Lying in the big guest bed, Janet couldn't sleep. She'd woken with a start for no discernable reason and had been staring into the darkness ever since. A glance at the bedside clock confirmed her suspicions; it was far too early to consider starting the day. Perhaps a glass of milk might help. She wanted another moment, listening to the quiet of her friends' house. Finally, deciding there was no help for it, she threw back the sheet and put her bare feet to the floor.
She crept quietly through the dark house to the kitchen. The light from the fridge nearly blinded her when she reached insider for the milk. By the time she'd searched out a glass, a step into the kitchen startled her.
"I thought I heard someone come down here," Susan smiled. She hugged her light silk robe around her shoulders. "Can't sleep?"
"Can't sleep," Janet agreed. She took a seat at the kitchen table. "I hope I didn't wake you."
"No." Susan sat down at the table as well. "Just couldn't sleep either. And Brian's snoring away."
Janet giggled. "Ah, the overlooked bliss of sleeping alone."
Susan laughed, too. "Sure. Sometimes a break is nice."
"Next time you'll have to visit me."
"And let's not wait a year between visits this time."
Suddenly, the few lights on in the house went dark, the air conditioners stopped, and the fridge ceased running. Both women jumped. "That stupid breaker. I keep telling Brian that we should get someone in to look at this place's wiring." Susan stumbled about in the dark until she triumphantly brandished a flashlight. "I'll just run down to the basement. Be right back."
Janet watched the beam of light swing about as Susan started for the basement door. Impulsively she followed her friend through the dining room and into the hall. Susan had already gone down the stairs and after a moment's hesitation, Janet stepped down as well.
She'd reached the bottom landing when Susan reset the breaker and the lights came up. Janet had expected perhaps a tool bench and storage, not what she actually saw. "Oh. Oh my."
"Oh," Susan stuttered. "I didn't know you followed me. Um..."
Janet looked at her blushing friend, then back at her surroundings. Just in front of her stood a large wooden structure that history books told her was a set of stocks. One whole wall was lined with handcuffs, leather with buckles and objects that Janet didn't recognize. The wall adjacent to that one, beneath the stairs, displayed riding crops, whips and paddles.
"It's not what it looks like!" Susan protested.
Susan shoved her hands into her robe's pockets. "Well. Yes it is."
Janet's gaze fixed on the handcuffs. "And what exactly is it? You and Brian?"
Susan smiled nervously. "Lots of reasons. It's just the way we are, I guess. Have you ever tried it? Giving up control can be the most erotic experience."
Janet shook her head. "No. I haven't."
In a flurry of motion Susan went to the wall and grabbed a pair of handcuffs. She approached Janet, and involuntarily Janet took a step back. "No, just look. Feel them." Susan held them out to her reluctant friend. "So strong. You're under someone else's control. So you get to let go. You can't be responsible for your body's reactions."
Janet looked doubtfully at the restraints in her hand. She bit her lip, half confused and half yearning.
"Do you want to try them? See what it feels like?"
Janet glanced at her friend and nodded, not quite able to voice a simple, "Yes."
Susan took the cuffs and with a graceful movement that belied her experience, snapped them around her friend's wrists.
"You do have the keys, right?" Janet asked, realizing it was a little late. When Susan nodded, she let herself inspect the silver circles trapping her wrists. The steel was unforgiving and a thrill ran through her body. "So you and Brian ... All the time?"
Susan shrugged. "Most nights, yeah. Most weekends, too."
"Does your brother know?" Janet asked. Gabriel, Susan's fraternal twin, lived with the couple.
"Sure. Sometimes when Brian and I are out he brings dates down here."
Janet took a moment to assimilate all this information. She'd known Susan and Gabriel since they were each ten years old and entering the fourth grade. They'd gone to and graduated from high school together. Susan and Janet had shared their girlish secrets through the years, all the way through college. Janet had known about each of Susan's boyfriends and crushes. She'd been her maid of honor. How had she missed this monumental detail until now?
She held her wrists out to Susan to be released. "Okay."
A man's voiced called down the stairs, "Susan? Susan?"
Susan started for the steps. "Be right back."
"Wait! I need the key!" Janet protested. But her friend had already dashed upstairs, shutting the basement door behind her.
Janet looked at her imprisoned wrists, then up at the door. She waited a few moments that felt like an eternity, and then considered her options. She could wait her and likely be forgotten. She could go upstairs and hunt down Susan regardless of what Brian wanted. Or she could search down here in the basement for a spare key. The second option might be the fastest, but what if she ran into someone other than Susan? The embarrassment would be too much.
Awkwardly, Janet made her way over to the racks of restraints and began poking about as well as she was able. The going was slow, after all she was hampered by her own restraints, plus she didn't know exactly what she sought. Then there was the myriad of options littering the place. It wasn't so much a needle in a haystack as it was a specific needle in a stack of needles. So it was with relief that Janet hard the basement door click open. "Thank goodness, Susan. You had me scared!"
"It isn't Susan," Gabriel's voice floated down the stairs, accompanied by his heavy steps.
"Oh. Um. Gabriel. Hi." Instinctively Janet stayed behind a wooden table that hid her cuffed hands. "What are you doing awake?"
"I could ask the same of you."
"Oh, you know," she answered airily. "It's hard to sleep the first night in a new place."
He stood before her, his handsome features half shadowed. "So how'd you end up down here?"
Janet looked around, as though seeing the erotic instruments for the first time. "Oh. I followed Susan."
"And why are you hiding behind that table?"
"I'm not hiding!"
He stepped around the table too quickly for Janet to evade him. "Did we get curious?"
Janet could feel her face aflame in a blush. "Susan. She left. No key," she mumbled.
Gabriel laughed quietly. "Would you like some help?"
"Yes, please," Janet asked miserably. She avoided his gaze, staring instead off towards the basement's darker corners. He caught her by the chain between her wrists, catching her off guard.
"You look good in these."
He held her with just two fingers hooked in the chain. Janet looked first at the restraints, then slowly up at Gabriel, scared by what expression she might find on him, and uncertain what expression she wanted to find there. "Oh." There was a history between the two of them, no longer spoken of, and she wondered at it now.
He must have as well. "Conversationally, though still holding her before him, he asked, "Do you remember prom night?"
The question took Janet by surprise. "Of course."
"I wonder what ever happened to Charles Blake," Gabriel mused, referring to Janet's prom date.
"Susan said that he's an accountant and that he's been divorced twice," Janet ventured. "Serves him right."
"Have you spoken to him?"
"Not since that night."
"What if he's at the reunion?"
Janet shrugged, the movement of which reminded her of her situation. "We graduated with 400 people. If even half of them show up, that leaves oh... at least 199 people that I'd rather talk to than Charles Blake."
Gabriel gave a little tug on the handcuffs and Janet stepped forward. She was so close to him now that she could see her reflection in his eyes. "What else do you remember about that night?" he asked.
"You mean besides Charles going off with Melissa Curry?" At his nod, Janet continued, "All of it."
"Do you know why I said what I did?"
"I assume because you didn't think I was pretty, either."
"That's not it at all. It was because if we slept together that night you would always think it was because our dates ran off together."
Janet's furrowed her brow, confused.
"You know I wanted to ask you to the prom, but you'd already accepted Charles."
"You couldn't have mentioned this five years ago?" Janet laughed nervously.
"Well, no. Then you went off to college. Then you dated a succession of guys- none of whom I approved of, you know. And then you moved away."
"And when I'm like this," Janet lifted her hands slightly to jingle the cuffs, "seemed like the best time to tell me?"
"Absolutely." He flashed her a grin. "I like a captive audience."
The whole situation was so unexpectedly strange to Janet that she snapped without thinking, "From what Susan says, you just like a captive."
"And you're an insolent one."
For a moment they just looked at each other. Then in a move that pulled Janet off balance, Gabriel tugged the handcuffs again. This time he caught her in his arms and planted a kiss on her lips. After getting over the initial surprise, Janet leaned into the embrace.
"I've wanted to do that for a long time," Gabriel admitted.
Shyly, Janet went to push her hair behind her ears, but the handcuffs stopped her. She blushed harder. "I've wanted you to do that for a long time."
"I have a proposition for you. Kill two birds with one stone."
"Yes?" Janet asked curiously.
"Spend the weekend with me. My way. Like this," he pointed at the handcuffs. "Try something new."
Janet bit her lips. "Are the handcuffs a deal breaker?"
Gabriel leaned against the table. "Sort of. It is that you try it." He grinned reassuringly. "And you can't say you're not curious."
"Have you always been like this?" Janet asked, but her tone was teasing.
"Susan and I played a lot of cops and robbers. And cowboys and Indians."
"Okay, okay. Enough," Janet laughed. "I don't' want to know about your depraved childhood. It makes me worry about my part in the neighborhood games."
"So what do you think?"
She considered. She couldn't deny that she'd had feelings for Gabriel for as long as she could remember. Gabriel's words of childhood games made her recall her own stints as a damsel in distress. As she thought, an image of a college boyfriend came to mind. He'd wanted to be tied up and spanked. The idea of doing that to him had turned her off, but the sigh of the silk scarves he'd brought over to her dorm room had made her heart flutter - and lower things too. She just didn't want them on him, but holding her down. Janet looked up at Gabriel. "What happens Sunday night?"
"We take it from there. You'll still be here for another week. Plenty of time to try something new, be with Susan and go to the reunion."
Janet nodded slowly, glancing at her handcuffs as she did so. She looked around the room at all the equipment that now represented possibilities. "Yes. Okay."
Another flash of a grin. "You mean, `Yes, please.'"
Janet felt another thrill and matched his grin. "Yes, please."
Gabriel leaned in and kissed her soundly. "Excellent." After a moment he led her to the stocks.
"I need to be sure you're secure while I get some things together." He pulled the key to the handcuffs from his pocket, and then proceeded to lock her firmly in place. The solid wood kept Janet's head and hands separated from the rest of her body. Gabriel slid a lock into the hasp, and the boards were going nowhere.
The stocks forced Janet to bend awkwardly at the waist, leaving her ass feeling vulnerable. Gabriel bustled about out of sight, and occasionally he'd stroke her butt through her pajama pants.
"So you had the key the whole time?" Janet asked, the question flung into the ether as she had no idea where in the room Gabriel was.
"Speak only when you're spoken to."
"Or?" she asked impertinently.
"Or you'll regret it."
For a moment Janet remained silent, pondering the question of the handcuff key. But when Gabriel slid her pajama bottoms over her hips and off of her, she yelped and squirmed.
A moment later Gabriel appeared before her. "I said you weren't to make a sound."
"Actually," Janet began to correct him. She didn't get to point out that he'd only said not to speak because she suddenly had a rubber ball stuffed in her mouth. Gabriel buckled it behind her head.
"I did warn you that you'd regret it."
Janet managed a "mmph" through the gag.
Gabriel disappeared behind her again. This time he slid her underwear to her hips. He made a low murmur, "And you were worried about this? Janet, you are soaking wet."
Janet made a disgruntled `mmph' but could do nothing more. She made a larger `mmph' and squirmed when she felt Gabriel easing something into her. A moment later it started vibrating, pulsing right into her swollen clit. Gabriel slipped her underwear back up onto her and patted her ass. "To keep you entertained."
Janet's `mmph's turned to moans. Her eyes closed and she wished the vibrator were on a higher setting. Her hips swayed in circles of mounting frustration. She thought she heard Gabriel chuckle and she simultaneously hated him and wanted him to fuck her soundly. She lifted from her haze for a moment when she heard Gabriel's footsteps on the stairs. By the time he returned, Janet was lost in waves crashing through her body.
She came back to herself when Gabriel removed the vibrator and buckled a collar around her neck. Before opening the stocks, he snapped a handcuff around one of her wrists. "Time for a walk." He lifted the heavy wooden piece, and in a flash had her hands locked behind her back. He clicked a leash to the collar, and then started for the stairs.
Janet's indignation at her situation evaporated at the realization that she could do nothing about it. She followed Gabriel up to the first floor, then up to his bedroom n the second. They spent the rest of the night's wee hours learning each others bodies. Gabriel tied Janet spread eagled to the bed and gently tortured her with massages, tickles and his tongue. After more orgasms than Janet could believe, they fell asleep.
The sun was pouring into the bedroom when Janet woke as Gabriel took the gag from her mouth. She worked her jaw in an attempt to get rid of the ache.
"Good morning," Gabriel smiled.
Janet smiled, too, remembering the previous night.
"It's my turn." Gabriel guided his dick to Janet's lips. She hesitated, having never attempted to give anyone a blow job.
Gamely Janet parted her lips and accepted his member. Embarrassed that she didn't know what she was doing, she closed her eyes and concentrated on the movements of her tongue, lips and the thrusts of Gabriel's hips. When he finished, he stood up and pulled on a bathrobe. "Not bad, but you need practice." He released her ankles then carefully did the same with her wrists. Immediately he secured them behind her back with plastic cable ties.
He led her to the bathroom and helped her into the shower, then climbed in behind her as the hot water cascaded down. He gently washed all of her soaping her up and rinsing her off. He washed her hair as well, making sure that the tresses were squeaky clean.
Gabriel pushed her to her knees then, and Janet realized that she'd be practicing blow jobs again a lot sooner than she'd expected.
They each rinsed off again then Gabriel toweled her dry and wrapped a soft robe around her shoulders. He tied her hands to the shower rod and left her there as he got himself dressed.
They spent the day lounging about in Gabriel's room. He brought her breakfast and lunch. Between bouts of energetic sex they chatted about old times and current ones. Janet didn't spend five even five minutes free or clothed the whole time.
At about five-thirty, after a nap, Gabriel stood her up in the center of the bedroom. He rolled black latex stockings up her legs to the crease in her thighs. He directed her to step into a pair of impossibly high heels, and then buckled them onto her. Sheer black panties and a black corset that revealed more than it covered finished her clothing, but after lacing the corset tight, Gabriel had some accessories. He buckled a wide leather belt around her waist then buckled her wrists into the cuffs that hung from the sides. Another strip of leather was wrapped about her neck, and a leash attached. "There," Gabriel announced. "Dinner time. Don't make a sound or I'll have to use a gag, and then how would you eat?"
A now nearly familiar shiver ran though Janet. She didn't think that all the orgasms in her life so far would add up to the number she'd had since last night.
Gabriel stood behind her, the leash in his hand. "Forward," he commanded.
Janet balked. He wanted her to leave the room? Where Susan and Brian were probably just downstairs eating dinner? Since they hadn't seen her all day, they likely assumed she was with Gabriel. Still, it was a different thing entirely to be paraded before them nearly naked, wrapped in leather and on a leash.
Janet jumped at the sting across her backside.
"I said `Forward'."
Janet complied before the crop could touch her again.
He directed her down the stairs. Janet groaned but obeyed.
They entered the dining room. It took a moment for Janet to accept the situation laid out before her. Brian sat at one of the table's long sides, calmly filling his plate. Beside him, Susan knelt on a pillow, her hands bound behind her. A similar pillow awaited Janet on the opposite side of the table.
She took her place and Gabriel wrapped her leash around the arm of his chair. The two men talked about mundane things, each occasionally feeding the woman beside him. For most of the meal, Janet was too embarrassed to meet anyone's eyes, especially Susan's. Her attention was inward, so she missed when Brian asked her a question.
"You there Janet?" Gabriel asked.
She looked up at him, dazed.
"Brian asked you a question."
Dutifully she turned her gaze to her best friend's husband.
"Are you enjoying your stay, Janet?"
Automatically, Janet answered, "Oh yes, very much," the typical response one gave to one's hosts for that question. But then she reflected that she truly was enjoying herself very, very much. The thought depressed her - that being tied up and treated like a pet or a slave could turn her on so much.
Later that night when she and Gabriel lay curled in bed together, Janet's hands locked together and attached to her collar by a short chain, she confided as much. "I'm enjoying this, Gabriel. All of it. A lot. And that scares me."
"It's not just losing control. It's giving it up on a silver platter."
"And it's a precious gift," Gabriel told her, his gray eyes serious.
"I'm enjoying degradation," she wailed.
"Well, no, you're not," Gabriel corrected her. "Your envelope is being pushed. And you're pleasing me. And your body enjoys the sensations. And your mind is giving me control. And sure, that confusion is part of it."
Janet didn't feel much better, but well enough to push the question from her mind until the Sunday renegotiation. But the next morning she woke unbound and felt a wave of disappointment. Gabriel sat on the edge of the bed. "Good morning."
"The deal's not up yet, is it?"
"I thought about what you said last night. I wanted to make sure that you're okay with everything."
Janet sat up, keeping the sheet covering her. "Gag or not, you'd know if I was displeased."
Gabriel nodded seriously, "I suppose I would."
"So come back to bed. And bring the handcuffs."
Sunday night came and went. Monday Gabriel went back to work and Janet and Susan went shopping. But come 7o'clock, Janet found herself locked in what she learned were called spreader bars and hanging from the ceiling. Unthinkingly, she said something out of turn and became intimately acquainted with the lash of a riding crop. Tuesday evening found Janet tied to the living room coffee table, hot wax splashing on her bare breasts. Wednesday night those breasts learned the bite of nipple clamps. Because Gabriel had an evening appointment Thursday, Janet spent hours hog tied and locked in a cage. The boredom nearly drove her mad, but the subsequent orgasms when Gabriel returned made it worthwhile.
The five-year reunion, the ostensible reason for Janet's visit to Susan, Brian and Gabriel's home, was that Friday. "Be my date?" Gabriel asked her with a grin. Janet nodded a yes - it was all she could do, given the large penis shaped gag buckled into her mouth.
Gabriel was a little late returning from work that evening. He came into the guest bedroom as Janet stood before the full length mirror in her bra and underwear, pantyhose in her hand. "No hose," Gabriel commanded. With a shrug, Janet agreed, tossing the nylons on the bed.
"And wear this pair of underwear." He handed her a small bag, then left the room.
Again, Janet obeyed. As she pulled on the new pair she discovered a hard piece that nestled against her clitoris. She smiled at the possibilities, and finished dressing in her low-cut black velvet gown.
She'd just finished her hair and makeup when Gabriel reappeared. Now he was clad in a crisp suit and he carried accessories. Standing behind her, he carefully buckled a thin black leather collar around her neck, the small silver padlock hidden by her thick hair. From the front, it looked just like an elegant black choker. He handed her the pair of skyscraper heels with a devilish grin. "I do expect you to dance with me."
"I'm not sure I'll be able to walk, let alone dance," Janet groaned as she buckled on the shoes.
The evening started out otherwise normal, with both couples climbing into Brian's car. In the back seat, Janet leaned against Gabriel, gathering her mental defenses against the barrages only a high school reunion could throw.
The four of them picked up their name tags and then entered the high school gymnasium, decorated much like it had been for homecomings and Sadie Hawkins. Nearly immediately a woman in a scarlet cocktail dress glided up to them.
"Why, Gabriel Benton!" she declared, her eyes roving all over him.
Upon recognizing Melissa Curry, the woman who'd gone off with Charles on prom night, Janet felt jealousy gnaw at her stomach. Seconds later, she felt something entirely different as the special underwear Gabriel had given to her burst into life. It took all her concentration to keep from just closing her eyes and riding the vibrations. A second or an eternity later, the vibrations stopped and Gabriel took her hand. Janet didn't miss the disappointed look that crossed Melissa Curry's features.
The two of them found their way to a table set for ten, where Brian and Susan already sat. Through the appetizer, soup and salad, Gabriel sweetly tormented Janet with the hidden vibrator, never letting her come, but also never letting her forget it was there. Janet found conversations difficult to follow as her attention kept slipping internal.
Just before the main course, Susan excused herself to use the ladies room. Gabriel leaned over and told Janet to join her. She complied, and accepted the small bag he pressed into her hands. She hid it in her small clutch purse and followed Susan. They wound their way between large round tables, and Susan whispered to her, "Every man at that table has been staring at you. Whatever Gabriel's got you doing, it's made you sex on a stick. I thought Stevie Seems' eyes were going to bulge right out of his head!"
"That fat bald guy is Stevie Seem? He's the one who used to be sex on a stick!"
Janet locked herself in a bathroom stall and opened the package Gabriel had sent with her. Inside lay a small butt plug and a tiny tube of lubricant. "Oh god," Janet murmured. Still, in for a penny, in for a pound. She slathered it up and slowly eased it in, shocked at how full it made her feel.
Dessert had arrived by the time Janet returned and gingerly sat down. She was rewarded by a buzzing in her panties that brought her to the very edge of orgasm, and then left her hanging.
Knowing the effect he was having on her, Gabriel led her from the gymnasium as the meal finished up and tables were dragged out of the way for the dancing. They walked with a sense of urgency, and Gabriel dragged her into a classroom. Janet had had two glasses of wine with dinner and couldn't help but laugh at the absurdity of sneaking into her one of her old high school's classrooms. Her giggles turned to a different kind of squeal, however, once Gabriel had her leaning back on a teacher's desk, her hands cuffed to a drawer handle. Each of them knowing that any moment someone might walk in on them. He pulled her panties from her, hiked up her skirt and plunged into her until they both saw stars.
It took them a few moments to recover, and Janet was torn between wanting to go at it again, and being terrified that someone might walk in on them. Her fear won, and she was relieved to eventually head back to the gymnasium.
The dancing that followed nearly made Janet break an ankle, between the heels and the occasional buzz between her legs.
"May I cut in?" a voice asked. At first Janet didn't know who was there as the intruder stood behind Gabriel. Gabriel, however, acquiesced, leaving Charles Blake to sweep Janet into his arms and around the dance floor.
"Doesn't this remind you of prom night?" he asked.
"How not? The lights! The decorations! Me!"
"Well, for starters my date ran off. Secondly, until you came along I was enjoying myself." One thing was the same, though Janet didn't mention it aloud. The smell of liquor on Charles's breath was even stronger tonight than it had been on prom night.
"You haven't forgiven me after five years?"
"It's not about forgiveness," Janet informed him as the song ended. "It's about the realization that you're a slimy bastard." She smiled sweetly and made her way off the dance floor and towards the ladies room to escape him.
When she'd finished, she found Charles lying in wait for her. He grabbed her arm and roughly pulled her down a dimly lit hallway.
"What are you doing?" Janet demanded, stumbling in her too high heels.
"Finishing what you wanted on prom night. I mean, if you've been upset for this long that I wouldn't sleep with you, then it seems only reasonable that as an act of goodwill I should do it now."
"Get your hands off of me," Janet growled through gritted teeth.
He pushed her against a wall of lockers, her wrists caught in one of his fists. His free hand drew her short skirt up.
"Stop it," Janet snapped. She wrenched a hand free and struck out at Charles.
"Aren't we feisty?" he grinned. "If you were half this sexy on prom night I wouldn't have gone off with Melissa Curry." He caught her hand before she made contact and he moved her to a table at the far end of the hall, roughly bending her over it by forcing her arms up behind her back. Janet's hair fell across her face, making her struggles even more difficult.
"What's this?" Charles murmured against her neck. "A collar? Then you should really like this," he snickered. Again he pushed her dress up over her hips.
Janet seized that moment to kick out backwards her heel making square contact with Charles's knee. He yelled in pain, and Janet slammed the spike of her hell into his other foot. He gave another shout, and released her to slump on the floor.
Janet picked herself up. Just as she tugged her dress back to a semblance of modesty, Gabriel and Susan came trotting around the corner.
"You okay, Janet?" Susan asked. "What happened? We were worried and came looking for you and then we heard him yell..." she trailed off.
Gabriel stood ominously over Charles. Quietly he drew a pair of handcuffs from his pocket and snapped them on Charles's wrists, and through the inner workings of the heavy table. "How long do you think it'll be before someone finds you? And how likely might it be that it's the police, coming for you after Janet tells them how you tried to assault and rape her?"
Charles opened and closed his mouth several times before any sound came out. "You wouldn't," he managed.
In answer, Gabriel held his hand out to Janet and led her away. Susan followed. Charles hollered but by the time they reached the gymnasium and Brian rejoined them, his cries were drowned out by the dj's music.
Gabriel looked down at Janet. "Dance with me?""
Janet leaned sleepily against Gabriel in the backseat of the car. In the front, Susan and Brian's comments were blurred by the strains of the radio. Janet yawned and snuggled closer to Gabriel. "I could sleep for days."
"I don't plan on letting you. Not `til Sunday, anyway."
On Sunday Janet planned to travel back to her quiet little flat and her quiet little life. "I hate to leave."
"Why don't I come with you?" Gabriel asked after a moment.
"Really?" Janet sat up.
"I can freelance there as well as here. And I'm sure Brian and Susan wouldn't mind the privacy."
"Oh, that's fabulous!"
"So you want me to?"