|by Van ©2013|
| Chapter 2
|OUR STORY CONTINUES
The Rook House attic was a finished space. There were no exposed stud bays stuffed with battens of insulation. The walls were clad in drywall and painted white, and underfoot was hardwood flooring. The ceiling followed the peaks and valleys of the building's high-pitched, complex roof line; but there was plenty of headroom.
At the moment, the space was severely spartan. There were no curtains on the dormer windows in the various gables, but all had wooden shutters, which were closed. The only furnishings were a full size bed with a wooden frame and corner posts, several open cardboard boxes of books and binders, one large and one small suitcase, and a garment bag. Also, a laptop computer, an iPad, and an iPhone rested atop a closed footlocker.
The four Rapscallions had changed into robes, slippers, and their preferred sleeping costumes: panties and tank tops or t-shirts. Actually, Gwen was completely naked under her robe, but she was wearing slippers.
"I love what she's done with the place," Siri chuckled. Several coils of three-sixteenths inch, braided cotton rope were in her hands. It was clothesline, laundered and conditioned to make it soft and pliable. It was gentle to the skin (relatively) and held a knot very well, the perfect thing for rendering a damsel helpless—if one had the required knowledge—and Siri was confident she had that knowledge. "Queen of the Damsels, my ass," she muttered under her breath.
"I'm sorry," Gwen inquired, "what was that about your ass?"
"Perhaps she's lamenting her lack of one," Rory suggested.
Siri did have an ass, just as she had breasts. Granted, her posterior profile was a little flat, but her buttocks were firm and round and were there, also like her breasts.
"Play nice, children," Clem purred, then smiled at Siri. "In answer to your comment about the decor—"
"Or lack thereof," Rory interjected.
"I believe there's a furniture delivery tomorrow morning," Clem continued.
"Hence the reason I haven't unpacked," J-Lou announced.
The girls turned to find the diminutive Brit climbing the last of the stairs and entering the attic. She wore a towel as before, when she'd entered the sauna. She'd showered, dried her hair, and was ready for bed—or whatever Siri had in mind.
"More Ikea stuff like everything else around here?" Gwen whined. Gwen's decorating taste ran towards the Victorian with a pastel palette—what her fellow residents called "Disney Princess"—but the Rook House furnishings were all Scandinavian Modern. Gwen did what she could in her own bedroom with throw rugs, pillows, curtains, and a frilly bed-skirt, but so far her fellow Rapscallions had held the powder-blue, buttercup, pink, and lavender tide at bay.
"A large wardrobe, a chest of drawers, desk and chair, bookshelves, a sofa, and an easy chair for reading," J-Lou confirmed. She walked to the bed, parting the four robe-clad undergrads. "I'll just pull on my pajamas and—"
"Oooh, no you don't!" Siri interrupted. "Your so called 'pajamas' are probably riddled with secret escape aids."
J-Lou was dubious. "Excuse me?"
"Razorblades, lock picks, and tiny folding saws, all sewn into the cuffs," Siri explained.
"She just wants another excuse to see you naked," Rory suggested.
Gwen giggled. "To tie you up naked."
"Hah!" Siri huffed. The delicate blush coloring her cheeks was a trick of the light. She was not embarrassed.
J-Lou turned her dimpled smile from face to smiling face, ending with Siri's. "Very well," she said finally. "But first, I have to plug in my phone."
She strolled to the footlocker, reached behind, and lifted a hatbox sized aluminum case by its side-handles. She popped the latches, opened the lid, and lifted out a metal object.
"Oooo!" Gwen gushed. "What is it?"
The Rapscallions gathered around and watched as J-Lou placed what appeared to be an articulated sculpture taking the form of a steel cat atop the footlocker. It had paws, four legs, a body, and a tail; but its head was a rectangular frame, an empty rectangular frame with cat-like ears and wire whiskers. J-Lou corrected this deficiency by filling the void with her iPhone. It dropped into the frame with a click, the speaker beeped, the screen glowed blue, and the simplified, cartoon face of a cat appeared.
"Ladies," J-Lou said, "allow me to introduce Robokitty."
The cartoon eyes blinked and the iPhone's speaker sounded. "Meow."
"He's adorable!" Gwen sighed.
"He's creepy," Siri muttered.
"He's a she," J-Lou corrected, "and she's my masters project. More accurately, she's the demonstration platform for my actual masters project. I developed a new approach for the control of semi-autonomous devices across the McFadden-Haines enhanced standard reference model."
"She?" Gwen asked.
Clem rolled her eyes. "From all that, your takeaway question is: Why is Robokitty a she?"
Gwen smiled and shrugged.
"It's simple, really," J-Lou explained. "There's a recharging receptacle under her tail."
"Female, of course," Rory said with a smile.
J-Lou nodded. "Universal design, with a voltage converter."
"So," Siri muttered, "she's female and easy."
Gwen giggled, again.
"And Robokitty's an actual robot?" Rory asked. "She can walk around?"
J-Lou shook her head. "At the moment she's an ex-robot. Outside the electronic environment of the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute, she's just my overly complicated iPhone recharger."
Siri frowned. "If she's a recharger, don't you have to plug her in?"
J-Lou shook her head, again. "Robokitty holds plenty of power. I'll plug her in tomorrow, after the furniture arrives and I decide where to put her."
Siri turned and strolled back to the bed, the coils of clothesline still in her hands. She faced the others, smiled, and cleared her throat. "Ahem."
J-Lou smiled back, kicked off her slippers, and opened her towel. The terrycloth fell to the floor and she was naked.
Clem, Gwen, and Rory watched as J-Lou slowly, gracefully strolled towards Siri, the waiting rope, and the bed. She stopped a pace from the lanky blond, spread her arms to either side, and raised her chin. "I'm yours to do with as you will," she purred, smiling her dimpled smile.
Tori's hair was pulled back in a tight ponytail and she had changed into her favorite "cat burglar" outfit: (1) hi-top sneakers; (2) skintight pants (more tights than pants, actually); (3) a long sleeved turtleneck top with a zipper in the front, also skintight; (4) gloves; (5) and her special fanny-pack/utility-belt. Everything was black, with the metal hardware powder coated and non reflective. The pants and top incorporated knee and elbow pads, and the fanny pack held her "hobby supplies" in convenient pockets, close against her body and positioned for instant access, but without encumbering movement.
Tori also wore a pair of night vision goggles, an experimental prototype supplied by Salamandras R&D. The goggles resembled a typical pair of ski goggles, but incorporated the latest military grade technology and included a "head up display" on the inside of the lenses that projected text, diagrams, or any other information Tori required to conduct her "investigation."
Add a pair of feline ears and Tori would make a credible Cat Woman. Add a hood and mask and she might be a modern ninja. In any case, for all intents and purposes she was invisible. Tori made her way through the residential neighborhood unseen and unheard. At one point a police cruiser rolled past, but the officer behind the wheel never even suspected she was there. Sally had warned Tori of his approach, but it had been an unnecessary precaution. Tori was invisible even without Sally's technological help.
Tori was the night... and the night was horny.
Her target's home was just ahead. It was a large house, modern in design and different in style from the others on the block, but not so different as to clash with the neighborhood. Screened by tastefully arranged shrubbery, the structure was set back from the street. The entryway was illuminated, and a small sign on the front lawn announced the presence of an alarm system. The home was protected from burglars—from most burglars.
Tori's head up display confirmed that the system was armed but "spoofed." That is, the transponder in her belt buckle would allow Tori to open any door without triggering an alarm. A floor plan of the house displayed the exact location of her target: the living room.
Silent as a ghost, Tori crept down the side driveway, eased open a suddenly unlocked side door, entered the kitchen, and eased the door closed behind her. It locked again with a quiet click. The lights in the kitchen and adjoining hallway were out. The display confirmed that all the lights on the first floor were out, with the exception a reading lamp next to an easy chair in the living room.
Tori made her way through the kitchen, down the dark hallway, then removed her goggles and placed them in their padded holder at the small of her back, just above the main fanny-pack. Her hands returned to the front in one smooth motion, only now she held the black object she'd eased from a side pocket. It was a black ball gag, a two-inch sphere of medium density foam over a hard rubber core. Its strap was a plastic cable-tie padded with rubber a few inches to either side of the ball.
Tori's target was just ahead, totally unsuspecting that she had an uninvited guest.
Kimberly Pappas, PhD, tenured Professor of Literature at Lewis & Clark University, was reading. It was a new English translation of Roger de Rabutin's Histoire amoureuse des Gaules. The same work in the original French was on the side table if she wished to verify any given passage. Feet up on her easy chair's matching ottoman, Kim was dressed for bed in slippers, panties, a gauze thin, frilly nightie, and an equally gauzy, lace trimmed robe, all in hyacinth-blue.
Kim glanced at her wristwatch, then removed her reading glasses and placed them on the side table, next to the French volume and a half empty stemmed glass of sherry. She placed a bookmark between the pages of the English translation to keep her place, then closed the book, stretched her arms to either side, yawned—"MRRRF!"—and a foam ball was popped into her mouth and its attached cable tie strap tightened behind her head to keep it there!
"Nrrr!" Kim was dragged from the chair and forced down on her stomach on the carpet. A figure in black settled astride her waist and plastic bands were used to bind her wrists behind her back. More plastic tightened around her thumbs. Then, her attacker reversed position and more plastic tightened around her ankles.
It all happened so fast Kim could barely react. Her captor was strong and obviously knew what she was doing. Kim was rolled onto her back and her bound arms, the figure in black reversed direction, again, and Kim found herself staring into the angelic (devilish) face of Tori Ballantine.
Fear and wide-eyed alarm turned to recognition, then anger. "Mrrrpfh!" Kimberly stared daggers at her grinning captor and squirmed under her weight.
"Evenin', Doc,' Tori purred. "So nice of you to invite me over." She turned Kim's glowering head to the side and began freeing her long brown curls from under the ball gag's strap. Kim continued squirming and mewling during this process, then complained—"Mrrr!"—when her hair was finally free and Tori tightened the strap against the nape of her neck until her cheeks bulged.
Still smiling, Tori first straightened Kim's tousled hair, then cupped her breasts in her gloved hands. "I really like your outfit," Tori purred. Through the thin fabric of her robe and the underlying nightie, the swell of Kim's breasts and her pert, erect nipples were quite visible. "I'll try not to rip it when I peel you out of it."
Kim continued to glare at her captor.
"Sally," Tori said, "refresh my memory vis-à-vis Professor Brown Eye's schedule for tomorrow, please."
"Dr. Pappas has lunch with her department head, an early afternoon lecture, and late afternoon office hours," Sally's disembodied voice answered. "Otherwise, she's free... so to speak."
"Yes, free," Tori confirmed. "I can stay for breakfast." She gave Kim's breasts a gentle squeeze. "And we have the entire evening to discuss Salamandras International's security regulations."
Kim frowned in confusion. "Mrrf?"
"Nothing serious, Doc," Tori chuckled, "but due diligence demands I investigate." She gave Kim's breasts a final squeeze, then pulled off her gloves and placed them in a pouch on her belt. "As Den Mother of Rook House," she continued, "or whatever your title, I must first determine if you're in any way complicit in the violation." She squeezed Kim's breasts, again, now with her bare hands. "And speaking of violations..."
Tori climbed off her prisoner, lifted her onto her shoulder in a fireman's carry, face down and slipper-clad and bound feet to the front, then stood.
Kim struggled and tried to kick—"Mrrrf!"—then froze when Tori delivered a businesslike slap to her nearly naked rump.
"None of that, Doc," Tori chuckled. "The interrogation will be in your bedroom. And don't worry, I have ways of loosening your tongue." She paused to lift the glass from the side table and knock back the remaining sherry. "Good stuff." She carefully returned the glass to the table, then headed for the aforementioned bedroom. "And don't worry about me," she added. "My tongue is already loose."
They disappeared down the dark hallway and the reading light winked out, courtesy of Kim's home security system.
J-Lou was tied up.
Most people gazing down at her naked, helpless form would probably say she was very tied up.
Siri wasn't so sure.
J-Lou's hands were behind her back and her legs together. Neat, tightly cinched bands of the white cotton clothesline bound her legs at the ankles and above and below her knees. More rope encircled her waist and forearms, dove between her legs, and was cinched between her arms and between both arms and the small of her back. Yet more rope pinned her upper arms to her sides, passing above and below her breasts and under her armpits to yoke her shoulders. The same rope also lashed her elbows together. More correctly, her elbows were joined, separated by two inches of neatly wrapped rope. Finally, her wrists were bound with her hands facing palm-to-palm. The long free ends of the wrist rope were looped and cinched through the crotch rope, likewise looped and cinched through the elbow ropes, then passed under the shoulder-yoke, pulled tight, and the final knot tied.
However, there was debate as to whether that should be the final knot.
"On the bed and to the bed are not the same thing," Gwen stated.
"Tethering her in place is an obvious safety precaution," Rory countered, smiling at J-Lou. "We wouldn't want our new RA to fall on the floor and hurt herself."
J-Lou smiled back. "I don't mind. It is an obvious extension of the paradigm."
"You don't get a vote, Short Stuff," Siri huffed.
"No," Clem said, "she get's a veto. She's the damsel."
"A veto is a form of vote," Gwen said.
"And you're a form of twerp," Clem muttered.
"Really, I don't mind," J-Lou said.
"And really, I don't care," Siri responded. Everyone knew she was kidding, even J-Lou. It was clear she'd made the decision to accept the new resident, and the Rapscallions had already voted to officially like her. That didn't mean Siri couldn't haze the heck out of the situation, of course.
The others watched as Siri looped a doubled rope through J-Lou's ankle bonds, then hitched it around the right lower bedpost and tied a knot—two half-hitches, to be precise. She walked around the bed, looped a second doubled rope through the bindings behind J-Lou's back, between her elbows and neck, then hitched and tied the rope to the upper left bedpost. She left enough slack for the captive to roll around on the bed and get "comfortable," but only something like six inches.
"And I think I'm done," Siri announced. She leaned down until her face was near her prisoner's, tugged on the top tether, and smiled. Since you're 'Queen of the Damsels,' I don't have to tell you that the key knot to your wrist bonds is somewhere behind your head and high on your back. All the other knots are tied where you can't get at them without first freeing your hands. And how are you going to do that, Short Stuff?"
J-Lou was serenely unconcerned. "You appear to have done a credible job of binding me up, Stretch, but I shall be free by morning."
"Oooooo!" the Rapscallions cooed.
Siri reached out her hand and Clem slapped a ball gag into her open palm. Its black rubber ball was an inch-and-a-half in diameter. It was also hollow and pierced by a dozen quarter-inch holes. It had two straps, a main strap that buckled at the nape of the neck, and a secondary strap that buckled under the chin. The girls called such things "whiffle gags." It wasn't the most effective damsel silencer ever made, but it was safe. "We can't have you chewing through your ropes, now can we?" Siri inquired.
"Certainly not," J-Lou agreed, still smiling her dimpled smile. She opened her mouth and accepted the ball. Siri buckled the straps, making sure not to trap any of J-Lou's tousled, silky brown hair.
The Rapscallions gazed down at the naked prisoner tethered to the bed.
"Sooo pretty," Gwen sighed.
Clem smiled. "I hate to admit it, but the twerp is right."
"Pretty," Rory agreed.
"Pretty tied up," Siri purred. She leaned close and planted a kiss on J-Lou's gagged lips. "See you in the morning, Your Majesty."
Rory was next with a kiss. "Welcome to Rook House. Good night."
It was Gwen's turn to pucker up. "I'm glad you're here. Good night."
Finally, it was Clem's turn. "Yeah, what they said." She kissed J-Lou's forehead. "I'm going to hate myself for saying this, but... sleep tight."
"Nooo!" the other three Rapscallions groaned in response.
"Nice one." Gwen added.
The Rapscallions walked to the door, waved a final time, and pulled it closed. J-Lou could hear Siri's voice through the door.
"Sally, lock the door, please. No one goes in 'til morning."
A click sounded. "The door is locked," Sally announced. "Good night, ladies."
J-Lou heard the girls clomp down the stairs... and she was alone. The overhead lights clicked off, courtesy of Sally. Now, the only light in the attic was the soft blue glow of Robokitty's smiling cartoon face.
"Mmmmpfh!" Kim was on her back on her bed, naked, with her wrists and thumbs flex cuffed behind her back and the ball gag still in her mouth. Her ankles were free and her legs spread wide. Tori Ballantine, also naked, was on her stomach between Kim's legs and busily licking her to orgasm... for the third time in the last hour! "Mrrrrrfh!"
Tori paused in her efforts and smiled up across Kim's brown pubic curls, flat tummy, and heaving breasts to focus on the captive's gagged, desperate face. "It's your own fault, you know. If only you'd answer my questions..."
Kim panted through flaring nostrils and glared at her interrogator. It's difficult to answer questions with a ball gag strapped in your mouth. Her skin glistened with sweat as she squirmed on the soft, rumpled sheets. It's even more difficult to answer questions when your interrogator hasn't asked any questions... and when she's licking your pussy.
Tori returned to the task at hand (or at tongue) and continued until Kim writhed in orgasm. And there was no way the professorial prisoner was faking it. Tori knew Kim far too well for that.
Finally, mission accomplished, Tori slithered up and across Kim's quivering, panting body, turned the captive's head to the side, parted her hair, and used the tiny handcuff key "charm" on the gold chain around her neck to release the lock of the ball gag's cable-tie strap. Both the gag and the flex-cuffs binding Kim's wrists and thumbs were the high end variety, reusable, with locking catches that opened with a standard handcuff key. Strap released, Tori then rolled to the side and embraced Kim from the side.
Kim spat the ball from her mouth and gasped for breath. Her bosom was still heaving, but only slightly. She was in the final stages of post-orgasmic recovery. She didn't return her captor's embrace for the obvious reason. Kim licked her lips, squirmed for comfort (and against Tori's body), then turned her head and planted a kiss on her captor's smiling lips. "Ask your damn questions so we can get some sleep," she muttered.
Tori's smile widened. "Questions? Oh, that's right, the interrogation." She returned the kiss before continuing. "Did you give the new Rook House RA permission to violate the girls' privacy?"
Kim frowned. "In what way?"
"So you did give her permission," Tori accused.
"No, no," Kim countered, "I didn't. What violation? What did she do?"
"The little Brit-bird opened a data-link to her lab at SIAS and scrambled the Rook House security protocols," Tori explained. "It was all instantly corrected by Sally, of course, but not before... J-Lou?"
"Yes, she goes by J-Lou."
"Before J-Lou had conclusive, visual proof that the girls are into bondage games." Tori kissed her prisoner, again, only this time with tongue. The long, wet kiss continued... until Tori came up for air. "Okay, I believe you. You're not guilty."
"Thank you very much," Kim muttered, and the kiss resumed. Finally, after several long, lip slurping and tongue probing seconds, Kim pulled back and rested her head on Tori's breast. "Release me and let's get some sleep."
"Oooh no," Tori chuckled. "The score is three to zero, and you're up."
Kim heaved a sad, long-suffering sigh. "I'm tired," she whined.
"C'mon, Doc," Tori purred, "you're up. And you shouldn't have invited me over if you're not going to be a gracious hostess."
"I didn't invite you over," Kim noted.
"Point taken," Tori conceded, then indicated her crotch area with a graceful, sweeping gesture. "Nonetheless... Batter up! Chop-chop! Lick-lick!"
Kim rolled her eyes, tried and failed to suppress a smile, then squirmed down the bed and between her "guest's" legs. "You're cooking breakfast," she huffed, then pursed her lips, extended her tongue, and set to work.
Before retiring to their beds—and after watching Siri bind and gag their newly arrived, naked RA on (and to) her bed—the Rapscallions had agreed to rise early and troop up to the attic to witness Siri's triumph. There was no doubt whatsoever in any of their minds that the day would dawn with J-Lou still a helpless prisoner. Clem and Gwen had a nine o'clock class, and Rory and Siri—the soon to be triumphant Siri—each had ten o'clock classes, but there was plenty of time to gloat and enjoy a celebratory breakfast.
That is, they'd have plenty of time if they could get Gwen out of bed.
"C'mon, twerp," Clem said, nudging her BFF. "You've already hit the snooze button once. Up and at 'em."
"O-kay all ready," Gwen muttered, slid from between the sheets, climbed to her bare feet, and stretched her bare everything. It was Gwen's habit to sleep in the nude, and she had, and she was.
Clem tossed Gwen her robe as she exited the bedroom. "Splash some water on your face and let's go. You're holding things up."
Gwen stepped into her slippers, shrugged into her robe and cinched the sash, then followed Clem into the communal bathroom. Siri and Rory were waiting. The same as the night before, all four Rapscallions were in their robes and preferred sleeping outfits. Rory had just finished brushing her teeth and Siri was tying her hair back in a ponytail.
"It's like Christmas morning, isn't it?" Rory remarked as Gwen washed her face.
"Yeah," Siri muttered. "I can almost smell the tree."
"And it's time to unwrap our present," Clem purred as she nudged Gwen in the ribs with an elbow.
"Stop it," Gwen muttered.
Clem, Rory, and Siri waited patiently while Gwen shuffled to one of the toilet stalls, closed the door, emptied her bladder, reemerged, shuffled back to the washbasin, and washed her hands.
"If we're all finally ready..." Siri led the way to the attic stairs. The Rapscallions mounted the stairs and Siri put her hand on the knob of the closed door. "Sally, unlock the door," she ordered.
"The door isn't locked, Siri," Sally responded.
Siri frowned. "What? Nobody was supposed to go in 'til morning." She turned to glower at her fellow Rapscallions. "Okay, who?" she demanded.
"No one went into the attic," Sally explained, "but someone did come out of the attic, about an hour ago."
"What?" Siri threw open the door and hurried across the threshold. Everything was exactly as before, when they'd left J-Lou naked, bound, and ball gagged on the bed, however...
(1) J-Lou was not naked, bound, and ball gagged on the bed. In fact, J-Lou was nowhere to be seen.
(2) The bed in question was neatly made.
(3) J-Lou's former bonds were coiled and looped through the main strap of her former ball gag. The gag was buckled closed and had been dropped over the lower right bedpost. In short, the elements of what should be J-Lou's inescapable bondage were bundled together for the convenience of whoever planned to put them away.
"Good morning," J-Lou said brightly.
The Rapscallions turned to find their fully clothed and very much not bound and gagged RA smiling her dimpled smile from the top of the stairs. The girls stared in open-mouthed and wide eyed amazement. J-Lou. Sneakers. Jeans. Blouse. Dimpled smile and neatly brushed hair. No rope and no ball gag.
"Who wants pancakes?" J-Lou asked. "Get yourselves dressed and breakfast should be ready in... ten minutes?" She turned and bounced back down the stairs.
Open mouths. Wide, staring eyes.
Siri was the first to recover. "Okay, who let her go?" she demanded.
Rory shook her head. "Not me."
"Me either," Gwen added.
"Nope," Clem said, shaking her head.
"Well somebody untied her," Siri huffed.
"Sally," Clem said, "the door was closed all night?"
"Affirmative," Sally answered. "No one went into the attic. The door remained locked and closed until Miss Goodwin turned the knob from the inside."
"A locked room mystery," Rory noted.
"Sally," Gwen said, "there's no secret door or hidden trapdoor or anything?"
"There is no secret access to the attic," Sally confirmed. "Emergency egress is possible via two of the dormer windows, but the rope ladder release mechanisms have not been activated. The windows and door remained closed and locked all night."
Gwen shrugged. "Well... pancakes?"
Rory also shrugged. "Why not?"
Siri lifted the ball gag and coils of clothesline from the bedpost and examined the ends of the coils. The milky-white, quarter-inch dabs of plastic sealing the tip of each and every free end were all intact. Clearly, the ropes had not been cut. "Inconceivable," she muttered.
"Oh, The Princess Bride!" Gwen gushed. " I love that movie."
"And the book," Clem agreed.
"Hello," Rory said solemnly. "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father."
"Prepare to die!" Gwen and Rory said in unison, then surrendered to giggling fits.
Siri was not amused.
Clem was amused. "So... pancakes for breakfast."
"And toast," Gwen added, smiling at Siri, "walking, talking toast."
"Yep," Rory chuckled, "Siri's toast."
Clem, Gwen, and Rory laughed (giggled, in Gwen's case) and exited the attic.
Siri dropped the clothesline and ball gag bundle on the bed and followed. "Inconceivable," she muttered under her breath.
|The ROOK HOUSE