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This short story about Robin, the main character in Laura Antoniou’s The Slave, originally ran as a bonus story in the ebook edition of The Slave. Winner of the NLA: International Writing Award for best BDSM-positive short story of 2010, “That’s Harsh” tells the story of what happens when Robin’s masters — a gay couple — decides to throw an all male sex and BDSM play party. Hint: Robin doesn’t get sent on vacation. (Graphic sex, BDSM play, and boot worship ensue.)
“Just send her into the city for the weekend, I think she won’t mind a day or two off,” Jimmy said dismissively, as he checked off names on the invite list.
“Hmm.” Eric didn’t comment beyond that abbreviated sound, and that alone made Jimmy look up to check on his lover. Raul, smooth as ever, pretended not to see the silent communication between his owners. He set down fresh glasses of iced ginger tea for them, condensation already thick from the walk to the back deck from the kitchen.
“Yeah, well,” Jimmy offered with a slight shrug. Of course, she’d already had a day or two off, hadn’t she, and not so long ago that everyone had forgotten it, either. “We’ve never had a girl here for one of these parties, and it’s been ages. You know some of the guys would just die if there was actual pussy around.”
“Still, it’s extra help. And if we kept her, like, behind the scenes? Made her support staff… production crew? It’s not like we’ll have her prancing around in that tacky lingerie. And she’s hardly some big-titted cow, either―put enough clothing on her and she’ll just vanish.” Eric sketched the vanishing act with one hand in the air and snapped his fingers at their house manager. “What do you think, Raul? Can you do something with her and make her useful for the party without being the conspicuous cunt in a pack of pricks?” He grinned at his own alliteration and Raul smiled appreciatively.
“I’m sure we can do something, Master,” he said. There was a slight gleam in his eye.
* * * *
“Tighter,” he said, and Carl grunted as he adjusted the bandages.
“Ow!” Robin complained. “Now I can’t breathe!”
“You’re not required to,” Raul said. “Now let’s try the shirt.”
Robin slipped the T-shirt over her head and smoothed it down over her tightly bandaged breasts. Sure enough, she looked flat―but also bandaged. The cotton bunched up over the layers of bandages and just didn’t look natural or right in any way. Raul sighed.
“Know what she needs? Compression vest.” Steve, aka Muscledog, was the latest addition to the household and ostensibly the reason for the upcoming party.
“What’s that?” Carl asked.
“Guys wear ’em after surgery―you know, liposuction, tit sculpting. They kinda press you in, but smoothly.” He ran his large hands down his own well sculpted body. “Dude might be slightly out of shape, gets one to look better built, you know? So, get her a vest, and it’ll be nice and smooth.”
Raul nodded and slapped Robin on the ass. “Get one of those. Oh, and while you’re at it, figure out a way to get a dick in your pants that doesn’t look like a dildo. Try some balled up socks or something, and let me see my choices. And remember―you’re tiny. Your dick should be, too.”
“She’s gonna look like she’s fourteen years old,” Carl commented as he watched Robin head off to find a place to purchase the garment.
Raul nodded. “Some of the guests will like that, though.”
“Maybe too much. How are you gonna make sure no one grabs her as a party favor?”
“Not my job. The Masters will make it clear the new boy is off limits. I mean, the other new boy.” He winked at Muscledog who grinned happily. “This one will have them lined up.”
“Life is harsh!” the bodybuilding slave exclaimed.
* * * *
Preparation for the party was more than costuming, though. All together, there would be thirty-two guests for most of a day and far into the night. There were no scheduled meals, nothing to break up the potential for sex, play, or leisure time. Instead, Raul planned an ever-changing buffet of finger foods and barbecue. There would be four additional slaves borrowed from two of Jimmy’s friends, just for non-sexual service. All of them would be assisting Raul with cooking and bar tending, and covering those times when Raul would be conscripted for his masters’ pleasure. “And that’s another reason why I want you here,” he’d said to Robin as she struggled with the number of things she had to learn in order to be acceptable. “For all this time, I worked these parties and never got to play!”
“Well… I’m not going to get to play,” Robin said with a grin.
“Not my problem, sugar!”
Play was the whole point of the party. Bowls of condoms and piles of gloves and dental dams were procured, in both latex and nitrile along with bottles of several different types of lubricant and tubs of Crisco. Extra cushioned outdoor furniture was brought in, and hammocks slung from frames around the edges of the spacious acre behind the house. A sturdy steel frame was erected on one side of the pool, with bondage points, and another one mirrored it on the other side, supporting a sling of black nylon. Every whip, flogger, paddle and crop was brought out, examined for flaws, and cleaned or restored as needed. Electrical toys, cupping sets, a pirate’s hoard of silvery or bronze-colored clips and clamps, and all the strange or rarely used implements of pain and pleasure were dragged out and placed into Carl’s hands.
He was the one who went through the house, back deck, yard, and garden and found every space where bondage points could be made. He rearranged the furniture, and oversaw the placement of spanking benches, kneeling frames, and oddly shaped cages. Then he erected smaller racks for the toys, so no one would have to go far to grab something for impact, torture, pleasure, or penetration. Extra video screens were rented to show non-stop porn in almost every room.
The side effects from all of this preparation were laughably predictable. The tight swimsuits favored by Eric and Jimmy as the preferred uniform for their male house slaves did not hide the steady stream of erections. Robin couldn’t hide her stiff nipples against the thin Lycra of her running tops, either, but she did slip a panty liner into her shorts after finding herself far too wet for her own comfort. Then the Masters made things worse by commanding the slaves to torment each other.
“No orgasms,” Eric commanded. “But Muscledog, I want you sucking Raul and Carl hard, three, four times a day. Raul, I want you working on their tits, I want ’em sensitive and fucking huge by the party. Carl, every morning, everyone gets twenty-five lashes, and every night before bed, everyone gets ten on the ass with the leather paddle.”
“Lashes anywhere, sir?”
“Yeah, anywhere. And you’ll work on Raul’s tits. Jimmy will beat you whenever he feels like it, as usual.”
Carl grinned at Raul who rolled his eyes. “What about Robin, sir?”
Eric thought about that, staring at her. Robin blushed at the thought of this pre-party regimen and didn’t know whether to hope she was included or hope she was left out.
“OK, leave her tits alone, last thing we need is her nipples getting bigger. But she gets beat on, too, every day. And she can suck Muscledog hard three times a day, too. Every morning, I want to inspect you all―I want you sore and fucking horny, not bruised or battered. Got it, fuckers?”
“Yes, master! Yes, sir!” They chorused.
* * * *
Yet another addition to the list of things that are hotter in books than in real life, Robin thought as she bent over for the second evening paddling. True, she didn’t even feel anything from the morning flogging on her shoulders and back; Carl didn’t thump her as hard as he did the male slaves, and she had rather enjoyed the feeling of the expensive moose-hide tresses. But the paddle, long and stiffened by something sewn between two layers of glossy black leather, stung as well as thumped. And she suspected that as with Chris’s strap, the build-up of these evening beatings would be considerable.
“Don’t know why they’re bothering with you,” Raul mused, as he tugged on Muscledog’s clamped nipples. “It’s not like anyone is going to see your little ass.”
“Yeah, but she’s got such a cute ass, I bet some of ’em will at least grab it or give her a spank over the jeans,” Carl grunted as he swung.
Raul nodded. “Yeah, I can see that. OK, Dog, up here and get me hard… again.”
Steve the Muscledog grinned and licked his lips. “Harsh!” he barked, before diving in.
Robin groaned as the leather paddle struck; she was right. It hurt more than it had the previous night. Her hips twitched involuntarily and she lifted one foot in the exquisite agony of arousal. Carl laughed in a good-natured way. “Could be worse, sweetheart,” he said. “You could have Raul working on your titties, too, and no way to come!” He swatted her again, with enthusiasm, and she yelped.
* * * *
In addition to the clothing, and how to lower her voice, and how to walk, and how to hide her hands, and other tips on how to pass, somehow, as a very young man, Robin had one more thing to learn as well.
“But I know how to polish boots,” she protested to Raul.
“Sure, but you don’t know shit about bootblacking. You think of it as getting the boots clean―I’m talking about a sex thing here. Every morning, start with Carl, for at least two pairs of shoes or boots. And in the evening, work with the Dog and let him show you how to make it sexy. I doubt he’ll be allowed to bootblack for more than a few guys here and there, and it’s the perfect way to keep you busy and dressed.”
It took all of five minutes for Robin to realize Raul had been right. Of course, she’d seen bootblacks working in leather bars―it seemed something that went with the masculine atmosphere of beer, leather, cigars, and testosterone. And although she had some sense of the fetishism involved―leather, feet, service, kneeling in front of someone―she’d never thought of it as a particularly sexual or even sensual act before.
“No, no, don’t wear gloves, that just gets in the way,” Muscledog insisted.
“In the way of what?” she asked plaintively, imagining the horrors of the deep black polish getting under her fingernails.
“You gotta really feel what you’re doing,” he said patiently, digging his fingers into a can of saddle soap. “OK, so, you got the surface dust and dirt off with the first brushing, right? Now, we’ll clean the leather. Take this stuff and just a little water, like this, and work it up to lather. Lots of guys won’t need this; their leather is gonna be sharp. And really, if you have to clean ’em first, sometimes it’s real hard to get a shine after. But if they’re dirty, then first you cleanse…”
Then you exfoliate, Robin thought with a sigh. Or moisturize. I’m giving facials to boots. But it turned out the steps of bootblacking were similar to a facial―and why not, it’s still skin, she realized. Except I don’t set fire to my foundation before putting it on. Muscledog liked to ignite a can of black polish to soften it before spreading it thinly onto a boot. Raul sniffed at that practice and called it showy and lazy. But Carl liked it. “What’s wrong with showy? Besides, the less she has to show she doesn’t have the upper arm strength, the better.”
It was useless, the boys agreed, to practice on empty boots. So every evening before she got her ten spanks with the leather paddle, she first knelt before one of them while they wore a pair of their own or one of the Masters’ pairs of boots, and she worked her hands into soaps and polishes and leather conditioners. She used different brushes to remove dust or to buff to a shine; she worked greasy lotions into the seams and creases of old leather. She learned when to bring out the mirror gloss of a high intensity shine and when she shouldn’t. Then, they brought out more pairs of boots for her to learn different lacing patterns as well.
The aroma of the waxes, creams, and polishes seemed to hover around her as she slid between her sheets at night. The sharp bitterness of the inky polishes leavened with the pine scent of the shoe grease, and under it all the faint echo of leather. Despite herself, she found it tantalizing, curling one hand up against her mouth and nose to breathe in the scents of her labor. Now she understood why Chris’s boots had that distinctive smell; he must have used some of these products. It was awful to lie there, her ass aching from the paddling, nipples erect despite not being teased by Raul’s endless array of clamps and cups, and a taste of latex on her lips from the last chance every day to bring Muscledog to erection. That, at least, was easy. He sprang up at the slightest touch, and didn’t mind at all that she was a girl.
Deep inside, she resented that she couldn’t serve along with the rest of them. I can suck cock! she thought, curling on her side. And I know I have a tight ass, too. God, to be just another body at the party, instead of the costumed, bound-up reject not allowed to do anything but polish boots.
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This short story about Robin, the main character in Laura Antoniou’s THE SLAVE, ran as a bonus story in the ebook edition of THE SLAVE. “That’s Harsh” tells the story of what happens when Robin’s masters—a gay couple—decide to throw an all male sex and BDSM play party. Hint: Robin doesn’t get sent on vacation. (Graphic sex, BDSM play, and boot worship ensue.)