Leather or Knot Chapter 6: Honesty is the Best Policy

by SwitchMan

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© Copyright 2009 - SwitchMan - Used by permission

Storycodes: MF/m; D/s; bond; latex; chast; kidnap; electro; bdsm; toys; reluct/nc; XX

(story continues from )


Chapter 6: Honesty is the Best Policy

After closing the shop, Dan and Amanda went to Dan’s apartment to spend Sunday evening.  Neither spoke much, but each communicated their feelings in other ways: a kind touch, a loving smile.  When they arrived, Dan turned on his computer and began composing an e-mail to the owner of the store.

Dear sir or madame,

Unfortunately, I am e-mailing you to inform you of a serious lapse of judgment on my part.  Over the past few weeks, I have been carrying on a personal relationship with Amanda in violation of the shop’s strict no-dating policy.  I understand that you have a zero tolerance policy for such behavior, and I would not be surprised if you demanded both of our resignations immediately.

Although I have started to look for a new position, I know that the shop is already understaffed.  Amanda and I would be happy to remain on staff as long as it takes to hire and train replacement sales associates.  Of course, I would be personally grateful if you allowed Amanda to remain at the store after I leave.  She enjoys her work, and she is an exceptional salesperson.

Please reply with your decision.


Before the end of the evening, Dan received an answer to his e-mail confession.  Dan almost deleted the message because the owner had “spoofed” the e-mail system into displaying Dan’s own e-mail address as the source of the reply.  The only reason Dan didn’t delete it as spam was that the owner cc’d Amanda on the reply.  The owner’s reply read:


I truly appreciate your honesty.  Of course, I cannot tolerate your infraction if I am to remain consistent with my longstanding policy prohibiting employee dating.  For that reason, I must regretfully terminate your employment as well as Amanda’s.  That said, I also truly appreciate your offer to stay on and help in view of the shop’s current staffing crunch.  I will take you up on your offer of staying on until you find another suitable position.  Of course, Amanda should begin looking for alternate employment, as well.

As you probably guessed, “Leather or Knot” is merely a pleasant distraction for me.  I support myself through a number of other endeavors, and I own and run several other businesses which are far more profitable than the shop.  One such business may soon have an opening for your services, Amanda’s services, or both.

Once I have had an opportunity to consider each of your respective talents, as well as the talents of other qualified applicants, I will contact you.  Until then, please know that while I am disappointed that you broke my rules, I respect your honesty.


After reading the reply, both Dan and Amanda were saddened but relieved.  Neither of them was scheduled to work on Monday.  So, they both decided that they would spend the entire day on their job searches.  Dan and Amanda went to bed Sunday evening and slept well knowing that they no longer needed to hide their relationship.

Monday was spent mostly in front of Dan’s computer.  First, they updated Dan’s resume.  Then, they updated Amanda’s.  They identified as many jobs as they could, made phone calls, printed resumes and prepared mailings.
Tuesday, however, brought them back to reality.  They both got ready for work and started the day early.

The day began as routinely as any other.  Although business was slow because it was a weekday, Dan and Amanda kept themselves busy by unpacking and tagging inventory, restocking shelves, and cleaning the shop.  When they weren’t busying themselves with administrative tasks, they alternated tending to customers.  Nearly every customer that day had been a novice or thrill-seeker who failed to buy anything more than a cheap pair of handcuffs or some low-end ballgag.  Shortly before closing time, however, the day took a decidedly different turn.

A man in a black trench coat and dark glasses entered the store rolling an over-sized stainless steel briefcase behind him.  If Dan hadn’t known better, he’d have sworn that he had stumbled onto the set of a low-budget thriller and that the customer was an undercover agent of some type.  It was Dan’s turn to wait on the customer.  So, he approached the man with his usual inviting style.

“Hi, I’m Dan.  Welcome to Leather or Knot.  Can I help you find something?”

“No, but I may be able to help you find something,” the customer said in a soft, low, east coast accent.

Dan couldn’t believe how melodramatic this guy was, but Dan played along.

“Oh, really.  How’s that?”

“I represent a new player in the high-end bondage equipment and accessory market.  If you and your co-worker have a few minutes, I’d like to demonstrate some of our devices for you,” the stranger replied.

Dan looked over his shoulder to Amanda who had been listening to the entire exchange.  Amanda shrugged as though to say “why not?”  Dan turned back to the stranger and said, “Actually, we don’t make the purchasing decisions, but if you leave us your card, we can pass it along to the owner.”

“I’m not asking you to make any decisions about purchasing our products, but if I could just demonstrate a few of them, I’m certain that you would appreciate how unique they are.  Then you could describe the products better to the shop’s owner,” the man explained.

Amanda had come out from behind the counter to stand next to Dan.

“Sure, we’d be happy to take a look,” she said with a smile.

“Great,” the man said.  “I’ll set up the demonstration in the open area over there,” he said, pointing toward the back of the shop.

Amanda nodded.  “Okay.”

As the man moved to the demonstration area, Dan pulled Amanda aside.

“Something about this doesn’t feel right,” he whispered.

“Yeah, I know he looks like he’s one of the ‘men in black,’ but lighten up.  It could be fun,” she said with a smile.

The man took off his trench coat to reveal an expensive black suit.  Amanda offered to hang it up, and Dan watched the man unfasten two latches on the side of the stainless steel case.  As he opened the doors of the case, several felt-covered shelves swiveled into place creating a type of Christmas tree shaped display case with the lowermost shelf jutting out from the case the farthest and the uppermost shelve remaining close to the case.

Each shelf displayed a different set of restraint devices, and the top shelf contained a small stainless steel case which resembled a miniature of the case from which it emerged.

“Okay, I’ll need a volunteer,” the man announced as he pointed at Dan.

“Wait a minute.  You never said anything about having to try the stuff on,” said Dan.  “You do it,” he said looking over to Amanda.
“Actually, she can’t.  This set is specifically designed for a male,” the man said flatly as he leaned down to remove a device from the bottom shelf.

“Oh, come on,” said Amanda.  “You’ve done this countless times before.  I’ll go lock the front door, and we’ll consider this gentleman our last customer for the evening.”

Resigned to the task, Dan accepted the first restraint from the man.  Dan turned it over in his hands, but he couldn’t quite figure out how to wear it.  He thought it was some type of belt, but it had no buckles.  It had a generally egg-shaped metal container at one end with three rubber straps coming out of it.  Each of the three straps connected to a silver box at the other end of the device.  The center strap was considerably thinner than the two side straps.  Dan figured that the thicker side straps formed the belt and the center strap passed between the wearer’s legs, but he wasn’t too eager to find out.

“While your co-worker is closing the front door, is there a dressing room where you can put this on?” the man asked.

“Yes, but I wouldn’t know how to begin putting this on,” Dan said with a question in his voice.

“I’ll go back with you to assist,” the man offered.

“Whoa!  I draw the line at any customer touching me in the dressing room.  Especially, another guy,” Dan growled.

“I assure you that I am as uninterested in touching you as you are in being touched.  By ‘assist,’ I merely meant that I could talk you through it,” the man explained.

Slowly, Dan made his way to the changing room.  Once both men were in the room, Dan said loudly “The door stays open.”

“No problem,” said the man with a disgusted tone.

Dan removed his clothing and hung it on a hook in the dressing room.  He stepped into the belt-like device placing the larger oval shaped metal piece in front and the smaller rectangular metal box toward his lower back.

As Dan had guessed, the man explained that the larger metal container was a penile restraint and chastity device that fastened around a man’s cock and balls.

“I’ve had a bad experience with chastity devices,” Dan said doubtfully.  “Can I take it off whenever I want to?”

“Any time you want it removed, just let me know,” said the man reassuringly.

The man then instructed Dan how to open the holding chamber.  Although barely visible with the naked eye due to its superior construction, the metal chamber was made up of two halves which opened from the bottom.  The device could then be fastened around his manhood from the top, and closed again to seal the appendage within the chamber.  The brushed metal encasement had an upwardly curved spine that acted as a hinge for the two sides.  Once opened, it resembled an expensive car with gull-wing doors.  On the edges of the sides closest to the wearer, rubber piping lined the opening which would secure the device to Dan’s package.  Dan hated to admit that it actually looked rather comfortable, as these things go.

Inside the device, supported by metal blocks along the underside of the spine, were two rubber rings.  According to the man’s instructions, Dan threaded his penis through the rings before carefully closing the device around his penis and balls.  Although there was no visible locking mechanism, the sides held fast together once the device was closed.  Dan assumed that the sides were either spring-loaded or magnetized to keep the device closed.

When the two men returned to the demonstration area, they found Amanda sitting in a chair patiently waiting for them.  She smiled as she eyed Dan wearing nothing but his metal and rubber thong.

As the man began to remove one device after another from the display case, he explained to Dan and Amanda that these restraints did not use conventional locking mechanisms.  Each device employed a small but powerful electro-magnet which enabled the device to be locked and unlocked electronically.  Each device further had a small transceiver and microprocessor built into it allowing the set of devices to be wirelessly networked together and controlled.  Finally, each device had a small servo motor which could lengthen or shorten each attached strap to ensure a customized, secure but comfortable fit.

The man handed Dan a wide rubber collar.  Dan examined the collar with a critical eye now that he had more information.  The collar seemed exceedingly simplistic.  It appeared to be little more than a rubber strap with a metal box at either end.  Dan wrapped the strap around his neck, and the two boxes clicked together when they met at the back of his neck.

After following the salesman’s direction to similarly fasten cuffs around his wrists, above his elbows, and around his thighs and ankles, Dan was not impressed.  Although the belt, collar and cuffs would not come off, they were not exactly snug.  He looked at Amanda with a look that said “So, this is it?”

While the two were having their silent conversation, the man opened the small metal case on the top shelf of the display and removed what appeared to be a flip phone.  He handed the device to Amanda and said “You may do the honors.”

The man instructed Amanda to navigate a simple graphical user interface.  With a few touches to the screen, Dan was startled to find that all of the restraints had automatically tightened to a point that made him feel completely controlled even though he still had the use of all of his limbs.

While standing next to Amanda, the man reached over and quickly touched the screen a few more times and said “Please place your hands palm to palm behind your back and touch your wrists together.”

Slowly, Dan complied.  As his wrists drew closer, he felt the strong attraction of the metal boxes of the wrist cuffs.  With a loud metallic “clink” the wrist cuffs became inseparable.

As Dan stood looking behind at his wrists and tugging against his bonds, the stranger began to list the highlights of the new bondage system.

“As you can see, the cuffs are incredibly easy to use.  Although we are using a dedicated remote controller, the system can be controlled by apps downloadable to any mobile phone or PDA.  In addition, the cuffs are virtually inescapable employing the same electro-magnetic technology used by department stores and office buildings to secure their front doors during off hours.”

“They do seem secure and easy to use,” said Amanda as she smiled at Dan’s continued preoccupation with the cuffs behind his back.  “But are they safe?”

“Good question,” said the man in the black suit.  “The system includes a panic button that will instantly release all control of the cuffs.  Once pressed, the cuffs will literally fall off the wearer.  Of course, I’m not quite ready to show you that feature since we’ve really just started the demonstration.”

The man gestured to a red circle in the lower right corner of the flip-phone screen.

“Of course,” agreed Amanda.

“In addition, the cuffs can be set to release at a predetermined time or after a predetermined duration.  They also have a time-delay feature enabling them automatically lock after a predetermined duration.  These features not only add to the safety of the system, but make it an excellent choice for those interested in solo bondage.”

“Wow!  I’m impressed.  You guys have really thought this through.”  Amanda said.

“I could go on and on, but let me show you some of the accessories,” the man replied.  “Is he able to touch his elbows behind his back?” the man asked Amanda.

Amanda giggled.  “No, he can get them within a few inches, but he can’t get them to touch.”

“In that case, let me show you one of our spacers.”

The man pulled out a 9-inch length of hard rubber cord with a metal disk attached either end.  After directing Amanda through a couple of taps on the remote controller, the man held one metallic end of the cord to Dan’s left elbow cuff and the other end of the cord to Dan’s right elbow cuff.  A pair of loud “clinks” announced that Dan’s elbows were inescapably linked together.  The look on Dan’s face suggested that his elbows were at their limit.

The man asked Dan “How does that feel?”

“Uncomfortable,” Dan replied, grimacing.

“Tell me young man, do you worship this young woman you work with?”

There was an awkward silence as Dan tried to find the right answer.

“Of course he does,” interjected Amanda, smiling.

“Yes, of course,” repeated the man.  “Let’s prove it, shall we?  If you would be so kind, please step over to your lady friend and kneel down in front of her.”

Dan smiled sheepishly, moved in front of Amanda and knelt down in front of her.

The man reached over to the controller in Amanda’s hand and deftly pressed a few buttons on the remote controller and “clink” “clink.”  Each of Dan’s thigh cuffs were instantly welded to the corresponding ankle cuff forcing him to remain kneeling in front of Amanda.

“Wow!  I’m liking this more all the time” said Amanda with an mischievous grin as she looked into Dan’s eyes.

“Yes, I thought you might,” said the man confidently.

“So, what else do you have?” asked Amanda.

“Well, we have quite an assortment of other accessories that employ similar technology.  For example, we have ballet boots with electro-magnets built into the heels and soles.  When used with specialized flooring, a subject can be rendered immobile without otherwise restraining them.”

Taking a breath, the man continued.

“Let’s see, we have female insertables, anal insertables, nipple rings… you name it, all controllable through the same interface.  We also offer heart monitors, perspiration sensors, GPS devices and that can be used to provide input for certain automated functions of any other networked device.  Of course, we are proudest of our blindfolds and gags, but I’m not allowed to demonstrate them.”

“Why not?” Amanda asked, disappointed.

“Because our owner insists on personally demonstrating those pieces since they incorporate some of her best ideas.”

The screen on the remote controller suddenly went blank, and Amanda heard a small noise toward the front of the store.  Looking up, she was shocked to see Mistress Juliette standing near the checkout counter with a remote controller in her hand similar to the one Amanda was holding.  The mistress was dressed in a black leather trench coat with her hands on her hips, and a broad smile across her face.


Mistress Juliette’s presence in the store caused a stunned silence for a moment.  Then, Amanda forcefully rose from her seat, pointed at the stranger and demanded “power down the restraint system.”

“I already have, my dear,” responded Juliette from across the store.  “Well, your portion of the system, anyway.”

Turning to the dominatrix, Amanda nearly shouted “How did you get in here?”

“Calm down Amanda,” said the mistress in a casual tone.  “I’ve come for my pet, and the restraints will come off on my orders, not yours.  Remember our little deal?”

“Oh, I remember the deal.  Dan had to model for you without condition, but you didn’t restrain him.  I did with his help,” Amanda countered as she pointed to the stranger in black.

“I see you’ve met my personal assistant, James,” Juliette replied.  “What he does, he does for me.  So, in a sense, I actually restrained your friend.”

As Mistress Juliette came closer to examine her prize, Amanda lunged at Juliette, her hands aimed at Juliette’s slender throat.  But, before she was within two feet of her target, James had hit her with a dart from a small gun he had hidden in his belt.

Amanda crumbled to the floor unconscious next to Dan who was silently horrified.

“Nice work, James,” smiled Juliette.  “Remind me to reevaluate your salary when we get back home.”

Within minutes James and Juliette had restrained Amanda with a set of cuffs similar to those worn by Dan.  Amanda’s wrists were secured together behind the back of her chair.  A longer belt was fastened around Amanda’s waist and the chair back to force her to remain seated.  Each of her ankles was individually secured to the rear legs of the chair, forcing her legs to be spread awkwardly.  Although Amanda’s ankles could just as easily have been secured to the front legs of the chair, Juliette used the rear legs to highlight her adversary’s submission.

As Amanda began to regain consciousness, she attempted to move.  She quickly discovered her predicament, and struggled wildly.

“Let me out of these, you bitch!” Amanda spat.

“Now, now,” said Juliette calmly.  “Please don’t spoil the demonstration with any more outbursts.  I was just about to demonstrate some of my favorite pieces.”

Juliette opened a second steel case containing electronic bondage gear.  She removed a rather ordinary looking device which Amanda had decided was some type of head piece based on the size and location of the attached straps.

“This is the most effective gag that has ever been devised,” said Juliette in a matter of fact tone.

She forced Dan to accept a short rubberized tube between his teeth, and she arranged the straps in a fashion typical of a standard gag trainer.  As she worked, she explained that the gag was much more effective than it appeared.  Even as she spoke, Dan grunted a few semi-intelligible sentences that could be plainly heard by everyone in the room.

“Some gag,” smirked Amanda.

Without acknowledging the remark, Juliette gave a sweet sounding instruction to Dan.  “Be a dear, and place your tongue inside the tube until it touches the front of the gag.”

Dan, knowing that his fate would be easier if he simply accepted it, complied with the request.  Suddenly, he let out a yelp, his face contorted into an expression of surprise combined with fear.  The touching of his tongue to the front of the gag activated a small servo motor which could be heard operating within the gag, but only Dan could tell what was happening inside his mouth.

The small tube into which he had placed his tongue was actually a telescoping device which reached into his mouth, encircled his tongue and clamped onto it to hold it in place.  Although the tongue tube itself did very little to silence the wearer, it included an audio sensor that communicated with a shock unit embedded in the collar.  The slightest sound resulted in a painful shock from the collar.  Wearers often found themselves in a vicious cycle of shocks that caused involuntary, pain-induced screams that resulted in another shock, and so on.

Juliette fully explained the design and benefits of the gag as she began to remove a blindfold from the steel case.  The blindfold, unlike the other restraints, did not have a strap that encircled the wearer’s head.  Instead, the blindfold had a metal box on each side that attached to corresponding metal boxes on the gag trainer straps.  “Click, click” and the blindfold was in place.

Juliette explained that the metal boxes on the blindfold had a dual purpose: first, they acted as an attachment mechanism, and second, they acted as shock units for delivering electric shocks to the wearer’s temples.  The eye holes of the blindfold were actually round LCD screens that could be electrically controlled to be transparent, completely blacked out, or something in between.  Juliette further explained that the blindfold included embedded motion sensors which could detect the movement of the wearer’s head.  In other words, the wearer could communicate with nods and shakes, and could be punished automatically for wrong answers.

“Let me show you how this works,” Juliette said as looked down at the remote controller.  Juliette touched the screen several times and said “Now, Dan, using a nod or a shake of your head, tell me, do you want to stop working here and become my personal slave?”

Dan didn’t move a muscle.  His mind was racing to figure out what he should do.  His eyes darted from Amanda to Juliette.  After a moment, Juliette spoke again.

“Tsk, tsk, Dan, your Mistress doesn’t like to be ignored.  Under other circumstances you would be punished severely for such insolence, but since you’re new to this, I’ll give you another chance.  Search you heart and answer honestly.  Do you want to come home with me to become my personal slave?”

Slowly and tentatively, Dan nodded his head to answer “yes.”  But before his head had reached the pinnacle of its upward movement, he stiffened as a surge of electricity flowed through his body.  He grunted from the pain, and the event replayed.  This happened four times before Dan could find the self control to refrain from vocalizing the pain.  Instead of using his throat, Dan focused on breathing through his nose.  When the vicious cycle stopped, Dan was silently crying and heavily breathing through his nose.

Dan stared at Juliette as she approached him.  She ran her fingers through his hair like a pet and sweetly said “There, there.  Now that little lesson wasn’t so bad, was it?  Next time I tell you to answer honestly, you would be wise to do so.  Seriously, we all know you don’t actually want to become my slave.  That’s what makes this all so delicious.”

Juliette turned to Amanda who was staring at Dan in sympathetic disbelief.

“Here’s the way this is going to work.  James is going to load my prize into my car through the back door.”  Juliette nodded in James direction, and he began strapping Dan to a dolly for easy transport.  “He is also going to pack up our gear – except, of course, the few pieces that we are leaving with you,” Juliette said smiling.  “Your restraints are timed for release shortly after our departure.  I know that tomorrow is your day off.  Wednesday morning, you will tell your manager that your friend has found a new position, which is technically true.  Just say that he left early to start his new career.”

“No.  I won’t do it!”  Amanda said nearly crying.  “Clearly, I can’t stop you, but I’ll never help you!”

“Oh, yes you will, or I’ll tell your boss about your extracurricular activities with Dan.” Juliette replied sternly.

“Don’t threaten me.  My boss already knows all about us,” Amanda shot back.

There was a brief silence as Juliette appeared to contemplate the alternatives, and a smile slowly snaked its way across Juliette’s face.

“Do your parents know?”  Juliette asked letting the question hang in the air.  “And do they know what kind of a place you work at?”  Again, Juliette paused for effect.  “Do they know that you let people, complete strangers, tie you up so that you can model perverse bondage gear?”

Juliette reached into her case to remove a manila envelope.  She removed three black and white 8 x 10 photographs of Amanda in bondage in the shop.  Amanda immediately recognized the photographs as having been taken during her bondage orgasm a few weeks earlier.  Juliette had set Amanda up and Dan was too naïve to stop it.

Amanda silently looked away to the floor.

“No.  They don’t know,” she said quietly.

“Look, Amanda.  You know that I kind of like you.  I always come into this store asking for you to assist me.  I don’t want to hurt you, really.”

Juliette walked over to the counter with the envelope of photographs.

“I’m going to leave this envelope here on the counter for you.  Once you get loose, you can destroy the prints inside, and I promise to permanently delete the files from my computer.  I am also leaving a second envelope on the counter.  Before you do anything you’ll regret, check out the second envelope.  I’ve left you enough information to decide your future and the future of your friend.  Review it and follow your heart.”

With that, Juliette turned toward the back door where James had just finished loading the car.  As Amanda heard the back door close, she broke down crying.

“No!  No!  Please let me go!  Please don’t take Dan!  I’ll do anything!  Please take me instead!”

Her cries fell on an empty store.  Over the next ten minutes, she struggled ferociously to free herself, but the high-tech restraints were unyielding.

Exactly five minutes after Juliette left the shop, Amanda’s restraints silently and suddenly fell to the floor – exactly as James described in his sales presentation.

Amanda bolted to the counter to open the second envelope.  Inside, she found $100,000 cash in a bank envelope and a typewritten note.


I have been frequenting “Leather or Knot” for quite some time, and I have had the great pleasure of watching you develop.  The first time that you assisted me, you were wearing conservative street clothes, and now not only do you wear fetish clothing for your job, you have incorporated bondage into you personal relationships.  You have come a long way, but I am most impressed by your character which started strong and remains so.

I am certain that this is a difficult situation for you, but I believe that it is the best for all concerned, including Dan.  I know that you care about him and that you are concerned for his well-being.  I assure you that I will take excellent care of him.  He will want for nothing – except his freedom.

I have enclosed $100,000 for your cooperation.  If you refrain from discussing Dan’s new situation with anyone for the next 24 hours, you may keep the money, and your parents will not find out about what you do for a living.  Of course, if you choose to be troublesome, I will see to it that you return the $100,000 and that you are properly punished for your poor judgment.

Mistress Juliette

Amanda was scared, stunned and offended.  Juliette expected her to look the other way for $100,000!

With purposeful deliberation, Amanda crumbled up the letter, placed the letter and cash in her purse, and walked to the back office.  Running her finger down the list of emergency numbers posted on the wall, Amanda stopped at the emergency number for the owner.

To Amanda’s knowledge, no employee had ever used the owner’s emergency number.  There had never been a situation so significant that it warranted contacting the owner in real-time – until now.  Amanda followed the instructions on the emergency contact list.  She dialed the number on her mobile phone and left a text message describing her situation.  Her message was succinct: “Dan has been kidnapped by a client.”

Pressing the “send” button was anticlimactic for Amanda.  There was no telling how soon the owner would check for text messages.  There was no telling whether the owner could do anything to help.  Amanda, adrenaline flowing, reached for the back office telephone to call 911 when her mobile phone signaled that an incoming text message had been received.

Amanda quickly looked at her phone to read “W8 4  me.  Do nothing.  Will contact U shortly.”

Amanda could hardly contain herself.  She felt like she should be doing something to help Dan before it was too late, but she controlled her impulse and waited to hear from the owner.  Maybe there was a protocol for dealing with the situation of which Amanda was unaware.

Five minutes after Amanda placed her emergency text message, the front door to the shop swung open.  Amanda ran from the back room to see Mistress Juliette striding toward her.  Through the glass storefront, Amanda could see a black van waiting at the curb.

“You rang?”  Juliette said with a smile.

“What?  How did you get in here?”

“When there is an emergency at my store, I investigate it in person,” replied Juliette still smiling.

“You’re the owner?” asked Amanda in shock.  “What are you going to do with Dan?”

“Well, I had planned on keeping him as my personal assistant before you passed my little character test.”

“What do you mean?”

Juliette explained that the money and the letter were designed to assess Amanda’s strength of character.  If Amanda had chosen to remain silent, she would have been $100,000 wealthier, but she would have failed the test.  She also would have lost her job shortly thereafter.

“But what happens to Dan now?”  Amanda asked, without fully considering all of the implications of her present situation.

“As I see it, whatever happens to Dan is his own doing,” replied Juliette without emotion.  “Dan has made a number of poor judgments.  Really, the only good judgment he has made recently is his trust in you.”

“A few short weeks ago, Dan allowed me to bind him, in this very spot, without adequate precautions.  Frankly, that was not your finest moment either.  Then, he foolishly made the deal with me for subsequent binding.  What was he thinking?”  Juliette asked rhetorically.

She continued.  “Further, he disobeyed the rules about dating co-workers, as did you.  He is lucky that his errors in judgment landed him in my hands.”

“But you didn’t answer my question.  What now?”  Amanda said with a hint of pleading in her voice.

“Well,” Juliette said with an expression of mock consideration, “I think that depends on you.  I have decided that his fate is in your hands.  You do seem to love him.”

After a pause, Juliette laid out Amanda’s options.  Amanda could allow Dan to become Juliette’s slave; Amanda could keep Dan as her own slave; she could allow him to keep his current job and continue as before; she could give him a job as a web developer for the store; or she could allow him to find another job entirely.  Regardless of her decision, Juliette told Amanda that the $100,000 was hers to keep.

Handing Amanda a folded piece of paper, Juliette said “Here are directions to my estate.  Take the rest of the evening to consider your decision.  Tomorrow at 9:00 am, come to my estate.  We will have breakfast together, and you can tell me your decision at that time.”

Without waiting for Amanda’s reaction, Juliette turned toward the front door and her awaiting van.

“Don’t forget to lock up the store before you leave.”


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