You wake up bright and early, even though your appointment isn't until the afternoon. Your girlcock strains hard against the small metal cage you have kept it trapped in for the last two years. You wonder if she knows she is going to get a brief moment of freedom today. Far too excited to get back to sleep, you get out of bed and pull the basket of clean laundry over next to you. You toss your work clothes off to the side, and pick a cute top with an abstract pattern, pairing it with a solid black knee length skirt. It looks mild outside, so you skip leggings. You finish getting dressed in a few moments, and spend several minutes admiring yourself in the mirror. Your pert breasts look good in the form fitting top, though your cage causes a small bulge under the skirt. This is first time in a long time it has done so. The sensation of your cage wagging around free under the skirt, instead of held close with tight panties, makes you feel a little dirty. You straighten your skirt as much as you can, and accept the tiny bulge. It will be the last time she'll have the chance to do that to you.
Your sleep is fitful, and you dream of what your life was even just a few days ago. Living with her, she gave your life meaning. Each time you see her in your dreams, she slips through your fingers and disappears into the fog again. Like she did when she fled to the forbidden woods. By the time you wake your captor is moving around their home, changing the contents of piles while talking to themselves. It is a few more minutes before they realize you are awake. “Make yourself useful, start sorting through the rest of the furs. Anything burned, or with the bitter stench of that oaf Gorlom, haul out and off the edge.” Even from your back, you see the pile is taller than the dragon standing before you. To call the task daunting is an understatement, even the lighter of the pelts and furs are weighty for you. It's been a very long day since you last had food and your stomach rumbles along to that realization.
The first thing you are aware of is the pounding headache, the second is how much your muscles each ache. Opening your eyes, you find you can see very little as you sit up. All you see is a smear of color, and you try to rub out the blur from your eyes. Finally, blinking repeatedly, you bring the double vision into focus; the headache is now only screaming. As your vision sets you discover yourself to be sitting in a cage, you can just make out other cages at the edge of what you can see in the dimly lit room. It's cool in the cell, as you realize that you are naked. Rubbing your arms together for warmth you look around the cell. You cannot stand, or stretch out all the way without sticking your legs though the bars. You are grateful that the floor of the cage is some sort of padded mat. It's not the most comfortable thing, but it's far better than something hard like concrete.
“Wake up, we got a schedule to keep.” Jan says before yanking the blanket off of you and Ramona. You wipe the sleep from your eyes, and see that it's still dark out. “Dammit Jan, what time is it? Did we even get to sleep?” Ramona groggily asks. “It's four, now get up dear, we got a lot of work to do.” You sit on the side of the bed, looking for your jeans. Spying your pants across the dark room, you retrieve them along with your top and socks. Your panties seem to be lost to the ages, and you give up looking for them after Jan coaxes Ramona into getting dressed. The three of you take the elevator down, and then out the back entrance to the hotel.
The mid-morning light streams in from the window, and into the glass of your eyes. Your owner must have gotten up earlier, she isn't in bed. Deciding to make the bed before she returns, you move to get out of the bed but your left leg refuses to move. The gyroscopic ball joint has been grinding for weeks now, but has never completely locked up before. If your delicate clockwork nervous system could experience pain, you are sure your body would be aching now. The front door slams shut, it must be your owner coming back in. Trying to stand before she can see you like this, you pull yourself to the edge of the bed and steady yourself with your right leg. Perched on the edge of the bed, you pull your left leg to the edge. The actuator has been acting up more, and limiting your movement; but this is the first time it's refused to fire at all. “dolly, has your spring wound down? Are you alright?” You hear your owner call from out of the room. You don't want to upset her with more work, but you need help now. She walks in before you can answer, a frown on her face. She stands in the door, jeans and plaid button up on. “Left hip locked up? I have noticed how restricted your movements have been. Your right knee too; and I know both of your wrists are stripping out too.” She walks to the edge of the bed and looks at the clear plex-steel shell of your right arm.
You wipe the sweat from your brow and sit on one of the larger rocks that litter the ground around you. The only road through this part of the Hazy Mountains is thoroughly blocked. Rummaging through your pack you dig out your map and unroll it on the ground. A day and a half to get back to Crumblerock, then three heading north to Highbridge and pass through the mountains there, before heading south again to finally reach Bluelake. Counting up the days on your fingers, you realize that you will arrive days too late. Master Selg will be displeased if his bid is too late to be considered, enough to cost you your position in the guild. Looking at the map again, you try to read the scratched off paths and trails. Maybe something that isn't suitable for wagons will do for you? Squinting hard, it looks like a path south of you was only scratched off twenty or thirty years ago. South here means venturing closer to the Dragon Realms, and the thought of running into a dragon chills your blood. But the map's trail only adds a day at most to your trip, plenty of time to reach Bluelake. Besides, if an actual dragon was roosting this close to Crumblerock the little village would have been abandoned. Likely the trail fell apart somewhere, possibly taking wagons with it.
The intercom buzzes with an order to report to the administrator's office. Your mind starts to race, you couldn't be in trouble again, could you? You've been making quota on the transcriptions that you have been tasked to. Slowly, you push your chair back from the desk. With a deep slow breath, you rise and push the chair back in. No one else in the room, save your 'supervisor', watches you walk quietly exit the room with your head hung low. It's a moderate walk across the complex, through the well-trimmed grass and manicured trees do little to raise your spirits here in the best of times. The dull concrete box that is the administration building looms large over the complex, it's position on the eastern side causes the building's shadow to cast over a good deal of the property training facility, as they call it. You slide your identity card through the reader and the electronic lock disengages. Putting your shoulder against the heavy door, you shove it open and enter the administration building. A pair of hyenas in white uniforms stand guard and watch you silently as you walk to the kiosk in the middle of the room. Another run of your card, and the kiosk directs you to elevator three.
Sitting with your arms outside of the wagon, but a rope running from your wrists to the inside of the wagon and back up to your upper arms is a very uncomfortable way to sit. The poorly finished wood bites into the skin of your arms, each jostle in the road causing a new abrasion. The fading daylight from the early evening is gone, and all that lights the way now is moonlight. It's enough for the thick mule to pull the cart along, though it doesn't hurt that the cart path is the only path running through the woods at all. Jedd and Shara both sit in the back of the cart with you, though in comparative comfort. Neither of them look like they are about to offer you comfort for your fate.
You look at your feet while waiting for Miss Kelly to come home, hoping she will have calmed down by then. You didn't mean to embarrass her in public. She sent you directly home, while she stayed to smooth things over at the club. Time feels like it is dragging, but a peek at your phone tells you it's been less than an hour. You wipe a tear from your eye as you ruminate on how hurt and upset Mistress is. Hopefully she comes home tonight at all, so you can try to start making it up to her. The night continues to pass excruciatingly slowly, and you wish for nothing more than for it to end. Finally, you hear her keys in the lock, and the door open. Mistress makes her way to the living room, and you see from her expression that trying to explain or excuse yourself would be a bad idea. “Pet,” she says dispassionately, “You need to make a decision tonight.” You nod vigorously; anything for Mistress you think to yourself. “Do you want to stay here, with me? After your display at the club, I am not so sure you actually do.”
With the last dish put away, you have finished your chores early today. Instead of spending the spare time pursuing an interest, you go down to the play room. Mistress has been busy preparing for this evening. You see some custom restraint bars by the bondage bench; they look like they have eyelets for small locks to run through, but these extend out from the metal a couple inches each. Off in the corner though is the star of tonight. A small portable forge sits heating a branding iron. Giggling with excitement, you sit on the bench and think about how tonight will go. You expect it will be painful, but even that idea doesn't help you to sit still. There aren't many ways to more resolutely prove your dedication to Mistress than letting Her brand you. With a good twenty minutes to yourself, you decide to spend them waiting here. Mistress has warned you that you must stay perfectly still, so you close your eyes and think about trying to keep yourself calm.