She was waiting quietly for her husband's return.  This was not entirely
by choice.  She had been ordered to silence, so she suppressed the moans
she would usually be uttering.  She was standing with her long legs far
apart, her ankles boxed in by little strands of thread.  Her wrists had
padded leather cuffs wrapped about them, but the thin threads running from
her extended arms to the "O" rings in the ceiling had no substance, and the
only thing holding her was the command of her husband and master that none
of the strings be broken when he returned.

He knew, and she knew, that the order was impossible to obey.  Her legs
were strong, but after being on her feet all day, finding herself, on her
return home, ordered to the dungeon to stand for hours in 5" stilleto
heels, was taxing them beyond their endurance.  They were beginning to
tremble, and an involuntary movement that would break a thread was
inevitable.  It was only a question of what would move first, her trembling
legs, or her aching arms that she'd held out for so long, or the book on
her head, which was also tied by a thread to the ceiling.  She would
normally have had no trouble balancing it, but the trembling in her
extremities was making it's balance steadily more unsteady.

Something would give soon, and she would be punished for her failure.  She
knew hours ago when she received her master's command that he would not
allow her to pass this test.  She could have broken the strings at any time
and rested in what little comfort the dungeon allowed, but she was
determined that while her body might fail, her obedience would not.  Her
master knew this, and knew the agony she would endure because of this, and
left her alone and unobserved, a sign of trust that made her very proud,
and she would not betray that trust.

He must be planning a relatively early return tonight, she thought.  Were
he planning to be at the studio all night, there would be no need to stack
the deck against her, so that he had done so showed he wanted to assure her
early failure.  The corset was incredibly tight, severely restricting her
ability to breath.  She knew she could never have tightened it so herself,
but she still felt a tinge of shame that he had sent two of his other
slaves to dress her in the tight, high corset that compressed her already
trim waist and painfully pushed up her breasts, and to which were attached
her dark stockings, which to her dismay the slaves had put on her, since
the corset was too rigid to permit her to bend.  The outfit was primarily
designed to make her suffer, but it was not without aesthetic appeal.  The
black leather shone under the bright lights, as did she.  The hot lights
glaring at her, the rays glistening on her moist white skin and gleaming
off her golden hair, were another sign that he wanted her to fail before
his return, and that his return would be early.  She saw that he had moved
a water cooler into her line of sight to torment his hot and thirsty slave
as she stood in the center of the merciless lights.

She didn't know what the punishment would be, but as they had engagements
within the next few days, the torment would be one that left no marks.  The
electro pads he'd used before to send her muscles into convulsions left
no marks but caused her intense agony.  She did know that the punishment
would go on until she safeworded, and her standing orders were to never fear
to safeword when she'd taken all she could bear, but never to use it before
that point, so brave and dutiful slave that she was, she would be screaming
long into the night, for if her master wanted her to make him the gift of
all her strength and courage, that was what he would receive.

She would crack soon, she knew.  She had no way to judge the hours for
which she had stood, silent and still, since she had been left here, but
the burning in all her muscles, and the increasing difficulty she was
having staying awake as she drew shallow, painful breaths, and the heat
sapping her remaining reserves of strength, made it clear she could not
endure much more.  She knew that it would be soon, that she could not obey
much longer, and at any second her strength would fail, but it was not this
second, and so she stood and struggled and suffered in silence as the
seconds slipped by and somehow each passed by without her giving in, and
they stretched into minutes, and the minutes crept by and she held on, held
out for another moment, another eternity which was to be followed by
another and another until she broke, but the futility of her struggle
mattered not, what mattered was that the moment had not come when she had
to give in, and so she would not surrender.

More moments came and went, but not the moment of surrender, and so she
stood, alone, waiting in the night, waiting in silence, to offer her master
the gift of a soul that would submit but would not surrender.

 Steven S. Davis