Chapter Description: With their journey at an end Anna and Ryan arrive at college. Anna feels lost as she enters something entirely unknown and alien to her. As the married couple reach their accomodation Anna finds someone in a very similar position to herself.
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The college campus started appearing into view and Anna had to marvel at its size. This wasn’t just any old college, it was clearly quite prestigious as it was spread over a large open area and looked absolutely gorgeous. Anna felt intimidated just from looking at it, it looked like a little town and even from a distance she could see a lot of activity.
“Here.” Ryan said suddenly, “You had better take this.”
Anna had jumped at Ryan’s voice. She had been staring so intently at the growing college campus that she had almost forgotten where she was. She turned to see Ryan holding out a pacifier. She took it slowly but frowned, she knew it wasn’t uncommon for women to use them and that went doubly when they were instructed to. She couldn’t help frowning though and she saw Ryan quickly glance her way.
“I’ve heard they are quite strict here.” Ryan said with a shrug.
The ordeal at the truck stop was still fresh in Anna’s mind and Ryan felt like a protector for her. She hated to feel dependent on others, especially when they were men, but right now she just wanted to hide behind her husband. She put the pacifier between her lips and chewed on it nervously as the campus came closer.
There was a small checkpoint set in a large barred fence. The bars towered above the car and as Anna looked out the window she couldn’t help but be reminded of a prison. Ryan slowly rolled the car to a stop in front of a small booth that housed a large man who seemed too large to fit. He was chewing on something as he lazily looked through the window to the car.
“Hi.” Ryan said as he rolled open the window and handed over his paperwork, “Ryan Manning. Starting my first year next week.”
“Do you have a permit for the girl?” The guard grunted as he looked down at the documents he had been given and then down a list of names.
“Yeah, I got permission from the dean.” Ryan said. He shot a quick look at Anna.
Not for the first time in her life Anna felt more like a pet than a person. She had to sit there as the guard examined several pieces of paper before nodding his head.
“Alright, you’re in building seventeen.” The guard said as he handed the paperwork back, “Apartment eight. Make sure you keep her harnessed and under control.”
“Thanks.” Ryan said as he rolled up the window.
Anna was red in the face but continued to suck on the pacifier as the car rolled slowly past the checkpoint. She didn’t appreciate the guard talking to her as if she was some kind of wild animal. As they rolled past the metal fence Anna looked around. There was a lot of green space with paths crisscrossing back and forth across it. A single long road ran down the middle with large buildings off to the sides set back from the road by a fair distance. Each building was connected to the road by smaller roads. The buildings all looked old and grand, the whole place seemed meticulously clean.
There were plenty of people around. Anna estimated that at least ninety-five per-cent of the people she could see were male and most of them were young, many were carrying luggage and moving into their rooms just like she and Ryan were.
As the car trundled down the main street Anna saw restaurants and shops. She was shocked at just how much was on the campus, it really was like a self-contained town and there was very little reason to go off campus. It was clearly meant to be convenient but to Anna it just reinforced the feeling of being trapped.
“I think we’re at the back.” Ryan said as he drove past some signs.
“What did the guard mean?” Anna asked, “Harness?”
“Ah, yes, that’s something I packed.” Ryan said as he drummed his thumbs on the steering wheel, “It’s a rule for women here. You’ll need to be harnessed and kept on reins whilst you’re here, for the most part at least.”
Anna felt sick. She knew that in practice what Ryan was saying meant she would be leashed. She looked out at one of the housing buildings as they passed and she saw exactly what was meant by harness. There was a woman with restraints across her body in an X shape, a leather leash was coming off the back and had been looped around a pole next to a car. Anna shuddered. Tied up like a dog waiting for their master to return.
“This is us.” Ryan said.
The car pulled off the main road and on to a smaller street that was feeding off it. The car stopped in a parking space just outside the front door to the building. It looked like any of the others, it was three stories high and it seemed each apartment had a balcony. It looked nice, a lot better than Anna was expecting if she was honest.
Ryan was the first to step out of the car. Anna slowly stepped out a few seconds later. The loose gravel under her feet shifted as she closed the door behind her and looked around. This was the furthest she had been from her adoptive parents since she had first met them. A part of her wanted to go back home, at least she knew what to expect there.
“You’re going to have to put this on.” Ryan said as he popped open the trunk.
Anna saw Ryan reach into the trunk and then pull out a series of straps. The harness was just like the ones she had seen other girls wearing. Ryan walked towards her with it and she was completely unable to hide her disgust.
“What if I refuse?” Anna asked quietly.
Ryan seemed taken aback. He didn’t respond immediately but instead just held the harness out. Anna quickly looked up at his face and saw that he was looking down at the straps himself, his mouth was half-open. For a second it seemed like Anna’s question had flat out broken his brain. Slowly Ryan licked his lips and then held out the harness a little further.
“Just put it on.” Ryan said.
Anna wanted to push her luck. She was getting the sense that Ryan wasn’t nearly as confident as Harold had been. She thought about just turning around and walking away but the reality was she was terrified. She didn’t know where she was, she didn’t know what was going to happen and if she wondered off alone she knew there was nothing but trouble waiting for her.
With a resigned sigh Anna held out her arms and allowed Ryan to put the harness on her. It was even less comfortable than it looked. The straps were pulled tight, one went across her belly, another over the top of her chest and then there was two straps forming an “X” with the middle in between her breasts. To her annoyance it forced her boobs to stick out much more.
“There. That isn’t too bad.” Ryan said as he buckled the last of the straps.
Anna didn’t respond. The buckles were all halfway up her back so she wouldn’t be able to take it off herself. She tried to adjust it but there was very little give. As Ryan started pulling cases out of the trunk and placing them on the floor Anna contented herself with looking around. She was watching a group of men, probably new students, walking past a little way off. One of the students saw Anna and immediately started catcalling causing his friends to laugh.
As Anna turned away she saw a car turning on to their little block. It rolled slowly past Ryan’s car and then parked next to them. Anna was surprised to see another woman though this one was sitting on the backseat. The driver of the car was a large man who was chewing on some gum as he switched the engine off.
“I’m not going to be able to take all these up in one go.” Ryan grunted as he nearly dropped the last suitcase and closed the trunk, “Wait here whilst I take some of these up.”
“I don’t-” Anna started.
“You’re safe.” Ryan assured his wife, “You’re registered to me. If you go missing they’ll know where to return you to.”
Anna was left guarding the remaining bags as Ryan walked through the doors to the building. She wanted to hide away, after the incident at the truck stop she had to accept the only person she could even remotely trust was Ryan. She sat down on one of the suitcases and tried to adjust the harness again, it was pinching her skin.
“Yo, bitch, I’m going to go register.” The large man said as he looked at the woman he had brought with him, “Don’t you dare get out of that car otherwise that thrashing at home before we left will feel like a relaxing a massage.”
“Yes, sir.” The woman replied.
Anna saw the woman in the back of the car quickly nod her head. She looked scared and couldn’t have been any older than Anna was. The man wandered away, he threw Anna a contemptuous look as he passed and Anna quickly averted her eyes. Once he had walked by she allowed herself to look up again at the woman in the car. At least the guy had left the window open for her Anna thought. As she looked through the window she saw the woman turn and look back at her.
Anna gave a small smile and raised her hand in greeting but the woman in the car quickly looked away as if Anna’s gesture was obscene. Anna felt a swelling of sympathy for the poor woman who looked like she had been thoroughly defeated. There was a burning anger that this pretty young woman should be trampled, Anna knew she should have just as many rights as her husband and yet she was in the minority. She couldn’t remain silent and after a look over her shoulder to make sure this girl’s man was still out of sight she decided to take a step forwards towards the car.
“Hello.” Anna said softly, “I’m Anna.”
The woman in the other car had her eyes wide open as if she was being approached by a wild animal. As Anna got closer she saw that not only was this woman dressed in similarly infantile attire as herself but she was also strapped into a car seat. The straps crossed tightly across her lap and chest.
“What’s your name?” Anna asked.
There was still no response. This woman was acting as if she was blind, death and dumb or as if Anna was just a ghost. Anna wasn’t put off by the lack of response though, if anything it made her more determined to get through to her. Anna looked around, there was still no sign of Ryan or the other man.
“You can talk to me.” Anna said softly, “There’s no one else here. Come on, you’re going to be in the same building as me, we’re neighbours. I just like to know my neighbours names.”
At first it seemed like there was still no response but after a second Anna saw the woman’s eyes dart around and then she looked up. She swallowed hard as she looked at Anna.
“J-Jane.” The woman’s voice was so quiet it felt like a soft breeze would blow the words away.
“It’s nice to meet you, Jane.” Anna said with another smile, “I hope we get a chance to get to know each other.”
Jane’s mouth twitched into a smile for a brief second before her eyes fixed on something behind Anna. The smile disappeared and she looked down at the floor of the car again. Anna was about to ask what was wrong when she felt a hand grab the back of her harness. She yelped as she was yanked backwards away from the car and stumbled back against Ryan’s vehicle.
“Who gave you permission to talk to her?” The man with Jane said angrily.
“I… I…” Anna stuttered as she shrunk under the intense glare of this stranger.
“What are you doing here? You shouldn’t be alone.” The man stepped forwards again and Anna pressed herself back against the car, “Are you lost?”
Anna was panicking. She couldn’t get her mouth to work and she didn’t know what was about to happen. This man was very aggressive and he was now so close she could smell his strong aftershave.
“She’s mine.” Ryan’s voice had never sounded so good to Anna.
Ryan walked over and as he got closer the stranger stepped back a little and looked his way. He held out his hand and after Ryan glanced at Anna, seemingly making sure she was alright, he reached out and shook. The appearance of Ryan only emphasized how scary this other man was, he was tall and thick with arms like tree trunks. Ryan winced as they shook hands, it seemed the man had a strong grip.
“Sorry, I thought she was a runaway.” The man grunted, “I saw her talking to Jane and was concerned. My name’s Paul.”
“Ryan.” Ryan replied, “It’s my fault, I should’ve tied her up or something. Getting used to the whole owning thing.”
“Newly married?” Paul asked with a smirk and a nod, “Me too, learned a lot from my dad though. Mostly that you can’t leave these girl’s alone for a second. You give them an inch and they’ll take a mile.”
Anna looked past Paul’s hulking body as the two men spoke. Jane was still sat in the car looking at the ground obediently, she wished she could go over and talk to her but knew she couldn’t move without permission, Paul seemed like the worst type of man.
“Which apartment are you in?” Paul asked.
“Eight.” Ryan replied, “I was just up there. It looks great.”
“No shit.” Paul chuckled, “Well, I guess we’re neighbours! I’m in seven.”
“Right across the hall.” Ryan smiled, “Well, listen, we’ve got to get unpacked but we should do dinner or something.”
Anna waited for the two men to finish their pleasantries and then helped Ryan with the bags. She was sad that she didn’t get another opportunity to talk to Jane but was soon distracted with having to carry the bags up the stairs. She wasn’t helped by the harness which pinched her skin and made it harder to breathe deeply.