Disclaimer: The following story contains consensual and non-consensual hypnosis and sexual activity. If you are underage, or if these themes make you uncomfortable, consider yourself warned. The characters and situations depicted below are fictional, and they should remain that way. The author does not condone any non-consensual sexual activity.
Val pulled her hand away and tried to put as much force into her words as she could. “You need to leave.”
Raymond took a couple steps back and held his arms up, trying to show he didn’t mean any harm. “I completely understand where you’re coming from,” he said, his voice calm and measured. “This has to be very alarming for you. Confusing, even.”
“No shit.” Val’s eyes flicked over to Reuben, still sitting on the couch, staring at the two of them. Guilt and fear were written on his face. Did he let Raymond in here?
“Would you like a glass of water?” Raymond asked. “Or maybe tea?” He still wore that same kind, supportive smile.
“I can get my own, thanks,” Val replied drily. “I do live here, after all.”
Raymond chuckled. “Yes, that’s true. Still, I do feel awful about intruding like this. The least I can do is offer something to you.”
Yeah, the smile really says “sorry.” Val sighed. Still, he’s probably not going to leave unless I talk to him. Might as well hear him out so he’ll get out of my face. “Sure, tea’s fine.”
“Reuben? Could you get the lady of the house some hot tea?”
“Yes, Mr. Hawthorne.” Reuben finally rose off the couch and walked towards the stove, off to the side of where Val was standing. “Val, where do you keep your cups?”
“I’ll get it for you,” Val said. “Raymond, take a seat.”
As Raymond walked back towards the couch, Val went up to Reuben. She opened a cabinet and handed him a mug. “Reuben, what the fuck?” she whispered.
“I know,” Reuben said. “Look, it’ll make sense soon, just…” He sighed in frustration. Val could see how he wanted to tell her more, but for some reason he seemed unable to. Like something was holding him back from coming clean about why he and Raymond were here.
The whole situation was setting off nothing but red flags. Val knew that staying here was almost certainly a bad idea. But… I’ve known Reuben for years. He’s always been reliable. There has to be something else going on; he wouldn’t just lead me into a trap. “Alright, fine,” she said. “I trust you.”
Reuben inhaled sharply. He turned his face away from Val’s and filled the mug up with cold water. He held it in his hand, and Val watched as it started to steam, and then boil. Sure enough, when she looked up at his face, she could see the glow in his eyes, the faint embers burning in his pupils. “You know I have a stove, right?” Val smirked.
“Yeah, but this is cooler.” Reuben cracked a wry grin, but Val could tell he was still troubled.
Whatever. I just wanna get these two out of here. She walked over to the living room and leaned against the wall. “So, what’s all this about?”
“Are you sure you wouldn’t rather have a seat?” Raymond asked. “This is an awfully nice couch, I have to say.”
“Don’t push your luck,” Val replied tersely. “If I wanted to, I could dump you out on the street before you even knew what hit you.”
“I’m sure you could.” He didn’t seem phased at all. “I came here to discuss the situation regarding the woman known as Madame Blanc.”
Val gasped. Oh, God, of course it’s about her. Why didn’t I see it coming?
“I know you’re well aware of what I told the police after the incident a few days ago,” he continued. “And I also know you’re not stupid. The self-proclaimed boyfriend of a woman Team Rainbow is investigating, suddenly signing on to be a sponsor? It’s natural to be suspicious of me.”
“There’s also the fact you’re in my apartment,” Val noted. “Uninvited. And I seem to remember you agreeing to hold a meeting with me in the office?”
“Yes, well, I’m afraid my circumstances have changed over the past few hours.”
“What circumstances? Don’t tell me you’re broke or something?”
Raymond laughed. “Oh, goodness, no. I’m far too clever to make a mistake that serious.”
Val heard footsteps approaching, and saw Reuben walking up to her with the mug of tea. His body language was calm, but he looked afraid of something.
“Ah, perfect timing,” Raymond said. “Set Val’s tea on the table, Reuben.”
“Yes, Mr. Hawthorne,” said Reuben. He did as Raymond requested and took a deep breath.
“Now,” said Raymond, “restrain her.”
Val blinked. Did he just say-
Reuben moved swiftly, hooking his right arm under Val’s and sliding behind her. His right arm went around her neck, holding her head in place without using enough force to restrict her airflow. He wrapped his left leg around hers, keeping it from moving around. “I’m sorry,” he whispered.
Val barely heard him over the sound of her heartbeat pounding in her ears. She thrashed around wildly, trying desperately to break free of his grasp. “Let go of me!” she shouted.
“I can’t.” Reuben choked on his words. His hands trembled.
“Stop crying, Reuben.” Raymond stood up and slowly walked towards them.
“Y-Yes, Mr. Hawthorne,” Reuben sniffled.
Val’s first instinct was to portal out of the room, but her mind was racing too fast. She couldn’t focus on any one spot to escape to. “Help!” She cried. “Somebody, please!”
“No one can hear you, Val.” Raymond stepped closer. “The board paid good money to have this apartment soundproofed. Hell, they even bought out this entire floor, just to ensure your privacy and security. A very wasteful expense, in my opinion.”
Val glared at Raymond. “What the fuck are you up to?”
“I’m not about to tell you. Not while you’re being so unreasonable.”
Unreasonable?! Val felt rage boiling up inside her, adrenaline replacing the fear. Raymond kept getting closer, and she didn’t want to find out what he’d do when he was within arm’s reach. She threw her weight backwards, slamming Reuben into the wall, and then swung at his head with her left elbow. He yelped in pain and released her, clutching his eye.
Val sprinted for the door-
She froze. Her eyes went wide.
The buzz drowned out all her other thoughts, smoothing out her anger and her terror and leaving only a sensation of numbness. All her sensations felt dulled, disconnected. She could still see the door, feel Raymond’s hand on her wrist, but they were muted and indistinct.
“You won’t try to run.” Raymond’s voice was the only thing that stood out in the sea of grey. No, more than that – it shone like a beacon, cutting clearly through the nothing Val’s senses were picking up. She didn’t just hear it. She felt it. “You won’t hurt me. You’ll follow my orders. And it’s ‘Mr. Hawthorne’ from now on.”
When he let go, Val stumbled to the floor, a rush of sensations flooding to her body. Her heart raced and she panted for breath, looking back at Raymond and Reuben. The businessman was as calm and self-assured as ever, but his false smile held a hint of satisfaction now. Reuben, meanwhile, looked devastated. His cheeks were wet with tears, and his face was wracked with pain. Not physical pain – Val knew she didn’t hit him that hard – but the pain of regret. Of betraying a friend’s trust.
“What…” Val gasped. “What did you… do to me?”
“Come now, Val,” Raymond said. “Did you think I just bought my way onto the board? Money goes a long way, but it means nothing if you can’t be… persuasive.”
Val stood up. “You did this to Reuben too?”
“Very perceptive. You always seemed like the smart one in the group.”
“Yeah, I’m just full of surprises!” She took a wild swing-
Her vision went neon. She was acutely, painfully aware of the sheer noise of the apartment. The hum of the refrigerator, the air rushing through the vents. Even the sensation of her clothes on her skin was maddening, not just making her itch but making her feel like she was being cut by a million infinitely small knives. She tried to speak, but even the slightest noise sounded like a gunshot inches from her eardrums.
It felt like an eternity before her senses returned to normal. She hadn’t even realized she was crying.
“Val please,” Reuben said, “please don’t fight it. Trust me, it only makes things worse.”
Val chuckled bitterly. “That’s rich. Wanting me to trust you.”
“You should listen to him,” Raymond said. “He’s your leader, isn’t he?”
“Not for long,” Val snapped. “Not after I tell the whole team- hell, why stop there? I’ll go to the news, tell them all about how you fucked up our heads.”
“That would certainly put a wrinkle in my plans.” Raymond’s grin grew wider. “So, of course, you wouldn’t even dream of it.”
“Bull-” Her words died in her throat. She shuddered as the world went bright again, burning hotter and hotter the harder she tried to hold onto the idea of revealing the truth about Raymond.
“Just stop fighting, Val!” Reuben pleaded. “You’re only going to hurt yourself!”
“No!” Val groaned. I can’t… let him win! She could barely hear her own thoughts over the roar in her mind. She tried to picture telling the team about what happened, tried to imagine the looks on their faces, their determination to help her and Reuben. But the more she thought about the scene, the louder things got. The faces in her mind grew garish, harshly oversaturated, glowing like they were radioactive.
It was too much. She had to let go.
She collapsed onto the floor, her body twitching and spasming involuntarily. She took short, shallow breaths, her heart threatening to explode.
“Val!” cried Reuben, kneeling down beside her. “Are you okay?”
“N-No…” Val groaned. The spot where her anger was had disappeared. The idea of telling someone, anyone, about what Raymond was doing wasn’t just suppressed. It was gone. Completely, utterly erased, like it had never been there to begin with.
He looked up at Raymond. “Mr. Hawthorne, please! She’s had enough! Can’t we just finish her off tomorrow, with the others?”
“Others?” Val propped herself up with her elbow, every movement a struggle. “You mean…”
“Yes,” Raymond sighed. “I’m afraid the rest of the team will also have to undergo what you just went through. Though I pray they’re less resistant than you have been.”
“No…” Val gasped. “Y-You can’t!”
“Can’t?” For once, a hint of annoyance crept into Raymond’s voice. “Val, I don’t even want to be doing this, you understand? The only reason I’m even involved in your lives is because of what that bit- that woman did to me.”
“You mean… Blanc?”
Raymond sighed. “Yes. I suppose I may as well come clean, seeing as Reuben already knows.” He picked up the mug of tea and sat on the couch. “I’m sure you’ve figured it out by now, but Blanc and I are not a couple. She really did break into my suite, and she used that machine of hers to put me in a trance. But whatever that thing is, it doesn’t work like regular hypnosis. When she woke me up, I could feel her commands rattling around my head.” He took a sip. “They still are. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them for days. They’re always there, in the back of my head, gnawing at me. I’ve been finding ways to worm around them, these little loopholes that give me a bit more autonomy. That’s why you and Gibson found me in that… unfortunate position. I wanted to push the limits, to see how far I could take it without bumping against the limits of her commands. So I decided to go with something truly outlandish.” He paused. “And, I’ll admit, it was a bit of a turn-on.”
I didn’t ask. “What did she want you to do?”
“She wanted me to make sure no one else came after me. That meant getting the cops off her tail, obviously. I don’t think Marvin even knew what hit him; I barely had to push and he was ready to drop everything. Luxuries of status, I suppose.” He glared right at Val. “But then there was your team. When Reuben came to me, he wouldn’t disclose why you were investigating Blanc. Of course, now he’ll tell me whatever I want him to. Isn’t that right?”
“Yes, Mr. Hawthorne,” Reuben replied through gritted teeth.
“Oh, don’t look at me like that,” Raymond chuckled. “You’ll come to love it soon enough.”
“I don’t understand,” Val said. “What does brainwashing us have to do with keeping Blanc safe?”
“Don’t use that word. I loathe that word. That’s not what I do, understand? But to answer your question, it’s very simple. You all have a vested interest in going after Blanc. So, how else to make sure you wouldn’t…”
“…other than controlling us…” Val felt sick to her stomach. “Jesus…”
“Well, I know this all must sound very scary right now.” Raymond talked to her like she was a child. “But if it makes this any easier to swallow, I won’t be interfering with you once this Blanc business is resolved. You and Yun-hee will be free to live your lives without ever meeting me again.”
“…Why did you specify just us?” Val eyed him suspiciously. “And how do you know our names, for that matter? I thought that was all classified.”
Raymond simply rolled his eyes and pointed towards Reuben.
“Oh… right.” Ask a stupid question… “But still, why do you say only Yun and I will be left alone? What’s gonna happen to Reuben and the other guys?”
“You don’t read the tabloids much, do you Val?” Raymond chuckled. “I have to say, some of the things they publish in those rags are completely absurd. But, I do have to give them some credit.” He spread his legs wide. “They’ve been right about me exactly once.”
He beckoned Reuben closer, and Val watched in horror as her teammate walked towards Raymond and got on his knees, his head bowed in submission and his cheeks red with shame. Raymond ruffled Reuben’s hair playfully. “That’s a good boy.”
“You’re a monster,” Val seethed. “You want to get rid of Blanc’s programming? Fine. But why would you turn my teammates into… God, I can’t even say it…”
“Oh, it’s not that bad,” Raymond sighed. “It’s not like I’m about to chain them up in my basement or anything. I’ll just call on them when they’re not busy ‘saving the world’ or whatever you freaks think you’re doing.”
“‘Freaks?’ Funny way to talk for someone with powers.”
Before she knew it, Val was on the floor again, a sharp sting on her cheek and a smack! reverberating in her eardrums. She looked up and saw Raymond standing above her. He wasn’t smiling anymore.
“Don’t you dare say that again!” he bellowed. “I am nothing like you!” He grabbed her face roughly, his nails clawing into her skin. “Apologize.”
Val tried desperately to resist. She wanted to spit in his eyes, or tell him to eat shit, or kick him in the balls. But the more she struggled, the harder it became to fight back. His power made the red mark on her cheek burn like fire, the fingers clutching her face stinging like a swarm of bees. “I…” she whispered, “I’m… sorry…”
“I’m sorry!” Val cried. “I’m so sorry, Mr. Hawthorne!”
And all at once, everything snapped back to normalcy. Raymond let go of Val’s face and cracked his knuckles. He closed his eyes and mouthed something to himself; Val realized he was counting to ten. Then he opened his eyes, and that same pleasant, anonymous smile returned. “Thank you, Val.” He sat back down on the couch. “See, this is how things should be. If you posts – oh, excuse me, ‘post-humans’ – weren’t kept on your leashes, everything would be chaos. Could you imagine someone running around with powers like yours, free to do whatever they wanted? Better for you to serve, I think.”
Val and Reuben didn’t say anything. They simply shared a quiet glance. They both knew how bad their situation was, and how much worse it would get once Raymond got to work on the rest of the team.
Raymond picked up on it. “Oh, I think I understand.” He rose off the couch again. “You must be hurting so much, knowing what Blanc did to you. And since you won’t be able to get justice for what she’s done…” He knelt down to meet her at eye level. “The least I can do is ease your pain.”
“What are you…” Val mumbled, before a now disturbingly familiar sense of numbness washed over her. She looked down and saw Raymond gently clasping her hand.
“It’s alright,” Raymond said softly. “You don’t have to live in pain anymore. You can just forget all about Madame Blanc.”
Val’s eyes widened. No…
She could already feel it starting. The memory of Weiss breaking up with her was fresh in her mind, but it was already becoming hazy and indistinct. She tried to fight against it, but it only made everything louder. It wasn’t just the mental image that became grotesque and distorted; the emotions attached to the memory became overwhelming as well. The sorrow and pain threatened to drown her with their intensity. She heard sobbing; she couldn’t be sure whether it was from the memory or if she was crying now.
She looked for a happy memory, something that wouldn’t make her want to crawl up into herself and rot. She thought about their first night together, when Weiss hypnotized Val and they had that memory play scene. For a split second, she enjoyed it; the joy of having a fantasy fulfilled, the bewilderment that it actually worked, the thrill of exploring something new. But soon it too became overwhelming. She didn’t think it would be possible to find something too happy, but now this memory shot out happiness like a geyser, uncontrollable and nauseating. She felt her body convulse, manic laughter escaping from her lips. Raymond’s grip tightened, like he was afraid she would slip through his grasp.
It was too much. Weiss… It was all way too much. Help me…
Val felt something inside her snap. Suddenly, she was back in her apartment again, the nightmare gone. What was she afraid of, again? She couldn’t place it anymore. She looked up and saw Mr. Hawthorne looking down at her, a look of concern on his face. “Val?” he asked. “Are you alright?”
She smiled. “Of course, Mr. Hawthorne. I feel just fine.”
He smiled back. “You see, Reuben? She’s fine.” He helped Val to her feet and gave her a reassuring pat on her back.
Reuben stared at them, his eyes wide with terror. “A-Are you sure? You were freaking out there for a bit.”
“Yes, I’m completely fine.” Val kept smiling. Even though Mr. Hawthorne wasn’t touching her anymore, the world still looked grey.
“Well, I’d say we’re all settled, then?” Mr. Hawthorne said. “No more harsh feelings about me taking majority ownership of Team Rainbow?”
“Oh, none at all, Mr. Hawthorne.”
“W-Wait, you’re what?” Reuben stood up. “You never told me about that! We never agreed on-”
“The way I see it, Red,” Mr. Hawthorne snapped, “you’ll agree with whatever I tell you to. Unless, of course, you have any objections?”
“N-No, Mr. Hawthorne!” Reuben stepped back. Val couldn’t remember a time he looked more afraid. “None at all!”
“Very good. I think we’ll take our leave now.” Mr. Hawthorne turned back to Val. “Actually… could you maybe open one of the circle things back to the tower?”
“Yes, Mr. Hawthorne.” Val opened a portal in front of the door.
Mr. Hawthorne chuckled, a look of wonder on his face. “That is really something…” He wrapped his arm around Reuben, who went stiff and lowered his head. “Get some shut-eye, Val,” Mr. Hawthorne said as he and Reuben walked into the portal. “We’re gonna have a big day tomorrow!”
Once they were through, Val closed the portal. She changed into her pajamas, brushed her teeth, made sure the alarm on her phone was on, and then went to bed.
In the back of her mind, a part of her screamed.
I’d also like to take a moment to mention Carefully Random’s Discord server and the Mind Control Literature Discord server, which are both wonderful communities of erotica writers and readers. I’ve also opened up my own Discord server, which you can join here.