This one's really, really good. I'd say it has some of your best dialogue yet. John and Marta have wonderful chemistry, and the way they speak and interact with each other feels really natural and flows perfectly. They both feel like real people, which isn't an easy thing to do in such a short story. The hypnosis was also very nice. Especially Marta's, brief and simple as it was. These two are great, and I'm glad you plan on returning to them some day.
Here is the text of Reversal. I deleted the debt string so I'm using this : Reversal of Fortune ( a sequel, of sorts)
"Cat have your tongue, Reardon?" Miriam could barely keep the gloating out of her voice as she watched him read the file. "I mean, I've never seen you at a loss for words." She sat across from him, a pretty blonde in the casual Reardon Clinic uniform. Her bare feet rested insolently on a small end table she had pulled over to the chair, her soles facing him. Betraying no emotion, Reardon closed the file. He pushed the intercom button, and looked over at his guest as if asking for permission. When she nodded her approval, he quietly said: "Darlene...please step in here." Within seconds, the office door opened and his personal assistant entered. The sound of a commercial carpet washer filled the office until she re-closed the door. She left damp tracks as she crossed to the center of the office. Darlene had been with him for many years, but was still pretty, even in her conservative office wear. Of course, this office had its own dress code, which did not include foot wear of any kind. She smiled at Miriam, and turned to her boss. "Yes sir?" She asked. Oddly, she did not react to the semi automatic pistol sitting casually on Miriam's lap. Reardon slowly stood and walked over to her. Once he was in front of his barefoot secretary, he gently lifted her chin until her gaze was locked on his. When he spoke, it was barely above a whisper. "Darlene....quiet, please." The effect of his words were immediate, as Darlene's eyelids fluttered, then seem to focus again. Her arms fell loosely to her sides. Darlene had been hypnotized and conditioned so often over the years, and it took very little effort to send her into a deep state of obedience. Her response was as quiet as his words. "Yes sir." Though they were the same words Darlene had just spoken, they sound different now. Sleepy and submissive. Miriam laughed. "Wow.....you usually have to pay thirty bucks to see a show like this in Vegas. Do you make her act like a chicken when the two of you are alone?" Reardon ignored the jibe and continued to focus on his secretary. "Darlene....take this file and shred it, then return here for your next task." Darlene nodded her head and took the file as she again said "Yes sir." Miriam and Reardon watched the hypnotized assistant pad out of the office with the file. After the door was again closed, Miriam spoke: "You realize I have many copies of that file, both hard and electronic." For the first time in a while, Reardon looked directly at his guest. "I would be very disappointed in you if you didn't, my dear." For all of her swagger, Miriam found herself annoyed with his continued calm. "You realize I can break you with that information, John...totally break you. I have everything...your client lists...the chemical shipping invoices...the names of all the ladies you've run through your little clinic. The FBI and Interpol would find it fascinating reading. Lucky for you I make so little as a private investigator. I am more than willing to do business with you, and my bosses will never see that file. "Of course I will "do business' with you, Miriam....but first....tell me, how did you resist my techniques?" "Oh it was easy. Unlike Darlene and the rest of your little office harem, I'm a trained operative. The CIA taught me a lot about hypnotic resistance. It's one of things that makes me valuable to the private sector. I had dug into your past...and found out hypnosis was a part of your M.O. Someday you will have to tell me how you got out of that brush up with the Townsend Agency." Reardon winced. He hated being reminded of what had been his greatest defeat, until Miriam. His reaction emboldened Miriam who continued: "From the chemicals you were buying, it was obvious you were using psychotropic drugs to supplement your hypnosis That's why I have never eaten or drank anything in this building. I'm a pretty good actress, and Frank was easy to fool. Like this: 'Yes sir....I am deeply hypnotized. I understand, sir.....I live to serve the needs of Reardon & Associates.'" She delivered this in a perfect fake hypnotized voice, then continued: "People, even evil mind controllers, tend to believe what they want to believe. That's the first thing they teach us in training. Frank wanted to believe I was under his spell. You could tell he was used to all of the little birdies falling right under, and I guess he got sloppy. By the way...I don't know if you're aware. ...but he's awful grabby grabby once a girl is out of the sensory tank. I barely was able to resist punching his teeth out." Though Reardon's face was still calm, he was in a seething rage. It had been a huge mistake to delegate so much to Frank. To be fair though, Miriam represented a systematic failure that went far beyond just Frank. He took three breathes, and continued. "Then congratulations appear to be in order, Miriam...or whatever your real name is. Tell me, did you read the recent chemical invoices?" "As a matter of fact, I did, Johnny. Interesting amount of purchases from that Bulgarian source." "Precisely what I was leading to, my dear. The Praxtex. A wonderful, creation by KGB scientists while they still had funding." Something in Reardon's tone was setting off alarm bells in Miriam's head. She lifted the pistol to his head and said "Go on." "You see, Praxtex in of itself adds nothing to hypnosis. Instead, it binds with psychotropics at a molecular level and provides an alternative delivery system." "I'm glad you're not resting on your laurels, Johnny...since we're becoming partners." "Indeed" "You don't seem too upset. "Well, I always try to find the positive in any situation, Miriam. Your skill set would be a wonderful addition around here.......especially when it comes to security." "Thanks, Johnny. I have lots of ideas on that score. We sure wouldn't want anyone else to make you this big a fool again." She couldn't see it, but Reardon's hands tightened their grip on the arm rests of his chair until the knuckles were white. She did notice, however, that he paused before standing and walking over to the office wet bar. He poured himself a cognac. "I don't suppose you...." "No thanks, Johnny. I'll just do my drinking elsewhere for now." In fact, her girl friend and partner Constance was waiting for her with a bottle of expensive champagne back at the hotel. Reardon smiled thinly, and walked with his drink back to his desk. Once he was seated, he pointedly looked at his watch. Annoyed, the woman said: "Look.....I realize you're busy with your little brainwashing operation...so let's cut to the chase. I figure you're bringing in thirty million a year. Eight goes to your overhead......mostly for the building, supplies and what you pay Frank and the other men. That leaves a personal profit of about twenty-two million. I'm not greedy...let's agree that five million will be deposited today in the accounts I have emailed your little barefoot robot. Every year on this date, you will continue to transmit the same payment. Reardon again looked at his watch. Miriam raised the pistol to his face, audibly chambering a round with her free hand. "Am I boring you, Reardon?" All false joviality had drained from her voice. "Talk of money does bore me, Miriam. Of course, we will come to terms. I'll have Darlene and Frank work out all of the details." Mollified, the woman lowered the gun again, and Reardon continued: "I'd rather go over operations with you, get your advice. An operative like you could give great insight. By the way, surely you have wondered about our rules about bare feet for the female staff." "At first I just thought it was one of your kinks. Then I realized it was a way to reinforce your dominance over the ladies." "Very good...yes, there is that. But I digress. We were discussing Praxtex." "Yes, the drug delivery agent. What is it, an aerosol? " Miriam's mind raced. Why all of this talk about a drug delivery system and feet. Something clicked in her mind, and she raised the pistol again Reardon seemed amused. "Oh no. It's a topical agent, the subject absorbs the drug through her skin." Just then Darlene re-entered the office. Her feet were damp from the rug shampoo. As the door open, the rug cleaner was still audible. Miriam gasped and looked at the sole of her own left foot. A fine, crystalline powder seemed to coat the bottom of her feet. She slowly looked back at Reardon, fear in her eyes. He continued in his calm, conversational manner. "The rest of the floors are being treated with a combination of Praxtex and a drug that helps maintain control. I had my carpet specially treated with an induction cocktail for your pretty toes." "How...how..did you know?" "I really have to give Darlene the credit. She was first to point out the discrepancies in the fake bio you submitted to us. After that, we kept you under close watch. Darlene? Please, turn on the television." Darlene immediately complied and said her customary "yes sir". Miriam looked at the monitor and saw the sensory conditioning room with its flashing lights and large transparent tank. It was the same room Frank had tried to brainwash her. Floating in the tank was a young woman in a black bikini, with wires running from leads on her head, chest, hands, and feet. The view changed to a face shot, and even in the strobe lights, Miriam knew who she was looking at. She stood and placed her finger on the gun trigger. "Get Constance out of that thing now...or I will kill you where you stand." Reardon smiled with no warmth. "As much as it pains me to disappoint such a beautiful woman, I cannot do as you ask. You are watching a video recording that is over three days old. She is home, where you left her waiting to start the celebration. I must say, your lover has been quite helpful, convincing you to trust her with your evidence. In fact she is waiting by the phone on the balcony. Such a view from the 17th floor. " The smile faded from his voice and he barked: "Now, enough foolishness. Put the gun down and sit so we can talk like two adults. Otherwise, I promise you, your beautiful partner will happily leap to her death. " Miriam instantly dropped back into the seat, defeated. "Please don't hurt Constance...let us go and I'll never bother you again...I swear." "Hurt Constance? I don't want to hurt her, or any woman under my influence. Certainly... sacrifices must be made for certain operations for certain clients, but I like to think that most of my ladies prosper under my guidance. For example, would you believe Darlene here is 45 years old? Most would say she's in her late twenties." Reardon caressed his assistant's cheek. "She lives a life of health and happiness, entirely free from stress and worry, don't you my dear?" "Oh yes, Mr. Reardon. I am very happy." Reardon smiled again and turned his attention back to Miriam. As he did, he took the remote from Darlene and pushed a button. The office's lights dimmed, and were replaced by flashes of color, much like that emitted by a prism. "You too can be rewarded, Miriam....you too can find peace. Just focus on my voice and on the beautiful colors" Despite herself, Miriam's gaze focused on the colors swirling before her eyes. The drug that had coated her feet was being completely absorbed into her blood system. The gun slipped from hand onto the office's carpeted floor. Reardon pointed at it, and Darlene quickly retrieved it, expertly ejecting the chambered round and applying the safety. "The Key, Miriam...to happiness is being able to relax.....completely and fully relax." As Reardon spoke, he placed special emphasis on the word "relax". "Let each breath you take relax you, washing out all of the stress and tension you were feeling." Miriam's breathing was indeed slowing, and her eyelids became only half open. Reardon walked over and took a knee. He whispered: "Sleep." The young investigator's eyes closed immediately, and her head fell forward to her chest. "Darlene, please take Ms. Liviingston to the Advanced Sensory Conditioning room, since she was not impressed with the older model" "Yes sir. Should I alert Mr. Talbot that he is needed?" "No....Frank has other tasks to earn my forgiveness. Anyway, I think I should take a more personal approach with Miriam this time. Cancel my appointments for the rest of the afternoon. "Yes, Mr. Reardon." <--------------------------------------------------------------> Miriam Livingston made for a stunning sight in her black bikini. She was especially fetching as she floated in the isolation tank's semi liquid gel. Her head and neck was held in place by a collar like appendage, with her chin resting in the viscous fluid. A virtual reality visor covered her eyes and ears. and sensor bands wrapped around her wrists and ankles, sending wireless telemetry to a computer. The old isolation tank was still useful for most subjects, and he still had nostalgic fondness for the candles. This new tank, however, was immeasurably faster and more effective. "So Miriam...I understand you have something to say for me." The woman's head slightly lifted at hearing his voice through the visor's speakers. "Oh yeses....yesss....Mr. Reardon...I want you to know.....that I am ready, sir." "Ready for what, my dear?" "Ready for anything you ask of me, sir." Reardon took special satisfaction in breaking this one. He admitted that her near success and been quite a blow to his ego. "Indeed, you are, Miriam and just in time. A client has just hired us for a task for which you and your friend are perfect. But before we bring you out of there, let me make one last little suggestion." <-----------------------------------------------------------------> Even though it was quite late in the evening, the air was still warm as Reardon, Constance, and Miriam walked arm in arm along the Cannes quay. Ahead, a huge yacht lay moored and lit like a Christmas tree. A line of beautiful people waited at the security checkpoint at the head of the gangway. Reardon noticed the women in line, all looking like supermodels, were removing their heels to walk on the boat's teak deck. Still in the darkness, he looked over at his "dates". Both were gorgeous in short, black Chanel cocktail dresses with matching handbags. Neither woman had shoes to remove. Reardon rarely went into the field. It was far too risky and he had enough hypnotized women, and well paid men to do it for him. But Miriam was special, so he had shocked Frank by insisting on personally accompanying the girls. Frank had teased him that he had a soft spot for Miriam. Reardon was honest enough to know his associate was close to being right. He certainly enjoyed the past two days with the girls in the luxury resort where they had awaited the sheik's arrival. But, business was business. He spoke: "Now, my dears, just as we discussed. Join the party. At exactly 3 am, Constance will disable the ship's security cameras. Miriam will then place the device in the engine room without being seen. If discovered, you are to leave no witnesses, including each other and yourselves, if necessary. If you make it, go to the safe house in Marseilles. Do you understand? The girls turned and stared into his eyes. "Yes, Master." they murmured in unison. Reardon smiled. He had always thought the salutation to be obvious and cheap, something out of an old vampire movie. But it was different for these two. Somehow, the words sounded just perfect coming from their lips. So sad he never got Ms. Rogers of the Townsend Agency to say them. Perhaps that should be his next project. In the meantime, he would enjoy his triumph over these treacherous ladies. He sincerely hoped they would make it to the safe house.
I think I have them all. This DA interface is terrible. Still wondering how i deleted that string. Here's another one (that wasn't too long or graphics dependent) The Clarity Machine: The Story
Clarissa looked at her phone and checked the time. She was relieved to see that she was well ahead of schedule. Wine purchased: check. Fresh asparagus: check. Dessert from the French bakery: check. Crown roast cooking back home: check. New lingerie for later: check. All was set for a perfect evening to celebrate John's new government contract.
Clarissa's eyes closed behind her designer sunglasses for a moment as she thought about the love of her life. They had met when she was a freshman and he was a brilliant graduate student teaching her class. It had been love at first sight from the first moment she saw him. She had spent months wooing him until finally he asked her out. The rest was history.
For a brief second she pictured John in all of his glory, and as always she felt a tingle that went from her head, through her body, down her long legs to the tip of her bare toes. She almost dropped her small purse, the wine bottle sack , the baker box, and the small grocery bag. Embarrassed, she gathered herself and continued over to the expensive sedan and placed the packages in the trunk. She was about to get into the car when she saw the coffee shop, one of the ubiquitous chain that had spread through the world like mushrooms. She always been addicted to their carmel marcciatto, and it seemed it had been ages since she had one. After a moments hesitation, she gave in to the urge. Why not, she had the time. She re-locked the sedan and headed toward the shop.
At first she had been a little self conscious about her bare feet, especially when going into shops like this. Over the last two years, she learned that nobody cared about dress codes in the resort town, especially when the unshod was a beautiful blonde that was otherwise always impeccably dressed in designer fashions. (today it was a very short white sundress from some Paris spring collection). John always said that was why he had chosen this as their home, which was odd since he always wore shoes.
Clarissa made the purchase and was enjoying the sweet carmel concoction as she left the shop, and was therefore distracted when she bumped into person entering. She was young brunette woman in a navy blue business suit carrying a small brief case. Dark pantyhose covered the woman's legs which ended in feet encased in medium heels (how utterly uncomfortable thought Clarissa). She apologized and continued on her way. She was a few feet down the sidewalk when the stranger called out to her
"Clarissa......Clarissa Landon.....Western State, Sigma Rho House?"
Clarissa turned and looked at the shorter woman framed in the coffee shop door. After a brief second, it came to her.
Both women exploded in laughter and embraced on the sidewalk. Clarissa and Lisa sat at one of the coffee shop's outdoor tables and caught up with each other. The brunette had graduated and gone to law school. She was in town for a few days assisting one of the partners in a series of depositions. For her part, Clarissa talked about her life with John here in the resort town.
Lisa looked at her for a moment, and said:
"Well I can see you've gone totally native here." Both looked down at Clarissa's bare feet and both giggled. Clarissa responded "You should try it."
Lisa changed the subject. "John...wow.... I hope you don't mind me saying....that was a bit of a shocker."
Clarissa looked perplexed.
"I mean I'm sure he's great and everything.......but he wasn't exactly the type you went after...
"I don't understand."
"It just seemed like you and Peter were soul mates...then you dump him, withdraw from school in your last year, and left town with John." Lisa continued.
"Peter?" Clarissa closed her eyes and had a memory flash. A tall, athletic man, blonde like her. Cheering for him at football games....meeting his family.
A tear slowly fell from her left eye.
Lisa was mortified and said: "Oh honey....you remember me, all mouth and no brains..... I'm sorry.....I'm sure you're very happy now with John."
Clarissa seemed to gather herself and opened her eyes. She smiled and said "I'm very happy....John is my perfect love.....It's ok Lisa...I just hadn't thought of that life in a long time."
The two women talked a while longer, with the lawyer telling Clarissa about what their various sorority sisters were up to. Clarissa seemed to enjoy the talk, but inside each name and story seemed to stir something unsettling in the back of her mind. Still she asked for more details, and listened avidly as Lisa spoke. Then her phone alarm sounded. She realized the roast needed to come out of the oven. They both stood and hugged. Lisa wrote her cell number on a card and handed it to Clarissa. She was free the next couple of evenings after six pm and would love to talk to her some more.
Clarissa took the card and said "That's sounds great...I'll call you." though she did not intend to do so.
The drive up into the hills passed in a blur to Clarissa. More and more images competed for center stage in her mind. The sorority house. A professor arguing with her about dropping out. Mostly she remembered Peter, and the look on his face when she gave him back his ring. She parked in the driveway, got the groceries and entered the luxurious beach house, taking time to dip her feet in the bucket of disinfectant by the door. As she stepped in, she found herself setting the packages down on the tiled floor and on a chair. She looked at her sundress. She hated sundresses....always had. She stripped it off and threw it across the room. She went into the bedroom and put on some comfortable lounge wear. The lingerie bag lay forgotten where she had dropped it. She sat on the bed and began thinking. If Peter was her fiancee, then her memory that she had fallen for John as a freshman was wrong. If that memory was wrong, then what else was a lie?
In the kitchen, the crown roast kept cooking.
Two hours later, John Pettigrew pulled up in his Italian sports car and parked next to the
sedan. He was content. The Agency had been very satisfied with his work as an semi-independent contractor. Each of the women that had been brought to him for hypnotic conditioning had performed brilliantly in the field. He had fulfilled the promise he had shown when the Agency had learned of his post graduate research and recruited him at Western State University. He would soon be busy programming a new set of beautiful, brainwashed operatives, but he knew he would be paid well for his efforts.
John's satisfied state of mind ended as he approached the front door and heard the whine of the fire alarm. He entered and realized that the kitchen was filled with smoke. He turned off the oven and threw the incinerated roast out the back. He turned on the ventilation fan and turned off the alarm. John took out his cell and called the alarm company. Fortunately, the alarm had just went off, and the fire department was not yet dispatched.
Turning on lights, he was dismayed to see a produce bag on the floor, as was a baker's box. A package from his favorite lingerie shop in town was on a chair, and Clarissa's white sundress lay crumpled in a far corner. He called out:
"Clarissa, honey...are you ok?"
There was no response, but he heard movement in the master bedroom. He found Clarissa sitting cross-legged in front of her walk in closet. An empty bottle of wine was in front of her. She spoke to him in an empty voice without turning to look at him.
"Not a single pair of shoes.......not even a pair of flip flops. No stocking……no socks. That can't be right...can it? I mean I am living in 21st century America, right? You have to have shoes...right? I mean I'm a woman.....women buy shoes…it's the stereotype that's true......but I don't own a single pair...……it just makes no sense that I never wear shoes."
John put his hand gently on her shoulder. He was shocked when she angrily brushed it away, stood, and glared at him.
"All of this wrong……I can't quite figure it out…..but you're all wrong." Her eyes widened as as another glimpse to her past surfaced.
"I remember....I think I remember. You called me to your lab to help me pass a class. I got there...and you hit on me.
Said you loved me. I tried to let you down easy....told you I was engaged......then you made me look at your machine........." Each word she spoke seem to fill her with both more confidence and defiance. "Your machine…..it did something to me." Tears now poured down her cheeks.
"You've been controlling me somehow....made me your slave!" Clarissa spoke these last words in a furious rush as she backed away from him into the closet.
Before she could do anything else, he said: "Zanzibar Trapezoid". Clarissa looked confused for a moment, and collapsed to the floor.
John checked her eyes and went to the living room. An odd looking device stood in the corner. He was grateful, grateful that his fail safe trigger still worked and grateful he had kept his prototype as a trophy for the house. He hooked his laptop to the device and dragged it to the center of the room and spent some time programming the machine. He then dragged a dining room chair and faced it in front of the device. When all was ready, he went to the master bedroom closet, picked Clarissa up, and carried her to the chair. Once he was sure all was ready, he turned on the device. The induction mandela began to slowly turn. What could not be seen were the electro-magnetic pulses being emitted to the sleeping girl's head. He kneeled and whispered in her ear:
"Clarissa......its time for a clarity session."
The girl stirred but remained in the seat. She seemed to tighten her eyelids closed and whispered: No...I want my life back ....I want Peter...."
Dismayed, John tried again: "But it is time for your CLARITY session."
The girl did not answer him. But slowly, Clarissa's head raised up and her eyes opened
Immediately, her attention focused on the machine's spinning disc. Her eyes fully opened as she sat up in her chair. Her hands fell loosely to her sides and her mouth opened slightly as as a small line of drool fell from the corner of her lips. Her eyes became totally blank. After another moment, the device's oddest effect began as she began slowly curling and uncurling her toes. All the women had reacted this way, and his research showed that the movements were in time with the electromagnetic pulses. He still could not explain why.
In any case, she was responding just as she should. Studies would have to be made, but John was sure this evening's problem was not due to a failing in the device. He had been the problem. His control over her had seemed so complete he had become overconfident. What had been weekly reinforcement sessions had become bi-weekly, then monthly. Worse, an odd sense of nostalgia had led him to let Clarissa to retain much of her old memories and her identity, including her real name. Once this crisis was over, he would bring her to his lab in town and fix all of these problems with the more advanced machine there. But first he had to do a few things.
When John awoke on the couch, sunlight was flooding the living room. He looked over at the device and saw that it had run through its program and that the mandela had stopped its slow spin. Clarissa sat placidly in the chair, her attention focused on him. A look of adoration filled her eyes. She looked completely fresh and rested, even though by his calculations she had been sitting like this for at least four hours. He spoke first:
"How do you feel, Clarissa?"
"I feel wonderful, Master. I have reached full clarity."
He held up the small attorney's card. "Who is Lisa Torres?"
"She was a friend, sorority sister at Western State, Master."
John remembered her. A real busybody and the house gossip. Attractive though, dark and busty. "And she spoke about your past, including Peter, didn't she?"
"You understand that none of that matters now…that all that matters is that you love me and that you give me full obedience."
"Yes, Master. Everything is clear to me now. The past no longer matters, only my present and my love and obedience to you."
"Then show me."
Clarissa stood, showing no signs of stiffness or fatigue, She walked over to the lingerie bag and put on the short teddy from it. Once that was done, she padded over to John and sat on his lap, straddling him. As she deeply kissed him, her hands undid his pants. Her lower body began to slowly move.
A little while later, Clarissa happily worked at cleaning the kitchen counter around the oven. The oven itself was in self cleaning mode. She was adorable in capris pants, t-shirt tied tied to show her flat belly, and red kerchief wrapped around her blond hair. She loved being "barefoot in the kitchen"…….taking care of her man. Once she was satisfied that it was perfect, she went to the kitchen island. There she found her cell phone and Lisa's card. She got the lawyer's voice mail.
"Lisa…its Clarissa. I told John how much I loved seeing you yesterday and we want you to come up for dinner tonight….say around 7:30. I will text you the address. Please come…it would mean so much to both of us…and dress casual….shoes are definitely optional…..Bye."
20 minutes later, Lisa texted back confirming. Clarissa was so happy that she would get to see her friend again, and that Lisa would have a chance to achieve the clarity that she had. But mostly, she was happy that she had done as John had asked.
She smiled and got the mop and bucket. Everything had to be perfect.
Lisa drove the rental car up the steep windy road. She hoped she was dressed "casual" enough for her strange hosts. She wore a red polo shirt and khaki shorts, complimented by expensive sandals. That was as close to barefoot she would get for them. That was so weird. Like herself, Clarissa had always been a dedicated style-ista. She even remembered laughing with her at celebrities who were barefoot in public. Clarissa called it "heroin addict chic."
Worse was her seeming acceptance of life as a trophy wife. Clarissa had been far more ambitious than Lisa, now she seemed content in her sun drenched barefoot existence as a concubine. Lisa had some hope of reaching her. When they had talked at the coffee shop, she thought she detected something of her old friend fighting to surface.
Despite herself, Lisa was impressed by the neighborhood. Each beach house had its own wooden stairs to the shore, and each had obviously spectacular views of the Pacific. Still, she was filled with concern. She had been glad when Clarissa had invited her, she wanted a few answers about what had happened to her friend. She did not particularly look forward to seeing John. She had always found him cold and arrogant. Then again there was how Clarissa had always described him.
Now, she couldn't stop gushing about him. Clarissa never talked about her boyfriends like that, not even about Peter. Well tonight, Lisa was going to get to the bottom of the mystery.
Late that night, John sat on the edge of the huge bed drinking brandy and enjoying the view. All in all he had done a pretty good job repairing what could have been a disaster. The Agency didn't need to know about his lax security, and he had gained a new slave. A slave embedded in one of the more important law firms in this part of the country. And a rather attractive one at that.
He stood up, and took off his robe. Clarissa and Lisa stopped kissing and looked up at him. They smiled and separated, making room for John in between their bodies. Both women had total clarity as to their purpose in life, and this was the best way to show it.
I love the interplay between the two main characters. Even the bad guys have their own personal troubles and foibles, don't they? Their powers are explained briefly but are only hinted at- which makes perfect sense, since they know exactly how they work, even if we don't. A fantastic example of subtle, understated, and very hot mind control. One of your best.
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. It was fun, after all the length and complexity of my recent stuff at the EMCSA, to write something lighter.
As I mentioned below, I do believe I will someday return to this couple.
A happy Valentine's Day I suppose, although a bit of a testy one, so it seemed. Overall, quite nice. Not too forward, not too blatant, it had its moments, and didn't overstay its welcome. Good to see you writing again, Mordred.
Beyond just the barefoot & hypnotized women trope that I always seek out and that you always skillfully deliver, what I appreciate about your stories is the way you tailor your prose to different genres. In this case, you imbue the tale with a sense of style and grace, as befitting the main characters' occupation as high class thieves/con artists. It makes for a truly entertaining read, and one that I think transcends the need to have our shared fetish to enjoy. Of course, having said fetish in spades as I do, I enjoyed the exploits of Mr. Gringle and Mrs. Allogash on all levels.