“Please Ma’am, it hurts,” Phillip said, speaking to Maria from his position bent over the hassock in the parlour. It was her second visit to the house, and this time she was here for a light little dinner party welcoming Patricia back to the capital. The previous day Maria had been relatively gentle with him and confined herself to light humiliations, pinching and stretching his skin and massaging the afternoon fresh welts, but this had evidently not been enough to satisfy her, because getting her hands on him seemed to be her first priority.
She had him mostly naked, except for one sock, and that only because she’d lost patience while he’d carefully undressed. Under Annette’s guidance, where there was an audience he’d learned to make it a slow process, designed to show off his body, but this didn’t please Maria, who slapped his face for taking so long.
“Shut up, who said you could talk?” And then. “Suck my fingers well, it’s the only bit of nice I think you deserve.”
Not quite comprehending, but always fearful of Maria, Phillip had complied with her instructions, never finding he could reach her standards as he received slaps and let her shove him onto his belly. To his distress, her wet fingers separated the still badly bruised halves of his buttocks and probed, sharp nail scraping and then a finger working into him.
Annette watched without comment. Maria had wedged a second finger into Phillip’s anus when he made his protest, realizing what she intended. It wasn’t that it hurt worse than other things he’d gone through, but he remembered the incomprehensible thing he’d seen her do to Vitaly, the alien distension that seemed impossible, and permanently damaging. Maria didn’t stop until he repeated the plea. “Ma’am, please not that. No ma’am, please don’t.”
All this took place with an audience. Maria’s mother, Mrs. Dekovics, was absent on another commitment that night in the rare company of her husband, a retired Colonel, but Patricia was there and cheerfully describing her trip down from the north, reassuring everyone that the only inconvenience was all the homeguard check points, a fact good naturedly affirmed by Pitor. Vitaly was invited and dressed for the first time Phillip had ever seen, and had not gained any fat or muscle tone in the mean time, perhaps looking even more gaunt and haggard. There was also the man called Puppy, as ever on the floor, and of course Annette, sitting as the queen of the room in a heavy winter dress of coppery wool and airy skirts. Not blue again, another deviation.
“What…?” Maria pulled her hand away. “You’re not allowed to say no!”
“It seems you’ve succeeded in terrifying my Adam,” Annette said, with the clink of small tea cup landing in saucer. “I suppose I’ve never felt the urge do that to him.”
“My Lady,” Phillip appealed, twisting towards Annette. “Please, I cannot. It…”
“You may amaze yourself to discover what you can do,” Annette put her hand up. “I know that you’ve had worse.”
He hung his head. “I’m sorry My Lady.”
Maria snorted. “My Vitaly is becoming quite the master at taking things up there. Why I find he is quite unmanageable unless he has something inside him, being such a little slut. Right, husband?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Vitaly, who until that moment had been resting with his eyes closed, snapped his head up. His voice skipped up an octave. “Exactly, ma’am.”
“You’ll find that with a little bit of time one hand is not enough.” Maria made a suggestive gesture. “My Vitya craves whatever he can get.
Patricia shifted so her elbow rested comfortably on the couch arm. One hand was resting on Pitor’s leg. “Can you believe it was something Puppy begged me for?”
Maria smirked, returning her hand to explore him again, “You’re going to be so stretched. You know I like to make Vitaly travel around with something inside to remind him. Would you like to see? Maybe it will give Lady Harrington some fun ideas.”
Phillip whimpered softly, fingers scrabbling the carpet again. He assumed that she was speaking rhetorically and tried to make himself stay in place.
“I asked you a question!” Maria pressed the heel of her hand into his bruises, but it wasn’t the pain that drew out his response, it was everything Annette trained into him.
“No ma’am, I don’t want to see,” he answered honestly, because that was what Annette always asked for. “It frightens me.”
“You disobedient piece of shit!” Maria announced, astounded. “I was going to go easy on the first timer, since Lady Harrington says that hole is virgin, but really…”
“Hm,” Annette interrupted, her tone polite and soft, but Maria instantly deferred. “Your pardon Mrs. Yardley. Come here Adam.”
Phillip got to his feet, careful not to bump into Maria on his way over to the woman who owned him. He was unsure if she was disappointed or not, her face had to read. Annette didn’t bother to get out of her seat, pulling Phillip so her fingers were in his hair and his ear level with her mouth, “I see we’ve found another thing that terrifies you, just like the picana. But how much does being used in that fashion scare you?”
“Completely, My Lady, I cannot see how a body recovers. I…” Phillip replied just as quietly.
“Well then,” Annette’s other hand stroked his side. “If you’re not going to comply I will give Maria my blessing to punish you. But this really is your choice again, find out the limits you can take that way, or go looking for pain past your ability to bear it.”
“I will do what you want, My Lady.” He wondered if he could contain the panic he felt when Maria began to open him up, but he couldn’t make himself say no. “For you I will. If it were you I would never…”
“This isn’t a game with a trick,” Annette emphasized. “This is you, my pet gentleman, taking the unknown evil or the known evil and committing yourself, and if I hadn’t wanted your input you’d be a mute.”
“My lady, let me be punished?” He rushed the words out. “But not, that, please, I can’t bear it.”
Annette didn’t seem surprised by his response, or upset by it. She gave his leg a little squeeze. “You’ll suffer well then.”
“It seems the coy and modest virgin guards himself,” Patricia was close enough to hear the conversation in its entirety, and added her comment, with a grin. “Death before dishonour. Pitor, they’ll probably need your help.”
“Mrs. Yardley, you will want to leave all his pieces intact, and try not to bruise up his face too much, I do have to take him outside,” Annette said, pushing Phillip away from her gently. “He’s decided to please you with hurting instead of through indulging your exploration, and he’ll be charged with being entertaining enough in the former aspect, to make you prefer it over the latter.”
“And I suppose I will see if I can make him regret his choice,” Maria put her hands on her hips. “Now I know the picana is his least favourite, but that should wait. And thank you, Pitor will be helpful.”
For a few long minutes, Maria kept to contemplation while Phillip stood at attention. He’d used his other foot to remove the remaining sock, standing for her in section with his hands behind his back, avoiding looking at her but extremely aware she was there, feeling the heat from her body, her breath and the tension. Her hand caressed his stomach, but it wasn’t a loving gesture. There was hate in Maria’s face, twisting her to ugliness.
Her knee met his groin and he doubled up, only to find Pitor hauling him straight, and back to his feet. The older man had slipped behind him, and put his arms so they held Phillip under the arms and looped around his shoulders, so Maria could repeat her assault.
“If I do this to Vitya enough he pukes,” Maria said in response to Phillip’s groans. “This is just a bit of tenderizing before I find a way to hurt every inch of you except for your pretty boy face.”
“You’re worthless,” This time she punched his stomach, once then a second time seizing his chest. “Worthless!” Her hand caught his face in a slap that jerked his head to the side. “Useless, horrible man.”
Patricia had settled forward in her seat, evidently enjoying the show, but Phillip was more concerned with Annette’s reaction. She was still in the same calm position, not licking her lips like Maria, nor looking away like Vitaly. Maria was true to her threats, hitting him until he gagged and coughed, swallowing to try to keep the last food he ate in his stomach. She struck his chest as well, full force but still a bit clumsy.
“I want to see him whipped,” Maria said. “The bruises on his thighs should only be the start.”
“I suppose you need a cane then,” Annette said, taking another sip of tea. “I’ll have one fetched?”
“Do you wish you had chosen my hand instead of this?” Maria asked, daring him.
“No ma’am… ah!” Phillip answered honestly, but Maria captured his chin, holding his head in place so she could look into his eyes. She looked for something, didn’t find it, and sucked air through her teeth in annoyance.
“Pitor, I want him to remember me well. I want to make an impression.” Maria’s fingers walked from chin to Phillip’s belly, fist balling and punching him in the stomach again. Pitor let him drop onto the carpet, where her pulled his knees up, huddled between Maria and the man that belonged to Patricia.
Annette touched her skirt to fix the way it lay across her knee, fashionably crushed taffeta, stiff and rustley, with deep gores such that the full bell width of the hem was close to her outstretched arms, “It’s honestly been a while since he needed punishing. He’s not going to forget anything you do, Mrs. Yardley.”
Maria took her time, methodically making up a system of pain, splitting and bruising flesh, making his back a weave of crossed welts with the cane, and having Pitor sit on his legs while she whisked the soles of Phillip’s feet until he couldn’t stand. Patricia’s male filled in a part that he was used to finding from one of the house guards, seeming quite as interested in every strike as the watching women. Only Vitaly looked away, sunk eyed and quiet, but Phillip looked mostly to Annette as Maria found ways to pull screams out of his cramped belly.
When Maria got tired of the cane, she found the picana, bright orange and crackling where it touched his sweat moistened skin. She had the charge level high to start with, no interest in subtle increases, looking for unbroken skin on his arms and legs, armpits and the inside of his thigh until he was rapping his head against the carpeted floor, legs kicking and throat rough from pleading. Whenever he tried to look away from Maria, she seemed to draw up another burst of energy, “Look at my you piece of shit!”
Well past the point that Phillip thought he could take, she stopped and he heard the rustle of taffeta, the soft sound of Annette’s voice as she touched Maria’s arm, no censure, just a command that sounded like a polite reminder. ”Enough Mrs. Yardley.”
And then Annette was kneeling and Pitor had helped him crawl to put himself over her lap, arms reaching for the comfort she offered as she stroked his face. Breathing deep but slow, he saw Maria sit down again, and curiously, Vitaly collapse onto her into a tight embrace that hid his face against Maria’s stomach.
Annette continued to soothe him, checking him over without reproach, fingers finding every fresh sore place. “I think you might not be joining us for dinner,” her fingers combed his hair. “I’ll have a maid bring you a tray.”
Though it hurt worse than it had in months, something about Annette’s gentleness pulled him away from the pain, as she saw that a pair of footman carried him to spare his feet, ordering them to put him to bed with painkillers. And to his surprise it wasn’t his little attic room they brought him to, but her broad bed, with the lights dimmed, and the rose coloured canopy curtains closed to make a small, private place. Alone in the bed, pills dulling everything to a manageable throb, he slept face down.