Owned Wives (A Liz and Ryan excerpt)

I’m back with some Liz and Ryan!  They are finally speaking to me.  In case it’s been too long and you’ve forgotten (how could you forget?  Sniff!)  Liz is expecting twins.  She went to her usual exercise class today and made a new friend, Cassidy, who has just moved to Orre from Idriss.  Idriss has some very unusual customs:

~ ~ ~

“What’s bothering you, my love?”  Ryan turned off the car and looked at Liz.

“What makes someone want to give up all their rights and become an Owned Wife?”

He considered for a moment.  “Status, I suppose.  They get first choice of everything in Idriss. 
Businesses cater to them.  They get to be first in line – or not even wait in line.  Their kids go to the best schools.”

“But – they give up all their legal rights.  They can’t keep any money they earn, they can’t vote, they can’t own property. Can they even get divorced?”

“Only if the Marriage Council approves it, and the bar is pretty high.  Abuse is about the only reason.”

“I’m surprised the other women in Idriss don’t resent their status.”

“They do.  That’s why you’d never find an Owned Wife taking an exercise class with regular women there.  The custom is strong that the Owned Wives are only supposed to mingle with other Owned Wives.”

“I imagine it’s the only place they find friends.  I feel sorry for them.”

“They make the decision, Liz.  It’s not forced.”

“No, but women can make bad choices if they feel it’s the only way out of an even worse situation.  Idriss isn’t exactly known for equal rights for women.  I learned that from some big old history book that some awful man made me read once.  Before I got spanked.  Really hard.”  She threw a playful glance at her husband, who raised his eyebrows and looked at her sideways.

“You’re poking the lion with a stick, little slave.”

“Maybe I need a reminder of that spanking.”

The playfulness vanished.  “Liz, we talked about that.  I’m not spanking you right now.  It’s just too risky.”

“But the doctor said–”

“I know what the doctor said.  And I know who is in charge of this relationship, and I have decided that it’s too risky.  Discussion over.”

She stared at him for a minute.  “Yes, Sir.”  She got out of the car silently and went into the house to start dinner.

~ ~ ~
Liz and Ryan are expecting twins, and it all seems perfect.  But underneath is a growing problem.  Ryan is so concerned for the babies’ wellbeing that he reins in his dominance of Liz just when she needs it the most.  She finds herself drifting without her Master, and as the pregnancy progresses the tension between them rises.  Along the way Liz makes friends with someone who has a very different way of seeing the world, and it forces Liz to examine her submission and decide just where her future lies.

(Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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