“Mum, I cannot thank you enough for agreeing to come and sit in on this shoot with me,” Suki said as she looked at Mai. “I feel really nervous about this.”
“I can imagine you do,” the forty year old woman said as she sat next to her daughter, “this is your first shoot, after all.” She had short cut dark brown hair, and was wearing a short sleeved top with a grey body and pink sleeves as well as pink side panels, white trousers and flat grey shoes.
Suki’s hair was a lighter shade of brown, and she was wearing a pair of faded denim bib shorts over a white top, as well as flat white shoes.
The two women were sitting in folding chairs, watching the crew as they prepared the lights and other paraphernalia involved in a photo shoot. In front of them was an area covered in white cloths, with various covered seats and boxes.
“Hello Suki – about ready to begin?”
“I think so,” Suki said quietly, “although I have to admit, this is a new experience to me.”
“Well, don’t worry, we’ll take you through it step by step. So, if you’ll come with me, and sit on the box there, we’ll start with a few establishing shots.”
Suki nodded as she let go of her mother’s hand, and walked over, sitting on the white linen and smiling as the photographer walked round her, taking picture after picture as he did so.
“That’s excellent,” he said with a smile as he put the camera down. Suki watched him, feeling her heartbeat quicken as he went to the side, and picked up a length of red silk rope.
“All right,” he said quietly, “if you are ready, I want you to put your hands out in front of yourself, wrists together.”
“I... I’m scared. Mum?”
“There’s nothing to be scared of, Suki,” Mai said as she watched her daughter, “they’re not going to hurt you.”
“I know, mum,” Suki said as she looked at the rope, but...”
“Let me show you,” Mai said as she held her own wrists out. “Bind mine first, to show her it will be all right.”
“Are you sure?”
“Do it,” Mai said with a nod, watching as the man wrapped the rope around her wrists, and then tied them together, feeling the soft rope on her bare skin as it went around and between her arms, and then he tied it off.
“There,” Mai said as she held them up for Suki to look at, “now you can let him do the same to you.”
As she watched her daughter’s wrists been bound, some old memories started to stir in Mai’s mind, of when she was starting out as a photographic model as well...
“That is wonderful Suki – you have a real look in your eyes,” the photographer said as he put his camera down again, and then took another length of rope. “I’m going to secure your ankles now.”
She glanced over at Mai, who nodded to show it would be all right while the man knelt and tied her ankles together, side by side. As she swung her legs up and down, she looked over to her mother and said “You were right – this isn’t so bad. Why don’t you have this as well?”
“I don’t know...”
“OH go on Mum...”
Mai nodded as another length of rope was used to secure her ankles together, stirring memories of her in a schoolgirl outfit, posing for a series of photographs for a true crime magazine...
“I’ve got an idea – if your mother is interested.”
Mai suddenly looked up at the photographer as he said “if you want, after I have done these photos, I could do some of the two of you together. Your choice?”
“Will we have to pay?”
“No – just for fun. Now, this is the part you may find most scary Suki – we’re going to put a piece of tape over your mouth, so that we can see you’ve been gagged.”
“Will it hurt?”
“No – would you like to see it on your mother?”
Before Mai had a chance to say anything, Suki looked at her and said “please?”
“Oh very well,” Mai said, pursing her lips as the photographer smoothed a length of black tape over her mouth, “Sseenfnggntwrrbt,” she said, Suki nodding as she too had her mouth covered in tape, and they started to take the photographs again.
Mai was actually surprised about how comfortable this felt, as she watched the smile under the black tape on Suki’s mouth while the photographs were taken. Eventually, he looked at Mai and said “hop over here and sit with Suki.”
Mai nodded as she pushed herself onto her feet, and jumped over, sitting herself next to her daughter as the photographs were taken.
They looked at each other and smiled, as Suki laid her head on her mother’s shoulder, and Mai leaned on her head.
“Listen,” the photographer said, “can I do a little more with you? Do you think you can move round and sit back to back, with your feet on the boxes?”
The two women looked at each other, and then shuffled round, raising their hands as he used a longer length of rope to tie them together around their waists, before picking up the camera and saying “look at me now.”
Mai looked over, remembering how much more she was secured when she was the schoolgirl, the ropes rubbing on her as she was secured, the wide cloth tied over her mouth and hiding what was underneath...
“Thssrrllerssfnnmmm,” Suki said, Mai nodding as the photos were taken. After a few minutes, he looked at them and said “you know, I think we could do a really good photo of both of you, if you are willing.”
“Let me untie you,” he said, “and you can remove the tape before having a drink. Then I will tell you.”
A few minutes later, Suki looked at her mother, and took a drink from the bottle before she said “so how long is it since you’ve been like that mum?”
“A few years – since your father went. Did you know he liked to do that to me?”
“I heard you a few times – it’s why I agreed to do this. But I never knew it would feel like that...”
Mai nodded before she said “this may go a little further. Are you ready for that?”
She smiled as her daughter nodded, looking at the photographer as he said “All right – can you both come and stand together before I get to work?”
The two women nodded as he took various shots, and then said “All right – who would like to go first?”
“Shall I,” Mai said, Suki nodding as she watched the photographer take her mother’s arms behind her back. Mai stood still as she felt him cross her wrists, and then soft rope around them, feeling them forced together as he took the cords around and between her arms.
As Suki watched, the man took a second length of rope – a much longer one, and then started to wrap it around her upper body, pulling her arms into her sides as he took it above and below her chest. Mai sighed; old familiar feelings long unfelt returning as she closed her eyes.
“Mum? Are you all right?”
“Oh yes,” she said as she opened her eyes and smiled at Suki. “You’ll find out in a minute.”
Suki looked nervously at her mother as the photographer took her wrists behind her back, and then felt the ropes as her wrists were secured out of sight of both of them. She knew how it felt though – and when he started to pull the rope around her upper body, the feel of the bands of rope as he framed her chest was different. Not unpleasant, not uncomfortable. Just – very, very different...
As he took a new set of photographs, they looked at each other, Mai noticing the way her daughter’s chest was thrust out, Suki how relaxed and happy her mother was looking. They wriggled round as well, before he said “Great – sit on the floor please.”
“Just take it slowly,” Mai said as she dropped to her knees, and then sat down, Suki copying her as they both stretched their legs out, then watching as the photographer crossed their ankles before he used more red rope to secure them together, Suki noticing with interest the way he took the rope between her legs and tightened the binding around her ankles.
“I’d genuinely forgotten how that feels,” Mai said as she tried to move her legs, and then watched as he tied her legs together below her knees, securing them before he moved over to Suki.
She shivered as he tied her legs, feeling his hand stroking her legs before he took the rope between her legs and tightened the band. “Now, try and move round,” he said as he picked up the camera, taking more photos as they smiled.
“Now, ready to be quiet?”
They looked at each other and nodded as he folded two cloths, and then pushed them into their open mouths, before taking more photos, and then covering their mouths with a folded strip of white cloth, covering their noses and mouths as he did so.
“Wllthssrkllssflssgdd,” Mai said, Suki nodding as they rested their heads against each other.
“Now then,” the photographer eventually said, “would you like to try something different?”
The two women looked at each other, wondering if they should agree...