The Ensnaring of Susan and Other Tales of Women in the Toils of Love
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by Jay Lawrence
Category: Erotica/Taboo Erotica
Description: A strange, new kind of love! This bold new collection from Jay Lawrence, bestselling author of Love Slave, contains the title novella and a half a dozen more scorching stories. In The Ensnaring of Susan, the heroine finds herself adrift in a gloomy impoverished existence. Then she encounters a charismatic stranger who gives her a free ticket to a hypnotist's show. In a strange and terrifying series of events, Susan is kidnapped into the luxurious lifestyle she has always dreamed of, given a stunning new look and renamed April. The price of this makeover is Susan's virginity and total submission to her captor's cruel desires. Her life descends into a whirlpool of erotic discipline, punctuated by such humiliations as being spanked by a stranger and seduced by two prostitutes. She is a beautiful human doll, dressed to thrill in six inch heels, and totally under her master's powerful mind control. But what happens to Susan when her owner goes too far in his thirst for her sexual submission? Should she run away and return to a world that doesn't care? Or can a strange kind of love save the day? An Amazon review gives Jay Lawrence's work 5 stars, and raves, "first rate, of a literary standard not often encountered within the erotica genre.
eBook Publisher: Renaissance E Books/Sizzler, 2004
eBookwise Release Date: July 2004
26 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [144 KB]
Reading time: 171-240 min.
The Ensnaring of Susan
For the real J.S. (who has brightened many a Sunday night)
Three weeks after her mother died prematurely of complications following a lengthy struggle with diabetes, Susan decided to leave home. Home was just an empty cliche, anyway, as in "there's no place like home" or "home sweet home". The latter phrase was embroidered on a cross-stitch picture that hung on the sitting room wall above the fireplace. How ironic that it had witnessed scenes which were anything but domestic bliss. Susan loathed her stepfather with a steady hatred which was deep-seated and unshakable. They had never "had words". There was little need for the open expression of what was so obvious to both man and girl. A sullen chasm of ill will formed a leaden barrier between them.
"Your mother asked me to take care of you, Susie. On her death bed..."
Stepfather's voice trailed away into an impotent, uncertain silence. Susan watched his plump, almost babyish face. His unspoken feelings were as clear cut as her own, plainly etched upon his bloated features. He had little desire to continue living under the same roof as the thin, sharp-eyed daughter of his late wife.
"That's quite all right, Roger. I have my job. I can find a room. I'm sure it will be for the best."
Susan had watched his pig-like eyes open wide in shocked surprise when she called him by his Christian name. The simple daring act divorced her from him once and for all. Smiling in triumph, she continued neatly folding her clothes, packing the bulky dirndl skirts and fluffy pastel sweaters of her teens into a suitcase. She would make do with them until she could save up for a smart wool suit with a pencil skirt. And high-heeled shoes. After all, she was almost nineteen years old. A young lady.
"Well, suit yourself."
Roger Holroyd was in full retreat, backing away from the slight figure that bent over the case in a flurry of determined activity. If the truth be known, he was thankful. She wasn't much of a cook and possessed the sweet and tranquil nature of a wasp disturbed at a jam jar feast. So unlike her mother Miriam, God rest her soul. He glanced into Susan's little bedroom, with its floral wallpaper and blue candlewick bedspread, as he descended the stairs. He could rent that room out for six shillings a week. Sucking his stomach in as he passed the mirror in the hallway, he began to whistle softly.
* * * *
The suitcase hadn't seemed heavy at first, during those first few heady steps down the front path and out through the garden gate. Susan leaned against the wall at the end of Alfred Avenue, panting slightly. She had burned her bridges a mite prematurely but she simply couldn't stand to be in that house a moment longer. She would find a room on the Parade by the sea-front. It didn't matter if it was a little bit shabby. Beggars couldn't be choosers. She had a full-time position as junior typist at Clarke, Clarke, Fry & Watt, Solicitors & Estate Agents. She'd have to be careful but she didn't need much to survive. A broad and glorious future spread out before her, glittering in her mind's eye, like a dazzling glimpse of Paradise. Galvanized by her inner vision, she picked up the case and marched on to meet her future.
* * * *
Mrs. Hume looked like any other landlady in the northern coastal town where Susan lived. They were a hardy breed, that, 'though available in an assortment of shapes and sizes, seemed interchangeable in their brisk and economical manner. Like Susan's mother, Mrs. Hume had been widowed during the last war, but she had (wisely, Susan thought to herself) chosen not to marry again.
The room looked like any other room, with a faint scent of must and drab net curtains misting a view of the bay.
"I can do you a nice evening meal, Miss Holroyd, or there's the gas ring in the corner, should you prefer to prepare your own. And I'll have to ask you for a month's rent in advance, as I'm sure you'll understand."
"Of course. Thank you so much, Mrs. Hume."
Susan tried to emulate the clipped speech patterns and well-rounded vowels of the BBC announcers she listened to on the wireless. Supreme self-confidence was required in her new life. As long as one looked the part and could pay--well, the world was one's oyster. She had saved hard since she left school to work for Clarke, Clarke, Fry & Watt, first as office junior and general dogs-body, then as junior typist. Each week she had paid a few shillings into her National Savings Bank account, doing without treats to furnish the uncertain future she knew lay ahead.
"Well, onwards and upwards, my girl!"
She was alone at last as she uttered the words to her pale reflection. The mirror displayed a white skinned young woman with short black hair, carefully set into sculptured waves. Her mouth was broad with a full lower lip, her eyebrows precisely shaped into high dark arcs. There was nothing voluptuous about her appearance. She wore a trim navy coat, buttoned to the neck, with matching gloves and fur-edged boots appropriate for the November day. Slowly, to calm the shaking which had begun inside her, she took off her gloves and began to unfasten her coat. She would make herself a nice cup of tea then go for a walk along the pier. The bitter wind spattered harsh rain against the window pane, sounding like a handful of grit colliding with the glass. Susan raised the curtain to peer outside. She looked down at the dark heaving bay and the narrow arm of the Victorian pier, brightly festooned with garish lights. There seemed to be a message for her in them, a cheerful sparkle in the dusky gloom. A tall, gray-haired man in a slate colored raincoat walked swiftly across the rain-swept Parade, heading beneath a wrought-iron archway towards the cozy refuge of the theater on the pier. Susan watched him disappear inside the gay building, then she sighed softly and let the curtain fall.
* * * *
The weekends were the hardest. From Monday to Friday, Susan had her job, neatly filling the hours from nine to five. It was dark when she returned to her room, the black bay outside shifting and rustling as she slipped a coin into the gas meter to cook a chop over the meager ring. Saturdays and Sundays stretched interminably. It would be easier in the warmer months, when she could take a book or a sketch-pad and camp out all day at the beach. Winter options were limited, as she couldn't afford the cinema or dancing or even afternoon tea at Lyons Coffee House with the other girls. She had to make her own sedate and frugal entertainment like an old person eking out their pension. There was the library, where beige-clad middle-aged spinsters stamped the return date in musty tomes, and the Winter Garden, an ornate Victorian glass-house filled with goldfish pools and lush tropical plants. Usually, Susan took a book out on Saturday afternoon, found a secluded bench in the glass-house on Sunday after lunch and sat there reading steadily until closing time.
It was a Sunday like any other, just before Christmas. She was pleased to find her favorite seat vacant, the usual crowds thinned by festive shopping. Everyone was busy with the seasonal crush on the High Street, their arms filled with brightly wrapped packages. Susan was beginning to feel a little sorry for herself but she couldn't give in. At least she was warm as she sat on the wooden bench in the Winter Garden, by a moist banana tree dripping softly into a pond of orange carp. She didn't have to spend a penny on heat. Silly people tossed coins into the pool for good luck. Sometimes she felt like surreptitiously scooping the best ones out but they were mainly farthings and half-pennies and besides, it would be theft.
Susan wasn't used to being approached by strangers. Indeed, she often felt as if she was invisible. Startled, she looked up to see a tall man in a long gray raincoat. She knew him at once. He was the man she had spotted from her window, the day she took the room. Susan glanced at the library book, with its sealed-in dust-cover. It was an historical romance. She wasn't sure why she had picked it, as thrillers were much more her style. On the cover, a princess with waist-length golden hair offered her limp hand to a kneeling knight. Susan felt embarrassed.
"It's a rather dull book, actually. I couldn't say why I chose it."
The man smiled, as if he knew the answer, then reached in his coat pocket. Suddenly, a small oblong card obliterated the gallant Sir Galahad and his fair damsel in distress.
It was a ticket for the Gaiety Theater on the pier. Astounded, Susan stared at the scrap of paper, her surprise swiftly hardening into indignation. Did she already look like a charity case? She had taken such care with her appearance and demeanor. The man was already walking away, awkwardly ducking beneath the sweating leaves of the miniature jungle. A small but frantic voice in Susan's head cried, 'please don't go!' Coloring with confusion, she jumped to her feet and waved the ticket at the man's retreating back.
"Yes, you can."
His voice was so quiet she could barely discern the words over the bubbling of the carp pool but something in their determination made her catch her breath. She watched him leave the Winter Garden, a somber figure, charcoal gray against the leaden sky.
* * * *
What to wear? Susan stood before the mirror in her white nylon slip, casting a critical eye over the two dresses that lay upon the bed. Her clothes were so unsophisticated, so childish for her new-found role, but most of her funds were swallowed up by simply staying alive. Shelter, food and heat, in that order. Well, come the spring, she could do without the little gas fire which seemed to eat money rapaciously in exchange for a pathetically minimal effort. She glared at the dresses in disdain. It would have to be the dark green wool. It was rather tight beneath the arms but more svelte in design. She dressed quickly, adding a light dab of Eau de Cologne behind her ears and on her wrists. The fresh, lemony scent lifted her spirits and she allowed herself the luxury of a smile. It had taken her long enough to decide to use the ticket at all. Her first instinct was to arrogantly toss it into one of the wire litter bins in the public park. But what a waste. And perhaps the gentleman in the raincoat was supposed to give away a ticket every day, for good publicity, to encourage other people to come to the performance. Susan applied deep red lipstick, not too heavily, but enough to give her angular face a striking definition. The theater crowds were arriving, milling beneath her window, surging across the rain-soaked Parade, under the iron archway and into the brightly lit foyer of the Gaiety. Unaccountably, her heart was beating like a drum, her entire body taut and electrified, as if she knew that she would never be the same again after that evening, that her life was about to change forever and the long-awaited adventure lay just ahead.
* * * *
The theater was deliciously warm, the heating cranked up to foil the freezing wind from the bay. Susan found herself trembling at the change of temperature, although she had only lingered outside for a moment, waiting for the doorman to check her ticket. And he had directed her to the balcony! She had imagined a seat at the rear of the stalls but found herself ensconced with an excellent view just above the stage. The awkward, annoyed feelings about her clothes returned as she took off her coat. The green dress had belonged to her beanpole cousin Grace. Susan felt like a doll dressed in castoffs, gawky and leggy, a raggedy doll. Defiantly, she crossed her legs and the tight itchy frock rode up over her knees. She uncrossed her legs and was thankful that the lights went down. The heavy stage curtains parted to reveal a familiar figure, elegantly dressed in an evening suit.
"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen."
Why, it's you!
Susan sat forward in her seat, resting the palms of her hands upon the gilded barrier that bordered the balcony. It was the man in gray. He looked so different in formal attire. She had sensed some indefinable power about him during their brief meeting in the glass-house, but it was hidden by his conservative daytime clothes. By night, he was a rather different creature; smoother, more polished, perhaps even a little dangerous...
Talk to me.
Although she knew it was her own voice, clear and crisp, which formed the words, she couldn't be certain if she had spoken them aloud or simply thought them. Her cheeks burned and she cast furtive glances at the people to either side of her but their eyes were firmly fixed upon the hypnotist. They were laughing but not at her. Oddly afraid, she pressed her knees together and her fingers down hard against the smooth wooden balustrade. Jack Shepherd wasn't looking at her. He spoke rapidly--occasionally pausing for effect and to allow the audience to laugh and applaud, but never actually to her--and yet it seemed that he spoke for her and her alone and that, in some peculiar way, they were alone in the theater. She was struggling with him and the effort of holding him back was too much for her to bear. But it was her own voice which spoke for him within the dizzy chasm of her mind.
Although it seemed like just a few brief minutes had passed, it was already time for the intermission. Shakily, Susan rose and excused herself along the line of seats, heading for the ladies' room. She had to be ill, perhaps coming down with influenza. It was that time of year and she wouldn't be at all surprised if she'd caught a chill. Part of her longed to go back to her room across the Parade, climb into bed and sleep it off. The other, stronger part, held her fast within the walls of the theater, as if she'd been swallowed by a vast gilt and velvet whale. Without thinking what she was doing or where she was going, she found herself wandering in a dimly lit corridor, filled with ropes and ladders, crates and assorted stage paraphernalia. There was a door at the end of the corridor and, as if moved by some powerful unseen force, she raised one hand and knocked.
She knew who was there in the warm, dark dressing room, before he turned to greet her. She knew she would cross the threadbare carpet and place her small white hands upon his shoulders as he sat before a mirror. She recognized the scent of his body as if it was imprinted upon her bones. Their lips touched, her blood red lipstick clinging briefly to his greasepaint before they moved apart, warm breath commingling as he spoke into her mouth.
"I was hoping that you would call."
She was idiotic, limp, drunk. In her mind, she reeled and staggered, fell at his feet and rolled over upon her back and...
He smiled, controlled, contained, moderated, mature.
"Call me Jack. Miss ??"
Susan stared, stupidly. She couldn't have forgotten her own name. What kind of cruel tricks was the hypnotist playing on her? Her face burned, as if she had sat too close to the fire. Helplessly, she stared at the backs of her hands, as if the answer might be printed on the soft smooth skin. Jack Shepherd had turned back to the mirror, busying himself with powder and paint, touching up his on-stage mask. Idly, Susan realized that the man had to be well into his fifties. He wasn't handsome at all. His nose was large and his lips were rather on the thin side. His hair was various shades of gray, quite thick and naturally wavy. She wanted to touch his hair, push her fingers through it and kiss him again, harder, deeper...
"Yes. Of course..."
How humiliating that he should have to exhort her to observe the proprieties. She continued to stare at the back of his head. Didn't he realize how desperately attractive he was? How infinitely commanding? The hypnotist was adjusting his cufflinks. Susan watched his hands intently. There was something about them. So capable, so in charge. She wanted to laugh. It was like the time she'd had nitrous oxide at the dentist's. She wanted to giggle out loud but she didn't know why.
"Sit on that chair."
His marvelous hand gestured to a hard-backed wooden chair and she sat immediately like an obedient child.
"I can see, Miss Nameless, that you and I are going to get along just famously."
"Yes, Mr. "?"
She had forgotten his name again. He had told her and she had forgotten, like an old person in their dotage. Suddenly she was helpless with laughter, giggles rising up like bubbles in a bottle of Champagne. She was drunk. She had to be. They had slipped her something somehow. But nothing had passed her lips, not even Mr. Whatsit's tongue...
He was bending over her, vast and omnipotent. She couldn't resist him any more than she could have resisted anesthetization. His hand was on her thigh, pushing the tight wool skirt up to reveal her underwear. One side of her mind knew this was wrong but it was soon consumed by the part that screamed for more.