The vacuum cleaner from Hell howled.
Julia groaned, untangled herself from the sticky sheet and sat up. She glared at the open window. The oppressively hot nights wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for that damn woman’s workshop waking them every morning.
“I suppose we’d better have breakfast,” she said, but found she was speaking to an empty bed.
Conrad had gone.
Julia set her jaw and mechanically set about tidying the room. She tried not to be angry, but as she tugged the sheet flat, she remembered Conrad stretched out on the bed. “I gave you an orgasm. What more do you want?”
She even had him tied up the way he liked. How long had she pumped away at his leaking penis? And for what? Half and hour of him complaining she wasn’t doing it right, then a few seconds of repulsive squirting.
She kicked Carl’s rucksack under the bed. Now there was no trace of him. Julia started to cry.
“I can’t go on like this.”
The machine stopped. Conrad’s voice drifted up from the courtyard, then Madame Etienne’s laughter. Their landlady was twice Conrad’s age, but she had a certain magnetism
“Damn.” Julia hated herself for being jealous, even as she ditched her T-shirt, and pulled on her summer dress and Birkenstocks. She glanced at herself in the mirror of the battered wardrobe. She would do for now.
She hurried out into the scalding sunshine and looked around for Conrad.
The voices came from the beyond the arched door of the converted stables – Madame Etienne’s workshop.
Julia stood in the door way and waited for her eyes to adjust to the shady interior. Conrad had his back to her. His tasty olive skin seemed to glisten slightly. His bare arms were leanly muscled. The walls of the workshop were bedecked with glass penises and all sorts of odd looking devices, including shackles. She gasped.
Madame Etienne noticed her. “Ah, Mademoiselle. You have come to see my work.”
Conrad turned. “Madame manufactures adult toys in glass.”
He had that guilty little boy look. Of course, this must be like an Aladdin’s Cave to him, and yet he knew she couldn’t share his excitement.
Julia felt herself colour. Damn him, she thought. He had no right to expect anything.
Concern flashed across Conrad’s face. “We had better have breakfast,” he said. “It’s been a pleasure Madame…”
Now Julia felt guilty. “Wait,” she said.
Madame turned to her, expectant.
Julia glanced around, looking for something, anything, she could ask about. Her gaze fell on a strange looking device, a glass girdle with a banana-shaped cage in the front. At least it didn’t look as if it were for penetrating anything. “What’s that?”
Madame raised an eyebrow. “Une ceinture de chastity pour l’homme – a man’s chastity belt.”
“For a man?” She’d read about chastity belts for ladies. But not this.
“Mais ouis!” Madame took it down off the wall. “The bullet-proof glass is comfortable, hygienic, and can pass through any metal detector. My chastity belt…” she drew herself up. “Can be worn indefinitely.”
Something fluttered in the pit of Julia’s stomach. She examined the device. The cage would fit tightly over a man’s penis keeping it pointing down, muting its unspoken demands. A deliciously icy sensation teased her spine, as if she stood on the edge of the highest diving board. She shivered, despite the heat. More than anything else in the world, she needed to take the plunge… see where this might lead.
Conrad was watching her intently, an obvious bump in the front of his shorts. He licked his lips. “Isn’t it dangerous? The glass?”
“No,” said Madame. “It is bullet proof. You can break yourself, but not it.”
“Let’s have one,” said Julia. “Don’t you think, sweetheart?”
Conrad shook his head. “Why? What good would it be?”
You fantasise about being my slave, thought Julia. But, you are the only one who ever has an orgasm.
“Because I want one,” she said. She took a deep breath and gathered up all her strength. “It turns me on.”
Conrad’s eyes widened. “Pardon?”
“It turns me on,” she said, louder. “You keep nagging me to tell you what turns me on. Well, this does.” She held handed him the chastity belt. “Turn me on. A lot. It…”
Madame Etienne grinned at her.
Now she’d said it, it was as if she couldn’t stop. Cheeks burning, Julia clamped her hand to her mouth.
Conrad stared at her. Slowly, he nodded. “OK.”
“How much is it, please?” asked Julia.
Madame grimaced. “Three thousand euros.” She shrugged.
Julia pursed her lips. She struggled to think of some way they could cobble together the money, but the more she considered their finances, the more the idea faded.
“We are students, I’m afraid,” she said and felt empty.
Madame looked from Julia to Conrad, then seemed to size him up. “And prettier than my normal middle aged clients. Suppose…” She turned back to Julia. “If I fitted him with a device, would you both pose for my catalogue?”
“I…” Conrad stammered. He hunched his shoulders. “People might recognise us.”
“None-sense,” said Madame. “Not with your faces obscured.”
Conrad turned to Julia, pleading in his eyes. “I can’t.”
Julia glanced at the device and imagined the cage wrapped around Conrad’s hungry penis. She felt a wet throb between her legs. “I’ll pose with you… naked,” she said, and realised she meant it. “Wouldn’t you like a picture of me like that?”
“He agrees,” said Julia.