It came to his attention in the way things do, slowly, peeling away like an onion, each layer more confusing and shocking than the last. He’d discovered a part of her. A part of her she had clearly wanted to remain hidden.
“What in the Hell!”
Jess listened to the empty house. With his luck Shannon would walk in while he was too engrossed in her secrets to hear. He was just supposed to be loading a patch, after all, not poking around, but he was and the password protected files posed little difficulty. He was more interested in cracking the code than what was inside, until he got inside and saw what she’d been doing.
He pulled up file after file, agendas, time lines, long carefully constructed documents with each reference carefully footnoted, with an ever-expanding bibliography. This wasn’t a thesis, and if it was, it would certainly get an “A” for thoroughness, but an “F” for application. There was only one focus of it all; it was designed unmistakably for one purpose and one purpose only. When he opened the schematics, his interest tripled. What in the hell did a psychiatrist know about engineering? But the design wasn’t bad, he had to admit. There were some little things that were inaccurate, but she’d clearly done her research. He suppressed the urge to correct her mistakes.
Then there was the creak of a floorboard and his worst nightmare came true.
She blinked, her sharp green eyes flickering behind her glasses. “What–what are you doing?” Those brilliant eyes flitted to the screen and went wide with horror. She launched her body at him, at the computer.
He scrambled away.
“What in the hell are you doing!” she screamed, her red hair like a blur of flames.
Caught in the act, he had no explanation, and no strategy but to stand there and stammer, a man’s most used defense. “I–I–I was–I was—”
She turned and snarled, closing one file after another and making a mess of things. The computer froze and she cursed. “You son of a bitch!”
He pointed at the monitor. “What–what is all that stuff?”
Her pale freckled face turned beet red. “It’s–it’s nothing! It’s–it’s none of your Godamn business!” The furious blush crept down her neck spreading across her collar bone, the tops of her breasts and her bare freckled shoulders.
He was on the defensive. He reacted by attacking. Perhaps it was the German in him or perhaps it was just that his cool blue eyes, blond hair and angular, handsome face made always caught people off guard when it erupted with anger. “It sure as hell is something!”
Her tone dipped low and quiet like a steaming furnace. “Get out.”
He started to; he actually turned to leave, but caught himself. “No.”
Her sharp eyes raged at him, full of tears. “Get out!” She was nearly speechless with rage. She couldn’t exactly force him to leave, and she knew it.
“No.” He took a deep breath. Quietly, methodically, he said, “Just talk to me, Shannon.”
She employed a woman’s best defense: she shut down, went cold.
“I know what I saw,” he tried.
She re-booted the computer and waited with her arms crossed. Her calves trembled with tension; her shoulders were so tight they ached.
“It . . . looked, I mean . . . wow.” He tried to catch her eyes, but what little he glimpsed was a white hot flash of anger.
Her lips pressed together, squeezing the blood from them.
“You can’t hide the files, you know. I’m just going to find them again.”
She wiped the tears from her face and said, “I’ll delete them.”
“No, you won’t.”
“You can’t. You’ve spent months on–on whatever that is. No one could just throw it all away now. Just tell me what you were doing. What was the point of it?”
She marched for the door, but he got there first and slammed it shut.
She leveled her eyes at him. “Let me out.”
“Not until you tell me what’s going on.”
She swallowed, turned pale, turned even redder, flexed her jaw, wrapped her arms tightly over her breasts, and screamed at him. “Let me the fuck out!”
She stared at him for a long time. “I’ll–I’ll call the police.”
He sighed. “Okay.”
“This is kidnaping.”
He rolled his eyes. “Oh, for God’s sake, Shannon. Just talk to me!”
She flinched, stood, waited him out for as long she could manage then turned and sat back in her chair. The computer was loading Windows, searching for a wireless connection, loading security software.
He dragged a chair over to her and sat down in front of her. “Okay . . . let me tell you what I saw. I saw a very detailed program, a psychological program that was manipulative as shit, using every trick in the book as far as I could tell, and you wrote it. It looked kind of like, well, kind of like brainwashing.”
She blinked, swallowed. She was a terrible poker player.
“And I saw some schematics and a blueprint that seemed to be the hub of it all. And it was pretty well done. I’m not sure that much electronics would fit into your design . . . it would be tight, but the design specs were unmistakable.”
Her lips relaxed just a little. “I–I wasn’t sure.”
“And actually,” he nodded with an impressed smile, “I thought it was pretty clever to have an external controller, you know, like your PC here, but still the sensors, the voltage required . . . I’m just not sure it would work.”
She averted her gaze and whispered under her breath, “You had no right.”
“I didn’t. I know. And I didn’t mean to. It just sort of happened.”
Her nod was almost imperceptible.
“But now that it’s out . . . why can’t you just tell me what you’re hoping to accomplish with it?”
Her tone was distant. “It . . . it was just a thought experiment.”
He thought about it for a moment, but shook his head. “A thought experiment is one thing, but the time you must’ve put into it.”
“Jessie,” she turned and her green eyes stung him. She could do that: reach right inside him and twist him into knots. “Please . . . I don’t want to talk about this.”
He nodded. “Well, I do.”
“Then–” she said it before she even realized the meaning, “–maybe we should re-think our relationship.”
His jaw went slack; his eyes, wide. She could see the hurt in his face. “Wh-what?”
She shrugged, meaning it to be as cold and cutting as it turned out to be. “I mean, what with me not being able to trust you and all.”
He sat in stunned silence for a long time, then stood abruptly and marched out of the room, slamming the door behind him. A moment later, she heard the front door slam and his car start. In another moment, his screeching tires let her know she was finally alone.
She stared at the monitor for a long time, before she navigated her not-quite-clever-enough file structure and found the file, her detailed notes, her drafts, her nearly finished design, and the schematics for the collar.
It took about a week for her to forgive him, and she never said it, but after the first smile, which broke on her face without her permission (he was just so stupid), they exchanged apologies, had some pretty Earth-shaking sex and went on with their lives. Well, sort of, there was still a gigantic boulder sitting between them. They didn’t feel close anymore. They didn’t feel together, but they were. He was as sweet as pie for weeks, before his old relaxed personality made its return.
She wondered how much longer they would last. She just didn’t feel the same way about him. Oh, she certainly loved him, but she just didn’t feel that sense of connection. She supposed it was because she couldn’t trust him anymore, and she felt bad for it. After all, he hadn’t cheated on her, hadn’t even come close. She knew he never would. Every girlfriend she had, asked that question first: “Did he cheat on you?” When she tried to explain, they sighed and in no uncertain terms told her to get over it. Oh, they sympathized, agreed he was wrong, but he hadn’t really done anything, just snooped on her computer. Hell, they snooped on their boyfriend’s computers all the time, and went through their boyfriend’s cell phone histories and worse.
She knew she was lucky, but she could also sense that things just weren’t the same between them, and she didn’t know how to fix it.
Then he began coming home later and later.
He wasn’t cheating. He couldn’t be. Not him. Despite her friends whispering in her ear, she just hadn’t ever thought it was like him, but he was distracted and hardly ever around, and when he was, his mind was clearly not on her. It was a sign of cheating, after all. They hadn’t had the same kind of relationship, the same closeness. Maybe this was his way of ending it.
She felt lonely, even when they were together. She felt unhappy. Not just unhappy, but a profound sense of sadness. She loved him, and she was losing him, and she didn’t know how to stop it. She could feel him slipping through her fingers, and it was her fault.
Then came the night when he came home well past midnight. She was up, waiting, laying in bed, pretending to sleep, but waiting, listening to him trying so hard to be quiet, navigating the dark room, the sounds of the bathroom, the toilet, the faucet, the click of the light. She felt him sneak into bed, felt him snuggle up behind her. She didn’t squirm away, but she didn’t melt into him either.
Her voice was much flatter and colder than she intended, than she’d ever heard it be before. “Where were you?”
He smiled into her ear, his unshaven cheek rough on her neck, the stubble of his chin like sandpaper on her soft shoulder. She tensed. “Finishing up at work.”
Her tone became even colder, accusing. “I thought they weren’t offering overtime anymore.”
He hummed like a happy camper. “Well, what they don’t know. . . . You know?”
“So, you’re working without pay now? Don’t you think they know how much they pay you?” Why wasn’t he taking the hint? Couldn’t he hear the tension in her voice? Was he that dim? Was he drunk? She didn’t smell alcohol on him.
“Mm-hm, but it’s all worth it.”
She squirmed away from him. It was her last resort, but he was apparently too damn thick to get it.
She heard the wet clack of his throat, felt the tense moment stretch out.
“I made something.”
“Well, aren’t you special.” God, was she really that much of a bitch?
“It’s what I’ve been doing late every night. It’s for you. It’s going to fix things.”
She turned over his words in her mind for a long time, attacking their every surface for meaning, for subterfuge. She came up blank. “Fix what things.”
Invisible strings turned her toward him. His blue eyes gleamed in the light of the LED clock. He’d piqued her curiosity and she wouldn’t forgive him for it. “What are you talking about?”
He licked his lips. “I know I fucked up. I shouldn’t have looked at that stuff, and I did, and I could promise never to do it again, but you won’t believe me, because that’s how you are. You always believe the worst about people, and once they’ve fucked up with you, they don’t get a second chance.”
Tears sprang to her eyes. Her voice sounded weak and foolish. “That’s not true.”
“I knew flowers wouldn’t cut it, or a diamond or anything, you know? It had to be something really amazing.”
She shook her head. “What, are you going to bribe me?”
“No. This is something much better than a bribe.”
“Jess,” she sighed, “I’m really tired.”
“I made it.”
She studied his eyes. They were filled with something indefinable. She could usually read people pretty damn well. It was her job, after all, to know people better than they knew themselves, to explain what made them tick. But his eyes were full of something she couldn’t quite get at: pride, fear, hope, excitement, arousal, something strange.
“What are you talking about?”
She barely got the words out before he’d scurried away. When he returned, he flicked on the lights and she let out a squeal of complaint, rubbing her throbbing eyes. He apologized, laid his briefcase on the bed and looked damn silly in his striped boxers, like an accountant who’d forgotten to dress for work.
He flipped up the latches, and paused. “Are you ready for this?”
She sighed. “Whatever. Let’s get on with it so I can get back to sleep.”
His face fell, but he opened the case anyway.
He delivered unto her a circle of silver, placed it like a crown on the bed beside her. It wasn’t silver, of course, but it was smooth and metal and was just the right size for her–was just about the same size as–looked almost exactly like—
“What—” she asked, studying the device, in shock, “what did you do?”
It was not so much a question as an accusation.
It sat there like a gleaming wart on the bed.
She couldn’t bring herself to touch it.
“I haven’t finished the software for it, but preliminary tests are pretty damn promising. Now, I couldn’t quite fit everything in. I hope you won’t be disappointed. I got the big stuff though. The MRI sensors, the EST stuff, though it’s not going to put out the kind of voltage you were hoping for, but I adjusted it a little. I put two prongs on the back here, see?”
She did see, but could only nod. There were no words.
“And I think that’ll do, because it should hit the spinal cord and do more with less, so to speak. So they won’t just get a neck shock, but if all goes well and the placement can be maintained, it will deliver a hell of a jolt to the entire body, all at once, right down the spinal column. I mean, legs arms, you name it. It’s fucking vicious . . . er, so I assume. I haven’t exactly tested it on–”
“What in the hell did you do?”
He blinked. “What–what do you mean?”
He’d built it. The collar.
“Why–why would you do this?” Was she feeling betrayed? No, not betrayed. She couldn’t get her head around it. It had to be a replica, a fake, a trick, a joke.
“Because . . . you wanted me to.”
“No, I didn’t!”
“Well, I mean, I guess I thought . . . . why did you design it?”
“It was just a fucking experiment! It was something you practice on, think about on the way to work, something you mess around with, something you–you–”
“Like a hobby?”
Her throat cut her off in mid-reply. All she could think how “Freudian” that gulping throat was. She nodded.
“Shannon, this was no hobby. I mean, shit! The hours you put into it–”
“That’s not the point!”
It wasn’t betrayal. He’d gone back into her computer; he had to have; but she wasn’t pissed about it. She should be. He’d made it worse: betrayed her all over again. So why wasn’t she angry? Why wasn’t she spitting in his face and slinging about terms like “trust” and “liar”?
She was feeling something, and it wasn’t anger. It wasn’t betrayal. It wasn’t hate. It was–was—
She was scared.
She was in shock.
With a start she realized how deeply he’d gotten. It wasn’t a wound, but it was an opening. He’d slipped inside and penetrated something she didn’t even want to admit was there. Her absolute deepest desire had just been placed on the bed beside her, and she was scared out of her mind.
Things did not go well. He was hurt; he was defensive, and angry, and pouting. He’d done it for her, after all, to fix things, to give her what he knew she wanted, and how could she say she didn’t want it. He’d done it to connect with her again, to be a part of that secret file she kept hidden from him, to share, to have something to talk about. He’d envisioned lazing around on Sundays and joining her little thought experiment, but he’d gone too far. He’d created the collar, brought it into existence and now she couldn’t forget it.
Why? Why had he done it?
But she knew why. She always knew why people did things. He’d done it because he was a trained engineer. A brilliant engineer. He’d done it because that’s what engineers do: build things, take designs and make them real. And because he was a man, and men are solution oriented. She had a problem, an idea. He fixed it, brought it to life.
She heard him banging through the house downstairs. She went downstairs, not to speak to him, but to make sure he was okay. No, to spy on him. She even knew why she did things, as annoying as that was. He’d settled into the couch and was already snoring, the bastard.
She didn’t sleep a wink the entire night.
The next morning, the collar was conspicuously absent. She didn’t ask, didn’t want to know.
But she did.
He’d left for work early, to avoid her no doubt.
She wanted to know where it was.
She dressed for work, but her heart wasn’t in it.
Where had he put it?
By the time she’d made it the car, she coughed once and decided she was sick. She wasn’t sick. She was fine, but she felt sick. She wanted to stay home. She knew what it was to be manipulated. She’d been manipulated before, had manipulated plenty of people, colleagues, teachers, parents, boyfriends, even Jessie, though he was usually too dim to know it, or didn’t care. And more often than not, she failed to manipulate him in quite the way she intended, because he had a strange way of thinking that caught her off guard all the time.
Like with the collar.
Who could’ve predicted he’d do such a stupid thing?
She should’ve predicted it, but she hadn’t. Why? Because she hadn’t want to think about it. And all those months, hours, weeks, days she’d spent compiling notes, studying, researching. . . . How practiced she’d become at self-denial.
She’d been very clever about keeping it all compartmentalized. She knew it, but didn’t know it. Why had she been so interested in it? Because once she had the idea, she couldn’t let go of it. Like Jess, she’d been driven to create it, and now he’d created it. Now, it was in the house.
She was in the house.
She should get rid of it.
Who was she kidding? She wasn’t going to get rid of it. She was manipulating herself or being manipulated by her subconscious. It was like an addiction.
What if he’d taken it with him to work? What if it he’d thrown it away? Destroyed it? But he hadn’t. He couldn’t. Like her, he’d spent far too much time on it. He was proud of it, the same way she was proud of her “experiment”.
What she didn’t know was if it would really work? Could you really do that to someone? She wasn’t anxious to find out, but she was, but she didn’t want to be.
What in the hell was wrong with her?
But she didn’t want to.
She had her hand wrapped tight around the cold knob to the study, his study.
She’d stayed home for a reason. She’d called in sick for a reason. She was at the door to his think space, his work space for a reason.
The problem with being a psychiatrist of her caliber was you couldn’t even bullshit yourself.
He might have taken it with him, taken it to work, put it back in his briefcase because he hadn’t known what to do with it.
When she opened the door, she spotted it right away, sitting on his desk.
A chill went through her.
She swallowed and swallowed, but the lump in her throat wouldn’t fall. She approached the collar, all gleaming and shiny and silver, like a fish lure, like bait. Her shoulders shuddered. The hairs on the back of her neck prickled. Goose bumps crawled across her arms and legs, tweaked her nipples, made her knees go soft.
It sat there, quiet and still and so full of meaning.
“It’s just a thing,” she informed herself. “An object. It’s inanimate.”
She reached down and pressed her finger to it. It was cold. What did she expect? A zap?
Beneath it were papers, his papers, his design. Had he really followed all her specifications? If so, then that meant . . . he knew. Knew about her. But did he really know? He didn’t seem to; he didn’t act like he did. Did he really buy her story about it being a thought experiment? Well, it was, but it was so much more, wasn’t it?
She picked it up, examined it, and for a moment the pulsing warm wetness between her legs faded. Under the light of his magnifying desk lamp she could just make out tiny little veins, wires, she thought, which connected the components. Remote MRIs for distinguishing brain function and emotional states; Electric Shock Therapy for Pavlovian conditioning, and many more wicked things.
It flashed as she turned it over under the light, and a reflection caught her eye. A disc.
In a trance, she gathered up the papers, the disc, the collar and carried it to her computer. She could smell her own sweat, her own desire, and it made things so much worse. If only she could escape, but she didn’t want to. She was tense. She was horny. She was nervous. She hadn’t felt like this since . . . when? Since she was a virgin and was face to face with her first cock.
It was the first shot of whiskey for an alcoholic, the first shot of heroin for the drug attic, the first taste of the addicted.
She put the disc into her computer.
She studied the collar. It opened easily enough.
She set it down.
Her hands were trembling.
She didn’t want to set it down, but she could barely hold it in her shaking grasp.
There were tons of files, mostly documents, and tons of executables all with version numbers after it: Collar 1.0, Collar 1.1, Collar 1.2, Collar Control 2.0, Control 2.3, Remote Operator 5.
She didn’t really know which was which, but she’d known Jessie for awhile, and had assisted a software firm years ago with personnel problems. One of the problems was a down and out battle about naming protocols. She’d spent a lot of time learning how the software technicians worked and thought. She thought she could follow Jess’s train of thought, from one incarnation of the program to another. You did versions when you were updating, but when you ran up against a wall, you started over and it was human nature to rename the entire thing.
She laughed at herself and gave up that line of thought when she realized she could check the dates of creation and modification. She opened a few and Jess, always the master of thoroughness, had not only typed out each and every change, but had dated them as well.
She found it after only fifteen minutes, a file labeled CORE 8.2. It had the last creation date, the most changes, and the last dated entries.
She was surprised to see the collar was back in her hand. She’d picked it up without realizing it. The moment she’d found the file that controlled it, her hand had snatched it up, a purely subconscious response.
She was covered in sweat, and no longer smelling terribly sweet. She should go shower. She double clicked the CORE program. While it loaded, she could go shower. A screen opened up but was blank. It was still loading.
The collar clicked. She heard it and felt it.
She caught her finger twirling a lock of hair into a tight painful knot and stopped it. She hated when she did that. Her subconscious was incredibly active. And why wouldn’t it be? She was playing with fire, the stuff of dreams. Even worse, the stuff of limbic, alligator-brain desires. The stuff that turned men into cavemen on the battlefield and in the bedroom. The stuff that turned women into competitive backbiters in the boardroom and submissive kittens on their backs.
The file loaded. She looked at the interface. It wasn’t pretty. It was crude. It could take her hours to figure it all out. She should go shower. She was ripe. Her hair was stringy and oily. How long had she been sitting here?
She went through the menu, scrolled through commands. This was not a nice, polished Windows type-software with pretty graphics, knobs, and sliders. She supposed the display came later. First it had to work.
She opened the core functions and clicked the box that said “Lock”, almost by accident.
The collar snapped closed and clicked several times, sounding a little like a beetle chirping at a mate. It was so fast, so violent, she nearly dropped the thing. She wondered how sturdy it was.
It’s magnetic, she thought. It has to be. But would the magnetism create problems? Would it attract metal objects like keys? Would it interfere with things like hard drives that were also magnetic?
She touched her ring to it, the ring Jess had given her for her birthday. There was no attraction. If it was magnetic, it was only attracted to itself.
She unchecked the “Lock” box and the collar released.
A gust of air seemed to come from nowhere. Her panties seemed suddenly cold. She pulled up her skirt and noticed with surprise that they were soaked. She thought it was probably sweat. Her blouse was soaked as well, but she’d been sitting back in the chair.
She stood, unbuttoned her skirt, unzipped it, let it fall and kicked it to the side. A familiar scent wafted up from between her thighs. It wasn’t sweat. She was so fucking turned on she’d actually wet her panties. She couldn’t remember the last time that had happened. Had it ever happened? Had she ever gotten so excited she actually leaked through her lips and drenched her underwear?
But she knew why; it was because of what she was thinking.
She was thinking about putting the collar around her neck. She was thinking of wrapping the pretty collar around her pretty neck and checking the box. She was thinking of what it might feel like to have the collar suddenly snap shut around her neck. She was thinking of what it might feel like if suddenly she couldn’t get it off, if it wouldn’t unlock, if somehow she or the program started some automated system that brought all her worst plans and dreams and nightmares to life.
She was actually shaky.
She rubbed her wet panties a little, her knuckles brushing softly against her thigh. She was incredibly wet, incredibly turned on. If Jess were here. . . .
Her fingers slipped up and down the wet ridge beneath the panties, her swollen lips. She suppressed a moan by biting down on her bottom lip hard. For a moment, she thought she’d drawn blood, and the thought drove her even crazier. She could get up and go get her vibrator, but the sensation was so delicious, so perfect, so tingly and buzzy that she didn’t want to break the spell.
She felt the hard collar in her left hand.
She placed the cold, hard collar around her neck, pushed it against her neck, fearing pinched skin if the thing should suddenly snap shut.
With some disappointment, she realized it was too small, or almost too small. It barely fit around her neck. Still, if she stretched her neck up a little, tried to thin it out, it might just loop around entirely.
She pressed it into her throat with her left hand while her right hand abandoned it’s pleasurable activity to find the mouse. She had it positioned right above the “Lock” box, but didn’t dare click it.
This could be bad, she realized. What if it was too tight? What if it cut off her oxygen or her carotid artery, cut off the flow of blood to her brain? Why had he made it so tight? Maybe he just didn’t have a good idea of her neck size.
She decided to risk it. It had already locked and unlocked once. There was no reason to think it wouldn’t do it again.
The last words of idiots and assholes, she thought, who got themselves killed doing something stupid.
A drip of liquid made its way down her thigh, crawling around beneath it.
She clicked the “Lock” box and the collar violently snapped closed around her neck.
She flinched, let out a yelp, then groaned with excitement, feeling both of her hands snap to her wet panties. She felt the pulsing of the major arteries in her neck, but didn’t feel lightheaded or dizzy, at least not from reduced blood flow. She rubbed herself to a feverish pitch, having a crashing orgasm almost at once, then finding herself bouncing in her chair, her nipples rubbing against her bra. She clawed at her blouse, at her bra, caught a bare nipple in her hand and twisted it as another orgasm crashed through her.
Through a haze, through barely open eyelids, she noted the menu had a control called, “Vocabulary”.
He’d done it, included so much more than she’d ever imagined.
She arched her back, the restriction of the collar adding to her overheated arousal, pulled at her breast and came around her fingers while her legs twitched with spasms.
Several minutes later, when a few coherent thoughts began to reappear in her mind, amidst the “Oh Gods”, she finally realized she was in terrible trouble.
Her hands still sticky, her thighs still slick, her chair soaked with sweat, her clothes half torn from her body, her fingers began to fly across the keyboard.
Addiction never felt better.
She placed the collar back, finalizing its placement several times, realizing she shouldn’t have been in such a hurry. She should’ve paid more attention, taken a photograph so she could replace it exactly as she’d found it. She replaced the CD, the papers and heard the front door slam.
This wouldn’t do.
She opened the top drawers of his desk and messed up the contents, then scooted upstairs and into bed. She’d give him a story about looking through his desk for Aspirin. He did have occasional migraines; he’d probably believe her.
After a long while, plenty enough time to get her heartbeat slowed and look sleepy, he came in and called her name. “Shannon?”
She tried to sound sick. “What?”
“What are you doing home?”
“I didn’t feel good.”
He shuffled into the bathroom and called out again. “Did you go to work?”
She didn’t answer, because if she’d been sick she wouldn’t have answered.
He shuffled back into the bedroom. “Did you go to work today?”
She whined. “No, I just told you I didn’t feel good.”
Typical Jess. Get a little grumpy, confuse him a little and he couldn’t run away fast enough.
He peeked back in. “Do you need anything. Cold compress? Back rub? Foot rub?”
Back rubs usually led to sex. As well as foot rubs, but it was a nice thought. He was trying to be nice. She felt more than a little guilty. She felt even guiltier once she realized it was the perfect time to provide a cover story.
“No, but . . . I couldn’t find any Aspirin. I’ve looked everywhere.”
“Okay. I’ll find some.”
She played sick for another hour. An hour she spent in turmoil, tossing and turning in bed, her fingers wrapped around her neck, her fingers playing idly with a nipple. She could still feel the metal warming around her throat, the clicking of it sealing itself up, trapping her. She was wet all over again, horny, wanting, willing, but first she had to make a miraculous recovery. Then she could see if he was still willing to volunteer that back rub.
She sat at the desk, loaded up the software and studied the collar. Just touching it had her nerves on edge. Just feeling its weight in her hand had her heart in her throat, her nipples up, her thighs squeezing comfortably together.
She scrolled through the menus, finding herself drawn again and again to the “Vocabulary” menu. It wasn’t a dictionary, but a compilation, a grouping, because that’s how the brain worked. Different types of words lit up different areas of the brain. You couldn’t, even with the most sophisticated MRIs, locate the exact synaptic pattern that fired when a person thought of a particular word, but there were entire categories you could find. For example, all words representing the self could be located. A pattern could be defined. And if you could define it, you could limit it, erase it or at the very least disrupt the pattern. Then, a chill went through her, a delicious icy chill that her panties leaking again. On the screen before her was a command button with the word “Self” on it.
She held the collar with great trepidation, as she clicked the button.
“Myself, me, I, mine,” she said aloud, and felt a little foolish. The collar was an ordinary inanimate object. It did nothing. Made no clicks. Made no threats.
She swallowed and took a deep breath.
She sat the collar on the desk and rubbed herself through her wet panties. It threatened to go on forever, especially after she began rolling a hard nipple between two fingers. Just a little taste of heaven, a little appetizer, a little bit of pleasure to carry her forward. If she were aroused enough, she could talk herself into anything, and so could Jess.
She remembered the time he’d kept her on the edge of an orgasm and refused to let her get off until she offered him a favor. He wouldn’t say what. She’d been expected to provide her own creativity. Finally, somehow, either through his imagination planted in her euphoric mind or through her own, she’d offered up herself, and a lap dance. He got his lap dance, and she got her orgasm, and to date it was the best she’d had in her life, because somehow it felt he was controlling her, coercing her into doing it with the drug of sex as a reward.
It was a drunken night that hadn’t been repeated, but she thought about it frequently, even now.
Without thinking, she snatched the collar from her desk and pressed it to her neck. She found the main menu and started to click the “Lock” box, but spotted a box above it that said “Auto”. Before she could stop herself, her fingers had clicked the box. The collar snapped shut and clicked rapidly. She flinched. It was so sudden, she’d practically jumped out of the chair. Her heart was racing.
The menu grayed out.
“What the fuck?” She clicked at the gray “Lock” box, but there was nothing to click. She scrolled through several menus and saw many of them were now unavailable. “Oh fuck oh fuck.”
She was stuck. And who knew what would happen? And it didn’t help that she wasn’t thinking clearly, that she was out of her head with excitement. Her panties flooded with fresh arousal. “Not now–” She wasn’t sure who she was talking to, but she was sure it wouldn’t answer back.
Finally, with a sigh of relief, she found the main menu again and saw there was a submenu that had suddenly become available. Under it were times. Hours, minutes and seconds. She typed in 10 seconds, hit the enter button and counted to 10 . . . then 11, then 15. “Oh shi–”
The collar released.
She fell back in her chair, covered again with a sheen of sweat. She closed her eyes, felt her pulse throbbing in her cheeks and neck and nipples and decided she needed something cold to drink.
On her way to the refrigerator, she realized that she was excited beyond belief. She’d nearly gotten herself stuck, and she wanted to do it again. She wanted to find another way. Of course, there was such a way. As soon as she put in a time, the timer menu grayed out. All she had to do was put in something ridiculous, 25 hours, 100, 1000 and she would be stuck for a very long time. She wasn’t sure if the collar could be cut off. She supposed she could, but not without destroying it, and that wasn’t the point.
What was wrong with her that this kind of bizarre thing was getting her off?
The ice water made her teeth ache, but it felt good.
She’d always been a tad claustrophobic. She’d always had a difficult time in relationships, because she had such a hard time giving up control, trusting, but here was Jess who hadn’t insisted on either, and now she was wishing he had. She wanted to give up control now. What had happened? What had changed?
She knew the answer, of course. She’d grown up and had eroticized her fears. It was the kind of thing that happened frequently to people.
She fit the collar back on and typed in 1 hour and hit the enter button. It snapped closed and clicked several times.
That’s it, she thought. I’m stuck for an hour.
But her hands were already moving. They were on the Vocabulary menu. They found the “Self” button. Another experiment?
She clicked it and waited.
Nothing. No clicks, no shocks.
Maybe it’s broken, she mused. Or maybe it doesn’t do what I—
A jolt shot down her spine, across her shoulders and her body seized violently. Her arms shot out, her legs twisting. She jerked herself out of the chair. Her skin tingled. She had the sudden horrible thought that her hair was sizzling, but it wasn’t. It was just fear and a terrible reaction to a terrible amount of pain. She’d never felt anything like it.
Long after it had faded, her body was still trembling, still frozen, afraid to move, stunned. She was in a form of shock, she realized. She slowly, shakily, made her way back into the chair and tried to catch her breath. He wasn’t kidding when he said it would deliver a wicked shock down the spine and into the limbs. She never wanted to feel that again. Ever. And almost at once she realized how dangerous, how effective her little design was. The negative conditioning would be more powerful than she ever imagined.
And because of the MRI sensors, you didn’t have to say a word, only think it. You really could control someone’s reactions and thoughts that way. With just a few terrible shocks, they’d be putty in your hands.
Then she realized she’d locked the collar on for an hour, which meant for the next hour, if she so much as thought anything that lit up the part of the frontal lobe that signified she was thinking of her “self”, she was in for a nasty paralyzing electrocution.
Okay, she thought, okay. Everything’s okay. Just have to wait out the hour.
But what if at the end of the hour, it didn’t open.
She couldn’t think about that right now. It had worked after 10 seconds. But that was seconds. This was an hour. Maybe she’d accidently typed in a 1 in the day column rather than the hour column. Maybe she’d misread the prompts.
She took a deep breath and fussed at her subconscious.
It wasn’t helping. The collar would work as designed, and she hadn’t misread or mistyped anything. She had to wait the hour . . . while keeping a very close eye on her thoughts.
She scrolled through grayed out menus. She shook her head. It was just like her thought experiment. Every feature. Every program. If one knew what one was doing, they could construct an automatic program to reduce someone . . . to reduce someone—
Her hand shot down her panties, into and deep, finding her clitoris and squealing a little from discomfort, finding some moisture to ease the way, and attacking it with short soothing strokes.
She thought about what she wanted to do and shook her head.
No, no, no. Mustn’t do that.
But she could. The collar made it possible. The collar she’d designed. The collar that Jess built.
“Oh God this feels so fucking good,” she said to her hand, closed her eyes, sank down in the chair and rubbed until she was in a blinding white light of pleasure. In her mind, Jess was there, towering over her, saying “Good girl!” over and over again. “Oh, God, yes.” She imagined herself on her hands and knees and wagging her ass in front of him. She imagined his hands catching her soft rump and squeezing it until she whimpered from the pain. “Oh, Jess . . . fuck me–”
Pain shot through her limbs, burning her fingers and toes, her lips and her nipples, her arms and legs twisting with spasms of pain as electricity coursed through every part of her. She landed hard on her ass, hard enough to make her see stars. Without warning, she burst into tears, apologizing, “Sorry, sorry.” She wasn’t sure if she was apologizing to herself, Jess or the collar. But she noted quickly, she hadn’t made it personal. There was no “I’m” in the sorrowful begging.
She had to wear this collar for a mere an hour, and in only 10 minutes her brain had learned not to think anything painful. By the end of the hour, what would her brain have learned without her permission?
By the end of the hour, it was very possible, she realized that she would have erased all sense of her “self” from her brain.
Now all she had to worry about was how long it would last.
She felt guilty. It was deep and powerful. Once when she was very little, she’d discovered she could roll back and forth on her hand and make something wonderful happen. A churning pleasure would build, sort of pop inside her and fade with a glorious euphoria. She thought of it as making her body smile. Plus, it was a great way to get to sleep. Until she got caught by a day care worker who’d fussed at her. The woman was stern and sharp and Shannon remembered all too well the shame, the tears that had almost instantly burst from her eyes, and how she so wanted to be a good girl. She couldn’t have been sorrier if she’d tried.
She’d carried that humiliation with her for years. Even now, she could feel it. That’s how deep rooted it was. Such deep roots lead to deep conditioning that last the life of the brain.
Jessie kissed her on the cheek, wrapped his arms around her and for once, there was no sign of an erection. She had her back to him, her hands busy chopping a cucumber. He nuzzled her ear and apologized.
He sounded pitiful.
Her eyes welled with tears. She nodded and let out a weak, “Thank you.”
She put together a salad while he worked on some pork chops. He told her about his day, about the ball game, about the bar, about the car making a funny knocking sound, about making plans for a weekend to get away from it all, to spend some quality time together.
She was quiet.
He talked about his job a little, about a new project, about the office, about his boss, about his evaluation and his bonus, about maybe working on the house, maybe remodeling the second bath like they’d always wanted.
She nodded and listened, but didn’t say much.
He set his fork down, took a sip of wine and appeared tired. “What’s wrong?”
She blinked. “Nothing.”
He shook his head. “I hate it when you say that, when clearly something is going on.”
“No, no,” she said and gave him a timid smile, “everything’s fine.”
He stared at her and sat back in his chair, his fork resting on a half eaten pork chop. He let out a big sigh. “I just want . . . to get back to where we were, but I don’t know how to do that.”
“How do I do that, Shannon? You know I’ll do it, whatever it is.”
“Jess, really, everything’s fine.”
“Then why are you so quiet?”
“You know . . . people get quiet sometimes.”
He swallowed, studied the crack where the leaf in the table would go if they had company. “Is it–is it your–uh–”
She gave him a quick glare. “No. Just not talkative tonight. Is that okay?”
He nodded, still eyeing the table. “Okay . . . but it’s because of me, or us, I mean.”
“No, Jess! Would you leave it alone? Every thing is fine. Just don’t have anything to say tonight. Tired is all.”
He blinked curiously at her. “O-okay.”
She felt bad. He hadn’t done anything wrong. Well, he had, but she’d already forgiven him for it. Hadn’t she? She couldn’t very well go back on it now.
She went to her office. He went to his. By midnight, she was exhausted. After the collar had come off, not only had she emerged shaky and feeling “off”, but she realized she’d expended an incredible amount of energy, especially brain energy. She was starving and needed sugar. But even replenishing the glucose her brain had burned off was not enough. And why had it burned up so much fuel? It was under stress, that’s why, and had probably been in the process of doing emergency re-wiring. Even now, she couldn’t seem to get to certain words. She couldn’t even remember what words they were. She’d heard Jessie using them, of course, but somehow they didn’t seem to apply to her anymore.
By the time her head hit the pillow, she was fast asleep.
What felt like minutes later, someone started shaking her awake again. She blinked and grumbled and whined and tried to turn over, but the rude hands wouldn’t allow it.
“It was the collar.”
She blinked and frowned. “What?”
Jessie looked down upon her, his eyes wandering from her face to her exposed leg. She noticed it, of course, even in her dreary state. It wasn’t unusual.
“You’ve been playing with the collar.”
She rubbed her eyes, let out a yawn and shook her head. “Been what now?”
“The collar. You’ve been messing with it.”
“Jess, exhausted, okay? Just want to go back to bed.”
He shook his head and sat beside her, grabbing her chin. “Who wants to go back to bed?”
She pushed his hand away, frowned up at him. “What?”
“I kept wondering why were you talking so funny.”
She listened patiently, then sighed heavily and looked him hard in the eyes. “People get tired you know.”
“But do you?”
She rolled her eyes. “Yes, everyone does.”
“What did you do to yourself, Shannon?”
She stared at him, licking her dry lips, suddenly needing water. She started to move away, but he caught her by the elbow. He whispered. “I had no idea.”
“Okay,” she twisted away from his grip and threw her hands into the air, “whatever. But it’s late–”
“You were doing this all for yourself? Wow.” He looked shocked. “All along I thought you were writing about like a–a–a subject or a victim or however you want to put it, but you were really writing it all for you?”
The guilt was plain on her face. She could feel it and he could see it. “You had no right to violate privacies that way.”
“You’re right, I didn’t, but I did and now you can’t even talk right.”
She sighed. “Everything’s fi–”
“Yes, everything’s fine! Not ‘I’m fine’, not ‘my privacy’, but privacies. What in the fuck did you do to yourself, Shannon?”
She was right back in day care, the stern and shaming teacher fussing at her for being so dirty, so unladylike, so very very wrong. Her face twisted with shame and anger. “Okay! Happy? Played with collar, okay? Put the fucking thing around neck and–and–fucked with head.”
She covered her face, the tears managing to trickle down her cheeks despite her hands. After a moment, felt his warm hand on her thigh.
She shook her head. “Don’t know why.”
She felt the rise of the mattress, heard the squeak of the bedsprings as he stood, heard his soft footfalls on the carpet, pacing. Then he stopped. “That’s bullshit. You do know why. You’ve never not known why anyone did anything in the entire time I’ve known you. It drives me fucking crazy, but you always know why everyone does everything.”
She crawled to the end of the bed and knelt, wiping her tears away, staring at his feet. “Because. . . someone’s a pervert.”
After a moment of deafening silence, he began to laugh.
It wasn’t a laughing matter, but it was. She felt a swell of anger, but his out of control laughter had him on his knees, in tears, unable to breath, and damn it all if it wasn’t contagious. She got the giggles, which became chuckles and finally joined him in tears of laughter.
He tried to speak, but only managed a stumbling, panting stutter. “Thank–thank, th-th-thank God, I’m not the only one!!”
It felt good. It felt really good. It didn’t change anything, but it did.
Somewhere along the way, he’d managed to join her on the bed. Somewhere along the way, he’d managed to throw his arm around her while they continued an almost painful tirade of consensual laughter. Somewhere along the way, she’d begun to lean into him.
The laughter soon turned to sighs, which quickly got converted into kissing, which became heated kissing, which became a panic to remove every stitch of clothing they both wore. Panties flew, arms wrapped around bodies, and he had her on the back with her ankles bobbing in the air in no time.
It didn’t last long, but it didn’t need to.
Afterwards, stinking of sweat and sex, he coddled her against his chest, kissed her head repeatedly and whispered one phrase after another of how much she meant to him, how special she was, how much he loved her. It was the sincerity that set her off. She was crying again, and this time not cursing herself for it, because it felt too good to have her heart bursting at the seams to ever denounce it.
Finally, they got down to the subject matter at hand, the one that had been the foundation of the hot sex they’d just had.
“So,” he began simply enough, “what now?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you spent an ungodly amount of hours putting together this weird, perverted–”
He giggled, but managed to get himself under control.
“Anyway,” he continued, still grinning from ear to ear, “what do we do about it?”
She shook her head, reached over and ran her fingers through his chest hair. “I don’t know. What should we do about it?”
“It wore off.”
She smiled and giggled. “I thought you would’ve noticed that when I was screaming ‘fuck me’.”
He chuckled, but it didn’t last long. “We have two choices.”
She smiled privately. There he went, solving problems again, quantifying things. An engineer at work, all logic and math and no emotion. “Two choices, mmm.” She kissed his chest, the soft blonde hair tickling her nose, rubbed his side with her fingers.
“One, I destroy the stupid collar and we go back to the way things were. You work your thought experiment and I don’t ever do anything so stupid as pry into your inner life again.”
She hadn’t heard anything beyond “destroy the collar”. It was probably the best thing to do. It might cure her addiction, but it might very well destroy her. She would spend the rest of her life thinking “what if”, and perhaps, since she’d come so close, find a way to answer the question for real.
Fuck all that: it was sheer rationalization, the brain constructing logic to get what the pleasure center truly wanted. She didn’t want to destroy the collar; she wanted to wear the collar; she wanted to push its limits, and hers; she wanted to see what it could really do. “What’s the other choice?” she asked, her tone deadly serious.
He was not so dim that he didn’t notice the sudden tension in her voice and her body. “Well,” he answered, “we explore this interest of yours.”
Her body relaxed against him, yet tensed, but the tension was from any worry or hostility. He couldn’t be sure, but he thought it was sexual. Her fingers traced their way down around his navel down to his cock, limp and worn out.
Yes, he mused, definitely sexual.
After a long silence, with her hand wrapped around his soft cock, she finally whispered to herself perhaps, but also to him or maybe to them both . . . “That’s what we’re going to do, isn’t it?”
Defying all believe, the image of her on her knees perfectly controlled by a collar wrapped around her neck, totally obedient to his whim began to pulse new life into his deflated cock.
She gave it a squeeze.
“We’ll construct a plan–” He leaned down for a hot, wet kiss from her eager mouth, her tongue swirling around his like two deep sea fish fucking in the depths of an ocean. “A study, a–a–” Her mouth was on his, pressing hard. She climbed on top of him, straddled him.
“I’ll work something up,” she whispered, and managed to get his hardening cock into her soaking wet opening.
His cock ached, sore from the previous tussle, but he didn’t mind putting up with a little pain for her, because she was a little pain in the ass. He chuckled at the thought.
She was already going to town, using him, pumping him in and out of herself. She whispered in his ear, “What’s so funny?”
He grabbed her hips and raised up to meet her, delighting at the moan that erupted from her mouth.
She never did get an answer.
It was almost a ceremony: he retrieving the collar from its place on his desk, bringing it to her; her accepting it, laying it in her lap, him booting up the computer; her trembling with anticipation. Their tension, their excitement, their apprehension charged the air with electricity, weighed them down with its quixotic cocktail.
When he double clicked the little icon she’d not so cleverly hidden on her desktop, she actually felt something move through her. It wasn’t a chill. It was more electric, it dropped the pit of her stomach down, pricked her nerve endings, and made her shift uneasily in her chair.
He turned back and shifted his gaze between her neck and the collar in her lap, held so firmly between her moist fingertips. He swallowed, a loud clack in the suddenly dense and quiet room. “Did–did you want me to put it on you . . . or did you want to do it.”
A strange tense furrow appeared between her eyes for an instant, then just as quickly disappeared. He wasn’t so good with the subtleties of female expressions, but it seemed almost a look of distress, of discomfort, but then she smiled nervously and said, “I think I need you to do it.”
As he moved behind her, she swept the never ending curls of her auburn hair to the side, over her shoulder and bared her inviting neck to him. He couldn’t resist giving it a quick kiss, before he lined up the collar, closed it as much as it would allow and hurried back to the P.C. He might not be good with subtlety, but he could spot a tremble when he saw it. He wondered if she wanted him to put the collar on because she was too shaky to do it or because it was somehow symbolic, as if he were capturing her.
He clicked the “Lock” box and the collar snapped closed. She flinched and let out a sharp gasp. When he looked back to see if she was okay, he noted her appearance, her flushed cheeks, her tongue roving over her lips and her constant swallowing.
“How are we doing?” he asked.
She bowed her head and shook it, her cheeks on fire. She felt like she had the flu, hot and aching, but no flu ever gave her the rush she was now experiencing.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
She nodded and responded weakly, “God, yes.”
He laughed and looked at the screen. Possibilities. So many, he didn’t quite know where to go.
“What–” she said dryly, choking out the words, “what are you gonna do to me?”
He had a rush of power at the words. He’d never felt anything like it before. It was the magnified rush of power he sometimes got when he brought her to orgasm, yet so very different. While this was sexual, it somehow went deeper. He didn’t know anything went deeper than sex, but this was more . . . emotional, more basic, visceral, working at the marrow of his desire, rather than just the fringes.
“Well,” he mumbled, taking the lost, distant tone he sometimes acquired when he was working on a project, “for starters, let’s pick up where you left off. One hour should do it.”
His fingers snapped to the mouse and made a few clicks. The collar clicked and chirped in response.
“Wait!” she replied, clearly startled.
“Well . . . just . . . that seemed . . . I don’t know.”
“Do you want to stop?” He knew the answer, of course. Neither of them wanted to stop; they’d just gotten started. He liked her reaction. In all the time they’d spent together, he’d never known her to be so out of her element, so out of control, so panicky and scared, and frankly, so un-opinionated.
She shook her head.
“Good. Now let’s reduce your vocabulary a little.” His hands moved quick and certain on the mouse and keyboard, and the collar responded with a few more clicks. She felt its vibration in her neck and in her collarbone. It seemed to reverberate through her entire being.
“No more me, me, me,” he quipped, and she knew it was true. He turned to her, smiling. She did not return the expression. In fact, she was very tense, because she knew how much the damn thing hurt when she made a mistake. She’d worn the collar a mere hour the day before, and it had taken her almost six hours to get her brain straightened out again. “Care to test it?” he said, grinning.
Her smile was flat and tense. “No.”
“I haven’t really seen it work yet. Was it performing up to specs?”
She nodded with passion. “Beyond expectations.”
“What did it feel like, when the thing went off? It must’ve hurt.”
She nodded again with equal passion. “You have no idea.”
“Tell me, then. What exactly did it feel like? Did it go down your spine and into your extremities like we hoped?”
She noted his sudden chattiness. Was he trying to get her to fuck up? To set off the punishment, the jolt that she would do anything to avoid? Was it to see her get shocked or just to see his toy in action? Was it a man’s desire or an engineer’s?
Before she had the chance to chastize him for his wicked effort, he spun in the chair and tapped away at the keyboard again. This time the feeling that shot through her was a chill. “What are you doing?” she asked with more than a little concern.
“Well, it occurs to me that you already kind of know about the whole vocabulary thing. Maybe we should try something you don’t have any experience with yet.”
“Like what?” Her tone was so tense it broke in several places. She cleared her throat, and felt terribly uneasy about all the tapping he was doing.
“Well,” he spun back with the sweetest smile, “I’ve been thinking about it, and I realized your whole project is about losing control, or, um, y’know, about having someone take it from you, right?”
She felt suddenly very small. He was right. Maybe she’d rubbed off on him or maybe he just knew her that well. Either way, she was starting to feel an almost light-headed sense of euphoria: her deepest desires, desires that were never meant to see the light of day, were becoming real. “Maybe.”
“So, we’ve fucked with your vocabulary–um, there is a way around the ‘I, me, mine’ thing, by the way. Anyway, I thought we’d fuck with you in a slightly more physical way.”
“How are we—”
“Apparently–” he started, but she was distracted by the sudden jolt of pain shooting down her spine and raising the tiny hairs on her arms. She let out a half squelched shriek and jumped out of her chair.
It took her body a full minute to realize it wasn’t being shocked anymore, and even then it felt uncertain. When she heard herself gasping and exclaiming, “SHIT!", she knew she was in for a rough hour. Her body still tingled from head to toe. Right at that moment, she knew, her brain was going into distress mode, trying to figure out what had happened and prevent it from happening again.
It occurred to her that since she’d just experimented with the “self” button the other day, the neural pathways might already be developed. In other words, it would be much easier for her brain to rid itself of all sense of self the second time around, and much faster.
“Apparently,” Jessie joked, “the term ‘we’ is included in the self.”
She licked her lips, made a weird chewing expression. Her tongue felt a little numb. “That really hurts.”
“Well, I think it’s supposed to.”
She glared up at him.
He threw up his hands in surrender. “Hey, it’s your design.”
“Maybe didn’t think it out well enough.”
“Oh, I think you thought about it long and hard,” he replied, then added, “Oh, and I was going to mention, a way around the self thing would be to refer to yourself in the third person.”
Astonished, she almost laughed at its simplicity. She simply hadn’t thought of it before now. “Shannon is an idiot.”
He chuckled and eyed her long smooth legs, enjoying the way she was spread out on the floor, ruffled and slightly disheveled. “Shannon is a beautiful girl, who, um, by the way can’t stand up anymore.”
She swallowed deeply and checked his face for humor. It was absent, replaced by a small amount of superficial guilt. “What?”
“Well, you know . . . " he stared down at his fidgeting fingers with a slight blush, “I figured, you know, with the collar and all. . . .”
She got to her knees. Nothing. She put one foot on the floor as if to stand and her fingers began to tingle. She put her weight on it and began to rise. The tingling became more pronounced, almost painfully so. She got another foot on the floor and the tingling spread through knees, nipples and lips, transforming in intensity until it was stinging. She didn’t get very far before the stinging became a zapping unpleasant shock. She surrendered and ended up back in the chair.
He mused to himself, almost as if she wasn’t there. “Hm, I wonder if I can forbid any usage of chairs.”
“Shit,” she whispered, “shit, shit, shit.”
He eyed her with curiosity. “What?”
“You really could control Shannon with this thing.”
“I not only could . . . I am.”
“Well, Shannon knows that, but you know what she means.” It was getting easier to not only talk about herself in the third person, but to think that way. It was an odd sensation, disorienting, the way she was being forced to disconnect from herself.
He reached out and grabbed onto her chair, pulled it roughly towards him until they were face to face. Her heart skipped a beat. His expression was dead serious. “Shannon, I don’t know why you like this, what in you gets you hot about this kind of thing, but if that’s the way it is then so be it. You know I’ve never done anything half assed. I read through all your notes, time lines, agendas, references, and so on, and let me just tell you I’m dedicated, as I always have been, to giving you exactly what you want.”
Her eyes looked deeply into his. She realized how much she loved him, and suddenly noted her supreme arousal, her fear, her desire. “What does that mean?”
“It means, at least for the next hour, I’ve programmed the collar so not only can I control your vocabulary, or whether you’re permitted to talk at all, but your ability to stand, and put in a five foot parameter so you can’t even get close to the computer.”
At once, he saw her mind working, and he realized where she was going.
He smiled. “You’d have to stand to get to the circuit breaker to cut the electricity, if that’s what you’re thinking.”
Her eyes stopped shifting. The slight smile on her face dropped.
“In fact,” he turned back to the P.C. “let’s just get you off that chair, shall we?”
She blinked rapidly, but with the sound of just a few key taps, the collar clicked repeatedly and began to tingle almost at once. The tingles grew in intensity until they were stinging, then shocking, and she knew what came after that. She had no choice. She shifted out of the chair, to the floor, on her knees.
He stood and grinned down at her with a smug expression. “You know . . . I could get used to this. This isn’t bad, having you like this.”
She swallowed and for the first time in her life, didn’t know what to say.
He’d never known her to be speechless, but he seized the opportunity to rub it in. “Only thirty minutes left.”
She breathed heavily. “Fuck you.”
He chuckled, paused, checked her eyes, saw that they were sort of angry, but also heavy with arousal.
He reached down, grabbed her by the chin and jerked her face up. “Are you enjoying this?”
She tried to pry her chin away, but his grip tightened. “Maybe.”
He let her go and studied the top of her head. “Interesting. This really does get you off, doesn’t it, being fucked with like this?”
She swallowed loudly.
“Well, if we’re gonna do this, let’s do it right.” He sat down at the computer and began to shift the mouse around.
She shuffled forward, trying to peer up and over his shoulder, but the collar didn’t like it. After a few sharp zaps, she yelped and withdrew. He chuckled quietly.
“What are you doing?” she asked, because she just had to know.
“Well,” he said, and she could hear the grin in his tone, “let’s just say, if I were you, I’d start getting those clothes off.”
She preferred being on the carpet. The tiles and hardwood floors killed her knees. He traipsed around the house and she was supposed to follow. He was enjoying himself, enjoying having her naked and under his thumb.
“Shannon will stay here,” she tried, when he decided to go downstairs for a drink.
“Hmm,” was his reply, then, before she could object, he was back at the computer, tapping away at the keyboard. He turned and smiled. His smile was starting to give her the chills.
He held a small device. “Do you know what this is?”
She nodded. “The remote.”
“So, here’s the thing, Shannon. We can’t have you just sitting here counting off the minutes. You’re the one that wrote that interacting with the environment causes the brain to work harder to adjust. Working harder is what we want, isn’t it?”
She smirked. “Not really.”
He laughed. “This was your idea, remember?”
She pouted, crossed her arms, planted her ass on the cold floor and refused to move.
As he walked toward the door, the collar began to zap her, methodically, rhythmically. She jerked; she flinched; she yelped. Her skin tingled unpleasantly, her nipples burned with pain. “What! What!”
“You’ll need to stay within five feet of me at all times,” he explained.
She swallowed. “Shit.”
She navigated the stairs a little too slowly, but the zaps seemed to concentrate themselves every place her skin met air. Her ass being the worst. It was like getting spanked by a lightning bolt. She yelped and redoubled her efforts on the stairs.
At the fridge, she leaned against his legs while he popped open a soda. He reached down and petted her head.
She would’ve complained had it not been kind of sweet, and strangely pleasurable. Not that it was physical pleasure exactly, but emotionally she was reeling with delight. It was an act of love, after all.
“Doesn’t it bother you, seeing Shannon like this?” she wondered, noting with some disdain and extreme arousal how she had to crane her neck to look up at him.
“Honestly? It’s kind of a turn on. In fact, I was kind of thinking of fucking you, but I wasn’t sure how’d you feel about it.”
She was going out of her way not to sit on the floor in such a way as to leave puddles. That’s how she fucking felt about it.
“Of course, it’s not like you have a choice. I can always go click the fuck me button.”
“Fuck you.” She turned so he couldn’t see her smile, her tone sounding much more abrasive than she intended.
“Fuck me?” he wondered, sounding a little incensed. He raised the remote and pressed a button.
She screamed and flailed on the floor, her arms rushing to pat her legs, than her breasts, then her shoulders, than themselves, everywhere she felt those agonizing zaps of pain. She was left panting, legs stretched out haphazardly, a sweaty, sobbing mess. “Why–” she huffed, unable to speak through her whimpers and tears.
“As long as you wear that collar you will give me respect.”
“Shannon was just kidding!”
“And would Shannon like to repeat the experience?”
She shook her head. “No.”
Only now did she notice that HE had fallen into the pattern of speaking about her in the third person. The effect, whether he knew it or not, was devastating. It pushed her sense of disconnection, furthered the gap between her and her humanity. She was starting to feel very much like a play thing, a pet, and while she knew she should be furious and terribly offended, she noted with no little interest that she was practically lapping it up. She followed him like a puppy, and it was beginning to become automatic. It was beginning to an act of devotion, of pleasure, and not an act of fear.
What would she do next? Start begging at his feet?
He looked down upon her with a superior grin. He tugged at the collar, and God help her, she had to resist an urge to kiss his fucking hand. “You know, maybe we should go shopping for a leash. Would Shannon like that? Would Shannon like a leash of her own.”
Her cheeks grew so hot, his soft touch felt like ice. She didn’t want to admit it, but leash shopping would probably in her fantasy for months from now on.
“Cat got your tongue?” he laughed. “C’mere.” He motioned for his lap.
She crawled up on the couch and the collar went BEEP! The slightest tingle had her leaping back to the floor. She hadn’t really been zapped, but it didn’t matter. Her brain had learned. Furniture was off limits.
“Oh shit,” he exclaimed, paused, then laughed aloud. “I forgot.”
“Thanks a fucking lot!”
His smile dropped. He withdrew the remote from his pocket.
Her eyes went wide. She burst into tears and threw herself at his knees, laying her head on his legs. “Please, Shannon sorry.”
“I don’t know,” he mused. “We had a deal and you broke it. Your little thought experiment said to show no mercy. That the controller had to be very strict.
“Please,” she whined. “Shannon will be good. It just slipped out.”
“Kneel in front of me.”
She eyed him for a second, but the slightest movement of his thumb had her scrambling to obey. She knelt in front of him, painfully aware of the cool air and his lusty stare, eyeing her breasts, her small pouch of a belly, the small thatch of auburn hair, her smooth thighs. Her hands were at her side, but she was very attentive.
He held up the remote. “Now, you know I have to do this.”
She cried openly.
“Stop it! I hate it when you cry. I always have.” His expression was strained, and for the first time she could see this was affecting him far deeper than she’d guessed.
She did her best to keep her emotions under control, keeping herself from sobbing well enough, but not even the Hoover dam could keep the tears from crawling down her cheeks.
“I have to do this and you know it. I set a rule and you broke it.”
She nodded, wiped her tears away, and felt a new trickle of tears take their place. She really did not want to get shocked again. He was terrorizing her and it was unfair, only it wasn’t, because she had broken the rules, and as much as she did not want to get shocked, she found herself agreeing with him. Stockholm Syndrome, she thought privately, where the victim begins to empathize with their captor. But it didn’t matter. Even if that were true, knowing the mechanics didn’t prevent it from working.
“So you’ll accept your punishment?” he asked.
She bit her lips, sniffled miserably, and nodded.
“So,” he repeated, “you’ll accept your punishment.”
Weakly, like an admonished child, she whispered, “Yes, Sir.”
The “Sir” caught them both off guard, but that’s what she felt like; she felt like a bad little girl who was being punished.
He raised the remote, waiting.
What in the–what was he waiting for? Just get it over with!
She wanted to insert some other words in there, cuss words, but that’s what had gotten her in this mess to begin with, so even in her thoughts she found herself refraining.
He pointed the remote at her.
The collar clicked twice and popped open.
They were both stunned.
They stood staring at each other like statues for the longest time.
He lowered the remote, opened his mouth to speak, but was rendered absolutely speechless when she slowly, deliberately, snapped the collar back into place.
In a dream, he lifted the remote and shocked her. She fell to the carpet squealing at the top of her voice, then melted into sobs.
He dropped the remote on the couch and ran to her, kissing her hair, drawing her soaked with sweat body into her arms. Her quivering shoulders, her small frame felt so fragile in his grip. “I’m sorry,” he whispered in her ear then started kissing the tears from her cheeks and lips. Her mouth was hot and utterly compliant. She opened up to him and slipped her tongue into his mouth.
He broke the kiss, caught her hands even as they were diving into his pants. He held firmly and forced her to make eye contact.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
She blinked as if confused, her tears still very present, her cheeks flushed with desire, with lust rather than sorrow or fear. Her mouth popped open and made no sound but a soft gasping for several minutes, but when she could finally manage a few words, she said only, “Too short.”
“Wh-what?” he asked, clearly in a state of wonder, in awe of her.
“An hour is too short.”
He was too stunned to move for several minutes, but by the time he regained his senses, she already had his pants unsnapped, unzipped, his underwear wrenched down, his rock hard dick out and was trying to push him down to climb on top.
He rolled her over and gave her what she wanted. It didn’t last nearly as long as he would’ve liked, but considering she’d started her first orgasm mere seconds after he’d entered her, he didn’t think she’d complain.
They lay in bed, eye to eye, hands meandering across the terrains of each other’s bodies, familiar, yet always new, legs impossibly entangled, tied into knots of bone and flesh, of love and spent lust, baking like new humans in the warm aftermath.
He broke the silence and was sorry he had. “I didn’t want to hurt you. That was difficult.”
She rolled away from him, displaying her soft, bare back. He watched the light wrap around her and his arms couldn’t resist doing the same. He bit into her shoulder and could feel her closing her eyes, parting of her lips. “I can’t tell you what that was like.”
She heard the air rush into his nostrils, felt it, warm and cold, on the back of her neck as it came out. Her stomach did a funny half somersault. Love swept over her like a one way tide, coming in strong and overpowering, salty and sweet, but it wouldn’t fade. She felt giddy and heartbroken all at once. It was too much. She did her best to refrain from bursting into tears, but they leaked out anyway, leaving with burning eyes and a wet pillow.
He whispered into her ear. “Why are you like this?”
Now, she did burst into tears. “I don’t know.”
His arms tightened around her.
She arched her back, pressed her shoulder into him, pressed her ass into him, pulling away with her waist. His arm slid from her hip as he withdrew.
Men. Always getting it wrong. Here she was pressing her ass against his dick, and he took it as a sign to turn away.
“Okay,” he said, “tomorrow I’ll get rid of it.”
She turned. “What?”
Their eyes met again.
“Don’t–don’t you want me to?” he asked, his face tense. He was trying so hard to understand.
“No, of course not.” She shook her head, stunned at his dim-witted attempt to please her. “How could you–” She was speechless.
He shrugged. “I don’t know. I don’t know anything anymore. You’ve been so independent, so stubborn over the years. This–this part of yourself is–I don’t get it.”
“You did wonderfully, better than wonderful. You were incredible. Christ, Jess, if I had one complaint, it would be that you were too deferential. But you enjoyed it. I know you did. You were playing with me and for once I couldn’t outsmart you, couldn’t squirm away. For once, I had no choice but to give in totally. I’ve never been able to–” She choked back a new wave of tears. “–never been able to really give you what you–what you deserve. I’m sorry for that.”
“What in the hell are you talking about?” he crawled on the bed and knelt before her, taking her face in his warm palms. “You’ve been incredible!”
They lapsed into tears and smiles, into apologies and refusals, into wet kisses and greedy hands.
When the moment threatened to fade, she whispered into his ear, “I want more.”
There was no questioning the topic at hand.
“I have a month’s leave,” she continued. “More actually, and they’ve been yelling at me to take it. I don’t think they meant all at once, but I could–”
She pulled him down and gazed hard into his eyes. “I need this. I need to go all the way. You saw the program. I want all of it, Jess, and you have to do it, because I can’t do it myself.”
“I–I don’t know if I can do that.”
He nodded. “This is dangerous territory, Shannon. This could fuck you up for your life. You might never come back to me, and if you do, you might not be the same.”
“I will. I promise.”
“You can’t promise what you don’t have any control over.”
“But that’s just the point, Jessie.”
It caught him off guard. She always did that. He nodded. He only meant that he understood, not that agreed, but that simple nod doomed him.
“Good,” she said, jumping at her opportunity, “then it’s settled.”
It would be the last time she would ever manipulate him.
She provided him unprecedented access to her computer. She was a hypocrite. She’d been livid when she’d found out he’d found and read her private notes, and now she was giving them freely, practically begging him to read them. Be thorough, she told him. Show me no mercy, she told him. Whenever you think about stopping, push me harder, she told him.
He grew pale, and paler, and paler until he was white as a ghost, but he used his engineer skills to develop a plan, an agenda for her, and like her, he found once he started, his zeal, his passion, his logical self took over. He always felt a little possessed when plans came together in this way, but this time he felt like he was channeling the devil.
It took him a week to program the collar. A few hours each night before dinner.
Shannon was abnormally servile, making dinner each night, bringing him drinks, offering back rubs while he worked, blow jobs in the bedroom. He would like to say he was above such obvious manipulations, but he wasn’t. He liked it, the attention, the sweet smiling happy girl that had suddenly made him, and his cock, the focus of her existence.
On the Saturday before her first full week of vacation, she woke him early, grinning from ear to ear. He groaned and checked the clock.
“Hey,” he mumbled, and took nearly a minute to wrestle the sleep from his eyes.
She was impatient.
“So, are we going to do this or not?” Her tone was severe and accusing, as if he’d been stalling.
“Can I get a cup of coffee first?”
“On the bed stand beside you.”
He spotted the cup and reached for it. She waited, counting the slurps. She wore a grim expression that worried him. He stretched, yawned, and set the cup back on the bed stand. “Something on your mind.”
She shrugged miserably.
After a long pause, he asked, “Are you sure you want do to this?”
She slapped his naked belly, eliciting an uncomfortable “oof” from him. “I knew it! You’re chickening out!”
“I know the collar’s done. I could tell by the way you shut off the computer last time.”
“Shannon, I’m not–”
“And now you’re going to fucking–” She wrapped her arms around herself, and fought back tears.
“Jesus Christ! Will you listen?” He didn’t get red in the face often. In fact, the only times he could remember were all as a direct result of her, and this time was no different.
She pouted like a child, but glared at him like a woman to be reckoned with.
“The collar’s done. I’m not chickening out. I’m just making sure.”
She gazed hard into his eyes. “I’m sure.”
He suppressed the urge to shake his head. “Okay.”
After a short breakfast that was much too long for her liking, he filled his coffee mug one final time. She was antsy, like a child on Christmas Morning, certain each delay was a conspiracy to torture her.
She started up the stairs, but he caught her by the sleeve. She still wore her robe, and his pull caused it to come open, revealing one of those perfect white breasts of hers. She noted the level of his eyes as he corrected her.
“No. I transferred the program to my office.”
“Because your office is familiar territory, mine isn’t. It’s part of the program, and honestly, if you’re going to question everything, we might as well stop right now. So, from this point on, no more questions. Understand?”
She frowned, but nodded.
He sat like a captain of industry before his computer. She started to walk around behind him, watch the screen, but he snapped twice and pointed to the chair on the other side of his desk. She was more than a little offended; it took everything she had to stop from saying, “Excuse me?!”
Instead, taking a deep breath, swallowing her pride, she sat in the chair and waited like a good girl. The bastard.
He opened his drawer and took out the collar. Her eyes were glued to it from the moment the first ray of morning Sunlight hit it. While the computer ticked and clicked, the collar ticked and clicked. His hand rested upon it, his fingernail tapping annoyingly on the metal surface. She was about ready to scream, when he finally looked at her and said, “Ready?”
Her first instinct was to say, “No,” but instead she nodded.
He came around the desk, collar in hand and approached her.
Gulping loudly, she slid from the chair and knelt before him, feeling a little ridiculous, but mostly sopping wet with desire, her nipples twitching and twanging.
“Oh,” he added, “and lose the robe.”
She resisted. “Maybe we should get into it before I get naked.”
He froze in mid-stride, turned, dropped the collar back on the desk and reached for the computer power button. She blinked, her heart suddenly a cramping block of ice. “What are you doing?”
“I’m aborting the project.”
“But . . . why?”
He smiled. “You wrote in your little thought experiment that the environment must support the subject’s new expected system of belief. The system of belief you want and which I’m trying to give you is one of utter subjection. I gave you a direct instruction and you failed to follow it. Clearly, you wish this to remain a fantasy and not a reality.”
She rolled her eyes. “What? Because I don’t want to take my clothes off?”
He stared at her.
Her expression changed to one of acceptance. She got it now. He was exerting his authority before the collar was even activated. It was smart. It was an attempt to prepare her for what was to come while she still had her freedom. It would no doubt help chip away at her psyche later on.
She grinned. “Okay. You got me.”
“I do have you, and if you think this is a game, it’s not. What we’re doing is very real. You’ve been harassing me about taking it seriously. Well, I can assure you I’m taking it very seriously, because frankly you’ve really been pissing me off.”
He grin dropped. “Are you–are you mad at me?”
He sighed and leveled a pair of stern eyes at her. His words were careful and moderated. “Follow my instructions.”
He reached for the computer off button.
She pulled off her shirt, revealing a white bra with smooth cups. She stretched both arms behind her back and unclasped her bra, not meaning to be sexy or seductive, but achieving it just the same. She dropped her shorts down her legs and kicked them aside, then half pulled, half rolled her panties down. With flushed cheeks, crossed arms and an irresistible look of defiance, she said, “There. Happy?”
Her rebellious blush turned into red-cheeked humiliation. She was having difficulty with the instruction, and it showed in every quirky tick and twist bubbling away under her face. Reluctantly, she slipped down to her knees and breathed heavily and audibly.
With the collar in hand, he approached her, standing practically on top of her, She understood, of course, that the point was to tower over her, to make her feel small. Understanding it made no difference; it was still having a dramatic effect on her.
The collar was ice cold. She wondered if he’d kept in the fridge to reinforce some other point, but it was more likely her body temperature was up. She held her hair up for him and he softly ordered her to “stay”.
He took a step back and admired her. Her eyes flitted up to meet his. She waited for him to turn back to the computer, but instead, he lifted the remote and pressed a button. The collar snapped close and began clicking. It tightened around her neck until she could the pulse throbbing in her neck.
She was zapped with punishing electrical jolts. Her body jerked from its position and flailed about on the floor. Her nipples, shoulders and hands burned and tingled. She went into shock, waking moments later to find herself sprawled on the floor and sobbing. She’d leapt half way across the room.
Still trembling, she yelled, “What in the fuck was that for?”
He used the remote again.
Electricity jolted through her body from head to toe, worse than before, tensing every muscle artificially, grinding her teeth together, causing her to seize and spasm like an epileptic. Her brain lit up with pain until she swore she was seeing red. It seemed to go on forever, though it was probably just seconds.
When she could catch her breath again, she didn’t bother to sit up, but lay on the carpet, weeping. She croaked out her confusion, “Why?”
“To establish the rules. To correct your behavior. You know how this works, Shannon. The subject must be broken down early. This is what you wanted.”
She shook her head. “Not like this.”
He sat before the computer and tapped on a few keys, circled the mouse and clicked once. The collar ticked and tweaked.
She sat up slowly, watching him. She’d never known him to be so cold, so emotionless. She was beginning to second think her request. She could do that. Women had the right to change their minds. Everyone knew that.
“There are zones,” he explained, without so much as acknowledging her predicament. She was afraid to move, afraid he would zap her again and she knew she would do anything to avoid it. “The computer, of course, is off limits, as is the remote and the refrigerator. From now on, I choose what and when you eat. Furniture is a big no-no, especially the bed. The bed has the highest voltage setting, just to let you know. You better get used to it, because you’ll be spending the next few weeks on your hands and knees. The toilet is okay, but only the downstairs one, and you’ll need to stick close to me while I’m at home, within five feet at all times. I’ll reset that when I go to work, of course, but you’ll still be restricted to certain areas I’ve mapped out for you.”
While he sipped his coffee, she wiped away her tears, still feeling the ghostly stinging memory of the collar’s punishment in her fingers and toes and lips. “What about if I get hungry while you’re gone?”
“I’ll leave some food out for you.”
She sat on the carpet and gathered her wits. “Is that it?”
He clicked the mouse. “No. I’m taking away your me-me-me’s again. You should get used to that pretty quick by now I think. I’m also,” he clicked the mouse again, “taking care of that naughty tongue of yours. I would be careful what I would say if I were you.”
She sighed, let out a tiny giggle. “You never did like it when I–”
She managed a weepy “no” before the collar zapped her again. She was knocked right off her ass, jerked to the side and twisted and wrenched on the floor as electrical pain surged through her. The tears came back and already she was parched, hungry and exhausted. She even felt a little sluggish, which meant her brain was in overdrive again, burning fuel as it adjusted to her stress.
She laid on the carpet unmoving for several minutes, the slow turn of the ceiling fan blowing its soft breeze across the beads of sweat that had collected on the surface of her skin. It was like icy fingers brushing across her back. Feeling half dead, she told him, “Shannon will need lots of fruit juice and water.”
He nodded. “Shannon would do well to learn to keep her opinions to herself.”
The word floated into her mind before she could stop it. It hung there for a full second before she realized it, but by then it was already too late. “Asshole” was not the kind of word she was allowed to think anymore.
He watched her body jerk and flinch, listened to another of round heartbreaking sobs and did his best to ignore it. He didn’t know what rule she’d broken, but the struggle was largely internal now. There wasn’t much he could do about it.
The chair creaked as he got to his feet and moved toward the door. He waited patiently for her to notice and follow. He knew he should’ve just walked away and let the collar zap her until she followed, remaining within the necessary five feet he’d set, but he was having some difficulty himself. He just couldn’t do it. He had to give her a break.
“C’mon, let’s get you something to drink.”
As he walked out of the room, the collar began to tingle, then to sting. Her body was in motion before she even thought about it. She rushed after him as fast as she could on hands and knees, which wasn’t very fast.
She was bored. She never thought she’d bored while she was naked on her hands and knees, but she was. He watched a football game, barely paid her any attention at all, reset the distance on the remote long enough to get Saturday’s paper and the mail, read all of it, every page, every envelope.
She followed him around, from room to room, remaining within five feet at all times. She’d never been good at eyeballing distances before, but her talent had developed amazingly fast. The slightest tingle of the collar had her scampering to catch up. Sometimes she wondered if she’d even felt the tingle at all. It was so subtle, she wondered if she just imagined she’d felt it.
When he left the house for his short walk down to the mailbox, he placed the remote on the planter outside the door and decreased the distance. She parked herself at the door, and found that she couldn’t move away, but had to wait patiently for his return. It was humiliating to say the least. Did he expect her to wag her tail when he reappeared?
He gave her a bowl of orange juice. She stared down at it for a long time and finally glared up at him. He popped the lid off a can of soda and raised his eyebrows. “Something to say?”
“Can’t Shannon have a glass?”
He picked up the remote off the table and pointed it at her. “I did say no questions, didn’t I?”
She burst into tears and threw herself at her feet. Even she was amazed at how thoroughly she’d felt it, the fear, the desperation, the desire to do or say anything if only he wouldn’t hurt her. Later, her head would swim at how spontaneous, passionate and nearly automatic the response had been, and how overpowering. All he’d done was threaten her with the remote, correct her a little, and she’d crumbled. “Please, please, Shannon sorry!”
She heard the heavy cl-clunk of the remote being set on the table, and then his soft soothing hands on her head and on the back of her neck.
“Good girl,” he whispered and pulled her face up to give her the softest kiss on the lips.
A strange warmth spread throughout her. Why did he have to use that phrase? It was so loaded with connotations.
He walked upstairs and she followed. Strangely, she was eager to follow now. Not that she had any reason to expect another kiss, but the one she’d just gotten had gone straight down her spine and into her nipples.
He stripped in the bathroom and started the shower. She opened the shower door and began to adjust the controls. She was feeling pretty grimy with sweat and didn’t mind the idea of a nice bath.
“No,” he told her.
She blinked and gave him a quizzical expression. “Huh?”
He patted her on the head and said, “Stay.”
She stared at him. “Shannon needs a shower. Really.”
“And I said no. Shannon can wait.”
He slipped in and soaped up. A moment later, he felt her presence behind him. After clearing the soap from his eyes, he glanced at her and laughed. “Does Shannon want to be punished?”
She shook her head. “Seriously, Jess. Shannon really needs a shower. Shannon is feeling pretty gross.”
He chuckled. “You have three seconds to get out of here or you will most definitely be punished.”
She thought about waiting it out, but her body, brain and common sense was screaming at her to get out or risk another jolt. But on the other hand, she was a clever girl and knew how to get what she wanted.
Jessie didn’t get to three. Suddenly, there was a mouth on the end of his cock and a fluttering of fingers on his balls. He knew he should force her out of the shower, but her mouth, so warm and wet and hungry, felt too damn good. He turned and let her work him into a lather.
He was up in no time and firmly in her grasp, moaning, squirming, pumping into her mouth, feeling her squeeze his shaft unmercifully. She worked him harder with her hands, focused her lips on the top of his wet cock, and finally dove deep for several long hot strokes.
He felt the familiar pressure build, felt the incredible burning tingling sensation of an approaching orgasm. She wasn’t waiting. There was no tease. There was only her sucking and stroking him towards her goal.
He cried out and came hard into her mouth and was surprised and overwhelmingly thrilled to see her swallow it. She didn’t like doing it, he knew, so this new eagerness was especially satisfying. She kissed his thigh, knelt and stretched up to kiss his belly. He reached down and gave her a nice long kiss on the mouth, tasting himself on her breath.
“Turn around,” he said, smiling. She caught his smile, blushed a little and turned to show him her ass, expecting a return of favor and a nice warm reception.
He slapped her hard on the ass and shouted, “Get!”
She felt like biting him. There were a dozen cuss words on the edge of her conscious thought, but she wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of giving into them. Instead, she gazed up into his eyes and gave him the soberest of expressions, telling him, “Shannon needs a shower.”
“Shannon, if you make me get out of the shower to get the remote, you’ll be very sorry.”
They had a staring contest. She always won, but this time was different. It was hard to have any clout when you were wet and naked and on your knees. She thought about the zap of the collar. Pouting, muttering angrily under her breath, she left the shower stall and pulled a towel down from the rack.
It was really kind of disgusting having to maneuver so close to the floor all the time. She started to think maybe they should hire a cleaning service to come and give the house a thorough going over, then giggled to herself as she thought of having to obey a maid in addition to her husband.
When Jessie had finished his shower and toweled off, she glared at him angrily. She watched him with mute disapproval as he shaved and brushed his teeth. He caught sight of her in the mirror several times, but said nothing.
When he was done, he walked into the bedroom, dressed in his workout clothes and sat on the end of the bed. That only made her angrier; he was going to go to the gym and leave her alone for an hour, maybe more. She wondered what it would be like all day, when he was at work and she had nothing to do. She could watch TV, play on her computer, perhaps, since she was only forbidden from his.
“Sit.” He pointed to the carpet in front of him.
She glared at him and purposefully sat next to the spot he’d pointed at, making her emotions irrevocably clear.
He picked up the remote and pointed again, reemphasizing the word, “Sit, Shannon.”
Stoic and stern, she held her position.
She jumped to the spot and sat, then blinked curiously. What had just happened? She hadn’t been shocked. Her nerves were still on edge, her mind reeling as she waited for the terrible electrical hell, but after several minutes, she realized it wasn’t coming. But it made sense, didn’t it? She’d been conditioned with that stupid beep to expect a terrible zap, conditioned so well that all he had to do was press the beep and her brain did the rest. Even though she hadn’t been zapped, her fingers and toes and nipples and lips still tingled as if she had. Her heart had still leapt into her throat; her stomach had still fallen through the floor.
“Good girl.” He reached down and stroked her hot cheek with the back of his hand. “Now, as much as I appreciate your little stunt in the shower, you still disobeyed me, so the next zap will be very real.”
“Jess,” she said, using her best business, matter-of-fact tone, “Shannon needed a shower. Shannon explained that.”
He nodded. “Shannon has a choice. Either Shannon can accept twenty-five hard spanks to each ass cheek or Shannon can take ten zaps of the collar.”
She turned pale. “It’s not fair.”
“Zaps or spanks?”
She was really getting angry now. She hated not being listened to and he was definitely doing it on purpose. “Shannon explained!”
“Zaps or spanks? Choose or I’ll choose for you.”
Through gritted teeth, she replied, “Shannon . . . explained.”
“If you make me choose, I’ll choose both, so which is it?”
She sat, stiff, tense, so furious she couldn’t speak.
He counted to ten in his head and nodded with an unhappy sigh. “Very well–”
“Spanks,” she said suddenly and swallowed hard.
Shannon had always bucked authority as a child. She’d been repulsed by the jocks, by the heartless, dominating cruelty and savagery of the more masculine men. Men who wanted to use women for their own selfish lust, who cared nothing for a woman’s tender, complex heart and desires, who wanted to enslave women for no other reason than they were born softer, shorter, smoother, with breasts and pussies.
She’d spent the first part of her life loathing men of this nature.
She’d spent the next part of her life coveting them, and hating herself for it. She was still repulsed by such natures, but had witnessed the betrayal of her own psychology, her rational thinking mind overruled by her own traitorous sexual fantasies. Such men, such savage brutes, reemphasized everything that was female in her. It was almost as contrast alone had doomed her to dreaming of men who connected with her deepest desires.
On a conscious level, on a thinking level, she’d recognized that she needed a man she could trust and depend on, who was the exact opposite of what pussy seemed to want. Despite the conflict, she’d actively sought a companion that had fulfilled her checklist of personal requirements.
She’d found Jessie, a sweet, tender loving, supportive man who had once thrown himself into traffic to save her, who had carried her bleeding and whimpering to the nearest hospital, who had stayed, refused to leave, except to shower, who had brought her bills, flowers, magazines, even bought her tampons because she’d hinted that she disliked the ones the hospital had provided. It was the best and last first date she’d ever had.
She knew she couldn’t leave him, ever. She knew he would never betray her, never cheat on her. She knew he was trustworthy, and yet, she’d been unable to trust him with her deepest secrets, her desire to be mercilessly used. She supposed the biggest reason was that she hadn’t entirely admitted it to herself. She’d kept it under wraps, hoping it would fade into oblivion. Instead, it had grown stronger.
Now, heaven of heavens, her sweet, wonderful man was demonstrating an ability she’d never expected he possessed; the talent of being a ruthless caveman, a dominating, uncaring powerhouse of lust that was bent on giving her exactly what she’d asked for, total and utter objectification.
He pressed her down with a strong large hand on the back of her neck, until her face was against the scratchy carpet. The scent of the synthetic fibers filled her nostrils. It was unpleasant. He tapped her on the rear and almost instinctively she raised it. How did her body know to do that? She’d never been spanked before, not even as a child. Maybe it was just the expectation, the anticipation of the role she’d been asked to play. This was one of her deepest fantasies, but now that she was face to face with it, so to speak, she wasn’t sure she wanted to go through it. She was nervous and uncertain, and incredibly turned on. The point was mute in any case, because she didn’t have a choice. Even if she resisted, all he had to do was threaten to zap her and she knew she would cave in seconds. This knowledge alone cranked her desire so high she felt dizzy.
“How many did I say?” he wondered quietly. “Was it 50?”
She cleared her throat, coughed because of the dusty carpet. They really needed to vacuum more often. She corrected him, “You said 25.”
“I meant total. I was going to have you count, but I think I’ll just start in and see where it goes. What do you think?”
The flat of his hand fell hard and fast on her bottom. It was so quick, so sharp, so sudden that at first she just went into shock from the sheer volume; the crack that echoed off the walls spoke of bad things to come. She had to wait forever for the pain to travel from her bottom to her brain, and that fact alone let her know it was going to be a bad one. It was. It was like a volcano of pain erupting in her brain. There were tears on her hot cheeks almost at once. She heard herself complaining softly, pitifully, “Ow.”
The next few were softer. She felt the desire in her arise again, and it was a kind of heaven. Then he lit into her again with a harsh flat slap and she nearly jerked upright. Her head popped up as she howled with pain. He gently, insistently pressed it down again, soothing and warning her. “It’s okay. Shh, it’s okay. You’re doing beautifully . . . but if you poke your head up again, I’m going to add another dozen licks. Is that clear?”
She sniffled. “Too hard. You’re hitting Shannon too hard.”
“Does Shannon remember why I’m hitting her so hard?”
She sniffled, cried openly and ignored the question.
He walloped her again, harder than before. She screamed and sobbed. He repeated the question, adding, “That one doesn’t count toward Shannon’s 50, because it’s to correct her failure to respond. Now, does Shannon remember–”
“Because she wouldn’t get out of the shower when you said,” Shannon provided abruptly.
“That’s right. I gave you to the count of three and you were disobedient. According to your own instructions, disobedience requires strict and immediate punishment, and the punishment must be severe enough so as to leave an indelible impression in the subject’s mind.”
She wiped the tears from her face, planting her nose down in the open palms of her hands, adopting a strange kind of prayer position. He gently, insistently grabbed hold of her wrists one at a time and wrapped them back around her, so they rested together in the small of her back. The carpet was rough and scratchy on her soft cheeks. She had the feeling she was inhaling the filth of a thousand footfalls, and it disgusted her and made her feel dirty.
He gave her a sharp smack, which still hurt, but didn’t seem as dreadful as the first one. The next few stung, and though they were deeply unpleasant, she found she was warming to them, relaxing into them somehow. They were getting easier to take. When he slapped her in rhythm, she found she could take it. She could prepare for it; she knew it was coming. Her cheeks were heating up, becoming red hot, stinging constantly, while the pain increased like a slow boil in her brain. It was hardest when he stopped to admire the beads of sweat trickling down her back, adoring the reddening color of her ass. When his hand wasn’t falling on her burning hot bottom, she was on pins-and-needles, in a terrible state of anticipation, waiting to see if the next blow was going to be hard or gentle, waiting to see what part of her would be the next to scream.
It was these unpredictable pauses, followed by hard and heavy slaps, that ran up her spine and spun her thoughts around until they were twisted into knots of pain, so tied up she couldn’t think clearly, and yet could answer automatically every question he posed. He posed many questions. Far more than 25 slaps worth, but she’d lost count after the first break in her cool demeanor. She remembered some of them, but there were so many that she wasn’t sure after the first few what her answers had been, except that they’d been very agreeable.
“Who does Shannon obey?”
“Why is Shannon being punished?”
“Because Shannon was disobedient.”
“Who controls Shannon?”
“What will Shannon learn from this.”
“Who does Shannon belong to?”
“Will Shannon be good from now on?”
“What will Shannon do to make up for her disobedience?”
“Will Shannon obey and do anything I ask?”
And so on, and so on.
After just a few minutes, she was so awash in pain, her focus entirely on where his hand would hit next, and how hard, that she forgot everything else. The room, her life, the collar, her thought experiment, his questions, everything faded away. She didn’t know anything anymore. She didn’t know herself, didn’t know him, didn’t know anything but the feeling that she’d been wrong, so very wrong and was even now being made right. Somewhere along the way she’d begun to thank him. She was certain it had been his gentle suggestion, though she didn’t remember it exactly, only that she would do anything to please him. Anything at all. She wanted him to be happy with her, wanted to be strong for him and to take her spanking, but it was so hard, but she was doing so well, he said, but it hurt and she wanted it to stop.
Somewhere along the way, she’d also begun to refer to him as “Sir”.
She realized that after only ten or fifteen minutes–she couldn’t be sure how long it had actually gone on–that he’d brought her to a strange psychological state where she’d been so softened up by pain and was so grateful that it had stopped, that she was left in a floating, light headed state of obedience. She found herself in a kind of trance, waiting patiently for his instructions, and when he gave them, it seemed her body began to move before she made the decision to do so.
“Come here.” He pointed to the carpet before him as he sat on the bed, wiping the sweat from his forehead.
Her body jerked forward, crawling, until she knelt in the very spot. She could almost see a black dot on the carpet that she knew wasn’t there, but somehow it didn’t matter.
“So,” he continued, surprised by her sudden silence and obedience, “I’ve learned a lot about you. Far more than I guessed I would. You were right. The humiliation of such a childish punishment really does have a dramatic effect on one’s state of mind. I never would’ve guessed you’d be so submissive, but here you are.”
She blinked, found that she hadn’t breathed for several minutes, and made a point to do so. She was feeling a little of her old self creeping back in, which made her happy, and a little disappointed. She could do this; she could survive this with her personality intact, even if her vocabulary got obliterated.
He pointed to his feet and said, “Down.”
Her head sunk to the carpet, near his foot.
“You may express your gratitude, if you like.”
She did. She kissed his foot, little light popcorn kisses around the top of his foot, up one side of his ankle and down the other. He switched feet and let her do the same.
“There are things in your plans that I’m honestly not sure you’re going to be able to deal with, but I guess you don’t have a choice.”
She pressed her cheek against one ankle while she kissed the other, her kisses becoming wetter, longer more grateful. Her ass seemed suddenly cold, perhaps because it was red hot and being cooled by the air.
“I’ve set up a small area in the den with a pillow and some sheets where you will stay. I’ve constructed a program so that you may not move more than ten feet in any direction. The collar should sense your movement. You talked about keeping the subject in an enclosed space, but this will have to do. It’s near a window so you’ll have a little entertainment, but not much. When I’m at work, this is where you will be. No computer. No television. No books. No radio.”
She stopped kissing, remembering her own notes about the stagnant mind. She’d even written that it was important to prohibit as much mental stimulation as possible, to create a sort of flat mind state, a hungry state in the brain, so when stimulation was provided, it would soak it up like a sponge. “What if Shannon has to go to the bathroom?” she asked.
There was a moment of silence. “Ah, yes, good thinking.” He reached down and patted her on the head, then pushed her lips back toward his feet. She got the hint; she continued kissing his toes. “I suppose I can program a verbal response. That shouldn’t be too hard. So if you need to go, and you should try your hardest to wait, you could tell the computer a keyword. We should test the voice recognition software tonight to be sure. You can tell it you need to go potty. From there I’ll program a delay. Ten minutes should be enough. You’ll have ten minutes to use the toilet, clean up and get back to your spot. Any more thoughts?”
It was feeling odd again, calling him “Sir”. Only a moment ago it had felt like the most natural thing in the world, but she wasn’t feeling as submissive anymore. The effect of the spanking was wearing off. It still didn’t stop her from continuing to plant kisses on his feet.
“I’ll leave water and a small portion of food in bowls for you.”
He had to admit, he did like the image. He wondered what it would be like to go to work, knowing his wife was on her hands and knees, in her collar, completely bored out of her mind, and waiting anxiously for him to come home.
He stood, knowing if he didn’t get to the gym soon, he wouldn’t go. He’d stay and fuck her again, and find new ways to debase her. He needed a little fresh air, needed to clear his mind, needed to think about things.
“Oh,” he said as she followed directly behind him, “and that reminds me, no masturbation. If those pleasure circuits light up in your brain, the collar is going to make things very uncomfortable for you.”
She scowled. She was even now aware of how dripping with arousal she was, and she was about to leave her alone for several hours.
But it was part of her program: all of the body’s requirements, food, water, shelter, pleasure and pain should be derived from the controller. The controller, in this case Jessie, would soon the absolute focus of her mind.
She understood what was going to happen to her, and that almost made it worse, because she also understood she was helpless to resist it, and that shot her arousal sky high.
He set up a microphone and they tested the computer’s software. It responded to the sound of her voice easily enough, but he fine-tuned it until it understood the word potty and then had to spend several minutes coding a script to interact with the collar’s software.
She must’ve called out the word “potty” a hundred times, and that didn’t count variations. “Shannon go potty,” and “Potty potty please,” and “Collar potty,” and so on, any combination he could think of, ensuring the computer understood the word no matter how it was used.
She was put in her spot in a corner with a small pile of quilts and sheets and a pillow. It was far away enough from the bookshelves that she’d have to use her potty breaks wisely. He’d told her she would only get two ten minute breaks a day. He didn’t know, but she’d already planned to the first one to get a book and the second to put it back.
She’d already discovered that she was close enough to the window to see out, but not close enough to see out well. It was her system, her agenda, her design, and she was already finding loopholes.
He kissed her on the lips, pressed her head against his leg, reached down, tweaked a nipple and left.
She was bored in ten minutes.
She sat in her corner, watching the clock. He’d probably be gone around two hours. She thought that was about how long it usually took him to work out. Although, he could easily draw it out, but she was betting he wouldn’t the first time. After all, this was a trial run. Two hours. When he was at work, she’d have eight hours at least.
Her stomach growled, reminding her suddenly that she’d barely eaten anything all day. Between the novelty of following him around naked on all fours and the shower incident, her mind had been kept busy, but now, she had nothing to do but think.
She strategized. The refrigerator was off limits, but what about the rest of the kitchen? That left the pantry, unless he’d put some kind of sensor in there as he said he’d done with the fridge. She was no fool. She wasn’t about to test it. A potential collar shock was all she needed to dissuade her.
It was too short a time for her to risk getting a book, and she didn’t want to fool around on a trial run, but in two hours her hunger would go from uncomfortable to starving.
She sighed and gazed down at her bowls. One silver, one plastic. One held water, the other some kind of sludge. He hadn’t told her it what was, just that it was his own recipe, following the instructions of her “thought experiment”. She wandered back in her mind, sifting through all the pages, but she’d written a lot over a period of years, and not all of it was as fresh in her mind anymore. It didn’t help that her hunger was distracting her.
It was probably woefully low in protein. That was part of the agenda, she remembered or thought she remembered. It was the tactic of cults, low protein meals, lack of sleep. She wondered about the sleep. She hadn’t remembered designing in the collar for that, though it would’ve easy enough to have the damn thing shock her every few hours. If he’d planned it, he hadn’t said, and in her current condition, she felt little desire to suggest it.
She watched cars zoom by through the slice of curtain left open to her. She listened to the sounds of the street. She sighed and settled back lazily against the wall.
Finally, her hunger proved more resilient than her will and she sniffed the sludge in the bowl. It smelled a little like curry, but didn’t taste like anything more than cold clay.
Fuck, she thought, that’s—
She jerked around on the bedding as the agonizing pain shot down her spine and into her fingers and toes, leaving an uncomfortable prickling sensation in her lips, nipples and vaginal lips.
Almost at once she had the urge to cuss again, but refrained.
She forgot what she’d been thinking about.
She wiped the sweat from her forehead and got a fresh whiff of her stink, the stale sweat of her pits, the sharp fishy smell of her pussy. She felt dirty. She was dirty, she realized. She’d give anything for a shower.
She nibbled some more food and remembered what she’d been thinking. The food was purposefully cold and bland so as to prevent unnecessary stimulation. It was working. She was bored out of her ever-loving mind, and now her boredom seemed to be expanding, if that was possible, spreading beyond her palate.
Why had she wanted this again? This didn’t feel all that exciting now, but her mind recalled the image of her on all fours, head down, ass up, receiving a heavy-handed spanking. Her arousal was back. She was sorely tempted to give herself a little rub, but didn’t dare incur the wrath of the collar again. Still, she idly played with her nipples and felt herself moisten.
After a few moments, she felt a current of pleasure begin from just her sensitive breasts. It was getting harder and harder to keep her hand away from her pussy.
The collar clicked once.
She froze. What was it doing? It didn’t do that when she was about to be shocked; it just zapped the–it just zapped her.
After a few moments, both of her hands fell back to her breasts, kneading and massaging, twisting the nipples, rubbing them with the thumbs. She was so wet she had to close her legs to resist the temptation, and even then, she found she could squirm a little and let her thighs stimulate her in a very subtle way.
She thought about her predicament, where she was, what he’d been doing to her, what he might do, the collar. . . . Even the sharp stink of her body was a sign of his control. A tension began to build in her body. She moaned a little and—
She froze and waited. Her lips and pussy tingled expectantly, but no shock came.
Although it took all her will power, she dropped her hands from her breasts and decided not to tempt fate. Next time, she knew she would probably receive an extremely unpleasant reminder from the collar.
By the time he returned, several hours later, she’d fallen into a nap and had awoken, more tired than when she’d fallen asleep. Still, she was glad to see him. He went through the house, spent some time in the kitchen, the bathroom, the living room, upstairs in the bedroom, all while she listened intently from her prison.
Finally, he slid open the doors to his office and turned on the light.
“How’s my girl?”
Groggily, aching, still hungry, she answered, “Bored out of her mind.”
He chuckled. “That’s the point though, isn’t it?”
He woke up the hibernating computer and clicked a few boxes with the mouse. “Okay,” he told her, “you’re free to move around the house again, but remember your restrictions.” He started to leave, but then paused. “Did you try out the potty setting?”
She shook her head. “No. Shannon fell asleep from boredom.”
He noted the absence of the “Sir”.
He left and headed upstairs. Almost at once, an unpleasant tingling began in her body. Five feet. She hurried to catch up to him.
“So,” she wondered, “that was longer than you usually take working out. What all did you do?”
He smiled, but didn’t answer.
He sat on the bed to remove his clothes, starting with his shoes. She parked herself at his feet and looked up at him. “In case you hadn’t noticed, Shannon needs attention. She’s been bored since you’ve been gone. Really really bored.”
He smiled and patted her on the head, chucked his shorts on the floor, which never failed to piss her off, and struggled out of his shirt.
“Jess?” Shannon asked.
“Yes, Dear,” he chuckled.
“Can Shannon please, pretty please have a shower? She is getting ripe.”
He pulled her chin up and smiled. “I know. I can smell you a mile away, but I’m stinky, too, after my workout, so not right now. Maybe tomorrow.”
She closed her eyes, pressed her lips together and fought her anger as best she could.
He paused in the doorway to the bathroom. “Oh,” he said, “that reminds me. I think I need to restrict names next. The collar should have scanned you enough times to have that option now. I’ll test it after I get cleaned up.”
She scampered after him. “Names?” Her tone was more worried than she’d intended.
“Yes,” he replied and started the shower, “I don’t like you calling me Jess. It might help with the respect we worked on earlier.”
“But–but–then what does Shannon call herself?”
He shrugged. “Shannon has worse things to worry about than that. After we test that, I plan to restrict her to no more than five words in a row.” He chuckled, pulled back the shower curtain, tested the water, adjusted the temperature and stepped into the basin.
She shook her head, unable to tell which emotion was the most gripping, shock, fear, anger, arousal. There were so many.
He pulled back the shower curtain and addressed her again.
Her eyes went wide as she looked up at him, startled.
“We’re not going to have a repeat of this afternoon, are we? With you disobeying my instructions about the shower?”
She shook her head and swallowed. “No, Sir.”
Now, where had that “Sir” come from? Her mind reeled; it had just slipped out.
He smiled and said, “Good girl.”
She blushed and sat on the floor, smelling the Godawful stench of her body once more.
True to his word, as the light of the monitor lit his face in a ghoulish way, he looked down at her and smiled. “Hey, there are a lot more options. That mini MRI has been working overtime.”
Devoid of passion, she replied, “Great.”
“So,” he grinned, “say bye-bye to your name, Shannon.”
She swallowed, her heart chilled, her stomach dropping.
“Did you want to use it one last time?”
She peered up at him. He smoothed her hair back and smiled, which struck her as odd, such a loving gesture from someone that had found a talent for hurting her.
He chuckled and turned back to his computer.
“Y’know,” she mused, “Shannon could be–”
She burst into tears and felt her body jerk out of her control, jolting from its comfortable position leaning against his legs. She cried and she screamed as the pain surged through every part of her. As she was constructing her little thought experiment, she’d worried that someone might get desensitized to the pain and that it might become less effective with use. That wasn’t the case.
“I warned you,” Jessie said and clicked away at the program.
She ended up laying on face down on the floor, her breasts scraped painfully by the rough carpet, heaving and weeping.
She’d spent the entire day in her corner while he was at work, and hadn’t been able to help herself. Even with her surreptitious book reading, she’d still found herself bored and woefully under stimulated. She had a brilliant brain, and it was going a little stir crazy.
By the time he walked through the front door, she was practically leaping into his arms. She was more than happy to see him; she was ecstatic. For the first time in their relationship, she had nothing to say, nothing to talk about. She hadn’t done anything, couldn’t talk about the book she’d started and nearly finished. She was conversationally starved and seemed to perpetually hungry and sluggish. She’d tried to sleep a little, but she wasn’t sleeping well at all, and seemed to be becoming increasingly exhausted as well. It was a weird thing.
She asked him question after question, bumped up against him, smiled at him, begged for kisses and several times reached for his crotch in an attempt to start any kind of entertainment at all, even if it was just plain old sex.
Instead, he’d laughed, answered, petted her, fussed at her and sat himself at the computer to program her collar some more.
“What were you going to say anyway?” he wondered.
Covered in sweat, feeling as filthy as a pig, having still not been given permission to bathe, she panted, “...was just going to suggest Sh–person, she could watch TV while you do that.”
“Hm,” he obviously wasn’t listening.
She crawled back to his side and waited impatiently for him to notice her.
He clicked the mouse. “You’re restricted to five words at a time now. Oh, and on Wednesday we’ll have our first human day.”
“First what?” she asked.
“Our first day without the influence of the collar where we discuss how it’s going, what should be better, what should be worse.”
“The entire day?” she asked, feeling a little excited. She could bathe, she could eat, she could—
“Well, not day. I meant, a day in which we spend maybe ten minutes or so talking. The collar will stay on, but most of the restrictions will be lifted long enough for us to discuss our progress.”
She peered up at him, watched his eyes shift back and forth, glanced down at his crotch, was a little surprised to see he was aroused. She might be able to get him going, but he’d been putting her off for the last couple of days.
“Jess?” she called, and tried to make herself sweet and soft.
Her tone caught his attention. He looked down at her. “Yes?”
“Will you fuck me now?”
He smiled. “Five words exactly.”
She laughed. “Five words yes. Careful planning.”
“I could restrict your thoughts to five words, but that might be jumping ahead a little. One stage at a time, after all.”
She gulped visibly. “So?”
He leaned down and kissed her softly on the forehead. “Sorry, no, you’re fucking ripe.”
She felt the hot flush fill her cheeks with head. “Well, of course–”
She couldn’t use profanity, couldn’t use personal pronouns or her name and didn’t have enough words to express her anger.
She bit him on the leg.
He flinched and looked down at her with shock.
She shrank, knowing what was coming, and wondering if another electrocution wasn’t worth it.
Instead, he pointed to her corner and said sharply, “Go!”
He set the collar to hone in on the sensor above her place rather than the remote he carried with him.
As the collar began to tingle, she had no choice but to hurry to her smelly sheets and pillow and glare at him from across the room.
He sat for another thirty minutes programming her collar, then shut off the light and left the room.
She was left in the darkness, alone, and was utterly startled when she burst into tears.
By the time Wednesday came around, she was so exhausted she could barely think straight. She sat in her corner, too fuzzy headed to read, constantly hungry, sluggish, lethargic, ready to fall into a coma at any moment, but unable to sleep. She could lay down, close her eyes, but sleep wouldn’t come, and when it did, for some reason it was incredibly unsatisfying.
In this state, she couldn’t think of resisting his instructions. She followed his orders because he gave them, simple enough. She probably would follow just about anyone’s commands, she was so tired.
He pointed to the bed and she struggled to comply. She was reluctant to get on the bed. Her hair felt nasty, matted to her head, greasy, stringy. Her body felt oily and sweaty and stunk to high heaven. Still, she ordered her arms and legs to haul her up on to the bed, and waited, not noticing she was still on her hands and knees.
He spent a good minute and a half studying her beautiful ass, seriously tempted, but chose to forego any pleasure just yet. Besides, she didn’t exactly smell like her old girly self.
“So,” he said, drawing a chair to the bed, “this is the time where we evaluate how we’re doing.” He sat down in the chair and watched her glazed eyes droop. Her eyelids never seemed to open entirely anymore, they were always half-closed. “So,” he continued, “how are we doing?”
Her response was slow in coming. “So tired all time.”
He nodded. “Your plans did call for that, if you remember, which in your current state . . . well. . . . Anyway, rather than have the collar wake you up, I discovered two things you hadn’t quite put together.”
Her nod was slow. She looked as if she were struggling to keep up.
He frowned and sighed. He knew this was going to be the worst part, having to watch her go through this. He reminded himself of the program. In another day or so, she’d enter the next phase.
“So . . . tired,” she repeated. “Why so tired?”
“That would be the REM cycle interrupt. That’s what I was talking about. Rather than have the collar wake you every hour or so when you chose to sleep, I found your notes on that sleep study you did. It said it wasn’t necessary to actually wake up the subjects, just to interrupt their REM cycles, so that’s what I’ve been having the collar do. You remain asleep, so you don’t notice it, but the collar emits a frequency when it senses your REM cycle start. That’s why you’re so tired.”
She nodded sluggishly. “Oh . . . okay.”
“It’s only been a couple of days is the scary part. How much of this are you understanding?”
He waited for her to reply. He started to ask the question, when she softly responded, “Some, not all.”
He chuckled. “Okay, Shannon, well, I have some questions for you and you’re going to answer them, aren’t you?”
A shorter pause this time.
“And during this Q&A period, you can do all the things you haven’t been allowed to do. Cuss, use your name, my name, talk about yourself in the first person–”
He chuckled. “After the Q&A, I’ll allow you to shower. I want to examine the collar anyway, so the timing is perfect.”
She sighed with relief.
“So you’ll answer my questions honestly and accurately? If you don’t, no shower. Understand?”
She nodded, her agreement barely audible.
“Good. First question, how do you feel it’s going, Shannon?”
She licked her lips, for the first time realizing that he’d addressed her by name and that she was still on her hands and knees. “Um, not sure. Hard to think just now. Guess thought more sex.”
He chuckled. “Yes, we’re getting to that. Second question, how aroused have you been?”
“Think fact can’t masturbate and . . . not sure, too tired, maybe.”
“Understandable,” he agreed. “Okay, next, why do you like this kind of thing?”
She shook her head. “Not sure. Parents seemed normal. Didn’t like authority as a child, maybe somehow became taboo in mind and changed to excitement. Very upsetting.”
He got up long enough to press her bottom down to the bed. Although, she’d noticed she was still on her hands and knees, she hadn’t yet mustered the consciousness to make herself sit down comfortably. She smiled wearily and thanked him.
“No problem. Shannon, where did you envision yourself ending up with this?”
He shook his head in wonder. “Do you love me?”
“Have you been obeying me?”
“Mostly.” After a moment, she realized what she’d said. She was too damn tired and used to obeying him to catch herself.
“Mostly,” he repeated. She grimaced and turned pale. “What rules have you broken?”
“None,” she replied, but swallowed. “Water?”
“You need a drink?”
“In a minute.” He took a deep breath and tried again. “What rules have you bent then?”
She closed her eyes and sighed. A tiny crease of frustration appeared between her eyebrows. “Been reading books during alone time.”
He raised his eyebrows. “Really? How have you been doing that?”
“Potty breaks. One to get book. One to put up so you wouldn’t know.”
He grinned. “Very clever. We’ll have to put a stop to that though, won’t we?”
“Yes–” She stopped herself before the word “Sir” popped out.
“Okay, you go shower and I’ll get you a drink of water. You have ten minutes without the collar, and then it goes right back on. Understand?”
She smiled, already relishing the soap and hot water. “Thank you!”
“Don’t thank me. It’s not for you. It’s because I don’t want to fuck someone that smells like a garbage can.”
Her smile widened.
The shower was a luxury she’d nearly forgotten, despite the fact that it had really only been a couple of days. The progress discussion, the “human” time, as he called it was unexpected. She didn’t remember putting anything like that in her thought experiment.
Of all the places on her body that she most loved the tingly kiss of a soapy lather, it was her pussy and her hair. It would be nice to smell herself anymore, but heavenly to have soft and silky hair again, touching the back of her neck, curling around her ear, around her face, sweeping across her forehead and eyelids.
She’d barely toweled herself off and had not spent any time at all getting her hair squared away before he returned. He pointed sternly to the floor. She pointed to her head. “Shannon needs more time.” She hadn’t brushed it, hadn’t curled it (not that it needed much), hadn’t even had time to arrange it in the mirror.
He wrapped his hand around the back of her neck and jerked her toward him. “It’s been well over ten minutes.”
She let out a soft “ow” and flinched.
He kissed her.
After the last few days, where he’d begun to be the focus of her thoughts, where she’d had nothing to entertain herself except him (and her stolen reading time), the smell of him, the touch of him, had her wet and wanting in a matter of seconds. His kiss took her to a full boil before there lips had even touched, from just the anticipation alone. She pressed herself against him and made all the right moves, flattening her soft breasts against his hard body, rocking her hips just so, squirming closer against him, letting her spine turn to water and flow against him, wrapping her arms under his, nails bared, scraping his back with need.
He pulled her away, and pressed her down to her knees.
She got a whiff of his musk and thought about his cock, trapped beneath the denim, sealed away by a zipper and a few buttons, a scant few centimeters separating her from that manly tool that did such wonderful things to her, that made her feel female inside and out, that made her love him, that made her desperate to be loved by him, to be spun around in circles until she was dizzy and lightheaded like a forgotten children’s game.
Her hands reached for him, but he pushed them away. She peered up at him, wide-eyed and confused.
He held out the collar, and her heart was in her throat again.
It was back: the feeling of being lost, of being found, of excitement that was too deep to be based on the thin fragile surface of flesh, the feeling that made her feel like sobbing with joy.
She swept up her heavy, wet hair and pushed herself forward into the cold metal device. Almost instantly, it snapped closed, and in the instant afterwards, he’d spun her around and was shoving his cock deep inside her.
She gave in, surrendered anything, everything and was so happy to be shocked and overwhelmed that she did leak a few tears, but the heat of her cheeks burned them away. He drove himself as deeply as he could into her, and for a long time she was only a soft velvet fist of pleasure, wrapped tightly around something indistinct but powerful, vague and yet explosive. He lit the first round of fireworks off in her brain and she was halfway through a second clenching, spasming orgasm before she even realized she’d had the first.
It had never been like this before. They’d had good sex, great sex even, but she’d never completely lost herself, never been so focused on the heat of his broad hands, the driving, fucking hardness of his cock, the depth of herself, the wet, warm, willing rise of herself, like an underwater volcano, exploding, raising through miles of darkness, of coldness to burst into a hot tropical atmosphere.
There was always another thought, her hair, the pain in her knees, the position of her legs, the scrape of his beard.
Not this time.
By the time he came, by the time he tensed and grunted like a bear in pain, by the time he filled her, she realized they’d been at it awhile. The pain in her knees brought her out of it. She collapsed on the floor while shards of white hot pain flared in her mind. She was surprised he’d lasted so long. Not that he usually had any difficulty, but considering how aroused he’d clearly been, she thought it would follow the pattern of being intense, but short.
He took a few minutes to recover, caught his breath, gave her a slap on the ass, which made her giggle and eye him with pretend hurt over her shoulder. “Hey!” She tossed her ass and felt the first drip from between her legs. “Aw, you made a mess!”
He laughed and broke into a short coughing fit. His eyes watered; her wrapped his arms around his sides and caught his breath yet again. “The, uh, collar is back up, I mean, y’know, on and functioning fully. You know what I mean?”
She grinned, beamed a little girl smile actually, which usually had him wrapped around her finger in no time. “Yes, Sir.”
He grinned. “And just in time, too.” He headed for the bathroom door. “Clean yourself up and meet me down stairs. Don’t take too long. I know you probably want to play with your hair, but I won’t wait forever, and the longer you make me wait the more severe your punishment.”
She blinked. “My-my punishment?”
His grin broadened. “You did break the rules.”
“Your little stunt with the books or did you think I’d forgotten about that?”
She swallowed, and the look of guilt tainted her face. “It wasn’t breaking the rules–”
“Careful!” he interjected. He pointed to his neck, then to hers. “Five words, remember?”
Her eyes went wide and she nodded. “Forgot.”
She got to her feet and collected her towel and hairbrush. “Probably need another shower now!”
They shared a laugh, but strangely she was feeling incredibly uncomfortable. A sharp prickling sensation began in her toes and fingertips, increasing. It increased to a harsh burning before she dropped to her knees again. How quickly she’d forgotten! She turned to give him her best “oops” expression, but he’d gone.
He was getting better at it, ordering her around. Strangely, long before they’d begun this little experiment, his bossy side would come out now and again. She’d never appreciated it before, but then he’d never told her to do something with such confidence. No, it wasn’t confidence that drove the command into her brain like a lead spike, but his absolute certainty that it would be obeyed. He’d always been confident, though she had to admit a less so regarding women, but if he felt that way now, he wasn’t showing it.
“Fingers here.” He tapped on the wall.
She was allowed to stand, which was a novelty, but not such a novelty as she’d been allowed to shower standing as well. She missed the mirror though, and couldn’t be sure how good of a job she’d done on her hair without one to help. She placed her hands on the wall.
He slapped the back of her hand. “No. I said fingers.”
She adjusted, placing her fingers on the wall.
She stepped closer to the wall and stretched. He kicked her legs back, forcing her to really stretch, uncomfortably so. He tapped her inner thighs, spreading her legs farther apart. Her position, she noticed, was becoming more and more straining and unpleasant every time he touched her. His hand was warm, but insistent as it met the small of her back and pressed it forward, causing her to arch her back. He adjusted her and readjusted her for several minutes until she was apparently in the perfect position. Almost.
He crept behind her, seized a nipple and twisted it painfully, causing her to lose her balance as she let out a short gasp. “Tiptoes now.”
She struggled to get back into position, hoisting herself up on her toes, feeling almost at once the strain in her calves, in her back, in the arches of her feet. She was so busy concentrating on her position that she completely lost track of him.
By the time she heard him approach her again, she’d already broken out in a sweat and was starting to tremble a little.
His hand was warm and wide and covered her ass. He appreciated it openly, enjoying her willingness or her inability to stop him. For the first time, he didn’t feel guilty about objectifying her, about treating her as a beautiful sum of extraordinarily sexy parts.
She tried to focus on his hand, but her arms were tied, and the muscles in her legs were burning.
Then the first slap of pain hit. It was so unexpected, she jerked to the side and stood blinking for a moment, trying to understand what had happened.
He pointed back at the wall. “Get back up there.”
She looked around at her ass and gasped when she saw a round red mark. The ping-pong paddle in his hand caught her eye. She blinked several times, and slowly moved back to the wall.
He grumbled, sounding earnestly frustrated, and spent the next several minutes positioning her again, until she was just so.
When she was ready, he pulled her head back with a fist full of her lovely auburn curls and whispered in her ear, “Bending rules is the same as breaking them.”
He didn’t waste any more time, but began spanking her, one hard flat wallop after another. The blows came scarcely seconds apart and she finally did find that her mind left the placement of her fingertips on the wall far above her head and the burning in her calves, and focused entirely on the stings of her bottom and the heat that it was beginning to generate. She was crying, but as he continued, she found she was losing all composure and beginning to sob, shaking so hard that she’d lost her position.
He did not bark at her, but with an understanding tone asked her directly to “get back in position.”
She hesitated, her calves burning so bad, she could barely re-acquire her position, her bottom so hot she couldn’t seem to think of anything else. She didn’t want to be spanked anymore and she looked at him with pleading eyes. He pointed to the wall with the paddle, enticing her almost sweetly. “Go on.”
She couldn’t seem to voice her reluctance, couldn’t seem to get her mouth to open to ask him to please stop. Instead, almost incredulously, she found herself placing her fingers above her on the wall, arching her back which caused her screaming ass to poke out invitingly, the last place she wanted it, and waited.
He hit her again, and she broke into sobs.
She heard his heavy steps toward her, fast and furious, then felt her head jerked back again by her hair. He whispered quickly into her ear. “Less sobbing. Understand?”
She tried to nod, but she was firmly in his grasp. “Y-yes, Sir.”
It was impossible. Suddenly, she was concentrating on keeping her position, her burning aching calves and back, trying not to sob, trying not shriek with each blow and trying not to anticipate them and pull away. It was overwhelming, and after only a few moments, she seemed to just shut down.
It was worse than her last spanking, where she’d found herself in a kind of floaty, surreal state, where her body seemed in a hurry to obey his instructions, even as her mind lagged slightly behind. This was an empty brain moment. She didn’t seem to have thoughts anymore. She didn’t seem to have a mind. She seemed empty and light-headed. She felt she was only the parts of her body that were begging, hurting, trembling, crying.
It was several moments before she realized he wasn’t spanking her anymore. She had somehow ended up on her knees. She had a vague recollection of him helping her down, her rigid half-steps because of her rubbery calves, her arms trembling and holding on to him as best as they could.
He kissed her hard on the mouth and she felt herself give into him whole-heartedly. He withdrew and looked hard into her eyes.
“From now on,” he explained ever so softly, “I’d like your eyes to always on my feet and never above my waist, unless I request otherwise. Do you think you can do that, Sweety?”
She nodded like a speechless child.
“Good.” He left her kneeling, feeling broken and exhausted, her bottom still on fire. “I’m going to teach you some positions now. Are you willing to learn?”
She nodded again, soft and quiet.
She pulled her head back by her hair again, forcing her eyes to meet his. “When I ask a question, I expect a response. Is that clear?”
She swallowed and had to catch her breath to get it out. “Y-yes, Sir.” It was a shamefully whispered reply, but it was a reply.
“Next time, I use the collar.” He let her head drop, and gave her concise instructions then.
She was still in her floaty, surreal state or she would’ve recognized the formal positions as part of her program.
He had her get up on her knees and stretch upward with her hands up in a begging gesture, her tongue out, her eyes wide and soulful. “This is called ‘beg’. And I expect you to do this anytime you need anything from me, whether it’s the potty or food or my attention. Do you have it?”
He repeated it more forcefully. “Do you have it?”
She nodded. He swept close, wrapping her auburn tresses around his fist, but she quickly amended her response. “Yes, Sir!”
He arranged her hair back over her shoulders, enjoying the feel of it in his fingers. He played with it idly, then dropped it and went to his computer and tapped at the keys. He shifted his gaze back and forth between the monitor and her, barking out instructions.
“Head up more.”
“Not quite so much. Down, eyes wider, more pitiful.”
She tried to comply, finding herself making an inadvertent pouting expression with her lips.
He chuckled. “That’s good. I like that. Hands up more, closer together, they should be touching.”
When she had the position perfect, he told her to hold it and clicked the mouse.
“Good,” he told her and went on to the next position.
She went from begging to rolling around to sticking her rump up in the air. There was even one where she had to slowly rotate her bottom in just the right way, twisting slightly as she moved it up and around in a slow circle. He spent a lot of time on that one, even going so far as to grab her by the hips and force her to do it right. Again, when she was doing it just as he wished, he scrambled back to the computer and clicked the mouse.
She remembered now what he was doing. It had taken her this long to finally come out of her daze, and if they kept this up, she might not be able to come back in the future. She hadn’t even worn the collar a week and already she was beginning to forget what kind of relationship they’d had before.
He looked up and smiled. “Recorded and programmed. Shall we test it?” He noticed the awareness in her eyes again and was tempted to welcome her back.
She didn’t say anything, but took it as a sign that she could sit again in a more comfortable position.
He took her silence as an answer.
He clicked a button and eyed her with an evil grin.
Her collar clicked twice, let out a sharp chirp and began to tingle. She sat up sharply, her eyes shifting in a panic and looked to him for help. He sat back in his chair and watched. “I’d say you have about thirty seconds to figure out what position you’re supposed to be in or it’s going to get really uncomfortable.”
The collar was already slipping past the tingling stage and was well on its way to the stinging. She didn’t relish those icy pricklings crawling all over her again, leaving trails of needle-like pain.
She slipped down to her hands and knees and the pain got worse. When she went into a kneeling posture on the way to another one, she noticed the pain let up slightly. She knelt, tried going into her “Submit” pose, but it didn’t work. By the time she found her way into “Beg”, the collar was giving her short, agonizing jolts. Even then, it was correcting her, tingling, prickling until she managed to hold just the exact position he’d recorded and programmed into the collar.
The thing was insidious, too, never letting up until she adopted the position to the letter, and increasing is sting if she didn’t comply.
She begged, hands up, pouting lips, big, pitiful eyes and held it.
She found she couldn’t let go of it or the collar would correct her.
“Not bad,” he said, “though it took you awhile. I think you’ll find the more you do it, though, the faster and more accurate you’ll get. Let’s try another one.”
And try another one they did, and another one and another one. She went through one pose after another, and he was right, she did get faster. She didn’t have choice. It was the only way to prevent the collar from electrocuting her every pore. It helped that the collar had a unique label for each position. Between the clicks and chirps, she got to where she could almost know where she needed to be in mere seconds.
When he finally stopped, the Sun had gone down and her entire body was shaking. She was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to crawl into bed and sleep, even if she didn’t get her REM. It might feel like Hell waking up, but it felt great going to sleep, and there was always the hope that he might have released his restriction.
She’d been hopping into and out of positions for well over two hours.
He ordered her to her spot, and after a quick kiss, he patted her on the head, whispered how proud he was of her in her ear and turned out the light.
The next thing she knew it was morning and she was begging.
She wasn’t even awake yet, but the collar had clicked and chirped and her mind and body had understood.
As exhausted and drained as she was, she couldn’t help feeling a wave or arousal at how far he’d brought her in just a few days.
Now, if only he’d let her crawl back into bed and actually get some good sleep!
The rest of the week became something of a routine. Shortly after he awoke in the morning, he’d come and get her up and release her from her corner so she could wander around the house behind him. Sleepy, naked, exhausted, and on all fours, she followed him from room to room. Occasionally, he’d point the remote at her and click a few buttons. The collar would click and chirp, she’d recognize the sounds and almost automatically drop into a pose. It might be kneeling with her arms crossed at the wrist precisely in the small of her back, with her head turned to the side, her lips parted just so and her back arched. It might be her face to the floor, her hands spread out before her in a sexy praying position. It might be kneeling with her head thrust forward, her mouth open, her tongue out, her hands cupping her breasts.
She’d gotten quite good at it.
She’d watch him make breakfast and beg at the table, because once he’d made the collar click and chirp and she found herself in the begging position before she even realized it. After that, for some reason she thought she should do it every time. He seemed to like it. Breakfast, lunch and supper (he often came home, she thought, just to feed her), he’d offer a little scrap of something, letting her lick his fingers lovingly.
She hadn’t been allowed to shower again, but he’d gratefully allowed her to tie her hair up in a tight ponytail and that helped immensely, though the progress of feeling dirtier each day was unsavory. She was allowed to sit and watch him shower, of course, and she had to admit she did feel a little like panting every time she caught a glimpse of his cock, which was invariably hard or getting hard just at the sight of her.
After all, not only was she being brought pleasure whenever he had a spare moment and not being allowed any orgasms, but he was strangely depriving himself as well, which was contrary to her expectations. She figured he’d be a typical guy and use her every second he could at least at first, until the novelty wore off, but he hadn’t done that. It was as if he were pacing himself.
He’d fixed the collar, so to speak. She’d discovered it the first time she snuck a book off the shelf on her way back from her first potty break. She’d been pretty happy about it. She’d told him about it; she’d been punished for it, but he knew now, which mean it was a sort of an accepted, perhaps even expected thing.
She discovered his solution the first time she pried open the book to her bookmark and began reading, the first time she came across a piece of dialogue where the character referred to herself as “I”.
She got a zap that sent the book hurdling into the air.
She shook her head, wondering curiously what had happened.
Before trying the book a second time, she reasoned out. He’d tweaked the collar. Somehow, he’d increased the sensitivity, made it so even if she was thinking in a character’s voice, the collar would still pick up on it. Names for some reason weren’t triggering the collar. She couldn’t think his name and she couldn’t think her name, but she could read other people’s names. She didn’t want to guess what would happen if she accidentally read her own name.
On her second potty book, she tried again, this time selecting a technical manual. What she had counted on was the fact that psychology books are filled with anecdotes. Forwards and prologues were right out, because they were usually written in first person either by the author or an admirer. She had better luck with other technical manuals. His engineering books were better, but not always, and it only took the occasional slipup for her to give in.
So, reading was, for all practical purposes, off limits, which meant the eight hours she spent alone during the day brought her to a dull listless boredom that threatened to drive her crazy, but which ultimately succeeded in her becoming increasingly stagnant focused on him.
As soon as he came home from work, the collar had apparently been programmed (and thus programmed her) to go into begging mode. She was up on her knees, pouting with big pleading eyes as per the collar’s click and chirp. It didn’t take long before she added the whining, which he seemed to like.
Finally, Saturday came around, and it was the first day she awoke not feeling like she’d had her brain trampled by elephants in her sleep. He’d let her dream for a change: a full night of REM sleep. Her mind was clearer than it had been all week. She felt bright-eyed again, felt like smiling again, felt like giggling, especially as her body obeyed the collar, adopting its positions, Beg, Fuck Me, Blow Job, almost entirely without conscious thought.
He leaned over her and smiled, cupping her chin and giving her cheek a warm caress with his thumb. “Feeling better?”
She laughed. “Yes, thanks. Almost new person.”
She was no longer amazed at how her brain had learned to rephrase its thoughts. It only took a couple of soul-jerking zaps for the new pattern to be set in stone. She hadn’t used a sentence beyond five words in . . . well, it seemed like forever.
He rubbed her soft upper lip with his thumb, his eyes filling with pleasure. She could see his boxers filling as well. “I’m glad to hear it, because this is going to be a big day, and I need you with a clear mind.”
She smiled and blushed.
He kissed her hungrily and her smile faded, her blush deepened and spread down her neck, fanning out into the tops of her breasts. Her body was instantly awakened once again to its need, and remembering how long it had been deprived of any real satisfaction.
“Please not more of same,” she breathed out.
He cocked his head to the side, gazed down on her, clearly fascinated. “Not more of same?”
She nodded and looked up at him, unaware that she’d licked her lips. “Want to cum this time?”
He grinned. “We’ll see. You have to be good. Think you can do that?”
Her nod was fervent, her smile supreme. “Yes, Sir.”
He wanted to fuck her right then, right there, but of course he couldn’t.
She got her shower, but not quite the way she’d hoped. He led her to the bathroom, ushered her into the basin, and used the remote on her. The collar clicked and chirped and she was in position before she could stop herself. Her head slipped down, face first to the cool porcelain, her arms out before her in what she thought of as her sexy prayer position, but which he’d labeled “Obedience”.
He pulled her stringy, greasy hair from its ponytail and it fell around her shoulders and over her face. She started to get up, but the collar chirped a warning and her fingers, nipples and toes began to tingle, then to sting. She fell quickly back into position.
“How does that feel, knowing you’re stuck like that until I release you?” he asked.
Her voice was muffled by her hair and arms and the bath. “Exciting and very frustrating, Sir.”
He nodded, though he knew she couldn’t see it.
He twisted the knob to start the water and pulled up on the faucet lever, sending the water to the showerhead. She screamed and tried to scramble backwards as a blast of icy cold water hit her back.
He pushed her back into position, his hand wrapped firmly around the back of her neck as he removed the showerhead and began to scrub her down.
He was not gentle. She panted and gasped and trembled and flinched and tried to catch her breath again and again. The frigid water made her tense up, and his harsh scrubbing was almost a relief. At least there was friction, and it was her only respite from the shivering and aching coldness of her limbs.
He scrubbed every part of her, turning her this way and that, having released her from her position, finally dowsing her hair with shampoo. He wasn’t any gentler with her head. By the time he was done, her nipples and belly were sore, her head ached and she was so frozen she felt like she’d just been pulled out of the Arctic Ocean.
She shivered mercilessly, barely able to navigate out of the tub without his help.
He toweled her off, again with no tenderness, but took more time with her hair, brushing it out and tying it back up into a ponytail, which he enjoyed pulling more than once, revealing her soft white neck, her rolling eyes, her cheeks blushing with excitement and humiliation. He gave her a few soft pecks on the cheek, a few nibbles on the neck and shoulder, and before she knew it she was warm again, but still tender from the ruthless scrubbing.
He ordered her into the bedroom, used the remote to click and chirp the collar, watching with great satisfaction as she moved effortlessly into position. It was so well practiced now that neither of them hardly thought about it. If she got even the least bit out of position the collar would tingle, sting and finally zap painfully until she got the hint. Her body had learned so well, it felt almost as if she were “locked” that way.
Her face was to the carpet, her body resting uncomfortably on her shoulders, her arms crossed at the wrist and resting in the small of her back, her palms open and her thighs open, her ass as high in the air as she could manage. She would strain to hold the position after only a minute or so, but with her pussy and ass so exposed, it had the devastating effect of making her feel considerably vulnerable.
He walked around her for a bit, soothing her with soft words of endearment. “So pretty, so soft, such a pretty ass.” He ran his hand down her back, spread her ass cheeks a little more and kicked her foot to the side. The collar began to tingle instantly; her foot snapped back into position.
“Hey–” she managed to get out, fully intending to complain that it wasn’t fair for him to knock her out of position when he knew the collar was going to shock the shit out of her. She didn’t get the chance though, as he quickly interrupted her.
“No talking from here on out. In fact–”
She heard the digital beep beep beep of the remote as he programmed it. The collar clicked several times in rapid succession.
“–the collar will make sure of it. Understand?”
She opened her mouth, but caught herself. Instead, she nodded and winced from the scrape of the carpet on her cheek.
She watched his feet move to the walk-in closet. “Oh,” he told her, “you can still make guttural noises. Groan, gasp, sigh, but any formalized words coming out of your throat will make you think twice. And we don’t want that, do we?”
Her eyes rolled. Suddenly, he was asking questions.
She watched his feet come toward her again, and the end of a leather belt. He dangled it before her eyes.
“Answer me,” he insisted.
She swallowed, hyperventilated a little. How could she answer him when she couldn’t talk? “Ugh!”
He chuckled. “Very good. It’s only been a week and I already have you like this. Can you imagine what I’ll do to you in the coming weeks?”
She could and she did, and broke out in gooseflesh while a cold drip of arousal crawled the inner side of her right thigh. It was almost unbearably ticklish.
He trailed the end of the belt up and down her back, draping it over one cheek then the other, pulling it slowly away and letting it wind in a gentle circle down until it fully rested on her prostrate body. Its leathery coils were cold, and its buckle like ice on her skin. He walked around her and picked it up, and began to whip it at her ass.
She did good for awhile, barely made a sound, but each blow was getting harder and hotter and meaner. It was getting harder and harder to take. He whipped her until her tears trickled from her eyes. He whipped her until her body broke out with beads of perspiration. He whipped her until her leg began to shake violently. The collar began to tingle. He reached for the remote and she heard it chirp and click.
She knew she could move again, but he whipped her as she tried to do.
“Stay,” he said, his tone quiet and demanding.
He whipped her ass until it was beet red. He whipped it until she began to sob. Unlike before, when he’d insisted she keep her sobbing under control, this time he whipped her precisely to make her sob uncontrollably. She collapsed more than once and he waited for her to get back into position. Her right leg began to tremble oddly. She couldn’t make it stop. It was out of control and it bothered her to no end. It was almost painful. She would relax it, get it still for a moment, then it would start up again, worse than before. It got so bad it began to make her entire body shake.
He whipped her until she screamed at the top of her lungs and then stopped.
He kissed the top of her head, whispered in her ear more soft endearing things. “What a good girl. I’m so proud of you. I knew you could do it. Can you take more? Yes, you can. You will for me, won’t you?”
Why she nodded, she didn’t know, except that she would do anything–absolutely, completely, utterly–anything to please him.
He patted her head, pressed it back down to the carpet and took a deep breath.
He began then to whip her back until her mind folded into the white hot pain.
When she came to, he was fucking her.
It wasn’t any gentler than the shower or the whipping.
She ached. She burned. Her ass and back were on fire. She shook and trembled. She shivered and shuddered, and as much as she ached, his cock sliding in and out, thrusting violently into her, nearly knocking her forward off her hands and knees, felt so good, so overpowering, that it seemed the white hot pain in her mind had gone red with euphoria.
He fucked her for a long time, manhandling her from one position to another. Grabbing her ruthlessly by the ankle and flipping her over. Dragging her by the upper arm until her mouth was in position, then he fucked her mouth. She tried to be pleasing, tried to move with him, to suck, to lick, but he was too quick and too hard. Finally, he grabbed her by her ponytail and shouted, “STAY!” She froze, kept her mouth open and let him fuck her.
She gave up. She stopped trying. She surrendered. And she suddenly felt the tension in her begin to build, felt the sharp edge of the climax rushing towards her. She tensed and cried and prepared herself.
“No–” she started to say, but the collar let out a terrible BEEP and an instant later she was on her side, nearly convulsing with pain, the awful electrical jolts causing such pain she could only let out guttural sounds of discomfort.
He paused, let her rest, then hauled her back into position, pulling her head back by the ponytail. “You cum when I say you cum and not second before. Do you understand?”
She nodded, sobbing quietly. “Ugh!”
After a long while, after she’d begged with moans and groans, with whining, pleading nonsensical made up words, he stopped again.
He rested on the bed for awhile, then picked up the remote and left the room. She scrambled afterwards, down stairs to the kitchen.
He ate and plopped some leftover pork chops in a bowl on the floor. She hadn’t known she was starving until the scent hit her nose, and then she dug into them with no grace, no dignity.
Afterwards, he cooed and laughed and wiped her face clean.
She was still in a daze, not quite sure what was happening. She knew where she was, what she was doing, but couldn’t seem to get her thought process running again, and she wasn’t sure why. She knew why; it was the collar; but what was she doing? Where was she going? She was doing whatever he told her to do, even when he didn’t say a word, and she was following him close at the heels.
The food had helped. She was just starting to come down out of her strange high, when she found herself being led back up stairs to the bathroom. He put her back into the basin and picked up the remote.
Oh, God, no, she thought. Not again.
But it was another brutal cold scrubbing shower, followed by another harsh rubdown with the towel.
Back in the bedroom, he whipped her again, until the blinding white pain had washed so deeply into her that it no longer felt like pain, but like a kind of embrace.
She wouldn’t remember being fucked again, but she was.
The next thing she became aware of was kneeling before him as he sat in the bed, seeming impossibly tall, seeming to tower over her somehow. She was floating, buzzing, but she was not Shannon anymore. She wasn’t anything. She was obedient, and that’s all she had a talent for anymore.
He smiled down at her, maneuvered her down to a sitting position, and she was mildly surprised to discover she was back in his office, in her spot, the sheets and quilt and pillow curled around her like an old home.
That was when he showed her the small crystal bell.
“It was important to have you in this state, clear headed, but broken down. I think you’re there now. Even though all the restrictions are lifted from the collar, you seem to be in just the place we need you. I can tell by the way you’re looking at me.”
She wasn’t sure how she was looking at him, what expression her face wore, but she knew she was extremely focused on him. He had become her world. His every word was an immediate command.
He saw love, adoration and complete devotion in her eyes. She appeared eager, awaiting his next instruction.
He held up the crystal bell and her eyes easily fixed upon it.
He raised the little glass hammer and struck it three times.
Ding . . . ding . . . ding.
It was soft and ringing, its tone delicate, almost soothing.
She couldn’t be sure, but it almost sounded like the collar had picked up the tone, was some how recycling it, not unlike a wet finger rubbing the rim of a half-filled glass.
His tone fell to a whisper. “Good girls keep their eyes on the bell.”
It wasn’t a problem. She was still floating in that strange obedient spell he’d driven her in to, or driven into her; she fixed her eyes on the bell simply because he’d suggested it.
“And you’ll find the bell will become very very important to you. In fact, you’ll find in a few moments that everything else fades . . . everything else except the pretty bell . . . and my voice.”
He struck the bell again, three times.
Ding . . . ding . . . ding.
“It’s nice being here like this, isn’t it? Eager, obedient, no thoughts pestering you, no doubts, no insecurities. It’s pure, it’s simple, it’s desire in its simplest form: the desire to please. And your sole desire is to please me right now, isn’t it?”
She nodded, absent-mindedly, not thoroughly aware of what he was saying, but aware it was not a command, just a soothing, lulling whisper.
“Good, very good. So very good. And it is my desire now for you to sit back and let go, to relax, to finally let go of all those troublesome, meddling thoughts, the kind that get in the way, that make you think too much, that get in the way of me and you, that make you reason and analyze and look for loopholes and truths and half-truths, that make you look for the hidden meaning, deeper understandings, that part of yourself that gets in the way of pure desire, pure joy. Let that part go . . . now. Let those thoughts, those thinking, reasoning thoughts go . . . now. Let them float from your head like little balloons . . . now . . . until you are left pure with pure desire.”
Ding . . . ding . . . ding.
In her mind’s eye, her eyes so strictly glued to bell, she did see little balloons floating from her head, and she felt light-headed, as her body sank like lead down into the quilt. It was her little place in the corner, where she spent so much time, where she felt most comfortable, and now, with a deep sigh, it was all she could do to keep her eyes open and fixed on the little crystal bell. Then it struck her, bubbling up out of the murkiness. “Oh . . . he’s trying to hypnotize.”
She almost laughed, until she realized he was droning on and she hadn’t been paying attention, until she realized the exact moment he said the word “relax” she felt her eyelids dip, not just blink, but actually dip closed. They were suddenly so very heavy, for a moment she didn’t think she had the energy to open them again.
“ . . . complicated thoughts draining away, leaving you pure and open and compliant, empty, yet full, eager, yet patient, complicated thoughts slipping away, lighter and lighter, while the simple pure desire fills you up, weights your down, heavier and heavier. . . .”
She didn’t feel like she had any energy any more. She felt drained. Her face felt like heavy clay, ready to slide from her skull down into her lap. She’d lost track of her arms and legs. They weren’t numb; they just seemed lost.
Ding . . . ding . . . ding.
She became dimly aware of the bell again, clear and shining in the dim light, crystal blue, sending her . . . down.
“Oh . . . no,” she thought, but the thoughts were slow and hard to focus on, “it’s . . . working.”
He droned on for what seemed like hours, until she’d lost track of the little crystal bell, of the soothing chime, of the collar, of herself. He was speaking and she heard someone’s voice answering. She felt a vibration in her throat. She felt full of pleasure. She felt empty. She felt full of joy. She felt ditzy. She felt full of arousal. She felt giggly. She felt very very agreeable and very very heavy.
Ding . . . ding . . . ding.
Her eyes popped open. Her mouth was dry as cotton. Her body felt ached from being in one position too long. She blinked, rubbed her eyelids, took a deep breath and got her bearings. She was on her little quilt in the corner. She licked her lips and realized how parched she was. She peered up at him.
He smiled. “What a good girl.”
For some reason, she filled with pleasure. She was happy. Not just happy, but full of joy. She loved him with all her heart, all her body, and he approved of her. She couldn’t contain her happiness.
She shifted her eyes back and forth, examining these new feelings. “You–you did something.”
He grinned from ear to ear. “I did, yes, and it worked very well apparently.”
She got up, wagged her tail and crawled over to him. He petted her head and it felt so delightful, so pleasing she couldn’t resist licking his hand. He chuckled and after a few moments, withdrew his hand, wiping it on his slacks.
“Tell me something. What do you remember about your little thought experiment, all those pages you wrote, the designs, the collar. . . .”
She searched her memory, but came up empty. That was odd, but sort of not odd. It felt comfortable, not remembering. She didn’t need to remember, because he remembered, and it was okay for him to remember things for her. “Nothing,” she admitted.
He nodded with approval. “I swear, this is the damndest thing, what we’re doing to you. I know you don’t really know, but if you did, I can imagine what you’re reaction would be.”
She looked up at him and smiled, his words seeming like nothing more than a gibberish drone.
“Okay,” he continued, “let’s try this. Close your eyes and listen.”
She lowered her eyes, became suddenly aware of her breathing and felt the quiet of the room press in on her.
Ding . . . ding . . . ding.
Before she could get a handle on what she’d done, she felt her body giving way, slinking down to the floor, supremely heavy, as her thoughts, her mind, her awareness lifted into the sky like a hot air balloon and was suddenly a million miles away.
She heard the creak of the bedsprings and was awaken in an instant, still tied to her bed by the collar, but eager as could be. When she heard him on the stairs, her heart leapt into her throat and she could barely contain herself.
He slid back the office door, clicked the remote and called her. “Come on, Girl. Let’s get some breakfast.”
She followed him on hands and knees from the fridge to the stove, to the fridge, to the stove, to the table, to the trash can, to the stove, to the cabinet, to the toaster, to the table. Twice, he almost kicked her. She found herself desperate for his attention, so much so that she put herself directly in his path and had to scramble in a hurry to get out of his way.
At the breakfast table, she begged like he’d taught her, put on her most pleading, pitiful, pouting face and let out a couple of short whines. He smiled and offered a piece of bacon.
She licked his fingers.
He patted her on the head.
She curled up at his feet on the floor and relaxed.
She followed him upstairs, watching him shower, watched him shave, watched him dress.
In the closet, she was slow to come in, getting tired of following him, of begging for attention without results. He turned suddenly and said, “Open.”
She found herself in her “open” position, kneeling, face up, mouth open, tongue out, eyes closed, waiting for his cock.
She didn’t notice that he hadn’t used the collar on her once the entire morning. She was running on ingrained habit. It didn’t even occur to her.
He unzipped his pants long enough to let her at his cock, enjoying her eager display. He’d never seen her like this before. She wasn’t just sucking on his cock to get him hard, because he liked it. She was worshiping his cock as if it were her world, slathering it with attention, working him into a frenzy.
Before she could get him too aroused, he patted her on the head and tucked himself away, though not easily, and not without a hell of a tent. “That’s enough, Girl.”
She whined, but he fussed at her. He thought about giving her a little zap, but he realized he liked her begging for his cock.
At the bottom of the stairs, still erect, he put her into a nice fucking position and rubbed his cock around her ass.
“Wet!” he commanded sharply, and she was surprised to find herself incredibly aroused and flooding as a result.
She wasn’t quite sure what had happened. For a moment, she thought she’d peed herself, but then he was shoving his full length into her and all of her thoughts disappeared in one flash of glory.
He fucked her for several minutes, before giving her a hard slap on the bottom and directing her back to her bed in the office. She blinked, wondering why he’d stopped, but he stomped his foot and sounded cross.
“Go!” He pointed to her place.
Slinking away, not relishing another lonely day, she curled up on her bed and fell into a depression.
She was allowed the run of the house, he told her, but even with the whole house at her disposal, she found she was bored silly. She caught sight of the digital clock in the kitchen, but strangely zoned off every time she looked at it. When she finally decided to really focus, really concentrate on it, she got the time, but as she turned away, the number slipped from her head.
It didn’t take long before she gave up. She resorted to telling the time of day by the sunlight outside.
Somewhere along the way, she realized she hadn’t really been thinking, not about herself, not about her predicament, not about anything but what was right in front of her nose. It was so odd, and it should’ve felt wrong, but it hadn’t.
When he came home, she waited, kneeling, paws up, tongue out and happy as a clam. Once he’d locked the door behind him and set his briefcase down, he patted her head and said something unintelligible. She wasn’t sure what. She suddenly felt very confused. He said it several more times and finally sighed and led her upstairs by her ponytail, pointed to a pair of slippers in the closet and calmly repeated the unintelligible word
He pushed her face toward the slippers until her nose was in them. Almost without thinking, she grabbed one with her teeth.
He caressed her cheek softly. “Good girl.”
A wave of pleasure surged through her. She was aroused, she was exuberantly happy, she was energetic and giddy.
He wrapped his hand her chin and sharply squeezed her jaw. “Drop!”
Without meaning to, her jaw popped open and the slipper fell to the floor.
He caressed her face, patted her head and said, “Good girl!”
Another wave of pleasure shook her, better than before. It was like a drug. She was suddenly wet and eager and grinning from ear to ear.
He pressed her nose back down to the slippers, having arranged them close together. She managed to pick them both up with one bite. She gazed up at him, slippers obstructing her view, just able to peek over them and nearly dropped them when he Good Girl’ed her again.
He brought her down stairs, slippers and all, until she was at the front door, then he said that unintelligible thing again and again. She looked at him curiously.
“Drop!” he barked and she let the slippers drop.
He repeated that unintelligible word, quietly, cooing as he caressed her face, patted her head, then finally reached around and slowly massaged her pussy. She was already incredibly aroused, but suddenly she felt grateful, so grateful she began to lick his face.
He whispered in her ear. “Good girl.”
She froze and felt something wonderful building within her. Her body grew tense until it shook. She threw her head back and moaned. She felt an orgasm wash through her, and suddenly she was spasming around his hand, into his hand. He wiped her juices around her face, forcing it up into her nose and repeated the unintelligible word. She honestly had no idea what he was saying, but the smell of her own pussy, and the last few spasms made it so she hardly cared.
He let her rest, then after a quick meal, called her into the study and ran her through her positions. One after another, using the collar to reinforce each of them. She was near perfect, but the collar ensured every toe, every finger was just as he wanted it.
He fucked her for awhile after watching some television, but didn’t let her climax.
When he was ready for bed, she knelt patiently beside him and he smiled down at her. He picked up the bell, rang it . . . ding, ding, ding, and that was all she remembered until she awoke the next morning.
The next day was much the same. Late in the day, she realized her thoughts had been a blur, not very active. But just as her mind seemed to be returning, she’d hear his footsteps at the door, and she’d blank out again. He met at her the front door, noting she was in position as he expected, then repeated that word, the word she couldn’t seem to understand. When she didn’t react, he dragged her upstairs and repeated his little exercise, pushing her nose down into the slippers, this time with faster results. She grabbed them between her teeth and he caressed her cheek and gave her a “Good Girl”, then sat back and watched as she shivered and rocked with pleasure. After she had his slippers, he led her back down stairs and repeated the word again and again, finally ordering her to drop the slippers.
Once her task had been completed, he caressed her, patted her head, massaged her pussy, which she was not only expecting, but was eager for and gave her the final “Good Girl”. He smiled as she moaned and squirmed, the orgasm going far beyond a normal orgasm. All the while, he repeated his command.
The next day, she saw the Sun wane, knew it was about time for him to come home and went to the door to wait. Then suddenly, strangely, she felt an overpowering urge to climb the stairs and get his slippers. If she got his slippers, she would feel really good. She did so, claiming them with her teeth, remembering his good girl and felt the collar tingle strangely. She went back down stairs and waited. When he came in she dropped the slippers at his feet and the collar tingled again, and though he hadn’t said a word, not even the unintelligible one, she felt her body go into meltdown. She orgasmed with extreme joy, and knew it was because she’d performed her trick so well.
How long this went on, she wasn’t sure, but finally he brought her to the study, ordered her on the couch and declared it was “human time”. She felt her thoughts clear, felt her part of her return that had somehow been locked away.
She gazed at him with intelligence for the first time in a week. “Wow!”
He smiled. “Wow, indeed. I can’t believe this has worked so well.”
She shook her head. “You–you did something.”
“I’ve been doing things every day, and having the collar do things when I’m not around. How much of it are you aware of?”
She swallowed, and started to tremble. “It’s working too well.”
“What do you mean?”
“No remember things. Just gone.”
“Do you remember your thought experiment? Can you remember what comes next?”
She searched her memory and shook her head. “No remember.”
“Christ. Do you–do you remember your name?”
She nodded and smiled, opened her mouth and froze. She searched her memory but came up empty. Quietly, looking almost stricken, she said, “no–no remember name.”
He sat down in a chair and looked pale. “You’re one hell of a psychologist. This stuff works far better than I think even you could’ve guessed. We’re barely halfway, and already, it’s like . . . it’s like we’ve written over your entire personality. I think we should stop this.”
She sat up and looked stricken. “No! No stop.”
“But the rest of it, you don’t remember what comes next. I’m worried we can’t get you back after we’re done.”
“No, knew once, knew then.” She paused, uncertain why, then remembered vaguely that she could only speak five words at a time. After a moment, she began again. “Wanted then, want now.”
He retrieved a bottle of whiskey from his desk and took a swig. “You’re asking me to destroy your personality, and I love you, and I don’t know if I can do that.”
Her eyes drifted. She crawled down off the couch, crawled over to him and laid her head on his leg, wagging her ass.
He chuckled despite himself. “Okay, maybe you haven’t totally lost yourself, but being cute won’t get you anywhere with me, not anymore, not as long as I have this.” He held up the remote to her eyes.
“Back to doggy now,” she whispered.
He nodded, gazed down at her, clicked the button on the remote and removed her ability to speak.
Only then did she notice the small bell on his desk. Her eyes went wide as a dim memory of her thought experiment faded back into her mind. Phase 2: Substate Brainwashing and conditioning begins with confusion, repetition and—
He rang the bell. Ding, ding, ding.
She slumped at his feet.
The collar clicked and chirped and her body went automatically into the “beg” position, paws up, pitiful pleading eyes, and somewhere along the line she’d begun whining. She couldn’t remember if that had been her idea or his or when it had started, only that it was a natural progression of the posture. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d spoken, since her last human time on the couch, her last progress check.
She couldn’t remember what day it was, but she thought it was a weekend because he hadn’t gone to work. But if he’d just taken the day off, then her days were all screwed up.
Although she was free to roam the house when he was gone, it hadn’t done her much good. Books were out. They were too painful, and the last time she’d picked one up, she hadn’t been able to muster the courage to open it. Even looking at the title and had resulted in a dizzy kind of headache. She’d tried turning on the T.V., but had spent a long time looking for the on button. That, and the fact that her hand kept dropping the remote meant something. She couldn’t remember what. Had he been conditioning her with the collar to do that? And if so, when? She didn’t remember him conditioning her to drop the remote. Or did it have to do with those mysterious blank spaces that always followed the chime of that little bell? But then the other day, she hadn’t even seen the bell, only heard its chime and the next thing she knew she was waking up, groggy, and rolling into her best “use me” position. She thought, though she couldn’t be sure, that he might have conditioned her to the sound of the bell, then had the collar play the sound whenever he wanted.
He said he’d been having the collar do things to her in his absence, but if he had, she didn’t know what. Although, she did have a dim recollection of hearing his voice. She thought that had been an accident. His voice had just popped into her head out of nowhere, and whatever his voice had said had been unintelligible to her. She couldn’t remember anything about her notes, the plans and research she’d done that had started it all. It was one big black hole. Everything beyond her wearing the collar was a big black hole actually, but she still had enough brains to figure some things out. She thought that he’d linked up the collar to his cell phone or Blackberry. That way he could set events in motion and even speak to her, since she was pretty sure the collar had some kind of micro-speaker setup which didn’t have to be very loud since it was right below her ears.
She vaguely recalled hearing the sound of the little bell, collapsing right there on the spot and hearing his voice, even though she knew he’d been at work. Well, she thought he had anyway, her sense of time was way off.
She was hungry and he knew it.
He’d taken to giving her treats. Little tidbits of chocolate that tasted more delicious than anything she’d ever had, but then, except for the occasional breakfast table scraps, she’d been eating sludge all this time.
This time, as humiliating as she could imagine, he’d had her stretch her nose up, and balance a piece of chocolate on the bridge of her nose. She knew what was supposed to happen. He was supposed to give her a command and she was supposed to flip it into her mouth and chomp it down. She kept missing. It kept landing on the floor and he kept shaking his head and laughing. They did it again and again, and she hadn’t made it yet.
Finally, he wiped his hands and gave her a pat on the head. “Okay, I guess it’s time to get started. C’mon, Girl!”
She scrambled after him, the sweet, bitter chocolate still melting in her mouth. She’d eaten it off the floor, right off the floor, and had been so thankful for it she’d licked his fingers clean. She couldn’t seem to help herself. Without being able to talk, gestures had become her only ability to express herself, besides guttural grunts and whining. As a result, she’d become more expressive physically, adopting positions and facial expressions that stretched her body and her face because of their overtness.
He snapped his fingers, pointed to the ground, and her body fell into position. He didn’t even need the collar anymore. She parked her nose between his feet and waited. He barked another command and she sat up and waited. Her life was all about him now. She couldn’t remember it being any other way, though she was sure it had been.
He picked up the remote. Her eyes fixed to it and followed it. He could hurt her, but why would he? She hadn’t been bad; she’d been good, but he could. She couldn’t help trusting him; she didn’t have a choice anymore.
“We’re going to try something. I’m not keen on it, and frankly, it scares the shit out of me, but it was in your design, and all your behavioral indicators are screaming for it. Christ . . . anyway, okay. Ready?”
She grunted, which sounded much more like a bark than she’d intended. Where had that come from?
“Okay.” He played with the remote and showed her the egg timer from the kitchen.“For the next three minutes, you will restrict any thoughts at all from your mind. If you don’t, the collar will punish you, and that’s not something you want, is it?”
She swallowed and looked stricken. They both knew the answer. She would do anything to avoid another zap from the collar. It was to the point that just the idea of it made her physically nauseous.
“Good girl.” He picked up the egg timer, set it and clicked the remote. “Begin. Three minutes.”
She cleared her mind. Her eyes dropped. She stared at the carpet. Stared at the wall, trying to keep her mind on nothing. The collar tingled. She blanked her mind again. She couldn’t even think about not thinking. The collar tingled stronger, almost painful, but not quite. She swallowed and cleared her mind.
He watched as her face tensed. She hadn’t even made it twenty seconds.
He waited for almost a minute before the collar zapped her. She jerked backwards, flailed, tensed and burst into tears, choking and gasping. He ordered her back into position. “Sit!”
Sniffling, red-faced, drippy eyes, she sat before him and he showed her the timer. “One minute eighteen seconds. Let’s try again.”
He set the timer, clicked the remote and she cleared her mind.
This time she made it two minutes and five seconds before she felt the burning, agonizing pain of the collar jolt down through her arms and legs. She cried openly, but he was merciless, pointing to her spot and ordering her to “Sit!” again. She was trembling, but helpless to do anything but respond obediently.
“You’re not doing so well at this. I knew you’d have trouble. You have an active mind.” He sighed. She was hoping that was a sign of surrender. Maybe in this one way she couldn’t be trained. Maybe he’d give up. It was too hard. How do you not think? How do you keep your overactive mind from doing what it was designed to do? “Okay . . . again.”
Soon, she was feeling very odd. She’d made it up to five minutes and was feeling very spacey and blank and empty. He was teaching her something, but she wasn’t sure what. But then she wasn’t supposed to know what. She was just supposed to give into it until it took affect, whatever it was, until it claimed her, until it slipped into her behavior through the back door and seized control over her mind.
“We’ll take a break,” he told her, wiping the tears from her cheeks, “and try again. By the end of the day, I’m hoping to have you up to thirty minutes. By the end of the week, we’ll have you up to a couple of hours.”
She gave him a wide-eyed expression. He was right. He was killing her personality, destroying it. If he really managed to get her to be thoughtless for that long, what would she become? Still, this had been her plan, had it not?
If she’d searched for the words to ask him to stop, she wouldn’t have voiced them. He’d trained her to be obedient and unquestioning and the training had overwhelmed everything else in her mind.
She wasn’t certain about time anymore. Time was all about him. If he was in the room, time accelerated. When he left, time slowed to a crawl, and she slowed with it.
She felt very lightheaded most of the time, slovenly and happy and found herself watching him, his every move, his facial expressions. Was he smiling? Was he sleepy? Was he hungry? She wanted to be there at the refrigerator in case indulged her, slipped her a piece of chocolate, rubbed her belly. She wanted to roll over and have his hands on her. She wanted his cock inside her. She wanted to hear him laugh and would gladly shake her hair once he’d cleaned her off in the shower just to hear how happy it made him. His word had become the word of God. If he was happy with her, if his tone was sweet and warm, then the world was filled with gold and her heart ready to burst. If he was angry or admonishing, the world was cold and she was alone.
Then came the day when he removed her collar, presumably for another good cleaning and checkup, and then sat on the couch and patted it with his hand.
She looked at him quizzically.
“It’s okay. It’s time for our checkup. C’mon, girl!” He patted the couch again.
She nosed closer, eyed the soft pad of the couch beside him, and collapsed by his feet.
He chuckled. “No, up here.”
In the end, he had to practically drag her up, and even then she shifted uncomfortably.
“So . . . how do you feel, Shannon?”
She blinked, licked her lips and swallowed. He asked again. She scooted closer and nudged his cheek with her nose, then licked his cheek. He laughed, but took her by the chin and gave her a little shake.
“Can you understand me?”
She blinked, and after a long pause, let out a minimal nod.
“Our little game is over. Do you understand that?”
Her eyes drifted, waiting for the words to make sense.
He studied her for a long time, gave her a quick kiss and stood up, grumbling to himself. When he returned, it was with the little crystal bell and she felt her eyes suddenly become glued to it.
Ding . . . ding . . . ding. . . .
When she awoke, she was sprawled on the couch, her mouth as dry as cotton and she felt the urge to speak.
No one could’ve surprised her more when what came out of her mouth was not a bark, grunt, growl or whine, but an actual word.
He throat strange, almost foreign to her, and she felt a wave of nausea roll through her body.
“Yes, Shannon . . . it’s over.”
It was like someone had inflated a helium balloon up in her head, it was big, and light and was forcing everything out, all thought, all reason. With a start, she realized she was panting. She struggled to make it to her next thought.
“Feel . . . bad.”
He sighed and nodded. “Your notes were copious on how to fuck yourself over, but not that thorough on how to bring you out of it.”
“No.” She felt tears in her eyes and couldn’t fathom why. She had the sudden urge to jolt from the couch, as if it were crawling with hot ants. The only that kept her planted on its soft cushion was the knowledge that this was where he wanted her.
“Still,” he added, “I think after a few days, the conditioning will begin to wear off.”
“No end,” she said again. It was almost a soft chant.
He paused and studied her for a long time. “Are you . . . what are you saying, Shannon?”
She leveled her eyes at his, tears running down her cheeks, two seconds away from assuming the “beg” position and whining. “No end.”
He placed his hand under her chin and resisted all kinds of urges. She was so sexy, so obedient, so under his thumb, so soft. It was hard knowing all he had to do was say a word and she would be on her knees and lifting her ass to get a good fucking. “It has to end. I’m getting worried about you. You’ve sort of . . . disappeared. There’s only a good doggy left and I want my wife back.”
She sniffed, nodded, tried to be strong, but found herself draped in his lap and sobbing.
He soothed her as best as he could, trying to resist the erection in his pants.
After a long while, when she had whimpered and whined so softly he almost couldn’t hear it, he caved.
“Would puppy like a good fucking?”
She scampered to the floor and begged for his cock.