(This is an installment in a serial story. To read “Magic” from the beginning, click here.)
Sarah looked at the cuffs warily. Then she carefully removed them from the box – placing them in the middle of the bed – and broke the box down. She stacked it in the back of her closet with the others.
A shaft of late-afternoon light from the window fell across her bed, causing the chains to glimmer. Each of the cuffs was thick and padded, lined with a deeper green quilted leather. They fastened with gold buckles. Clearly designed to fit wrists and ankles, they were beautifully crafted. A shiver of pleasure ran up her spine, but from where it originated, she wasn’t sure.
The clock in the kitchen ticked, and Sarah was aware of the hush that had fallen over the house and the stillness with which she stood. She picked one of the cuffs up cautiously, turning it in her hands, and let the chain slide through her fingers. The chain was longer than her arm and solid and smooth. She noticed that it fastened to the cuff with a hook that snapped shut. The other end of the chain ended in a solid ring. She played with the ring for a moment. It was smaller than a bracelet and too large to fit on her thumb.
“Why a ring?” She thought.
She unfastened the buckle and tried the cuff on her wrist. The quilted leather felt both cool and warm against her skin at the same time. It fit perfectly and she pushed the sleeve of her sweater up to admire it laid across her arm. Again the shiver of pleasure and she saw the fine hairs rise on her skin.
She was struck with a desire to buckle them on.
Instead she removed the cuff and dropped it back on the bed. She sat there looking at them, her heart racing.
It was in that moment that she realized it had been some time since she had been intimate with anyone. There were a couple of girls in graduate school, and then her passionate, but drama-filled relationship with Carol that ended rather badly. She had a brief hot fling with a female co-worker when she realized she’d be moving to California. Sarah closed her eyes and remembered those lost days they had spent together in her apartment, many of her belongings already in boxes, even though the trip was a month away. They hadn’t needed much more than the mattress and the floor, and barely surfaced for food. Forty-eight hours of carnal pleasure, followed by some knowing glances back in the office.
It didn’t really make up for the years that had passed since Carol moved out.
She walked to the front door and bolted it, then rummaged around in the kitchen cabinets for some votive candles and her lighter. She brought them into the bedroom, and set them on the new bedside table in the waning light. They smelled like spice. She lit them and pulled the blinds, then stepped into the hallway and turned the thermostat up. Almost immediately, she heard the heater rush on.
Slowly she peeled her sweater over her head, and the tank top she was wearing underneath. She unfastened her bra and shrugged it forward so it slid over her shoulders. She let it fall to the floor without a thought. Already she was aware of her own desire, even though she was a little embarrassed it was sparked by these objects – clearly erotic in intention – that she had found in the bottom of a mysterious box of clothes. She slid her socks off and stepped out of her jeans, leaving them puddled on the floor.
Sarah sat in the middle of her bed and toyed with one of the cuffs. She realized the skin on her legs was dry and she slid off the bed to fetch a bottle of vanilla lotion. As she smoothed the lotion into her skin, it came alive in the candlelight, and she admired the green velvet of the cuff she had wrapped around her ankle. She looked at the ring on the end of the chain and realized that it was perfectly sized to slip over the finial on the foot of her bed. She leaned back on her hands, admiring the pale shimmering length of her leg against the deep burgundy of the bedspread. She scooted back a little, so her leg stretched, securely bound to the iron frame of her bed.
Although she wasn’t sleepy, Sarah was aware of a hypnotic haze descending on her. She liked the feeling of the cuff, and found it comforting, somehow. She fastened her other ankle, working the tab end and grommets through the cool buckle, and dropped the ring over the finial on the other corner of her bed. She took a moment to admire her handiwork, acutely aware of her own breathing, and of the hardness of her nipples as she looked down her torso at her bound legs.
“Oh, hell,” she said, realizing that she had chained her legs but left her panties on. She reached down and scooted them over her hips, but they clung awkwardly to her outstretched thighs, refusing to go lower. The white cotton looked rustic, crude even, contrasted against the rich color of the bedspread, her glowing skin, and the green of the cuffs. She couldn’t change the angle of her legs, and she suddenly wanted the panties off – now.
Glancing around her, Sarah spied the orange box cutter she had used earlier while unpacking. It lay on her bed, next to her pillow. She opened it and sliced through the side seams of her panties, pulling them away and tossing them over the end of the bed. She sighed in satisfaction at the sight of her own completely naked skin, and at the feeling of cool air suddenly playing over the warmest parts of her body.
Then, laying back on the bed she reached for the bottle of lotion, pouring some on her belly, and began to massage it into her skin. Her hands slid across her breasts, which now gleamed in the candlelight, and she gasped at her own touch, surprised at how much it felt like that of a lover lingering there. Turning her head on the pillow she saw the two remaining cuffs and reached for one. She buckled the cuff around her left wrist, and then twisting on the bed and reaching as far as she could, she just managed to slip the ring over the finial on the left side of her headboard.
“So this is what it feels like,” she thought, delighting in her three stretched limbs. Again, there was that hypnotic feeling. It was a heavy, warm, drowsy feeling. She felt more relaxed than she could ever remember, as her muscles yielded to the tension of her binds. Her right hand slid down her body, finding the wetness there, and deep inside her, a moan rose up.
In the distance, Sarah was aware of a knock on her door. It came once and there was a pause, then twice, more firmly.
Through her own soft cries, she thought she heard Lupa’s voice calling her name.
(To be continued)