The Gamblers 8
Author: DianaFiled in: slavery, whipping, CELTs, series, punisment
I was waiting for her when she opened her bedroom door. She was barefooted, dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt. Her hair was wet and she had a wonderful, just-showered smell.
“Howard, I…” she started when she saw me waiting.
“Strip,” I said.
“Howard, I think…” she tried again.
“STRIP,” I said in a voice that would have made a marine drill instructor proud.
She looked at me for a second and pressed her lips together hard, then she obediently pealed off her sweater and stepped out of her jeans. She was wearing the black leather thong that she had worn in the airport. “Leave that,” I said as she started to remove it. “Turn around and put your hands behind your back.” I was surprised at how steady my voice was.
She turned around and placed her hands in the small of her back. I quickly cuffed her wrists with leather shackles and pulled the loose leather hood over her head. I buckled the hood behind her neck as I had seen Max do. She stood there naked and tall—an obedient CELT—no sound, no movement, no false modesty. I took her arm and led her down the steps, past the library, and down more steps to the cellar. There was a faint hesitation in her body when we started down the rough cellar steps, but no resistance.
In front of us was the house’s safe-room—a concrete chamber about twelve feet square. It had been used during the food riots of the 2080s. Except to make this morning’s modifications, no one had been in this room for years. I led her through the doorway and stood her in the room’s exact center. There was total and absolute silence. It was a tomb and even the invisible sounds of everyday life didn’t penetrate these walls.
Leaving her hood in place, I moved her wrists to her front and tied them to the climber’s rope that was hanging from the ceiling. It ran through the eye hook that I had installed last night. I pulled her arms up until her hands were just above her head. Then I attached leather ankle cuffs to her feet and snapped them on to a short chain which I had bolted to the floor.
I removed her hood and sat down in the corner. She looked around the room, giving her eyes time to adjust to the light. The track-mounted spotlights in the ceiling were all centered on her naked form. I could tell that there was something different in her behavior. For the first time since we’d been together, she was not controlling events; somehow she seemed more relaxed because of it.
“It’s called a safe-room,” I said from the dark corner. “It has one foot of reinforced concrete all around with a 4-inch-thick steel-core door. There’s a small bathroom in the back. It was built during the food riots for protection against home invasion. In case you’re interested, these walls also support the fireplace and the stone table you like in the library.”
She looked around the empty concrete room, but didn’t say anything. “It’s completely soundproof, of course,” I continued, “like the library. I guess my Grandfather really liked his privacy.”
She remained silent, waiting.
“I decided that you were right, Jess. Everything that’s happened in the last few days has been basically a game. You played a little; I played a little; we had some fun, but it’s certainly not the basis of a relationship…of any kind.” She was looking in the direction of my voice now, shifting her weight from one foot to another…unconcerned. “It did however give me a taste for the power you mentioned. I’ve decided to explore that a little.”
“Howard, can I say something?” It was the tone of a wise friend about to give advice. It was rather annoying.
“No. You can’t speak right now, Jess, but I’ll give you some time in a few minutes,” I was trying to sound equally reasonable and mature. “In fact, let’s start with the rules for this room. You may not speak in here except in response to a direct question. That applies to the rest of the house as well, but every word you say in this room will cost you one stroke of the whip. Please don’t test me on this; I’d hate to lose a day of my program whipping you for a speaking violation. Second, in this room you may not ask for permission to speak. You will be permitted to do that respectfully in the rest of the house, but not here. Third, just for your information, this room is only for discipline, we will never have sex in here.”
She was looking a little bored, but I suspected this was more CELT psycho-manipulation. I waited a few minutes before continuing. I needed to learn her tricks if I was to really master her.
“I’ve also decided that you were right about my lack of resolve. I knew exactly what I wanted from the moment I laid eyes on you; I just couldn’t admit it even to myself.” She looked even more bored; now I was sure that this was manipulation. It’s rather good, I thought, designed to evoke anger and poor judgment.
I ignored the subtle provocation and continued, “I want you, Jess. I’m not totally sure what that means right now, but I know that I don’t want to free you. I never really wanted to do that; I just thought it was the right thing, something that I was expected to do. I also have no intention of selling you…your contract that is, and I certainly have no intention of allowing you to run my life.”
I stopped and waited. “But this conversation is for later; right now all you need to know is that I am exercising my legal right under our contract to use corporal punishment to correct your behavior, behavior that I consider unacceptable. As per the contract and the laws governing CELT arrangements, there will be no lasting affects, physical or mental, from this discipline. I’ve written this down and mailed it to my lawyer along with a copy of our contract. You have the right to notify your lawyer independently if you want.”
“Do you understand this right?” I asked. She looked amused and nodded, yes. “Do you want to call your lawyer?” She nodded, no. Despite my new understanding that this was all part of her act, I was getting annoyed with the smartass smirk on her face.
This legal formula was just a formality, but it was necessary before any serious long-term disciplinary action could take place. My lawyer would send a notice to hers, or at least the lawyer identified in her contract, who was supposed to file a watch-notice with the police. It was intended to prevent abuse, but it was never enforced. It just made me feel a little better to be complying with the law.
“Do you want to say anything for the record before we start?” I asked.
“Howard, our contract doesn’t require me to fuck you and it certainly does not require me to love you; we both know that’s what you want.” She was wrong, I thought; last night’s discussion had shown me that love was much too ambiguous. Right now all I wanted was respect.
But all I said was, “Should I write that down?” She shook her head no, still wearing that maddeningly condescending smile.
I was now convinced that she was putting on an act. In fact, it occurred to me that her attitude was getting tougher as she become more frightened. I almost lost my nerve with that realization.
Instead, I tried to explain, “Despite my ineptitude over the last few days, Jess, most of what I did was driven by an honest desire to show you kindness, even friendship. You basically dismissed that as weakness and manipulated me into becoming your partner in a sex-and-bondage game. I admit that I was a willing participant, but I deserved more; I deserved some genuine emotion from you.”
Her smirk disappeared. “Since you place so little value on what I did, I’ve decided to carry out the punishment Max had set for you, which I’m sure you remember.”
Her eyes widened and she for a second I could see that I was right—she was terrified, but disciplined enough to remain silent. I remembered her words from the other night, “…powerless CELTs manipulate things.”
“You may speak now if you want,” I said.
“It won’t work, Howard,” she said calmly in the grown-up voice that I had come to recognize as the real Jesse. The mask was back; she was desperately hiding her fear. “You don’t have it in you, and when you discover the truth of that, you’re going to be scarred for life.” She was using her most convincing and persuasive tone.
“You call it a game,” she said, “but it felt good to me and I know it felt good to you. Let’s just start with that. I don’t care about being emancipated. I never wanted anything from you that I didn’t deserve. I still don’t. Take me upstairs, whip me then fuck my brains out. I know you like it that way; it’s your right. A lot of things can happen in a year.” She stopped; there were no tears in her eyes and no fear in her face, but in the harsh light I could see her breathing hard.
I got up and stood in front of her naked body. “You’re wrong, Jess,” I replied gently. “A whore is just a whore, no matter how beautiful or smart. Believe me I know a lot of them. Most of my friends are married to whores. You’re better than that. I know it and I’m going to prove it.”
She looked at me with pity.
“Anything else,” I asked. Defiantly, she nodded her head no. I knew she wanted to beg me not to hurt her, but was too proud. I admired that. I walked over to the rope and lifted her arms until she was on her toes. Then I stood in front of her again, we were eye to eye.
“I feel sorry for you, Howard,” she said, still hiding her fear. I recognized the sincerity in her comment and wondered again if I could actually pull this off.
“That’s five extra strokes,” I replied. She just looked at me. I stepped back into the shadows.
Max’s electric whip was a single-tail horror with copper wire woven through the braid. That morning I whipped her for half and hour strokes with the setting on #1, the lowest. It was as if she were being shocked with a cattle prod and touched with a red-hot iron at the same time. She screamed and thrashed wildly after each stroke, but I was patient, waiting until she was fully recovered and calm before delivering the next. Near the end, she was fading in and out of consciousness. To be sure that she felt the last few strokes, I wet her down and brushed her skin with the whip. The shock of it revived her enough to allow me to finish. When it was over, I lowered her arms about a foot and gave her some water through a straw.
I waited ten minutes for her to rest then I collared her and attached a four-foot chain which I attached at her feet. The chain forced her to bend at the knee with her arms extended overhead. The only way to give her straining leg muscles some relief was to either bend at the waist, which caused a terrible back pain, or to hang by her wrists. I wanted her to spend the day shifting from one agony to another. I also wanted to strengthen her muscles especially in her legs; she would need them later.
Without a word, I turned off all the lights but one and left, locking the door behind.
That evening, I returned. She was crying softly from the pain of her crucifixion. From the peephole, I knew that her back and legs had given out two hours earlier and that she had been hanging by her arms since then, pushing up periodically with her trembling legs to keep from strangling. (An arms-high crucifixion usually kills by slow strangulation as the victim’s chest muscles weaken to the point where they can no longer take sufficient air into their lungs.)
She looked at me and started to cry in relief; all she could think about now was the pain. I was her salvation. I unhooked the chain from her neck collar and watched as she tried to stand straight. She didn’t have enough strength left in her legs. After a minute, I lowered her to the ground and fed her water, a baloney sandwich, and two protein bars.
She ate slowly, mechanically. I locked her wrists behind her back and hooked her collar to the short chain in the floor. Her face was lying in the wet spot where she had peed during the day. I closed the lights and left.
The next morning I returned at the same time, increased the whip’s setting to #2 and whipped her for another half-an-hour. Afterwards, I shortened the neck chain by one link and put her back in position. I knew that her tolerances would increase and I wanted to be sure that each day’s pain was just about the same.
This went on for five days. I don’t know if Max would have whipped her for seven; I didn’t care. I was now in charge and I had decided that she had had enough.
As far as Jesse was concerned, it didn’t matter either. Her life was now defined by a morning whipping, a day of excruciating pain, and a long uncomfortable sleep in the tomb-like darkness. She didn’t know if this had gone on for five days or fifty.
I moved her to the soft bed upstairs where she slept for 36 hours. When she woke, I shackled her hands and gave her a bath; then I fed her a hot meal and put her back to bed. She was as weak as a kitten and never looked at me directly or said a word. She slept for another 24 hours and I repeated the bath. Again she was silent.
If nothing else, I now had her attention.
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