by Van © 2020

Chapter 11

Dramatis Personæ


Saturday night was... interesting.  Skye spent the night in Mistress' bed, naked, her wrists padlocked in padded leather cuffs, the cuffs padlocked together behind her back, and a taut strip of Microfoam tape sealing her lips and tightly adhered to her lower face from nose-to-chin and ear-to-ear.

And oh-by-the-way, Mistress shared the same bed.  (It was her bed, after all.)  Mistress was also naked; however, inexplicably, other than a little "innocent" cuddling and a goodnight kiss, she kept her hands and lips to herself!  Skye was relieved... and disappointed... and confused.  Mistress had diddled her silly once today, but now... she wasn't going to follow-through with nocturnal diddling?  Geesh.  And with no explanation?  Double-geesh.  And, of course, once the tape-gag was in place, it was impossible for Skye to politely inquire exactly why Mistress considered it unnecessary to take the obvious step of reinforcing this afternoon's lesson by bringing her devoted student to orgasm again... a few times.  It was intellectually frustrating... among other things.

Sunday morning dawned clear and sunny.  By all indications (including the official forecast), it was going to be a glorious day, suitable for hiking in the country, long bike rides, extended runs in the park and/or down shady suburban streets, trips to the beach, and/or leisurely backyard barbecues.  Unfortunately, Mistress had other ideas.

After Mistress freed Skye from the leather-cuffs, she planted a good-morning kiss on Skye's taped lips, then sent her on her way to the guest bathroom with the traditional slap-on-the-butt.  Cliché and stinging?  Yes, but Skye didn't mind.  In fact, she giggled through her tape-gag as she scampered—yes, scampered—down the hallway.

Once in the bathroom, Skye paused to admire her tape-gag in the mirror.  She loved the way Microfoam/Elastoplast tape hugged a damsel's face, highlighting the three dimensional contours of their pretty mouths.  Pallavi and Harper looked incredibly cute when gagged with Microfoam/Elastoplast, and it was gratifying to confirm that Skye, herself, could hold her own in the pulchritudinous damsel-in-distress department.  Her curiosity (vanity) satisfied, Skye teased back a corner of the tape and slowly, carefully peeled it away.  Her mouth and lips stretched in the process, of course.  She then took her morning tinkle, brushed her teeth, showered, shampooed, dried her body and hair, and emerged from the bathroom ready to face the trials, tribulations (and possible orgasms) of the day.

Still naked (of course) Skye padded to the kitchen.  There, she found Mistress preparing to cook breakfast, resplendent in bare feet, designer jeans, and a very pretty cadet-blue blouse Skye recognized as Plumeria merchandise.  Obviously, Mistress had conducted her morning toilette and ablutions in a slightly less dilatory manner, using the luxurious bathroom attached to the master bedroom while Skye was busy taking her time down the hall.

Breakfast was ham and cheese omelets, cottage fries, toast, and mixed fruit.  Skye offered to cook, but Mistress wouldn't hear of it.  However, she did allow Skye to man the one-cup coffeemaker (with its reusable pods) to keep the elixir-of-life flowing.

While they ate at the kitchen table, Skye pestered Mistress to share her official plan-of-the-day, only to be met with amused silence.  Finally, Mistress stated that as a matter of policy she was never going to warn Skye about the horrible (or wonderful) things that were about to happen to her.  Skye decided this was because Mistress was a Great Big Gorgeous Meanie who took Sadistic Pleasure in watching Poor Innocent Skye Suffer Sinister Suspense.  Oh, the drama!  That was how Skye saw it, anyway.

Actually, and much to her surprise, Skye found Mistress' mysterious reticence somewhat intriguing.  When she played with Pallavi and Harper, Skye was always the one in charge, the one calling the shots, the tip-top Top.  That made not calling the shots and being kept in ignorance a novel experience, a turnaround that was going to take some getting used to.

Oh-by-the-way, Mistress revealed that while Skye had been wasting hot water in the guest shower, she'd called Skye's mother and given her a shopping list of outfits her darling daughter would require during her "vacation."  Unfortunately, just as with the plan-of-the-day, Mistress refused to divulge the details of any of the outfits in question, further cementing her status as a Great Big Gorgeous Meanie.  By way of confirmation that she was serious (of sorts), Mistress rattled off Skye's size measurements with 100% accuracy, strongly suggesting that this mysterious outfits nonsense wasn't nonsense.  As with the plan of the day, Skye found the lack of detail frustrating.  And oh-by-the-way, the first and "most needed" of the costumes should arrive "soon."

Skye tried one last time.  "Seriously," she demanded as she nibbled her last slice of buttered toast, "what kind of 'costumes' are we talkin' about?  Pleeease?"

Smiling sweetly, Mistress deigned to reveal one last tantalizing tidbit.  "Role-playing costumes."  And those were her final words on the subject.

So, Skye mused, I'm gonna get 'role-playing costumes' of some kind.  She heaved a petulant sigh (which only served to widen Mistress' smile).  Better than no clothing... I suppose.  It was infuriating.

Once breakfast was over and the kitchen cleaned up, Mistress' mysterious agenda unfolded in stately fashion, one event at a time.

First came General Housekeeping.  Skye was tasked with making the bed in the master bedroom, replacing the towels in the master and guest bathrooms, then dusting and vacuuming the first floor.  It was exhausting.  (Not really.)

Next came naked yoga in the backyard.  It was much like yesterday, only without Pallavi.

Yoga was followed by an al fresco tea-break out on the deck.  Mistress was a civilized dominatrix... a naked, civilized dominatrix.

This was followed by Skye's first ever exercise session in Mistress' home gym.

Skye hadn't even known Mistress had a home gym until she'd found herself running the vacuum cleaner across its wall-to-wall carpet.  It was a very nice gym with a very nice view of a very nice side-garden through a bank of very nice windows.  Equipment-wise, there was a stationary bike, a universal resistance machine, a running machine, and a rack of hand-weights.  Everything was top-of-the-line, and Skye was impressed.  She was also impressed by the shower and dry sauna tucked away in a tiled alcove off to one side.

They entered the gym with both Mistress and Skye still naked (of course), and then... the specter of Dominatrix Instruction reared its menacing (and arousing) head.

Mistress led Skye to a wooden cabinet/chest of drawers off to one side, opened a drawer, and outfitted her with a pair of black leather mittens (with cuffs).  They encased her fingers and hands, depriving her of all dexterity.  She then led Skye to the running machine.  Four steel clips and two light steel chains later... and Skye found herself standing on the rubber treadmill with the cuffs of her mitts loosely chained to the machine's side-rails.

Skye heaved a truly tragic sigh.  The diabolical device was controlled by a touchscreen mounted on a pedestal.  As she watched, Mistress tapped the screen and worked her way through a menu, smiling all the time in a nakedly gorgeous and irritating manner.  Finally, Mistress folded a thick, clear acrylic screen over the touchscreen and pressed a recessed button, locking the cover in place and preventing any naked captives standing astride the treadmill with their fingers encased in bondage-mitts and loosely chained to the side-rails (like Skye) from altering the program.

Skye continued pouting as she glowered at the screen.  The interface was intuitive.  A timer was counting down the seconds until Mistress' program would commence in red numbers.  50... 49... 48... etc.  Other lines of text provided the details of the specified routine.  "A whole hour?" Skye complained (whined).  "We just did yoga."

"Not the same thing," Mistress purred.  "Your first session will be a simple power-walk.  Eventually, I'll work you up to two hours of walking and running, with hill-work."

Skye frowned at her naked Mistress.  "Is this really necessary?" she pouted.  "Ya gotta admit I'm already in good shape."

Mistress smile morphed into a stern frown.

"Uh... ya gotta admit... Mistress?"

Mistress' smile returned.  "Your grace period has just about expired, young lady," she purred.  "Understand?"

"Yes, Mistress," Skye answered quickly.  "I do, Mistress."

Just then, the countdown reached zero, the console beeped, a motor (or motors) under Skye's feet began humming... and the treadmill began to roll.  Skye had no choice but to start walking (padding).

The drooping chains enforcing Skye's cooperation rattled and swayed, adding metallic, tinkling music to Skye's tragic ordeal.  At least the rubber of the treadmill is suitable for bare feet, she fumed silently.  "Thank you, Mistress," she huffed.  "You're so thoughtful, Mistress.  This is just what I need, Mistress."
red ball-gag
Mistress smiled at her delightful and adorable young apprentice for several seconds... then padded to the cabinet and returned with a ball-gag.  This particular model had an inch-and-a-half diameter mouth-plug of pinkish-red, medical-grade silicon rubber, a thin, black, semi-elastic cord to serve as a strap, and a black plastic barrel-clamp to pinch the cord and secure the gag in its victim's mouth.

The ball's immediate destination was Skye's pouting mouth, of course, and soon Mistress had tightened the cord around her head and under her ginger ponytail.  Skye's head had been a moving target, bobbing as she padded on the rolling treadmill, but this offered only a trivial challenge to an expert rigger like Mistress Monjeau.  It might not be a terribly effective gag, but it was enough to garble any disgruntled comments or piteous complaints Skye might have been foolish enough to share.

While she continued padding on the treadmill (and started drooling), Skye watched as Mistress executed a series of warm-up stretches... then settled her firm, pale, dominatrix butt onto the padded seat of the universal resistance machine, grabbed the hand-grips of the lever-arms, and started getting her exercise.  The prisoner-of-the-treadmill noted that the resistance machine had been accessorized with dangling straps and attachment points for cuffs, but apparently Mistress didn't feel the need to buckle any of the straps or otherwise restrain her pale, athletic, luscious body.  Skye would have been more than happy to provide the required service, but at the moment she was otherwise occupied.  Also, if Skye using Lacey's exquisite body as her rope-rigging practice dummy wasn't allowed, strapping Mistress to her exercise machine was almost certainly forbidden.

Skye's naked, gagged, and tethered ordeal lasted an hour, as programed, and was followed by a shower and a light lunch of turkey sandwiches and iced tea.

After lunch, Mistress dressed herself in the jeans and blouse she'd worn before stripping down for yoga, tea, exercise, and lunch, then helped Skye complete her afternoon assignment: familiarizing herself with the classic shrimp-tie.

Soon, on the carpet of a pleasant sitting room, Skye found herself sitting cross-legged with her upper-body bound in a box-tie and ropes stretching up from her bound ankles to loop behind her neck, forcing her to lean forward in a semi-stringent crunch.  And oh-by-the-way, a tight crotch-rope encircled her waist, cleaved her butt-cheeks and pussy, and was hitched through the back of her box-tie harness and her ankle-bonds.  Skye could barely squirm, and when she did so, the knotted crotch-rope rubbed her raw... or maybe raw-ish.  Also, to keep idle chitchat (as well as any begging and whining) to a minimum, Mistress had added a knotted cloth cleave-gag to the lesson-plan.

The languishing only lasted an hour... with Mistress seated comfortably in a winged chair and reading what appeared to be a truly fascinating book on her iPad.  Finally, Skye was untied and given the rest of the day off.  Mistress decreed that the lower levels, meaning all the subterranean dungeons, torture chambers, and god-knows-what were off limits, but Skye should feel free to explore everything above ground.  This was just as well, as Skye had no idea how to open the wicked-cool secret sliding wall that blocked access to Mistress' underground work-spaces.

Anyway, Skye familiarized herself with Lacey's Lair from the top of the basement stairs to the attic.  The doors of a handful of upstairs rooms were locked, but from their size and placement, Skye suspected they were closets or storerooms (or possibly horrible upstairs dungeon cells).

Dinner was a delicious stir-fry, and once again Skye slept in Mistress' bed... with Mistress... and this time she wasn't bound or gagged in any way.  She was still naked, of course—as was Mistress—but once again Mistress kept her hands to herself!  Go figure.

 Chapter 11

The first full week of Skye's "vacation" passed quickly... with glacial slowness.  That is, sometimes the hours whizzed past, and sometimes time seemed to stand still.

Yoga sessions happened every day, and Lacey always scheduled them early in the morning when the preferred section of the backyard was in dappled shade.  This was for the benefit of Mistress' fair skin, of course.  A worthy cause to be sure, but it didn't do much to enhance or maintain Skye's freckle collection.

Thankfully, Mistress was aware of The Freckle Problem and had a surefire remedy.  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, in the early afternoon, Skye found herself staked out on the grass, her wrists and ankles secured with single loops of coyote-brown 550 paracord and stretched between four steel stakes, the kind that are more or less giant corkscrews and are used for tether a pet by a collar and chain.  The cords were secured with plastic barrel-clamps, making it easy for Mistress to flip Skye halfway through her tanning (freckling) sessions to ensure full, even coverage, front and back.  And Mistress was always thoughtful enough to thoroughly coat Skye's nude, outstretched body with the appropriate tanning (freckling) lotion.  This required a great deal of diligent, hands-on effort, but Mistress didn't seem to mind.

Also, every day Skye was assigned routine housekeeping chores, including dusting, vacuuming, cleaning the bathrooms and kitchen, changing the bed linen, and doing the laundry.  Mistress insisted on doing all the cooking, but Skye didn't mind in the least.  She had yet to eat a meal at Lacey's Lair that was less than yummy.  Mistress definitely had a culinary flair.

Like yoga, exercise in Mistress' home gym also happened every day.  Skye ran on the treadmill, rode the stationary bike, and suffered grueling sessions on the resistance machine, all supervised by Mistress and with sufficient "safety restraints" deployed to keep Skye from "falling off the equipment and hurting herself."  Another example of Mistress' kind thoughtfulness.

The routine was exhausting, but Mistress made sure Skye got plenty of "down time."  As it turned out, Mistress had regular paying customers, all of whom required her services.  After all, she couldn't waste all her time pandering to Skye's voracious appetite for bondage.  Professional Dominatrixices have clients.  Who knew?

Anyway, Mistress' clients valued their privacy, so Skye would have to be out of sight and out of mind.  Luckily (so to speak) there was a simple solution: Mistress scheduled her student's Bondage Technique Familiarization Lessons to coincide with her clients' appointments and ensured they took place in a location that preserved everybody's privacy.

Skye was squirreled away before Mistress' clients arrived, and wasn't released until after they left.  The only reason Skye even knew Mistress had clients was because she told her.  And Skye had no idea whether or not the clients in question knew she existed.

So, twice and sometimes three times a day, Skye found herself naked, bound, gagged, and sequestered in Mistress' "Special Guest Bedroom" ("SGB").

The SGB was just down the hall from the master bedroom, and was, indeed, a bedroom, albeit a small bedroom.  And, as Mistress explained with great pride, its cramped nature was exacerbated by unique design features (unique with respect to the upstairs, anyway).  There was extra-thick padding between the sub-floor and the room's thick, plush, dark-gray, industrial-grade, wall-to-wall carpet.  The wall-studs were doubled, creating the depth required for extra-thick insulation that provided first-rate sound-proofing.  Finally, the walls and ceiling were clad in thick, interior-grade plywood, screwed into the ceiling-joists and wall-studs with a plethora of extra-long wood-screws.

The room's decor was spartan to the point of being nonexistent.  The paneling was stained and varnished, but any residual chemical odor had long since faded to zero.  There was a single window, but it was "protected" by a heavy expanded steel grid painted flat-black and solidly bolted into the window frame.  Similar but much smaller grids covered the lighting cans recessed into the ceiling.  Finally, the SGB had only three furnishings:
(1.) A twin-size bed with a heavy-duty, tubular steel frame, a canvas-covered mattress, and no box-spring.

(2.) A solidly built, wooden, straight-back chair.

(3.) A tall, plain wooden cabinet with double doors, each of which was secured with its own hefty lock.
safety ball-gagThe bed and chair were bolted to the floor, and the cabinet was bolted to the wall.  Inside the right side of the cabinet were shelves loaded with coils of rope and cord, as well as a single "safety ball-gag."  Its mouth-plugging sphere was black, medical-grade silicon, hollow and perforated with a row of three holes for ease of mouth-breathing.  Its strap was black leather with stainless steel hardware.  The left side of the cabinet had no shelves, and was about the size of an upright coffin.  That made it suitable for the incarceration of a naked, bound, and gagged damsel (like Skye).

So... whenever Mistress was entertaining one of her clients, Skye spent the time bound and gagged on the bed, tied to the chair, or locked in the left side of the closet.  Sometimes her bonds were elaborate, and sometimes they were relatively simple; however, they always proved to be inescapable, and this was despite Skye's best efforts to wiggle free and escape.  It was now Mistress' standing order that Skye should struggle for all she was worth whenever she was "abandoned to languish."  Of course, locked in the SGB, escaping from Mistress' ropes would be a hollow victory at best.  Even when she wasn't locked in the left side of the cabinet, she was still locked in a soundproof cell.

There was one more important aspect of Skye's first week:  Mistress decreed that Pallavi and Harper would not be allowed to visit, not until some unspecified future date.  Supposedly, this was so Skye could get used to her vacation routine.  Wasting time with her little friends would have to wait, as Mistress put it.

Skye was disappointed, but had more than enough to worry about.  Mistress was keeping her very busy.

Also, Skye continued sharing Mistress' bed at night, sometimes bound, sometimes not, but Mistress continued her moratorium on forced orgasm lessons.  Skye was enduring a nookie famine!  And during the day, Skye's schedule was booked solid, which meant she never had enough alone-time to pleasure herself.  And Mistress was making it a habit of tying her crotch-ropes in such a manner that no amount of wiggling and squirming on Skye's part was sufficient to ride the cleaving ropes to orgasm... dammit!

Actually, Skye was impressed.  She already had the rigging skill required to tie a good crotch-rope... but a crotch rope that frustrated its victim and didn't allow the release of a climax?  Not so much.  Skye hoped the topic would bubble to the top of Mistress' curriculum sometime soon.  She couldn't wait to try it on Pallavi and Harper.  And increasingly, she found she couldn't wait to do anything to Pallavi and Harper.  Nookie famines are not fun.  Who knew?

 Chapter 11

Sunday dawned bright and clear, more or less a carbon copy of Saturday, and Mistress announced that she had "something special" planned that would probably occupy most if not all of Skye's day.

After breakfast, Mistress led her student to the same very pleasant sitting room, located between the home gym and formal dining room, where she'd experienced the wonder that was Mistress' shrimp-tie.  Skye was about to embark on a "quest," as Mistress put it.

Skye blinked.  'Quest?'  That's not at all ominous.

The naked, freckled ginger watched with horrified dread (meaning curiosity) as Mistress stooped and picked up the first of several coils of conditioned hemp rope waiting in a neat stack on the carpet.  The rope was hemp, twisted, three-strand, and ¼" in diameter, the kind of rope Mistress usually used to tie her up; however, and it may have been Skye's imagination, this particular collection of coils were all slightly frayed and worn.  Well up to the task of rendering her utterly helpless, but a tad shabby... maybe. 

Anyway, Mistress smiled, spun Skye around, and set to work.

When the hypothetical dust settled—and as Skye had been diligent in her vacuuming duties and the dust was hypothetical—Skye was tied up.  In fact, Skye was very tied up.

Specifically, Skye was lying prone on the carpet with her wrists bound together behind her back with her hands palm-to-palm.  Her elbows were also bound, as were her legs, thighs, above and below her knees, her mid-lower-legs, and her ankles.  Mistress almost always included some sort of arm-pinning harness to her compositions, and today was no exception.  Diagonal doubled strands yoked her shoulders, horizontal strands passed above and below her boobs, an X-shaped arrangement passed between her boobs, and a combination of waist-encircling, forearm-binding, and multi-strand crotch-cleaving strands pinned her forearms against her spine and completed the... ensemble.  Everything was cinched and hitched.  More than one coil had been required, but the bondage was symmetrical, and all the rope-to-rope junctions were well-integrated into the whole.  Finally, Mistress had included a full-body Kikkou (diamond-hitch) and ladder-tie harness that stretched down Skye's bundled body from shoulders to ankles.

The last time Mistress had gotten this enthusiastic with the rope was way back on Day One, when she'd terrified the bejesus out of Skye by showing her the torture chamber down below (for the first and only time, so far).  Skye decided to christen her current predicament a wiggle-worm-tie, as just about all she could do was wiggle like a worm.  And oh-by the way, all the many knots of Mistress current masterpiece were all well beyond the reach of her groping fingers.

Before Skye could compliment Mistress on an elegant and expertly applied rigging tour de force—"Mrrrf!"—her opportunity to earn brownie-points was ruined by one of Mistress' black safety-ball-gags, identical to the gag she endured whenever Mistress entertained one of her paying customers and incarcerated her in the SGB.  Skye was able to share well-garbled compliments, but what was the point in that?  Instead, Skye glowered at Mistress (brave, feisty damsel that she was).  Mistress had settling into a comfortable easy chair, crossed her legs, and was continuing to smile at her in her gorgeous (and irritatingly smug) manner.  Skye heaved a sigh of truly tragic proportions... then commenced her Courtesy Struggle.

Rolling her shoulders, twisting her body, tossing her ball-gagged head, bending at the waist, squirming her hips, fluttering her fingers, bending her knees, and flexing her bound feet were all possible, but only to a limited extent.  And when she did any of those things, the ropes loosened here but tightened there, and that included the crotch-ropes.  Yow!  Skye did her best to put on a show, but it was a futile exercise.  When it came to escaping from Mistress Monjeau's bondage, struggling was always a futile exercise.

Skye heaved another sigh—this one a theatrical lament signaling reluctant surrender—then batted her green eyes at her gloating captor.

Mistress chuckled, rose to her feet, and padded towards the sitting room door.

By the way, Mistress was wearing a pair of stone-washed designer jeans and a white cotton blouse with the long sleeves rolled up and the top three buttons unbuttoned.  There was no bra.  Quite obviously there was no bra.  Her raven-black hair was tied back in a ponytail.

"I'll be right back," Mistress announced as she crossed the threshold... and was gone, taking her poorly concealed boobs with her.

Skye didn't bother heaving another sigh.  She'd lost her audience.  Instead, she rested her ball-gagged head on the carpet and settled in to wait.

Mistress returned in less than a minute with a brush and comb set in her right hand.  She knelt beside her naked, bound, and gagged student, lifted her into a tightly-bound sitting position, and started fussing with her hair.  Soon, it was apparent Mistress was plaiting Skye's ginger locks into a tight, three-part braid.  This was slightly ominous, as Skye could think of all sorts of unpleasant things a rigger of Mistress' skill and experience could do with braided hair, but mostly she just wanted Mistress to get on with it!  The sitting position was causing the crotch ropes to squeeze her labia together, and any movement on her part caused the knotted central strand between her labia to slide back and forth.

rope hookFinally, Skye heard a snap, and the deed was done.  Mistress gently eased her back down onto the carpet, and Skye squirmed... Ow! ...until she could see her Mistress.  Skye could feel that her hair was, indeed, in a tight braid.
  She tossed her head and the braid flopped back and forth.  It wasn't attached to anything.  However, Mistress had a length of thin hemp cord in her left hand.  Skye surmised it was the severed remnant of what Mistress had used to secure the end of her new braid.  And in Mistress' right hand was a small hook knife with a looped handle, the kind of blade specifically designed to sever rope or cord.  Obviously, the snap Skye had heard was Mistress using the tool to cut the cord (to coin a phrase).

Still smiling, Mistress slid the knife into her breast pocket, then held up the cord and locked eyes with her student.  "I hate to waste such excellent cordage.  Whatever shall we do with it?"  She shifted her gaze to Skye's ankle-bound feet... then directed her smile back to Skye's freckled, green-eyed, ball-gagged visage.  "Oh... I know."

Very funny, Skye fumed.  Just get on with it.

And Mistress did.  That is, she relocated to Skye's feet, lifted them into her lap, and proceeded to tie the naked, bound, ball-gagged, and pouting prisoner's big-toes together, cinching the cord before tying the final, redundant knot.

The resulting toe-bondage was, in a word, inescapable.  Skye knew without trying that no amount of wiggling her tootsies would loosen the cord; however, the cord in no way impaired her circulation.  The toes in question remained their usual delightful shade of pink, rather than turning the dark-pink or mauve that would signal pooled blood.

Mistress used the hook-knife to sever the two short free-ends of the toe cord's knot, then stood and smiled down at her handiwork.  "Yes, yes, I know, darling," she chuckled, "I'm a horrible person.  But your 'big piggies' look so cute tied together like that.  I couldn't resist."

Skye stared the proverbial daggers at her Mistress.  A toe-tied courtesy struggle might be appropriate, but Skye found herself in a dis-courteous mood.

"Now..."  Mistress tucked the two short lengths of cord into her breast pocket, stood, and smiled down at Skye.  She held the hook-knife between her thumb and index finger and gave it a shake.  "This is the key to your freedom.  I'm going to place it on the floor... somewhere in the house.  And I promise, wherever I put it, it will be hiding in plain sight... but not necessarily visible from the doorway. 

A knot formed in Skye's stomach.  No!

"The playing field for this game will be the entire house," Mistress continued, "from the ground floor to the attic.  Any room with a closed door is out of bounds.  Obversely, any room with an open door is in bounds, including closets and storerooms.  Stairs and hallways are also in bounds."

But... I'm tied up! Skye silently objected.

"Just to be clear," Mistress lectured, "your quest is to find this knife."  She gave the dangling knife another shake, for emphasis.  "And use it to free yourself.  That's old rope, ready for retirement, so feel free to slice it into as many pieces as you find necessary."

Skye pleaded with her eyes.  "Mrrrrr!"

"Now, now, none of that," Mistress purred.  "You have the entire day.  I'll check in on you now and then to monitor your progress.  And please be careful on the stairs."

Skye watched as Mistress pocketed the knife, then turned and padded towards the sitting-room door.  "If you haven't found the knife by sundown, you can try again next Sunday... with a different tie, of course."  She paused in the threshold.  "I'll be back once I find a hiding place for the knife to let you know you can start your search.  Good luck."

And with that irritatingly smug remark... Mistress made her gorgeous, smiling, gloating exit.

Skye stared at the open doorway, blinked her horrified green eyes, drooled on the carpet, and squirmed in her quite obviously inescapable bonds of "old rope."  Finally, she heaved a sigh, even if there was no audience, rested her head on the carpet, and settled in for Mistress to return and fire the proverbial starting gun for her Quest.

I can't wait to do something like this to Pallavi and Harper, she mused.

 Chapter 11


Chapter 10

Chapter 12