“I’m going to beat you,” Alex spat. It was for her own benefit, as much as anything else. She had to make herself believe it if she was to stand any chance of winning this sadistic game Winter was forcing her to play.
Winter put her hand up in front of her mouth and laughed arrogantly. “And how are you going to do that?” the goth girl asked. “You’re a little out of your depth, Lexi.”
Alex refused to rise to the taunt of being called by the insulting bimbo name. She didn’t have time to get angry or distracted. If she did, she might lose everything. She’d already almost learned that the hard way. She hadn’t realized Ashe - or rather Winter, acting through Ashe - could slip into her head that easily. From now on, she needed to be even more on her guard against the slightest hint of any kind of psychological trick either of them might use to put her in trance. But at the same time, she had to figure out how she was going to break Winter’s control over Ashe. What was it Winter had said? It was all about what Ashe wanted. Ashe was hypnotized, but she couldn’t be made to do anything she didn’t want to do. And apparently, she didn’t want to wake up. Alex didn’t exactly understand why, but it was clear to her that Winter had messed with Ashe’s head so much that the poor hypnotized punk girl had no idea what she really wanted. In all likelihood, Winter had put her in such a state of bliss that she was completely intoxicated with pleasure, and unable to think about anything else. Alex knew how that felt; her body was tingling treacherously at all the memories of pleasure she couldn’t seem to escape from. Alex wasn’t sure how she was supposed to get through to Ashe in that state, but she knew her friend was still in there somewhere. She had to be. Alex needed to figure out how to convince her that she wanted to wake up.
“Ashe,” Alex said, after taking a moment to calm herself. “You know that you’re hypnotized right now, right?”
“Of course,” Ashe answered, with an absent giggle.
“Do you remember how that happened?”
“Um… like, kinda?” The lilting, carefree way that Ashe was speaking was still completely unnerving to Alex. “I came here, and Winter let me in, and I think she, like, showed me something? It’s a little fuzzy.”
“OK.” Alex licked her dry lips. She didn’t know if it was going to work, but she had an idea for a line of reasoning, and she figured she might as well give it a shot. “So, she didn’t ask your permission to hypnotize you?”
Ashe shook her head.
“And you wouldn’t have given her permission even if she’d asked, right? Before, I mean.”
“No way!” Ashe answered, shaking her head vigorously. It was hard for Alex to focus when all Ashe’s mannerisms were so uncharacteristically, ghoulishly upbeat and eager. It was like her friend had been reduced to nothing more than a puppet, being made to dance on strings for Winter’s amusement.
“Then don’t you see! That means you didn’t want this!” Alex was uncomfortable with how desperate and pleading her own voice sounded, but she continued. “Winter hypnotized you against your will! There’s no way you could possibly have wanted her to do this to you.”
Ashe seemed puzzled, like she was having a hard time seeing where Alex’s train of thought was going. “I guess.”
“So… wake up?” Alex ran out of steam. “Ashe, you don’t want this. You know you don’t. You can’t. Please, think back to yesterday. To just a few hours ago. I know you’re still in there. Just remember, and wake up, and we can get out of here.”
“But… like… I don’t wanna,” Ashe replied, after a long pause.
“Why not?” Alex asked, despairing.
Maddeningly, Ashe just shrugged.
“You can’t expect her to just give you all the answers, now can you?” Winter put in from the sidelines, her voice brimming with malicious glee.
Alex ignored her. She had to think, but it was just so hard. She was under so much pressure and Winter’s taunting was getting in her head more than she wanted to admit, and she was still feeling the after-effects of the almost-trance she’d experienced moments before. “You know it’s wrong when people do stuff to you without your permission, right?”
“I guess.” Ashe sounded completely indifferent.
“And you know you shouldn’t want things that are wrong, don’t you?”
“I guess,” Ashe repeated hesitantly, sounding even more indifferent.
“Then… how can still want to be like this?” Alex asked, her voice cracking.
Ashe thought for a long moment. “I just, like, don’t care.”
“How can you not care about right and wrong?” Alex asked in despair.
“That stuff is just so…. tiring.” It took Ashe a while to find the right word. “I’ve spent way too long thinking about stuff like that, and like, what’s it ever done for me?”
Alex stared at her friend in horror. Ashe knew what was going on. She knew what Winter had done to her was wrong. And she just… didn’t care? How was that possible? Alex’s anxiety ratcheted up another notch. She was starting to question whether or not there was enough of Ashe left in there to save.
“Oh, Lexi!” Winter exclaimed condescendingly. “Did you really think that morality was the way to get through to her? There are other desires and urges that go much, much deeper.”
“I don’t believe that,” Alex shot back. “Ashe is a good person!”
“A good person?” Winter mused. “Maybe. I don’t intend to get philosophical with you. But as for whether or not you believe it, well, haven’t you just seen the proof for yourself?”
Alex balled her hands into fists. She wished she had a good retort to offer, but she couldn’t seem to come up with one. As far as ideas went, she was scraping the bottom of the barrel. The only thing keeping her going was that she wanted so badly to wipe the smug, arrogant smile off of Winter’s face. She turned back to Ashe. What was it Winter had said? Deeper urges? Maybe that was some kind of clue. “What do you get from this, huh? What’s making you want to stay this way so much?”
“Feels good,” Ashe said, smiling a dreamy smile. “You remember, right?”
“No,” Alex said, with dawning comprehension. “I mean, yeah, sure, it feels good. But there has to be something more than that. Something deeper. No-one goes through life only ever doing things because they feel good. You wouldn’t be willing to contemplate throwing everything away just for that. So, what is it?”
Ashe’s brow furrowed, and for the first time, her dreamy, untroubled bimbo mannerisms disappeared. She looked deep in thought for a long time, before finally answering simply: “Peace.”
Alex nodded slowly. She wasn’t sure what kind of answer she’d been expecting, but it resonated with her. “I understand. Like you said, you don’t have to choose anymore, right? You just obey. There’s no anxiety to deal with. I… it was like that for me too.” Admitting that made Alex intensely, uncomfortably vulnerable, but she felt as though opening up a little might be the only way she could get through to Ashe.
“Yeah!” Ashe’s smiled returned. “Don’t you wanna, like, go back?”
Alex felt the pull of her words. After the way Ashe had almost managed to hypnotize her it was all she could do not to fixate on how tempting it was to give in to that idea, to look into Ashe’s deep, enthralling eyes and let them take her away. Every moment was a fight to hold on to her resolve. “But Ashe, do you really think this is the only way for you to be at peace?”
The hypnotized punk girl’s brow furrowed again. “W-what do you mean?”
Alex took a step forward. She was on to something. She could sense it. “Ashe, I’m not going to pretend I know everything that was going on in your head. But if you weren’t happy with the way you were before, you can change. Maybe I can even help.”
“Not the way she can,” Ashe said, shaking her head, but Alex could tell she wasn’t as sure.
“Why not?” Alex said insistently. “Why not something else? Why does it have to be her, and not someone else? If what you really, truly need is for someone else to tell you what to do instead of having to decide everything for yourself, then why not at least someone nicer and more trustworthy? Why not… me?”
Winter snorted. “As if you could.”
“I could do it,” Alex growled. “I could. Maybe not right now, but I could learn. And I would, if you asked me to. If that’s what you want.”
“I… what?” For the first time, Ashe almost sounded like her old self. Hope surged in Alex’s chest. She risked a glance at Winter, and saw that the goth girl’s lips were parted in a look of open-mouthed surprise. The sense of satisfaction Alex got from that was one of the best things she’d ever felt.
“I’m saying this isn’t really what you want deep down. I don’t believe that.” Alex spoke with growing confidence. She was on to something, she could feel it. There was no point her trying to hypnotize Ashe. She didn’t know anything about hypnosis, at least not compared to Winter. But maybe she still understood something Winter didn’t. “You just think you want this because no-one’s ever offered you anything like this before. No-one’s ever offered you this kind of peace before. But I promise you, we can find another way. A better way. We can find it - together.”
“Do you really think that kind of sentimentality is going to work?” Winter scoffed, but this time her scorn rang hollow. She sounded afraid. It was tempting to taunt her and throw her former arrogance back in her face, but Alex remained completely focused on Ashe. Her friend’s face was twitching strangely, and when Alex risked a glance into her eyes, they seemed troubled and confused. Ashe looked like she was on the verge of waking up.
“I… I…” Ashe was struggling to speak.
“C’mon!” Alex urged. “Ashe, you can do this! Just think! You know what Winter’s put in your head doesn’t make any sense. She’s lying to you. The peace she offers you is a lie. This isn’t the way.” Alex pressed her palm to her own chest. “Choose me instead. Let me save you, the way you saved me. I know you’re strong enough.”
“I… don’t… can’t…” Ashe blinked rapidly for a few seconds, and then closer her eyes. When she opened them again they were clear and focused, and she was breathing rapidly. She looked like she’d just been jolted awake. Winter was silent. Ashe’s eyes darted around the room for a moment and a look of confusion passed over her face, like it was all new to her. Then, her gaze fixed on Alex’s face. “Alex?” she asked.
“Yes!” Alex cried out. She’d won! The joy she felt was overwhelming. Tears started to well up in her eyes. “Yes, it’s me! It’s Alex! Ashe, I’m so happy, I’m so…”
She didn’t have the words for it, so instead, she broke into a sprint, running straight forward towards Ashe. Ashe’s eyes went wide as Alex almost knocked her off her feet by throwing her arms around her in a huge, tight hug. After a moment, Ashe returned her embrace just as hard. Alex buried her face in Ashe’s neck. She could scarcely believe it. All her worst nightmares had been avoided. She barely knew how, but she’d beaten Winter. She’d had so little hope, but she’d managed to pull through. Everything was going to be OK.
“Alex?” Ashe asked, sounding utterly perplexed by everything that was going on. “What…?”
“I-it doesn’t matter,” Alex replied. She was finding it hard to talk, she was so choked up with emotion. “I-I’ll explain later. Just… it’s fine. You - I - we’re going to be fine.”
“OK,” Ashe said soothingly, after a moment.
“I’m sorry I was late,” Alex said, unable to contain the guilt she’d been feeling. “I’m so so sorry, I’m so-”
“Shh,” Ashe soothed. “It’s OK. It’s OK.”
Ashe rested her hand on the back of Alex’s hair and started gently stroking her. To Alex, the feeling was heavenly. She let herself relax into it, leaning into Ashe for support. She was so exhausted, it was like all the strength was draining out of her body.
“Just relax,” Ashe whispered. It was so kind of her, Alex thought, to be comforting her so well. “It’s all over now. No need to be afraid anymore. Just breathe. Be calm.”
Yes, Alex realized. She needed to calm down, to she started taking some deep breaths. They still needed to deal with Winter, and leave. That prospect seemed incredibly distant, though. All that mattered to her was that she’d saved Ashe. Ashe’s embrace was so warm and soothing. It was better than any massage. Until that moment, Alex hadn’t noticed how tired she was. She wanted nothing more than to drift off to a peaceful sleep in Ashe’s arms. Maybe later, she could. She blushed at the thought.
“You’re safe now,” Ashe continued, whispering softly to Alex, still hugging her and stroking her hair. “Safe to relax. Safe to relax with me.”
“Safe to relax,” Alex repeated slowly. She was so happy, she was starting to feel a little giddy and light-headed. If not for Ashe propping her up, she might have been slumping to the floor. It was like each time Ashe ran her hands through Alex’s hair, massaging her scalp, she became a little more relaxed and a little weaker. It felt amazing not to have to fight anymore, but the feeling was also strangely familiar. The longer their embrace stretched on, the more that familiarity started to bother Alex. Aside from anything else, she was starting to feel as though she might really fall asleep. That wasn’t right. Winter was still right there. They might have won, but they weren’t safe. Not yet.
“Hey, um, Ashe?” Alex asked, finding it a little disconcerting how difficult it was for her to form words. She realized that even though Ashe was still holding her in a right hug, her own body was almost completely limp. “I need to… could you just let me go for one second?”
“I’m sorry, not yet.” The sudden shift in Ashe’s tone of voice made all the hairs on the back of Alex’s neck stick up on their ends. “It’s not over yet, Lexi.”
As horror dawned across Alex’s sluggish thoughts, she heard an all-too familiar laugh of pleasure from elsewhere in the room. “Oh, Lexi,” Winter said. “You really should have been a little more careful. Look, now you’ve fallen for one of the oldest tricks in the book! Such a silly bimbo.”
Alex struggled against Ashe’s overbearing hug - or at least, she tried to. All the muscles and physical power Winter had forced her to work so hard for were useless now. She could barely think and speak, let alone move. “You… cheated,” she forced out.
“Cheated?” Winter feigned shock at the accusation. “Not at all.”
Alex thought back. “You said… no touching.”
“Oh, that. I did, didn’t I?” Alex could hear the sadistic smile on Winter’s face in her voice. “But the thing is, Lexi, Ashe didn’t touch you, and neither did I. You’re the one who gave her that big, warm hug you’re so enjoying. I could almost accuse you of breaking the rules!”
The unfairness and cruelty of her words made Alex sick to her stomach, but she knew there was no point arguing. To her, it felt like nothing more than a cheap trick, but it wasn’t like there was a referee that could intervene on her behalf. Besides, she didn’t have time to argue. She still couldn’t move. Ashe was still stroking her hair, and each time she did, more of her thoughts and independence were slipping away from her. Alex could feel it clearly now. It was exactly like what Winter had done to her, and it was working. She turned her attention back to her hypnotized friend, desperate to somehow get through to her. “Ashe!” she cried. “Please… don’t do this. You don’t have to do this.”
Ashe just giggled. “Of course I don’t have to. But I want to. I want to make you feel just as happy and peaceful as I do.”
“No!” Alex’s voice was growing faint. She didn’t know what to do. She couldn’t get free of Ashe, and she didn’t know how to get through to her. She could sense that she was on the verge of losing everything. She couldn’t hold out forever, but holding out was the only thing she had left. Each moment, each breath, each heartbeat was a battle. Alex didn’t know how he was supposed to win, but no matter what, she knew she had to keep fighting. Stalemate was better than defeat. “I… won’t… los-Ah!”
With one hand still cradling and stroking the back of Alex’s head, Ashe had slipped her other hand around Alex’s waist and down the front of her panties. The feeling of her fingertips touching against Alex’s incredibly sensitive pussy was so overstimulating that it made her cry out, and completely obliterated whatever train of thought she’d been desperately holding on to.
“No!” Alex cried again, but this time her protest quickly rose to become a pleasure-filled moan. It was immediately obvious that Ashe wasn’t content to merely tease her. The hypnotized girl’s fingers were skillfully touching her body in all the right places to bring her sensitivity and need to fever pitch. From her previous encounter with the punk girl, Alex knew the punk girl was experienced when it came to pleasuring girls. Now, all that experience was at work trying to break Alex’s mind with pleasure. Ashe was acting ditzy and dumb, but clearly Winter’s hypnosis had done nothing to dull her skills. The worst part was, it was working. When it had just been Ashe massaging the back of her head, she’d been able to hold on. Now, she was being assailed in two places at once. Ashe’s hand running through her hair was draining her thoughts away, and her fingers pumping in and out of Alex’s pussy were drowning out the ones that were left with mind-melting pleasure.
“Relax,” Ashe said, her voice breathy and tempting. “Just relax and, like, let me make you feel good.”
“N-no,” Alex managed to say. It was so hard to think. So hard to focus on anything at all when her body was being so overwhelmed. She felt helpless. Winter had spent so long training her body to be hypersensitive to even the slightest stimulation. It had become her Achilles’ heel. “I-I don’t w-want-”
“Of course you want it, silly!” Ashe giggled. “Just, like, listen to your body.”
Alex was listening to her body. She couldn’t help but listen. Her body was screaming at her that it wanted more. After the way she’d denied herself the previous night, the short amount of time she’d spent touching herself that morning had done little more than take the edge off her arousal. Through everything that had happened, she’d remained desperately horny. Now that Ashe was finally giving her body what it wanted, it was crying out for more. The urge was filling what was left of her over-taxed mind, making it all but impossible to think about anything else. It was growing more and more difficult to remember why she needed to keep fighting. Everything she’d cared so much about mere minutes before now seemed so distant and abstract compared with the raw need to get fucked that was devouring her last remaining rational thoughts.
“Don’t you just love it when your head starts getting, like, all light and bubbly?” Ashe giggled again. “It’s, like, so much fun. You should try it!”
Alex moaned. She could feel it happening, exactly as Ashe described. After all the time she’d spent brainwashed by Winter, it was a familiar feeling. Earlier, it had seemed scary. Now, it felt like a warm embrace, welcoming her back to a place where she wouldn’t have to keep struggling. The prospect was growing more and more tempting by the moment. Alex tried, for the hundredth time, to focus. She couldn’t. Her thoughts were so sluggish, and she had no more than a moment to try and latch on to any idea before Ashe thrust her fingers into her dripping-wet cunt again, making her mind go blank and pink with bliss. She had to hold on, she told herself, but to what?
“Just give in, Lexi,” Ashe urged. Alex was too overwhelmed to even notice that she was calling her ‘Lexi’ again. “You know it’ll feel good. What are you doing, trying to, like, fight it? You can’t do that, silly! You’re just a bimbo! Doesn’t it just make you wanna laugh?”
Ashe giggled. Instinctively, Alex giggled too. She was feeling so light-headed that she couldn’t help herself. Her mind was so full of pleasure.
“Yay!” Ashe said brightly. “Doesn’t that feel good?”
“Y-yeah,” Alex replied, without thinking. Her voice was high-pitched and lustful.
“Just think how much better it’ll feel if you just, like, stop fighting.”
“Yeah,” Alex breathed, even though she didn’t really know what she was agreeing with. She was much too focused on the way Ashe was finger-fucking her cunt to pay attention to anything else. She found herself using what little strength she had left to grind her hips into Ashe’s body, needy for more.
“So, like, isn’t that what you really want?” Ashe asked. It took Alex several long, pleasure-filled moments to get to grips with the question. What was Ashe talking about? Giving up? Alex felt vaguely guilty for even considering it. Wasn’t that the thing she was meant to resist doing, at all costs? It was hard to remember, and even harder to remember why it had felt so urgent. Any hope of figuring it out was being utterly smothered by the way Ashe was constantly rubbing her thumb against Alex’s clit. Maybe just a moment of respite would have been enough for her to get everything straight, but it was clear she wasn’t going to get that. She felt like she was circling around the edge of a whirlpool, barely keeping herself afloat while being inexorably drawn deeper towards the vortex at the center.
“I… don’t…” She didn’t know. She didn’t know anything anymore. All she knew was pleasure.
“Shhh,” Ashe soothed, doing nothing to quieten Alex’s loud moans. “It’s OK, Lexi. You don’t have to make decisions like that! It’s easy. Just look at me.”
“O-Ok.” It was a such a simple request, and it felt so nice to just do what she was told instead of fighting. Still cradling her head, Ashe pulled away from Alex a little. Alex looked up at her, straight into her eyes. They were so deep.
“Doesn’t that feel better?” Ashe asked. Alex nodded. It did. It felt more peaceful now. Without leaving her unsatisfied, the overwhelming pleasure spreading out from her pussy to fill her whole body seemed to fade. It didn’t disappear, but it receded into the background of her mind. Ashe had given her exactly what she’d needed: something to focus on. All she needed to do was keep staring into Ashe’s eyes. It was so easy. They were a source of peace, amid her emotion and turmoil.
“Count with me,” Ashe whispered. The instruction echoed through Alex’s mind, and she accepted it completely. Her mind wasn’t full of pleasure anymore. It was empty and blank, and ready to collapse. “Five.”
“Five,” Alex echoed.
“Three.” Alex’s voice was growing quieter and emptier of feeling.
“Two.” Ashe’s words sounded like they were coming from a great distance away.
Alex didn’t echo the final number in the countdown. She couldn’t. For her, time had stopped. Her mind was gone. Alex slumped to her knees. She had been hypnotized.
She had lost.
With her task complete, Ashe simply let her hands fall to her sides as she returned to the blank trance state she’d spend most of the morning in. Alex was equally motionless. After a moment, Winter approached the pair. If she’d still been capable of thinking Alex would have expected Winter to laugh or mock her, but she didn’t. Instead, the goth girl just looked at her closely for a time. “So that’s how it ends,” Winter mused, eventually. She turned to address Ashe first. “You did well. Good girl.”
Ashe said nothing, but shivered slightly as an intense orgasm wracked her whole body.
“And you,” Winter continued, looking down at Alex with a smile on her face. “You’re a good girl too, coming back to me like this and submitting. I promise, it’s all over now. No more games. Only peace, and submission.”
Alex said nothing.
“Follow me,” Winter ordered, and turned to talk away. Alex rose slowly to her feet, and she and Ashe followed Winter, walking side-by-side. Winter lead them through to her bedroom, and sat herself down on the edge of her bed. “Kneel.”
Alex and Ashe knelt on the floor beside each other, looking up at their new mistress.
Winter reached down and grabbed Alex by her chin, tilting her head up slightly and inspecting her closely. “You’re hypnotized, and you can’t wake up. That means I win. You and your friend are mine. But you’re still in there, aren’t you? If not fighting, then at least surviving.”
“Yes,” Alex replied, her voice empty of feeling. It was true. Her mind had been broken wide open, but so far all the pieces were still there.
“Then you still have a choice. Well, perhaps ‘choice’ is the wrong word. You can’t refuse it, but you can accept it - the reason you lost.”
Alex said nothing, thought nothing.
“You lost because, deep down, you wanted to lose,” Winter explained. “And it’s not just because being my bimbo feels good. It’s more than that. Who were you, before me? No-one. What pleasure did you have in your life, before me? Nothing. You were small. Weak. Afraid. Insignificant. You had no confidence, and you certainly didn’t have that incredible body I’m so looking forward to enjoying. You spent every day working hard, knowing that you’d go to bed and wake up and work just as hard all over again the next day, with no end in sight. What kind of life is that? Maybe if you’d had something more, something about yourself you loved and could remind yourself of, you could have won. But you didn’t. What I’ve given you is your fantasy, whether or not you’re willing to admit it to yourself. You shouldn’t think of me as your enemy. I’m your goddess.”
Alex still said nothing, but deep inside she was processing and internalizing everything Winter was saying. Her mind was too beaten-down and weary to question it or resist it.
“So,” Winter continued. “Tell me honestly. Who are you?”
Alex knew she had to answer, and she knew that answering was a choice. It was like Winter had said - she could accept, even if she couldn’t refuse. She thought about everything that had happened that day, and about how badly she’d lost. She thought about what Winter had just explained to her. She thought about everything Winter had done to her since that first day in the library. There was only one answer she could give. She hung her head in submission. “Lexi.”
“Good girl,” Winter said. She looked at both Lexi and Ashe. “Now I have two of you! That’s going to be so much fun. Lexi, I need to spend some time fixing all that conditioning your friend managed to ruin. And Ashe, you’re still just raw clay, waiting for me to mold you. But before that, I think I deserve a change to properly enjoy my victory.” Looking down at her two hypnotized bimbo girls kneeling in front of her, Winter grinned. She reached down and lifted the hem of her dress up to her waist. She wasn’t wearing anything underneath.
“Worship me,” she commanded. With a happy giggle, Lexi obeyed.