Mary opened a drawer on the right side of the desk and took something out of it that Jane couldn’t see. Then the black-haired woman stood up, and Jane did see and said, “No… please… It was a mistake. It’s all a mistake.”
Mary held a punishment strap: two feet long and black as night, a doubled piece of leather half an inch thick and perhaps two inches wide.
“There’s no mistake, Jane,” Mary said softly. “You’ve been a very naughty girl, and now you’re going to start learning a very important lesson.”
“Oh, God… no, please… I’m not… I lied on the questionnaires. I’m not like that. I don’t want this.”
“Did you sign the contract, or didn’t you?” Mary came around the desk now, slowly, her voice sounding amused but also developing a hard edge.
“You may think you lied on the questionnaires, Jane, but you didn’t do a good enough job to deceive us. Your pen may lie, but your body doesn’t.”
Jane felt her breath coming faster and faster. Her eyes didn’t seem able to perceive anything but the strap in Mary’s right hand, which the woman now began to tap gently against her left palm.
“What does that mean?” she whispered.
“I feel sure you didn’t know that the chairs here have humidistats that tell us what makes you wet, Jane.”
“You may be an investigative journalist who wants to expose the Institute, but I can assure you that by the time you leave the Institute in the company of your new owner, you will also be a submissive concubine.”
“No! I… I can’t! I’m not like that!”
Mary strode swiftly around her, until Jane lost sight of her. Then she felt her short black skirt being raised.
“Oh my God, don’t you dare!”
“The contract you signed says I definitely may dare, girl,” Mary said. Her hand was in the waistband of Jane’s panties. Yes, she had known this kind of thing would be part of what happened, but it would be different if she knew she were on assignment—that it was all acting. Now Mary Lourcy was taking down Jane’s panties for a real punishment: they knew, and they were going to punish her for trying to deceive them.