Doctor Stewart looked out the window into the city and felt a small pang of sorrow.
For weeks he’d been completely engrossed in Anna. Obsession ran in his family. These things would consume his waking mind, making sure everything was progressing smoothly. Every person has a unique potential, and he had taken such delight in shaping hers. She was just so eager, and so malleable. Not in the fearful way that Grace was, not in the frustrating, dualistic way that Mia/Bella were, or the mindless way that some of his old toys were. No, for Anna, there was a naked desperation to please that was intoxicating.
Anna’s transformation was nearly complete. Indulging in the baser pleasures of life was rewarding in it’s own way, but finishing a project always left an emptiness inside. He simply didn’t want it to be over.
In other areas, things had been running smoothly since the he’d renegotiated his agreement with Isabella.
He pushed one of the little buttons under his desk. Perhaps one and a half seconds later, a mug audibly clanked on the desk. Shortly thereafter, the door was clumsily swung open.
“Yes Doctor?” said Grace. He could see a small drop of tea slowly snaking it’s way down her chin. Before it could get any further, she wiped it away with the sleeve of her cyan blouse.
“I’m feeling a little stressed,” he said.
Grace wasted no time. She moved behind him and her well practiced hands started their work on those muscles just next to the shoulder blades.
“No, I think I want something else today.”
“Oh I’m so sorry Doctor,” she muttered. She circled back around in front of him and knelt down while her hands reached for his belt buckle. He made no sounds as she fished out his cock and started pulling down his pants. The belt made a sound as it struck the ground.
Grace looked up at her boss, the object of desires and anxieties in equal measure, and smiled. Doctor Stewart returned the smile, and with that tacit approval, she leaned forwards and ran her tongue slowly up the shaft. He was already fairly hard.
“No no no,” he said.
She looked mortified again. He stood and she scrambled to get out of his way. He pulled her up.
“That was not what I’m after,” he said.
This was another little game that he liked to play with her – subverting expectations. She’d become entirely too good at anticipating his desires. Too comfortable in being able to avoid his displeasure.
“I want you to take off your panties, but keep the rest of your clothes on” he said.
“Yes doctor!” she almost shouted as she scrambled to comply. “I’m...”
“I know what you are,” he said. “You’re sorry”. He twisted her around and stared at her in the eyes for a moment. She fished out her underwear and threw it on the ground beside her.
“That’s better,” he said.
He sat and pulled her down onto his lap, facing away from him, and spread her legs apart. Then, he ran a teasing finger up the side of her legs.
“Do you need lubrication?”
“N… No! No Doctor!”
“Very well,” he said, and began exploring deeper. Grace squeaked as he entered her with his hand. Her cheeks were flush from shame and arousal. “I’ve been getting distracted. I haven’t checked in for a little while, so I wanted to ask you about our favourite two-faced troublemaker. What’s she been getting up to?”
“Um,” she said, trying to focus. “She’s been seeing Anna a lot. And she’s been seeing Madame Barkley. And – Ooooh,” she said, as he slipped a third finger inside and started pushing deeper.
“Mmmm! Madame Barkley mentioned she was spending time with some of the girls there as well, but she didn’t ask for permission. And based on what they’re all telling me, she’s been spending more time with them than she’s letting on to us.”
“Well it’s just like we thought, isn’t it?” the Doctor said. “I set limits with obvious ways for her to violate them, and so she does. I’m sure she’ll be extremely wet confessing this all to me next week.”
“Yes Doctor!” she said, her hips writhing on his lap.
Doctor Stewart’s phone buzzed. They ignored it. He could tell she was getting closer. He placed a hand around her neck gently. Grace would accommodate anything the Doctor did to her, but she didn’t really like overly rough play. A little spank here or there, but nothing too painful. And while he would never publicly admit it, from time to time he did like to see her happy. And at that moment, happy she was with a small orgasm washing over her.
“Good girl. Now,” he said, removing his hand slowly, “clean this off.”
Grace hesitated only for a fraction of a second. She took the Doctor’s fingers into her mouth and thoroughly cleaned them with her tongue. He pulled his hand in and out a few times slowly, enjoying the visual.
He lifted Grace off and walked her two steps to the desk. He moved his keyboard to the side with a dramatic swipe and pushed her face down onto the desk. He hiked up her dress and rubbed his member along the outside of her pussy. He unbuttoned his shirt and throw it on the ground. Grace looked like she was weighing up whether or not to take her own top off, but he pushed her back down again to stifle the impulse. He liked fucking her half dressed.
“What do you think, Miss Choi? Do you think you’ve been meeting my expectations?”
“No Doctor,” she said. There was a genuine sadness in her voice.
“That’s correct, Grace. You do disappoint me sometimes. But I suppose I do have exacting standards, and I can tell you’re trying very hard. And you’re going to keep trying, aren’t you?”
“Yes Doctor! Of course I will!”
“I’m very pleased to hear that.”
He thrust inside her. Grace had always been tight, but she was wet enough that he could slip inside without too much trouble. He grabbed her by the hair, careful not to pull too hard, then gave her a gentle slap as he continued to fuck her.
As much as he loved seeing her ass, after a while he decided to twist her around and lift her up on top. Sometimes seeing the submission, arousal and fear in her face was what he was in mood for. Today was just such a day. He locked onto her eyes and continued pounding her. She appeared to be getting lost in the sensations.
Doctor Stewart was not the most skilled lover in the world, nor did he have an infinite capacity to hold back his arousal. But he did have one very powerful advantage over the average man. His lover was thoroughly brainwashed.
“Oh fuck, I’m about to come,” he said. Moments later, as his cock started pulsing inside her, her hands tensed up and her eyes rolled back. Her low hum of continuous moans coalesced into a single scream.
Conditioning her to experience an intensely powerful orgasm when he came in or on her was initially conceived as part of the systems of control; it was part of how he twisted her into what he desired. He did enjoy it on a more primal level, however. He took a few moments to enjoy the sensations as he grew soft inside her.
When his head cleared, he remember that he’d received a message.
“Aside from a few slip ups, you’ve done well today, Miss Choi,” he said, then reached down to find his pants and fish the phone out of one of the pockets. “Just a moment.”
His thumbprint unlocked the phone on the third attempt. The message had come from Mia.
“Hi Doc, I was wondering if Grace was busy today. I’m boooored,” it said.
He mentally corrected himself. It was Bella. He raised an eyebrow.
“Grace, which one of them is supposed to be in control today?”
Grace was still slightly dazed but responded quickly.
“Well, it looks like Bella found her way out today. She’s asked for you.” He sighed. It might have been a temporary slip up, but the last time she started coming out when she wasn’t supposed to, it was a complete disaster. “Get dressed. I want you to go and see her. Go see what she’s up to in person, and wake Mia back up. Then, I want you to bring her back to me at once. I don’t think we can afford any slip ups at this point.”
“Yes Doctor!” she said, springing into action.
Doctor Stewart went about his day, had some lunch, then returned to his office. He looked at the clock anxiously. It had been almost two hours since he’d sent Grace off. She should not have needed this long. He contemplated calling her, but then wondered if she might just be in the middle of something. Despite his performative dissatisfaction, he had to admit that she generally had very good judgement. It’s probably fine. He tried to believe that, but could not.
Half an hour later, his nerves got the better of him. He dialled her number, and sat anxiously for her to pick up. It rang out.
Moments later, she sent him a message.
“Urgent situation at club. Please hurry.”
“The Club?” he said out loud to himself. He had no idea what was going on but whatever it was, it was bad. Very, very bad. He immediately sent a reply asking for more details, but when a minute passed without a response, he grabbed his effects, one of his bells, and the metronome. He didn’t want to waste any more time.
As he darted through traffic he was running through scenarios in his mind. Was she trying to ruin Mia’s reputation even further by having her show up at a strip joint? Had she started a scene? Was she trying to throw hand grenades into his relationship with Miss Barkley? Whatever was the case, he felt foolish for allowing himself to relax and focus on other things. He should have kept a closer eye on her. He should have called her in for more sessions in person. He caught a red light and slammed his fists on the steering wheel as he waited for it to pass.
As he pulled into the parking lot opposite the club, he scanned it. There were a few other cars, but it was impossible to tell if that was for or other places nearby.
The club was closed and the front entrance was locked. He checked his watch to confirm that it should have been ordinary business hours, then debated knocking. He decided against it, instead fumbling around with his keys until he found the oversized one for the side entrance. It’d been years since he’d used it to enter the club, but it turned out to be handy for cutting the tape on the side of packages or tearing open stubborn envelopes, so it had stayed on his key ring.
Just before he rounded the corner to head towards the side entrance, he felt a tingle in his spine that made him look over his shoulder. There was nobody there, but he caught glimpse of something else that he hadn’t before – it was a police car. His anxiety spiked even further. I swear to god if I have to burn my girl at the PD to get out of this mess I’m going to fucking kill her, he thought. He stopped moving, and over the span of a few seconds, became increasingly convinced that he was walking into some sort of trap. Why was the building closed? Why would Grace send a single vague message unless she was under duress or somebody else was using the phone? A half dozen partially formed scenarios zoomed through his mind. There had been times early on in his career that he’d flown a little too close to the sun, when a patient had almost broken out of his control. Had Bella finally broken free completely? Was Fiona in on it? Had they gone to the police?
Torn between a desire for self preservation and a desire to know just what on earth was going on, Doctor Stewart decided that discretion was the better part of valour.
He started running.
As he reached the car, slightly disappointed in how heavily he was breathing after such a short sprint, something moved. There was somebody inside the police car. He jumped inside his own vehicle, turned on the engine, then took off. Once on the road, he found a moment to slide his seat belt into place and checked his mirrors. The police car had started to move. He tried not to panic, but he could feel his body’s gearbox shifting into fight or flight mode.
The sirens turned on and the car drew closer. He overrode the irrational part of his brain screaming at him to floor it. He wasn’t very good at reverse parking, let alone police chases. He found a spot to pull over and tried to calm himself. He may not be able to outrun the police, but he did have skills of his own.
He saw her approaching from the police car, and for a moment he felt like he’d won. It was Jada! If I can just remember her… oh of course! He smiled and wound down his window. That’s when he noticed she was wearing a giant set of headphones, and holding something in her hands. Rather than the usual “excuse me sir”, Jada held a tablet up to the window of his car. It was a video call. His heart sank once again. It was Isabella. His mind was struggling to keep up. Jada looked like she was already in trance.
Once he came into focus on the camera, Bella started speaking.
“Hiya doc! I’ll get straight to the point. You’re going to come see me at the club.”
“Is that so?” he replied, reaching for the bell in the passenger seat of the car.
“Sorry, can’t hear you, I’ve got you muted. Can’t be too careful, you know? And if you don’t come straight away, the whole world is going to know what you’ve been doing. To all of us.” She held up a flash drive to the camera. “I’ve got all your files right here, and I’m sure the lovely police officer you’re with right now would love to turn that over to her buddies. And don’t even bother trying to trigger her, she can’t hear you and even if she could, I’m at least… well maybe 40% confident she would ignore you. This isn’t an exact science.” She looked lost in thought. “Well I can email the police myself, and the papers. Do people still read papers? Well anyway, I’ll see you soon. And no funny business or you’re toast. Now get moving!”
Files? I don’t keep any… he thought for a moment. Unless Grace kept a record?
He looked up at Jada. She was paying no attention to him at all. Is she stuck? Her lips were moving, and he quickly realised she was counting. When she hit a number he couldn’t make out, she turned and walked back to the police car.
Could he run and hide? It was doubtful. He saw no other option. He’d have to confront her directly.
Grace felt like her mind was located several feet above her body. Objectively speaking, she knew this was not true. The ugly, useless body bound with leather fetish gear to a chair in the basement below a strip club was actually her own. Doctor Stewart had explained to her that these feelings were referred to as “dissociation”. It was a reaction to trauma or ongoing high levels of stress. He’d helped her work through a lot of that, about her job, about her family, about her abusive partner. Doctor Stewart was so amazing, and she owed him everything. She never, ever wanted to disappoint him, and she was so happy that he’d given her the opportunity of working directly for him to help others like her.
That made it all the worse that she’d let him down. It was not just a little mistake, which would be bad enough. It was the mother of all mistakes. She had failed spectacularly in her duty to accurately assess the Mia / Bella situation. And it was that awful, awful woman who was standing in front of her gagged, helpless body now.
“I’m going to give you one more chance, Grace. We can both get what we want.”
She didn’t bother responding. A metronome sat on an improvised table she’d set up, right at eye level for Grace. It looked just like the one Doctor Stewart used. The same brand, even. She tried to focus on something else. Bella was wearing a leather and lace dominatrix outfit, assuredly something she’d found here at the club.
“Come on, Grace. We’re friends, aren’t we?” Bella continued. “I just want what’s best for you, for me, for all of us.”
She activated the metronome, and Grace’s eyes struggled not to look directly at it. She slammed them shut tightly. The rhythmic ticking, back and forth, still had an impact on her. It was such a familiar sound. She unconsciously started to relax, and she felt drawn back into her own body.
“Back and forth, back and forth,” she said. “Even with your eyes fastened shut, you can still see the rod flicking back and forth, band and forth. You don’t need to open your eyes, and you don’t even want to open your eyes, because you know that before too long, you’ll be getting so very tired, so very sleepy.”
She was getting sleepy. She could feel it.
No, I don’t want to fall asleep! She opened her eyes, then quickly realised that this, too, might have been a mistake. Now her eyes were caught on the object in the real world. It was effortless to follow along with the ticking and the motion.
“That’s right, that’s a good girl Grace. Back and forth. Getting so sleepy.”
Grace mumbled something back.
“Yes, keep going, back and forth, eyelids fluttering. That’s a good girl. So good. You’ve done this before so many times, and you don’t even know how to fight it anymore.”
The world started fading slightly.
“And sleep”, she said, snapping her fingers.
For the first time in hours, or maybe weeks, Grace felt completely at ease. This was the safe place Doctor Stewart taught her to go to when he was calming her down. It was her favourite place on earth. Why had she even bothered to resist this?
“You’re drifting so peacefully, Grace. So calm and so relaxed. I’m going to remove the gag. You’ll be able to speak of course, why wouldn’t you? But you won’t feel the need to unless I prompt you to speak.”
“Mhm,” she replied.
She unclasped the gag from Grace and placed it on the table in front. The metronome was still clicking along to it’s beat.
“Grace, Grace, Grace. What are we going to do with you? Don’t answer that it’s rhetorical.”
She sat there, mouth hung wide open with a long trail of drool coming out.
“When we last spoke you weren’t being very helpful. But it doesn’t matter now. I’m feeling really good about today. Do you know why that is?”
“No,” Grace replied softly. It was a struggle to speak.
“Because we’re here together, just you and me! And you’re so deep for me, so relaxed, so calm. And you’re feeling wonderful.”
Grace might have smiled, but it was too difficult.
“I know you don’t like to disappoint people, Grace. I can see the way you take care of Doctor Stewart’s needs. You’re so good at what you do. But don’t you think that sometimes he’s a little bit… mean? A little bit arbitrary?”
Grace suddenly regained a little bit of awareness. This line of question felt dangerous, somehow.
“Um…” she said.
“Shhh, there there, it’s ok. This is a totally safe space. This is just between you and me. He’ll never find out what we talk about here.”
“I guess… sometimes I feel like he’s giving me mixed signals,” said Grace.
“Hmm. That’s what I thought.”
She didn’t feel calm. She felt ashamed. She shifted further towards consciousness and began to move around a little.
“No no no,” said Bella. “Calm down sweetie, just focus on the ticking of the metronome.”
The thought refused to leave her. What if he did find out about what I’ve just said, what I’ve just thought? The idea of how disappointed he would be jerked her awake. She force her eyes open and stared at the roof.
“So very tired Grace, so very tired. Hear the ticking. Look down here, look at the pendulum. You can’t stop yourself from looking.”
She felt the pull of the pendulum, but she was determined not to comply. She quickly realised this was going to be a losing battle unless she could do something drastic. Then, a thought occurred to her. As it did, a very similar thought seemed to have occurred to Isabella, who lurched forward.
It was too late.
“For whom the bell tolls.”
Mia did not expect to find herself staring into the eyes of her therapist’s receptionist, with a ballgag in one hand and the other around her throat. Doubly so to be doing all of this in a room that smelled faintly of sex (yuck!) that she did not recognise. It was some kind of basement, or more likely somebody’s sex dungeon (double yuck!).
It was so unexpected that it took her a few moments before she let go of the poor girl’s throat. Grace let out a little choking sound as she pulled away. The young receptionist was still bound to her chair. There was a consistent ticking sound behind her that seemed somewhat familiar, but that was the least of the things she was confused about.
“I… what the hell is going on here?” said Mia.
“I know this is probably really confusing Mia, and I’m so sorry but I can’t really explain.”
“You can’t explain?”
“No. Doctor Stewart can explain, but he’s in danger and I can’t let him down!”
“It’s… it’s Isabella. She’s um,” said Grace, who then simply tapered off without finishing.
“She’s what?” said Mia. She hadn’t really seen a lot of Isabella recently. She’d been keeping to herself more, although she was still a complete slob around the house.
“Um, she’s causing a lot of problems for Doctor Stewart. You want to be helpful to Doctor Stewart, right? You trust Doctor Stewart, don’t you?”
“Oh yes, I trust Doctor Stewart,” she replied. It was true, one of the truest things she could think of. She wanted to be helpful. That was one of her favourite things to be. “I want to be helpful. What can I do?”
“First of all, I’m going to need you to untie me here.”
All of this fetish gear was making her deeply uncomfortable, but Mia was just glad she could be helpful. She unfastened the ropes and opened the clasps.
“I’ll just give you a moment,” Mia said as she averted her eyes from the increasingly exposed Grace. “Are your clothes around here somewhere?”
“Yes, but we don’t have time for that,” she said. “We have to warn Doctor Stewart, ok? Do you have your phone on you?”
“Uhh…” she said, patting her clothes down to check for pockets, knowing it was almost certainly in vain. “Oh my god what the hell am I wearing?”
She looked down at herself for the first time since coming to, and was appalled. Her cleavage was spilling out of a leather corset, barely covered by a matching black lace bra straight out the aisle she’d blush at and try to walk past in a store. She had leather boots and fishnet stockings on. “I look like a slut! Oh my god, oh my god!”
“Please, calm down! You want to be helpful, Mia, you want to be helpful for Doctor Stewart,” said Grace.
“Oh… yes, yes I do,” Mia said, trying to take deep breaths.
It wasn’t in that room. Grace led her out the door and into the corridor very slowly.
“If you see anybody, just try to stay calm, ok?”
“I’ll try,” she said. She was determined to be helpful. “But I still just don’t get what’s happening. Who’s down here?”
“There’s a few people that we might see on the way out. There’s Madame Barkley, and- oh shit. Follow my lead,” said Grace. There were voices nearby. Grace positioned herself in front of Mia and placed Mia’s hand on her shoulder.
Two brunette women emerged from the stair well they’d been heading towards. They were adorned with matching elegant dresses, and had their hair and makeup done in the same style. Doctor Stewart would find them pretty, said the part of her brain that kept an eye out for potential referrals. As they drew closer, she wondered if they were actually twins or just made to seem that way. Mia straightened her back and tried to put on a brave face, but inwardly she was terrified.
“The Doctor is going to be here any minute,” said the woman on the left, whose face was beaming with joy.
“I see things went well with Grace,” said the woman on the right, seeming no less pleased. “I’m like, so happy, I was worried she was going to hold out. It’s so much better this way.”
Mia smiled weakly at the women. She didn’t know what to say.
“I understand now,” said Grace. “We have to work as one.” She turned to face Mia. “Thank you for explaining everything to me.”
“Y-You’re welcome,” she said. If Doctor Stewart was coming here, then maybe he could give her some answers. “I’m looking forward seeing Doctor Stewart. He’s such a kind man. I trust Doctor Stewart,” she said.
The others all chimed in together.
“I trust Doctor Stewart,” they said.
The two women shifted. They looked pained, suddenly.
“I trust… No… I…”
“Don’t worry about it,” said Grace, letting out a little laugh. “We need to hurry up to meet him,” she said.
“No, something’s wrong,” said the woman on the left.
“Yeah, this isn’t right,” said the woman on the right.
“No no, everything’s fine, you two. Look at me. A bird in the hand is worth two in the sack,” she said. Mia could see her cringe as the words left her lips.
“A… bird… no,” said the woman on the left.
“No!” said the woman on the right. “We were warned about this.”
The woman on the left launched herself at Grace, who was wholly unprepared. The woman on the right looked Mia straight in the eyes.
“I’m looking for a lady in the streets.”