Rebecca woke first in the cellars and gazed in total satisfaction at the sl**ping Jennifer, face down, at her side. She was beautiful with her auburn tresses lying in a great sheath on the pillow. Fondly Rebecca stroked her back feeling the traces of the whip on the velvet skin. Jennifer stirred and murmured in her sl**p. Rebecca felt an over powering love for the lovely girl at her side and bent to kiss her softly on the back. Part of her mind was still lost in the enchantment of the afternoon and night before and she closed her eyes revelling in the memory of it. Their whipping had been ... Continue»
(This and the following parts under the same name represent a block of chapters from my novel "The Slaves of the Amethyst" which I am posting here as a mini-series in the hope that Xhamster readers will enjoy them. Although there is a strong erotic theme throughout I feel obliged to warn readers that not all of the series is erotic in content for which I apologise. Also one of the chapters has been previously posted on here and I apologise for the repetition. There will be I think about fifteen chapters in this series representing about one tenth of the overall body of the novel. I hope you enjoy the series and I welcome any feedback you may wish to give.)
Chapter Fifty Six.
Friday morning, the morning that Jennifer would later consider the last of her freedom, dawned bright and sunny. Jennifer had set off early to walk to the Hall. There was hardly any breeze to stir the boughs of the trees along the country lanes and few people were on the road. Only the songbirds in the hedgerows and the rabbits in the meadows she cut across witnessed Jennifer’s walk into slavery. She sat for some time by a little stile restoring her composure. It seemed almost grotesque to surrender her freedom on such a lovely summer’s morn. There was still a spark of rebellion in her that urged her to turn aside at the stile and walk away. Walk away from Mathomdale, from Mathom Hall, its Mistress and into an unforeseeable future. But she didn’t. She had passed too many forks in the road by now to turn aside from her destiny. Yet she experienced a soleful melancholy as she continued her way, a last pang of longing for the carefree days of her c***dhood. It seemed an insult to this beautiful day to walk so soberly and sadly and not to rush across the fields in the delight of being alive. If only she had been born just a simple farming girl with no care this day other than to skip happily into the village to sell her eggs to the local people. But then there were lots of “if onlys” in this life Dreams of speculation were s**ttered like the discarded leaves of an autumnal tree on one’s journey through existence.
Jennifer sighed and pressed on. The thought of Julie gave her comfort. After being admonished the previous day Julie had been all that Jennifer could have required that evening at the Mermaid. She had been vivaciously funny and yet tender. She had realised finally the enormity of Jennifer’s impending slavery and perceived that it was, at least in part, a sacrifice for her. Julie’s heart had nearly broken with love every time she had caught a glimpse of Jennifer’s wistful suffering and she determinedly tried to raise her lover’s spirits with gaiety and understanding. On the way home they’d made love among the trees and it had been both sad and sweet, a fitting accompaniment to their forthcoming separation. They’d reiterated their vows to each other on the banks of the whispering river and shared tears for the denouement of their girlish innocence. They’d taken a kiss in the shadows of the village square and known that it was the last kiss of this lifetime. They would only kiss again in the new life to come beyond the chains of Mathom Hall.
As she walked along the country lane leading to the long drive up to Mathom Hall Jennifer had other things to ruminate upon. One was the conversation she’d had over the breakfast table with the Appletons that morning. There’d been a current of excitement in the Appleton household that morning due to Jennifer’s imminent “employment” up at Mathom Hall. Jennifer had sought Mrs Appleton’s approval of the pretty light lilac dress she was wearing and had found that good lady in such a whirlwind of excitement and pride that it was difficult to get a coherent word out of her. Both the Appletons were torn between immense pride in the position being offered to Jennifer and a deep sense of regret in losing her to Mathom Hall. Jennifer had sought to reassure them that she would still be a frequent visitor and in any case it would be some weeks before she took up permanent residence at the Hall.
“Aye well Jenny.” Mrs Appleton had told her whilst dabbing her eyes “Never forget love that there’ll allus be a place ‘ere fer yer if’n things don’t work out. Me an’ Albert’ll keep yer room fer yer. ‘Ave no doubt about that.”
“That’s very considerate of you Mrs Appleton.”
“Nonsense Jenny love. After all your mam’s done fer us it’s least we could do. Any road its bin a pleasure ‘avin’ yer this summer asn’t it Albert?”
“Oh aye! Me an t’ missus ‘ere think on you as t’ daughter we never ‘ad Jenny. Yer always welcome under this roof lass.”
“You’ve been so kind, both of you. I feel guilty that I’ve never been able to pay my keep.”
“Gerron with yer!” exploded Mrs Appleton “Oo said owt about yer payin’ yer keep? You owe us nowt Jenny! After all this is yer mam’s ‘ouse when alls said an’ done.”
“I’m sorry I don’t follow you. How do you mean my mother’s house?”
“Eee Jenny didn’t yer know? This ouse, well it belongs ter yer mam. Me an’ Albert rent it from ‘er. We ‘ave a long term lease on it.”
“No I didn’t know. I’m astonished. How much do you rent it for if it’s not an impertinent question?”
“An ‘undred quid Jenny.”
“A hundred pounds a week. That seems quite reasonable.”
“Nay Jenny a hundred pounds a year!”
“That’s right love. We knew yer mam when we was attendin’ yer dad’s church an’ when we got inter difficulties she offered to ‘elp us out. Well we’d always wanted to move to t’ countryside an’ she said she ‘ad a place fer us ‘ere in Mathomdale. It were like a dream come true fer us an’ she wouldn’t tek a penny more. We’ve bin ‘ere nearly ten years now an’ we owe it all to your mam. She’s an angel that’s what she is!”
“Aye Jenny” Mr Appleton had interrupted “Me an’ t’ missus love it ‘ere an’ we could never ‘ave done it wi’out your mam. So don’t you go thinkin’ that yer under any debt to us love. Yer can call this place ‘ome as long as we both live. Ain’t that right missus?”
“It is Albert. We always wanted c***dren of us own Jenny but it were never ter be. Well you’re f****y as far as we’re concerned an’ we both love yer as much as if yer were us own flesh an’ bl**d. We understand as ‘ow yer mum an’ dad are splittin’ up Jenny an’ this might be an ‘ard time fer yer but never worry cos there’ll always be an ‘ome fer yer ‘ere even if it don’t work out fer yer at Mathom ‘All.”
“Thank you! Thank you so much.” Jennifer had been close to tears.
“Well Jenny.” Mr Appleton had asked “D’ yer want a lift up to t’ All.”
“No thank you Mr Appleton. I’d like to walk if that’s all right. I’ve plenty of time and it’s a lovely morning.”
“Well take care Jenny an’ we’ll see yer next week “
“Yes and thank you once more.”
They were an enigma Jennifer thought as she walked. They were so involved in the life of Mathomdale it was difficult to remember that they were relative newcomers to the valley. Perhaps that explained some of the curious features about them. They had never known her mother when she had resided in Mathomdale and thus remained strangely unaware of her true status within the community. But why had her mother gone to such lengths to establish the Appletons in Mathomdale? It was almost as if she had placed her own agents into cover in the valley, set up a safe house deep within the territory of Mathom Hall for some purpose of her own. It was a mystery.
Jennifer turned into the long driveway up to Mathom Hall. As the great building loomed ever larger Jennifer remembered the fear it had once excited in her. She still felt a thrill of nervousness but now this enormous artefact had come to be such an important part of her life that it was imbibed with the amelioration of familiarity. Nevertheless there was still something of a measured tread of doom in her footsteps towards the soaring ramparts of the rambling old building and its innumerable annexes spreading like weeds about its feet. Jennifer swallowed the lump in her throat and whispered aloud “c***de Roland to the Dark Tower came.” It was as an apt a line as she could find.
Skirting the edge of the Great Lake Jennifer walked up the incline that lead to the main Hall and tried to find her way around to the rear and the little private entrance that had been shown her. There were a few moments of panic when she felt herself hopelessly lost but she had the good fortune to spy a young man working on one of the flowerbeds.
“Excuse me” she asked politely “I wonder if you could help me. There’s a small side entrance to the Hall that I’m looking for but I can’t remember just how to find it.” Jennifer felt mortified. It seemed a pathetic inquiry. There were probably dozens of side entrances. She was willing to bet that c***de Roland never had to ask directions from the gardeners. Nevertheless the young man was of immediate assistance as he rose from his work and bowed politely.
“Aye Milady. Yer’ll be wantin’ the young ladies entrance. Ah’ll show yer t’ way if’n yer’d care to follow me ma-am.” Jennifer was bemused as she followed the young man. He’d immediately recognised her status and was almost feudally reverential to her. “This is it ‘ere Milady if’n yer please.”
“Why thank you.”
“My pleasure ma-am and thank you fer gracin’ me garden.” He bowed once more and left Jennifer at the door with its statue of the Goddess. Jennifer remembered something that Rebecca had told her and feeling a little self-conscious she leaned over and kissed the little statue. Almost immediately the door opened and Abigail was rushing out to kiss her.
“Jenny! Darling! I was just dashing down to let you in. I saw you from the balcony up there and you looked a bit lost but you seemed to have found the way.”
“I asked one of the gardeners. He seemed to know what I was looking for.”
“I should hope so too! Here look these are yours.” Abigail held out a bunch of keys. “The big brass key opens this door. The others are for your own chambers.” Jennifer took the keys feeling very strange. She now possessed her own keys to Mathom Hall! How strange that seemed.
“Th… thank you.”
“Well drop them in your bag honey and let’s go in. We’ve got to er… get you ready. The Lady wants to see you at eleven sharp.”
“Get me ready?”
“Keep your head up Jenny. You might be in for a tough day. In fact you might be in for a tough week. Don’t worry though we’ll be supporting you.”
“Don’t be Jenny. There’ll be some pretty torrid moments for you this week but there are going to be some nice surprises too. Don’t ask me what! My lips are sealed under orders. Come on! The twins are in one of the downstairs parlours waiting for us.”
In the day parlour to which Abigail led Jennifer Helen and Heather were seated looking curiously sombre for a change. They both rose to greet her with tender kisses but Jennifer was aware of the underlying tension in the air. “Sit down for a few minutes Jenny.” Heather told her “You’re early and you don’t have to present yourself to the Lady for well over an hour.”
“Thank you. Where’s Rebecca?”
“She’s not able to be here Jenny but she sends her love and kisses. She wanted to welcome you to the Hall but she’s under orders from the Lady. Don’t worry you’ll see her later.”
Abigail spoke up “What do you have in the bag Jenny?”
“Just my personal things, my keys and a book that Lady Mathom gave me. The Lady said that I wouldn’t need anything else.”
“That’s right Jenny. We spent yesterday evening fitting out your chambers. I think you’ll like what you find there. Ok! I’ll look after your bag for you for the moment. We’ve got to pretty you up now so get your kit off sweetheart.”
“I said undress Jenny. Completely.”
“Lady’s orders Jenny!” Helen told her “Now be a good girl and get your clothes off!” Feeling timid Jennifer complied. When she was naked she was made to sit on a cushioned stool whilst the three girls fussed over her. Abigail brushed out her hair and arranged it expertly whilst the twins applied cosmetics to her face and body, enhancing her natural beauty with deft touches. Helen decorated her nipples with rouge whilst Heather painted her toenails and fingernails. Finally the three girls were satisfied with her appearance.
“You look gorgeous Jenny.” was Abigail’s verdict.
“We’ve got something for you to wear Jenny. “said Helen. She held up two items of clothing. Jennifer’s eyes widened in horror. The garments that Helen was holding barely merited the title of clothing. Ostensibly they were a camisole and a pair of matching French knickers in pale tangerine but for all their ability to obstruct vision the wearer might just as well not have bothered with them. Jennifer had never seen such blatantly transparent underwear. As Helen held them aloft Jennifer could easily see right through them.
“You can’t mean that I have to wear those.” she protested.
“Yes Jenny. This is how the Lady wants you dressed.” Helen informed her. “Come along they’re sexy and very expensive.”
“I can’t think why they’re so expensive. There’s nothing to them! I might as well be naked!”
“Jenny.” Abigail asked seriously “You do know why you are going to see the Lady don’t you?”
“Well for a number of reasons I suppose but…”
“Anything specific that she might have mentioned?”
“Well she did say a few things.”
“Can you think of anything that might render what you are wearing fairly irrelevant?”
“Well she did say that she was going to cane me.”
“Exactly Jenny honey. So honestly I wouldn’t worry about your ensemble. What you are wearing is going to be the least of your worries Jenny! You’ll be very lucky if you’re allowed to retain even this modicum of dress my sweet. Now stop flustering and put them on.” In enormous embarrassment Jennifer obeyed. In the gossamer wisps of underwear she felt even more naked than when completely nude. The transparent material hid nothing of her. Every detail of her young body was on display. The garments more accentuated the high firm breasts, rounded buttocks and her shaven sex than concealed them. The three girls regarded Jennifer with uninhibited admiration.
“You look just perfect Jenny!” Abigail noted “I think the Lady is going to thoroughly enjoy taking the cane to that gorgeous little bottom of yours!”
“Well I hope somebody derives some amusement from it!” Jennifer pouted sulkily.
“Ok Jenny it’s nearly time so we best send you on your way.” Helen told her. “Now you have to go out of here, cross the big hallway and go up the main staircase there. Go up two flights and on the second floor turn right down the long gallery.”
Jennifer listened to these instructions in mounting horror. “You can’t possibly mean that I have to walk through the Hall on my own dressed like this?”
“Those are essentially the facts yes Jenny.”
“But… but there might be somebody about!”
“At this time of day almost certainly Jenny. There’s bound to be some cleaning staff or housemaids about the place definitely.”
“But for heaven’s sake what will they think?”
“They’ll think there’s that gorgeous new slave, with next to no clothes on, on her way for a good caning. That’s what they’ll think. Now shut up and let me finish my instructions. You walk to the end of the gallery and the door you want is straight ahead. You can’t miss it. It’s the biggest door in the gallery, a flipping great thing in black oak. Knock on the door and wait until the Lady bids you enter before going in. After that the Lady will instruct you as to how to present yourself for the cane.”
“I … I can’t do it! It’s impossible!”
Heather took Jennifer’s hands in her own and looked the frightened girl full in the face. “Jenny! Honey! The Lady is testing you. There’ll be far worse than this for you put up with believe me. You just have to be brave. Walk up there with your head held high. It won’t be as bad as you think.” Jennifer was nearly in tears. “Don’t cry sweetheart or you’ll ruin the make up we put on you. Just walk straight up, proud and unafraid. Remember you’re a lady of Mathom Hall now. You can do anything.”
“What if one of the housemaids sees me?” Jennifer whispered.
“She’ll wish fervently that she was in your place Jennifer. There’s not a one of them that wouldn’t swap places with a high slave of Mathom Hall in an instance! Only the elite in this household dare walk the galleries of the Hall naked and proud. So chin up Jenny. Remember who you are!”
“I… I’ll try!”
“Good girl. Now be on your way.”
“One moment Jenny” Abigail interrupted her “You’re forgetting this!” Abigail was holding out Jennifer’s cane with the orange ribbon still tied to the loop on the handle. In desperation Jennifer realised why Lady Mathom had ordered this particular shade for her fragments of clothing. They matched the hue of her ribbon perfectly. The cane was a grotesque accessory to her outfit. Moreover there could now be no pretence that she was just walking the corridors unclad. Carrying the cane would make it blatantly obvious that she was on her way to be punished. She might as well have carried a sign. Blinking furiously to prevent her tears she took the cane wishing that she had never come to this wretched house.
“Ok Jenny.” said Abigail “Now give us all a quick kiss and get going.”
Jennifer obeyed once more but couldn’t help saying “God I’m terrified!”
Abigail stroked her hair “When you face your fears they’re never as bad as you think Jenny. Now get along with you. The Lady tends to add extra strokes for unpunctuality so you don’t want to be late.”
Abigail was wrong Jennifer reflected as she walked through the Hall. It was every bit as bad as she had feared it would be. She had no idea how many strokes Lady Mathom was going to award her but she would gladly have accepted double if by doing so she could have been excused that dreadful walk through the Hall. Her first crisis came in the hallway where one of the Hall’s footmen was dawdling. He was suitably polite, bowing and addressing her as “Milady” but it was torture to cross the hallway under his gaze. She mounted the wide banistered stairway feeling his eyes on the swell of her buttocks beneath their gauzy covering as she climbed the stairs, her face crimson in embarrassment.
At the second landing she turned into the gallery praying that it would be empty. But there was to be no remission for Jennifer this day. Nearly at the far end, close by the door that was her destination, was a young housemaid polishing the woodwork of the oak panels. Jennifer nearly turned and fled but the young girl sighted her and rose to her feet to curtsy and there was no place to hide. Jennifer never knew how she summoned the courage to walk the interminable length of that corridor. It was all her fears compounded into one dreadfully extended passage of time. Almost she was back crossing the village square in her white dress and feeling the eyes upon her. She was sure that she detected the glimmerings of a smirk in the young girl’s placid features. There just seemed no way to walk that gallery so scantily dressed, her bare feet padding on the polished floors and carrying a cane with any remaining vestige of dignity. As she passed the housemaid the young girl lowered her eyes and deepened her curtsy and such reverence felt bizarre to Jennifer.
The great door at the end of the gallery was a new purgatory. It seemed so thick that Jennifer wondered if her feeble knock could even register to anybody behind it. For long seconds she waited there, dreading that she might be left there for hours under the scrutiny of the young housemaid. It was almost a glad relief when an imperious voice within bade her enter. Pushing open the heavy door Jennifer entered the room beyond. Lady Mathom was sitting in a large wicker chair close by the huge bay windows that dominated the room, her purple eyes unfathomable as she watched Jennifer close the door behind her. Her Ladyship was dressed in a smart suit of dark grey this day with a well fitting jacket and short skirt over black silk stockings. The neckline of her jacket fell in a deep vee revealing her long elegant throat decorated with a simple string of pearls. Her first words were telling “Well done Jennifer. Now come over here by the window and let me see you properly.”
Jennifer managed a curtsy but it felt downright foolish dressed as she was and padded her way across the big room. It was sparsely furnished with a desk and chair, an occasional table, a long low sofa and, next to Lady Mathom, a small table upon which rested a coffee pot, china cup and saucer, a silver creamer and sugar bowl. There was one other item of furniture in the room and Jennifer quailed when she saw it for its purpose was obvious. It was a low stool a little below waist height with stout spreading wooden legs and a smooth leather top almost like a low vaulting horse. Jennifer paused in front of Lady Mathom caught in the sunlight shining through the window. It really was huge reaching nearly to the ground. Jennifer could see a man working on the topiary in the gardens below. If he were to raise his head he would surely be able to see her standing there in the window. Perhaps he would be able to watch every last stroke of her caning. Perhaps even now that young housemaid in the gallery outside had her ear pressed to the door waiting for Jennifer’s ordeal to begin. There was a large keyhole in that door. In her fevered imagination Jennifer saw the young girl on her knees squinting through the keyhole watching as Jennifer presented herself for the cane.
“Do you know why you are here Jennifer?”
“Y.. yes My Lady.”
“But you know why My Lady!”
“Yes Jennifer but I want to hear you say it.”
“I.. I .. I’m here to be caned My Lady.”
“Good Jennifer. Hand me the cane now.” Jennifer obeyed her trembling hands betraying her. In a single lithe movement Lady Mathom unfolded herself from her chair and rose, her high heels rapping sharply on the parquet floor. Jennifer stood straight, almost in a military position of attention, as Her Ladyship stalked around her, examining her minutely, with her heels beating a tattoo on the hard floor. She circled Jennifer completely and came back to face her trembling protégé flexing the cane in her hands. Apparently her examination had satisfied her for she said “Very pleasant Jennifer. Do stop trembling however. I’m only going to cane you. Not eat you!”
“Y.. yes Ma-am.”
“I’ve told you before Jennifer. Your timidity is your failing. We have to find your courage Jennifer. Underneath this little quivering bunny rabbit is a lioness waiting to be released Jennifer. We shall have to let her out. Ladies of the Line don’t faint with terror just because they are asked to walk undressed through the corridors of their domain Jennifer. Nor do they tremble in terror before their Mistress merely because they are obliged to take a little caning. Ladies of the Line carry their pride and power before them and their harmony and inner peace within. They suffer gladly, for even their pain is a celebration of their life f***e. No pain can touch the inner tranquillity of a Lady of the Line. Only failure to live up to the standards of the Goddess can do that Jennifer. You know that no harm can befall you here. You know that your suffering is just a stepping stone, a doorway into a harmony beyond. Did any terrible fate fall upon you simply because you walked nearly naked through the house Jennifer?”
“N… no My Lady.”
“Do you face any dreadful consequences other than a temporary discomfort at my hands? Will you die or be crippled?”
“Will you be scarred for life or your bones broken?”
“Then why are you so afraid Jennifer?”
“I … I don’t know My Lady. I’m often frightened.”
“I know Jennifer. So let us begin some immediate work on your fears shall we? Would you step over to the punishment stool here?” Her head spinning Jennifer walked to the leather-clad stool. “Closer Jennifer.” Jennifer came to a halt with the leather top pressing against her hips. “Now present yourself over the stool and grip the legs on the other side Jennifer.” In a haze Jennifer obeyed bending well over the stool the cool leather against her stomach. “Part your legs Jennifer. A little wider please.” When Jennifer was suitably presented to Lady Mathom’s satisfaction her Ladyship unbuttoned her jacket and laid it neatly on the desk. To Jennifer’s surprise she wore no blouse beneath it, just a lacy dark maroon bra. She picked up the cane once more and positioned herself behind Jennifer with her legs slightly apart. She laid the length of rattan across the fleshy part of Jennifer’s buttocks and addressed her “I’m going to give you six strokes Jennifer. After that I’m going to ask you a question. Are you ready?” Dumbly Jennifer nodded and gripped the stool’s legs tighter. She could still see the gardener through the windows. Would he hear the report of the first stroke? Would he look up at the sound and behold her there in her humiliation? She felt the cane lifted away from her cheeks and fixed her eyes on the man still clipping away at the cypress bushes. The moment seemed to last forever.
Then it ended with a sharp crack and a line of searing pain. Jennifer hissed through her gritted teeth. She clenched her buttocks together seeking relief from the sudden burning in her rear. Lady Mathom had a strong hand and her first stroke had not been gentle. She waited until Jennifer had stopped wriggling and composed herself once more before lashing the proffered target a second time. A loud gasp escaped Jennifer’s lips and her hair fell forward over her face. The caning was stronger than that which she had endured in the hunter’s lodge and she was thankful that she had only six strokes to endure. She tossed her hair aside. To her relief the gardener in the grounds below seemed unaware of her ordeal as yet and carried on working calmly. The third stroke was agonising landing a little below the first two and Jennifer snorted heavily with her teeth still clamped together to prevent her cries carrying to the garden below. That resolution was sorely tested on the fourth and fifth strokes but only a strangled cry cut the stillness of the big room, followed by her feeble whimpering. Even before it landed she knew the sixth stroke would be the greatest test so far. From the corner of her eye she saw Lady Mathom raise the cane high above her shoulder and fix her eyes determinedly on the centre of the quivering buttocks. Jennifer clamped her eyes shut and waited. It came down with a dreadful hissing sound and bit savagely into Jennifer’s bottom. There was no holding her cry of pain this time and Jennifer wailed loudly jerking against the top of the punishment stool. Tears sprang into her eyes and a bubbling sob emerged from her lips.
“Very well Jennifer you may stand now.” Awkwardly Jennifer pushed herself up from the stool her legs trembling. Lady Mathom was watching her carefully. “That was just a little taste of the cane Jennifer, a mere preparatory introduction. Was it so bad?”
“Please My Lady it hurt!”
“So it should Jennifer. But was it intolerable? Unbearable?”
“I… I was able to bear it My Lady.”
“Good for now you have a choice Jennifer. If you have had enough you are free to leave. You may take this cane and make your way back to the parlour where you found it. The clothes that you arrived in will still be there. You will kindly leave the cane and the garments you are wearing on the table in there. After that you may leave the Hall.” Jennifer was staring at Lady Mathom in astonishment. For a moment she felt enormous relief at her reprieve but then the full implications of Lady Mathom’s words began to sink in.
“But I .. I mean I thought that I was to stay the week here.”
“And so you may Jennifer. However if you feel unable to continue then I shall understand and you are free to go. The cane will be left in the parlour should you at any time in the future feel you are able to face it with greater equanimity.” Jennifer suddenly saw that there was something more terrible than the cane in Lady Mathom’s slim hand. She could leave! But that meant she would have once more to face walking down through the Hall in her flimsy lingerie carrying the cane. The six stripes that Lady Mathom had placed on her burning rear would be plainly visible through the transparent material and now they would be far more humiliating. Now they would be brands of shame, the stripes of her cowardice. She would have to return to the parlour and tell the girls that she was branded a coward and lacked the fortitude to become their s****r. She would have to tell Helen! Helen who had taken thirty strokes, five times the number Jennifer had just received, in Jennifer’s honour, quite calmly and without hesitation. How contemptuous she would be that Jennifer had cut and fled after a piddling six strokes! What an insult it would be to that girl’s ordeal if Jennifer now decided that she would rather forego her own ordeal than seal herself in s****rhood with Helen. And then there would be another betrayal too. Rebecca had suffered a terrible beating in order to bring Jennifer to Mathom Hall and with this very cane, as had Helen, too. Both of those girls had taken the rasp of that instrument contentedly in the knowledge that it brought Jennifer closer to their home. She would never be able to face them again.
Nor Julie for that matter. How could she now tell Julie that she had tried to become a true Lady of the Valley but had been found wanting? “So sorry Julie but I will have to leave Mathomdale after all.” For she would have to leave wouldn’t she? Even the offer of a home at the Appletons held no refuge now. She would never again dare to set foot in the village. She, the girl that had been offered one of the highest honours the culture of the valley had to offer, would never escape the taint of cowardice upon her. So she would live in her little student apartment at university after all. But now it would not represent freedom to her. Now it would be a prison cell of loneliness and heartbreak to which she was condemned for treason, the betrayal of love. And lastly of course she would have to tell the beautiful woman in front of her, waiting patiently, that she could not live up to her expectations of her, nor those of her mother, that she was unworthy to be a slave of Mathom Hall, and by so doing cast herself out into the darkness of supposed liberty.
In a whisper Jennifer asked “And my alternative choice My Lady?” although she already knew the answer.
“The alternative Jennifer is that you resume your position over the stool and your caning will continue, will continue until I decide to terminate it.”
Jennifer looked at the starkness of the decision before her. Now she understood what Heather had meant when she’d said that the Lady was testing her. Now she understood the demands imposed upon a high slave of Mathom Hall. She swallowed the saliva in her throat and tried to face Lady Mathom with a show of bravery.
“The choice is yours Jennifer.” Lady Mathom watched her compassionately, fully aware of the conflicts seething within her, but knowing that the testing had to be done and that this young c***d of the Goddess must be forged in the crucible of such anguish.
“I… I do not want to leave My Lady!”
“Then what is the price of your staying Jennifer?”
“That I must be caned some more My Lady.”
“Is this your choice?”
“Y.. yes Ma-am.”
“Then you must ask Jennifer. You must request your punishment.”
Jennifer stood transfixed. The words seemed to jar in her throat. There was a long silence during which Jennifer could clearly hear the clipping of the gardener’s shears in the gardens below the window. Finally she lowered her head and, in a hoarse whisper, said “Please continue with my caning My Lady.” So Lady Mathom had been right after all when she had told her that one day she would ask for her own chastisement. How succinctly she had been taught that a temporary pain was far more tolerable than a lifetime of suffering. That the stripes on the flesh inflicted by a beloved Mistress were far preferable to the whip scars you could impose upon your soul though your own cowardice and indecision. That the greatest thing to fear was fear itself.
“Very well Jennifer. Please remove your garments so that I can cane you properly and resume your position.” Jennifer felt almost faint as she slipped the tiny fragments of her clothing from herself. There was an awkward moment as she stood naked with the fragile pieces of apparel in her hands not knowing what to do with them. “Place them on the desk Jennifer. Neatly.” Jennifer folded the flimsy items carefully, struck by the incongruity of the act of attending to the care of her underclothing before facing a beating. “Very good Jennifer. Now if you’ll please return to your former position we can continue.” Once more Jennifer bent far over the stool with the leather now pressing her naked stomach and parted her legs in the manner in which she had been previously instructed. Lady Mathom wiped all traces of relief and triumph from her face and poised the cane high above the trembling buttocks, glorying that Jennifer had learned this first lesson. Then she recommenced the flogging.
It was worse now. Jennifer would have been unable to believe that the paper thin film of underwear that had covered her bottom could possibly have afforded her any protection against the cane’s sting were it not for the indisputable evidence of the searing pain of the instrument as it lashed her naked flesh. Her cries turned from yelping gasps quickly into anguished shrieks as the remorseless beating progressed. At one particularly shrill squeal she saw the gardener’s attention distracted by it. He turned his head and glanced up momentarily but he seemed only mildly interested and soon continued with his work. Perhaps he had witnessed such scenes too many times. In any case Jennifer no longer cared. All she cared about now was that the merciless lashes following one upon the other on her bottom should cease. She was sobbing uncontrollably, her eyes fuzzy with tears as she gripped the legs of the stool desperately. In only one regard did she retain some semblance of self-control. She might scream aloud at each slicing cut but a stubborn vein of rebellious resilience in her refused to allow her to plead for an end to her ordeal. Through her tears she glanced back at Lady Mathom wielding the cane above her prostrate body. A disconnected part of her mind found the sight both terrible and beautiful as Her Ladyship, naked to the waist bar her lacy bra, arced her arm back to flog her, with the muscles rippling in the slender arms and a look of concentration and satisfaction on her lovely face. The detached part of Jennifer’s mind was hypnotised by the vision even as her body writhed and screamed under the onslaught of the rod. Lady Mathom was taking her time; measuring the strokes carefully and permitting pauses between them for Jennifer to settle but at the end she delivered a rapid salvo of several strokes in close succession to elicit a crescendo of howling screams from Jennifer. The finale left Jennifer limp over the stool crying profusely with gasping sobs, her bottom tormented beyond further endurance. Jennifer lay there not knowing if the beating was finished or not, only aware that should it begin once more she would collapse from the stool and finally beg for mercy.
Lady Mathom had judged Jennifer’s levels of tolerance finely however. She came close to Jennifer and placed a hand upon the heaving torso of the young girl, feeling the slickness of the skin under its sheen of perspiration. Gently she stroked Jennifer’s back as the sobs gradually subsided and Jennifer started to realise through her fog of pain that her beating was at an end. When Lady Mathom finally spoke her voice was kind and reassuring “You did very well Jennifer. Do you think you can stand now?” With a mighty effort Jennifer tried to raise herself but her legs didn’t seem to be working too well. She managed to raise herself to her feet but she swayed dangerously. Lady Mathom didn’t allow her to fall but folded her in her arms and let her lean against her whilst she soothed her, caressing her tangled hair and murmuring soft words in her ear. Jennifer became aware of the soft skin in contact with her own and she took comfort from its velvet warmth against her, letting her head droop forward and nestle in the warm sanctuary between her Mistress’s breasts. Slowly her breathing returned to something approaching normal and the fire in her bottom receded into a dull throbbing. In the part of her mind still able to think rationally she knew she was being rewarded with Her Ladyship’s caresses for enduring her beating and she felt u*********sly grateful for it.
“Come Jennifer let us rest for a while.” Lady Mathom supported her across the room to the sofa. There she placed a large cushion on the floor and eased Jennifer to her knees on it before seating herself on the sofa and allowing Jennifer to rest her head in her lap. For a long while she didn’t speak but just permitted Jennifer to rest there feeling the dampness of Jennifer’s tears through the sheer silk of her stockings on her thighs. Jennifer found a strange joy in that period of intimate silence at her Mistress’s knees. She turned her head into the caresses of Lady Mathom’s hand in her hair in the way a purring cat will whilst being stroked. She felt a great sharpening of her senses and rubbed her cheek on the stocking clad thigh. She could scent her Mistress’s womanhood so close to her face and breathed it eagerly. Unable to stop herself she turned her face and, astounded at her daring, she kissed her Lady’s thigh leaving a damp ring on her stockings with her lips. In response Lady Mathom lifted Jennifer’s chin with her fingertips and raised her face so that she could bend down and kiss the forehead.
“Well Jennifer how are you doing?”
“Well My Lady.”
“Are you still sore?”
“Somewhat My Lady.”
“Your first beating under this roof Jennifer! It won’t be your last you know.”
“Thank you Ma-am. May I stay now?”
“Of course you may Jennifer. I never had any doubt that you would. But this was only your first test this week Jennifer. There will be others to come. Do you think that you can be brave enough to face them?”
“I will try My Lady.”
“Good girl. More I cannot ask. Stay here for a moment. I have a little gift for you.” Lady Mathom rose and walked over to the desk taking a box from one of the drawers. When she returned she sat back on the sofa and beckoned Jennifer close. “The contents of this box are very precious Jennifer. They are an heirloom if you like. They belonged to your mother. She has asked that they be passed on to you and that you wear them with pride and think of her.” Lady Mathom opened the box to reveal the contents. Jennifer gasped. Inside was a set of five black leather manacles beautifully inlaid with silver and emeralds. Four of the set were clearly intended for the wrists and ankles with silver buckles, rings and clips. The last was a leather collar bearing a large ring and a silver design on it bearing a large amethyst surrounded by emeralds. Jennifer gazed in astonishment at the items nestling on a cushion of purple silk within the box.
“They are beautiful My Lady!”
“Yes Jennifer and very precious. If you look carefully you will see the Arms of the House of Mathom etched on the silver. I placed these on your mother long ago Jennifer. They were my gift to her and she wore them with honour. Now she has requested that they pass on to you. Will you be worthy of them?”
Jennifer stared hypnotised picturing her mother knelt naked at Her Lady’s knee just as she did now whilst the adornments of her slavery were attached to her limbs and about her neck. “I will try My Lady. I promise that I will try.”
“There are some stern tests ahead of you Jennifer. There may be moments when you will bitterly rue the day that you dared to become a slave of the House of Mathom. There will be bitter tears and times you will hate me for my cruelty. In those moments let these be a comfort to you. Let them remind you that your mother passed through the same torments as yourself and know that these are her gift of love to you. Remember also that she knows that you too will suffer but will emerge stronger and more joyous than ever.”
“Oh My Lady!”
“Do you hate me Jennifer?”
“No My Lady. How could I?”
“I have beaten you Jennifer. I will beat you again. I will have you chained in darkness and whipped until your skin bleeds. I can be a harsh mistress Jennifer. Will you hate me then?”
Jennifer looked up into the radiance of Her Lady’s face, softened now with compassion and sweet memories. The pain in her buttocks seemed to have vanished to be replaced with by a far more profound ache in her breast. It was an ache of desperate love and the gripping fear that she would prove unworthy of such a Mistress and cast away from the sweetness of her presence forever.
“No My Lady.” she whispered. “I will not hate you. I cannot! I will love you! I will love you always. If I am unable to bear the torments that you impose upon me then I will hate only myself that I proved unworthy to be your slave.”
“I expected no lesser answer from you Jennifer. Your mother gave you my name Jennifer. At least she gave you the name by which she knew me. I have had many names my c***d but Jennifer is one which will always be precious to me. Precious because you, my beloved daughter, bear it also. Will you accept these manacles then?”
“In joy My Lady! I will only pray that I find the strength to do them honour.”
“You will do my daughter. By every word you say you make that plain. Hold out your wrists.” Jennifer laid her slender hands in Her lady’s lap and held her breath as her Mistress buckled the cuffs to her wrists. “Now your ankles Jennifer.” Jennifer lay back on the floor and placed her feet on Lady Mathom’s knee sighing in pleasure as she felt the leather tighten about her ankles. “Now kneel up Jennifer.” Jennifer knelt admiring the bejewelled cuffs adorning her limbs. “Lift your hair out of the way Jennifer.” As Jennifer complied Lady Mathom leaned forward to pass the collar about her neck, leaving it loose so it would not choke her. “Later we will make it official Jennifer, in writing and before witnesses but let me say now, that, by these tokens, I accept you as my slave, to love cherish and command you whilst ever I draw breath. I thank you for the gift of your slavery.”
“Oh My Lady….” Jennifer could find no other words to say but bowed low and placed her head in Her Lady’s lap, tears once more in her eyes.
“Come now Jenny. There are still hard tests for you to face but there must be interludes of joy as well. I have one for you now!” With that Lady Mathom pulled briefly at a little bell rope by the sofa. There was a short pause and then came a knock at the door. “You may enter!” Lady Mathom called and there was Rebecca, dressed in white and pale green stood in the doorway, her eyes alight with happiness at the sight of Jennifer collared and cuffed at Her Mistress’s knee. She curtsied to Lady Mathom and it seemed a dance of sheer delight.
“Well Rebecca you have a new s****r! Aren’t you going to kiss her?” All of Rebecca’s training in the arts of gracious controlled movement failed her in that moment and she flew across the room like an excited c***d to snatch Jennifer to her bosom and the two girls laughed and cried in the joy of their embrace.
“Oh Jenny! Jenny!” Rebecca blubbered but found nothing more sensible to articulate. Even as she grasped her close Abigail, Helen and Heather entered and after the barest of formalities they were swarming all over Jennifer hugging her and kissing her until she felt quite breathless. Lady Mathom smiled at the milling huddle of girls. Such moments as these made up for all the heartaches.
“When you’ve quite finished girls I would like a last word with Jennifer. Then you can take her away and see that she gets some lunch. Come here Jenny.” Jennifer knelt before her and she took her hands and gazed seriously at her. “You must eat now Jennifer. This afternoon’s test will be sterner. You’ve been brave so far. Be brave a little longer. I promise you that there will be a sweet light at the end of this day for you. You are forbidden to wear anything other than what you are now wearing. Don’t be afraid! You possess no more beautiful a gown in your wardrobe than the flesh which adorns your body. Wear it with pride! And these too!” Lady Mathom reached out to finger Jennifer’s collar “One day Jennifer you will pass these on to another. Make sure she is worthy of them. And remember! Be brave! Abigail there is a chain in the upper left hand drawer of the desk will you fetch it here please.” Abigail returned with a silver chain with a black leather loop on one end and a clip on the other. Lady Mathom clipped Jennifer’s wrist cuffs together in front of her and then took the chain from Abigail and attached it to the ring in her collar. She looked over the other four girls critically and came to a decision, her eyes fastening on Abigail who was glorious this day in a shimmering silvery blue dress. “You look very fetching today Abigail. Very well you may have the honour of leading your new s****r to lunch.” She passed the end of the chain to Abigail.
“Thank you My Lady!” Abigail was delighted.
“Good. Now Jennifer have you any last questions.”
“Yes My Lady. When will I see you next?”
“Not for the rest of this week Jennifer. Don’t look so downcast! There will be plenty to keep you occupied. You will be brought back to me at the end of this week. You will be a new person by then Jennifer. I promise you. I look forward to seeing you.”
“Thank you My Lady. I will try to justify the honour you have bestowed upon me. I declare you to be My Mistress. I will love, cherish and obey you whilst I still have breath to do so.”
Lady Mathom laughed and kissed Jennifer fondly. “Your new s****r is a treasure girls! Look after her well! Feed her properly at lunch and then you may choose between you which of you will have the honour of delivering her… to Sebastian in the cellars.”