The Fifth Ch. 08byOneWhoAdores©
This is the 8th part of a 12 part tale of a Lady and her stable of slaves
8. A Burning Decision
The next morning, as he stood in his assigned corner during the slave morning meal, Jared couldn't help but note an underlying sense of anticipation, even excitement in the others as they gathered around the kitchen table. There seemed to be an animated buzz in their murmured conversation with each other to which he was not privy, being essentially ignored as was the norm. Still, there didn't seem to be the same purposeful hostility toward him as usual.
Even Thomas, who had continued to be the most demanding of them all, seemed much less so that morning when they were outside together, even lending Jared a hand in getting his assigned tasks done more quickly than usual. That afternoon when back under Belle's supervision she instructed him not to clean the basement that day, that she would take care of it, and indeed not to go down there at all. As he worked sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, polishing and putting everything else in order on the first floor, he noticed both Edward and Belle going up and down into the basement a number of times.
At the slaves' dinner that night, after the Lady had been served and had completed her own in the dining room and retired back upstairs, there was a much more subdued even nervous air in the kitchen. Thomas, usually the heartiest of eaters given his size and the physical nature of his work, ate very sparingly and left well before the others. As Jared finished cleaning up after they were all done and prepared to begin his other evening chores, Edward approached and told him to leave Thomas and his room alone that night. Mystified, he went about his night time duties of cleaning and straightening up the other slaves' rooms, making their beds, and taking their laundry to be done. Around 10 o'clock, just as he was finishing washing, drying and folding the various clothes, doing what ironing needed to be done, and carefully separating out each of their underwear, Edward again came up to him and simply commanded "Come with me". He then led him down into the basement.
Arriving at the bottom of the stairs Jared was surprised to find Thomas standing alone and unmoving in the center of the room. Neither Edward nor Thomas said anything as Edward continued on to the side of the room, and assuming that he should, Jared followed. They all remained standing in their spots in silence as if waiting, for what Jared had no idea, as Thomas just stared ahead with a glazed look in his eyes.
They stood quietly as such for over fifteen minutes before the door above opened and Deanna glided majestically down the stairs. She greeted Edward and Thomas warmly, who both bowed their heads and answered reverently "My Lady" in response. She remained several feet from Thomas, regarding him solemnly for over a minute before smiling and stating "It's been too long, Thomas."
He smiled in return. "Yes, My Lady."
"Strip." she then ordered.
Thomas hastened to obey as Edward come to collect his discarded clothes, which he then handed to Jared to fold and place away. In less than a minute Thomas was fully naked, unable to hide his growing emotion as his manhood rose and extended forward before the Lady's discerning gaze. She lingered a few more moments to allow him to enjoy his tumescence, knowing that it likely wouldn't be long after he was fully bound and trussed and beginning the struggles of his coming ordeal that this stiffened appendage would wilt.
"Lie down on the floor, Thomas." she finally continued, and he quickly complied. She went over to take up the hand held control of the winch above him, turning it on and bringing down four chains from the ceiling that Edward had prepared to her specifications earlier in the day. Attached to the end of each chain were padded leather cuffs. The larger ones she now strapped around Thomas' ankles, and then the other smaller two around his wrists, positioning these so that he could grip with his hands the chains above. She then reversed the direction on the winch controls, pulling him up and about two feet off the floor in a semi jack-knifed pose.
Each of the chains had their own independent control and she played around with these until his upper body was slightly higher than his legs, leaving his backside as the lowest point, directly hovering above the floor. She then nodded to Edward who immediately went over to get a previously unnoticed item lying on top of the cage in the corner. It was an 18 inch diameter flat griddle, which he brought over and placed on the floor directly below Thomas' behind. It was connected by a long extension cord to a wall outlet and the Lady proceeded to turn it on to its highest setting. Within a minute it was glowing red.
Strung up as he was, Thomas was unable to see what happening below him so the Lady now explained it all.
"You're high enough up Thomas that I don't think you'll be feeling the heat much at first, but I suspect that after a while it just might become a bit more toasty warm. If it does, and even becomes a tad uncomfortable, you can always pull yourself up with your hands on the chains above. By a good 10 more inches off the floor I would estimate. That should allow your lovely tush to cool off a bit should it need to." She paused a moment before continuing. "How long and how often you do that of course will be completely up to you." She smiled again. "You do understand, don't you?"
"Yes, My Lady." he replied in a low voice.
"Excellent." she cooed. "Let's tuck you in then for the rest of the night." She turned and took the leather hood that Edward was also holding for her and placed it over his head. It fit completely over his face and was secured by a collar which she strapped, not too tightly, around his neck. The only openings were for his mouth and his nostrils. His eyes were covered and there was padding inside pressed tightly against his ears to effectively cut off all but the very loudest of sounds.
"Sweet dreams, Thomas" the Lady murmured as she finished with the hood, although she was sure that he couldn't hear. Careful not to touch him, she placed her hand just below his butt, keeping it there for about a minute to assure herself that while the spot was warm, it wasn't hot. She then walked over to the raised platform with her easy chair and stepped up, and then sat down regally to watch.
For the next 30 minutes Thomas hung motionless two feet above the glowing hot plate. At that point though he began to stir slightly and sway the limited amount the chains would allow. After about 10 minutes of such fidgeting he finally gripped tighter the chains above his wrists and pulled himself up, his arms flexed at the elbows with his legs extending out some away from him. He held himself as such for about 15 minutes before his arms began to give way and he slowly lowered himself into his original position.
As if satisfied by all this, Deanna rose from her chair and walked toward the stairs. Pausing at the bottom step she faced Edward. "Attend me in my room in five minutes, Edward."
"Yes My Lady." he replied as she went up. He then turned to Jared, whose presence was now being acknowledged for the first time since they had come down. "We usually have two of us in shifts watch over Thomas through the night when he is bound. But the Lady has instructed that you tend to him alone tonight." Edward's tone strongly suggested that he wasn't pleased with this. "His safe word, which he has never used, is 'Mercy'. Should he utter it you are to release him immediately and render whatever aid he needs before coming to get me." He stopped a moment for emphasis. "Of even more importance, if you sense in any way at any time during the night that Thomas is in danger you must also unbind him. He will likely not be happy or thank you for that but his safety, not his or anyone's regard, is your only concern." Without another word Edward turned and departed up the steps to attend to his Lady, leaving Jared behind alone to begin his night of guardianship.
In the darkness and silence imposed by the hood Thomas quickly drifted into the trance like state that sustained and fueled him through all of his bindings. He never knew how long the lady remained to observe, but he liked to believe that she was always there, and he felt a stirring in his loins once again as he imagined her being enjoyably entertained as she watched him struggle and suffer for her amusement. He realized and accepted that others watched as well, although he was not happy that the cursed Jared had been allowed to see him in this state. But if that was the Lady's will then he could not question. He also understood that it was unreasonable to expect that she would spend the whole night of his binding with him, but as he could never know just when she might be present, he would constantly strive to never give cause to disappoint.
As he hung down initially Thomas noted very little strain on his arms and legs. He felt that he could hang this way indefinitely with very little effort, perhaps for even the whole night. He was actually somewhat disappointed in the simplicity of this night's binding, with its seeming lack of challenge and potential struggle. But if this was the Lady's desire he would have no choice but to abide.
He settled into his own special sub space, savoring the sensations of his stretched extremities and the subtle and pleasant warmth on his backside. After some immeasurable amount of time however, he began to feel some mild prickling on his rear. When the prickles began to increase he started to squirm and sway, and when after some more time that didn't provide much relief he decided to take up his Lady's offer of a respite. Gripping the chains above his wrists more firmly he pulled himself up until his arms were fully flexed. The prickles rapidly subsided, but he held himself in this position for much longer than was necessary, enjoying the exercise that it provided. At length he slowly let himself back down to the fully extended and more restful posture.
This time though the prickling seemed to come much more quickly, and before too long became even more intense. He didn't wait as long to pull himself up once again, and though the sensation took a bit longer to fade, he didn't hold himself up as long either, sensing that he might need to begin to conserve his strength. Letting himself down the second time the prickling restarted within minutes, but he opted to try to persevere through it now as long as he could. The prickling slowly progressed to a very irritating buzz, reaching a point where he felt that he had to again pull himself up and away.
It now took quite a while for the buzzing to stop, although there remained an uncomfortable twitching in his nether cheeks. He tried to hold himself up as long as possible but his arms were growing increasingly fatigued, and finally they seemed to ache more than the pain in his posterior, and he let himself down once again.
Almost immediately the buzzing returned but his arms were too tired to pull himself up right away. The buzz worsened, almost as if a swarm of bees were crawling over his rear and stinging him at will. Soon it seemed like a constant sizzle. He had to give his arms more time to recover but as he did so he began to feel that his buttocks was truly on fire. He finally could take no more and, gritting his teeth and gathering his strength, he agonizingly inched himself up to the fully flexed position again.
The blaze in his butt now seemed to take forever to bank enough to become tolerable, but he wasn't sure how long he could actually hold himself up this time. Already his biceps were groaning, but he just knew that he could not let himself slip down again to that scorching depth. Thomas had never before contemplated or had even conceived in any of his bindings that he would ever permit himself to use his safe word. He had always known that doing so would be a failure of will that would call into question his very sense of self. He understood that once used he could never allow himself to be bound again. The shame would be too great, and he would never be the same. He frantically wondered how much longer this binding would last. And could he last through it. His arm muscles now shrieked with agony but he knew that if he collapsed back down into that inferno below he would likely have no choice but to succumb and cry for 'Mercy'. He couldn't give up. He had to somehow make it through to the end. He just had to. He fought now to hold himself up with every last vestige of his strength.
From the moment that he had been left alone with Thomas to begin his watch Jared had been mesmerized as the event unfolded. He had no idea how long Deanna intended to keep Thomas bound like this, but Edward had indicated that previous ones had lasted through the entire night. While he certainly didn't think that Thomas was very comfortable, it certainly didn't appear as if he was in any real distress. He would hang fully down for about 30 minutes and then pull himself up for about ten or fifteen with seemingly little undue effort. As Jared had been given no prohibition against it, and it was beginning to look to be a very long and probably boring night, he finally made his way over to sit on the small wooden stool from which to continue his vigil.
As the night wore on he did begin to notice that the intervals between Thomas hanging down and those holding himself up were getting shorter, particularly the ones hanging fully down. He also appeared to be starting to have to work much harder to keep himself up. The hot plate, though glowing red throughout, did not seem to be any different or changing at all, but clearly now as the night progressed Thomas was definitely trying to spend less and less time hung over it.
As the clock on the wall approached 4am Jared heard the first moans, and was surprised that the last fully hanging interval had only lasted about three minutes before Thomas struggled, groaning loudly, to pull himself up again. This was definitely a significant change and Jared felt that he needed to go over to get a closer look. As he neared his eyes widened in alarm. From across the room it hadn't been evident but up close Jared now saw that Thomas' entire behind was not only a deep red, but was blistering in multiple places, some of them already quite large. Jared knew that the redness alone was a first degree burn, like a bad sunburn, but the blisters were second degree burns that were much more dangerous and painful. He looked further up and saw that Thomas' arms were trembling as he was clearly straining to hold himself up.
As an athlete Jared knew the difference between pain and injury, and this had clearly crossed that line. With the former you expected yourself to be a hero and work through, but with the latter you would be a fool to do so. Why didn't Thomas realize this? Why didn't he use his safe word as he was now so obviously in distress? Maybe he didn't realize how dire the situation had become. This was why Jared had been left to watch. To protect Thomas from danger, even from himself. He had to release him immediately.
As he looked for the winch control to bring Thomas down he heard him groan even louder as he tried to jerk himself up even higher. Instinctively Jared suddenly understood that if he released him now, before the allotted time, Thomas would view it not only as a defeat, even if he hadn't brought it on himself, but worse, that someone else, his despised slave, had judged him too weak to endure. Jared knew that this would be a bitter, even impossible, pill for Thomas to swallow. But something had to be done. And right away.
Jared looked down at the glowing griddle. In small exposures, at the two foot level above the floor that Thomas hung when fully down, the heat didn't seem that pronounced. But it has been the prolonged and ongoing exposure that has done the damage, essentially being a slow roasting. It had been a major miscalculation in conception. But maybe that was also a solution. Jared made his decision. He reached down and turned the temperature gauge on the griddle from the highest setting to the lowest. Within a minute the bright red glow of the plate faded to a dull black. He could barely feel any heat on his hand now at the two foot height, but perhaps it would be enough that Thomas would feel it still, but be better able to tolerate it without further damage. At that point, with a guttural grunt, Thomas' grip slipped and his spent arms gave way and he dropped in free fall until the chains brought him to a sudden stop.
Hanging down limply like a slaughtered animal carcass, Thomas tried to steel himself as best he could for the onslaught of fire to follow. To his surprise and relief, though his backside still smoldered with pain, it seemed no more so now than when he was holding himself up. He could still feel warmth emanating from below but it no longer seared. Maybe he was finally growing tolerant to it. Maybe whatever reserves of strength he had left were helping him now withstand the worst. Whatever the reason he knew he had no further strength left to pull himself up again any time soon. His hands were rubbed raw from gripping the chains so tightly for so long and his arms quivered with exhaustion. But his bottom, though still tingling, no longer seemed to be sending out increasing waves of unbearable torment.
Jared watched closely for signs of ongoing peril, and was relieved to note that Thomas' moans had ceased, and his breathing had gone from ragged to regular, and finally to calm. He no longer made any attempt to pull himself up, seeming content now to just hang. Jared again put his own hand out an inch below Thomas' buttocks. Yes, he could still feel a minuscule amount of warmth from the griddle two feet below, but almost more seemed to be coming from Thomas' bottom an inch above. His backside was entirely red, and the blisters still looked angry and mean, but they didn't appear to be getting any bigger or worse, and Thomas appeared to be almost asleep now as he hung. Jared brought the stool over to sit closer and better guard against any further mishaps.
Thomas barely moved as the next few hours wound away, and Jared had to fight to not nod off himself as the morning approached. At precisely 7:30 the door above opened and, to his relief, Deanna strode down with Edward right behind. Jared hopped off the stool and took a few steps away. Deanna stopped at the bottom of the stairs and stared long and hard at her hanging slave. Seemingly satisfied she walked forward to him but as she got near she looked down and saw the dully black hot plate with the lowered setting. She whirled to glare venomously at Jared.
"You dared ..." she hissed incredulously.
"My Lady." Edward interjected urgently, and she turned to follow where his attention was now riveted. Her eyes widened in shock and dismay as they encountered Thomas' ravaged bottom.
"Oh no ... Thomas." she moaned as she immediately yanked the hot plate out from under, which Edward then turned off and took away. She grabbed the winch control and lowered him down, which produced a groan from him as his buttocks came in contact with the floor. She rapidly brought his arms and legs all the way down, then knelt by him to help turn him onto his side as Edward removed the wrist and ankle cuffs. She moved quickly to remove his hood.
"Thank you, My Lady." he croaked hoarsely.
"No, please, Thomas, don't ...not now." she implored. She looked back to his tortured rear. One of the larger blister had broken on contact with the floor and was seeping, and she looked helplessly up at Edward before addressing Thomas once again. "Edward is going to help you upstairs to your room, Thomas, and take care of this. You just rest today. No work for you at all until you're able. And I'll be the judge of when that will be." Not knowing what else to say or do, her eyes swept the room, narrowing accusingly as they briefly touched on Jared standing off to the side against the wall. But she was even more reproaching of herself, and unsure of how not to make things worse, she stood up. "I'll be up in my room if you need me, Edward ... For anything." Rattled and disconcerted she made her way over to the stairs, and somewhat unsteadily, hurriedly went up.