Many, many thanks to Suzi for her considerable help.
It had been a long day. There had been two outings in the morning – no big deal, but two all the same. Then after feeding, instead of being taken back to the stables, she'd been returned to the waiting yard. Maybe some of the hotel's other ponies were sick. Right off, a third driver had taken her for a high-speed run that had brought her back to the yard in severe oxygen debt, heaving in an effort to get breath. She was still collapsed on her knees, wheezing, when yet another driver climbed aboard. She'd whined her protest, and bent forward breasts onto thighs to show her refusal to budge … but the touch of a crop had brought her to her feet. That fourth outing had been long and strenuous; the driver was a perfectionist who required instant and precise reaction to the reins. Or the crop bit into her. Trajectory, gate, speed … everything had to be perfect; she had to concentrate constantly right up to their after-dark return to the yard. The day's fatigue and intensity left her wired even after feeding and bedding. Sleep did not come, but fragments of memory did.
Graduation day. Around her, all was movement and noise. Smiles and laughter – relief for those had barely made it, glory for those who triumphed. Maggie was neither … in between … as always.
Maggie's roommate felt a little bit guilty about not feeling more guilty. After all, it was sad that Maggie should be alone on a day like this. The girl's parents had long ago divorced because neither was willing to share professional time with family time, and the situation had not improved since. On the other hand, Maggie had no right to spoil everyone else's time with her frowns. The girls were not friends; they'd been assigned a room together by default. The roommate was a transfer who knew no one, and Maggie … well, Maggie had no friends. The roommate had occasionally tried to lift Maggie from her funks, but the girl was inert. She had given up, and would be glad to be out of the situation. She did not mean to let that feeling show, did not mean to add to Maggie's emotional load. But her impatience with Maggie's frowns on a celebration day finally got the best of her, and they had words. The roommate would forget the incident within days; Maggie never.
One thousand seniors. Margaret Walker was close to the tail end of the alphabet, so she had to watch as all her classmates rose to receive their diplomas, smiling and waving, accompanied by the cheers of their friends. The girls were all golden and/or brilliant. The boys, even the ordinary ones, made her hungry. How many other girls were still virgins – involuntary virgins – after four years of college?
She broke from the exit cortege as soon as possible, before the picnic grounds. Her car was packed and waiting to leave.
The Union Bank branch on Roosevelt Drive could have been good. It was small enough, and the manager smart enough, that the personnel formed a team. It was a mainly feminine group, fairly young, and largely single. The conversation was mainly about men: who had found one, and how; what to do with him once you had him; how to get rid of him gently; how to find another one; and so on. Endlessly, it seemed to Maggie. At first, she thought she would be part of it. But gradually, she realized that she was just a spectator for the other women's lives.
Four years later, at twenty-six, she was clearly on the high road to nowhere. Her job was a drudge, and she was as alone as ever. Drowning, she made one last gasp for life, and transferred to the head office downtown.
It was a desperation time – there was no point in it if she continued as before. So she bought a new wardrobe: shorter skirts, higher heels, lower necklines, and junk jewelry. Nothing radical, but not dowdy either. She hooked up quickly to a bunch of women who went bar-hopping / man-hunting in the evenings.
Within a month she finally lost her virginity. The man was decent enough. He was astonished to find a virgin her age, and did his best to be gentle. And the moment passed for both of them.
At least there was movement to her life. She wasn't sure it was better, but she knew that it wasn't the same. For the moment, "different" and "better" were certainly synonyms. So she moved on from bar-crawling to bed-hopping. Sentiments were shallow to non-existent, but at least there was emotion. And sex. Physical relief. Maggie burned her frustration in orgasms.
For a couple of years, Maggie was happy, or at least in a new state of mind, so unfamiliar that she thought it must be happiness. She had friends, women with whom she could actually spend time chatting, comfortably.
She had boy-friends. They were much less comfortable. Sex was always there to weld the couple – Maggie enjoyed giving pleasure, and showed that she enjoyed receiving it. She was a hot partner. In her new world, it was a marvelous title. And yet …
As she passed thirty, Maggie noticed that the bar-crawling club had been seriously depleted over the years. Marriages. Love. She understood the first word. It was a legal condition. She did not understand the second. She did know that she was missing it.
Maggie did not meet Jack while bar-crawling. He was chief financial officer for one the bank's big industrial customers, and Maggie was assigned their account.
At the end of their second meeting, Jack asked Maggie out for a drink. They went to dinner, stayed late, talking of nothings like fashion and lifestyles. She expected to end up in bed with him, but it did not happen.
When they next met, for business, Jack was polite and pleasant, but the glint was gone from his eyes. And again the meeting after that. Maggie was not used to indifference.
"Is something wrong?", she finally asked.
"How's that? About what?"
She was watching him closely. Was there a ghost of a smile at the edges of his mouth?
"I thought we'd see each other again. We got along well at dinner after that first meeting, and then … nothing … "
"Oh," he looked down, seemed disconcerted. "I misread you, then. When we talked about clothes, about how a woman should act to please a man, and vice versa, I thought you were listening. Then when we met again, and you had done nothing in particular, I thought your message was clear. 'Thanks, but no thanks.'"
"Lovely," he said, admiring her huge Creole bangle earrings. "You know, the pleasure in seeing them is double. First, because they're pretty, and second because you're wearing them just for me."
She was nervous. The hem was too high, and so were the heels. But she was happy. Jack was pleased with the way she had dressed for him. He would be gentle and sweet.
His face was blank. Worse. There was no frown, no clenched teeth; and yet his anger flowed over her.
"I guess that's it, then," he said softly, tightly. He had told her he wanted her to wear stockings and a garter belt, with no panties. The dress was just too short, she could not bring herself to it.
He turned to leave her.
"No," she yelped, in panic. "Please don't go. I'm sorry. I'll wear whatever you want. … … I'm sorry. … … … Pleased don't go … "
He stopped, his back still turned to her.
"We have a problem, then. We can't go through this every time you feel a little weak. You're afraid to lose me, right now. So you'll do whatever I want. Right now. But tomorrow, or next week, or whenever … you'll lose that fear, and then you'll backslide again."
He turned to face her. His eyes were smiling. "I don't want to leave you, either. I don't want to lose you any more than you want to lose me. You are so wonderful, you give me so much. I was sick at the idea that I might lose you."
Maggie began to breathe again.
"But we have our problem. I can't accept disobedience, and sooner or later you are sure to disobey. And we neither of us wants to split up."
Maggie did not know where he was headed, but she knew he had a solution. She waited.
"When a little girl disobeys, she is punished."
Her shoulders ached. Sweat rolled down her naked body. The flogger stung and stung. She whimpered, moaned, screamed through the gag. Would he give her relief, too? She needed him so badly. So very, very badly.
"I've got something for you," he said. The collar was pretty. It was almost slim enough to be taken for vanilla jewelry. Almost.
"I want you to wear it all the time. It will keep you thinking about me."
The Club. So much had happened there. Jack gave her to another man, for the first time. It bothered her, but she knew she needed to make Jack happy. So she did her very best to please the other man … and Jack was indeed content. He so very good to her then. He told her that the other man had been well satisfied, and had paid well. She was stunned, but since Jack was nice to her …
Later, she had left her job to work at The Club. Had left her life. In the evenings, she served drinks. She patrolled the multitude of rooms, her arms sheathed behind her back, a tray attached to her waist, and little bells clipped lightly to her nipples. The guests wrote their orders on the notebook that was Velcro-ed to the gag that filled her mouth. She shuttled back and forth to the bar.
She was available for any other use the guest might have for her.
Once, just once, she thought about her status. She was a whore. In a kinky club. But as long as she had Jack, everything was OK.
Blindfolded, she couldn't know if it was Jack who softly whipped her and then took her to paradise. It didn't matter. She shuddered again and again under the expert ministrations.
Afterwards, she wept disconsolately.
The bartender set two straight malts on her platter. "Red Library."
Entering, she felt her heart flutter. It was Jack, with another man. Older, and hugely fat. She could feel her breath stifled under that crushing mass of flesh.
"Here she is. What do you think?"
The fat man looked her over briefly, clearly not considering her worth longer examination.
"Tits are too small. Who'd want a girl with no tits? You should have her implanted. Silicon isn't as good as the real thing, but it's better than nothing. … … Like she is, she's OK as a waitress, but nobody'd want her for anything else."
"You're going to sell me, aren't you? … I've done all this for you, Jack. For you. To please you. You. I don't want anyone else. It's you I love. You can't do this."
He did not answer. He drew her to him and kissed her. He stroked her body. He caressed her breasts.
As soon as he began his work, she dissolved. Her worries, her thoughts evaporated and all that remained was desire for his attention, for his touch. And her need to please him.
"This is Mr Gordon. You're going to go with him for a while."
"Where? How long?" Maggie was frightened. She had been waiting for this.
"That isn't your problem. You just do as you're told."
"What about you?"
"Maggie. Dear, dear Maggie. I'll be wherever you are. Always. I made you what you are. You'll always have me, and I'll always have you. Always."
He gagged and hooded her.
Dark. Silence. Loneliness. Betrayal.
Mr Gordon sat opposite her in a leather stuffed-chair. He had finished using her a few minutes before, and had left both of them a bit of time to recover. She was still flushed pink from the orgasms.
"Maggie, I work for a hotel on a private Caribbean island. It caters to the same public as The Club. I'm going to take you there. Once a year, you will be given the possibility of leaving. If you do not want to go, please say so now."
She felt totally empty. She said nothing.
"Higher," said the groom. The high-laced hoofed boots were downright painful, and balance was difficult.
"That's a good girl. Good pony."
The groom was easy enough to live with. He cropped her buttocks if she flagged, but as long as she kept trying, she received encouragement rather than pain. And if she worked hard enough, she was sure to get a very special encouragement at the end of the session.
Those fleeting instants of orgasm had become the center of her universe over the last weeks.
She'd never seen the groom, or least only glimpses. She wore very restrictive blinders all the time.
The groom shuttered her blinders completely. She had grown used to the routine. Water jetted into her mouth, rinsing it. Then the tooth-brush. And another rinse. During the first few days, when she realized that some of her restraints were literally permanent, she had wondered what the long-term effects would be. The dental hygiene was good news.
The hoof-boots were removed every night. The tight laced leather would cause pressure-point problems if left on too long. But she was never allowed to walk barefoot. As soon as the hooves were off, they were replaced by stiff plastic braces that prevented ever resting on her heels. She could stand and walk, but only on tip-toe. Short periods were uncomfortable, longer ones became painful. In the morning, the groom laced the hooves back on. Within a few days she became accustomed to them. And after a few months, she supposed that it would be painful to stretch her hamstrings enough to set a heel down.
Sometimes she thought about her arms. Little by little, the bindings had been tightened until her elbows touched, with her forearms dangling uselessly. The soft leather elbow and wrist bindings were never removed completely. Every other day, they were moved up or down a few inches, to avoid pressure-point problems. The pouch that enveloped her hands was changed every two days.
She knew that even if her arms were freed suddenly, she no longer had any muscle at all.
"Yes, sir," answered her groom. He was sponging her down after a workout. Her reins were drawn up over a bar in front of her face. The bar was all she could see in the world. She waited, hopefully, for the groom's attention.
"She ain't ready yet. 'Nother two or three weeks at least. And then she won't be any good for you, sir, for a lot longer than that. Maybe never. She's startin' pretty old – must be over thirty. She don't run good, and she's kinda clumsy. But she works pretty hard, so she'll be OK for tourists after a while. Prob'ly never up to your standards, though."
"What's her name?"
"Dunno. Me and the Chief have just been callin' her 'the new one'. Mr Gordon di'n't put any name on her papers."
A hand stroked her flank. Drifted over her little breasts. Fingers combed through her hair.
"Nice hair." In fact, it had been hacked irregularly short, and was filthy.
She trembled. Since she had arrived here, it was the first time she had received any attention other than the groom's rough caresses of her sex, and the first words about anything other than the way she lifted her knees.
"What, sir? What did you say?"
"Call her 'Sienna'."
"Yes, sir. … … um … er … what's it mean, sir?"
"It's a color, reddish brown. Like her hair. It fits her."
The caressing fingers were less calloused than usual.
Exhaustion. She ran. There was nothing in her mind except the pain in her calves and thighs.
She slowed and the crop snapped at her buttocks. She accelerated back to a steady medium pace that the groom knew was within her aerobic phase. She would not run out of breath. She would run out of legs.
She ran until she began to stagger. The groom slowed her.
"How is she coming along?"
"Real good, sir. Real good. She musta done some sports before, 'cause she's picked up real good condition. She ain't fast, won't never be. But she can go pretty far."
The hands ran over her body. They caressed her breasts, and kneaded her leg muscles.
"How about dressage?"
"Still ain't real sharp on steps, but that's comin' along pretty good, too. She's a good worker. The other day we done some long-distance work. She nearly ran 'til she dropped. Yeah, I like workin' her – she's makin' real good progress. I mean … for an old one. You know, sir. They don't usually work out too good."
The soft hands held her hips solidly, pushing her forward against a buck, then bending her over it.
She hadn't had a cock in her for such a long time. Such a long, long time.
Her first day in service, after months of preparation, should have been special. Just one driver took her out, an idiot who did not know what he was doing. Or rather, he knew he had come only for the pleasure of whipping a pony's ass and watching the results. Painful, miserable day.
Beautiful day. Light breeze and a perfect temperature for an outing.
The reins pulled her head gently to the rear. Sienna backed smoothly away from the hitch. The right rein flickered. She moved laterally to her right, pivoting the sulky, until the flicker stopped. Both reins flicked softly up-down, and she leaned into her belt. The sulky accelerated smoothly to a fast walk, the appropriate speed for warming up. Most drivers were too amateur to know this, and required speed immediately.
This driver let her settle into her fast walk for quite a while. Just when she was comfortable with the effort, the reins flickered again, requiring more speed. Sienna accelerated to an easy jog, and again the driver gave her time to adjust. She ran easily. The sulky seemed to float behind her.
Another flicker, and another acceleration. Sienna was running hard now, close to her top speed. Anaerobia. She could keep this up for only a very short time, two minutes at most. Panic began to rise – the driver had already required more speed twice. What would he do now?
A quarter-mile flew past. She could feel the acid build-up in her calves. And then the reins pulled back gently, commanding her to slow down. The driver braked her back down to a slow jog and held her there. She gradually cooled off, and slowly but surely the acid dissipated from her muscles.
The driver required Sienna to maintain a fast walk for a while, before letting her stop. Her body felt good.
Since arriving on the island, she had seen almost nothing. The tack between her shoulders and bridle kept her head forward. Her blinders kept her eyes riveted on the path when she pulled a sulky, and when she was not doing that, she was in the yard or the stables. Now they were parked on a bald hill, overlooking the ocean. Her span of vision was narrow, even including the slight rotation of her head allowed by the tack. All the same, the view was magnificent. She stepped right, then left, pivoting the sulky to scan all the horizon. The driver did not intervene. This tiny liberty astonished her.
The driver climbed out of the sulky and moved close to her, staying to her side, invisible. A bottle touched her lips. It was the signal to block her breathing so that she could be given something to drink. The bottle moved on to the entrance of the fat rubber pipe that permanently filled her mouth. She drank deeply.
"That's enough. Good girl. Good girl."
The return trip was just as marvelous.
Crack! Whack! Whack! She ran as fast as she could, but the crop fell anyway. "INHHH!! … IHHHHHNN!" She couldn't make any coherent sound through the rubber pipe filling her mouth. It let her breath easily, but speech was impossible.
She ran until her legs gave out, and as she fell she heard a loud pop from her ankle.
"Come on, get up, you stupid cow! Get up!"
Sienna staggered to her feet. To one foot, the other would not hold her.
"Move it, you lazy bitch! Move!"
She staggered and fell again.
The driver kicked her in the ribs. She gurgled her pain and tried to roll into a ball. The next kick caught the side of her head and she lost consciousness.
She was laying in her stall. Someone was manipulating her ankle. Touching it, bending it up and down, side to side. She was blinkered, so she could not see who it was. She expressed her pain by the intensity of her squeals.
"How's it look, Doc?" asked the groom.
"Not too bad. Laxity isn't too bad, and the swelling is pretty well contained. How does she usually handle pain? I need to know, so I can judge the intensity of her reactions."
"I don't really know, Doc. She's always been easy to train – I ain't never really had to lay into her. Ya know, just a flick sometimes to remind her I'm here. But I ain't never really hit her."
The "Doc" pressed her ankle sideways until she moaning loudly and fighting against him.
"Couple of times, there's been visitors who used the crop 'cause they get off on that, ya know the kind. She always took that stuff pretty good. Never caused no trouble, anyway."
"OK." He released her foot. She scrambled on her knees to the corner of her stall, whimpering. "I don't think her ankle is too bad. The ligaments aren't ruptured, just stretched. I'll give you a training and therapy program for that."
There were sounds of shuffling feet. The groom and the "Doc" standing up.
"… Doc? …"
"What about the rest? I mean she's got bruises all over. She got beat pretty bad. Anything else damaged?"
"Yes. I think she was a bit concussed, but that's already cleared up since yesterday. She'll keep the black eye and the bruise on her cheekbone for a while. Two cracked ribs, some others are separated. That's going to be painful for a few weeks, but there's nothing I can do about it. Same for those big bruises on her upper arms – they're nasty, and certainly painful, but there's nothing I can do about it."
"… um … Maybe a painkiller? Just some aspirin, maybe?"
"You know better than that."
"Will she be all right?"
"Doctor says so. Her ankle's sprained, but it ain't a real bad sprain. The son-of-a-bitch did more damage when he kicked her. Cracked some ribs. Separated some cartilage. Concussion."
"So what now?"
"Back to square one. … Well, no. Not really back to the start. She won't lose the dressage. But all that great condition … Doc gave me a program so I can start working her soon without hurting her ankle, but by the time she'll be able to really lean on it again, she'll've lost a lot of muscle. Really a shame. Been here a year, almost, and she's gotta start over 'cause that son-of-a-bitch."
Sienna heard the driver move near her. She shied away into her corner, afraid to be touched. Afraid to be seen.
"The bruises are still pretty ugly."
"They must hurt. She used to like my touch, and now she's afraid of me."
"Yes, sir. She ain't been the same since the beating. She shies from everybody. Even me."
"What kind of painkillers does she get?"
"… um … Well … "
"I see. It's against the rules. I guess I can see why, but it is a pity."
His voice came from very close to her. She whimpered.
He touched her forehead, so softly that she was not sure his fingers were there. Slowly, lightly, ever so gently, he caressed her forehead, then her uninjured cheek. He ran his fingers through her hair.
He began again, and again. Breath by breath, she relaxed.
Only much later, when she was breathing easy and no longer leaning away from him did his hands drift down to her breasts, rolling her nipples softly between his fingertips. She moaned, but it was not at all the same moan as before. He kneaded her breasts, slowly and gently.
Reflexively, she spread her legs for him, and his hand went there to do it's magic.
Around and around the training yard. Sienna walked slowly, her hoof-boot was bound, to limit amplitude even more than it normally would. She was blinkered.
Left – right – left – right left …
Pain – no pain – pain – no pain …
If she breathed too deeply, pain ripped through her ribs.
Left – right – left – right left …
Pain – no pain – pain – no pain …
She moaned/screamed her frustration and pain, and stopped dead.
"C'mon, Sienna. C'mon, girl. We gotta do this."
The groom's crop flicked her buttocks. She didn't move.
"C'mon, girl. We can't quit. C'mon."
The crop flicked a bit harder.
She made the same moan/scream, and began walking.
"Good morning. How's Sienna doing? Are you going to be working her this morning?"
"It's tough for her, sir. I gotta work her, or she ain't never gonna get back in shape, but she hurts."
Sienna heard the driver approach. She did not shy away. When he began his caresses, she leaned into them.
She felt a bottle at her lips, blocked her respiration, and drank a strange tasting liquid.
She was disappointed when the driver left almost immediately. She became quite dreamy, and the morning training session was much less painful than before.
"Hi, Mr Gordon. We don't see you down here in the morning too often."
"Hi Robbie. I'm here about Sienna. She's been here for a year."
"Yes, sir. I figured it was for that. I'll take care of it."
So the groom's name was Robbie. Sienna forgot it immediately. He was her groom. He had no name.
The groom hitched Sienna to a training sulky, ultra-light-weight for beginner ponies. She was surprised, because she had heard "Doc" tell him that she could once again handle an ordinary sulky, and that she could begin rebuilding endurance.
He led her out of the yard. Her blinders ensured that she saw nothing but his back.
He stopped and stood aside. Mr Gordon was there, in front of her.
"Maggie Walker may go to her left, where she will find passage back to the States. Sienna may go to her right, where she will find her stables."
It was raining hard, but the groom harnessed her and hitched her to a sulky.
"Not a good time to go out, sir."
"No, but this is going to be my last chance to run her for a while. I don't want to miss it."
She hardly felt the reins. His sensitivity to her condition was so perfect that she was never sure whether she responded to his commands within a tenth of a second, or anticipated them by a tenth of a second. The harmony was magic. It was a perfect promise of the sexual release that would follow. He directed her out of the stables.
The rain fell as it can fall only on a tropical island. The water caused her extraordinary effort. She forced her concentration on her footing on the muddy, waterlogged paths. Once in a while she would misstep. Violent corrections were needed. The first time, fear for her ankle flashed through her, but it held perfectly, painlessly. The fear turned into pleasure and she added some speed, until a light touch of the reins called her back to a more reasonable rate. She was soon breathing hard, and the strain in her chest reawakened a bit of pain in her ribs. She hardly noticed. The deluge cooled her overheating muscles.
The play on the reins was more firm than usual. The atrocious weather erased all their consensual habits, so the driver had to express his will. Sienna stayed alert to him, and to the path. It was a difficult outing, but a very satisfying one. Her fusion with the driver was exalting.
The driver took less time than usual bringing her effort down to zero. She was still warm, and her heartbeat still a bit fast, when they got back to the stables.
"Hey there, sir! You look frozen!"
"No matter." She could hear his teeth chatter.
"Get her dried off. I'll be back as soon as I've put on some dry clothes."
Her hips rolled in anticipation.
Slowly the flashing memories were disappearing into a fog of sleep.
Anxiety, her constant, permanent anxiety lurked at the edges of consciousness. Life reduced to this tiny patch. A sliver of existence. Serving idiots, idiots who often hurt her and who sometimes hurt her very badly. Can this be a life? I must leave, the next time.
As she slid into sleep, she thought of her nameless, faceless driver-lover. She squeezed her thighs tightly together. She moaned softly.
Her breathing evened out. Her body relaxed.