Walks without Annette turned into jogging sessions, followed by running broken with intervals of hard exercise: push ups, stretches and crunches to keep him limber, made harder by the dark hood. Every time he adjusted to the new routine, he would hear Annette order something new to the guard that only spoke to give him an order. First there were weights on his ankles and wrists, and then one day she joined him for his daily walk with an enormous wooden yoke, with swinging buckets attached by metal chains.
One length of rope looped around his arms and wrists bound him to the yoke firmly, and held his arms out in cruciform position. Even before he saw the rocks piled up in the buckets he knew it was heavy. Two servants had brought it to Annette and dipped their heads politely before gratefully grunting the yoke to the ground and taking their leave.
Standing, Adam could walk forward at a snail’s pace, the buckets swaying slightly. Annette had the picana in her hand, its orange plastic bright, but not out of place among the countless, vibrant layers of gaudy flowers that were in bloom for late summer.
The older man was wrestling with the younger man, a boy that couldn’t be older than seventeen, tickling him and laughing on the grass, with the cheerful intensity of the newly in love.
Councilman Harrison gave the young man an affectionate stroke, leaving the grinning youth on the grass while he brushed off his clothes and stepped over to greet his wife.
Annette gave her husband a chaste peck on the cheek when he came into range. “How has your day been?”
“Not too bad. I’ll be driving back into the capital soon.” Councilman Harrison knocked a fleck of dry grass off his shirt. “How are the children?”
“John is up to the usual things. Lacrosse and asking for a larger allowance. Honouria is still adjusting, but the matron reports that the bed wetting problem she was having has stopped.”
“Well, John should know that more isn’t forthcoming. A boy of eight does not need more than pocket money.”
“He knows, but desire and need are not the same thing.” There was a brief quirk of her mouth when she said this, a small bit of bitterness like a piece of a repetitive and unsatisfied argument.
Information exchanged, Annette wished her husband a good afternoon.
Spine telescoping under the weight on his shoulders, Phillip watched the short conversation. The youth was just sitting, sprawl legged on the grass, his shirt half unbuttoned and a big wide grin splitting his face. Both members of the married couple did not even glance at the other’s companion, unnaturally stiff but polite.
“Well, enjoy the day, my husband,” she was the first to break off the conversation, turning away. “Come on, Adam.”
Annette held the picana in both gloved hands, with the haft placed crosswise to her lap. Rigorous posture was the fashion, but Annette was particularly erect in her carriage, grip tighter and more exact than it needed to be. An hour later, when Phillip was dragging himself and she’d applied the picana to his side twice, they reached a small clearing in an ornamental apple orchard.
She shoved the yoke off his shoulders so it fell to the ground and grabbed him by the hair, now just long enough to get a grip. Though he still outweighed her, he obeyed her yank and fell forward, ragdolling his body so he landed limply on the soft turf.
In another moment she was straddling his chest, pummelling him with little punches. She hadn’t been trained to hit people; he could throw a much better blow and she led with her first two knuckles in a way that had to be painful to her as well. My Lady, please square your grip or you’ll hurt your hand. The thought popped into his head and almost escaped his mouth before he checked himself.
Eventually, she stopped and switched to holding his head still and slapping his cheek with little taps that shoved the soft, sensitive flesh of his face into his teeth. That shifted to aggressively kissing him and pulling his head and shoulder so he curved towards her.
“We are going together, to Agatha’s. She has quite a bit to do with the wedding planning for her step-daughter, and with her husband away for the next week, I will stay for a few days.”
“My Lady?” his response was covered by her lips.
“I’m going to expect you on your best behavior,” she said between kisses. Often she slipped her tongue into his mouth, but he didn’t work up the nerve to copy her until she poked his side and accused him of kissing like a dead fish.
Sex on the grass was filled with scratching and biting, with her riding him astride while he provided the thrusting from beneath. She had encouraged him to touch her, to put his hands on her waist and her breasts, rather a rougher grip than he felt comfortable using. She knew her body well, though her motions often seemed laced with an almost virginal clumsiness, from time to time moving her hips so they got out of rhythm and testing different way to tilt her pelvis until she found the best angle to grind against him.
“My darling,” she panted. “If I am to take you out with me I must see that you know how to serve me. You have the basics, as a gentleman, but you’re still not very fluid in how you behave.”
“Yes, my Lady.” Phillip exhaled in a sibilant sigh. When she put his hands on her breasts again, the squeezing and tugging silenced all but moans of enjoyment.
Later, after he had ejaculated and she lay beside him on the turf, fingers lazily stroking his arm, she smiled and he noticed all the wound up stiffness she’d gained in her conversation with her husband was gone.
“Thank you, Adam.”