Chapter Description: After the tumult of the ill-fated dinner party life returns to something tht almost resembles normal. But there are consequences and not all of them are going to be felt by Anna. In an effort to make things up to her husband she decides doing some chores could help.
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Anna was mortified. Everything that had happened had been a disaster, she wanted to disappear forever. Inside her head a voice said that she would be better off just giving in, forget who she was and just be the mindless baby Sallas wanted. For a split second she wondered if she should tell Ryan to send her to Finishing School. It didn’t take her long to abandon those thoughts. It would be like being taken for euthanasia and putting her out of her misery. Her body would remain but her personality would be gone.
The walk home from the nursery was horrible. Anna kept her eyes down but could sense people staring at her. The infantile clothes she wore wasn’t too much different from what a lot of women had to wear but the colours and frills made her very eye-catching. The thick padding between her legs was forcing Anna to waddle awkwardly and Ryan’s pace meant she was having to hurry to keep up.
It was a relief to get out of the public and back to the apartment. Anna couldn’t wait to get out of these clothes and back into her normal stuff. Ryan closed the front door and Anna started to immediately pull the dress off herself.
“Hey! What the hell?” Anna exclaimed as she felt a pair of hands yank the dress back down into place.
Anna turned to look at Ryan who seemed to be utterly full of conflicting emotions. He was so oversaturated with feelings they almost seemed to be flowing out of his pores. It looked very much like he was trying to prevent himself from shouting at her and having another argument. Anna wasn’t sure if he was winning the fight or not.
“Keep those clothes on.” Ryan finally said. His voice was a forced calmness which was worse than if he had been shouting.
“Why?” Anna’s question was immediate.
“You just…” Ryan put his hands up in front of him. The frustration was overflowing him, “Do you know how close I came to losing you today?”
“But everything’s alright… isn’t it?” Anna asked fretfully, “Why do I have to keep these clothes on?”
Anna didn’t like that Ryan didn’t immediately answer.
“They decided you have to go to the nursery every day for the next week.” Ryan stated, “I have to take you in the mornings and pick you up in the evenings.”
“What!?” Anna’s eyes bugged out of her head in horror.
“What did you expect to happen?” Ryan threw his hands in the air brought them down against his side, “You went out alone, you broke the store’s rules, you didn’t tell me where you were going and you apparently wet yourself?”
“I did not wet myself!” Anna shouted indignantly, “I slipped in a puddle!”
“That’s beside the point.” Ryan said, “Do you not understand how serious this all is?”
“I don’t need this argument again.” Anna said as she waved a dismissive hand in front of her. She was having flashbacks to their last shouting match, “Now could you help me with this dress and diaper?”
“No.” Ryan replied flatly.
“But…” Anna started.
“You have to keep it all on. Whilst you’re doing this week of punishment you’re going to be kept like that.” Ryan said, “Look, you may not take all this seriously but I’m desperately clinging to the last bit of respect I have left at this college. People know I’ve been soft on you, if I want a career then I need to quash that.”
“Well I’m glad I know where your priorities lay.” Anna muttered bitterly.
“You are my priority.” Ryan replied, “It may not seem like it but it’s true. I’m trying to protect you.”
“I don’t need protecting.” Anna pouted.
“Look, I understand you have problems with male authority figures.” Ryan said as he approached Anna with a little black box on a strap, “But you have to learn that sometimes you need to listen to me. You have to trust that I know what’s best.”
Anna didn’t like what Ryan was saying at all. As much as she fumed at the idea of any man saying they knew what was best for her she still knew he had a point. She had been reckless, dangerously reckless, and was probably lucky that her punishment was as mild as it was.
“What’s the box about?” Anna asked in defeat.
“It’s a tracker.” Ryan replied as he showed the box to Anna. Then pre-emptively added, “Not my idea. The nursery required it.”
Anna nodded a tiny amount as Ryan crouched down in front of her and strapped the device to her ankle. She winced slightly as she felt the strap getting pulled tight and fastened. It felt more like a heavy ball and chain than a lightweight box. With the box attached to her leg Ryan slowly stood up in front of her.
“We can get through this together.” Ryan said as he hugged Anna.
Whether Anna was happy about it or not that was the end of the matter. For the next week she would have to wear the baby clothes and use the diapers, Ryan was keen not to have people talking and Anna could see his point. Thanks to their mishaps they hadn’t exactly kept as low of a profile as they had hoped after all. They would be living as if they were any other couple in Sallas. Ryan promised it was just for the week and Anna believed him.
Dread would be the word Anna would use to describe her feelings when she woke up the next morning. She rolled over and felt the thick padding parting her thighs, it was both familiar and yet alien. It had been a while since she had been used to this. Ryan was still asleep but Anna could see that the alarm would soon be going off on the small clock on the bedside table.
It was a Monday morning which seemed to only add to the gloom Anna felt. She laid down on her back and looked up at the ceiling. She wished she could just put her body on autopilot and go on a mental holiday for a week. Let all this embarrassment happen and then wake up on the other side.
Anna needed to pee. Normally she would get out of bed and head straight for the bathroom but that wasn’t the plan for this week from hell. As much as her potty training had taken away her reliance on diapers her body still remembered how to use them. As soon as she felt the need to go in her bladder her body started to relax. She hated that her muscle memory was still strong.
Anna closed her eyes as she felt her urine burst into the waiting diaper. She sighed in annoyance as the waiting padding greedily absorbed her pee. The warmth spread down between her legs and spread over her rear end, the heat tickled her skin and she shifted position. Her knee knocked into Ryan who woke up with a start.
“Sorry.” Anna said as she looked across at her husband.
“It’s… OK.” Ryan said with a yawn.
It looked like Ryan was debating whether to get up or go back to sleep for a few seconds before he rubbed his eyes. When he saw the time he pushed himself up into a sitting position. Anna watched him, she imagined what it would be like if the roles were reversed. If she had been the one with the bright future and career. She liked to think she would be as good to Ryan as he was to her but a nagging voice knew that there was just no way to know. She didn’t know why she was going down this rabbit hole, she assumed it was her brain trying to distract her from the immediate future. There was just no way for her to know if she really was Ryan’s priority.
“We had better get up and get ready.” Ryan said as he swung his legs sideways off the bed. He slept naked and as he stood up Anna got a good look at her husband’s body.
Anna rolled out of bed herself and when she stood up, naked except for her diaper, she saw Ryan admire her the way she admired him. She felt a little bashful but that turned to outright embarrassment when she saw his eyes fix on her diaper and the obvious change in the wetting indicator.
“We should get you changed before…” Ryan trailed off.
“How are we going to do that?” Anna asked, “I know you want everything to be authentic.”
“I think you can change and get yourself ready.” Ryan conceded, “I think we can assume no one is spying on us in the bedroom.”
“I wouldn’t put it past them…” Anna mumbled as Ryan pulled on a pair of boxer shorts and left the room.
Anna went about her morning routine as if it was her last day before being taken to the gallows. It certainly felt that way. She removed her wet diaper and went for a shower. The temptation was to lock the bathroom door and stay under the water forever but the consequences for doing that would be a lot worse. She forced herself to step out of the shower and dry herself off. Then it was back into the bedroom for a fresh diaper.
Anna had to stop herself as she opened the closet door to take out some clothes. She wouldn’t be able to wear those for the next week. With shoulders slumped forwards she walked out of the bedroom and down to the nursery. Ryan had unlocked it last night with the anticipation it would be in use a lot for the next week.
Walking straight over to the closet Anna pulled it open to reveal the toddler clothes inside. She wasn’t sure how to pick an outfit when she found them all equally humiliating and reprehensible. In the end she settled for a pink t-shirt and a blue denim skirt that had straps that went over her shoulder. When she looked at herself in the mirror she found that the skirt just barely covered her diaper.
When Anna walked she crinkled loudly. It was noisy enough that when she went into the living room Ryan looked around from the kitchen. Anna felt very awkward.
“You look…” Ryan started.
“Don’t.” Anna replied.
Anna knew her husband was just trying to help but right now she didn’t want to talk about anything that was happening. She sat at the dining table and Ryan brought over a couple of bowls of cereal for himself and Anna. They ate in silence.
Anna remembered feeling like this before having to go to school as a child. The morning was always full of dread before she was dropped off at the school she hated. She had always been so jealous of the boys who got to learn “normal” and interesting subjects whilst she was stuck being trained for a life of servitude. She was cursed with the knowledge that things had been so much better before she ended up stuck in Sallas. She remembered learning math and history and a whole host of other things that she found interesting.
Breakfast was tasteless to Anna. She had to force herself to eat and even then could only manage half the meal. When she stood up Ryan did the same, he was dressed to go to his classes and a look at the clock told her that her time was up.
Without saying a word to each other Anna and Ryan got ready. Anna’s harness was clipped on to her and Ryan held the leash in his other hand. A pacifier was placed between Anna’s lips and the only thing about her that didn’t look like a little girl was the monitor strapped to ankle. They put their shoes on and finally Anna walked out of the apartment with Ryan right behind her. She kept her head bowed low as they walked back to the administration building and the nursery.
“It’ll be OK.” Ryan whispered as they went down the hallway to the door, “Just keep your head down and in a week we can go back to normal.”
“That’s easy for you to say…” Anna replied quietly.