Section 1

“Next up is Chava Montoya, one of this year’s top hopefuls for the Olympics. She has won five competitions already this year; if she can place here at the Nationals, she’s got her spot reserved.”

“Yes Bob, she’s an excellent skater, and is in the top three coming out of the short program. However, the long program has been problematic for her in the past, and she’s never actually managed to win a medal in a Nationals competition.”

“True Dave. She wins regularly at the lower levels though, and is looking better than ever this year.”

“That may be, Bob. We’ll see how she’s done in a few minutes here. Her routine is starting.”

“This routine starts slow, with a double-axle coming up and… Woah.

“Well, I guess that answers the question of how she’s doing this year. Let’s see if she’ll be able to continue her routine.”

> “Doesn’t look like it, Dave. Doesn’t look like it. She’s being led off the ice now.”

Chava looked the house over: It was set back into a small woods, and was of a decent size. Nothing however to distinguish it in this neighborhood. Just a touch more private. A part of her wondered if this was the right place.

But it matched the address she’d acquired, and from what she’d been able to find he didn’t seem to be one to draw attention to himself.

She rang the doorbell.

A girl in what could charitably be called a maid’s outfit opened it. There was nothing a casual visitor could object to in that outfit, but it made the impression of showing more than it did. “May I help you?”

“I would like to see Mr. Kerr.”

“Do you have an appointment?”

“No. But I have an offer I believe he might be interested in.”

“The sign on the gate says ‘No Solicitations’.” The woman made to shut the door.

Chava stuck her foot in it. “I am not here to sell anything. I know there is nothing Mr. Kerr needs to buy. I know what he can do. As I said, I have an offer for him.”

The maid-girl took that in without changing expression, then appeared to think for a moment. “I will see if Mr. Kerr will see you.”

Chava had to withdraw her foot quickly to avoid it being crushed. Then she waited on the doorstep.

She tried to keep herself from pacing. She’d never liked to wait.

The door opened. “Mr. Kerr will see you. Follow me.”

Chava swallowed down the lump in her throat, and did exactly that. Her mind raced through possibilities of what could happen to her… Which were not helped by the fact that from this angle it was very clear that the ‘maid’ had nothing on beneath that ‘skirt’. She did have an ass to kill for, however.

They entered a room, and the maid stepped aside. The man himself was here, and he rose as Chava entered. “Hello, and welcome to my home. I’m sorry, Julie didn’t give me your name, miss…?”

“Montoya. Chava Montoya. Thank you for agreeing to meet with me, Mr. Kerr.” She took his hand and shook it, before her glance took in the room around her.

There was a book set down beside the chair he’d risen out of; so it was likely he’d been reading. The walls around them were filled with bookshelves and books. On the tray with the book was a glass of something red and probably alcoholic.

The tray was held by a nude and kneeling woman. And in the corner, dancing slowly to a tune only she could hear, was another. As Chava entered, the dancer lifted one leg into the air and did a perfect pirouette piquée in an arabesque pose.

Chava pulled her gaze away, and back to her host. A small part of her noted that he was not one who recognized her name. It didn’t happen to her often, but she was well-enough known in skating that some people had heard of her.

“My pleasure, I assure you. Please take a seat. Would you like something to drink, Ms. Montoya?”

She took the offered chair, which put her facing the man, and the dancer to her side. Chava tried to ignore the dancer. “Thank you; just water for now. And it’s Miss Montoya.”

He nodded, and took his own seat, then took a sip from his glass. A woman appeared beside Chava, holding a tray with a glass of water. The server was nude, of course, and smoothly knelt in a position to match that of the woman beside Mr. Kerr. The two could have been twins, and might well have been for all Chava knew.

Chava’s mouth was dry, and she took a sip, then returned the glass to the tray.

“You said a couple of things that interest me, Miss Montoya. You believe you know what I can do?”

Chava’s mouth was dry again, and her eyes flickered for a moment to the movement of the dancer. “Yes; you control and condition people to obey you — or occasionally others, for a large fee — unconditionally. You can make them aware of the control, or not, and can make them believe or act in any way you wish. Including — or, in many cases, especially — sexually.”

Mr. Kerr’s face had turned hard. “And how did you hear about this?”

“A lot of hard work and digging, as well as piecing together some remotely separated clues. It was not easy, nor obvious. Until I walked in to this room, I’ll admit I had doubts about whether you could do anything at all.”

He relaxed. “Fair enough. I take it then that you are not here to blackmail me?”

“No. The thought had never crossed my mind.”

“If you think you can purchase my services, I have to respectfully decline. The few times I have not worked for myself have been largely for ‘non-monetary’ reasons, although I’ll admit to charging enough to make the recipient think otherwise.”

“I would not have the money, either way. In fact, I am in moderately severe debt at the moment.”

He considered her; Chava felt naked herself under that gaze. “So, what do you want then, Miss Chava Montoya?”

“Do you know much about figure skating, Mr. Kerr?”

“Like in the Olympics? Not really. I watch it when it comes on, but that’s about it.”

“Most don’t.” Chava took a deep breath. “I am a figure skater. You will not have heard of me, or seen me; I have never been to the Olympics, although everyone admits I have the talent and the skill to do so. Unfortunately, that is not enough.”

“I am not sure I understand.”

“Figure skating… Is a highly specialized art, as well as being a sport. It takes ten to twelve years of practice to get really good at it; good enough to compete at a national — or even international — level. I have spent those years.”

“But figure skating is also a sport for the young: you need supple, strong movements, and the ability to heal quickly after injuries. A figure skater is at her best in her late teens, and age will only slow her down from there.” She looked him in the eyes. “I am twenty-one.”

“I have devoted my whole life to figure skating. I had no time for friends. I had no time for school, although I did well enough through high school. Once a skater has passed her prime, if she is lucky and she has gone to the Olympics, she can find a job as a headliner in one of various ice-shows. Or she can teach. If she is unlucky — or she hasn’t gone to the Olympics — she might still be able to teach. Or perhaps she can become part of the chorus line at the same ice-shows. Or… She has to use her other skills to get a job. The ones she neglected in favor of ice skating.”

“I’m still not sure what this has to do with me.”

“I am getting there. I can probably attend one more Olympics. After that I will be too old to compete. However, I have never won a major competition. Major enough to be considered for the Olympics, that is. I have beat the past two gold-medal winners regularly in smaller competitions. Whenever I go up against them, in fact. I am good enough, skill and talent-wise. I just… fall apart when it counts. Whenever it counts.” She took another breath and met his eyes again. “I have no family; I was raised in an orphanage. I barely passed high school; I spent only enough time on studies to be sure I could pass. Everything in my life has been about skating. Has been for as long as I can remember. If I can’t make it to the next Olympics…. I am nothing.”

“Unfortunately, skating costs money. When people thought I had a chance, I had sponsors. Lots of sponsors. Every time I lost a major competition, every time I fell apart… I lost a few. Then a few more. When I could afford them, I went to the best psychologists. They told me it was all in my head, but none were ever quite sure how to fix it. Now… I still have a coach, who will talk to me. For a little while. But I am at the end of my resources. After my last disintegration, everyone has pulled out.”

“What I need, first off, is for someone to fix my head. Make it so that I don’t fall apart when it really counts. Secondly, I need money. Enough to pay a coach and training supplies through the next major competition. If I win one, I’ll start getting sponsors back. I think.” And with that she stopped.

Mr. Kerr stopped to think for a moment. “So you learn that I can make people behave how I want them to, and you come to me. I take it you want me to fix you, and sponsor you? At least through your next ‘major’ competition.”

Chava just nodded.

“And you freely admit you have no resources. Why should I do this? What are you offering?”

Another deep breath, and a glance at the dancer. “I offer myself. But only if I win.”

He studied her. “Continue.”

“You get me into the Olympics. I won’t say I have to medal, but I have to make it there and not fall apart. Do whatever you feel you need to do to me to get me there, but I remain a virgin until after the games. After that, it’s up to you. You can make me one of your obedient slaves, and do anything you like to me. If I don’t make it — or if I fall apart during the Olympics — you undo anything you’ve done and you set me free. That’s it. That’s the deal.”

“And why should I agree? Or, more accurately, why should I keep my end of this bargain? Instead of just agreeing to it, and then ‘enslaving’ you, if that’s what you want to call it.”

This had always been the flaw Chava hadn’t been able to solve in this plan. “Because you are a man who keeps your word. And because it’s a challenge. Something more interesting than just creating another slave-girl.”

“Hmm.” He smiled, but kept his thoughts to himself. “Do you mind if I get a good look at you? See what I’m bargaining for?”

Chava’s mind raced. An odd request, but she wanted to show good-faith… “No, as long as I get to keep my clothes on. They are not baggy. Or, if you have a room I can change in, I have my skating costume in the car. It is skin-tight.”

“Get it. Julie will escort you, and show you to a bathroom where you can change.”

Chava’s suitcase was in her trunk; along with everything she owned. She’d slightly overstated what she’d had left in terms of resources. She found her costume and followed the maid back into the house.

The ‘bathroom’ was bigger than some of the bedrooms she’d been sleeping in lately.

She was practiced at quick changing into her costume, and was quickly out to follow Julie back to the library.

She hadn’t felt self-conscious about it until he started examining her like a piece of meat.

And she really should have thought to not directly face the dancer while he examined her.

Chava noticed the beads of sweat that the ballerina was ignoring, and wondered just how long she’d been dancing. Her face was serene and blissful.

“Hmm.” Mr. Kerr’s voice snapped Chava out of her contemplation. “Not bad. A bit flat for my taste. How about body modifications?”

Chava retreated back to her chair, as Mr. Kerr sat as well. She didn’t want to jeopardize the deal by saying ‘no’, but… “Being flat is actually an advantage in skating: It helps my balance. I’d rather you didn’t try to mess with that. Otherwise… Nothing that would affect my performance on the ice, and nothing that would show through a skating costume. Unless, of course, we make it through the Olympics. After that, you have free reign. Including breast implants, if you want.”

He nodded, taking that in. “How about what I’m allowed between now and the Olympics mentally? I know you said ‘whatever I need’, but what exactly would you rule out?”

The water was still there, still being held. Chava felt the need for another sip, as she steadied her thoughts. “No sex. That also means don’t torture me by making me want to break that rule. And I have to still want to compete, at least as much as I do now. Don’t make me do anything that would get me thrown out of competitions. That means I’m not getting featured on your website anytime soon. You don’t interfere with my training or practice. And… Nothing you can’t undo, if you fail to get me to the Olympics.”

“Oh, you’ll make it to the Olympics. If you have half the skill you say you have.”

“Does that mean we have a deal?”

“Yes, I believe so. I will take you under my wing, and make you into the best figure skater you can be. In return, I get you. As a measure of how well I do, I have to make sure you make it to the Olympics.”

“Agreed.”

“Then, Chava Montoya, I suggest we get to work. Is there anything you need to do before we start?”

“No. Everything I own is in the car. I have the contact number of my coach on my cell phone, but I assume we won’t be ready for him quite yet.”

“Not for a couple of weeks. Julie. Get Lilith and Verra.” The maid nodded, and left.

Chava sat, trying to pretend she was calm. There was no conversation. Presently two women entered. They were dressed, if leather straps, heels, and short-handled crops counted as dressed. “This is Chava Montoya, your newest sister. She needs training. No sex. And keep her clothes intact: She may need them.” The women nodded, and advanced on Chava.

She fought down an urge to run, put down her glass, and stood up. The women took her arms, and started leading her out. “I will see you soon, Chava. But they can start the process.”

Chava wasn’t sure she’d have had time to speak if she’d been able to think of anything to say; she just nodded her head and allowed the women to lead her away.

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