I like the scraping sound of corset lacing being drawn tighter. It’s an almost hollow sound – fabric being drawn tight, the laces cutting into your hands as you pull and shape and force the body to conform to sleek satin and boning and….all those stitches, tiny stitches, want to give. They want to tear so badly that you can almost hear it in your head, the sound of fabric ripping open thread by thread, those pops as each one gives and then passes its structural burden onto the next. You can almost, almost hear it. But the corset holds, the lacing is tied, and heavy ribbons drape down the back of the wearer. Breasts are lifted, waist contoured, movement inhibited. Every breath must be shallow, and as such, her predicament is ever on her mind. Rigorously fuck a person in a proper corset, and they will undoubtedly come away from the exercise deliciously shaken and made trembling by the experience.
I have never fucked Nell. In fact, I had only known her for about two weeks when we decided on a corset. She’d arrived in response to an ad, one placed in discrete circles, for a maid who could be trained in those ways pleasing to a discerning gentleman. Her name was not Nell, of course. I don’t know her real name. She became Nell the moment she stepped into the front door.
“I shall call you Nell.”
She blinked at me with those doe-like brown eyes, a little thrown off by the firmness of the comment, looking around the foyer as I slowly closed the front door, waiting for that telltale click of a latch setting into place.
“Oh but, I…maybe I don’t have the right place. My name is actually…”
She never managed to get her name out, and thank goodness, too. It would have irked me to know she was called Ashley or Madison or something of that nature. No, she was caught dumb when I took two quick steps and with one hand reaching for the back of her ill-kept hair, shoved the other over her mouth. I had pulled her backwards slightly, by her ponytail, and as such one of her arms jutted out into the air, searching for something to grab onto so that she wouldn’t fall. Her other hand curled around my wrist and tried to wrest some sort of freedom from me. She more she struggled, the more I held her firmly in place.
“Nell. Your name is Nell.”
I could tell that she had tried to pretty herself up, tried to make sense of that unruly brown hair. She’d poured herself into a knee-length black pencil-skirt, and wore the most low-cut blouse she owned. It did nothing for her, ill-fitting as it was, small as her breasts were. Her stockings were cheap, bought at some discount department store, and did nothing to accentuate her wonderfully toned calves. She wasn’t as young as some who graced my doorway, and had to be in her mid-thirties. Nonetheless, she had a way about her that had me immediately suspect someone had done something to make her afraid of the world when she was very young, and that she didn’t want to be afraid anymore.
I set her upright onto her feet and released her. She panted to catch her breath, a hand pressed to her throat. I knew that this was the first of several deciding moments. I had not locked the door, and with me standing to her left like I was, she easily could have bolted, made it outside, and run away.
She did not bolt. Instead she just kept her gaze lowered enough that she surely could see no higher than my kneecaps as she said, “Ah…um…okay. If…. If that’s what you want.”
“It is.” I said, turning to hold a hand out and direct her towards the parlor, “This way please, Nell.”
My last maid had left my service some weeks prior. There was no falling out, I’d simply found a better situation for her, in Paris, with a colleague who had grown particularly fond of her. I had a feeling she was in for a very, very long plane ride, considering the distinctly vibrant shade of purple her ass had turned after I’d given her an excellent volley of goodbye swats with a rattan cane.
I sat on the Chesterfield, and motioned for her to make herself comfortable on the divan opposite. Our interview progressed quite speedily, with her satisfying so many of my questions more by her body language than her words. Poor posture kept her hunched slightly forward. She remained always drawn in upon herself, clutching a small leather purse. Her knees were locked tight, legs crossed at the ankle. Occasionally, she would tug absently on a certain lock of her hair as she spoke. The details of her life are…unimportant to really get into deeply, other than that she revealed she’d worked for a maid service before, but she wanted something “different”, and that she could cook. Cooking was a must. I’m a terrible cook.
“This is all quite satisfactory, Nell. There are just a few more things before you are hired.”
“Of course, Mr. Hargrave.”
“Please stand up and remove all of your clothing.”
She cringed. Not much, because surely she knew what kind of position she was applying for, but enough that I knew she was dreading it in some small fashion. A natural reaction from most people, but then…most people do not apply to be this kind of a maid.
She stood and reached behind herself to find the zipper for her skirt. I always do love watching a woman unzip a tight skirt from behind, the way it pulls back her arms and thrusts out her chest a bit… The way it so often reminds me of binding their arms behind them. Her hips wiggled, just slightly, as she pushed the skirt down. Even though her blouse fell into place to cover everything indecent, I immediately noticed that besides the cheap stockings which clung to her thighs, she wore nothing underneath that skirt.
Perhaps she was not quite as much of an innocent as I had deduced.
“No panties, Nell?”
She blushed, and stammered as she undid the buttons of her blouse. “N…no, Mr. Hargrave, I…didn’t think… I mean the seams….with such a tight skirt…”
“Ah. I see.” That was too bad, in a way. I like panties. You can tell ever so much about a woman by her panties. “What do you know about me, Nell? What have you been told about this position?”
“Well, I… I…know that you’re a novelist. And ah…it’s said that you…certain people in Hollywood and politicians…come to you….to help them become more confident and…stuff like that.” She was skirting the truth, surely enough, and trembling as she paused in her undressing.
“Go on,” I prompted, meaning both the undressing and in her answer to my questions.
“They say you’re very stern,” she said softly, finally letting the silk blouse slip over her shoulders and onto the divan. Her bra followed it shortly, a lacy thing in a nude tone. Not that there was really much need for it. Her breasts were small enough not to have suffered the effects of gravity much as of yet. She let her arms hang to her sides, rather than cover herself, but I could tell from the way her fingers twitched that she wanted nothing more than to cross them over her chest. She had one of those vaguely underfed looking bodies that women favor these days, in an attempt to look like all the magazines. Her pelvic bones stuck out a bit from it. The prospect of fattening her up a bit delighted me. Already I was imagining feeding tubes pumping her full to bursting, her little stomach becoming rounded and distended and painful. The shamed look on her face shortly later when she was forced to beg to be given the key to the restroom. “They say you’re twisted and…perhaps even…cruel.”
“They would likely be right,” I replied briskly. I stood and crossed the room, heading to a small writing desk against the wall. Papers procured, I brought them over to Nell and dropped it, and an inkpad, on the coffee table. “This is your contract. Make certain to read it thoroughly, and then sign, print, date and fingerprint it. If, after reading it, you refuse, then please collect your things and see yourself out. Johan will be by shortly with your uniform.”
“Yes Mr. Hargrave,” she said to my feet. And in response those feet carried me to the door.
This was going to be an interesting one.
I’ve always liked my initials. O. H. H. Ohh. Like a pretty little moan. I put them on my towels. I have it in my hat. And it’s embroidered in my handkerchiefs which are currently…. “Pink?”
“Master?” Johan was wearing nothing but a frilly apron. A suspiciously pink apron. I’m pretty sure that apron was white last week. He was washing dishes and I was drinking tea in the kitchen. I tend to take breakfast there rather than the formal dining room simply because it has a huge bay window that overlooks the back garden.
“Why are my handkerchiefs….pink?”
“An incident with the laundry, Master.”
I might have also liked the fact that Johan was an exceptionally short person. So short that he had to stand on his toes to properly wash the dishes. Pretty soon he’d be standing on his toes all the time, but the postal carrier was being slow about delivering the new shoes.
Johan is, ostensibly, my butler. Really, he’s more like my personal assistant, but that’s just because he’s been with me the longest.
I did wonder why Johan was doing the dishes now that Nell had been hired.
“What do you think of Nell so far?”
“She’s shy. And sweet. And kind of clumsy.” Johan’s ass flexed as he hopped up to grab a scrub brush on a high hook. My teacup clinked just a little harder than I wished as I put it down on the table.
“Clumsy enough to drop something red into the laundry basket?”
There was a short silence, and eventually Johan knew he couldn’t get out of answering the question. “Yes, Master. I promised her that I wouldn’t say anything.”
“Hm.” I opened up the newspaper. Sometimes I think I may be one of the last humans alive to read a newspaper. I can’t get out of the habit. Maybe I’m addicted to the smell of it. “Where is she now?”
“Sitting room, I think.”
“Good, good.” I flipped to the classifieds. “Add ten swats of the belt to your tally for not telling me.”
Johan hates that belt. It’s got metal studs in it. The welts it leaves are remarkable.
Minutes passed, and I sipped my tea, reading over the obituaries. I feel it’s disrespectful not to. A person’s whole life condensed into a paragraph or two. I can spare a few seconds of my time to acknowledge someone’s passing. I’d just begun learning about the life of Mr. Albert Walter Beech when the sound of a crash had me looking up sharply, and Johan looking over his shoulder.
“Sitting room,” we both said, in unison, as I rose to my feet.
I found Nell on the floor, crying, next to the replica Daum crystal vase. Or what was left of it. Thank the gods it was only a replica. It meant the difference between a few hundred dollars….and twenty thousand. But Nell was crying like she’d not only broken the vase, but killed the maker and his entire family and then did indecent things to their corpses. There were deep, heaving sobs that wracked her whole body, and she had buried his face in her hands. Every now and then, I could hear the word ‘sorry’, but everything else was nigh-hysterical.
Someone had done something unkind to this woman. Someone who, most likely, had some control over her at some point. Maybe a parent, or a lover. On rare occasions, it’s a teacher or a sibling. But someone with control over her had used that control in a monstrous way. And now, every little thing that went wrong destroyed her world and made her fear retribution. Such horrible retribution that she fell apart, shattered as completely as the vase. Considering the hysterics she dissolved into, I almost couldn’t fault Johan for keeping the secret.
Normally, if one of my employees broke something of mine, I’d do something pretty horrible to them. But this? This was different. So far, I’d mostly let Nell be, for lack of time rather than anything else.
I gathered her up, pulling her into my arms and literally lifting her off the floor. She couldn’t have weighed more than a hundred and five pounds soaking wet. She was wearing a maid’s uniform, and I don’t mean some mockery of one. It came down just below her knees, and was paired with sensible shoes. The fabric was stain resistant and washable. I wanted her to feel comfortable. She didn’t look like a woman who had ever, in the whole of her life, felt comfortable.
“I didn’t….didn’t mean…I’m so sorry…I know I’m clumsy, I’ll…”
“Yes,” I said firmly, “You are clumsy, Nell.”
This sent her into a new fit of sobbing, most of the tears ending up darkening the front of my suit. This is fine. In my line of work, one learns quickly to have one’s suits stain-guarded, and besides, a few tears never hurt anything.
“You are clumsy, but you do not have to be clumsy. The vase is a lost cause. You, however, are not.” I glance to the side, where I expect Johan to be, and indeed, there he is. “Johan…the white set, please.”
The master bathroom of Hargrave Manor fits the term in every sense. The heated floors and countertops are done in storm-cloud colored Etruscan marble, with Florence glass sinks. There’s a wide, open-layout shower into which I’ve had stainless steel rails and rings, as well as an overhead beam with load-bearing capabilities. Throughout the manor, really, there are such things, because you never really know where you may need to chain someone or tie off a rope, or rig a pulley. Besides the toilet, the bidet, the sink, shower and massive bath, there is a wooden bench long enough to seat two comfortably, or one if she’s laying on her stomach. This is where I carefully place Nell, arranging her carefully as her sniffles begin to subside. She draws in on herself, shrinking and cowering, eyes ever on the floor.
I am at times a cruel man, and almost always a stern one, but this has not so much to do with a dislike of those around me as a love of them. The are people in the world who need certain things that are not always available to them. Johan needs to be forced to dress like a girl. He hates it, and at the same time, he loves it. Nell needs something to hold her together. Something to be a constant reminder to take care with her movements and decisions. Nell needs a corset.
I try to explain, sometimes, to others, that this isn’t always about sex, or beauty, or degradation or some sort of power rush that I might get from being in control of others. Sure, those things enter into the equation sometimes. I’m not going to deny being a sadist, a pervert, a general lecherous bastard. But at the core of things, something else is happening here. Nell needs care. She needs someone to take control of her life, which has been spinning out of control for some time. She needs someone who will do this in the right way, trustworthy and without mind-games, so that she can feel secure and safe.
But what is it that I need? Why do I do this?
I need to express care. That is what keeps me whole, and shows me that I can, indeed, be a good person who has a positive effect on the lives of others. Having someone to care for, and having responsibilities towards those people, keeps me from slipping into a state of emotional coldness. I have been there, in the depths of apathy towards my fellow humans, seeing only the negativity in the world and shutting myself off from the ability to care about those who might need help. It’s easier, always, to not give a damn. But it’s also dangerous for my own mental health. Taken too far, I come to care so little for others, for myself, that I don’t care about damaging anyone around me, or, in truth, about damaging myself. Without someone to care for, I am lost.
In the end, I benefit from this arrangement as much as Nell.
Johan brings the white set in a lovely faux-satin box. White is extraordinarily sexy, but also quite practical. Nell is prone to spilling, I’d think, and to bumping into things, and the pristine whiteness and delicacy of the lace will immediately show any discoloration or damage. I will know if she hasn’t been careful.
And this is how I find myself lacing a white corset onto a crying woman. Crying and corsets generally do not go well together. The former pushes you to sob, quake and gasp, and the latter struggles against that kind of movement. Fairly soon, Nell quiets herself, because the pressure demands it, demands one to recognize what is being done to one’s body. A stillness begins to take hold in her. For so long, her life has been a whirlwind of fear and anxiety, and the feeling that she might, at any moment, ruin something else. The corset will help to pull her mind away from chewing on itself, and force her to concentrate, every moment, every breath, on what she is doing. Here and now. This second.
I can hear just a faint scrape of her fingernails against the marble of the bench every time I pull one of those laces just a little more. But the crying has stopped. And when finally those laces are draped down her back, I motion for Johan to come and fix her hair whilst I tend to washing her face. There’s something tender about washing another person’s face. It’s a thing that we don’t usually have others do for us past childhood. It’s a kind of intimacy that internet porn videos can’t relay. You do not need to stick your dick in someone to be intimate with them.
The shoes that I take out of the box are…difficult things. They are certainly not the most brutal pair of shoes by any means, but I don’t think Nell has ever quite worn anything like them. The heels are extreme, and she will be in constant danger of falling. I’ll have to watch her carefully for quite a few weeks to come. I do not mind this.
Spend hours upon hours watching a lovely woman totter carefully around my manor in a corset, panties, and heels? No, please. Who will save me from such a truly wretched fate?
When Johan has finished her hair and makeup, and I’ve fitted her into her stockings and shoes, I carefully pull her to her feet, for now giving her my arm as a crutch. She’s expectedly wobbly.
“How do you feel, Nell?”
I walk her to the full length mirror, so she can see what she’s become. The sobbing has made her face bright underneath the makeup, giving her a glow that can not really otherwise be obtained. It is enhanced by her blushing, probably in regards to the scandalous nature of the outfit. Her panties are just sheer enough to give a hint of her barely-hidden sex. Truly, the panties were completely unnecessary for this exercise. They just go with the outfit and are mouth-watering in the way the flimsy material clings to her skin.
“I feel afraid, Mr. Hargrave. But…in a different way. More like excited butterflies in my stomach than…” She stops, half because she can’t find the word, and half because her left ankle seems to wobble, causing her to lean hard against my side.
“Yes,” she says quickly, as I help her to right herself. “And I feel…I feel like…” She has to stop to catch her breath. What comes out after is a purr, quiet but wrapped with more confidence than I’ve heard Nell yet display. “I feel sexy. Really sexy.”
“That you are, Nell. That you are.”
(Thank you to Daeberethwen Arbenlow for posing for the picture. And to Ziekling Bunnyhug for posing for the original picture, which I lost when my computer cratered.)