You know how the story starts: Some guy wakes up in a hospital, realizes he can control minds, and… Well, they sometimes vary from there a little. Usually there’s been some accident, or someone’s given them a ‘gift’, or something like that.
It didn’t quite happen like that.
“Huh, yes? What?” I focused on the doctor in front of me.
“Your sister is out of the O. R. It was appendicitis. There was a complication: Her appendix burst, probably just as we got her to the operating table. We got it out, and cleaned everything up, but it’s going to be touch-and-go for a few days at least.”
Trust me. You never want to hear a surgeon say ‘there was a complication.’ Ever. “She’ll be ok though, right?”
“It’s a little early to say for sure.” That’s another on the list of ‘never want to hear a doctor say.’ “She should be ﬁne, but you’ll have to watch carefully for signs of infection for the next few days. If there is infection, it could be serious.”
I stop myself from saying ‘how serious’. When a doctor says ‘serious’ he means ‘fatal’. “How is she now? Can I see her?”
“She’s still sleeping, but she’s ﬁne. You can see her if you want, but I doubt she’ll wake up until morning.” It was morning. He meant after the sun rose.
Hell of a way to start the weekend.
I had him show me to her room. I wasn’t going to leave until I’d seen her awake again. Mom and dad were out of town, and I hadn’t called them yet. I probably should have, but it had been a busy night. I ﬁgured at this point they wouldn’t mind waiting until I could say Cass was out of surgery and awake. By then they’d likely be more awake anyway, and there wasn’t a reason to wake them on vacation at this point.
The doctor left me alone with her, after mentioning that the anesthesia probably hadn’t worn oﬀ, and that it would probably be better if she slept for the rest of the night.
Big sis, lying on a hospital bed, wires out to monitors around her. Not the most comforting image. The lights were down too: the better to let patient’s sleep. She’d just come down from college to do some laundry and to ‘check up’ on her brother while mom and dad were away. (I’m guessing that mom and dad arranged that.) We’d talked for a while, after she arrived late, until her stomach suddenly started hurting. I’d driven her to the Emergency Room. They’d taken her straight to surgery when they’d heard the symptoms. And now here she was.
Now comes the interesting part.
Standing there, half-asleep, I became aware of something. I’m still not sure what to call it: an ‘aura’ or ‘ﬁeld’ or something like that, around my sister.
I’ll try to describe it.
Mostly, it was the color of a well-harmonized tune. There was a blotch around her stomach that was slightly out of harmony, and a few, growing, bits that blared in a bright discordance. When I reached out, they felt black and grey. The rest of her felt green and yellow, with a hint of pink texture.
If you think you can describe it better you’re welcome to.
It was one of those moments where the world falls away, and there is just you and what you are focused on. I got lost in my senses of what I was seeing. A part of me thought I was just sleep-deprived, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.
The discordance points were growing fast.
I had a ﬁeld of my own: I could see it, in the color of it’s own harmony. A stronger tune, at the moment. I reached out and pushed mine into hers, breaking and smothering the ‘bad’ spots. The rest of her glowed sweeter, a hint of ﬂower-scent creeping into her color.
I kept pushing, willing her entire aura to be in harmony, until it was all in tune and I could feel a nice strong green color from everywhere around her.
When I was done, I pulled back and looked at my sister. She blinked open her eyes. “Hi Nate.” She smiled.
“Hi Cass.” I fainted.
Fainting in the hospital next to someone who just woke up unexpectedly has some advantages. Namely that when I woke up, I was completely surrounded by doctors and nurses who were looking me over.
It took about a minute for me to get what had happened straight. Apparently I’d been out for all of about 20 seconds. Cassandra had hit the call button, and people had swarmed. A dozen or so tests later they decided I was exhausted and hadn’t eaten a good meal in two days. (A banana for breakfast that morning didn’t count? Or was it yesterday morning?)
Sometime in there Cass had gotten up, and the doctors had said she couldn’t do that, and she’d said ‘I feel ﬁne.’ And gone back to helping me.
When the doctors got me in a chair and Cass back into bed, they left us alone. A nurse was to bring me a juice cup. “How are you feeling?”
“Embarrassed and tired, but I’m ﬁne. I’m the one who should be asking you. How are you feeling?”
“Good. Great. I don’t even feel sore. It must have been building up; I feel better than I’ve felt in ages, actually. I must have slept a while too: What time is it?”
I checked my watch. “3:45 AM.”
I shrugged, and oﬀered my watch.
“It feels like I’ve slept for hours.”
“Must be something in the anesthesia.” I thought.
“Probably.” She lay back down, and the nurse delivered my juice. “What did the doctors say?”
“Your appendix burst. They got it out, and cleaned you up, but we’re supposed to watch for a couple of days to make sure you didn’t get infected.”
“Oh.” She pondered that for a moment. I tried to stay awake.
They were nice enough to let me sleep in that chair for a full three and a half hours. Then the doctor woke me up as he did his morning rounds.
Diﬀerent doctor by the way: This one must have been the day shift. “Well.” He was a morning person. I could tell. “It looks like you are in good shape to me. If you’ll stop by the desk they have some paperwork for you, and then you can head home.” He obviously wasn’t addressing me. Cass was sitting up in the bed.
“But aren’t you going to watch her or anything?” I asked, from behind him.
He was polite enough to turn an answer. “From this chart I don’t see why I should. She’s had a near-ideal recovery from a routine procedure.”
“But her appendix burst!”
He checked the chart. “Not from these results.” He smiled. “Don’t worry. She’ll be ﬁne.”
I wasn’t awake enough to argue as he left.
“Don’t worry Nate. I feel ﬁne, and if anything happens I’ll come back.” It was supposed to be reassuring.
We walked to the desk, and ﬁlled out paperwork. The attendant there didn’t think we should be leaving quite so soon either, but apparently Student Health Care didn’t cover anything longer. From the attendant this was normal, and expected incompetence on the part of the insurance, but what could a hospital do, and Cassandra looked like she’d probably be ﬁne despite the deplorable state of health care these days.
I didn’t ask how her walk to school as a child was, and decided to leave before it came up.
I let Cass drive. She was awake.
We got home, had breakfast, informed my parents that Cass had been in the hospital (but was ﬁne now!) and that everything was good, and that they really didn’t need to come home early, we could handle it, really.
They called back saying the earliest ﬂight they could get would get them home mid-day Sunday, and that they would see us then.
Ok, I know what you’re thinking: What does any of this have to do with sex or mind-control, or anything? Don’t worry, we’ll get there. It’s called ‘backstory’. Look it up.
And no, I don’t do my sister. Perverts.
I did remember my experience with the ‘aura’ or whatever. (Actually, I think I’ll just call it aura. It’s easier. Less quotes for one thing.) Mostly I put it down to exhaustion and fatiuge. It sounded like something out of a drug trip to me anyway.
Still, it was a vivid enough memory for me to wonder for a moment if Cass’s aura was holding up, and what it would look like now.
I happened to be looking at Cass as I wondered this. Her aura looked in tune and even.
I decided I needed a nap.
I came down around lunch time, refreshed but starving. Cassandra was watching TV. There was sandwich stuﬀ out, and I threw together a couple, wolﬁng them down before heading back to the TV room. (I’m a high school boy, what do you expect?)
I took the chair instead of sitting next to her on the couch, eating my third sandwich at a more lesurely pace. I’d decided to be healthy: I was washing it down with milk. We said hi.
I’d seen the episode she was watching, so I tuned that out. The ﬁrst time I’d seen her aura I’d been tired and stressed. I knew that. The second time… I was still tired, but not drop-in-place tried.
I tried opening up to seeing it again.
If I said nothing happened, would you believe me? Honestly, if nothing had happened, there wouldn’t be a story here. Yes, I saw it again. It was as strong as ever, and the color-tune whatever seemed to be holding. There was a slight bludge towards the TV, where her attention was.
And… There was a cord to me. Right to where her ‘discord’ had been.
It was in tune. Perfectly; no problems there. The color was exactly the same as the rest. It appeared to join seemlessly.
I followed it to the other end. It was seemless on my end too, and in tune with me as well. No changing of color at all, that I could tell.
I could put my hand on it. It didn’t feel ‘solid’, but it did feel like it was there. I could reach through it, or I could reach for it.
I tried concentrating on it, seeing if I could ‘feel’ it. I let my mind reach into it…
And just for a moment it seemed like I was sitting on the couch, watching TV. I could see myself doing something weird out of the corner of my eye…
I panicked and snapped back.
Enough of that for the day.
It wasn’t, of course. Enough of that for the day. I kept having to convince myself I wasn’t going crazy, and so I kept coming back and playing with it. I accidentally used Cass’s senses a few more times, and I tried various things with the ‘cord’ binding us. I hoped she wouldn’t notice anything, and she didn’t.
I also went and started searching for anything like this mentioned on the internet. I ﬁgured someone else had to have done something similar. I just wanted to know what I was dealing with.
There were a few religious nuts who would mention something like the ‘web of life’ or the ‘mystical energy that connects us all’, but even when they meant it litterally they didn’t seem to expect people to be able to see it. There were a few drug-trips described where people mixed up colors and sounds and ﬂavors, but nothing that seemed to mean anything.
The closest I found was pure ﬁction. Porn, to be exact. I’d thought people might try to disguise their experiences, so I didn’t rule out ﬁction as a ‘real’ source. I didn’t ﬁnd anything to help me, but I did get some really perverted ideas.
Not that giving an eighteen year old virgin boy perverted ideas is hard. Honestly, if you are female, bend over. That’s enough.
Heck, don’t bend over. It’ll work almost as well.
I didn’t have anything planned for a Saturday, and Cass had mostly come to do laundry, so the rest of the day was fairly boring. We watched TV, ate, and generally hung out. I hovered, making sure Cass was ok, and making sure she didn’t have to do any major exercise. (First and only time I’ve done her laundry.) That was about it. Cass would probably have driven back to college sometime in the afternoon, but she decided to at least see the folks.
I’ll skip most of Sunday. I mean, we basically did the same, except for the parents ariving (about two hours later than expected. Airlines.) and convincing Cass to spend a couple more days under their care. I did a little homework.
The only relvent thing was that I ﬁnally had someone else to compare auras on. As soon as I knew I could observe everyone without getting sent oﬀ or being thought more obnoxious than normal, I switched ‘aura sight’ on and took a look to see if I could see theirs as well.
I could. They looked a little diﬀerent, but not much. The tune of their colors were diﬀerent, and dad had a few minor out-of-tune places, but nothing major like Cass had had. They even had a link between them, though that was very diﬀerent from the one between me and Cassandra. Mom and Dad’s was much thinner, for one thing, and it had it’s own tune, diﬀerent then either of theirs, but in harmony with both. Also, it didn’t go ‘into’ them like ours did: it appeared stuck to the surface. There might have been a few tendrils into each of them, but it was hard to tell.
So there was something diﬀerent going on there. That made some sense.
Monday I went to school.
Senior year of high school, last semester. If a teacher thinks they can keep our attention at that point, they are in for a surprise. We were almost out, and we knew it.
Today I just wanted to see if I could do anything with this new sense I seem to have picked up.
So, I was kinda tuning out the normal, and focusing on trying to ﬁgure out what the diﬀerent tune-colors meant. I saw a few people who had tethers of one kind or another, all light and simple. Mostly between dating couples. A few times I could see what looked like a one-sided tether, which I ﬁgured must be an unreturned crush.
I said hi to a few friends. I wasn’t one of the ‘popular’ kids in school, but honestly if you really look at it no one is. Not the way it is in the movies. I had friends, I wasn’t picked on in any major way, and I got along. I was kinda preoccupied that morning, but if anyone asked about it I had an excuse, in the form of my sister’s health.
So, second period study hall. (Hey, I never said I was a diligent student…) I go to the library, because the alternative is to sit at some desk in a random classroom and be quiet. I’ve got my aura-sight on, because I’m still playing with it to ﬁgure it out.
In walks Talia.
Ok, by the stereotype she should be the head of the cheerleading team, gorgeous, and either a bitch or the nicest girl in the whole school. And I should either have a crush on her from way back or want revenge of some sort.
Will you settle for gorgeous and a little shy?
She’s not the best looking girl in the school. Not even close. But… High school girl, in decent shape, and not bad face. Tendency to wear slightly baggy clothes. Not as baggy as the guys, but looser than a lot of girls. Average girl-next-door. She’s got a boyfriend, on the Team. (Which at my school was basketball.) He starts occasionally.
Most of the seniors start occasionally. Unless they suck. But then they don’t play in the ﬁrst place. (Like me.)
I’m watching through aura-sight. She’s got this quiet little tune of her own, and attached and sucking out of her is this cord that is colored an entirely diﬀerent tune. No harmony between them at all, and it almost looks like it is breaking up hers.
I reach out and grab the cord as she goes by. It feels green. But then, there’s green and then there’s green, you know? Cass’s green, or mine for that matter, is green like trees and ﬂowers; grass on a hillside. This is green like Teenaged Mutant Turtles ‘ooze’ green. It’s green with intent.
Anyway, so I reach out and grab the cord, without thinking about it. (Has thinking been my strong suit?) It’s kinda a reﬂex thing. I give it a good yank, and it breaks oﬀ of Talia.
That felt good for a moment.
Except… Talia’s aura is now leaking, and that cord is acting kinda like a snake, trying to ﬁnd it’s way back.
Oh, and Talia slumped into the nearest chair like she’s about to collapse.
Obviously I broke something. And I need to ﬁx it, fast. I could just re-attach that cord. Heck, I’m still holding it. But… It didn’t feel right. Whatever this cord is, whoever is on the other end, it wasn’t doing her any good.
She’s not at my table, but she’s fairly close. I reach out to her, trying to… Well, do something. I’m not close enough.
I scoot closer, and manage to touch her.
Ok, now I can work. I push out some of my aura, and try to form a patch, to stop the leak. It mostly works, but there are still bits around the edges that are getting through.
I start working on meshing the edges, but the diﬀerent ‘tunes’ don’t want to work together. I start pushing, and pulling, and gradually the tunes come together. They aren’t the same, quite, but there is deﬁnite harmony. And when that harmony forms, the patch locks into place.
There is some resistance. I’m worried that the patch will come oﬀ, so I work it in tighter, making sure the resistance won’t be enough to pop it oﬀ. I integrate the patch with the rest of her aura, so that the edges aren’t visible, and work on the color so that the tune is in harmony with the energy I’m still feeding to replace that which leaked, and was sucked oﬀ. While I’m doing this, I notice that her aura is really weak, and decide to strengthen it.
There. All better. You can’t even tell where the patch is: It’s all one color, one tune, in harmony with the tune of the energy I’m feeding through the link I’ve just created. For a ﬁrst eﬀort, I’m proud of myself.
The cord-snake is still in my hand, and I give it a bit of energy too. Not in harmony, in dissidence. It recoils, and I let it go. It disappears.
I turn oﬀ the aura-sight, and take a look at Talia.
Who is looking straight at me. “What did you just do to me?”
Who, me? Oh-oh… “I, uh… What do you mean?” Yeah, I’m real coherent here. Smooth even.
She took a good look at me. Trying to decide if I was serious, or something.
“Are you ok?” As I said, or something.
“Yeah, I’m… Just a little tired, that’s all.” Ok, time to re-evalute the cause and eﬀect on this aura thing here. Aura leads to tired, not tired leads to aura. Good to know.
She looked around. “Come on.” She grabbed my bag and shoulder, leading to one of the ‘study rooms’ around the library. I’ve heard that studying occasionally happens in one. Sometimes. For a few minutes.
She pulled me in and shut the door, then started to dig around in her bag. She pulled out a yogurt. “Here. You are hungry.”
Ok, I was. How did she know?
I took the yogurt, started eating it. “Wait, is this supposed to be your lunch?”
“I have a feeling you need it more than I do. In fact… I feel better than I’ve felt in months.” She looked at me again. I wasn’t comfortable with that look.
She sighed, and sat down. “Ok, here’s what I felt happen. I walked into the library, past your table. I saw you… grab?… at something. Then I felt like something had just been torn out of me. Something, by the way, that I didn’t want.” She paused, thinking. “That’s how it felt. That I didn’t want it, that is.”
“Then I felt weak. Like… Well, like I’d been injured, or something. Major injury, but nothing hurt. This was the point where I collapsed into the chair: It felt like my strength was draining out of me. I sat like that, trying to gather my strength and not succeeding.”
“Then… You touched me. And I felt the draining… clog. It didn’t stop, not immediately, but it did slow. Then there was… Well, it felt like my self re-arranged. I could feel the leak too. I think… It wasn’t steady. But I’m not sure.” I stupidly nodded in conﬁrmation to her.
“Ok, then I felt the leak stop, but… It’s hard to explain.”
She looked me in the eyes. “I said it felt like my self was re-arranged. At this point… Well, it felt like there was a part that wasn’t really ‘me’. If I hadn’t been paying attention, I probably… Well, I was just trying to ﬁgure out what was going on and I think that’s what I felt, I think.”
“Then… That part began to spread, and the rest of me re-aranged again to match that part. Once that was done, and I couldn’t tell where that part was, I felt energy start to ﬂow back into me. And I wasn’t injured, or weak, or anything.”
“All of this was… Well, let’s just say I wouldn’t have mentioned it at all if it wasn’t for the next part. That was when I looked at you. I… Nate, right? I looked at you and saw my reason for living. That’s they only way I can explain it. I’m still… Well, I think I’m still myself, mostly. But unless you change your mind about whatever you just did… I exist because you might want something from me. That’s the only reason. Anything else is completely irrelevant.”
She closed her eyes, and sat back. “I know that sounds nuts, and I’m only saying it because you… Were confused. You needed to know. I’m still enough of myself to realize that’s a very odd thing for me to think, or feel, but not enough to object. I’m… I’m not even sure I would have objected, though. I can’t imagine how that would feel well enough to evaluate it: I don’t object to you. Ever. So how would I possibly have objected? Bah. I’m not making sense.”
Talia looked at me again. “Make sense.”
I gulped. “I… I’ve been seeing ‘auras’ around people recently.” I checked. So far she believed me. Bad sign. “Just since this weekend. I… You had a ‘cord’, or something, attached to you. It looked like… Well, like it was draining you, somehow. So I ripped it oﬀ. But then your aura was ‘leaking’, so I tried to ﬁx it… I put some of my own aura on the leak, but it wouldn’t stay, so I made it stay.”
“And is it still there now?” Absolutely serious.
I ﬂicked on aura-sight. No change from the last time I’d looked at her, though she was still drawing power from me. She looked ﬁne, so I shut that oﬀ, slowly. “Sorta. I can’t tell where I put the patch on: I kinda melded it with your aura…”
“And… Wait, what did you just do?”
“I had been feeding you energy, but I realized it was making me tired, and you looked like you were ok, so I shut it oﬀ.”
“I think so…”
“Can you start it up again? Just a little? Please?” She looked… Well, like she didn’t think this was a small request.
I opened the feed-line up a bit, to just let a trickle through. She relaxed. “Thanks. I… Anyway, you said you melded it with my aura. How did you do that?”
“I… Um, I adjusted the ‘tune’ and ‘colors’ of the auras until they matched.”
“You adjusted your own aura?”
“No… I adjusted the patch I’d made from my aura. My aura… I haven’t tried adjusting it.”
She was silent a moment, though I didn’t need aura-sight to see she was going over some sort of internal checklist. “Ok. Makes sense. You adjusted me so that a part of me is you, to heal a hole in my… Whatever an ‘aura’ represents.” She sat back.
“And?” I asked.
“That’s all you wanted to know?”
She shrugged. “Something changed, so I… well, belong to you. I wanted to know what.”
“And you don’t care? What if I wanted… Well, what if I wanted you to do something?”
“I thought I went over that. Whatever you did, I can’t care. You are the absolute most important thing in my life. As for if what if you wanted something…” She stood up, and removed her clothes. She must practice for speed. “If there is anything you want, take it. Everything you see belongs to you. Anything you want, I’ll do. Eagerly.”
“Uh…” Did I say decent shape? I think I meant excellent shape. A very excellent shape…
My brain and gonads wrestled for control for a moment. My brain was ﬁghting with a disadvantage: It was confused. But then my gonads were confused too: This wasn’t a situation they had been expecting to be in any time soon. And there hadn’t been any warning it was coming.
My brain regrouped ﬁrst. “Um… Not right now. Please get dressed. For the moment.”
She shrugged. “Ok. I didn’t think you really wanted to right now anyway; you’d have asked yourself. But I wanted you to understand. I don’t matter to me. You matter.” She started to get dressed. This took longer than the other way, for some reason. “By the way, what’s your last name?”
“Because people will ﬁnd it odd if I don’t know it.”
If she said so. “So… Um, what do you want me to do about this?”
“Whatever you want.”
Ok. So I’m a little slow on the uptake occasionally. Blame the fact that I just exhausted myself ﬁxing someone’s aura, which I can’t even explain what that means, and then I got dragged into a small room to explain the unexplainable to the inexplicable. Who then stripped for me, and told me I can have my way with her.
I think my brain being a couple steps behind was probably acceptable under the circumstances.
The bell rang.
Talia stood up, and smiled at me. My gonads knew what to do with that smile. “Look, it seems like you need to think about this for a while. Why don’t we pick up this conversation later, ok? I’ll see you at lunch.”
She didn’t leave. She made herself absent for a time, like a woman who’s just said ‘let me slip into something more comfortable’.
I was late to my next class.
I think we may have gone over something in the classes between second period and lunch. It probably had to do with math or science or english or something like that. I can’t really say: I wasn’t paying attention.
Look, if it had been you, you tell me you would have found the right classrooms for the rest of the day. I was proud of myself for staying together.
Ok, so, lunch. We had the option of eating outside if it was warm enough, and it was. I took a spot I often use where there is a table under a tree by the side of the building. It was a little out of the way, and usually meant that me and the guys I hung out with could talk in piece.
“Hi there.” Talia appeared, bright and chipper. She took a seat next-to across from me. Small round table.
“So, how are you doing?” I asked her this time.
“I’m ﬁne. Honestly, I feel better than I have in ages. And keep your lunch: I’m not hungry. Honestly. How are you doing? Sorted this out in your brain yet?”
Not quite, but I’m better than I was. “Mostly, I think. I’m still trying to ﬁgure out what to do with you though.”
“You can’t decide?” She looked like she wanted a milkshake with a big straw to suck on, but had to make do with just the grin.
Gonads should not have reboot authorization over the brain. Honestly. “Uh…” And where were my friends? I mean, it’s not like I normally sat alone at lunch. They should be here hassling me until I have time to come up with a reply.
Not that I really wanted to talk about this in front of them…
Talia noticed something behind me. The grin disappeared from her face, as she decided to look serious. “Hi Greg.” A diﬀerent smile appeared on her face. This one wasn’t quite as nice, but it wasn’t focused on me.
Greg… I turned. Yep, it was Greg from the basketball team. Her boyfriend. And he had friends along even. This coud get interesting.
Well, that explained why my friends hadn’t shown. They’d seen this coming.
“What are you doing over here?” Straight and to the point, is Greg. I was beginning to regret this lunch-spot: If he started something, it was just enough out of the way that people could decide they couldn’t see anything…
“I felt like eating with someone else for a change. Someone who’s not an egotistical sadistic creap.” Ouch.
That blow pole-axed him, but only for a moment. “That so? And what makes you think you have a choice where you sit, bitch?”
I was beginning to dislike Greg.
“I’ve always had a choice, Greg. I just forgot I could use it for a while.”
“Really? And what if I don’t like that choice?”
“That’s too bad, but you can go fuck a dog for all I care. Just make sure it wasn’t the one your dad fucked: that’d be incest.”
I’ll give her points for style, but an insult really needs to not be so subtle your target can’t understand it. Greg decided that if he couldn’t reply correctly, it was time to change tactics. He turned to me. “And who is this? Your new boyfriend? You dumping me for this geek?”
Hasn’t he heard? Geeks rule the Earth. Geeks also get better grades than I do.
“Maybe.” She needed a prop. She really needed a prop. It was almost a reason to give her my lunch, just to give her one. But I was starving. “I am dumping you.”
Back to him. Belatedly, I thought to turn on my aura-sight. Yep, I recognized that tune. It was his cord that had been eating at Talia. His cord that I removed. Actually… Their cord, in a way. Him and his buddies all were linked, all were the same tune. There was a whole little web, that right now was centered on Greg. But that was just for the moment, as far as I could tell.
This would be why I stay away from the basketball team. Though this wasn’t the whole team, or even the main players.
“Are you? And does this guy think he can handle you?” He meant handle him. We all knew that.
A hand landed on my shoulder. Uh-oh. Time to break my streak of not getting beat up.
Time for another slow-mo moment. I reached for the hand on my shoulder, to pretend I could move it. As I did, I remembered the snake-cord this morning, and what I had done to it.
I let my hand reach his, and pushed a pulse of dissodence at his aura, something that wouldn’t sit right.
It hit his aura and ﬂared, moving across the surface in a bright smear of clashing gitaurs or something. It took just a moment to wash over him, and across the whole web holding the little group together.
And the web just… dropped. There wasn’t any change in the members that I could see, but the web itself was gone, completely.
Back to normal time. Greg withdrew his hand fast, like he’d just stuck it in a live electric outlet or something. His friends were already retreating. “Another time, punk.”
First geek, now punk. He really needs to learn his subcultures. I’m a wimp.
Talia was looking at me. “Well, that was easy. What did you do?”
“I… Um, I pushed some dissodence at him. That’s it.”
“Handy.” She checked to see if I wanted to say anything else. I wanted to eat. “Thanks, by the way.”
“Mhmmph?” Full mouths and speach don’t work well together.
“I’ve wanted to dump him, to get away from him, for months. But… I couldn’t, somehow. And he was just getting worse and worse, and I was just taking it… Well, before this morning it was going to take a miracle to have me stand up to him. Now… I got scared, a bit, when I thought he might hurt you, but other than that I didn’t care. He was just another jerk.”
“Well, you’re welcome, I guess.” It hadn’t been my intent. If I’d had an intent.
“And don’t you go thinking all you did was put yourself in his place. He… Well, I can’t see aura’s, but I know that after ten seconds with you I feel better than he ever made me feel. You said something was ‘draining’ me, and that you are giving me energy. I don’t have any better idea than you what that means, but I know the eﬀects from my side. And you are miles diﬀerent then him.”
“But you don’t know that I’ll stay that way. I could do what he did, and…”
“No you couldn’t. Whatever he did, he needed me to feel bad about myself to do it. To tear me apart, piece by piece. Whatever it is you did, you needed to make me feel better about myself. You may have changed what that was, some, but… You built me up. That’s diﬀerent.”
I took an uncommon amount of time to chew my food. “Ok, but that still doesn’t excuse what I did to you.”
She shrugged. “So, are you going to undo it? Change me back to what I was and remove whatever it is that makes me focus on you?”
“Are you sure you even can? Do you remember what changes you made? And, if you can, can you be sure I won’t end up back with Greg or someone like him again?”
She had me there. I knew I’d changed something in her, but what and how, I’m not sure. Just for an experiment, I grabbed the link between us and pulled.
“Ok, you have my attention.” It hadn’t broken. It hadn’t even strained.
“Sorry, I just wanted to try something…”
“It’s ok. I thought that was it. It didn’t hurt or anything: I just felt a tug towards you.”
Um, ok, yeah, now what do I say…
“You know, you probably should practice with this. Try a few things out, see what you can do. After all, you’ve only been able to see these auras for two days or so, right?”
“Yeah, but I can’t just go playing around with random people. Who knows what I’d do. I mean, look at the last time I tried that.” Exhibit A, seated right in front of me.
“Hey, I didn’t turn out all bad. And besides, that’s my point: You have someone to experiment on, and who’s willing and able to tell you what you are doing to her.”
“You?” See, I’m not completely slow-witted.
“Yes, me. I know about it, I’m already under your control, and I trust you. You’re not going to hurt me intentionally, after all. And by playing with me you won’t be as likely to do something you don’t intend with someone else.”
“Maybe I should just not use this at all any more. Then I don’t have to worry about it at all.”
“Nate, you helped me. You really did. And you can help others. So there were some side eﬀects. I’m not complaining, and I’m oﬀering a way to help you limit them in the future. You could do a lot of good.”
She had a point. A very good point. I may have messed up a bit with her, but you rarely get it right the ﬁrst try. Especially when there’s no one telling you what you are doing.
“Ok, sounds like a plan.”
“Good.” She checked her watch. “How about I come over to your place this evening, and you can do whatever you want, ok? Time for us to get to class.”
But the bell hadn’t even rung yet… There it was.
“Ok. See you then.”
If I’d been an A student I’d probably have had a list of things to try, what I thought they might do, and a place for Talia to take notes ready and waiting for when she came over.
I did remember to tell my parents she was coming over at least… Actually, I remembered to think about it and to decide it probably was a good idea not to tell them. I then spent the rest of the afternoon trying to make sure that they wouldn’t notice and that I had everything covered.
Supper had happened, and dad had gotten an emergency call requiring him to go back to the oﬃce when there was a phone call for me. I wasn’t expecting it, so my mom picked it up. “Nate, it’s for you. A girl.”
Parents of teenagers fall in to one of two classes: Those who worry that their kids are dating too much, and those who worry that their kids are dating too little. For me, my parents were in the later class. “Thanks mom.” I waited until she wasn’t hovering anymore before answering the phone. “Hello?”
“Hi Nate. It’s Talia. I’m here, but I had the distinct feeling I shouldn’t ring the doorbell.” Hmm. I had forgotten that problem.
“Ok. Um, I’ll let you in in a moment.”
“Ok. I’ll wait.” Was she laughing at me? Hard to tell. Especially after she hung up.
I checked around, but Cass had taken mom into the kitchen to talk about something. I went to the front door. “Ok, come in, but be quiet: my mom’s in the kitchen and I don’t want her to hear you.”
I got the feeling that had I been anyone else, there would have been a comment to that. I probably should have just told mom she was coming over.
We headed up the stairs to my room without incident. I shut the door. That was why I wanted to keep this under wraps: I didn’t want parents watching while I did spooky things to a girl.
“Ok, so what do you want to do with me?” She stood in the center of the room, while I took one of the desk chairs.
I made the mistake of looking at her before answering. Those hadn’t been the clothes she’d left school wearing. They may not have been the clothes she left home wearing. I know my mom would have had reservations about letting Cass out of the house wearing that.
Not that I minded, of course. I mean, she obviously wanted me to look at her, but that… Ok. So this was a girl who’d oﬀered to have sex with me in the library, who I’d just snuck into my house, and who currently was making the blood from my brain decide there were more important places to be. Oh, and who’d just asked ‘what I wanted to do with her’.
The outﬁt meant something.
“Um… Well, ﬁrst, I want to try a few things to see if I can disconnect us.” See, this is why I’m still a virgin.
She nodded at me to go ahead.
“You might want to sit down or something.” The point was to keep her from distracting me so much with the way she was standing. She sat down on the bed.
That didn’t help.
Think cold shower. Ok, aura-sight on, check everything over… Yep, same as at lunch. I’d already tried pulling the cord out, let’s try this…
I made a ‘blade’ with my hand, and tried to cut the cord.
“That felt the same as the tug at lunch.”
Ok. So, that’s useless.
I grabbed the cord and gave a really hard yank.
Talia came to her feet. “That feels like you want me urgently. I had to come.”
“Ok. Thanks. I just wanted to try the obvious ﬁrst. You can sit down again.”
She draped herself back on my bed.
I reached down to the cord and squeezed, trying to cut it oﬀ that way. It was hard, but I could feel it getting smaller.
“Nate? I… That’s doing something new. It feels… It feels like you are pushing me out, away from you. Like… you don’t want me any more.”
That was encouraging. My arm was starting to get tired, but I squeezed a bit harder, trying to cut this oﬀ.
Talia appeared beside me. “Please, Nate, I… I don’t think you understand. I exist for you. If you push me out, if you don’t want me, I don’t have a reason to exist. Nate, you are making me feel useless, like there is no reason to keep on living. Like I have failed at living. Please, stop it.”
She was crying into my leg, where she knelt, clutching my pants. I let go. The cord poped back immeditly to what it was before.
“Thank you Nate.” She didn’t move, she just curled up by my feet, pressing herself against my legs. I got the distinct impression she was reassuring herself that I hadn’t sent her away.
“Sorry, I didn’t realize… I didn’t mean to hurt you. I just thought then you wouldn’t be connected to me any more, and you could go on with your life.”
“Nate, you might have made me not connected, but I’d still have been dependent on you. You can cut someone oﬀ from air, but if they still need to breathe, you’ve got a problem.”
“I’ll try to keep that in mind.” I looked down at her. “I’d still like to see if I can actually cut through our connection like that, but only if you think you can handle it. I can set up a new connection the moment I’ve cut through, I think.”
“With all due respect, I’d rather you didn’t have the ‘I think’ in there before we tried that experiment. I’m… not sure how long I’d last without that connection.” She suddered. “And I’m not sure I could handle it right now anyway.”
“Ok. I do have to say, I’m amazed at how well you are taking all of this. I’m still trying to get used to seeing auras in the ﬁrst place, and you are already used to… This connection.”
She laughed at that. “Nate: I have to be used to it. It is a part of me. I ﬁgured that out fairly quickly. It doesn’t ‘feel’ new: It feels like I’ve been this way forever. I can walk, I can breathe, I belong to you, I am a girl. You don’t question the basics. And it is that basic a part of me.”
“And you noticed it immediately when I made the changes. While I made the changes, actually, from what you’ve said. I wonder what’s diﬀerent…”
She sat back a bit, so she could actually look at my face. “What’s diﬀerent than what?”
Heh. I hadn’t told her. “You weren’t the ﬁrst person I did anything too. My sister was in the hospital… She didn’t look good. That’s when I ﬁrst saw the auras, and I saw damage in hers. I ﬁxed her, and as far as I can tell she hasn’t noticed a thing.”
Talia sat up straight. I think she didn’t even notice that she was giving me a good view of cleavage. “Do you have a ‘cord’ with her as well?”
“Yep. I wonder what’s diﬀerent…?”
“Why don’t you call her up here? Then you can look at both of our auras and compare.” She grinned. “Unless you think she’d call your mom down on you.”
“Nah. She’d be cool…” Ok. Let’s see if this worked on someone besides Talia. I found the other cord (they seemed to fade into the background when both ends weren’t in sight at the same time. Still there, but just less noticable.) and gave it a moderate pull. And held it.
“I don’t feel that.” Talia could see I was doing something.
“You’re not supposed to. By the way, if this works, you might not want to be clinging to my feet when my sister walks in the door.”
Funny, I don’t see any jack-in-the-box springs.
None too soon though. Cass opened the door and walked through as Talia reached her feet. “Hi bro, I just wanted to see if you were ok.” She noticed the room’s other occupant. “Oh, hi.” Follow the eyes: to me, to Talia, to Talia’s outﬁt, to me, to the bed, to Talia, to me, to the door handle, to Talia, to me. “Looks like you are doing just ﬁne…” She started to close the door behind her.
“Wait.” This was Talia. Cass stopped.
Watch this carefully. Maybe you’ll notice something I didn’t.
Talia turned to me. “What did you do to her?”
My eyes this time: Talia, Cass, the cord between me and Talia, Talia. Talia managed to understand. “I think it knows, Nate.”
Talia turned to my sister. “You know, don’t you.”
Ok, let’s see, don’t mind the slut in my room, she’s crazy, I’m ﬁne, thanks, bye.
“You mean about Nate ﬁxing me at the hospital? Now that you mention it… How did I not notice before? Yeah, and he’s got some sort of connection to me still. That’s why I came up.”
Talia stared hard at her. “That’s it, isn’t it? That’s all you know. Oh, Nate…” She wasn’t addressing me. I got the feeling she meant the universal ‘Nate’.
“What’s going on?” This was me, just so you know. I was learning to hate being behind on what I was doing.
“Oh, Nate.” This was addressed to me, and she turned to face me as well. For some reason she seemed to think she had bad news for me. “You really went overboard on her, didn’t you.”
“What do you mean?”
“Nate, I think you may want to sit down.” I couldn’t remember standing, but I took her advice. My desk chair is fairly comfortable.
“Nate, I can tell where you are. It’s… Well, I just know, ok? And, right now, if I closed my eyes, I’d swear there were two of you in this room. Nate, you overwrote your sister.”
“You.” She made sure I knew which ‘you’ she meant. “And her.” Again with the indication. I guess she wanted to be absolutely clear. “Are the same person, as far as I can tell. You are the main computer, and she’s the terminal.”
“But she still acts the same as she always has.”
“And how have you been expecting her to act?” She fell back onto my bed. “She acts the same, because that’s the way you think she should act. The way you wanted her to act. I’ll bet you wanted her to ‘not notice’ this whole thing, her healing, the connection, all of it. So she knew it, she just… didn’t notice.”
I look at Cass. She’s looking at me. We’re both thinking the same thing, but that’s no proof. Thinking a raving luny is luny is normal behavior for normal people.
Since when am I normal people?
“You’re going to have to do better than that to convince me.”
Talia sat up again. I gave her a moment to think of her prize-winning argument. She thought of one, but she didn’t like it. Her eyes apologized to Cassandra as she said it. “Squeeze her cord. If she’s cut oﬀ from you, even partially… We’ll see what you’ve done to her.”
Cass seemed to feel as I did: I should at least humor Talia. I thought about warning my sister, but…
I reached out and squeezed.
Cass collapsed in a heap. Out cold in a moment.
Now I made a mistake. I held that. I wanted a good look at her aura, and since I hadn’t completely cut her oﬀ, I ﬁgured she’d be ﬁne for a moment.
Which she was, but she was also slumped halfway in my doorway. Which meant the other half of her was in the hall. “Cassandra!”
That would be mom, running to see her daughter who’d just been in the hospital and who was now passed out in the hallway.
I released the hold, which brought Cass back immediately. Which didn’t help: A bright and energetic Cass saying she was ﬁne just after having passed out was even more odd than her passing out.
At which point mom opened my door the rest of the way, saw Talia, and started really freaking out. Besides the point that I hadn’t rushed to Cass’s rescue.
This was devolving into a bad situation rapidly. I didn’t want Cass back in the hospital, I didn’t want to explain Talia, and I needed to decide whether I believed Talia about what I’d done to Cass, and I really couldn’t think with mom yelling at me.
So I reached out and calmed her.
I swear it was automatic. I just reached over, touched her, and enshrouded her aura with mine, holding her in place and calm. The only problem was that I was on the other side of my room.
The only one within arm’s reach of mom was Cass…
That’s what convinced me.
“Ok, I believe you.” I told Talia. First things ﬁrst: acknowledge when you were wrong. Speaking of which. “I’ve got a problem…”
Talia was looking at my mom, who’d cut oﬀ in mid-word. “Let me guess. You just took over your mom.”
“Nope.” Dang, it was good to ﬁnally know something she didn’t. “I’m just holding her. And I’m not sure how, or how long I can hold it up, but I bet she can understand everything and will remember it.”
“And you don’t want her to freak, or to turn you over to a government agency, or something like that.”
Ok, she was back to being ahead of me again. That was a short moment. “Yep.”
She shrugged. “Only one way that I know of. Time to try intentionally not changing more than you need to.” She knew that wasn’t enough to convince me, and leaned forward to deliver her arguments. “Look, for both me and your sister, you didn’t know what you were doing. Now you do. You know what you can do, accidentally, and have probably learned something about how to do this. I mean, I’m still mostly me, and you weren’t even trying to stay out. Just stay out as much as you can.”
“You aren’t going to harm her. And if people ﬁnd out… Well, I don’t want to lose you. To anything. Cassandra would fare even worse than I would if you were taken someplace. Just… Put in that she doesn’t want to lose you either.”
Put like that, it made sense. Put like that, I could implant speciﬁc thoughts too.
I’m not sure I could put it like that.
But… There was no good way to explain what had happened to Cass. Ever. I mean, I believed Talia. ‘I’ was holding my mom, but the only ‘I’ there was in my sister’s body.
I started in.
I learned a few things immediately. First oﬀ, when warned something is coming, people can form a hard skin on their aura, which makes it hard to do anything. Secondly, when there is nothing that needs replacing, it’s a lot harder to put some in.
Oh, and it’s really hard to work by remote.
The last one had a couple of diﬀerent options on how to handle. I could, of course, walk over there. Or I could ‘borrow’ Cass’s eyes, assuming I could see auras from over there. Or, even from the outside, I ﬁgured I had enough control to walk my mom over to me.
Being me, I tried all three at once. This had better than expected success: I learned that I can see aura’s through Cass’s eyes, I didn’t loose control of mom, and I learned that throwing out your hands to catch yourself is an automatic process when you fall on your face.
I decided I’d stay on the ﬂoor, and mom would join me. By which I mean she would sit right where she was.
That worked better.
As for the rest… I ﬁnally ‘cut’ a portion of her aura’s skin out, and replaced it with a patch from my aura. That solved the ﬁrst two problems.
Mom was resisting though. It took a lot of work before I could get the patch to harmonize with the rest of her. I tried to just modulate the patch, really I did…
But that just didn’t work. So I had to modulate her aura as well. Eventually I managed to get the patch to ‘stick’.
I tried pulling back there. Just leave that patch, by itself, and hope it was enough. But, even when it was harmonized with the rest of her aura, her aura could tell it wasn’t part of itself, and kept trying to push it out. It wasn’t working very well, but this had to hold…
I glanced over at Talia. She was worried, I’d spent a lot of time at this.
No help for it. I went in and started spreading the patch. Pushing it thinly throughout my mom’s whole aura, not just harmonizing it, but actually synchronizing the tune, until the whole aura settled and worked as one piece again.
Well, at least it was a diﬀerent song as the color than Talia’s. Or mine. I even double-checked the link to dad: It was still there.
I released my hold. “Mom?”
“Hi honey. I… Understand now. Sorry I panicked there for a moment.”
“How do you feel?” I needed to know.
“I’m ﬁne. You didn’t change much, I think.” She looked over at Talia. “I’ll leave you with your friend.” She got up and left. I thought of trying to stop her, but…
I really didn’t want to know, right now.
“You ok? You spent a long time on her.”
“I kept trying to not change anything. It didn’t work that well, so I had to make changes. I don’t think I changed her as much as you, but…”
“Not what you wanted to do, was it?”
Ok, confession time here. Those stories had given me some ideas, some really out there ones. And all the ‘boy wakes up in a hospital with powers’ stories I’d found (I’ve found I liked the genre…) have him starting with the most available females: his family.
I am not into incest.
But… My parents had children late in life. Dad was in his mid-thirties when they’d had Cass, and I was three years younger. This is relevant. His wife was his age, and she died when I was about two.
He raised us on his own for a while, but I don’t remember it much. He re-married when I was about six. So, I think of ‘mom’ as my mother, and don’t really think about it all that much. Except…
When dad remarried, well, ‘trophy wife’ comes to mind. Don’t get me wrong; She’s smart, and they are fully in love, but… She was 19. Almost old enough to have had me herself, but only almost.
And she looked like a trophy wife too. Still does.
So, sex with my sister is incest, no question. And mom is mom, no question. But she’s also hot, and as much as incest is not something I want to play with…
She’s not even old enough to be my mother.
So, my answer to Talia’s question: “Not really.” It got a weird look.
Cass arrived with food and drink for me. I took it from her, and started eating.
Talia was watching, amused. “Yes, I sent her for it. No, I didn’t need to say anything. Yes, it’s still really weird, and I wish I could ﬁx it. And I don’t want to lose my sister.”
She moved down to where I was sitting. “Do you still remember her? Who she was? Who she wanted to be?” Her hands felt good on my shoulders.
“Yes.” I remembered the person I’d accidentally destroyed…
“Then she’s still here. She’s still in that body, because you want her there, and you remember her there. As long as you don’t forget that, you’ll never lose her.”
There were many, many ﬂaws in that argument. To many to bother pointing out any of them right now. “Thanks.”
She was really good at the massaging my shoulders thing. And other places.
Ok. If she said so.
I think it was at this point my gonads got the idea that a sneak attack might work. But they didn’t let me in on the plan just yet.
She drew me up to my bed, and started massaging my chest. I’m not exactly certain what had happened to my shirt.
She kissed me, long and slow. My gonads announced that they had staged a coup, and were now in control. Resistance was futile.
“I know.” How did she know? I didn’t know. I didn’t even know what it was I didn’t know. “Don’t worry. Just let me handle it. I’ve done this before, I’ll make sure your ﬁrst time is special.”
Maybe she did know.
I let her do what she wanted. She was the expert, quite obviously. Soon enough her clothes had joined my shirt in oblivion.
Her breasts… I’m sure there were other things that were worth spending time studying, but they were what were in front of me. They were… Ok. I need better words. I liked, ok?
I was still in aura-sight, too, so that was interesting as well. Melodies swirling around me, between me and Talia, merging and harmonizing, then splitting again…
I reached to the nearest breast.
“Mmmh. Do that again.”
I hadn’t actually reached it yet. But my aura had…
I pulsed my aura at her.
“Mmmh.” She looked down to see what I was doing.
She looked back up with a smile. “Well, I think I may enjoy serving you…”
I decided I wanted to ﬁnish the touch. Talia liked that too. So much she decided to kiss me again.
I mostly lost track of what was going on at that point. Talia kept track. She was good at keeping track of what was going on. I bet she even knew where our clothes were.
She knew what to do with me, that I know.
“I wish I could stay.” Talia said to me, afterwards. She hadn’t dressed yet.
“Second period is early. I’ll see you then.”
She withdrew from my bed, and retrieved her clothes. “I’m looking forward to it.” She left.
Hmm. She really should have needed to open the door to do that…
I closed it. It was late, and I really should get some sleep.
Ok, where to start Tuesday… Really not all that much happened before second period, but there was a moment in the morning that added into my weirdness.
That was at breakfast. Actually, the ﬁrst weird part was that I had a breakfast, a real one, I mean. I often run out with just a piece of fruit or something, but this morning… Well, there were pancakes, fresh and ready for me. Mom makes good pancakes.
Dad did comment on it, but he had some too.
Anyway, the weird part. Mom saw me to the door, and wished me luck.
After that cover story was established, she lowered her tone. “You know, you’ll need to do something about your father sometime soon. He’s going to notice as well.”
Exactly how much did mom know, anyway? I mean, I know we talked in front of her, but… “Cass and I talked it over while you were having fun with Talia.”
There are a number of weird things about that statement.
“I think part of what made it so hard for me was that I knew in advance you were going to do something. I think you need to catch him unaware. Then we can explain everything to him.”
You realize, of course, that I’m still thinking of my mom as she was yesterday, right?
“Anyway, have fun today at school honey.” Moms often give their sons hugs. I know they do. Teenaged boys hate it, but still.
I wasn’t sure that was a ‘mom’ hug.
Anyway, that was the weirdness in the morning, but it was minor, really.
I mean, if I really wanted to pretend I was living a normal life, I could still at that point…
Second period. I’m in the library again. Mostly because we are actually allowed to talk in the library, and because it was a place both me and Talia had authorization to go to.
She tried to suggest we take a room like yesterday, but I managed to veto that. See, I can make her do things.
“So, I was thinking you should practice your ‘aura touch’ for a while.” That argument I lost.
Anyway, I’m waving my hands around her like a nut, and I catch something out of the corner of my eye.
I turn to look. Carina, another classmate of mine, had walked by. She had an… odd tether. It didn’t look healthy.
I didn’t immediately try to ﬁx it. I was proud of myself.
“What is it?” Talia turned to look. Of course all she could see was Carina sitting there.
“She has an interesting ‘cord’ attached. It’s… Not as bad as yours was, but…”
“So ﬁx her.”
Did she want me to enslave the entire female population? Don’t answer that. For all I know you might be right.
“If I ﬁx her, she could end up like you. As much as I like you, I’m still unsure I want to be collecting a harem.”
She looked at me. Ok. So, teenaged boy, idea of harem, just found out that sex is actually all it’s cracked up to be, ability to take control of anyone he wants.
Absolute power and all that jazz. But I was trying, really!
“You said the problem with your mom was that she was ﬁghting it, and that your ‘patch’ wouldn’t take. Just remove the bad connection, and put on a patch that will hold for a while. We’ll keep an eye on her and see if she heals under it.”
My problem is that the only people who can make any sense of this have no moral values.
Ok, so I get up and pretend to go for a book. I brush past Carina, and pull out the cord. It wriggles around a bit. Her ‘wound’ isn’t as big as Talia’s was, but it leaks a bit, so I put on a patch and carefully harmonize it, changing only the tune of the patch. She hasn’t even turned around as the edges seal up. I may just be getting the hang of this.
I watch for any signs of rejection, hopeful. Her aura is ‘testing’ the patch, pushing and pulling at it, but no real rejection. Good. Good.
Bad. Bad. Bad aura: You are not supposed to take the patch and swallow it whole! And changing your entire pattern to match the patch is right out. You are supposed to resist changing! Everybody else’s does!
“Master?” What in the world am I supposed to do here? I didn’t change her at all and she’s looking at me as if I’m the King of Shangri-la, with the cup of immortality in my hand!
“Come on. Let’s go back to my table.”
I leave her to get her stuﬀ, and sit down. “It didn’t work?” Talia.
I wave to Carina, who’s left her stuﬀ at where she was sitting and has followed me back. “How may this slave serve you master?”
“I didn’t do anything! I just put a patch on! No changes to her aura!”
Talia burst out laughing, and I decided to see if I can dent the table with my forehead.
“Master?” Someone was being poorly used here. And it wasn’t Talia. I’m not ruling out either of the rest of us.
“Sit down, Carina. We need to talk about this.” She sat, and sat attentive. To me. Talia probably didn’t exist to her.
Talia existed to me. I turned to the brains of this outﬁt. She shrugged, and indicated that obviously I should deal with this.
Like I’ve been doing so well dealing with things.
“Ok, let’s start at the top. Where did you get ‘Master’ from?”
“This slave has always wanted a Master, someone to serve and who would control her. This slave… Just suddenly realized you were him.”
I really expected a ‘was I wrong?’ at the end of that. It would have reassured me to reassure her that I could be that, I think. Her assurance that I was that made me really worried that I’d mess up.
“Ooo-k. And this doesn’t worry you at all.”
“Slave doesn’t worry. She serves Master, without hesitation, doubt, or will of her own.”
Yeap. That didn’t worry me at all.
Talia was giggling. It’s nice to provide amusement to those around you, don’t you think?
“Right. First rule: No calling yourself ‘slave’ or me ‘master’ while we are in public. Someone might overhear.”
“Master did not seem worried Talia would overhear.” So she was aware Talia was here. Nice to know.
“Talia… Serves me as well, just diﬀerently. But there are others in the library, who might hear you.”
Not really any better. “Nate. Call me ‘Nate’ in public.”
“Yes Nate. Carina will call you ‘Nate’ in public.”
Ok, this was getting ridiculous. “Carina, talk like a normal person in public. That means you can use pronouns. In fact, you should use pronouns.”
“I understand, You.”
I needed to stop this before Talia drew a crowd with her laughter.
“As appropriate. Use pronouns as appropriate.”
“I understand, Nate.” Ok. I think she’s got it.
Waiting for Talia get under control would slow down our rate of progress. On the other hand… Getting everyone in here over at our table to see what was so funny would stop progress. I decided to wait.
She took mercy on me.
I should have spent the wait time worrying about what to ask next. I spent time on that after.
“Ok,” I had nothing.
Talia put out a hand. Finally! I let her tag in. “Carina, you said you’ve always wanted a master. You remember thinking about this before today?”
She checked with me before answering. “Yes. All the time. It… Made me wet, down below. I’ve tried to look for guys who would take charge of me, but they’ve all been…”
Carina nodded. “Which is why I’m so happy to have found Nate. Here is a master I can trust, who isn’t a jerk. I know it. He is the master I’ve been searching for. He will take me as his slave. Maybe even as his fuck-toy. Can I be your fuck-toy, Master Nate?”
“I… I’ll think about it.”
Apparently that was the best answer ever.
“Ok, Carina, this is really important. Just before you realized Nate was your master, did you feel anything? Anything at all? What were you thinking about, and how did that change?”
“I…” She concentrated. Hard. It was cute. “Nate bumped me, I think. I had been thinking about my previous boyfriend, who just dumped me for the girl he was cheating on me with. Then I felt… Nate’s presence, I think. Just a little bit of it, at ﬁrst, but I realized this was who was destined to own me.”
I turned to Talia for the executive summary. Or the dummy’s version. Whichever you want to call it.
She was giggling again. “Nate, you didn’t do this. You just put a patch on. She wanted a master, and decided she liked you.” The giggles stopped for their big sister to come out for a moment. “You wanted to practice not taking people over, and you found the one person who wanted to be taken over so bad she’s willing to throw herself at you.”
“Nate, I hate to tell you this, but I think it is your destiny to control pretty women into serving you.” Her serious consoling eﬀort was ruined by the laughing grin.
I rolled my eyes.
The bell was going to ring fairly soon; I was going to have to do something with Carina. I mean, girls follow boys around school all the time, but not usually into his classes, not without talking to the registrar ﬁrst.
“Ok, Carina, we will deal with this after school. Until then you need to act as you normally do and go to your regular classes, ok?”
She nodded. “Yes.” There was a pause, as she thought of something else to throw at me. “May I see you at lunch?” ‘Master’ was there. She just didn’t say it.
Well, at least that was one thing I could answer easily enough. “Sure. But you must act as a normal person.”
“Thank you Nate.” I’m not sure what the proper procedure for a full, formal, kowtow is. I think if I hadn’t told Carina to act ‘normal’ I would have found out right then.
Finally! The bell! We dispersed, and I escaped to the normality of high school classes. Boredom, sweet boredom!
I’ll skip lunch. I wished I could have skipped lunch. With the threat of Talia’s ex not hanging over our heads, my ‘normal’ friends were around, and generally made nuisance of themselves. Talia enjoyed playing with them, Carina sat on the sidelines worshipping me, and I wished I could switch superpower with the Invisible Woman. Or Nightcrawler. He’s good: the ability to poof out of anywhere. I’d have poofed to… Never mind. But I’d have taken Talia with me.
I did realize I was going to have to meet up with my little harem after school. Carina couldn’t go home on her own, and I was going to need Talia for moral support. Scratch that: If I was relying on her for morals I was in major trouble.
So, anyway, Talia was along for moral support.
We met up around the side of the school. I didn’t bother with pre-arrangements, I just ‘tugged’.
I have to admit that was fun.
Talia appeared ﬁrst. I think she was expecting it, actually. Good for her.
Carina came in at a dead run, and I worried she’d leave skin on the ground from her knees as she stopped. “Did Master want this slave?” The sun was behind me, and I’m sure my shadow was as well.
“Yes, Carina. I thought we should walk you home together, so we can talk to your parents.”
She got confused. “Slave’s parents don’t live at home. Home is where Master lives.”
I’m glad I hadn’t told her to go home at the end of the day.
“Well, we need to go where your parent’s live, so we can deal with them. I don’t know where that is, so you’ll have to show us.”
Notice that I sound like I have a plan on what to do. Did I sound convincing? I think Talia even believed me.
“Well, well, what do we have here? The nerd has more than one girl around, must be a ‘tutoring’ session.” Greg’s really got to spend more time on his taunts. I mean, I think both of these girls have a better GPA than I do. “I think it’s time we came in for a lesson of our own.”
“What are you doing here, Greg.” Oh, and crew. Don’t forget crew. Crew was making sure we saw crew: they wanted to occupy all sightlines, so they spread around, so we couldn’t forget they were there.
Time for aura-sight. Yeap, they had the web back together. Stronger now, I think.
“I said I would ﬁnish this another time. It’s another time.” Ok, Greg fails at villain 101: no knuckle cracking. Come on, it’s a basic part of this scene! Villain cracks his knuckles, so that the Hero knows what’s coming next. These are the essentials, you can’t ignore the essentials.
Oh well. I was feeling cocky: I’d dealt with them last time, after all.
“Just leave us alone Greg. We’re not hurting you.” I said cocky. Not stupid: I had to touch him, and if he laid me ﬂat with his ﬁrst blow I was in trouble.
“You took something from me. I want it back.”
I really should have replied. I mean, witty banter, posturing, all that. Hero’s and Villains, High School Boys, both encounter sets should require it, after all. But…
I’d noticed something else, that was interesting. I wasn’t sure what to do about it, or even if I needed to, but anything that might teach me about this aura-sight I’d picked up was potentially useful.
Greg’s aura had put out tentacles. Lots of tentacles. They were… attacking Talia. They probed her aura, pushing and prodding their way towards her, trying to get a hold. Some were going after our link. They weren’t getting anywhere there, but they seemed to be having some eﬀect on her main aura. Holding her in place, if nothing else.
No wonder the ‘victor’ walked oﬀ with the girl. He’d have his hooks in her the moment I couldn’t stop him.
Time for an experiment: I pushed my will down the conduit from me to Talia. It was interesting: I could watch it, as the tune changed in the link, moving over to her aura. I willed her to form a strong shield, an unbreakable skin around her aura, that Greg’s tendrils couldn’t touch.
I didn’t really expect much. I should have, probably. Her aura strengthened immeasurably, forming a visibly hard skin on it’s surface. The tendrils hammering at her stopped making headway and starting bouncing oﬀ, as if they’d hit solid steel.
Then they started recoiling, visibly hurt as they hit. Greg didn’t let them stop, but I could watch as the attack became hampered by it’s eﬀorts on the attacker.
Ok, time to rejoin the real world.
“I said, what are you going to do about it?” Hmm. I’d missed something. Oh well.
Hey, he was approaching! Maybe I could touch him in a moment!
“Nothing. Your problem has nothing to do with me.”
“Wrong. You are my problem.” He reached in, and I grabbed his wrist. One dose of dissidence, coming up…
It hit him. He felt it. I know he felt it. But it just hit him, and he wasn’t going to stop from just some little brush.
Time for something a little more drastic, and quickly before he got drastic ﬁrst.
I held on, with both hands now. And I dropped an aura-shield right over him. Like the one I’d used on my mother last night.
I had no interest in taking over Greg. Not at all. But he didn’t know what had hit him, and all I needed to do was to stop him and his crew.
The aura-shield didn’t break the web, but it was deﬁnitely having some eﬀect. The web was fading, and withdrawing from Greg. He was going to have to ﬁght this battle on his own.
And I wasn’t planning on a fair ﬁght. I put everything I had into that aura-shield, not into changing his aura or anything like that, but just into dissidence and pressure. I held that aura over him and pressed in, and down, and around, so he could feel the pressure from every angle. He couldn’t move, he couldn’t talk, and he could barely face me. He fell to his knees.
The web broke oﬀ from him entirely. “Leave me and Talia alone, Greg.”
“Yeah, Greg. What’s all this about anyway? She’s just one girl. Plenty more where she came from.”
I let the aura-shield up, and stepped back. “Exactly. Just… Treat the next one better. Talia wasn’t all that happy, and if she hears you’ve been treating another girl like you treated her…”
Crew laughed. Bless them.
I put an arm around Talia, and withdrew. Carina followed, at prescribed Slave Distance.
Victory to the wimp with the superpowers. Of course.
We took my car to Carina’s. I was mildly surprised she didn’t have one of her own: most of the seniors did, after all. This lasted until we got close to the area where she lived.
I knew we had a trailer park in town. I’d even driven past it, I always thought they looked like nice little houses.
Apparently those were the good trailers.
Carina didn’t live in one of those. She lived in one that was hidden oﬀ on the end of a dead-end street that you had to know how to get to from the back of the trailer park. My car driving by was probably raising property values right now. Signiﬁcantly.
And I’d bought my car with lawn-mowing money.
I’d gotten a bit of information out of Carina on her family situation. It was just her and her mom. Mom wasn’t exactly sure who her dad was, and regardless he’d left long before she was born. Mom had been more careful since. She was on the pill, and had a box of condoms in the dresser.
Which Carina knew she used on a regular basis.
I’d heard of trailer trash, but apparently it wasn’t just a movie stereotype.
My conscience had needed to deal with a lot recently. I still wasn’t sure about how I felt about a lot of things, but… Carina needed out of here. I could see that much.
I just wasn’t sure how to do it. I ﬁgured I’d play it by ear.
We parked in front of Carina’s trailer. It needed… A new trailer. Or maybe an old trailer, in better shape. Maybe I could donate my car as a replacement.
We got out, all three of us, and walked up to the trailer. We didn’t need to knock: Carina’s mom came out.
I don’t know what she looked like. I wasn’t paying attention. All I noticed was her aura. The outside was ﬁne, mostly, but there was a huge area of turbulent clashes, all cymbals and bass notes, resonating in her center. It wasn’t growing visibly, but I didn’t watch it for long. I just put out a hand to shake…
It wasn’t expecting the attack. I moved in brutally, crushing and rending the dark music within her. I shredded it, and tossed it out, waste that should have no place in a human being.
The automatic reaction ﬁnished, I stopped. I didn’t want her to end up like her daughter, or like my mom. If I could leave her like this, she might just be ok…
She coughed blood, choking. Hell.
I fed in energy as fast as I could, ﬁlling the void inside her that I’d just emptied out, racing against time to ﬁx her before she died from my earlier eﬀorts. I just poured it in, harmonizing as I could, getting her to accept my energy as a replacement for what I’d tossed as useless.
I’d tossed a lot of her energy.
When it was done I saw the characteristic tune I was coming to recognize as ‘mine’, but she also looked much better than when I’d arrived. I hadn’t replaced her as I had with my sister, I hadn’t even changed her as much as I might have, but she was mine, completely.
I looked up at her. She looked down from the top step with wide eyes at me, and absently took a drag from the cigarette in her hand.
And doubled over, coughing.
I started to fall, and felt Talia catch me. That was the last I knew for a moment.
I came to inside the trailer, seated in the main chair. “Urrggh.”
“Take it easy, Nate. We’ve got you. Netta’s getting you some food. You must have put a lot into that one.” Talia. Good thinking: I was famished.
“Thanks.” I tried to sit a up a bit more. Not a good plan. “How long was I out?”
“Just a couple of minutes, not long.”
I’d only been out for 20 seconds when I’d healed Cass. What had I done to Carina’s mom? “What’d I do?”
Talia laughed. “You…” She shook her head. “I wouldn’t have believed it. I still am not sure I believe it. First oﬀ… Netta can’t smoke anymore. She used to smoke two packs a day. We’re airing the place out: she can’t stand even the hints of it in the air. Second… Well, you’ll have to see for yourself.”
She walked in then. I didn’t recognize her. Not really all that surprising, considering that I hadn’t been looking at her before, but… No way was that woman old enough to be Carina’s mom. Older sister, sure, but not enough older to have helped change Carina’s diapers. Mid-twenties, tops.
God help me, she posed for me. “Thanks, Master. Glad you approve.” She had a tray in her hand, which disappeared oﬀ to the side as she leaned in. “And, thank you.” She withdrew to a respectful distance.
I groaned. What was it with this family? “Thank me for what?”
“For my life. And for giving me my youth back. For giving me another chance.”
Well, she wasn’t as bad as her daughter, at least. Speaking oﬀ… “Where is Carina?”
Both Talia and… Netta? was it?… broke out laughing. Talia managed to gesture to my side. I looked down.
There she was. Kneeling, as she seemed to like to do around me. She was holding the tray with food and drink within easy reach. And it was the closest thing to clothing she had.
I took the drink. “Thank you, Carina.” I took a drink to avoid having a diﬀerent reaction.
“This slave exists to serve, Master.” Her nipples reacted when she said that. Honestly. Her nipples.
I looked to the naked girl’s mother. “And this doesn’t bother you?”
“No. I’ve suspected Carina was… a little submissive. I am too, but obviously not as strong.” She pondered. “Unless you changed her?”
“No. I didn’t change her. I barely touched her.”
Netta nodded. “I’m just glad she found such a good master. Someone who won’t dump her immediately when he’s done with her.”
“How do you know I won’t?” Seriously. These women all had such inﬂated opinions of me.
She glanced at Talia, standing next to her. “Nate? I…” She took a deep breath. “I think I know what it was you took out of me. I hadn’t told Carina about it yet, since there wasn’t anything I could do, and she deserved to graduate high school happy, so I didn’t want to say anything…”
What did this have to do with me being a good ‘Master?’
She came back to the point. “I had lung cancer. I just found out a few weeks ago. Early stages, but… I’m not insured, and I don’t have the money to do anything about something like that. I just wanted to last long enough to see my daughter ﬁnish high school.” I got the feeling Netta never had. “I was hiding it as best I could.”
“Then you saw it. And you didn’t hesitate. You went in, and destroyed it. I felt my lungs… Well, there wasn’t much hope for them anymore.” She looked me in the eye. “For a moment I was really scared. I couldn’t breathe, and I thought I was going to die right there.”
Yeah. That’s probably what would have happened. I looked away. “But you saw that too. And you ﬁxed it. You poured so much of yourself into me…”
I’m not sure I’m comfortable being the subject of a religious experience.
“You didn’t stop until they were working again. Perfectly. They were better than the rest of my body. And… You couldn’t allow that. So you ﬁxed the rest of me.”
She knelt in front of me. “Master, you came, I know, to try to explain what had happened to my daughter. And the moment you saw I was in trouble, you… healed me. You saved my life. Literally. I’m sure that if I walked into a hospital today they’d ﬁnd no trace of my cancer. Or of the twenty years I’ve been smoking. It cost you: I saw you faint, and you are still… And yet the ﬁrst thing you ask is what happened to me.” She lowered her head. “Nate, Master, Talia has been telling me everything she can for the last few minutes, but I can see one thing: You’ll put everything into protecting and caring for us, no matter what. And even if you couldn’t cure cancer that would be a miracle to me.”
I recognized the look she gave me next. I was getting a lot of it recently. “Carina is yours, and I am overjoyed that she has found someone who will care for her the way you will. I only ask… May I join her?”
“You know, you are the ﬁrst person who’s even considered to ask me?” My hand reached for her, and she leaned into it. I got the distinct impression of a cat leaning into a scratch.
I waited for a reply. She waited for me to ﬁnish my answer. Eventually I ﬁgured out that her waiting was her reply. “Of course you may join her. I…” wasn’t sure why. But, I couldn’t turn her away. Not since I’d already claimed her. She was mine, and I knew it. I knew she knew it, even. But I was glad she gave me the choice to acknowledge it.
“Thank you, Master.” She withdrew, and stood up.
I took another bite of food. I was starving. She took a look at the tray her daughter was holding, and smiled. Why do I keep getting the feeling that these women know something I don’t? “As much as I’d like to mirror my daughter at your side, I think you would be better served by me going back into the kitchen for now.” And with that she left.
I was feeling better. “Feeling better?”
“Yes.” I turned to Talia, who had asked. “I don’t think I can do that every day though.”
“I hope you don’t. We’re going to have enough problems explaining how Netta suddenly looks 20 years younger.”
I didn’t want to think about that. “Don’t worry. I’ll think of something.” Talia soothed me. “But… Are you up for one more takeover tonight?”
I looked at her. What? Who? Why? When? (I missed ‘where.’ It didn’t seem important. ‘How’ was obvious.)
“You need to do your father. Just enough to make sure he accepts everything. You might have been able to convince Carina to stay to keep her mom happy before, but…”
And what did she think of us talking as if she wasn’t here, anyway? I looked over at her, and decided I didn’t want to know.
Netta returned with more food. I ate some of it. I was feeling much better already.
Well, this wasn’t going to get any easier, and I needed to do this before I headed home. I looked at Talia. “I’ll be back in a bit.” And I put my mind into my link with Cass.
I was still seated, but the seat was in better shape. The TV was on, and I was watching it.
Deep breath. I can do this.
I think I can do this. It’s not like I’d tried before or anything. I mean, I’d ‘borrowed’ my sister’s senses a few times, and I knew I could will her actions if I wanted. And there was what I’d done to mom yesterday, but…
I needed to be Cass for a moment. And I hadn’t tried that before. I didn’t see any reason why it shouldn’t work…
I mean, aside from the obvious that I was putting my consciousness in another body, halfway across town, and taking over. Which was completely impossible, and everyone knew it.
I wonder if anyone else had ever tried.
So, besides the fact that it was impossible I didn’t see any reason why this shouldn’t work. I was going to keep telling myself that.
Anyway, stand up, ﬁgure out where dad was. He was in his oﬃce: He’d just told Cass to call if she needed anything. How did I know that?
Best not to dwell.
Into the oﬃce, and turn on the aura-sight. I didn’t feel like hearing ‘my’ voice as Cassandra, that would just be too weird for the moment. I wasn’t going to look down either. I just teleported over, never mind the new body…
Things look diﬀerent from diﬀerent heights.
I reached him without incident. He noticed me, and I put out a hand.
Contact established. We are good to go. Takeover in 10… 9… 8…
Dad actually had an opening: Those small pockets of dissonance. Nothing much, really. I didn’t feel a compulsion to ﬁx them, in fact I got the feeling that they might ﬁx themselves given time, but it was an opportunity.
I reached in and crushed the biggest, then ﬁlled it with ‘my’ energy. I repeated with the others, then harmonized my energy as close as I could to his. When the harmonies were almost there, I started messing with his energy, matching the tunes up.
I almost felt like I knew what I was doing.
This one was easy, and I ﬁnished in a few moments. Then I ﬂed, leaving Cass and Mom to explain things.
Everyone was there when I got back to my own body. “Hi. It worked.”
Maybe I really shouldn’t have done that when I was so exhausted.
When I came round, Netta had some apple juice she was pouring into my mouth. It tasted good.
Forget that. It tasted like it had sugar, which was energy, and my body needed energy. I gulped it down. Carina put food to my mouth. I ate.
We went back and forth between these two for a while. I think I’d have enjoyed the hedonism of it more if I could have actually lifted my arms.
When I felt I had enough energy I turned to Talia and asked: “Ok, what next?”
Hey, I wasn’t in any condition to think!
She checked the time. “I think my parents will start to wonder where I am soon, and we should get you home. So getting everyone home should be the next order of business. I, um…” She looked embarrassed.
“I’m not sure how much sleeping area there is at your place. I know I can’t stay there, but…”
I thought it over. It took a moment. “We don’t have a guest room at the moment. There’s just my parent’s room, mine, and Cass’.”
Talia looked over at Netta. “Netta, I know Carina will have no problem ﬁnding someplace, but would you mind staying here? For a while?”
“I can do that. Though I’d rather Master moved me before my next ‘rent’ payment.” I heard the quotes. In any other mood, I would have asked about the quotes.
“Cass has to go back to college soon. Her room will be open then.” This was me. I was awake enough to help in planning my own life.
I really should have been awake enough to realize I was telling everyone to move into my house. And that I fully expected my own live-in harem to be ﬁne with my parents.
A few more moment’s discussion between Talia and Netta, and everything was decided. Carina got dressed, and packed some school clothes. Netta would take Talia home, and Carina would drive me home in my car.
I got home and went straight to bed.
I had interesting dreams that night. Carina, kneeling at my feet, undressing me, slowly, caressing my skin, kissing my lips, then working down, kisses on my neck, my breasts.
Carina suckling my breast, rubbing my clit with her hand, moving her hand to my ass and pushing a leg through, rubbing thigh against crotch.
Carina trailing down, licking and sucking. Her mouth on my clit, her tounge in my cunt, her hands on my back, pulling me into her face. Light touch, alternating with insitant pressure.
A bud of sensation, building within me, pleasure, unfolding, reaching, blossoming, reverberating…
If that was what having sex was like for a girl, why are men the sex maniacs?
Morning came. I orgasmed and woke up. In a moment I looked down to the pleasure: Yes, that was Carina still sucking my dick. “Good morning. Um, you can stop now.”
She withdrew. “Yes Master.” No, she wasn’t clothed. “This slave hopes you don’t mind this slave’s wakeup. Your alarm would have gone oﬀ about now.”
“Um, no. Thank you. It was a nice way to wake up.” It was a great way to wake up. “Where did you sleep?” My bed wasn’t really big enough for two sleepers.
“Right here.” She gestured down.
The ﬂoor. Of course. I looked down. There was nothing (well, carpet). She’d slept, naked, on the bare ﬂoor by my bed. “We’ll have to get you a pillow, or a blanket, or something.”
“If that is what you wish, Master.”
Ok, time to get up. I was hungry again, but not as exhausted as I had been yesterday. I ignored the slave in my room, and headed for the shower.
“Would Master like this slave to help him wash?” She was in the bathroom with me, behind me.
I jumped. “Um…” Wet Carina, naked in the shower with me… “No. I… We need to get ready for school.” I shoo’d her out and took my shower.
I’m not going to comment on breakfast, aside from saying Carina was dressed. Mostly.
I did take a moment when mom and dad’s backs were turned to examine their link to each other. It was there, but weaker.
Yes, I decided to see if I could strengthen it. And for once, things didn’t backﬁre. Well, ok, the tune changed a little. But the link stayed between them, and it strengthened.
I could easily see the diﬀerent types of links now. Mom and dad had a ‘love’ link, I had ‘control’ links with everyone, there were ‘friendship’ links between some of the people at school, etc. Just practice and familiarity.
I was getting better at this.
What I really needed was to talk all this over with someone. Someone who wouldn’t think I was nuts.
Basically, that was the people I’d controlled. Cass wasn’t going to be helpful; her impressions are basically a mirror of me. Besides, she was heading back up to college today. (Couldn’t skip too many days of school…) Mom and dad… well, they kinda spooked me at this point. Carina wasn’t much for conversation. (And I didn’t feel like trying to work out where Netta was.)
Which left Talia. Of course.
I pulled her aside into a study room in the library for our normal meeting period. (Carina followed us, naturally. Or should I say followed me?)
“I was thinking, you should try practicing whatever it was you did with George…” She started up as we sat down.
And this is the person I’m turning to for help understanding when I can use this.
“Wait, Talia.” She wasn’t expecting an interruption yet, and I gave her a moment to switch into ‘listening’ mode.
It didn’t take her a full moment.
“Look, I still need to get this through my head. You all seem to accept this so well, that I’m suddenly the center of your world, and… I think it’s just hitting me that I have ﬁve people under my control now, and that’s not even counting whatever it is I’ve done with my sister! I mean… my parents are are acting like it’s the most normal thing in the world that I kept a naked girl in my room last night, and I’m still trying to get over the fact that you seduced me, and here I am having been woken up by a blowjob this morning!”
“Did I do wrong Master?” The voice was from my side, and tentative.
“No, don’t worry, you did just ﬁne Carina. I enjoyed it. I’m just trying to believe it.”
Wonder of wonders, that was enough. She smiled, ready to believe everything was right in the world again.
I turned back to Talia. “I just… It feels like some kind of dream, and here I am trying to make sure I don’t hurt Carina, or you, or…” Anyone, really.
Talia sat and pondered for a while. “Would you believe me if I said you don’t have to worry, that you’ve proven that you won’t hurt anyone?”
I laughed, hollowly. “No, I probably wouldn’t. I mean, you’d have to say that wouldn’t you? And that’s the other thing that scares me: I’ve reﬂexively taken people over. So far that’s worked out ok, but… What if it causes problems in the future?”
“You are only half-right in that I’d have to say you are a good master for us all: I do want to please you, and saying that pleases you. But I don’t have to please you, and I know one of the things you want me for is to have someone to talk to, and in that you want honesty. Besides, it’s true. You’ve seen what George did to me, what you could be but aren’t. Or you can ask Carina about her previous boyfriends. For that matter, ask Netta about boyfriends and — others — she’s had. In some ways… The very fact that we are having this conversation should be enough to convince you.”
“As for ‘reﬂexively’ taking people over… You’ve done that with me and Netta, only. Netta would have been dead in a few months otherwise, and I…” She trailed oﬀ. “I’m not sure what you would have called it, but George would have made sure my life didn’t mean much in comparison to his.” A shake of her head, and she was back with me. “Anyway, in both cases something needed to be done. You acted to help. From what you’ve described… I think if you’d known, you could have helped me without taking over, if you’d known what you were doing. I’m not Carina, who craved a Master. As for Netta…”
A tilt of her head, and she looked me in the eye. “You worked a miracle, you know that, don’t you? No one else would have been able to do more than make her comfortable or extend her life a few months. And that’s with unlimited money. You not only cured her, you reveresed aging. You made her young again. Your miracle had the price of your energy, and her having a link to it.”
I was spellbound, even as she looked away. Matter-of-fact awe… It’s not something you hear that often in someone’s voice. “And even then… You didn’t change as much as you could have. I suspect you worked a smaller version of that miracle with your sister, and if you had known what you were doing then, you could have lessened you impact then.” Back to me. “You are getting more control, and you are learning how to make sure you have only the eﬀect you want. Maybe you’ll eventually be able to work miracles without taking people over. Or, maybe not: it would be a reason to not work to many, after all. But, tell me this, have you ever felt the urge to do something about someone when your aura-sight was oﬀ?”
Huh? Um… “Not that I can think oﬀ.”
“Nate, you solve problems you can see. You don’t have to see every problem, and you are learning how to control your ‘solutions’. If you don’t want to do something about someone, close your eyes.”
“That… sounds kinda callous.”
Elegant, unashamed srug. “It is: You would be ignoring suﬀering you could do something about. But… You can’t save everyone, and some times people need to solve their own problems.” The next bit she wanted me to notice. I could tell by the way she looked straight at me. “Neither Netta or I could have sovled our problems on our own. Carina doesn’t want to solve her problems on her own. Cass… I can’t be sure, but I doubt she’d be alive today if you’d left her alone. So you don’t solve everyone’s problems, and your solution has a cost. With a little practice, I’m sure you’ll be able to oﬀer those solutions, and make the cost clear. That should satisfy you.”
“And my parents? What about them? What ‘problem’ of theirs did I solve?”
“Besides the problem of how to deal with you?”
She was waiting for an answer, brightly. Don’t ask me why. Well, I had one: “Yes.”
She rolled her eyes. “You solved your problems there. And they weren’t small ones either: You have cover, and acceptance, and a sheild from investigation. You haven’t changed your parents much, and you got a big beneﬁt.”
“And using my powers for personal gain is good?” That’s rule-one of superheros, after all.
“I don’t know. But you haven’t used them for personal gain. You’ve used them to help others, and to avoid personal loss. Loss that you wouldn’t have been in position to have without them. And you’ve only made permanent changes when you had to then.”
“When else have I used them to avoid personal loss?”
Ok, yeah, I’d done something to George. A couple of diﬀerent things, really. Now I just needed to know what they were. “Point. And was that good?”
“He’s a creep and a jerk. Trust me: I used to date him. He likes to know that he’s better than everyone else, and he believes the world owes him something because he exists. He’s big enough, strong enough, charming enough, and just barely smart enough that he’s mostly gotten what he wants.”
I started to say something, but Talia wasn’t done. “You took something he thought of as ‘his’ — even though it wasn’t — and that made you his enemy. He attacked you, and you defended yourself; no more. And you didn’t hurt him, not physically, and probably not mentally. You could not have defended yourself otherwise.” I winced at that: I’m enough of a male for that to sting. Of course, I’m enough of a realist to not take oﬀense when told I couldn’t out-ﬁght a group of guys bigger, stronger, and more coordinated than me. “That was as justiﬁed a use as anything could be.”
She had a point. “Ok, you’ve made your point. I’m still not comfortable with it though.”
She let me sit and think in silence for a moment.
“Why weren’t you his?”
Oh, so I’d said that out loud. Or Talia could read my mind. At this point, I wasn’t willing to rule that out. “You said I took something the though was his, but wasn’t. What I ‘took’ was you. Why weren’t you his? He had a link to you. And you were dating him, after all.”
“I never wanted that link. He never asked, nor gave me a choice.”
“Neither did I.”
That stopped her for a moment. Just a moment though. “No, you didn’t. But you did try to remove it, even when I didn’t ask. If I did ask, you’d do a lot more to remove it, I’m sure. Because you want me to have the choice, to not ‘impose’ on me. And… At the very least, I’d have wanted some of this while I healed from your removal of his link. You have… you’ve given me support, and a reason to get up in the morning. He was working on taking those away.”
“And that’s enough to give me the right to make you mine?”
“Probably not. But it’s enough that no one will argue if I oﬀer myself to you.”
I decided not to mention that she already had.
“But, I think I’ve got a better argument there. If Carina is willing to drop the absolute-slave act for a few seconds, that is.” She looked at the girl in question. Who wasn’t kneeling by my side, no matter how much she wanted to.
Carina ignored her.
I had no idea what Talia meant, but if she thought she could get something more out of Carina, I was willing to listen. “Carina, pay attention to Talia.” I thought about that, and amended it. “As if she’s my second-in-command.”
Really, she was. Talia blushed a bit at that, as she made sure she had Carina’s attention. “Carina: I know you are having fun obeying Nate. But I’ve seen you in class as well: You aren’t as blank as you are pretending. Talk to me as a human being.”
Nothing happened for a moment, and I decided to ﬂip to aura-sight. It was interesting. Talia was obviously reaching to Carina, somewhat, and Carina was trying to pull into herself, and away from Talia.
Well, if she wanted to be my slave, she should have to accept the consequences… Besides, I’d be able to ask what this felt like. I sent a quick pulse of dissonance to her.
She glanced at me. “Awww, do I have to?”
If I hadn’t been absolutely sure I wasn’t actively controlling Talia, our unison eye-rolling “Yes” would have worried me.
Carina pouted. “Ok, Talia. What do you want?”
“You’ve heard enough to know something about what we are talking about, right?”
“Yeah. Master has some kind of control over what he calls people’s aruas, and he can use it to create links and stuﬀ. Which make people serve him, and feel like he is the center of their world. But he’s not sure he’s a good enough person for them.”
“Good enough. And do you remember what we said about your link to him?”
“Just that he hadn’t meant to create one. That all he’d done was put in a little patch, and I absorbed it.”
“Could you tell Nate why you absorbed his patch?”
She glanced at me and licked her lips. I think she may have been nervous. “I told you two that yesterday…”
“Not all of it.” Carina didn’t speak. “Carina, why did you think Nate would be a good master?”
“I…” She swallowed, then turned to really face me. Yep, she was nervous. “I told you yesterday most of it. Really, everything I’m sure of. I just… Felt he would be. But…” We expected more. Eventually, she provided it. “Look, I have always dreamed of being a slave-girl. I thought it was ridiculous, of course, and I’ve seen some of they assholes my mother has had to put up with, and I didn’t want any of them to think I couldn’t be my own person…” She took a deep breath.
And then the bell rang. Just as it was getting interesting.
Talia sighed, and packed up her stuﬀ. “We’ll have to ﬁnish this another time.” And headed oﬀ.
Carina hadn’t unpacked anything, and helped me pack mine. “Master?”
I was turning to leave myself, but turned back. “Please, I’ll tell you everything if you ask again, but… Can I go back to pretending I’m… well, not thinking about anything but serving you? It’s almost true, and I really like it, and I know it annoys you sometimes when I’m overeager but I like that too and with all of this stuﬀ going on with my mother and everything I like just focusing and not having to think about it all…”
If I let her go on until she had to take another breath, we might be late for class. “Ok. I won’t even ask you to tell me everything in person. Just remember that you have to listen to Talia as well.”
“Of course. Um… Can I write it all up for you? All my reasons for thinking you would be a good master?”
“Sure. Get it too me when you can.”
“Thank you!” And then she leaned up to kiss me, before skipping oﬀ.
I was late for class.
Talia wanted to talk again at lunch. I didn’t. I wanted to sit and talk with my friends like normal. Of course, Talia couldn’t say that she wanted to talk to me in private, or at least not what it was about.
Not once my friends were there, that is. So she made do.
I think I managed in one half-hour to get a reputation for being absolutely impervious to any innuendo. If this had been a normal relationship, turning down that many requests to go visit the broom closet would probably have told someone I wasn’t interested.
If I thought we actually would visit the broom closet, I probably would have gone along with it. I think. Probably. By the ﬁfth time at least.
I hate being the entertainment at lunch.
Dinner wasn’t really any better. “Cass will be heading back to school tomorrow. I don’t think we need to worry about her recovery anymore.” This was dad.
“But, I, uh…” Yeah, I was being coherent there.
“Brother, there’s not even a scar. I’ll be ﬁne.”
Well, ok, yeah. Put like that.
I looked away from the table, trying to compose myself. Which didn’t help, as I happened to look where Carina was eating. Out of a bowl. On all fours.
“Besides, you need the room, for Netta. Her next ‘rent payment’ is the end of the week. I’m sure she could pay it, but having to do so would raise questions.”
“Ok, wait: I get that Netta needs a new place, and here would be best. Also, I get that she wouldn’t want to meet people who would ask why she just got 20 years younger, but couldn’t she just drop oﬀ a check?”
The other three at the table looked at each other, reminding themselves to humor the imbecile.
It was Carina who answered. “Master… This slave’s mother never wanted this toy to know it, but she didn’t pay the rent in dollars. Or at least, not most of it. The payment was a bit more… physical.”
Cass got oﬀ her chair, and held Carina. “She didn’t think you should know about it. Netta said it wasn’t as bad as it could have been: the trailer park owner is petty and cheap, but he’s not imaginative, nor did he want to hurt her. And… It meant she could save a bit of money, most months. So you could go to college.”
I’m not entirely sure ‘I’ actually heard Carina’s response. “I know.”
Cass seemed to have the situation in hand. I turned back to mom and dad. “And this is ok with you? Having her move in here?”
“Sure. She’s your slave. We get that. Besides, she should be with her daughter.”
“And it’ll be nice to have someone help around the house, now and then.”
I looked back and forth between the two of them. “I uh…” I mean really, how would you respond? My parents just told me they were ok with me taking a live-in sex slave. And giving her my older sister’s room.
Well, a second live-in sex slave, I guess…
Mom put out a hand. “We’re your slaves too, you know. Your parents, but your slaves also. We know what that means to her, to be able to serve you.”
“Though don’t think that means we’re not going to make sure you get your homework done!”
I looked back and forth between the two of them, trying to form some semblance of a reasonable reply to that. Something rational.
Yeah, I’ve got nothing. Eventually I just put my silverware down, and left for my room.
Once the door was shut, I ﬂopped into my chair, and put my head in my hands. Exactly what was I supposed to do now?
A folded piece of paper caught my eye, from the top of my desk. ‘For Master: Why I Wanted You’ it said on the outside.
I picked it up and unfolded it, scanning it over. It looked to be a carefully-copied out ﬁnal draft. Carina had put a lot of work into this.
Master: First, I want to say thank you, for letting me write this out. I’ve taken the time to think it through better, and it’s better not having to say it to you. Writing it feels more like I’m leaving you something to ﬁnd later, after I’m changed, into your service.
I want to start by saying I love my mother. She’s given up so much for me, and has always been there to support me. No matter what it cost. She never made it through high school, and has always had trouble getting a job, but I was always more important.
I was ten when I ﬁgured out how she paid for some of the things we needed. I’d never say it to her face, but she’s a stripper and a whore. It’s all that she knows how to be. All that was available to a single mother, without even a high school diploma, living on her own. I’ve never met my grandparents: They disowned her before I was born. But we are all the family we will ever need.
She never whores for money. Not directly. For rent. For someone to look the other way, as she ‘accidentally’ borrows their water line. Or, if the sign says ‘high school diploma needed’, to not notice that the ﬁeld is blank on her application. Of course, that never lasts long.
But I’ve known about sex for a long time. What it took, what it sounded like, what some people thought of it. How much it was worth.
Still, mother taught me to hold oﬀ. To value it. To make sure my ﬁrst time was ‘special’. That sex could mean something, and not just be a business transaction.
I know some of her customers asked for me. To share us. It cost mother a few deals: If they asked, that was the last time she’d deal with them.
I played that I didn’t understand, if they asked me. And I made sure to stay out of reach.
So, sex was both something I knew all about, and something I’ve avoided. It was ‘dirty’, but it was something my mother liked. (And she does. Not all of the time is it for business with her.) It was something good girls did with their husbands, and bad girls did with anyone who wanted it from them.
I was supposed to be a good girl. But no good girl ever comes from my side of the trailer park. Prince Charming doesn’t hold balls anymore, and glass slippers would just cut your feet.
My mother is not a ‘bad girl’. I knew that. But she still had sex with all kinds of men. Regularly. For me. For us. To keep us together.
Because she had to.
A good girl can act like a bad girl if she has to.
Now you can see what I have always wanted: I want Prince Charming to come take me away, to make me his bad girl. I’m not a princess; I don’t know the ﬁrst thing about it. But he knows that, and takes me anyway. Not as his princess, but as his servant.
He takes me away from all that forced my mother into becoming what she is, and makes me into something more. He keeps me, protects me, holds me in his castle far away from all of that ﬁlth that I had to learn to deal with. And all I have to do is obey him.
Maybe there are other servants. Maybe there is even a princess. I don’t have to be special. But the prince loves me just the same. If not more than the rest, at least as much as the rest.
I never expected to ﬁnd Prince Charming.
I did look for someone who would take me, make me into something more than I had been. Someone who could command me to be more than I was. But every time I thought I’d found someone… They wanted me to be a bad girl. And that’s all they really thought of me: As a bad girl. A whore, a daughter of a whore. Someone for whom sex didn’t have any value, because I didn’t have any value.
I won’t say I evaluated you consciously. You know well enough that there wasn’t enough time. But, whatever your ‘auras’ are, they represent who people are. You said mine ‘tasted’ yours, before I became what I am. I felt that. I felt that here was a real-life Prince Charming, or at least as close as I could expect.
That you thought of me, already, without even knowing who I was, as a person. Someone who was worth respecting, who’s feelings mattered. Not because of who they were, but just because they existed in the ﬁrst place.
I’m ﬁlling some of this in from what I feel now, but it was there as well.
You aren’t as rich as a prince, you don’t have a castle. But you are richer than I’ve ever expected to be, and your house is as far from what I grew up with as any fairytale castle could ever be.
And all I needed was a bit of change, a bit of something in my aura as you call it, to make myself yours. It was there. It was already pretending to be a part of me. All I had to do was make that pretend real.
My soul, if you want to call it that, knew this might well be my only chance. That I’d never ﬁnd someone as willing and able to make my dreams come true as I had found right that moment. And it took no chances.
Master, I am yours. Now and forever, because of who you are: A good soul. Someone who respects that I still have feelings, that I can still be abused, even as I give myself up to be used by you. My soul felt that in you before I even knew what was happening, and I took a leap of faith into your arms because it knew it was right.
You worry now that you aren’t a good enough person to have this power. Look at your side, where I kneel, and know that I believe in you with all that I am.
One last thing, that you didn’t ask: When I am in your presence, and focusing on you, I am nearly as devoted as I sound. It is not pretend. I will do anything, be anything. I
wantneed to debase myself for you: to be nothing but your slave, to not worry about anything but your happiness. If I am cold, if I am sore, if I am embarrassed, that is all the better, because it means that I am doing it because you want it. That I am putting myself aside for my master. (I am even practicing thinking ‘this slave’ instead of ‘me’.) You like to talk to Talia, and you try to treat everyone else as people. I know you will never think of me as anything less than a person, but I hope that you are willing to take me as what I want to be: as a slave, whose needs only matter if her master’s needs are met ﬁrst.
I carefully refolded the letter, and put it away. I was going to need time to absorb all of this.
I managed to be slightly startled to see Carina in my room. Not that I expected her to be anywhere else at this point. A homing pigeon’s got nothing on her.
She was, of course, naked and kneeling. Waiting for a command.
And completely nervous about whatever I thought about the letter I’d just read. (Don’t ask how I can tell that from someone who won’t look me in the face. I’ve got no clue.)
I got up, and headed towards my closet. Or more correctly, my laundry basket.
“Stay.” She had started to follow.
Clothes went in the basket, and I went back to where my slave waited.
“Stand.” She did.
I adjusted her chin until she was looking forward. Her eyes wanted to follow me, but I vetoed that.
My turn to know what I was doing. I think.
Aura-sight was useful. I quickly managed to ﬁnd the points where she liked being touched, the ones that weren’t the obvious ones. And I spent time just admiring her body.
It wasn’t as good as Talia’s. But then, Talia’s wasn’t as good as a porn star’s. It was still worth admiring. (I’ll admit I did try a moment to see if I could make her breasts grow using the auras. It didn’t seem to work.)
The auras could tell me when I’d gotten her right to the edge. Where anything more would be too much, and enough to tip her over.
I held her there for a while.
Finally I stood back in front of her, and drew her to the bed. I had one thing to say before I kissed her: “The diﬀerence between a princess and a servant is the dress they wear.”
I was kinda proud of that.
Then I kissed her, and entered her. Which was enough to set her oﬀ. I’d been close too: It didn’t take me long to cum as well. And I managed to hold her in orgasm the entire time.
Carina went out cold then. I kinda wanted to follow, but there wasn’t going to be room in the bed, so I got up, and gathered some pillows and blankets, then dumped them on the ﬂoor next to my bed, and got Carina into them.
Hey, it was my bed, and she was the slave.
Then I went to bed myself.
Thursday morning my family basically left me alone. Although Carina was… Well, ‘bubbly’ doesn’t quite apply, and she’s always devoted, but…
Anyway. People seemed to understand my need for normalcy a bit.
“You know, you should think about what you want to actually do with this power.” Talia, apparently, was the exception.
“I don’t want to do anything with it.”
She just looked at me funny.
I took a deep breath, so as not to cause a scene in the library, and replied as calmly as I could. “Why? Why can’t I ignore it?”
“I could answer that, but having two girls suddenly start stripping in the middle of the school library is likely to cause a scene.”
Great. She’d getting my sense of humor as well. “Ok, consider the point made. I’ve got the power, I have used it, I even like most of the results. And much of the time when I’m using it I’m not being all that intentional about it.”
“You are getting better at that.”
“Great. But I don’t want to be… Well, some sort of hero, or take over the world or anything. I just want to be me.”
“ ‘You’ currently is someone who can cure cancer and reverse aging.”
“That was once.”
“And control minds, and hold people in place mentally. Should I go on?”
“No, I think you’ve got most of it.” This was not what I wanted from this morning. “Look, I just wanted a normal day, ok? I go to class, barely pass a couple of quizzes, forget some homework, you know, the usual.”
“I think you need to ﬁgure out what your goals are here, that’s all I’m saying. You can do just…”
I’d turned to Carina, who had put her hand on my arm, and tugged slightly. I almost hadn’t noticed. “Yes, Carina?”
She blushed, and looked away. “Um… Is… Are classes causing you diﬃculty?” She really wanted to put a ‘Master’ at the end of that sentence. I could almost hear it.
I thought back over what I said. “Um… Well, not quite that much. I could probably do better.”
“Would Nate like to do better?”
Ok, I’ll bug her about pronouns latter. “I wouldn’t mind. Why?”
“Carina has a 4.0. Sh… I could help you. Do some homework for you.”
She really wanted to. I mean, really wanted to: She was poking through her shirt. “Um, I’d rather we don’t get into trouble for cheating. And I’m doing ok.” She withdrew. “But… I may have you look over some of my papers for me.” She smiled again. “Just to tell me what I need to work on.” She nodded.
She went back to sitting there silently, gazing at me adoringly. In truth, it was probably a bit late to raise any of my grades signiﬁcantly.
“Ok. Which is good. But you still need to know what you are going to do with this all.”
I was still looking at Carina. “I think…” I turned back to Talia. “For the moment, let’s just have a goal of a nice big house, and enough money for us all to be comfortable, and not have anyone bug us.” I took a breath to steady myself. “I don’t want to go public, and as I said, I don’t want to be some savior or something. I’ll keep working, and maybe I’ll be able to help without making as much of an impact when I do. If I can’t… I’ve got a decent sized harem already. No need to go looking for additions.”
Talia looked at me, and at Carina. I refused to follow that glance. “You sure?”
“For now. I can help people, you are right. But it’s got a price. Let’s just… do our best.”
She nodded slowly. “Ok.”
The bell rang a couple of minutes later. Conversation hadn’t restarted.
I did talk to Carina in the car on the way home. “So, a 4.0 GPA? You must be really smart.”
She shook her head. “This slave worked hard at it, Master. It was always a struggle. Her SAT scores are just average. She just worked harder.”
“This slave did not want to live in the trailer park all her life. College was her way out, the way to be more than her mother was. But… This slave would never be able to aﬀord college on her own. She needed a scholarship.”
“Did she get one?”
Carina bowed her head. “Not… Not a good one. Her grades weren’t perfect, and her test scores weren’t great. But… She got enough to go to a local college.”
I stopped myself before I asked if she wanted to use it. Unless I was going to the same college, I could be sure the answer was no. “So… You didn’t have any big dreams, beyond going to college.”
“This slave only wanted to go to college to not be poor.”
“So, I’m not taking you away from anything you wanted. Good.”
She turned to me, just realizing that was what this conversation was about. Apparently she felt her smile was answer enough.
Home was… Well, I wanted normalcy. I ate supper, did my homework, gave it to the naked girl by the side of my desk to look at, and tried to pretend it was a normal evening.
This included going downstairs to watch TV. Which was ﬁne, except…
Let’s just say my parents spooked me, ok?
I wanted out, to think, but I didn’t really want to leave the house. I just wanted away.
Long story short, I decided the best place to be away from everything was in Cass’s dorm room. Don’t question the lack of logic.
Cass was doing her homework when I entered her. Some complex stuﬀ on sociology or something. I ﬁnished the answer she was writing, and sat back to think. Or not think, really: Just to let my mind drift a bit so I could catch up to what was going on in my life.
Which lasted until Cass’s roommate came in.
I really should have just ignored her. Let myself space out like I’d been planning, etc. She probably would have been out again, or gone to sleep, or something.
Unfortunately, I’d left my aura-sight on.
She was… I hadn’t seen anything quite like her. It wasn’t that there were disharmonies in her tune, so much as there were skips in it. Oh, there were some disharmonies, some dark places, focused in her head and on one arm, but that wasn’t the main issue with her.
Oh, and she had a tether as well; a link like Talia had had, only not as aggressive. It just calmly assumed she would be there and let it feed on her. It was barely even sipping.
The really interesting thing was that there was another tune, of sorts. More just a jumble of notes. It was drifting around inside her, and occasionally one of the notes would ﬁll one of the skips and that spot would appear ﬁne again. Or a spot that appeared ﬁne would drop away, and become another skip.
Yes, I was staring. And yes, she noticed. “Cass?”
Oh, right. That was me. “Oh, hi Taylor.” Don’t ask how I knew her name. I just did. I wasn’t thinking about that right now.
It was the marks on her arm that ﬁnally clicked the lightbulb in my head. “What are you hooked on?”
“You… Are on something. Some drug. You’re addicted. You just got another hit of it.” I was mostly impressed with myself for not ﬁxing her already. It was hard not to.
“I’m ﬁne. I can quit anytime I want.”
I decided I wanted to take a risk. I put out a hand, and touched her. Then I sent out a wave of my aura, and just patched every skip in hers. No re-tuning, no nothing else. Just… Making her whole, for a moment. I stood up, and grabbed the tether out of her, and just held it, and patched that hole as well.
The patches only held because I was holding them, but for now that was enough. “Tell me that again.”
Her eyes were wide. “What did you do?”
“I’m showing you what you used to be.”
“I…” She started crying.
This was exhausting. I dropped the patches, and let go of the tether. It went right back to where it had been.
That felt like the worst thing I had ever done in my life.
And Taylor’s sobbing wasn’t helping. “Why did you put it back?”
“I… I couldn’t hold it for long. Not without… Well, changing you.”
“You think I want this? If you can change me back to…”
“I can’t. Not exactly.” She had stopped crying, and was looking at me pleadingly.
“What can you do?”
I decided to give her the medium-length answer. “I… When… I… was in the hospital I started seeing auras around people. I’m still working on what they mean, but I can spot some things and ﬁx them. The problem is, when I do, they end up ‘linked’ to me. Or rather… Well, let’s back up. When Cass was in the hospital her little brother started seeing auras. He can use use them, and ends up linked to people. Cass was the ﬁrst person he ﬁxed, and he ended up with a stronger link to her; strong enough that he can ‘borrow’ her senses and her body.” I let out a shy grin. “I just wanted a place to think.”
“So you are Cass’s little brother, borrowing her body.”
“And you worked out that I’m hooked on drugs.”
I nodded again.
I hesitated, then shrugged. “I’m not exactly sure… She knows about this though, and will remember this conversation.” I was not going into the metaphysics of her disappearance, or the possible overwrite.
“And so getting ‘linked’ to you allows you to see though my eyes and borrow my body?”
“Um, no, that’s only Cass… Everyone else… Well, they become my slaves, happy to do anything I tell them to. They are still themselves, mostly, but… Well, one described it as I am now her only reason to exist.”
“That sounds kinda kinky.” She was recovering well. Maybe too well.
“Um, yeah… But we weren’t talking about me.”
“Fine, mister I-can-see-everyone-in-my-sisters-gym-changing-room.” She took a deep breath, the apparent lightheartedness disappearing again. “I… started experimenting right after I came to college. At ﬁrst it was just for fun; weekends, parties. You know. Or Cass knows, I guess. How does that work?”
“I haven’t really played with it. I know some things Cass knows, I think. Still.”
She rolled her eyes, then got serious again. “Anyway… It got to be more than that. I… needed it a couple of times a week, just to feel normal. To function. Then… more often.” She looked aside. “I’ve been having trouble paying for it recently. I… Shane has been suggesting other forms of payment. I was considering it.” She looked back. “Have you got a better oﬀer?”
“I can make what I did permanent, but… As I said, every time I have, the person ends up completely devoted to me.”
I let her think a while. “I hadn’t realized how much the drugs were taking over my life. Thank you for that. That… What you did, it shocked me out of it.”
“You’re welcome. I’ll admit I wasn’t sure it would work.”
I think Cass blushes easier than I do. “I hadn’t tried just holding the patches before, without working them in. Every other time… I just did it, and linked the girl to me.”
She tilted her head, and looked at me. “Have you done any guys?”
“Um… Does my father count?”
She broke out laughing. “And how many total?”
Cass, Netta, Talia… “Six. Including Cass.”
“So you’ve got a harem of four girls already.” She paused, recalculated. “Three, as if you did your dad you probably did your mom too. Unless you count family members in your harem, in which case you’ve got ﬁve.”
Being in my own body wouldn’t have helped that blush. “Um, yeah. I’ve only actually done anything with two of them though.”
“So, what’s it like these days at your place?” She asked, eager for the dirty details.
“Hey, I’m trying to keep it normal. Ok, there’s Carina, who really just wants to be a sex slave and refuses to wear clothes when not in public, but other than that, it’s normal.” I paused a moment. “Although her mother’s moving in right now, and I don’t know how that will end up.”
“Her mother? You really like older women, don’t you. How old is she?”
“Um… Presently? I think around 20?” I kinda wanted to hide.
Taylor started to tease some more, then stopped, paused a moment, then restarted, a bit less teasing. “Ok, wait. Presently? Either you are really robbing the cradle with this Carina, or something’s going on here. How old was she a week ago?”
“Um, 38? I think?”
Taylor fell over laughing. “Ok, that’s just perfect. You can cure aging too?” She sat back up. “Sorry, I’m still a bit high, it makes me kinda giddy…”
“Maybe we should have this conversation when you are sober.”
“No, no, I think it probably makes more sense this way. Besides… Withdrawal is getting bad these days.” She collected herself. “So. You can see some sort of aura. By working with this aura, you can heal people of things, and they become your devoted slaves afterwards. With your sister, you can even use her body, if you want. You, of course, have been collecting your own little harem with this power.”
“Hey! All of those girls needed my help with something!”
“Well… Cass was infected. Badly; the appendectomy came to late. Talia… She had an abuse relationship. Her boyfriend was draining her aura. Carina, well, I swear I didn’t actually do anything to her. I placed a patch on her and she absorbed it so fast that I didn’t get a chance. Her mother… Lung cancer. It would have been fatal.”
“And your parents?”
Ok, she had me there. “I just needed them to keep quiet.”
“I can see that would be a problem with the harem you are building here. What did you say? ‘Refuses to wear clothes when not in public?’”
“Apparently it’s some lifelong dream of hers…”
She cracked up laughing again. I couldn’t help it, I joined her.
Eventually she got herself together again. “And I thought I was doing some kinky shit!” She took one last deep breath to calm herself. “So. What’s your name?”
She nodded. “Nice to meet you. You really can cure my drug addiction?”
“And you really can do everything else you are talking about?”
“And you really have a harem of girls?”
“And if you cure me, I’ll be one of them?”
I nodded, then said something, just to be diﬀerent. “You’d still be yourself, mostly.”
“But it’d be a complete cure? No cravings?”
“I cured Netta of her smoking. She can’t stand the smell of cigarettes now.”
“You have a ‘tether’ of some sort on you. From what I’ve seen, that means someone you know of has some power over you. It looks like it’s drawing energy oﬀ of you. I pulled it oﬀ earlier, but I let it reconnect. Whatever it is, it doesn’t look healthy. If I remove it, you’ll feel free of that person.”
“That’s probably Shane. My supplier. He wants to be more… But I’m not sure if ‘boyfriend’ or ‘pimp’ is more likely to apply.”
I didn’t say anything.
She just sat and contemplated me. “You know how long I’ve had a crush on your sister?”
“Wha?” Yeah, I was eloquent.
“I’ve been her roommate for two years now. Drugs weren’t the only thing I’ve experimented with in college. No hope, I knew, but.”
“It’s ok. Sounds like I’m not going to loose her to some guy at this point. Unless I count loosing her to you that is.”
Um, yeah. “She’s not going to be interested in any other guys, I think.”
One more shrug. “Well, it’s probably not the kinkiest thing I’ve done. Go for it.”
“You sure? It’s permanent…”
“You’ve been trying to convince me to let you do this since I walked in the room.”
“And I know that I’ll be able to skip the whole withdrawal thing, and actually be clean — which I’m not sure I could manage on my own — and as a bonus I’ll get to be closer to someone I’ve had a crush on for the last two years.” Her other grin came back. “You’ll probably even have me have sex with her. Or you-as-her.” Back to serious. “But I’ll be clean. No questions. No worrying about whether I’ll have money for my next hit. No deluding myself that Shane wants me for himself.” She waited for that to sink in. “So, how does it work?”
“I’ll just need to touch you…”
She put out her hand. “Take me. You’re my only hope.”
She managed to keep a straight face for about a second after that. I think I managed a moment longer. When we had laughed ourselves out, I responded: “As you wish.” And took her hand.
There wasn’t a whole lot of the drug in her system right then. But there was a bit, and I chased it out. Patching those skips was more interesting: I’d ﬁlled them in by brute force before, but now I wanted to be gentle. I tried just pushing the edges together, and sealing them that way. It didn’t work. Eventually, I just had to ﬁll them in with part of myself.
The tether wasn’t much of anything at this point, and the damage in her brain… I was careful, and didn’t take it all out at once.
The most interesting thing really was that she didn’t feel ‘green’ to me. She was blue. A light sky-blue. Even when I meshed our tunes, that didn’t change.
Eventually I withdrew my hand.
She just sat there a moment longer. “Hmm. Nice. That’s better…” She smiled at me. “And if all your girls feel the way I do about you I can see why they serve you. Devotion just doesn’t cover it.”
“I’ve gotten that impression.” I stood up, and took her hand to draw her up. “But, I think there was something else you wanted me to do for you…”
She had no hesitation responding to the kiss.
And I withdrew before they broke it.
Carina and Netta were both there waiting for me when I came back. “How’s your sister doing?” Netta asked, handing me a drink.
I took the drink and her hand, pulling her into the couch beside me, then let my hand roam on her nude form. “She’s doing ok. And her roommate is doing much better.”
She laughed a bit. “So, there’s another member of the club?” I nodded. “What was her problem?” She said, moving closer.
“Drugs. And a dealer who wanted to be either boyfriend or pimp.”
“And how did she take it?”
“I actually got her permission ﬁrst. And it had some side-beneﬁts to her…”
“She has a crush on my sister. I left them mid-kiss.”
“I see.” She looked at me sideways a moment, then grinned. “You get feedback from your sister, don’t you?”
“And I bet you are tired, after another conversion…” She managed to move closer yet. “How we make sure you don’t need to leave this couch for a while, hmm?” And she leaned in to kiss me herself.
Since that was my intention anyway, I accepted.
She took it slow, and made sure I didn’t have to do any of the work. She even got Carina involved.
I did learn that experience counts. Take someone with 20+ years of experience in a 20 year old body, and… Well, let’s just say she needed to do some tutoring of the other girls.
I fell asleep on the couch.
They moved me to my bed sometime in the night, so I woke up refreshed and alert. I’m not going to cover breakfast, except to say that Netta served it.
Talia’s question for our study-session was “So, what’s the plan for the weekend?”
“Ugh. I hadn’t even really realized it’s Friday yet.” I paused and thought. “I don’t know. Finish moving Netta over? Relax? Try to deal with things?”
“May I come help?”
“Hey, I am your ‘oﬃcial’ girlfriend here. I should complain that you haven’t planned a date.” She pretended to look stern at me.
I had had a couple of girlfriends. I should have thought of that. At least this one wasn’t angry at me. “You’re right. I’m just not quite up to the idea. And a movie would probably be relaxing.”
“You are actually taking that seriously?”
“Hey, it’s a good idea! Strengthens our cover, and gets me out of the house.” I looked over at Carina. “We can run into Carina and her mother there, and just hang out. Be normal for a bit.”
“No taking anyone over?”
“Not unless they want to.” I grinned. “Oh, by the way, I recruited one more last night. But I asked ﬁrst.”
Talia was appropriately impressed. “Really! Who? Do I know her? Did she have a problem? What happened?”
“To start in the middle… No, you don’t know her. She’s my sister’s roommate. She was hooked on drugs.” I told her the whole story. “So, I think I’m improving my control. And Taylor got to have something she’d wanted, and got to choose.”
“So, you are feeling better about this then?”
“Yeah, I am. I’m still coming to terms with it, but I can see it’s got advantages.”
She moved to display herself slightly. “Exhibit number one.”
I laughed. “Yeah, that’s one of them. Anyway, I still want as normal a weekend as I can.” I leered at her a moment. “Well, at least mostly normal..”
She batted her eyelashes and lowered her head. “Whatever you say.”