The ropes were all for show. Nobody knew that better than Holly. they may be tight, they may bite her skin just right, but no matter how constricted she looked to those not in the know there was nothing stopping her from getting off the podium and stretching her limbs.
Nothing, except for her own conviction, and her Channeler’s orders. ‘I’m an extension of my Channeler.’ She repeated in her mind as Channeler Lilly finished her work of art. “You look wonderful, my Masterpiece.” She leaned in and whispered. A private, intimate moment between a Channeler and her Source, in a room filled with servants and maids. Lilly took a step back, and with a flourish from her Channeler Holly felt her essence start to drain from her body, feeding Lilly’s ritual.
Just a few moments later she heard the doors opening. She couldn’t see the door, couldn’t see anything but the spot right in front of her. Without looking up that is. But she would never do that. She couldn’t do that. Even to see those she could feel looking at her, every single person entering through that door couldn’t help but see her. Judge her. And Holly hoped, find her Channelers craft pleasing. Voices started to fill the room and Channeler Lilly had long since turned away from Holly. She could still see her, but Lilly paid her source little attention, instead greeting the many men and women dressed to express their lavish wealth.
Channeler Lilly fit right in with them, seemingly. But Holly knew better. Her Mistress had class. She had confidence in a way all these partygoers couldn’t even dream about. Holly took pride in her Channeler, just like she took pride in how her channeler used her.
Just another reason to not move a muscle.
“Very impressive, Channeler Lilly, you have done an excellent job tonight.”
“Why thank you, dear chancellor, it is always a pleasure to ensure your safety.”
Holly only caught parts of conversations. She could only see parts of Lilly. Because it was not her place to listen, certainly not her place to look, to pay attention. Her role was to stay still. To keep the illusion of ropes tying her in place real to everyone watching her. Not knowing the real bondage was obedience.
There was music talking, sweet smells of food, but Holly did her best to ignore it. She ignored what her senses was telling her, ignored the building hunger, ignored the slowly building aching of her muscles from staying still.But she couldn’t ignore everything.
“May I have this dance, Channeler Lilly?”
There was a finger on her chin, and Lily lifted her head. “Watch me.”
And Holly did. She watched as her mistress turned around and saw the woman to whom she offered her hand. While Holly's neck remained in place as her eyes followed the couple. Lilly letting the countess lead her in among the crowd. The countess took the lead as more and more eyes joined Hollys. Watching the most graceful couple on the dancefloor slide across it.
Holly was mesmerized, feelings of envy and jealousy bubbling to the surface she decided to lose herself inin it. She wished to dance with her mistress to let her lead her across the dance floor while every lord and lady felt just a snivel of the envy washing over her right now.
But Holly stayed still. Kept herself locked in place just the way Lilly had made her. A construct of rope and obedience that fed the power rushing through the ritual. She didn’t allow the tears to roll, but she allowed herself to feel everything, to understand them, know them and allow herself to feel them. It was okay to feel those feelings, but she wouldn't let them control her. She would be a good girl, she would be Lillie’s perfect source. She felt a single tear build up by the side of her eye.
As the dance came to an end she saw Lilly whisper a word to the counselor, before striding over towards her source.
“You’re doing wonderful, my work of art.” She reached up, wiping the single tear with her finger, licking it. “You’re delicious, dear” she leant in close, and whispered so the onlookers would not hear. “and you will keep me safe and sound while I enjoy myself in the arms of the counselor. Won’t you sweetheart?” She wiped another tear from the corner of Hanna’s eye. “Simply delicious.” She planted a kiss on her source’s cheek, and then Hanna was alone.
Holly had no idea how long her Channeler was gone, but it felt like an eternity. It wasn’t the longest Holly had spent alone during a ritual, it couldn’t be. She had spent days in pain, hours rocked by constant pleasure with no release. A week in total isolation. But knowing where Lilly was, what she was doing. It made her jelous, angry, distraught and so fucking turned on. She allowed herself to feel all of those feelings, to feed them into her submission, the power her mistress wielded, the power that fed the ritual that was protecting everyone in the building.
She could imagine Lilly between the legs of the chancellor, their bodies twined together as gasps and moans filled the room. She couldn’t help her jealousy but she wanted her Channeler to have this. To let herself go in the locks of pleasure with an equal like she never could with Holly. But Holly didn’t mind that part. What she had with Lilly was so much more. Holly was her servant, her devoted, her source. Lilly was her keeper, her mistress, her Channeler.
Holly embraced that safety, her trust in Lilly and devotion feeding the ritual that extended that safety to everyone else.
The crowds were long gone, the servants having already begun cleaning, when Lilly returned to her. Looking as kept and stylish as ever when she strode down the stairs and approached her source. She reached out to stroke her cheek and in that moment the ritual was over.
Holly allowed her body to relax. She was tired, yes, her body aching from holding her position all night, but the real pain had been in her mind, and the stroke of her Channelers hand against her cheek was quick to center her once again. “You did perfect, my most precious masterwork.” Lilly soothed and Holly was finally allowed to quietly sob.
“I know it was hard, but you did it, we saved life tonight. Everyone from the lowest of servants to the highest of lords kept safe.” Her Channeler gently guided Hollie’s face until their eyes met. “And we even have time left for one more dance.”
Lilly led her source onto the dance floor. There was no music, no crowd of people to watch mesmerized, but Lilly still led and Holly still followed, to the rhythm of their heartbeats they danced away the early morning.