Briana smiled as she carefully locked the front door. Turning, she strode into the living room, pausing beside a large, wheeled suitcase. Slowly, and with obvious effort, she lowered the case to lie flat, then slid the zippers open and throwing back the top to reveal the naked woman curled within.
"Hello, Jolene," she said, dragging the limp form from the case. "Oh," she smiled, "I do know who you are, by the way. Wouldn't do to kidnap the wrong woman, after all."
As she spoke, Briana encircled the woman's wrists with leather cuffs, locking them closed and together with a single lock. She then attached the cuffs to the end of a cable dangling from the room's high ceiling.
"You," she said, picking up a wireless remote, "are the woman who seduced my husband. Poor Jerry never could hold his drink. But it wasn't enough to seduce him, was it? You had to get greedy, try to blackmail him."
Briana thumbed a button on the remote. Above, a concealed winch whirred into life, drawing in the cable, drawing the woman's strangely limp body up until she dangled well above the floor.
"You thought he'd pay you to keep me from finding out," Briana continued, sliding a heavy square box to rest beneath the woman's feet. After securing her ankles with leather cuffs, Briana attached a second cable, working the winch to lower the woman until she could clip the cable's other end to a sturdy ring mounted atop the box. A final tap to the remote stretched the woman between the two cables. "Gotta love these old houses and their high ceilings," she murmured, stepping back.
"Of course," she said, "you had no way of knowing how devoted my husband is when he's sober. He told me the whole story the day after it happened. Just as he told me about your blackmail threat as soon as he received it."
Apparently satisfied with the woman's restraint, Briana stepped into another room, returning with a strange device. It looked like a hinged ring with four long poles attached. Pulling a stepladder next to the woman, she mounted. Opening the ring, she closed it around the cable above the woman's hands, using a small tool to ensure it remained securely in place. The four poles, mounted to the ring on pivots, now rested against the woman's slack body.
Briana made a second trip to the other room, this time returning with four curved pieces of metal. To each piece was attached what looked like artificial branches, while cords dangled from the other side. From her pocket, she removed four strange looking brackets, attaching one to each pole. The curved pieces were then attached to the brackets, forming a neat circle and pulling the poles away from the woman's body.
"It took a while to find you," she continued, wrapping a leather strap around the woman's arms. Carefully, she attached the cords from the curved pieces to hooks on the strap. "Of course, once I did locate you, it took more time to find out where you lived, even more to get inside and spike your wine."
Another trip produced a second set of curved pieces, slightly larger. These were attached to brackets slightly below the first. Again, a leather strap was secured around the woman's arms, cords from the curved pieces attached to hooks.
More trips produced more pieces, each set slightly larger than the last, with slightly larger branches attached. Each was secured to the poles, its cords hooked to straps encircling the woman's body.
"Oh, don't worry," she said as the construct reached down to the woman's mouth. "The drug in your wine isn't harmful or lasting. It just relaxed you." Briana laughed. "Completely. Once it wears off, you'll be fine. Which means I need to get this done."
So saying, she inserted a gag into the woman's mouth, buckling the strap securely. With quick, sure pumps, she inflated the gag until the woman's cheeks bulged, then closed the valve and removed the pump. Over the gag, she strapped a small plastic box. Next, she taped small pads over each nipple. Another pair of pads was taped to the insides of the woman's thighs. Carefully, she ran wires from each pad down the woman's body, allowing them to dangle beneath her feet. After inserting catheters and running the hoses down the helpless body as well, she returned to her construction.
When Briana finally stepped back, a perfect Christmas tree dangled from the cable, its lower branches well below the top of the box. Slowly, she moved around the tree, looking carefully for any sign of what lay within, but the overlap between layers had been perfectly measured. Only by physically lifting the branches could she see the naked woman stretched in the center.
"Perfect," she whispered, smiling. "Now, how well does it work."
Moments later, as if in answer, the branches began to move slightly. Within, the bound woman began to regain the use of her muscles, at first twitching, then squirming, each movement tugging on the various cords attached to the straps encircling her body. These in turn pulled on the branches in their pivoting mounts. Within, a helpless woman struggled. From without, the branches of a Christmas tree swayed as if in an unfelt breeze.
As Briana watched, smiling, a sound emerged from the swaying branches. Light, delicate, it sounded like distant sleigh bells. Hearing this, Briana clapped her hands with delight. The sound, she knew, came from the box covering the woman's gag. The plain looking box was actually a sound activated music box Any sound the woman tried to make activated the box, it's chimes easily drowning out any noise that might escape her packed mouth.
"This is wonderful," Briana said happily. "Now, all I have to do is plug you in, and my tree is ready for the holidays."
Taking the hoses from the catheters, Briana fed them through a hole in the top of the box to special collection bags.
"One more thing." Briana fed the wires from the pads into the box, connecting them to a regulator. Briana pulled a cord from the side of the box, plugging it into a wall socket. Setting the timer on the regulator, she closed the box and stepped back.
While she worked, the woman's struggled had ceased. Now, after only a moment, her body jerked, sending the branches once more into motion as chimes once more filled the room. Seconds later, she jerked again as the timer sent random shocks through one of the pads.
"There," Briana smiled, watching the branches sway to the sound of chimes. "Now it really does feel like Christmas in here. And I know Jerry will be so pleased. Especially," she added with a grin, "when he helps me take the tree down after the First." Smiling, she went in search of decorations for her new tree.
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