On the one
hand... Scotti's first ever Damsel-in-Distress research
experiment was going quite well. She was gathering a lot
of good data on both the mental and physical aspects of being an
inescapably bound and gagged prisoner. The neatly folded
and tightly tied scarves binding her ankles and knees were tight
but not punishing, the leather belt with its double-tongued
buckle was pinning her upper arms to her sides and squashing her
boobs while being similarly "comfortable," and her bandana
cleave-gag (with bandana stuffing) was effective and not as
onerous as she'd feared it might be. And none of the
aforementioned bonds shifted or loosened however she wiggled,
writhed, squirmed, kicked, rolled, bucked, and/or twisted.
(See also struggled and strained.) And her fingers and
hands were no help whatsoever, seeing as her wrists were
crossed, tightly bound together, and pinned to the
small of her back by the long, narrow flannel sash of her
On the other hand... the entire exercise was a total and
complete debacle! Sybil (Iris and Amy's mother), had
barged into The Cottage (Scotti's new digs and Sybil's
property), had quickly surmised the purpose of Scotti's bound
and gagged condition, then volunteered to help!
She retied Scotti's formerly semi-loose and escapable
wrist-bonds into their current tight and totally inescapable
configuration, then added the bonus of using the remainder
of the sash to pin said wrists to the small of her back, thus
making her hands even more useless! And then
she—meaning Sybil—had left, abandoning Scotti to her
under-dressed, bound, and gagged fate!
Seriously, if she'd known Mrs. DuPont was coming, Scotti would
have been more that happy to receive Iris' mom as a visitor, no
matter the hour, and even if she'd already stripped to her
"pajamas" of panties and camisole and gone to bed, she would
have put on her robe (the one whose sash was currently binding
her wrists), welcomed her 40-something and very beautiful
(and statuesque) guest, and they could have had a nice
chat. Unfortunately, as Scotti was only slightly moved
in, she wouldn't have been able to offer Sybil coffee or tea,
but still, things would have been a lot more... conventional.
Oddly, Sybil hadn't seemed offended or even all that surprised
to find her new tenant/guest barely dressed, bound, and gagged,
but Scotti had been colossally mortified, a condition
from which she still hadn't fully recovered—and from which she
feared she might never fully recover.
So here she was... wearing panties and an old camisole,
inescapably bound and gagged, waiting for the long, dark hours
of her first night in The Cottage to pass, and wondering how she
was going to salvage the situation. Sybil had wished her
goodnight and abandoned Scotti to her cruel but instructive fate
at least an hour earlier, and while she had to admit she was
learning something about being a helpless captive (as
planned), she'd just as soon terminate the session and
concentrate on being embarrassed, mortified, and
flustered. And then—
The front door opened, revealing a waifish figure with short,
tousled hair, wearing a black robe, and, as the moon had nearly
set, silhouetted in the last of the moonlight.
It was, indeed, Iris, her ex-roommate and Sybil's youngest
daughter! And now that she thought about it, Sybil had
promised that one of her offspring would arrive at some
unspecified point to rescue her. Scotti had assumed
(feared) that had meant in the morning, but now would
do just fine! She squirmed, wiggled,
and—"Mrrrf!"—mewled through her gag in an encouraging manner.
Iris closed the door behind her—Creee! Click!—then
strolled to the bed and clicked on the reading lamp.
Scotti made a mental note to find a can of 3-in-1 oil and
lubricate the door's hinges—then her eyes popped wide in
surprise (see also alarm) when Iris removed her robe, (which, by
the way, was made from some black, satiny, polyester-blend
fabric), revealing that she was totally nude underneath!
And Iris (naked Iris) was climbing into bed with
her! Iris had been Scotti's roommate their senior year at
Lewis & Clark, so the Goth-adjacent brunette's habit of
sleeping in the nude was no surprise (and no big deal); however,
the ex-roommates sharing the same bed was a novel
(and alarming) event!
"Mrrrk?" Scotti inquired (in what came out as a bandana-muffled
"You should have told me," Iris said, lying on her side with one
side of her face resting on her palm and propped up by her right
elbow. "If you wanted to do this sort of, uh, research,
I would have been more than happy to help. I know all
about rope. Amy ties me up now and then, and has since we
Scotti blushed and blinked her big green eyes, but was at a loss
for words... as well as effectively gagged.
"Anyway..." Iris reached out and untied Scotti's
olive-green cotton bandana cleave-gag, then plucked the wadded
brown cotton bandana stuffing from her mouth. "What have
you got to say for yourself?"
Scotti continued blushing and blinking, as well as licking her
lips and working her jaw. "Uh... Iris... when morning
comes... after you untie me?"
Iris smiled. "Yes?"
"Is there a big flat rock in one of your gardens I can hide
Iris' smile widened. "Don't worry about Mother and
Amy. Like I said, Amy's been doing 'research' on me since
we were kids, and Mom makes sure nothing gets out of hand.
We're all very 'research tolerant' around here."
Somewhat reassured, Scotti nodded. She also stopped
blinking (but suspected her blush would take a little time to
"And then, there's our Special Line of furniture," Iris
continued, "Mother's catalog of, shall we say, unique items.
That also factors into the research thingie."
Iris reached to the side and turned off the reading lamp, once
again plunging the cottage into darkness. "You'll
see. Amy or I will give you a tour of the storage building
in the morning. Then you'll understand."
"What? I mean... okay," Scotti responded. Several
seconds passed. "Uh, Iris?"
"Aren't you going to untie me?"
"And ruin your research? Don't be silly."
"I don't mind. I can always, uh, do more research later."
"Do you want your gag back?"
"Huh? No! Of course not."
"Okay then. I'll be right here, keeping you safe.
Scotti blinked a few more times, unseen in the darkness, then
heaved a sigh and settled in to sleep... if she could.
Iris (naked Iris) was right there, of course, sharing
the bed... and keeping her safe... and Scotti was still
helplessly bound... mostly by her own hand... and... This
To her infinite surprise, the tiredness of the long drive and
the stress of being found in mid-research and rendered truly
helpless by Iris and Amy's mom caught up with her... and she
drifted off to sleep.
Scotti's eyes popped wide as she came awake. It was
morning in The Cottage and someone had opened the front door!
It was Amy, and she was smiling, wearing boots, jeans, and a
cotton shirt (in a very pretty blue, green, and brown plaid)
with its long sleeves rolled up, and was strolling towards the
bed. And Scotti was still conducting research!
Meaning she was still tied up! And Iris was still naked
and apparently sound asleep.
"Good morning, Scotti," Amy said pleasantly.
Good morning," Scotti returned the greeting (and blushed), then
watched as Amy pulled back the covers and gave her little
sister's left butt-cheek three resounding slaps! Whack-whack-whack!
"Ow!" Iris whined as she came awake, blinking sleepily and
rubbing her offended posterior. "Rude much?"
"Get up, untie the ginger, and make sure she finds the kitchen,"
Amy purred. "Mother is about to start cooking
breakfast." And with that, she grabbed her little sister's
black robe and left, closing the cottage door behind her.
Click! Creee... Click!
"You jerk!" Iris shouted after her sister, then sat up,
heaved a sigh, and began dismantling Scotti's inescapable
Damsel-in-Distress research project. "Where's my robe?"
she demanded when the task was complete.
"Amy took it with her." Scotti answered as she rubbed her
wrists. (And she couldn't help but smile). "I'll
loan you some clothes."
"Don't bother," Iris sighed as she climbed from the bed,
stretched, then spun on her bare feet and padded towards the
bathroom. "We usually skinny-dip when we swim in the pond,
and streak from here to there. That's one of the
advantages of being way out in the middle of nowhere:
privacy. At least she left me my moccasins."
It was true, a worn pair of pale, nearly-white, doe-skin
moccasins lay in a jumble on the floor next to the bed.
Obviously, Iris had been wearing them when she arrived to
"rescue" Scotti in the middle of the night, but Scotti hadn't
noticed. However, as Iris' back was turned as she padded
to the bathroom, Scotti did notice the pink, not-quite
faded palm-print on her friend's pale, firm butt-cheek.
Scotti blushed, but continued smiling.
Eventually, both former roommates completed their morning
toilettes—Scottie donned jeans, a blouse, socks, and her
trail-runners—and they headed for the main house.
Obviously, Iris was, indeed, an experienced streaker, as she
strolled along in her birthday suit and moccasins without
apparent embarrassment. Again, Scotti couldn't help but
smile. She was seeing a new side to her friend, and for
some reason it was helping her deal with the residual
panic/embarrassment of last night's research debacle.
Breakfast was the traditional bacon, eggs, toast, and coffee,
Sybil was warm, friendly, and welcoming, and said nothing about
what had transpired during Scotti's first night in The
Cottage. (And Scotti certainly wasn't about to bring it
up.) All in all, it was as if nothing had happened.
Also, Iris had donned boots, jeans, a t-shirt, and work-shirt
before joining the family in the kitchen, so that had helped
return things to "normal."
Anyway... during the meal the Plan-of-the-Day was established,
which, it would appear, was Sybil's job. Amy had some
chairs to finish assembling in the workshop, Iris had some
weeding to do in one of the side gardens (weeding being a
never-ending task), Scotti had to continue getting unpacked and
settled into The Cottage, and Sybil had paperwork waiting in her
office (another never-ending task).
Amy casually stated that she'd be sure and make time to give
Scotti that tour of the storage building she'd been promised,
after lunch, and Iris said she'd go along. Sybil smiled
but didn't comment.
Scotti blinked and nodded. "Great. Thanks."
She remembered Iris had mentioned the storage building
last night, and it had something to do with... "research"... but
she'd been too busy being tied up, helpless, and freaked out to
fully register the conversation. No problem. She'd
find out what was what after lunch.
If you factor
in the time it took for Scotti to decide how to organize her
things in The Cottage's more-than-adequate cabinet, bookshelf,
and closet space, unpacking was accomplished in a little more
than two hours. She hadn't brought all that much of her
stuff with her, and as it turned out, The Cottage had two
fully-enclosed closets. Both were on the small side, and
it was obvious one was organized for clothes while the other was
a simple storeroom for empty luggage and boxes.
Once Scotti had added a few personal touches, like draping her
favorite throw across the back of the loveseat in front of the
fireplace and deploying her miscellaneous knickknacks in various
preliminary locations, The Cottage was already beginning to feel
Next, she settled into the office chair, powered up her laptop,
and began the task of handshaking with the DuPont Family Wi-Fi
server (which, for some reason, was named "Gormenghast").
There was a tiny Wi-Fi repeater discretely plugged into one of
the Cottage wall-outlets, so the signal was strong. And
happily, Gormenghast recognized the password Iris had given her
as soon as she typed it into the laptop! Handshaking her
iPhone and iPad were similarly painless. Easy-peasy!
Once online, Scotti checked her e-mail queue, sent a message to
her folks, reassuring them that she'd arrived safely, and
stating that both The Cottage and the DuPont family were
wonderful. (She did not mention spending most her
first night writhing in mostly self-imposed bondage, but after
all, her parents didn't need to know all the details of
her writing process, did they?)
Then came the solemn task of preparing the desk to serve as her
Writing Space. This took nearly as much time as all of the
previous unpacking. Her reference books were deployed in
proper order and within easy reach on the bookshelf nearest the
desk. Her journals and notes were stacked in proper order
and also within easy reach. Finally, her pens, pencils,
stapler, paperclips and other paper management tools, as well as
her Post-it® pad collection, were given new (and preliminary)
homes in the desk's drawers and on its surface.
There were a million more things to do, like notifying various
friends, relatives, and businesses of her change-of-address, so
she started making a checklist. She also made a note to
ask Sybil about the local banks. She needed to transfer
And then, Scotti realized it was nearly the agreed-upon time for
lunch... with the tour of The Storage Building afterwards... and
Scotti still couldn't remember exactly why
Iris had said the storage building tour was supposed to be so
tuna-salad sandwiches (on wheat), chips, fruit, and iced
tea. Delish. The DuPonts had cleaning up
after meals honed to an exact science, but they let Scotti ease
into their process and help.
And then... it was time for the promised tour.
"I'll be replenishing the hummingbird feeders, then finishing up
my paperwork," Mother Sybil announced. "After that, I'll
be in the shop if anybody needs me."
"Okie-dokie," Amy responded. then took Scotti by the hand and
led her towards The Storage Building. As they approached,
Amy glanced down at Scotti's trail-runner sneakers. "We're
going to have to find you some steel-toed work-boots if you're
going to start helping in the shop."
"Uh, like I said, I really am pretty useless when it
comes to stuff like woodworking," Scotti sighed. "I made a
birdhouse once, but it was totally ignored... by the birds, I
"Man-made housing for birds is always an iffy business," Iris
stated solemnly. She was trailing along behind Scotti and
her big sister. "Prospective mamma birds are always very
picky with respect to placement and size of the hole, and
who can blame them? Even if you build a lot of houses and
blanket the landscape, most of them still get ignored and only a
fraction ever actually get used."
"There are exceptions," Amy intoned, "like standardized bluebird
boxes on fence posts in the middle big, grassy fields.
Almost all of them get used. Sometimes even by
"You guys know a lot about birdhouses," Scotti observed.
"Mother started us out on birdhouses," Amy explained.
"No sense wasting good wood on newbies by asking them to cobble
something together with complicated joinery," Iris said.
"We still make birdhouses," Amy stated. "It's a
good use of scrap. Mother even has a cute little DuPont
"And there's a birdhouse section on our website," Iris added.
"And here we are," Amy said brightly.
They had, indeed, arrived at The Storage Building. The
size and architecture of the building was more-or-less identical
to the adjoining furniture workshop, with the same barn-style
rolling doors and long rows of narrow windows set up near the
roof. They were standing at the end of the building
closest to the main house, in front of a conventional door with
a solid-looking lock.
Scotti waited for Amy to unlock and/or open the door, but
instead, the older DuPont sister was just standing there smiling
in her (Scotti's) direction.
"I know what you're thinking," Iris huffed, apparently
addressing Amy. "No."
"It's a perfect 'research' opportunity," Amy purred,
still smiling at Scotti.
"She's new," Iris countered.
"So what?" Amy responded.
"What are you guys talking about?" Scotti demanded, her green
eyes darting from face to face. Actually, Scotti was fully
aware that she was what they were talking about, but
clarification was in order. (Also, Amy's expression was
disturbingly similar to that of a house cat who had just
cornered a foraging mouse.)
"Big Sister thinks you'll better appreciate the tour if you're
tied up," Iris stated, frowning at the big sister in question.
"T-tied up?" Scotti stammered.
"Tied up," Amy confirmed, then focused on her little
sister. "Rope," she ordered.
"Only if she says it's okay," Iris responded.
Amy shifted her feline focus back to the cornered mouse...
meaning Scotti. "Well? Are you serious about wanting
to research the whole Damsel-in-Distress thing, like Mother
said, or aren't you?"
Scotti blinked, blushed, nervously clenched and unclenched her
fists at her sides, and looked from sister to sister several
times before answering. "I am... I mean...
"Excellent," Amy purred (in a very feline manner), then
refocused on Iris. "Well?"
Iris rolled her eyes, heaved a sigh, then scampered to the
workshop and disappeared through a side door.
"We use braided cotton clothesline, washed on gentle cycle and
conditioned with fabric softener, then stained with old coffee
grounds and stretched to dry," Amy explained. "Commercial
hemp or jute 'Shibari rope' is just as good, aficionados
would probably say better, but cotton is mucho cheaper.
Scotti was too nervous to speak, so she just blinked several
times and nodded.
It was a short
(but nervous) wait for Scotti before Iris returned from the
workshop with a large messenger bag of bleached canvas slung on
her right shoulder. It didn't appear to be all that heavy,
but was definitely bulging with something, and Scotti had a good
idea what that was. She watched (and tried not to start
blinking again) as Amy lifted the bag's flap, reached inside,
and pulled out a neatly coiled bundle of closely braided but
pliant brown rope about a quarter-inch in diameter. Amy
released the coil, doubled the rope, and found its center.
Scotti estimated the overall length to be something on the order
"Do you know what a box-tie is?" Amy inquired.
"I've done my scholarly research on the topic with due
diligence," Scotti answered primly. "I always do
"She does," Iris confirmed with a solemn nod.
"I'll take that as a yes," Amy chuckled, turned Scotti around,
folded the ginger's arms behind her back, and set to work.
Scotti found the process of bands of doubled rope tightening
around her arms and torso and being cinched in between to be
quite... fascinating. The coffee-stained clothesline was,
indeed, soft and pliable, and it made interesting sounds and/or
vibrations whenever Amy took a hitch to retain the tension and
pulled the remaining rope through the hitch or knot or whatever
she wanted to call it. And Amy did that quite frequently,
meaning took tension-maintaining hitches or knots. She
also seemed to be reversing direction a lot during the binding
process. Most of the action was behind Scotti's back so
she couldn't follow the full details of what was happening...
but she could definitely feel the vibratory slither
when Amy pulled the free ends through a hitch or knot.
And then there was the issue of Amy's fingers. As she
worked, the grinning brunette continually slid two crooked
fingers between the rope and Scotti's blouse (and skin),
straightening the doubled loops, making sure the tension was
uniform, and aligning the strands into neat bands.
As for the box-tie itself, Scotti's research had prepared her
for the deceptive simplicity of the technique. The pattern
looked complicated and involved, but it isn't, not really.
What she wasn't prepared for, however, was the sensation of the
rope hugging and constricting her body, trapping her arms, and
rendering her hands useless. And yet, none of the rope
pinched or compromised her circulation or was anything but
comfortable. It was a unique form of comfortable.
Anyway, in a surprisingly short time, Scotti found her arms
folded behind her back with rope looped around her forearms from
wrist-to-elbow and elbow-to-wrist—neat horizontal bands of rope
passing above and below her boobs—and doubled strands yoking her
shoulders, cinching the horizontal bands between her upper-arms
and torso, and tightening everything up. There was a nexus
of hitches and turns behind her back, running from the nape of
her neck to her forearms, but her fluttering fingers and groping
hands could find nothing resembling a knot or any free ends.
The DuPont sisters watched as she squirmed, twisted, and tested
So this is a box-tie, Scotti thought as she completed her
restrained evaluation of her restrained self. Wow.
She was, indeed, helpless. Scotti's heart was pounding and
her breathing somewhat rapid, squeezing the ropes against her
arms and torso (and boobs) with every breath. And Amy
The elder DuPont sister had reached back into the bag still on
her younger sister's shoulder, rummaged around, and emerged with
another coil of coffee-stained cotton clothesline, but this one
appeared to be less than half the size of the first... the coil
Scotti was currently wearing as her first-ever box-tie.
Scotti watched as Amy released the coil, shook out the rope,
looped one end around her neck, and tied a non-compacting
knot. Scotti was pretty sure it was a bowline.
Scotti had a leash!
Scotti was box-tied, and she had a leash, and the end of the
leash was in Amy's hand!
The realization didn't do anything to slow Scotti's heart rate
or return her breathing to normal. And once again, Amy was
rummaging in Iris' bag!
"Didn't you bring a ball-gag?" Amy demanded.
"No!" Iris and Scotti responded in unison. (Actually,
Scotti meant to say "No!" but what came out of her mouth was
something on the order of "Neep!")
"She can't ask questions if she's gagged," Iris observed primly.
"But... research," Amy countered.
Iris rolled her eyes, then focused on her former roommate.
"You're way out in the middle of the deep, dark woods with no
potential rescuers for miles and miles. You can scream all
you want and you'll still be the helpless prisoner of the
"That would be me," Amy purred, raising her free hand.
Iris rolled her eyes, again. "Anyway... good enough?
You don't need a gag, do you?"
"No, no, not even a little," Scotti agreed enthusiastically.
"Adorable," Amy sighed.
"What?" Scotti demanded, blinking nervously again.
"Nothing," Iris answered (blushing), then scowled at her
sister. "Get on with it."
"Okay," Amy chuckled, then produced a key-ring, selected a key,
and unlocked the hefty, heavy-duty, high-security lock securing
the door to the mysterious Storage Building.
The layout of
The Storeroom was simple. A double row of vertical posts
supported the peaked roof and its exposed rafters and a
"corridor" ran the length of the building, parallel to the
ridge-line and between the posts. The workshop side was divided
into a series of open bays defined by waist-high partitions
running from the wall to the posts. A few of the bays were
empty, but others held stacks of wooden pallets, rolls of
plastic stretch-wrap, or neatly stacked chairs and small
tables. There was also what Scotti surmised was a filled
order ready to be shipped, stacked chairs and a dismantled table
on a pair of pallets, plastic-shrouded and banded. The
opposite side of the building was also partitioned, but the
horizontal wooden boards ran all the way up to the rafters and
each "room" was secured by a locked door.
"We'll start at the very beginning," Amy intoned.
"A very good place to start," Iris agreed.
Amy began singing as she walked the length of the corridor with
Scotti in tow (literally) and Iris following behind.
♫♪♫ Doe, a
deer, a female deer; ♪♫♪
♪♫♪ Ray, a drop of
golden sun; ♫♪♫
♫♪♫ Me, a name I
call myself— ♪♫♪
"Amy!" Iris barked.
"What?" Amy huffed.
"Spoilsport," Amy pouted.
If she wasn't tied up and nervous, Scotti would have been
amused. Amy had a very pretty singing voice, by the
They finally arrived at the first room (or stall or partitioned
space), the one farthest from the door they'd used to enter The
Storage Building, and without Scotti being any the wiser
regarding the contents of any of the other rooms (or stalls or
partitioned spaces). There was plenty of light, thanks to
the many long, narrow windows set high in the outer walls, and
while the partitions' horizontal boards were uniformly spaced
about ¼" apart, the gaps weren't wide enough to reveal anything.
Scotti watched (and blinked her green eyes and swallowed
nervously), as Amy unlocked the door, then pulled it open.
Her leash snapped tight (sort of) and she was dragged (led)
across the threshold and into the space beyond.
The space in question was about 20' x 20' and was occupied by
two large objects shrouded by paint-stained drop-cloths.
Amy looped the end of Scotti's leash through an iron ring set in
the wall next to the open door, tied a knot, then removed the
drop-cloth from one of the objects while Iris removed the cover
from the other. The DuPont sisters did their best to fold
and set aside the cloths without raising a dust cloud, but were
only partially successful.
Scotti blinked her wide eyes several times, then sneezed.
"Gesundheit!" the sisters said in unison, but Scotti didn't
really hear them. She was busy staring in surprise (see
also horror) at what had been concealed under the cloths.
On Scotti's left was an honest-to-god pillory! It
was a stout, square, vertical wooden post stabilized on a hefty
wooden stand, and atop the post was a pair of horizontal
timbers, hinged at one end, and with a hasp and padlock at the
other, as well as appropriately sized openings in between for
its victim's neck and wrists!
On her right were two objects: a set of stocks and a
bench! The stocks was a pair of much shorter vertical
posts supporting a pair of thick, stout, horizontal timber
boards with a hinge and hasp/padlock, like the pillory, but it
had only two openings, obviously intended for its victim's
ankles! The bench was heavy-duty but conventional, present
to support the victim's butt with her legs straight and ankles
trapped between the thick timbers.
"Mother offers a series of different styles in her Special
Catalog," Amy stated, gesturing to indicate both the pillory and
stocks, "like Medieval, Chippendale, Danish Modern, etc.
These prototypes are sort of... generic."
"We sell more of these than you'd think," Iris added.
"Both kinds," Amy agreed.
Scotti couldn't think of a comeback, clever or otherwise.
Also, it was now clear why Amy had tied the end of her leash to
the wall before the sisters had removed the drop-cloths.
Otherwise, Scotti knew that at this very moment she'd probably
be sprinting away down the corridor in wide-eyed panic,
screaming her head off! Thanks to the leash, that wasn't
an option. In point of fact, she had very few options.
One of them was screaming, as she wasn't gagged, but
that would be rude.
Amy favored Scotti (who was fidgeting in her inescapable box-tie
and trying to control her heart beat and breathing) with a warm
(wicked) smile. "I've got an idea," she purred, "instead
of a quick, whirlwind tour of the entire collection, let's
pause, continue your research, and let the two of you do some
more catching up."
Iris heaved a sigh and rolled her dark eyes. (Scotti's
green eyes remained wide... and blinking.) "You really
think that's a good idea?" Iris asked her smiling (gloating) big
"I think it's a great idea," Amy responded, then
focused fully on her little sister. "Strip," she ordered,
| Chapter 2