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Katherine woke up when the lights turned on, ready for another day of swimming and tea party practice. Captain Nari seemed to be excited about something, however. As Katherine ate her breakfast, the woman explained.
“Today is the day! We have received a message that General Pak will be arriving later this morning. You will need to practice extra hard today. I want your performance at dinner to be flawless, and then if the general is in the mood, you will need to be ready for a tea ceremony afterwards.”
Katherine was not worried about the swimming or the tea ceremony. Nothing had been said, but she expected that the tea ceremony would be followed by a rape, though they would not likely call it that. From what she remembered, sexual favors were a definite part of the duties of the “pleasure squads.” She supposed the other women had been brainwashed into believing it was a privilege to participate – and perhaps it was. At least they got regular meals. Katherine didn’t know what she would do. Should she resist? Or was that a futile gesture? She put those thoughts out of her mind for the moment. After she ate her breakfast, Captain Nari stayed in the room.
“Today I watch. I will go to the viewing room and activate the bell. When you hear it, take off your clothes and show me your performance. I must be sure it will satisfy the general.”
Katherine did as she was told. The Captain left the room and a few minutes later, a bell sounded. Katherine took off her clothes and got into the pool. She performed her routine as she had been practicing. It hadn’t been too hard to come up with something, as she just re-used movements from the routine they had performed for Carlos. Of course, since she was alone the whole performance depended upon her abilities, and so she had tried to add some more athletic and extreme movements to make up for the lack of a group. When she was done, she swam to the side of the pool, and Nari left the viewing room and came to talk to her.
“That was satisfactory. You will practice more today and perform flawlessly for our dear Pak this evening. Once you are done, Yuki and Sakra will come to give you your bath and prepare you for the tea ceremony.”
It seemed to Katherine that despite Nari’s expressed happiness at the return of General Pak, she was holding back some anger or unhappiness. Was she jealous of Katherine? Maybe she feared that the beautiful mermaid would replace her in the general’s affections. Katherine would have been happy if Nari got the general all to herself, but she didn’t know how to communicate that to her rival. Though she didn’t feel obligated to please her kidnappers, Katherine spent the morning practicing her routine anyway. There was nothing else to do, and she could still feel a personal satisfaction from honing her skills and engaging in a creative activity. The endorphins generated by the exercise helped her take her mind off of what might be happening in the evening. She took a break in the early afternoon so that she wouldn’t be tired when the time came for the performance.
At the appointed time, the bell rang and Katherine disrobed and slipped into the pool to make her performance. Through the clear wall of the pool, she could see General Pak sitting at a table watching her. Nari sat beside him, dressed in one of her long embroidered dresses. Two other young women served them a meal while Katherine swam. As she performed, Katherine caught glimpses of the general watching her intently while Nari picked at her food and pouted. When her routine was done, Katherine climbed out of the pool and was met by Yuki and Sakra to help bathe and dress her. They spent extra time on her makeup, and the dress they gave her was even more luxurious and revealing than the ones she had worn the last few evenings. It had a deep, plunging “v” in the front that revealed a lot of cleavage, along with several strategically placed sheer sections that revealed sections of her torso and her lacy black bra.
Once Katherine was ready, Yuki brought in the low table with the items for the tea ceremony. She lit a candle and the lights in the room were turned down. As they had practiced, Katherine knelt in front of the table and waited for General Pak. Then Yuki left the room and the general came in, with Nari holding onto his arm. The general’s eyes roved over Katherine and he smiled at her. He said something in Korean to Nari, who answered with a short agreement and a small bow of her head. Then the general gently lifted Nari’s hand from his arm and made a shooing motion towards the door. Katherine was surprised when Nari apparently objected. There was a short argument in Korean, after which Nari smiled and bowed, then left the room. At last the general addressed Katherine directly.
“Apparently you are a very dangerous American and it is not safe for me to be alone in the room with you.” Pak said with a smile. “But we have arrived at a compromise.”
As he finished speaking, Nari re-entered the room, with a coil of rope in her hand.
“Put your hands behind your back.” She ordered.
Katherine did as she was told, and the captain pulled her wrists up behind her back until they were parallel, with her hands almost touching the opposite elbows. She quickly bound Katherine’s forearms together, wrapping several loops around them. Then she brought a loop up around Katherine’s neck, which prevented her from lowering her arms. Nari finished off the tie by looping a few coils around Katherine’s upper arms, drawing them together into an uncomfortable but not quite painful position. When she was done, the leader of the pleasure squad bowed once more to the general and then left.
“I regret the necessity of the ropes.” General Pak said. “But I have found it more conducive to a pleasant atmosphere in my home if I indulge my girls a little. Now we have a problem, though. It will be difficult for you to perform the tea ceremony with your arms tied together. Nari volunteered to stay and protect me while you served my tea, but I like to have some time alone with my new girls. I guess it will be up to me to do the serving.”
The general proceeded to follow through, pouring a cup of tea for each of them. He took a few sips of his own tea, and then held Katherine’s cup to her lips and gently tilted it so that she could drink. There were a few small biscuits and cookies on a tray, and Pak fed some to Katherine, taking bites of his own as well.
“I must say that I was quite taken with you from the first time I saw you swimming in Mr. Ruiz’s pool.” Said the general as he held the cup to Katherine’s lips. “I am so glad that I was able to arrange for your transfer to my house. Have you been treated well? Are you comfortable?”
Not wanting to anger her captor, Katherine nodded her head.
“Did you know we have a legend about mermaids even in Korea? Her name is Sinjiki, and she lives near an island in the south. She warns the sailors there when a storm is coming. I was very interested when I saw you and your fellow mermaids swimming. Your tails are very realistic looking, and the technology that allows you to breathe underwater is very fascinating.”
The general reached out to touch Katherine’s collar.
“In addition to arranging for your transfer to my house, I was able to negotiate for the plans and a sample of the breathing collars you use. The technology will be most useful to the DPRK, and our dear leader is very pleased with me for obtaining it. He may even come here to visit my home.”
The tea ceremony continued until all of the cookies had been eaten and both cups of tea had been drained.
“Thank you for sharing tea with me.” Pak said when they were done. “Shall we move to the bed?”
Katherine started to shake her head, but she didn’t know what would happen if she refused. So she simply knelt in place and looked down.
“I see there is some fear in your eyes. Don’t worry, I am not one of the cruel ones who likes to hurt his pleasure women. But I guess you will need some help to the bed.”
Pak stood up and moved the tea table out of the way. Then he picked Katherine up and carried her to the bed. He laid her face down and began untying the ropes imprisoning her arms.
“Please relax.” Pak said. “I promise not to hurt you.”
Once the ropes were completely removed, Pak gently lifted Katherine’s shoulder and rolled her over onto her back.
“Now I must secure you in place. I’m afraid Nari and my security squad insist.”
Pak reached up to the headboard of the bed and did something Katherine couldn’t see. There was a click and the metal rectangles on the bed posts came loose. Pak pulled on the rectangle and a thin chain spooled out from inside the post. There was a padded manacle attached to the end of the chain, and Pak fastened it around Katherine’s wrist. He repeated the action with her other wrist. He pulled a third chain out from a compartment at the foot of the bed. It connected to a leather binder that locked around the base of Katherine’s tail over her ankles. Though she tried to control herself, Katherine’s body started to shiver, and a tear trickled out from one eye. Pak kicked off his shoes and lay down on the bed beside Katherine. He tenderly brushed a strand of hair out of her face, then lowered his hand to her abdomen and caressed her belly and hips.
“I am so sorry that you are afraid of me.” Pak said. “Please calm yourself. You are performing a great service to the nation. My pleasure squad helps to keep me relaxed and fulfilled so that I can give my optimum performance to my country. Although we must keep you restrained for now, I believe you will eventually come to willingly serve our noble and enlightened republic. I do not take pleasure in your fear, so I will give you some time to adjust to your new role.”
Although Pak’s words were not likely to convince Katherine to willingly participate, his actions seemed to indicate that the inevitable rape might not happen immediately. As he continued to caress her body, so far avoiding her breasts and other sensitive areas, Katherine was able to calm herself and cease her quivering. Pak’s hand moved to Katherine’s tail, and he spent some time feeling the scales on her legs and thighs.
“These scales have an interesting feel to them. Although they are hard, they are mounted to a soft and yielding substrate. Quite exciting.”
Pak’s hand moved up under Katherine’s dress to her waist and felt along the transition zone between scales and skin. Katherine’s stomach started to knot up in anticipation of what would come next. But Pak did not do what she expected. Instead, he pulled his hand out from under her dress and sat up on the bed.
“I think I had better stop there for tonight. I will leave you to sleep. Please think kindly of me. I’m sorry that I cannot release you from your bonds, but only Nari has the key.”
Pak’s hand drifted down and cupped one of Katherine’s breasts for just a moment, and then he stood up and left the room.