“Thank you for seeing me.”
“My pleasure.” Smiling, Bradley Scott glanced at his visitor, taking in her wan look and loose, baggy clothing. Entirely appropriate, he thought, considering the young woman’s recent history.
“Jenny says you can help me,” she said, glancing at the young woman sitting beside her.
“That remains to be seen,” Brad replied. “First, I need to know exactly what it is you want my help with.”
Helen Adler shivered slightly. “You know,” she asked softly, “what happened to me?”
Brad nodded. “You were raped,” he replied shortly, his words making Helen flinch. “Violently. You also had the word ‘slut’ carved into your stomach.”
Miserably, Helen nodded. For a moment, Brad simply looked at her, noticing how she tried to make herself smaller under his gaze, as if hoping to escape notice. Finally, he shook his head.
“Helen,” he said softly, “I’m very sorry about what happened to you. It was wrong, in so many ways, and I’m glad to know the person responsible was caught. But I’m not sure how I can help. Don’t they have therapists to help you get over this?”
Helen shook her head. “They can’t help me,” she said softly, her voice sounding lost. “They ask questions, build profiles, but they don’t know anything. They can’t tell me what I need to know.”
“And what do you need to know?”
Helen seemed to make a visible effort to strengthen herself, slowly raising her eyes to meet his. “I need to know,” she replied, “why I can’t stop thinking about it. And why it makes me feel the way it does.”
“How does it make you feel?”
Helen ducked her head slightly. “Ashamed,” she said softly, “violated. I feel like a piece of meat that was used and thrown away.”
Brad eyed her, sensing something else in her words. “But….” he urged gently.
“But,” Helen said, her voice uncertain, “at the same time, it makes me……”
Helen’s head dropped. “It makes me horny,” she whispered.
Brad frowned. “What that man did to you makes you horny?”
Helen shook her head. “No,” she declared, her voice firming slightly at the thought. “I hate what he did to me. He had no right to treat me like that. It makes me sick just to think about it.”
Brad nodded. “Then what part makes you feel otherwise?”
Helen blushed. “Being helpless,” she whispered, turning her head away. Brad watched as her eyes roamed the room, seeming to recoil from the sight of his bed, finally focusing on his computer screen.
“You were bound?” Helen nodded silently in reply. “How?”
Helen closed her eyes. “My hands,” she replied slowly, “were tied behind me. I was bent over a table, and my ankles were tied to the table legs. I couldn’t get loose, and I couldn’t draw my legs together.” As she spoke, Brad heard a slight huskiness enter her voice.
“So,” he said slowly, “it wasn’t the actual rape that makes you feel that way.”
Helen’s eyes opened. “I wish you wouldn’t use that word,” she said.
Brad leaned forward slightly, causing Helen to flinch. “Helen,” he said softly, “you were raped. Denying that doesn’t change the fact. You need to accept what happened to you before you can deal with it and move on.”
Helen nodded. “I know that,” she replied, her voice scarcely above a whisper. “And I’m trying. But it’s hard.”
“I know,” Brad replied, leaning back in his chair. He could see Helen relax visibly at even this slight increase in distance between them. “I think,” he said slowly, “that I can help you answer your questions. But you’ll have to trust me. Do you think you can do that?”
“I’ll try. Jenny said you’d understand. She said you’d know what to do.” Slowly, her eyes rose to meet his. “What’s wrong with me?”
“Do you know what bondage is?”
Helen seemed surprised at the question. “Kinky sex,” she said slowly.
“Actually,” Brad replied, “it can be a lot more than that. For now, though, we’ll go with your definition. What happened to you was wrong, but I think it had an unexpected side effect.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Had you ever been tied up before?” Slowly, Helen shook her head. “Ever thought about it? Ever seen a movie where a girl is tied up, and wondered what it felt like? Or maybe even imagine yourself in her place?”
“What does this have to do with anything?”
“I think,” Brad told her, “that what happened to you woke a latent interest in bondage.”
Helen’s eyes widened. “Are you saying,” she asked, “that I want to be tied up?”
Brad nodded. “I think it’s a possibility. Which would explain why Jenny sent you to me. She knows bondage is something I enjoy.”
Helen tensed. “But you’re Jenny’s uncle,” she protested, her voice taut. “How could you be like him?”
“I’m not,” he told her softly. “Jenny knows that, and she knows you’re perfectly safe here. Besides, with her right here, there’s not much that can happen to you, is there?”
Nervously, Helen glanced at Jenny, who smiled at her reassuringly.
“It’s ok,” Jenny said. “I’m right here. And I know Brad would never hurt you.” Slowly, Helen nodded.
“Now,” Brad said, “I would like to show you something. Please, hold your hands out, palms together.”
Hesitantly, Helen did so. Reaching out slowly, Brad slipped his index finger between her wrists, gently curling his thumb around one wrist, his fingers around the other.
“Now,” he said softly, “technically, you have just become helpless.” Eyes widening, Helen began twisting within his grasp, surprised to find herself unable to pull free. With a soft whimper, she increased her struggles.
“Stop.” At this, Helen froze, staring at him with fear filled eyes.
“Do you want to know the difference between bondage and rape?”
“Please,” Helen whispered, “don’t hurt me.”
Brad smiled. “Nobody’s going to hurt you. Would you like to know the difference?”
Slowly, Helen nodded.
“Very good,” Brad said, smiling. “Now, ask me to let you go.”
“Please, let me go.” Immediately, Brad released his grip on her wrists. Clenching her hands together in her lap, Helen stared at him.
“I don’t understand.”
“Rape,” Brad replied softly, “is done against your will. Bondage, proper bondage, can only happen with your consent.”
“I still don’t understand.”
“It wasn’t the rape you enjoyed,” Brad told her. “It was the bondage. It was the feeling of helplessness that makes you feel the way you do.”
“Helen stared at him in disbelief. “Are you saying,” she asked, “that I want to be raped?”
“Absolutely not,” Brad replied, his voice soft but firm. “Rape steals control from you, forces helplessness on you against your will. In bondage, you give control to someone you trust. Rape is an attack on you, one that is just as much mental and emotional as it is physical. In bondage, you share willingly what rape steals from you. Hold out your hands again.”
Slowly, Helen raised her hands, watching as Brad once more enclosed her wrists in his grasp.
“Jenny is here,” he said, “to make sure you’re safe. You know she wouldn’t let anything bad happen to you, right?” Slowly, Helen nodded. “Very good. Now, I want you to close your eyes. Remember that you are safe, and that you can be free whenever you ask. Feel your helplessness.”
Her body stiff with apprehension, Helen closed her eyes. Softly, she tugged against Brad’s grip on her wrists. Slowly, her body began to relax.
“Does it feel that bad?”
Slowly, Helen’s eyes opened. “It feels good,” she said, surprise in her voice.
“Do you like the feeling?” At her nod, Brad smiled softly. “In that case,” he said gently, “I think we have your answer.”
“But what does it mean? What do I do now?”
“I think,” Brad replied, “that what you need to do is find someone you can trust completely, and ask that person to help you explore bondage.”
“So there’s nothing wrong with me?”
“Nothing at all. In fact, with the right partner, you could find yourself entering one of the best times of your whole life.” Smiling, Brad began to loosen his grip on her wrists.
“Please don’t.” Helen locked her eyes on his. In her gaze, Brad could see lingering fear and doubt, as well as something else. “Let me feel this for just a minute longer, please.”
“As long as it’s what you want,” Brad replied. Nodding, Helen closed her eyes, tugging softly at his grip on her wrists. After a moment, her breathing started to deepen. Suddenly, as if reaching an important decision, she opened her eyes.
Brad looked at her. “Are you sure that’s what you want?”
Helen nodded. “Jenny trusts you, and I trust her. And I want to know more about this feeling.”
Brad frowned slightly. “What you’re asking,” he said, “can lead to some very intimate contact between us. Bondage isn’t just about sex, but there is a very definite sexual element involved. And Jenny won’t always be here with you. In fact, she probably won’t be here at all.”
“I understand.” Helen drew a deep, shuddering breath. “I’m scared,” she admitted. “Hell, I’m terrified. But I need to understand. I need to know why this feels so good.”
Brad nodded, gently releasing her wrists. For a moment, Helen glanced at her hands, seeming almost disappointed to be free again. Slowly, her eyes rose.
“You say,” she said softly, “that bondage is with my consent. That means the choice is mine, right?” Brad nodded. “Then I choose. Make me helpless.”
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story continues in Helen's Journey 2: Therapy Begins