Bruce looked disapprovingly on Ric, this was his 12th tardy this month to work and Bruce was now getting pressure from upper management to let him go. Ric looked at Bruce sheepishly as he slid into his desk and put on his telephone headset.
Ric was a telephone reservationist and always brought in really good numbers of bookings, which is why Bruce, his supervisor, had cut him so much slack. Ric was a really good looking guy, 5'10", 20 years old, thin, but muscular. Once on the way out to his car Bruce saw Ric playing basketball with some of the guys in their department. Ric had his shirt off, and his well toned body glistened with sweat. His black hair reflected the sun and made him look like a catalog model. Ric was a fast talker, and not particularly intelligent, but someone that everyone liked. When Bruce had talked with Ric in the past he found that the conversations tended to last for almost two hours as Bruce really enjoyed talking with Ric, as well as secretly thinking that he was very attractive. However, Bruce didn't approach Ric that way for two reasons. First, Ric was his employee and Bruce didn't want to end up in the middle of a sexual harassment lawsuit. The second reason was Ric dated women, he had dated several of them on the department, and would often come in Monday and tell the other guys in the department of his dates.
Bruce was gay, but he never mentioned it. He kept his personal life very personal. His employees would ask him if he dated, or was married, to which he would just slyly reply, "Yes," and give no further explanation. Bruce wasn't bad looking himself, but was always self conscious of his appearance. He was by no means a body builder, but he kept himself in good shape. He had no fat on his body, but wasn't particularly muscled. Bruce also carried a rather big frame for someone who was 6' tall, and so tended to intimidating. Once he had streaked his brown hair blonde and his coworkers said it made him look more approachable. He immediately let it grow back out to regular brown. Bruce liked being intimidating. It helped him to motivate his employees to get the results to be number one.
Bruce knew he couldn't let this tardy go. Ric was already at the last stage of the disciplinary process, and specifically knew that if he was tardy again during this month he would be terminated. Bruce turned to his computer and typed up the termination notification. He sent it to the laser printer in administration, turned off his computer, and walked to get the paperwork. Bruce knocked on his boss' door, Jason.
"Bruce, come in," Jason motioned turning away from the computer in his office, "what can I do for you."
"Jason, I'm going to terminate one of my employees, and I need you to sign the paperwork," replied Bruce.
Jason took the termination notification and read it over, "Looks good, I can't believe the quality of employees we get now."
Jason signed the paper and handed it to Bruce, "Are you going to administer it today?"
"Yeah, unless he has a really good reason for him being tardy, and it better be nothing short of him pulling over to save the Governor's life by giving him CPR on the highway."
Jason laughed, "I agree. Let me know how it goes."
Bruce picked up a folder from a secretary and placed the termination notification inside. He walked back over to Ric's desk and tapped him on the shoulder, "Ric, sign off the phone as soon as you're done with this call."
Ric nodded at Bruce as he was talking with a customer on the phone. A couple of minutes later Ric signed off and stood up. He had a look of fear in his eyes, knowing what was coming. Bruce motioned towards a empty office that the supervisors used for such times. Bruce and Ric walked in silence towards the office, when they entered, Bruce shut the door, and walked around to sit across the desk from Ric.
Ric immediately began explaining, "Bruce, I'm so sorry. I really need this job, and it was just traffic. I left in plenty of time, but traffic got backed up because of an accident, and I was late. Please don't fire me."
Bruce was not feeling sympathetic, "Then how come no one else showed up late today. Ric we have been over this time and again, if you aren't able to be here on time, then I feel like you just don't take this job seriously. Maybe this will be the experience that causes you to change and start take work seriously."
Bruce began to open the folder he had placed the termination notification in but Ric placed both his hands on Bruce's, "Please, I need the money. I won't be able to find a job that pays this well for a few weeks and I have rent and a car payment due. Bruce I'll do anything, work overtime, come in on weekends, wash your car, anything."
"Anything, yeah right. I say something so you can keep your job, then you take me to Human Resources for harassment. I don't think so," Bruce looked at Ric skeptically.
"No, Bruce, I really like you." Ric's voice was desperate, "You really have been a great boss. Even if you said "paint my house" I'd do it. Even if I got you in trouble, the next boss I had would just fire me the next time I was tardy anyway."
Bruce couldn't believe what he was considering, but decided to feel Ric out to see if he was serious, "Ric, I'm just not sure. I have something in mind, but I just don't know if it would be worth my trouble."
"Bruce, please, anything. Just don't fire me."
Bruce looked into Ric's face, he was really good looking, "Do you have any plans this weekend?"
"If you want to keep your job, be to my house at 8:00 AM on Saturday morning," Bruce took out a piece of paper and wrote down his address and handed it to Ric. "Plus if you are not on time every day the rest of this week, the deal is off."
"Thank you, oh thanks man, you don't know what this means to me. How long will I be at your house?" Ric asked.
"Don't ask questions, just be to my house, alert and awake at 8:00 AM on Friday. If you aren't there, and on time, don't bother coming in on Monday. Clear?"
"Yes yes sir," Ric stammered, "thanks. I don't know what to say."
"Don't thank me yet, after this weekend you may wish you had just said goodbye to me and left." Bruce stood up and opened the office door. Ric looked like he wanted to ask more questions but didn't dare.
Bruce's doorbell rang at exactly 7:59 AM, he opened the door and Ric was there. He was dressed in blue Levi's, a white T-shirt, and tennis shoes, "Hi, Bruce."
"Hello Ric, come on in." Bruce shut the door, "Please sit down."
Ric flopped down on the couch, "Your place is nice and really clean. I guess I'm not here to do that."
"No," Bruce shook his head, "you're not. Ric I've been thinking of a way to make sure you know how seriously I take you being on time. I think I've come up with one. For the next 24 hours, you are going to do whatever I say. You won't ask why, you won't ask how come, you'll just do it. At anytime you can stop by saying `I quit my job.' But if you do then you fill out a resignation form and you're done, you'll pick up your last paycheck Monday. However, if you go the entire 24 hours then on Monday I clear your record, and you'll still have a job. Deal?"
Ric chewed on his bottom lip, "I'm not sure, you're not like going to do anything weird like drink my blood or something."
Bruce's expression softened and his smiled slightly, "No. Nothing like that."
Ric paused for a moment, "And I can stop just by saying `I quit my job.'"
Ric stood up and extended his hand to Bruce, "Okay, deal."
Bruce stood up and shook Ric's hand to seal the bargain, "Good, now follow me." Bruce led Ric through the house and down into the basement, "shut that door behind you please. Also, I live alone so there is no danger of anyone walking in, so don't be afraid of that."
They walked into a empty white room with a cream colored vinyl floor. There were no windows in the room put several lights made the room look extremely open and well lit. There were several handles on the wall that seemed to open cupboards right into the wall. There were also on the floor and ceiling. Bruce shut the door to the room sealing himself and Ric in the room. Bruce sat in the only chair in the room and looked steady at Ric, "Okay, strip."
Ric looked uneasy, "Huh?"
"You heard me," Bruce replied, "take your clothes off, down to your shorts."
Ric looked as though he wanted to say no, but shrugged off his white T-shirt and kicked off his shoes and socks. He then undid the fly of his Levi's and dropped them to the floor and stepped out of them. Ric wasn't sure what do to with his hands as he stood there almost naked in his white briefs.
"Turn around." Bruce ordered.
Ric slowly turned around.
"Good," Bruce stood up and opened one of the doors in the ceiling. A length of rope fell out, but was suspended up in the ceiling, "come over here and lift your arms above your head."
Ric walked over and Bruce quickly tied his hands together above his head. He gave a quick hard tug on the rope to make sure it was secure and walked over to one of the doors on the wall. He opened it and inside was a small control panel with buttons and switches. Bruce pushed a green button and the rope began to retract into the ceiling. Ric's arms were pulled straight up, forcing his muscles to flex to maintain the weight of his body. As soon as Ric was on tiptoe, Bruce stopped the rope from retracting. He walked over to a door in the floor and opened it to reveal two leather leg cuffs. Bruce fastened them to Ric and then pushed a button on the control panel that forced Ric's body ramrod straight.
Bruce walked over to Ric, his nipples were hard from the cool air in the room, "So is this it, I just spend a day tied up?"
Bruce shook his head, "Not even close." Bruce put his hand on Ric's stomach and Ric lurched back as far as his bonds would allow. "What's wrong?"
"N-nothing." Ric stammered, "I just don't like being touched on my stomach."
"Really, how about being touched like this?" Bruce's fingers dove into Ric's side and Ric began to scream with laughter.
"Noooooooo! Stop it!" Ric yelled in between gasps for air and laughter. Bruce continued the tickling for ten full minutes until Ric's body was drenched with sweat and Ric could barely breath.
"Are you ready to quit yet?" Bruce asked Ric teasingly.
Ric was taking in gasps of air like he just ran 5 miles straight. He just shook his head unable to vocalize words.
"Okay, then let's try a new spot," Bruce began to stroke the insides of Ric's armpits.
"Ahhhhhh, I can't handle it. Stop!" Ric couldn't stop laughing was now making words out of giggles. Bruce continued on for another 20 minutes. Bruce then stopped and walked over to the control panel. He left Ric tied up, but lowered the rope so Ric could lay on the ground and rest.
"Ric, you know that when you are late it effects your performance, and the hurts my yearly evaluation." Bruce lectured the heaving body curled up on the floor in a fetal position. "I'll give you a 60 minute break to think about that, then when I come back we'll "ingrain" that in your mind."
Bruce began to walk towards the door and then thought about something. He opened a new door on a wall and took out three flexible metal bands. Bruce put one around Ric's neck. The other larger two he put around Ric's stomach and legs, he pushed a button on those two which caused them to vibrate for a moment and then stop. "These are a prisoner restraint device a friend of mine lent me. Usually these are used to disable prisoners, but these ones have been modified so that if you attempt to move from where you are lying they will tickle you until I turn them off. Observe." Bruce moved Ric's arms above his head and the three devices went off. The one around his neck sent tickling impulses to his throat and chest, the one on his stomach played across it mercilessly, and the one on his legs sent tickling sensations all over Ric's feet. Bruce allowed them to tickle Ric for a moment and then reset the trigger. "Get the idea? So don't go anywhere."
Bruce walked out of the room. Ric lied there determined not to do anything to set the restrainers off. A few minutes passed by and he heard a door open in front of him. He saw something small and furry crawl through the door. It was a ferret. The ferret began to scurry around the room, checking out his surroundings, then it noticed Ric. It walked up to Ric's face and ran it's cold nose across Ric's forehead. Then the ferret climbed up Ric's head and began to walk down Ric's naked side. The ferret's claws had not been trimmed and were lightly tickling Ric. It took everything in Ric not to move to throw the creature off.
It finally got to Ric's leg and jumped off. The ferret walked down to Ric's toes and mistaking them for a tasty morsel nipped his little toe. Ric yelped, and involuntarily kicked his foot away. That was all it took to set off the restrainers. Bruce was bad enough but the electronic restrainers continued tickling without mercy. The ferret scurried out of the room through the door in entered leaving Ric in tickling agony. After the longest hour in Ric's life the main door opened and Bruce walked in. Bruce shook his head sadly and said, "I can't believe you spent your whole break getting electronically tickled. You must really enjoy it. Well, as I promised you will get plenty of that now."
Ric's eyes were full of tears as Bruce turned off the restrainers, "I am so sorry I was ever late. Please no more. I need my job but I will just die if you tickle me anymore."
Bruce looked thoughtful, "Okay, no more tickling. However you certainly didn't expect to get out of your punishment that easy did you?"
Bruce pushed the green button on the control panel and it pulled Ric up again so his body was taught.
"You mean there is more?" Ric said fearful of what was to come.
"Much more," Bruce said with an evil smile, "you still have twenty-two hours left."