The Reluctant Mistress


Thanks again to shygirlwhore for editing. There’s more planned for these two characters in future, but this is how things start out for them. I hope you enjoy!

* * * * *

At the end of a lot of days, Lucinda just wanted to scream.

Work was a constant enervation. She could easily have lived off her comfortable private savings, but she had agreed with her husband long ago that it was probably better to keep busy. Of course, his personal wealth wasn’t even close to hers; he could hardly have stood for the shame of continuing to toil away while his wife lounged at leisure or, even worse, allowed her to support him entirely. He was not the type to be a kept man.

He was indeed a lot of things, chief amongst them the other major source of her daily exasperation. There were many other things he most definitively was not. The marriage arrangement which had been so convenient when they were fresh-faced twenty-somethings embarking on their careers had begun to pall once she had grown older and slowly, reluctantly realised that perhaps there could be more to a relationship. Like happiness; tenderness; regard, and consideration. Not just long intervals apart on business, and cool, cordial conversations. She had forgotten the last time the latter had been more than empty pleasantries, and it must have been longer still since he had actually been the one to start. Unlike sex, of course, where he was quite capable of beginning and ending before she was even really involved; it seemed to be his preferred scenario. At least he didn’t bother her with it too often.

That was why it was such a breath of fresh air when Sophia moved in next door. A little younger than Cinder (a petname the disconsolate woman had been forced to give to herself), she was a bubbly and irrepressibly warm spirit with a bob of curly chestnut hair and mesmerising green eyes. Lucinda found herself hurrying back home every evening from her joyless, airless office just so she could sooner enjoy that breath. Her husband was rarely around to dispute her disappearing next door for hours at a time.

Fia (for now she had someone other than herself to endow), for her part, was happy to act as hostess; reading between the lines, Lucinda imagined that her friend was starved for company out here in the desolately green and leafy suburbs. Cinder had often thought to try setting her effervescent friend up with someone, but there was the problem of not really liking anyone else she knew enough for it to be a reasonable prospect. She certainly wouldn’t have lumbered Fia with anyone from work. At one point, in the name of at least taking the edge off of Sophia’s latent frustrations, the thought of inviting her friend over for a threesome bubbled up like gas in a swamp. Lucinda realised that for what it truly was: a desperate bid of her own for some kind of emotional support in the bedroom; little though she thought of her work colleagues, sexual exposure to her husband seemed an order of magnitude worse.

For weeks and eventually months, the two women shared the salving pleasure of each other’s company most evenings, taking occasional shopping trips into town on the weekends and working their way through a lot of cake and cups of tea. Mostly the variety spelled w-i-n-e. Sophia was always careful to be in good cheer for her friend; whatever her neighbour’s problems, Cinder worried that the other woman could see right into her unhappy soul. Then, things changed.

* * *

Lucinda presented herself one Friday evening as usual, a chilled bottle of white in tow fresh from the fridge at home. Sophia was incandescent as usual, welcoming her in with a smile from those dazzling white teeth, framed with lips that seemed redder and glossier than usual. Where normally she favoured stylish yet casual attire, tonight the smaller woman wore a rather eye-catching gown, not quite a night-at-the-opera number but quietly classy nevertheless.

“Wow, you look nice! I wish I’d know we were dressing up, I could have gotten changed after work…”

Sophia’s grin widened; she had a great talent for nuance in her smile.

“Don’t be silly, you’re always so elegantly dressed! I love those beautiful silk blouses you wear, and those slinky little office skirts!”

As she was ushered in, Lucinda shared an easy giggle with her friend. Her work clothes were good quality, mostly handmade and fitted, but she’d never have thought of them as ‘slinky’ before. She gave a little shimmy of her hips as an impromptu experiment, and the pair of them giggled again as they wandered through into Sophia’s lounge. The other woman’s eyes left the curving lines of her skirt to fix Lucinda with a gaze; she certainly seemed to have enjoyed the display.

The slender wine glasses were already laid out on the coffee table in the lounge, alongside the corkscrew. The two girls chatted, idle but eager, as they got down to serious business. The pale-straw wine was a fruity little number, one which Cinder had noticed her friend take a shine to on a previous Escort bayan occasion, and went down with delightful ease. It was as they poured out the last drops to refill their glasses that the question of Fia’s finery returned to the fore.

“So tell me, darling: what exactly is the occasion?”

Sophia paused to flash her green eyes at her neighbour again, each one sparkling with knowing amusement.

“You mean, you don’t remember?” she made a pretence at being affronted, “Darling, today’s our anniversary! One year to the day since I moved in, you came over to welcome me to the neighbourhood the very same evening!”

Lucinda’s own eyes widened and she felt a tinge of embarrassment colour her olive cheeks.

“Oh my gosh! I should have realised, I could have done something…”

“Don’t be silly! Having you here is all the celebration I need. In fact, I’ve actually got you a little present; one moment!”

Joyful as ever, the shorter woman leapt up and practically bounced out of the room. She was back in half a minute with a small, plain, cream-coloured envelope that felt as if it were rather well-stuffed. It was addressed, simply, “To L ~XXX”. Cinder moved her fingertip to raise the unsealed flap, but was stopped by her hostess.

“Wait until you get home, sweetie. Just a little something I made earlier!”

* * *

The house was shrouded in darkness when she got back. Her husband was away on business, of course. Still, she had the cosy tingle of the alcohol to keep her warm as she went about getting ready for bed, ready to sleep. She picked up the mysterious envelope again from her bedside table, once she was firmly ensconced in her nightdress beneath the inviting sheets. Whatever could be inside?

Reaching in, she removed a stack of a dozen or so rectangular leaves of paper with glossy upper surfaces. Polaroid photographs. Holding the pile up in both hands, she angled them toward the bedside light to see what had been captured.

The first picture was a close-up of a pair of red, glossy lips; lips she recognised, lips that had left a scarlet half-moon smudge on the rim of a wine glass earlier this evening. The lips were framed simply and strikingly against a background of Sophia’s pale cheeks and cute, dimpled chin. The composition was remarkably vivid.

Careful not to leave careless fingerprints, Lucinda set it aside in order to see the next photograph.

The second picture featured those same ruby lips. This time, there were teeth as well. They were closed playfully around some kind of thin metal chain, still in the same intimate close-up.

The third picture panned out from there until the whole of Sophia’s lower face was visible. The pale girl’s wrists were held to either side. The chain connected a pair of pink, fluffy bracelets that encircled the wrists. Cinder blinked in amazement as she realised her friend was biting down on the chain of a pair of handcuffs that she was wearing. Dimly, she imagined the camera must have been on a timer.

The fourth picture, after this revelation, dared to zoom out further. Still the same essential composition, now Cinder could see her friend’s emerald stare and dark, thick, provocatively arched eyebrows. Sofia’s mouth pouted around the cool links between her lips. More than that, with most of her upper body in shot, the girl had managed mischievously to angle her elbows just so that they covered her generous bosom; she was otherwise completely naked, at least in the confines of this frame.

The fifth picture: moving down Sofia’s bountiful chest, her wrists stretched as wide as the confining cups would let them below her boobs, lifting them upon the chain, squeezed from the sides between her spread palms. Pairs of careful fingertips, the nails painted the same shade of scarlet as her lips, reached in from either side to cover Fia’s nipples.

The sixth picture. Lower still. Sophia had evidently been sat on a plush dark velvet cushion that the small still-rational part of Cinder’s mind recognised from the sofa in the lounge, the one they’d been sharing earlier. Her vivacious neighbour’s thighs were parted, offering an excellent view of their inner surfaces as well as her abdomen, exposed with nothing but a delicate pair of white lace knickers to cover her modesty. A certain familiar chain hung in a straight line down the middle of the lacy triangle, dangling from a cuffed wrist; the second cuff pooled cracked-open and empty on the cushion below.

It was becoming harder to manipulate the wedge of photographs at this point: Lucinda found that she was only holding them in one hand now and letting the discarded pictures fall negligently to the bedsheets; several tacky fingerprints had already found their way onto glossy corners. With a start, she realised that the feather-light but insistent brush she felt beneath the sheets (and, more particularly, beneath her nightgown) was the restless fingers of her other hand, no longer responding to her command. Dazedly, she Bayan escort let them continue with their indecent designs upon her intimates.

Picture number seven. She felt a rising pressure, stifling, close and claustrophobic. It could have been the desperate work of her own fingers, frolicking between her legs. A pair of crimson fingernails, loitering with lascivious promise at the terminal points of the V-shape of the presented lingerie. After the brief respite, both wrists above again bore the encircling bands of the handcuffs.

Picture eight. Lucinda’s breath caught in her throat. The fingertips and their proud red nails had slipped inside the hem of the underwear. It was pulling taut, especially at the bottom, in a way that made her feel faint.

Picture nine. Kneeling, knees together. Beautiful painted nails, inside and out of snowy-white knickers, plucked between fingers and descending down an expanse of soft, pale thighs. Hands together, concealing anything behind.

Ten. Thighs apart again. The chain snaked down the middle of a brazenly bare crotch; one cuffed wrist was evidently hidden away to the rear. Pulled down taut over a neat tuft of trimmed brown hair, it bisected the twin mounds of the valley of Venus while masking, infuriatingly, everything within.

Although she hadn’t yet realised it, Cinder was holding her breath. The burning in her chest was easily outdone by the sweltering of her loins. Fingers that hadn’t been so adventurous in far too long a time were burrowing through her lower folds, unconsciously tracing the route of the chain from the photos. Frenzy was building. She needed to see the next picture.

Eleven. Close-up. A scarlet index fingernail, hovering over the heart of a puffy nether mound. Cinder gasped as a fingertip scraped over her budding clit, right in the same location.

Twelve. The whole glorious vista. Sophia, naked, cuffed hands stretched across her belly with open palms. Open legs. Open lips…

The climax of her lascivious labours took Lucinda by force and surprise. She had not been expecting such a storm, hadn’t experienced anything comparable in years. She came, staring deep into the bewitching emerald eyes that gazed up at her from the last photo, right up until she almost blacked out amidst ungovernable bliss. It was a feeling more powerful than any she could remember, and her legs and belly and fingers continued to shudder for long moments afterward as the shock of eruption subsided.

There was one more leaf of paper after the last picture, plain paper with a handwritten note: ‘I hope you like! One for each month we’ve known each other. Things started to get really steamy in August! Your darling S ~XXX’

Cinder scrabbled dumbly for that first picture of underwear being entered, and stared at it again with newfound appreciation for as long as she could manage before her wicked fingers drove her to another eyes-squeezed-shut crescendo. She could barely think straight, let alone piece together the motives behind her lovely neighbour’s gift. The bedroom’s ceiling drifted above her in a haze as she alternately gasped and cooed her way through waves that rolled along her body, tensing, arching and then relaxing. It took her several minutes to realise that she was doing this to herself, with busy, diligent fingertips. By then she was already too far gone past the point of propriety; she couldn’t help hauling her hand up from beneath the sheets as she finally subsided, fascinated by the sticky sheen of her own sexual secretions. She managed to find a tissue on the bedside table to wipe away most of the gooey streaks, just before collapsing into the pillow and retreating into as deep a slumber as she’d known in ages.

* * *

The next day arrived, Saturday, and she’d slept wonderfully. They had previously arranged to meet up in the afternoon for coffee, though Cinder found herself heading to town in the morning instead. First on her improvised shopping list was a tube of red lipstick, as bright and glossy as the picture she had firmly embedded in her mind: the closest match she found was a colour known as ‘Strumpet Scarlet’. She blushed, and paid for it quickly. The next thing she sought out, she persuaded herself was practically a necessity: her fingers were still a little stiff from their workout last night; the item she found was about the width of her widest digit, albeit longer and flared at its functional end into a smooth ball-tip. She was sufficiently ashamed of herself that she bought the batteries separately, elsewhere.

Later, while she was half-heartedly daring herself to wear the lipstick, Fia called to signal a change of plans. She wanted them to meet an hour later, at her house. She promised that the entertainment and refreshments would be plentiful. Lucinda wondered at that, but carried on regardless. There was a particular summery dress she’d been thinking to wear, white but covered in pretty red roses. She laid it out and got changed, when the time came, and slipped Escort into a pair of strappy sandals for the strenuous trek all the way next door. She got all the way to Sophia’s front garden and skipped on up to the front door. She felt flushed, a trifle dizzy. The door opened upon her smiling, impish little bombshell of a neighbour, and something snapped.

She couldn’t do this. Not after this woman had been so thoroughly objectified for her. Not after those pictures. Not after what she’d done when she’d seen them.

Panic gripped Lucinda’s mind; as the other woman’s lips parted in greeting, she shook once, seismically, then turned and scurried away without a word. She ignored the surprised protestations coming from behind, if she even heard them. She dashed in through her own front door, letting it slam behind her negligently, and ran upstairs with her head in her hands and nervous sobs of tears wracking her chest and staining her cheeks. Her new purchases were on the bedside table; she snatched them up guiltily and thrust them into the bottommost draw, right to the back.

Days passed, almost a week, and she found herself almost grateful when her husband returned. She received messages from Sophia, several the first day and then tapering off respectfully. It was only after the week was almost gone that she gathered the nerve to read one.

“I’m so sorry if I upset you, my darling. Can you please just let me know if you’re ok?”

She summoned the strength to go back through the missed messages: each one an expression of sorrow and sympathy, earnest wishes for her wellbeing. The concern of a worried friend.

She returned to the most recent message and sent a reply, after a fraught fifteen minutes or so of drafting:

“I’m sorry. I suppose I just wasn’t prepared. Forgive me.”

She nearly jumped when her phone buzzed with a response.

“Nothing to forgive! Please don’t worry! Do you want to talk about it?”

She wrestled with another message to return, not sure how much she could reveal, not even sure what she was revealing.

“Just a little shell-shocked. The photos. I’m married. I’ve never seen anything like that.”

The next message slipped in below her guard, incendiary. She did nothing but stare at it for long moments after receiving it. On a certain level, she simply couldn’t comprehend it. On another, it clawed at her heart.

“Didn’t you like them?”

* * *

A day or so later, Fia had finally managed to overcome her calcified resistance and persuaded her to come over. When she told her husband she was going next door for the evening, he’d grunted and muttered something about turning in early. At least she didn’t have to tell him not to wait up.

More modestly attired in a casual jumper and jeans she did much better this time, making it in through the door in the midst of one of Sophia’s highest-grade barrage of smiles. Still, she subtly kept her distance from her neighbour. They chatted lightly in the hall, breaking some of the ice that had frozen between them, before moving through to the lounge for the promised tea and cake. This time, it wasn’t even alcoholic. Lucinda didn’t try to bring up the incident of the photos and its aftermath, and Sophia seemed to avoid the topic as well, at least while they cut a swathe through the immediate refreshments.

“I’ve got a bottle of wine in the kitchen, if you’d like?”

Ever the gracious hostess. Cinder was beginning to forget what it was she’d been so worked up about. Still, she hesitated before replying.

“Um… That would be lovely. Thanks!”

“One moment then!”

The shorter woman danced out of the room, all boundless energy and cheer. She even dropped a sly wink in Lucinda’s direction from the doorway. After a minute she returned with a tray, setting it down on the coffee table: a pair of pre-filled glassfuls next to the condensation-misted bottle.

“You know, I was so worried when you left like that, last week. I thought I’d done something wrong, I felt so awful! I wouldn’t want to do anything to hurt you…”

Cinder tensed, as if expecting an assault. Her friend’s eyes were so large and clear however, staring at her with crystal moisture which threatened to coalesce any moment in tears, that she forced herself to relax and take a sip of the wine before replying.

“I just…” she tried to think what she was ‘just’: caught unawares? Frustrated and trapped in a shell of a marriage? Desperate and lonely and starved for company? Secretly, confusingly thrilled at the gift she’d been blessed with? It was hard to think of what to say, “I just…”

That was when she noticed it: the room becoming slowly darker, as if the light were draining away. With exaggerated care, akin to someone drunk, she placed her glass back upon the table. The glass felt heavy. Her arms felt heavy. She felt like she needed to… Sleep.

As Lucinda’s head lolled forward and she started to topple from her chair, Sophia was already on her feet and moving to hold her friend, seting her back in her place, restraining her. That was the plan. There was a touching note of concern in her eyes as she straightened Lucinda up and smoothed the taller woman’s hair aside. There was also a gleam of something else.

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