You may like to read Darkstorm Part 1 before reading this post.
I began to develop a comfortable working relationship with Catherine. She had suggested on one of her trips to the library that I might be interested in assisting her as a research assistant. It was to be an unpaid assignment, and one that would not interfere with my job as a librarian.
“Come to my office for an hour or two after work and before you leave for home,” she had suggested, “you just might find it rewarding.”
Reward comes in many forms; this was not to be a financial reward. In fact, as I soon found out, the gratification I received from working for Catherine in close proximity was to be the sole compensation. The work was light; she was not particularly demanding of my skills. I think it was the companionship that she enjoyed.
Every now and again, she would ask my opinion, but mostly she kept a comfortable silence. Classical music played quietly in the background; she seemed particularly keen on the soothing melodies of Brahms, the clarity of the notes played in Teleman’s trumpet concertos, and the mood inspiring works of Vivaldi’s Four Season. It was a dark yet warm office. Light spilled from a desk lamp onto her formal wooden desk, and a gas fire kept artificial logs glowing with its flickering blue flames. A glass of red wine often sat on her desk, but she did not offer me any in those early days of our relationship.
I would mainly sit in the formal chair at the side stand of her desk and occasionally she had me standing on that little platform in front of her. “I like to see you when I look up,” she mused.
I enjoyed watching her work away on whatever was keeping her busy at that time: sometimes it was marking assignments, sometimes it was working on her research project. She would look up at me from time to time, considering my presence for a moment or two, and then returning to her task at hand.
She never did instruct me to change my style of dress, but over the course of a few evenings, she made some pointed remarks which guided me on her expectations. Any sloppiness which might have been put down to having spent a long day in the library was put right before I entered her office; I freshened my face, made sure my makeup was flawless, tapped a few dabs of perfume onto my pulse points. Underwear was changed, working flats swapped for heels, a check made that my nails were neat and trim.
The semi-permanent scowl that she wore no longer frightened me. Her occasional smiles lit up her face and brightened my evening. I felt comfortable with her, loved the feeling of intense submission when in her presence, and wondered how long it would be before she once again conjured up a scene from L’Image, or perhaps from another classic work of erotica with which I knew her to be so familiar.
Expectations not met
It was in the second week of my unpaid assignment that events took a turn. I was standing on the little platform in front of her desk with my hands by my sides. Catherine was behind her desk, the stem of a wine glass twirling slowly between her fingers, the light from her desk lamp falling on one side of her face, but casting an ominous shadow on the other, exacerbating the menace her perpetual scowl.
She started to stare at me intently; her eyes seemed to be fixed on my breasts.
“Is that a black bra strap? Am I really seeing that?” She seemed incredulous, exasperated by my failing.
My stomach churned. We had never discussed a formal dress code, much less under-wear. Was there something I had overlooked from her pointed comments? What was I missing? My voice seemed tinny to me, distant and child-like.
“Take your dress off. Just drop it.”
“Black..” she muttered. Her voice was filled with derision, “what sort of submissive is she if she doesn’t even know to wear white. Really!”
I hesitated for just a second, then reached behind to drag down the zip. With a bit of help from me, the dress descended and puddled on to the platform around my feet. It was worse than I could have planned for; my bra was black, my panties a pale blue. Uncoordinated, un-submissive. I could feel the fear coursing through my body. My nerves were ragged, my breathing fast.
“The rod, Anne, get it! And move that dress off the pedestal immediately, now!”
She had used my given name Anne; I slipped into my role without further thought. I could guess what was coming and knew what was expected.
My walk to the antique oak cupboard with the diamond shaped, glass panes seemed to take me an eternity. I could feel her eyes boring into my back. Yet suddenly I was there, my trembling hands swinging the door open, my eyes darting around to find the rod. Two canes hung by their crooks, one as thick as a finger, varnished brown and cruel. A senior school dragon, no doubt about that. The other was thin black and whippy, more than a toy yet its sting would be viscous. My hand hovered – which was the right choice, what if I got it wrong?
Then I saw it: the rod. It was there, hanging on the right, a slender white stick with black, leather-wound handle, hanging from the rail by a thin leather thong. It was thinner than I had ever imagined it would be, more menacing, yet in a perverse way, more erotic, more evocative.
I closed the glass doors carefully and stood for a moment, looking at the other implements of punishment hanging inside. My own reflection caught my eye, the offending bra reflecting dully in the old glass panes. In the distant reflection, I could just see the outline of Catherine, staring malevolently at me, ghost like and threatening.
Brahms Symphony No3; an anchor that will always pull me back to that instant. The melodies, the tap of my heels on the hardwood floor, the chill on my skin, the fear that raced through my veins, my obvious arousal that threatened my betrayal.
Catherine’s outstretched hand, my attempt at mounting the platform with what little dignity I could muster; these are images that are burned into my mind. I knew what was required; I turned my back to Catherine and started to bend over. Reaching to myside tenuously, slipping my thumbs beneath my panties bands. It was a movie that seemed be playing in slow motion, a movie that starred me as the victim.
“Leave them! I never told you to take them off!”
Her voice was sharp, her tone unforgiving.
I bent again, my hands on my knees. I felt uncomfortable; mismatched underwear; a patch of damp most certainly showing.
This time it was Catherine’s shoes that I heard moving around on the hardwood floors. More of a shuffle than a click, a bit of a squeal of rubber against wood, a horror movie that seemed to have stopped in mid reel.
I could sense her behind me, could feel her displeasure radiating at my back. The pain was unannounced; she gave no warning, provided no hint. It was a streak of fire that burned across my bottom, burrowing into my flesh, setting a thousand nerves on edge. A pain that seemed to grow by the hour, yet only seconds could have ticked by on the clock. And then again, another slash that burned even deeper, taking my breath away, causing me to rear up and grab my bottom for relief. I knew I looked ridiculous, but I didn’t care; I just needed to escape the terrible pain, to rub away the throbbing that threatened to overwhelm my rear.
“Stand up and get dressed Anne – you can go home now. We are finished for the evening. Tomorrow you will be dressed properly. Just remember that you will NOT wear blue panties. In fact, it is preferable that you don’t wear panties at all.”
Then she was gone; I heard her shoes moving across the floor, the door open and close. I was alone. With tears running down my cheeks, I quickly dressed and let myself out. They were tears because I had failed; I had disappointed Catherine, I had let myself down. At least there would be a tomorrow.
I recalled the scenes from L’Image vividly: Anne being taken into a lingerie shop; the shop assistant being told that Anne wore a garter belt rather than panties because it showed off her patch; the humiliation that she felt as she tried on the new underwear in front of the assistant; her mortification when told to thank the assistant in kind for the help received.
I knew what Catherine was expecting of me, and I dressed accordingly. I wasn’t surprised then, when Catherine stood up as soon as I entered her office the next evening and told me that I shouldn’t get settled as we were going out shopping together.
The lingerie shop was in the old French Quarter. Cobbled roads, ornate gas-lit streetlights large snowflakes drifting lazily down. Mannequins dressed in lacy underwear in window displays, a promise of seduction beyond the threshold, intimate moments to be indulged in private.
A “Closed to the public– private fitting appointments available on request” sign hung at the door, but Catherine pushed the door open and dragged me inside.
The sales assistant was just as I might have imagined her to be; she could have stepped right out of a ’70’s movie. Soft, compassionate eyes, lovely complexion; neither slender nor fat; knee length, pale beige woolen skirt and light rose pink cashmere cardigan. A string of pearls added a touch of elegance, a touch of class, a display of reserve. Her demeanor was warm and attentive, intimate without intrusion.
She greeted Catherine warmly but deferentially; they obviously had met before. She looked me up and down quickly, inquisitive without being judgmental, and then turned her focus back to Catherine.
“Madame Discret, how lovely to see you! How can I be of assistance today?” Her French accent tantalized, an erotic blend of English words and Continental mystique; sensual and seductive, a promise of passion.
“Anne, get on the platform and wait!”
Catherine took the sales assistant’s arm and guided her away. I picked up the words “gold”, “bijou”, and then they were out of my hearing.
Perhaps five minutes had passed before they were back, yet it seemed that I had been standing self-consciously, alone on my pedestal, for an age. The sales assistant carried a small jewelry box, handling it delicately, something of value.
“Anne, drop your skirts, Camille will fit you.”
I looked at Camille, perhaps for a second too long. What one earth could she be fitting me with; this was a lingerie shop! My face flushed as the realization came. Slowly, ever so slowly, I pulled my skirts down and let them fall into an untidy mess around my ankles.
Camille dropped to her knees onto a cushion at my feet. She reached forward and a dragged a fingertip slowly down from the top of my hair to my slit.
“Turn around Anne, so that she can see you properly!” Catherine’s voice was harsh, unconcerned that I might feel embarrassment in front of this stranger.
Mortified, I shuffled slowly around on the platform until my back was towards them. I felt a nail running slowly across my skin, gently tracing the bruises, savoring the texture. It stopped briefly where the bruise leapt across the chasm to the opposing cheek, a slight tickle, almost imperceptible, a salacious probe, and then it moved on.
“She was punished, Cami; her underwear was inappropriate. Face us, Anne!”
Another flush of humiliation, and frisson of lust.
Catherine’s voice was harsh and I felt my body respond.
“Part your legs, Anne. Don’t keep Camille waiting. You will be punished again if you stall.”
I turned and spread my legs, my face burning, my embarrassment obvious.
“Anne, do you mind I call you that?” Her voice was solicitous and sensuous, soothing my nerves.
I nodded, warming to her manner.
“Anne, I am going to fit you with a clitoral bijou; have you ever worn one?”
I shook my head; no, I had never even heard of one!
“Anne, you will love it! It will keep you so aware, so ready!” Her voice was silky, a touch of passion, a promise of sensuality with purity, no seediness in mind.
She paused; her fingers traced their way around the top of my hood.
“But Anne, I need you to be aroused to get the fit right!”
There was nothing condescending in her tone, no salaciousness, no malice.
Catherine’s had flashed out, striking my bottom, a stinging slap that left me shaking.
“You heard her Anne! Let her prepare you.”
I understood, and dropped my hands to my pubis and gently parted my lips. Mortified, I watched Camille lean forward, and then as she worked her tongue slowly around my lower lips. I gave in to pleasure. The warmth, the proximity, the shame; it all melded into a state of arousal, one of deep hypnotic submission. My fingers circled around her hair, creating little ringlets, and pulling her gently closer, maximizing the contact, directing her focus. I could feel her tongue working gently, lapping at my offering, generating waves of pleasure that rolled through my belly, heating my breasts.
And then her fingers were working, deftly clipping a beautiful little ornament around my clit hood, brushing my swollen clit lightly, trailing her fingers for a last time through my curls. The clip squeezed my clit forward, applying a delicious pressure; a pair of gold plated weights brushed against it, threatening to send jolts of pleasure at every move.
Camille slowly pulled back and stood up, and looked straight into my eyes. A gentle smile played at the edges of her lips, slight amusement at my predicament, yet perhaps a touch of sympathy glistened in her eyes.
“Thank her, Anne!”
Camille and I looked at each other, our eyes locked. We leaned slowly into each other and I felt her hands reach up to my face, gently guiding me until our lips touch.
Her scent was sublime; vanilla and jasmin, mandarin and amber. Black Opium, sultry and rich, a lingering trace of my own arousal on lips, a sip of coffee on her breath.
I vaguely heard the shop door swing open, the tinkle of a door chime, the crisp click of heels on the tiled floors. A deathly silence, broken at last by Catherine’s voice, soothing now, but still in control.
“If you will just wait a moment, please Madam, Camille will be with you shortly.”
A smack on my bottom again; it was soft this time, her gloves barely leaving a mark.
“It’s time Anne, we need to be going.”
Camille and I disengaged. Flustered, I pulled up my skirt. Still on her knees, she looked up at her next customer, an angelic smile on her face, a twinkle in her eyes.
“Mademoiselle, it is so thoughtful for you to be on time for your fitting! I will be with you in just a moment.”
The look Camille gave me as Catherine led me out by my wrist caused my heart to flutter; I suspected that we would be seeing each other again.