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Cheri Maitland tells herself she has it all. She's young, attractive and has three generous men in her life. But beneath her independence simmers an unfulfilled woman who dreams of wearing collars and chains, who imagines being owned and forced to submit.
She tells no one of her deep submissive desires and needs. They are, after all, fantasies.
Or are they? Someone has plans for her body and mind, someone determined to be seen as her master.
Cheri becomes a Carnal Incorporated captive. Erotic lesson by erotic lesson, she is taken into a dark way of life until she fully comprehends what it is to be trained for sex.
Cameras follow her as her masterful trainer introduces her to her new reality. This is his career, his skill. He is very good at it.
Will she embrace her new life? And even if she does, can she accept the truth about who is behind her transformation—not that she has a choice.
Carnal Lesson taps into many women’s fantasies about giving up control. That’s the key word, fantasy. In no way does Vonna condone such behavior in the real world. She writes escapism.
A caution: This story is for mature readers. It explores issues some readers won't be comfortable with and should pass on.
The majority of humans have sexual fantasies. A large number of women fantasize about being under the control of a powerful man. Our imaginations serve to mentally and safely bypass real world restraints in a protected environment. Illusion allows us to imagine the limits of sexual activity both legal and otherwise.
By Vonna Harper
“It’s going to backfire on you one of these days. I’m surprised it hasn’t already.”
Cheri Maitland leaned against the cherry bar she’d just wiped. “Not if I have anything to say about it.”
“Yeah, right. You’re juggling three boyfriends. They’re bound to find out about each other.”
“So? If they wanted to know if I'm exclusively with them they would have asked. We're all free to do what we want.” Cheri looked around to make sure no one was listening to the conversation between Sandy and herself. It was nearly closing time at the Top Lounge. The only people still at the upscale bar didn’t care about anything beyond what was in their glasses.
“And that's fine with you?”
Sandy, whose divorce had finalized a couple of months ago, was just getting back in the dating game. To Cheri’s way of thinking, the cocktail waitress was letting an antiquated moral code get in the way of her getting laid. Poor Sandy needed some silicone and acrylic to say nothing of a professional dye job and diet if she expected to hold her own in today’s single market.
Unless she wanted something else.
“If you’re asking if I’m in love with any of them, the answer’s no.” A couple at a corner table got up and headed for the door. Another fifteen or so minutes and she could get out of her miserably painful but sexy heels.
Sandy frowned. “Isn’t that whole idea of dating? To find someone to love?”
I don't know . “Eventually. Once things start sagging and I’m no longer beating the men off.”
“So until that happens, what?”
“I live life one day at a time.”
Going by Sandy’s frown, the other woman still didn’t get it, but Cheri wasn’t in the mood to try to explain. As Sandy left to clean the just-vacated table, Cheri opened the cash register, pulled out a hundred-dollar bill, and tucked it into her bra. Now she wouldn’t have to go to the ATM machine.
She didn’t have to work. All three of the three men she was dating were generous with their money and would set her up at their mistress if she let them, but she wasn’t about to turn her life over to a member of the opposite sex. Her mother had clung to one lover after another and look where that had gotten her? She'd died too young and without a man to mourn her death, leaving her only child to finish growing up by herself.
Mom hadn't been the world's best mother, but she had taught her daughter one vital lesson which was to never give her heart to a man because it always backfired. At the same time she understood why her mother had been the way she had.
Once, just once Cheri would like to be a man's everything. For him to possess her.
Norman, Ed, and Platt were all decent and generous with their money if not always with their time. Otherwise she wouldn’t have anything to do with them. But Norman was married, Ed had been divorced three times, and Platt’s business all but consumed him. None were what she had any intention of spending the rest of her life with, not that she knew what that was.
For now having three lovers meant not having to spend her nights alone unless she wanted to.
The door opened, drawing her attention off herself and toward it. A man who made her think of a bulldog stepped in. Sandy went up to him and said something Cheri couldn’t hear, not that she needed to. Sandy was letting the newcomer know the Lounge wasn’t serving any more drinks tonight.
The man shrugged. Instead of leaving, however, he studied the surroundings. Only once he’d taken in everything else did he look her way. The connection lasted maybe a second yet she felt what, uneasy? No, damn it, nothing intimidated her. Because she'd been on her own since she was in her teens, she knew how to take care of herself. At least that's what she told her friends and usually believed it.
All right, she reluctantly admitted as the newcomer closed the door behind him. She was upset because he hadn’t considered her worthy of more than a glance.
“Forget you. You don’t know what you’re missing.” She gave weight to her pronouncement by running her professionally manicured nails into her pale blonde shoulder-length hair with the red streak near her left temple. Too bad she was behind the bar. Otherwise the bull dog would have been treated to an hourglass figure complete with permanently perky breasts.
Still upset without knowing why, Cheri headed for her car in the nearly empty parking lot behind the Lounge. Darn her uncle Stevie. Sure he owned the bar, but that didn’t give him the right to call as she was getting ready to leave and insist she work tomorrow night. It wasn’t her problem that the weekday bartender was sick. She had more important things to do with her time than pretend to care about tired businesspeople complaining about their jobs and having no interest in her life. Of course she’d told Uncle Stevie he’d have to get someone else. Of course he’d tried to hand her his tired lecture about how she owed him. Just because Aunt Janet and he’d given her a roof over her head and little else for nearly a year after her mother's death didn’t mean he could order her around now. Mixing drinks fed her creativity and put her smack in the middle of the city’s weekend energy. Bottom line, her job allowed her to be part of the in crowd.
To be part of something.
At least her feet were no longer killing her, she acknowledged as she pulled her keys out of her back pocket. The sandals she’d put on after placing her heels in her work locker felt good. She intended to sleep in followed by a trip to a new women’s clothing store. She wouldn’t buy anything. Her goal was to compile a want list followed by a few well-placed hints to her lovers. Wouldn’t it be a laugh if all three wound up at the store at the same time and tried to buy the same items?
Trusting she could work things out, she remotely unlocked her new yet paid-for sports car. The headlights came on. Unfortunately, they didn’t do much to get rid of the surrounding dark. Just last week Uncle Stevie had had work done on the lighting back here. What had happened?
Frowning, she looked around. The only other vehicle was a pickup with a shell. If someone was using the lot to sleep in—
Before she could finish the thought, the truck’s driver’s door opened and someone stepped out. The truck’s interior light revealed little.
“Good evening, Cheri,” a masculine voice said. “Oops, it’s after midnight, isn’t it? Good morning then.”
What? “How do you know my name?”
“You’ll learn soon enough,” he said as he headed toward her. “Right now I have certain tasks to perform.”
No one had ever aimed a pistol at her. Maybe that’s why she couldn’t make her mind comprehend what her eyes were trying to tell her. “No!”
Gripping the pistol in both hands, he pointed it at her middle. Still not believing this was happening, she spun away. The puffing sound barely registered. Something sharp stabbed her side. Touching it, she realized a dart had penetrated her silk blouse. Damn it, the blouse was new!
Forget your clothes. Run. Escape.
She sprinted toward the lounge. Her first three strides felt strong, the next not quite so much. Alarmed by her sudden lack of energy, she concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other. She didn’t drink on the job so liquor had nothing to do with how she felt. Daily runs kept the pounds off and she was in good shape.
No matter how hard she tried to pick up the pace, her legs weren’t getting the message. And it wasn’t just her legs. She now lacked the strength to lift her arms. Even her head felt heavy.
“Amazing, isn’t it?” the man behind her said as her keys slipped from her fingers. “The instant the drug hits the bloodstream, your muscles start to shut down. Just thought you’d like to know.”
Now she couldn’t walk. More frightening, her legs started to buckle. As the pavement came up to meet her, she tried but failed to break her fall. Sobbing, she sank in a heap. Every inch of her felt the way a limb did when she slept on it. Her mind still worked, kind of, and she could see the man’s legs as he stood over her.
“Hell of a concoction, isn’t it?” He chuckled. “I’d like to take credit for it, but truth is a co-worker at Carnal Incorporated is responsible. You can see and hear and fortunately breathe. Other than that, well, I’ll leave that to you to figure out.”
Staying in the light cast by her car’s headlights, he knelt beside her and rolled her onto her stomach. He turned her head to the side, then straightened her legs and pulled her arms behind her. When he let go of them, they flopped back by her sides.
“You aren’t being helpful.” He slapped her buttocks.
Relief all but swamped her when he got to his feet and disappeared. He’d drive away, leaving her here to recover from whatever he’d shot her with.
No. He wouldn’t leave.
Moments later something hard jabbed the side opposite from the direction he’d turned her head. “Hey, you still awake? Hopefully you didn’t miss me. I was just after some of my equipment. For the record, the security camera has been disabled.”
Not being able to see him terrified her. She didn’t dare ponder what he meant by equipment.
“Okay, first things first. You’re way too overdressed.”
She’d worn a skirt that barely covered the essentials because she loved male customers’ reaction to long, bare legs. Now she wished she’d put on bulky sweats.
“My Carnal partner and I occasionally argue over how much to reveal about her situation to a subject. The way I see it, each subject is different. You for example—I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but you really are a bitch.”
No, I’m not!
“Once the medication wears off, I’ll decide whether to let you argue your case. Right now I need to make sure you can’t sound the alarm. Want to see what I’m talking about?”
Going by where his voice was coming from, she guessed he was kneeling. She was left with no doubt when he reached over her and held something in front of her. Even with the lousy lighting, she made out what looked like a horse bridle. The horrible difference was that this one looked as if it had been designed for humans. She barely cared that the bit was wood not metal.
“This’ll mess up that hank of hair of yours,” he said, “but I don’t give a damn and could care less what you think.”
Disbelief followed by helplessness wrapped itself around her as he pressed the bit against her teeth. She couldn’t prevent it from parting her lips and jamming against the sides of her mouth. Her ability to feel was returning. As a result, she understood what he was doing when he fastened straps at the back of her head. More straps went over the top. Others tightened near her neck to hold the bit in place. When he was done, he patted her cheek.
“You look lovely. Hmm. I suppose it’s time to call you what you are, a Carnal captive. You won’t need your name any more. Neither will you have a need for these.”
He grasped her skirt waistband and tried to yank it over her hips without unzipping it. Even with everything that was happening to her, she longed to tell him he was going at this the hard way. Then he stopped tugging.
“Changing my tactics,” he said as if they were discussing the weather. “Since your need for clothes is behind you, you can’t care what I do with them—and even if you do, tough shit.”
He didn’t need to show her the knife! If only she could cry out, but the wood in her mouth had silenced her.
Grabbing the waistband again, he pulled it away from her body. The knife’s blunt edge slid over her buttocks. A moment later she heard a ripping sound followed by the skirt falling off her. Did he intend to rape her out here? Please, someone, come by!
“You call those panties?” He tugged on her thong so the bit of fabric ground against her sex. “Waste of good money. Fortunately for you, I’m not in a hurry to get rid of that. My intention was to get to your waist. You’ll soon see why.”
He started winding rope around her there, the strands pressing against her navel. She lost count of how many times he reached under her to complete another circuit. Hard as she tried, she couldn’t move a muscle to try to stop him. Finally he secured the rope against the base of her spine. That done, he pulled her arms behind her and tied her wrists to her waist.
“My partner might say this is overkill, that roping your wrists together is enough, but I like the look. Besides, I’m not done.”
Not done. What more would he do to her?
All too soon she had her answer. He started by rolling her onto her back so her weight pressed against her immobilized arms. Next he grabbed her hair and pulled her into a sitting position. She barely had time to recognize him as the bulldog who’d come into the bar earlier before he hoisted her over his shoulders. The way he effortlessly stood despite his burden told her how strong he was.
Less than newborn weak, she sagged against him while he carried her to the back of his pickup. After opening the tailgate, he tossed her in. What felt like carpet pressed against her shoulders, back, and nearly naked buttocks. She heard him walk away only to return seconds later. He threw her ruined skirt over her face, blinding her.
Terrified, she put everything she had into trying to shake her head. It moved a little.
“Wearing off is it? Not a problem.”
She sensed him climb into the bed. Waiting for him to touch her seemed to last forever. Tears burned. Against all reason, she was glad he couldn’t see her crying.
“I have any number of options when it comes to preparing subjects for travel.” He rested a too-large hand on her thigh. “I rather like the idea of letting you try to get free—without it happening of course. So, although this vehicle is equipped with a number of restraints, I’ve decided to keep it simple.”
Stop saying those things. I can’t handle it.
He trailed rope over her belly. “Cotton’s simple and more versatile than metal or even leather. Just thought I’d share that piece of information with you. I’m not going to explain what I’m doing so I suggest you concentrate.”
She started to shake. Her bladder felt full.
Gripping her throat, he pressed down. “Knock it off.”
Even the fear that he was going to choke her wasn’t enough to make her stop shaking. “Not very good at obeying orders, are you? No wonder I’ve been called in to correct your behavior.”
What was he talking about? Trying to answer distracted her from what he was doing until she realized he was wrapping rope around her right ankle. At least it didn’t feel as if he was tying it so tight that circulation would be cut off.
He rolled her onto her side as much as possible given her bend elbows, then tugged on the rope around her ankle and bent her knee a little. Next he ran the strand under what was around her waist.
Up her captured leg went. She tried to straighten it only to discover he’d secured the rope to her waist restraint.
“So here’s the deal.” He brushed her skirt off her face, not that she could see much given the unlit truck interior. Something resembling an oversized sports’ bag was near the tailgate. “You can scoot around like a crab if you’re so inclined, but obviously you aren’t going anywhere. My suggestion is you get some rest since we have a distance to travel. Any questions?”
Was he insane? Of course she had a millions questions starting with why followed by who, if anyone, had called him in to do this to her.