Springtime Surprise

Written by Puck
Email: puck@artchicks.org

Disclaimer: This is a work of fan fiction. The characters belong to their various creators: Buena Vista Television / The Walt Disney Company and The Gargoyles Saga, and they are used without their express knowledge or consent.

Warning: This is a work of adult fan fiction. It contains explicit depictions of sex and adult language, and is intended for mature readers only. If you are under the age of consent, please stop reading now.

Author's Note: This story is my entry in the Spring 2003 Writer's Challenge. It takes place in an alternate universe, a spin-off from the works of Madame Destine. It was written with permission, but it is not canon with her work.

* * * * *

A gentle breeze drifted through the open second-story window, carrying the fragrant scent of dogwood blossoms into the well-appointed master suite of Destine Manor. It was late March, the first day of spring, and the gardens were just slowly beginning to reawaken from their winter slumber. Already, the tulips and daffodils had broken from the earth, dotting the beds with spots of green as their leaves sought the sunlight. It would be weeks yet before they would flower, painting the manor's grounds with a riot of yellows and reds, but their emergence was still a welcome sight to the woman who had spent so many hours on her hands and knees the previous fall, planting them. Andrea Calhoun smiled, watching from the window as a pair of cardinals, one a brilliant red, the other a muddy brown, explored the tall hedgerow that framed the yard, scouting for a nesting site among the evergreens. At the edge of the lawn, a gray squirrel poked his way though the mulch, retrieving the last of his hidden cache of acorns from near the base of the oak tree that had dropped them. Even the smallest of creatures was hard at work today, getting a jump-start on their spring chores. Andrea stepped back from the window, shaking her head in mild amusement as she said, "Okay, Miss Calhoun. Break's over. Time for you to get back to work, too."

It was late morning, and Andrea was in the midst of what portended to be a daylong binge of spring-cleaning. Planting her hands on her hips, she surveyed the master suite one last time, trying to decide if there was anything else she needed to do. The bed had received fresh linens, the pillows had all been fluffed, and a lighter, more colorful quilt had replaced the heavy winter comforter. She had also cleaned the bathroom from top to bottom, a chore that had eaten up most of the morning, and just before taking her little break at the window she had spent some time tidying up the large closet that she shared with her mate.

"Check, check, and check," Andrea said, reviewing her mental list. "So that leaves just one last thing." Andrea returned to her side of closet, a smirk coming to her face as she reached for a hanger in the back bearing a simple black dress. It had been over six months since she had last worn it, but the authentic maid's uniform was still as crisp and enticing looking as ever. Andrea smiled broadly as she turned and laid it out on the bed. Tonight was a very special night, and a freshly cleaned house was only part of the surprise she planned to have waiting for her mate when Dominique returned from the office that evening.

Today was the first full day of spring, and by previous agreement, that also made it Dominique's birthday. Or, more appropriately, her "hatching night" as Angela had corrected during her last visit. Her gargoyle stepdaughter had been eager to offer her own opinion on what kind of celebration might be might be appropriate, but Andrea had already made up her mind. She'd had almost a year to think about it, after all. Dominique had been eager to lavish Andrea with cake and gifts on her last birthday the previous April, but it had taken a bit of cajoling to get the azure gargoyle to admit when her own special day was.

"Gargoyle eggs are always laid and hatched around the time of the vernal equinox," she had explained. "I know they year I was hatched, but not the exact date. The clan did not keep track of such trivial things. We celebrated the equinox and the arrival of spring, not the anniversaries of our hatching."

"Then we'll celebrate the equinox, too," Andrea had suggested after a few moments of quiet consideration. In the end, Dominique had acquiesced, but only on the condition that Andrea respect her wishes to not make a big fuss or employ any of the traditional human birthday rituals in doing so. No cakes, no candles, no singing of that silly song or wearing of funny hats… and absolutely, positively no surprise parties. "You didn't say 'no presents,' though, Domi," Andrea mused thoughtfully as she went back to the wardrobe. From the shoes arranged in neat pairs on the floor, the petite woman selected her tallest pair of black heels. Then she opened a drawer to retrieve a black, lace-trimmed bra and matching pair of panties. Andrea smirked as she returned to the bed to lay the items out beside the dress. Once she was all dressed up, she was certain she would be a gift that her mate would want to unwrap slowly and carefully… especially if history ended up repeating itself tonight.

Andrea paused a moment to reflect on the strange chain of events that had landed the once-despised uniform in her small but growing collection of playtime clothes. Dominique had originally purchased the dress for Jeannie, which had immediately led to yet another argument between Andrea and her mate over the former djinn's place in their household. In the end, Jeannie had chosen to leave rather than continue to allow her presence to be a source of friction between the two of them, but Dominique had gotten called away to Paris on business before they have been able to fully reconcile. The suggestion to get away for a while to relax and clear her head had been Angela's. It was a bit of advice offered by her old friend Marilyn on the last day of a their weeklong trip to Sedona, however, that had inspired an idea for the perfect way to show her significant other that all was forgiven. The night Dominique had returned from her business trip, Andrea had met her at the front door wearing the very same maid's uniform they had originally fought over. "Welcome home, Madame," she had greeted, ducking her eyes demurely as she relieved Dominique of her coat and briefcase. It hadn't taken her mate long at all to catch on and play along. Andrea smiled, recalling how she had allowed her mate to playfully order her about, until at last they had ended up right here, in the bedroom.

"Mm, shall I help you undress again, Madame?" Andrea giggled and ran her hand over the lacy fringe of the dress's apron, smoothing away a wrinkle as she imagined how much fun it was going to be to wear it again. It had been a while since the last time they had last played a dress-up game, but this would surely help bring back the memories from that passion-filled night late last summer. Andrea regarded the dress contemplatively, struggling for a moment with the sudden urge to shed her jeans and tee-shirt, change into the uniform, and spend the rest of the day in tormented anticipation of Dominique's return. As the inventory of all the things she still had left to do to get the house ready flicked before her mind's eye, however, she realized that it would be terribly impractical to indulge in such frivolity. She still had the entire kitchen to clean… the living room to tidy… the laundry to finish. If she were to wear that dress to do all those things, she would spend half of her time worrying about wrinkling it or spilling something on it, and getting everything done would just take twice as long.

Andrea checked the clock and saw that it was nearly noon already. "No," she decided, "I can wait a little longer." She would finish cleaning the house, get a quick shower, and then take her time transforming herself into Miss Andrea, devoted servant girl to Madame Destine. Dominique would probably arrive home from Nightstone around half past five, leaving herself a half-hour to spare before her transformation, so figuring in the time it would take her to get ready… "Yikes, I've only got about four hours left. I'd better get moving!"

* * *

A little cold water splashed upon her face had done wonders to help Andrea refocus her mind on her chores. Three hours and thirty minutes had passed in a blur of activity, and as she loaded the last of the linens into the dryer, Andrea congratulated herself on being ahead of schedule. "I should reward myself," she mused as she left the machine running and returned to the kitchen. "Maybe a nice soak in a warm bath instead of a shower. I could try some of those lavender bath beads Dominique gave me for Valentine's Day." With the pleasant thought dancing in her head, Andrea swept from the counter the last of nearly a dozen disused pots and pans she had weeded from the cupboards and placed it into the cardboard box that sat waiting by the basement door. "I'll just find a place to stash this," she said, gathering it up, "and then I'm done."

The basement stairs were steep and narrow, and the wood planks creaked as Andrea made her way down into the only part of the old house she seldom visited. She had never really cared much for basements. The one in the house she had grown up in had been dark and musty, housing a noisy beast of a furnace that had scared her nearly to death the one time she had foolishly dared to venture down into the subterranean depths on a challenge from her older sister. Basements were a place to hide the Christmas ornaments and stockpile the junk you didn't want to throw away just yet. Beyond that and the occasional need to take shelter from windstorms, Andrea didn't have much use for them.

Andrea crammed the box onto a shelf near the bottom of the stairs, wedging it in beside the red and green plastic bins containing the holiday decorations, and dusted her hands off on her jeans, pausing for only a moment look around. The late afternoon sunlight was streaming through the too-small windows at the far end of the room, making it easy to see that many of the manor's previous occupants had evidently shared her views on the junk issue. The room, which ran the full length and width of the house, was filled wall-to-wall with clutter.

"Ugh, what a mess," Andrea muttered. "When was the last time anyone cleaned up down here? World War Two?" She brushed a dangling cobweb from her face as she moved to take a closer look at the nearest pile. "Maybe longer than that," she said, taking note of an old gas chandelier that sat discarded beside a lopsided claw-foot tub that was missing one clawed foot. Behind the tub, propped up on its sides, lay an old door with its hinges and knob still attached. A thick layer of dust covered everything, and Andrea did her best not to stir it up as she made her way further into the room. She would have turned and left, but she had spotted something that her artist's eye wanted to take a better look at. At about the midpoint of the room, stacked neatly along one wall, rested at least a dozen pairs of louvered window shutters. Each was about two feet wide and six feet tall… perfect, Andrea mused, for creating room dividers or freestanding display boards for her smaller paintings. All she would have to do is clean them off, paint them up, and join them together, three or four in a row.

"I bet these are pretty heavy. I wonder if Angela would mind helping me move them upstairs the next time she visits." Andrea pulled one of the old shutters away from the wall to get a feel for its heft, but the thought was left incomplete as she received a small surprise. Behind the shutter, where she had assumed there was only a solid wall, she saw instead a low archway sealed by a wooden door set into the stonework of the foundation. "What on earth?" Andrea slid the first shutter aside, then pushed the one next to it away, as well, to reveal the entire door. She paused to orient herself, and her curiosity peaked as she deduced that whatever room lay behind it must be located directly beneath the conservatory. "Right under my studio. I wonder…"

Andrea reached for the latch. Half expecting to find it locked, she was surprised a second time when the lever gave way under only lightest pressure and the door squeaked open. Andrea pulled it back to about ninety degrees before taking a half-step inside. There was indeed a room beyond it, but didn't seem to have any windows and it took a moment for her eyes to adjust to the dimness. Andrea moved to one side, allowing a bit more light from the main room to filter in from behind her, and stared in wide-eyed disbelief at what she saw. "Oh my," she gasped, her gaze transfixed on an object that stood not more than ten feet away.

The stout construction of wood and wrought iron stood about five feet high and three feet wide. It was a set of heavy wooden stocks. Or more correctly, it was a pillory. Crafted from thick pieces of timber, it looked just like the ones from colonial times. Andrea stared at it in shock, a million questions running through her mind. Was it real? Where did it come from? And did Dominique know it was down here? Hesitantly, Andrea approached the ominous-looking device and reached out to touch the wood. It was indeed quite solid and real, and as she overcame her initial shock, she strangely found herself marveling at its construction. It looked to be a genuine antique or at least a very well crafted reproduction, all mortise and tenon joinery with not a nail or screw to be seen.

The design was one of a simple rectangular frame, with a pair of sturdy uprights rising from a wide footed base to support the stocks into which holes were cut for the neck and wrists. As her fingers traveled over one of the uprights, Andrea discovered a small brass plaque, attached to it with a pair of brass tacks. Curious, she rubbed at it with her thumb, clearing away enough of the tarnish to read the engraving. "By commission of the Governor, in the name of His Majesty the King, New York - 1696."

Andrea blinked in amazement. "1696?" she gasped. Could this be for real? Was it truly possible that this strange thing could be over three hundred years old? If so, she marveled, it was in a remarkably good state of preservation. Andrea circled around the pillory, examining it from all angles before carefully stepping up on the low platform behind it. It looked solid, but would it still work as intended? Laying her fingers inside the wrist holes, she applied a slight bit of upward pressure and was surprised to find that it did. The top half of the crosspiece slid up easily. Guided by the grooves carved into the uprights, it lifted almost a foot before finding a pair of notches that allowed it to rest in an open position. Andrea slid it back down, then raised it a second time, amazed by how smooth the operation was. "If only half the windows in this house worked this well," she said, leaving it resting in the up position once more.

Her hands fell to the lower half of the crosspiece, her fingers exploring the semicircular cutouts that time and use had worn smooth. Experimentally, she rested her wrists upon them, finding it strangely enervating to wonder how many pairs of hands before hers had rested upon this same block of wood in the past three hundred years. "I wonder what it feels like…." She was not even sure where the thought had come from as she bent forward and placed her neck down into larger central cutout. Andrea closed her eyes, letting the myriad images from every period movie she had ever seen and every colonial times reenactment village she had ever visited flicker in her mind's eye. She imagined a crowd of Puritans looking on with those ever-present scowls of disapproval on their faces, and pictured herself as the latest hapless and unlucky victim sentenced to the pillory for some trifling offense. Perhaps she had talked in church, or worn a dress that revealed an ankle, or done some other such seemingly inconsequential thing to earn such a cruel punishment.


The harsh sound jolted Andrea abruptly from her reverie. Instinctively, she made to stand up, but when she tried to lift her head, she was shocked to find she could not. "What the… oh no!" Andrea moaned, suddenly realizing what had happened. The upper portion of the crosspiece had fallen back into place. Andrea pressed upward, hoping it would simply slide back up as easily as it had done moments before, but try as she might to struggle free, it stubbornly refused to budge.

"This is not good… not good at all." Andrea's heartbeat began to quicken as panic set in. She tried to slip her hands free, but that proved futile as well. The holes were just barely larger than her wrists, leaving very little wiggle room. Andrea gave up the pointless struggle before she could injure herself. She didn't want to be trapped and bleeding. "Ugh! This is just great," she moaned dejectedly. "Goddess, Andrea… how could you be so stupid?" Andrea sighed and let the question remain rhetorical as she considered her limited options. The stocks were way too heavy and sturdily constructed, and there was no way that she was going to break herself free. Even if she was a gargoyle, she doubted she could manage it. And that left only one solution, as undesirable as it was. "I guess I'm just going to have to wait until Dominique gets home," she muttered.

Until then, Andrea was stuck. But it would only be an hour or so before her mate returned from work, she reassured herself. That wasn't very much time at all, really. Just the length of a TV show or the amount of time it took to bake a cake. She could surely survive being confined like this for a lousy hour. As she waited with only her thoughts to keep her company, though, the artist found them dwelling mostly on how embarrassing this was all going to be for her once she managed to call Dominique down to the basement. She had wanted her lover's "hatching night" surprise to be a demure housekeeper waiting for her in the foyer, ready to cater to every whim. Instead, she would be getting a careless, captive woman who had somehow managed to lock herself in antique stocks in the basement.

Although maybe… no, that was just too crazy. Andrea shook her head, chasing away the memory of the night she had spent as Dominique's prisoner after being "arrested" and handcuffed by a redheaded policewoman. That game had been fun, but it had been just a one-time thing. Other than the very next night when she had put on the "Arabian Nights" slave girl ensemble, of course… but that didn't really count since Jeannie had appeared while she was running Dominique's bath and in the end she and her mate had never gotten to play that game. Andrea frowned thoughtfully, pondering for a moment how far their fantasy role-playing games might have gone that weekend had Jeannie not come along to so thoroughly complicate life at Destine Manor.

"Now just stop it," Andrea chided herself suddenly. "Goddess, what is wrong with you today?" She fidgeted in the stocks, trying to shake off the flush of warmth that had inexplicably come over her. "This is serious. What if this stupid thing is really stuck? Dominique might not be able to get it open, either. What if the fire department has to come with the Jaws of Life?" The words of admonishment spoken aloud were enough to pull Andrea back to an uncomfortable recognition of just how securely she was trapped. How long had it been already, anyway? The back of her neck was starting to itch, and her legs, while not yet aching, were getting tired. Surely it had been almost an hour.

The hopeful thought was short-lived. From upstairs, Andrea heard the muffled buzz of the dryer as it finishes its cycle. The captive woman groaned, realizing that sound meant it had only been about twenty minutes. She still had forty to go. "Damn it, Andrea Leigh Calhoun, what the hell were you thinking, sticking your head in this old thing?" She shifted her feet restlessly, struggling to keep the sense of confinement from overwhelming her. "No," she said forcefully, pushing down the urge to struggle, "I am not going to freak out." The artist closed her eyes and drew a calming breath. "Focus, Andrea," she whispered. "You can get through it this. You've been through a lot worse, remember. You just need to have patience."

Her nerves were nearly back to normal when another muffled noise broke the silence. This time, it was the telephone ringing. Andrea opened her eyes and turned her head upward toward the sound. It rang four times, then stopped just like it should have when the answering machine picked it up. All that ran through Andrea's head, though, was one thought. "If that was Dominique," the mental voice said, full of dread, "I sure hope she wasn't calling to say she's going to be late."

* * *

Dominique Destine finished leaving a quick message for her mate and clicked off her cell phone. She was in her car, which had just pulled out of the garage at Nightstone, and she had only wanted to find out what Andrea's preference was for dinner tonight so she could call in an order and pick it up on the way. "She must be in the shower. And she's probably got some surprise waiting for me." She voiced the thought with a mixture of anticipation and dread. She was turning another year older, and though she had long ago stopped keeping count of the years, if Andrea wanted to acknowledge her it, she would humor her.

Whatever her mate was planning, though, Andrea had already assured her that it didn't involve dinner, so she was relatively certain she was safe from having to eat a cake splattered with the wax drippings of a thousand some-odd candles. Dinner for tonight was still her domain. Dominique pondered the issue for a moment. She liked Japanese… Andrea liked Japanese… and there was an excellent carryout place right on the route home. This was a no-brainer. Dominique pulled up the number on her cell phone and dialed. "Happy 'hatching night' to me," she muttered.

A little over half an hour later, Dominique arrived home, two bags of steaming hot Japanese take-out in hand. Dismissing her driver for the evening, she headed inside, where she was mildly surprised to find no one waiting for her in the foyer. Dominique left her briefcase at the foot of the stairs, and continued on to the kitchen. "Andrea," she called as she strode into the room, "I'm home." But Andrea wasn't waiting for her in the kitchen, either. "Still upstairs getting ready, are you?" Dominique whispered. She set the take-out bags on the counter and turned her eyes to the ceiling. "Andrea," she called musically, "Come on down. I've got sushi and maki rolls!"

"Dominique? Is that you?"

She heard her mate's reply, but it took her second to realize the sound of her voice was not coming from upstairs, where she would expect it, but rather from somewhere below her. Dominique turned, casting her gaze toward the open cellar door. "Andrea? Yes, it's me. Where are you?"

In the dimness of her basement prison, Andrea gave a sigh of relief. "Finally," she mouthed. "I'm down here," she replied, raising her head as far as the pillory would permit her, "in the basement. I… I'm kind of… stuck. Please… could you come down here and help me?"

"Stuck?" Dominique frowned. Immediately sensing the anxiety behind her mate's vague and hesitant request, she needed no further prompting to move toward the steps. "What do you mean, Andrea?" she asked as she made her way down the rickety old stairs. It was not an easy thing to do in a skirt and heels, and two steps from the bottom she very nearly tripped.

"Just… please don't laugh, Dominique," Andrea begged. "Promise me that you won't laugh."

Dominique released the wobbly handrail as she regained her balance. "Laugh at what?" she replied, confused.

"Just promise!"

"Okay, I promise not to laugh. Now where are you?"

"I'm in here."

Dominique threaded her way carefully through the clutter, homing in on her mate's voice. Spotting the open doorway, she peered around it with nervous trepidation. "Andrea, what's wrong? Are you…." Dominique froze as spied her beloved mate, bent forward with her head and wrists in the stocks. "Oh my goodness!" she cried as she rushed forward. "Andrea, what on earth?" She stopped in her tracks again as the younger woman looked up at her. The look on Andrea's face was one of sheer and utter embarrassment. Suddenly, Dominique knew without even asking what had happened. By the look in her eyes, if Andrea could, she would be covering her face in mortification. Instead, however, it was Dominique who covered her own mouth, to hide the grin as she fought in vain to stifle a giggle.

"Domi!" Andrea pouted. "You promised!"

"Sorry." The redheaded woman smiled contritely and crossed remaining distance between them, until she was near enough to place a hand on the heavy timber beam that imprisoned Andrea's neck and wrists. Andrea lifted her eyes, regarding her mate carefully as the other woman traced her fingers along the darkened grain of the wood. "So, my dear," she teased coyly, "is this the surprise you promised me this morning? Or has your curiosity just gotten the better of you once again?"

"Rub it in, why don't you?" Andrea smirked in spite of herself and squirmed restlessly. "So are you going to get me out of this thing or not?"

Dominique gave a sly smile. "All in good time," she replied. She let her hand slip down to caress Andrea's cheek. "Have patience, pet. You remember what I've taught you." She smiled reassuringly, but made no motions yet toward freeing Andrea from the stocks. "I suspected that something like this would happen eventually, you know. I'd come home one night to find you'd handcuffed yourself to the headboard but accidentally left the key on the dresser, or some other such thing." She regarded the captive woman thoughtfully. "I must say, I wasn't expecting something quite like this. If I were keeping score, you'd definitely get points for creativity, pet." Andrea opened her mouth to speak, but Dominique quieted her by trailing a finger over her lips. "Of course, there's nothing wrong with experimenting now and then. Sometimes the best things are discovered quite by accident."

The unmistakable hunger in Dominique's voice left Andrea momentarily quieted. Dominique smiled and pressed her advantage, circling behind her captive mate as she continued. "So now you've satisfied a bit of your curiosity about this little antique. I suppose you're still wondering, though, how it came to be down here in the first place." She placed her hands on Andrea's shoulders, massaging them gently to relieve some of the tension she knew the smaller woman was feeling.

Her mate's touch provided a welcome relief. "Mm, yes," Andrea replied absently.

Dominique chuckled. "I'm sure it's a good story. I wish I knew it myself. I found this device hidden down here shortly after I acquired the house, along with a few other… interesting items. I'm not sure if the previous owner was some kind of historian or just a bit of an eccentric. In truth, I think she might have been a little of both. But in any case, she was long gone before I purchased the property and discovered that I had inherited her odd little collection, as well." Her hands slipped lower to continue the massage down Andrea's back. "After I discovered it," she went on, "I of course had it authenticated. And once I had done that, I knew I had to hold on to it. It's rather amazing, when you think about it, how much a few sticks of wood can become worth after only a few hundred years." She smirked. "I suppose you could say I'm heavily invested in stocks."

A chill ran down Andrea's back as Dominique's hands fell on her hips. It had taken every ounce of her being to pay attention to what Dominique had just said. She was becoming insanely aroused just by her mate's mere proximity. Whether being restrained so strictly was helping or hindering the effect, though, she was no longer sure. The thought that it could be the former made her head spin. Andrea tried to focus. "So you've kept this thing stored down here just for the investment value?" she asked.

"Well…." Dominique smirked, recalling the numerous times now long since past when she had whiled away a lonely night imagining the fun she could have holding Elisa Maza captive in these same stocks, sealed up by day inside this windowless room. Andrea did not need to hear about that little fantasy, though. Nothing had ever come of it. She'd had her own little home dungeon at her disposal for years, but it had never done anything more than sit idle. Until now, that is. Dominique pressed herself up close to her first prisoner. "I'd be lying if I said if it was only for that, Andrea," she whispered huskily, "but I think you know me well enough by now to know what I mean."

Andrea made a soft, contended sound as the familiar hands slipped to the front of her jeans. The roaming fingers teased her through her clothes, applying gentle pressure to just to the right places. Andrea's eyes fluttered shut under the tender assault. "Mm, so I guess this means you're not going to let me go after all."

"Actually, my pet," Dominique purred, "that depends entirely on you." Abruptly, the caressing touch of her mate's hands was gone. Andrea blinked open her eyes as she heard a soft click sound from behind her. With the quick flick of a finger, Dominique released the wrought iron hasps that had fallen into place and kept Andrea from being able to lift the upper crossbeam. Slowly, the redhead raised it up a few inches. "You're free to go, Andrea… if that's what you want."

Andrea lifted her head slightly – the first she had been able to move it in over an hour – and made eye contact with Dominique as the well-dressed woman stepped out from behind her. She held her lover's gaze, her eyes betraying the strange conflict of feelings that welled within her. After a long moment, Andrea simply smiled. She uttered not a word, only continued to smile as she relaxed back into the rigid embrace of the pillory.

Dominique smiled, as well. "As you wish, Miss Calhoun." She pressed the crossbeam back down, guiding it back into place around the blonde woman's neck and wrists, then stepped behind her mate once more to re-secure the latches. "And just to be safe, my dear…." The hairs on the back of Andrea's neck prickled as she heard a heavy padlock snap into place to her right. A few seconds later, the metallic sound repeated to her left. "There," Dominique said. "You won't be going anywhere until I say so now, now will you?"

Andrea smirked. "I suppose not, Madame."

"Yes, well let's just make absolutely sure of that, shall we? First things first, though, pet. You're wearing way too much clothing for my liking." Andrea did not resist as Dominique went quickly to work. She was getting awfully hot anyway, so being stripped of her shoes, socks, and jeans was something of a relief. Her panties were the next to go. Dominique peeled them off slowly, ordering her captive to step out of them one foot at a time just as she had done with her jeans. Their loss only served to heighten her excitement, but the dangling hem of her tee-shirt was still keeping her from being totally exposed.

Not for long, however. Dominique's right hand slid into the pocket of her suit jacket. "Is this an old shirt?" she asked.

The woman's other hand had slipped between her legs, and her fingers were teasing her most sensitive of areas. "Yes," Andrea breathed.

Dominique grinned wickedly. "Good. Now hold still."

Andrea froze as she felt cold steel against the small of her back. The knife slid upward in one smooth motion, effortlessly rending the thin cotton fabric. Two more quick cuts at the shoulders and the ruined garment fell away, leaving only a bra standing between a shocked yet highly aroused Andrea and complete nudity. She caught her breath again as the blade slipped between her breasts to make another quick cut, freeing her from that last bit of modesty.

"In the future, Miss Calhoun," Dominique stated as she slit the bra's straps and tugged the last bit of fabric away, "we shall have to make sure to undress you before we begin." Dominique folded her knife and slipped it back into her pocket before pressing herself once again against Andrea's back. Reaching around, she began to caress her mate's breasts with one hand as the other slid once more between the imprisoned woman's legs.

Andrea mewled in submission as thumb and forefinger twirled each nipple in turn, while at the same time another set of fingers pushed past the curls of blonde hair to tease the hooded nub of her clitoris. "Yes, oh yes… yes." Andrea drew a shaky breath as the plying fingers gradually brought her to higher and higher levels of arousal. She was close… so close…

"Now then, my pet," Dominique asked, pulling her hand away just before Andrea could reach the edge, "shall we continue?"

Andrea swallowed hard. "Yes, Madame," she answered, breathless.

"You wanted to experience this device, so I think you deserve the full treatment." Dominique grinned devilishly as she knelt down. "Go ahead and spread your feet apart for me, Miss Calhoun. A little more, yes, there you go. That's it." Andrea did as she was told, and within a few moments her ankles were also trapped between two heavy pieces of oak, which keyed into grooves on the pillory's base to form stocks for her feet. A second pair of heavy padlocks secured the boards together, rendering the nude woman totally and completely immobile. Andrea squirmed about as Dominique stood up and stepped back into view, her entire body tingling with a strange flush of erotic excitement. There was no give to the restraints; she had not the remotest possibility of escape. She was now well and truly a prisoner of the redheaded vixen.

Dominique crossed her arms and eyed her willing captive appraisingly. The blonde woman's body glistened with sweat, save for the cleft between her legs, which was dampened by a much sweeter kind of moisture. Were her nightly transformation not nearly imminent, she would be tempted to take to her knees and feast greedily upon that honeyed center. Of course, it wasn't as though Andrea was going anywhere. Dominique smiled. She would have her feast soon enough. Her pet would just have to suffer a little longer. "Now then, Miss Calhoun," she intoned. "Seeing as you've been a fairly good girl today, save for the minor indiscretion of snooping around down here, I think that just one hour in the pillory should be an adequate punishment. Does that sound fair to start?"

Another hour in such strict bondage… could she really last that long? Andrea had placed herself at Dominique's mercy, so she supposed she would at least have to try. "Yes, Madame," she replied, adopting a demeanor that befitted her role in this strange and exciting new game. "Thank you, Madame."

"Very well, my pet. I shall return in a bit," Dominique said.

With that, she stepped away, leaving Andrea right where she had found her – alone, a prisoner of the pillory. Andrea squirmed restlessly in the stocks. Dominique had left her on the edge of orgasm, but the rigid bonds left her no way to gain the friction she needed to sate herself. It was an integral part of the punishment, she realized belatedly… another lesson in patience. Madame Destine was a cruel mistress, indeed, yet Andrea had to admit that so far she had loved every minute of it.

The small bit of daylight that had illuminated the room from beyond the door was starting to fade. When Madame Destine returned, she would be her true gargoyle self, complete with wings and fangs and that wonderful long, lashing tail. What would that flame-haired, azure temptress have in store for her hapless human captive when she returned? Andrea could only imagine the possibilities, though she suspected that this would be only the beginning of a very, very interesting evening indeed.

The End