Pleasure in Control Ch. 11byjulie_julia©
This is but one small part of a much longer novel. You'll enjoy this story much more if you read the earlier chapters first.
The Bath & York stores had been open for 2 months and the increase in business had demanded more staff. They were fully trained now so I needed to mystery shop them as well as keeping an eye on the established stores. I covered thousands of miles in 3 weeks, visiting both our own retail outlets as well as those of our competitors, working some weekends too to observe the differing clientele and staff.
The growth in 'raunchy' shops found in many high streets and out-of-town retail parks had caught Linda's attention and she asked me to call in whenever I saw a new one open, to monitor their merchandise, their sales methods and the type of customers they attract, which I did. Much of what they sold could best be described as trash but they usually carried some more stylish lingerie, albeit overpriced for what it was. Some of their fetish/fantasy wear was basically crap, but again they did have some lines that were very daring and probably a lot of fun behind closed doors. Mostly made of PVC and leatherette, it was rarely well made and usually purchased by young girls in pairs and groups buying for a laugh or for parties, the dance floor or simply under peer group pressure. However, I did see more mature, sophisticated customers buying highly selectively, seeking out the better quality goods including latex rubber and soft, supple leather.
The staff in these shops varied from mostly immature, poorly trained and uninterested, through to some skilled and highly attentive young women who took good care of me and seemed to genuinely want to understand my needs and expectations.
More out of personal curiosity than professional motivation, I stopped by the 'Adult' section of one such store. Here I found overpriced rubbish that I guessed would usually be bought as a gift and never used. Many of the toys were made from cheap, hard plastic in garish designs and colours that could only be found stimulating by the most unsophisticated and insecure of customers. However, again I found some treasures if I was prepared to look long and hard enough. From one women's toys section I purchased a sleek and attractive vibrator in 'soft-feel' dark blue and a device called a Butterfly, described as 'discreet yet powerful, delivering pleasure and relief at any time and in any place.' I looked forward to validating the manufacturer's claims.
Most nights away I stayed at good quality edge-of-town hotels belonging to the up-market chains, preferring these to city-centre establishments which usually have smaller rooms, smell of chips, are noisier and rarely have sports and leisure facilities.
Early one evening whilst enjoying a refreshing drink in the bar of one such hotel just outside York, I was approached by a young lady. This made a pleasant change from the unwelcome attention I often attracted from male guests.
It was Danielle, whom I'd met briefly in the Regent St. store when I spent rather too long in the changing room with Linda. She introduced herself and explained that she had now been transferred to the recently-opened York Passionella outlet and she'd recognised me from my shopping trip there the previous day. From her wonderful local accent I guessed this was much nearer home.
I hoped she hadn't remembered the Linda incident - she must have heard us. Remembering that I was still 'on duty' I had to role-play as customer not colleague, concocting a simple explanation of why I was in the area. Liars need good memories.
Passionella had relocated her back to Yorkshire and she was staying in the hotel until she could find somewhere to live - Dems do not get their accommodation provided by the company.
We shared a drink and some jokes and I invited her to join me in the hotel pool. Fortunately she too had planned to visit the sports complex so she had some swimwear with her and ten minutes later we were standing in our underwear in the communal changing rooms.
Danielle pulled a rather serious-looking one-piece swimsuit from her sports bag and I immediately felt awkward - I only had my skimpy, strappy blue bikini with me and I didn't want to upstage her. But Danielle soon salvaged the situation, commenting: "Oh fantastic. If you're going into the pool in that, I'll join you. I bought this weeks ago but I haven't yet summoned up the courage to wear it," she bubbled, "I figured it was too revealing." Upon which she pulled a few scraps of dark bronze metallic-effect fabric, held together with the thinnest of 'string' straps, from the side pocket of her sports bag and held them up to her slender body.
Delighted, I explained to her the enjoyment I derived from teasing the obese middle-aged businessmen who often frequent these hotels by strutting around the pool edge in a revealing bikini, which would preferably be near-transparent when wet.
"I love the way they furtively stare at me and try to conceal their erections. That counts 5 points. The experienced pool voyeurs wear loose boxer-style swimwear and take a newspaper or magazine onto the poolside, peering over the top to watch me. Score: 10 points. If I'm feeling really brave, I pick on a young guy in tight trunks and really lead him on. If I can spot a full-grown stiffy in his pants I award myself double points. If he approaches me and attempts to chat me up, I simply make my excuses and head for the female changing rooms. Does that me a big tease?"
Danielle just giggled and couldn't wait to dive in. I followed her and we swam several lengths together before climbing out at the far end.
When Danielle emerged from the cool water, her nipples were already erect and they poked provocatively through the thin shiny fabric of her tiny bikini top. Her small breasts needed little support and were spaced wide on her chest so she didn't naturally display a cleavage but I particularly enjoyed watching the soft swellings of her 34A breasts peeping cheekily out of the sides of her bronze top.
Her waist was slim and her tummy was flat without being overly muscular and the back of her thong-style bikini bottoms had completely disappeared into the crack between her taught, rounded bum cheeks. Her thighs were slim but her pelvis was wide so, even when she stood with her knees together I could see daylight between the tops of her legs (I love that in a girl) as well as the beautiful curve of her bronze-lycra covered pussy. A small fabric triangle hid her mound but little else; her pubes were obviously shaved or waxed almost out of existence.
I could hardly keep my own eyes off her body. Neither could our audience. We spent nearly an hour in the pool area and Danielle won easily by 85 points to 40. She was so sexy, just the way she looked and moved. Her string bikini was so revealing we would have been ejected from any public pool but these hotel pools are often unattended; we could only guess how many staff were huddled around the CCTV monitor as we strutted and swayed and sat and reclined and plunged.
Having attracted more than our fair share of lascivious stares and pathetic chat-up lines, we made our escape to the changing rooms. Danielle undressed in the shower cubicle and emerged with a towel around her so, disappointingly, I didn't get to see her naked. We dressed and agreed to share a table for dinner. Preferring to eat almost anywhere except a hotel restaurant, we jumped into a taxi and headed into the city centre. We got on terrifically and enjoyed an Indian meal washed down with several bottles of strong lager. Danielle had worked as a Dem for Passionella for 18 months and had been married briefly to a beast of a man who totally failed to satisfy her sexually, now listing fast driving, clubbing and partying high on her list of favourite pastimes.
We staggered back to the hotel at midnight and I invited her up to my room but she declined, adding "Maybe another time." I certainly hoped that was sincere and not just a brush-off.
When I checked out of the hotel next morning, the desk boy handed me a message. 'Contact Linda at the office whenever convenient'
On my way to my next store visit I called the office. Linda was out but she had left detailed instructions with Rachel: On Thursday at 4:30 p.m. I was to go to a particular car dealership representing one of the premium German brands and ask for David Cousins, and then meet her at 7:30 in a bar round the corner from PROM
I busied myself until Thursday, calling into just about every lingerie retailer in York whilst constantly pondering over my appointments. I hoped that Linda hadn't changed her mind. I'd put a lot of thought and energy into finding ways to help her, with assistance and 'training' from Kirsten in particular as well as some valuable encouragement and suggestions from Emma. Wednesday night was slow to pass as I lay awake wondering if I'd done something wrong.
I drove onto the small forecourt of the German car dealer at exactly the prescribed time (I'd parked round the corner for nearly an hour, waiting impatiently) and Mr Cousins was waiting for me. "You must be Julia, Linda's friend. Hello, how are you?" he enquired, shaking me firmly by the hand. I could only guess why I was here, confirmed by his next remark.
"It's ready for you, and you've made an excellent choice, if you don't mind me saying." I played along. "We've fitted and tested all the extras you ordered. The mechanics commented that they've never prepared a car that's so comprehensively specified. It took them all lunchtime to work out that you really have got every possible option and extra in the price list." I already hated this man more than most. Patronising is not a strong enough word. "And the colour would have been my choice too." I felt sick.
Mr Cousins led me to the showroom and there in the doorway stood a work of art in steel and glass. The latest, most powerful version of a classic in its own time. A 2-door coupe in dark metallic blue, 4-wheel drive, with every safety, convenience and comfort accessory I could ever need, and more besides. He handed me they keys. "I'll help you transfer your belongings from your old car then you just need to sign a couple of forms and she's yours."
As I drove gingerly from the forecourt I felt on top of the world, but also a little puzzled. The car was fantastic; I'd seen similar models on the road and envied them enormously. Had I let slip this fact to Linda? The name on the registration document was mine but on the top of the invoice was not Passionella UK but Linda's name and private address. At first I'd assumed this was my new company car but it now appeared to be a personal gift from Linda. Was it a thank-you, or bribery? Or even 'immoral earnings? But I hadn't even touched her yet!
Linda was already sitting at a pavement table when I arrived, sipping a long soft drink. She kissed me warmly on both cheeks and moved my chair out for me like a well-practised waiter. "Hi, Julia, thanks for coming, how are you?" she enquired.
My drink arrived and I started to describe some aspects of my research during the previous two weeks but Linda's mind was obviously elsewhere. "Oh, yes, I remember," interrupted Linda, going on to remind me that she sees all my reports, which she reads avidly. Before I'd finished, Linda reached into her bag and pulled out neatly-folded document on Passionella headed paper.
"Julia," she commenced, "I have been giving a lot of thought recently to the product strategy for Passionella UK and your recent reports have confirmed and crystallise my plans. I've drafted a letter to all my employees and I'd like you to look over it. I'd value your comments. Take it home and let me know next week." She passed the crisp papers to me; I glanced over the pages and slipped them into my bag.
"Do you like the car?" she asked, rapidly changing the subject.
I said that I did like it enormously but that I'd only had time to drive a few miles, and I started to ask a question. From by the expression on my face she accurately guessed what it might be. "Let's just say it's a mark of my appreciation for all you have done for Passionella UK, and for me personally." I only managed to say "But ..." when she put a finger on my lips to stop me. "Just enjoy it, OK. You deserve it. Thanks."
She changed the subject once more and we spent a pleasant hour chatting over a meal, until I'd summoned up the courage to ask another question that had been bothering me.
"Linda," I started; she looked straight at me. "How did you know I'd tied Helen's wrists together in the Private Room after the Mesh launch? And what we did together?"
Linda stood up, paid the bill and took me by the hand. "I'll show you."
It took only a few minutes to walk to Passionella UK head office. When we arrived, the lights were still on. "I expect Emma's working late again, or maybe Charlotte," Linda commented nonchalantly. I followed her upstairs to her office and she beckoned me in, locking the door behind us. Surely Helen hadn't broken one of the main Passionella rules, of complete confidentiality? I guessed Linda was going to play me a sound recording of a conversation. But no, she'd said 'I'll show you.'
Linda switched on her computer and the large flat plasma screen on her office wall lit up. She pressed a few keyboard keys and an image appeared. I immediately recognised it as the Red Private Room. She clicked again and a picture of Yellow appeared, then Silver. I looked at her to elicit an explanation.
"Look carefully," she suggested. As I studied the picture I realised it was not a still photograph, but a moving image, even though there was nothing actually moving. "Video?" I asked. "No," she replied, "definitely not. Live."
"Yes," she confirmed.
So, Linda could watch what was happening in any of the rooms at any time, live in her office. So that explains why she's nowhere to be seen at the launch-night after-show parties - Linda's a voyeur.
"Does anyone else know?" I asked.
"Only Emma, " she replied in a faltering voice, "I'm sorry if I've betrayed your trust. But I found watching beautiful women getting off on my products to be the next best thing to actually getting off myself. You know how I've been deprived of all sexual fulfillment all these years - this is the nearest I could get. Until that day in the Regent St. store. And you wonder why I bought you a car? For fuck's sake, Julia, I'd have bought you a mansion if I'd known where you'd like to live!"
I was awe-struck. "Have you been watching me at all the launch parties?" I asked.
Linda looked down momentarily, indicating guilt and shame. Then she looked up at me coyly, seeking forgiveness. "Yes Julia. I can't keep my eyes off you. I'm sorry."
I didn't know what to think.
"Did you see me with Stevie when we 'scissored' together?" I asked. Linda nodded.
"And when Abigail & Vikki put on that bondage pole-show for me?" She confirmed that she had.
"But what about the Look, Don't Touch rule? If you're watching all this stuff going on, why don't you take some action?" I challenged.
"OK, so how do I explain to the Dems that I know what goes on - admit that I'm spying on them? They'd never trust me again," came her swift reply.
I looked at her nonplussed. "But you are spying on them!"
"I'm not!" Linda retorted. "I'm watching them for my own gratification, not to check upon them. Anyway, the Dems are very clever. They stretch the rules close to breaking point but almost never overstep the mark, and only with very loyal and trusted clients. Think about what Abigail & Vikki did, did they actually touch each other's genitals? Or yours?"
I shook my head and confirmed: "Sadly not."
Linda was right. But she doesn't know about me and Kirsten. Does she?
As we had been talking, Linda had been idly flicking through the channels, flashing one empty room after another on the giant screen, but she stopped when the lights in Silver flicked on and the door opened. We both watched as Yasmin and Zöe walked in holding hands and locked the door behind them.
"What are they doing here this evening?" I enquired, "there's no show tonight"
The girls started to kiss each other's cheeks and necks.
"We do allow some valued clients to use the rooms at other times," she continued, "for example, to change after work before going to the theatre. Or to try on some Passionella products in a more private atmosphere than the store outlets."
Yasmin was wearing a lace-up Gypsy-style top and suede skirt with a raw jagged hemline. Zöe was wearing a bomber jacket over a cropped tee-shirt with matching denim jeans. She undid the poppers on her jacket and shrugged it off, tossing it onto a nearby sofa; she obviously wore nothing under her top. It clung enticingly over, around and under the rounded muscular curves of her firm breasts and I could clearly see her nipples poking little peaks through the white stretch cotton fabric. And her jeans were definitely not chain-store own-brand.
"Shouldn't they be accompanied by a Passionella employee?" I quizzed further.
Linda confirmed that indeed they should and that no-one would have given them a key without ensuring that a staff member would be there too. "Someone will be joining them soon, I'm sure," she reassured me. "Here, sit down and watch, we'll make sure they do."
Yasmin and Zöe snogged passionately and pressed their clothed bodies together.
"I can't imagine how any Passionella employee could help them with what they seem to want to do," I observed, "these two are so tactile and so extrovert; they always draw a lot of attention at launch parties. I can't keep my eyes off them."
The two tall young women were obviously already hot for each other before they'd arrived and Yasmin's hands were soon all over Zöe, clawing at her breasts. Then she dropped to her knees, slowly dragged down the zipper on her friend's jeans and nuzzled her face in her crotch. Zöe dug her fingers into her hair and pressed her face harder into her most special place. Yasmin hooked her fingers into the waistband of Zöe's designer-denims and pulled them down around her ankles, preventing her from opening her legs very wide. But she still managed to nestle her chin between her thighs and looked to be nibbling her pussy like it was a tasty piece of ripe fresh fruit through the fabric of her leopard-print panties.
Linda and I continued to watch in silence as Zöe pulled her short crop-top over her head and cupped her own naked breasts. She tipped her head right back so her naturally wild and tousled hair fell down her back. She had her mouth open wide and her eyes tight shut so she did not see another door at the far side of the room swing open. I looked at Linda but she did not appear surprised or alarmed, simply asking me if I recognised the new entrant. I didn't, as she was wearing a highly-decorated mask and an all-in-one silver glossy cat-suit that accentuated her curvaceous body. Then the new participant turned her back to the camera and I realised it was Rachel; her long, voluminous hair hung down her back all but concealing the zipper of her high-neck, long-sleeved cat-suit.
"Rachel?" I suggested. Linda nodded.
Rachel was holding several white leather belts in one hand and in the other a short, thin stick not unlike a conductor's baton, with which she tapped Yasmin on the shoulder. Immediately she sat back on her haunches and Zöe opened her eyes in surprise, but smiled when she saw the totally-encased form of Rachel standing behind her amorous friend.
Rachel motioned Zöe towards the chrome and white leather recliner chair at the far end of the room; Linda hit a keyboard key and the camera angle changed so we could see her.
Zöe relaxed back in the chair and Yasmin stood facing her at her feet. Rachel picked up a small box not unlike a home-entertainment system remote control and stood at Zöe's head. Slowly the chair tipped back and the leg-rests raised its occupant's feet off the floor then swung aside, parting her legs slightly. Zöe lay with her head propped against the headrest and placed her hands on her thighs.