Christopher, Craig & Co.
Part 86: Concussion.
“This isn’t what it looks like,” I said. I cringed. How the hell had my life turned into a telenovela?
Mike’s hands seemed to be everywhere as he rubbed against my crotch and attempted to unfasten my belt. I grasped at his wrists. “Stop that!”
Scott leaned against the doorway. “The bar was so dead tonight they let me off early. Now I’m glad they did or I might not be the only one getting off early.”
Mike was slowly backing me toward the loveseat. The hunger in his eyes blotted out any reason. He was focused on one thing: getting my cock free of my pants.
“Scott! Will you help me, please?”
No sooner were the words out of my mouth did I crash into the coffee table and sprawl backward onto the floor. I cracked the back of my head on the way down.
I winced and bit off a curse.
Mike pounced on top of me, pinning me down, his body writhing against me. His pants were open and he was pushing them down his thighs.
“Scott!” I yelped.
But Scott was already pulling Mike off of me, Mike’s arms locked behind his back.
“Chris, are you all right?”
I sat up slowly, my hand at the back of my head where an egg-sized lump appeared to be forming. The contents of my stomach shifted.
Mike struggled, trying to reach me. Then suddenly he pivoted and planted a long, lingering kiss on Scott’s lips.
Scott pushed him away. “What the hell is going on?”
I took several deep breaths, trying to clear my vision and keep my dinner down. “It’s that website,” I tried to explain but Scott was paying closer attention to Mike as he again tried to kiss him.
“Is this Mike Tool?”
“What’s he on?”
“Nothing, I swear.” I pushed myself up to my knees and tried to stand but I wasn’t sure I was going to stay upright. I spread my feet wider, trying not to sway. The room seemed to be spinning a little.
Suddenly Scott’s thigh was wedged against mine. “Chris, sit down. You’re pale.”
Mike squirmed and struggled against Scott’s hold. Scott gasped in surprise.
“What?” I asked over the ringing in my ears.
“He’s groping me!” Scott tried to shift Mike’s weight, but Mike had his own agenda.
“He’s been trained by Masteredslave.com. I don’t know how to control him.” I stumbled against the loveseat and hurried around to my desk. Leaning heavily against it I scanned the computer screen. The words seemed to be going in and out of focus.
I found what I was looking for and prayed this was not only a text trigger. “Slave must obey!”
Mike’s body went slack and he collapsed into Scott’s arms.
“Chris?” Scott asked in alarm.
“It’s ok,” I said. It felt like my brain was going to fall out of the back of my head. I pressed harder against it and felt sicker to my stomach.
“Mike,” I panted, “When you awaken you’ll be back to normal without any post-hypnotic suggestions in effect. Do you understand?”
I prayed internally before saying, “Revert to normal.”
Mike jolted awake and peered up at Scott. His cheeks flushed immediately as he realized not only was he being held, but his impressive package was on display.
He reached down and tugged his pants up as soon as he’d regained his balance.
“I’m—um, so sorry,” he stammered to Scott.
Scott looked incredulous.
I was sure I was going to be sick.
“Chris?” Scott rushed to my side.
Mike had tears in his eyes when he looked at me. “Christopher, what happened? Who is this? I’m so embarrassed.”
I wanted to walk to him and pat his arm in my best attempt at consoling him under the circumstances. But I wasn’t sure I would remain upright if I moved away from the desk. “Don’t be embarrassed. What happened to you isn’t your fault. This is Scott Wilson, my partner.”
I turned my head to look at Scott. He was grinning.
“Oh my God,” Mike wailed. “I’m so sorry. Please, you have to believe me. I don’t know what’s happening to me. Christopher is an old friend and offered to help. Please don’t be mad at him.”
Scott shook his head. “It was quite a shock walking in on that, but I’m not mad. It’s pretty apparent you weren’t in control of your faculties at the time.”
Scott shot me a look that could only be interpreted as “What the fuck?” before stepping around me. He gently pried my hand off the back of my head.
I heard him suck in air. “Jesus, Chris. Stay right here.” Scott rushed from the room and reappeared with a frozen ice pack and a dishtowel. He wrapped the ice in the towel and pressed it gingerly to the back of my head.
“Sorry.” Scott looked me in the eyes. “Listen to me. I need you to answer some questions. Do you have a headache?”
What kind of stupid question was that? “Yes.”
I nodded. Fuck, that hurt. “A little.”
“Any other symptoms, Chris?”
“My ears are ringing.”
“We should get you to a hospital. You probably need a CT scan.”
“Sounds like a concussion to me.”
“I’ll be fine,” I assured him, though I wasn’t all that sure I was right.
“I really think you should be checked out.”
“It’s just a bump on the head, Scott. I’ve had worse.”
“Yeah, well, luckily you’re hardheaded.”
I frowned and Scott barked a laugh.
Mike cleared his throat.
It was time for some damage control. I could do this. “Why don’t we all have a seat and try to stay calm?”
Mike lowered himself onto the loveseat, still looking mortified. I sank into my chair hoping I could explain this to all interested parties. I was also hoping I didn’t really have a concussion to worry about. Scott perched on the arm closer to chair, positioning himself between Mike and myself. He eyed me warily.
I returned the ice pack to the back of my head and winced. “Scott, Mike is the friend I told you I was going to dinner with. After we finished eating we logged into the website I spoke to you about...you know, Masteredslave.com? It seems to have quite an effect on Mike.”
Mike squinched his eyes shut.
“Mike, it’s ok. It was my error in judgment. I didn’t know how the site operated. But I can explain your blackouts to you now.”
Mike swallowed hard. “Something’s really wrong with me, isn’t there?”
I smiled reassuringly. “No, you’re going to be fine. It may take a little while, but you’re going to be good as new.” Just as soon as I figured out how.
To be continued in Part 87...
Part 87: Exes and Shoes.
I didn’t get much sleep that night. Scott insisted on setting the alarm to go off every two hours to be sure I’d wake up. With the lump on the back of my head I was having a hard time sleeping comfortably to begin with. Being interrupted every two hours didn’t help.
For Scott’s part, he had put things into motion with his office about Masteredslave.com. Seeing the demonstration of its effects on Mike was enough for him to realize I wasn’t exaggerating.
I heard Wade come slamming in at some point after 2:30. I hadn’t expected him home, but I wasn’t certain he would want to talk at that hour.
Around six Scott’s phone rang. He sprang from bed to confer with someone in hushed tones. The only sentence I could make out was, “I’ll be right there.”
“What’s wrong?” The look on his face made it obvious he hadn’t received good news.
“Another body has been found. This one behind Kampas. There’s footage from the camera in the parking lot of two men dumping the body at about half past three. Their faces were obstructed.” Scott stepped into jeans and pulled on a shirt.
He sat on the edge of the bed and pulled on socks and shoes. “No ID yet. But a body dumped at Kampas seems suspiciously like a message to me.” Scott strode into the bathroom.
The last body found had been Craig’s lover, Alan Jacoby. While I was no friend or fan of Alan’s, his death had been cruel and painful. I was afraid to let my mind wander as to who this could be.
Scott walked around the bed and gave me a peck on the cheek. He smelled minty fresh. “I don’t know how long this will take.”
“Will you call me with an update?”
He flashed his megawatt smile. “Yes.”
And he was gone.
I swung my legs out of bed and headed into the bathroom for a shower. My head still ached from the bump, and I was going to need an IV of coffee, but the dizziness and nausea had thankfully passed.
After going through my morning routine I emerged from the bedroom dressed and ready to start the day. I was thrilled to find that Scott has started the coffee before he’d left. God, I loved that man.
I fixed a cup and went to retrieve the paper from the doorstep.
Wade wandered down the stairs barefoot in a pair of sweatpants and an oversized T-shirt. His hair was matted.
“Chris, what are you doing up?”
“Scott had an early day.”
Wade pushed his hands through his hair. “Oh. Do you have time to talk?”
That request cleared my head better than a pot of coffee. “Yes. Definitely. Is something wrong?”
“I think so.”
Wade led the way into the kitchen. He poured himself a cup of coffee. Well, half a cup, then filled it with milk and sugar. He sat next to me at the table.
When he didn’t speak I prompted him. “Does this have something to do with last night? I thought I heard you come slamming in, but I wasn’t sure if I dreamt it.”
“You know how Andrew took me out last night?” He seemed to wait for my comment, so I nodded. “He took me to a straight bar. He was trying to pick up girls. He wants us to have a three way!”
I cringed. Oops. And there it was. The problem with Andrew’s latest personality incarnation. “He thinks he’s bi?”
“I don’t know. There were a couple of times when I thought he was flirting with waitresses and stuff lately. But I thought I was just being silly.”
Andrew’s latest shoes were the docksiders I’d found in his closet. Was it possible that in Andrew’s world preppy boys who wore docksiders were bisexual? “Do me a favor. Call him and ask him to come over. Tell him I need to speak with him.”
Wade’s eyes widened. “Chris, did you do this?”
I shook my head slowly. “No. No, this was all Andrew. But I’ll get to the bottom of it.”
Andrew appeared at the door later that morning. He was still wearing his docksiders with a pair of khakis pants and a button-down shirt and sweater vest. He looked very handsome with his neatly styled hair and dimples that flashed when he smiled at me.
I ushered him into the den and he settled himself on the loveseat while I sat in my chair. I momentarily flashed back to Mike sitting in almost the same spot the night before, completely distraught. My head still ached and after an hour on the Masteredslave site this morning I had only managed to construct a basic outline of the suggestions that seemed to hook viewers. I was nowhere near ready to free the site’s hold on Mike, but I was confident that it could be done with some good old-fashioned work.
Andrew smiled easily. “What can I do for you, Chris?”
“Shine your shoes.” I waited for his trigger to take effect and watched the physical shifts Andrew’s face and body went through as his conscious mind released control and his subconscious opened to me.
“How are you, Andrew?”
“That’s good. I understand that last night you were in a bar to pick up a woman. I was under the impression you’re a gay man, Andrew.”
“I’m not gay.”
“You’re not?” The surprise made my voice rise.
“How would you describe your sexuality, Andrew?”
“Are you not having sexual relations with Wade?”
“That’s just fucking around with a buddy.”
Knife in the heart. What had I done? I knew for a fact that prior to my last round of fulfilling Andrew’s request to be hypnotized to be different he had been an openly gay man. I had to set this right. My attempts at helping Andrew find happiness seemed to cause nothing but heartache for Wade. Yes, this hypnotic help was supposed to be about Andrew, but I was nearly certain his happiness was linked to Wade’s at this point in their relationship.
“Andrew, this last time you changed your shoes you began wearing a pair of docksiders. Is there something special about these shoes?”
I nodded. “I don’t recall seeing you wear them before.”
“They’re not mine, sir.”
I sucked in air. “They’re not?”
“Whose are they?”
“Tommy’s a buddy of mine, sir.”
Oh, dear God I turned him into his ex. “Did you and Tommy have sex?” That seemed intensely personal and none of my business under ordinary circumstances, but I had to be sure.
“And did Tommy have a girlfriend?”
“Were you aware of that?”
“No, sir. Not at first.”
This really was all my fault. I had grabbed those shoes out of the bottom of Andrew’s closet last time I altered his personality. I had to set this right.
“Take off your shoes, Andrew.”
He slowly reached down, jabbed his thumbs in the heels of his shoes, and dropped the shoes to the floor, exposing argyle socks.
I felt myself briefly smile. I always enjoyed argyle.
“Andrew, you are no longer wearing the docksiders. And you are now letting go of any of Tommy’s traits you may have taken on while wearing his shoes. Do you understand?”
I wasn’t entirely sure, but I thought I saw the hint of a smile on Andrew’s full lips.
“Andrew, when you leave here you will go home or to the shoestore where you work and get a new pair of shoes. These shoes will be shoes that you believe a happy, preppy gay man would wear. You will again learn from the changes you have been through and incorporate these alterations into your life. You will feel happy and confident. These changes you have experienced have all been in your quest for balance in your life. Work, school, and your personal relationships all must interplay to contribute to your happiness as an out and proud gay man.” I thought of one more thing. “And once you have the shoes you will call Wade and apologize for last night. Do you understand?”
“Do you have any questions?”
“Good boy.” I counted to three and he awoke.
Once again I had no idea what Andrew would do with this latest set of instructions. But I hoped I had given him enough to work with to finally be able to end all of these hypnotic experiments he had so desperately wanted when we met. To my mind there was nothing at all that needed changing about Andrew Brooks. Unfortunately I wasn’t the one who needed to learn and accept that.