Josephine wanted to be a good girl, she really did. She spent her whole day, every day trying to follow all of Master’s rules; she never wore clothes, not even when Master had guests and every eye was on her voluptuous tits and her curvy, swaying ass. She always made herself available to anyone who wanted to grope her soft pink breasts or lick her wet pussy or fuck her pillowy lips, and she never said no to any instruction she was given. She masturbated on command, filling her cunt and her asshole with the biggest toys she could stretch herself to fit and thanking her betters for her degradation; she used her tongue on everyone who demanded it, wherever she was told. She was a good fucktoy and she never, ever disobeyed... except now. Except in this one thing.
It frightened her, the intensity of this secret impulse to defy Master’s will. Josephine could feel it wriggling and thrashing in the back of her brain, an itch that she’d never been able to scratch in all the months she’d been in service to him. A terrible guilt rose up inside her every time she thought about it; here she was, given the run of a genuine castle owned by a genuine British baron, allowed to masturbate whenever she wasn’t servicing him and his friends and to cum as much as her body could take, and what did she want to do? Only to disobey his first and most important rule, that’s what! She couldn’t even imagine how angry he’d be if he found out. She’d never been punished before--she’d never needed to, she was always such a good slut for Master--but she knew that this would merit the strongest discipline he could mete out.
And yet. And yet here she was, down in the deepest basement of Staffordshire Keep, at the far end of the long hallway that led past the wine cellars, standing in the shadows that the bare yellow bulb didn’t so much dispel as emphasize, the key that she normally wore around her neck now gripped so tightly in her hand that the knuckles went white. In front of her was a featureless metal door painted a bright vermilion red, the color of arterial blood. Josephine imagined the color coming away on her fingers the second she touched it, staining her hands with the evidence of her sin. She shouldn’t open it. She shouldn’t even be down here. And yet. And yet.
It was the one room in the castle she hadn’t been inside. Josephine had slept in every bedroom, collapsing onto the pillows in exhaustion after long nights of being blindfolded and flogged and fucked in every hole until her legs couldn’t hold her up anymore. She’d worked in the kitchens, so subservient that even the chef thought nothing of pushing her down to her knees and plowing her mouth with his cock. She’d served drinks along with her body in the great hall, crouched on the carpet of the reading room so that Master could put his slippered feet up on her bare back, even fetched wine from the freezing wine cellar in the middle of a bleak English winter. But she’d never been into the room behind the crimson door before now. Her curiosity was killing her.
It wasn’t like anyone would know. Master was in Brussels for an economic summit, one of those boring weekend affairs only livened up by the presence of submissive sluts like Josephine, and he’d given the household staff three days of leave in his absence. Only Josephine remained, patiently keeping her cunt slick and ready for his return. She had nowhere to go. She was Master’s property; she didn’t earn a salary for her service and never had any desire to be anywhere but in his control. She had no desires of her own at all anymore, except for her hunger to learn the secrets behind that metal door.
She knew her key would fit. Even though Josephine had never, ever dared try it in the lock, she felt a deep and abiding certainty that it would smoothly and easily turn the tumblers with well-oiled precision. If she wanted to, if she fought Master’s control in the only way it was still meaningfully possible for her to do so and reached out her slender fingers to push the key into the lock, she could open the door and see what lay beyond. It would happen. If she only chose, it would happen. She couldn’t imagine making that choice, though. She couldn’t imagine defying her Master’s will that way. She couldn’t imagine disobeying.
The key slid into the lock. Josephine watched it happen, her wide blue eyes staring in dismay as her hand moved up seemingly of its own volition to turn the tumblers and unlock the vermilion door. She was stunned by her own disobedience, her breath escaping in a startled squeak at the shocking sight of a deliberate, conscious refusal to follow Master’s rules. She felt certain that at any second, Master’s voice would ring out behind her and demand to know exactly what she was doing, and Josephine knew she would have no answer beyond her own burning curiosity. She was doing it because she had to know. That was all there was to it.
Josephine’s hand moved down to the latch, squeezed it until the rasp of metal told her that nothing held the door shut anymore save for inertia. All she needed to do was push, and all her curiosity would be satisfied at last. She’d finally sate that maddening itch inside her head, learn the one truth that Master was keeping from her behind his rules and strictures. It was an unthinkable betrayal, a devastating act of disobedience to a man who’d shown her nothing but the most beautiful and sensual kindnesses, but she couldn’t stop herself. She had to know. She had to find out what was behind the door.
When she pushed it open, light spilled out of the crack between door and jamb. It was a beautiful, glorious brilliance, creating a pearly iridescence on every surface it touched, and Josephine immediately hungered for more the instant she saw it. She leaned against the cool metal, flinging the portal wide and opening herself completely to the radiance inside. “Oh,” she whispered, her awed voice filling the hush of the corridor even as the splendor of the illumination filled her mind. “Ohhhh....”
She’d seen this before, Josephine realized. She’d seen this before, and every time she saw it, she forgot that she saw it because her mind was too small and weak to contain such powerful knowledge. It burned away her willpower, emptied out her thoughts, seared her with the sacred devotion of obedience until all she wanted to do was fall to her knees and worship it. She was nothing compared to the radiance behind the red door. She was nothing at all. How could she have ever thought she was anything more than a helpless, simpering slave in the face of power like this? How could she dare defiance in a world where such a thing existed?
She couldn’t. It was too much for her. With a whimper, Josephine abased herself, dropping to the grimy flagstones of the ancient corridor and groveling in the dust before the radiance she beheld. “I’m nothing,” she whimpered, staring helplessly into the blinding purity of the light that pounded into her mind and feeling the last tiny vestiges of her willpower crumble. “I, I’m nothing, I’m nothing, I’m nothing, I’m nothing....” She lost track of how long she chanted the new truth that held the core of her very self firmly in its grip. Her throat went dry, her voice hoarse. Her hands slid down between her legs, furiously masturbating in gratitude to the holy brilliance that crushed her strength to powder. Orgasm followed orgasm. She stopped even noticing them after a while.
Eventually, Josephine passed out. It was inevitable; hunger, thirst, exhaustion and the sheer overwhelming pleasure that wracked her body and mind in spasms of ecstasy combined to numb her brain until it simply shut down under the onslaught of the radiance behind the door. She slumped on the floor, her pale skin rubbing against the dirt and grime, her limbs twitching occasionally as a random nerve misfired. She didn’t notice the portal slowly swinging shut. She didn’t hear the click of the lock as it reset. She only lay there, drooling onto the cold stone floor, pushed beyond endurance.
When she woke, Josephine looked at the door. She looked at her key, wondering if she should risk Master’s wrath by attempting to discover what lay behind it... but something told her now was not the time. Not when she didn’t know how long she’d waited down here before her indecision caught up with her. Not when she needed to wash the dirt off her body, eat a badly-needed meal, and prepare her cunt for Master’s return. Someday, she knew, she’d get her chance. She’d find out what lay behind the crimson door and satisfy her aching curiosity at last. But not today.
Three months ago:
Josephine’s hand brushed absently at her collar, clearing away a few strands of blonde hair from where they’d slipped carelessly inside her peignoir. She still wasn’t used to having longer hair, nor to wearing a peignoir for that matter, but Henry--Master--said that they looked beautiful on her. And as much as she tried to pretend otherwise, the approval of the Baron Staffordshire had taken on a new and powerful importance to her over the last few months. Almost too powerful, at times. And Josephine was determined to discover the reason why.
Not that she didn’t enjoy this new side of herself. Even now, Josephine’s pulse quickened just thinking about how it felt to sink to her knees, her eyes heavy-lidded with arousal and submission as her Master tangled his fingers into her long hair and pulled her mouth forward onto his cock. There was something so pure and delicious about the pleasure she received from surrendering herself to him, a slick warmth that flowed into her brain like syrup and trickled down to leak out of her soaking cunt. Her fingers twitched, eager to help her lose herself in masturbatory bliss again daydreaming about the firm, commanding voice that captured her and smoothed her will away.
But Josephine wasn’t the kind of woman who knelt, not even for a Baron. As lovely as it was to give her mind and body over to him, she recognized that her normally firm personal boundaries were crumbling at a disconcerting pace. She hadn’t even left the castle since that first weekend, spending her days exploring the manor’s many rooms and indulging in her near-constant arousal, and her nights as Henry’s concubine... Henry’s, she thought with a furious blush, and lately his closest friends. That was when she knew something was really wrong, when he lent her out like a library book and all it made her was wet. The old Josephine, the woman who first came here, wouldn’t even have accepted that, let alone enjoyed it. And something had to be responsible.
She glared at the bright red door, her fingers tightly clenching the key in her hand as she steeled her courage to do what she knew had to be done. Josephine didn’t know what lay behind that door--she couldn’t even imagine it, despite the hours of fruitless speculation that had consumed her over the last few months. But it was the one place in the castle that Henry had forbidden her to go, the one lock he told her not to try her key against. If there was an answer to her slow, languid descent into submission, it had to be here. A machine that sapped her will, perhaps, or a laboratory full of chemical concoctions that dulled her mind and boosted her libido. Maybe even a library where the Baron studied spells to melt a strong-minded, independent woman into his obedient slave? Not that Josephine thought of herself as a slave--she was his lover, even if their relationship had long ago stopped one of equals. But every day, her resolve faded a little bit more. Every day, he took and she gave. And this room would tell her why.
It felt strange, sneaking down here in the middle of the night while her Master slept and the household went quiet. She didn’t have many rules as Henry’s submissive, and it was easy to follow his few dictums regarding her appearance and her availability to his appetites. She’d never suffered a single punishment. But this was definitely going against the Baron’s will. If he found out, Josephine was under no illusions about the discipline he would hand down to her. The whippings she endured simply to please him would be gentle caresses compared to his actual anger, she was certain of it.
But at the same time... she had to know. Deep down, Josephine couldn’t pretend that her paranoid speculations about sinister brainwashing machines behind the crimson door were anything more than an excuse for indulging her fatal curiosity. It was unfair, really--giving her a key that unlocked every single room in the castle and warning her not to go behind a sole, mysterious door was bound to lead her here sooner or later. Wasn’t that the plot of all those old fairy tales? Josephine understood the burning, unquenchable desire to uncover the truth behind their lovers’ secrets that led those heroines to their doom. Pandora, Eve... they just wanted to know. Was that so wrong?
Of course it was, at least in this case. But Josephine was going to do it anyway. With a hard swallow, she screwed up her courage and quickly rammed the key into the lock before she could change her mind.
It turned easily, as though the mechanism had been used frequently and recently. Josephine put her palm against the cool metal, and the hinges swung open without even so much as a squeak of rust against rust. She saw a gleam of light pouring through the gap, a radiance so shockingly familiar that she heard herself gasp in mingled surprise and recognition. The memory hit her with a physical force, knocking the breath out of her for a moment as her bright blue eyes widened to take in the pearly brilliance that flowed over her. This light. She--she knew this light.
How had she ever forgotten it? How had she come down here every night, every single night for three months and stared into a radiance so bright and beautiful and powerful and simply not remembered any of it? Josephine gritted her teeth, determined this time to clutch and hold the memory and not let it slip away like it did before. She could feel other things melting into insignificance in her brain, liquefying like warm wax under the pearlescent illumination and dribbling down into her suddenly slick cunt, and she let them go. She knew what was important. The light behind the crimson door.
Her legs wobbled and lost strength, and Josephine let herself sink first to her knees and then down onto her belly under the onslaught of pure, blinding radiance. Her body no longer held any importance to her; the only thing that truly mattered was holding onto her memories in the face of the light that battered at her mental defenses. If she failed at this, if she couldn’t keep her mind focused on all the visits to the room in the basement that she’d made and forgotten, she would be doomed to repeat the cycle again and again. Her own fatal hubris would lead her here tomorrow and tomorrow and every tomorrow after that, each time losing a bit more of her will and her strength and her sense of self until the very core of her personality was nothing more than soft clay to be molded by her Master.
Oh god. Her Master. The second that thoughts of him first crossed her mind, Josephine knew it was a mistake. Her cunt suddenly burst into hot, tingling arousal that mingled with the waves of power hammering at her mind and left her reeling in dazed confusion. Her hands brushed aside the flimsy fabric of the peignoir, slipping inside her panties and sinking into her slick, soaking pussy with a desperate lust. It made it even harder to hang on to her memories, but at the same time she couldn’t divert any of her attention away from the mental struggle to focus on controlling her stroking, rubbing fingers. She’d have to just shut it out and keep fighting. She couldn’t lose, not this time. She absolutely couldn’t.
Of course she lost. The light was simply endless, its power pouring in and in and in through her dazzled gaze until it was beyond the endurance of any human being to withstand. She struggled to remember, then she struggled to remember what she was struggling to remember, then she struggled to remember that she was remembering at all. And then her mind simply dissolved under the pulverizing force of the mesmerizing brilliance and she lay, staring mindlessly into the iridescent glow, her fingers ceaselessly masturbating her to one orgasm after the next after the next until the door finally closed and locked on its own.
Eventually, Josephine’s thoughts slowly seeped back into her empty brain. She looked down at her filthy, stained peignoir, grimy with the evidence of her visit to the corridor. It would give her away in a heartbeat if Master saw it. She’d have to get back quickly, wash it clean before he woke and postpone her plans to investigate for another night. And maybe she’d simply stop wearing clothes from now on, the better to sneak down here without getting them dirty. Master certainly wouldn’t mind that. Honestly, she’d love it.
Josephine was still thinking about exactly what her constant nudity would do to his cock when she turned and headed back down the corridor the way she came.
Six months ago:
“And these are the wine cellars.” Henry Duval, Twelfth Baron Staffordshire, gestured expansively through the open doorway to rack upon rack upon rack of bottles. “If there’s anything you’d like to have with dinner tonight, you can talk to the wine steward; it’s a fairly humble collection, I’m afraid, but there’s bound to be something worthwhile if your tastes run that way. We’re having a filet mignon with steamed asparagus that should go nicely with one of the reds.”
Josephine smiled thinly. “And down there?’ she asked, looking past the Baron as if he barely even existed. As far as she was concerned, that was very nearly the case; her magazine might have asked her to do this stupid little puff piece as a favor, but the sheer ostentatious privilege on display at Staffordshire Castle was downright sickening. Henry Duval and his coterie of equally wealthy, equally pampered lords were living it up for the weekend, flirting audaciously with their bubble-headed trophy wives and trophy girlfriends and deciding the destiny of entire nations without even a single thought to the consequences. She looked forward to turning her fluffy little glamour article into a savage attack on the aristocracy in a few days’ time, editor be damned.
But her journalistic instincts were roused even further by the Baron’s response. “Ah,” he said, looking uncomfortable in that incredibly British way. “I’m afraid that particular room is private. Off-limits to any guests. I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you to honor that request for the entirety of your visit. It’s... you see, I....” He gave Josephine a nervous grin. “I can’t say more than that. I’m sure you understand.”
Josephine looked down at the door, a vivid crimson portal that stood out in the gloom like a badge of blood. “Absolutely,” she said, already making plans to sneak down here tonight after everyone had gone to bed and test the key she’d been given on the Baron’s secret door. “Wouldn’t dream of it.” She felt no guilt about lying to Henry; there was a story down there, after all, and she was a journalist first and foremost. However polite and charming he seemed, she was certain that there was a darkness behind that bland smile, and she was going to find it. And when she did, all these celebrity puff pieces and lifestyle articles would be a thing of the past. Goodbye old Josephine, hello whole new world.
Josephine turned away from the door. Her future was going to change tonight. She could practically guarantee it.