Zoë Jones-Smithers was a mixture of excitement, apprehension and exhaustion as the six-passenger propeller engine touched ground. She and her husband, Jonathan's arrival at Victoria Airport on the tropical island of Mahe was a far cry from their departure in Kansas City. Even though a small Midwest town, MCI had a short walking distance from where they were dropped off at the curb and their walk through the Jet Bridge into the 727 jet plane.
After stops in Washington D.C, Charles DE Gaul airport, switching to a four propeller stainless steel plane with three porthole windows on each side seemed primitive.
When the gang plank was rolled up to the plan and they walked out of the plan onto the hot asphalt tarmac, it hardly seemed like the romantic vacation her husband had convinced her they were a part of. They were to be there for a week before their daughter; Gabrielle finished her spring classes and would join them.
The air was hot and muggy when the door opened. Zoë grabbed her dress with one hand and her wide brimmed straw hat with the other. The unexpected wind was short, but seemed it was determined to blow her summer dress from her.
Her reddish brown hair had been braided into a long French braid down the back of her head. Her emerald green summer dress buttoned down the front. With the last few buttons being fashionably undone, her late reaction with one hand did little to conceal much. Her hand kept her feeble lacy green thong from showing, but her tanned and toned long legs gave a good idea what the rest of her looked like. Her grey lizard skin high heeled boots hid her from below the knees down, but that was not the focus of the ebony black airport aids dressed in dark camaflogue with AK-47's over their shoulders.
The guards / porters were used to it; somewhat. These rich bitches from the west loved to tantalize the local black men. Zoë, on the other hand, was a modest and easily embarrassed middle aged woman. She would never have dressed like this back home where her neighbors might see her. Here, in another land half way around the world, it was a different story. Normally conservative women who have never been topless in their life will do so if there are others. The short, green button front dress was brazen for Zoë; but then nobody would know her and she would be gone in no time at all. But for just that one instant, the guard saw her and recognized the surprise over her lack of modesty. She did not have that brazen tourist look he had seen in others. She was different; vulnerable?
Zoë gasped to herself; "Oh, dear" her mind screamed as she struggled to hold the dress down and not lose her hat. One more burst of wind, and Zoë probably would have let the hat go, rather than show off any more of herself. Blushing, she refused to look up at the guard. "Wow! What was that?" her husband said as he came through the plane door and caught a millisecond glimpse of her thong.
"Oh, it's nothing." She said, refusing to admit she was wearing something naughty. Her daughter had put her up to it. As they were packing, Gabrielle snatched the Mother Hubbard drawers her mother had packed. "You're on a second honeymoon, Mom." She said as she threw them back in the drawer. "Take these." She said as she threw half a dozen of her own scanty panties into her mother's travel bag. "You're away from home. Live a little." She said as she hugged her mom.
Now she wished maybe she had traveled in her normal boot cut Levis. The high heel boots weren't her idea either. Her daughter had packed hers instead. "If you don't like them, you can give them back to me when I get there. We can probably get by with slippers."
By the time Zoë and Jon had the military jeep loaded with their bags, she had managed to control her embarrassment. Holding her hat in her hand and using both hands now to hold the thin summer dress wrapped around her, she was able to gain control of her embarrassment. She was not quite sure how to modestly get into the back seat of the open 4-wheel-drive jeep. Usually the car she drove was about six inches off of the ground. This off-road military car floor boards hit her about the waist. She hesitated. Before she could decide what to do, Rene, the bigger of the two guards came up behind her and grabbed her around the waist. She had two choices. She could try to quickly fight out of his grasp. Knowing that if she didn't cooperate, his hands would almost assuredly slip up to cup her breasts, she placed her hands over his to keep them where they were. "Up you go; miss Smithers." He said as he effortlessly lifted her up and over the back of the open jeep. Struggling to keep his hands lower than her breasts and keep her partially unbuttoned dress from revealing too much, she allowed herself to be deposited in the back seat. Jon climbed up over the sideboard and stepped around the passenger seat to sit beside her.
He gave the driver the card with the hotel's address on it. "We're off, boss." Rene said looking at the couple through the rear view mirror. Zoë may have miss-interpreted the glance in the mirror, but she felt he had winked at her.
"I'll sure be glad to get to the hotel and clean up a little after 16 hours of traveling." She said; trying to pass over her embarrassment of being lifted up into the jeep. On one level, it may have seemed innocuous enough. On the other hand, she was trying to ignore what she knew her husband and the other guard probably saw. As she struggled to keep the driver's hands away from her breasts, she had not been real successful in keeping her dress down. The short garment could not hide her from high up her thigs to the top of her boots. Jon was a little indignant that she had exposed herself, but secretly thrilled at what he had seen. Subconsciously, he probably was proud of how his wife looked to these savages. How strange life can be, he thought. If not for him being raised in a wealthy family and being given a first class education, he could have easily been born in this uncivilized country loading and unloading cars for tourists.
He watched his wife try to control the flutter of the bottom half of her dress as they sped along the rough gravel road. Every bump seemed to amplify the effect of the wind rushing through the jeep. Again, with one hand on her hat and one on the dress, she was not able to hide that much from the guard in the front passenger seat. With one hand on the handle on the windshield and the other on the side of his seat, he was no longer discreet with his stares and the two savages spoke a mixture of Creole, French and English. Any English was so garbled by their accent and speed, Zoë couldn't really tell what they were talking about. Jon did. He caught the racy and naughty inflections of the conversation and their glances at his lovely wife's legs. He was conflicted in knowing quite what to do about it. He also caught what he thought was conversations about a "boat."
Zoë was mesmerized by the castle they drove by; "Citadelle Laferrière" or something like that was what he thought he heard.
Zoë had read about it on the internet. Built in the 1600's by the French it had started out to be a lavish Fortress/ Castle for the Governor of the island. After Napoleon had been defeated, the fortress had been used by the British. It had begun to decline in the years after that. The British did not want to live there. It had become a prison for a while. Zoë stared in awe at the massive stone fortress as they drove by. "Citadelle Laferrière" she repeated in awe both trying to divert the obvious attention to her dress and pay respect to the architecture.
The men looked at each other and smirked. "What did that mean?" Zoë wondered as she searched their expressions inquisitively. It was a short search; she didn't want them to catch her looking at them. It's a woman thing.
The jeep screeched to a halt. They were in front of a two story wooden frame house. It was a white Victorian design with steep gabled roofs and a number of chimneys. The main floor was several feet off the ground and there were a number of screened porches around the outside. There was a dark skinned man in a separate thatched building serving drinks to visitors.
The two guards got out and extended their hands to help both Jon and Zoë out. Jon wanted to get out first and be the one to help his wife; but that didn't seem to be an option without offending one of the men. Jon climbed around the back of the driver's seat and jumped. Zoë wasn't as quick thinking. She reached for the extended hand of the guard, without really understanding how it was all going to work.
Instead of just steadying her so she could hop out, or seat herself and slide out, he pulled. He pulled her down; towards him. With one hand trapped in his, and the other desperately trying to hold her dress together, Zoë was in a slow freefall. She would have preferred to fall face first onto the grass rather than let go of her dress.
The guard spun her 90° and caught her with one arm under her thighs and the other around her back. There was nothing she could do. Her dress parted where it wasn't buttoned. The hem landed almost at her crotch; exposing the beautifully tanned and toned legs for everybody to see. In her panic, Zoë was at first oblivious to the fact that his right hand was now cupped just below her right breast.
What to do? Move the hand or pull down the dress? Embarrassed, Zoë tugged first at her dress, and then straightened her legs, fighting to get on the ground. Embarrassed, she stood with her head down and twisted her dress; oblivious that the three men had seen the massive hand curled around her right breast. She didn't remember the embarrassed conversation she had with the guards, trying to trivialize the incident. She knew her husband had seen it too, but was too embarrassed to remember his comments.
"Let's just get checked in," she muttered nervously as she walked towards the office door. Once in, they registered and were given a tour of the area. There were about sixteen round thatched huts on stilts in the bay. A breakwater kept the waves out. Theirs was the farthest from shore. By the time they were familiarized with the property, the guards had brought an aluminum boat to shore.
Their room was going to be out over the water. "Maybe this will be alright, after all," Zoë thought to herself. She was caught in the thrill of the ride until they got to the "room." There were 16" posts around the perimeter; perhaps 10'-0" to the floor of the room. There were about four columns around an opening in the floor. There were rungs about a foot apart between two of the columns.
Were these two men going to watch her go up the ladder with her short skirt? The men could see the concern in her eyes. They enjoyed the anguish and confusion she was in. These thoughts were in Jon's mind too. How does a woman in a short dress and slinky thong ascend a ladder with three men watching?
Jon struggled; not knowing what to do. "Somebody's got to hold the boat while you and the lady go up." The guard said, looking at Jon. "Do you want to hold the boat while we take your luggage up, or do you want to carry your own luggage while we hold the boat?"
There were no good choices. Zoë knew it. Either way, she had to go up the ladder by herself. Whoever held the boat and whoever carried the luggage didn't seem to help her predicament. It was a calm day, but Jon knew he couldn't hold the boat by himself. Instead he helped hold the boat while Zoë tried to get to the ladder without falling out of the boat.
Zoë tried not to think about it. Her cheeks were turning red as she moved one hand from the front of the boat to the ladder. Slowly, she managed to get both hands on the ladder and move them until she was standing straight up against it. Her cheeks were flushed as she put one foot on the first rung. "Do I go up one rung at a time, or take as many as I can to hurry?" she wondered.
Zoë got her hands as far up the ladder as she could. She got on the ladder. As she started to move up, a gust of wind hit her. She could not let go. Embarrassed, Zoë buried her face against her arm and slowly inched her way up the ladder; oblivious to the skirt billowing up around her waist. It was more erotic than the picture of Marylyn Munroe standing over the air grate.
The men watched in silence. Rather than awkwardly moving up the stairs, somehow she seemed to freeze in the position she was in until the gust stopped for a second and let her dress back down. That way perhaps she could keep her legs together when her dress was up. In any case, the men were in awe. She had obviously spent many hours grooming herself; tanning herself and toning herself with jogging. Even Jon was entranced with his wife's embarrassment.
When Zoë disappeared from view through the floor opening, Jon placed a canvas luggage bag over each arm and started up the ladder. When he got through the opening, he saw his wife. She was leaning against an interior column, head down; embarrassed and humiliated. "This is not starting out too well." She stammered.
"It's okay, honey. We'll get through this. Things are going to be great."
Jon turned and went back down to the boat to get the rest of the luggage. "They're gone," he said as he returned.
"We have cell coverage. We can just call the office when we want to get back to shore; or we can ask for a boat and they will come back and leave one for us. I'd rather call for the boat than take a chance of it getting banged up floating and hitting against the columns." Zoë nodded; not really caring how things turned out. "This has got to get better." She told herself. "It can't get any worse."
"Look, hon, there is a table of fruit. There is a fire pit and we can cook something. If we don't have it, we can call and have them bring it out."
Zoë looked around. Maybe it wasn't that bad. The room was square, with screened windows from chair height to door height. The room was arranged along two axis running diagonally, (corner to corner) through the hole in the center of the floor. Along one line was a bed, a couple of chairs with a couch facing the bed. Behind the bed was a screen about five feet high. Behind the screen was a rack for hanging clothes. About three feet behind that was a dresser for other clothes.
At the opposite end of that axis; on the other side of the hole in the floor was a living room setup; three couches in a "U" pattern with a coffee table in the center. There was no television.
At a right angle to the long axis; to one side of the hole in the floor was the kitchen; small and primitive but adequate. Opposite the hole in the floor; same axis was a dining area with a long table and big enough for ten.
Jon walked over to rub her shoulders. "We're all by ourselves, hon. Nobody can see us. We can go down the ladder and go for a swim. If we want, we can swim to the beach and get a drink if we want. I think it's going to be great out here.
Zoë unpacked her bags and put on a bikini "I don't mind swimming to shore for a drink or something, but I wouldn't have anything dry for cover once we get there." She said, not quite knowing what to do next.
"Fuck it. Just take one of those short sexy sun dresses with you. If it's wet so what?" she heard him say.
"I'm tired, hon. How about we just go down for a swim and rest for a while. I'm tired." Zoë almost whispered without looking up.
"I guess I'm okay with that." Jon answered, trying to hide a little disappointment. Secretly he was hoping to see more of the island. What did the other women look like?
Zoë recognized the disappointment in his voice. She sat down on the edge of the bed, took off her wire rimmed glasses, pearl necklace, ear rings, and slipped on a long t-shirt. With that as cover, she removed her underclothes; dress, underwear and bra. She crossed her legs and removed her high heeled boots. It seemed rather innocent, but she knew Jon was easily turned on when she undressed. She was offering this innocuous scene as a sort of subtle way of getting her way and also minimizing his arousal.
With her being forty and him being almost 20 years older, sex was becoming a bit of an issue. He wanted sex, but it was more difficult for him to get aroused. She also wasn't that interested, but it was her main control over him. Too much turn on, and she would get more than she wanted; which was none. On the other hand, she had to bait him a certain amount to get what she wanted. Life was a constant teeter totter.
Zoë had decided to go swimming in just the sheer, white t-shirt; no under garments. She knew he would be easily turned on by that, but didn't want to go completely nude. Who might accidently come by their room? It was too soon to know.
"You coming?" she asked innocently as she started down through the hole in the floor on the ladder.
"I'll be right there." He answered as he started removing his clothes.
Zoë was stimulated by the cold, clear, salty water as her toes came in contact with the rising surface. Slowly she continued down the ladder, not too sure how deep it was. Paddling slowly, she side stroked to one of the outer columns of their room. She turned her head as Jon splashed into the water just behind her. Rather than use the ladder, he had stripped and jumped down from the top.
It was deep enough that he bent his knees and hit the sandy bottom harmlessly; probably a 10'-0" drop from the surface.
He used the breast stroke to paddle over to his wife. With her hands on the column, steadying her, Jon came up behind and wrapped his arms around her. They bobbed with the small waves. Her shirt seemed to have puddled around her just under her armpits. She could feel he was naked; naked and getting aroused by their bodies rubbing together. It was cold but she could feel his heat.
Zoë bent her head between her arms as she gripped the wood column. She braced her feet against the same column a foot or two below the surface. It was a trade-off of sorts. She wasn't going to refuse him; how could she? She had set him up with the swim. It was preferable to going back to shore. Who knew whether the same two men would be back. She would have been too embarrassed to face them again that day.
This was the better option, she felt as she felt him growing and throbbing against her. He scooted her legs up farther; leaned his head back so he was floating with his hands around her waist. It was exciting; being in such a tropical climate; naked with a beautiful woman. Zoë had put herself in the position of not being able to resist or participate.
She spread her feet on the column as she felt him trying to enter her. It will be over soon, she said to herself. Then we can go to bed. It wasn't that bad. In fact, she found some comfort in knowing that he was still interested. She was unable to help. She could not let go of the column to help him enter. "Wait honey," she whispered as she pulled her feet off of the column. She let her feet and legs float out behind her; putting herself in a more accommodating position.
From a strategic position, it would have been easier for him to enter her, but with both of them struggling with the small waves, it probably wasn't going to work. Zoë tried to hide the amusement in her voice as she whispered to him. "Maybe it would be easier upstairs?" Jon grunted.
They dog paddled back to the ladder. Jon was determined to watch her go up the ladder. "You first." He smiled. She started up, trying to lower the wet shirt around her as she went up the ladder. Ever watchful, she turned in all directions, trying to determine whether anybody from any of the other shacks could see her. She was satisfied there were enough columns between and around the other shacks that nobody could see her.
When Jon got in the room, Zoë was sitting on the bed, undoing the French braid. When she had her hair unraveled, she combed it out and started to dry it with a towel. Her beautiful legs were crossed and covered with goose bumps. Her face and head were covered with the towel as she dried off. "That was nice." She said; shivering.
It was too hot and humid for them to need covers. Zoë peeled off the wet shirt and hung it over the edge of the screen. She put on a dry shirt which barely covered her. Jon didn't bother with any clothes. He just lay down beside her. Right beside her. She probably wasn't going to get out of it this time. When he pressed up against her, she put her arm around behind her; feeling for him.
She grabbed it and squeezed. It stiffened. Zoë turned around slowly, lazily, sleepily. "All-in-all, I had a good time today. It's nice." She said as she turned towards him. She turned facing him on her side. It was a 69 position. She laid the left side of her head against the top of his right thigh. She squeezed him softly and watched the strange phoneme of the little creature coming to life. It was usually done in the dark, so she had rarely seen what actually happened.
"What do you want to do tomorrow?" she asked as she shifted hands. She wrapped the fingers of her left hand around him. She used the index finger of her right hand to massage the tip. It was getting wet. She watched with quiet curiosity as a clear drop formed slowly in the opening. She ran her finger across it; smearing it evenly across the top. She raised her finger to watch the sticky fluid to see how long it would stretch from his tip to her finger.
"There are lots of things we can do. There is a whole country to see. I hear Victoria is a wonderful city. What do you want to do?" he asked; hoping it would be more of this.
"I wish the fuck you would put on nothing but that wet shirt so we could go into town and have drinks." He was telling himself. "I want to see those perky nipples sticking out of that almost see-through shirt and that bald pussy showing through it." He didn't have the nerve though. Just a silent thought.
Zoë traced her right finger slowly up and down the underside of his shaft and watched the thing grow. "How could something so ugly be so soft?" she wondered. It was to full height now.
What was that? She thought something had bumped against the columns at the bottom of the ladder. Are there big fish that rub against the shack? She wondered. The light was almost gone, so no use going to the hole in the floor to see what it was.
She never heard anybody. The first thing she knew was that a bright light was shining in their faces from the top of the hole in the floor.
"Yea, it's them." She heard a voice. It was an ominous voice. It was very low. It was the kind of sound that echoed off of the circular walls of the room. It was the kind of low rumbling sound that sets off car alarms as a hot rod throbs through an underground parking structure. Her interior alarms were set off as well; screaming reverberating against the inside of her head.
"What the fuck?" Jon screamed as the light shown in his face. Zoë shrieked as she tried to pull her shirt back down and get away from the shaft in her hand.
"Don't move a fucking muscle; you shitheads." The voice behind the bright light thundered.
"Who are you and why are you here? You need to leave." Her husband screamed; trying to cover himself.
"Shut up or I'll cut your fucking balls off. I'll stick this fucking knife up your wife's cunt if you don't keep quiet." The voice answered.
More lights appeared. "It's that fucking guard and his buddy." Zoë said to herself. They want another look, but on what pretext could they come into their room? Deep down, she must have known these weren't the same men. The voices were different; deeper, darker, much more evil sounding.
The lights surrounded them. Once Zoë got accustomed to the light she could see there were three of them; big black men. They were dressed similar to the guards. They had combat boots with green catalogue pants tucked into them. They were wearing shirts of the same color; unbutton and sleeveless because of the heat; more like vests. There were AK-47s strapped to their backs. Some had knives out. All had flashlights.
"You are prisoners of the state of Islam." The voice reverberated.
Then Zoë remembered. They were close to the coast of Somalia. For years, the Somali pirates had been looting boats and taking hostages for ransom. The U.S. had intervened and sent dozens of warships; leveling anything that didn't fly a flag of a friendly country. If they boarded the boat and it had guns, they were shot and the boat sunk. It slowed the ransom problem. Now the pirates had begun to operate a little farther away. Seychelles had many more tourists and hundreds of islands the Somalis could hide in.
If she had bothered to read the embassy warnings before they booked the vacation, they might have been able to interpret the thinly disguised warnings about travel to Seychelles. It's there only if you know it's there. The U.S. does not want to ruin anybody's business. Current U.S. leaders (not to mention names) are trying to keep out of everything.
Zoë should have known better.
The largest of the men must have been their leader. He spoke softly to the others in French. They fanned out to search everything. "My name is Marcel; Marcel Okoye. The others here are fellow soldiers in our fight for freedom." Zoë watched as one of the men set up her laptop and went through it. Another took their cell phones and went through everything. She could see them going through their luggage and clothes. They came back and laid the passports, credit cards and cell phones on the dining table. They spoke in a mixture of creole and French.
"Miss Smithers; you and your husband seem to be very comfortable in your country. We are going to send cell phone messages to your home offices. You are going to donate $ 1,000,000 each to the fight for independence. You are freedom fighters who have chosen to support us. If you don't, of course, we will kill or maim the both of you and send body parts back by FedEx to your relatives. We will post pictures of everything on your Facebook Pages. You will cooperate, of course. Today is Friday. Your banks are closed now. The banks won't be open in your country until Monday. Until then, we will have to wait." Deep down, this was worse than any nightmares that either Zoë or Jon could have ever imagined.
"My, oh my, what will we ever be able to do for the next few days to be gracious hosts to our guests?" Marcel said softly as he eyes the middle aged woman up and down.
Marcel jabbered to the other men. They went to the refrigerator. "Wait; wait; wait." Marcel said, holding his hand up towards the men. "You men don't have to do that. We have a beautiful young woman who believes in our cause that can't wait to serve us. Isn't that true, Miss Smithers?"
Zoë looked desperately at her husband; perhaps for reassurance, perhaps for agreement or alternatives. He was a pussy. He sat there; expressionless. Zoë swung her legs around and off of the bed, trying desperately to tug her almost sheer shirt down as far as possible. No matter what, the shirt barely covered her crotch.
"Can't I please get dressed?" she whimpered looking at both her husband and Marcel. She could see the wicked smile on Marcel's face. He looked around the room. His eyes stopped at the high heel boots at the foot of the bed. He pulled out a long white stick. It wasn't really a stick. It was a long white piece of ivory with a couple of shiny metal caps on the end. He used his thumb to slide something in the middle of the white stick. Zoë watched in ignorant fascination and some horror as a long thin steel blade swung out in a sweeping arc and clicked into place. It was a switchblade; with a 12" blade. She had never seen one before, but knew instantly what it was.
Slowly, Marcel leaned over and used the tip of the switchblade to pick up one of the boots. "I think you'll be dressed just fine, young lady, if you just put on these." Zoë's mind churned. On some level it could have been an innocent remark and gesture, but his look; his smile and manners suggested nothing but sex.
Zoë's heart raced. What to do? Her daughter, Gabrielle would be on one of the next planes to visit. She had to do whatever it took to resolve everything before her daughter arrived or things might get worse.
Zoë extended her hand to meet Marcel's outstretched reach towards her with the boot at the point of the outrageous knife. She took it; moved over to the edge of the bed and sat down. She struggled to pull the hem of her t-shirt down as she crossed her legs. Nervously, she slipped the long boot over one foot; zipped it up along the side and bent down for the other. She re-crossed her legs and put on the other boot. She tugged nervously again on the shirt as she stood. She felt she was on a pedestal in her high heel boots; that they could see up her short shirt.
Even though they couldn't see that much, just knowing she was naked under the shirt was more than enough to get the men worked up. "What ... what ... what do you men want to eat?" she stammered in words barely above a whisper. Zoë's high heels clicked as she walked over to the kitchen. Everybody watched; transfixed with her magnificent figure.
She had honeydew sized breasts that still stuck straight out. Being forty and having had children had done no damage to her figure. Zoë had begun to sweat. Tiny beads of perspiration formed sheen on her well-toned legs and arms. There was enough moisture for the men to see that she had unusually long pointy pink nipples that seemed to strain through her shirt. She grabbed the sides of her shirt to keep the hem below her crotch. Even covered, it was clear she had been shaved. Her mind screamed at her outrageous decision. "What the fuck made me decide to shave myself?" Somehow, being caught up in making this trip of a lifetime to a romantic destination made her want to do something outrageous. "Do it!" her daughter had told her. "For once in your life do something outrageous." Gabriella had giggled. Now, it didn't seem that sensuous with a bunch of savages leering at her.
Zoë opened the refrigerator. She had put away the large tube of salami and loaf of bread she had pulled out of her backpack from their flight to Seychelles. Marcel walked over and stuck the huge dagger into the top of the wooden table and went over to the dining room table. "Is there any beer in there?" he asked, seeming oblivious to the situation he had put her in. Could she use the knife to kill one of them? It was out of the question and Marcel knew it. She might get one, but surely both her and Jon would be dead; and probably not quickly or painlessly.
Zoë sliced the salami into thin slices. She buttered the bread and made sandwiches. The administration had left a large basket of fresh fruit and a couple of bottles of wine at the center of the dining table. Nervously, Zoë opened and shut wall cabinet doors searching for some glasses. She put everything on a tray; plates, glasses, sandwiches and wine.
The men leered at her as she click clacked back over to the dining room table with the tray held in front of her. Her mind wanted to explode in humiliation. With both hands on the tray, she was unable to keep the t-shirt adjusted where she would have preferred. She could tell that the hem of the shirt was too high. Her face flushed. Setting the tray down on the table didn't help matters either. She had to lean over a little to get the tray on the center of the table.
"I ... I ... I ... did what you asked." She said as she struggled to stand straight at the edge of the table; waiting for further instructions. In doing so, she used her thumb and forefingers of each hand to lever the edge of her shirt down as far as she could. The effort did not seem to help much. Although it pulled the hem down some, it tightened the top of her shirt tauter around her breasts; accenting her nipples.
Marcel looked at the food. He looked at Zoë. His eyes went from her knees to her breasts; to her eyes, studying her expression. Slowly he reached for the still open knife. He picked it up and slowly, almost imperceptibly turned it towards her. She started to step back. His eyes told her to rethink that decision. She stood still. Marcel took the point and placed the very tip under the hem of her shirt. Slowly he lifted. He was not looking at her crotch. He was watching her eyes; her expression. He wanted to see her reaction when the hem rose above her labia.
Zoë had her eyes meeting his; trying to study his next step. What else will he do, she wondered.
Marcel lifted slowly, watching the color rise in her cheeks; watching the tear slowly form in the corner of one eye; watched it streak down her face. Zoë measured her options. There were none. She had to settle everything before her daughter arrived. What would she have to do? She had a good idea, but having her husband around was exponentially unthinkable. What will this do to him, she wondered. She was desperate to form some kind of bond with the men; desperate to save their lives.
Zoë put her hand on Marcel's shoulder. "Touch him." She told herself. "Try to make yourself a friend to him." Her mind screamed.
"Sir, can't all this be done without the others around?" she whispered softly. She forced a smile she didn't feel. In her own country, it would have worked. It always worked, in every situation.
"Oh, Miss Smithers, it would be a crime to deprive my men of the sight of you. Many of them have died in the fighting. Many more will surely die too. Also, your husband needs to appreciate what you are going to do to convince us to let you go. You need to give him every opportunity to protest or approve whatever you do." He looked over at Jon. Jon stared at Marcel, then over at his wife, but said nothing. He was a pussy. He was worried for his own welfare; indignant at what was happening, but offering no resistance. He looked down, unable to meet his wife's questioning expression.
Marcel raised the knife; lifting the hem above her crotch. He turned it so the blade was against the shirt. He raised it; slowly, snaking it up to the neck of her shirt. He grabbed her right hand and placed it over his. He withdrew his hand. Now Zoë had the blade; with the point just above the neckline.
"Do it." He whispered so probably nobody but her heard it. "I can kill him." She told herself. Again, she was shaking so badly her mind wasn't clear. "Do it." Came the voice again. Zoë's hands quivered as she struggled with his words. Slowly, she pushed out and down. The knife was razor sharp and separated the shirt like butter. Down it went; slowly. The sides peeled back and finally sprang away from her when it went through the thicker hem at the bottom. Zoë stood there; motionless with the knife pointed at Marcel.
With their eyes locked, Marcel held out his hand. Zoë placed the handle in his hand, too frightened to do what her husband wanted. "Drive it through his eyes." Jon's mind screamed. Instead he watched in indignation as his wife handed over the knife.
Zoë stood there; exposed. Her alabaster white melon sized breasts framed the coral pink long stem nipples that stuck straight out with their own savage indifference. Somehow, Jon had never really noticed how really long his wife's pink nipples were. He wavered between indignity, outrage and euphoria at the sight.
He had never been this close to a shaven woman before either. What had possessed her to present herself like this? She was the next thing to a preacher's wife. She wasn't completely shaven. The pubic hairs above her slit were shaved into a "landing strip" configuration. Below that she was bare. The reddish brown pubic hairs were thick, brown and curly at the center of her patch. From there, they seemed to thin out in color and number. At the outer edges, the curls were few, lighter and fading almost to clear blonde.
Under different circumstances, he would have been euphoric to see his wife this way. Now, it seemed like she had prepared herself for just this moment; like she knew it was to happen?
"You are fucking spectacular, Miss Smithers. You are beyond belief." Marcel looked at the alabaster triangle that framed her brown curls. The contrast of her Coppertone tanned legs, abdomen and arms only further accented her spectacular nudity.
Any man would have been proud to have a wife look like that. Instead of total humiliation, she herself should have felt proud of what she had. Instead, Marcel could detect a slight shuddering in her body. She was having a hard time trying to control her humiliation and embarrassment. She raised her arms in a feeble attempt to hide her breasts and crotch.
"Do it." He whispered.
"W ... w ... what?" she whispered back.
"Take it off"
Zoë could hardly stand. Her knees were shaking so bad. She stared at him; pleading for mercy with her eyes. She saw none. Rather than aggravate him, she arched her shoulders back; one first; then the other; sliding the top of her shirt off of her. It fluttered to the ground.
Marcel was siting in the center of the center couch. He raised his hand; extending it towards her. He wagged his finger; gesturing for Zoë to approach. Each step was torture. Jon watched what he denied as an erotic scene. Zoë his long legged, naked wife clip clopped over to face him; about three feet from him. He kept his hand extended; palm up. Reluctantly she raised her hand to meet the seated savage. He pulled her closer. He parted his legs. She stepped between them. He kissed her hand. You are one spectacular lady; Mrs. Smithers. It was a gracious comment, but meant to humiliate not only her but her unwilling husband who was watching from the sidelines. He was sending a message of acknowledgement that she was committed to another. Her unprotestingly lack of resistance made both her and Jon feel like she was doing this willingly.
Without words, he tugged down on her hand; gently guiding her to kneel. Nothing was said. She felt the pull and understood. To her husband, it looked like a willing action. He watched indignantly as his beautiful wife dropped to her knees between his. Whatever his brain told him, he could not help being secretly aroused at the scene.
"My, my, my; you are truly beautiful, but something is missing. I know, you are not dressed." He took the earrings, pearl necklace and her wire frame glasses from the end table next to his couch. He hesitated. He picked up her passport and looked at it for a few seconds; which felt to Zoë like hours. "Oh; another thing. You look so ladylike with your hair up in a French braid, the way your hair is right now, does not do you justice." He sneered.
"Please, Mrs. Smithers; please do something that will make your husband and my friends so happy. Please braid your hair up like it is on your passport. You are truly elegant." Zoë's heart sank. She was in the Mariana Trench of humiliation. Of course braiding hair in and of itself meant nothing. Naked, on her knees in front of a huge black savage, it was taking on more meaning. Meanings that were beyond her worst nightmare.