[Reading the earlier chapters will make this one more enjoyable. All characters are over 18.]
Eleanor was pleasantly surprised by how rapidly Goose Cookers could turn her idea into a product and get it to market. She herself jumped into the fray of preparing marketing information and designing the communications strategy. The company had sold women’s sportswear with its trademarked symbol-logo of a grinning goose. Now, plans proceeded to produce a line of women’s underwear.
The line would use the now-famous goose logo but starting with the panties, the logo would be imprinted all over the garment and the design, while sized for adult women, would resemble the cute undies worn by little girls. Eleanor aided the production staff to extend this idea to the line of bras. They too would have the Silly Goose logo but would look like training bras worn by pre-teens, while being made to accommodate the ample busts of fully-grown ladies.
“For the little girl inside every mature woman” was one tagline that the company’s publicity crew was intending to use to launch the ad campaign. Lastly, the new products included camisoles, garter belts, and yes, little socks, that all bore the Silly Goose logo. The Women’s Republic may have been quite serious in placing women in charge, but this didn’t mean, Eleanor thought, and clearly her colleagues agreed, that women didn’t want to let down their hair and act like kids once in a while. Especially young women, Eleanor mused.
Her relationship with Janet also developed nicely. Once she realized that although Janet had taken a lesser title in the company despite her ownership and control, Eleanor treated her as respectfully as possible. The other women in the ruling triad—Toni and Deb—clearly went back a long way with Janet and were her trusted advisers.
Eleanor also deferred to them whenever anything came up that seemed to demand that kind of approach. She understood that having good ideas was one thing—and she had already shown them that she could keep coming up with more—but the people with whom you worked had to like you and respect you, too. She knew that Janet would appreciate her attitude and not regard her merely as some fawning subordinate.
The women had been true to all the promises they had made to entice her into their company. Eleanor had been amazed that they casually told her at that first lunch that she would soon be inducted into the Victoria—the most elite club for professional women in the city. Soon, Eleanor received a letter on thick, cream-colored stationery inviting her to lunch with members of the admissions committee.
When she mentioned this to Deb, the CEO smiled and gave her a run-down on each committee member and how to handle the likely questions without seeming either too coached or too clueless. At the meeting Eleanor was calm and collected. She was aware that her sponsors would carry a good deal of weight but she mustn’t appear too sure of herself.
One question made her start in surprise, although underneath she really was not surprised, given the notoriety she had found through her unfortunate encounter with the court. One somewhat older lady named Margaret smiled as she asked Eleanor whether she felt her “legal problems” might draw unwanted attention to the club should she be admitted.
Eleanor managed to suppress a frown despite her immediate shock at the question. She composed herself quickly and responded, “I’m not at all proud of my behavior that resulted in the court case and the consequent notoriety. That was one reason I came to this city for a new start. I was lucky enough to marry a wonderful partner recently and I have truly found a warm working place with the Goose Cookers. So I feel I have done and will continue to do everything I can to avoid the public eye and bring only credit to myself, my company, and everyone with whom I may be associated.”
It looked like Margaret was satisfied with Eleanor’s answer but Eleanor left the meeting a bit shaken. The committee chair, who was named Agatha, escorted her out and whispered to her that she had done admirably: “I know you were somewhat taken aback by Margaret’s question but I can assure you that everyone wanted it asked and I think we all found your response superb and appropriate, Eleanor.”
Soon, her suspense was ended when another thick, cream-colored letter arrived informing her that she had been elected to membership. That same day, Janet called her in, grinned at her, and told her she was pleased Eleanor had passed muster with the Victoria.
“Don’t let it go to your head, darling,” she kidded her. “They like us there and it would have been harder, probably, to cross us. But I understand you handled them beautifully, too. Thanks for that. You made it easy for us.”
Eleanor was happy. Her home life was also good. Jackson had found a good position as well, not that easy an objective for men in the Women’s Republic. He also understood that his wife, whom he loved as much as she bahis şirketleri loved him, could let out her feelings when she came home, and sometimes that meant he was on the receiving end, actually his rear end was there, of her little marital cane that was always in her handbag.
But their sexual life was wonderful, he conceded to himself. Eleanor was really a hot number in bed, he smiled. He never had enjoyed sex so much and if she wanted to punish him now and again, whether playfully or punitively, he was ready to grin and bear it, literally.
Eleanor did not give her past difficulties much more thought any more. The holes in her labia from the infibulating rings had mostly healed over. She felt no pain and hardly noticed them these days. Thus she was very surprised to read that the husband with whom she had dallied—behavior that had led to her conviction and highly humiliating punishment—had been arrested back in the city where this had all occurred.
Graham had been a looker and it was clear that he resented his wife, Gail, immensely. Gail had not kept in shape, had ballooned in weight, and developed a very annoying attitude. Graham took a liking to this nice girl, Eleanor, in his office and soon they lunched together and then did more than that together.
Gail was not stupid, however, and found out about it and retained highly able counsel to press her complaint. As we have seen, she succeeded in getting Eleanor punished quite severely but then pressed her advantage after Eleanor had served her sentence, resulting in the tables being turned and Gail herself being sentenced to a serious caning, which was certainly not equal to the year’s infibulation that Eleanor had suffered, but was quite a humiliation especially since Eleanor got to witness the imposition.
Eleanor had harbored serious resentment against Graham for good reason—even though this was the Women’s Republic, she had undergone a punishment that involved mutilation of her genitalia while he had gone scot free. Basically, he had disappeared. Gail would not give him the time of day and he had little interest in returning to her anyway. So he left the country for a time and then slipped back under an alias and a beard. As a versatile operator who could work any business, Graham had no trouble getting back in gear, but one day he was spotted by an old friend of Gail’s and soon he was in custody.
The Women’s Republic Transcript, the principal quasi-official paper in the city, called on the prosecutors to subject him to the full force of the law. Less restrained opinion commonly called for castration. Eleanor found herself fending off multiple requests for interviews. The company found her a temporary hideaway apartment, which was nicer than her own, and Jackson joined her there.
Adultery remained a very heinous offense in the Women’s Republic, which held itself to high ideals. Men in particular were suspected of initiating most cases. Graham had the resources to hire an excellent counsel, Ashley, who was an up-and-comer at the litigating and defense bar. She told him he had better plead, because after Eleanor’s experience in court, he could expect nothing but the worst.
“What can they do to me, Ash?” he asked his lawyer in a light vein.
Ashley lowered her voice and began, “Graham, my boy, the least you can expect is chemical castration. Do you comprehend the pressure these judges will be under? They infibulated your co-respondent for a year, sewed up her snatch! You’re lucky if you don’t get physically castrated, and yes, they can do that.”
Meanwhile, the Silly Goose ladies’ lingerie campaign was off to a great start. The company retained a leading teen rock star to model the sexy little girl panties—Sheena was actually 25 years old but she could look like a teen while satisfying the rules against children advertising things like underwear. Her mom, who was all of 46, was of course even better as a model since she was in the bracket at which the whole shebang was aimed. They quickly became known popularly as the Goose Girls and sales boomed.
Eleanor was surprised but hardly shocked when she was subpoenaed to testify at Graham’s trial. Janet urged her to have Valerie fight it and fight it Valerie did. Finally, they travelled back to her old haunts to meet with the prosecutors who wanted her to testify to the basic facts. Valerie prepared her well and she rather blandly told them that they might not want to have her testify. When one young prosecutor, a woman who was but six months out of law school, told her they would be the judges of that, she went on in the same dead tone: “Well, you see, he was never actually married to Gail, only I didn’t know that back then. But now I have had the resources to find that out. And obviously you didn’t know that. I have a feeling you don’t want me on the stand.”
The young prosecutor, Doris by name, blanched. She immediately realized that she was speaking to a woman who had been wrongly convicted and horribly punished bahis firmaları for something that technically was not a crime.
Valerie picked up the theme. “Of course, you can call her and that’s what she’ll say and then we’ll file the civil suit against the Republic and you can bet we’ll prevail, no matter what anyone thinks,” she said in a very clear, calm but stern tone. “And you’ll have the pleasure of seeing him go free and clear.”
No one wanted this to come out. The conference ended with a hand signal from the Chief Prosecutor, Edna, to Valerie. A motion was quietly filed to quash the subpoena. The charges against Graham were not dropped because they had never been officially filed, because the prosecutors, wisely it turned out, wanted to hear from Eleanor first to cement their case. Only they, she, and Valerie thus knew that they never would be filed.
Edna knew that she would have to head off the media’s relentless pursuit of a guilty verdict against Graham. She would pass the word to the publisher of the Transcript to spike any stories without explaining it. The alternative, she said, was what no one really wanted—to have the whole system dragged through the mud because Gail had never been cross-examined about the status of her marriage, or non-marriage, as it turned out to be. Also, she added, Eleanor could easily win a major judgment and would only hold off because she wanted no more public attention now that she had established herself in business.
They did not inform Graham’s counsel, Ashley, either and she wondered what was going on. Finally, Edna slipped the facts to her and could see the look of surprise on her face. “I bet he was going to save that for the courtroom,” Ashley declared to her, violating her own requirement to keep her thoughts about her client to herself.
“We all owe a lot to Eleanor,” Edna said, “and I’m not sure how she will ultimately be compensated, but I intend to make sure she is treated properly. If I were you, I would advise your client to take his ill-gotten resources and clear out, because I wouldn’t want to be responsible for him if this ever gets out.”
Hearing from Ashley that he was not in danger of prosecution (although she told him she could not disclose the source of her information), Graham smiled, wrote out a substantial check above her invoice to date, and proceeded to assume a different alias because he did not want to leave what had been his home. He had the resources to change his identity and obtain some plastic surgical assistance to complete the job.
Eleanor observed what went on from afar, from her nice new office in another city, the one to which she had moved and already become successful. She was not vengeful, despite her humiliation and the actual pain and suffering she had undergone because of the lies or failure to tell the truth by Gail and Graham.
She consulted Valerie, actually discussing the case with her on the train ride back to her new home. Valerie told her she figured she could negotiate a major settlement. Eleanor smiled, because she would enjoy the security that that kind of huge sum would ensure. Then she let her other side show, in a rare display.
“Valerie, I want to get back at those holier-than-thou bitches on the bench who did it to me,” she said in a low tone. “They never reviewed the file and looked for the basic facts. I could give a crap about Gail, who was and is a pig and was at least caned in my presence for her later offenses. Can we do something to them?”
Her veteran lawyer was slightly amazed by this remarkable turn in her client’s demeanor. “If you file a complaint,” she said, “they are likely protected by the statutes even for malfeasance, and you will also get the publicity you don’t want.”
“Right,” Eleanor went on, with confidence, “but maybe I don’t care now because this will show I was wrongly convicted.”
“True,” Valerie said, “but you still did it, even if you were technically not guilty. Most people won’t see you as some innocent virgin, my dear.”
“Would this coming out be enough to roust them from the bench?” Eleanor asked. “After all, they clearly did not assure themselves that the elements were proven. And there’s no jury to lay it off on, even if they could.”
“I might not be very popular, true, if this came out,” Eleanor rejoined, “but they could find themselves in deep doodoo. I think they have more to lose than I do.”
Valerie urged her to consult Janet, for whose judgment she had great respect. She also expected that Janet would hold commercial interest highest in her mind and convince Eleanor that the company would not benefit from this kind of publicity just as the major campaign was underway.
Eleanor agreed to follow that course. Valerie was satisfied that she had fulfilled her professional obligations, but hoped Janet would make Eleanor respond to reason. Yet the veteran lawyer knew that Eleanor was right. The judges had not properly reviewed the evidence, or the whole matter would kaçak bahis siteleri have been dismissed. She also feared for Eleanor, because the technical insufficiency of the case made Eleanor an adulteress in reality rather than in fact or law.
Edna sent a brief note to Chief Judge Dianne, advising her that she needed to meet promptly with her, and Judges Lesley and Margaret. Requests for such ex parte meetings with the Chief prosecutor were rare, and likely would not be granted, because such contacts were normally improper. But Edna was given the courtesy of an audience, since the judges knew she would not make such a request lightly.
She put on her darkest suit and entered the august chambers of the Chief Judge. Dianne and the two other judges who had convicted Eleanor and sentenced her as well were sitting on a couch, dressed in light summer suits.
“Your Honors, we have a problem,” Edna began. “It is a problem for me and my office, I will note, but it is even more a problem for you.”
No one interrupted her, although there were looks of incredulity.
“I know you all recall Eleanor,” Edna went on, “and I have to inform you that neither my office nor you noticed at the time that the prosecutrix was in fact not married to the co-respondent. We are not liable for civil judgment but you in particular could well be put through extremely embarrassing removal proceedings should she file a complaint, and my office will certainly also be embarrassed. We have dismissed the prosecution pending against the co-respondent. He is now untouchable, because of course of the technical situation. We need to determine what to do for Eleanor.”
“What do you think will satisfy her?” Dianne inquired, as the other two judges sat now on the edge of the couch with worried miens.
“She does not need money, so will likely forego civil action,” Edna responded. “She has become well established in an exciting business and I suspect the company will persuade her that any publicity would be harmful to them and thus to her.”
“We need to do something that will show her personally in the most personal way that we regret what happened and our part in it,” Judge Lesley said. “She knows we don’t want this to come out and even if her company wants it suppressed, we need some closure or we will be walking on eggshells forever.”
“I think you are going overboard,” Judge Margaret interrupted. “If she doesn’t want this out, what do we have to worry about?”
“I’m afraid this is personal,” Edna responded calmly. “She is in a position to embarrass us, and remember how terribly she was embarrassed and physically hurt by what happened. Sometimes it’s worse when the person doesn’t need the money.”
Dianne looked up with a slight grin on her face. “I have an idea,” she posited. “The woman who runs her company is a genius, a genius with whom I went to university and in fact, was and am a sorority sister. Only for that reason can I contact her about this.”
“Under the circumstances,” Edna picked up on the point immediately, “I feel the Chief Judge should proceed as suggested. Do you all concur?”
Two other heads nodded assent.
Later that day, Janet was just about to leave the Vic after a very special occasion. She had been present for Eleanor’s initiation into the exclusive society. It had been a very emotional moment for Eleanor, because initiation into this club was not very routine. Eleanor almost declined, until not only Toni and Deb, but Janet convinced her to go ahead with it.
The ceremony involved her appearing before the three chief officers with her sponsor, who was Deb. The initiate then was expected to lift her white gown, lower her white panties (Eleanor was specifically told that she must not wear Silly Goose underwear), and recline face up and pudendum bared on the council table. Then the Senior Decana would approach her and using a very small razor, soap her bush up and shave a small “V” into her hairy triangle on her mons.
Eleanor had not exposed her pussy in public since the removal of the infibulating rings and was not about to subject herself to anything resembling the horrible punishment now. But Janet told her they all had undergone it and it would put her in an elite group that would always support her, no matter what.
So Eleanor consented and the initiation occurred without any incident, as Janet had advised the officers of the “special situation” that required their prudential conduct.
After they returned to the office, Janet mentioned to her that she had heard from both Valerie and Chief Judge Dianne.
“I know you feel you have been wronged, darling,” Janet said, “but we have to consider what’s best for you. I’m not concerned for the company as we will be fine no matter what happens. But you do not need the publicity. You would get a huge settlement but I need to know what you want.”
Eleanor realized that Janet understood her. “I don’t want the money and I don’t need it, as you know, in fact, you know the best of anyone,” she said, quietly. “But I want them to do something that shows they are sorry. Sure, I was only technically innocent. But if they had done their job, I would not have been punished the way I was.”