(This story interlocks with each chapter so if you come into this story other than the beginning, then you may well scratch your head at some of the comments within this chapter. I’ve tried to make this a glimpse into the lives and lifestyle of three people. They chose to keep there lives private, isn’t it strange how life never lets that happen.)
My thanks to Linda 62953 for her editing of this chapter.
I sat in my chair and drank my coffee. Frankie sat at her desk and pretended to look busy. Neither one of us was fooling the other. In the end, she heard me say ‘fuck it’ as I got out of my chair and went to see Mrs Gillins.
Damned if I knew how but she was expecting me, her assistant was already down in the basement filing and coffee was still warm on the side of her desk.
“I expected you twenty minutes ago.”
“Kinda figured you would, that’s why I held out this long, we have to talk and clear the air a bit.”
Mrs Gillins leaned back in her chair and waited; I topped up her coffee and sat for a moment, took a sip and put the cup down on her desk.
“This isn’t about my life anymore. It concerns others. The thing is, in some way you fit into this. I need to know how much.”
Other than take a sip from her own cup, I got nothing from her.
“You know everything that goes on here. I’m not going to waste time on this. I have little enough time as it is. You know about Rebecca and Niamh?”
I got one nod out of her while reaching for her coffee again. It also told me I wasn’t getting anything else out of her.
“I promised her a week to figure out her life and what she plans to do with it. If she walks away from Niamh, then so be it. If they both decide that they are the one and plan to live together, then so be it. I had to give Thomas a reason for her being here for a week. That will mean Marlon and I getting involved with the research, something we promised not to do. Your involvement with Thomas may prove a problem as well. If he finds out, he will want to know why you didn’t tell him.”
She looked into her cup as I spoke. The contents must have been interesting because she never looked up when she spoke.
“Rebecca is a nice girl, a little lost but she is slowly finding her way. Thomas is the kindest man I have known since my late husband. He doesn’t know it yet but I do plan to say yes, when he gets around to asking me to marry him. I have some leave due; it’s also time to see if we… fit. My plane leaves in six hours, I won’t be back for a week.”
I got up and headed for the door.
My hand was on the door handle, I didn’t look back.
“I admire what you’re doing, just remember that when Thomas asks me to marry him, I will leave you Jodie. She’s good and getting better. She’s smart enough to see what goes on and just as smart to know who to talk to, about it. Let her take over from me when I leave.”
This time I looked at her, the defiance already in her eyes.
“She’s as young as Francine. The other department heads will push her around.”
Mrs Gillins used my own argument against me when she pointed out that Francine had held her own in this company for months now. The fact that she was my PA was irrelevant; she has had some stand up, drawn out arguments with most of the senior research managers and department heads in the building and never backed down once. Jodie took that to heart and her own confidence grew off the back of it.
We both knew this was a negotiation. This wasn’t about her silence. I had known her long enough to take that for granted, she may well marry Thomas Montrose but her time here would be locked in her head. Even her marriage vows precluded her ever talking about it. This was about Jodie, her successor.
“When she gets your backing, that’ll be all she’ll need Jack. She has the confidence to stare down anyone in this building if she thinks she is right.”
I nodded my head and told her I would think on it, she smiled at my lie. We both knew that the only thing left to do was put pen to paper and shake on it, when Mrs Gillins finally leaves.
Marlon took one look at me and stood up from his desk, turned and wiped the boards behind him clean. I leaned over his desk and picked up the phone dialing the internal number for Gerry’s desk. Five minutes later, he was in Marlon’s lab drinking coffee with us.
“Ok, why do I get the feeling I’m not going to like this conversation?”
Even poor Marlon shrugged his shoulders not sure about anything that was going on so far. At first, I was tentative until I remembered I simply did not have time to be. Marlon sat back in his chair as Gerry and I talked about the Montrose research and how it was progressing. Trying to get Gerry on board was harder and more diplomatic than even I thought. Thomas and I had given him staff, a lab and free reign on this project and now it looked to him like I was taking it away.
Although the big stick method would work in the short term, I would end up losing Gerry at the end of it and that wasn’t an option. I did have some leverage, and that was Marlon and I used us, to his advantage. Gerry would give Marlon and I access to the one project that was giving his team the most headaches and between us both, we would work our way through it, feeding the results back through Gerry’s computer, so he could then pass on the progress himself.
We wouldn’t stick our nose into his lab and credits would go to his team. It was a hard sell, but he agreed in principle. An hour later, Marlon’s computer beeped and we got busy. Frankie phoned down mid afternoon to tell me Mrs. Gillins was now on holiday and Jodie was in our office. I told her to look on Jodie as Mrs. Gillins while she was away and work out between the both of them the order of business for the rest of the week. Neither Marlon nor I knew anything else until Frankie came into the lab with my coat over her arm.
I never saw my office for the next three days. Frankie kept me up to date as we traveled back and forth from home. The second the car entered the valley all talk of work ceased and this was our time. Tonight, we were going to see Red. Frankie drove while the pizzas warmed my lap. It was Red who gave us a rundown on her sister and Rebecca, as she saw them often and was a good sounding board for both of them.
Red’s hair had once again started to grow, she had a good inch on her head now and although I refused to say it out load, she looked a little boyish with her hair that short.
“Both the girls are talking to Father Stevens tonight.”
Even Frankie looked at Red the same way I did, she was also expecting us to, as well and smiled when she got our full attention.
“You gave them a week Jack. They knew dancing around this and courtship was out of the question. They have been sleeping together ever since that first day, is it love? I’m not sure. But they wanted Father Stevens view on this as well. Niamh reminded you that she isn’t me Jack. Her morals have kept her lesbian tendencies at bay for years. Rebecca broke through that with a single look and now she has to face what she had kept hidden for years.”
I pondered what Red had said for awhile before shrugging my shoulders and going back to eating my pizza. My opinion on the girls held no weight so I chose not to give it, although I sure seem to be keeping the good father busy. Red’s treatment was progressing; her skin grafts were taking so well her medication was slowly being reduced. It seemed it would only be a matter of a few weeks now, before she was truly home for good.
Now came the conversation, I knew needed to be aired. Why isn’t there ever an arrow saying ‘insert awkward conversation here’? We always say, ‘I was waiting for the right time’. There is never a right or a good time, yet we all try to temper what needs to be said to the needs of others or those it’s directed at in the first place. Now I’m looking directly at the person this is directed at and she was in the middle of girlie talk with Frankie, smiling and swapping stories. How could I bring this up, yet I had to.
“Red. We have discussed you leaving Hollywood and coming home. You wish for the agreement we have that you will have babies when you do, this is not an order but a request. Delay your need for children for one year; you have the case with the studio to fight yet. Your body still needs to heal and you have yet to find a studio for your fitness business. All this cannot be on top of you being pregnant.”
Frankie sat back and waited.
“Ok. I agree.”
This time Frankie’s eyes narrowed as she watched Red very carefully. Unfortunately Red noticed.
“Stay out of my head my sister, you’re not invited. Keep your own council or get out of my room.”
Her words stung Frankie; the redness around her neck highlighted her embarrassment that she had done something to upset her own sister. Frankie bit down on her lower lip, her apology was so quiet, I almost didn’t hear it. Red’s hand rested on top of Frankie’s and she gave it a gentle squeeze, this time she looked back toward me.
“You are my Master. All that I am inside and outside this body is yours, I have spent many hours thinking of my future and I had reached the same conclusions. You could have ordered me, I would’ve been sad, but you are my Master, I would have obeyed. Instead, you requested me to think about it and I’ve leaked on the towel I’m sitting on. You are my Master and I thank you for thinking of my wellbeing. So yes, I agree because I wish for babies that do not carry the stress I have with me at the moment. I want happy babies and for that, I am willing to wait.”
I just wished every conversation I had with this woman went this well. But, that’s life and I’m just grateful that we’re so much alike. But Red wasn’t done yet, she looked towards Frankie and she in turn flinched at her stare.
“We are sisters and sisters don’t do what you were about to do. I know of your abilities, Shannon had them. Tell me now that this is the first time you have tried to do that to me and I will believe you, tell me that you will never do it again and I will believe you.”
Frankie tried to remove her hand from Red’s. She held it tighter forcing Frankie to look at her. Once there eyes locked neither moved.
“Once, back at the hospital, the first time I walked in and saw you face down and motionless on the bed. The air was thick with the smell of the medication they placed on your back, the tubes in your arm and thigh. As I walked up to you, your thoughts were so powerful I had to sit down. I came to comfort you. Your face showed me so much pain it broke my heart to see you like that.”
Red relaxed her pressure on Frankie’s hand, but both still held on to each other although Frankie knew that retribution was coming.
“We are sisters. I understand you are good at your job, but know your limits. We are sisters you stay out of my head and Samantha’s. Tell me that you will never do it again and I will believe you.”
Frankie nodded her head, both of us remained silent. Her own senses screamed that retribution was coming and she shuddered, holding on to Red’s hand when she did.
“It doesn’t come with an off on switch, but I will try, I understand I have offended you and I apologize for it.”
Perhaps I had allowed Frankie too much, her gift of insight had served me well and her opinions off the back of that gift were always sound. Nevertheless, I agreed with Red, what she had done was too much and far too personal. Especially, when you took into consideration the girls phoned each other every day, I suspected more than that on occasions. “Frankie you’re an adult, this is our family and what you did was wrong. I understand the answer you gave for the only time you have done this to Red and that’s excusable. However, thinking that it was ok to continue doing it is inexcusable. When Red returns, she gets to play with you in the play room for a whole evening, while I take Samantha out to dinner.”
Red smiled, Frankie showed no emotion at all. Perhaps her insight told her what was coming, either way she finally nodded her head. “I will obey” fell from her lips as Red moved in her bed and hugged her sister before she told her she was forgiven.
It took Marlon and I five days to figure out why this damn program wouldn’t work and half a day to set it right. I even dragged Marlon over to the coffee machine and bought him a coffee to celebrate. The ungrateful shit did mention that since the machine was on free vend that didn’t count, so I phoned Frankie and asked nicely to send out for pizza for all three of us and to bring it down when it was lunch break.
Watching him squirm while we all sat and ate pizza was fun, and a reminder to Marlon not to talk back to the boss. We sat on the program for an hour just watching a screen and smiling a lot, and I even told Marlon that he could transfer over the results to Gerry an hour before the end of the day. It would give him enough time to get his own team leaders up to speed and itching to get to work in the morning to complete the first of the five programs that Montrose Industries had given us.
Rebecca now had justification for her weeks stay. I held up my end of the bargain, there was nothing else I could do. She would get the information on the program on Monday. Although still in its very early stages of development, after all not three months before this was nothing more than and idea, born of a need and a gap in the market, that this program would have both the major computer companies banging on Montrose’s door to steal from him.
This one program could well corner the market and in a year or two, the patents off the back of it, if wisely re-invested. would keep Montrose Industries well into the black for some years to come. I was sure by Tuesday, her father would be here and it will all be down to Rebecca from then on.
Mrs. Gillins came back to work on Tuesday, Thomas turned up on Wednesday. Like that fooled anyone. Rebecca met him at the door and showed him to the lab. Gerry and the team took full credit. Marlon and I hid in his lab for a few hours, I did remind him that we had some systems to update and modify for Harper Industries and that me taking him away from that work now put him a week behind.
Marlon did what he does best. Wiped the white boards and got to work, ignoring me until we met in the middle of the four white boards he has on his wall. He set to work on the equations before working on a proto-type. Frankie called me up to a meeting with everyone in one of the meeting rooms and light refreshments were served. I commented on the chunk of ice that Mrs. Gillins had on her finger and gave her a hug when she admitted that they both ‘fit together’ rather well.
Rebecca asked her father and his fiancé to dinner and left us to return to looking busy. I’m told that dinner went better than she expected and I did wonder if Mrs. Gillins had laid the groundwork. Thomas admitted that he had known for sometime about her being bi-sexual and although it now looked like that tended towards her new girlfriend he was happy for her. Thomas, Rebecca and Niamh left the next morning and for the next two weeks, peace settled in my life.
“Samantha just called. Her father is sending her here to check on the progress of the work they have with us and his given her permission to take a weeks holiday after she reports back on the progress.”
Well, at least Frankie let me sit down before she told me. I pulled open my lap top and checked the program that held Samantha’s necklace, between five and six times a day her necklace recorded a time date stamp.
I phoned Dr. Hartman and got an update on Reds medical progress. He was also happy to let her out of the clinic for a week and as long as he was happy with her on her return, then the time spent at the clinic would lessen over the next two months. Frankie and I went to see Red that evening and told her of Dr. Hartman’s opinion. The squeal made my ears ring.
The next day we took Red home with us and the day after Samantha came home. The girls went into a huddle and didn’t come up for air for another hour. All three found me in my den working. Samantha sat on my lap and kissed me, when she got my full attention she even let me explore, her legs automatically opened even further than they were for me and the groan that left her vocal cords never made it passed our joined lips.
“This girl is wet, this girl thanks you for making her wet. This girl loves you to bits and wakes every morning happy in the knowledge that you love all three of us. Nevertheless, my sisters miss your company and dinner will be ready in twenty minutes. Does this girl respectfully get to stay with you here until dinner is ready?”
Her hand came into focus holding a jar of KY, a smile already getting up to that thousand watt smile threshold. We were slow, after all we both had twenty minutes and Samantha took some of those minutes taking pleasure from lowering her ass onto my hardness while she faced me.
“Thank you my master, this girl loves this position and I’m grateful you allow it. This girl loves to kiss you when you’re in my ass.”
The look in her eyes told me she was thinking about that very thought and another smile burst forth. “This girl told a lie and I apologize and will correct it now. This girl not only loves it when you kiss her when you’re in her ass, but she loves it when you kiss her at anytime.”
Her eyes widened a little when she felt even more blood push itself into my erection. That smile of hers sure challenges Frankie’s now. After all those months and challenges Red, Frankie and I had faced sorting out the mess that was Samantha, this very moment made it all worthwhile. Both Samantha and her inner slave had finally come to accept each other and thrived on that partnership. The anguish and bitter internal fight she had with herself was finally over, no winners no losers, just peace and a willingness to accept who she was and to build on that from now on.
Red stuck her head around the door and said. “Master, sister, dinner is almost ready, you were supposed to rape the bitch and then let her come help us in the kitchen. Instead, you made us do all the work. Do you wish us to turn dinner down until you have finished or are you both done now?”
Spontaneous laughter tore through the cabin, my laughter acted as a form of vibrator in Samantha’s ass and the laughter in her eyes quickly turned to lust, then panic. She didn’t even get the chance to ask if she could cum, instead her face showed panic for a second before she leaned forward and held me tight. That set me off again and that slow sensual build up we were both headed for, ended with Samantha’s ass tightening and her shudder as her own orgasm took over. It was made worse by me emptying myself into her.
“Oh goodie, he’s done, now we can serve dinner and eat. I’m starving.”
The sound of Red’s last comment and her padding feet back towards the kitchen made us both giggle for a second.
“I’m sorry, I will try harder.”
The slight plop as my cock shrank enough to fall out of Samantha’s ass acted as that ‘you could hear a pin drop’ moment. Holding her shoulders and pulling her away from me so I could look directly at her, met with Samantha looking down at my chest until I gently shook her shoulders to get her attention.
“You are Samantha, Red is Red and Frankie is Frankie. If you change in anyway other than what I know and see of you now and I’ll be angry with you. You are Samantha. Learn from Red and Frankie. If you wish, they will always be open to you. But never try harder. I intend to punish you now, do you understand?”
Her eyes moistened as she nodded her head, her shoulders even slumped slightly in defeat and then confusion creased her brow, before she hid it from me. After all, how could I punish her, seconds after telling her she had done nothing wrong? Yet, she wasn’t about to argue with me.
“After work tomorrow, we will be here for a couple of hours and then I’m taking you out to dinner. That is your punishment, to be stuck with me while we eat.”
The moistness in her right eye allowed a small tear to slowly descend, down her cheek. The smile that grew on her lips never allowed another to follow. We kissed once more before I let Samantha get up and we walked to the dining table, a towel already on the seat that Samantha would occupy. The conversation was easy and fun. Red stood at one point so we could all see her skin grafts.
It was also over the course of that evening that she was open to us all over what happened that afternoon at the studio. I suppose she was waiting to come to terms with it herself and be able to tell us all, at the same time. Even I understood that to tell as much as she had, must have taken a great deal out of her. It’s also, why I had no compunction to push her for details.
Mathew Bowden knew everything because he had to, so his team could fight Red’s case. The emotional and mental withdrawal that followed caused me some concern. That day was still raw to Red and had been for some time. Other than wanting to know why she had not agreed to meet with Caroline Atkins, I had not broached the subject. Red called them her battle scars. We all picked up, on the double meaning she had attached to that comment.
Red had been assigned to Caroline Atkins by the studio as her personal fitness trainer. They grew close and at the completion of the first film, Caroline had asked Red if she was willing to stay on for the second film. Although uncertain as to why, she felt that her decision would make up Caroline’s mind whether to sign up or not. Since the conversation we had with Red was positive, they both signed up that same day and that bond of friendship grew between them.
The day of the accident, they both went over the stunt with the stunt coordinator several times until both knew it by heart. With the word ‘action’ still ringing in everyone’s ears, Caroline performed every action with perfection, right up until the very last stunt. That’s when Red knew that Caroline was three paces behind where she was supposed to be at that moment.
Regrettably, no one could see that, other than someone in the position that Red was standing. With the final stunt about to go off she could not afford the time to scream at either Caroline or the stunt coordinator, instead opting for what we knew happened next.
In covering Caroline and pulling her away from her intended path and fatal end, Red caught the beginning of the last stunt across the top half of her back, before she could force both herself and her charge to the ground and safety. It was plain to see both girls wanted to know more. We still respected Red’s need to mentally, place their questions behind her. She answered them as best she could and finally drawing a tight line under us ever asking again.
I slept with Red that night, curled up onto a ball and silently crying to herself and allowing me to see that child within her again. Although she knew her sisters understood, to Red this was submission on a deeper level for her. This was showing something that she still felt difficult to both show and, for her sisters to understand. It was well into the night before she came up for air and hugged me tightly to her before the dam burst for the final time. I’m sure the girls heard everything and I freely admit to not being sure if it was their training or respect for Red’s privacy and vulnerability that kept them away.
Samantha went all business suit on us when we got the office. Marlon did the presentation and like Rebecca before her, Samantha took loads of notes, even though she knew she would get a summery afterwards. We set up a conference call with her father and for the next hour went into detail of two of the projects that his company wished us to concentrate on. Between Marlon and I, we set a tentative target time and allowed ourselves a light margin for error.
Mitch Harper was no fool and set out financial restrictions if we defaulted on our agreed timescale. Samantha produced a contract from her briefcase and once again I signed my life away thinking that I really did need to get Frankie and myself back on the road again real soon.
“That’s all for now Jack. Sam, enjoy your holiday and I will see you in a week. Take care, baby girl.”
“Thank you daddy, see you all in a week.”
Even as the picture went blank, she was still Samantha the hard nose asking Frankie for a UPS envelope so she could send the contracts onward as soon as she could. The envelope would go with the others, down to security later that day ready for pick-up. She then followed Marlon down to his lab and I never saw either of them for the rest of the day. By the time she appeared at my office, Frankie and I had our coats on and were heading down the corridor. Samantha walked on past her own car and piled into the back of mine, before I realized what she had done.
Frankie did her usual and spoke of inconsequential things, sometimes bringing Samantha into the conversation and sometimes it was Samantha that started one. Both girls stripped as they entered the cabin. Red already had a light meal ready for us, so all three of us showered together and joined her as she placed everything on the table. I got to the table via the play room.
“Frankie, remove your collar.”
Instantly she knelt and removed her collar placing it on her lap for now as I put the leather collar on her and snapped it shut. Her hand came up, her own collar in full view; I took it and placed it next to the lamp in the day room. Samantha watched but said nothing.
“State to your sisters why you are being punished.”
“I am to be punished for being foolish and allowing my ability to read people, to seep into our lives. It is wrong to allow this ability to interfere with our lives. I should be punished, to remind me to speak to my sisters rather than seek that information from their heads.”
I nodded my head.
“Good, now tell me who is to punish you?”
“My sister shall punish me, it was her, I foolishly used my ability on and in doing so, invaded her thoughts and angered her so I could find answers to questions rather than ask her.”
This time I turned my attention to Red.
“You are to punish this slave as you see fit, until Samantha and I return later this evening. Should you wish to use anything outside of the play room, you have my permission to do so.”
Frankie felt the leash attach itself to her leather collar a second before she heard Red say “Yes Master.”
We all watched Frankie shudder in anticipation. We ate our meal at the table, Frankie ate hers on the floor in front of us. Samantha came out of the spare room in a cocktail dress and looked like a million dollars. I came out in a suit and looked like I may have to rethink my wardrobe real soon. That girl looked hot.
Opera then dinner was the order of the evening. Samantha got all the looks, I got a glowing companion for the evening, although it was clear she wanted more information on what was going on, back at the cabin. All I did was remind her that we were out for the evening and that was all she needed to think about. She nodded her head, but it was clear to both of us that this was new to her. I explained that we would talk about it on the way home, not now. This time that thousand-watt smile resurfaced and lit up the room once again.
I asked to see the chef and thanked him for a great meal. Samantha, not to be outdone leaned over and kissed his sweaty cheek. I have never seen this man blush so much since I started coming here. The journey home was a little tense when I explained what Frankie had done at Reds bedside. Samantha never asked anything after that, just sat hugging my arm as we drove back home. She dozed for a while, the travel and what happened the night before were finally catching up to her.
Just as the car pulled up outside the cabin her eyes instantly opened. I held the door open for her and smiled to myself at how she already looked like she wanted to rush into the cabin and see what Red had done to Frankie. We found them; Frankie was in the hot tub while Red sat on the edge with her feet in the tub a glass of something clear in both of their hands.
“Fucking doctor told me I can’t use the hot tub in case my skin fell off, so I’m making her sit there and suffer instead.”
All three girls burst out laughing. Frankie got out and I wrapped her in a towel before she once again knelt on the cabin floor. The leather collar came off and I put hers back on her. The four welts across her ass did not escape anyone’s notice. I equated them to the four words she would have used when she delivered them. Don’t do it again.
With the weekend now upon us, all four of us ended up at the lake the next day. Although the duty of placing lotion on all three fell to me, it was a valiant effort on my part to make sure every piece of skin was covered in the stuff, several times. Frankie and Samantha took up positions on the float while Red stayed with me.
“If I suddenly start having a hairy back, I need you to tell me so you can book me in to get it lasered, promise me this please.”
Her comment made me laugh so much, the girls sunbathing out on the float looked up to see if I wanted them to return.
We all took Red back to the clinic after our weekend together. Niamh was waiting on our arrival. I kept away from her and the girls seemed to act cold around her as well. With a hug and a goodbye, we left both sisters to talk although even I couldn’t see that lasting long. Dr. Kellerman was already getting Red wired into everything. A full spectrum of tests were already being written onto her notes. If everything was favorable then the trips away from the clinic would increase.
Red was so close to closure now. That chapter in her life was almost over and she had so far survived. The action, being dealt with by Mathew was next, they talked on the phone almost daily and although Red kept me up to date, it was clear all Red wanted was for this all to go away. She most definitely wanted her life back. The second film was due to be released shortly and the studio, in their arrogance had even invited Red to the première. She waited until we got home before she came storming into my den and griped, “I CANNOT believe those bastards!”
She tossed the letter she received onto my desk. I scanned over the invitation the studio sent for the premier of the sequel that Red was working on when the accident had happened.
“Okay, Red calm down. This will just give Mathew ammunition for his negotiations. We’ll call him up and have him take over from here.”
“When will this thing end? How long has it been since this started? I just want this over with so I can leave that hell-hole once and for all! I’m tired of me, my company and my … our future, being put on hold, while those assholes dick around.”
I quipped, “Is this what you’re like when you’re out of my sight? I may have to send Frankie to you to monitor you better.”
She crossed her arms and pouted but I could see she was trying hard not to smile.
“You’re actually pouting? What are you, ten?”
“Oh, stop it. Can’t I feel sorry for myself for half an hour?”
“No, absolutely not. You’ve got five minutes to get your shit together, then we’re going to talk to Mathew. Do me a favor and call your sisters in here.”
I started dialing the phone as Red got the other two girls.
I said when the receptionist answered the phone, “Is Mr. Bowden available? This is …”
The receptionist responded before I could continue, “Of course, Mr. McManus. I’ll patch you right through.”
“Mr. McManus, how are you today?”
My initial words faded when all three girls appeared at the door.
“Mathew, hold one second. I’m putting you on speaker phone. I have Red, Samantha and Francine here with me. I’m good Mathew. Please call me Jack. Your office knows my voice? I must call back WAY too often.”
We all laughed and I suppose it was true, between Red and I, we seemed to talk a lot with his firm and gather updates as to time scales and updates of Red’s medical status and her needs as they occured.
“Anyway, the reason we called is that the studio had sent an invitation to Red, requesting her to attend the premier of that movie. She’s quite upset about the whole thing. Can you also give us any news on the progress of the negotiations?”
We could hear Mathew blow out a breath, “They are still stalling. They’re hoping that they can weaken our position by stalling. They want us to get desperate enough to settle for a lot less than you deserve, Red. I know it’s hard, but stick this out a little longer. This mistake they just made will help a lot.”
Both the girls and I sat and watched Red as she sat and stewed, this wasn’t what she wanted to hear.
“Okay, please fax us a copy of the letter then release custody of the letter to the local branch of our office. We’ll send a formal letter of complaint to their lawyers. We’ll let them know that this little stunt will cost them and, also, use this letter as a catalyst to force their hand to close this whole business out.”
“Thanks Mathew. I’ll get that faxed to you in a few minutes and courier the letter over ASAP.”
I hung up.
Sam turned to Red, “Have you thought about what you’re going do now?”
“Other than getting this thing settled and selling the business, no I haven’t.”
Red looked at me then at Frankie. Frankie smiled and nodded at Red. Red looked down at her folded hands and heaved a big sigh. It was clear she was thinking about it, I think the shudder her body gave before she once again turned to me confirmed ahead of time that it wasn’t going to happen.
“My Master we rarely discuss money since we have never needed to, but without the sale of either the business or my apartment how much is this slave worth?”
I unlocked a drawer to one side of my desk and pulled out a file, flipped a couple of pages and looked at the total.
“I have yet to update your account; it’s almost a week since I did, so forgive the odd few dollars until I do.”
My finger traveled along the list of numbers until I found the one I was looking for.
“Your worth, without the business and apartment included comes to four point seven million dollars. Like I said, give or take a few dollars.”
I had a smile on my face when I looked towards Frankie, her face was a picture, Samantha’s wasn’t that far behind.
“Red was a nightmare at college, her finances were in such a mess that I took them over and handed them to my accountant he in turn had split her personal income in half and Red lives on one half while he deals with the other as well as her business account. With investments, the selling of her last company and the profits from this one she has over the last eighteen years only spent a very small percentage of her personal wealth. Add to that she spends nothing when she’s here which is as often as she can, means her balance simply keeps growing.”
It wasn’t difficult to see what all three were thinking. A naked slave doesn’t need a clothes allowance and when I did insist on things like fitness clothes, I ended up handing one of them my plastic anyway. It also led Frankie to insist on me doing the same with her wages, I simply shrugged my shoulders and pulled another file out of the same drawer, pulled a sheet out of a file and told her to sign on the bottom. Samantha watched and smiled as Frankie sailed across the room and signed at the bottom of the page without even reading the small print.
I also found out that Red was keeping secrets. She was going out from the clinic from time to time on her own. At first, I was going to raise this with her, until I figured out what she was up to and quickly moved away from confrontation so she could surprise us all. The next time Frankie and I came to pick her up for a long weekend, she directed us towards another part of town finally parking us at the front of a building. Frankie was still confused until she noticed the sign above the door.
‘Connell’s Fitness and Gym’. She took a picture with her phone and forwarded it to Samantha. Samantha called Red directly and screamed congratulation over the phone. Both girls wanted membership immediately, if not sooner. Red explained that her membership was already on its way to her as she stuck her hand into her pocket and pulled out Frankie’s. We got the tour of the gym and fitness studio and were introduced to Anthony. My first thought, as I looked at him was ‘steroids’ and then I recognized the name.
Anthony (don’t call me Tony) was one of Reds employees back in Hollywood. He obviously didn’t wish to be part of any new company when Red sold it and her apartment. Anthony was built as if he needed to twist sideways before going through a door. It was also wise never to assume anything about him. He was Reds right hand, back in Hollywood and a list of qualifications longer than his arm, meant that you assumed at your peril.
He and five others would work the gym. Reds expertise was the fitness classes. It seems Doc Kellerman still wanted Red to take it easy for another month, so the gym would open on Monday and then the fitness studio would start taking names for classes. The good doctor told me that Red was back in training with a vengeance, apart from a couple of post examinations booked in at three and six months there was little if anything left to do.
The grafts had taken and held becoming living tissue once again and although he had suggested some cosmetic surgery, Red had flatly refused. To her, the scars were from a time in her life that was now the past. Although she chose not to return to it, she was plainly reluctant to erase all reminders of it.
Her sight was now set on the fitness center business. Mathew Bowden and his people were left to talk to the studio. At the moment, it all looked like it was finally coming together. Then the opening of the fitness classes happened.
Both the girls had gone to the opening. I had stayed at the office to catch up on some work. My phone rang and a terrified Frankie screamed into the phone that she needed help. I heard Red in the background screaming and cursing up a storm. I made it to the studio in half the time it was supposed to take and I was just grateful the police in our town were busy somewhere else. Anthony stood to one side of the door and I almost ran through it.
Red was beyond help, poor Frankie held her down but only just, and that was with the aid of one of the other fitness instructors, who looked as terrified as Frankie did. I tossed my phone to Frankie, grabbed Red and held her screaming form in my arms as I told Frankie to get Doctor Kellerman. Between her screams, her punches and kicking, all I could do was hold her. Her own years of submissive training counted for nothing as I held her tight to me and waited for the good Doctor.
He looked just as shocked by Reds appearance as everyone else that evening. He immediately sedated her and between us, got her back to the clinic. The nurse strapped her to the bed. My first thought was to object, the bruises over my face and body meant I would have been stupid to do so. It took close to an hour to get the story out of Frankie. With Doctor Kellerman’s help, we slowly coaxed it out of her.
They had got to the fitness center early, even though all the groundwork was completed. They drank water to hydrate and twenty-five students came in. Red was twenty minutes into her fitness program when she spotted something and screamed at the woman in the front row. The woman ran out, but the damage had already been done. Red dismissed the class and left, by the time Frankie had her stuff together, her downward spiral continued. She kept pacing the room wouldn’t settle or talk to Frankie.
Her own agitation grew and there was nothing either Frankie or Anthony could do. She called me, but Reds anger was slowly getting out of control. Red was lashing out at anything, causing both Frankie and Reds assistant to hold her down and hope she calmed down. Frankie once again burst into tears as she came to the end of that evening’s tragic story.
“Frankie, Frankie listen to me. Think long and hard, who was the woman that Red screamed at?”
It took all of her own will power to stop her body from shaking with fear. Her mind reached back amongst those memories.
“She called her Karen, the last name sounded like Winston but she was already screaming and swearing at the woman by then, so I may be wrong.
Doc Kellerman held onto Frankie’s hand. She instantly pulled it away. Her eyes bored deep into him. “I belong to one man. You are my doctor, I understand that, but my master owns me not you.”
The doc and I looked at each other, although he was a little confused by her sudden change, I knew that the memories of Charles Winston and the seminar in Atlanta were still around to haunt her. This time we tried something different. It was clear he had a reason for touching Frankie. I held one hand and the doctor then held her other hand. Frankie instantly relaxed.
“Francine please think hard, was it Winston or Wilson?”
This time Frankie looked at me for direction, I held her hand tighter and nodded my head. Frankie closed her eyes and by her eye movement I could tell she was re-enacting the whole evening. Suddenly her eyes opened and she once again looked towards the doctor.
“Wilson. It was definitely Wilson.”
Doctor Kellerman thanked her and let go of her hand, tilting his head towards the door as he got up. I made Frankie more comfortable on the couch in his office and went to find him. Joseph Kellerman was standing by the coffee machine. He handed me mine and sat across from me when the machine gave his out.
“I hope this is nothing more than a blip in her recovery Jack. I understand you need to do something, so I will help you there without breaking any confidentiality. For weeks now, the clinic has been screening all of Reds calls at her request. She gave us two names that were never to be given access to her, one was Caroline Atkins, the other was Karen Wilson. Caroline and Karen are, one and the same person.”
The urge to kill doesn’t come often to me. Right at this moment I would have easily placed my hands around that woman’s throat and squeezed. People like Mathew Bowden aren’t very emotional; it was partly why I was happy to have him on my side. When I told him what had happened and asked if Caroline was still contracted to the studio, I actually heard him swear. He then told me he would be on the next available flight.
At ten the next morning, Mathew and two of his assistants came into Joseph Kellerman’s office. He took statements from Frankie, Anthony and the other fitness instructor that helped hold Red down. They found three other women from that class willing to testify over what had happened and who the woman in the front row was. Joseph had to refuse Mathew access to Red as she was still heavily sedated.
“That event was last night. The sedation should have worn off by now. Why is Ms. O’Connell still being sedated?”
Joseph felt his abilities as Reds doctor were being questioned. He stood to face Mathew, it was then I interceded.
“Mathew, we tried to bring her out of it earlier. No sooner had she woke, than she screamed in pain. She was so strong and so driven she broke one of the restraints holding her to the bed. Joseph had no choice but to sedate her again.”
For such a proud and broad man he seemed to deflate to the point he had to sit down, shaking his head as he did so. It seems Mathew was human after all.
“My God, what have these people done to this woman?”
“It’s why she left Hollywood so quickly and why she heaped everything onto you. She trusted you to keep them at bay Mathew, the more times she spoke to you she believed in her mind that her past would finally remain just that. I’m sure that Caroline Atkins had no intention of turning Red into a basket case last night. But as the book says ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’.”
Mathew’s mind seemed to be elsewhere and I paused. It took him a moment before he once again looked at me.
“When Red comes out of this I’ll call you and get you or one of your assistants back here, but to be honest Mathew, none of us know when that’s going to be.”
Once he had composed himself, he stood and held out his hand towards Joseph Kellerman. They shook and he thanked him for his assistance and apologized for any distress he felt he had caused him.
An hour later Frankie returned to Doctor Kellerman’s office, placing the leather collar into my hands. Joseph went white and then shook his head.
“That’s not going to work Jack.”
I smiled before replying. “Red is drifting Joseph and I’m not about to let her continue to do so. Find us a room where she can’t hurt herself and lock us both in there.”
“And if she beats you to a bloody pulp?”
“Then with my last ‘gasp’ effort, I’ll write ‘ooops’ with my last drops of blood.”
Joseph Kellerman laughed, his laughter stopped when Samantha was shown into his office by Frankie, who ignored the look I gave both of them.
“Please tell me you’re here to talk some sense into him.”
“Doc I think you and I have been out maneuvered by these two.”
I don’t often get to see Joseph at a loss for words, when it dawned on him what I had just said. The silence was very quickly replaced, by him telling the girls it would be a cold day in hell, that what they wanted was what they were getting.
Frankie said nothing, just smiled and took a pace back toward the door, and opened it. Mathew Bowden stepped back into the office. I figured now was about the time I had best defuse the situation.
“Doc, I’ve been around sub-missives since I was eighteen and if there is one logic that defies everything, even the laws of physics, is that when they talked about an unstoppable force hitting an immovable object they clearly never considered a slave on a mission. Samantha, recite your vow that you gave to your sisters.”
Samantha paused for a moment as her mind went back to the many conversations they all had together, smiled and then said, “This is my gift to all of you. Should any of you ring me I will answer, regardless of what I’m doing, should you need me I will be but a plane ride away.”
“What did Frankie say when she phoned you?”
“That my sister is in trouble and that it will take us all to help her. She also said that one of us could get hurt in doing so.”
“Yet you still came to help your sister, knowing one of us will be hurt. Even if it’s you she hurts.”
This time Samantha shrugged her shoulders.
“Should my sister harm me then you will be there to protect me, I will not see that hurt since it’s not my sister harming me but the demons inside her head. Please Master, my sister is in pain. It is up to us, to stand with her and for her to know she is not alone in her fight.”
Joseph continued to shake his head as he listened to what was being said. Mathew again sat down, only this time he sat and watched.
Once again Doctor Kellerman thought about what had been said before he shook his head in the negative.
“I can’t allow this Jack. You know Reds history, we both know she’s stronger than she looks and the self defense classes she took, hell she even became an instructor in those same courses eventually. That woman could take each of you apart before I could get the door unlocked.”
Everyone was silent, deep in his or her own thoughts. Joseph Kellerman had a patient and a career to look after. I had three girls that placed in my hands, their own welfare. I was wondering if we now had our own unstoppable force, verses immovable object moment, but of course, there was Frankie.
“Mr. Bowden. You sit and say nothing. It’s now you have to say what is clearly on your mind.”
Mathew Bowden looked at Frankie, we all looked at Mathew. After a pause, he then looked towards Joseph and as he spoke, we all realized that once again he was human after all.
“I’ve read every witness statement of what happened that night and going on what the good Doctor has told me, what I understand he isn’t willing to tell me, Ms O’Connell is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.”
For a few moments Mathew said nothing, we watched him fidget in his chair making himself more comfortable. For a moment I expected him to reel off statistics, instead he clasped his hands together and spoke very eloquently about how to this day many people believe that stress disorder would only afflict combat troops.
Over the last few months, he had gotten to know Red through their conversations on the phone. She told him of her growing dislike of Hollywood and the decision they had made that she would sell the business as well as her apartment and move back home. How this film was to be the final farewell and close that chapter in her life. Yet the accident at the studio was now an anchor, holding her to a place she no longer wanted anything to do with.
To Red, it seemed that every time she tried to move on, something pulled her back. To hold her in a place she no longer wished to be. The invitation to the premiere was one such reminder, just as she knows deep down in her soul; the film was going to be a huge success. Partly because it really was a good film, but also because it’s the film where ‘that woman’ saved Caroline Atkins life, that the severing of her past was becoming more difficult at every turn.
At the moment Red carried the pain and constant reminders of that past on her back while Quantum Studio’s did nothing more than reap the profits. Last night was a classic example. She now has her own business. The gym is growing in membership by the day and the list of names down for fitness classes far exceeded those of the projected forecasts. She knew some came to stare, but those would soon leave and the hard core of people who wanted to be there would make the place a success.
The first day she was there, in her capacity of fitness instructor, and guess, who stood center stage? Caroline Atkins aka Karen Wilson. The evening that was to be Reds start to a new life and there was her past, standing slap-bang in the middle of the front row.
Mathew looked up from his hands and saw us all transfixed at his words.
“That anchor holding her to a place she now loathes with a vengeance and the woman she believes betrayed her trust and friendship while she was still in the hospital was standing there. Her mind had nowhere to go; the fitness room was her place, her comfort blanket if you wish and her past stood in the middle of the front row, poisoning her own space for her.”
For such an agonizingly long time, no one said a word. It was clear Mathew spoke the truth, as he knew it. After all, Red did speak to him almost daily. However, Joseph held the final decision here and going by the look of great sadness that he tried and failed to hide, we knew he would do as we asked.
It still took us two hours to find what we needed. Mathew wanted to go get it, I thought it best to send Frankie and even that, took another two hours. Joseph needed to keep Red sedated and knew that if we didn’t act quickly, then he would have to keep her sedated for longer. We were all reluctant to allow that. That poor girl had enough drugs washing around in her body; she did not need anymore if we could avoid it.
I had to warn both girls that Joseph needed to turn the cameras on. My main concern was Samantha and my promise to her, she didn’t even flinch. Mathew carried Red into the room and left. Joseph waited until we undressed and took all of our clothes away. The sound as I placed the leather collar around Reds neck and clicked it shut had a certain finality about it.
Frankie knelt by her head, we all knew that her gift was needed now more than ever and I gave her permission to use it. Samantha knelt at her feet, Red would no doubt see her first, I simply sat on my ass and wished for a time machine that would take me to a time where I could refuse Red permission to do that last film. We just sat and watched this woman who was clearly fighting her own battles in her head. If nothing else, each and every one of us both in here and outside watching the screens wasn’t going to give Red up without a full on fight.
She gave a slow moan and slowly turned onto her side, and then with speed that I had seen only rarely from her, she was on her feet and pulling at the door. None of us moved. Red stopped pulling at the door and started to pace either side of the door. She slowly increased the length of her pacing until she paced from corner to corner. The girls just sat and watched the space that Red had just vacated, I watched Red. She paused in her pacing and pulled at her collar, she even turned it around and tried the catch only to find a small padlock preventing her from opening it.
“Get this fucking thing off me. I’m not one of your sheep, anymore.”
I noticed the look of shock from both the girls in my peripheral vision.
“I said you have to die first and then I will take it off. Or, are your promises worth nothing? You promised that you were mine until you die, so die first and fulfill your promise.”
“Promises are worthless words that people use, to get what they want. I got what I wanted from a pencil dick like you and now, I’m moving on. TAKE THIS FUCKING THING OFF ME.”
It was time to change positions, so I stood and sat the other side of the room passing Red as I did. She watched me, even took a pace to the side so I didn’t come close to her.
“Tell me something, once I take that off of you, who owns you?”
“No one. I will finally be free. Do you know what that word means, pencil dick? Let me help you, free to do what I want, when I want. To be beholden to no one and have a voice.”
“But you have a voice; you have always had a voice.”
The color around Reds neck started to change, her hands grasped and then released.
“You gave me nothing. Every time I came to you and asked for my freedom, you heaped more pressure on me to stay. Well, you have two new bitches so you no longer need me. Let me go.”
“Yes, I see your point. Tell me something. That thing you want me to remove from around your neck, what is it?”
For the first time Red looked confused, as if I had just asked the most stupid of all questions. Her eyes narrowed slightly looking for a trap.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t realize it was that hard of a question.”
This time I pointed to Samantha and urged her to stand. Her actions were slow and calculated, not to spook Red in any way.
“Let’s try an even easier question for you. Who is that person standing there, name her for me, and I will remove the thing around your neck.”
Again Red looked confused. She looked at Samantha really closely and after a moment took another step back, keeping Samantha and I in her field of vision. It was also time to move again, so I stood and moved to another part of the room and sat back down.
“I’m sorry I got bored of waiting for an answer to my question. Which reminds me,”
This time I gestured to Frankie to stand, she followed Samantha’s example and stood slowly, with Red watching her every movement.
“Shall we try for three out of three? Name the person who just stood up.”
She seemed to look longer at Samantha, her eyes narrowed slightly as though something about her sister struck a cord deep in the recesses of her mind. Soon she shook her head as though frustrated that some answer to a question would not yield itself to her. Her anger once again took control.
“This is sick, you’re all sick. JUST TAKE THIS FUCKING CHAIN OFF MY NECK.”
Frankie’s face remained a mask. Samantha looked at Red and smiled. I was just grateful she didn’t notice. I stood again and Red looked directly at me. Frankie took the opportunity to quickly shake her head at Samantha. I was just relieved that she understood and her face quickly became a mask, as I passed in front of her heading for another part of the room.
“Tell me something, is your word any good. I mean, if you lost a bet would you hold up your end of the bet even if you lost?”
Anger flashed across her face and her hands once again clenched and un-clenched.
“My word’s worth a lot more than yours is any day pencil dick.”
“I’m pleased to hear it. So, do you want to accept a bet? It’s not difficult. All you have to do is stand against that wall and do nothing. Accept that bet and I will take that thing off of you. BUT, if you lose, I get to ask you one question and you answer it honestly.”
Her eyes zeroed in on me for a moment, trying to figure out my angle. After a while, she slowly paced backwards until her back was against the wall. I turned and walked between both girls and in a whisper said one word as I passed between them and took up my position against the far wall, folding my arms as I rested against it.
Frankie walked towards Samantha and she in turn met her half way. There embrace was as gentle and as loving as I have always seen between them. Frankie raised her head, Samantha lowered hers and they kissed. Gently at first, a moan emanated from somewhere deep inside Frankie which only seemed to spur Samantha onwards. Red was transfixed. Her mouth was open as she stared at both girls, in the middle of the room clearly enjoying a kiss.
Although she noticed me walk towards her, her attention was still on both girls in the middle of the room. Even when I stood directly in front of her to remove the collar she moved slightly so she could still see what the girl were doing. I’m almost sure she didn’t hear the click of the now released padlock on the collar, but the girls did and instantly stopped and took a step apart as I walked between them once again and thanked them.
“See you won your bet and got your wish.”
Red seemed not to hear me, her hand came away from her side and she took a half step towards the girls before she stopped and lowered her hand once again. I moved to another wall. Frankie gave me a quick nod of the head as I did, we all saw Red in there, she was just below the surface.
“Figured it out yet?”
It took a moment for Red to take her eyes off the girls and look towards me. Both the girls could see just as I could, we all knew Reds body just as she knew ours, we could tell that she was getting aroused. Her mind may be trapped but her body gave her away.
“That your two bitches have the ‘hots’ for each other you mean? Isn’t that expected with a pencil dick like you around?”
Samantha’s face was a give away and Frankie moved across her to give her a moment to calm and mask her emotions once again. I moved from the wall to once again keep Red looking at me and not let her get under Samantha’s skin. Red watched until I sat with my back against the door, Samantha mouthed the words ‘sorry’ and her mask came back to her.
“Are you going to open the door now? I won my bet.”
“The winning of your bet, is by your feet. You stood against the wall and I undid the thing you can’t seem to remember the name of.”
It was only when she looked down and saw the collar by her feet that her hand came up and checked her neck. She frowned and she fought so hard to remember me taking it off of her.
“But… I mean how… What the fuck are you doing to me pencil dick? You’re creeping me out.”
Although the anger in her eyes was clear to see from all three of us, her state of arousal was still clear to see by everyone, but her.
“Ok, answer me this without wrapping everything in riddles like you’ve been doing. What’s it going to take to get that door open and me out of this shit hole?”