Teena Thyme

Teena Thyme
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ISBN:  9781780800677
Author:  Jennifer Jane Pope
Word Count:  79,408
Format:  eBook

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Teena - A House of Ill ReputeTeena - A House of Ill Repute
Thyme II ThymeThyme II Thyme
Net AssetNet Asset
Assignment for AlisonAssignment for Alison
Chain ReactionChain Reaction

I nodded and opened my mouth to say something, but immediately it was filled for me, as Anne-Marie pressed a soft rubber ball between my teeth and buckled a retaining strap at the nape of my neck to prevent me spitting it out again.
   'Oh, sweet,' she trilled. She came around and knelt down, so that she was looking up into my face. 'I'll have to let you see yourself gagged,' she said. 'A gag does make a girl's face look so gorgeous, I've always thought; makes those big eyes look even bigger.'

Born in the fifties, a child in the 'Swinging Sixties', Teena Thyme comes to adulthood in the even more outlandish seventies, a self-possessed eighteen year old with the ability to see the funny side of most things. Little does she know, when she inherits the estate of a great-great-great aunt she never knew she had, that she will need all her wits, resolve and downright bloody-mindedness in order to survive the trials of time travelling and the perils of being a woman in an age when men ruled - either with a rod of birch or a whip of leather.

Whisked back through the ages, Teena finds herself as the very unwilling pawn in the power games of the black hearted Sir Gregory Hacklebury, who is determined to marry another of her previously unknown ancestors and seize her inheritance, even if to do so means that he must kill the unfortunate Angelina Spigworth, whose body Teena is now inhabiting - a body constrained by corsets, abused by everyone she comes in contact with and finally, it seems, destined to be left to rot in a forgotten prison.

Of course, the wine had been drugged.
   Only the first glassful, I later learned, but that was enough and the two and a bit glasses with which I washed it down just gilded the lily a bit, so that at first I just assumed the wine was a bit stronger than I'd originally thought. However, as my limbs became heavy and not just wobbly and I was forced to screw up my eyes in order to prevent the furniture from doing special effects, it finally dawned on me that I'd been had.
   By voicing her hate in the way she had, Meg had double bluffed me, the devious bitch, assuring that I'd put paid to that first glass at least, if only to get one over on her, as I thought.
   'Bitch,' I whispered, slumping back helplessly and waiting for unconsciousness to claim me, but to my surprise I remained awake - maybe not wide awake in the strictest sense, for sounds, such as there were, had become muffled and I felt dreamy and detached, but awake enough to realise that something not very nice would soon be happening to me. I lay there imagining all kinds of horrors, but nothing I could have imagined then came anywhere near the eventual reality.
   They waited maybe half an hour, maybe an hour, I couldn't be sure, apart from the fact that it felt like an eternity and when they came it was Meg and her freckled sidekick, Polly, who was carrying a bundle of something dark over one arm and a pair of strange boots in the other hand.
   'Put that lot down and get her boots off,' Meg ordered. 'You can leave the gloves, though. They'll help keep her hands under even stricter control. Hurry up now, girl; it'll be morning before we know it.'
   Morning? I gazed across to the window and realised it was indeed now dark outside, though I couldn't remember the last of the daylight and, though I had a vague recollection of the sun getting a bit low in the sky, I couldn't remember whether that had been before or after my little sessions with Hacklebury. Everything now seemed a completely jumbled haze, but I did know that the two maids weren't here now for my well-being.
   The smell of leather was quite overpowering when Polly finally brought her bundle over to where I lay. Blinking, I tried to focus on it and was able to make out what looked like some kind of wetsuit outline, except it wasn't a wetsuit and it wasn't made of rubber and the ends of each of the limbs seemed to terminate in pod-like shapes. The whole thing was a darkish brown in colour and, as Meg began drawing it over my limp feet, I realised it was made out of some kind of thin hide. Later, I found out it was doeskin, which meant it was soft to the touch, but still immensely strong.
   If the thing hadn't been actually made-to-measure for Angelina's body, then someone had made a damned lucky stab at the size, for it was cut and stitched in such a way that the variously laced sections ensured that the supple leather fitted to my corseted body from tiptoe to neck like it was my own skin. Open-mouthed, I could do no more than lay there as it was inched up me, laces tightened, gradually reducing my figure to an anonymous mannequin.
   My body, however, was not the end of it, for as the front was pulled up over my breasts and my arms guided into the sleeves, I saw the shapeless bag attachment now hanging down from beneath my chin and didn't need telling its purpose. Sure enough, no sooner were my upper limbs laced snugly, my already useless gloved fingers now trapped inside an even more limiting mitt section on either side, than I was hefted forward and, while Polly supported me, Meg began tightening the laces at the back and threading them on up until she had drawn the skin about my torso up as far as the base of my neck.
   Now the sack-like attachment was brought into the equation and just the way I'd feared it would be. It was pulled up and over my head and down the back of my neck, tightened to fit closely to my skull by means of yet more laces and then the collar part of the main suit was in turn laced tightly over it, a thicker leather collar buckled around my neck over the two and a small lock clicked into place to prevent any chance of removal, not that my now even more useless hands were ever going to effect that.
   'Oh, how sweet we do look now, your ladyship,' Meg cried mockingly. 'Like a little calf, or a deer. What do you think, Polly?' The ginger-haired younger maid stepped back and peered at me and I peered back at her through the two narrow slits that now aligned with my eyes.
   'Well, she do look weird,' she muttered. 'Don't hardly look human at all, if you asks me.'
   'No,' Meg agreed with a grim smile, 'she doesn't, does she? More like a helpless little animal now. Well, don't just stand there gawping at her, my girl, get her boots on and then we can add the cuffs.'
   The boots were unusual in that they seemed to have both a platform sole and a chunky heel, quite out of keeping with any fashions I had ever seen depicted for this era, and far more like the sort of footwear I'd been used to clumping about in back in the early seventies.
   I also discovered, when I went to move my feet, that there was something else decidedly unfashionable about my new footwear: these boots were by far and away the heaviest things I had ever had on my feet and the weight of them seemed to be out of all proportion, even allowing for the thick soles. Meg, the bitch, waited for a minute or so and then just had to explain.
   'Weighted soles,' she informed me with undisguised malicious glee. 'Lead poured into both the soles and the heels. They'll remind you of just what you really are here now.'
   'And what's that, exactly?' I said, my voice sounding muffled through the slit opening across my mouth, as Polly began locking a broad leather cuff about my left ankle.
   'Why, you're nothing but a slave as far as the master is concerned,' Meg retorted. 'In fact, you're worth little more consideration than the livestock on the estate, and come to that, why that's exactly what we're turning you into now, isn't it?' She cackled out loud at this and any medical man hearing that sound would have had little doubt about declaring her at least slightly insane. Polly, meantime, moved on to my other ankle and I was once again fettered and hobbled, though with the boots on my feet these fetters were just about as obsolete as the pair Polly had removed before taking off my last impossible footwear.
   They turned their attention to my wrists next, buckling and locking thinner leather cuffs about them, from which short chains extended to sturdy rings set in the waist at either side of the doe skin suit, preventing me from raising my hands as far as my face, though leaving just enough slack to enable me to bring my fingertips together in front of me.
   It was not an uncomfortable form of bondage, but it was a very efficient one. To all intents and purposes I was now completely helpless, unable to free myself nor even any part of myself and now the finishing touch was applied. Meg produced a long leather lace and what I at first took to be a small ball, though this turned out to be a soft wadge of something sewn into an outer covering of smooth leather.
   Before I had time to even contemplate resistance, she forced my lower jaw open as far as the enveloping helmet would allow and thrust this foul tasting gag into my mouth. Then, as Polly reached across to hold my jaws together, Meg began threading the lace in and out of the two rows of small reinforced holes that ran above and below the mouth opening, drawing it tight and sealing it completely, so that any chance I might have had of expelling the wad was removed with utter finality.
   'Better,' Meg sniggered, straightening up again. 'Just how a little cow should be. Say "moo" for us, little cow!' She began to laugh again as I tried to settle my tongue around the awful obstruction and I had the most terrible feeling that all this, bad enough as it was, was simply the beginning of the next chapter of horrors these evil maniacs had in store for me.
   As you've probably realised and as friends and acquaintances have remarked down the ages, I have a somewhat skewed sense of humour and I've always prided myself on the ability to see the funny side and make a joke - albeit a black joke at times - about almost anything. However, as I sat there now, imprisoned inside a skin of leather, hobbled, cuffed and rendered incapable of making any intelligible sounds, for the first time in my life I just couldn't see anything remotely humorous in my situation.

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