The soft lighting up against the vaulted ceiling made the dungeon look cosy. Quiet music could be heard whenever the whips and floggers paused or were put down. Someone in the room moaned and gasped.
"You're going to sit down and have a glass of water." Artemis poured some water and gave the glass to Octavia. But she handed it off to Anton, who gratefully gulped it down.
She looked Artemis in the eye standing tall and still in her turquoise gown. "You're ordering me around now?"
Artemis placed her hands on her hips in a defiant pose, her yellow dress accentuating her hourglass body. "I'm being helpful. It's service."
Anton cringed, holding the empty glass, wondering if he should say anything.
A tall woman dressed in a beautiful black corset came towards them. Her hair was dyed in a wide range of blue and purple hues. "Octavia!"
Octavia launched herself to hug the woman. "Cassiopeia! How wonderful to see you again!"
Artemis arched an eyebrow. "Would Cassiopeia like a glass of water?"
"Yes please." She smiled. "Octavia, I heard you were answering questions and giving demonstrations."
"Is there something you'd like to see? Any question from you would be a pleasure to answer." Octavia looked at Anton. "And I have some interesting demonstration material..."
Anton stared at her, wide-eyed. "Me? But I'm just…"
"You are a wonderful man, and just as interesting as the rest of us." Artemis said as she served glasses of water to Octavia and Cassiopeia.
"I was wondering…" Cassiopeia looked thoughtful. "About your motivations when you play. Why do you do this? What is it that gives you joy as a hypnoDom?"
Octavia rubbed her hands together. "You mean: what gets my juices flowing?"
Cassiopeia nodded and sipped her water, waiting.
Artemis quietly stood beside Octavia and drew her hair back, baring her neck. It was a casual gesture, perhaps she wasn't even aware that she was doing it. But it was the shoulder closest to Octavia, and she noticed.
"See, this is a great first example right here." Octavia grasped Artemis by the back of the neck. "I want to feel wanted, Cassiopeia. I want my partners to beg for the things I can do for them. And with hypnosis, I can plant an idea in their minds, without them consciously thinking about it. Artemis has an urge to show me her neck, hoping I might grace her with vampire kisses."
Artemis lowered her eyes and blushed. "Yes I do."
Cassiopeia looked at her. "Are you aware of that?"
"Sometimes. But not every time, that's for sure." Artemis quivered softly as Octavia still held her by the neck.
Octavia pulled her close and lovingly started to kiss her neck. Artemis melted in her arms, happy gasps tumbling from her mouth. Cassiopeia smiled at Anton, as she patiently waited for the kissing to end. After a while, Octavia stopped and helped Artemis stand up, leaning on the bar.
"Tell me about that." Cassiopeia said to Octavia.
Octavia guffawed. "Are you asking why I like kissing my lovely partners?"
"I'm asking: why vampire kisses?"
"Besides the fact that I absolutely love kissing and putting various bodyparts in my mouth…" Octavia took a moment to think. "Vampires speak to the imagination. When my partners allow me to pretend that I'm a vampire, they allow me to pretend that I am more charming and seductive, and more powerful than a human being. We get to pretend that their surrender is something that feeds me and makes me stronger, and that I hunger for it. They get to pretend that they cannot resist me because of my mind control powers. It's a wonderful fantasy."
Cassiopeia put her glass down on the bar and looked at Artemis. "Would you make me some tea?"
"Gladly!" Artemis went behind the bar and turned on the kettle.
"What else do you like to do?" Cassiopeia asked.
Octavia took Anton's hand and pulled him closer. "Would you like to help me with a demonstration, big man?"
Anton nodded and smiled, showing his big, white teeth.
"I have never been very strong or big. I have never been able to physically overpower anyone." Octavia said to Cassiopeia, before she turned to Anton. "Will you lift me up for a moment?"
Anton's smile grew wider, and he carefully picked Octavia up by the waist and lifted her three feet off the floor. His arms were more than twice as big as hers, and she leaned her hands on his big, square chest. When he put her down again she looked up at him.
"Was that easy?"
The giant shrugged. "No problem."
"There is no doubt that Anton is very strong," Octavia said to Cassiopeia. "Much stronger than I am."
Cassiopeia nodded and waited, a gleeful grin on her face.
Octavia held Anton's chin in her hand, directing him to look at her. Her voice dropped to a much lower, smooth and deliberate tone. "Look into my eyes, big man. Look into my eyes just like you did a moment ago when we were alone in a room, and I was hypnotising you. Yes, you can remember that, can't you? You can remember just how that felt. And the funny thing about recalling a memory is that we get to feel it as if it's happening all over again. As if you're falling into my eyes all over again. Go ahead and drop all the way down again. Deeper and deeper."
Anton looked excited when she started, but as her words washed over him, his shoulders slumped and his eyelids drooped. When she let go of his chin, it dropped to his chest, and his eyes fell shut. She held him with both hands on his shoulders, because he was swaying on his feet.
"This is one way I can overpower this big, strong man…" Octavia whispered to Cassiopeia.
Another gleeful smile. And a grateful nod to Artemis, who set down a cup of tea.
Octavia brought her face very close to Anton's ear and spoke to him in that same low, smooth tone. It was almost inaudible, and Cassiopeia turned to Artemis and asked: "Is this rehearsed in any way?"
Artemis shook her head. "Anton has never done this before. But it's a classic stage hypnotist trick that Octavia is fond of."
Cassiopeia smiled and picked up her tea.
Octavia patted Anton on the shoulder. "And up! Up! Up! Wake up!"
Anton inhaled deeply and looked around as if he was disoriented. "Wow… Thank you, that was… Wow…"
Octavia had a wicked grin when she said: "Now, please lift me up. You can do that again, can't you?"
"Sure thing!" Anton went to pick her up by the waist again, but this time, he couldn't seem to lift her off the floor. He bent his knees and changed his grip. He grunted and started to sweat, but he couldn't lift Octavia even an inch. After a few tries, he huffed with a frustrated frown.
"And this is another way I can overpower this man who is demonstrably much stronger than I." Octavia took his wrists in her hands, and he froze, looking at her in confusion. "Push back. Don't let me pin you."
Anton's arms trembled but, as Octavia started to push him, he helplessly moved back until she had him pinned against the bar.
"Stop me, big man." Octavia taunted him.
"I'm trying!" Anton's eyes were wide and there was a sheen of sweat on his bald head.
Octavia embraced him. "It's alright, love. You've tried so hard. You've done so well. Now sink back down for me!" She gave push against the back of his head, and his eyes immediately closed. "Just let everything I just told you fade away. You did so well, and now it's all over. You are yourself again, you are awake again. And up! Up! Wake up!"
Anton rubbed his face. "You got me all fuzzy now."
"That's alright, take a moment." She patted him on the arm.
Artemis offered him another glass of water.
Octavia turned to Cassiopeia. "It makes me feel like I outsmarted him. Like I am powerful. I feel honoured that he gives me this power."
The lady frowned. "How does he give you this power?"
"A part of his mind is making this happen. He's trusting my words over reality. That's not just my skill, that is his trust in me. And I feel grateful for that."
Cassiopeia gave Octavia a long look. "So, this is mostly about your power fantasies?"
Octavia thought about it for a moment. "That's the part that I've shown you so far, yes. But there is also a sexual component."
"Do you want to explain that to me?" Cassiopeia asked. "No is a valid answer."
"I'm a fetishist, and I say that because naked human bodies don't turn me on. Only hypnosis turns me on." Octavia absentmindedly stared at Artemis as she walked up and stood beside her, pulling her hair to one side, exposing her shoulder and neck. "Teaching my partners to do things that turn me on, is an important part of kink for me. Because the things that turn me on are weirdly specific."
"Could you give examples?" Cassiopeia sipped her tea.
"The little signs that a person is hypnotised turn me on." Octavia started to count on her fingers. "The look in someone's eyes, the sound of their voice, the limpness or the strange way they move and fall. The evidence that a hypnotic suggestion is making them do something, or unable to do something."
Artemis softly touched Octavia's hand and kissed the fingers.
"Artemis, would you like to tell about that time I hypnotised with a math formula?" Octavia stepped away to give her a bit more space, and to watch her.
Artemis chuckled and blushed. "Ok so, she had written a formula on the whiteboard, and she asked me to take a look at it. I asked after the purpose and she said I should try to picture the graph that formula would make in my mind. And when I managed to picture that…" She paused to gasp softly. There was a subtle change in her eyes as she continued to speak very slowly. "It was a spiral shape... " Her voice trailed off and her eyes stared into nothingness. She stood there, entranced by the images in the story she was telling.
Cassiopeia looked to Octavia; her face looked flushed as she grinned.
"That will never stop being hot." Octavia whispered.
Anton quietly wiped some sweat off his head. "I'll say."
"It's amazing. Is this…?" Cassiopeia reached out to Artemis but resisted the urge to touch her.
"This is rehearsed." Octavia said. "I have taught her that every time I ask her to tell the story about the math formula, this is what I expect to happen. On some level, she can hear us, and she is doing so well." Octavia put her arm around Artemis. "Come back to me, love."
Artemis blinked and swallowed, and then giggled, hiding her face.
Cassiopeia put her empty teacup down. "So these are all little rituals and protocols that you do with your partners?"
Octavia smiled. "Yes! Exactly. It reaffirms to me that they trust me, that they obey me, and it makes them feel controlled and submissive."
"That's beautiful…" Cassiopeia mused.