Finding Happiness Ch. 15byXantu©
Chapter 15: A Subpoena to Testify
The week passed quickly. Over and over Junie fought the impulse to beg her Master for his answer. She wrote to Tammi and her sons. Nearly every day she exchanged notes with Monica, little everyday messages about books, movies, how the baby she was caring for was growing, how the puppies were growing up.
The small, flat-screen television Junie ordered online came in, along with a DVD player. Junie discretely installed it in her sewing room and started up a membership in a by-mail video rental club.
Junie finished her corset and gasped as her Mistress laced her up tight into it. Junie was torn between loving the image in the mirror and the shallow-breathed agony at being forced into an unnatural hourglass shape. Her large breasts looked huge as they were forced up and out by the shelf bra she had built into the complex, confining garment. She looked in the mirror and squeaked in a shallow breathless voice, "Oh my god, I have a waist, take a picture quick before I faint."
Donna laughed and said, "I can see why these things are used by Dom's around the world. They look hot and it's torture just to wear one."
Junie tried to laugh and then squeaked, "I'll get to work on yours first thing tomorrow morning."
Junie's phone rang and, when she checked to see who would be calling her, she was surprised to see Agent Durant's name on her screen. A little pang of worry about Monica shot through her.
As soon as she answered, she blurted out, "Is Monica all right?"
Agent Durant's voice was all business, "Ms. Thomas, Junie, I am not calling to talk with you about Monica. The judge assigned to the case in Oregon has ruled that she will not accept your deposition regarding how the knife was found in your car. We are going to need you to testify."
Junie's heart sank, "Testify? You mean like in court?" Even as she said the words she knew how stupid it sounded.
"Yes, ma'am, the judge ruled that the defense has the right to challenge your statement. It's the law that any accused criminal has the right to face his accusers and have the opportunity to defend himself."
"He'll be there? They'll ask me about... about...the picture and me doing those foolish things online?" Junie's voice shook, all her old fears roaring back. Almost unaware that she was pacing, she roamed her room like a caged animal trying to find a route to escape. It took her a minute to realize he was still talking. Over the buzzing in her ears, his voice was just another noise. He was saying something about a subpoena and court dates. Junie looked at the phone and turned it off and carefully put it away in her purse.
Her mind was still buzzing with panic, but her steps were determined. She walked quickly out to the garage and, sitting down, gathered the puppies into her lap. Holding Happy close, she crooned and rocked.
Donna found her there, whispering to the puppy. "Junie, I have been looking all over for you. Agent Durant called me. He said he was talking with you and the connection was broken and you didn't answer when he tried to call back. He's a little worried about you."
Junie's voice was choked, "I don't care. I won't do it. Please don't make me do it."
Donna stood looking down at her for a while, a soft worried frown on her face. Finally she sat down next to Junie and picked up a puppy and began to pet the squirming little bundle of yellow fur. She spoke softly, "I'm sorry, Junie, but if they subpoena you, you have to go. I can't protect you from that."
Junie began to plead, "They'll ask me questions, ask me about Sir James and... and..." Junie's voice broke, "I won't do it. I can't."
"Sweet, sweet girl, how do you think Monica is going to do what she has to do? They want to talk to you about finding a knife in your car. Monica will have to go over every detail of the horrible things that man did to her. You want her to be brave. Don't you think you should be brave, too?"
A tiny sob shook Junie, "I guess so, Ma'am."
"Come on back to the house and we'll call Agent Durant back and find out what we need to do. He said a representative will be coming out to serve the subpoena and they'll tell us more about when we need to go to Portland."
"We? You mean you would go with me?"
"Sweet, silly Junie girl, I am your Mistress and your lawyer. You don't think I would allow you to go alone?"
Junie pressed her lips together, "If Monica can do it, so can I."
It was only four days later when Donna called Junie up from her sewing room. She was relieved to see that one of the people sitting at the kitchen table was Agent Gold, next to him was a small African American woman with very short hair and large gold earrings busily sorting out some papers that were arranged in front of her on the table. Donna was making a pot of coffee. Bob stood in the kitchen next to Donna. Junie moved to put the counter between her and the table. Agent Gold smiled and spoke up, "Ms. Thomas, it's good to see you again. How have you been?"
Junie forced herself to smile back and replied stiffly, "I'm fine. How are you?" Unconsciously she took a step closer to her Master, almost hiding behind him.
Agent Gold blinked, and turned to the woman, "Ms. Thomas, let me introduce Ms. Lurleena Benson. She's an assistant district attorney with the prosecutor's office in Portland. She's here to formally serve you with a subpoena and will talk to you about what you'll need to do."
The woman looked up from her papers and spoke briskly, "Nice to meet you, Ms. Thomas. We have only a few papers to go over and sign. Currently, the trial is scheduled to start on October 15. At this time, we don't know exactly what days you will be called to testify."
Junie nodded fearfully.
Donna interrupted, "Do you know how long Junie will be expected to be in Oregon?"
The lawyer frowned, "Ma'am, it is nearly impossible to say. It depends on the line of defense Sam Card's defense team decides to make. At this point, he's only been charged in the case against Ms. Monica Bond, kidnapping, sexual assault, assault with a deadly weapon, and attempted murder." The little dark skinned woman continued to frown, "You're acting as Junie's lawyer?"
Donna nodded, "Yes, I am."
"Could I talk to you privately?"
Donna nodded briskly, "Why don't we take a walk down by the lake."
Junie watched the two women walk out the front door and move down across the lawn. She looked up at Bob and then at Agent Gold. "What do they need to talk about that I can't hear?" Her voice vibrated with panic and anxiety.
Agent Gold looked uncomfortable and looked at Bob. Her Master put his hand on her shoulder, "I don't know, Junie, but you need to trust Donna. Remember she will always do what's best for you. Trust us, Junie."
When they were down by the water Donna turned to the District attorney, "What's up?"
"Ms. Campbell, both Agent Durant and Agent Gold have spoken to me about Ms. Thomas's problems with anxiety. I don't want to panic her if it is unnecessary. There is a possibility that Sam Card's defense team is going to try and bring out the sexual history of Monica, and perhaps Junie, into the trial. They're going to try to say that the relationships between Sam Card and both women were consensual. We're fighting that now in motions. Even if it was a consensual relationship that doesn't excuse the things he did to Ms. Bond. I believe it's a strategy to try to frighten the women away from testifying."
Donna nodded, "Yes, I see, if Junie knew about this, she may very well panic. She was dealing with panic attacks only a few weeks ago. She's made a lot of progress in just a short time. I would hate to see her fall back."
"If this line of defense is going to be allowed, she will need a lot of coaching and support. So will Ms. Bond. Agent Durant has mentioned that she and Junie have become pen pals. That may work for us and it may work against us. Do you know if either of them has spoken about their experiences regarding Sam Card with the other?"
Donna nodded, "I've read all the letters that Junie and Monica have exchanged and their emails as well. There have been some very general references to Monica's medical condition and about how they've been feeling emotionally. But neither has talked in detail about the crimes. I still have all those communications."
"Good, I'll need to have those and any more that may occur. I don't want Ms. Thomas or Ms. Bond to communicate privately. I want you to be privy to all future communications. I may need to subpoena you and these communications, if the defense team tries to infer that these two witnesses may have been colluding with each other. As long as they don't talk about the specific crimes, I think it will be okay for them to continue to communicate. Hopefully, they can support each other through this."
"That won't be a problem. In those communications, Junie does make very general references to the fact that she's in a BDSM sexual relationship with me and my husband. Do you think that will be a problem?"
The little lawyer looked worried, "I hope not." She looked at Donna with a tired, exasperated expression, "This would be so much easier without all this stuff. Don't get me wrong. We all have our kinks, and I would be the last one to point fingers, but for just once I wish things could be simpler. I just worry how much this will distract a jury from the real facts. That man carved Monica up like a Christmas turkey. She came within inches of dying. I could care less what the kink was. He was trying to kill her. And god knows how many other women he has killed. If we can get a conviction here, then we'll have all the time in the world to build those other cases against him. Then, hopefully, someone will put a needle in his arm. God knows, I'm not a big fan of capital punishment but I think, in this case, I will not object. This is one person that needs to die." The little dark skinned woman held out her hand to Donna, "I hope we can work together to get this guy put away where he belongs. Let's just pray that we can keep this thing from going sour. I'll be in frequent contact with you letting you know how motions are going. If the judge lets them use that consensual line of defense, we'll need to prepare both Junie and Monica for that. I'll want to have Junie come to Portland and go over her responses to that line of questioning. The district attorney's office will pay for all travel expenses of course."
Donna took her hand and shook it, "Of course."
When they walked into the house Junie was glassy eyed with nervousness, wiping at the counter over and over with a damp rag. She looked up as the two women came through the door and a shudder ran through her. Donna looked at her sharply, her voice was suddenly cool and crisp, "Junie, do you trust me?"
Junie flinched and nodded convulsively, "Yes, Ma'am."
"District attorney Benson and I were discussing some possible lines of questioning that you may need to deal with but, until we are sure exactly what is going to happen, I've decided to not talk with you about them. I've decided that there's no reason to worry about something that may not happen. I promise that as soon as I know for sure what is going to happen, I'll talk to you about it. Until then, I am commanding you to do your best to calm yourself."
Junie swayed and gripped the edge of the counter, "I don't know if I can."
"That's why I said for you to do your best. Failure will not be disobedience if you're trying."
Both Agent Gold and the district attorney were carefully ignoring the conversation. Junie suddenly realized that they were there and shot Donna an alarmed and embarrassed look, her pale face suddenly blossoming red. Donna laughed, "Junie, everyone here is aware of the nature of our relationship. I see no reason to hide things now, especially when you need firm direction." Donna looked at Junie, her eyes sharp and measuring. "You need it now, don't you?"
Junie felt herself almost involuntarily slow and calm. Her mouth quivered as a tiny smile fought with the expression of terror that had frozen her features. "Yes, Ma'am, I do."
"Good girl. Now I want you to come over, sit down at the table, and sign whatever papers they need you to sign."
The month of July was drawing to a close. The puppies were weaned and set free to roam around the yard a great deal of the time with Junie officially assigned as their shepherd. She found herself continually diverting them from chewing up all the landscaping and was worn out a lot of the time from running after one or another of the little vandals, diverting them out of the garden, or from chewing on nearly everything around them. For the first time, she began to think to herself that she would be happy to see them on their way to their new homes.
As each buyer came to pick up their puppy, Junie was kept busy keeping the house spotless, the yard perfect, and the kennel clean and neat. Finally, the only puppy left was Happy. Junie lavished her attention on the little girl puppy, bringing her into the house and working on house training her. It was everything she could do to honor her Master's direction to not ask about what his decision was. She kept telling herself that Happy was still here, that meant he had not decided to sell the puppy to anyone else.
Over dinner Donna spoke up, "Junie, you have done an amazing job trusting your Master and me. You have not asked about the puppy one time. I know that it's been weighing on your mind."
Junie held herself in check, waiting with her breath held. She found herself quivering in nervous waiting. Donna continued, "Have you spoken to Monica about the puppy?"
Junie swallowed, "I talk about Happy. I tell her what a good puppy she is. I've sent her pictures, but I haven't asked her if she would like to have her."
"Good girl. Do you still want to do this? Do you still want to try and give Happy to Monica?"
"Oh yes, Ma'am, it would be so wonderful. I just know they were meant to be together."
"Well I have very strong personal beliefs that it's wrong to give puppies as gifts, so I'll have to be there when you talk to Monica about wanting her to have Happy."
Junie could not help but squeal and interrupt, "We're going? We're going to see Monica?"
Donna laughed and held up her hand. "Calm yourself, girl. Yes, we're going to Portland. Your Master and I have decided that I'll drive you down. He'll stay here and take care of the dogs and the house. We will go see Monica. If she decides that having a dog is a commitment she can make, you can give her the puppy. If not, we'll bring Happy home and then find another family for her. You have to be ready for that."
Junie did not even think, "Oh yes, Ma'am." A wildly excited grin lit up her face and she was practically dancing in her chair with excitement.
Donna's face did not match Junie's glee. "We'll also be stopping by the District Attorney's offices in Portland. We'll need to go over your testimony with them."
Junie froze, all her excitement gone, a wave of dread going over her. "You've heard from Ms. Benson."
"Yes, Junie, I've been talking with her on the phone almost every day the last few weeks. The district attorney's office was trying very hard to keep certain lines of questioning out of the trial, but it looks like you're going to need to be prepared for just about anything."
"Anything?" Junie's voice quavered.
Bob's voice was a growl, "Junie, you will trust your Mistress. You will obey your Mistress completely while you are away from me."
Junie looked at Bob and Donna wildly and nodded struggling to control the panic that was surging through her. She started to stand up and then sat back down. Her breathing was getting hard to control, coming in short tiny gasps that seemed to have no oxygen in them. Slipping from her chair, Junie crept to kneel at her Masters' feet. Her voice as strangled, "Help me. Please, I want to obey, but I don't know how. Please, help me."
Bob reached down and lifted Junie's face up to look at him. "For now, it will be simple. And so that you become more accustomed to looking to Donna for support and direction, I am going to have her take you a lot deeper in your submission to her. Are you willing to do that for us, Junie? Will you let us control you completely?"
A wave of relief rolled over Junie, "Oh yes, Master."
Donna spoke up, "Junie, until it is time for us to leave I will require you to strip and be naked. You are forbidden to speak unless directly questioned. You will need to depend on me for even the most basic of your needs. Do not ask to use the bathroom. You will pee or shit when I decide. You will eat what, and when, I decide. You will sleep when, and where, I decide. You will obey me completely."
Junie remained kneeling and didn't speak. Her eyes were huge as she looked up at Donna and then Bob.
Bob knelt and stroked her face. "Do not forget I am your Master but, for now, it will all flow through your Mistress. It will give you the help that you begged for. Look to your Mistress."
Junie nodded and turned her eyes to Donna, uncertain what to do. Slowly she began to remove her clothes and when she saw the approval in her Mistress's eyes she quickly stripped off all her clothing. Donna nodded, "If you are not directly obeying a command, you will kneel at my feet. I'm pleased to see you're already remembering to obey by not speaking." Donna placed Junie's half eaten meal on the floor in front of her. "Finish this and then go clean up after our meal."
Junie looked for some utensils and seeing none carefully began to pick up the food with her fingers and ate delicately licking her sticky fingers off after she was finished. When she began to rise to start cleaning, Donna spoke sharply. "Your plate is not clean enough. Lick it off, Junie." When Junie picked up the plate, Donna made a sharp negating growl and Junie froze. "No hands, Junie. Lean over and lick it off." Junie felt a wave of embarrassment as she ran her tongue over the stoneware dish, licking up every last crumb and drop of sauce. Her hair hung down into the food and she could tell that there was some salad dressing getting on it. When she was finished she rocked back on her knees and looked at her Mistress, waiting for her approval.
Bob stood and stretched, "It looks like you have things under control here. I'll take the dogs out for their walk."
Donna looked at Junie's plate and grunted, "Good enough. Go ahead, clean up this place."
Junie hurried through her task and quickly knelt at Donna's feet, waiting. She still felt a deep background storm of anxiety, held only at bay by the fragile dam of her commitment to obey her Mistress. Donna looked down at her. "Junie, you will wait here. Do not move until I return."
When Donna returned, she had Junie hold her hair up and out of the way as she buckled a leather dog collar around Junie's neck. She attached a leash to the collar and pulled up sharply on the leash forcing Junie's face up towards hers. When Junie tried to rise, thinking that she was being prompted to stand, Donna barked, "No, I did not tell you to stand, girl. You will not do anything unless expressly commanded to do it. Keep kneeling. Look at me."
Junie nervously licked her lips and looked up at her Mistress. Donna spoke, "Junie, we are going to go pack for our trip. We will pack my clothes first." Donna grinned bitterly. "Lucky for us I still have a lot my awful lawyer clothes." When Junie tried to stand again Donna jerked on the leash forcing her back down. "Crawl, girl, you will only walk once I tell you to stand." Junie scrambled along on her hands and knees behind Donna as she walked to her room.
Donna pointed wordlessly at a spot near the foot of the bed. Once Junie was kneeling, Donna touched her lips and pushed the leather handle of the leash into Junie's mouth. "Hold this for me." Junie obediently held the leash in her teeth, the chain dangling down between her breasts, watching as her Mistress began to lay out her clothes. As she went through her drawers and closet, Donna idly commented, "It is sure nice to have everything clean and put away so neatly. Junie, you really do a good job taking care of me." Junie felt a soft balm of comfort. Donna continued, "Trust me to take care of you now, Junie." After Donna finished packing her bag, she took the leash from Junie's mouth and headed down the stairs, Junie crawling behind.