I envision the future.
I'm sitting at my desk, surrounded by my law books and notes, fully focused on acing my upcoming exams – one more brick in the strong foundation I’m building for my future career. I see academic affirmation before me, perhaps a PhD, or a prestigious lecturer chair at a law university. My sharp mind and talents, acknowledged and admired by all.
It’s a beautiful vision. In the silence of my apartment, only broken by the gentle rustle of pages as I turn them, I revel in it, knowing that the long hours and the hard work of today, will bear fruit tomorrow.
Then, the echoing sound of laughter snaps me out of my reverie. Aaaand just like that, the magic is gone.
I sigh, profoundly irritated by the ruckus. I get up from my desk and head down to Annalise’s room to investigate… as if I didn’t know what the source is.
I open the door, without knocking. I find Annalise relaxing in her gaming chair, microphone and headset in position, laughing hysterically as she stares into her webcam. She’s streaming one of her video games, and the cacophony of gunfire and blasting sounds echoing remotely from her headset must be positively deafening to her.
When she notices my presence, she shouts to her audience in delight.
"Hey guys! My roommate V's here!"
“It’s Veronica,” I tell her flatly, hoping I spoke low enough that my voice wasn’t picked up on stream. I roll my eyes and let out a sigh. "Annalise, can you please keep it down? I'm trying to study."
Annalise’s smile curls and dies. She suddenly looks at me like I’m a spider in the shower. "I'll try. Jeez, sorry to cramp your style," she says, turning back to her game. "You hear that, guys? We're supposed to keep it down while we blast the next wave. Haha!"
My hands ball into fists as I feel my anger building. It's not just the disrespect that bothers me. What I'm trying to do is important! I've got a ton of readings and assignments to catch up on. I've got internships to apply for, seminars to attend, and a CV to build. Every opportunity counts, especially in this tight labour market. This is serious stuff, not... videogames.
I think about making the point clearer, but opt against it. In her own way, she is working right now, and besides, confrontation is costly and tiring. She said she'll try. I have to hope it's going to be enough to let me study.
I retreat into the hallway, shaking my head. I know it's not my business how Annalise earns a living, but... she just sits in her pyjamas all day! I don't think I've ever seen her wear a suit, or anything that might pass for professional in the office. Hell, she dropped out of uni when her streaming took off. Like, seriously, who drops academia to get rich with videogames? It's unfathomable to me.
And then there's the way she uses her looks to attract subscribers and donations. The way her male audience drools over her and throws money at her just because of the way she looks... it's insulting to those among us women who beat the patriarchy the hard way, proving we're just as smart and capable as any man.
Not using our looks to get ahead.
I return to my room and angrily sit back down in the chair, staring at my reading material, waiting for motivation and focus to snap back into place, so I can start studying again. But I feel so distracted after what happened, that I know I likely won't be able to get anything done for a while.
I give up for the time being and head out into the balcony, smoking a cigarette, looking at the city in the distance. Reflecting on my ambitions.
Grinding, getting ahead of the pack, getting up early in the morning and dressing properly for the office, being called “doctor” with a nice fat qualification framed and mounted on the wall... this is how you get ahead in life.
Sure, Annalise may be earning plenty of cash, but she's wasting her formative years. If that vein ever dries up, what does she do next, with no career and no qualifications? I shake my head. It's not my problem, is it? Except when it stops me from studying.
That part makes me so angry, it stops me from enjoying the vision of my future.
It's been a few days since the incident with Annalise's noisy livestream, and I've been avoiding her like the plague. I don't want to deal with her bubbly personality, her inconsiderate behaviour, and the incessant noise that comes from her room. It's not that I hate her, it's just that her constant livestreaming of her video games is so noisy that I can never study in peace and quiet.
Maybe I should go to the library, or something. Or just study at different, weirder hours. But… somehow, that feels like giving in. Is that what a winner would do? In my future employment, I’m going to meet plenty of people who are going to try and step on my toes. Somehow, just yielding ground doesn’t feel right.
Hell, I pay rent for this room, and I’m sure as hell going to use it.
So I stay obstinately cooped up in my own cave, studying and doing assignments, trying to ignore the loud background noise that seeps through the walls. I can feel my frustration building up with each passing day, and I can't wait to be done with this semester and this apartment.
And this shitty roommate.
One day, however, I return from a grocery run, only to find Annalise in the living room, immersed in her smartphone. She looks up when I enter, and immediately gets up from the sofa.
"Hey, V, how's it going?" She greets me with her usual cheery tone.
I give a half-hearted shrug, trying to signal that I don't really want to talk, while rushing towards the kitchen. I can barely suppress a groan when I notice she’s following me.
"I know you're mad at me," Annalise says, and I stop in my tracks. I put my groceries on the table, with a sigh, and then cross my arms. I don’t even find it in me to deny her, so I just stare at her, tapping my foot on the floor.
"I'm sorry for the noise,” Annalise offers. “I didn't realize it was bothering you so much."
"It's not just the noise," I reply, a bit harsher than intended. "I need to study! I know streaming is important to you, but if you promise to keep it down, then please, keep it down.."
Annalise nods understandingly. "I get it. I'll try to be quieter from now on, I promise." She pauses for a moment before adding, "Hey, you smoke, right?”
I'm taken aback by the sudden change of topic. "Um, yes. Why do you ask?"
Annalise grins mischievously. "I have this new brand of cigarettes that I think you'll love. It's rare and smells amazing."
I'm confused, but before I can even utter a single word or get a question in, I find a cream-coloured package being pressed into my hands. Annalise quickly retreats, with a glint in her eyes that I can't quite decipher.
I stare at her, then at the package. The colour does admittedly look inviting, though I’ve never heard of this brand before. Snail? What kinda cigarette brand name is that?
“Enjoy!” She says, before darting back down the hallway and towards her room, leaving me standing in the kitchen, flabberghasted.
Hesitantly, I pocket the cigarettes. I’m not sure what to think of Annalise's behavior. Maybe it’s just her way of dealing with the embarrassment of the apology? Is she trying to win me over with cigarettes? Or is she genuinely sorry for disturbing me and wants to make it up to me?
Well, whatever it is, it has to be better than arguing with your roommate.
The noise from Annalise's livestream has been driving me insane. She laughs, jokes, squeals, curses. She plays videogames the way some British men watch football, I swear. It’s unrelenting!
I've been studying for hours, trying to focus on my work, but it's just impossible. The noise-canceling headphones help a bit, but they can only do so much against the overwhelming power of Annalise’s shrill enthusiasm.
I cradle my face in my hands, trying remind myself that Annalise needs to make a living too. Still... it's like she doesn't care about my position at all.
With a sigh, I decide to take a quick break and head out to the balcony. The fresh air hits my face, and I take a deep breath in. I could so go for a smoke… unfortunately, I forgot to buy some on my way back from uni today.
That’s when my wandering hands feel it… the bulge in my pocket. I pull it out, studying at the cream-coloured package, almost too ordinary and anonymous, yet still inviting.
Annalise’s peace offering.
I mean… I do want a smoke, why not try? I decide to light one up and see what it’s like.
As I take my first puff, I'm surprised by the aromatic flavour of the cigarette. I frown, examining it, working it over as I breathe it in. It's unlike anything I've ever tasted before. It has a rich, earthy flavor, with hints of honey and spices. The smoke is thick, and it feels like it's filling up my lungs with a warm, comforting sensation.
I take another puff, savouring the taste and the feeling. I close my eyes and lean against the railing, letting the stress fade away. The warmth spreading across my lungs is so comforting that I'm starting to feel lightheaded and lulled into complete tranquility, like being rocked inside a cradle.
The scent lingers in the air, and it's pleasant, calming, and just the slightest bit alluring. I take another puff, and this time I exhale, watching the smoke swirl out into the air.
Despite my irritation with Annalise, I have to admit that this is a nice gesture. Maybe she did want to make it up to me, after all
But this fragrance... what is it, what’s it called? Why have I never heard of such a cigarette before?
I take another puff, deeper this time, trying to focus on each facet of this honeyed flavour. Damn, it's like nothing I've ever experienced before. The honeyed aroma is so unusual that it's hard to put into words. It's not just sweet, but there's a depth to it that I can't quite describe. It's as though I'm tasting something that's been aged for centuries, waiting all this time to be enjoyed, to be freed into the world by a pair of eager lips.
The more I smoke, the more the fragrance fills my senses. It's almost overpowering, but in a good way. I feel my head start to spin, my thoughts slowing down as I focus on the taste and the feeling it brings. It's as though the smoke is wrapping itself around me like a warm blanket, and I can't help but breathe it in deeply.
It's not just a scent, it's a sensation. It's as though the smoke is filling up every corner of my body. Maybe this is what I needed all along, a moment of pure tranquility, to forget the world around me and just be.
As I continue to watch the smoke, I realize that the patterns it's forming are more than just random swirls. They're almost like abstract shapes, shifting and twisting in the air. The smoke seems to be taking on a life of its own, dancing in front of my eyes.
Now, how would you ever get that effect?
I blink, confused, wondering if it’s just my imagination. My eyes are transfixed on the smoke as it twists and turns, creating a mesmerizing display. I can't look away. It's like the smoke is drawing me in, beckoning me to follow its inviting movements.
I take another deep drag on the cigarette, the honey seemingly coursing through me. The smoke trails from my mouth and begins to intermingle with the patterns in the air. It's like the smoke and the patterns are becoming one, merging together into a swirling vortex.
I find myself staring deeper and deeper into the vortex, my eyes fixated on the mesmerising display. Blinking becomes a rarity, as I feel myself being pulled deeper and deeper into the swirling patterns.
I don't know how long I've been standing here, lost in my reverie. It could have been minutes, or hours. Either way, I eventually jolt myself back from the railing. Time to return to reality. I flick the cigarette butt over the railing ,and take one last glance at the smoke dissipating into the air. The patterns are gone, and the vortex has vanished.
Oddly, that makes me feel almost sad.
I feel so much calmer now as I return to my room. As I move, I can feel a pleasant haze still lingering inside me, like a warm cloud that surrounds me. It's like I'm cocooned in a sense of peace and tranquility that I've never felt before. I'm grateful for Annalise's unexpected gesture.
I sit down at my desk, and Annalise’s snorting laughter doesn't seem to bother me anymore. It's like I'm in a different world, a quieter, more tranquil one. As I start to study again, I feel a slight sluggishness in my thoughts, like they're moving through syrup. But it doesn't bother me, not when anxiety and stress feel like such a distant memory.
I take my time reading each word, letting them sink in slowly.
When I finally close my textbook and stretch my arms, the sun has begun to dip below the horizon. I rub my eyes, as if awakening from a long sleep. My mind keeps wandering back to that fragrance, the flavour, the smoke dancing in the air like an ethereal creature.
I don’t know how or where Annalise found this stuff, but it beats diazepam hands down.
Typically she takes a short break right about now, so this is the perfect time to ask her about it, and besides, it’s a good opportunity to thank her in person.
I knock on her door after pushing it halfway open, and she puts away her smartphone to greet me with a mischievous smile.
"Hey, V! What's up? Enjoying the peace offering?" she asks, a sly smile on her lips.
"I just wanted to ask you about the cigarette you gave me earlier," I say. "It had a really unusual fragrance, and I was wondering where you got it from."
Annalise's smile grows wider as she reaches for a small black box on her desk. "That's my secret stash," she says with a playful wink. "It's a blend of different herbs and spices, and the honey makes it so that the taste isn’t… overpowering."
She puts a strange emphasis on the last word, but I brush the thought aside as she continues.
"I get it from a… connection," she says finally. "A friend who knows a guy, who knows a guy, you know how it goes."
I nod, not wanting to pry too much into her business. "Well, whoever your guy is, he's got a real talent for blending flavors."
Annalise grins. "Yeah, he's the best. And the smoke patterns? That's all me, I've been practicing for years."
I raise an eyebrow. "You mean the way the smoke seems to form patterns in the air? How does that even work? It looks like magic!"
“It’s just smoke art,” Annalise says with a giggle. "I've always been fascinated by it. It's like a dance, you know? The way the smoke moves and twists and turns. I've spent hours perfecting it. In fact," Annalise says, the sly grin returning, "you could say the smoke art is almost... hypnotic."
I gulp, feeling a little uneasy, like there's a subtext to this conversation I'm not really grasping. “I see,” I say, shuffling in place, unsure what to ask, or whether to end the conversation somehow.
Annalise leans in conspirationally. "I’m always happy to share, V. Just don't tell anyone about it, okay? It's my secret indulgence."
I nod. "Of course, your secret is safe with me," I say with a smile.
"I know it is," Annalise says with a sly grin. "You'd do just about anything to keep on my good side, so you can keep getting these cigarettes from me. Wouldn't you, V?"
“Uh…” I say, taking a step back. A shiver just went down my back, for some reason, and I feel really uneasy about this last comment. But before I can say anything coherent, Annalise claps her hands.
"Alright, off with you! I need to go to bed."
That sounds a little dismissive... but in my hazy state after the cigarette, I don't have it in me to argue, and placidly let Annalise lead me out of her room into the hallway.
"Have a good night," I say, somewhat uncertain.
"You too, V," Annalise says, before winking. "And remember. I want you to smoke all the cigarettes. For me."
Well, I think to myself as I head back to my room. That’s just not creepy at all…
Of course, I could always stop, I tell myself as I tuck myself in under the blankets. But… the mere idea makes my heart squeeze. I don’t want to stop…
I try to push the thoughts away and focus on the feeling of tranquility that the cigarette had brought me earlier. But as I try to drift off to sleep, I can't help but wonder what Annalise's intentions were with her strange behaviour tonight.
I resolve to be more careful in my interactions with her from now on. I don't want to get caught up in anything shady or dangerous. I take a deep breath, exhaling slowly, and let the tranquility of the smoke lull me into a deep and peaceful slumber.
I dream half-morphed dreams of smoke and honey.
I feel a mixture of embarrassment and unease as I realise I've gone through the entire packet of cigarettes in just a few days. I'm no stranger to smoking, but this is a whole new level of addiction. Despite this, I find myself irresistibly drawn to the honey, to the spices, to the swirling smoke as it coils through the air… It leaves me feeling warm and fuzzy, relaxed and calm.
I suppress the thought. I stare at the smoke for hours, sometimes. The patterns are abstract, and yet there is a beauty in them that transcends their lack of meaning. It’s almost…
No, no no. It’s just that seems to slow down my thoughts, making me feel somewhat sluggish. Part of me honestly seems to enjoy the sensation of being enveloped in a hazy, dream-like state.
The scent relaxes me deeply, so my studying sessions are no longer bothered by Annalise's livestreaming and the associated clatter. So it’s definitely a net positive, in the end… which is why I crave another cigarette. Another package.
I try to resist the temptation to run to Annalise, but the yearning is too strong. I don't even know where she gets them from, or if I'll have to pay her for them. I feel like a druggie who got hooked with a free first dose, and it's all I can think about.
I need it. I want it.
I tell myself I will at least wait until the end of the day, during one of her breaks. That will prove for sure that I’m not addicted.
As the day wears on, I feel the anxiety and anticipation building inside me. I can't focus on my work or my studies, my mind constantly drifting to the thought of the... No, no no no. Focus.
But when the time comes, I basically spring up and rush down the hallway towards her room. I don't know what to expect, but I know I need another cigarette. I take a deep breath and knock on the door, my heart pounding in my chest.
Annalise answers the door, a smirk playing at the corners of her lips. I try to act nonchalant, but inside I'm practically shaking with excitement.
"Hey," I say, trying to keep my voice steady. "Can I get another package of those cigarettes?"
Annalise's smile widens, and I can't help but feel like she's enjoying my desperation a little too much. "Of course, V," she says, handing me a plain package.... then withholding it from my grasp at the last second, as if wanting to prove a point first. "My my, I bet you'd do just about anything to get your hands on another one of these. Wouldn't you?"
I am suddenly, embarrassingly, acutely aware that Annalise and I have never been friends. Not… really? Like, amicable roommates for the most part, but it’s not like I know her. And I never bothered to hide that I look down on her lifestyle, the PJs all day, the whole collecting money from simps by flashing a bit of cleavage thing, the videogames… I bust my ass on internships and seminars.
I’m sure she knows all of this. So, maybe it shouldn’t surprise me that she’s experiencing a moment of Schadenfreude… For the first time, I feel like I'm the one being looked down on.
I step back, trying to play it cool. I don't want to seem too desperate. But my body betrays me, as my hands reach out involuntarily, grasping at the air in front of me, hoping to get my hands on the treasure.
Annalise holds the package away from my reach, laughing, relishing in my desperation, obviously enjoying having the upper hand for once. And I can't blame her. I've always been so judgmental of her, and yet here I am, practically begging for another hit..
"Come on, Annalise," I plead, trying to keep my voice steady. "I'll pay you for them, I promise."
Annalise just raises an eyebrow at me. "Oh, I don't want your money, V. I want something else."
My heart skips a bit, as I search her eyes for clues… but all I see is mirth. "What... what do you want?" I ask, my voice barely above a whisper.
Annalise leans in, her eyes glinting with mischief. "It doesn't really matter, does it? You'll do it anyway, because you want these so bad."
“No, I-” I say, but my denial is cut short when Annalise finally hands me the package of cigarettes with a sly grin on her face. "You're going to subscribe to my channel."
What? That's it? That's like, three bucks a month. I mean... I guess she wants to prove a point. It would be humiliating for me to subscribe to her channel, after how I've looked down on her alternate profession for so long. But in exchange for the cigs, it's such a small price to pay.
I take the package gratefully, feeling a rush of relief and excitement at the same time.
"Thanks," I mutter, trying not to let my emotions show too much.
Annalise just nods, still smirking. "Enjoy them, V. And remember, I'm always here if you need more."
I nod back, trying to sort out the tangled mess that is my feelings right now. It's clear that Annalise has some sort of power over me now, with these cigarettes as a sort of currency between us. I can't help but wonder where this path will lead me.
Right before I can retreat back to my room, however, Annalise draws closer to me, stretching her neck, stepping right in my personal space.
"Like my new perfume?" She says in a coy, sarcastic voice, pointing to her slender neck. I find myself instinctively leaning closer, breathing in - and my eyes widen in surprise. It's faint, but I can feel it... I’d recognise it anywhere.
The honey. The spices.
She smells just like the cigarettes. Does she smoke them, too?
She retreats back into her room before I can recover, her giggling growing fainter behind the door. Finding myself confronted by the closed door, I eventually snap out of it and head back down the hallway, the package of cigarettes heavy in my hand. I wonder what it is I'm holding.
Or what kind of hold Annalise is going to have over me.
I take another drag from the cigarette, savoring the sweet, fragrant smoke as it swirls in my mouth. It's been a few days now since Annalise gave me the next fix, and I've been smoking them ever since. I know I shouldn't. No, seriously, I know. It’s just. You know. The smoke calls to me, luring me in with its seductive tendrils. And I can't resist.
As I watch the smoke curling around me, I find myself getting lost in its patterns. Each swirl and eddy seems to carry a meaning, a message that I can almost grasp but never quite understand. I think of coils tightening around… something. Strength being sapped, leaking out, leaving deflation, weakness, compliance…
I don’t know, man, that’s weird. Trippy, even.
Despite the strange thoughts and associations that the smoke conjures up, the warm, comforting blanket that envelops me and shuts out the world is more than worth the creepiness.
I feel like my mind is slowing down, becoming sluggish and unresponsive. It's harder to concentrate on my studies, and I find myself procrastinating more and more. Instead of working, I…
God, that’s so bizarre.
No, not now. I try to force myself to study. Even though it's becoming more and more difficult to concentrate, I try my best to keep my mind sharp. And yet, eventually, my mind wanders, and my eyes follow, and my hands begin to type the well-known URL, and here I am again. On Annalise’s channel, which I’ve recently subscribed to.
She’s sitting a hallway away from me, and yet here I am, watching her play videogames in real time.
I've never been interested in games, but that isn’t the draw, here, not for me. It’s… the way she uses her beauty and charm to elicit tips from her audience... it's something that I used to highly disapprove of. But now, I find myself wondering what it would be like to be in her position. To have all those men fawning over me, showering me with attention and gifts. It's a strange feeling, and one that I can't quite understand.
Then, my thoughts wander to how it would be like to be one of them. Casting my adoration at the feet of someone who’s going to receive it as a matter of course, and give nothing back, because she only knows to take, and take, and take…
She might not be in the room with me, but I’m also consciously aware that Annalise smells like the cigarettes. It's such a subtle scent, but it's always there, lingering in the air. Maybe she just smokes them a lot too, I’m not sure. But just seeing her skin on camera triggers my olfactory memory so vividly, that it’s like her neck is inches away from my nose once more, with me breathing it all in…
She’s just mesmerising. That’s the only adjective that fits. I watch her work her magic on her audience, and I feel a deep longing stirring inside of me. Maybe I really am turning into a simp, too… The thought makes me feel sick to my stomach, but where is it wrong?
My eyes are glued to the screen with rapt attention, trying not to miss any tiny detail of her facial expression, of the way she smirks and winks to the camera, the face she makes right before she’s about to crack a joke...
She's playing some kind of shoot-'em-up game, and I have no idea what's going on, but I don't really care. My eyes are all on her. On her own eyes. Two deep pools, so dark, so deep… how have I never noticed that before?
Her long hair is swept to the side, her smile playful as she interacts with chat.
I watch in awe as she uses her beauty and allure to elicit tips. Her husky voice, the way she just looks so hot and smart simultaneously… who wouldn’t want to tip her, even just as recognition of this?
My eyes follow the curves of her body, accentuated by her tight-fitting top. I can see the way her chest rises and falls with each breath, and I find myself mesmerised by her movements. I watch as she flirts with her audience, teasing them with subtle glances and suggestive remarks.
I am definitely reacting to the same cues and allures that Annalise uses on her simps. My skin is pearled with sweat, and my breath is strangely ragged. On the tip of my tongue, I can taste the spices and the honey.
I watch as she receives another generous tip from one of her viewers, and I can't help but feel a pang of envy. Why can't I be the one that she's paying attention to? Why can't I be the one that she's flirting with?
Where did that come from?
I feel a rush of embarrassment as I realise that I've been staring at her like a lovesick puppy. God, that’s so pathetic, and thrilling, and terrifying. I've always prided myself on my intelligence and independence, my indomitable spirit as a winner, but now I find myself drawn to Annalise in a way that feels almost... submissive.
But then, she says something that snaps me out of my daze. "Hey, V, are you watching?" she asks, looking straight into the camera with a sly grin on her face.
My heart skips a beat. How did she know I’m watching? Did she really mean to call me out like that? Or was it just a coincidence?
Annalise stares into the camera again, her voice unusually commanding. "Tip me, if you are."
The ground seems to open up beneath me. My extremities tingle as adrenaline courses through my body, and I have a sudden impulse, a physical and sexual impulse, to just do it. But I hesitate for a moment, my hand hovering over the "send" button on my screen. My fingers begin to tremble.
Slowly, inexorably, I succumb to the urge. I type in a generous amount and hit "send". The moment the notification pops up on Annalise's screen, I feel a rush of both excitement and guilt at what I’ve just done… at how she has just overpowered me.
I can’t believe I’ve done this.
Annalise laughs, her eyes sparkling with amusement. "Oh V, you're such a good girl," she says, addressing me directly. "You always know how to make me smile."
And that… that makes my cheeks burn hotter than the bloody sun.
It occurs to me that Annalise might be dehydrated. Streaming for so many hours must be tiring. I feel a strange compulsion to take care of her, to make sure she's comfortable and well looked after. So naturally, without thinking twice, I head to the kitchen and gather some snacks, water, and other amenities, carefully arranging them on a tray.
Because of course, what else could I do?
Carrying the tray with me, I make my way to Annalise's room, heart pounding in my chest. I'm not sure why I'm doing this, but I can't seem to stop myself. As I enter the room, I feel a rush of heat on my face, knowing that I must look like a complete fool.
I'm startled by my own actions. What just possessed me to leave my textbooks behind and bring Annalise a tray of water and snacks? It's not like we're even friends or anything. Sure, we share a dorm room, but we hardly talk beyond the occasional hello and goodbye. And now, here I am, setting a tray of snacks and water on her desk like some kind of servant.
What shocks me even more is that Annalise doesn't seem surprised at all by my actions. In fact, she immediately turns back to address chat.
“V’s just brought me drinks! Best roomie ever! And a great assistant, too…” She takes a generous sip, then waves a hand in my direction. “You’re dismissed, peon.”
That stops me dead in my tracks.
I feel my cheeks flush with heat. No one has ever spoken to me in such terms, much less in front of god knows how many viewers! I want to speak up and say something, anything, to defend myself, but just as I’m about to explode… the words die on my lips.
After all, I don't want to ruin the stream, do I?
And besides, Annalise is my only source for the cigarettes, isn’t she?
As I withdraw, feeling defeated and belittled, I know this was more than just a joke, like she's somehow asserting her dominance over me. Peon? Like I'm being dismissed by a queen...
One who deserves adoration being thrown at her feet. Because she takes, and takes, and takes. And that’s why, despite my better judgement, I find myself tipping her again later during the stream, even more generously this time. When she receives it, she laughs and calls me a "good girl" to her chat, and I can't help but feel a rush of pleasure at her praise.
It goes down my body, and straight between my legs.
My brain? In this scenario, apparently… it does not feature.
As the weeks pass, I find myself growing increasingly obsessed with Annalise. It's like a slow and confusing descent into a world I never thought I'd inhabit - a world of simping. I can't seem to focus on anything else, not even my studies, which used to be my top priority.
All I can think about is Annalise and her streaming channel. I watch her every day, tipping her generously and frequently, hoping to catch her attention. I also take care of the house chores and make sure she has everything she needs, including drinks and snacks.
It's like I'm in a daze, lost in a world that revolves around Annalise. I can't explain why I feel this way, but I know that I can't stop. The more I do for her, the more I want to do. I feel like I'm in a trance, completely under her spell.
I know that this isn't healthy, but I can't seem to snap out of it. Annalise has become my everything, and I can't imagine my life without her. It's like I'm addicted to her, and the cigarettes she feeds me, and the validation I get when I simp for her.
I feel like I've lost myself, like I'm no longer the strong, driven girl I used to be. But at the same time, I can't bring myself to care. All I want is Annalise's attention and affection… and my regular fixes… and I'll do whatever it takes to secure it.
It's a dangerous path I'm on, and I know it. But I can't seem to turn back now.
I sit in my room, staring at my laptop screen. The pages of my textbook lay open on my desk, but I can't bring myself to read a single word. My mind is consumed with thoughts of Annalise and her stream. I check my phone every few minutes to see if she's live, my heart racing with anticipation.
I feel lost and adrift in my own life. Everything used to be so clear and focused - my studies, my goals, my future. I used to look down on Annalise's career choice, believing that success could only come from being in the thick of things. In the office, or in class, sharply dressed, in equal parts feared and respected.
But now, I’m the streaming equivalent of her towel girl…
I'm just wasting my time and my potential, but I don't know how to get out of this cycle. I don't know how to regain control over my own life, and most of all, how to regain clarity. All I know is that I want another smoke. And another, and another…
Annalise's bossiness has been steadily increasing, too. I can't help but feel like her personal servant. She orders me around, demanding that I do the dishes or clean up her mess, as if I'm at her beck and call. And yet, I find myself unable to resist her. I do what she asks without hesitation, eager to please her in any way possible.
She smells of spice and honey.
She's manipulative and bossy, and she’s actively ruining my grades with her increasing demands for my attention, and yet that only seems to increase my infatuation with her. I don't know how to break free from her grip. The cigarettes, the scent, the stream... they're like the smoky tendrils. Coiling. Tightening. Sapping me of strength…
I'm afraid that I'm becoming someone I don't recognise, someone weak and docile and even spineless. Eager to please. Servile…
To her channel… and to her.
I walk into Annalise's room and take a deep breath. It smells like cigarettes, no, like the cigarettes, and that alone makes me giddy. I look over at Annalise, who's sitting in her gaming chair, headphones around her neck, one leg crossed over the other. She looks away from the screen, her eyes meeting mine, and I feel my heart race.
"Do you need something?" she asks, her voice low and sultry.
I swallow hard, suddenly feeling very nervous. "I...um...I ran out of cigarettes," I say, my voice barely above a whisper. “Again.”
Annalise smiles, and I can't help but feel like I'm under her spell. "Well then, you know what to do," she says, her tone playful. “Ask nicely, for starters.”
I freeze, breathing in heavily, trying to parse what exactly she’s asking of me. Does she want me to, what, humiliate myself? Isn’t fetching her drinks and doing all the chores and tipping her enough? Do I have to beg and grovel now, too?
But what’s even worse to contemplate is that I’m so far gone, I barely even hesitate.
"Please, Annalise," I say, my voice small and unassuming. "Please give me more cigarettes?"
You don’t just go back from something like this… from this moment. How will Annalise ever take me seriously again now? How will I? I find myself trembling as she reaches down into a drawer and pulls out a pack, holding it just out of reach.
"What will you do for them?" she asks, her eyes sparkling with mischief.
There is room for nothing but the truth.
"I'll do anything," I say, my voice barely above a whisper.
Annalise grins. "Good girl," she says. Then, she snaps her fingers and points towards the ground, and my heart sinks, because there can be no mistaking what she means. The grip of my pride, however, is too feeble. What use is pride, when you can feel?
Slowly and deliberately, I descend to my knees.
As they hit the floor, in a way that seems almost symbolic, that drives all the breath out of me in surrender and ceasing of any struggle, I look up at Annalise. Even sitting, she towers over me with an air of superiority. I suddenly feel like we’ve been embarking on a long path, her and I… and that this is the destination.
She snaps her fingers again. This time, she's pointing to her foot.
I stare at her with wide, shocked eyes. What?! She wants me to… what? That makes no… I mean, of course her skin would smell like… like…
My heart races as I slowly, so slowly lean forward, in this surreal situation that seems to be spinning more and more out of my control. Somehow, I end up with my nose mere inches from her naked foot, bobbing up and down expectantly.
I take a deep breath.
There’s a mixture of sweat, and… spices. Honey. The scent of something aged to perfection, exquisite, refined. Regal. Just catching a whiff of it makes me shudder with need.
I feel Annalise's eyes on me, watching me with a mixture of amusement and satisfaction. I know I'm nothing more than a plaything to her, that I should wonder how she can smoke the cigarettes and be unaffected, or why her skin smells the way it does… but for some reason, I can't bring myself to care.
"Good girl," she says, patting my head. "You're such a good little pet."
I feel a surge of anger at being treated like an animal, but it's quickly overtaken by a sense of pleasure at being praised by her… and besides, what chances does anger get, when it’s drowning in honey?
I lift her foot to my nose and inhale deeply. The scent overwhelms me, and I feel my head spin with a mix of pleasure and confusion. I take another deep breath, the scent filling my nostrils and spreading throughout my body. It's warm, heady… beautiful.
I’m so lost in the sensation that I barely register Annalise's other foot ruffling my hair and resting on my head. It's only when she speaks again that I come back to reality.
"Such a good little girl," she says, her voice soft and low. "You'll do anything for me, won't you?"
Her words send shivers down my spine, and I nod obediently, still lost in the heady aroma of her foot.
"You're not just addicted to the fragrance… you’re addicted to me," she whispers, and I feel her other foot press harder into my head. "You're addicted to my cigarettes, to my scent, to my touch."
Her words barely reach me, whispered truths or lies or truths-to-be, I’m too lost to care. I take another deep breath, the scent of her foot filling my senses and making me dizzy. I'm adrift in the sensation of it all, captive in the spell that Annalise has woven around me.
"You need me," she says, her tone low and seductive. "You're nothing without me, V. You're weak and powerless."
No, that’s not me… I’ve always been a winner. I’ve always burned with such a fierce, raging fire… but it’s a distant and abstract thought, as I meekly continue to inhale the scent of her foot. My eyes are half-closed as she continues to whisper to me.
She smirks down at me, her eyes dark with amusement. "You're so easy to control," she says, her voice teasing. "I could make you do anything I want, couldn't I?"
"Yes," I say, my voice barely above a whisper. There is only room for truth. "Anything."
In response, she presses her foot more roughly against my face, and I instinctively bury my nose between her toes.
"That's it," Annalise says. "Sniff yourself stupid."
I can't help but obey her, my mind foggy and my senses dulled. I keep inhaling deeply, almost desperately, trying to get as much of that sweet fragrance into my system as possible.
"You're mine, Veronica," she says. "All mine. You belong to me."
I can feel a shiver run down my spine at her words. They're both frightening and exhilarating. I know I shouldn't be under her spell like this, but I can't help it.
"Say it," Annalise commands. "Say that you're mine."
I hesitate for a moment, my mind still fuzzy and unclear. But then the words spill out of me, almost against my will.
"I'm yours, Annalise," I say, my voice barely above a whisper.
"Good girl," she says, her tone almost approving. "Now keep sniffing. Breathe me in."
And so I do. I keep sniffing, feeling like I'm on the verge of passing out, slipping away, into a world where all that exists is the sweet fragrance of Annalise and the feeling of her weight, of her foot, atop my head.
I’m acutely aware of how it feels, of what this means. It’s my head. It’s what does my thinking for me, the most important part of me, the part that defines me. And right now, it’s nothing more than a footrest for my streamer roommate.
A sudden realisation hits me like a ton of bricks. I'm being domesticated, like a wild animal tamed into submission, I'm being conditioned to associate my addiction, not to the cigarettes, but to her feet. A wave of panic and shame washes over me, and I try to pull away, but Annalise's grip on me is too strong. Her foot presses down harder on my head, and that’s all she needs to keep me in my place, on my knees before her, where I belong.
"No more cigarettes for you," Annalise says, confirming exactly what I just feared… what I just realised I knew. "This is how you're going to be satisfying your addiction from now on. By smelling my feet. They're the same fragrance, anyway."
I feel a sense of despair wash over me as I try to resist, to protest, to demand my cigarettes back (but not my freedom, oh no), but my spine is weak, easily bent. She is so, so much stronger than I am, in every way that counts.
"Yes, Annalise," I say meekly, my voice barely audible. "I'll do whatever you want."
Annalise chuckles, her voice filled with pleasure at my submission. "Good girl," she says. "Now get to work."
As I continue to inhale, I feel Annalise's foot move, pressing down harder on the back of my head, pushing my face into her other foot. The touch is both gentle and forceful, and I realise what she wants me to do. I part my lips and begin to kiss her foot. The fragrance of her skin fills my senses, and I can feel the honeyed and spicy notes tickling my nose.
I plant kisses on the ankle and the top, because it just feels right. Each kiss feeling like a miniature acknowledgement of inferiority, of submission to her will. I can taste the same sweet, earthy scent on my lips that I've been inhaling for what feels like hours. It makes them tingle, it feels like sex, but so much better…
I press my lips to her arch, and I feel a shiver run through me. My breathing is ragged, and I can feel myself getting wet between my legs. The sensation I’m experiencing is so foreign, so intense, that it scares me a little – enthrallment and beguilement, made manifest, brought to life in the material world.
I continue to kiss, my lips moving up and down her foot, my tongue darting out to taste the skin. It's salty, and I can feel the texture of her skin on my tongue. The smell of the smoke and the foot are now one and the same, and I can't tell where one ends and the other begins.
As I kiss, Annalise's voice reaches me as if from far away. "Good girl," she says, her voice low and seductive. "You're doing so well." It's like a reward, and I find myself pressing harder, kissing more fervently. I can feel her foot moving under my lips, and I know she's enjoying it just as much as I am.
I take my time, savoring the fragrance, as Annalise's other foot continues to massage my scalp. The touch is soothing and comforting, and I feel myself relaxing under her touch. The warmth of her skin against my lips is intoxicating, and I can feel myself getting lost in the moment.
I kiss her foot with more intensity, my tongue darting out more frequently to taste her skin, almost like it’s a secret transgression. The combination of her scent and taste is overwhelming, and I feel myself becoming more and more docile under her spell. Entranced. Broken. Subdued.
Annalise's foot moves again, and I can feel her toes curling around my chin. She pulls my face up, and I feel the derision in her gaze. "That's it," she whispers, her voice low and sultry. "Give in to me. Let me take care of you."
I lower my eyes with a desperate whimper, my tongue once more licking up every last drop of the rich fragrance. I feel her other foot move, pressing down harder on the back of my head, urging me on. I'm so consumed by the aroma that I barely register Annalise's words as she resumes talking.
"You're going to be my little doggie," she says, her voice low and sultry. "You'll do everything I tell you to do. You'll obey me without question."
I'm too lost in the scent to even think about objecting. All I want is more of this fragrance, more of Annalise's feet. I lick and kiss with abandon, my entire world reduced to the honeyed scent of her skin.
"Good little law student,” she coos. I moan softly, unable to resist the hypnotic pull of her words, the intoxicating scent of her skin. She’s right, isn’t she? I'm her addicted pet, her possession, completely and utterly mastered by the fragrance of her feet.
"Aww, but I thought you were the smarter one?" Annalise says in a mocking tone, while I eagerly lap up the fragrance from her feet. "The big shot up-and-comer, the model student? While I'm just a streamer with an army of simps, right? Well, look at us now. Who's the successful girl now? And who the simp?"
I pause for a moment, still lapping at her feet, unsure of how to respond. Her words are… crushing something within me, the way you do when you turn a paper sheet into a ball and toss it in the trash. How can I deny her? How can I hold on to my dreams and my ambitions, when I’m behaving like a foot-sniffing servant?
"I'm sorry," I mumble, my voice muffled by her foot. "I didn't mean to... I mean, I just... God, your feet smell so good."
Annalise laughs, enjoying my sudden lack of coherence even more than my ministrations. "That's more like it. And you don't have to apologise… I’m more than happy with the situation, trust me. Just accept your place, little simp. You're going to be serving me from now on, in whatever way I see fit. And you're going to be grateful for it, too."
I nod, my tongue still licking at her toes. I'm not sure what else to say. I feel like my old self has been snuffed out like a candle, softly lulled to sleep like a prey, trapped in the constricting coils of a predator that’s made of smoke…
I put more energy into my lapping, my tongue tracing the contours of Annalise's foot, feeling the smoothness of her skin against my tongue. Annalise's voice, just like the spiced honey I’m tasting, drips into my ear, mocking me, taunting me. I know she's right, but I can't stop myself. I need this, I need her.
"You've always looked down on me so much," Annalise continues, and I can hear the satisfaction in her voice. "And look at you now. Quite literally being brought to heel like a dog."
The words sting, and send a strange vibration right down to my clit, which only makes me lick all the faster, like an eager dog. I'm too far gone, too addicted, too utterly defeated. I can hear her breathing getting heavier, and I know that she's enjoying this. That’s the only thing that matters.
She's so right. I've always felt superior to her, and now here I am, licking her feet like an obedient pet. Is there a greater personal defeat than this?
Annalise's foot moves again, and I follow it with my tongue, eager to please her. She continues to talk, her voice a low, hypnotic murmur that only adds to my dazed state. "You know what, V?" she says. "You’re much better at this than you ever were at being a law student. When it comes to being a foot warmer, oh… it’s your calling.”
I can't help but nod in agreement, even as a part of me rebels against the idea of being objectified and demeaned like this. My brain may protest feebly, but the fearsome arousal building within me speaks to a different truth… and the clouding, enveloping fragrance will soon smother every last bit of pushback, I think.
The thought should terrify me.
Instead… I lean in, moaning and whimpering. I eagerly and instinctively wrap my lips around her big toe, sucking gently and swirling my tongue around it. The taste and scent of her foot overwhelm me, and I feel myself getting lost in the sensation.
I start to suck, drawing in the addictive taste, putting every ounce of worship I’m capable of into my lips and tongue, like the rest of my body is just an appendage of this one organ meant to make my conqueror feel good.
"You like being my little foot-sucking simp, don't you?" Annalise taunts, and I can't even form words to respond, so I just keep sucking, my mouth working eagerly. Each time my lips glide over her skin, my body shivers with pleasure.
"You're going to be my stupid, dumb, servile foot addict," she continues, her voice a low murmur. "You're going to do everything I say, whenever I say it. You're going to be my personal maid, my obedient little slave. And you're going to do it all for the privilege of worshiping my feet."
Her words make me feel dizzy, and I can feel my body shaking with need. I put even more enthusiasm into my ministrations, and the thought crosses my mind that this is just like fellating a cock. The way my lips glide up and down, and my tongue swirls around her toes, is reminiscent of my past experiences. It's almost as if I'm performing oral sex on her foot.
Annalise seems to sense my thoughts because she chuckles and says, "What's the matter, V? Thinking dirty thoughts in that simple little head?"
I feel my cheeks flush with embarrassment, but the scent and the feel of Annalise's foot in my mouth is too overwhelming to resist. I continue to suck on her toes, relishing in the sweet, spicy fragrance that has become my addiction.
Annalise continues to talk, her words blending with the hypnotic taste enveloping my tongue. "You’re nothing but a foot slut. I can’t believe you ever thought you amounted to anything in life. You’re a pathetic fucking loser, V, you know that?”
I nod my head, my mouth still filled with her toes. It's true, I know it's true.
"You're a natural at this," Annalise purrs. "Maybe you were meant to be a foot worshipper all along, and you just didn't know it."
The words send shivers down my spine, and I can feel myself getting even more turned on. It's a strange mix of embarrassment and excitement, as I keep descending down and down the spiral. I sense her toes curling in pleasure inside my mouth, and she lets out a low moan. "That's it, Veronica. Keep going. Show me what a good student you are.”
Oh God. Her words cut deep, and while I never thought I’d ever say this about arousal, this is… devastating. It overwhelms my boundaries, makes me feel diminished and claimed and outmatched in the best way possible.
The scent of Annalise's feet fills my nostrils, and I can feel myself getting lost in the sensations of my mouth acting as her foot holster. This is what I was meant to do. This is what I was meant to be.
Then, Annalise hooks her other foot behind my neck. Then, without warning, the foot I’m worshipping starts pushing deeper into my mouth. Annalise begins to thrust it back and forth.
My cheeks redden even further. She's... facefucking me with her foot.
"No more thoughts for you, Veronica. Just fuck your face on my toes until alllll the thoughts go away.”
A throaty moan is the only response that I can muster, as the pace of her thrusting begins to increase. "You're going to give up all the thoughts," Annalise tells me, her voice dripping with condescension, “throw out all the textbooks. After all, a maid doesn't need a law degree anyway."
The words cut through my haze.
"Mmmphh!!!" I moan in alarm, as Annalise continues to use my mouth for her own pleasure. "Gnnhh pphhh!!” I half-mumble, half-shout, my words muffled by her foot.
“Hahahaha! Oh my God that’s priceless,” Annalise says, laughing. “Do that again!”
“Mwy fhtudiefh…” I mumble dejectedly around her foot, which elicits another round of laughter from her.
"Your studies?” She asks, with a tone of incredulity. “Sweetie, you're not smart enough to graduate. You're just a dumb little foot slut who needs to be put in her place. You’ll be staying right here during all my streams, while I make tons and tons of money. Isn’t that just adorable?"
A single tear rolls down my cheek. But it pales, in comparison to the slick heat between my thighs, to the stimulation I feel, even with no direct touch… As she continues to facefuck me with her foot, I can feel myself getting closer and closer to the edge. It's an intense, overwhelming sensation, and I know that I'm about to lose control completely.
Annalise's foot relentlessly pumps my throat, driving my face up and down, hitting me harder and harder, making me gag and choke, the smoke in her exhales pushing me to the brink of passing out. Every time I think she's going to stop, she forces me deeper, pushing me to take more, until I'm taking all of her toes, sliding them in and out of my throat, my eyes watering uncontrollably.
"You're nothing now, Veronica," Annalise sneers, her voice laced with mocking pleasure. "Just a pathetic, obedient object, good only for warming and supporting and cleaning feet.”
“Mmmpphh,” I mumble, but it’s a subdued one this time, a near-animalistic call more befitting of my new and reduced status as her pet. I feel the last remnants of my old identity and autonomy crumble away, as the pleasure of defeat swells within me. I'm nothing but a toy for her, a plaything to use as she pleases. I'm humiliated and diminished, but also incredibly aroused.
That’s the thing with addicts. They’re stupid.
I’m too dumb to keep studying. I should be grateful that Annalise’s going to look after me, to earn so much money that she can afford to spend a few to feed and house me. And to keep me here where I belong, for good measure.
Her foot plunges deeper and I gag and choke frantically, my eyes going watery. I marvel at the fact that I am being literally throatfucked by my roommate, and taking it like a foot bitch.
"You'll serve me and only me, won't you?" Annalise continues, "You'll clean my house, my feet, my body. You’ll give up your career, your dreams, your future, and whatever else I demand of you. You'll do it all with a smile on your face, knowing that you're just a foot-fucking slut for me."
Her words land like a punch, each one hitting me deeper than the last. I feel the heat and shame of her words radiating through my body, mixed with an intense arousal that is fueled by them. Amplified by them. Devotion courses through me like an electrical current.
I am nothing but a vessel for her pleasure, a receptacle for her desires. Her words are like a branding iron searing into my mind, imprinting themselves onto my very being.
The experience seems to go on forever, my throat sore and raw from the relentless pounding. And then, suddenly, I feel it. A wave of pleasure, building and building until it crashes over me, leaving me shuddering and gasping for breath. It's like nothing I've ever felt before, a complete and total surrender of my will.
My body convulses with pleasure as I teeter on the brink of an orgasm, my mind consumed by the fragrance and Annalise's domination. I look up at her, feeling completely subjugated, willing to do anything she asks of me.
That’s when I reach the edge.
The climax is devastating, rippling across me in pulses, as my body shudders and convulses. It’s a mind-shattering shockwave, ripping through me, blasting away every remaining vestige of my personality. I gasp for air, my eyes rolling back into my skull as I feel something fundamental shift within me. In the wake of the ripple, of the shock, of the impact, there is nothing left.
The smoke is free to wander my empty mind.
I tumble to the ground, unable to maintain my balance even on my knees. As I lie there, trembling and panting, I look up at Annalise with awe and reverence. She is my goddess, my queen, my everything. I am completely and utterly hers, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
She really is going to be earning a pile of cash, while sitting atop me. I’ll stay there, safely tucked away under the desk, a little piece of furniture, always horny, always dumb, always addicted. And always hers.
That’s the true, revelatory totality of her victory over me. Because as I contemplate this image of slavish relegation, I know that in a way, I am just transforming a pre-existing habit of mine…
I’m envisioning my future.