Chapter 6: Bethany the Novice
Bethany leant back in her seat and gazed out at the rolling Suffolk countrywide. The gently undulating fields, the farmhouses, the picturesque villages with their ‘Suffolk Pink’ cottages, and the occasional windmill, all flashed by in the late afternoon sunshine. But despite the views on offer, the pleasant scenery failed to make much impression on the twenty two year old, as her distracted mind wandered elsewhere.
Having taken the mainline train from London Liverpool Street up to Ipswich, Bethany had then boarded a branch line train that had transported her deep into the timeless realm of rural East Anglia. In search of… what exactly? Herself? Her deepest desires perhaps? Although she’d set out on this quest full of enthusiasm and with a clear goal in sight, now that her date with destiny was getting ever closer, her mind was in turmoil, with doubts creeping in as to whether she could actually go through with this venture.
The train slowed and came to a juddering halt beside a tiny platform. The sign showed that they had reached Tuddenham St Peter, a small village of around three hundred souls, according to the internet research that Bethany had undertaken prior to embarking on her trip. This was the end of the line as far as she was concerned. Her final destination was, she knew, situated around a mile or so outside of this quaint backwater settlement, but her online enquiries had also ascertained that there was no bus service between the station and her journey’s end, and with no taxi rank in evidence, she resigned herself to the fact that she would have to walk the rest of the way.
But which road did she need to take? She cursed herself for having failed to take note of the precise directions required to reach her targeted terminus, as she’d assumed that it would be signposted. But upon leaving the deserted platform, with its tiny waiting room equally devoid of humanity, she found no clues as to which direction she needed to take in order to reach her destination: Shackleton Grange.
A car engine briefly broke the peaceful silence of the warm day, which led Bethany to the conclusion that the village centre might not be too far away in the direction of this tranquillity disturbing commotion. Walking down the short lane with its one storey ‘picture postcard’ thatched cottages on either side, she soon found herself in what must pass for the main or high street, although the almost deserted thoroughfare was hardly a hive of bustling activity. To her left, she could see an expanse of grass with weathered wooden benches and the occasional litter bin, suggesting that this was the Village Green. A sign atop a tall wooden post, pronounced the name of the village in paint-peeling letters beneath an ancient coat of arms. The road out of the village meandered away towards a panorama of open fields and dense woodlands that showed no further signs of habitation in this direction. So Bethany turned to the right, where the street curved in a slight arc, straddled on both sides by small wooden-beamed buildings with their upstairs leaded windows encroaching in overhanging incongruity towards the narrow road. Aside from an elderly woman sweeping her front step, there was no sign that this was anything but a ghost town. But on the other side of the road, at a distance of no more than fifty yards, Bethany spied a sign announcing that the adjacent building housed the village general store and post office.
A bell jangled noisily as Bethany opened the door to the shop, with its narrow aisles of over-stacked shelves containing everything for the village dweller. At the rear of the shop, behind a counter, stood an elderly woman busily counting coins that she’d extracted from an ancient looking cash register. She looked up as the slim blonde woman approached, her mouth smiling but her eyes betraying the fact that strangers were treated with suspicion in this part of the world. By way of greeting, she offered a terse
“Good afternoon. How can I help you?”
“Oh hello, I’m after some directions. Could you tell me how I get to Shackleton Grange please?”
At the mention of the only mansion house in the parish, the woman’s mouth became tense and the smile faded away, as her mistrust of outsiders seemed to harden. Through thick glasses, her pale, watery eyes looked Bethany up and down, with the unasked question “What business would you have in a place like that?” etched on her face. For a second or two, she gazed over her visitor’s shoulder, as if deciding whether to dignify the request with an answer or not. But then, slowly, she began to impart her evident knowledge of the district.
“Shackleton Grange you say? Well now, you’ll need to turn right when you leave the shop, then right again at the church. You then follow the road for about half a mile until you reach a crossroads. Turn left and keep going. After another half a mile or so, you’ll come to a wooded area enclosed behind a high wall, one side of which runs parallel with the road. Follow that and you’ll reach the main entrance to Shackleton Grange. You can’t miss it.”
An uneasy silence ensued for a few seconds, during which the woman seemingly opened her mouth to speak again on two separate occasions, then decided that she’d said enough already. As Bethany thanked her for her time and turned to leave the shop, however, the woman once again found her voice. This time her tone was less harsh.
“Be careful my dear. Rumour has it that there are strange goings-on out there. If I were you I’d steer well clear of that place altogether.”
The words sent a shiver down Bethany’s spine, but she resisted the urge to turn and again make visual contact with the speaker. The bell once more broke the uneasy silence as she exited the stuffy confines of the store and emerged back into the sunlight.
Bethany encountered no one as she made her way out of the village, before passing the ancient church with its dirt encrusted stained glass windows, its overgrown churchyard, gnarled yew trees and crumbling tombstones. By now, the sun had dipped behind a bank of cloud that seemed to be approaching from the west, and the breeze, which had seemed warm and pleasant just minutes before, now took on a chill as its intensity increased with the impending rainstorm. The footpath soon petered out, and Bethany upped her pace as she walked along the bank that divided the tarmac from a shallow drainage ditch, which in turn gave way to open fields; some planted with swaying crops, others from which wary sheep looked up from their grazing to stare at the passing city girl.
Approaching the crossroads, Bethany tried to remember the old woman’s directions. Had she said to go left or right at the junction? She needn’t have worried, however, as a four-way signpost, faded and leaning slightly to one side, pointed one rusted metal finger to the left; the faded letters which spelt out the words ‘Shackleton Grange’ only just visible through accumulated decades of grime.
Bethany took the indicated single track side road. On the horizon now she could see a thickly wooded area beyond the fields, and as she got closer, she noticed the high wall which obscured the view of all but the tops of the trees. Reaching the juncture where one length of wall ran parallel to the road, whilst the other veered at right angles across a trackless overgrown field, she realised that this red brick structure rose way above her head, probably to a height of around eight feet, and that it was therefore impossible to view the lay of the land beyond. A faded wooden sign affixed to the ancient brickwork read ‘Private Property. Keep Out’. For some reason, the impression of a prison’s perimeter wall crossed her mind; a restricted area that no one could break into... and, more significantly, from which anyone trapped within could not escape.
As the stiffening breeze rose to a cacophony in the increasingly agitated upper branches of the trees, Bethany shuddered as this unwanted intrusive thought entered her head. She was here of her own freewill, she reminded herself, and could leave at any time she wanted. So why was the thought of entering these secluded grounds threatening to overwhelm her with the urge to flee? She glanced back in the direction she’d just come. She was a mile or so from the village, and the prospects of rain grew stronger by the minute. If she turned back now, she would be soaked to the skin by the time she reached shelter. Dismissing her fears, Bethany hurried along the ever narrowing road beside the shielding wall, and within no more than two or three minutes she spied a break in the brickwork, through which the landscape within could be viewed. The imposing double gates that blocked this gap in the otherwise monotonous boundary wall, were ornate and ancient looking; boasting an intricate latticework of vertical and diagonal metal struts that curved into a flamboyant crescent at the summit. On each side of the gate, a coat of arms had been incorporated into the overall design of the railings, whilst at the top, in elaborate lettering, the name ‘Shackleton Grange’ arched across from pillar to pillar.
Tentatively – as if she was almost expecting to receive an electric shock when she touched them – Bethany tried to enter by pushing at the solid wrought iron structure. Although there was no visible padlock or chain in evidence, the cold metal refused to budge. On closer inspection, however, she noticed a small silver-coloured metal box, only a few inches square, set at a height of five feet from the ground and attached to one of the solid stone posts to which the gates were hinged. This small panel, unlike the archaic wall and gates, was of a more recent vintage and looked to have been kept polished and clean. There was a small grille in the centre of the shiny metal plate, with a pushbutton beneath. The words ‘Please Press for Assistance’ were inscribed alongside.
With her hand visibly shaking, Bethany gently pushed the button. For a second or two there was only silence, and she was just pondering whether to try again, when a crackling sound - similar to the burst of static issued by a radio in a thunderstorm - suddenly emanated from the grille, followed by a woman’s voice.
“Hello, how can I help you?”
Bethany jumped with a start as the metallic sounding voice shattered the peace of the country lane, and for several seconds she hesitated, not knowing exactly what to say...or indeed if she should say anything at all. The voice, slightly impatient this time, broke the silence again.
“Hello? Who’s there? Please state your business.”
Finally finding her voice, Bethany bent in close to the grille and self-consciously began to stammer,
“Oh, hello... my name’s Bethany, and I’m... here for the...”
Although she knew that there was nobody around, she quickly glanced up and down the empty lane, before lowering her voice to little more than a whisper and, with her face feeling hot and flushed, in embarrassed tones uttered the words
“...Bondage for Beginners class.”
Ever since she could remember, Bethany had always harboured an interest in being tied up. What it was exactly that made the thought of having her arms and legs restrained to the point where escape became impossible, she had no idea. But it was an undeniable fact that the very idea of being bound and kept that way had become the Holy Grail for the shy young woman. The trouble was, she had yet to find anyone on her wavelength to complement her vision and share this lifestyle. Being a bit of an introvert, expressing her desires to another soul had proved a hurdle that she had failed to overcome. So her secret had remained hidden... up until now.
From her teens up until the present day, Bethany’s only experience of being bound and gagged had been during solo ventures in the privacy of her bedroom – originally in the family home, but now that she had flown the nest, in the sanctuary of her own flat. And the more she experimented with this unorthodox sideline, the more she knew that this was a hobby that she really, desperately wanted to pursue to its ultimate limits.
Since gaining her independence, Bethany had begun accumulating a wide variety of bondage equipment that she used on herself at every opportunity. Ropes, handcuffs, chains, tape, gags of varying descriptions and efficiencies, blindfolds, hoods; all had been purchased and experimented with at various times. And as time went by, her experiments in binding herself almost to the point of no return had turned her fantasies into an addictive obsession.
The problem was, though, that it simply wasn’t enough. As her knowledge of what could and couldn’t be achieved on her own grew, so did her frustration with the limitations of this kind of solitary pastime. What she needed now was to find like-minded people to help her live out her dreams to the full. The snag was that she had no idea of how to find people whose fascination with the subject gelled with her own. After all, it wasn’t the easiest of subjects to broach, was it, even with close friends? Much less so with strangers.
For a year or two now, this dilemma had been a recurring theme to which there seemed no satisfactory solution. She’d taken out subscriptions with various fetish magazines, some of which had ‘contacts’ sections in them. The big stumbling block, however, was how could she be sure which of these anonymous suitors were genuine? Who could she trust? Much as she would have loved to take the plunge, Bethany’s naturally shy, reticent manner had always made her baulk at the thought of actually trying to make a connection with any of these potential soul-mates, however tempting their pitch might seem. There were some weirdoes out there, she knew that, so how could she know whether she was getting into something that she might later regret? Or maybe not be able to get out of again? The prospect of being kidnapped, sold into slavery - or even worse - was a constant fear that prevented her from realising her cherished ambitions. And as time passed, her frustration grew and grew. Would she ever be able to get beyond this impasse? She was beginning to think that her bondage dreams would forever remain unfulfilled.
Until, one day, less than a week ago, she’d come across an intriguing advertisement in one of the magazines. Unlike the sleazy personal ads that made up the bulk of this section, this one leapt out of the page at her.
Are you female and looking for a new bondage experience?
Want to learn new techniques and positions?
Then why not try the Bound And Totally Helpless (BATH) society?
Situated in Suffolk (the world’s bondage capital) BATH. runs weekly courses in bondage for both the Sub and the Dom.
Whatever your level of experience, whether novice or long-standing bondage devotee, BATH. is the place for you. Come along to Shackleton Grange where you’ll learn new skills, make new friends and discover the wonders of all things bondage.
There was an email address and a phone number below for the potential applicant to get in touch, in order to acquire more information, such as times of courses, costs etc.
What it was exactly about this particular notice that stood out from all the others, Bethany wasn’t sure. Maybe it was the stylish, professional way in which it was presented. Or perhaps it had something to do with the photo image of the handcuffed, bound and gagged young blonde woman used as the ad’s header. Bethany could definitely relate to that, and found herself fantasising that this was her. But whatever the reason, she found herself spellbound and instantly hooked, and she vowed there and then that she would most definitely have to check this out.
The mistake she made was to put off contacting the organisation until the following day, as by then the doubts had started to creep in. Was she doing the right thing? Would she be out of place amongst these people? Was it all a rip off? Suffolk was quite a way to travel, after all. What if it was a trap? What if they tied her up and then wouldn’t let her go? Funnily enough, this latter misgiving turned out to be the one that actually swayed her to ring the number; as it dawned on her that – subconsciously at any rate– she was actually quite aroused by the notion of being kidnapped and held in tight restraints.
And so, taking a deep breath, and with hands all atremble, she had dialled the number; figuring that phoning was a better way to keep her identity secret should she have a change of heart. After all, the only thing she would need to do, - if she didn’t like the sound of the person on the other end of the line - would be to put down the phone; whereas responding electronically would give away her email address, which could elicit a stream of unwanted correspondence.
The phone was answered after three or four rings, although to Bethany the time between pressing the final digit and the sound of a female voice answering, seemed like an eternity.
“Hello, Shackleton Grange.”
Although she had rehearsed exactly what she planned to say, for some reason this prepared speech seemed to go out of the window as soon as it was her turn to talk, and for a second or two, she found herself tongue tied. The voice on the other end of the line sounded again.
“Hello, you’ve reached Shackleton Grange, how can I help you?”
“Oh, hello, my name’s er... Bethany and er... I was wondering... I mean I’d like to... well what I’m trying to say is...”
Realising that she was talking incoherent gibberish, she took another deep breath and cleared her throat.
“...I’d like to book a place in one of your classes please.”
The words came out in a rush, as if getting rid of them from her mouth removed some unpleasant taste that they’d been harbouring. The woman, however, seemed to understand.
“You sound very apprehensive, my dear... which is quite understandable. A lot of people have a problem with talking openly about their desires and secret passions. My name’s Dolores and I run the classes personally, and I can assure you that there’s nothing to worry about. If you decide to join one of our groups, you’ll find that you’re amongst friends. Now which programme would you like to book on? I’m guessing we’re talking about the beginners’ course, are we?”
Bethany indicated that this was indeed the case.
“Good. Beginners’ class is held each Monday from seven o’clock. Now, what’s your preferred role?”
Bethany wasn’t sure she understood what she was being asked.
“What are you? Sub, Dom or Switch?”
Although Bethany was only really interested in being tied up herself, and despite still being slightly jumpy about this whole business, she had her wits sufficiently about her to reply that she was a Switch. This wasn’t strictly true, of course, but she figured that for self-bondage purposes, the knowledge of how to tie would be a bonus.
“Okay Bethany, let me look in the diary and see when we next have a vacancy... ah, yes, you’re in luck. We’ve had a cancellation for next week if that’s not too soon?”
Despite the short notice, Bethany felt a tingling sensation surge through her, and she realised that she was shaking somewhat. And not in a bad way either. Just the thought of meeting like-minded individuals and - more importantly - getting tied up by them, was causing her to become seriously aroused. As if in a dream, she heard herself say that she would be there this coming Monday.
“That’s excellent news. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Now, is there anything else you’d like to know?”
Bethany had a thousand and one questions spinning around in her head at this point, but managed to restrict herself to practical matters for the time being. Such as where, exactly, was Shackleton Grange? How much did the classes cost? Was she expected to pay now, or when she arrived? And, most importantly, how did she get there?
This Dolores woman answered all her questions and seemed to know the times of the trains off by heart. She was just saying how much she was looking forward to welcoming the new recruit into the fold on Monday, when Bethany suddenly had a thought. How was she supposed to get home again? After all, Dolores had informed her that the class didn’t finish until ten o’clock.
“Oh, and one last thing, are there any B&Bs in the village that I could stay at? I think I’ll be too late to catch the last train.”
“Oh, don’t worry about that Bethany, we have plenty of rooms here. You can stay the night and then get the train back in the morning.”
The remotely operated gates slowly juddered and clanked open, as the voice over the intercom - which Bethany recognised as that of the woman on the phone the other day - bade her come in and make her way up to the mansion’s main entrance. Once inside, Bethany gazed into the distance along a rutted and pot-holed avenue, flanked on both sides by tall, overhanging deciduous trees which gave the view ahead a tunnel-like appearance. And at the far end of this foliage enclosed channel, a large manor house could just be seen, its towers and turrets giving the impression of a medieval fortress or castle.
Bethany had gone no more than ten yards along this driveway, when a deep, resonating clanging sound from behind her, signalled that the gates had shut once more. An irrational fear that she was now trapped briefly gripped her and caused her heart to skip a beat. Glancing over her shoulder, she noticed the last shaft of sunlight - before its source was eaten by the encroaching storm clouds - momentarily catch the metal of the now closed and –presumably – secured gates. With the disappearance of this last ray of friendly light, so too all hope of being allowed to leave of her own accord seemed to flee into the gathering gloom. Bethany shuddered, but continued onwards towards her destination. She was being foolish and irrational, she told herself; nothing untoward was going to happen to her here. And besides, the prize of being initiated into the world of strict bondage was too tempting an incentive to allow such unfounded nonsense to divert her from her intended goal.
As the first low rumble of thunder sounded in the distance, Bethany emerged from the cover of the trees onto a circular forecourt. Here, the until now rough driveway surface gave way to a smoother gravel finish, and forked away both left and right in semi-circular arcs that met again at the front door of the great house, which looked forbidding and desolate in the ever deepening twilight brought about by the imminent deluge. The centrepiece of the courtyard was a long disused fountain, its dried and cracked base soon to once again be filled by the inevitable cascade from the skies. For no particular reason, Bethany took the left hand path towards the marble pillared entrance now looming in front of her. Several stone statues, lichen encrusted and smoothed by centuries of wind and rain, stood in silent sentinel beside the path.
As Bethany hurried on her way, anxious to beat the coming downpour, she at first failed to take much notice of these antiquated sculptures. But as she passed the third in the line, something swaying in the breeze close to the statue’s outstretched hand, made her stop and take a closer look. The figure was that of a woman in a long flowing dress, her facial features long worn to nothing. But what had caught Bethany’s attention was the accessory that had been added to her arm. For there - one bracelet attached to the wrist whilst the other cavorted and clinked softly in the breeze – hung a pair of handcuffs; evidently, as the rust on them made clear, placed there some time ago. This sudden revelation caused Bethany to stop and pay closer attention to the other stone effigies, situated at regular intervals around the fountain.
Until now, it hadn’t occurred to her that all were modelled on the female form. But it was clear that each had been adorned with at least one restraint or bond. One had what looked like a scarf adorning the lower part of her face, where the mouth would have been if erosion hadn’t taken its toll. This same figure, like her near neighbour, also had one hand outstretched, but unlike the handcuffs which her sculpted sister wore, this one’s wrist had been encircled with a short length of rope, the frayed ends of which now danced in the ever worsening weather. Another statue also had a scarf wrapped around her head, but this had been placed higher than her gagged sister-in-stone, and acted as a blindfold. Whilst a fourth figure – the one nearest to the entrance of the house - had what looked like a leather bondage hood – eyeless and with a rusted zip for a mouth – strapped around her head.
Far from freaking Bethany out, however, the sight of these strangely adorned figures made her pulse hasten. Surely this proved that the people who ran this BATH organisation had a sense of humour. And this realisation helped to ease her fears as she approached the door.
The first large drops of rain splattered with some force on the grey gravel driveway, as Bethany ran the last few yards of her journey, until she reached the cover of the entrance porch. Pulling on the sturdy old braided cord that hung beside the door produced a ringing of bells; seemingly far off in the interior of the house and barely audible over the noise of the raindrops and the low thud of the thunder.
After what must have been half a minute, and just as Bethany was beginning to contemplate ringing again, the heavy wooden door slowly began to swing open to reveal a large, high ceilinged entrance hall with a spiral staircase visible in the background. But the building’s interior was not what caught Bethany’s attention and made her gasp. For there, standing in the now open doorway, stood a woman in a metallic silver skin-tight cat-suit. High heeled, knee-length leather boots adorned her legs, but it was the head and face area that caused this involuntary yet audible intake of breath, as, from the neck upwards, the only features visible on this tall, slim female, were a pair of dark brown eyes that peered through two tiny slits on a tightly fitting hood of polished leather, identical in colour to the rest of her attire. A mane of jet black hair issued from an aperture at the apex of her head. The figure offered no spoken words of welcome, (indeed, with her mouth covered was this even possible?) but instead took one step to her left and gestured with her hand for Bethany to enter. Once she’d stepped over the threshold and taken two further steps into the cavernous hallway, the door slowly closed and slammed behind her.
In the awkward silence that followed, Bethany turned to the woman.
“Hi... my names Bethany... I’m here for tonight’s class.”
The woman’s eyes showed no sign of emotion as she simply took one step backwards, placed her hands behind her back and stood motionless by the door, as if having done her duty. Bethany was at a loss as to what her next move should be, although she was conscious that her gaze had remained almost constantly fixed on this woman in the figure hugging outfit since she’d first laid eyes on her. She imagined herself being attired in such a costume, and for some reason this notion caused a warm feeling to course through her.
“Welcome to Shackleton Grange.”
The voice that echoed around the spacious foyer came from behind and above Bethany’s position. Swiftly executing a one hundred and eighty degree turn, the new recruit swung around to face the source of this unexpected greeting.
“Hello. You must be Bethany.”
The woman, whose voice Bethany immediately recognised as belonging to the woman on the phone and the intercom, slowly made her way down the ornate staircase, the clicking of her heels on the polished marble gradually getting louder as she approached. Reaching the bottom step, she sauntered over to where the awestruck new arrival stood. She was dressed from head to toe in figure hugging black leather, with a broad leather belt encircling her waist and boots polished so thoroughly that they reflected back the image of their surroundings. Unlike the woman who had let her in, this woman wore no hood, which allowed her long brown wavy hair to flow around her shoulders.
“I’m Mistress Dolores. Welcome to my home. So glad you could make it. I hope you had a pleasant journey.”
She glanced at a grandfather clock that stood against the wall, ticking softly in the background.
“You’ve a bit early, my dear. None of the other pupils will arrive for an hour or so yet. But that means there’s plenty of time for me to show you to your room, and for you to get settled in.”
Dolores smiled pleasantly which, Bethany guessed, was supposed to put her at ease. But there was something about the woman’s demeanour that made her blood run cold. What it was exactly, she wasn’t certain. But any misgivings were soon dismissed when she brought to mind exactly why she’d come here today.
Dolores turned and walked back towards the stairs, with her visitor following closely behind. Bethany’s jaw dropped as she gawped in awe at the artwork adorning the walls, of female slaves in every imaginable state of inescapable bondage. Some were watercolours, whilst others seemed to be oil paintings. All had been mounted in ornate, gold painted wooden frames. The thought of modelling for one of these pictures held a strange fascination for her, and she marvelled at the way these seemingly content women must have remained for considerable lengths of time in one position, to allow the artist to capture them in all their bound up glory.
As they ascended, the Mistress turned every few steps, as if checking on the progress of her guest. She obviously associated Bethany’s silence with a sense of trepidation.
“You seem a bit nervous, my dear. Well you needn’t be. You’ll soon make friends with the other girls in the class.”
Bethany admitted that she was rather apprehensive about coming here today.
“In fact, I didn’t even tell anyone that I was coming here, just in case they tried to persuade me not to.”
As soon as this sentence had passed her lips, she knew that she’d made a potentially dangerous error. So now she’d given away the fact that nobody knew where she was. What if something happened to her now? As before, she tried to take her mind off such unwanted thoughts by concentrating on what she hoped would be a night to remember for all the right reasons.
They had reached the landing by now, and Dolores began leading the way along a dimly lit passageway. After a few seconds of silence, she spoke once more.
“Have you brought your own outfit to change into for this evening?”
Bethany wasn’t entirely sure that she understood the question. But, from her hesitation in answering, Dolores must have sensed this, and almost immediately explained.
“You’ll need a form-fitting outfit of some description for the class.”
As Bethany meekly confessed that she hadn’t realised that she needed any specific garb, Dolores came to a halt by one of the many closed doors that featured at regular intervals along the corridor. She gestured towards Bethany’s clothes.
“Those won’t do at all. They’re much too baggy and cumbersome. The standard requirements in my classes are clothes without folds and creases. Skin-tight garments are the dress code here.”
She opened the door to the room and led the way inside.
“Not to worry if you haven’t brought anything suitable. I’ll send one of my servants along with something you can wear.”
She turned her attention to the room in which they now stood.
“Well, this will be your room for the night. I hope you find it comfortable. I’ll have some tea sent up if you like.”
Bethany indicated that tea would indeed be very welcome, at which point Dolores turned and walked towards the door.
“Right, make your way downstairs once you’ve changed and had your tea. Class starts in an hour’s time.”
And with that she was gone.
The room that Bethany had been allocated was most definitely of a higher standard than anything she could have expected in a guest house. The bed was soft and comfortable, with the decor tasteful and the facilities all to a high standard. There was an en-suite bathroom with pristine fixtures and fittings too. The only things that perturbed Bethany were the bars on the window, which once again brought to mind the notion of a jail. As she gazed out across the overgrown lawn, now being pummelled by sheeting rain, with the occasional streak of lightning and clap of thunder thrown in for good measure, there came a loud knock on the bedroom door, which temporarily distracted her from her reverie.
When Bethany pulled open the creaking timber, she encountered two women standing side by side in front of her; one of whom was the servant in the silver cat-suit who had greeted her – if silence can be classed as a greeting – at the front door. Her companion was similarly attired in snug latex, except that her outfit was in black, and the plume of hair that sprouted from her hood identified her as a redhead. Without waiting to be invited in, the masked and mute duo advanced into the room. The redhead carried a silver tray, on which there sat a teapot, cup and saucer, milk jug and sugar bowl, all of bone china. This she set down on the small coffee table in the centre of the room, whilst her colleague handed something to Bethany that she at first didn’t recognise. Swiftly and without fuss, their tasks completed, the pair exited the room and once again shut the door.
Bethany inspected the strange garment in her hands. Having been a fitness and keep-fit enthusiast for a number of years, she soon sussed out, from the feel of the smooth, soft, stretch material, that this item of clothing was manufactured from spandex. Holding the garment up revealed sleeves and legs, from which she immediately drew the the conclusion that this was an all-covering cat-suit.
Bethany poured herself a cup of steaming tea from the pot and began her undressing routine by kicking off her shoes, before taking off her jeans and blouse. Was she supposed to keep her bra and panties on? She knew that the clinging nature of spandex would clearly highlight any garments she wore beneath, so decided that she would probably be better off without them. After all, the three women she’d encountered so far had all worn extremely tight costumes, and none had revealed any visible signs of underwear. So her decision was quickly made: naked apart from the borrowed cat-suit.
The soft swish of the wonderfully pliant material being eased up her legs and torso caused a strange thrill to briefly envelope Bethany’s entire being. This was weird, and something that she’d never experienced before. But once she’d squeezed herself into the clinging outfit - pulled the sleeves down to her wrists and the collar up to her neck, then smoothed out the few remaining wrinkles - she began to experiment by exercising her limbs, and she understood immediately the reason for this strange feeling. The fact that with every movement, no matter how small or insignificant, the velvety material caressed and brushed her skin in a tight but gentle embrace, made her realise that the wearing of clinging clothing was a form of bondage in its own right. Now, she thought with a shiver of anticipation, all she needed was to be tied with ropes, for the jigsaw of delight to be complete.
After drinking her tea, Bethany strutted around the room, deliberately shimmying and sashaying, to enhance the feel-good factor that this newly acquired fascination with spandex induced. Admiring herself in the mirror that adorned the length of the wardrobe door, she placed her hands behind her back and imagined that she was already bound, and this action ratcheted up the sense of anticipation that she was already experiencing a further notch or two. All her earlier doubts and fears now seemed to melt away and dissolve to nothing, and she found herself feeling thankful for the day that she’d happened to chance upon BATH; an organisation which would, she was now sure, help give her the courage and confidence to nurture her bondage dreams and allow her to connect with her innermost desires.
When her watch told her that it was five to seven, Bethany slipped her shoes on and exited the bedroom. There was no one else to be seen or heard as she made her way down the eerily silent corridor, until she arrived at the top of the great stairway. Now, as she stood for a few seconds, nervously yet excitedly contemplating the next few hours, she heard voices coming from the floor below, and guessed that her future classmates had by now turned up.
Making her way downstairs, Bethany could see, away to her left, a set of double doors standing open, beyond which there seemed to be a large, oak-panelled room. And it was from this direction that the sounds of female chatter seemed to emanate.
Taking a deep breath, Bethany made her way to the entrance. For a second or two she stopped just shy of the threshold. Her heart was beating fast and her hands were shaking. “So this is it” she told herself, “the moment I’ve been waiting for all my life.”
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story continues in The Secrets of Shackleton Grange 7