by Van   © 2003
—Chapter 5
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Bess had been walking for at least an hour.  She had no idea whether or not she was still on Maggie's property.  It was still cool under the shade of the oaks, but the mist had long since dissipated and the air was rapidly heating.  She guessed that by noon being too cold would be the least of her worries.  The trail at her feet wasn't exactly a highway, but the occasional full or partial "waffle-stomper" imprint in the dust let her know she was almost certainly on the proverbial right track, specifically, the track of "The Running Woman."   They look like hiking boots, Bess noted, pausing to kneel beside a particularly clear and complete track, but that's what 'trail runners' are like too.  Bess straightened and continued her quest for the shoe's owner (and freedom.)

The Slave Mitts enshrouding her hands and fingers remained comfortable (and inescapable); however, the narrow nylon strap encircling her waist and binding then to the small of her back was another matter.  It was too tight and too rough and would become intolerable if she didn't get it off soon.  The sports sandals were also getting a little uncomfortable.  They fit well, but she wasn't used to them.   I wish Maggie had included a nice thick pair of hiking socks.   She probably likes looking at my naked toes.  She certainly seems to get a charge out of looking at naked the rest of me.

The trail began to climb in earnest and Bess had to slow her pace.  Her breathing became more labored, not helped by the rectangle of translucent medical tape plastered over her lips.  She's been trying to loosen it at the edges by twisting her face and probing with her tongue, but the tape refused to budge.

So... what exactly do I say to this 'Running Woman' once I chase her down? Bess pondered.  Help me—I've been kidnapped?  No...  Help me—I'm a reluctant artist's model?  She didn't want to get Maggie in trouble ( or the studio... especially the studio), so she couldn't let the police get involved.  I'll just tell her Maggie was playing a trick on me and it got out of hand... and hope for the best.

There was something through the trees ahead.  Bess continued up the trail and came to a wooden gate between the posts of a vine covered arbor; very Arts and Crafts, quaint, and functional.  A rail fence stretched for several yards to either side, then transitioned into barbed wire topped by a single electrified strand.  Beyond the fence was a cottage.  It was very natural and rustic: brown stucco, stained cedar framing, lots of window walls, and a raised seam metal roof sporting photo-voltaic panels and a satellite dish.

The tracks Bess had been following led straight to the gate.  She crouched low and cautiously approached.  The gate's hardware was hand-forged iron, a slide bar solidly bolted to seasoned timbers.   Not much chance of kicking this one open, she decided.  There was no sign of the cottage's occupant (or occupants.)   I wonder where—

A husky, alto voice spoke from behind Bess' naked back.  "May I help you?"
—Chapter 5
It was "The Running Woman" herself.  She was tall and beautiful and athletic; long brown hair with sun-bleached highlights; smooth tan skin; and a rounded face with even features.  She was wearing hiking boots, jeans, and a pull-over sweater.  She looked Bess' naked, helpless form up and down (her full lips curled in an ever-so-slightly amused smile.)

Bess blushed and moaned through her gag and the woman stepped forward, reaching for the edge of the tape.  "What happened to you?"  She teased back a corner.  "Hold still.  This may sting," she cautioned, then removed the tape with one quick jerk.

Bess blinked and worked her mouth.  Ow!

"Have you been kidnapped?" the woman demanded, then put one arm around Bess' shoulders and opened the gate with the other.

"No!" Bess answered.  "Maggie... Maggie Kilborn."

"The artist?  She kidnapped you?"

"No!" Bess repeated.  "It... it's a joke... a joke she played on me... and it got out of hand."

"So I see," the woman said, and led Bess into the house.

Bess looked around.  The cottage was similar to Maggie's place, only less rustic mansion and more well-appointed cabin.  There were a couple of side wings closed off behind rustic doors, but the cottage was mostly one large room, one end a functional kitchen under a raised loft, the center a seating area near a large stone fireplace, and the rest an elongated wing surrounded on three sides by banks of windows.  Centered in the window wing was an easel supporting a cloth-covered canvas, a padded stool, and a small side table.  It was a painter's studio.

"You paint?" Bess asked, turning her face towards her rescuer.

Instead of answering the woman grabbed Bess and crammed a balled-up bandana in her mouth!

"Mwrfh!"  Bess struggled, but the woman controlled her easily.  A second bandana was forced between her teeth and knotted at the nape of her neck, forcing the wadded cotton of the first bandana deep into her mouth.  "m'mmpf!"  Bess tried kicking, but her new captor would have none of it.  She grabbed a handful of the prisoner's dark hair and dragged her into the kitchen, opened a drawer, and produced a hank of cotton clothesline.  She then forced Bess to the floor...  " Nnngh!"  ...and bound her crossed ankles tightly together.

Lying on her side, staring up through tousled hair at the woman she had hoped would be her rescuer, Bess kicked and struggled.

"Sorry," the woman said, gazing down at Bess with hands on hips, "but I have to check out your story."  She removed her sweater (revealing a toned, flat abdomen and full breasts restrained by a cotton sports top), then picked up the wireless handset of a telephone unit.  She punched a speed-dial button, then leaned down and hauled Bess to her feet.

Her feet crossed, Bess balanced precariously on one sandal, but she was in no danger of falling.  The woman held the captive close, her left arm wrapped around Bess, her right holding the phone to her ear.  "M'mmwrf!"  Instantly, the woman's left hand was over Bess' mouth, forcing the bandanas even deeper into her mouth and silencing her further.  Her eyes wide above her crammed and clamped mouth, Bess squirmed in her captor's embrace, naked, bound, and helpless.

"Hi, it's me," the woman said, speaking into the phone.  (Bess could hear faint modulated noise from the handset's speaker, but couldn't follow both sides of the conversation.)  Bess' captor spoke again, "You lose anything? ...You sure? ...Well, I think I found it."
—Chapter 5
After they finished breakfast Jane excused herself from the table and put the dishes in the sink to soak.  It was one of Jane's regular duties to keep the kitchen spotless (when she wasn't "otherwise occupied," of course), so Maggie didn't help.  She poured herself more coffee and carried it to the outside door.  There was no sign of Bess.  Minutes passed, then Maggie heard heels clicking on the kitchen tiles and turned.

Jane had returned. Maggie smiled and sipped her coffee (trying to ignore the thrill pulsing through her loins.)  The short brunette had donned a pair of sheer black nylons.  They were held up by frilly garters of white lace and black ribbon.  Black patent leather heels were strapped to her feet (and secured with tiny silver heart-shaped padlocks.)  A purely decorative white lace apron was tied around her waist.  Its front panel was smaller than a hankie and did nothing to hide Jane's damasked chastity belt; the bow of its lacy white strings tickling the firm globes of her dimpled buttocks.  A matching lace cap was pinned in her short brown hair.   Too much mascara and eye shadow adorned the pixie's face, and her smiling lips were painted a glossy ruby red.  The minimalist French Maid costume was scandalous and absurd.  The fact that Jane was wearing it of her own initiative and for the benefit of her lover... sublime.

Jane pulled on the yellow rubber gloves kept next to the sink and struck a coy pose.  "Ees Madame eenjoyin' zhe café ?"

Maggie laughed.  "Oh please.  Can the cheesy accent.  It's terrible!"

Jane pouted.  "If Madame would take Jane to see Paris like she promised..."

"I told you... my next European show."

Jane sighed theatrically and began washing the dishes.  "Poor Jane.  She work her pretty fingers to zhe bone and zhe evil cruel old lady repays her with false promises and table scraps.  Life is zhe veil of tears, non?"

Maggie headed for her study, taking her coffee with her.  "I'll be working on sketches for the Training Lab set, 'Poor Jane.'  When you're done with the kitchen, start on the laundry, then the dusting."

Jane sighed again.  "Poor Jane!"

"Love the outfit," Maggie called back over her shoulder, sipping coffee as she walked.

Jane smiled and began scrubbing a wet plate.
—Chapter 5
Eventually the kitchen was clean and the laundry started (Jane having paused to savor the musky aroma clinging to the sheets from Maggie's bed.)  The dusting was next and "French Maid Jane" clicked from room to room, tottering on her ridiculously high heels (wondering if discretion wasn't the better part of corns and maybe she ought to go find the padlocks' key.)  Her feather duster flew until only Maggie's study was left.

Jane eased her head around the door frame and found Maggie in a comfortable sprawl in the study's window seat, sketching on the flat screen of the palette computer she used for such tasks.   Later, Jane decided and retreated with her feather duster to one of the sitting rooms.  She flopped into an overstuffed easy chair and sighed.   What to do now?  She tossed her duster aside... then picked it up again.  She tucked her apron out of the way and examined her steel-clad loins.   I wonder how effective this thing is?  She ran her free hand over the smooth steel.  A thrill coursed through her captive sex, but not from tactile stimulation.  The chastity belt's cunning design was effective, remarkably so.  That cruel bitch! Jane mused, reveling in the fantasy (and reality) of her situation.  Thinks she can control me, does she?  With slow, deep strokes Jane ran the feather duster over the slotted front of the belt's crotch panel.  The fluffy plumes tickled her thighs... and the sensitive skin at the margins of the belt... and the sliver of swollen, glistening labia visible through the narrow saw-toothed slot of the panel.   That's better.  Niiiiice!  It wasn't much, but it was better than nothing.  Jane plucked a single plume from the duster, and began exploring the belt's slot in delicate detail, shivering with delight.  I think this is doable , she decided, and closed her eyes, lost in a world of wicked, stolen pleasure.

Suddenly, Jane's hands were seized and she was pulled from the chair.  It was Maggie, of course.  A cruel smile curling her coral lips as she gazed into Jane's frightened eyes.  "You wicked little slut," she purred.  "Now I know I did the right thing, locking your little twat in cold steel, to keep you away from the stable boys."  She flipped Jane onto her stomach, leaning her over the back of the chair, and began binding her wrists behind her back with thin cord.

"Oh, please Madame," Jane begged, playing her part.  "I will be good.  I promise."

"You promise," Maggie sneered, taking her time with the binding, making sure the bonds were tight, well-cinched, and inescapable.  "I should send you to the nuns at St. Gwendoline's.  They'd cure you of your licentious urges... after a year of whippings, breast bindings, hair shirts, and ice-water baths."

"Please, Madame, no!  I'll do anything!  Anything you ask!"

Maggie used the ties of Jane's apron to secure her bound wrists to the small of her back, then pulled the captive to her feet and glowered into her frightened face.  "So now you're trying to seduce me? "

"Oh no, Madame!" Jane objected.  "That would be wicked indeed... and would require much correction!"

Maggie stifled a smile, then resumed her part in the melodrama.  She thrust the handle of the feather duster sideways into Jane's mouth and hustled her into the study.  She then shoved the captive onto the carpet (causing Jane to squawk in momentary alarm), opened a desk drawer, and produced a riding crop.

Jane eyed the glistening leather rod as Maggie slapped her palm repeatedly.  The long tapered shaft vibrated with each stroke and the flat loop at its tip fluttered.

"You will dust every square inch of this room," Maggie growled, "and when you're finished... your punishment will begin.  Be quick and thorough.  I will not tolerate sloppy work."  She slapped her hand with greater force, then winced and fluttered her fingers.  "Goodness... that stings."  She took a step forward and landed a resounding smack on Jane's left flank.  "...doesn't it?"

Jane yowled and dropped the duster.  "Hey!  Watch it with that thing!"

"Sorry," Maggie purred (the amused expression on her face making it clear she was anything but sorry.)  "Now, unless you want a real whipping, pick up that duster with your slutty little mouth and—"  The phone rang.

"Rescue is at hand!" Jane said with theatrical relief, scrambling to her feet.  "Oh save me, whoever you are!  Send the gendarmes to arrest this—m'mmf!"

Smiling sweetly, Maggie had Jane in a tight embrace, and an equally tight hand-gag.  The phone kept ringing as Maggie dragged her prisoner to her desk.  "Quiet," she whispered as Jane mewed and squirmed.  "If you aren't quiet as a mouse, you'll be very sorry."  Jane's muffled complaints stopped.  "Good little slut," Maggie cooed and picked up the phone's handset.  "Hello?"

Jane tried to listen, but could hear only one side of the conversation.

"Jen darling, what's up?  ...What?  Lose anything?  I don't think so. ...Oh, I don't suppose you're talking about a beautiful naked woman with her hands locked in plastic mitts and her mouth taped?  ...Yes, raven hair.  Did you stumble across any others?"  Maggie listened... then laughed.  "No, she's a herd of one.  Her name is Bess, by the way.  Send her back and I won't cruelly torture your sister, no more than usual, anyway."  (Jane squirmed and mewed, then stopped when Maggie's hand-gag tightened.)  "...But I need her!" Maggie continued.  "She's my model for the Star Fox designs.  ...Well, okay, but no more than two days.  I really do need her.  ...Okay, she loves ya back, I'm sure.  Call me!"  Maggie hung up the phone and released her prisoner.

Jane took several steps away and rounded on her captor.  "You wicked meanie!" she accused.  "Now that Bess slut is seducing Jennifer.  She'll probably sleep in my bed and use my stuff and—"  Jane was abruptly silent.  She had forgotten about the riding crop.  It was back in Maggie's hand and the evilly smiling redhead was waving the fluttering tip before Jane's face.  "Uh... you wanted the study dusted, right?"  Maggie nodded.  Jane sighed, went down on her knees, picked up the handle of the duster with her teeth, stood, and set to work.
—Chapter 5
Bess listened with mixed emotions as her new captor's conversation continued.

"...With raven hair?"  The woman laughed.  "No, only the one.  Is she part of a wandering herd of captive maidens?  ...Send her back?  So you can be cruel to her some more?  I don't think so.  ...No, it'll be up to her.  She can stay here and recuperate for a while.  ...I'll tell her, 'two days,' but it'll be her call.  My love to Janey.  'Bye!"

The woman hung up the phone, carried Bess to a kitchen chair and sat her down, then walked to the kitchen sink.  "My name's Jennifer, by the way," she said, then filled a small glass with water, walked to Bess, smiled, and gently removed her gag.  She held the glass to the confused, slightly apprehensive prisoner's lips, and Bess took a sip.

"Thank you," she whispered, locking eyes with ... "Jennifer."

"I apologize for having a little fun at your excuse," Jennifer said.  "I recognized the mitts on your hands as Maggie's handiwork.  She showed me an early version about a week—"

"You're the amazon!" Bess blurted.

Jennifer's smile widened.  "Is that a compliment of some sort?"

"The amazon in chains!  You're also the woman curled up like an egg.  The sculptures."  Bess gasped.  "You're Andromeda!"

"I've been Maggie's model off and on for years," Jennifer confirmed.  She knelt, untied Bess' ankles, then stood and returned the rope to the drawer.  "Stand," she suggested.  Bess complied, and Jennifer fumbled with the nylon strap pinning Bess' Slave Mitts to the small of her back.  There was a quiet click and the strap came away.

"Oh, thank you!" Bess sighed, looking down at the textured pink indention ringing her waist.

"That'll fade without a mark," Jennifer opined, "and you're welcome.  Let me see those cuffs."  There was another click and the grinning brunette held up a curious double clip... and Bess' mitts were no longer joined behind her back.

Bess rolled her shoulders and stretched.  "Thanks again."

"You're welcome again."  Jennifer gestured at the chair and Bess sat.  Jennifer sat in the adjacent chair and examined the right mitt's cuff.  "I guess we could try cutting these things off."

"No!" Bess blurted, pulling her hand back.  "Uh... They're part of this film thing Maggie's working on—"

"Star Fox."

"Right... You know about Star Fox?"

Jennifer smiled.  "Maggie and I talk all the time... about all sorts of things."  She gathered Bess' right mitt back into her hands and continued her examination.  "There's a tiny little hole in the cuff near the ring," she observed, and leaned closer.  "Six-sided.  I bet a hex-driver will open these things."

"Without damaging them?"

"Or you," Jennifer said with a chuckle.  "How long has she had these on you?"

"Something like twenty hours," Bess answered.  "It's a test."

"Well..."  Jennifer released the mitt and sat back in her chair..  "I'm afraid the test isn't over.  I don't have a hex-driver."

"Figures..." Bess huffed.  "I was looking forward to a real shower... and maybe borrowing some clothes?"

Jennifer smiled.  "A shower?  You don't seem overly ripe to me."

Bess blushed.  "Soap... I can't use soap or shampoo wearing these damn things.  All I got this morning was a rinse."

"Poor baby," Jennifer teased.

Bess smiled, knowing she ought to be resentful and angry... but found she was neither.

Jennifer stood and extended her hand.  "Let's get you that shower, okay?"

Bess swallowed, stood, and extended her right mitt.

Jennifer crooked her elbow through Bess' arm and led her away.
—Chapter 5
The cottage had a spacious bathroom with a full-size tub and separate shower.  Jennifer unlaced and removed her boots, pulled off her socks, then unzipped and removed her jeans.

Bess watched nervously (and, she had to admit, with a little carnal interest ) as Jennifer continued to strip.  Bess' hostess was a stunning woman; her tall body strong and athletic; her muscles well defined but very feminine in proportion; her skin uniformly tan, smooth, firm and flawless.  Her hair was long and straight but with full body, and...  Bess noticed her hostess' gorgeous blue eyes smiling at her.  She'd been caught in the act of appreciating Jennifer's striptease.  Bess blushed and smiled.  "I... I can see why Maggie'd want you for a model," she stammered, "but why she's interested in me... "

"Don't be silly," Jennifer said, turning on the shower with her right hand and putting her left arm around Bess' waist.  In a few seconds the water was warm and Jennifer stepped under the stream, pulling Bess with her.  When they both were thoroughly wet, Jennifer turned off the water, dribbled a liberal amount of liquid body soap on a washcloth, and began scrubbing Bess' body.

"Hmm..."  Bess closed her eyes as the slippery, sudsy cloth caressed her shoulders, arms, stomach, and breasts.  "It smells... nice... like..."

"Cedar," Jennifer said.  "There's this company in New Mexico that markets a whole line of products with cedar oil."

Bess shuddered as her sex, and buttocks, thighs, and legs were scrubbed.  She looked down at Jennifer's strong back and dimpled buttocks as she knelt and lifted Bess' feet one by one to scrub them clean.  "It's nice," Bess whispered.

Jennifer looked up (the sight of her wet, smiling face eliciting a shudder of arousal through Bess' loins), then stood and held her soapy guest closer.  "Put your arms around my waist so you don't slip," she suggested.

Bess hesitated for a second, then did so.  Their naked, wet bodies slid together.  Jennifer lifted Bess chin and began very lightly scrubbing her smiling face.  She then poured a dollop of shampoo in her palm and rubbed it into Bess' hair, taking her time as she massaged her soapy, smiling, semi-helpless guest's scalp.

Unseen by Bess (whose eyes were still closed), Jennifer's smile turned slightly feral.  "So... how do you like being Maggie's model?"

Bess squirmed against her hostess as the massage continued.  "It's... it's nice... except for the head games.  Don't get me wrong, Maggie's wonderful... just..."

"Dominating?" Jennifer suggested.  "She always has to be in charge, and she loves her 'method.'"

"Does she ever," Bess agreed.

Ever so casually, Jennifer turned Bess around, then pulled her close again, this time with her left arm crooked through Bess' arms, pinning them back in a comfortable but authoritative hold.  "You have to admit, the 'method' works.  It works for me, anyway."  

The soapy, slippery washcloth was wandering over Bess' breasts and stomach.  "Yes..." she whispered.

Jennifer's smile broadened.  "Once Maggie had me pretend I'd been captured by a sorceress who wanted to make love to me."  She continued caressing Bess' body.  "I was to pretend I'd been snatched to another world, beyond all hope of any possible rescue, and no one even knew what was happening to me."  Bess began moving in rhythm to Jennifer's gentle rubbing.  "I wasn't scared of the sorceress, of course, knowing she would let me go... eventually... I was safe, but I was completely helpless and she could do anything she wanted to me."

Bess writhed in Jennifer's grip as the washcloth slid over her sex.  She moaned and spread her legs, feeling wanton and wicked... aware that she was bumping and grinding her loins against her captor's hand.  Suddenly Jennifer released her and turned on the water.  The warm cascade rinsed the soap and shampoo from their bodies.  Her face flushed, Bess allowed her body and hair to be toweled and her damp hair to be combed and brushed.  "Which statue was that?"

Jennifer continued brushing Bess hair.  "One of the 'Recumbent' series.  Number three... or was it four?"

Bess made a decision.  She turned her head and kissed Jennifer's smiling lips, then put her mitt encased hands around her naked hostess' waist and kissed her again.  Jennifer tossed the brush aside and returned the kiss with gusto, their tongues sliding and spilling as they explored each other's mouths.  Then Bess broke the kiss, stepped away and pattered back through the house and into the kitchen.

With graceful strides Jennifer followed, and found Bess looking down at the double clip Maggie had used to bind her cuffs together, and from which Jennifer had set her free.  

"Did the sorceress keep you completely helpless?" Bess asked.

Jennifer picked up the clip, turned Bess around and clipped the rings of Bess' cuffs together behind her back, then held her close.  "She kept me helpless... even gagged at times."

"Gagged?" Bess whispered.  "How?"

Jennifer's answer was to pick up the bandana she had crammed in Bess' mouth before and restore it to its former place, tamping the loose edges of the cloth until it was completely past Bess' lips.  She then held her captive close from behind, her left hand over Bess' lips, and rummaged in a kitchen drawer with her right.  She produced a roll of the same translucent medical tape Maggie had used on Bess earlier, and used three long, wide, overlapping strips to smoothly seal Bess' lips tightly closed.

Jennifer returned the tape to the drawer and held Bess close.  Their clean bodies pressed close and strands of their still damp hair mingled as she explored Bess' smooth skin and nuzzled her neck and ear.  "The sorceress did all sorts of wonderful things to me, and I couldn't stop her from doing any of them, no matter how hard I struggled; but I knew I was safe and she'd never... ever... do anything to harm me."  Her hands entwined around Bess' waist, she locked eyes with her slightly shorter captive.  "Do you understand?  I was safe... completely safe... but couldn't stop anything from happening."

Bess nodded slowly, then turned and rested her head atop Jennifer's perfect breasts.

Jennifer picked Bess up in her arms and carried her towards the stairs that led to the loft, and her bed.
—Chapter 5

Chapter 4
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