Ruby was escorted into the room by a man in a black suit. Right away she noticed large, leather chairs facing a curtained wall. She stiffened as she tried to steel herself for what she knew was coming.

Jack and Vanessa stood near the curtain as though awaiting her arrival. There were drinks in their hands, and bottles on the end tables between the chairs. Obviously this was, indeed, a special night.

“So you’re the one Carleton wants to introduce to us, eh?” Vanessa sounded cold… formal.

Ruby nodded without smiling. She felt alone and vulnerable, perhaps because she was naked under the short robe she wore. Of course, that was the whole idea.

“Carleton says you’re here to audition to be our new executive secretary. Is that correct?”

“It is,” she replied evenly.

Ruby tried not to feel intimidated by the woman in the tight fitting leather dress that only came partway down to her knees. It was obvious the bitch held some high position in the firm she was trying to become an integral part of after tonight.

“You know what’s expected of you?” This was from Jack, a man she’d met with Carl back in the states.

“I do.”

Vanessa chuckled. “We’ll be the judge of that. I have my doubts. Time to show her the aquarium, Don.”

Don was the one in the dark suit and white shirt who’d escorted her in. He went to a corner of the room and pulled on a cord. The green curtains parted to the left and right.

The lights in the room dimmed in response. Spotlights came on right in front of the glass. Ruby tried not to react despite a sudden surge of apprehension.

An aquarium stood before her, walled in by glass on three sides. A bulkhead door stood along the back wall. A set of ankle shackles lay in the middle of the floor.

Vanessa smiled as she waited for a reaction. But Ruby had been well coached by Carl. She stepped forward and examined it thoroughly before turning to calmly face her examiners.

The gentlemen appeared to be impressed. If anything, Vanessa was disappointed. No doubt she was hoping to have witnessed a lot more fear out of this one.

Ruby faced them with an expression as though she was bored. Carl had warned her ahead of time. He’d even given her a heads up over the way Vanessa like to spring things on the girls he’d previously brought in.

The questions started coming thick and fast from Vanessa after that…

“Are you prepared to get wet?”

“I am.”

“How long can you hold your breath?”

“Three minutes.” That was because Carl had warned her this would be the minimum requirement Vanessa expected from her.

“Are you prepared to swallow a little water?”

“If it comes to that.”

“Will you be appropriately dressed for us?”

“You’ll find out once I’m inside the aquarium.”

Ruby was tempted to open her robe right then and there. But Carl had advised against showing off the merchandise too soon. So she kept it on.

“Are you aware of my tastes?” the bitch asked, continuing with her questions.

“I’m fully prepared to do whatever it takes to become your executive secretary.” In this case, that meant putting on a little show for them.

“You have no qualms about what is expected of you?”

“I’m here of my own free will. I volunteered under no hint or threat of duress. I know what’s expected of me.”

Carl had filled her in on most of the details along the way. What she was aiming for was a valuable position in their corporation. But in this strange company, that meant submitting in rather unique ways.

Ruby had no illusions what those “ways” might entail. Woman had offered their bodies for thousands of years just to get what they wanted. She was no different, and in this case she was prepared to do whatever it took.

Ruby felt like a mouse in the possession of a hungry cat. Vanessa took a sip from her goblet. Then she smiled knowingly as she asked, “Are you prepared to drown?”

Carl had warned her of the way Vanessa liked to frighten the new ones. She’d tried to steel herself for the verbal onslaught. Still, this was a question that chilled her to the bone.

She trembled as she composed herself. Then she replied, “If it comes to that.”

“You’re not afraid?” Vanessa sounded disappointed.

“Carl told me what to expect. He warned me the water level might not drop fast enough and that I might swallow some water. He explained I might have to be revived.”

Vanessa turned and saw the referenced man now standing off to one side by the glass. Then she faced Ruby, giving her a cold look. “It seems Carleton has told you a great many things. No matter. All I can say is this: you’d better not disappoint.”

Ruby thought about telling her off, about revealing how Carl had given her advanced notice and how she’d practiced in her bathtub for this very moment. It was more than a little unnerving now that she stood here prepared to go through with it. So she simply smiled as she nodded in reply.

“I’m satisfied. Get her into the aquarium, Carleton.”

“Yes, Vanessa.”

Ruby turned at the sound of the man standing nearby, the man she’d given her heart to. This offer had come from him several months ago upon meeting her at her previous office job. She felt reassured by his presence.

He led her out until they were well out of earshot. “You handled yourself well,” he chuckled. “I think you even ruffled her feathers.”

“You were good to warn me about her.”

“She’s a bitch.”

Ruby didn’t reply. It was not wise to speak unseemly of a future employer, no matter what her feelings might be. She just wanted to do a good job. Perhaps she might even end up replacing Vanessa someday.

They came to a bulkhead door. Carl paused before looking at her. “Are you sure you want to go through with this?”

“I’m not afraid. I can do this. I know I can put on a good performance for her… and for you.” She wanted to kiss him, but was afraid there might be hidden cameras watching.

He opened the door and took her inside. The lights had been dimmed considerably. Vanessa had already taken up the center chair to observe her performance, the two males having seated themselves in the other chairs.

Ruby paused as she looked down at the floor. The shackles were open. The chain was looped through an eyebolt. She would be tethered to the floor once the aquarium filled with water.

Now that she was inside, Ruby began to have misgivings. Carl had cautioned her several times about all this. But his description of what awaited her had not adequately prepared her for this moment.

The aquarium would be filled with water. He’d warned her as much. The purpose of the event was for her to hold her breath and put on a little show for Vanessa before the chamber was drained.

The shackles meant she would be tethered to the floor. The water would rise clear above her head. She would have three minutes to convince Vanessa how badly she wanted the position of executive secretary, despite indications from Carl it was already a done deal. This was just a last formality, and a curious one at that.

Carl had warned her that drowning inside the aquarium was a very real possibility. One of the girls previously put through this initiation had swallowed a lot of water. He’d explained how they’d been forced to work extra hard just to revive her.

He sensed her hesitation. Then he quietly asked, “Do you want to back out now?”

Ruby stared down at the chain and shackles. She shivered at the possibility she might very well drown in here. Was she that desperate for a new job with much greater pay, allowing her to live a higher quality of life? So many debts would be wiped away if she got this position.

She took a deep breath to compose herself. “No, darling,” she told him quietly. “I’m fully prepared to go through with this.”

“Good girl. Let’s get you shackled; shall we?”

Ruby stood with her feet on either side of the eyebolt with the chain running through it. She faced the glass wall as Carl reached down. Then he began attaching the shackles.

She shivered again as he attached them to her ankles. Now she could feel it, a growing sense of fear and trepidation. Could she really go through with this??

She half expected Carl to ask once more if she wanted to back out. He’d been doing it ever since she’d first heard about what was expected of her. But this time she did not hear those words come out of his mouth.

He rose up and stood next to her. “I might as well take your glasses, Ruby. You won’t need them in here, not for what you’re going to be doing. Isn’t that right?”

He stuck a hand out to accept them from her. She stared out through the glass wall at Vanessa looking back at her. Then she lifted her arms up to remove her glasses from her head.

She slowly took them off before handing them over. Carl took them and nodded. “And now for the robe. It’s time to show Vanessa what she wants to see.”

Ruby took a deep breath to steady her nerves. She loosened the tie holding the robe to her body. Then she slowly opened it up.

She looked right at Vanessa as she exposed herself. She could see her own reflection in the glass wall of the aquarium, could see her nudity on display. Was this what that bitch out there was so eager to cast her eyes upon?

She caught movement in the direction of the chair on the left. She turned to discover Jack leaning forward. Apparently he liked what he saw.

She resisted the urge to smile back at him as she started to remove her robe. Ruby wore nothing underneath, having changed in a private room upon arrival. Carl had advised as much in the off chance Vanessa might want to inspect the merchandise before sending her into the aquarium.

She paused for a long moment, her robe parted. She held her pose for the bitch on the other side of the glass. Did this appeal to the woman’s kinky tastes? She certainly hoped it would assist in furthering her career.

She was a little surprised the bitch had not chosen to have her strip nude during her cross-examination. Maybe Vanessa was trying to hold back? Maybe it just didn’t matter.

Ruby was under no illusions at this point. She suspected she would be giving the bitch many personal visits during her tenure here. She did not know how long this might continue. She just hoped she would eventually gain enough status within the organization so as not to be viewed as “company property” anymore.

She totally removed her robe. Carl was standing right there, waiting patiently. He extended an arm out to take it from her.

She draped it over his offered limb, affectionately touching him as she looked at him. His expression reassured her. She was sure he would let nothing happen to her that could not immediately be remedied… like drowning, for instance?



“Will I… will I be all right?”

“Yes you will, Ruby.”

“Will I… will I drown in here?”

“It’s possible. It’s happened before. We drain the tank as quickly as possible to get back inside, just in case.”

“I… I love you, Carl.”

“I love you too, Ruby.”

“Thank you. This is such an incredible offer. It’s really going to change my life.”

“I’m sure it will. I’m glad to have played a small part in that.”

Carl took the robe and walked to the bulkhead door. Then he stepped outside. Ruby heard a faint hiss as it sealed her in.

She looked through the glass at Vanessa sitting there. The woman wore an expression of sadistic cruelty. It gave her the shivers, once more causing her to second-guess herself.

Instinctively Ruby turned to look back. But Carl had already gone. There would be no more attempts to back out of the deal. She was now all alone inside the aquarium.

She turned back to face the glass, to squarely face Vanessa on the other side. The moment was at hand. This was really going to happen.

Ruby fully understood her situation. For the moment she was here as nothing more than a piece of meat for the bitch. She considered it a rather strange initiation in order to join the company.

Her new job was about to give her a whole new lifestyle. Ruby firmly believed in her abilities. Thus, she would do all that was necessary in order to get her position in the company. Perhaps she could even work to unseat the bitch in the future.

Instinctively she started to pose, giving the woman on the other side of the glass a good look at her. It felt like the only light turned on was the one now shining down on her from inside the aquarium. Her imminent performance – and possible drowning, she reminded herself – was to be the highlight of the evening.

She loved Carl with all her heart. There had even been talk of a future together. He was so caring, warning her so many times while asking if she truly wanted to go through with all this.

Now here she was. There would be no more chances for her to back out. This was the moment of truth.

Ruby began touching herself all over. A moment later she heard the sound of water flowing through pipes. There was a faint shudder in the floor before water began to bubble upward from the drain in front of her.

She’d identified three different holes in the floor. That meant the aquarium should fill relatively quickly. It also meant it should drain just as fast.

Ruby was understandably nervous about the possibility of drowning in here. Carl had warned her it was a distinct possibility. He’d told her not to even consider this unless she was prepared to take that risk.

Now here she was. And she was certainly willing to take that risk. Or so she thought.

She began groping and fondling herself, remembering what Carl had told her Vanessa would be looking for. She stared in the direction of the bitch the entire time. One day she hoped she would be sitting in that very chair, perhaps watching Vanessa put on a drowning performance in this very same tank.

Ruby crouched as she touched herself. She wanted to let Vanessa know she was not the least bit frightened despite her nervousness. She would throw everything she had into putting on an erotic show for the bitch.

It wasn’t just the water coming up from the hole in the floor that was making her wet. Ruby felt a distinct dampness in her private parts. She fingered herself for Vanessa’s benefit, letting her know she was going to use this time to get herself off here inside the aquarium, just as Carl had suggested.

There was a change of sound inside the aquarium. More water began pumping up from the floor. Ruby was tempted to look at the other drains. Instead, she focused all her attention on Vanessa on the other side of the glass.

She deliberately groped and fondled herself. Her mind told her there was a good chance she was going to drown. She had every reason to believe that’s what Vanessa truly wanted out of her presence here in the aquarium.

Well, fuck that bitch! She was going to show her she wasn’t the least bit afraid. She was determined to thoroughly enjoy herself in here!

The water level rose at a good pace. Ruby felt somewhat relieved. If it rapidly filled the aquarium, it would drain just as quickly; right?

She wriggled and danced as the water level rose higher. It climbed her legs until it rose above her knees. That’s when she felt a sudden surge of anxiety in her throat which she tried to swallow back down.

There was a look of sadism in Vanessa’s expression. The bitch was clearly looking forward to watching her drown. Ruby was determined not to show any fear. Eventually she wanted to put that woman in her place one day once the opportunity presented itself.

Water reached her crotch. She gasped despite her attempts to control her emotions. It was becoming harder to keep the fear at bay.

She threw herself into masturbating for the bitch on the other side of the glass. She pinched her nipple as she rubbed and fingered herself. It felt good, and she gasped for breath as her body tingled with pleasure.

The water continued to rise. Ruby took a really deep breath. Then she crouched, deliberately submerging herself.

Vanessa appeared to be surprised at this action. Ruby smiled inwardly as she groped and fondled herself. ‘You see? I’m not afraid of drowning, you bitch!’ Then she rose up for a breath.

Ruby told herself to work her body toward an orgasm. She figured Vanessa would get off watching her cum, either above or below the surface. Why not enjoy a little pleasure while she was in here?

She submerged again before starting to finger herself. She writhed and wriggled as she thrust two digits in and out of her well-lubricated slit. Yes, she was definitely feeling it now.

She was aware how fast the aquarium was filling. She didn’t want to push things prematurely. So she stood back up and gasped for breath.

It was good she’d come up for air. The water had now reached her breasts. It wouldn’t be much longer.

Ruby gave Vanessa a lustful gaze as though she was enjoying herself. Then she filled her lungs before submerging again, working herself into a crouch. She furiously fingered herself while aggressively groping her breasts.

The water continued to rise. She could see it climb the glass right in front of her. Soon she would not be able to get any more breaths. That’s when she would truly have to prove her ability to reach the breath-hold time she’d given to that bitch.

Ruby was close to cumming when she decided to stop and get another breath. She shot upward, only to realize she was standing in water up to her neck. She could feel her feet about to leave the floor of the aquarium.

One more practice session? Then she would have to get her very last breath. Ruby swallowed down her growing anxiety as she filled her lungs before submerging yet again.

She held her breath as she furiously masturbated. She wanted to cum right now. She had no idea whether or not she’d be able to work another one out of her body once she was submerged for the duration.

She bubbled as the panic began to well up inside her. In her mind she heard Vanessa’s words again… “Are you prepared to drown?” It filled her with a growing panic that threatened to overwhelm her.

Ruby anxiously shot up to the surface without cumming. Her head burst up out of the water. She was jerked up short against her shackles. Vanessa smiled sadistically.

This was it. Last breath! The water would be too high if she tried to come back up again.

Ruby swallowed down the fear that wanted to consume her. She gasped anxiously, her nipples hard as her body tingled with fear and arousal. This would be her last breath until they drained the aquarium.

Ruby was looking right at Vanessa when she filled her lungs. She forced herself to remain calm despite the fear surging through her. She fully believed Vanessa wanted to see terror in her expression.

She deliberately submerged before the water level could rise above her head. It was her way of proving to the bitch she was not afraid. She just hoped her performance would be satisfactory. She never wanted to find herself back in here again.

She bent her legs and crouched as she furiously worked her slit. Ruby eagerly fingered her swollen nub. Now she wanted to go for that orgasm before she drowned.

At this point she didn’t even consider trying to reach the surface. She was sure the water level had already risen well above her. She tried not to panic at the thought she was now forced to hold her breath for as long as she could.

This was it: the moment of truth. She could feel her heart thumping loudly in her chest. Could she hold her breath long enough to please that bitch on the other side of the glass?

Ruby saw Vanessa eagerly looking in on her, along with the others. The bitch looked like she was touching herself. Was she actually going to get off watching her drown?

There was no sign of Carl anywhere. Was he standing in the shadows in there with the others? Was he staying out of sight, content to allow Vanessa to enjoy her sadistic moment watching their new executive secretary suffer and drown?

Ruby became aware of the growing strain in her chest. It felt like it was too soon. She tried to focus on her orgasm, attempting to extend her time underwater while holding her breath.

She did not even try looking upward to see how full the tank had become. That would only cause her to panic. The only thing she needed to focus on now was her pleasure while holding her breath for as long as she could.

Her lungs began to ache. Ruby rubbed herself more aggressively. She could feel the fear and panic start to rise up within her. She could also feel a distinct surge of tingles, indicating her orgasm was not far off.

She grunted as she brought her thighs together. Bubbles trickled out of her mouth and nose. Ruby bent forward as she continued to finger herself.

Yes, she could feel it drawing closer. She couldn’t worry about the tank starting to drain. She had to concentrate on her pleasure while holding her breath for as long as possible…

“Are you prepared to drown… are you prepared to drown… are you prepared to drown?” Vanessa’s words echoed in her mind. They were scaring her now, causing her to redouble her efforts.

Her lungs ached as her chest heaved. She could feel it in her stomach. Gawd; she needed another breath!

A surge of panic threatened to overwhelm her. Ruby concentrated on triggering her orgasm. She had to get herself off at least once to satisfy that bitch on the other side of the glass…

She was going to drown… she was going to drown… gawd; SHE WAS GOING TO DROWN! The thought terrified her. That’s when it surged within her until it crested.

Ruby stiffened as she stretched upward. The chain halted her ascent, well short of the water level above her. Then she shuddered in orgasm, humping the water with her fists clenched as bubbles spewed out of her mouth.

Ruby looked upward, only to discover the water level still appeared to be rising. Had she already been under for three minutes?? That meant it would take at least another three before it came back down!

She felt a surge of panic flush through her. There was no way she could hold her breath that long. That’s when Ruby realized she was going to drown. It had been Vanessa’s plan all along.

It terrified her as she humped the water in front of her, her lungs screaming at her. For a moment her senses dimmed as a second orgasm overwhelmed her. It was far more intense – and much more frightening – than she could have possibly anticipated.

Ruby felt something wrap around her chest as though a large hand had grasped onto her and was squeezing tightly. She began hitching as she struggled to hold her breath a few seconds longer. When were they going to drain the tank??

Her chest heaved ominously, her breasts shaking. Her stomach rippled as she tried to swallow down the air in her mouth. She gulped as she tried to swallow it down again. But it wasn’t nearly enough. Her lungs were on fire.

Where the hell was Carl? Was Vanessa really going to let her drown? Were they all going to watch her drown??

No – no – no – no –NO! Instinctively Ruby shot upward, desperately trying to reach the surface far above. The chain pulled her up short, her shackles hungrily clinging to her ankles.

She lost a huge mouthful of air. Then her lungs gave out. Ruby sucked down a massive mouthful of water.

She reacted instantly as her body stiffened. She coughed before trying to breathe again. Her head tipped back, her eyes staring upward in horror as she sucked down another lungful of water.

Ruby went into painful seizures as she began hitching and spasming. She coughed up bubbles as she kept gulping water down her throat. Her mind screamed for Carl to save her as her lungs heaved over and over again.

She looked through the glass and could see how excited Vanessa had become. Her mind screamed for the bitch to get her out of here. She tried to reach outward toward her in desperation. But her arms no longer responded coherently to her commands.

Ruby kept gulping and gulping until she slowly started to descend. Her windpipe had opened up; her lungs were flooding. She was no longer buoyant.

She looked up at the surface as she began to settle toward the floor of the aquarium. The water level did not seem to be coming back down. She tried to blink in surprise, but her eyelids would not function.

The spasms were less frequent as she continued to settle. She could not believe how much it hurt. She tried to inhale, but her lungs wouldn’t even do that anymore.

Ruby felt like she was spiraling away into darkness. The light shining down on her was growing dim. Where was Vanessa? Where the hell was her beloved Carl??

Ruby settled upon her back on the floor of the aquarium. She looked upward with what little vision remained. The water level was not coming down.

Where was Carl? Was he going to revive her? Ruby was terrified as her vision spiraled away into a tight pinprick. Then she was aware of nothing at all.

It was a full ten minutes before the water began to drain out of the aquarium. Vanessa took a long drink out of her goblet. “Damn; she was good!” she murmured to no one in particular.

Silence filled the observation room. It took several minutes before the tank drained completely. Little puddles of water cling to sections of the floor.

The bulkhead door hissed open. Carl stepped inside. He paused to look down at Ruby. She lay there unmoving, her lips parted and her eyes unseeing.

He calmly stepped forward and bent down. He freed Ruby from her shackles. Then he just stood there admiring her naked form.

“You did well, darling,” he murmured with a smile. I believe Vanessa was quite taken with your performance. You should be proud.”

The gurney was wheeled down the hall to the bulkhead door. Jack went inside and helped Carl gather Ruby up. Then they carried her out of the aquarium.

They laid her out onto a blue sheet. The bulkhead door was closed until such time as another girl could be found. Then Ruby was wheeled back to the observation room.

They stopped her right in front of the aquarium. Everyone gathered around to have a look. If Ruby would have been alive, she would have blushed at such scrutiny.

Vanessa bent over her head, examining the facial features. “I’ve got to admire your choice of women, Carleton. This one exceeded my expectations.”

She certainly put on one hell of a drowning performance,” Jack agreed.

Carl looked at him and replied, “I always pick the best, don’t I?”

“How the hell did you get her to agree to fly here and participate in our little scheme?”

“Oh, the usual, Jack” Carl replied. “It was a combination of love and money. I kept asking if she was sure about all this, if she really wanted to participate. I gave her every chance to back out. But the more I tried to warn her, the more determined she became.”

Vanessa looked at him and smiled. “Of the three woman you’ve chosen thus far, I’d say this one was the best.”

“You really think so?” Compliments from Vanessa were rare indeed.

She went over and wrapped her arms around his neck. Then she kissed him passionately.

When they came up for air she took his arm. “Come along, Carleton. Allow me to fully express my appreciation.”

Carl and Vanessa left together, intent on finding more intimate ways of relieving themselves from the incredible performance they’d just witnessed. Jack and Don took one last look at the girl on the gurney. Then they departed as well.

Ruby was left alone under the spotlight. She had served her purpose well.

2021 (written for Arch Stanton and inspired by his story idea and renders Jan 8 ’21 by riwa)

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