The Pledge Mistress Ch. 09bycaligula97236©
Chapter 9 - Lisa's weakness
Tracy was finished in less than 10 minutes. She struck hard, but was not in any mood to prolong the strapping. Lisa made it through the punishment without crying, although her expression clearly reflected the pain of having taken a severe punishment over the bruises left over from the previous day's paddling. Her bottom now was in bad shape, covered with cruel welts and deep red in color.
Tracy tapped her hard on the shoulder. "Get up. Come with me," she snapped.
Lisa struggled to push herself up and painfully followed the pledge mistress past the kitchen and back to the sitting room. Kathleen was still kneeling, a solitary and very forlorn figure hunched in the corner. Her hands were cuffed behind her back and her eyes still covered by the blindfold. It was clear that she had been crying the whole time she was left alone.
Tracy took off Kathleen's blindfold and unlocked the handcuffs. She helped Kathleen stand up, but then pointed at the floor to let both pledges know that they needed to kneel so she could talk to them.
"Pledge Kathleen, I'm cutting your punishment short, because Pledge Lisa informed me that she was partly to blame for what happened on the exam table. I have dealt with her, and except for your re-test, and I consider the incident resolved."
"Pledge Lisa, we need the bathrooms cleaned before you go to bed tonight. There's an inspection manual sitting on the desk of the office. I expect you to use it and make sure the bathrooms comply with what's in there. Each bathroom has a cleaning log stored under the sink. Once you've cleaned the bathroom, make sure you fill in the time so you won't get blamed if anyone comes in after you and leaves a mess."
"Alright. I want you two to wait in the pledge room while we have dinner. You're still under punishment restriction, so you'll be missing dinner. Once we're done, I'll have Pledges Cherine and Bernadette go get you so you can get started on the bathrooms. You can use the pledge showers while you wait. With the way you two smell right now, I'd take advantage of that if I were you."
Lisa and Kathleen quickly rose to their feet.
"You are dismissed."
Lisa and Kathleen went into the basement while Bernadette and Cherine took their places at the table with the sophomores. The two unpunished pledges felt both very nervous and very guilty that they were enjoying dinner while their companions were going hungry in the basement, but fortunately that did not diminish their appetites. They assumed, quite rightly, that there would be plenty of evenings they would be going hungry themselves sitting in the basement following a punishment.
Kathleen was consumed with guilt over what had happened to Lisa. As soon as they made it into the pledge room she began crying and profusely apologizing. Lisa responded not by trying to tell Kathleen that she forgave her or that "everything's OK", but by holding her fellow pledge while she finished crying. Lisa knew that what Kathleen needed was not to be reassured with words, but by being held.
She led Kathleen to the sofa and sat down. She took her companion's hand and drew her into a sitting position next to her. Kathleen cried into her shoulder as Lisa held her and comforted her. Finally, she recovered enough to speak:
"I...I can't do this! I thought I could, but I can't! I want out! I just can't handle it! I'm sorry!"
Lisa didn't say anything, but began stroking Kathleen's short dark hair. That seemed to calm her down a bit. She gently brushed away the tears from her companion's face, which calmed her down even more. Lisa moved from brushing away the tears to caressing her cheek, which quieted Kathleen even more. Lisa realized that she had discovered something important about her companion, that she could be soothed and reassured by being touched.
Kathleen snuggled up to Lisa, seeking an emotional shelter from the traumatic events of the past three days. Lisa put her arm around Kathleen's shoulders and allowed her face to rest against her chest. She knew that if she could comfort her fellow pledge long enough without being interrupted, the crisis would pass.
Lisa was grateful for the moment of silence, because her own emotions were in turmoil. She realized that she had reached an important turning point in her life, because to keep Kathleen in the pledge group, she would have to develop a relationship with her and allow her to become emotionally dependent. It seemed that only Lisa could provide Kathleen with the motivation and support that would convince her to stay in. She would have to assume the role of Kathleen's mentor and protector. Ultimately there would have to be more to the relationship between the two women, but the question was, how much more?
Lisa felt an emotional tug towards Kathleen, but was experienced enough in life to know why. Both women were frightened, isolated, tired, and under a lot of emotional stress. They were totally dependent on the whims of Tracy and Heather for every detail of their existence, including their most basic human needs. They faced three months being cut off from the outside world. They had no one to turn to for comfort except each other. Lisa's need to watch over someone else was as important as Kathleen's need to seek protection. Lisa realized she needed Kathleen every bit as much as Kathleen needed her.
Lisa knew that another issue was likely to come up between herself and Kathleen, and that was sex. It was Kathleen's sexual fascination with Lisa that got both of them in trouble in the first place, and the sexual issue was certain to re-surface. How would she handle that, when the moment came?
Lisa decided that Kathleen had calmed down enough for them to shower. She squeezed her companion's hand and suggested they get cleaned up, since the others would be returning shortly and the bathrooms still had to be cleaned. Kathleen did not resist. She quietly followed Lisa to the shower stalls.
The two women began soaping themselves, but Kathleen was sending non-verbal signals that she wanted her companion to soap her back. Lisa didn't see the harm in that. She agreed to gently soap Kathleen's entire back, including her welt-covered bottom. As Lisa's hands gently circled soap over her companion's tender backside, Kathleen put her hands on the wall and arched her back. She wanted more. She wanted Lisa to touch her, to run her fingers over the most sensitive area of her body. She wanted to feel Lisa's finger to massage and then press into her bottom-hole. If Lisa only would do that...
Lisa did go much further than she originally intended. She soaped the most intimate part of Kathleen, thoroughly cleaning her vagina and bottom-hole. Kathleen gasped with delight, something that Lisa found very erotic. The pull now was much stronger, not only was Kathleen falling in love with Lisa, but also Lisa was becoming increasingly attracted to Kathleen. She realized how much she enjoyed touching and caressing her...
No...no, this can't be happening. You've go to stop it, now. You can't do this to her! The small voice of restraint, that voice of reason and morality, resonated in Lisa's thoughts. You've got to stop this, now!
Lisa backed away, only to have her companion embrace her. Kathleen put her face to Lisa's chest and held her tight. That embrace, along with the sensation of Kathleen's skin in contact with her own, buried Lisa's doubts. She realized just how good it felt to hold her. It was too late for that voice of reason to intervene in Lisa's life. Just three days after meeting her, she had fallen into a relationship with Kathleen.
Lisa's heart pounded as Kathleen pulled her head off her chest. She looked at Lisa with a very intense expression. Her eyes glistened with desire and her mouth was slightly open. Lisa knew that the moment had come. They now were lovers. All they need now was to exchange their first kiss. Kathleen closed her eyes and leaned forward...
The sound of footsteps coming down the stairs alerted the two women that their interlude of solitude had ended. They rapidly separated and moved to their respective showers.
Bernadette and Cherine entered the room, quite surprised to see their fellow pledges still showering. The expressions on the faces of the shower's occupants gave them away. Kathleen was clearly distressed at the interruption, while Lisa's face reflected a combination of embarrassment, disappointment, and relief. Bernadette gave Lisa a very suspicious look: what's going on here? Why aren't you two cleaned up yet? Even Cherine, the most inexperienced member of the pledge group, realized that something was not right.
Lisa pulled herself out of her confused mood and finished rinsing off. She ignored Bernadette's suspicious glances as she prepared to confront the next issue of the day, the bathrooms. She reached for the inspection manual and organized her companions by task. Lisa would clean the toilets and perform the final inspection check, Bernadette would clean the sinks and wipe down the floors, Kathleen was responsible for bathtubs and showers, and Cherine was in charge of removing trash and dirty linens.
"If any of you doesn't like what they're doing, I'm willing to switch with you."
No one volunteered, given that Lisa already had taken the least pleasant task, the toilets, for herself.
The pledges went through their duty very quickly. They worked on two bathrooms at a time, Kathleen and Bernadette going first, and then Lisa and Cherine finishing up. They were completely finished within an hour. Lisa inspected each bathroom, signed the cleaning log, and moved on. She realized that Tracy's comment "make sure you fill in the time so you won't get blamed if anyone comes in after you and leaves a mess," meant that the bathroom clean up was a standard chore and not a hazing task.
Just to be safe, Lisa directed her companions to get ready for bed while she looked for Tracy. Finally she found her in the sorority library, sitting in an armchair as she read a psychology journal and took notes. Lisa realized how focused a student Tracy truly must be, given that she was working on her major even during the weeks between the spring and summer semesters.
She knelt at the door and knocked.
"Ma'am, Pledge Lisa requests permission to speak."
"Go ahead Pledge Lisa."
"The bathrooms have been cleaned ma'am."
"That fast? Are you sure they're in compliance with the inspection manual?"
"I checked each one myself, ma'am. If they're not in compliance it'd be because I overlooked something."
"Alright, let's have a look."
Lisa followed Tracy through two of the bathrooms. She straightened a few of the towels, but otherwise found nothing wrong.
"OK, Pledge Lisa. This'll work. You're dismissed for the night."
Lisa suddenly remembered Ruth Burnside's request to have the chapter president call her to work out an arrangement that would allow Lisa to continue pledging but not interfere with her duties with the Economics Department. She knelt to address Tracy again.
"Ma'am, Pledge Lisa requests permission to speak."
"Yes, Pledge Lisa?"
She told the pledge mistress about her contract with Ruth Burnside and explained that President Alexandra needed to call the professor to work out the details concerning how they would split up Lisa's time. Tracy told Lisa to follow her back to the office, and typed out an e-mail addressed to both President Alexandra and Ruth Burnside concerning the need for them to talk about Pledge Lisa's dual commitment. She asked Lisa for Burnside's contact information to put in the e-mail, and also included President Alexandra's information.
"There. Now it's all in writing, addressed to both of them, so there won't be any confusion about what they're supposed to do."
"Thank you, ma'am."
Lisa decided to bring up another issue, before things between her and Kathleen went any further and they got in trouble. She knew that pledges were strictly prohibited from having relationships with full members of either the sorority or the fraternity, but the rules did not say anything about relationships with other pledges. She asked, just for the purposes of clarification for her group, what the rule was concerning sexual contact between pledges.
Tracy gave Lisa an impatient look.
"Pledge, don't bullshit me. You're not curious about that rule for your group. What you want to know is if you'll get in trouble if you do anything with Pledge Kathleen. That's what this is all about, isn't it?"
Lisa took a very deep breath. "Yes, ma'am."
"That depends on how you handle it. We encourage pledges to experiment with their sexuality within the guidelines of our program, so there's not a problem if you have a relationship with Pledge Kathleen. If you end up doing anything with her, you'll need to be discreet about it. We don't want you flaunting it around the sorority. No kissing in public areas, no handholding, no making the rest of us listen to sweet talk, that sort of thing. The privacy rule's not just for you; it's for everyone. There's a lot of relationships among us and between us and the Tri-Alphas, but we respect each other and keep it quiet. If you can keep whatever you do with Pledge Kathleen to yourselves, then I have no problem with you spending some of your time together. The moment it interferes with your behavior in public or your pledge duties, then I will have a problem."
"Thank you ma'am."
"Now, there's another issue, and only you can answer it. You need to think about your reason for wanting a relationship with Pledge Kathleen. Is it because she's truly the love of your life, or is it because you two are thrown together in a very difficult situation and need each other's support?"
"I...I don't know, ma'am...I mean like...I've only known her three days..."
"Exactly. Three days. You've known her three days. You'd better give that some thought."
"But...she really needs me...I mean, tonight she was just gonna quit, and...I sort of...you know like, held her...I mean..."
Lisa took a deep breath and blurted out; "this pledging, and the way you're treating us, it's a lot harder than we thought it was going to be..."
"Well, it's gonna get even harder, because it's my job to push you to your limits. Don't think I'm gonna let up on you guys, because I'm not. The sorority believes that to join us you have to completely know yourself, and to completely know yourself you've got to know how you're gonna react under a lot of hardship and stress. Even with you, after just three days I've noticed some changes in your character because I've been so rough on you. I'm starting to think that you've already found out things about yourself that you didn't know."
"Yes, ma'am. That's true."
"And that includes what you want from your relationships?"
"Yes, ma'am, or, like...now I'm confused. Three days ago I thought I knew what I wanted. Now I don't have any idea. I don't know. I 'spose when I see Ken again I'll straighten it all out."
Tracy became pensive upon hearing Ken's name. It was apparent that she knew something important, but was not sure whether to disclose it.
"Pledge Lisa, about your boyfriend...I got a question for you. How well do you think you know Ken?"
Lisa was surprised by the sudden turn of the conversation. What did "knowing Ken" have to do with her pledging responsibilities?
"I'm pretty sure I know him just fine. I mean, we've spent a lot of time together and we've experimented a lot, and..."
"So you're pretty certain that he wouldn't hit you with any surprises? That maybe there's something he's been keeping from you?"
"Ma'am, what do you know about him?"
"Pledge, his end of it is confidential. The only thing that I can tell you is that we're here to discover the truth about ourselves and about each other. Next week Ken will start the same process of self-discovery when he pledges with the Triple A's that you're undergoing with us."
"But, ma'am, is there something about him I need to know? I mean, have you read his pledge packet?"
"Then what is it? What..."
"Pledge, I'm not going to talk about someone else's life. You'll find out soon enough. The only thing that I'm worried about is how it might affect you. I'm just asking you to keep an open mind."
"PLEDGE, STAND UP!"
Lisa immediately rose to her feet.
"You are dismissed, Pledge. Make sure Pledge Kathleen is ready to re-test at 5:00. Get the others up at 5:30. I expect you to have your area cleaned and be lined up next to the pool at 6:00. Tomorrow's lower body and aerobic PT day. It's gonna be quite hot, yet again, so we'll need to exercise as early as possible."
Lisa left the meeting feeling as though she had been hit in the chest. Tracy's words "maybe there's something he's been keeping from you" echoed over and over in her mind. As best she could within her oath not to divulge information about another pledge, the pledge mistress was trying to warn her not to count on Ken. It was obvious he had written something in his pledge packet that had alerted Tracy that his sexual ambitions extended beyond continuing his relationship with Lisa.
Unfortunately, Lisa suspected she knew what the problem was. During their first few weeks as friends back in September, Ken had confessed that occasionally he felt attracted to guys as well as to women. In other words, he openly admitted to being bisexual. Cecilia Sanchez later confided something else to Lisa back in November, that she had noticed Ken looking longingly at her boyfriend Jason a couple of times. Cecilia had been tempted to say something and tell Ken to stay away from Jason, but held her tongue and later was glad she did.
As their relationship developed, Lisa had assumed that Ken was not really bisexual, but instead simply a masochist. All he needed was the right woman to dominate him, and he would be happy. Now she had to deal with the shock of being wrong, that her lover of six months was not really who she thought he was. Yes, he was indeed a masochist, but apparently his bisexuality was something he was planning to explore upon joining the fraternity.
Lisa was infuriated, not so much at Ken's situation, but at the fact that he had not had the decency to tell her about his sexual doubts and upcoming plans. She had to hear about it from a third person, from her pledge mistress. Lisa tightened her lips, because at that moment she took it for granted that her relationship with Ken had ended. You want to fuck other guys, asshole? That's fine with me. You want to come back to me afterwards? I don't think so. You can go to hell.
Lisa was deeply hurt, but refused to admit that to herself. She covered her emotional pain with anger and scorn. Cecilia had warned Lisa that she thought Ken was an idiot, that he was weak-willed, and that he had no character. It turned out that Cecilia was right about him, just like it seemed she had been right about a bunch of other things. Well, chalk up another one for Cecilia, thought Lisa to herself.
Lisa's thoughts returned to her own situation. At that moment she could not see the irony of her feelings towards Kathleen. In her mind she excoriated Ken for wanting to explore his desire to experiment with other guys, and yet here she was, wanting to do the exact same thing with another female. Unlike Ken, Lisa was not even willing to admit she might be bisexual. She hated that word and associated it with hypocrisy. Instead she saw herself as a straight woman who just happened to be attracted to someone of the same sex due to the circumstances of a unique friendship.
Lisa returned to the basement to find the other pledges asleep. The room was dimly lit with a single nightlight, so she could make out the bare figures of her companions as they lay on top of bedrolls on their cots. Bernadette had the presence of mind to close the air conditioning vent, so the room was warmer than the rest of the sorority. The warm air allowed the pledges to be relatively comfortable in spite of being forced to sleep naked with no covers.