Nell smiled, wiggling her nose under the tender touch of her lover’s lips. “Good morn-mmmm…” She tried to respond more eloquently, but found herself caught up in a powerful yawn. Maggie always seemed to wake up first, and was always immediately awake.
I guess that’s one of the small prices of having a super human girlfriend. She’s exceptional in so many ways, and I’m not even a morning person!
Maggie pulled her smaller girlfriend tighter, resting her warm, russet chin over her lover’s short, tightly-curled brown hair. “Don’t worry. I’m sure you’ll wake up one of these days.”
“And I’m sure you’ll relax one of these days.” Nell smirked before pressing her lips to her lover’s neck. “Mm… I guess you will pretty soon. Once this semester’s over… I’m not letting you forget. We’re going on vacation. The beach. No saving the world for you, and no homework for me… and I want to be sleepy for most of it!”
“Guess you’re lucky, then.” Maggie’s lips quirked into a smirk of their own before pressing to the top of her girlfriend’s head. “You have a good track record there. Better than mine for being relaxed, but…” Her voice hesitated. Something in it was apologetic, but more than that Maggie sounded vulnerable. Nell kissed her neck again, a softer, gentler kiss. Maggie smiled, her voice softening. “I am trying to work on that. It’s hard, but I know I need to take an active role in my mental health. Things have had me a little uptight and stressed lately, and that’s been hard for both of us.
“So… I didn’t want to tell you, in case I got scared and canceled the night before, but I have an appointment with a therapist today.”
She has been stressed lately, but I was sure the vacation would be enough to fix that. If Maggie thinks she needs to see someone…
Smiling, Nell kissed up along Maggie’s neck until their path could curve towards her lips. Both women held the kiss for a long moment as the sun began to shine in through the curtains, illuminating the room in a rich warmth. “I’m proud of you. You do a lot of good every day as Glide. Chanson doesn’t know how lucky they are to have you.”
Maggie shrugged, but her warm, growing smile showed how much she appreciated what Nell said. “I do my best. The city needs me, so I’m here to do what I can.”
Nell kissed her again, and again when Maggie tried to say more.
She didn’t stop kissing Maggie until the heroine melted into one of her many kisses. Her hands wandered along Maggie’s tall body, squeezing at her full curves to both feel the strength in them, and just how readily they yielded to her touch. The only word that properly described Maggie was ‘voluptuous’, but it didn’t make her any less powerful.
It just made digging nails into her ass, or her breasts, that much more fun for her sleepy girlfriend.
“You do a lot more than you need to do. Maybe that therapist will help you see that, huh?” Nell nibbled at Maggie’s bottom lip as she shifted, a dark, mahogany-brown thigh sliding between Maggie’s. Her breath hitched, eyes turning glassy with lust as she rolled her body back against Nell’s. “You give as much of yourself as you can, to everyone you can. Mind if I take a little?”
Nell wiggled her hips.
“It’ll help me get going…”
Laughter quivered apart into a moan as Nell’s thigh pressed firmer between Maggie’s legs. “Nnn… You can never wake up in the morning, but you’re always ready to go. That doesn’t feel right… are you… Ohhh…” Maggie groaned, her eyes rolling back into her head as Nell nibbled her way back down the heroine’s neck. “Are you just… mmm… pretending to be sleepy as an excuse to fuck me every morning…?”
Nell paused her nibbling, meeting Maggie’s gaze with a raised eyebrow. “Do I need an excuse to want to fuck the sexiest superheroine in all of Chanson every chance I get?”
Maggie parted her lips several times, trying to find some way to respond. Instead of any words of substance, moans and mewls dribbled past her lips as Nell’s nails dug deeper into her ass and pulled her pussy down harder against Nell’s thigh. Before long Maggie gave up, throwing back her head to moan as Nell grinded against her.
“I didn’t think so.”
Maggie’s eyes fell shut, and Nell’s lips wrapped around one of her nipples. Moans filled the air, timed to every nibble, every flick of Nell’s tongue, and every grind of her hips. So much smooth, naked skin rubbed together as the lovers’ bodies melded together in familiar ways.
She’s so sexy, so strong, so noble… and I’m lucky enough to be her girlfriend…!
Nell’s brown eyes stayed open, savoring the sight of pleasure tearing across Maggie’s face as her smaller, more slender body pressed so insistently against Maggie’s taller, fuller figure. Every time Maggie moaned louder, or her breasts jiggled as her hips suddenly jerked harder towards Nell, Nell saw it. She saw it, and she tried her best to burn it all onto her memory as she nibbled and sucked, focusing the full effort of her body and mouth on making Maggie feel good.
If she’s been needing help and I haven’t noticed, then I need to try harder for her. People don’t need a big reason to see someone, but Maggie would.
Maggie moaned louder, and Nell’s hands squeezed tighter.
Fuck, I love her so god damn much!
When Maggie came, soaking Nell’s thigh, it was the most beautiful thing Nell had ever seen. The way Maggie’s whole body shook, the way she held in her breath and sucked in more with sharp, pitiful gasping… Every little thing about her orgasmic bliss made Nell love her that much more.
Kissing just over her heart, Nell smiled.
“Time to get up, sleepyhead.”
Maggie tried to smirk, but was still so limp and quivery as aftershocks made her body tremor and clench. “Ha. Ha.”
Nell giggled louder and louder until Maggie gently smacked her with a pillow.
Nell was always home before Maggie. Part of that was Maggie being a superheroine who liked to spend some time helping people out as the sun went down. Some of that was Nell deciding that if her girlfriend was going to wake her up early she was going to try for early shifts and early classes.
When Maggie arrived home, Nell smiled and closed her textbook. “Hey! How’s my super girlfriend?”
“She’s doing well.” Maggie smiled as she closed the door behind her, throwing the deadbolt casually. “How’s mine?”
It wasn’t exactly bad to have Maggie accept one of her compliments without issue, but it was unusual. Maggie wasn’t difficult or anything like that. Stubborn, yes, but Nell liked that. She counted on that. When she’d called Maggie her super girlfriend she’d been expecting something like “I don’t know, tell me when you find her” or “Have you been cheating on me and this is how I found out?” not acceptance and a returned compliment.
Nell bit her bottom lip. You hear about bad things happening to super heroines sometimes. Running into the wrong innocent looking person, going to the wrong professional...
Looking for it, Maggie’s smile looked a little bit lazier than it usually did. Her eyes looked the slightest bit less focused. Her stance was more relaxed. A faint slouch helped to emphasize Maggie’s breasts while downplaying her height. Nothing about that was bad from a glance, but they felt like signs that something was definitely wrong.
What if I’m right? Nell swallowed. Who do I go to? There’s no ‘my super heroine girlfriend has been mind controlled’ hotline. No one even knows she’s meta, much less a heroine, besides… who… her mom?
Nell tried not to frown.
“Hey… how’s my girl?” Maggie’s smile slowly shifted. Her lips pursed, and her brows arched in concern. “Something wrong?”
Nell hesitated. If something is wrong, should I let her know I know? Do I tell her ‘Fight it, Maggie!’ or would that make it worse? She’s my girlfriend, and she’s a heroine. Whoever did this didn’t command her to grab my neck and squeeze until I stop breathing if I figure it out, did she?
“You’re just acting… different.” Pushing down her fear, Nell stepped closer and wrapped her arms around Maggie’s waist. “Did things go okay with the therapist…? Anything you want to… talk about?”
Maggie looked down to Nell’s eyes, and her heart skipped a beat.
Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. Was that some kind of a trigger phrase? Am I going to make her go full dark side and fly out the window? Nell squeezed tighter, like if she let go she’d never see Maggie again. She could be dangerous if she really has fallen under someone’s sway, but I’m more worried about her than me right now. Maggie loves me. True love is supposed to help someone fight off that kind of influence, so she should be less likely to hurt me than herself.
“I’m acting different? I hadn’t realized that it would scare you so much if I didn’t fight with you for once when I came home.” Maggie said the right words, but they sounded wrong. She didn’t sound too serious, or too upset.
She almost sounded sleepy.
Nell rested her head against Maggie’s chest. “I’m not scared.” Nell lied, and she knew that Maggie could tell. “I’m just worried. You didn’t answer me, by the way. Did things go alright with your new therapist? Do you want to talk about how it went? I’m not trying to get you to tell me anything that’s private, but I know doing something like that—on your own—is a big step for you. I want to make sure it went okay.”
Maggie’s look said it all. Maybe she couldn’t read Nell’s mind, but she could tell that what Nell said and what Nell was thinking were not the same things.
Either because she was too tired to press the issue, or because she’d been programmed to avoid conflict, Maggie shrugged before wrapping her arms around Nell’s neck to pull her in closer. “It was all very personal stuff, stuff we’ve talked about, but… some of it in ways I’m not ready to talk about with you?
“Before you get upset, it’s not me hiding my feelings about you. It’s on the job stuff that I’ve been… needing to process for a while, but I needed someone to help me see it. These are all things I didn’t realize were stressing me out, but I need time to understand how I feel about them before we talk. They’re all too… intense right now.”
Nell’s expression remained worried. She tried to smile, to show some sign of understanding, but it was strained.
“I tell you my secrets, but I can’t tell you everyone else’s.”
“Oh…” Nell frowned, and she wasn’t sure how much of it was at herself. Of course Maggie couldn’t reveal the secrets of other heroines. That wouldn’t be right. She wanted to know everything that affected her girlfriend, to be there for her in every way she could, but…
Maybe I can’t be there for her like this. Maybe I just need to accept this isn’t my place… and that I’m a little worried something might happen to her, even if she is great at what she does.
Their lips met, sealed together in a long, lingering kiss. Nell squeezed closer, arching against her, not quite able to shake the feeling that letting herself be mollified so easily was only going to make things worse. Ignoring warning signs was a bad habit, and the last thing she wanted to do was let Maggie down.
“C’mon, let’s have some dinner and I’ll tell you all about the rest of my day.”
Nell forced herself to smile. “That sounds nice.” It was another lie, but Nell couldn’t find a more genuine way to move on. She needed to keep her guard up, but she didn’t want to make Maggie feel worse.
If she was being controlled, Nell didn’t want her to feel bad about it.
A few days later Nell was still worried about Maggie.
There hadn’t been any big warning signs. Maggie hadn’t suddenly started speaking in another language or suggested anything out of character. She didn’t keep up smoothly accepting Nell’s compliments, still a day or two acting surprised or scandalized, but that didn’t seem like such a worrying thing anymore.
Her therapist, a Miss Lin, was supposedly trying to help Maggie accept her self-worth more and that included no longer deflecting so many compliments. Nell liked that a lot.
She wished she could feel safe about Miss Lin.
Maggie still woke up more energetic and enthusiastic than Nell could ever imagine waking up herself, but she always came home sleepy around the edges. Whatever was bothering Maggie, she wasn’t just seeing the therapist for weekly sessions.
Nell wanted to know more, but if Maggie wasn’t ready to say more then there was nothing she could do. There was nothing, she knew, that she should do. She’d asked a friend or two, subtly, if they knew anything to do if someone suspected a heroine was under the effects of mind control. None of them had known anything, but being a philosophy major made that much more difficult.
All of those discussions devolved into talk about the nature of control, the nature of choice, and how much anyone had control or how much a heroine had control when the demands of their station were so great.
They were conversations that, normally, Nell would have enjoyed a lot more.
Dinner had been pleasant, and Nell was trying to get through a bit more homework before the night was through. Maggie was doing her own thing, and Nell hadn’t thought much of it.
Not until she heard a whimper coming from the bathroom.
A frown spread across her face as she tried to carefully, and quietly, set down her book. In case there would be something to hide, she didn’t want Maggie to know she was coming. Every step she took was careful, her slipper-clad feet moving deliberately. Nell wanted to run, but she wanted to do things right, too.
When she reached the doorway, she couldn’t stop herself from gasping.
Maggie was naked. Nothing about that sight was new, but that didn’t make Nell any less happy to admire the way Maggie’s stance leaning over the sink let her see both the curves of Maggie’s breasts in the mirror and the lines of Maggie’s back leading down to her round ass that always promised to perfectly fill her hands. Nell wouldn’t have been worried about that at all, and if anything she found herself very aroused by the sight of her naked girlfriend.
What was worrying was the way Maggie’s eyes in the mirror looked so… vacant. Her lips were moving, but Nell couldn’t hear anything that she said. The sounds of her quiet, shuddering grunts were so much easier to understand.
That, and the way her hips kept pulling forward to arch into the hand buried between her thighs.
Maggie was masturbating.
That was unusual enough, but she was doing it staring at herself in the mirror, muttering and grunting so quietly that Nell hadn’t been able to hear her until she’d whimpered.
How long has she been here, like this…?
When Maggie’s eyes caught sight of Nell’s, her lips curled into a smile. “Hey, Nell… I was just about to take a shower, but I just got so… horny when I caught sight of myself. I’ve been trying to work on my self-image problems, and I saw myself, and I just… wanted me. Do you ever feel that…?
“No, don’t answer.” Maggie grinned as she turned to face Nell. The way her eyes looked unfocused and dreamy before instead looked focused and precise. “I know you have. It’s why you pounce me every morning. Let me return the favor.”
Nell’s lips parted so many times, trying to find something to say, but she couldn’t find any words in time before Maggie was pushing her against the wall, and then Maggie’s hand was up her skirt. It was a lot harder to come up with a cogent argument when her girlfriend’s fingers were effortlessly sliding under her panties and rubbing along her slit.
Maggie’s power was one that easily leant itself to sex. She could fly, which wasn’t the most special super power, more impressive was her complete control over friction. Her fingers could glide smooth as silk along Nell’s slit, or rake the most exquisite friction along Nell’s clit.
Very quickly, Nell was whimpering so much louder than Maggie. Sweat glistened across her forehead, and she went limp against the wall as Maggie touched her in ways both rough and smooth that no one else ever had before. Nell wanted to be concerned, to push the issue, but Maggie wasn’t seeming controlled anymore.
No one’s taken Maggie’s soul… but they might have given her libido a boost…!
She couldn’t bring herself to mind when Maggie’s fingers curled deep inside of her and found the right place to give all the sensation. Nell couldn’t breathe, she couldn’t think, she couldn’t do anything but sweat and writhe and simper as her cunt spasmed around her lover’s fingers.
Ooohhhh…! I feel… so… weak… so… selfish, that I’m worried about my girlfriend being mind controlled, but all it takes is for her to start rubbing and my brain just goes… blank… ohh…!
“Why don’t we take that shower together, Nell? You’re about to be so sweaty.”
“Mmm… yeah…!” Nell whined as she found herself inside of the shower. She was still clothed as the water, still cold, began to fall. It was so hard to care. “I love you, Maggie…!”
She hoped if there really was something wrong, saying that would be enough to help.
“I love you too, Nell.” Maggie kissed her hard, fingers feeling like the perfect place between sandpaper rough and silky smooth to make Nell’s clit yield instantly.
Nell came before the water was warm, and came again before it was cold again.
A few weeks went by, and every time Nell shook the feeling that something was wrong she had another reason to doubt herself. Did she just want to be confident that Maggie was doing alright, or were things actually okay?
Maggie seemed happier. She was smiling more.
She was also yawning more.
A lot more.
It made Nell feel guilty, but it was time for her to take action. No one had offered her any suggestions—any helpful suggestions—unless she had some evidence something untoward was happening with her girlfriend. That meant the only options she had were to spy on her girlfriend, a superheroine who could fly, or snoop through her things. One of those things was much easier, and provided an easier source of proof.
Looking through my own girlfriend’s panties… This feels beneath me, and not just because of the ethical quandaries it presents. The only way I want to deal with Maggie’s underwear is if I’m pulling it off of her, cleaning it, or admiring how it looks on her body.
This makes me feeling like a naughty girl looking for a sex toy or—hello…
Buried in the corner, hidden inside of a bra, Nell found something she wasn’t expecting. It was small, barely over four inches long, an inch and a half wide, and less than an inch thick.
A digital voice recorder.
She looked around, suddenly very anxious.
Why would Maggie have a voice recorder? She has a phone. Unless this is… part of what’s… controlling her…
Taking a deep breath, Nell raised the device in her hand and pressed play.
Maggie’s moans filled the bedroom.
“I’m… helpless…” Maggie moaned again. Behind the sound of that moan was something unmistakable, the sound of skin against wet skin. “I’m powerless… I can’t… fight… I can’t… resist…!” She sucked in a sharp gasp, her voice so intense for being such a hushed whisper. “I must… obey… I must… surrender… I must… I must… I must!”
Louder cries followed, cries that sounded orgasmic.
Then Maggie was just crying.
“I can’t believe you would go through my things…!” Maggie’s voice was suddenly coming from in front of Nell, and behind her. The sound of Maggie crying was surrounding Nell, too. “I thought I could trust you! Moving in with you was scary for me, you know…! My privacy is important to me. I shared so many of my secrets with you, and you just had to know more? Is that it? Is that what this is?"
Nell turned to face Maggie. Seeing tears streaming down her lover’s face was a punch in the gut. She tried to say anything, but she couldn’t even bring herself to press ‘stop’ on the recording. Her girlfriend was still crying, sounding like she was shaking.
She held up the recorder, trying to say something with it, anything.
I only listened because I’m terrified that someone is doing something to you! You aren’t helpless. You aren’t powerless. You’re strong, and if someone can mesmerize you then it scares me because I feel so much weaker than you each and every day.
But she couldn’t express that concern, no matter how intensely she tried.
All she could do was stare, desperate for Maggie to understand how sorry she was for making Maggie cry.
“I… it… you…” Nell couldn’t stop verbally stumbling, but she could finally press ‘stop’ on the small device in her hand. “You’ve been so sleepy lately…! You’ve been so… different and different is fine when it makes you happy but this…! I… I’m just…”
I’m just trying to make sure that your last lifeline doesn’t let you down because she’s too afraid to… cross a boundary that isn’t hers to cross…
Nell tossed the recorder back into Maggie’s underwear drawer. “I’m… I’m sorry. You don’t need to forgive me, I’m just… scared. I’m scared and I don’t… I don’t want… I don’t…”
Maggie was still crying when she closed the gap between them, pulling Nell into a tight hug. It was so tight it hurt, but Nell didn’t care. Maggie was hugging her, and that meant she wasn’t running away. That meant that Maggie was safe, and not the pawn of some malicious horrible mind controller. She couldn’t explain why it had sounded like Maggie was masturbating in that recording, and then crying, but it felt like a worse thing that she’d heard it at all.
“Promise me you’ll never listen to my therapy recordings again.” Maggie squeezed her tighter. “Those are… very private. Very personal. You don’t know what it’s like, being a super heroine, being out there, trying to keep the whole world safe…
“Miss Lin has been helping me accept that I can’t fix everything… That I shouldn’t think it’s my job. That compared to what I want… I’m powerless.”
It was the perfect answer, and Nell felt shame down to the lowest pit of her stomach that she still couldn’t believe it. She wanted to, so desperately, but it felt like cowardice to just let her feelings go away.
I don’t want to lose you, Maggie…
She looked up to Maggie’s eyes, sniffling quietly. Her heart was breaking, but she couldn’t force herself to believe it. She could only force herself to lie.
“I… okay… If you say it’s therapeutic, then it’s just therapeutic…” A lie. Maybe the worst lie that Nell ever told. She was shaking, clinging, so desperate for it to be true. “I won’t go through your things again. I’m sorry. I hope you can forgive me…”
None of that was a lie.
Maggie was silent, tears running down her cheeks as she held her lover tight. “It won’t be easy, but I’ll try.”
Nell sniffled, and buried her face in Maggie’s chest.
Nell’s smile was weak as she fluttered her eyes open. Maggie’s lips pressed to her nose. It was their tradition, and that was comforting, but Maggie’s eyes looked… wrong. Her eyes were lidded, and her eyes themselves looked… glassy. Distant.
Maggie always woke up so fast, sharper than a tack at the first crack of dawn.
Yawning felt uncomfortable. Nell didn’t want to blink, not right in that moment, but she couldn’t stop herself.
Maybe therapy really is helping her be more relaxed, but that’s not how it feels. It feels more like she’s slipping away from me. It feels more like I’m losing her…
Maggie’s arms wrapped around Nell, pulling her so tight and close. Naked in bed, so much warm, and dark brown skin mingling together, it should have been a relaxing moment. It should have helped Nell feel better. It should have felt like the safest place to be in the world—in the arms of her super heroine girlfriend.
It felt like anything but safe.
“The semester’s over…” Nell said the words carefully, each one taking great effort to get just right. “I already have everything planned. It should be a good compliment to your therapy. The beach. Relaxing. Just taking in the sights… You won’t need to save the world. You’ll just need to enjoy yourself. Doesn’t that sound nice…?”
Nell could barely remember feeling relieved at the thought of Maggie seeing a therapist. She still felt awful about harming Maggie’s trust, but it was still hard to shake that she was right.
Would being right justify her actions? Nell had been pondering that for weeks. So many different frameworks both supported and rallied against the idea. Nell wasn’t sure herself which she wanted to be the truth.
She just didn’t want to let Maggie down.
“What do you mean?”
A cold shiver ran down Nell’s spine. “Our vacation. Remember? We were talking about it when…” She interrupted herself, shaking her head before planting a kiss over Maggie’s heart. “How could you forget?”
“Well, we can’t go today…” Maggie said it in such a dazed way that Nell couldn’t stop herself from whimpering. “I have an on-call appointment with my therapist today.”
“On… call…? Like… here…?” Nell whimpered. “Your therapist… here…?”
Nell could hear the deadbolt moving out of place. By the time she scrambled halfway to her feet, Maggie’s arms were grasping hers. Instead of being smooth like silk, Maggie’s grasp was too tight, too firm, and too… rough. Moving her arms at all didn’t just hurt—the friction was just too great to manage.
When Miss Lin stepped into their bedroom, Nell was presented to her with an arched chest and not a stitch of clothing.
“Good job, glideslut.” Miss Lin’s voice was smooth and seductive but powerful and unyielding. Her tawny skin was a deeper brown than Maggie’s, but lighter than Nell’s. The front of her hair was smooth and straight, with so many long curls tied back behind her head. She was dressed in exquisite shades of dark purple, looking powerful and imposing.
Maggie moaned, simpering and groaning without loosening her grasp on Nell’s arms.
“Y-you… you’ve been—”
“Exactly what you feared, Nell.” Miss Lin stepped closer, reaching into her jacket and pulling forth a shining golden pocket watch hanging on an ornate chain. “I never thought that my biggest concern with taking control of a super heroine would be her completely ordinary girlfriend. You taught me something valuable. I’ll be sure to thank you.”
The pocket watch hung in the air, catching the light as it spun and reflected into Nell’s trembling eyes.
Without weakening her grasp, Maggie was holding both of Nell’s wrists in one hand. The other was between her legs, stroking along her folds with a touch that always made Nell’s body weak and her mind hazy.
It was so hard to think with fingers that could slide inside of her smoother than any lubrication could provide while still catching perfectly against every sensitive part of her cunt.
Between the light shining in her eyes, and the fingers between her legs, Nell was already desperately panting to resist. She knew that Maggie was counting on her, that her own mind was counting on her ability to resist, but it was one thing to know that and another to pull herself free. Even without her mind growing hazier by the moment she never would have been able to tear herself free from Maggie’s grasp.
When Miss Lin spoke, the elegant lyrical flow that filled the air demanded the complete and total attention of Nell’s mind.
She couldn’t look away. She couldn’t not listen.
“I’m a big, scary mind controller, Nell Munro.” Maggie had already told this woman all of Nell’s secrets. She didn’t need to be told anything more than her own last name to know that. “I’m a scary mind controller, and I’ve made your girlfriend obey my voice. I’ve made her cum away her ability to resist. Did you know friction is another word for resistance?
“It turns out she could turn that off, too… with a little training. But you don’t need to worry about that. You just need to watch the watch. Watch it shine. Watch it sparkle.”
“S-sparkle…” Nell groaned. She wanted to look away, or she wanted to want to look away, but she couldn’t. She was trapped, staring at the watch hanging above her as Maggie’s fingers moved between her legs too perfectly for her to ignore. “Sh-shine…!”
Miss Lin sighed, her emerald green eyes sparkling as brilliantly as the watch. “That’s right, Nell. You’ve seen what I’ve done to your strong, super girlfriend. I made her tired, weak, and powerless.” Maggie moaned, repeating the words in a slumberous monotone. “Hear that? But don’t worry…
“I heard you wanted to spend your vacation sleepy. I want that for you, too. Sleep Nell. Sleep… you’ll never need to wake up again.”
“S-s-sle-ee-eeeep…!” Nell cried out, cumming with a sharp cry before the hypnotic voice compelling her tugged her down to a deep, tired place where all she could do was sink. It was so early, and Nell still wasn’t a morning person.
“Sleep, and obey.”
Nell moaned. She had no choice to obey, but she wasn’t worried about it, either. It was hard to worry about anything when she was already cumming herself deeper into hypnotic slumber as Maggie’s fingers taught Nell how to obey.