Christopher, Craig & Co.
Part 72: Craig-napping.
When Scott pulled the car onto Greenhill Road Craig began fidgeting. He peered around, looking anxious. “Master is here?”
“Yes, Craig. Be patient and you’ll see your Master.”
Scott parked in the driveway and we got out of the car. Craig remained in the backseat.
“I’m not supposed to be here,” he said, growing more agitated. “Where’s Master?”
“He’ll meet us inside.”
Reluctantly Craig followed us into the house.
Wade stood in the kitchen doorway. He looked surprised when he recognized Craig.
I held a finger to my lips and he didn’t say anything.
“Craig, your Master is downstairs.” I led him past Wade into the kitchen and down the stairs to the basement.
Craig looked around and turned on me expectantly. “Where’s Master?”
I grabbed him and shoved him hard into the cage, scrambling to lock the door. He struggled, but I had caught him enough by surprise that he was already inside before he could fight much.
He grabbed at the gate and shook it. “Let me out! Where’s my Master?”
“Wait here. He’ll be here soon.”
I turned and found Scott and Wade standing on the stairs. Scott looked horrified, but nowhere near as much as Wade.
I cringed, but charged ahead, ushering them back up to the kitchen.
Craig’s calls of “Let me out!” continued.
Scott paced the width of the kitchen. “Chris, this is kidnapping. We CAN’T do this.”
“Just hold it,” I said. I focused on Wade. He looked pale. “What are you remembering?” I asked gently.
His eyes were watery. “That cage. I—” He bit off his words.
I drew him toward me and held him, whispering reassurances in his ear. I caught Scott’s eye and he raised his eyebrows in question.
I mouthed the word “later.” Keeping my arm around Wade’s shoulders I walked him into the living room. Craig’s cries were much harder to hear from there. We sat on the couch. Scott hesitated in the doorway.
I stroked the back of Wade’s head, smoothing his hair. “I’m sorry, Wade. I didn’t intend for you to see that.”
He swiped at his eyes. “But why…? Why is it here? I never—not here,” he said, eyes round and fearful.
I kept my voice as soothing as possible. “When you came here I had to deal with Donald. Craig and I locked him in the cage he’d kept you in. It seemed somehow poetic.”
Scott made a surprised sound.
“But why is Craig in it? Why are you locking him up?”
I was amazed by Wade’s concern for Craig. He had had no use for Craig after our breakup. I decided to be honest. “Richard got to him. Richard’s his Master now. That’s why Craig looks and acts like he does now.”
“Oh, my God. I just thought you were being paranoid about Richard. Do you really think we’re in danger?”
“I don’t know, kiddo. But I give you my word right now that I’ll make sure you’re safe here no matter what I have to do.” Once I’d said it I realized I’d used his trigger. While I knew it wouldn’t put him under any longer I hoped he’d feel more relaxed.
Scott spoke: “Let the authorities handle it.”
“They haven’t so far!” I snapped.
“Because you keep concealing evidence.”
“Well, excuse me, but I’m not going to sacrifice Craig in order to catch Richard. It’s an unacceptable trade off.”
Wade looked afraid.
I squeezed his shoulders and he looked at me.
“We’re having dinner together tonight, okay?”
“Sure,” he said.
“Do you want me to call Andrew?”
“I can call him.”
“It might be a good idea. I doubt Richard would target him, but he deserves a warning.”
Wade got up and left the room.
I turned to Scott. “Can we not fight about this?”
“I don’t want to,” he said. “But we’re at cross purposes on this.”
“You need to be careful, Scott.”
“I can handle the Bureau.”
“I’m not worried about your job. Richard went after Craig to get to me.”
“Why are you so sure this is about you? Couldn’t he have met Craig like you did?”
“Do you really believe that?”
Scott shook his head. “I just can’t see the motive in targeting you after all these years.”
“He’s a sociopath! And he’s already been to Kampas and he knows you and Wade. You’re in danger.” My eyes wandered to the doorway. So was Wade. Damn it.
“I’ll be fine.”
“Don’t be blasé. Richard is devious. Look at Craig.”
“Craig must have let him…”
I shook my head. “I’d bet Craig had no idea what happened until it was too late.”
“Let! Me! Out!” Craig screamed. Though muffled he could be clearly heard.
“I have to do something about him. Wade doesn’t need the reminder.”
“I didn’t really know how bad Wade had it,” Scott said quietly.
“I wish he didn’t have those memories. I tried to suppress them. He remembers enough though.” It broke my heart to think of him re-experiencing those memories. Luckily he still didn’t have total recall. His experiences since coming here had helped him establish a life and build his self-esteem. I wanted him not to have to go through what I had.
Scott took my hand. “Chris, I want you to hypnotize me tonight.”
“What? No! Out of the question.”
“I don’t want you to do anything. I just need to know what it’s like. It will help me with Richard.”
“I don’t like it.”
“Chris, you hypnotize half the guys you know. What’s the big deal?”
I didn’t know how to explain it. “After dinner we’ll talk.”
To be continued in Part 73…
Christopher, Craig & Co.
Part 73: Scott Wilson Hypnotized.
I burned a new cd of a basic induction on my computer and set it on loop on the cd player in the basement. Craig was resisting with everything he had, but I held onto the hope that he would be able to remember my voice and relax enough to enter a trance.
Andrew rushed right over after Wade’s call. I was surprised to see him looking quite preppy. On him it looked great though. I had always thought he was a button-down type. And he went into protection mode with Wade the minute he arrived.
With no time to cook I called for a pizza—Mike’s old shop, in fact. I idly wondered if the new delivery boy would be anything like Mike.
Wade was subdued during dinner, but he seemed like he’d be okay given some time. I didn’t sense fear in him like I had in the beginning.
After dinner I checked on Craig. He was seated, hands over his ears, rocking back and forth. He wasn’t going to make this easy. I hated the thought, but if I couldn’t get him under with an induction I’d have to resort to drugging him.
Scott was waiting for me in the kitchen when I returned upstairs. “Any progress?”
I shook my head. “He’s fighting me. I’m sure I have Richard to thank for that.” Every time I thought about Richard I felt a renewed sense of loathing.
Scott drummed his fingers on the table. “I don’t want to worry you any more, but Richard’s going to discover Craig is gone pretty quickly.”
“They made arrangements for tomorrow, but I can’t imagine Richard would come here looking for him. So far he hasn’t been that direct.”
“Someone named Brian was coming to Craig’s tonight. In fact, Craig said on the phone he’d been going regularly. If Craig’s not there I suspect Brian will report it, don’t you?”
Brian? Who the hell was Brian? “Christ,” I said in sudden realization.
“Brian works in the kitchen at the Club. Leatherman wanted me to hypnotize him into being a slave.”
I caught sight of Scott’s reaction before his neutral expression returned.
“Naturally I refused,” I added hastily. “But if Richard put Leatherman under then Leatherman would have told him about Brian.”
“And there’s another victim,” Scott said.
“I hope not. Maybe Brian’s okay.”
“You believe that?”
“Me neither. But if we can prove Richard has—what?—kidnapped? Coerced? Brian we could get a warrant.”
“Mental cruelty is hard to prove.” I rested my head in my hands.
Scott moved around behind me and kneaded my shoulders. “I had thought I’d give you a massage tonight for another reason.”
I slumped my shoulders. “I hope we can still pursue that line of discussion.”
“You know it,” Scott said mischievously. “But now I really want you to put me in a trance.”
I tipped my head back and looked up at him. “Couldn’t you just watch Craig when I get him under?”
He shook his head. “I’ve thought this out, Chris. If I can recognize what it feels like I’ll be better equipped to deal with Richard if he tries anything.”
“Resisting Richard isn’t easy.”
Scott stood, hands on hips, looking mildly exasperated. “Why won’t you do this for me?”
I stood up so fast the chair toppled backward. “Because I’m scared, all right?”
Surprise registered on Scott’s face. “Why?”
“Because once I put you under it’ll be the end of our relationship.”
“How can you say that?”
“Once the balance of power shifts you’ll be left to wonder what I’ve done to you. And that will kill any future we might have.”
“You’re being a fatalist, Chris. I’m only asking for a simple session of hypnosis. Hell, I don’t even think I can be hypnotized.”
I was getting a headache. “That’s what this is? You want to test yourself? This is some kind of battle of wills?”
“Hey, if you can’t put me under, neither can Richard, right?”
Every fiber of my being was screaming that this was a bad idea. I had no doubt I could put him under. Scott was a prime candidate for hypnosis. His Bureau training had conditioned him long before I’d met him. What was I going to do?
I looked him in the eye. I knew him well enough to realize he wasn’t going to back down from this. “On one condition,” I said.
“Wade has to agree to sit as a witness so that you know I didn’t suggest anything long term.”
Scott weighed his options. “Okay. Where and when?”
“My den. I’ll see if Wade’s available now.”
I walked to the foot of the stairs and began to call for him, but thought better of it and walked up instead. I paused outside the opened bedroom door and knocked.
Andrew was sitting up on the bed, his back against the headboard, with Wade snuggled against him. Wade smiled at me. “What’s up?”
“Andrew,” I said awkwardly, “I hate to ask this, but could I have a minute with Wade?”
Andrew glanced at his lover before shrugging. “Sure thing. I’ll go grab a drink. You want anything, babe?”
“No thanks,” Wade replied.
Once Andrew was out of the room Wade swung his legs off the bed. “Chris?”
I leaned against the doorjamb. “How you feelin’?”
“I’m all right.”
I nodded. “Listen, I’ll get right to the point. Scott wants me to hypnotize him, but I told him I’d only do it if you’d act as a witness. And I know you’ve wanted to learn the basics, so I guess this would at least give you an idea of how it all works.”
He got to his feet. “Yes! When?”
“We may as well get it over with.”
“What about Andrew?”
I frowned. “I suppose I could put him under for the duration.” Why was this my life?
I met Andrew in the kitchen, put him under, and left him seated at the kitchen table staring vacantly.
Wade and Scott were standing in the den, both looking nervous. I was willing to lay odds neither of them felt as anxious about what was about to happen as I did.
“I want it clear I’m against this,” I said again.
Scott nodded. “You’ve made that abundantly clear.”
I sat in my chair.
“What should I do?” Scott asked. “Sit on the couch?”
I shrugged. “You may lie down if you’re more comfortable.”
He lay down, then picked up his head. “This seems weird.”
I glanced at his feet. “Take off your shoes.”
“Oh,” he said sheepishly. “Sorry about that. No shoes on the furniture.”
That wasn’t it but I didn’t bother to correct him. While he untied his sneakers and slipped them off I faced Wade. “Why don’t you pull the desk chair over here by me?”
He wheeled it over and sat down.
“Now, Wade, you pay attention to not only what I’m doing but Scott’s reactions. If you start to go under I’ll bring you back.”
I glanced at Scott’s white socked feet propped near me on the couch, then followed the line of his jeans up to his crotch, over his torso and to his face. We locked eyes. God, I loved him. I took a deep breath. “Are you ready?”
He tugged at the neck of his shirt.
“Undo another button,” I suggested.
He did. Under ordinary circumstances his compliance would have made me very happy. Today, however, I wanted to stop this. Right now.
“Scott,” I began, lapsing into the smooth tones I used in hypnosis sessions, “I want you to make yourself comfortable. Focus on your breathing. That’s right. In… Out….”
I took him through a very basic relaxation induction. Twice I stopped and nudged Wade to be sure he wasn’t going under. Scott, however, was fading fast. I knew I had him when his eyelids slid shut.
“Scott, although you are relaxed you can still hear everything I say and you can still answer me when I ask you questions. In fact, it feels very relaxing to answer my questions honestly. Do you understand?”
“How do you feel?”
Wade looked at me with an awed grin.
I led Scott through some deepening exercises and a few stage show hypnosis tests—sticking his hands together, making his arm stiff as a board, etc.
Wade looked more and more impressed with each task.
I leaned over and whispered to Wade. “I need something to prove he was under in case he doesn’t remember.”
Wade raised his eyebrows. He whispered. “Can he do anything?”
“Within reason. But remember, he’s my boyfriend.” As I said it it caught me by surprise.
Wade grinned. “Have him take off his underwear.”
“What?” I gasped. I glanced at Scott. He was lying peacefully.
“I’ll turn around. That would prove it to me.”
Wade stood up and faced the TV behind us.
I wasn’t sure how Scott would feel about this, but realized it would be irrefutable proof. “Scott, you will still be in a deep state of relaxation right now as you follow my instructions. Do you understand?”
“Good. I want you to imagine that you are in your bedroom. Picture it. See yourself lying on your bed still dressed. Now, stand up—slowly—and take off your pants.”
A bit jerkily Scott sat up. His fingers fumbled clumsily with the button on his jeans. He slowly stood and stepped out of the jeans.
I noticed Scott was wearing bright red boxer briefs I hadn’t seen before. He looked sexy as hell.
I checked to see that Wade wasn’t looking before I continued. “Now take off your underwear, Scott.”
Without hesitation he slid his boxer briefs down his legs and balanced himself to step out of them.
I couldn’t imagine that I would ever tire of seeing Scott’s body. His physical beauty almost equaled his character. I stood, picked up his pants and placed them in his hand. “Very good, Scott. Now I want you to put your pants back on.”
He took the jeans, stepped into them, zippered, buttoned, then stood waiting.
“Now lie back on the couch, Scott.”
As he settled himself I picked up his underwear and hid it beside my chair. I sat down.
Wade turned around, a big grin on his face.
I sighed. “Scott, it’s time for you to awaken. When I count three you will feel refreshed, relaxed, and happy. 1…feeling good about yourself…2…feeling more aware of your surroundings…3…you are awake.”
Scott sat up. “Are we done?”
I nodded. “How do you feel?”
He swung his legs off the couch and moved to sit at the end nearer me. “I feel fine. It was weird though. I mean, I knew you were telling me to relax and stuff, but it was like I really couldn’t think of anything else to do.”
Wade was grinning.
Scott turned his attention away from me. “What?”
I shot Wade a look. “Wade, would you excuse us?”
He looked reluctant. “O-kay.” He trudged to the hallway.
“Scott, I want you to know it was harmless and I only did it to prove you can’t always know everything you do under hypnosis.”
Scott held out his hands. “What are you talking about?”
I reached down and held up his underwear.
Scott Wilson’s face turned the same shade red as his underwear.
“It was Wade’s idea. Don’t worry, I made him turn around.”
Scott looked incredibly embarrassed.
“I have to say I like ‘em.” I smiled as I tossed his boxer-briefs back to him.
“I thought we were going to have some fun tonight,” he mumbled.
I got up and sat beside him on the couch. “Don’t be embarrassed, Scott. I know how lucky I am to have a boyfriend who’s not only an incredible guy, but has a beautiful body.”
He smiled. “That’s the first time you’ve called me your boyfriend.”
Second, I thought. “I didn’t want to cross a line—but Wade can tell you it was all completely innocent.”
Scott shook his head. “It’s all right.” He ran a hand through his hair. “I just had no idea—” His expression grew serious. “I get it now.”
He took my hand in his. “Yeah. No more hypnosis for me.”
We leaned in and kissed.
“Let’s head upstairs,” Scott said.
I picked up his underwear. “Will you model these for me?”
He laughed. “Yeah.”
“Andrew!” I raced into the kitchen. Wade was sitting at the table with an entranced Andrew.
“Wade, you didn’t do or say anything, did you?”
He looked at me guiltily.
“You could do a lot of damage to him if you say the wrong thing. Remember Alan’s suicide attempt?”
Wade stood, hands up. “I swear, Chris. I didn’t. I thought about it, but I was afraid, and—”
“Okay, okay, I believe you.” I counted Andrew out and joined Scott in the doorway. He took my hand and we headed for the stairs.
He did model those red boxer-briefs for me, but they didn’t stay on long.