The bus let me off at the mall for the second time to meet with Darryl. About an hour before, he'd sent me a text message asking me to go back to the chat room, and I think I had—well, why wouldn't I?—but strangely I didn't actually remember anything we'd talked about.
I intended to have words with Darryl about that.
Although I guess I didn't know what words I could have with him. Whatever was coming, or whatever had happened, it was obviously something that I had agreed to. And the moment he wanted to stop having words with me...
I shivered at that thought in the warm evening. I didn't know what sort of suggestions waited for me, or were already acting on me, or what he might add, and I couldn't help but be very excited at the idea.
He was there, all smiles, standing alone in the vestibule between the doors. We hugged close. Then I started to think of what we had done that afternoon, and what I had done afterwards, and what I had done in the shower after that. I could feel hands on my breasts, and I knew they were his, even though his hands were holding me by the small of my back.
"Suggestion working?" he mumbled in my ear.
I gasped as he held me tighter. "Mrhm," I mumbled into his chest as my/his/no fingers trickled their way over my nipples. "You're mean." At least I had an answer to what we'd talked about an hour before.
He chuckled. "Thought you might like that. And I might have some other surprises planned."
We stepped apart and I gave a little whimper as the phantom touches stopped. "That's an... interesting way to... start a date..." I muttered, flushed and looking at my feet. And smiling. He opened the door for me. "What else do you have planned?" I asked as we stepped into the mall.
"Surprises," he repeated, offering me his arm. "Check?"
"Green," I replied before I realized I had said anything. I wrapped my arm around his.
"Good, Rosiegirl," he said, and I blushed at the praise. There was something I'd just said, but I was more interested in the feeling of him standing beside me and the praise he'd just given me than remembering what it was.
The mall was mostly closed down by that time, with the stores shutting up early on Sunday evening, but the food court, I knew, would be open until at least seven. A lot of the mall employees regularly got supper there after their shifts ended; it's what I did when I'd had a job there on summer breaks from school. And other than them and the people manning the food kiosks, there was no one around. It's one of the things that made a Sunday evening dinner at the mall a fairly frequent thing for me, when I was feeling lazy: I had my pick of the restaurants, but no one looking at me.
We found a quiet corner spot, hidden from most of the rest of the mall by a couple high planters with leafy flowers in them, and dropped off our coats. "What would you like?" he asked me.
I looked around. There were a dozen options to choose from, ranging from basic fast food to standard Chinese to rotisserie chicken... "What... do you want?"
He smiled. "I'll just follow you, Rosa. What would you like?"
Pulled pork? Salad? Pizza? I couldn't give him an answer. There were too many options.
Darryl took my hand in his. "What would you like, Rosie?"
I pointed tentatively to the pizza place. It was a favourite for me and my friends in high school. "I think I want a slice or two."
"Great, let's do that then."
The two of us walked across the small space. There wasn't much left of their by-the-slice specials, because it was the end of the day and no one likes wasting food, so we ordered from the small selection, got a couple drinks, and headed back to the table. I had picked out a slice of cheese and one of the pepperoni and mushroom; Darryl had ground beef and onion and a deluxe.
"Going to share?" he teased me.
"Uh, I mean, I, um..." I blushed a bit. "I don't like onions so you can have them," I said.
"That's just fine." We sat down in our spots again. "I'm not big on plain cheese. I'd be happy to share the deluxe with you, if you want." He grinned. "I'll even scrape off the onions."
I smiled at him. "They put them under the cheese," I said, making a face.
"I guess we just have our own food, then," he laughed.
I laughed too. And honestly, though it had probably been sitting under a heat lamp for hours, the pizza was really, really good. I was glad I chose it. The nostalgia was strong for me, but it also looked like Darryl was enjoying his.
"If you like them," I ventured, "uh, they're a local chain, we could order in sometime..."
He raised an eyebrow. "I would like that a lot, Rosa." He took a sip of his soda. "Are you busy Saturday evening?"
I swallowed my pizza and looked away. I wasn't, but I also knew what he was asking me.
He seemed amused. "Busy Saturday, Rosa?"
"No, Darryl, I'm not," I said, still looking at the floor.
"Would you like to come over for a pizza dinner?"
"I would," I half-whispered. I remembered the hug we'd shared when I arrived and the feeling of hands on my breasts and I flushed and put some more pizza in my mouth to keep myself from saying anything completely stupid.
"And would you like me to hypnotize you after dinner?"
I made a small squeaking noise. "On Saturday?"
He nodded. "On Saturday. And, if you like, today."
I looked at my pizza. The slice of cheese was nothing but inedibly-hard crust, the major downside to it having been dried to within an inch of its life in the heat. The pepperoni and mushroom was half done. "Saturday... maybe..."
He was practically finished. I couldn't bring myself to eat faster. "I... uh..."
Here? I looked around. We were practically alone. The pizza place was turning off its lights, as were a couple of the other food places. No one was watching us at all. "Like... now?"
"When you're done. Would you like that?"
I gripped the table. Had to make a decision. I knew I couldn't say nothing. I picked up my pizza. "Maybe?" I said before quickly taking a big bite to think about it. I was sitting in the corner. It would just look like we were having an intense discussion. No one would see anything. The mall would close down around us and I'd be there... in a trance... with him.
"Would you?" He took a sip of his drink. Casual. As though he hadn't just offered exactly what I wanted but never would have asked for myself.
And maybe wouldn't have the strength to accept.
"Yes," I whispered. "Maybe."
He nodded as if that was a good enough answer for him and finished off his drink. He picked up his empty slice boxes (he, I noticed, ate the crusts) and mine as well as his drink cup, and took them to the garbage, which gave me time to both watch him move and think about his offer. I knew he'd be safe about it. I knew he'd be careful. We weren't about to get caught doing anything inappropriate or wrong. It would just be a trance. Neither of us would go to jail. Or get kicked out of the mall.
I couldn't believe I was going to—
—accept his offer and just let him put me in a trance right there in the mall.
"Yes," I said as he sat down.
"Yes what, Rosa?"
"You can... h-hyp-uhhh..."
He smiled. "You're going to let me hypnotize you," he said in a casual, normal tone of voice that sounded to me like he was shouting.
I shrank back into the booth, looking around to see if the anybody nearby had seen or heard anything, but since there was no one around, that seemed impossible. "Yes," I whispered, almost inaudible even to my own ears.
"You're going to let me hypnotize you," he repeated, looking straight at me.
I couldn't look away. I nodded. "I'm going to... let you..."
"Hypnotize you," he finished.
I managed to cover my cheeks, but couldn't block my eyes. "You... want me to say it, don't you."
He nodded, slowly, once, without breaking eye contact.
I mustered my courage. "I'm going to let you..." I hesitated. "h-hypnotize me."
He smiled. Still held my gaze. "Again."
"Again?" I gulped. He nodded, that same, slow, single nod. "I'm... uh, I'm going to let you... hypnotize me."
He nodded. I think he said something, too, but I didn't quite catch it. But then he said, "Again."
I swallowed. This was my moment. "I'm going to let you hypnotize me," I said, steady, almost loudly enough to be heard.
"Again." His fingers drummed on the tabletop, even such a small noise shocking me to awareness.
"I'm going to let you hypnotize me."
"Again." Another tap on the table.
"I'm going to let you hypnotize me." There was a rhythmic, meditative quality to the words. Almost iambic pentameter. They just rolled off the tongue.
He didn't say anything, just drummed his fingers on the table.
"I'm going to let you hypnotize me."
Another roll of his fingers.
I repeated the words again.
"I am hypnotizing you." He tapped his fingers.
"You are hypnotizing me," I replied, hardly noticing the shift in the words. "Uh, I—"
He tapped his fingers on the table.
"You are hypnotizing me," I said.
He did it again. I said them again. And again. Over and over. I began to lose count of how many repetitions, lose track of time, lose focus on everything but his eyes, the sound of his fingers, and those four fatal words, as I sank deeper and deeper into the refrain.
At some point, I don't know when or how or why, the words changed, and I was saying, "I am hypnotized," every time he tapped his fingers or rapped his knuckles on the table. It was a long time that I said that, I think.
A mall security officer came over. I saw him coming from my peripheral vision. Darryl saw him, too, and broke eye contact with me to address him. He said something to Darryl, who nodded, smiled, and wished him a good day.
The guard looked right at me. I felt myself starting to go red. "You okay, miss?"
I am hypnotized, the words rang in my ears, the only possible reply I could have given if I'd spoken. I just nodded.
The guard looked back to Darryl. "Sir, if she's drunk, you'd best take care of her, alright?"
"She just tired, officer, I promise," Darryl replied.
"Alright," the guard said, sounding a bit skeptical. "Fifteen minutes, you two are out of here."
I said nothing. I am hypnotized rang through my head.
Darryl said something to me, I nodded, and he tapped his fingers. "I am waking up," I said softly.
"I am waking up."
He nodded, and rapped a knuckle on the table.
"I am waking up." I nodded. I smiled. I blushed. He tapped again. "I am waking up," I said, stretching.
"Well, I'm waking up," I said with a shy little laugh. I put my hands to my flaming face. "Did that... really... just..."
"Did I just hypnotize you, or did a security guard just come by to tell us that the food court is closing?"
"Eep! Then that..." I swallowed. "Oh wow. Uh, I guess I knew you could handle it."
"You seemed pretty sure. Still, figured that meant it was about time for a wakeup."
I nodded. "Yeah, probably." I felt around for my coat, carefully stood up beside the table, feeling for the edges. I tried putting my jacket on but it wouldn't fit right.
"It's upside down," Darryl pointed out helpfully. "Can I help you?"
I laughed. "No, no, it's fine, I got it." I took my arm out of the sleeve and turned it bit-by-bit until it had gone a hundred and eighty degrees. Definitely a slow process, but I knew it well. I put the jacket on the right way up, then rested my hand on the edge of the table. "I'm a bit disoriented from the trance," I admitted, embarrassed. "Which way is the entrance?"
I heard Darryl moving up beside me. He helped me to turn around, and took me by the the elbow, standing just a bit behind me. "It's not far. Should I walk you to the bus?"
"I'd like that, thank you," I said. "And, uh, if you like... I know it would be two extra bus rides for you, but... you could walk me home. Not that I can't get home alone, I've done it lots, but..."
"I would love to walk you home, Rosa." He got me facing the right direction. "Hold on, you need your purse."
"Right, thank you." I stood and waited, one hand on the back of the bench where I'd been sitting, for Darryl to bring me my bag and help me get it over my shoulder. He took my elbow again. "I know there are steps ahead..."
"Yep, three stairs, just in front of us."
I carefully found the lip of the first stair with my toes and walked down to the lower level. I was thankful for Darryl's guidance, even though it was a straight shot from there to the main doors, it made the trip a lot faster, and I felt a lot less helpless. Plus I could feel Darryl beside me the whole way, which was a definite bonus.
He put my hand on the panic bar of the door and let me lead him through into the vestibule where we'd met, and then again to the outside. The sun was still warm, and wind still cool, as Darryl helped me to the bus stop. "You're sure you don't mind?" I asked him, turning towards him and smiling.
"No, of course not." His voice was as warm as the evening. "I don't mind helping you get back. The bus fare is well worth spending time with you."
I stammered and blushed and hid my face as he laughed. "I'm... I'm happy to... uh... I'm happy to spend... more time with you..."
"Unfortunately, the bus is here, so the date is coming to an end," he said. The roar of the engine made me stand up and back from the curb. I heard the door open, and Darryl took my elbow again and helped me up the steps. I knew where my tickets were in my purse, so it was easy enough (with a bit of help) to pay my fare, and Darryl guided me to the front seats and sat beside me, holding my hand in his. I couldn't tell if there was anyone else on the bus, but judging by the amount of time it took between us sitting and the vehicle moving, no one else got on with us. We didn't talk for the whole trip, but communicated through little squeezes and touches, sat side by side. The bus didn't stop before reaching Cavendish, so it was a pretty quick trip and we were out on the street again.
"You know the way?" I asked him.
"I remember from Friday," he replied.
"Great, I'll let you lead, then." I turned towards his voice and grinned, offering my arm. He took me behind the elbow and led me down the street, and even though he'd been supporting me since he woke me from trance.
"Having a good time, Rosa?" he asked once we got across the main drag.
I nodded. "Oh yes, very much, thank you. A-and you?" I asked, a bit nervously.
He chuckled. "I thought I would have a good time. Instead, I'm having a great one."
"Aw!" I felt myself blushing. "I'm... I'm so glad... e-especially after... um..."
He patted my forearm with his free hand. "Don't worry about it. It happens. This is new, and a little weird, and a lot of fun, bumps in the road will happen."
"Well," I said, pressing a little closer into him, "I, um... I'm not gonna make the same mistake..."
"What did you think about this afternoon?" he asked, and it felt like he was changing the subject.
If he was changing the subject, it still felt awkward to me. "I... really... um really, really, really enjoyed it, Darryl."
"Me too," he said.
We pressed closer together.
I took a deep breath. "I want to do it again."
"So do I."
"A-and I want to..." I swallowed hard. "G-go further."
Darryl said nothing, and I couldn't read the silence. When we turned onto my street, he finally spoke. "So do I."
"It's a little, um, late..."
"There's tomorrow, and Tuesday, and Wednesday..." He chuckled.
I laughed with him. "Oh yes, Darryl... so much, please."
He helped me up to the first step to my home. "Oh good. These things might start to happen very frequently."
I stood there on the step, holding both of Darryl's hands in mine. I felt my smile get wide. "Uh... may I... kiss you, Darryl?"
"I would be honoured."
I leaned in as far as I dared, and felt his lips brush against mine. Slowly and carefully I sank into the kiss, our hands sliding up each others' arms until we were holding each other close, him on the ground, me on the step. It was... beautiful. Wonderful. Thrilling. Exciting. Everything a first kiss with a new partner could be. Our lips didn't even part, we just held each other there, together, enjoying the company.
And as we came apart and still held each other close, I had a realization.
I could see.
Darryl had a wild, goofy grin on his face, that couldn't all be because of that kiss.
"Did you... make me... blind?"
He nodded, his grin lively. "You took to it very well."
I blushed hard at the compliment. "I mean... I could... I think I could see... b-but..."
"But your mind ignored input from your eyes. Like a good subject."
"You..." I looked him in the eyes. "You helped me."
"Only fair, since I put you in that situation to begin with."
My knees felt weak. I wanted him putting me in those situations more. A lot more. And I wanted his help getting out of them. I wanted to say all that, but all that came out was, "Uh."
He smiled. "May I kiss you again, Rosa?"
I didn't answer, just pulled him to me. This wasn't the patient, comfortable, gentle kiss of before, this was hot, insistent, passionate. It lasted forever and nowhere near long enough. I stepped backwards up a step and pulled him up with me, and then up the next, and we were in the doorway, and I kissed him forcefully again, and again...
My door was locked, but I was working the doorknob like made. It was Darryl that stopped me.
"Rosa," he said, panting a bit. "I can't... I have to work in the morning, and if I come inside..."
I nodded, still unthinkingly trying to get the knob turned. "I... I get it. Um. Can we...?"
He took a breath, hands on my shoulders. I took one with him. "I should go home," he said, but he didn't sound embarrassed or ashamed, more... disappointed.
I nodded again. "Uh. Yeah. I... you should, a-and..."
Darryl bent down and kissed me again, like the first time, calm, and chaste, and caring.
"Have a good night, Rosa."
"Have a good night, Darryl," I said, giving him one more soft hug. He stepped down the stairs, then watched as I got out my keys and opened my door. I blew him a kiss from the entry, and he blew one back. I smiled and closed the door carefully, slowly, not wanting to look like I was in a hurry.
But I was.
The moment I locked my door, I rushed upstairs, and for the second time that day started running a hot shower. I needed to be naked. I needed to imagine him, and that energy he played with earlier, and those kisses, and being blind, and his strong arms...
The upstairs bathroom had been my parents', and they had upgraded it beautifully. The shower had jets from several directions and a couple good places to sit. And I knew just where, and how, to sit, to get a spray of water just right. The one hand required to brace meant that I still had a hand free to run over... just as I remembered it, slowly, over my belly, in slow, gentle circles, as the water stimulated my clit. I shuddered and moaned, reminded of that magic that had held me in thrall as my hand moved inevitably up, higher and higher...
My hand reached my nipple just as the water pushed me over the edge, and I cried out in ecstasy as the waves of pleasure pulsed through me. I moan Darryl's name, and heard my voice call out to 'Sir' in the echoes around the closed shower.
After a few moments to catch my breath, I put the shower to its intended use, getting myself cleaned up, letting the heat work out the knots.
What am I getting myself into? I asked myself.
But I couldn't keep the smile off my face.