A STATE OF SERVITUDE 9, tied girls stories

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Claudia blushed and looked away, and the Governor covered her confusion by continuing his discourse on affairs in the isolated colony. It was late when the two young Romans sank into the grateful comfort of their couches, their heads spinning with thoughts of what they had heard. Marcellus was full of military matters, and what his own part in them was to be, for he had every intention of offering his services to the State that had granted them refuge. Claudia saw only lines of naked, chained women toiling under a hot sun, and one of them herself.

From the safety and comfort of the palace, whose hospitality they now enjoyed at the Governor`s invitation, they pursued their separate ways.
Marcellus volunteered for the army, taking his military equipment from its wrappings to clean and wear it to the city garrison, where he joined the other young men of officer rank in their exercises and drills, sharpening up his skills with sword and javelin, and listening to the lectures on local conditions, and the tactics the Barbarian might be expected to employ.
Claudia spent her days visiting the local Ladies of Senatorial rank, and being visited in return. She soon acquired a circle of new acquaintances with whom to visit the baths, and from whom she could extract the news and gossip of the day.
It was not long after their arrival that Lavinia, the Governor`s Lady, returned to the palace. Although Claudia was aware that she had returned, it was two days before they met, for Lavinia kept close in her room at first. When they did meet, Claudia found another tall dark-haired woman in her early thirties, her well modelled features showing signs of strain, but otherwise quite collected and cheerful, and totally unabashed by the fact that she had just served a term of hard labour.
Claudia had experienced some trepidation when told she was about to meet her hostess, unsure how to treat her recent absence, or rather its cause. She need not have concerned herself. Lavinia swept into the small gathering of women in her salon as if she had never been away or, at least, as if her absence had been for family reasons, or to take the waters in some spa or hot spring, rather than a term of penal servitude.
"How nice to see you all again," she cried enthusiastically, "I`m so sorry I didn`t come to see you earlier but, frankly, when I got back from my little stint that Serverus so unkindly insisted I did in the mills, I was quite exhausted, and needed twenty-four hours sleep, before I was myself again."
She looked round her friends and spotted Claudia, her height and elegant bearing making her stand out, even amongst these aristocratic ladies.
"You must be Claudia," she said. "Gaius was full of your praises, and I can see why."
She extended both hands and draw the younger woman to her, kissing her frankly and fully on the mouth.
"Welcome to Pityus," she said, when she finally broke away, "I`m sure we`re going to be friends. I want to hear all about the world outside, and the latest fashions from Rome."
"Alas, I suspect I`m no more up-to-date than yourself," Claudia replied. "We`ve been living on our estates in Dacia for several years now, since Rome became too dangerous."
"It doesn`t matter," Lavinia said, "we have our own small world here, and I shall introduce you to all its aspects."
"Now now, `Vinia," one of her friends mocked gently, "we all know you like pretty girls, but don`t rush it."
"I didn`t mean anything of the sort," Lavinia retorted, as Claudia blushed gently. "I merely thought that some of our customs might be different from those in the outside world, and I could help her explore them."
"Why don`t you tell her about the mills then," her friend suggested.

The others all laughed, though without malice. As Claudia was to find out, quite a few of them had travelled the same route at one time or another, so no-one could afford to crow over another`s downfall.
"Ugh," said Lavinia, "if only I could forget! I`ll tell you one thing, any time I have a man between my legs, I`ll make sure he has a good time, even if I do not. I don`t want to give Serverus an excuse to send me back there in a hurry."
She turned to Claudia. "No doubt these friends of mine have told you all the gory details?"
"In truth, my Lady, they have scarcely mentioned it, out of consideration for your feelings I believe, but His Excellency did mention that he had sentenced you to hard labour of some sort."
"He would," she sighed, "and you`re right. It was hard labour. You can`t imagine how hard. The mills are driven by a wheel, a treadmill. There is this great drum set on a horizontal axle. Its diameter is nearly twice my height, and it has planks running along its sides at short intervals that form a series of steps, but a stair that is constantly moving, and that one has to ascend without respite just to stay level."
"Serverus must have been very angry with you to send you there for so long," remarked Antonia, one of the visiting ladies. "Husbands usually only make us do half a moon."
"Well he was angry," Lavinia admitted, "but I can`t blame him really. It`s not just that I`m very demanding in bed, and probably not very considerate, but he gave me fair warning. Twice he took a lictor`s rod to me, until my bottom was black and blue, but the lesson only lasted as long as the bruises. By the next time i came up in the ballot for comforts for the troops I`d forgotten it, and was sent back in disgrace. The poor lamb had to do something drastic about me, and the mills it was."
"I was just as bad," Petronia, another of the visitors contributed. "Not the same offence, extravagant dress-makers bills were my downfall, but the end result was the same. I`d get a good beating, and not order anything for a week, and then I`d begin to feel a little less sore, and reckon I was due a treat to compensate for my whipped bottom, and Gaius would be steaming over a bill as long as your arm. The mills soon straightened me out though. It`s the toughest punishment there is really, because it goes on and on and there`s no escape. And the treading isn`t even the worst of it. The sweat, the stink, the hook!"
Claudia must have looked mystified at this last, she`d heard the Governor mention the hook, but not liked to ask. Now Lavinia intervened.
"I don`t expect you`ve been told exactly what it means," she said. "They strip you when you go into the mill, and you don`t get your clothes back until you leave again. In my case," she said with a shudder, "that was four weeks, a whole moon, and all that time you don`t get to wash. You live, work and sleep in that one great hall full of unwashed sweating women, with the treadmills creaking round incessantly, trying to snatch what sleep you can when you`re not on the wheel, eating the coarse bread and water which is all you get. There are no latrines, just buckets, which the women take it in turns to carry outside, once a day, to pour it down the city drain.
"Can you imagine what it`s like with nearly forty women`s unwashed sweating bodies, some of them with their monthly flows, without a rag between them. The stench and heat are terrible. I`ve spent half the time since I got out sleeping, and the other half in hot scented baths, trying to get it off my skin."
She shuddered against the memory.
"And the hook?" Claudia asked.
"Don`t ask!" Lavinia moaned with another shudder.
Claudia looked at Petronia with her plucked eyebrows raised in an elegant interrogative.
"The hook goes up your bum," Petronia explained with a shiver of her own, as if at the memory, "You have to squat like a frog, and the over seer pushes the hook up your anus. If you`re lucky, it`ll be still slimy with the secretions of the last poor bitch to ride it, otherwise too bad. It goes in all the same. It curls round to lie up your spine and there`s a chain attached to it, going over a pulley above the wheel. When your turn comes to take a place on the treadmill, you step up onto it, like climbing stairs, though you have to put on a spurt at first to get up the working height just above the axis. You grab the handrail in front, and keep walking. Meanwhile, to make sure you do, and don`t just let the wheel carry you back down again, the overseer takes up the slack in the chain, and drops it over a cleat on the wall behind. Now, if you don`t keep up to your work, that fiendish hook starts to worry your guts and you very soon make sure you are doing your share of the treading."


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