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The Wine Cellar

Chambermaid Katherine learns the dark nature of her Lord of the Manor
Somewhere in the ether between the conscious and surreal, Katherine awakes with a start. Her nightclothes cling to her body with a soft sheen of perspiration. Is it the humid summer night or perhaps something more feverish? Chaotic imagery flashes through her thoughts. She recalls wild dreams in restless sleep.

In bare feet and wispy gown, Katherine pads across the large Elizabethan manor house. Her attire is hardly appropriate outside her bed chamber, but no one should be awake at such an hour. The lamps and candelabras sleep as surely as the manor inhabitants.

Her only concern should be the Lord of the Manor, as it is no secret to the rest of the servantry that he takes from another of the chambermaids as he pleases. On the occasions that Isabel is summoned to Lord Quincy’s quarters, she often does not return for hours at a time. Katherine has overheard on occasion the hushed household speculation as to the nature of acts Quincy must perform on the young woman. For her part, Isabel tends to her duties and does not speak of such matters.

Even after several years in the manor, Katherine has avoided Lord Quincy’s attention. She believes the difference must be physical, for Isabel carries a lithe frame, petite lines and olive complexion. Katherine is a study in contrast; milky white flesh with buxom figure. Her thickly curled auburn mane spills to her ample waist. Indeed, the extravagances of Lord of the Manor must lie elsewhere.

Katherine creeps into the kitchen, where she pours a cup of fresh well water from a pitcher. Sipping slowly, she savors the cooling sensation that travels through her insides. Relaxation brings a return to fatigue; perhaps this intolerable summer night can be overcome after all. But what of the vivid dreaming? She sorts through the images from the dream, and the puzzle pieces begin to form into something quite sexual. Is that what carried her thoughts to Lord Quincy’s indiscretions with another chambermaid?

A door swings shut in the hallway, jolting Katherine back to the immediate. Who could be up at this hour? She instinctively pulls her arm up over her breasts—no one in the house should see her up and about in such an inappropriate state. She pauses to listen—but only silence follows.

Katherine ventures back into the hallway. On the way to her small bed chamber, she sees a faint strip of light from beneath the heavy oak door to the wine cellar. Was this the source of the noise? The wine cellar is an area of responsibility for Katherine. The Lord and Lady of the Manor will be most displeased if it has not been properly tended to. Could she have left candles burning from dinner preparation?

She pushes the door open and softly descends the steps. In spite of the summer heat, the stone below ground level cools the soles of her feet. As Katherine reaches the straw-covered floor, she hears voices speaking in conversational tones. Shadows flicker in candlelight from around a corner.

Her curiosity gets the better of her. Katherine kneels by the wall and peers around. She sees Lord Quincy with another man—a local noble she recognizes from dinner. The two are drinking wine from a cask. Quincy turns his head in her direction, and Katherine instinctively draws back. In her haste she knocks an oil lamp from its base. The glass shatters upon striking the floor.

She is caught. Katherine looks down as the men round the corner. Two pairs of stockings and breeches stop in front of her. Again covering her chest, Katherine slowly looks up.

Lord Quincy meets her eyes. “What are you doing down here?” he demands.

“M’lord… I saw a light beneath the door…” she stammers.

“Do you often roam my halls in midnight hours?” Quincy presses. “Perhaps I should check the fineries of the house to ensure all is in order.”

“M’lord, I assure you… I merely left my bed chamber for a cup of water. I saw a light…”

“Stand before me,” Quincy commands. His tone leaves no room for question. Katherine rises slowly, averting his gaze. An awkward silence passes.

“In any case, your attire is hardly appropriate. Wouldn’t you agree?” He raises an eyebrow.

“Quite, m’lord.” Katherine’s voice quivers.

“Lower you arm to your side. I wish to look upon you in this state.” She slowly pulls her arm away from her breasts, revealing the entirety of her sleeping gown.

Quincy turns to his company. “What do you think, Keswick? Was my assertion not valid that Isabel is the slightest of my servants?”

The other man cocks his head and swallows a sip of wine. “Indeed. This one must surely offer a worthier sheath for your blade… or mine.”

Quincy reaches to her gown and forcefully pulls it apart. A rip of fabric cuts the quiet as her night clothing is abruptly torn to her waist. Katherine gasps at the violence of the act; in the blink of an eye her pendulous breasts have been laid bare. She stiffens in silence, a slight tremble in her knees. Blood rushes to her bosom in the newfound cold. Her nipples stiffen.

The men study her exposed flesh. Katherine makes no effort to cover herself for fear of reprisal. She fights the urge to recoil as Quincy traces a finger around one large areola.

“Very nice, Quincy,” states Keswick. “Shall we have her tonight?”

Quincy laughs. “In due time, friend. Tonight I shall prepare her for you. But perhaps witnessing these proceedings will suit your fancy.”

The gravity of her situation sinks on Katherine. Her mind races to thoughts of Isabel behind closed doors for hours at a time… but despite her fear, she finds another feeling rising. A warmth deep inside her. Arousal, perhaps? Could such a thing be?

“Come, maid.” Quincy takes her firmly by the arm and leads her into an adjoining room. Keswick takes a candlestick and lights several lamps along the walls. As the room comes to light, Katherine’s heart sinks. This is not an adjoining wine cellar—it is nothing short of a prison. All manner of iron shackles and wooden stocks are scattered throughout the room.

“M’lord…” Katherine protests with all the calm she can muster. “Perhaps your requirements for the night would be better suited for Isabel—“

“Isabel? Isabel?” Lord Quincy snorts. “She would be broken at what I desire from you.”

Katherine’s voice shakes. “And what might that be, m’lord?”

“Soon enough, my dear. First we must address this midnight indiscretion of yours. Keswick, clap her in irons.” He points to a pair of manacles suspended from an overhead chain.

Keswick complies, pulling her arms behind her and locking her into place. Katherine does not protest, even though discomfort sets in immediately. She is lifted onto her toes, bent forward with her back arched. The feeling inside her is growing—heat spreads through her loins. She so marvels at her own reaction that her fear becomes secondary. Could she be—enjoying this?

Lord Quincy steps from the shadow behind his captive servant. He is holding a riding quirt. Katherine breathes deep—she immediately knows the purpose of the flailed implement, as she has seen it used in the horse stables.

“Keswick,” Quincy announces, “before I pluck this flower, I wish it to bloom rosy red. As punishment for her indiscretion, shall I whip this maid across her bare bottom?”

“Extensively, Lord Quincy. Allow my assistance.” Keswick moves behind her and pulls Katherine’s tattered nightclothes down to her feet. Shadows of flickering candlelight dance across her exposed backside. Katherine sucks in air shakily, anticipating the beating.

CRACK. Quincy forcefully delivers the first blow, landing the quirt’s leather flails squarely across her bare bottom. Marks immediately begin to rise.

CRACK. Katherine grits her teeth at the second strike. The sting begins to set in.

CRACK... CRACK... CRACK. The blows land with rhythmic precision across her bottom. Katherine lets out a cry of pain. But is it just pain?

Keswick stands in front of Katherine, watching her expressions with cruel detachment. Her discomfort is obvious as the whipping grows lengthy. Her ankles tense and she rocks forward with each stroke. She grunts as her master strikes her forcefully.

“Perhaps this lesson will ensure no more late-night forays?” Quincy asks, landing yet another stroke.

“Yes, m’lord, never again…” Katherine whimpers. The whipping stops as abruptly as it started. Katherine’s creamy backside is covered in bright red stripes.

Katherine realizes that she is soaking wet between her legs. Her thoughts cut through the burning pain back to her vivid dreams—perhaps this is the treatment she desires from her lord. Has she been envious of Isabel all this time?

Lord Quincy walks around in front of his bound servant. Looking at Katherine but speaking to Keswick, he states, “now that she has been punished, let me fulfill my wishes for use of this maid.” His hands untie his breeches as he circles back behind her.

Perhaps it is her servant status, perhaps something deeper in her personality, but Katherine submits in that moment. “Yes, m’lord. I am at your beck and call.”

He takes her with animal force. Thrusting his manhood deep inside her, Quincy pushes Katherine forward with each stroke. She again rocks on her toes, her movement constrained by the shackles rubbing at her wrists. Keswick stands before her, arms crossed, nodding in approval.

Katherine finds herself crying out as the Lord of the Manor drives his shaft into her with seemingly endless repetition. She is enraptured. “Yes, m’lord. Take me!”

Quincy clutches at her hair, groaning and grunting. Katherine feels a foreign warmth as it spreads deep inside her. All motion stops abruptly; the Lord of the Manor has completed his task. “Let her loose, Keswick. I am finished with her for tonight.”

Quincy directs his attention back to his fouled maid. “I expect tea and breakfast at the usual time.”

“Yes, m’lord.” Within minutes Katherine is heading back to her bed chamber, clutching her ruined night clothing around her raw body. In spite of the lingering sting on her backside, she falls asleep to welcome dreams of pleasing her master.

*****

Days later, Katherine awakes in the summer heat. As she pads downstairs, light again flickers from under the wine cellar door. Katherine realizes a familiar warmth building in her loins. She remains at her lord’s beck and call.

With a glance over her shoulder, she descends the stone staircase.

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