Randi dragged herself up the stairs with a zombie's weary trudge to the little mother-in-law apartment she rented from her aunt. She wasn't physically exhausted, although certainly the three-block walk with a lengthy climb up a snow-choked wooden staircase wasn't a great end to a long day; but after spending seven hours researching a senior thesis that only seemed to get denser and more impenetrable the longer she spent in the stacks reading medieval French poetry, her brain felt sludgy and her spirit drained. She was looking forward to vegging out to something dumb and trashy, perhaps a horror movie of the very American and very 80s variety. And just possibly a little bit of weed, once her aunt went to bed and she could trade off a cold bedroom for a little ventilation to get rid of the pot smell.
All her plans changed in an instant when she opened the door to find her aunt waiting for her at the small square table in her laughably tiny kitchenette with a man about her age that she didn't recognize. "Oh, Miranda, it's good to see you home!" the middle-aged Caucasian woman cried out, apparently oblivious to the invasion of privacy that Randi had thought she'd made it very clear she wasn't going to tolerate anymore, family or no. "Burt, I'd like you to meet Miranda, she's my niece. She's been going to the University of Michigan, working on a degree in French... although that's between you two now, of course. Miranda, this is Burt. He lives over on Locust Street, in that apartment complex with the park across the street? He's going to be your Master from now on."
Randi's eyes widened in stunned confusion. She looked around, unsure whether she was trying to spot a hidden camera crew or an old-timey narrator preparing to explain to everyone that matchmaking was very different... in the Twilight Zone. But no, it was just the little apartment that Aunt Eula leased to her for the family/starving student rate her parents guilt-tripped her into charging, and the frumpy brunette who looked disturbingly like Randi from a future where she dropped out of college and settled for the first guy who knocked her up.
And Burt, apparently. A pale, gangly dude with straggly black hair and thick horn-rimmed glasses that emphasized his watery hazel eyes. He looked at her with an embarrassed grin that made him look like he knew full well just how weird this whole situation was and didn't feel any more comfortable about it than Randi did. He wore a black t-shirt with the logo of some techno band Randi had never heard of, a pair of matching jeans, and big clunky boots that looked like they'd been chosen more for their practicality in the Michigan winter than any kind of aesthetic statement. Randi didn't hate him, but she sure as hell hated his presence in her apartment right now.
"This would all be a lot easier if you were dating someone right now," Eula continued reproachfully, as though the bizarre sentence that she'd uttered just moments ago hadn't even happened. "I know I'm very glad I've got your Uncle Harold to submit to! But you know the rules. Unattached women need to find a man within thirty days or go into the public collaring pool, and I've known Burt's mother for almost twenty years now. He'll treat you well, and goodness knows that's more important now than ever what with the new restrictions. Isn't that right, Burt?"
Burt had the good grace to look sheepish. "I think your niece might be a little confused," he replied, as though Randi's wide stare and gaping mouth wasn't an obvious hint. "She may not have been paying attention to the news today. If she's in school, she could have turned her cell phone off to study or something?" He didn't sound lewd or smug or condescending or anything else Randi associated with the word 'Master' in her extremely limited experience. If anything, he sounded a little embarrassed about the whole situation. Like he didn't want to be the one to break bad news to Randi, but he knew that someone was going to tell her sooner or later and he'd rather it was him than someone else.
Randi opened her purse and fumbled for her phone, sputtering out a brief, "Wh--hang on, I, um...." that only made her sound even more confused than she already was. She went straight to her Twitter feed, looking for trending news about hallucinogenic drugs in the water supply in Ann Arbor or something, but all she found was a hashtag that filled up every second with one testimonial after another from women all over the world who were waxing rhapsodic about finding their Master and men who reacted to their newfound romantic partners with varying degrees of excitement. It didn't make sense--it made almost the exact opposite of sense--but it at least sort of explained her aunt's weird pronouncement a moment ago. This was real. It was real and it was everywhere.
She looked up. "I--I don't want a Master," she said, feeling for all the world as though she was explaining how bicycles worked to a pair of fish. "I, I'm getting ready for grad school, I'm working two jobs, I... I don't have time for a boyfriend right now!" Even as she said it, though, Randi could feel something shift in the back of her brain. It was as though an invisible gossamer thread connected her to Burt, tugging her imperceptibly closer to him with every passing moment. She could still pull back, but she was beginning to understand now exactly what it was she was pulling away from.
Burt nodded sympathetically. "If it helps, I'm pretty busy myself. I'm starting a new business--computer repair, I know it sounds dull but it pays the bills." He gave a little self-deprecating chuckle. "I don't really date much, and I, um... I'm not exactly sure what a Master does with a--" He blushed, clearly uncomfortable with the word that all three of them were well aware came next. Randi blushed along with him, hearing it in her head with a joyous familiarity that shocked her with its intensity. She never thought of herself that way. She never thought she ever would. But somehow it felt right inside her brain, even if Randi couldn't bring herself to say it.
"Slave," Eula said patiently, patting him gently on the wrist. "She's your slave now. And I'm sure the two of you will figure it out soon enough. My Harold and I certainly did. Do you know he's out right now buying me a collar? Thirteen years we've been together and he hasn't so much as gotten me a pair of earrings, and now he's downtown looking for a steel collar to lock around my neck before everyone runs out. Honestly, it's the most romantic he's been in ages." Randi squirmed. She'd been trying to avoid a lot of things about this situation--the sociopolitical implications, the sexual feelings she'd been pushing aside until her college career was over, the practical questions about how something like this could be achieved--but nothing topped the list like hearing about her middle-aged aunt's sex life.
Burt leaped to his feet, his expression making it clear that he felt the exact same way. "I tell you what," he said, his voice a nervous squeak. "Why don't I take you back to my apartment and show you around? If you're really going to be, um, my... um... my, y'know, gal, and all, you're probably going to be spending a lot of time there." He unslung his coat from the back of the chair and pulled it on, nodding toward the outer door invitingly. Despite the weariness that still clung to her, Randi couldn't help feeling a warm surge of excitement at the thought of following his lead.
"Okay," she said, taking his hand in hers and heading for the stairs. "But I'm still going to have my own place--" Randi froze, the invisible leash in her mind suddenly seeming a lot less gossamer and tugging with a lot more force. "Um. Please. Master." She was surprised to hear the words coming from her own lips. She was even more surprised at how very wet they made her.
* * * * *
Randi unlocked the door and slipped into Burt's apartment, the gentle tug in her brain doing nothing to diminish the strangeness of entering someone else's living space when they weren't home. Unlike Eula, though, she had an open invitation to come over whenever she wanted... and lately, she'd found the environment more comforting than her own place. And not just because Eula never popped in 'just to check on you' here.
No, Randi could feel it every time she walked through the door and kicked her shoes off, a subtle and insidious sense of peace and relaxation that slipped into the back of her mind and unwound all the tensions of a long day of work and study. As much as she tried to ignore it, or even to focus on the sensation and consciously resist the stroking tendrils it insinuated into her brain, Randi couldn't get away from the sneaky pulse of comfortable pleasure that she associated with Burt now. It was like punching fog.
It had been that way ever since the day when Eula had first suggested Burt as her new Master. Even though they'd never formalized the arrangement, something in Randi's brain had clearly accepted the young man's new role in her life. She didn't know what it was, despite seeing the evidence all around her on a daily basis, but some deep and fundamental part of her sense of self now knew that she needed to submit to Burt. And slowly but surely, despite her best efforts to assert her independence, it was acclimatizing her to his control.
Randi set her backpack on the table, a warm glow suffusing her thoughts at the understanding that Burt would know she was there as soon as he came home, and wandered through the small apartment with the vague, slightly bemused air of someone who wasn't sure what they were looking for but would know as soon as they found it. She tried to remind herself that she'd come over to study, that any second now she needed to set up her laptop and get to work translating medieval French like a good gir--like an attentive student... but somehow the demand had no urgency. She would get to it sooner or later. There was plenty of time.
Her nostrils flared slightly as her perambulations took her into Burt's bedroom; Randi had been here before, hanging out and watching television or cuddling or... the young woman blushed fiercely, her thoughts drifting back to that wonderful evening two weeks ago when she'd finally stopped pretending that his physical presence wasn't making her cunt throb with excitement and allowed him to make love to her. She could still smell the faintest trace of sex in the air. Maybe that was what had drawn her here. Maybe she just wanted to breathe him in for a little while before she got started on her classwork.
Or maybe... Randi's thumbs hooked into the waistband of her pants, her hips wriggling from side to side as she began to pull them down. Maybe it was something more than that. Maybe she just needed to spend a little time here, in the most intimate space her Master had, feeling his presence around her and letting it tug her mind deeper into sensual heat. The warm throb in Randi's cunt told her she was doing the right thing when she stepped out of her slacks, leaving her naked from the waist down, and the slick sensation between her thighs promised a deeper pleasure that left her eyes glassy and unfocused with arousal.
Randi flopped onto the bed, inhaling the scent of her Master's body where it lingered on the sheets and pillows, and her fingers found their way swiftly and easily between her soaking labia. "Mmmmm, Master," she whispered to herself, and even though she recognized that her brain had taken another lurching step toward complete subjugation to Burt's will, she was too horny to care right now. That pernicious tug in the back of her head simply made it so good, so warm and welcoming to drift into Burt's power that it didn't even seem like control at all. It felt like... like coming home.
Randi's hips bucked and thrust against her hand, but her thoughts were already drifting into a tangled fantasy of being fucked again and again by Burt's hard cock. She knew it intimately now, the theater of her mind's eye filled with an image of his long, slender shaft so detailed that she could practically feel it fucking her. She grunted like a rutting animal, cunt clenching tightly around her fingers as she pictured her Master's penis parting her slick, dripping labia and giving her the feeling of pure ecstasy that only he could provide. Randi knew that she was programming herself, masturbating her way deeper into submission, but she was too horny to think about literally anything else right now. She couldn't drag her brain away from fantasies of Master no matter how hard she tried.
One orgasm blended into the next, Randi's cunt soaking the sheets as her studies faded away into blissful irrelevance and time lost meaning in fantasies of giving in and letting her Master own her. Her eyelids sank shut, her hips strained again and again until her muscles felt rubbery with exhaustion, and Burt finally found her hours later dozing on his mattress with a sleepy smile on her face. He undressed and climbed into bed with her, stirring her back into semi-consciousness only when his erection pressed into her buttocks.
She didn't get much studying done that night.
* * * * *
"And how's my good girl's thesis coming along?" Burt said, nudging shut the door with one hip before bringing the groceries over and setting them on the counter. "Is she ready for a little brain break with Master on the couch?" Randi froze with her fingers on the keyboard at the sound of his voice, her concentration utterly shattered by her owner's return and its entirely overwhelming effect on her throbbing clit. 13th century French verb conjugations didn't stand a chance against the dizzying bursts of bliss that tugged her deeper into his power every day.
She'd given up trying to resist weeks ago. Even when she finally realized that her cell phone was the source of the subliminal messages that made submitting to Burt seem like an inescapably perfect notion, the same programming that was turning her into Burt's slave also kept her coming back to be programmed again. Randi had gotten used to reading her textbooks with her phone propped up nearby, absorbing the signals out of the corner of her eye while she read and masturbated. Nobody cared anymore. The sight of a woman openly rubbing her pussy was as common as a stop sign on a street corner these days.
Instead, Randi decided to talk to her new Master. She explained to him what she saw in the beauty of the French language, its history and majesty and lyrical poetry, and he in turn agreed to help her finish her degree... in exchange for a few concessions on her part, of course. "Yes, Master!" Randi cried out, sliding off the computer chair and onto her hands and knees to crawl over to greet him. She nuzzled his cock through the crotch of his jeans, an involuntary moan escaping her lips as she felt the outline of his hard shaft against her cheeks. Perhaps 'concessions' wasn't exactly the right word. Randi didn't feel like she'd given up all that much when she promised to move in.
But that was what was so insidious about the programming. Randi still felt exactly like the same woman she'd always been. She still loved cheesy science-fiction movies, she still hated 'Friends', she still couldn't get the knack for making pasta without either boiling it to mush or leaving it tough enough to shatter against her teeth. Everything that she thought of as essential to her sense of self was still in there. And yet... she couldn't imagine contradicting Burt. She couldn't even think of rising to her feet without permission right now, and the mental image of his cock filling her mouth made her pussy into a slick, sloppy mess of arousal. She masturbated every day thinking about pleasing him, and begged for him to fuck her every evening. It was nothing like the woman she used to be. (Well. Except for the masturbating thing, perhaps, although the details of her fantasy had certainly changed.)
"Good girl!" Burt cooed, tangling her fingers in her long dark hair and leading her over to the couch with one light tug on her scalp after another. "It's not hard to break that brain when Master's around, is it, cutie pie?" Randi shook her head as best she could with her limited range of motion. It was hard to deny that she had a lot more trouble concentrating when she was around Burt than she did when they first met; something about his scent, or the sound of his voice, or even just simple awareness of his presence seemed to turn Randi's brain to mush and make her clit throb like a second heartbeat between her legs. It was quite an adjustment for someone who'd spent the last four years thinking of her sex drive as an inconvenience to be accommodated while she pushed her way through college.
Burt slid his pants and boxers down before sitting on the couch. "That's what I thought, pretty girl. Now why don't you come on over here and treat yourself to a reward for studying so very hard like a good slave?" He gently drew Randi's head forward, and her lips smoothly and easily found the rhythm of caresses and nuzzles that she'd discovered pleased him. Thankfully, much of his shyness about expressing his enjoyment at her submission had vanished--the same signals that made her wet and horny and fuzzy whenever she was around her Master had eased him into the role of accepting her surrender for the gift it was. And Randi reveled in his new, quiet confidence.
He guided her onto his cock, and Randi eagerly bobbed her head up and down as she swallowed his thick shaft with every stroke. She'd been waiting all day for this moment, studying and cleaning and doing all the boring chores that once seemed like such a slog with the diligent bliss of a true submissive, and now it was time to give in and allow her mind to sink into the soft, lazy fog of surrender to Master. Her hand slid between her legs, teasing her pussy into a slick mess of arousal that left her whimpering around Burt's warm, throbbing flesh.
She had no real doubt that she would get into grad school. There were plenty of openings these days--not every woman retained their interest in higher education, and the never-repealed laws against gender discrimination meant that colleges were always on the lookout for women who wanted to work hard. And all she needed to do was tell men that her Master had approved her studies to shut them up--no one had taken responsibility for the subliminal signals that were rapidly reprogramming society, but one of the unwritten rules they were all learning was that nobody could tell another man's slave what to do. Even if he decided she should be a professor of medieval French literature.
Randi still wasn't sure it was all working out for the best. Certainly the tangled polyamorous pairings of gay men and lesbian women who arranged for 'nominal collarings' were far from an ideal solution. But it wasn't like there'd ever been an ideal solution to the problem of human relationships before this, either. And at least Randi had a Master who understood what she wanted and needed, and was willing to give it to her.
All night long, in fact. "Good girl," Burt sighed, his eyes rolling back in his head as Randi licked his cock like a popsicle before suckling gently on his balls. She was already beginning to lose track of the world around her, and her thesis had long ago faded into the background noise of her quietly blissed-out brain. She didn't expect to think any time soon... and thankfully, she didn't need to. Not while her Master was here.