Chapter 21: Saskia's Unexpected Discovery
With great difficulty, Saskia propelled herself, caterpillar fashion, across the floor of her padded prison. Reaching a corner of the room, she rolled over awkwardly and pulled herself up into a sitting position, with the soft, yielding wall at her back. The effort needed to achieve this posture had made her breathless, and the rag filling her mouth, plus the tape that held it in place, made taking in air a task that could only be accomplished through her nostrils.
Saskia had no way of gauging the passing of time, although her levels of exhaustion after the ordeals she’d been put through in the past two days, suggested to her that she had spent a great many hours in slumber. With her head no longer pounding from the hangover, she certainly felt somewhat better now that she’d got some rest... at least physically. Mentally and emotionally, however, her state of turmoil was an ongoing one, as the knowledge that she was still a prisoner of Dolores and her tribe of acquiescent servants, was a major stumbling block to a peaceful state of mind. And this status as a helpless captive was hammered home to her on a regular basis, by the restraints that still prevented her from moving freely; the creak of the canvas straitjacket every time she tried to raise her arms, or the soft swish of her tights as one strapped leg rubbed against the other, being the only sounds that accompanied her laboured breathing.
But what of the future? How long was it going to be before someone remembered she was here? In some ways, she was desperate for the door to open, in order to quell the fear that she had simply been abandoned here for evermore. But in others, the thought of what might be in store for her once this period of solitary confinement did finally come to a conclusion, made her dread the sound of the key turning in the lock and the door creaking open. For some reason, the need to draw attention to herself suddenly became a priority, although she had no reason to think that anyone would hear her. But scream into her gag she did, as loud and long as her capabilities allowed. The cushioned walls of her cell, however, seemed to absorb and deaden the sound, even within the confines of her incarceration chamber, and she doubted that her pitiful wail of distress would register with anyone who happened to be standing more than a few feet away outside.
But in this respect she seemed to have been mistaken. Or maybe her stifled attempt at making her presence known had been picked up by someone monitoring on the spy cameras that she’d assumed had been switched off many hours ago. Or perhaps the whole thing was just coincidence. There was simply no way of knowing. What she did discover, however, was that within a minute of her plaintive, mournful cry having seeped rather pathetically through the wadding in her mouth, the fact that there was someone in the vicinity was signalled by the door being pushed open, to allow Dolores and her three ever attentive members of staff to enter.
“Good Morning Saskia. I trust you slept well.”
The leader of the pack stood, hands on hips, gazing down at her victim, a look of satisfaction inscribed on her face.
“As you’re a bright girl, I assume that you realised fairly quickly that I wasn’t going to sit and watch you struggling all night, and therefore managed to get a bit of shut-eye. The floor of this room is quite comfortable for sleeping on, don’t you think?”
Without waiting for an appraisal from her motionless guest concerning the standard of the bedding conditions, Dolores continued.
“But enough of this small-talk. I thought you might like to know that your two little friends, who you were so keen to ascertain the whereabouts of the other day, have now embarked on what is going to be a life changing shift in status with regard to their membership of the human race. They’re now safely ensconced in my training room, having just started the first lesson on their path to becoming compliant, bondage loving slaves, who will obey their master or mistress’ commands with unthinking loyalty. Why am I telling you this? Because eventually, my dear, you’ll be treading the same route as them into bondage oblivion.”
Dolores smiled devilishly at her seated captive, whose only response was a faint whimper into her gag as she gazed up at this clearly insane woman, who seemed to relish imparting news of this sort. As Saskia watched, the Mistress began to prowl the padded floor.
“But for now my dear, you’ll be my new plaything, to keep me amused and stop me getting bored. This afternoon I have a few little games planned which I’m sure you’ll find – what shall we say? – fascinating. But this morning, my girls are simply going to get you out of ‘Pat Benatar’ mode, help you freshen up and get you a nice new outfit to wear. Then they’ll give you a demonstration of their binding and gagging skills. After all, as you’re going to be spending so much time here, I’m sure that you’ll be keen to experience as many of their techniques as you can, as soon as possible. Then once you’re all snug and helpless, I’ll let you luxuriate in your bonds for a few hours, so you can get a feel for how your life is going to be from now on. Considerate, aren’t I?”
The question hung in the air, unanswered, for several seconds. But if Dolores was expecting a reply of some description – however muffled and incomprehensible that response might be – she didn’t show it; merely walking towards the door and calling back to her three servants.
“Okay, girls, I’ll leave it up to you how you tie her for the rest of the morning, but be sure to make it interesting for her. Once you’ve finished, I’ll be along to inspect your work, so I’m expecting you to make a really good job of it.”
As soon as Dolores’ tight leather suit had disappeared into the corridor, the eager threesome wasted no time in carrying out their Mistress’ orders. Removing the leather straps that had kept her legs in close proximity to each other since yesterday, they dragged their still straitjacketed prisoner to her feet. Shakily, on legs that had hardly been used for the best part of two days, Saskia was forced to traipse down a long corridor, then mount two flights of stairs, before being led into a small room that turned out to contain a shower, toilet and wash basin. With an eyeless leather hood pulled down over her head and padlocked at the neck, she now found the straps of the canvas outfit loosen, and within seconds she was able to uncross and stretch her severely stiff and aching arms.
Another few seconds past, as the strap that ran between her legs eased and fell away, before a similar process took place at her back. Suddenly, her arms were being pulled forwards, and she found the restrictive garment slipping off her. Now only wearing the boots and pair of black tights, and therefore naked from the waist upwards, self-consciously Saskia quickly covered her breasts with her arms. Although she couldn’t see at present, she sensed the three latex-attired lackeys staring at her. And this sense of vulnerability was soon to become more acute, as her feet were lifted in turn and the boots swiftly removed, before she felt a set of hands grab the waistband of her only remaining garment, and the soft silky hose began to slide gracefully over her abdomen and down her thighs.
But if this sense of exposure made Saskia uncomfortable in the extreme, her unease proved to be short lived, for as soon the mesh of the tights had cleared her feet, she found herself being forced to step from the carpeted floor onto a cold, ridged surface that she took to be the interior of the shower cubicle. A bar of soap was thrust into her hand at this point, before the sound of the Perspex door closing was quickly followed be a torrent of water hitting her. Cold at first, the downpour soon warmed up to a pleasant enough temperature, and Saskia quickly soaped herself down; finding the cascading flow both refreshing and comforting, despite the thought at the back of her mind that she was still being watched from the other side of the see-through screen. After what must have been three or four minutes, during which Saskia had ample time to lather up and rinse down again, the surge of water suddenly diminished and stopped, and the sound of the door being pulled back was followed by a pair of hands grabbing her left arm and removing her from the partitioned shower unit back into the main body of the room. For a second or two she was left to stand in her dripping nudity, before a large, soft towel was thrust into her hands.
Wrapping this makeshift shroud around her body, Saskia began to rub herself down; grateful that this modesty saving sheet shielded her from the trio, whose silence whilst she dried herself seemed both unnerving and slightly sinister. She had just finished wiping the last residual drops of water from her legs, however, when the towel was suddenly grabbed without warning and taken away. But before she had time to even contemplate the ramifications of another bout of nakedness, fabric of a very different feel and texture was being offered to her. Grasping this, Saskia’s fingers explored the soft, stretchy material for a few seconds, before the realisation hit her that this was an item of clothing that she had been handed, and that she was being expected to put this newly acquired garment on.
In her blindness, it took Saskia a minute or more to work out what form this unorthodox article of clothing took, but once she had sussed out that it included both arms and legs in its design, it didn’t take too great a leap of logic to realise that this was a spandex cat-suit, similar to the ones that she’d witnessed Cathy and Bethany wearing on the night of the party. Eager to get the one-piece, figure hugging number on, in order to cover her now goose-bumped flesh, Saskia worked as quickly as she could to pull the gently yielding mesh fabric over her feet, up her legs and body, before slipping her arms into the sleeves. The suit was ultra-tight and clung to every square inch of her still slightly damp skin, but after a minute or two of effort she found herself enrobed in the hugging material. At this point, one of her guards stepped up close behind her, and without warning drew the zipper at the back up from her waist to her neck, so that she was now covered from ankle to throat. For a second or two, she panicked, as three sets of hands briefly stroked her limbs and body. It soon became obvious, however, that this was merely to iron out any kinks and wrinkles in the garment.
This smoothing of her body-suit proved to be a gentle process, but the next action taken by the unseen trio was of a more forceful nature, as Saskia suddenly felt her arms being firmly grasped and her hands wrenched vigorously and pulled together behind her back. Immediately, she felt something being wrapped around her wrists and drawn tight, so that they could no longer be parted. The rope dug deeply into her, even through the protective layer of spandex over which this bond was being applied. As the merciless cord was wound several times around her lower arms, with each pass making the whole thing tighter and more secure, instinctively Saskia found herself stretching the muscles in her wrists to their limits, and trying to leave as much of a gap between her hands as she could. The premise she was working on was that, once left to her own devices, if she relaxed and let her arms go limp, she might – hopefully – have created enough leeway to allow her to slip her hands free. Whether this was a viable plan or not, she had no idea at the time, and as the bond neared completion with the securing of a knot somewhere that her stretching fingers couldn’t reach, she began to experience grave doubts as to her abilities to pull off this daring escape bid, due to the firm and relentless grip the cord now had on her.
But these thoughts of somehow releasing herself from her bonds would have to wait until she was alone, with time on her hands to experiment with her theory. For now, although eager to put her hypothesis to the test, she managed to curb her enthusiasm and stem the urge to begin tugging at the rope, so that her guards wouldn’t become suspicious of her motives. With her hands tied, she felt the padlock that held the hood in place being removed, followed seconds later by the leather sliding up over her face. With the return of her sight, Saskia found herself being led out of the bathroom and along the bleak, dimly lit corridor. After only a few yards, however, their destination was reached, as one of the latex-clad figures pushed open a creaking door, through which the bound and gagged captive was ushered.
Saskia gazed into a room devoid of furniture save for a solid wooden upright chair placed in the centre of the room, directly beneath a single unshaded lightbulb that hung from the ceiling. But although this was the only source of light in the modest sized cell at present, Saskia noticed a set of long black curtains that hung down to the floor on the wall directly opposite the entrance, and assumed that there must be a window – or in her thinking, another way out of the room – concealed behind these thick, ancient looking drapes.
There would be no way of investigating whether this was the case or not for the time being however, or – even if her assumption proved correct – whether this was a possible point of escape from the house. The nearest she was allowed to the tantalisingly obscuring curtains at this point in time proved to be the chair, onto which she now found herself being required to park herself. And as soon as she was seated, the triumvirate began the process of ensuring that this was exactly where she stayed, by the application of a seemingly never ending supply of soft white ropes, which the black-suited figure had brought along with her in a large holdall bag.
Firstly her legs found themselves being wrapped tightly together in several places, the lowest being her ankles, with the uppermost wound tightly around her thighs; each bond being cinched and knotted with ruthless efficiency. Then the operation to unite her body with the heavy item of furniture began in earnest, as she watched in helpless dismay whilst the trio worked away at securing her from the shoulders downwards onto the sturdy wooden structure. Her feet, she was soon to discover, were destined to be pulled backwards to the limits of their endurance up underneath the chair’s seat, before being attached with callous disregard for her comfort, and secured in such a way so as to prohibit her lowering them back to the ground.
Only once they’d decided that Saskia’s slender frame and that of the chair had now become an inseparable item, did the cruel endeavours of the single-minded slave-girls come to a halt. Although satisfied that their now immobilised captive was going nowhere, Saskia still found herself under constant scrutiny, as they stood by the exit, never taking their eyes off her. But what were they waiting for? As if in answer to Saskia’s unspoken question, after no more than a minute or two, the sound of high heels reached her ears; at first faraway and faint, then gradually building in volume as the wearer approached. Within seconds, Dolores was standing in the open doorway, a bottle of mineral water in her hand.
“Well now Saskia, are you impressed with my girls’ binding techniques? What do you think, on a scale of one to ten?”
She walked twice around the motionless chair-bound female, looking at, but not touching, the ropes that now held Saskia in such restraining circumstances.
“That all looks extremely impressive. I’d have to give that at least a nine.”
She retraced her steps back to where her loyal subjects stood.
“Well done girls, I’ll take things from here. If you could just finish getting the Grand Hall ready for Bondage Class tonight, then report to the main cellar, where I’ve got a special treat laid on for you. I’ll be along in half an hour or so.”
Without blinking, the three filed out of the room; the silver-suited figure leading the way, followed by her pink and black attired colleagues. Once their footsteps had faded, Dolores turned her attention to the only other female left in the room. She held up the bottle.
“My girls may have done an excellent job of tying you up Saskia, but I bet they’ve forgotten to offer you any refreshments. That’s a bit remiss of them, and something that I’ll have to punish them for later. But now...”
She moved forward and began picking at the tape on Saskia’s face.
“...I’m sure you must be getting a bit parched, after all this time without a drink.”
Having located the stuck down end, Dolores began peeling the strongly adhering strips away as quickly as she could, with scant regard for the flesh on her prisoner’s face. The force used caused Saskia to squeal in anguish, as it felt as if her skin was coming away along with the reluctantly yielding tape. With this sealant finally removed, Saskia’s whole face felt raw and burning, but she was given little time to dwell on this unpleasant sensation, as immediately, the stuffing in her mouth was wrenched out from behind her teeth; almost pulling several incisors out with it. Gasping in agony, Saskia was given no time to protest at this brutal treatment, nor even take in more than a swift gulp of air into her lungs, before the water bottle was thrust at her face and upturned, so that the contents emptied into her unprepared mouth.
This enforced refreshment break proved to be a mixed blessing as, coughing and spluttering, Saskia fought to take in some of the cool, reviving liquid without choking. But as suddenly as it had started, the flow of water ceased again, and she was just given enough time to swallow and clear her throat, before a ball of rolled up material – a pair of old tights on this occasion, rather than the towelling relinquished only minutes ago - was inserted into her oral cavity. Fresh tape immediately followed, being positioned over the still smarting areas of skin which its forerunner had so recently been violently ripped from.
“There, I’m sure that feels a lot better now that you’ve been able to lubricate your throat. And having a nice new gag will make thing seem a little more pleasant too, I would imagine.”
Dolores walked around the chair to stand behind her strictly bound captive, and Saskia caught a glimpse of what looked like a silk scarf in her hand as she did so. But if she was in any way uncertain of exactly what purposed this latest accessory might serve, she was soon to be enlightened, as the soft material was pressed firmly across her eyes, and everything went black. And the blindfold quickly tightened around her head, as Dolores secured a knot to ensure that this latest sensory depriving bond was beyond removal.
“Okay Saskia, I think that should hold you for a little while. As I said earlier, this afternoon I’ve got some activities lined up for you to participate in, which will involve fresh air and a good deal of physical exercise. So if I were you, I’d use the next few hours wisely, by relaxing and getting some rest. Once I’ve sorted out the special treat for my servants, I’ll be taking some quality time to chill out as well. But don’t worry, I’ll be very close at hand if you need anything.”
Although unable to see the speaker, Saskia was certain that Dolores would have had that evil grin on her face as she spoke. But the echo of these words was soon eclipsed by the sound of the door slamming shut and a key turning in the lock; informing her that she was both alone and trapped within this small, makeshift prison cell.
Far from being in any way phased by the solitude which now engulfed her, however, Saskia had been looking forward with anticipation to the moment that she was no longer in the company of either Dolores or any member of her faithful staff. For she had got it into her head that she was going to escape from her bonds now, however daunting that task might at first appear. Saskia was certain that expanding the muscles in her wrists as they’d been tied, had in some way made her arms slightly bigger and bulkier than they would have otherwise been, and that this state of affairs would, once she relaxed – as Dolores had advised her to do – give some scope for working her hands free. Her initial explorations of the rope, however, didn’t seem to confirm her optimism on this front, as after allowing her arms to go as limp as possible, she could find very little leeway in the tightly bound cords, and her attempts at yanking and tugging one hand away from the other went unrewarded. But Saskia was nothing if not stubborn, and with the stakes so high, she knew that she had to persevere. For surely even strong rope had to have its breaking - or at least weakening - point...didn’t it?
For what must have been at least an hour, or maybe a bit longer, the answer to this question seemed to be in the negative, as try as she might, all Saskia’s wrenching and wriggling come to nothing. But just as she was about to concede defeat, without warning the rope around her left wrist suddenly loosened. It wasn’t as if the whole bond suddenly gave way and allowed her hands to part, or anything like that, but this ever so slight slackening of the until now obstinate binding gave Saskia fresh heart, and she upped her struggles to a degree where she was groaning with pain and grunting with the effort of concentration into her gag, as she desperately fought to widen the gap in the still tight ligature.
Then, all of a sudden, the sounds of frustration turned into a muffled yelp of triumph, as in an instant her left wrist began to slide up through the breach created by her persistence, and seconds later she was removing the vestiges of the bond from her hands and rubbing her sore wrists to get the circulation going again. Dolores and her henchwomen had, she realised with great delight, made a grave error of judgement - their first in her time here – by not binding her elbows together, or attaching her wrists to the back of the chair, or using some stronger medium such as handcuffs to keep her in check. Had they simply become sloppy? Or underestimated her capabilities and her will to be free? Whatever the reason, Saskia was simply grateful for her big break.
Once her fingers had recovered some feeling in them, Saskia wasted no time in ripping the blindfold from around her head. Then it was a question of removing the clinging tape from her face. There was a dilemma here however, because she had to weigh up the pros and cons of urgency versus damage and pain limitation; urgency insofar as she knew that she wouldn’t have forever in which to release her other bonds, and that Dolores might return at any moment before she was in a position to make her getaway; and damage limitation in regard to the severe torment that stripping the tape away from her already tender skin at high speed would engender.
A sudden, dull sound from somewhere outside the room, soon made Saskia’s mind up for her. The noise may have been nothing more than a floorboard or door jamb expanding or contracting, or water settling in one of Shackleton Grange’s ancient pipes, but it was enough to convince Saskia that speed was more important than comfort. Grimacing as the tape came away from her face, she quickly removed the saliva sodden tights from her mouth and began the task of untying the multitude of other ropes that still held her in their unforgiving grasp.
Saskia’s knowledge of being tied up, prior to her capture two days ago, had been limited to what she’d observed in films and television dramas. Inevitably, in these fictional scenes, the bound person, once discovered, is usually shown as being released from their bonds within a second or two of their liberator laying a finger on the ropes, as if knots and hitches simply slipped away at the merest of touches. And the same principle always seemed to apply if the victim managed to get free without assistance.
As Saskia was soon to discover, however, reality was somewhat different. For a start, locating the knots on some of the stringently tied bonds proved a trial in itself, as a number of them - such as the rope used to anchor her shoulders to the chair - had been secured at her back. Then there was the problem of unpicking the knots, which had been pulled so tightly to prevent slippage, that unravelling them proved a time consuming process, and saw Saskia break many a nail in the process. Another problem presented itself once the ropes around her torso had finally fallen to the floor, as it then became apparent that releasing her ankles from the underside of the seat involved unnatural contortion of her body, and her fingers stretching to their limits in order to reach the elusive knots. Notwithstanding these trials and tribulations, after what seemed like hours, but was probably in reality no more than twenty minutes, Saskia at last found herself able to stand up and relax the tension in her cramped and painful leg muscles without hindrance. She’d done it; she had got herself free from what she – and indeed Dolores and her helpers – had assumed was an inescapable predicament.
But had she? Although now free from her fetters, there was still the problem of getting out of the room, then finding a way to exit the house and then the grounds, and all without getting recaptured. And the first of these tests, namely getting past the door to the room in which she’d been incarcerated, at first appeared to be an insurmountable obstacle. Rattling the door handle - as gently as she could to avoid being heard – proved what she already feared; that it was locked, and that the old but steadfast panel was unlikely to yield to the amount of pressure she was capable of generating, even if she was to take a run up and slam her shoulder into it.
So was there another way of exiting the room? The only possible alternative seemed to be obscured from her view behind those heavy curtains. Drawing back the dusty, seldom used drapes, however, at first gave her very little cause for optimism that her quest to be away from this house once and for all was in any way closer to becoming a reality. Okay, so the letting in of the bright sunlight revealed a set of French doors, which led out onto a stone balcony. But the fact that the glass panels were locked, with no key protruding from the designated hole, at first made this seem as troublesome a barrier to her freedom as the more conventional exit had been.
But such was Saskia’s determination to succeed in her bid to break out, that she did exactly that. Realising that this door was not of recent vintage, and was of a far less robust construction than the door that barred her from exiting the way she’d come in, Saskia began searching for a weak point, and soon noticed that the central part of the wooden frame, where the two halves joined, had warped slightly with age, and that a sliver of daylight could be seen in the ensuing gap. Fear that the panes might shatter and cut her, or that the sound of splintering glass might attract unwanted attention to her antics, meant that Saskia pushed only tentatively at first on the central stile. But as this didn’t yield the hoped for results, she began to shove a bit harder, and after a minute or more, her patience paid off, as the wood splintered and the two halves of the door suddenly flew open.
The sun on her face and the warm breeze in her hair had the effect of causing Saskia to pause in her quest for freedom momentarily, as she stepped onto the balcony and closed her eyes; taking in the sounds and smells of the great outdoors, which she’d wondered if she would ever experience again. Upon opening her eyes and looking over the parapet, however, she realised that she was still far from home and dry in her mission to put as much distance as possible between Dolores and herself. For it was only now, as she recalled the number of flights of stairs that she’d had to climb in order to reach her lofty place of confinement, that the fact that this was the third floor of the building suddenly hit her. The sheer drop to the courtyard, far below, made any thoughts of jumping unfeasible, unless she was prepared to risk life threatening injuries in the process – which she wasn’t. What about climbing down?
Looking around at the walls, Saskia could spy a few ancient and fractured drainage pipes running vertically from the gutters down to the ground below, but none that could be relied on not to break, and more importantly, none that were reachable from her vantage point. And the walls, though uneven in places, showed no signs of hand and foot holds that could be used to safely make her descent without the use of crampons and ropes. For although she did have some of the latter at her disposal, the length of these precluded any bid at abseiling down that she may have briefly entertained.
So that left only one alternative. To her left, on the same level as the balcony from which she now surveyed the scene before her, and at a distance of around four feet from the low stone wall that surrounded her particular eyrie, another, almost identical structure protruded from the ancient stonework of Shackleton Grange. And this balcony was reached, from the inside, by an identical window to that which she had just broken through; the difference being that this one was already standing slightly ajar, as if someone had opened it to air the room. Was this room occupied? Would she be able to make her escape if she managed to enter through those enticingly open French doors, or would this room also prove to be locked from the outside?
Although there were a vast number of unknowable factors that could, potentially, prove stumbling blocks to her plans, Saskia had no real alternative but to take her chances. Climbing up onto the crumbling stone rampart, and taking care not to look down, lest the drop caused a bout of vertigo to overcome her, Saskia braced herself and jumped. Although the leap was of a distance that, had the drop been of only a few feet, she wouldn’t have given a second thought to, the elevation made Saskia close her eyes as she thrust herself forwards, and for what seemed an eternity she felt like she was in mid air, and that she must have misjudged her distances and now be careering back towards earth. It was an illusion, of course, brought on by her fear of heights, and the reality of the situation was that, a split second after takeoff, she landed on the opposite side of the gaping chasm and promptly stumbled down onto the floor of the balcony. For a few seconds, she stood regaining her composure, still not daring to gaze over the edge, in case the knowledge of what she’d just achieved triggered a delayed reaction and caused her dizziness to return.
Having recovered her poise, Saskia turned her attention to the room into which she was about to make her entrance. Opening the doors wider, so that she could poke her head inside and check that the coast was clear, she encountered a set of blackout curtains, similar to those in the room she’d just exited, but cleaner and newer looking. With caution, she pushed these aside and entered. The room was not only in darkness, but silence also reigned, suggesting that she was alone. To find her way to the door, however, she needed more light, and the quickest way to achieve this state was to pull back the curtains a few inches. This Saskia did, before turning towards the door. The room, it appeared, was a large and spacious bedroom, and a well furnished one at that, with wardrobes, dressing tables, and various other items of expensive antique furniture dotted around the plush carpeted floor. Pride of place was taken by an enormous four poster bed.
Saskia was more interested in leaving this room as quickly as possible, than she was in inspecting the furnishings or the paintings that hung on the walls. She had taken no more than two steps in the direction of the exit, however, when she was stopped in her tracks by the sight laid out before her on the bed...
...and her jaw dropped in astonishment!
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story continues in The Secrets of Shackleton Grange 22: Dolores' Little Secret