THE MORNING RITUAL was almost always the same. The alarm woke Charlotte at 6 a.m., and her first task of the day was to check her bedfellow – which could be Collins or Bryant or, as it was today, both – for signs that attention was required.
On this morning, one month after the Collaring had been performed, Charlotte faced the eternal dilemma of Who first? Collins, at her right hand side, and Bryant, at her left, both exhibited the telltale stiffness and, as she yawned and rubbed sleep’s residue from her eyes, she found herself straining to remember whose turn it was.
Collins helped her out by raising one eyelid, releasing a shaft of gimlet stare that made her mind up for her.
‘About time too,’ he muttered, once she had drained the glass of water by the bed and slid her soft wet lips along the rigid shaft, settling in on her knees for a long, slow suck.
Her first breakfast swallowed and digested, she watched Collins depart for the shower, then she turned her attention to Bryant, who had awoken by now and watched the final portion of the fellatio interlude with keen interest.
‘Oh, you’re the best, Charlotte, the best,’ Bryant, always more vocally demonstrative than Collins, avowed, shooting jets of warm saline liquid into the depths of Charlotte’s deep throat.
Collins emerged from the en suite bathroom to dress, while Bryant took his turn in the shower. Charlotte was permitted a ten minute respite during this period, which she made the most of, leaning back against the pillows, breathing in the man smell of the linen and watching Collins dress. Watching Collins dress was one of her favourite activities; in fact, she often pondered secretly filming him so she could watch it while he was away on his periodic work-related trips. He had so many interesting accessories for a start – clippy things to stop his socks falling down, cufflinks, often a waistcoat with a gold fob watch. She drank in the faultless crispness of his shirts – Charlotte was forbidden to iron them, as her technique did not meet his high standards – and admired the perfect crease of his trousers. She quivered when he slipped his flexible leather belt through the loops of his waistband, pulling it taut and buckling it. She wanted to touch herself, but she knew it was not permitted, so she swallowed hard and focused grimly on his long slim fingers working on the cufflinks, then the waistcoat, button, button, button, then the jacket, handkerchief placed at such a precise angle in the top pocket. Hair dealt with next, briskly and efficiently, then spectacles on, then the shiny, shiny shoes. Sometimes, if they weren’t shiny enough, Charlotte was called over to kneel, naked, and give them a brief buff-up, but this time they passed muster, it seemed, and now the fully-formed, 100% suited, booted and deadly J. Collins Esq was ready to unleash himself on an unsuspecting world.
‘I’ll start breakfast,’ he said, unnecessarily, because he always did. Collins was the best cook of the three, and was visibly tense when either of the others tried their hand in his kitchen.
As the delicious cooking scents began to fill the air, Bryant strolled out in a towel, leaving the shower free for Charlotte. She performed her ablutions unaccompanied – which was not always the case, especially when she was alone with one or other of her masters – and stepped into the shower. This was a difficult time for Charlotte – she so often wanted to pleasure herself beneath the warm spray, but she had to wait, had to obey, had to be trustworthy. So she would content herself with folding the fragrant gel into her intimate places and lathering it up, allowing the tingle to build and the juices to flow, but bidding herself wait. She would be seen to soon enough. Patience, Charlotte, patience.
But patience was a virtue, and she wasn’t big on those, so she whizzed through the wash as quickly as she possibly could and dried her hair with vigorous urgency before making her way to the kitchen, clad only in the sheer babydoll nightdress and high-heeled marabou-trimmed mules that constituted her morning uniform.
‘Good morning, Charlotte,’ her masters formally greeted her, Bryant smiling over the top of his newspaper while Collins put the cafetière on the table and slid eggs out of the frying pan. Charlotte stood by the door, waiting for Collins to finish all the fussing with grilled tomatoes and sprigs of parsley and sit down, then she took the plates and served the breakfasts, bending over to pour coffee and offer cream or sugar. Neither of them ever had sugar in their coffee, yet the offer must always be made before Charlotte was allowed to sit down and eat.
‘No thank you, you may sit now,’ said Collins, pouncing on his own newspaper and reading as he ate, leaving Charlotte to watch the pair of them, absorbed in the stock market figures and details of grisly crimes as they masticated bacon and tiny triangles of toast. It was a peaceful time, but Charlotte could never see it as such, for she knew what was to come, and her thighs were tense and shiny-damp with the thought of it.
The last traces of egg yolk wiped up by bread, the dregs of the coffee consumed so the caffeine could start its diabolical work in all of their bodies, the papers laid flat on the table and the dishes transferred to the sink, there was nowhere else to look, nowhere to run.
‘Well, Charlotte, I think it’s time,’ said Bryant lightly. ‘And you have the pleasure of us both this morning. Goodness. Did you sleep well?’
‘Yes, sir’ she said meekly, beginning to make the arrangements, pulling the high kitchen stool out from underneath a counter top, climbing on to the low rung and resting her stomach across the padded seat.
‘What do we think, Collins? What are you in the mood for this morning? Hands? Kitchen spatula? Belt? Hairbrush?’
The morning spanking was always a DIY affair; the masters did not like to bring out their dedicated implements unless there was a proper scene to be played, or punishment to be administered.
‘I’m intrigued by that rubber spatula Charlotte picked out at John Lewis last weekend. We still haven’t tried that, have we? And I’m told rubber has a uniquely painful characteristic.’
Charlotte winced in advance, cursing herself for buying the brightly-coloured set of baking spatulas, even though she had always known they would be used for this purpose. But they were so pretty. She had the feeling that the prettiness might conceal something vicious, though, like a toxic jellyfish or sea anemone.
‘Ah,’ Bryant said. ‘I suspect the rubber spatula will challenge Charlotte’s tolerance at this time of the morning. So I’m minded to be generous and use my hand for a little warm-up. Shall we?’
The men stepped closer to Charlotte. Collins placed his hand at the back of her neck, holding her in position in a way that always created a spasm of needy joy in her pussy. The gossamer-thin fabric of the nightdress was hoisted up over her bottom, which was snowy white and unmarked this morning, because Charlotte had been on her best behaviour since the collaring. This morning routine was designed to remind Charlotte of her place rather than to create any lasting effect – she was left with a sore, red bottom for the next hour or so, and then the evidence faded, to be replaced the next day or – more likely – later on.
Bryant applied his hand weightily but without real malice, watching and revelling in the slow colour change wrought on Charlotte’s rear. She squirmed and squeaked, but she was a long way from her limits and she settled into the spanking, keeping her bottom pushed out, rolling her hips occasionally and clamping her thighs in an attempt to steal some naughty pleasure from her abasement. But Bryant saw what she was doing, and ordered her legs apart, feet at either end of their supporting rung.
‘You’re in a hurry, Charlotte,’ he reproved. ‘You know you have to wait. But my goodness, aren’t you wet? I can see why you don’t want to. Getting nice and red now … lovely …’ He smacked on, slowly and harder now, while Charlotte was made to listen to a lecture on the evils of importunate haste and impatience. By the time he finished, she was glowing and panting, her thighs sticky-wet and her clit feeling as if it had ballooned to the edges of her lips. But nobody was going to put her out of her aroused misery yet.
Collins and Bryant switched places, Bryant’s gentler hand on her neck now while Collins took the largest of the rubber spatulas – a shocking pink – off its hook and weighed it in his palm.
‘How many strokes do you think, Bryant?’ he pondered. ‘I think this will be more painful than the wooden one we broke on her last week. So perhaps not so many … perhaps ten.’
‘Ten sounds good.’
The rubber splatted against the curve of her bottom and Charlotte howled. Collins was not wrong – the rubber was fiendishly painful, with a lasting burn, outdoing its wooden counterpart by a factor of about five.
‘It really does hurt,’ mused Collins, rubbing a hand over the patch of skin that had been inflamed. ‘Ten light strokes, or five heavy? I’m going to ask you, Charlotte. Which would you prefer?’
Oh, the quandary! Five would get it over with, but heavy strokes with that thing would probably have her squirming at the desk all day long. And besides, she didn’t entirely trust that Collins’s definition of ‘light’ strokes would coincide with her own.
‘I think five,’ she said, and a sudden hot blaze fell directly over the first.
‘Five, sir. That one is extra.’
Charlotte would have kicked herself, if she had been allowed to bring her legs together, for her elementary error, but she gritted her teeth and told herself it would soon be over.
‘Five, sir. Please, sir.’
Collins laid each one of the four swats at the sit spot, where bottom cheek and thigh overlap, ensuring that she was quite correct to think that her wooden desk chair was not going to be the most comfortable of billets that day. The heat seemed to permeate the pores of her skin, pouring inside to burn her very core.
‘That’s a serious implement,’ said Collins with surprised respect. ‘I shall certainly be using it more often.’ Charlotte, from the corner of her eye, could see the deep crimson patch at the lower end of her generally red bum in the shining surface of the chrome and steel oven. It was almost purple.
‘Will it leave a mark, sir?’ she wondered, hoping that she hadn’t bruised. They wouldn’t spank her for a day or so if she was bruised.
‘I don’t think so,’ Collins replied. ‘I think rubber is my new favourite substance. Bryant, let us invest in a rubber plant. The Goodyear Brothers were on to something, I feel.’
Bryant chuckled, releasing his grip on Charlotte’s neck.
‘Who’s going to do the honours?’
‘Why don’t you? I’m afraid I’ve an early meeting with a client and I’m going to have to leave soon. Tell me which vibrator you want to use and I’ll find it for you.’
‘The one with the clit stimulator. The black one,’ Bryant added, recalling that there were so many variations in their collection that specificity was required.
Collins fetched the sex toy and placed it on the kitchen table before dropping down to his haunches to deposit a fierce goodbye kiss on Charlotte’s lips.
‘Be good,’ he whispered, then he put a finger to her cheek. ‘I love you.’
‘I love you too,’ she whispered back.
‘I’ll be back around eight. Behave yourself. Goodbye.’
As the door of the apartment clicked shut, Bryant fired up the vibrator, putting it on its maximum setting and pressing it to Charlotte’s damp thighs as if in warning.
‘Would you like this?’ he murmured, teasing her, pressing it deep into the skin of her inner thigh, letting its tip touch her clit for a microsecond before whipping it back down.
‘Oh, yes please, sir,’ she moaned. ‘Yes please.’
‘Dirty girl, bad girl, getting wet during a spanking. You need it, don’t you? Tell me.’
‘Yes, sir. I need it, sir.’
‘Badly. So badly.’ The vibrator was pushing at the sides of her lips, circling the entrance.
‘Really badly, sir.’
‘If I let you have it, you must promise me your arse tonight.’
‘Yes, sir, I promise.’
‘Good.’ The vibrator disappeared inside her, throbbing mightily, its clitoral attachment snug against the rich, fat nexus of nerve endings. Bryant barely needed to move the instrument before Charlotte was coming over the kitchen stool, thrashing so wildly that Bryant had to place a hand on her back to prevent the whole structure toppling over.
‘That’s all it takes, isn’t it, Charlotte, to control you? You’re not a slave to anything but your own rampant wantonness. That’s what rules you. Your cunt. Am I right or am I right?’
‘You’re right, sir,’ she sighed, defeated, red-faced, floppy, spent.
‘I wouldn’t have it any other way.’ He kissed her ear, nipping the lobe. ‘Go and wash and dress before the housekeeper arrives.’
Charlotte washed the proof of her orgasm out from between her legs, then she dressed, as yesterday’s memo had instructed. No knickers, no bra, short but classy black silk shift dress that outlined her every curve, sheer seamed hold-ups, high-heeled strappy sandals – this was her typical working wardrobe on a day when she wouldn’t be expected to leave the apartment unless it was to meet one or both of her masters for lunch. The thought that she might be called out to cross the city in this outfit that so blatantly advertised her underwear-free state made her toes curl and her treacherous pussy begin to dampen anew – she both dreaded and hoped for a summons later on.
By the time she was dressed, Bryant had left, and she thought she might as well make a start on some work. The new housekeeper, a Polish woman, was due at nine and would keep her company for the morning, in her unique way. Charlotte brewed herself some more coffee and drank it by the picture window, looking out over the vast spread of the city while she waited.
‘Good morning, Krysztyna,’ she sang, hearing the key in the lock.
‘Good morning, Charlotte.’ The housekeeper peeked in, smiling brightly. ‘How are you today?’
‘Fine, thanks. A bit sore, actually.’
‘Oh, they were hard on you this morning. May I see?’
Charlotte flipped up the back of her skirt, displaying the remnants of the rubber’s worst work, eliciting a low whistle from the new member of staff.
‘What did that? A paddle of some kind?’
‘A rubber kitchen spatula. I’m not going to be sitting comfortably today, Krysztyna.’
‘No. But you like that, no?’ The woman smiled, her frost-blue eyes twinkling. ‘Perhaps I shall get one for Drusilla’s kitchen.’
‘Mr Collins would definitely recommend it.’
‘I’m sure. Well, I’ll see to the dishes and then perhaps we can have tea.’
‘OK. I’d better get to work myself.’
Charlotte watched Krysztyna turn tail for the kitchen, then she sat down at her computer, winced, shifted position, and booted up the machine.
She had eight e-mails. The subject header on the first one was: ‘I WOULD LOVE TO TAKE ON A RUGBY TEAM’.
She smiled, opened the letter and began to read.