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Dark Desires Ch.2

Alice's first glimpse at the dark side.

CHAPTER II

Summer had come and gone. The city was slowly beginning to apply its autumn make up, tinting parks and gardens in all possible shades of yellow and russet. Alice loved that time of year with its symphony of colors and wasn't in a hurry to see it replaced by the white shawl that would unavoidably cover New York in a couple of months, turning cars into cartoon vehicles and bystanders into clumsy frozen penguins. She was well into her fifth month in therapy but still had, at that point, far more questions than answers. On her way back from the last of her bi-weekly sessions, a mere fifteen minutes walk, she was still wondering about the uncommon suggestion Dr Alperin had made at the end of their meeting.

“Alice, I know it's rather unconventional but I would like you to meet somebody. Somebody who, I believe might help you figure out a few of your own hidden truths. There's of course no obligation here. It's entirely up to you but I think it might prove efficient.”

“An other therapist, you mean?”

“Not at all. This person is a woman, just a couple of years older than you, who has been a patient of mine and whose psychological profile resembles yours a lot. She didn't carry the tragic past you do, but she came to me about the same kind of depression and feeling of purposelessness you're expressing. She herself said she had a well-balanced social and professional life and couldn't identify any reason that might explain her state of mind.”

“Has she by now?”

“Yes, I believe she has. It took her quite some time to identify what was missing in her life and even more time to acknowledge her real needs and come to terms with them. But, yes, as far as I know she's now in agreement with herself and satisfied with her life.”

“Good for her. But what makes you think she could help me?”

"Well, I see a sort of symmetry between you two and I believe your quest might be close to hers. But, once again, it has to be your decision to meet and speak with her. Or not.”

“Okay then. I'll have to trust you on that one, I guess. But how will it happen? Will she contact me or will I have to get in touch with her? You know I'm not very good at that.”

“That's not true, Alice. Remember what happened five months ago when you were so afraid to call that young woman you had met in Central Park. I just had to take the decision out of your hands and to demand instead of ask, and you did it quite willingly. It should tell you something. And by the way aren't you and this Sabrina good friends by now?”

“Maybe, well, yes we are. But this is different. You're asking me to contact a total stranger.”

“Don't you worry about that. Her name is Kathryn by the way. I'm going to call her and ask if she'd agree to meet with you. If yes, I'll text you her phone number and you'll just have to get in touch with her and arrange the meeting. Knowing that she'll be expecting your call should make things easier for you, don't you think?”

When she arrived home, the words were still playing in loops inside Alice's head. One remark in particular. 'I just had to take the decision out of your hands. It should tell you something.' Dr Alperin had said.

The bare truth of her deferential inclinations made her feel ill at ease. It had been true that one time she'd been practically ordered to call Bree and it had been even truer during all the time she lived with Sophie. She couldn't deny it: putting her free will into the hands of her lover had offered her the most satisfactory moments of her whole life.

Alice puzzled the 'why' behind her way of being, asking herself if maybe she was compensating for the lack of authority and guidance in her childhood, when her cell phone announced an incoming message: 'Kathryn: 338 927 5534. Awaiting your call. Do it now. S.A.'

********

Someone at the office had once said that "Punctual" was Alice's middle name and, true to her reputation, she arrived a few minutes early. A charming young waiter took her order, wearing a bow tie that seemed to be the signature accessory of the little coffee shop where she and the mysterious Kathryn had agreed to meet. Just as the waiter returned with Alice’s tea, a lithe blonde in a long red coat entered and scanned the crowd before making a beeline to Alice's table. Her smile, her fluid walk, and the way she held her hand out to Alice were all testimony to a woman at ease with herself. Alice envied her self-confidence.

“You must be Alice. I had a hard time believing Dr Alperin when she told me I would meet Natalie Wood but, wow, she was totally right. Hi, I'm Kathryn Clark, pleased to meet you,” said the smiling woman before graciously sitting down in the opposite chair, dropping off her shoulder the biggest saddlebag Alice had ever seen.

“Um… Hi Kathryn. Pleased to meet you too. What, er… what would you like to drink?”

“Orange juice would be nice, thanks. I'm just out of the gym and I'm so thirsty I could drink a river.”

Alice flagged down the waiter and placed the order.

“Do you exercise in the gym a lot?”

“Three to four times a week. No much choice there. I'm twenty-nine but I don't want my body to know. So, I do what is necessary to make it believe it's still eighteen. Do you go through the same self-torture?”

“No, no gym for me. Too shy to publicly display my clumsiness, I guess. But I usually jog every evening for half an hour. When I'm not stuck in my office, desperately trying not to get smothered by a pile of files, that is.”

“Yeah, I can relate to that. Files tend to reproduce by spontaneous generation and these things can be pretty aggressive. What is it you do?”

“I'm a lawyer. But I don't know for how much longer. I'm beginning to hate my job. You?”

“I'm a writer. Nothing fancy though. I would have loved to be the next Brontë or Woolf or Austen but it wasn't to be. I had the enthusiasm and the dedication but lacked the talent. I'm a freelance medical writer. I write brochures and reports for clinical-research organizations, pharmaceutical companies and medical-device manufacturers. Not very sexy, I know, but it pays the bills and I can work from home most of the time.”

“Well, if you think what you do isn't sexy, you should try commercial litigation for a while.”

The pretty blonde burst out laughing.

“Tempting but I'll decline, thank you. I'll rather stick to my usual germs and viruses. At least, they're familiar territory.”

They agreeably chatted like that for a while until Alice felt comfortable enough with her new acquaintance to approach the real purpose of their meeting.

“Kathryn, er… to tell you the whole truth, I… don't really know why I'm here. Don't get me wrong, I'm having a pleasant time chatting with you and all but… Dr Alperin just told me that meeting you might help me understand a few things about myself.”

“Well, she didn't tell much either. You know, the whole doctor/patient confidentiality thing. She only suggested that she believed we had in common some fundamental aspirations that you're totally unaware of.”

“Fundamental aspirations? Wow, big intimidating words, don't you think? Do you have any idea what they might cover?”

“I can't be certain, of course, but I think I can figure some of them. First of all, there's one thing we have in common for sure: at some point in our lives we both needed professional help. As for me, when I first met Dr Alperin - I was twenty-four at that time - I was so depressed I was considering death as a rather pleasant possibility. It was all the more disconcerting since I couldn't find any real reason to feel that way. No sentimental drama, no financial problems, no health issues, nothing. I was just bored ad nauseam, with no sense of purpose, feeling so empty and lonely it was becoming unbearable. I could only presume that something paramount was missing but had absolutely no clue what it might be. Does it ring a bell?”

“A whole orchestra of them! That's exactly where I'm standing right now. Not knowing what to do with myself, not knowing what I'm looking for, not even being sure of who I am anymore. But seeing how you are now, which is obviously the exact opposite of depressed and suicidal, should give me some hope, shouldn't it?”

“It sure should. I won't pretend the path is paved with roses but, believe me, it's worth the effort. Besides, you have Dr Alperin on your side. She's the best.”

“She is, isn't she? I sometimes feel like I'm a poorly built construction on the verge of collapsing and that she's keeping all the pieces together with her bare hands.”

“I know the feeling. I wouldn't have the life I have now if it wasn't for her constant support and perceptiveness. Oh, shit, time's been flying by,” Kathryn said, taking notice of the big clock over the bar. “I can't stay much longer I'm afraid. I promised my girlfriend I would meet her at eight to go to the movies and she won't appreciate if I'm late again.”

“Your girlfriend? You're…”

“… Gay? Yep. I used to swing both ways but now I'm a full grown lesbian, as they say. I hope it's not a problem for you.”

“God no, Kathryn. I am too.”

“Really, you bat for my team? How nice! Well, see, now we have at least two things in common. And Karen is so much more than my girlfriend. She is my… Tell you what: if you've nothing else already planned, why don't you come over and have dinner with us next Saturday? I'm sure Karen will be pleased to know you and you'll understand what she means to me much better than with any verbal explanation I might try to give.”

“I… um… I wouldn't want to impose.”

“You won't. And I think you might find the evening informative.”

Alice wondered what she meant by 'informative' but didn't dare ask. Things were going a little too fast for her. Kathryn took her wallet out of the gigantic bag, drew a card out of it and handed it to Alice.

“Here, it's my business card but you have our address and landline phone number on it. Will 8:30ish be fine by you?”

“Um… yes, I guess so but…”

“No buts, Alice. And no last minute canceling for fake reasons either, okay?”

“Well, er… okay then. I'll be there.”

“Good. And now I'll better hurry. Karen will never forgive me if we miss the movie.”

She waved to the waiter to ask for the bill but Alice didn't let her.

“I'll take care of the bill. Go, I wouldn't want your girlfriend to hate me before even knowing me.”

Kathryn got up, smiled one last time at Alice and ran away with the same fluid grace she had displayed when entering earlier. Alice stayed a few more minutes, the word 'informative' drilling little holes inside her head.

********

The lawn in front of the house had probably been mowed that same afternoon because a potent smell of fresh grass was still flowing in the air. She climbed the flight of steps ascending to a small veranda with its wooden swing and coffee table at one end. The two-storey house looked elegant in its simplicity and the bright red wood and glass door made a happy contrast to the white walls. It was precisely 8:29 p.m. when Alice 'Punctual' Devreaux rang the doorbell.

The smiling Kathryn who opened the door was a vision. She was wrapped in a silky red sheath dress and wore impossibly high-heeled laced up sandals. A large red velvet ribbon with an embroidered capital "K" inside a circle adorned her graceful neck. The dress was so form fitting that Alice couldn't decide if it was Kathryn wearing the dress or the dress wearing Kathryn. Not only was she dwarfed by the lovely apparition but, in her jeans and blouse under a casual blazer, she suddenly felt dramatically underdressed.

“Hi Alice, I'm so glad you're here. Come on in,” invited the vision, grabbing Alice's hand to drag her inside. “And no, you're by no mean underdressed,” she added with a smile, reading perfectly Alice's worried gaze. It's just that Karen demands that I always dress racy, even when we stay home and it's only the two of us.”

A slight shiver went up Alice's spine at the verb "demand". She had felt so very alive whenever Sophie had "demanded".

“Well, I… can't really blame her. You look wonderful,” Alice replied, handing to Kathryn the bottle of wine she had bought for the occasion. “Here, I hope you'll like it. I'm totally uneducated when it comes to wine so I just followed the merchant's advice.”

Kathryn took a look at the bottle and whistled appreciatively.

“Wow, a 2003 Colgin! Are you crazy or something? That bottle must have cost a small fortune. Really, Alice, you shouldn't have. Thank you so much. Karen isn't going to like you now, she going to love you at first sight. Come meet her.”

They entered a large living room. White walls, white leather sofas, white thick wool carpet under a low table made of a glass panel over a white marble cube, white baby grand piano at the left far end. Even the paintings on the walls were white abstracts. An immaculate snowy universe only lit by the glimmer of the logs burning in a big fireplace and bathed in a jazzy ambiance Sophie immediately recognized. Billie Holiday was complaining about the slumberless hours of a gloomy Sunday. And in one of the three settees surrounding the coffee table the dark silhouette of a woman dressed in a black high collared blouse over black designer jeans who quickly stood up to welcome the arriving guest. If Alice had to guess, she would place her somewhere between thirty-five and forty. She was barefoot but even taller than Kathryn, probably nearing six feet and her black hair was cut in a short shiny bob underlining a chiseled jaw line and slim but extremely well designed lips. She exuded severe elegance and controlled authority.

“Oh my god!” exclaimed Alice before Kathryn could make the introductions.

“What?!...” cried out the two other women in perfect unison.

“Er… sorry about that,” immediately apologized a blushing Alice. “Well, um… Let's start again from the beginning. Hi, I'm Alice and you must be Karen. Pleased to meet you and thank you for having me tonight. And once again, sorry. It's not like me to scream like that when meeting somebody for the first time but…”

“But what?” interrupted an obviously intrigued but amused Karen.

“It's… it's just that the resemblance is so striking.”

“Resemblance?”

“Well, if you promise not to tell me that I'm Natalie Wood's doppelganger, I promise not to tell you that you're the spitting image of Sigourney Weaver in Half Moon Street.”

Karen burst out laughing.

“So, before even knowing me, the first thing you say is that I look like an escort girl...?!"

“A very elegant and attractive one if I may remind you, but what can I say? Blunder is my middle name.”

“Okay. You know what Alice? If all your gaffes are as flattering as this one, don't hesitate making more. Please sit down and let Kay know your kind of poison.”

“I, er… usually don't drink. Orange juice or soda water would be fine, thank you.”

“And I'll have a whisky. Thank you darling.”

Kathryn left the room to go fetch the drinks.

“So, Alice, Kay told me you're a lawyer.”

“Yes, I am. But a very boring one, I'm afraid. No spectacular murders, no big time criminals, not even messy divorces in my case. Only mergers and acquisitions, contracts, litigation, and tons and tons of totally uninteresting stuff. No Grisham stories for me, only endless sets of figures. You?”

“Well, at least I can't accuse my clients of being boring: I'm a pediatrician. My parents never doubted that I'd go to medical school and, being the accommodating daughter I then was, I did. Having no real passion of my own, I just followed in my father's footsteps. I worked in hospital for a few years and took over his practice when he decided to retire. So for me it's measles, mumps, chickenpox, and tons and tons of candies and sweets to ease the pain.”

Kathryn came back carrying a glass of juice she put on the table in front of Alice and a glass of whisky she handed to her girlfriend before sitting down on the plush carpet at Karen's feet, resting her head in the tall woman's lap. Karen's hand dove in the proffered mane and began playing with the long locks of golden curls. Alice was mesmerized. She was contemplating two concomitant yet totally different scenes. One spoke of sweetness and sharing while the other evoked power and dominance. The first one was filled with the gentlest tenderness. The second one was diffusing a fragance of dark powerful eroticism that was making something unknown or long forgotten resonate in the deepest layers of her mind. When Karen brought her glass to Kathryn lips to let her have a sip of the amber liquor, Alice felt a quiver in her belly and when she heard Kathryn whisper, 'Thank you, Karen', the quiver travelled to her pussy with such speed and force it left her breathless.

“Don't be surprised, Alice,” instructed Karen whose smile seemed to indicate she was perfectly aware of what was happening in their guest's mind and body, “Kay isn't authorized to drink much. She gets a little too wild when she does. And anyway, she loves to drink from me. Don't you, darling?”

The double entendre was majestic.

“Yes Karen, I do,” answered Kathryn who almost seemed to be under a spell, a good one if Alice could judge by the serene look on her face. Even more confusing to Alice was the fact that she clearly wasn't embarrassed at all to display her languid obedience as if it was the most normal thing in the world.

They chatted for awhile more about everything and nothing, discovering their common interests - travels, old movies, crime novels, politics and sociology to name a few - and their differences, agreeing to disagree on quite a few matters, until Kathryn said that dinner was ready to be served.

“I hope you like italian cuisine,” Karen said, taking Alice's arm to guide her into a lovely dining room which was as colorful as the living room wasn't. “Kay is a fairy in the kitchen. Just provide her with a ball of mozzarella, a few tomatoes, an avocado and the appropriate spices, and she'll make wonders.”

Kathryn blushed profusely under the praise. 'How weird,' Alice thought to herself. 'Here's a woman who can hear the most indecent innuendos without batting an eyelid but who's completely put off balance by a mere compliment about her cooking skills.'

As Karen had predicted, dinner was heavenly. Red tuna fish in carpaccio with coriander oil was followed by shrimps Fra Diavolo, and a divine home made tiramisu ended the meal. Kathryn proved to be a delightful and attentive hostess, obviously taking as much pleasure from serving the dishes and pouring wine and water as soon as a glass was emptied than from enjoying the meal. Alice was touched by all the sweet little gestures and tender looks the two women kept exchanging. It was totally fascinating for her to realize that these two were functioning on two utterly different levels with equal easiness and fluidity. In front of her eyes was pure raw love and it painfully reminded her of what she had once had.

Dinner over, Alice insisted on helping clearing the table and tidying the kitchen but unsuccessfully as Kathryn wouldn't have any of it. She sent Karen and Alice back to the living room, promising to be there shortly with coffee and liquors.

Karen revived the fire with a couple of logs before sitting down at the other end of the couch from where Alice was already seated.

“Are you in a relationship, Alice?” Karen asked out of the blue.

“Er… no, I'm not. Haven't been for quite some time.”

She knew she was blushing but, for the life of her, couldn't understand why. There was nothing wrong with being single, was there?

“How come? You're a very attractive woman. There should be a waiting line of girls wishing to date you.”

“I'm just not the dating kind, I guess.”

“Is it because you're so painfully shy?”

“What… what makes you presume I'm shy?”

“Oh, it's quite obvious, dear. Your body language speaks for itself. And you blush so charmingly. I can feel a real sufferance inside you and I hate seeing a beautiful, educated, charming young woman like yourself carrying such unsureness and doubts. It's a terrible waste.”

“Seems that I'm an open book to you. But… yes, you're right. Unfortunately, the portrait is rather accurate. I'm not my biggest fan, I'll give you that. But don't get me wrong, I'd like nothing more than to have someone to love. To have what you and Kathryn have.”

“You'll love again, Alice.”

“Again? What makes you so sure I've loved before?”

“I don't know. I just feel it. And if I'm right, you must have given yourself totally, unconditionally. Because that's who you are, I can tell.”

Alice's sigh and the sadness in her eyes told Karen that digging up more would only lead to a great deal of pain for the young woman. For now, it was better to let go.

“I'm sorry. Reopening old wounds is the last thing I wish. You'll tell us when you'll be ready to.”

“You're very perceptive, aren't you?”

“I like to believe so. It comes with the territory. You'd better be when you deal daily with speechless children and secretive teenagers. And with Kay I had to. She was so completely lost when we met. I was attracted to her from the first second I laid eyes on her despite the fact that you could feel her unease and sadness a mile away. There was something extremely seductive about her even if she looked like someone who had prematurely given up. Believe me, she's come a long way. And you will too, trust me. You have so much to give. The woman who will, one day, hold your heart will be a very lucky woman indeed.”

“I doubt that. But thank you nonetheless, it's very kind of you to say so.”

“Let me just ask you one more question if you don't mind. If you were to be in a relationship again, would you be Kay or would you be me?”

“I… I don't know what you mean.”

“Oh, I think you do.”

There was no way Alice would answer that question. It was indiscreet, tactless, totally inappropriate. And anyway one thing was for sure: she would never get involved in that kind of unhealthy unbalanced relationship. It just wasn't her. Or was it?

“I'd be Kay, I guess.”

She couldn't be the person, who had just said that, could she? It was so embarrassing. But why was there a slight aftertaste of exhilaration behind the shame of her admission?

“Of course you would. Even if you don't really know yet what it might entail.”

Karen's smile wasn't mocking or ironic and there was nothing aggressive or judgemental in the tone. Just the statement of an evidence.

“By the end of the evening, I think you'll have a much better understanding of what it means to be Kay.”

Kathryn came back, carrying a tray with cups and glasses, a pot of coffee and a bottle of brandy. She served Alice and Karen's their beverage before quietly resuming her place at her lover's feet.

“I was just telling Alice how lost and sorrowful you looked when we first met. But that was years ago and has been long overcome, hasn't it?” Karen said, her hand playing once again with the soft curls spread out in her lap.

Kathryn nodded softly, her eyes closed, her arms around her lover's legs.

The image that came to Alice's mind was as compelling as disturbing: an affectionate familiar animal wishing to be petted. The contrast between the fiery young woman she had met a few days ago and the subdued girl surrendering to her lover was so extreme it made it difficult to believe it was the same person.

“Did Kay tell you how we first met?”

Alice shook her head.

“Five years ago at the birthday party of one of my friends, Douglas, a clinical researcher. It was a gathering of thirty or so people and I arrived a bit later than most. Groups had already formed chatting, arguing and laughing and I went from one to the other when I caught sight of a very attractive young woman dressed to the nines in a black and white dress and matching two-colored pumps, sitting alone in a remote corner of the room. She looked so very forlorn and isolated she made think of Andersen's little mermaid. I immediately had the feeling that all she wanted was to make a discreet retreat and disappear without anyone noticing.”

Karen’s voice held deep affection for her young lover as the confident woman calmly continued their story.

“I asked Douglas about her and he told me her name was Kathryn, a medical writer whose services he used more or less regularly and who, with time, had become kind of a friend. He also told me that she'd been feeling down for quite a while and warned me to be gentle. I crossed the room and sat down next to her.”

'You're about to leave aren't you?' I asked. She nodded without even lifting her eyes from the empty cocktail glass she was holding. 'Let me tell what's going to happen if you leave now,' I went on. 'If you're as depressed as you look, back in your apartment you'll realize that you feel as bad and misplaced there as you feel here now. You'll try to take a book and read or watch some TV but nothing will capture your attention. You'll feel tired but unable to sleep. In the end, you'll just lie in bed, nervous and frustrated, regretting not learning even the name of the woman who had made such daring but nonetheless accurate assumptions about you.' She looked up at me then, her face a picture of vulnerable hope. 'It’s Karen by the way. Pleased to meet you, Kathryn.'

I have to admit it was quite a provocative introduction and she regarded me warily as if I was some dangerous alien planning her abduction. But in the end I got what I wanted: she didn't leave. And the rest is history, as they say.”

The K's, as Alice was beginning to name them inside her head, had obviously built a very special relationship. It should have been humiliating for Kathryn to hear the two other women speaking of her as if she wasn't there but she seemed perfectly at ease and Alice wouldn't have been surprised to hear her purr.

“Isn't she adorable?” Karen asked.

“She is," Alice answered, in a slightly wavering voice, unsure of the direction the evening was taking.

"And so perfectly docile.”

The word hit Alice like a ton of bricks, taking her breath away. She could feel a dampness forming in her panties and couldn't help squeezing her thighs. Her long-dormant body was suddenly awakening from its slumber. But why now?

“But make no mistake: Kay here isn't coerced, blackmailed or forced into anything. Who she is and what she goes through is all her doing. The control I have over her isn't something I have taken but something she has given.”

Alice's eyes were as wide as saucers and she thought she should feel revolted but in the mean time she couldn't deny the fact that the dampness was expanding.

“You see, Alice, in order to find happiness, some people need to climb mount Everest or to be a rockstar or to make so much money they don't know how to spend it, whereas other people simply need to relinquish their own free will, to be freed from all decisions, to have the weight of power lifted off their shoulders. And for such individuals, this craving applies even more strongly to their sexuality. They can't reach real fulfillment until they've found that someone they love and trust enough to give them ownership of their body and desires.”

Alice could only croak out an unintelligible noise that was neither agreement nor disagreement. She was essentially disturbed by her body's betrayal. She should grab her purse and leave before things went too far. She knew it with absolute certainty. But she couldn't. She was rooted to the spot like a pinned butterfly.

“Let me give you an example,” Karen resumed. “Kay has been punished today.”

“Pu… punished?” a very confused Alice spluttered.

“Yes. But, as you can see, she takes her punishment quite willingly. She doesn't look shocked or angry, does she? She's a grown woman, after all, and could very well refuse to be disciplined but it's the young girl in her who wants it. It's all her choice, her way to feel safe and cared for.”

“But why… why has she…”

“…been punished? Good question. Maybe you should ask Kay.”

“I don't want to embarrass her.”

“Don't worry about that. And anyway, should it happen, it would just be a nice addition to her sanction.”

Alice shivered. This clearly wasn't a game or some kind of twisted role-play. This was a genuine lifestyle and she was invited to witness it live. And in some perverted way to participate.

“Er… why have you been punished, Kathryn?”

“I've been bad,” Kathryn said in an almost childlike voice, her eyes still closed.

The admission stretched Karen's lips into a warped smile.

“Be more specific, dear, I'm sure Alice won't mind.”

“I… touched myself. Without permission. I mean I, um… masturbated.”

A light blush colored the "culprit's" cheeks but Alice could have sworn it wasn't out of shame or bashfulness. No, it was something else. Something like a pleasurable guilt, maybe?

“Don't you think our guest would like to know how you've been punished?” a merciless Karen asked.

Kathryn opened her eyes and looked at Alice. Her gaze was fogged and somehow faraway as if she was stoned.

“I have something… inside.”

“Where?” her pitiless torturer insisted.

“In… my behind.”

“Kay!"

“In my… ass. It's in my ass,” whispered the consenting victim. “Karen has me… plugged.”

“That's better," the tormentor approved. "See, it wasn't so difficult. Always be straightforward when you say things, dear, shyness doesn't suit you.” And then, turning to their dumbstruck spectator: “She'll show you if you wish.”

Alice was feeling light-headed. The casual evening was long gone, giving way to a dark debased night where boundaries were rapidly dissolving. Despite any will to remain impassive and detached, she was aroused like she hadn't been in a very long time and was ashamed for it. There wasn't any question of dampness anymore. She could feel the contractions in her lower abdomen and knew she was leaking. Some foreign imperious need was taking possession of her whole being and it was as if the words coming out of her mouth were said by somebody else.

“Er… yes. Yes, I'd… like to see.”

The smile on Karen's face was one of approval and satisfaction.

“Get up, dear. Turn around and bend over.”

Without any sign of rebellion or even reluctance, the penitent did as she was told.

“Present yourself.”

The young woman obediently pulled up her dress to the waist. She passed two fingers between skin and lace and slowly lowered down her panties until they were obscenely hanging at knee height. Her posture was as sublimely indecent as the wet gusset of the tiny underwear. She looked like a faulty schoolgirl about to be spanked. Alice felt short of breath.

“Open up. Alice needs to have a clear view.”

Compliant if a little shaking hands grabbed the perfect buttocks and spread them widely, revealing the diamond-studded tip of the lewd object violating her. To Alice, time seemed to be slowing down. The sight was so erotic she felt almost delirious and had to muster all her strength to prevent herself from moving her face forward and kiss the tortured valley.

“You can touch her if you want to,” Karen said, sensing the turmoil assailing her guest. “Don't be embarrassed, she's very supple down there. You don't even need to be gentle. Kay is very anal. She loves her anus to be played with.”

Alice was utterly fascinated, but she wouldn't do that, would she? It was one thing to let herself be a… a what?... a simple watcher?... a lustful voyeur?

Up to that point she could still pretend she wasn't involved but touching that impaled flesh would bring things to a completely different level. There would be no going back. Her captivation as well as her indecision must have shown on her face. When she cast a glance at Karen, the older woman silently nodded.

She saw her hand move on its own towards the obscene jewel and when her fingers seized the diamond end and began to slowly rotate it, it was as if she was watching the whole scene on a screen. It was an other Alice doing that, an Alice she didn't know, a subservient Alice who would do anything if being told to. She stopped swiveling the plug and very slowly began to pull it out of its prison until she could see the wrinkled ring itself. It was beautifully tight and pink, clasping the metallic invader with all its strength, reluctant to let it go. Alice pulled a little more forcefully and the puckered mouth loosened and slightly opened, pouting more and more as the larger part of the plug was appearing.

She was about to push Kay's punisher back inside when something unbelievable happened: she could distinctly feel the intruder in her own bottom. She carefully pulled and pushed again and felt her anus spasming every time she did. She heard a moan but was unable to tell who had groaned. Was it Kathryn, was it her? Or was it both, in some unexplainable symbiosis? Could there be, somewhere in the darkest recesses of her brain, an unconscious desire to be the punished one? An intense dizziness took hold of her and she let go of the plug which glided back into its warm sanctuary. Alice shivered, feeling a new thick viscous flow sliding out of her. She grabbed the dress raised on Kathryn's hips and covered her.

Kathryn sighed and turned around. The red thong slid down her legs until it lay at her ankles, useless bloody stain on the immaculate white carpet. She looked into her lover's eyes, silently waiting for her next order. Beneath the obvious acceptance, her lamblike gaze seemed to be asking for something.

“Yes, come here, dear,” Karen said, patting her lap, “you've been good. It's time for your needs now, I know.”

Kathryn smiled like a child discovering a long awaited gift under the Christmas tree. She sat in her lover's lap and rested her head on a welcoming shoulder. The tall woman slowly unbuttoned her blouse until the black lace of a bra was visible. She slid a hand underneath an obviously engorged breast and began to massage and knead it exactly like a breastfeeding mother would. Once again, Alice couldn't believe what her eyes were seeing. 'It can't be what I think it is' she reasoned.

But when delicate fingers moved the blouse aside, she had to face the evidence: it was indeed a nursing bra! Karen, without the slightest embarrassment, unhooked a bra clip and let the lace fall down. The full breast was revealed in all its glory, a long erect swollen nipple, barely darker than the surrounding skin, crowning its lascivious beauty. Kathryn's squirming body betrayed her impatience and her eyes were begging but she didn't dare move before being given permission.

“You may now,” Karen simply said.

Immediately the younger woman lay down a little more, closed her eyes and her eager lips encircled the tender breast, latching onto the hard nipple like a starving infant. In the silence of the room, suckling sounds and moans of pleasure composed an indecent symphony.

Alice couldn't take her eyes off the incredible display. This night was nothing but a limitless erotic escalation that was slowly but surely bringing her on the brink of madness. For the first time in years her body was screaming for sex while she kept on looking at the nursing woman, a tear of milk escaping her lips from time to time, running down her neck towards her own bosom.

“Induced lactation,” Karen said, smiling to her astounded guest.

Alice looked at her questioningly but couldn't utter a word.

“It's a way for non-pregnant women to produce and maintain milk flow. It can be obtained through regular breast stimulation and use of breast pump. There is also a medical protocol but I wouldn't recommend it. Anyway, as you can see, my baby loves to be fed like that and, by chance, I produce easily.”

As a matter of fact, the almost thirty years old "baby" seemed to reach a state of pure bliss, peacefully suckling of the offered breast and looking half asleep in the protecting arms of her feeder. The small tremors shaking her body were the only signs that feelings and sensations having nothing to do with lull were at play.

“Kay loves to get her release that way. Don't you, dear?”

Kathryn hummed a sort of 'yes', not leaving the delicious nipple even for one second. She lifted her bottom, seized the hem of her dress and, once again, raised it up to her belly, shamelessly spreading her legs to host her lover's attentions.

Only the embers in the fireplace lit the softly white room, but Alice's face was only a few feet away from the exposed pussy and she could clearly see its exquisite pattern and the glistening testimony of its lust. But even more appealing to her than the sight was the scent that immediately assaulted her nostrils. The bittersweet tangy smell of female arousal. Too far gone to still be surprised by her own reactions, she realized that, in a pavlovian reflex, the fragrance was making her salivate.

A long slender finger landed on the glistening sex and began a quiet amble along the clammy flesh, eliciting muffled moans from the teased woman, each one painfully echoing in Alice's drenched pussy. When Karen's sharp red nail scratched the meaty sheath and revealed Kay's translucent turgescent pearl hiding underneath, Alice found herself on the verge of begging for her own clit to be scraped, hurt, martyred. For the second time, she felt she was one with Kathryn. As aroused, as needy, as crazed by the never sufficient caresses.

“Of course, Kay's cunt wants to be filled now,” Karen said with an almost sadistic smile.

Cunt! The word reverberated in Alice's head like the most powerful aphrodisiac. She had always been to shy and introverted to use dirty words but now, even if she couldn't fathom where it came from, all she wanted was for her pussy to be a cunt, a twat, a gash, a fuck hole, anything filthy enough to equal the unbelievable lust pervading her.

“But, of course, that's not going to happen,” Karen went on as if discussing the most mundane topic. “You see, Alice, frustration is quite an aggravating factor in sexual stimulation. The emptiness in Kay's cunt is slowly driving her crazy and her only way to compensate for that void is to squeeze the plug in her ass as forcefully as she can. Just imagine how much her rectum loves its intruder right now, how it clutches to it, how it wants to suck it deeper and deeper and to shower it with mucous kisses. Isn't it the most beautiful thing?”

The obscene images that filled Alice's brain were so extreme, she feared she was simply going to pass out.

Karen's fingernail scratched her lover's clit one last time, almost brutally as if willing to imprint its mark on the tender defenseless nub.

“Now,” she ordered calmly.

Alice could hear a few sharp intakes of breath that sounded like desperate gasps. Kathryn's body rose from the sofa, her back arched, her head tilted back, and her lips left the breast they had been worshipping. Her eyes opened looking at nothing, and she grabbed the sides of her dress in her clenched fists. Her mouth opened in a silent scream, her body convulsing wildly and her pussy releasing spurt after spurt the creamy evidence of her orgasm.

Without a touch, without a conscious thought, immersed in the urgency of her own needs, Alice felt an almost unbearable mixture of pain and pleasure pass through her, reaching some sort of deviating mental climax as if she had become one with the orgasming woman who seemed to fill the entire room with the intoxicating fragrance of her humongous release.

********

'You might find the evening informative,' Kathryn had said when she'd invited her.

'That was the understatement of the year!' Alice pondered a few hours later, lying in her bed, blushing alone in the dark as she replayed in her head the events of the surreal night. She was still in shock over what she had witnessed and puzzled by the way her mind and body had reacted. It was so unlike her to lose her self-control and watch her inhibitions disappear like dead leaves washed away by raging floods.

But she couldn't deny it: for the first time in years, she was feeling alive. Alive and sexual. It was as if, after a long power outage, lights were shining again. And those lights were clearly centered between her thighs, exactly where her fingers were now digging, avid to extract every nugget of pleasure that had been buried down there for too long. Lying on her stomach, hands trapped by her own weight between burning belly and drenched sheet, Alice's fingers were plunging into a swamp.

The images were still fresh, scrolling behind her closed eyelids like an obscene slideshow, the only difference being that she was now in Kathryn's place, submissively complying with every order of an implacable lover, obnoxiously displayed, bathed in a sordid shame that made her come over and over again.

'Am I such a woman?' she just had time to ask herself before sleep claimed her exhausted body, leaving aside an even more important question: if yes, could she accept it?

 

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