Return To Balcombe Manor
R.T.Mason’s sequel to ‘Behind High Walls’, Janus 44 & 45.
The voice on the phone was instantly recognisable. Mrs Blackett. Annabel Filton felt an alarmed prickling of her skin. Mrs Blackett… of Balcombe Manor.
‘This is Sylvia Blackett, Annabel. Could I speak to your husband, please?’
Yes, the deep, smoothly modulated tones were unmistakable. How could Annabel ever forget. Stand please, Annabel. Remove your skirt and then lower your knickers. Gillman will give you… Looking back it all seemed like a dream: that timeless life behind the high enclosing walls, at times a dreamlike tranquillity but at short intervals the tranquillity abruptly broken by the attentions of Mr Gillman or any one of those visiting gentlemen – or by Mrs Blackett herself. All wielding the cane. All for the purpose of inculcating submissiveness and femininity.
It was all six months ago now. Six months since Annabel had finished the course and been returned to home and husband. But it all remained crystal-bright in her mind. Annabel had learned to be submissive, the course was valuable, she knew that; Annabel didn’t want to be one of those dreadful modern young women which you very easily became if traditional feminine values had not been taught to you. At the same time part of Annabel couldn’t help remaining simply scared of the thought of Mrs Blackett. The phone call caused her heart to thump. Why did Mrs Blackett want to speak to Roger?
‘Don’t worry that pretty head about it,’ he smiled when somewhat later Annabel took him his pre-dinner drink. Before presenting the glass Annabel gave a little curtsey, something she had got in the habit of doing since returning from Balcombe Manor. She wouldn’t do it if there were guests present, it was simply a little personal thing between them, a private acknowledgement of her submissiveness to her husband’s authority. Needless to say the curtsey came from Mrs Blackett’s training.
‘She merely wants to have a chat so I’ve agreed to see her tomorrow, in town. But nothing at all for you to worry about, Anna darling.’
Roger Filton stroked his wife’s thick, lustrous chestnut hair. She had sat down on the floor at his feet, her beautiful head on his knee. Annabel was all a man could possibly wish for, beautiful and with a stunning long-limbed body, intelligent and educated – at least as far as a young woman needed to be educated. And ever since her eight weeks at Balcombe Manor she had been quite marvellously submissive, anticipating her husband’s every wish, eager to respond to his merest whim.
Since her return Roger had been caning her. Not caning in anger, more a reinforcement of their new and deeper relationship based on Annabel’s fully submissive role. Annabel, at 22, was considerably younger than Roger and so the caning was almost like a parental action, reminding her of that role she had learnt so well at Balcombe Manor. In her stay there Annabel had become fully conditioned to the cane, receiving it regularly and frequently, and Roger’s caning her was simply a continuation of this. Mrs Blackett had stressed that he should continue it – three times a week at least, she had counselled. That was what Roger Filton did, with Annabel accepting it without protest.
Roger continued to stroke the silky head, his thoughts now on her equally silky full-cheeked bottom. He hadn’t caned her yesterday and so therefore…
‘After dinner, Anna,’ he murmured softly. ‘I think we should…’
Annabel knew immediately what Roger meant. She squeezed his knee. Her feelings towards the cane were still slightly ambivalent although she knew they shouldn’t be. She should accept it wholeheartedly – but there was still a little part of her which didn’t, which hated that sharply stinging pain. Of course having her husband do it was infinitely preferable to having to submit to Mr Gillman or one of those other gentlemen – or to Mrs Blackett. The thought of that sent a little shiver through her. Why had Mrs Blackett called?
After dinner, while Mrs Cooper the housekeeper began clearing away, Annabel and Roger went upstairs. Annabel was wearing a tight-skirted green gown and underneath this a waist corset which gripped her waist but left the ripe cheeks of her bottom unconstrained. Under the taut green silk the firm globes oscillated tremulously as Annabel ascended the stairs. Roger, behind her, observed the show with pleasure – but at the same time he was also thinking about Mrs Blackett.
In the bedroom the gown was unzipped and stepped out of; then Annabel’s beige-coloured silk slip was similarly removed. Her stunning body, slim-waisted but generously endowed above and below, seductively displayed in matching beige bra and French knickers. Smiling at her husband Annabel slipped off the knickers to reveal the ripe spheres of her hindquarters framed by the waist corset, its suspender straps, and down below by the silk stocking tops.
Smiling too, but with his excitement rising, Roger Filton drew Annabel to him. One hand gently fondled the ripe globes.
‘Yes, it’s been two days since we’ve attended to it. What would Mrs Blackett say?’
It was not a remark calculated to relax Annabel and he felt her body tense. Roger had a pretty good idea how his young wife felt about the proprietress of Balcombe Manor: she would say the things she had been taught to say about Mrs Blackett being a wonderful woman but at the same time he knew Annabel was scared of her. Not that that was such a bad thing, it didn’t hurt a young woman to have her little fears.
Roger continued to toy with Annabel’s bottom. He knew what her real fear was: that she might be sent to Balcombe Manor for a follow-up course. Young wives were sent back, if at times it was felt they needed a little refresher. Roger patted the ripe cheeks. He hadn’t told Annabel but Sylvia Blackett had also phoned him at the office a week ago, wanting to know how Annabel was getting on. Very well, Roger had told her; but he had also mentioned in conversation that he was shortly going to have to spend two weeks in the U.S. on business.
Yes, although he had denied it to Annabel Roger Filton could make a reasonable guess as to what Sylvia Blackett might suggest tomorrow.
Roger gave his wife’s rear a proprietorial slap, then turned her towards the bed. Obediently she got down, lying herself across the bed with her bottom over the edge and her silk-stockinged legs stretched out straight. Face in the cool bedcover, Annabel waited meekly for the sting of the cane. Always when Roger caned her she had vivid memories of Balcombe Manor. Being caned by the dreadful Gillman or by Mrs Blackett or one of the others. Tonight, as the first stroke splatted into Annabel’s quivering globes, the memories were that much stronger, more immediate. Almost as if she were back there.
Afterwards, after Annabel had received her customary six, Annabel and Roger made love, as they usually did after a caning. For both it was an exceptionally passionate and intense coming together. The thoughts which drove them up to that peak of pleasure were largely similar, the only difference being that Annabel’s arousal was based primarily on a sense of sharp apprehension.
* * *
‘A short refresher is always an excellent idea, and after six months it can be especially effective.’
Sylvia Blackett, over coffee in a smart little restaurant in Chelsea, did her best to keep the eagerness out of her voice. She had no wish to appear over-enthusiastic but she did very much want Annabel bad if only for a short visit.
‘And if as you say, Mr Filton, you have to go off on business for two weeks it would seem to be highly convenient. You weren’t planning to take Annabel with you?’
‘No, I’m afraid it’s not possible; no, she will be staying here.’
‘In that case I would think it an excellent arrangement all round.’ Sylvia Blackett smiled brightly. ‘She would otherwise I suppose be at a bit of a loose end and… well, loose ends are never a good thing, are they?’
Sylvia Blackett expanded on the subject of loose ends. They were always a bad idea when time could be put to good use. They were especially bad for a young and very attractive woman. Who knew what she could get up to in her idle days and husbandless nights? (Mrs Blackett did not explicitly refer to the husbandless nights but the implication was clear.) Yes, a young woman, even though she had been trained at Balcombe Manor, was still a weak creature. One such as Annabel Filton was a highly desirable weak creature.
Roger Filton did not need a lot of persuading along these lines. Annabel was highly desirable, with a highly desirable body. She was also now marvellously submissive – but while he, her husband, was not there for Annabel to be submissive to… could she not possibly be persuaded to submit to someone else?
‘Two weeks’ refresher at this point would ideal,’ repeated Mrs Blackett.
Sylvia Blackett had her own reasons for getting Annabel back for another two weeks. The fee of course was a factor – and Roger Filton being a rich man would have no qualms there; and also she was going to have a vacancy. But over and above all this was the fact that Sylvia Blackett had received a number of inquiries from her gentlemen visitors, those gentlemen who came down to Balcombe Manor to assist with the training of the pupils.
These gentlemen paid very well indeed for this privilege. Annabel Filton, it seemed, had marvellously impressed more than one. Naturally Mrs Blackett did not mention any of this to her host.
‘I’m not sure Annabel would exactly welcome another session.’ Roger Filton was studying his coffee cup thoughtfully. ‘I rather think Annabel finds that while it was a very rewarding experience she is very pleased to have it behind her, if you see what I mean.’
Sylvia Blackett gave one of her attractive throaty laughs. ‘I have found, Mr Filton, that what young women of Annabel’s age think is rarely a guide to what is best. Either for themselves or anyone else.’
Roger looked up and smiled. He was not about to argue. Having Annabel under Mrs Blackett’s sharp eye would not be at all a bad thing. Of course Annabel would be on the receiving end of the cane again, of that he had no doubt – from Mrs Blackett and whoever else she had assisting her in such matters. But Roger Filton did not find that at all unacceptable. He in fact rather liked the thought of Annabel getting it from Mrs Blackett – and he could recall feeling considerable excitement on watching her take the cane from that somewhat anonymous manservant.
Roger drank the remainder of his coffee. Yes, he was quite happy with the proposal. ‘Another stiff fee, I suppose,’ he grimaced jocularly. ‘But I mustn’t complain. I know she’ll be in safe hands and won’t be gadding about.’
‘She certainly won’t be doing that,’ agreed Sylvia Blackett.
Roger inquired if his guest would like Annabel for the full two weeks. Eyes bright, that lady said she would. And so it was decided. They rose to leave.
‘All I have to do now,’ said Roger Filton wryly, ‘is inform my dear wife. I fear she will not be best pleased.’
Sylvia Blackett produced her little laugh again. ‘Oh, I’m sure, my dear Mr Filton, you will have no trouble with that. And in any case we are talking of something which is of immense benefit to a young woman. I say that without need of false modesty. Although naturally it is not intended to be a holiday exactly.’
Back at Balcombe Manor, following this so successful meeting with Roger Filton, Sylvia Blackett had urgent phone calls to make. To several gentlemen who would be quite on tenterhooks. She had told a number of them that while she could not promise anything she would do her best. ‘Yes, I know how you feel, and I will let you know as soon as I can.’ Now, marvellously, Sylvia was going to be able to say yes, because Mr Filton was such a sensible gentleman.
It was so nice when, as it were, you could kill two birds with one stone and in the process make everyone happy. Everyone that was except perhaps one person. And as for that one person, a little unhappiness would no doubt be very good for her. Very salutary.
Sylvia looked in her phone book. Edward Craske, she thought, she would call him first. Edward certainly had been one of the most pressing regarding Annabel and also he was a gentleman well able to pay for his pleasures. Edward, she recalled, had been the first with Annabel, apart from herself and Gillman. He had been so enchanted that he had firmly demanded a second and then a third session. She had agreed to these and he would have had more if Sylvia Blackett had been agreeable but one could not allow people to go overboard. Restraint was always necessary. Now however Edward Craske could enjoy Annabel again – but naturally it would cost him.
Mr Craske was shortly overjoyed to hear of his great good fortune, and did not bat an eyelid when Sylvia Blackett mentioned a very considerable sum. All he wanted to know was ‘When?’ Mrs Blackett said that Annabel would be arriving on Sunday and so… after a pause for effect she told Mr Craske that as he was a very special friend he might visit on Monday afternoon.
After this there was Mr Boulton, another very keen gentleman. And Gerald Stockton. Also one or two more. Annabel Filton was going to have an extremely busy two weeks. For there was also of course James Gillman.
‘A little surprise for you, James,’ Sylvia Blackett smiled when Gillman brought in her pre-dinner sherry. ‘And I would imagine a pleasant one. A young lady who I believe was rather a favourite of yours is to return, for a short refresher period.’
James Gillman naturally could not betray any emotion, that was not the way for a properly trained English manservant. ‘Yes, Madam?’ he queried politely.
‘Mrs Filton, James. Am I correct in thinking you find her quite attractive?’
There was a flicker of the eyelids: even James Gillman’s solid self-control could not prevent that. He had indeed spent some memorable moments dealing with that young lady’s exquisite bottom. The eye flicker was all, though; he kept his voice cool and neutral.
‘Yes, Madam. Mrs Filton is a most attractive young lady as you say.’
Sylvia Blackett gave a mocking laugh. ‘On Sunday, James. I expect you to have everything ready.’
* * *
ROGER Filton kept the news until after dinner, considering that it was not worth spoiling Annabel’s meal – and indeed it could well spoil his own appetite if she was very upset. He had no doubt Annabel would be extremely upset.
Annabel had naturally been desperate to ask about her husband’s meeting with Mrs Blackett ever since he got home but she knew Roger would tell her when he was ready. She tried to put it out of her mind during dinner and when she was unable to do this Annabel told herself that it couldn’t have been anything important, not anything affecting her. Because what could there be?
After the meal they retired to the drawing room, Roger to his favourite armchair and Annabel going to curl up on the floor at his side, her head on his knee, in what Mrs Blackett called the ‘submissive slave position’. Roger began stroking his wife’s lustrous head. He could feel his pulse rate picking up, knowing the effect his words were bound to have. But there was no way of softening the shock.
‘I had a pleasant half hour with Mrs Blackett,’ he began. ‘She looked very well and of course she asked after you.’
Annabel waited, her body taut as a bow string.
‘And… we spoke about my visit to the States.’
All at once Annabel knew. Either it was Roger’s voice or maybe simply pure intuition. But she knew.
‘No,’ she whispered.
Roger slid his fingers over the glossy head. ‘A refresher course after something like six months can be extremely rewarding. Mrs Blackett was quite emphatic about that.’
‘NO!’ The word forced itself out from somewhere deep inside Annabel. ‘No.. No.. NO!’
Now it was said Roger felt a wave of relief. There was naturally no way he could change his decision.
‘Mrs Blackett has kindly offered a place at this extremely short notice, so we should be very grateful, Anna darling. And you know how valuable your other stay proved to be.’
The glossy head and the stunning body began a rhythmic movement. Annabel was silently sobbing. It was nothing less than her worst nightmare come true. Yes, she had been prepared to believe it was valuable, that the two months at Balcombe Manor had taught her to be a traditional, submissive young woman and that was good. Annabel believed that. But to have to go back, to go through it all again…
Through her sobs Annabel heard Roger say that she would be going for the whole of the two-week period; so she would be starting on Sunday. That was only two days away. She began mindlessly shaking her head. No, it couldn’t be true. It couldn’t.
* * *
Annabel struggled against the feeling that she was going to faint. Her head was spinning, her heart racing, her knees felt like jelly. Somehow she got a grip on herself and managed some sort of answer to Mrs Blackett.
Somehow also Annabel found herself producing a shaky curtsey to the older woman as part of her mind, through all that spinning, remembered what was required.
It was all exactly as before, standing here in Mrs Blackett’s reception room in front of that highly polished rosewood desk, with Mrs Blackett’s deep, dark, almost hypnotic eyes smiling up at her. Annabel had a frantic urge to run – except that she sensed her legs were incapable of carrying her. And in any case she could never dare to disobey Mrs Blackett and clearly, turning and bolting for the door would come in that category. It would be complete loss of self-control and Annabel knew for that her knickers would be off and she would be offering up her bottom for the cane in no time flat.
Yes, it was all the same – except that the year had moved round a little. When Annabel had left it had been September, with roses still blooming but the leaves beginning to turn. Now it was early spring. March, and all along the drive, as Annabel arrived in the back seat of that same glossy black limousine, there were clumps of early daffodils. Outside the seasons had moved on but in here, in Mrs Blackett’s reception room, all was as before. The new pupil, or more correctly the returned old one, was even wearing the same outfit as before, as could be seen once Bridget, the maid, had silently taken Annabel’s fur coat.
Sylvia Blackett had specified it – told Roger that she would like Annabel to wear the same as before. And so young Mrs Filton was wearing it: she had no choice in the matter. Her restrained, smartly-tailored navy blue suit with matching high-heeled pumps. And underneath Annabel was tight-laced: the cream-coloured Edwardian control corset which Mrs Blackett had chosen in Annabel’s first week at Balcombe Manor. Annabel did not need to be told about that – for not to be tight-laced at Balcombe Manor would surely be asking for the cane. At home she had been wearing a tight-laced corset part of the time, mostly when she changed in the afternoon prior to Roger coming home. But inside the secluding walls of Balcombe Manor knew there would be tight-laced constraint on her full, ripe flesh from morning until bedtime.
Sylvia Blackett rose and led her pupil over to the two wing chairs by the window. Annabel was told she could sit – so that at least there was not now the fear that her legs were going to collapse under her. Mrs Blackett sat in the other chair.
‘How lovely to have you here again, Annabel. I am quite sure you will have another rewarding stay. This time of course you will know our routines so we will be able to go straight to work. I’ll take your wristwatch, my dear; as you know you will not need that. And your handbag as well. Personal items can merely distract a young woman.’ Sylvia Blackett smiled. ‘All she needs is her Record Book.’
As Annabel removed her wrist-watch and obediently handed over it with her handbag Mrs Blackett had produced a familiar item: a maroon leather-covered notebook inscribed in gold. Annabel suppressed a shudder as she took it.
‘Yes, my dear, our so reliable Gillman had it carefully filed away. All your demerits from your first stay still recorded. All your canings. And still plenty of room for the coming two weeks. Tell me, Annabel, are you dressed correctly? I refer of course to being tight-laced.’
Annabel mumbled a ‘Yes, Mrs Blackett.’
‘Excellent; so we can have no quarrel over that, can we? But I think wearing your watch was lax of you, knowing that it would not be allowed. Write four demerits in your book for that, Annabel. Then stand up and remove your suit.’
Annabel tried to moisten a bone-dry mouth. It was to be the same as before: she was going to be caned right away, Mrs Blackett simply using whatever excuse she could. Sylvia Blackett rose to her feet, to go over to press the buzzer on her desk. Annabel was still sitting.
‘Stand up, Annabel. And remove your suit. You seem to be in a dream. Have you forgotten that at Balcombe Manor we respond immediately?’
Annabel’s green-brown eves registered instant submission. Who could pit their will against Sylvia Blackett? Certainly not 22-year-old Annabel Filton. She got quickly to her feet, and simply started unbuttoning, unzipping. She was vaguely aware of the door opening and a man entering. Her eyes didn’t properly focus but Annabel knew it would be the black-suited figure of Mr Gillman. Mrs Blackett speaking. Again, her words failed to properly register but they did not need to: Mrs Blackett was telling Gillman to get the cane.
Under the blue suit were a white blouse and cream-coloured French knickers (Mrs Blackett did not approve of tight knickers). Annabel glanced at Mrs Blackett but without really needing to: she knew these other two garments had to come off. Annabel placed them with her suit on the chair. Now just the tight-laced basque, its broad silk suspender straps tautly fastening Annabel’s nylons.
Mr Gillman was back now. Yes, with the cane. Annabel stood straight, fighting the urge to cover herself. For the brief corset revealed a lot more than it concealed. It contained only the undersides of her large, firm breasts, pushing them up and leaving the big nipples bare; and down below it stopped short on the upper slopes of her hips. Annabel’s thighs, her loins, the rounded abdomen with its thick chestnut bush, all were quite bare. Mr Gillman was looking, of course, a neutral but frank gaze. But then Mr Gillman had seen it all before. Seen and handled. And also caned, many times – those ripe globes that were equally bare behind.
‘Get over the arm of the chair, Annabel. Let’s see if you can remember your control under the cane. Although as I recall you never did display anything approaching perfect control. But Gillman I am sure is most anxious to see; as I am myself.’
Annabel got down over the arm, her face down in the brocaded seat. She had been back at Balcombe Manor for what could be no more than a few minutes – a quarter of an hour at the most – and here she was stripped down, her bare bottom thrust up over the arm of Mrs Blackett’s chair, about to get Gillman’s cane. In fact it was no more or less than what Annabel had expected.
She heard Mrs Blackett’s voice: ‘Give her a good half-dozen, James.’
Annabel tried to settle herself. A caning from James Gillman was nothing like one from Roger. Gillman would make sure she felt each stroke to the very centre of her being; every nerve, Annabel knew, would be crying out, screaming.
Above her the stern-faced manservant took up position. His face as usual betrayed no emotion but inside it was different – for undoubtedly there was something very special about Mrs Annabel Filton. An extra aura of vulnerability perhaps. The young wives who came to Balcombe Manor were of all types and although they were taught to accept the cane, to accept that it was good for them, very few of them could be said to enjoy it. Most of them, though, did learn to accept it and probably became to a certain extent inured to its pain.
But that hadn’t been the case with Annabel Filton. There had always been the feeling, right up to her last day, that she was truly suffering. Some women of course were more sensitive than others, indeed female bottoms varied enormously in sensitivity, as Mrs Blackett well knew. But that did add an extra spice: that and her undoubted beauty. The soft greeny-brown-eyed beauty of her face and the ripe beauty of her full-fleshed figure. In particular those trembling pale globes of her bottom. Which were now once more waiting, quiveringly, for James Gillman’s cane.
‘Nice and sharp,’ Mrs Blackett instructed.
Yes, James Gillman could do that. Under his mistress’ keen gaze he sliced the cane in, using a full, vigorous sweep of his arm plus an extra wristy bite just before impact. CRACKK!.. A sound like a pistol shot. A sound not uncommonly heard within the walls of Balcombe Manor. Annabel’s bottom went into immediate shocked reaction – jerking, clenching, writhing. With great difficulty she managed to prevent her hands shooting back to grasp the horrendously stricken flesh. For Annabel could retain just enough clarity of mind to know that if she did Mrs Blackett would simply add on more strokes.
Sylvia Blackett frowned at the sight of the desperately churning bottom. It was not at all a good display of self-control – but on the other hand it was equally not unpleasant to watch young Annabel Filton quite clearly in extreme pain.
‘A pathetic display, Annabel. Who would think I had had you here for eight weeks. I can see we are going to have a very busy time with you. Continue, Gillman.’
James Gillman needed no encouragement. His second stroke was delivered with the same energetic arm action as before and was quite as devastating. Face-down in the chair seat, Annabel gasped air into her lungs. The pain was of a wholly different order of magnitude from anything Roger had given her – indeed it seemed much worse than what she could remember from before with Gillman. Every nerve in her body was buzzing, jangling; as for her poor bottom, it felt like it was literally on fire, as if instead of a cane Gillman had applied a red hot poker.
Annabel’s hands clutched frantically at the seat. The pain was blazingly bad, worse now than with just the first one, but this time Annabel did struggle to control her bottom. Otherwise, she knew, Mrs Blackett would order more strokes. You must learn to welcome the cane, Annabel. Those words drilled into her in that earlier eight-week stay rolled around in Annabel’s head. But how could you? Her bottom wasn’t still, there was no way she could keep it still. But perhaps it wasn’t now quite as wild in its writhings.
The caning continued, James Gillman’s black-clothed arm rising and vigorously falling. On to the soft, full-fleshed globes, pale flesh now marked with bright red stripes. At last, when the number of stripes had reached nine, Sylvia Blackett told him to stop. A weeping, trembling Annabel was helped by the manservant to her feet. Sylvia Blackett observed her thoughtfully. There was not much doubt that Annabel Filton had suffered, and was suffering still. Gillman had given her a good welcoming back.
‘That was not impressive, Annabel. Clearly your husband has been somewhat lax with you, you certainly were not that uncontrolled when you left here. You seem to have completely forgotten our golden rule. What is it? Let me hear you say it?’
The words which had been drilled into Annabel came stuttering out.
‘I.. I.. w.. w..welcome.. the cane.. Mrs Blackett.’
‘But are you welcoming it, Annabel? I think not. Clearly we have all that work to do again.’
Annabel was standing abjectly before the two of them, still in only the brief basque and her nylon stockings and blue court shoes. Her face was a river of tears and all her intimate parts were on display for Gillman’s eyes, for Mrs Blackett’s. But at Balcombe Manor you quickly became used to that and in any case it was at that moment of very little consequence compared to what Annabel was feeling in her bottom. Those poor, burning red-raw cheeks were all that mattered.
Mrs Blackett was continuing. ‘For the present Gillman will take you to your room, which is the same one as before. I’m sure you’ll like that. Leave your clothes here, there will be something more suitable in your room.’ She smiled. ‘If you like, Annabel, you can slip your coat back on.’
Yes it was the same pleasant little room where for all those weeks Annabel had slept and had her private study periods. Where one of the maids or Gillman had helped her dress, lacing her corset to breath-gasping tightness; where also and unforgettably Gillman had repeatedly caned Annabel, over the bed, over the chair. Now once more she stood before Mrs Blackett’s manservant in the privacy of this little room. Annabel’s wet eyes met his and she looked away. James Gillman knew, they both knew, that under the black fur coat was only Annabel’s brief basque.
Gillman gave a little cough. ‘Will you please remove the coat, Mrs Filton. I think I should check the effects of the caning.’
The green-brown eyes flickered quickly round the room, as if looking for sanctuary; but at Balcombe Manor there was none. The obsequious but insistent voice again.
‘It is my duty, Mrs Filton, as you know.’
Annabel didn’t know what Gillman’s duty was but she did know she couldn’t disobey him. She opened the coat and took it off. Just the all-revealing basque now, in this cosy little room with the manservant. He sat on a chair and indicated that Annabel was to get over his lap.
* * *
NO, nothing had changed at Balcombe Manor: nothing that counted at least. There were three other young women in residence; they had different names, they were not the Rosalind and Felicity and Susan of before but in a way they seemed almost the same because they had all been here for over a month and had become fully submissive, institutionalised, totally subject to Mrs Blackett’s will.
There was not now the hot high summer sun of before but it was a mild early spring and the garden was bright with early flowers. Outside the young women wore their fur coats but underneath there were the same light and elegant dresses that Annabel and the others had worn in the summer. And under the elegant dresses the same tight-lacing. Sitting in the summer house in the early afternoon of her first full day, it was all the same. Knowing that shortly there would be a call for her. Annabel had been told by Mrs Blackett at breakfast.
‘Mr Craske, Annabel. You recall Mr Craske? Such a pleasant gentleman and he has been very keen to meet you again.’
Yes, Annabel recalled Mr Craske. She had seen him three times: a smooth-voiced, silver-haired gentleman who each time, like all the other visiting gentlemen Annabel had taken tea or coffee with, had vigorously caned her bare bottom. Mr Craske, though, unlike the others, had spanked Annabel’s bottom as well. The other three young women had begun discussing Mr Craske when Bridget entered the summer house.
‘Your visitor has arrived, Mrs Filton.’
Yes, nothing had changed. When Annabel removed the black fur coat for Mr Craske there was underneath that same rose-pink gown she had worn when first taking tea with him. Edward Craske’s face showed excitement, keen pleasure, as he kissed Annabel’s hand and then her cheek. He stood back to admire her.
‘That same lovely dress, Mrs Filton! And you yourself look more beautiful than ever. Quite enchanting.’
It was not long, though, before Mr Craske wanted the lovely dress taken off. And Annabel knew she must agree. It might not seem right and proper outside – indeed it clearly wouldn’t – but here within the high walls of Balcombe Manor outside observances could be held in abeyance. What a young woman was required to do was all in the interests of teaching control, discipline, submission. Annabel, after a moment’s hesitation, meekly reached behind her to the gown’s long zip.
Underneath she had on black underwear. A black slip which also came off; black silk French knickers which likewise had to be removed. This left a satin basque, black with pink silk ribbon inserts, as brief as her beige one. The basque naturally did not come off: at Balcombe Manor a body-controlling foundation garment was removed only for bathing and bed. But as it was so brief its presence was not likely to bother Mr Craske; indeed it added an extra spice and flavour to the opulent pale flesh of this young woman standing meekly before him.
‘Quite exquisite!’ he breathed.
Very shortly Annabel was over his lap, the ripe bare bottom which yesterday had been caned so traumatically by Gillman now nicely in position across Edward Craske’s thighs. His hand, after a preliminary stroking, began splatting sharply down.
Tea was afterwards brought in by Bridget who was too experienced in the ways of Balcombe Manor to show surprise at the fact that Mrs Filton was in only an all-revealing basque plus stockings. And after tea it was the cane. Exactly as before with Mr Edward Craske. Annabel kneeling on the floor in front of Mrs Blackett’s settee with her arms and face in its seat.
Through her distress Annabel produced a gasped answer in the affirmative.
‘He is very sensible. But nonetheless a young wife does need a little outside training. This place of Mrs Blackett’s is so marvellous in that respect.’
Saying that he slashed the cane in once more.
* * *
YES, everything was very much as before, through Annabel was perhaps to shortly notice one change. Before, the visitors had only come every other day at most; now it had to be different, because Sylvia Blackett did not want to disappoint any of her friends. Annabel was bound to be rather more busy than before. Now it was going to be necessary at times for there to be two visitors in one day, one for tea and a second gentleman after dinner.
It was to be a busy and exhausting schedule. But as Mrs Blackett would say, and indeed as she did say to Annabel, it was all very much for her own good.