tagBDSMLa Contessa Ch. 24

La Contessa Ch. 24


Chapter 24: The Grand Canal

Life at the palazzo has returned to its bizarre normality. La Contessa remains in complete control of her household. Lucio's ambitions having been exposed, he now keeps a low profile and astutely confines himself to his previous spheres of power in the palazzo. Meanwhile, Julia is restored to her former place of influence as La Contessa's personal maid and confidante. I remain as her slave, available to her at all times for her sadistic pleasure. Becky continues as her slave girl though since the recent events I've noticed she's acquired a new confidence and ease with herself. Without anything further being said since La Contessa's meeting, we are aware a new understanding as to our roles has been reached.

The main beneficiary of the arrangement is Julia. Those few days of misery and uncertainty have been put to one side, and she has returned with a reinvigorated dedication, an expression of her gratitude to her mistress. Her service to La Contessa, her determination to fulfil every command to its exacting detail is back. It's a delight to see her breezy good nature and enthusiasm return. I do wonder if La Contessa ever intended to dismiss Julia. I've observed them together, and Julia is a good companion to her mistress. She would have been missed, there's no doubt about it. There's also a positive effect on Julia's physical appearance too. She looked terrible at one point, wan and dishevelled, but now she is lovelier than ever. Her olive skin is glowing, her rouged cheeks are flushed with good health and her whole demeanour exudes positivity.

The sex under the new arrangement with La Contessa is amazing. The demands on our time from our mistress are such that we see one another no more than before, but when we are together, it's liberating to know we're no longer doing anything behind her back. Our proclamations of respect and desire to serve her are, and always were, true, so to be released from any sense of going against her will is a burden lifted. We can be open about our feelings for each other. No more creeping around the corridors of the palazzo looking over our shoulders to see who might be watching. Lucio might not like it, but La Contessa has spoken so he must put up with it. Although it's likely the household always knew what we were up to, now our shows of affection are more public.

The staff are pleased with the outcome. We know we always had supporters and friends amongst them. We are doubly popular now because La Contessa has relaxed rules about relationships, including sex, for everyone. The consequence is that previously suppressed emotions can be expressed with a resulting release of tensions. The impact is immediate as the household has never been more relaxed, nor its service to its mistress more enthusiastic and heartfelt.

The mistress has noticed this, commenting on one occasion, "I believe more sex has been beneficial for the household. As long as they serve me with such enthusiasm, I do not care. Perhaps it was a mistake to enforce a rule of celibacy."

Julia has taken La Contessa's instruction on board and shaken off any jealousies she had of Becky's role. Make no mistake La Contessa has tested her, deliberately creating scenarios where I've been made to play with the slave girl, having me penetrate her in view of Julia to test her reaction. Julia's been helping Becky with her dress and make-up, choosing items from La Contessa's vast wardrobe of corsets, tight leather, boots, and other fetish wear for Becky to wear, so she can please her mistress. And Becky has responded to Julia's kindness; she's been telling Julia about her misadventures across Europe with the various masters she served.

It's as well the palazzo is in such a harmonious state because it's a busy time. The preparations for Carnevale occupy the household's time, and there's a regatta to plan. La Contessa's barge will lead the flotilla along the Grand Canal, which was one of the conditions imposed for extending the interest of her loans to the Doge and the Council of Ten. Then there's the grand finale, the spectacular Carnevale ball, which will be held in the grand ballroom of Palazzo Cavalli. I can't wait. The ballroom is the one room of the palazzo I've never seen as it's only opened up for such special occasions, though talk of its opulence is rife amongst the household.

There are deliveries to the palazzo on a daily, indeed hourly, basis: orchids and other flowers to decorate the rooms, barrels of oysters, kids, lambs, and calves for the banquet, boxes of fine wines and malvasie, breads and patisseries from the confectioners. The palazzo is a hive of activity. Julia is in constant demand helping her mistress with the arrangements.

La Contessa is making other preparations though these are more secretive. I've an insight into how ruthlessly she's manipulating the ruling elite and get further evidence of this one day. I find myself strung up in La Contessa's boudoir having been subjected to various forms of cock and ball torture for her entertainment when she has a visitor. It's Allessandro Fernasse again. He heaves his corpulent body into the room. He takes up a seat by the bureau alongside La Contessa where the pair hold an intense discussion. They talk in whispers so I only hear snippets of the conversation, but what I do hear confirms my suspicions.

"We are in a desperate plight, madam. Please, is there nothing you can do to help us?"

"Yes, indeed, it is most unfortunate your cargo should be taken by pirates. Regrettably it is one of the risks of trade these days. But I can see a way out of your difficulties if you can persuade the Council of Ten to accede to my demands..."

At this point La Contessa's voice goes quieter. Usually, she's not bothered what her slaves hear, but there's something going on she wants to keep secret. I pick up more of the conversation later.

"If you persuade the Council to ally itself with me, then an accommodation is possible. So, now you know my conditions."

"This is unprecedented, Contessa. I hear your demands but the Republic of Venice would have seen nothing like this in its long history. Personally, I'm sympathetic to your cause, but you must appreciate my difficulties in persuading other members of the Council."

"The matter is perfectly simple, my friend. If they do not agree, I have the power to bankrupt the Doge and the Council. The Ten can save themselves from impoverishment if they disown the Doge and align themselves with me. The argument must be persuasive."

"Yes, I know, Contessa. But what you ask will turn the governance of Venice upside down."

"Yes. Obviously, this is my intention. My ambitions are clear. You must use your considerable political wiles to persuade them they have little choice. No banker will lend them money now, not at an affordable interest rate. Make no mistake, Alessandro, I will call in my debts if you do not agree to my terms."

"I will do what I can, Contessa. I would agree to your terms. I have no wish to end my days in poverty. I will muster my powers of persuasion to convince a majority they have no choice. The decision will be made one way or the other by the finale of the Carnevale. I understand you and appreciate the sense of theatre you want to bring to the ball."

"Come, you will love it, Alessandro," smiles La Contessa. "Released from the shackles of the Doge and the church, La Serenissima will enter a golden age of perversion and debauchery!"

"Indeed, madam, indeed. I can believe it."

"I trust you are still wearing your chastity device?" asks La Contessa. "The moment of your release fast approaches, and the rewards for you are considerable if you can achieve this last thing for me."

"Yes madam, I'm still wearing it, though several people have commented on the bulge in my breeches. I would not dare contravene a command of yours, Contessa."

She laughs. "Excellent. Imagine the relief from all the pent up frustration when it comes, should you be successful."

I listen intently, despite being hung up to the ceiling in rope bondage with nipple clamps, ball weights, and a butt plug shoved up my arse. What's she plotting? What demand did she put to Alessandro that could be so radical? I'm intrigued.

So, what with plans for the Carnevale and her political intrigues, La Contessa is exceedingly busy.

The excitement in the palazzo builds to a crescendo. Carnevale is the highlight of Venice's social calendar. I remember fondly from my childhood joining the throngs of people who filled the city. The whole city comes onto the squares and canal sides during Carnevale, and it attracts thousands of visitors. It's a raucous, licentious event. The lanes are filled with jesters, snake charmers, jugglers, conjurors, and fire eaters. Music and dancing go on throughout the day and late into the night. Everybody wanders the streets masked whether with a simple moretta or an elaborately decorated mask. The social order is turned upside down. Noblemen dress as country bumpkins, great ladies as milk maids, whilst maids dress as great ladies and butlers as gentlemen... men dress as women and women as men. Carnevale is a glorious statement of the Republic's tolerance, debauchery, and unique style. And we will be at the centre of it.

La Contessa's giant ceremonial barge will lead the regatta, and we will be on it. By we, I mean Julia, Becky and myself, and Mademoiselle La Tour as La Contessa's special guest. We will be alongside her as a 'decorative accompaniment' and have a central role to play as part of the entertainment for the grand ball. I can't wait. Whatever she has planned, it will be wonderful.

The flotilla of barges, fellucas, and gondolas assembles on the banks of the Canale di San Marco. It will take a route past the Doge's palace, with the backdrop of the campanile of San Marco and the domes of the basilica; then follow the length of the Grand Canal. It's at the moorings in the canal basin where we join La Contessa's barge, which I see for the first time.

It's magnificent. The barge is vast, the largest and grandest in the whole flotilla which comes as no surprise. Its black-lacquered hull is decorated by a line of gilded, golden mermaids with naked breasts. Its prow is in the shape of a black swan's graceful neck and head with golden beak, and red rubies for its eyes. At the stern a felce is supported by columns carved as gold dragons with a gilded throne upholstered in scarlet velvet on a dais. It takes forty gondoliers, twenty each at the port and starboard sides, dressed in La Contessa's livery, to propel it.

La Contessa has us dressed in complementary costumes consisting of silk cloaks in azure for me, scarlet for Julia, and white for Becky. She explains that, by chance, she's come into the possession of dazzling silks from the Orient and has decided to make use of them by having these cloaks specially made for the occasion. They are designed to accompany the spectacular and beautiful masks created for us.

Julia's is an ornate mask decorated with long plumes of feathers in red, orange, yellow, and gold. She looks wonderful, like a phoenix rising out of the flames. The bright fiery colours complement her skin tone perfectly. I'm wearing a peacock mask with its exotic feathers and eyes in bright azure and turquoise feathers. Between us we look like two exotic birds. Becky's is pure white and made with swan feathers to match her pale skin. The masks and their respective colours have been chosen for a purpose, which is not lost on us.

The three of us take up positions on the felce. Mademoiselle is already waiting. She's pleased to see us, especially Becky.

"Ah, it's good to see you, mes amis. I'm glad to hear the difficulties with your mistress have been resolved, and to see you still in her service. Such willing and enthusiastic servants must be hard to find, especially for such a demanding mistress. I would take you all back to Paris with me if I could, but you belong with La Contessa, I know."

She turns towards Becky, "Ah, ma cherie, you are lovelier than ever. The kohl on your eyes makes them look so lovely. I could gobble you up."

"Thank you, mademoiselle, Julia has been helping with my make-up."

Mademoiselle pulls the girl towards her and French kisses her, whilst allowing her hands to stray underneath the girl's cloak to finger her crotch.

"Sacre bleu. But what's this ma cherie?" she exclaims as her hand grasps something hard.

Becky parts the white silk to reveal the costume La Contessa has dressed her in. It's a studded silver plate engraved with vine leaves covering the girl's crotch with only a slit through which she can pee. It's attached to a belt which has a delicately wrought keyhole in it. This in turn has bars attached to silver plates over Becky's breasts with tiny indentations for her nipples. These are kept in place by a bar bending around her back and secured by another lock. She's locked in a frame of gleaming silver.

"It's a chastity belt mademoiselle."

"But why ma cherie?"

"Mistress says I've been getting too much pleasure and wants to lock me away until she's ready to offer me up to her guests tonight. It's mistress's wish. I rather like it mademoiselle," she says running the tips of her fingers longingly over her silver encased crotch.

"Oh, how frustrating, for me as much as for you," exclaims mademoiselle. "Patience, my sweet, when your mistress deigns to release you from the device, I promise I will ravish you!"

There's a commotion on the quayside and the sound of gasps and then laughter. La Contessa arrives. She marches up to the reception party consisting of members of the Council of Ten, the Archbishop, and various dignitaries. They stand outside the Doge's palace, ready for the formal proceedings to launch the regatta.

She's dressed in a pirate's costume.

She looks fantastic as you'd expect. Her black tunic, decorated with gold brocade, is tucked in at the waist to enhance her figure. Hanging from her wide leather belt is a cutlass on one side and a pistol on the other. She wears a pirate's hat decorated with skull and crossbones, and there's a brightly coloured, trained parrot sitting jauntily on her shoulder. I recognise her boots, having had the task of polishing them for the occasion. They are a pair of pirate boots, knee high with the leather turned back at their top. La Contessa makes a daunting pirate.

By now it's common knowledge that the Council's ship, laden with expensive material, china, and spices from the Far East, has been captured by pirates off the Turkish coast. I wouldn't dare hazard a guess as to what part La Contessa had in the endeavour, though my suspicions are that she, and my two old friends, Lucretia, and Viola, had a part to play in it.

As the Council approach, the parrot spreads its wings and blasts out an angry squawk. Despite the pointed humiliation directed at the ruling elite, they welcome La Contessa fawningly. They are all over her; bowing and scraping, kissing her hand, and showering her with flattery. The Council members are effusive in their welcome even though she mocks them by inviting them to compliment her choice of costume. It's only the stern Archbishop who goes through the motions, whilst looking distinctly uncomfortable. La Contessa is milking the attention as much as she can and is thoroughly enjoying herself.

It's strange that the Doge himself is not there. It's customary for him to launch the flotilla but it appears Alessandro Fernasse is taking the lead. Perhaps the Doge is indisposed?

La Contessa crosses the gang plank and boards her barge. She strides past the rows of gondoliers, steps up onto the elevated felice, and waves at the crowds with a flourish of her pirate's hat, to great applause. She takes up her chair on the dais. Mademoiselle stands at her side, beaming with delight, as Julia, Becky and I take up a lower and more subservient position in front of them.

"Come here girl," orders La Contessa, beckoning Becky forward.

She unfastens the cords at the neck of the cloak, allowing the white silk to glide onto the ground to show off Becky to the crowds in her silver-clad glory. She spreads her fingers over the girl's shining metal crotch.

"You look magnificent, girl. If I am the pirate, then you are my exotic booty, captured from a far-away civilisation, and brought back to serve her mistress."

Mademoiselle is gushing in her appreciation, "Thank you so much for the invitation, Contessa. You costume is fabulous, madam. You make the perfect pirate!"

"Thank you, Marie."

"This will be marvellous. What tales I will have to take back to Paris with me!"

I'm surprised to see it's Fernasse who starts the celebrations for the finale of Carnevale. He raises his hand and instantly fireworks set off from San Marco behind him to mark the start of the regatta.

The rows of gondoliers set the vessel going with graceful pulls of their oars. The barge glides away from the quay-side into open water, and the flotilla of boats sets off behind us. It's a splendid sight. The cupolas of the Basilica gleam in the midday sun. We pull away from the Doge's Palace and San Marco and head for the entrance into the Grand Canal.

Who would have thought? Was it only a few months ago I was on my knees sucking cock in the alleyways of the least salubrious district of Venice? Now, here I am, at the head of a grand procession of barges, feluccas, and gondolas, in the service of the most powerful, not to mention richest, woman in the Republic of Venice. Whatever twists and turns my journey has taken, and whatever punishments and travails I've had to endure, it's with great pride I take up my place alongside my mistress. Julia is beaming. This is a landmark for her. In the many years La Contessa has participated in the regatta, Julia has never been invited to attend her on the ceremonial barge. She's taking in the whole spectacle and loving every moment of it. Even Becky is smiling, but then she does have Mademoiselle's hand fondling her arse, which is not encased in silver.

As we enter the Grand Canal we are greeted with a roar from the throngs along the canal side or leaning from the windows of the palaces lining the canal. Of all the spectacles Venice has to offer, a regatta is the finest. The Grand Canal is still the grandest waterway in the whole world. It represents Venice at its best and has not suffered the decay of the city's hidden districts. It looks at its shimmering best today. Brightly coloured tapestries hang from the balconies of the magnificent palaces. Venetians make an effort to look the part during Carnevale, so the crowds are dressed in their finery, and there are spectacular masks everywhere I turn. I glimpse back to the flotilla of boats behind us. There are the magnificent barges like La Contessa's, and the gondolas decorated for the occasion. The sun reflects off the black lacquer, golden-gilded ornamentation and scarlet canopies. It's a sight to behold. Seeing it makes me proud to be a son of La Serenissima.

The barge continues its stately progress along the canal. As we approach Ponte di Rialto, masked crowds hang from the bridge waving flags and shouting. La Contessa raises her hat to acknowledge the adulation of the crowds. She's loving every second. Here she is, Venice's most notorious dominatrix, for few in the city are unaware of her reputation, leading the flotilla. It's a pinnacle of her achievement to have the elite of Venice following her in the regatta, have the crowds adulating her.

We soak up the experience. It's exhilarating. It's dazzling. And La Contessa is there at the forefront of it.

The barge rows the length of the Grand Canal when the flotilla disperses. The vessel is taken back along the canal to drop us off at Palazzo Cavalli. We have spare time to relax and get ready for the evening's ball.

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