A Slave's Quest
  • Author - Absolutist
  • Rating -   
  • Site Rank - 119 of 2955
  • Story Codes - f-self, M-f, consensual, bodymod, bondage, extreme, public, slavery
  • Post Date - 8/18/2012

Author's Note: A fetish fantasy for people interested in permanent bondage and body modification.

Update (2012/09/11): I’m aware that the previous parts have mostly set the stage for things to come; however, anticipation is often said to be half the pleasure. Hopefully, you won’t find the somewhat tedious descriptions of this part too much of a letdown. Maybe you have taken the opportunity to get your own fantasies going; if so, I’d love to hear about them!

Update (2013/01/14): The latest part brings Elena's quest to its conclusion; I hope you enjoyed her journey. Thanks to all the readers who took the time to leave a comment, I do appreciate it.

BTW, I'm considering to add some more chapters to an earlier story of mine, "An Unorthodox Life", to let it end on a more satisfactory note. Any suggestions are highly welcome, please drop me a mail. Thanks!


Her hand trembled slightly when she put his letter down. Evidently, it was a good thing she had taken the time to sit down before reading the curt note. He was willing to consider taking her back, but there were conditions; terrible conditions, horrendous conditions, unacceptable conditions, all of which were painstakingly spelt out. The details were graphic and left no room for misinterpretation and no loopholes for last minute 'but I didn't know what I was getting into' retreats. Victor was offering her a one-way ticket for a voyage to the outer limits of her fantasies, then beyond them and yet, despite a dread that made her feel almost physically ill, Elena knew she was going to accept.

She'd spent the last six months in an effort to build a life apart from him; to excise him and all that he had come to represent from her mind. Elena had fled the city and gone to one where no one knew her, leaving her few friends and estranged family behind. By severing all connections to her former life she had hoped for a chance to start anew and break the spell he held over her, but it had all been in vain.

Instead of gradually fading away, with each passing day the allure of his power had only increased, until thoughts of him dominated her waking hours as well as her increasingly fitful sleep. In desperation, she had thrown herself into several affairs, but to no avail. None of her suitors had survived even the first week and so now she had returned; ready to admit her complete and utter defeat. There was no way to deal with her obsession but to give in to it and looking back, Elena realized that her attempt to escape Victor's compelling influence had been ill-conceived from the start, because it had not been his outrageous notions that had driven her away in the first place, but her own reaction towards them. Of course, she had been horrified when she learned to what extent his intentions surpassed her own half-formed fantasies of submission and slavery, but as soon as she had overcome the initial shock, his ideas had taken root in her subconscious. They had found fertile ground, then thrived and prospered there in the hidden depths until the seed he'd planted in her mind brought forth its ample fruit, and now, she had no choice other than to let him harvest what he had so masterfully sown.

Picking up the phone she dialled the number he had specified.

"Yes?" The familiar cadences of his voice sent shivers down her spine and she took a moment to calm her nerves before speaking. It would not do to stammer now.

"I accept." There, she'd said it. Paradoxically, the act of surrendering her freedom was accompanied by a profound sense of liberation.

"Good! However, I'll need proof that you're serious. You've disappointed me once already and I hate being disappointed. You know what to do. I'll be watching your progress. Do not call me again. I will contact you when the time has come." He cut the connection and she stared at the phone.

Once more, he had managed to surprise her. Elena had secretly hoped he would be as eager to come and take possession of her as she was to be owned by him, but instead, he expected her to redeem herself first. She did not know, exactly, what he wanted of her, but was determined to prove herself worthy.


Elena parked her car in the otherwise empty visitor's parking lot of the nondescript functional building. It had taken talking to her old scene acquaintances and some detective work to get this address. Fortunately, there were not many metalworking shops that specialised in the pertinent kind of merchandise and to her relief when she'd contacted the proprietor on the phone, it was confirmed that she was on the right track. Her call had been expected and she was assured that all of the necessary arrangements had been made. Courtesy of Victor, she had a private appointment this very Sunday.

With some trepidation, she got out of the car and walked the few steps to the recessed entrance, the clicking of her heels echoing loudly in the eerie silence, adding to her unease. In the blazing afternoon heat, the whole industrial area appeared deserted. She arrived at the door and self-consciously looked up at the security camera before she rang the bell and for a brief moment, hoped that no one would answer and thus she could leave again in full knowledge that she had done her part. The thought died a second later for the entry phone came to life with a crackle


"It's Elena. We talked on the phone."

"Right. Please come in."

There was a muted click and she pushed the heavy door open. In the reception area beyond, she was greeted by a stocky man in his 50's wearing a wrinkled plaid shirt, sneakers and jeans and his greying hair stood out in every which way, as if he'd just scrambled out of bed. Nevertheless, he somehow managed to convey an impression of competence and trustworthiness.

"Hello! I'm Alex. Pleased to meet you."

"Hello Alex." Elena took the proffered hand which he began to pump enthusiastically. His eyes lit up appreciatively as he looked over her tall form.

"So you're Victor's Elena! Well, he's always had an eye for beauty, but from what he's told me, I'd have thought you were older."

'What had Victor said about her? And what other beauties had caught Victor's eye before her?'

An irrational bolt of jealousy cursed through her, but she was Victor's Elena to this man and so he had made his claim on her official already. She basked in that knowledge and her anxiety yielded to something akin of comfort, strengthening her resolve to see this through.

"I'm 27, why?"

"Indeed? I'd have put you at 23, max. Normally, I'm quite good at these things." He shook his head in awe. "Victor has searched for a soul mate for a very long time now. You know what you're getting into, don't you? You must be very much in love with him to consent to what he wants. The various devices he requires you to be fitted with will stay with you until the end of your days, Elena. He's not pressuring you in any way, is he?"

Not knowing what to say, she merely stared at him in reply and it took all of her will power not to start trembling uncontrollably. The silence stretched while he continued to study her, then he seemed on the verge of saying something more, but apparently decided against it. Just before the situation turned awkward, Alex gestured towards a massive metal door to the right

"Please come with me."

The adjoining room was large and filled with bulky equipment. He led the way through the maze of state-of-the-art, CNC lathes and milling machines until they reached an area dominated by a head high, rectangular metal frame arching over a low turntable. A number of movable appendages sprouted from the frame, mostly curved bars that supported small cameras at each end. Alex stopped in front of it and turned towards her.

"Please remove all of your clothing."

"Excuse me?" Although she'd half-expected such a request, the offhand way it was made left Elena speechless, a feat rarely accomplished.

Alex noted her dumbfounded expression and smiled disarmingly. His sweeping gesture encompassed the contraption and the computer workstation next to it.

"What we have here is a Rotwang T3. It's the latest in 3D scanner and proto-typing technology. The data it provides allows me to create a detailed computer model of your body, anatomically correct down to the last mole. I need your digital replica to construct the devices Victor has specified and so for the scanner to do its work, you'll have to be completely naked."

"Oh. OK," Elena relented.

She had never been particularly shy, casually flaunting her lithe body with the self-assuredness of a woman that was well aware of her beauty and relished the attention it attracted. Elena was particularly proud of her flat belly and firm bottom, reckoning that they were more a product of her own athletic efforts than the hereditary gift of high breasts and small waist. In a moment, she'd slipped out of her heels and shed her light summer dress, revealing her underwear, or rather her complete lack thereof. To his credit, Alex did not even blink.

"Thank you. It's fortunate that Victor had you permanently depilated, so there's no need to shave off bothersome body hair first. Please allow me to put some reference points on your skin, as they'll enable the computer to create a detailed and accurate map of your limbs, head and body." He produced some kind of marker pen and liberally sprinkled her body from head to toe with an irregular pattern of silvery dots, continuing his explanation while he worked. "Don't worry. The reflective ink can easily be washed off. The dots allow the computer to keep track of the spatial coordinates of each body part, even if you move. There, that's it. Now step on the turntable, please."

Elena stepped up onto the dais beneath the metal arc while he sat down in front of the workstation

"Spread your arms and legs please, then try to keep as still as possible. The more you move, the longer the measuring process will take."

He touched some keys and the platform started to turn slowly. At the same time, blades of bright light started to sweep her body, slowly and methodically passing up and down right from her toes to the top of her head. The process continued for some minutes, then, with a loud beep from the computer everything stopped. Alex helped her down and led her to a nearby chair

"OK, we're nearly done. Just a few more detailed scans."

She silently watched him pull a mobile cart stacked with whirring electronics and topped by a large touch screen that would have looked right at home in some high tech hospital next to her seat. Attached to it via a narrow, umbilical cord was a hand-held unit, reminding her of a soldering iron capped by a tiny glass sphere. Alex busied himself with the controls and the glass tip began to pulsate with a strong blue light. Elena eyed it dubiously, but only when he knelt beside her and approached her face with the flashing business end of the gadget did she speak up

"What's that thing for?"

"It's called a scanning wand. I'm going to make some digital impressions of your oral and nasal cavities, so just relax and follow my instructions. Lay your head back, please.

She raised her eyebrows at this, but he chose to ignore her silent inquiry and so with a shrug she gave in to his request. One after the other, he inserted the head of the scanning wand deeply into each of her nostrils and apparently oblivious to her discomfort, he none too gently tilted it to and fro while intently staring at the machine's screen. Subsequently, he proceeded to her mouth and repeated the procedure with enervating thoroughness. She had to open as wide as possible and also move her tongue around to accommodate the inquisitorial intruder. The muscles of her jaw burned dully by the time he finally retracted the wand. The scanning of her ears was a lot less aggravating in comparison, although he pushed the probe as deep into the ear canals as it would go, but he wasn't finished yet.

"One more thing. Now, I want you stand again and spread your legs."

"Do I really need to?" She started to protest instinctively, but already knowing the answer she was going to receive.


The simple statement denied her any bargaining leverage. Elena hesitated for a moment, then with manifest reluctance acquiesced to his demand. After all, she had come here ready to accept far worse than what had been asked of her so far and besides, she had vowed to herself to never to betray Victor's trust in her again. So when Alex asked, she meekly rose from the chair and spread her nether lips with her manicured fingers, opening herself for his deep probing. The process was a long and intimate one while he surveyed and recorded each square millimetre of her genitals, but she endured the humiliating examination stoically. Elena was heartily glad when he straightened with a sigh and pronounced his measurements complete.

"Looks like I've got all the data I need. Thanks for your patience. It's been appreciated."

"You're welcome. But why stop halfway? Maybe you'd care to do a colonoscopy as well?" she quipped.

He winced at the heavy sarcasm colouring her voice, but without further ado directed her to a door at the back of the room.

"No. We've done all we can for today. Through that door you'll find the lavatory to the right. It has a shower stall where you can wash the ink off. Here, take your clothes with you," he added and allowed himself a leering grin. "Regrettably, I've run out of reasons to keep you naked."

Quite a while later, freshly showered and dressed once again, Elena rejoined Alex in the workshop. Contrary to his claims, the marker ink had valiantly resisted her efforts to wash it off and afterwards, she had felt the need to take a time-out while luxuriating in the shower's warm spray. She found Alex standing beside one of the CNC milling machines, watching it process a fist-sized block of transparent resin. The machine completed its noisy work shortly after her arrival and Alex placed the finished product in an open cardboard box that already contained a couple of similar items.

"Take these templates along when you get your piercings done. They'll ensure that everything will fit perfectly, later on. Victor has made an appointment for your piercings to be done on Friday, with the best piercing expert you'll find anywhere, I might add. Here's the address."

He flashed a business card at her, then put it into the box and closed the lid before handing it to her. Elena accepted it with well-founded trepidation, for Victor had never made a secret of his fascination with body modifications, especially as a means to exert control and discipline. If she'd ever harboured any doubts about that, his letter had disabused her of them once and for all. Although she'd had her navel pierced a few years back, the prospect of being comprehensively pierced in line with Victor's wishes frightened her deeply. Yet, despite herself, excitement laced her anxiety. To imagine how the very flesh of her body would be held captive and thus be holding her entire person captive was highly erotic and undeniably arousing. Oblivious of her inner turmoil, Alex continued to lay out the course Victor had set for her.

"I'll need about six weeks to manufacture your restraints. The material Victor has specified is hard to come by, and harder still to machine." He deliberated for a moment before he went on, "I reckon I'll have everything ready around the 21st next month. That should give your piercings plenty of time to heal and so I'd like to schedule the fitting of all your equipment for the following Sunday, the 24th, if that's OK with you?" He paused and looked at her challengingly, daring her to back off, now that her freedom had an expiry date.

'Less than two months before my slavery becomes irrevocable.' The thought was chilling and thrilling at the same time, but immediately, another worrisome notion entered her mind. 'Would that translate into almost two more lost months before she could be together with Victor again as well?' Although Elena was still catching up with the implications of Alex' news, she was loath to give him any reason to doubt her commitment

"Perfect, I'll be here on the 24th."

Pierced (added: 2012/08/21)

Five days later, Elena found herself at the front door of a representative mansion in one of the city's best neighbourhoods. To her surprise, the business card from Alex' box of dubious gifts had turned out not to belong to some shady piercing parlour, but to a high-profile clinic for aesthetic surgery. She was early for her 2 pm appointment, but just could not bear waiting for another minute, let alone a half-an-hour.

The intervening period had been aggravating, to say the least. Barely back home from her body's futuristic measurement for the custom-made restraints, she'd opened what she had immediately come to think of as Pandora's Box. It took her a while to make heads and tails of its contents, but when she finally did, she immediately wished she had not. The accurately-machined blocks of resin each conformed to a part of her body, even though just which part was not always immediately evident.

Comparatively easy to identify were the templates complementing her breasts, despite the strange, T-piece type nozzles which sprang from the outside of each dome shaped item, with one end of the T's crosspiece attached right at the apex and its central stem pointing downward. Somewhat harder to figure out was the one intended for her nose; the twin, oblate, conical tubes sprouting on the inside threw her off at first, until she realized they were destined to go up her nostrils. A saddle-shaped piece with a number of parallel ridges and recesses apparently matched her pubic region, while yet another looked like it might just fit inside her oral cavity, provided that the shallow pocket at its core was intended to receive her stretched-out tongue. However, the most worrisome observation regarding all the templates was something else: if Elena surmised the purpose of the multitude of holes riddling them correctly, she would very soon be adorned with more numerous and more extreme piercings than any she had previously conceived possible.

The box also contained a small plastic envelope containing scores of blunt-tipped pins of various lengths and gauges; all made from the same clear resin and obviously intended to be passed through the holes. Experimentally, Elena had pushed one into a hole and upon the realization that wherever the pin crossed an open space, it would later transfix her flesh, had shivered with dread. Some of the acrylic studs came with removable, flat ended caps to prevent them from sliding out, while others were threaded at one end for the same reason. A few featured cross-bores (several even more than one, some also threaded), so they could intersect each other within her body!

Elena had stared at each part for a long time, oscillating between terror and arousal while she imagined the sensations of cold steel driven through her flesh. In the end the arousal had won, with her deft fingers diving between her thighs and driving herself to a monumental orgasm that granted her some much needed sexual relief. Afterwards, she meticulously put the templates back into the box and stored it under her bed, where it had rested with evil portent until today.

The weather had remained favourable, so she wore the same light summer dress as before, presently drenched in cold sweat and clinging to her lithe figure. The fateful box felt heavier and heavier with each passing moment. She left her car in the parking area reserved for visitors of the clinic, next to a brand new luxury limousine more representative for its usual clientèle than her own modest vehicle. Since on Wednesdays the clinic was closed to the public and received visitors by 'special appointment' only, Elena had not been surprised to find the car park otherwise empty.

Straightening her back with a tremulous sigh, Elena rang the bell. Its polyphonic chimes were still reverberating when she heard rapid steps approaching through the hallway, then a second later the door opened and she found herself face to face with a young woman in a white lab coat. Her stunningly beautiful face was marred by a frown of annoyance.

"Yes?" She inquired with an arched brow. An embroidered label on her left breast pocket identified her as Lisa.

"Hello, I'm Elena and I have an appointment with Dr Lowry. I'm a little early, I'm afraid," she added with a nervous smile.

"Oh, it's you!" Briefly both eyebrows went up before the woman schooled her features into professional politeness. "Please, come with me."

Elena followed her through the hallway and into a richly-appointed waiting room.

"Please have a seat while I inform the doctor that you've arrived, but first, let me relieve you of that," she beamed and took the box from Elena's hands.

"Yes of course. Thank you."

While the physician's assistant was away, Elena studied the room and thought that the interior design was a bit too ostentatious for her taste, an impression reinforced by the coffee table magazines laying around. These were all geared towards "discerning individuals of demanding taste" and their high-gloss pages dispensed essential advice on topics such as the breeding of race-horses or what yacht might be fashionable at the French Riviera this season. It made for fascinating reading and helped her to forget about the reason for her presence in the anteroom.

Her foray into the world of the ultra affluent was cut short by the return of Lisa, this time in the company of an attractive-middle aged woman and they stopped briefly in the open doorway of the waiting room. The older woman's haughty face was still youthful with only the slight crinkles around her mouth and eyes betraying her real age. They added character to her austere beauty, although Elena was not sure that the conveyed impression worked in the woman's favour. Even disregarding the cold glance she was spared, Elena had the notion that crossing this lady was not the smartest thing one could do, yet somehow, she already seemed to have attracted the other female's disapproval.

"So this is the reason my consultation was cut short," she remarked just loud enough for Elena to overhear. Unfortunately, Elena could not understand the assistant's reply, which to all appearances went a long way towards appeasing the other woman whose attitude changed visibly while she listened to the whispered words. Her hostile air was replaced by one of speculative interest and a predatory smile played around her mouth when she bestowed another, less intimidating, if rather more condescending look on Elena, before both proceeded to the front door, continuing their quiet conversation. A moment later, Lisa returned alone.

"The doctor will see you now," she announced from the doorway, where she waited for Elena, before leading the way up a flight of stairs to the second floor. Elena fell in step beside her

"What was that all about?" she inquired, making no effort to hide her irritation about the mysterious encounter.

"Oh, sorry about that. She's a prospective client, obscenely rich, but also very high maintenance, if you get my meaning," Lisa explained in a conspiratorial tone, then made a face. "I suppose Greg, um, that is Dr Lowry, was quite happy your early arrival gave him an excuse to cut that appointment short."

"Well, she seemed not too happy about it. How did you mollify her?"

"Um, I told her you were here to see Greg about your inverted nipples. I hope you don't mind, do you?" Lisa gave her a sidelong glance, smiling a little worriedly.

Elena shook her head slightly and returned the smile, although inwardly, she had her doubts about that explanation. It sounded plausible enough, but she felt certain it was completely bogus nevertheless, and wondered briefly how many people were privy to the 'secret' preparations that Victor had instituted for her permanent enslavement. It vexed her that almost everybody she met seemed more knowledgeable about them than herself, but this train of thought was interrupted by their arrival at a closed door. Lisa knocked perfunctorily and entered without waiting for a reply. Elena took a deep breath before she followed her. Inside, a tall, fit looking man greeted her with a casual nod from behind his gleaming white desk

"Hello Elena, I'm Dr Gregory Lowry. Please have a seat." He motioned her to an empty chair in front of the desk and Elena sat while Lisa remained standing behind her. The surgeon silently studied her through his rimless glasses until Elena wanted to squirm under his sharp gaze

"You represent a fine specimen of your gender, Elena," he stated finally. "You're young, in excellent health, reasonably well educated as I'm told and rather beautiful. You can take my word on that. I'm a certified expert. If you applied yourself, you could have a bright future in almost any career you pick. Or, if you chose so, a favourable marriage would be virtually guaranteed by your looks. In short, by the standards of our superficial times, you've been extraordinarily blessed. Yet, you intend to give up all of that and become Victor's slave. Let me warn you though ... once you've taken this step, there'll be no turning back."

"I'm aware of that," she assured him.

"The modifications Victor has specified are quite extensive, and very few of them can be reversed, even by surgical means. Hiding them won't be an option permitted to you, either. That being said, trying to blend in with the petty bourgeois will be awkward, to say the very least. Victor's notion of irrevocable commitment may be very romantic, but assuredly is rather impractical with respect to everyday life. You're aware of that, too?"

"By now at the latest, I guess."

"Splendid! In addition, as with all medical procedures, a small, but non-negligible quantum of risk is involved. Therefore, from a purely medical point of view, I must strongly advise you against having them done. Of course, from that narrow-minded point of view, nearly everything we do here is inadvisable." An ironic smile played about his lips. "However, although we'll strive to make the actual operations as painless as possible, the healing period and aftercare will, by necessity, entail quite a bit of discomfort."

"Believe me, I get it. What's to be done is potentially dangerous. It's probably painful. It's certainly foolish. Nevertheless, I want those piercings done," Elena asserted, having never felt surer of that than at this moment. Strangely, all of Dr Lowry's warning words had only served to strengthen her resolve. She would endure the ordeals to come. She was strong enough and would make Victor proud of her. Dr Lowry acknowledged her outburst with a raised eyebrow and continued to frown at her.

"Could be love, actually," Lisa quipped from behind. "It's said to cause a temporary, or in more severe cases, even chronic immunity to reason. You've seen the symptoms before, Greg."

Dr Lowry spared her a glare, then shrugged.

"Very well! So be it. I'll need you to sign these documents." He indicated a stack of papers lying in front of Elena. "These forms state that all procedures are performed at your express request and that you've been properly informed and educated about the medical risks involved. Furthermore, they indemnify us from any liability regarding the direct and indirect consequences of your modifications. The usual legal nonsense, you know."

She took the proffered pen and quickly signed her name at the bottom of each of the documents, not bothering to read them properly. After all, she had just been reminded that after today's proceedings her fate was sealed anyway. Lisa also signed each one as a witness and the doctor followed her, embossing each one to ensure legality. Then he addressed her again.

"Thank you. That was very brave, albeit not too prudent, if you want my opinion, which you manifestly do not. Lisa will prepare you for the operations and I'll join you when everything is ready." He shook his head, adding under his breath, "Victor's one lucky bastard!"

On that note, he picked up a celebrity magazine and engrossed himself in it, probably to assess the latest trends in his field. The abrupt dismissal annoyed Elena, who had hoped for a more detailed explanation of what was in store for her, even though she most likely would have found his patronising tone hard to tolerate. Instead, she was forced to take comfort in the thought that Dr Lowry could get away with his patent lack of social grace solely because he was very, very good at what he did.

Lisa guided her down the corridor to a small room where she asked Elena to disrobe. She'd anticipated the request and had not bothered with underwear this time either. She remained standing naked while the physician's assistant exchanged her white coat for surgical scrubs, then they left the anteroom through another door leading into a small but well-equipped operating theatre. In its centre, surrounded by medical machinery and taking up the space of the traditional operating table was a contrivance reminiscent of gynaecological chair. It was of massive rubber and steel construction and gleamed with menace emphasized by the multitude of integrated restraints, obviously intended to strap its occupant down securely. The low temperature in the room was not the only reason for Elena's dark brown nipples to harden into flinty turrets.

"Sit down, please."

Reluctantly, Elena complied with Lisa's request and surrendered herself to the chair's cool embrace. It was equipped not only with dedicated rests and stirrups for each leg, but provided a deep cradle for her head also. Immediately after she had sat down, Lisa expertly began to buckle the broad belts around her waist, chest, wrists and upper arms, as well as her thighs, knees and ankles, then went over all of them a second time, systematically tightening each one until Elena was completely immobilized. Eventually, she could not even turn her head, thanks to broad, padded clamps swung forward and firmly latched to press against it. Elena allowed herself to be restrained in silence, apart from the occasional sigh when Lisa drew a strap uncomfortably tight. During her time with Victor, she had been taught to endure bondage far worse without complaint.

Satisfied at last, Lisa draped her naked body with isolating sheets that left only her breasts and crotch uncovered. These areas she subsequently cleaned with a strangely slick, antiseptic solution, then Elena's face was subjected to the same treatment, starting with her nose. Lisa carefully swabbed the outside as well as inside her nostrils. Next in line were her ears, followed by her lips. Not even her oral cavity escaped Lisa's meticulous attention to detail, but finally, Lisa put away the swabs and pressed a button on the intercom next to the door

"We're ready Greg."

Part 3 (added: 2012/09/11)

Dr Lowry appeared a few minutes later, attired in scrubs, mask and skull cap and immediately made a quick assessment of his assistant's preparations, taking extra notice of the strictness of Elena's restraints.

"Well done! Lisa knows how I like my subjects prepared. You can't move much, can you?"

"Not really," Elena replied tersely striving to sound nonchalant, but unable to prevent a tremble from entering her voice. The enforced waiting had done nothing to calm her nerves.

"You should have realized by now we're playing for keeps. Are you having second thoughts?"

"No." She forced the word out through clenched teeth. Simply shaking her head no was not an option, unfortunately.

"Good. It'd be too late to change your mind anyway," Dr Lowry informed her sardonically.

He accepted the syringe that Lisa handed him, ceremoniously holding it upside down before Elena's hazel eyes while he gently tapped its side to shake loose some invisible air bubbles, then pushed the plunger until a drop of clear fluid was expelled from the glittering needle's tip. Elena watched the business end of the syringe approach her left breast in sick fascination, subconsciously holding her breath when it reached the nipple. She felt a small sting, quickly followed by a sensation of numbness spreading through her mound and did not even notice the subsequent injections when Dr Lowry systematically anaesthetized the whole area. Despite his foul humour and deliberately abrasive demeanour, he was a very conscientious professional, skilfully operating the plunger while he slowly pushed the needle in.

The procedure was repeated with her other breast before his attention moved to her pubic area. Elena could not directly observe his actions there, but after a series of pinpricks, the whole region gradually faded from her body awareness, as if it had ceased to exist. Next, it was her face's turn and she crossed her eyes trying to track the hypodermic needle's tip when it closed in on her nose. The first injection into the base was painful enough to send tears to her eyes, but fortunately, the pain subsided almost instantly and she barely noticed the follow-up punctures on each side. Her lips next received the same treatment, emptying the syringe.

"Please open your mouth for the next series of injections," Dr Lowry requested, exchanging the emptied syringe for a full one.

Elena was left with no option but to open her mouth and with a few more pinpricks, her tongue had been transformed into an insensitive lump of flesh. The final act of numbing her ears was anticlimactic in comparison, although he used several injections there as well. When he lay down the syringe at long last, the whole lower half of her face was without sensation. It was an awkward feeling and she feared that with her slack features, she must surely look like the drooling idiot she berated herself to be in that moment, for having volunteered for all this in the first place.

In the meantime, his assistant had retrieved a large tray from the autoclave and placed it on a table next to Elena's chair. On top, right beside a frightening array of piercing needles, out of the side of her eye, she spotted the templates' and accompanying pins' familiar forms. Dr Lowry picked up the first template and held it before his eyes. Elena saw that it was the mould for her left breast. He studied it for a moment while an appreciative smile played around his lips before he pressed the dome shaped piece against her chest, capturing her breast.

"Lisa, the vacuum pump, please."

While he held the template in place his assistant attached a flexible tube to the downward pointing stem of the T-shaped nozzle that Elena had wondered about. Its purpose became clear as soon as Lisa switched on the apparatus at the tube's other end, when, compelled by a strong vacuum, Elena's numbed breast was irresistibly pulled into the dome's narrow confines. Thanks to the anaesthetized state of the tissue, she barely registered the fact that her elongated nipple was drawn a full inch into the side arm of the T-piece.

Dr Lowry made some minute adjustments to the template's fit, making sure that her breast was seated correctly inside its cup, then picked up a long needle from the tray. Its hollow shaft appeared huge to Elena's frightened eyes.

"Don't worry; these dermal punch type needles are extremely sharp," Dr Lowry remarked cheerfully. Pointing to the tip, where the tapered end thinned to glittering point, he expanded. "They're made from surgical steel that's laser cut and so has a precision edge. It will slice cleanly through your skin without tearing or bruising and leave a perfectly defined hole that will heal quickly, even with a gauge this big."

"Ow reasssurin'!" Elena's attempt at sarcasm was unfortunately sabotaged by her numbed tongue, but Dr Lowry was unimpressed anyway.

"You're welcome."

Unerringly, he located one of the holes at the mould's base, close to her chest, then in one swift movement, pushed the needle in, all the way through her breast and out again on the opposite side through the corresponding boring there.

Elena gasped audibly, even though the actual piercing was accompanied by barely a prickle of sensation. The sight of the glittering steel projecting from her body while she perceived barely any pain at all was highly surreal and for a moment she felt as if she was just experiencing an exceptionally vivid dream, from which she would wake up any minute now. But then, a drop of red blood welled from the puncture and reality came crashing in again.

'It was actually happening! When I'm released from my bonds, I'll be marked forever! I've finally crossed the point of no return!' She was granted no respite to dwell on that realization though.

Without delay, Dr Lowry picked up a delicate metal tube and held it up for his assistant, who had opened what looked like a pack of silvery white spaghetti, and extracted a single strand. The 'noodle' was actually hollow with an opening at one end, as became obvious when she carefully slipped it over the proffered tube like a miniature nylon stocking, expanding its gossamer fabric in the process. In a second step, she used an even thinner pin to push the stocking's closed end into the tiny tube's hollow core, until only the first centimetre of its circumference remained sheathed in the gauze like material, while the rest of it was bundled within.

"Here we have something quite extraordinary," Dr Lowry explained, bringing the prepared tube in front of Elena's eyes. "You see, due to the random orientation of its fibres, scar tissue is normally less resilient than the healthy tissue it replaces. With this reinforcing lining in place, the story's different however. The nano-material it's made of is rather talented: on one hand the fabric is incredibly tough for its thinness and on the other, it will stimulate the growth of scar tissue and help to direct and align its fibres. During the healing, it fuses with the forming fistula and so the bottom line is that once healed, your piercings will have a much higher tensile strength than ordinary tissue. Of course, as with everything, there's a downside as well. Once your flesh has bonded to the lining, it can't be removed, unless cut out. However, in your case, that won't be an issue."

This time around, Elena did not even try for a clever retort.

After he'd dipped the tube in a jar filled with some clear liquid, Dr Lowry used it to push the needle out of her breast, thereby replacing the latter with the former and simultaneously introducing the soaked lining into the puncture. His technique was quite ingenious, Elena conceded grudgingly, for the sleeve of gauze on its outer surface stuck to the wall of the tunnel punched into her flesh. Hence when Dr Lowry slowly drove the tube further in (displacing the needle in the process), more of the lining fabric unfolded from within, adhering to the wound and paving the tube's way through her breast. Eventually, its sheathed tip emerged on the other side, at which point the tube was retracted again, leaving the lining behind. Lisa cut off the protruding fabric with a scalpel, then Dr Lowry selected the appropriate plastic pin from those that had accompanied the template and began inserting it into the piercing. Thanks to the lining, the pin slid in effortlessly and so Elena had barely time to register the ominous cross-bore through its centre.

"The pin will keep the hole dilated during the healing, until your permanent restraint jewellery is fitted," Dr Lowry informed her while he accurately aligned the pin, so that its ends were flush with her breast's outline inside the template.

The used needle was discarded, however, Lisa immediately handed him another. The two of them worked together smoothly, punching additional holes in Elena's body at a rapid fire pace. While the initial piercing had transfixed her breast horizontally, the next one went through vertically, perpendicular to the first. Both were situated close to her chest, next to the breast's base, yet the latter one was offset towards her nipple by about half a centimetre. The lining was emplaced in the exact same manner before the finished hole was filled by another pin; this one also with an opening at mid-point.

Piercing number three perforated her breast horizontally again, this time near its tip, beneath the base of the nipple, then a short, but rather thick pin, once again with an eye in its centre, occupied the lined tunnel that the needle had cut into her flesh.

The final piercing was the most extreme and ambitious yet and also turned out to be the reason for the central cross-bore that the pins filling the previous ones commonly featured. Using the side arms of the template's closing T-piece for guidance, Dr Lowry slowly forced a thin needle directly into the centre of her nipple then deeper into her breast, steadily turning it while he pushed it in. Despite the anaesthesia, the needle's slow but inexorable progress was accompanied by severe pain. Elena watched in sick fascination while centimetre by centimetre the metal spike sank further and further into her flesh until she felt suddenly queasy and had to avert her eyes. Six times the needle's advance stalled; evidently encountering one of the lateral piercings and having to punch through a layer of lining. Thankfully, soon after the last impediment had been overcome, the vertical needle projecting out from the centre of her nipple, stopped its advance for good and the stabbing pain abated to a more manageable dull throbbing. When Elena finally dared to look again, Dr Lowry had already retracted the needle and was readying the tiny tube designated to deploy the reinforcing lining. Resignedly, she shut her eyes and kept them pressed closed until the cessation of painful ministrations to her breast indicated that a thick dilating pin had been emplaced.

Elena reopened her eyes just in time to observe Lisa switch off the vacuum pump and remove its intake hose from the template's nozzle. With a slurping sound her breast detached from the mould and resumed its original shape, causing a bout of discomfort when the pins skewering it aligned themselves in slightly a changed configuration from the normal shape her unsupported breast would take. Dr Lowry gave her newly bared breast a cursory inspection and, apparently pleased with his findings, he picked up the template for Elena's other breast. Her inarticulate groan elicited another of his sardonic smiles.

"Nature loves symmetry, my dear, and so does Victor."

And symmetry he got. Each step of the whole, elaborate procedure was faithfully repeated with her right breast until it had been turned into its counterpart's mirror image. Elena kept her eyes shut most of the time, resolved to suffer her self-imposed ordeal stoically. Nevertheless, she could not prevent a trickle of silent tears from wetting the hair in front of her ears, but there were worse indignities to be inflicted on her yet.

Dr Lowry positioned a caster stool between her wide-spread legs and sat down to work on her genitals. He pressed the respective template against her vulva and fiddled with it until her labia had settled into place between the appropriate recesses and ridges, then the vacuum pump was attached and switched on. The strong suction brought her genitals into close, over-all contact with the template's inner profile, stretching her nether lips further out and drawing her clitoris from the shelter of its hood, into the notch thoughtfully provided for it.

Elena watched Lisa handing the various implements for her mutilation to Dr Lowry; however, she could not monitor what he was doing with them down there. The clamps that pressed against her temples held her head absolutely immobile and so her field of vision was delineated by the blood streaked mounds of her breasts. Yet whatever he did, it involved an alarmingly great deal of pain, given the general effectiveness of the anaesthetic.

Although Elena tried to fend it off, her memory of the layout of the mould's numerous cross-bores rose unbidden, and, according to the image etched into her brain, her labia were destined to be pierced several times each and neither her clitoris nor its hood were permitted to escape unscathed, either. Judging from the steady progression of painful punctures, Dr Lowry slowly but surely worked his way up from her perineum to her clitoral hood; the latter and her clitoris probably being spared temporarily for an agonizing finale. Under the circumstances, Elena would have been heartily glad if her forebodings had turned out to be wrong; alas, some minutes later they once again reinforced their aggravating tendency to be spot on.

After a seemingly interminable and at times excruciating session, Dr Lowry finally rose and stepped back, watching closely while Lisa detached the vacuum pump and removed the mould, exposing Elena's blood engorged genitals to the room's chill air. Elena greeted the sudden cold with a gasp, immediately followed by a grateful sigh when it brought about a welcome easing of the dully throbbing pain. As previously, Dr Lowry took a moment to critically review his work before he turned his attention to the last body part scheduled to receive its permanent modifications on this fateful day: Elena's face.

He and Lisa took up positions on either side of her head. The padded clamps that held it in their vice like grip allowed no movement whatsoever, so darting her eyes back and forth between them was the only option Elena had to follow their preparations. She watched him select a somewhat shorter, but comparatively large gauge needle, while his assistant picked up the triangular template for her nose. Elena eyed it with ill-concealed dread, for to her, the evidently imminent piercing of her nose was an act that like no other would openly proclaim her status as a slave. In addition, she was certain Victor would exploit the potential for controlling and humiliating her that was inherent in the piercing of this sensitive organ to the fullest extent. Yet, through her near-panic, she still recognized an altogether different emotion that came into play as well: an intuitive, almost preconscious craving for the very act she rationally dreaded.

She followed the mould's approach until her eyes crossed and its upper end brushed against the tip of her nose. Lisa paused for a moment to make sure that the oblate, half-cones extending from its inside were aligned with the nostrils, then slowly pressed the device more fully onto her nose. Elena felt the cones slide up into her nose, stretching its side wings and at the same time rubbing uncomfortably against her sensitive septum while Lisa continued to press the mould forward and slightly down. At last it pressed firmly against the end of Elena's septum and her panicky breathing now became distinctly audible when it whistled through the hollow cones.

As soon as Lisa had the template fully emplaced, Dr Lowry took over. With sure hands, he inserted the needle into the template's single cross-bore and slowly slid it in until its tip came into contact with the right side of Elena's nose. She felt a prick when the sharp point scratched her skin a generous finger-breadth from her nostrils, just below the point at which the cartilage attached to her nasal bone. She knew this to be just the overture and braced herself, clenching her teeth so hard that corded muscles stood out in stark relief on her jaw.

Dr Lowry steadied the template with his one hand, then, in one swift movement, he thrust the needle in. Tightly trapped in the mould her flesh had no recourse. The tubular needle perforated the right wing of her nose, easily punched through the stiff cartilage of her septum and finally emerged from her left nostril's outer wall. The transfixion of her nose was accompanied by a stabbing pain that made Elena's eyes water, yet it subsided surprisingly fast, thanks to the powerful anaesthetic kicking in. It was over before she had a chance to scream.

'Yes!' The deed was done.

Once the jewellery that Victor wanted was affixed there would be no chance of hiding the telltale sign of what she had become, for the stark nature of her modifications went far beyond what could possibly pass for an ill-advised, albeit innocent attempt at adornment. Elena experienced a moment of perfect calm when her long-suppressed masochism finally triumphed over the familiar discord of dissenting voices in her head. In stunned silence, she slowly released her held breath and blinked away her tears. Looking down her nose, she could just make out the needle's blurred ends sticking out from the template on both sides, watching mesmerized when a drop of blood lazily formed at the needle's tip, wanting this magical moment to last forever. Alas, an uncaring universe did not cater to her wishes.

Dr Lowry and Lisa continued, as efficient as ever and even before the drop reached critical mass where gravity could overcome the combined forces of adhesion and surface tension, the needle was displaced by a now-familiar sheathing pin. Momentarily, the pin was retracted, leaving only the lining in place, then Dr Lowry inserted a tiny scalpel into the hollow cone that distended her left nostril and cut through the tough fabric, trimming down the excess lining. He repeated the process on the other side so that Lisa could carefully withdraw the template while the remaining lining stayed in place. Nevertheless, there was some drag on the newly pierced holes and Elena was heartily glad when the template cleared her nose at last. Once that was accomplished however, the dilating pin was once more run through her piercings, considerably heightening her discomfort. Since this pin was meant to stay until the flesh healed, she would have to put up with its irritating presence, just as she had to make the best of the others that kept the new holes in her breasts and vulva occupied. Elena was thus given an inkling of what her permanent fittings would feel like. They would definitely take some getting used to. It was probably for the best that this latest piercing had left her emotionally drained and slightly dazed, especially since her current troubles were far from over. Next, her mouth received its share of not so tender attentions.

"Open wide and extend your tongue, please!" Dr Lowry requested.

With weary apprehension Elena eyed the mould for her mouth that Lisa held ready to be fitted. Whereas the template for her nose had featured only a single, albeit massive cross-bore, this one was riddled with seemingly dozens of holes. Resignedly, she complied as best as she could with his request, but was nonetheless rewarded with a nearly dislocated jaw when Lisa forcefully pushed the mould past the barrier of her teeth. Once inside, the strain was relieved only marginally since the template kept her jaws painfully spread apart and her muscles began to protest their abuse almost instantly. Elena fervently hoped that the planned procedures would soon be completed. First though, Lisa connected the vacuum pump, then turned it on and the strong suction immediately pulled Elena's tongue far out and fully into the thin plastic sheath waiting to accept it. At the same time, her lips and gums adhered to the lifelike, contoured profiles provided for them that prevented her from even twitching a muscle. With her mouth forced open wide, her lips stretched tight around the mould's gasket flange and her tongue painfully pulled out, Elena had been masterfully prepared. Everything was readily accessible and she was helpless to resist what was to come in any way.

Of course, Dr Lowry was ready to take advantage of the situation and availing himself of his seemingly inexhaustible supply of needles, he soon had Elena decked out with even more holes. After he had pierced her tongue for the second time, turning the numbed lump in her mouth into a dully throbbing one, everything became a blur for Elena for the strains and stresses of her prolonged suffering finally took their toll. Now, as the anaesthetic's effectiveness slowly diminished, her breasts and genitals began to hurt in earnest. She closed her eyes and allowed her conscious mind to withdraw into a shell, blanking out the unpalatable reality of her situation, i.e. being defencelessly strapped into a chair and perforated in every imaginable way... all by her own choice!

The further pinpricks in her tongue and lips barely registered on her mind, and she accepted the ensuing emplacement of dilating pins while almost forgetting about the formerly longed for extraction of the template. By then, the aching of her wide-spread jaws was just another thread in the tapestry of her misery. Besides, the relief of its eventual removal was short-lived, as Dr Lowry immediately switched targets and began his campaign on her ears. First, the respective moulds were applied; their anchoring extensions pushed deeply into her ear canals until they pressed uncomfortably against the tympanic membranes, then, the piercing needles' attack on her auricles commenced. Only after the constant barrage had ebbed for quite some time did Elena gradually emerge from her trance-like state and let herself become aware of her surroundings again.

To her surprise, Dr Lowry had already left the room, leaving the after-action mop-up to his able assistant. Lisa cleaned away the dried blood and swabbed all wounds with an antiseptic that was thankfully - now that Elena was ready to appreciate small mercies again - one of the non-stinging varieties. Where required, she then secured the dilating pins either by screwing them further in until their threaded ends engaged, or plugging the end caps onto their exposed heads.

Finally, she freed a physically and mentally drained Elena from her restraints and helped her out of the chair. Rising too fast after the long enforced immobilisation, Elena felt suddenly dizzy and would undoubtedly have toppled over if Lisa had not supported her. Her brain was flooded by pain signals from nearly every part of her body and for good measure, the throbbing behind her brow promised to turn into a major headache. With Lisa's help, she managed the few steps to an adjoining room appointed as a recovery area and with her every movement, the new, albeit temporary, hardware invading her flesh made its presence felt in unexpected and generally awkward, uncomfortable ways. Elena gingerly lowered herself onto the soft bed and with eagerness accepted Lisa's offer to administer a painkiller. Mercifully, the analgesic took effect almost immediately after the injection and Elena slipped into a dreamless sleep of pure exhaustion.

Part 4 - Adorned (added: 2012/09/27)

Elena rose before dawn.

After two interminable hours of incessantly squirming in her chains she had given up hope of getting back to sleep again. With practised ease she used her closely held feet to pick up the keys for her shackles from the floor and opened first the handcuffs that held her arms behind her back, then unlocked the second pair clasped around her ankles. She'd learned to sleep in restraints during her tempestuous relationship with Victor; and though it had been awkward at first, she had kept the habit even after their break-up. Tonight, however, not even the comforting embrace of the familiar steel had been able to quell her anxiety.

In the brightly lit bathroom's large mirror she critically appraised her reflection, knowing this to be the last time she would ever see herself not wearing the permanent shackles and other, more intimate accoutrements. Looking back at her from the mirror was a tall and slender, almost delicate young woman with large, somewhat frightened hazel eyes. Her face was beautiful, even despite the peculiar set of piercings that now adorned it. Elena was heartily glad they had healed so well; remembering vividly how the initial bruising and swelling had made her fear she was permanently disfigured.

Immediately after the surgery, she had looked (and felt!) like someone who had been run over by a truck. After a week or so, however, the worst had been over and the bruises had gradually started to fade, until at long last her mirror image became familiar again, although strangely transformed by her barbaric perforations and the hardware they hosted. She had spent the first few days of her recovery in Dr Lowry's clinic, diligently looked after by Lisa who tended to her wounds and taught her how to take care of the new piercings herself. Dr Lowry (or rather Greg, as Elena had come to call him) came by twice a day as well to take note of her convalescent progress and occasionally to replace the dilating pins with fresh ones. His initially cool demeanour towards her had noticeably warmed after he recognized the depth of devotion that was behind her ostensibly frivolous acceptance of Victor's conditions, just as Elena had taken a liking to the conscientious and witty personality hiding behind his abrasive exterior.

On his seventh visit Greg pronounced her sufficiently recovered to leave and had Lisa drive her home, albeit not without personally reviewing the aftercare procedures for her piercings with Elena first. She left with a sack full of medical supplies and detailed instructions of when to swab which potion onto what wound. Elena had followed the advice religiously and now her new perforations looked like they had been precision cut by a laser drill. When at last the unsightly sleeves of extraneous sheathing not fused with her skin had frayed away (helped along by generous applications of some dissolving agent), they left behind slightly silvery rims that gave the cleanly defined holes an almost otherworldly appearance.

A fortnight ago she had discarded the last remaining dilating pins. By then the healing process had long passed the stage where they were still necessary to keep the punctures open and as a matter of fact, according to Greg, even if they were left permanently voided, those punctures would never close again. Without the pins, her piercings were much less conspicuous however, a boon that Elena was most grateful for on the occasion of her rare sorties from the protective walls of her apartment. Even more importantly, with her tongue and lips rid of their distorting presence, her speech patterns had become nearly understandable once more. Although she tended to avoid exposing herself to the bewildered stares of her narrow-minded neighbours, she regularly had visitors. Victor was not amongst them, unfortunately; instead, he contended himself with having his minions shepherd her along the path he had set.

Apart from Lisa, who regularly dropped by to monitor the progress of her recovery, a hotshot solicitor was her most frequent guest. Dr Mangel had been hired by Victor to help her put her affairs in order, for as Victor's slave she would effectively cease to exist as an independent woman. Victor was to be legally appointed and act as her legal guardian in every respect and because she would not be permitted to own anything, Dr Mangel had been charged with disposing of all of her worldly possessions, or rather 'realize her assets' as he preferred to put it. Although Elena was not privy to the details, it was clear by now that Victor had to be even wealthier than she had speculated when they first met. Everything she owned would be donated to a charity and it was her job to pick one. She felt at a loss at first, for without doubt the state of the world was such that an abundance of worthy causes vied for her attention.

In the end, she had decided on an organisation that promoted women's rights in less enlightened regions of the world. The somewhat paradoxical nature of her choice did not escape Elena. After all, she was about to renounce the very freedoms this organisation fought for so hard. Nevertheless, she felt there was a world of difference between her voluntarily surrendering her mind and body into a life of bondage, and the misfortune of being born into one. Besides, if humankind was to stand an albeit slim chance at survival, then men's atavistic struggle for supremacy would best be kept in check by women's moderation.

Elena was somewhat distressed to learn how smoothly the liquidation of her former life went. Obviously the imprint she'd left on the world was far more fleeting than she had hoped for. By now, her apartment was nearly empty of furniture but for a camp bed and completely devoid of any personal mementos. To her surprise, she was mostly glad to be rid of her belongings; particularly, when she considered the energy she had expended to acquire them in the first place. Nevertheless, she felt as if a great burden had been lifted off her shoulders.

In comparison, the process of putting herself into Victor's custody proved to be a lot more involved. A number of different public authorities, which until this point in her life had never taken any interest in her welfare, suddenly started to worry about her. Fortunately, Victor's silver-tongued solicitor seemed to possess some kind of lucky talisman that made most difficulties disappear almost magically; the rest, Elena suspected, were taken care off by an irresistible blend of bribery and pressure from higher up. Dr Mangel, it appeared, was well-connected with the top echelon in every pertinent agency. Or maybe Victor was, although this distinction was purely academic.

Dr Mangel never let on how he personally regarded Elena's somewhat bizarre appearance and the task he was asked to discharge. His manners were impeccable and he always acted as if it was perfectly normal for a young woman to consign herself completely to a man and become his property, body and soul for all intents and purposes. Given Dr Mangel's uncanny efficiency, Elena wondered whether he had been asked to handle similar cases in the past, but his forbidding reserve quelled any impulse to ask him outright. It was too late now: Dr Mangel had made her sign the final documents the evening before, then had bid her farewell. His parting 'Good night and good luck.' was the most amicable remark he had uttered during all of their dealings.

On the other hand, something akin to a friendship had developed between her and Lisa. On Lisa's last visit, they had talked for hours and discovered a surprising number of things they had in common. When she finally left, she had hugged Elena tightly and promised to look out for her.

The remembered hug took Elena back to the present. Regardless of Lisa's promise, this day she would have to face on her own. Predictably, the attempt to get some rest had failed miserably and so she studied her reflection once more to assess the damage the sleepless night had done to her face. She wanted to look her best when she finally presented herself to Victor as his reformed and worthy slave girl. Fortunately, the resilience of youth and her remarkable constitution minimised the impact a few hours of lost sleep had on her and a hot shower then some light touches of make up were all it took to restore her pristine beauty.

The next order of business was to get dressed. Elena was spared the agonizing dilemma of choosing an outfit to wear on this most momentous day of her life by the simple expedient that there was only one choice left: the light summer dress she had worn to all previous stations of her quest. Since the weather was still fair, this was not a problem, and anyway, in the future she expected to spend much time without a thread of clothing. With her preparations completed, all she could do was to wait.

Nervous energy kept her from sitting down and actually look at the pages of the book she pretended to read. It was on the approximately thousandth time she crossed the few steps between the camp bed and living room window that she spotted the taxi approaching down in the street. Without further thought, she grabbed her keys and after one last furtive glance around her emptied apartment, closed its door behind her forever. Only when she raced down the stairs did Elena's mind catch up with what she was doing. Her steps faltered and she paused in the doorway, suddenly beset by last minute doubts. There was still time. She could still back out and return to her former life; unscathed apart from a peculiar set of piercings she would need an explanation for, but on the other hand, she would never see Victor again. And, she would never sample the bittersweet pleasures of a life as his ultimate slave that she had begun to crave. The moment of indecision passed and Elena quickly crossed the street to the waiting taxi.

The driver's eyebrows visited his hairline when he took in her appearance, but thankfully he refrained from making a remark. Nevertheless, she felt her face flush. During the ride she sensed his appalled stare in the rear mirror more than once. Pretending not to notice, Elena crossed her legs and looked out the window.

Finally, they arrived at the metalworking shop where her quest had begun so many weeks ago and as before the parking lot was nearly deserted. Her heart sank when she failed to spot Viktor's lovingly preserved Mercedes SL-300 Old-timer anywhere. Only then did she realize how much she had hoped he would be there to accompany her on this last, pivotal step of her transformation, the consummation, or so she thought at that point, of her enslavement. Dispirited, she proceeded to the recessed entrance and rang the bell.

The door opened at once, admitting her to the reception area beyond where Alex awaited her with a huge smile on his face. This time he was impeccably groomed and attired in an obviously expensive anthracite suit; yet in her considered opinion he still looked like a nerd, albeit one who tried to pass off as a banker.

"Hi Elena, it's nice to see you again. You're even more beautiful than I remembered you to be." Alex sounded completely sincere, as though he was unfazed by the rather bizarre sight her new facial piercings presented. He certainly was not oblivious to them; in fact, his gaze lingered on the circle of silvery dots that outlined her lips when he shook her hand in his customary effusive manner.

"Thank you, Alex. You're sweet. Your belief that my new look constitutes an improvement is not a universally shared though, I'm afraid. My cab driver, for one, disapproved."

"Victor shares it however," he countered, "so what if some bigot or other might think different. It mustn't bother you, must it?"

"Touché!" Elena conceded, suppressing her own nagging misgivings. "Speaking of Victor, where is he? I had hoped he'd be here."

"He won't meet you before it's all done. He vowed not to take an active role, but to wait until you had surrendered yourself to him, completely of your own volition. In the future, there will never be any doubt in your or anyone else's mind that you choose to fulfil your destiny on your own." Alex smiled. "Victor's monitoring your progress closely, however. And rather eagerly, I might add."

"Then we must not keep him waiting any longer. Let's get started."

Alex swept her an ironic bow before opening the heavy, soundproofed door to the workshop and beckoning her through. She passed him with a sideways glance.

"Nice suit, by the way."

Alex shrugged.

"I've been asked to officiate at some function in honour of one of our more important customers this afternoon and probably won't have time to change. Otherwise, I certainly wouldn't have suited up as a business buffoon."

He steered her through the maze of heavy machinery until they reached the room's far end. There, on a cloth covered workbench, a large assortment of lustrous, organically curved metal parts grabbed her attention. Elena immediately realized that once they were assembled around and inside her body and anchored to it by her new piercings, she would be ensnared in an inescapable web of unbreakable alloy. She was so engrossed in the sight and its implications she did not even notice the third person present until Lisa cleared her throat.

"Hi Elena!"

"Lisa! What are you doing here?" Elena exclaimed in surprise.

"I thought you might prefer to have the more ... ah ... intimate procedures done by someone who actually knows what she's doing." Lisa nodded towards Alex. "No offence intended."

"None taken. As long as you don't mess up the hardware, I'll be glad to defer to your superior experience with the, ah, soft parts in question," Alex replied.

Lisa rose from the out-of-place looking medical treatment table she had been sitting on and joined them. Elena pulled her close and embraced her tightly.

"I'm really glad you're here, it means a lot to me. Thank you."

Lisa hugged her back.

"You're welcome! I promised I'd be looking out for you." After a long moment Elena let go and composed herself.

"Well, we'd better get started before I loose my nerve."

"Ready when you are. I've already completed my preparations." Lisa smiled, gesturing at the white coat she wore.

"Then let's begin," Alex interjected. "There's a lot of work to do and we're on a tight timetable."

Elena's breasts were scheduled to receive their permanent adornments first. Unsurprisingly, she was asked to slip off her dress first and then stand away from the treatment table, leaning forward with her upper body parallel to the floor so that her breasts hung pendulously away from her chest. Meanwhile, Lisa and Alex scrubbed and helped each other put on surgical gloves. Lisa next applied a disinfectant to Elena's body in much the same way as she had when preparing her for her stint as Greg's pincushion. Lisa noted her friend's mounting trepidation and smiled at her encouragingly.

"Don't worry. We're done with the needlework. This is just a precaution to assuage my occupational paranoia, as Alex here would put it. However, yours certainly isn't the type of jewellery you'd simply take off in case an inflammation developed, so I deem it better to err on the side of caution."

Elena responded with a nod and a weak smile of her own, then Alex approached with the first parts of the assembly meant to imprison her left breast. Two metal tubes, both with cross-holes through their centres, were carefully inserted into the piercings that perforated Elena's breast vertically and horizontally near its base. Their five mm diameter was intentionally a bit too large for the perforations, so they stretched the firm flesh that played host to them uncomfortably. Nevertheless, thanks to the special lining of her piercings, both tubes slid in easily. Once they were fully inserted, about two millimetres of their length remained exposed beyond the contour of her breast on either side. Another, shorter tube of the same kind was inserted into the hole that punctured her breast horizontally behind the nipple and carefully centred, then Alex rotated each tube until tiny marks at their ends confirmed the proper orientation of the eyelets at their centre, before the next component of the restraining hardware was installed. This consisted of a sturdy post with three cross-bores unevenly distributed along its length, oblate at one end and tipped at the other by a small sphere, so that it resembled an oversized, blunt map pin. Since the post was destined to occupy the frontal piercing that extended through the nipple into the mound's centre, it had to fit through the openings in the transverse tubes. Nevertheless, its gauge as well proved slightly outsized for the puncture it was about to fill.

Elena clenched her teeth while Lisa slowly pushed the pin into her soft flesh. It did not particularly ease Elena's plight that Alex, in order to facilitate the process, stretched her breast downwards by pulling at the ends of the tube through its uppermost lateral perforation. Aided again by the lining ingrown into her tissue, the post sank smoothly up into her breast, slowing only once when it encountered one of the transverse tubes whose central hole had not been perfectly aligned yet. As soon as the pin's full length had vanished into her body, with the ball at its end pressing tightly into her nipple, Alex produced two more, somewhat thinner rods. One after the other, each rod was inserted into the appropriate lateral tube at her breast's base and pushed all the way in. Along the way, they passed through the corresponding cross-bores of the outward projecting post that now resided in her nipple's central piercing and thus anchored it firmly in Elena's breast. The bar's lengths were precisely measured so they ended flush with the surrounding tubes. Elena lowered her head and marvelled at the appearance of her metal studded breast. The striking contrast between her own familiar flesh and the foreign alloy that invaded it fascinated her deeply.

Alex went on a foray to the workbench and returned with the two halves of a massive hoop. At the semicircles end's, its oblate cross section was exposed; about two centimetres high and a half centimetre wide it provided ample space to support the symmetrical pairs of sturdy locking posts. Corresponding mating holes waited to join the two half rings into a complete circle. Both halves were painstakingly positioned around the base of Elena's breast so that their still separated ends met at a 45-degrees angle with respect to her body's long axis and in this configuration, four slots cut into the hoop's inner circumference were properly aligned to accept the transverse tube's exposed ends. So far Lisa and Alex had worked in silence; now the latter spoke up.

"When the two halves are pushed together, locking pins will engage and make the whole ensemble completely irremovable. So, if you had any second thoughts, now is the time to call a stop."

"I've talked to Greg and Alex earlier." Lisa added quietly. "We'll back you up, no matter what you decide."

Elena closed her eyes and tried to still her chaotic thoughts. The hard metal inside her body made its presence felt in deliciously restrictive ways, with every breath she took. She suddenly realized that once the hardware became embedded in her breasts, she would effectively be prevented from laying on her stomach, or at least strongly discouraged to do so because of the discomfort, if not outright pain, that would result.

"Do it! Do it now!" she called out impulsively, prodded by a sudden surge of burgeoning masochism.

"If that's your wish, so be it!" Alex acknowledged.

He nodded to Lisa and she immediately started to pull down on the ball that capped the pin sticking out from Elena's breast, until the skin at its base was stretched tight. Alex checked the ring's positioning one last time, then pressed its halves together. The locking pins engaged with a series of solid and terribly final sounding clicks. Once closed, the hoop's adamantine metal clasped her breast tightly around its base in a not unpleasant, but definitely authoritative manner and immediately, Elena felt the constriction cause her breast to swell and become more sensitive with entrapped blood. She was given no respite to come to grips with the ambivalent sensations since the last parts of her breast's elaborate fittings were next mounted without delay.

Alex produced a stout post capped by a conical head at one end and threaded at the other, accompanied by a matching locknut and a massive, U-shaped shackle. He stood by while Lisa positioned the shackle so its arms framed Elena's nipple and the eyelets at their tips were aligned with the openings of the tube that distended her aureole piercing, then immediately slid the post through the whole array. When its threaded end emerged from the hole at the top of the U's far side arm, the cone-shaped locknut was screwed onto this end of the aureole bar. Soon, the screw became too stiff for his bare fingers and Alex resorted to the help of two small, custom Allen keys that fit into corresponding sockets at the cones' top. He managed a few more turns, then the muscles in his arms started to stand out. Nevertheless, he persisted until something gave way with a sharp twang sound. Suddenly deprived of the resistance, his right hand slipped off and despite his best efforts to soften the blow he hit Elena hard in the sternum.

"Ouch!" She yelped from the unexpected pain.

"Sorry! My mistake. I should have been more careful!" Alex apologized contritely.

"What happened? Did something break?" Elena inquired worriedly while she rubbed her aching chest.

"No, no. Everything's fine. To do damage to this kind of alloy, you'd need more serious equipment. What just happened is that the ceramic coupling between the end cap's protective, outer shell and the internal locknut shattered, as intended, thus making the cap virtually irremovable. In addition, the debris is now locking the threads. I simply did not count on the ceramics being so tough."

He held up his hands, where the imprints of the Allen keys were still clearly visible. Elena contemplated her breast's latest permanent additions with renewed awe. The substantial U-shackle alone was forbidding. Since its generous dimensions allowed it to swing freely past the ball resting against her nipple, it lent itself to act as an anchor for all kinds of tethers, as her fevered mind duly noted. Experimentally, she pulled at the shackle and the tension she applied was instantly transferred to her entire breast, thanks to the clever system of interlocking axial and radial rods embedded in her flesh. It was the damnedest feeling and Elena quickly let go of the shackle as if the metal had burned her fingers.

In the course of the next few minutes, each step of the elaborate procedure, minus the accidental blow to her chest, was faithfully repeated with her other breast at the receiving end and soon it too had been decked out with the same fearsome implements of subjugation. Elena languished in deep subspace when Alex's voice intruded.

"We'll move on to your vulva now," he informed her. "First, we'll need to install some grommets in your labia. Could you please get onto the table now, then move your bottom close to the edge and open your legs?"

Elena needed a few seconds to come out of her trance-like state before she sat down on the table, reclined and spread her legs. Lisa fetched a low stool and sat down between them, then with an indulgent smile, wiped away the wetness that seeped out between Elena's nether lips.

"I guess we're ready here," Lisa announced and accepted the first of a dozen widely flanged grommets from Alex. Each one came in two parts that would be joined inseparably with the help of a compound lever, heavy duty grommet setting tool. Lisa located the first of the holes that had been punched into Elena's left labia majora, then pulled on the thick fold of skin and deftly manipulated the grommet's sturdy tube through the too small opening, until its broad base rested against the stretched lip's inner side. Next, she mounted the complementary end piece on the lip's outer side and gripped both parts between the tool's jaws. Lisa pressed the long handles until her knuckles turned white with the strain and with a snapping noise, the grommet's halves finally mated, bringing its wide flanges into overall close contact with the tender flesh trapped between them. Her achievement elicited a gasp and some subdued jerking by Elena.

"You're OK?" Lisa inquired.

"I-I guess so," Elena answered hesitantly. "It just feels a little weird."

Working from Elena's perineum up to her pubic mound, Lisa steadily added grommet after grommet until each of the five holes on either side played host to the reinforcing hardware. Elena felt her nether lips subjected to a constant, but bearable pressure and a less agreeable burning sensation where the connecting tubes of the grommets' halves stretched the surrounding tissue. Fortunately, the latter was already abating and would hopefully fade completely over time when her body adapted to the intruders. She briefly wondered in what deliciously wicked ways Victor intended to use the new hardware now permanently resident in her labia. It would only take a couple of padlocks to render her sex effectively inaccessible. However, judging from her past experience with Victor's imagination and his henchman Alex's technical prowess, she strongly suspected nothing that simple and pedestrian would be entailed. Elena's lustful speculations were interrupted by Alex's voice.

"We'll do your clit and its hood next. You may want to brace yourself."

Alarmed, Elena turned to Lisa, who pushed her palms down in a calming gesture. She spared a withering glare at Alex, before trying to assuage her friend's fears.

"No big deal. The worst part's been the piercing and that you've weathered admirably. Now that everything's healed, the holes' lining will make the actual insertion of your clitoral hardware rather, uh, anticlimactic, I'm afraid." She smirked. "Some men mistake their own whininess for a common standard. You know, if they had to have babies, our species would have become extinct long ago."

Elena was less than reassured by her words but did not demur when an unruffled Alex handed Lisa what appeared to be a miniature eyebolt: a sturdy metal rod capped by a collared eyelet at one end and threaded at the other.

"I'll install the anchoring bar now. Please try to hold still," Lisa advised.

With a few masterful strokes, Lisa teased Elena's clit from its hiding place, thus making it very difficult for her to limit her reaction to a few throaty moans. Then, Lisa grasped the rod in a pair of needle-nose pliers and pressed its threaded tip against the blood engorged, sensitive organ's base while holding it captive with the fingers of her other hand. Elena's clitoris had been pierced vertically deep through its shaft, with the puncture running from just above the urethra to the top of the hood. Ever so slowly, Elena felt the rod slide into the piercing, overcoming the resistance her swollen flesh offered. The sensation drove her wild, to the point that Alex had to press down hard on her pelvis to keep her from rearing up violently.

"Whoa, easy tiger! Otherwise I'll have to go and fetch some belts to strap you down."

Fortunately, he did not have to make good on this threat and now that Elena knew what to expect, she managed to get a grip on her agitation, allowing Lisa to finish her task without further incident. To complete the assembly, Lisa screwed a matching eyelet onto the bar's exposed end and when she was done, both eyelets were perfectly aligned, with their rounded shoulders pressing firmly against Elena's clit respectively its hood from either side. A few drops of a high-strength, permanent thread-locking compound that a considerate Alex had applied beforehand guaranteed the irreversibility of this final step and thus eliminated any chance Elena would be able to rid herself of the bar any time soon, if ever.

Lisa took a moment to turn the rod so that the eyelets' openings faced sideways before finally pronouncing her work finished. Elena straightened up and doubtfully eyed this newest addition to her growing inventory of body jewellery. The twin eyelets extended a silent invitation to attach all kinds of controlling equipment to her most sensitive spot and Alex's next words confirmed that her fears were well-founded.

"I happen to know that Victor has some interesting applications in mind for your fittings, but for now, let's keep it simple."

He held an oblong, oval, small metal cap in front of Elena's eyes and slowly rotated it so she could study it from all sides. It was formed like a miniature hard hat with a narrow brim all around that elongated into a peak both at the front and back. At both ends, along the hat's centre line, two thin slits were cut into the metal that extended from the peaks' midpoint halfway up into the crown. Elena vented a weary sigh when she deduced the cap's probable purpose and Alex smiled thinly.

"Exactly, from now on access to your clit will be restricted to authorized personal only."

He passed the cap to Lisa, who spread Elena's nether lips apart so that the clit, its hood and eyeleted bar were fully exposed and easily captured within the impenetrable metal shell of their new prison. She aligned the cap, then pressed down on it until the eyelets at the transfixing bar's ends fully emerged through the slits in the cap and Alex could guide the shackles of two small, but sturdy padlocks through them. The locks not only secured the cap however, but their hasps were also run through the adjacent grommets in Elena's labia and so pulled her cleft partially closed around the imprisoning metal dome. Two subdued clicks ended Elena's discretionary power over the centre of her lust, paradoxically stoking the latter to new heights.

Alex dangled a pair of keys in front of Elena's face.

"I guess you'd like to have these."

However, when Elena reached for them, he playfully snatched them away and shook his head with feigned regret. "These belong to Victor, I'm afraid."

"Of course." Elena conceded petulantly. Almost against her will, her hands found their way to her sex. Alex looked on tolerantly while she probed the dome that protected her clit from her prying fingers. It easily deflected her increasingly frantic attempts at gaining access to her trapped flesh and after some more experimentation, she subsided with a weary sigh. Elena quickly came to the conclusion that she would still be able to stimulate herself, albeit only indirectly, and at the price of mixing in equal parts of discomfort and pain into the pleasure; all things considered maybe it was not so bad a deal for someone of her masochistic make-up. It could get worse - and most probably would!

Meanwhile, Lisa had collected a tray that contained the next pieces of Elena's metal adornments. It was time to emplace her facial jewellery, starting with her tongue. Three holes, forming a roughly equilateral triangle, had been punched through the muscular organ, with the foremost one centred about a centimetre behind the tip and the other two located further back, a half centimetre or so removed from either side. Elena had to extend her tongue as far as possible so that each perforation could be reinforced with another one of the wide-flanged, permanently mounted grommets. She hated to think what these additions would do to her only recently regained ability to enunciate intelligibly; however, their presence suggested that Victor was not inclined to give her much opportunity to make conversation anyway, since their primary purpose presumably was to assist in immobilizing her tongue.

Further corroboration was provided by the installation of small, silvery eyelets into the piercings that surrounded Elena's mouth. The punctures closely followed its outline but were separated from the actual lips by a few millimetres. First, the three piercings symmetrically located above her upper lip were filled, followed suit by their counterparts below her lower lip. At last, a pair of more substantial grommets was mounted into the slightly larger holes at the corners of her mouth, about a half centimetre removed from them.

The visual impact of these additions was severe. In comparison, the piercings alone had been rather discreet, despite the silvery sheen caused by their lining. Now, the eyelets' wider flanges drew the attention invariably to her lips, probably making even a casual beholder wonder whether they could be used to lace her mouth shut like a shoe. Elena was sure that this was the case; however, since she was well familiar with Victor's penchant for fiendishly efficient gags, she surmised that the eyelets would also prove useful when it came to fastening a gag's outer shield securely to her face. She forcibly stopped herself from probing the new hardware with her tongue and teeth yet again. Without doubt it would take time to get used to their invasive presence.

"This certainly looks bizarre," Lisa commented critically, then quickly amended, "but also interesting in a good, kinky way," when she saw Elena's alarmed expression.

"Wait till we've dealt with her nose," Alex countered.

"What awout my nothe?" Elena managed to put in, glad that her pronunciation was only slightly off. With a little practice, she would probably get the hang of it. To her chagrin, her question was ignored just the same.

Instead, Alex and Lisa proceeded, next placing the grommets in her ears. All four holes in each auricle received their permanent metal reinforcements, but only those in the earlobe and at the top of her ear shell were also equipped with sturdy, utilitarian looking U-shackles. Their industrial appearance disabused any notion of them being purely decorative in nature and strongly hinted at their real, far more sinister purpose. The remaining two piercings, perforating the tragus in front of her ear canal and the cartilage across from it, were spared this additional indignity. As her alert mind dutifully noted, the configuration of these holes allowed for a horizontal rod to be run through them, and thus would make sure that anything Victor decided to put into her ear canal would stay inside. Elena somehow doubted it would be hearing aids; more likely the opposite.

"I recommend that you be an especially good girl in the future, or Victor may bring the outdated educational concept of pulling one's ear into the 21st century," Alex teased, then sighed wistfully. "This sure would come in handy for my nephew. The little monster will pay me a visit next week."

Lisa patted his arm in mock sympathy. "I'm sure you'll be able to handle one little boy. Just keep him away from all your expensive toys."

Alex panicked gaze flitted around his workshop, probably identifying dozens of ways how an industrious three-year-old could wreak havoc among its delicate machinery. He shuddered, then with a visible effort got a grip on himself again and gestured for Lisa to return to the task at hand. Elena secretly wondered how many of the ideas behind her bondage were inspired by suppressed fantasies of disciplining an unruly child.

Finally, it was her nose's turn to have its share of subjugation equipment installed.

"Please lay back flat on the table again!" Alex requested and waited until she had hesitantly complied with his command.

He then produced a small, conical, oblate, metal sleeve and slipped it into her right nostril. Its profile matched the interior of Elena's nose perfectly: flattened on the side that rested against her septum and appropriately rounded were it pushed against its outer wing. The sleeve had a substantial set of cross bores partway along its length and Elena had become more than a little concerned upon seeing their diameter. He carefully pushed it in until it became stuck in the narrowing nostril; then he mounted its counterpart into her other nostril. The precision of his planning and workmanship became apparent when he knelt down at her side and sighted through the piercings: The holes in her flesh and the corresponding cross-bores in the cones were perfectly aligned, allowing him to shine his pocket lamp clear through them all. Equally, care had been taken not to alter the elegant form of her nose so that from the outside, the presence of the interior sleeves was barely detectable; at most a slight flaring of her nostrils, as if she was taking a deeper than usual breath, could be discerned.

Satisfied, he gave Lisa the go-ahead for the next stage, namely making the cones a permanent fixture of her nose. With a delicate pair of pliers, she slipped the male half of yet another, bigger and thicker variant of the versatile grommets up into one nostril and deftly manipulated its tube through the matching holes in Elena's septum and the interior sleeves until its flange rested in the recess provided for it there.

When she had also mounted its female counterpart on the other side, she was relieved by Alex, who now wielded a specialized variant of the grommet setting tool. He inserted its business ends into Elena's nostrils and when its jaws engaged the grommet's halves, he smoothly squeezed the handles. With a subdued click, the halves were joined as one, making the whole ensemble irremovable. Elena whimpered and tears shot to her eyes when the up to now merely irritating pressure on her sensitive septum suddenly spiked. This was not the end of her woes however, for next, a grommet was set into the hole in the right wing of her nose, anchoring the respective sleeve on that side as well, then the process was repeated with the left nostril wing.

By this time, the whole lower half of Elena's nose had become intimately and inseparably joined to its new, metal inner core and perforce as rigid as its bony, upper part. Although the pressure exerted on her flesh was not painful, it was nevertheless unpleasant, constantly reminding her of the intruders' presence. Unfazed by the silent tears streaming down her temples, Alex and Lisa continued with the installation of the command and control portion of her nasal jewellery.

This consisted basically of an appropriately scaled copy of the assembly for Elena's nipples, i.e. a sturdy post with a conical cap on one end, a corresponding, conical locknut for its other, threaded end, and a substantial U-shackle. Again, the locknut's outer shell hid a ceramic compound that would shatter when the necessary amount of torque was applied and to this end both cones sported specialized slots in their heads that matched Alex's custom Allen keys. The only difference in this instance was that the eyelets at the tips of the U-shackle's arms were more pronounced so that when Alex slowly and carefully pushed the shackle up into Elena's nostrils, they engaged complementary raised shoulders around her septum grommet's central hole.

As soon as the U-shackle was properly seated, the anchoring post was pushed sideways through and into her nose until its threaded end emerged through the lateral grommet on the opposite side. Alex loosely screwed on the locknut, then used his set of specialized Allen wrenches to tighten it further. In order to prevent a recurrence of the earlier mishap that had resulted in the accidental blow to Elena's sternum, he asked Lisa to keep one of the wrenches steady while he concentrated on turning the other one. He had chosen their angle of attack carefully, so when after much grunting and swearing the ceramic within the end cap finally did shatter, suddenly leaving them bereft of a counteracting force, both his and Lisa's hands slid harmlessly past Elena's face.

"It would have been a lot easier if you'd made these handles a little longer," Lisa complained, rubbing the spot where the wrench had abraded her palm.

"True, but spoken with the benefit of hindsight. All in all, for a version 1.0 it went pretty well so far, I'd say. I already have some minor improvements in mind; you'll see, next time everything will work a lot smoother," Alex defended himself.

"You seriously think there'll be a next time?"

"Why not? Victor might start a new trend with this. If I ever found a girl as brave as Elena here..." He sighed and then added with a teasing smile, "Or what if you and Greg ever got serious?"

"I certainly don't think so!" Lisa protested. Belatedly, she amended, "I mean, not the Greg finally getting serious part, I hope, but this other scary stuff, you know."

She blushed and had to look away. Alex laughed good-naturedly and took her in his arms, where she relaxed for a few moments.

Elena barely took notice of this byplay because her mind was still busy catching up with the fact that the post and therefore the shackle it anchored had just become a permanent feature of her face. Leading her around by a leash to her nose ring had always been an item on Victor's agenda, but now she wondered what more he had in mind that warranted a design as sophisticated as this. Then again, maybe it was just the deplorable outcome of combining his obsessive-compulsive quest for perfection with Alex' mechanical genius to actually make it happen. Either way, the end result ensured that she did not need to worry about accidentally ripping out her jewellery; it was there to stay and presumably rated for substantial loads.

Alex glanced at his wristwatch, the cheap digital model at odds with his elegant clothing. "We're running late."

"OK, what's left?" Lisa asked.

"At this stage, only her manacles." He turned to Elena. "Please come with us!"

He helped her up from the sweat-slick table and led her the few paces to the nearby workbench. The sensations produced by the additions to Elena's body were impossible for her to ignore and rather disconcerting. She felt that the sensations from her breasts were the most appalling, for now, their familiar patterns of motion were completely upset by their new inner scaffolding. The hard clitoral shell enfolded by and simultaneously spreading her labia made her feel exposed, although intellectually she knew the opposite to be true. Her tongue felt stiff and unwieldy and the tightness around her mouth reminded her of the eyelets that stretched her lips and cheeks. Her nose sat like a foreign body on her face and its blatant shackle's noticeable weight rested with evil portent on her upper lip. None of her adornments yet limited her freedom of motion in any way, but Elena already felt more deeply restrained than she had ever thought possible. Even more alarming, her real bonds were to be applied only now!

On the workbench, next to a large, vertically mounted vice, the still separated halves of four gleaming metal cuffs waited to be permanently clasped around her limbs. Alex picked up the first manacle's lower part and positioned it between the jaws of the vice.

"Sit down and put your right wrist into the cuff, please!"

Elena gingerly lowered herself onto the low stool Lisa had brought along and raised her arm, unable to control its shaking. Lisa had to help her guide it into the waiting half-cuff and then kept it steady while Alex made sure that her wrist was properly positioned within the broad metal band's oval shape. After some minute adjustments, he was satisfied at last and emplaced the cuff's upper half, taking great care her flesh would not get pinched between the interlocking, slanted teeth that made up the halves' end profiles. On either side, three stout locking pins engaged corresponding slots in the manacle's other half, sliding in easily at first, until the space separating both halves had shrunk to three millimetres. Alex then resorted to the help of the vice to overcome the resistance that kept him from closing the remaining gap and spun its handle until the cuff's halves met in a staccato of sharp clicks that sent a shiver down Elena's spine. She did not need to be told that the manacle's halves had been joined for good. Short of cutting through the metal band with a laser (a rather impractical proposition, considering it enclosed her much less impervious flesh), she was stuck with it for the rest of her life.

Once her hand was released from the vice, Elena drew it back to inspect the completed cuff. The metal seemed to flow around her wrist forming an apparently unbroken band. Either of the serrated seams where its parts met was barely discernible: a perfect fit down to the slight indentation that accommodated her delicate wrist bones. On both lateral sides, parallel to the seams, the cuff provided attachment points wide enough to accept a padlock or other fastening devices, essentially cut-outs in the metal where it bulged into wide fins that rose a centimetre or so above the surrounding surface.

All in all, Elena guessed the manacle to be about seven centimetres wide, with a thickness of about half a centimetre; anyway, on her slender arm, it appeared massive, an impression that was only marginally alleviated by its elegant, organic lines and rounded edges. Experimentally, she turned her hand and flexed her fingers, only to be awed by the severity with which the cuff made its presence felt whenever she moved her hand or arm. Lisa looked on with manifest fascination.

"How does it feel?" she asked.

"It'th very tight," Elena answered, musing for a moment before continuing haltingly, "Though not painfully tho. It'th like thomeone ith grawwing me wy the writht, firmly, thecurely, with no intention of ever letting me go again. Maketh me think of Victor'th throng handth, actually." She blushed, suddenly embarrassed by more than her inability to enunciate her words clearly.

"Oh!" Lisa sighed breathlessly.

"Allow me to check the fit," Alex chimed in and took hold of the cuff. When he tried to turn it, Elena's arm was made to turn as well. There was no slack whatsoever. Despite herself, Elena cried out. Alex, on the other hand, was pleased.

"Excellent! Let's do the rest of the cuffs!"

In short order, her other wrist bore its manacle as well. Then it was time for her ankle cuffs to be fastened. Except for being proportionally larger, they resembled her manacles to a tee. Once again, Elena's years of practice in Yoga proved their worth when she was asked to raise her legs one after the other to the level of the vice. It was an awkward posture to be sure, but positively harmless compared to some of the bondage positions she had learned to endure at Victor's hands. Lisa held each limb steady while Alex assembled the cuff's halves around it and then operated the vice to join them permanently. As before, everything went without a hitch and soon both her ankles were fettered with broad bands of seemingly seamless metal. Elena rotated her legs, mesmerized by the play of light over the fetters' gleaming surface and the stark contrast between her supple skin and the unyielding metal. Meanwhile, Lisa and Alex busied themselves cleaning up the workshop and putting their tools away.

Alex took another glance at his watch.

"Just in time. I suggest we proceed."

"Affirmative. Go ahead, I'll finish here and catch up with you later," Lisa agreed.

"Please come with me!" Alex grasped Elena's left arm above the elbow and pulled her after him.

Elena followed in a daze, acutely aware of the weight of her cuffs and the interference of all her other accoutrements. With every step she took, Elena felt the ankle cuffs mercilessly constricting the muscles and tendons of her calves. She could probably ease their bite by walking on tiptoe, an almost irresistible incentive to wear the kind of severe, high-heeled shoes Victor preferred exclusively hence. Not that she considered it likely he would leave her much choice regarding her footwear, or any other article of her apparel for that matter. Alas, naked and barefooted as she was trailing Alex at present, she would have to do without the support of stilettos for now.

Meanwhile, they had arrived at the door that led from the workshop to the foyer.

"Where are you taking me? What about my clotheth?" Elena asked belatedly when her thoughts caught up with the here and now.

"Don't worry, we'll stay inside," Alex reassured her.

He pushed the heavy door open and quickly pulled her through. Unexpectedly, she found herself at the centre of attention of a sizeable crowd.

Part 5 - Marked (added: 2012/11/02)

Elena came to an abrupt halt once she had stepped through the door and realised that all eyes were fixed on her while behind, the door closed with a click that sounded oddly loud in the dead silence. She was too stunned to take it all in at once; nevertheless, the oddness of the group that had presumably gathered to observe the next leg of her journey into slavery immediately caught her attention.

The scene she faced reminded her of the cocktail hour of a dinner party brought to an abrupt end by the eagerly-awaited announcement that the first course was ready to be served. The attire of the attendees oscillated between Wedding Reception formality and Fetish Ball strange. Tuxedos and gowns mixed freely with catsuits and body harnesses that were as upscale, as the men and women who wore them. Elena was confronted with an overlap of the rich and beautiful with the kinky, and a number of vaguely familiar faces suggested that the famous had sent a few delegates as well. To find herself unexpectedly the star of the show and right in the middle of such an illustrious circle was bad enough, but to have its member's hungry attention focused on her naked, pierced and manacled body was even worse.

She was glad when she spotted Greg, impeccably turned out in a tuxedo. Dr Mangel's presence came as a surprise and she barely recognized him, wearing not one of his customary anthracite suits, but proclaiming his allegiance to the latex and leather faction, by featuring a rather tightly-strapped black leather harness. Nevertheless, he appeared uncharacteristically cheerful, which was in all likelihood the merit of the beautiful blonde who casually held the leash to his collar.

Elena was less than thrilled when she noticed the haughty lady whose appointment had been cut short by her early arrival at Greg's practice. This time the elegantly-dressed lady was accompanied by a man in a black rubber suit, who, despite his formidable muscular physique, appeared to cower in her presence. Elena quickly scanned the gathered crowd. However, the one face she longed to see was missing and to make matters worse she had never before seen most of the people staring at her.

Elena felt herself plunged into a familiar nightmare of standing in front of a large group of strangers, suddenly realising she had forgotten to dress. In this instance at least she was not the only one without clothes. Her first impulse was to somehow attempt to cover her nakedness and hide the embarrassing array of body jewellery she had been adorned with, but unfortunately, this would have taken many more than the two arms she had at her command. She was about to dive behind Alex when the expression on the attendee's faces finally registered in her sluggish mind. Instead of the shocked disapproval and derision she might have expected, she saw awe, respect and even open admiration in their appraising stares. Of course, some were also covetous or outright predatory, yet those fanned rather than quenched the heady rush she felt. She stood more erect, displaying her considerable charms to their best effect and was rewarded by what seemed to be a collective intake of breath. Later on, she could never tell how long this magic moment had lasted. It was Alex who broke the spell when he cleared his throat.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you ... Elena! As you know, she has undertaken to become Victor's slave. Those of you, who haven't yet had the privilege of experiencing the extraordinary depth of her devotion in person, can do so today. Shortly, you'll witness Elena take the ultimate step of her quest: she will quit playing at being a slave and become the real thing."

His little speech was rewarded with loud applause, accompanied by agitated chit-chat and while she stood so blatantly displayed, Elena felt her cheeks heat. The blunt words had once more thrown into stark relief what she was about to commit herself to: namely, leaving behind her life as a self-reliant young woman to become a man's sex slave; his property, a plaything to be used or abused as he pleased. Once again, Victor had raised the stakes, daring her to defy him before his peers. If she shamed him now, he could never again accept her as his slave.

Alex raised his hand and the clapping and talking died down immediately.

"I know we're all eager for the Ceremony of Enslavement to commence. The necessary arrangements have been made in the Conference Room and so I would ask that you please follow us, then take your seats," he directed his attentive audience, eliciting another animated mumble. He took Elena by the hand and led her towards a door on the foyer's other side and while they slipped through the crowd, Elena caught some scraps of hushed conversation.

"Do you see her piercings? So it's all true!" a leather-clad young man whispered excitedly.

"She must love him very much," the girl at his side sighed.

"Do you think she's truly got no idea what's in store for her?" another woman wondered.

"You heard what Victor said. I tend to believe him," her companion replied coolly.

The mention of Victor's name sent a jolt through Elena and with a few quick steps she closed the gap to the leading Alex.

"What'th thith theremony you were talking about? And where'th Victor?" she whispered intensely under her breath.

"He's nearby, watching." Alex stated brusquely. "As I've explained to you, he won't interfere with the proceedings until you yourself complete your subjugation."

"I gave up my life. I've been pierthed on hith behalf. I wear hith chainth and manacleth. What more doth he want from me?"

There was a telling pause before Alex answered.

"You'll see. You're strong. You can do it."

They arrived at their destination, robbing Elena of the opportunity to pursue the point any further. She figured she would find out soon enough, whether she wanted to or not. The door opened to reveal a large, richly-appointed room apparently intended for conferences and meetings, but now, all the ordinary furniture had been removed and replaced by a low stage at the back wall and in front of it, multiple, widely-spaced rows of chairs. Alex assisted Elena up onto the brightly-lit stage while behind them the excitedly conversing guests filed into the room; then there was the usual confusion while they consulted the place cards and tried to find their seats. Not everyone was granted the privilege of a chair though. Apparently the slaves were supposed to kneel at their Master's or Mistress' feet.

Elena, now standing at the centre of the stage, looked around and saw that next to her on the left was a low steel table, its top covered by a white cloth that concealed some indistinct forms. Farther back, surrounded by a number of boxes and a pair of backless medical stools, another ominous, cloth-covered contraption loomed, while on the right side, a video camera stood on a tripod; a steady, red LED next to its large lens indicated that it was faithfully recording everything taking place on the stage. Elena surmised that in addition to creating a permanent record of her voluntary surrender, it also provided Victor with a discrete means of following events. For the moment she was at leisure to contemplate the implications while the commotion below slowly abated.

Finally, all guests had found their seats and settled into them. Confronted with their anticipation-filled faces, Elena felt like a lamb that had unwittingly stumbled into a lion's den. They obviously expected to be treated to a rare spectacle and unfortunately for her, she was the one chosen to provide the day's entertainment. Alex resumed his role as the Master of Ceremonies once more.

"Ladies and gents, kinksters, friends, lend me your ears!" His address was met with a few amused chuckles which he acknowledged with an ironic smile.

"We've gathered today to honour this brave young woman's decision to irrevocably surrender her freedom and give herself as a slave to our dear friend, Victor. A gift so precious can only be given freely or it cannot be given at all. In fact, it would be criminally irresponsible to accept it if this momentous decision was not an act of volition, but the result of some sort of coercion.

"Now, there are many ways for a powerful man like Victor to exert influence, even unwittingly, so therefore, to leave no doubt in anyone's mind about the voluntary nature of Elena's resolve, Victor has taken an unorthodox approach, showing that she treads the path to her enslavement on her own. At any point to now, Elena could have chosen to stop, yet she stands here before you, ready to take the final leap."

Elena grimaced. Although, superficially, she had rushed to this personal precipice at her own discretion, that certainly was not how it had felt like on the inside! By making his consent to take her back subject to her unconditional surrender, Victor had secured a supremely potent ally to expedite his plans for her: her own craving for him and his uncompromising brand of dominance. If he had accepted her return without reservations, she was sure she would not have allowed herself to be pushed quite so far, quite so fast. This way, he had neatly bypassed all of her carefully-crafted, but ultimately misdirected lines of defence. Did Victor himself really believe what he'd had Alex proclaim? She seriously doubted it, but the audience, however, seemed to eat it all up and applauded her bravery, or rather idiocy, as how she herself was inclined to call her behaviour. Nevertheless, she felt compelled to see this through.

After the applause died down, Alex continued.

"In a short while, Elena will be asked to complete her subjugation. She will be asked to wear Victor's collar and let her body be indelibly marked as his slave. Up to that final marking, she'll have the choice to call off the ceremony at any time. If she does, Victor will relinquish any claim he has laid upon her, but if she stays true to her resolution, she will become his property ... irrevocably, to do with as he pleases."

He paused to let his words sink in, then turned towards her.

"Elena, do you understand the choice you're being offered?"

The sudden question startled her out of her whirling and semi-chaotic thoughts. She was still scrambling to come to grips with the part about the 'indelible mark' she was about to receive.

"Yeth." she said softly into the taut silence, her oral jewellery once again mocking the gravity of her declaration.

"Speak up, please!" Alex was remorseless.

"Yeth, I do!"

"Excellent. Let us proceed then."

With a flourish, he lifted the cloth that covered the nearby table to reveal the dully gleaming halves of a massive metal oval: her collar. As was true for her cuffs, its elegant, organically-flowing lines were visually pleasing. Nevertheless, the substantial attachment fittings at the front and back, as well as on both sides, identified it as a formidable instrument of control. Alex picked up the halves and held them high so that his rapt audience was able to get a good look at them.

"Here we have the front and back segments of Elena's collar. They are made from the same impenetrable alloy as her other cuffs and jewellery and so once the collar has been fully assembled around her neck, there will then be no way to remove it again ... ever!"

His last statement made the listeners gasp for breath and the hands of quite a few of the kneeling 'slaves' involuntarily flew to their own, less irrevocably enclosed necks. Like any good host with a flair for drama, Alex milked the moment for all it was worth.

"That is, unless you chose to cut her head off, of course. However, while amputation might theoretically work for her limbs, it certainly isn't a viable option for her head."

Satisfied that his drastic words had produced the intended shock and awe, he addressed Elena once more.

"On behalf of Victor, I ask you, Elena: do you voluntarily accept the wearing of this collar?"

This time, she had had the chance to think about her answer in advance. Not that it helped her much to quell her anxiety. Once more she found herself pondering how little she actually knew about Victor, the man. Certainly, they had been together for nearly a year before her ill-advised attempt to leave him, but in all that time she had never met one of his friends or a member of his family. It had been clear from the outset that the social circle he belonged to was exclusive as well as elusive. However, somehow she had never felt the need to dig deeper: whenever they met, other urges had been much more pressing. Theirs had been an amour fou, fuelled by unbridled lust. At least, that was how it had felt like for her then. Considering the cool detachment Victor managed to uphold, now she wondered whether his passion had ever run as deep as hers. Elena glanced at the impassive eye of the camera, but of course found no reassurance there.

Nevertheless, she was committed. Since she was already decked out with a plethora of non-removable body jewellery and wore shackles on wrists and ankles, one more metal band around her neck would not make much of a difference. Besides, she admitted to herself reluctantly, her incongruously neglected neck bothered her on a visceral level. Without a collar she felt, quite simply, incomplete.

"Yeth, I acthept!" she proclaimed loudly.

"Very well!"

Alex stepped to her side and carefully positioned the segments of the collar around her neck, so that the stout locking pins projecting from one half were aligned with their receiving holes in the other half, then began pressing the halves together, making a show of the effort required to make their edges meet. He almost succeeded, but the halves suddenly seemed to become stuck, leaving a remaining gap of perhaps five mm in width. Already the collar felt snug, albeit thanks to the sensitive nature of its placement, not as tight as her other cuffs. A few millimetres of additional clearance greatly reduced the risk of suffocation in case her throat should for some reason develop a swelling.

"Time for Plan B." Alex muttered, panting a little from his exertion.

Elena looked at him questioningly. Her recent experience with the stiff resistance the other cuffs had put up against being fully-closed, suggested that this situation had been intended all along. Obviously, Alex wanted to make the proceedings more interesting for his audience, probably at her expense, but before she could voice her concerns, he grasped her shoulders.

"Come! Kneel!" he ordered.

He steered her to the front of the table, then pressing down on her shoulders he forced Elena to her knees and pushed her upper body down onto it. Her naked breasts touched its cold top first and their shackles caused a tinkling sound when they impacted then slid across the metal surface. Due to their new inner scaffolding, her normally resilient breasts did not become flattened as was normal, but instead, the load was taken up by the axial rods, spread to the radial pins, and transmitted directly onto her chest. It was the weirdest feeling and not altogether pleasant, so she quickly folded her arms below her chest to relieve the worst of the discomfort. That posture left her neck free, some dozen centimetres above the table with her head sticking out over its side.

"Stay like that!" Alex commanded and straightened.

As if on cue, Elena heard rapid steps coming towards her and when she glanced over her shoulder, saw Lisa climbing onto the dais. The first thing Elena noticed was that she had shed her lab coat at last and now wore a black leather harness that accentuated rather than concealed her spectacular body. The costume was further complemented by knee-high boots that were revealed as the source of the click-clack noise distinctive for high heels. Even more unexpectedly, a heavy leather collar encircled her neck with matching cuffs adorning her wrists and ankles. The articles she carried in either hand registered only when she handed them one after the other to Alex. The first one was a largish block of wood with a semicircular cut-out and this was deftly slipped under Elena's metal-encased throat. The second article was a large rubber mallet that Alex immediately took into both hands then swung high over his shoulder.

"Eyes straight ahead!" He commanded in a clear, carrying voice.

Elena obeyed, subconsciously picturing the whole scene in her mind. Certainly, its striking resemblance to a medieval beheading would not be lost on the audience and she only hoped now for the incredible spectacle to be over soon. With some effort, she suppressed a groan and braced herself for the blow to fall.

Alex did not strike immediately however, instead, he kept his dramatic pose while Lisa knelt in front of Elena and made certain there was sufficient space between the skin of her neck and the metal band enclosing it. Only the collar's present comparatively loose fit made it feasible to get its joints to close in such a dramatic fashion, without running the risk that her flesh would get pinched in the process. Lisa next took Elena's head between her hands and keeping it steady, looked Elena deep in the eyes. Reassured by what she found there, she nodded to Alex.

The mighty blow of the mallet hit the collar's back segment dead centre and the force of its impact drove the halves smartly together so that they instantly formed one, unbroken and unbreakable band of steel around Elena's neck. She cried out involuntarily, for although the collar had shielded her delicate throat from the blow, the unavoidable jolt and thunderous bang had startled her considerably. A collective gasp from the ranks of spectators proved they had been caught up in the drama enacted before their eyes as well.

Alex stood back with a satisfied air while Lisa helped Elena to her feet. Immediately, Elena raised her hands to her neck to find that where previously had been only the smooth and soft skin of her throat, her questing fingers now encountered hard metal. Fully-closed, her collar had become quite a bit tighter and now followed the contour of her neck closely. With some effort, she managed to squeeze the tip of her little finger under its rounded edge, but that was the extent of it's penetration between skin and steel. At least she had no problem turning or nodding her head, although the collar made its presence markedly felt with every movement she tried. Elena trembled at the thought that she would never again be free of its authoritative control and the sensation of its constant weight. Yet, that same thought simultaneously sent a tingle down her crotch that made her gasp.

"You're alright?" Lisa inquired worriedly.

Elena pulled herself together. It would not do to loose her cool in front of an audience and thus humiliate herself even further.

"Yeth, I'm fine. Can we protheed, pleathe?"

The audience burst into spontaneous applause and laughter, relieving the palpable tension by honouring Elena's expressed bravado, though failing to notice her suppressed terror. Regardless, their enthusiasm bolstered her courage.

"Your wish is my command." Alex assured her with a bow in her direction, then addressed the audience. "For the final step of her transformation, I'll turn Elena over to Dr Gregory Lowry. You all know him as a highly regarded aesthetic surgeon, although few of you will admit to first hand experience with his proficiency."

This time the sparse laughter sounded somewhat laboured. Unfazed, Alex continued.

"However, probably even fewer of you will know that he's recently become an expert practitioner of body modifications as well, and is especially well versed in the art of branding. Please extend a warm welcome to Dr Lowry!"

Among a ripple of friendly applause, Greg rose from his seat in the first row and climbed onto the dais to shake hands with Alex, while next to them, Elena stood by, petrified with fear. For some reason, she had assumed to be marked with a tasteful tattoo, not barbarically branded like a farm animal. Visions of a red hot branding iron slowly approaching her unblemished skin appeared unbidden before her inner eye and she vividly imagined feeling its searing heat already. Her heart rate spiked while her sympathetic nervous system readied her to fight or take flight; yet neither seemed to be the right response. There was a rogue element in the mix of conflicting emotions whirling through her, that slowly gained dominance over her near panic. To her dismay, Elena had to admit that on some level beyond her conscious control, she actually wanted to be branded. Meanwhile, Alex had finished introductions and ceded the stage to Dr Lowry. At the mention of her name, Greg's calm voice intruded into her thoughts.

"Though technically, the procedure I'll perform on Elena here is a form of branding, I prefer the more general term scarification. 'Branding' tends to convey all the wrong connotations," he explained dismissively.

Elena briefly speculated about what Greg had meant with his remark. Did he aim to dispel her own notion of branding as some sort of medieval torture, involving burning coal and glowing pokers? Or, did he want to distance his artistry from the supposedly menial job done by cowboys to their cattle? Intently, she watched him remove the cover of the other contraption she had noticed earlier at the back of the stage. At first glance it resembled a treatment chair with unusual metallic upholstery and some medical equipment attached to it. Greg gestured towards an unassuming grey box with a tilted control panel.

"What we have here is a high powered electro-surgical unit." he resumed his lecture. "It employs a high-frequency electrical current to instantly vaporize the skin I touch with this electrode."

He indicated a pen shaped handpiece connected by cable to the main unit.

"The advantage compared to traditional branding techniques is that there's less damage to the surrounding tissue and consequently, a more cleanly defined scar is generated. As well both the pain involved and the healing time required are considerably reduced, but be assured that the resultant brand is just as permanent however as those obtained by the more conventional means."

He stepped to the side and beckoned Elena to sit down on the treatment chair.

"Ready when you are."

"Are you ready, Elena?" Alex chimed in. "Are you ready to have Victor's mark burned into your skin and thereby become his absolute slave, renouncing all your human rights and live on his sufferance from here on? If that is your will, please state so clearly now!"

The moment of truth had arrived. Although there had been ample time to prepare, now that she had actually reached the point of no return, Elena found herself strangely reluctant to utter the words that would condemn her to a life of slavery. She longed for Victor's reassuring presence, his encouraging smile, or any sign at all that he appreciated her sacrifice, to help her make this leap of faith. And faith was what it took: Elena suddenly realised that at no time had Victor promised that they would pick up their relationship where they'd left off when she'd left him, albeit on a much more serious level; she had only assumed this would be the case from her own understanding of their tacit agreement. Nothing at all would prevent him from taking on other slave girls as well or finding himself a proper, socially-acceptable wife to share his public life, and perhaps relegating her to the status of a plaything only to be let out of her cage when it suited him.

And then an even more frightening thought entered her mind. What if Victor did not even intend to accept her back and it all had been nothing but an elaborate ploy to exact revenge for her betrayal? Once the thought was there, it was hard to ignore, even though she knew it to be wrong. Or did she? She had not seen nor spoken to Victor in nearly eight months, and after all that time Elena started to doubt her memory. Maybe what she remembered of him did not so much reflect reality, but instead, an idealized image she desperately wanted to be true?

Nevertheless, one thing Elena knew with absolute certainty: how she felt right now. Her heart was hammering hard in her chest, her cheeks were flushed and adrenaline coursed through her veins. Elena did not need the supporting evidence of her rock hard nipples around their impaling jewellery, her engorged labia, or her dripping wetness to know that her near-panic was laced with at least equal parts of arousal. Although the long weeks of her quest had been exceedingly hard on her, there was no denying that she had felt more alive than ever before in her life as well. And though she had been pushed past what she then believed were the limits of her endurance more than once, events had proved her wrong time and again. She did not break, but tapped into reservoirs of inner strength she had not been aware of before.

Time seemed to fly while Elena stood and contemplated the choice she had been offered. Her moment of indecision stretched into a long minute. Little by little, the audience grew restive, then suddenly the mood seemed to change. As soon as her acceptance did not seem to be a foregone conclusion any more, a sudden tension was noticeable in the room. Like sharks detecting a drop of blood in the water, all the attendant masters and mistresses worked themselves up to a feeding frenzy when they realized there probably was an exceptionally attractive and nearly no-limits submissive up for the grabs.


Alex's matter-of-fact voice brought Elena back to the here and now. Looking around, she became aware of all the hungry stares fixed on her and immediately inferred the reason behind them. If Victor had expected this situation to constitute her ultimate humiliation, he had miscalculated badly. The palpable desire that radiated from the audience was intoxicating and boosted her ego to unprecedented heights. Elena sensed the power she held over her admirers and how they writhed in the incredible sexual magnetism she exuded. She was certain each of them would just jump at the chance to claim her. She had only to tell them which way and how high. Indisputably, whatever else outer appearances might suggest, she would be in charge ever after. For the briefest moment she was tempted to take back control over her fate and have her every wish fulfilled by playing the "topping from bottom" game. Only it would not fulfil her deepest desire, Elena knew. Only true surrender to someone immune to her manipulative charm held the promise of true fulfilment for her and so far, only one had withstood her allure. Only one she deemed worthy of herself. Borne by a surge of masochistic lust she made her decision.

"I'm ready! I give mythelf over to Victor!" Elena asserted in a carrying voice.

With him, she was certain, slavery would not be just some tediously upheld fantasy role play, but the real thing. He certainly had the will, means and connections to make it happen.

"So be it!" Alex pronounced her fate sealed.

Greg beckoned her again to sit down on the treatment chair, and this time she followed his silent invitation. The metallic cover felt cold against her naked skin when she settled down onto the seat. Lisa retrieved a box with medical supplies, donned gloves and a mask, then pulled up a stool and began to thoroughly clean an area on Elena's chest just above her right breasts; approximately where the name patch of a military uniform would be located. In the meantime, Alex moved the video camera closer to capture a more detailed view of the proceedings, while Greg provided a running commentary, keeping the audience involved.

"We'll soon be inflicting third degree burns on Elena, in layman terms: deep burns that extend through the entire dermis, so infection becomes a serious concern. Therefore, hygiene is of utmost importance - as always:"

Despite Greg's somewhat alarming statement, Elena followed the preparations with apparent equanimity. Once she had reached her decision, the dissenting voices in her head marvellously fell silent. Now, she only had to weather the upcoming ordeal, something she had gained considerable experience with recently. She leaned back, closed her eyes and focused on the exquisite teasing her raging arousal provided, fuelled further by the constriction and weights of her cuffs and collar and the occasional twinges of her body jewellery.

Greg's incessant explanations intruded into her trance-like state of masochistic bliss.

"Now that Lisa has thoroughly cleaned the area, she will apply the stencil that transfers the slave mark's design onto Elena's skin."

Elena looked down in time to see Lisa remove the transfer paper, glimpsing an upside-down view of some emblem outlined in purple ink on her skin and it took her a second to recognize it as a suitably simplified version of the heraldic badge she had seen on some of Victor's belongings. To her relief, she judged the mark's overall visual impact to be elegant rather than blatant, to the extent such a statement even made sense with respect to something as extreme as a brand.

Greg traded places with Lisa and assured himself that the design had been flawlessly copied to Elena's chest, then, satisfied, resumed his lecture to the rapt audience. The attendant dominants had apparently overcome the frustration of their fantasies to acquire Elena for themselves and took comfort in watching her ordeal.

"Next, I'll begin with the actual branding. For a number of reasons, hygiene and the acrid smell foremost, it's a bad idea to inhale the vaporized skin, so we'll need to put on respirators first. For your convenience, Alex will turn up the ventilation."

Greg donned a half-face mask, then handed another one to Elena, who gratefully accepted it. She did not particularly fancy being nauseated by the stench of her own burning flesh.

"Brace yourself. This might hurt a little." Greg advised her quietly, his voice muffled by the mask.

He switched on the electro-surgical generator, picked up the handpiece and leaned forward over her chest. Elena forced herself to take slow, deep breaths in a feeble attempt to calm her fluttering nerves. Then it began.

With swift and sure strokes Greg retraced the design painted on her skin. He did not quite touch her body with the handpiece, but a bright electric arc connected its metal tip with her skin, leaving a thin, dark line of charred flesh in its wake. The accompanying pain was piercing and terrible, but fortunately lasted only for an instant before abating to a dull throbbing. Elena clutched the armrests with both hands until the tendons stood out sharply on the back of her forearms, and fought against the rigidity of their encircling cuffs. Her earlier arousal had evaporated as instantly as her skin and beads of sweat formed on her brow, stinging her eyes. Ragged breaths hissed through her teeth and resonated within the tight confines of her mask. Elena could not bring herself to watch the brilliant spark furrow indelible scars into her previously unblemished skin, but instead focussed on Greg's engrossed eyes, deriving a quantum of solace from his evident competence and conscientiousness. She knew that when he would be done finally, the result of his work was virtually guaranteed to be perfect.

The torture continued on and on, interrupted only by short intervals when he started work on another segment of the brand and each time Elena reiterated her wistful wish that Victor's family should have settled for another, rather less elaborate heraldic badge. She was close to the end of her endurance when at long last Greg straightened and switched off the quietly humming machine. He pulled off his respirator and treated her to one his rare smiles.

"It is done!" he pronounced her ordeal over and the audience burst into spontaneous applause. Greg waited until the clapping had abated and continued.

"From now until the end of your days you'll bear Victor's mark. He'd better be proud of his new slave. You've been exceptionally brave!" He spoke with peculiar emphasis, as if his words conveyed more than well-earned praise for her stoicism.

Elena slowly unclenched her jaw and loosened her grip on the chair's armrests, then with a weary sigh, peeled the sweat-soaked mask from her face and let it drop to the floor. Her chest throbbed with a dull, pulling ache that increased tenfold with every movement of her arms. She barely took notice, though. Greg's quietly impressed words still reverberated in her head and her mind was filled with the wonder and terror of her new station. She had come to the end of her quest and of her stamina simultaneously. All of her thoughts and wishes had been concentrated on reaching this point for so long that now, when she had finally achieved her aim, she unexpectedly found herself at a loss. Although suffused with a sense of accomplishment, instead of enjoying contentment for once, she remained still consumed by an inner craving she neither understood nor knew how to assuage.

Suddenly, she felt a hand on her shoulder.

"The trick, Dr Lowry, is not minding that it hurts. Elena's very good at that," a familiar voice said from behind and her heart skipped a beat.

Elena whipped her head around and looked up. The world seemed to shift around her when she found Victor towering over her. He must have entered through a door in the back of the dais while she had been exclusively focused on dealing with the pain of her branding. She greedily drank in the sight of him, like a person dying of thirst might ogle a fountain, rapidly reacquainting herself with his well-remembered features.

There were the high brow and the aquiline nose, the chiselled chin and the firm mouth, now stretched into a thin smile that did not extend to his ice blue eyes. Maybe his dark hair showed a little more grey than she remembered, but otherwise he could have stepped directly out of one of her many dreams about him (admittedly, one also had to disregard his impeccable, charcoal suit that looked nothing like a knight's shiny armour). Yet most importantly, Victor still exuded that rare breed of strength and purpose that had always inspired implicit submission in her. Elena's pulse quickened when recollections of the masochistic bliss she had experienced at his mercy rose unbidden from the depths of her memory and eclipsed current circumstances.

She was lost in her wistful study of Victor until interrupted by the approach of Lisa, who applied some antibiotic cream to the fresh burn and then covered it with a sterile pad, held in place by surgical tape. Rudely awakened from her daydreaming, Elena became aware of a disturbing divergence between her imagination and actual reality. For one thing, Victor did not fawn over her. Instead, his cool appraisal of the trappings of slavery she bore on his behalf was nothing but businesslike. She yearned for a sign of his appreciation but none was forthcoming.

Of course, as his slave, she realized, she had no claim to Victor's love. As his slave, her overriding concern, her very raison d'etre had to be his pleasure, not her own inconsequential needs. Paradoxically, this total submission under his dominance, wilfully bordering on self-abandonment, was what she needed the most. Without it, she had found out the hard way that she could never hope for any fulfilment in her life. How Victor treated her now was only befitting her self-imposed condition of slavery: this she was forced to concede. Inexplicably, Elena felt dejected nevertheless.

She tried to get up but his hand on her shoulder pushed her effortlessly back onto the seat.

"Wait!" Victor commanded and from the depth of his jacket produced a flat, black leather case. "There's more."

Part 6 - Owned (added: 2013/01/04)

Victor came around the chair and held the elegant case right in front of Elena's eyes, who studied this latest Pandora's Box in sick fascination. Embossed in its shiny surface she espied the same heraldic badge that now graced her own chest, unceasingly making its presence felt in rather uncomfortable ways. Deeply engrossed, she was taken by surprise when Victor suddenly thrust the box into her hands.

"Open it!"

Elena accepted the case with manifest reluctance, the old adage that subs should 'beware of dominants bearing gifts' running through her mind. So, instead of opening it, she looked up and searched Victor's face for an explanation. What more could he possibly demand of her? What further indignity would she have to accept now? All the numerous holes that had been punched into her body were already occupied by 'jewellery' of the permanent and punitive persuasion; her limbs were already encircled by irremovable restraints and although she had consigned herself to become his slave and property, now she dreaded the consequences should his actions no longer be moderated by love and affection. Yet, though it looked like she might have lost the latter, she was nevertheless addicted to his dominance. This then, whatever it turned out to be, was yet another part of the price to pay for her craving. Alas, Victor chose to ignore her silent inquiry, so that after a moment she gave up and focused her attention on the ominous case again.

"Go ahead, open it!" Victor prompted her once more.

Discerning the irritation in his voice, Elena wisely chose not to delay the inevitable any longer and opened the lid to reveal the black velvet-lined interior. Alex had lifted the camera from its tripod and hovered nearby while Lisa and Greg had retreated to the sidelines to watch the drama unfold, as did the rest of their audience. The case's contents elicited a shocked gasp of awe from Elena. There was what appeared to be more metal jewellery, but this was not what had caused her surprised reaction. Next to those pieces, neatly arranged in pairs of two, a number of diamonds flashed brightly in overhead lights. Elena's gaze flitted back to Victor's face and found his cool demeanour transformed by a smile of overwhelming warmth and vividness that seemed to shine directly into her soul, instantly dispelling the distress she had felt only seconds before. It was the Victor of old that, for the moment at least, had been returned to her. Despite herself, Elena allowed herself to hope again and smiled back at him shyly.

"They're very beautiful, Mathter." Although it was the first time she had called him master, the new form of address rolled very naturally from her tongue.

"Yet they pale in comparison to you, my most precious possession." Victor replied gallantly, making her blush. "Please, allow me."

With delicate fingers he picked up one of the diamonds and brought it close to her face. With the stone mounted in a round bezel setting, atop a short metal shaft of hexagonal cross-section, the ensemble reminded Elena more of an interchangeable bit for a multi-head screw driver than any piece of conventional jewellery she had ever seen. The pertinence of her observation was immediately demonstrated when Victor partially slid its shaft into the hex socket of the conical locknut that secured her nose bar's left end. He had barely inserted more than half a millimetre of the shaft's length before a powerful force yanked the "bit" from his fingers and slammed it home with considerable speed, causing Elena to cry out, albeit more in surprise than anything else.

"Careful, these rare earth type magnets are something else!" Alex remarked helpfully.

Victor acknowledged the belated warning with a raised eyebrow.

"So I noticed." he commented dryly, earning him a few chuckles from the spectators.

Without further delay, the second diamond bit of the pair was emplaced on the other side of the bar transfixing her nose, then the analogous pins that secured her nipple shackles were decked out with their pairs of brilliants.

"Much better!" Victor declared. "Don't you agree?"

Elena crossed her eyes and peered down along her nose. At both sides, the conical caps that guarded her nose bar against removal were now crowned by diamonds of exquisite brilliance and fire and further down, her metal infused breasts were similarly endowed. The precious stones did little to soften the starkly utilitarian character of her body jewellery, yet in Elena's perception they changed its connotations quite profoundly. Like a jewelled hilt elevated a knife from interchangeable commodity item to cherished possession, they signified the appreciation and affection she had hungered for.

"Yeth, much bether! Thank you, Mathter!" Elena stated emphatically.

"You're welcome! Let's see how you like the rest of my presents."

The next piece Victor retrieved from the case was met with much less enthusiasm however. Elena stared doubtfully at the wide, slightly oval ring that he struggled to slide onto her right thumb. Although it was not fully closed, he had a hard time pushing the springy metal band past the knuckle. Thankfully, that problem was significantly simplified when the always-helpful Lisa procured a bottle of baby oil from her stash of medical supplies; then, once Victor had succeeded, he proceeded by gripping the ring between the padded jaws of the pliers Lisa handed him next. He squeezed the handles until the flat locking pin bridging the small gap in the oval's circumference engaged the internal catch, and it closed with a final-sounding click. From the authoritative way the band clasped around her thumb and the obviously irreversible mode of its mounting, Elena surmised she had just acquired another addition to her growing inventory of permanent trappings. And not a purely decorative one to boot; copying the design of her shackles, small holes through the raised bulges on both sides of the oval provided further fastening points and thus yet more ways Victor could lock her body into any position he dreamed up. Given his penchant for inventive, always stringent and sometimes almost literally back-breaking bondage worthy of an accomplished contortionist, hers was not a particularly comforting realization.

Of course, Elena knew better than to protest. Her eloquent silence communicated her misgivings quite clearly anyway, but Victor cheerfully ignored them, of course, and soon had her other thumb, then both her big toes similarly ringed as well.

There remained one last item in the case. Victor took it up and held it out to her on his flat palm. It was another split-open ring; only this one was narrower than the others and completely plain, curiously missing even the otherwise ubiquitous attachment points. Elena sighed resignedly and prepared for being fit with what she hoped would be her final accoutrement, at least for now. To her surprise, this time she was not the receiver of the ring but was handed the pliers instead. She watched in wonder when Victor slid the band on his own ring finger.

"This ring symbolizes my commitment to you. As you're bound to me as my slave, I'm bound to you as your master. I made very sure that to become my slave was not a frivolous decision on your part; however, becoming your master is not a responsibility to assume lightly, either. This ring serves to honour your trust and to reassure you I'll keep my side of the bargain, always." he declared. In the awed silence that followed his words, he held Elena's eyes for a long moment before he put forth his hand towards her. "Would you please do the honours?"

Elena acknowledged his request with a silent nod. His gracious gesture meant more to her than she could ever hope to express in words. With tremulous hands, she grabbed his finger and brought the pliers to bear on the band encircling his finger, then looked up into his face. When he nodded, she slowly closed her hand around the handles and a moment later, a subdued click signalled the ring had been rendered permanent as well. Victor brought his hand up and contemplated the dully-gleaming metal band, then smiled at her.

"I shall be a demanding master." he promised her solemnly.

"And I shall be a difficulth thlave." she returned with a mischievous smile of her own.

The audience burst into spontaneous laughter and applause. Apparently, the last hour had been an emotional roller coaster ride not for Elena alone, but for everyone who had taken an interest in the drama happening in front of them. Now that a happy ending seemed guaranteed, the collective strain that had held them all in thrall dissolved into general exhilaration. Victor gallantly offered Elena his hand and helped her to her feet. She winced when the movement stretched her fresh brand, then followed him gingerly to the front of the dais where they were joined by the others.

"Dear friends, I should like to take the opportunity to greet you personally and thank you all for having attended Elena's collaring." Victor addressed his guests. "It's been a very special occasion for us and I'm pleased to have been able to share it with all of you. By now, you must have realized how blessed I've been to have found this rough diamond of a slave. Due to the exceptional nature of my ambition it has been a long and wearisome search, but one which ultimately paid off beyond my highest hopes."

He paused and squeezed Elena's hand before he continued with a wink.

"Alas, this concludes the official part of the ceremony. It's time for Elena to be properly introduced to her new station in life and installed in her new home, so if you would please excuse us ..."

His announcement was met with cheers and the occasional hoot. Elena greeted the news with at best half-hearted relief; on one hand she was glad her involuntary public appearance was coming to an end and she was anxious to finally spend some quality time with Victor in private, on the other his vaguely ominous words filled her with a delightfully teasing dread. Alex returned the camera to its tripod and took up his role as host again.

"I'm confident that I speak on behalf of everyone when I express my gratitude to Victor for the privilege of being part of this experience. We were allowed to witness something extraordinary and wonderful. Victor's perseverance and Elena's exemplary bravery and self-giving devotion are an inspiration to all of us." Alex enthused piously.

The reactions of his listeners were mixed: Dominants looked indeed inspired, while most of the subs seemed to be put off by the notion of emulating Elena's example. However, quite a few had thoughtful or even eager expressions. Given the competitive pressures that inevitably built up in any social group, Elena considered it entirely possible that Alex would soon find other customers for his exclusive line of permanent restraints. His smug air suggested that he had come to the same conclusion. He smiled benignly when he went on.

"I'm sure today's ceremony will stay in our minds for a long time and provide ample food for thought. However, man does not live by thought alone, so let me invite you all to join me in the foyer for a culinary conclusion to this momentous day. The buffet and bar have been opened."

If Victor hoped the lure of the buffet would be enough to secure a clean escape, he had been sadly mistaken. Although a few guests actually departed for the foyer, most hung around to congratulate him on his good fortune, and of course, smartly mixing business with pleasure, they seized the opportunity to ogle Elena from close up.

After shaking countless hands and an apparently interminable exchange of pleasantries, Victor and Elena managed to get away from the well-wishers into an adjacent room, accompanied only by Lisa and Greg while Alex stayed back to keep their more persistent admirers in check. Elena immediately noticed the monitor on the sideboard and the chair in front of it, deducing correctly that this was where Victor had followed proceedings. Then her eyes fell on the mass of glittering chains and locks lying incongruously next to the monitor and her breath caught.

"Phew, I'm glad that circus is over with!" Victor sighed with feeling. "Now ..."

He interrupted himself when Elena melted into his arms and started to cry softly.

"I mithed you tho much! I've been tho lotht without you. Nothing made thense any more."

"Shhh, it's alright. I missed you too, Pet." He hugged her close, gently patting her back.

"Don't ever let go of me again, pleathe!" she wept.

"Won't happen." he assured her. "I'll never let you get away from me again, no matter what."

Elena sighed contentedly and snuggled closer into his tight embrace while he buried his face in her soft hair. After a moment she calmed and her rebellious nature reasserted itself. She looked up with a mischievous glint in her eyes.

"And if I walked out on you again?"

"So not a problem." Victor chuckled, for the notion seemed to genuinely amuse him

Come to think of it, Elena had to concede, her past choices did indeed limit her future lifestyle options. Still, she felt the need to have him affirm their new relationship once more. When he became serious again, Victor held her at arm's length and met her bright gaze.

"You don't have that option any more. Make no mistake, you're my slave now and I fully intend to keep you as such." he informed her earnestly. "And after today's ceremony, I have more than adequate means at my disposal to deal efficiently with your occasional impetuousness."

The steel in his voice sent a pleasurable shudder down her spine. She recognized that particular tone and remembered its ramifications extremely well.

"I understand, Mathter!" Elena acknowledged meekly, then slowly turned around and crossed her wrists behind her back in silent supplication.


Victor and Elena turned their heads when they heard Lisa's wistful sigh. She had watched their impassioned intermezzo starry-eyed and now blushed furiously when she found herself unexpectedly at the centre of attention. She smiled apologetically and leant against Greg, who laid his arms around her protectively. Yet even the normally impassive Dr. Lowry seemed affected.

"Would you like us to lend you a hand there?" he asked Victor in a throaty voice.

"Sure. It's high time we put her manacles to good use."

Together they started the elaborate process of turning Elena into a helpless, vulnerable prisoner. First, a short chain was fastened to the back ring of her collar to dangle down her spine. Next, they slowly and carefully forced her hands and arms high up her back between her shoulder blades, rotating them so that her palms faced outward. Then, her forearms were pushed closer and closer together and thereby, her hands and cuffed wrists were moved even further upward, centimetre by centimetre toward the end link of the dangling chain from the back of her collar. Victor relentlessly increased the pressure until Elena gasped audibly and rose on her tiptoes to relieve the strain.

"Now!" Victor commanded tersely and while he maintained the tension, Greg quickly locked her wrist cuffs together and at the same time connected them to the bottom link of the dangling chain. When Victor released her arms at long last, Elena instinctively tested her bonds. It did not take her long to assess her arms' remaining freedom of movement: there was none. Her fingers clawed helplessly at the air while she tried to cope with the strenuous bondage that taxed even her flexible body. Still, Victor was not entirely satisfied and picked up a small link, then pulled her squirming thumbs close together and joined their rings with it.

"Not too bad ... for a start. A little more training and we'll end up with an acceptable reverse prayer position."

Since presumably the answer would only serve to aggravate her, Elena wisely refrained from asking what constituted an "acceptable reverse prayer position" from his point of view and settled for an indignant snort instead. Victor patted her placatingly on the shoulder.

"Don't worry, we'll get there. It's a good thing you've kept up your Yoga practice."

Elena only rolled her eyes at his purposeful misunderstanding and resigned herself to what amounted for all practical purposes to the complete loss of the use of her hands. There was a chance that Victor would quickly tire of the additional workload her utter helplessness was bound to put on him, yet, given the meticulous planning that had obviously gone into all aspects of her enslavement, he probably had a solution for this problem as well.

Anyway, it was too late now for trying to escape her pre-ordained fate. As if to underscore the point, her ankle cuffs were quickly joined by 30 centimetres of chain, turning the idea of running away into a highly unlikely proposition.

The next addition to her growing ensemble of restraints was the most fearsome yet: a limp, dull black, thick-skinned bladder surrounded by a plethora of dangling straps, vividly reminding her of some hapless octopus washed up on dry land by an unkind fate. Nevertheless, her experienced eye immediately recognized it as some fiendishly-complicated and in all likelihood, correspondingly efficient gag. When Victor detached the flaccid balloon from its holding harness and brought the unpalatable mass close to her mouth, she pressed her lips together in refusal. Her master would have none of that though.

"Open your mouth and extend your tongue! Now, please!"

Her pleading look around variously met with unwavering resolve, sardonic amusement or sick fascination; only the sympathetic mercy she had hoped for remained regrettably absent. Since support for her silent plea was not forthcoming, she reluctantly complied with Victor's order and allowed the distasteful invader to enter her mouth. While its surprising bulk was slowly worked into her oral cavity, Elena's outstretched tongue slid into an internal sleeve within the gag's bladder and she felt stiff rubber nubs dragging along her tongue's sensitive surface until they suddenly engaged the triplet of steel-rimmed holes piercing the muscle. The nubs yielded easily in one direction only ... forward; and when bent the other way, they became rigid as Elena discovered to her chagrin when she unsuccessfully attempted to withdraw her tongue from its entrapment. However, as the gag advanced ever deeper, her tongue began to be pushed farther back as well, making her plan to extricate it moot.

Soon the whole bladder had been bundled into her mouth, then Victor started to coax the gag's wide inner shields into place between her gums and lips. After some judicious poking, counterpointed by his quiet swearing and Elena's even quieter grunting, he finally succeeded and allowed himself a moment to study the fruits of his labours. The balloon had vanished completely and now the only visible sign of its presence was a round socket fixture that emerged from between her stretched lips. Pliable flaps filled her oral vestibule on both sides, distending her cheeks and giving her the chipmunk-like aspect Elena professed to hate with a passion. Victor apparently liked it though.

"Looks perfect. Let's fix her bridle now."

The gag's harness was made of some rubberized, lightweight but nearly unbreakable high-tech plastic material and incorporated a rigid cup for her lower face that once fitted, would firmly clasp around her chin and extend high and far back over her cheeks toward her ears, rising to just below her nostrils and fully covering her lower face. But that was not whole extent of its talents, as Elena realized upon spotting the short metal rods that rose from its inner surface, arrayed around the slot that would accommodate the bladder's external fixture. They were obviously intended to go through the eyeleted holes in her lips and pin them in place between the gag's outer and inner shield. Elena could not suppress a low moan when she understood how strict her bondage was going to be. As had often been the case since the fateful day she had met Victor, the by-now-familiar, intoxicating mixture of dread and arousal suffused her mind.

Oblivious of her inner turmoil, Victor set about ensnaring her head in the uncompromising web of straps. He carefully centred the face cup, then slowly slid it down over the socket sticking out between her lips until the spikes threatened to graze her lips. One by one, he aligned each metal pin with its matching piercing, making sure the tip would enter the eyeleted hole, before he clasped her head in the crook of his left arm and pressed down hard on the gag's outer shield with his other hand. The spikes sank into the inner shield's resilient material and thereby completely immobilized her skewered lips, yet at the same time protected them from being crushed between both shields. The separation maintained by the spikes was a lot less than what Elena would have considered comfortable though, and so she remained acutely aware of the pressure exerted on her sandwiched lips.

This sorry state of affairs was perpetuated for the time being when Victor pulled vigorously at the wide straps that went around her head below her ears and joined them at the nape of her neck. The loud click of an integral lock told Elena that Victor had reserved the privilege to free her from the horrid gag for himself exclusively. He had no intention of doing so for the present of course, but proceeded to fasten the balance of the harness' straps around her head.

Two sets extended upwards from the chin cup on both sides; the first pair rose on either side of her nose to meet at its bridge between her eyes, and from there, a single strap continued back along her crown, bisecting her brow and hair, before it split again, level with her ears. Each of those straps descended separately over the back of her head on either side with two more integrated locks fastening them to the wide, horizontal band where they encountered it right behind her earlobes.

The second pair went up her temples to unite with the ones that descended from her crown, their union joined by another, headband-like strap that encircled her head horizontally and served to lock all the vertical ones into position. Last but not least, her head harness was anchored to her collar. To her dismay, the short connecting straps Victor locked to its fastening points at the side and back also severely limited her ability to turn or nod her head.

All in all, it was the customary bondage overkill Elena had come to expect as result of Victor's (in her humble opinion) unfortunate association with Alex. Oddly enough, although all the straps were snug, they did not feel overly tight. This could not have been unwonted leniency on Victor's part: whereas ordinary gags featured buckles to accommodate a number of different wearers, hers was evidently a custom-made head harness that came with only one, fixed setting. Not that there was any risk whatsoever she might rid herself of her gag without the key for the various locks, but still the incongruence made Elena wonder.

Her puzzlement evaporated when Victor connected a hose to the fixture protruding through the outer shield of her gag and squeezed the attached bulb with vigour. The bladder started to inflate and slowly but surely forced her jaws apart. Instantly, everything became much tighter! As her chin was pushed with increasing force against its enclosing cup, the head-webbing harness took up the pressure and before long its interconnected straps started to dig into her flesh. Elena felt as if her head had been put in a vice that was being inexorably tightened. Inside, the expanding balloon filled every nook and cranny of her oral cavity and squashed her captive tongue to its floor. Elena tried to shake her head wildly in protest, or at any rate jerk it sideways to the minuscule extent permitted by her gag and collar, yet Victor continued pumping until her eyes widened dramatically and her pleading grunts took on a decidedly desperate note.


"Oops! Maybe I got carried away here. What's your professional opinion, Dr Lowry? Do you think it's too tight?" Victor inquired pensively.

"That's hard to say, really. Alright, I'll have a look." Greg acceded grudgingly.

To Elena's regret, he chose to disregard her enthusiastically affirmative squeals in his diagnosis. Instead, he took his sweet time to examine her gag, plucking idly at the taut straps, poking his index finger at her distended cheeks, or trying in vain to force his pinkie under the chin cup.

"Hard to say." Greg summarized his findings at long last, then retreated a step when an enraged Elena nearly managed to knee him in the groin, only to be confounded by her hobble at the last centimetre. Her narrow failure only served to fuel her fury and in a veritable temper tantrum she started a mad dancing struggle to free herself from her bondage; her muffled screams nearly drowned out by the incessant rattling of the chains that held her captive.

"Whoa, take it easy!" Victor admonished her nonchalantly, while he and a mesmerized Greg watched her antics from a safe distance. Her enthusiastic, nevertheless ineffectual writhing and shaking of her naked body against its adamant bonds made for a fascinating and highly entertaining display of eroticism.

"Oh, come on. Let's help her already." Lisa interjected.

Victor and Greg exchanged an unrepentant grin, then turned their attention back to Elena.

"She's probably hurting." Lisa tried again, this time with even less success. Victor shrugged, while Greg did not react at all.

"She might damage her new brand!" Lisa pointed out in exasperation.

This time she got their attention. Both sobered up immediately.

"I'd say the gag and her other restraints work as intended. Mission accomplished." Greg noted.

"You're right." Victor agreed.

With an agility that belied his usually composed manner, he captured the still writhing Elena in his strong arms.

"Stop that! I'm trying to help you."

Elena kept fighting him for another second before reason overcame rage and her struggles subsided. Panting heavily through impaled nostrils, she limited herself to alternately glaring at Victor and Greg, interspersed with the occasional thankful glance at Lisa. Unfazed, Victor grabbed the bulb that dangled from her gag and opened the valve slightly, then observed Elena carefully while he allowed a trickle of air to escape from the bladder wedged into her mouth, taking off the edge of her pain. All too soon, just when the strain on her jaws had been reduced from agonizing to merely aggravating, he closed the valve and detached the hose from the front of her chin cup.

"You're lucky Lisa intervened on your behalf. Mark my words, slave, I won't tolerate such behaviour in the future! Behave, or ..." Victor brandished the bulb before her eyes.

Elena shuddered, then averted her eyes and took a number of deep breaths. As her pain and anger gradually drained away, the throbbing of her sealed clitoris gained pre-eminence and she once again wondered why her libido thrived on this kind of abuse. It had taken her years to accept her masochism as the cornerstone of her personality, yet even now she struggled with the sometimes unintended consequences of succumbing to its demands. Nonetheless, when she looked up at Victor again, her eyes smiled and she managed a surprisingly graceful nod.

"I can see now why you choose to have her pierced and outfitted so extensively. She's got quite the temper." Greg chuckled gleefully.

"Yes, my Elena can be a wildcat at times. But afterwards, she invariably rubs up against your legs and purrs, if you know what I mean. That's part of why I love my pet so much." Victor patted Elena affectionately on the head, taxing her hard-won equanimity, before he continued. "Incidentally, it's also the reason I'd like to wrap this up and get going."

Elena watched stoically when he fetched another, lighter but sturdy chain from the dwindling supply, this one with a black leather loop at one end and a snap hook at the other.

"And now for the piece de resistance."

Although no self-respecting cat would willingly suffer such abuse, Elena had resigned herself to the indignity of being leashed like a dog, when to her horror Victor did not snap the chain's hook to her collar, but to her nose shackle! With her mouth packed full and her arms wrenched up between her shoulder blades, her protests against his bovine treatment of her were reduced to angry squeals and ineffectual, small head shakes. Even those were soon brought to an end when he experimentally pulled upwards on her leash, forcing her to follow its irresistible command until she was balancing on her tiptoes.

Elena did not need to be told that any resistance would amount to nothing but a painful exercise in futility. At the other end of her nose leash, even a child could take absolute control of her and make her do its bidding. Like nothing else, this realization drove home the fact that she had allowed herself to be turned into a perfectly helpless, permanently-ringed and shackled slave, subject to her master's every whim. The nose leash was another, long suppressed fantasy come true, yet its stark reality proved to be far grimmer than she had believed possible. However, it was too late now for her to reconsider and besides, she trusted Victor implicitly, although he could be a real bastard at times. Elena vented a weary sigh of relief when he finally relented and eased the tension on her leash, allowing her to lower her head again.

"If looks could kill, I'd fear for you." Greg remarked idly.

"She'll come around to it eventually, I suppose." Victor said unconcerned. "Just like she'll get used to the other stuff I've got planned for her."

He checked his wristwatch.

"We really need to be on our way. Thanks a lot for all you did for us. Your support has been truly invaluable."

"You're welcome. Elena's been a pleasure to work with. I must say you two have set a truly inspiring example." Greg turned to Lisa. "Don't you agree, my dear?"

Lisa had to swallow before she could answer.

"Yes, helping you both realize your dream has been a most enlightening experience."

"I'm glad you feel that way." Victor said. "Please extend my compliments to Alex as well and tell him I'll soon get in touch concerning Elena's head post."

"OK, I'll pass it on to him. I can schedule the procedure for next month if he has everything ready by then." Greg assured him. "Meanwhile, I can practice my trade on Lisa here."

Lisa blanched but did not protest. If Elena was not mistaken, she would have a friend sharing her plight soon. She was not sure whether she should offer Lisa her condolences or congratulations, but thanks to her gag, Elena did not need to make up her mind right now anyway. At any rate, she would not be alone in her peculiar form of slavery any more. The comforting thought helped her forget about the further modifications Victor apparently planned to impose on her body.

Greg shook hands with Victor while Lisa embraced Elena in parting, tears in her eyes.

"I'll pay you a visit, maybe we can talk then. That is, if your master permits it." Lisa said with a sideways glance to Victor.

"By all means, only not too soon, please. Give me some time to get her settled in first. Now, you two enjoy yourselves at the party while Elena and I take our leave."

"Thanks! I know I will." Greg promised with a malicious smile.

On that note, Victor grabbed Elena's freely swinging nose leash and led the way towards the room's second door while she scurried along behind him; anxious not to expose her delicate nose to further abuse, yet forced to take tiny steps by the too short ankle chain. From the corner of her eye, she just glimpsed Greg pick up another leash plus some locks and beckon to Lisa, then the door jamb blocked her view and she found herself in the adjoining hallway.

Greg set a deliberately stiff pace, pulling his slave along the deserted corridor to the building's back side. Hampered both by her hobble chain and the loss of her arms, Elena had a tough time keeping up and more than once felt the horrible pinch of her leash compelling her to increase her efforts. The muted sounds of a party in full swing were nearly drowned out by the frenzied clinking of her hobble chain; nonetheless they served as a bittersweet reminder of a life she was literally leaving behind.

Finally, they arrived at the large, metal double door at the corridor's end and passed through to the loading dock beyond. Since it was Sunday, the generous back parking area's sole occupant was a large, black SUV with tinted windows which Victor evidently considered better suited to transport a prisoner than his beloved SL-300 vintage sports car. The late afternoon sun blinded Elena when she gave in to the incessant pull of her leash and stepped onto the hot tarmac, letting out a muffled yelp when its heat seared her naked feet. She quickened her steps to the limit imposed by her hobbled stride, keeping on tip toe, practically skipping across the parking lot to arrive at the big car alongside Victor, delighted to find cooler footing in the vehicle's shadow.

"I suppose someone's eager to get going. Please allow me to assist you with your little, ah, handicap." Victor said with a nod towards her ankle chain, which, together with her useless arms, would prevent her from climbing into the car unaided.

With a mock bow, he opened the rear driver-side door, then, without further ado, swept Elena into his arms and placed her on the seat, heedless of the stains her sweat-slick, naked body might leave on the expensive leather. Bending over her, he fastened the safety belts and tightened them until she was firmly pressed against the seat, her bound arms wedged awkwardly between its backrest and her shoulder blades. Immediately afterwards, he did something to the tensioning mechanism of the belts and suddenly, they would not budge any more, effectively pinning her in her current position. To complete her immobilization, he locked her hobble chain to a sturdy metal loop conveniently located in the foot well that certainly had not been part of the car's original features.

"Almost done!" Victor assured her before he went around the car and began to rummage through the glove compartment.

Meanwhile, Elena squirmed in her bonds in the vague hope to find a more comfortable posture, but with her arms held in a strict reverse prayer, her efforts were doomed from the start. At least, the safety belt went over her left shoulder and thus did not rub on her still smarting brand. She gently bent her knees and tugged her legs against her anchored hobble chain so that the implacable clasp of her ankle cuffs made itself even more definitively felt, reassuring herself that she was indeed a prisoner.

'It could be worse.' She had barely finished the thought when Victor was back, triumphantly dangling a wide, black rubber blindfold before her eyes.

"Nnnnnghh!" Elena screamed into her gag and tried to shake her head from side to side in negation, yet it never strayed beyond the small arc prescribed by the straps that ensnared her skull so effectively. A sharp tug on her swinging nose leash was all it took to end her little rebellion. Her silenced sobs failed to impress Victor as well and unfazed, he fastened the blindfold to waiting fittings on her head harness, plunging her into absolute darkness.

Utterly defeated, Elena gave up her futile resistance and allowed herself to rest. As if to compensate for the loss of sight, her other senses sharpened and she became almost physically aware of his gaze lingering on her naked body, caressing her breasts, gliding lower over her flat belly down to the gentle swell of her hips. The scent of his aftershave rekindled half-forgotten memories of shared intimacy in her. Feeling his breath on her shoulders sufficed to send shivers down her spine, and when his hands touched her exposed, metal-caged and imprisoned breasts, her nipples hardened and she gasped, overwhelmed by the sudden intensity of her arousal. With exquisite tenderness, he began to fondle the soft flesh surrounded and held captive by hard steel. Soon, one hand was replaced by his mouth and he gently sucked and bit at her metal infused nipple, while between her thighs, his probing fingers tugged softly at the locks that her secured her sex and at the cap that armoured her straining, vibrating, demanding clitoris. In spite of her previous misgivings, she surged against her restraints, desperate for release.

"You're so damned beautiful!" Victor let go of her breast and gently stroked her hair. Then, to her intense frustration, he straightened and left her moaning with unfulfilled need.

"Later." he promised. Whether his words were for her benefit or his own she could not tell. "Enjoy the ride!"

Victor closed the door and climbed into the driver's seat. As soon as he started the motor, loud music began to play and she immediately recognized Beethoven's ninth symphony. Apparently Victor had been in a celebratory mood when he drove here. Then the heavy car started to accelerate smoothly, the deep purr of its engine more felt than heard above the jubilant voices of the vocalists.

Elena twisted in her bonds, assuring herself once again that she was indeed securely held. As the pent-up anxiety of the last months slowly drained from her body, a new, rather surprising but highly welcome feeling surfaced: she finally began to feel the deep calm and security that had eluded her most of her life. Evidently, it was the fulfilment of her long-held fantasies of bondage and slavery at the hands of a strict, nonetheless loving master that had brought this miracle about.

Granted, Victor had expertly manipulated her into her current circumstances, yet ultimately he had only helped her to become what she always had been. She could admit and accept that now. She had become a slave of her own accord, and not as a result of Victor's scheming. By making her recognize and embrace her hitherto suppressed, true essence, he had relieved her from a subconscious burden that had crushed her spirit for as long as she remembered. Now, it soared free. In the course of her remarkable quest she had found a well of strength within herself that would allow her to carry on, no matter what fate and Victor might have in store for her in the future.

As the car sped to an unknown destination, she realized that her journey had only just begun.

The End
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