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This story is dedicated to my muse, Meme Misspelt.

Story codes: MF MF+ bi cons ds bd exhib voy oral Fsolo toys

The Measure of Her Powers

by Absinthia Vixen

Friday morning was the usual chaos: Kat had slapped the snooze button four too many times, not wanting to abandon the vaguely smutty dream she was having. And now the flow of her whole morning was off to a stuttering, harried start. No time to make coffee. She showered and dressed quickly, hating how she could never seem to get her act together in the morning. She couldn't wait to stop for coffee and a sesame bagel in the train station near her office. Only one more day to get through.

At work, she logged in and checked her daily calendar, then scanned her email. Nothing but some spam and a seemingly never-ending thread about what color palette she should use on the new graphic for the corporate home page.

Then some meetings, and more coffee, and it wasn't until nearly lunchtime that she was able to sit down at her desk and do the job they supposedly had hired her for. She started roughing out the mockups that the marketing department said they wanted, but stopped when she heard the electronic trill that meant she had new email. She went to her inbox, and yes! Something oh-so-creatively entitled "hey" from a Yahoo! address. She stared at it for a couple of seconds before double-clicking on it.


hey, katya! it's me, fredrik -- not sure if you remember me. i work at raucous records -- we talked last weekend at the store. how you doing? i'm sitting here in my apartment listening to the bats. pretty cool. see, you're an influence on me.... i don't know if you're busy, but my housemates are having a party tonight -- just a few blocks from the square, it's 74 dixon st. hope everything is quite copacetic where you are.

namaste, fredrik


She felt a little lightheaded as she read his email over again. So Fredrik with a K, huh? She wondered if that was his real name or some pretentious adopted gothonym. She clicked Reply to Sender and wrote:


well hello there, fredrik. thanx for the e-note. def. the bright point in an otherwise colorless corporate day. tonight sounds good. what time? can i bring anything?


Hmm, how to end this, Kat thought. I want it to be casual, but not cold. Cheers, kat? Yrs., k.? Looking forward, later, yours in abject devotion and carnality? She decided to go with the offhanded double-dash "-- katya," then hit Send.

She stared at her inbox as though Fredrik would reply instantaneously. "Oh sure, like he has nothing better to do than write to me," she thought. She went back to her graphic, but soon was interrupted with a new-mail chime.


katya, katya,

so lovely to hear from you, though i'm sorry to hear that your day is so devoid of colour. i can't promise a rhapsodic evening, but i'll give it the old college try. stop by anytime -- 7-ish? and don't worry about bringing anything to my lair. just yourself.

anticipatorily, f.


Oh God, thought Kat, it's a date. She resisted the urge to write him back, though she reread his emails many times throughout the day, hunting for clues. He was almost too pretty to be interested in, what with his green eyes and vulpine expression. And he seemed sweet, in a trying-a-bit-too-hard emo boy sort of fashion.

When she got home from work, Kat went straight to her closet, shucking her boring brown pantsuit as she walked. What to wear, what to wear. She didn't want to dress up too much, but she didn't want to give a slovenly impression, either. She decided on her long black skirt, which swirled around her ankles, and slipped into a eggplant-colored charmeuse blouse. A little formal, but better than showing up underdressed. She spritzed some Magie Noir on her wrists, rubbing them together to dissipate the scent. Her wheat-colored hair was hopeless -- she desperately needed a haircut but had been putting it off. She searched through three different handbags until she found the lipstick she was looking for: a dark, matte plum shade that made her look more exotic than she felt.

As she walked to his house, she tried to quell the thoughts -- well, more like fantasies -- that raced through her mind. She hadn't engaged in any flirtation in so long, she wondered if she'd come across as totally obvious, or worse, desperate.

74 Dixon Street was a huge old triple-decker, with ramshackle porches wrapped around the front of each story and paint flaking off like a bad skin condition. She searched for some indication as to which doorbell button went with which apartment, and seeing only a faded "X. Chou" next to the bottom button, pressed the center one and held her breath. Nothing. It sounded like something was going on somewhere in the house -- she could hear music, and there were definitely lights on upstairs. She pressed the center one again, but heard neither a chime nor a response. This is great, she thought. What should I do now?

Tentatively, she opened the screen door and tried the knob of the front door. It opened easily into a dingy foyer cluttered with bikes. There were voices upstairs, and she thought, I might as well make a fool of myself and get it over with. Upstairs, the door to Apartment 2 was ajar. She knocked politely, then walked in. Definitely a party vibe: coats heaped on a bed in a room just off the front hallway; bowls of chips, pita, hummus; and groups of people talking, sprawling on furniture, and clustered in the kitchen. The uncertainty she'd felt while waiting on the front porch was now full-blown anxiety. Kat liked parties well enough, but had always gone with someone or a group of someones. It felt strange to be there all alone. If someone asked who she was, she'd tell them that she was just leaving and make her escape.

She spotted the bar on the deep windowsill in what would have been the dining room had the apartment not been shared by college students. Several bottles of red wine, Absolut, seltzer, cranberry juice, and a cooler on the floor full of microbrews. Kat poured herself a generous plastic cup of Shiraz. She nodded at a Scandanavian-looking girl standing nearby, a poreless blonde with a ring through her lower lip. The girl smiled wanly, then pushed through a cluster of people waiting in line for the bathroom. Oh well. Kat wasn't ready to make a grand entrance into the living room, where a group of friends seemed engaged in a lively conversation with much laughter. She sipped her wine and wandered down the hall.

Some people were watching a video in a darkened bedroom. The futon had been folded up to make a sofa, and there were a couple of beanbag chairs empty; most of the room's occupants sat or lay on the floor. The air was thick with the acrid odor of pot. I doubt if anyone will notice me in here, she thought. She entered the room and lowered herself into a beanbag as quietly as she could manage.

As her eyes adjusted to the dim light, she realized that the movie was a porno. The others in the room seemed more interested in the joint that was making the rounds than the action on-screen, where a skinny girl was enthusiastically bouncing up and down on a hairy, sweating guy's cock. Kat gratefully accepted the joint when it was offered to her, hoping that a little buzz would calm her nerves.

Across the room, she watched the couple seated on the futon: a plump, dark-haired chick , tricked out in her gothiest garb, kissing an older man. His hands slid over her curves, fingertips trailing across her ample cleavage, and she arched into him, extending her tongue for him to suck. She wore a faux-corset with an elasticized back, a diaphanous black skirt with an intentionally tattered-looking hem, and black elbow-length gloves. Kat didn't want to stare, but the girl seemed to be enjoying the attention, purring every time her companion's hands touched bare skin.

A woman, much closer to the man's age than Miss Girlie Goth, crossed the room and said, "Jack, aren't you going to save some for me?" She sat on the futon next to the girl and kissed her neck wetly. The girl sighed; Jack stroked her breasts.

"Plenty to go around, right, Marta honey?" he said. Marta, her lips locked with the woman's, nodded slightly.

"God, you're a sweet one," the woman said, drawing Marta's skirt up over her knees. "Wearing fishnets, yet. So maybe a little naughty, too?" Jack slid off the futon and knelt between Marta's parted thighs. He curled his fingers around her calves and swirled his tongue over her kneecap and up her thigh. Marta squirmed, kittenish, possibly ticklish.

God, Kat thought, what a slut. Kat would die before making such a display, but she had to admit, the sight of Marta drinking up the couple's attentions was making her pussy ache. Or maybe it was the weed, which usually made her horny. When the joint came around again, Kat sucked bitter smoke deep into her lungs.

Jack said, "You're very naughty, aren't you, Marta? Naughty, wayward, wanton, and wicked. I'd say downright vixenish." Marta moaned loudly as he lapped at her legs, nipping at the fishnets every now and then. "You even smell naughty, you bad, bad girl." He pulled at her stockings until they began to tear, then ripped a huge hole in them, through which he began to burrow.

"Do you need to be taught a lesson, Marta dear?" The woman tugged at Marta's bodice, and her full breasts popped free as though escaping from prison.

Kat realized that no one in the room was watching the video anymore. Even the joint seemed to have stopped circling the room. She felt embarrassed, though she wasn't sure if it was for Marta or for herself. Another throb of heat passed through her pussy.

"Oh, yes," Marta sighed.

"Yes? Yes what?" The woman pinched one of Marta's broad, dark nipples and twisted it sharply.

"Yes, Alix." The woman yanked hard on her nipple.

"Yes, ma'am, yes, I do need to be taught a lesson. Ma'am!"

"That's better, Marta darling, but I prefer to be called Mistress."

Jack lifted his head from between her legs. His beard was glazed and shiny. "You'd better do what she says, sweetie."

"Yes, Mistress, please forgive my impertinence."

"That's a good little morsel," said Alix, placated. "Perhaps you'd like to pose for some photographs." It wasn't a question, and Marta knew it.

"I'd be honored, Mistress." Marta squirmed as Jack's head shook back and forth between her thighs.

The older woman suckled Marta's breasts, alternating between them with a sharp intensity. Marta's nipples had contracted into hard nubs that glistened in the pale TV light. "Do you think these lovely people would like to watch you pose, Marta?"

"Oh, Mistress, I don't know." Marta sounded a little scared. What had begun as some drunken necking with a stranger was starting to get a little weird.

"Don't be naughty, Marta my morsel. You know you love showing off for these people. Doesn't she, Jack?" The woman nipped sharply at the girl's gelid breasts.

"It certainly would seem to be the case," said Jack. Her ripped fishnets hung in tatters from the waistband. Jack reached into his pocket and withdrew a Swiss army knife. "I think she wants to show them some more."

Jack tugged the girl's panties -- soft cotton flowery things, their vapid innocence somehow hotter than her expensive-looking fetishwear -- and slipped the blade of the knife underneath, slicing them open. Marta shivered as Jack peeled them away from her body, then roughly yanked them out from under her. He pushed her thighs even more widely apart. Kat stared at Marta's pussy: it was shrouded in soft, dark hair, but as Jack forced her legs open, her frilled lips were on full display. Alix fondled Marta's breasts and licked her neck, then greedily kissed her mouth.

Kat gulped her wine and glanced sideways at the others in the room. She was aware of the heat inflaming her face and neck. The guy to her left muttered, "Oh man" when poor Marta's crotch was exposed. He not-so-surreptitiously rubbed the front of his baggy cargo pants. Kat's pussy was tingling fiercely now. She crossed her legs and squeezed her thighs together, hoping no one would notice.

"Pretty pretty pet pussy," said Jack. He tickled Marta's inner thigh, then traced the seashell shape of her labia with the tip of his tongue. Marta moaned loudly. Kat squeezed her legs tighter. Jack burrowed between Marta's legs, then held her labia apart as he whipped his tongue around and around her clit. Marta's moaning swelled and ebbed.

"Do you want to please your Mistress?" Alix asked Marta, who could only nod. Mistress Alix briskly unbuckled her belt and slid down her pants. A purple dildo poked out from the harness around her hips. Alix shifted to kneel on the futon, cupping Marta's chin in her hand, and said, "Suck your Mistress's cock, Marta darling."

Jack groaned, as did the boy to Kat's left, who was now blatantly gripping and squeezing his erection through his trousers. Alix bucked her hips forward, the bobbing cock bumping Marta's face. "Eat my dick, Marta." Marta's lips parted and the dildo slid into her mouth. She flinched, then gagged, her eyes welling up.

"You may use your hands," said the older woman. Marta held the shaft of the rubber cock in one hand and moved her head back and forth. She pulled it almost completely out of her mouth and lashed her tongue around the head. The Mistress held still, watching Marta lap at her strap-on, then thrust forward again sharply. "Now swallow it." This time Marta tilted her head back slightly as the cock slid deeper. "I want to feel your lips against my cunt, Marta."

Marta groaned and gurgled around the cock, eliciting similar sounds from Alix. "That's good, that's so good. Suck my cock, you naughty girl. Do a good job and I'll let you suck someone else's."

Kat wondered what was going to happen next. What if someone walked in? What if Fredrik walked in? A few people in the room were openly masturbating now, including a couple of women. Would Kat be expected to join in? The whole scene felt electrified, the observers as necessary to the overall mood as the participants.

"Isn't this hot?" asked the guy to her left, still clutching his hard-on. Marta clearly thought so, moaning and whimpering as Jack licked her fiercely.

Kat hesitated, then whispered, "Yeah, this is pretty intense. Are their parties always like this?"

The guy scootched his beanbag closer to Kat's and said, "There's usually some porn or out-there performance art, but I guess the Clemenses decided to liven things up," he said, tilting his head in the threesome's direction. "Just goes to show, it pays to invite an older crowd. Now, how're *you* doing?" he asked Kat, caressing her leg.

Kat stiffened. "I'm good. Yep. Just watching." She turned toward the threesome. What was the proper etiquette at an orgy? she wondered. The guy didn't seem offended; instead, he unzipped his pants and pulled out his penis, stroking it slowly. If he touches me again, Kat decided, I'm out of here.

Marta seemed to have lost all self-control: she gripped the futon as though holding on for dear life, and Kat could see her inner-thigh muscles twitching. Marta's breathing was erratic, not to mention erotic. "Ohhh, God," she mewled, "I'm gonna? I'm gonna come?"

"Come for all these nice people, you fucking slut," Alix said, grabbing Marta's nipples and squeezing hard. Others in the room murmured encouragements for Marta. One girl's hand was nearly a blur, she was rubbing her pussy so fast. The guy next to Kat had also sped up his stroking. She sneaked a glance and felt her insides twist as she watched the swollen, purple head of his cock disappear and reappear from his fist.

"Coming, Mistress!" As Marta began to wail and thrash, a torrent of fluid sluiced from her cunt, soaking the futon. Jack growled and pulled his face away, shoving three fingers into her and fucking her for the audience. The Mistress pulled her cock from the poor girl's mouth, swiped it across the girl's cheeks repeatedly, and hissed, "Oh yes, filthy little slutmorsel, come for your fans. Show them how much you love it." Mistress Alix looked up, right at Kat, and smiled wickedly. Kat felt as if the lower half of her body were dissolving.

As the couple held and caressed Marta, now slumped between them, Kat realized she felt jealous. but she wasn't sure if she envied the attention the girl was getting or her complete abandon and disregard for what others thought. As the threesome cuddled and whispered to one another, Kat stood up shakily and carefully picked her way out of room. She felt a little dizzy and took deep, slow breaths to steady herself.

The need to pee suddenly became urgent, and she ducked into the bathroom. As she emptied her bladder, she rested her head in her hands. What the hell am I doing here? she wondered. I should leave.

She plucked a few Kleenex to wipe herself with, as the toilet paper supply had run out. She flushed, washed her hands, dried them on more Kleenex, and wiped her face with the damp, cool tissues. When she opened the bathroom door, Fredrik greeted her.

"Uh, hi," she said stupidly.

"Kat, you made it! Cool!" he said. "You been here long?"

"Not too long," she said.

"Has anyone given you the tour?" he asked. "Do you want another drink? I could use another beer," he said.

"I'll have some more of that Shiraz, if there's any," Kat said. The party seemed to have lost steam. How long had she been in that room?

He poured their drinks and offered her the plastic cup with an exaggerated flourish. "Milady. Might I show you upstairs?"

She wasn't sure if he was being mock-courtly or if this was his idea of seduction. "Yeah, sure," she said. She followed him upstairs and into a dark room. He shut the door and crossed the room to turn on a small desk lamp. The room was small and must have been his bedroom: the single window was bracketed by velvet drapes, and CD shelves stretched from floor to ceiling against the longest wall of the room. She smiled at the cartoon monkeys on his bedsheets. "Paul Frank?" she asked.

"Yeah, I'm a sucker for his stuff," he said. "Have a seat."

Kat sat on the edge of his bed. Fredrik chose a CD and put it in the player. Sinuous, Arabian-sounding dance music began to play softly.

"This is nice," she said. "What are we listening to?"

"Al-Shazad. They're pretty cool. This is actually a mix my friend Jeremy made me."

Kat had no idea what to say next. Fredrik sat beside her and took a swig of beer, then sprawled backward on the bed like a gawky teenager. She looked around the room, noticing the Mucha poster, an African mask rimed with dust, and the impressively sleek PC set up on his desk.

"I'm glad you came tonight," he said. "Sorry I didn't see you when you came in."

"That's OK." She looked straight into his eyes, trying to figure out what, if anything, he might be thinking. Was he aware of what had happened in his own house? Was this kind of thing de rigeur among the college set these days? And why had he even invited her in the first place?

"These house parties can get a little out of hand sometimes," he said. "I probably only know about seven people total here."

She glanced at his bedside table, upon which sat an elaborately framed picture of the Dukes of Hazzard; a kidney-shaped ashtray; a homemade greeting card, very arty; and a gnarled briar pipe, the bowl crusted with resin, which she picked up.

"That was my granddad's," he said. "He'd shit kitties if he knew what I used it for now." He paused, then reached out to take it from her. "You smoke?"

"Sometimes," she said.

"Jeremy got me some pretty good stuff, if you're interested."

"Sure," she said. He leaned over to the nightstand, extracted a baggie from the drawer, and packed the pipe. Lighting it, he sucked the stem a few times, then handed it to her. "Milady?"

She gingerly inhaled, not wanting to lose it in a coughing fit, then handed it back to him. In for a dime, in for a lot of dimes, she thought.

"Attagirl. Not bad, right?" He leaned back into the monkey-faced pillows and puffed like some latter-day Hugh Hefner. Kat fought a snicker, accepting the pipe and lighter when he handed it back. The music had changed to some endless techno thing. Unless that was the pot, she thought. OK, the laws of physics still apply. Time is a constant. Don't make an ass of yourself.

"You're so quiet," he said, handing the pipe back. "You seemed, I don't know. Vervier. In the record store. Remember? Really vervey."

If this was some kind of seduction scene, he wasn't very good at it, Kat thought.

"Listen, I should probably go," she said. "It's late." She started to yawn theatrically, but it turned into a real yawn as she realized that she really was tired.

"Really? Can't be that late. Hey. If you want? You can just crash here." His eyes were closed, so she couldn't begin to read his intentions. His shirt had started to pull out of his jeans, and Kat felt a pang of desire as she watched him absently scratch his long, flat abdomen.

"Well . . . " she said. "That might not be a good idea. I can call a cab."

"Whatever. I'm pretty tired myself." His scratching had turned to lazy caresses of his stomach and chest. He stayed quiet for what seemed like half an hour.

"You really don't mind if I stay?" she asked.

"Mmm mmm. Stay."

"All right. Thanks. I guess I will." He hadn't mentioned whether one of them would sleep on the floor, but Kat figured she had a pretty good chance of crawling into bed with him. Even if he was completely out of it, the thought made her feel quivery.

She stood up and started to unbutton her blouse.

His eyes snapped open. "Uh, do you want me to leave or turn around or something?" He almost looked alarmed, and very young, but there was a hint of teenaged lust in his expression, too.

"No. It's OK. I want you to watch me," she said, feeling whorish and powerful. He seemed uncomfortable but he didn't turn away. She dropped her blouse over the back of his desk chair and bent to unbuckle her shoes. Their eyes met, and she realized that she was going to get her way.

Kat walked toward the bed, feeling her breasts' heaviness in the sheer pink bra as she climbed up next to him, gradually leaning forward. She kissed him, and he kissed back. He tasted like beer, and his tongue gently, clumsily poked into her mouth. His hand rested lightly on her hip.

The situation felt weird, but good. Kat hadn't kissed anyone in months, not since she'd broken up with her boyfriend. As Fredrik got used to what was happening, he seemed to relax into the kiss and began touching the warm skin of her lower back. His tongue jutted further into her mouth -- too far, and somewhat leaden, she thought. She shifted, and he pressed his crotch against her thigh. He was hard. He jerked his hips against her and suddenly pulled her torso against his, rolling her on top of him. Heat jolted through Kat's abdomen, and her labia suddenly felt heavy and thick.

"Is this cool?" he asked, fumbling with the hooks on her bra.

"Definitely -- here, let me help you."

Kat had never dated a younger guy before, and she felt keenly aware of their age difference. It felt good, which surprised her. She knew what he wanted and how to tease and twist it into satisfying herself.

She sat up and removed her bra, then shimmied out of her skirt, feeling positively trampy sitting there in her panties while he watched. "You're wearing too many clothes," she said, and he let her unclasp his belt buckle, push up his shirt, kiss the thin line of hair on his taut belly. He was simultaneously frail and wiry -- she felt as if she could encircle his waist twice if she wanted to, but that he could stop her if it got out of hand. He sat up on one elbow and unbuttoned his shirt. "I want to taste you," she said. She ran her hand lightly over the warm length of his erection, then unzipped his pants and helped him remove them and his boxers.

"Oh?" he whispered as she bent close to his crotch. She hovered for a few seconds, breathing on his cock and watching it twitch expectantly. Kat ran her tongue tip lightly around the head, then kissed it with the gentlest pressure she could create. She wondered if he'd like it if she nibbled her lips around the flaring edges. If his stuttery breathing was any indicator, he did. He was sweet, like a grown-up boy, with surprisingly silky pubic hair that tickled her face. As her lips closed around him, he gasped, his cock jerking involuntarily with the surprise and pleasure of it. It slid smoothly into her mouth, and then he jerked his hips, eager as a puppy. She encircled the base of his prick with her right hand, pressed it flat against his pubic bone, and shifted her weight, getting comfortable.

"You like that?" she asked. Such a coquette. He could only nod. "You want me to suck you?" He clenched at the comforter on his bed and bucked his hips in reply.

The hot skin of his cockhead felt so soft against her lips, and she rubbed him gently against her mouth before taking him deeper. His thrusts were jerky, inexperienced, as she sucked and lashed her tongue in circles. She didn't want him to shoot just yet, so she sat up, tightening her grip around him. "Please," he implored. "Don't stop."

"Or what?" she taunted. "You'll kick me out?" On impulse, she pinched his pointy nipples.

"Oh God," he groaned. She squeezed harder.

"What about me?" she said. "Don't you want to know what I taste like?" She briefly considered the possibility that he might not. "Or you could fuck me."

Fredrik snaked his hand between her thighs and pulled her panties aside. His touch was a little rough, but she was so wet that it didn't matter, as long as he kept at it. He stuck a finger inside her and wiggled it, then held still. So much for exquisite preliminaries, she thought. "I think I want you inside me," she whispered.

He rolled over and fumbled underneath the bed, pulling out a shiny-wrappered condom. "Do you want to put it on me?" he said huskily.

"With pleasure," she smiled. She ripped the foil with her teeth, spit wetly into the tip before rolling it down his prick, then straddled him. He slipped into her easily. Kat was excited, and the thrill of insertion was palpable, but as her body got used to him and his arrhythmic thrusts, she was aware that any pleasure she was going to get was going to come only from her. She could slow his spastic movements down by pushing her weight against him, drawing up slowly to savor the sensations against her cuntwalls and grinding gradually against him for some satisfying pressure against her pubis. His eyes were squinched shut. She wondered if this was the way he usually spent his Friday nights.

He didn't last long. As he drew close to climax, he rolled his eyes and looked even younger to Kat. She rocked against him as he convulsed, squeezing her cunt muscles in the hopes that it would somehow make her memorable to him. She liked the way his throat stretched tautly as he mutely worked his mouth, hunching into her.

"Wow," he breathed. She rolled off of him, wondering what she should say. "That was . . . wow. C'mere."

She pressed against his prone body and let him stroke her hair. "OK if I turn out the light?" he asked.

What was this about? Kat's pussy felt dense and sticky with need, and as he wrapped his limbs around her, she felt trapped. She was nowhere near sleep, but his breathing was already slowing. He murmured into her neck some vague endearment, which only irritated her more. She wanted her own bed, a drink of water, her vibrator, privacy. Fredrik began to snore softly; she closed her eyes and imagined the Clemenses watching her fuck the boy, which only made her vulva ache more.

She must have slept, but when the early angled light woke her, she felt exhausted. Her head hurt and her mouth tasted like damp ash. Fredrik was on the far side of the bed. He'd pulled most of the covers off of her in his sleep and gripped them territorially. She rolled carefully out of bed and put on her blouse and skirt, stuffing her underwear into her purse and running her fingers through her hair. She tiptoed downstairs to the bathroom, surveying the detritus of the previous night's festivities -- overflowing ashtrays, cups and bottles on every horizontal surface, an overturned houseplant -- as she went. I'd better get out of here before anyone asks me to help clean up, she thought. To hell with Fredrik. The boyhead. Kat was thankful that she could walk home, and she stopped to get a cardboard cup of coffee from the convenience store on Hawthorne Avenue, dumping too much half-and-half into it as a poor substitute for breakfast. She wondered if she looked like a slut to the clerk, with her unwashed hair, wrinkled clothes, and loosely moving breasts.

When she got back to her apartment, she fed her yammery cat, then peeled off her smoke-smelling clothes and stepped into the shower. The water relaxed her. As she soaped her breasts with the peppermint hippie soap she loved, she remembered how Alix had suckled Marta's nipples, and the wanton pleasure the three had displayed for a roomful of strangers. She squirted more soap into her palm, cupping it against her mons and pressing the slick liquid into her folds. The soap tingled, almost burned, as Kat splayed her labia open with the fingers of her left hand and rubbed her now-pointy clit with the other.

She wished she had an audience, could show her cunt to a crowd and tease them as she teased herself. She imagined Marta's soft, naked body, soap-slippery and warm, rubbing against her own, the way the girl's short dark hair would flatten against her skull in the shower spray and how her heavy tits would feel moving against her shoulder blades. Kat's clit felt like a small dick to her as she scissored it between her fingers, and her own musky juice dribbled through the suds and ran down her leg in a hot trickle. Look at me, she thought, look at your slutty Kat. As her pussy tensed and her clit distended, she imagined shoving her hand into Marta's hot folds and feeling the other woman come with her. "Oh, fuh- fuck!" she grunted as her feet slid and she nearly lost her balance. She steadied herself against the tile, savoring the shivery lightness in her extremities and the way her clit throbbed with every pulse-beat. Why can't I feel like this all the time? she wondered as her heartbeat slowed.

As she stepped out of the tub and toweled off, she felt a tenderness and affection for her body that first comforted, then saddened her. I'm like some maudlin 30-something loser in a _Cosmo_ advice column, moaning about the snows of yesteryear and wondering why all the good men have passed me by. Disgustedly, she dressed and scrubbed at her hair with the towel.

She realized she hadn't checked her answering machine when she got home. "You have two. New. Messages," the robotic voice informed her.

"Hey Kat, it's Leslie. Sorry Jacob and I didn't make it to the party last night. We had to spend the evening with his parents and were totally wiped by the time they left. His mom is a piece of work, I tell ya. Hope you had fun. Call me today if you want to get coffee or come over for dinner or something. Bye!"

"Kat? Hi, it's me, uh. Fredrik? Where did you go this morning? Are you mad at me? I have to leave for work, but stop by the store today, OK?"

Kat felt something shift in her chest and her eyes burned. I'm so fucking stupid, she thought. God dammit. I never should have gone to the party. She dialed Leslie's number.

"Hey girlie, it's Kat."

"Hi! Just a minute, let me go into the other room." Kat heard music in the background, probably Jacob practicing guitar, but it softened to a muffle as Leslie walked to the other end of the house. "That's better," Leslie said. "So? How was last night? Did you have fun?"

"Hmm, fun. I wouldn't say that."

"Why? Didn't you see Fredrik?"

"Yeah, he was there. I spent the night, actually."

"You tramp! That's great!"

"Not really." Kat settled down on her loveseat and watched her cat grooming himself, fully absorbed in his own beauty. "I don't even know why I did it. I should know better by now. He's in a completely different orbit from me."

"Did you guys? . . ."

"Yeah. And it was nothing to write home about. I shouldn't even care about it, but it's so humiliating, you know?"

"Oh, I'm sorry, hon. But it was probably quite a thrill for him, the sophisticated older woman and all."

"I doubt it. I'm such a dumbass."

"Don't be so hard on yourself. So it's a one-nighter; it wasn't meant to be. He's lucky he had a shot with you. Besides, I'm glad you're getting back out there, dating and stuff."

"You're sweet." Kat looked at the floor, at the grey dust mice in the corner. Disgusting.

"Don't sound so sad. Hey, why don't you come on over? We could put something on the grill, watch a movie, make prank calls, whatever."

"Thanks, Leslie. I don't know. I'm not feeling very sociable. I'd probably just bum you and Jacob out."

"Pshaw. You should come by. Better than moping around and being sad, right?"

"I won't be sad."

"But you'll mope, I know you. Listen, forget the little record-store poseur. You're way out of his league, anyway."

"Mmm. Maybe. I should do some laundry. I'll call you later, OK?"

"All right, sweetie. Happy laundering."

After Kat hung up, she considered her options: I could go to the grocery; this apartment needs a good cleaning; I should try to finish _Jane Eyre_; maybe I'll rent a movie and order a pizza; my parents probably wonder why I haven't called in so long; maybe a pedicure would cheer me up. The weekend stretched in front of her with its possibilities, but it just made her tired. Maybe I'll lie down for a little while, she thought. I certainly didn't get enough sleep last night.

Her bedroom was inviting. She loved the deep green comforter that she'd found on sale a few months ago, loved her thick goose down pillows, her little bedside table. She pulled the windowshades and snuggled underneath the comforter. As she started to relax, she realized how stiff her neck had been. That's what I get for abandoning my comfy bed, she thought.

She lay still for a few moments, but couldn't slow her brain down. She pictured the purple dildo and how Marta's dark lips had looked wrapped around it. An electric thread zipped through her pussy, and she unbuttoned her jeans, scootched part way out of them, and rested her hand on her mons. As a little girl, she'd always been able to soothe herself at night by pressing gently on her pubis. It wasn't sexual, really, or maybe it was and she just hadn't known any better at the time. She wished she had a dildo of her own. She'd always been a strictly clitoral gal when she played with herself, but she couldn't help wondering how a rubber cock would feel in her mouth. Would it taste bitter? Would its dumb stiffness make her gag? What about in her pussy? She once had a lesbian friend who raved about them, said she could come all night with her silicone friend. Sighing, she pulled her panties to the side and delicately grazed her slit with two fingers. Shivers ran through her abdomen, making her want more contact, but she wasn't going to give herself that satisfaction just yet. She tickled her inner thighs with a feathery touch, imagining Jack's furry goatee against her soft skin, Alix's tongue in her mouth, Marta's hands clamping her ankles and spreading her wide open.

Her persistent hands returned to her vulva. She could feel beads of juice in her pubic hair as she brushed and tugged it. "Are you a bad little girl?" she whispered to herself. "Do we need to teach you a lesson?" She wanted something big in her cunt, something larger and longer and firmer than her fingers. A hairbrush. Before she had a chance to consider otherwise, she was stepping out of her jeans and underwear and rooting through the cabinet underneath the bathroom sink. Her everyday brush had a smooth, flattish handle, but she wanted the circular bristly brush with the thick, round handle -- and a rubberized, ridged, no-slip grip. Perfect.

Back in bed, she toyed with her cuntlips, the hairbrush lying innocently next to her pillow. "Please, no, don't," she said, slipping back into her fantasy. "I'll be a good girl. I promise." She remembered Alix's cruel expression as she fucked Marta's mouth, and then picked up the brush and pressed it against her closed mouth. "Oh, no!" she gasped, then forced her jaw open with the handle. The ribbed, rubber-sheathed brush handle tasted like old tires. She slowly moved it in and out of her mouth, her left hand tweaking her nipple, and coated the handle with thick saliva. "Please!" she gasped as she pulled it out, "I'll do anything you want, but please don't fuck me! I'm a good girl!"

Kat rubbed the tip of the handle against the juncture of her tightly-clamped thighs, pushing hard and wiggling her hips. She imagined Alix slapping her face, then roughly shoving her knees apart. She wasn't a good girl. She was a naughty girl, a slutty bitch, a fuckdoll, a slave who loved her masters but didn't deserve them. As she forced the hairbrush between her legs, she imagined Marta watching her being violated, fingering her fleshy cunt and showing Kat her shiny purple clit. Kat pumped the hairbrush in and out of her vagina; the handle was long enough that it almost hurt when she shoved it deep, and thick enough that she had to use some force to get it in all the way.

"You cunt, you love feeling this cock in your fuckhole, don't you?" Alix sneered. "I bet you want your mouth filled, too, don't you?" Marta knelt over Kat's face and slowly settled her sopping cunt over her mouth. Kat twisted the hairbrush out of herself with a sucking sound and licked it; her own wetness was thick and sticky at the end, and it tasted like salt. "Oh yes," Kat moaned, "I want to eat that pussy." Kat plunged the brush handle back into her slit, fucking in and out as hard as she could. "Fuck your nasty little slut, punish her, hurt your baby girl!" She knew she must look like the worst kind of whore, frigging herself hard and moaning for more. She pulled on her nipples, then strummed her clit hard, still pumping away with the brush. "Make her come, oh, come -- " Her orgasm ripped her open, and a flash of worry that she might have hurt herself with the brush was eclipsed by the hot, roiling pleasure. The climax made her howl, and its force flipped her over onto her stomach, where she thrust her hips against her hands, shuddering, yelping. She half-sobbed, half-moaned as though she'd slit herself open and the pain flowed out. Or in. Her sheets were soaked with sweat and her pussy juices. Oh God, she thought, what was that? What's wrong with me? Her limbs were leaden as the sweat dried on her forehead and she drifted into anxious sleep.

* * *

The next week was subsumed in the usual routines. Kat worked long hours, but by the following Thursday evening, she started feeling lonely. She phoned Leslie and made plans to meet for dinner at a new Ethiopian restaurant.

Kat arrived early and picked up the new issue of her city's free weekly from the rack inside the restaurant's doorway. The place wasn't very crowded. A lithe hostess swathed in ocean-colored silks, flitted toward Kat and led her a booth. The busboy brought her water with a pale slice lemon in it.

Flipping through the newspaper, Kat scanned the "Other" column in the Personals section, looking for freakish ads to show Leslie when she arrived. Most of the headlines were bland or illiterate -- "I'm Hi N-R-G, R U?," "Gaze into my Crustal Blue Eyes!," "Dreamer-Savant," "I Love Curvy Ladies," "Fresh Start Together." Her eyes were drawn to the "Ships Passing" section, where people left cryptic messages to each other. One ad had a bold header:

Your Curiosity Will Be Satisfied We saw you staring at us at the party 7/9. You: wavy blonde hair, long black skirt. Us: married dom couple (M bearded, 42; F cropped brown hair, 38) + sub friend. You seemed intrigued. Want to be our new friend? Contact SP34987.

Kat felt her insides prickle. Could it be Jack and Alix? What was their deal? And had they really noticed her across the room? She tried to remember the other people watching the scene -- had there been any other blondes? She reread the advertisement, then carefully ripped it out and put the scrap in her wallet as Leslie approached her booth.

"Sorry I'm late. Is that this week's Nova?" Leslie asked as she slid into the booth.

"Yeah. You want it?"

"No, I'll grab one on the way out. I may have some fish that needs wrapping. Hey, do you want to order a carafe of honey wine?"

Kat enjoyed the meal and seeing her friend, but she felt as though she were observing herself from across the room. Her thoughts kept circling back to the ad. Midway through the meal, she excused herself to use the restroom and was surprised to see a gleaming patch of liquid in her panties. The prickly feeling in her abdomen intensified.

When she got home, she dug the slip of paper out of her wallet and read it again, looking for more conclusive evidence that _she_ was the woman the couple was seeking. What if she was, and they _were_ Jack and Alix -- they certainly were perverts, and worse, could even be dangerous. Though Marta had seemed to feel safe and appeared to be their contented, affectionate slave. But what if they turned out to be some other couple -- or were expecting some other "friend"? It would be so humiliating. Still, she couldn't specifically recall any other blondes wearing long skirts among the audience that night. And she could always stay anonymous and back out of meeting them if they seemed threatening or unbalanced. She dialed the Personals number, and the automated voicemail system assigned her a code number. Her voice sounded small and nervous as she left her message: "Hi, I saw your ad in the Nova. I think I might have been at the party you mentioned? You can contact me at box PS49103. Bye." She hung up and let out a long breath, then got ready for bed.

She was dreaming about a Middle Eastern bazaar when the phone rang. The hell? she thought, it's 3:30 a.m. She stumbled into the living room to make the ringing stop. "This better be an emergency," she said testily. "Do you know what time it is?"

"I'm fully aware of the time, and I'll appreciate your using a more civil tone."

"What? Who is this?" Kat, confused, didn't recognize the voice, and her Caller ID said that the number was unknown.

"You may address me as Mistress Alix. I am returning the message you left this evening."

"How did you get my number?"

"That's none of your concern. You did leave a message, yes?" Her voice had a schoolmarmish tone to it, very precise.

"Yeah, but, wait. I didn't leave my phone number."

"I have an acquaintance at the Nova who was able to assist me in contacting you. Now. I think it would be polite for you to introduce yourself and explain your motivation in answering the advertisement."

"I don't care what you think. It's the middle of the night, and I have to work tomorrow. Please don't call here again."

Kat hung up. She felt shaky and riled. How dare someone dig up my number! Was that illegal? She wasn't sure what rights she had as someone responding to a personal ad, but she was going to call the Nova's advertising department first thing tomorrow and give them a piece of her mind. She went to the kitchen for a glass of water. The phone rang again.

Shit, she thought. I should have unplugged the phone. Well, she can't make me answer it.

The ringing stopped and her answering machine picked up. "This is Mistress Alix. I'm very disappointed in your manners. Didn't your parents teach you never to hang up on another individual? The considerate thing to do would be to phone me back -- star-69 will retrieve my number. But if you refuse to return my call, it is of no consequence. I happen to have used your phone number to perform a reverse lookup online, and I now know your name, email address, and street address. Perhaps this conversation would be better continued in person, Katya. Until then, good night."

Kat was scared. Why had she responded to that ad? This woman took the whole dominatrix thing way too seriously. What right did she think she had to harass her like this? She wondered if Alix would pay a visit to her home. The idea of a scene that would wake her neighbors was too uncomfortable to imagine. She decided to call and explain that it was all a mistake. Perhaps she could persuade Alix -- Mistress Alix -- to leave her alone.

She picked up the receiver and dialed *69. The phone on the other end purred once, and Mistress Alix said, "Yes?"

"Listen, lady. I'm sorry I hung up on you, but this is all a mistake. I think you have me confused with someone else."

"Apology accepted. Thank you for phoning me back, Katya. There is no reason why we cannot interact like adults, now is there?"

"Right. Whatever. I didn't mean to snap at you, but it freaked me out to get a call in the middle of the night like that. I thought someone in my family had been hurt or something."

"That is understandable, but you must realize, I mean you no harm whatsoever. My husband and I are interested in meeting you -- aren't we, Jack? -- and if the interview is mutually satisfying, we will pursue the relationship. If Jack and I are displeased, we will not trouble you again."

"Interview? For what?"

"Why, for the privilege of continuing the relationship in a manner that's beneficial --- even educational -- for you."

"I'm sorry," Kat said, "I'm not sure if I understand what you mean."

"That is natural at this point. You will remain perfectly safe in the care of Jack and myself. We have references, any of whom will speak highly of us." Alix's voice was controlled and even, with a slight raspiness that Kat remembered from the party, from her fantasies; she realized she was aroused. "Furthermore, our first meeting will be in a public place. Would that ease your concerns?"

"Well, yes, I guess. Sure."

"Very well," said Mistress Alix. "I will send you an email containing the contact information for several of our associates."

She sounded confident to Kat, and somehow soothing. It couldn't hurt to meet them in a public place -- after all, she wouldn't have called in the first place if she wasn't curious about the couple. And she found herself more and more curious.

"Wait, that won't be necessary. I mean, I may not be the woman you were trying to contact through the ad. Maybe we should just go ahead and meet?"

"Very well, it is your decision. You will meet us at Sobieski's -- are you familiar with the restaurant? -- at 8:00 p.m. tomorrow evening. The reservation will be under my name. Please do not be late."

"OK," Kat said. She had read a review of the restaurant, a tony bistro across town, that raved about the chef's nouveau Eastern European food.

"Until tomorrow, then. Good night, Katya."

* * *

The next day at work felt surreal to Kat, who found herself looking at the clock repeatedly. Her meetings droned around her as she drew patterns of interlocking vines in her notebook. She wished she could go home for the rest of the day, but the art department was suffering its usual end-of-the-month crush, and if she missed her deadlines, her colleagues would bear the brunt of her irresponsibility.

At 7:15 she shut down her computer and left the office. The evening was brisk, with a steady breeze off the ocean that deepened the chill. She was glad that much of the rush-hour traffic had dissipated by the time she left -- how pissed would Alix be if she'd been caught in gridlock and been late for dinner? As it was, she had trouble finding a parking place near the restaurant; it was 5 minutes of 8:00 when she arrived.

"Hi, is there a reservation for -- " She groped for their surname. Uh, Clemens?" she said, her voice soft and even a little tremulous.

"Right this way, please" replied the maitre d'. He led her through two dining rooms into a third, smaller one. Alix and Jack stood as soon as they saw her, and the maitre d' stepped aside to allow Jack to pull out her chair. For a moment, she wondered if Jack might kiss her hand and bow.

"Good evening," Alix said. "So very nice to see you again, Katya."

"Hello, yes, thank you. Actually, I usually go by Kat."

"Would you like some wine, Katya?" Jack poured Burgundy into her glass.

"Thanks." She felt subtly reprimanded for suggesting a common version of her name.

"Salud," said Jack.

"A votre sante," said Alix. They touched their glasses to Kat's and sipped thoughtfully.

"Have you dined here before, Katya?" asked Alix. Kat wondered if the interview was beginning.

"I haven't, no, but I've read wonderful things about it."

"The chef is a friend of ours and has prepared a menu especially for the occasion."

"How nice," said Kat, swallowing more wine.

The meal was splendid: a chilled sour cherry soup followed by roasted duck and something Kat thought was like gnocchi, only lighter. Kat felt her nervousness subside as she ate and talked with the Clemenses. It turned out that they were trustees for a city council that sought corporate sponsorship for the arts, and they told her entertaining stories about Yo Yo Ma and David Mamet. Kat didn't know any celebrities, but she had acted in several small theater productions and had met some interesting people involved in the local theater scene. Another bottle of wine replaced the empty one midway through dinner, and Kat sipped lightly from a glass that seemed always half-full.

"Now my dear," Alix said, "are you feeling less apprehensive than you were last night?"

Kat smiled. "Yes, thank you." Jack leaned close to her and mock-whispered, "You needn't worry -- Alix seems rather forbidding at first, but she likes you. I can tell."

The couple's approval spread through her with a warmth that seemed disproportionate to the amount of time she had spent with them. "Jack is right, Katya. We find you quite charming." Alix reached her hand toward Kat, who hesitated, then slipped her own hand into the woman's smooth grip. "In fact, if you're amenable, we would very much like to continue the evening at our home."

"That sounds lovely," Kat said. As she spoke, she felt Jack's fingers graze her upper calf and slide up to her knee, where he rested his hand with almost imperceptible weight.

"Would you like coffee?" he asked, drawing her skirt upward with stealthy fingertips.

Kat shook her head, her breath hitching at his tickling touch. Alix leaned forward and caressed her neck and jawline.

"You're a lovely young woman, my dear." The woman's hand slipped between her knees, the touch firmer and no less exciting.

"I --"

"You need not speak, Katya." Alix's tone was firm. "Only relax, and enjoy. We will take care of you."

Kat flashed to the Clemenses caressing Marta, and Marta's obvious pleasure as the object of their attention. She shivered as Jack's exploratory fingertips danced lightly against her thigh. She was embarrassed, though she wasn't sure whether it was from being caressed in a public place or from the intense gazes of the couple.

"Perhaps we should take coffee and dessert at home," Jack suggested.

Alix rose and took Kat's hand, while Jack touched her elbow. She felt as though the couple was steering her to the exit. "What about my car?" Kat asked. The combination of the Burgundy and sexual tension left her feeling incapable of driving.

"Jack would be happy to follow us in your car, Katya."

It sounded very reasonable to her. She handed Jack her keys and let Alix help her into their car.

Alix was quiet as she drove. A Schubert sonata played on the public radio station as they wound through dark, curving streets. "Where do you and Jack live?" Kat asked.

"In Acacia Hill."

Kat resisted the urge to close her eyes, afraid she would fall asleep. They pulled into a subdivision full of large homes on tiny lots planted with tiny trees -- mini-mansions, her last boyfriend had called them -- and into the three-car garage of a house with a half-moon driveway and rather ridiculous-looking skinny pillars flanking the front entrance. Jack pulled alongside them in Kat's yellow Miata.

"Here we are," Alix said, opening Kat's door and extending her hand. "Won't you come in?"

The house looked normal and suburban enough -- no chains or manacles hanging from the walls, no video cameras on tripods, no dildo collection on the mantle. She sat on a dark blue sectional sofa and accepted the glass of mineral water Alix handed her. "You'll want to be adequately hydrated," Alix said.

Jack joined them in the living room, removing his shoes and sitting next to Kat. "I'm so glad you joined us this evening," he said. He pulled Kat's free hand toward his crotch. She didn't resist. His penis felt like the handle of her hairbrush through the light fabric of his trousers.

Alix sat on the other side of her and stroked her back in what seemed to Kat a maternal manner. "Yes, you're not only delectable, you also have a refined sensibility that we haven't seen in quite some time."

Kat swallowed. "I've never done anything like this before. I'm not some kinky, experimental type. I don't even have very interesting underwear." Alix didn't reply; instead, she lifted Kat's hair and pressed her lips softly to the nape of her neck.

"Oh!" Kat shuddered. Such a simple act, but it made Kat feel almost painfully aroused. "I guess what I'm trying to say is, well, I'm not exotic like Marta or anything." Jack smiled and moved her wrist so she was stroking his cock; Alix nibbled the back of her neck. "You're exactly as you should be, sweet Katya," he said, pressing her hand against his erection. "Save for the excessive amount of clothing you're wearing." He freed her hand and unbuttoned just one button of her blouse. "May I?" he asked politely.

"Please," she sighed, wondering if they were the same couple who dominated her in her fantasies, but enjoying their teasing, gentle touches even more.

"We will explain some rules to you later," Alix said, "but first, let's focus on making you feel more relaxed."

As Jack unbuttoned her blouse, Alix found the zipper on the side of her skirt and pulled it downward. She should have felt embarrassed or awkward, but with both of them solicitously assisting her, her overwhelming sensation was one of comfort and safety. She wondered if she should address them as "Master" and "Mistress," then sighed as Jack unzipped her boots -- "fucky boots," according to Leslie -- and gently massaged her feet. "Stand up, sweetness," he said, and she complied as Alix deftly unhooked her brassiere, rolled her pantyhose down her hips and legs, and slid her panties after them. "Step out of your dainties," Jack said, "and sit back down."

She felt like some fancy pastry on display in a baker's window as the couple gazed at her. "So pretty," Alix said, bending down to lick her breasts. Jack watched them and rubbed his hard-on through his pants. Kat saw a dark spot where droplets of pre-cum had leaked out, and she suddenly worried that she might be leaking herself.

"Your sofa, I mean . . . I don't want to . . ."

Alix laughed. "That's very considerate of you, my dear, but let us worry about the upholstery."

It was unnerving to be the only one naked in the room. It was all Kat could do not to cross her arms over her breasts.

Jack spoke: "Alix darling, shall I retrieve the implements? Implements? Kat thought. Her stomach contracted suddenly.

"Please," Alix replied. Jack crossed the room, where a gigantic cherry wood armoire stood. He rooted through the drawers for a few moments, then returned to the sofa holding two skeins of rope, a blindfold, a leather collar and leash, and a ball gag. The tightness in Kat's stomach turned into a flutter.

"Katya, would you be so good as to raise your arms for me? Lace your fingers together behind your head, please. And spread your knees, like that. Good," Alix purred. Kat's embarrassment intensified; she was sure she looked ridiculous. Alix and Jack set about binding her wrists, looping the nylon cord in quick curves and gently tightening the knots. They worked in silence, winding the rope around her torso and knotting it off periodically; when they needed Kat to shift position for better access, they gently, quietly guided the limb in question. When Jack tightened one section of rope, her breasts were hoisted, reminding Kat of the old Cross Your Heart bra ads. She had to bite the inside of her lip to keep from saying "it lifts and separates" and dissolving into nervous giggles.

The rope was snug against her skin, though not uncomfortably so. Lowering her eyes, she could see that her hosts were constructing a diamond-shaped pattern across her skin -- a kind of open-weave corset.

"Please stand," said Jack, who passed the rope between her legs and knotted it along her hips. Each time he tugged on the cord, it worked itself deeper into her crevasse, rubbing against her asshole and sending shivers up her back. He wound the rope around her leg, continuing to knot it at intervals, while Alix secured her section of rope at her crotch and followed suit with her other leg. Her clit was buzzing from the rope's proximity, and she wished someone would touch her more directly.

"Quite breathtaking," said Alix as they tied together the two ends of the rope dangling from her ankles, leaving a short length of rope between her feet. "Jack, your ropework becomes more intricate with every project." Kat felt like a trussed turkey. Alix encircled her neck with the leather collar, which was softly sueded next to her skin, and buckled it snugly.

"Would you like to see Jack's handiwork, Katya?" She nodded; it was one of the few movements she could make. Jack cupped her right buttock in his warm palm and urged her forward, toward the back hallway. She had to take small steps to keep from toppling over.

"Ohh, ohhh -- back on the chain gang," she sang in her best Chrissie Hynde warble. Alix and Jack stared at her. "Actually, I prefer "Bad Boys Get Spanked," Alix said. Kat stopped smiling and continued moving slowly toward the full-length mirror at the end of the hall.

The Kat -- or was it Katya? -- who stared back at her was striking. She couldn't believe that a couple of pieces of clothesline could transform her, but she looked -- she felt -- like a Richard Kern model caught in an intricate web, helpless but resisting. She twisted her torso experimentally: the diamond pattern dug into her pale skin like a brand. The twin strands of rope running between her legs were pulled outward by the tension in the weave so that her reddened clit was obscenely exposed. Her own image excited her.

Alix stepped into one of the bedrooms and returned with a wooden boar's bristle hairbrush. Kat flashed on her own well-molested brush, wondering, Is she going to insert it? Or spank me? Alix did neither; she softly ran the bristles through Kat's silky blonde tresses. She closed her eyes for several seconds and relaxed into the pleasure, the luxury of having someone else brush her hair. When she felt Alix stop, she opened them and watched the older woman gather her fine, glossy hair and twist it into a smooth chignon. She replaced the clip, then pulled out a lipstick and held Kat's chin firmly while she applied it thickly to the girl's lips.

"Very pretty," Alix whispered. Jack nodded. Kat wondered if they were as turned on as she was. She wanted to ask what was next, but the mystery in the unknown was as intoxicating as her own image and only intensified the squirmy feeling she had in her privates.

"Why don't we go back to the living room?" Alix and Jack led her back to the sofa. She wasn't able to bend her knees much, so the couple helped her lie on the sofa and propped her up on two thick pillows. "Would you like some more water?" She nodded, sipping carefully as Alix tipped the glass to her lips.

Jack adjusted the lights from a rheostat on the wall, dimming those on the perimeter of the room and turning up a line of lamps set into the ceiling overhead. He moved out of Kat's line of vision. She could him rummaging through a closet. When he returned, he carried a tripod and a camera bag.

"Wait, you're going to _photograph_ me?" she asked. "We didn't discuss that."

Alix pressed her lips together into a thin line, then picked up the ball gag and roughly shoved it into Kat's mouth. "Hold still!" she said sharply as she fastened it. Tears sprang to Kat's eyes, whether from fear or anger, she wasn't sure.

"Oh look, the poor nymphet doesn't like to be treated roughly. Jack, quick, get some shots of her like this."

She stubbornly looked away from the camera as it snapped and flashed. She imagined the lurid photos being mailed to her boss, her landlord, her parents, sheathed in a plain brown envelope.

"That's enough," said Alix. "Let me dry her tears, and you can take a few more."

The tall woman knelt next to Kat and bent over her. Her hot tongue lightly flickered against her lower lashes in a kind of reverse butterfly kiss, then traced a line down her cheek. Kat shivered. She couldn't help it. Had she ever felt this open -- this close -- to someone else? As Alix withdrew and leaned back, Jack moved toward her and clicked the shutter several times. "Very nice," his whisper raspy with arousal. "I'd like to get some of her in motion."

Motion? Kat wondered. What's next, are they going to put me in one of those ridiculous swings?

Alix nodded, then pulled out a drawer in the end table. She withdrew first a long ostrich plume, then a flogger. "That's a delightful idea, Jack," she said. The Mistress waved the feather in an invisible design over Kat's bound body, the soft tendrils not quite grazing her skin. She felt a flush spread across her chest and up her neck as she watched Alix move the plume with precise control; though it wasn't actually making contact with her skin, Kat felt as if she were being tickled. She tensed, willing herself not to cry again.

And then Alix made contact. She swirled the plume rapidly on the soles of poor Kat's feet, then skimmed it up her thighs and back down again. The sensation was too fine to withstand, and Kat writhed and jerked helplessly, the screams in her throat muted by the hard black ball in her mouth. The Mistress swished the feather back up Kat's legs, first one, then the other, then trailed it slowly, then more slowly, up her torso. Kat thought that the weave of knotted rope might dampen the tickling somewhat, but the mild but constant abrasion of the cording against her skin only heightened each sensation. Time slowed, though must not have stopped, if the flashes of Jack's camera were any indication.

"Mind if I try, dear?" Jack asked. Kat could hear her pulse thudding as Alix handed the instrument of torment to her husband. "Such a pretty little one," he said to Kat. He licked his lips while he twirled the plume thoughtfully. "So sensitive."

Jack's tickling style was faster, more aggressive than Alix's. Kat stiffened and arched her back in a helpless attempt to evade the teasing caresses, but he only slipped the feather underneath her and wiggled it maddeningly. When he paused, her skin tingled with the anticipation of where the feather might land next. She could feel her cunt juices dripping down her ass like flowing lava.

If only they'd remove this gag, she could pant, plead, reason with them. If only they'd loosen her bonds, she could sink her fingers into her cunt and ease its ache. She tried relaxing into the feathery sensations, breathing as slowly and deeply as she could manage. As Jack twirled the plume around her nipples, she concentrated on how taut and dark they looked, then the currents of pleasure radiating from each.

"Do you think she's had enough, Alix?" Jack wiggled the ostrich plume on the sides of Kat's neck, his trousers tented more than ever.

"Only if she promises to be a good girl. Do you promise?" Her words were soft, but there was no mistaking the trace of menace beneath them. Kat nodded, her eyes wide. Alix knelt to loosen the gag. She pulled it out of Kat's mouth and inserted her forefingers, which the girl suckled gratefully.

"Jack, why don't you remove your clothing?"

"I will. Thank you, dear." He yanked the camera strap over his head, handed it to his wife, and undressed hurriedly. His penis, circumcised and bobbing vigorously as he pulled his shirt and socks off, was set in a dense nest of wiry pubic hair shot through with silver. Distinguished grey, thought Kat. I wonder if he's ever considered using Grecian Formula.

Jack approached her. "Does my little girl want a taste?" He stood close enough to Kat's face that she could see the silvery bead of moisture on the tip of his cock. He gripped it at the base and squeezed, then rubbed it on her face. The camera snapped.

She didn't feel as though she had a lot of choice in the matter.

He pressed his warm hard-on to her lips, and she craned her neck to wrap them around the head. Her angle was all wrong. He stood still, not easing her task in the slightest. She varied her lips' pressure around the ridge and tentatively swiped her tongue over the head. His moan told her how good it felt.

Grinning, Alix set down the camera and lifted Kat up to a sitting, then a standing position. She felt wobbly. "Let's loosen these two knots, here -- " her fingers moved behind Kat's knees and the rope's tension relaxed. "Now, on your knees." She pressed hard on Kat's shoulder, forcing her to awkwardly bend and kneel. Alix firmly turned Kat's head toward Jack. "Isn't that more comfortable?" She stroked her captive's cheek.

Bucking his hips, Jack forced his dick deeper into her mouth. He tasted like salt and dried grasses. "Oh yeah, suck it," he groaned, pumping faster. Kat met his gaze and felt a bolt of heat charge through her. She knew she must look gorgeous with his shiny cock pistoning into her mouth. Her cunt flooded at the thought.

Alix seemed pleased with the sight as she fucked herself with three fingers. "Suck him hard, he likes that," she growled. As Kat inhaled around the cock, she felt Alix's slick fingers on her asshole. She clenched her ass and moaned at the sensation. "Yeah," he sighed. "Oh my god."

Alix teased her ass with a light touch, then pressed a wet fingertip to the tight bud. "Be a good girl, Katya," she said, slipping her finger inside. Even though Kat's skin was flushed with heat, she shivered as the Mistress worked her finger more deeply inside. Jack pulled his cock out of her mouth with a loud pop and bent over for a better view. "Can she take two fingers?" he asked, stroking his erection.

"Our Katya is capable of many things. More than she realizes," his wife said, twisting her wrist and shoving in another finger. Kat couldn't stop moaning now and wondered if the constriction of her asshole would cut off the circulation in her Mistress's fingertips. She would hate for Alix to stop what she was doing.

"Master," Kat gasped, "would you touch my pussy?"

"And stop jerking my cock?" he taunted. "You'll have to ask me more eloquently than that."

"Please! Dear Master, please play with my cunt." Kat felt close to hysteria, but all she cared about was coming. "I'll do anything you ask, just, please!"

He didn't reply, but he did sit on the floor next to her. He cupped her mound firmly and shook his arm, which sent tremors through her.

"Like this?" he asked.

"Oh yes," she said, but even as she did so she wished he would touch her clit. "Thank you."

Alix said, "I think our young friend deserves a little more than that, Jack."

He stared straight at Kat as he lightly traced the edges of her labia. The ache in her clit, the pressure in her ass made her lightheaded.

When he finally rubbed her stiff clitoris, she nearly wept. Instead she moaned and sighed, hoping he wouldn't stop. His fingers danced over her slippery clit. Alix pumped her fingers faster.

Gasping, she warned them, "If you keep doing that, oh Jesus, I'm gonna -- c-cu --!" Her orgasm detonated before she could finish, and she fell sideways as she spasmed. Alix's fingers were yanked from her hole, but Jack managed to continue his strumming as waves of pleasure overtook her. The sensation of his strong fingers on her clit became too much to endure, but he kept touching her as she shuddered and cried. Her body felt heavy and molten, as if she'd been recast into a whole new person.

She was dimly aware of Jack's caresses on her thighs and belly and Alix's tender kisses on her face. So this is how Marta must have felt, she thought. "You're a very good girl," one of them whispered. She couldn't open her eyes, but she felt the knots loosening. Her captors caressed the diamond-shaped indentations in her skin as they unbound her.

"I'm your girl," she whispered drowsily. Jack embraced her, then stood. "Time for bed, Katya," he replied. She'd never felt safer in her life.

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Copyright 2003 Absinthia Vixen