Eric stared at his tattoo, alone in the bathroom, in a state of utter disbelief. He'd fled to the safety of the small room in a near panic from the moment they arrived home. His shirt was on the floor along side the plastic wrap that had been covering his new body modification, both hastily removed, tossed there moments after he'd slammed the door to try to escape Julia.
He held a hand mirror up to see his back reflected in the mirror over the sink, to see the message permanently etched into his body. It made sense now why Julia had helped the artist with the stencil. It really was Julia's handwriting the artist had used, there was no mistaking it. A lovely, feminine looking, cursive script in a bright red, looking nearly identical to what Julia wore on her lips most days. It wouldn't surprise him, at all, if the artist had made a point of trying to match Julia's lip color to the ink she used on him. There was something almost diabolical about that. It looked liked Julia had personally written on his back with one of her lipsticks. He shook his head and read it over and over again - "Property of Julia Grant". His body trembled at the enormity of it. Property. He wanted to cry.
Tears welled up in his eyes as despair crawled in from every corner. He steeled himself the best he could and got closer to the mirror, inching up on the sink, repositioning the hand mirror for a better look. He needed to really see it, up close, because it felt like it redefined him somehow. It was more than a simple tattoo. It made him feel... different.
He locked his eyes on it, fixedly staring until his vision started to get peculiar from the strain. It was like he was trying to erase the words off his back through force of will alone but it didn't go away. If anything that first word felt like it was still leeching itself deeper into his skin. Property. Had he become Julia's property? Not in the strictest legal sense, of course, but if he couldn't stand up to her wasn't it essentially true?
Eric fought back more tears and grit his teeth. How could he have allowed this to happen? Why did he let Julia do this to him? His free hand reached behind to the edge of the tattoo. The entire area was red and inflamed. Gently, his fingers traced over her name. She did own him!
"Eric?!" Julia called through the door, rapping on it, startling him. "Come on out. We need to talk."
His face twisted in annoyance. He just wanted to be left alone for awhile to try to make some sense of what happened, to understand what it meant. Now that he wore her stamp it meant something didn't it? Other than the smug expression she wore the entire drive home, she had the decency to leave him alone. Why not for the rest of the day? Why not-
The rap on the door came again, louder. "That's enough sulking and self-pity! It's nonsense," Julia said. "I'm not putting up with it! Get out here! Now!"
He did his best to calm down, took a deep breath, and eased open the door.
Julia was standing mere inches away, poised like a model in her stilettos, hands on hips, chest out, but visibly upset. She gestured for him to come out, turned, and walked away towards the living room without saying a word, fully expecting him to follow.
Wanting to cover the shame of the tattoo, he quickly retrieved his shirt from the floor and slipped it on, buttoning it while stumbling over to her.
"Sit down, Eric," she said, pointing to the couch.
He eased himself down nervously. Julia inched closer, arms folded, lips pressed tightly together, making him feel uncomfortable. Towering overhead in her stilettos, he felt almost childlike sitting there next to her.
"How's your tattoo?" she asked smugly.
"It...", Eric wasn't sure how to respond. It seemed to be aching all the more with her standing over him but he doubted she actually cared about how cruel and painful it felt. "It still hurts," he said.
Julia cocked an eyebrow in mock surprise, one corner of her mouth turning up in wry amusement. "I bet it does. You just had my name carved into your back with needles. But, that's not what I'm asking you and you know it," she said acidly. Bending forward slightly, she peered directly into his eyes like she was trying to see into his dark recesses to uncover whatever truth was hiding there. "It's a lot more than your silly suggestion of getting your ears pierced. I want to know how you feel about it?" she asked with more excitement and glee than seemed reasonable.
He stared back at her for a moment and withered under the gaze of eyes that seemed hungry to hear about his misery and scars. As much as he didn't want to believe it, there seemed to be nothing left of the old Julia at all. This version of her was someone to fear.
"It's on you - permanently," she reminded him with a mocking smile. "I want to know what that did to you on the inside. How-do-you-feel?" The words were measured, angry, her eyes steely hard.
"I-" he began, his mind then going blank. He reached behind himself tentatively and pressed lightly at his back, wincing from the soreness and pain.
Julia's smile ticked upwards in response.
He swallowed hard. The depth of the violation had cut deep, literally. But, he still wanted her. He was getting stiff just sitting next to her thinking about what was under that skirt, how close it was, what it smelt like, what it felt like to service her there. As twisted and perverse as it was, everything she had done to him made him want her even more.
"Well?! Tell me! How-do-you-feel!?"
"I... I feel-" he started, then a shutter ran down his body. She marked him as property! A thing! "I... feel... different."
"Different how, Eric?" she asked, unwilling to give him any place to hide.
His eyes dropped to the hem of her skirt, wishing for all the world to be satisfying the glorious treasure hiding behind the thin garment. The thought sent a shiver up his weak spine. Her pussy was mere inches away. He wanted to service her, worship at the seat of glorious womanhood. "You... marked me," he said with a quaver.
Julia nodded with a sinister smile, reveling in the victory, her eyes still hungry for more.
"I'm a less than...," he said shrugging sheepishly. "I'm not... your equal. I'm not sure I'm even a proper man." The words came out thin, weakly spoken as they strained their way out. Eric was drowning inside, a part of him struggling to stay alive to keep from falling any deeper under Julia's spell, but another part was dragging him under, ready, even eager to submit. Julia was the female. She was a beautiful, erotic, dominant, powerful woman. She was the boss. She had the pussy so she made the rules. Why struggle against the reality of it? He had become a piece of property to her, one she had simply decided to claim.
"Truth be told, you never really were my equal," she said dismissively. "I just pretended you were for a while. I'm beginning to think most women make that mistake with their men. Well, I'm done pretending."
"I don't want to fight with you," he said shaking his head fretfully. "You win," the words came out so softly she almost didn't hear them.
"What did you say?" she asked, her eyes narrowing.
Eric looked up again with a sorrowful, jaw trembling, expression. "You put your name on me... I just... why? Why mark me as your... property? I need to know," he asked, touching the tattoo again.
Julia shrugged. "Aren't you?" she asked rhetorically.
He looked at her with a quivering jaw and blank expression.
"You're the one that asked to stay, Eric. I told you the price would be serious but you wanted to stay anyway."
"But, I didn't think-"
"That's one of your problems - you don't think," she said cutting him off. "Look, it doesn't matter. You accepted my authority; you said it multiple times - loudly. I told you it was the new vow for our marriage! You do remember that? Right?!"
Eric nodded pitifully, remembering the words he spoke.
"Then, you striped yourself and serviced me, on your knees, like a cheap whore," she said emphasizing the words.
He nodded again as a shudder suddenly rippled through him from the shame of it.
"A real man doesn't act like that now does he?" she asked with a mocking tone.
He shook his head almost imperceptibly.
"Well then, I guess you're not really a man," she said, the simple conclusion wrenching his core. "You're obviously not a woman. Seems to me, that makes you... more a pet of some kind," she said shrugging. "Pets are owned. Why wouldn't I consider you my property then?" she asked rhetorically, clearly enjoying the moment as a smile danced across her lips. "Besides, there was a time when men used to consider their wives chattel. You're a male in a female lead marriage. Turnabout is fair play, don't you think?" She stared at him ominously as she thought about Samantha's painting and the plight of women over the ages. "You're my chattel," she suddenly said. "Anyway you look at it, you're more my property than anything else."
Eric was too sullen to respond.
Julia was on a roll, she wanted to hurt him further. "Unless you prefer another word, a bit too S&M for my tastes but I think it fits you just as well - slave."
Eric winced. He could hardly believe what he'd just heard. Is that what he was really becoming? Julia's slave!? A momentary wave of dizziness suddenly enveloped him. He inhaled deeply to stave off the blackness edging into the corners as his heart pounded away. A feeling of lightheadedness and agitation remained in the wake of the wave but worse, horrifically, his body began betraying him yet again with a stiffening cock and deep sense of arousal. That Julia truly saw him as her property, maybe even her slave, was somehow darkly erotic. That part of him that wanted to press his lips to her feet was exhilarated beyond reason and terrified at the same time. As perverse as it was, he wanted her to use him however it pleased her, only hoping she wouldn't push him too far, at least not too quickly.
"Did that answer your question?" she asked in a mocking tone.
He nodded and said nothing, hoping she couldn't see his excitement and fear, preferring to look straight ahead at her skirt from where he sat, imagining that he'd caught a whiff of her pussy, the scent now locked into his brain forever thanks to his earlier submission and service to her.
"Good. Wear my name on you with pride, Eric. And be grateful I gave you a choice," she said. "I'm still tempted to take you back to get your little cock head pierced sometime or your ears done like you asked. Maybe I'll have them put another tattoo on you.
"Please don't," Eric pleaded.
"We'll see," Julia said with a shrug. "If you want to spare yourself the needle then do what I say, when I say it. Learn your place. You're the homemaker of the family now. That's what you are. Do your job and maybe I won't have to punish you."
He nodded, accepting her terms.
Julia stared at him with disdain. Even as pathetic and weak as he was she didn't think he'd let her put breasts on him, not yet anyway. She had a little more work to do first. "Honestly, you need to rid yourself of all that ugly male conditioning. It's not helpful. It's old, archaic, retrograde thinking," she declared, looking at him intently. "If you want to help yourself, you need to start thinking more like a woman. Male thinking is all about dominating and winning and controlling. A woman thinks more about sharing and supporting and nurturing. That's especially true with home and family. It's simply a better way."
Eric looked up to her with a wrinkled forehead, befuddled.
"In fact, I think it'll help set your mind right if you start thinking of yourself more as a woman," she said. "Think of it like role reversal. I go out into the world to make the money and you take care of our home and raise our children." Julia smiled mischievously, enjoying how confused and lost he looked. She bent over, next to Eric's ear, delightfully anticipating how deeply her next words would bruise his fragile ego. "In case you're not quite getting this," she whispered, "from your point of view that makes me the husband and you the wife."
His face went blank at Julia's pronouncement. Wife!? The word echoed in his mind as he looked at the amusement on Julia's face. Everything just seemed to be getting worse and worse. Not only did there seem to be no hope of returning their marriage to normal, but she expected him to start acting more like a woman and thought of him as the wife in their marriage!? This couldn't stand! No! He took a deep breath and prepared to defend some portion of what it meant to be a man. "Julia, I really-"
"Just stop, Eric. I don't even want to hear whatever nonsense you were about to say. You need to get used to the idea. Wife. You're the wife, the homemaker. And, when I have my baby, you'll get to be a mother too," she said. "It's going to be a lot easier for you after you embrace your new status. Just be happy I'm not expecting you to wear a dress and paint your lips for me," Julia added, thinking back to Samantha's painting again.
Eric closed his mouth, nodding, afraid to say anything else, praying inside that the last part wasn't some threat. Could she actually have considered doing that? A dress?! Makeup?! How could she even suggest it?! He tried to smile to appease her.
"Oh, by the way. Despite how you might feel about your tattoo I'm afraid we're not finished with all of your punishments for today," she said.
"No," she said waving her hand at him, cutting him off. "You need to learn, there are serious, long term, consequences for disobeying me."
Eric just stared at her, the soreness of his tattoo a reminder of how callous she could be.
"I'm afraid I'm going to have to confiscate a few things, for a little while."
"Well, I can't really ground you for what you did today but I can take some things away for a time," she said matter-of-factly. "You were planing to walk out on our marriage using my resources and my money to do it. It only makes sense to take them away as part of your punishment. I'm thinking a week, maybe two if you don't start shaping up."
Eric stared at her not knowing what to say.
"Everything - cash, credit cards, keys to your car... my other car I mean. I'm going to need your cell phone too."
Julia glared at him, daring him to argue with her.
He stopped instantly. She had threatened to cancel the cards earlier, even stop making payments on the car. After what she'd done to him with the tattoo, there was little doubt she would follow through on the threats.
"Would you like them now?" he asked contritely.
Julia smiled and slowly nodded as a smug look of victory danced across her face.
Eric got up off the couch and began collecting everything Julia had asked for. It only took a couple minutes to grab it all. The credit cards and cash looked odd in his hand, almost alien, as he realized they weren't really his anymore and, in truth, hadn't been for a long time. All his financial freedom and power were Julia's to command. On a whim, she could take it all away.
Trying not to dwell on it further, hands full, he walked over to Julia. She smirked at Eric with amusement then nodded towards the coffee table, her bright eyes filled with delight as he deposited everything on top of it.
"You'll get it back in a week or two," she said, passing judgement,"if you do your job at home that is."
"As a homemaker," he said, acknowledging his new station.
"That's right, Eric. Keep it in mind, at all times. That's what you are now."
Eric nodded with troubled eyes.
"I knew you were trainable," she quipped.
Eric nodded again, pouting, looking pitiful and childlike, at the snub.
"Now, go get me a glass of wine," Julia said casually as she sat down on the couch smiling, crossing her legs with a seductive elegance that made Eric's cock pulse.
He trotted off towards the kitchen to do her bidding, trying to ignore how servile and used he felt. He couldn't help but steal glances at her while pouring her wine. Just sitting on the couch, Julia was gorgeous, secure in her beauty and the power she had, confident, sublime. It was thrilling just being in the same room with her but concerning too, especially true now that he carried her mark. What might she be capable of, he wondered?
"Hurry up, Eric," she called out impatiently.
His cock stiffened as he carried the glass of wine over to her. A shiver went up his back handing it to her as one of her long nails lightly grazed his finger in the exchange. He stood there just watching her sip - moist, luscious red lips caressing the glass, mesmerizing him as she enjoyed her triumphs of the day.
"Turn around," she said to him, swirling her finger in a circle. "I want to see your tramp stamp."
With shame he turned around and lifted the back of his shirt to show her, hands on either side of the garment, tightly clenching at the fabric as he swallowed what little pride remained.
Suddenly, there was a flash and the sound of a picture being taken.
"Don't turn around, Eric!" she warned him.
He bit his lower lip anxiously. There was another flash. He began to inch his shirt back down.
"Keep your shirt up! I want more pictures," she said. There was another flash and another, followed by yet another.
He clenched his hands even tighter as the snaps continued, enough that they began to quiver at the sides of the shirt.
"This isn't working! Take the shirt off!" she commanded. "Toss it on the floor and cross your arms in front of you. I want an unobstructed view of your cute little back."
He tugged the shirt off awkwardly and dropped it to his feet.
"That's better. Honestly, I can't think of a better tramp stamp for you," she chuckled. "Now, cross your arms in front of you and stand still. Your back is going to make perfect wallpaper for the phones," she said as she clicked off another picture. "It'll tell everybody, at a glance, who's phone it is - mine," she declared.
Eric grimaced at the prospect of seeing his tattooed back every time he picked up his phone. It made losing it for a week or two easier at least.
"Nice to have my name on all my property don't you think?" she teased.
"Yes," he replied softly.
"Almost sweet of you to still be using our anniversary for your password," she commented as she took another picture with Eric's phone. "Don't ever change it. In fact, don't change any of the settings on it from now on, not without asking me first, especially the wallpaper, that stays until I find something better."
Eric just nodded in agreement, too upset and violated to utter a word. Somehow, he'd never considered she would take pictures of something so deeply private between them, but this wasn't the woman he'd married, he reminded himself. Of course, this Julia would take pictures. He should have expected it, in fact. She could post the pictures online, send them to friends, ruin him. Everything she did seemed to make him weaker and more vulnerable.
"Okay, I think I have enough pictures. You can put your shirt back on," she finally said, tapping away on Eric's phone.
He quickly retrieved his shirt from the floor and slipped it on to hide the tattoo.
"There," Julia said with a smile, clearly pleased by her efforts. She turned the front of the phone towards Eric so he could see it. Emblazoned across the screen was a closeup of his back, tilted so it ran diagonally, lower left to upper right, corner to corner, using the words on his back to declare that the phone, like him, was her property.
His shoulders sank. It was like a nightmare he couldn't wake up from.
Julia was thrilled. Eric would never be quite the same after today. Of course, it was just a small step in the overall plan, something to make him more compliant and submissive. With any luck, the tattoo could be used to help instill self-doubt too, maybe shatter that 'precious' masculine identity. She smiled maliciously at the thought, deciding to tear a hole in him.
"Why do you think you have that tattoo on your back?" she probed, sneering.
Eric looked at her with dismay. "Because you put it there." he said, trying to control his anger.
Julia shook her head slowly. "No, Eric," she said knowingly. "You have a tramp stamp on you because you're weak... or maybe...", an amused smile crept onto her lips before she continued, "you actually wanted it there."
Eric's heart rate spiked at the implication, his cheeks started to burn, the words cutting as deeply as the needles that had indelibly marked him. He started shaking his head in denial, refusing to accept the idea. How could she believe he wanted it?!
"You know it's true. Admit it to yourself."
"No," he said weakly, still shaking his head, still trying to dismiss the idea outright. It couldn't be true. Wanted it?! No. No. No.
"It's sad watching you lie to yourself," she said, rolling her eyes, smiling.
"No, you... you did this to me," Eric said, the accusation sounding more hollow than convincing, his face red with shame and embarrassment.
"Believe what you want," she said, shrugging with indifference. Just remember, I told you I had plans for you, plans that you'd hate." Julia flashed a sinister smile at him as she imagined him releasing the panel of a nursing bra with large, milk-laden nipples dripping with nourishment for her daughter. "I told you I was going to change you too. Know what? You're going to let me," she assured him. "Everything I want is going to happen because you're not strong enough to stop me and because, deep inside, a part of you wants it all to happen."
Eric shook his head miserably. He didn't want her to be right, not at all right.
"Look at yourself, Eric. No real man would have allowed an ownership tramp stamp to be put on him! Men don't get tramp stamps. Just accept the truth of it - you're a submissive. You want a dominant woman telling you want to do, maybe even need a woman telling you what to do," she said firmly. She looked at him with a serene smile, wholly confident and calm, her eyes smoldering with an erotic mysticism that virtually demanded adoration. "Well, you found a dominant woman. Honestly, I think you wanted to be marked so you couldn't deny what you were anymore."
Eric's head and neck were pounding. "Please...," the word came out in a whisper, "Julia, please stop," the plea so quiet it was barely audible.
"Why not?" he asked pitifully, anguished at the refusal.
"Because you have a long way to go yet and it's only going to be harder on you if you resist what I have in store for you," she said. "Life is going to be so much better for you, once you finally give up all that antiquated male thinking and simply accept your role in our marriage. It's what you want in your heart of hearts anyway, Eric. Stop pretending otherwise," she said.
Eric was feeling nauseous. He wanted to reject everything she said as lies but couldn't. If there was even a seed of truth to it... Was there? The very notion was noxious. Had his whole life been a lie?!
Julia pouted at him with indifference, watching him struggle, pleased at her efforts. "Don't feel too bad, Eric. You just happened to be born into the wrong gender at the wrong time," she said. "Men had their chance. You blew it. The world is a complete mess because of men. It's time for women to take over and lead.
"Take over?" he asked.
"Everything," she responded.
He looked at Julia and took her in, trying to see past his pain and frustrations - beautiful, sensual, successful, and dominant. Despite everything she'd done to him, he was still enthralled by her. He hated to admit it but maybe Julia really was superior to him. He looked past her then, to the wall beyond, suddenly feeling deeply inadequate and unworthy of her.
"Everything will be easier for you once you accept your proper place," Julia said. "Embrace our marriage, the way it is now. It's far better this way, with me in charge. Besides, it's the only way you get to keep me in your life and let's be honest - you want me badly, it's written all over your face."
Eric flashed her a weak smile, unable to deny the truth of it. She stood, poised and confident, then walked away, hips swaying in those marvelous stilettos she wore. Standing there, nearly motionless, he felt left behind as he considered his future under female rule, under Julia.
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