ZoŽ 365 and Beyond

This is a sequel to ZoŽ 24/7, which is a sequel to ZoŽ Finds a Reluctant Master by Yashi.† After this piece, I will give Yashi his characters and settings back.

Personal to Yashi: Thanks for the loan.†

Early in April I asked Penny if she knew how to sew.† Hunting and fishing camp season was about to begin, and I had an idea for how I should take ZoŽ there.† Penny said "I went through all three levels of sewing courses at 4-H."† So the skills I needed were readily available.

I didn't want ZoŽ to know exactly what I had planned.† So the weekend before April 15, I picked out some of her clothes, some of Penny's clothes that I borrowed for the purpose, a jacket of my wife's that I hadn't gotten around to giving away yet, and a few new items that I purchased.† Penny brought her sewing kit from her house, and Penny and I went up to the anteroom of ZoŽ's 24/7 space.

ZoŽ was in her bunk bed, in its pocket of steel wire mesh panels, reading one of the Gor books by John Norman.† Recent editions of those books all have the same cover, so I couldn't tell at a glance which one she had.††She was wearing her ten-pound Martin ankle shackles, under Heavyweight rules, and nothing else, of course.† I used my Blackberry to unlock and latch open the magnet-controlled wire-panel sliding door between the anteroom and the 24/7 space and ordered "ZoŽ, come on out.† We have some clothes I want you to try on."

She gave me a mischievous grin and answered "Aw, Boss, do I have to?† I don't want to.† You know that I don't like wearing clothes.† Puh-leeze?"

"Well, I don't suppose that I can force you.† It's pretty hard to put clothes on somebody who is fighting hard not to wear them.† But if you don't, you will have to face the consequences."

Her grin got even more mischievous.† She batted her eyelashes at me and asked "And just what would those consequences be, Boss?† Are you going to whip me?"† She knew how reluctant I was to act sadistic.

"Well, let's see.† I'm not going to whip you, or tickle you, because you might learn to enjoy that.† The punishment for not obeying orders must always be perceived as a punishment.† So how about this: I will put a couple of pulleys into the ceiling of the corridor in your space, and run ropes through them.† I will put suspension cuffs on your wrists, and tie the pulley ropes to the cuffs. †† I will adjust the ropes until the only way for you to relieve the tension on your arms and shoulders is to stand on tiptoe, and the only way to relieve the strain of standing tiptoe is to take the strain on your shoulders and arms.

"I will put that book you are reading face-down on the cabinet directly in front of you.† I will put the TIVO remote on one side of it and your game controller on the other side, perfectly within your view, but hopelessly out of reach.† I will chain your ankles to the wire-mesh wall behind you, to make certain that you can't reach the book or the electronics with your feet. "And then I will go back to the house and leave you there, for three hours or five hours or however long it takes."

ZoŽ's expression suddenly turned serious.† "Would you really treat me like that, Mike?"

I was equally serious.† "ZoŽ, when you handed the keys to this place to me the first day you were back from Florida, I assumed that you†were turning†control of your life over to me.† All of your life.† Otherwise I would not have the right to confine you.† That control implies that I have the right to punish you for failing to obey orders.† I have never done so in the past, because you never gave me need to, but I will do it now if I have to..† Your safeword is 'Bolero', not 'Puh-leeze'.† If you think that I have gone too far, you can use it and go home."

I tried to look relaxed for the next few moments, but inside I was as tense as I have ever been.† And then ZoŽ said "OK, Boss, I'm coming out."† She crawled out of her bed through the low access hatch, and I felt our relationship pull another notch tighter.† I don't think that she has ever addressed me by name since then, always calling me "Boss" or "Sir" instead.

ZoŽ may not have realized†what I was feeling at first.† When she came out, I unlocked and removed her Heavyweight cuffs, and she looked very worried.† She asked "Are you kicking me out, Sir?"

"Whatever gave you that idea?"

"This is the first time since I gave you the keys that I haven't been locked up in any way at all.† You could put some clothes on me and tell me to go on down the stairs."

"Try it.† Go on down the stairs, if you can."† ZoŽ tried it, and found that I had securely locked the heavy steel door at the head of the stairs.† She wasn't quite free after all.† She heaved a big sigh of relief - that sigh may have been deliberately theatrical - and she gave me an uncertain smile.

I said "OK, ZoŽ, we have a bunch of things for you to try on..† Penny will be marking them with dressmaker's chalk for alterations, and she will be asking you to pose in various ways.† So pose how she asks you to.† We will begin with this dress."

And then for garment after garment, ZoŽ put them on, and Penny gave orders and used chalk: "Hands up over your head.† Hold that pose while I mark.† Hands out in front.† Spread your feet apart.† Farther.† Bring your feet together.† Hold that pose.† Hands in the pockets.† Hands stretched straight out to your sides.† Hands behind your back.† Hold that pose.† OK, take that off and put this on."† Penny knew, and I knew, that most of the chalk marks were meaningless and would never be used to sew anything.† But Penny enjoyed giving the orders, and ZoŽ enjoyed following them.† I'm sure that ZoŽ had no idea of what Penny and I really planned to do with any of those garments.

Finally the last garment, a tight-fitting pair of jeans, was marked.† I gave ZoŽ a kiss and said "ZoŽ, there are at least two ways of persuading somebody to do what you want..† One of them is punishment, and you have avoided that.† Another is reward, and you deserve that now after trying all of this stuff on.† I'll let you make a choice.† Do you want to go back into Heavyweight, or use something different?"

She answered "Tradition-X, please."† I think that that is my favorite too.† So I put her leather cuffs and belt on her, and I chained her wrists to opposite ankles via the steel loop in the back center of the belt.† She put her hands into the small of her back, which gave her enough slack in the chains to stand and walk normally.† She kissed me gently, and then walked back to her bed, turned, and asked me "Can you stick around?"

"No, unfortunately, I have to see a prospective client who is only available on Saturdays."

"OK, Seeya, Boss.† Don't forget to lock up."† So I pulled out my Blackberry, and† I entered the codes to close and lock the anteroom door into the 24/7 space.† I unlocked the door from the anteroom to the outside world for long enough to let Penny and myself out.† The last I saw of ZoŽ that morning, she was lying face-down on her bed, with her knees flexed to put her ankles next to her thighs.† That gave her chains enough slack that she could hold the†Gor book†that she was reading.

=†††† =†††† =†††† =†††† =

Next Friday evening I entered the anteroom once more, with just two garments.† Penny had already altered both of them to my† specifications.† Once again I unlocked the door between the anteroom and ZoŽ's 24/7 space, and said "Come on out."† ZoŽ was still in Tradition-X chains.† I pulled out my key ring, so she knew that her confinement was about to be changed.† She came out, went over to the door at the head of the stairs, raised her left foot to give her right arm some slack, and tried to open that door.† It was locked.

ZoŽ smiled, said "Just checking, Sir", and came over to have her chains and cuffs removed.

I gave her the tight-fitting pair of jeans that had been the last thing she tried on during our fitting session.† I said "You put on both legs at once", and she sat down and followed my instruction.† She immediately realized why she had to put it on that way; Penny had sewn the leg inseams securely together.† That pair of pants was almost as confining as a double-leg sheath.† She stood up in it and waved her arms around to catch her balance..† I looked her over and saw a complete success.† As long as she stood still, she looked perfectly normal to a casual observer, even though she couldn't move her legs independently.

I held out a satin-lined denim jacket with a heavy-duty zipper down the front, and said "I will help my lady with her coat."† Then I added "Relax, and let the sleeves guide your arms as I put this on you."† So she knew that something was up.

Penny had sewn the sleeve cuffs into the pockets of that jacket.† She had used some of her chalk marks to place those cuffs at the natural angle for ZoŽ's arms under those conditions.† Once I had zipped up the front and tied the drawstring waist, ZoŽ couldn't get the jacket back off.† She had no use of her hands.† But as long as she stood still, it was hard to notice that she was confined at all.

I said "You apparently don't insist on nudity with your bondage at all times.† After all, you did buy that expensive leather strait jacket.† I call this outfit a strait suit.† What do you think?"

ZoŽ replied, "Cool.† I like it."

I tossed her over my shoulder, carried her down to my truck, strapped her into the passenger seat with the seat belt (which she couldn't undo, of course), and climbed in myself.† Then I put a pair of aviator sunglasses on her and used a glasses safety strap around the back of her head to secure them†so she couldn't shake them off.† The glasses†were painted black on the inside and acted as an effective blindfold.† ZoŽ said "Way cool.† I like that even more."† And then I opened the garage door, fired up the truck, and we got underway.

She couldn't see where we were going, but she must have had a pretty good idea.† An hour on the smooth main highway, half an hour on a poorly-maintained dirt road, two pauses to open and lock a gate, and twenty minutes on an unpaved driveway added up to a trip to my hunting and fishing camp.† The weather forecast had finally promised us a nice weekend.††This trip†seemed like a good way to celebrate April 15 and the end of tax season.

I undid her seat belt, picked her up, carried her in, and put her in a convenient chair.† Then I went back out to the truck to grab a tool kit and some new bondage supplies.† ZoŽ heard my battery-electric drill and screwdriver, and she asked "What's up, Boss?"

I answered "You can't stay in Voyager close confinement all the time out here.† I'm setting up the equipment for another set of rules."

The work didn't take very long.† After only a few minutes I picked her up, carried her across the room, snapped a few locks, and then took her blindfold and strait suit off.† I said "I call this one Anchorpoint."

ZoŽ looked around and found that she was in a corner of†the main†room,†which takes up the front†half the cabin.† That room was designed be used for almost everything except sleeping.

From the point of view of the†front†entry doorway into that room, there is a staircase against the left-hand wall, leading up to a low-ceilinged sleeping loft over the rooms in the back of the cabin.† For Anchorpoint, I put an attachment point onto the staircase framing,†a bit more than†halfway up the stairs.† I padlocked a 16-foot length of 7-mm vinyl jacketed steel cable to that point, and I locked the other end to an SM-Factory Heaven's Hell collar that I put on ZoŽ's neck.† Then I left her there to investigate her limits while I began to open the place up for the new season.† I needed to lubricate and start the generator and water pump,†and connect a new propane tank for the stove, the refrigerator,†and the water heater.† I started by removing the boards from the windows, which had been boarded up for the winter, so we would have daylight inside.

In the meantime, ZoŽ found what she could and couldn't do while anchored to her anchor point..† A door in the left-hand corner of the†back wall†gave access to the bathroom.† ZoŽ could reach the toilet and sink, but the shower was at the far end of the bathroom beyond the limit of her cable.††The kitchen area is just to the right of the bathroom door, and she had access to that whole area: the sink, stove, and refrigerator against the†back wall, and the island counter/serving bar separating the area from the rest of the front room.† She found that†she could move around the end of the banister and up the stairs with no problem.† The PVC-jacketed cable did not scrape or otherwise damage the woodwork, which is why I had chosen to use it instead of a length of chain.† She found a platform-style king-size bed waiting for us†next to the loft balcony rail, right at the head of the stairs.

I went into one of the back bedrooms, emerged with a double armful of bedding, passed the bedding to ZoŽ on the stairs, and said "You can help make this place livable.† Make the bed.† When you are done, please clean the fridge.† Ajax and rags will be under the sink, and you will have water as soon as I get the pump going.."

ZoŽ†said "Yessir" and went to work.† I went out to the pump shed. This is spaced a safe distance from the house in case of fire,†since it contains both the diesel fuel and the propane.† I began†to work on the pump and the generator.

When I went back in, ZoŽ was†kneeling in front of†the refrigerator and scrubbing away.† She said "All the taps were open.† I've turned off the kitchen and bathroom sinks, but I couldn't do anything about the shower.† It's beyond my reach."

I said "I know.† That means you won't be able to take showers†here.† I'll have to give them to you, and you will have to be rigged to Voyager rules.† I brought†your police-style†leg irons, and the Irish-8 cuffs for your wrists.† I'd like to use the bigger Irish-8 set†on your ankles too, but that is too dangerous in a shower stall.† You could slip, lose your balance, and fall."

She smiled and said "I'm glad I have a Boss who takes such good care of me."

I replied "You'll be taking care of me, out here.† You are the cook.† I do the cooking back at the house, except when Penny does, so it's only fair that you will do it here.† I picked your anchor point and your cable length with that in mind.† Tonight we eat steak.† I'll turn off the shower, and then go out and bring the cooler of food from the truck."

When I came back, ZoŽ†turned toward me, still kneeling.† She spread her†knees apart, put her hands on her†thighs palms-up, and looked down in true Gorean slave-girl fashion.† She asked "Can a poor slave girl beg an apron to protect her skin from spatters of hot steak grease?"

I said "Thank you for the nadu pose, ZoŽ.† You†look gorgeous doing it.† But then, you always look gorgeous, so don't do it unless you want to, and you are allowed to use first-person pronouns.† The aprons are in the cabinet under the stairs.† Standard-model frilly bib aprons.††Would you be happier if Penny made you some Gorean-style camisks?†"

"Hmmmm.† No.† According to the Gor books, slave girls†who are allowed to have†camisks seem to wear them full-time.† I'd rather not wear anything at all, unless I have to.† I'll have to†while cooking.† And I have to while we're riding in the truck,†so†people won't†stare at me.† But I don't have to the rest of the time that I am with you, so I won't.† That is, if it's all right with you, Sir."

"No problem.† Put a frilly on, and cook the steaks.† I hooked up the propane already."

†I liked the way she chose to wear that apron.† She†guided the Anchorpoint cable down from her collar and†under her†left armpit, and she tied†that cable into the knot†of the apron strings.† The cable then sprouted from the small of†her back like a tail.† That kept it safely out of the way when she was cooking.† It was a style that was unique to ZoŽ, not a copy of something in a book.† And of course unlike a camisk,†that apron†left her back naked.† She looked even†sexier than usual while†seen from behind while she worked†at the stove or the sink, with no clothing in sight except†the apron frills on†the neckstrap and the frills on the edges of the†front peeking out from the sides of her legs.

That evening I came out of the bathroom after brushing my teeth and looked up.† ZoŽ's securing cable went from its anchor point, over the banister rail near the head of the stairs, and to ZoŽ out of sight on the bed.† I expected that.† But in addition, ZoŽ's hands poked through the banister on either side of one of its support posts.† She was wearing handcuffs that I hadn't put on her.† I thought that this was one of the most beautiful sights that I had ever seen, because it meant that she wanted to be completely open to my lips, and my tickling fingers, and anything else that I wanted to do to her.† ZoŽ clearly felt that Anchorpoint wasn't confining enough for use at night.† So I went up the stairs and took full advantage of her helplessness.

=†††† =†††† =†††† =†††† =

I did my best to maintain†that†helplessless for the rest†of†our summer weekends at the camp.† When she wasn't locked in her Anchorpoint collar, ZoŽ's hands were usually secured behind her back by Irish-8 or other handcuffs.† Even for swimming, ZoŽ wore handcuffs, plus a neoprene belt and swim fins, which counted as bondage because there is no way to run in†swim fins†on land.† Her leash was attached to the neoprene belt, and†she towed me through the water while I rode an air mattress.† The only times that†she was free of†all of these items were her stays in her dunking cage,†and of course that cage†kept her completely helpless without any help from other bondage gear.

We couldn't play hide-and-go-seek in the woods with these rules.† Instead, we took walks together.† Our usual route took us all the way around my lake.† There was a grove of trees on the far side where we generally rested.

I decided to make a game of working out how many different ways there are of taking a woman on a walk safely while keeping her essentially helpless.† I had three tools to keep her from running away: a lockable blindfold, a chain leash, and†ankle shackles.† I used at least†two of these at all times for total inescapability.††The ankle shackles could be her familiar leather cuffs and chain, or the police-style leg irons, or the heavyweight Martin cuffs.† She could also wear handcuffs in front secured to a bondage belt, or†police-model in back with or without a belt, or the Irish-8 cuffs across her back, or some arrangement involving her Traditional leather wrist cuffs, so I had plenty of variations to try.† When I added a gag, I had even more possibilities.

ZoŽ was always barefoot when we took those walks, of course.† I usually wore slip-on canvas-top shoes.† There was a pair of trees in that grove where we took our breaks that were exactly one ZoŽ leg-length plus one Mike leg-length apart.† I could chain ZoŽ seated against†the smaller tree, a sapling, and sit against the†larger one myself.† Then I would slip my shoes off, and press my bare†soles against hers for several minutes.

After each walk,†I put ZoŽ back into Anchorpoint and asked†her what she thought of the latest rig.† I got a variety of answers, for example:

--† "I have worn my leather ankle cuffs and their attaching chain for so long that I don't even feel confined in them any more.††I suppose that it is like other people wearing shoes, which really confine your toes, and ruin the feedback from your feet that help keep me from stumbling while blindfolded.† But it seems that hardly anybody†except me feels that shoes are bondage."

--† "Your lake and fields are very pretty.† I'm glad I don't have to wear blindfolds all the time."

--† "I like to play footsie with you when we reach the grove and rest, especially when I'm blindfolded.† Otherwise I can hardly tell that you are there, and I start imagining attacks by bears, or wolves, or wild pigs, or something, while I am chained to a tree."

--† "The combination of blindfold and heavyweight shackles is dangerous, especially if you are guiding me with just a leash instead of holding my arm.† My legs get tired, and I don't lift my feet as I should, and sooner or later I am going to stumble and†fall."† I didn't want her to stumble and fall, so I didn't try that combination again.

One of her answers gave me an idea for a practical joke that I thought would be fun.††I put a damp washcloth into an old olive jar and put the jar in my backpack.† ZoŽ wore her Traditional leather cuffs and chains on wrists and ankles, plus a bondage belt, and I padlocked her wrists to the belt behind her back.† Then I blindfolded her and installed her ring gag.† I gripped her upper arm to guide her, and†away we went, around to the resting grove.† I had her†sit down leaning against her usual tree.† I added a chain behind the tree from elbow to elbow.††And then I said "I'll be back in a few minutes," and I walked noisily away.

I stayed close enough to keep a careful watch over my†ZoŽ.† I found a piece of soft ground where I could make no noise, and I took my backpack off and pulled that olive jar out.† I stretched the wet washcloth over the lid of the jar, and I started to imitate pig snorts.† ZoŽ looked anxious.† I†bent low and went†back to her, continuing to snort†every so often; I couldn't do that†standing up, because she would have realized that†the snorts were coming from too high up to be a real†pig.† I dug among some old leaves with one hand, to sound like a pig rooting.† And then†I crawled right up to her and pushed the wet washcloth and jar lid against her thigh.† I figured that combination would feel like a pig snout.

I had gone too far.† ZoŽ screamed, and meant it.† The ring gag didn't affect that scream at all.

Screams are primitive, and they aren't processed in the speech centers of the human brain.† Other animal species have similar cries.† Konrad Lorenz, the Nobel-laureate naturalist, has written that he could not tell the difference between a jackdaw practicing its alarm call as part of its repertoire of bird calls, and a jackdaw that really meant an alarm.† Other jackdaws are never faked out by a practice call.

I have no idea whether or not a jackdaw could tell the difference between a woman's pretend screams and the real thing, but I certainly can.† A real scream hotwires straight past about ten million years of†primate brain evolution, to a part of the brain so primitive that we may even share it with jackdaws.††The response could be written "Girl scared; I go help!" but that still puts it in words.† The real reaction doesn't involve words or logic at all.† And you feel it even when you yourself are the reason why the girl is scared.

I immediately snatched ZoŽ's blindfold off.† Fortunately I hadn't bothered to padlock the buckle.† She looked around for the pig.† I don't think that she really believed that the snorts were fakes until I snorted once more.

She said something into the ring gag that I couldn't understand, which was probably just as well.† She might have slapped me silly if she hadn't been so securely chained.

I sat down next to her, and I put my arm around her waist.† I wasn't very comfortable, because her†tree was too small to†give me a†backrest.† †But I†stayed until†the stiffness finally faded away from ZoŽ's body, and she gave a very tentative smile with her eyes, around the ring gag.† Then I unchained†her from the tree and walked her all the way back to the cabin with my arm still†around her waist.† I didn't†say anything to her.††We were too busy communicating without words.

Later, when she was back in her Anchorpoint collar,†I commented that "I suppose I†don't have to ask you†what you thought about the stuff I used on you today during our walk."

She surprised me by saying "It was worth it."

"Oh?† What was worth what?"

"Being scared stiff for a few minutes was worth it.††Because without that, you would never have†looked at me the way you did afterward, all upset and loving and worried and sorry.† And you would never have held me the way you did all the way back to the cabin, apologizing without saying a single word.† You can frighten me again, if you wish, as long as you comfort me again afterwards like that."

So my practical joke that went bad ended up bringing ZoŽ and me another notch closer together.† You never can tell how things will work out.

=†††† =†††† =†††† =†††† =

This is a good spot to put some general comments about ZoŽ and gags.

I never used gags on her at the house.† I liked listening to the sound of her voice, the prettiest voice in all the world to my way of thinking.† I liked feeding her one bite at a time when she was in her girl cage or chained at my feet.† I liked having her kiss me or do other sweet things when we were intimate together.† Gagging her would have interfered with all these other uses for her lips.

I never left her gagged when I was away from the house, either.† Safety is one obvious reason for this.† A cold and a stuffed-up nose could be fatal for a woman who couldn't breathe through her mouth.

In ZoŽ's case, there was another reason as well.† She was no longer just my bookkeeper.† She had become my telephone answering service as well.† Anybody who called my construction company reached her first, which proved to be a major competitive advantage.† I got one contract for all of the houses in a new development in large part because of her.† The profits on that contract alone more than justified her salary.

After the contract was signed, the developer told me that ZoŽ had made the difference.† She came across the phone as cheerful, enthusiastic, and well-informed about company operations.† She never had any trouble locating me when the developer needed to talk to me, and she was always there.† I had a competitor who submitted a similar bid, but that competitor's phone was answered once too often with a recorded "I can't come to the phone right now, so please leave a message . .† ."† So my company got the contract.

I never explained to the developer that ZoŽ was well-informed because of briefings I gave her while she was naked, chained in an office cage or closely confined in a girl cage.† She had developed the habit of asking "How was your day?" when I got home.† I had developed the habit of answering her question in some detail.† The developer seemed to be a stodgy old gentleman who probably wouldn't have understood.

As a result of all this, ZoŽ only wore gags at the hunting and fishing place.

I knew from my bondage readings on the Internet that some women like to be gagged.† I found three gags in the bag of toys that ZoŽ brought into our relationship, so I figured that she must have some interest in wearing them.† I tried them on her as part of the varied bondage she wore for our walks at the hunting and fishing cabin..† And after each walk, as I mentioned above, I put her back in Anchorpoint bondage and asked for her reactions.

Her reaction to the bit gag: "That is the most comfortable one to wear, because it doesn't hold my jaw quite as far down as the others."† But I found that I didn't particularly like it.† ZoŽ's bit gag was part of a complete ponygirl head harness.† Those straps running in all directions across her face just got in the way of her beauty.† I know that some other bondage buffs would disagree with me, but that is how I felt.† And so I put ZoŽ into the bit gag only very occasionally.

Her reaction to the ring gag:† "That is my favorite, because of how you treat me when I wear it."† The incident with the imaginary wild pig occurred the first time she wore it.† After that, whenever we reached the resting grove on our walks, I would tell her to close her eyes if she wasn't blindfolded.† Then I would give one pig snort, and she would give one pretend scream, and I would walk her back to the cabin with one arm around her waist.

Her reaction to the ball gag: "That is a nasty tool for punishment.† It's really too big for me.† I wore it only once before I met you, and it gave me such a sore jaw that I could hardly wait for the ice in the key tray to melt so I could take it off."† After I learned that, I put her back in it only once more.

I added some more rules to the way we played.† The threat of the ball gag became the most common way of silencing her.† I said: "When I pinch your lips together like this" - I squeezed those lips gently between thumb and forefinger - "your lips are buttoned.† You are then unable to say anything except in direct response to questions from me.

"When I zip your lips together like this" - I slid my forefinger across them - "your lips are sealed.† You are then unable to make any sounds with your lips open.† Moans, hums, and grunts are OK, but only if your lips are closed.

"Buttoned lips or sealed lips will last until I wipe the gagging away."† I caressed her mouth and chin with all four fingers.

She forgot once, and spoke when her lips were supposed to be sealed.† She spent one hour with the ball gag in her mouth for that violation.† After that, she never forgot again.

=†††† =†††† =†††† =†††† =

Anything can become routine if it is repeated often enough and consistently enough.† Voyager and Anchorpoint; Tradition, Tradition-X, Permission, and Heavyweight;† rides in the dunking cage and in the slow tumbler; lips zipped, buttoned, or free; this list adds up to a routine for ZoŽ that must be unlike that of any other bookkeeper in the world.† But for ZoŽ, it was a routine.† There were no significant changes in our relationship after that summer, until Christmas..

Buying presents for ZoŽ was easy.† By then I knew what kinds of books she liked to read, what kinds of computer games she liked to play, and what kinds of TV shows she liked to watch.† I thought that ZoŽ would have an impossible time buying presents for me.† She had an office computer, but I had control of all of her money, so she had no way to pay for anything she might have bought over the Internet.† I told her not to worry about that.

Christmas Day was for just the two of us.† I put a small artificial tree on ZoŽ's office desk, and I piled her presents under it.† I cooked a Christmas feast, turkey with all the trimmings, and I fed it to her while she was locked in her girl cage.† Then I let her back into her office, and she opened her presents..

When all of hers were opened, there was one more left under the tree.† She handed it over to me, looking down with an embarrassed smile.† I had seen that expression once before, the day she handed me the keys to her 24/7 space.† I naturally wondered what she was giving me this time.† I asked how she had gotten it, and she said "I had some help from Penny."

It was an audio CD, packed with a card.† The CD had obviously been purchased blank, not professionally recorded, because the only thing written on it was "From ZoŽ to Mike," written with a marker pen in her handwriting. The card had a handwritten note: "To be played for the first time when I am strapped to the bed by your side."

I was curious enough about this that I didn't want to wait, so I said "OK, let's do it now."† Then I put the CD into her entertainment center, got into the king-size bed myself, secured ZoŽ beside me spreadeagled with the nylon straps, and pressed "play" on the entertainment remote.† The music of Ravel soon filled the room.

It took me a few moments to realize the implications.† The piece was "Bolero", of course.† "Bolero" was ZoŽ's safeword.† If she gave it to me for Christmas, then obviously she didn't have it any more.† With no safeword, she had no way to escape her close confinement at all.

I looked down at her.† She looked up at me.† I will never forget the expression on her face.† Loving, trusting, helpless, vulnerable, she was the most beautiful thing that I have ever seen.† It was an incredible moment.

I began to caress her in rhythm with the music.† I had beginner's luck.† I have played that CD several times since, under similar circumstances, but I have never since scored a triple.† That first time, and that first time only, ZoŽ and I and the music reached climax at the same moment.

=†††† =†††† =†††† =†††† =

The next morning I told ZoŽ that she could borrow the safeword back if she needed it, for medical reasons.† I would never want to hurt my ZoŽ accidentally.

One afternoon about seven weeks later, I phoned ZoŽ and ordered her to come down to the dining room of my house.† She answered "Uh, Boss, you know that Permission rules are in force, don't you?† I'm not wearing any chains."

"Yes, I know.† Come on down anyway.† The door locks are sequenced to let you through."

I suppose that most women would be embarrassed and shy about walking into a room with no clothes on.† My ZoŽ was equally embarrassed and shy about walking into my dining room with no chains on.† She found Penny and me waiting, and a banner across the wall behind us reading "Congratulations!"† A flat cake on the table between us was lettered "Happy Anniversary!"† As of that day, ZoŽ had completed one entire year in continuous close confinement of one type or another without ever using her safeword.

I had her sit on one of the dining-room chairs.† I knelt at her feet, reversing the usual arrangement for the previous year.† I had her feed me a piece of that cake, one bite at a time.† And then I proposed.

ZoŽ said "No."

All I could think to answer was "You don't want to?!?"

"Oh, I suppose that if you order me to marry you, then I will have to.† But I have gotten used to having you completely in charge, and I like things that way.† Don't you see, you still have me in bondage.† There are still chains around my heart.† You could give me some clothes and tell me 'You are fired.† Now get off my property.'† And I would have to do it.† I don't ever want to hear you say anything like that.† The most important thing in my life has to be pleasing you, so that you will never want to.† If you married me, kicking me out would involve divorce and lawyers and judges and horrible complication.† I would rather keep things simple.† You don't mind, do you Boss?"

I thought about that.† And then I stood up, and looked down at her, and said "You realize that means we will need a new set of rules."

She smiled, and looked up, and answered "OK by me, Boss.† Master. Sir."† She still hardly ever calls me "Master," but it seemed appropriate for both of us on that occasion.

The new set of rules is called Voyager Two.† Under these rules, ZoŽ wears what I tell her to, and goes where I send her, and wears those chains around her heart, and also whichever collar I place her in.

I have bought her a selection of collars, so that people don't get suspicious about her always having the same thing around her neck.† The diamond that would have been in her engagement ring has been mounted instead on a pendant that hangs from her Van Heeckeren sterling-silver collar.† She also has a Wyredslave PVC-coated wire rope collar with a pretty heart pendant, and two Dreamstrike Mark IIIs, one with a collar sleeve to which Penny has added a pretty bow, and one worn with a heart-shaped engraved padlock.† All of ZoŽ's collars lock on, and of course I keep the keys.

Her year of uninterrupted confinement couldn't be continued.† I needed to send her out on her own to renew her driver's license, and to the doctor's office for a physical, and to the dentist's office for a cleaning and checkup.† She wore her Wyredslave collar for all of those, as the least conspicuous choice.

She controls her own finances now, too. She has sold her house, since she wasnít living in it any more anyway. I no longer have any direct control over the accounts where she keeps her money.

But of course all this freedom doesn't mean that she gets to run around unchained all of the time.† As I write these words, she is kneeling at my feet, naked, with her hands secured behind her back.† I am interrupting my writing every sentence or so to feed her another piece of popcorn.

Nobody can know what the future holds.† But if I have anything to say about it, ZoŽ and I will face our futures together.

The End