In Which Amaranth Needs A Dressing Room
We passed through the stone archways that separated the price-driven Walled Market from the untamed wilds of the bazaar. Amaranth warmly returned the salutation of the silver-haired herald, who seemed stunned to have been responded to with more than a mutter and a curt nod.
Or maybe it was just the fact that she had the form of a tall, beautiful, buxom young woman without a stitch of clothing.
Somewhere in their flow of chatter, Amaranth and Steff seemed to have agreed on a plan, because Steff took Two’s other hand and gently drew her away from me as soon as we were inside. Two had lapsed back into her usual silence, but it seemed to be more reflective somehow. That might have been my imagination, though there was no doubting that she was much calmer.
The two of them went off in one direction while Amaranth and I found the women’s jeans. While I looked for something that suited me, she browsed… her gaze seemed to be drawn to clothes that probably would have fit her better than anybody she might be thinking of in our tight little circle of friends, though I didn’t say anything.
“What do you think?” I asked, holding up a pair in gray stonewash, and another pair in black.
“Those are the ones you want?” Amaranth asked, looking from my legs to the jeans I held without moving her head.
“That’s great, sweetie,” she said, smiling. “Now put those back, grab the next two sizes down, and meet me by the dressing rooms.”
“What?” I asked.
“The response you’re looking for is ‘yes, ma’am’,” she said, getting to her feet so she could look down at me over the rim of her glasses. “Having clean clothes to wear every day is only the start… how am I ever going to convince you that you’re cute when you keep that butt of yours hidden away?”
“But…” I said.
“As I understand it,” she said, striding around behind me as she spoke, “most girls have a couple of pairs of loose, comfy jeans like what you’re used to wearing, and a few that are tighter, to better show off their figure.”
“But I don’t…”
“You do have a figure, Mack,” she said throatily, stepping back in front of me. Her eyes were going up and down the length of my body, and suddenly I imagined I could feel the paths they’d traversed as she’d circled around me. “And I’m going to insist that, a couple times a week, you show it off for the world to enjoy. Whether or not you have clothes to wear while doing so is your decision.” She leaned in closer to me. I suppose, had she been a human woman, that this might have been to give me a peek at her cleavage, but in her case, it pretty much just put her breasts in my face. “Understand me?”
“Yes, ma’am,” I said, blushing madly and wishing I knew if it would be acceptable for me, as her sub, to back away.
“Good,” she cooed, straightening up with unnecessary slowness. She gave her head a little toss and her shoulders a little bounce, which of course, set the rest of her bouncing, too. I felt a sudden and powerful urge to swallow. “You meet me back at the dressing room with whatever jeans you think you want. I’m going to go see how Twoey and Steff are getting along.”
“Yes, ma’am,” I said.
Inside of a minute later, I met her with my chosen colors and styles in the next two sizes down from what I normally wore. The attendant burst out laughing when Amaranth approached her and said, “I need a dressing room.”
After asking three times if I wanted help, Amaranth consented to leave me alone inside the tiny cubicle… though I’d only just closed the door when I realized I had an unforeseen problem.
“Amaranth,” I hissed through the door. “I can’t try these on!”
“Why not?” she asked.
“I’m not wearing underwear,” I reminded her.
“Well, I’m sure they clean them before they return them to the rack,” she said. “And even if they don’t, anybody else who tries them on will be wearing underwear, right?”
I pulled the first pair on gingerly, cringing as it came almost all the way up and the rough fabric made contact with… with me. My fingers fumbled with the snap and the zipper, but I told myself I wasn’t getting them any dirtier just by zipping them up. I had to sit down on the little bench, both to steady myself and because they really were tight, compared to anything I’d really worn before. I had to lean back and suck in what little stomach I had to get it done. I’d just grabbed one of the pairs of gray jeans at random to try first… I realized now it was the smaller size.
Well, there was no way I could put it back now… not after I’d smeared myself against it wrestling it on. How nasty would it be for somebody else to come along and slip on the same pair, never suspecting that my naked flesh had been pressed in the same place where their own…
I undid the snap as fast as I could and hurried to strip off the jeans.
“I’m done,” I called through the door. “These are good.”
“That was fast,” Amaranth said. “Well, come on out and let me see.”
“Really, they look fine,” I said.
“Let… me… see.”
I wrestled the pants back over my hips (why did they choose now, of all times, to reveal their existence to me?) and came out. Amaranth withheld comment, but directed me to turn slowly all the way around, and then walk away from her and back. The skin-tight jeans were stiff, and I had to bend my knees less and move my hips more than I was used to in order to move. Also, it was chaffing… well, rubbing. It wasn’t exactly painful. It was uncomfortable in other ways.
Amaranth had stopped watching me before I finished my little runway demonstration. She was looking at the other jeans that I’d left behind.
“You didn’t even try the other size,” she said.
“Well, I started with the tighter pair and it fit,” I said.
“It doesn’t look like you tried on either pair of the black ones,” she said, looking at the black jeans suspiciously.
“Well, they’re the same style as the gray,” I said.
“Alright,” she said. “So, we’ll get these, too.” She held up the smaller pair of black jeans.
“No!” I said, too quickly and too loudly. “I mean, I thought it might be better to have… an intermediate pair, you know?”
“That makes sense,” Amaranth said. “But shouldn’t you try them on?”
“Well, I know I can fit into these,” I said. “And a size larger isn’t too big, so… I mean… logically…”
“Yeah, logically, I guess you’re right,” Amaranth said. “Well, okay. Change out of those and we’ll go look at some tops.”
“Okay,” I said. That I could handle, without any sort of a problem. The hard part was over, I knew… it was all downhill from here.
“And just how many bras do you own, anyway?” she asked.
By the time we passed out from beneath the vast canopy of the Walled Market, I had four new shirts, only two of which I would have picked out for myself without help… three new pairs of jeans, as Amaranth wanted me to have two really tight pairs of jeans, so I ended up buying both of the black jeans… three brand new bras that I could barely handle without blushing, and three pairs of bikini briefs that seemed ridiculously teeny, until Steff came back with the two thongs I also ended up taking home.
Two was also going home with a few new outfits, each seeming to flow somehow as a natural consequence from one of the alice bands which Amaranth thought looked so adorable on her.
“Well, what’s the point of buying an accessory if you’ve got nothing to wear it with?” Steff explained when I questioned the necessity of the new wardrobe, when we stopped for lunch at a little sidewalk cafe.
“Anyway, she looks just darling, doesn’t she?” Amaranth said, gesturing at the coordinated teal ensemble Two had changed into. “Don’t you, Two?”
“Yes,” Two said. Unlike me, she was totally without self-consciousness at the attention the others paid her appearance. It had bothered me a bit to see them treating her like a dress-up doll, but she didn’t seem to mind. I think she was happy to be included… and maybe, in a way, they were serving the same need that had made her yearn to go with the slaver; they were giving her a clear role to play with minimal expectations attached. “I do.”
“Well, since she’s wearing one of her new outfits, maybe I should change into one of mine?” I asked. Not having worn a lot of skirts, I wouldn’t have really expected this, but sitting down made me feel more exposed about my… exposure… than standing and walking did.
“Oh, you’re so darling, too!” Amaranth cooed. “No.”
“You’re already wearing something new,” she said. “Or new to you, anyway… and incidentally, that reminds me of the last thing we have to do this afternoon: get your outfit for the dance.”
“That, and pick up the other thing,” Steff said, with a giggle.
“Oh, right,” Amaranth said, giving me a sidelong glance and giggling, too.
“What other thing?” I asked, not sure I wanted to know.
“It’s a surprise,” Steff said.
“Steff thought of it,” Amaranth said.
“Am I going to like this surprise?” I asked, thinking about the Mechan circle.
“Oh, hon, you are going to love it,” Steff said. She giggled again. “Well, eventually. It might take some getting used to. But after that… you’ll love it!”
“Some people… some people don’t like surprises,” Two said quietly. I imagined she was thinking of her own reaction to unexpected situations, situations she had no orders to fall back on, no understanding of what she was supposed to do. I sympathized with her… and a moment later, I realized that she had just been sympathizing with me.
“Um… okay, then,” Amaranth said. “How about we show you what we have in mind, and you can decide for yourself.”
“And after that, we should still have time to take you to a comic store or whatever nerd hell you want to visit!” Steff said.
“That might just be depressing,” I said. “I spent way more money than I meant to already.”
“Mack’s been mostly pretty good today,” Steff said to Amaranth. “Don’t you think if she can behave for the rest of the afternoon, she deserves a treat?”
“Ooh, maybe… but I’ve been spending money, too,” Amaranth said.
“It doesn’t have to be anything pricey,” Steff said. “But when Viktor drags me around town–literally–he usually ends the day by letting me pick out a little something for myself, if I haven’t been too difficult. I didn’t honestly have a lot of make-up or jewelry when I first came here, so every bit helped.”
“Alright,” Amaranth said, and she turned to me. “If you’re good, we’ll find a toy store or hobby shop and you can pick out something.” She paused and her eyes flitted upwards. I could see her lips moving as she apparently counted something off. “Something small. If you’re very good.”
“A-my!” Steff said. “It was just an idea. If you can’t afford it, there’s certainly other ways to reward behavior. I just thought this might be a reward Mack could accept without discomfort.”
“No, no, it’s a good idea,” Amaranth said. “And I want to do it. It just… won’t be an every time thing. Okay, Mack?”
“Yes, ma’am,” I said.
For my dance outfit, Steff not only already had the store in mind, she had the skirt picked out. She led us down a flight of steps sunk into the street around the corner from the edge of the bazaar, and into a little boutique that looked like it had used to be somebody’s dungeon. Some of the garments they sold might have belonged to the former owners. There were no employees in evidence when we entered, but Steff went right into the middle of the islands of racks, anyway.
“Oh, good, they still have it!” she said, holding up a tiny black vinyl miniskirt, patterned like scales and with a big clunky belt built into the waistband. “You do not know how many times I almost bought this for myself… but of course, it’s too short and too tight in the front, for me.”
“You know you could pull it off,” I said, a little worried. I didn’t know much about clothes, but how could a skirt that was too tight for Steff’s willowy elven form possibly look any good on me? “Better than me, anyway.”
“Oh, please!” Steff said, but she seemed happy I’d said that, and hugged me.
“Try it on,” Amaranth said.
“Where’s the changing room?” I asked.
“Hey, Caron!” Steff bellowed. Considering the tricks I knew she could do with her voice, that seemed unnecessary… doubly so as her mouth was inches from my ear.
“Hey, what?” an answering shout came from somewhere in the back.
“Is it cool if I strip my friend naked in your store?” Steff yelled.
“Is she hot?” the unseen Caron answered.
“Knock yourself the fuck out, then!”
“Thanks!” Steff said, and Amaranth yanked the skirt I was wearing down. We were all alone in a subterranean store off of the main streets, but I still couldn’t get the other skirt on fast enough once deprived of the one I had been wearing.
“What do you think, sweetie?” Amaranth asked, gesturing to a set of dusty full-length mirrors. “I think it’s you.”
“Amaranth!” I said, scandalized by my own image. “Mariel wouldn’t even wear this skirt!”
“Of course not,” she agreed. “It’s way too long for her sensibilities.” She crouched down on the floor a short distance away, her eyes level with my crotch, and then leaned to the side, peering up. “I have to bend down beneath it to see your pussy.”
The woman Caron, a be-piercinged dwarven woman with close-cropped black hair and dressed in black faux leather, had come out and drifted over. She crouched down beside Amaranth. “Yeah, she’s right,” she agreed. I spun around, turning away from them and simultaneously trying to tug down the front of the skirt. “Nice ass, though,” the proprietress said. “For a tallgirl.”
Well, that was a first… I’d never been called “tall” before.
“Isn’t it just?” Amaranth said. “Want to help us pick out a top for her?”
She did. I ended up with a long-sleeved elastene shirt in red and black that left my shoulders and midriff bare. Steff arrived with a set of fishnets and some sort of combination interrogation device/shoes.
Amaranth “oohed” at the stockings but shook her head at the footwear, to my immense relief.
“She’s going to a dance, remember?” she told Steff.
“Something a bit wider in the heel, then?” Steff asked.
“I think we’re going to need to stick with flats, actually,” Amaranth said.
Steff looked offended by this idea, but went off to fulfill the request anyway.
Caron turned to regard Amaranth.
“When Steff said she was stripping her hot friend naked…”
“Oh, I don’t wear clothes,” Amaranth said. “I mean, obviously, I’m a nymph… though I do find the idea of clothing fascinating. Though, of course, not to wear… I mean, I wouldn’t…”
“You know, tallgirl, you’re cute when you blush,” Caron told her, and she blushed all the harder.
I had to laugh at that. There was no helping it.
“Ooh,” Amaranth said, spinning around to face me. “Don’t… even… start.”
It wasn’t long before Steff found me a pair of shoes that met with Amaranth’s approval, and Caron rang up our purchases… taking a hefty chunk off, for what Steff called “the family discount.”
“So, where now?” I asked, once Amaranth had tucked the newest bags somewhere out of sight.
“Back across to the other side of the bazaar,” Steff said. “To a little specialty leather goods store I know.”