The Binding Tie
Disclaimers: Part One
Thanks for all of the feedback and sorry that I haven't updated for so long, had other coursework to do (unfortunately!)
Bodies packed the miniscule space, shoulder-to-shoulder. The smell of cologne and perfume mixed in the air, sickly-sweet in their intensity. Hunter found herself overwhelmed by the close proximity of so many strangers. She had positioned herself at the back of the elevator, ensuring that her back was not vulnerable to attack. He eyes scanned the enclosure, flicking from person to person, catching the occasional glance which would quickly move away at seeing her scowl.
In the cramped quarters, plummeting rapidly downwards, the guard was forced to stand close to her owner. Francesca stood with her back to Hunter, the fabric of her silk blouse brushing the shorter womans chest. Hunter could feel the heat coming off the dark woman as she fidgeted with excitement at being out of the house. Such intimate contact with the woman who, until yesterday, had only looked at her with total distain was disconcerting. It brought up emotions in her that she had not felt for a long time, emotions that she was quick to bury under years of pain. Francesca appeared oblivious to her slaves discomfort, focused only on her goal of the day, shopping.
Francesca was glad to be out of the house. She could, for at least a day, be free from her husbands prying eyes and her fathers smothering love. She could be alone and totally herself today. Well, not completely alone, her shadow was by her side to watch over her safety. After Douglas attack she had began to look at the blue haired woman as her avenger rather than another jailer. Three days had passed and the pain in her kidneys had lessened enough for her to leave the house and reward her dark protector. She too was acutely aware of how close the other woman stood inside the metallic box. With every breath she was aware of breasts brushing her back through sheer fabric.
The lift bounced to a stop, Hunters stomach flipped at the unfamiliar sensation. She sighed in relief as the doors hissed open expelling the crushing bodies. Expecting to step out into a sparsely populated area she felt a sudden moment of panic as the shopping mall was revealed to her. All around her there were people, walking, running, standing in idle conversation. Used to an economy of motion and the quiet of captivity, Hunter was momentarily stunned before regaining her senses and striding out behind her master.
Walking in the taller womans shadow, Hunter immediately noticed a change in her walk and the poise with which she held herself. Gone was the dutiful daughter, polite and eager to please. Gone was the wife, submissive and cowed. The person before her was new, she walked with a bounce to her step and a swagger to her hips. She seemed to watch the crowd taking n the details as if committing them to memory. Hunter realised that this was Francesca Rose, superstar. This was the woman who sold millions and who was worshiped by them.
Francesca was looking forward to her meeting. Gazing around the mall she could make out the figures of the security people MagPie Recording had laid on for her. Hardly unobtrusive, the big men in tailored suits littered each exit creating a familiar atmosphere for the brunette. She briefly turned her attention to the figure behind and to her right. The discomfort was clear on the slaves face as person after person brushed or jostled past her. Francesca found herself grinning as she wondered how the warrior would react to the barrage of fans that she knew would descend on them at any moment. All it would take was one person looking at the casually dressed woman the right way and the hysteria would start. Each store knew that she was on her way and would be emptied before her arrival so that she could shop in safety. She was almost buzzing with excitement.
As though reading her mind, a young girl walked out of a nearby record store and locked eyes with her idol. Unable to tear her eyes away, she elbowed her friend in the side and pointed in Francescas direction with a trembling finger. The second girl let out a loud squeal of excitement attracting the attention of the other patrons of the store that the star was about to pass. As one the shoppers surged to the entrance and the site of the commotion. The site of the singer galvanized the crowd and as one they rushed towards her.
Francesca was ready for the onslaught, as were the hired security who quickly covered her position, Hunter was not. Surrounded first by a circle of suited bodies and then by a screaming mob, Hunter was totally overwhelmed. She knew the men were security, shes been briefed. She knew people would want autographs, she wasnt a fool. But never in her life had she been caged in this fashion. Put in looked rooms, squeezed into small spaces, but never closed in on all sides by people. Isolation she could deal with, this was overwhelming. Francesca was once again pushed close to her chest, arms were reaching towards them through the wall of bodies. The slave was becoming increasingly aware of the cool metal of the gun at the small of her back, her palm itching to feel the steel in her grasp. As her arm snaked around to draw the firearm the taller woman tilted her head and began speaking.
"Hunter, relax," Francesca whispered. "Its like standing in front of a stone pillar. They dont mean any harm, theyre just over excited. It really is exciting for me. Well be out of here soon."
Hunter was as shocked by the reassurance from her mistress as she had been by the entire situation. This week was turning out to be too strange for the taciturn warrior to handle. Too many changes in such a short time. It seemed as though the younger woman was making an effort to see her as a human being. The big question for Hunter, was why?
"Hi everybody," Francesca called to the crowd, who quieted immediately. "I havent got a lot of time today, but I will sign for the children." Almost the at the speed of light sixteen children between eight and thirteen appeared at the front of the crowd.
Smiling and laughing at the stories of each child and giving every individual her attention, she was a vision. Hunter had definitely never seen the woman this alive and engaged in an activity. Sure, she gave all her love and devotion to her own children, but this was different. This was a woman filled with energy. This was the captivating little girl who had charmed food out of cook. This was not Hunters, Francesca. This was Rhanis, Chess. Hunter had believed that everything of the girl she had known was gone, leaving only an empty, sad woman who sleep walked through her life. Hunter felt her mind begin to spin out of control, too much was happening to her, old and new sensations combating with her painfully crafted persona.
Before she had time to sink further into her revelry she saw the last child get their autograph and the crowd begin to disperse. The security guards moved off to created a looser perimeter as the two women made their way through the masses. Francesca led the way with confidence, smiling as they passed ogling shoppers. They were headed towards the most upscale area of the colossal mall, the restaurant district. This was where corporate business people wined and dined their customers. No entry without reservation, no reservation without the right credit limit. This was where stars met their agents and talked with their record labels.
"You have got to be kidding me?" The dark haired woman wheezed out through her laughter.
"No, seriously, there she was spread across this guys car and there were paparazzi everywhere!" The agent sat back and took another long swallow from his glass of wine.
"How does that woman still have an agent?" Francesca was wiping the tears from her eyes.
"She only works with people who really do believe that all publicity is good publicity!" This came from the record label executive sitting across from them. "Well, were almost done here. Ive put through all of the changes to your contract that you asked for. We cant wait for you next platinum album..."
"I get the hint. I go into the recording studio to lay down the last three tracks next week and then its all yours."
"Excellent." Looking down at his watch, a sincere smile spread across his lips. "Ive got another appointment. It has really been good to see you again Francesca. Give my best to Douglas, a shame he couldnt make the meeting today." He let out a small laugh. "That has to be a first."
Francesca rose with him, leaning across the table to kiss the young man on the cheek. "You have no idea." As he walked away her gaze flashed to her bodyguard, standing quietly in the corner, which did not go unnoticed by her agent.
"Why isnt Doug here?" The mans dark eyes bore into hers.
Francesca looked at the thin, scruffy man sitting next to her. He was the antithesis of what a singers agent should looked like. Jakes brown hair looked like it hadnt seen a comb in a week and his clothes, although not dirty, could stand to make the acquaintance of an iron. That was why she had begged Doug to let her hire him, he was unconventional and over time he had proved himself to be a good friend.
"He finally realised that I dont require a babysitter." She couldnt meet his sympathetic eyes and instead looked at her fingers as they idly traced patterns on the white linen of the tablecloth.
"You let your thug smack him then?"
Her head shot up with such force that Jake thought she might snap something. Her eyes were wide and she seemed to be holding her breath. Her jaw was moving up and down, but not a word left her lips. Jake couldnt help himself, the picture before him was too funny, and he started to laugh softly.
"Thats a yes then?"
Once she was able to think clearly, Francesca levelled a baleful glare at him. "You take liberties. Give me one good reason why I shouldnt fire you for even suggesting that!"
"Where would you find another agent as handsome and debonair?" His eyebrows waggled manically.
Francescas laughter peeled out across the diners in the crowded restaurant.
When the two women left the restaurant Hunter realised that her mistress had been right. The crowds of shoppers in the mall had dispersed considerably. She began to follow the taller women, behind and to the side, as she had done before, when suddenly the other woman stopped. If not for her fast reflexes Hunters momentum would have led to the couple being sprawled across the floor. Fortunately she managed to pull up short of hitting her owner. A puzzled look must have settled over her face as the brunette turned towards her.
"Hunter...um...I havent really thanked you for what you did." The younger woman looked like a nervous teenager asking for a date. "Id like you to pick out some clothes, as a reward. I noticed that all of the other guards have clothes for leisure time and all you have are those suits. I know you dont really have any free time, but when I relax, you should be able to as well." She looked at the other woman from under lowered lashes, feeling suddenly shy.
The shorter woman looked like a deer in headlights. Her face had gone slack and her eyes were as wide as Francesca had ever seen. Slightly worried she waved her hand in front of the blue eyes, trying to snap the other woman back into the present. When that failed to garner a response she raised her hand to touch the scared cheek when a lightning fast hand captured her wrist.
"You alright." Francesca bit back her fear of this powerful creature.
"Yeah...Sorry." She quickly released the other womans hand. "Nobodys given me a reward before." The blue haired figure looked lost.
"Well, its about time then isnt it?" With that Francesca began to walk towards the shops, Hunter falling into step behind her.
After an hour Hunter felt like they had been shopping forever. How anybody could think that this was pleasurable was totally beyond her, it was more like a battle. Francesca was like a general; organising their destination, planning their purchases, trying on clothes with speed and not selecting one bad outfit. Hunter was truly amazed by her approach to this mundane activity. this was yet another facet of the other woman which she had not been privy to before. Francesca had bought clothes and jewellery for herself, but Hunter hadnt seen anything she wanted.
Francesca had also been talking, a lot. She was having fully fledged discussions with her slave. Granted Hunters responses had been brief, but she really did seem to be engaged by the other woman. She was funny and captivating, even to an audience who had been treated so badly by her. They were on their way to the last of the stores, Francesca explaining that she was an Emancipation-ist and that she really regretted her recent actions, when they passed the store. Hunters eye was caught by a pair of pants in the window of the small establishment.
"I want them!" Her voice was filled with excitement.
Francesca turned her attention to the window to be greeted by the site of a pair of leather biker pants. They were black and padded at the knee and shin. She looked at the rest of the clothes displayed in the window and realised that this was a retro clothes store. She motioned the other woman forward and followed her into the shop. It reeked of leather, rubber and cotton due to the piles of pants in these materials and the racks of jeans and t-shirts that could be seen in the large room. Francesca was amused at the look of awe on the other womans face.
"You can choose three pairs of pants and five t-shirts."
"Dont question your mistress, now go and choose, we have to be home in an hour."
Fifteen minutes later found Hunter the proud owner of two pars of blue jeans and the biker leathers as well as two sports bra-style tops, two cotton shirts and a skin-tight rubber vest. She was more content than she had been in a very long time. It was as surprising as much for what happened as for who it happened with. The walk back to the car was spent in companionable silence as the pair thought about the day.
They had found out a lot about each other on their little trip and both were still thinking about the revelations as Francesca drove them home. Although not terrible talkative yet, Francesca hoped that her bodyguard would come out of her shell, given some nurturing. Her choice of purchases and her obvious joy in them had spoken volumes on their own. She turned to speak to her companion in time to see a spasm pass through the slouched figure.
Hunters body was rocked by the pain and suddenly she had no control. Spasm after spasm passed through her deadened limbs. The only sensation left to her deactivated nerves was the pain being inflicted on them. In her peripheral vision she could see the panic on her mistresses face as she tried to concentrate on the road. Unable to raise her head, Hunter knew that the other woman needed information.
"My chip," she gasped. "Its active...Cant move."
The dark woman suddenly went very still as her hands clasped the wheel tighter. The air in the car almost crackled with the force of her anger. She knew that she was the only person with access to the other womans punishment controller. Only one person would dare to go into her room and rifle through her belongings. She put her foot down and sped towards home.
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