Gavin sat down at the hotel bar. He ordered a whiskey.
The beautiful brunette beside him was drinking a gin and tonic. She saw him sit down and raised her glass up in a toast. Gavin had a brief premonition- a sudden feeling like he was sitting next to his future wife.
That was a silly notion, though. Gavin had learned over time not to follow his more romantic ideas- especially when he couldn’t tell where they were coming from. They both had convention badges on, though, so they definitely had something in common to start a conversation.
Gavin received his whiskey from the bartender and toasted the woman back
As Gavin took his first sip, the woman slid over. She gave him a flirtatious look and took his badge into his hand.
“Are you Mr Mesmer?” she asked, struggling to turn the nametag around to read it. “My friend told me that I should meet a Mr Mesmer here.”
Gavin chucked. “I’m sorry, love. Wrong person.” He raised his hand to shake hers. “Mesmertrance is what they call me online. But you can call me Gavin if you’d like.”
The woman raised her hand in response, “Marcia. But I go by Enchantrix online. Nice to meet you!”
For some reason, something that rang a bell with Gavin. “Hmm...that name sounds familiar. Have we talked before?”
Marcia smiled. “You know, I don’t think so. But you seem familiar to me too. Have you been to many hypnocons like this before?”
“A few,” Gavin replied. “This one in particular a few times. You?”
Marcia smiled as she took a drink from her cup. Enchantrix was a wonderful name for her, Gavin thought. Her smile itself made him feel like he was already a bit enchanted. “Yes,” she replied, “I’ve been attending this one for a few years. It’s all a bit of a blur, though,” she offered. “The cons can all blend together after a while, don’t you think?”
Gavin definitely had that sense. He had been to enough hypnosis conventions that his memories of specific ones were also a bit hazy. But- he considered- he thought that he would have remembered meeting someone like Marcia before.
“A few as well,” he said. “I guess these are getting big enough that we haven’t managed to meet everyone yet. I certainly try to remember all of the beautiful women I come in contact with.” He smiled at her, hoping he wasn’t coming across as too creepy. “I’m glad I’m getting to know you now though.” He looked at her empty glass.
He had a sudden instinct.
“Let me ask,” he continued. “A Bee’s Knees next?”
Marcia gasped and laughed. “Why- yes! How did you know?”
How DID Gavin know? He sometimes had a knack for these things, he thought. And he was feeling really connected to Marcia in a way he hadn’t really felt connected before. He was pretty skeptical overall, but he had played around with hypnosis enough to believe that two people really could be on the same wavelength when their rapport was good.
He ordered a Bee’s Knees for Marcia from the bartender. Marcia smiled at him as she took a sip. Her eyes seemed to sparkle.
She was lovely.
Gavin started to wonder if he believed in love at first sight.
A few hours later, Gavin and Marcia were wandering through the con arm in arm.
It was like magic, Gavin thought. He couldn’t believe all the ways in which they were compatible.
Marcia and he had been talking nonstop for hours. They talked about their childhoods (conservative), their jobs (technical), and their hopes for the future (adventure!). They connected on kink but also issues within the community and in life in general. They had so much in common.
It was like they had known each other forever.
Marcia looked at the class schedule in Gavin’s hands and frowned. “You know,” she said, “I have such a hard time being hypnotized. I don’t know if I could benefit from any of these classes right now.”
Gavin smiled at her. “Oh yeah?” He quirked his eyebrow. “Somehow I doubt that.”
She laughed. “Don’t make fun of me!” she said. “I’ve been trying to but- it’s a no go. I just can’t figure out how to get into trance. It’s like my brain doesn’t know how.”
Gavin had another hunch. “Hmm,” he said. “Do you trust me?”
Marcia’s voice softened. “Yes,” she replied honestly. It seemed like she was surprising herself with her words. “Yes I do.”
“Can I try something?” asked Gavin.
She nodded her head, anticipating.
Gavin gathered up his nerve. He went on instinct. “Ok, so in a second, I’m going to kiss you.” Marcia’s face lit up. “And when I do,” he continued, “that kiss will feel so nice and so good that you’ll just fall into a nice deep trance for me. The second my lips touch yours, you can just relax and let go and just trust me to catch you and take care of you. How does that sound?”
“That sounds good,” Marcia whispered, in awe.
“Good,” Gavin felt his voice lowering, “because I know that I want to kiss you. And I know that you want to kiss me, too. And I can tell,” he said as he moved closer, “that the second that that happens you’ll just fall into my arms. Isn’t that right?”
Marcia nodded, mesmerized. Gavin moved closer and put his arms around her. Their lips were almost touching.
“Are you ready?” he asked.
“Are you sure?” he asked, looking into her eyes.
“Please,” she said, breathily.
Gavin leaned over and kissed her intensely. He was prepared and ready as she collapsed into his arms. Perfect trust, Gavin thought to himself. He had never had anyone give themselves to him so quickly and so fully.
He rocked her back and forth and marvelled at what had just happened. He thought of all of the ways he could make her feel amazing.
Later that night, Marcia and Gavin were both invited to a late night party in Sam’s room. They had spent the whole day glued together- immersed in each other’s company and conversation. But they didn’t want to completely ignore their friends no matter how much new relationship energy they were experiencing. They decided they would make a quick appearance at the party before spending time alone for the rest of the night.
Hand in hand, they knocked on Sam’s door.
Gavin tried again, this time knocking louder.
The door opened.
The lights were off, but Gavin could sense there were people around. He and Marcia walked into the room hand in hand.
Suddenly the lights came on….
“Surprise!!’ yelled the gathered group of friends.
“What?’ Gavin asked, bewildered.
“Happy anniversary!” said Sam. He pointed to a big banner in the middle of the room that read “Happy anniversary Marcia and Gavin!”
Gavin looked at the banner, mystified. Then-
He flashed back to him and Marcia meeting at con 10 years ago.
To their moving in together.
To their vacation in Boston.
To their wedding 5 years ago.
To a thousand memories of happiness and unhappiness and time together.
He looked over at his wife Marcia and saw that she was remembering too. He could see the beginnings of tears in her eyes.
“Do you remember now?” asked Sam, handing him a piece of cake.
“Good,” their close friend Alyssa said, emerging with her own slice. “We didn’t know what to get you, so we decided to give you a recreation of your first date. How did it go?”
Gavin thought back through their day of connection. No wonder things had seemed so comfortable- even while they were also feeling new and excited! Everything made sense now.
He smiled over at his wife.
“It was perfect,” he told their gathered group of friends.
He put the cake slice down and then pulled his wife, both exciting new crush and the love of his life, over into a big, heartfelt kiss.
Their friends applauded and the kiss eventually stopped. But they stayed arm in arm- together and happy-all night long.