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Copyright © NICOLE AUSTIN, 2016
Ever the gentleman, Carl held the door and allowed her to precede him down the stairs. Second thoughts stopped her for only a few seconds before stepping through the strange entryway. Nothing ventured…
With her heels clicking on the wooden steps she couldn’t be certain, but Claire thought she’d heard the soft snick of a lock being engaged. Every hair on her body stood on end and her muscles tensed.
Why the hell would he lock the door? Weren’t they alone in the house? If she ran back up the stairs and turned the knob, would it open?
Taking a deep breath, she descended the stairs and shoved her crazy fears aside. She’d gone into this with her eyes open and she would not freak out. Carl was a Dom. Her Dom—at least for tonight. If she went into this without trust, limiting her submission, they might as well not even bother.
When she safely cleared the last step, she lifted her gaze and looked around the room in awe. An actual dungeon.
Heat washed through her body as her nipples puckered and her panties grew damp. Lord, she felt as if she’d waited her whole life to submit in a real dungeon.
Gray cinderblock walls and cement foundation. Track lighting fixtures on the ceiling cast a soft glow yet left areas in shadow. A pegboard held a wide variety of floggers, whips, crops and paddles. There against one wall was a strange chair with a padded V-shaped seat to spread the legs open and leather cuffs attached in strategic locations. She noted the familiar shape of a St. Andrew’s Cross looming in the shadows next to an ancient-looking stockade. The dungeon was well-stocked with various padded tables and spanking benches, each one equipped with built-in restraints.
A small part of Claire hadn’t believed Carl had a dungeon in his basement. But the proof surrounded her. At that very moment in time, she stood in the middle of a private, subterranean, fully equipped dungeon.
Anticipation supercharged her blood, sending it zooming through her veins. Her abdominal muscles fluttered and she wasn’t sure if the cause was excitement, fear or a combination of the two. She hadn’t thought this far ahead or even got around to wondering how it would feel to be in a dungeon. To know that soon, Carl would restrain and dominate her.
She shuddered as slender fingers skated over her shoulder and down her spine. Carl. How had she forgotten she wasn’t alone?
“Go ahead. Take a look around. Check out the equipment while I fix a drink.” He nodded toward a small wet bar. “Would you like anything?”
She had to pry her tongue from the roof of her dry mouth to respond. “Water.” A strong drink might help bolster her courage, but Claire didn’t want anything to dull her senses.
Carl turned to the bar and she moved about the room to get a closer look at things. Hanging from a sturdy chain in the ceiling was some kind of contraption with thick, flat metal vertical slats and horizontal bands. It was elongated, rounded at the top then broadening before tapering again toward the bottom. She estimated it at six to six and a half feet tall.
Her hand flew upward, covering her mouth to hold back a gasp.
It couldn’t be? But it was. The damn thing was some kind of cage, roughly in the shape of a human.
Moving past it quickly, she came to a standing device, shaped like the one hanging from the ceiling but solid. An iron maiden? The device had hinged doors, one of which had been left open, revealing an interior lined with spikes. When a person was shut inside, those spikes would press into their flesh.
Shooting a nervous glance over her shoulder, she located Carl, still at the bar with his back to her.
Lord, had she made a mistake believing in this man? If he went too far and she asked him to stop, would he?
Kind of late to get nervous.
Skirting around a gynecological table complete with stirrups, she approached the center of the room and the least threatening apparatus she’d seen so far. Similar to a padded massage table with thick wooden legs but oddly canted, as if the maker cut one set of supports shorter than the other. The table surface itself was short, perhaps two-feet long. At the higher end the padding curved over the rounded edge. She noticed a cut out section at the lower end and off to each side were wide, hinged metal cuffs that would lock someone in place. She stepped around the table and saw similar cuffs toward the bottom of the taller legs.
Just as she stepped forward, hand extended to test the thickness of the leather padding, a scraping sound had Claire turning her head toward Carl. The toe of her shoe caught on something and her forward momentum threw her off balance.
Several things occurred at once. She felt herself moving through the air as if she’d been pushed, practically flying with her arm extended, her pelvis slamming into the curved table edge. Her hips folded and her upper body continued, coming to an abrupt halt on top of the table, knocking the breath right out of her. The material of her skirt flapped up, bearing her panty-clad ass to the chilled air.
She heard the scrape of wood on the concrete floor as the heavy piece of furniture was shoved by the hard impact of her body. This was followed by the loud clang of metal on metal.
Claire struggled to draw air into her abused lungs and make sense of what had happened. After several painful, wheezed breaths, she pushed with her hands to lift her upper body but was stopped short, her right wrist held firmly in place. Horror dawned as she turned her head to see the cuff had snapped closed over her wrist.
Her palms were sweaty, her heart pounded against her ribs and her ears were filled with the loud swish of her galloping pulse.
Lord, she wasn’t sure what won out, her mortification over the indignant position or fear that she’d had help getting into this mess. Had Carl pushed her or had it been an innocent trip and fall?
“Umm…Carl. Could you help me up?” A burst of nervous laughter passed her lips.
Catching movement in her peripheral vision, Claire arched her neck to watch Carl’s slow approach. Too slow for her comfort. Apparently the jerk was enjoying the view of her bared butt sticking up.
She blindly reached back with her free hand, trying to catch the hem of her dress and push it down. As she grasped at material, hard fingers closed over her wrist and forced her left arm toward the open cuff. Claire kicked, bucked her body and struggled against him but Carl had strength on his side. Within moments he had her left arm and both ankles locked down to the table. As she continued to struggle, he fastened a wide leather strap over her hips, severely limiting her movement.
“Carl, let me go. We haven’t talked about my limits yet.”
Oh God, this couldn’t be happening. Nobody knew where she’d gone and Carl had turned into a complete psycho. He had her immobilized in his basement dungeon, far from any other house. No one would even hear her scream.
“Carl,” she screeched, “this isn’t funny.” Claire put all her strength into trying to break free, knowing the effort was wasted but unable to stop fighting for her freedom.
“I will allow no limits, Claire. You will take what I give you and thank me for it.”