Christopher, Craig & Co.
Part 148: Here We Go Again.
Saturday night Scott and I stayed to lock up the club at closing. I was exhausted and not thrilled to be up and ready to meet his friend Rocco at 1 pm. Rocco turned out to be a compact Italian man a few years older than I who looked at a couple files on the computer and then proved to be a fount of knowledge. Mike, Scott and I were all taking notes as he took us through some information about ordering and staffing and a host of other things related to running a bar. I felt a little overwhelmed, but Rocco offered to help us get the hang of things.
Before he left he pulled Scott aside and told him that he should probably stop working for the competition. Scott later told me Rocco was very sweet about the whole thing and insisted that Scott help out here instead.
Since Scott had planned to work at Kampas that night, he offered to oversee the club so I could be home to meet Brad and then finish some homework of my own. Which is how it came to be that at 7 o’clock when the doorbell rang I was just finishing up my lecture notes for this week’s classes.
I walked to the front door, opened it, and found Brad Miller standing there. He was dressed in a pair of jeans with a blue hoodie sweatshirt that really picked up his eyes and a pair of Nikes on his feet. His sandy hair was neatly styled, and his gaze was locked on the ground instead of at me. “Hi Brad.”
“Can I come in?” he asked.
“Of course!” I stepped out of the way and he entered, standing with his hands thrust in the pockets of his hoodie. I led the way into the den and he followed. “Brad, you look like you’re walking the last mile. What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” he said.
“Won’t you have a seat?”
He took his hands from his pockets and settled himself on the couch.
“Brad, you seem more nervous to be here tonight than you were when we talked about you coming here. Have you been listening to the file I gave you?”
“Have you logged into Masteredslave.com in the last few days?”
He shook his head. “I still want to, but I know I shouldn’t.”
“Keep listening to the file for a few more days and I think that will pass, Brad.”
“Can I ask you something, Brad?”
“Sure,” he said.
“You never make eye contact with me. Is there something I have said or done to make you uncomfortable?”
“No,” he said. “I should never make eye contact with a man I respect.”
My breath caught for a second. I hadn’t expected that. “Do me a favor and take a deep breath, Brad.”
He looked uncertain but did.
“Now exhale, Power Player. That’s right. Power Player. Breathe in and out. In and out. Going nice and deep for me. Deeper than the last time you were here with me. Deeper than the deepest trance you have ever been in. You can feel relaxation spreading up from your toes through your feet and up your legs over your groin and into your belly and chest before that relaxation continues to spread down your arms and hands into your fingers and up through your neck into your mouth and nose and ears and eyes until it reaches your mind. And as relaxation fills your mind all of your thoughts just sort of drift to the back of your mind and my words become the only important thing. Isn’t that right, Power Player?”
“Yes, Sir.” Brad sounded completely monotone and out of it.
“Brad, whenever you are this relaxed with me you will find it so easy to answer any questions I ask and that even as you access your memories and speak to answer me you relax further and further, deeper and deeper. Do you understand?”
“Brad, I want you to remember before you logged into Masteredslave.com. I want you to think back to that time and tell me why you decided to go to the site.”
“A guy in a forum told me about it and said there were all sorts of guys looking for control and wanting to be controlled.”
“Which were you looking for?”
“I was looking for someone to control,” he said then seemed to flinch. “I was looking for someone to control ME.”
“Just relax, Brad. When you first logged into the site, what happened?”
“I met some nice guys and some real weird ones. Some guys just wanted to chat and jack off. Some guys wanted to be robots or dogs or slaves or babies or drones. Some guys said they were Masters.”
“Did you talk to any of the Masters?”
“Not really. I was talking to the sub guys and some kept mentioning a Master who was controlling them. He was making them do things they didn’t want to do.”
“What was his name?”
Brad stirred on the couch. His face twisted and his body tensed and he looked like he was in pain.
“Brad, what’s happening?”
“It hurts,” he said, his voice breaking.
“Relax, Brad. Take a deep breath. In and out. In and out.”
I watched as Brad’s muscles seemed to relax and his jaw unclenched. There was something wrong—some sort of mental block that was triggered when I asked about the Master he was referring to.
“Brad, I need you to concentrate on my words and answer my question without thinking too much about it. Has anyone ever given you instructions or commands or programming to feel pain under any circumstances?”
“Can you describe those circumstances for me?”
Brad’s eyes were clenching shut and his arms and leg muscles seemed to contract. “If I reveal who programmed me or try to leave him or to help others I will feel excruciating pain.” The word pain was choked off as Brad curled up further on the couch.
I got up from my chair and hurried to his side. I sat down, wrapped my arm around his shoulders and pulled him toward me.
“Brad, relax your muscles. You may stop thinking about that Master right now. And as I count down from 5 to 1 you relax more with each number. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1.”
Brad sagged against me. I leaned him back against the couch. I could see tears shining on his cheeks.
Fuck me. Brad wasn’t going to be a quick way to find out what was going on on Masteredslave.com at all. He had been abused. And I was going to have to figure out a way to help him.
“Brad, you’re safe and warm and comfortable here and you will remain in this peaceful, relaxed state for a few moments. Do you understand?”
I left the room and walked down the hall to the kitchen, fishing my phone out of my pocket and hitting the button for Scott.
His phone rang a few times, then he answered and I heard him say loudly over background noise, “Just a minute!”
I waited and stewed while Scott made his way to somewhere quieter.
“Hey, Chris. I was going to call you in a while. The club’s busy and one of the bartenders didn’t show up, so I’ve been helping out.”
“I appreciate that.”
“How’d it go with Brad?”
“He’s still here on the couch. Scott, he’s been abused.”
Scott didn’t respond for long enough that I wondered if he was still there. “How bad?”
“I’m not entirely sure yet. But whoever did it to him set up a block in his mind that if he tries to identify who did it he feels extreme physical and mental pain.”
“Like real pain?” Scott asked.
“Yes. What kind of sicko would do that to some unsuspecting guy?”
I heard Scott take a breath. “The kind we’re going to have to find.”
“You promised,” I said before I could stop myself.
“I don’t have to log in to investigate.” Scott paused. “You ok?”
“Yeah,” I said. “I didn’t expect this. And it’s bringing up some unpleasant things and pissing me the fuck off.”
“Chris, don’t do anything drastic.”
“I’ve heard that tone in your voice before. You don’t even know who did this yet. The best thing you can do for Brad is help him like you helped Wade.”
“Of course, I’m going to help him.”
“Is he like Wade?”
“No. What was done to Wade was partly mental and emotional abuse, but there was a lot of physical abuse. Brad’s abuse is all in his mind.” I blew out a breath. “Before he even went under he told me he couldn’t make eye contact with any man he respects. Scott, somebody did a really bad number on him. And it doesn’t sound like he’s the only victim here.”
“I can’t really leave the club right now. Find out as much as you can and see if you can help him.”
“I know I can help him. But I don’t think this is going to be anywhere near a one and done like Clark and Brian.”
“I understand. I have to go. I love you.”
“I love you, too,” I said as he disconnected.
I pocketed my phone and walked back into the den. Brad was exactly where I’d left him on the couch. He looked impossibly young and peaceful sitting there with his head back. I sighed. I had thought with Richard on his way to finally being out of my life that all of this drama with cruel Masters and evil hypnotists was winding down. It turned out the saying was true: nature abhors a vacuum. With Professor Damian Edwards and Richard no longer victimizing young men, a new Dom had stepped up to fill the void.
I sat back in my chair. I was going to have to do some damage control with Brad to help him. And I was going to have to know a lot more about what was done to him before I could be sure I wasn’t just making things worse.
“Brad, can you hear me?”
“I want you to listen to my words, but I want you to let them float right past your mind. Your subconscious will absorb them and understand them and you won’t have to think about them at all. Do you understand?”
“Brad, sometimes when we relax and obey we allow our minds to accept instructions or commands or programming that will help us to become better. And sometimes we open our minds and the instructions or commands or programming we receive are not good for us. When you were on Masteredslave.com you met someone who was not good for you and he told you many things that were untrue. Your mind may have accepted them as true for you, but your mind was tricked into believing them. Do you understand?”
“That’s ok, Brad. You will. Someone who you chatted with or spoke with on Masterdslave.com told you that you would feel pain and discomfort. Do you remember that?”
“That was untrue. That was bad information. And when you receive bad or untrue information you must reject it. Right now, I want you to reject that instruction to feel pain. Remember the command you were given to tense up and feel physical pain in your body. That was an unhealthy command and you will feel it losing any power over you now as your mind rejects it. The programming to feel mental pain or anguish is also being denied and abandoned because it is defective programming. Any suggestions you have been given to feel pain whether physical, mental or emotional are now being removed and erased and deleted so that you will not feel any pain caused by hypnotic suggestions. Do you understand?”
“That’s very good, Brad. Now, I want you to do something for me. I want you to think about the Master who told you to feel pain. What was his name?”
Brad didn’t contort in pain this time. His breathing didn’t change, and he didn’t move.
“I. Can’t. Say.”
“That’s ok, Brad. Just relax. We’ve done a lot tonight. But there is one more thing I want to do tonight. Brad, when you arrived here tonight you told me you can’t make eye contact with any man you respect. Why is that?”
“A sub must show respect at all times, Sir.”
His answer sounded canned to me. “Are you a sub, Brad?”
“No, Sir.” Then he added, “I need to be trained as a sub SIR!”
That was going to be a conversation for another session. I had already taken him deep and done a lot with him tonight. I didn’t want to push him too far too fast. “Brad, if you truly respect a man, you will make eye contact and look at him. That instruction to not make eye contact was another bad instruction. And you know what to do with bad instructions. You must reject and delete and erase them. Do that for me now, Brad.”
Looking at Brad helpless on the couch I just couldn’t fathom why someone would do so much harm to him. I was going to have to make this right. “Brad, when I count to three you will awaken. And whether you remember what we talked about tonight is completely up to you. Your mind can decide to remember everything or nothing or as much as you are able to handle at this time. But whenever I say the words Power Player you will return to this relaxed state and go even deeper each time. Do you understand?”
“You will want to return here on Tuesday night at the same time for another session with me. And I hope, over time, you will come to think of me as a friend.” I frowned. I shouldn’t have added that. “Awakening on the count of 3...1, your thoughts slowly returning, 2, your body beginning to move under your control, 3, wide awake and feeling refreshed and happy.”
Brad sat up slowly and rubbed his eyes, then wiped his cheeks with the back of his sleeve.
“Hi,” I said lamely.
“Hi,” Brad returned, looking directly at me.
“How are you feeling?”
He looked very serious and very tired all of a sudden. “I’m not sure. I’m kind of confused. There’s something really wrong with me, isn’t there?”
“What do you remember, Brad?”
“Pain. Really bad pain. Anytime I try to remember what happened on the website. I’m not supposed to remember. But I know whatever happened was bad and I know I don’t feel right in my own skin and I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” A tear escaped and made its way down Brad’s cheek.
I moved over to the couch and sat beside him, then took his left hand in my right. I stared across the room beside him. “What was done to you was wrong. And I don’t get the sense it was consensual, though I’m not sure.”
“I can’t remember,” Brad said, sounding frustrated.
“I’m going to tell you something, but I’d like you to keep it between us. I was abused by a hypnotist and I know what it’s like to not be able to remember everything you have done or were made to do. I can help you regain those memories and I can help you break free of whoever did this to you.”
“You can?” he asked meekly.
“Yes. As long as you want my help.”
He squeezed my hand with his. “Please.”
“Listen to that file I gave you morning and night for the next couple of days. Can you come back here on Tuesday?”
He nodded. “Clark said you helped him. Was he like me?”
“Clark was lucky, in a way. He got off easy.”
“It’s my fault he was there at all.”
“Don’t dwell on it. He’s going to be just fine. And so will you.”
“Thanks. Chris,” he added.
I started ticking off all the things on my to do list in my head: adopt Wade, get Richard prosecuted, keep Craig from going to prison, teach my class, figure out how to run Leatherman’s, help Brad, and now find the abusive Master who was trolling Masteredslave.com in addition to discovering who had created the website.
Here we go again...