Dedicated to straitjacket enthusiasts everywhere who love the process of bondage as much as the result. Derivative works and sequels are warmly welcomed.
"Hey, pass me that flow coefficients sheet, will you?"
"No prob. The laminate flow one, right?"
I slide the piece of paper over to the right, and Sheryl cranes her neck down just a tad to get a better look. A few strands of hair fall out over her left ear; with fluttering heart, unsure of what her reaction will be, I restore the wayward strands back to their regal perch.
She turns her head towards me. I'm delighted to see that she's smiling. "Thanks, man."
I'm a student at a prestigious East Coast university--a mechanical engineering and linguistics double major to be exact. My days here are pretty enjoyable--I've been on a date or two this year, the boys and I usually make it out to watch movies every weekend, school's going well--yes, I really enjoy it here. The girl sitting to the right of me at the lab bench, though, puts me to shame. Shooting for a physics major and a dance history minor, she beats me hands down in academics. She's not a model, and nor does she have a perfect body, but she comes awfully close.
I lean back slightly to study Sheryl's figure. In accordance with her person, she dresses sweetly. Her dark red halter top shows from the back the powerful, yet limber musculature of her back and abdomen, curves no doubt gained from the years of dance that she's mentioned to me. The top disappears into her jean shorts, and my eyes continue to drop. The graceful curve of the thighs--
"... yeah, I thought Sample C's was.072. I've done so many of these problems now, I think I'm going to be dreaming about these numbers tonight... Whoa, what's this?"
Her question rouses me. I lean forward again and look at the sheet that she indicates. I'm expecting to see an imperfectly xeroxed number or maybe one of my incomplete calculations that's confusing her. To my chagrin--nay, to my absolute horror, I behold one of my own sketches.
The slender girl struggles in a mean-looking straitjacket. Face in absolute terror, legs and feet at odd angles, she tries to gain a grip on the floor and drag herself away from the man. The man, meanwhile, has gotten hold of the fabric over one of her violently jerking shoulders and appears resolute in retiring her to her padded cell, the door to which is visible beyond.
I flush crimson immediately at yesterday's lecture sketch. Hadn't I put that sheet away with the others? No time, no time, she's expecting an answer...
"Well, my friend is into that kind of stuff." My mouth is dry. You can't imagine how quickly the nervousness spreads when your love interest happens upon your fetish. "He asked me to do one for him." Okay, standard lie procedure. Supply extra information to appear casual. "He said something like... he wanted to make a good first impression on an online community of some sort. It's called, um, bondage, I think?" Shoot, I don't have a motive yet. "He's promised me a nice little sum for the finished product." There we go. By God, I hope she believes it.
If she was listening carefully, she'd hear that my breathing was now ragged. Perhaps if she was listening very carefully, she'd hear too that my heart was pumping madly.
"Oh. Well." Long pause as she furrows her brow, running her finger over different parts of the drawing. "It's drawn pretty well. You have the wrinkles and creases technique down. Like, for instance, the way they radiate from the guy's hand pulling on her shoulder. I never could quite manage that in my art classes. They publish huge tomes on just motion creases, did you know... ?" She indicates the width of an imaginary book between her fingers.
I breathe a sweet sigh of relief. She's bought it. I might just have a chance at her, I chuckle, as long as I keep my papers straight. I've never seen a real straitjacket in person before, never have been involved as either party to such restraint, and probably will just have occasional vivid dreams that fade away as the sun rises, even though I wish they could last for just a bit longer. But, well, sometimes sacrifices have to be made. I mean, it isn't every day that you run into a girl like Sheryl.
The rest of the day goes uneventfully. The problem set is finished and duly turned in before five. We part for the day and set up another appointment to collaborate, this time back at my room. Extracurricular practices, dinner with friends, some more work alone, and another day passes.
Two weeks have passed since the discovery and awkward explanation. I stand next to the wardrobe in my dorm, trying t-shirt after t-shirt for that perfect look. Sheryl and I have just successfully undergone a grueling midterm. By comparing answers afterwards, we are fairly confident of our success.
Sheryl and I have been, and still are daily becoming closer. More and more often she comes over to work on fluid dynamics; occasionally we bring our own work, content solely to be in each other's presence. We've decided tonight to celebrate our success by going out, and she's pledged to "thank me for my help." I'm both flattered that she thinks she's learned anything at all from me, and intrigued at the proposed act of gratitude.
Nothing too remarkable--outside of the fun time you typically have with your dream girl--happens over dinner. The one exception, I suppose, is her choice of outfit for the evening. I mean, if I were a girl, I'd hold off on the tight leather pants until the second date at least. I certainly am not going to complain though.
I am about to drive Sheryl back to campus when she seems to start. "Why don't I take the wheel for a little while?" I consider the ramifications of the breach of etiquette but cede her control of the car.
Sheryl finally stops and cuts the ignition in the parking lot of a small strip mall, by now closed and dark. Were I not coming off of a great night with a wonderful woman, I would normally have been worried for our safety. But it seemed my date was clearly in control. "Come on, we've reached our destination. Well, sort of. We don't want to get too close and arouse suspicion."
The night fog settles lightly on us, and as we tread on the grass I can feel the wetness of the forming dew spraying back on my shins. Where I'm from, temperatures like this are common, and I find the setting slightly calming. Sheryl seems less wont to it; she shivers, and I lend her my jacket. "So where are we heading?" I attempt again as we cross a second street.
Sheryl turns to face me, lays her finger across my lips. With raised eyebrows and a suggestive shrug of the whole body, she teases, "It's a secret. But this is something you'll never forret." In the still of night only the distant roar of cars and the footfall of her platform shoes is audible. She slows down as we approach a barbed-wire fence, and the outline of an industrial building emerges from the yellow-streetlit fog. We walk parallel to the fence until we come to a double gate with a card-reader.
From a metal placard affixed to the fence I recognize the name of a local aerospace firm. With a slightly clearer idea of where I am, I survey the complex through the links of the fence. There are maybe five or six squat, poured-concrete buildings; evidently function has prevailed over form in their construction. A windowless tower of similar construction, at least fifty feet tall, lies at their center. There are no signs of activity, save very faint glows at windows--probably just the glows produced by monitors left on by now peacefully sleeping employees.
After rummaging through her purse, my date produces a badge. From a brief glint of light I see her name and a picture of a very smartly dressed Sheryl.
"How'd you make that?" I wonder.
"I work here, silly. Periodic contract job," she offers. I apologize for my assumption. Our manner seems so dark and shady that I could not help for a second but believe we are going to sneak into some plant with a fake ID, commit industrial espionage dressed in black catsuits or something as in the movies--I don't know. But she seems to read my mind.
"What we're doing may be almost as dangerous as breaking in though. A lot of government contracts go through here, and there's a fair amount of classified information that I don't have access to." She points to some red text to that effect on her badge. "I haven't worked here long enough. Anyway, if we were found wandering around--even considering that I do work here--the consequences could be serious. I don't know the law exactly, but it might be federal."
Sheryl swipes her card; a small light blinks green and we hear a small click. She swings the fence gate open. "After you," she suggests.
"Thank you, dear." I lead through the gate, hearing the clang and the click as the gate shuts. The second gate is now ahead of me. "Hey, you'll need to open this one for us too," I observe, turning back. To my surprise, Sheryl has not followed me but instead has stayed outside the first gate. Her card dangles from her hand.
"Looking for this?" she taunts. What in the? I am about to declare in annoyance that I'll climb over the second gate when I look up and realize that the space between the gates is also fenced above. I am indeed effectively trapped in a cage of fencing, the entrance and exit to which both require the badge.
"Good night. I suppose I'll see them dragging you away on the news when they find you tomorrow." She speaks with a certitude that scares me.
.... There is more of this story ...