“Yeah, see you all ‘round!” Avery called, grinning ear-to-ear as he stumbled out the front door. “Don’t start any shit without us!”
The door slammed shut in his face.
He laughed and turned to follow after the others. His footsteps were lumbering and uneven, weighed down with heavy drink. “Yeah, that was legendary.”
“We got kicked out, shithead,” Rich glowered. The lacrosse runner’s blonde hair swished back as he cast an ugly look at the house. He drew his $895 designer jacket tighter around himself against the cold night air. "God, when my dad hears about this... wanna bet they have a fire code violation or something?”
"Eh, probably." Avery gave a crude laugh and patted Rich on the shoulder. "Especially since I'm not sure Marty remembered to put out his joint."
"Told you we should've spiked the punch." Steve smirked, tossing a half-empty bottle into the bushes. "Could've had a real fun night and gotten even at the same time. That's what they call economies of scale." He took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes, then dragged his hand down his face and over his goatee as if trying to wipe the exhaustion away. “Ugh, and now we have to walk home. Britney drove us and she’s still in there partying. Bitch.”
"My man! The night's not over yet!" Marty turned to face the rest of them, walking backwards with a distinctly uneven gait, and clapped his hands together. "Let's keep it going! I heard those chicks at the nerd sorority are throwing something—why don't we crash that and pick some girls up? Steve, you're always going on about how nerd chicks are hotter or whatever."
"It's all about The Game," Steve said sagely. "Girls with a lower social capital—"
"Yeah, it's all about, like, yeah!" Marty nodded enthusiastically. "What Creepy Steve said!"
"Easy, guys." Lewis smirked, easing around Marty and continuing on his way. "I think we're done for the night."
"Aw, but c'mon, we've gotta get even somehow!" Rich protested. "Nobody just throws Omega Beta Epsilon Ypsilon out like that! People will talk!"
"They'll apologize in the morning." Lewis brushed back an errant lock of his perpetually-windswept crimson hair. "If not, I'll come down tomorrow and hash things out with them. They'll back down." He spoke with the easy, gentle, kindly cadence of one who was quite accustomed to getting his way and didn't quite know what not getting it felt like. Lewis was bigger than the other four guys by a lot—really, he was stacked, especially compared with scrawny Steve or pretty-boy Rich—but it was something more intangible that gave him his charisma. "But I'm fuckin' tired, bros. Gotta hit the sack."
Marty groaned, but Lewis had spoken, and Lewis paid the following argument no heed. 'Creepy Steve' was talking about posting the house's address on one of his websites, and Rich kept bringing up his father. Same-old, same-old.
Lewis didn't really care about being thrown out. People never really stood up to him long enough for him to resent it. The house owners would see reason. He really was tired, and where he went, the brothers of Omega Beta Epsilon Ypsilon followed.
"Hey, what's that?" Marty suddenly piped up.
"What's what, Marty?" Lewis glanced back and followed Marty’s gaze. They were walking along a dark, little-used street on the far corner of the campus, and the sidewalk was currently running beside some sort of wooded park area.
"Can't you see 'em?" Marty pointed. "Lights."
Lewis squinted. Beneath the tall conifers, the forest was pitch black, and dead silent this close to the road. He was tempted to suggest that Marty sober up a bit quicker, or else the dumbass could walk home on his own tonight.
As he was about to turn away, though, his eyes caught a flicker in the woods. A flash. And... and then he did see them. Tiny little pinpricks of light bouncing in the darkness, deep, deep in the woods.
He squinted. "Damn. What are those?"
"Forest's old around here." Rich's voice was low. "My uncle's company wanted to log it and build a condo, but the stupid spotted owls got in the way."
“Yeah. Figures.” Lewis wasn’t totally listening. He was still staring out into the woods, watching as the lights flickered and bobbed, glimmering blue and pink, distant little jellyfish in the pitch-black waters of the deep ocean.
"Right, right,” Steve muttered. “The (((spotted owls))), I'll bet.”
"Marty," Lewis said under his breath, "tell Creepy Steve that I don't know how he always pronounces the weird triple parentheses thing like that, but if he does it again I'm gonna kick his ass inwards. It trips me out."
"Hey, Creepy Steve," Marty began.
"Shut up, I heard."
"Let's keep walking," Lewis said after another long moment. "Probably some dipshit kids running around with, like, glowsticks or something. Maybe a concert.”
“In the woods?” Rich asked.
“Sure. Why not?” Feeling confident in this explanation, Lewis turned away and continued walking home. After an unusually long delay, he heard the other four follow after.
~ ~ ~ ~
"Steve, dude, did you have to kick the bowl?"
As he entered the frat house, Lewis glanced back toward the entrance. "Oh, hey, Kyle."
Kyle—a brawny quarterback with powerful chiseled features only somewhat undercut by his girly-ass charm necklace and his leg being in a cast—was glaring at Steve, who stood beside an upturned bowl just on the porch. Steve shrugged. "Look, dude, you can't leave a bowl of old milk out all night and expect me not to kick it."
"Dude, it's cream!" Kyle snapped. Leaning on his crutch, he advanced on Steve. Steve suddenly seemed a lot less eager for this confrontation. Even with his leg broken, Kyle was twice Steve's size. "It's, like, for good luck, and spirits and shit."
"Kyle, bag it with the dumbass superstition shit, okay?" Rich rolled his eyes as he passed by. "Isn't that what got your leg broken in the first place?"
Kyle flushed. "I-I—no, and also, that's not the point. The point is, it's my bowl, and you're gonna piss off something out there if you go kicking it around like an asshole!"
“Yeah,” Avery snorted, “and if I step on a four-leaf clover, like, Jack the Ripper’s gonna jump outta a mirror and eat my dick, right?”
“That’s Bloody Mary, idiot! And she doesn’t—” Kyle growled and raised his hand to flick the drunken Avery on the forehead. “The clover thing is real! I stepped on it before this happened, didn’t I?” He waved the crutch threateningly.
Lewis grimaced at the display. God, this shit was awkward. “Alright, let’s just move on, guys,” he said, his voice carefully cool and reasonable. “It’s late, and I don’t want to spend all night listening to you two bitch and snitch at each other.”
“Not until this bitch apologizes for kicking the bowl! And pours a new one!”
“Dude, it was just a bowl of cream.”
Lewis’s coolness faded. He rolled his eyes and made his way to the kitchen, rummaging briefly inside the fridge for something. Had to nip this in the bud.
“It was for good luck! It was for good luck for the whole house! But you’re too fucking selfish to—”
“Hey, so, Kyle!” Lewis returned with what he'd sought—a mostly-empty carton of cream helpfully sticky-noted, Kyle's Cream. He smirked as Kyle turned to him and stared warily at the carton. "So if cream's good luck and shit, I'm about to win the lottery, right?"
Maintaining eye contact, Lewis upended the carton of cream and began to chug it all down, cream dripping down the corners of his mouth.
The other guys of Omega Beta Epsilon Ypsilon, all just as drunk as Lewis, began howling with laughter as Kyle went beetred. Lewis just focused on not gagging. The carton was… a lot more full than he'd really registered.
But finally, he lowered the carton, wiped his lips, and gave a loud burp. “Okay, we done here?”
“Dude—you—” Kyle sputtered incoherently as the others filed upstairs. “You can’t just—”
Lewis tossed him the empty carton, accidentally splattering droplets of cream all over the carpet and Kyle’s shirt, and fixed him with a dead-eyed stare. “Dude. Go to fucking sleep.”
He turned and made his way to the stairs, trying not to sway as the ramifications of what he’d just done began to dawn on his stomach.
‘Good luck.’ ‘Fairies.’ God, Kyle was such a superstitious idiot. Probably believed in that Cointelpro thing Marty’s stepsister was always talking about, too.
~ ~ ~ ~
Lewis's dreams were... strange. They swam in an endless shifting discomfort, the sorts of nauseous waves one might expect to flood one's mind after drinking a quarter carton of heavy whipping cream straight after getting extremely drunk at someone else's party. Again and again he awoke, his stomach alternating between clenching as if he'd swallowed a tub of salt and rolling as if he'd just swallowed several live banana slugs.
But when he was asleep, when his dreams became clearer... they were strange. Hot girls drifted around him, women with massive glowing eyes and strange tiaras, tiaras with little bells dangling from before them like anglerfish lures. The sluts were kissing him, stroking him, pulling him into beds with them while they giggled and lavished him with praise. Bells were ringing in his ears as he drooled and bucked and came, as women cooed and sucked his cock with worshipful smiles.
But he kept waking up, and that part sucked. Just when the dreams would start to get good, too.
Finally, the fifth time he’d woken up like this, Lewis forced himself to sit up in bed. His stomach heaved, and his world swam. Glancing at his clock, he saw it was 13:00pm. Shit, he thought blearily, the Bulls’ve got a game in two days, I can't be sleeping like this.
Reluctantly, he stumbled out of bed and made his way downstairs. He'd get some of Avery’s chips to help settle his stomach.
He wasn't used to being up this late. Or rather, Lewis wasn't used to being up this late while actually trying to be quiet. The moon and stars cast the whole frat house in an eerie light. Omega Beta Epsilon Upsilon was located on the edges of the college, just next to the old forests. They were very isolated, and virtually no city lights reached them here. The only light came from above.
He only half-registered that every other bedroom door was open as he made his way to the stairs. This didn't make sense to him, so he mostly tuned it out, because right now he didn't care about anything but getting his stomach to stop acting up.
He stumbled into the kitchen and opened the fridge door. For a moment, he stared into it, barely really seeing the contents.
He blinked slowly.
The crickets sure were loud tonight.
It was weirdly cold tonight, too.
Lewis slowly turned to face the entrance. The front door was wide open.
"Shit," he muttered, stalking over and grabbing the doorknob to pull it shut. "What the hell? Who the hell—"
He was ready to wake the whole house up—that was the kind of mood he was in tonight—when his eyes, glazing over the shadows outside, adjusted just enough to spot movement out among the trees.
At first, he assumed it was a deer or something. But deer didn't walk on two legs. Second, in his still-half-asleep state, he assumed it was some sort of horrific two-legged deer mutant.
Then he realized it was Rich.
"What the fuck?" he muttered with a little half-laugh. The idiot was just walking out into the forest in his—shit, was that dude in his boxers?
He must be sleepwalking, Lewis realized, and had a rare moment of concern. It quickly passed as he realized Rich was going to force him to go outside on a dark, windy night to bring him back inside.
"Hey, Rich!" he hollered. He didn't really care if he woke the others; if one of them did wake up, they could go rescue that little trust fund baby.
But Rich didn't answer. In fact, as far as Lewis could tell, Rich hadn’t even heard him. He just kept stumbling forward, one foot in front of the other.
And then Rich was gone. Gulped down right into the gloom beneath the old pines.
Lewis shifted nervously from foot to foot. "Goddammit," he muttered. He grabbed Marty's nice coat from the coatrack, clumsily donned it, and took off after at a brisk walk.
Tired as he was, it did not occur to Lewis to grab a flashlight. By the time it did occur to him, he was already halfway out, and he brushed the concern off immediately. He’d be fine. What kind of idiot got lost in the woods this close to home?
~ ~ ~ ~
Lewis was lost in the woods.
He wasn't going to admit it, of course. Lewis didn't get lost. Lewis always knew where he was going. His gait was confident, steady and unflinching as he boldly ventured into the darkness with absolutely no idea which way was north. He was shivering against the rising wind. Above him, the wind sent the pine trees hissing and rustling. The crickets were so loud, Lewis could barely hear his own thoughts—they were just a constant storm of mindless noise.
Lewis was lost as hell, and he was slowly starting to consider questioning his decision to go without a light when he heard, over the endless chirpings, a loud snap.
Instantly all his confidence was gone. Every single possible worst outcome flashed into the frat bro’s mind—a bear, a mountain lion, a cougar, a serial killer—as he spun to face the noise, already stumbling back.
But instead, to his intense relief, he saw a familiar plump silhouette walking a short ways away, weaving around tall climbing brambles that almost obscured him from sight.
"Marty!" Lewis rushed over, but Marty didn't seem to react. As Lewis got closer, he realized the wild hedonist party animal looked about as docile as a lamb. His eyes were glazed, his footfalls heavy. The dude looked even more tired than Lewis felt. Lewis hesitated. "Marty?"
Slowly, Marty took another step forward. He swayed, nearly falling, and reflexively, Lewis's arm shot out to grab him by the shoulder. At the same time, Lewis tried to think of something deeply personal and meaningful that might jar Marty out of this strange sleepwalking trance.
"Dipshit, come on, wake up!"
Marty gave a start the second Lewis touched him, making Lewis regret getting all emotional and gay over nothing. He blinked blearily back at Lewis. "Lewis? The... the fuck?" He laughed drowsily, looking around at their surroundings. "Dude, did you actually ditch me earlier, or did I just dream us all walking back together?"
"You were sleepwalking. So was Rich." Lewis rolled his eyes. Now that Marty looked confused, he felt a bit less uneasy. Marty was always confused. Dude was an idiot. "So, is everyone sleepwalking tonight?"
"Uhh... I dunno. Are you?"
Lewis cuffed Marty over the head. "Shut up, idiot. Hey, maybe someone actually did spike the punch."
"Oh, Steve definitely did. Dude always does." Marty stretched his neck with an audible crack, clearly still sort of waking up. "My stepsister says it's kinda, like, problematic or some shit."
Lewis snorted. Marty’s stepsister was even dumber than he was. “I meant aside from Steve. Like, maybe something chemically reacted to Steve's mix, you know?"
"Yeah, maybe. I dunno, like…" Marty's head tilted suddenly. He peered over Lewis's shoulder. "Whoa. Dude, what are those?"
"What?" Lewis turned.
The lights were back.
They bobbed in the air like weird glowing bubbles. Like tiny stars. Pink and white and blue, bobbing and bouncing and floating through the air, pulsing with dazzling lights.
They were everywhere, Lewis realized, disoriented as he spun and saw them now in the other direction too. How hadn't he noticed them before? Was this still a dream? "Dude, what are those?"
“Probably, um…” Marty yawned. "... party in the woods, right?"
"... yeah." Lewis nodded, shifting his weight from foot to foot. He didn't like seeming more spooked than Marty was. "I bet it's some stupid lightshow prank from the Kappa Pi nerds. This is exactly the kind of…" He trailed off as his gaze settled on a shadowy shape in the distance. “Shit, is that Avery?”
They hurried over towards the stumbling stoner. As he drew nearer, Lewis saw that Avery seemed to be in the same trance as Marty had been in. The lights had initially seemed to be flying around Avery, but the closer they got, the further they drifted, until they were right upon Avery and the lights were once again off in the distance. It was almost like the lights were shy.
Lewis rushed over and grabbed Avery roughly by the arm. "Hey! Hey, Avery!"
Avery did not immediately respond. He kept stumbling forward, his eyes glazed and reflecting many colors into the darkness. Even when Lewis shook him, there was no response.
"Hey, look, it's Kyle," Lewis heard Marty murmur, pointing further down. Up ahead, Kyle was indeed stumbling on, deeper into the brush.
Lewis ignored Marty and snapped his fingers in front of Avery's face, then, when this failed, loudly clapped his hands. "Avery!"
This finally seemed to jolt Avery out of it. He spun to face them, raising a fist to swing. "Wha—what the fuck?"
"Easy, Avery." Lewis raised both hands defensively. "Dude, what are you doing out here?"
"I was..." Avery blinked dazedly out into the darkness. "... having a weird dream, I guess."
“Yeah, I’ll say.” Lewis looked between the other two, then at Kyle as the brawny quarterback disappeared into the distance. “Hey! Hey, Kyle! Dumbass! Wake up!”
Kyle did not appear to even notice Lewis. Somehow, that rankled even more than open disrespect.
“This is really weird,” Lewis heard Marty muttering.
Nodding in unsteady agreement, Lewis squinted off into the gloom, trying to make out Kyle. But the quarterback was gone.
In the distant darkness of the forest, the lights flickered and flashed in pink, white and blue.
“Maybe it’s a gender reveal party?” Marty suggested. “A, um, nighttime one.”
“Must be some fucked up gender.”
“Yeah, like, my stepsister’s been saying—”
“No one gives a fuck, Marty.'' Lewis sighed and flicked his hand onward. “Look, let’s go check it out. Seems like that’s where Rich and Kyle are headed.”
Marty’s head tilted to the side. “Are sleepwalkers drawn to lights or something?”
“Moths,” Avery said, yawning. “That’s moths, Marty.” He set out after the wayward Kyle, his footsteps still a little uneven. “Come on, let’s go get him and bring him back.”
Lewis and Marty exchanged uncertain looks, then followed after. The lights twirled and bounced around like fireflies. Very colorful fireflies. There was no sign of Kyle anymore.
“This is really weird, right?” Lewis heard Marty saying under his breath.
Lewis sort of agreed, but he didn't want to seem perturbed in front of the guys. He pointed up vaguely towards the lights. "Let’s just… keep going. Work out what’s going on."
Avery blinked, then shrugged his shoulders. "Sure, dude." He glanced up, his gaze briefly flickering with the lights' reflections, pink and blue twinkles in his eyes. "Yeah, let's... I bet it's some kinda sick rave, right? That’s the only… um, like, logical explanation."
"Yeah, that makes… sense." Lewis gave a dazed nod and sped up his pace. He heard the others following after him. Kyle was nowhere to be seen anymore, but Lewis didn’t care about Kyle right now. "Yeah..."
The lights up ahead flickered. Spun. Danced, even.
He trudged off into the forest, not fully registering the others' footfalls as they began to diverge from his own.
He just kept watching the light he'd chosen. It was a pretty purple hue, twinkling with little cyan streaks like a little violet lightning storm. The longer he looked, the more complexities to it he started to notice.
His breathing slowed. It felt so easy to follow it. So easy to follow the pretty light. So easy to let his head bob slowly in time as the light drifted towards him—then, as if it saw it now had his attention, began to bounce away, moving in low bobbing motions like… likee slow, gentle waves.
It felt so easy to follow along.
His eyelids drooped. He was so sleepy, and... and all that thinking and worrying was for bitches like Kyle, right?...
The light began to slowly spiral as it led him further and further into the wood.
Deeper and deeper into the dark, ancient forest.
Deeper... and deeper... as in the distance, soft bells began to chime.
~ ~ ~ ~
Kyle was having the dream again.
He knew immediately it was a dream, but only in that vague, distant way that didn't seem to matter. He was still along for the ride, as always.
It had to mean something that he'd had the same dream so many times in a row. It always made him wonder what it meant. Which would make him worry about it more. Which meant the dreams kept coming back.
The tough, burly quarterback was back in the field. The green grass was lush and soft against his bare feet, unmowed and verdant as he pursued the ball.
He knew how this game went, of course, and ran with a mix of eagerness, anxiety, and glum fatalism. Any second now, his eyes would be dazed by the sun's glare from following the ball, he'd look down, and he’d spot the big, obvious four-leaf clover.
Bad luck to step on one, he'd always heard. Of course, Kyle didn't consider himself a superstitious kind of guy—he didn't want to jinx it—but there'd been some kids back in high school he'd avoided picking on. The spooky kids. The goth kids. Just in case.
Kyle was extremely unlucky. Despite being the toughest and best-looking guy on the football team, with deep blue-green eyes, a tight musclebound physique, and a disarming smile (at least, once he'd had a couple to ease his nerves), he hadn’t been able to get a date in years, and he almost never got passed the ball. Coach said it was because of his attitude. Steve said it was because girls didn't know what they wanted. The other guys said it was because he always wore a clover charm necklace 'like an eight year old girl'.
But Kyle knew better. It was because he'd broken a mirror five years ago. And that, not him twisting out of the way to avoid stepping on the clover, was why he'd slipped and broken his leg.
Kyle was dropped from his reverie by the sun slipping from behind the clouds, and the ball, which had been soaring through the dream-air like an aimless bird, now began to descend back down to earth.
Dazzled by the bright sun, Kyle's eyes flitted downwards, and he knew he was about to see—
But he didn't see the clover.
Actually, he didn't see any clovers at all. The grass of the field was growing luscious and tall, almost to his ankles.
"When was the last time they mowed here?" he mumbled to himself. He looked around, his head buzzing with static. He kept on running, but the tall grass tickled his bare legs, slowed his passage to a crawl.
The smell of wildflowers met him, and he blinked, disoriented. "How are we supposed to run in this?" he asked aloud, and frowned at how small his voice was.
He heard a girlish giggle from the stands.
Kyle wasn't why, but something about that giggle attracted his attention. Maybe it was because the rest of the field had gone very quiet all of a sudden. The players were still running around, but it all seemed slow, blurred. Unimportant.
He looked up and met her eyes.
The girl sitting alone on the bleachers' bottom row had eyes like none he'd ever seen before. Vivid green, like, like the fresh first green leaves of a new sprout.
They shone in the dim twilight of the abandoned field.
Kyle blinked. Something felt... off about that, but he couldn't quite place what. He took a step forward, but the tall grass hampered him, tangled at his ankles. He had to tread carefully to keep from tripping.
The girl giggled again. She was his age, with long, flowing hair the color of an evergreen forest. She was dressed like a cheerleader, which made Kyle's heart race a little, remembering his last ex—though her short skirt was bright green, her spaghetti strap crop top a pale blue. Hardly school colors.
She smiled brightly at him, fluttering long, thick lashes.
Suddenly oddly flustered, Kyle smiled back. He tried to affect more of a swagger, but this took his mind off of his careful footsteps. His left foot caught under a tuft of grass pinned down by his right, and he yelped as he nearly fell right to his knees.
The girl's eyebrow arched. She raised a finger and curled it inward in a delicate beckon, pouting plump dark emerald lips in luscious suggestion.
Down below the base of her neck, a pretty emerald necklace glimmered in the faint light.
Kyle's heart fluttered as he righted himself and took another step forward. He found the grass no longer hampered him. He took another step forward, and then another, and then was walking confidently over. He didn't care about the game anymore.
His eyes were glued to the girl's tits.
The necklace had drawn his eye first. It was a cute little chain necklace, laden with four little emeralds arranged in the shape of a four-leaf clover sparkling in the starlight. It had caught his eye quickly.
But then his eyes had strayed to the heavy, bounteous cleavage the emeralds dangled between, round breasts pressing so yieldingly against one another, smooth enough to reflect just a gleam of the lights above. Her shirt visibly strained to contain what little of her chest it concealed, thin fabric stretching, nipples visibly tenting the dark fabric. And the necklace glimmered and sparkled so prettily.
He came to stand before her, and he suddenly felt a little unsure of himself. "H-Hi," he managed, again put off by how small and weak his voice sounded. This girl was easily half his size, curves notwithstanding. With lipstick and tits like that, with her shirt so low-cut and so tight... god, she was clearly a total slut.
And still… he didn’t know what to say. Words felt so hard. She just smiled, reaching down toward her chest. His breath quickened, before he realized she was just going to play with the necklace. She twirled it idly it between her nimble fingers, letting the emeralds sparkle up at him.
"Hi," she purred, licking her lips. "Gosh, you must be Kyle, right? The quarterback?"
"Uhh..." Kyle blinked down at the necklace. It took him a moment to register her words, then he proudly puffed out his chest. "That's right. What's your name, sweetie?" He gave a gentle, patronizing smile as he met her gaze, remembering his coach's advice about asking their names, and also about not immediately leering at their tits. Right now, that second piece of advice felt very far away.
"Ooh, names are awful boring, aren't they?" The cheerleader slut giggled and leaned over the railing, and Kyle had to exert every ounce of his will not to admire it too blatantly how her tits jiggled with the motion. The effort actually made him feel physically tired. "Why don't you call me Clover?" she offered sweetly.
He laughed. God, this chick was uncreative. But then, everyone knew the hottest ones were always the dumbest. "What, like your necklace?" he teased.
She giggled behind her fingertips and tossed her lustrous hair back over her bare shoulder. "You're so funny!"
Kyle smirked. He reached up and brushed his dark brown hair from his eyes, leaning over the slight woman, letting her admire his imposing physique as he did his best not to peek right down her shirt. "It's a cute necklace. Draws guys' eyes right where you want them to go, I bet." He winked.
She beamed and bounced in place on her tiptoes. "Teehee! You think so?" Her lashes fluttered low. Her finger continued to toy with the sparkling, gleaming necklace. "Is this where your eyes want to go, Kyle?"
"Well..." Kyle couldn’t resist such a sweetly-offered invitation, even if he’d wanted to—and why would he ever want to? Clover tits were bouncing with her bubbly motions, and the necklace seemed to glow almost with a light of its own as they smooshed it between them. "Heh, I, uh..."
"Because it really is so pretty, isn't it, Kyle?" she went on sweetly, drawing her finger up beneath the delicate chain so the emerald clover leaf hung from her fingertip, so it spun like a little falling maple seed. "Isn't it nice to watch it spin? To see how it catches the light juuust so?"
Kyle smiled. "Yeah, I—"
"Look closer," she encouraged, leaning in. "Really look. Watch how it... glints... twirls... sparkles... drawing all the light to it, Kyle, you see?"
Kyle blinked. The forest was silent as he stared, watching the necklace gleaming in the twilight, watching it flash as the moonlight struck it. "Uhh... I, well..."
"Keep watching," Clover purred, reaching up and caressing his cheek. "Really take some time... admiring it~"
Kyle almost flinched back at her touch. But it was so delicate, and... and her voice was so sweet, so low and intimate. And, like... didn't he want an excuse to stare?
Wasn’t this exactly what he’d wanted?
So why was a part of him telling him to run?
The necklace flickered with flashes of reflected light like a little mirror ball, dazzling him. And yet he stared. It pulsed with that green glow like a... like some cartoon uranium, or like, something out of a Disney movie...
"You see?" she asked sweetly. "You see how pretty it is, Kyle?"
Kyle realized his lips had drifted apart, and he closed his mouth quickly, not wanting to literally drool on her. "Yeah..." And still he watched the green lights dance. "Yeah, it's... nice, I guess..."
He wasn't sure why she seemed so eager for him to admire it, but... like, if she wanted him to stare right at her tits, he reasoned, a girl this hot and this dumb? He wasn't gonna complain. He grinned to himself at this reasoning.
And the necklace... was awfully nice to stare at, he thought fuzzily, feeling his head drooping down into her soft touch. Especially with Clover's nice, soft voice encouraging him...
And Clover smiled. She reached up and curled a finger again, this time stroking just under his chin. With one finger, she guided his chin up so he'd meet her gaze. "Good boy," she said sweetly.
He stared at her glowing green eyes and frowned blearily. "W... whuh...?"
She giggled and beckoned, backing away, her tits jiggling with every step. Her finger released him.
Kyle's head dipped back down, and his eyes sank down to the necklace. It was still sparkling. Still so very pretty.
Dreamily, he took a step forward and began to follow her, as in the distance, he swore he heard a bell chime.
I guess the game's already over, he thought fuzzily, as he stumbled after the pretty girl with the pretty tits and the pretty necklace. Talk about an easy win...
~ ~ ~ ~
Rich was in Paradise.
At least, that's what he assumed. This place looked a lot like the pictures he'd seen of Paradise Gardens, the private park his family maintained out back (or, well, that the help maintained). He'd never bothered going back there, because of his pollen allergies, but this place definitely looked familiar.
He wandered through the verdant garden in a daze, admiring the beautiful flora surrounding him. Every plant here was laden heavily—some to the point of near-collapse—with brilliant blossoms and colorful fruits, even plants he was pretty sure weren’t supposed to have those, like those gigantic weird pink ferns.
He smirked. Most of these plants probably weren't even legal to grow in the states, but when your father went to the same gentlemen’s club as the governor and the local police chief, well, it invited a few extra privileges.
Rich made his way down the narrow path, his stride confident and broad, only taking some casual care not to step on anything too expensive-looking. He admired the rainbows of tantalizing treats around him. Even the flowers looked weirdly delicious.
Curiosity bubbled to the surface as he reached down and picked a vibrant yellow-orange trumpet flower. The petals were thick and stiff, and when he took a bite without thinking, he found the texture to be sweet and buttery like a pastry, the inside gooey and sweet like butterscotch.
He tossed it aside and, still curious, still barely thinking about it, leaned over to lick a curious vine that glistened deep cherry-red. It tasted like strawberry rhubarb pie.
The air smelled sweet and fragrant, and above hummed strange birds he didn't recognize. He smiled dreamily up at them, only vaguely confused that it was now dusk. The sunset burned hot pink in the distant western sky.
He gazed out over the horizon... and noticed that the pink light of the sun was cast almost perfectly onto a strange tree.
The tree itself wasn't strange—it was just some weird twisted flowering thing, its bark a vivid madrone-red, its pale pink leaves almost like cherry blossoms. The fist-sized fruits on it were a vivid dawn red, and slightly heart-shaped, like glistening translucent plums or peaches. They visibly dripped with some sort of nectar or syrup.
Rich swayed, dizzy as he breathed in the endless sweet floral scents of the garden, and smiled dreamily. He licked his lips. Above, the humming of birds and insects mingled with a distant giggling, a sound sort of like windchimes.
As the fruits’ syrup dripped below and out of sight, obscured by the lush foliage, the plinking sound of raindrops hitting a pond's surface joined the easy garden melody.
Rich stared at one of the nearby fruits, and his mouth watered. He'd never seen a fruit like that before. It looked more delectable than anything he’d ever tasted. Dimly, he felt a bitter pang of resentment that his parents hadn't had someone bring him one of these before. They owned the place, after all. Should have been easy.
He wasn't exactly a towering figure, was the trouble. Rich was plenty athletic—according to scholarship records, he was a champion at lacrosse—but not exactly, well, tall. He was slight, with pale blonde hair and a pale, lightly freckled face. Despite what he considered to be a strong jaw, he was often mistaken for a girl, which was why he kept his hair cut short and usually wore sunglasses to hide his thick eyelashes and deep blue eyes.
There were so many other delicious-looking fruits and flowers that were easier to reach. But as he took in a deep breath, staring up at the beautiful fruit, his head buzzed with desire, and those other treats might as well have been sacs of ash.
He could almost feel feel the vines and brambles below tugging at him, urging him on. He could almost feel ghostly hands caressing him in his fine clothes, pulling him forward.
He could almost hear that giggling in his ear. A sweet little voice cooing, "Well? What are you waiting for?~"
Rich took a step forward, eyes trained on the fruit.
And his foot sank like a stone into something thick, warm, and unmistakably liquid. His arms flailed desperately for handholds as he let out a muffled shriek—before tumbling straight into a well-concealed pond at the tree's base.
And he plunged headfirst into something thick, syrupy, and a deep amber-gold.
Rich hung beneath the surface for a moment, dazed, suspended like an insect in amber. Dimly, he couldn't help but wonder what this pond was doing in his garden. It was like it was meant to trick someone into falling into it! It was a… a real hazard! Someone could get fired for this!
Then he remembered that a hazard was something dangerous, and his eyes widened. His lips parted to let out an alarmed cry, and the sweet taste of something much like honey met his tongue and filled his open mouth.
He started to flail and thrash. Had the liquid not been so thick, bubbles would have been coming out. He was panicking, gurgling, struggling to swim in the thick, murky 'waters', but it was literally trying to swim in syrup.
As he floundered for life, a soft, delicate hand grasped his left arm. He jerked away instinctively. It didn’t let go.
A moment later, a soft, delicate hand grasped his right. He squirmed at this, but barely noticed over his own rising panic.
A third hand brushed over his hips, and he felt something being... undone. His belt. And this he did notice.
Rich started to thrash against the hands, swinging his hips wildly and futilely to dispel the touch at his belt. He gurgled and writhed, panic warring with outrage, the need to free himself and breach the surface warring with the simple need to protect his dignity.
“Stop!” he tried to burst out, but all that came out was a babble of almost-bubbles against the thick, heavy syrup.
Soft, plush lips grazed his neck and whispered something indistinct into his ear. The voice was soft and sweet, working its way into his head to soothe his panicked mind, feathering away all tension like a maid brushing a prized ornament spotless.
Rich went still. For a moment, he felt a strange, luxurious calm settle into him. The calm was dreamlike, cozy and honey-glazed, his worries and anxieties languidly dipping into the sweet, indulgent certainty that he was perfectly… safe.
The next thing he knew his head was breaching the surface.
He sputtered and swallowed and gasped for air, gulping down more thick, sickeningly sweet nectar and nearly retching at just how unbearably saccharine it was. It was pure sugar. A curse was on his tongue as he turned to his too-late-to-save-his-expensive-clothes rescuers, expecting to gaze upon one of his family’s gardeners. "I hope you realize you're fi—"
His eyes met two brilliant, gleaming honey-gold pools. And just as when he’d taken that first step, he felt his gaze immediately beginning to sink.
He felt that hand on his hips joined by another as someone behind him grasped his ass and used it as an anchor to pull themselves closer. He turned, reaching up foggily to wipe his face clean of nectar, struggling to clear his strangely blurred vision.
Two absolutely drop-dead gorgeous… beings were in the pool with him, floating casually upon the surface. Their bodies were exquisitely soft as they drew close to him, their skin as smooth as porcelain. Their indulgent curves helped to guide his instinctively greedy gaze up and down over their naked bodies as he stared, briefly hopelessly lost in the twin visions before him.
The one who'd pulled him up was a beautiful girl, her hair thick spools of golden thread flouncing up and down in pretty, fetching curls. Although she looked sort of collegey, maybe even older, that big smile had an oddly ageless quality that made him unsure. Her eyes seemed virtually pupilless—just solid pools of brilliant gleaming honey. She had slim shoulders, delicate hands, and a cute round face adorned with heavy makeup. Her plump lips and thick fluttering lashes were both painted a brilliant glittering gold. Her lower body, from what he could see beneath the nectar they swam in, was lusciously curvy enough to make any guy drool, her massive jiggling tits bobbing in the nectar, just barely low enough to blur her nipples from view. She giggled as his eyes trailed there, and he flushed and quickly looked back to the person gripping his ass.
Behind him was... Rich instinctively wanted to call him a boy, even though he could see no real evidence aside from a very slightly stronger jawline and a flatter chest. The boy was the same apparent age as the girl, and had the same adorable heart-shaped face and gleaming solid golden eyes. His lips were a little thinner, but still plump and kissable, and his honey-brown hair was cut to shoulder length. His chest was flat, but Rich got the sense that his lower body was every bit as curvy as the girl's. The boy beamed at Rich and giggled, releasing his ass. "Oops! Like, sorry!” His head tilted. “Gosh, you're cute."
Rich blinked blearily between the two of them. This has to be a dream, he thought dizzily. He felt weirdly disoriented, almost drugged. But it didn't quite feel like a dream. Something felt off. "What... what are you, um, doing here?" he managed, his cheeks flushing pink at how unsure of himself he sounded.
The honeygirl and honeyboy exchanged sly smiles. They swam backwards, away from him and towards the tree. And then they did something Rich didn’t expect.
They stood up.
The honey came about to their waists.
Rich blinked. Then he flushed and scrambled to his feet upon, climbing out of the deep trench he’d slipped into. "Y-You, you shouldn't be here," he mumbled, glaring fiercely at the pair.
“He is cute,” bubbled the girl with a giggle. She tilted her head down at Rich—she actually had at least an inch on him—and pouted those plump, beestung lips. “Maybe a little high-strung, though!”
“I—” He fumed. They were ignoring him. “If you work for my parents, you’d better pray I don’t tell them to get you blacklisted at the—at whatever association gardener-types are a part of!”
The pair just giggled and smiled at Rich's... crotch.
Rich squirmed and reached down to pull his pants up, realizing the belt had come undone.
His whole mind felt weirdly thick and sluggish, and his cheeks burned under their taunts, their teasing smiles. "This... this isn't funny," he mumbled sheepishly. "Whoever you are, um..."
"Aww, c'mon, sweetie!" the honeygirl cooed. Her eyes glimmered, seeming to reflect the pretty starlight above, as she began to drift further back, into deeper waters. "No need to be so sour!"
RIch flushed and stammered, feeling disarmed by those weird golden eyes. "I-I'm not—"
"It's waaay more fun being sweet, you know," the honeyboy agreed, giggling as he trailed after his partner.
The honeygirl smirked and wiggled in place, her tits bouncing and jiggling from the motion. "But, like, if you really wanna pay us back..."
"Catch us if you can," the pair cooed, and they giggled between one another.
Rich squinted. Something was weird about their backs, he was noticing. There was something... behind them, something mostly hidden by the nectar. Were they wearing capes or something?
The buzzing from above went on, an endless, fuzzy drone. his skin tingled. He hesitated, watching the gorgeous pair retreat.
"Yeah..." he mumbled, licking his lips clean of the nectar that dripped from his body. He tugged his pants up self-consciously again and started wading after, cheeks burning as the bimbos cooed their condescending ‘encouragement’. "Yeah, I'll... teach you a lesson, alright..."
And as he waded deeper into the honey pool, and further under the strange tree, the buzzing grew louder still.
Almost loud enough to hide the distant sound of a chiming bell.
TO BE CONTINUED...