Leila Deppiesse tossed restlessly in bed. It was a warm night but there was a cool breeze off the ocean, and she had her bedroom window open, so she could hear the soft whisper of waves on the beach a block away. Normally that sound helped lull her to sleep, but not tonight.
Tomorrow was an important day. To be more precise, tomorrow night was an important night – maybe the most important she could remember in her twenty four years, and certainly the most bizarre. Not that almost anything that had happened here in Blue Water Harbor over the past three years had been normal.
For as long as she could remember, this had been a sleepy little seaside town where nothing exciting ever happened. People lived here for the peace and quiet, though most of them worked elsewhere. Though Leila herself had been three years old when her family moved here, it was the only the home she could remember.
Her father, Ibrahim, had left his native Algeria in the early 1960s, as a child along with his family. With the wave of fierce nationalism and religious fervor that followed the country’s independence, it was neither the time nor the place to be one of the Kabyles favored by the French colonialists and resented by the rest of the indigenous population. It was especially not the place to be a Catholic. The family emigrated to France where Ibrahim grew up and married Nadia – Leila’s mother – then to Canada where Leila was born, before finally moving here to northern California.
Ibrahim had gotten a job at the town’s general store while his wife cleaned houses for a number of wealthy families who lived in the mansions up on the above the inlet. Eventually Ibrahim had bought the store when its former owner retired, and it had been the family business ever since. Leila and her sister Jamila had grown up playing in the store’s aisles and in the yard out back.
Nothing ever seemed to change in Blue Water Harbor, until two summers ago. Even then, the first hints had been subtle and had generated little more than idle curiosity among the locals. The usual speculation had circulated when Lauren Reeves, who ran the only realty office in town, had announced that two of the long unoccupied mansions on the north side of the inlet had been bought by some wealthy people from Florida. There had been a little more excitement when the two decrepit buildings – one on the beach, the other on the cliff above – had been demolished and new, modern houses of white stucco and gleaming glass had risen in their place. There also the usual grumbling of course from the few old men who spent their days sitting on the store’s front porch, complaining that nothing was ever as good as it used to be.
The arrival of the new occupants had created more of a stir. The two men – Gary King was an engineer, David Masters a surgeon – were cut from similar cloth. Both were blonde haired, good looking, well dressed, intelligent and polite. The doctor was about forty and the engineer maybe ten years younger. Both were obviously long-time friends.
Their wives were something else entirely. The older woman, Jane Masters, was a surgeon herself. She was an olive skinned beauty of Italian descent with dark curly hair that fell almost to the small of her back. What caught the locals’ attention – particularly the men – was her ridiculously buxom figure, which she was certainly not afraid to show off in tight outfits with low necklines. Donna Bertino, the Post Mistress, had summoned up the courage to ask her outright if her breasts were real. Jane had laughed, leaned over the post office counter, taken Donna’s hands and brazenly placed them firmly on her own chest with a wink and an admonishment. “Don’t be shy…feel for yourself.” Donna’s considered opinion to Leila’s mother a week later – she was still blushing – was that they were most definitely real.
The other woman was at first something of a mystery, never showing her face in public for more than a month after moving in. Kathy Lange, who worked as a maid for the Masters couple, had been the first to meet her at their house, and the gossip had soon spread around town. Her name was Morgan Garrett – she used her maiden name – and she was a slender redhead in her late twenties who wore her hair short in a pageboy cut. She was almost as buxom as her friend Jane. Kathy’s report by way of the local hairdresser, Rohini Reeves, was that she was sweet but very shy, moved with difficulty and used crutches to get about. The speculation was that she had been in some kind of serious accident – perhaps a car crash. The reality of course, was worse than that but nobody had known the truth until much later, and most people still didn’t.
The new arrivals had kept to themselves for the first several months, but then had jumped right into the social life of the community, such as it was. Juan and Lisa Ramirez, the mayor and lady mayor who actually lived in the neighboring hamlet of Blue Water Village, had been the first to get a dinner invitation from the Masters. They had contributed little to the town gossip machine afterward, but people noticed that both Juan and Lisa had started to pay more attention to their appearance. Each had joined a gym, lost weight and dressed better. There had been rival rumors that Juan was having an affair with Jane Masters, or that his wife was having one with Jane’s husband. As the town learned later, both rumors were true. That was the start of the community’s journey down the ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ road.
Other couples and families had been invited in turn. Without exception, each of the husbands or boyfriends had intimated, with varying degrees of detail, how the evening had ended with him in bed with Jane Masters. Their wives and girlfriends had revealed that they too had had passionate encounters with both the Masters, often all together in the same room.
David and Jane did not seem at all perturbed by the stories buzzing about. When someone had made a chance remark at the gas station one morning, Jane had reportedly replied with a wink and a smile, “We love our friends, and they love us.”
It had been a month or two later when Leila’s family got their invitation. Leila remembered being in awe of the house with its enormous living room, panoramic views across the bay from the town to the Pacific Ocean, by Jane’s chef-quality cooking, and by the warmth of their hosts. The gathering also included Gary King and Morgan Garrett. Morgan had been getting about more easily by that time, had joined the local gym in Blue Water Village and could be seen running on the beach most mornings.
The Deppiesses had been reserved at first. Leila herself could not understand how the stodgy citizens of Blue Water Harbor had willingly involved themselves in was basically an unofficial swingers’ club. This was California, but the age of free love was long gone. Were there drugs in the food? What was going on here?
The food – drugged or not – was amazing, and wine flowed freely. The newcomers were irresistibly friendly, and their openness was contagious. By the main course, the eight of them were getting along like old friends. By dessert, there were laughs, smiles and lingering light touches of arm on arm.
Leila had never forgotten the moment when, after they retired to the living room for coffee and cognac – she had never drunk cognac in her life and nor, to the best of her knowledge, had anyone in her family – Jane Masters had appeared in front of her, took her gently by the shoulders and planted a firm kiss on her lips. Leila had wanted to be shocked – wasn’t that the proper reaction when another woman kissed you out of the blue? Instead though, she found her arms sliding around the shorter woman’s waist – Leila was five feet nine and, at that time, a curvy one hundred fifty pounds. Her mouth had opened to admit Jane’s tongue, and in her mind she could still hear the soft moan that had emanated into their kiss.
When she finally opened her eyes, her mother had been in David Masters’ arms, her father in Morgan Garrett’s and her sister writhing on the floor, already half naked on top of Gary King. Again, Leila somehow couldn’t find it in herself to be shocked. It all just seemed right. She had understood then, how the others had felt, and had felt a mild pang of jealousy that she hadn’t been invited here – hadn’t felt this feeling – sooner. It was as though she had been asleep all her life and had now awoken for the first time. She had loved Jane Masters with a passion ever since, and that passionate was returned in equal measure.
It had been long after sunrise when they had left the Masters house – the store opened late that day – and Leila had made love with all four of the newcomers during the night, as had her parents and her sister. Her Papa had drawn the line at coupling with his own daughters, but Leila had watched her mother triple penetrated by him, David and Gary, while loving every instant of it. It was not something Leila had ever expected to witness, but again she had been unable to find it disturbing.
Things had been wonderful for a year or more. She had spent at least one night a week, often more, with Jane and David. She had come to adore him almost as much as she did Jane. Morgan and Gary were frequent visitors, as were college professor Sean Sevrin and his wife Lynda Ward, friends of the Masters who had followed them west.
Others in town felt the same way towards all of the newcomers but as far as Leila could tell, there was no jealousy about that. Everyone was affected by the same hedonistic zeal – the whole town had gotten sex on the brain – but there was no shortage of willing partners to go around. The Labor Day party at Bill’s Bar on the beach that year, was still a legend around town. Everyone who had been there had sworn they got off with everybody else. Leila herself had been present and, from her recollection, they were all probably right.
Libidos were off the scale all over town. It became a common thing to walk into a room, a store, or even come around a street corner to find two – or often more – people locked in an amorous embrace. Orgies in Bill’s Bar became a regular occurrence. The Mayor had even had to issue a proclamation – the only one anyone could remember – banning people from fucking in the actual street after a delivery truck had almost killed a couple in the middle of Pines Boulevard late one night.
During that time, Leila had learned something of the reasons behind the effect the new arrivals had had, and the change that had occurred throughout the community. At first she had not been able to believe it. “We’re indwelt,” Jane had told her as they curled up in the Masters’ enormous bed. “Possessed, if you will.” Leila had laughed, thinking Jane was kidding, but she went on, “That’s what gives us our talents…our powers if you like…and the effect we have on others.”
Jane explained to the reluctant Leila that they were part of a group known as The Pride, all of whom were indwelt with the spirits of long-dead big cats. They collectively owned an organization called the Felix Foundation, which was dedicated to finding and helping people like themselves. The group controlled a hedge fund worth billions, which they used to further their aims. “You find this hard to believe,” said Jane. “Imagine if it was happening to you.” Her lovely face grew somber for a moment. “There are those who’ve got insane from it, without help.
Jane was right – Leila hadn’t believed it at first. It was simply too incredible, though at the same time she really wanted to believe it – to believe that her new best friends were not delusional or lying to her. She had checked out the Felix Foundation and their assets, and everything they had told her was true. The evidence was here in town too – how else could anybody explain the change that had come over literally everyone? It took months for her to truly accept it, but Jane and David, Morgan and Gary had finally made a believer out of her. “Not many people know of us, and most people don’t care anyway,” Jane had told her. She laughed. “They’re just enjoying the best sex of their lives. Most people who do know, usually don’t believe…but you’re not most people.” She had kissed Leila. “You deserve to know what this is all about…and the dangers.”
Leila hadn’t known what Jane meant about dangers until the following spring, when Aisha Pashir moved into a newly constructed house overlooking Blue Water Village. She too was a member of the Pride, revealed Jane, but not a friend. Aisha had been banished some years ago, which led to a schism in the group when she had taken a number of others with her. “Aisha gets off on control,” explained Jane with uncharacteristic venom. “Power games are her thing.” Those power games had almost ruined the Pride financially and nearly led to the death of Lynda Ward, at that time the newest member of the group. Leila had never learned all the details, but apparently Lynda, Morgan and even Jane had fallen into Aisha’s clutches over the years. “Stay away from her,” advised Lynda. “She’ll try to control you, and what she can’t control, she destroys.”
Their enmity toward Aisha however, was nothing compared to their hatred for Monique Morgaine, who had arrived in Blue Water Harbor just a year ago. There had been a party at Waves, the best restaurant in town when the statuesque blonde, almost six feet tall, had swept into the room and marched up to their table uninvited. Jane had literally hissed with anger at the sight of her and Morgan, fair skinned under normal circumstances, had gone white as a ghost. Leila had not heard much of the short conversation between Jane and Monique, more intent on attending to the visibly shaking Morgan.
“Aisha enjoys power,” Jane had told her later, “but Monique gets the same kind of thrill from pain.” She had a faraway look in her eyes. “You don’t want to fall into her hands.
Monique had also bought a house up in the valley behind the village, purchasing through a third party before anyone knew who the real buyer was. She had moved in with her lover Angelina Suarez, who was almost the antithesis of Monique – barely five feet tall, slender and dark haired.
Things had taken a radical turn from that time on. The townsfolk had begun to align themselves into three camps under Jane’s, Aisha’s and Monique’s leadership, and it was not long before people were talking of them as the Pleasure, Power and Pain Cults respectively. It soon became a kind of cold war between the factions.
There was power – and safety – in numbers, so each cult did its best to attract followers. There were some whose proclivities bent them easily toward one camp or another, and there were some who crossed boundaries according to whim. Others did so less willingly – the Power and Pain Cults particularly had no qualms about taking and using any who crossed their paths for their own dark games. Most such abductions were temporary, though some became semi-permanent by accident or design, as abductees discovered unknown perversions within themselves, or as their captors deliberately and methodically subjugated them.
Over time, rules had evolved within the game. Nobody could be taken without the right to defend himself or, more frequently, herself. Anyone who won a fight could walk free, and such fights were one-on-one. Of course, that didn’t stop the unscrupulous from teaming up to challenge a desired victim one after another, wearing her down until one finally defeated her. The defeated were at the mercy of their captors, but then local police chief Ray Centowski stepped in. Like most of the men in town, he wasn’t exclusively for one cult or the other though rumor had it he spent a lot of time up at Monique Morgaine’s house. He declared that abductions could last no more than twenty four hours unless the abductee gave his or her consent. There were a surprisingly large number of such consents.
Leila had been challenged to fight twice – both times by followers of the Pain Cult. Both were single combats and she had prevailed both times – her size worked in her favor. Nevertheless, she had learned to be prudent as to where and when she appeared in public, and to go in company whenever possible. It was usually easy to spot the Power Cult’s followers by their black collars, and those of the Pain Cult from their piercings, though that wasn’t always a reliable indicator since the Pain Cult sometimes pierced their captives during their rituals, and many of those captives continued to wear their adornments after their release, as trophies of their ability to endure.
Leila had remained loyal to the Masters and the Pleasure Cult, as had the rest of her family. It was that loyalty – and the decision she had made as a result – that disturbed her sleep now. She was about to declare herself, formally and publicly, as a follower of the Pleasure Cult. Everyone in town already knew her position, of course, but by taking this step she was not only elevating her commitment, but also drawing attention to it. As Jane had taken great pains to explain to her, that would also make her a target. Though her loyalty was unwavering, she knew the cost of the choice she had made.
Her family drove with her to Blue Water Village the next evening, to the grey and white, marble and glass edifice on the peninsula that everyone had come to call the Cats’ Lair. This was where the Pride’s factions came together to conduct their business, and was regarded as neutral territory – perhaps the only such safe haven. Built on massive concrete pillars over a lake, its lowermost floor more than twelve feet above the water’s surface, it could only be accessed via an elevator to the third floor, then a bridge to the central building with its lobby bar. The auditorium, where business would be conducted, was on the floor below. Leila had been here on a number of occasions and it had always struck her that the building had been deliberately designed upside down. Tonight however, her mind was preoccupied with other things than architecture.
Jane was conspicuous in a yellow cocktail dress that hugged every curve of her body, scooped low in front to display a generous amount of cleavage. She spotted the Deppiesses as soon as they entered. Making her way to the door along with her husband, she greeted Leila with a kiss, followed by her father, mother and sister in turn. The room was packed. “You’ve drawn quite a crowd,” observed Jane, slipping an arm around her waist and pulling her close.
Leila had dressed in a clinging orange sleeveless dress that set off her caramel skin, and matching four inch heels that had her towering over her friend and mentor. Jane’s left breast pressed firmly into her side beneath her ribs as she returned the hug. She felt the familiar stirring, deep in her belly – the feeling she always got around Jane. Her nerves abated a little.
Her father and David Masters who, like most of the men here, was attired in khakis and a sports jacket, went off to the bar to get them some drinks. Leila looked around the bar. “All these people came just to hear me?” she asked, somewhat incredulously.
Jane’s smile faded a little. “Some of them. Others are most likely here to see how the other cults react.”
Leila looked at her nervously. “What do you think will happen?”
The older woman looked at her sternly. “Like I told you before, prepare to be challenged. One group or the other is bound to do so…even if it’s only out of spite.” She had warned Leila days ago, that the Pain Cult or the Power Cult would likely challenge her declaration, and she would need to defend her decision with her fists and claws in the arena, in front of an audience. That would not happen here however, nor would it happen tonight.
She gazed around the room. It was not big enough for groups to really separate from one another, but the crowd had nonetheless divided into its three factions who practically rubbed shoulders with one another.
Aisha Pashir stood in the far corner, holding court dressed in her customary white with her close cropped, jet black hair gleaming in the light, though the thin shell she wore beneath her light jacket added a splash of vermillion. A slender, pale-skinned blonde stood at her elbow – her secretary and live-in lover, Jenni Haversham. They were surrounded by a knot of followers, both men and women. The women, with only one or two exceptions, wore patent leather collars. Aisha wasn’t prone to collaring her male minions.
Monique Morgaine stood with her back to the wall on the other side of the room, swathed in black from head to toe. Her white blonde hair, artfully arranged atop her head, accentuated her impressive height. She gazed haughtily at both Jane and Aisha, with equal disdain, over the heads of the small crowd of devotees who surrounded her. Her acolyte, Angelina, stood at her side, firing dagger-like glances in all directions. It was almost ludicrous to think of the petite Latina as a bodyguard, but Leila had seen her in action, and she fought like a woman possessed – which indeed she was. It was said that Angelina only smiled when she was hurting someone.
Morgan Garrett stood on Leila’s other side in a vivid green and black print sheath dress that set off her red hair strikingly. Taller than Jane, shorter than Leila, she was looking anywhere but at Angelina. Leila had learned the truth of the ‘accident’ that had preceded her arrival here in California. Monique and her followers had taken Morgan unawares at a club in Miami, and Angelina had tortured her mercilessly for almost a week before the Masters and the Sevrins had found and rescued her. It had taken multiple rounds of reconstructive surgery to put her body back together. Her mind, and most of all her courage, was still a work in progress. Leila gave her a reassuring hug and a peck on the cheek, then sent a venomous glare in Angelina’s direction. She would love to get her claws into that little bitch. Part of her hoped that the Pain Cult would indeed challenge her.
The Pleasure Cult was well represented of course. Besides the Masters, Morgan and Gary, the Sevrins and Leila’s own family, there was Donna Bertino who ran the Post Office, with her daughter Olivia who had just graduated high school and was now allowed to attend these kinds of gatherings. Chatting with them was Pete Otto, the local contractor who had built this complex. His wife Samantha was once again pregnant though the way things were, it was anyone’s guess who the biological father was. They were accompanied by their two grown-up daughters Sharla and Toni, along with Pete’s mother Dora, the town’s most notorious ‘cougar’ whose well publicized intention was to fuck everybody in town, man or woman. She was well on the way to achieving that goal.
“Who do you think will challenge me?” Leila asked Jane, accepting a glass of wine from David. She had wondered whether she should stick with water, but decided a drink would calm her nerves. Public speaking wasn’t something she was used to.
“I hope it’s neither of them, but I wouldn’t count on it.”
“I give equal odds to either of them,” interjected David, “or even both.”
Leila’s eyes widened. “You really think so?”
“They hate each other as much as they hate us. If one of them challenges, the other might do so, just to be vindictive.”
Jane laid a hand on her arm. “Don’t worry honey…even if that happens, you won’t have to fight them both at the same time.” She gave her husband a reproving look. “David, stop frightening the girl.” She steered to conversation to more innocuous topics.
They chatted for a half hour or so before David glanced at his watch and leaned close to Jane. “We should head downstairs. Show time.”
Jane gave Leila another kiss and a reassuring squeeze. “You’ll do great,” she smiled.
Lynda Ward kissed her as well. “We’d better go down too,” she said, flashing the smile that had graced a hundred magazine covers back in her days as one of New York’s top models. “I want to make sure we get good seats. Give us a minute or two, then come down.” She and Sean followed Jane and David to the nearer of the two staircases that led down to the auditorium.
Leila finished her drink and, flanked by her parents with her sister trailing behind, joined the tail end of the stream of people making their way downstairs. At the bottom, they followed a narrow corridor around a corner until it opened onto the rear of the expansive room that now reverberated with the same buzz of conversation that the bar upstairs had done, a few minutes before.
The auditorium was precisely square, with four double doors in each wall, including the door through which Leila had just entered. Three low podiums, no more than knee high, stood before the other three doors, and there was a fourth such platform in the very center of the room. Most of the seats in the room were already full. Leila had been told which one to take, on the aisle at the rear, and did so with the rest of her family beside her. It was several more minutes before people finished filing into the room. A few people remained standing around the walls, talking in muted voices.
Conversation ceased abruptly however, when Jane stepped up the center podium, across the room from Leila. Lynda Ward stood at the base of the platform behind her. Leila had expected Morgan to be Jane’s second but she sat off to the right, flanked by her husband and David Masters, holding hands with both of them. Almost at the same instant that Jane ascended the single step to the platform, Monique Morgaine did the same to the podium on the left, and Aisha Pashir to the one on the right. Angelina stood behind Monique, Jenni behind Aisha.
Leila had been briefed on what to expect next. In unison, the three women’s voices echoed throughout the room. “Who comes before us, to pledge allegiance?”
The silence in the room was eerie. Taking a deep breath, Leila stood. “I do.”
“Come forward,” the three intoned together, “and present yourself.”
She walked slowly down the aisle that led to the platform in the center of the room, her eyes fixed on a point a foot above Jane’s head, and mounted the steps. She looked from Jane to Monique, then to Aisha, then back to Jane.
Leila kept her eyes focused on Jane. “I’ve been…your follower…since the day we met.” She spoke loudly and clearly, though the words brought forth the memories of the joyful, loving times she had spent in the company of this woman, her husband and the others of the Pleasure Cult. Those memories in turn summoned happy tears, but she maintained her composure.
“I’m Leila Deppiesse, and I declare myself,” she continued, “once and for all, to the service of the Pleasure Cult.” The butterflies in her stomach, the knowledge that every eye in the room was fixed upon her, made her mindful of her First Communion in the church up on the hill behind Blue Water Harbor. The church had closed years ago, and old habits remained. She had to resist an urge to cross herself, holding her arms rigid at her sides.
There were many more things she could have said – the kind of pledges she had heard others make over the past year – but she had already said those things to the people who mattered. Jane, for her part, had promised not to question her in front of the crowd. She simply asked, “Do you promise to honor and protect those to whom you have sworn your oath?”
Leila nodded and replied loudly, “I do.”
“Then we accept your pledge,” pronounced Jane. Leila saw the smile in her eyes, but her face remained stern as she continued. “Before we welcome you though, there are forms that must be observed. “Does anyone challenge Leila’s assertion that her heart lies with the Pleasure Cult?”
She looked to her left – Leila’s right – first, at Aisha, but Monique Morgaine cut in before Aisha had a chance to speak. “I challenge her,” she announced in her lilting French accent. She looked at Leila, her head tilted loftily. “I’ve had reports of her…the way she pushes herself in the gym, always forcing herself beyond her limits…the intensity with which she fights…and fucks. She is fooling herself. In her heart, she is a Pain Seeker. The Pain Cult desires this one.”
Leila felt her heart pounding in her chest. While she knew it was Jane’s place to speak for her in this, she could not help herself. “But I don’t desire you!” she retorted.
Monique looked at her scornfully and let out a tinkling laugh. “Oh Ma Cherie…after a short vacation with us, you’ll beg to lick my chatte.”
“I claim the right of trial by combat,” Leila said. “If I lose the fight, then we’ll see if you can break me.”
“Oh we will.” Monique’s smile did not waver. “Certainement.”
Leila saw the corners of Angelina’s mouth flicker upwards in a brief smile. Smug little xxxxxxxxxx.. “Who’s going to fight me?” she asked, her nerves forgotten for the moment as her anger bloomed. “Your naine?” Leila’s father and mother had spoken French at home throughout her childhood, and she was completely fluent. She enjoyed the blaze of fury in Angelina’s eyes at the insulting pejorative dwarf.
Monique was tight lipped. “One week from tonight….10pm,” she snapped, “at the basement in San Vicente.”
“She’ll be there,” interrupted Jane. “But tonight, we welcome her to the Pleasure Cult. This meeting is over.”
“Enjoy her while you can,” Monique shot back. “A week from now, I’ll make her my pet.” She looked at Leila with obvious relish.
Leila glanced the other way, at Aisha Pashir who stood regarding the venomous exchange with a faint smile. “I’ll be there, at my usual table,” she promised. “I hope you’ll at least make it entertaining.” To Leila’s relief, she did not make a challenge of her own, and stepped down from her podium.
Jane stepped forward, off the platform where she stood, then ascended to Leila. She hugged Leila tight, her bosom crushed hard against Leila’s ribs beneath her own breasts, then stretched up to kiss Leila lingeringly on the lips. “Come, darling,” she murmured, her eyes hooded. “We’ve got a very warm welcome planned for you.” She led Leila toward the doors behind her podium. David, Gary and Morgan already waited there, soon joined by Sean and Lynda, then the Ottos and the Bertinos. “This is Olivia’s first soiree,” said Jane. “Let’s show her just why we’re called the Pleasure Cult.” Arm in arm, they passed through the doors and down the hallway to the private apartment beyond.
Leila trained hard over the next week. She got up earlier than normal each morning, drove to the gym over in Blue Water Village and did two hours of weights and cardio before work. When she was finished in the store for the day, she changed into her workout gear again and ran the mile and a half around the bay to the Masters’ house where she sparred for an hour in their private gym.
Jane was on duty at the hospital where she and David worked for the first three days of the week so Morgan joined her as a sparring partner. At first Leila was surprised at the ferocity with which the redhead fought. “You think the Pain Seekers will pull their punches?” she asked acidly, then added in a friendlier tone, “Besides, there are advantages to being indwelt. We have a high tolerance for pain, and we recover fast from injuries. So don’t hold back, girl…gimme your best shot!”
Leila did as she was told, and they each pushed one another to their limits. By the time Jane joined them late in the week and also faced Leila, she was impressed. “You’re as ready as you can possibly be,” she pronounced as she climbed to her feet, rubbing her jaw after a punch from Leila that had knocked her flat on her back. “From here on, it’s all about heart.” She hugged Leila tight. “And that, my darling, you have in spades.”
On the evening of the fight, Leila made the hour-long drive to San Vicente, the nearest large town, with David and Jane in David’s silver Audi. Her mother and particularly her sister had wanted to come with her but she had made them promise to stay away. She knew what was at stake here. If she lost, she would lose badly and the aftermath was not something she wanted her family to witness.
Paddles was a restaurant and nightclub owned by Monique Morgaine, who had wealth of her own to rival the Pride’s. There was a rumor that she was the widow of a wealthy French industrialist who had died under mysterious circumstances in an ocean powerboat racing accident off the coast of Nice. There was another rumor that her husband was still alive but preferred to live on a different continent than his wife. Whatever the truth was, Monique had paid the contractors in cash to extensively renovate her house, and also paid cash for this and several other businesses she owned.
The private area of the club was known simply as the basement, and it was there that the Pain Cult settled internal differences or, in cases like tonight, external disputes. Jane and David had been here before, though Leila never had. They parked a half block away and walked to the club. The Sevrins, along with Morgan and Gary, met them in the lobby.
Upstairs in the club proper there was the pounding beat of music that Leila felt as a physical thumping against her chest. It made her uncomfortable – her heart was pounding hard enough as it was. She found the swirling lights disorienting too but Jane was easy to spot in hip hugging black pants and a tight yellow top, and Leila followed close behind as they wound their way through the crowded club to the stairs in back. A heavy set man in a black jacket stood guard – Leila knew him from the gym only as Greg – but he nodded and stood aside to let them pass.
It was quieter below. The basement was a spacious but not huge room, with tables and chairs dotted about in two tiers and a bar immediately below the stairs. Everything was oriented around the far wall, made entirely of glass. The space beyond was in darkness now but that, Leila knew without being told, was where she would fight.
A woman with waist-length copper hair, attired similarly to the doorman above, showed them to a table. Morgan, in a shimmering green dress, looked distinctly uncomfortable as she always did anywhere near the Pain Cult. She sat with her back to the wall, between Gary and Sean, her eyes flickering nervously about the room. “Lynda, why don’t you go with Leila to the dressing room?” suggested Jane as they settled themselves.
“You aren’t coming?” asked Lynda with a raised eyebrow.
“I’ll be there in a minute. I just need to see somebody quickly.”
Lynda did not ask any further questions but nodded to Leila, who followed her to a door in the back corner of the room. Beyond was a dimly lit passageway that bent around to the right before emerging into a small room, lit by a single recessed globe in the ceiling. There was a tiled section against the far wall with a toilet, sink and shower cubicle. Against the left-hand wall was a small sofa and in the center, dominating the room, was a padded table somewhat like a massage table, but heavier. The entire room reminded Leila of a locker room she had seen in an old boxing movie. There was another door, closed, to the right. That door led to triumph – or to humiliation, and worse. We will make you our pet. She suppressed a shiver and pushed the thought from her mind.
She dumped the small tote she carried on her shoulder onto one end of the sofa. Lynda took a seat on the other end and arranged her skirt over her knees. She had opted for a white peasant skirt and a midnight blue sleeveless shirt knotted beneath her breasts. She watched as Leila wriggled out of her aquamarine colored tube dress. She was naked beneath, but she felt no embarrassment as she bent, her heavy rounded breasts swinging free, and opened her bag. She had shared Lynda’s bed, on her own and in the company of others, on multiple occasions and she had no secrets from the lithe blonde.
She had chosen to fight in a pair of scarlet Under Armor leggings and a matching halter top with a built-in sports bra that would cradle and contain her bosom while leaving her midriff bare. She sat and slid her long, muscular legs into the tight fitting leggings, then stood once more and pulled them up over her hips and tight buttocks. The halter went over her head and she was just settling her breasts comfortably inside it when Jane entered.
“I found out who you’re fighting,” Jane announced.
Both Leila and Lynda looked at her in expectant silence.
Leila’s eyes widened. Lynda raised an eyebrow. “So the queen bitch has decided to fight her own battles, has she?” she remarked archly. “The last couple times, she’s had that little psycho Angelina fight for the Pain Seekers.” Lynda too had had her run-ins with Angelina, back in the days when she had been Aisha’s lieutenant rather than Monique’s. That was another secret Leila knew little about.
“She must want you badly, darling,” Jane said to Leila. “This is our chance to show her up in front of her followers…weaken her position. The more they fight among themselves, the less they bother the rest of us.”
“How long until…until the fight?” asked Leila.
“Any time now, according to the hostess. Monique’s in the other room, changing.”
Leila checked herself in the mirror. She had left her long jet black hair loose – one of the few rules in these encounters – and her feet were bare. The muscles of her shoulders rippled beneath her golden tanned skin, and the lines of her abs were clearly visible between her halter and the waistline of her pants. The long hours in the gym had paid off. She silently prayed that it would be enough.
Jane stepped in front of her and held her by the shoulders, staring up into her eyes. “No mercy,” she reminded the younger woman, “and no pity. She’ll show you none, and you must do the same.” She stretched up to kiss Leila lightly on the lips.
Lynda came to stand beside her, and did likewise. “Give her hell, honey.”
The light in the ceiling suddenly dimmed, then brightened again. The cycle repeated five times. “That’s the signal.” Jane squeezed her tight one last time. Leila swallowed hard, turned away from her friends and stepped through the door.
Beyond was a small vestibule, no more than six feet long, with another door at the far end. This door was black and blank, with a red light above it. As Leila closed the first door behind her, cutting herself off from the dressing room, she felt an almost irresistible urge to hold on tight to the door knob, to cling to the past. She knew it would do no good however. There was no way back. There was a part of her that still wondered how she found herself about to fight for a place in some strange supernatural cult that had no business existing in twenty-first century America. She had no answer. Nevertheless, this was the path she had chosen when she declared herself for the Pleasure Cult. She had no choice but to follow it to whatever fate lay in store for her.
The light suddenly turned green and the door in front of her slid sideways into the wall to the left. Leila stepped through the doorway into the open space beyond. She found herself, as she expected, on the far side of the glass wall, which was to her right. The enclosed space was maybe twenty feet across and the other three walls, along with the floor, were covered in hard rubber padding.
Directly opposite Leila was another door. That door opened now, and Monique Morgaine stepped through. Like Leila, she was barefoot and her platinum blonde hair tumbled loosely over her bare shoulders. She wore calf-length black leggings and a black lycra tube top stretched tight across her chest. Her nipples, already erect, pressed urgently at her top.
She took another step toward Leila, moving like a cat stalking its prey – which was precisely what she was. She smiled coldly. “Welcome to my parlor, ma petite.” She licked her lips. An inch – maybe two – taller than Leila, she was also a little more slightly built. There was likely no more than a few pounds difference between them.
Leila smiled back with more confidence than she felt. “So you decided to face me yourself,” she replied. “Brave, but not smart.”
The French woman laughed. “Did you think I’d sent my Angelina against you? You’re nine inches taller and fifty pounds heavier.” She sneered. “Even so, she would probably defeat you…but I like to be sure. Besides, she will be waiting for you, later.” The thought of that sent a chill up Leila’s spine. She stole a sideways glance through the glass. Sure enough, Angelina sat at a table on the raised level in the back, with three other women. Her dark eyes glittered with vindictive anticipation.
As though sensing Leila’s momentary distraction, Monique leapt forward to attack, crossing the space between them in a few bounding strides, launching a whirlwind of punches, slaps and kicks. There was no finesse and little style in her assault. She was simply trying to overwhelm Leila with the fury of her onslaught, to panic her. Panic is your enemy, Jane had told her. Don’t let her rattle you. Keep your head and fight smart as well as hard.
Knowing that was easier than doing it however. Leila managed to fend off most of Monique’s blows but most was not all, and she took hits to her ribs, breasts, shoulders and head. She backed away, defending with everything she had, but she was already on her own side of the room and soon she felt the rubber padded wall thump against the back of her shoulders. “Nowhere to run, little pet,” murmured Monique, pausing momentarily. “Tonight I will destroy you.”
Leila took advantage of the fleeting opportunity and ducked beneath the blonde’s next swing, coming off the wall to send a ripping uppercut into Monique’s middle. Her enemy was expecting the move however, and she pulled her own punch short, opened her fist and slashed downward, clawing her fingers into Leila’s hair. Leila screamed aloud at the sudden painful jerk on her scalp.
Monique spun a half circle on the ball of her right foot, dragging Leila forward across her body and whipping her left arm around Leila’s neck to trap her in a headlock. “Now your lessons begin,” the blonde taunted as she lunged forward, pulling Leila along with her, rushing her with increasing speed toward the glass wall.
Knowing she had only seconds and knowing equally that she would never break the tight headlock in time, Leila did the only thing she could think of. She thrust her arm down between Monique’s thighs, hooking her hand behind the blonde’s knee, then threw herself upright with all her strength, jerking Monique’s leg up into the air. Monique let out a curse in French as she overbalanced. Before she could release her hold, she crashed over on her back with Leila landing partly on top of her. Leila’s elbow rammed into Monique’s upper belly as her fist had failed to do moments before, and she had a brief moment’s satisfaction as she heard the harsh and pain-filled outrush of her adversary’s breath.
She rolled away to her left, but Monique lashed out with one hand to snare her once more by her hair and prevent her from escaping. She yelped again and tears picked at her eyes. Squirming in Monique’s grip, she twisted her body to face her enemy, drawing her knees up against her chest. Monique reached out with her other hand to seize the front of her top, but Leila kicked out hard with both feet, catching the blonde under her ribs and sending her skidding backwards several feet across the floor. Her grasping hand stretched Leila’s halter outward, away from her chest for an instant before it tore free, but Leila heard a sharp ripping sound. The reinforced edge of her halter held but the fabric just beneath – both the top itself and the sports bra inside – was shredded, leaving a gaping hole between Leila’s breasts. Leila gaped at the damage. The bitch had sharpened her nails! That explained the sting in her scalp where Monique had clawed at her hair.
The rent in her clothing exposed an amount of cleavage that might have been alluring under other circumstances, but now was simply a hindrance. She wanted to adjust the top more securely over her breasts, lest they fall out entirely, but she dared not take her attention away from her dangerous opponent.
Monique rolled up onto her knees. “So the cub has claws,” she murmured as she rose to her feet. Leila did the same. “I knew I wasn’t wrong about you. When you’ve been tamed and trained, you’ll be a valuable addition to my stable.” She laughed again and continued in French, “It will be fun to set you against your former friends…to torture them.”
Leila felt a rush of anger. “Je t’encule!” she spat. “Fuck you!” She hurled herself at Monique with her claws out. The blonde was expecting her to attack – she was deliberately goading Leila – but Leila was also wise to the bitch’s tactics now. As Monique twisted away from her like a matador with a charging bull, Leila too ducked sideways. Her shoulder caught Monique in the midriff, higher than where her elbow had struck earlier. The blonde stumbled backwards and crashed into the glass wall hard enough to make the thick panel shudder.
Monique swung a vicious left hook at Leila’s head as Leila came at her again, but Leila ducked under the blonde’s arm and sent a right uppercut thudding into the underside of Monique’s left breast, bouncing it upward and eliciting a grunt of pain. The force of Monique’s missed punch spun her to the right. Leila popped up behind her enemy, grabbed her by the shoulder, whirled her the rest of the way around and slammed her into the glass panel. She fired two quick punches into Monique’s kidneys and was rewarded with a shriek of mingled pain and fury from her opponent.
Leila grabbed Monique by the hair, leaned in to keep her enemy’s body pressed firmly against the glass, and ran her to the left along the wall. Monique tried frantically to get her arms against the glass and push herself away. She was not as lucky as Leila had been and before she could extricate herself, Leila rammed her into the corner, her own body weight crushing the other woman against the wall.
She slammed into Monique so hard that she bounced off the blonde. As Monique slumped in the corner, Leila drew back to send another blow into the battered blonde. The separation however, gave Monique the space she needed to counterattack. With an animal cry she shoved herself off the wall with both arms, firing a savage high thrusting kick at Leila’s chest. Leila had just begun a second lunge and the combined momentum of her charge and Monique’s kick threw her backward to land flat on her back. The force of the impact knocked the wind out of her and flung her legs up in the air, almost sending her over backwards in a somersault. She stopped just short of the tipping point and lay there on her back, gasping for breath like a fish out of water.
With a snarl, Monique threw herself headlong at Leila with complete abandon, splashing down on top of her, chest to chest with a force that drove the rest of the air from Leila’s tortured lungs. Fortunately for her it stunned the blonde for a moment too and, running on fear and adrenalin, Leila thrust her hands into Monique’s hair and hauled her enemy’s head back sharply.
Monique screamed more in anger than pain and she too seized a handful of Leila’s hair, now damp with sweat. As Leila squealed and thrashed, bucking upward, she wrenched Monique to the side and the blonde toppled off her. Her grip on Leila’s hair dragged Leila with her however and they immediately went into a tumbling, screaming, spitting catball as fists flailed, nails slashed and raked, knees and feet pounded any ounce of enemy they could reach. Leila’s top was torn all the way down, and her breasts bounced loose, slapping back and forth against Monique’s flesh and the black rubber floor. The blonde’s own top was ripped down around her waist, and each woman’s bare breasts got much cruel attention from her opponent’s grasping, twisting, clawing hands. Their grunts of exertion and cries of pain echoed around the room. Leila could hear muted shouts of anger and encouragement from beyond the wall, but she had no time to listen. Everything she had was invested in the fight. Everything she had – or she was lost.
Leila managed to get her legs around the French woman’s waist, locked her ankles and clamped her knees tightly around Monique, eliciting a groan of pain from the blonde at the pressure on her already starved lungs. Leila knew how she felt. She ground her teeth as she squeezed even harder, lifting herself up off the floor. That earned her a head butt to the chin that made her see stars however, and her grip slackened. Monique broke free and rolled away.
Knowing she couldn’t give her enemy a chance to recover, Leila rolled to her knees and launched herself at Monique, aiming a shoulder at her enemy’s midsection, working her abs relentlessly. She can’t fight if she can’t breathe. Monique tried to duck under the charge and Leila’s shoulder missed its target, but still the two crashed together, chest to chest, breasts pancaked against one another. Leila gave a loud groan as she got Monique in a bear hug and heaved upward, lifting the other woman onto her toes and bulling her backwards into the padded yet still firm wall. Monique’s breath exploded in Leila’s ear. “UGGGHHH!!!”
Leila drew back, then slammed herself into her enemy once more. She was using Monique’s own tactic against her now, keeping the blonde in a frantic defensive posture, not allowing her time to think, to regroup. It also helped her to focus on the attack and to ignore how much her muscles ached, how her lungs burned, the endorphin buzz that had her slightly lightheaded. She grunted again as she drove her body against Monique, drove herself to her limit.
The French woman sensed it too. She flung her arms around Leila and pulled her tight. Leila could feel her enemy’s hard nipples scoring her skin. “You feel it…the pain high,” Monique said in a breathless whisper. “That’s what you seek…what you desire.” She twisted a hand in Leila’s hair and yanked her head back. Leila cried out, partly from the pain, partly in denial of the words she was hearing. I’m not like that! Part of her was not so sure. What if it was true?
“You can only push yourself so…far,” crooned Monique, interrupting her own words with a grunt as Leila’s fist hammered her side. “That’s why you belong with us. We can take you to those places you want…need…to go.”
“No!” Leila reared her head and upper body backwards, slamming both her hands into Monique’s shoulders, driving the blonde back against the wall, breaking Monique’s grip and shoving her violently away from her enemy. “NO!”
Again the distance gave Monique the opening she needed. Her fist speared outward and pounded Leila between her breasts, right over her heart. Pain erupted in her chest and she took a staggering step backwards, her eyes wide, mouth gaping as she involuntarily clutched at her bosom. Monique’s follow up kick caught her right above her navel, knocking her backwards another step. She tried to keep her balance but failed. Too caught up in her agony, she missed her footing, tangled her feet in one another and fell, twisting as she did so that she landed on her belly.
Monique struck like a snake and landed astride her waist from behind before Leila had a chance to push herself up. She hauled Leila’s head back by her hair, lifting her shoulders and chest up off the floor. “Now I’ll teach you the pleasure of pain,” she hissed. Releasing Leila’s hair, grabbing her arms and hauling them back, she slid her knees beneath Leila’s shoulders and pushed down with her butt, bending Leila’s back like a bow until she groaned in torment. “You will learn to like it,” the blonde told her, leaning back and pushing downward even harder. Leila screamed.
She felt Monique’s hands slide over her aching shoulders and clenched her teeth tight together, tensing herself for the expected camel clutch. She tried to center herself, to block out the pain, to fight her fear and find a way out of her predicament before the pain hold weakened her too much.
Monique leaned forward, giving Leila a merciful moment of respite, and her hands glided downward around Leila’s neck. She did not stop there however, reaching down further over the upper slopes of Leila’s breasts, curling her fingers beneath the dangling orbs. . Just as Leila realized Monique’s intent and cried out in horror, Monique grabbed tight, gouging her thumbs viciously into Leila’s swollen nipples, sharp nails digging into the folds beneath her breasts. Monique hauled upward with all her might, arching Leila’s body again into a painful stretch by her tortured breasts. Leila screamed until her head swam.
“Feel the pain,” murmured Monique, close in her ear. “Embrace the pain. This is your first lesson…the first of many. Learn to love the pain…” Her tongue flicked out to lap at Leila’s earlobe. “…and scream for me.” She hauled upward even harder on Leila’s breasts. Leila did – so hard that her voice cracked.
Through her agony, Leila tried to make her mind function. She had to fight back. She had to keep this demon Domme out of her head or she was done. With a fierce cry she flung her head forward, down between her shoulders, then suddenly whipped it backward again. Caught by surprise, Monique cried out as Leila’s skull smacked into her cheek. It was only a glancing blow but it was enough. Her grip faltered and her balance shifted for the briefest instant, but an instant was enough for Leila to draw a knee up, twist herself sideways and unseat her enemy.
Monique fell to the right and Leila rolled to the left, separating herself from the blonde. She came to her knees and flicked her head to toss the dripping mane of her hair off her face. The movement sent stabbing pains through her neck. Her chest heaved, her breasts throbbed from the attentions of Monique’s fingers, and her breath came in ragged, wheezing sobs. Her belly hurt and her legs felt like lead. She had to push with both hands on one knee to force herself to her feet.
The blonde stood facing her, a few feet away. She too was breathing heavily and her flesh shone with perspiration. Her breasts bore the marks of Leila’s claws, and her flanks and belly were red and blotched where Leila’s fists and feet had battered her. Nevertheless, as she wiped a hand across her face, she was smiling. It was clear to Leila who was getting the better of this fight.
It was clear to the onlookers too, whom Leila could see through the glass over Monique’s shoulder. Jane, sitting beside David, was watching with emotionless eyes but the tightness of her jaw betrayed her fear. On David’s other side, Morgan had her hand to her mouth. She was flushed almost crimson, all the way down to her chest. Lynda was biting her lip anxiously, holding her husband’s hand tight. The men were stony faced.
The crowd as a whole were less concerned however. There were those here who followed the Pain Cult, and relished the thought of a new toy. There were many more who simply did not care. They were here for the spectacle, or to fuel their own lusts. One man sat gazing slack-jawed at the fight while his wife or girlfriend could only be seen intermittently above the table, her head bobbing up and down as she ministered to him with her mouth.
Leila choked back tears. She was desperately afraid she was going to lose this battle. Her opponent was strong, determined and ruthless. She on the other hand, was almost dizzy with pain and exhaustion. She hated the thought that she would fail her friends. That was almost as bad as the prospect of what would befall her in the hands of the Pain Seekers – almost.
Choking back a cry – she was afraid Monique and everyone else would hear the despair in her voice – she flung herself at the blonde again, firing a flurry of fists at Monique’s face, breasts, ribs and belly. She had to hurt the bitch, damage her, finish her before her fast waning strength – and resolve – gave out.
Monique took the first punch on her forearm. The second got through and slammed her right breast inward against its twin. She let out a harsh grunt of pain, then another as Leila’s knee drove into the outside of her left thigh. She stumbled as the leg almost gave out, lurched forward and grabbed Leila in a tight clinch, their chests crushed against one another yet again, their breath hot on each other’s cheeks.
Leila felt a rush of exultation at the tell-tale sounds of pain and fatigue coming from Monique. Despite appearances, she was punishing the blonde. With a roar of power she bent her legs, tightened her arms around Monique’s waist and surged upward, hurling her enemy back against the glass, squeezing Monique even tighter, her breath hissing harshly in the blonde’s pain-pinched face. “Let’s see…who…loves…pain…the most…kahhba!” She saw the narrowing of Monique’s eyes at her use of the Algerian word bitch – she knew that Monique had been born in Algiers of French parents. Was that even a flash of fear she saw in the French woman’s eyes? She pulled Monique off the wall, then rammed her back again with a force that shook the glass. What remained of Monique’s breath came out with a rush and her eyes glazed over momentarily.
Pulling back again, Leila disengaged her arms from around Monique and drew her fist back to send a ripping uppercut in under her enemy’s ribs. That, she knew, would drop the blonde like a stone and then a final stomp to her belly would finish her. “You’re going down, bitch!” she snarled. “Right now in front of all – “
Monique didn’t let her finish the sentence. She pre-empted Leila’s blow by thrusting out her arms, slamming her open hands into Leila’s chest. She stepped in, batting Leila’s arm aside. Grabbing Leila firmly by both her breasts, she folded her wrists backward and rolled Leila’s boobs painfully over her hands. Leila howled in agony, instinctively going up on her toes, but before she could even raise her arms to grab at Monique’s wrists, the blonde spun rapidly to her left, dragging Leila with her by her breasts before flinging her up against the wall. “My turn now!”
Gasping with pain – she felt as though the bitch had been trying to tear her breasts from her chest – Leila slammed her arms backward to break the impact, then shoved herself off the glass again. If she let Monique trap her against the wall, she was in real danger – not that she wasn’t already in trouble. It hurt to move. It hurt to breathe. It hurt to think. She had to finish this – now.
She took a step forward, raising her fists again, and walked straight into a slap that caught her just below her left eye and snapped her head sideways with a force that made her vision go dark for an instant. She staggered, putting a foot out to steady herself but before she could turn her head back to face her enemy again, the blonde followed up with the other hand. Leila’s head whipped back the other way, her lank hair flying, spraying sweat in an arc across the glass behind her and spattering her enemy too.
As Leila reeled backward, Monique stepped in closer, still swinging. “You…will…kneel…to ME!!!” she roared, her voice as sharp as the crack of a whip as she punctuated each word with a savage slap. Insolent…BITCH!” The blows were so fierce they had Leila stumbling back and forth, half dazed. “MY…BITCH!!!” She ended with a kick that easily defeated Leila’s quickly collapsing defense and sank deep into the pit of her stomach. Leila felt as though her innards were being smashed out through her spine. She went rigid and her entire body shuddered before she doubled over, trying desperately to stay on her feet, fighting the bile that rose in her throat.
Monique yanked Leila forward and sent one, two, then three knee lifts hammering into her belly just below her ribs. The brutal blows left Leila folded up, clutching her belly, retching and gasping for breath. An elbow drop to the back of her head brought a cheer from Monique’s supporters beyond the glass, and sent Leila plummeting face first to the floor.
Leila lay there for what seemed like an eternity before she managed to gather the strength to push herself up off the mat, clenching her teeth against the pain that seemed to come from everywhere. Her hair hung in a sweat soaked tangle, draping her face, brushing the floor, shrouding her in darkness. She had no idea where Monique was – where the next blow would come from. Her arms trembled. She had to fight on – but it hurt so much. She could not hold back the rasping sob that came unbidden from her dry throat.
A hand seized the hair that dangled in front of her face and jerked her up to her knees. She moaned at the new pain in her scalp and her back, too spent to scream. Through tear-filled eyes she saw Monique staring – sneering – down at her. “Time for you lick my toes, pet,” she purred. “But you must do that over there,” she inclined her head toward the glass wall through which the audience watched, “where your friends can watch.”
She half led, half dragged Leila the two or three yards to the edge of the room. Leila did not need to look through the glass to imagine the looks on the faces of her friends and lovers. She was only thankful that her family was not here to witness her devastation. She kept her eyes on the floor in front of her, trying to find some shred of resistance that remained deep inside her. There was none. Even breathing required all the effort she could muster, and sent stabbing pains through her chest. She was finished.
Monique shook Leila by the hair. Leila whimpered. “Let them look at you,” sneered the blonde, “and say goodbye to the girl they knew. When they next see you, you’ll be my creature.” She laughed. “We’ll break you so completely, you won’t even remember your own name.”
Leila felt the icy hand of panic squeeze tight around her heart. Monique had promised at the start of this fight to destroy her, and now Leila knew exactly what she meant. They would break her spirit, tear apart her sense of self. She would live only as a wretched creature, broken down and remade according to Monique’s cruel whim. She would be nothing more than a plaything – a plaything for Monique and her minions, and she was only too aware of the kinds of games they liked to play.
Monique stepped around Leila’s shoulder to stand beside her. “Look at my new pet,” the French woman spoke loudly to the onlookers, so that the microphones in the room would pick up her words clearly. “She is hurt, non?” Her voice grew suddenly colder. “She does not know what pain is…not yet. But she will learn.”
The tide of panic sent adrenalin coursing through Leila. She let out a scream that was equal parts anger and anguish as she lunged upward. Her left hand shot up past Monique’s buttocks to seize the dangling ends of her hair. Leila rolled her wrist, twisting the tresses around her hand in a single swift motion, acting on instinct, too fast for conscious thought. She yanked hard. Monique gave a squeal of surprise as the unexpected attack arched her back and pulled her off balance. She shifted her feet, planting them wider apart to steady herself, but that only made an easier target as Leila’s other hand, balled into a fist, slammed up between her tights, hammered her crotch and lifted her up onto her toes.
The blonde’s squeal turned into a screech, suddenly cut off as her back arched in agony. Leila had put all her waning strength into the blow, coming halfway up to her feet, and now she snared her other hand too in Monique’s hair as she dropped back down, hurling Monique over onto her back. The back of the blonde’s skull slammed into the rubber padded floor with an ominous thud.
Leila knelt there, panting and hurting, unable to believe her own eyes. She had been so close to defeat – to destruction – but she had somehow found the strength she needed to prevail. She wiped a sweat-slicked arm across her face in a vain effort to wipe away the tears. She only succeeded in mingling them with the sweat that shone there too.
At last she dared to lift her head and stare through the glass at the audience. Jane and David were on their feet, as was Lynda, all of them cheering in amazement. Jane had tears in her eyes but her beaming smile revealed her joy. On the other side of the room, Angelina sat clutching the edge of the table with white knuckles, her heart-shaped face twisted in furious hatred. A few yards away, the woman who had earlier been sucking her husband’s cock was now bent over the table with her skirt up around her waist and he was humping her hard from behind. Both of them had their eyes fixed on Leila.
Then Monique moved. With a soft moan, she rolled over onto her belly and pushed herself up onto her elbows. Her movements were slow and uncoordinated, but still she moved.
Leila let out an involuntary cry of fear and scrambled backwards on her knees, her eyes wide with horror. What did it take to defeat this demon? She forced herself ponderously, painfully to her feet, backing away another step as Monique drew her knees under her. The French woman’s half focused eyes glowed with rage. “You…will pay…for that,” she hissed in a pain-filled voice. “Your pain…will be delicious.”
The venom in those few words made Leila recoil in terror. Tears burst forth from her eyes as, crying out with the pain it cost her exhausted, ravaged body, she whirled on one foot and lashed out with the other. Monique did not even begin to dodge and Leila’s spinning side kick caught her solidly in her left temple. The impact sent her sprawling, rolling over twice before she came to rest on her belly, her arms akimbo, her hair spread in a white halo around her head. This time she did not move.
Leila stood over her defeated enemy, numb, for a long moment, her chest heaving as she gulped air into her burning lungs. She managed a single step toward the door before her legs gave out and she fell to her knees, leaning forward, holding herself up with her outstretched arms, staring blankly as her sweat and tears dripped steadily onto the floor before her eyes.
She had no idea how long she knelt there. She did not hear the door open, and when hands suddenly took her by her shoulders and lifted her to her feet, she shrieked with renewed panic and flailed wildly at her new attackers. Strong arms held her tight however and she heard Jane’s voice close in her ear. “It’s okay honey. It’s me. It’s me. You’re okay.” Only then did she stop fighting and collapse into Jane’s arms, sobbing uncontrollably.
They drove her to the Masters’ house with the Sevrins, Morgan and Gary following in their own cars. Jane called Leila’s mother on the way to assure her that Leila was safe. “She was magnificent, Nadia…she made us all proud.”
Gary had to carry Leila from the car and upstairs to the king-size four poster bed in the guest room nearest to David and Jane’s bedroom. Leila was asleep before her head touched the pillow.
The sun was high in the sky when she awoke to feel the warm press of soft flesh against her own. “Afternoon, darling,” whispered Jane, and kissed her. Jane’s were not the only hands that caressed her however. The others too surrounded her, and Leila welcomed their kisses, their touches, the tongues of the women and the cocks of the men.
Sean had the greatest length and she straddled him, taking him all the way into her pussy until his cock pressed firmly into the roof of her. Gary had the girth and she took him in her ass as a kind of conceit, just to show them that she could. David had both and she deep-throated him until she swooned from lack of air. With Lynda and Morgan gently and lovingly laving her nipples, Jane stroking her hair and kissing her neck, it was not long before she was in a euphoric heaven that transcended any pain high she could have imagined.
She tried to resist the rise of passion, to prolong the pleasure but in this her will was as weak as her still stiff and exhausted muscles. When the first tremor shook her, her entire body seemed to go into spasm and as if on cue, the three men exploded inside her as one. Leila screamed her joy around David’s cock still deep in her throat, and surrendered herself to her climax. It was only the first of many over the ensuing hours.
“I’m so proud of you, darling,” whispered Jane as they lay entwined on the damp silk sheets, bathed in the last rays of the afternoon sun. “This is only the beginning for you. We have so much to share…so much to teach you.”
Leila smiled and kissed her.