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InkuHime

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  1. This is a story set in Princess Pottypants Diaper Dimension It is a slow burn, character driven type of piece.... Chasing Emily by InkuHime Emily loved her apartment. She loved the old brickwork, and the wood, polished by age, with a patina that was nearly impossible to reproduce artificially. Then there was the view, which most people would probably find nothing to praise, but Emily liked it. Old factories and squat office buildings, widely spaced, all of it built nearly a hundred years prior, and largely abandoned for the last twenty years. The way the morning and setting sun caught all the old architecture, she could stare at it for hours, or at least until the sun climbed too high or set. She liked the people, or the fact that they minded their own business. And she really liked the fact that for whatever reason of reverse gentrification seemed to be at play that giants did not seem to want to live there. A few littles like her, but mostly inbetweeners, odd balls who did not quite fit into society. Artists mostly, a handful of people practicing nearly forgotten trades, like the blacksmith who lived down on the first floor, or the man who made handmade paper in the factory across the street. She was a little out of place as she practiced a highly technical trade. She was a programmer, a graphic designer, a little bit of a hacker (that she kept extra secret), all freelance. Someone rang her doorbell. She got up form her seat, slipping down onto the floor from a chair that would have been a good size for an inbetweener, and walked towards the door. She had a small flat screen monitor by the door displaying an image of the hallway. Standing in front of her apartment door was a young man, a tall inbetweener, a clerk at the organic market down the street. He carried two large bag in his arms. Pressing the intercom button she said, “Hey Ted, just leave them out there. I’ll get them in a couple of minutes.” “Sure thing Miss Black,” he said, then put the bags down and left. She waited until he had entered the rickety old elevator and the doors had closed before she opened her door and pulled both bags in. It was not that she thought that Ted was one of those that thought all littles needed to be taken care of, but the market he worked at was one of the few places that saw significant visitors from outside of the area. All she needed was him talking about the little who lived by herself. Say that to the right amazon and it was like waving a red flag in front of bull. Bad analogy she knew, as bulls were colour blind. Carefully she picked up each bag and carried each one at a time to her kitchen. The place had been scaled to the tall inbetweener, sort of a safe size as even an amazon could live there. As a little she made use of a lot of step stools, and put most things on lower shelves. Food unpacked she went back to her desk, did a little jump to get herself back on the chair. He feet did not quite reach the floor. She was on the smaller size for an adult little, only a little over four feet tall. Apparently she was also ‘cute as a button’, which was not a phrase she liked. Back in her chair she looked at the progress bar on her laptop. She was running a program of her own design, one that was converting an old banking program into a new web based one. It was a specialized area of work that took most programmers weeks to do. Her program did it in a few hours, and then she would take a few hours to look for large problems before sending it back to the client. Not that she would send it back immediately. She would wait several days. No need to let her clients know how fast she really was. They might start making unreasonable demands of her time. She lost herself for a while, looking out her window at the late afternoon scene, the low buildings stretching out in front of her, off into the distance. There was a ribbon of undeveloped land between her neighbourhood and the city proper, where skyscrapers began to thrust up into the air. Some of her clients worked in those towers, paying her ridiculous amounts of money so that she could live her private life, on her own terms. There were times she felt a little like a prisoner, but she was content. And she reminded herself she would feel more like a prisoner in a crib. Her computer chimed. The program finished. She went to work, losing track of time, the apartment darkening as the sun slipped below the horizon. Emily was actually a little surprised when she looked up and found she was sitting in a dark apartment. Yawning widely she slipped off her chair and began to turn on lights, stretching out as she did so, wincing at a few tiny pains. Maybe she could get one of those standing desks, she thought, walking into her kitchen. Busying herself with making her dinner, she made herself stop thinking about her work. Eventually dinner was made (she grilled up a steak, gently steamed some asparagus and broccoli) and then eaten. After cleaning up she took a bath then, dressed in a terrycloth robe (made by the seamstress who loved two floors down), took a seat out on her balcony, a cup of coffee in her hands. The neighbourhood became a little livelier at night. Two of the factories had been converted to clubs, and people who would not live there came to party. In the cooling night air she watched the expensive cars come in, park, saw the people get out. A lot of giants, seven and eight foot men and women, a few even taller, dressed for a night out, laughing as they walked beneath her, unaware of the little who looked down at them. She liked it. When Emily finished her coffee she left the balcony, put her cup in the dishwasher and then returned to her computer. Various emails had come in since she had last looked. Most of it was deleted, a few she read. There was one from Lyle Redmond, asking if she wanted to come and work for him. He made those offers at least once a month, and as always he asked if they could meet, or at least talk on the phone. Emily of course did not meet her clients, and she avoided the phone as her voice was high and apparently sweet. And Lyle Redmond—CEO of one of the largest entertainment companies in the country was nearly a ten foot tall giant who had already ‘adopted’ five little ‘girls’ like they were a fashion accessory—was not someone she wanted to meet. Nor did she want him to hear her high and ‘sweet’ voice and start getting ideas. As always it took a bit of work to craft a polite refusal. She had no wish to send anything that would insult Lyle, He gave her a lot of money and he could have negative consequences on her career if he took it into his mind to do so. That done she shut off her computer and went to her bedroom to watch TV, carefully avoiding any show with bright colours and simple but catchy music. There was not a lot one could do in the neighbourhood. The artisanal shops tended to deal in bulk orders and did not handle walk in clients well. The clubs opened later in the evening, and were full of people Emily did not want to deal with anyway. She liked to walk around the old buildings, down the wide streets, during the early morning or later day, when few people were around. There was however one bar, a real hole in the wall, a place called Sharky’s, with windows so dusty anyone who did not live there would not know it was open. Sharky, Emily did not think that was his real name, was an old, blind man, who carded Emily every time she came in. Why she did not know. He could not even read the card. Once that bit of ritual was over he would make her a gin and tonic, she would climb up (literally) onto the barstool, and he would go back to his newspaper. “Why…” “I like the smell of the ink,” he told her. “God, your like some kind of mind reader.” “I can just predict stupid questions,” he told her. Farther down the bar Gus laughed. She turned to him and raised her glass in a salute. He returned the gesture with his beer mug. Gus was the blacksmith who lived and worked on the first floor of her building. He was about six feet tall, and Emily would swear nearly as board in the shoulders. He worked part time as a bouncer, able to handle even the giants who made trouble. She supposed if he spent his day forcing steel to his will putting a drunken amazon in her place would not be too hard. “Sharky, give me a beer and a whisky chaser,” Candy said as she took a seat beside Emily. Candy was a mechanic, five and a half feet tall of grease monkey and attitude, with short black hair and oil in her blood. “Hey ya Emily.” “Afternoon Candy. Calling if early?” “Parts have to come in from the coast. Until they come in the car no go.” She nodded to Sharky (not that he could see it) as he put the beer down in front of her. “Client is gong to bitch about it.” “They always do,” Emily said. “Amen to that sister.” She lifted her glass. Emily lifted her glass and tapped it against Candy’s mug. A musical chime filled the bar. “Don’t chip my glasses,” Sharky told them as he put Candy’s shot down. Candy smiled at Emily then took a pull of her beer. She put her beer on the bar and reached out, gently touching Emily’ short blonde hair. “You should grow this longer.” Emily made rude noise. “Long hair takes forever to take care of.” Candy ran her hand through her short hair. “That’s waste. Oh, Linda’s got this green fabric, make a great summer dress and go perfect with those baby blues of yours.” Emily made another rude noise. “Don’t like summer dresses?” “For me a summer dress is a skirt hike from being a toddler’s dress.” Sharky laughed. “Fair point. Make a nice, long skirt. Wear it with a white blouse. Look better than jeans and t-shirt.” “Maybe. Sometimes it is dangerous to look too mature.” “Not this again.” Candy sighed, then took a deep drink of her beer. “I’ll admit some littles end up being treated like children, but that is only the ones who can’t really take care of themselves.” Emily was about to argue that, but instead she took a drink of her gin and tonic. She had gone to college and had been friends with three other littles. They had worked hard, putting up with RAs who were more like nannies, night time diapers, pull ups, an almost complete lack of privacy; all because some littles ‘needed’ that level of care. The four of them had been in the top ten percent of their graduating class; Emily herself had been at the top. And four years later the other three were, last Emily had heard, in nurseries, spending their days in wet and messy diapers. “I’ll ask Linda about the cloth, have something nice made,” she said to Candy. “Good,” Candy said, smiling.
  2. I actually had no thoughts along those lines, but I am glad that people are reading more into the story, suggests to me that I had created something with enough depth to engender ideas like that. It is always possible if I decided to write anything else that I may consider how it all fits together at that higher level.
  3. Name thing was just a spelling goof on my part. It may have been rushed, did not feel that way to me, but it is not impossible.
  4. It may have been my ending was a little to brief. Yes, the idea was that Kelly had fallen for Marie, and Marie her, but being a spy type of person Marie was not immediately available to take care of Kelly and it took a while for her to catch up.
  5. Just a sketch with the flat colours. May post the updated version with shading and highlights at a later date.
  6. Portrait of an artist, shortly before a spanking and a bath....
  7. Kelly Fortuna started receiving invitations to play in big buy in games, mostly in Vegas, but several also other cities as well. Her winnings from the ‘Cartes D'or Triomphantes’ allowed her to afford the buy in, and the skills she had learned let her win. Consistently. She still played smart. Still had Ken make side bets that would guarantee, even if she were to lose, she would keep her stake and make some profit on top of that. But she did not lose. She could easily stake herself at next years Cartes D'or Triomphantes. All she had to do was ask for an invitation. She was gaining some fame, and with that fame came more interest from giants. However with Ken around any giant who seemed too interested could be chased off. Though Kelly had been worried he was going to actually have to punch one Yvonne Tanson, an old amazon who seemed certain she was going take Kelly away with her. She still recalled the look of affront and perhaps a little fear as Ken had told her, ‘Yous best be leaving my Kelly Girl alone, unless you wants me to knocks you down and put you overs my knee fors a spanking.’ Most giants seemed to accept that the intimidating inbetweener was her daddy, or close enough, that they stopped bothering her quite so much. She leaned back slightly on her booster seat, staring at the large pile of chips in front of her. She suspected she was about to win another of these tournaments. They were on a break, while the dealer prepared a new deck. Kelly looked towards her opponents, all giants, all seeming a little off put by the little in their midst. She had yet to meet anyone as bad as Lyle Redmond when it came to discounting her, but there were always ones similar. Really, she sighed, it was getting boring. “You do not look like you are having fun my petit Jean d’Arc.” Spinning in her booster seat so fast she almost fell from it Kelly turned to face Marie. The amazon was dressed in a white, tight evening gown, with a slit up the side that allowed her to easily kneel. “Ma… Miss Frontè. What… Why…” “I am happy to see you too Kelly. You are looking well.” “But what happened. What about Con…” Marie put a finger across Kelly’s lips. “Hush,” she said with a smile. “Heys, whats do yous think you are doings?” Ken had stepped away from the spectator seats, ready to defend Kelly. Kelly turned towards him. “It’s okay Ken, she’s a friend. I want to see her.” Ken stopped, then nodded. “Right Kelly girl.” He went back to his seat. “Kelly girl?” Marie asked. “It’s what people called me.” “Seems a little redundant to me. What else could Kelly be but a most wonderful girl?” Kelly suspected she was grinning like an idiot and blushing at the same time. “As I said, you are looking well Kelly, though your outfit…” Kelly looked down at herself. She was wearing a Chinese style dress, red with gold trim. “Is there something wrong with it? I thought it looked nice.” “Oh, it looks wonderful. You are quite fetching in it, but it is not comme il faut.” “I didn’t think that mattered.” Marie laughed. “That is because you do not have French sensibilities on fashion, but I think that is something you can achieve, with some work.” “Oh. What…” “But to come back to my original point, why do you look like you are not having fun.” “But I am having fun.” “Really? That glum face I just saw is the face of Kelly Fortuna having fun?” Kelly did not answer. “I had heard that Kelly Fortuna was always smiling, she could lose with a laugh. That she would chase rainbows, that is the correct term, oui?” “Yes, Kelly girl who chased rainbows.” “I thought that Kelly sounded quite pretty. I of course understood that at the Cartes D'or Triomphantes where she was not playing for her own enjoyment that she could not treat the game as such, but afterwards, I was certain that that pretty Kelly would show up. And I finally come to see her and what do I find? This is not my Kelly I think.” Kelly frowned. “It’s just, like the song said, if you chase rainbows you’ll get wet.” “I am sure that is true, but Kelly,” she leaned in close, “if you get wet, don’t you think I will dry you?” Kelly stared wide eyed at Marie. Marie smiled, reached out and ruffled Kelly’s hair. She stood. “Chase your rainbows Kelly. I want to see my petit Jean d’Arc smile and laugh.” Then she walked away. Kelly might have gone after her but the new deck was ready and the other players were taking their seats. When her fourth card was dealt out to her Kelly looked at it, considered her hole cards, and saw the possibility for an ace five straight. It was there. Not certain, but maybe… She looked over her shoulder, saw Marie sitting among the spectators, watching the game, watching her. When the bet came around to her she turned and looked at the other players and the dealer. She smiled. “Call and raise one hundred thousand.” They all seemed surprised. It made her laugh. And that is the end of Games and Skill Games of Chance. Thanks for read and hope you enjoyed.
  8. At the moment I have no really concept that would make that story interesting, so for now it will have to be left to individuals imaginations. But glad you liked it.
  9. I had to think about it, whether I was going to write that scene like that. As you have noticed this story is a Casino Royale ripoff (or homage if one is being generous ). However I think it worked, because it was mostly divorced from the fetish itself. I suspect that scene may have cost me some readers, but you take a chance sometimes and hopes it works.
  10. She had been asleep, dreaming of something nice that escaped from her as soon a she opened her eyes. Someone was knocking on the room’s door. Looking at the bedside clock she saw she had only been about asleep for about an hour. Maybe it was Caroline looking for Steven, she thought as she slipped off the bed, or Steven had forgotten his key, or someone from the casino, up to congratulate her. She unlocked the door and pulled it open. She did not expect Conrad Revel to be standing out there. “Can I help y…” He stepped forward and hit her, knocking her back. Kelly had been somewhat rough and tumble as a kid. She had fallen from the back of a horse and had the breath knocked out of her. She had broken her arm playing touch football when she had been tackled by an over enthusiastic inbetweener. The point was that she had been hurt before, so lying on the floor, breath knocked out of her, was not a completely new feeling for her. But never had a giant hit her (well, beside spankings and those never counted). What left her lying there, doing nothing, was more the surprise that a giant would hit her than the actual hit itself. He stepped in after her, kicked the door closed. He was kneeling at her side, a roll of duct tape in his hands. He put a strip over her mouth, then used more tape to secure her arms behind her back and taped her feet together. He waved something over her, something that beeped. He reached down and grabbed the gold watch around her wrist, yanked it off her, tossed it away. Conrad had brought a duffle bag with him. He put her into it. It was padded with towels to hide her shape. He zipped it closed, leaving her in darkness. She felt him lift her and the bag up, then he was moving. She was bumped around, turned about in the bag, felt him almost running down stairs, the bag with her in it slapping against his side. Then she was falling, but only for a moment as the bag landed on something hard. A soft ‘clunk’ of metal on metal. She had been put in a car’s trunk. Not long after she felt the vibration of the car starting up. Where was he taking her? What was going to happen to her? Eventually the car stopped, and she was pulled out of the trunk, walked somewhere, and then dropped to a hard floor. Even with the padding of the towels it hurt enough to leave her stunned. The bag was unzipped, Conrad pulled her out, held her up. “No one is around here to hear you scream, but I don’t want to hear a screaming little, so keep it down or I’ll hurt you.” He then grabbed the tape over her mouth and yanked it off. “Understand?” “Yes,” she said. He took a knife and cut the tape around her arms and legs, then dropped her into a chair too big for her. There were other men around, standing or sitting near the edge of the room. “I want the bank code for the game’s winnings.” “I don’t have it,” she told him. He backhanded her, hard enough to almost knock her from the chair. She cut the inside of her cheek on her teeth. “Don’t lie to me.” “I didn’t have the buy in, someone else provided it. They got all the money.” He grabbed her shoulders, fingers digging painfully in. “Don’t lie to me.” “I’m not. His name was Steven Artimage and he was in the room with me.” He seemed to think about that for a moment. Then he slapped her again. “Don’t lie to me.” Kelly shook her head. “What do you want me to tell you?” she said, not wanting to be hurt again. “Give me the password for the account!” “I don’t know it.” He kicked the chair out from under here, she hit the floor hard. “Give me the password.” “Stop that Conrad,” a familiar voice said. Kelly looked up, mouth agape as she saw Lyle Redmond enter the room. “She’s not giving me the password. She says she doesn’t know it. Says she gave it to her backer.” “Do you think that is possible?” Lyle asked as he walked into the room to stand next to Conrad and over her. She tried getting up but Conrad pushed her back down the floor with his foot. “You think a little would give up that much money, just like that.” Lyle looked down at her. “I will admit littles can be greedy little things if you let them. I have to keep a firm hand on my girls to keep them from getting spoiled.” Conrad reached down and grabbed the front of her t-shirt, pulling her up. “I’ll get her to talk.” “You are treating a little like an adult Mr. Revel. That will fail.” He righted the chair and took a seat. “You don’t interrogate littles, you punish them and they realize they are wrong.” He plucked Kelly out of Conrad’s hands and laid her across his lap. “No, no, no,” Kelly said, struggling. Not that it did not do any good. Lyle lay six, rapid hard spanks against her jean covered bottom causing Kelly to let out a howl. Who would have thought she would look back fondly on being spanked by Caroline? “Little girls should not lie,” Lyle said, and slapped his hand against her bottom five more times. “Little girls should answer truthfully when asked a question.” More spanks. “Little girls should respect their betters.” More spanks. Kelly was sobbing uncontrollably. She felt him loosen her jeans and then whisk them down to her knees. A minute or two passed and Kelly stopped sobbing, stopped gasping. Her bottom hurt so much. “What is the code for the bank account?” Lyle asked her. “I don’t know.” More smacks fell across her pantie covered ass, his large hand easily encompassing her whole bottom. Kelly screamed, wiggling, trying to get away, crying, ‘I don’t know, I don’t know.’ Finally it was Conrad who said, “Maybe she really does not know.” Lyle stopped spanking her. He stood, kept hold of her, turned around and set her on the chair. Kelly sobbed as her well spanked bottom was placed on the steel of the chair. They ignored her until she had cried herself out. She looked down at her jeans and wondered if she should pull them up. Lyle leaned in. “Kelly, I want you to tell me what the passcode is.” His tone was soft, almost kind. “You’ve been punished, and if you tell me I will consider you a good girl. You want to be a good girl don’t you? Good girls don’t get spanked.” Kelly did not know if she wanted to be a good girl, but she knew she did not want to be spanked. However she also could not tell him what she did not know. Sniffing she said, “I don’t know it. Steven changed it.” “I am inclined to believe her,” Conrad said. “Perhaps, but littles lie. It is in their nature,” Lyle answered him. He walked away from her, then turned and came back. He reached into his jacket and pulled out a smartphone. He held it out towards her. “Do you know what this is Kelly?” “It’s a sm…” Her attention was captured by flashing lights. “,,,artphone.” Something felt strange. Some of the men were laughing. She looked down. Her panties were soaked, a puddle of urine had spread across the seat, stinging tender skin inflamed by the earlier spanking. “What?” “A simple hypnotic colour pattern. Some therapists use it to help littles take the steps back they need but cannot admit to themselves.” She started wide eyed. “I care little for it myself. I prefer that my girls make those decisions on their own.” He smiled at her. “It is important that littles realize they are not adults.” Conrad and a few of the others laughed again. “One exposure, just as accident, but multiple exposures, the effect lasts longer,” Lyle told her. “Eventually, without intervention, it becomes permanent.” “I don’t know the code,” Kelly said once more. “You’re one of those littles, the ones who have something special about themselves that make them think they are grownups. It’s sad. You see something special, but really, it is just something making you unhappy. “I now have access, thanks to my new partner,” he looked at Conrad, “to some interesting and advanced variations on this style of program, and some experimental medicines that make the effect take hold much stronger, and faster, with greater scope.” He walked a few steps from her then turned around. “Do you think you could play cards if you could not even count to ten Kelly?” For a second she did not think she had heard right, and her mind spun about with the implication of what he said. “You couldn’t” she whispered. He could not do that. Could he do that? “I suppose you could try. Perhaps something like, I have this many,” he held up three fingers, “of this kind,” he held up five fingers. More laughter from the others. “Perhaps you would have to play barefoot to better keep track.” With a sob Kelly said, “I’ll give you the code.” The best way to bluff someone was to give them what they wanted to believe. A laptop was brought to her. She brought up the banking website. “She’s in the right place,” Conrad said from behind her, where he looked over her shoulder. Kelly typed in the password. “There. That’s it.” “Wait, there is almost nothing there,” Conrad said. “What?” Lyle demanded. “What?” Kelly asked, sounding shocked. “That’s five million dollars,” Conrad told them. Lyle put a large hand on her head, turned her to face him. “Where is the money?” “It was there. It was all there just…” she trailed off, made her eyes go wide. “Ken!” “Ken?” “I was working with him, this was all his idea.” The two men looked away from each other, to each other, their expressions changing like she had told them the secret of life. “Of course,” Conrad said. “I suppose he was coaching you over some sort of wireless device?” Lyle asked her. That was the stupidest thing that Kelly had ever heard, but it seemed to be what he wanted to hear so she nodded and said, “Uh huh.” “Obviously this Ken person took all the money,” Conrad told Lyle. Lyle nodded, then frowned. “Why leave anything in the account though? Kelly was careful not to react, but she suspected her bluff was about to be called. “Who would leave a little completely helpless?” Conrad asked Lyle. After a moment Lyle nodded. He turned back to Kelly. “Where is he?” Kelly told him the hotel she knew Ken was staying at. She did not want to give him up like that, but the cards she showed had to be good. They checked, confirmed it. Conrad sent five of the men to go and get Ken. Five did not seem bad for Ken, as long as none of those men were like Steven. He might even enjoy the fight. Or she might be trying to make herself feel better. Conrad sent two men outside watch while he and Lyle remained in the room. She had bought herself some time, maybe. Ken might be able to find her, if he made it through those five men sent after him. And she could hope that Steven would show up. He had brought her. He should be trying to protect her. The watch he had given her, the one he had told her to not lose. Not lose was just another way to saying ‘never take it off, keep it with you’. He must have put a tracking device in it. But Conrad had torn it away. Several minutes passed as Kelly sat there, trying to figure out what who might be able to help her. “What should we do with her?” Conrad’s voice made her turn her head, realizing they were talking about her and wanting to know what they were saying. “I had been thinking that she would make a perfect sixth for my nursery, but, she’s too tall, and not very cute.” She could not see them and relaxed enough to let the anger show on her face. More like her face would remind him he was a loser… at least at poker. “So, we’ll need to make her disappear.” “Disappear?” Lyle sounded concerned. “We could scramble her memories, dump her in some place, or leave her with someone, where they won’t ask questions.” Would they really did that? “That sounds like a good plan.” It sounded like a terrible plan to Kelly. “The problem with that is whatever we do can be undone, if one puts enough effort and money into it.” “What are you suggesting?” Lyle asked. What was he suggesting, Kelly wondered. “Mr. Redmond, you care about littles, want to see them taken care of. I understand that. Sometimes though, well, a few have to be sacrificed for the rest to be taken care of.” “You can’t be suggesting?” “Why not? Big picture wise, well, does it matter?” “It matters to me. I want to see littles looked after.” “And if your desire to protect this one means many others are not protected?” Lyle made an uncertain sound. They were going to kill her. No one was going to save her. So she was going to have to save herself. Quietly, carefully she reached down and grasped the waist of her jeans, pulled them up her, dragged them through the urine on her chair. She was careful not to make a noise as she wiggled her painful bottom back and forth so she could get the jeans up around her waist. She buttoned them, then took a deep breath. Pushing herself from the chair, her feet made a scuffling sound as her shoes hit the cracked concrete. She took off at a run, towards the dark doorway in front of her, away from the men behind her. She had to run, to keep running. She hated running. Heavy footsteps behind her, she tried not to picture the longer strides of either giant bringing them closer to her. All she had to focus on was the door. On getting away. Someone grabbed her long hair, hauled back and yanked her to a painful stop. Then she was lifted by her hair, which hurt a lot and made her scream out in pain. Swung around, more screams, then thrown back into the chair, which almost went over backwards and actually went up on two legs before falling forward again. Conrad, who had grabbed her, closed, put his palm on her forehead and pushed her head back. In his other hand he had a gun. Kelly had never seen a real gun before. It looked terrifying. If Lyle’s phone had not made her wet herself earlier she was certain the icy fear that stabbed through her would have left her in soaked pants. “What are you doing?” Lyle shouted. “We don’t need her, we can get rid of her.” “No! Not like this! Not with her seeing it.” “Sometimes we have to be cruel to be kind Mr. Redmond.” “I won’t let you,” Lyle said. She thought they were going to come to blows. Conrad pushed the barrel of the gun hard against the side of her head. Everything went dark and for a moment Kelly thought she was dead, but then she realized the lights had gone off. “What the hell?” A shout. Conrad. “Marcelle, why are the lights out!” Then there was a flash of light, and an echoing boom that made Kelly cry and put her hands over her ears. “No, no, no,” she sobbed. Flash, boom. Sound of people running. The chair was knocked over and she fell heavily to the floor, once again having the breath knocked out of her. She lay there, trying to suck in a breath of air, wondering just when she was going to die. Then the lights came on, and a vast figure appeared over her, a gun in its hand. Kelly closed her eyes tight and hoped it would not hurt. She flinched away from the hand that touched her, but there was no pain, just a gentle almost caress as the hand ran from the top of her head, down the side of her face and over her shoulder and arm. “Es-tu blessé? Parle moi? Kelly, my petit Jean d’Arc, open your eyes.” She did not believe what she was hearing, thought it some kind of trick, but she opened her eyes. Marie was kneeling at her side, one hand running over her body, checking for injuries Kelly realized. In her other hand she held a frightful looking gun. While she was speaking to her, examining her, she was looking elsewhere, all around, as if there was still some danger. “What are you doing here?” She looked down at Kelly for a moment, smiled, then went back to looking around. “I would be a terrible nanny if I let my pretty girl out of my sight more than once. Are you okay?” Was she okay? “Nothing’s broken… probably.” “Formidable. Stand up and put your arms around my neck, keep clear of my pistol.” Kelly got up, feeling bruises, but as she had said, nothing was broken. She wrapped her arms around the big woman, careful not to hold on as tight as she wanted to lest she choke Marie. She straightened, her free hand slipping under Kelly’s bottom so she could hold her up, pull her close. “Wet,” Marie said, with a small click of disapproval. Kelly almost laughed. “Who else was in this room?” “Conrad and Lyle.” “Lyle Redmond?” “Yes.” “Interesting. Hold tight, I will need to move fast.” Marie ran, her long foot steps and heavy weight booming on the floor, then outside, thumping on the ground. Each footfall jolted Kelly in her arms, reminding the little of all the hurts she had taken. She bit down on them and made no noise, not wanting to distract Marie. Then they slowed, and she felt the amazon shifting her about, heard the sound of a car door opening, and then she was placed, gently into the car’s bucket seat. The door closed, a few seconds later Marie opened the driver’s side door and slid in. “I hope you don’t think too badly of me for not having a child seat,” she said and started the car, shifting into reverse, hitting the gas, rapidly spinning the steering wheel about. A shift into gear and the car sped away. Kelly started laughing, which turned into sobbing and she probably cried for nearly minute before with sniff and hiccoughs she got herself under control. “Feel better?” Marie asked. Her attention was on the road. “No,” Kelly said, then, “yes.” “I would hold you and let you have a good, proper cry, but that will have to wait.” Kelly sniffed, then said, “Ken!” “What?” “I sent them to where Ken was, I had to…” Well, she had chosen to, cause she was afraid. “Use my phone,” Marie took one hand from the wheel and removed a phone from her jacket pocket, held out to her. She dialled, got Ken. “This is Kelly Ken, you’re in trouble.” “Trouble? What troubles Miss Fortuna?” It was too hard to explain it all. “Some people tried to rough me up for the prize money. I had to point them at you. Five giants.” “Oh, is thats all. Don’ts worry. Better you sends them at me. Wants me to break them?” “No, just go somewhere else…” “Wait,” Marie said. Kelly looked at her. Not taking her eyes from the road Marie said, “If your Ken does not put himself in danger, arranging to capture these men would be of use. We could arrange for the police to help, but that may take a little time, and it might scare them off.” “Did you hear that Ken?” she asked. “I heards it.” “Do you think…” “Don’ts worry Miss Fortuna. I’ll sees if I can gets these guys for your friend.” “Don’t take any chances Ken.” “Don’t worries Miss Fortuna.” He hung up. “He seems like a nice man,” Marie said. “I’ve always liked having him around.” “Are you…” “No,” Kelly shook her head. It was not the first time she had been asked that question. “How did you find me?” “I followed Conrad. I’m sorry I was not able to get to you sooner.” She looked at Kelly for a moment. “Your poor face.” “Is it bad?” Kelly asked, putting her hand to her face, wincing slightly as she touched the swelling around her mouth. “It will fade soon, but I take offence at someone hitting a little.” “I’m not a fan of it myself.” Marie laughed. “I was waiting for some back up, but then those five men left and I was preparing to go in carefully, but then I heard you scream…” “Thank you.” She paused. “You’re not a real nanny are you?” “Do you have complaints about the way I took care of you?” Kelly was hard pressed to find an answer to that, but after a few seconds she said, “It was very professional.” “There you go. However, one can be a perfectly skilled nanny and be something else as well.” “What is that something else?” Marie did not answer, remaining silent so long that Kelly assumed she would not. Then she said, “Mr. Artimage, and Miss Jay and perhaps Mr. Wright came here with complicated plans to take away Conrad Revel’s resources and get leverage on him. However, my superiors took a much more practical approach. If Conrad Revel had won I was to kill him.” “Kill…” “Yes. Terrible isn’t it.” Kelly nodded, and then, because Marie was still watching the road she said, “Yes.” “Sometimes my job requires me to do terrible things, and sometimes it allows me to do wonderful things, like taking care of a pretty girl who plays poker. I am something of a spy, though with a French flair.” Kelly thought about it. She looked for someway to connect a woman who had been ready to kill Conrad Revel (terrible as he was) and the woman who had held her and sung lullabies to her. “Have I shocked you?” Marie asked. “Yes,” Kelly said. “My poor petit Jean d’Arc. Littles and such violence should never mix. Mr. Artimage has much to answer for in my opinion.” “You’re not…” Kelly started to ask, alarmed. Marie laughed. “I am not going to shoot him. I am just going to give him a piece of my mind for letting you be hurt.” “Good.” “Have you fallen in love with him?” Marie asked. “He’s very handsome.” “Oui.” “But I’m not in love with him. I just don’t want him to be hurt.” “Littles, so gentle.” Kelly did not think it was a criticism, though she herself was not sure she could take it as a compliment. “What happens now?” Kelly asked. “We stop off at a hospital where I get you looked at…” “I’m fine.” “We will not discuss this. And then we return to the hotel to sort a few things out.” “Okay.” She wondered what ‘sort a few things out’ meant but guessed she would learn soon enough. It was still a few hours away from dawn when the four of them sat in the suite. Kelly was wrapped in a thick robe, warm and tingling from the ointments that the doctor at the emergency room had applied to all her bruises, from the ones of her face to the ones on her bottom. She had sat on the couch and listened to Marie give Steven a ‘piece of her mind’. She also included Caroline in that as, having partnered up with Steven, was equally responsible for ensuring Kelly was kept safe. “I admit,” Steven said when Marie had finished, “I made a mistake. I never thought that Conrad would waste his time on Kelly.” “Waste his time?” Kelly asked, offended. “You should both be glad that she was not seriously harmed,” Marie said, apparently ignoring Kelly’s statement. Finished with her dressing down of the other two giants she then filled them in on how she had spotted and tracked Conrad. Steven told Marie that had had left Kelly for the purpose of finding Conrad himself. “I assumed I would be the likely target.” “Kelly, can you tell us what happened?” Marie asked as she took a seat next to the little. Taking a deep breath she told them the entire story, from opening the door (which had three giants all admonishing her for opening a door without seeing who was on the other side), to her rescue by Marie. When she got to the part about convincing them Ken had been in control Caroline asked Steven, “Did you teach her that? It was a good play.” Kelly, tired of the way the giants seemed to automatically stick her into a space labeled ‘child’ snapped, “I came up with that idea myself bitch.” Caroline looked shocked. Kelly felt a short, sharp pain across the crown of her head and looked up in surprise at Marie who had just smacked her on the head. It was not like it had been very hard, and cushioned by her hair had not really hurt at all. “If your poor bottom was not so bruised I would give you a swat on it right now,” Marie told her. “Just because people do not treat you the way you want is no reason to be rude to them. I believe Otto Kruugen congratulated you on remembering that fact not so long ago.” Kelly flushed and nodded and then looked over at Caroline. “I’m sorry.” “Apology acc…” “But I’m not stupid, I’m just small.” Caroline nodded. “Yes. You are not stupid.” Kelly wondered if she could bring up not being demoted back to diapers and her ABCs but decided not to push it. Finally she finished. “It was really Lyle Redmond?” Steven asked her. She nodded. “It really was.” The three giants looked to one another then back at her. “And he spoke of hypnotic devices and drugs.” “He threatened that I would not be able to count to ten, and he had that thing on his smartphone that he flashed in my eyes that made me,” she paused and swallowed, “wet my pants.” Not her favourite part of the story. “But he specifically talked about advanced and experimental applications?” Steven asked her. He seemed completely dismissive of the fact than an app on a smartphone could make her wet her pants. Kelly had heard there were places where a little who wet themselves was no longer considered an adult. And a smartphone app that made you wet you pants did not even engender the smallest bit of surprise from the giants. As a little Kelly had to wonder what other tricks the giants kept secret. However she only said, “Yes, he said advanced and experimental.” The giants looked between each other. “We’ll need to find Conrad. What about Lyle?” Steven asked. “I’m afraid he had both alibi and lawyers, and the word of a little against a man like him,” she shrugged her shoulders. “I think he is already on his private jet over international waters. I am sorry Kelly.” Kelly sighed. “I’ll contact my government, see if we can work together on this.” Steven told Marie and Caroline. “What about me?” Kelly asked. The three looked at her. “What about you?” Caroline asked. Marie saved her, in a manner, from having to explain herself by saying, “There will be security watching over you, until you leave tomorrow. You already have plane tickets home, do you not?” “I do.” “Then you will leave and go home. You will be safe there,” she said with confidence. “Oh,” Kelly said. For a moment she had thought she was part of what they were doing. She had played her part after all. But that part was over. Marie stood and picked Kelly up from the couch. “We need to speak of things you cannot know of,” she told the little she held, “and you should rest up. It had been a trying ordeal.” “But…” “Hush,” Marie told her and carried her into the bedroom. She wrapped Kelly up tightly in the oversized robe, and then slid her under the covers and tucked them tight around her. “Just get some sleep Ma brave fille.” And she kissed her on the forehead and stepped way from bed. Kelly wanted to say so much, ask so much, but it all got caught in her throat and she was silent. On her way out Marie stopped and picked up the pale pink dress that Kelly had tossed to the floor earlier. She gave it a shake, then went and hung it up in the closet. Kelly watched as she ran her hands through the clothing hung there. She looked back at Kelly and smiled. “I will see this all gets to someone who will be comme il faut in them.” “Thank you,” Kelly said, the only word that would escape the tangle in her throat. Then Marie turned off the light and left the room. When Kelly woke the next morning Marie and the others were gone, and she had not even come to say goodbye. The hotel had a doctor who worked there every other day for half a day. He gave Kelly her enema the morning she was to leave. Clinical, he gave her the privacy of a screened off bed. It did not make it any better, but it was not as humiliating as with Caroline or quietly embarrassing as with Marie. Afterwards he wrote out some prescriptions for her, and gave her the brand names of some enema bulbs she could use herself, a list of foods she should stick too for two weeks, and advised her to see her doctor if she had any pains. Then he wished her well and left her to get dressed. Her clothing from the night before had been laundered, so she was wearing the jeans and a blouse, with a ratty pair of running shoes. She was certain were Marie to see her that she would pronounce Kelly anything but ‘comme il faut’. That thought made her smile as she pulled the jeans up over the training panties. Just in case there was a little enema left to expel. Those panties, the three chokers and the haircombs (along with over fifteen million dollars after all was counted) were the only things she was taking with her. As she walked from the small clinic she wondered who Marie was going to give all the other clothing to. Perhaps Marie had a child, or a little, of her own. If so she felt bad for them, it must be hard with Marie gone all the time. Walking towards the lobby it was impossible to not notice the men and women in black suits who trailed her. Obvious security, as promised by Marie. She collected her small overnight bag from the bell captain’s station. The man thanked her for staying with them and told her that all costs had been made complimentary by the house then congratulated her on the win. Kelly smiled and thanked him and wondered if Steven had planned to stick her with the bill. She waited on the steps of the hotel for Ken. A few people came up to offer her congratulations, often saying how surprised they were that a little had managed to win. Like there was something miraculous in it. If someone asked her to touch them and cure whatever ailed them she was going to boot them in the shins as hard as she could. Fortunately for such hypothetical shins a taxi pulled up and Ken got out. “Morning Miss Fortuna,” he called. She picked up her bag and walked down the too tall steps. “Good morning Ken.” He gave her a hand up into the passenger section and then circled around to get in the other side. As the tax pulled away from the hotel he asked. “You okay Miss Fortuna, yous gots some bruising ons your face.” “It will fade soon. What about you?” There was a strip of tape across his nose, suggesting it had been broken again, and a number of butterfly closures sealed a number of cuts on his bruised face. His hands were heavily bandaged. He smiled. “Me? I’m fines. Nones of those five you gaves to me were anythings special. That was real smarts of yous Miss Fortuna, sending them to me likes that. Any of thems the ones that did that?” He lifted a huge hand and pointed at her face. “No.” “Thats too bads, I liked to thinks that I got some back for you.” “You did more than enough. I am sure the information that those men provide will help someone get some back for me.” “Just have preferreds thats it was me.” Kelly smiled. “Maybe next time.” The first class tickets got them through check in and security quickly. As Kelly was walking though the airport she often looked over her shoulder. She delayed during check in, until the attendant insisted she get onboard or be left behind. As she stepped onto the boarding ramp she looked over her shoulder one last time. Amelia had always told her that if a giant ever got their hands on a little that little was almost certainly caught. “You’re a crazy idiot Amelia Black,” she said softly and jogged down the ramp towards the open door with the attendant behind her, saying “Hurry, hurry.”
  11. In the morning Marie administered another enema to Kelly. It was not pleasant, but it was better than when Caroline had done it. Marie had her lie on her side, on some towels laid out on the floor, with a robe draped over her. And she gently patted Kelly’s head and rubbed her stomach, telling her it would be okay. A bath afterward, then dressed in a set of rompers, Marie took Kelly down for breakfast. Kelly was in a diaper, just in case there was still a little bit of enema, Marie explained. It was an annoyingly enough valid concern that Kelly did not protest. “I don’t want this,” Kelly said, looking at the meal of bland cereal and yogurt placed in front of her. “We want to give your tummy a chance to get better,” Maire said. “You don’t want that bug you picked up coming back.” Kelly agreed silently that she certainly did not want to be poisoned again. Marie smiled and picked up the spoon. “I can feed you if you want.” Kelly took the spoon from her and ate one of the most uninteresting meals she had ever had. “It’s like eating cardboard,” she said, somewhere halfway thought. “You’ve eaten cardboard?” “It is like I assume eating cardboard would be like.” Marie laughed softly and gave her hair a quick pat. “I so like taking care of you.” Kelly almost said that she liked having Marie take care of her, but it would be a lie. At least she was pretty certain it would be a lie. “I enjoy the time we spend together,” Kelly replied. Marie smiled and Kelly wondered what the woman had heard in that statement. They went to the hairstylists again to get Kelly’s hair put right once more. There they discovered Caroline in one of the chairs, having the finishing touches put her hair style. As she was helped into the chair by Marie the maid/nanny said, “I’m sorry you lost Miss Jay. I’m sure Kelly is sorry as well.” Did she really believe that, or was this one of those deals where she was supposed to show good manners for the sake of good manners? Kelly said, “Yes, it was too bad.” The stylist tiled Kelly’s chair back so her hair could be rinsed. “It is the nature of these things,” she heard Caroline say to Marie. “You never play a game unless you can afford to lose.” The sound of rushing water kept her from hearing anything else they said, and she had to close her eyes against the shampoo. When her chair was straightened up Caroline was gone. A trim, a rinse, drying and curling, it did not take too long before Kelly left the beauty parlour with Marie and returned to her room to get dressed. Marie chose the pale pink dress, with the red shoes. “You will look quite fierce in red my card playing warrior,” she said, dressing Kelly for the day. She did not let Kelly face the mirror as she put the combs in her hair again, and then applied a little make up on her face. “There we go,” she finally said, and let Kelly see. After the last few days of seeing a cute little girl in the mirror Kelly was surprised to see, well, she still looked young, what with the dress, but something closer to a beautiful, not so little girl. “I want you to look fierce today,” Marie told her as she patted the combs into place. “This is fierce?” “Of course. Girls always look fierce when they are pretty.” Kelly smiled. “And is it,” she sounded the word carefully, “comme il faut?” “For any other little in the city? Non. But for my Jean d’Arc of the poker table, it is tres comme.” Kelly smiled for a moment, then frowned. “Didn’t they burn her?” “They would not have if I had been there,” Marie stated confidently. She laughed, and it felt good to laugh. Kelly was certain she would miss Marie when she left. But that was not today. Today Marie would hold her hand when she needed it and Kelly would play poker. Otto knocked Izzy out of the game in the first hand. Six hands later Otto took the remainder of Charle’s stake and he was out of the game as well. They took a short break to rearrange the table for the four remaining players. Lyle Redmond suggested a drink, to celebrate the winners to that point. Even if Caroline had not spanked the lesson into her Kelly would have refused to take a drink from him or at his instigation. She was kept from having to tell Lyle Redmond to ‘piss up a rope’ by Marie who brought a bottle of champagne from behind the bar and four glasses. “A celebratory drink is a wonderful idea,” she said, and opened the bottle, a towel around the neck and a slow twist to avoid popping corks. She poured Kelly’s drink first. “Just a little,” she said with a smile, then filled the glasses of the other three. “Well then,” Lyle picked up his glass. “To the best players at the table, and of course Miss Fortuna.” Lyle and Conrad drank. Neither Otto nor Kelly did. “Something wrong?” the giant asked. He looked honestly confused. Kelly was about to say something but Otto spoke first. “You are a boor Mr. Redmond. A churlish and insolent robber baron and were I ten years younger after I beat you in this game I would take you out back and thrash you.” He knocked his glass off the table. “However I am an old man.” He sat down in his chair. “I believe you will be beaten, though not by me, and even if you do win, I will make sure every casino along the coast knows you for the boor you are.” Several people applauded the old man’s words. Kelly did as well. She was saved from having to knock her glass off the table by Maire taking it away. Lyle looked around, looked both confused and angry by the way people reacted. “You’re fortunate you are an old man,” he said as he sat. “We will have politeness as this table,” the dealer told Lyle. “What? What about what he just said to me?” The dealer simply shrugged his shoulders. “The truth is always polite.” Then he dealt their next hand. Kelly believed with all her heart that Otto would be remembered for playing well, for the skillful hands in which he had defeated Izzy and Charles, for his speech in defence of a fellow player. He would not be remembered for winning this tournament. Kelly herself took him from the game, playing hard to make sure that was the case. She fought for it. And as the dealer declared him out of the game he reached out and put his hand on Kelly’s. “Thank you for a challenge my dear, and for giving me a worthy opponent to lose to.” Kelly felt tears in her eyes that for the first time in days had nothing to do with being treated like a child. “You’re welcome.” He smiled, took his hand off hers, then stood and bowed to dealer. “I thank you for your skilled work, Monsieur Fulover, it was a pleasure to have a dealer so skilled.” Andre Fulover nodded, but said nothing else. Kelly supposed it was to maintain a semblance of neutrality. Otto then bowed to her. “Were skill and size matched you would stand a giant Miss Fortuna. I hope you might come and see me one day, if you are willing to share stories with an old man.” Stupid tears, Kelly thought, but she smiled and nodded. “It would be an honour.” He nodded politely at Conrad and ignored Lyle as he turned and left. “We shall have a thirty minute break,” the dealer announced. Marie took Kelly to the bathroom, and Kelly was glad enough to go because she wanted a few minutes to get her head together. She could have done without being undressed and put on the toilet by her maid/nanny, but Marie gave her some actual privacy. When she returned to the table she was ready to do. The seats had been switched about a little. She had the dealer on her right and Lyle and Conrad across from her. She smiled as she put a large, square, ten thousand Euro chip into the pot, next to the chips that Lyle and Corand had already anted. “Something amusing Miss Fortuna?” Conrad asked her. “No more friendly targets I have to worry about.” “Pardon?” She did not expand as the dealer dealt out their first two face down cards and their first face up. Kelly looked at the Queen of Spades that landed in front of her, smiled. Conrad got an Four of Clubs and Lyle had a King of Hearts. “Mr. Redmond,” the dealer said. “Twenty thousand,” he said as he put two chips. And so the next part of the game started with only three players. Kelly played as well as she ever had, better really, because she was playing smart. She discovered a new source of, well, not fun, but satisfaction. It was not crazy bets and bluffs, but being focused on beating people she did not like. Who knew improving her game required playing with odious people? She moved ahead, a little bit at a time, taking equally from both Lyle and Conrad. Those two seemed to focus on one another, as if only the two men were at the table, though they forgot Kelly at their peril, because she was always there, ready to turn over a card, with a smile, and reveal she was the winner. Still, she suspected they would play their second round of the game that day, and perhaps tomorrow as well, for while she was ahead of them both, no one was close to going bust. Then something strange happened with the last hand of that round. Kelly folded on the fourth card the dealer dealt to her, giving up the sixty thousand she had put in the pot after Lyle had raised by eighty-thousand. She expected that Lyle would fold right after Conrad called and raised, as she was sure he would. Conrad had a pair of fours showing, while Lyle just had an ace and jack of hearts. Conrad pushed his chips into the pot, then raised by one hundred and sixty-thousand. Lyle didn’t fold. Lyle called. Conrad stayed. Another two cards were dealt out. Lyle got a six of spades and Conrad got another four. Conrad opened with forty-thousand. Lyle, called and raised eighty-thousand. Raised into three fours. Kelly stared at his two face down cards. Was he actually drawing for a royal flush? Even if the two hole cards were the queen, king and/or ten of hearts it was a crazy play. It was the sort of thing she might do. As a bluff it was only good if Conrad fell for it. And he never would. Conrad checked and raised one hundred and sixty-thousand. People were gathering, watching closely, feeling the tension that was building between the players. Lyle checked and the next cards were dealt. A queen of clubs to Lyle and a nine of spades to Conrad. Conrad looked over at Lyle. “Shall we increase the table limits? Starting bet a million?” Kelly was not the only one who hissed in a breath of surprise. Fold you idiot, Kelly thought, as much as she did not like Lyle, his continuing to play was just embarrassing. She was certain that Conrad had four fours, and suspected Lyle, if he was lucky, might have three jacks or three aces. “Agreed,” Lyle said. Kelly suddenly wondered, as Conrad opened with a million euros and then Lyle matched and raised to three million, if all the people she had played with had thought her that much of an idiot, when she had bluffed blind in the hopes of getting the right card. Looking at it from the outside she suddenly thought of it as childish. And with that thought came the idea that maybe she was one of those littles that was not ready to grow up. Or at least had been. she quickly assured herself. She was snapped out of her thoughts by Lyle saying, “Call, raise to 15 million.” He had obviously gone crazy. What had Amelia said once to her, too much thin air up there? Conrad looked perhaps a little uncertain as he checked. Lyle was getting to him. Insane bets were rattling the otherwise cool man. The dealer laid out the seventh and last cards. Lyle got a queen of hearts and Conrad a six of diamonds. Kelly knew what cahrds she had had in the hand she folded. It was not impossible that Lyle just had picked up that royal flush. Unlikely, improbable, but not impossible. Still, she thought, were it her, is she was in Conrad’s place, she would fold. If it was a bluff it was masterful. Conrad took a deep breath and, still showing the high hand, Pushed forty thousand into the pot. “Suspend table limits?” Lyle asked. It took Conrad a few seconds to say, “Agreed.” Lyle nodded, looked at a pile of chips, a few million dollars, then leaned back and said, “I am all in.” Silence for several long seconds. Kelly almost told Conrad to fold. Not that he would have listened. The dealer spoke at that moment, “That will take all you have Mr. Revel.” Conrad nodded. “Agreed. All in.” People were leaning in around the table as Conrad turned up his two hole cards. A four and a three; the four of a kind Kelly had been certain he had. All attention turned to Lyle. Kelly was certain he would turn up junk, and then with a deprecating smile and a shrug of the shoulders he would excuse himself. It was what Kelly had done in similar situations. Lyle’s cards went face up, smoothly, together (smoother than she could have achieved with the big cards); The king and the ten of hearts. He had been bluffing right up to the end. Right until the queen of hearts had fallen into his hand. Shocked expressions, soft applause. Kyle leaned back in his chair, smiling, accepting the congratulations as for a moment people seemed to forget the dressing down he had received from Otto. Looking pained Conrad stood. “An excellent game,” he congratulated Lyle. “You played well,” Lyle told him, magnanimous in victory. It still sounded like an insult to Kelly’s ears. Conrad nodded once at Kelly, then turned and walked away, towards the bar. “We will meet again in four hours,” the dealer said. Lyle looked surprised for a moment. He actually forgot about me, or maybe he just thought that if only ‘the little’ was left they would declare him victor by default. He looked at her and nodded. “In four hours then.” Kelly nodded as well, feeling empty. Cheated. Marie got her at that point, to take her up to her room. She looked back at the deserted table, saw Lyle taking a seat beside Conrad at the bar. Was he offering more consolations or needling the man for loosing? “What is the matter?” Marie asked a few minutes later as they rode the elevator up the room. “Nothing is the matter,” Kelly said softly. “No fibbing Kelly.” There was a mock sternness in her tone. Kelly laughed softly as the elevator doors opened and they walked towards the room. “I was just hoping for a better game.” “Are you sad that Mr, Kruugen lost?” She stopped in front of the room door. “Yes, but that’s not it.” Marie knelt down, gently straightened the combs in her hair. “Then what is?” She sighed. “Lyle is an idiot and he is going to be no challenge.” “Kelly, that is rude,” Marie said, though she did not sound angry. Kelly shrugged her shoulders. “I know, but it’s true. He doesn’t even remember I am in the game half the time. How can he beat me?” Marie smiled and stood. “Don’t discount luck Kelly, and play him with all the seriousness you would want him to show you. I know you can be the better person.” She opened the door. Steven was in there. “Come back in about ten minutes Miss Frontè.” “Oui,” she said, and then after giving Kelly a gentle push into the room and a pat on the head she closed the door. “Revel is out,” Steven said. Kelly walked into the room, took a seat on the couch. “Yes. You got what you wanted.” “I still want you to win.” “I will.” “You were not sure you could beat Conrad.” “Conrad at least could conceive that a little might beat him, Lyle Redmond is incapable of thinking anything like that. He has already lost.” She said it morosely, disappointment obvious. “No one is going to remember this tournament as the one where Kelly Fortuna won against a table full of giants. All they are going to remember is that some churlish robber baron played like an idiot.” “I hope you are right.” Steven stood and left her alone in the room, going wherever he went when out. Probably to have sex with Caroline. She sat on the couch, staring at her red shoes for several minutes before she heard a knock at the door and Marie’s voice, asking to come in. Kelly got up from the couch and opened the door for the amazon. Maira undressed her, told her she should take a nap. “Can you hold me on your lap, like yesterday?” Kelly asked her. “Of course my petit Jean d’Arc,” she said, and lifted Kelly into her lap, once more singing softly. Kelly placed her head against the woman’s chest and closed her eyes. She sat down at a table, smaller than the one they had used earlier, directly across from Lyle, the dealer between them. Five hands in and she knew it was bad as she feared. She bluffed him and he folded. She called his bluff and he stayed in too long. She simply played better than him. The hands went faster with only the two of them. An hour in it seemed as if he was beginning to realize that he was not taking her seriously enough. His playing got better. Not good enough. After about two hours he was back where he had been when he had knocked Conrad from the game. The dealer called a break at the midway point. “Come along Kelly, let’s take you to the potty,” Marie said, helping her down from the chair. She as a little embarrassed at Marie’s words, but went without a complaint. When the game started again Lyle was once more playing poorly. Was that all it had taken, Marie treating her like a small child to make him forget? And had Marie done it on purpose? She wondered if Marie had any money on the game. Lyle tried. She gave him that. He tried to get her to agree to go over the table limit. She politely refused most of the time, and when she agreed it was only when she was certain she would win. His chips diminished. Several times she had to force herself to not try and take him out in one, grandiose play. At one point she was certain she could draw an ace five straight, and the thought that she could win on one, like she had back at the bar several days before, almost made her go wild. However she recalled the lyrics of a song, that if you chased rainbows you were going to get wet. And no little wanted to get wet. The dealer let the game go over the five hours at both Kelly and Lyle’s agreement. He was desperate and she was cool. And then he was out of chips. The dealer laid out the rest of their cards. And anticlimactically Kelly won the game with three of a kind to his two pair. “You are out Mr. Redmond,” the dealer said. Lyle seemed confused by the words. “She’s a little,” he said. “You are still out Mr. Redmond.” He took a deep breath. “Of course. Thank you.” He stood and offered his hand to the dealer. “You did an excellent job.” He left without acknowledging Kelly. It did not win him any friends. However Kelly had no time to think about that as she was led from the table, onto a stand that put her eye level at about eight feet. She was able to take the offered hands of the giants and inbetweeners who came to congratulate her. There were no littles there. Otto took her hand, gave it a firm shake. “A most enjoyable game to watch Miss Fortuana.” “Yes,” she said with a weak smile. “You played well, and gave your opponent every chance not to be a fool. It was a true victory.” She nodded again, but she did not believe it. “Consider this Miss Fortuna. Sometimes we don’t get the opponent we deserve, but often in those cases you are being the opponent the other person deserves.” Kelly smiled, then laughed. “Thank you.” “You are most welcome.” He gave her hand one last shake before moving aside for others. It was a little intimidating, all those people, all those giants, taking her hand in theirs. But Marie stood close by and Kelly felt secure. Caroline stepped up to her, took her hand, and said, “Wonderful performance.” She was smiling and Kelly could not help think that it was a smile of someone had had given her a spanking. Though perhaps she was reading too much into it. Then the owner of the casino and the hotel, Jean Noble, approached, holding a golden medallion. A knot had been tied halfway along the red, silk chord so that when he put it over her neck it hung down around her chest rather than down by her waist. “A most well played game,” he told her, and then kissed both her cheeks. When she had a moment she looked at the medallion. It felt heavy enough that it could contain real gold. Cartes D'or Triomphantes’ had been engraved in the surface, and the year, and with small flecks of metal from being recently cut, her name, ‘Kelly Fortuna’. She ran her thumb over the name, wondering if another name had been engraved there and them smoothed out so her name could be put on it instead. But no, it felt smooth. They had shown enough class to not assume that Lyle was going to win. And as the well wishers began to thin Mr. Nobel said, “If you will come with me Miss Fortuna, we can take care of your winnings.” “Yes, thank you,” Kelly said as he helped her down from the stand. Marie followed close behind as Jean led them to his office. He seemed somewhat confused by her presence when they reached the door, but Kelly said it would be okay if Marie entered. Marie stood near the wall, away from the desk, as Jean helped Kelly into the seat behind his desk and turned the laptop to face her. He brought up a bank’s online site. Entered a password. “Your winnings, minus the casino’s ten percent. Simply change the password to one of your own choosing.” He moved away so Marie could enter the new password in private. And it was done. “Thank you Mr. Noble,” she said as she got down from the chair. “Of course Miss Fortuna. Will we see you next year? I will ensure you are sent an invitation if you are interested.” Kelly smiled. “Who knows.” She had no idea if she could get the stake together. “Perhaps I can let you know in a few months?” “Of course.” He took a business card from his pocket. “If you need to get in touch with me.” “Thank you.” He showed Kelly and Marie from his office. “So, do you want to go back and celebrate?” Marie looked towards where the tournament had been held. “Do you think it would be rude of me if I did not?” Marie smiled. “I am sure they will forgive you.” And she took Kelly’s hand to lead her back to the room. Steven was there, waiting. “Miss Frontè, thank you for taking care of Kelly, your services will no longer be needed.” “Of course sir,” Marie said. Kelly turned her head, looking between Steven and Marie, for a moment not understanding how he could say that. Then she remembered that Maire had been doing a job, and that job was no longer required. Marie knelt down to bring her face close to Kelly’s. “I enjoyed showing you the city and helping you, and watching you play. Bonne chance Kelly.” Kelly nodded slowly. “Thank you for all your help,” she said. And with that Marie stood up and left, closing the door behind her. Kelly still couldn’t quite accept that Marie had just left. However Steven gave her no time to think of it. “I need you to give me access to the money,” he told her. Kelly nodded. “Right,” she said, walking over to the laptop that Steven had set up. He already had the bank’s site open. She paused. “I’m going to give you all the money, as we agreed, but, can you tell me what all this was about?” Steven sat down next to her. “It’s complicated and some of it is confidential.” “I can handle the complicated part and tell me what is not confidential.” She typed in the password, opening up the account with all the money. She moved aside and Steven took her place, but he did touch the laptop. “Conrad is an arms dealer, or a sort.” “Of a sort? Complicated or confidential.” “Confidential. He has used the money from such tournaments in the past to support his activities.” “So he’s lost so he’ll stop.” Steven leaned forward and typed across the laptop’s keyboard, made a few mouse clicks. “No, it will only slow him down. I needed you to win so that I can use the prize money as a way to get closer to him, so I can stop him and find out who he is working with.” “Who do you work for?” “I’ve moved your five million into another account for you. Enter your own password and it will be yours.” He stood and walked towards the door. “Is there anything else you can tell me?” Kelly asked his retreating back. “You’ve done a good thing,” he told her without looking back, then he opened the door and left the hotel room. Kelly shifted over to the laptop, looked at the account that had been set up in the same bank as the prize money had been. She would have to move it to her own bank account, but that was for later. She typed in a new password, taking control of the account. She closed the laptop and slid from the couch. In her room she undressed, fiddling with the bow, and then pulling the dress over her head. She tossed it into a messy pile on the floor and undressed down to the diaper, which she pulled off and tossed into the garbage. Next she took a long shower before returning to her room. Later, dressed in her jeans and t-shirt, she sat on her bed and called Ken. “Heys Miss Fortuna, beens waiting to hears from yous.” “Good evening Ken. It all went well?” “Yous cleaned up. Just likes yous said. No ones thoughts yous could win.” She smiled and fell back into her pillows. “Good work. Can you see about getting us a flight out of here tomorrow? Come and pick me up.” “I will do thats Miss Fortuna. And congratulation ons winnings.” “Thank you Ken,” she told him, and hung up. Dropping her phone to the bed beside her she closed her eyes. “What a game.”
  12. I am looking at the story I've almost finished and realized I missed one thing that would have added more verisimilitude. The cards that Kelly was playing with would have been sized for giants and therefore she would have had a little trouble with them when she had to flip them over. :)
  13. The second part of that round of play was not as good for Kelly as the earlier one had been. The pain in her stomach made it hard to focus. She did not lose anything, but the flow of the game changed, Lyle, Otto and Conrad all moving ahead, mostly to the detriment of Izzy, Charles and Caroline. She was relived when the round finally ended, with both Caroline and Izzy likely to be knocked out in the next round. Kelly just wanted to curl up in her bed and hope the pain in her stomach would fade. “You look a little pale,” Marie told her, brushing a bit of her hair back from her forehead. “I’m just tired,” she said, unable to explain why she felt so bad. Marie nodded. “We’ll get you to your room and you can rest up.” Holding Kelly’s hand firmly she led the smaller woman back to the room. Steven was waiting. “I’m sorry…” Marie said. Steven held a hand up to silence her. “It is not your fault Miss Frontè. In fact we both know who is at fault here.” He stared down at Kelly. Kelly was seized by the desire to hide behind Marie. It wasn’t fair. She had been poisoned and her stomach was killing her. She did not need Steven staring at her like that. “She’s already apologized,” Marie said, coming to Kelly’s defence. “I’m sure she has. Come back in an hour please. Kelly will apologize to you again then, and you can be certain she will mean it.” “Yes sir,” Marie said. She put a comforting hand on Kelly’s shoulder and then left. Steven went and sat down in the couch. She stood where she was, fairly certain she was not being invited to sit. “Are you stupid?” he asked her. “I’m not stupid.” “Well you acted like it. Conrad Revel is not your friend. You don’t take anything to drink from him, you don’t go anywhere with him. That is basic!” She flinched at the volume of his voice. “I’m here to gamble,” she said, trying to sound sure. “And if you had not gotten lucky, if you had not had the support you did, that would be over. You’d have been kicked out of the tournament. That would cost me a great deal of money, but it would have likely meant that Conrad would win.” He stood up and came to stand over her. “I will not let that happen,” he told her. “I’m sorry,” she told him, eyes prickling, “my stomach hurts. I just want to get some rest.” She was whining, almost crying, but her stomach hurt and Steven was so damn intimidating. Steven shook his head, returned the couch and sat. “I don’t know how to deal with children or littles,” he told her. “I deal with problems, I am a blunt instrument. I am afraid I am out of my depth trying to sort you out.” “Then what are you going to do?” Kelly asked softly. “Wait.” “What?” “Wait,” he said again. Kelly realized it was a command. She waited, put her hands over her stomach, hoping that would ease the pain. Some time later, just a few minutes at most, someone knocked at the door. “I don’t know how to deal with you,” he told her as he stood, “but I found someone else who is good at this sort of thing.” He opened the door. Kelly turned to see Caroline Jay come in. The two embraced for a moment, then Steven stepped aside. “She’s all yours.” “What?” Kelly asked. “Caroline is working with me now. She will help get you sorted out.” “What?” Kelly asked again. “Everything you need is in the bathroom,” Steven told her. “What is happening?” Kelly asked, then moaned softy as her stomach cramped again. “I can’t win,” Caroline said. “Steven here has told me you can.” She looked doubtful. “She was dominating that table today, up until she was poisoned. She’ll come through.” “Okay,” Caroline said to Steven. “What is she doing here?” Kelly asked Steven. “She,” Caroline said, “is here to get a naughty little sorted out. And you will refer to me as Miss Jay from now on. Now come along.” She grabbed Kelly and marched her into the bedroom. Kelly threw a desperate look Steven’s way, but just met his stony gaze and knew no help would come from there. In her bedroom Caroline stripped her down to the diaper. She was no where near as gentle as Marie, but was careful of the clothing, and the dress was off her and hung up in short order. Caroline holding her hand, she was pulled into the bathroom where Caroline released her hand then turned on her. “I have babysat littles and spent several summers working in an Etiquette School. I know exactly how to deal with you and were you not need needed I can assure you that you Kelly Fortuna are the exactly sort of little I would demote back to diapers and her ABCs.” Kelly took a step back, but snake fast, Caroline grabbed her. She pulled her off balance and then across her lap as she sat down on the room’s toilet. With a quick motion the tapes of her diaper were undone and it fell open under her. “You do not go with strangers.” Every word was punctuated by a crack of a slap across her butt. “You do not go with strangers,” she repeated and this time it was the backs of Kelly’s thighs that felt the sting of Caroline’s hand. “You do not take food or drink from strangers.” Again, her bottom was warmed. “You do not take food or drink from strangers.” The backs of her thighs were again slapped. Caroline continued those two lessons for a time. Long enough that Kelly, whose stomach still hurt, was crying and apologizing by the time Caroline seemed to tire of teaching the lesson about strangers. “If you’re Nanny is not around, stay where the tournament organizers can see you,” Caroline told her, then spanked her five times. “I’m sorry,” Kelly sobbed, just wanting the spanking and the humiliation and the pain in her guts to end. “Use your phone to call someone if your Nanny is not around.” Another five spanks. “I will, I will, please stop.” She felt so completely powerless across the amazon’s lap. “Think about that poor woman, looking for you, not know what happened to you.” Caroline gave her six hard swats and Kelly was bawling. Then Caroline stood and lowered the spanked and naked little to the floor, the diaper falling away. Kelly tried her best to get control of herself, but for a time all she could do was stand there and cry. Caroline left her to sob as she went about with something else. By the time Kelly had control of herself to pay attention to what Caroline was doing the amazon already had an enema bag with its hose set up and hanging from the curtain rod. Kelly shook her head, sniffed, and said, “No.” Caroline looked at her, perhaps a little bit of pity in her eyes. “Do you want your tummy to stop hurting?” Kelly nodded. “Then you are going to have to have this. Now, on your hands and knees, bum up in the air.” She wanted to refuse, she really did, but her stomach hurt so much. She did as she was told. As she knelt there on the cold tiles of the bathroom she was reminded of the night before, when in a similar posture she had masturbated to the sound of Caroline and Steven making love. It made her giggle, though any desire to find humour in the situation was gone a moment later when the enema nozzle was pushed into her bottom and the flow started. If anything it was even more painful and she found herself sobbing as Caroline simply lectured her on her bad behaviour. And when the enema was complete administered and then expelled into the toilet Caroline patted her still hurting stomach and said. “Just three more.” “Three more?” Kelly cried. “Three more. And you’ll be getting at least one a day until your bowels get themselves sorted out.” She left Kelly sitting on the toilet as she went to prepare the second enema. “What have you learned?” she asked. Kelly sniffed. “Not to go anywhere with strangers, not to take food or drink from strangers and to stay with my nanny.” “Good girl. Now get on the floor, bum in the air.” The next two enemas were just as unpleasant as the first, but the last one, with various medications added to it, finally soothed her stomach, the pain finally leaving her. She was humiliated, exhausted and naked, but at least she was no longer in pain. Caroline put her facing one of the bathroom’s corners, the discarded diaper between her feet, in case she leaked. She heard Caroline moving about, cleaning things up and then heard her leave the room. Leaning forward she put her forehead against the cool tiles of the wall. She was glad she was not one of those littles who could not handle the adult world, because she knew she could not handle their world. Outside she heard a knock on the door, foot steps, the door opening. “Kelly, come here,” she heard Steven call. She looked around, wondered if it would be okay to wrap a towel around herself. Somehow she did not think so. She walked from the bathroom. Marie was there, as was Steven. Caroline was no where to be seen. “Do you have something to say to Miss Frontè?” Kelly sniffed, feeling tears start in her eyes as she thought about how scared poor Marie had seemed when Kelly had come back. “I’m sorry Miss Frontè,” she cried, “I’m sorry, I won’t be naughty again.” Naughty? She supposed Caroline had used that word during the spanking, and now it jumped to her lips as if the most natural thing to say. “Please take care of her Miss Frontè. She’s had an enema, so make sure to get her cleaned up and rested.” “Yes sir,” she said to Steven. He left the room. Marie came forward and enfolded to still crying Kelly in her arms. “There there, I’m not mad at you, you’re a good girl, I know it.” After Steven coldness and Caroline’s punishments, Marie warmth was irresistible to Kelly her pushed her face into the larger woman’s side and sobbed. She was aware of being bathed, patted dry, and then carried to her bedroom where she was diapered without complaint. Marie sat down in one of the chairs, held Kelly tight in her arms, and sang softly in French. Her head pillowed on the amazon’s large chest, Kelly fell asleep. Kelly stayed close to Marie when they returned to the casino. She tried to tell herself it was nothing, but the large woman’s hand holding her own did make her feel better. However, when she took her seat at the table she was all business. She could not quite forget what had happened earlier. While the padding of the diaper cushioned her bottom, the unpadded backs of her thighs were tender against the surface of the booster seat. She wondered if Caroline was aware of that. The smile she offered as she sat suggested she might be. However the sting on her thighs was a minor thing, nothing compared to the pain she had earlier dealt with. When the cards were dealt the sting faded from her mind. It was a hard game, everyone at their best. Kelly, Otto, Lyle and Conrad took most of the hands, small pots, larger pots, slowly draining away the stakes of the others. The round ended with Kelly taking a big pot with a full house, kings over twos. That took Caroline out of the game. Kelly gave her a smile, feeling as if she had gotten some of her own back. “That is it for this evening,” the dealer told them. Izzy looked up from his small pile of chips. “Looks like I’ll be in for one at least more hand tomorrow.” Kelly was pretty certain that it would be only one hand, unless he was going to simply ante and fold, but she figured Izzy would go out fighting. Charles Wright would not last much longer either. Then it would be the four best players. A gentle hand touched her shoulder. “Let’s go,” Marie said. Kelly let Marie help her from the chair and lead her by hand through the casino towards the hotel. The earlier feeling of comfort she had derived from the woman’s presence had faded a little in the heady excitement of the card game and all her winning hands. Still, she felt glad enough for the hand that held hers. Steven was not in the room when they entered. Marie undressed her, Kelly had given up attempt to help, and then took her to the bathroom. She was put in a fresh diaper before being put into the bed, and she felt too tired to argue and did not even know if she would be awake enough to take it off once Marie left. The day had been so exhausting. Marie did not leave immediately, but sat at the bedside, holding Kelly’s hand, singing softly in French once more. Kelly slept deeply, and if Steven and Caroline made love in his room again, Kelly did not wake.
  14. That is in fact the case.
  15. In spite of her dreams Kelly has slept deeply, and woke refreshed to a gentle shaking. Marie was sitting on the side of her bed, hand on her shoulder. “Bonjour,” she said with smile. Kelly rubbed at her eyes with the back of her hands and mumbled a sleepy, “Good morning.” “Time to get up,” Marie said with a laugh as she pulled back the covers and the with growing familiarity grabbed the waistband of Kelly’s panties and yanked them off. “Hey,” Kelly said, more surprised at the moment than angry. It was only as she saw Marie looking closely at the thick cotton garment that she remembered her late night, erotic activities. Of course any giant finding a damp undergarment on a little would take interest. “That… it’s not…” Marie looked at her and smiled. “Don’t be worried. I know some older littles get special enjoyment out of their padding.” Kelly was about to object, but she could not bring herself to say that she had been listening to the activities in the other room and masturbating while fantasizing being involved in a threesome. And she was still too sleepy to come up with a good lie. With a smile Marie dropped the incriminating undergarment into the room’s laundry hamper and then came back to the bed, swept Kelly up off of it, swung her about and then placed her on the floor. “Come along, let’s get you cleaned up.” She hustled the naked little out of the bedroom into the suite’s main room. Kelly almost fell in the resisting, worried Steven, and even worse, his night guest, might be there, and Marie caught her up and pushed her along. The room beyond was empty, and relief made Kelly relax for a few seconds. Long enough for Marie to get her into the bathroom and on the toilet. It had been a long night and she had to go, which earned her more praise from Marie. Marie let her shower on her own, after putting a shower cap over her head, as if she could not be trusted to remember. Well, to be fair to the giant, Kelly usually did not have professionally styled hair to care for, so she might have not worried about it. Marie had picked out an outfit, pink voluminous shorts with wide suspenders and a white blouse. They went down to the hotel restaurant where Marie ordered her a late breakfast—Kelly was disappointed she did not get any bacon but the fruit and yogurt were good. Then they had an appointment at the small beauty parlour in the hotel. Kelly was not in the chair long, all the beautician did there was restyle her hair, changing it slightly and making it completely neat, and her nails got a little buffing and colour touchups. Back to the room, Marie helped her get dressed, starting of course with the diaper. After she had that on her she helped Kelly off the bed and to the floor, then gave her a gentle pat and rub on the back of her diaper before going to get the rest of the clothing ready. The dress was a warm, pale shade of yellow, and Marie put the hair combs into Kelly hair, completing the effect the beautician had started. “Comme il faut.” Marie said with a smile as she clasped the choker with the star around Kelly’s slim neck. “Let’s go,” Marie said as she picked up the diaper bag. The second day of the tournament began without introductions. It also began with a realization of who Steven had been with. Caroline, dressed in a smart, sophisticated pants suit, greeted the fellow players and Kelly knew she had been with Steven the night before. There was a moment of erotic thrill as her fantasy from the night before had an identity for the giant female, but that was washed away with confusion almost immediately. (Which was fortunate because she did not need to have Marie to find her in an arousal dampened diaper) Why had Steven been with the woman? Weren’t she and Steven in this together? Was he trying to find out something about one of the other players? If so why hadn’t he told her? Was he looking for a new partner? Had she not played well enough the day before? Well, she would show him that that was a mistake. Confusion was easily forged into anger, and anger honed into razor sharp determination. She was focused, she made no mistakes, and she played her cards and the others players as well. She would fold sooner than she needed to, or hold off, bet lower of higher. It had an effect on the others players, and they did not even realize it, at first. Otto and then Conrad caught on after the first hour. Lyle and Izzy seemed to catch on, but had not yet pinpointed what was causing the change in the game after the second hour. Kelly was not winning every hand, but she was pulling ahead of everyone else. There was a short break while a new deck was put in play. She looked around the other players, a few of them had stepped away from the table. Lyle and Caroline were speaking, Otto was talking to one of the servers and Conrad speaking to one of the spectators. Kelly looked around, returned a wave from Marie, but she did not see Steven. Was he not watching at all? Did he not see her dominate the game? Annoying. The dealer called the players back and a new hand was dealt out. They played a few more hands, Kelly won them all, before the dealer called for a thirty minute break. Kelly looked around, expecting that Marie would be at her side, ready to rush her off to the bathroom, as if she was only seconds from losing control. But the maid/nanny was no where around. She got down from her seat, stretched out a little. Playing so focused was exhausting and not much fun, but she had decided it was how she was going to play. “I am quite impressed.” She turned, looked up. Standing there was Conrad. “Thank you.” “I must apologize,” he said to her. “I was somewhat dismissive of you when I saw you would be playing.” Kelly was aware but she said, “You were polite enough not to say anything.” “Have a drink with me,” he said suddenly. “We’ll drink to each other’s skill.” “Well, maybe…” “Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to put you at odds with your nanny.” “She’s just a maid,” Kelly said, “and I would love to toast to your skill.” And why should she not have a drink? Lyle went to the bar, came back with two small tumblers. He presented one to her. “It’s top shelf stuff, just enough for a taste. Neither of us wants to dull our game.” “Of course.” She took the tumbler her offered, the one with less liquor in it. That was fair, she had less body mass. Kneeling her held out his glass and said, “To skilled players who challenge us.” “To skilled players,” she replied, and they tapped their glasses together. She drank. It was like warm honey and fire. “I’ll have to get a bottle of this stuff later,” Kelly said, looking at the empty glass as if she wished there were more. “I’ll buy you one at the end of the game.” She knew she was there to make this man lose, but she did not know why, and she saw no reason not to be polite. “Thank you.” “Come for a walk with me. A little fresh air to clear our heads.” Kelly nodded and smiled. “Please.” Finally someone treating her as a skilled player and not as if she were some sort of clever, trained animal. She grabbed the clutch she had brought with her, taking a moment to pull out her phone and check it. She set the alarm, just so she would have ten minutes warning before the game was to restart. As they stepped out the glass doors, into a balcony overlooking the garden Conrad said, “Would you like to look at the ocean? That path circles the parking lot and comes out at a look out point.” “Thank you, that sounds nice.” They walked along the path, Conrad taking slower, smaller strides so she did not have to run. They talked of the game, or interesting hands that had come up and other games they had played. After several minutes they came out on the high look out point where below them stretched cliffs and parts of the city and the ocean. Kelly stepped up on a raised platform so she could lean out over the rail and into the ocean breeze. “This is beautiful,” she said. “Yes, it is. You present a very fetching picture yourself, quite adorable.” She decided to take that as a compliment and said, “Thank you Mr. Revel.” He walked up the railing, close to where she stood. “You play very well, for a little,” he told her. That she decided to not take as a compliment. “I play very well period.” He shrugged his shoulders. “I would ask that you drop out of the tournament. This is not something you should deal with.” “I am afraid I am going to have to say no.” He sighed, looked at his watch. “I was afraid of that. I did wish to spare you some embarrassment.” “I don’t think I am the one who needs to be worried about being embarrassed about losing.” He smiled and reached into his jacket, pulled out a glass vial with a light blue liquid in it. He looked at it for a second, then hurled it out into the air, over the railing. “What was that?” Kelly asked him. “A counter agent Miss Fortuna. You’ll excuse me now.” He turned and walked away, long, fast strides that set a pace that Kelly would have a hard time matching. “Counter agent for what?” she called after him. Then she felt her stomach cramp, and she almost fell to her knees from the pain of it. Her eyes widened. Had he poisoned her? Was she going to die? Her insides cramped again, and she felt a pressure growing in her bottom. Was she going to mess herself? If that happened, if she could not get cleaned up fast enough, it might get her kicked out of the tournament. She opened her clutch, she could call someone for help. Another cramp made her gasp. Could anyone get there in time? She did not have Marie’s number. She could call the hotel, see if they could put her in contact. She moaned with the pain. If any time she needed a nanny it was now dammit. There was something else in the clutch, besides the phone. A key fob. Her head snapped up. They had circled the parking lot, were close to it. There! Steven’s silver sports car. She ran towards it, breathing heavily from the pain in her stomach, one of her hands was pressed against her diapered bottom, as if that might stop the hot mess that was threatening to fill her seat. Close. She pressed the key fob. There was a beep. She heard the click of the doors unlocking. “Thank god,” she gasped. As if someone had considered the very possibility she was in, the passenger door had swung itself open, a small set of stairs had unfolded from the rocker panel. That was good because she was certain if she had had to jump up to try to grab the door handle or climb up into the car she would have messed herself. Lying on the seat, buttocks clamped tight, she reached for the GPS screen, tapped it twice, and then when it lit up tapped the red button. “Help,” she begged, near tears. “What is it Miss Fortuna?” someone asked male and calm. “I drank something,” she did not feel up to explaining the complete details, “I think I am going to shit myself.” There was a hiss and a small tray opened from the dash. “There are several white syringes, get the green tipped one.” She looked into the tray, grabbed the pen shaped device with the green tip. “Got it,” she said as another wave of pain hit her. “Put the green tip against your thigh and press down. It will go through clothing.” She pulled her skirt back and jammed the green tip down against her bloomers. It felt like she had been stung by a bee and she let out a small yelp of pain. “Good,” the person on the other end said. “Now take the two small white pads with wires on them and put them on bare skin over your tummy. Hurry, you’re almost done.” She did was she was told, pulling her skirt up, thankful for the empire waist that easily allowed her to get it above her stomach. The pads went on the bare skin of her stomach. “Done.” “Deep breath,” she was ordered. She took one. A strange tingly feeling spread through her stomach, and twice she felt all the muscles in her abdomen twitch hard. The feeling that was going to poop went away so suddenly she was worried she had, but patting the back of her diaper and then slipping a hand into it revealed she was clean still. “That should take care of it,” the voice told her. “My stomach still hurts,” she said, more of a whine in her tone that she would have liked. “I can’t do anything about that. It will get a little better in a few minutes and I will let Mr. Artimage know what happened so he can arrange to take care of you.” “Do you have to?” she asked. A soft chuckle. “Sorry Miss Fortuna.” “And I won’t…” “You don’t have to worry about messing yourself. In fact you will probably be badly constipated for the next week or two. Sorry.” “Better than the alternative,” Kelly said, rubbing her aching stomach. “You had better get back to you game Miss Fortuna.” “Right!” she said up, groaned, and then climbed down from the car. She watched, impressed in spite of the pain, as the small stairs retracted back into the rock panel, closing up smoothly as if they were never there, and the door closed itself. A beep and flash of lights told her the car had locked itself. She put the key fob back in her clutch and ran as fast as her pained stomach would allow back to the casino. She passed through the doors just as her phone started beeping, warning that she had ten minutes to get back. Plenty of time to spare she thought, though it had seemed much longer. Before she could the feeling of relief could fully settle on her she was snatched up and hugged tightly against a scared looking Marie. Rapid fire french, sounding equally concerned and relieved as Marie petted her and stroked her, obviously looking for any sign of injury. Finally seeming to remember that Kelly did not speak french she said, “Oh, where did you go Kelly? I was so worried about you. I was called away and then delayed and…” Then sounding cross she said, “You should not go anywhere on your own.” She heard someone say, thought it might have been Lyle Redmond, “I’m a big fan of harnesses when I am out and about with my girls.” “I’m okay Marie. I didn’t mean to scare you. I’m sorry.” She did feel bad for the woman, and remembered how not that long ago she had desperately needed her. Marie took a deep breath. “Let’s get you to the bathroom, we have little time.” She put Kelly back on her feet and grabbed her hand. “Now just a moment,” Conrad said. She looked towards him, that smiling face with his pudgy nose. “While I hate to embarrass her I would ask that the state of her diaper be checked. I thought I caught a whiff of something when she came in.” “Oh, don’t be ridiculous,” Marie said angrily. “This is the break, and I am taking her to the bathroom.” “Ah, I am sorry,” the man in the black tuxedo said. “However Miss Fortuna is in the play area, and the rules, well, they are the rules.” Marie muttered something softly, angrily that Kelly was certain was French swearing. Then she spun Kelly around, knelt down and pulled up her skirts, skimmed her bloomers down around her ankles, bent her forward slightly and pulled the back of her diaper away from her. “See. Perfectly clean.” Kelly wondered if the pain in her stomach might kill her before the humiliation of the current moment did. She heard the man step closer, then felt fingers on and in her diaper. “Clean as you say,” he announced. “Of course she is, of all the… as if I would not have…” she pulled the bloomers back in place and smoothed the skirt down. “Oh, there is no time to take you to the bathroom.” “I’ll be fine,” Kelly told her. “It’s okay. I really don’t have to go.” Marie had turned her back to face her, reached up and adjusted a hair comb. “Very well, but nothing to drink.” “That’s fine, I’m not very thirsty.” Her gaze sought out Conrad’s and when she saw him she gave him a tight smile. She was pleased to see the look of discomfort on his face. Beating him had become very important to her, because the momentary discomfort he felt was nothing compared to the churning in her own guts.
  16. The next morning Marie took Kelly out to a beauty parlour, to get her hair done. She was a little worried that the beautician, who was not listening to Kelly at all, was going to cut her hair very short and put it up in little girl bunches. She had seen some other littles with the style of hair. However she got a trim instead and then her hair was worked on, layer cuts to give it volume, and curled just enough to give it bounce. And how it shone once she was done. It was, with the curls, a little juvenile, but not terribly so. She could live with it. And then she got a manicure and a pedicure, which were a nice way to top things off. Her nails had been filed in a round shape, with pale, pink polish put on them. That was also a little juvenile, but she thought it looked better than if they were left plain. Back at the hotel room Marie helped her into the pale cream dress, with the flouncy skirt and the sash and bow of a cafe au lait colour. Of course the diapers and the bloomers and the vest were the foundation of it all, but Kelly had gotten use to the idea she had to be comme il faut as Marie often said. Her new watch and a choker with the angel on it were added, for a touch of colour, but Marie would not let her wear the hair combs. A pair of black mary janes finished off the outfit and Marie handed her the small leather clutch purse that held everything she needed. “Are you ready?” Marie asked. She sounded nervous. Kelly smiled. “I am. Let’s go.” She was not nervous, she was anxious, like it was Christmas morning and there was a tree surrounded by presents awaiting her. Marie added one more accessory to her own outfit, a fancy looking bag that for all its designer roots was obviously a diaper bag. On their way to the casino several people gushed over the pretty little, commenting Marie on her pretty little daughter. Marie did not correct them, but a wink she gave to Kelly said she was playing. They crossed through the casino, attracting less attention because most people were focused on their games, and entered a small, side venue. A man in a black tuxedo stood guard there, as it were. “Can I help you?” he asked Marie. Marie gave Kelly and unneeded nudge forward. Kelly opened her clutch and took out the invitation and the receipt that showed a deposit of the entry stake into the casino’s account. The man looked at the invitation and receipt for a moment, then placed them on the small lectern he stood behind and reached for his phone. He spoke to someone in rapid french that Kelly could not understand. Marie leaned close and whispered into Kelly’s ear, “He is making sure the ticket was not stolen.” “I don’t think I wold be brazen enough to come here with a stolen ticket,” she told Marie, though realized she had not idea how Steven had gotten that ticket. The man put the phone down. “Welcome to the Cartes D'or Triomphantes Miss Fortuna. This way please.” He led her and Marie pass the barrier of velvet ropes into a small room, dominated by a bar and several card tables, only one of which was being used. Three men sat around it. She recognized them all. Otto, Izzy and Charles. “Gentlemen, May I introduce you to Miss Fortuna,” he paused and added, “the little. She will be playing with you.” All three men looked surprised for a moment, but Otto and Izzy seemed to recover faster. “Miss Fortuna your fellow players are Izzy Aster, Charles Wright and Otto Kruugen.” “I’m pleased to meet you,” she said, and found herself curtseying for lack of a better response. All three stood as the man pulled out a chair, took a booster seat from a bellhop who had appeared at his elbow, placed the booster seat on the chair and then helped Kelly up into her seat as if it was the most natural thing in the world to do as a poker tournament. Izzy and the others sat once more. “This seems a little odd,” Charles said. He had a nasally voice, wore a white tuxedo jacket like the other men, though not as well as the other two. “Well, I’m not sure of that,” Izzy said as he sat back in his chair and picked up a glass of an amber liquid from the table in front of him. “Think I’ve heard of this Miss Fortuna before and figure she’s got as much right to be here if she’s paid up.” He spoke with a drawl, and punctuated his statement by drawing a finger across a thick eyebrow. “I saw you play at the Cartes D'or Petites, was it four years ago?” Otto asked. “I recall thinking that if you were a more mature player you would have won.” “Why thank you Mr. Kruugen, and I hope to perform better.” “Please, call me Otto, if I might call you Kelly.” “Thank you Otto.” Neither of the other men asked to be on a first name basis with her, but they were regarding her as if she were more than just a child. None of them, not even Otto, were taking her serious yet. An attendant approached. “Would you like something to drink Miss Fortuna?” “I would like…” “Non, non,” Marie said, stepping forward. “Nothing to drink Kelly,” she said, sounding stern and unyielding. The three men laughed, though Otto at least tried to cover it up a little. Kelly felt her face grow warm, but she took a deep breath and nodded. “Of course Miss Frontè.” Marie moved back to the bar, taking a seat on a stool where she could watch. Kelly noted, sourly, that Marie ordered a drink for herself. Do as I say, not as I do. She had hated that kind of thing when she had been a little girl. The man in the black tuxedo approached them, with him was Caroline Jay. She was dressed in a red cocktail dress, wearing stiletto heels that made her taller than her escort by a few inches. Red hair, red dress, black heels with a red sole and smoke coloured stockings. Kelly had never managed to fill out her one cocktail dresses like that and decided that she would start to hate Caroline now. The three men stood. Kelly, being a woman, was not required to, which was good as getting down from the booster seat in the dress she was in would have been almost certainly embarrassing. “Gentleman, lady, Caroline Jay. Miss Jay, Otto Kruugen, Charles Wright, Izzy Aster and Kelly Fortuna.” Caroline offered polite handshakes to all the men first, then bent slightly to offer a hand to Kelly from across the table as the man in the black tuxedo slid her chair in for her. “Pleased to meet you,” she said, a puzzled expression on her face as if she was trying to figure out a joke. “Thank you Miss Jay,” Kelly said, a fake smile plastered on her face. Lyle Redmond was the next to enter and be introduced. “I was planning on arriving a little later, but then I head a most peculiar story,” he said as he took his seat (no one had stood for him as he was a gentleman). “And here she is, a little, sitting here ready to play.” He smiled at her. “You know this is not a card matching game don’t you sweetie?” Okay, she hated Caroline less now. She only had so much hate inside her and now most of it was being directed at him. “Miss Fortuna if you please Mr. Redmond,” she said, as if she were not seated on a booster seat. “And I believe that I am aware of the rules, but if I have any questions I am glad I have an expert to ask.” Lyle actually smiled, looking a little smug as he took the compliment for himself. She looked down the table. “I am sure Otto will help me if I need it.” Lyle frowned, obviously not appreciating the implied insult. “Oh, I am sure I won’t need to explain the rules to the young woman who plays as well as you do Kelly.” Lyle’s frowned deepened, as if he was somehow offended that she and Otto were on a first name basis. Conrad Revel was the last to come in, a few minutes before the game was to start. Short black hair, slicked back, a nose just a little too small for his face for him to be handsome. He was introduced, offered his hand to both Caroline and Kelly, though he was just as perplexed as most of them by her presence. A moment after he was seated and had been served a drink a tall, bald giant approached them. He wore black pants and a white shirt, tightly buttoned at his wrists, narrow black bands cinching his shirt sleeves in about mid forearm. He clicked his heels sharply together and bowed. “Ladies and gentlemen, I am Andre Fulover, your dealer, unless there are any concerns?” No one voiced any. He took a step forward to stand behind the chair he would be occupying. “We are playing seven card stud poker, standard rules, house limit on betting will stand, unless those players involved all ask that is be suspended. Are there any questions?” No one had any. “As we have a little at the table I must ask if she is properly attired.” He did not look at Kelly. “She is,” Marie said. “Very good, then…” “I think I would like to verify that. I could check,” Lyle said, shifting as if to get out of his seat. However Marie was there before he could even start to stand. “No need Mr. Redmond.” She then picked Kelly out of the seat, turned her so her back as to the table, and then before Kelly could even think of doing anything her skirt had been lifted and the bloomers pulled down, likely revealing the white plastic of the disposable to everyone. “Well I am satisfied,” Lyle Redmond said. There was laughter around the table and Kelly felt her cheeks grow how. Marie straightened her clothing out and then set Kelly back down in her booster seat. To the table and to Lyle in particular she said, “Please respect my professionalism in matters of child and little care.” Then with a sniff she returned to the bar. Kelly took a few deep breaths to calm herself down and wondered if she could ask that they respect her dignity. “Well, I guess we’ve been told,” Lyle said with another laugh. The dealer nodded in thanks to Marie and then to the table said, “While in deference to littles and the length of the game a wet diaper will be ignored, this is a civilized game and none wish to be inconvenienced by a messy accident. If that is to happen Miss Fortuna will forfeit her place in this game and her stake.” “Wait? What? What if any of the other players mess their pants?” Kelly demanded. The dealer looked shocked. “Miss Fortuna, as I said this is a civilized game, I will not hear talk like that.” Marie was once more at Kelly side. “She of course apologizes, don’t you Kelly?” The last thing Kelly wanted to do is apologize, but that is what she did. “I am sorry for my language and insinuation of lack of control amongst my respected opponents.” “And I will see her properly punished later,” Marie said. “What?” Kelly asked. “Very well,” the dealer said as he pulled his chair out and took a seat. “Let’s begin.” Kelly took the first three hands, and suspected the Ken had cleaned up as he would have started betting high on the first few hands. The first two pots had been fairly small, her face up cards good enough the others players had folded early. The third one ended up with just her and Lyle Redmond, as she had suspected, he was bad when it was just him against her. He called what he thought was a bluff on her part and raised as high as the table limit would allow. She guessed he expected the little girl to fold when faced with his confidence. She called and raised again, suggested that perhaps they up the table limit. He refused, likely because she had suggested it. If she had just been a little patient he might have asked for the increase in the table limits and she could have taken him for a lot more. Three hands in and she was up two million. All the people around the table were looking at her with a little more respect, perhaps, but all of them, especially Lyle, looked as if they were trying to figure out how a magician had done a trick. As if my winning is an illusion, she thought angrily to herself. The game continued, she won and lost, won a little more than she had expected, but the game was far from over. Then, about two and half hours in, after they ended a hand that Otto took, the dealer said they would break for thirty minutes. Kelly stretched in her chair, thinking a break would be nice. Marie was there, helping out of the chair, and then to Kelly surprise, she was turned about, her skirt lifted, and Marie delivered five smacks to her diapered bottom. She then turned Kelly around again to face the dealer and said, “Apologize for your bad behaviour earlier.” It was more surprising and embarrassing than it was painful, but she felt the prickle of tears in her eyes. When Marie had said that she would be properly punished Kelly had assumed she had been joking or lying, but that spanking made it clear the maid/nanny was pretty serious about it. Kelly did as she was told. “I’m sorry.” The dealer smiled. “I appreciate your apology, I am sure we won’t have any more trouble.” Kelly could see people around them smiling, as if what had just happened was perfectly sensible. The dealer went off to wherever dealers took their breaks, and the other players drifted towards the bar. Kelly found herself being led by the hand to a nearby private washroom. “I’m sorry I had to punish you like that,” Marie said, “but you should remember to be polite and follow the rules. You do not want them dismissing you from the tournament do you?” Kelly shook her head. “No.” “Good. Now, let’s get you undressed.” “Undr…” was all she had the time to say before Marie loosened the bow at the back of the dress, raised her arms with a quick swipe, and then pulled the dress off of her. Then the bloomers and diapers went and she was sat on a small toilet. “Alright, try to pee or poop if you can.” Kelly flushed again, this time she was certain her whole body was red. “Can you not watch me?” Marie made a clucking sound in her voice, but turned away from give Kelly some privacy as she went to lay out a fresh diaper on the change table. She managed to pee a little after a few minutes of embarrassment and Marie quickly had her in a new diaper, congratulating her on using the potty like a big girl. As she was dressed again Kelly said, “I just won eight million euros.” “I know,” Marie said as she brushed out Kelly’s hair, making it neat once more. “But you congratulated me on using the toilet,” Kelly said, wondering if the woman might see how ridiculous it was. Marie smiled and kissed her on the forehead. “You’re such a smart little girl, keeping dry and playing cards so well.” Apparently recognizing the ridiculousness of the situation a little might find themselves in was a weak point for giants. From the diaper bag she brought out a sippy-cup and a bottle of water. She poured about half the water into the cup and then offered it to Kelly. “Really?” Kelly asked. “I don’t want you to spill anything on your dress.” Thirsty, Kelly took the cup, though she rolled her eyes as she drank. Marie escorted her back to the table in time for the next hand. Another two and a half hours and Kelly was still eight million ahead, the last half of the game stagnating for her with her wins and losses being about even. The dealer called a four hour break. Kelly found herself back in the hotel room, undressed and put to bed for a nap before the next round started. Kelly was beginning to think that she might have made a mistake agreeing to help Steven, if this was the way she was going to be treated. There was a knock at her door, Steven’s voice, “Are you awake.” She got up, remembered she was still in the diaper that Marie had put her to bed in. She grabbed the familiar t-shirt and pulled it on, glad it was long enough to hang down over the infantile underwear, then went to the door and opened it. “Where have you been?” Kelly asked. “That’s none of your concern,” he told her, not unkindly. “I need to know what you assessment of the other players is.” Of course he needed her to tell him. She was the expert, and it did not matter if she was wearing a diaper, or had been spanked, she was a grown woman brought here to do a grown woman’s job. They sat at the table and Kelly gave him a quick rundown. “Charles and Caroline both come across as technically skilled, but they don’t have to feel for the game.” “What do you think that means?” “I think they both have been recently taught high level skills by people who know what they are doing, but you can’t teach the gut level of understanding. They are not going to be able to hold on for long.” “Any idea who might have taught them?” Kelly shook her head. Steven looked a little disappointed, which bothered Kelly more than she would have thought. “What about the others?” “Izzy is no different from usual. I expect him to be out of the game tomorrow at the latest. Otto is good, but, he’s worn out.” She felt bad saying it. “I don’t think he can keep it up for more than another set or two. “As for Lyle, he’s better than I thought. He might hang on to the end. One on one I could beat him easily.” “And Revel?” “Nothing has changed in my opinion on him. He’s good. I can probably beat him.” “Anything else?” Kelly frowned. “What do you mean?” “Is there anything else you have noticed.” “Like what?” Again, a flash of disappointment. “Never mind, you’re supposed to be napping now, why don’t you go back to bed.” Just like that, he was dismissing her. “What was I supposed to notice?” He looked at her for several seconds, then shook his head. “No time to teach you. Go and get some rest. You’re here to win, getting tired or worried won’t help with that.” She wanted to argue, but he stood and walked away, leaving her sitting alone on the couch. “Damn,” she said softly, then sighed and went back to her bedroom. A short nap would do her some good. Four hours after the last hand of the first round had been played Kelly was seated at the table again, getting a new hand dealt out to her. She won four times in a row, small pots, but it put her up nine million. Then Otto and And Conrad went back and forth for a few hands before Lyle Redmond took a big pot. Then Caroline won the largest pot of the night with three queens and Kelly realized she had better not discount the other woman’s technical skills or her luck. The hands came and went, the better players moving ahead or at least staying even while the less able players had their stakes slowly bled away. The second round ended and Kelly felt exhausted. A bit of jet lag and a lot of demanding poker. She was glad to see she was not the only one looking tired. Marie took her up her room, got her undressed and cleaned up, and then put to bed, at least in a pair of the training panties rather than a diaper. She was tired and her head was full of games she had played. Things she should have done and things she should not have. Everything the others players had done, how they had looked when they did it. She fell asleep to dreams where she was playing poker and the stakes were the players’ ages, where going bust meant returning to infancy. She woke to the sound of soft voices in the suite. One was Steven’s, the other, female, sounded familiar. There were only a few words that she could make out, but the conversation was intimate, private. They went into Steven’s room. The soundproofing between the suite’s room was a little lacking, and she heard the sounds of soft feminine gasps and of the bed shifting under the weight of two. Kelly told herself just to pull the pillow over her head, but she was also telling herself to sneak out of the room and peak in on Steven and his partner. She wondered what Steven looked like naked. She knew he would be all hard muscle. What about skin? Did he have any scars? What would they feel like under her fingers. She imagined the two spotting her, inviting her to join them. The complexities of little/big physical relationships were smoothed over by the rules of fantasy. Her hands slid into the waistband of her thick panties, and she turned over in the bed, moving slowly, glad her slight weight did not make the mattress move too much. Face pressed into the pillow to muffle her own soft cries, bottom pushed into the air with her hands in her panties, she brought herself to orgasm twice, an unknown participant with Steven and his partner. She soon fell asleep, spent, though the sound of Steven and the woman were still in her ears. Her dreams took on a more erotic cast.
  17. Yeah, the board software decided to merge two posts. I did think a little bit about real Earth features, if I wanted to use real world places and facts in the Diaper Dimension. For the type of story this is I decided I would, though I think there might be something of a ill fit when all is written and done. Glad people are enjoying it so far.
  18. Time line wise, I'd say everything is more or less happening as posted. Though Games of Chance.... could be happening concurrently with Working on the Underground Railroad. Monaco was hot and rich. Almost everyone in the city was a giant, the few littles that Kelly saw were obviously being treated as babies. She had never been in such a city, the Cartes D'or Petites had been held in Montpellier farther along the coast. They passed quickly through customs and outside the small airport a giant scaled, silver sports car awaited them. There was a booster seat in the passenger seat and Steven lifted her up and put her into it. “We’re not going to do anything that would attract attention,” he told her before she could object. Then they were driving into the city proper. It was still early morning, though late night back home, and Steven drove them right to the hotel and casino. They checked in and were shown to their suite. “Would you like a crib brought in sir?” the bellhop asked Steven. “No, that won’t be necessary.” “Very good,” he said, and then left after Steven had tipped him. “Get some rest, we’re going shopping this afternoon.” “Right,” Kelly said. She saw Steven’s room, larger, with a king sized bed. She did not begrudge him as he was a big man. Her room in the suite was a little smaller, with a twin sized giant scale bed that would be more than big enough. The lack of a step stool meant she had to use one of the chairs to get up on the bed. The mattress was amazingly comfortable. So comfortable she slid back down to the floor and slipped the sheets aside so she could get a picture of the label. She would look into buying one when she got home. A useful thing to do with all her winning. While she was doing that she had heard a knock on the door and then the sound of Steven letting someone in. She had just finished taking the pictures when a maid came in and with an ‘excusez-moi’ stripped the bed of its sheets and then put a plastic protector over the mattress before remaking the bed. “There you go sweet heart,” she said in accented english before scooping Kelly up and putting her on the bed. “Now be careful not to fall off or your papa will have to have a crib brought in.” She then ruffled her hand through Kelly’s hair before leaving the room. That was annoying, Kelly thought, glad that the plastic protective sheet did not rustle when she moved about. She considered for a moment removing it, just to make a point, but making the large bed seemed like more of a chore than she wanted to undertake. Still on the bed she stripped down to her panties and then climbed under the sheets. She grabbed her phone and texted a message to Ken, letting him know where she was. Then she closed her eyes and went to sleep. Steven woke her around 1pm, knocking on her door. About thirty minutes later, after showering and brushing her teeth, she was ready to go in a pair of black slacks and a green blouse, her hair combed back into a functional pony tail. Steven was dressed in a linen suit, clean shaven, painfully handsome. She smiled at him. He simply nodded and said, “Let’s go.” Not very talkative, she thought, but that seemed to be his way. If it was not about business he did not engage in much conversation. In the lobby he checked with the concierge to see if there were any messages for him, and then to have his car brought around. The parking valet helped Kelly into the car as Steven got in, and then they were off. He pulled the car to the side of the road, just outside of the hotel. “Take this and keep it with you at all times,” he said, taking a key fob from his jacket pocket and giving it to her. “The keys to the car?” “Just to open the doors. It is not as if you could drive it.” Kelly did not know if he was being cruel or just pointing out the obvious. She nodded. “If you get in trouble, if you need help, just get in the car.” He pointed at the GPS screen set low on the dashboard. “Tap that twice, then press the red button that will appear and ask for help. Someone will be there it answer.” “A lot of support for someone who works for an import company.” He did not react to that, instead said, “Remember, I need you to blend is as much as possible. That will be hard enough with you playing in the tournament, but other than that I need to you look and behave like any other little in this city.” “I’ve seen a few littles in this city, and I don’t think much of that.” He shifted into drive and pulled away from the side of the road. “Part of the arrangement.” His tone told her that it was not open to negotiation. Again she supposed she could put up with a lot for five million dollars and the opportunity to play in the Cartes D'or Triomphantes. They drove into the city, old buildings and streets, to a stretch of shops with high fashion displayed in every window. Steven pulled the car into a small lot, then walked back along that street to a shop with windows filled with the small sized dresses for children and littles, and in this city, Kelly thought, there was no real differences. “How can I help you?” one of the women asked Steven when they entered the shop, completely ignoring Kelly. “I need four party dresses for her. Conservative, in the latest fashions.” The woman looked down at Kelly for the first time. “Of course. What is the occasion?” “She’ll be interacting with adults in a formal event.” “Red would look nice with her skin tone and hair colour.” “I was thinking various shades of white.” “Of course.” No one was asking Kelly. Really, she wondered how those littles who chose to live as children or just were incapable of handling the adult world handled that sort of treatment. Well, she could put up with it for a short time. The woman helped her up onto a stand that was not quite as tall as Kelly herself, putting her at an easy level to work with. She brought out dresses, showing them to Steven and then holding them next to Kelly, commenting on how the colours flattered her. As they were all very childish, with empire waists and large bows in the back, Kelly would have chosen none of them, but after an hour Steven and the woman had picked out four. “I’ll need her measurements if we are to get these adjusted to her fit. And you’ll need them when?” “Tomorrow night, or the next day early.” She produced her smart phone and entered a few notes. “We can do that. It will be a little extra.” “That’s fine.” Kelly was tempted to ask if this was coming out of her five million, but supposed that was the sort of question that would attract the attention Steven said he did not want. “Let me get her undressed and into a diaper so I can measure her.” “A dia…” she started to say, but she caught Steven’s hard glance and the words were left unuttered. He asked, “Is that the current fashion?” The woman laughed good naturedly. “Of course. No one would take a chance with such an expensive dress and a little or small child.” “As you say,” Steven told her with a smile. Kelly did not argue as the woman led her behind a folding privacy screen and then speedily and skillfully undressed her before Kelly even had time to suggest she could do it herself. Kelly tried not to act embarrassed, though she had a hard time not cross her hands over her small breasts. The woman was probably about eight feet tall, so she could not quite handle Kelly as if she were a toddler. She rolled out a changing pad and said, “Lie down honey.” Kelly did, the quilted plastic surface of the changing pad soft but a little cool. “Bottom up.” Kelly lifted her bottom so the woman could slide a diaper under her. She gently pushed Kelly down so her bottom settled into the thick padding, then spread her legs out so she could pull the diaper up around her. Kelly could not help but to blush a little at that. It was not that Kelly believed wearing a diaper made her a baby, or that she would be using one if it was put on her. As a little diapers were sometimes demanded, and she simply rated them as just another impractical pair of panties, of the same kind but on the exact opposite scale as a thong. She had worn thongs before, when the situation demanded, and the same with diapers. It just had been a long time one had been put on her, as if she could not handle the relatively simple task herself. The woman fastened the tapes, than ran her fingers along the leg gathers, long fingernails gently grazing the skin of her thighs. “A prefect fit.” Then she pulled Kelly to her feet, patted her diapered bottom and then her head. Next came a white cotton vest and smoothed out her breasts a little, and a filly pair of bloomer diaper covers, which hid the shallow curve of her hips. So dressed she was led out from the privacy screen, with little concern that she was only in underware (even through the underwear actually covered more of her than the shorts and t-shirt she had been wearing). No one really paid that much attention though, which she disliked more than the diaper and the bloomers. She was once more placed on the stand to be measured, and then the dresses that Steven had chosen where put on her, small chalk pencils used to mark where they needed to be taken in or let out. Steven had his phone out and took pictures of her in each dress. She suspected that she was blushing in each one. “We’ll need some casual clothing as well,” Steven said, “current styles, she can wear training pants with those.” “Are you sure?” the woman asked him. “Very.” “As you wish.” And there were more clothes brought out, though less attention was given to them than the dresses. She left the shop wearing a white sailor style dress with black trim and a pair of thick cotton training panties under it. Everything else would be delivered to the hotel. “Do we really need all this?” “The tournament is broken up into two, five hour games each day, with a four hour break between each game,” he said. “Yes.” “Usually they end late on the second day, or the early the third day.” “Yes.” “So you’ll need at least three of the dresses, and everything else is a bit of a blind, though you’ll wear some of it before we are through here.” “I’m certainly not going to wear those twenty-five pairs of training panties she made you buy.” “One would hope.” She wondered if he doubted her. Was all it took was a little to put on a childish outfit for the giants to start doubting their ability to take care of themselves? She did not have much time to think on it for there was more shopping. He took her to a shoe store where he showed the clerk pictures of Kelly in the dresses and then got four pairs of shoes, all patent leather mary-janes with a small heel, as well as some other shoes to go with her more casual outfits, including the black leather t-strap ballet flats that she wore out of the shop; the clerk having enthused that they were the perfect thing for her sailor dress. Steven went to a shop where he picked up a tuxedo and two suits, with a lot less bother than it had taken for even one of her dresses. She wondered if male littles under care did better in the clothing situation. It was not something she had ever thought about before. In a small shop he bought her two small handbags for her dresses and then he took her to a jewellery store where she almost completely forgave him. Three golden chokers, and a pair of hair combs, tortoise shell and edged in gold, were purchased for her. The chokers each had a small golden decoration on them, a heart on one, and angel on another and a star on a third. “Hold out your hand,” he said to her, kneeling down so he was closer to her level. She held out her right hand. He captured it easily, her entire hand lost in his big one, and she felt him fasten something around her wrist. When he removed it she saw a beautiful, gold wrist watch, the kind where you could see the movement of the action. “It’s beautiful,” she said. “Just make sure you don’t take it off.” She was pretty sure he was telling her not to lose it and said, a little petulantly, “This is mine now.” He did not say anything for a moment, and then, “I think I heard that is one of the toddler rules of possession, if they want it it is theirs.” Kelly blushed and found herself stammering as she said, “It’s just that…” He stood, cutting her off. “Let’s go.” She followed after him and for a moment felt as young as she was dressed. The shopping trip must have been finished for he took her out for dinner at a nice restaurant. She had to sit on a booster seat, and order from a child’s menu, which was designed not to give her any food which might make a mess. When they got back to the hotel room he told her to go to bed. “Rest up, make sure you get over your get lag.” “Okay.” Curious she asked. “What are you going to do?” He said nothing to her for a few seconds and then, with a smile, said, “That’s none of your concern to worry about.” The next morning, as Kelly padded out of her room, wearing a t-shirt she had brought with her, rubbing at her eyes, she found Steven, well dressed, sitting out on the balcony, finishing off his coffee. “I’ve asked for a maid to serve as your companion for the duration of our stay.” Kelly climbed up into the chair opposite to him, and kneeling on it, reached for the bacon and one of the croissants. “Why do I need a companion?” “To keep someone from snapping you up. As you said, in loco parentis.” Kelly chewed on the bacon and then asked. “Companion or nanny?” “There’s not a difference between them as far as a little is concerned.” “Really? You drag me all the way here and then act as if I a mindless drooler?” He looked somewhat confused. “I’m not sure why you are upset.” “You’re not…” Well of course he was not sure. She sighed. “You’ve brought me here for an adult job, in so much as you are able to, would it kill you to think of me as an adult, and that maybe being told I need a nanny is a little insulting.” He stared at her, as if she had done something shocking. “Mr. Dorchess takes care of you.” “That’s different, he’s my bodyguard.” “And this woman will be serving a similar role.” “Ken doesn’t think he needs to change me!” Her tone got a little snappish. “And I am sure as long as you don’t wet your diapers this woman won’t think she needs to change you either.” He got up from the table. “Her name is Marie Frontè. She should be here in a few minutes,” he told Kelly as he walked to the door. “Listen to her, try not to attract too much attention.” Then he was gone. Kelly stared angrily at the door for a few seconds, then grabbed some more of the bacon and shoved it into her mouth, chewing it with gusto before stuffing the croissant in after it and reaching for the coffee decanter and cup. “Listen to her my ass,” she said through a mouth full of food. When she heard a knock at the door a few minutes and all the bacon later she got down from her chair and padded over to the door. The security lock was not latched so she did not have to pull up a chair to unlock the door. A pretty giant stood there, with a smile on her face. “Hello Kelly,” she said in accented English. “I am Miss Frontè and I will be your best friend while you are in Monaco. Won’t that be nice?” Kelly wondered about ‘best friend’ and almost asked her new bestie if she wanted to go and get drunk at the bar and then maybe go find a male strip club. Not that that was something Kelly did, but part of her wanted to shock the smiling Marie Frontè. However, recalling Steven’s instructions she simply said, “Yes Miss Frontè.” “Good girl, now,” she entered the suite, shooing Kelly away from the door before she closed it. “Let’s get you cleaned up and dressed for the day.” Kelly had been able to persuade Marie to let her shower on her own, but only if she promised not to lock the bathroom door. She would not be convinced to let Kelly chose her own outfit for the day. ‘You want to look fashionable don’t you?’ she had asked. ‘Just trust me, I am French and therefore fashion is as natural as breathing.’ It was a stupid reason, but not one that Kelly could come up with an easy argument against. So she ended up in a pair of training panties, white tights, and an A-Line dress with a short skirt. The dress was pink, with a white peterpan collar and stripe that went down her front and another that crossed it just below her hips. She thought it looked like a pink version of the Swiss flag. Marie put a matching hat on her head and declared Kelly ‘comme il faut’. With the same ballet flats she had worn the day before Marie took her hand and led her from the room, promising her a day of fun and admonishing her to say something if she needed to use the potty. ‘Training pants are a big responsibility’ she told Kelly in all seriousness, in what Kelly had to admit was a cute accent. The day was spent being a tourist in Monaco, with Marie leading her from various attraction of interest, to public restroom, to attraction, to restroom, in a cycle that continued even through Kelly never used the restroom in those enforced visits and instead only when she herself asked to go. Asking to go was annoying. Being praised for it was even more annoying, cute French accent or no. They saw many things, beyond the inside of numerous public restrooms. There was the Oceanographic Museum, and the Opera House, and the Jardin Exotique, and the Saint Nicholas Cathedral where Marie had her place some flowers on the graves of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. Other than minor flashes of annoyance when Marie dragged her off to a restroom, it was actually an enjoyable day. They arrived back at the room late in the afternoon to discover all the dresses had been delivered. “Excellent,” Marie said when she saw all the outfits hanging from the top bar of a luggage trolley that had been wheeled into the room. She walked over to them and looked at them in the clear, zippered, plastic bags they had been placed in. “Comment adorable.” She plucked a cream coloured dress from the rack. “We shall check these for fit, oui.” It was not a question, and Kelly had little choice as Marie escorted her into the bed room. “We don’t need the diapers,” Kelly said as she saw Marie take one from a package that had been delivered with other things. “Don’t be silly Kelly. It is how they are worn. It is tres comme.” “But…” “Hush now,” Marie said as she tossed the diaper on the bed and then picked Kelly up and set her beside it. Kelly realized that those littles that proved themselves incapable of taking care of themselves (and she knew she was not in that camp at all) really would have little ability to resist once a giant took them under their care. She could try to fight off Marie, but she was pretty certain all she would do was annoy the tall woman. Marie looked like a slim model, but she was all dense muscle and she easily handled Kelly as if she were a kitten. Kelly was stripped naked and left lying blushing on the bed as Marie went to hang the dress she had been wearing in the closet, obviously checking the state of the training pants at the same time. She returned to the bed with a smile as she grabbed the diaper and shook it out, the plastic rustling and popping. Unlike the woman at the store she did not ask Kelly to lift her bottom, but simply grabbed Kelly’s ankles and lifted her bottom from the bed so she could slide the diaper under her, then pushed her legs apart so she could draw the diaper front up between her legs to be fastened securely with tapes. A quick check to make sure the diaper was on correctly and then Marie pulled Kelly to her feet and put her on a chair. “Stand up tall, hands over your head,” she ordered as she then drew one of the vests down her body. Next with the frilly bloomers, pulled up her legs and over the diaper. Finally the dress was put on her, the sash tied into a big bow at the back. Marie turned her then so she could look at herself in the vanity mirror. An adorable little girl stared back at her from the mirror. “I could eat you up you are so cute,” Marie said, and placed a kiss on the top of her head. She then fussed with the dress a bit before declaring it a perfect fit. “Now for the next one,” she said happily as she carefully removed the first from Kelly. After the impromptu fashion show Marie took Kelly down to the hotel’s restaurant for dinner, then back to her room where she put her to bed. “I was told you need to get some rest, so I want to promise me you’ll got to sleep,” Marie said. “I promise,” Kelly said. “Good girl,” the woman said, and kissed her on the forehead. She smelled nice, Kelly thought. Then she was out of the room, turning the lights off behind her. Kelly heard her exit the room. She untaped the diaper she had been left it and tossed it into the trashcan, then found a pair of regualr panties from her carryon bag. She was going to actually sleep, it had been a busy day and she still had a touch of jet lag, but she was not going to sleep in a diaper. Sprawling out on her bed Kelly closed her eyes and breathed slowly, in through her nose, out through her mouth, until she was asleep. Hours later a knocking on her door woke her. She sat up, fumbled for a t-shirt, and then went and opened the door. Steven stood out there. “Where have you been?” she asked. “I have some more information on the others in the tournament.” “Show me.” He set up a laptop on the coffee table, pulled a chair up close. The giant sized table was low enough that Kelly could kneel and see the computer. Caroline Jay, tall amazon, had entered a few small tournaments, won a few, no real details on her. Otto Kruugen, short giant, almost an inbetweener, she had heard of him. Old man, had been playing for years. She watched some of the videos of him playing for almost thirty minutes before Steven asked, “Well?” “Caroline is either some kind of ringer or out of her depth. Otto was good.” “Was?” “Old man, loosing his edge. This might be his last hurrah. I couldn’t have beat him when he was in his prime, no one here could, but now… Kind of sad really.” “Don’t let sympathy interfere with the job I brought you in for.” “I won’t,” she said angrily. “Otto has class, he doesn’t want sympathy. He is here for a good game. I’m going to give everyone at that table a good game.” Steven regarded her for several seconds, then nodded. “Good.” He stood. “Read over that, then get some rest. Tomorrow this begins.” “I understand,” she told him with a nod.
  19. Later Ken and Kelly sat in her office, Ken close behind, looking over her shoulder. She had four monitors set up, which was a little excessive as she really had a hard time focusing on more than two at any time, but it looked neat. On one screen videos of Conrad Revel playing were being shown. On another flight booking information and another showed the odds currently being offered on the tournament. However the screen that she and Ken were focused on was the web site for Green Imports. “Looks fake,” Ken said. “Looks real, but that a man like Steven Artimage would work there, that seems fake.” “It’s what I meants.” She nodded. “And no mention of Steven Artimage anywhere else.” “Fake name.” “Maybe, or a name that people are trying to hide.” She slumped in her chair. “I suck at this kind of computer research.” She moved the betting side to the monitor in front of her. “Looks like they figure that Izzy Aster is going to got out first. That will change once they know a little has entered.” “Should I bets on you not being the first out?” “Sure, it will be some easy money. The odds will be decent enough.” “And bets that you wins every hands that you plays.” “Catalina is the best bookie to be working with. That lady will never believe that a little can win. You’ll clean up. She’s gonna get so pissed.” She had already worked out the amounts that Ken could bet, based on how much his working capital grew. She would never win every hand, but with the odds Ken would get she only had to win one in four to make a lot of money off this. She moved the flight booking information onto the screen. “We’ve got your ticket. Maybe you’ll even be on the same flight as me.” “Once you sends me the informations on where you are in the city I’ll be close.” “Good.” She’d feel better knowing she had Ken as backup. Finally she put Conrad Revel in front of her, watching the man play. “Hows you gonna beat him?” Ken asked. “I have no idea.” It was close to 9am the next day when Kelly had finalized everything with Ken. “I still don’ts likes this,” he told her. “I’m still not entirely certain of it myself, but I am willing to take a chance. To play in the Cartes D'or Triomphantes, and 5 million if I win.” “It’s a lots of money.” “It is. And we can make more.” She took a deep breath. “Wish me luck Ken.” “Goods luck Miss Fortuna, but you don’ts need it.” She smiled up at him, then opened the front door, stepped out onto the porch. Ken stepped out behind her. At 9am exactly a large, red, sporty looking coupe pulled through the gates and rolled up the driveway. It stopped in front of them, the passenger door and trunk opening. Ken had to help her into the car, but he knew to do it my offering her a hand up as opposed to picking her up. She settled into the huge seat. Ken leaned into the car. “Yous better takes of her,” he warned Steven. “You don’t need to worry,” Steven told her, then reached across the car to pull the door shut, forcing Ken to jump back or be hit by the door. “Rude much?” Kelly asked. He did not answer. She heard a soft thump that she guessed was Ken tossing her bag in the trunk and then the sound of the trunk closing. A moment later Steven was driving away, following the circle drive at the front of the house and then back towards the gates. Not that Kelly could see where they were going. “Your body guard is waving.” Kelly raised a hand above the window that she could not see out of and hoped Ken saw her farewell wave. She asked Steven a few questions, but he was not forthcoming on answers so she gave up soon enough. They spent an hour driving in what Kelly thought was an uncomfortable silence, made worse by the fact being unable to see where they were going made her feel a little car sick. Finally they stopped, Steven parking the car in a garage that, by the sound of things, was near the airport. He opened the door but did not help her out. It was easier to get out than to get in, and she slid down to the ground, glad she had worn jeans instead of a skirt. He was waiting, holding out her small, overnight bag. It looked tiny in his hands. She took it, noting his overnight bag would have been a duffle bag were she carrying it. She should have asked for a definition of ‘pack light’ because it was possible she could have brought more stuff. He led the way, probably taking shorter steps, but she still had to jog to keep up. They did not go into the main terminal, but circled around out to where the private aircraft flew from. The silver, private jet that sat on the tarmac seemed huge to Kelly, obviously sized to giants. The waiting attendant, a pretty woman probably around 9 feet tall, had to help her up the boarding steps, and into the plush, leather seats. She was nice enough, but spent a little too much time telling her where the bathroom was an encouraging her to ask if she needed any help. “These are leather seats after all,” she finished off with. Steven sat himself and showed no interest in the attendants conversation with Kelly. Not long after, faster than any commercial flight she had been on, they were in the air, climbing. The captain, a calm sounding woman, announced when they had reached their cruising altitude. The attendant came back, asked if they wanted anything. Steven asked for a whisky and water. “A gin and tonic,” Kelly said. The attendant looked towards Steven. “Get her what ever she wants,” he told her. “Thank you,” she said to Steven. He did not answer. A short time later the attendant came back with their drinks and a booster seat. “This will make you more comfortable,” she explained to Kelly. Kelly suspected the sunken plastic seat which would hold an accident would make the attendant feel more comfortable about the safety of the leather seats. “Is the only way I get my drink is if I sit on that?” Kelly asked. “You’re so cute,” the attendant answered. Kelly let the woman set up the booster seat. It actually was a little more comfortable and gave her a better view around her. Finally she could enjoy her drink. Being on the flight to Monaco, drinking a gin and tonic, reminded her of the last time she had seen Amelia. “This is where you are going to live?” Kelly asked. “What’s wrong with it?” Amelia asked back. “Its kind of, well, old, drab, out in the middle of nowhere, there is a blacksmith on the first floor… I mean you might as well have stayed back home in butt fuck nowhere and worked fixing farmers’ computers.” Amelia shook her head. “This is much better. Great internet connection and no giants.” “Cause every giant is gonna try to grab you.” “They are.” Kelly shook her head. “Listen, why don’t you put that crazy idea aside and get a new crazy idea. You could be a cat lady. This place looks perfect for a crazy cat lady.” “You’re pretty lippy for someone coming to ask for money.” Kelly laughed and hugged Amelia. “You know I’m just bustin’ your adorable chops.” “I have chops?” Kelly smiled. “Okay, I can give you forty thousand dollars.” Kelly blinked. “I was only asking for ten, and I felt guilty about that.” Amelia shrugged her small shoulders. “I’m actually pretty well off. Had some good paying work in college. And if I give you this much you have to ask fewer people for the rest. I’ll feel better. “Cashiers check okay?” Amelia asked as she produced the slip of paper. “That’s great Amelia, I mean… I don’t know what to say.” “Just tell me you’ll be safe. I can’t believe you are still doing this gambling, and around giants.” “Don’t worry. I got Ken around, keeping any grabby people away.” “He’s still with you?” “You sound surprised.” “I thought he would be in prison by now.” “Not nice Amelia,” Kelly said, angry and showing it. Amelia took a step back. “Sorry.” “He’s a good guy. We take care of each other.” “Are you…” “What? With Ken? No. He’s not my type and I’m not his. He still calls me Miss Fortuna most of the time.” “Well, I’m glad then.” Kelly walked to the window, looked out over the mostly squat, old buildings. “Still, you went to that fancy college. Why aren’t you working for some big company in a nice office?” “You know why.” Kelly looked back at her friend and shook her head. “Amelia, you can’t hide away. You got to spread your wings, like me.” Amelia did not answer. Kelly sighed. “Fine. Any place around here where we can get a drink? We’ll toast our reunion and my guaranteed success at the tournament.” “There is a bar close by. The bartender is a weird blind guy but he makes a good gin and tonic. Do you really think you are going to win?” she asked as she walked to the door. “I am going to try, but the sure money is on the side bets that Ken will be making.” “Side bets?” She opened the door to the hallway. “That I win the hand. Those odds are always going to be long, so I don’t even have to win the tournament to pay back all my loans and get enough money to buy my house.” She followed Amelia out of the apartment. “You’re going to buy a house?” Amelia closed and locked her door. “Yeah, got my eye on one in a nice neighbourhood.” “I hope you get it. Oh, in case you need some computer help, my card.” Amelia produced a plain, white business card from her pants pocket. Kelly took it. “Emily Black? Why did you change your first name?” “There might be some people from college who would look for Amelia Black. No one is ever going to look for Emily Black.” Kelly was startled out of her thoughts when Steven asked, “You looked over those files from the FTP site?” Kelly took a sip of her gin and tonic. Almost as good as the ones that blind bartender close to Amelia’s place made. “I did.” “What do you think?” “I’ve seen Izzy play before. He’s not as good as he thinks he is, and he pays to play in tournaments like this so he can be around great players. He’ll be the first one out.” “That is what the bookies think.” She nodded. “Lyle Redmond is good, but not as good as he thinks he is, and I am pretty certain he is never going to consider me a threat, even if I were to win every hand. He won’t believe that I can bluff him and he’ll assume he can always bluff me. A man more dismissive of littles I don’t think I have ever seen.” “Be careful around him. Apparently he is thinking of adding another little girl to his nursery.” “Some people want big families I guess, but I’m not worried Daddy. You’ll be there to protect me.” “Daddy?” He sounded shocked. Kelly looked over at him. “That’s part of Ken’s job, to make a pretence of being in loco parentis.” “I’ll have someone else take care of that. While you are playing we don’t know each other.” She was a little surprised but said, “Fine.” “Continue.” “No idea about Charles Wright, he is sort of an unknown. Even the stuff you gave me did not tell me anything.” “What does that mean?” Kelly had thought about it. “He’s either an unknown ringer, or he is someone who’s been prepped for this, in hopes he will be good enough. If the former he is a threat and if the later I expect him to drop out soon.” “When will you know?” “First few hands probably.” “And Conrad?” “I don’t know if I can beat him.” “The entire purpose of you being here is to beat him.” “I know, but he’s good. I watched those videos you sent me and was never able to tell when he was bluffing. It might be better if I am in the same room as him, but I think it will come down to skill and maybe a little luck.” “I don’t like counting on luck.” “And yet you sought out me.” He frowned, then shook his head. “You’re skilled and you are unexpected. Those will be of benefit. That is why I brought you into this.” “I plan to win,” she told him. “I’m glad otherwise I’d have to find someone else.” They talked a while longer about the four players they knew, but it was a conversation quickly exhausted. Afterwards it was just polite, filler conversation, and little of that. Steven started flirting with the attendant and she was quick to start flirting back. Kelly slept for a bit, in her reclined chair, and when she woke she saw Steven was gone. Soft moans from the back of the plane suggested as to where he and the attendant were. She squirmed for a bit, picturing what was happening. She almost got up to go and peep, but decided against it. It would just arouse her all the more with little option of release. So she closed her eyes and went back to sleep.
  20. The sun was still minutes away from raising as the sedan crossed the bridge, leaving the city behind for the suburbs. Kelly leaned her face against the cool window, looking out over the water. “Gots any other games coming up?” Ken asked from up front. “Nothing soon, and nothing needed, not after tonight’s win. Gordo has probably got another ten thousand buy in coming up in two months. We could fly out to Vegas in a week or two, see how I can do at the tables.” “Sounds good Miss Fortuna.” Ken asked nothing else, and Kelly closed her eyes, enjoying the sensation of cool glass under her cheek. She did not open them until she felt the car slow and turn. She owned a nice house in the suburbs, not huge, but it had a good sized yard and privacy. Most of her neighbours were giants, but they never bothered her. Not with Ken and his smashed in nose and huge hands around. When they entered the house Kelly asked, “Going to do anything Ken?” “Just watch some TV, until I falls asleeps.” “See you later then,” she told him, and started up the stairs, which were just a little too high for her. The house had been sized for taller inbetweeners or smaller giants. Kelly could move about it, but it all seemed large to her, and she had never got used to it. She took a long, hot shower in the too big glassed in shower stall. Then, with a towel wrapped around herself, padded into her too big room where she had to use step stool to get onto her giant scaled queen sized bed. It was far too big for her, but she loved all the space. Closing her eyes she took in some long, deep breaths. She just wanted to sleep all day. She turned over, burying her face in the big pillow. It smelled fresh. The maid had been in yesterday, so it would be two days before she came back. No one would be knocking on her door, asking her if she was in. She hated being woken like that. Hugging her pillow tight to herself she laughed softly. She had made fifty-thousand dollars that night. Like Robert has said, she usually went a little mad when the pots got huge and the games were near their end points. She loved betting hight, she loved bluffing. Always she made sure to get back her initial stake and about half of that on top of it. Once that was secure she just wanted to play. She had lost small fortunes, one case a large one. She had won them as well. No matter what she always had enough to pay back her debts. Flipping over onto her back, flinging out her arms and legs she thought back to the first person who had ever set her up with a stake. “Amelia,” she whispered, a smile on her lips. “What do you need the money for Kelly,” Amelia asked. Kelly looked down at Amelia. She had to. Amelia was a little who was not quite four feet tall, with long, blonde hair, and beautiful blue eyes and a sweet voice that sounded like it should be singing the ABC song. Kelly never said it, but when she was with Amelia she understood why some of the giants wanted to baby littles. What she did say was, “I’m joining in the poker game that Dummy Diane’s father runs out behind his warehouses.” Amelia’s eyes went comically wide. “Are you insane?” “Maybe. Probably not.” “Diane and her clique of mean girl amazons are bad enough, but her father is a total monster.” “Come on Amelia, no more of this ‘all giants will put a little back in the nursery’ stuff. You are beginning to sound like a crazy person.” Amelia frowned. Kelly thought it looked like she was pouting and it was so darn cute. “Well,” Amelia said, “they won’t even let a little play.” “Littles have played before. You pay the stake and they let you in.” “Did any of those littles ever win?” “Well, not sure about that.” Amelia gave her a hard state. “Hey,” Kelly put up her hands defensively. “I’m not stupid. I got this worked out. I got back up.” She used her thumb to point behind her. Across the football field, near the fence that surrounded the school ground, an inbetweener was leaning against a tree. Amelia shaded her eyes. “Is that,” she paused, “Ken Dorchess?” “That is him.” “They kicked him out of school.” Her pure voice sounded alarmed, it was, as many things about Amelia were, cute. “I heard they were going to send him to prison.” Kelly shook her head. “School yard gossip. He’s a decent guy. Likes money, likes fighting, makes a great body guard.” “But, Mr. Combine and the others, most are giants.” “Ken’s like a rattle snake. Sure, a rattle snake might be smaller than you, but it is all bad temper and poison. Do you really want to hit it?” Amelia shook her head. She pulled an envelope out of her pocket and held it out to Kelly. “Two thousand dollars.” Kelly took the envelope. “Thanks Amelia.” She bent at her knees to lower herself so she could hug the other girl tight. “And don’t worry,” she said into Amelia’s ear. “You’ll get all this back and half again.” “I don’t care about the money stupid,” Amelia told her. “I just want you back safe. I don’t want to see you end up in a nursery.” Kelly released her and took a step back. “Why Miss Black, I do think you love me.” Amelia blushed, then shook her head. “Just shut up and go.” Kelly laughed and turned, striding confidently across the empty football field, overgrown with summer grass. “Good luck Kelly!” Amelia yelled from behind her. Kelly turned and gave her a wave. A loud thumping sound woke Kelly from her half remembrances and dreams. She crawled across her bed and then stepped down onto the footstool. There was another thump. Was Ken moving furniture around or something? She grabbed a t-shirt and pulled it on, leaving her room and walking to the stairs. At the top she found herself looking down at a scene that she could not comprehend immediately. It took her a few seconds to sort it all out. Ken was down there, in a fight, with a giant, a man who was nearly twice his height. Ken swung one of his big, hard hands out in a wild haymaker. Kelly had seen that punch catch giants just as big, right in the gut or the groin, drop them. However this giant turned, just enough, and dropped his hand, knocking the punch aside as he moved behind Ken and kicked the inbetweener in the back of the knee. Ken stumbled forward a step, but his knee did not fold, Straightening he drove the back of his head hard against the man. Ken had experience fighting giants, the giant on the other hand seemed at somewhat of a disadvantage against his smaller opponent. Or at first Kelly thought. It was only a few seconds later, after the two had exchanged a few more attacks and counter attacks that Kelly realized two things. The giant was going out of his way not to hurt Ken too badly, and he was also doing his best to keep the noise of the fight down. As if he did not want to be disturbed. Kelly ran down the hall, to her room, found her phone among her clothing. She stared incredulously at the screen and the fact that she had no bars. Letting her phone drop into the pile of her clothes she ran across the hall, to a room that served as something of an office, and where she had a landline. On picking up the phone she discovered there was no dial tone. Whatever was happening it was no simple home invasion. She ran back to the top of the stairs where she watched the final moments of the fight. The two were on the ground, the giant had his legs wrapped around Ken’s throat, one of Ken’s arms in a lock. Ken was struggling, hard, but every second those struggles got weaker and weaker. The giant was choking the life out of him. Then Ken went still. The large man shifted around, onto his knees, pulled something from the pocket of a ripped sports coat. He secured Ken’s hands behind his back and then looked up at where Kelly stood. “He will be okay,” the man said in a surprisingly smooth baritone. “Bruises and sprains. Please don’t try to run away.” Kelly spun in place, thinking to do just that, but then she wondered where she would go. Climbing out of the window on the second floor was just going to leave her standing on a ledge with a drop that would probably break her leg. Likely some of her nosy neighbours would call family services if they saw her climbing out a window. She turned back, saw the big man lifting Ken onto his shoulder. “I can promise you that this is not whatever you think it is. We need to talk.” He walked away, towards the living room from where she could hear the sound of the TV. Kelly nearly fell as she rushed down the stairs, towards the front door. Pulling open the door she discovered an inbetweener man there. She recognized him from the poker game. “Please, just go back into the house,” he told her. Behind her she could hear the heavy footsteps of the giant. The inbetweener smiled at her and then pushed the door closed. Kelly turned slowly. The giant man stood at the end of the entry hall. She noticed his head was close to the ceiling. He had taken off his jacket, wore a sweater and a pair of dark jeans, a shoulder holster quite obvious without his jacket. “I would like to talk to you Miss Fortuna.” Kelly found her voice. “Why?” He looked at her, frowned. Perhaps not used to explaining himself to littles. A lot of the giants were like that. “I need your skills as a gambler.” “Excuse me?” He turned and walked away, deeper into the house. Kelly followed. In the living room Ken lay on the couch, still out, looking as comfortable as a man who was trussed up could. “I gave him something to keep him out,” the big man said as he took a seat in a chair too small for him. The windows shades were back, and the room well lit with the raising sun. Kelly got her first good look at the man. Short, dirty blonde hair, cut neat, pale blue eyes, fair skin. He had a strong, straight nose and a strong chin. It was a very handsome face. And his build, suggested strong, lean muscles, an athlete. Her cell phone had been jammed, her land line cut or interfered with, and this man was armed. What’s more was that she realized that had that man wanted to hurt Ken, or had been willing to make more noise, it would not have even been a fight. She had not known giants like that existed. It was the first time she felt at a loss, that the easy confidence that she could get through life completely on her own terms was somehow misplaced. Maybe Amelia had not been so crazy, not if there were more giants like this. Kelly shook her head angrily in a silent denial. “Who are you?” “You can call me Steven, Mr. Artimage where formal address is required.” Kelly took a seat, choosing one of the smaller chairs so she did not have to climb into it. “What do you want Mr. Artimage?” “As I said, I need your skills as a gambler, as those are skills I lack.” “I don’t understand.” He said nothing for a few seconds. “There is a man I need to get to. That man is a gambler. Currently my best way to get to him in the manner I wish is to keep him from winning a high stakes poker game. I need you to play in this game, to beat him. It does not matter if you win in the end, as long as he loses.” “What game? Where?” “The ‘Cartes D'or Triomphantes’ in Monaco.” Kelly sat back in her chair. For a moment she felt as if she could not breathe. “You know of it?” Again the angry shake of her head. “Of course I know of it. The game has a twenty-million Euro buy in.” “I’ll cover it.” “You’ll cover it? Just like that?” “Just like that.” “It’s invitation only.” “I have an invitation, it is yours.” “They don’t let littles play!” “They don’t offer littles invitations. And who would give one to them? But if you show up with an invitation and the buy in they will let you play.” “Why me? Why are you here?” “Four years ago you played in the Cartes D'or Petites.” She nodded. “By all accounts you should have won, but apparently you…” “Chased rainbows.” “Yes, that is how they described it. You bet high and bluffed often.” “I enjoyed it.” “I am not surprised. Littles tend to lie.” She looked up at him, wondering if he was trying to pick a fight. He looked back at her with a ‘matter of fact’ expression. When Kelly did not say anything else he continued, “I will need you to put that aside. You won’t be playing this game for fun.” “What do I get if I win?” “I’ll pay you five million dollars.” “That’s a fraction of the pot,” she said. “It’s not your money that is providing the stake.” “And if I don’t win, but knock your boy out of the tournament? What then?” “A free round trip to Monaco and a generous per diem.” “That’s it?” “Adults don’t reward failure Miss Fortuna.” Real nice, she thought, but said, “Fine.” “You didn’t ask about the third option.” “That’s because it is not relevant.” He smiled. “Who is it you want me to beat?” “A man named Conrad Revel.” “The same Conrad Revel that won the Cartes D'or Triomphantes last year?” “The same. Does that scare you?” “Are you,” she almost said stupid but went with, “kidding? A chance to play in a tournament with someone like him? If you’re not jerking me around I look forward to it.” “I assure you Miss Fortuna that I am not playing some elaborate hoax.” “Why do you want Revel to lose?” “That is need to know Miss Fortuna.” “Is this something illegal?” He smiled. “You are just playing in a poker tournament. What could be illegal in that?” “Nothing I guess.” “You have a valid passport?” She nodded. “Yes.” “Can you travel tomorrow?” “Tomorrow? But…” “Yes or no?” It was not a tone that brooked explanations of the need to cancel newspaper delivery and arrange someone to pick up the mail. “Yes,” she said, and wondered if even as the words left her mouth she would regret it. He stood, picked up his jacket from where he hung it. From a pocket he produced a business card and held it out to her. In her hands it was more a playing card than the business card it looked when he held it. “My contact information. On the back is the address of an FPT site, a username and password…” he paused and looked down at her. “You understand what those are?” “Yes, I know,” she told him, tone exasperated. “Good. You can download what information I have on the confirmed players. Look at it all.” He put on the jacket. “I will be here tomorrow at 9am. Be ready to go. Pack light.” She was about to ask what ‘pack light’ meant when he pulled a knife from his pocket, flicked it open, and moved towards Ken. “Wai…” she started, certain he was about to kill Ken, so there would be no witnesses, but instead, quickly, he cut the bounds that held him. “What?” he looked over his shoulder at her. “Nothing, I just sneezed.” He looked doubtful but said, “9am tomorrow,” as he folded the knife up and returned it to his pocket. “9am,” she repeated. “Packed light.” “Packed light,” she agreed, sighing. He left her there. Kelly looked at the card. Neat lettering, Steven Artimage, Vice President Green Imports, London England. There was a phone number, an email address and a web site URL. She flipped the card over. In neat, cursive script was the ftp site and the credentials. She sat back in her chair, wondering what she had gotten herself into. But, to play in the Cartes D'or Triomphantes… It was worth whatever trouble she ran into.
  21. Is is supposed to be a standard bike, but was not getting the wheels to look right, so I posted what I had. Gald you like it.
  22. I did not like Sylvia in that I would want to be her friend, but I appreciated her part in the story and that I felt some empathy for her in how she ended up. Though it seems more likely she acted out of jealousy than love. Nice job.
  23. Here's something I wanted to try. I could not get a handle on the mechanics of the bicycle, but here's the start.
  24. Games of Chance Games of Skill by Inku Hime Back room of a bar, cases of liquor and glassware stacked against the wall or upon the shelves. In the middle of the room space had been made for a card table which sat upon the bare concrete floor. Above the table an extra set of fluorescent lamps cast harsh white light down on the card players. Seven people, six of them firmly in category of inbetweeners, one of them, at a sliver over five feet, a little. The little was a fine featured woman, with long brown hair and soft golden brown skin, dressed in a flattering little-black-dress. There were a few other people standing around the room, or sitting on cases of booze, watching the game, acting as runners if anything was needed, and those that called the game’s results to bookies. People would bet on anything. Three of those at the table still had cards and chips, and therefore were still playing. The little was one of them. Three watched, one time players that had gone bust but could not pull themselves from the table. One, a woman in a suit, was the dealer. The little had her two hold cards, and four face up. Two aces, a two and a five were showing. Another of the players, an older man, dark hair greying, a little doughy, leaned back in his chair, looking at the large pile of chips in front of the little. “About time you start going mad Kelly girl. Bet is to you.” Face up in front of him were two queens, a king and an eight. The little, who had been sorting her chips, looked up. “Is it? Well, I’d rather be loosing having fun than win being bored. I’ll see your two thousand and raise it four.” She pushed six piles of chips into the middle of the table. The furniture was scaled to inbetweeners, so she could sit on the chair with her bare feet on the cold concrete, but had to shift forward to the edge of her seat to slide the chips across the felt of the table’s surface. The third active player, younger, taller, more handsome than any of the men at the table, peeked at his hold cards, as if perhaps they had somehow changed, then called, putting six thousand into the middle of the table. He was showing a jack, a ten, a six and a four. The dealer looked about the active players. A few people moved closer to the table. She burned the top card, putting it aside, face down, then dealt the three players their last card. Kelly got a jack. The young man scowled for a moment, gone when he was next dealt a jack himself. The older man got a second king. He smiled. “Mr. Ivanhoe has the highest showing,” the dealer said. “Bet is to him.” “Eight thousand,” he said, then paused, “if we are all agreed on going over table limits?” He smiled. “Fine with me,” Kelly said, high, slightly burred voice. “Yeah, whatever,” the younger man said. Mr. Ivanhoe pushed the chips forward. “Call and raise sixteen thousand,” Kelly said and moved twenty-four thousand in chips into the middle of the table. “Kelly girl is chasing rainbows,” someone said from the crowd. Someone said into a cell phone, “The little got a jack and has raised.” The pot had grown large in the earlier betting, and the chips on the table represented a small fortune. There had been eight players when the game had begun, long hours before, and the buy in had been ten thousand. The young man, looked between the two players, his gaze passing over Kelly, as if he was discounting her, then holding on Mr. Ambrose for several seconds. He put his chips into the pot. “Call.” The dealer looked at Mr. Ambrose. “Call.” He put the sixteen thousand into the pot. The pile of chips in front of the men were greatly diminished. Kelly had a significant number of chips remaining. She was in for at least another round. “Your cards gentlemen and lady,” the dealer said. The young man moved quickly, turning over another jack and a ten. “Full house, jacks over tens,” the dealer announced. Ambrose, with a smile, gently turned his two cards: A six and a queen. “Full house, queens over kings,” the dealer told all those listening. The young man stared daggers at Mr. Ambrose, and in the crowd who had gathered close someone said, “Lucky Robert’s got a horseshoe up his ass.” There was a soft sound of a pair of cards turning over. “Quite appropriately,” the dealer said, “a baby straight.” Everyone turned to look towards Kelly. She had turned over her hole cards, a three and a four. “You’ve been betting on a straight since the third card?” Robert asked. She smiled. Kelly stood up, looked at the scant number of chips that remained in front of the two men. “Thing about chasing rainbows is that eventually you catch one.” She slipped her feet into the heels she had earlier kicked off. “I am going to cash out. A good evening to you all.” “Wait a second,” the tall, young man said, standing, reaching for Kelly. A big, knobby hand came down on his wrist. He looked to the hands owner. A man, about six a half feet tall, with a misshapen nose that looked as if it had been broken so many times it no longer knew what shape it should heal into. He was broad across the shoulders, it made him look stocky. Dressed in a suit, bowler hat pulled low on a big, round head, he seemed to dominate the room. The tall man took a step back, or tried to, but the grip on his wrist stopped him. “Yous got a problem?” He had a harsh voice, low, grinding. “Who are you?” the tall man asked, almost stammering. “I’m Kelly’s daddy and I don’ts like it when some mook threatens my baby. Yous got a problem with the game.” “She won.” A few people laughed. “Someone’s gots to win, and mores gots to lose. Maybe you don’ts want to lose to my girl you ought to play in other games.” He released the man’s hand. “Let’s go Kelly girl.” “Yes Daddy,” Kelly said, all smiles as the man in the bowler had put his hand on her shoulder, engulfing a good part of her slim back, and directed her towards the door. Outside was an empty bar, but for a man behind the car counter, counting out money. “Cashing out Mr. Gordo,” Kelly said. “You banked fifteen thousand earlier, and with your winnings,” he sorted through all the money on the table, “sixty-eight thousand, four hundred and twenty-five dollars. House cut is ten percent, I’ll round up that fifty cents in your favour…” “You’re the soul of generosity.” “…which gives you Sixty-one thousand five hundred and eighty-three dollars.” He put the money in the envelope and then handed it to the man in the bowler hat. “Thanks,” he said, putting the bulging envelope into his inside, jacket pocket. It made for a quite obvious bulge in the jacket. “Going to count it?” “I knows you don’ts wants me coming back here if I find it short.” “True.” “Comes along Kelly girl,” he said, grabbing her again, leading her from the bar. “Did I do good daddy?” she asked. He did not answer for a few seconds before saying, “You did okays Kelly girl.” Outside the bar he led her along the dark street, under pools of lamplight, to a black sedan parked on the side of the street, with a number of other cars. The man in the bowler slipped a young man a hundred. “Thanks for watching the cars.” “Thank you,” the man said, stuffing the bill into his ratty jean pockets. He opened the passenger door, let her get in and pulled Kelly’s seatbelt across her, then closed the door and circled to the driver’s side. A few seconds later the engine rumbled and the car pulled away. Kelly sat in the back seat, kicked her heels off, glad she was large enough to not legally require a car seat. At least not while she was in a car sized for inbetweeners. There was a thump as the envelope with all the money landed on the seat beside her. “Yours winnings Miss Fortuna.” “Thank you Ken,” she said, and picked up the envelope, pulling the bills, mostly hundreds, out of it, counting. “You’s got to stops asking me if you done good. Almost started laughing.” She smiled. “Sorry Ken.” She reached under her seat and pulled out a zippered, canvas pouch. “Stop by the bank Ken, I want to drop most of this off in the night deposit box.” Ken made a soft grunt of affirmation. Other players left shortly after Kelly did. No one liked following Ken too closely. One of them, a nondescript man who had lost early in but had remained for the whole game, wandered farther away from bar than the others, walking several blocks, to a better neighbourhood, and a large, well lit, gated parking lot. There were a few cars parked there overnight, one of them a giant sized, red coupe. The man opened the passenger door, had to grab a handhold to pull himself up into the seat. “The little is the one you want,” he said to the giant who sat behind the wheel. The engine started with a purr and the driver pulled out of the spot.
  25. And a cleaned up version with some color.