The mood had struck and this time there would be no denying it...She needed a vacation... She was ready for a vacation.
Turning from the balcony of her expansive home, she walked into the bedroom, through some clothing into a bag and left...
* * * *
Several days later the privately chartered seaplane slid to a smooth halt at the dock of the exclusive island resort. Sighing softly she gathered her bag in one hand and crawled down from the seat next to the pilot. Smiling at him she spoke for the first time in several hours.
"Return here in one week." She commanded, a calm smile gracing her lips as the pilot nodded in acknowledgement and reached for the door. She stepped away ducking under the wing as he skillfully backed the plane away and turned for the open seas again. Taking in a deep breath she smiled softly, honestly for the first time in a long time and slung the bag over her shoulder.
She hadn't called ahead, hadn't warned anyone she was arriving, so she was unconcerned when no one scrambled down the steep cliff to greet her. Smiling still she set out across the wide, wooden dock and began to climb...
"M'lady..." a shocked voice said as she stepped into the cool lobby of the island's main building almost 15 minutes later. "I did not know that you'd left the island." He added as he all but scrambled around the wide front desk and came rushing to her side.
The woman laughed softly, her sweaty face splitting into a grin as the "manager" of the island's hotel came closer. "Raul," she contradicted him, reaching up to take the dark shades off her eyes and prop them on her head. "I realize it's hard to tell my sister and me apart, but..." she went on, setting her bag at his feet. "I would think you'd have learned the difference by now," she added tilting her head slightly.
"Oh..." the tall man gasped. "Please, forgive my impertinence," he added with a sweeping bow. "Lady Jace," he continued as he straightened and gathered her single bag in his large hand. "I had not received word that you would be arriving today."
The Lady chuckled a second time, clucking her tongue against her pristine teeth. "That is because I did not give it," she informed him with a gentle smile and a shake of her head. "Is the she about?" she asked next, sweeping into the lobby's air-conditioned interior.
"Um ... yes Ma'am." Raul stammered slightly, following a dutiful three steps behind her. "I would expect She is in her office," he added moving around behind the massive and ornate counter again.
Lady Jace nodded once, a crisp action and turned away as she spoke. "I will be staying," she said without breaking her stride. "A week ... maybe more. Please see that everything is taken care of."
"Yes Ma'am. I will see to it personally." He watched with a speculative gaze as she turned a corner of the hallway and headed off towards her sisters private office.
* * * *
"Well, it's about time you showed your face around here," were the first words out of her sister's mouth as she opened the door.
Lady Jace smiled again, the action honest and sincere as she flopped down into a wide leather chair in front of the heavy desk. Even though there were several years between them, it was often like looking into a mirror she mused as she looked over the other woman. "Is that any way to greet your business partner?" she asked as she wiped a lingering bead of sweat off her forehead.
"It is when my partner," she empathized the last word, "hasn't been seen or heard from in six months," the older woman quipped with a hard look.
Lady Jace shrugged in response, her smile widening slightly. "I've been busy," she shot out with a laugh. "I knew you could handle the place without my input anyway."
The older woman snorted slightly and a smile cracked through her stern look. "Dammit Hales," she chuckled herself, reverting to the childhood nickname she'd always used and shaking her head slowly. "I've been worried," she added slowly, her eyes narrowing as she assessed her sister.
Again Lady Jace shrugged, her eyes giving off a sheepish look for a moment before she sighed slowly. "I'm sorry Shar," she responded with a dip of her head. "It wasn't intentional, I promise. I..." she stammered, sighing again. "But after everything that..." she choked gently, swallowing. "I needed some time..."
Sharon Jace sighed herself and rose gracefully from the desk and came around to sit beside her sister, taking her hand and smiling into her eyes as she spoke. "I know honey," she said in an almost motherly tone. "I know." She patted her hand then, smiling gently and sighing once more. "Are you ok?" she finally asked.
"As well as could be expected ... considering," Harley Jace responded with another shrug of her shoulders. "The place seems to be doing well. I saw Raul," she added with a waggle of her eyebrows. "He thought I was you when I arrived."
Sharon shook her head with a rueful chuckle. "I think the poor boy is going sun-blind sometimes," she said with a gentle shake of her head. "Too many hours on this island will do that to you." She rose then, pulling the younger woman up with her. "Come on, you must be jet-lagged I'm sure. Let's get you settled then catch up over dinner."
* * * *
Dinner turned out to be a private affair. Which was unusual in and of itself but welcomed in Harley's opinion. It gave the two of them the time they needed to talk in private, without the guests of the resort clamoring for Sharon's unique brand of attention.
Taking a bite of her salad, Harley spoke. "So, how are things here?" she asked.
Sharon shrugged, chewing thoughtfully on a bite of her own before responding. "Oh, you know ... the usual." She said with a shake of her head. "The comings and goings of all the normals," she added plucking a small baby tomato out of the salad and popping it in her mouth with a twinkling smile.
They were dining in Sharon's private bungalow, alone save for the staff member off in the corner, waiting to serve them as needed. Harley smiled slightly, her green eyes darting over to the figure waiting quietly in the corner. "You've gotten some new staff." She commented with a nod of her head in his general direction.
Sharon nodded once, a typical "Jace" action, crisp and formal. "Yes, I have. Business picked up to the point that I've put on two more crews." She added with a jerk of her own head toward the silent and quite naked man in the corner. "Toned down the tour of duty to four months instead of six." Sharon spoke with authority.
"Like I said, the place is doing well." Harley returned, sliding the salad plate away from her.
A clink of chain rattled from the corner as the man moved forward with short steps and reached for the plate. Harley smiled slightly at his pause then nodded and the plate was gone. "You've trained them well." She complimented as the man moved off again back into his corner to wait for Sharon to finish before serving the next course to the women.
Sharon sighed dramatically and put a hand to her forehead. "It is such a trial though," she said with a raucous laugh. "They think they know what to expect, what their fantasies are, and when faced with the reality of it..." she paused and sighed again, earnestly this time before going on. "They bolt for the hills."
It was Harley's turn to chuckle, which she did, shaking her head. "It's just so hard to find good help," she commiserated with her sister and the two women shared a laugh.
* * * *
Later on that evening found Harley standing on one of the resorts many ocean cliffs. An "observation post" of sorts had been set up, hanging out over the broiling sea as it pounded against the high bank of stone. It was wood, rough, hearty stock shipped in from the mainland and sanded smooth. Benches ringed the railing, giving patrons a place to sit, or stand and look out over the sea far below. A post, with eyelets in several places sat in the middle of the overlook, giving those visitors that indulged in that sort of thing a place for binding.
Harley ... indulged ... or at least she had in years past. She was, or at one time had been, a Mistress of some repute. But it had been many years since she'd laid a flogger to quivering skin ... or played with some new toy of her own making...
Sighing slowly, she listened to the beat of the ocean, reveling in the sounds of the night. It had been months since she'd been to the island and she found herself missing it more often than not.
But she could not have settled in this place ... not after...
She refused to think on it. This trip wasn't for the memories, she mused with a shake of her head. It was for letting go, she added on a mental breath of air. Letting go of those memories and possibly moving on with her life...
Or at least she hoped so.
"I thought I might find you out here."
Sharon's voice came out of the darkness, soft and gentle just loud enough to be heard over the ocean's song.
"Sorry," Harley apologized with a sigh. "Didn't mean to disappear on you." She added. "Again."
Sharon chuckled, coming up beside her and leaning on the railing. "I knew you were here somewhere." She returned without malice. "After all the next plane isn't due for a couple of days." She shrugged, lifting her head and looking out over the black sea.
Harley hadn't lit a torch and the two women stood in companionable silence as the sea pulsed beneath them.
"Thinking about it?" Sharon quizzed gently after some time had passed.
"Not really." Harley admitted grudgingly.
"You should," Sharon shot back by way of statement.
"Probably," Harley conceded with a nod. "And I will..." she admitted adding a soft, "someday," almost as an after thought.
"There's an auction at week's end." Sharon informed her after another lengthy pause.
Harley chuckled and shook her head. "Still won't give up ... even after all this time, will you," she stated.
"Come on Hales, really..." Sharon said, turning to look at her. "It wasn't your fault," she stated, not for the first time.
Harley's normal rebuke to that statement wasn't forthcoming this time and she spoke without turning, continuing instead to stare out over the sea. "I know," she finally said, slowly, her voice cracking slightly. "I know," she admitted a second time, more to herself than Sharon. In the years before, she had blamed herself, and would fiercely defend that point of view, especially to Sharon. But now, after much soul searching, she had come to realize it wasn't her fault ... never really had been. She turned, leaning back against the railing and staring at the brightly lit hotel and the bungalows scattered around it. "So, who's in residence this time?"
Sharon turned herself, staring back at her life's dream come true, and sighing wistfully for a moment. "Well, Lord Byron and his usual entourage. Lady Janice and hers..." She went on at some length, naming off many of the friends Harley hadn't seen in more years than she could remember.
Harley continued to stare at the resorts buildings, memories flooding her mind as her sister's voice droned on, naming off the 'who's who' of the BDSM world. She remembered the first time the two of them had set foot on the island ... smiling slightly at her sisters first comments of the rough and tumble terrain. "It's got potential..." she said back then and Harley smiled now.
She turned, looking at the profile so like her own. They weren't twins, by any means, nearly five years separated them, but the family resemblance was unmistakable.
Both sisters had the "Jace" green eyes ... a trait passed from the one woman to the next. Only the women had them, often compared to the color of Jade they were so deep and lively in color. And far more expressive than either woman liked ... they could flash in anger, turning the color of a summer's storm clouds ... or soften in tenderness, resembling lush forests of their native Ireland. Most men within the Jace family sported brown or sometimes black eyes ... but the women carried the green.
The line of genetics had graced them both with inexplicable height as well. At nearly six feet two inches they looked down on most though only from the advantage of height and never in their mannerisms or words. Well, with exceptions in any case. In full out "Mistress Mode" their height played to their advantage and both women were not above using it.
Long, curly hair was another family trait they'd both inherited. Unruly most of the time, unless tamed through force of will, it fell well below their respective waists. Harley's, however, was just beginning to gray near the temples. Early gray, yet another "family" heirloom she mused as she turned back to the resort in the distance. She wasn't yet thirty-five she chuckled to herself, yet she knew that by fifty she would sport the full head of gray, much like their mother had.
Sharon's voice continued to rattle on in the darkness and Harley let her go, uninterrupted while she took in the recent improvements. The last time she'd been on the island there hadn't been much more than the main building. A few outlying ones had housed the generators, fresh water supply and maintenance areas, but the bungalows were new. She hadn't bothered to explore when she'd first arrived, but thought she might the next day.
A rattle of chain interrupted her thoughts and Sharon's words as a figure materialized out of the darkness. Raul stepped onto the sanded wood of the overlook and gave a slight bow. "Pardon me Ma'am," he said, addressing them both. "But the guests are looking for you..." he added after a moment's pause, directing the comment toward Sharon.
The older woman sighed slightly, pushing off the railing with a creak of well-worn leather from her outfit. She'd left the "party" that was going on inside in search of her sister but knew she needed to return. Not so much to keep an eye on things, her guests were respectable if nothing else, but they could also get a tad restless at times and her unique and calming influence would bring things back into focus. "All right Raul," she said gently. "I'll return shortly," sharon intoned with a dismissive wave of her hand in his direction.
He nodded and swept away into the darkness, his chains rattling gently as he hobbled back across the vast lawn toward the main building.
"It's a never ending cycle," Sharon sighed out as she stepped away herself. "Will you be ok?" she asked without turning back.
"I'll be fine." Harley returned watching her go. "Go on and be the Hostess."
She waited until Sharon's silhouette had melded with the darkness then turned back to the ocean. They'd bought the island nearly 10 years ago. Paid in full and set within international waters the large expanse of mostly rock had been cheap. No one really wanted a place that couldn't be farmed, had no real advantage other than to take up space. As such, whatever happened on the tiny "country" couldn't be questioned. Wouldn't be questioned as most things that happened there, stayed there. Of course there were rules, things that anyone who visited abided by or were never invited back.
It was an exclusive, invitation only resort. A haven for those that dabbled in the more eccentric side of the BDSM world and wanted a place of freedom, a place they could do as they wished, to whom they wished, and never fear being arrested or persecuted for their choice of lifestyles.
The Sisters, as they'd been called then, were well known and respected within the Community. Known not only for their gentle touch, but their strong sense of morality when it came to those that served them. Safe, sane and consensual was the norm for them and that reputation had served them well since they'd bought, built and ultimately opened the resort.
The island had originally been intended as a training school of sorts. A place those within the community could come and celebrate their choice of lifestyles. They'd intended to offer 'classes' of sorts for new and old, but it had blossomed into so much more over the years.
Neither of them had realized then what a defined "need" there was for well-trained and subservient submissives. But as that first year had gone by and the resorts main building had been finished they began to understand. As Sharon had said earlier, so many that wanted to become involved in the Lifestyle "ran for the hills" when faced with the reality of serving another. An idea had been born then, and one that had served them well in the years since. She remembered the conversation well...