by Nightguy and YFNR

This is a sequel to “Miles”, “Dust”, “Rain”, “Paint”, and “”Reach”, by Nightguy. The previous stories should be read in that order.

Susan woke from her short nap when an icy-cold mist began to spray on her naked body. A hiss of escaping air should have warned her that the spray was about to start, but she was so tired that she had slept through the warning sound. She couldn’t move out of that mist. The cage which confined her was entirely filled with it. Tired or not, the only way she could stop the spray was to get on the exercise bike in the right-rear of her cage and ride.

The back wheel of that bike drove an air pump which pressurized an air tank and an actuating cylinder. An air-operated valve cut off the cold water flow when the pressure in the actuating cylinder was high enough.

She had been in the cage continuously for almost a week. It measured four by eight feet, five-and-a-half feet high, and her mental horizon had shrunk to its volume. She rode when the cold spray threatened, she ate when Scott brought her food, she slept when the system timer allowed it, and she made no plans at all.

Susan’s emotions were thoroughly mixed. Blast Scott for the devilish ingenuity which gave her only the choices of riding or of freezing in the cold mist! But at the same time: bless Scott for the devilish ingenuity which gave her more fun than she would have believed possible while riding an exercise bike! She certainly couldn’t blame Scott. She had agreed that something had to be done about the weight she had gained over the winter. She had even helped to assemble the cage that now confined her. And so she rode.

And then another person’s voice pulled Susan’s attention outside the cage. A small woman with cornsilk-blonde hair was standing in the doorway of the farm shed, asking “Good Lord! What sort of a mess has he gotten you into this time?”

* * *

It had started for Susan on the Monday after Easter. She woke up as she usually did, chained in a slack spread-eagle to the bed she shared with Scott. Scott also awoke at the same time. He released her completely, as he often did, but then he said “Behind your back”. She knew exactly what he referred to.

Some men give their women jewelry. Some men give intimate apparel. For Christmas Scott had given her an item that fit in both categories, and that also appealed to their mutual special interest: a pair of 24-karat gold-plated Smith and Wesson model 100 handcuffs. The gold-plated key was attached by a short chain to the bottom of Scott’s favorite chair. Susan could release herself if she had no orders to the contrary, but to do this she had to kneel alongside that overstuffed reclining chair.

The cuffs themselves were normally kept in a bathroom cabinet on the wall above the toilet tank. Susan had fallen into the habit of putting the cuffs on in front when she visited the bathroom in the morning, keeping them on until Scott left to go to work, and often longer. She liked the way Scott looked at her while she wore the cuffs and prepared breakfast.

The order “Behind your back” implied that Scott would give her a shower instead of allowing her to take a shower herself. He wasn’t working that day. The result was a long and most enjoyable shower for both of them.

After that shower, Susan looked at herself in the full-length mirror and saw something that would have been camouflaged by cuffed hands in front. She had gained about seven pounds since Christmas, and that was more than enough to affect the appearance of her small body. She hadn’t realized how much she had gained. Her surprised reaction was “Wow! I look as if I were about two months pregnant.”

Scott smiled at her. He knew better than to bring up the topic of his woman’s weight gain himself, but was glad she had noticed. That opened the topic for discussion.

Scott said “I know of a way to deal with that, but you would have to be willing. You know that two things are really important to me. One is how thankful I am to have you under my control. The other is making sure that you enjoy that control and are happy. I would never wish to torture you. I could easily do that if I am not careful.

“I have thought of a high-stress bondage experience for you. It would be your biggest challenge since your 40-mile hike in chains last summer. You will definitely lose weight if you take it on. Some people would feel that this kind of treatment would be torture. Are you up for another big challenge?”

With a worried look, Susan answered “If I say yes, what will happen?”

“You will be pushed hard to exercise. You will be closely caged. I will control your food supply, and you will eat fewer calories than you burn. So you will lose weight.” Scott smiled, and added “I think that you will also have fun.”

“It won’t still hurt when it is over?”

“No, it won’t. It should actually feel good. Your weight will be down and you will be in better condition. There will be none of the risks you took for that hike. No scratches, sore feet, bug bites, or chance of being discovered by strangers.”

“You promise that it will be fun?”

“I think that I can promise that.”

Susan paused, and thought, and remembered the conversation that they had had several months earlier when she had been stuck in a holding cell at the sheriff’s office. Being locked in a cage when Scott had a working key had sounded like a real turn-on. So she said “OK, I’ll do it. Now what?”

“I’ll need to order some stuff from that industrial catalog that you have seen me browsing, the one that I got from the Internet ad. Then I’ll need to put it all together; I could use your help for that. Then I will have to debug the system that I will build, and you will have to get ready. Those two steps will be done together. When you and the system are both ready, brace yourself. The challenge will soon be underway. In the meantime” – Scott put on an evil grin – “Keep anticipating.”

It took Scott about two weeks to make the panels for the cage before assembly could start. Each panel was framed in steel strapping, and additional straps ran horizontally at about 18-inch intervals. The verticals were made of slim steel rods, welded through the straps, more closely spaced than typical prison bars. No two panels were identical. Some of them had doors of various sizes, and one had an old ten-speed bicycle frame sticking through. Two of them were 18 inches shorter than the rest.

Then the cage was set up in the farm outbuilding that Scott used as a shop. The base was heavy plywood supported on 2 x 4 wooden beams. Scott built a wooden box across one end of the plywood, a box about 18 inches high and one foot deep. He covered this box and the entire top of the base with sheet metal, securely nailed into place. The sheet metal was coated on its underside with a sealing compound that would prevent any water leaks into the underlying wood.

At intervals around this base, Scott installed steel U-girders as supporting columns. Susan helped by holding the U-girders upright as Scott bolted them to the base. Then Scott held the cage panels that he had made in position between the columns, and Susan inserted the heavy bolts that would hold the panels to those columns. With most of the weight of each panel resting on its bolts, Susan took over the job of holding each panel steady while Scott spun nuts finger-tight onto those bolts. She worked while standing on the base, and he stood on the outside. Susan felt her future confinement growing around her. She quickly realized that she would never be able to escape.

The top was made from two pieces of chain-link fencing, held tight and rigid by surrounding frames. This type of fencing is mostly open space, offering no obstacle to sprays of cold water. Susan didn’t understand the importance of that feature yet. She would soon learn. Once again she inserted bolts from the inside while Scott spun the corresponding nuts finger-tight.

Scott then left Susan in the newly-assembled cage while he worked it over with a big socket wrench that was fitted with a half-inch drive. Scott had strong arms, and the cage was soon quite solid. Susan would not have been able to loosen any of the nuts or bolts even if she had had the wrench.

Scott asked “What do you think?”

“It feels like a monster bird cage, and I’m the bird.”

He looked at her – the evil grin was back – and said “Good. That was one of my design goals. You know that this is the last time you will be inside that cage with any clothes on. From now on in, you will be naked as a jaybird. Is the bicycle saddle adjusted about right?”

Susan climbed onto the saddle and tried spinning the pedals. The front wheel of the bicycle and the brake handles were missing. She could reach the handlebars and the ten-speed shift levers easily. The rear wheel of the bicycle was suspended in the air outside the cage, with no tire. Susan said “The saddle is a bit high, and it’s hardly any work to pedal. Are you going to install something more?”

“A couple of things. For the time being, let’s get you out of there. You've been a good helper. You deserve some reward. Let’s go to The Café for lunch. Today is pizza buffet.”

“Do we have the time? Don’t you have to work this afternoon?”

“We’ll take both cars. I’ll change into uniform and go straight from The Café to work.”

Susan gave him an apprehensive smile. “I guess this will be one last pizza meal for the condemned woman.”

Scott unlatched the cage door, which was located in the middle of one of the long sides. The cage wasn’t locked, but the metal cage rods were spaced extra-close around the simple deadbolt; Susan couldn’t get a hand through to reach that deadbolt from the inside. She went into the house to put on shoes and pick up her pocketbook, and then she jumped into her car and began to follow Scott.

Neither of them knew at that moment whom they would meet, or what the consequences of that meeting would be. Susan would soon have a new vanilla friend.

* * *

Dana Mason and her husband were standing by the buffet table at The Café, selecting food, when a voice from behind them said “Little Don Mason, you are under arrest, on a charge of Failure to Acknowledge Friendship.” This line was delivered in a mock-menacing tone of voice.

The Masons turned to face the policeman who stood behind them. A big grin split Little Don’s face as he said “Scott!”, and there was a ceremony of shoulder-slaps and high-fives and lines like “You dirty old bastard! How you been doin’?”

Scott responded “I’m doin’ really really good. I found me a woman. Here she is.”

Dana looked past Scott, and it was her turn to smile. The woman Scott was pointing to had a darker complexion than Dana, but then Dana was a cornsilk-blonde with blue eyes. Most people were darker. Much more important was the size of this woman. Dana stood only five-feet-one, and Scott’s woman was actually a bit shorter. They had something in common already. They both had to look up when they spoke to most other adults.

Dana’s new acquaintance wore an interesting piece of jewelry, a stainless steel necklace or collar that seemed too fancy to go with her thoroughly casual jeans and T-shirt. Dana wondered why.

The woman smiled at Dana. “Hi, I’m Susan. I think we’re eating lunch together.” And sure enough, both of their menfolk were heading toward the same table.

As they sat down, Scott said, “So who do you think will win the NHRA fuelie championship this year?” The conversation at that end of the table was soon over the women’s heads, both literally – the guys were each over six feet tall – and figuratively. The gals heard phrases like “high-lift camshaft” and “only 6.03 quarter-mile” and names of people that the gals had never heard of. The names probably were drag-racing drivers. Neither Dana nor Susan had ever followed drag racing.

Of course that didn’t stop the gals from having a conversation of their own and becoming better acquainted. Dana observed, “So this is Scott. He was in Little Don’s wedding party, and Little Don has told me stories about him. They used to spend their evenings together at the local drag racing track, drinking beer and watching the races. And now he’s a deputy and would have to arrest his younger self for underage drinking.”

Susan asked, “So what does your husband do now?”

Dana answered “Little Don and I have a farm a few miles out of town along Mercy Creek. We raise dairy cattle, and we keep horses for a few friends, and we have dogs and cats and even a few goats. There are fields of corn for cattle feed, more than enough for our own uses, so we sell the surplus. Running the place keeps Don very busy. As for me, I’m a certified vet tech; I help keep the animals healthy. I work two days a week at Dr. Smith’s veterinary practice, to earn pocket change and keep my certification up to date. I sing in our church choir. And I make goat’s milk fudge, which we sell. Have you ever tried that? Yummm.”

“That sounds like a busy life. By the way, how did your hulking brute of a husband come to be called Little Don? I think that he is even bigger than my hulking brute of a boyfriend Scott.”

“That started when he was a kid. He is the youngest of three, with two older sisters. He is named after his dad, so the family called him Little Donny. He played with his older sisters and was the smallest of their group of friends, so they used that name too. Then when he was in ninth grade, he shot up in height, went out for freshman football, and told the coach he hated to be called ‘Donny’. The coach said ‘OK, then you will be Little Don, like Little John in the Robin Hood stories, the biggest member of Robin Hood’s band of merry men.’ He was a linebacker for the next eight years, both high school and college, and the PA announcer frequently said ‘Tackle made by Little Don Mason.’ So now he is stuck with it.

“OK, Susan, it’s your turn. What are you and Scott doing these days?”

Susan answered “Scott is a deputy sheriff, as you know already. I quit my boring job to move in with him and help him fix up his uncle’s old place. I’m painting, wallpapering, gardening, cooking, cleaning. It keeps me busy, but I think you are even busier than I am.”

“Scott’s uncle’s old place? Then we are actually neighbors. Our dairy farm” – Dana gestured toward her husband – “is right across Mercy Creek from you.”

Susan had quickly realized that Dana must be from New England based on the way she spoke. She asked, “So how did a woman with an accent like yours ever come to live out here in the boondocks?” The answer lasted for most of the meal:

“Little Don and I met at the university. My parents are both professors, and they had my life planned from the day I was born. I would get my Ph.D., and marry another new assistant professor, and spend all my days in libraries and classrooms and writing papers that maybe ten other people in the entire world would ever bother to read. I seemed to be starting in that direction in high school. I had geeky friends, and I was one of the top students in my class.

“But I didn’t really fit into my parents’ plan. I love animals. We had a couple of dogs when I was a little girl. By the time I was a teenager I had personally added the first of about six stray cats to our household. I had a paper route from the time I was eleven, and most of my money went for veterinarian’s bills and cat food. I missed the animals desperately during my first two years of college. My grades weren’t that good. I even flunked a few courses.

“I met all kinds of non-geeky people at college. Some of the other girls in my dormitory had interesting backgrounds. My sophomore year I roomed with three other girls, one of whom was a complete Goth: spiky hairdo, metal collar with more spikes, black leather clothes, tattoos, the whole bit. We became very friendly, and we still exchange Christmas cards. She had a football-player boyfriend who went to State. I met Little Don through her.

“Little Don was enrolled in the School of Agriculture at State. On our second date, he took me through one of the university’s cow barns, and that is when I really fell in love with him.

“So I learned that I didn’t have to be a geek, and I changed my college courses completely. I transferred to State. After five years in school, I got a degree in Animal Husbandry. My academic advisor pointed out that I needed only one course to get a degree in English, too, so my final semester I took that course. I graduated with two associate’s degrees and never even got a batchelor’s. I don’t think that my parents have ever completely gotten over their disappointment.

“I had enough practical experience working with animals in my college courses to be eligible for the vet-tech exam. I took that, and I passed. So I ended my college career as a Certified Veterinary Technician with two associate degrees.

“And of course I got Little Don.”

And so a very pleasant conversation continued all through lunch. Susan began to say a few words about her own background. She didn’t have the time to say much before the end of the meal.

As he was finishing up his last slice of pizza, Little Don said “Scott, could you give Dana a lift back to the farm? I have to stop at the grain mill, and then at the hardware store, and I would just be dragging Dana along.”

Scott answered “I have to go to work, so I can’t, but I’d bet that Susan would be happy to. We drove separate cars because we knew that I’d be going straight to work.”

And so Susan learned the road to Little Don and Dana’s farm. It was about two miles long, measured from Scott’s place: half a mile in an upstream direction along the highway, then left and across a bridge that Susan remembered well from the time that Scott had hung a key under it and fished from it, and then around Indian Hollow and downstream again.

Susan thought about their lunch and decided that Dana was a very nice woman who could be a good friend. It was a shame that the road between their houses was too long to walk conveniently.

Dana thought about their lunch and realized that she had done most of the talking. She really hadn’t learned much about her new friend. Dana decided that she would have to drop in on Susan at the first opportunity and get Susan to talk about her own life.

* * *

The next meeting of Susan and Dana was a bit more interesting.

Susan was working in her garden, preparing to plant flowers. She was nude. Scott had welded a push plate across the top of her shovel blade, so she could stand on the shovel and drive it deep into the rich farmyard soil without bruising her foot.

She could see the entire quarter-mile length of the driveway through a thin screen of trees, so she would have warning and could retreat into the house if anybody visited. The thin screen of trees would prevent anybody from seeing her clearly. If necessary – for example, if the visitor was Scott’s father – Susan could use her cell phone to contact Scott and ask for the combination to his lock box. That box held a spare key to the room where all of their clothes were kept.

Anyway, that was the plan.

And so Susan was completely surprised when an alto voice began singing from the farmhouse veranda, between her and the door of the house. The song was an oldie, originally by Gerry and the Pacemakers:

Peo-ple they russh everywhere,
Each, with their own secret care.
So ferry, ‘cross the Mercy
‘Cause this land’s the place I love
And here I’ll stay.

Susan turned, said “Yipe!”, dropped the shovel, and covered the private parts of her body with her hands. Then she asked “How the hell did you get here!?”

Dana grinned and answered “I just told you. I ferried ‘cross the Mercy. My ferryboat is a Navy-surplus aviator’s life raft. Did you know that your entire body turns a lovely shade of pink when you're embarrassed?”

Susan said “Ohgawd”, looked down, and covered her face with her hands. Of course this exposed other parts of her body to Dana’s inspection.

Dana decided that the embarrassment had gone far enough. She said “I was hoping that we could sit and chat for awhile. You will probably want to get some clothes on first, though. I’ll wait out here on the veranda, if you don’t mind.”

Susan just turned a more intense shade of pink. Dana had not believed that this would be possible. Susan gibbered “Uh . . . that is . . . but I can’t . . . I never expected . . . oh Rats! I suppose you will want some sort of explanation.”

Dana began to suspect that there was something else to this story besides what was so completely obvious. She noticed that Susan was still wearing the stainless-steel collar that she had worn at The Café; that probably signified something. Dana said, “You know a bit about my background, and my Goth college roommate, and how I turned out completely different from what my parents and most of my high-school friends expected. Perhaps I should change the words a bit on some more Gerry and the Pacemakers.” And then she sang:

Find me around any corner
I’ll always smile and say
I don’t care what your kink is, girl
I’ll never turn you away.

Susan smiled and began to relax. Her new friend clearly understood about marching to a different drummer. Susan remembered how completely her lies had failed when she first met Scott, so she decided to give a complete explanation.

There was no point in further concealment. She turned her collar so that the padlock hung in front and was not hidden by her hair. She lowered her hands to her sides, marched up onto the veranda, and said “I think we have some things to drink in the fridge. Coke? Lemonade? Mountain Dew? Water?”

“Lemonade, please.”

Susan rinsed the garden dirt off of her feet with a hose kept on the veranda for that purpose and went into the house. When she came back out with a tray of cookies and drinks, she was (of course) still naked. Dana hadn’t expected this and raised an eyebrow, but said nothing.

Susan explained about her life-long interest in naked bondage, and about her naked chained hike the previous summer, and about how Scott had discovered her, and about what she and Scott had come to mean to each other since. It was a long detailed explanation. She did almost all of the talking.

But at the end, when Dana looked at her watch and said “I’d better ferry back across Mercy Creek and get some chores done”, Susan unwittingly gave her an opening to tell one of her favorite stories.

Susan said “Mercy Creek. That’s an interesting name. I suppose that somebody named Charles Q. Mercy discovered it, or something.”

Dana replied, “Not quite. Little Don’s family have been here ever since the first white men arrived. There was some trouble between the white men and the Indians at first. At one point, a mob of white men rounded up some Indians and held them in a hollow by the stream. The white guys were planning a massacre, in retaliation for something that some Indian had been accused of.

“Before the killing could begin, Don’s ancestor Charles Mason came by. He quoted a verse from Romans chapter 17, something like: 'Go ye then into all the world, and preach the gospel. He who showeth the Water of Mercy unto the heathen, and teacheth them the way of Salvation, shall surely stand with the saints at the last judgment. But he who denieth the heathen the Word, by doing violence unto them, shall surely fall when the end time comes.’

“Charles Mason preached an impromptu sermon on that verse, and prevented the massacre, and he eventually married one of the Indian women whose lives he had saved. Little Don says that he inherited his coal-black eyes from that Indian woman, through umpteen generations in between.”

Susan said, “I guess you are lucky that Little Don’s ancestor was such a good Bible scholar.”

“There really wasn’t much scholarship involved in knowing that verse.” She paused, finished drinking her lemonade, grinned, and added, “In the Bible, there are only sixteen chapters in the Book of Romans.”

After a moment of thinking about the implications of Dana’s last statement, Susan grinned back. In that moment, each of them fully realized that she had found a new best friend. Susan said “Come on back, whenever you get the time. You will always be welcome here.”

* * *

The third meeting of Susan and Dana was even more interesting.

Springtime can be very busy on a farm. Crops need to be planted, and animals still need to be tended. Several weeks passed before Dana got another opportunity to paddle her inflatable raft across Mercy Creek for another visit.

When she finally had the time, she knocked on Scott and Susan’s farmhouse door and got no answer. She walked around the house, checking the gardens; Susan’s flowers were well started, but Susan wasn’t working outdoors. Susan’s car was parked in the barnyard, and it was the only vehicle. Dana began to wonder if Scott and Susan had gone somewhere together in Scott’s car. But then hadn’t she seen Scott on duty in a police cruiser only a few hours earlier?

Dana was disappointed. She decided to check out the only sign of life in the place, a tonk-tonk-tonk sound coming from one of the farm outbuildings. The door of that building was not locked. Dana looked in, and she saw Susan in a cage, pedaling for all she was worth on an exercise bicycle. So Dana said “Good Lord! What sort of a mess has he gotten you into this time?”

Dana entered the shed. Susan looked up and quit pedaling. The tonk-tonk noise of the air pump stopped. “Hello Dana, I’m damn glad to see you. Could you do me a very big favor? Over there behind me is a pipe with an orange lever handle sticking out of it. Yes, that one. Turn the handle so it points toward you, please, please. Oh, thank you!” Susan climbed off of the bike and collapsed onto an inflated air mattress alongside it. “Boy, I am pooped!”

Dana sat down on an aluminum-and-webbing chaise lounge, a comfortable piece of folding porch furniture. She started a conversational exchange by saying “This requires some explanation. So, talk.”

“I gained about seven pounds beginning with the Christmas feasts. This is how I am getting rid of them.”

“You have to be locked in a cage for that?”

“Maybe I wouldn’t have to be, but it sure helps. I absolutely cannot cheat on my diet, or on my exercise. Besides, I like doing bondage challenges, and this is one of my biggest challenges yet.”

“I can see why you can’t cheat on your diet. But what is stopping you from lying around all day on that air mattress instead of exercising?”

“If I don’t exercise, those spray nozzles up there will fill this entire cage with ice-cold mist. I’m cheating now, with your help. That orange handle is on one of the cut-off valves for the water supply to the spray nozzles. I’ll have to ask you to turn it on again when you leave. Otherwise Scott will be furious.”

“Let’s be clear about this. You will want me to spray you with ice-cold water when I leave, so that your guy won’t be furious?”

“That won’t happen if I ride my bike for about ten minutes first. There are three valves in that water line. The one with the orange handle is opened and closed by hand. The next one has an electric actuator, and it is controlled by Scott’s timing computer. The third one is operated by air pressure, which I pump up when I ride. I’ll pump it up before you open the orange one again.”

“Sheesh! How long have you been in there anyway?”

“Continuously? Six days, I think. Is today's Saturday? It’s easy to lose track in here.”

“How about non-continuously?”

“I started doing several hours each morning about three weeks ago, just after your last visit. Scott has been working afternoons. He shut me in, and demonstrated the spray system, and set the computer to close the electric water valve for half an hour. I had to pump up the air system before my half-hour was up. I’m in better shape now. I can pump up in ten minutes without downshifting the ten-speed sprockets all the way to first gear.”

Susan continued, “The computer actually controls three valves: one in the water line, one that dumps the air from the air system so that I have to pump up again, and one that bleeds air slowly out of the air tank so I have to keep riding to keep the air pressure up. Scott has been increasing the open times on all of these valves from one day to the next, so I have to keep exercising harder and harder to keep from getting sprayed.

“Six days ago he came in here in his uniform, ready to go to work. But instead of unlatching the cage door like before, he screwed in two more big bolts to hold it closed and told me the challenge was starting. I was able to keep up with the spray valve timing until today, just now as a matter of fact. Right now I am pooped! I’m very glad you came along to give me some extra rest time.”

The two women rested companionably together for a few minutes. But Dana still had a few questions to ask. Her next one was, “So how is Scott taking care of you?”

“Scott cooks the meals, and he keeps me company, usually sitting on the chair that you are using right now. He feeds me my favorite foods, a zillion calories per bite, but not many bites. Have you ever had one-half of one pancake for breakfast, with butter and maple syrup? I have learned not to ask him to back off on the timer settings, though. If I try to beg for more resting time, he leaves me alone without changing anything. I can’t win an appeal to his computer.”

Dana commented, “So he hasn’t really touched you more than a few fingers through the cage bars for six days now. I don’t know how I could stand it if Little Don were right there for that long and never even gave me a hug.”

Susan grinned. “Three days, actually. See those two metal-framed holes in the cage top panels, right over the door? Three days ago he had me stick my hands up through them, and he put padded cuffs on me so I couldn’t pull my hands back. Then he opened the door. I’m a lot shorter than he is, but I was standing on the cage platform and he was outside on the floor, so we were just the right height for each other. It was the most fun I’ve ever had while standing up.”

Dana grinned back. Then, with a more serious expression, she asked “Does Scott give you a blanket or something at night? It’s cold after dark this time of year.”

“No. Those things above the spray nozzles that look like black fluorescent tubes are actually infrared radiators. They switch on at night and keep me plenty warm while I sleep.”

“Don’t you ever miss being outside that cage?”

“I suppose so, but I’d bet I’ll miss being inside when Scott finally lets me out. When he screwed the bolts in to keep me 24/7, he also switched on a vibrator under the seat of the exercise bike. It switches on now whenever I sit on it. Three days ago after our lovemaking session, Scott turned on one more gizmo. Now there is a brake on the back wheel that clamps tight whenever I am not sitting on the bicycle seat. So now I have to be on the seat when I am pedaling. I can’t stand on the pedals and avoid the vibrator any more. It’s work, and I sweat, but I never dreamed I could have this much fun while locked in a small cage.”

Dana said, “Wow. I don’t know whether to envy you or not. I certainly couldn’t enjoy what you seem to be enjoying.”

Susan just smiled quietly. But then her expression changed, and she asked “What time is it? I don’t have a clock or watch in here.”

“It’s almost 4:00.”

“Oh-oh. Scott switched schedules and he’s working seven-to-three. I had better get back on the bike and pump up the air before he gets home.”

Another voice interrupted. “Too late for that.” Scott was standing in the doorway. He added, “Hello, Dana.”

Susan exclaimed, “Rats! Busted!”

Dana asked, “Are you going to punish her?” When Scott kept his policeman face on, she stood up and asked more anxiously “How are you going to punish her?” Her fight-or-flight instincts wouldn’t let her stay seated around this big menacing man. Besides, it was his chair after all.

“I’m going to punish her appropriately.” He opened the lid of a nearby two-gallon wide-mouth white plastic jar. Then he pulled out his keys, unlocked a tool chest, and picked up an ordinary-size socket wrench. He used the wrench to undo two screws in the wooden box that was mounted on the base at one end of Susan’s cage [Remember the box? I mentioned it only ten pages ago.] With the screws out, Scott was able to open an access hatch in the outside face of that box.

Dana watched tensely. She had never seen this side of her husband’s friend before. All sorts of bad possibilities crossed her mind about what could be in that box. For example, some of the cattle fencing on her farm was electrified by a power supply in a box just about the same size as the one in the cage. Susan could hardly avoid touching metal. Just how nasty would Scott be, anyway?

Scott reached in to a shelf right at the top of the box. He carefully slid a bed pan out, dumped the contents into the two-gallon white plastic jar, rinsed the pan with a spray nozzle on a garden hose, and slid the pan back onto the shelf. Susan said “There are rubber gaskets around the top of the box. You can’t smell anything, except sometimes when I open the box top to use the pan.”

Dana said, “Oh.”

Scott used his socket wrench to undo two more small bolts near the bottom of one side of the cage, and he opened a small access door. Then he took a bathroom scale out of the box and passed it into the cage through the access door. He ordered, “Stand on the scale.”

A small cardboard hood had been duct-taped over the dial on the balance. From above, Susan could not see how much she weighed. Scott looked in through the open end of the cardboard hood, and then up at Susan to make certain that she wasn’t touching anything else and that all of her weight was on the balance, then down to the dial and back up to Susan once or twice more. “OK, get off.” Then he put the scale back in the bottom of the cage box and replaced all of the screws that he had loosened.

When all of those screws had been re-tightened, Scott returned to his tool chest and exchanged the ordinary-size socket wrench for a very large one. He used that wrench to release the large screw bolts on the main cage door, and he slid the latch bolt out of the way. He said “I put you in there to stay and exercise until you had lost your excess weight. You’ve lost it. Therefore, no violation, and no punishment. Come on out.”

And then his policeman-face expression finally broke. He gave Susan a big smile and added, “Congratulations!”

Before Scott or Susan could move, Dana also shouted “Congratulations!” and moved forward to give Susan a congratulatory hug. Scott also wanted to give Susan a hug, and he found that he had to include both women.

Including Dana in a hug for his naked collared woman made Scott think again. Dana was also a sharp-looking gal. All sorts of fun might be possible, if Dana and Little Don were included. Of course they both would have to agree, which would not be possible if nobody was willing to ask them. Dana was a guest on his property; it would be rude to exclude her from what was going on.

With these thoughts in mind, Scott asked “Dana, would you want to find out what it feels like to be handcuffed to Susan? Or perhaps take a look at that cage from the inside?” Both women gave answers. Both answers were good examples of data compression.

Dana’s response was: I am tolerant of, and interested in, other people’s kinks and peculiarities. But that does not mean that I will always share them. Wearing handcuffs, or being locked in a cage, would do nothing for me. Besides, I have a husband whom I love very much. I do not wish to be disloyal to him by getting involved in anything erotic with anybody else. And it is obvious that the whole confinement business is highly erotic from your points of view.

Dana compressed this entire message into, “I don’t think I ought to want to do that.”

Susan did even better. Her response was: Scott, I have given myself to you completely. But there is a price for this, and that price is exclusiveness. I could never be happy sharing you with another woman. Seeing you ask another woman for something like that doesn’t make me jealous. Instead, it terrifies me. I depend on you completely now, physically and financially and especially emotionally. If you ever left me, I would fall apart. Please stay with me, and only me.

Susan compressed her entire message into just one word, “Scott!!”, and into the expression that she gave him.

Scott wasn’t deaf. He heard the complete messages from both women, despite the data compression, and he compressed his reply also. He looked at Susan, and Susan got the message without a single word from Scott. She moved back into his arms, and put her hands behind her back. She felt Scott lock her gold-plated handcuffs, the ones that nobody else had ever worn or would ever wear, onto her wrists. For the next few moments, Scott kept his reassuring arms around her.

Dana wasn’t deaf either. She tilted her head in the direction of the river, and held a hand up to one ear, and said “Uh, I think I hear one of my cats meowing for attention. Scott, Susan, thank you for your hospitality, but I have to get back now.”

Susan answered, “Come back soon.” But then she looked up at Scott and added, “Perhaps you had better phone first, though.”

* * *

After Dana left, Scott picked up a three-foot dog leash. He latched the clip onto the shackle of Susan’s collar padlock. He led her into the house, and upstairs, and he put her into their new large Jacuzzi tub. He padlocked the rubber handle of the leash to one of the 'convenient railings that help you enter and exit your bath', wondering once again if the bath designers at Jacuzzi had ever realized that those railings could have other uses as well. He filled the tub, switched on the whirlpool jets, undressed, joined Susan in the tub, and watched over her for an hour. Susan fell asleep. Every part of Scott’s body relaxed completely in the soothing whirlpool, with (of course) one important exception. He thought that Susan had never looked more beautiful.

Eventually he clipped a length of chain around his own waist, woke her up, and transferred her leash handle to that waist chain. Her hands stayed cuffed. He took a shower, and gave her one also. He took his time about brushing out her lovely long hair.

She stayed confined to his waist by the leash within convenient touching distance for the rest of that afternoon and evening. Scott prepared a steak, and served it with fresh apple slices and Mountain Dew. They sat side-by-side at the dining room table while Scott fed her supper one bite at a time. He kept her in his lap while they watched a movie on TV. He didn’t even allow her to use the toilet alone; her hands stayed cuffed, and his hands did what was necessary.

She finally got to use her own hands at bedtime, to brush her own teeth. However, Scott replaced the simple clip connection between leash and collar with a padlock before he removed the handcuffs. He would not allow Susan to have the ability to separate from him at all. She never knew when his hands would be on her again. Of course his hands, and other important parts of his body, were on her and in her repeatedly all night long.

Scott was off work the next day. They slept in late, and enjoyed one more round of lovemaking the next morning before getting out of bed. Just before Scott released her from her bed chains, Susan commented “I’m glad I’m out of the cage now. I got awfully tired keeping up with your timing program. But I told Dana that I would probably miss being inside the cage, and I still think that I’ll be damned impatient to go back in next spring, after being without it for a long cold winter. That cage is a marvelous tune-up for a night of passion.” I.

“So you still haven’t figured out why I made the base of that cage from two four-by-four-foot pieces of plywood, screwed together, instead of one big four-by-eight. You still haven’t figured out why the final assembly of the sides and top was by bolting, not welding.”

Susan paused, and thought, and remembered that her man could have an odd way of looking at things sometimes. She finally decided that she was unlikely to guess his reasons. So she asked, “So, O Great Man of Mystery, why did you make the cage that way?”

Scott smiled. “I made it that way so that it could be disassembled into pieces small enough to get down the cellarway into the basement of the house. I’ll set it up again down there. Then I will be able to put you back in whenever I wish, all winter long, maybe even during a big snow storm. As a matter of fact, that might be the best time to put you back in, if I’m off work. Scott’s evil grin was back. “So all next winter, and especially when the forecast calls for snow – you can just keep anticipating.”

The End

Author’s comments, by YFNR:

Over a year ago in “Paint”, Nightguy wrote about a conversation between Scott and Susan while Susan was locked into a cage at the sheriff’s office. He promised that that conversation would make it into another story, “but not now”.

I waited for that story for almost a year. I wrote sequels to two stories by Zack and one by Yashi on the Leviticus website. I realized that I was becoming the king of sequels. So I decided to offer Nightguy some help.

Some authors are jealous about their characters and settings. For example, John Norman has asked that nobody else write stories set on Gor. But Nightguy was willing to learn what I had to say, and we began exchanging emails. We designed Susan’s cage together, and then I wrote this story based on his over-all outline. I sent it to him for review, and he has approved enthusiastically. He wrote me that I did a better job with the material than he could have done [I'd say the same about YNFR using my characters --Zack]. And I can say with equal emphasis that it would have been a much weaker story without the ideas that he contributed.