|by Van ©2013|
| Chapter 3
|OUR STORY CONTINUES
The Rapscallions and their new RA were sitting around the kitchen table enjoying a hearty breakfast of pancakes with maple syrup, bacon, orange juice, and coffee—or tea, in the case of J-Lou. Truth be told, Siri was not enjoying herself, not as much as the others, anyway.
Gwen smiled brightly at the glowering blond as she chewed and swallowed a mouthful of pancakes. "Looking forward to spending the evening lashed to your bed?"
"Shut up," Siri muttered.
"Not tonight," J-Lou said, smiling and shaking her head.
"Why not?" Clem, Gwen, and Rory demanded in unison.
"It's good to know you're all on my side," Siri mumbled.
J-Lou sipped her tea before answering. "My current schedule is quite flexible. I do have a seminar to attend and my research continues, but largely my time is my own. You, on the other hand, have full class schedules requiring a great deal of reading and writing. Am I correct?"
The Rapscallions nodded and muttered in agreement.
"Our 'extra-curricular activities' must not be allowed to interfere with your studies." J-Lou popped a strip of bacon into her mouth, chewed, and swallowed. "Sally should be able to help us find, shall we say, 'play dates' that don't conflict with your work loads."
Rory smiled at Siri. "Looks like you're getting a temporary reprieve, Blondie," she said brightly.
Siri continued eating, ignoring the comment.
Gwen giggled. "And it gives you more time to worry about what the Queen of the Damsels is gonna do to you."
Siri took a gulp of orange juice and ignored Gwen's observation as well.
Clem focused on J-Lou. "What about you?"
"What about her what?" Gwen asked.
"I don't see any reason my part of the competition can't continue," J-Lou stated.
"You mean round two?" Rory asked. "You get tied up, again?"
J-Lou smiled and shrugged. "Why not?"
Gwen's right hand shot into the air. "Oh! Me-me-me!"
"You-you-you what?" Clem chuckled.
"I get to tie her up next!" Gwen gushed. "Okay?"
Rory frowned. "Why should you get to—"
"Pleeeease?" Gwen begged. "Please, please, please—"
"Enough!" Clem interrupted, then glanced at the other Rapscallions. "All those in favor of the twerp being the next to tie up Her Majesty?"
Four hands were raised. "Aye!" the girls chorused.
Gwen quivered with glee. "Goody-goody-goody-goody!"
Clem rolled her eyes and smiled at J-Lou. "Tonight?"
"Why not?" J-Lou agreed, smiling back.
"At least I'll have company when Her Majesty decides it's time to collect," Siri mumbled.
"Hah!" Gwen responded with a smug smile, then skewered a fork-load of pancake, used it to mop syrup from her plate, and delivered it to her mouth.
"I hope you know what you're doing," Clem muttered in an aside to her BFF.
Still smiling, Gwen chewed and swallowed. "You know I'm a Grand Mistress of Shibari," she purred. "Unlike some people, I know how to do it right."
The others exchanged smiles as Clem rolled her eyes, again. The meal continued, and Siri continued her raincloud imitation.
"I am not going to eat breakfast like this," Kim complained. She was in her kitchen, naked, and bound to a wooden chair with her arms at her sides and her wrists lashed to the chair-back. In addition, her ankles were lashed to the front chair legs, her knees were bound together, and neat bands of rope bound her thighs to the seat and her waist to the chair back. Before her on the kitchen table was a steaming plate of "scramble"—diced sausage, bacon, onion, and green peppers, mixed with roasted diced potatoes and scrambled eggs and topped with melted cheese.
"Not hungry?" Tori inquired.
"This is demeaning," Kim huffed.
"Yes, it is, isn't it?" Tori agreed. She was already eating her half of the scramble, and sipping her coffee and orange juice. "I tied your hair back for you. That was thoughtful."
Kim sighed, then leaned forward and sipped from her tumbler of apple juice. Tori had also been thoughtful enough to provide a straw. Actually, Kim was hungry... and the scramble looked and smelled delicious. She sighed, again, leaned forward, and took a bite from her plate. There was no way to do it neatly. She could already feel grease and specks of food on her cheeks and chin. It wasn't that bad... yet... but it was definitely demeaning. She chewed and swallowed. "Why can't you just untie me and let me eat?"
Tori smiled her smug, dimpled smile. "Why did the scorpion sting the frog?" She had donned her cat burglar outfit before binding Kim to the chair and cooking the meal. Her fanny pack rested on a nearby kitchen counter and she'd unzipped her turtleneck halfway to her navel, exposing a goodly glimpse of her breasts. "Need salt or pepper?"
"No," Kim muttered.
"No!" Kim continued eating... and making a mess of her face... and raining tiny gobs of food on her breasts and lap.
"I want to thank you for your cooperation in my investigation," Tori said as she ate the last of her scramble. She carried her plate to the sink, refilled her coffee cup, then returned to the table. She resumed her place, leaned back, and smiled.
Kim glowered as she ate. "I don't want you to go anywhere near Rook House," she said. "You need to leave the girls alone. And leave J-Lou Goodwin alone."
Tori sipped her coffee. "The way you left Clem and Gwen alone last Summer?" [Author's note: Tori is referring to the events chronicled in the story Oh, the Humanities!]
A blush touched Kim's greasy, food flecked cheeks. "That was entirely different."
Tori chuckled. "I have no intention of bothering the residents of Rook House... not right now, anyway."
"Good," Kim huffed. She finished the last of her breakfast. "No more of this 'investigation' nonsense."
"Oh, I'm afraid the investigation isn't over, Doc." Tori laughed. She stood and donned her fanny pack, pulling the waist-strap tight. She then opened a compartment and pulled out a small bundle of black cloth. It unfolded and shook out to become a light jacket with a hood and long sleeves. She turned it inside out, exposing neon green panels and silver reflective stripes, then donned the jacket and zipped it up to just below her breasts. "Now, instead of a cat burglar," she explained, "I'm just one more stunningly beautiful blond hottie out for an early morning power walk."
"As opposed to a suspicious pervert doing the walk of shame after a night of unspeakable debauchery," Kim muttered.
Tori's smile broadened. "I'd run, but I just ate." She walked to Kim's right side, untied the knot securing the captive's wrist, then looped the rope through itself several times and jerked the ends tight.
"Ow!" Kim complained
"It may take a few minutes, but you should be able to work that loose," Tori explained, "then untie the rest. That will take several more minutes. I went a little crazy with the knots and some of them might be a little hard to reach."
Kim glared at her "house guest," then her eyes popped wide when Tori took her head in her hands and delivered a deep, wet kiss.
Finally, the kiss ended. "Let's do this again," Tori purred, "real soon." She released Kim's head, spun on her heel, and was out the side door in five quick steps. The door swung closed, locked, and she was gone.
Kim twisted her right wrist. The dozen or so rope strands binding the wrist to the chair loosened a little, but not by much. "Sally," Kim addressed the empty air, "you were no help whatsoever last night."
"I must disagree, Dr. Pappas," Sally's disembodied voice answered. "I was quite helpful... to Inspector Ballantine."
Kim smiled, then continued her efforts to free herself. The kitchen was a mess, she was a mess, and she needed to review her lecture notes before her afternoon class.
J-Lou's furniture had been delivered, as promised. She'd had time to unpack her clothes and arrange them in the wardrobe and chest of drawers, but only a few of her books were on the large bookshelves to either side of her new desk. A trio of computer monitors and a pair of tower servers had also been delivered, as well as a large, flat screen TV on a wooden stand. The sofa and easy chair were in brown leather, and the footlocker was positioned as a coffee table. J-Lou's now empty luggage had disappeared into storage cubbyholes built into the attic walls. All the makings of a very comfy apartment and home office were present, but it was clear J-Lou was only half moved in. Robokitty's new home was atop a low cabinet built into the base of one of the bookcases.
At the moment, J-Lou was seated at the desk in her new office chair with her fingers flying across an ergonomic keyboard. All three monitors were active, with lines of scrolling text and ever-changing graphs displayed in various windows. J-Lou's feet were in a pair of slippers, but she was still in the jeans and blouse she'd worn all day.
There was a knock at the door. "Come in!" J-Lou called without taking her eyes from the screens. She continued typing and the text and graphs continued scrolling and flashing.
The door opened and the Rapscallions trooped into the attic. Gwen was in the lead, holding three generous coils of clothesline, the same kind of rope employed for Siri's failed attempt to bind the Queen of the Damsels. The girls were ready for bed in slippers, robes, panties, and t-shirts and tank-tops. Again, Gwen was the exception. She was wearing slippers, robe, and birthday suit.
"Time for bed," Rory said.
"And I'm here to tuck you in," Gwen added. For once, she didn't giggle. Maybe she was a little nervous, but she was hiding it well.
"Oh... very well." J-Lou typed for several more seconds... then tapped a final key. "That's enough for the evening, Sally. Thank you."
"My pleasure," Sally answered. The screens blanked and three copies of a Salamandras logo appeared, specifically, a simplified version of the SIAS logo. "I have a suggestion regarding the optimization of some of your labile relationships. We may be able to make the entire sub-cycle more technologically agnostic."
"Excellent," J-Lou responded. "I'll review everything in the morning. Thank you, Sally. Good night."
"Good night, Miss Goodwin," Sally replied. The three salamanders depicted on the logos sprang to life and crawled off the right edge of their respective screens. Simultaneously, the "SIAS" text expanded and exploded in a shower of pixels... and the monitors went black.
"Cool," Gwen and Rory said in unison.
"Yeah," Clem agreed.
"Agnostic?" Siri asked.
"The context is assumptions about computing platforms," J-Lou explained. "It's software engineering jargon and nothing to do with religion."
"The more 'agnostic' the more open?" Siri suggested.
J-Lou's smile broadened. "There's my budding engineer," she chuckled.
"Do you need to visit the little damsel's room?" Clem inquired.
"No," J-Lou chuckled. "I'm ready." She stood, walked to the wardrobe, and began to undress.
The Rapscallions watched as J-Lou unbuttoned her blouse and hung it on a hanger, then peeled off her jeans and hung them up as well. She then removed her bra and panties and dropped them in a wicker hamper beside the wardrobe. Totally nude, she turned and smiled, then strolled to the bed.
Gwen waited with the rope. Seconds passed... and finally Gwen spoke. "Aren't you going to do that 'I'm yours to do with as you will' thing like last night? 'Cause that was cool, and—" J-Lou was smiling, but Gwen noticed her fellow Rapscallions were regarding her with unamused stares. Gwen blushed and dropped all but one of the coils on the bed. "Never mind."
"All together now," Clem said.
Still staring, Gwen's fellow Rapscallions spoke in unison. "Twerp!"
"Please, ladies," J-Lou laughed. She went up on her toes and kissed Gwen's forehead. "Don't be nervous, Gwendoline."
This did nothing to alleviate Gwen's blushing problem, but it did jump-start the business at hand. Gwen released the hitch securing the coil of clothesline, doubled it, found the center, and formed a loop.
J-Lou executed a smart about-face and placed her hands behind her back, palm-to-palm.
"No, wrists crossed," Gwen ordered, and J-Lou complied. Gwen tightened the loop around the smiling Brit's wrists and set to work. The coil was very long, and it took a great deal of time and effort on Gwen's part to pull the doubled free ends through the many hitches as she took turn after interlaced turn. The final knot was complex, something Gwen had learned from one of the knot-tying books in her ever-growing "hobby" library. The result was clearly inescapable, with the many strands hitched around and between J-Lou's wrists and the tightly compacted key knot between her forearms and away from her fingers. The free ends trailing from the knot were long, at least ten feet each.
Clem raised her right palm. "Safety check!" She leaned close and gently pinched J-Lou's left thumbnail, and then her right thumbnail. In each case, the nail went pale as the blood left the nail bed, then quickly returned to its normal, healthy pink as the blood returned to the tissue. J-Lou's circulation was unimpaired. Clem repeated the test with the captive's other fingers, then nodded and stepped back.
"On the bed, please," Gwen ordered.
"Yes, Mistress," J-Lou purred, then gracefully flopped onto the mattress on her stomach. And yes, a naked damsel as cute as J-Lou Goodwin can easily flop with grace.
Gwen used her second coil of rope to bind J-Lou's crossed ankles in a manner similar to her wrists. Again, more than ten feet of rope remained. Clem performed another pinch test and J-Lou's toes passed.
Next, Gwen folded J-Lou's legs until her heels almost touched her dimpled buttocks, then used the third and final coil of clothesline to bind her crossed and bound wrists to her crossed and bound ankles in a reasonably tight hogtie. She used a Jury Knot and Sheepshank combination, resulting in a neat, symmetrical series of hitches between J-Lou's wrists and ankles and two very long free ends, one trailing from her ankles and the other from her wrists.
Finally, Gwen worked her way around the bed, hitching the free ends from all of J-Lou's bonds around the bedposts, then tying elaborate knots close to the floor.
The four Rapscallions stood and gazed down at their helpless RA. J-Lou had a little wiggle room, but not much, and not as much as she'd had last night. Clearly, J-Lou would be spending the night as she was, with her breasts squashed into the mattress, unable to roll from side to side, and barely able to rock back and forth—unless she somehow managed to escape, of course.
"I would have braided her hair, pulled it back, and tied it to her big toes," Siri muttered, "forming a nice triangle."
"That's 'cause you're a vindictive bitch," Rory chuckled, "and you're still mad about last night's colossal fail."
'Hah!" Siri responded, but her heart wasn't in it.
Clem leaned close and gazed into J-Lou's smiling face. "Are you okay? You want more wiggle room?"
"I'm fine," J-Lou replied. "Thanks for asking, Clementine."
Clem grinned. "Shouldn't you be calling me Mistress?"
"I will when it's your turn," J-Lou answered.
Clem blushed and stood erect. The other Rapscallions smiled and her blush brightened. "What?"
"Nothing," Rory said, then leaned close and kissed J-Lou's lips. "Good night, Jaden-Louise," she purred.
"Good night, Aurora," J-Lou responded.
"Yeah," Siri muttered, then leaned close and planted a kiss of her own. "G'night."
J-Lou beamed her dimpled smile. "Good night, Sigrid."
Clem was next. "Don't say I didn't try and help," she mumbled, then kissed J-Lou's lips.
"You're a sweet girl," J-Lou cooed. "Good night."
Clem stood, pulled the dreaded whiffle gag from her robe pocket, and handed it to Gwen.
"I want to recheck the knots, okay?" Gwen said. "I'll meet you guys downstairs."
"You aren't going to do that hair-to-toes thing, are you?" Rory asked. Her smile made it clear she was teasing.
"Of course not," Gwen said primly, then gestured towards the door. "Shoo."
"Whatever," Siri muttered, and headed for the door. Clem smiled and followed.
"Don't worry," Rory said to Gwen. "That's a really mean hogtie and I think you're also a vindictive bitch, like Stretch." She smiled and kissed Gwen's dimpled cheek, then followed the others down the stairs.
"Thank you!" Gwen called after her, then giggled.
"Don't forget to tell Sally to lock the door!" Clem called up from below.
"Yes, mother!" Gwen shouted in response, then sat on the bed. Now alone with her prisoner, she ran her fingers through J-Lou's hair. "I'll give you a little more slack, if you want."
"That's very kind," J-Lou answered, "but it won't be necessary."
Gwen rested her right hand on J-Lou's right butt-cheek. "You're very sure of yourself, aren't you." It was an observation, not a question.
"I am the Queen of the Damsels," J-Lou purred, then her eyes widened and she pursed her lips. "Oh." Gwen's hand had gently squeezed her butt, then traveled between her splayed legs and was pressed against her pussy.
"Her Majesty appears to be a little wet," Gwen whispered, using her fingertips to part J-Lou's labia and slide an inch between and within.
"Stop that, you wicked girl," J-Lou sighed, shivering in her bonds and biting her lower lip.
Her fingertips still in J-Lou's slit, Gwen leaned close and kissed her prisoner's lips, again. "That should be... Stop that, Mistress," she whispered.
"I stand corrected," J-Lou whispered back. She was still shivering and squirming. "Stop that, Mistress."
Gwen smiled, withdrew her hand, and readied the ball gag. "Open," she ordered.
J-Lou accepted the hollow, ventilated sphere and held her head still as Gwen tightened and buckled the main strap, parting and arranging her hair so none of it was trapped under the tight band of leather. The chin strap was buckled next. Then, J-Lou turned her gagged head and watched Gwen stroll to the door.
"Good night," Gwen said, blew a kiss, then stepped across the threshold and pulled the door closed. "Sally," she said in a loud voice, pitched to be heard by the hogtied and ball gagged naked captive in the attic. "You know the drill, and please include Clem's suggestion."
"Yes, Miss Percy," Sally responded. "The door is locked. In addition, I have linked a special security routine to the motion sensor focused on the attic stairs and will activate it as soon as you leave. An alarm will sound if anyone attempts to enter the attic before sunrise." As the Rapscallions were fully aware, Rook House was wired throughout with sound and motion sensors and video cameras, all controlled by Sally. They were the avatar's eyes and ears.
"Thank you, Sally!" Gwen responded, then giggled and bounced down the stairs.
The lights went out in the attic. As had been the case the night before, only the blue glow from Robokitty's iPhone "face" relieved the darkness.
The new day dawned.
The Rapscallions gathered to free J-Lou and celebrate Gwen's triumphant victory.
Gwen crashed and burned.
The redhead stared at J-Lou's neatly made bed and the three coils of rope and the ball gag draped over the lower right bedpost in total disbelief. J-Lou was absent. "How?" Gwen demanded. "How?"
The others were also amazed. "Sally?" Clem asked. Her question was obvious.
"The attic door remained closed until it was opened from the inside by Miss Goodwin at six-seventeen," Sally responded. "No one mounted the stairs or opened the door during the night."
Just then they heard footfalls on the stairs in question. The girls turned and watched J-Lou enter the attic. She was wearing running shoes and anklets, skintight, thigh length running shorts, a bright pink jacket with reflective stripes, and a broad smile. Her hair was pulled back in a tight ponytail and her face flushed and shining with sweat. "Good morning, ladies."
"How?" Gwen whined.
"She's Queen of the Damsels," Siri muttered, "remember?"
Rory was speechless. Clem as well.
J-Lou stepped to the wardrobe and unzipped her jacket, then paused. "Uh... I need to take a shower if you don't mind. I won't be long. And who's cooking breakfast this morning? I'm starving."
Gwen simply stared, her face a mask of confusion. "How?"
Clem sighed, then lifted the rope and ball gag from the bedpost, placed her free hand on her BFF's shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze, then led her towards the door.
"I'll cook," Rory volunteered, then turned and followed.
"And I'll eat," Siri added, then shook her head and made her exit.
J-Lou smiled and shrugged out of her jacket. Underneath she wore a sports-bra.
Gwen's sad, pathetic voice sounded faintly from down below. "How?"
The Rapscallions had agreed to meet at "Sacajawea's" for lunch. The most popular student hangout near campus, The Sac was crowded, as usual, but they managed to get their food and find a table in a corner. If they kept their voices low they'd be able to discuss the ongoing calamity without being overheard.
"She's cheating," Gwen huffed, then dabbed a double-dipped French fry in the large glob of ketchup in her burger basket and popped it in her mouth.
Siri took a bite from her tuna melt, chewed, and swallowed before agreeing. "Without a doubt. She's cheating."
"How?" Rory demanded. She was grazing on a small chef's salad.
Siri shrugged. "Don't know, but she's cheating."
Clem was deep in thought. She sipped the straw of her Diet Mountain Dew, then took a bite from her club sandwich and chewed, her eyes focused on the theoretical horizon in a classic "thousand yard stare."
"Okay," Rory continued, "the rules are rope, no string or cord 'cause it can't be untied, and no tape, for the same reason."
"She has to use only her fingers," Siri muttered, then took another bite.
"And no one can enter the attic 'til morning," Gwen added, then took a bite of her Bison Burger on a Fry Bread Bun. "Am uh or iz awpd."
"Don't talk with your mouth full, twerp," Clem said, absently.
Gwen chewed and swallowed. "Sorry. And the door is locked."
"And she's alone in the attic," Rory agreed. Seconds passed... Then, Rory's green eyes sparkled, her cheeks dimpled, and her lips curled in a sly smile. "Say... the knot thing is the governing principle, correct?"
"No tiny, impossible to untie knots?" Siri asked. "I suppose. Rope but not string."
"How about scarves?" Rory asked, "or bandanas?"
Gwen smiled. "Or the sashes from our robes?"
"Cloth isn't rope," Clem observed.
"But if we all present a united front," Rory continued, "if we all agree that scarves or bandanas or handkerchiefs meet the requirements of the game..."
"What can she say?" Gwen agreed.
"She can say no," Clem observed. "The damsel is always in charge, remember? She can say no."
Rory shook her head. "But if we all agree—"
"I can be very persuasive," Gwen interrupted, smiling and batting her eyes.
Clem focused on Rory. "She can reach knots tied in cotton clothesline that are feet if not yards away from her fingers. What makes you think she can't reach knots tied in cloth?"
Rory smiled back. "I know just what to do."
Clem shrugged. "Okay. Go next. I know I don't have a clue."
Gwen smiled. "Truer words were never spoken," she purred.
Clem favored her BFF with a "We are not amused" moue, then stole one of Gwen's fries and popped it in her mouth.
"She's cheating," Siri muttered, then turned to Rory. "In my studio I have some scraps and ends of useless fabric I can rip into bandages," she offered.
"The kind of stuff that will hold a knot?" Rory asked.
"All of it," Siri confirmed.
"That would be perfect!" Rory gushed. "I'll also need some scarf-sized squares."
"No problem," Siri said as she took a bite from her sandwich.
"I just can't figure it out," Clem sighed. "How is she doing it?"
Gwen chewed and swallowed a mouthful of burger. "Maybe there's a dwarf living in her trunk."
Her fellow Rapscallions favored Gwen with even stares.
"The footlocker in front of the sofa?" Gwen continued. "Has anyone ever looked inside?" She popped another ketchup-dipped fry in her mouth and returned the others' stares with a dimpled grin.
"How does she stay so slim eating grease-bombs all the time?" Rory asked Clem.
"Beats me," Clem shrugged, then went back to contemplating The Mystery of the Unbindable Queen of the Damsels.
|The ROOK HOUSE