Change of Command
by Raul Roget

"Panties off!" The order came in a normal tone, at a conversational level. The people at a nearby table could easily have heard it had they not been deep in their own discussion.

Annabel heard the order, understood it, yet waited two or three precious seconds to obey. The man across from her cleared his throat, preparing to repeat it in a voice that would reach the farthest corner of the quiet room.

Hurriedly she hooked the sides of the delicate garment with her fingers and slid it down her legs, bumping first one knee, then the other in her haste to follow his order. She thanked her intuition for not wearing the intended panty hose.

Knowing Arthur, she almost acted before his next order, but knowing the penalty for jumping the gun she waited, poised.

"Skirt up." Her hands clutched her knee-length denim skirt and were moving up before the second word was spoken. The order was a bare notch louder than the previous one, a clear warning that he would brook absolutely no hesitation in her obedience. The nearby audience continued to ignore them as Annabel got her feet under her and lifted her pert ass cheeks off the skirt. As she stood, hunched over the edge of the table, Arthur's hand slid under her, fingers touching, playing with her labia, tugging the rings that marched down both sides of her pussy. Only after Arthur had given her bottom a detailed feel was she allowed to sit, bare ass flesh meeting leather seat.

The waiter appeared in front of them, coming out of nowhere. Annabel flushed, certain the man had seen and heard what was going on. He gave no sign, ignoring her and taking their drink orders from Arthur, a martini for him and lemonade for her. She half expected Arthur would ask him to search under the table for a lost spoon. He would have seen her, bare to the waist, legs spread wide to comply with standing orders. Arthur was in a strange mood, one she didnít quite understand, different from his usual formal dining mode. After her momentary lapse she was anxious to please him, knowing her hesitation would bring retribution after the evening outing was over.

She was shocked to feel his hand on her ankle, even more shocked when the warm hand was replaced with cold steel. She heard a lock click, loud. She glanced at the other table. Nobody was even looking at them. As she watched two couples were escorted to a table to the left, where they would have a clear view into their booth.

She pulled her leg back, heard the faint tinkle of chain links and her foot was snubbed with her leg extended. Arthur got up, walked around the front of the table and sat again. His fingers found her other ankle and the imprisonment was repeated. Avoiding her outstretched leg he slid back beside her, resting a hand on her thigh as the waiter appeared with their drinks.

She held her breath, expecting, waiting for the fateful invitation to the waiter to view the scene under the table. She held it so long that she gasped when she drew breath again. Arthur smiled, a Cheshire cat grin, reading her mind, knowing exactly what she assumed would happen, determined to confound and surprise her. The unwitting waiter added spice to an already planned evening.

Annabel was puzzled, thinking hard in between jolts of embarrassment and humiliation. Normally a hesitation, such as her delay, would have spoiled Arthur's mood for the rest of the evening. Why had he ignored it? He had threatened to raise his voice and did speak a little louder with his second order, but it was so unlike him not to reprove her on the spot and promise unspecified but undoubtedly painful discipline for later.

The waiter appeared again. As he approached he seemed to have a particular interest in the table cloth, which hung only inches below the table. Annabel flushed again, certain he could see her splayed legs. But, it was only a crumb, marring the pristine surface until he whisked it away even as he drew Arthur's attention to the specials.

Arthur ordered, a ribeye steak, and a pair of crab cakes for her. As they waited for the salads their conversation matched those at the tables around them, mundane things that filled out the day. Annabel was hampered, both physically by the cuffs on her ankles and mentally by her helplessly awkward and suggestive position.

Arthur had no such restraint and carried much of the load, lapsing into a lengthy description of a meeting at the office which was of only minor interest. Her attention span grew shorter and shorter, as she wished silently that he would abandon the meal and drag her home and punish her. The initial shock at his actions had started her juices flowing, but now she could feel that they had dried into a desert landscape.

They ate and drank and finally it was over, after a lingering dessert. She waited expectantly for him to unlock her ankles so she could get up and pull her skirt down before they walked to the door. He made no move. The bill came. He checked the addition, added a tip and rose to his feet.

"Goodbye, Annabel."

She opened her mouth, but nothing came out. Dumbfounded, in a state of shock, she watched him walk across the room, nod to the girls at the reservation desk and then disappear out the door. It was much too late for her to cry out, to call him.

Glumly, still in shock, she assessed her situation. She was helpless, chained to the booth. If she called to the waiter everyone in the place would hear. How would he get her loose? She wanted to cry, but some inner power kept the tears from flowing. There was no way out of this mess without exposing her half-naked body to the entire room. Dimly she began to realize that Arthur had planned this. No doubt someone here was in on the stunt. They had to be for those cuffs to be waiting for her ankles. Arthur certainly hadnít brought them in his shirt pocket.

The waiter reappeared, not once but several times, asking her if there was anything she wanted, refilling her lemonade glass. Each visit added to her anxiety. She thought that he knew, but it was the manager who had set this up, receiving a healthy tip from Arthur, who described the event as a joke. She didnít realize that he was carefully watching her.

She kept her eyes down, but when she heard a commotion at a table across the room she lifted her head in curiosity. A well dressed handsome man was questioning the seated diners. He joked and laughed and moved on to the next table. Annabel found she couldnít take her eyes off of him. It was just plain curiosity, a near fault that Arthur had chided her over several times. As he reached a table closer to her she heard his stock question, "Does anyone have a handcuff key?"

She gasped, instantly blaming Arthur for this impossibly gross joke at her expense. She heard him explain that he had dropped his key in the parking lot and had been unable to find it in the dark. When he reached the table directly in front of her booth the manager walked up, holding a small key in the air. He handed the key over, along with a small canvas bag. The man swung around and looked at her. "Ah, there you are!"

She looked at him, her eyes widening, a thousand thoughts scrambling her mind. The room was dead silent, still. He turned, a leather wallet in his hand, with a gold badge pinned in it. He held it up. "Go on with your dinner. This is official business."

Not one head turned away. Nobody said anything. The silence was a thick blanket open only in the small booth.

The manager pulled the table out as was normally done to let the customer get out. He kept pulling, moving to one side, leaving her sprawled figure no place to hide. Belatedly she thought of the table cloth, but it was far out of reach now. Her exposure drew a loud murmur from the crowd. Many of the women were scandalized, but the men enjoyed it immensely.

Deliberately allowing her embarrassment to grow he ordered, "Don't move." He walked in and patted her down, leaving her cheeks beet red.

He positioned himself to the side, so the crowd had an unobstructed view. He fumbled with the key, dropping it twice, seeming to have a problem getting it to work. When at last the cuff opened she started to draw her leg back.

"I said, DON'T MOVE!" The murmuring stopped, started again. Annabel died a thousand deaths, knowing every eye was on her. Even the hostesses had moved to get a better view. A camera flashed. Annabel winced.

The man had as much trouble with the other cuff, pretending to have further problems releasing her. She was ready to scream at him to get done with it but she didnít quite dare. Especially after his display of a quick temper. Damn that Arthur anyway. What a bastard to pull a joke like this.

"Stand up! Hands on top of your head!"

She was unsteady, getting her legs operating again. Her skirt was bunched around her waist, but there was nothing she could do about it. Orders are orders, and her hands were clasped, useless, on top of her head.

She stared straight ahead, looking at the floor. She could not meet the dozens of stares. Behind her she heard the sound of a canvas bag opening, metal moving. Deftly one hand was released from her head, pulled down and cuffed. The other hand was brought down and the two were cuffed together in front of her. With a rattle a chain was stretched and looped across her navel, locked behind her. A second lock tied belt and wrist cuffs together. Leg cuffs were added. More chain. A short piece joined her ankles, with a center chain leading up to her belt. He patted her down a second time. Her skirt was ignored. She was getting spooked. This was way beyond a joke.

She really spooked when a leash was attached to the collar she always wore. It's purpose was apparent to the entire room. Not an eye left her as she was pulled across the room to the door, an endless trip made longer by the short hobble chain between her shackles. Totally humiliated, her head on her chest, she saw only the floor a step in front of her. The man waved his wallet in the air again, and repeated, "This is official business."

For the one or two overcurious who followed them to the door, the scene played out. A van with an official looking logo waited, the side door open. Annabel was pushed into the seat and strapped down, her leash locked to the seat leg. The van drove away. Annabel cursed to herself, her anger rising. This had gone far enough. She opened her mouth, got the first word out, the rest of whatever she had wanted to say cut off by a leather gag. She regretted her rashness. Arthur hated gags and he would blame her for its use. Her brain responded, 'Well, if you'd kept your stupid mouth shut you wouldnít be gagged.'

She had time to think during the long trip. Something bothered her. She knew Arthur had cooked up this scheme, but why on earth would he go to such great lengths to humiliate her? Why this elaborate drama? She was at a total loss. Her cheeks still burned as she remembered being dragged before dozens of people and out to the van.

The male guard sitting beside her reached up and blindfolded her. She automatically pulled her wrists upward, but she was helpless to resist. She felt the van finally slow and stop. She heard a metal gate swing open. The van moved forward, some distance, and stopped again.

Unstrapped, she was assisted out of the van and put on her knees.  A tug on her leash moved her forward. She crossed cement, wood, more cement, more wood. Doors opened and closed. Her leash stopped her. She could smell a manís cologne in the air. She knelt up at her leash's instruction.

The blindfold was removed. She kept her gaze on the floor, well trained.

"Look at me."

She raised her eyes, suppressing a gasp. It was the man who had staged all the theatrics at the restaurant and who had 'arrested' her.

"My name is Raymond, a name you will never use. My title is always Master."

He got up and moved around the end of his desk. He held an opened collar.

"I am your new owner. You may kiss my feet."