The Show Must Go OnbyDavePunter©
Note: I am David Punter who wrote the story "Tied Up For The Day" in the BDSM section - but I forgot my password! Hope you enjoy this story and please give feedback, and vote too!
If she was honest, Kate was pretty fed up and bored. No, make that very fed up and very bored. But she was shy and quiet, even with her husband Ed. Even after seven years together she didn't usually say what she felt. It wasn't as though she wasn't an attractive woman, although Ed had ceased to comment on the fact. She was good looking, curved in the right places, but generally felt less attractive than she actually was. Ed had given up on the compliments, not because he no longer loved her, but because he felt she didn't believe him. Like so many, she lacked any sense of her own beauty and worth.
Mind you, Ed was the same, only a little more confident than his wife. They were known to their few friends as "the quiet ones". Not given to partying. Very conservative in dress and taste. Never heard to swear or even make the odd critical comment. In fact rarely heard to say anything
But Kate was close to saying something today. Or doing something rash. Anything to relieve the boredom.
She had nearly said something yesterday but she had bitten her tongue. It would just be a moan and would only make things worse. After all, it had been her idea to come on the cruise and it was a gift from her pop that had paid for it. If she complained now Ed would say it was her idea and their relationship would be even cooler for the rest of the trip.
But here they were, three weeks into a six week cruise that should be the trip of a lifetime and they were both bored. They should have been enjoying it, of course, but once the novelty had worn off in the first few days, nothing seemed especially exciting . Lots of days at sea and not enough to do. They had both forgotten to bring something to read - War and Peace might have helped - and although there was plenty of organised "fun", none of it appealed to their reserved natures. They were not the type to sit in front of the television but there wasn't one anyway. This was a holiday for extroverts and they were totally out of place.
Of course they could sunbathe but Kate wasn't keen to even show a knee or an elbow in public, let alone sit in public gaze in a bikini. She hadn't even brought one on the trip. Why had they come?
Kate was reflecting on this when the woman from the couple at their dinner table suddenly said "So... are you going to the magic show later tonight?"
Ed waited for the predictable negative response and was surprised to hear his wife say "Yes."
Almost as though she had sworn in front of royalty, Kate immediately blushed and lowered her head but looked at her husband. "Er,, that's if you..."
"Er.. I... Yes, I guess it might be interesting." He was not sure himself, but it might relieve the boredom, which was why Kate's "no" had turned into a surprising "yes."
The woman's husband saw the discomfort in their companions' responses and sought a way to ease the mood. "I hear he's very good. Got on at the last port of call. Apparently he basically does a one-night slot on cruise ships - jumps from ship to ship you might say. Just does the one night and then moves to the next ship at the next port."
His wife backed up her husband's attempt to raise the mood. "Should be great fun. We could call for you at 9 o'clock and go together. What's your cabin number?"
Kate felt trapped. It seemed stupid but she had already decided that having said "yes" they could just stay in their cabin anyway. Now it would be rude to turn down this offer.
"That would be okay, I guess." said Ed, feeling the same way. "171"
"Oh, we're in 161 just down the corridor and round the corner." glowed the woman.
Kate shuddered inside. She had not wanted to make friends on the trip.
The man offered a hand to Ed. "Tom Rhodes. And this is Ellie."
Ed nodded. He knew he should have said something but his shyness had really kicked in now.
"And you are..." encouraged Ellie.
"Er... Ed and Kate."
Tom pushed his chair back. "Nine o'clock, then. 171." As he stood up he leant forward conspiratorially and whispered in Ed's ear. "They say this magician guy has a gorgeous assistant. Great tits."
It was a stage whisper and Kate heard it too. She felt herself redden and she inserted a finger into her collar as though to loosen it, which although high was not really tight.
Tom failed to detect the awkwardness and left the table. Ellie followed. Ed and Kate said nothing.
When Tom and Ellie called later, Kate had changed from her dinner dress into something more comfortable. It was hot and she had put on a wrap-around skirt and a t-shirt, two of the more brightly coloured items among the clothes she had bought. As she opened the door she wondered if maybe she should still be wearing her dress for the "show" but noted with relief that Ellie was wearing something similar, although her skirt was much shorter. The other difference was that Kate felt self-conscious in her t-shirt - her largish breasts seemed too visible even though she knew the t-shirt was not that tight. She hated drawing attention to them and she had added a cardigan.
"Hi, Kate" gushed Ellie. "My, you must have cold blood... or a cold cabin. It's too warm for cardigans tonight."
Like many times in her life, Kate felt trapped. Take it of and feel embarrassed or leave it on and seem rude. But she kept it on.
They made their way to the on-board theatre where a sizable crowd had filled the auditorium. The lights were dim and the noise of the PA was loud and made conversation difficult. So Ed and Kate found it impossible to argue - not that they would - when Tom and Ellie led them down to the centre of the front row, the only place where they could find four seats together.
The lights dimmed further and the show began. The magician was surprisingly good and Ed and Kate found themselves relaxing. Undemanding entertainment they could relax and enjoy. No conversation needed either. It was very hot, especially so close to the stage lights, and in the darkness Kate felt able to discretely slip off her cardigan.
At a brief lull in the show Ed was pondering that the gorgeous assistant with the "big tits" hadn't appeared yet, when some stage hands brought on a large upright box, probably big enough to hold a person comfortably. He was surprised to find himself getting mildly excited at the prospect that the glamourous assistant was inside, and especially if she wore little clothing, like many such magician's ladies.
He was not disappointed. After showing an apparently empty cabinet and closing the doors, the magician threw them open again to reveal a very sexy woman wearing just a gold bikini and high heels.
"Ladies and gentlemen, my beautiful assistant Lara." declared the magician with a flourish. There was enthusiastic applause and some wolf whistles. "Now I need some help from a young lady in the audience. Lara, please select someone."
The beautiful Lara ran gracefully down some steps at the side of the stage, looking for her "victim". To Kate's horror, Lara grabbed her hand and within a moment she was being pulled from her seat and towards the steps. She started to protest. "No, I...." but her hesitant words were lost in loud applause. This was her worst nightmare. But while she was too shy to get on stage in front of an audience, she was also too shy to protest further.
As Lara let go of her hand and left the stage, the magician took Kate's other hand and turned her to face the audience. She was slightly relieved to discover that the dark auditorium and bright stage lights combined to render the crowd almost invisible, except of the first row or two. She could make out Ed and their new "friends". Ed wasn't smiling but his eyes were very wide. He looked shocked and paralysed.
"Now, my dear, what's your name?"
"Er...em... Kate." she whimpered.
"Speak up. Everyone wants to know the name of such a beautiful specimen of womanhood."
"Kate." she said, only slightly louder.
"Well, Kate, I won't ask your cabin number. After seeing you up here you might have lots of gentlemen callers."
Kate was already considering staying in the cabin for the rest of the cruise.
"Now, beautiful Kate, I need your help with the next part of the show. You aren't claustrophobic are you?"
Kate shook her head meekly. She knew that even if she had been, she would have still not admitted it.
There was gentle laughter from the audience, as though they had picked up her nervousness and wanted to affirm her.
"Step this way, then, Kate."
As she had expected, the magician helped her step backwards into the cabinet. Immediately she realised it wasn't as deep as she had thought. Probably part of the act. She stood in the box, facing the audience. She caught a glimpse of Ed's face, smiling now a little, as the magician closed the door with a flourish. It was completely dark inside and although she had declared that she wasn't claustrophobic, she felt very hemmed in and trapped, although glad that she was out of the audience's gaze. She could just about hear the magician saying something and the audience laughing.
Suddenly Kate felt movement behind her, as though the box had suddenly got bigger.
"Shhh." breathed a voice. "It's me - Lara. Don't say anything."
"Okay." said Kate, before she realised what she had heard.
"I was in the back of the cabinet. There's a hidden section with a door. That's the secret. Now listen! You need to do exactly what I say. We only have a minute. Quick, swap places first."
They did so. Kate felt uncomfortable with the way they had to squeeze past each other in complete darkness. Now Kate was in the back.
Take off your skirt and t-shirt."
"What!" Kate was shocked.
"It's okay. I picked you because you are about my size and shape. I'm going to put them on. It's part of the act. Audiences love it!"
"I ... I can't do that."
"You must! It's for the trick. You'll get them back, of course!"
Once again Kate's paralysing shyness was overcome by her unwillingness to say "no". She quickly slipped the t-shirt over her head and handed it over to Lara. She did the same with the skirt and Lara put them on. The cabinet was getting hotter and hotter. Even in her underwear Kate found it oppressive. And even with the heat she found herself shaking with anxiety. But somehow the total darkness began to help her feel less concerned.
"Right. Stay there and don't move. There's an emergency door behind you if anything goes wrong."
Kate had visions of the stage hands watching her emerging from the back of the cabinet in her underwear and found herself laughing slightly despite the unnerving situation. "I'm not going anywhere."
Lara slid the adjoining door closed behind her and Kate began to hear chants of "Lara! Lara!" Obviously the magician was milking the audience.
She felt the cabinet shake as the front door was opened for Lara to step out. There was large applause and the magician made some remark which drew laughter. Then the cabinet moved a little again and Kate guessed that Lara had stepped back in. There was a gentle bump as the door was closed again and immediately the adjoining door opened.
"Brilliant. They're loving it tonight." whispered Lara. "Right get your undies off, quick!"
Kate froze. "What? I can't do that! You're joking!"
"No, it's okay. You're going to put my bikini on."
"You must! Come on.. Quick. We can't waste any more time. Look, swap places first."
Kate reluctantly squeezed back into the front half of the cabinet. "Look, I'm not doing this. I can't wear your bikini. No way."
"You've got to. You' ruin the act if you don't. Come on, it will be brilliant!"
"I'm not standing in front of an audience in that tiny bikini."
This was bizarre. She was in pitch black arguing with a woman she had never met about swapping clothes.
"You've got to."
Once more, the demand was too strong for Kate to fight and her obedience and the sheer strangeness of her situation overcame her shyness. She unclasped her bra, dropping it to the floor and then slipped her panties down to the floor. "Do you need my underwear or something?"
But Lara didn't immediately answer and then suddenly said "Shit!" almost too loudly.
"I can't get this top undone. Quick, help me. He's going to open the door. You spent too long arguing."
Kate reached out in the darkness and found herself groping the woman's breast. She withdrew her hand hastily. "Sorry."
"Shit, it's too late. He's going to open the door." Suddenly Lara pulled the adjoining door shut.
"What? NO!" Kate panicked. "Get me out!"
She felt around with her foot for her underwear but Lara must have slid it across with her foot already. She was naked, all alone but about to be exposed to an audience of hundreds of strangers.
Kate could hear a new chant from the audience. "Kate! Kate! Kate!"
She had her back to the door as the magician suddenly yanked it open triumphantly. Her naked body - ass picked out by a bright beam of light - was right there in the spotlight. She was frozen to the spot, wanting to run but not daring to move.
There was a split second of silence that seemed to last forever, as though the crowd didn't know how to react and then sudden tumultuous cheering, whistling and shouting broke out.
At that moment some sort of emotional damn broke deep with Kate. In a sense she had no choice. She had to take control. Somehow. Like a rat trapped in a corner that turns and attacks, she had to do something.
With an astonishing surge of adrenaline Kate spun round with a flourish and stepped triumphantly out of the box. Although a part of her brain wanted to cover everything with her hands and get off stage as fast as possible, instead she walked confidently to the front of the stage with her hands held out, milking the applause, and a strange tingling in her groin which she almost felt was visible to her adoring onlookers.
This felt good! It felt amazing! She was no longer shy Kate, she was now confident Kate. She felt extraordinarily loved, wanted, admired, desirable. On the front row she could see Ed sitting with his shocked, wide-eyed look again, but all around him people were stood up cheering, clapping, and even stamping their feet. She grinned at Ed and raised her eyebrows as if to say "Bet this is the biggest surprise of your life, buddy."
Moments later there were even some boos amidst the continuing applause as the slightly bemused magician ushered Kate back into the cabinet. The door was closed and the inner door was opened.
"I am SO sorry." breathed Lara, handing Kate her clothes.
"Oh, don't be." said Kate. "That was just about the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me."
And later that night, back in the cabin, the sex with Ed was the most exciting it had ever been. For both of them. Suddenly the cruise wasn't quite so boring after all. What surprises might the rest of the holiday hold?