|by Van ©2012
An hour... at least a full
hour since she left me here. Rory was naked (not
counting a pair of black opera gloves or her bonds) and up on her toes in what
Fiona had called the "strappado" position. Her arms were
behind her back with her wrists and elbows lashed with white
nylon rope. Her lower thighs were also tied. She was
bent forward at the waist with her wrists attached to a taut
chain that stretched up, across the dungeon, and down to the
Fi said 'level two' would be
more intense—but torture? Really?
Rory's feet and calves were really
beginning to ache. She'd tried hanging from her arms to
give them a break, but after less than a minute the pain in her
shoulders became too great and she went back up on her
toes. She'd only "rested" like this a half-dozen times, so
far, and already was utterly
convinced that by three o'clock, when Fiona said she'd
return, she'd be hanging by her wrists in exhausted agony!
Suddenly, the door from the secret passage opened. Rory's
Evil Sadistic Torturer had returned early. "Hey," Fiona
said with a smile. "How's it hangin', Ginger-Fox?"
Under normal circumstances—meaning when she'd been tied up,
gagged, and left somewhere to struggle and fantasize in
"comfort"—Rory would have glared
and stared and done
the whole Proud Prisoner thing in response—but Holy Inquisitorial Crap!
Strappado Torture! "Mrrrpfh!"
"What's that, Ginger-Fox?" Fiona strolled to the
winch. "You want to go higher?"
She put one hand on the crank and with the other unlocked the
"Well... if you insist."
"NRRRF!" Shaking her head wildly, Rory braced herself.
Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick...
The crank turned, the chain rattled—and Rory's arms dropped.
"I swear, Rory," Fiona giggled as she continued turning the
winch. "You really are
an easy mark. Really."
Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick...
Rory sighed through her foam-ball-and-panel-gag, reveling in the
pleasure of not
balancing on her suffering toes. Her lower back and abs
complained as she straightened up, but ultimately the relevant
muscle groups shared her relief at the change in posture.
Belatedly, it occurred to Rory to assert the appropriate degree
of Haughty Disdain expected of a Brave Damsel. "Mrrrf!"
"Nobody appreciates my comedy," Fiona chuckled, then strolled
over and released Rory's bound wrists from the chain. Click. "Okay, enough
lounging around. Are you going to come quietly, or do I
need to drag you by the hair like before?"
Rory stared at her smiling cousin, but didn't dignify the
question with a gagged "answer."
Fiona chuckled, put her right arm over Rory's shoulders, and led
her towards the door to the secret passage. "C'mon.
Things to do."
They made their exit. Behind in the dungeon, the weighted
chain swung in an ever-decreasing arc for several seconds.
Then, all was still.
sighed through her gag. Her arms were bound in the same
manner, but her leg bondage was now different, and much more elaborate.
She was in Fiona's workshop, atop a small work table off to one
side of the main work area. She was sitting in the
semi-lotus position with her ankles crossed and knees bent, and
Fiona's ropes were making very
sure she stayed that way. Neat, tightly-cinched bands
bound her thighs to her lower legs and lashed her to the table,
preventing her from lifting her knees or sliding in any
direction. More rope encircled her waist and was linked to
her bound ankles. Her heels were nearly touching her
pussy, something Rory could visually verify as her chin was
hovering about a foot above her red pubic bush.
Oh by the way, Fiona had tied one end of a long length of rope
to the D-ring in Rory's wrist bonds, tossed the remainder over a
rafter, and hauled until her young cousin was back in the strappado
position. It was a sitting
strappado, and not as stringent as the
strappado she'd endured down in the dungeon, but it was strappado (in Rory's
Fiona tied off the rope and strolled around to smile at her glaring captive.
"Okay, news flash—I'm not
as sadistic as you might be thinking at the moment. A
heartless bitch? Yes, but I know a bouncing baby Bondage
Brownie has to crawl before she can walk. In other words,
I'm not going to make
you dance on your toes down in the dungeon all day, not on your
very first day at level two." She smiled, leaned forward,
and kissed Rory's forehead. "Aren't I just the sweetest
Rory glowered and
sent a muffled growl through her gag.
"Okay, then..." Fiona picked up a paper dust mask,
stretched its elastic band behind Rory's head and over her
ginger locks, then seated the form-fitting mask over her
captive's nose and gagged mouth. "I've been wasting an
inordinate amount of time this week, and it's all your
fault. So, you just sit there, young lady, and enjoy the
rest of trial number four. I'll be I knocking out a few
birdhouse kits." She picked up a pair of rubber
earplugs. "OSHA regulations requires that all workshop
damsels wear full protection, even when being tortured."
Rory offered no resistance as Fiona compressed the plugs and
inserted them into her ears. Next, Fiona produced a pair
of headphone-style earmuffs and gave her "victim" double hearing
protection. Rory could now hear next to nothing.
Fiona's lips were moving—sharing more of her devastating wit, no
doubt—but all Rory could "hear" was dead air.
Next, Fiona produced a pair of safety goggles. They might
have originally been clear plastic, but someone (Rory's money
was on Fiona) had given them several coats of black paint,
rendering them completely opaque.
Rory's sad blue eyes disappeared behind the goggles. She
felt the elastic join the growing array of straps and bands
encircling her head, and then—Fiona's hands were gone. She
could see nothing other than a furtive glow that may have been
coming from the ventilation ports in the sidewalls of the
goggles, but she knew that might just be her imagination.
She was effectively deaf, dumb, blind, and virtually
paralyzed—that is, her hearing was blocked, her mouth gagged,
her eyes covered, and her limbs tightly bound. Wow!
So... all she could do was wait.
Minutes passed... and passed... and became hours.
Apparently, Fiona had decided to skip lunch.
Fiona was working.
Rory could tell when she was using her power tools. There
may have been a weak auditory component, but mainly Rory felt
the vibration of the spinning motors and whirring blades
transmitted across the floor and up through the table.
The sensory deprived captive "suffered" in "misery"—and drifted
through a newly discovered and sublime region of subspace.
was in the sauna, lying on her stomach on a towel-covered bench
with her chin resting on her crossed arms. Her porcelain
skin was flushed and shining with sweat and Fiona was giving her
a massage... and it felt glorious!
Fiona was as naked as her young cousin and just as flushed and
sweaty. Kneeling on a towel on the cedar floor, at the
moment she was kneading Rory's shoulders. "Are you still
not talking to me?" she inquired.
"Of course not," Rory sighed. "Oooooh, that feels soooo good."
Fiona smiled. "You know, if you want, we can call off the
whole thing." She continued the massage, slowly working
her way down Rory's back. "You don't have to be a Bondage
Brownie." Still no answer. "Well?"
"I'm thinkin' about it," Rory muttered.
The massage continued... and Fiona continued smiling.
"No," Rory finally admitted, "I don't want to call it off."
"Okay, then we could slow things down," Fiona offered.
"Maybe wait a few days before trial number five?" Seconds
passed as she massaged the Bondage Brownie Initiate's lower
back. "Do you want to do that? Do you want to wait?"
"What part of I'm not talkin' to you don't you understand?" Rory
"Apparently, all of it," Fiona chuckled. "We should
"Hopeless," Rory sighed. "No, I don't want to wait.
I want to get this over with."
Rory sighed. "Why? Really?"
Fiona smiled. "What's your hurry, or do you enjoy being
tortured? I know you're a lot of fun to torture, but you actually enjoy it?"
"Not the torture," Rory huffed. "The damsel-in-distress
thing, that's what's fun. And I'm curious. You know,
about the club."
"I wasn't being serious about you liking torture," Fiona
"I know," Rory chuckled, "but I'm still not talking to you. For example,
I'm not going to ask
you about what we're going to do to me tomorrow."
"No spoilers, Ginger-Fox," Fiona chuckled. "No spoilers."
Suddenly, the sauna door opened, admitting a wall of cold air
and a naked Caitlin!
Rory and Fiona stared at the senior Fox in open mouthed
surprise. (But not with guilt! Certainly not with guilt!)
"Hello to you, too," Caitlin purred.
"Uh, hi," Fiona responded.
"Yeah, welcome home," Rory chimed in.
"Geez," Caitlin laughed, "I come home an hour early and you guys
act like I caught you with your hands in the cookie jar."
She ladled water from the bucket and wet down the bench opposite
Rory and Fiona, then sat and smiled at her sister. "Or,
with your hands on Rory, as the case may be."
Fiona blushed—maybe, she was already flushed. "I, uh, she
was helping in the shop and strained her back, and—"
"I bent over and tried lifting too much lumber," Rory
explained. "From the lumber rack. To make
"Yeah, birdhouses," Fiona nodded. "So I'm givin' her a massage."
"My back," Rory added. "She's, uh, massaging my back."
Caitlin gazed at her sister and cousin. "Okay, forget I
mentioned it. Carry on."
"So..." Rory smiled at Caitlin as Fiona continued her
massage. "How was your
"Okay," Caitlin answered. "Oh, breaking news: I may
be away the middle of next week. There's a budget working
group at the state capital Tuesday through Thursday and they're
probably gonna make me go."
"Sounds like fun," Rory offered.
"Not likely," Caitlin sighed. "We'll generate a detailed
report, it'll get used by various legislative staffs to generate
Powerpoint slide ammunition for the next round of the budget
battle, and that'll be it."
"You'll get to eat at fancy restaurants at the taxpayers'
expense," Fiona noted.
"I'll get mileage and per diem," Caitlin huffed. She
noticed that Rory's eyes were on her breasts. "What?"
"Fi said your breasts are too big," Rory explained, "but I don't
Fiona had delivered a stinging slap to Rory's left butt-cheek.
"Traitor!" she muttered.
Caitlin laughed. "I am
the only one around here who can pass the pencil test."
Rory frowned. "Huh?"
"The pencil test," Fiona purred. "She can tuck a pair of
number-two pencils under her tits and they'll stay there."
"Just barely," Caitlin huffed, "on a good day. Anyway,
it's not my fault
Fifi was standing behind the door when they handed out
boobs." She gave her little sister's back a gentle,
teasing nudge with her right foot. "Sorry."
"Yeah," Rory grinned up at Fiona, "don't look so chest-fallen."
"The word is crestfallen," Fiona said, "you little traitor!" Her fingers
were dancing along Rory's ribs.
"Ahhh! Stop-stop-stop!" Rory first tried rolling away, and
when that didn't work, curled herself into a ball—a pink,
sweaty, giggling ball. "Stooop!"
"No playing grab-ass in the sauna," Caitlin chuckled. "You
know that. Mom would pitch a fit."
"Okay," Fiona relented, then sat next to her sister. She glared at Rory and stuck
out her tongue. "Traitor!"
Rory uncurled from her protective tuck, sat upright on the bench
facing the Whelan sisters, and smiled.
"She's ticklish," Fiona noted in an aside to Caitlin. She
was still smiling back at Rory.
"So are you," Caitlin responded, nudging Fiona in the
side. "What's for dinner?"
"Chicken," Fiona answered. "It's marinating in the
fridge. Also, couscous stuffed peppers."
"Sounds good," Caitlin said, then eased her back against the
cedar wall, sighed, and closed her eyes.
Rory focused on Fiona and they nodded at the door in
unison. "Uh, I'll help you with the chicken."
"Okay," Fiona answered. She stood and gathered her
towel. "I hate to sweat and run," she told Caitlin.
"You both look like you're about done," Caitlin said through
"Parboiled." Fiona headed out the door.
"Like a lobster," Rory agreed, then jumped up, snatched her
towel from the bench, and followed. "Later."
"Later," Caitlin responded. "I'm gonna be here for a
The sauna door closed behind them and Fiona stepped between Rory
and the shower. "Dibs!" she announced.
Rory leaned close and whispered in Fiona's right ear. "Do
you think she heard us, before?"
Fiona shook her head, then opened the shower stall and turned on
the water. "Go," she whispered back, and nodded towards
the bathroom door.
Rory turned and padded from the Momma-Fox bedroom, heading for
the main bathroom to take a cold shower of her own.
new day, a new ordeal—Level two—Trial five!
Breakfast was consumed, Caitlin was on her way to work, and Rory
was following the instructions of her soon-to-be Grand
Inquisitor. Okay, she didn't know that Fiona was gonna do anything cruel
and unusual to her, but it seemed like a safe bet.
Donning fresh clothes, going down to breakfast, then coming back upstairs and
stripping off said
clothes was wasted effort, but necessary to keep Caitlin in the
dark. Anyway, Rory was in her bedroom and kicking off her
sneakers. She arranged them on the floor of the closet in
their usual position, then removed her jeans and hung them from
the very same hanger they'd so recently occupied. She pulled off
her tank-top and soon it was neatly folded and returned to its
proper place in the chest of drawers. Her panties and bra
Naked and with her straight, ginger locks combed back and tied
in a ponytail with a narrow, sky-blue ribbon, Rory padded down
stairs and headed for the kitchen. Fiona was wiping down
the breakfast nook with a damp cloth. "Okay," Rory huffed,
"I'm naked and—"
"What did I tell you to do?" Fiona interrupted.
Rory sighed and spun on her bare feet. "Geez, Tyrannical
Bitch much?" She padded into the living room knelt on the
carpet in the center of the sitting area, settled back on her
heels, and placed her hands atop her head. She only had a
wait of about a minute before Fiona appeared.
"Very cute, Ginger-Fox," Fiona chuckled.
"Very pointless," Rory huffed.
"Not at all," Fiona chuckled. "It helps focus your almost Bondage Brownie
mind." She had something under her left arm, a rolled
bundle of what appeared to be natural canvas. "It also
confirms your willingness to follow orders."
Rory would have countered with a snappy comeback, but her full
attention was on the bundle. She watched as Fiona smiled,
knelt, placed it on the floor, and gave it a shove. It
unrolled, to the accompaniment of flopping canvas straps and
tinkling buckles. Fiona unfolded it completely,
and—"Wow!"—Rory found herself staring at what was unmistakably a
"Not one of your
fits-like-a-burlap-sack models," Fiona purred. "This thing
hugs your body like the proverbial glove, especially when
properly adjusted. And believe me..." She was
straightening the jacket's dozen or more buckles and
straps. "I know how."
"Wow," Rory whispered.
Fiona stood and held up the jacket. Tinkle, tinkle, clatter, clink.
"Up," she ordered with a smile, "and slide your arms into the
Rory complied. "Tight fit," she complained, and it
was. She had to extend her fingers and press her thumbs
against her palms to force her way all the way to the ends of
the tubes. A long, inch-and-a-half wide canvas strap
dangled from the end of each sleeve.
Fiona ducked under Rory's canvas-shrouded arms and zipped the
jacket closed in the back. Zzzzzip—click.
The fob of the zipper was a D-ring that snapped through a flange
in the back of the jacket's high collar. A strap was
buckled over the ring and flange, securing both. "Legs
apart," Fiona ordered, and Rory separated her bare feet several
more inches. Fiona leaned to the side and grabbed the end
of a strap dangling from the front of the jacket, pulled it
between Rory's legs, threaded the end through a buckle in the
back, and pulled. Vrrrrrip!
"Oh!" Rory gasped.
Fiona leaned close and whispered in Rory's right ear.
"That isn't too tight, is it?"
"Well," Rory answered, "now that you mention it—" Vriiip. "Oh!"
This was the first time in the trials that Fiona had done
anything between Rory's legs. The pressure against her
pussy was... there. Not too
tight, but tight, and definitely
there. The feeling was electric, another of those
thrills she'd been feeling during her other ordeals, only more
so, as actual physical contact was involved. A different
strap might have been even more stimulating. As it was,
the strap was too heavy to allow the formation of a "camel toe"
and too wide to part her labia and force its way between.
However, it did squash
things a little, and as Fiona fiddled with the jacket it
repeatedly made its presence known.
And speaking of fiddling, Fiona was tightening the laces of a
gusset running down the jacket's right flank. She tied a
bow and switched her efforts to the matching gusset on the left
side. It was tightened, another bow tied, then she
switched back to the side right . She released the bow,
went back over the laces, pulling out an additional inch of
slack, then tied a doubled bow.
The left lace was tightened and also secured with a doubled
bow. She then took a step back and smiled. "Okay,
hands on top of your head and give us a slow turn."
Tinkle, clatter, clink.
Rory raised her hands and shuffled in a slow circle. An
ominous array of buckles and straps remained, waiting to secure
her arms. A blush colored Rory's cheeks as she completed
the turn, then faced her grinning cousin.
"I told you it would fit," Fiona purred.
And fit the jacket did. It hugged every curve of Rory's
torso, and while it wasn't exactly a glove or corset, it
resisted Rory's every breath, seeming to tighten around her
waist, across her breasts, and
through her legs. At the moment, Rory was actually
glad she didn't have Caitlin's endowment, chest-wise, as
not-huge as Cat's boobs might be. "Wow."
"Okay," Fiona chuckled, "You know what to do."
Rory nodded, then crossed her canvas-encased arms across her
chest. Fiona freed the ends of the many remaining straps
and buckles, then began the long, involved process of threading
Vriiip, vriiip, vriiip,
Straps tightened around Rory's upper arms, pinning them to her
sides. Additional straps pressed her crossed forearms
against her tummy (adding additional pressure to the crotch
strap) and linked her elbows together across her back. It
came nothing close to pulling her elbows together, of course,
but the tension added to the intensity of the self-hug.
And then there was the main attraction, tightness-wise.
The straps at the ends of the sleeves were threaded through
loops sewn into the sides of the jacket, crossed under her
forearms in front, through another pair of loops, then threaded
through buckles in the back and tugged tight.
"Now," Fiona purred. "This is easier with two people, but
it can be done with just one. Exhale."
Fiona had hugged her close, pressing Rory's arms against her
sides with all her strength. Simultaneously, she reached
around and removed the resulting slack from the sleeve straps.
Meanwhile—vrip, vrip, vrip,
vrip, vrip—Fiona was removing any remaining slack from
the other straps. "Sometime you can help me put one of
these on Caitlin. Then, you'll see what I mean about it
being easier with two people. After you've passed your trials, of course."
Rory twisted her shoulders and tugged on her arms. "This
is tight," she muttered. The canvas was stretched across
her skin over most of its surface, with only a very few wrinkles
and folds, and the taut fabric barely moved as she struggled.
"That's the general idea," Fiona chuckled. She was
threading the free ends of the straps through various loops and
sleeves designed to keep them out of the way. "The
designer is a genius.
Don't you agree? I have no idea where mom got this model,
but it really is about
as perfect a fit as you could ask for with canvas."
"I'll take your word for it," Rory sighed. The crotch
strap was... still there. "This is it? Trial five is
wearing a straitjacket all day?"
"Oh, Ginger-Fox," Fiona chortled, "this is only the
making-the-damsel-helpless part. In fact, it's only half of
making-the-damsel-helpless." She started towards the
kitchen, then turned and crooked a beckoning finger at
Rory gingerly followed. The strap was sawing back and
forth across her pussy, ever so slightly. "This looks like
one of those 'be careful what you wish for' situations," she
muttered under her breath, doing her best to ignore her new best
friend, Mr. Crotch-strap.
led Rory through the kitchen and down the basement stairs.
Rory was still coming to terms with the straitjacket (especially Mr.
Crotch-strap). She watched Fiona open the wardrobe,
manipulate the hooks—Click,
click, click, click, click, clunk—open the secret
passage, then turn and grin. "There is no escape," she purred.
Rory strolled past her smiling cousin and into the
passage. "Hearty-har-har." She carefully padded down
the stone steps, waited for Fiona to open the door, then entered
Bondage chair, bondage table, X-frame, cage—nothing had
changed. The winch and chain had been stowed away, but
nothing new had been deployed.
Fiona strolled to the gag cabinet and opened its door. They both eyed the
array of leather, rubber, and steel silencers.
"Hmmm... Maybe I should let you choose," Fiona said, then shook her
head. "No. You don't know what's coming, so you
can't know what's
Rory continued staring at the neat rows of hanging gags.
"Ah, perfect," Fiona chuckled. She lifted her selection
from its hook and closed the cabinet. In her hand was what
amounted to a thick ring of milky, translucent rubber with an
attached strap and four curved, blunt-tipped horns or flanges of
rubber-coated steel. "I call this one the 'Fat Spider',"
she said. "Open."
Rory frowned. "Why is it called a—frrrf!"
Fiona was using a seesaw motion to work the rubber ring into
Rory's reluctant mouth, her brow knitted in concentration.
"This would be a lot easier if you'd just—"
"—open your mouth, like that." Fiona buckled the gag's
strap at the nape of Rory's neck, under her ponytail.
The four horns followed the coutours of Rory's cheeks and chin,
anchoring the thick, rubber torus between her teeth.
"There's a steel ring under the rubber," Fiona explained.
"Normally a ring-gag with horns is called a spider gag, but with
all that rubber it's like a cross between a ball-gag and a
ring-gag. Hence, 'Fat Spider. I suppose you could
call it a Ball Spider, but that sounds like it's curled up its
legs, don't you think?"
Rory's only answer was an angry glare. The ring did a
passable job of filling her mouth while propping open her
jaws. She could breathe through the center and register muffled
complaints—"Mrrpfh!"—and the four totally unnecessary "horns"
dimpled her bulging cheeks and already drool-dripping chin.
"Anyway," Fiona continued, "on with the show." She walked
towards one of the Mysterious Doors, one of the two without the
Rory followed, her curiosity warring with her rising
apprehension. She was finally going to learn what was
beyond at least one of
the Mysterious Doors, but would she like what she found?
beyond was more mystery,
in the form of a stone-walled corridor and several additional
Fiona said the "Secret Dungeon" was actually the basement of the
Whelan Manor, but Rory now realized that structure had been much
larger than the present house. The corridor was long and
the spacing between doors quite substantial. Fiona led
Rory to the first door on the left, opened the heavy portal, and
gestured for her to enter.
Rory padded across the threshold and beheld an array of wooden
objects with iron bands, bolts, hinges, hasps, and in some
cases, dangling chains. She could tell what they were for,
and while they all probably had fancy names, the only ones she could name were a
pillory and and two sets of stocks.
The T-shaped pillory consisted of a vertical timber post on a
substantial, well-braced base and a pair of horizontal timbers
with the traditional hinge, hasp, and openings for the wrists
and neck. A line of holes and a locking pin in the post
suggested its height could be adjusted. An antique padlock
dangled in the hasp, hanging from its open shackle.
Both sets of stocks were low to the ground and like the pillory
were constructed from heavy timbers. One had two small
openings between the top and bottom halves, and the other had
four. Ankles only for
the first, Rory reasoned, and ankles and wrists for the second.
Leaning against the walls were many pillory and/or stock-like
devices in a variety of shapes—squares, rectangles, trapezoids,
and oblongs, and at least one that was a perfect circle.
They were smaller and more lightweight that the stationary
pillory and stocks, but looked heavy enough, in Rory's
opinion. Some had five openings and some four, but most
seemed to have three. Yokes!
Rory realized. That's
it. They're different kinds of yokes. One
of the three-hole models was the circle. It was the size
of a small tabletop, and Rory could easily imagine herself with
its two halves locked around her wrists and throat. It
would be the same pose imposed by the cuffs, collar, and bar
she'd worn for the third trial, however... No way I'd get any laundry done
wearing that thing.
Fiona smiled and watched Rory visually examine the yokes, then
walked to the pillory with two holes. She plucked the
padlock from the hasp, then lifted the top timber. Creeeak. "Okay,
Ginger-Fox." She nodded at a thick, folded wool blanket
resting on the floor behind the stocks. "Take a load off."
Rory stared at the waiting stocks. The ankle openings were
deep and padded with what appeared to be lambskin. She
swallowed through her gag—or tried to swallow, anyway—then
padded over and sat on the blanket. Scratchy! She
gingerly placed her right foot in the right opening, then her
left foot in the left. Fiona closed the top timber—Creeeak—then secured the
hasp and locked the padlock. C-click.
Rory wiggled her toes. The ankle openings were deep,
close-fitting, and tight, but the padding would prevent
damage. So, trial five
is sitting in a dungeon cell, gagged, bound in a straitjacket,
and locked in stocks?
Fiona was smiling at Rory, specifically, at her young cousin's
naked and imprisoned feet. "Hmm... dirty." She
lifted her gaze to Rory's pale blue, worried eyes. "I'll
get a bucket, scrub-brush, and a few other things. And then we can get
started." She spun on her heel and walked towards the
"Mrrfh?" Rory blinked in surprise. Get started? Bucket?
Scrub-brush? She wiggled her toes, again. She wouldn't!
Fiona paused in the doorway, her lips curled in a truly evil smile. She
waved and pulled the door closed. Thunk.
Rory wiggled her toes and flexed her feet, squirmed her
strap-cleaved butt against the wool blanket, and fought the
straightjacket with all her strength—but it was manifestly
obvious that she was going nowhere.
Her toes and feet were hidden on the other side of the stocks'
heavy timbers, but she was very
much aware that they were there, all by themselves and