Honeysuckle Weeks as Samantha Stewart SAM's WAR
The d'Arcy Manor Mystery
by Van ©2006


Chapter 4
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Sam struggled against her bonds, but it was hopeless.  The Countess had done her fiendish work too well... the ropes were too numerous, too well-placed, and too tight... and her fluttering fingers could touch nothing but air.  She wiggled and squirmed, but remained exactly as she'd been left, kneeling on the tower room's stone floor, her hands behind her back, her breasts squashed against her knees, and bound in a veritable spider's web of rope.  Even her big toes were tied together, and thanks to the rope hitched through the iron ring embedded in the floor between her knees, she couldn't even roll over onto her side.

This was incredible!  Sam had been bound and gagged by Lady d'Arcy, chained in a torture chamber by the Countess' maids, and now she was tied in a tight bundle, naked as the day she was born, by the Countess herself—all in the course of a few hours!  Incredible!

Sam was surprised to find herself more angry and embarrassed than frightened.  The Countess had said she wouldn't be left to die, and she believed her.  (She had to.)  That didn't mean she wouldn't fight back and escape, first chance she got.  She'd see them all in prison, whatever it took!   Sam struggled again, testing her bonds with all her strength.  It was pointless.  She sighed through her gag, and rested her chin on her knees.

Suddenly, she heard the tower room door being unbolted and unlocked.  It opened, and the maids entered, Zaza and Marie.

"Mon dieu," Zaza muttered as she approached Sam's bound form.  "Madame has, how you say, zhe bee up zhe chapeau?"

"If you mean she's ticked off at this one," Marie answered, "I'd say so; but it's a bee in 'er bonnet or a wasp up 'er arse.  And in the case of that bloomin' tyrant, it's probably both."

Zaza began untying the ropes enforcing Sam's helpless condition.  "You English and your expressions," she laughed.

Marie's hands were busy as well, and soon Sam's bonds were reduced to her bound wrists and cloth-stuffed and cleave-gagged mouth.  Marie grabbed a handful of Sam's tousled locks and pulled her head back.  "And now, Ducky," she sneered, "you're goin' back downstairs."

Sam winced at the pain in her scalp, and grunted through her gag.

"No need to be cruel," Zaza said, much to Sam's surprise.  The French maid leaned close and smiled in Sam's face. "Mademoiselle will be zhe good girl.  She does not want Marie to spank, non?"

Sam glared at Zaza as well, but sighed and lowered her gaze in apparent surrender.  First chance she got she'd run for it, of course, but she'd just as soon not be spanked, thank you very much.

"Good girl!" Zaza gushed, then tossed some rope to Marie.  "Hobble zhe ankles, and keep hold of zhe end."  She then tied a noose in a second piece of rope and dropped it over Sam's head.  "It is not that Zaza does not trust mademoiselle," she said as she cinched the noose tight around Sam's neck, "but Madame say we are to take no chances."

"And we won't," Marie added.  She'd finished tying Sam's ankles, with about a foot of slack between, then grabbed her hair, again, and pulled her to her feet.   "Up you come, Ducky," the gloating blonde purred. "Give us any trouble and I'll jerk your feet out from under you, or Zaza will snap your neck."

Resistance was pointless.  With Zaza in the lead, Sam in the middle, and Marie in the rear, the prisoner and her handlers left the tower room.
The d'Arcy Manor Mystery—4
The trip back down to the dungeons was mildly precarious.  The spiral stairs were tough going with hobbled ankles, but the maids didn't let Sam fall.  The strange parade finally reached the lower level, continued along a dark passage to another set of stairs, and then began to climb.  These stairs were wider and not nearly as steep.  Eventually, they came to a dark landing.

"Well," Marie complained, "get on with it."

"Hol' zhe horses," Zaza answered.  "Mademoiselle is not properly dressed."

It's about time someone noticed, Sam thought, and then yelped through her gag in alarm as a cloth bag was dropped over her head.  Its drawstrings tightened around her throat and were cinched and knotted.  The bag was close fitting, a veritable hood, and the string was tight.  Worst of all, the fabric was tightly woven, making breathing difficult.  Sam complained through her gag, but was ignored.  There was the sound of stone scraping on stone, her rope leash snapped taut, and she had no choice but to stumble forward.

The cloth over Sam's eyes began to glow a little, and the stone under her bare feet was replaced by soft carpet.  She surmised they were back in the residential area.  Sam shuffled along between her captors, embarking on what, to the increasingly tired and frazzled captive, was apparently a room-by-room tour of this floor of the manor.

They crossed a threshold, and carpet gave way to a hard surface, possibly tile.  The light filtering through the stifling hood became brighter, and the air caressing Sam's naked skin was warmer and more humid.  Sam was spun around and pushed against a vertical pole or pipe.  One of the maids held her in place while the other buckled a leather strap around her waist and the pole.  Sam shook her head and moaned through her gag.  She was getting dizzy from breathing the stale air trapped in the hateful hood.

Over the next several minutes Sam heard a series of clicks and clacks as the maids moved around her and performed various mysterious tasks.  At the same time, her rope bonds were removed and replaced with thin straps.  The maids were silent, throughout, but she could hear their high heel shoes tap to and from various locations around the room.

Eventually, Sam surmised something of their actions.  They were deploying an array of poles, snapping them into brackets or sockets of some sort at various angles, and lashing her limbs in place.  The strap bonds were all soft and pliant, like leather ribbons or thongs. They were wrapped around her body above and below her joints, usually several times each, before being threaded through buckles and secured.

Earlier, the Countess had ordered her "posed", and posed Sam was.  Her right foot was flat on the floor with her leg straight.  Her left foot, however, was off the floor and pulled back, with the knee bent.  Her left arm was extended straight up and bound to the pole already bracing her right leg.  Her right arm was bent behind her back and bound with the wrist at the level of her shoulder blades.  She'd struggled and resisted, as best she could, but the maids handled her with their usual professionalism, never letting more than one of her limbs completely free at any time and defeating her rebellious efforts with ease.  The poles were adjusted and more straps deployed to make Sam even more helpless.  Then, the bag was untied and jerked from her head.

Sam blinked in the sudden light.  The fresh air was a blessed, invigorating relief.  She tossed her head to dislodge the sweaty strands of hair plastered to her face, as best she could, and looked around.  She was in a conservatory or orangery with a roof and three walls of glass panes set in ornate iron frames.  Numerous potted plants, some quite large, lined the walls, together with several tall wooden cabinets.

Sam's suppositions about the maids' activities were more or less correct.  She was in the middle of a scaffolding of hardwood poles, each of which was snapped into one of twenty or more metal sockets sunk in the floor, and then clamped to a metal grid overhead.  Only one of the poles was vertical, the one to which her left arm and right leg were bound.  The rest were canted at the angles required to enforce her current position.

Sam turned her head and examined her bonds.  The straps were all inch-wide, tan, chamois ribbons, smoothly wrapped, without bunching or twisting, immobilizing each of the joints of her limbs.  Sam tugged and squirmed, but the poles were stout, and the sockets, brackets, and clamps of the scaffolding didn't even rattle.

Suddenly, Zaza grabbed Sam's head, her hands on either side of her face.  "Do not struggle, mademoiselle.  Marie must fix zhe hair."  Sam glared and growled through her gag.  The prisoner and her gloating captor locked eyes, but Sam held her head still, as ordered.  "Zhis one has much élan," Zaza remarked.

Marie was using a brush to straighten the tangles in Sam's curls.  "Oh, we'd break 'er in no time," she sneered, "if we weren't leavin'.  She's just lucky madam doesn't want 'er marked.  I'd love to take a whip to all that pink skin."

Sam winced as Marie jerked the brush through her hair.

"Gently, mon amie," Zaza said softly, and Marie's brush flowed with less force.

Sam continued to glare.  Zaza's words were kind, but her eyes were cruel.

Meanwhile, Marie had pulled Sam's hair back and was plaiting it in a tight braid.  Sam could tell she was doing something with the end of the braid, but, of course, she couldn't see what it was.

Zaza decided to be helpful.  "Marie is attaching zhe… how you say, hair sleeve?"

"As good a name as any for the bloomin' thing," Marie muttered.

"It is zhe tube of leather with zhe steel ring in zhe middle," Zaza explained.  "Zhe braid is inserted, zhe tube folded back on itself, and zhe leather thongs laced along zhe side to make it nice and tight.  Zhe perfect thing for attaching zhe hair to zhe cord or rope, non?  Zhe harnais, s'il vous plait," she said to Marie.

Sam heard Marie tap away to one of the cabinets and then return, accompanied by the tinkling sound of numerous small buckles.

Sam resisted as best she could, but the maids' hands were strong, and her ears, braid, gag, and nose made for convenient handles.  Eventually, narrow bands of thin leather were buckled around her forehead, under her chin, and across the crown of her head. Her braid and its sleeve and ring were passed through a larger ring behind her head, and another strap tightened. The cloth cleaving her mouth was removed, but was immediately replaced by a thin strap, and then all the buckles were tightened, to compensate for the absence of the folded cloth.  The cloth already stuffed in her mouth remained.  Next, a thin, leather panel tightened across her mouth and was buckled behind her neck.  Finally, cords were threaded through rings in the head harness and the ring of the hair sleeve, pulled taut, and lashed to rings clamped to different poles of the scaffolding.  Sam's' limbs and torso were already immobilized, and now she couldn't even move her head.  Fluttering her fingers, wiggling her toes, and rolling her eyes were the only unfettered motions possible.

Zaza and Marie stepped into Sam's now rather limited range of vision, and smiled.  Sam squirmed in her bonds and glared defiantly at the gloating duo.

"So, what now?" Marie asked.  "How 'bout a nice pair o' them nip-pinchin' clips, with some weights?"

"Oh, so very cruel!" Zaza admonished her fellow maid.  "I was thinking maybe zhe mink fur gloves.  We could caress mademoiselle's breasts and pussy until she cum.  Très humiliant, non?"

Suddenly, a voice sounded from the doorway to the main manor.  "Or… you could leave Driver Stewart to me and see to your duties."  It was the Countess, dressed in a different black dress than the one Sam had seen her wearing earlier.  "Zaza, some breakfast.  Marie, complete the packing."
The d'Arcy Manor Mystery—4
The maids curtsied, and scrambled to leave.

The Countess took a slow stroll around her prisoner.  "Adequate," she said, stopping on Sam's left, at the edge of her peripheral vision.

Sam flinched as the Countess reached out and cupped her left breast.  "Marie has no sense of subtlety.  If she wasn't so much fun to punish when she makes her oh-so-predictable mistakes, I would have dismissed her from my service long ago."  Her hand squeezed Sam's breast, and the captive shuddered in disgust.  "Zaza, on the other hand…"  She seized Sam's right breast, and squeezed it as well.  "Zaza is clever and inventive in her cruelty.  My nipple clamps are very painful.  My barbed wire brassiere, even more so.  And the combination of the two is sheer agony.  But pain is nothing compared to bringing a repressed English Rose such as yourself to climax… against her will.  Zaza knows that instinctively."

Sam shuddered as her breasts were released, then her eyes popped wide as the Countess slowly slid her fingers down her torso to her private parts!  She whined through her gag as her tormentor began a slow, gentle massage.  This was dreadful beyond words, and Sam was completely helpless and unable to defend herself!

"What is that charming expression?" the Countess asked, rhetorically.  "Oh, yes. Close your eyes and think of England, Driver Stewart."  The massage continued.  "Yes, the green and pleasant land… very pleasant…isn't it?"

Sam was ashamed to find herself reacting to the sensual stimulation.  She squealed through her gag and shivered in her bonds as the Countess' manipulation sent waves of unwelcome, unwanted delight rippling through her body.  She found herself panting through her nostrils, moaning through her gag, and a slippery, clammy wetness began accompanying the passage of her tormentor's fingers.

"Responsive little vixen, despite yourself," the Countess purred.  "In a week, I could have you begging for my touch.  In a month, you'd be grovelling at my feet, my willing, devoted slave."

Sam forced her eyes open and growled in denial.

"Oh, it's true," the Countess whispered.  Her lips were less than an inch from Sam's left ear, and she could feel her hot breath.  She tugged on her bonds, desperately trying to control the increasing arousal coursing through her quivering, traitorous body.

Just then, Zaza reentered the studio, pushing a small serving cart.  "Breakfast, Madame," she announced.

"Excellent, Zaza!" the Countess exclaimed.  "Here, I'll serve myself.  Come and assist Driver Stewart."

"Oui, Madame," Zaza responded, pushing the cart near a comfortable chair directly in Sam's line of sight.  She then stepped to a cabinet, produced a pair of fur gloves, and strolled behind the panting prisoner.

The Countess' hands disappeared, and Sam sighed in desperate relief.  She watched the evil temptress stroll to the chair, sit, and pour herself a cup of coffee.  Her relief was fleeting, however, for Zaza stepped close from behind and her hands began gliding over Sam's sex and breasts!  The touch of the maid's gloves was indescribably smooth, soft, and exciting.

"Zhe mink gloves I mentioned earlier," Zaza whispered in Sam's ear.  "Oh, mademoiselle's nipples are like zhe firm, pink cherries, and her pussy ees slippery and warm.  What a wicked, wicked girl!"

"Have you ever seen a modelling armature before, Driver Stewart?" the Countess asked, between bites of a delicate pastry. 

A well-muffled, strangled whine escaped Sam's gag.

"I'll take that as a 'no'," the Countess chuckled, sipping her coffee.  "Modelling armatures were used extensively in the last century," she continued.  "Artists would hire prostitutes or vagrants to pose for them, and bind them in place against the apparatus' adjustable poles.  It was so the model could hold the required pose for hours at a time.  Of course, holding position without bondage is probably as taxing as being bound for hours, but then, the use of the armature was for the artist's benefit.  The comfort of a man or woman willing to pose in the nude for a few pennies was hardly of concern to an upstanding member of polite society.  Are you listening to me, Driver Stewart?"

"I believe she is… distracted, Madame," Zaza purred.

In truth, Sam wasn't listening.  Eyes tightly closed, her world was reduced to the soft, lambent sensations flooding her helpless body.  She writhed and bucked against her inescapable bonds, moving in perfect rhythm to the sliding caress of Zaza's fur-gloved hands.  It was a horrid, wonderful ordeal, with her primitive, animalistic self betraying every attempt at her mind's resistance.  Zaza's mittens were alive, evil little vermin that seemed to know exactly when and where to touch her most intimate person, exactly how to melt her crumbling resolve.

Zaza's hands continued their cruel seduction.  "I think zhees one cum very soon," she said, then thrust her tongue in Sam's ear.

Sam's body went totally rigid and she screamed through her gag—waves of indescribable ecstasy washed over her defenceless body—Stop!  Please, please stop! her mind screamed.  It feels so good!  Time seemed to stand still—and then it was over, and she hung, limply, in her bonds.

The Countess was consuming her second pastry, taking periodic sips of coffee.  Zaza, a cruel smile on her flushed face, took a step back.  Sam, her skin blushing and moist with sweat, panted through flaring nostrils.  Her breasts heaving, she tugged weakly on her bonds, but was as helpless as a specimen butterfly impaled on a pin.

"She ees delicious, Madam," Zaza said, taking a delicate sniff of her furry gloves. "Her musk ees most parfumé.  May I shave her and do it again?"

The Countess laughed.  "No, you greedy thing.  There is no time.  Find Marie, change into your travelling clothes, and then fetch Miss Ravenwood and her costume.  Driver Stewart and I will enjoy watching you dress her for her journey."

Zaza cupped Sam's breasts, thrust her tongue in her ear, once again, and gave it a delicate swirl.  "Do not be ashamed, mademoiselle," she whispered.  "Zhere was nothing you could do, for Zaza ees most skilled in zhe ways of pleasure."  And then she was gone.

Sam watched her tap to the cabinet and return the hated gloves to their shelf.  Then, at the extreme edge of Sam's field of vision, Zaza left the room.  Her eyes darted back to the Countess.  The gloating aristocrat refreshed her coffee, and then reached behind her chair and produced an artist's sketchpad and pencil box.  She flipped open the pad, selected a pencil, and began to draw.  Her hand flew in rapid, confident strokes.  Sam surmised she was an experienced artist.

The Countess paused to sip her coffee.  "You are very beautiful, Driver Stewart," she said, "full of the vibrancy of youth.  Simply ravishing... especially after having just been ravished.  I wish that charming, rosy, peach-pink blush and glowing sheen would last, but they won't.  And you should see how plump and pink you are down below.  Beautiful.  I must work quickly."  Her pencil flew, the dry scratch of its lead on the thick paper the only sound in the room; then she flipped the page and continued sketching.  "A pity I can't simply pop you in the boot and take you with us, but we'll be crowded enough, as is."

Sam glared at her captor, humiliated and miserable, hanging in her bonds.  Her nipples and sex were still tingling, but the afterglow of her unwanted climax was starting to fade.  What now? She wondered.  Where are they taking Marion?  And where's the boss?  The mental image of Foyle bursting in at the head of a squad of uniformed constables and clapping the Countess and her maids in steel bracelets was delicious... and embarrassing... but she had no reason whatsoever to believe such a rescue might be happening any time soon.

Reason dictated that Foyle, Milner, and the others would assume her return to Hastings had been delayed by the storm.  They might have tried to telephone the manor, Sgt. Rivers might even be trying at this very second, but they'd chalk up the lack of response to the storm as well.  A constable might be assigned to bicycle out to the manor... some time late this afternoon? ...possibly first thing tomorrow morning?  The Hastings Police had much bigger fish to fry than a delinquent driver who had just gone missing.

Sam sighed through her gag.  If this lot gets away... I'll die!

The Countess continued to sketch, a cruel, gloating smile curling her lips.
The d'Arcy Manor Mystery—4

Chapter 3
Chapter 5