Book 4: Rapids.

Series: Light, Water, Muses. An alternate universe for a variety of television series. See disclaimers below.

Rating: R, but we're building towards higher again!

Category: The continuing saga of Reflections/ Resurgences/Refractions.

Disclaimer: "ER", see Chapter 1.

Disclaimer: "The Division", see Chapter 1.

Disclaimer: "The X-Files", see Chapter 1.

Disclaimer: "Xena Warrior Princess", see Chapter 4.

Disclaimer: "China Beach", see Chapter 5.

Disclaimer: "Facts of Life", see Chapter 6.

Disclaimer: "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit", see Chapter 7.

Disclaimer: "CSI", see Chapter 11.

Summary: Ah, the theme of sex and food, taken to an extreme...

Part 20

Odds Always Favor the House

++ Olivia ++


What the hell had I been thinking, agreeing to this? I was insane to promise Dace anything...

The stress served me right, for letting hormones cloud my thinking. I didn't do it often, but when I did... I did it with a vengeance. Hell, I'd had some insane one-night stands in my time. For the sake of my sanity, I quickly shook the memories off.

The brawl, because that's what it was, that I'd goaded Dace into had been hers, fair and square. As mean and quick as I could be, she had simply been faster and nastier. And the eyes? I still hadn't figured out why they had looked gold when she bared her teeth at me. Because of my confusion, I hadn't asked what that Japanese word and 'fondue' had to do with whatever Dace was going to do to me...

That the Amazons had been eyeing at me like a particularly fattening dessert while setting up for some huge event only added to my nerves.

"Good, you're right on time, Dobie," a now-familiar voice called out and Pony was pacing over to me. The woman looked remarkably normal in jeans and a yellow blouse. "It's time for your big debut. Follow me." Lucky me, Dobie seemed to have stuck as my moniker. Oh well, it was better than Junkie, or worse, Yorkie. The thought made me shudder. "Bath first," Pony was explaining as she led me to a set of rooms that smelled of water and cleanliness. "Then we get you all gussied up. The event starts at eight and we need to get moving now or we'll be late. And this is not something any of us can be late to."

"Pony? What's going on?" My question made her stop and face me, her expression open and mildly amused. A little of the threatened feeling in my gut backed off as Pony's amusement deepened. The rock-hard woman was likable and I believed that I could trust her.

"Your punishment, such as it is, is public exposure. There's a very exclusive, one of a kind really, event going on tonight. It'll be like nothing you've been to, very posh and fancy the way only the leather community can do it. There are some true VIPs here and we're pulling out the stops for them."


Pony opened her mouth to reply, but Dace's voice came from behind me. "We're the centerpieces." Whirling, I spotted my nemesis and a gigantic shadow of a man. "This is Tiny. He's Silverback's boy. The contrast in our colorings should make the meal unforgettable."

A white smile spread over the chiseled face of the hulking mountain of a black man behind Dace. It was a playful expression, warm and friendly. He was built like a super-sized quarterback and as dark as mahogany. Dace's pale skin, messy blonde hair and athletically slender build stood stark contrast next to him.

"We're to be cleaned, trimmed, oiled, adorned appropriately, strapped to padded tables and decorated with the evening's most exotic food offerings."

As Dace spoke, she strode past me with the heavy boot tread I was beginning to associate with her, and stripped her shirt off. I winced at the dusky bruise on right lower back, knowing that was where I'd body-slammed her. I knew that my right shoulder was still raw from where I'd friction burned it on the canvas.

++ Dace ++

The dark eyes were almost a physical caress. The woman might profess to dislike me and what was going on around her, but her animal reactions spoke a whole different language. "Sally! You sexy thing! Where have you been all my life?" Sally laughed at my flattery and wrapped me in a big hug. She was one of the Amazons I'd trained with so long ago, and a wonderful soul.

"So the rumors are true. You've returned the fold and the Suits are all going to be here tonight. Your doing?"

"I had a hand in it. Has the Red Queen arrived?"

"Not yet, but have no fear, you'll see your Mistress soon enough," Sally smirked and a distinctly petulant, annoyed feeling raced up my spine.

"She's not my Mistress any longer. There's a reason I'll be on display tonight. My loyalties are at loose ends."

"Sorry," Sally apologized quietly as I brushed past her into the bathing room. I hated how conflicted I was over Sylvia. It would probably always be there, for I had loved her with everything I had to give at one time. Parking my butt on the bench, I yanked off my boots and set them next to me. Uncaring that the others had followed me into the room, I dropped jeans and briefs before going to the rows of nozzles on the wall.

"Sal, it's not your fault. Everyone keeps assuming and it just makes me pissy. Stop hovering and get your butt over here and give me a hand." While Sally helped me clean up, I could watch Pony try to wrangle Olivia.

"You bathe there and then soak in the pool. These Japanese-style baths are the best kind."


"Oh for the love of the muses, Dobie, stop fussing. Anything you've got, we've all seen, and will be seeing plenty more tonight. Get naked, you wimp."

"Fine," Olivia sulked and skinned off her shirt. "Momma Bear."

"She's got you there, Pony," Sally laughed as she scrubbed rough-tender fingers through my hair.

"Bite me, Sal. Dobie, if you have anything that absolutely must be one hundred percent safe, give it to me. I have a fanny pack that never leaves my person while on duty and you won't be out of my sight until this event is over." Liv still looked torn and Pony set and hand on the smaller woman's shoulder. "Listen, no one here is going to hurt you. Hell, they'll barely touch you, except in the context of the Scene. All anyone wants to do is appreciate you in a new way. You have to trust someone. I'm as good a guardian angel as any."

"You'll be nearby?"

"Literally at the table, making certain that everyone plays by the rules."

"Trust her," Sally added gently. "No one messes with Pony. Not the pushiest and most arrogant Tops or the most desperate of Bottoms. You're in the best, most professional and alert hands."

Wordlessly, Liv reached for the small of her back and I was unsurprised at the small, holstered pistol she dropped into Pony's hand. A leather wallet followed it and both vanished into Pony's pouch with no further fanfare.

"You owe me," Olivia growled at me and I began to feel bad. The woman was just trying to be a good friend and cop and I was pushing. But she gamely stripped down while Sally redirected the conversation.

"Need a trim, Dace?" Sally asked, tousling the odd lengths of short blonde hair.

"Thanks, yes," I murmured, distracted by Olivia's bravery and the clumsy striptease.

"Tiny, are you going to need a shave?"

"Yes. Thank you."

"I'll scare up the Johnster for ya."

"Thank you. I always appreciate the best."

Dobie jumped as Pony grabbed her by the back of the neck and dragged her over towards me. She was a gorgeous woman, muscled and beautifully curvy. Flushed, but well-behaved now, she allowed Pony to grab the hose nozzle and start in on bathing her. "I feel like livestock," she grumbled half-heartedly and I chuckled.

"That's part of it. The appeal of this culture, I mean. The potential of the facelessness of it. To not be yourself, but just a beautiful creature to be admired and fondled. The sex is reward, as is the attention. Everyone likes to be admired, we just take that to extremes. You have a damn nice figure and there will be plenty who will appreciate that. We'll just dress you up to accent that innate appeal. There's a strange safety zone in being a nameless pretty face, sort of like acting while wearing a mask. But it's the best damn feeling when you get to do it for someone higher on the food chain than yourself. Especially when you like them, or care a lot about them."

I was rambling, but she was listening intently. "So, why me?"

"Because I like your coloring, and you're gorgeous and interesting. Besides, you should get a taste for all of what we do, not just a weekend of wild sex with Michael and her pack. Not that there's not a definite place for that, but the ritual of this life can be addictive."

"You got a piece of Fenris?" Pony teased an embarrassed and curious Dobie. "There are some jealous folks out there, to be sure."

Sally trimmed my wild hair while Johnster, the geek who never smiled, came in with his bag of tricks. He was a strange character, looking like a sci-fi dork, but in command of an extremely interesting talent that served him well in this environment. No one knew where he learned it, but he was brilliant, and had the perfect attitude for the clientele. Olivia watched in fascination as the skinny man pulled out a half-dozen varieties of shavers, including an evil-looking straight blade. With astonishing speed, the man plied his blades over every inch of Tiny's gleaming skin, head, chest, groin, ass, legs, everything. The only hair on Tiny's body was his carefully manicured eyebrows and eyelashes. I applauded as Johnster finished and looked to Pony, whose instructions were curt.

"Just a trim on the girl here."

++ Olivia ++

When the bespectacled geek came at me, I just about decked him. "Are you insane!?!? Get the hell away from me!"

"Oh, dial down, Olivia," Pony sighed at my dramatics. "Johnster here is an 'artiste'. He doesn't give a damn about your goodies. Trust me, if he'd been interested in anything but his singular talents, the Amazons would have castrated him by now. All he's going to do is make sure that your body hair is trimmed up artistically."

This was so weird. Insane really, but what was more insanity in my life right now? Still glaring, I allowed the expressionless man to pull up a stool. It was bizarre to feel his clinical touch and the tug of razor blades on my abdomen. It was creepy really, to have those deadly blades against my flesh, the touch of them feather-light, barely tugging at the hair. Legs apart, I stood frozen and embarrassed while he took a tiny pair of scissors to my pubes and tiny wisps of dark curls floated down to the tiles.

No one made a sound while he worked, probably worried that they'd spook me. "Turn," Johnster murmured quietly and I did as instructed. The razor drifted over my legs, and I grumbled and growled as I allowed him to bend me over and shave the sensitive skin around my asshole. Dammit! Why was I doing this? Pony pet my head where she balanced me, one strong hand on my head, her hard hip anchoring me.

There was a dark little part of me that was beginning to see the appeal of this life. To be fussed over like this was enormously flattering. To leave behind the taboos of a daylight life was amazingly freeing. However, I was still flushed with embarrassment as Johnster stood me up and had me raise both arms. Any stubble that had grown in my underarms was gone now, and the man cleaned off any fuzz on the back on my neck. I watched his cool, dark eyes as he held my chin in one thin hand and plied tweezers to my eyebrows until the tears blinded me.

Just as Dace said, there was no interest in me as an individual, only my aesthetic value. It was titillating and vaguely demeaning... but not necessarily in a bad way. My head was turned back and forth, the tiny tufts in front of my ears trimmed cleanly, any unevenness in my hair quickly corrected. Without a word, Johnster nodded in satisfaction before gathering his tools and going over to where Dace was toweling off.

"Would you like a trim?" The woman the others called Sally, asked into the quiet.

"Absolutely," Dace smiled and tossed her towel to Sally and allowed Johnster in close. It was fascinating to watch the man doing the same routine on Dace that he had just finished with me. That was when I got a chance to get a good look at the large and elaborate tattoos on her back, just below her shoulder blades. A life-sized ace of diamonds card sat partially on another card, face down with a pattern in black and red that I was guessing was the symbols of the four card suits. Opposite it was a large red diamond cradling what seemed to be two scarlet chess pieces. A small blood-red rose nestled in the stark tendons near her Achilles tendon and there was a smaller diamond on her chest, over her heart.

"There are four really heavy hitters in the leather community," Dace spoke without looking at me. It was eerie how she could perceive things others rarely could. "Or at least our corner of it. Each of them adopted one of the suits from the deck of playing cards. I once belonged to the Red Queen, the Queen of Diamonds. She loves chess and that's why I bear the king and queen." How did she know I was curious? Ah hell, how did the woman ever seem to know what she knew? "The Red Queen resides in San Francisco and traditionally oversees the west coast. The Lady Heartsblood is the keeper of Las Vegas, and oversees the central southern half, Silverback, the King of Clubs, the central northern and KC, the Queen of Swords, or Spades, is New York and the east coast."

Something was nagging me. A memory. A small tattoo on Jo's neck... matching ones on Michael and her packmates. Now Pony spoke up, prodding me towards the hose. "Michael, who we know better as Fenris in the past, has inherited the east coast. She's now the King of Swords and an extremely powerful player. She's also one of the finest people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. You fell into good company." Warm water cascaded over my chilled skin while I pondered all this new information.

"The Suits had a falling out three years ago," Dace began again while Johnster continued his work. "And the chaos in Chicago allowed me an opportunity to try and close the gap. These people are old friends and shouldn't be apart, no matter how good or how lousy the reasons. See, me, Michael, Karen and Tiny here were the first four aces the Suits marked."

"Aces?" I asked quietly as Pony shooed me to the big bath.

"The aces," Tiny's bass rumble slid through the warm quiet of the room. "Are the chosen ones of the Suits. We are their greatest accomplishments, their most prized pupils. Bane Shidhe and Fenris were the other two. There are other aces now, but we were the first. Only I remain a Sub, at the feet of my Master. The others have moved on from subservience."

It was a piece of information that intrigued me about Dace, not to mention Michael and Karen. None of them would have struck me as people who got off on being a Bottom. But then again... Jo did, and Jo was one of the strongest people I knew. A sudden realization struck me. By giving up control, it was like a vacation from responsibility in a safe zone. Jo had tried to explain it to me numerous times, but I think I was just now starting to really understand.

"I fell out of the life gradually at first, then cut myself off shortly before the Suits fell apart," Dace admitted as she turned beneath Johnster's direction and watched me with those intent blue eyes. "Now I've fallen back into it suddenly. Tonight will be the first time that the Suits have been together in three years. This is basically a very sensitive diplomatic reception, leather style. I chose you for exotic appeal and because I wanted you to see the best of the Scene."

"Okay," I said seriously. "I'm sold. I'll help impress your friends."

++ Pony ++

Well, Dobie was as good as her word, hardly uttering a squeak as we continued to fuss over her. The bath relaxed tense muscles that I worked out further on the massage table. The thick, neutral almond oil brought out a warm, deep golden tone to her flawless skin. When she tensed up as I kneaded her round ass, I smacked her hard and laughed at her glare. "Stop your growling and squirming, willya? You are not my type. This is business, and only a bit of pleasure, strictly for aesthetic value. I'm one of the token straight girls, Dobie." Her skeptical look was to be expected, as I could hardly look more the dykey stereotype. "Yep, married for fifteen years to my construction-worker husband, quite contentedly I might add, and mother of two. The Amazons keep me around because I'm no-nonsense and I'm good with the nervous newbies that come in here. It's a mom thing. On that note, do what I say or I'll spank you for real."

Dace chuckled throatily from the next table, where Sal was rubbing down her lanky frame. "She will too. And from that one it's a punishment with no release at the end."

Tiny added his own deep rumble of amusement from nearby where two of the other Amazons had agreed to oil his gleaming skin. Mumbling something under her breath, Dobie finally subsided, only tensing when I ran my hands over taboo places. By keeping my touch doctorly, she got through it with no further incident.

"Next phase," I sing-songed to the three and they were covered in fluffy terrycloth robes and thick socks. "Oh, and Dace, Steph and Jo commandeered your boots, but they damn well better have them in that ballroom within the half hour. If we head up there now, we can get you three prepped."

"Glad to see those things still have their magic," the blonde smirked and I chuckled. Ah, the legendary power of Leonacouer's boots. The ballroom was most of the third floor of the living building beside the Staff and Scroll. Keeping the most exclusive events out of the main club was a lesson we had learned many, many years ago. Crowd control was as tight as a White House function at these shindigs. We prided ourselves on our discretion for our clients. Those that did not, fell out of the game very quickly. I hadn't been to the ballroom since this morning and the change was amazing.

"Magnificent," I chuckled and Mel grinned at me. "This looks totally convincing."

"Nice to know I haven't lost my touch," she smiled and gestured expansively at the cavernous room. It had been dressed up as an old-world casino, with dark wood walls and massive, carved tables where traditional gambling games would be played. There were hints of the modern here and there, in the stainless steel gleam of appliances and the bondage corner at the far end. But the monstrous bar was what truly impressed me in it's retro-modern flare. And everywhere was subtle tribute to the Four Suits.

"They're gonna flip. Hey doc, can you come lend your expertise on getting the centerpieces set up?"

"Certainly. The tables are behind the curtain over there. We figured it would keep the area clean and make for a great unveiling. There's easy access to the kitchen back there as well."

"You thought of everything."

"Don't I always," Mel sniffed haughtily and I laughed. Being in the leather Scene stretched a person's imagination and boundaries. Even being exclusively on the business end of things, I had been inspired in my time. These tables were one of my greatest contributions. Even if they didn't get used much. "So, I had an idea when Jane told me that Dobie here was part of the evening's festivities."

"Oh?" The conversation was deliberately ignoring the three in the robes. It was psychological prepping for the evening of being objects, not individuals.

"I'll get it started and we can decide if it's cheesy or sexy."

"Sounds good. Tiny, the right, Dace, you hang here for a moment, Dobie, you go with Mel." It seemed as though Dobie was finally getting a clue how these things worked, for she went to Mel without a sound. Good girl.

++ Mel ++

The pretty brunette stood quietly while I silently judged her build and weight, the spots to accentuate. She was nicely muscled, particularly in the upper body, while remaining definitively curvy and feminine. "Hey, Pony, I think we should change things a bit, now that I've seen Dobie here."


"Let's make her dessert. The fondue'll be better for someone experienced at this, so we'll use Dace. And the nyotaimori will be perfect with Tiny's coloring."

"You're right," Pony grinned. "Dace still in the middle?"

"Definitely. I love the color contrast theme. Up on the table, Dobie, on your back, up on your elbows, knees up. Think gynecological exam." The woman startled and I chuckled while patting her cheek. "Kidding. You're only on display. No one will touch the goodies, we promise. Well... not in the ways that are freaking you out. Up you go." While she did as I demanded, I yanked out the props from beneath the table. It was a bin full of what looked like furniture pieces mixed up with doctor's tools. Or maybe dentists...

Dobie was squirming around on the thinly padded, black terry-cloth covered table. "Right in the middle, good." I caught a flash of six-pack abs that would give my baby a run for her money as Dobie assumed the position I'd charged her with. Another flinch rippled through her as I rested a feather-soft hand on her abdomen. "Are you okay?"

Debating with herself about answering, Dobie relented when I nodded that it was okay. "Nervous."

"Can you do this?" I deliberately used my doctor-with-scared-kid voice. Another moment passed thoughtfully before Dobie eyed me soberly.

"I could leave?"

"Dobie," I explained patiently. "No one is keeping you here against your will, not even that stupid bet with the loudmouth lioness over there." Dace snorted expressively and I ignored her. "If you're freaked, you can leave anytime." She still seemed torn down the middle, so I adopted a wheedling tone. "Be a damn shame though. You three are all gorgeous and what we're going to do to you will blow your mind away." The slow flush started beneath my hand and crawled up her belly and chest. I couldn't help but chuckle, "that could be arranged as well. I assure you that there would be no shortage of volunteers. What, with your good looks and that guard dog hover you do so well. Not to mention hanging out as Michael's left hand!" The flush deepened, and I could feel her body temperature rise against my palm. Bet she was dripping by now. Clearing her throat, Dobie spoke in a voice that was an odd combination of aroused and obstinate.

"If she can do it, I can do it."

"That's the spirit! Hey, Dace, be careful. The guard dog here is hot on your heels."

Dace only raised an eyebrow and smiled warmly.

++ Olivia ++

This was insane, but I seemed to have resigned myself to it. There was no arguing that I was fiercely turned on, the ache growing miserable under Mel's gentle hand. She had the same coloring as Jo, with inky hair and bright blue eyes, but so tall! A winning grin spiced with something almost bashful caught my attention. "I know this sounds silly, but could you tense up again? I kinda have a thing for muscles like these on women."

I was hardly surprised that I did it without thinking. My physical condition was a source of discipline and pride to me, and it felt nice to be admired for all the hard work. Mel sighed happily as my abdomen defined itself into a checkerboard of powerful muscles.

"Mmm, that's nice. Thanks, Dobie, I owe you one."

Owed me one?

Back to business now, Mel placed a thick wedge of very firm foam wrapped in what felt like towels beneath my arched body. I was grateful, as my arms had been growing tired. Muttering to herself, the cushion was poked and prodded at until it supported me at the perfect level to get almost all of the pressure off of my elbows. Now my neck was getting tired, but she solved that problem too. Mel showed me a strange-looking contraption that looked like three padded fingers at the end of an articulated metal arm. It cupped my skull perfectly, and was adjusted so that my head leaned back almost parallel to the table.

"Excellent," Mel grinned. "Now, you're probably wondering exactly what the hell we're doing, right?"

I nodded, not sure if I should speak.

"We're going to set up a desert table here, with a few specialty items resting on your skin until they're gifted to the Suits. I think I'll sprinkle you with powdered sugar for contrast and Pony has some wild idea she hasn't explained to me yet. We aren't planning on using any bondage on you," when I went to protest, she fended me off with a raised hand. "Not just because you're a newbie. We're trussing up Dace in black and Tiny and white. Remember the contrast theme?" I nodded, mildly taken aback that they considered tying me into position... and even more taken aback that I was a bit disappointed they weren't gonna do it. "Having you naked will be even more contrast. You'll be in this position for hours, so go use the bathroom, clean up good, get your muscles loosened up and we'll get you ready to go."

I did as she said.

Only in the bathroom... did I realize that I had been so far sucked into what was going on around me.

That I hadn't grabbed the robe.

++ Jane ++

Goddesses and Devils! I couldn't remember the last time I was so stressed out. This was a big event like a party at the White House would be a big event. Only my VIPs were all from the leather Scene. There were a million details neatly falling into place.

And a million things that could go wrong.

Mel had been adamant that I come to the ballroom, so I sheepishly began to delegate out and sent up a prayer that nothing serious would go wrong. My tribe rallied like a war party, scattering to a thousand tasks, and drafting others in. I grabbed Steph as she rushed by, nearly upsetting her to the concrete. "You be there at seven forty-five," I said in my most serious voice. "I'm not doing this without you, got it?"

For a moment, Steph just looked stressed and argumentative, but our long time together won out. "I'll be there. Count on it."

"I am!" Now I was in the living sectors, still flinging instructions like arrows as I stalked through my domain. The ballroom brought me to a shocked halt. "Holy shit..."

"I take it that you approve?" Mel's sultry voice chuckled softly, and her familiar arms wrapped tight around me.

"Wow... Mel, this is amazing." And it was. The ponderous elegance of the dark woods and lush black velvet hangings had transformed the vast ballroom into a completely different old-world elegance. Somehow, Mel and her crew had even managed to drape black from the walls to the half-dozen massive chandeliers, making the hundreds of crystals glitter magnificently. Everywhere was tasteful tribute to the ancient art of the gamble, and more specifically, to our revered elders, our teachers and mentors and family. "Gramps and the others are gonna shit."

Chuckling in self-satisfaction, Mel gave me a deep kiss and I was happy to follow her towards more of the ever-present black velvet. Oh, the surprise it concealed...

"Dayum," was all I could breathe as I ogled Dace and Tiny. Both of them were adorning Pony's famous display tables, and the d?cor was already appearing around them. "They look great, who's on the third?"

"That pretty brunette that's been shadowing Fenris. This is what Dace wanted for winning the boxing match."

The tall blonde smirked, but only faintly. She didn't break training, merely lying back against the padding that held her body in position. It was so weird to have her acting all Subby. Then I saw the low chrome railings outlining Dace and Tiny's bodies and realized why I had been called in. "Do I have time?"

Mel stepped over to the table where Dace lay quietly and pulled out spools of black cotton rope. "Be quick about it, babe. Just these two. I'll get your clothes and be back in a few minutes."

Grumbling to myself, I went for the black rope sitting at Dace's hip. "You ready?"

"Yes ma'am."

So weird to have her acting like this! I had a gift with rope that went way, way, way back. Letting myself get lost in the intricacies of this ancient tool, I began weaving a web of bondage over Dace's calm body. I was dimly aware of Pony nearby, talking with someone, and then clattering on the once-empty third table. Mel returned as I worked my way down Dace's smooth frame. I could have gotten far more elaborate than I was, but there was no time. All I was doing was accentuating the pose. Lengths over the arms, no time to run the line through the rails, so I just tied it back into itself, letting the loops arch out like lolling tongues. There was no room for error as I moved along, for the staff was setting up the food preparations in my wake. Even as sweat collected on my skin, the intricate work relaxed me enormously. Not to mention turned me on like mad. Soon each of Dace's limbs were immobile in my webs and I laid the deliberately fluffed up cut end near the diamond tattoo on her chest. It was a bit of a signature of my work. Pleased with the effect, I kissed my old buddy's nose and rushed to repeat the macramé on Tiny's much larger frame.

++ Pony ++

While Dobie had cleaned up and worked off a bit of nervous energy, I'd yanked on my uniform to cut down on time loss. It was a strange uniform, to be sure, but I loved it. Each of us adopted into the large family of Amazons earned the pleasure of designing our own look. There was an endless variety of materials, colors and styles, but the theme was unmistakable. We were all too aware that it made us look like Xena or Hercules extras, but there were far worse things to be compared to. Intricately stamped, painted and dyed leather fashioned into skirts, loincloths, gauntlets, bras and elaborate wooden masks with trailing plumes of leather laces, raffia, feathers, whatever described the woman within. Various weapons of the trade adored many of us, and a couple dozen of us carried things more deadly. I was all too aware of Dobie's gun in my pouch, and the similar one I carried high on the inside of my thigh.

I was rigging up my idea as Dobie padded back in, looking more relaxed and oddly sheepish. "I got a little sweaty in the gym," she told me quietly and I grinned. Boy, I bet her oiled, naked body had given a few visceral thrills!

"No problem, it'll make you taste better," I chuckled and she blinked owlishly and flushed. "Get back up there when you're ready, and let's get you finished up. Time's a wastin'." It ended up looking better than I thought, twin long lengths of bendable copper pipe twisted into a double arch. Through each of them had been run thick surgical tubing that plugged into pumps beneath the table that in turn ran into a pair of very special vats. There were a couple of catch basins I had to get positioned once Dobie was comfortable, but I think my wacky idea was actually going to work. Dobie was looking curious and a little tentative as she settled. Remembering that she wasn't really a Sub, I grinned, "shall I explain while we finish?"

"Please, Pony."

"Oh, you're getting better at this game, guard dog," I praised at her respectful use of my title/name. "There are two more of the padded props here, that will nestle into the outside curve of your knee, so that you're not trying to hold this position. Good, they fit nicely. You let me know if you start feeling stiff and we'll give you a little stretch, okay?"

"Thank you, Pony."

"Very good. Now, this idea may or may not work." Four little alligator clips, usually used as really evil nipple clamps, had been mounted at the end of slightly flexible heavy-gauge wire. I rubber-banded them to the pole propping up Dobie's legs so that they curled around her thighs to point at her crotch. "This was inspired, I tell ya." My chuckling tone relaxed Dobie and she eyed me curiously as I whipped out the icing on the cake. "Dental dam. Surgical quality latex. Now watch." The alligator clips bit down on the corners of the dam, creating a little semi-transparent window over Dobie's dark pubes. It even gave a measure of privacy, unless a person ducked down to eyeball her goodies. Comprehension was dawning as I reached for the control switch and clicked it on.

It worked perfectly.

To be continued…

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