New to Quest Five?
The stories are best enjoyed when read in order beginning with May 1, 2009.

Welcome To Quest Five
Allison Beaumont is having trouble finding a job after college until one day the wealthy and powerful Joseph Candle offers her a job at his rather unusual corporation, where mistakes can lead to bare bottomed spankings. Adopting the alias of Virginia West, she joins four highly skilled colleagues, racing around the globe in search of mysterious treasures, but wherever she goes, trouble is sure to follow.
Note: Some stories contain scenes of a sexual nature, corporal punishment, non-consensual corporal punishment, and strong language which some reader's may find offensive. If you feel this material might be inappropriate for you please move on to another blog by clicking the next blog link at the top of the page.

June 16, 2009

Finding Virginia: Knot In Love

We sat under a canopy on the east side of the main building. We were far enough away from Rick and teams two and four so as not to see them but the occasional yelp could be heard echoing in the distance. I was glad to be sitting after spending my morning in some of the toughest physical exercise of my life. By the way Patricia kept squirming in her seat, I gathered she would rather have stood. Virginia was not sympathetic.

Tanya was standing behind a folding table in front of our two teams. The table had a rather amazing array of items; door locks, padlocks, handcuffs, ropes, chains, a fire box, a file drawer, a bike lock, and a briefcase. It took me a moment to find the common thread between them, mostly because of Patricia’s earlier comment about bondage and some of those items seemed a little inconsistent.

“When you travel into a conflict zone, you may find yourself in the position of a bargaining chip. If that happens you will have to make a choice. Don’t think it will be easy because situations are never as black and white as they appear from the outside. What I will teach you today will give you that choice but no one can teach you how to make that choice.” Tanya said.

I was listening intently. Virginia was bored. The only way she’d ever be a bargaining chip is if there was an advantage in it for her. I guess it’s really the same for me, but the whole idea scares me to death whereas with Virginia it’s just business as usual.

“There are a number ways in which your freedom of movement can be taken away. It goes without saying that the best thing would be to avoid ever being captured, but in reality this is not always possible.” Tanya continued.

A quick glance around at my peers indicated they were as skeptical as Virginia about being taken captive. I’ve seen enough news stories to know it happens, but also enough to realize that if it does happen, it’s usually just so that someone can make a statement by killing you.

“Escaping captivity is what you are going to learn here this afternoon. It may not always be your best option but by the looks on most of your faces I think you all know that most hostile captivity situations end with the hostages death. What you learn here will give you a fighting chance and at the very least allow you to die on your own terms rather than for someone else’s political statement.” Tanya said.

It was a solemn thought and one that had been in the back of my head ever since I arrived at this camp and realized what we were learning. Survival might seem to be all about living but in reality it’s about dying. Part of me wanted to tell Mr. Candle to take his job and shove it up someone else’s ass but the rest of me, the Virginia in me, was feeling like I might have just stumbled into a career I was born to do. Accepting that I might die on any given day at any given time is just part of that reality. In fact, once you accept you’re going to die, everything seems a lot more straightforward.

Tanya proceeded to spend the next two hours teaching us everything anyone would ever want to know about locks. It was all hands on and focused first on how locks function and then how to circumvent their function. That’s a polite way of saying we learned to pick locks with everything from a paperclip to a pocket knife. The first time I did so successfully I was barely able to refrain from jumping up and down with joy. Gina had no such inclination.

Most everyone laughed when she leapt to her feet and punched the sky in victory. Virginia smiled and I enjoyed the moment as if it were my own celebration. Patricia scowled for whatever reason. I decided it was the sunburn on her butt and almost said so before Virginia thought better of it.

When everyone had successfully circumvented a standard key lock we moved on to combination locks and electronic locks. It’s amazing but you really can get a feel for a combination lock when you are spinning the dial slow enough. Of course hearing the pins drop without some fancy technology is pretty much a fantasy and reserved for the movies, but getting the feel wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be.

The electronic locks were the easiest believe it or not. They look intimidating but all you have to do is break them so you can get to the wires and then it’s just a matter of knowing which wires to cross. If I decide to make a career out of breaking into hotel rooms I’ll have to get a little better at reading schematics but it’s pretty simple if they always use the same color wires.

Tanya introduced us to ropes and knots next. Most of the guys seemed to be quite bored with the knot tying lessons. Personally, I was fascinated at how many different ways there are to tie one. With a little practice it was simple enough to learn them and I look forward to Christmas and showing off what I learned with ribbon around Christmas gifts. Mom and Dad will be so surprised!

Kevin bound Tanya’s hands with ropes behind her back in four different knot styles. Of course learning to tie a knot was really all about learning to untie a knot. That is a lot more difficult than you might think, but as Tanya demonstrated, knowing just how a knot is formed gives you an advantage in undoing it. She successfully freed herself in under a minute each time. I decided she must have been a magician’s assistant before marrying Rick.

We paired up within our teams and took turns tying each others hands. Nobody was managing to untie themselves in under a minute but Brian and I both managed in less than five and Patricia and Gavin were both just over two minutes. Tanya was satisfied when everyone was able to do it successfully regardless of the time it took.

“Speed will come with practice which you should do until you can do it under a minute behind your back and after that you only need to practice to keep up the skill.” Tanya said.

The sun began to settle on the horizon, and the hot desert air began to cool with a gentle breeze. The afternoon had gone much faster than the morning class. Maybe it was because I find fighting to be a lot less useful information or maybe it’s just sitting down in the shade was the most relaxing time I’ve had while awake since arriving. Either way I was a little sad that Tanya’s lesson for the day was over.

Over dinner we learned that Olivia’s team had unanimously beaten everyone on team two in physical combat. The two women, Jenny and Michelle, looked particularly worse for wear. Both were sporting black eyes and Michelle had a cut over her right eye, while Jenny had a lip the size of a breakfast sausage. Not surprisingly, the blame was being squarely laid on their own shoulders.

Apparently, if Olivia’s team can be believed, Jenny and Michele had both attempted the tactic of going after the body piercing on their opponents and Olivia and Bruce, who has a nipple ring, responded with a lot of ferocity. I guess they taught the ladies a lesson in their minds. After the shooting range incident, I have a hard time believing the story though. I could be wrong, but I can’t really see Olivia or Bruce beating anyone in a fight unless they cheated. Then again, Rick made it pretty clear that cheating was fair play when you’re fighting for your life. Virginia doesn’t have much room to talk considering her tactic anyway.

As usual I made to leave for bed soon after dinner only this time Brian grabbed my elbow before I could escape. Virginia whirled around, claws at the ready. Brain let go as soon as he saw my eyes and held his hand up in the air as if to surrender. Virginia would have turned and walked away, but I smiled instead. He was definitely cute and something told me he was interested and worth the time.

“Sorry.” I said, closing my eyes for a moment. “I’m a little on edge. Did you need something?”

He dropped his hands back down and grinned like a teenager.

“I don’t, but maybe you do?” Brian replied.

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing I just thought you might like to go for a walk.”

“Are you trying to get rid of me?”

“I was thinking I might join you.”

“What makes you think I’d let you?”

“Nothing. That’s why I was asking, but I could go find a hole to hide in if you’d prefer.”

I smiled with a faint blush rushing to my cheeks. I couldn’t help it, he was just too adorable, teddy bearish even. I stepped up next to him and wrapped my arm around his, grabbing his hand. Looking up at him, I blinked sweetly at him.

“Where to?” I asked.

“Anywhere that’s not here.” He said.

“Lead the way.”

We made our way outside and walked away from the buildings toward the far fence line. I would normally have been nervous in such an isolated place with a strange man, but Virginia was far from vulnerable and Brian wasn’t all that strange. We held hands all the way and it wasn’t weird, just sort of natural. When we reached the edge of the camp he pointed up at the sky and my gaze followed.

It was beautiful. Crisp and clear like looking at a high definition picture on a plasma screen only it was real. The stars shown brightly and the sky was filled with them. I felt small and large and lost and then there was the warmth of his hand in mine. It was peaceful and easy.

“A city girl like you has probably never seen anything like this before.” He said.

I was a little annoyed at the suggestion of naivety, but Virginia shrugged it off without comment.

“It’s beautiful.” I said.

“It makes me think of you.” He said.

I blinked flirtatiously.

“Oh? How so?”

“Beautiful and mysterious.” He answered.

I blushed at the truth of it.

“I’m not beautiful.” I said.

“No.” He said, “You’re gorgeous.”

His lips brushed gently against mine and as I responded they grew more forceful. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the hungry moment in his arms. It was safe and fun and exactly what I needed. When he released me, he looked a little embarrassed but there was no regret in his eyes or mine.

“How long have you been waiting to do that?” I asked.

I was genuinely curious, but my tone was playful and teasing.

“Ever since I first saw you.” He replied.

“I should show my sweet ass to cute guys more often.” I replied.

He laughed and I blushed, unable to believe Virginia had actually said that aloud.

“You’re such a contradiction.” He said.

“Me? I’m not that complicated.”

“You blush like a shy schoolgirl and yet you throw modesty to the wind and shrug it off like it was nothing. If that’s not a contradiction I don’t know what is.”

“I’m just trying to survive.” I said.

“Maybe you should just try being you.”

“Who am I?” I asked.

Not the smartest of thoughts to actually put a voice to, but it came out before I could think better of it. My suspicious mind wondered if there was a deeper meaning in his question or if it was all innocent. I was probably seeing trouble where there was nothing but suddenly I felt uneasy.

“Someone I’d like to know better.” Brian said.

I glanced at my watch as an easy excuse to cut our time short. If he noticed the lameness he kept it to himself which didn’t help matters. Looking at him I suddenly realized my life was far more complicated and changed than I had first thought. The new name and secretive job were just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

“It’s late and I’m tired. I’ll see you in the morning, okay?” I said.

Brian nodded but there was disappointment in his eyes. I felt a twinge of guilt on the off chance his intentions were honorable. Virginia pretended not to feel anything or care that he might.

“Goodnight V.” He said.

I walked away while he remained there by the fence. I could feel his eyes on me until I disappeared into the building. It was hard but I resisted the urge to look back. Virginia knew there was no going back even if I hadn’t quite come to terms with the simple truth of it.


  1. Interesting to learn about locks. And I'm curious about how and if the romance continues :)

  2. Ashley, you continue to intrigue,
    thank you.

  3. I hope something lasting comes of this encounter. It would be interesting to see how she manages to handle romance with all the other stuff she is currently juggling in her life.