Marquesa worked her hands down his back, squeezing the muscles, kneading away the tension.  He lay on the massage table, a white fluffy towel wrapped around his waist.  She sighed as her fingers dug in.  She hoped he would tell her that she could stop soon.  Her hands were sore.  Until then she would keep going.  She had to.  He owned her.

There were few outward signs of it, of course.  He took very good care of her.  She lived in a single room in the mansion rather than in one of the slave barracks.  A locked room, of course.  The only token of her status was the collar locked around her throat.  And even there he had made allowances for her.  It was not an ugly steel band.  Just a slender loop of silver.  Almost elegant really.  It might have been a piece of jewelry…  If it weren’t locked.  And, of course, he had taken one other precaution.  She wore contact lenses at all times.  Not for her vision which was perfect but to change her eyes from their usual piercing, hypnotic green to a much more ordinary brown.  Like Samson’s hair, the secret to her hypnotic abilities had been taken from her.  In its own way, that was even more of a humiliation than the collar.

The collar had her slave ID number engraved into it.  The number that had been assigned to her almost a year before now.  When she could not pay her debts the court had sold her into slavery for five years.  He had pursued her for years before that.  She had, gently she thought, tried to brush away his interest.  When the opportunity arose, he had gotten what he wanted in another way.  He purchased her.  She knew she should be grateful, in a sense.  Even the slave number was engraved into her collar rather than tattooed into her flesh.  He was very gentle with her hoping, she supposed, to win her heart and mind along with the body he now possessed.  She knew she could have ended up in much worse circumstances.  She should be grateful.  But she wasn’t.  The collar and the room were locked.  She could not find gratitude for being a slave.

Ian rolled his shoulders and raised himself up to sit on the table.  He smiled at her.  “That was wonderful.”  He looped his finger under her collar and gently pulled her toward him for a kiss.

Marquesa had always sensed something about him.  Even before when he had pursued her.  It was hard to define.  Hard to express.  He almost seemed to be…  Pretending?  Acting?  Was that it?  As if he were playing a part.  Trying to be something that did not come naturally.

“This isn’t what you want,” Marquesa said flatly.

Ian paused, a curious look on his face.  Then he smiled.  “Oh…  I think it is,” he said and pulled her closer.  Marquesa pulled back and dared to say the one word she could never say:


Ian slipped his finger from beneath her collar.  He looked down nervously and then back up at her.  It was all the confirmation Marquesa needed.  She had guessed correctly.  Now she did lean in close to him and whispered in his ear.

“You don’t want to be in charge, do you?”

She gently caressed his back with one hand, brushed the other lightly over his chest and repeated the question, “Do you?”

“I…  Um…  Yes…  I…”  He was finding it difficult to concentrate.

“Do you?” Marquesa whispered.

Ian swallowed.  “No,” he whispered.

Marquesa continued to caress him, running her hand down his back and under the towel to stroke his bottom.  “Take off my collar,” she purred.

Ian, his hands trembling, turned the tumblers of the small combination lock which held the ring of silver around her throat.  He opened it and for the first time in almost a year, slipped it from around her neck.  Marquesa rolled her shoulders, relishing the absence of that small, ever-present weight which she had grown so accustomed to but never accepted.  She took the collar gently from his hands and laid it aside.  Her fingertips returned to his skin, caressing him once more.

“Very, very good…  But you want to continue, yes?”

Ian swallowed, he looked down.  “Yes,” he said quietly.

“Then call for your assistant…  Tell him to do whatever I ask.  Go on,” Marquesa urged.

Ian’s shoulders rose and fell.  He walked over to the telephone and pressed a button.  He cleared his throat, “Would you come in here please?”

Ian’s assistant was there before he had even put down the telephone. “Yes, sir?”

“I…  Um…  I would like you to do as she says,” Ian stammered, nodding toward Marquesa.

The young man seemed puzzled for a moment before his professionalism reasserted itself.  “Yes, sir, of course.”  He looked at Marquesa questioningly.

Marquesa smiled and extended her hand.  If the assistant was surprised at this, he did not show it.  He was, of course, familiar with his employer’s favorite slave, but he wasn’t in the habit of making conversation with her.  Or with any slave for that matter.  It wasn’t done.  This was shaping up to be an unusual evening.  He shook her hand as they exchanged introductions.  That was unusual as well.

“I need two forms prepared for him to sign,” Marquesa explained.  “A manumission for me and a voluntary enslavement declaration for him.  Is that something you can do?”

The assistant nodded, “Yes, of course.  They’re standard forms.  What would be the term of his… Uh…  Enslavement.”

Nearly all enslavements were for fixed periods.  Usually for debt, like Marquesa’s…  Sometimes for crimes or other reasons.  5 or 10 years was common…  20 rare and anything beyond almost unknown.  Voluntary enslavements were quite rare but usually followed the same patterns.

Marquesa glanced at Ian out of the corner of her eye.  He was still standing quietly by the phone, looking down as they talked about him right in front of him.  Embarrassed?  Nervous?  She decided to risk it and see what his response would be.

“Life,” Marquesa said firmly.

The assistant’s mask of professionalism slipped for an instant.  Life enslavement was possible but extremely rare.  Voluntary life enslavement…  He had never even imagined it.  There were at least some protections for those who were enslaved for defined terms.  Limits on how they could be used, on how they could be punished.  They were still people.  A life enslavement contained none of that.  There were no limits on what could be done to him.  After just a moment’s hesitation, the assistant nodded and slipped out, promising to return in just a moment.

Marquesa watched Ian the entire time, wondering if she had gone too far.  Wondering if her voice alone was enough to keep him calm.  He hadn’t responded when she had given his assistant the term.  He just stood there, looking down.  She walked over to where he stood and began to caress him again.  She wanted to make sure that he stayed passive for just a few more minutes.  She whispered to him soothingly, reassuringly.  She watched as his breathing steadied, watched as his eyelids dropped ever so slightly.  Yes…  It was enough.  Not a full trance by any means, not even close, but enough to relax him to the point where his true nature could show through.

The assistant returned as quickly as he had promised.  The paperwork was simple, just one page each.  He laid them on the desk in front of Ian.  Marquesa took a pen from the desk and offered it to him.  Ian leaned over the desk and signed the manumission form as Marquesa continued to stroke him.  He hesitated briefly and then, with a deep sigh, scrawled a shaky signature on the enslavement form.  As he laid the pen down, Marquesa slipped her hand under the towel and gave him a gentle pat on the bottom before pulling away.  The assistant witnessed the two signatures and then collected the paperwork in a folder.

Marquesa thanked the assistant, “I hope you will stay on.  I understand if it would be too awkward for you, but I could use your help.”

This time the assistant did not hesitate.  “Not awkward at all, Ma’am.  It would be my pleasure.”

Marquesa smiled.  “Wonderful,” she said.  “In that case, would you mind having a guard come up?  With a full set of restraints.”

Marquesa and her new assistant continued to chat.  When the guard arrived carrying a small nylon bag, Marquesa pointed to Ian.  The assistant had obviously briefed the guard because he simply nodded, set the bag down and began to unpack it.

“I’d like you to schedule an appointment with his attorney and financial people.  I want to make the transfer of his assets as smooth and fast as possible,” Marquesa asked.  The assistant assured her that would not be a problem and he would schedule the meetings.

From the nylon bag, the guard had taken a set of steel shackles.  Ian did not resist as the guard locked them around his ankles.  Nor did he struggle when the guard gently pulled Ian’s wrists behind him and locked them in matching steel handcuffs.  Last, the guard took a steel collar from the bag.  It was entirely different from the slim silver one which still lay on the desk.  It shined just as brightly, perhaps even more so, but it was a think band of steel and weighed nearly twenty pounds.

“Let me,” Marquesa said, taking the collar.  She stood before Ian for a moment, pausing to enjoy it, and then placed the collar around his throat.  It closed with a very final-sounding click.

Marquesa took it in, standing there with her hands on her hips.  He stood quietly, his head down, securely chained.  The towel he had been wearing on the massage table just a few minutes before…  Could it have only been a few minutes?  The towel was still wrapped around his waist.  She pulled it away and dropped it to the floor.  Ian blushed furiously, embarrassed to now be nude in front of three people who had been his subordinates until this evening.  Marquesa relished that embarrassment.  Let him feel what it was like to lose control…  Even of your own body.

That thought reminded her.  She carefully removed the contact lenses from her eyes and blinked a few times.  She felt a surge of confidence as she reclaimed her natural gifts.  Marquesa slapped Ian.  Not hard.  Just enough to break the slight hold she had asserted over him.  He gasped suddenly as all of the old inhibitions and fears returned.  As he realized what he had done and lost.  He bowed his head in humiliation.  With her full abilities restored, it would have taken just a moment to have him in complete trance…  It would have been merciful even, but she found that was not what she wanted.  He had enslaved her.  He had crippled her.  Let him experience each moment of his degradation.

“Will I need this slave to sign anything else for the asset transfers?” Marquesa asked, not even referring to her new possession by name.

The assistant shook his head, “No, Ma’am.  The enslavement paperwork automatically gives you full authority to act as you see fit without any further input from him.”

Marquesa nodded.  “Good.  Then I want to put him to work immediately.  Assign him a slave number and have him tattooed.”

“Yes, Ma’am.  Did you want him assigned to anything in particular?”

Marquesa nodded, “Manual labor.”

Ian slumped even more if that were possible.  Marquesa knew why, of course.  In his mind he had thought…  He had hoped…  That she might treat him as he thought he had treated her.  Out of pity?  Affection?  She had other plans.

“He was having a section of timber cleared on the estate.  Several hundred acres.  It’s a long job.  I’m sure they could use one more slave,” the assistant suggested.

Marquesa turned it over in her mind.  The slaves worked with hand tools and brute strength.  Chopping, digging, and hauling.  Backbreaking, exhausting labor.  Just what she had in mind for him.  She nodded, “Yes.  That sounds perfect.  Make sure the guards are aware that he is a lifer so there are no restrictions. I want him working double shifts. If he is lazy…  Punish him.”

“I’ll make sure they understand,” assistant assured her.

Marquesa turned to Ian. “And do you understand, slave?”

His shoulders rose and fell in a sigh, “Yes.”

“Yes, what?” Marquesa asked sharply

“Yes, Mistress,” Ian replied quickly.

Marquesa wrapped the heavy chain which was attached to the front of his collar around her hand. A gentle tug downward signaled him to kneel.  Ian dropped to his knees before her. Marquesa pulled at the chain to have him look up at her.

“I’m going to make sure I use you to your full potential.  You were gentle with me.  I won’t forget that.  But you’re mine now and I’ll do as I please with you.  As long as you work very, very hard for me and do exactly as you are told, you have nothing to be afraid of,” Marquesa said, both a promise and a warning as her eyes locked with his.

He trembled under the full power of Marquesa’s gaze.  Tears began to course down his cheeks.  Marquesa gently wiped them away.  “It’s for the best, slave,” she assured him.

Ian swallowed, “Thank you, Mistress.”  And lowered his eyes, accepting his defeat.

Marquesa nodded to the guard.  He slipped a hood over Ian’s head.

“You should have taken no for an answer.  Take him away,” Marquesa ordered.