona Paisley. Cut followed cut, her bottom, her back, her shoulders. In her agony she wondered if the pauses between each stroke were kind or cruel. She longed most ardently for the last lash upon her flesh, but with an equal intensity dreaded the next one about to fall.
    The walk back was less joyous. Soon she would be tethered and alone. As she left the place where she had been whipped she could have sworn she smelt the smoke of a cigarette, but she dared not speak of it as she took the linked steps back to boredom.
    She was learning to be cautious with her words. When the padlock once more gripped her chain she longed to cry.
    Nora instituted drills. They were interspersed by whipstrokes for fumbles but became increasingly easy to follow. They were simply a verbal assertion of authority on one hand and humility on the other. Ilona never admitted it aloud but she welcomed them. She bore their swift savage pains in tolerance, so thankful was she of a human presence. She believed she could accept the whip hourly if it would keep Nora in the room. Whenever she was allowed to do so she grasped soft thighs and hugged them hungrily in longing.
    "What are you, Miss Paisley?"
    "I am your prisoner, Nora, I will obey you."
    "Are you grateful for being whipped?"
    "I am grateful, Nora. Thank you."
    "Why are you captive like this?"
    "Because I am a woman, Nora, and someone wishes me thus."
    "Would you like me to whip your cunt, Miss Paisley?"
    "Oh, yes, if it pleases you."
    "And your breasts?"
    "Yes, and my breasts too."
    "Ask me nicely, Miss Paisley."
    "Please, Nora, will you whip my cunt and my breasts?" It could go on and on.
    The key to unmarked skin was humility.
    Days passed. In chained darkness Ilona Paisley was more and more aware of dependence on the coloured maid. Her whole existence now centered on the capricious creature who held the keys to her captivity. When Nora was kind a strange love would flow between them. When she was cruel, Ilona believed the cruelty emanating from someone else and bore it without rancour or resentment. While she was receiving her pain it was a potently personal thing tangibly from Nora's flesh or Nora's lips for whatever brief period they were vouchsafed. She obeyed Nora now without question.
    The chained captive kept no count of time. She was not going anywhere, no period had been placed on her imprisonment. Questions were punished, so she no longer asked them. Her future was the same as her present, a dark void interspersed by pain and controlled by a girl she had seen briefly only once. But had Ilona been forced to guess she would have supposed it ten or twelve days before her life was once more changed.
    "Want a bath, Miss Paisley?"
    "Of course I need a bath, I smell?" Ilona suddenly beheld implications: "You mean??"
    "That's what I mean. But don't get excited, maam, you're not going home."
    "I didn't expect. . Oh, Nora. . just to get in a bath, even chained??"
    The maid laughed. "I'm going to take off that hood. "
    "Nora, I love you!"
    "You may not love me at all, Miss Paisley. Kneel down." Obedience was instant.
    Ilona Paisley had become a small child. She was quivering, her pulse raced as the padlock and chain fell to the floor to be followed by the collar. It felt as though a thousand pounds had been taken from her neck. But she was still utterly helpless.
    "You don't get to see anything, Miss. Sorry 'bout that."
    "But, Nora, you're untying the laces, you're taking the hood away from me!"
    "That's right, Miss Paisley. But as I lower it from your face I'm going to slip a metal blindfold over your eyes. Are you going to keep still or be silly?"
    "I'll keep still. Oh, Nora. . ! But why metal?"
    " 'Cos you're going to have a bath, Miss. You'd look silly with a soaked scarf over your eyes."
    It was one of the tensest moments of Ilona's life. Her clenched fists pul ed at the chain bisecting her sex, she held her head high to aid Nora in whatever she must do.
    Suddenly the hood was free. As it slipped forward across her nose there was a brief flash of light and then, once more, darkness as shaped metal blinds possessed her eyes and were secured at the back of her head. Nora made them tight, tight and tighter yet. They felt strange so that the naked woman longed to finger them. But she could not, the shackles held her hands.
    "Want a sporting proposition, Miss Paisley? I'm supposed to tie your hands in back?"
    "Oh, Nora, anything! I won't struggle or try to escape."
    "O.K. So I unlock your chains and you're free? What would you do?"
    "Whatever you tell me. I won't touch the blindfold."
    "That's hard to believe, Miss."
    "No it isn't!" Ilona's voice was high in longing. I know you'd punish me terribly if I did give you a bad time. I just don't want some awful punishment."
    Metallic sounds! The shackles fell from Ilona's wrists, then her ankles. "You can stand up, Miss Paisley. You can do what you like 'cept touch that blindfold or run."
    Ilona did what she liked. Blindness prevented her running round the room, but she did all the physical jerks she could remember from school. She then felt her weals and touched her nipples. The three words she uttered held a tremendous sincerity:
    "Thank you, Nora."
    She walked totally free, guided by a female hand that held her own. She stood still, arms behind her back, while Nora ran the bath. When she sat in the hot perfumed water she sighed ecstatically. "Oh, Nora, you're so good to me!"
    "Now you're going to be good to me, Miss Paisley." Nora's voice held vibes. "I'm as naked as you are and I'm getting in the bath."
    Ilona reverted to her teens. Nora was the girl next door who was giggling in the tub with her while their parents were gone. She wished she had eyes, but it did not matter too much. Her hands found familiar contours, caressing nipples, reaching for pubic hair.
    "Do it, Miss Paisley. I want you to."
    Ilona did it. By the time the bath was done they had brought each other into orgasmic flower time after time. Ilona had forgotten her blindfold, in such a feast of tumescence it did not matter. When she had dried herself with hot absorbent towels, Nora's command did not matter either.
    "Cross your wrists behind your back, Ilona."
    Thrilling at the use of her given name, the blinded girl obeyed. As the cords criss-crossed her wrists she knew concupiscence again. She was being bound by a girl, a girl with whom she had just shared love. Without realizing what she was saying, she whispered: "Tighter, darling, tighter. Make them hurt."
    It did not matter that now she could not touch her eyes. Nothing seemed to matter except that Nora stay close. The girl whose wrists were tied behind her back knew herself even more helpless than she had been when chained. But that did not matter either. Flexing her arms, she knew she could never free herself, her wrists were tied to stay. They hurt but the hurt was pleasure. Once more, the libido of Miss Ilona Paisley was flaring heat.
    "Someone wants you." Nora's hand guided the steps of her newly bound charge.
    "You behave real good, d'you hear."
    "I'll behave, Nora, I promise. Besides, I'm tied, I have to."
    "It's not what you do, it's what you say, Miss." Nora's hand added impetus to the captive's steps and thrust her forward. "Here now, you're through a door. Walk four paces then stop." Suddenly, Nora's hand was gone.
    Feeling doubly nude and doubly helpless, Miss Ilona Paisley took four deliberate steps.
    "Stand still, darling." It was Susan's voice. There was something wrong with that voice but it still belonged to Susan.
    Ilona stood still in her darkness, wrists tensed within their cords.
    The searing agony of a whip burst across her back.

Chapter Four

The dark, dark night.

    Nightmare. Pain. Shock.
    In Ilona's dark world orientation dissolved. Once more she was naked in space, and the space was hostile! With a moan of anguish, she did what she had been trained to do. She fell to her knees and bowed her head in submission to an unseen foe. Her tied wrists, crossed at the small of her back, accentuated her helpless acceptance of Fate.
    "Hmmmm. . nice. Very nice indeed." It was a man's voice.
    "We've taken trouble with her. I'd say she's well broken." It was a woman, just faintly foreign. "Her background makes her interesting."
    There was a dry male chuckle. "And expensive."
    "We can easily pick up teen-age bodies and bored wives, but they hardly suit your clientele. This woman and the other I showed you possess depth."
    "Yet you break them so easily?"
    "This one, not the other."
    The male voice became sardonically curious. "How long will she remain in that abject posture?"
    "I've no idea." The female voice changed direction. "Nora, lift Miss Paisley and display her for Mr. Karamal."

    As the pain of the whiplash across her back receded, Ilona's mind raced. Susan was somewhere close, but she dared not ask. Something was terribly wrong in this house of Antonia Noyes. The verbal exchange between a man and a woman she could not see, indicated the sale of her body to a brothel. It was all unreal. She wilted within her darkness and was thankful when Nora's fingers grasped her arm.
    "If she can't get that sulk off her face and stand up straight, Nora, give the silly bitch a whipping." The feminine voice was without animus, it was simply dealing with routine.
    Ilona did not want the whip. She made her nudity erect and proud, her features impassive. Trusting Nora's hand, she walked gracefully where she was led.
    "D'you want the blinds off her eyes, Carl?"
    "No, leave them on. I find them intriguing. Damned interesting effect, knowing there's a woman behind those blinkers."
    "We've had a hood on her. A hood's damn good on a girl. Even if her hands are free she can't get it off."
    "I can see that." The man's voice was reflective. "I prefer what you have on her now. On the other hand. . The concept of artificial blindness. . ! Its got possibilities. As far as I know its never been used."
    "I'd thought of suggesting it, Carl. I've been pleased with this experiment. We could leave this one as she is for the rest of her life. She's been blind now for a couple of weeks and she's adjusting. Trouble is the supervision, and unless you use the hood you must keep her hands tied behind her back the way she is now."
    "I know a chap who's clever at such things, Selma. He might make an adaptation of what she's wearing now. I really like them. Damn strange if he couldn't concoct something she couldn't get off with her fingers."
    "Well, perhaps. Y'know, Carl, you've got me interested. I don't have the time but you have, to see if she'd wear them with free hands in the knowledge that if she tampered with them she'd get the damnedest punishment."
    "Hmmmm. . " A male chuckle. "She'd have 'em off in no time flat."
    "Not necessarily." Selma had become animated with an idea. "Suppose their fastenings are a one time only deal? she couldn't get 'em back on, couldn't be foxy and pretend she hadn't touched 'em. She'd be up the creek. . " Selma laughed pleasurably. "Take this girl here, she hates to be whipped. The promise of a hundred lashes would keep her pretty little hands away from her face."
    The blind, captive was curling up inside. To be blind always, never to see again.
    The prospect was devastating. Yet, within her horror, she was aware of the stirrings or an erotic feminine curiosity. Under the threat of punishment would she indeed keep her hands away from her eyes! Would she accept blindness in preference to a hundred strokes from Nora's whip??
    The handclasp tightened. "Stand still right here, Miss Paisley. Do as I say please."
    Ilona supposed her nakedness on display, facing curious eyes. She shrank from the thought of Susan. But, for once, blindness was a boon hiding what she feared to see.
    In response to a curt command and the slap of a hand she widened the space between her feet. Firm fingers emphasized the squaring of her shoulders even more than her tied arms. Fearful and sulkily, she thrust out her breasts, tautened her tummy and tilted her chin. She even spread her thighs another inch to give a better view of her pubic triangle. Miss Ilona Paisley was naked and on display for a man she could not see.
    "Like I said, she's well trained. Notice her respond?"
    "Hmmmm, you're right. Selma. Those breasts are worth the money. I've noticed they don't deflate. Even without her hands tied they'd stand out."
    "I find her interesting between the legs. Lovely Venus Mound and pubic patch.
    With some of 'em a threat to shave their cunt naked makes 'em more tractable than the whip."
    Karamal laughed. "Yeah, its surprised me the things they're amenable to. Get a pair of lesbians and threaten one? her partner instantly offers anything. . You know, her proverbial all, if you'll just layoff."
    Ilona's blush was no longer hidden by a hood. It was there for all to see in her mortification. Obedient to the hand, she turned about that Mr. Karamal might be edified by sight of her bottom and back. His response was gratifying.
    "A good ass! Doesn't often last after twenty one. A round rump is a tremendous asset? Dammit! look at those marks, Selma! That girl's been whipped for sure!"
    "Would you like her whipped again, now, just for you, Carl?"
    "Hell, any man wants that! But, no. She'll probably collect a whipping or two over behavior, and there's no point in marking her too badly."
    "You're going to take her then?"
    "Oh, yes. She definitely belongs. Put her with the others. We've already discussed money."
    "Good! But what about keeping her blind? She's totally helpless, y'know. She'll be a damn nuisance."
    "I realize that. But dammit, Selma, if she's been like that a couple of weeks it makes the experiment worth perpetuating." Karamal chuckled in inspiration. "Why not sell me Nora?"
    "Carl, sometimes you're a bit trying."
    "Lend her to me then. I'll send her home safe, and with a bonus?"
    "And whipmarks from head to toe." Selma laughed caustically. "You'd most likely sell the poor girl and send me a cheque."
    "What's wrong with that?" Carl's tone was raillery. "Y'know, Selma, you could use a bit more merchandise to keep the turnover up."
    "Show me where I can get it." Selma sounded caustic. "I've got a reputation to maintain. What I deal in isn't easy to come by, and it doesn't often lay itself open to being conveniently picked up. This group of idiotic females almost begged for it.
    Damn lucky I got in there before someone else did."
    "The girls listening, Selma?"
    "So! Poor dear Miss Paisley. She isn't going anywhere except with you. Tell her what she's in for. Watch her reaction. Must be a bitch of a sensation, being blind and having this happen. Far as I can discover all four of 'em are lesbian. Pricks will be a bit of a shock."
    The blind girl cringed. So it was a brothel! Ilona fought a vision of Susan's loveliness spread beneath the obscenity of the male whose horrific prong was advancing to impale the girl she loved. It was more than she could bear.
    "Look. I'm rich!" She gasped, her blind eyes searching.
    "I'll pay whatever you want to set us free. No questions asked."
    She had expected the whip. Instead, it was Carl's amused query. "Quote us a price, Miss Paisley."
    "I don't know. I just don't know!" Ilona twisted a futile resentment at her bound hands. "I can probably raise a million?"
    "And the cops and the F.B.I, and the Marines!"
    "No, oh no!" Ilona fought desperately. "Don't you see. . ? As long as you hold Susan I'll work with you? or let her go and hold me?"
    "Always envied lesbians. Selma." Karamal's tone was reflective. "Judging by what they'l do for each other a tongue and a clit must be a helluva' lot better than a cock and a cunt."
    "Please. . please! Let me get the money?"
    "Lady, you got any idea what those two youngsters are worth on our Market. . ? It's anything up to a couple of million apiece. I know poor old bastards who'l pay a thousand dollars a shot for trying to screw 'em with a limp dink, or maybe spanking their little bottoms. Can you match that?"
    "Only if I sell the business. I'll do it, honest I'll?"
    "Too much kerfuffle, Miss Paisley. No money in kidnapping. It's a mug's game.
    What we're going to do with you is neat and tidy."
    "You're going to ruin four lives?!"
    Immediately she had spoken the words, Ilona knew she had gone too far. There was a long, long silence before Selma said, icily: "Five, Nora."
    She was turned around, and then turned again. Nora's hands on her bare shoulders forced her to kneel, then bent her forward to place her forehead on the rug.
    Nora's whisper was for her ears alone: "Keep still while I whip you. If you roll around and scream it will be ten. When it's over say a real good thank you."
    It was a hateful pose. Ilona was positive she must be positioned to point her taut and arrogant bottom at those who would now watch it wealed by Nora's crop.
    Because of the watching eyes it was vital to her that she should neither scream or roll upon the floor as her flesh was striped. She would long to but she must not.
    "Don't hurry, Nora. Let Mr. Karamal enjoy. Miss Paisley is an excellent subject."
    So she has been watched! Back there in her darkness through the days and nights this woman, Selma, had gloated over her writhings and her tussles with her chains!

    But that was over. What mattered was now. Ilona repeated over and over to herself: five, five. . It must not be ten, it must not be ten! She pressed her head hard against the rug and wished Nora would hurry and cut her with the first stroke. Rut when it came it was far, far worse than she remembered. Within her fiery hell of pain, silent and motionless, she supposed it always was. A girl would never, never become used to being whipped. It would always be unimaginably awful. Or perhaps, this time, it was because of her posture and tensioned skin and because the crop hurt worse than did the whip. Ilona Paisley clenched her teeth, she clenched her bound hands, her breathing was tumultuous, but she did not move.
    "I should put her price up." Selma said thoughtfully. "Damn and blast it Carl, you and I have just seen something remarkable. Don't waste this one. Hell, she's worth nine million, she's worth the moon!"
    "The right man will pay it." Carl agreed. "And I'll find him. She may have to stay awhile behind bars." He turned to Nora. "Look, girl, keep this one safe. Don't give her the faintest chance of escape."
    "None of them will escape. Mr. Karamal. I guarantee it." Nora's voice was smugly assured, tinged with pride.
    No escape! It was as though the cords on her wrists and the metal shields on her eyes had spoken the words. Of course she would not escape! The days and days of darkness and the chains had taught her that. Nora's drill had taught her lessons too.
    Hating the ritualistic humility, she controlled her voice to simulate gratitude: "Thank you for whipping me. Nora. You did it very well."
    "I'll be go to hell!" Karamal ejaculated admiringly. "I'm a damn good mind to keep this one myself."
    "You can kneel properly, girl. Get your head off the floor." Selma sounded almost cordial. "Nora, turn her round to face us. Her rump's a picture but we've had enough of it."
    Ilona knelt as the hands placed her. With arms tied behind her back it was difficult not to seem to bow forward submissively, to kneel erect might appear defiant. Her blazing bottom denied the flood of questions she longed to ask. Not that the questions mattered much any more if she was being taken to a brothel and made subject to a sale to any male who might find her loins to his liking. Life was Over.
    "You'll have Nora 'tend 'em, eh. Selma? I've got the arrangements to deal with.
    You won't have to feed 'em too long?"
    "Of course, and they'll be safe."
    "Dammit! Selma, sell me that girl? I like the way she handles bodies, and she's an artist with that riding crop."
    "Carl, I need her!"
    "You can get another. You can recruit One a lot easier than I can."
    The kneeling woman, blind and bound, could visualize them: Middle aged, money, fat cats complacent with a good thing going. She found herself rooting for Carl. She wanted Nora as badly as he did. If he intended to keep her blind. Nora was her eyes and hands.
    "I suppose I could lend her to you while you get 'em settled." Selma's concession was grudging. She chuckled. "But I'll want a deposit on her, something substantial."
    "Don't you trust me?"
    "Yes, but not with saleable females." Selma turned her attention to her maid.
    "Nora, would you want to go with Mr. Karamal? If he's going to keep Miss Paisley blind he needs you."
    "I'll do whatever you tell me. Mrs. Szabo."
    "Wonderful!" Carl was pleased. "The girl's a honey, Selma. Have her look after the merchandise. Let's you and me go have a drink."
    How hateful to be blind! To have to guess at what was going on around you, using words and sounds to paint pictures, forbidden to speak, hands bound. Ilona Paisley saw herself as a nothing. She had been reduced to a bodily orifice for men to use. In dumb misery she listened to sounds. . Then, in response to Nora's hand, rose to her feet.
    It was a longish walk, and there were stairs going down, there were doors and the chill of cold air on her bare skin. Nora's whisper was urgent but assured.
    "You keep being obedient. Miss Paisley, do like I say."
    "Of course I will. Nora!" Ilona had never been more sincere.
    "You can't ask questions, but soon you get a few answers?" A pause as though in thought. "I sure do hope I get to go with you, I'd like that a lot. Miss Paisley."
    "Yes! Oh, Nora. . Yes!"
    "I'm going to untie your hands soon. You going to be sensible?"
    "Yes. . oh, yes!" Suddenly, the air was warm.
    The floor was stone under her bare feet. Ilona sensed space while she stood passively for her hands to be untied.
    "Stretch 'em a moment, Miss Paisley, and rub your wrists. I know it feels good."
    Nora's concession was amused.
    It did feel good, very good indeed! Ilona allowed her nudity to be pressed back against an easily identified column and her arms pul ed back. "Hold 'em close for the handcuffs. Miss Paisley." Nora's request was without anxiety. A moment later there were the familiar clicks and the familiar clutch of metal bands. Nora's lips brushed her cheek in approval, her whisper was close to a captive ear.
    "I'm going to take the blinds off, Miss Paisley."
    "Oh. Nora? Nora?!" The captive throat was choked with emotion, the captive heart thudding painfully.
    "I'll have to put them back on you again, before anyone sees."
    "Yes, of course! Oh. Nora! I won't struggle. I promise I won't give you trouble Oh, thank you!"
    The blind girl was alight with happiness, uncaring for the rest of her predicament.
    Eagerly, she strained forward against her hand cuffs to expose the nape of her neck to Nora's merciful fingers, when she knew the metal shields in her eye hollows were free she closed her eyes.

    "You've been blind a long time, Miss Paisley. Take it easy."
    Ilona took it easy. The first moments of reawakening sight were almost agony, she dared look only through slits shielded by eyelashes. But they were ecstatic moments to be cherished and long remembered.
    "You O.K., Miss Paisley?"
    "Nora, I can see you, I can see?!"
    "Sure you can? and I have to go?"
    The smiling and impudent face was very close as its lips again bestowed affection.
    In a daze of delight, Ilona watched the pert maid recede through a door she did not bother to lock. She opened her eyes now, blinking and cautious, and turning to survey her new captivity, what she beheld caused her to gasp in shock.
    It was a rectangular stone chamber with vaulted ceiling convoluting into half a dozen stone pillars for support, slender columns well spaced in pleasant symmetry. It was to one of these she was attached. But her quick scan was momentary, its focus frozen on the nude figure of a girl suspended by its wrists, toes a foot above the floor.
    It was gently turning on the rope tether reaching from above.
    "Hello and welcome, darling." Said Susan cheerfully. "Don't worry about me."
    But there were two other shocks for the newly released vision. Griselda and Antonia, naked and gagged were attached to pillars in the same fashion as herself, handcuffs on wrists behind the column to which their bare backs were pressed. Their eyes signalled the greeting they could not voice.
    "I've been a naughty girl, darling, so I've been hung out to dry awhile. Don't feel badly, I can stand it."
    Ilona was choked for words. But how could she and the gagged nudities exchange anything, all three were helpless, their arms held behind their columns! A smile was the best they could manage, spanning the space between them in inadequate frustration. Communication must be with the nude girl suspended from her rope.
    "Oh, Susan. . oh, darling??" The words seemed poor things when measured by love. "How. . ? What??"
    "Two days after I came here, darling. First that awful woman on an expedient, and then three men. We never had a chance. They tied us up and we've been tied or chained ever since. When the men went there was just Nora and the bitch. They were waiting for you, they were sure you'd come? and I couldn't phone? oh, darling, I couldn't phone, I couldn't do anything. I was trussed up like a turkey."
    Susan kicked fretfully at the air in disgust.
    Ilona found herself tugging at her wrists in her own painful expression of despair.
    "Sweetheart. . oh, sweetheart! I should never have sent you."
    "Don't be silly. Griselda's a honey, and 'Tonia was so good for me? She's a marvellous Mistress. Poor darlings! Selma's been so mean to them, and for 'Tonia its been awful having to be submissive and humble and obedient, and to be whipped!
    They've whipped her terribly just because she isn't the way Griselda and I are."
    "Susan. . to hang you up like this??"
    "Well, I can't get loose, darling. If I gasp and moan a bit it goes with the package.

    It's not all that much fun. I'm hanging like this as a terrible example to you three. I wish we all had our hands behind a column and could talk."
    "Did they make you blind the way they did me?"
    "No. I think you're some sort of an experiment?" The young voice broke. "Oh, darling, was it very terrible?"
    "The worst thing I've ever known." Ilona sighed, "And I've got to go back to it.
    You heard Nora??"
    "Ilona, dear, I hate to ask?" The question was tremulous. "Has a man ever? I mean, have you ever been??"
    "Fucked?" Ilona supplied wearily. "That's the operative word, we might as well use it. Yes, I've been fucked. It seemed to me a messy waste of time."
    "Well, we're going to be? all four of us. . fucked!"
    "I sort of gathered that in the darkness. We're going to a brothel, aren't we?"
    "Yes. Oh, darling. . !"
    "Susan, don't panic about it." Ilona realized her own limited experience. "That thing between our legs doesn't wear out. That 'fate worse than death' thing was good old Queen Victoria. It's not a fate at all, it's simply the temporary use of a female facility we were built to accommodate."
    "But we'll all get pregnant."
    "They'll give us the pill, you can be sure of that."
    "Those great big things. . sticking into us?"
    "They've been exaggerated, pet. If you just relax you won't notice half of 'em. The other half may give you an occasional orgasm, that's all."
    Susan, swinging on her rope, was mystified. "But, Ilona, how do you know?"
    "I'm a journalist. I've talked to whores."
    "Darling, that awful word! Is that what we'll be?"
    Ilona's retort was bitter. "Hell no! Whores get paid. We're going to belong to the house."
    "Nora says we're going to be used other ways too." The youthful plaint was pathetic, tearing at Ilona's heart. "If they pay enough the men will be able to spank our bottoms. . and whip our backs. . and? torture us?"
    Ilona's heart bled. None of the four of them had anything to look forward to, but this darling girl hanging by her wrists, must not panic in hopeless desolation, at least not yet. "All such places have whips and. . things." She volunteered with simulated equanimity. "It goes along with the rest The House makes sure we don't get damaged." She sneered bitterly. "We're merchandise now, sweetheart, we'l be looked after. We're valuable."
    "Poor 'Tonia, she's never been fucked at all!"
    "Neither have you, Susan. It may sound callous, but neither of you'l die. After you've washed your pussies, that's the end of it. Like I said, It's simply messy."
    "Oh, darling. . " The punished girl relapsed into gasping silence. Her exquisite nudity turned slowly, her head bowed. .
    The glory of sight had spent itself against the implacability of captivity.
    Despondently, Ilona pressed back against the stone and toyed with the handcuffs on her wrists. They were tight, there would be no slipping out of them, from now on there would be no slipping out of anything. She exchanged commiserating glances with the two girls chained as she was chained. Unhappily, she said to them; "I'm sorry, I'm so terribly sorry." Griselda and 'Tonia shrugged ruefully in reply.
    There was nothing else they could do.
    Dusk terminated Susan's punishment. Nora lowered her feet to the stone, placed her against another column, and handcuffed her wrists at its back. Then the gag. It was strapped tight into Susan's mouth. The youngster was exhausted. Secured and silenced, she slipped easily to the floor, still helpless, and leaning back against the stone, closed her eyes.
    "I'm sorry." There could be no doubting Nora's sincerity as she held the blinding bits of shaped metal for Ilona to see. "I've got to make you blind again. It's not safe?"
    "I don't mind, Nora. Honest I don't!"
    Nora kissed the lips that had lied. "Of course you mind." She said somberly. "But there's no choice, not for either of us." She tidied her captive's hair. "I'm going to kiss you good-night while you can still see. . Then I want you to close your eyes."
    Ilona sighed under the warm lips, then closed her eyes to feel the deft fingers busy with fastenings. When she opened them again site was blind. After a long time she let herself slide to the floor, her thighs and bottom warming the stone, her hands resigned within their cuffs. Soon, she slept.
    The morning was basics. Ilona, handcuffed, was led to a shower, she was led to a place where she was fed, she was led wherever her needs might be. Blind, she was unable to be sure if she was alone. Nora remained her only link with reality.
    "It's pretty soon now, Miss Paisley."
    "You mean the? the? the place where we're to be taken?"
    "That's right. It's a lot better than standing with your hands cuffed behind that post."
    "Is it, Nora? Is it, really?"
    "Well. . Gosh, Miss Paisley, that's no question to ask."
    "I'm going to be kept blind, aren't I? while I'm fucked by a hundred men?"
    "I don't know, honest I don't I've never been where we're going any more'n you.
    But I think they're going to treat you special."
    "Will they treat Susan special?"
    "Not likely. That little girl's so damn lush. She's a dish."
    "Will you still whip me now if I ask meaningful questions?"
    "Yes, Miss Paisley."
    "None of the four of us have much to look forward to, have we?"
    "Depends on how you look at it, Miss?"
    "But, Nora, aren't you scared? The way that man talked??"
    "Sure I'm scared, Ilona." The grasp on a captive arm tightened. "Now, just you hold real still!"
    The thrust of the hypodermic was unmistakable. Until she lost consciousness Ilona Paisley held very still indeed.

Chapter Five

The conversational whip.

    The first impression was of an incongruity of scents.
    Paramount, the barnyard. . hay, animals, straw. But here and there came wafts of Paris: Coty, Aviance, Shalimar. Ilona shook her bowed head dazedly at a restricted view: her own pubic hair, her own splayed open thighs, and a great deal of clean straw on which she was sitting. Memory prompted with a jolt. She could see!
    She had vision! Her eyes opened wide in wonder.
    "Hello, Ilona Paisley."
    The voice began with riding boots and jodhpurs. Expensive! Ilona's rising focus took in a riding crop, negligently draped from the crossed knees of someone sitting on a wooden box, a silk shirt, and the amused features of Cicely Woods.
    "I said, hello, Ilona. C'mon, wake up."
    As was usual now, everything was wrong. As her head cleared, Ilona took stock.
    Cicely Woods should not be there. Neither of them should be in a barn. She herself should not be naked in front of the richest woman in Texas, and she ought to be able to move. But she could not move. Her arms were spread wide along a pole, part of the partition of the stall, her wrists tied tight. Around her upper arms and almost within her armpits were straps, cinching her firmly. They had sustained her weight while she was unconscious. Her shoulders hurt.
    "Out of the frying pan into the fire? Poor girl!"
    She remembered the voice. Always a trace of mockery, amused, arrogant, coldly angry. No one forgot Cicely Woods. Ashamed of how she must appear before the insolent eyes, Ilona riffled straw with a protesting foot. Resignedly, she demanded:
    "Alright, Cicely, what's the deal?"
    The riding crop reached forward to touch a naked nipple, then its twin. From there it descended to rearrange pubic curls and insert its tip within closed labia to make their owner gasp.
    "They're the deal, honey: tits and twat. The rest of you comes with the package.
    Nice!"
    "Karamal? That woman??"
    "I just happened to drop in, dear. They grabbed a quick profit. I grabbed you.
    Always wanted to whip your ass, ever since that first time. Now I'm going to."
    "You mean you've bought me, like a slave?"
    "Dammit', girl, show a bit of gratitude. You were on your way to a brothel."
    There was a cool tinkle of laughter. "Or would you have preferred that to me?"
    "Of course I'm grateful, Cicely, and I'll reimburse?"
    "You know damn well you won't reimburse anybody, pet. You'll stay tied and chained and well whipped until I sell you to someone else. You can kick any notions of escape, there'll never be any."
    "Cicely, you can't do this?!"
    "Been doing it for years, honey. Mostly they've been squirming little butts and breasts. Tedious. There's a piquancy about you I'm going to enjoy," The lovely features softened. "Think of it! A leading publisher naked and tied in a horse stall waiting to have her bottom beaten."
    "It's been beaten already, and where am I?"
    "The ranch in Texas. This barn never sees a horse or a cow, just girls. I have considered breeding some of the little lovelies, but it's a sixteen year cycle. Handier to pay Karamal. Since the Arabs turned Shylock I've been deluged with cash."
    "Cicely, you'll go to jail, you can't possibly hide me!"
    "Don't be silly. You know better. You're like laundered money, you've been exchanged. No one's going to look here for you. Resign yourself to being a slave, honey. That's what you are."
    They looked at each other levelly. Understanding was mutual. "What's my life going to be?" Ilona asked wearily. "What d'you want me for?"
    "To thrash."
    "What!" The naked woman surged against her bonds.
    "Got to you, eh! But that's right. Whenever I'm in a foul mood I'll take it out on you. Remember the whipping boys and girls they used to have? Well. .! To thrash a naked girl's the best pick-me-up I know. You're marked now. You always will be."
    "Is that. . all?"
    "You know damn well it's not. I may be heterosexual as hell in New York, but here I'm pure Les', so that means you'l get to sleep in a bed sometimes? properly restrained of course. The rest of the time you'l be a maiden in distress, tied, tethered, caged, the whole bit. That scene's always intrigued me. Sometimes I may give you to a man, someone I want to tip or get a favour out of."
    "Cicely, it's all cruelty?!"
    "No it's not! I'll make sure you get your little cunt nicely frictioned, give you something to look forward to. You'll find trying to escape will give you no end of entertainment. There'll be a few human contacts. It's not all bad. Oh, and you're going to be exercised. I want that lovely body to stay as it is, or maybe refine it even more. You're almost as yummy with your clothes off as I am. You'll be able to see. ."
    Ilona Paisley slumped in defeat. Cicely Woods owned half the oil wells in the State. She had always been selfishly implacable. She would be so now. Outrageous as the situation might be, it was cruelly plausible. Cicely would get away with it. She watched her new owner get languidly to her feet and saunter to the open door.
    "Cicely?"
    "Not now, pet, I'm busy."
    "Cicely, please come back. Don't leave me like this?!"
    "Don't be a bore, dear."
    Watching Cicely depart into the sunlight, Ilona vented her frustrations in a furious battle with her bonds. She could not move either them or herself. She was nakedly free from her waist down, but what good did that do when her arms and shoulders were solidly clamped to a rail! Exhausted, she indulged in the luxury of tears.
    Quietly sobbing, she allowed her head to fall forward in despair. As time passed and the ropes and straps hurt more and more she wondered what she had left to live for.
    "Miss Paisley, you been crying??"
    It was more of the impossible! The bound girl gazed up in astonishment. "Nora??"
    "She bought me too, Miss. Seems like money doesn't matter."
    "But, Nora, you? you're. .! Oh, you poor dear!"
    A hope raised, a hope denied! Nora was as naked as she herself. The maid's feet were chained, metal bands round each ankle and a swirling length of heavy links.
    She could not run, and would need to walk with caution. Riveted on her neck was a metal slave collar, snug, and with a ring.
    Nora shrugged. "Seems like I've gone back a'ways, Miss. This woman's really something. . ! She's got a whipping post out in the yard-all sorts of stuff. Keeps my neck chained at night."
    "But, how come you??"
    "Oh, like I am? I'm supposed to look after you. She says I'm a groom. If you're thinking why don't I run off, it's because I can't run, can't walk properly with all this iron. And anyway, there's nowhere to run. This damn place is twenty miles from anywhere."
    "Then we're both??" Ilona could not bring herself to say it.
    Nora nodded despondently. "That's right. We're a pair of real old fashioned slaves. . except we take our orders different ways."
    "You're still my jailer, and you'll still punish me?"
    "Seems to be the idea." Nora grinned ruefully. "It's sort of crazy. . you and me now, like this. Look, Ilona, if you don't want to obey me, you just say so right now. I don't want to be mean to you any more. I'll balk. The worst she can do is whip me."
    "But, Nora dear, you've never been whipped?!"
    "If you can stand it, I can."
    "It's awful! Worse than you think. It hurts so terribly! Nora, forget it. Cicely's got us! I'll toe the line. You do what you have to with me, there's no sense in us both getting hurt."
    "I'm supposed to do something with you right now."
    "O.K. Do it! If it means untying me, I'll stand still for the handcuffs or whatever.
    I'm not crazy enough to run. She's probably out there on a horse waiting to rope me."
    "First off it's these." Nora took leg irons from the rail.
    "Lock 'em on me. I could care less."
    Nora obeyed. "These don't have as long a chain as mine, but they do have a lock and key." She explained as she fitted the anklets on unprotesting ankles. "Mine don't have a key, they're riveted, just the same as my collar."
    "Cicely does that!"
    "No. There's a coloured boy. He does it in the blacksmith shop. And he's no help.
    He adores the ground she walks on."
    "Gosh, that feels good," Ilona flexed and massaged her wrists and arms. "It's almost worth being tied for."
    "You can walk around, Miss. It's not too bad. You want to use the end stall?"
    It took a moment to register. The prisoner blushed and demanded: "You mean I don't get to use??"
    "No bathroom, Ilona. She says you're part of the livestock."
    "But? but? won't it??"
    "It's part of Josh's chores. Don't worry 'bout it."
    "So he gets to see us both naked all the time?"
    "Guess it's part of his pay. He takes a hard look at your pussy, but that's about all.
    I bet he's seen a few."
    Ilona hobbled to the end stall. Cicely would be laughing: But, at least, the motion was good. She had scarcely been allowed to use her legs for days. Then, as they walked their restricted steps into the sunlight, both girls laughed. The clatter of their chains was too absurd in this latter part of the twentieth century, but chained they were, and that was the end of it. Ilona's spirits rose a notch.
    "This is the way she wants you washed." Nora was apologetic.
    A bit of concrete. At its centre a post. Coiled ready was a hose. Without demur, Ilona allowed one wrist to be handcuffed to a ring at waist level in the wood. She was ready to be washed.
    "You don't have to lock my wrist, Nora."
    Nora shrugged. "Orders. And, anyway, the water's cold."
    The water was cold. The captive took the proffered soap in her free hand and did the best she could. The hose followed her lather.
    "Darling, I'm soaping my hair. But after? it's going to look awful."
    "You called me 'darling,' Miss Paisley?"
    "Why not! You've been sweet to me."
    "Mostly I've been damn mean."
    "Because you had to. You still have to. Let's call each other whatever comes easy.
    Darling, my hair?"
    "I'll rinse it good, and the sun's hot. If she ever lets me I'll fix it properly."
    The prisoner avoided questions and answers. What was going to happen would happen regardless. It would be best to take one thing at a time. No matter what Nora was compelled to do she would be innocent. In docile compliance, she fol owed Nora to another post at another place and raised her hand that it be shackled at the level of her eyes.
    "Is this the whipping post, Nora?"
    "Yeah, I'm sorry."
    "Only one wrist?"
    "That's what she wanted."
    They eyed each other in dolor. There was surprisingly little to say. Incredible as their plight might be, it had become shockingly credible to the two girls whose feet were chained.
    "I'm going to be whipped?" The girl at the post asked quietly.
    "Not by me, Ilona. She told me to fix you this way and leave you alone."
    The kiss and the embrace were deeply satisfying. The free arm helped. They clung together, lips glued, sisters in distress. When Nora broke away, Ilona watched her receding nudity and heard the rattle of departing chains despondently. The nude Nora was gorgeous, and she had forgotten to tell her so.
    Left along at the post, Miss Ilona Paisley examined the shackle by which her wrist was held. It was tight, it was heavy. A horse could not have tugged its ring from the timber. The post itself was starkly menacing and solid as rock. It had been there a long time. She herself would stand there until Cicely Woods decided otherwise. With her hand fastened at the level it was she could not sit down. No doubt her present conjunction with the vertical beam had been cleverly and cruelly thought out. After awhile she would get tired. . !
    And the wait! She would probably be whipped, but she could not be sure. It was unlikely she was waiting for anything pleasant. Waiting was an ancient torture for naked girls, especially when tethered. She sighed and thought of the brothel? It would have been less painful. But still. .?
    There was little sign of life. A horse in the corral, another barn further away, sundry buildings, beyond a clump of trees she could see the peaked roof of a house.
    The yard was extensive, merging into brush and prairie. She pictured herself hop, skipping, and jumping through it with her chained feet. She amused herself for minutes by snubbing one ankle against the other. Leg irons seemed so innocent, yet a girl with her feet so confined could do little but obey. Even if given the freedom to depart, she would do well to hobble a mile an hour. She refused to let her mind dwel on the three girls now in Karamal's brothel. It was just too much?!
    It was a long time before Cicely Woods sauntered from the path through the trees.
    Waiting, Ilona knew the sensations of the tethered decoy as the tiger caught the scent. The iron on her wrist suddenly weighed a ton, her ankles were weighted with metal. She watched, naked and impotent while her owner approached. Cicely Woods carried a new crop, it was long and slender and thin.
    "Enjoying the sun, dear?"
    How did a slave answer such a greeting. The chained girl was tempted to respond in negro dialect. She hedged: "It's dried me nicely after the hose."
    "Ready to be whipped?"
    "Yes."
    "Well, well, that's rather nice, dear. Sweet, innocent, and unaffected. You won't mind if I give you a sort of conversational whipping?"
    "Not at all. I expect we've a lot to tell each other."
    "D'you find the shackle. . trying?"
    "Intensely! I expect it's intended??"
    "Of course! It imposes a bit of a tax. I mean, darling, how do you dispose your pretty person for the whip, and how much do you wriggle afterwards? I find it delicious."
    "I might too, if I held the whip?"
    A flash of motion and the scald of fire! Ilona yelped and reached her free hand down to a wealed hip.
    "It sets a mood, darling, don't you agree?"
    "Yes, of course." The whipped girl wanted to beat her fists again the post and weep.
    "Lovely response! Ilona, I've been meaning to ask your age? You're so young for what you were doing. You went up the ladder?"
    "I'm thirty-three." The free hand was still rubbing the captive hip.
    "Same as me. That's nice! We're quite lovely, aren't we? I'd imagine men still speak of us as 'girls.' Want to see me naked?"
    "Yes."
    It took but few motions. Ilona gasped. "You're lovely, you've got a gorgeous body."
    "The better to whip you with, my dear. This does give more freedom for the swing. D'you mind?"
    "Not at all. I expect I'm privileged."
    A flash of white, then searing agony. This time across her belly. Ilona's wrist fought the shackle as she bent double.
    "A touch of sarcasm, dear? I have to keep on top of such things." Cicely's voice vibrated intense pleasure. "If you like, you can turn your back on me and talk over one shoulder. I'll understand. I think that's what I'd do if I was standing there."
    "Thank you? I'll? I'll?"
    "And I've been meaning to ask? I bought you while you were blind. You didn't know I was looking. I found those metal thingummys in your eye hollows quite devastating. I purchased them along with your pretty body. Can you see anything when they're fastened?"
    "Nothing. Just black."
    "Interesting. I understand they saw it as an added inducement for cash when you were in their brothel?"
    "Yes."
    "I rather like the idea. It makes you so exquisitely helpless. A cunt seeking a Master? or a Mistress."
    "They kept me like that a couple of weeks. It was bloody awful."
    "But it softened you, didn't it!"
    "Yes."
    "Suppose I put them on you now, and then I whipped you while we talked?"
    Ilona shrugged hopelessly. "Yes, it would be an ultimate cruelty. I can't tell you how awful. Please, Cicely, have a little mercy? I don't want to be blind."
    "Poor Honeybunch! Alright, another time perhaps. Since I'm being so humane, how'd you like to stick your bottom out?"
    The chained girl turned and protruded her posterior. It was not an easy thing to do.
    "Gee, you've got a perfect rump, dear! Tell me how this feels?"
    It felt as though she was cut in two. Ilona's scream was tribute to the crop and to the girl who held it. While pain blossomed, she grasped the post as though it was a friend, the fingers of her chained hand clenched, her breasts hard against the wood, an ankle tugged at its connecting links.
    "Pure beauty, Ilona. Do turn round."
    Fearfully, the whipped girl obeyed. With one wrist held high, she stood dejectedly for what might follow. Meeting her tormentor's laughing regard, she said hopelessly:

    "I can't tell you about the pain. It goes beyond words. Unless a girl's been whipped she can never know."
    "You respond so sweetly, dear. . Quite touching."
    "I know it's fun for you Cicely, but from where I'm at I don't have much to look forward to, do I. If you keep on whipping me I'll want to die."
    "Stand still."
    Shocked and surprised, Ilona stood while an exquisite nudity welded itself to her's and warm lips absorbed her mouth. Impudent fingers found her nipple while a hand wet itself between her thighs. When she began to gasp in arousal she was suddenly released.
    "Like that?" Cicely's query was as impudent as her hands.
    "Yes." The affirmative was grudging.
    "So! Now you've got something to live for, you silly little idiot? talking about dying. .!"
    "Well?"
    "I'm only whipping you, y'know. I thought you'd enjoy my conversational whipping. Spaced out the way I'm doing, it's so humane."
    Ilona knew herself in a game she could never win. But Cicely in a good mood was better than Cicely angry. Hating her own subservience, she vouchsafed: "I'm sorry, Cicely. It? it just hurts so much I forget. Of course I'm grateful for the way you're. ." She had to swallow hard before the words would come. "For the way you're whipping me."
    "Little liar!" The girl with the whip laughed delightedly. "But the way you said that?! It came out real sweet. Darling, is it very cunt crinkling to have to stand there naked, with just one wrist fastened, and to know I'm going to go right on whipping you?"
    "It's everything you think it is, Cicely. I want to curl up and disappear."
    "Lovely, lovely! Oh, sweetheart, I'm so glad I bought you."
    "I'm glad I didn't go to the brothel." Ilona admitted in a surrender to frankness.
    "But. . Cicely, please help me in this. . this. . I don't know what to call it. I'll try and not be silly. But? don't hurt me too much?"
    "Hmmmmm! Careful with the blarney, kiddo."
    "I didn't mean it like that. Oh, Cicely?!"
    "Time for another spot of agony, darling." Cicely was brightly helpful. "You know this one's coming, so stand any way you please. . and offer it a nice welcome."
    It was the veriest cruelty. Ilona tugged at her locked wrist and longed to flee, to disappear. . anything rather than just to stand and nakedly accept the cut of a whip on bare skin. Wishing she was tightly bound and absolved of decision, she turned and hugged the post with her free arm, her forehead hard against the wood.

    "So prudent, dear, and so delectable."
    The crop seared Ilona's shoulders viciously. She wept in a bitterness of pain.
    "Cry facing me, honey. I want to see."
    In shame, Ilona obeyed. She would always obey. She would never again dare not to. She sobbed and sniffed and did the best she could with one free hand. Cicely watched avidly. After awhile, the whipped nudity blurted: "I'm sorry. It? it? it hurts so bad."
    "I bet it's worse because you can move around?"
    "Yes. It's silly, but yes, I'm sure it's worse. Oh, Cicely, I don't want to be a cry baby. I'm sorry? honest!"
    "Sweetheart, I want you to be absolutely natural. I'm enjoying every moment."
    "Cicely, can I ask questions? I mean. . without being punished for asking?"
    "Why, of course, darling. Why not?"
    "When. . when those others had me I wasn't allowed to ask, not anything. I was always being punished."
    "Ask away. I may not answer, but I'll be amused."
    "There were two others and a girl named Susan??"
    "I bet you and this Susan tongued each other. I saw her, she was lush."
    "Well. . yes. She's a darling."
    "Ilona dear, I only wanted you. The others had no stimulating background, torturing them would have been a bit of a bore. But with you. .! Just think if your staff could see you now!" Cicely chuckled at a delectable vision. "There's always going to be that connotation in anything I do with you."
    "Yes, I can understand that." Ilona conceded slowly. "But those others??"
    "They're almost certainly being well screwed in some warm climate, darling. I never liked that Noyes female, a couple of hundred hearty fucks will improve her enormously."
    "But those poor girls, Susan and Griselda?"
    "A waste of time, sweetheart. The young one's are blah. Juicy perhaps, and their first distress diverting, but no depth."
    The woman at the post was seeing visions. Her protest was tremulous: "That gorgeous youngster, she was still a virgin, underneath some paunchy bastard in Buenos Aires? being pumped at? pierced?!"
    "Gosh, she must have tasted good!" Cicely laughed. "There's no use shedding tears about us females getting pricked between our legs. Its been going on a long time, and some girls even like it. Your little pigeon is probably having the most wonderful orgasms."
    The past was done. Ilona Paisley knew she had lost all power to revive or rescue.

    She was literally a slave, or more accurately a plaything. Her life was predetermined.
    Wryly, she coined an alliteration: 'chains and pains'! Cicely would sometimes be kind but such moments would only emphasize the cruelty. She looked at her wrist, shackled to the post, and again felt the sting of tears.
    "I can read your mind, honey." Cicely Woods chuckled.
    "You're feeling sorry for yourself. How about another?"
    "How do you want me to stand?"
    "I do think we should be a bit innovative, darling. I want you to face me this time and sort of stick everything out? and you must watch. No closing your eyes when I swing. Understand?"
    "Yes, Cicely, I'll try."
    "Sweetheart, you must do better than try. If you blow it we start over, and across your breasts."
    The watching was a clever cruelty. The flashing crop slashed Ilona's bel y and lapped across one flank. She paid it tribute with a scream and the rattle of chain.
    Her free hand nursed a livid wound.
    With the serious attention of a connoisseur, the richest girl in Texas drank in the sight of a girl in pain. She was finding her purchase rewarding, Ilona Paisley was worth the money. She writhed deliciously. When the spasms of distress slowed, Cicely chatted brightly: "Remember we were talking about those blindfold things, dear? I don't seem able to get them out of my mind. I've thought of a lovely idea."
    Ilona could feel herself curling up. The lovely idea was not likely to be pleasant.
    But she was a slave and had best show willing. "Naturally I'm interested, Cicely."
    She said lamely.
    "I'll have Nora spreadeagle you someplace, darling." Cicely was alight with enthusiasm. "First off we'd have put those things on you so's you'd be blind. Then we'd leave you awhile to wonder what was going to happen. You'd feel ninety percent pussy with your legs wide open." Cicely giggled. "You wouldn't know whether we were watching or not."
    "You're right, Cicely, I'd hate it. I'd be frightened" spread out and not able to move."
    "Gorgeous, isn't it! You see, darling, the real kicker is you won't know what's roaming around. There's some livestock and a dog? animals are so attracted by pussy perfume. Then there's Josh! Josh isn't much intellectually but he's wonderful y hung, the damn thing's enormous! And I could always get some other fellows over."
    Cicely sighed happily. "And then there's all the things we might do to you without bothering with your cunt at all. Mmmmm, you really would get a bang out of it, y'know? no pun intended."
    "I don't suppose there's anything I can say to stop it happening to me?"
    "Nothing, darling. You're so lucky."
    The two of them were in a strange rapport. In response to a lifted eyebrow, Ilona turned to the post, exposing her back. She accepted the blow with as little fuss as she could manage. The crop was a brute, a hateful intimate thing biting her skin.
    Pressed against the refuge of her post, eyes closed, she absorbed the agony as it crept and flashed to every nerve she possessed. She speculated, fearfully, on how many such strokes her mistress might inflict. But when she turned back to face her owner, Cicely Woods was sauntering back towards the house. She was alone with the vertical balk of timber to which her wrist was chained.
    It was to be expected that she must stand. Ilona Paisley supposed all owners of kidnapped females thought alike. The impact of waiting at a place of punishment was obvious, as were its advantages. A girl could not be whipped forever, nor could she be tortured without cessation. But the cringing wait in anticipation and the exhausting stand while still quivering from the pain of her punishment were cheap and harmless inflictions without wear and tear on the merchandise. Ilona Paisley stood.
    Frustration is a poor companion but the punished woman had no other. The metal band round her wrist was infuriating, it held her as implacably as dungeon walls. She could not stop fingering the bond that clinked back at her in metallic mockery.
    And there were her fettered feet! Ilona thought of them, irritably, as 'ironed ankles.' They would hold her captive even though her wrist was free. In this realization she found strange comfort, the philosophy of hopelessness: 'why bother!'
    She leaned against the whipping post and explored her wounds to discover the magic of fingertips lightly caressing whipweals as arousingly erotic. Knowing what to expect, the palm of her hand gathered secretions from her sex. She longed for Susan with an infinite longing.
    Ilona supposed the dark figure ambling towards the whipping post must be 'Josh.'
    There was nothing she could do about her nakedness, she would just have to stand and be ogled. One hand cannot cover two breasts and a triangle of pubic hair. She watched his approach with distaste, a middle aged coloured man with an amiable grin.
    "Hi, Miz Paisley." The grin widened. "The name's Josh."
    A hand was tentatively offered in greeting but quickly returned to a pocket.
    "Hi, Josh. Sorry about not having any clothes." Ilona made it carelessly cordial, suddenly conscious that Josh could do whatever he pleased with her.
    "Gals don' wear no clothes here, Miz Paisley. Just the boss lady. She don' wear
    'em all the time neither."
    "How nice for you! Do have a good look."
    "Thanks, maam, I aim to. Mighty fond of cunts. I am. Surprising the way they all come different."
    "How interesting."
    "Yo bein' snotty, Miz Paisley. You mind if I check them chains?"
    "Please do."
    "Yo' still bein' snotty." He reproved gently as his big fingers tugged and twisted.
    "Yo' chained real nice. Ain't no way yo' goin' ter git loose."
    "I've been suspecting that for some time."
    "I git ter fuck yo' sometime, Miz Paisley. Yo' lookin' forward ter that?"
    "I hadn't really thought about it."
    "Yo' ain't all that hot on the notion. I kin tell by the way yo' makes a fist and pulls on that iron."
    "Well, never mind, I don't have much to say about such things."
    "I'll jest have a gander at yer twat now, maam' Yo' can't spread them legs much. . but iffen yo' don' mind??"
    "Do you have to touch it?" Ilona was suddenly afraid.
    No one was in sight, they were alone.
    "Don' yo' worry none, Miz Paisley. I don' touch yo' nowheres lessen the boss lady says O.K."
    "Very well then." Ilona found it hard to hide relief. "I'll try and help, but with my ankles chained this way?"
    "Thass O.K. I gits me down on my knees."
    This absurdity was a part of it all, it belonged. A middle aged coloured man peering from below, between her spaced thighs, up at her pudendum. She herself thrusting her pelvis forward for his benefit. Perhaps It was as well they were alone. . !
    "Real nice tidy slit yo' got. Miz Paisley." Josh sounded sincerely pleased. "Some gals, even the youngun's, got enough folds ter keep a guy guessin."
    "I'm glad you like me, Josh. Are you going to unlock me?"
    "C'mon now, Miz Paisley, yo' knows yo' ain't gettin' loose nohow." Josh got back to his feet and scratched a balding pate. "They all tries it though, can't blame 'em really. They all wants Josh ter turn 'em loose."
    "You think it's O.K. for us to be chained like this?"
    "Sure it is, maam. Yo' knows where yo' at. Hell, if I had a woman no way she'd git no chance ter romp over the hill."
    It had been a good try and a relief from boredom. Perhaps she could learn more.
    "What does your boss lady do with the other girls she's had here, Josh?" She asked casually. "Are they always chained?"
    "Whups their little ass, Miz Paisley, same as she'll whup your'n. Hangs 'em up ter watch 'em wriggle? the way them gals carry on. . !"
    "And you think that's O. K.?"
    "Sure do, Miz Paisley. Money like Miz Woods got make any thin' O.K." Josh beamed reassuringly. "I think she got somethin' more interestin' up her sleeve for yo'"
    "Like what?"
    "Dunno', maam. Jest a notion I got."
    "What happens to a girl when your boss lady tires of her?"
    "They git sent overseas to a whore-house, maam. Or mebbe' she sell 'em ter some guy ter take home." Josh cackled. "They don't git wasted."
    "Don't you feel sorry for Nora, Josh? The poor girl's being made to walk around naked and with her feet chained."
    "That snooty little pullet! Hell, no!" Josh had evidently met with a coloured rebuff.
    "Ah wants ter be there when she git her tight little ass blistered. Right now she got a job tendin' yo'."
    "I think you ought to help her escape?"
    "Yo' crazy, maam?" Josh was shocked.
    "I suppose if I offer you a lot of money you'l go and tell Cicely I tried to bribe you?"
    "Sho' 'nuff, that what I do, Miz Paisley."
    Ilona sighed. She had expected nothing so was not disappointed. When he produced a piece of dirty string she eyed it with suspicion.
    "Yo' mind if ah measures yo' neck, maam?"
    "What for?" She knew, but had to ask.
    "Ah gotta' forge yo' an iron collar, Miz Paisley. One what gits riveted on and stays awhile. Yo' seen the one little hoity-toity got on her neck. I make 'em real good."
    A crude iron slave collar! It would be just the thing to amuse Cicely, a deftly contrived humiliation. Seething with resentment, Ilona stood stiffly while string circled her neck and was duly knotted to mark the spot. Josh returned it to his pocket and offered a farewell grin. "I gotta' go now, Miz Paisley. Be seein' yo' in the blacksmith shop."
    Ilona watched him go, feeling small and childish and silly standing there with one hand raised as though in greeting to someone who was not visible. Her shackled wrist imposed a demeaning loneliness as if she was a domestic creature of small account, securely fastened while its owner was elsewhere and had forgotten. She had seen dogs in this forlorn plight. But dogs were allowed to lay down and sleep away their tethered captivity. For her there was standing only. Suppose Cicely left her to stand there through the night! It was by no means improbable.
    But in a couple of hours Cicely returned, so did the crop! The greeting was loaded with intent. "Hold out your hand, darling."
    "Oh, Cicely, no. .! Please not my hand?"
    "Five on your little palm, or ten on each breast, darling?"
    Ilona held out her hand.
    Unbelievable pain! A hand numb, throbbing and useless!
    Its owner, in silent misery, watched her shackles unlocked from wrist and ankles.
    Cicely radiated affection. "There you are, dear, a free girl!"
    "Oh, Cicely, what's the catch?"
    "None, darling. Run. You're free as air. Or do you wish to assault me?"
    "You've just made one of my hands useless, and I'm naked, and you've got that damn crop waiting."
    "Honey, think of it? freedom!"
    But Honey hugged her hand. All she felt was pain.

Chapter Six

Runaway.

    "I'm an absolute bitch, aren't I?" Cicely Woods suggested blithely. "I've popped a real psychological test at you, darling. What does a girl do with freedom? You tell me."
    Ilona was still nursing her whipped hand. She was in no mood for anything except tears or hysterics. But it was true, there was not a restraint upon her! Why? "If I run I'll be caught and punished: that's it, isn't it?"
    "Who's to catch you, darling, 'cept me?"
    "And you would. My feet are bare, and you can get the best of me in a tussle.
    This hand won't work for a week."
    "Yes it will. Remember schooldays?"
    "No kid ever got her hands punished with an awful thing like you're holding, or anywhere near as hard."
    "Ilona, dear, I'm not getting through to you. I actually do want you to go out there and see how you make out. Look, I'll stand right here so you can look back and see me until you're out of sight."
    "You'll come after me on a horse."
    "Don't quibble so."
    "I just know I can't escape? and there'l be some damn awful punishment waiting."
    "Hmmmm, don't trust me, eh? Can't say I blame you. Tell you what, darling, I'l give you an incentive. You run along like a good little girl, or else stick your other hand out for another five."
    The whipped hand of a girl was a beastly stomach turning kind of pain to which her sex glands made no response. Ilona wanted no more of it. Without volition, she fell to her knees and clasped her mistress's jodhpurs with bare arms she did not control, and frictioned the expensive cloth with a desperate cheek. She heard her voice from far away. "Please no, oh, no. .! Cicely. . please!"
    The Mistress was surprised. The surprise was pleasant. It encompassed a new dimension of Ilona Paisley. Cicely stood quite still and gazed down at a whipmarked bare back with speculative eyes. Her tone was interested.
    "Darling, what are you doing down there?"
    "I? I? I don't know. It just happened."
    "I like it. Ever done this act before?"
    "No. And it's not an act."
    "What is it then?"
    Ilona could not answer. She did not know what it was. The impulse had been basic and beyond her control. But she did know for sure her arms did not wish to leave the pulsing safety of the woman they embraced. Lamely, she pleaded: "Don't hurt me any more, Cicely, you don't need to."
    "No fight left? Is that it?"
    "I suppose so. . I couldn't possibly win."
    "But if you could, you would?"
    "I'm not sure. This is all so. . impossible."
    Cicely Woods was intrigued. "I really do want you to run." She admitted disappointedly. "And I'll still whip your hand if you don't. But you've just made a discovery about yourself. . You have, haven't you?"
    "Cicely, would you consider keeping me enslaved without whipping me all the time? The chains make me obedient."
    "Well, well! Is that Miss Ilona Paisley speaking! The one who wrote that unforgivable article about the Texas Tycoon?"
    "Alright, so I gave you a bad Press. Whip me for that."
    "My goodness, sweetheart, we seem to have come a long way."
    The same thought was in the mind of the naked girl. She was bemused by pain and hopelessness. But she could not hold on to the aristocratic jodhpurs forever.
    Reluctantly, she loosed her bare arms and knelt back on her heels. "You only bought me yesterday." She said listlessly. "So far today you've chained me and whipped me. . I'm just plain lost, and frightened, and unsure. I'm even scared of your escape offer. Cicely, please, give me a little time to catch up?"
    "Poor darling, I think I'm seeing a changed girl? But I can't have you telling me what to do, y'know."
    "No, I suppose not."
    "I won't whip you for that article today, but thanks for the offer. I'll certainly whip you for it within a week or two. But right now I must insist you either walk or run off across the prairie or else place your whipped hand up there on the post."
    The shackle was hanging open. Compelled by a force she could not control, Ilona rose and placed her hurt hand within its jaws. Pulse accelerating, she watched Cicely prison her wrist in metal.
    "I like the way you did that." Cicely said thoughtfully. "You're giving me ideas.
    Does that feel good to you? back on the chain? no decisions?"
    ". . Yes."
    "You know what comes next?"
    "You're going to whip my hand. I'll have to hold it out."
    "Matter of principle, darling."
    "I understand. Is it. . now?"
    "Want to get it over with, eh! Poor kid! You make me feel a real bitch. But I'm still going to do it. Being a girl owner isn't all that easy, y'know."
    "Well, not really. It's something I'll never know about."
    Ilona felt hypnotized. She held out her hand, palm taut. "There, is that the way you want me?"
    "Darling, you're adorable!"
    The thin cruel crop cut the air with a snickering swish. Ilona Paisley was ashamed of her tears, she was ashamed of hands that could only fumble, she was ashamed of all her contortions and her cries as her hand accepted each cut of the crop, and then fought for the control by which it would once again offer itself to agony. She stood with her back to the post and used a forearm to try and cope with the salt drops on her cheeks. Her shackled wrist was close before her eyes, mocking her return to its grasp.
    "I'm. . I'm sorry, Cicely, I didn't behave very well." Her voice was choked and colourless.
    "You were beautiful."
    "Do I have to stand here now, with my wrist up?"
    For answer, the mistress unlocked the shackle and took her whipped purchase by the arm. "You know where we're going, don't you?" She demanded firmly.
    Ilona knew.
    Ilona knew she could not have borne it the first day, she would have become hysterical. But several days had passed and several nights. . ! The metal blinds on her eyes were still hateful, and the spreadeagle tie to the four stakes was a frightening and shaming obscenity. But she had not yet screamed. She could not tell how long she had been tied thus, exposed and spread, and very, very naked, but she judged it an hour. Her wrists hurt, her ankles hurt where Nora's ropes bit tight, her shoulders ached. . ! And this was just the beginning of what Cicely laughingly called her
    'spreadeagle day.'
    "Every girl should have at least one, darling. Teaches her she's female."
    "Have you?"
    "Well, no. . But I'm privileged, and I've watched enough to pick up reactions."
    "Please forgive me this punishment, Cicely? Or if I must have it? not blind?"
    Nora had blinded her and tied the ropes. She had done both with competence and apology.
    "She says it must be tight, and your cunt open."
    "And I have to be blinded this way?"
    "Yes, Miss Paisley, I'm sorry the thing's so tight, but that's the way it fastens. You see any light?"
    "None."
    "I'm sorry. It's a poor sort of day. I've been told to go and leave you and not come back."
    "Things will be done to me, Nora. D'you know what they are?"
    "I'm just thinking 'bout the same things as you, Miss. I don't know anything for sure."
    There had been kissing, and then the receding clink of Nora's ankle chain.
    Robbed of sight and motion, Ilona viewed the pictures in her mind. Nights of love, days of strange punishments, the constant laughingly offered escape she knew would never happen. . Dominating every vision was Cicely Woods. Ilona could understand none of her own mental responses, but of one thing she was sure. She was hopelessly in love with the woman who held her prisoner. She could never get enough of Cicely's nude loveliness. She was enslaved by it as firmly as by her chains.
    She was allowed to feed on it nightly, but her appetite fed upon itself and was insatiable. She was beginning to see her pain as a small price for such felicity.
    Ilona tensed her stretched limbs. There was no freedom. She would lie, a naked
    'X' during Cicely's pleasure. She had already struggled. It would be best to struggle no more. Her mind inevitably drifted to men, and how they would view her splayed thighs and pubic hair. And then the acts they would perform on her. A girl was spread like this for only one purpose! She supposed these acts already decided and ordained, but she would be made to wait for them. It figured.
    It seemed a long, long time before Ilona sensed a presence. The voice was unexpected. It was Cicely's.
    "Is it very bad, darling?"
    "Yes." She was alive with hope, but dared not plead.
    "All the time expecting something in here?"
    Cicely must be kneeling. Her hand was caressing Ilona's blatantly open sex. It soon evoked gasps.
    "Of course! I thought that was??"
    A tinkle of laughter. "I bet you were expecting Josh instead of me?"
    "Yes, oh Cicely. . Cicely!!"
    "Yes, honey, what?"
    The feminine hand was wise within her cleft. Ilona could only moan a denial.
    "Nothing, Cicely. . It's nothing. I'm sorry."
    "Going to ask me to let you loose, pet?"
    "I'm always asking you to let me loose, Cicely. It's time I shut up."
    Her lips were kissed. Fingertips traced the contours of the metal blinds upon her eyes, continuing down over her lips, her chin, her throat, to reach her breasts. There they stayed, imparting the vibrations of girl to girl, teasing the nipples while Cicely talked:
    "I'm tempted to let you loose, darling. But I can't. It would be bad for our relationship. I've sentenced you to a day like this and that's what you're going to get."
    The mistress giggled. "I almost envy you the awful suspense: Cocks hovering, dogs sniffing? Maybe a whip all ready to crack! It must be positively cunt watering."
    "Well, yes. . But, Oh Cicely, it's still damn awful."
    "Good! You're a delight to be mean to. Just think, if you hadn't written that bitch of an article about me this wouldn't have happened."
    "I've said I'm sorry?"
    "Forget it, pet. That's past. For you and I there's just right now. It will always be like this. I'll wake in the morning and ask myself: 'What will I do with the darling today?' And you'l wake up in my chains and wonder: 'What will she do to me. .
    what will she do?' Does that give you the hots the way it does me, sweetheart?"
    "Yes, I'm afraid it does." Ilona twisted against her four stakes and said a heartfelt:
    "Oh, damn!"
    The wise fingers were evoking gasps and the straining of a nude torso against its bonds. Now they whispered their way down across the concave bel y into the shining pubic hair. One went further. . Ilona moaned.
    "No, darling, no orgasm. I've got you to where it's agony for me to stop, so I'll stop. You're being punished, remember?"
    "Cicely. . please!" It was a wail of anguish.
    "No, dear. I'd better not touch you again or you'l explode. I can tell the signs. If you like, I can give you a cut with the whip? That'll cool it down?"
    "No, never mind. . Mmmmm. .!"
    "I'm wondering about the cocks and pricks, pet." Cicely admitted reflectively.
    "That's what you're tied here for. It's almost a sacrificial binding. Gosh, you're beautifully available to any male thing out sniffing for cunt."
    Ilona contented herself with straining tautly to demonstrate her helplessness within her ties. Cicely would do as she pleased, so why plead. But, in her darkness, she drank in every word, hoping for reprieve.
    "But now I'm not sure I want Josh's sperm inside you, or any other man's."
    Cicely's musing tone verged on apology. "Your lovely slit belongs to me." She patted the lovely slit lovingly to make its owner gasp in joy, risking orgasm. "In fact I'm thinking of rewarding you with a nibble this evening, so I don't want a pol uted puss. . Ugh! I'm going to let the possibility of Josh hang in your mind, it could still happen, y'know? even the dog. . ! I can't rob you of all your cunt crinkles. But I've thought of something else, something exquisitely clean from me to you."
    Ilona' flaring nostrils and in-drawn breath spelt ecstasy.
    "The whip." Cicely's two words vibrated passion. "Inside your thighs, sweetheart, it hurts with such a special kind of pain in there. Or your breasts, or that nice flat tummy, or across your pouting pussy? Did you know your pussy pouted, darling?"
    Silence and darkness! The bound girl tensed for agony. It did not come. Instead, Cicely's voice tinkled mischief.
    "It might be me, Ilona, you won't know. Or it might be Nora who whips you: I might even allow Josh. .! One lash. . Out of the silence. . In the dark!"
    The helpless woman, spread and nude, heard no more sound. Her owner departed as silently as she had come. Or was she still there looking down and smiling at her possession! Ilona could not tell: she would never be able to tell. The cuts across her bare skin would come from nowhere without warning. Cicely was clever. She had taken away the messy ugliness of impalement and replaced it with the searing cleanliness of agony?
    The blow was exactly as promised. A scald from knee to groin within the tenderness of her right thigh. Ilona screamed and was galvanized into frenetic surges of energy against the stakes. The four stakes and the four cords at wrist and ankle held her fast. Cicely's clear laughter penetrated the dark.
    "I had to be the first, darling. I just had to. You respond so exquisitely." Hot lips took possession of her own and kissed hard and harder yet. A wicked finger traced the rising weal to make Ilona moan and strive to arch her nakedness from the ground. A soft whisper was in the captive ear. "Keep track, sweetheart. See if you can tell how many are mine and how many from Nora or Josh."
    The silence and the dark were suddenly a void. Al her five senses told the staked prisoner she was alone. To Ilona, Cicely's presence was a tangible entity, but it was no longer there. She sighed and relaxed, refusing to stay tensed. Her next agony would come when it came, meanwhile she would nurse the one she had.
    It was a small sad compensation for such bitter pain, but the girl who was whipped kept her tally of each stroke upon her flesh. To her, they were unmistakable.
    Four more from her mistress, four from Nora, one fearful stroke across her sex from Josh, to a total of ten. She sobbed and moaned her way out of the pain from each, only to lay there, a taut 'X' awaiting a cruelty she had not earned. A cruelty for which she found herself unable to bear malice. When, after many centuries, fingers tugged at the knots of her bindings her moans of pleasure were the strangest ones of all.
    "I tied you so tight it takes a minute, but I'll soon have you loose. Was it very bad, Ilona?"
    Ilona did her best to tell how very bad it had been. But found herself more thankful to tell of how good it was to be freed. When the cords were taken from a wrist she flexed her arm joyously as the maid pursued her task from stake to stake. She did not tear at the blinds on her eyes but waited passively for Nora to give her back her sight. When it came she saw it was the beginning of evening. Wallowing in the sensuous motions of release, she said over and over: "Oh, Nora, thank you, thank you, thank you!" Then, simply: "Kiss me. I want to kiss you."
    It was good to have arms again. Ilona used them to enfold her companion in nakedness while their lips clung, appeasing the lonely hunger of slaves. When Nora returned the speech she sounded anxious. "You O.K., Miss Paisley?"
    "I think I am, just stiff." Ilona rose to her feet and indulged in orgy of liberated motion. "I'm fine." She said joyously. "Look, I can kick. . Mmmmmm, this is so wonderful!"
    "Can you walk alright? That cut over your cunt Josh gave you? It don't stop you walking?"
    Ilona felt her swollen labia and winced. "It was just pain, Nora, that's all. It's still tender but I've still got a pussy. Nora, aren't you supposed to put something on me? I mean, handcuffs or something?"
    "Sure I am. But I'm not going to. I'm sick of being mean to you. What I want right now is for you to run. There's nothing to stop you. Run like crazy. I'll cover for you as long as I can. . By then you can be ten miles away."
    "Nora??" Ilona was bereft in shock.
    "Do it." Nora's command was peremptory. "You do it, Miss. It's maybe your only chance."
    "But she'll know! She'll punish you terribly!"
    "Can't help that. Sure, I'll get a whipped ass or be tied up for a week. So what?!"
    "But, unless you can come too??"
    Nora laughed bitterly. "No way!" She kicked a shackled foot. "Josh ain't going to chisel these off to oblige us."
    "Then I won't go!" The released captive was adamant. "Nora, darling, handcuff me."
    "I can't, Miss Paisley. I didn't even have orders to untie you. You're still supposed to be spread out on the ground."
    The brief silence was heavy with portent. Then, Ilona's decision was incisive. "Tie me to those stakes again, Nora. You must."
    "It's no good, Miss Paisley. You're supposed to stay there 'till midnight. Then she's going to untie you herself. You couldn't see, but she's dropped wax on the knots I've untied. Even if I tie you again she's going to know." Nora's voice turned wistful: "I've done it, Ilona. If you don't run I'll be whipped for nothing."
    Ilona Paisley would remember the moment forever. It was the moment of a decision she could not make, a decision to change a life. "I can't run away." She admitted is shame. "I'm in love with Cicely."
    Nora laughed ruefully. "Think I don't know that! It's been sticking out a mile."
    "Then why untie me?"
    "Because you could get free and then have me freed, and then make love to her anyway you pleased."
    "What, behind prison bars!"
    "Ain't no way that much Texas money ever gets behind bars, Miss Paisley. Please do it for both our sakes. . ?"
    Ilona kissed her hard, then turned and ran into the gathering dusk.
    It was the second day. A naked woman sat on a rock on a small rise and surveyed her world. As far as she could tell she was its only human occupant. Ilona Paisley was facing the realization of being lost and being very, very hungry. She had found water in her flight, but that was all. Her bare feet were filthy with dust, their soles wounded and protesting. She was also facing a second realization, one that filled her with disgust with her own mixed up emotions. Ilona Paisley had made a terrible mistake.
    With the clarity of crisis, the female fugitive from a strange slavery made her assessment of her condition. Everything stemmed from one single fact: She was desperately in love with, and dependent upon, Cicely Woods. Her enslavement to Cicely went beyond chains, it was a deeply emotional involvement, the depth of which she had not yet plumbed. She saw everything, from that first day of visiting Antonia Noyes, as an inevitable chain of events leading to where she now sat on a rock in the wilderness.
    She had escaped on impulse, allowing Nora's sacrifice to cloud judgement. To flee was a human instinct for which she now must pay. She looked back at Paisley Publications as a shadowy menace from a distant past. She would never return to it.
    In erotic reflection she fingered her whip wounds and found joy in them. She also felt shame, but closed her mind to it as a ghost of the past. If it felt comforting to play with the tender traces of Cicely's whip on the inside of her thighs she would do so.
    There came then the cold assessment of her slavery to a woman. She spent little thought on it other than in longing. She belonged to Cicely Woods by right of purchase and because it was her human destiny. Beyond that she had no wish to peer. Slavery was an ancient human condition.
    The present was not to be denied, it was demanding. Amusedly, she surveyed the plight into which impulse had lured her. Suppose she found another human in this wasteland, it would most likely be a man. She was a woman? naked! The equation was simple. If she found others with good intentions they would call the police to give her aid, and the police would deliver her back to Cicely with an admonition to be a good girl in the future. Most certainly that was not the way to return to her mistress.
    Ilona knew now she should have gone to Cicely and pleased mercy for Nora's good intentions. It might have been granted. At any rate Nora's punishment would have been less than now. She herself would not have been punished at all, now she would be punished terribly. Even if she retraced her steps Cicely would punish a disloyal slave as being no more than was just. Ruefully, the fugitive felt an almost masochistic satisfaction in the thought. It would serve her damn well right. The pangs of hunger nagged constantly. Miss Ilona Paisley rose determinedly and began to retrace her steps.
    There was a sizable eminence, a hill. It had been in view throughout her flight.
    Using it as a mariner does a star, she set her course. Her feet hurt but even they seemed glad to be going home. When she awoke the following morning it was to the sound of horse's hooves. Joyously, Ilona sprang erect and emerged from the bushes to greet her love. But it was not Cicely Woods who gazed down at her. It was two men she had never seen before.
    Ilona felt more naked than she had ever been. The riders were regarding her with lewd interest. She was gripped by disappointment and a mounting fear which held her mute.
    "Reckon we've hit the jackpot, Luke."
    "Sure 'nuff. Ain't likely there's two pieces like this running around out here. Damn nice stuff."
    "What's yer name, lady?"
    "Paisley. I'm staying with Miss Woods at her ranch." They guffawed. "She's the one, Rance. Dammit', that's a streak of luck. The rest of the boys'll be hoppin' mad."
    "You mean, there's a search?" Ilona was nonplussed. "Shit, lady, there'd better be.
    You could starve to death runnin' around here like that. You 'et since you run?"
    "No I haven't. But do you have a shirt, a bit of cloth, or something, anything at all?"
    "Wouldn't give it to you if we had, lady. You're fine as you are."
    "But I'm naked!"
    "Sorta' noticed that. Lovely tits."
    Miss Ilona Paisley had never felt less adequate. Her instinct was to run, but that would be futile. She longed to cover herself but that was denied. These men were rough and tough and there was a look in their eyes as they assessed her femaleness.
    She clutched at a single hope, and asked: "Are you taking me back to Miss Woods?"
    "After we've given you a right royal fucking, lady."
    She turned and ran. She did so in blind instinctive fear, knowing she could not stand passively for their pleasure. Her flight might be futile but it was something her femaleness demanded of her. She sped towards the nearest trees.
    They caught her easily, grasping a handful of her flying hair. Dismounting, they tethered their horses and eyed their captive with fresh interest. Their air of preordained purpose was daunting.
    "Better tie her, Luke. She'll be nothin' but trouble." Ilona eyed the rawhide strip askance, she wanted none of it. Frantically, she surrendered pride. "Please don't tie me. There's no need. I promise I won't run again, I know it was foolish. I'll? I'll do what you tell me."
    "Lady, you gits tied, and that's that."
    "Well, could I eat first, I'm so hungry?"
    They fed her as they might have fed their horse, a necessary nuisance. While she ate they stood close, hawkeyed.
    "Pity we ain't allowed ter knock her around a bit, Rance. That fixes 'em good.
    Gals pay real attention to a man's fist."
    Wiping her fingers on the grass, Ilona tried again. "Let me give you my parole, it's a promise not to even try to escape. I want to go back to the ranch, I honestly do.
    But it's hateful to be tied when I'm? I'm all. . naked."
    "What yer' want yer' hands for, lady? Cover yer cunt?" She did not answer, nor did she protest further while they turned her about, gathered her arms and tied her wrists behind her back. The rawhide bit hard, the knots' where her fingers could not reach. Ilona Paisley trembled in a terrible certainty.
    "Awkward to lay her on her back, Rance."
    "Hell no, she'll manage. Damn good fer givin' her a feel. C'mon, she's got more'n one place."
    She stood, trying hard to look at the horizon, while her body and all its recesses were explored and probed by rough insensitive hands. She was forced to spread her legs to make her crotch available and to stick out her chest to aid in the mauling of her breasts. Pathetically, she asked:
    "Does Miss Woods wish you to treat me like this?"
    More chuckles. "She ain't here to ask, lady."
    Ilona Paisley's initial shame was limited by male arousal. Her body acted as a powerful stimulus upon the men who had bound her. Luke swept her from her feet and laid on the grass in woman's most ancient sacrifice. While he ravished her she wept, but he accepted her tears as an additional tribute and licked them thirstily as he pumped at her with the avid thrusts of a man who sees few women. When Rance took his place between her thighs her healthy woman senses betrayed her, she began to gasp and to respond. When Luke returned to her sheath she climaxed violently in a manner she had never known, her whole being wracked by spasm after spasm of orgasmic agony.
    "Dammit', Luke, we can't be that hot. Took three shots to make the gal come."
    "She ain't used to it. Most likely a tongue and groove bitch, and she's scared. Best way ter git 'em hot is to lace into their ass with a quirt. Shit, we got the time."
    It was going to be worse than she had feared. These were virile brutes, infinitely potent. Rape was a quick savage assault, this was a lustful attrition to conquer every part of her body and mouth. She was rolled over, Rance sat astride her neck and dragged up on her bound hands. "There y'are, Luke, as perky a little ass as a man ever see'd."
    The pain was hateful and bitter. Luke's quirt had heavy thongs which splatted into her flesh with surprising force, venomous bites of leather which set her bare legs to flailing ineffectually but to the great delight of the men whose booty she now was.
    "Lookit' them red lines!" Rance enthused. "Never seen a gal whipped 'afore. I like it."
    "Best way I know to make 'em be a woman." Luke punctuated his statement with a swift and accurate slash on squirming flesh. "Makes 'em hot, makes 'em obedient?
    and, boy, look at them legs!"
    It was a nadir of humiliation. Ilona was helpless. Rance's weight on her neck and shoulders, his grasp of her arms, her bound wrists. .! Al she could do was moan and kick. She wanted to lay still and rob them of the erotic delight of female motions, but the pain was too much for that, whatever relief she could find she had to take. Even if her lips had not been pressed into the grass it would have been useless to ask mercy. She was not being punished, she was being conditioned. Her prescribed aphrodisiac was the quirt. It was being applied on her bottom as a sexual stimulant. Hating her captors and herself she had to acknowledge its efficacy. The arousal in her loins was all that separated her from the simile of a small but naughty girl being held down by stern parents while her perky derriere was well and truly tanned.
    "Bet she's hotter'n a firecracker." Luke was proud of his work, emphasizing its quality with a ferocious swipe across bounding cheeks to bring out Ilona's first scream. "Y'see, she actually felt that one. She shore got a flaming little ass."
    The weight was lifted. Ilona was turned back upon her bound arm, her burning bottom protesting its contact with rough grass and bits of twig. Within seconds she was impaled. Before Luke and Rance were done with her Miss Ilona Paisley climaxed four more times.
    After she had been coarsely complimented on the superlative quality of her cunt her captors laughingly broke the news of being not many miles from the ranch.
    Ilona's flight had turned to circle. Al three of them speculated as to where it might have taken her had she not brought it to a halt. They hoisted her behind a saddle and fastened her thighs to it with the latigo laces. Her quirted skin screamed disapproval, her tied wrists denied action. She sat astride to gaze at her captor's red neck and smell his sweat.

Chapter Seven

Iron.

    It was an almost theatrical tableau. Even though she was still dustily naked and her hands were still tied behind her back and a frightful punishment undoubtedly pending, Ilona felt sure that if she caught her mistress's eye she would giggle. It was too classic a scene to be true. But it was true. "Innocence before its Judge": "Guilt standing before Justice": "Awaiting sentence": "The condemned." The Victorian titles of a hundred paintings of douce damsels about to get their just desserts flitted though her mind. She would like to break the pose, but could think of none more practical. She wanted to exclaim: "For goodness sake, Cicely, don't sit there like Julius Caesar about to send me to the Arena," but lacked the courage. Instead, she ejaculated lamely:
    "So alright, Cicely, I'm guilty."
    In the ensuing silence the prisoner reviewed her return to the ranch. It had been far from triumphant. For the last mile she had been made to walk, entering the big yard and Cicely's range of vision at the end of a long rope, one end noosed round her neck, the other coiled round Rance's saddle horn. Her tired feet had been made to halt before the disdainful figure of a woman with a riding crop.
    "We git the right gal, maam?"
    The crop turned the runaway around to be examined. Its tip hovered upon the rawhide knots on her wrists and flickered across the scarlet evidence of the quirt.
    Both were ignored by Cicely's cold acknowledgement. "Yes, she's the right one. I see you quirted her rump. Why?"
    "It was part of them fucking me!" The exclamation burst from Ilona's lips in hot resentment. Sullenly, she added: "The bastards fucked me again and again."
    "Really." Cicely parted with the word in contempt.
    "I'm sure you enjoyed it."
    "I didn't! It was hateful?!"
    "Quiet!" The crop curled round Ilona's hip. "I don't want to hear. Save it."
    Ilona had relapsed into sullen silence while the rope was taken from her neck and an Envelope changed hands. She seethed with the injustice of Luke and Rance being rewarded for her rape, their protracted violation of her sex for which they ought to go to jail. Resentfully she tugged at the rawhide on her wrists. It was all she dared do. The weal on her hip scorched as bitterly as her mistress's contempt.
    For a minute the slave and her mistress watched the riders out of sight. Then Cicely had curtly commanded. "Come in the house you absolute idiot."
    The Mistress mixed herself a drink but did not share it. Gulping the cocktail angrily she glared at her bound and naked slave before impatience spurred it's resentful flood.
    "I'd have thought you had more sense. I had to call in men from all over, too small a chance of catching you myself alone." She snorted angrily. "There's the expense. . and the snickers. . and you've got yourself fucked. . Ugh!"
    It was at that point she had pleaded guilty. The impulse to giggle had gone away.
    Ilona looked at the woman she loved and said, wanly: "Cicely, I think I'm going to cry."
    "Go ahead. If a few licks with this crop will help your tears let me know Dammit, girl, why, why, why?"
    "I don't know myself. Honest, Cicely, it was an impulse thing. I'm sorry."
    "And you'll be a lot sorrier, darling."
    "Yes, of course. But please don't hurt Nora?"
    "Nora's been hurt already, and she'll be hurt some more. If her feet hadn't been ironed she'd have run with you." Cicely gestured in disgust. "Do I need to have a hundred pounds of iron riveted on your ankles to keep you around?"
    "I won't run again, Cicely. I promise."
    "You're damn right you'l run again, but not the way you think. Blast it all, Ilona, what the hell am I going to do to you?"
    "Punish me."
    "How?"
    The delinquent nudity found herself not wanting to be punished at all. She wanted to be loved. But love seemed unlikely to be part of her immediate future. Unhappily, she suggested: "You can always whip me."
    "Sure I can. Any other ideas?"
    "To stop loving me would be the worst of all. I don't want you to stop loving me."
    "A disloyal slave!" Cicely sneered. "You let that silly little bitch talk you into running away from me, and now you expect love?"
    "I expect to be punished." Ilona said doggedly. "After you've punished me I hope you'll love me again."
    "I love you now, damn you!"
    The delinquent heart raced. "Would it help a bit if I told you I was on the way back here when they picked me up? I was asleep when they found me. It wasn't all that far from here."
    "How can I know that's true?"
    "Only by whatever you think of me. I sat on a little hill way out there somewhere and assessed the whole thing. There I was, naked in a wilderness, and you were here.
    I knew I'd been damn stupid. That's when I turned around." The penitent paused. "I thought about Paisley Publications then too. But it didn't seem real, it doesn't seem real now. I don't think it ever will again."
    "D'your wrists hurt?"
    "Yes."
    "Come here. I'm going to untie you. Go and bathe and make yourself beautiful.
    Oh, and have a douche, have three or four. Those damn men. . ! Ugh!"
    "Yes, Cicely." The slave was breathless. "Thank you."
    "Don't think you're forgiven. I'm still going to punish you."
    "I want you to."
    "You're free. So if you feel like running, go ahead and run."
    "You know I won't do that."
    "I'll be waiting for you. We can talk about your punishments in bed. .
    afterwards."
    Breathlessly, Ilona went to bathe.
    "I want to be really cruel to you, darling." Cicely mused languidly in deep content.
    "You do need to be taught a lesson, y'know."
    "A hundred lashes." Suggested Ilona dreamily.
    "You're being flip. Liberty doesn't become you, pet. Give me your hands."
    Obedience was instant. Ilona watched her mistress reach beneath the pillow. The handcuffs were the dark gun metal one's she adored, expensive, handcrafted. They encircled her wrists with oiled precision. Her nostrils flared with a gasp of enchantment. "They're gorgeous!"
    "I'm clicking them one notch too tight, sweetheart, a constant reminder."
    "Don't ever take them off, not ever!" Laying nakedly beside her love, Ilona lifted her cuffed hands and admired their linked allure. Testing their snugness, she pouted:
    "You could make them a notch tighter still, Cicely. I wouldn't mind."
    "We're getting maudlin." Her Mistress warned. "We're besotted with each other's cunts and pubic hair and breasts and nipples, the whole ensemble. You've changed incredibly. You're not the woman who wrote that article. You're not a woman at all, you're a little girl. I don't know how you ever ran that damn business of yours. Since I bought you you've blossomed into the most submissive creature I've ever known."
    Cicely laughed softly, "And I've whipped a lot of submissive bottoms and clipped a lot of submissive tits."
    "You've never put clips on my nipples."
    "Don't sound so cheated. Give me time. That reminds me, I've got to get you collared."
    Ilona lowered her handcuffed wrists, she was suddenly tense. "You mean that iron thing with rivets?"
    "You hate the idea, darling, and you might have talked me out of it if you hadn't been a bad girl. But you'l look wonderful with that on your neck. It will have a mental effect too because you'll know there's no way it will come off."
    "Oh, alright, I expect I'll live."
    "You bet you will. And I've been thinking about your ankles. If they'd been ironed you'd never have run away."
    "Oh Cicely, those things. . like on Nora? Those iron bands and all those links swirling every time I take a step?"
    "Why not?"
    There was laughter in the Mistress's voice, but the slave was unsure, her position weakened by recent guilt. She rejoined, doubtfully, "Well. . I suppose. . !"
    Cicely was amused, thrilled by her own power. "Oh, stop pouting." She said gaily.
    "I'd iron you like a shot but it's so permanent. I can't be taking you to the blacksmith shop every time I want to use you for this or that. I've got some that lock and use a key but the mental effect's no way as potent."
    "I don't mind."
    "Of course you don't, you little idiot! What girl wants to be ironed! I ought to have Josh hammer rivets on you everyplace, and keep you that way for a month."
    "I'm sure I deserve it."
    "Stop being a masochistic kitten. You're getting a lubricated cunt out of self immolation. It can get to be a vice."
    "Alright, Cicely, so I have to wear an iron collar. Now, what about my real punishment? Do I get the hundred lashes?"
    "No. You're positively wallowing in lust at the mere thought of all those lovely stripes. I'll punish you, but not because you ask for it or want me to. I'll do it my way. Come along now, I've got something you ought to see."
    "Aren't you going to wear something, Cicely?"
    "I feel like being naked. Come along, you quivering kitten, I'll make you quiver some more."
    Intuitively Ilona knew. In the punishment room Nora hung suspended by her wrists. Her feet were off the floor but the heavy irons hung pendent from her ankles so that some of their links found a resting place beneath the punished feet. Her eyes had been closed in suffering, she opened them now and, beholding Ilona, wept. "I thought you got away." She sobbed brokenly. "I thought you got away."
    Ilona's attempt to embrace the suspended nudity was foiled by the handcuffs she had so recently adored. She could do nothing but cradle tear wet cheeks and kiss the disconsolate lips.
    "Turn her round, darling, she swings easily."
    Again she knew! The handcuffed girl obeyed. As the loveliness revolved under the guidance of her locked hands Ilona gasped. Nora's back, her buttocks, her thighs, were criss crossed by weals, ridged bars of proud flesh raised by Cicely's crop. She wailed in anguish at the sight.
    "Stop that!" The Mistress's command was peremptory.
    "We take her down each night to sleep, and hang her up again each day. If you hadn't run I might have let her off with twenty strokes."
    "Every day?" Ilona was aghast. "You mean, ever since I ran?"
    "That's right, darling. Her attitude improves daily."
    The theatrical gesture came naturally. Ilona the slave fell to her knees and clasped her mistress's thigh in locked hands. "Please, Cicely, oh please! Don't punish her any more. Oh no, no, no. .!"
    "Why not?"
    "Because it was all my fault. Let Nora down and put me there instead."
    "Darling, that line's stereotyped, positively threadbare. Can't you do better?"
    Cicely patted the bowed head. "And it might be a good idea if you stood up."
    Shamed, Ilona obeyed. Looking in anguish at the whipped beauty turning slowly on her rope she understood the implacability of Cicely's justice. Here on the ranch a slave was a slave, even if much loved she would remain a slave. At first sight of Nora's whipped skin Ilona had felt unfairly privileged. But her own punishment was still to come, judging by what she now beheld it would be a thing for tears and penitence. She trembled and twisted locked wrists but was strangely glad.
    "Come along, dear. Nora would sooner be alone."
    The handcuffed girl allowed herself to be led from the room. The fingers on her bare arm were tender but they were the fingers of a woman who owned girls, a woman by whom she herself was owned by right of purchase. Wanly, Ilona asked:
    "How long must she??"
    "She'll be freed this evening, sweetheart, but I wasn't going to tell her so."
    "It's such a terrible punishment. . so long!"
    "Think it would fit your penance, pet?"
    "If you wanted?"
    "That isn't what I asked."
    "Yes, I think it would punish me enough." Ilona ventured with simulated bravery.
    "Oh, Cicely. .!"
    "She's only had forty strokes, dear. All hard, of course."
    Cicely informed equably. "None of that hundred lashes you're so fond of tossing around. D'you still want 'em?"
    "Yes."
    "Well, you're not sentenced yet, darling, I'm still thinking about it. You can think about it too. In the meantime we've got a little job."
    As they walked to the blacksmith shop Ilona longed to plead. Every feminine instinct revolted against an iron band riveted on her neck. But sight of Nora's punishment told her clearly she could not be forever on her knees. Cicely owned her.
    Cicely would use her as she wished. Ilona looked down at the black metal on her wrists but felt no wish it be taken from her.

    "Hate me, darling?"
    "Oh, Cicely, you know I don't." It was almost a wail of anguish. "But tell me why I love you? I do, terribly."
    "I'm sort of fond of you, sweetheart." Fond fingers were once more on a bare chained arm. "If I wasn't you'd be hanging up in there with your poor devoted Nora." Cicely's laugh was a silvery acknowledgement that life was good. "Look at Josh, there in the doorway, waiting for you. He's so proud."
    The captive could understand the craftsman's pride. She supposed that if a girl was obliged to wear an iron collar the object held to view was probably as good as she could expect. Its edges had been bevel ed and polished, its pendent ring would have foiled the tug of a horse.
    "Josh, you do the nicest collar." Cicely's tribute was warm.
    "Little lady gonna' like it, maam. I takes a lot o' trouble."
    "And the rivets. .?"
    "Like you said, Miz Woods, they ain't gonna' show. I'se recessed the holes so's I kin beat 'em down in and file 'em flat. Iron's heavy 'nuff to take a long drill without no flange."
    "But, Josh, there's no hinge to open and close??"
    "Ah aims fer smooth circle, Miz Woods. She open now and I got leverage ter close it."
    "Darling, you're so lucky. Let Josh arrange you."
    Miss Ilona Paisley, formerly of Paisley Publications, knelt beside the anvil and allowed a coloured blacksmith to insert her neck within a metal band and drape it across the waiting surface of brutal steel. Her handcuffed fingers clung desperately to the wooden block on which the anvil stood.
    "I figger's this'un out fer meself, maam. Sure takes a lot o' pressure to close that cold iron, but I ain't usin' no hammer."
    Breathlessly, the naked girl felt the slow closing of the strangest confinement a girl could know. Ilona could barely see the long and heavy bar by which the smith was exerting such relentless force, but her neck received its message like the closing of a trap.
    "Look'a that, maam. Fit real good she do. Ain't no daylight showin' nowheres."
    It was true. The prisoned neck felt an even contact. Josh was skilled. The kneeling girl waited passively for what she knew she would hate the most.
    "I git's me one rivet in there, Miz Woods, afore I lifts the lever. Then we got her fer sure."
    It was hateful, but had become strangely exciting. Perhaps royalty felt thus in their ritualistic regalia. Ilona felt the fumbles and the friction of metal within metal. Then the hammer blows that touched her not but rang in her ear as a knell of doom.
    The bar was lifted, the collar remained. Josh was happy.
    "The other rivet, maam, and then the little lady has herself the damnedest collar ever was."
    Ilona did not move, she did not demur. She thought of the headsman's block, it was a frightening simile. But in a little while she would be allowed to stand. She winced with the second rivet and flinched from the hammer. But it was the file and the electric buffer which set the seal on her shame. She was a slave, collared! Ready always now for the chain and padlock.
    "Up's-a-daisy, darling: I can't wait to see."
    The weight was frightening. Lifting her neck from the anvil Ilona was sure she could never bear it. Standing, she met her mistress's eye and grinned ruefully. "You own me now for sure." She admitted, and was suddenly inflamed by lust. Never had she felt such an onrush of emotion as now when her captive fingers explored the broad band of iron she would wear forever.
    "You're gorgeous darling!" Cicely was exultant. She took her collared slave within eager arms and kissed and kissed, her lips sinking to find the soft and pulsing throat above and below the black iron band in which it was imprisoned. "Come along, I must get you to a mirror."
    Suddenly the iron was weightless. Ilona had never felt more happy.
    The reflection staring back at Ilona from the glass was shocking. It was ugly. It was beautiful. It was wonderful and scarce to be believed. The collar changed her. It took possession of her nakedness and transformed it utterly. The flat thick band was as wide as it could be without intrusion. Its fit was snug so it would not chafe. The round iron ring hanging below the nape of her neck was of the same proportions.
    The effect of the black circlet in contrast to her white nudity was exquisite.
    "It's better than gold or silver, darling." Cicely was awed.
    To the owner of the slender neck that bore the iron it held all the magic of a wedding ring. It was a bond indissoluble between herself and the woman she loved, the woman who owned her so totally. Ilona stared back, entranced. She was a naked slave, her wrists darkly chained, her neck banded and ringed. With a thrill of delight she saw herself more beautiful than she had ever been. Within her sex a fire was rising in sweet agony.
    After such an erotic feast it was inevitable they seek their bed, lips wet and swollen, tongues avid, nipples hard and high. Satiated, they slept. When Ilona woke she was alone. Drowsily, she let her feet slide to the floor and became aware of change. Suddenly alert, her locked hands flew to her neck, knowing what they would find. The ring no longer hung empty, within it was a padlock and a chain. The chain was formidable, so was the padlock, far heavier than need be to hold a girl.
    Excited and filled with laughter, Ilona lifted the trailing links and traced them to a ringbolt in the floor. This anchorage was as solid as the rest. Delighted with her mistress's whimsey she stepped out the radius of her tether. It gave her the freedom of the bed and a few paces to one side only, then snubbed her hard. For moments she stood, savouring the new sensation, knowing she would be chained thus every night, glimpsing the stern utility of Josh's creation. It was not a punishment, it was a facility every slavegirl needed. Alight with longing for her mistress she threw her constrained nudity back upon the sheets.
    It was delicious to dream. In slavery Ilona discovered a narcotic by which all things were dreamable and nothing real. Slaves lived vividly in the moment, the rest did not matter, they could not influence it so why treat it seriously! Their life was not their own, it belonged to someone else. In the punishment room Nora was suffering the last hours of her penalty. Nothing Nora or Ilona could do would change that one iota. At some moment in the future she herself would suffer for her truancy. She was sure her penance would be dire. But that, too, she could not change. It was in the realm of fantasy. Ilona envisioned herself screaming beneath the lash, moaning away the hours in nude suspension, or perhaps to have her ankles locked in the stocks to sit day after day in lonely longing to be free.
    The weight on her neck had changed her life. Ilona was sure of it. Miss Paisley was gone. She could not but wonder on the potency of what had been done to her. It had changed her image of herself and all her thinking. Its effect was exquisitely erotic, no matter how she sought to close her mind to it, the iron collar imposed a constant titillation of her senses. Her fingers played with it constantly so that her handcuffs became an erotic presence on her wrists. She was ashamed of her female responses, her abject but glorious submissions to Cicely. But she would change nothing, not even if she could.
    In a contentment such as she had never known Ilona went back to sleep.

Chapter Eight

After the Ball.

    "You're going to shock them out of their socks, darling." Cicely was excited and pleased. "You're a perfect package of contradictions. Look at yourself."
    Ilona was already doing so. The big mirror was sending her pulse into a galloping race. She was not believable. "They can't possibly accept me like this." She said breathlessly. "Someone will call the police. . or the men will want to rape me."
    "Of course they will, darling! The rape, I mean. Not the police! These people are my friends, hand picked. They'll be expecting something. .! You're my answer."
    "I can't possibly! Oh, Cicely, I just can't. . like this with all those people!"
    "The alternative is the dungeon and a hundred strokes, darling. You don't want that, do you?"
    "Oh, Cicely, you wouldn't?"
    "Yes I will, and you know I will." Cicely's voice was loving but incisive. "Smarten up, my little chicken. After the first five minutes you're going to love it."
    "They won't. . just look at me!" Ilona wailed. "A Stetson hat, an iron collar, and a pair of riding boots. The rest of me's naked. Everybody will laugh."
    "Like hell they will!" Cicely's affirmation was positive.
    "You're forgetting your breasts and your gorgeous pubic hair. . and all the rest of you. To say nothing of all our work fixing your face and doing your hair."
    "I look like a cowgirl after a cyclone."
    "Nonsense! Look, darling, are you going to be awkward?"
    "No, I suppose not. I don't want to go in the dungeon. But, oh, Cicely. .!
    Oh. . wow!"
    "That's my girl! Be nonchalant. They'll adore you."
    "And I won't know what to do with my hands?"
    "You may not, darling, but I do. Turn around."
    "No. . Nooooo! Oh, Cicely, please! Not behind my back, I won't be able to cover anything." Ilona wailed.
    "You're not supposed to cover anything, pet. Especially the kind of 'any things'
    you've got."
    Ilona passively allowed her arms to be taken from her.
    She knew herself once more prey to the conflicting emotions she had come to expect: Horror at what she was going to be compelled to do but a delicious excitation at the touch of her mistress's hands. She look a deep, deep breath as her wrists were captured and linked by the familiar sounds and bite of steel, consoling her by the loss of decision in obedience to the woman who held the key. Over all was a radiant joy between her legs.
    "There you are, pet." Cicely patted a bare and helpless arm. "Nice and tight. I've used the black one's to match your collar. You look scrumptious."
    "I feel beautiful and I feel ridiculous." Ilona tugged fretfully at the newly locked handcuffs. "Cicely, darling, what am I supposed to dooooo!"
    "Just circulate, sweetheart. Make all the women green with envy of me and give all the men erections."
    "Cicely, will I? have to??"
    "No, dear, you don't have to go in a room and let the men fuck you." Cicely assured sweetly. "It's a cute idea, and maybe we'l use it at another party. But that lovely cunt of yours is mine, I'm getting more and more jealous of it."
    "Thank you. But I'm still scared? all those people!"
    "Only one plane, pet. Maybe twenty guests. They can taxi right into this big yard.
    Anyway, you won't be mauled by a multitude. I still think you'll enjoy yourself."
    "Can I have a drink, please?"
    "No, you're going in there cold. There'll be no shortage of men anxious to offer you sips." The mistress patted a cool bottom. "But let me warn you, darling: Get tipsy and you'l end up in the dungeon, and with a tender rump to boot. So smarten up, you delectable slave. I think I can hear the plane."
    Ilona's first reaction to the large and splendid room was chagrin. Her entry did not stop the buzz of conversation, it did not even give it pause. She was briefly noticed by couples by the door, but they nodded approvingly and returned to their talk.
    Perhaps they thought her an eccentric guest! The idea was exciting. Obedient to instructions, she advanced and mingled, blushing under repeated scrutiny and bright wise smiles.
    "May I get you a drink?"
    He was tall, dark and handsome for sure, eyes friendly and admiring, not dwelling unduly on any part of her exposed nudity. Ilona found herself unexpectedly grateful for attention. "I'd love a drink." She admitted. "But I? I don't have any hands."
    "No problem." He patted her shoulder in big brotherly assurance. "Don't go away."
    He was nice. Ilona lost some of her blush. His regard was intent and amused, and he held the glass to her lips at just the right tilt. His voice was masculine and intimate, reminding her of how little she had seen of such men for so long.
    "Guest, or one of Cicely's purchases?" He enquired blandly.
    Ilona cocked an eyebrow. "You know all about her, then? I'm a purchase. I never did find out how much she paid for me."
    "Cicely Woods is an Institution in Texas." He said thoughtfully. "These affairs of hers are a privilege. She always has a surprise for us. I'd imagine you're today's little bomb."
    "I think I'm fizzling. No one notices."
    "Don't kid yourself. Right now I can see a Senator, an arab sheik, and a stockbroker assessing your contours. Al the women hate you already, except for Cicely, you're the most beautiful female present."
    "My name's Ilona, and can I have another drink?"
    "Bruce." He winked. "You've been rationed?"
    "I sure have! I could have used a drink, walking in here like this."
    "Change nothing, you're perfect." He was back with the drink almost instantly.
    While she gulped it greedily, he said, suavely: "D'you mind if I compliment you on that amazingly lush patch of public hair. . and those breasts?"
    "Of course I don't mind, Bruce, I'm female. But now I'll be conscious of all three for the next few minutes." She looked up at him wistfully. "Am I really that lovely?
    Or is it just that I'm naked?"
    "You're lovely. Here, finish this drink. I think you're crowd shy."
    "Wouldn't you be if you were like this!" Ilona took the last swallows and asked the question she had to ask:
    "Bruce, if I asked you to help me escape, would you report me to Cicely?"
    "Of course. We're all under oath to do that. We owe it to her." He chuckled.
    "Some of the propositions I've had here. .!"
    "I sort of expected that. Are you going to report me?"
    "Yes."
    "She'll whip me."
    "That was a chance you took."
    "I don't really want to escape at all. I can't explain that, so don't ask."
    "It figures. Cicely's the most radiant female in Texas and the most accomplished lesbian extant? Ilona, are those handcuffs bothering you?"
    "No, I'm bothering them. I wiggle at them all the time. I expect it's a reflex, or I'm embarrassed? For sure I don't hope to get loose."
    "That collar? It won't come off?"
    "No, never. Add a padlock and chain and I become a permanent resident."
    Bruce surveyed her soberly. "You're for real, aren't you? Or could you walk away?"
    "I can't walk away. I did try, but it wasn't any use. That's when Cicely had this iron collar riveted on my neck. It's something else I can't walk away from."
    He nodded, intrigued. "How else did she punish you?" Ilona squirmed. "I don't know yet. It's still hanging over my head."
    "You don't seem too worried." He bestowed a charming grin. "Think Cicely would sell you to me?"
    The blaze of heat in Ilona's sex was as unexpected as his question. Sold! Bought!
    People wanted her badly enough to pay money. Thought of being both marketable and desirable caused the handcuffs to mock her wrists and the collar to burn her neck, her pulse quickened. "I don't think I'm for sale." She said primly. "But thanks anyway, I'm flattered."
    "The girl doesn't need money" Bruce mused quietly.
    "But I might tempt her with a deal. .!" He tilted the glass to her lips with gentle concern. "I like you, Ilona. I like you a lot."
    "It's my nakedness you like, Bruce. If I was dressed and without the handcuffs you wouldn't notice me."
    He waved her surmise to the winds. "I've seen a lot of naked girls, Ilona, that impact's gone. But there's a quality about you. I'd make a guess you amounted to something before you were kidnapped? You were kidnapped, I suppose?"
    "Oh, sure." Ilona laughed at his perception. "I expect it adds sexual punch to my charisma. I've been properly bound and gagged in the old tradition."
    "Don't laugh." Bruce warned. "There's a wickedly potent emanation from you, a radiance. I'd like to turn you round and look at your handcuffed wrists. But we're watched. Not the proper moment."
    She liked him more and more. Laughing, she teased:
    "Suppose you made a purchase, what would you do with me?"
    "First off I'd cane your bottom."
    Again the heat! His direct insouciance was enchanting.
    But his intent was unexpected. "Why would you do that to me? I mean, to punish me right away?"
    "Because you're still too much of your own woman. I'd see it as cementing my possession of you. I've got one of those lovely English canes. . yel ow. . they come from Singapore. I'd bend you over to get the proper stretch on your skin."
    "So I hurt more. Yes, I know all about it."
    "Hate me?"
    "Goodness, no! Why should I?" She twinkled at him mischievously. "I'm a slave, and I know I'm a slave. I know I'll be whipped and caned. . and things, from time to time. The shock factor's over for me."
    "And you're feeling quite safe under Cicely's ownership." Bruce wagged an admonitory finger. "Don't underrate me. You and I might just have a date one of these days with a long yel ow English cane. . !" His voice changed. "Look, I've monopolized you long enough. I'm getting signals. Come along."
    They were a pleasant middle aged pair, only slightly hardened by wealth. The woman examined Ilona's features, the man looked at her breasts. Bruce's introduction was casual: "Ilona, this is Senator and Mrs. Hardwick. I expect they'l let you call 'em Bill and Marian."
    Ilona watched Bruce's departing back in dismay. Marian Hardwick's regard was affably hostile, her husband's frankly lecherous. She did her best to smile.
    "You're just what Elmer's always wanted." Mrs. Hardwick got in the first sharp words, no doubt she would also say the last. "Don't mind him ogling your tits, honey.
    He's got a fixation about tits. He never did like mine."
    "Say, girl, are those handcuffs for real?" The Senator's tone was warm, as for a voting constituent. "Cicely thinks up the damnedest things for these little affairs."
    Obligingly, Ilona turned and stood passively while her handcuffs and hands were lingeringly fondled. Mrs. Hardwick snorted jeeringly. "Why don't you ask her if her tits are real, Elmer? She'll stick 'em out for you."
    Ilona flushed angrily. "I'm sorry." She said coldly. "If you'l excuse me?" She turned away.
    "Hey, hold it!" The senator's voice held authority.
    "Marian's getting a dig at me. Look, honey, we called you over on purpose."
    "He wants to buy you from Cicely, or a reasonable facsimile." His wife retorted acidly. "Let him get it out of his system, Miss. . whatever you are. He's harmless."
    Her eyes narrowed. "Did Cicely actually buy you for cash money?"
    Why not be amused! Ilona shrugged away her pique, replacing it with girlish charm. "It actually starts when you get kidnapped." She explained patiently. "Then the kidnappers, you could describe them as brokers, sell you to someone who wants a slave. They whip you until you decide to behave." Her eyes twinkled. "I've become very obedient. So far as buying me, I don't think I'm for sale. But you could ask Cicely."
    "She the one who whipped you into shape?"
    "I was lucky to have several trainers."
    "Huh, this Cicely business! Sounds disrespectful. You use first names with each other?"
    "Yes. We thought the Mistress and Madam image overdone, Mrs. Hardwick.
    Punishments are so very personal when they come from someone with a real name."
    "Hurt more?"
    "Yes they do. The pride gets bruised along with my skin."
    Mrs. Hardwick's interest was captured. "Damn girl makes sense, Elmer." She conceded briskly. "Here, don't let me hog the talk."
    "You wouldn't happen to be the young lady who's getting herself whipped as the grand finale today?" The Senator asked hopefully.
    A cold hand touched Ilona's spine, but she forced her voice to be casual. "I haven't even heard of that." She admitted. "I'm only a slave, y'know. There's lots of things Cicely doesn't tell me."
    "But it could be you, eh?" He could not hide his hunger.
    "Well. . yes. I suppose it could."
    "Not too fussy 'bout the idea either, are you?"
    He was understating her fear. "To be whipped a little can be terribly exciting."
    She said lightly. "But the sort of thing you've described. . Ugh! It could be too awful."
    "The girl doesn't want to talk about getting her ass whipped, Elmer." His wife chided with feminine scorn for male insensitivity. She turned to the handcuffed girl.
    "I've given him permission to go to the local whore house, but the idiot thinks he'd like something along your lines around the house."
    "Same as Cicely." Said Elmer brightly.
    "It's not as impractical as you may think, Mrs. Hardwick." Ilona was inwardly chuckling. "A slave like me mustn't be regarded as a person. For instance; if you bought me you should regard me as a pet, a pretty plaything to be whipped or caressed according to your mood. I suppose I could perform some useful chores."
    "You're putting me on. You! A pet!"
    "Why not! Look at me!" Ilona turned full circle. "I've got a nice body and I'm helpless. I have to do what I'm told."
    "You know the first thing Elmer would want you to do." Marian Hardwick hinted darkly.
    The nude girl laughed. "You'd have to draw up some terms of reference." She embraced them both in her warmest smile. "It would be between yourselves as to whether the senator fucked me, and at what times, or whether my pussy wasn't to be used."
    "I'll be go to hell!" The senator was visibly moved. His complexion had become even more florid.
    "And if I was ever de trop or sort of redundant you should have a cage to pop me out of sight, or maybe a nice little cell?"
    "First thing I'd do with you is whip that impudent little ass." Mrs. Hardwick affirmed. "You're altogether too damn cool?"
    "Is my darling misbehaving?" Cicely Woods's tinkle of laughter took charge.
    "Senator, I can see a light in your eye. No, this exquisite creature is not for sale at any price. She is beyond rubies."
    "I could swing the Colorado Concession your way?"
    "Not even for that."
    The senator sighed. "You got too damn much money, Cicely." He cocked a bright and eager eye. "Say, is this little trick the one who gets whipped after awhile?"
    "Whipped! Why, senator, as if I'd allow such a thing!" Butter would not have melted in Cicely's mouth.
    "C'mon, now. The word's got around."
    "You've frightened the poor dear? and she's so sweet?" Ilona was led away by firm fingers towards the bar. She sucked desperately at the straw held to her lips, her eyes bright upon the woman who held the glass.
    "Darling, you're trembling?"
    "Cicely, it's true, isn't it? What he said?"
    "My poor pet!" Cicely's whisper was loaded with love. "Are you terribly frightened?"
    "Of course I am. Oh, Cicely. .! Please tell me it isn't true? Please. .?"
    "It's true, darling."
    The glass was lifted once again for red lips to seek solace from the straw. The slave and her owner were very close, eyes locked, their vibrations merging as one.
    When the cocktail was gone Ilona admitted, wryly: "You're right, I am trembling."
    "There's a logic about it. Don't you see??"
    "It's my punishment? The one that's been hanging??"
    "Two birds with one stone, darling. D'you mind?"
    "A Roman holiday? Because I ran away?"
    "Sweetheart, you put that so well."
    "No, Cicely, I don't mind." Ilona's heart was racing. "My pussy's going crazy down there. .! But, darling, to have me whipped in front of all these people. .!"
    "It's going to be a beautiful and glorious spectacle. A ritualistic whipping of an errant slave. Darling, every one of us is going to remember it always."
    "Me especially." Ilona was holding tight to equilibrium, telling herself she had known she would be whipped and that all the spectators didn't matter. They had already seen her naked. It might be better than to hang by her wrists day after day. . Quaveringly, she asked: "Cicely, is this the whole of my punishment, or is there more?"
    "I won't tell you, pet. After all, you were a naughty girl."
    "Yes, I know. I? I won't complain. You've really been terribly sweet." Ilona's voice faltered. "Is it too late to ask to have my ankles ironed instead? You did mention it. . '?"
    "Too late, beloved child." Cicely kissed her frightened slave. "Ironed ankles, for you, are a bit impractical. You've become a part of my life. Can you see yourself walking around in this room with all that metal on your feet?"
    "Oh alright, Cicely, but I sort of had to ask. I'm so damn scared and ashamed. I'll scream and scream? I just know I will."
    "Of course you will, darling. Everyone will love it." Ilona Paisley examined the proposition that she would be fastened naked and flogged for the delectation of people like Elmer and Marian Hardwick. Once, briefly, her limbs had been freed and she had run away into the hills. She wanted to be punished for that stupidity, sharing with her mistress a conviction a punishment was just. But all these watching eyes. . ! They would double and treble her agonies. Breathlessly, she pleaded:
    "Punish me worse, Cicely, something really awful. Pain between the two of us without them watching?"
    "Darling, you're panicking. You don't need anything worse than what's going to happen. Believe me, you don't! But it will be over today. Isn't that better than a punishment that could go on and on and on'?"
    "Well. . perhaps."
    "As part of your punishment you must now go out and let anyone talk to you who wants to. Be sweet and cheerful and do try and sparkle a bit?"
    "I'll try. I've got over the first shrinking embarrassment."
    "I know they'l all want to buy you and ask a lot of silly questions." Cicely's voice had become matter-of-fact. "But you can handle that. Oh, and if any of them want to handle your pussy you'l have to let them. They're always curious about how wet a slave gets. Or maybe how dry she manages to say. O.K.?"
    "I'll be a good girl."
    "I love you."
    "I love you too."
    It was like 'Sports Day' at school. A pounding heart, the spectators out there waiting, the last minute admonitions. Her owner's voice was urgent: "Darling, except for your collar you're bare. You look so damn sweet. . ! I want you to walk slowly and very erect to the whipping post. Al the guests will be scattered along the way. They'l close in and follow along behind as you pass. You must look at the post and nothing else. Never look at them, make like they're not there."
    "Cicely, who's going to whip me?"
    "I am. Hate me?"
    "No. I'd have hated it to be Nora or Josh."
    "I'll be merciless, darling."
    "Of course. You must be. And it's O.K. for me to scream?"
    "Hold back as long as you can. After that they'll expect it. Away you go, pet. Sorry it's such a long walk but that's part of the ceremony, darling. You're a penitent on her way to the stake."
    "Isn't there a final touch you've forgotten, Cicely?"
    "Mmmmmm? Why, of course!" Cicely instantly understood "Poor darling. You're going to feel all hands again during the long walk, and it's out of character for you to be totally free. Turn 'round."
    This time it was rope. The slave winced but made no sound as her wrists were crossed and the rope bit savagely, far, far too tight. But for that short a time it would not matter. Ilona understood the strictures as a final admonition. She was grateful. Slaves should never be freed, it imposed too great an emotional stress.
    Head high, eyes focused on the distant stake, Miss Ilona Paisley stepped out into the sunlight.
    This time there was no chatter, no cocktails. No one was blase. As Ilona walked her measured paces she was aware of eyes, they focused and followed. Behind each pair would be an emotion, perhaps a wish: some to hear her screams, to watch her writhe while the weals formed. .! Here and there might be sympathy. To most she could only be erotically contoured flesh punished for their amusement. Approaching her destination, the naked girl beheld Nora waiting, her feet still trailing the heavy links of the ankle irons, her eyes alight with concern. They exchanged smiles of wisdom in their sisterhood of pain.
    On each side of the post was a strap and buckle, looped.
    To reach them her arms must be raised above her head. Ilona looked at the simple things by which she would be held. Behind her, Nora tugged at the cords so recently knotted. When her hands fell free, Ilona took the few remaining steps and positioned a wealed wrist within each leather circle. Nora tugged again to make the leather bands a part of the woman they would render helpless while she screamed.
    Strap and buckle were neat and tidy without loose ends. They compelled their naked captive to face the post, breasts touching the wood to tease pink nipples. When the whip started its play with her she would have a choice of flattening her nudity against the vertical timber or bending back to writhe and twist in pain. "Nothing round my waist, Nora?" She asked in whispered surprise.
    "No, Miss, it's more cruel this way. Those straps up above will hold you tight."
    The maid's words became tremulous. "Ilona, I'm so glad it isn't me who whips you."
    They would have kissed but slavegirls do not kiss in public. Nora stepped away.
    It was bad and it was beautiful. Bad only for the strapped girl, but for those who watched she had become twice beautiful, the symmetry of back and buttocks held, in their white innocence, an infinite promise of things to come. Ilona heard the sighs and was thrilled in her trembling, heat flaring within her crotch. She wondered if she would have the courage to thrust her sex against the rough surface and friction it to climax as she undulated beneath the lash.
    There was no hurry. Ilona would have to wait for her agony. This was proper and in an old tradition. Her white nakedness was so spotlighted as to reveal even her smallest motion to the watching eyes. She held the stage, so that to tug at her strapped wrists or to thrust her bel y against the post evoked responsive murmurs from the audience. She could not forbear to look back over, a strained bare shoulder from time to time, but it was a restricted view. Palpitating, she studied the grain and splinters in the wood before her eyes. She would remember them always.
    The cool sweet fingers smoothing her back and the twin curves below were Ilona's first awareness of Cicely's presence. The gentle loving hands generated waves of ecstasy. The soft voice was tender. "I won't prolong this prelude, darling. I'll soon start to whip you. Are you O.K.?"
    "I'm O.K., Cicely." It was an affirmation of love.
    "You are more beautiful than ever." The fingers smoothed away hair to allow warm lips to kiss the soft flesh below the iron collar whose weight the slavegirl no longer felt. The beloved voice tinkled laughter: "Maybe not the hundred lashes you asked for, darling?" Then Cicely was gone.
    No matter how the strokes are measured, the whipping of a girl takes unto itself an inescapable rhythm. The breathless cringe of anticipatory flesh, the pounding heart. Then the blow itself: strangely it is the least awful of all in its brief moment of impacting within the female skin. It is the wave after wave of the unspeakable, spreading to encompass every feminine secret crevice, that is the true agony. It fades reluctantly to make way for a fresh hope and a slowing of the heart. But while it lasts the restraints are tested to the full by limbs which find, in futile struggles, the only vent a whipped girl can know: that and her screams which sometimes she herself does not hear. And then the panting sweat soaked aftermath, inevitably merging into another fearful dread.
    Pain and love! Surely not many whipped girls could be a prey to both! That pain be synonymous with adoration. . ! Was it an anomaly she shared with none! As the straps creaked against her surging arms and her feet kicked helplessly, Ilona Paisley wondered about herself and the woman with the whip. Why, why, why did she love. How could that love endure what was happening now! But it did endure. It flamed more brightly in longing for Cicely's arms. But who could explain love. . ?
    No one ever had.
    Ilona did not scream for a surprisingly long time. She did not count the cuts on her skin, nor did she set herself a goal. She thrust herself against the post, finding a rough and illusory refuge in the wood as her breathing merged into moans and small feminine cries of desolation as she was lashed. But soon there came the stroke she could not bear. It was no different from the others but told her of an endless going on and on. . ! Her scream was part of anger and part of pain. She pealed it out into the Texas sunlight, not once but twice. As though released from unseen bonds, her body and her limbs abandoned themselves to whatever wild gyrations hurt flesh dictated. Ilona forgot her audience, forgot Cicely. She remembered only the whip. If animal responses gave her easement from its venom she would render them gladly without shame.
    Did she lose consciousness? Ilona was never sure.
    Certainly, after she had been whipped for what seemed eternity, she retreated into a world of her own wherein she felt the impacts of the whip as the defenders of a castle might have felt the hammer blows of a ram against their massive gate. When the blows stopped she was kissed and tried to return the kiss but could not. She then became the lonely tenant of a vast silence.
    The post was friend and enemy. It held,her prisoner but it was something to lean on. It had shared her travail, now she found herself luxuriating against it as sentience returned with a flood of thankfulness that she had been whipped and it was done. If she had to stand thus with her wrists strapped above her head what did it matter! Tentatively, she tried to test herself. She was positive the whip had made her outrageously wet. But her pussy was denied. She could contrive no contortion by which it might be reached:
    There was but the one way, to thrust her pelvis against her post while she curled a leg around its circumference. Her Venus mound made contact instantly, and then the soft swelling below. . ! Furtively, she looked at as much of the scene as her strapped wrists permitted. The posture she must use was obscene. But there was no one in sight. In an urgent need she did not try to analyze, she began the hip motions and the thrusts by which she would give surcease to her sex.
    Miss Ilona Paisley felt better. The climax had been explosive enough to elicit moans and cries and more sweat. She was at peace. The straps on her wrists did not hurt if she did not struggle. They were broad and snug and would accept some of her weight if she became weary enough to wish it so. She looked up at them from time to time in chagrin that two strips of leather could make her so helpless, but she never for a moment had dreams of freeing herself. She and the post were wedded by a firm bond.
    The punished girl's back and bottom were beyond her ken. Any movement told her they were tender and sensitive. She knew she would be shocked if she could see what the whip had done. But she could not see, she could not touch. Her back and bottom were for another time. Certainly she would not sleep on them! She wondered, as she had often done, about the whip. Fiction said the screaming agony went on and on.
    But it did not go on and on. It was unbelievably terrible while it lasted but slowly it faded. The shock and the trembling could outlast it. She knew this was why she and others would choose to be whipped rather than endure more lasting penances over many hours or many days. Ilona had just received the most severe whipping of her slavery, but she knew she preferred it to a week of days and nights chained in the dungeon.
    She heard the departure of the plane. Cicely's party was over. Soon now someone would come. It was a blissful thought that the straps would be,loosed and she would lower her arms and for a moment stand free. And then. .! This euphoric dream lasted her some little time before she realized it was dusk and night not far away.
    Despite herself she shuddered as a frightening loneliness descended with the dark.
    She could not get free. . there was no way she could get free.
    By the time the Texas night possessed the land Ilona was fighting panic. Cicely might sometimes be cruel but she would not do this to her slave. True, she might leave her thus for the night as an additional punishment, but there would have been a kiss and whispered girl talk before she was left alone in penance. Something was wrong, something was desperately wrong indeed! In atavistic fear she panicked, sobbing and berserk she fought the straps, she fought the post, she pealed out cry after cry for help. But at the end of it the wood remained her only friend, she leaned against it, panting, cheeks tear stained, her wrists as firmly strapped as though she had not moved. Her whipped back made its own contribution to desolation.
    Hopelessly, Ilona Paisley slipped back into her own world of unreality, the dazed and hazy place to which the whip had delivered her not long ago. In it she fitfully dozed through the night, the post and the straps giving enough support to make sleep possible. Exhausted and emotionally drained, she continued her cat naps into the morning. She had lost hope.
    "Hey, Luke, I've found her."
    The stentorian male bellow galvanized the captive into life. Ilona stood erect, her hurt wrists grateful for relief. Peering beneath the bare skin of her captive arm, she beheld Rance grinning at her nudity in lewd satisfaction. Within seconds he was joined by Luke. She could have wished other rescuers but was irradiated by thankfulness even for this unprepossessing pair. "Thank goodness." She gasped gratefully. "Thank goodness you've found me."
    "The gal's pleased ter see us, Luke. Hot damn, lookit' that back!"
    "And her ass! Hey, kid, how come?"
    "I was punished. I'd misbehaved."
    "And look at that collar on Her neck! Damn fancy. This Woods dame is quite a lady. Say, honey, ain't you ever in nothin' but grief?"
    Ilona tried to smile. "I expect it looks like that. Please undo the straps. . I'm so tired."
    "Gal's bin' tied to that post all night, Rance. No wonder we couldn't find her.'
    Betcha' that weren't no coyote last night?" He grinned at Ilona. "You do some fancy yowling, kid?"
    "I was frightened. I got in a panic. Please unfasten me. I've been here so long."
    She endured their fondling of her sex and breasts without demur. It was a small price to pay for freedom. When the straps were unbuckled from her wrists she' slid to the ground, still leaning against her refuge, massaging busily. "Thank you. I'm so grateful. I might have died." She voiced her next urgency: "Where's Miss Woods and the staff?"
    "They're O.K., lady, doin' fine."
    It sounded as though they had been in an accident and were on their way to recovery. Her next query was cut short.
    "What say we take the kid to the house, Luke. Betcha' she could use coffee and the can."
    They carried her. Not because she was weak but because she was naked.
    Laughing, they allowed her to scurry to the bathroom. When she emerged, washed and refreshed, she slipped into a frock and returned to the kitchen. Once more she felt dazed. Except for the three of them the house was empty.
    "Hey, whatcha' put that thing on for!" Luke viewed her covering with disfavour.
    "Take it off, pronto."
    Ilona was already resigned to paying for whatever these two oafs might do for her, and she knew the coin. Resignedly, she returned to nudity. The hot coffee almost made it worthwhile.
    "You're a damn beautiful woman."
    "Thank you. Where's Miss Woods and Nora and Josh?"
    "Takin' yer right to 'em, gal. How's 'bout a couple o' fried eggs?"
    She ate and drank hungrily, thankful for the rough kindness. They watched her every motion. "We ain't gonna' fuck you right off, kid. You had a rough night."
    Rance's consideration sounded sincere.
    "What yer wearin' that iron on yer neck for?"
    "I'm not wearing it, not the way you mean. It's riveted on. I can't get it off." Ilona flushed. "It's something between Miss Woods and me."
    "I bet it is!" The remark was cryptic. Luke leered. "How many times a day you eat her cat?"
    She did not answer. The food and coffee was fast returning her to life, her mind active. When Rance produced rope and ran it through his fingers while surveying her thoughtfully, she exclaimed: "You don't need that! You know you don't! Al three of us know what you're going to do with me. I'm not screaming?"
    "You'll be tied. Don't beef."
    He meant it. She could only temporize. "What, right this minute? I'm so sick of being tied. I don't see why you can't trust me?"
    "Hell, kid, we like ter' see you with them little flippers crossed behind yer back.
    Makes you look damn purty." Luke reassured. "Besides, might stop yer doin'
    somethin' foolish."
    "Have I got to get up and let you tie me right now?"
    "We'd 'preciate that, maam." Rance's politeness was mockery.
    Pouting, Ilona rose for the shame they would impose. Sullenly, she stood while her wrists were crossed and tied tighter than need be. While the cords bit at her already chafed skin she wondered, bitterly, why girls were not born with hands fastened thus. . It seemed their natural condition.
    "You still concerned 'bout Miss Woods, lady?"
    "Of course I am. Where??"
    "Even though she ironed yer neck? Seems like ter me?"
    "Never mind my collar. I like it. Where is she?"
    "Right handy. No need to fret. Come along."
    This time the bound and naked girl's trek led to the barn. Luke and Rance engaged in repartee which she ignored. Ilona's first euphoria at release from the post had been displaced by suspicion. Now, the rope on her wrists told her something most definitely was wrong. She had a terrible premonition of what it might be.
    "Just a nice friendly visit." Said Luke.
    "Everything neat and tidy, and real handy, like." Rance added.
    Two bales of hay. On one, Cicely, on the other Nora.
    Both were naked. They had been simply but ingeniously bound upon their backs, arms dragged down and forward so wrists could be tied to ankles dragged down and back. Both ties were cinched and held by a rope beneath the bale. In Nora's case her irons had been similarly disposed of beneath the tight packed hay. Their breasts were taut under stress but arrogantly displayed, their pubic hair and splayed thighs were an open invitation, a pillow had been thrust beneath each pair of hips to elevate the vulva above the lower end of the bale. They were perfectly postured for the impalement of their sex. They could not move.
    "Real cosy now we've found all three of you." Luke said warmly.
    "I hoped they'd miss you, darling." Cicely said wanly. "You'd be better off strapped to the post than in on this deal. Oh, shit!"
    "She's a nice piece of ass but damned ungrateful."
    Rance explained good naturedly. "We're doin' our best fer her but she's got a fool notion 'bout bein' untied and walkin' around."
    "Why not, you bastard?" Cicely demanded. "We're naked. We can't outrun you.
    Tying us up this way is just plain mean. It's a beastly way to tie a woman."
    "Damn handy fer us, maam."
    "Dammit', man, I've got handcuffs, I've got chains and padlocks. I've even got a dungeon. You can screw us to a fare-ye-well and still keep us prisoners without roping us into pretzels. And you don't need to gag Nora, she didn't call you anything worse than I'm likely to."
    "Still the grand lady, aincha', Miz Woods."
    "I'm not whining: if that's what you mean. You've fucked me and I know you'll fuck me again. I'm willing to look at it as simply one of those things. . I think you're crazy not to let me pay you off." Cicely was straining at the ropes in anger. Her voice still held authority.
    "We'll take what you got in the Ranch House, maam. It's 'nuff ter git us far, far away. Now we're havin' us a time with three o' the prettiest cunts I ever did see.
    When we can't git it up no more we'll breeze along."
    "How long will that be?"
    "Can't tell, lady. Never did have three cunts at one time 'afore. . ! Mebbee a week."
    "A week, tied like this! We'll be dead!"
    "Sorta' doubt that. You're real spunky. Don't worry none, maam, you'l git ter go to the bathroom and you'l git ter eat and drink. Might give yer a shot o' bourbon.
    We've sorta taken a shine to you."
    "Alright then. Put the other two somewhere safe while you have your fun with me." Cicely was vehement. "I promise I'll be a lot nicer for you if they don't get touched."
    "You'll be nice, maam. If you don't, all three of you git's your little asses whipped, but good."
    Ilona saw her darling sag. It was useless. The men held all the cards. Three females would service them in bound obedience. Help would come sometime but not soon enough. The privacy of Cicely Woods's ranch hideaway was too well respected.
    "You're passing up a million dollars." The richest girl in Texas said listlessly. "I think you're nuts."
    "You three gal's worth more'n a million, Miz Woods. Luke and me's wel satisfied."
    Ilona had expected a third bale. Instead, she was laid down on the straw and her ankles tied back to her thighs. It was a painful stress on her knees to have her heels digging into soft flesh and to have them bound there by cords that must, of necessity, be deeply indented in her skin. When the knots were tied she found herself with nothing below her knees. Her feet and legs had been taken from her as though by amputation. She lay on the straw, helpless to do other than roll around. The only help she could give her tied wrists was to lay on her side.
    "Neat and tidy." Said Rance.
    "Still needs a little something." Luke looked around.
    "Ah, this'll do!" He took the sawn off broomstick and began to whittle away at both ends. "This here's gonna' be damn cute."
    Ilona wanted to curse them but was too frightened. She watched the sharpening of the stick in trepidation, then moaned in desolate protest as one point was thrust against her flesh above one knee, and then her thighs spread far asunder to enable the opposite point to be similarly positioned. When the tension of the spread was released the broomstick held her thighs wide open, each end anchored by its puncturing of her skin. Looking down, she saw her pubic hair flaunting itself like a flag.
    "We want to fuck you we take the stick away." Luke demonstrated. A spot of blood above each knee made it easy for him to replace the spreader. Blood marked the spot. "In the meantime yer little pussy gits ter look around."
    "It hurts. . horribly."
    "That spreads her wide open, you sons of bitches," Cicely protested. There's no need of it. She's helpless anyway."
    "Shut up." Luke admonished. "We like it."
    Ilona moaned. She now had no choice but to lie on her bound arms. The obscene deployment of her lower limbs robbed her of any effective motion. The pointed stick hurt enough to make her want to cry. She watched their captors saunter from the barn, then turned to her beloved. "Oh, Cicely, you shouldn't be like that, you just shouldn't! It's so terribly wrong!"
    "What about you, sweetheart! I'm not sure you don't have it worse."
    "Well. . well, I'm. . I mean, I belong to you. I don't count. Oh, Cicely, I can't get loose! Just no way! I want to get loose so much so's I could untie you."
    "That makes three of us, pet. I'm thinking of your poor back and dear little bottom. They must be sore as hell. I feel an absolute bitch. I whipped you, but good!"
    "Darling, we can't help my back. This isn't your fault. Where's Josh?"
    "Locked in a corn crib. No help there. These bastards had things timed perfectly.
    Look, see if we can't soft soap 'em into putting us in handcuffs or chains. Being tied like this for hours and hours is murder. The sons of bitches know their knots."
    "How many times. .?"
    Cicely laughed bitterly. "Four for me, two for Nora. We must have exhausted 'em.
    They'd have fucked you by now if they'd had an erection to do it with. Gosh, sex with men is filthy!"
    "Suppose they use us so much they lose interest?"
    "That's our only hope. Sweetheart, all three of us have to use our wits and our mouths like crazy. Cut 'em down to size so they make their getaway. If and when I get loose I'll have all Texas on their trail. But by then we'l be the most screwed females in the State. . Damn and double damn!" Bitterly, she added: "We'll be lucky if we don't get pregnant."
    By noon, Ilona Paisley had been impaled twice. Cicely and Nora once more each.
    In the afternoon feminine lips and tongues had to be employed to rejuvenate male genitals. None of the females were children. They did what they must without concern for a fate worse than death. Their principal interest at the moment was in getting themselves chained instead of tied.
    "Damned if we ain't hit the mother load here!" Rance exulted after a sexual afternoon. "These gals is good."
    "Gotta' hand it to 'em, they're tryin'." Luke conceded.
    "Seein' as they'l git screwed steady tomorrow, what say we make 'em a bit more comfortable at night?"
    Three female hearts raced hopefully.
    "Shit, why not! This dame's got more stuff fer keepin' a gal' in one place than yer kin shake a stick at. No problem."
    "I'm goin' ter take the nigger wench ter bed with me. She got muscles in her cunt like yer wouldn't believe. I'll keep her well cinched. Look, Rance, I got me an idea.
    How's about we give her majesty the sort of a whippin' she give the one with the collar? I mean, make a big deal out of it tomorrow with the other two watching. It'll perk our pricks up, and she won't be so sassy after."
    "Hot damn, you got an idea. Luke, that's a humdinger, I like it." Rance slapped his thigh in glee. "Give her ladyship something to think on."
    "Could whip one of 'em every day fer that matter. But the gal' with the collar ain't got much free space."
    "Can always whip her cunt. Always bin curious 'bout whippin' a gal's cunt? You know them books. .!"
    "Shit, man, we whip's any part o' 'em we gits a notion to. They ain't got nothin'
    ter say 'bout it. Good idea this, ter talk 'bout it. Git's their attention."
    "Why d'you have to punish us when we're doing everything you tell us to already?"
    Ilona demanded.
    "Ain't punishment, lady It's just good honest fun."
    "It's good honest agony for the girl."
    "Ain't she sweet, now! Speaks right out. 'Spose yer can't blame 'em not wantin' ter git their pelt striped."
    "Look, boys, here's a sensible idea." Cicely's voice still held its ring. "We'll give you the best time you've even dreamed about if you drop the rope and drop the whip.
    Chain all three of us together? we can't run that way. At night lock the chain to anything handy so we stay put. You'll have girls with a bit of life in 'em. The way you're telling it we'll all be half dead."
    "Dammit', maam, I like you. You sure do try. I'm a lookin' forward to that whippin' you're goin' ter git."
    For the girls it was an impasse, for the men it was the most powerful moment of their lives. Their authority over the triple nudities was absolute. Throughout the afternoon they used their sexual facilities as the mood took them. When night came Nora was taken away to serve her masters elsewhere. Ilona and Cicely found themselves under an intense and amused scrutiny.
    "Time for pee-pee and supper, ladies."
    Handcuffed wrists, handcuffed ankles! Luke and Rance carried a girl each to the house. There were no struggles, no protests. What was the use! In any case it felt good to be free of the punishing immobility of the barn and the orgasms they had yielded there in shame.
    "Let us sleep properly in a bed tonight. . Please!" Supper was done. Dual handcuffs had impeded them but little. Cicely gave her plea everything she had.
    "You aimin' ter sleep together or eat together, maam?"
    "Can't we forget sex for a moment? You're going to half kill me tomorrow at that whipping post. Let me sleep tonight?"
    "Gal's got a point, Luke. Her ass'll wiggle better under the whip fer a night's sleep.
    But nix on the bed."
    They were carried back to the barn.
    "I suppose we'd better feel grateful, darling." Cicely's cuffed hands were fingering the chain and padlock round her neck. "I think the bastards figure they're being kind." She shrugged dolefully. "Hell, maybe they are."
    Ilona's collar had been put to good use. It, too, trailed a chain and padlock.
    Bitterly, she saw its anchoring lock would keep her from touching her love. Each of them were attached to one of the barn's vertical timbers. "I suppose the handcuffs don't matter much." She mused ruefully. "We aren't going anywhere."
    "With this hardware on our necks they didn't need to cuff our ankles." Cicely sniffed. "And the only reason they make us sleep here on the straw is to rub my nose in the dirt." She sniffed again. "We could figure on being chained apart. No way they's let us get at each other? the sons of bitches!"
    "Do we want to?" Ilona mourned. "After what they've done to us. Oh, Cicely. .!"
    "Of course we want to, pet. But that's beside the point."
    Cicely was still testing the new restraints by which she was made prisoner. "I asked for chains." She confessed bitterly. "So I suppose I can't complain. Two things to do, sweetheart, sleep and watch for chances."
    "They mustn't whip you tomorrow, Cicely. They mustn't!"
    "How we going to stop 'em!" Cicely paused. "Darling. . being whipped like that. .? It's damn awful, isn't it?"
    "It's unimaginable. A girl can't bear it." Realization hit Ilona like a bomb.
    "Dearest, you've never been whipped, have you? Not ever in your life? Oh, Cicely. .!"
    " 'Fraid not, Pet. I don't expect to enjoy it, or be the noble heroine. They'l make you watch, and I'll disgrace myself."
    They sat on the straw, chained, prisoners of the padlocks, looking at each other in dolor. Surveying the morrow, and the next day and the next. .! Unhappily they slept.
    Sometime in the night a gentle hand shook Ilona awake. She sat up, startled and afraid. Smiling at her in the gloom was a face she could not believe.
    It was Susan Carmody.

Chapter Nine

Ironed Ecstasy.

    "I can't help feeling ashamed of myself." Ilona Paisley observed ruefully. "I mean. . well, look at me. My hands tied behind my back. . and this collar! It won't come off, not ever. It's terribly revealing, about me."
    "It's darling. You look sweet with it on your neck." Susan said firmly. "I'm going to ask her to rivet one on me." She sighed ecstatically. "Isn't Cicely just super! She does everything so absolutely right."
    "Mmmmmmm. . yes, she's? oh, I don't have words. ." Ilona gazed up lovingly at the eager young face that could not go away. "She's loaned us our? I mean, her bed, so we can talk for the afternoon, and she's left us free enough to do what we like."
    Susan giggled. "I'm more free than you are, Mistress. You've got the collar and chain to that ring in the floor and your right ankle is handcuffed to my left."
    "That's not so bad." Ilona sighed. "You can't run away."
    "As if I'd want to!" Susan sighed dreamily. "I'm going to eat you some more in a minute." She rattled their handcuff happily. "I can't stop thinking how lucky we were.
    That split link. . jeepers!"
    "I never got the rights of that." Ilona admitted. "And I don't think you should call me Mistress any more, Mistresses don't wear collars, not iron one's."
    "Well, never mind." Susan used a free hand to caress the two nipples pointing up at her from the bed. "I think you're gorgeous, and the split link is a dohickey you screw up or down so you can splice a chain or take it apart. They're supposed to be tight but this one wasn't, I could screw it with my fingers. I discovered it the second day, but I was really naughty. I didn't let on. I kept it for emergencies. I have to be punished, of course."
    "Damn the punishment, you saved our lives."
    "It was awful, wondering what was wrong and what I ought to do. I felt so guilty setting myself free. Cicely's so adorable. I knew about the blacksmith shop, so I picked up those bolt cutters." Susan stuck out a tantalizing tongue. "Darling Mistress, how'd it be if I untie your hands, I do so want them?"
    "I want them too. But, no, we'd both be punished."
    "I could tie you again before Cicely came?"
    "The only reason they're tied is to tempt us." Ilona laughed. "No, leave 'em be.
    They don't really stop me doing anything I want."
    "I'm glad those men won't die. I thought Cicely was going to kill them when she went for the gun? she should have killed them but there'd have been such a fuss."
    Susan mused happily. "We're all so terribly lucky."
    It was true. Ilona looked up in adoration. She wished her hands weren't tied. She longed to hold Susan's vivid nakedness in her arms and squeeze it tight. But she would not complain, they had it good. Still puzzled, she asked:
    "And Cicely bought you when she bought me. . and kept you hidden?"
    "Not really, Ilona dear." Susan grimaced. "We wondered if we should tell you, but I guess it's best. I got sent to the brothel."
    "You! Oh, Susan darling. . !"
    "Well, don't take on too badly, beautiful Mistress. I refused to let it get to me. If I couldn't stop men sticking their ugly damn things in me I'd just pretend it wasn't happening. Darling, all sorts of men fucked me but I never once climaxed."
    The girl was glowingly immaculate, eternally virgin, radiant. Ilona thrust from her own consciousness thought that Susan's plump neat cunt had been pierced by other than a female tongue. Her shining bush of pubic hair and the pouting lips below remained unsullied, they enticed her now. But there were still questions: "Then how. . How did you get here?"
    Susan giggled. "When Cicely discovered how much you and I were fond of each other she thought I'd be a useful hostage to make you behave. But after she'd fallen in love with you she decided to give me to you as a present? but even then. . !"
    Susan shrugged and gave her pixie grin. "That's where we are now, darling. Don't let's worry about it. Poor dear Cicely will have to sort us out. She's so wonderful, and I'm so grateful to her for buying me. She paid the most awfully huge sum of money?
    Gosh, all that for just a girl!"
    "You're not just a girl. You're Susan, you're special."
    "Mmmmm, that's what I mean about us all being lucky." Susan's face clouded.
    "Poor 'Tonia and Griselda, they're still in the brothel. They hated it so much, and they'l never, never be able to escape. Do you think Cicely would buy them too? I've been afraid to ask."
    "She won't punish you for asking. Susan, tell me about. . that place. I know it's morbid, but I want to know what I missed."
    "I don't know much about it, only the place where we were imprisoned and the things we had to do. They whipped us horribly if we didn't behave. It wasn't a nice sort of whipping to make a girl's pussy excited, it simply made you want to curl up and die. Poor 'Tonia, they had to whip her something awful and tied her down before she'd let a man get inside her."
    Ilona could envision it, seeing herself in similar plight, fighting hopelessly the female fight before conceding victory to the whip and lying passively with open legs and surrendered sex. In vivid sympathy she asked: "Did she adjust? Did it become bearable for her?"
    "No. They weren't a bit pleased with her. They'd probably sell her real cheap."
    "But how did you know??"
    Susan laughed. "Oh, it was all very well set up. We were kept in a row of cells, one girl to a cage. The walls were mostly stone, but the one to the passage was all bars and a bit of each sidewall was bars too so the girls could talk and see each other. They figured we'd perform better if we weren't isolated, we'd be happier. They threatened us with a solitary cell but Griselda and I never gave 'em an excuse to put us in there." Susan chuckled. "I'm afraid we weren't a bit respectable. We did what we were told."
    "You were just locked up, otherwise free?"
    "Gosh, no! The door wasn't even locked? except at night after the last customer had gone. Every girl was chained some way to the wall. Her wrist, her neck, her waist or her ankle. The chain didn't have to be all that long to give us the run of the cell but it was never long enough to let us get to the door. When a customer came we had to kneel down and bow our heads until he told us what he wanted. My chain was on my wrist. I suppose you'd call it a shackle. Anyhow, there was no way I could get out of it, they locked it tight. Griselda's was on her neck, sort of like you are now, darling, 'cept her collar wasn't as pussy perking as your's. It was just a round ring, but there was no way she was going to get out of that either. Poor 'Tonia, they put all four chains on her just to show who was boss."
    "Always naked, I suppose?"
    "No, they had a cute little trick they played on the customers. We had to wear panties. But after he'd told us what he wanted we got up and first thing took the panties off." Susan laughed at the memory. "Oh, darling, you should have seen the way their eyes bugged. I think a girl could conquer the world with her pubic hair? if she was free."
    In silence, they contemplated the improbable. It was Susan who eventually voiced their deepest concern:
    "Mistress. . darling, everything's so wonderful, but what about you and me?"
    Ilona grinned ruefully. "I don't think you should call me Mistress any more. Right now, the way I'm tied, you're closer to being my Mistress than I your's."
    "Mmmmm, isn't it nice!" Susan thrust her knee hard within the heated cleft between Ilona's thighs, her fingers teased Ilona's nipples. "I could do anything I like with you. In a minute I will."
    "I never was a very good Mistress, was I."
    "You were terribly sweet and terribly lost. Wouldn't you like to go back to being the stern publisher with me nicely chained up to come home to every evening? Cicely would let you go, Wouldn't she?"
    "I can't think straight while you play with my nips like that." Ilona complained happily "And, no, Cicely won't let me go."
    "Oh alright then." The wicked young fingertips fell away from the hard buds they had created. "But have you asked her?"
    "No."
    Susan bent and kissed two willing lips. "You don't want to be free, do you? You want to belong to Cicely, same as I want to?"
    "Yes."
    "Poor darling!" Susan chuckled gleefully. "'Cept for our ages you're just the same as me. Way underneath somewhere you always were." She grinned ruefully.
    "Trouble is we're going to feel awful silly being slavegirls together. I'll probably love it, but it's awkward for you. You and Cicely have a love affair going. I think you'd better both be my Mistresses. You two can do what you like but if you both whip me a little every day and keep me nicely tied we'd have a really groovy thing going."
    "Susan, you're impossible?!"
    "You're both impossible." Cicely had walked in unobserved, complete with jodhpurs, white silk shirt and whip. "I've been listening outside the door to the two of you making mountains out of molehills. The answer to the whole thing is simple.
    There's no way I'll let you loose. You both belong to me. Anytime you feel awkward or silly, just tell me and I'll thrash it out of you. Understood?"
    "Yeeees, . Mistress."
    "Susan, untie her hands. That bit of rope was to tempt you." Cicely, in quiet control, watched the tugging of cord. When she spoke again her voice was crisp. "I did a bit of thinking while those two bastards were doing what they did to us. I thought damn hard about that whipping they promised me. I've never been whipped." She took a deep breath. "You are going to whip me now."
    The impossible: The exquisite: A feast of lust: A cruel beauty: A breathtaking tenderness of love. . ! Ilona's mind was in turmoil. Her limbs were free but they obeyed a will stronger than her own. The collar riveted on her neck was her only bond. She viewed what her eyes beheld as a picture of herself. She was one with Cicely, her alter-ego.
    Susan understood. Susan was infinitely wise. Cicely was as though drugged, her eyes alight with a vision of her own, her naked loveliness passive to the will of nymphet mischief. Ilona believed she herself could not have obeyed. But Susan could obey. Susan understood. Susan would whip her Mistress in a joy of sharing an ultimate quintessence of emotion.
    Ilona watched a tumescent dream of beauty as naked arms were raised and female wrists strapped tight, her mind echoing Cicely's last words: "You are both free, darlings. Whip me. Then leave me tied naked to the post. Do what you like. Do anything. Ilona, if you order Josh to strike the collar from your neck he will do so."
    The cringe and the wince, but also the flare of concupiscence at the sound of thong on female flesh and sight of a red line springing into glorious life on virgin skin. The richest girl in Texas had never been whipped, never, never, never. But she was being whipped now. The soft planes of her back, her curvaceous derriere, the round softness of her thighs were offering themselves as the strapped bare arms raised to receive the benediction of the Post. The richest girl in Texas absorbed her pain with no more than a long in-drawn breath.
    Susan was a vision of youth, her poised nudity, the long sweep of arm, the twist of hips as she pivoted on the ball of one bare foot to make the air sing to the knifing of her leather lash. Her features were alight, eyes sparkling, intent and entranced.
    There could be no doubting the rapport between the whipper and the whipped.
    The screams were long in coming. They were preceded by feminine sounds and feminine motions Ilona recognized though they were her own. Cicely was not being heroic, she was a woman walking slowly into a strange land, her steps punctuated by the whine and impact of the whip across her back, her bottom or her thighs.
    Sometimes there was the creaking of the straps as her hands sought to escape the security of the tight leather bands. When she began to respond with screams they were not of panic nor of terror, they were a contralto of acknowledgement, of an emotion long deferred, of proud fulfilment.
    The lovely legs were passive under Susan's hands, separating themselves under the small slaps of admonition. Cicely could scarcely doubt the intent of this opening of her thighs, but she gave no sign and made no sound of protest as it was done to her.
    When the whip cut within the cleft thus formed her scream had a new quality of exultation, her feet remained wide apart to receive what Susan chose to give. Ilona watched the forming of the weals, agonizing but fascinated, her love welling to adoration for a woman whose chosen immolation was a gift to the two who were free.
    Five strokes within the open sex of a Mistress no longer a Mistress. Five cries of sexual agony. The madly working hips and loins of orgasm. Susan reached within the cleft and palmed below the thrusting Venus mound. Her hand came away slimed and glistening. She showed it joyously to the girl who watched, then raised it to captive lips. The woman who had been a Mistress licked it dry and whispered:
    "Don't stop, Susan, I've not been whipped enough." As though in reassurance she added: "Darling, I love you."
    The lash etched its most vivid stripe on captive skin. They left their Mistress strapped to the post. Cicely said no word and made no sign when Susan said, with finality:
    "That's enough. I won't whip her any more, Ilona. She's a darling, she's marvellous."
    They walked away and left the sweat bedewed nudity of their love to her dreams and her pain. Both girls had been so often whipped they knew their Mistress's agony past and done. She would be alone now with tenderness, memory, and perhaps humility. It did not matter.
    "The bedroom!" Ilona whispered urgently. "We should be ashamed but we're both horny. I'm ready to burst."
    They scrambled for the sheets. But Ilona paused. "Lock the chain to my collar."
    She demanded urgently. "It wouldn't feel right?"
    Susan clicked the padlock. When their successive explosions had exhausted them into whisperings she asked, impishly: "Darling one time Mistress, d'you realize I own you both? I've got you. You're both helpless."
    "Keep us, Susan. Would it give you pleasure?"
    "Of course it would, silly, I'd love it. I'd be so mean. But it wouldn't last. I'm a slavegirl. I'd let you loose and ask for my punishment in a couple of hours or a couple of days." She grinned her pixie grin. "Ilona dear, if I ever give way to such temptations please make sure I'm terribly punished."
    "You'll be punished quite enough." Ilona chided. "Cicely and I both know you adore it."
    "As long as it's you two. I don't want to be punished by Josh or Nora. Darling, I still have to be punished for that loose link in my chain, the one I kept secret." Susan sighed. "I know it turned out for the best all round but just the same I was guilty."
    "And you've got another wet pussy just thinking about it."
    Susan made a moue of apology. "I've always got a wet pussy. I'm just plain bad.
    I'm going to have you here safely chained and go and whip Cicely some more?"
    "Don't you dare!" Ilona sat upright, eyes blazing, her chain pendent between her breasts.
    Susan clapped her hands in delight. "See how helpless you are! You can't stop me."
    Ilona tugged at her chain in disgust. "Damn. . and I asked for this myself!
    Look, Susan, if you want to whip a girl whip me."
    Carnality possessed them in a jumble of female arms and legs and thrusting mounds after Ilona's chain had fallen to the floor under Susan's key. Sheepish and sweating they eyed each other guiltily. "And poor darling Cicely's out there strapped to that damn post" Ilona mourned. "And look at us!"
    "Don't fret." Susan chided, "She knows what we're doing. I think I should be whipped next, then you can make her happy between her legs while I stay strapped to the post."
    "Stop exciting yourself, you little mink." Ilona's voice turned thoughtful. "We've got some decisions, y'know. Or have you forgotten?" She held up unfettered hands.
    "We're both free."
    "Maybe you've got a decision." Susan said vehemently, "But I haven't. When we unstrap Cicely I'm going to insist on being punished. Once I'm strapped to that post it's the end of my freedom." Her eyes sparkled. "I've never been whipped at that post: I've got a thing about it."
    "But, Susan, she won't feel like?!"
    "You can whip me then. Promise?"
    "Oh alright. I'll probably be out of patience enough to enjoy it. The way you carry on. . !"
    "None of your playful pats, Ilona dear. Hard, so it hurts?"
    "Yes, Susan, I'll whip you harder than you want. Now stop nagging."
    Happy in their love they went downstairs and out into the sunlight. But as they approached the white figure at the whipping post their mood changed, the weals on the white skin reached out and touched their hearts, the lovely nudity was pressed hard against the wood in the seeking of a solace Ilona remembered all too well. For a minute they stood in reverence, breathless before beauty. Then Ilona took Susan by the arm and led her away. They trod silently. Cicely appeared to have been unaware of their proximity.
    Once out of earshot, Susan whispered: "But, darling, we're not going to just leave her like that? What are we going to do?" She sighed in exasperation. "This being free is for the birds. . no end to lousy decisions."
    "You've enjoyed it this far."
    "Well, yes. . But what now!"
    "I'll think of something." Said Ilona quietly. "Come along."
    Josh was flattered, he was intrigued, he was curious. But he was not alone in his smithy. Nora, her feet still heavily ironed, clanked inhibited steps to greet them with open arms. "You're free." She exulted. "And you've come to get rid of your collar.
    She told me what she was going to do. She's one strange wonderful lady and she loves you like crazy. The Whipping she's just taken is her way of telling you." Nora looked down woefully at her captive feet, lifting a heavily laden ankle to extract a metallic response from the cruel links. "I've still got these. Looks like I'll wear 'em the rest of my life."
    "Josh, I want you to strike those irons off Nora's feet."
    Ilona's order was incisive.
    "Ah can't do it, Miz Paisley. Ah takes mah orders offen the Boss Lady."
    "You're going to take the collar from my neck?"
    "She tell me to. That O.K."
    "Josh, take those irons off Nora and I'll let you fuck me. You've been wanting to ever since I came."
    Josh beamed. "Sho' 'nuff, Miz Paisley, fuckin' yo' 'ud be a real pleasuring fer me.
    But no way! If I dared take them irons off Nora I'd have had 'em off afore now."
    "And you can fuck me too, Josh dear." Susan's voice was the cooing of doves, the siren song of man's undoing. She thrust her nakedness hard against the sweating male and hugged him hard. It was a deployment of female weaponry against which Josh had no defence.
    "S'posin' ah knocks off them irons? Mebbee yo' just laugh yo' heads off?" He temporized doubtfully.
    Susan kicked and tossed and spread a couple of jute sacks on the smithy floor.
    Blatantly laying on them she opened her legs wide. "Me now, Ilona after you've done the job. Fair enough?"
    It was fair enough. Fumbling at his pants, the ranch handy-man stepped forward to claim his prize.
    Ilona wanted to giggle. Josh in shirt-tail, busily thrusting, was purely ludicrous. He would be ludicrous when he impaled her too. It did not matter, it was the only way to look at male compulsion to plant sperm. Laugh! Obeying her signal, Nora placed the box, sat on it and lifted a shackled ankle to the anvil. Josh, sweating and proud, sought tools. When the clanging and the clatter was done and Nora stood free, the former Miss Ilona Paisley of Paisley Publications took her place upon the sacks, still warm from Susan's heat, spread herself to outrageously expose her sex, and invited a glowing and enraptured coloured man to the carnal enjoyment of her cunt.
    "Yo' ladies sure is somethin'." Josh, sweating and proud, surveyed his trio of nudities. "Yo' all do me the honor o' takin' a little drink?"
    They did him the honor. They shared his pride. If the glasses were a little soiled what did it matter! They all downed doubles.
    "And now I strikes off yer collar, Miz Paisley." Josh shook his head regretfully.
    "Sho' do look pretty on yo'."
    "Don't bother, Josh. I'm wearing it for always."
    Silence held the smithy like a vice. Ilona was the focus of three pairs of startled eyes. Josh was puzzled. "Boss Lady say yo' go free, Miz Paisley? I takes off collar?"
    "I don't want to go free, Josh." Ilona spoke with the strength of decision. "I don't want to lose my collar, I've got used to it. It's a lovely collar."
    "Why, thank yo', Miz Paisley. Ah sho' does?"
    "Now I want you to rivet a similar collar on Susan." The new silence might have lasted forever had it not been for Susan's breathless: "Oh, darling. . darling. .
    darling!"
    Josh was an artist in iron. Fascinated, the three girls watched his skill fashion the heavy ring Susan might wear throughout her life. When the time came for the girl to place her neck within the iron and bow to the anvil as a tribute to lost liberty there was a reverent hush before the splat of hammer on rivet pealed its message of finality.
    Susan rose to her feet, dazed with happiness, her fingers busy at her neck.
    Impetuously, she hugged and kissed her audience of three. In Ilona's ear she whispered: "Its made me horny, I've never been so horny in my life?!"
    Ilona patted the glowing cheek and kissed the eager lips.
    "You'll have to wait." She said crisply. "I'm not finished with you." She turned to a worshipful Josh: "Now iron her feet."
    One a moment of shock. Then Nora's agonized plea. "Not these awful things?
    not on Susan! Oh, please?"
    "Them mighty heavy for little gal', Miz Paisley. Yo' don' want her draggin' her pretty ass? I got me a set??"
    Ilona was relieved. The discarded shackles were too brutal for Susan's girlishness.
    Those Josh now held for inspection were a perfect compromise, they would never allow Susan to ignore them. She nodded approval.
    "Oh, darling, thank you, thank you!" Sitting on the box, a naked Susan watched the hammer fetter her ankles for life. Her eyes were sparkling. "Ohhhh. . I'm going to make such lovely sounds when I walk."
    They laughed with her at the first experimental steps and her shock at unexpected weight. But Ilona was wasting no time. Her command to Josh was stem. "Now mine." She took her place on the box. "The same as you've put on Susan will do fine for me too."
    Back outdoors, Susan giggled while Ilona tested the surprising weight of her chosen footwear. But Nora was perturbed.
    "You two's got yourselves fixed but good." She wailed.
    "But what am I supposed to do?"
    "I'm sure Josh would rivet your irons back on," said Susan archly.
    "I'll ask Cicely to have him drive you to town." Ilona decided.
    "You're not in much of a position to ask anything, Miss Paisley."
    They clinked their newly shackled steps back to the post. Without a word the straps were loosed from tired wrists. Cicely Woods turned her wealed nudity to survey a sheepish feminine trio who knew not what to say. She said it for them, crisply.
    "You are quite ridiculous."
    "Yes, Mistress."
    "Nora, why are you free?"
    "I don't rightly know, Miss."
    "Go back to Josh and have him iron you again. Hurry." With surprising alacrity the maid vanished. Cicely focused on the two chained nudities. Her voice was quietly pensive. "I've been whipped, and I'm glad. It hasn't changed me. A dozen whippings

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