Soft sunlight fell in the through the white curtains. Octavia reclined on the couch in her home, wearing a long, soft nightgown, reading her inboxes on various social media on her tablet. Artemis leaned against her, sitting cross-legged on the couch, playing a video game. Dan padded through the living room, wearing only black pants and a collar, collecting glasses and dishes to put in the dishwasher. All was quiet and peaceful, except for the sounds of combat and explosions from the video game.
Octavia let out a loud sigh as she put the tablet down. She rubbed her face, looking tired.
Dan trotted over to her. "Is there anything I can do, My Lady?"
"I don't know…" Octavia said with her hands still on her face. "Can you make your fellow submissive men stop messaging Dominant women on the internet?"
"Another one?" Artemis grumbled as the sounds of combat intensified.
Dan clenched his jaw, looking uncomfortable.
"I'm sorry, love. That's unfair of me." Octavia reached out to pet his head. "It's not your fault that other men are asshats to me on the internet… Make me some coffee?"
Dan went over to the coffee machine and took out one of his Lady's favourite cups. "What was in the message, if you don't mind my asking?"
With another sigh, Octavia picked up the tablet, tapped the screen a few times and read out loud: "Are you a real hypnotist? Please tell me yes, I beg you."
The video game went silent as Artemis turned to read along with Octavia. "Seriously? Begging before he even knows you? Presumptuous dick! Oh, and his username is 'Slave' with a number! For fuck's sake!"
"Is that such an awful thing to ask?" Dan frowned at them from the kitchen.
Octavia thought about it for a second. "His message is not impolite or offensive in and of itself. He probably doesn't realise why this makes me so exasperated…"
"Because the follow up question is if you can hypnotise him!" Artemis turned back to her video game and the explosions continued. "These fuckwads always want a free ride on the hypnocoaster. They don't realise you're a person with relationships and a job and a life. They just think that it doesn't hurt to ask."
As Dan brought the cup of coffee to his Lady, she gave him a weary look. "Somehow, these men understand that you can't ask a bank for free money, but they don't see why they can't ask a Domme to top them." She took the cup of coffee and sipped from it. "And when I tell them 'No, I'm not going to hypnotise you' they never take it well."
Artemis furiously worked the buttons of her video game, explosions punctuating her words: "They expect us to explain why we don't want to spend our precious time and energy on them. Or they'll just start insulting us, calling us fake, or whores. Sometimes, they'll go overboard with self-hatred. 'I should have known that you were out of my league! I'm so stupid!' Hoping for a pity fuck."
Dan gave Artemis an incredulous look. "You get messages like this too?"
She squinted at the screen as her thumbs still worked the buttons. "Every woman on every online platform gets these messages."
Octavia motioned Dan to look at the tablet again. "This is Fetlife. And this is Reddit. Tumblr. Insta. Twitter. I can't see the ones on Facebook because they are from people who are not friends, thank heavens."
"I heard a friend say that she got a dirty message on Venmo." Artemis grumbled.
"Why am I not surprised?" Octavia rolled her eyes.
Dan hung his head. "I'm ashamed to have anything in common with these men…"
Octavia turned back to the tablet. "I'm just going to write a quick answer."
Another explosion. "Just block the fucker!"
"I always keep thinking…" Octavia mumbled as she typed. "That if I explain to him what we've just explained to Dan, maybe he'll stop sending messages like this. And that might save other women this bother…"
"Does that ever work?" Dan asked.
"I don't know…" Octavia said.
Artemis put the video game away, grumbling: "Why can't those guys just go to a munch to meet people, like normal people?"
Octavia smiled wistfully. "Like we did."
Dan put down his pillow on the floor and sat next to Octavia's feet. "I don't think I know that story."
"You don't?" Octavia put the tablet away and started to stroke and pet Dan. "Well, back in the day, I hung out at local munches a lot. I loved talking to other Dommes to hear them brag about what they liked to do. So when Artemis and I had exchanged a few messages online, I invited her over to the munch to meet. And we talked for hours."
Dan, smiling contently because of the pettings, looked at Artemis. "What were those online messages about?"
Artemis furrowed her brow, thinking back. "I had left a few comments and we started chatting, about hypnosis and the educational articles Octavia wrote online." She giggled. "I went back to those old messages once, there was nothing in there hinting that we might get together. It was all hypnosis theory and techniques and books on the subject."
"We really bonded over how bad that book Pillow Talk was." Octavia chuckled. Then she winked at Dan and said: "Do you remember the first time I hypnotised you, Artemis?"
"It was at the munch…" She stared off in the distance as she reminisced. Her voice became softer and dreamier with every word. "We had been talking about the fact that no one would notice if you'd hypnotise me at the munch. Talking is a normal thing to do. And so is staring off into space…"
"That's right, that's exactly what we talked about." Octavia cooed in her smooth hypnotist voice. "And you remember what it felt like, don't you? Just sitting in that corner with me, staring off into space with my voice guiding you as the noise of the pub faded into the background."
"Yes…" Her mouth sagged open and her eyes softened.
"If that is what you want, Artemis, you can drop deep into trance… Now." Octavia snapped her fingers.
Artemis went slack, her head flopped backwards against the back of the couch and her arms fell limp into her lap.
Octavia let out a deep, contented sigh. "That never gets old."
"Why does that keep on working every single time?" Dan asked in a soft whisper. "Doesn't she see it coming?"
"She probably does." Octavia smiled and softly stroked Artemis' hair. "But knowing a technique and seeing it coming doesn't mean you want to stop it from happening. We're in a safe place and this is a wonderful moment for a bit of trance, isn't it?" She gave Dan a meaningful look.
He froze in place, his big brown eyes staring up at her. "Yes… My Lady…"
"I think it's time for your mantra, Dan." Octavia scooted towards Artemis on the couch and took the entranced girl into her arms. As she started to kiss her neck, Artemis stirred and moaned softly.
Kneeling on his pillow, Dan's eyes were open but he saw nothing. His in a soft, vacant voice he recited: "I am strong. I am handsome. My Lady loves me. My Dragon loves me. I am calm and still."