The Seventh Woman
Author's note: I write stories with a bondage slant, not bondage scenes spliced together with a little bit of story. If you want nothing but descriptions of sex with whips and chains, then I am not the author for you.
ON ERICPOTSDAM, 24th CENTURY AFTER THE PLANET WAS HIJACKED
This story is another sequel to "Three Women", which is a sequel to "The Story of Sindrelaine deta Lensering.". I won't repeat the complete introduction again. Please read the previous stories instead.
The Last of the Seven Women: Rialeta
At the end of the rebellion in the Vegonyn Empire, Sindrelaine deta Lensering escorted seven formerly-enslaved Vegonesi aristocratic women from Shallach, capital of Lovant, to Vegonyn City. What happened to them? The answers to that question were promised in "The Story of Sindrelaine deta Lensering".
People who read this website will be most interested in the women who became slaves, again. But we must admit that slavery isn't something that all women want to have. Only half of these women wanted that. The stories of the ones who wanted to remain free were given in "Three Women". We will now conclude this series of stories, and answer the question: how could exactly half of a group of seven women decide to be re-enslaved?
Most Honorable Rialeta deta Rhalle tei Georrick
The Most Honorable Lieutenant Challis tei Georrick of the Royal Danitz Army was in the mood for some serious flirtation. Two days earlier he had brought Sindrie, Esdigie to Brigadier General Tollis deta Sia, in blindfold and chains from Tshanna to Shallach to reunite her with her owner. It had been fun to flirt with her on that journey, but he had known that that relationship would never go past flirtation. It is unwise for a mere lieutenant to mess with the property of a brigadier general. Besides, Sindrie was the daughter of the Vegonesi Prime Minister. As soon as the Treaty of Tallsaadt was signed and the rebellion ended, she was freed, and that made her the Most Noble Lady Sindrelaine deta Lensering once again.
It was the day after that treaty went into effect. On that day General deta Sia took the Lady Sindrelaine as far as Tshanna in a private rail car to return her to territory still controlled by the Emperor of Vegonyn. Seven more former slave girls were taken along; they had also been freed by the provisions of the peace treaty, and they were en route to reclaim their status as Imperial aristocratic women. Challis rode back to his military duty station on that car. He hoped that he could get past flirtation with one of the women. Eventually he succeeded, but it took several tries.
He spent only about two sentences on Lia tei Maldestin. She wouldn't say anything to him. The look she gave him said "You are a man, therefore I hate you."
He spoke with Nandelle tei Farris for about five minutes. She told him that she was worried about her husband and her children, back in Vegonyn City. She hadn't seen them in over two years.
Chalia ernz Torau appeared to be nervous about going back. Challis tried to reassure her, but quickly learned that she was actually nervous about leaving. She was in love with her former master who was staying behind in Shallach.
So he tried Rialeta deta Rhalle, and he found what he was looking for. Admittedly she was too flat-chested to meet the usual standards of classic beauty, but she had enough up front to look feminine, the rest of her body was very well proportioned, and she was a medium-tall blue-eyed blonde with long fine straight hair. Even more important, once he started talking to her he quickly learned that her personality meshed together well with his. She had not been abused in slavery, but she was still happy to be leaving Shallach. The conversation between Challis and Rialeta soon became very friendly. They exchanged addresses, and the Rhalle family estates turned out to be only about 80 kilometers south of the Georrick family bakery.
After everybody was able to return home, Challis and Rialeta began to date each other. Challis came south, and they explored the Rhalle country estates on foot, and horseback, and bicycle. The estates were located in a small surviving corner of the Imperial Crown Lands. Rialeta came north, and Challis took her to fancy restaurants and stage plays and dances and similar events in Tinnessburg, his home town. Tinnessburg was in the new Danitzer Administrative District.
They spoke about many topics, including the way that she had been treated while she was a slave. One of her owners had enjoyed showing off a coffle of pretty slave girls, taking them on walks wearing nothing but short skirts, handcuffs, collars, and the coffle connecting chain. Rialeta smiled when she told that story, because she was remembering the way that men had looked at her. Challis wanted a woman who could enjoy that kind of treatment.
When they went walking hand-in-hand, Challis usually laced his fingers together with Rialeta's to grip her hand quite securely. She wondered if she would have been able to get away from him if she had wanted to. She liked this arrangement, and that made Challis happy. He hoped that she would enjoy being put in something more secure while he held the keys.
The next big step in their relationship began on a glorious spring day at the Rhalle estates. Rialeta planned a picnic at the Rhalle family picnic grove, which had been a favorite spot of her family for several generations. She hoped that several other members of the family might join them there. That location was at the edge of a small woods, with a pretty view extending southward down the hill and across the Shewrey River. A well-maintained gravel walkway ran to the grove from the family home, and a few meters from the grove it crossed some railroad tracks. The grove had benches, and tables, and fireplaces with grills for cooking hot dogs and similar food.
Challis knew this spot better than Rialeta suspected. He had noticed a small woodland path that led off from the gravel walkway only a few meters away from the railroad crossing. One afternoon during a weekend visit, Rialeta had been too tired to go walking, so Challis had gone walking alone and had explored this path. Based on this exploration, he had come up with some plans. If Rialeta had known of these plans, she probably would have called them schemes instead.
They were walking toward the picnic grove when Challis heard a distant, distinctive locomotive whistle. He knew which lines the engines with those whistles were used on. The noon freight train was right on time, and the gravel walkway to the picnic grove would soon be blocked by a long heavy freight train. No family members who might already be at the picnic grove would be able to see, hear, or interfere with what was about to happen. He slowed his walking speed to give the train a better chance to reach the crossing before he and Rialeta would. He was holding hands with Rialeta, with fingers securely interlaced. Rialeta had no choice but to slow down also.
Challis' timing was perfect. The couple reached the railroad crossing at the same time as that heavy freight engine, so they had to stop. The engine whistled at them and slogged past with its exhaust hammering, and then the clickety-clack of wheels on rail joints became the dominant sound.
Challis leaned over to Rialeta's ear with a wicked grin on his face. He announced "This is a kidnapping!" He tightened his fingers around her hand, and he hauled her away from the crossing and down the woodland path.
Rialeta fought him, but not too hard. She leaned against the direction that Challis was hauling her; she pulled and tugged, trying to get her hand loose; but she never screamed and she kept her grip on the picnic basket down that she was carrying in her other hand. She slipped on a muddy spot and nearly fell; Challis said "Time out!", and helped her regain her footing without getting her dress dirty. He never let go of her captive hand. When she stood safely once again, he said "Play ball!" and jerked on her arm, forcing her to lean toward him and go the way he wanted her to go.
After only a few minutes, Challis had Rialeta in a small clearing in the woods, completely surrounded by trees and undergrowth and totally out of sight of any other family members or anybody else. He set his own picnic basket down, pushed Rialeta back against a slim strong sapling, pulled both of her hands around the sapling, clamped both of her thumbs in his right hand, fished a pair of cuffs from the day pack that he wore at his left hip, and cuffed her wrists to pin her securely to that little tree. He paused then to catch his breath and commented "You put up a good fight!"
"Gee, thanks, for all the good it did me."
"Losing should bring you a sweet reward, I hope." His hands slid around her body. One hand tangled in her hair, and pulled, so that she had to look up as his face descended toward her. He hugged, and kissed, and she melted against him.
It took them both about a minute to catch their breaths after that kiss.
Then Challis said "Please smile, Rialeta. It is very important to me right now to see you smiling." The expression on her face might have been called a smile even before he asked, but it might also be called an anxious stare. A great deal of uncertainty had crept into her emotions as she recovered from the kiss.
"You've never chained me before. You aren't going to hurt me, are you?"
"Rialeta darling, I know that some women like to be spanked or whipped or really hurt somehow when they get passionate. If you need that kind of treatment, then we are wrong for each other no matter how well we have been getting along so far. I don't like hurting women. I don't think that I could seriously hurt you even if you asked me to."
"But still you dragged me back here and chained me to this tree."
"For several reasons. Because I think you are beautiful, and I want to enjoy your beauty. Because I think all women are more beautiful when they are in chains, and the combination of you and chains makes incredible, fantastic beauty. Because I wanted to kiss you when it's just the two of us and none of your family members watching. And finally, because I want the chance to talk to you about some things that are happening to me. Those things could affect you, too."
"I hope that this won't be an oh-oh. I've --"
"You've found a new job a thousand kilometers from here??" Rialeta's question ended on an anxious squeak. She knew that he wasn't completely happy with his job.
"Those bastards at Consolidated Civil Engineering have fired you?" That clearly worried Rialeta less than the possibility of a relocation, but she was still anxious.
"Rialeta darling, cool it! I think it was Mark Twain who first said, clear back on Earth, that he had had many problems and worries, most of which never happened. If you listen, I will explain, and then you can save your worries for what is really going to happen."
"Mmm-mmm." Rialeta sealed her lips together as if she had been gagged. She shook her wrists to jangle the ten-centimeter linking chain on her cuffs and re-emphasize that she was a captive audience.
Challis looked straight into her eyes and started his explanation. "You know that Consolidated had a contract with the Tinnessburg, Faltingham, & North Coast Railway for some upgrading work on their north-south line. I supervised the installation of the new passing siding at kilometer post 56.90. We ran into some problems with drainage, and I caught the problems before they could cause any harm and worked out solutions. Apparently the railway management was favorably impressed with the job that I did.
"Besides that, the railway's own civil engineer is no longer in the best of health, and he is thinking about retiring. As a first step, he is planning to accept a kick upstairs. He will get the title of Vice President - Civil Engineering, which will be a part-time job. If I accept, I will be the new Field Civil Engineer.
"That railway company was created about a century ago by the merger of the Tinnessburg & Faltingham with the North Coast Railway. The companies are still separate in many ways, and their engineering budgets are one of them. I will be expected to work two weeks each month out of Tinnessburg on T&F projects, and the other two weeks out of Faltingham on North Coast projects. I would have an awkward commute to work half the time if I didn't have a residence in both cities.
"The old civil engineer also needed to live in Faltingham, at least part-time. The railroad gave him a solution. He has had an apartment provided in the Faltingham Railway Station Building, rent-free, heated for free, all utilities free. Food is also free, from the station restaurant. That apartment has been an important part of his total compensation. He kept a slave girl in that apartment for over twenty years. Besides that apartment, he has a home of his own in Tinnessburg, where his wife lives. Of course he is keeping that."
Rialeta interrupted with a disappointed question: "So I'm only going to get you half of the time, as your slave in Faltingham, or maybe as your wife in Tinnessburg? I don't think that my parents are going to be very happy if I'm going to be a slave. And I wouldn't be very happy about seeing you only two weeks out of every month."
"Rialeta darling, this is both a proposition and a proposal." His steady gaze dropped from her eyes to the ground beneath her feet. He sank to one knee in front of her and said "Will you marry me, Rialeta, and take the Sindrelaine pledge? Sindrelaine deta Lensering deta Sia has shown that one woman can be both a slave girl and a free wife. If she can do it, you can do it. I want you in my chains, but I also want you as my wife. I don't want any other woman to occupy either position in my life. I'll keep you in chains in Faltingham, but I'll give you a home of our own in Tinnessburg, where you can be free. Please?"
Rialeta had been wondering where their relationship was going for several months. Would he proposition her, because she had been a slave? Would he propose to her and try to pretend that the disgrace of her slavery had never happened? Or would he propose to her wholeheartedly because he did not believe her time in slavery was a permanent disgrace? She had resolved in her own mind to say yes in any case, because she was so deeply in love with Challis. She hoped for a proposal, but would have accepted the disappointment of a proposition rather than lose him. Having both outcomes at once confused her for a moment.
But then she figured out the best response. "I can't say yes under these circumstances."
Then Challis was confused. "What circumstances, exactly?"
"You grabbed me, and kidnapped me, and chained me to this tree. Anything that I say now will be forced. I couldn't be held to any promises that I might make. Promises made under threat are never binding."
"So I have to free you before you can answer." Rialeta nodded, and Challis added "Okay, turn around then." She stepped around the tree, and he continued to kneel while he fished the keys out of his day pack.
Within moments Rialeta was free. Challis looked hopefully up at her. She said "Can I take a closer look at those cuffs, please?" so he handed the cuffs to her.
With the cuffs in her hands, Rialeta looked down at Challis and started a little speech of her own. "It isn't just the cuffs that made it impossible to answer your question. It was the lack of choice. You put the cuffs on me. You gave me no choice in the matter. The whole kidnapping was therefore fourth cousin to rape. A kissing cousin, to be sure, since we had gotten very friendly first. But still . . .
"When I have a choice in the matter, the situation is very different. Could you hold my jacket please?" Rialeta peeled her jacket off, and Challis folded it over one of his arms. Underneath she wore a close-fitting sleeveless dark blue top that was held on her body by a row of buttons down the front and by a bow at the back of her neck. She also wore a blue denim calf-length noblewoman's skirt.
She continued "When a woman volunteers, then it isn't any kind of rape any more. Instead it is a way of making love. So I can put these cuffs on my wrists" -- there was a click as she closed one of the cuffs onto her right wrist -- "and stretch my hands up over my head like this, and bend my elbows to put my wrists behind this tree, and finish the job" -- the other cuff clicked onto her left wrist -- "and nothing that follows can possibly be related to rape, because I consented in the first place."
Rialeta dropped to her knees, looked with level eyes at Challis, and concluded "Yes. Yes, I will marry you, under Sindrelaine Pledge rules. As long as you are faithful to me, I will be whatever woman you want and need."
Challis realized that the woman he loved had just given herself to him totally. She was still decently dressed, but her top could be unbuttoned, and its neck strap untied, and it would disassemble off of her body. Any bra that she might be wearing obviously had no shoulder straps to get in the way when he took it off her. Her skirt, and whatever underwear she was wearing below the waist, would slip off around her ankles. And with her wrists shackled above and behind her head, she could not protect the fastenings of any of these garments. She was his to strip naked, whenever he pleased.
He saw no reason to rush things. She wasn't going anywhere until he released her, and the anticipation gave him a wonderful feeling. He turned to the picnic basket that was sitting just behind him on the grass, and he pulled out a sheet of oilcloth that had been intended for use as a tablecloth in the grove. He spread the cloth out beside the tree. He arranged the food for the picnic around himself on the ground. And then he began a meal which he and Rialeta would remember for the rest of their lives.
He fed her one grape.
He undid one of her shirt buttons.
Another shirt button.
One wedge of tangerine.
Yet another shirt button.
Half a sandwich, eaten in alternate bites by both of the lovers.
The last shirt button.
The other half of the sandwich.
He undid the bow in the fabric at the back of her neck, and removed her top. He found that she wasn't wearing a bra. The outer top was firm enough that a bra was unnecessary.
He held a glass of Alert Citrus Flavor carbonated and caffeinated lemonade for her in his right hand, and let her drink all of it slowly, with his left hand around her waist. She was still kneeling against the tree. Drinking would be more awkward soon, because she would soon be on her back.
He fed her one banana.
He slid one hand under her butt, and gently lifted, and then the other hand behind her shoulder blades, and gently lowered. He placed her flat on the sheet of oilcloth, with her hands stretched above her head.
One gentle kiss on her lips.
Another banana, for him.
One belt buckle on her skirt.
One more vigorous kiss, on her left breast.
One skirt zipper.
A still more vigorous kiss, on her right breast.
A few pulls and tugs, and her skirt came off. She was wearing bikini-style panties.
One yet more intense kiss, open mouth to open mouth.
The lovers shared the rest of the tangerine. He held each wedge between his front teeth, placed his lips against hers, and closed his jaw. And then he peeled off her panties and had her naked and helpless.
He undressed himself, continuing to alternate removing garments with supplying food. He shared another sandwich and some cupcakes for dessert.
And then he put a condom on and entered her. He achieved something even more wonderful than dessert, both for himself and for Rialeta.
Another climax followed, half an hour later. It felt like an aftershock.
The picnic supplies included a bottle of wet napkins. Challis used them to clean himself, and Rialeta, and the oilcloth sheet. He put the used napkins back in the bottle and screwed the lid on tight to prevent anybody from smelling what had happened. He removed the cuffs from Rialeta's wrists, got dressed, and allowed her to dress herself; she could do a better job of putting her clothes back exactly as they should be. He combed her long straight hair and removed any traces of dirt, leaves, and twigs. And then, looking completely proper, they walked side by side back along the forest path to the gravel walkway, and onward to the family picnic grove.
Rialeta's father looked up at them from a picnic table and asked "Did you enjoy your picnic in the passion woods?" Rialeta turned bright red and covered her face with her hands. Any hope of pretending that nothing had happened immediately disappeared.
Challis turned to Rialeta and asked "Passion woods?"
Rialeta answered "Our family has been living here for over two hundred years. You didn't think that the clearings in those woods would be a secret, did you?"
Her father said "I knew what had happened the moment you arrived here. You are keeping such a careful proper distance apart. After all of the times we have seen you hand-in-hand, that was a dead giveaway."
Challis answered "Oh, well, these weren't the circumstances I had planned for the big announcement, but we are engaged."
Rialeta added "You might as well know now. I'm taking the Sindrelaine pledge. I have wanted to give him freely everything that I was forced to give to my owners in Shallach. He's got a new job with the railroad. I'm going to be his wife in Tinnessburg, and his slave in Faltingham. I wonder how many other women are going to follow Sindrelaine deta Sia's example and become all of the women that their men need."
Rialeta's father saw that his daughter would soon be living in the Danitzer Administrative District of the Vegonyn Empire. If all went well, people in this district would be able to live in peace in the Danitzer/Tureyan culture, or in the Vegonesi culture, or in some sort of amalgamation of the two. Marriages between the two peoples were to be encouraged as a extra force in linking them together and securing the peace. Rialeta's father agreed with this. So he said just "Congratulations!"
And soon Rialeta and Challis were married. Their wedding happened to be the first one in the church that the Rhalle family attended where the bride took the Sindrelaine pledge. The words came from the newspaper reports of the wedding of Tollis and Sindrelaine several months earlier. And so Rialeta became wife, and esdigie, and slave girl, whichever one Challis wanted and needed.
They took a boat across the Tureyan Channel and honeymooned in Duewos. They saw the changing of the guard at the Danitzer Royal Palace, and ate at famous restaurants like Luigi's, and visited the Royal Museum, and took the Tour of Luxury Houses, and saw the Duewos Capitals team play baseball, and swam at North Beach. Through all of this, Rialeta wore doublet rings, and usually a calf-length skirt and an honors sash. She was always an aristocratic woman in public.
The newlyweds really didn't have much choice about Rialeta's public status during this honeymoon. Slavery is illegal in the Capital District of the Kingdom of Danitz. This has been true ever since the political reforms that built the Kingdom from among the pieces of the collapsed Danitz Empire. The Empire had fallen in part because important politicians paid too much attention to their harems and not enough to affairs of state. Slavery is legal in other parts of the Kingdom of Danitz, and in the other areas under Danitzer administration which constitute the Realm of Danitz, but it remains illegal in the Capital District.
Things were different in private. Rialeta and Challis tried pure vanilla sex on their wedding night, during the boat ride across the Tureyan Channel. They found that it wasn't as much fun as bondage sex. Challis had brought just a collar and leash along, not a complete bondage kit. Rialeta spent the remaining nights of her honeymoon clipped by the neck to their hotel-room bed. She would also wear that collar during her nights in Tinnessburg, where she spent most of her days as a free woman.
But not all of her days. Challis had found a well-designed and well-built but run-down house in downtown Tinnessburg. He was able to buy it for a very good price because the paint was peeling and the interior smelled like a dead skunk. As a civil engineer, he could see past these problems. He eliminated the source of the odor, which turned out to actually be a dead skunk. He scraped and painted the outside. And he dressed Rialeta in a low-slave collar and a cheap slave tunic, taught her how to use sanding paper and a paintbrush, and put her to work on the inside. When they were done, they had converted their house to a very nice home for a man and his free wife.
And then it was time for Challis to start his job on the North Coast Railway, working out of Faltingham.
He succeeded in reserving an entire first-class compartment for himself and Rialeta on the train trip up. Rialeta entered that reserved compartment in Tinnessburg wearing doublet rings and aristocratic clothing. She left the compartment a few hours later in Faltingham wearing an esdigie collar, a slave tunic, leather ankle cuffs linked by 40 centimeters of chain, and a broad slave belt. The belt buckled in back and had pockets in front. Rialeta put her hands in the belt pockets, and Challis pulled the wrist straps on the pockets tight. Rialeta lost all use of her hands.
The Faltingham Railway Station building includes a seven-story tower above the public waiting rooms and ticket offices. Most of the tower is used for offices of various departments of the railway management, but there are several very nice apartments for management employees. The one for the Field Civil Engineer was on the fifth floor.
Most of the apartment area was one large main room. The entrance was at one end, separated from the rest of the apartment by a wall of bars and therefore inaccessible to a captive slave. The entrance area outside the bars contained the top of a spiral staircase, which led down to the Civil Engineering offices on the fourth floor. When Challis was doing office work, he would be able to come up that staircase during his breaks and rearrange Rialeta any way he pleased. The apartment had clearly been designed with two goals: comfort for the owner, and a variety of ways to confine a slave.
Rialeta walked over to the windows which ran down one side of the main room. The windows looked out over the station tracks and the adjacent freight yard. She looked beyond, to downtown Faltingham, and then the harbor, and then Gannette Bay. She said "Wow, what a view!"
Challis said "I will have a nicer one pretty soon. But it will take me a few minutes to put it together. Come, slave." He took her into a small back room of the apartment. She realized that this back room was a slave confinement space.
This room had a sleeping cage, with a mattress on the bottom that could be removed if a slave was being punished by a night of sleeping hard. Chains on the wall could be used to secure a slave in several different positions. Challis released Rialeta's hands one by one from the pockets of her slave belt, and he secured her to some ceiling chains with her hands over her head. He had total access from all sides. He used that access to strip her naked. Then he gave her a few quick caresses and tickles to start warming her up, and he left her there.
The room had electric lights. A row of shutters near the ceiling could be opened to allow daylight to spill in from the main room. He switched the lights off and closed the shutters. He left her totally blacked out.
She stood there in total darkness for about fifteen minutes. She heard some unidentifiable sounds, and then there was more blackness and silence. And then she screamed, because hands had suddenly gripped her ribs and begun to tickle.
Challis said "Oh Boy you have a loud scream from this close in a small room."
"How did you sneak in here?"
"The bathroom is next to this room, and there is a connecting door. For longer-term confinement, I could keep you anchored by one ankle to an attachment point in this room with a chain long enough to reach the toilets and the sleeping cage. The lights in the bathroom are also controlled from outside; I could keep you in total darkness for days at a time if I choose to do so. I can also use the bathroom as a darkroom access which lets me go in and out at will without ever allowing you any light. Sneaky, isn't it? While you are blacked out in here, you will never know when the next tickle will come." Challis's hands continued to roam her ribs and breasts while he said this.
"So I'm going to be stuck in here while you are out working? It won't be much fun without your hands on my body."
"Sometimes, probably. Not always. This place has too many other possibilities. I'm going to show you another one now." He released her from the ceiling chains, so that her only restraints were the ankle cuffs that had never been removed. He took her hand, and threaded his fingers between hers as securely as he had done before when they had gone for walks. He marched her into the main room.
The most conspicuous piece of furniture was a built-in table or wide counter in the middle of the room. A large copper vase sat in the middle of the top. That tabletop was built on top of a slave cage, and the cage door was open. Challis said "In", and pushed Rialeta gently. She crawled in, and Challis slammed the door shut behind her.
She found that the floor of the cage was a thin pad. She had almost enough room to stretch out full-length, and more than enough headroom to sit up. The slave cage was reasonably comfortable.
Challis sat down on a couch by the wall. He stared at her. He said "I told you that I would have a nicer view in a few minutes than the one out the windows. And there you are now, in a display cage. Wow, you are beautiful."
Rialeta saw the love and lust in his eyes. She didn't want a barrier of cage bars to remain between them. She didn't think that he would let her out if she asked in words, so she decided to ask with her body. She moved slowly and temptingly into a series of sexy poses: kneeling sideways to him with arms back and breasts thrust out, and then on hands and knees wiggling her ass, and then facing him kneeling with knees spread well apart, and then . . .
And then somebody knocked on the door of the apartment. Challis picked up a small bath towel or large hand towel from one arm of the couch, handed it in to Rialeta through the cage bars, and said "Use this to preserve your modesty." Then he answered the knock and let another man into the apartment.
How should she pose? Rialeta thought fast. Then she slouched against the bars at one end of her cage and draped the towel hanging downward from her breasts. The towel was just big enough to cover everything really important on her front. The slouched pose meant that her ass was covered by the bottom of the cage.
Challis sat back down on the couch, and the visitor sat next to him. Challis said "Rialeta, this is my boss, the Noble Thamess tei Boromyn. He used to own this apartment, but he has now been promoted to a headquarters job. Sir, this is my woman Rialeta, currently esdigie. She has taken the Sindrelaine pledge. I have promised her that she will be free in Tinnessburg. So if you meet her again at the headquarters building, she will be my wife."
Rialeta remembered the slave training she had in Shallach before she was freed. She was able to force a smile. Thamess said "You do that well. I could almost believe that that smile shows your real feelings." Rialeta looked daggers at her owner for a moment, but then returned her smile to Thamess. In response to his understanding her feelings, it was a more genuine smile this time.
Thamess turned to Challis and said "You have a very beautiful woman. She is a pretty ornament inside that display cage. But that isn't the nicest pose she could use, and would become uncomfortable if she has to stay in it until I leave. With your permission" -- Challis nodded -- "Rialeta, flex your knees, and slide down until your back is flat on the mat. That's better. It shows off the lines of your gorgeous legs, and you can move your arms around more without risk of letting the towel drop down from your breasts."
Thamess began to discuss technical engineering problems with Challis. After about fifteen minutes, he turned back to Rialeta and observed "Seeing her like that really is a distraction. My own slaves never liked being on display in that cage for hours at a time. Have you shown her how the muffler panels work yet? No? Let's install them and let her hide."
The muffler panels had been leaning against the outside wall of the room under one of the windows. Challis had removed them from the table while Rialeta was a captive in the back room. The panels were made from hardwood veneer on the outside, and sound-absorbing foam on the inside, and of course they blocked light as well as sound. They snapped into place around the display cage just outside the bars. When the panels were installed, it was impossible to tell that there was a slave cage under the table. The base looked solid.
Rialeta quit worrying about keeping enough of her body covered to stay decent. She folded her towel lengthwise and rolled it up to use as a pillow. She turned onto her side, still slightly curled up to fit in the cage, and went to sleep, in total darkness and near-total silence. Outside her cage, Challis and Thamess finished their engineering discussions, and Thamess left the apartment to catch the evening train back south. Challis dismounted the muffler panels, sat back down on the couch, and enjoyed looking at his caged, naked sleeping woman.
By then it was suppertime. Challis walked over to the voice pipe on the inside wall of the apartment, rang its bell in the restaurant kitchen four floors below, and placed an order for a meal. Five minutes later the bell on the electric dumbwaiter rang. Challis took out the appetizer: rolls and coffee. He put the rolls on the tabletop, poured himself a cup of coffee, set the hot pitcher in front of Rialeta's face just outside the cage bars, and sat down at the table.
The smell of the coffee woke Rialeta up. He knew that she really liked coffee. The coffee had the full effect that Challis had hoped for. Rialeta said "I'll forgive you for displaying me like that if you pour me a cup." So he did.
The copper vase in the middle of the table had two handles. Challis twisted them and lifted. The vase, and a circle of tabletop beneath it, both came away.
Challis ate his appetizer rolls and coffee from the top of the table. He served Rialeta one bite of roll or one sip of coffee at a time when she poked her head through the tabletop hole. Challis explained that he had seen Thamess's slave in the same display cage when he visited while he was still working for Consolidated Civil Engineering. He felt that he had to repay that hospitality. And he promised, "Never again! . . . Or at least, I will let you have a larger towel next time."
The sun set. The bell on the dumbwaiter rang again to signal the delivery of the main course of the evening meal. Challis released Rialeta from the display cage and gave her a chance to use the bathroom. Then he pulled back the heavy curtain which acted as the inside wall of the far end of the main room. This revealed a large notch which made the room an L-shape. The notch contained a king-size bed fitted with appropriate anchoring points.
Challis secured Rialeta to the head of the bed by cuffs with a ten-centimeter linking chain. He removed her ankle cuffs. Her upper body was leaning against a triangular pillow, which supported her head high enough that she could look out through the windows at the town, the bay, and the beautiful starlit sky.
She recognized the meal, and the manner of serving it, as soon as Challis began to give it to her.
He fed her one grape.
He undid one of his own shirt buttons.
Another shirt button.
One wedge of tangerine.
All of the remaining shirt buttons.
Half a hot meatball sandwich, eaten in alternate bites by both of the lovers.
He peeled his shirt off.
The other half of the hot sandwich.
He shifted position to lie across her legs and pin her feet down. She bucked furiously while he tickled her soles, but she couldn't shake him off. He held a glass of Alert Citrus Flavor carbonated and caffeinated lemonade for her in his right hand, and let her drink all of it slowly through a straw, with his left hand behind her head. Drinking would be more awkward soon, because she would soon be flat on her back.
He fed her one banana.
He slid one hand behind her shoulder blades, and pulled the triangular pillow out from under her. He placed her flat on the bed, with her hands stretched above her head.
One gentle kiss on her lips.
Another banana, for him.
One belt buckle on his pants.
One more vigorous kiss, on her left breast.
One pants zipper.
A still more vigorous kiss, on her right breast.
A few pulls and tugs, and his pants and underwear came off. Then they were both naked.
One yet more intense kiss, open mouth to open mouth.
The lovers shared the rest of the tangerine. He held each wedge between his front teeth, placed his lips against hers, and closed his jaw. And then he sat down on her legs to pin her naked and helpless again. She tried to buck him off when he began to tickle her armpits, but he rode her again and kept on tickling.
He began to alternate tickling other parts of her body with supplying food. He shared another sandwich and some cupcakes for dessert. The tickles landed on her ribs and on her thighs, and finally on the one spot where she most dreaded and hoped to be tickled.
And then he put a condom on and entered her. He achieved something even more wonderful than dessert, for both himself and for Rialeta. Another climax followed, half an hour later. It felt like an aftershock.
* * *
One entire year went by. Rialeta accumulated six months as a wife and six months as a slave, changing back and forth every two weeks. On the first anniversary of her wedding to Challis, Rialeta wrote a letter, which started:
"Dear Sindrie / Noble Lady Sindrelaine/ whichever name you are using right now,
"Thank you for inventing the Sindrelaine pledge. "
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