Chapter Nine: Foreplay
As Monica picked up the mobile phone an expectant pause hung over our little group. Emma, Leila and I watched Monica’s expression for confirmation that our fortunes had not descended to another low in the form of a disaster at home. Kuan and Serina – the latter lying bound hand and foot in a corner – both looked on uncomprehendingly, not knowing the history of Wayne Bennelli or Bilboes or who Mary and Trish were.
It did not take much to assess Monica’s reaction after the first few seconds.
“Hello? Mary? Are you all right? And Trish? Uh-huh. Why, what happened? And Shawnee and Lisa?… Yes, she would. Still off in Lisa-world? And what about our friend? Look, don’t do anything dumb – don’t even think about the back lawn!
“I didn’t have time to tell you before – I was too shocked. We’ve got Leila back.” A big smile now on Monica’s face. “Yes she is. No – we think she’s in Macau. Macau, I said. Go look it up in the atlas! Yes. Look, you’ve done brilliantly. Yes, I’d better go too. I will. Take care - and be careful. Ring me if there are any problems, okay? Bye.”
Monica put away the phone and looked as cheerful as I’d seen her in the last week.
“Mary and Trish send their love – Emma, Leila and Steven. Wayne Bennelli is in the holding cell with a likely broken ankle. Everyone is okay and peace reigns again at Bilboes.”
* * *
By five o’clock that evening the wind and rain had eased, though it was still raining sufficiently to guarantee we would be soaked at the end of our trek back to the car park. We had spent an hour discussing options for Macau and getting as much information as we could from Serina. It seemed she had reached a conclusion that at least for the moment she was better off cooperating with us, for I still the Tupperware box of cockroaches. We had done what we could to get details of the Macau residence, which Serina had been to several times in the past. We also discovered that there was a birthday party for Mrs Wong in six days time. Jillian, it seemed, was somehow a major factor in this.
“It will be a bondage party,” said Serina. “Maybe a dozen of her bondage circle will be there.”
“Were you invited?” I asked.
“Yes – my friend Portia asked me to go, but I said I would be busy here.”
“I think that’s about to change,” Monica snapped. “Serina, get on the phone, ring your friend and resurrect that invitation. Say you’ll be bringing a slave, and you’ll have a friend with you who will also have a slave with her. Emma, you listen for any funny business. If there is any, those cockroaches will have Serina for dinner from the inside out.”
* * *
We retrieved Tiger, keeping his hands cuffed behind him, and set out with our little troop. Monica and Emma were dressed in the catsuits again, swearing that they were ideal for the rain. Leila wore Serina’s raincoat and I still had Tiger’s jacket. Our prisoners wore the clothes they had available in the house. Both were gagged and had the hoods of their jackets pulled up and taped closely over their mouths. It was getting dark and we didn’t anticipate a problem meeting people in the wet Sunday evening dusk.
The journey back to the car was done pretty much in silence. Each of us was lost in our thoughts. It took four hours to reach the car park, by which time we were all cold, wet and exhausted. The BMW was still there and we climbed thankfully inside. Our numbers had increased with the rescue of Leila and the addition of Kuan and Tiger. In this instance Serina and Tiger kept each other company in the boot while the rest of us travelled in somewhat more comfort back to Serina’s house.
* * *
The following morning, after an incident-free night in Serina’s house, Monica, Emma and I took the beamer to Sai Kung to meet Baz Melbourne. He was an interesting character, living on what in Hong Kong parlance was known as a junk, although in truth the local interpretation of that word was nothing like the traditional squat vessel with the venetian blind sails. Baz’s boat was a teak launch perhaps forty feet long with space enough for a major party on board under the large roofed area at the stern. It was called the “Doris H. Bonkers”.
“It is a bizarre name,” Baz agreed. “I bought it from this American chap who had named it after his mother. I never actually discovered if that was her real name or just his opinion of her. Whatever the reason, the name appealed to me and I kept it. In any case, it’s bad luck to change the name of a ship, or so some authorities would have it.”
I took an immediate liking to Baz. The wrong side of sixty, he was ex-Mass Transit Railway – an engineer of the old school in the days when the Colonial Service ran Hong Kong – and was in the midst of writing his memoirs. He had retired before the Handover to China and had obviously done pretty well for himself, if his boat was anything to go by. He was shortish with the first hint of a paunch obviously brought on by a few too many Tsing Tao beers. His hair was turning silver, flowing into the close-cropped beard, and I had a suspicion he had a liking for thumbing his nose at authority. I also had a suspicion he had a liking for Monica after a few minutes of her explanation of why we were there. She told it how it was, not concealing the difficulties we faced in getting to Macau with the whole strategy underpinned by the potentially dodgy information from Serina. And the fact that we would have to take her along as an insurance policy added nothing to our comfort level. It was akin to taking a live alligator and hoping the half dozen rubber bands around her snout would do the job of preventing her having a go at us.
In telling Baz everything, Monica gave a wonderful performance of vulnerability and helplessness, and of course the guy fell for it. Unless you’ve seen Monica in action as the ruthless businesswoman, you’d think her a prime example of defenceless womanhood. After you’ve had your knees chopped out from under you the first time, or have found yourself hanging upside down over a metaphorical pool of the aforementioned alligators, you rapidly come to the conclusion that appearances can be deceptive. Baz still had to have this experience and was smitten by Monica’s Oscar-winning role.
We discussed the timing and decided to travel to Macau the following day. That would give us a further four days until the night of the party, when we hoped to effect some sort of entry into Madam Wong’s little celebration.
* * *
The next morning we read the riot act to Tiger and Serina. Tiger was left chained up as he had been since our return to the house, this time to the water pipes in the bathroom. The chain was locked about his neck with enough length for him to use the facilities in the room but to go no further. The window was so small he would not be able to get near it, much less climb out, and we were intending to lock the door as well. We left a pile of cold food for him. He would be sick of Instant Noodles by the time a few days had gone past. His wrists were handcuffed in front and we locked his ankles together with a further chain, just for good measure. Then we hauled Serina in. She was clothed this time, wearing a black skirt and a dark blue tee shirt. Her hands were bound palm to palm behind her.
“I want you both to understand the situation,” said Monica. “We are going to rescue Jillian – be very sure of that. If all goes well, we will let Serina go and she can return here to release you, Tiger. I know you’ve had your differences in the last few days, quite understandably since she caught you taking advantage of Leila, you slimeball. But remember, Serina, if you fail to let him go, it will be the police doing the job, and I imagine Tiger will be looking to take a few people down with himself, rather than carry the can for everyone. If the cops have to come here, they’ll come for you as well, with Tiger no doubt leading the way.
“We are going to carry out this action next weekend. If it goes well, Serina will be brought back to Hong Kong and released. If anything happens, and we don’t get back, a call will be made to the cops and serious shit will hit the fan in a big way. That’s the fallback plan. Consider it the equivalent of the letter in the bank vault addressed to the lawyer. Are we clear? Serina?”
Serina nodded, looking just a tad sullen.
Tiger glared at Monica. “Yeah.” I think he was about to add something else, but changed his mind, possibly at the thought of half rations or something worse.
“Right team, let’s go.”
Serina was blindfolded with strips of duct tape and gagged with a black rubber ball strapped in her mouth before being taken out to the car, where I helped her into the boot and bound her ankles together before shutting her in.
We had discussed our plan in some detail, and to carry it off we had raided Serina’s wardrobe. Emma’s Uncle Stan had sent over all our things, which included Leila’s and Jillian’s passports, for with surprising foresight, Emma had elected to look after those rather than leave them unattended in the hotel rooms. It was to Stan that Emma had elaborated our plan, and realising that he could not deter us with dire warnings of Triad vengeance, he had done everything he could to help us. It was he who would be our backstop, waiting for our call that everything had gone off properly. Failure by us to check in would result in a call to the cops which would lead to Tiger being unchained by the men in khaki.
With our own gear plus Serina in the boot, Monica and I made a trip to Baz’s boat. It was early in the morning and we were able to smuggle Serina on board under a blanket. Monica remained on the launch chatting up Baz while I returned to fetch Kuan, Leila and Emma. We were about to leave the house when Leila asked us to wait a minute while she went inside. She was back a minute later.
“Okay – let’s go,” she said, settling into the front seat beside me.
“What was the problem?” I asked.
“Tell you later,” she whispered conspiratorially.
* * *
We sailed that afternoon, once I had returned from driving the Beamer back to the house and parked it in the garage. That done, I had walked some distance towards Sai Kung before catching a cab. I did not want the Beamer hanging around the marina or somewhere it could be noticed, nor did I really want Tiger and Serina in any more trouble than they probably would be in anyway through losing a car costing nearly half a million Hong Kong dollars. I briefly checked on Tiger before leaving for the last time. He was sitting on a couple of blankets that had not been there before, listening to a transistor radio that had likewise magically appeared, along with some books. So that was what Leila had been up to. I smiled to myself at the teasing I would give her. It would be our little secret. She was such a softy.
* * *
The route we followed to Macau had to be one of the more spectacular boat trips in the world. It took us the best part of a day, but we weren’t in any particular hurry.
Serina was placed on the floor in the forward cabin, bound in a rather stringent hogtie by Monica and Emma. We decided she should remain in the cabin at all times, preferably blindfolded. The intention was that she should not be able to recognise the boat or Baz, just as an insurance policy. I figured Monica wanted to make a further point, however, for Serina remained gagged even though there was no possibility of shouting for help.
The rest of us moved about the boat, gawping at the sights, the nature of which changed from month to month in Hong Kong, such was the phenomenal growth of the place. Initially we sailed south from Sai Kung marina, then turned northwest through the channel that was Victoria Harbour, separating Hong Kong Island from the Kowloon Peninsula. The sun was out and it was humid and warm, although the tail end of the typhoon still stirred up the sea into a chop that we would notice once we cleared Hong Kong proper.
The inner harbour was a madhouse of ferries, small craft, container barges, and the odd luxury liner. Big hydrofoils zoomed past us, also en route to Macau, but doing it in a tenth of the time we would take. Beyond this maelstrom of water traffic Victoria Peak loomed above the glass towers of the CBD. Baz decided to give us the royal tour, taking us north through the Tsing Yi Channel and under the amazing Tsing Ma suspension bridge, which carried the airport railway and motorway to the new airport on Lantau Island. We sailed along the north coast of Lantau, Baz pointing out the new towns that were springing up along the railway route – tall white apartment buildings that were erected a dozen at a time, standing like rune stones against the green backdrop of the Lantau hills.
By lunchtime we were beyond the western tip of Lantau, heading across the fifty kilometre wide open stretch of sea that was in fact the Pearl River outlet. Serina now sat on one of the bench seats under cover near the stern, secured to two eyebolts with a rope across her lap like a seat belt. The ever-obliging Baz had installed the two anchor points at Monica’s request. Serina’s hands were bound in front of her and tied to the securing rope. Her eyes remained covered by brown masking tape, on which Monica had drawn a pair of quite lifelike eyes in felt pen – partly to get past distant observers and partly as a joke, I suspect. I hoped Serina travelled well at sea, because she had few choices about throwing up, other than into her own lap.
The coast that finally came into view was China proper. Not the Europeanised version that was Hong Kong, with its British-style police, fancy metro system, sophisticated mobile phones and ubiquitous canto-pop music. Here was the real China – the crouching tiger, or was it the sleeping dragon? Monica and I sat on the flying bridge on top of the Doris H. Bonkers.
“That’s China,” I told her, possibly unnecessarily. She slipped her arm through mine and seemed to shiver, or maybe it was just a momentary coolness in the breeze.
“It’s sort of like I’ve always imagined it – vast and sleeping and scary,” she said, tucking an errant lock of black hair behind her ear. “Steven – don’t tell the others, but this whole thing scares the crap out of me. I mean, what if we get caught?”
“By whom? The Triads or the Chinese police?”
“Shit! Do we have a problem with the police as well?”
“Maybe. You used to need a passport to come here, before it all got swallowed up by China. Now, I’m not sure.”
“And we are doing… what?”
“Sneaking round the back door without troubling the authorities.”
“Oh Jesus, Steven!” Monica was exasperated.
“Would you rather we roll up to immigration and bring Kuan and a tied up chick in with us as luggage?”
“Look, I’m sorry… I’m just nervous as all hell. This whole China thing frightens me. It’s so foreign… Hong Kong I could cope with – it was sort of…English I guess…”
I held her tightly, feeling her slowly relax. “We’ll be fine – trust me. Emma and I have been here before. Baz knows the place backwards. We’ll get Jill back – don’t you fret.” I hoped my words sounded more comforting than I felt in saying them.
Ahead of us, silhouetted against the setting sun, was the long graceful bridge between Macau and the neighbouring island of Taipa, sitting like an giant white coat hanger on stilts. Beyond it, in the distance, was a newer, second bridge that had not been here on my previous visit.
We passed under the first bridge, watching as the lights of the office blocks and hotels in downtown Macau began to light up in the dusk. I pointed out the Hotel Lisboa to Monica, looking like a tall wedding cake with a flying saucer on top. Then we were past the downtown area and under the second bridge.
“This is the southern end of the Macau peninsular,” I explained. “We’re turning north now – we’ll probably anchor a little further on. We’re in an estuary now – that’s China, the land on the left. This is Macau on the right.” We descended to the main deck where Baz was steering a cautious passage between the small vessels that seemed to be everywhere.
“How safe is this place?” Monica asked.
“Safe from what?”
“I don’t know… muggers, triads, bent cops…whatever….”
“It used to be pretty good,” Baz said, “but there’ve been a lot of gang killings recently. There are huge amounts wagered in the casinos here. As you know, the Chinese are addicted gamblers – it’s in their blood. The profits to be made are enormous, and control of the gambling industry is often behind all these killings. Generally it won’t affect us Gweiloes, unless you happen to get caught in the crossfire or be in the wrong place when a bomb goes off. But that’s pretty much the case with life, isn’t it,” he concluded cheerfully. “As tourists we’ll be left alone – the cops don’t bother with us – what I call the Banguage Larrier is too much of a hassle for most of them. By the same token, if you get into trouble you won’t get much help, either. Customs and immigration only do a cursory check at the main ferry terminal - and the airport, of course. We’ll just anchor here for a few days – give you time to look around and get things sorted out.”
* * *
That was pretty much the way it turned out. With Serina chained to a cleat in the main cabin, Monica and Emma and I ventured into Macau itself. In having Serina invited to the party we had made a conscious decision that we would try to infiltrate the party by stealth. Monica and I were to be slaves to Emma and Serina, with Leila and Kuan remaining on the boat with Baz. Notwithstanding what we were going to do once we were inside the house, and how we were going to escape, we had to at least scout the place and work out a getaway plan.
The beauty of Macau was that it was small enough to walk around easily. The southern end of the peninsular was a gorgeous area of old Portuguese houses and large trees spreading their branches over narrow cobbled streets. At regular intervals twin-towered little churches popped up in the Portuguese style, all bearing the names of various saints and apostles and looking so quaint they could not possibly be in a large Chinese city.
We followed the waterfront road southwards from where Baz delivered us to the wharf in the dinghy. After perhaps half a kilometre we turned left and threaded our way through a series of winding streets climbing up to the top of the hill and Rua de San Lourenco. The Wong residence was easy enough to identify, aside from the number above the front gate. The drive-in entrance was a solid steel gate, obviously controlled remotely from within via the intercom or else activated by the key panel to one side. Either side of this entrance the high wall was made of stone and topped with wicked looking spikes. The only other opening was the main gate – an imposing wooden door equipped with a small inspection hatch at head height.
Standing on the other side of the narrow street under a large tree, we could still see little of any consequence beyond the wall, save a lot of trees and the upper story of a white stone house with a flat roof in the Portuguese style. It all looked quiet and peaceful.
“I can’t believe that Jill is being held captive in there somewhere right at this moment,” Emma said, her voice betraying the tension we all felt. “It just doesn’t seem real.”
We walked around the block. On each side of the house was a similar palatial residence, separated by a high boundary wall and again half hidden amongst trees. We discovered a tiny lane that served the rear of these properties, but again they were enclosed by the same high walls with a less ostentatious wooden door and a sign in Chinese which Emma translated as being the equivalent of “Tradesmen’s entrance, no hawkers, no riff-raff.”
“Some things never change,” I observed.
* * *
We returned to the boat and spent the rest of the day planning in more detail and talking the results through with Baz. We listed the things we would need in the course of the plan and checking that it was available. By the end of the day we reckoned we were ready for most eventualities.
The next three days seemed to pass with agonising slowness. We walked around Macau, doing the tourist thing. Had it not been for the reason we were there in the first place, it would have been very pleasant. Monica and I got away from the others for a while, doing a tour on our own, while Emma, Baz and Leila did likewise. Kuan was content to stay on the boat and before long had done a major cleaning job much to Baz’s delight.
Serina, of course, remained chained up in the fore cabin, out of sight and out of mind, for the first couple of days. It was only after I had seen Monica sitting up in the bow for a long time with Leila that things changed for Serina. Leila had not told us in any detail what she had been through in her period of captivity, and none of us had pressed her, but I suspect this all came out in her heart to heart with Monica. There was a lot of hugging between Monica and Leila and probably quite a few tears from the look of things from my position. That was when life became harder for Serina.
That afternoon we upped the anchor and motored a few miles south, away from the closeness of adjacent boats. Here, in the privacy of the open sea, Serina was brought on deck to face the icy wrath of Monica.
I think Serina had more than a fair inkling of what was about to befall her, and she accepted her punishment with a dignity that surprised me. Naked, her eyes again taped, she was made to sit on a bench on the aft deck and to bend forward and grasp her ankles. She did this easily, her willowy body supple and pliant such that her forearms lay flat along her shins with not a hint of a bend at the knee. A large ball gag was forced into her mouth and buckled behind her head, the strap passing under the black tresses. Thus silenced, Serina had her left wrist bound to her left ankle with multiple turns of thick sashcord, followed by the right wrist to the right ankle. Further ropes were wrapped round her arms below the elbows, pinioning them to her legs just below the knees. She had now been stretched and very effectively immobilised. She turned her head this way and that, searching for the sounds that indicated Monica’s whereabouts, as if daring her to do her worst. Monica obliged with two thin pieces of twine, each about a metre long, tied securely around the helpless girl’s nipples after Monica had massaged and tweaked them to erectness.
Monica brought out two heavy straps and buckled them over the trapped wrists and ankles. She threaded cinch ropes around these and tied them off, leaving a double loop ready to take some sort of lifting tackle. Monica now ran a heavy rope through a pulley attached to the canopy beam overhead then through one attached to the double loop with a padlock. She repeated this process, for each pulley had two wheels, and the repeated circles of rope would make it much easier to hoist a heavy weight. It was called a wonder of physics, although I suspect the lesson was now wasted on Serina, who had no doubt learned it a long time previously. Monica and Emma lowered their prisoner to the deck, positioning her on her side under the pulley, then together they hauled on the loose end of the rope.
Slowly Serina’s legs lifted from the deck, barely flexing at the knees as the weight of her body came on them. They went higher, her body swaying back and forth with the rolling of the boat, until she was resting on her shoulders. Then, as the boat lurched and the girls gave a final heave, Serina hung there, swinging in time with the motion of the sea. Two more tugs on the pulley saw her butt at waist level, her toes stopping just below the overhead pulley, her black hair swishing back and forth in the breeze.
Monica tied off the pulley rope to a convenient cleat, then moved across to stand beside her prisoner. The Chinese girl looked up sightlessly at Monica, the first flicker of apprehension crossing her face as she sensed Monica’s presence. I looked at the others. Leila and Kuan were with Baz in the wheelhouse. It was just Monica, Emma and me. They both maintained impassive stares. This was something that had to be done.
Monica picked up a thin cane. It was a wicked-looking instrument, the thickness of my little finger, and flexible without being whippy. It reminded me of my school days and the feeling of dread when the cane was rapped on the desk. Monica said to Serina in a cold voice:
“Let’s see if you get off on this, lady!” She stood, legs braced against the rolling of the boat, the cane drawn back, her eyes judging the swing of her victim. The cane struck at the end of the full swing of Monica’s arm. Monica was not a soft girl when it came to arm movement. She played a mean game of squash and she was the first female I had seen who could throw properly. I was damned sure I would not want to be on the receiving end of any cane wielded by her.
The blow caught Serina across both cheeks as they hug tautly tempting. She screamed into the gag, a cry cut short as she screwed her face up and tried to control her outburst. Instead she wound up panting and moaning softly through her nose. Monica made no move to place a second blow for several minutes as Serina mustered her courage in her darkened world, wondering when the next blow would come. Blow number two caught her where her thighs met her buttocks, again across both.
“Nnnnnnp!!” came from behind the rubber ball, followed by snorting and rapid grunts. Again the face contorted under the tape and around the ball gag. I suspected that had the gag not been filling her mouth Serina actually had the willpower to have kept quiet during her punishment. The presence of the rubber ball obviously gave her the freedom to give vent to her feelings with no loss of face, and this she did, biting hard on the rubber as a third stroke cut into the soft flesh of her buttocks, leaving a red angry weal parallel to the previous two.
“Nnnuuurrgh!” He fingers fluttered and she shook her head in desperation, but these were the only parts of her body capable of movement. Whatever had transpired in the living room at Serina’s house, when she had been bound over the armchair, there was no doubt that Serina would not be getting herself off this time. The blows were real, as was the pain, but Monica’s timing was subtle and discontinuous. Whatever perverse thing turned Serina on, I did not think it would be coming from Monica’s hand this time.
During the next hour Monica delivered nine more strokes from the cane, all impeccably timed and placed. Serina whined and whimpered as the punishment was doled out slowly but steadily. Eventually Monica was satisfied that Serina had absorbed enough. Her taut backside and the tops of her thighs were criss-crossed with ugly weals and could almost have glowed in the dark. Serina was clearly not going to be doing much sitting around in the near future.
Monica now took the two lengths of twine and tied each end to a short bungee cord. One of these was looped around the stern handrail, and one was looped around the starboard rail an equal distance from the corner of the boat. Now, as the boat rose and fell, rolled and pitched, each swing would tug at one of Serina’s captive nipples, her own weight doing the work. As a finishing touch Monica draped a piece of canvas around the suspended girl and we headed back to the anchorage.
Two hours later the canvas package was lowered to the deck. It was now dark, and the deck was lit only by an oil lamp. The package moaned as it touched the floor then slowly rolled on its side as the slack came on the suspension rope. But Monica had not yet finished making her point. Serina was untied and stretched out face down on a hammock laid flat on the deck. She looked spent and subdued. Her gag remained in place and Monica quickly tied her wrists together, stretched beyond her head. The hammock was made of a coarse cotton netting, and had no cross bar at each end. Together Emma and Monica wrapped the hammock around Serina’s prone body. This done, Monica threaded a cord through the loops of the closing edges of the netting, effectively lacing Serina within the hammock. It was a simple matter now for the hammock to be hoisted into position, spanning between two supporting posts, with their ringbolt anchors at slightly below head height. I thought that was it for Serina for the night, but Monica had one final card to play. Every ten minutes from that point, she and Emma turned the hammock through a full revolution. With each turn the anchoring ropes tightened, along with the cords attached to the netting itself. With each turn the sag in the hammock and its contents decreased as the netting tightened and constricted the body within. After half a dozen turns the body was starting to whimper, as flesh protruded through the diamonds of the netting. Serina had managed to keep her upper arms together in front of her face, thus protecting it, but the remainder of her flesh was vulnerable. Monica raided Baz’s laundry area and returned with a bag of clothes pegs which were attached to the many bulging points. When the prisoner’s cage was almost horizontal and the inmate was moaning steadily, Monica finally used the same piece of canvas to drape the suspended form before we adjourned for dinner.
Chapter Nine: Foreplay Part Two
“This whole thing scares me, Steven,” Monica told me again on the Friday morning. “I keep asking myself is this really happening and how on earth are we going to get away with it… I don’t know how long I can keep up this pretence of knowing what I’m doing…”
We were sitting in the shade of an ancient banyan tree in the Old Protestant Cemetery. We had done the rounds of the casinos that were the lifeblood of Macau, and had seen the rooms where the minimum bet was half a million Hong Kong dollars. We had gaped at the size and splendour of the Hotel Lisboa and the crowded smoke-filled rooms seething with gamblers ready to win or lose the equivalent of their life’s savings. It had all served to take our minds off our impending mission. But the charm of old Macau and the pizzazz of the new had worn off, and we had wound up in the cemetery seeking some peace and quiet.
Around us the gravestones of British sailors from the nineteenth century stood serene and untroubled in our mad modern world, heedless of the disquiet we felt at what lay ahead of us. Immediately in front of us was the resting place of Sir Humphrey Le Fleming Senhouse, “Senior officer in charge of the British Fleet in the China Seas”, who died aged 63 “from the effects of fever contracted during the zealous performance of his arduous duties at the capture of the Heights of Canton in May 1841.”
“Life was so much simpler then,” I said. “The might of the empire was such that whoever had the biggest guns, ruled, and everybody accepted that. Might was right. Captain Senhouse probably had all his life mapped out. You did your best, won or lost and got on with your life. Your worries were disease and the odd storm or stray bullet. No technology, no politics, and you made your own laws with the fleet to back you up.”
“But we’re on our own,” Monica said. ”What if it all goes wrong? We could lose Jill forever, never mind what might happen to us… We don’t have a fleet backing us up.”
“We’ve got the Doris H. Bonkers,” I said, with an attempt at levity.
The stress was starting to show. There were dark smudges under her eyes and I knew she had not been sleeping well. The Monica we all depended on for leadership and strength was losing it. Or maybe she was just showing the vulnerability that had been there all the time, carefully hidden behind the dominant façade that so few had gotten to see beyond.
I put my arm round her shoulders and murmured what I hoped were reassuring words. The truth was we were on foreign territory – taking the fight to the enemy on the enemy’s turf. I was as worried as Monica but I daren’t let her see it.
* * *
Saturday dawned to the rattle of rain on the roof of the boat. Baz and I had lowered the drop-down clear vinyl sides of the after deck space during the night as the wind had got up and the temperature had fallen from the low thirties to something more bearable but still just as sticky.
It was a long and tedious day. None of us felt like going ashore - we were too tense. We played endless games of cards and Baz, Emma and Kuan and I played Mah Jong. The rattle of the ivory tiles on the table reminded me of my previous time in Hong Kong and the all night Mah Jong parties that used to take place in the apartment above mine.
The afternoon drew to a close. The congested harbour continued to be buffeted by squalls off and on as we prepared ourselves for our grand entrance that evening.
Dressed as a Mistress, Serina was to be our entry pass, with Emma to accompany her in a similar role, as her friend. It made sense that the two Chinese girls would lead, for they knew the language and looked the part. Monica would be Serina’s slave while I would be slave to Emma. Both Monica and I still had serious reservations about Serina, and decided that the threat of Tiger blowing the whistle on her to the police was not sufficient incentive. Monica wanted something more – something immediate – that would keep Serina on the straight and narrow with a warning presence.
I had an idea which I managed to bring to fruition with the help of Baz and a 30-centimetre piece of corrugated plastic hose about the diameter of my thumb. It was not dissimilar to that used as the outlet for washing machines, and bent easily into a U-shape. I threaded a piece of stainless steel wire through it, bringing the ends out through small holes in the side about five centimetres from each end. The pipe essentially formed part of a crotch strap, with the pipe ends to be inserted in pussy and butt hole. The wire continued, front and back, up to waist-level, before turning into a belt which wrapped around the waist and locked at the front once loops had been fitted at each end.
We tied the naked Serina’s hands together in front of her then lashed them high up to a beam overhead while we tried out the device for fit. For once she was not blindfolded, and we kept Baz out of the cabin. Serina protested so much about her treatment that we had to gag her with a rubber ball and strap. I wanted to get her used to the device and to do this she had to understand how it worked and have confidence that there would be no accidents. She also had to understand that we would use it if she did not keep her side of the bargain.
When we had worked out where the loops went and had crimped them such that the whole fitting was snug and firmly inserted in each orifice without the possibility of removal, we unlocked the device and let her watch while I put the finishing touches to it.
I cut a small flap midway along the pipe, about three centimetres long and half the diameter. A short distance either side of this I punched a circle of holes around the circumference, through which I threaded some cotton with the assistance of a blunt needle. The criss-crossing threads inside formed a barrier, and were tied off outside. At that point I stuffed three cockroaches inside via the flap and taped it closed. Serina went a bit bananas when she saw the cockies at first – a performance that was not lessened at the realisation of how proximate they were to her delicate entrances. Her eyes widened above the gag and she made pathetic little mewing sounds while struggling against her bonds.
I took a length of thin stainless wire I had obtained from Baz’s comprehensive tool locker, slipped it under one knot of the series of cotton threads and crimped off the wire, while threading the other end of the wire under the other knot and leaving the wire, about two metres long, hanging loose.
“It’s really very simple, Serina,” I told her, although she was way ahead of me. “Any trouble from you and one of us will yank this line like a parachute cord. It will tear the cotton threads away and let loose those little monsters crawling up inside you. The tube will be locked on, so I don’t fancy your chances of extracting the ends in time. It will all be horrific and very embarrassing. The game will be up and you will be a laughing stock of the party, never mind whatever else happens. You will always be the cockroach girl.”
Serina gave me a look that would have disembowelled me with its sharpness had I held it much longer. “Better get used to it now,” I suggested. We were forced to tie her ankles apart to a broom handle as she attempted to kick like a wildcat. Then, as the ends of the pipe were inserted into her front and back passages she suddenly became very still, as though any sudden movement might set off this unexploded bomb.
Monica tugged the main wire tight through Serina’s crotch, making sure there was no danger of the pipe becoming dislodged, while Serina whimpered. The lock clicked shut over her navel, drawing the two wire waist loops snugly together.
“There, said Monica, satisfied. “Just be very careful not to stand on that pull wire, Serina. We wouldn’t want things to go off early, would we?” A tear trickled out of the corner of Serina’s eye as she admitted defeat. Monica left her standing there for an hour, gently shifting her weight from one foot to the other in time with the rocking of the boat.
* * *
It was getting dark as we worked out what clothing we were going to wear. Monica and I, as westerners, would be the centre of attention if we did not disguise ourselves. We thought also it would be bad form to upstage Madam Wong and her new European slave, and so we reluctantly agreed that we would have to wear discipline helmets. Emma was concerned that most of the proceedings would be in Cantonese, and she and Serina would be expected to address us likewise when ordering us about.
“You can make up some story about being visiting Aussie Chinese who don’t speak Cantonese,” said Monica. “I don’t want Madam Wong put out at all.”
“Which is fine until somebody wants to see what you look like under the hoods,” Emma objected.
“Just have to cross that bridge when we come to it. Maybe lock on the hoods and lose the keys,” Monica suggested. “I think we will both have to be gagged, just to keep things simple and to avoid cross examination.”
“Hmmmn,” said Emma dubiously as she left us to our dressing up in the forward cabin. I was thinking much the same thought.
Monica’s first act of preparation was to give me an all-over shave – removing my chest and back hair and that of my legs. This took a long time and was not easy on the rocking boat. I had protested at first, but reluctantly conceded that in the first place, as a Chinese from Australia I would not have as much body hair as I did have, and secondly, that which I did have was the wrong colour. A couple of days previously I had reluctantly dyed my pubic hair black. It was either that or have it shaved - and I drew the line at that point - but dye was a messy option for the remaining scattering of my body hair.
“We’ll wear the minimum clothing as slaves,” Monica decided, rummaging through the big carry bag of gear we had taken from Serina’s extensive wardrobe. “This will do for you, Steven.” She pulled out a complicated–looking black leather harness that appeared to be all studs and rings and buckles. She helped me strip off and put the thing on. I had sort of got used to some of the things I had been obliged to wear in my service at Bilboes, although driving around Brisbane as slave Stephanie, dressed in black pvc still remained the lowlight of my career. By comparison this should have been a doddle. The harness focussed on a central ring in the middle of my chest, with straps over my shoulders around my body and down to join with a waist belt. Below this, a strap bifurcated around Mr Willy and went between my cheeks to the small of my back.
“It comes with this neat little leather pouch for your friend,” said Monica with a grin, running her fingernails over Mr Willy, which always made him get excited, just as she knew full well it would do.
“Stop it,” I said, pushing her hand away. “Don’t start things you can’t finish.”
“Oh but I can!” She smiled roguishly at me, knowing full well what my reaction would be. Although it was just the two of us in the forward cabin at that moment, and although it was a tempting suggestion, we both knew it was not the time or place. Then the moment was passed, and we came back to the world where we had a scary task ahead of us.
The pouch concealed my friend, clipping into place over him with a series of press studs which would come undone with a sharp tug.
“You’ll have to wear the butt plug too,” Monica said.
“Because they can tell if you’re not. And if you’re not, you might have something else stuck up it instead. You might not fancy some of the male slaves. Or the Masters.” I was starting to like this whole hairy-arsed scheme less and less. “You have a choice of large or extra large,” she said, flourishing the two flesh-coloured objects.
“I don’t like the look of either. What about you? If I have to wear one, you must as well.”
“Okay? Just like that?”
“Sure. I’ll even let you chose which one you get.” She held the pair behind her back. “Which hand will you have?” I pointed to her left hand. “She produced the smaller plug with a flourish and a resigned sigh. “Can’t be fairer than that, can I, Steven?”
I reached out for the offending device, then took the larger one. “It’s all right,” I told her. “You can be a sizeable arsehole sometimes Mon, but there are certain things a guy has to do.”
She smiled at me gratefully and did not argue. “Bend over,” she said. “Always remember – your arse is mine.”
“Haha – very funny.”
I did – as much as I was able on a rocking boat. Even with Monica’s expert lubrication and insertion the final pushing home of the device left me gasping and groaning quietly for a little while afterwards until things had settled down. Eventually I allowed Monica to pull the crotch strap tighter and buckle it into place behind me. She ran her fingers over the leather pouch which had become somewhat tighter and fuller.
“Oh ho – that’s why you wanted the bigger one!”
“Oh shut up. It just does that – all right? It has no inkling of what’s going on half the time. Mr Brain does not always communicate what is happening.”
“Sure Steven. You don’t have to explain anything to me. I’ve heard it all before and seen it with my own eyes,” she retorted smugly.
“Good,” I said, pulling on shorts and a tee shirt. “Because now it’s your turn.”
Monica shed her dress and underwear with a grace that only she could manage. Her body was lean and taut – possibly more so in light of the stress of the last fortnight. I was sure she had dropped a kilo or two. She stood naked in front of me without the slightest embarrassment, which was pretty much to be expected in light of our varied relationship.
“Turn around,” I said, allowing her to bend over the small fixed table, before giving her butt hole a squirt of lubricant then coating the plug. I worked it in and out, letting her sphincter muscles become used to the stretching the invader caused, before finally thrusting it home. Monica groaned and stood panting just as I had done, as the base of the plug nestled between her cheeks.
“Now we match,” she finally declared, turning around with a flushed look on her face. I helped her with a harness a bit similar to mine, except that the upper straps surrounded and emphasized her breasts.
“Suits you,” I said, returning the favour and pulling her crotch strap tight before buckling it behind her. She poked her tongue out at me and slipped her dress over the top of the harness.
I elected to wear my Colorado river sandals as being somewhat in keeping with the slave look, while Monica selected a pair of elegant black sandals with low heels and thongs that wrapped around her lower calves. She managed to look sexy even in her casual dress, I thought.
I was about to leave when Monica said: “Not so fast Mister. One more thing.” She held up a heavy black leather collar which she buckled around my neck. I felt and heard the click of a lock. “Now me…” She handed me an identical collar and lock, and lifted her black hair clear of her neck while I buckled and locked the collar in place.
“Well done, slave,” she said, giving me that soft encouraging smile that only she could manage in such a situation.
I went on deck and sent Emma down as my replacement in the dressing room. A short time later she emerged in high heels and black stockings, with a glimpse of garter showing beneath the high hemline of a leather skirt. She wore a sleeveless black lycra top which showed plenty of cleavage, and complained that “none of the skinny girl’s stuff would fit her,” and how “too many Chinese women had nothing to show for themselves”. Serina, still tied in the middle cabin was heard to grunt disparagingly. Nevertheless Emma had found a pair of lace-up leather arm pieces plus a light-weight decorative chain harness that formed a nice overlay to the lycra top. Like all good Hong Kong girls she carried the latest tiny mobile phone which she slipped into the pocket of the her skirt with barely a disturbance to the outline.
Serina was at last untied and taken forward, to be fitted out by Monica. Of course she had a wider choice than the rest of us, seeing that the wardrobe belonged to her and Tiger. Her eyes covered with a bandana, and her wrists cuffed behind her, she finally appeared on deck. She wore a pair of stiletto-heeled boots that laced up to her thighs, the top part of which was covered by a fringed leather skirt that appeared more like a wrap-around scarf, for the hem sloped diagonally up from right thigh to left hip. Monica obviously figured bits of plastic tube should not be exposed, nor the cane marks, and I had no idea what other modifications she had managed beneath the skirt. What I could see was the fine stainless wire about her waist, looking like a barely detectable additional piece of ornamentation.
Above the skirt she wore a black pvc waist coat with wide lapels, that zipped down the front. It, too, showed some cleavage, but nothing like the spectacular scale of Emma. Her arm adornments were two studded wrist bands which glinted in the light of the swaying deck lamps.
“You all look fantastic,” said Leila, when she finished putting some heavy makeup accents on Emma. “I wish I was coming.”
“This isn’t a party, Leila dear,” Monica told her gently.
“I know, Mon – I just want to help getting Jill back.”
“I know you do, but we need someone we can trust, who knows us, to keep an eye on things back here. Baz is wonderful, but you know what we have to do and how we think. You’ll have my mobile phone and we’ll have Emma’s. We’ll contact you as soon as things get sorted out. Okay?”
Her blonde head lowered. “Yes, I guess so.”
* * *
Serina remained blindfolded until we had disembarked from the dinghy at the stone steps on the corniche. It was dark and had gone eight when the four of us arrived by taxi at the Rua de San Lourenco. We got out some fifty metres from our destination and paid off the driver. This time Emma relented and gave him a decent tip. If his eyes had not ogled Emma and Serina enough at that point, they positively emerged on stalks as he looked at the note in his hand before driving off.
In the shadow of one of the large trees lining the deserted street, Monica and I stripped off our covering clothes and stuffed them in a small leather bag Serina wore on her back in the Hong Kong fashion style. The clothes replaced two leather hoods and two ball gags that had been carried in the bag until that point.
As Serina laced up Monica’s hood and Emma did the same for me, I took the opportunity to pull Emma to one side.
“Em, you realise the biggest problem we have is that there are a number of us. Added to that, I don’t trust Serina. She may behave okay – I hope so. But it’s going to be up to you and me to get Jill out. I want Serina and Monica out of the place as soon as possible, on their own. Do you understand?”
Emma’s big brown eyes widened. “How can we manage that?”
“”Well, you’ll have to do the ground work, but I’m hoping Serina won’t take too much persuasion to leave. I think she will want to get out at the first opportunity. You can help her with that – after an appropriately polite length of time, of course. Sweet talk Madam Wong for all you’re worth.”
“But Monica will never want to leave…’
“Monica will be just a slave, hooded and gagged and if necessary handcuffed and flogged if she fails to behave. Even she will see that she could jeopardise the whole plan if she rebels and refuses to obey. She could give the whole game away and she’ll know that. Once you have Madam Wong’s approval, get Serina to take Monica back to the boat and wait for us with Baz.”
“Monica will go ape.”
“Maybe, which is why she might have to remain secured until we come back, if necessary. And which is why I haven’t discussed this with her. But you know as well as I do that if five of us try to escape at once – assuming we can snaffle Jill - it will be far more difficult than with three. Okay? Never mind Monica – do it for Jill.”
“All right Steven.” She lowered her head and appeared to take several deep breaths than disappeared behind me to finish lacing the hood.
By this time Serina had locked Monica’s hood and had strapped one of the ball gags in her mouth. I noticed the ball gag was also locked in place. Moments later my predicament matched Monica’s, when Emma hauled out a device from Serina’s bag.
“What the hell – “ I started to say, for the gag was not what I had expected.
“It was the only spare we brought,” Emma explained apologetically. It was like a normal hard rubber ball gag, but instead of a leather strap it had a narrow stainless steel hinged strap. There were hinges immediately either side of the ball and a further two near the back. On the back was a sliding ratchet-type lock which looked like the lock on a desk drawer. I had barely time to realise what I was in for as Emma said “Open wide,” and I did so automatically. It really was a sad day for independence and self-determination when my instincts were to react in such a way. Let’s hear it for the Bilboes Training Method…
Emma prised open the mouth hole in the leather hood and worked the ball behind my teeth. The curved steel straps folded around my neck, ending with a sharp clicking sound as one end slid through the locking mechanism. The unforgiving nature of the steel made me for once glad that the leather of the hood provided some small cushioning effect. I was still not at all happy, but there was nothing I could do as Emma slipped the keys into Serina’s bag. Thus attired, with Serina and Emma towing us slaves with leads clipped to our collars, we marched up to the entrance to Chez Wong.
Serina rapped on the wooden gate and a small panel at face level slid open. There was an exchange of Cantonese and the gate was swung open by a burly man in a white shirt and black bow tie. The four of us trooped inside, looking around at the lush gardens spectacularly lit by concealed lighting. The house, too, was lit up by lights located on the outer side of the moat, which cast flickering water reflections over the white plastered walls.
We walked up the wide flagstoned pathway to the front door. It was opened by another bow-tied lackey just as we got there. Emma made us slaves take off our sandals and put them beside others at the door. We were greeted – or rather Serina and Emma were greeted – by a woman I could only assume was Madam Wong. She was dressed in a white leather sleeveless dress slit to the waist with a hemline only a short way down her thighs. Her legs were encased in thigh-high matching white leather boots with heels that added considerably to her petite stature. Her hair fell in a thick black bob to her jaw line, forming a striking contrast to the white of her outfit. Despite her small size, she had a presence that oozed authority and power. She embraced Serina and – after sizing her up – did the same with Emma. Madam Wong appeared most impressed by Emma’s obvious assets - in contrast to the usual Chinese figure. There was some discussion which I took to be complimentary and flattering, judging from the way Emma blushed. I had never been able to assess from the sound of a Cantonese conversation what might be being said, for even the most approving of comments could sound like an insult with the tones of the Cantonese. But this time, with all the smiling going on, I was sure I was not wrong.
Behind Madam Wong was another woman, dressed in a figure-hugging red latex cat suit. I suspected this was Portia Tang, Serina’s friend, judging from the way the pair embraced and the way Emma moved quickly to be introduced and to prevent any sort of intimate conversation that might take place. Portia had long red nails that matched her outfit and shoulder-length black hair that contrasted with it. She eyed Emma in a way I had seen before – the look one woman gives another when they are assessing the competition.
While all this was going on, Madam Wong had circled Monica and I where we had been standing in the background. This was where things could come unstuck and I knew it was a critical moment. Madam Wong ran her hands over Monica, lingering on her breasts as they stood out, delineated by the black leather straps of her harness.
Then it was my turn, and the white-painted nails lingered on my own nipples and crotch, while Madam Wong said “Aiyaah…” under her breath. ‘Aiyaah’ I knew as a wonderful Cantonese exclamation that could mean anything from amazement and wonder, to disappointment and regret. I did not dwell on its meaning in this particular instance.
Emma intruded at this point in a flurry of Cantonese amidst which I heard the words ‘Monica’ and ‘Steven’. I imitated Monica and stared at the ground. Introductions over, Monica and I followed our respective Mistresses into what I assumed to be a formal entertaining room. It was here that our eyes fell on to the display centrepiece of the room. Standing on her tip toes, her bound wrists suspended from a steel cantilevered bar, her lovely facial features distorted by a ball strapped behind her teeth, was Jillian.
* * *
story continues in Monica's Quest: 10. Penetration