Her Captor

by Walt A.K.A. Xan

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© Copyright 2009-2020 - Walt A.K.A. Xan - Used by permission

Storycodes: M/f; bond; armbinder; rope; naked; cons; X

Continues from

Chapter 21: The Vote

Grooms try to persuade

the High Ones to accept Duke

while May kneels cringing

As the crowd dispersed to find refreshments and chat amongst themselves, grooms went to each of the High Lords and Ladies that they had worked with to plead their case to allow Duke to advance. Many of the High Lords were in favor of it and they in turn went to other High Lords and Ladies that were uncommitted. Between these High Ones and their grooms, votes were gathered for Duke. On the other side of the same coin, those that had vetoed his petition were out trying to strong-arm more of the High Ones to throw their veto in with their group of eight. Terms like fascist, and elitist, were used more than once by some of the High Lords, in reference to those trying to deny Duke. Arguments on the subject became very heated in some instances.

Jackson McMal and a few of his conspirators went out with an even more in-depth persuasive tactic. Going directly to some of the more influential High Lords, they intimated that Duke would agree to become the groom coordinator, taking charge of, organizing and managing all of the grooms. He would standardize their training and how they trained others, to further enhance the services that the grooms did to assist the High Ones. Jackson and several full or journeyman grooms told these movers and shakers just how much the grooms had always wanted something like this and reminded the High Ones that no one had wanted this job since the Estates were established. They played up the fact that not only did Duke immediately volunteer for this position, but that working with the grooms was his passion. Jackson would leave grooms to do the persuasion and move to another group of High Ones and start all over. After all he only had a half of an hour.

At the 28th minute of the recess Jackson returned to the podium, whispered something to Duke and then asked everyone to return to their seats. He called the meeting back to order and then called for the vetoes to stand.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we now have a block of nine veto votes. That means that for the ascension of Duke Grandville, from journeyman groom to full groom and then from full groom to becoming a knighted Lord of A-H Estates to be ratified, we must find at least 30 votes in favor. Would the vetoes be seated please? Now, would all those in favor of Duke Grandville becoming a knight of the Estates please stand?”

With only three abstentions, almost all of the remaining High Ones in attendance rose out of their seats, which was close to a hundred. Even if all the abstentions were counted with the vetoes, the three-to-one plus three rule would have carried it in Duke’s favor. 

Banging his gavel when a disturbance broke out, Jackson called the meeting back to order.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we have one more matter to decide. When I approached Duke, I played on his passion for being a groom. For the longest time he wanted to stay a groom feeling like it was the way for him to be the most productive for A-H Estates. I, with the help of some of the grooms, convinced Duke to accept the stipulation that if he became a High Lord, which he is now, that he should become the coordinator for all groom activity. Since the Estates came to be, the grooms have been effective but scattered and a bit disjointed at best, because no one High Lord would step up and act as a coordinator. Now we have someone with the passion for the job, the knowledge of the inner workings of what grooms are asked to do and the ability to make a decided difference in how things get done around here. I put it to a vote, should we make Duke Grandville the groom coordinator for A-H Estates? All opposed?”

The same nine hands went up.

“All in favor?”

As expected, the same group that voted for him to be a High Lord voted for Duke to be the new groom coordinator. When Jackson called that the vote was official, there arose a boisterous applause from all the grooms in attendance. Hearing their enthusiasm, many High Lords, including Duke and Jackson joined in the hooting and hollering. Eventually everyone calmed down and again Jackson banged his gavel.

“Is there any further business to be brought up at this meeting?”

Without any hesitation, High Lady Sylvester got up and stomped her way up to the podium. Without even bothering with the mic, she looked at Duke and exclaimed, “I demand the right to bid on that slave. She was Roy’s and I want her as a memento of the love that he and I had for one another. I will bid on her and none of you will ever be able to outbid me.”

Standing up to face her, Duke said, “You may have been able to outbid the groom, but the constitution that you claim to have contributed to clearly states that no one can force a fellow High Lord or Lady to sell his or her property without his or her consent. Or did you just ignore that part of the constitution to suit your own ego. You can bid all you want, but it will do you no good. You cannot buy May, my slave, because she is not for sale. Not to you or to anyone. If you want something of Roy’s, I brought you his second most favorite possession, his aluminum cane. Here, take it and your seat.”

Sylvester grabbed the aluminum cane and immediately swung on Duke with a vicious downward strike to his head. He threw up his arm and blocked it. The cane bent and Duke laughed at her. She struck at him, with the same vehemence, twice more and each time the cane bent a little bit more. Duke was belly laughing at this point, especially when she threw the cane down and went digging in her wide sash around her middle. Duke was laughing so hard he barely saw the small pocket pistol that she had concealed, and now she was aiming her little automatic at May.

“If I can’t have her, then neither will you, you mongrel cur!”

Duke’s reflexes kicked in and as he reached out and caught her hand, he pulled the barrel of the pistol in towards his own gut, just as the first of five gunshots ripped into him in rapid succession, and at point-blank range. Duke spasmed like he was getting hit in the gut by a significantly larger pugilist with each shot fired at him. Finally, when he sagged heavily to the ground trying desperately to catch his breath, Wilhelmina Sylvester pointed the little pistol directly at May. 

A fusillade of bullets tore into the diminutive old woman from at least seven different weapons, all fired by full grooms. Sylvester crumpled like a bloody ragdoll and died before she hit the floor. 

May screamed and began to furiously fight against her single-sleeve trying to get her arms free to throw them around Duke. Before she could crawl on her knees over to him, Paul holstered his sidearm, picked her up and sat in a chair with May on his lap.

“May. May? Stop. He’s going to be all right. He was wearing a vest. We made sure he was before we left with you two. You have to calm down and let the doctors examine him. We’re going to put him on a stretcher right now and hand carry him over to the infirmary in the next building. He’ll get the best medical attention there that money can buy. You see all those High Lords gathered around him now? All of them are world-renowned surgeons and along with the grooms that are registered nurses, they’ll make sure he’ll be okay. You see my fellow grooms are already scrambling to clear us a trail, and Lee is already standing by with a stretcher. Dennis and Miguel are thoroughly checking the others in Sylvester’s gaggle of crones to make sure none of them have any other concealed weapons or other nasty surprises. Sam, Bruce and George have high guard. Duke will be fine. He’s a little banged up but trust me, I know he’s been shot before and he pulled through both of those times. He will be okay this time around too. I’ll stay with you and make sure you get to see him when the Doctors are done with him.”

May curled up into a ball on Paul’s lap and just sobbed, shaking like a scared little girl. Jackson used his handkerchief to help her blow her nose and then handed it to Paul for future nose blows.

As they carried Duke off on the stretcher Jackson came back to May and said, “They want him to get a CT scan to check for internal bleeding or unseen damage, but because he was wearing a Kevlar vest, they seem pretty confident he’s just bruised up.”

“But High Lord McMal, those horrible gasping sounds he made as each shot was fired right into him! He sounded like he was dying.”

Paul interrupted and said, “He was just getting the wind knocked out of him each time a bullet hit the vest. Our vests stop small caliber bullets, like hers, but the force is still transmitted through the vest into the body. It’s like getting punched really hard by someone that knows what they’re doing.”

“Then he’ll really be alright,” she sobbed?

“You can’t kill someone like Duke that easily. You’re going to have to go easy on him for the next week or two.”

“Easy on him?”

“Yes, that means no bouncing him around on that playroom bed or anything that will affect his healing ribs.”

“Paul,” asked Jackson, “I know he was wearing a vest when he got shot, but how did he keep from getting his arm broken when she hit him over and over again with that piece of aluminum bar-stock? He was laughing at her for god’s sake!”

Paul let May down so that she was kneeling on the ground, went and picked up the bent cane and came back to Jackson and May. He held up his hand like Duke had done to block the downward blows and tapped his arm with the cane. This time both Jackson and May heard the muffled clink of cloth-covered metal on metal. Paul tapped his arm several times so that they knew it was real and that they did hear metal on metal with the material of his sleeve in between. He laid the bent cane down on one of the chairs and produced a throwing dagger of flat metal from his sleeve.

“I’ve trained most of our full grooms to carry knives in special scabbards on the outside of their sleeves, like this, for just that reason. When someone tries to club you, a flat knife in the sleeve disperses the impact along your entire forearm. Duke is one of my regular sparring partners and as such takes the precautions I teach him seriously.”

“Paul,” said Jackson, “I’d like you to work with me on some of those precautions sometime.”

“I’ll send you an e-invite as to when and where we’re training. You can drop in any time. If you want private lessons, just arrange something with our new coordinator when he gets up to speed. The use of my time is up to him now” and Paul started laughing at the expression on Jackson’s face.

“Will do, Paul. Now, if you can find a piece of rope, we’ll take May out of this sleeve, tie her hands in front so she can hug Duke when we say she can, and we’ll escort her over to the infirmary.”

“I can do better than that,” and Paul got on his iPhone and soon one of the beginner grooms brought a wrapped package to them. It was marked: Congratulations Duke: For May.

* * * 

Hours later at the infirmary, wearing matching red patent locking wrist and ankle cuffs, May waited for news about her Duke. Between the wrist cuffs was a foot of nickel steel chain and 18-inches between the ankle cuffs. This chain was held on by a set of matching locks. Once they had heard about Duke getting promoted to groom coordinator, all of his friends scrambled to find congratulatory gifts. This set of cuffs, that matched the evening’s theme of red patent leather, was Paul’s gift to his friend. Some of the other gifts were on backorder because the in-house leather maker just couldn’t fill all the orders on such short notice. May was informed that she would have to make room for a lot of things in her closet.

May was on her knees but not in homage position, even though there were a few High Lords, and one High Lady present. Under the circumstances she had been granted privilege. 

“Hell,” said Lucretia Vinzini, “I’d have bid on her myself! Look at her, even now, through all of this she just glows. I’m with Jackson. I want two just like her.”

“But Lucretia, I already have my order in for two more,” said Jackson. “Three good house-slaves are a good start for a man of leisure, such as myself.”

“Guys,” said James Sung speaking to the four escort grooms still in attendance, “looks like you’re going to have to go back to classes long enough to learn Duke’s protocol of training. May seems to be a popular commodity.”

“High Lord Sung,” said Lee, “the four of us, four journeymen, four apprentices and four beginners are already scheduled for the first classes to help finish May’s training, as soon as Duke is up and ready.”

“Don’t you mean High Lord Grandville?”

“My apologies High Lord Sung; I misspoke myself. We now have two sets of orders and with all that has happened tonight, --- (sigh) --- well Sir, old habits and all.”

“Two sets of orders?”

“In public, we are to use his title, but amongst ourselves we have been asked, and unofficially ordered to continue calling him Duke. He wants a close camaraderie among the new groom-corps and feels this familiarity will work for us. He doesn’t want any of us to forget where he came from.”

“Well, if that’s his style. I just don’t want to ever hear of any groom disrespecting him.”

“High Lord Sung, we respect him more because of that.”

The doctor walked in just then and May lowered herself into homage position.

“Well, I have bad news and good news. The bad news is that Duke’s liver was badly damaged during this unfortunate incident. The good news is that he’ll survive on the piece of liver that we saved when we operated, and we have a donor available if we need one. Luckily the liver regenerates and with rest, Duke should be back to normal in a relatively short amount of time.”

May let out a sob of relief and began to cry softly. After they all filed in one at a time to just touch base with him, the last ones to go in were Jackson, Paul and May. 

“Hi May, how’re you holding up”

“I’ll survive, now that I’ve seen you. What can I do for you?”

“You can go back with Paul and let him work with you until I’m feeling better. You’ll be in good hands with him. He’ll make sure nothing will happen to you. Jackson will look in on you, I’m sure, and you can come see me tomorrow, with Paul of course. Until then, give me a kiss and a hug, a very gentle one, and I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“Paul, obviously, you now have full privileges. We square?”

“As a cube, High …”


“As a cube, Duke.”


“I’ll take care of everything. Your only job now is to heal. You have a lot of work to do, later, for our project, but that can wait until you are on your feet again. The rest of us will show ourselves out. Get some sleep.”

As this group left, a doctor and two grooms, in nurse’s scrubs, came in to check on everything. Two more grooms, heavily armed and in full BDUs took up station right outside the ICU room that their new boss was in.

As this story ends

Duke and his slave are happy

being together.


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