Chapter 4

by me_chan

Tags: #cw:noncon #comic_book #dom:female #f/m #pov:bottom #sub:female #sub:male #romantic

Late nights around the Epsilon grounds were pretty quiet, and boring; definitely a good thing for those looking for lively engagements, though pretty dull after several days straight of almost non-stop researching. Pacing the hallways looking tired and caffeine-addled was a much-needed break, so much so that no one gave me a second glance if they crossed my path or stared at my form on surveillance cameras. Coincidentally-timed around the usual security shift change late in the evening, I just happened to be around the security office entrance, happy to note that Dr. McGraw's "missing" ID card was high-level enough to access it, and to set a few things up, namely my own master ID access card, and a finite loop of footage around Dr. Kasdien's office. It was everything I needed to further my research that night.

Director Petersen would've probably been really pissed to know how easy it was to bypass several interior security measures, but he could blame Kasdien for all I cared. Before Maelstrom, research was at least interesting; mission logistics, background info, Hierarch sciences, I got to look at fresh, unique, relevant information on a daily basis with the twinge fear/excitement of eventually being called to apply that stuff on the field. After that beguiling run-in, to go back to researching felt uneventful and boring in the worst of ways. Most of it was going over things already established, looking for any cracks in knowledge to delve into, something that Maelstrom's existence had disproved as a matter of fact. Only the prospect of learning something specific about Maelstrom kept me half-awake, that and a cool feeling in my head eerily timed since I started researching her specifically, and since she'd gone silent. A trace of warmth that I'd often mistaken for body heat stayed present, pushing me to find answers I guessed were being withheld for some reason.

The "good" doctor being absent for a few days, off to who knows where, was my best opportunity for getting answers I sensed he was hesitant to give directly. Not wanting to arouse a lot of suspicion guessing too many passwords on this PC, I stuck to his filing cabinet and jotted down a few notes about old sites and locales mentioned in notes that I'd never heard of Epsilon having any business with; hopefully that would be some lead that could push things forward. As tempted as I was to spend the whole night there gathering intel in one shot, I left before the camera loop outside Kasdien's lab ended to resume live feed.


I shouldn't have really complained that the research actually got us off-compound for once, and yet I found ample reasons to. At the college an hour away, we were supposed to meet with a Professor Parker, a renowned leader in the field of Hierarch sciences. I thought we would've had time to visit Radio on the way or stop at my usual library to see if another letter from Mickey would be waiting, but McGraw in the driver's seat expressed urgency and took us straight to the campus, to find Parker was in the middle of a long string of lectures despite an appointment being arranged ahead of time. I didn't bother expressing my obvious feelings about it, and told McGraw I'd be waiting in the library area a floor below his lab.

I didn't even bother to look over more Hierarch notes I had for the meeting, just grabbing a dictionary just for the sake of reading something else; wasn't much of a choice with science magazines I'd been drowning in the past few days, or Hierarch comic books showing off a "glamorous" lifestyle I'd been drowning in for the past few months. As I sat down, the forgotten motivation behind so much research popped into my head, Maelstrom's beautiful face; such a thought brightened my demeanor, warmed my brain like a familiar caress, and made the words to look up easy.

1: a powerful often violent whirlpool sucking in objects within a given radius
tried to shoot the canoe across a stretch of treacherous maelstrom

2: something resembling a maelstrom in turbulence
the maelstrom enveloping the country
a maelstrom of emotions

I smiled at the half-accuracy of the definition; violent as her potential was, being sucked into her power seemed gentle. Insistent, but gentle, almost like it knew I wouldn't fight much. The turbulence and emotion parts were right too, just never the kind I was expecting. All that made me think of a third definition it needed.

3: a hot, hypnotic, overpowering, teasing Hierarch
the Maelstrom enveloping the Half

Further down the table, I noticed a student deep into whatever she was reading, her finger making circles like she was stirring something. The longer I stared at that, the more I could feel parts of me being sucked into the meditative currents, pulled along for the ride. I righted myself quick before she noticed me staring absently. For fun, I decided to do a little independent research of what I liked about the crazy encounters I've had with her. Since the first time we'd met, she'd given me plenty of words to consider.

1: an act or instance of lying concealed so as to attack by surprise:
The highwaymen waited in ambush near the road.

2: an act or instance of attacking unexpectedly from a concealed position.

Countless times she'd catch me off-guard, sneaking her way into my motel room, my head, my life. The thought felt like a warm embrace as I sought the next word.

1: the activity of tying someone up with ropes or chains for sexual pleasure

2: a situation in which a person belongs to someone as their slave

It was easy to identify with feeling the activity, bound by invisible flames that burned nearly as hot as the act itself, in plain sight of those who'd do all they can to stop it. It was hard to convince myself how hot it wasn't, shaking my head in disgust as I thought of another word.

1: exposure to the risk of being injured, destroyed, or lost
fire put the city in peril

2: something that imperils or endangers
lessen the perils of the streets

Accurate as it was, I nearly laughed at the idea, me being the helpless damsel in distress, and Maelstrom the mustache-twirling villain, and no dashing hero to speak of that could save me. And I'd probably kick their ass before she could for anyone attempting to save me. That got a deep chuckle from somewhere inside me. A little levity was all it took to get me to look to more obvious words.

1: an artificially induced trance state resembling sleep, characterized by heightened susceptibility to suggestion.

2: hypnotism.

I read that definition several times, heated and more turned on after each repetition, of everything she'd done to me, that was what I couldn't get enough of. For my libido, only one alternate definition kept it from being perfect.

3: fiery, searing, soothing eyes, moth-mode
hypnosis makes me the moth to Her flame

"Don't close your eyes," I told myself, fearing how clear those eyes would burn in the darkness of my memory. It became a chant to stop myself, that barely worked; I put so much effort into it that I never noticed the change in the inner voice.

"Don't close your eyes."

"Don't close your eyes."

"Don't close your eyes?"

"Don't..close your eyes?"

"Don't...close your eyes."

"Don't......close your eyes."

I wasn't sure what I heard, but I was sure I heard what I wanted to hear, as those eyes lit up, drew me in, and all the sensations that came with them. It wasn't at full strength, so pulling back from it was an even tug-of-war for once. Opening my eyes was made easy as the chant changed gradually.

"Don't......close your eyes."

"Don't...close your eyes."

"Don't..close your eyes."

"Don't close your eyes."

My eyes popped open and I must've made some jolting motion that got the nearby student's attention. I didn't bother looking in her direction, trying to calmly find another word that would keep my eyes open, something safe and savory.

1: an eager, obedient, aroused slave to a Maelstrom flame

2: moth-mode activated
the pyro-slut's moth-mode activated when he turned to his right

I read the then-sensible words with unquestioning acceptance, turning my head to start questioning with increasing worry why the girl staring at me was wearing Maelstrom's face, and why she lowered her glasses to let her eyes burn across the long table into mine. Questions and further thoughts left me as I agreed with the still-repeating suggestion

"Don't close your eyes."

I couldn't, didn't want to in the slightest. What I did want to do for some reason, was slip below the table like I'd oozed out of my seat, and crawl to the legs of the "college girl" that decided to spread hers, revealing a lack of panties and an arousal as hot as mine. I could only imagine how hard it was for her to keep up the composure, as I bathed her sex with needy licks under skirt. Part of me was happy to pay her back in kind for her public manipulations, making it hard for her to keep her moans down. Something burned in my head before I could get her to climax, making me allow her to move back from the table and walk deeper into the stacks as I followed on hands and knees.

It was fascinating to see a white, silvery energy warp the school-girl attire she wore to her Hierguild black leather. She let me marvel at her dominant form for long minutes, teasing me with slowly zipping her pants down so I could resume the desire she'd implanted. She didn't last long seconds after my tongue went at her again, and after grabbing my hair to pull me up to blazing eyes, somewhere in a deep kiss and my pants lowering and my heat rising in her grip, I didn't think I'd last long either...


An assertive hand on my shoulder had been shaking me for who knows how long. It had to be a while as I clung to that erotic dream for as long as I could, arms wrapped around my head on the library table, feeling ready to unload on the interrupter with my brain coming back to the world. The face of the awakener interrupted the anger.

"What the f-" It took me several minutes to make sure I wasn't still dreaming or hallucinating. "Mickey!?!" I whispered harshly

My younger cousin looked down at me with a knowing smirk, totally aware of how surprised I was and why I'd be so agitated to see him.

"Mickey, what the fuck are you doing here?" it was hard to keep my whispers as silent as they should've been.

"Nice to see you too, Cous. And around here, it's Mikhail; the girls around here like it a lot more over 'Mickey.'"

" shouldn't be here, man." I wanted to give him a hug at tell him I've missed having contact with at least one family member still willing to accept me, but we had that letter-writing system for a reason.

"Actually, I really should. Your guy McGraw asked Dr. Parker to send one of his researchers to get me. They sent me, or rather, I volunteered. Luck paid off that you were part of Dr. Parker's appointments."

As Mickey led the way, I realized how much I'd been staring incredulously for long minutes, and for long recent days as he talked.

"Seems like you've been taking a lot of hits to the head in your 'team sports,' if you forgotten how many times I've mentioned majoring in Biology, with a Hierarch science concentration."

"That forgetfulness isn't as convenient as yours when I kept telling you to major in something better."

"You used to tell me to follow my passions; you gotta make up your mind which advice you want to give. Though it's not like we're not hard-headed enough to stay on our paths."

I almost wished it took walking across campus to reach our destination; I couldn't remember how long it'd been since I felt normal, no matter how relative that term had become. It helped that we both noticed our gait slowing down, smiling about it.

"I hope you know that even the black sheep of the family is proud of you, Mickey."

"Byron, I love 'em, but you're not a black sheep. You're a wrongfully-shunned member of a more-prejudiced-than-it's-willing-to-admit family. They chose to disown you based on what you are, not on anything you've done; that's fucked up. Remember, I was practically the shunned one before you, with what I chose for college, and yet I'm still invited to every family dinner. And we'll see how long that lasts as I keep bringing your name up to remind them that you still exist."

I shook my head at the youthful reminder of how head-strong everyone in my family is, creating an endless supply of silent but constant feuds, and mainly happy that Mickey was above most of the feuding.

"I hate and love'em too, but trust me, no need to be in my position. At least graduate and get yourself established before you get ousted too."

"If they try, I can always send in backup; I know a good Hierarch accomplice..."

We both laughed at his attempt at solidarity, at turning me into a hired enforcer. We both knew I'd do it for him for anything except for the family; no matter what the past or feelings, it was better that I didn't see them again. If I really wanted to hurt them, I'd just revisit them after a tussle with Hierguild or some other enemy, and they'd suffer as easily as me showing up. That reminded me of Mickey, and how much of a priority keeping him safe was. Down the path to the professors office was a lot of full classrooms and labs that could see us together, the kind of visibility I wasn't looking for. And if work with this professor would be ongoing, I wouldn't want anyone from Epsilon aware of me having family I was in-contact with in the area. If they found out, it was safe to assume they wouldn't be the only ones to know...

"Hey, much as I love catching up in-person, Mickey, we need to not look like we're obviously close or family."

"Yeah, I know. Hard for me to care considering how paranoid it sounds, but I do, if all your letters weren't exaggerating."

"They weren't."

"Then we'll keep things distant. But like I keep writing to you - you let yourself worry to much about 'them,' and they'll live in your head rent-free."

"Or break in," I muttered to myself, thankful that he didn't seem to catch it.

"By the way, what's her name?"


"Miss black lipstick. She a student here or...?"

Just short of the corridor leading to Dr. Parker's office, Mickey took great pleasure in my confusion, in pointing out something embarrassing right before it happened.

"It's either lipstick, or you've been sipping on molasses."

I detoured to the nearest men's room, to see evidence of what I thought was a dream before Mickey had woken me up.

I started to curse at myself in the mirror as I wiped my lips clean.

"He's funny. Not as amusing as you are, but he's funny."

I'd gotten better at hiding how caught off-guard I could feel on the outside, but chuckling I felt in my head told me she was aware of how she jolted me internally.

"He's also off-limits," he added defensively.

"I have no interest in him; I'd actually be more inclined to protect him, as much as he amuses me."

The mix of joy, confusion, and other sensations with having Maelstrom aware of Mickey in a protective way kept her chuckling going.

"What are you doing here?" I asked out loud, exasperated.

"Aww, someone sounds like they aren't happy to see me."

The feel of an arm reaching to lightly grip my love handle, pulling me close to the warm, phantom body next to me turned the chuckling into light, lusty laughter in my ear. It was weird to feel warm breath tickling my ear, while understanding her words remained deep inside my head as per usual. In the mirror, a silvery-orange outline of her showed me how she was there, yet not, the tip of her tress glowing silver, showing me that color created a trick of the eyes that made it hard to prove or disprove her presence.

"Hard to see someone that may not really be there."

"Is it? Maybe this is an illusion your own mind conjured up, missing me."

"Maybe that was your intention, going totally silent for a few days."

"I was...busy for a few days."

The doubt and hesitation in her voice was a first, intriguing me enough to brave inquiring more about a new-found vulnerability, before the subject was changed.

"So, do you think you'll learn anything new from this Dr. Parker?"

"Probably. Why, you don't?"

"Reading your most exposed thoughts, you expect him to do as much theorizing as I would. Educated guesses leading to some wild theory that leads to nowhere about me. If only he knew how much you could educate him about me."

All the ways I could've taken her statement ran in my head made me cringe, prompting the silver phantom next to me to snuggle a little closer.

"Rather leave any educating to you."

"Heh, teacher's pet."

"Not 'pyro-slut'?"

A soft energy gripped my chin and forced my head to turn to hers, the end of the tress and her eyes flaring orange for a moment, the predatory smile on her spectral face haunting my wits.

"What's the difference?"

The haze from the flame lasted as long as took to find myself alone at the sink as more male students were coming in between classes. Their attention not paid to me, I calmly slipped out of the men's room, Mickey confused as to why I'd taken so long again, but led the way several feet ahead of me, keeping our relations a secret. The number of feet grew as in a crowded hallway of chattering students, as Mickey got a few appreciative glances and flirtatious comments from female students he knew. Surprisingly so did I, but a silvery trick of the eyes got me to see Maelstrom's face imprinted on my admirers. Winks, pouty and puckered lips, appreciative glances all threw me off-balance as planned the smile on all their faces genuinely loved messing with me. Even a cluster of three wore her face, all checking me out and gossiping about me.

"Hard to miss me now, isn't it pyro-slut?" A voice from nowhere in particular joked.

"Stop calling me that."

"Stop loving it."

"Stop...just stop."


Fear, anger, and lust all intermingled at the sensual tones, and at how some part of her fed off of it, reacting with deep satisfaction.

I somehow didn't get completely lost while following Mickey to our destination. Fortunately there was another fairly empty hallway to get through with less faces to hijack, ending it a sizable laboratory and conference room where McGraw and the others were waiting.

I was introduced to Dr. Parker last, a grey-haired scientist styled to look as much as some kind of suave Einstein as he could be; Mickey understood my stifled smiling as I shook his hand. McGraw introduced us without names, which made Parker laugh almost heartily as we all sat around a conference table, two doctors and their trusted assistants in attendance.

"The need for confidence is understood, but I hope you don't mind a few...presumptions I have in our meeting."

Those words gave both McGraw and me pause. "'Presumptions' as you call them are fine, but hopefully we can gauge your expertise before we get that far."

"Well, expertise is usually garnered from information and sources, and a source or two of mine has revealed some fascinating information of late, pertaining to our meeting. The theory of making a Hierarch is show-stopping enough on this part of the campus, and something that I would normally suggest as an improbability, at least for the sake of dissuading making it happen."

"How responsible of you, doctor," I spoke up, suddenly uncomfortable with being a silent audience.

"Agreed, though your presence here tells me less you're trying to make one, and that you're trying to deal with how someone else made one. Someone like her."

The projector flickered on and showed off the same Maelstrom mugshot and some of the footage Epsilon had.

After a long pause of realizing the professor knew more than he was supposed to, McGraw finally spoke up. "Impressed as we are that you have this footage, I don't think-"

"Not as impressed as I am with what I've seen," Dr. Parker interrupted with a knowing smile. "And not nearly as impressed as anyone from your organization must've been if you've seen her face-to-face."

Before McGraw might've subconsciously looked in my direction to give my experience away, I intervened again. "What sources do you have that supply this kind of information to college professors?"

"You should ask the management that pointed you in my direction." I was a little surprised Director Petersen would send us to a man who seems like he knew well beyond the need-to-know basis civilians were on. "Men like him and me have been...shall we say, in the know, about Hierarchy and organizations involved, the kind that would invest in creating a....what's her handle again?"

"Maelstrom," the word left my mouth before I had even time to really process what or how much to say, and I suddenly feared how the word left my mouth. Eyes were momentarily on me for how quickly I said it, creating heat that I wasn't sure was just me, or was a presence nearby to keep me warm in her own way.

"Yes, apt handle for such a wild torrent of power," Parker described as if marveling over the ferocious tendencies of a tiger. "With the expression and demeanor to match. I look at her and sometimes think she was born to be as she is, an angry force of nature, to wreak havoc."

"Ugh, another idiotic asshole..." I heard whisper in my ear and head, in an almost growling way.

"Well, might have a point about the 'wreaking havoc' part," I commented through thoughts.

"Hush, pyro-slut," she growled and purred against me, making it hard not to flinch from pleasure.

"Fate or no, professor," McGraw finally spoke up again, "assuming the power she has was...manufactured, how would one even begin to make that happen?"

Unfortunately, despite knowing more than we expected him too, he devolved into a lot of genetic theorizing and guesstimating, lecturing as if we were his students. I knew McGraw would be recording this meeting, so I didn't feel bad about tuning out all the boring jargon.

"Anything you'd like to add?" I let myself think, hoping for a response.

"About what?"

"About yourself."

"Fishing for tips for tips in how to stop or beat me?"

"Don't give me hope that I actually could."

"Why? Does burning those hopes down sound particularly hot to you?"

"Call it confidential curiosity," I tried sounding unaffected. "It'll stay between us. And honestly, it's hard not to have questions I can directly ask the person I'm blindly researching."

Anticipating more flirtation, confusion hit at how pensive she sounded when she finally responded. "My answers might be disappointing to you, but you can ask."

"Ok...well, we're you really always like this, having all these powers?"

"No, I don't think so. I started with some kind of power, but the rest came later."

"Did the newer powers come naturally, or...other means?"

"Not sure. There's a good chance it's not natural; but I can't remember exactly when they came to me."

More than what she was telling me, the feeling of "can't remember" felt accentuated, more important than anything else she said, leading to answers she didn't know she was giving.

"...before your new powers, what do you remember?"

The silence that followed was deafening, softly screaming her frustration.

"Aside from what they told me, not much."

I didn't need to feel her thoughts to express my next one.

"And you don't trust what they told you, do you?"

" Not even my name."

"What name did they give you?"


I'd been wanting to call her something other than Maelstrom, especially since she loves my pre-Hierarch given name. Judith sounded nice, but shared emotions gave me the impression that something was off about it. Familiar, but off.

"Don't you dare call me that, by the way."

How easy it would've been to simply think "but you look like a Judy," before feeling nipples being tweaked with hot clamps, burning them away for a few seconds. I had to make sure my clothes weren't on fire, wiping sweat off my brow.

"Wouldn't dream of it," even my whispers were strained as my chest danced the line between pain and pleasure.

"And yet you soon might, anyway..."

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