This is a print version of story Slaves of the Amethyst (part nine) by Mikebasil from

Slaves of the Amethyst (part nine)

Chapter Sixty Four.

Alice had simply never known an evening like it in her life. To her it was the most defining few hours of her impending adulthood. In common with many a young person Alice had entered into marriage with Daniel with only the vaguest idea of some nebulous future. They’d had hazy ideas of buying a house someday, of Daniel getting a better job, of c***dren someday, of moving out of Teescastle. They’d had dreams but the reality had always been the wage packets that had never seemed enough to cover all the bills on their rented accommodation and still allow a few luxuries in their life. Dreams could shatter on the council tax and the final demand for the electricity. The fantasies were a will of the wisp that vanished in ghostly tendrils before the onslaught of the brown envelopes that cursed the breakfast table like portents of doom. They’d married on the financial grounding of about three months leeway in the bank between themselves and disaster. In the passion of their love they’d gambled against a future in which a single setback could have spelled ruin. They’d walked into a shop of love and placed their meagre resources on a lottery ticket of wild chance. Now the numbers that added up to the winning total were falling at their feet with unerring regularity. Now it was the brown envelopes that belonged to some awful dream to be banished back into the darkness with the coming of light. Alice felt as if they had passed through a portal into another existence the day they had walked around the headland at Bolswick Bay. This new world was a magic realm where anything was possible and Alice stared at the fairy witch queen of this realm with unabashed astonishment and admiration.
From the moment that they had joined Robin, Rebecca and Lady Mathom on the terrace for afternoon tea all the astounding events of the past week or so had been crystallising into a glittering gem that contained the future in its myriad facets. Alice had been slightly worried about how Daniel would conduct himself in front of Lady Mathom but her worries had been unfounded. In fact to her profound surprise she had seen an aspect of her new husband she had rarely observed before. It had taken some time to tease out but it was now evident in every thing that he said. Alice had been prepared to consider an offer of her own slavery to the Mistress of Mathom Hall but what caught her completely by surprise was the all too obvious willingness of her husband to regard himself in that light himself. From the moment that Her Ladyship had warmly greeted them at tea Daniel had quite clearly worshipped the purple-eyed queen that ruled the vast gables of this mighty house. He was infatuated by her, intoxicated by her presence, elevated by her inspiration and willing and ready to declare her his liege lady in perpetuity.
It wasn’t as if Daniel was being crawlingly obsequious however. In fact he seemed to have emerged somewhat from his natural shyness and he fielded Lady Mathom’s questions with reasonable confidence. There was not the slightest remnant of his or Robin’s earlier intoxication discernible. That disgraceful condition had been ruthlessly eliminated by a regime of cold showers, strong coffee and feminine disapproval. It had been a subdued but at least sober pair of chastised men that had led their womenfolk out onto the back terrace for afternoon tea. In Daniel’s case it had also been a very hungry one. In the working class culture from which Daniel hailed “tea” was the name given to the main meal of the day. Dinner was the meal you grabbed at work at noon and tea was the big meal you sat down to when you got home from work. Mathom Hall’s idea of tea as a light repast of fiddling little sandwiches, canapés and pastries to fill in the gap between lunch and the evening dinner was an appallingly insubstantial bill of fare to Daniel’s appetite.
There were compensations however. The best consolation was the magnetic personality of Lady Mathom herself. Daniel had had it more or less fixed firmly in his mind that Her Ladyship’s main interest was focussed on Alice and that he was just to be tolerated as Alice’s husband. To his surprise it hadn’t been like that at all for Lady Mathom had shown a keen interest in him as well, plying him with questions about his work, f****y and future ambitions. Despite being forewarned by Alice he had been astonished upon being first introduced to his hostess. Alice had said she was beautiful and captivating but none of her description had prepared Daniel for the physical shock of encountering the raven haired Mistress of Mathom Hall for the first time. Within minutes he was devoted to her and had he been a medieval knight of the court he would have laid his sword at her feet without hesitation.
Daniel didn’t have a sword but he did have his building crafts and skills to present before his Lady. By the second cup of tea he was agreeing to take a look at the tiling on the roof of the big west wing, over a cucumber sandwich he had taken on responsibility for the reparation of a crumbling wall surrounding the kitchen’s herb garden and by the time he had finished his second muffin he was offering to construct a winter garden annex to the downstairs Rose Parlour. He realised early that Lady Mathom was finely judging his breadth of knowledge and work ethic. Apparently she seemed impressed. Daniel had never before found such pride in his chosen profession, which was odd because he had learned his trade early from his father and he truly loved it and was already highly skilled and conscientious in his application. Most of all Daniel loved old buildings. He was fascinated by the building craft and stone masonry of earlier times and could happily spend an entire day inside a cathedral just examining the flying buttresses or the construction of the arches. He’d taken evening classes in architecture and the experience had left him hungry for greater knowledge. In their little flat in Teescastle there were shelves full of books on architecture and ancient buildings. He’d always harboured a secret ambition to work on the restoration and repair of old historical buildings. Mathom Hall was a dream come true to Daniel and he itched to be allowed to unleash his skills upon it.
To Lady Mathom Daniel was a quite unexpected bonus. She had already been impressed by Alice and was determined to bring her under the patronage of Mathom Hall. She had been concerned however that Alice might have divided loyalties due to her marriage. Therefore she was enormously gratified that Robin and Rebecca had brought not one remarkable young person to the Hall but two. Daniel was an Alpha Sensual. Of that she was certain although the syndrome was often more difficult to discern in the male than in the female. Yet the signs were unmistakeable to her finely tuned awareness and she was busily grooming the young man for a future role in the House of Mathom. That Alice had found a kindred Alpha Sensual to wed was not at all surprising to her. Whether or not either was aware of their inheritance was irrelevant. Like tended to seek out like and the Goddess recognised her own. That two Alphas upon meeting would fall directly in love with each other was the most natural thing imaginable. To come upon two such high potential young people at the very moments of their burgeoning abilities was a true find. Daniel and Alice were as yet only vaguely aware of it but Lady Mathom was already planning their future and shaping their destiny to the needs of the House of Mathom. It was eminently agreeable to have two such fresh young slaves of such potential ability at her disposal.
Rebecca watched in fascination as her Mistress began the slow but inevitable process of chaining the young couple to her will. That they would become slaves of Mathom Hall was never in doubt to Rebecca. They had already gladly surrendered themselves to the Purple Lady and it required only the formality of open declaration. There would come a time Rebecca saw when they would be spending almost as much time at the Hall as in their little house at Bolswick Bay. Daniel would be trained as a master builder and the physical infrastructure of the great house would become his domain and all consuming passion whilst his wife would grace the parlours and gardens as a flowering daughter of the Goddess. Wealth would flow easily into their hands and their life would be enriched beyond measure. Rebecca blessed the blind working of destiny that had brought this young pair around the headland at Bolswick Bay whilst she had reclined naked on the sand before Eugene’s camera.
Eugene! Rebecca had not thought about Eugene for several days now but there was unfinished business there as well wasn’t there? She had shared her bl**d in solemn oath with Eugene yet she knew not where her bl**d s****r was. All she had was an electronic address, a site somewhere on the end of computer network and a mobile telephone number. But Alice would be seeing Eugene at the weekend in Germany. Rebecca began laying her plans to connect up to Eugene via Alice. Rebecca was a woman who never forgot her commitments and promises. There was a mystery about Eugene. How was it that a slave of the Purple Lady had never been allowed to dwell beneath the eaves of Mathom Hall? There was some great sadness behind that story and Rebecca did not like sadness among the people she loved. She had vowed to bring Eugene home and Rebecca took her vows very seriously indeed.
Eugene was having an unqualified bitch of a week. She had flown back to the continent on the Saturday that Jennifer had been elected Festival Queen. She had flown straight into Zurich and that evening had reported to Professor Sehler on her meeting with Rebecca. He’d been mightily disgruntled as if he had expected her to drag young Miss Walpole into his office at White Mountain on the end of a chain with her. Fortunately he’d received an Email from Mathom Hall. Lady Mathom had informed him haughtily that her young slave would report to him at her convenience and until she did then he was counselled to possess himself with patience, an attribute that was not one of the good professor’s more notable traits of personality. Nevertheless the Email had diverted the flak away from Eugene herself and the Professor had instead directed his ire at the Mistress of Mathom Hall, a target that was entirely unmoved by his indignant irritation. Nevertheless it had been an uncomfortable encounter and Eugene had been glad to escape to her own office.
Not that there was much refuge there. White Mountain was an absolute madhouse and Eugene had spent the next few days fire-fighting one security alert after another. The alpine valley in which White Mountain was headquartered was filling up with diverse personnel from all over the world in response to the imperatives of Prophecy One and it was a security nightmare. Eugene had had to call up a half dozen of her operatives from around Europe simply to handle the volume of security checks needed to vet the influx of specialists flooding into the valley. Fortunately she had very able subordinates and nearing the end of the week the process was functioning smoothly enough for her to escape the bedlam and flee back to North Germany to deal with her own private business. The modelling agency had work coming on line as well and there was somewhat of a flap in her studios above the Catacombs nightclub too. There was no rest for the wicked she reflected ruefully and it had taken her two days just to sort out the backlog of contracts and other work.
By the Sunday evening she was exhausted so she put all her calls on hold and determined that tonight was just for herself. She had an inclination to spend the evening with one of her friends in an agreeable restaurant in the St Pauli district of the city. The friend was close enough to her that the prospect of an erotic dalliance was taken as given for the evening’s entertainment and she sat at her dressing table in her big apartment preparing herself meticulously in anticipation of that pleasant interlude in her hectic schedule. It was whilst rummaging through her cosmetics and necessary female accoutrements that the sanitary towels and tampons that she had hastily bought in Zurich came to her attention. In all the assorted panic of the past week she had completely forgotten about them. More to the point her body had not reminded her of them. Eugene frowned. She was late, unusually late. She must be nearly a week overdue. In the madcap rush of the week just past it hadn’t even occurred to her. Now it did and Eugene felt the hair on the nape of her neck tingle in sudden alarm. She willed calm upon herself. There was no need to panic. She’d been late before many times. It was over-whelmingly likely to be just another false alarm. She stared petrified at her reflection in the mirror however. What if it wasn’t a false alarm?
At dinner at Mathom Hall Alice and Daniel were introduced to Helen, Heather and Abigail since all those three young ladies were called upon to wait upon Lady Mathom, Robin, Rebecca and their two guests. There was a subtle informality about the meal since after all the girls were serving their own peers as well as their Mistress and her son. This lent an air of relaxation to the proceedings that would not have been permissible in a more formal setting. Lady Mathom was quite at ease with this laxity since it was important for her new slaves to be introduced to their colleagues. The future status of the pair in the Hall was giving her much thought. It was highly unusual for the Hall to accept married slaves as initial recruits although numbers of them did marry during their servitude. Many of those marriages were single sex marriages of course and frequently extended ones at that. Heterosexual marriages occurred as well but they tended to be somewhat divided since male slaves of the Hall had separate accommodations from the girls or lived off the premises and came under the authority of male mentors. This frequently led to their absence from the Hall for protracted periods of training at establishments specialising in the tutorship of male Alpha Sensuals. Nevertheless there were arrangements made among the lower caste of slaves for mixed quarters. What was more difficult was the position of the higher personal slaves of Lady Mathom herself. These were of course housed in the slave’s wing and it was an exclusively female domain.
The problem was to decide to just which level in the hierarchy of the Hall Alice belonged. There were more slaves at Mathom Hall than merely Her Ladyship’s personal young ladies but not all of them lived in the Hall and some of them were day workers living off the grounds and answered to a lesser Master or Mistress within or without it. For instance the many gardening personnel came under the responsibility of the head gardener and the Alpha Sensuals among them took their oaths to the Hall through his authority, an authority invested in him by his own servitude to the Mistress of the Hall. In ordinary circumstances Daniel would have been placed under the mentorship of the Hall’s Master mason and he would pledge himself to service of the House of Mathom through that gentleman’s office. But he was married to Alice and that made him a special case because it was becoming clear that Alice could not be rendered into the care of one of the household’s matrons or even any other mistress within the valley. Her strong connection with Rebecca and Robin precluded that but there was also the growing impression in Lady Mathom’s mind that Alice was rather special in any case. She was definitely of very pure Alpha lineage and most certainly an Alpha Sensual of powerful potential. The House of Mathom had strong familial ties in Bolswick Bay and Lady Mathom was increasingly beginning to realise that Alice was very likely distantly related to the House by way of her unknown parents. In this respect Lady Mathom’s discreet inquiries had borne some fruit and, whereas Alice’s biological father had proved frustratingly impossible as yet to trace, Alice’s natural mother had been uncovered.
Lady Mathom did not want to reveal the results of her inquiries to Alice as yet. For one thing it was a tragic tale all too familiar among Alpha Sensuals raised without the proper consideration of their special needs. Alice’s mother was not dead but in some respects she might as well have been. She was a d**g addict and she’d spent a considerable proportion of her life in and out of prison for various d**g related offences. It seemed only a matter of time before she killed herself or even possibly killed someone else. Unfettered Alpha Sensuals with ill disciplined enhanced abilities could be very dangerous. Lady Mathom had already talked to Rachel about this woman and there was already an initiative in progress to pull Alice’s biological mother back under the umbrella of the Line. Such people were not unrecoverable and Rachel’s contacts had a high success rate in this regard.
There was no doubt however that the daughter branch of the Line of Mathom in Bolswick Bay and Saltersea had long required a more definite structured organisation. Apart from a few families such as Amanda Braithwaite’s there was a lamentable looseness among the ties in the region and it was likely that Alice and her mother’s case were by no means isolated ones. It was highly desirable therefore that the House cemented a stronger connection to the coastal area and, in Alice; Lady Mathom possessed the means to do so. A personal slave of her own acting on her behalf from a household in the Bay would be a powerful influence in bringing some order into the perilously haphazard and weak affiliations among the local Alpha population. If Alice were tied in bonds of marriage to the House through Rebecca and Robin moreover, then all the better. They could sweep up the entire coastal region and put a stable and ordered structure into place that would capture all the loose cannons drifting about and put them under the lock and key of slavery to the Line where they belonged. It would be a fine legacy to leave. Alice’s house overlooking the sea at Bolswick Bay could become a power lode of dominance in the region. There was no reason why the Bay and its environs could not become as safe and as stable an environment as Mathomdale itself. A powerful deputy connected to the dynasty was the means to forge an outpost of the Purple Empire along the coast. Lady Mathom was already forming her plans for Alice Foreman.
After dinner Lady Mathom invited Alice, Daniel, Robin and Rebecca into a comfortable parlour for coffee and brandy. She had propositions to make to her guests and Alice and Daniel listened to them with growing amazement. It was relatively easy for Lady Mathom. In their own minds Alice and Daniel were already to all intents and purposes enslaved to the Mistress of Mathom Hall. All it really required was to lay down the conditions of their slavery and to point out the mutual advantages of it.
Alice never forgot that conversation in that parlour. She had never heard of anything that sounded so bizarre and yet so exhilarating in her life. In essence Lady Mathom asked her for her allegiance in slavery to the House of Mathom and specifically Alice’s allegiance to her personally. This allegiance would require total obedience and loyalty. She would be expected to attend upon Lady Mathom any time when required to do so. She would have her own chambers in the slave’s wing when her presence was required at the Hall. Should Daniel accompany her on any visit to the Hall they would be assigned married quarters if required. She would be expected to undergo a regime of training and indoctrination and she would be expected to conform to the same disciplinary regime as any other of the Hall’s high caste slaves. Lady Mathom also expected Daniel to take oaths of allegiance to the House and his skills would be developed and utilised by the Hall as required. He would be obliged to realise that his wife had priorities outside of their marriage and that so did he. There should be no conflict Lady Mathom assured them. In a sense they would both be married within the context of their servitude to the House. They would take on the appellation of Mathom in addition to their married name. The House would guarantee their welfare and protection in return. They would be expected to consider their home in Bolswick Bay to be an annex, a daughter house of Mathom Hall itself. They would place the Mathom arms above their doorway in recognition of that fact. They would be honour bound to shelter anybody of close affiliation to the House beneath their roof and in return would be granted the right of shelter at the Hall in perpetuity. They would be expected to conduct themselves as befitting the dignity of bonded slaves of the House of Mathom. Their duties and responsibilities would be explained to them in due course and these would be morally obligatory. They would find their lives busy but rewarding. The House was demanding but generous too. They could make bonfires out of the brown envelopes on the kitchen table if they wanted! Did they have any questions?
Alice cleared her throat and stared at the extraordinary woman quite calmly laying down the conditions under which Alice was obliged to surrender her freedom. “Do yer… I mean do you mean My Lady that me and Danny would ‘ave… have to give up our freedom to you?”
Lady Mathom looked at her “Freedom Alice? What freedom is this? Freedom to work for five pounds an hour in a hotel doing a job you hate? Freedom to live in a rented apartment in a dirty industrial city and count the pennies to pay the gasman? Freedom to join the dole queue if Daniel should lose his job? Freedom to chance the muggers and the burglars of a collapsing society? Freedom to lie awake at night and wonder where all your dreams went to? No Alice. On the contrary I am offering you your freedom. The freedom to realise your dreams.”
“In what way My Lady?”
“Well for instance since I saw you this morning I have telephoned your old tutor, Dr Mannstein in Bolswick Bay. He will be expecting to take up your piano lessons where you left off before you left the Bay previously. His tuition fees will be debited directly to this house. I told you this morning that it was a criminal waste for such a talent to be allowed to wither. In my opinion there is no reason whatsoever why you should not be a concert standard pianist. If your lessons go well we’ll have to see about enrolling you for some courses at a prestigious music academy. We have such an academy here in the North of England that would be a short commute for you. I know one of the directors there. I shall have a word with him.”
Alice was looking at Lady Mathom speechlessly. In the background Rebecca allowed herself a short laugh. Lady Mathom continued. “You’ll need your own car however. Can you drive?”
“Y…yes My Lady.”
“Well I presume that if we come to an agreement then Daniel will be buying a van for his working materials. Is this true Daniel?”
“Yes ma-am. In fact I ‘ad… had a look at one this week ma-am.”
“Do you already have another car?”
“Yes ma-am but its rubbish. It’s allus breaking down.”
“Well you’ll certainly require another vehicle. The public transportation system in this country is a national disgrace. There will be times when Alice will be required here at the Hall when you are unable to drive her owing to your work commitments. If we come to a mutual agreement then Robin can drive you over to our automobile dealers in town this week and you can pick out a suitable vehicle. I’ll budget you to fifteen thousand pounds. That should be more than ample to pay for a good sound, reliable car. Do you agree?”
Daniel was having trouble speaking. Finally he croaked “Y.. yes My Lady.”
“Excellent. Now I’m unfamiliar with your new house. Do you have a lot of room?”
“Well its big enough fer us ma-am.” Daniel told her.
“Big enough for you, Alice and a concert grand piano Daniel?”
“Oo ‘eck I don’t know about that ma-am. Pianos take up a lot of room.”
“Do you have a garage?”
“Yes ma-am. It’s a bit run down but that’s soon fixed.”
“Good. Will it take two cars? Or rather a car and your van?”
“I think so ma-am. It’s quite spacious.”
“What about your work materials? Presumably they’ll take up quite a good deal of space.”
“That’s one of the best things about t’ place ma-am. We ‘ave an old barn adjoining that’ll be perfect for storage.”
“Hmm. It sounds as if you picked up a real bargain for the price.”
“Well it does need a fair bit of work Milady.”
“I have every confidence that you will be able to give it the attention it needs. How big is this barn?”
“Right big ma-am. I’ll have more than enough space.”
“Big enough to partition part off as a music studio for Alice?”
“Well I don’t know ma-am. It’s a bit damp in there for the moment.”
“Yes I see your point. It’s not the environment to put a fine piano in is it?”
Alice interrupted “But My Lady I don’t have a piano!”
“A regrettable circumstance that will be corrected at our earliest convenience Alice. You’ll never achieve consistency of performance without continuous practise. Perhaps we can construct an annex to the house to serve as your studio.”
Daniel frowned. “I don’t know ma-am. The house is a listed building. I don’t know if we’d get planning permission.”
“I have influence on the planning committee Daniel. You’d get permission.”
Daniel cogitated for a moment. “There is one solution ma-am.”
“And that is?”
“Well we was thinking of taking a wall out between two rooms on t’ ground floor to give us a big through lounge. If we did that I’m sure we’d ‘ave enough room for a piano.” Alice’s eyes were shining. She could see it now. Playing her piano by the big French windows with their view over the bay. It was a vision of paradise.
“That sounds like an eminently practical solution Daniel.” Lady Mathom continued. “Very well as soon as the necessary alterations are completed we’ll have the old Steinway that Alice was playing on this morning transported to Bolswick bay and professionally installed.”
“What!” Alice exploded “I’m sorry! I beg your pardon My Lady but yer can’t be serious.”
“I am perfectly serious Alice. That old piano doesn’t get played anything like enough. I would be delighted to think that it was being played regularly by somebody with the talent to do it justice.”
“But it’s beautiful ma-am. It’s far too good for me.”
“Nonsense Alice. I watched you playing it this morning. It was obvious that you loved it. An instrument like that needs to be loved and played with love. I think you will do that.”
“Oh My Lady…”
“I’m lending it to you Alice not giving it to you…. Yet.”
“Wh.. what do yer mean ma-am?”
“Just what I say Alice. The piano is on loan to you. The day that I come to see you perform your first major concert in public it is yours. Do you understand?”
Alice was close to tears “M…my Lady! I don’t know what to say. Nothing ever ‘appened to me like this before!”
“I repeat what I said earlier Alice. A slave of the House of Mathom surrenders only their freedom to be enslaved by others against their will. As a slave of this House you will have the freedom to realise your potential and fulfil your dreams. You will be obliged to do those things. You, both of you, carry the genetic seeds of genius in you. The imperatives of those seeds are your true masters. There is an old saying “Talent does what it can. Genius does what it must” A slave of this House is expected to live up to the full potential of their capabilities. We don’t deal in mediocrities here. You are expected to be exceptional. You Alice will be a concert pianist and you Daniel a master builder and architect. We’ll have to find some way for you to fit your university studies around your work Daniel.”
“My… my university studies ma-am?”
“Oh yes! Didn’t I mention that? I’d like you to do a degree in architecture Daniel, possibly specialising in historic architecture since that seems to be your greatest interest. I’ll see which academic institutions in our area offer part time degrees in the subject and we’ll get you signed up.”
“But I left school at sixteen ma-am! I don’t ‘ave the qualifications.”
“Universities are essentially commercial enterprises Daniel. They’re always looking for money. The sponsorship and wealth of the House of Mathom will be all the qualifications you need believe me.”
“bl**dy ‘ell! Oh I’m sorry My Lady! Forgive my language.”
“I will allow you the occasional epithet Daniel. I will not allow you however to fail in your studies. Do you think you can do the course?”
“Aye! I mean yes ma-am. I did some study at night school in architecture and I loved it. I could do it standing on me ‘ead! I know I could.”
“That’s right Milady!” Alice interjected enthusiastically “Danny’s real clever about things like that. He’s got ‘undreds of books at home about building an’ architecture. Every time we go out to town ‘e’s dragging me around old churches and things an’ showin’ me ‘ow they built them in olden days. ‘E’d be as ‘appy as a pig in … I mean he’d be ‘appy learning more about it.”
Lady Mathom laughed “I’m familiar with the rustic simile you were going to use Alice. Very well Daniel you’ll have all the time and opportunity to wallow at your leisure.”
“My Lady?” said Alice soberly.
“Yes Alice?”
“I …I mean we don’t know ‘ow to thank you for all that yer doin’ for us.”
“You’ll thank me by becoming loyal, obedient and conscientious slaves of this House Alice. That is the price that I am asking for your future. That is the commitment that I expect of you. And it will be a lifetime commitment Alice, bound by solemn oaths and pledges. This House has a shining future to offer you but in return it demands your absolute allegiance to it. It demands that you wear the fetters of slavery to it. This is the way we do things in our Line. These are the bonds that tie us together and make us special. This is what makes us strong. We are not the same as ordinary people Alice. You will learn that all too soon. We are the Line, c***dren of the Goddess and a great deal depends upon us. We don’t have time for the petty considerations and neuroses that bedevil society at large. We have too much to do. This House requires your service. I require it. When will I have your answer?”
Alice took a deep breath “For me My Lady you may ‘ave it now. I don’t know about Danny but you may consider me ter be your new slave My Lady.”
“And you Daniel?”
“What Alice says goes for me an’ all Milady. I’m at your service fer as long as yer want me.”
“Thank you c***dren. I’m delighted and you’ll never regret your decision I promise you. I shall have the formal documents drawn up and there will be an official ceremony to swear you in. In the meantime however I would like to welcome you warmly to your new House. It is customary to seal such an informal commitment with a kiss Alice. Would you….?”
Suddenly filled with an exuberant joy she could barely understand Alice jumped up to cross the floor and accept her Mistress’s embrace. The kiss was tender and Alice melted in its warmth not wanting it to end but she gave way to a sheepish Daniel and Lady Mathom kissed him too and patted him affectionately. “Robin says you are a fine fisherman as well Daniel.” She told him whilst holding his hands. “Did you catch those trout we ate at dinner?”
“Er yes ma-am.” The fish course had been fresh, grilled, devilled trout.
“They were delicious. We’ll have to send you down to the river more often. Wild river trout are far superior to the mushy products of fish farms.” Lady Mathom turned to Rebecca and Robin “Well you two are rather quiet. Aren’t you going to welcome your new b*****r and s****r to the House?”
Rebecca jumped up with gleaming eyes. “I certainly am!” There followed an interlude of warm embraces and Lady Mathom observed it with deep satisfaction, content with a good day’s work in securing two such valuable slaves for her household. It was one of her greatest pleasures to enjoy the company of young people and deeply gratifying to bind them in kindred to herself. Sometimes she thought that she was a parasite on their youth as if she required it to retain some vestige of a youth she had left behind so long ago. She borrowed their youth to feel young herself once more. Eventually she brought a halt to proceedings.
“I’m afraid now I must leave you for I have pressing duties to attend to. Will you entertain Daniel and Alice Robin? And you Rebecca?”
“Of course mother.” Robin replied.
“Good. Perhaps you can take the time to instruct them in a little more detail about the House and their new situation. You are leaving on Thursday I believe Alice.”
“Yes ma-am. That is if it’s all right with you.”
“Yes you have my permission to return to your affairs. Undoubtedly there’ll be much you have to attend to. Rebecca told me that you are flying to Germany for a modelling contract with Eugene Collette at the weekend. Is that true?”
“Yes ma-am. It’s a lingerie contract for a catalogue. Would that be all right?”
“I have no objection Alice. It will be an experience for you and a chance to make a bit of extra pocket money. Just don’t be letting Eugene drag you into the pages of one of her more raunchy publications. I know Eugene. She can be a very wicked girl at times. I’ll be speaking to her in the next couple of days but will you please promise me to run any new contracts she offers you by me before you agree to them.”
“Yes My Lady. I promise.”
“Good girl. You’ll have fun in Hamburg. I’ll certainly see you before you both leave but in the meantime I’d like you both to spend some time familiarising yourself with the Hall. I’ll arrange an interview for you with Mr Coleman Daniel. He’s our head of building works and he can show you around a bit. But now I must get along.” Lady Mathom rose and kissed each of them goodnight. Daniel thought it was almost as if somebody had switched the lights off when she had left the room.
Lady Mathom’s other new slave was passing a quiet evening in the cellars. Jennifer was currently sat at the big table in the dining chamber and working on her essay. Rachel was comfortably reclining in an old threadbare armchair, that Sebastian had found somewhere, by the fire and, of all things, knitting. She was knitting little woollen baby clothes from a pattern in a magazine in great contentment and Jennifer covertly watched her from the corner of her eyes with affectionate pleasure. There was not the slightest sensible reason for Rachel to be knitting clothes for her expected baby Jennifer realised. Rachel was wealthy enough to order up clothes for her new born by the vanload if she wanted. She just liked doing it. The act of producing clothes for her own baby was an act of maternity that had nothing to do with practicalities. It just afforded her the deepest of pleasure to think that her new born c***d would be clad in garments that she had crafted with her own hand. It forged the bonds of her impending motherhood.
After their evening meal Rachel had left her for some time to attend to some chores. Jennifer was becoming mystified by Rachel’s absences on these undefined chores and Rachel herself seemed reticent about discussing them. For the life of her Jennifer could not think of anything that would require Rachel’s labour in the cellars. When asked about it Rachel had just murmured that she was helping out Sebastian with a few things. This made her tasks even more mysterious since Sebastian wasn’t present for the execution of these tasks. In fact during Rachel’s evening absence Sebastian had been helping Jennifer with her notes for her essay in his private chambers over a warm drink. Nor would Sebastian have allowed any task too taxing for Rachel in any case. He was fussing over Rachel in her pregnancy like an old hen and it was hard to see him allowing her any task that would have required more than the barest minimum of physical activity.
Jennifer sighed and tickled the big grey cat on her lap under the chin. Chester responded with an increased volume to his seemingly interminable purr. Chester had rapidly become Jennifer’s most devoted admirer. He followed her everywhere and jumped into her lap whenever she sat down. He’d even tried to follow her into their cell at night but Rachel had banished him ruthlessly and he’d wandered off with his tail twitching in irritation. This helpless devotion was a nuisance at times since he was so often underfoot that Jennifer had to be careful not to trip over him. Still it was difficult to be annoyed with such good natured and single-minded adoration.
Jennifer looked down at her naked body. The red stripes from her whipping that afternoon were fading although she could still feel the twinges from them now and again. She was feeling curiously in two minds about her whipping. It had hurt even more than she had expected but in its aftermath she had felt strangely elevated. Sebastian and Rachel had been wonderfully kind to her afterwards and Rachel had treated her weals with ointment whilst Sebastian had prepared their evening meal. It had been a moment of tenderness and Rachel had seemed very pleased with her for reasons that Jennifer couldn’t fathom. It had almost been worth her whipping for these hours of gentleness. Yet that fact alone couldn’t entirely explain the strange calm euphoria that Jennifer had experienced and eventually she’d asked Rachel about it. Over dinner Rachel had tried to explain the complex issues surrounding the use of controlled physical chastisement among people of the Line.
It went deeper than a simple disciplinary function she explained. It was an entire field of study in its own right with diverse physiological and psychological consequences. To begin with it was more than just a physical matter of pain. The stimulation of the body through physical pain actually had important chemical effects in the body’s nervous system. It released a whole cocktail of powerful natural d**gs within the body that Rachel called endorphins. These were complex neurotransmitters that in some ways resembled opiates in their effects. Endorphins were responsible for a whole range of diverse reactions and medical science was just beginning to realise their full significance. At their most basic endorphins were the body’s natural painkillers that were released into the bl**d stream in response to extreme stimulation. Yet it was more complex than that. Endorphins were released through sexual activity too and the post orgasmic “high” one experienced was a result of these chemicals in the bl**d. This was why a whipping could be both penal and sexual in nature. Pain and ecstasy were very closely linked. Athletes also experienced endorphin highs since high physical activity could also trigger the release of these chemicals.
In some ways exogenous d**gs hi-jacked this chemical process, which was why people became addicted to opiates. Certain endorphins attached themselves to so-called opioid receptors in the nervous system, the very receptors that morphine, for example, acted upon. In fact endorphin, as a word, was a contraction of endogenous morphine or natural internally produced morphine. Endorphins however had many other functions other than a mere analgesic effect. They created euphoric states and had definite psychological impacts. The close bonding between humans after coitus was being increasingly linked to the massive release of endorphins in the system. It was indisputable that endorphin production was a highly desirable condition. It was why people found substitutes for it in chemical d**gs.
Rachel had seemed uncomfortable at this point. She’d not been ready to concede a chemical foundation to the emotion of love. In Rachel’s opinion attributing love to endorphins was a bit like putting the cart before the horse. People in love certainly released endorphins in each other but were they in love because of those chemicals or did they seek to stimulate those chemicals because they were in love? In other words were they the cause or the product of the state? Whatever the truth Rachel was prepared to concede that the complex interplay of these powerful chemicals played an important part in a human being’s physiological and psychological well being. Endorphins reduced stress, had positive cardio-vascular properties and significant gastric benefits for example. Endorphins were good for you. People in love were generally healthier and more balanced mentally. The continuous release of such natural chemicals added up to a greater sense of well being.
To Alpha Sensual human beings, with their more highly developed and sensitive nervous systems, endorphins were very powerful and necessary modulators within the system. Without them sensory overwhelm was eminently possible and it had been shown that endorphin production was much higher among Alpha Sensuals than was usual among other human beings. There were studies suggesting that the intense degree of inter bonding between Alpha Sensuals was a direct result of this chemical reality. Sensitive people always required more loving and this was intensified among Alpha Sensuals. It was also, as Rachel had pointed out, why Alpha Sensuals, placed such high emphasis on extreme physical stimulation. Whipping a person sent their endorphin count off the scale. The curious tranquillity and elevated awareness that you often experienced after being whipped was a result of this.
But it was a vulnerable time too Rachel had explained. A person that had just been whipped required a great deal of loving or would be left in a sort of endorphin vacuum with no focus for their feelings. This was why you were quick to cuddle somebody after you had punished them. One day Rachel had predicted, Jennifer would have slaves of her own. It was important to remember that you most showed them your love for them immediately after you had punished them. In this way the bond between Mistress or Master and slave was cemented and the relationship forged in love. It was one of the ways by which the Line formed such unbreakable ties among its people. There was a whole psychology in the acceptance of submission and the responsibility of domination. Alpha Sensual people had utilised this practise for hundreds if not thousands of years. Only in relatively modern days had the principles begun to filter down into mainstream society. Whole new life-styles had begun to emerge around some derivation of Alpha Sensual culture. There were people that led parodies of the sexual, slave relationships that were the common form of practise among Alpha sub-cultures. Occasionally these were dangerously abusive but nevertheless there seemed to be a growing sense of responsibility among them and a welcome sense that such life-styles were addressing some need among people inclined toward them even if the term “slave” had a purely sexual context and not the greater meanings of mutual personal responsibility endorsed by the Line.
“Do you mean sadomasochism Rachel?” Jennifer had asked.
“Yes.” she’d replied, “Although the term is an unfortunate one. It’s a compound word constructed from the supposedly most famous advocates of the practise; the Frenchman, the Marquis de Sade and the Austrian, Leopold Ritter von Sacher-Masoch. Both of them wrote quite shocking works about the practise but in neither case would you have considered them very inspiring role models for such a life style. Sade himself was a monster and Masoch was a manipulative bastard that bullied his own wife into fulfilling his own sexual fantasies. I think if either of them had been born to the Line their families would have quietly taken them down to the river and drowned them in c***dhood. It’s a real pity that an entire field of human activity with such profound implications has had to be tainted by the title granted to it by such a pair of scumbags like that!”
“But we are still talking about the usage of corporal punishment as a sexual stimulant aren’t we?”
“Yes of course. I think most slaves of the Line recognise the sexual bond between themselves and their owner. This is a bond reinf***ed by the slave’s willingness to be subjected to physical discipline. Don’t forget that the slave’s consent is very important here. If you merely chain somebody up and beat them against their will you are not forming the bonds of slavery recognised by the Line. You are merely abusing them. It would be possible to break somebody’s will in that way and enslave them but they would hate you forever. The Line would not consider such a person a true slave. The authorities of the Line have traditionally fought against such slavery. It is an abuse of the condition to our way of thinking. We form our bondage of slavery on the foundations of love. Our voluntary subjection to the lash is our demonstration of our love of our owners in many respects. It also demonstrates our complete trust in our owners in that we trust them not to abuse the privilege of our subjection.”
“Is this why I am being beaten every day?”
“Yes Jennifer. You are being beaten really to demonstrate quite clearly that you are a slave and are therefore obliged to accept your beatings. You are being imprisoned to demonstrate the same thing. Since these are things imposed upon you by your Mistress you should welcome them gladly. You received a fair few whip marks today Jenny. You should feel pleased about them. The only things you are wearing over your flesh at the moment are your fetters and your whip marks. These are the marks of your Mistress’s ownership. You should wear them with pride.”
“So a punishment is a reward as well in some ways?”
“That’s very true Jenny. I remember once that I really screwed up and protested the regime I was under. The Lady punished me by withdrawing all disciplinary regulations against me. I was simply allowed to do what I wanted. She simply ignored me whilst maintaining strict controls over the other girls. To begin with I felt very clever with myself as if I’d managed to get away with it but the longer it went on the more I felt excluded and alone. The other girls would be excited about a day out they had been granted and spend ages making themselves look attractive before presenting themselves to the Lady and being allowed to leave the Hall. I could just walk in and out as I felt, looking like a tramp if I wanted or for all she cared. I wasn’t required to serve the Lady or even be present for meals if I didn’t feel like it. After three weeks of that I was desperate. I was completely alienated in the Hall and it was made clear that I was at liberty to leave if I wanted to do so. I don’t think that was an option in fact. The Lady was playing a very careful game with me and was certain that I wouldn’t run away but she frightened me into thinking that she couldn’t care less if I did. After four weeks I crawled on my hands and knees before her and begged to be punished. She stripped me down and gave me one hell of a thrashing! But then she forgave me and I was absurdly happy to be back in her favour.”
“She did something like that with me Rachel. On Friday she gave me the option of leaving the Hall or being caned and being allowed to stay.”
“And of course you chose the latter option as she knew you would. The Lady knows what you are made of! She’s a wise woman Jenny. She hasn’t built an empire of devotion on the inability to figure out what’s going on in her little slaves’ minds! I’ll bet she made you ask politely for your caning too.”
“Yes. Yes she did.”
“I’ll tell you a secret that isn’t much of a secret Jenny. We all bitch about it and whinge when we’re up for a beating but there’s not a slave that ever graced the Hall that would want it otherwise. If the Lady told us that we would never be beaten again we would be devastated! I know I would. Some of the best memories I have are of those occasions when the Lady took it upon herself to personally administer my punishment. One game she likes to play with us is to make ourselves award ourselves our own punishment. She’ll make you go away for a couple of days after you’ve committed some sin and then come back and prescribe exactly what punishment with what instrument you wish to receive. When I’ve talked to the other girls about this we’ve decided that we invariably impose a harsher punishment on ourselves than she would have done. You can figure out the psychology of that one yourself!”
“Do we really enjoy being punished then?”
“Depends on the punishment of course. If you’re asking do we enjoy being whipped, well the deep truth is probably yes. It might hurt like hell at the time and we may feel pretty miserable about it but deep down I suspect we all crave it. You got a fairly sound whipping this afternoon and you’ve been purring like Chester there ever since. Would you care to answer your own question?”
“Well it did hurt. But I got well quite… you know… quite…”
“Horny? Randy? Turned on like a 200-watt light bulb? Ready to take on the Regiment? Really Jenny! You surprise me!”
“Isn’t that normal then?”
“Of course it’s normal! I’m like a bitch on heat with the benefit of a good hiding! Nothing strange about that Jenny. Lots of girls experience orgasm whilst being whipped. You’ll find that Alpha girls often play among themselves like that. The Lady keeps her eye on that though in case it gets out of hand. It’s not unknown for people to really injure each other if it gets too frenzied. She’s a great believer in regular whippings for her slaves just to let the head of steam off. Alphas are so downright sexually aroused all the time that they can quite easily go overboard on occasion. You’ll find that a lot of your training will be about keeping your own sexual impulses under control. They can be downright dangerous otherwise.” Jennifer found it all rather confusing but by no means an alien concept. That the administration of punishment within a loving relationship was not only acceptable but also desirable she could well understand. She had much the same sort of relationship with her beloved Julie. That brought her to another thought.
“Rachel I’ve written a letter to Julie but how do I send it?” It was the only means of communication possible. Jennifer was denied the use of a telephone or a computer line even if she’d known how to use one.
“Give it to me honey and I’ll pass it on to Rebecca in the morning to deliver. What have you written to her?”
“Nothing much. I’ve just told her that I’m all right and not to worry about me. That I love her and miss her.” It was all Jennifer could write. Julie was not very good with the written word and the rather c***dish and poorly written letter that Jennifer had received was little more than a clumsy declaration of undying love. There was little of finesse or even much sense to it yet Jennifer could discern Julie’s underlying anxiety in it. Jennifer had simply attempted to compose a letter of reassurance although she was by no means sure that Julie would be reassured were she to know the full extent of Jennifer’s current position at the Hall. As such Jennifer had mentioned nothing about her incarceration in the cellars and instead merely suggested that she was confined to the buildings for the week.
“I was talking to Rebecca about Julie this morning.” Rachel told her.
“Oh really?”
“Yes Jennifer. You really have some issues there to be sorted out don’t you?”
“Yes Jenny. Don’t be obtuse! You know what I’m talking about. There are issues about what exactly your relationship with Julie is going to be. How is that relationship compatible with your status as a slave of this House?”
“I love her! The Lady has given me permission to remain as Julie’s girlfriend!”
“Whoa Jenny! Don’t get all worked up! I’m not forbidding your relationship with her. I’m just saying that you have to give careful thought to how you are going to proceed with that relationship. Remember as an Alpha you may have very different ideas about what constitutes a relationship than a non Alpha Jenny. Julie isn’t even eighteen yet. You might be just a young girl’s crush. Nevertheless you are a powerful Alpha and you can easily bind Julie into a very intense relationship. There may come a time when you must ask yourself if that is in Julie’s best interests especially since you are pulling her into an extended relationship involving other people Jennifer. Sometimes a true act of love Jenny is knowing when to let somebody go. You might have to do that.”
“The Lady said something similar Rachel.”
“She’s wise Jennifer. You ought to listen to her.”
“I know she is wise but she can’t know everything Rachel. I’ve committed myself to Julie and I can’t just turn around and forget that commitment.”
“The commitment might not be as strong on Julie’s part as your own Jenny.”
“I don’t believe that!”
“Look all young people have these rushes of hormones when they believe themselves in love for ever more. They normally last a few weeks or months Jenny. Alphas though are different. They form very quick and very solid lasting bonds. It is not at all uncommon for very young Alphas in their maturation years to form relationships that can last lifetimes. The intensity of their devotions to their loved ones is dramatic and life altering. Another of the many reasons why young Alphas are better off in slavery is that they have mentors to control with whom they form relationships with.” Rachel frowned “Blast it! I’ve dropped a stitch now! Anyway it’s by no means a bad idea Jenny. I think society, as a whole would be far better off if all young people were subjected to greater restraints on their personal relationships. Most teenagers make pretty rotten choices in their selection of mates. Eastern cultures have far more sensible guidelines to this sort of thing. I wish that our own culture hadn’t lost the sort of parental responsibility and control that would enable its c***dren to come to wise decisions about who to spend the rest of their lives with. Maybe the divorce statistics and teenage pregnancies figures wouldn’t be quite so scary in that case.” Rachel sighed, “It’s not the k**s’ fault for the most part. I think many of them are calling out in the darkness for somebody to put some order and discipline into their lives but their parents and society have failed them. Remember what I was saying earlier? I was going Doolally after four weeks of the removal of restraints from me. Goddess knows what it does to a person to never have them, to grow up without ever feeling the comfort of somebody else making the decisions for you when you are least capable of doing it for yourself. You’d be cast out into a void without a clue about how to deal with it. No wonder our society is a mess. I wouldn’t be cruel enough to raise a dog the way society seems to accept the raising of its c***dren nowadays.”
“You’re changing the subject Rachel!”
“Yes I know but you’re a bit stubborn on this one Jenny. I’m just frightened that you’re seeing your relationship with Julie through the eyes of rapidly maturing Alpha Sensual and not standing back to consider whether or not this is a mutually benevolent relationship. Now you are forming a bond with Rebecca and there I have to cheer you on. She’s a spiritual s****r if you like and I’d see no dangers in such a relationship. If you forged a thing with Abigail or the twins or any other girl or Alpha male of this House then I could see no problem. But Julie is a different scenario Jenny. Julie comes from simple village stock. Within that context she can grow up into a well respected and loved person of the village community. You already told me that her parents envisage her, one day, taking over the business. You thought that wasn’t good enough for her. Ask yourself if you are not putting the same expectations on her as on yourself. Perhaps you wouldn’t be content to be a village shopkeeper but that doesn’t mean for a second that it is unsuitable for Julie. She could live a happy and fulfilled life doing just that. What about marriage and c***dren? Would she settle down with a good solid man whilst involved with a relationship with you? Is it fair on her to be the one non Alpha in an extended marriage?”
“You told me before that Alphas marry non Alphas all the time!”
“And so they do Jennifer. But it is always a difficult decision and especially one for somebody, such as yourself, of a high bl**dline and affiliated with a Great House such as this one. Don’t get me wrong Jenny. I’m not saying that your relationship with Julie is wrong. I’m advising great caution that’s all. Don’t be angry about this. I’m just duty bound to caution you. Do you understand?”
“Yes Rachel. Perhaps you are right but nevertheless I remain committed to Julie. I’m sorry but I can’t help it. I know that my being a slave of this House might make things awkward but one of the reasons that I agreed to my slavery was because it enabled me to remain in Mathomdale and thus close to Julie. I have sworn that I will not let Mathom Hall come between us Rachel. Would you have be untrue to my word? You can’t have been pounding the principles of integrity and honour into me for the past two days and expect that of me!”
“No Jenny I don’t suppose so. You can be a mule headed little madam sometimes!” Rachel folded away her knitting. “Well let’s leave it at that for the moment shall we? Let’s get to bed. You have an appointment with the doctor in the morning.”
“Whatever for? There’s nothing wrong with me is there?”
“Not that I’m aware of honey. It’s just a formality. Every new slave of this House has to undergo a thorough medical examination. Your Mistress just wants to see if she’s invested her money in good sound stock.”
“Where will this examination be?”
“Down here Jenny. We have a small but fully equipped clinic down past the bath chamber. The Doctor’s coming down here at about ten o’clock. OK?”
“Yes Rachel.”
“Good! Now put your books away and come to bed. Let’s see if we can make the endorphins roam shall we?”

Story URL: