As the door
opened, Bonnie was prepared to be shocked and dismayed by the
sight of two possible alternatives. (1) more bound
and gagged naked damsels or dudes being subjected to bizarre,
degrading, humiliating ordeals for the entertainment of kinky,
jaded PAYNECOM executives or kinky, jaded, super-wealthy hotel
guests. Or, (2) to find herself staring at some sort of
erotic torture apparatus with a plethora of clamps, cuffs, and
straps and obviously designed to do bizarre, degrading, and
titillating things to Jade and/or herself, as well as a
squad of cat-suited amazon-handlers waiting to make it
happen. What she was not prepared to see (and was
very happy to see) was... "Breakfast!"
"One can only hope," Jade agreed.
The room before them was clearly an executive dining room, and
directly opposite was a second door. To their left, a
ceiling to floor window-wall afforded a spectacular view of Lake
Michigan and the upper stories of the buildings between Payne
Tower and the lake shore. Against the wall to their right
stood a sideboard with a stack of plates and a row of steaming
chaffing dishes. In between stood a somewhat small
(somewhat intimate) round table with four chairs, set for four
with a crisp linen tablecloth, obviously expensive tableware,
stemmed drinking glasses, and china cups and saucers.
There were also insulated carafes labeled "coffee" and "tea,"
salt and pepper shakers, and a clear pitcher of orange juice
beaded with moisture. The furniture, dining service, and
decor in general were elegantly Modern, like the rest of the
Oh-by-the-way, an incredibly inviting mix of aromas
wafted with the steam from the chaffing dishes, eliciting
appreciative grumbles from the interns' empty stomachs.
Bonnie's mouth was watering. "I suppose nobody would mind
if we just—"
"Who cares!" Jade interrupted and beat her friend to the stack
The hungry, naked duo made their way down the line, gingerly
lifting the chafing dish lids and loading their plates with
scrambled eggs, thick-sliced bacon, little sausages, two
different kinds of potatoes, roasted pork-loin, braised
skirt-steak, poached salmon, and flaky croissants. There
were also steamed clams, boiled shrimp, and smoked kippers, but
the girls independently decided to forgo the non-salmon seafood
until their third or fourth helpings.
Soon, they were comfortably seated at the table in adjoining
chairs and shoveling the delicious repast into their hungry
mouths. By the angle of the sun it was apparent that the
meal was better characterized as "brunch," rather than
"breakfast," but neither cared. Also, they were too busy
eating to chat. Filling each other in on their recent
"adventures" and formulating a stunning clever plan to escape
the Tower of Payne would have to wait.
Suddenly the second door whisked open to admit... Sorcha Payne
and Audrey Klein.
Bonnie and Jade scrambled to their feet, ready to defend their
half-eaten plates to the death (or at least until amazons
appeared, cuffed their wrists behind their backs, and took away
"Please," Sorcha said with a warm smile, "continue." She
was dressed for business in high-heeled pumps, a dark-gray
pencil skirt, and a matching jacket over a white silk
blouse. Audrey, on the other hand...
The girls blinked in surprise.
Audrey wore open-toed high-heel pumps, a very tight
pencil skirt, no blouse, and a very unusual jacket which
was, in point of fact, a straitjacket. The entire
ensemble was the same attractive shade of brown.
Sorcha strolled to the sideboard and began loading a plate while
Audrey approached the table. Staring in amazement, Jade
pulled back the empty seat next to her own and Audrey sat.
"Thank you, Jade," Audrey purred, smiling at her naked
intern. She also smiled at Bonnie, then nodded towards
their plates. "Please, eat. We know you're both
"Uh, okay," Bonnie muttered, then settled into her chair and
Jade did the same... and she did not stare at the tan,
smooth skin of her boss' chest and side-boobs, as revealed by
the generous, V-shaped décolletage of the stylish
crazy-coat. Okay, she totally stared at Audrey's
chest and side-boobs. She also blushed, which caused
Audrey and Bonnie to exchange a brief, slightly teasing smile.
Sorcha joined the table with a modest plate of brunch
fare. "Now," she said as she poured herself a cup of
coffee, "I'd like to apologize on behalf of Payne Entertainment
for your recent experiences. My oldest sister is
ultimately responsible, but the entire executive leadership
share some degree of culpability, and we'd like to set things
Jade glared at Sorcha. "And how the hell do you plan on
doing that?" she demanded, then noticed the way Audrey
was staring (or trying not to stare) at what little
food remained on Jade's plate. "Uh... you also missed
Audrey heaved a sad sigh. "As well as yesterday's lunch
Jade rolled her eyes, stood, and returned to the sideboard.
Bonnie watched as Jade loaded her plate with another minor
mountain of food, returned to the table, then resumed glaring at
Sorcha. "Set things right?"
"Dominique has decided to retire," Sorcha said. "And I've
taken over the reins as CEO." She smiled at Bonnie.
"Also, I'm looking for a special executive assistant to help
oversee a new project."
Audrey smiled as Jade loaded her fork with scrambled eggs and
delivered it to her boss' hungry mouth. "Ummm!"
Audrey chewed and swallowed. "Thank you."
"You're welcome," Jade huffed. (She was blushing again.)
Audrey turned to Sorcha. "Our new project," she
corrected the new Payne Entertainment CEO.
"A joint production of Payne and Klein Studios," Sorcha
Bonnie continued eating. The bacon was crisp, greasy
Jade frowned. "Wait, you're talking about Girl Genius."
"We are," Audrey confirmed, "and I'd like you to be my assistant
on the production."
"And in return we don't run to the cops and the
press, waving our arms and screaming bloody murder?" Bonnie
"We could just keep you as our prisoners, forever,"
Sorcha purred, "but in a word, yes."
Bonnie could tell Sorcha was kidding about the permanent
imprisonment thing (she hoped). She turned to Jade.
"What do you think?"
Jade fed herself and her boss some salmon before
answering. "I'm thinking it's gonna take a huge salary
and benefits package for me to forget the last few hours.
"Well... of course," Bonnie agreed, then speared a nugget of
skirt-steak with her fork and popped it into her mouth.
She focused on Sorcha as she chewed.
"I'm sure we can come to an agreement," the CEO chuckled, "if
you prove up to the task."
Bonnie swallowed. "I know all about Girl Genius,"
she said as she refilled her coffee cup. "Jade told me
about it, so I started reading the online comic."
Audrey winked at Jade, then turned her smile to Bonnie.
"What's a 'clank'?"
"A robot," Bonnie answered.
"A person born with a talent for science," Bonnie
explained. "Most develop the irritating habit of wanting
to rule the world, or at least their immediate part of it."
"A bio-engineered super-soldier. Most are hairy with big
teeth, talk with thick Germanic accents, and are lethal but, uh,
nice... for the most part."
"Uh, that's complicated," Bonnie answered. "There are
these things called 'slaver-wasps' and—"
"She'll do," Audrey interrupted.
Sorcha was smiling at Bonnie's breasts. "I quite agree,"
Now Bonnie was blushing. Eyes on Sorcha, she
nodded towards Jade. "Like she said. Huge salaries."
"And benefits," Jade drawled, then fed Audrey more scrambled
"I'm sure we'll agree on something," Sorcha chuckled.
"Why am I so
calm about all this?" Bonnie demanded.
As they were finishing brunch, Xin reappeared, an example of
perfect timing (or more evidence of the efficiency of the
Security Department's monitoring system). Sorcha and
Audrey kissed the girls on their blushing cheeks and bade them
goodbye, then the naked but satiated interns were led
away. As soon as the dining room door whisked closed
behind them, Jade angrily demanded to know whether or not Xin
intended to lock them in cuffs. Xin smiled and asked if
either of them wanted to be locked in cuffs.
Bonnie answered with a polite "No, thank you" and Jade with an
angry stare. Xin made a sweeping gesture, and they
continued their journey.
After a short ride down in an executive elevator, followed by
several left and right turns down hallways teeming with
executives and their assistants (as well as the occasional
naked, bound, and gagged damsel or dude being led to some
unknown but no doubt highly kinky and entertaining fate) they
arrived at what Xin explained was to be their new apartment, the
accommodations they would share while the final terms of their
new employment were negotiated.
The apartment in question appeared to be one of the smaller
luxury suites on the hotel side of the Tower. There were
two large beds, a walk-in closet, a master bath with shower and
soaking tub, and a lounge area with the usual sofas,
easy-chairs, coffee and end tables, etc. It was all very
tasteful and comfortable, even luxurious, but with the sterility
of guest quarters.
"Settle in and take a nap," Xin instructed. "If you need
anything, ring for room service, but the door will remain
locked." Her smile broadened. "Any attempts to
escape will result in more stringent security measures."
Jade's response was a succinct suggestion. "Bite me."
Bonnie's response was more practical. She spread her arms,
emphasizing her nudity. "How are we supposed to 'settle
in?' We've got nothing to settle."
Xin smiled, took a step back into the hallway, and the apartment
door whisked closed.
Jade shook her head and muttered something inaudible, then took
a self-guided tour of the apartment. Bonnie sat on one of
the beds and watched her friend stroll into the bathroom... then
the walk-in closet.
"Wow, come look!" Jade shouted.
"What?" Bonnie demanded.
Jade emerged from the closet, a broad smile on her face.
"Come," she repeated, and disappeared inside, once again.
Bonnie sighed, rose from the bed, strolled to the closet, and
blinked in surprise. "Wow, indeed," she whispered under
At the far end of the closet was a full-length mirror, and to
either side were shoe-racks, shelves, and clothing racks, all
occupied by neatly arranged pairs of shoes, folded sweaters,
tops, and underwear, as well as hanging skirts, jackets,
blouses, and coats—also, formal gowns and much shorter cocktail
dresses. It was a treasure trove of haute couture—an
Aladdin's Cave of high fashion!
Jade was going through the dresses on the right. "These
are all in my size," she noted, then gestured to the other side
of the closet. "I bet all that stuff is sized to fit tall,
"Very funny," Bonnie huffed, then checked the labels of several
of the left-side items. As suspected, they were in her
size. She watched as Jade pulled on a dusky-rose pair of
bikini-panties and matching push-up bra, then started sorting
through the dresses and suits in earnest. Bonnie heaved a
sigh, returned to the bedroom area, and sat on her chosen bed.
The next half-hour settled into a routine. Bonnie
continued sitting on the bed, her palms on the taut bedspread,
leaning back on her locked elbows, and with her legs crossed,
nude. Jade would appear from the closet clothed in a
dress, or skirt and blouse, or business suit. She would
smile, pirouette, pose, Bonnie would tell her she looked
stunning, and Jade would return to the closet. Minutes
would pass... and she would appear to model a new outfit.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Bonnie repeated her question, but at the moment Jade was in the
closet. "I said, why am I so calm about all this?" she
Jade emerged from the closet clad only in the dusky-rose
undies. "I thought the question was rhetorical," she said
with a grin as she sat on the bed opposite her tall, blond,
"It's not," Bonnie pouted.
"You're still processing everything," Jade suggested.
"And you're not?" Bonnie demanded.
"Well, yeah," Jade responded, "but I can try on clothes and
process at the same time, can't I?"
Bonnie heaved a sigh. "Apparently."
Just then, the door whisked open, a woman entered, the door
whisked closed behind her, and Bonnie and Jade stared in renewed
The woman was none other than Penelope Payne! And she was
naked, except for a black, single-sleeve arm-binder tightly
encasing her fingers, hands, and arms behind her back, as well
as a body-harness of black, narrow, flesh-dimpling straps yoking
her shoulders, pinning her upper arms to her torso above and
below her breasts, encircling her waist, and diving between her
legs to cleave her labia. Her legs and feet were bare.
Both interns recognized the youngest Payne Sister.
Everyone in the tower knew all three of the Paynes on sight,
through the company newsletter and social media, if nothing
Bonnie stared in stunned amazement. The style of
Penelope's pixie hair perfectly matched her angelic, pixie face,
her skin was fair and smooth, her body well-sculpted and fit,
and her breasts large without being too large.
Also, her nipples were pierced and ringed!
"Hi," Penelope said with a somewhat shy smile.
"Hi," the interns chorused in reply, still staring.
"I wanted to personally congratulate you on your promotions,"
Penelope explained, "and add my sincere apologies for
Dominique's, uh, excesses?"
"That's one way to put it," Jade muttered.
"Uh... thanks," Bonnie added.
"I'll also be working with you on the Girl Genius
project," Penelope continued, "and probably more closely than
Sorcha. Her CEO responsibilities will require most of her
time, but Audrey and I will need your help getting Girl
Genius off the ground and on track."
"Okay," Bonnie said.
"Whatever," Jade added.
Bonnie focused on her friend and fellow intern/executive
assistant. "Be nice," she admonished in a whisper.
Jade glared at Bonnie, then heaved a sigh and turned to
Penelope. "Sorry," she said quietly. "We're both
still in shock... I guess."
"Some more than others," Bonnie teased. "Some of us are so
much in shock that all they can do is play dress up."
"Or sit on the bed and mope," Jade countered, sticking out her
Penelope's smile widened. "Well, I guess you two aren't that
traumatized," she observed. "By the way, you're both
invited to dinner at one of the clubs tonight, one of the
Tower's less interesting and more, uh—"
"Normal clubs," Jade suggested, perfectly deadpan.
"As it would happen, yes," Penelope chuckled. "Sorcha and
Audrey will be joining us and dress will be formal.
So—" She made a graceful bow, only slightly encumbered by
her tight leather bondage. "—until, shall we say,
seven? Welcome to the executive ranks, ladies." She
turned and took a step towards the door... but it remained
closed. She took a step back, paused, then tried
again. The door still remained closed. "Oh,
very funny," she huffed, then gave the door a kick with her
right foot. "Open the door, Xin." Nothing
happened. She turned and shouted at the ceiling.
"Xin! Open the damn door!"
Bonnie and Jade exchanged a smile, Bonnie stood, and together
they strolled towards the scowling, pouting Penelope Payne.
Penelope's eyes widened as the former interns approached.
She took an unconscious step back and was immediately stopped by
the door. It remained closed.
Bonnie noted that Penelope's arm-binder and body-harness were,
in fact, a single system. The straps of the harness passed
through riveted sleeves on both sides of the binder, ensuring
nothing could bunch or slip.
Jade noted that the strap's buckles incorporated flush-mounted
steel panels with tiny keyholes. As no key was in
evidence, Penelope would remain in the harness and binder for
the duration of her visit.
"This place is a demented wonderland," Bonnie said to Jade.
"Games within games within games," Jade agreed. "And at
least this time..."
"We get to play," Bonnie purred.
The very picture of worried innocence, Penelope looked from
smiling face to smiling face. "What are you going to do to
me?" she demanded.
"Well," Bonnie purred, "probably not a lot."
"We're new to all this," Jade said, "and you are a
senior executive. By the way, what's your title?"
"I didn't used to have an actual title," Penelope answered, then
her lips curled in a charming little smirk, "but Sorcha just
promoted me to Chief Creative Officer."
Bonnie's eyes were focused on the shining steel rings in
Penelope's slowly rising and falling nipples.
"Congratulations, but isn't that what you've always been
doing around here?"
"For years," Penelope confirmed. "Domie didn't think I
needed a title."
"I see," Jade nodded. Her gaze was also on Penelope's
breasts. Either the newly appointed CCO was a little
nervous, or she was a very good actor. In any
case, her boobs bobbed, just a little, as she took deep breaths
and stared at the looming interns. Bonnie and Jade were
now close enough to touch their unexpected guest... and they did
Penelope closed her eyes and shivered as Bonnie and Jade's hands
slid across her shoulders, hips, tummy, and breasts. The
girls were gentle and kind. Yes, Penelope was their
prisoner (it would seem) and they had every justification to
extract at least some degree of retribution for their recent
abuse—Jade at the hand of Dominique and Bonnie at Dominique's
orders—but they didn't. Penelope wasn't Dominique.
They caressed and squeezed the pixie's breasts, even gently
tugged on her steel rings, but it was all in fun—girl
fun. Nasty girl fun? Yes, but they were in
the Tower of nastiness.
"Let's take her to the bed," Bonnie suggested.
"Why not?" Jade agreed.
Penelope was dragged kicking and screaming—theatrically
struggling, smiling, and purring like a kitten, actually—to what
was tentatively designated as Bonnie's bed, and all three
reclined on its king-size surface.
"You're gonna tell us all about the perverted nightclubs on the
perverted side of the Tower," Jade ordered, continuing to
explore Penelope's pale, helpless body.
"Every detail," Bonnie confirmed, also exploring their new
friend and superior.
"No," Penelope whispered, biting her lower lip as Jade tugged on
her right nipple-ring and Bonnie slid her left hand along the
strap cleaving her labia.
"No?" Bonnie chuckled, then nibbled on Penelope's left earlobe.
"Do you want us to torture you?" Jade inquired, "'cause
"We will?" Bonnie asked.
Jade rolled her eyes and Penelope stifled a giggling fit.
"Get with the program, Blondie," Jade ordered. "Remember
what Doc Folke did to you?"
"Oh," Bonnie responded, "you mean torture her."
She crooked the fingers of her left hand into a credible
imitation of a cat's claws, and tickled Penelope's ribs.
"Eeeeee!" Penelope squealed. Sandwiched between the naked
Bonnie and underwear-clad Jade, she was unable to squirm
away. "I'll talk! I'll talk! But only about
the places you're already visited. That's the Aqua Lounge
and the Evil Petting Zoo, right?"
Bonnie stopped her tickling assault. "Jade told me about
the Lounge, and we're both well acquainted with the
"Are we ever," Jade confirmed.
"Well," Penelope continued, "I don't want to spoil any
surprises. You should be allowed to discover the other
venues on your own."
"Discover them?" Jade huffed, "or get dragged into them naked,
bound, and gagged."
Penelope smiled, but didn't otherwise respond.
"Well," Bonnie said, "let's hear what she has to say. We
can always torture her for additional information afterwards."
"That sounds reasonable," Jade purred, crooked her left leg
around Penelope's right leg to keep her under control, then
began gently kneading her right breast.
Bonnie was busy nuzzling Penelope's left ear and licking the
side of her neck.
Penelope shivered in her bonds as the girls had their wicked way
with her helpless body. It would appear that Sorcha's idea
of helping the girls rest and recuperate by putting them in
charge for a change was a good one. "Well, let's see," she
began. "The Aqua Lounge has been in operation for more
than fifteen years. It started out as the 'Mermaid
Lounge,' a seafood/Polynesian restaurant with South Seas decor
and fake mermaids in the big tank."
"Oh, fake mermaids," Jade chuckled, then kissed
Penelope's right shoulder.
"Let her talk," Bonnie admonished, then planted a kiss on
Penelope's smiling mouth.
"Dominique decided to cut to the chase about five years ago,"
Penelope continued. "She redecorated, added the
single-occupant water tubes, and now it's just watching naked,
bound, submerged captives tread water. Come to think of
it, that was probably one of the early signs that Big Sister was
"No, ya think?" Jade chuckled, then took Penelope's right nipple
(and ring) into her mouth and sucked.
"I mean fun is fun," Penelope sighed, suppressing a shiver, "but
there must be some limits."
"Oh, certainly," Jade agreed.
"That goes without saying," Bonnie purred.
Penelope returned to her oral history of the Aqua Lounge and the
new executive assistants continued their manual and oral
entertainment of Payne Entertainment's new CCO.
APPROXIMATELY TWO WEEKS LATER
"I still don't understand why I'm
taking all of this so calmly," Bonnie sighed. It was more
than a week since Dominique's fall from power and the girls'
promotions. She was sitting on her bed and pouting...
"It's because you're submissive by nature!" Jade shouted from
the walk-in closet.
Bonnie's jaw dropped. "What? Bullshit!" she
"Oh, it's true," Jude purred. "Dr. Folke explained everything."
She was finishing her preparations for The Big Costume Party,
the one everybody who was anybody in Payne Tower (and their
lowly assistants) would be attending. "If you hadn't blown
off your appointment," Jade continued as she walked back into
the main apartment, "she would have explained it all to you as well."
"I didn't blow off the appointment," Bonnie huffed. "I had
to take notes during an important conference call with
Shepperton Studios. Also... I don't like Frida Frakkin'
"Frida's a sweetheart," Jade chuckled. "I know you two got
off to a bad start—"
"Getting my feet tickled until I almost peed myself?"
Bonnie interrupted. "Yeah, you could call that a 'bad
start.' And I know she was 'only following orders,' so
don't go there."
"Frida's a sweetheart," Jade reiterated. "Anyway, it turns
out that a predisposition for, as Frida put it, 'the unique
corporate culture that
is Payne Entertainment' is a semi-requirement for
getting into the intern program."
"Ha!" Bonnie huffed. "I don't recall checking off a box on
the application about liking being stripped naked, tied
up, tickled silly, erotically tortured, and publicly
Jade smiled. "But you do recall spending most of
that first afternoon filling in a hundred page psychological
Bonnie heaved a sigh. "Yes, the first time I was
tortured in the Tower of Payne."
"Not every intern has to be an overt top or bottom to get in,"
Jade continued, "but it certainly doesn't hurt. That's
what Frida says, anyway."
"Well," Bonnie said quietly, "I hope you and Frida are very
happy together, 'cause I'm not going anywhere near Human
Resources Special Services ever again without a written
order from Sorcha... in triplicate."
"So you say," Jade chuckled, then spun in a graceful
pirouette. The theme of the party was Game of Thrones,
and Jade's costume was that of a daughter of a minor but
prosperous house of King's Landing: a faded blue-green,
embroidered, sleeveless dress with pointed shoulders, a deep,
V-shaped décolletage, a wide, tight bodice that was more or less
a corset, a skirt with full pleats that fell to just above her
ankles, and matching cloth knee boots. Her hair was pulled
back and restrained by a narrow gold circlet set with small
fire-opals. A half-dozen gold wire bracelets on both
wrists completed the ensemble.
"Yes, yes, I approve," Bonnie muttered, "not that my opinion
makes any difference."
The girls had not been given a choice of costumes. Both
outfits had been delivered earlier in the day while they were at
work, deposited on their beds with printed labels bearing their
Bonnie's costume was that of a Dathraki bond-maiden—which would
not have been her first choice—and was quite simple: a
bandeau of sun-bleached
indigo cloth, a knee-length, wraparound skirt of ragged,
chamois-thin brown leather, and brown leather sandals with
crisscross ties. The costume also included what Jade had
termed as "accessories" and Bonnie announced were "things I am never
going to wear—not now, not ever!" They were
behind her on the bed, still in the cardboard box.
Jade smiled and nodded towards the accessories.
"C'mon. I'll help. It's time to leave."
"Not yet," Bonnie pouted.
"Close enough," Jade chuckled, then lifted the rest of Bonnie's
costume from the box. "This isn't as heavy as it looks,"
"Wonderful," Bonnie huffed, "but I'm still not wearing it."
The 'it' in question was a full set of slave-chains: a collar,
joined manacles, and a pair of ankle-shackles. A chain
connected the collar to the manacles, then continued down and
branched into two parts, each of which attached to a shackle. All
had the look of hand-forged, hammered iron, but it was
camouflage. The locks, hinges, and smooth interiors made it
clear the restraints were modern machine-work.
"Don't be a spoilsport," Jade chuckled, "also... you have a
Bonnie stared daggers at her smiling friend... then climbed to
her feet. "Get it over with," she sighed. She
gathered her hair atop of her head with both hands and stood
perfectly still as Jade fit the collar around her neck and used
the supplied key to turn the lock. "No, no, that's wrong,"
Bonnie huffed. "The chain should be in the front."
Jade had secured the collar with the chain draped down her back and rattling against her
spine and buttocks.
"The front?" Jade purred. "Don't be ridiculous." She
pulled Bonnie's hands back and locked her wrists in the
cuffs. The steel bands were not only joined, meaning
without a connecting chain, but were joined at an angle.
Bonnie's hands were now permanently crossed. Jade knelt
and locked Bonnie's ankles in the shackles, then stood and
stepped to the front.
Bonnie watched her smiling friend slip the key to her
"accessories" down the front of her pretty dress, under the top
of her bodice at the point of the plunging décolletage. "I
can't sip drinks and nibble hors-d'oeurves with my hands like
this," she objected.
"I'll take care of you," Jade promised.
"No you won't," Bonnie pouted. The chain swayed and
rattled as she tugged on her joined wrists and tried kicking her
shackled feet. "Once we get to the party, you'll follow
Audrey around like a puppy-dog and I'll get groped by strangers
and... go hungry... and die of thirst."
"Oh, boo-hoo, drama queen," Jade chuckled. "I'll
take care of you. I promise."
"In front," Bonnie pouted, "not behind."
Jade reached into the box and produced the only remaining
object, a coiled, three-foot leash of brown, braided leather
with a faux-hand-forged clip at one end and a generous wrist
loop at the other. "See," she said as she clipped the
leash to the ring dangling
under Bonnie's chin, "this has to be the right
way. A leash in the back would look stupid."
"I could live with it," Bonnie muttered. "Remember your
Jade grinned as she slipped the leash's loop over her right
wrist. "What promise?"
"There, you see?" Bonnie focused the inexorable power of
her Profound Disappointment on her amused handler.
Jade stepped off and the leash snapped taut. "Oh, that."
"Hey!" Bonnie objected, mincing along in Jade's wake, encumbered
by her hobbling shackles. "Slow down, dammit!"
The apartment door whisked open and the ex-interns were off to
venue was one of the largest on the hotel side of the Tower and
was mainly used for celebrations of successful productions and
media events. It had multiple bars and a multi-level floor
plan. The architecture was Modern, like the rest of the
Tower; however, the decor was variable, meaning the featureless
walls were rear-projection screens and the wide support columns
were interior projection screens. Any color and
texture could be credibly simulated, and this evening, the
columns and most of the walls strongly suggested stone
construction. Other sections of wall simulated windows
providing breathtaking, high-resolution vistas of King's
Landing. The illusion was limited, no more than a crutch
for the imagination, but with the addition of hanging banners
bearing the seals of the Great Houses of Westros and a few
hundred appropriately costumed party-goers and attendants, the
mood was set.
At the center of the space was a formal ceremonial staircase,
but at the moment it was roped off and guarded by muscular
female amazon's of Xin's Security Department, all in plate armor
and armed with halberds and broadswords. Guests were
entering through multiple side doors, and that included Jade and
True to her promise (at least for now), Jade led her charge to
the nearest bar and ordered a drink. Actually, ordering
wasn't required. All the bars appeared to be serving the
same thing: some sort of red wine-punch in 12-ounce metal
goblets. Alternately holding the goblet to Bonnie's lips
and sipping from it herself, Jade led her fellow executive
assistant up a short set of stairs to a small balcony where they
could survey the crowd. She paused on the way to grab a
napkin and load it with various savory tidbits from the tray of
a passing serving wench. Between the goblet, the bundle of
hors-d'oeurves, and Bonnie's leash, it was a bit of a
balancing act, but she managed. They stood at the railing
and people-watched, sipping wine and munching on bacon-wrapped
mini-sausages, stuffed mushrooms, and Authentic Westros
"Jon Snow" seemed to be the most popular costume among the
men. Thigh boots, leather and steel armor, a broadsword
belted to the side, and a cape with fake-fur shoulders and
collar, all in black—Jon Snow. Actually, boots, armor,
swords, and capes was a general male theme. Several men
sported knee-length embroidered tunics and other forms of court
dress, but all were armed. Only a daring few with the
required muscular physiques were bold enough to show the skin
required to play Dathraki or desert warriors. The women
were mostly dressed "Ren-Faire"-style, long gowns of various
designs and colors but all very Medieval/Renaissance. Only
a few wore the more exotic costumes of the Desert Kingdoms or
There were a few bound prisoners, like Bonnie, but most of the
guests were free to drink and eat and socialize and have a good
time and had no excuse to pout (like Bonnie). The watching
former interns recognized many of the executives of the various
productions and departments of Payne Entertainment.
"Do you watch Game of Thrones that closely?" Jade
"With my work load?" Bonnie huffed. "Not
really. I'm a fan, but I can't say I follow it
closely. I binge-watch now and then."
"Same here." Jade pointed to a pair of guests, a man a
woman, both in armor. "I think that's an inside joke," she
Bonnie looked at the couple and smiled. "I think so, but I
don't remember the characters' names."
The man's costume was similar to the Jon Snow wannabes, except
he had long, flaming red hair and a full, if somewhat scraggly,
flaming red beard. The woman was tall (or possibly wearing
boots with very high heels), her blond hair was cropped
short, and her armor was gleaming steel plate. Also, her
upper body and arms were bound in a tight box-tie using thick
rope. The end of the rope was in the red-haired warrior's
gloved hand as a leash.
"I think they're both senior executives," Bonnie said.
"I think so," Jade agreed, "but I don't know where they
work. Also, those are wigs and the beard is fake."
"No, ya think?" Bonnie snorted.
Before Jade could reply, a dozen trumpeters in Medieval garb at
the top of the central staircase blew a fanfare, then stepped
back. The amazon armored guards on the stairs snapped to
"Wow!" Bonnie and Jade gasped in a whisper.
As the trumpeters faded into the background, the three Payne
sisters stepped forward.
Sorcha was dressed as a queen, in full Medieval regalia.
Her gown was a deep blood red and was elaborately embroidered
with gold thread. It had a tight bodice, a full train, and
a plunging decollétage. Her hair was braided with strings
of fine pearls and a golden crown sat atop her smiling head.
Penelope was to Sorcha's right and she was wearing a similar
gown, but in multiple shades of blue that complemented her
eyes. She also wore a crown, but one less magnificent than
her middle sister's.
Dominique was on Sorcha's right, and she was decidedly not wearing
a crown. In fact, she was dressed in a shapeless shift of
sackcloth and was in chains! Her short gray hair was a
tousled mess, her wrists manacled to either side of an iron
belt, her feet bare, and her ankles in iron shackles separated
by a hobbling chain. Clearly, she was not happy,
but was unable to verbally express her displeasure thanks to the
thick cleave-gag of sackcloth tightly tied in her mouth.
Finally, a pair of amazon handlers dressed in, of all things,
gray nuns' habits, were standing directly behind her holding
long poles with attached rope nooses tightened around her neck.
Audrey Klein was also present, wearing a long, dove-gray gown
with a Grecian cut. Her arms were bare, she was showing
significant cleavage, and except for a pair of long, thin braids
framing her smiling face, her hair cascaded down her back.
"Your boss is looking very Daenerys-like," Bonnie remarked,
"except for the brown hair and lack of dragons."
"Hush," Jade scolded her friend. "Your boss is
about to speak."
Sorcha threw her arms wide and shouted, "Welcome everyone!"
Cheers and clapping erupted from the crowd below.
"I hope you all have a very good time," Sorcha
continued, "but first, a brief ceremony." Together with
her little sister and Audrey, she took a step to the side.
A short figure with glasses appeared, dressed in gray like the
handler-amazon-nuns, and holding a bell with a handle.
"Is that who I think it is?" Bonnie muttered.
"If you think it's Frieda Folke," Jade purred, "yes."
"A sinner comes before you, Dominique of the House of Payne,"
Folke announced to the crowd. "She has committed the foul
acts of incurring unnecessary opportunity costs through poor
management decisions and of being a cruel, heartless
This was met with nods of approval, a splattering of applause,
and a hostile, gagged stare from Dominique.
"She has confessed her sins and begged for forgiveness," Folke
continued. "To demonstrate her repentance, she will cast
aside all pride, all artifice, and present herself as the gods
made her... to you, the good people of this corporate
conglomerate. She comes before you with a solemn heart,
shorn of secrets, naked before the eyes of gods and men, to make
her walk of atonement."
Two more gray nun-handlers appeared, reached out, and ripped
the shift from Dominique's now naked body!
"Golly!" Bonnie gasped.
"They're really gonna do it," Jade whispered under her breath.
Meanwhile, Folke started slowly descending the stairs, slowly
ringing the bell and shouting, "Shame! Shame!
Shame!" with each stately, solemn step.
The naked and chain-bound Dominique followed. She had no
choice. The amazon-nun-handlers with the long catch-poles
made sure of that. The remaining gray amazon-nuns brought
up the rear, and now a parade had formed: Folke and her bell—the
naked, chained, gagged, reluctant, and scowling Dominique—and
the tall, muscular, handler-nuns. Queen Sorcha, Princess
Penelope, Lady Audrey, and the rest of the Royal Retinue
remained at the top of the stairs.
"Shame! Shame! Shame!" the assembled executives
began chanting in time with Folke's bell.
Jade and Bonnie watched, but didn't otherwise take part.
"Well," Jade said, "this is gonna burn a few bridges."
"Which is kinda the point," Bonnie agreed.
The executive assistants watched Dominique descend the
stairs. The chanting continued.
"Shame! Shame! Shame!"
"I feel like a muggle watching my first quidditch game," Bonnie
"Let's not mix Game of Thrones and Harry Potter metaphors,"
Jade chuckled, "but I get your point. There's a lot going
on here and we have only a vague idea of the rules."
"Or even what's at stake," Bonnie added. Dominique and her
handlers had reached the bottom of the stairs and were starting
through the crowd. Amazons guards in armor were clearing
them a path. "What's gonna happen?"
"To Dominique? I have no idea." Jade turned and
smiled, "or did you mean us? We're gonna get filthy rich
and start our own studio."
"Schnupp-Porter Productions," Bonnie nodded.
"The Porter-Schnupp Studio," Jade corrected her friend, then
held the goblet to her lips.
Bonnie drank, then locked eyes with her smiling friend.
"We gotta be very careful, otherwise..."
"You might wind up with pierced nipples like Penelope Payne?"
Jade suggested, "and I'd be stuck with you as my full-time
"Very funny," Bonnie huffed (and blushed).
"Anyway," Jade chuckled, "we'll be careful and keep our eyes and
ears open... and you do need to talk to Frieda Folke."
"I told you," Bonnie huffed, "I'm not gonna—"
"You will talk to her," Jade interrupted. "I'll
make sure of it." She gave Bonnie's leash a gentle tug,
reminding her of her current situation.
"Oh, sure," Bonnie muttered, "you're gonna drag me down there in
chains if I don't make an appointment."
"Naked and in chains," Jade chuckled. "And don't
think I won't."
Bonnie gazed at her smiling friend with a coy smile. "I
really think you would."
"We're taking things careful and slow," Jade purred, "but yes, I
A thrill rippled down Bonnie's spine and settled between her
legs. "I... I'm hungry."
Jade grinned. "I guess we have to chase down another
Bonnie nodded across the room. "Look to the left of the
bar next to the stag banner."
"The House of Baratheon?" Jade asked. "Oh, I see it.
That does look like the start of a buffet line!"
"Let's get down there while Dominique is still being shamed,"
Bonnie suggested, "and beat the crowd."
"It's a plan!" Jade chuckled. "Let's go."
They strolled (or minced, in Bonnie's case) to the stairs and
descended to the main floor.
Meanwhile, Dominique and her escort were beginning a second
circuit of the party. No one was throwing rotten fruit or
vegetables—after all, the night was young and who wanted to
party with rotten fruit and vegetables underfoot?—but it was
clear that Dominique was not happy.
"Shame! Shame! Shame!" the crowd chanted.
"You really would look good with nipple-rings, Bonnie,"
Jade announced, loud enough to carry over the noise. "You
should think about it."
Bonnie blushed. Several of the nearest costumed executives
had overheard and were smiling and winking at her. "Shut
up," she growled and shuffled in Jade's wake.
| Chapter 7
|& the story