Freda could already tell that Cara represented a very valuable acquisition. A glance over in her direction while she paddled Alison had spoken volumes; Lord Andrew would have a great deal of fun teaching Cara about the pleasures of submission. Cara had also shown a very high level of intelligence in the quick aptitude test Freda had administered just before dinner. The girl had potential in both the areas Aphrodite needed most for success: sexual charms of the very highest order—accompanied by endless blushes that colored her fair skin practically crimson—and the capacity to learn repair and programming skills that could place her at practically the top of the heap in a prince’s household.
Prince was what Lord Andrew called all the men and women (more men than women, given that these days physical strength had begun to resume its old place in the determination of political power) who ran the little post-collapse communities. Every one of these tiny states had at least one prince, even if he called himself a governor and his state a commonwealth. Some little states had a league of princes and some had a single one, but all of them were either former multi-billionaires or strongmen who had killed them and stolen their assets. Dominant sex and technological superiority went hand in hand for such people.
Nearly all of them wanted girls like Cara. Her opportunities could be boundless, if she proved compliant. Seven years into the new era, the princes had started to grow desperate for anything that would keep alive the memory of the technology and luxury they used to know. During the day, they craved electricity to run their air conditioners and their now-sadly-reduced-in-number-of-channels televisions. During the night, they craved submissive girls who would make them feel powerful and prosperous again, all empirical evidence to the contrary.
Freda herself could have been that to a prince, and would probably have known greater responsibility and richer material rewards than she could know here aboard the Aphrodite. She had turned down assignments with three different governors, after Lord Andrew had finally said, the day three years before when the last of the original girls besides Freda had been sold to the governor of Atlanta, “You’re too valuable to me to sell, Freda, but you’re also too valuable to own. You’re free, and you can leave the Aphrodite any time you want, but I hope you’ll stay.”
Why had he done it? Freda often mused over the question. By that time, she had shown herself able to dominate other girls, and had taken on most of the discipline on the yacht. Too valuable to own. It always made Freda smile to think of it. Lord Andrew loved her, she had finally decided, according to his own fashion—the fashion that involved nights like this one, when together they initiated blushing eighteen-year-olds into the erotic joys, the lovely degradations, and the painfully pleasurable discipline of a nobleman’s stateroom.
She looked at Cara, who still had her eyes fixed on the remains of her lobster as she began again to tell the story of her friend. Sometimes Freda thought Andrew loved hearing his new girl’s stories more than he loved claret, or even the Dom Perignon of which one hold on the Aphrodite was still practically full. Or having his hard cock deep in a pretty girl’s backside while she cried out her submission under him.
“They made Emily go to the governor’s bedroom. She cried, and she tried to run away, but the governor’s bodyguard…” Freda could see Cara biting her lips as she told the story. Her arousal was clear, and Freda felt a wave of sympathy wash over her; to become aroused at the sight of a friend being led away for a whipping must have troubled the girl greatly.
“Did they have to carry her?” Lord Andrew asked very gently.
Cara nodded. “She screamed the whole way, and I… I f-followed them, and then the door closed behind them, and I heard… oh, p-please… don’t make me say!” She looked up into Lord Andrew’s eyes.
Freda’s role would usually have been to treat Cara severely at this point, and perhaps even to ask Andrew’s permission to paddle her. Frankly, Freda looked forward very greatly to the moment she would take down Cara’s panties and apply stiff leather to her delectable backside. But Cara’s clear need for submission, and the trauma Freda could see lingering in the girl’s eyes made her think better of it, and Andrew’s quick glance—as if to make sure Freda wouldn’t show severity—confirmed her in her inclination to remain silent.
“I’m afraid you have to say,” Andrew said quietly. “You must learn, Cara, that my commands are to be obeyed on board the Aphrodite.”
Cara swallowed and looked into Andrew’s eyes, her brow very troubled. “I heard the governor whipping Emily,” she whispered.
“And what happened after that?”
“Then… I… I didn’t understand what I heard, but Emily told me… later.” Now the red-haired girl’s breath came in little pants. “She was… I mean, he made her…”
“The governor fucked Emily?” Andrew asked. “He put his cock inside her?”
Cara nodded, her lower lip caught between her teeth. “She… she said he made her ask for it… in her… you know.”
But Cara shook her head. She breathed, “Her… h-her bottom.”
“You shall have my cock in your bottom tonight, Cara,” Andrew said, as if telling the girl a secret. “I think I shall enjoy myself there very much. I usually do, when I have a girl’s rear end.”
Now Cara looked down at her plate again.
Andrew seemed to decide he wanted to hear more about the details. “What does the governor like to whip his girls with?”
“Sh-she said he has a leather thing, with… with two tails. He has a special name for it, but I don’t remember…” Her voice trailed off as her confidence clearly fell victim to the many different emotions coursing through her heart.
“The tawse, was it?” Andrew asked.
Cara’s eyes widened. “Yes,” she said. “Do you have one of those, my lord?”
Andrew didn’t respond immediately, but turned to Freda and said, “Could you ask Paula to clear the plates away and bring our pudding? Cara, have you ever had chocolate mousse?”
Cara shook her head mutely, her expression saying very clearly that the delay in discovering whether his lordship had a tawse had made her heart beat with terrible rapidity. Freda spoke into the tiny headset she wore at all times, even while asleep, and a moment later Paula, a raven-haired nineteen-year-old in the blue sundress that constituted the skimpy uniform of the serving staff, appeared and began to clear away the lobster.
“You’ll enjoy your pudding very much, I promise,” said Lord Andrew. As Paula bent to take his plate, he ran his hand up under her sundress, as if absently. Freda watched Cara’s face carefully: yes, she would not of course have missed a motion Andrew made—she was watching as his hand claimed Paula between her thighs.
Paula knew to remain still when his lordship fondled her thus, as he did with great frequency. She put her hands on the green tablecloth and closed her eyes. She bit her lower lip and gave a tiny whimper. Cara’s mouth hung open a little, and her eyes had gone round as saucers.
Then, in a very matter-of-fact, businesslike manner, even as he made Paula gasp with the unseen motion of his fingers, he said, “Yes, Cara, I have a tawse. You’re much more likely, however, to feel the cane across your rump for your infractions, here on the Aphrodite, than you are to feel the tawse. Wouldn’t you agree, Paula?”
“Yes, my lord,” Paula gasped.
“What color are these panties, Paula?” he asked curiously.
“White, my lord,” she said. Lord Andrew’s fingers, undoubtedly inside the panties’ gusset, must have found their way to her clit, then, for she gave a low moan.
“Has anyone requested you tonight? Will this cunny get a nice fucking?”
Cara made a little murmuring sound at that, as if she were unable to suppress an expression of fellow feeling, but she knew better than to try to put it in words. Her face, like Paula’s, had gone scarlet.
“Walter, my lord,” Paula breathed. That figured, Freda thought. Walter, one of the five big men as Freda called them—who provided the occasionally very important physical strength component of Lord Andrew’s security team—liked dark hair.
“Remind me what Walter’s favorite way to fuck is?”
Freda knew what the answer would be, and she felt sure Andrew did, too, and had asked the question for Cara’s benefit—or, rather, to Cara’s shame.
“My bottom, my lord,” Paula whispered.
“Here?” Paula jumped as Lord Andrew clearly put his finger between her bottom-cheeks.
“Yes, my lord.”
Abruptly, Lord Andrew removed his hand. “Well,” he said brusquely, “when you have brought the pudding we shall have you bend over the table, and you will show Cara here how well you have learned to open to a man as well-endowed as our Walter. I have informed her that she will have her first bottom-fucking tonight, and she seems quite apprehensive.”
Paula had straightened up, her eyes still closed, when she felt Lord Andrew’s hand desert her. Now she opened her eyes and looked at Cara. Freda registered the surprise on the eighteen-year-old’s face at the very sympathetic expression on Paula’s face. One of Lord Andrew’s redeeming qualities was the pleasure he took in the bonds of friendship that formed among his girls, something he had Freda encourage and enforce by strictly punishing catty behavior.
Cara had undoubtedly expected that the girls of the Aphrodite would all be rivals, the way the governor’s girls in Portsmouth must have been. But the Aphrodite was a very happy ship, and instead of showing herself displeased at the prospect of being made an exhibit for the humiliating demonstration—the kind of thing that often formed part of Lord Andrew’s after-dinner activities—Paula smiled at Cara as if to say It will be alright. I really will show you.
Paula departed with the dinner plates. Lord Andrew turned back to Cara, whose blush was gradually fading. Freda knew him so very well: she could see the wheels of his deviously brilliant and unapologetically erotic mind turning, trying to decide whether he wanted to see her blush again on the instant, or rather wait and take her by surprise with another humiliation later—perhaps a very great one, like commanding her to strip, or to remove her panties, fold them, and put them in her mouth. Freda had fond memories of the latter, which Andrew had enforced upon her on her own first night.
She watched him opt for allowing Cara’s embarrassment to cool. He said with real compassion, “And is Emily alright, now?”
Freda smiled. Andrew could well have said, Is Emily’s anus alright, now? He certainly had considered saying that, she knew. But Freda loved him because he loved to play his dominance as a game, and—being very British, in his very idiosyncratic and very post-Victorian fashion—he had something like a mania for fair play, and for leveling the playing field. Cara wasn’t ready to answer direct questions about her friends’ bottom holes.
“Yes, my lord,” she said, a little startled that Lord Andrew had asked something so apparently conventional, and perhaps expecting that any moment he would turn back to a much freer mode of speech.
“What is she doing now?”
“Sh-she’s still at the governor’s house. He sends for her sometimes.” Again her brow creased in worry that she might have to say something more explicit.
“Does he treat her well, at least? Does he give her nice things?”
“Y-yes, my lord? I mean, he took her to the show, twice.” Freda suppressed a wince. The show. What had the world come to? Shows were all that remained, in the commonwealths, of the vast entertainment industry. She had heard Andrew compare them to something from long, long ago called vaudeville, or something like that. Andrew actually approved of shows, and called them still-vibrant community culture, but they made Freda think of all the vids she would probably never see on a screen bigger than the sixty-inch one in the Aphrodite’s media room.
Between Freda and Cara—and every other girl Lord Andrew had acquired in the last, what? two years, maybe?—there seemed to exist an ever-increasing gulf of experience, she often reflected. Cara, eleven at the time of the collapse and growing up in a rural town in New England, might well never have seen a vid on a big screen. She probably had never had a handheld device of her own, with which she could connect instantly to her hundred best friends or to the sum-total of human knowledge.
She would never miss those things, the way Freda did.
“Well,” said Lord Andrew, as Paula returned with a tray bearing two tall parfait glasses filled with Leonard’s light-as-air chocolate mousse, “the governor didn’t offer Emily to me, so that must mean he’s fond of her. Would you like me to check up on her? I can generally make sure my friends are alright.”
What he meant, of course, was that if the governor of Portsmouth heard that Lord Andrew March had taken an interest in Cara’s friend Emily, Emily wouldn’t come to any harm between now and the time the Aphrodite returned to Portsmouth in year or two. Freda smiled again. Between her and her lord stretched another gulf of experience. Lord Andrew didn’t miss the things Freda did, or perhaps he didn’t miss them as much. He, after all, had had ten more years to enjoy them as an adult than she had had.
And here on the Aphrodite he had a cook who made a stunning chocolate mousse. Freda looked at Paula, and then at Cara. Lord Andrew also, she reflected, almost certainly had a greater range of dominant erotic pleasures than he would have had even in his three castles.
“Alright, Paula,” Andrew said after the pretty stewardess had put down the pudding in front of himself and sweet little Cara. “Elbows on the table, if you please. Freda, would you get the box of plugs? And bare Paula’s rump before you go, if you would?”
He turned to Cara, so that he could watch her face as Freda rolled up the blue sundress to expose Paula’s lacy white panties. Her blush had returned very nicely. Freda reached for the waistband of the panties, but Andrew had an idea. “Let’s have Cara pull down the panties.”
“Yes, my lord,” Freda said, clearly trying to suppress a smile. “I’ll fetch the box.” She disappeared into Andrew’s stateroom.
Cara’s lips were parted, and her chest heaved. “Go ahead, my dear,” Andrew said gently. “Please get up and pull down Paula’s panties.”
But Cara sat motionless, looking at her little hands on the table, placed around the bottom of the parfait glass, her lips compressed into a tight line.
Andrew spoke chidingly. “Girls who won’t take down other girls’ panties when they’re told don’t get to have their lovely pudding, Cara. You’d better do as you’re told.”
Cara’s fingers twitched on the glass, almost as if she were imagining herself obeying the naughty command. “Please, my lord,” she whispered. “I’m… I just got here.”
“What better time to learn about your new duties, my dear?” Then he made his voice stern. “Not having your pudding isn’t the worst thing that will happen if you can’t obey me, Cara. I don’t want to have to cane you tonight, but I will if it’s necessary to teach you to respect my commands. Get up this instant and pull down those panties.”
But Cara shook her head, still without looking up.
Through this whole exchange Paula herself had remained motionless, her head bowed. “Paula,” Andrew said in a low voice, “when did I cane you last?”
“Two weeks ago, my lord,” Paula said softly to the table.
“Did it hurt very much?”
“Yes, my lord.”
“How long does it usually take for the marks to fade, when I cane a girl?”
“A week, my lord?” A little exaggeration, perhaps. But Paula knew her role and played it well.
“Do I remember correctly that you peed over the block, during your caning, and had to clean it up afterward?”
Paula nodded her pretty mane of shoulder-length black hair. Andrew looked at Cara’s own bowed head. He could make out how her nostrils flared with her labored breathing and it made his erection grow. “That happens sometimes when I have to be severe, Cara. Wouldn’t you rather not have to have your first caning tonight? Wouldn’t you rather get up and learn how to pull down another girl’s knickers? Did you never pull down your friend Emily’s?”
Cara looked up at him again at last, with a very startled expression.
“N-no, my lord,” she stammered.
“I’m sure you wanted to, though,” Andrew said breezily. “Don’t worry, my dear. It’s perfectly natural for girls to get up to naughty games together when their panties come off. You’ll play some of them tonight, whether you like it or not, so you had better get used to the idea that your wicked thoughts about other girls’ cunnies are going to come true here on my yacht. It’s time to pull Paula’s knickers down and have a good look at how she’s made down there.”
Freda had returned during this little speech, and now she laid the box at Andrew’s right hand and silently moved back to stand at the bulkhead again.
Andrew looked at Cara’s open mouth, and her pink cheeks, framed charmingly by the slightly wavy auburn locks that she or another girl had gathered into a pink ribbon that matched her dress. In her blue eyes he saw a kind of reluctance that he knew very well: the reluctance of the good girl who fears to part with her modesty.
“Shall I give her a taste of the paddle, my lord, to see if that helps?” Freda asked.
Cara stood up and began to move awkwardly around the table, where Paula’s slightly plump bottom waited, covered in white lace.
“She’s certainly earned a trip across my knee,” Andrew said. “Even if she obeys me now.”
Cara’s hands trembled as she reached for the waistband of the panties.
“That’s it,” Andrew said encouragingly. “Just pull them down to Paula’s knees, and then spread her bottom nice and wide.” He opened the little wooden box and selected a large rubber plug fashioned to look like a jet black cock, and handed it to Freda. “Freda will put the plug in, and then you may have your chocolate mousse while you enjoy the charming sight of a well-filled bottom, and see and hear the effect it has on your new shipmate Paula to have her rump treated that way.”
“Oh, God,” Cara whispered, but now it seemed she had grasped that she could avoid nothing that Andrew had planned, and that if she tried he delighted to make the penalty much more shameful than the original task. She hooked her trembling fingers into the fabric of Paula’s panties, and the black-haired girl sighed at the touch, perhaps to reassure Cara that she didn’t mind, really—and even that Cara herself might not mind, someday soon.
Cara tugged the panties down until they were a tangle of white lace at Paula’s knees. She began to stand, but Andrew said. “Go ahead and give that little cunny a kiss, Cara. Show Paula how good a friend you can be.”
Cara froze, and now Andrew didn’t cajole her, or give her any further time. The need for a prim little bottom under his firm right hand had grown acute at the sight of Cara baring another girl’s private places for the first time, and he had demanded that Cara kiss the sweet nineteen-year-old cunt she had exposed because he knew it would give him the opportunity he sought. He pushed his chair back from the table and said, “Freda, bring her to me, please. She’ll go over my knee for a sound spanking and then perhaps we’ll have no more of this nonsense.”
Wild-eyed, Cara looked at him, not rising from her stooping position, her face only an inch from where the hollow between Paula’s thighs—out of Andrew’s view around the table but deliciously present in his imagination—waited, its cute pink lips undoubtedly peeping out saucily at Cara and imploring her lips and tongue. “Please, my lord!” she wailed. “I’m trying to be good! I’ll… I’ll kiss…”
“Trying isn’t sufficient, now, my dear,” Andrew said. “I think a firm hand, applied to the correct place on your lovely body—your shapely posterior, that is—may clarify matters enough that you won’t also need to receive the cane tonight.” He nodded to Freda, who bent down and took Cara under her right arm, lifting her up and propelling her toward Andrew. Andrew spread his knees so that he could take Cara over his left thigh and pin her legs under his right one—the very best position for a first spanking, because the girl’s bottom could be rendered completely immobile when she squirmed.
As he took her from Freda’s grasp into his own, Cara began to struggle, but Andrew maneuvered her expertly down over his lap, securing her with his left arm and his right leg so that her red hair hung down nearly to the deck…
“Oh, my lord,” Cara wailed. “I’ll kiss… I’ll kiss her pussy… please let me kiss her pussy!”
Andrew pulled up the hem of the little pink dress—not the sundress that practically represented a uniform, in its different colors, aboard the Aphrodite but a cute cocktail dress that Andrew had salvaged from a boutique in Paris the last time they had crossed the Atlantic. Under it, Freda had dressed Cara in red lace, with a back panel so narrow it might have been a thong. Andrew spent a moment caressing the girl’s shapely bottom, savoring the pert twin mounds on his gentle fingertips. Cara rewarded him with a little whimper.
He spoke softly, enjoying his words as he enjoyed looking from Cara’s sweet little bottom to Paula’s, and then back. “You will certainly kiss Paula’s pussy, my dear. But now you shall have to wait until you have learned your lesson.” He took the lacy fabric in his hands, and pulled down Cara’s knickers to the middle of her thighs.
“Is this the way a good, pleasing girl receives her first caresses on her cunny from the man who owns her, Cara?” Andrew said even more softly. He pushed two fingers between her trim thighs and rubbed her gently there.
“No, m-my lord,” Cara sobbed.
Andrew lifted his hand. “You have been purchased for my pleasure, and for that of the others on whom I shall bestow your favors. Tonight you will begin to learn about what I enjoy doing with girls like you. As we’ve already discussed, that most assuredly includes giving you the discipline you need.”
When Lord Andrew gave a hand-spanking, he always did it with an eye toward making sure that this most intimate form of discipline would feel like discipline to the girl undergoing correction. It seemed to him much too easy to make a hand-spanking something that, even if the girl didn’t look forward to it, nevertheless did not curb her behavior as she meditated on the possible consequences of her actions. He supposed that some men who enjoyed their bit of dominance in the bedroom might just give a few slaps, but although Andrew loved his girls to a one, he believed very strongly that especially in the terribly unsafe world the human race now inhabited, and above all on this little floating kingdom he had founded to trade in the necessary and the pleasurable, they must learn to obey him and the others he placed in authority over them.
Lord Andrew, that is, always spanked very hard and very quickly, and with the intention of making a girl cry out from the beginning as she writhed over his thigh, her bottom turning pink, then very red almost immediately. He made no exception for Cara; doubtless startled by the force of the very first spank, she began to cry out the moment the spanking began.
Andrew counted his spanks carefully, though he always attempted to give the girl currently under discipline the impression that he did not, and that the spanking would go on forever if it had to. By contrast, when he caned a girl (hand-spankings and canings were all Andrew gave, leaving paddles and straps to Freda’s team) he did it in a very measured way, each stroke of the cane being a much more fearsome thing.
He nearly always gave a hundred spanks, but he could tell from Cara’s screams of agony and her sobs of shame, as well as from the desperate way she struggled, that seventy-five would be sufficient for this first time. He covered the whole of her little bottom with each spank, so he didn’t vary the place where his hand landed very much at all; that contributed to the completeness of the slightly shorter spanking.
When he had finished, admiring in the candlelight, the yacht’s dim running lights, and the very last rays of the sun over the ruins of Providence, how pretty a shade of red he had gotten the little bottom, he held her there over his lap as she continued to weep quietly.
“Cara, do you think we can proceed?” he asked softly.
“Yes, my lord,” she replied in a choked whisper. “Thank you, my lord.”
Andrew turned to Freda. “She is a good girl, isn’t she?”
Freda nodded. “I think so, my lord.”
He released Cara and helped her stand up. “Keep those panties down,” he said. “You may eat your mousse standing up, after we give Paula’s bottom what’s coming to it.”
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