by Cardaniel

Chapter 1

Susan bit her lip as she poured tequila into the glass. It was the last Friday evening in June, the beginning of the last weekend before the long Independence Day holiday. She'd got the signal on waking up this morning, Suzy telling her, once again, to have some drinks with dinner.

Susan would never be able to describe, to anyone else, exactly what the signal consisted of -- not that she would ever try confiding in another person about Suzy. Communications from Suzy were always in a different category from what Susan thought of as normal human experience with the world, and the language of words wasn't adequate to explain exactly what was happening.

That wasn't entirely true. Sometimes Suzy gave Susan memories of things she, Suzy, had done while in control of Susan's body. That was fairly straightforward.

But the order, issued occasionally by Suzy to Susan, that she should have drinks with dinner that night was one of those mysterious things. Susan could never say exactly how she knew Suzy had told her to do that. But it was always very clear in her mind.

Susan had been getting that signal a couple of times a week during the last four weeks, always previously on weeknights, when Susan knew Suzy wasn't going to tie her up because she had to get to work the next morning. But now it was Friday night, and there was a possibility that Susan, after blanking out from the alcohol and allowing Suzy to take over, might find herself waking up tied up naked outdoors, in some place where being discovered was a danger, and Susan would have to figure out how she was expected to get herself loose and get home.

The idea frightened Susan, to the point where it was hard to take that first drink. She hated the thought of spending the weekend in danger of exposure, of being found nude by someone, in a situation impossible to explain. The shame, the humiliation...

Yet that fear was always overlaid with excitement, with anticipation, with arousal at the thought of those orgasms Susan would have, internal explosions of sexual ecstasy she could never experience any other way.

Susan's fingers shook from the internal battle of those emotions. She knew her sexual urges were going to win the battle. But the fear engendered by her pathological shyness -- Susan admitted to herself that the intensity of her aversion to being seen by other people went far beyond normal bounds -- never gave up trying to protect her.

Susan jumped, nearly dropping the bottle, when the microwave dinged to signal that her dinner was ready. It would take some time to cool. Meanwhile, Susan thought, I should take a drink just to calm myself.

She thought back over previous nights of drinking over the last several weeks. Each had passed without major consequence. What Suzy seemed to have been doing, while in control on those evenings, had been nothing more than using Susan's laptop computer. Susan always left it powered off and folded up. On those drinking nights, after her blackout, Susan always returned to conscious control of her body at bedtime with nothing in the house changed other than finding the laptop sitting open on the kitchen table, with the screensaver engaged.

Susan had tried to figure out what Suzy might have been doing, but Suzy always cleared the browsing history at the end of each session. It seemed a little odd to Susan that Suzy, who must get a sense of Susan's returning to the extent that she knew to finish up and erase all evidence of what she'd been doing, didn't go ahead and shut down the laptop and put it away, but it occurred to Susan that Suzy must have intended for Susan to know she'd been doing something with the computer. She just didn't want Susan to know what it was.

Actually there had been a consequence, once. Last week a package had arrived in the mail, from the company from which Susan ordered her bondage equipment. Susan had puzzled over it, knowing she hadn't ordered anything, and thought the company must have made a mistake with the address label, sending her something another customer had ordered, until she realized that Suzy must have done it. Susan had debated whether to open the package, and decided against it, putting it in her equipment drawer unopened. It felt more exciting not to know what Suzy was planning. Susan could easily have checked her order history on the website, but she avoided that as well, and even stayed away from her bank account site -- she usually kept an eye on her debit card bill online, to make sure there were no unauthorized purchases, but now it might describe just what it was that Suzy had ordered. Susan, as the days went by, became steadily more firm in her decision that she didn't want to know.

Not that Susan had left everything up to Suzy. Susan had done some work on her own over the last few weeks. Several evenings after work, and once on a Saturday, Susan had gone back to the various places where she'd left equipment -- ropes, chains, padlocks -- and brought it back home, while throwing the empty water bottles in the nearest trash bin. She didn't want to leave traces of herself behind indefinitely, and reusing the bondage accessories would save money. She had only thrown out any cut pieces of rope that were too short to be useful, and had run the rest through her washer and dryer. Doing the same with the chains and padlocks would have made way too much noise from all the banging around inside the machines, so she soaked them in water, which she poured out and replaced several times. She wasn't sure whether or not such treatment would make the locks rust, but if it did, then she'd buy new ones.

She had thrown out the 400 feet of string, opting to buy a new spool. And she had bought a new combo lock, feeling sure one would be needed soon, and not wanting to be left only with locks whose combinations she already knew.

Susan hesitated again, now, in taking that first drink. She stood frozen with the glass in her hand, filled with a generous amount of tequila which she'd topped off with orange soda.

She found she was looking at her wrist. The scratches and bruises from Memorial Day weekend had all healed, now, on her wrist and over the rest of her body. Recovery had taken time, not just for the restoration of her skin to its normal condition but also her muscles, especially in her legs, achy and sore from overwork all through her three days of bondage. That first day back at work at the library hadn't been pleasant at all. Her clothes, and some Band-Aids for the worst of the scratches, covered the wounded skin, but her leg muscles were killing her, and could barely hold her up. The soreness in her crotch didn't help either. Luckily, most of the time that she spent standing up consisted of restoring books to their places in the stacks, and Susan could lean heavily on the book cart as she wheeled it around, while trying not to appear she was doing so. Each day that week had been just a little easier physically than the one before. By the start of the second week she was feeling back to normal.

Susan continued staring at her wrist...

Memories came back, of the metal cuffs that had caused the bruises. Memories of the way they had held her hands helplessly behind her back. Of the ones on her ankles holding her feet together.

Susan felt herself getting wet. She would need to change her panties after dinner. Or Suzy would need to do it for her. If indeed she was still wearing panties by then.

Susan quickly raised the glass, took a drink and swallowed, her heart fluttering. After a second swallow she began feeling more calm. She finished the glass, took the dinner out of the microwave, peeled back the plastic covering, and poured herself another drink.

As she finished dinner, Susan giggled briefly, for no obvious reason. She poured a third glass. Downing about half of it, she recognized a familiar feeling coming on. She had never been conscious of the beginning of the blackout, any more than one can be aware of the moment of falling asleep. But there was something... as if the buzz in her head from the alcohol was changing to a different note. She took another sip, and reminded herself that tonight would likely be no more eventful than the others in the past few weeks. She would suddenly find herself getting ready for bed, the last several hours blank, and in the morning would find that her laptop was standing open...

*   *   *   *   *

Susan gradually drifted back to consciousness with the familiar feeling of a hangover. Her head ached, but it didn't seem as intense as that very first time. Maybe her dad had been right about tequila not being so bad. Her mouth, as usual, felt very dry. She tried to swallow, and discovered, in the fact that her mouth was filled with a ball gag, the first conscious sign that Suzy had put her in bondage again. She tried to open her eyes to see where she was, and failed, becoming aware at that moment she was wearing the blindfold as well.

She groaned softly. Apparently Suzy had decided, a week early, that it was time for one of those weekends. Susan hadn't mentally prepared herself. Her bondage weekends featured both a constant background of sexual arousal punctuated by the ultimate in orgasmic fulfillment, and a constant background of fear punctuated by the ultimate in terror. Susan had come to crave the excitement building up to sexual release, and to regard the fear as an unpleasant side-effect, but at the moment it was the memories of terror that were foremost in Susan's mind. She wasn't ready for this.

She experienced intense confusion then, sufficient to put the fear and any other emotions on hold: something so contrary to her expectation that for a moment she couldn't tell exactly what it was that was strange. She finally identified it: she wasn't outdoors. The sounds weren't right, there was no air movement, and she was lying on her stomach, her arms and legs stretched out in a wide X, on a soft, smooth surface, not the ground. She was naked -- at least that much was "normal" for one of Suzy's arrangements.

It was obvious she was inside a building, possibly her own apartment. Susan hoped it was her own apartment. Her fear subsided slightly, with the thought that Suzy might simply have arranged for a short-term treat rather than a weekend-long obstacle course. Susan could hear, muted by distance, a soft hum that sounded like her own refrigerator out in the kitchen, as it normally sounded from her bedroom, which would fit with the soft surface being her bed. She tensed slightly at a clicking sound, then relaxed as she realized the click had been a thermostatically controlled air-conditioning system powering up -- again, sounding as it normally would from her bedroom.

The smell! She finally sensed it, and it completed Susan's reassurance that she was safe in her own home. Susan generally bought an air freshener for her apartment. The scent this week was vanilla. The possibility that Suzy had somehow put her in a room that wasn't Susan's own, yet both smelled and sounded exactly the same, seemed too remote to consider. She was clearly in her own bedroom.

She tried to pull her arms in, knowing to expect restraint but needing to know the nature of it. She found she was fixed in the X position, unable to move her wrists or ankles more than an inch or two in any direction. There was stretching tension in her arms and legs, not enough to be painful -- though like the last time, when she'd awakened tied to the tree, her legs were spread so wide that she knew they would hurt after a while.

Wriggling her hips, she could feel a rope around her waist, as well as one through her crotch, nestled between her labia. There was also an odd crackling sound, as she moved, that she couldn't account for.

The rope between her legs reassured her. Suzy, as usual, had arranged for Susan to be able to release the buildup of sexual need. Susan smiled around her gag. After those weekend-long terror-filled adventures, it was so sweet of Suzy to give Susan something with all of the thrill and none of the dangers.

The X was a position with which Susan was very familiar from her fantasies of long, long ago. Though she had never actually been bound until Suzy had done it for her last month, Susan had performed many sessions of pretend bondage, in her bed at night, as far back as she could remember. And one of her favorite fantasies had involved this position -- she would lie on her stomach, stretching her arms and legs out towards the corners of the bed, underneath the covers, and imagine she was bound that way, and struggle against the non-existent bonds, desperately trying to wriggle herself free somehow while carefully not actually allowing her wrists or ankles to move from where they were, which would spoil the fantasy. Being nude always added to the thrill. Susan would grow more excited, the bedsheets becoming damp with sweat and some unidentified fluid from between her legs that she thought, to her shame, was pee. The waves of excitement would build until they crashed into the shore of orgasm, in one of her early experiences with that phenomenon.

Once or twice Mom looked in a few minutes later, asking her if everything was okay. Sure Mom, Susan would say, trying to look as if she innocently wondered what Mom was doing there, glad she was covered by the sheets so Mom couldn't see she was naked, which would have raised too many questions.

Susan had wondered, years later, thinking back on that particular fantasy enactment, why it seemed more natural, and more exciting, to be on her stomach instead of her back. It was probably, she decided, because the excitement didn't come from fantasizing about being helplessly exposed to sexual attack. It would have made more sense for her to be on her back for that, but that wasn't what the fantasy was about -- Susan had barely known what sex was at that age. The inability to move freely was really an end in itself, not a vehicle for something else. Susan just wanted to be tied up for its own sake. She still didn't know why she found that exciting, but it was undeniable that she did. She wanted to be unable to escape the bed. Being on her stomach somehow made her feel more in contact with it, more fully conscious of what it was that she couldn't escape from.

And it was important that she be unable to bend her elbows or knees at all. In movies she had seen which featured women in spread-eagle bondage (generally on their backs), the bondage had often been so loose that they were able to bend arms or legs as much as ninety degrees at the elbows or knees, which, to Susan, hardly seemed like real bondage at all.

Suzy knew all about all of that, of course. It seemed clear to Susan that Suzy had all of Susan's memories, despite being able to hide any of her own from Susan for as long as she chose. Susan had read once that any sexual fetish is impossible to explain to someone who doesn't share it. She was sure that was true -- she couldn't even make sense of her fascination with bondage herself, so she couldn't imagine explaining it to anyone else. How lucky it was, she thought, that Suzy understood it so perfectly.

There had to be a way Susan could free herself, of course. As safe as she felt now, being in her own apartment in her own bed, that safety would dissolve if she found she was unable to get loose without help. Susan knew she could not possibly call out to anyone for assistance. She hated so much for anyone to see her doing ordinary, everyday things, to be on anyone's personal radar as an element in their world, that there was no question in her mind that no one must be allowed to see her like this.

Susan tried once more to pull her arms in. There was something a little different about the feeling of restraint on her wrists and ankles. They were held by something softer than the metal cuffs she was used to. She curled the fingers of her right hand inward, and was just able to reach the surface of what she realized was leather, rather than hard steel. These cuffs must be what had been in the package Suzy had ordered from the bondage supply house, Susan told herself. She could feel a D-ring, similar to the ones on her newer set of metal cuffs, at the inside of her wrist, around which a rope was knotted. The D-ring was rigid, which suggested there was a metal strip beneath the leather to which the ring was welded. With her fingertips she traced the strands of rope in the knot, finding two that emerged from the knot and went tautly ahead to, apparently, the bedpost at the front right corner of the bed. There were no loose ends.

Susan frowned. Since there was no knot she could untie with her right hand, she must have to untie the one holding her left hand. She wasn't left-handed, and wasn't good at doing things left-handed. She felt around the knot at the D-ring on the leather cuff holding her left hand. It was identical with the one on her right: no loose ends there either.

Susan took a deep breath. Okay, she told herself, there's no obvious way out. I'm used to that. Last time Suzy had to tell me how I could escape. But I should be able to figure this out on my own. Whatever is here that I need to get myself out of this, I should be able to find it.

She twisted her right hand around to feel for a string tied to her wrist, but wasn't able to find one. It wasn't like before, tied to the tree, when her hands were together, so that she could grasp the string on her right wrist with the fingers of her left hand. This time her hands were held far apart. If there was a string around her wrist, she couldn't find a way to reach it with the hand attached to that wrist. Her wrist didn't bend far enough that way.

Susan smiled around her gag once more. Yes, she thought, Suzy will eventually tell me what the trick is, but I want to make her proud of me. I can do this. There's only a limited number of possible ways out of this. That should make it easy.

She put aside the question of how Suzy could possibly have tied her this way. It had seemed just as impossible the last time, with the tree, she reminded herself. It wasn't important right now, she decided, to figure out how Suzy did this. I just need to get loose. There's a way. I know there's a way.

She bent both legs at the knee, pulling hard, managing to raise each foot probably an inch off the bed. She grunted with effort, then gasped. Her movement had made the rope through her crotch tighten across just the right spot.

Susan almost laughed. It's not a way out, she thought, but it's nearly as good.

She visualized how the ropes must be arranged. Rope from right ankle out to the corner of the bed, down to the floor, looping around the leg of the bed, back up onto the bed, to the rope around my waist, looping over and behind it, then through crotch, and finally tied to the waist rope at my stomach. Pulling on the rope pulls it tight between my legs.

Susan turned off the rational part of her mind. It was time to pursue an orgasm.

She began flexing her legs rhythmically. She could barely move either one, but each movement pulled taut that rope between her legs. The crackling sound returned, but Susan's conscious mind wasn't cued to auditory sensations just now. She began grunting with effort as the excitement built. Her hips twitched in time with the movements. Getting there! Getting there! Getting there!

Susan's bedroom shared a wall with an apartment that she knew, at this time, was vacant. That was a lucky thing. She wouldn't have wanted the neighbors to hear the noises she was making. Suzy had known that as well, of course.

The climax overtook Susan, shaking her entire body. Her grunts became animal growls. A bolt of lightning flashed through her, electrifying every inch of her, heating her and chilling her, shaking every fiber. YES!!

The waves receded from the climax, leaving Susan inert, spent.

It felt so good, yet it seemed, somehow, as though the orgasm hadn't quite reached the maximum level she had achieved during her previous bondage weekends. It was still far beyond anything she'd known before, but she felt she might rate it as 80% of the maximum on the scale of what she had been experiencing lately.

She grunted to herself, understanding yet not wanting to. It was obvious what was different. The danger was missing, the possibility of being caught. Susan had hated that danger, and resulting fear, all through the two weekends she had spent bound, but had become resigned to Suzy's decision to put her outside for her bondage. Susan needed Suzy, and understood that she had to live with the side effects of what Suzy had been doing for her.

But might the danger of exposure be required? A necessary feature of the experience, not just a side effect? It was looking as though it may be. Susan wanted those ultimate orgasms she had been having that she couldn't possibly reach any other way. It might be that she would always need to accept the danger, and the terrifying prospect that she might, sometime, be caught. The fear of being discovered: maybe that was an important ingredient in making those orgasms as strong as they were.

Possibly Suzy, tonight, was trying to help Susan understand that, by showing her that the danger, the potential for utter disaster, was crucial to the experience. Without it, maybe Susan couldn't quite reach those dizzying heights of sexual release. Susan was going to have to think that over.

For the moment, though, at least this last climax shared one thing in common with the previous ones. Susan felt sleepy. She relaxed, and started to drift towards sleep.

She tensed, suddenly, startled. There had been a sound that shouldn't be there. Couldn't possibly be there. A sound from inside her apartment.

There were soft footsteps, just outside her bedroom door.

Susan stopped breathing, disbelieving, her heart pounding.

The next sound was one she couldn't possibly be imagining, could not wish away: the door of her bathroom closing.

A moment later, she heard the sound of her shower starting.

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