Objects of Maturity
As was usually the case on an Auction night, the viewing floor was milling, men and ladies in their finest clothing drinking champagne and nibbling on canapes as they viewed the various lots on exhibition.
One man, a tall African wearing an immaculate suit, was walking round, talking to the guests and staff as they answered questions. This was one of their special theme evenings, and as he approached one young man he smiled and said “is there something that catches your eye sir?”
“Indeed,” the flaxen haired man said as he looked at the older blonde woman, “what is her story?”
“NO! You have this totally wrong – unpick and do it right this time!”
The seamstress groaned as Madame Clare threw the skirt down, and then stormed off, the other workers looking at her.
“Do not worry – she has never totally approved of anything we have done,” one of the others whispered as she came over.
“But she is meant to teach us, how can she teach us when she is like that?”
The others nodded as one of the girls on the other side of the table said “she needs to be taught a lesson – and I may be able to do that…”
Closing the door to her office, Clare looked out over the machines and workbenches. She had spent thirty years building her business, and nobody was going to tell her to change now. Her flaxen hair was cut into a long, flowing style that fell over the shoulders of her taupe dress. The dress itself had a low cut square neckline and short puffed sleeves, a variety of square and round buttons on the front, and a short pleated skirt. Her outfit was completed by a pair of knee length white boots with a silver leopard print, and her brown glasses.
It did not matter to her that her workers feared or despised her – she demanded quality, and others expected quality from her. That was the way it had always been, that was the way it always would be.
The telephone ringing caught her attention, but did not improve her temper as she walked over to her desk.
“My apologies, Madame,” a male voice said, “but there is an issue in the loading bay, and I regret to say it requires your immediate attention.”
“Wonderful – another joy for the day… I will be right there,” she said as she put the phone down, and her secretary came in.
“My apologies Madame Clare – I need your signature on these documents so they can be dispatched today.”
“Very well then,” she said as she signed where the secretary indicated, not checking what they were, “I will be in the loading bay dealing with another incompetent.”
“Of course, Madame Clare,” the secretary said as she collected the documents, a smile on her face as she watched her employer walk away.
“Very well then, what is the issue,” Clare said as she came to the rear doors, one of her workers standing with two other men, both dressed in black.
“My apologies, Madame – these men are hare to collect a delivery, but the order has not been completed yet.”
“Of all the – what exactly are you here to collect, and for what company,” Clare said as she took the clipboard from her employer, one of the two men moving behind her.
“We represent Objects of Beauty,” the second man said with a smile.
“A new customer? And what is it you have ordered from us?”
Clare stared at the man as the damp, sweet smelling cloth was clamped over her nose and mouth, and she inhaled in her attempt to screen, her vision immediately blurring as she tried to pull the hand away. But her arms were suddenly so heavy, her brain so fogged…
The two men picked her up and deposited her in a laundry basket, placing it in the back of their van before they drove off, the employee smiling as he closed the doors, and went to the staff meeting.
“My fellow workers,” he heard the secretary say as he came in, “Madame Clare has signed the company over to our cooperative – let us celebrate a new dawn…”
He looked at Clare as she sat in front of the sewing machine, screaming into the ball gag that filled her mouth as she struggled in the ropes holding her body to the chair, her legs spread and tied to the wooden front legs.
“A seamstress and an experienced woman,” he said as he smiled at her, “I would most certainly be interested George…”
“Well, we welcome your bids,” the tall African said as he moved on, stopping in front of a middle aged man who was looking at a woman in her early sixties, but dressed much younger as she stared back from the bed she was tied to.
“Ah yes – a special delivery,” George said quietly as he looked at his iPad, “her husband wanted a change in life…”
“So this is Cologne – why are we here,” Mavis said as she looked round.
“I was stationed nearby in the Seventies – I always wanted to come back,” her husband said as he looked out over the river. Mavis shook her head as she gathered her long woollen shawl around herself. Her greying blonde hair was cut short, and she was wearing a black and grey checked dress, held by spaghetti straps on her shoulders, dark tights and knee length black leather boots.
“Huh – not much to look at really,” she said as she stared through her large dark sunglasses, and then at her husband. “But you do have to have your way – sometimes.”
“Sometimes,” he said quietly as they walked along the walls of the castle, Mavis suddenly sitting on the wall and putting one leg up, the skirt of her dress falling back slightly to reveal her panties.
“What are you doing Mavis?”
“Showing you what you are never going to get,” she said with a cruel smile before she turned and looked at him. “You really are pathetic aren’t you?”
He stared back at her, and said quietly “I am what you have made me, Mavis – and perhaps, just perhaps, I need a change of more than just the scenery, the air.”
“Oh no – you’re never getting rid of me,” Mavis said as she stood up and stared into his eyes, before she turned and walked off, her husband walking a few steps behind as they approached a café. Sitting at the table outside, Mavis said “go in and get me a coffee.”
“If you insist,” he said as he went in, Mavis looking along the square as a grey van pulled up outside the café. She didn’t pay it much attention, especially when a man and a woman got out of the side of the van and walked towards her. It was only when they grabbed her and frog marched her to the van that she suddenly called out “hey – wha.,.”
He came out to see the van door slam shut and the van drive off, before he put his coffee down, and picked up the envelope that had been left on the table. Smiling, he put it into the inside pocket of his jacket, and signalled to the waiter.
“A large whisky to go with my coffee please…”
Mavis screamed into the fabric of her shawl, which was now pulled between her teeth and tied round her head, the ends down her back as she struggled in the ropes holding her wrists and ankles together.
“You will see,” the woman in black said quietly as they drove along…
“A drastic way to have a change in life,” the man said as he looked at Mavis. She was now wearing a black leather bustier dress, but still in her tights and boots, spread eagled with a large leather panel covering her mouth.
“Indeed,” George said, “but a most effective one. I will see you in the auction later?”
“Contessa,” George said as the Italian woman kissed him on both cheeks, “I have managed to fulfil your special order. If you will follow me to the private room?”
“Always darling,” she said as she walked with him, her tight skirt rippling with each step as they went into a small side room. “So you have found me a new secretary?”
“And companion as well,” George said as they looked at the older woman tied to the steel chair, staring back at them over the white tape that covered her stuffed mouth.
“Katya, will you come in and take a letter please,” the head of human resources said as he passed her desk.
Katya nodded as she picked up her pad and pen, and followed him into his private office. In her early fifties, she was still a stunning beauty, her orange patterned shawl draped over her shoulders. She had chosen today to wear an autumnal print mini dress with short sleeves, over a slightly longer black dress with long sleeves, dark hose and mid-calf black leather boots. A gold necklace hung round her neck, and she wore several rings – all gifts from the man she was now alone in the office with.
“You wish me to take a dictation sir,” she said with a smile as he locked the door.
“No – I wish you to follow my orders,” he said with a smile as he opened a desk drawer, Katya nodding as he took out a length of soft white rope, “and to do exactly what I say, and then I will reward you?”
“As you say sir – what do you want me to do?”
“Put the pad and pen down, come here, and put your hands behind your back.”
Alexa nodded as she complied – she loved their little games, and as he crossed her wrists and started to bind them together, she let out a soft sigh of pleasure.
“Have I displeased you sir?”
“No,” he said quietly as he tied the ends off, Katya wriggling her fingers as he gently kissed her neck, “anything but.” Taking a longer length of rope from the desk, he doubled it over, and began to bind her arms to her sides, making two bands that framed her chest as the material of her outfit stretched over it. She sighed as she felt his hands stroke and cares her chest while the ropes forced it up and out, small thrills running through her as he tied the ropes off, and then caressed her breasts in his hands.
“Sir, you do not have to do this…”
“Oh but I do – sit down,” he said quietly, Katya nodding as she sat and crossed her ankles, watching as he took yet more rope and started to bind them together as well. She loved the way he made her feel helpless, and would do anything for him…
He smiled as with more rope he secured her legs together, below her knees, and then stood, leaning over as he gently kissed her lips while his hands continued to gently massage her chest.
“I am yours sir,” she whispered with a sigh, “I cannot stop you now?”
“I know – but I need you to be quiet. Open your mouth.”
Katya nodded as she saw him take from the drawer a pair of her own knickers, folding them as she opened her mouth, tasting herself on her tongue as he pushed them in, and then closing her lips together, smiling as he tore a strip from a roll of white tape, and pressed it gently over her face, covering her mouth as it formed to her contours.
“Are you happy Katya, willing to do all for me?”
She slowly nodded as he knelt down, putting his hand under her skirt as he wriggled round.
“I have a very special surprise for you – but I want it to be a genuine surprise. Do you trust me?”
She nodded as he stood and walked behind her, taking her shawl and folding it before he blindfolded her. She was in total darkness, unable to move more than wriggling, unable to speak clearly, wondering what was going to come next.
What she did not expect was for the door to open, and two people to lift her up, carrying her as she struggled and tried to call for help. He watched as the two people in black carried her to the service elevator, before h picked up the telephone.
“I’ve dealt with the security leak, but I need a new PA…”
Katya looked at the blonde woman as he came over, and stroked her cheek with her hand, feeling the soft leather and sighing slightly.
“Excellent – an efficient administrator,” she said as she glanced at George’s tablet, “and beautiful as well. We are going to become very, very good friends, aren’t we Katya?”
She looked into the clear blue eyes, and slowly nodded as George made a note.
“So you will take her?”
“Oh yes – thank you,” the Contessa said as George left and closed the door, one of his assistants coming over.
“George – I’ve had a request to hold lot 132 for a private bidder. Will you come and talk to them?”
He nodded as he went to where a tall, dark haired man was looking at a woman, tied to a St Andrew’s cross with a black leather bit gag in her mouth. “You are interested Sir?”
“Indeed – but I understand from Ian this is an unusual lot?”
George nodded as he said “let me give you the bare details…”
“Thank you all for coming, it has been so good to see you,” Linda said quietly as the last of the guests at her birthday dinner left the restaurant. It had been a celebration of her fiftieth birthday, and she had wanted all her friends to be there.
“The payment for the dinner has been cleared, Madame,” the restaurant owner said as he held her black leather jacket for her to put on. She still had shoulder length brown hair, with a hint of grey, cut into a design that framed her beautiful face. For the dinner, she was wearing a black halter neck dress that barely covered her private area, a large green floral arrangement pinned to her left chest. Natural coloured fishnet stockings covered her legs, and her feet were in her favourite black slouch leather boots.
“Luigi, the meal was excellent – thank you – for everything,” she said with a smile as she kissed the owner, and then left, walking along the streets of Kensington as she looked around. She had lived here since arriving as a student at the age of eighteen, and it held so many happy memories for her.
Arriving at her flat, she let herself in, and turned the light on, pouring a glass of brandy and sipping it as she slipped her jacket off, and looked round. She did not have much to represent her life – and right then, she was glad.
The doorbell ringing made her smile as she went out for a moment, returning with two women dressed in black.
“Maria, thank you for doing this,” Linda said quietly.
“I have to ask again – are you sure you want to do this,” the blonde asked as the redhead put a black bag on the table.
“I do – I just need to sign these documents, confirming you will purchase the flat and all the contents.” Linda picked up a pen and signed the paperwork, the redhead witnessing as she sighed. “So – can we do this?”
“Exactly as you stipulated,” Maria said as she opened the bag, and took out several lengths of white rope. Linda took a deep breath and nodded as the redhead took one length of rope, and started to bind her wrists together behind her back, while Maria gathered the legal papers and put them into a leather slipcase.
As her wrists were secured together, Maria took a longer length of rope and tied it round Linda’s waist, letting the ends fall to the ground before a hand came between her legs. She gasped as the ropes were pulled up, rubbing on her crotch before she felt the ropes around her arms at her elbows as well.
“It feels – different – nice,” she whispered as the rope were tied off, and then the redhead knelt behind her, using more rope to secure her legs together above her knees, but with a small gap between them. She repeated this on Linda’s ankles, as Maria took a black sponge ball from the bag and compressed it in her gloved hand.
“Once we have done this, we take you to your new life.”
“I look forward to it,” Linda whispered before the ball was pushed into her mouth, closing her lips over it as they were covered in sticking plaster. She took one last look round her flat, saying goodbye to her old life before she was made to hobble from the room, Maria picking up the door keys and turning the lights off…
“So this is her choice,” the man said as he looked at Linda.
“Indeed – and as such, she needs to have approval as well before any reserved bids can be taken. It is important that her wishes are followed, as she is the one who paid us,” George said as he looked at Linda. “Do you believe you could be happy with her?”
Linda looked at the older man and nodded as both men smiled.
“Excellent – My Lord?”
As the dark haired man nodded, George could hear a disturbance across the floor. “Will you excuse me,” he said quietly as he walked off, approaching a tableau of a front room. A small crowd was watching the woman who lay on the couch, screaming muted insults at all of them…
Sitting at the bar, Su Lin sipped from her glass, and looked around. She had been staying in the hotel for three weeks now, while she worked at the local offices of her company, but she had not really settled, or felt welcome.
She was in her early forties, and normally impeccably dressed, but this evening she was relaxed, her long black hair falling over the shoulders of her striped jumper, the legs of her jeans tucked into long brown leather boots. But still, she did not feel as if she was happy, or relaxed or…
“Hi – can I buy you a drink?”
Su looked at the young man, wearing a green gilet over a white jumper, jeans and shoes, and smiled as she said “you think that line still works?”
“It’s not really a line – I saw you sitting there alone, and thought you might like the company.”
He smiled as she looked at him, and then said “all right – Singapore Sling.”
“Manhattan – are you from Singapore,” he said as he sat next to her.
“No – Baltimore. So why are you here?”
“Oh on business – looking for new talent,” he said with a smile. “I work for a – recruitment agency. You?”
“Tech support,” Su said as she accepted the drink, and took a sip. “So…”
“Dave – and you?”
“Su Lin. So Dave, what do you do to relax?”
“Oh I have some hobbies,” he said with a smile as her phone went off. “Excuse me a minute,” she said quietly as she turned her back, answering the call with a terse “what?
“It can wait until the morning.
“IT CAN!” Ending the call, she turned round and said “sorry about that,” as she took a sip from her glass. “So, what sort of talent are you looking to recruit?”
Dave smiled as he said “oh, people who are looking for, or need, a major change in their lives. I offer a very unique way of meeting their needs, and satisfying those of my clients.”
“Sounds intriguing,” Su said as she took another drink, and fluttered her eyelashes.
Then she blinked again. “Must be extra gin in this,” she said quietly as she took another sip, and blinked once more. “I feel…”
“As I said,” Dave whispered as he stood up, and helped Su Lin to get onto her feet, holding her up as she slumped slightly, “I offer unique opportunities to change your life, and we’ve been watching you, Su Lin – we wish to extend that offer to you.”
“Hush – come with me,” Dave said as they walked to the exit, “Objects of Beauty welcomes you…”
Su Lin struggled on the couch, looking at the man and women in their finery as she tried to find some give in the ropes around her arms, legs, ankles and wrists, the white tape wrapped around her head holding a cloth inside her mouth.
George knelt next to her, put his large hand on her arm to steady her, and whispered “your old life is over – relax, and your new life with all the pleasures it can offer can begin now. One of these fine people will offer you that opportunity – and it will be taken.”
“I know you are scared, but be assured, no harm will come to you – or I will personally see to it those responsible are hurt.” George looked at Su Lin as she nodded, and then stood up.
“The auction will begin in thirty minutes, ladies and gentlemen,” he said as he walked to the last stand. The blonde looked back at him, defiance in her eyes as he said “and as for you, my dear Miss Evans, you are about to discover the truth…”
Harriet Evans put the phone down, and then looked at the notes she had made on the screen.
She looked up at her editor and said “I think I have it. Finding her notes on the Bristol case from a few years ago, I think I have managed to piece everything together.”
She had worked for the Special Investigations team for five years now, replacing one of their reporters who had vanished without trace looking into the affairs of a business that had recently bought and converted an old mansion house. Harriet’s straw blonde hair was cut into a bob, and she was wearing a purple dress like a cheongsam, with a floral pattern printed on it, and black lace sleeves. Her legs were in a pair of over the knee black suede boots, the visible part in black tights with a polka dot pattern.
“So you think you are ready to publish?”
“I am – but I want to run it past you first.”
Her editor nodded as he said “all right – conference room, thirty minutes, and bring everything.” He went into his office, closing the door as he did so, and picked up the telephone…
“So what do you think?”
The editor sat back in the darkened room, as Harriet stood by the screen, the picture of her former colleague on the screen.
“So you contend the owners of the house are a high powered slave auction business, and when she uncovered the truth, they kidnapped her and sold her at an auction?”
“Not quite – her last notes said she was going to get entry into the house. I think she did so – and never got back out.”
The editor looked at Harriet, and said “so what do you want to do?”
“Publish it, expose them – and get her back.”
“I am afraid I cannot allow you to do that.”
“Who said that?” Harriet looked up as a tall, powerfully built African man stepped out from the shadows at the back of the room.
“I am George, and I run Objects of Beauty,” he said quietly, “and I cannot allow this story to be published.”
“Boss – what’s going on?”
“I’m sorry Harriet,” the editor said as he stood up, “I need to can this story.”
Harriet stared at him, and then she felt the pinprick in her arm. She looked at the dart, and then at her editor and George, before she fell unconscious…
Harriet struggled in the tape that held her arms to the wooden arms of the chair, her bare legs taped at the ankles and knees, as George smiled at her.
“I hope you enjoy your new life – the auction is about to begin, and you are the first lot…”