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The Gamblers 7

Author: Diana

Filed in: bondage, slavery, CELTs, series

Jesse returned to the library with five minutes to spare, walking painfully but steadily to the door in her high heels. She looked stunningly, with an amazing glow that I had never seen on a woman. Was it the whipping, I wondered?

Her hair had been put up into a single long braid, exposing her long neck. I should have realized that it needed to be washed and dried after wearing the hood. The braid was her way of hiding my error. There were also marks on her throat that she had tried to cover with makeup. Anyone who knew bondage would know immediately that they had been caused by a too-tight collar, but the makeup would fool most others. Anyway, there was nothing to be done about it now. Another lesson learned: don’t make the ties too tight if you want to go out afterwards.

I looked down at her legs which seemed to go on forever in the heels. Thankfully, they showed no marks. Her feet, however, were beat red.

I took a breath and once again promised myself not to weaken. I must talk and act as if I were a real CELT owner, not just a lucky kid. “Walk down this hallway and back,” I ordered. She obeyed immediately. Each step seemed painful, but it she was steady and not in any real danger of falling. Perfect, I thought, just enough pain to remind her that I could be harsh as well as kind.

I took her arm and led her to the front door where I helped with her coat. Then I held out my arm and she took it without hesitation.

“Outside this doorway, you will speak and act like my girlfriend. Inside, you will do nothing without my permission. Is that clear?” She smiled contentedly and nodded her head in understanding. I waited for the proper response, knowing that she was still testing me.

“Yes, Master, I understand,” she replied politely after a few seconds. I nodded and carefully walked us outside to the waiting cab.

After giving instructions to the driver I turned to her and asked, “Where did you get the clothes?”

“Two different shops on Fifth, Mas…,” she stopped and looked at me with a small smile, “Howard.” I smiled in return. I was amazed at her recuperative ability; an hour ago she was incoherent with pain.

“…and the bastinado?” I whispered.

“From a dealer I know in the village,” she replied, surprised that I knew its name.

“That’s an excellent piece,” I said. “You’ll have to give me his name. I may want to buy others from him.”

“I will,” she said. “I’m happy that you were pleased. It’s actually somewhat rare, 18th Century he said.”

“Yes, the bastinado was popular at that time in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Did you know that it was primarily used in the home to train sexually repressed young girls?” I was speaking too softly for the driver to hear. She shook her head no and looked at me directly for the first time.

“Sometimes men wanted more from their women. Girls in those days were often too shy to even raise their nightgowns,” I explained. “Proper young ladies of the day, even mistresses, were programmed to resist as long as they could. They were actually a lot more comfortable being forced to submit, especially for “despicable acts.” You could say that the bastinado was making things easier for everyone. Judging from the stains, I’d say the one you bought has been in steady use since it was built.”

“Stains?” she was openly curious.

“Yes, the dark area where the feet are tied; I’m sure that they are blood mixed with sweat. In the old days they used a cane and they weren’t too worried about drawing a little blood. Probably hundreds of girls have bled on that wood.” I could see that she was listening intently.

“It took a long time for women to get some rights,” she said softly.

“Yes it did,” I replied sarcastically, “then as soon the CELT laws went into effect, thousands of them sold those rights off to the highest bidder.” I could see that she wanted to respond, but held it back. I stayed quiet as well. The last thing we needed tonight was a political debate.

“Did you spend all the money?” I asked casually.

She looked at me. I could see that she was trying to think of a “right” answer. Finally, she just said, “Yes,” and looked down guiltily. In a few seconds she added, “…and more. The owner of the shop said I could pay him the rest later.”

I looked at her and nodded, “That’s okay. Let me have his name, I’ll send him a check for what we owe. Please don’t spend my money again until you ask.” She looked at me and nodded, relieved.

In truth, this was not acceptable behavior for a CELT. Most owners would have severely punished such irresponsible buying behavior, but I let it drop. There were things I need to learn before exerting real authority here. There was also a more serious issue in her hesitation.

I looked at her with a hard expression, “Don’t ever think about hiding something like that from me again, OK?”

She nodded again and smiled. Then, impulsively, she grabbed my hand and held it against her silk-clad chest. I could feel her hard breast and nipple on the back of my hand. Clearly, I had passed another test. We didn’t speak for the rest of the short ride.

I had selected a quiet Italian restaurant on the lower east side. I knew they had great food and secluded corner booths for couples…lovers. I asked for one of these. Once seated, I took her through the menu in detail, explaining the special way in which many of the dishes were prepared. I had been here many times, mostly with friends and business colleagues.

“I’m not that hungry, Howard,” she said. “In fact, I’m pretty full.” She looked at me playfully and grinned, licking her lips. I laughed, knowing exactly what she meant. That broke the ice, and we started talking again like friends; it was a repeat of the prior evening. I marveled again at how quickly she had recovered from the cropping.

She steered most of our conversation back to life in the 18th Century, specifically how men treated their women. I was no expert, but I knew a lot and she seemed happy with the information. I was also happy—she was intellectually curious. That was important to me. I wanted to be with someone smart; stupid girls, even if they were gorgeous, turned me off.

Once the meal was served, I broached the delicate subject of our relationship… “What was that about tonight, Jess?” I asked.

She didn’t try to deflect the question, but her smile faded and she starred at her plate. “You told me to act like a CELT, Howard. That’s what I was doing.” The open friendliness was gone; she was back in role. I had a flashback to the way she had spoken about Max. It was the same tone.

“That’s not good enough, Jess,” I replied. “I’m not interested in having a CELT whore or a B&D freak on my hands; I want us to have a relationship, at least until we get you emancipated, if that’s what you want.” She looked at me with a strange expression and nodded mechanically, but didn’t say anything.

I have to admit that I was hurt by her silence and it showed. “Let me ask you a question,” I said. “Do you feel anything for me?”

“Look, Howard,” she said more warmly, “why can’t we just let it rest. I’m here as your CELT. We both know that that involves sex. I’m not a whore; I’m only with one man at a time. And I’m not sure about emancipation, but until we work that out I’ll abide by the terms of my contract. There’s no rush, is there? I love the time we’ve spent together…on both sides of your doorway. And no, I’m not an insane B&D freak; I hate pain just like any normal person. In fact, I’m terrified of what is in store for me with you, but I’m a CELT and I’ve agreed to this…this arrangement. Can’t we just let things stay as they are for a while?” She reached out for my hand and squeezed it.

Her touch seemed mechanical as if this was the right thing for an escort to do at this moment. For some reason, this enraged me. “No,” I hissed, “I don’t accept your explanation or this situation.” She continued to hold my gaze, but withdrew her hand. “I know part of this has been a game. You’re not the kind of person who throws a fit and smears a waiter with pie.” She lowered her eyes and blushed. “You’re also not the kind of person who pisses on a rug when you’re angry.” Her blush got even redder.

We were both quiet for a minute. Then she leaned back and started talking in a totally different voice, her real voice. “OK, Howard, you want the truth so badly, here it is. Yes, I did manipulate things. That’s what powerless CELTs do—we manipulate things. You helped me with Max and I wanted to repay the favor. I knew that you were too nice a guy to do it on your own so I helped you out a bit to get us started. We both know that you did great. But the hard truth is that it was just part of the game. How could it be anything more? We’ve only known each other for three days.”

She stopped for a minute leaned back in and again took my hand in hers. “I like you, Howard… a lot, but were not in love,” she continued. “Good men like you fall in love with their CELTs all the time.” Her voice dropped to a whisper, “It’s understandable, I’ve sucked your cock for heaven’s sake. You’ve come in my mouth and fucked me ‘til I was sore. Tonight, you whipped me…as hard as I’ve ever been whipped before. Those are intimate acts, Howard, they make people think strange thoughts, but in truth they are just part of our game, and frankly part of our business relationship. We can both get badly hurt by thinking that they are something more.” She paused and looked around to be sure that she was not being overheard.

“This is what most CELT arrangements are like. They are not about real love or subjugation or dominance. They are fantasies. A power-relationship, a real one, is dangerous. There are so many emotions and feelings involved—pain, fear, love, hate, sex, desire, jealousy—that it takes someone with real experience to pull it off, someone with a stone heart.”

Then mercilessly she delivered the coup de grâce, “You still want to emancipate me, dear Howard… how hard is your heart?”

I was devastated. Despite the craziness of the last three days, I thought we actually had developed some kind of closeness for each other. I knew it wasn’t love, but maybe it was… well I don’t know what it was. I only knew that I felt something and I didn’t want it to end. I also didn’t want us to mutate into a man and his beautiful CELT whore.

But what she said about the reality of our situation had the ring of truth, and that hurt. “I need to think about this, Jess” I said honestly. “Let’s go home.”

We rode home in silence then I walked her to her bedroom.

“Maybe we could sleep together tonight, Howard?” she asked in her little girl voice, obviously upset over the night’s turn of events. “That was nice last night and I really don’t want to be alone now.”

“Tomorrow, Jesse,” I answered. Then I kissed her gently on the cheek and walked off to my own room feeling a little like Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. She stood in her doorway until my door closed then I heard hers shut softly. It was all too sad.

I didn’t sleep much that night or the next four. Each morning, I left early and returned very late, working hard to avoid any real contact. A number of times she tried to initiate conversation, but it was obvious that I was sulking and after a while she just stayed away.

The sixth night I made preparations and on the seventh day I called the bank to say I was sick with the flu.

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