This story is a sequel to the Want Ad/Palmistry/Therapy series. You needn’t have read the others to know what’s going on in this one and the only character common to the others is the main character, Bob. Reading the others will, however, give you some insight into who Bob is and why he’s doing what he’s doing.
There was something wrong with this picture. The woman standing on the street corner was wearing a navy blue dress which hung just below her knees, navy blue hose, and medium heels. Her blond hair was freshly permed, and just barely brushed her shoulders. She stood stiffly erect with her feet together and her eyes cast down. Her hands were clasped behind her and the handcuffs which restrained them looked huge on her slender wrists.
It wasn’t the sight of a woman standing on the corner in handcuffs that was odd. It was common to see hookers being arrested on the avenue. What was odd was that this woman didn’t look like a hooker. The hookers who worked the avenue were universally unattractive. They plied their trade on the avenue because is it was the only place they could find customers who were desperate enough to pay for their services.
The only attractive hookers on the avenue were police decoys. Everyone knew this except the Johns, who were even dumber than the hookers. When the police would run their occasional decoy operations, a guy could be getting arrested twenty feet away and another would walk right up to the decoy, make a solicitation, and be arrested himself. They didn’t want to be seen with a hooker and thought they could achieve this end by not seeing anything themselves.
I drove the avenue every day on my way to and from work and knew most of the regular hookers by sight. I would see one of the hookers being arrested every once in a while. The ladies all knew the drill and when arrested would usually lean, handcuffed, against a tree or utility pole or sometimes just sit on the curb while waiting for the paddy wagon. If they were on drugs, they would fidget continuously. One or two cops would stand nearby, bored and likewise waiting for the wagon.
That’s what was wrong with the scene on the corner. This woman was attractive--not gorgeous, just pretty much normal looking. Her clothing was conservative, not provocative, and clean. I had never seen her before. She stood erect and unmoving, looking like nothing so much as a middle class housewife. A plain clothes officer stood next to her. Such women normally wouldn’t be seen on the avenue. What was she doing there? Why had she been arrested?
I was on my way to the bank to make the day’s deposit. After I finished, I drove by the corner again. The woman was not in sight, but a paddy wagon was parked at the curb. I assumed she was locked inside.
I drove on home. The scene on the street corner was just something I had glimpsed while driving by, but I couldn’t get the woman out of my head. I wondered if she had turned to prostitution to get herself out of some financial bind, but it didn’t make sense. Why the avenue? She could make more money with less hassle from the cops by working the hotels. Not only that, the avenue was dangerous. More than one of the girls who worked there had been fished out of the river minus a limb or two. The girls on the avenue were there because they had run out of options. This woman’s dress and general demeanor indicated resources unavailable to the usual avenue hooker.
I watched the sidewalks every day for the next couple of weeks, hoping to see her again. When the avenue girls were busted, they’d be back on the street in the next day or two, so I thought there was some chance of spotting her.
Although I drove the avenue every day and was familiar with all the regulars, I had never actually talked to any of the hookers. They were not ones such as would inspire lust, and while I had sympathy for their plight, I wanted nothing to do with them. This woman was different. There was something about her. The street corner tableaux had burned itself into my brain and the unknown woman had become the main character in my erotic fantasies. I wondered what I would do if I actually saw her again. Would I stop and talk to her? Perhaps inquire as to her price?
About a month later I was buying a loaf of bread. I was in the checkout line behind a woman with a full cart who had apparently noticed my single item.
“Would you like to go in front of me?”
I pulled my head out of the clouds and looked to see who was talking to me. It was her. I stared.
“Do I know you?” she asked. It was clear that I recognized her, but she couldn’t place me.
“We’ve never met, but I’ve seen you before.”
“On the avenue at 14th street. You were wearing handcuffs at the time.”
She turned bright red, wheeled her cart about, and got in the farthest checkout line. “Wait...,” I called. She ignored me.
“Well, you really blew that one,” I told myself. I thought about following her, but that would be stupid. I would only dig myself deeper into her bad graces by trying to force contact. I could only hope that fortune would provide me with a future occasion.
Her departure had left me next in the check out line, whereas she was now at the end of another line. It would be a while before she came out. I paid for my bread and left.
I decided to increase the odds of a future encounter by finding out where she lived. I sat in my car and waited. My back was to the store and I watched the door in the mirror. It was a full fifteen minutes before she emerged. I watched as she pushed her cart full of sacks along the front of the building toward the edge of the lot. Even though there were a lot of cars in the lot and people coming and going, I didn’t want to chance drawing her attention by starting my engine. I would wait until she was occupied starting her own.
As she neared the edge of the parking lot, rather than turning toward the last row of parked cars, she pushed her cart onto the sidewalk and disappeared around the corner of the building. For a moment I was surprised that she hadn’t parked in the lot, then I realized there was no parking on the street. She hadn’t come in a car. She was on foot. Damn. There was no inconspicuous way to follow a pedestrian in a car. I would either have to drive past her multiple times or park and watch until she turned a corner, then move to a new vantage point. I headed home.
I had learned a couple of things. She apparently didn’t have a car. Pushing a cart as full as hers over the rough sidewalks in this area is not something you would do if you had other options, although I suppose her car could have been in the shop. The other thing I learned was that she lived nearby. There had been ice cream in her cart and it was a warm day, so she wasn’t going too far. Since she had been pushing the cart north on the west side of the building, it was also reasonable to assume she lived to the north and west.
I wondered if she had a family. I hadn’t paid all that much attention to the stuff in her cart, but hadn’t seen anything that would specifically indicate children. Nevertheless, the quantity of stuff she had purchased indicated she was shopping for more than one.
As I drove home, I started thinking about the shopping cart. Although I knew almost nothing about this woman, I had a feeling she wasn’t someone who would steal a shopping cart. I drove back to the store and parked on a side street about two blocks north of the store. About ten minutes later, I saw her in my rear view mirror, pushing the empty cart back toward the store. She walked right by me and I wished I had been wearing a hat to pull down over my face. I didn’t want her to catch me spying on her. My concern was unwarranted. She passed by without a glance. I’m not even sure she knew I was there.
This was unusual behavior for someone who lived near the avenue. Most of the women I knew made sure they knew who was around them and some made a point of making eye contact with anyone they felt might be threatening. Nevertheless, it made a consistent package. Being oblivious to her surroundings and returning the shopping cart seemed to fit together. She hadn’t been here long.
After she was out of sight, I moved the car. I was on a street just east of the one running north from the store and had by chance parked on the street she lived on, but hadn’t seen what house she came out of. I parked at the other end of the block and awaited her return.
After a bit, I saw her turn onto the street where I was parked and walk toward me. About half way down the block, she entered a small bungalow.
I waited a few minutes, then drove past the house and returned home. I hadn’t seen anything in the yard or on the porch that told me anything.
When I got home, I looked up the address in the cross reference. The name attached to that address was Gregory Silva. I called the phone number listed with the address.
“May I speak to Gregory?”
“I’m sorry, he doesn’t live here.” It sounded like her voice, but I couldn’t be sure. She had only spoken a few words to me.
“Is this 1824 Spruce?”
“Yes, but he doesn’t live here.”
“Where can I find him?”
“I don’t know. He lives out of state, but I don’t have his number.”
“Okay, thanks. Sorry to bother you.”
I’m not sure what I would have done if Gregory had answered. Probably told him he’d been specially chosen to win a trip to Cancun and all he had to pay for were the airline tickets, meals, tips, and hotel room.
I had thought about trying to keep her on the phone in the hopes of getting a conversation going, but decided to cut it short. I didn’t want her to be able to recognize my voice if I encountered her again.
Gregory may have moved out of state, but it was curious that his listed telephone number still rang at his listed address.
I decided it was time to stop being obsessive and return to real life. I went out to mow the lawn. After I finished, I showered, brought the mail in, sorted the bills by due date, and tossed the junk mail in the trash. Even from the trash I could still hear it screaming: Urgent! Dated Material, Open Immediately! I ignored the clamor and put my loaf of bread to use, making a sandwich. I got a beer from the fridge and sat down to eat.
I hadn’t even taken a bite of my sandwich when the doorbell rang. I got up and headed for the front door, carrying my sandwich in one hand so it would be obvious to whomever it was that he had interrupted my lunch.
My jaw dropped and I nearly dropped my sandwich. She was standing on my porch, right in front of me. I managed to gather my wits quickly enough to get the first word in.
“Would you like some lunch?” I asked, proffering the sandwich.
“No, thank you.”
“Would you like to come in?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Would you like to go out?”
“Well, what do you want?”
My little twenty questions game was carried out almost by reflex. If I had had more time to think, I would have asked her questions that would have had her agreeing with me. Nevertheless, I had gained some psychological advantage. I had her answering questions and now she would have to say whatever it was that she came to say in response to my demand for an explanation of her presence.
“I want to know why you’re stalking me.”
Was I stalking her? I had maybe an hour total invested in today’s activities. That hardly qualified as stalking, although it was the result of several weeks of obsessing about her.
“And how do you come to the conclusion that you’re being stalked?” I wanted to know more about where she was coming from and what she wanted. The way she had phrased her question struck me as odd. She hadn’t demanded that I stop, she just wanted to know why, but I’m sure a demand to cease and desist was next on the agenda. I would have to see if I could deflect her before she got that far.
“You got behind me in line at the grocery store, you followed me home, you know my address and phone number. How long have you been following me?”
That helped. She didn’t realize the store was a chance encounter. Apparently she had seen me when I’d watched her from the car, and also recognized my voice on the phone. I’d been wrong about her not being aware of her surroundings. She was, if anything, more aware than average. On the other hand, I’d been right about her taking the cart back, so at least some of my speculations about her had been correct.
I wasn’t surprised that she had found me. I hadn’t bothered to block my number when I’d called hers and I was in the phone book. Given that she’d recognized my voice, it wasn’t surprising that she’d located me. I was surprised to find her here on my doorstep. She was right here, talking to me. I had to somehow take advantage of this opportunity. I had to make her want to see me again after she left. It probably wasn’t going to be easy.
“That’s going to take a bit of explanation. Are you sure you wouldn’t like to come in?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“In that case, let’s sit here on the porch. Would you like something to drink?”
“No, thank you.”
I wasn’t being too successful at laying obligations on her, although I did get her to sit. I cast about for another tactic. How had she gotten here? I looked about and spotted the bicycle leaning against the tree next to the curb.
“Before we go any further, we’d better get your bike up on the porch. It’s not safe where it is.”
“Nobody would take it while we’re watching.”
“You’re not from around here, are you?” I headed down the steps to get the bike. I leaned it against the wall behind me and sat down at the table across from her. I now had control of her transportation.
“No. I just moved here about a month ago.”
“And what brings you here?”
“Divorce. I had to have a cheaper place to stay. You still haven’t answered my question.”
“When did you first become aware that you were being stalked?”
“And how long do you think it’s been going on?”
“You said you saw me arrested. You must have been following me then if you saw that.”
“So you think I’ve been watching you for weeks?”
“Well, yes. You know my address and phone number, when I go to the store...everything.”
“There is one thing I don’t know. I don’t know your name.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“It’s true. I have no idea what your name is. Since your phone is listed to some guy named Silva, I could speculate that your last name is Silva, but I could be wrong.”
“I have even less idea what your first name is. What is your name?”
“I don’t think I want to say.”
“Well, at least tell me your first name. It can’t hurt. If I’m lying, I already know. If I’m not, then things are not what you think. You know my name, don’t you?”
“Alright. It’s Rachel; but I won’t tell you my last name.”
“That’s okay. At least I know what to call you. Now, let me tell you how my interest in you came about. Then you can do some explaining of your own.”
“What do you mean?”
“We’ll get to that, but first let me give you some background.” I explained that it was just by chance that I had witnessed her arrest, and only about 30 seconds of it at that, and how it had drawn my interest because it struck me as so unusual. I told her I had forgotten about the whole thing (which wasn’t true) until I had by chance found myself behind her in line at the store. Even then, I probably wouldn’t have noticed if she hadn’t spoken to me. Her reaction to my telling her that I’d seen her in handcuffs piqued my curiosity even further. I had to know more about her, how she had come to be arrested, etc.
“You mean you’ve only seen me once before today?”
“That’s exactly what I’m telling you. Until today, all I’d seen of you was a passing glimpse of your arrest. You’re more observant than average, yet you never saw me before today. Surely you’d have noticed me before if I was stalking you.”
“But you followed me home.”
“Exactly. If I’d been following you all these weeks, wouldn’t I already know where you lived? I wanted to meet you, but didn’t know if I’d ever even see you again. I thought that if I knew where you lived, I could improve the odds.”
“So you saw me in handcuffs and wanted to meet me.”
“I’ll admit being attracted to women in handcuffs, but there was more to it than that. Your reaction when I mentioned it at the store was what really got me going. You became a mysterious woman with a secret. Now that I’ve actually met you and talked to you, you’re even more mysterious.”
“You present all these contradictions. On one level, you seem naive and you don’t know how to handle yourself in this neighborhood, yet you pay attention to everything that goes on around you and don’t make it obvious that you’re watching. You strike me as being a bit shy, yet when you think you’re being stalked, you come and ring my doorbell to confront me. That’s so brave and so stupid, I truly don’t know what to think of you.”
“So what should I have done?”
“What should you have done? Almost anything else. You don’t have enough to go to the police with, so you check it out from a distance. Call me on the phone, or have some guy you know call me or come by and see me. There are lots of ways to handle a situation like that without putting yourself in danger.”
“Am I in danger?”
“Of course not, but you would be if you were really being stalked.”
“But if I’m not in danger, what’s the problem?”
“Rachel, that’s nuts. The only thing I can figure is that you knew before hand that I’m not truly stalking you, or you have a thing for dangerous men.”
“As long as they’re not too dangerous.”
What did she mean by that? Was she flirting? Normally I would have viewed a response like that as in invitation to raise the stakes, but with her I couldn’t tell. She had said it so matter-of-factly that her intent was unreadable.
“I don’t know where you moved here from, but the dangerous men around here are very dangerous. You can’t pull this kind of stunt and assume you’ll survive.” That seemed to shock her.
“So what...so what about you? Are you dangerous?”
“That’s something you’ll have to decide for yourself.” This was the first time she had faltered. Up until now, she had spoken with complete self assurance. But with this sentence, there was a catch in her throat. If it had been delivered smoothly and suavely, it would have been an obvious come on line, but it wasn’t. Her delivery was forced and it was like there was a major lump in her throat. There was just the faintest touch of “Take me, you fool” in it, but also a bit of apprehension, maybe some disappointment, and something else I couldn’t quite put my finger on, something like an unsuccessful attempt to sound detached..
The one thing I was certain of was that I was that I had witnessed a breach in her defenses. I was getting to her. I knew what to do next: send her home. “Rachel, it’s time for you to go.” I picked up her bike and carried it to the sidewalk. She followed me down the steps and I handed her the bike.
Time to close the sale. This called for physical contact. I took her by the shoulders, turned her toward me, and looked into her eyes. “Shall I forget your phone number?”
“Call me,” she said, and pedaled off.
I returned to my lunch, but ate it without being aware of doing so. Rachel had set my mind (among other things) on fire. She was more mysterious now than ever. She was obviously intelligent, but she was so dumb. I wanted to protect her. I wanted to possess her. I wanted her to stand before me in handcuffs just the way she had stood when I first saw her.
It would be at least fifteen or twenty minutes before I could call her, since it would take her that long to get home. Realistically, I couldn’t call her for a couple of days. It wouldn’t do to get over anxious at this early stage. Today was Saturday. Tuesday sounded about right.
Tuesday finally arrived. Early in the evening, I called Rachel. She seemed reluctant, obviously having had second thoughts about the whole thing, but I finally talked her into going to dinner with me on Friday.
I picked Rachel up at her house Friday evening. I took her to a restaurant downtown that was nice but not intimidating. It was a place where I could get wine by the half bottle. I suspected that Rachel wasn’t much of a drinker, so I wanted a quantity that would help get her talking, but not get her looped.
I wanted to know why she had been arrested, and her reaction in the grocery store told me she was sensitive about the subject. In the meantime, I learned whatever else I could about her. Her divorce had been accompanied by a bankruptcy, so she hadn’t gotten much in the way of a settlement. Gregory Silva was a friend of a friend who needed to maintain a legal residence in the city for business reasons. He had agreed to let Rachel live in the house he maintained for that purpose and use his phone line. That explained the Gregory Silva deal. He didn’t really figure into her life except as absentee landlord. Rachel didn’t have a car and rode the bus to and from work and used her bicycle to get around the neighborhood. She was a librarian and worked downtown at the main library.
Finally, over dessert, I asked her about her arrest.
“It was all a big mistake. My lawyer says we can get it thrown out.”
“So what happened?”
“It was my first day here in this neighborhood and I got off at the wrong stop coming home from work. Once the bus pulled away, I realized I wasn’t at the right spot, but didn’t know how to get to the one I wanted. There was this guy standing there, so I started asking him directions. He told me how to get home, and as I turned away, he asked me ‘how much?’. I asked him ‘how much what?” and he said ‘you know, how much for a blow job?’ I couldn’t believe it. So I told him, ‘it’s normally only a fifty dollars, but for you, it’s a thousand’ and he arrested me for soliciting. Then he put handcuffs on me and called a paddy wagon.”
“Did the cop see you get off the bus?”
“I think so. I don’t see how he could have really thought I was a hooker.”
“Part of the problem was that you asked him for directions. Some of the hookers are pretty brazen, but others are more circumspect. They ask for the time, or a light, or directions or something to break the ice. He probably would have ignored you if you hadn’t approached him. I doubt he really thought you were a hooker, but when you insulted him, he arrested you.”
“When I insulted him! He insulted me first. He asked me for a blow job. He deserved to be insulted.”
“Rachel, the cops don’t look at it that way. Their attitude is something like, ‘Your honor, it all started when the defendant hit me back’. There’s also the possibility that he really wanted a blow job and your refusal pissed him off. Who’s your lawyer?”
“Ed Gallagher. He’s a public defender.”
“Wouldn’t you feel better with your own lawyer?”
“Yes, but I can’t afford one. I had to spend the night in jail as it was and my daughter Gretchen was home alone. I couldn’t come up with bail until morning. The worst part is that the school social worker somehow found out about it and is trying to get me declared as an unfit mother.”
“You could probably be declared unfit for naming your daughter Gretchen.”
“That wasn’t entirely my doing. It was her father’s grandmother’s name.”
“Surely you had veto power.”
“You don’t know my ex.”
“Why does the social worker think you’re unfit?”
“Because I got arrested for prostitution. I told her I’m innocent, but I don’t think she believes me.”
“When’s your court date?”
“In a little over a week.”
“I think you should talk to my lawyer.”
“I don’t think I need to. Ed says he can get me off. Even if I lose, he says it would just be a small fine on a first offense.”
“Hello. Earth to Rachel. You’re going into court against a cop with a ‘he said, she said’ defense and a public defender? I’m making an appointment for you in the morning.”
“You don’t need to do that.”
“Somebody needs to. Do you realize the consequences if he screws up and you get convicted? If this ever happens again...”
“It won’t ever happen again.”
“It happened this time. Next time you’ll have a prior. Not only that, but a conviction this time will give the social worker all she needs to get your daughter taken away.”
“Oh, yes. Rachel, you seem to think that because you’re innocent, you have nothing to worry about. If things worked like that, you wouldn’t be in this situation in the first place. A public defender won’t cut it. This is one of those occasions when you need to use a cannon to kill a mosquito. This mosquito carries malaria.”
I took Rachel home after dinner. The scene on her porch was a bit awkward. She was obviously ambivalent about asking me in. The evening had ended sooner than she had expected, and although she had had a good time and obviously wanted to talk to me some more, she was apprehensive about letting things go too far too soon. I solved her problem for her and begged off as gracefully as possible, returning home after promising to have my lawyer call her.
Monday morning I gave John, my lawyer, a call and explained the situation. He agreed that it shouldn’t be handled by a public defender and told me he would give her a call. I asked him if there would be any problem getting Rachel acquitted. He told me he would have to talk to her and gather some facts, but he was quite confident it could be accomplished easily. I was relieved to hear this. Although I believed Rachel, there were no witnesses and it was only her word against the cop. John assured me it was no problem. I hung up the phone, much relieved. I wanted the next person who locked handcuffs on Rachel to be me.
That evening I heard from Rachel. She thanked me for having John call her and said he’d been most reassuring and that she felt much better about the whole thing. I told her I was glad to hear it. She wanted to know if I would testify since I’d been a witness to her arrest.
“I doubt it,” I told her. “All I saw was you and the cop standing on the street corner as I drove by. About the only thing I could testify to is that you didn’t look like a hooker. I suppose John could call me as a witness, but that’s up to him.”
“So he didn’t discuss it with you?”
“Of course not. Rachel, John doesn’t discuss client’s cases.”
“But I thought since you were paying him...”
“No. You’re the client. That’s all that matters. Your discussions with him are private. If he discussed your case with me, I would have reason to question his ethics and I would need a new lawyer.” I was surprised when Rachel had asked me about testifying, but realized that it was her way of bringing up the subject of how much John would tell me about her case. It was obvious that Rachel was worried about this. At first I thought her concern was naive, almost comical, but the more I thought about it, the more reasonable it seemed from her point of view. She knew very little about either of us.
“Look,” I continued, “I know this is one of those situations where you need the help, but it makes you feel obligated and uncertain to accept it. First of all, you need to know that John is absolutely ethical. The only things I’ll learn about your case are what you tell me. He would be appalled to know we were even having this discussion. Secondly, it’s not likely to cost me anything. My business pays him a monthly retainer and we don’t need him all that often, so I can call in the occasional favor. We’re old friends and some day he’ll call me for a favor and he knows I’ll take care of him.”
“That makes me feel better. I didn’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but it really does make me uncomfortable.”
“I understand. I’d still like to go out with you, but only if you want to. I don’t want you to feel obligated.”
“No, that’s fine. I’d like to.”
Friday came and I took Rachel to dinner and a movie. She seemed somewhat distracted all evening. I thought it had to do with her court date, which was the next Tuesday. I kept trying to reassure her about it, but to no effect. I finally realized there had to be something else going on. I could understand her getting all worked up the night before she went to court, but she didn’t go until next week. Once I figured this out, I began trying to find out what was really going on. I was worried that it was me. It wasn’t.
“The social worker interviewed Gretchen at school today.”
“Can she do that? I thought the school needed your permission for that sort of thing.”
“She does, but I signed a consent form at the beginning of the year for her to receive counseling. I thought it would be a good idea with the divorce and everything.”
“So what happened?”
“She started asking Gretchen all sorts of questions. She asked it I’d ever hit her, asked if I’d ever had men over all night, if I ever seemed to have extra money, if I did drugs, etc.”
“That sounds rather hamfisted.”
“Gretchen didn’t have any trouble figuring out where she was going with it. She answered every question with ‘go fuck herself’.”
“I must say, I agree with Gretchen, but I doubt that it did your case any good.”
“No, it didn’t. The social worker has the whole administration all up in the air about Gretchen’s hostility.”
“Oh, Jesus. She just lost one parent, so they try to take away her other one, then accuse her of hostility. Who is this social worker? Is she evil, or incompetent?”
“Her name is Gayle Robbins. I think she’s both. Mainly, she’s incompetent, but she’s willing to do evil to hide the fact of her incompetence.”
“I want you to call John Monday morning. You need to withdraw that consent form you signed, and...”
“I can do that on my own. I don’t need John for that, and besides, he’s already doing enough and I don’t want to be a burden on your relationship.”
“Rachel, this is about your daughter. We’ll sort out who owes what to whom later. Right now, you need to put a stick in Miss Gayle Robbins spokes, and John has a bigger stick than you do. One thing that scares the hell out of school administrators and social workers is lawyers. They hate getting sued.”
I took Rachel home and walked her to her door. She looked up at me expectantly and I pulled her to me, intending to kiss her. Her body seemed to melt against mine and I ended up kissing her on the forehead and just holding her. She said nothing and made no sound, but tears streamed down her cheeks. I was once again overcome with a desire to protect her, but also to possess her. I reminded myself to keep my priorities straight. Protection now, possession later. After a bit, I unwrapped my arms from around her and opened her door.
“Thank you. I needed for someone to hold me.”
“Glad I could help.” I walked back to my car.
Rachel called me Monday evening. She had talked to John and he had called the school and put the fear of God (or at least lawsuits) into them. He told them that the consent form was now null and void and that no one was to interview Gretchen without Rachel’s written consent, and that if any attempt was made to do so, his process server would pay each and every one of them a visit the next day.
Later in the day, John had managed to contact Gayle’s supervisor and read her the riot act. Apparently the social worker was employed by a different department and wasn’t under the direct authority of the principal. He learned that the school principal had done the same thing earlier and Gayle had been informed that she would be fired if she approached Gretchen again.
Rachel told me she was relieved to have Gayle out of her hair, but she was still nervous about her court appearance in the morning. John had told her it would be not problem, but she still wanted it over with. She asked me if I would be there.
“Of course not,” I told her.
“Good. I was afraid you might come. I didn’t want you to see me being accused of prostitution.”
I slept fitfully that night. Even though I had complete faith in John, I was concerned about Rachel. I was rather annoyed with myself for getting all worked up over this, but as I thought about it, I realized I’d been letting myself get worked up over Rachel since that first day I saw her on the avenue.
Rachel called me at work about noon. Everything had gone fine. John had forced the cop to admit that it was he who had brought up the blow job. The judge threw it out and gave the cop a lecture, expressing the opinion that the wrong person had been charged. He said it was obvious that Rachel’s reply was a put down rather than a serious solicitation.
There was one odd thing. Gayle had attended the proceedings. When the judge tossed the case out, she had gotten up and stomped out of the courtroom. Rachel was sort of glad she was there to see it. Now she would have to concede Rachel’s innocence.
I suggested we go out that evening and celebrate, but Rachel said she had to work tomorrow and it was a school day for Gretchen, so she couldn’t stay out late. She suggested we wait until Friday. Gretchen was going to spend the weekend at a friend’s house, leaving Rachel free for the weekend. The implications of this were obvious. Rachel didn’t know it yet, but although she wouldn’t be burdened with looking after Gretchen, she wasn’t exactly going to be free.
Friday when I got home from work, I got cleaned up and dressed, then called Rachel and told her I was on my way. I picked her up at her house and we went to a nice restaurant (one that featured full bottles of wine) and discussed the events that had led up to the present moment.
“Sometimes,” Rachel said, “I think this whole thing happened to bring us together. I mean, if I hadn’t gotten arrested, you wouldn’t have noticed me, and we wouldn’t be here now. But then, sometimes I think it was the other way, that when I was arrested, you came along as a means to save me. And then sometimes I think it all just happened.”
“I find the first choice more flattering, but suspect the third one is more accurate.”
“Whichever, I’m glad I’m here.”
“So am I.”
After dinner I helped Rachel into the car. She didn’t need any help, but seemed to enjoy the attention.
“Where to now?”
“My house. I’m taking you home for the weekend.”
“Bob, I’m not sure I should.”
“Don’t play games, Rachel. On Tuesday, you made it clear you were available for the whole weekend. Well, now you’re not.”
“No. You’re going to be quite occupied.”
We arrived at my house and I led Rachel inside.
“Bob, this is gorgeous.”
This was true. My wife, Meg, and I had bought it as our dream house several years before her death. It was a turn of the century stone house which was fully restored. Mahogany woodwork, brass and crystal chandeliers, and stained and leaded glass were everywhere.
I made Rachel a drink, gave her a tour, then led her back to the living room. I lit some candles, then turned out the chandelier. I took her drink from her and led her by the hand to the center of the room.
“I was wondering when you’d make your move.”
“This is isn’t going to be like what you’re used to, so just go with it.” Without speaking further, I stepped behind Rachel and positioned her as I wanted her, squaring her shoulders, moving her feet together, and turning her head so she faced forward. I pulled her hands behind her and locked the handcuffs around her wrists.
“Bob, what are you doing?”
“I want to see you as I first saw you.”
“I’m not sure about this.”
I stepped in front of her, took her head in my hands, and looked into her eyes. “Rachel, you have a choice. You can go or you can stay, but if you stay, you will be in my charge.”
“What if I want to go?”
“Then I’ll take you home and you’ll spend the weekend alone, wondering what it would have been like...and so will I.”
“If I stay?”
“If you stay, you will obey.”
Rachel looked a bit dubious at this, so I told her, “You don’t have to decide now. You can leave any time you want. It will be my job to make you want to stay. It will be your job, up to the point at which you decide to leave, to do whatever I ask.”
I sat down in a chair at the side of the room directly in front of her and watched her.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m looking at you.”
“Because I find you beautiful. I like to look at you, and I like it even better now that you’re locked in my handcuffs.”
“You’re just going to look at me?”
“Don’t be so impatient. This isn’t going to be a quickie. We have all night, and the next day and the next. I don’t like for these things to be over with in fifteen or twenty minutes. Now, if you please, be silent.”
I watched Rachel in the flickering candle light. She stood just as she had when I had first seen her--erect, eyes cast down, wrists locked behind her. Every once in a while, she would look up and meet my gaze, become embarrassed, and look down again. There was something about Rachel when she was embarrassed. She embarrassed easily and she was so sexy when she blushed.
After I had studied her sufficiently, I approached her again. I buckled a collar around her throat and locked it.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m locking my collar on you.”
“Because it, like that handcuffs, makes you mine. Also, I like how it looks.”
“This is weird.”
“Do you want to leave?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“So how does it make you feel?”
“Embarrassed, but aroused, too.”
“Good. Now please be quiet.”
I began unbuttoning her dress.
“What are you doing now?”
“I’m undressing you. That should be obvious.”
“But, I mean...why?”
“Why? Why does any man undress a woman.”
“No, I mean, what are you going to do now?”
“It would certainly spoil the fun if I told you.” I unlocked one handcuff and slipped her dress off her arms, then locked it back around her wrist. “Rachel, I asked you not to speak, didn’t I?”
“There are consequences if we don’t do our jobs. If I don’t do mine, you’ll leave. If you don’t do yours, there are consequences as well.”
“I’m going to gag you.”
“Then you should leave.”
“But, you’re being...I don’t know.”
“Rachel, you’re being dominated, not brutalized. Now you have a choice to make. Submit or leave.”
I held the gag to her lips. “Open your mouth, Rachel,” I said softly. She opened her mouth and I pushed the gag into place, buckling the strap behind her neck.
I stepped behind her again and unhooked her bra. I removed the handcuffs and slipped the bra off, then pulled her hands behind her again and bound her wrists with rope. She tensed as I slid her panties down, but stepped out of them when instructed to do so. Rachel was now naked except for her stockings, heels, collar, and gag. I returned her to her former position and resumed my seat, watching.
Rachel stood as before. After a bit, she looked up and saw me gazing upon her body. She turned red and lowered her eyes again. This cycle repeated several times. I became more aroused with each cycle.
I walked back over to Rachel. “Do you want to leave yet?” She shook her head. “Shall I take you upstairs now?” She nodded. I scooped her up and carried her up the stairs. Once there, I set her on her feet, removed her gag, and kissed her.
“You can talk now,” I told her.
“Thank you,” was all she said.
I tied a blindfold over her eyes.
“If I wanted you to know that, I wouldn’t have blindfolded you.”
I untied her wrists, then picked her up and laid her on the bed, removing her shoes. I made her spread her arms and legs and tied her to the bed with the ropes I had prepared for her. Then I began a slow exploration of her body with a feather, finding all her ticklish spots and some that made her gasp or moan for other reasons. When I finished with the feather, I began exploring with tongue and ice cube. Rachel thrashed helplessly, sometimes begging me to stop, other times begging me not to.
After finishing my second tour of her body, I touched her and she nearly leapt off the bed. It was time. I mounted her. Rachel didn’t make a lot of noise, but she struggled and thrashed mightily. When finally she subsided, I rolled off and untied her.
“Worth the wait?” I inquired.
“Yes,” was all she said, still somewhat out of breath.
In the morning, I removed Rachel’s stockings and led her into the shower.
“Aren’t you going to take this collar off?”
“No, you’ll wear it the entire time you’re here.”
“But, it’ll get wet.”
“If it gets wet, it gets wet.”
After our shower, I dried Rachel off and gave her another towel for her hair, then went down to the living room to retrieve her underwear.
“So, what are we doing today?” she wanted to know.
“First, you’re going to fix us breakfast, then we’re going to your house for some fresh clothes, then we’re going out to lunch. After lunch, we’ll wander around a bit, then return here where you’ll await my pleasure.”
“And what does that mean?”
“It means you’ll have to wait to find out.”
“I think I’ll risk it.” By this time she had her panties and stockings back on and started on her bra.
“Hold it,” I told her, “don’t put on anything else. I want you to prepare and serve breakfast as you are.”
“What about shoes?”
“You can wear shoes if you wish.”
I could tell Rachel wasn’t thrilled with this idea, but she went along with it anyway. This was what I wanted. There was no point to her obedience if I only asked her to do things she liked.
I sat at the small table in the breakfast nook and Rachel served me pancakes and eggs. She went back to the kitchen and returned with her own plate, then turned to go and get a chair, since I was occupying the only one at the table.
“Wait,” I told her. I got up and pulled her to me, kissed her, then turned her about and pulled her arms behind her and bound her wrists with a length of rope.
“How am I supposed to eat?”
“I’m going to feed you. Now, kneel right here.”
Rachel knelt next to me where I indicated and I fed her, bite by bite. She was even less thrilled with this turn of events, but again did as I required.
After breakfast, I sent her up to get dressed, then we headed for her house. “Aren’t you going to take this collar off before we go out?”
“No. I told you you would wear it all weekend. The only way it gets removed early is if you tell me you want to leave.”
“But what if someone sees me in it?”
“If it gets wet, it gets wet.”
I was a bit worried that she might decide to leave. The overall package seemed agreeable and she liked that I had the day all planned, but there were all these prickles that rendered the package thornier than she had anticipated. Once again, she chose to go along.
When we got to her house, she changed into some fresh clothes, then I helped her pick out some things for tonight and tomorrow. She was a bit understocked on intimate apparel, but that was something that could be rectified once we determined if this relationship was going anywhere. She packed the stuff into a small overnight bag and we left. As we got in my car, I noticed a woman sitting in a car across the street. I had the same reflexes as everyone else in the neighborhood and usually paid attention to who was hanging around. Since it was a woman, I didn’t consider her a threat. She seemed attractive. If I hadn’t been with someone, I’d have given her a second glance. I think Rachel was embarrassed about her collar and kept her eyes down, so she didn’t notice.
We had lunch at a restaurant north of the river. I chose the location because it was a neighborhood neither of us frequented. Although I’d chosen to take Rachel out in public in her collar, I didn’t want to encounter anyone either of us knew.
Rachel wore her hair down, so the collar was only visible from the front and she kept her head down so that hardly anyone noticed it. The waitress noticed, however. She gaped openly and Rachel turned red in embarrassment. Her name was Jacqui and it seemed to me that Jacqui came by to fill the water glasses rather more often than necessary. Each time she did, she stared at Rachel’s collar again and Rachel turned red again. I paused to wonder why it was that I found Rachel’s embarrassment such a turn on. I had no answer, but there was no doubt how it affected me. When it came time to leave, I was going to have to be careful that I didn’t embarrass myself when I stood up.
I left Jacqui an extra large tip in appreciation for the extra entertainment she had provided. I also wanted Jacqui to remember me, although I had a feeling she would remember me just fine without the additional reminder. Such people occasionally came in handy.
As we walked back out to the car, I suggested we check out some of the small art galleries that were popping up in the old industrial districts. This would be something that was interesting to both of us and also a place where Rachel’s collar would attract minimal attention.
“I think we need to go back to your house.”
“Yes. I need to fix your little problem.”
Is it that obvious?”
Once inside the house, I tied Rachel’s hands behind her and carried her upstairs. I got us undressed, tossed her on the bed and landed on top of her. This was exactly the sort of quickie I had objected to last night, but everything has it’s place. It wasn’t like there hadn’t been some buildup to our current condition. I noted that Rachel’s embarrassment at the restaurant had had the same effect on her that it had had on me. I found her reaction to it even more curious than my own.
I untied Rachel and we drifted off to sleep.
I awoke and looked at the clock. It was going on six PM. We had slept most of the afternoon. It was just as well. Rachel was in for a long night.
I showered and dressed, then woke Rachel and told her it was time to dress for dinner. While she was getting ready, I called to check on the dinner. I had made arrangements for it to be delivered about seven. The restaurant assured me everything was on schedule.
I told Rachel that dinner was a surprise and that after she was dressed, she was to remain in the bedroom until I came for her. I went downstairs and threw a tablecloth on the dining room table, then set two places. I set out the wine and the dishes we would need, then sat down to wait. I had been sitting less than a minute when the doorbell rang. The delivery guy helped me get the stuff on the table, then I tipped him and sent him on. It looked delicious.
I returned upstairs for Rachel.
Rachel was looking delicious in her own rite. She had had one rather elegant gown in her wardrobe which I had insisted she bring along to wear for dinner. She wore black evening shoes with ankle straps and her collar substituted very nicely for a necklace. She had her hair up with a strand of faux (I assumed) pearls woven in and matching pearl earrings. I had wanted her to wear gloves, but she didn’t own any. She wasn’t to wear any other jewelry, since I had some accessories of my own with which she would be adorned.
I pulled her to me and kissed her, then sat her down and locked black leather cuffs on her wrists and ankles.
“What are those for?”
“You’ll find them more comfortable than rope or handcuffs.”
I took Rachel’s hand and she stood. Pulling her arms behind her, I locked her wrist cuffs together, then knelt and joined her ankle cuffs by a little over a foot of chain. “One more thing,” I told her and snapped the end of a black leather leash onto her collar, then led her off to dinner.
I suppose it probably helps if you share my tastes, but the sight of Rachel descending the grand staircase in her gown, collared and leashed, her hands bound behind her, is one of the erotic images I will carry to my grave. I wish I had had the forethought to have my camera ready, although I suppose Rachel herself wouldn’t be thrilled about having her picture taken in this condition.
The candles lit the dining room softly as I removed Rachel’s leash and unlocked her wrists, locking them again in front. I seated her at the table and served her supper and poured her wine.
Rachel was having shrimp while I was having prime rib. I watched her as she ate with her wrists locked only a couple of inches apart. She picked up her glass and held it in both hands as she sipped her wine, gazing at me over the top of it with a look that seemed to combine both need and mild reproach. It drove me wild.
We spoke very little over dinner. I think Rachel was contemplating both her current condition and whatever was to come next. I was doing exactly the same thing.
“Are we having dessert?” Rachel asked as we neared the end of the meal.
“Yes, we are. You’re going to have dessert on your knees.”
Rachel thought it was going to be a repeat of the way I’d fed her breakfast, but that wasn’t quite what I had in mind. For my part, I hadn’t planned to move things along quite this quickly, but I was in even worse shape than I’d been at lunch and Rachel was going to have to do something about it.
I got up and helped Rachel out of her seat, then drew my chair toward her. “Kneel,” I told her and gently pressed down on her shoulders. I sat down in front of her and unzipped my fly.
“Bob, I’ve never done this before.”
“Then it’s time you learned. We can’t have you going out on the streets as unskilled labor, especially if you intend charging a thousand dollars.”
I took Rachel’s head in my hands and guided her mouth to my cock. Once I was in her mouth, she went to work without hesitation and I wasn’t sure I believed her claim of innocence.
It reminded me of another dessert I had had in this house, although this experience was very different from that other one. That one made me think of an overly rich chocolate mousse, whereas Rachel was more of a peaches and cream type.
I locked Rachel’s hands behind her again and led her out into the main hall. “Wait here,” I told her, “and don’t speak again until I say it’s okay.” I went upstairs and pocketed a gag and a few other items I thought would come in handy. When I returned, Rachel was standing as I had left her.
Just as I returned to Rachel, a loud beeping noise came from the back hall.
“What’s that?” Rachel wanted to know.
“It’s the motion detector on the front porch.”
“You mean somebody’s out there?”
She was terrified that someone would see her bound and leashed. “It’s probably not anybody. The wind sometimes sets it off,” I told her, but there was no wind tonight. “I’ll go check. You stay put.”
I went to the front door, opened it and stuck my head out. I didn’t see anyone, but I did see a car about half way down the block I didn’t recognize. It might have just been someone visiting the neighbors, but the car reminded me of the one I’d seen across from Rachel’s house in the morning.
I closed the door and bumped into Rachel as I turned.
“Ow!” she said as I stepped on her foot.
“Rachel, didn’t I tell you to stay put? I almost knocked you down.”
“Who’s out there?” she wanted to know.
“I didn’t see anyone, but if it will make you happy, I’ll go out and check, but first I’m going to put you someplace so I know where you are.” I seized her leash and led her to the door of the hall closet. “Inside,” I told her, “kneel”.
Rachel knelt and I tied her leash around the doorknob so that there wasn’t enough slack for her to stand, then closed the door. She would now stay put until I returned.
I grabbed my flashlight and cordless phone and went out on the porch. I punched 911 on the keypad, so that all I would have to do would be to punch ‘talk’ to connect. I walked around the house, flashing the light around. If what I thought was going on was indeed going on, that should be sufficient to scare her off. When I got back around to the front door, I went in again.
I returned to Rachel, unwound her leash, and let her out of the closet.
“Did you see anyone?”
“No, I didn’t. And now we need to deal with your transgressions.”
I was pleased by the note of apprehension in her voice. “Didn’t I tell you not to speak?”
“And didn’t I tell you to stay put?”
“And you didn’t do either, did you?”
“So...what are you going to do, punish me or something?”
“Yes, I am.”
“I’m going to make you draw an envelope.”
“Select. You’ll see in a minute, but first I’m going to gag you so we won’t have to worry about talking without permission.”
“Rachel, further talking is not the way to convince me not to gag you.” Rachel hesitated a moment as I held the gag to her lips, then accepted the gag.
“Wait here, and this time, don’t move.” I went upstairs and retrieved a shoe box I’d prepared in anticipation of tonight. While I was there, I looked out the second floor window. The car I had seen earlier was gone. I went back downstairs.
I set the shoe box on the side table and unlocked Rachel’s hands from behind her. I locked them together in front, then held out the shoe box. It contained about three dozen envelopes.
“Choose an envelope,” I told her.
Rachel hesitantly pulled an envelope from the middle of the pack.
“Open it and read the card inside, then hand it to me.” She did so. I looked at the card.
Stand in the Corner
You will stand with your nose pressed
against the wall for one hour.
I was glad she had drawn this card, since I’d been wanting to try this out. I had gotten the idea from a drawing I had once seen. It pictured a woman standing with her nose against the wall and her hands tied behind her. She was holding a sheet of paper against the wall with her nose, and a wooden dowel was balanced across two bottles in front of her ankles, so that she couldn’t move her feet closer to the wall without knocking it off. Something was written on the paper, but I no longer knew what.
I did know what Rachel was going to be holding against the wall. I selected another envelope from the box and then went to the kitchen and returned with two beer bottles and a dowel. I set the bottles about a foot and a half out from the wall and balanced the dowel across the top of them, then led Rachel over to stand in front of the dowel. I locked her wrists behind her again.
I held the envelope up to the wall and told her, “Rachel, for the next hour, you are to hold this envelope against the wall with your nose. If either the envelope or the dowel fall, we open the envelope.”
I put my hand against the back of her head, and Rachel leaned forward and pinned the envelope with her nose. I held it low enough that she couldn’t use her forehead to hold it. I let go of the envelope and it remained in place. I lit a candle and turned out the hall lights, then went up and sat on the landing to watch Rachel’s ordeal. I had a good view, looking down at her from half way up the stairs. Since I was behind her, she couldn’t see me.
Rachel remained motionless for nearly five minutes, then she began shifting her weight from one foot to the other. She had her forehead against the wall and was using it to support the weight of her upper body leaning forward, but since she had to keep her nose pressed against the wall, she was unable to support the weight with the top of her forehead as she wished.
After ten minutes, she was squirming around quite a bit, trying to find relief from the strain her position imposed on her body. She tried spreading her feet wider, to the length of her ankle chain, but to do that, she had to back even farther away from the wall to avoid knocking over the bottles. This put even more strain on her forehead and she returned to her original position. Next she tried lifting one foot, then the other. It was while she was doing this that she knocked the dowel off the bottles. I could hear her squeak of alarm through the gag as her shoe bumped one of the bottles. She tried to look down to see if the dowel had fallen, and in doing so lost the envelope.
Rachel wasn’t exactly sure what to do at this point. She looked about in confusion, then after a moment, returned her nose to the wall. I left her there another few minutes, then returned to her side. She started to straighten up, but I told her to remain as she was.
After picking up the envelope, I told Rachel to stand up straight, then snapped the leash onto her collar and led her over to the side table where the candle was. I opened the envelope and withdrew the card, laying it on the table next to the candle.
You are to be securely bound and soundly spanked.
Rachel read the card and began making noises through her gag which were, of course, unintelligible. I shushed her and told her that shortly she would have both opportunity and reason to complain, but for now I required her silence. She complied. I could tell she wanted to say something, but, being gagged, there was not much point trying.
I led Rachel upstairs and got her undressed and tied down without any major resistance on her part. I had tied her in my favorite spanking position--face down with her wrists locked behind her and her ankles bound to the footboard a couple of feet apart, feet hanging over.
She shivered as I ran my fingers up the back of her thigh. I removed her gag.
“Why are you doing this to me?”
“Because I can, because I want to, because it turns me on, because it turns you on.”
“So how do you get the idea I’m turned on by being spanked?”
“Because you’re here. You’d rather be here getting spanked than be home alone.”
“You think that because I haven’t left that I want to be spanked?”
“That’s not what I said. You don’t want to be spanked, but given a choice between a spanking and being alone, you’ll take the spanking.”
“Oh...” What I had said was true, but Rachel was embarrassed to have what she considered her weakness exposed like this.
“Besides,” I continued, running my hand up her leg, “it’s not like it doesn’t excite you.”
“So, you think I’m turned on by being beaten?”
“Of course not. It frightens you. You don’t want me to spank you. What excites you is that I’m going to do it anyway.”
“Just...just don’t spank me too hard, okay?”
“I won’t spank you harder than you can stand, but I’m going to spank you harder than you would like.”
I picked up the ruler that was laying on the night stand and began. I started on her butt and worked my way down her thighs and back again. By this time, Rachel was moaning, thrashing from side to side, and begging me to stop. I ran my finger up the inside of her thigh to see if it was time to stop. It was.
After untying her ankles, I flipped Rachel onto her back and fucked her. She gasped and wrapped her legs around me. She was one of the least vocal women I’d ever had sex with.
“You’ve never been spanked before, have you?”
“It makes you angry, doesn’t it?” I asked.
“It makes you angry that being spanked excites you.”
“Yes...Well, not really angry so much as embarrassed, but...I guess it does make me a little angry, too, only I’m not angry with you, I’m angry with myself for being turned on by it.”
“I told you, it’s not the spanking that turns you on. What excites you is being spanked despite your wishes.”
“Perhaps, but you’re still here.”
“I’m tied up.”
The next morning, after we showered, we got dressed. This time, I fixed breakfast. Rachel sat at the table, and after I served her food, I unlocked her wrists so she could eat. Gretchen was due home in the early afternoon, so I would have to take Rachel home soon.
“I can’t believe I’ve done this,” Rachel said.
“And what have you done?”
“I just spent the weekend as a sex slave.”
“Yes, you did.”
After breakfast, I took Rachel home. I made her wear her collar home and removed it in her living room.
“I’ll call you,” I told her.
I kissed Rachel and departed, then drove home, thinking about what she had said. Up until Friday night, I didn’t really know her well, yet I had kept her in virtual bondage for a weekend. What puzzled me was that I had known this was going to happen, but I didn’t know how I knew. I knew when I had first seen her standing on the street corner in handcuffs. It wasn’t just the handcuffs, it was her. I saw the hookers in handcuffs all the time. That didn’t do much for me, but when I first saw Rachel, there was something about her, some subliminal cue I had picked up on that made me ache to have her as my own captive. Yes, I would call her. Sweet Rachel’s days of standing about in handcuffs were far from over.
There was, however, a potential fly in the ointment. Monday morning, I gave John a call.
“Hi, John, Bob. Hey, what can you tell me about this Gayle Robbins person?”
“Funny you should ask. I ran into the prosecutor late last week and he told me Gayle had approached him before the arraignment and offered to testify as an expert witness. After he questioned her, he realized she didn’t have anything of substance to contribute, just hearsay and her professional opinion. He wasn’t all that impressed with either her credentials or what she had to say, so he decided not to use her testimony. She was apparently rather miffed by his refusal, which she seemed to consider some sort of personal rejection.”
“There’s more. I decided to check up on our Miss Robbins and found out she’s done this sort of thing before.”
“Offered to testify?”
“No, engaged in extracurricular activities. It seems there was this kid at another school where she worked that she thought was abused, but no one else did. None of the teachers or administrators thought there was any indication of abuse, so when she didn’t get any backup from them, she called in family services. They interviewed the kid and also found no evidence of abuse. Apparently, her supervisor ordered her off the case, but she pursued it anyway, despite threats of legal action by the parents.”
“That sounds exactly like what she tried to do to Rachel. I hope she wasn’t able to get the kid taken away from his parents.”
“Her parents. But no, she wasn’t.”
“That’s a relief. What’s with her, anyway? What does she get out of making all these false accusations?”
“They weren’t false.”
“Huh? But you said...”
“I said nobody believed her. About a month later, the girl’s mom took her to the emergency room. She had a fractured wrist and a number of bruises. The ER doctor called family services and Gayle was proven right. They’d just been very good at hiding it until it got out of control.”
“So Gayle was vindicated.”
“Yes and no. She was proven correct, but it didn’t make her popular with anyone. Proving her right proved everyone else wrong, and she didn’t hesitate to rub it in. She’s not all that well liked by her supervisor, her coworkers, or anyone else. To say the least she has an attitude.”
“Oh, Jesus. So that means Gayle isn’t likely to give up on Rachel.”
“That would be my guess. She considers herself infallible and would probably pursue the case even if they did fire her, and I don’t know if they really would.”
“So Rachel gets off the bus at the wrong stop one day and now she’s got this monomaniacal moron on her case. Anything you can do?”
“Not unless she breaks a law. If she gets to be a problem, we could sue her employer. We could sue her personally, for that matter. Even if we lost, between the two of us we could spend her into oblivion on legal fees. Unfortunately, if I’m correct about her personality type, that wouldn’t stop her. Has she done anything since I called the school and her boss?”
“Not that I know of, but I have my suspicions.”
“Keep me apprized. I’ll help if I can.”
The conversation with John was both illuminating and disturbing. However, I decided I shouldn’t get too worried until I had confirmed my suspicions.
Friday I took Rachel out again. As I picked her up, I met Gretchen for the first time. She was fifteen and looked a lot like Rachel, only more gangly. Once she filled out a bit, she would look even more like Rachel. She did not, however, have that quality that Rachel possessed that made me want to own her, control her, tie her up and never let her go. Perhaps that was something that would develop later on, or perhaps she simply hadn’t inherited that trait. That was a good thing from my point of view. I would have found it quite uncomfortable if Gretchen had inspired those sorts of feelings in me, not only because she was so young but also because she was Rachel’s daughter.
Saturday morning, I decided to see if I could confirm my suspicions. I drove over to Rachel’s and parked around the corner from her house, then strolled down her street. The car was parked across the street from Rachel’s. The door was locked, but the window was half way down. I reached in and unlocked it, then climbed into the passenger seat.
“Hello, Gayle. I’m glad to finally have the chance to meet you.”
“The feeling is hardly mutual.”
“I’m not surprised by that. So tell me, what’s this problem you seem to have with Rachel?”
“She’s a whore. She sells herself to men.”
I now understood. The word ‘men’ had been delivered with considerable venom. I had heard this once before.
Back when Meg had been alive, she and I had always attended the annual Christmas party at John’s office. On one occasion, Marie, a friend of Meg’s, had come with us. We were sitting in the reception area talking among ourselves. The other people in the room included a female lawyer who had her office in John’s building and who I happened to know was a lesbian. Marie got up to take her plate back to the kitchen and took Meg’s as well. She was juggling the plates so she would have a hand free to open the door when the lesbian lawyer said, “Why don’t you get some big strong man to open it for you.” I was very much taken aback. The remark had been made to someone who was a total stranger to her and was filled with contempt.
Gayle’s comment had exactly the same tone. She hated men, and she hated Rachel for surrendering herself to men. I had been puzzled as to her motivation, and now I understood. It was good to know this. It meant that any attempt on my part to charm Gayle, which was my backup plan in case intimidation didn’t work, would only be throwing gasoline on the fire.
“Judge Larkin seemed to find otherwise.”
“Judge Larkin doesn’t have my experience.”
“I’m sure he’s grateful for that.”
“I’m sure he is.”
Alarm bells were starting to go off. Gayle was handling my intrusion with way too much cool. Something was wrong, but I had no idea what.
“Are we done now, Bob? I’d like to get back to work.”
“I see you know who I am.”
“Yes, you’re her pimp.”
“And how do you come to that conclusion?”
Gayle opened a folder next to her seat, pulled out some photos, and tossed them in my lap. I picked up the 5x7's and looked them over. The first one was from last Saturday. It showed Rachel and I stepping off her front porch. I was a pace ahead of her and leading her by the hand, her overnight bag in my other hand. Her collar was visible, but it wasn’t obvious that that’s what it was. The second shot, however, was zoomed in on Rachel’s head and shoulders and both the collar and padlock could be clearly seen as what they were. The third shot was even more startling. It showed Rachel taking a sip from her wine glass. The photo was a slightly grainy black and white, shot on fast film in low light conditions. Nonetheless, her collar and the cuffs locking her wrists together were quite visible. The look on Rachel’s face which I had found so appealing at the time seemed particularly damning in the photo. I knew exactly where Gayle had stood to take the picture. It was taken from my side porch through the side door of the house slantwise through the dining room door which opened off the side hall. I had no motion detector on the small side porch. I wasn’t visible in the picture, having been behind the door frame from where she was standing. I was visible in the next one, leading Rachel to the dining room on her leash. Rachel was seen from the side and her bonds, both wrist and ankle, were visible. The look on her face did not indicate that she found her predicament to be a cause of alarm. Finally, there was a picture of Rachel being led down the stairs, the picture I had wished for at the time. Be careful what you ask for, I thought to myself and tucked the pictures into my pocket.
“Been doing a bit of trespassing, have we?”
“I do what’s necessary to do my job.”
“An ‘ends justifies the means’ person, huh.”
“And is this all you have?” I asked, trying to sound unconcerned.
“I have more.”
“Going to show me?”
“In that case, I’ll be going. Thanks for the chat.”
I wish I could have taken issue with Gayle’s parting insult, but I feared she was correct. My bold foray, intended to confront and intimidate Ms. Gayle Robbins, had ended in ignominious retreat. I had taken the photos with me and Gayle had made no attempt to get them back, which meant she didn’t care if I kept them.
I examined the pictures again after I got home. In and of themselves, they didn’t prove anything, but they would be highly prejudicial. What other pictures had she taken? I couldn’t remember exactly how I’d positioned my chair for dessert. Had we been visible from the side door? What did she have besides pictures? I didn’t know what Gayle intended to do with the photos, but I had a feeling I was the only one she’d shown them to so far. Who else did she intend to show them to? It would probably be the end of our relationship if Rachel saw them. What if Gretchen saw them?
On Monday morning, I stopped by John’s office. I had agonized about this over the weekend. I would find it personally embarrassing to show the pictures to John, but there was no help for it. If he was going to help me, he would have to see them. Nonetheless, it would be difficult. John was an old friend, but I didn’t know how he’d react to them.
“First of all, don’t worry about me. I can tell it’s hard for you to show these to me. You may not know this, but I’ve been aware of your sexual preferences for years.”
“Am I that obvious?”
“No, Meg told me.”
“Damn. Meg always was a blabbermouth. Is there anyone she didn’t tell?”
“I assume that’s a rhetorical question. Regardless, the point I’m trying to make is that, although it’s not my thing, it doesn’t bother me. You’re both consenting adults and Rachel appears to be enjoying herself, so I pass no judgement, although parading Rachel around in public in a collar isn’t one of your brighter moves.”
“I know, but at the time, I had no idea we were being followed around by candid camera. I was hoping you might be able to get the ones taken from the porch suppressed for trespassing or something.”
“I’m not sure if I could, but neither am I sure I’d need to yet. There’s nothing to do until we see what she does. As I see it, there are only two things she can do with these pictures. She can show them to family services as evidence of some sort of moral depravity on Rachel’s part, although kinky sex doesn’t necessarily qualify by itself, or she can show them to Rachel or Gretchen. At the moment, I consider the latter possibility more likely.”
“The picture of Rachel outside in her collar, while it doesn’t help matters, isn’t all that big a deal. It only comes into context with the other pictures, and she can’t show those without revealing that she’s been out peeping through windows. She has enemies at her office and they might well try to use that against her. Just the same, she might risk it. The picture of Rachel chained and leashed would certainly turn some heads. Also, we don’t know what else she’s got. On the other hand, she could throw a monkey wrench into your relationship if she showed them to Rachel.”
“Rachel would be mortified. She’d probably never speak to me again,” I said.
“The other thing she could do would be show them to Gretchen in an attempt to drive a wedge between Gretchen and her mother. That has it’s risks, however. She’s been ordered to stay away from Gretchen, and showing those pictures to a minor might well put an end to her career if it became known she did it, which it probably would.”
“So where does that leave us?”
“For the moment, at least, I don’t think we have any overt legal liabilities. The pictures are most useful for smear tactics. If I were in her position, I’d show them to Rachel. That’s where she could do the most damage with the least risk. The only thing I don’t know is whether or not she cares about risk. Also, we don’t know what else she has.”
I left John’s office with mixed feelings. It apparently wasn’t as bad as I had first feared, but it wasn’t good. Despite my attempts to help Rachel, as a result of my foolishness, she was now worse off than if she’d never met me. The only good thing was that Rachel didn’t know it--yet. She could get an envelope in the mail any day now that would turn her world (and mine) upside down. How was I going to fix this?
That thought begged the larger question. Should I try to fix it? So far the overall effect of my meddling in Rachel’s life had been negative. What if I tried to fix it and made it worse? Perhaps I should just slink off into the sunset. I realized that wouldn’t help. The pictures were still out there and my departure from the scene wouldn’t change that. I’d gotten her into this, I would have to get her out. How?
I had no idea. I had no handle on the situation, no leverage that I could apply to deflect Gayle from her crusade. I needed help. If I couldn’t do it, who could?
Saturday I decided to have lunch north of the river.
“Where’s your friend?” Jacqui wanted to know.
“She was tied up and couldn’t make it.”
“Too bad. So what can I get you?”
“Depends. You seemed fascinated by my companion’s collar. Were you interested in having one like it?”
“Not one like it. I wanted that one, with her in it.”
“Sorry, she’s not available.”
“I know, she’s tied up. Too bad.”
“Maybe I could interest you in someone else.”
“Maybe. What are you doing tonight?”
“I go both ways. You’re kind of cute.”
“I had someone else in mind. She likes girls. She’d like you.”
“And would I like her?”
“I would hope so. If you do, I’ll pay for the collar.”
“Is she as cute as your friend?”
“Yes, but different.”
“So what’s the deal? What brings you around here matchmaking?”
“Comeuppance. She needs a collar. She needs a spanking. She needs to be distracted.”
“Causing you problems, is she? And you want me to keep her occupied.”
“And what do I get out of this?”
“If you play your cards right, you get Gayle--that’s her name. If not, you acquire some valuable experience.”
“You know, when I was young and stupid, I used to get involved in stuff like this. Fortunately for you, I haven’t learned much over the years. So how do I meet this person? You going to introduce us?”
“Hardly. I don’t think she would like you if she knew I sent you. In fact, it would be a good idea if she thought you had no interest in men whatever.”
“Oh, one of those. Well, they can be fun. So how do I meet her?”
“When do you get off?”
“In about an hour.”
“You’ll find her in the middle of the 1800 block of Spruce on the west side of the street. She’ll be in a red Dodge. Just walk up and get in. If the door’s locked, tap on the window.”
“She’s just sitting on the street in her car? Doing what?”
“Waiting for you.”
“Something’s weird about this. There’s something you’re not telling me.”
“At the moment she’s occupying herself by being a nuisance. You’ll distract her and she’ll be grateful for the interruption.”
“I don’t know about this.”
“You don’t have to do it. You could go home and be bored.”
“Those are my options? Be bored or be an idiot?”
“Try looking at it this way: It’s Christmas or it’s not Christmas, and you get to decide.”
I returned home. Jacqui would do it or she wouldn’t. If she did, the consequences were unknown, but I figured worst case she would distract Gayle enough to cut down on the amount of time she devoted to following Rachel’s movements.
I took a shower and changed. Rachel and I were going to dinner this evening. I left to pick her up.
Circling Rachel’s block, I saw no sign of the red Dodge. I parked in front of her house and walked up to the door. The door opened before I rang the bell. Rachel stepped onto the porch.
“I’m ready. Let’s go.”
She was obviously agitated about something. I helped her into the car and as we pulled away she was looking behind us.
“She’s not there. I already checked.”
“You know Gayle’s been spying on me?”
“Yes, I caught her out here last Saturday. When did you discover her?”
“A few days ago. She’s out there a lot. Sometimes she’s right across the street, but other times she’s up or down the block. I called the police, but they said she’s not breaking any laws, so they can’t do anything.”
“Well, call them anyway every day that you see her. Also write it down. It may help to have a record of her activities.”
We went to dinner and afterwards I took her back to my house. I unlocked the front door and paused to scan for Gayle. Rachel went on in. After looking around, I stepped into the entry hall. Rachel was already in the main hall.
“Rachel, you’re forgetting the rules. Come back here.”
On Rachel’s last visit, I had informed her that the ‘rules’ were now in effect. I had a house rule (which I enforced intermittently) that women were not permitted past the entry hall until they were collared and bound.
Rachel returned to the entry hall.
“I’m sorry, I forgot,” she said as I bound her wrists and locked her collar on her.
“That’s alright. When we get upstairs you can draw an envelope to help you remember.”
“Not another envelope...”
“If you prefer, you can choose your own punishment.”
“No, I don’t think so. I’ll take the envelope.”
I led Rachel upstairs. With the shades drawn, the second floor was reasonably proof against the type of spying that Gayle had been doing. I got her undressed, then held out the box of envelopes.
“Choose an envelope,” I told her.
Rachel chose an envelope and opened it. She looked at the card, then handed it to me. I could tell she wasn’t thrilled with this one.
You are to choose how you will be punished.
If your choice is not a valid punishment,
or is considered to be too lenient,
you must draw a blue envelope.
“What’s a blue envelope?”
“A blue envelope contains two cards.”
“So I have to choose my own punishment?”
“Yes, you do.”
“So what do I choose?”
“That’s up to you.”
“No, I mean what are the choices?”
“Well, you already know about spanking and standing in the corner. You might also choose to be gagged or tied tightly for an extended period. You could be tickled, stand on your toes, be locked in the closet for a time, or any number of other things.”
“I don’t like this. Why don’t you just do whatever you’re going to do to me.”
“No, no, you have to choose. That’s part of your punishment.”
“What if I don’t want to choose? I don’t think I want to be punished at all. Untie me. I want to go home.”
I untied Rachel’s wrists, which were bound in front of her, and removed her collar. She got dressed.
“Please take me home.”
“If you wish.”
We got in the car and I drove her home. Neither of us spoke. When we got to her house, she got out and went up the walk to her door. I sat at the curb until she was inside, then returned home.
I had tried to push things too fast. Rachel was passively submissive. She would have submitted to punishment if I had simply visited it upon her, but forcing her to actively participate in her submission, to choose her own punishment, was more than she was ready for and she had fled. As long as she could pretend the things she was surrendering herself to were being done by me, she was okay, but I had tried to make her do something that would cause her to have to admit to herself the true nature of her desires.
I waited a couple of days, hoping Rachel would come to terms with her feelings and call me, but she didn’t. Things were not looking good. So far I had screwed things up for Rachel by supplying ammunition for Gayle to use against her, and now I had screwed up our relationship. Could anything else go wrong?
Yes, it could. Saturday I went to pay Jacqui a visit. She looked different. I realized she was wearing her hair down. On previous occasions she had worn it up. She was also wearing a dark blouse with a high collar. Nonetheless, I could see what she was trying to conceal.
“Jacqui, you’re wearing a collar. I take it you hit it off with Gayle.”
“Yes, we took to each other right off.”
“I was rather hoping you would put a collar on her, maybe gag her, too.”
“Like I told you, I go both ways.”
“Then it’s not likely I’ll be able to enlist your aid.”
“No, not likely. I appreciate the introduction, but I’ll be punished for talking to you today.”
“And how will Gayle find out about this conversation.”
“I’ll tell her. I have to tell her everything. She’s very strict.”
“So you’re going to tell her you’ve talked to me today and she’ll punish you for it. Seems rather ungrateful.”
“Not really. I’m forbidden to talk to you, but considering what you did for me, I thought I owed you this one conversation. I’m willing to pay the price.”
“Like I said, you don’t have to tell her.”
“Yes, I do. I have to do what she says. I hope she’ll be lenient, but I doubt it. She’s doesn’t like you. I’m disobeying her, and I’ll deserve whatever I get.”
I left the restaurant. My plan to use Jacqui as a proxy to gain control over Gayle had backfired badly. Since Gayle had forbidden her to talk to me, Gayle must know I’d sent her. I could only assume Jacqui had told her everything and would tell whatever I said tonight, too. It was time to stop talking and leave.
Well, at least I had hit bottom. All my plans had backfired. Things could only get better from here.
Wrong again. Later in the afternoon I got a call from Rachel. She was in tears.
“You bastard,” she cried, “how could you do this to me?”
“And what is it I’ve done?” I had a suspicion what had happened.
“Those pictures. Pictures of me in a collar, pictures of me in chains.”
“Rachel, I didn’t take those pictures.”
“You did those things to me, chained me up and made me do those things, and now she has pictures of it. If it weren’t for you, there wouldn’t be any pictures.”
I didn’t think the pictures were my fault, but Rachel was hardly in the mood for a rational discussion. “Rachel, calm down, stop crying. We’ll work this out, we’ll fight it, we’ll fix it.”
“Fix it? You have fixed it. Now I’m going to lose Gretchen. I hate you. I never want to see you again.”
After Rachel hung up, I tried to call her back. I let it ring about twenty times, but she wouldn’t answer.
Maybe I should do as Rachel asked (demanded, actually) and just let it go, stay out of her life. I’d certainly fucked everything up so far. I had to admit that as bad as things were, I could make them worse if I wasn’t extremely careful.
I went to bed. Things would look different in the morning.
They didn’t. I got up, made breakfast, and considered my situation. I gave some further thought to saying to hell with it, but I just couldn’t reconcile the idea of abandoning Rachel. I had two problems. The first was to mend my relationship with Rachel, the second was to put a stop to Gayle. I had no good ideas about how to approach either one.
The lawn was due for another trim, so I went out to cut the grass, hoping to get my mind off things for a bit. Unfortunately, cutting the grass is a pretty mindless task. I brooded the whole time and did a lousy job on the lawn besides.
I came back in, showered, made myself a sandwich and got a beer. Just as I sat down to eat, the doorbell rang. Deja vu. Maybe it was Rachel, come to confront me again. I carried the sandwich with me, just for luck.
It wasn’t Rachel. It was Gretchen. This time I was too surprised to get the first word in.
“Why did you do that to my mother? She really liked you and you made her cry.”
Damn, just like her mother. She had a problem, so here she was on my doorstep and in my face. Unlike her mother, however, her bicycle was on the porch.
“Why did I do what, Gretchen? By the way, does your mother know you’re here?”
“No, she doesn’t. Why did you take those pictures. Why’d you mail them to her?”
“She showed you those pictures?”
“No, but I saw her when she opened the envelope. I know where she keeps stuff.”
“So you looked at them.”
“First of all, you need to know that I didn’t do either of those things. I didn’t take the pictures, nor did I mail them to your mother.”
“But I thought...”
“Gretchen, I’m in those pictures. How could I have taken them? And why would I mail them? If I’d taken them, your mother would already know about them.”
“I figured you had a secret camera rigged up.”
“What about the one in front of your house? It was taken from across the street.”
“I think you and I should have a talk. Would you like to come in?”
I opened the door and led Gretchen into the house.
“Wow. Mom said this was cool.”
“Have you had lunch yet?”
“Would you like a sandwich?”
I fixed Gretchen a sandwich and got her a glass of milk. This gave me a few minutes to figure out what I was going to say to her. I decided I’d better deal with the pictures right off the bat.
“Gretchen, sometimes adults do things that aren’t necessarily what they appear to be on the surface...”
“You don’t have to talk to me like I’m a little kid. I’m fifteen. I know about sex and stuff.”
“Yes, I suppose you do, but I want to make sure that you understand about what’s in those pictures.”
“I understand. I like to be tied up, too.”
“I see. And have you ever been tied up?”
“Only twice. You have to be careful about who you let do it.”
“That’s wise. Once you’re tied up, you may not have a whole lot of control over what happens.”
“That’s the whole point, isn’t it?”
Gretchen was right. I shouldn’t be talking to her like she was a little kid. In some ways, she was more worldly and sophisticated than her mother. Nevertheless, she was a kid and there were some things I could say to an adult that I couldn’t say to her. Besides, we were talking about her mother. I was going to have to walk a fine line in this conversation.
“So you’re not offended or frightened or angry about seeing pictures of your mother like that.”
“It’s sort of creepy, seeing my mom chained up, but I know she likes it. I think all girls do.”
“That may not be the case. Don’t judge other people by what you like, but you’re right about her.”
“I thought so. I mean, it’s weird because it’s my mom, but she looks really cool in the gown with the collar and everything. I wouldn’t mind if somebody did all that to me...”
“Gretchen, this is not an appropriate conversation.”
“...except for the blow job,” Gretchen continued, unabashed, “That’s sort of disgusting. I don’t think I’d want to do that, but I guess maybe if I was tied up I wouldn’t have a choice.”
“She got a picture of that? Oh, god, I don’t believe she got a shot of that.”
“You said you couldn’t believe she took a picture of that. Who? Who took the pictures?”
“I don’t know for certain,” I lied. Gretchen was sharp. I’d made one tiny slip up and she had pounced. I didn’t want her to know Gayle had taken the pictures. She would quite likely take action of her own once she had a target. She had already told Gayle to go fuck herself, not to mention coming to confront me. What would she do if she was really pissed?
“Yes, you do. You said ‘she’ and that means you know who it is. I bet it’s Ms. Robbins. It is her, isn’t it. It’s Ms. Robbins.”
“Gretchen, let’s not go jumping to conclusions.”
“You didn’t say ‘no’. That means it’s her. That bitch! I’ll make her sorry.”
“Gretchen, calm down. You’ll do no such thing.”
“Because Ms. Robbins goal is to take you away from your mother and put you in foster care. Do you want that?”
“Then you can’t do anything that will help her. You can’t do anything that will give her ammunition she can use against your mother. You’ve got to be well behaved and well adjusted. Remember when you told her to go fuck herself?”
“You heard about that?”
“That’s the point. I heard about that. So did a lot of other people. You did a lot of damage to your mother’s position with that episode.”
“Oh...but I’ve got to do something. Somebody’s got to do something. We can’t just let her get away with it.”
“I’m working on it. I’ll have the lawyer call your mother in the morning. I’m working on other things as well. It would be easier if your mother would talk to me, but things being as they are, I’ll do what I can.”
“I don’t get it. Why is mom mad at you if you didn’t take the pictures?”
“Because I made the pictures possible. I’m the one who chained her up. If I hadn’t done that, there wouldn’t be any pictures.”
“That’s not fair. You didn’t know there was anyone sneaking around with a camera.”
“True, but irrelevant. Despite your advanced age, you’re still a child and rational. One of these days, you’ll develop female logic, then you’ll understand. Until then, just take my word for it.”
“I don’t get it. Is that a slam or is it supposed to be a compliment? Maybe you better not talk to me like an adult.”
“The fact that you recognize that speaks to considerable sophistication on your part.”
“You’re still doing it.”
“So are you and my mom going to get back together?”
“I don’t know. That’s up to her. What do you think?”
“I’m supposed to answer the phone. If it’s you, I’m supposed to say she’s not home.”
“Doesn’t look good, does it.”
“Well, if you don’t, you could tie me up instead.”
“Gretchen, if you ever say anything like that to me again, I’m going to run away from you very fast and you’ll never see me again--after I tell your mother. Now apologize.”
“Thank you. I’m sure there are boys your own age for you to be interested in.”
“They’re all dorks.”
“We all start out as dorks. Some of us get better, some get worse. Your job is to figure out which is which. Judging from some women, that’s not easy to learn.”
“You’re doing it again.”
Something occurred to me which I should have thought of earlier. “Gretchen, where does your mother think you are?”
“When does she expect you back?”
“I don’t know.”
“So she doesn’t know where you are or when you’re coming home. She’s worried about you, isn’t she.”
“I guess so.”
“Call her right now.” I handed her the phone. “Tell her where you are.”
“Do I have to?”
“Yes, you do. If you don’t, I will.”
Gretchen dialed the phone. “Hi, mom. It’s me...yes, I am...I’m over at Bob’s...Mr. Canfield’s...no, no it was my idea...I’m alright...yes...okay...here he is.”
“She wants to talk to you.” Gretchen handed me the phone.
“What is my daughter doing over there?”
“The same thing you were doing the first time you came here. She came to give me a piece of her mind.”
“I want her home right now.”
“You want me to drive her?”
“No, she can ride her bike.”
“Okay...hang on just a minute. Gretchen, the bathroom’s in there, through that door and on your right. Go... Now, back to you. Rachel, we need to have a conversation.”
“I am not talking to you.”
“This isn’t about us, it’s about Gretchen.”
“I’ll take care of Gretchen. You stay out of it.”
“Rachel, she’s seen the pictures.”
“What! How could you? I’m calling the police...”
“I didn’t show her. She saw yours.”
“But how? I hid them.”
“When she gets home, I want you to call me. Send her to her room, unplug her extension if she’s got one, do whatever you have to do to make sure she doesn’t overhear, then call me.”
“You did this to me and now you’re doing it to her and you expect me to call you?”
“Rachel, I didn’t do this. Now snap out of it and act like an adult. You’re her mother. Be her mother. As such, you need to have this conversation. It’s about Gretchen and you need to hear what I have to say.”
“But...okay, I’ll call you.”
“Good. One other thing, don’t ground her or decide what you’re going to do about today’s escapade until after you’ve talked to me.”
“You still talking to my mom?” Gretchen wanted to know as she returned.
“I’m sending her off now,” I told Rachel. “Call me.”
“She’s gonna call you? Are you getting back together?”
“I don’t know. Now, it’s time for you to head home before you’re in any more trouble.”
I saw Gretchen off, then waited for the phone to ring. It took about 45 minutes, but finally it rang.
“Hello, Rachel. Have you talked to Gretchen yet?”
“I could hardly face her, knowing she’d seen those pictures. I sent her to her room.”
“Where to start...okay, first thing you need to understand is why she was here. Remember the first day you showed up on my doorstep? She did the same thing. She was demanding to know why I’d sent you those pictures.”
“But you didn’t send them.”
“She knows that now.”
“But how did she find them? I hid them.”
“Rachel, you can’t hide things in your house. Kids always know the place way better than you do. Every nook, cranny, crawlspace, everything. The only thing you can do with stuff like that is lock it up. And use a combination lock. They’ll find a key.”
“How will I ever face her again after she’s seen me like that?”
“That’s the other thing we need to talk about. She doesn’t hold them against you. She understands.”
“How can she understand?”
“Something you need to understand about Gretchen--she’s fascinated by those pictures. She feels a bit weird because it’s her mother in them, but they turn her on. She told me she likes being tied up.”
“Wrong reaction. It’s okay for you but not for her? She’s your daughter. Don’t be surprised if she likes some of the same things. If that’s what turns her on, then that’s what turns her on. You can’t change it. All you can do is teach her not to surrender herself to someone who’s stupid or evil, and that covers a major chunk of the population. You have to talk to her about that.”
“How can I talk to her about that? I feel like such a hypocrite.”
“But you’re not. In an odd sort of way, she’s gained a new respect for you. You can talk to her about that with a credibility you never had before. You know what she said? She said you looked really cool in your gown and collar.”
“She said that? I can’t believe she said that. How could she think it was cool, seeing me in chains?”
“Rachel, believe me. She asked me to do that to her.”
“Of course I didn’t. The point is that she asked someone to tie her up. Gretchen isn’t as shy as you are. She knows what she wants and she’s at that hormonal age. She confided that she’s already been tied up twice.”
“When? What happened?”
“Rachel, calm down.” She was verging on hysteria. “Calm down and listen to me. I didn’t ask for details. She did say it’s only been twice because you have to be careful who you let do it. She’s smart.”
“I can’t let her do that. She deserves better.”
“Tell her that and you will be a hypocrite. She’s seen the pictures.”
“But I don’t want that for her.”
“That’s her decision, not yours, and it’s already been made. Think about your own case. How old were you when you realized you were turned on by the idea of being tied up?”
“As far back as I can remember, but it seemed shameful to want that. I was always so embarrassed by it.”
“I’ve noticed. It’s one of your sexier qualities.”
“Let’s keep the subject on Gretchen.”
“Right. Okay...there are four points I wanted to get across. First, Gretchen is very protective of you. She came over here on her own to chew me out for making you cry. She thought I had sent those pictures.
“Second, as a result of seeing those pictures, your daughter has revealed her own sexual preferences. You’re better off knowing that than not knowing.
“Third, now that you know that, you need to discuss it with her. She’s too young to be engaging in sexual activities, but since she’s already been tied up a couple of times, she’s obviously been involved in some level of horse play. You’ll be better off and better informed about her activities if you discuss it with her rather than censure her. It will be harder for you than for her. It doesn’t embarrass her the way it does you.
“Lastly, she knows it was Gayle that sent the pictures...”
“You told her?”
“No, she figured it out on her own. I told you she was smart. You need to talk to her about that as well. You can’t have her seeking revenge on her own. She might do something that would provide Gayle with some major ammunition. Make sure she understands that, but don’t cut her out of the loop. If she doesn’t feel like she’s involved, she might decide to act independently. And that’s all I have to say.”
“I need to think about this. It’s a lot to take in all at once.”
“It’s really all the same thing, but it’s a big lump just the same. One more thing, call John in the morning and tell him about the pictures.”
“Oh, god, I can’t tell him about that.”
“He already knows. I told him the minute I got my set.”
“She sent them to you, too?”
“Yes, but I didn’t know at the time you’d gotten a set. He needs to know that. Call him. I know it won’t be easy, but you have to do it. He’s not judgmental and he can help. If you love Gretchen, you’ll put aside your embarrassment and call him.”
“Alright, I’ll do it.”
“Good. And call me if I can help. If that’s a problem, call me as Gretchen’s mother, rather than as Rachel. Understand?”
“Speaking of Gretchen’s mother, you’d better go have that conversation with Gretchen.”
I got another beer and went to sit on the front porch, hoping my head would stop spinning. At least now I was pretty sure things couldn’t get any worse, although I wouldn’t have backed that opinion up with money. In some ways I felt like things were better. I was glad for the conversation with Rachel and was hopeful about patching things up. I was also glad to have spent part of the afternoon with Gretchen. She was quite a young woman in her own rite. I hoped she would be successful in her quest for a non-dork. She was going to be quite a handful. He would probably want to keep her tied up for a number of reasons.
I dragged my mind away from the subject of Rachel and Gretchen and returned to the problem at hand. Gayle had made her move. Unfortunately, I had no counter move. Perhaps I should wait for her to make yet another move, but I didn’t like that idea. What would her next move be? The only way to find that out would be the hard way.
The next day, for lack of alternate ideas, I decided to pay Jacqui another visit. Maybe I could get her to say something useful. I sat at the same table I’d occupied the last two times. Jacqui’s eyes widened when she saw me. She did an about face and had a hurried conversation with one of the other waitresses. The other waitress came over and handed me a menu.
“I thought this was Jacqui’s table.”
“Today it’s my table,” she informed me.
“Could I be seated in Jacqui’s section?”
“Her section is full.”
The place wasn’t even half full. I ordered a light lunch and tried to watch Jacqui without staring too rudely. She still wore her collar and she moved oddly, as if it hurt. She had a party at a table near me, but when she was at that table she would always manage to keep her back to me. I tried twice to make eye contact, but each time she looked away. She was frightened. I finished my meal and left.
When I got home, I gave John a call.
“John, have you heard from Rachel?”
“Yes, she called me. She told me she got the pictures.”
“So what can we do about it?”
“Not a lot. I told Rachel I could probably stir up some sort of legal ruckus, but it would involve making the pictures public. You can imagine what Rachel said to that.”
“Yes, I can. So that leaves us no options?”
“It leaves me no options.”
“I see. Thanks for the advice.”
My final comment to John was genuine, not sarcastic. I had known John long enough to understand when he was trying to tell me something he would be ill advised to put into words. He had said that he had no options. He did not say that I had no options. I was going to have to deal with Gayle on her own level.
I got a beer and sat on the front porch, letting my mind pick around the edges of the problem. I had an idea, but I didn’t really like it. I was letting my mind wander, hoping something else would come to me.
I finished the beer and went back in for another. This was bigger than a one beer problem. As I headed back outside, the phone rang. It was Rachel.
“Bob, I need to talk to you.”
“And who am I talking to? Is it Rachel or Gretchen’s mother.”
“It’s Rachel, although Grethen’s mother may have a few comments, too.”
“I’ll enjoy talking to both of you. Did you have your talk with Gretchen?”
“Yes. We both learned something. She really likes you. That counts for a lot with me.”
“Hence the call from her mother?”
“Not entirely. Rachel has her own feelings.”
“I see. And what is Rachel feeling?”
“Rachel would like to see you again.”
“That would be nice. How about Friday?”
“Friday’s fine. Gretchen has an overnight at a friend’s house.”
“Good. So do you.”
The conversation with Rachel left me feeling almost light headed. I tried to return to the problem of dealing with Gayle, but it was no good. My mind kept going back to Rachel. It didn’t matter anyway. My mind was made up. I would indeed deal with Gayle on her own level.
Friday I picked Rachel up at her house and took her to dinner. We discussed her conversation with Gretchen.
“I know it’s hypocritical, but I don’t want that for her. For that matter, I don’t want it for me, but I can’t help what turns me on.”
“Neither can she.”
“I know, but I’m afraid for her. She could get hurt.”
“I wouldn’t worry about it too much. It’s not all that easy for a young woman to get someone to tie her up.”
“I hope you’re right.”
“I am. When was the last time anyone did that to you?”
“I was ashamed of what I wanted. It was just too embarrassing to ask for that.”
“We still have the contents of your last envelope to deal with. When we get to my house, you’re going to ask to be punished and you’re going to tell me what punishment you wish me to inflict.”
“Bob, no. Please...I just can’t.”
“You can. If I’m going to give you what you want, you’re going to have to ask me for it.”
“Please, Bob. Don’t make me do this.”
“You’re having no problem begging at the moment. I suggest you save it for when it might do some good.”
Rachel looked down at her plate and didn’t speak. I pushed my fork off onto the floor and bent to pick it up. I used the opportunity to wrap my hand around Rachel’s ankle. I slipped her shoe off and pulled her leg out straight, resting her foot in my lap. My hand remained tightly wrapped around her ankle. I ran the tines of my fork gently over the sole of her foot. Rachel stifled a screech and jerked her foot, but her ankle remained tightly imprisoned in my grasp.
“Rachel, look at me.”
She looked up, but didn’t meet my eyes. I ran the fork over the sole of her foot again, causing her leg to jump.
“Rachel, I said look at me.” Her eyes locked onto mine. “You’re going to do as I require. You will do as you’re told.” I tapped her foot with the fork to emphasize my point. She nodded.
“That’s not good enough, Rachel. I want you to tell me that you will do as you’re told.”
“I’ll do what you tell me.”
“Failure to comply. You were instructed to say you would do as you are told.”
“I will do as I am told.”
“Thank you.” I signaled the waiter for the check, paid, and led Rachel outside.
“Rachel, before we get in the car, you have a decision to make. This is the only decision you are allowed this evening.”
“Let me guess.”
“You don’t need to. You can choose to go home with me. If you do, I will require your exact obedience and punish you when you fall short. If you go with me, you will not be allowed to leave. If you prefer, you can choose to go to your house and you will suffer none of these things, but you will spend your night alone. This is your only opportunity to make that choice. If you go with me, you will stay until I allow you to leave. Choose.”
“Take me with you.”
It was a quiet ride to my house. I was much relieved that my gamble had paid off. I had hoped that Rachel would come to a greater acceptance of herself through her conversation with Gretchen. For my part, I had come to the realization that I required a level of submission from Rachel that I had never before required of anyone. This had partly to do with changes that had occurred within me since Meg’s death, but also had to do with my perception of the basic nature of Rachel. Something within her cried out to be possessed.
Rachel was almost too quiet.
“Having second thoughts?”
“It’s too late for that.”
When we arrived at the house, Rachel stood quietly in the entry hall as I locked her in her collar. I stripped her down to her underwear and secured her wrists behind her. After leashing her, I led her upstairs to a full length mirror.
"What are you going to do?" she wanted to know.
“You’re going to tell me what I’m going to do, but not yet. Open your mouth.” I gagged Rachel and turned her to face the mirror.
“Rachel, I want you to watch the woman in the mirror. What can she be thinking ? Is she frightened, do you think? Perhaps she’s aroused.” Rachel shivered as I ran my hands lightly down the back of her neck and along her shoulders. “See how she reacts when she’s caressed? How is it that she came to be standing here before you, hands bound behind her, in her gag and her collar? Why did she surrender herself to this? What’s to become of her? You will decide. She has failed to do as she was told and now she stands there awaiting your judgment. When I return, I will remove your gag and you will tell me what her punishment will be.”
I walked away and left Rachel before the mirror. When I returned about 15 minutes later, she was standing as I had left her, still watching the woman in the mirror.
“Have you decided?” I asked.
Rachel nodded slowly. I removed her gag.
“Well, what’s to be her penalty?”
“She needs to be spanked,” Rachel said in a quiet detached sounding voice.
I led Rachel to the basement.
“Where are we going,” Rachel wanted to know. She had never been to the basement and didn’t know about my special room.
“You’ll see when we get there.” I led her down the hall and into a room at the far corner of the basement. The principal feature of the room was a pair of floor to ceiling posts, spaced about three feet apart. Stretched between the posts, about three feet off the floor, was a pair of wide boards, one above the other, each with three semicircular cutouts, one large flanked by a smaller one on each side.
“What’s that for?”
“That’s where she will receive her spanking,” I told Rachel as I removed her bra. “It’s time. She should place her neck in the stocks.”
Rachel slowly walked over and placed her neck in the pillory. I took her hands and placed each wrist in the appropriate notch then closed the stocks on her neck and wrists, locking it in place. Rachel wiggled her hands about experimentally, but her wrists were firmly held.
I squatted in front of Rachel, placing my hand under her chin and tilting her head back so I could look into her eyes.
“It’s time now, Rachel, but she has to ask me. That’s your job, to beg me to spank her. Then it will be my job to make her beg me to stop. Now, do as I require.”
“Please, spank her. She needs to be spanked.”
“I know she does,” I said gently. “Tell her she can scream if she needs to. She won’t disturb anyone.”
I stepped behind Rachel, got her panties off, and bound her ankles tightly. I had brought a rattan cane to the basement. It was one of a pair I had purchased for use on Rebecca. I had never used it on anyone I was serious about so I was a bit dubious about using it on Rachel. The only other person who had felt it had been Dr. Ann, who, like Rebecca, had screamed herself nearly unconscious during her encounter with it.
The first blow resulted in a sharp intake of breath from Rachel. She was silent for the second, but the third produced a loud shriek. By the fifth the tears were flowing and she began to beg. She begged continuously through the next three and by the tenth all she could say between sobs was “Please...please...please.”
I squatted in front of Rachel again and wiped her tears with a white handkerchief. “Tell me, Rachel, has she learned her lesson?”
“And what is it that she’s learned?”
“She has learned to do as she’s told.”
“I’m glad to hear it. Tell her she must ask me to continue.”
“Oh, please, no. It hurts too much. She can’t stand it. Please, don’t hurt her.”
“I’m sorry, Rachel, but she has not learned to do as she’s told and you have lied to me. She will not be released from here until she has learned and when we go upstairs you will choose an envelope.”
I gave Rachel five more strokes, which brought renewed tears and desperate shrieking. I returned to the conversation.
“Tell me again, Rachel, has she learned her lesson?”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure, I’m sure.”
“You know what I require. She must ask me to continue.”
“Please continue her spanking.”
“No, Rachel, she must speak for herself. She must tell me she will do as she’s told. Do you understand?”
“Yes, I understand. I will do as I’m told.”
“Good. Now you must ask me to continue.”
“Please, continue my spanking.” She began sobbing quietly. I stepped behind her and gave her another three strokes.
I released Rachel from her stocks and held her. “Thank you, Rachel, you did as you were told.”
When she stopped crying, I locked her wrists behind her and led her up to the bedroom. It was too soon to choose her envelope--there were more important things to attend to. I bent her over the footboard of the bed and plunged into her. Rachel moaned and thrashed. When she had subsided, I took her to bed. I noticed she chosen to sleep lying face down.
In the morning we got up and showered, then I made Rachel choose an envelope.
“Do I have to?” she asked.
“If you intend to do as you’re told.”
Rachel selected and envelope and opened it. She extracted the card, read it, then handed it to me.
Upon presentation, you will surrender yourself
to the bearer to be securely bound and soundly spanked.
“Does that mean what I think it does?” Rachel wanted to know.
“Yes, it does,” I said, pocketing the card.
We ate breakfast, then I took Rachel home so she would be there in time to fix lunch for Gretchen when she arrived.
On the way home, I did some shopping. I spent the rest of the day preparing for the evening’s activities.
Once it was dark, I drove over to Gayle’s house. I had located it shortly after I had caught her spying on Rachel by simply looking in the phone book. There was a listing for a G. Robbins. I had driven to the address listed and seen the red Dodge was parked in the driveway.
On this occasion, I parked over a block away, then walked to Gayle’s. Besides the red Dodge, there was another car in the driveway. I assumed it was Jacqui’s. I couldn’t tell much by looking at the house. The shades were pulled on the front windows and the front door had no window. There was an alley behind the house. I walked to the end of the block and back up the alley. The back of the house was dark. I entered the yard and walked around the outside, checking the windows. All had shades or curtains drawn and were opaque. I did hear music faintly through the windows at the front of the house. I returned to the rear.
The back door had a window about two feet square. The curtain hung such that there was a gap in the center and I had at least a limited view into the room. I wasn’t able to see much through it. The kitchen was dark and there was a very faint light coming through the door into the next room. I was afraid I was going to have to leave empty handed.
I decided to make one last effort. I slipped a credit card into the door jamb. When I felt it make contact with the bolt, I pushed and felt it slip back. Gayle had an old fashioned slip latch on her back door.
Fortunately, the door wasn’t too squeaky and I crept in fairly silently. I latched the lock in the open position so I wouldn’t have to fumble with it in case I needed to leave in a hurry, then closed the door.
I could hear noises coming from the front of the house and headed toward them. As long as I was silent, I didn’t think they’d notice me. I made my way carefully through the dining room, trying not to bump into any furniture. At the other end of the dining room, I stood behind the door frame and looked into the living room.
Gayle lay on the living room floor with her legs spread wide. Jacqui knelt between Gayle’s legs with her face in Gayle’s crotch. Gayle had her hands on Jacqui’s head, pulling her in tighter, while Jacqui’s arms were bound tightly behind her. Jacqui’s ankles were bound tightly as well. Gayle was alternately moaning and berating Jacqui for the inadequacy of her efforts.
The camera I had brought was an old twin lens reflex made in the sixties. I’d chosen this particular device not only for the large format, but because it had a leaf shutter which was almost completely silent. The film advance, as well as everything else about the camera, was manual, so I had total control over what it did and when. I didn’t want a camera that might decide on its own to use the flash--not a problem with this camera, it didn’t have a flash. I got a couple shots of the scenario in the living room. Both women were naked and there would be no doubt as to their gender in the pictures.
I took two shots of this particular pose. The one disadvantage of the old camera was that I only got twelve shots per roll, so I was going to have to ration them. I had originally intended to shoot through the window so I had brought plenty of film, but I couldn’t risk reloading inside the house.
Gayle started flopping and moaning harder in an obvious orgasm. When she finally quieted down, Jacqui came up for air.
“Did I say you could stop, cunt?” Gayle shrieked. She leapt to her feet, put her foot on Jacqui’s butt, and pushed her down flat on the floor. She grabbed a rod or cane and began beating Jacqui savagely on the butt and thighs.
Jacqui rolled away from the blows and this drove Gayle to greater fury.
“Don’t you try to avoid me, you stupid cunt. You hold still when you’re being whipped. You’re spending the night in the box.”
“I’ll do better. I’ll hold still. Please, don’t put me in the box. Please, don’t,” Jacqui pleaded.
“You’re damn right you’ll do better. Now, on your knees.”
Gayle grabbed a handful of Jacqui’s hair and pulled her to her knees. She started dragging Jacqui toward the dining room. Jacqui was trying to walk on her knees, but with her ankles bound, her progress was slow. I retreated into the kitchen.
Gayle got Jacqui into the dining room and the pair passed right through the spot where I had been standing. I got two good shots of Gayle dragging Jacqui by the hair, then they went through a doorway in the side of the dining room.
The front bedroom was being used as a combination bedroom and dungeon. I watched obliquely through the doorway as Gayle led Jacqui to a corner of the room where a rope dangled from the ceiling. She attached one end of the rope to Jacqui’s wrists and began hauling on the other end.
Jacqui was dragged to her feet. Gayle continued pulling the rope until Jacqui was standing on her toes, bent over with her wrists pulled high behind her, and then tied it off.
Gayle then continued whipping Jacqui. It was much more severe than anything I had ever administered. Jacqui was utterly helpless and exposed. She tried unsuccessfully to stifle her wails.
“Shut up, cunt. If you were good for anything I wouldn’t have to go to all this trouble.”
Jacqui seemed to be in real distress and for a brief moment I considered intervening, but decided that would be foolish. Once the police dragged me off for breaking and entering Jacqui would probably receive worse than she was getting now. I contented myself with recording the event.
Gayle finally took Jacqui down and knelt her next to the bed, then lay back on the bed before her and pulled Jacqui’s head into her crotch.
Gayle had what appeared to me to be a much more satisfactory orgasm this time. This may have been partly due to increased efforts on Jacqui’s part, but I think it was mainly due to Gayle having gotten herself turned on by whipping Jacqui. I got a couple shots of this, but Jacqui was mostly concealed behind the bed and all I could get of her was the top of her head rising above Gayle’s crotch. I did have Gayle in the picture, though, which was my main concern.
“That’s better, cunt. Now, in the box.”
“Don’t put me in there. Please, don’t put me in there. Didn’t I do okay? Didn’t I please you?”
“Not the first time, you didn’t, so you go in the box. Open your mouth.”
Gayle gagged Jacqui, then untied her ankles and led her to a small cedar chest at the foot of the bed. She opened the lid and Jacqui stepped inside. Once she was standing in the box, Jacqui squatted, then sat down. Then she lay back with her head at one end of the box.
“Legs,” barked Gayle.
Jacqui raised her legs in the air. Gayle bound her legs at the ankles and again at the knees, then she stuffed Jacqui’s legs into the box, closed the lid, and locked it. From within the box, I could hear Jacqui trying to beg through her gag.
“Quiet, cunt,” Gayle yelled at the box. “And remember, any mess you make you’re going to lick up in the morning.”
The last shot on my roll was of Jacqui sitting in the box. Now that she was locked in, Gayle was less distracted than earlier. I would need to be utterly silent in my exit.
I managed to exit without incident except for one small problem. If I released the bolt on Gayle’s lock, there would be no way to close the door silently. I left the door unlocked when I departed.
I was troubled by what I had seen. I had only talked to Jacqui twice, but this evening was inconsistent with the personality I had observed. She had seemed outgoing, friendly, and a little brash. I knew she was sexually flexible--bisexual and either dominant or submissive depending on circumstances. Nevertheless, the cowering submission I had seen this evening didn’t fit. The other thing that was noteworthy was that I hadn’t seen any love here. Jacqui was there to serve Gayle’s needs, which seemed to include belittling Jacqui for her efforts. Unless Jacqui was a very different personality than I had surmised, I didn’t see that she had derived any pleasure from the activities. Nevertheless, she was there, so she must be getting something out of it. This evening was consistent with her demeanor when last I had seen her, although she wouldn’t talk to me on that occasion.
When I got home, I went straight to bed, still pondering the paradox of Jacqui. There was no corresponding mystery surrounding Gayle. She had remained true to form as one hundred percent bitch. No redeeming qualities that I could detect, although I suppose everyone has some. I fell asleep still considering the situation and had a dream which seemed to be about the Salem witch trials, in which Gayle was a hypocritical accuser and Jacqui and Rachel were burned at the stake.
The next morning (Sunday), I gave Rachel a call.
“You were mean to me,” Rachel said.
I paused a few seconds before I replied. Because of what I had witnessed last night, this stung more than it ordinarily would have. Just the same, I was convinced I hadn’t taken her anywhere she didn’t want to go. Unlike Jacqui, Rachel’s spanking had been followed by a major orgasm. At the very least, Rachel had been complicit in her ordeal and certainly deserved a major share of the blame if blame was in order, which I didn’t think it was.
“You’re confused,” I told her. “It was that woman in the mirror who chose your punishment. If you have a complaint, you should find a mirror and complain to her. I would be curious to know what answer she gives you.”
“You know me too well. How do you do that?”
I had wondered about this myself. Rachel had told me no one had ever tied her up before. Could this be true? How could she have lived so long without someone else seeing the need in her? I suppose I might have missed it myself if she hadn’t been handcuffed the first time I saw her. She herself didn’t count that incident as having been tied up and I understood why, but just the same she had reacted to it in a way that had caught my attention.
“I look at what I see,” I replied ambiguously. “Do you have any real regrets about what we did?”
“A couple, I suppose.”
“I’m embarrassed by what I admitted about myself. Even now, I can hardly bring myself to say the word ‘spanking’. I’m uncomfortable that I asked you to do that to me. You were very sly, having me ask in the third person. It provided the detachment I needed to be able to do it. Then at the end you shifted me back to first person and I was trapped. I’m a little angry that I did that, but again I’m not angry with you so much as myself and what I see as my weakness.”
“We all have needs, and all needs are weaknesses. I think the difference between a need and a weakness is whether you see it as having been fulfilled or exploited. I’m feeling a bit embarrassed by my own needs. I like to tie women up and spank them. Sometimes I wonder what that says about me as a person. So what about it, were you fulfilled or exploited?”
“Some of both, but mostly fulfilled. That’s what frightens me, that what you made me do was so fulfilling.”
“And the other regret?”
“Why? What about Gretchen?”
“She knows what happened.”
“How does she know that?”
“She figured it out. I sat down a little too carefully and she said ‘You got spanked, didn’t you’. I told her it was none of her business. You were right about her. I always knew she was smart, but she’s growing up so fast. I’m always underestimating her, always a step behind. Just the same, it worries me that she knows I was spanked. It’s even worse now that I know that’s what she wants.”
I talked to Rachel a bit longer. I didn’t offer any suggestions about Gretchen. I didn’t have any. The main thing I wanted from the conversation was to see if Rachel was coming to terms with her inner self. She had needed to talk about it and the conversation helped.
I made arrangements to see Rachel the next weekend.
“One last thing,” I told her. “Is Gretchen in earshot?”
“No, she’s in her room, reading.”
“Then tell me what you will do.”
“I will do as I am told.”
“Good. I’ll see you soon and I will expect you to.”
On Monday, I was faced with another minor dilemma. I had this roll of film to be developed but didn’t know where to take it. I wasn’t even sure if the average film drop off could handle the type 120 film that my old camera used and even if they could I didn’t want the clerk to see the pictures. I called around and found a place that could process the film while I waited. I took it in and told them to do negatives only, no prints. The clerk ran the film without even glancing at it. There was no way the pictures wouldn’t have caught his eye if I’d had him do prints. On the way home, I stopped off at a computer store and bought a negative scanner.
I got the negatives scanned in. They were a bit dark, but I was able to brighten them up quite nicely, and thanks to the large format, the grain was hardly noticeable. The ones in the living room clearly showed Gayle lying on the floor holding a bound woman’s head to her crotch. Also, one of the ones of Jacqui being whipped in the bedroom came out well. Jacqui had her head turned toward the camera and the distress on her face, combined with the glee on Gayle’s face as she swung the rod against the back of Jacqui’s thighs was clearly evident. The shots of Jacqui servicing Gayle as she sat on the bed weren’t all that good because you could hardly see Jacqui and it wasn’t all that obvious what was going on. The most stunning one by far was the one of Jacqui sitting in the box. Gayle’s back was to the camera as she stood holding the rod threateningly, but the striking thing was the look of utter terror on Jacqui’s face. To be honest, I didn’t understand it. She was about to spend a few hours in cramped quarters, but I didn’t see how it was as bad as what she had just been through.
Okay, so now I had the pictures. I now had the same problem Gayle had faced. What to do with them? They were definitely more damaging than the ones Gayle had taken of us. The ones Gayle had taken showed two people engaged in kinky consensual sex. The ones I had taken showed much the same, but revealed a mean spiritedness on the part of Gayle that might cause people to wonder if she was the sort of person to be counseling minors (or anyone else, for that matter). But the big difference was the homosexual aspect of the pictures of Gayle and Jacqui. I personally didn’t have any problem with this--what two people decide to do together is entirely their business. Gayle’s employers, however, would not look at it that way. They might or might not be aware that Gayle was a lesbian, but as long as she kept it under wraps, they were better of ignoring it as opposed to firing her, thus having to admit they’d had a lesbian on staff in the first place. Even though Gayle wasn’t popular where she worked, there was this downside to her dismissal. But if these pictures should somehow become public, Gayle would lose her job instantly and have considerable difficulty finding another. These agencies were touchy about the political repercussions of who they hired and had a very strong bias against homosexuals on staff dealing with minors. If these pictures were to get around, not only would Gayle’s career be ruined (not entirely a bad thing, considering her conduct), but probably a couple of her superiors would have their careers ruined or damaged. I would have to think about this. You don’t do something that will cause this much pain or anger without a good understanding of all the consequences. I hoped that was the difference between Gayle and myself. Normally I enjoy my little pranks, but what I had done was a bit too close to what Gayle had done for me to be very comfortable with.
Another thing. Should I show the pictures to Rachel? I wasn’t sure. My instincts told me it was a bad idea. I decided not to for the time being. Once I’d shown her the pictures, I couldn’t unshow them.
I turned off the computer and fixed myself some supper. I would have to think about it for a while.
By Tuesday I knew what I was going to do. Gayle had obviously put some thought into her solution of the problem of what to do with the pictures. It seemed to me like a pretty good first step, so I decided to use it myself.
Wednesday I had lunch north of the river again. As I entered the restaurant, I handed an envelope to one of the waitresses and asked her to give it to Jacqui. The envelope contained one of the pictures of Jacqui being whipped and a note that said, “We need to talk.”
I watched Jacqui receive the envelope and open it. She had not seen me come in. She turned white as she saw the picture. Then she started scanning the restaurant. When she saw me, what little color remained drained from her face. For a moment I thought she was going to faint. After a moment she recovered somewhat and stumbled over to my table.
“How did you get this?” she asked, shaking the envelope in my face.
I was about to tell her I took it when something in her manner made me pause. There was something odd here. Instead of speaking, I took the envelope from Jacqui’s fingers and stuffed it in my pocket.
“Nobody’s supposed to know about those. You’re the last person on earth she’d show them to. You must have stolen them... But she doesn’t keep them at the house... How did you find them, how did you even know about them? Oh, you bastard, don’t you know what’s going to happen to me when she finds they’re gone?”
I sat with my jaw hanging open, trying to shut it. Jacqui was standing there spewing information and I didn’t want to interrupt.
“Oh, god, I can’t believe it,” Jacqui continued. “She’ll...”
Jacqui had stopped in mid sentence. “Why are you looking at me like that?” she demanded. “There’s something really weird going on here.” She’d seen the astonished look on my face. This somehow seemed to cause her to pull herself together. “You’re right. We should talk. I go on lunch break at 1:00. Can you wait?”
“I’ll be right here. Are you ready to take my order?”
I ate slowly and at 1:00 Jacqui joined me with a salad and iced tea.
“I don’t really think you did this to me on purpose. You didn’t, did you?”
“If you’ll recall, my original hope was that you would lock her in a collar.”
“Oh, yeah, I forgot.”
“So how did you get like this?” I wanted to know.
“The first night I spent with her was wonderful, so the second night I tied her hands behind her and buckled a collar on her throat. She said to me, ‘No, Jacqui, you will wear the collar’ and there was something about how she said it, I knew I would let her do as she wished, and I have ever since. She told me to take the collar off and put in on my own neck. I did. Then she told me to untie her. Again I did as she said. She told me to place my hands behind me and she bound my wrists. And just like that, I was the one who was collared and bound. ‘As long as you please me, I will make you happy,’ she said. And she did. No one had ever made me feel like she did.”
“So what happened?”
“You did. You remember the night you came to see me and I told you I would report our conversation to her? Well, I did, and rather than see it as the token of faithfulness that I had intended, she took it as a sign of betrayal. She really hates you. She said I was your spy and that I was reporting on her to you. I told her that it wasn’t true. Why would I tell her about your visit if it was true? But she wouldn’t listen. When it comes to you, she’s completely irrational. She called me a liar and told me I would pay for my treachery. And I have. I’ve paid dearly. Gayle knows how to hurt a woman. She’s very skilled. I’ve often wondered how many women suffered as she acquired that skill.”
“Why do you stay with her?”
“Fear, mostly, but other things, too. It’s not that easy to leave. She took my car. I’m not allowed to drive. She drops me off here and picks me up when I get off. I get off at 3:30. You have to be gone by then. I don’t have my apartment any more. She keeps me at her house. If she goes out, I’m chained to the bed. But it’s more than that. I could leave her if I really wanted to. Why don’t I? What’s wrong with me?”
“You’re the only one who can answer that. Are you going to tell her about my visit today?”
“No, I don’t think so. I might as well be guilty of the betrayal for which I’m being punished. The box is the worst. She has this cedar chest that she locks me in. The first time she put me in it, it was just something to do, an additional minor torment that she could inflict on me, but I’m highly claustrophobic. As soon as she realized this, the box became the ultimate punishment. She can make me do whatever she wants by threatening to put me in the box. It’s horrifying. There’s no way I can tell you how frightened I am of the box.”
“Then why do you let her put you in it?”
“I have to do what she says. I can’t explain it, but there’s some sort of weird bond between us. Like I said, I could leave her if I really wanted to, but I don’t. I keep remembering what it was like at first and hoping it will be like that again. I try to prove my loyalty, so I obey. When she says get in the box, I get in the box. She keeps me gagged when I’m in the box so my screaming won’t keep her awake. She doesn’t do it all that often. I don’t think she wants me to get used to it. She doesn’t want the horror to diminish.”
“And she takes pictures.”
“Yes, she takes pictures of me. Pictures of me tied up, pictures of me licking her, pictures of me being whipped, being put in the box, being shocked in sensitive places. She has dozens of them. I don’t know what she does with them. I’ve searched the house a couple of times, but they aren’t there. Sometimes if she gets a really good one, she shows it to me to taunt me or humiliate me. Whenever she’s in them, whipping me or something, her back is always to the camera. She’s careful not to have her face in any of them. So...wait...let me see that picture again.”
“But where did you get it? Gayle’s face was in it. Maybe there’s some I don’t know about. I don’t ever remember her taking one like that. She would always set the tripod up and stand in the position she wanted until the flash went off. Please, tell me where you got it.”
“I’m sorry, Jacqui, but I won’t tell you.”
“I didn’t really think you would. I’ve sometimes had the feeling she sells them or trades them or something. Maybe that’s how you got it. Please tell me one thing, are there many pictures of me circulating out there? Am I some porn slut and don’t even know it?”
“No. To the best of my knowledge, there are no pictures of you in circulation.”
“That’s a relief. I been worry about what she does with them.”
“So what do you intend to do about your situation?”
“I don’t know. Endure, I guess. I keep hoping it will get better.”
“Jacqui, has it gotten better?”
“No, it gets worse. Discipline is ever tighter, punishments are harsher, lately she’s been threatening to bury me alive in the back yard.” Jacqui shuddered as she spoke.
“Jacqui, this sounds like it’s getting way out of hand.”
“I don’t think she’s serious. She just uses the threat to terrify me. Just the thought is enough to make me do whatever she says.”
“Just the same, I think you should leave her. This isn’t doing you any good. Don’t your friends notice the change in you?”
“I don’t really have friends any more. When I’m not at work I only spend time with Gayle.”
“That by itself isn’t a good thing. What about your coworkers. Surely they’ve noticed.”
“I’ve had a couple comments, but I tell them it’s none of their business.”
“This is not good, Jacqui.”
“I know. I should probably leave her. I’ll think about it. Anyway, it’s time for me to get back to work. Thanks for stopping by. I didn’t realize how much I needed to talk to someone.”
“Perhaps I’ll drop by tomorrow and we’ll talk again.”
“I’m off tomorrow.”
“Would you like to meet somewhere?”
“You don’t understand. I’ll be chained up while Gayle’s at work.”
“I see. Some other time, then.”
“Yes, some other time.”
I left the restaurant feeling sorry for Jacqui. She would have to solve her own problems, but I couldn’t help feeling a little guilty for introducing them in the first place. It occurred to me that I might pay Jacqui a visit tomorrow anyway.
It was mid morning on Thursday, Jacqui’s day off. I told my receptionist I would be out and unavailable until at least mid afternoon. I circled Gayle’s block. No red Dodge. Jacqui’s car was still in the driveway and I noticed the windows were filmed over. It hadn’t been driven in a while. I drove to the end of the block, parked at the head of the alley, and walked to Gayle’s back yard. I looked about but didn’t see any neighbors peering out windows, so I let myself in.
I found Jacqui in the bedroom. She was hogtied and hanging about four feet off the floor. I was aghast. A tight hogtie can restrict breathing and being suspended like that made it even worse. Her wrists and ankles were all locked to each other and the rope was tied to the central link that connected them. Being suspended as she was made it nearly impossible for her to expand her chest cavity. Her mouth worked continuously and she was nearly blue. I rushed in and lowered the rope. Once the tension was off, her breathing eased somewhat. I unhooked the link that connected her wrists to her ankles and stretched her legs out. Her breathing returned to normal. I carried her to the living room and set her in a chair. Her wrists were still locked together, as were her ankles. I didn’t offer to release her.
“How did you know?” Jacqui asked, once she had caught her breath.
“You told her, didn’t you? You told her I’d talked to you.”
“Yes. I’m such an idiot. I don’t know what makes me do it, but I tell her everything. You can’t believe how angry she was. She said this time she really would bury me alive. I hope she’ll calm down before she gets home, but she might really do it.”
“Jacqui, this is way out of control. You realize that if I hadn’t come by she wouldn’t be able to bury you alive because you wouldn’t be alive.”
“I know. I was lucky this time. Next time I probably won’t be. I know I have to leave her, but a big part of me doesn’t want to. It’s funny. I’ve always thought abused women were idiots for going back to the abuser and now I’m one of them. How did I get like this? How did it happen to me?”
“I don’t know,” I told her. “But if you figure it out, I’d like to hear the answer.”
“Maybe you’d better take me away now, while I’m still tied up so I don’t go running back.”
“I have another alternative, one that might let you stay with her.”
“I think it’s about time she wore the collar,” I told her. “Your relationship will never again be what it was at first, but it can’t stay like it is, either. Your only chance of keeping it together and surviving the experience is if she wears the collar.”
“It’s a good idea, but I don’t know if I can do it. You don’t know the things she can make me do.”
“It’s your only hope, Jacqui. You need to either make that happen or come with me now and move somewhere far away. Do you understand that?”
“Yes, I understand, but I’m afraid. What if I try and fail?”
“Then show her these.” I released her wrists and handed her a stack of prints.
“Where did you get these? Her face is in nearly every one. These could get her fired, ruin her career, she’d lose everything. Where did you get these?”
“But...but...I remember this night. It was the last time she put me in the box. She didn’t take any pictures. So where did you get these? Who took them?”
“Like I said, no comment.”
She looked at me sharply. “And how did you know where I was? How did you get in here today? I was punished for that, you know--leaving the door unlocked. I hadn’t done it. I thought she had, but she didn’t, did she.”
“Once again, no comment.”
“Have it your way. Anyway, you’d better untie my ankles. I have things to do before Gayle gets home.”
“Are you sure you can handle her?”
“Yes, I’m sure. I know her well enough by now. It’s been a while since she’s done anything to please me. It’s about time she did.”
The pictures seemed to cause a transformation in her. The old Jacqui was coming back to the surface. I hoped she’d manage to hang around in the presence of Gayle.
“Anything I can do to help?”
“Leave me the pictures. Other than that, I can handle it.”
I unfastened Jacqui’s wrists and ankles, kissed her on the forehead and departed. I hoped she could pull it off. I did drive down the alley the next day. There didn’t appear to be a fresh hole dug in the back yard.
Friday I took Rachel to the symphony. It was their annual Beethoven’s 9th concert. Rachel loved Beethoven’s 9th and had attended this concert every year since high school. I had been myself once or twice over the years and tonight I enjoyed it quite as much as Rachel did. Rachel had gone all out for the concert to the limits of her budget. She’d bought herself a rather fetching black dress and wore the shoes she’d worn that memorable night at my house and her best jewelry.
On the way home, I asked her, “Rachel, why is it you get all dressed up to go to the symphony, but you don’t dress up for me.”
“Well, partly because the 9th is special, but mostly because you don’t ask me to. I will do as I’m told, remember.”
We stopped after the concert for dessert, then continued to my house. It was probably just as well that Rachel didn’t dress up like this all the time. She looked so delicious I sort of hated to undress her.
When we got to the house, I unlocked the front door and Rachel breezed in and headed for the bathroom. I wasn’t fooled.
“Rachel, come back here.”
“Oh, I forgot about the rules. I had to go to the bathroom.”
“No, you didn’t forget,” I told her as I locked her collar in place. “You did that on purpose.”
“Well...but I did have to go.”
“You went at the restaurant. Hands behind you.” I tied her wrists behind her. “Tonight you get to draw a blue envelope.” I stood Rachel in the center of the main hall at the foot of the staircase. “Don’t move.”
I went upstairs and returned with the box of envelopes, as well as Rachel’s wrist and ankle cuffs and a short hobble chain. I untied her wrists and made her take her dress off then removed her bra and jewelry. She was now clad in shoes, stockings and panties. I locked the cuffs on her wrists and ankles and attached her ankle chain, then locked her wrists together.
I held out the box. Besides white envelopes, it now contained blue and green envelopes. “Choose a blue envelope.”
“What’s in the blue envelopes?”
“The blue envelope is a double. It contains two cards.”
“Does it have to be double?”
“You deliberately disobeyed. You deserve at least a double.”
“So what are the green envelopes?”
“Applications for clemency. If you’re very good from here on, perhaps I’ll let you have one. Now choose an envelope.”
Rachel selected a blue envelope and opened it. She pulled out one of the cards and turned bright red as she read it. She seemed reluctant to show it to me.
“Rachel, give me the card.”
She looked at the floor and handed it to me. The heading read:
You will be leashed and taken for a walk
with your hands bound behind you and
your ankles chained.
“Around the neighborhood,” I told her. She turned red again and looked at the floor. I loved it when she did that.
“If you’re good, I’ll let you put your dress back on. Otherwise, you go as you are.” This produced a positively flourescent blush from Rachel. It had the opposite effect on me. My face went white as all the blood in my body congregated in one spot.
“Bob, I can’t.”
“You’re doing a really bad job of doing as you’re told. You purposely put yourself in this position. You may not renege.”
“Keep it up and you’ll forfeit your panties as well. Now tell me what I want to hear. Do you need help from the woman in the mirror?”
“No, I’ll do as I’m told.”
“No contractions, Rachel. Say it correctly. You are only allowed to say it correctly.”
“I will do as I am told.”
“Good. See that you do. Now read the other card.”
Rachel pulled the other card out of the envelope. She actually gasped as she read this one. I held out my hand and she held out the card. I thought she had been blushing before. She was looking at her shoes and didn’t look up as she held the card out. I looked at the card:
You will sit to have
your portrait taken.
“You’re going to take pictures of me tied up, aren’t you.”
“Yes, I am.”
“You’re not really going to. Please, no.”
“Of course I’m really going to. It’s okay. This time we get to keep the negatives. I’ll let you know when I’ve made the arrangements.”
“Oh my god. I can’t believe you’re really going to do this to me.”
“Rachel, say the phrase again.”
“I will do as I am told.”
“See that you do.”
“I know, but, oh my god.”
“Well, we’ll worry about that later. Right now, it’s time for your walk.” I latched her wrists behind her and snapped her leash on her collar.
“But, my dress. You can’t take me out like this.”
“Rachel, I told you I’d put your dress on you if you were good. So far I’m not impressed. If anything, I should take your panties.”
“Rachel, I’m still not impressed.”
“I know but, it’s just that, it’s just...”
I could tell I was pushing Rachel a bit far. She would put up with being spanked, gagged, tied up, being locked in a box or whatever. What she had problems with was those things which embarrassed her. The reason we had had to summon the lady in the mirror was not because she was to be spanked, but because she had to ask to be spanked. Tonight she had been unlucky enough to draw the total embarrassment package--being walked in public, then submitting to a photo session. I really had no intention of taking her out without her dress. The idea was to relent and let her wear her dress. Compared to going out naked, being walked in her dress wouldn’t seem quite so terrifying to her.
“I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I’ll let you fill out a plea for clemency. If I’m satisfied with your answers, I’ll let you wear your dress, but you’ll have to promise total obedience the rest of the night.”
“Alright.” Rachel was visibly relieved. My plan had worked perfectly. She would submit to her walk.
I unfastened her hands and told her to draw a green envelope. I had her sit at the breakfast table and fill it out. I read the form after she finished
Application for Clemency
Read over the entire form before you begin filling it out. Answer each question in order as completely and accurately as possible. Every question must be answered. You may ask for assistance if necessary. Acceptance of the completed form will result in a grant of clemency. Use the back of the form if you need additional space.
1. What is the infraction for which you are to be punished?
I deliberately left the entry hall without my collar or my hands tied.
2. Have you done this before?
Yes, but not deliberately.
Several weeks ago.
2b. How were you punished?
I had to draw an envelope. The card required me to choose my own punishment, but I just couldn’t, so I went home. When I returned a couple weeks later, the lady in the mirror asked
that I be spanked. I was taken to the basement and locked in stocks. Then I had to beg to be punished. I received a severe spanking.
3. What do you think would be an appropriate penalty for this infraction (do not put ‘none’)?
I think I’m being punished enough. Being bound and walked in public on a leash will be difficult for me. Also, I will have to pose for bondage pictures, which also frightens me.
4. Why do you think punishment should be waived on this occasion?
I feel that I’m undergoing a severe punishment as it is. It won’t be easy for me to do these things. I don’t think I should have to go outside naked.
5. What steps will you take to prevent a recurrence of this offense?
I admit that I was purposely disobedient. I understand that I deserve a harsh punishment, but feel that what I am about to undergo more than qualifies. To be honest, I would much rather be spanked or hog tied for three days or something. I may forget again at some point in the future and enter the house without proper bonds, but I promise I will never again do it on purpose.
6. What extra effort will you make to compensate for this transgression?
I promise to be extremely obedient in the future. I will do as I am told. If I ever do this again, I will accept whatever punishment is imposed.
I was rather pleased with the way Rachel had filled out the form. She had admitted her guilt and was willing to surrender herself to the punishment I required. She had also filled out the whole thing in the first person--no help from the lady in the mirror. She had signed and dated the form. I would file it away to show to her if she ever reneged on the things she had promised in the last two items.
“Thank you, Rachel. You did well. Now, get your dress on, we’re going for a walk...No, leave the bra. You don’t get to wear that.”
Rachel was once again dressed for the symphony, except for the collar and chains. I locked her wrists behind her, snapped the leash in place and led her toward the front door. I stopped on the front porch.
“One more thing,” I told her. “You are to remain silent unless I say something to you that requires a response. If you speak out of turn, you will be gagged and we’ll do the whole walk all over again. Understand?”
“If you wish, I could gag you now. Would you rather be gagged now?”
“Fine. Come along then.”
Rachel’s ankle chain was barely long enough for her to negotiate the steps. I held her arm as she worked her way down to the side walk.
“Rachel, I want you to heel. You will stay about two paces behind me and stay centered on my hand so that the leash is straight.” I stepped in front of her and ahead by about two paces. “That’s where I want you. Maintain that position relative to me. Now, off we go.”
I headed around the block. I was going to circle my block and the next one. I could hear her ankle chain clinking gently and scraping along the sidewalk. I led her north for two blocks on the back side of the block, then east to the front side of the block, then we headed back south. In two blocks we would be back in front of the house. So far, a couple of cars had slowed down, but we hadn’t met any pedestrians. Now there was one coming toward us. He was about a block away and I couldn’t tell much about him.
As we drew nearer, I saw that it was a woman walking her dog. She stared open mouthed as she got within a few yards of us.
“My pet doesn’t mess the neighbors yards,” I said as she drew parallel. She closed her mouth and looked away. Rachel was staring at her shoes.
When I got her back in the house, I got her out of her dress and shoes, slung her over my shoulder and carried her upstairs. It was a repeat of the day when I had brought her home from the restaurant after she had been stared at by Jacqui. Rachel was as aroused as I was, and I wondered again about that. Was she turned on by being embarrassed, or was she turned on because I had made her do something embarrassing? I decided it must be the combination of the two. I had made her do other things, but that didn’t seem to turn her on like this did.
In the morning I took Rachel home so she would be there in time for Gretchen’s arrival. On the way home, I drove by Gayle’s house. I noted that both cars were there, but the order was reversed. Gayle’s Dodge was in first with Jacqui’s car behind it. I thought about stopping, but decided against it.
I took Rachel to lunch twice through the week, but otherwise things were fairly quiet. Friday I took Rachel out. Gretchen was staying overnight with a friend again. I was beginning to think she was organizing these sleep overs to give her mother the chance to stay over night with me.
Rachel was extremely well behaved. She did as she was told. I was both pleased and disappointed. Saturday morning I took her home as usual.
On Thursday, I got a call at work.
“Bob, this is Jacqui. Could you come by Gayle’s house this evening?”
“Jacqui, I’m really surprised to hear from you. I didn’t realize you knew my work number.”
“I don’t, but Gayle does. She tells me everything.”
“So Gayle knows my work number.”
“Has it memorized. Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. She used to keep track of you and Rachel rather closely.”
“She now has other responsibilities. She’s much too busy for such frivolities.”
“I see, I think.”
“So anyway, the reason I called, could you come over to Gayle’s house this evening?”
“I guess I could. What’s up?”
“I’ll tell you when you get here. Make it about 7:00”
I arrived at Gayle’s house promptly at 7:00. This time I went to the front door and rang the bell. Jacqui opened the door.
“Hi, Bob. Come in.”
I stepped in. “So what’s going on?”
“I want you to meet someone. This is the new Gayle.”
Gayle was kneeling in the middle of the floor. She was naked and her arms were bound tightly behind her so that her elbows were nearly touching. Her ankles were tightly bound as well. There was a collar around her neck.
“Hello, Gayle,” I said. “I’m glad to meet you.” I didn’t see that hate in her eyes that had been there before. Instead, I saw fear and maybe, just maybe, a bit of remorse. As I watched, a tear traced it’s way down her cheek. Her body was erect and rigid. It looked uncomfortable.
“She looks rather...” I began.
“Yes, she is, but I require proper posture and Gayle is anxious to comply.”
“So how did this come about?”
“I took your advice to heart. I knew I would have to leave or turn the tables on Gayle, so I set a trap for her. I distributed the pictures you gave me throughout the house. I put a note on each one. Just inside the door was the picture of us on the floor. The note said: Gayle being pleased by her faithful friend.
In the dining room was a picture of her whipping me. The note said: The ungrateful Gayle abuses her faithful friend.
The next was the picture of her on the bed during her orgasm. The note said: Gayle’s friend forgives her torment and pleases her again.
The last one was the picture of me sitting in the box. The note said: Gayle responds to her friend’s devotion with even greater cruelty.
By this time she was in the bedroom and noticed that I was not where she left me. She called out to me and I answered, stepping into the room. She looked at me oddly in a combination of fear, anger, and desire. I went over to her, jerked her arms behind her, and locked a pair of handcuffs on her. As you can see, Gayle isn’t a large woman. Her advantage was always that her partners would do as she told them. She tried it again after she was collared. She told me I must take the collar off her and put it on myself, that that was the proper order of things. I laughed and pushed her on the bed, tying her ankles. Then I got the scissors and cut her clothes off. I bound her more tightly and she stayed that way for two days or more. I was waiting for her to accept her new reality. Finally, she told me she accepted her new status and would obey me. I knew she wasn’t sincere. She just wanted to be untied so she could get the upper hand again. I untied her so she could learn the lesson she needed to learn. Once she was free, she tried to get me to take her collar off again. She talked soothingly, telling me if only I would allow her to bind my wrists again, things could go back to how they used to be when we were happy. She walked slowly toward me, speaking soothingly of the pleasure she would bring me once I was back in my collar. She really is hypnotic. She pulled my arms gently behind me, and only when I felt the rope begin to encircle my wrists did I break the spell. I jerked my hands from hers and turned to face her. I told her that she was now the one in the collar. I told her I knew well the pleasure she could give, but also the pain. I told her that she knew as well the pleasure I could bring to her, and that I would leave her if she failed to obey me. I told her to turn and place her own hands behind her, and to my surprise, she did. I tied her wrists together and led her to the corner where I had been punished so many times. I tied the dangling rope around her wrists and hauled them high. She bent over and raised herself up on her toes as I had always done when the rope pulled my arms ever higher and made my shoulders ache. Then I tied her feet and told her that I was disappointed in her attempt to return me to her collar and that she was going to be punished. I had learned a lot from my punishments at her hands. I knew I could cause her great pain and I did. This was when I made the discovery. Like my claustrophobia, Gayle had her great fear. Hers was a fear of pain, of being rendered helpless and made to suffer. This seemed odd to me since she so loved to do that to others, but it has a weird sort of consistency. I was surprised that she had so easily let me tie her in the corner for her whipping, but I think she didn’t really believe I would do it. She seemed to think she could inflict pain on others, but no one would do it to her. Now she knows otherwise. She shrieked horribly through the whipping I gave her, which was not so severe as even the mildest one she had given me. After that, she struggled desperately to avoid each punishment her transgressions earned, until finally I was able to teach her the futility of resistance. She now understands that resistance brings greater pain than compliance. Now she submits to whatever correction I decide she needs. Don’t you, Gayle?”
“Yes.” Gayle’s reply was a hoarse whisper. It sounded to me like a combination of fear and need, but it could have been that her collar was too tight.
“Gayle has told me everything, and some of it you need to know. Gayle wanted Rachel for herself. She met Rachel when Gretchen first started at her school. Gayle is in her own way more perceptive than average. She saw something in Rachel that inflamed her desire. Rachel, however, was oblivious and hardly remembered meeting Gayle.”
“Then Gayle learned that Rachel had been arrested for prostitution. The charges were obviously spurious, but Gayle saw her chance. If she could get Gretchen taken away from Rachel, she thought she could have Rachel to herself. With Gretchen out of the picture, she need only lure Rachel to her house and she would be able to do to Rachel what she did to me, what she had done to others. Then you came on the scene. You got Rachel a lawyer, got the charges dropped, and got Gayle reprimanded. But the worst was when Rachel gave herself to you. Gayle had been stalking Rachel, and the day she saw her leaving the house with you, a collar locked on her throat, she knew Rachel was lost to her. She went to your house and got pictures of Rachel in chains, of Rachel serving your pleasure on her knees. She began plotting your downfall. She sent the pictures to Rachel to break up the relationship. Once you were out of the way, she could once again go after Rachel, and when she achieved her end, Rachel would be made to suffer for her faithlessness. I myself can attest that she would have suffered greatly.”
“But then you sent me to her. She found me almost as desirable as Rachel, and I had the advantage of availability. She liked me chained and waiting for her when she got home. I got off work before she did. There is a shackle bolted to the foot of her bed, and I was required to lock it about my ankle each day when I arrived, so that I would be captive, awaiting her arrival. And I did it. Each day when I arrived home, I locked myself in her shackle and awaited her as her captive, except on my days off, when I would spend the entire day bound or chained. When she arrived home, I was required to please her, which I did, then she would please me. I was happy with the arrangement and willingly submitted to the bondage she required. Then came the day that I told her about your visit, and things changed. No longer would she please me after I had served her. I would instead be punished for what she saw as my faithlessness. I became the substitute for Rachel and she made me suffer all the pain she wished to inflict upon Rachel for Rachel’s indifference to her.”
“Then finally, she went too far, and now she is my captive, chained and punished. I’m not as cruel to her as she was to me. When I am pleased with her, I please her, and she taught me well to please her. But when she fails, when I am not pleased with her, I make my displeasure known to her and now she learns well how to please me.”
“But to get back to your situation, Gayle has given up her fixation on Rachel. She now understands that I am all she needs, and that she must put all her efforts into pleasing me. I have also told her she must do penance for the wrongs she has done you. That’s why I asked you here.”
Jacqui approached Gayle and wound her hand in Gayle’s hair. “Come with me, Gayle.” Jacqui led Gayle toward me, and Gayle worked her way across the rug on her knees the way I had seen Jacqui do the night I took the pictures. Gayle now knelt before me and Jacqui bent over her shoulder and unzipped my fly.
“Okay, Gayle, get to work. It’s the least you can do to make up for all the trouble you’ve caused.”
I could tell Gayle was utterly disgusted by what was being required of her, but she did as Jacqui required.
“I expect you to do a good job. If Bob isn’t satisfied with your effort, you’ll have to do it again, and it takes a lot longer the second time, so do it right the first time.”
I felt I was being used here, but there was such a feeling of justice having Gayle’s head bobbing away in my lap that I didn’t raise any objection. It wasn’t like I hadn’t tried to use Jacqui.
“Swallow, Gayle, swallow it all,” Jacqui instructed as I spurted into Gayle’s mouth. When Gayle had finished swallowing, she turned and headed out of the room. She had gotten as far as the dining room when she threw up.
“You’re going to have to lick that up, Gayle,” Jacqui called to her. Gayle groaned and rolled onto her side. She began licking at the mess she had made, but progress was slow. Jacqui finally got a bucket and mop and cleaned it up. I zipped my pants and waited to see what else would happen.
Jacqui returned from putting the mop away. She had one more surprise for me.
“Bob, Gayle should be rebuked for rejecting your gift. Would you like to whip her yourself?”
I wasn’t all that turned on by the idea of whipping Gayle, especially since I was somewhat enervated by the blow job, but that wasn’t what this was about. I did feel a need for Gayle to fear me. I gave in to my baser instincts and stood. “Yes, I’ll whip her. Will you untie her, please.”
Jacqui untied Gayle, who remained kneeling as she had been.
“Gayle, stand up and come over here.”
Gayle stood up stiffly and tottered over to me. She looked so small and pitiful standing there. This was not the person who had beaten Jacqui so savagely. This was someone else. Just the same, she would suffer for Gayle’s sins.
“Hold your hands out and cross your wrists,” I said and bound her wrists tightly as she complied.
“Now, into the bedroom.”
I watched Gayle as she walked ahead of me. I could feel her fear. She knew I had good reason to be angry with her.
I tied the rope to Gayle’s wrists, which were bound in front, and pulled them high over her head. Her heels rose off the floor as I pulled her higher and tied off the rope. Jacqui handed me a short whip and I stood in front of Gayle and looked into her eyes.
“I”m sorry,” Gayle said softy. “I know I’ve wronged you, but that’s over now. Look at me, naked and helpless. There’s no need for you to hurt me. I’m no threat to you now. Look at me, look at my body. Don’t you want me? I could serve you. I could please you. You don’t want to hurt me, do you? Just untie me and you can have me. You can have me. Just untie me...”
This was the old Gayle. She was very good. She spoke in a soft soothing tone that was as hypnotic as Jacqui had said. It was quite an education watching her work. Considering how she felt about men, she was very convincing. Would Rachel have succumbed to her? Possibly.
Being of a somewhat logical mind, I had spotted the fallacy in Gayle’s argument. “Gayle, I can have you anyway, can’t I?...Answer me, Gayle.”
“Yes,” she whispered so softly I could barely hear her.
“Good. Now that that’s settled, we will proceed.”
“No, don’t. Please. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. I won’t do it anymore. Don’t hurt me. Please don’t hurt me. I can’t stand pain. I’m sorry. Please...”
Her manner had changed entirely. She was pleading and whimpering, desperately struggling against her bonds. I looked at Jacqui. “Does she do this every time?”
“She did at first, but lately she hasn’t been this bad. It’s you. She hated you, but she was also terrified of you. The day you got in her car frightened her more than you know. The hate and fear sort of go together. One of her greatest fears in life was to be in exactly the predicament she’s in now. I’m not surprised she’s terrified.”
Gayle had continued her pleading during my exchange with Jacqui. Enough of this. I gave Gayle a stiff stroke to her backside. Her scream echoed off the walls and rang in my ears.
“This is going to be a noisy one,” Jacqui said. “Better gag her.”
I took the gag Jacqui handed me and forced it into Gayle’s mouth, then went to work on her in earnest. I didn’t have Gayle’s finesse, but I was a lot stronger than she was. The thought of her doing this to Rachel made me angry and I expressed my anger on Gayle’s body. When I had covered her backside, I worked on the front, knees to nipples.
I let Gayle down and removed her gag. She lay on the floor, gasping and crying. I looked at her, looked at her body laying before me naked and helpless. No, I didn’t want her. I didn’t want her to touch me. I wanted to leave, but there was one last thing..
Gayle lay on her side, trying to cover her face with her bound hands. “Gayle, look at me.”
She looked up blurrily at me through reddened eyes. “Gayle, I’m sure you’ll never forget this day. I want you to remember one other thing. After I leave here tonight, if I ever so much as hear your name again, I will find you and I will do this again.”
Gayle shrank from me. I turned to Jacqui. “I need to leave.”
“I understand. Thank you for coming.” She handed me an envelope as I turned to go.
I left feeling sick at heart and soiled. Jacqui had had her revenge. She had discovered Gayle’s greatest fear and made it a reality. I told myself that at least we had Gayle out of our hair, but I was worried about the price I had paid. When I had been dating Karen, I had felt superior to her former husband who used to beat her. What he had done to her was mere brutality, whereas when I beat a woman it was erotic. She would give herself to me and I would bind her and give her the gift of surrender that she needed. I was not merely satisfying my own needs but hers as well. Tonight had been different. I hoped I wouldn’t make a habit of it.
When I got home, I opened the envelope. I had almost forgotten it. My mood was such when Jacqui had given it to me that I wasn’t even curious as to what was in it, but the dark cloud of emotions had dissipated somewhat on the way home. The envelope contained pictures of Gayle. I looked at them with increasing interest. There were pictures of Gayle bound, Gayle being whipped, Gayle laughing hysterically as she was tickled, Gayle weeping in a pair of fierce nipple clamps. Pictures of Gayle showing fear, terror, laughter. Pictures of Gayle pleading, smiling, begging, cajoling. I noticed that there was a progression to them. Jacqui had numbered them and if viewed in order, they showed the progress of Gayle’s transformation.
The first one was of Gayle on her knees, hands bound behind her. Her eyes smouldered as she gazed at the camera. Jacqui had captured her essence on film. You could see the power in her eyes and knew it would be dangerous to untie this woman. Slowly, from photograph to photograph, she changed, until at last she was the Gayle who had been kneeling on the floor when I had arrived. This was the face of someone who would do as she was told.
I had been an amateur photographer on and off throughout my life. I knew a thing or two about photography and one of the things I knew was when I was looking at work that was way better than mine. I had intended to photograph Rachel myself, but after seeing these, I changed my mind. If Jacqui could capture the essence of Rachel the way she had Gayle, I had to have pictures like that.
I was sitting at my usual table the next day at 12:30. Jacqui was surprised to see me.
“You go to lunch at 1:00?”
“Come sit with me. I have a proposition for you...no, not that kind,” I said in response to her sly grin.
Shortly after 1:00 Jacqui slid into the seat next to mine.
“So what’s up?”
“I looked at your pictures. You’re very good.”
“Thanks. I thought yours were good, too, especially considering the conditions under which you took them.”
“They’re okay, but yours are better. I want you to shoot Rachel.”
“Will Rachel agree to that?”
“She already has.” I explained about the card.
“Good. I’d love to shoot Rachel. Gayle wasn’t the only one attracted to her, but you knew that. This may sound weird, but one of the things I wanted to do was take her picture.”
Jacqui had a friend who would let her use his studio. We made arrangements to meet there Saturday evening.
Saturday evening when I went to pick up Rachel, Gretchen answered the door.
“She’s still dressing,” Gretchen informed me. “She’ll be out in a minute. Want something to drink?”
“No, thanks, Gretchen.”
“So where are you guys going?”
“To visit a friend of mine.”
“My mom’s getting awfully dressed up just to go visiting.”
“It’s a special friend.”
Rachel emerged from the hall. “Hi, Bob. I’ll be ready as soon as I get my gloves.”
“She bought some long gloves,” Gretchen informed me. “You made her get them, didn’t you, so they’d hide the rope marks.”
“Gretchen, behave yourself,” Rachel shrilled. Gretchen was having fun needling her mother.
“If I don’t, can Bob spank me?”
“Gretchen!” we both screeched. Now she was doing it to me, too.
“Sorry. So, are you two going to be out all night?”
“I don’t know,” Rachel replied, “but I want you to behave while I’m gone. Don’t stay up too late.”
“You look really cool, Mom. You should have him tie you up and take your picture.”
“Gretchen, stop it.”
I hustled Rachel out of the house before Gretchen could make another crack. Did Gretchen know where I was taking her mother? Her remark had to have been coincidental. Didn’t it?
Rachel slipped into her gloves once she was in the car. I felt guilty about her buying the gloves. I knew she was on a tight budget. I didn’t want her spending her money on clothes to please me. Making sure she was able to adequately provide for Gretchen was more important than dressing for me. Besides, there were other ways she could please me--ways that didn’t require clothes.
All that notwithstanding, I had asked Rachel to dress this evening as she had on that first Saturday she had spent at my house. I wanted a picture of her in this outfit that was of better quality than the one Gayle had taken.
“Where are we going?” Rachel asked me.
“It’s a surprise.”
I drove down to the old industrial district that I had suggested visiting the afternoon when we had first had lunch where Jacqui worked. I pulled up in front of a small two story brick storefront. There were two doors on the front of the building, one in the center and one on the far right. I guided Rachel to the one on the right.
“I think I’m a bit overdressed for the neighborhood,” Rachel commented.
Once inside the door, we were confronted with a steep stairway that led to a door on the second floor. At the top of the stairs we halted and I locked Rachel in her collar and cuffs, then locked her wrists behind her and attached her ankle chain and leash. She now looked as she did when I had led her down the stairs.
“Gretchen was right, wasn’t she.”
“You’ll see--maybe,” I said as I tied a blindfold in place. I opened the door and led her in. The place was dark except for one overhead track light which illuminated a three foot circle on the floor. I positioned Rachel in the center of the light. The light was a slightly in front of Rachel and shone down at an angle so that if she looked up, her face would be fully illuminated and if she looked down it would be in shadow.
“Tell me what you will do,” I said as I got Rachel in position.
“I will do as I am told,” she responded.
“Good. Now don’t move.”
Jacqui turned the light out, plunging the room into near darkness. I removed Rachel’s blindfold and stepped away.
Jacqui flipped on the light. Rachel closed her eyes, which had become dark adapted in the blindfold. The sudden brilliance blinded her.
Rachel opened her eyes and looked down, then slowly looked up as her eyes adjusted to the light. She looked around was but unable to see anything beyond the circle in which she stood. Jacqui clicked away, catching a range of lighting on Rachel’s face.
“Bob...Bob?” Rachel called after a minute or two. She moved to the edge of the circle, which took her two steps with the ankle chain.
“Gag her,” Jacqui whispered.
“Rachel, didn’t I tell you not to move?” I demanded as I reached her side. I repositioned her in the center of the circle, then gagged her. Jacqui snapped a few more shots, then waited quietly. After a bit, Rachel began to show signs of concern and impatience. Jacqui took a few more shots. Then I removed Rachel’s gag and her dress. Things proceeded from there. Jacqui added a bit more lighting from the sides and continued photographing Rachel as she was slowly undressed. Throughout the process, I had gotten her to smile, to laugh, to show surprise, irritation, and several shades of embarrassment (her specialty).
Rachel was now naked except for her stockings. I had a thing for stockings so they would stay. It was time for the final series of photos. Rachel was going to cry for me.
I led her to a spot between two posts where a horizontal bar was positioned overhead. I told her to raise her arms and tied each wrist to the bar about three feet apart then bound her ankles.
“Rachel, you know you failed to do as you were told, don’t you. You were told not to move and you tried to leave the circle.”
“Yes, I know,” she said ever so softly.
“Tonight we’ll forego the envelope and settle for a simple spanking.”
“Bob...no. Not here, not like this.”
I let her plead for a bit as Jacqui captured the moment, then began. The first stroke produced a wail of despair. Tears and begging came not long after.
I untied Rachel, kissed her gently, dressed her, and led her away.
In the morning we decided to head over to Rachel’s house and have breakfast with Gretchen. Gretchen wasn’t up yet when we got there. She showed up about the time the food was ready. Rachel winced as she sat down.
“Looks like at least one of us didn’t behave herself last night,” Gretchen commented. Rachel turned red, but didn’t say anything.
Wednesday I had lunch with Jacqui again. She handed me a package.
“This contains all the negatives, a complete set of proof sheets, and prints of the two dozen or so best ones.”
We looked through them together. They were everything I hoped they’d be. My two favorites were one of Rachel in her gown looking somewhat puzzled and slightly embarrassed. The other showed her naked and looking totally embarrassed.
“By the way,” Jacqui said, “did I tell you I have Gayle’s pictures?”
“No, you didn’t.”
“They’re not too bad. Either one of us could do better, but they’re adequate. Besides pictures of me, there a number of other women. I thought there would be others. That’s one of the reasons I made her tell me where they were.”
“Do you know who the others are?”
“No, but she’ll tell me. If I can track any of them down, I think I’ll give them an opportunity to spend a night with Gayle.”
“I know. I’m still working on the details. I think I’ll keep the keys to her handcuffs. Besides, I intend to be present. I want pictures.”
I thanked Jacqui and left.
Friday night I had Rachel over. We sat in the living room and looked through her pictures. Although she had been embarrassed about having them taken, she was vain enough to want to see them. Jacqui had done a good job. She had captured much of whatever it was that was Rachel and in some ways it gave Rachel a vision of herself that she had never had before.
“Oh my god!” Rachel exclaimed as she looked at the next to last picture. I had put a couple of ringers in the deck. “That’s Gayle. She’s tied up.”
It was the first of the series of pictures Jacqui had given me, the one of Gayle with the burning eyes.
“Look at her. Look at her eyes. What happened to her? Who tied her up? Did you do that?”
“No, it wasn’t me.”
“Look at her. Even tied up she’s scary.”
“On my...oh my.” Rachel was looking at the last picture, which was the last in the series of Gayle. It was an identical pose. Gayle knelt exactly as she had in the other picture, tightly bound exactly like the other picture. The difference was her face. This picture was the new Gayle. “What happened to her?”
“It’s a long story. The short version is that she’s met someone who has had a great influence on her. She won’t be troubling you again.”
“I can believe that. Just look at her. It’s hard to believe she’s the same person.”
“I wonder if she is.”
I took the two pictures of Gayle from Rachel, put them in a large ash tray, and set them alight.
“Why did you do that?”
“As a symbol. Gayle wanted you, you know. That’s what this whole thing was about. If she had had her way, it would be you in those pictures kneeling naked and bound in her living room.”
“With a woman? Yuck.”
“Well, she’s gone now. She won’t be troubling you again. I’ve burned her up and she’s gone.” Not entirely, of course. I still had a full set of prints.
“So,” I asked her, “what would you like to do with the rest of your evening?”
A sly little smile came over her face and she said, “Why don’t you serve us some drinks?”
“What a fine idea. Wait here, I’ll be back.”
I returned a few minutes later with a tray bearing two glasses. I set my drink off, then held the tray in front of Rachel.
“You are served,” I informed her. On the tray next to her drink lay the spanking warrant.