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Fire & Ice - Chapter 3

Fire & Ice - Chapter 3

Reputation is everything, but all work and no play makes for a dull girl.

This is fiction, any resemblance to real persons or institutions is purely coincidental.

Jenna was intrigued by Ray's homework for her after their first official life coach session. Although she was vaguely familiar with what she knew to be a sensory deprivation tank, she had to agree with Ray, that a 'float tank' was a better marketing name for it. The main reason she knew about those tanks was a fiction novel she had read years back, The Door to December, or something like that. What she remembered from that story was not good publicity for float tanks, but it had been an interesting book. The other, was like she mentioned to Ray, the blind Daredevil character used to float in a tank as a retreat and to de-stress.

She looked up on the internet various options for where she could go to complete her homework. She decided on the Regenerate Float Center in Hagerstown, Maryland, as it had the best photos and their marketing met her high standards for excellence. It looked great!

Still not wanting to take a full day off from work, she called and was able to reserve a 90-minute float session for that next Saturday. She even negotiated for a discounted yoga session for the same day. She would attend the yoga class first, and then float after. The nice girl on the phone assured her that this would be a wonderfully relaxing experience that she would never forget and want to do again, regularly.

Throughout the week, Jenna found herself reflecting on what she had discussed with Ray, and she especially looking forward to her excursion trip to Maryland.

After work Friday, leaving early at 3 P.M., she returned home to her packed car waiting in her garage space and headed to Hagerstown. She had booked a hotel room at a location within walking distance to the Regenerate Float Center. She was a little surprised just how excited she was for this trip and experience. She decided to listen to music on her drive that would match her upcoming experience. She started with Trance music and then ended with New Age music. The drive was a little crazy, as driving through D.C. into Maryland on a Friday is always a traffic jam. The music really helped her make the best of the two hour drive.

Arriving at the hotel, she was able to check-in, get her suitcase moved into her room, freshen up, and head out for dinner. Knowing that she would be doing a yoga session and floating in saltwater for 90 minutes the next day, she knew she should be careful about what she ate for dinner. She chose to eat at Panera Bread. It was a good choice, for both food and a relaxing ambiance.

When she got back to the hotel, she channel surfed on the television, and then decided to connect her TLC on-demand service to the hotel flat-screen. She watched a Four Weddings episode. The United Kingdom had the best drama and accents. She found herself wishing that Ray was British and had a British accent. She was not fantasizing about Ray romantically, she was just thinking that if her life coach spoke with a British accent, it would add to the mystery he already had.

Wanting a good night's sleep, Jenna set her alarm for 7 A.M. and was asleep before 11 P.M.. She might have had dreams, but when she awoke the next morning, she could not recall any specific details. In her mind, that meant she slept well.

Rather than eating a full breakfast, she drank some orange juice, selected a couple of yogurts and some fruit from the complimentary breakfast bar of the hotel. She then got her gym bag with her yoga outfit and swimming suit. All the photos of the float tank had people in swimsuits, but she did see in the details that swimwear was not required as the tanks were in private rooms. She decided to come prepared and she could decide when she was there.

Jenna arrived at the Regenerate Float Center early, matching her habit. She really liked all she observed. She was greeted by a friendly attendant that confirmed her float tank time, which included a pre-float walkthrough for first time users of the facility. She was then directed to the dressing rooms and yoga class. She was told she was welcome to observe the class that was already going, as she was so early.

Jenna did just that, she changed into her yoga clothes. She already had her hair in a high ponytail and was wearing her yoga hairband. Putting her hair up higher like that helped her when she laid down on the mat, so her ponytail did get in the way. She had yoga fashion and practicality down and looked like she could market it in a fitness magazine. In fact, she had! She even got paid for it and signed over the rights to the magazine. After all, it only helped her reputation at Barron and Associates, being on the cover of a magazine.

As Jenna watched the small yoga class, she noticed that a couple of women were doing their yoga positions while wearing a blindfold. She had heard of that before, but had not yet tried it herself. She noticed that the instructor was very helpful to them, and would gently touch and adjust their poses while talking to them, and still kept up will the other yoga practitioners in the class.

When the class concluded, the women who were blindfolded, removed their blindfolds and hugged each other, and then the instructor. She noticed just how satisfied they looked from their session. When they passed by close to her, she felt a surge of courage and decided to greet the two women, introducing herself and telling them that this was her first time to attend a class at this facility.

Both women were happy to talk with her and were excited to tell her about how much they loved the Regenerate Float Center. When they heard that Jenna would also experience her first float session, they assured her she would love that too. Jenna admitted that she noticed they had worn blindfolds for the yoga class and asked them how that experience was. They both lit up even more excitedly and said it was their preferred way to do yoga, as it removed the views of others in the class. It enabled them to just feel their bodies and muscles and to focus on their poses. They also complimented the instructor, that she was so good about watching after them, especially as the blindfold sometimes threw off balance.

They then smiled and challenged Jenna to try it herself. They called over the instructor, who was only too happy to assure Jenna that this would be an experience she would enjoy. At first, Jenna tried to make the excuse that she did not have a blindfold, but that did not work, as the Instructor said she was already wearing one. Jenna looked a little confused by that, and then the instructor reminded her that she was wearing her yoga hairband, all she had to do was pull it down over her eyes, it was a perfect blindfold.

So that was that. Jenna decided she would give it a try. She was after all on an excursion. This was a day to experiment and try new things. She would have plenty to tell Ray about when she was done. This yoga class was not part of her required homework. She had set this up on her own, reflecting that she loved getting discounts and knew that it was a good deal financially. A float tank session and yoga class basically for the price of one yoga class. She loved deals.

The instructor led Jenna to the front corner of the yoga classroom and got her situated with her mat and surroundings. The instructor told her that she would give her special attention, but to also know that she would need to move about the room with the other practitioners. She would always tell Jenna before she touched her if she needed to help her with a position or with her balance. She suggested that Jenna pull down her blindfold now and just try to concentrate for the rest of the class on her body and her poses. By starting now, even before the class started, would help her get used to the darkness and to just start with stretches. The instructor promised that when the class would officially start, she would position herself near Jenna, so she would have no problem hearing her and what poses she would be leading the class though.

And that is what happened. Jenna embraced this new experience with courage and excitement. It actually came to her very naturally. She was well trained in yoga, so she already had memorized all the poses and names and all she had to do was listen and then do.

What she noticed immediately, was how sounds became more amplified once she was wearing a blindfold. It seemed that her other senses were heightened too. She recognized that it was just like the other women had mentioned, that she was not looking around the room at others. This was all about her and her body.

The session seemed to go by very quickly. The instructor built trust with her almost immediately, and she was feeling an increased awareness while in her poses of what she could improve. Most times that the instructor touched her seemed to be during harder poses requiring balance. Yes, again remembering what the other women had said, balance is harder in the dark!

When the class was over, Jenna imagined that she probably had the same look of satisfaction as she had observed in the other women. Like the other women, when she pushed up her blindfold and saw the instructor, she could not help herself, she gave her a huge hug too.

Jenna thanked the instructor for providing her such a rewarding experience. In which the instructor responded that she hoped to see Jenna again. It would be her pleasure to help her with future sessions if she were ever to return. Jenna explained that she lived in D.C., but she definitely planned to come back.

Jenna then went to the dressing room and retrieved her bag from the locker and went back to the receptionist. She was then guided to her float tank room and given a tour of all it offered.

There was a toilet with all the toiletries. The shower had all she needed in body wash, shampoo, and conditioner. She was encouraged to shower first, before going into the tank, and of course shower again after she finished. The saltwater was very potent and she was warned about not getting it in her eyes.

The most common way that occurred was reaching up to her face. So resist that if she could, of course. If she did get salt in her eyes, they had a squirt bottle of clean fresh water available just outside the float tank lid door on a ledge that was easy to find with her eyes closed, if needed. She was told to rinse her eyes until she felt no pain and ensure all the salt was out. Again, better to not get the salt in her eyes if she could avoid it.

She was encouraged to use the free disposable earplugs to keep the salt out of her ears and enhance the experience of just floating in solitude.

It was explained that once inside the tank, when she closed the lid, it would be pitch black. The saltwater was not deep, it was just deep enough for her to float in. Time is hard to recognize in the dark, so when 90 minutes was over, relaxing music would play to let her know to exit and then shower and clean up.

The door would be locked, so she could enjoy privacy. She was welcome to not wear swimwear if she preferred not to, most people did not. Swimwear did make models on the website advertising float tanks less X-rated though.

With that, Jenna was left to the privacy of her float tank room. If she called for assistance, the receptionist did have a key to enter if there was an emergency, and she promised to announce her entry if that was ever needed.

So Jenna decided to go 'au naturel' and not get her swimsuit all salty. She showered, put in the provided earplugs, and carefully entered the float tank and closed the lid as she gently sat down in the saltwater. She then cautiously laid back and sure enough, she floated!

It was absolutely pitch dark. With the earplugs in, she could hear her heartbeat, but that was about it. Time was lost very quickly but Jenna knew at some point the music would play to let her know her time was up. She felt weightless, and an intense isolation feeling took over very quickly. She remembered Ray told her that some people hallucinated, and that some freaked out from the isolation.

Jenna was not freaking out. She felt calm, and in some ways, this was not all that different from what she had just experienced wearing a blindfold in the yoga class. It was more intense though, she had to admit to herself. That novel she had read, The Door to December, came to mind again. It had been many years ago that she read it, but she remembered the girl in the story had been experimented on, to include sensory deprivation. She better understood now, how a person could freak out in isolation like this.

Jenna's thoughts wandered all over the place as she floated there. She found herself thinking about what she would tell Ray about this experience. It was his idea for her to be here, after all. Would she tell him that she chose to be naked? Would that be uncomfortable for him? Would it be for her?

Jenna pondered that, she was not a prude, in fact, she had gone with her former roommate Emma to a nude beach when they were in college. She had not been impressed with the people at the beach though, most were fat and older. There were some exhibitionist types though, that liked to look at their own bodies and have others see them. Emma liked being naked. She was naked often in their apartment. Jenna got used to it, but seldom did so herself.

Jenna then decided, she would tell Ray, and why not? Ray had his strict, no sexual relations clause in his contract, maybe she should talk with Ray more about sex. It was not 'out of bounds', as part of her personal goals included being more accepting of herself and who she was.

This took Jenna and her float session to a new level in the pitch blackness. Sexuality was something she was not satisfied with within her private life. She did want to date more and to meet people that she was attracted to. She considered herself heterosexual, but she was also curious if she may be pansexual. She and Emma did not have a sexual relationship, Emma always had her drama and girlfriends though.

Jenna then had a flashback to one experience she had with Emma. She had come home on a Saturday night that she had told Emma that she would not be back until Sunday night. She didn't think anything about her coming home a day early, it was after all her apartment too.

 As Jenna floated, she recalled just what a surprise it was for her, in how she found Emma, in self-bondage.

Emma had never told her she was into that. Jenna had absolutely no idea. She was not a snoop and had never gone through any of Emma's things. Had she come across any of Emma's bondage toys, she would have been shocked enough. To find Emma, bound and gagged, squirming around on the floor of their apartment floor was the ultimate shock!

She had rushed to Emma and tried to remove the ball gag, but she couldn't, it was secured with a little padlock. Jenna learned that was part of the self-bondage play, Emma had frozen the key in an ice-cube and would be able to free herself after it melted. The same key would unlock the wrist and ankle restraints she had buckled on with little padlocks.

Of course, Jenna was not the only person shocked and surprised, as Emma freaked out expecting to be home alone for her play. When she realized that Jenna was home early, she was making all kinds of excited noise through the ball gag. It was one that had holes all through it and hollow, so she could breathe through it easier. Her attempts to talk were pretty hard to understand and caused almost a whistling sound.

Emma was able to get Jenna's attention to the ice-cube with the key in it, it was suspended above where she was lying, on a long string connected to a hook in the ceiling. Jenna had never noticed it before. It was just a small eye hook that Emma had screwed into the ceiling. It was not much larger than a normal screw, no one would have noticed if they were not looking for it, or unless there was a long string with a big ice-cube with a key hanging from it.

Jenna started to laugh out loud in her darkness, as she recalled all the details of that night. Of course, once she realized that Emma was not in danger, and was the one who put herself in that circumstance, Jenna calmed down, and so did Emma. Jenna could not resist, and for future blackmail potential, she took photos of Emma in her bondage glory.

Later, Jenna and Emma laughed about it, and Jenna had promised to keep it as their little secret, but Emma did not forget that Jenna had taken photos. Jenna did not realize then, that Emma would come up with a plan to have her own blackmail opportunity.

A couple of months later, when Jenna and Emma were both in their apartment and bored, Emma brought back up her self bondage fetish.  She asked Jenna if she had ever been tied up before. Jenna just laughed and looked at Emma like she was crazy. No, she had never been tied up.

Emma got out her bondage toys and asked Jenna if she wanted to just try them, for a one time experience. She did not have to lock them with the little padlocks, just try them on. She first convinced her to try the ankle cuffs. That seemed innocent enough, so then she allowed her to add the wrists cuffs. Jenna had to admit, there was something exciting, being bound like that. Emma then pulled out the ball gag.

As Jenna floated in the darkness, she felt herself squirm a little as she continued to remember that night. After initial refusal to allow Emma to put the ball gag in her mouth, her curiosity got the best of her and she said, "Fine, but for no longer than ten minutes - you have to promise me!" Emma did promise her, and even got out a timer and set it for ten minutes.

Emma then inserted the gag and buckled it tightly behind Jenna's head. At first it was fun to laugh through it and try to communicate with Emma, but then she started drooling, and couldn't stop. Emma just laughed, and of course, started taking photos. Jenna realized then that Emma had been planning this since she had taken the photo of Emma. Jenna tried not to show that it was actually turning her on and that she was sexually aroused being vulnerable like that.

When the ten minutes were up, Emma kept her word and unbuckled the gag, and undid the wrist and ankle cuffs. Jenna remembered just glaring at Emma, knowing that those photos were revenge. Rather than agreeing to delete each other's photos, they decided to share them with each other as a pact, never to show anyone else. To keep them and maybe look at them from time to time, and never forget their experience together.

Jenna still had those photos, saved on her laptop in an encrypted file, the ones of her, and the ones of Emma. In fact, that same night, Emma felt so bad about tricking Jenna, that she let Jenna lock her in the cuffs and ball gag, to take more photos of her. Since that night, Jenna did not let Emma talk her into any more bondage games, but that was a pretty wild memory, and one she had not reflected on for quite some time.

Floating in the dark, Jenna decided she would not be sharing that part of her float tank experience with Ray. That memory would remain between her and Emma. Jenna was sure that Emma was probably still enjoying bondage games and would not be embarrassed if Jenna ever told someone about that night, but Jenna would need more trust with Ray before she would share that story with him.

Jenna decided she should try to think about something other than sexual things if she did not want to tell them to Ray during her next session. What she would share with him was that she had thoughts about her sexuality, just not the details of her in bondage with a ball gag in her mouth.

As Jenny continued to float, she thought that she had to be getting close to the 90 minutes. It felt like she had been in there for a while now.

Her next thoughts were of her family. Her Dad had passed away five years ago. She did not share that with Ray during that first session. She missed her Dad. He used to call her 'his little pumpkin' and she loved being that to him. He had been and still was her hero. She believed she got her drive and determination from him, and her patience from her mother. Her mother was still alive, in fact she even remarried. That brought some feeling on that Jenna was not expecting.

There in the pitch black, Jenna noticed she was crying. She was also shaking and she no longer wanted to float any more in the dark.

She sat up, lifted the lid of the tank and welcomed in the light, although she was first blinded by it. In her rush to get out, she did exactly what she was not supposed to do, she reached across her face and got saltwater in her eyes.

She was able to reach the bottle with the freshwater and immediately sprayed her closed eyes, and then gently kept watering her eyes while opening and shutting them, as she flushed the saltwater out.

When she was ready, she moved over to the mirror which was near the toilet. She looked at her eyes, yes they were bloodshot now. Then it occurred to her, that she had cried before that, and now she had an excuse for her eyes being bloodshot. She would have no problem telling Ray about getting the saltwater in her eyes, but she was not sure she should tell him about crying and getting out early.

She did not want to look in the mirror again until after she showered off. So she moved into the shower and took a long one, she had extra time after all.

When she finished, she put her hair back in a ponytail, but this time a lower one. She put her tee-shirt on over her yoga clothes. She decided that yoga clothes would be the most comfortable to go back to the hotel in. She didn't mind if she got a little attention, she had, after all, just come from a yoga place.

As Jenna approached the mirror again to look at herself, it was fogged up. She had been in the shower probably 20 minutes and the whole room was full of steam.

It was then that she kind of had an epiphany, who was she?

Who did she want to be?

This had been a good excursion, and she would have plenty to talk about with Ray in her next session.




This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

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