“This is all your fault, I hope you know that.”
Candice sighed softly. She really didn’t need another lecture from Dana, but it was obvious she was going to get one. She only hoped this one would be shorter than the others.
The two women sat facing each other in a small room, numerous lengths of rope binding each to her respective chair. They had been here for what felt like hours. Now, Dana watched with obvious disapproval as Candice squirmed in her bonds.
“Why do you always argue with her?” From her tone, it was plain that Dana couldn’t comprehend Candice’s actions. “And why about such stupid things? All she wanted was for you to look her in the eye. Was that so hard to do?”
“Direct eye contact is not properly respectful,” Candice replied. “A good slave should always direct her eyes toward her Mistress’ feet, since her place is at those feet.”
Dana snorted softly. “A good slave,” she said sarcastically, “should do as she’s told, without question.”
“I wasn’t questioning her,” Candice insisted. “I was letting her know how I felt. I can’t change my feelings at the snap of a finger, not even for her. It will take time, and I hoped she would understand that.”
Sadly, she shook her head. “Maybe that means I’m not a good slave,” she said softly. “But I can’t just blindly obey. I want to obey, but I need to understand. I need to know why she gives the commands she does. And I need to know my thoughts, my feelings, are important to her.”
“You’re right,” Dana retorted. “You’re not a good slave. If you were, you’d know that your feelings don’t figure into anything. You do what Mistress commands, period.”
“Do you even think what she tells you to?” Before Dana could answer, Candice’s squirming became suddenly more pronounced. “Aha!”
“What are you doing?” Dana watched in shock as one of Candice’s hands came free. Stunned, she watched as Candice began removing her other bonds. “Now you’re really in trouble,” she declared.
“Maybe not.” Grinning, Candice stripped the last rope from her body, then rose and stretched slowly. “After all, didn’t Mistress practically challenge us to get loose?”
About to reply, Dana paused, considering. It was true that, after binding them, Mistress Karen had turned on her way out the door. “Let’s see if you can get out of that,” had been her parting words. Dana shook her head, frowning.
“That wasn’t a challenge,” she insisted. “Mistress tied us, so getting out on our own isn’t an option, even if it’s possible. When Mistress binds you, you stay bound. Period.”
“In that case,” Candice said gaily, “you stay here. I’m going to see if there’s anything Mistress needs.” Turning away, she skipped out the door and up the stairs.
Walking slowly through the large house, though, she began to wonder if she’d made a mistake. Maybe Mistress Karen’s words had been mocking, rather than a challenge. Belatedly, Candice realized she didn’t know Mistress well enough to understand what lay behind her words.
After all, it had only been two days since Mistress had brought her, and Dana, into her home. That was the day after Dana had hogtied Candice at the club, in an attempt to keep her away from Mistress. In those two days, she realized, she had, indeed, questioned Mistress several times.
Not, she insisted to herself, that she questioned Mistress’ authority over her. That was a given. Still, she couldn’t help asking questions. Maybe Dana was right. Maybe she wasn’t cut out for this, after all.
Lost in thought, Candice wandered into the spacious living room, only to freeze at the sight of Mistress seated in a comfortable chair. Quickly, she moved to turn and slip out, but Mistress turned, eyes boring into her.
“So,” she said, her tone unreadable, “you got loose.” She pointed, and Candice rushed forward, dropping to her knees at Mistress’ feet.
“Yes, Mistress,” she said softly. “I’m sorry if I did wrong, but it sounded like you were challenging me to get loose.” Briefly, her eyes rose, then fell again. “You did say to see if we could get out of that,” she said, the words sounding lame in her own ears.
“Yes,” she heard, “I did say that. Where is Dana?”
“Still tied to her chair, Mistress At least, she was when I left.”
For a moment, there was silence, then she heard Mistress say softly, “Candy, why do you question me so much?”
“I don’t mean to, Mistress,” she replied sadly. “I try to obey. But I need to understand. I need to know. And I need for you to know how I feel.”
“And you think your feelings should matter to me?” Again, Mistress’ tone was unreadable.
“Please, Mistress,” Candice begged, “don’t make me answer that?” Any honest answer, she knew, would anger Mistress. It might even cause her to send Candice away from her, a fate she feared more than anything.
“I asked you a question,” she heard. “I expect an answer.” It was a command, and, regardless of how she felt, Candice could not refuse to obey.
“Yes, Mistress,” she said slowly, “I think my feelings should matter to you.” Slowly, her eyes raised, locking with the stern gaze from above her. “I think my thoughts, my happiness, should be as important to you as your happiness is to me.” Once started, the words seemed to tumble from her lips. It was as if, knowing she was already damned, she was determined to have her say.
“I think,” she continued, “that you should want me to understand why you do things. The more I know, the more I understand, the better I can anticipate your needs, and the better I can serve you.”
“And what,” she heard, “if I were to say that your place is not to anticipate me, that your place is to obey?”
“In that case,” she replied sadly, “I’m afraid I’m not suited to serving you. I feel, I believe, that my place is to please you, to make you happy. If I know you, if I can anticipate your needs, then I can serve you better. I can do things to please you without having to wait for a command first.”
“And if you anticipate wrong?”
“Then I should be corrected. Punished, too, if need be. But I will learn, and I won’t make that mistake twice.”
For a long moment, Mistress remained silent. “Well,” she finally said, “at least you’ve learned to look me in the eye.” Startled, Candice realized that she had, indeed, been looking Mistress straight in the eyes for this whole time. She moved to drop her gaze, freezing when she saw the disapproving frown forming on Mistress’ lips.
“I’m sorry, Mistress,” she said sadly. “I’m trying, I really am.”
“I know you are.” Mistress sighed. “Dana loves me, I know. She tries so hard to please me. She blindly obeys any command I give her, no matter what her obedience might cost her.” Mistress sighed again. “Sometimes,” she continued softly, “I honestly believe that, if I commanded her to jump off a cliff, she would, without once wondering why.”
“What does Dana say about your questions?”
“She says they make you angry,” Candice replied. “She says I should learn from her. She says that’s why you have both of us here, so she can teach me proper obedience.” Candice sighed. “She also says it’s so I can take her place when you feel I’m ready. She doesn’t like that, and she doesn’t like me much because of it. But she won’t go against your wishes, not even in this.”
“My wishes. My commands.” Candice heard a soft sigh, then, “Go. Release Dana and bring her back here with you.” Rising smoothly to her feet, Candice rushed to obey.
“I can see,” Mistress said softly, eyeing the two women kneeling quietly at her feet, “that I have some explaining to do.” At the surprised looks in both sets of eyes, she smiled softly. “I believe there is some misunderstanding about my reasons for having the two of you here.
“Dana,” she went on, “is it true that you think Candy is here to learn obedience from you?”
“Yes, Mistress,” Dana replied.
“Well, you’re wrong. Candy is here so you can learn from her.” Sliding from her chair, Mistress squatted in front of the two kneeling women, placing a finger beneath each chin and raising both sets of eyes to hers.
“Both of you,” she said, “are very dear to me. You both, each in your own way, do your best to serve me. But you, Dana, you need to understand that I don’t want blind obedience from you. I want to know how you feel, what you think. I need to know that you are happy.”
“I am happy, Mistress,” Dana insisted. “Serving you is all I want to do. Obeying your commands makes me happy.”
Mistress sighed softly. “I’m afraid I’m not doing very well at this,” she said. “Candy?”
“Yes, Mistress.” Thoughtfully, she turned toward Dana. “Dana,” she began hesitantly, “Mistress knows you want to serve and obey her. That’s not the question here. I think what Mistress is saying is that, if she knows your thoughts, your feelings, then you can be happier serving her, which would make your service even better.”
“Mistress’ feelings,” Dana insisted, “are the only ones that matter.”
“No,” Candice replied, “they’re not. Not if they lead her to command you to do something that frightens you, or hurts you in any way. If she knows your thoughts and feelings, she can respect them, shape her commands around them. It doesn’t mean she won’t be in control. It just means she won’t command you to do something you can’t, or really don’t want to. Or, if she does, you’ll know why she feels the command is necessary.”
Suddenly, Candice grinned. “If Mistress knew your feelings,” she said, “she wouldn’t have made you eat peas last night.” She saw Mistress’ eyes widen at her words.
“Dana? You don’t like peas?”
“It’s not that I don’t like them, Mistress,” Dana replied haltingly. “It’s just that……”
“She’s allergic,” Candice said, drawing a surprised look from both Mistress and Dana. “She was up half the night last night.” Glancing over, she smiled softly. “I’m allergic to strawberries,” she explained, “so I know the basic symptoms.”
“Dana, why didn’t you say something?”
“You commanded, Mistress,” Dana said simply. “I obeyed.”
“Not any more,” Mistress said sharply, her words causing Dana’s eyes to widen with sudden fear.
“Don’t send me away, Mistress,” she begged.
“I’m not,” Mistress said, her voice softening. “But things are going to change. You want commands to obey?”
“Yes, Mistress,” Dana replied, a puzzled look in her eyes.
“Ok. Here’s one for you to obey. From now on, you will tell me if anything I command bothers you in any way. And you will ask if there’s something you don’t understand, or something you’re not sure of.”
“You can ask questions,” Candice added, drawing a quick glance from Mistress, “without questioning her authority.”
“Exactly,” Mistress nodded her agreement, focusing her eyes once more on Dana. “Do you understand?”
Dana nodded. “Yes, Mistress. And I’ll try, I promise. I just always thought you wanted me to obey you, no matter what.”
“I still expect you to obey me,” Mistress informed her. “I also expect to know that you’re happy doing so. And I can’t know for sure unless I know how you feel.”
“In that case,” Dana said slowly, “may I have another blanket for my bed? Candy took mine.”
“I did not! You threw it at me, so I considered it a gift and kept it!”
Mistress laughed. “Enough, you two. Candy, give Dana her blanket back.”
“Yes, Mistress,” Candice replied contritely, then grinned. “Mistress, did you know Dana’s ticklish behind her knees?”
“She is?” With a grin of her own, Mistress reached toward Dana’s knees. “Now hold still,” she commanded, watching as Dana edged back involuntarily.
For long moments, the only sounds were peals of gasping laughter, finally broken by a panting, “Please, stop! I can’t take this!”
With a laugh of her own, Mistress gathered her two slaves into her arms. “Now,” she asked, panting slightly from the exertion of the past moments, “are my two girls happy?”
“Yes, Mistress,” Candice replied promptly.
“Not yet, Mistress. May I?” Puzzled, Mistress nodded slowly, watching as Dana’s head turned toward the woman beside her.
“You were right,” she said slowly, “and I was wrong. I’m sorry if I’ve treated you badly. I was just afraid you were going to take my place. Can you forgive me?”
Candice twisted in Mistress’ loose embrace, slipping her own arms around Dana’s waist and pulling her into a tight hug. “There’s nothing to forgive,” she said softly.
“And,” Dana added hopefully, “will you help me learn to……”
“To ask questions without questioning?” Dana nodded. “To let Mistress know what’s in your heart and mind?” Another nod. “Of course I will. Isn’t that what sister slaves are for?”
“Slaves,” Mistress said sternly, “are for pleasing their Mistress.” Smiling, she placed a kiss on top of each head. “And you,” she continued in a softer voice, “have both pleased me greatly today. Tonight, you both sleep in my bed.”
“On opposite sides of you, Mistress?” There was an overly innocent tone to Dana’s question. “Candy snores.”
Dana glared at Candice, her glare quickly becoming a grin. “Got you! she exclaimed triumphantly, leaning to place a fast kiss on Candice’s surprised lips.
Mistress laughed. “I can see now,” she said, “that things are going to be much different around here.” She gazed fondly at the two women held loosely in her arms. “I look forward to seeing just how things change. Now, attend to your daily duties, both of you.”
“Yes, Mistress.” Slipping from the room, the two woman paused in the hall outside.
“Thank you,” Dana whispered, impulsively wrapping Candice in a tight hug, then turning and rushing away.
“You’re welcome,” Candice whispered toward her retreating back. Turning, she hurried to do her own chores. Only one more week, she thought sadly, and then it would all end. But now she had a happier, and friendlier, Dana to serve with her. And a Mistress who was well pleased with them both. As she began her daily duties, Candice smiled to herself.
Could it get any better than this?
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story continues in Candice Part 3