Cindy could hear the door opening from the other room. Mistress must be home from the gym. She paused her movie and stood up from the couch, stretching as she did so. She strove to be nothing if not efficient, which left her several hours to kill every day after having handled the household chores. She, of course, would much rather spend the time pampering her Mistress, but her duty was to stay home, alone for the bulk of the day, while Mistress and Lex were off doing their work.
She prided herself on her carefully honed ability to read her Mistress’s mood, determining exactly what was needed from her after her Mistress returned from work. Some days, she would come home exhausted from working with her clients, and so Cindy would be aggressive in her pampering in order to lift her spirits. Other days, the best service she could provide was staying out of the way so Mistress could let out all her pent-up frustration on tormenting Lex.
Cindy didn’t have a plan prepared for the confusion and fear she saw today.
Mistress Ariella’s incredible talent for control meant she almost never had a problem that couldn’t be remedied by a few words spoken into a few ears. Something was clearly very wrong, and so it fell to Cindy to serve her Mistress as best she could. She just needed to figure out how.
“Mistress? What happened?” Cindy asked soothingly.
“Something happened. At the gym. Something’s wrong with me, Cindy, I don’t know what’s going on, I don’t-” Ariella broke off with a sharp gasp of breath.
“Sshh, Mistress. I’m here. Please, what can I do to help?” Cindy asked softly, massaging her Mistress’s shoulders as she guided her towards the couch. Ariella took a moment to collect herself before speaking.
“I- I tried to use my power, at the gym. Tried to get some idiot to get off one of the machines so I could use it. But something wasn’t working - and I don’t know if it was the hangover, or something deeper. I pushed as hard as I could but he didn’t even notice. What if I’ve been using it too much? Why would it not work…” Ariella gasped, fighting to keep her hysteria at bay.
“Mistress, I… I don’t know anything about how your power works. But if I had to guess…” Cindy paused, pondering what her Mistress had told her. “Maybe it was just a fluke? It could be the hangover. It always has worked before when you’re tired. Although, you hadn’t touched a drop last night. Please, try it on me, to confirm.” Ariella’s eyes lost focus for a moment as Cindy spoke.
“I… I’ll try. Ok. Cindy, go get me a cup of tea,” Ariella said, a tension to her words betraying something behind them Cindy knew well.
But nothing came. Her thoughts didn’t blur, and her focus didn’t center on Ariella. Sure, she wanted to obey her Mistress - she didn’t need any power for that - but she didn’t feel that irresistible urge that usually accompanied that tone.
“I’m sorry, Mistress. I didn’t feel anything. I can fetch you the cup anyway, if you want, but…” Cindy trailed off as Ariella buried her face in her hands. Best to stay by her side, then.
Could Mistress’s power really have just stopped working? Nobody they’d ever met had heard of a power like hers, so neither of them really knew how it worked. Perhaps she had just overused it? Perhaps it would just come back after some rest? Or… another thought, one she hated to consider, came to mind.
“Mistress, forgive me for asking, but why didn’t you come home right away? You were gone for longer than usual.” Cindy asked, concerned
“I… I had to wait in the lobby for a machine to be open. It must’ve been almost half an hour before one was freed up,” Ariella said distantly.
“You waited in the lobby for half an hour for a machine to be open before you came home?”
“Yeah. I had to wait…” Cindy’s stomach sank as Ariella’s eyes unfocused again. The same expression she’d had when Cindy asked her to try her power. There was no mistaking that expression. Cindy knew it very, very well.
“Mistress… You trust me, don’t you?”
Ariella looked up at her slave, puzzled. Slowly, she nodded.
“Mistress, touch your nose,” Cindy ordered. Her blood froze as Ariella’s eyes unfocused again, fears confirmed as her Mistress complied.
“Mistress… why did you do that?” Cindy asked, although she was sure she knew the answer.
“Well, you… you told me to.”
“What is it? What’s wrong?”
Cindy pursed her lips, thinking quickly. “Mistress, for the rest of this conversation, you won’t follow orders from me unless you want to.”
Ariella blinked as her gaze flickered again. “Cindy, what-”
“Mistress, it’s not just that your power isn’t working,” she gasped. “It is working… on you. You’re following whatever commands people give you. Just like when you use it on me, and like…” Her eyes widened, and Ariella’s gaze grew hard.
“Like Lex,” they said in unison.
Lex groaned as she steeled herself for whatever torment her Mistress had decided to so graciously bestow on her tonight. Work had been exhausting, as usual, but coming home was never something to look forward to. Ever since Ariella had commanded her to move in, she’d had her will pushed just to the point of breaking in a calculated effort to beat her down. In a way, it was a blessing when Ariella was only in the mood to use her body instead of her mind. She certainly liked to play rough in bed, but Lex hardly cared about that. The sex wasn’t the issue. The issue is that she didn’t have a choice. Her mind could be probed, manipulated, and coerced at a whim.
She’d long since given up on trying to escape. For the first few weeks, she’d made a valiant effort, gathered all her willpower into a desperate attempt to cast off the chains in her mind. Ariella had watched with cold amusement as Lex struggled to move an inch beyond the threshold of the bedroom, held by ropes of obligation woven into her every thought. The mere thought of disobedience would bring insidious tendrils seeping into her thoughts, corrupting them, convincing her it was better to just give in and obey. The awareness didn’t help. It just made it worse, because she knew the control always won out in the end.
She reluctantly pushed open the door to Ariella’s apartment, surprised to find only Cindy there to greet her.
“Oh, you’re back. Mistress doesn’t want to be disturbed. She’s resting in her room,” Cindy said, voice drained of its usual enthusiasm.
“What? She’s always here when I get home. What’s she playing at?”
“It’s not my place to say. Her orders were that she was not to be disturbed, Lex.” Cindy said firmly.
“Look, she can order whatever she wants. Unless she wants to turn on those eyes of hers, a verbal order won’t change the fact that I have to come to bed with her every night once “playtime” is over. I’m not in the mood for a fucked up game. Let’s just get this over with,” Lex spat, storming towards Ariella’s bedroom.
Cindy moved to stop her, but Lex’s glare made her pause. She slammed a fist on the bedroom door, Cindy watching on with discomfort.
“I know you’re in there, Mistress! Open the door, and let’s get this over with so I can get to sleep!” Lex growled.
A few moments later, Ariella opened the door, looking decidedly un-Mistresslike. She exchanged a quick, unreadable glance with Cindy Cindy. What’s that about? Ariella kept silent, stepping aside to let Lex in. Whatever game Ariella was playing, Lex couldn’t figure it out. Was the bitch trying to lull her into a false sense of security? Why else would she be acting so meek all of a sudden?
Lex watched Ariella with careful eyes as they both settled into bed, running the scenario over and over in her head, trying to figure out how Ariella was going to twist this to torment her. It wasn’t until she heard snores coming from the other side of the bed that she was finally able to drop her guard. While the behavior had certainly been unusual, maybe her tormentor genuinely was just tired.
But if it was just fatigue, why would Cindy be so worried?
Alright, she decided. Clearly something is going on here. And I am going to find out what it is.