"I need you to come with me,” the stranger said. "I need to show you something--it'll only take a few minutes, I promise. I can't explain yet, but I swear it's really important.” She wasn't anyone Nicole recognized, but at the same time there was something familiar about her rounded curves and chubby cheeks and fishbelly-white complexion. The young woman's hair was a few shades lighter, her eyes a little deeper brown, and the glasses and hat looked slightly different, but Nicole could easily believe that someone had chosen her own body type in a video game and just customized it a bit. The familiarity gave her an instant sense of connection, an impression that she was talking to someone she already knew even if she couldn't quite place where they'd met.
Perhaps that was why she replied, "Sure,” albeit with a hint of trepidation in her voice. Nicole couldn't imagine being threatened by the other woman; she already knew that whoever the stranger was, she was used to burying her face in a book or staring at a computer screen late into the night instead of exercising. And if it came to emotional violence, well... it was hard to imagine the mouth behind that nervous smile saying anything cruel without breaking down and running away with tears in her eyes. Nicole got up and followed her off of the quad.
The woman led Nicole between two residence halls, down around the corner of the Material Sciences building and through a small garden into a shadowed archway behind the student union. It was so far out of the way that Nicole was surprised she even recognized it, but she actually wound up there quite often in her lunchtime campus wanderings. Nicole loved exploring the little world of the university, letting her feet carry her to random places while her mind was distracted and finding little spots no one else noticed. She wondered if her newfound companion was the same way. Maybe that was what she wanted to talk to Nicole about.
But instead, the stranger opened up their clenched fist and handed Nicole a crumpled, slightly damp sheet of paper. Once Nicole took it, the other woman simply stood there, nervous and expectant, her face scrunched up with tension as if she was in the waiting room of a dentist's office psyching herself up for an unpleasant but necessary procedure. Frowning, Nicole smoothed out the paper and attempted to make out the smeared handwriting.
'Please say the word "Jawbreaker" to me,' it said, in printed letters that looked like the work of someone who'd been typing from an early age. 'When you've satisfied yourself that you understand what's going on, snap your fingers three times.' Nicole turned the paper over to see if there was anything written on the back that would explain the cryptic sentences on the front, but the other side was blank. Nicole looked at the other woman, who only looked back at her expectantly. The air filled with a long, uncomfortable silence.
"Jawbreaker?” Nicole said at last, her voice thick with confusion. And to her utter amazement, the stranger's eyes rolled back in her head until only the whites showed, and she sank gently to her knees in front of Nicole with an expression of vacant bliss on her face.
For a fraction of a second, Nicole wondered if this wasn't some kind of strange joke. She'd learned the hard way during her childhood that jerks and bullies were willing to humiliate themselves in all sorts of ways privately in order to trick someone into humiliating themselves publicly, and it was often hard to figure out where their pranks were leading at first. But as soon as she looked at that blank, beatific face, Nicole knew instinctively that this wasn't an act at all. The stranger was crawling towards her on her hands and knees, pupils barely even visible under those fluttering eyelids, and she looked as though the only thing remaining in her conscious awareness was Nicole. She looked overjoyed, even rapturous to be in Nicole's presence, captivated completely by her and eager to please.
Just how eager became clear when the stranger pulled down Nicole's leggings to mid-thigh, taking her panties with them, and leaned in to nuzzle Nicole's pubic mound. Nicole's breath hitched in her throat for a moment at the sensation of warm breath brushing against her thatch of pubic hair--she'd seen a little bit of lesbian porn during her late night explorations of the adult sections of the Internet, and her reactions had definitely been strong enough to make her wonder if she had a little bit of bisexuality hiding somewhere in the deeper recesses of her brain. But of all the ways to have her first sexual encounter with a woman, this one hadn't even shown up on the list of her fantasies.
"Um, wha, what, what are you--?” Nicole stammered out, staring down at the stranger's head with a look of pure shock on her face. The woman between her legs didn't stop with a few kisses and kitten licks; she pressed her mouth up against Nicole's labia with every sign of utter delight and wriggled her tongue up into the slick channel between them. The fact that she was wet down there astonished Nicole almost as much as the other woman's unexpected and inexplicable behavior--she hadn't really noticed until just now, but her pussy was absolutely gushing with arousal for no reason that she could adequately explain. She was practically gagging for it, even if this was the last way she'd expected to have her urges satisfied.
"Um, I um, I... is, is this okay? I, I didn't... ohhh, fuck.” Nicole's knees trembled as the other woman spread her pussy lips with her thumbs and pursed her lips directly around Nicole's tingling clit. She felt awkward, as though she should be objecting a bit more strenuously than she was, but the suckling sensation between her thighs had already answered the question of whether or not she was enthusiastically consenting to the stranger's attentions pretty solidly. And if anything, the woman between her legs looked as though she couldn't be happier. She seemed to be almost drunk with ecstasy, blissed out and completely devoted to pleasing Nicole's cunt.
It felt oddly familiar. Nicole didn't know why--she was certain she'd have remembered being eaten out by another woman, especially with such vigorous intensity. Nicole was leaning a lot of her weight forward, relying on the stranger to keep herself from sinking to the ground under the force of each new wave of tingling bliss. But mixed in with the thunderous waves of pleasure was a quiet, insistent certainty that she recognized something about this public sexual encounter, despite an equally insistent voice inside her head telling her to forget the memory before it could form. Nicole felt as if her head was coming apart at the seams trying to reconcile it all.
Or maybe that was just the stranger's tongue at work. Nicole stifled a scream of pleasure as her first climax hit, making her knees wobble and her eyes roll back in her head until she looked not dissimilar to the woman between her thighs. The other woman didn't let up, though; she kept licking and sucking, changing the spots her tongue stroked and the speed of her flicking and the way she fucked Nicole's cunt with her mouth. It kept building and building, overwhelming Nicole until her stammered protests became wordless moans and her wordless moans became guttural grunts and her grunts finally settled into a non-stop mindless ululation of pure bliss. She wasn't going to stop, Nicole realized. Whoever this person was, they were never going to stop licking until Nicole made them stop.
Once that finally settled into her dazed and foggy brain, Nicole finally managed to snap her trembling fingers three times before looking down at the stranger in awed bewilderment. The other woman pulled up Nicole's leggings, hiding the slick smears of arousal from view, and rose to her feet. "Um, hi,” she said, her eyes still a little bit glazed and unfocused. "Did... did it work? Only I don't really remember what I did just now, and, um... yeah.” She gave a nervous little grin, as though she was asking how she did on a class presentation instead of describing an intense sexual encounter with a complete stranger.
Nicole just stared at her for a long moment. "I... you... um, we had sex. Kind of,” she managed to mumble at last. It seemed almost absurd to put it into words; surely she'd be able to taste Nicole in her mouth, at the very least? But somehow, Nicole understood on an intuitive level that she couldn't possibly describe that the other woman was very good at ignoring strange little details that might clue her in to her activities between the mysterious word and the finger snaps. Nicole didn't like thinking about why that made so much sense to her. She was suddenly afraid for no reason she could explain.
But the stranger just nodded. "You've got one too,” she said, nodding at the piece of paper that Nicole finally realized she was holding in her clenched, sweaty fingers. "My name is Shellie. I was Tim Kellerman's lab partner a couple of years ago. And I think we've got a lot to talk about.”
* * * * *
"He was nice to me,” Shellie murmured hesitantly, staring down at the bedspread as if she was reading dialogue off of the cheap cotton comforter. "That's mainly what I remember. It was my first year of school here, and I, um... I didn't have very good experiences in high school. I thought that college was just going to be more of the same. But when we got paired up for labs, he was....” She traced a seam idly, looking like she was about to burst into tears at any moment. "He was nice.”
Nicole sat facing her on the narrow twin bed, uncertain how to respond. At Shellie's request, they'd skipped class and gone back to Nicole's dorm. Her bedroom was a narrow little closet on the basement floor of the residence hall that was cramped with one and practically claustrophobic with two... especially when one of the two had just received enthusiastic oral sex from the other and still didn't know quite how to feel about it. Nicole wasn't sure whether reaching out to comfort the other woman might send the wrong signal, or even what the right signal would be in a situation like this. She settled for an awkward, stilted, "He was nice to me too.”
Shellie nodded grimly, her mouth tightening into a determined frown. "He, um... he found out that I had a sweet tooth,” she said, her voice still feeling its way around the edges of the narrative. Looking for a way inside. "And he would always bring hard candy to our study sessions together. Something new every time, from the sweet shop at the mall. Sour balls and peach buttons and lemon drops and, and....” Nicole could hear the word the other woman wasn't using. She almost said it, but caught herself just in time.
"And while I s-sucked, he would talk about the flavor,” Shellie continued. "About the way the candy melted. I didn't think too much about it--he had such a nice voice, and it was sort of, um, soothing. To just sit there and listen and enjoy my favorite sweets and not have to worry about anything for a little while.” A tiny droplet of saliva fell onto the covers, and Shellie abruptly wiped her lips and swallowed heavily. "I'm sorry, it's, um... it's really hard to talk about. Even to think about. I have to work really hard to keep it in my head.”
Nicole very tentatively reached out and patted Shellie's knee. "It's okay. You... you don't have to talk about it if you don't want to. I believe you.” She wasn't a hundred percent sure she really did--Tim had always been so kind to her, so gentle and friendly and calm, and Nicole couldn't remember even a single time he'd been anything less than a perfect gentleman even when they were alone together--but she wanted to show her support. Women needed to believe other women. Even when it wasn't easy.
But Shellie looked up at her and shook her head frantically, dismay in her wide brown eyes. "No, I--I'm sorry, I'm not telling it very well. It's all, um, tangled up in my head. Tim and I, we never--I mean, I don't think we ever--I don't remember,” she said at last, forcing her sudden rush of words back into the rhythm of normal speech with a visible effort. "I remember we studied together, I remember he always gave me candy and talked to me about what a, a sweet girl I was... and I remember being happy to hang out with him. But everything else is kind of a blur. You know what I mean, don't you?”
Nicole tried hard to think back to her hydraulics project with Tim. It proved to be surprisingly difficult. She could recall going over to his little apartment off-campus, she could remember the warm feeling of anticipation that filled her every time she went up the stairs and knocked on his door, and she had a vivid mental image of all the silly little toys he kept on his desk, but... but everything else just faded into a vague, drifting impression of happiness and calm and delight. Nicole couldn't summon up anything concrete, no matter how hard she tried. She got to the little dolls and her brain just--just stopped.
Shellie reached up and wiped away a trickle of drool from Nicole's lips. "Sorry,” she said nervously, pulling her hand away as Nicole's eyes refocused.
"I didn't really notice anything wrong at first,” Shellie continued, doggedly picking up the thread of the narrative again. "I was taking classes, I was studying, I was making friends, I was doing, y'know, normal student stuff. But after a few months, I started to find odd things happening. I'd be late for a lecture, even though I'd gotten there early. I'd have weird little episodes of deja vu, like sitting down somewhere even though I was sure I hadn't gone anywhere. People would walk up to me, then they'd walk away without saying anything and I wouldn't know why. It was... it was strange. But I got really good at ignoring it, you know?” Nicole shivered, not wanting to admit that she knew all too well.
"And then other girls, they... they started kind of giving me side-eye.” Shellie squirmed a little in embarrassment. "Not like 'mean girl' stuff, I was kind of used to that, but... I could tell they were saying stuff about me. Sharing gossip. Not maliciously, but... they knew something about me, something big, and they couldn't stop talking about it. Some of them even looked worried about me. It started to feel kind of creepy, but it was my freshman year, and I didn't have a lot of friends. Especially not female friends. I didn't know how to get into the conversations that they were having. Especially because, you know, they didn't want to say anything mean to my face.”
Shellie started blushing, her pale cheeks becoming redder and redder as she continued with her story. "And then one day, this girl, Tabitha, she... she pulled me aside after class. She told me she knew that her boyfriend was cheating on her with me, that I had better stay away from him or she was going to, um, to deck me or something. I don't really remember, she wasn't very good at making threats. She was just really mad and sad and jealous and I was right there. And I tried to tell her I didn't even know her boyfriend, that we'd never spoken and we didn't have any classes together or anything, but she--she showed me a picture. On her cell phone. And it was me, on my knees, in the bushes down by the river. Sucking his cock.”
Shellie's voice broke off for a little while. Nicole squeezed her knee in sympathy, even if she didn't yet understand why.
"I started getting a little paranoid after that,” she finally continued, her voice slightly unsteady. "I didn't hang out anywhere after classes, I went straight from my dorm room to lectures and labs, I stayed where there were big groups of people. But it kept happening. I'd be in the student union buying breakfast, and then I'd see someone l-looking at me, and suddenly my food was cold. I could feel the gap in my head where the missing time was, but I could also feel a little voice telling me not to pay any attention to it. And I wanted to listen--I did listen, kind of--but I knew that something was wrong. Really wrong. And then about six months ago....”
She looked over at the piece of paper where it lay on the bed next to her. "A guy came up to me. A friend of a friend of a friend of Tim's, I don't remember his name. He looked really guilty, like I was the ghost of the girl he killed drunk driving or something, and he just walked up and handed me a letter, then ran away without saying a word. And I opened it, and I read it, and it was... it was just so hard to believe. It was so hard to believe I almost threw it away. I told myself it couldn't be true. I knew Tim wouldn't do anything like... like that to me.” Nicole was beginning to get more than a little frustrated with Shellie's elliptical descriptions of whatever it was Tim had done. She wished that the other woman would just spit it the hell out.
"And then the other day I saw someone come up to you. I watched them say something to you, and I watched you go off to the bushes by the river with them. And I... I knew it was real, then. I knew it was real for you in a way that I couldn't believe about myself. Tim told me to forget what he'd done to me, but he never told me anything about you and... and I can tell you, Nicole. I can tell you because it all makes sense at last. Tim hypnotized us. He put a trigger inside our head that makes us do things, and then forget we did them. I know what yours is now--I won't say it, but I know. And anyone who says it... you saw. You saw for yourself. You saw what I did when you said it.”
Nicole wanted to laugh. She wanted to dismiss the statement out of hand as the paranoid fantasy of a woman she just met, to brush the comment aside instantly and put it out of her mind and forget she ever even heard it. But... but she'd seen the way Shellie's eyes rolled back in her head when she heard that trigger. It wasn't an act. Nobody acted that convincingly, even if they had some kind of strange motive to gaslight Nicole into mistrusting Tim and even if they were fearless enough to perform oral sex on a stranger in public just to make the lie more believable. Shellie wasn't faking it... and if it was real for Shellie, then maybe it was real for her. "What do we do about it?” she asked at last, her voice surprisingly small and anxious.
"I've been giving it a lot of thought,” Shellie replied, a touch of confidence creeping back into her voice. "I know my trigger is too well-known to be able to avoid bumping into someone who knows it, and I think yours is getting there--I've been working up the nerve to talk to you about this for almost a week now, and you've been dropped by at least four people that I saw. One of them practically shouted your trigger. Unless we want to hide in your room forever or transfer to a different school or something, we're going to have to get this out of our heads.”
She went on, getting more and more enthusiastic as she warmed to her topic. "We can't go to Tim--he'd just hypnotize us again and make us forget what he did to us. I tried making a recording to remove all the suggestions, but it seems like the trigger only works when I hear an actual person say it other than me. And if we tried to drop each other, we'd both just sit there in trance until we fell asleep or something. So we need help. Someone we can trust. Someone who won't take advantage of the situation. Someone who knows a lot about hypnosis.” Shellie smiled for the first time since Nicole met her. It looked surprisingly cute on her. "Someone like my psych professor Doctor Fredericks, maybe?” she asked.
Nicole felt the growing block of anxiety in her stomach melt away almost instantly. "I'm on board,” she said quickly, forcing herself to unknot the tension from her muscles. "Is it okay if we hang out in here for a bit while you email her? I, um... I kind of don't want to go outside right now.” She hoped that the words didn't sound like a clumsy come-on; Nicole was still very acutely aware that the two of them were still less than an hour removed from having lesbian sex in the bushes. But Nicole had no interest in exploring that any further, not until she knew that Shellie's desires were entirely her own. And that wasn't going to happen until they agreed to be hypnotized again.
* * * * *
"I'm very sorry,” Doctor Fredericks said, her voice warm and sympathetic. "This all has to be just terrible for you both.” The older woman wasn't at all what Nicole had pictured when Shellie suggested going to a trusted authority figure for assistance; instead of a woman in her fifties with tweed skirts and rigidly-permed hair, Nicole found herself talking to a hip young professor barely out of her thirties wearing a lavender suit jacket over a lesbian flag t-shirt and ripped jeans, with a bright green undershaved hairstyle that did a lot to remind the younger woman of those bisexual impulses that she'd just begun to explore.
But Shellie was insistent that the professor was the right person to talk to. "She's really smart and so cool,” she'd gushed while they ordered pizza and waited for a response to their email. "And she's always talking about calling out abusers and women supporting women and, like, believing victims and stuff. She says all the right things, Nicole. If we can't trust her, we can't trust anyone.” Nicole was trying not to view that in a 'glass half-empty' kind of way, but she still kind of wished that they could have found someone more reassuring. Like Dame Judi Dench or something.
Shellie just looked at the other woman with stars in her eyes, though. "Not... exactly?” she admitted, wincing a little as she tried to thread the needle between talking openly about her feelings and contradicting one of her academic idols. "Like, it's weird, because it doesn't quite seem real. I keep thinking that I must be imagining it, because there's no way you could really make someone do something like that. Not even with hypnosis.” Nicole nodded in agreement. She was letting Shellie do most of the talking right now, unable to really articulate feelings she'd been living with for only a matter of hours, but she felt exactly the same way.
Doctor Fredericks pursed her lips in a sober expression. "I'm afraid that's your programming talking. In actual fact, there are very few limits to what a skilled and dedicated hypnotist can do with an unwary individual, especially with two girls as clearly imaginative and intelligent as you are. You're both eager to please, you both probably spend a lot of time daydreaming... unfortunately, you're the ideal hypnotic subjects. I'm glad you didn't waste any time once you figured out what was going on--another few days, and I'm sure this 'Tim' would have gotten his hooks into you again and made you forget everything that happened all over again.”
Shellie blushed. "Thank you for seeing us so late,” she said, looking down at the floor anxiously, "and at your house too. I hope we didn't ruin any plans for your Friday night.” Nicole was trying not to think about that part. Not that she had any real plans for her evening beyond watching anime on her tablet and playing video games, but it was already well past ten, and they had no idea how long it was going to take the professor to clear the suggestions out of their minds. If the buses stopped running, they'd have to either take a taxi all the way back to campus or prevail on Doctor Fredericks' generosity further and ask for a spare room for the night.
The professor sounded as though she'd be happy to do it. "Nothing I can't postpone,” she said. "You two need help, and what kind of a woman would I be if I didn't help two girls in need?” Her expression melted into a warm, reassuring grin. "Now, I think we'd better get started. The sooner you get rid of Tim's programming, the better you're going to feel. Are you both ready to begin?” Nicole's breath caught in her throat. The calm, matter-of-fact offer to hypnotize them both suddenly made the whole situation seem real in a way that Shellie's lengthy explanation couldn't. Doctor Fredericks didn't act like this was all ludicrous or impossible. She seemed to believe that it was something that really happened to them. It was enough to make Nicole's skin break out in goosebumps.
Shellie looked around. "D-do you need a watch, or a crystal, or something? In class, you did that thing with the metronome. I just thought....” She thought that they'd have a little bit longer to get used to this before they actually went through with it, Nicole filled in silently. Neither one of them was quite ready to entrust their mind to a stranger, not so soon after finding out what a different stranger had done to them or what all the other strangers who found out about it had used it for.
But maybe that was their programming talking, finding ways to undermine their confidence and make them walk away from the one person who could help them. Doctor Fredericks certainly seemed trustworthy, and Shellie practically doted on the older woman. And even if Nicole's misgivings were real... did it really matter? They were already hypnotized puppets, slaves to suggestions they couldn't even remember. Whatever happened, they'd be no worse off than they were now. They had to take the chance. Nicole set her shoulders in determination, ready to fix her gaze on whatever the professor had to offer.
But Doctor Fredericks just shook her head and chuckled. "You told me what your triggers were in the email, remember? Bobblehead and Jawbreaker. I don't need anything else when you made it so easy for me.” Nicole had a momentary flash of concern, but it instantly melted away into warm peace and relaxation as she remembered her lessons and found the vacant little dolly inside her head all over again. She slid off the chair onto her knees, distantly aware of Shellie doing the same beside her in perfect unison. It reminded her of all the times Tim had brought them over to his apartment together, using his soothing voice to help them forget all the confusing memories of the hours they spent pleasuring one another for his enjoyment. She knew Shellie very well, Nicole realized. She just didn't know that she knew her until today.
But now there was a different voice using their special trigger, and Nicole knew that this was the person she needed to please. She crawled forward, her tongue already sticking out in anticipation, but her controller said, "Just relax, girls. Stay right where you are, listen to my words, and relax for me.” Nicole paused on her hands and knees, her focus completely centered on the Caucasian woman with the pretty green hair and the pretty hazel eyes. All she wanted to do was make her happy. All she wanted to do was listen and obey like a good dolly. The caution and wariness she was feeling just moments ago had already dissolved into hazy, empty bliss.
"Now, I want you both to close your eyes and picture your special trigger word. You can see it in your head, like a door in your mind that opens up and shows you the warm, peaceful state of obedient trance you're in right now. You can see that door right now, can't you? You can feel how happy it makes you whenever you hear that word coming from anyone's lips and you remember how good you feel to sink into deep hypnosis?” Nicole nodded. The world around her was a warm red mist the color of the inside of her eyelids, but she could still picture the smooth white door with the picture of the bobblehead doll on it.
The older woman was obviously pleased with their response, because her voice was practically incandescent with delight as she purred, "Good girls! I'd like you to imagine a lock on that door now. A big, heavy, unbreakable lock that makes that door impossible to open. The only path into trance is through the door in your mind, and that door can't be opened without unlocking it. You understand, don't you? Even if someone says your special trigger word to you, they can't hypnotize you because the door won't open without the key. Even if Tim tries to hypnotize you, or use a suggestion he's already given against you, he doesn't have the key and he can't get inside anymore.”
Nicole's head bobbed up and down again, a wave of relaxation washing through her so profound and deep that it practically drove her to the floor. She slumped onto her side, realizing only as the tension left her how deeply it had built up. Even though Nicole's programming had wrapped up all her fears and anxieties in a soft blanket of obedient calm, it was only now that it truly went away. She was safe now. Safe from being used, safe from being turned into a fuckdoll for strangers whenever someone said her trigger word and took away all her willpower with it. She was safe at last thanks to Doctor Fredericks, and that soothed her on a level she didn't even know existed until now.
"Only I have the key,” Doctor Fredericks cooed. "Only I have the key now, and you can trust me completely because you know that I'm keeping your minds safe from anyone who might try to control you.” Nicole could barely even move now, but her head twitched in blissful agreement and she sighed in soft, vacant pleasure as her mind finally let go of all her stress and tension and locked onto the professor's every word. "I'm keeping you safe, and you know that everything I tell you to do is just another way to help you free yourself from the influence of those awful hypnotists and you don't need to think about it at all anymore.”
That was when Nicole's mind melted completely, sinking so deep into trance that she no longer even noticed Doctor Fredericks' words slipping past her ears and into her subconscious mind. She was safe now, free of all those terrible untrustworthy people and in the hands of someone she could allow to hypnotize her. She didn't need to worry anymore; she didn't need to think or remember at all what happened while she was in deep trance, in fact. She could just peel her clothes off slowly and sensuously, eager to show the professor her gratitude for helping them free themselves from outside influences, and enjoy the warm bliss of submitting to another woman. It was all very natural. Very normal. Nicole never needed to worry about being brainwashed again.
"We obey, Mistress,” Nicole murmured, hearing Shellie's sleepy monotone repeat the same words right alongside her. Then the two of them leaned in, free-willed at last, to suckle at their new owner's naked breasts.