Christopher, Craig & Co.
Part 141: New Bro.
I was standing in the parking lot near my car with an entranced Clark when Scott came around the corner. He was still dressed in his workout clothes, though, now that I looked at him, it didn’t look like he’d actually done any exercising yet.
“What did you say to Cindy?” he asked.
I cocked an eyebrow. “I didn’t sign in.”
Scott took a breath. “You probably won’t be allowed in as my guest.”
“Really?” I asked, sounding as disappointed as possible. “You know how much I love to exercise. Whatever will I do?”
Scott rolled his eyes. “You could’ve tried to be nice.”
He was right. I could’ve.
Scott gestured to spaced out Clark. “What’s wrong with him?”
“If I had to guess I’d say the most pressing thing is dehydration. Look at him. He’s drenched with sweat. If he’s been here since they opened, he’s lucky he didn’t collapse.”
Scott stepped up in front of Clark’s face, but Clark’s eyes didn’t seem to register him. “Can you do anything to help him?”
I nodded. “But I think it’s a little public here.”
“We’re going to have to take him home, aren’t we?”
“Scott, there’s something I should tell you. We already have a houseguest. It should be just for tonight, but Mike is staying in the guestroom.”
“Mike, huh?” Scott said in a very neutral tone.
“He’s had a rough week. His car died and when he got back to town he found out he didn’t get the apartment he thought he was moving into.”
Scott nodded. “I know he’s your friend. Do you trust him in the house?”
“I do.” I glanced at Clark. “Do we trust him there?”
Scott held up his hands. “I don’t know. I recognize him. I can’t say if it’s from here or Kampas. I do think he needs help and probably the kind only you can give.”
I leaned over and gave him a peck on the cheek.
Scott grinned. “What was that for?”
“For getting it.” I sighed and turned to Clark. “Slave must obey.”
“Slave ready, Sir.”
“Do you have a car here?”
“Slave must obey. You will drive safely to 1326 Greenhill Road. Do you understand?”
“Slave obeys.” Clark turned to his left and walked mechanically away from us toward a little sedan. He unlocked the car, sat behind the wheel and started the engine.
Scott nodded toward the car. “He’s going to beat us home.”
I pulled into the driveway just ahead of Scott. Clark’s car was already parked, and he was sitting with the engine off. I strode over to his door and opened it.
“Slave must obey.”
“Slave ready, Sir.”
“Follow me into the house.”
Clark climbed out of the car, shut the door and followed me to the front door. Scott had unlocked it and was waiting for us. I led the way into the den and looked at Clark.
“Just stand here,” I said.
“You’re not going to have him sit on the couch?” Scott asked.
I made a face. “He’s soaked with sweat. And he doesn’t smell that great.”
Scott nodded. “I see your point.”
Footsteps on the stairs drew my attention. They were too slow and heavy to be Wade’s.
Mike leaned into the room. “Hey! You’re back.”
I looked him up and down. He was dressed in jeans and a baseball shirt and sneakers, with his hair neatly styled. He looked a thousand times better than he had when I’d picked him up outside the airport.
“Scott, you remember Mike?”
Scott offered his hand, which Mike shook.
Mike looked hopeful. “I want to apologize again for what happened last time we met. I promise I won’t be any trouble. You won’t even know I’m here.”
Scott glanced at me. “Don’t worry about it,” he said to Mike. “Chris has an effect on guys.”
Mike walked into the room and offered his hand to Clark. “We haven’t met. I’m Mike.”
I grimaced. “Mike, this is Clark. He doesn’t know you’re here. He’s under the control of Masteredslave.com.”
Mike’s blue eyes grew large. “You’re kidding?”
I shook my head.
“Are you going to give him the file like you did for me?”
“Yes.” I walked over to my desk and fired up the computer, then began burning a cd of the mp3. “Why don’t you two give me a few minutes with Clark here?”
Scott turned to Mike. “Have you had dinner?”
Mike shook his head.
“Come on into the kitchen and let’s see what we can find to eat.”
I had a feeling that Mike and Scott were not going to become besties. But I was happy that Scott was making an effort. I turned my attention to more pressing matters.
“Slave must obey. Clark, everything I’m about to tell you will become part of your training. You will not be able to disobey the commands I give you. Do you understand?”
“Good. In a few moments when you awaken as Clark you will not be afraid. You will know that I am your friend and that I am trying to help you. You will not find it at all strange that you are here with me. Do you understand?”
“You will also take the cd I give you and listen to it tonight as soon as you get home and again tomorrow morning as soon as you wake. You will not be able to disobey this command. Do you understand?”
“You will not log on to the website Masteredslave.com at any time tonight or tomorrow. Do you understand?”
I sighed. “Finally, you will drive back here to 1326 Greenhill Road tomorrow night at 7 pm. Do you understand?”
I did a mental checklist. I thought I had covered the basics. Fingers crossed. “Revert to normal.”
Clark blinked hard a few times and swayed on his feet. When his eyes focused, he looked at me. “Hey, bro. Where are we?”
“We’re at my house. You stopped by to pick up this cd.” I handed him the disk.
“Oh, yeah. I’m supposed to listen to it tonight. Thanks, bro. I totally forgot.”
“But you’ll remember to listen tonight and tomorrow morning, right?”
“Oh, yeah, dude.” He tapped the side of his head with his finger. “It’s all up here. Listen tonight and tomorrow morning and come back here tomorrow night at 7 o’clock.”
“And you won’t forget?”
“No way, bro.” He smiled. “You can count on me.”
“That’s great,” I said.
He smiled half a smile. “I must’ve overdid it at the gym. Gotta get bigger, y’know. But, man, I’m feeling it tonight.”
I had no doubt he was going to feel worse in the morning. “Maybe you should go home and rehydrate and take it easy tonight.”
“Yeah, dude. That makes sense. I’ll catch you tomorrow, bro.” With that, Clark walked toward the front door and let himself out.
To be continued in Part 142...
Christopher, Craig & Co.
Part 142: New Beginnings.
Wednesday morning Scott, Wade and I all left the house bright and early for class. I checked in at the department office, taught my class, and departed from campus by noon. I had made previous arrangements to pick Mike up for lunch and to go apartment hunting. I hadn’t told him I already had a place in mind.
I pulled into the private lot behind Leatherman’s and let myself in the office door. The place was quiet. I glanced around before heading up the staircase to the private quarters. When I reached the door at the top of the stairs I found an envelope taped to it. My name was scrawled on it.
I tore open the envelope and read the enclosed note:
I didn’t know how to say goodbye, but I don’t want to stay here anymore. Leatherman left me enough money to get away for a while and start over somewhere. I’ll let you know when I figure out where that is. Thank you for everything.
It was signed Mitch.
I unlocked the door and walked through the apartment. It looked to me like Bootboy had removed any traces he had been there. I sighed.
Hopefully this wasn’t a disaster in the making.
I locked up and let myself out the back door, then sped toward home.
Mike was seated at the kitchen table bent over his laptop when I arrived at the house. He looked a little defeated.
“What’s up?” I asked, opening the refrigerator to retrieve a bottle of water.
“I’ve been online all morning looking for an apartment. Everything is either way too expensive or really rundown.”
I sat across from him at the table. “It’s a bad time of year. The college kids don’t move out until late May.”
Mike frowned. “I even looked for people looking for roommates. There’s nothing. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
“I have a suggestion.”
Mike raised his eyebrows. “You do?”
“I know of a furnished two-bedroom apartment that is about to be vacated. Do you want to see it?”
Mike’s tone was guarded. “Really?”
“How soon can we look at it?”
I pulled the car into the lot behind Leatherman’s for the second time today. Mike turned in the passenger’s seat and said, “Where’s the apartment?”
“Upstairs.” I angled out of the car and led the way to the door, unlocked it and Mike followed me inside.
We climbed the stairs and I unlocked the door at the top. We entered into the living room.
“Now, keep in mind, I have to pack up Leatherman’s personal items, but I’m off tomorrow so if you’re willing to pitch in with that you could probably be moved in by tomorrow night.”
Mike looked around. I gave him a quick tour and let him wander. The living room was tastefully decorated with a sofa, arm chair and entertainment center. There was a dining room and kitchen straight back from the living room, and a short hall with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a small laundry room.
Mike met me back in the living room. “I don’t think I can afford this, Christopher.”
“You’d have to handle utilities—water, electric, internet…”
“And how much is the rent?”
I grinned. “I own the building. Leatherman left the club to me. You can stay here until you finish college rent free.”
Mike looked stunned. “You’re not serious.”
“The floors are soundproof, though you do get some bleed through from the sound system at night. It’s a great space. If you don’t like the furniture and you want to swap something out, that’s fine. We can either store it or donate it.”
“The furniture is amazing. All of it is. There’s a king-sized bed in the bigger bedroom!”
“And a queen size in the other,” I said.
“I don’t know what to say,” Mike said. “No, I do.” He threw his arms around me and squeezed me. “Thank you. I will keep the place nice and be a great tenant.”
“I trust you, Mike. But there is one other condition. I want you to sit down with me and discuss finances. I don’t understand how you could have worked so much this year and be such a bad credit risk. You’re going to need a car loan.”
Mike looked embarrassed. “I owe money on a college loan for when I dropped out. And Royalty Films didn’t pay much. They would arrange for transportation and hotels, but I didn’t really get paid while I was on tour. I have enough saved up to pay for fall semester, but I’m hoping I can work enough this year to be able to afford the spring.”
I raised my eyebrows. “That explains a lot. Why don’t we sit down and see what you owe and what can be done to get you financing to finish college.”
“Christopher, why do you look out for me like this?”
I stopped short. “What?”
“I just don’t get why you’re always so nice to me. What’s in it for you?”
I shrugged. “Why does there have to be something in it for me?”
Mike looked sheepish. “I’ve been working in clubs and in film long enough to realize almost everybody wants something.”
I ran my tongue over my teeth. “Mike, Scott and I are seriously involved. I have no designs on you, if that’s what you’re thinking.”
Mike’s expression became uncomfortable. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you.”
“You didn’t. We’re friends. You’re welcome to stay here and even work at the club if that’s what you want to do. The door from the club office leads up this way. The door in the kitchen leads down to a street entrance. I do ask if you have guests that you invite them in though that door, because I will be using the office at times.”
Mike worried his lip. “You’re not mad?”
I shook my head. “No, Mike. I’m not mad. I get it. You’ve been taken advantage of.” I didn’t add that I had probably contributed to that. “Let’s forget it and move on.”
“Thank you. Again.”
“Remember that tomorrow when you’re helping me lug boxes of Leatherman’s personal effects down the stairs.”
Wade and Austin agreed to take Mike to a used car lot later that afternoon and I got a text from Wade that they wouldn’t be home for dinner.
Scott breezed in with takeout a little after six and we had some time alone before Clark was going to arrive.
“I want to question him,” Scott was saying as I dropped the last of the silverware into the dishwasher and shut the door.
“You can come into the den after I have him in trance. But I’ll do the talking. If you have something you want to ask, write it down and I’ll find out for you.”
Scott frowned. “Are you going to be able to help him?”
I shrugged. “The file I created worked for Mike and Austin. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for Clark. My only concern is that all my file does is stop him from being part of the website. It won’t undo anything that has been done to him by anyone on that site.”
“That’s why you had to hypnotize Mike and Austin.”
The doorbell rang. “Wait here for a bit.” I gave Scott a peck on the lips and then walked down the hall to the front door and opened it. I don’t know what I expected, but I didn’t expect what I saw.
Clark stood in Chuck Taylors, khaki pants and a button-down gingham shirt, looking for all the world like a preppy college kid.
“Clark,” I said, stepping back, “won’t you come in?”
He slowly entered the house with a pronounced limp and smiled awkwardly. “Hey, bro. Am I late?”
“You’re right on time. Did you hurt yourself?”
His smile faded. “I must’ve really overdid it at the gym.”
“You look like you’re in pain.”
“I’ll be ok, bro. I knew I was supposed to be here tonight, and I don’t have your number to cancel anyway.”
“We’ll remedy that tonight. Come into the den and have a seat on the couch.”
He followed me and lowered himself onto the center of the couch, his hands fidgeting. He seemed not to know what to do with them.
I sat back in my chair and crossed my legs. “Did you listen to the file I gave you?”
“Yeah. Dude, that file is kind of amazing. Like I didn’t even know what was happening, but I sort of zoned out and then I was wide awake and I kept thinking I shouldn’t go to that website.”
“Did you go to it today?”
“No, bro. It’s not a good scene.” His left knee was bouncing up and down. He seemed to have a lot of nervous energy.
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t like the things I end up doing, man.”
“I understand. Do me a favor? Lean back on the couch and try to get comfortable.”
He smiled uneasily. “I’m good, bro.”
“Ok, then. Slave must obey.”
Clark’s eyes seemed to lose focus and his shoulders dropped. “Slave ready, Sir.”
“That’s good, Clark. I want you to take a deep breath. In—that’s right—hold it, and out. Take another. In and out...in and out...in and out... Your eyes look like they feel heavy. Heavy like they’re ready to close on you. Let your eyes close when they’re ready. Breathe in and out...in and out... You are so relaxed. Your whole body feels relaxed. Isn’t that right, Clark?”
He didn’t reply.
“Clark, you will find that you feel even more relaxed when you answer my questions. Do you feel relaxed?”
“Good. When I count to 3 you will be wide awake, and you won’t remember closing your eyes. But from now on every time I say Preppy Jock you will return to this state of relaxation and feel more relaxed. I want you to repeat after me and as you say the words you know that they are true and have become a part of you. Every time I say Preppy Jock you will return to this state of relaxation and feel more relaxed.”
“Every time you say Preppy Jock I will be relaxed.” “Good. Now I’ll count to 3 and you won’t remember any of this. 1...feeling more alert...2...more aware of your surroundings...3.”
Clark jolted awake and licked his lips.
“You ok?” I asked.
“Yeah.” He looked around uncertainly. “Yeah, bro.”
“Preppy Jock,” I said. “Preppy Jock.”
Clark’s eyes began to slide shut but I could see him resisting.
“Be a good boy and let your eyes close, Clark. Relax. Breathe in and out. Relax, Preppy Jock.”
I knew he was under by the change in his breathing rhythm. Clark was going to be an easy subject. That was good news for me now, but not necessarily good news for him.
“Clark, I want you to just let your legs and arms feel heavy and relaxed. You are so comfortable and warm and safe and secure and happy. You are able to think to answer my questions and you find that you want to answer my questions because it makes you feel good.”
I took my phone out of my pocket and texted “READY” to Scott.
I heard him walking down the hall almost immediately. He hovered in the doorway.
Clark’s chin dropped forward.
“Now, Clark, when did you start going to the website Masteredslave.com?”
“About two months ago,” he mumbled.
“Clark, you find it very easy to speak to answer my questions. How did you find out about the website?”
“My friend Brad told me about it…he was using it for motivation.”
“Have you talked to Brad recently?”
“Yes. He’s scared.”
I locked eyes with Scott and made a face. “Why is he scared?”
“He can’t stop using the site.”
I sighed. Fuck me. I’d deal with that later. “When I met you yesterday you were listening to something called forced workout. Where did you get it?”
Clark seemed to tense. “A Master on the site sent it to me. I’m too fat and not muscular enough. Gotta get bigger for Master.”
I looked him up and down. While Clark wasn’t slender, he was certainly not fat. I thought he filled out his clothes nicely. “Take a deep breath and relax, Preppy Jock.”
Clark’s tension faded.
“Is that what he told you? You’ve got to get bigger for Master?”
“What else did he tell you?”
“I have to work out as much as possible. I should be a dumb jock and say bro and dude all the time. I should dress like a bro.”
“Are you dressed like a bro now?”
“I didn’t go to the site today. I don’t want to be a bro.”
I pinched the bridge of my nose. Why did these fools who passed for Doms think they could take a submissive guy and make him do things he doesn’t want to do and that it would all be ok? That was a topic for rumination at a later date.
“Clark, you do not have to be a bro. In fact, I want you to remember and conjure up every suggestion to be a bro and to work out that the Master or any other man on Masteredslave.com told you right now. Think of every suggestion you have received, whether they called it instructions or commands or programming. Can you do that?”
“Yes,” he said softly.
“All of those suggestions have no power over you anymore. They have no effect. In your mind you can see them melting, fading, disappearing, until they no longer exist. I want you to see that happening in your mind now.”
Clark seemed to go even more limp on the couch.
“Good. That’s good. Now, Clark, you will return here on Friday night at the same time. Do you understand?”
“Friday night,” he repeated dreamily.
“And you will no longer log into Masteredslave.com. You will listen to the file I gave you every morning and every night until we see each other on Friday. Do you understand?”
“Good. That’s good, Clark.”
Scott moved noiselessly across the room and whispered in my ear, “Find out who Brad is.”
I nodded and held up a finger. “Clark, in a moment I’ll count to 3 and you’ll be awake. And you can choose to remember all or none of what we talked about. But, whenever I say Preppy Jock you’ll return to this deep state of relaxation, getting even more relaxed every time. 1...2...3.”
Clark took a minute to rouse himself and then sat up straight on the couch. He looked at me and then Scott.
“Clark, allow me to introduce my partner, Scott.”
Clark shook himself a little. “Hi.”
“How are you feeling?” I asked.
“A little weird.” His cheeks flushed. “I told you about what happened with the site?”
I nodded. “You came to me for help. You won’t have to go to the site anymore.”
Clark started fidgeting with his hands again. “That would be amazing.”
“Just keep using the file I gave you twice a day.”
“Is something wrong?”
He looked around and ran a hand through his reddish blond hair. “I’m not sure who you are or how I got here exactly.”
“Oh!” Mental headslap. “I’m Christopher Boldt. You were at the gym yesterday working out for nine hours. Scott asked me to see if I could help you.”
“Nine hours?” he repeated, then seemed to realize something. “Forced workouts.”
“The good news is that it shouldn’t happen again.”
Clark looked skeptical. “Really?”
“I’d delete the mp3 from my phone if I was you.”
“I’ll do that.”
I glanced at Scott. “Scott wants me to ask you about your friend Brad.”
“Yes, the friend who told you about the website. You said he was scared of it. What’s happened to him? And how can we get in touch with him?”
Clark looked me in the eyes. I noticed how striking his were—hazel on the outside with bright blue in the center. “You have to understand I’m not stupid. The website was just supposed to be for fun and maybe to meet guys. I know how idiotic that sounds now. I really didn’t mean for it to get so out of control.”
“Clark, I don’t think you’re stupid. You’re the third guy I’ve known who has gotten trapped into something he didn’t want by that website.”
“There are a lot of guys on the site.”
Scott smiled warmly at Clark. “We want to talk to your friend Brad and try to help him like Chris has helped you.”
“That would really be amazing.” Clark thought for a minute. “I’m supposed to come back here, right?”
“Yes. Friday night.”
“I’ll bring Brad with me then, if that’s ok.”
I wasn’t sure how that would work. I certainly couldn’t trance two newbies at once. Well, I mean, I could. But it was less than ideal.
“That would be perfect,” Scott said helpfully.
I glanced at him, then stood and walked to my desk. I jotted my number on a sheet of paper. “Clark, this is my cell phone. If you find that you slip and use the website, I want you to call me as soon as you can. Otherwise, I’ll see you on Friday night.”
He took the paper and stuffed it in his pants pocket. He held out his hand and I shook it.
“Chris,” I said with a smile.
He smiled back, and this time it looked like a real smile. “Chris. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you helping me.”
The front door opened, and Wade and Mike entered laughing.
Clark turned around and saw Mike. And Mike saw Clark. And I swear the attraction in the room was visible.
“Clark, this is my friend Mike Taylor. Mike, this is Clark—” I faltered. I wasn’t sure what Clark’s last name was.
“Byrne,” Clark supplied, not looking away from Mike.
“Clark was just leaving. But, Mike, maybe you could walk him to his car?”
Mike cut his eyes to me and grinned. “Happy to.”
Clark turned to me and mouthed, “Thank you.” I wasn’t sure if he meant for the hypnosis or for the introduction to Mike. Actually, I was pretty sure it was Mike.
I watched as Clark attempted to hide how sore the muscles in his legs were as he strode toward the doorway and out of the house with Mike.
Once the front door shut, Wade said, “Wow. Looks like Mike’s day just got a whole lot better.”