It had been a pretty good housewarming, all in all; enough of the new flat was unpacked for Marcus to feel comfortable inviting friends in, Daniel had brought along some whiskey, Lucy some wine, and everyone had found perches on sofas, chairs, or boxes to hang out.
As the evening had run on, more and more of the gathering had drifted away, muttering about babysitters or early starts for work or just long, tiring weeks, and by the end it was just Marcus and Iva, lounging on the sofa. Iva probably wouldn’t have still been there if not for Daniel’s whiskey, but she knew driving home would be a risk, so –
“Mind if I crash here?” she’d asked.
Marcus shrugged. “I’m not really set up for that, but I can sort you something out.”
“The couch is fine.”
He’d nodded, then fetched in a spare duvet and some pillows. “Comfy?” he asked.
Iva was, but an idea popped into her head. “Read me a bedtime story,” she demanded, grinning impishly.
Marcus looked at her for about five seconds with an almost unreadable expression, then shrugged. “Sure,” he said. “One second.”
He disappeared out of the living room. She saw him turn in the hallway; he was heading into his room. The sound of rummaging ensued.
Iva rearranged the pillow among the cushions and stretched out. It was a three-seater sofa; plenty of room for her to lie comfortably. A little too new, not broken-in enough, but it was comfortable and cosy. Very cosy. Her toes wiggled happily.
Marcus made his way back in carrying a slim paperback. “Not exactly a children’s story,” he said, “but I feel like you might enjoy it.”
He pulled a folding chair over beside her. “Ready?”
She dimpled, and he began.
“The Welcome Wagon lady, sixty if she was a day but working at youth and vivacity (ginger hair, red lips, a sunshine-yellow dress), twinkled her eyes and teeth at Joanna and said, “You’re really going to like it here! It’s a nice town with nice people…’ “
His voice was soft and low and there was a tone to it she’d never heard him use before. It was as if he’d decided to answer her teasing impulse with a tease of his own. At the same time… it sounded almost like a lullaby. He had a couple of young nieces; maybe he was just used to reading these stories, and she was mistaking practice and delight for not-quite-concealed glee.
After the chapter was over, he closed the book softly. Iva’s eyes were closed, her lips parted slightly, her breathing even, a pleasant, satisfied expression on her face.
He smiled. “Well,” he said, his voice still soft and low, but no longer lulling, “I think the only way you’d get a better, more satisfying night’s sleep is in my bed.”
He bit his lip, then, considering what he’d said and what it might reveal, wondering if she was sleepy enough to have forgotten it. Hesitation kept him in the chair for long seconds; then shock left him sitting there longer.
Slowly, lazily, Iva stirred. She pulled her duvet aside and rose to a sitting position.
Marcus watched, shocked into silence. She got up and turned away, walking sluggishly to the hallway. He watched her go, wondering just how badly he’d bungled it, and saw her turn in the hallway; she was heading into his room.
He sat frozen in place for a few moments longer, then rose gingerly. He hadn’t heard her come out of his room, nor any sound of her doing anything in there, but he was a little worried, and decided to take his time doing a quick tidy-up of the living room. Give her time to decide how far she wanted to take this practical joke.
Why the hell had he said that? He kicked himself repeatedly. All the same, this one was definitely his fault.
When he finally nerved himself up to go through, she was sleeping peacefully on one side of his bed. He stood there for a long moment, weighing up his options, before getting ready and climbing in on the other side.
Iva woke up in an unfamiliar bed. It took her a few moments to realise this, because she felt so comfortable. That was the best, most satisfying night’s sleep she’d had in her life…
She rolled over and sniffed.
Someone was cooking bacon, close enough that she could smell it.
Well. Alright. For that she could certainly persuade herself to get up.
She padded through to the kitchen, where Marcus was busy at the frying pan with scrambled egg. Grilling bacon filled the air entirely.
“Morning,” he said, glancing across.
“Uh… morning,” she answered. “Any of this for me?”
“If you make the tea, sure.”
She took the kettle. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but, uh… the last I remember, I was meant to be sleeping on your couch last night.”
Marcus went very still for a moment. “Right,” he said. Iva looked across and saw him remind himself to keep tending to the eggs. “Right. You, uh… I didn’t move you.”
It didn’t sound like a lie. “I don’t think I was that drunk.”
“I don’t think you were,” he said, and it sounded so much like he was going to say more that she waited.
After long enough that she’d begun to wonder, he said “I think… maybe… you were hypnotised.”
“You hypnotised me?”
“Not deliberately. And maybe not? I’m not sure. But you seemed like you were sleepwalking.”
The kettle boiled. Iva didn’t respond; she was too busy watching Marcus’ face. Eventually she decided he was visibly too embarrassed to be trying to lie. “I sleepwalked into your bed.”
“After I finished reading to you I said something about how you’d be more comfortable in the bed or something? I can’t remember.”
She frowned at him from under furrowed brows. “You know how that sounds?”
He sighed, beginning to plate up his cooking. “Yeah,” he said heavily. “But I don’t know how to suck something stupid back into my mouth after it’s out.”
She let silence reign for a short while, then realised she’d neglected the tea and busied herself solving the problem. “I think this needs discussing.”
“But not now. I’m going to have to hurry if I want to get changed and showered before work.”
Marcus nodded. “In your own time,” he said. “Just let me know it’s coming.”
It was another three days before Iva got around to messaging him and letting him know she’d be coming round. Partly, she’d started to feel a little silly about having a whole new conversation about this; partly, it was clearly going to be embarrassing and awkward, but Marcus was also clearly going to apologise, and now it would feel like she was making him.
Mostly, it was a long shift at work that left her dead on her feet, then a terrible night of not enough sleep. The workday that followed that wasn’t nearly so bad, but without having recovered, she was still drained enough that she spent the evening in her favourite chair watching Netflix episodes until it asked her if she was still watching, then switching to another show.
She treated herself to delivery curry, too. A night of not having to make an effort seemed like exactly what she needed.
And the day after that, she woke up finally feeling recovered, and didn’t want to hurt her mood. So she just dropped him a message warning him she’d be around the next evening.
It had nothing to do, she told herself firmly, with how much better she’d felt waking up in her bed than she did waking up in her own.
Marcus had laid in wine when she arrived, a good red which he’d even opened up to let breathe. It might be a bribe, or it might just be a recognition that neither of them would be comfortable. He’d always liked having a drink he could sip after he’d said something he wasn’t sure of the reaction to.
She took pity on him and came straight to the point. “So how did you hypnotise me?”
“I didn’t… well, I didn’t mean to. But… when I’ve hypnotised people, I’ve always compared it to when they were read bedtime stories as kids and it helped them drift off. I guess I got nearer to that than I intended.”
Iva folded her arms. Marcus shifted uncomfortably under her stare. “You’ve hypnotised people?”
He shrugged defensively. “Look, I don’t give you crap about your hobbies.”
He shrugged again, took a swallow of wine. Definitely hiding something. Did she care enough to find out what?
Probably not. She tried another tack. “So what did you tell me to do?”
“I didn’t tell you to DO anything. I just said – I don’t know – you’d be as comfortable on the couch as anywhere except my bed. I was trying to say you’d have a good night’s sleep, that’s all.”
“And what happened instead was I just got up and got in your bed.”
“Nothing happened,” he said flatly. Iva took some more pity.
“No, I believe that. It’s just that this is all a bit hard to believe.
“Plus you seem to have messed up my connection to my own bed.”
He blinked. “Sorry, what?”
“I’ve had one shitty night and two kinda meh nights since I got home. I literally woke up this morning and yesterday morning remembering how good it felt to be in your bed.”
Marcus’ mouth hung open silently as he digested this. Finally he took another sip of his wine. “OK, yeah, that’s my fault,” he says. “I didn’t even consider that. You must be… you might just be more susceptible than anyone I’ve tranced.”
She frowned. “That’s not a compliment, is it?”
“They’d think of it as one!”
“Whatever. How do I fix it?”
“I… might need to hypnotise you again.”
Iva sat back in her chair, taking a large slug of wine so she could set the glass down with a satisfying thunk. She kept eye contact with him the whole time.
Marcus was so uncomfortable about this. What the hell was he hiding – wait.
“Is this a sex thing?”
Bingo. He went crimson in nothing flat, at the same time his expression went away. It was like he had a mask he put on for this, but he was so freaked out by the circumstances that he was still giving himself away.
“It doesn’t have to be,” was his eventual response. “But, look, that’s not what I’m saying, I put an idea in your head; it’ll go away in time, but if you want it to stop now, hypnotising you is the only way I can fix it.”
“I’m not drunk enough for this,” she declared.
He nodded. The red was starting to go away, and she could practically see him figuring out how to change the subject.
“Yet,” she said, and watched him swallow again, then nod.
She looked at him curiously. “Look, man, I don’t think you’re going to mess with me. I think this was an accident. It’s just weird.”
He shrugs again. “I made my peace with that. People finding out when I wasn’t planning on it is a whole other thing.”
The two of them sat in silence for a little while. Iva topped her wine up. “I’ll say this, though,” she said. “You read a great bedtime story.”
Marcus laughed, and smiled for the first time since she’d knocked on his door that night. “Yeah,” he said.
“So… why hypnosis?”
“I’m not sure I know all the answer to that. It’s fun. It adds variety. It lets me do some wild things. But there’s a lot of weird stuff tangled up in there.”
Iva nodded thoughtfully. It was Marcus’ turn to refill his wine. “Talking about sex stuff with friends is either easy or weird,” he said thoughtfully, as if answering a question she hadn’t asked.
“I get that. You don’t have to. But if you could explain why what you said has messed up my sleep, I’d appreciate it.”
“Oh… I mean, I’m guessing here. But I think your head is treating my bed as the most satisfying place to sleep… so, um… anywhere else isn’t as comfortable.”
“That’s crazy,” Iva said. “That’s huge.”
He nods. “Yeah. I didn’t even think about it, because it taking that strongly is weird.”
He set his glass down on the kitchen table and sat back, hands well away from it. It was so deliberate that it had to mean something; Iva just wasn’t quite clear on what.
After a few moments she said “So… just hypothetically… what else can you do?”
She saw his lips twitch, suppressing a smirk, and realised that he’d been waiting for that.
“Giving you a list would be… kinda pointless,” he said. “It’d take a long time and it’d still be missing things. But… I can do things like make one bed a better place to sleep. If you felt that way the last couple of nights, I’m betting last time you were here you had the best night’s sleep in ages too, right?”
Iva nodded, smiling despite herself. “So you can make stuff feel better?” She couldn’t resist wiggling her eyebrows.
“There’s a whole speech here. But – that sort of thing, or change what you’re seeing, or just give you rules.”
“Not like – well, OK, sometimes like that. But rules for the back of your mind, too, like to not use a certain word or to have to use a different one or just to forget how to count.”
Iva laughed. “That’s not ‘just’.”
“Well, yeah. I guess not.”
She gulped down the rest of her glass. “Alright. Do it.”
“Sure.” She paused. “Although… um… can you do it with more story, maybe?”
Marcus smiled, and they relocated to the living room. She relaxed on the sofa again, and he settled down with the book.
“Then I’ll begin…”
Iva woke up when Marcus clapped his hands. It was a strange situation; she could still feel the warm, drowsy threads of sleep around her, but she was suddenly alert, awake, and…
She pondered that and remembered, dimly, Marcus’ voice saying ‘waking back up, wide awake, relaxed, and happy’. It had the kind of rhythm that suggested he’d said it a lot and it had become routine.
She smiled at him.
“Hi,” he said, a little sheepish.
“Hey,” she said warmly, pushing herself back up to seated with her elbows. “So, am I fixed?”
He laughed. “I hope so. Your bed should be just as good as any other now.”
“Good. No offence or anything… I’d just like to draw a line under this.”
“Right.” He nodded.
“Are there any other little surprises in my head now?”
Marcus laughed and shook his head. “None whatsoever.”
There was no getting around it now. Iva was curious and ignoring that curiosity hadn’t worked. Googling hadn’t helped much either. So far as she could tell, it was all different people’s fantasies and none of them agreed about the rules.
By now she was pretty sure Marcus hadn’t been lying when she asked about other suggestions. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust him – it was more like she’d been scared about the consequences of trusting him wrongly.
Which is the sort of idea that makes total sense as a gut feeling in your head, but when you try and turn it into a logical sentence looks kind of bad.
She wanted answers, and it looked like Marcus was the right person to get them out of. So she picked an evening she knew he’d be free, grabbed a couple of bottles of beer, and knocked on his door.
He opened the door and put on that blank expression again, the one he clearly hoped was unreadable. The first problem with that was that it didn’t hide much; the second was that there weren’t many reasons for him to use it. She knew immediately that he had a good guess why she was there.
“I brought beer.”
“I guess you can come in, then,” he said. “You eaten?”
“I can add some extra in, make this stretch to two.”
She nodded assent, privately deciding she’d do her best to take over the cooking. He might be a generous guy for the offer, but he wasn’t great once food got more complex than the basics.
“I wanted to ask you a few things. Maybe try a few things if you like.”
“Ah.” His tone was easier to read than that blank look; he was amused, but he was also surprised. A little excited, too. She wasn’t quite sure how to react to that.
“Nothing too wild,” she clarified. “But I’m curious, now, so trying a thing or two might help with that.” Neither of them needing to confirm the topic.
“Well, take a seat,” he said as he led her through into the kitchen. “We can talk.”
Iva successfully intervened in making dinner, much to her tastebuds’ relief, and discussion was stop-start for quite a while because of it. Marcus was playing his cards close to his chest; whatever he liked best, he was holding on to. But a few ideas got offered by Marcus, and more ideas came from Iva, although hers were tentative, unsure if they were possible…
Then they were sat at the kitchen table with dinner in front of them, and the two could actually focus again.
“How would you feel,” Marcus began, “if we started out by seeing if we can’t switch your mind off for a little while? Nothing else – just existing without any thoughts for a while, perhaps substituting it with bliss, perhaps just complete blankness.”
Iva stopped dead, conjuring the vision in her head. It wasn’t what she’d asked for – and yet, she realised, thinking it through, it was, really, wasn’t it? Not in so many words, but those were things she’d been talking about, impressions she’d mentioned having… except…
“Isn’t that just what being hypnotised is?”
“Not exactly. Certainly being aware of it is… well, sort of optional. And not always optional on my side.”
It was tempting. She wasn’t sure she could say quite why, but the idea of being – blank, empty… however you wanted to call it – for a little while? It sounded hotter than it had any right to. Plus it was something new – as new as you could get.
Before she could say yes, a thought struck her. “What do you get out of it?”
Marcus shrugged. “I don’t know what I’m getting out of any of this yet, except maybe someone who’ll be happy to talk hypnosis once in a while. Call it an investment?”
She shook her head. “That’s not fair.” She had very clear ideas on what constituted fair.
“Well… where do you want to draw the line?”
She hadn’t expected that question, and she didn’t really know how to answer it. “No sex…” she said slowly.
“Okay… so touching?”
“Um… maybe some…” She blinked. “Maybe not.”
“Alright.” He nodded. “Can I strip you down to your underwear?”
THAT one was hotter than it was daunting. It still took a few seconds before she nodded approval.
“I thought you were going to say you could order me around or something,” she ventured.
“I’d be asking a lot of the same questions about that. But we can throw some of that in, if you like.”
He was looking directly at her. She knew he could see from her reaction that the idea had some appeal. So after a few moments, she smiled and nodded. “Nothing naughty. Just enough to give me the idea.”
“Sure.” He grinned in turn. “You want to be hypnotised properly this time?”
“Uh… you know? I’m kind of enjoying being read to.”
Iva’s eyes opened. It wasn’t her idea.
She felt fantastic. It wasn’t anything particular; she was just happy, and there weren’t any worries weighing her down at all.
She had the vague sensation that she would usually be curious about this, but she just wasn’t. No urge to get up and investigate what was happening. No half-unconscious impulse to check notifications on her phone. No need to turn on the TV, or even say anything to the man in front of her, or even put in the effort to remember his name.
She was content, and she would be patient. Placid and willing to wait. She didn’t even wonder what she was waiting for – she just enjoyed the feeling.
“Stand up,” said the man. There were a couple of moments where the words echoed in her empty head without response, then she sat up on the sofa, and rose, standing with arms by her side. She’d turned to rise, and wasn’t facing the man anymore. Instead she gazed vacantly at a spot on the wall just above the TV. There was nothing to see there, but she had no reason to turn her head.
“You won’t understand this until later, but that’s hot,” the man said. She didn’t understand, but she felt even happier.
“Take off your T-shirt,” he said. A moment or two later, her hands rose, dragging her arms with them, to grip the base of her tee, then rose again, smoothly pulling it over her head. The sluggish, heavy movement they’d started with had become easy motion before they dropped to her sides again, suddenly unmotivated.
Her shirt slipped through unresisting fingers to land on the floor by her side.
That fantastic, pleasure-filled feeling seemed to intensify.
There was a gentle chuckle. “I showed you where I keep everything,” he said, whatever that meant. “Bring me a Scotch.”
There wasn’t as long a gap between the man speaking and her body moving this time. She turned again, walking into the kitchen. Again, that listless, slow movement became surprisingly fluid as she moved, and as she moved she felt her pleasure flower into bliss. She felt so good!
She moved from one spot to another, only aware at any time of her next destination. She collected a glass, found the bottle, poured a generous measure, sealed and set down the bottle – then she felt herself pause, and her smooth, expressionless features became a smile for a moment.
Without prompting, she collected a small tray, set the glass upon it, and lifted the tray in one hand. The bliss filled her as she returned to the man, stopping a pace before where he sat to lower the tray and hold it before her as an offering.
The man chuckled. “Good girl,” he said, lifting the glass from the tray. Relieved of her obligation, her arms dropped to her sides again. The tray slipped through unresisting fingers to bounce once off the carpet and lie still.
Iva found herself feeling a heat and an arousal that seemed to be growing, too, following those two simple words of praise. That sentence she completely understood.
He took his first sip as she watched, her gaze not moving from where it had last been important for it to be.
“Take off your jeans,” he continued. This time there was no hesitation. Her body moved to follow any instructions it was given, or at least any instructions he gave. As she wriggled her hips free, she saw him smile wider, and her wriggle became a wiggle became a sway as she worked her tight jeans lower. That seemed to be just pure instinct, and it rewarded her as her bliss continued to grow until she was aware of almost nothing else.
She stepped out of the jeans, giving them a little kick to scoot them clear, and finally stopped moving as her body returned to the same stance, legs straight, arms limply by her side. “Super hot,” he said. She didn’t understand, but that arousal underlying her bliss grew again, tinting her pleasure.
She returned to waiting. That was only natural, she felt. She hadn’t been given anything to do.
The man sipped his drink a couple more times, then nodded to himself. “Pose,” he said.
She shifted her weight, crooking one leg to stand on tiptoe, putting her hand on the opposite hip. She arched her back slightly as he looked up at her. Her free hand came up to the side of her head, sliding into her hair as if gripped by passion.
She was no longer looking at him. The pose didn’t allow for it. But she knew he was looking at her, and that was wonderful. Everything about it felt so good.
She held that pose for a time. It was difficult to know how long; there was no reason to know. She was posed, but she waited.
“Kneeling pose,” came the man’s voice. She settled to her knees, thighs together, hands behind her back, chest pushed out, able to see him again, looking at him was part of it now, and she sighed contentedly.
His glass was now mostly empty, and he was looking at her appreciatively. She felt so good, so needy, so happy, so horny…
“And wake, Iva,” the man sai-
- Marcus said, and just like that she knew his name, knew what he’d done, understood everything he’d said that had been a mystery, understood exactly what had happened…
The bliss started to subside down to a bubbling, happy contentment but the arousal and desire thundered in her. She tried to smile, tried to say something, but what came out was a happy mewling groan.
Marcus smiled. “Easy,” he said. “Take a deep breath. Centre yourself. It can take a few moments to sort out who you are.”
She followed his advice. It was still easy to just follow his directions, still felt good to do. And she did feel herself returning, mostly.
“You didn’t tell me that would be so hot,” she managed, not quite accusingly. Marcus winked.
“I can’t say that’s all on you, but I can say I didn’t tell you to feel that way. And that’s why I warned you I wouldn’t be taking more requests until you had some time to unpack.”
He reached down and picked up her T-shirt, offering it back to her. “You don’t have to stay stripped down, you know.”
She laughed. After a moment, she shook her head. She switched from kneeling to sitting against the base of the sofa, realising as she shifted position just how wet she’d become. Could he smell it? What would happen if she asked?
By the sound of things, he wouldn’t give her what part of her was crying out for at the moment. And she could kind of understand why…
She changed her mind again and held out her hand. “I’ll put that on so you can give me a hug,” she said. Marcus smiled warmly; she wondered if he’d been waiting for that.
Still, the hug was… really good. She held him tighter than she’d thought she needed to; he went for a wide embrace, the kind that made her feel protected and safe. She felt her tensions wash away again, almost as strongly as they had when she’d woken into that new state.
“Get you something to drink?” Marcus asked softly. “In a bit,” she replied. He nodded; she could feel the movement as they clung together.
“Take your time,” he said. “I’d like to discuss things, but it shouldn’t be until you’re ready.”
Eventually, they talked. A lot. Marcus was surprisingly good at asking exactly the right question to help her put how she felt into words, but then, she supposed, he’d had practice. He made her reactions seem perfectly reasonable; sometimes he even put them in perspective.
“I definitely want to push that further,” she said. “Just… not sure how far.”
Marcus nodded. “You’re going to be feeling more willing than you might, at the moment. Endorphins and lingering suggestion. We can figure this all out later.”
Iva smiled. “Thanks…”
He glanced at his phone, noted the time. “You can stay here tonight, if you want.”
She laughed. “Did you know I was going to ask?”
“I figured there was a good chance,” he said. “Especially with tomorrow being the weekend. Unless you’re at work?”
“Actually, no…” she said slowly. She’d been so focused on this she hadn’t thought about that side. “Is tomorrow soon enough to discuss pushing this?”
A nod. “Sure. I’ll make up the couch-“
She put out her hand to stop him. He fell silent and waited.
“I’ve already slept in your bed. We’re not doing more than that, but… this feels right. Unless you object?”
He slowly grinned. “Not at all. Actually, I’ve got an idea.”
He said something.
Iva’s eyes opened. It wasn’t her idea.
She got up, walked out of the living room, and into Marcus bedroom. It wasn’t like last time – last time, thoughts just hadn’t seemed to have a place inside her mind. This time, there was one thought – and just one. No room for any others.
Be my bedwarmer, he’d said. And now it was all she could think about.
She stopped in front of the bed. Her jeans were still back in the living room, but her socks had to come off, then she reached under her tee and unhooked her bra, went through the routine to slip the shoulder straps out, pull it clear and set it aside.
Panties and a T-shirt. That was enough for her modesty, and she’d sleep comfortably too.
In fact, she was pretty sure she was about to have a new most satisfying night’s sleep in her life, she thought as she slipped under the sheets. The bed was cool, but by the time Marcus joined her, it would be warm. He had a bedwarmer. She was his bedwarmer.
It was amazing how much pleasure it seemed to give her to be useful, she noted, and then her head touched the pillow – and she slept.
Iva woke up with one arm around an unfamiliar form. That was the most satisfying night’s sleep she’d had in her life – and the best job she’d done in doing her duty, too.
Which were, both of them, surprising things to think – but true, for all of that.
She snuggled herself closer against him, getting used to the idea of the past couple of days. Was this what she wanted? Maybe, maybe not.
Was it something she was happy to explore? Definitely.
She kissed his shoulder. He made a happy sound without quite waking up.
Interesting, to hear him asleep while she was awake for once.
“You owe me another bedtime story,” she murmured.
She laughed. “If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that you can’t make me call you sir. But you’re welcome to try.”
“But I do kind of want to see how it’d feel to still have my mind when I’m doing all that stuff.”
A nod. “I can understand that.”
They hadn’t made it past breakfast before discussing this. The body language was still a little nervous on both sides, but the discussion was open and enthusiastic.
“So,” Marcus asked, “do you want to have your mind active, and your body’s just obeying anyway? Or do you want to just feel like doing what I say is natural? Or something in between?”
She pursed her lips as she thought, dazzled by the possibilities. “Both, but not at once. Uh – the first one is probably not one to actually, you know… do anything physical during.”
“That’s pretty clear, thanks.” He smiled. “Good girl.”
That really should sound patronising, not delightful…
She grinned, and he continued. “So you’re thinking something physical?”
Iva nodded. “I was replaying some of last night, and the bit where you had me just standing there, posed? I just feel like that would be, you know, better if you touched me…” She paused. “Or maybe told me to give you a handjob or something.”
“Well, that sounds like a good thing to experiment with.” He said it lightly, but the smirk was threatening to grow wider than his face.
“Nothing beyond that, though. Not yet.”
Marcus nodded again. Iva smiled. “Not too disappointed?”
“This is a much more entertaining weekend than I was looking at already,” he pointed out. “Mostly I only get to trance people over the internet.”
“That sounds… boring, in comparison.”
He shrugged. “You can’t do as much, but there’s something delightful about making a suggestion take effect from an ocean away.”
She considered that idea in silence. Hard to deny the appeal, but it still seemed strange. Sure, he’d shown what could be done with her, but that was from close enough to touch – and isn’t that always where the magic happens?
“So when are we doing this?” she asked. “It seems early.”
“Maybe,” he said thoughtfully. “Tell you what. We pull something up on Netflix, watch it for a while, and we begin when we’re more interested in what we’re going to do than the show.”
“I like it. Alright.”
Sitcoms didn’t hold their attention for long. Sat next to one another on the sofa, Marcus had started with an arm around her shoulder… then a hand in her hair, gently scritching and stroking… and after a little while, she could actually feel herself drifting before he even spoke.
She sighed happily as she slipped under and laid her head to rest on his shoulder.
She was aware… dimly… that Marcus was whispering to her, but she had no sense of what he was saying. It felt nicer that way, somehow.
Iva's eyes opened. It wasn't her idea.
She was still nestled into Marcus' shoulder, comfortable and cosy. That was good… it felt really good. Better than expected, actually. And then it occurred to her that she was just where he wanted her, and it didn’t seem so strange that it was such bliss.
Marcus let her lie there for a few moments, then reached out and started working her T-shirt up. She let him, wondering whether that was her decision or not as she did.
He got her shirt up to the point where her bra was exposed and let it lie there. So did Iva. Then he cupped her breasts for a moment, giving them a brief ‘bounce’ before he started stroking and teasing with a lighter touch.
“The more I play with your tits,” he breathed into her ear, “the less you can resist.”
She was still processing whether that should really send a thrill through her when she realised what she was saying. “The more you play with my tits, the less I can resist.”
Then she said it again. And again. And she realised she was keeping on saying it now. A thought went through her mind that she was repeating a mantra, and she realised that was a thought Marcus had put there. ‘Mantra’ wasn’t a word she’d have chosen of her own accord.
It took her a few moments after that sank in to realise how aroused she was starting to get.
Marcus continued his caresses – it felt good, better even than it should and she suspected he was cheating somehow – and let her repeat her mantra for she wasn’t sure how long. She knew she’d heard the theme tune to the show they’d been watching somewhere in there, but she wasn’t aware of it enough to pick out more than that.
Eventually he added “Repeat what I say, and you must obey,” again murmuring it into her ear gently, softly, and confidently. Knowing exactly how it would affect her as she heard it.
“Repeat what you say, and I must obey,” she agreed. It felt like agreeing, anyway. “The more you play with my tits, the less I can resist. Repeat what you say, and I must obey,” she continued, as her mantra evolved and grew with new word from him.
She didn’t feel beyond her own control as she had the night before. But she felt sure that, if he did ever deign to give her a command, her resistance would be little more than token, enough to test his work. Instead, she’d find she must obey.
She was beginning to think that sounded pretty good. But then, he’d clearly cheated. His hands on her (tits, her internal monologue supplied, though it wasn’t the word she’d usually reach for) felt too good for him not to be cheating. But that, plus her blissful position nestled against him, was a level of delight she didn’t quite know how to process.
The fact her mouth had run away with her, embracing a mantra that pulled her along into stranger and stranger mindsets – well –
Perhaps it helped. Perhaps it hindered. Either way, it was delicious, delightful.
“The more you play with my tits, the less I can resist. Repeat what you say, and I must obey.” How long had she been slurring her words as she chanted? How long would it take her to notice things like that, now?
Time seemed to be standing still as she repeated her mantra, mind slurring now as much as her words. After however much longer, Marcus took his hands away.
Iva was just working up to feeling disappointed by this when he snapped his fingers and pointed to the floor in front of the sofa.
Disappointment vanished. She was moving from her snuggled position against him to kneel where he pointed, looking up at him, before she remembered she’d intended to try and resist.
Well, there was always next time.
Marcus reached the end of the chapter and closed the book, one-handed. The hardback was slim, but it still made a satisfying sound, not quite a fingersnap, as it closed.
Iva made a delicious sound, not quite a sigh, as she slipped out of consciousness.
“You’re dreaming,” he said softly into her entranced mind, fingers gently, rhythmically stroking her upper arm as she nestled into his chest. “It’s one of the most erotic dreams you’ve ever had…
“It’s about things you’ve never considered before. It’s about submission. It’s about hypnosis.”