(I write my own porn because I can almost never find anything I like. I know I should stick to nonfiction, but it entertains me.)
Lottie did not enjoy being beaten, but after six hours out in the cold, she would have welcomed a sound thrashing, even from Martin, who always went for the breasts and the insides of the thighs and whom she had always despised.
A beating would have Settled Things. The fact that she had not been beaten, even after the Master of the House had come home and they had surely discussed what to do with her, was cause for significant concern.
She could see the other women sneaking glances at her through the windows, but nobody would would look her in the eye. Julia, who lived on the neighboring estate, passed by on an errand, and skirted past her, almost running. That wasn’t normal. Julia was Lottie’s age, and the two girls were friendly. It would have been normal for Julia to offer a few words of support or sympathy, or even make a joke about being in trouble (who hadn’t been banned from the house or chained in the yard on occasion? Even the more hardworking and compliant property found herself in trouble from time to time. Accidents happen, mistakes are made, and sometimes, men are just capricious and like to exert their authority).
It occurred to Lottie that the reason she hadn’t been whipped was that she was going to be sold or transferred, and they didn’t want to blemish her skin. Bruises are unsightly and the accepted opinion is that beat-up property is disobedient property, and who wants to buy useless, disobedient property?
Surely not, Lottie thought, freezing in fear. They wouldn’t sell her. She’d lived and worked on that estate, for that family, her entire life. The Master of the house had been partial to Lottie’s aunt before she passed away, which had afforded Lottie some protection.
But the Master’s eldest twin sons were away at college now. Tuition was expensive, and with two fewer men in the household, it was possible to reduce the staff. They’d sold a girl only two years older than Lottie last year, and two more had been contracted out to live and work at one of the hotels in town.
And Lottie had lost the money. Lottie had been given the purse and a set of walking papers in case she was stopped on the road and asked to produce identification, and sent down the road to deliver it to her Master’s friend. It was repayment of a loan.
Lottie had dropped it somewhere along the way. She had no idea how much was in the purse–it couldn’t have been too much, or her Master would have sent a man to run the errand–but it was enough to make her owners furious and to send a few pieces of property out to look for it.
Losing the money was bad enough. The real problem, which hadn’t even occurred to her until Martin brought it up when he was interrogating her, was that she couldn’t prove that she lost it.
“The little bitch stole it,” Martin snarled.
Theft was a major offense and theft of money was a serious crime indeed. Women were not allowed to have money. They might be given small amounts as gifts on Holidays, but that was it. Property was not allowed to own property of any value. There were laws about it.
A tearful, horrified Lottie was stripped and searched on the spot. They went through the seams of her clothes and her shoes, even her hair. Martin accused her of hiding the money somewhere along the road or burying it in the ground to go retrieve later.
“Chain her outside until Dad comes home,” said Martin, and that scared Lottie even more. Nobody needed permission to beat or discipline the property, as long as it was his property (or public property). Legally, Lottie belonged to Martin’s father, but in practical terms, that meant the other men in the household could do whatever they wanted to her.
If the boys needed to ask permission to do something, it was pretty serious, indeed.
“You better hope we find it.”