The Erotic Mind-Control Story Archive

The Further Adventures of Louis and Elle

Chapter Fourteen: The Receptionist *

When Ralph Vorelli entered Dr. Elle Murphy’s waiting room, he was mildly surprised to see that today she had a receptionist. Then he was glad, because the receptionist was—well, married or not, he had to say—adorable.

He and his wife had visited the therapist’s office once before, in the late afternoon. It was quiet and deserted, in the back garden of the house she shared in the East Hills with her husband, Louis Wentworth. Ralph hadn’t met Louis but had seen him on television discussing his popular new series of mystery novels; the interviewer had asked him about his marriage. Both she and Ralph had been mildly startled at his gushy response. “I owe these books and everything else to Elle,” he’d said, with a faraway look in his eyes. Then he’d shaken himself as if waking up from a nap and gone back to discussing his new witchcraft-oriented Charles Winter mysteries, which were moving up the bestseller list.

Not that Ralph was surprised that Louis was in love with his wife. She was a living doll, he thought to himself. He’d seen her for the first time when Emma had dragged him to a lunchtime demonstration of weight-loss hypnosis in the auditorium and the back of Mr. Kelly’s Magic Shop. Emma was always fretting about losing five pounds, even though Ralph often told her—quite sincerely—that she didn’t need to lose an ounce. She looked great to him, and she attracted enough sidelong male glances when out in public that he knew others thought so as well.

But she’d almost begged him to go to the hypnosis session with her, and so he did. He hadn’t even known the Magic Shop had a back room, but almost every seat had been filled for the free weight-loss program. Dr. Murphy had appeared looking very professional in a knee-length blue dress and black pumps. But Ralph could tell she was a knockout—buxom, fit, luxuriant dirty-blonde hair tied up in a neat bun, intense blue eyes glittering behind the kind of glasses the pretty girl always wore in classic movies before the hero talked her out of them and into his arms. And she carried herself with a kind of confidence that suggested she could convince anyone to do anything she wanted.

Hypnosis was not magic, she told the audience, even though they were there in the mysterious reaches of Mr. Kelly’s, about which many things were whispered by the gullible. Dr. Murphy’s manner, however, had been all business. The entire program had been only 50 minutes. First she’d explained that hypnosis was simply the science of suggestion; then she’d invited all those who wanted to try it to follow along as she talked in a soothing monotone encouraging them to relax and let go of the stresses of the day. He’d been astonished—it took her less than five minutes to hypnotize most of the people in the room! As Ralph remembered the occasion, even he had felt a bit woozy as she talked, but he had more or less tuned out as she talked to the sleeping people about nutrition, exercise, and appetite. Then she’d given them suggestions to feel wide awake and ready for the afternoon, and sent them on their way (a very large man at the back entrance had a table display of Dr. Murphy’s CDs for such things as insomnia, smoking cessation, peace of mind, and better sleep, and many of the crowd had bought several).

The funny thing was that Emma, who’d appeared to be totally entranced, hadn’t lost an ounce in the weeks afterwards; meanwhile, without giving it any thought, Ralph had lost seven pounds and was enjoying how his clothes fit. He put that down to coincidence, but it was amusing.

Even though Emma didn’t lose weight—damn it, she was beautiful, she didn’t need to lose weight!—she’d called Dr. Murphy after the demonstrations and seen her now four or five times. At first she’d told Ralph it was just for sleep and concentration—Emma was a pediatric nurse, with irregular hours and a need to be at her best while caring for sick kids—but after the fifth time she’d admitted to him that she’d been asking Dr. Murphy’s advice and help with their marriage and asked him to go to see the doctor with her. At first he’d been outraged; they had a good marriage, all told, why would they need marriage counseling? This was just another one of Emma’s ideas that she picked up God knew where and tried to nag him into adopting. But she’d asked him as a favor (and whispered about a few favors she would do him over the next few nights) and he’d realized he was being a little bit of a jerk. If she wanted him to spend an hour with Dr. Murphy, he could humor her. So they’d met for the first time (without a receptionist), and he’d give his point of view. That appointment had been—well—interesting, as Dr. Murphy tried to get Ralph to talk about why he thought they were fighting so often.

It wasn’t complicated, he said. She worked long hours; they were both tired a lot; and she—well, he loved Emma, she was so smart and funny and he remembered how sexy he’d thought she was when they met, and she was still sexy, though he didn’t think about sex as often these days. But—but—the truth was she was so damned bossy sometimes, it made him feel (and he surprised himself by saying this) panicky when she got into that mode, as if he couldn’t breathe and needed to get away from her and everyone else.

At the end of the hour, Dr. Murphy had praised him for his openness and courage, asked him whether he’d be willing to come to an appointment by himself to talk about those issues.

He’d surprised himself again by saying “yes”—though he quickly added one condition. No hypnosis, he said. She had to promise.

She’d given him a somewhat amused glance through the smart-girl glasses and raised her right hand as if taking the oath. “I promise not to hypnotize you,” she said.


“Absolutely. In fact, I’ll give it to you in writing.” Quickly she’d scribbled a note: I PROMISE NOT TO HYPNOTIZE RALPH VORELLI UNLESS HE ASKS ME TO. /s/ Elle Murphy, Ph.D.

So he’d agreed to come by herself. Partly to make Emma happy and partly because, after all, another hour in the same room with this devastating blonde—at that moment he’d noticed that she even smelled great, with a soothing floral scent—would hardly be torture. And he did wish he and Emma wouldn’t fight so much. He wondered if she’d figure out his secret—which was that he loved Emma a lot and wanted her to be happy.

So that had brought back him to Dr. Murphy’s waiting room, which he’d been surprised to find himself sharing with a petite blonde sitting behind a desk. A slide in front of her said, JUSTINE MARLOWE—Receptionist. She greeted him with an engaging smile, and he found himself smiling back.

“You must be Mr. Vorelli?” she said.

He nodded.

“Great. Dr. Murphy is almost ready for you, but in the meantime she’s asked me to give you these forms to fill out.” She handed him a clipboard, smiling so nicely that he took it. He started to protest; he hated filling out forms, and it didn’t make sense that he had to fill them out for his second visit but not for his first, but he felt motivated to oblige this lovely young woman.

As he wrote his name and address in the blanks, he snuck another look at Justine. She might have been Dr. Murphy’s Mini-Me. Dr. Murphy was probably about 5′7″ (maybe 5′8″ in heels); Justine was more like 5′3″. (He didn’t know what her shoes looked like but now he was imagining her in heels too; she’d look hot.) But she had the same thick blonde hair, the same curves, and, like Dr. Murphy, cheekbones a desperate man might cut his wrists on. Looking more closely, though, he noticed that Justine’s eyes were green, not blue, and at that point Justine noticed him staring. “Can I help you, Mr. Vorelli?” she said, and he blushed bright red and looked back down at the form.

“Well, yes,” he said, more to pretend he hadn’t been staring than because he really needed help. “I am not sure how to answer some of these questions.”

“Really?” she said, leaving forward. “Can you tell me which one?”

He lost his train of thought at that point, because he suddenly had a good view of her cleavage and lacy bra. At the same time he noticed her musky perfume. So his answer came out as sort of a squeak. “Well—this one!” He pointed at random at question number six, even though he’d only answered number one so far.

She took the clipboard from him and looked at it. “WHEN YOU LOOK AT YOUR THOUGHTS, WHAT DO THEY LOOK LIKE?” she read. “You don’t understand it?”

“No,” he said. “It doesn’t make any sense at all! How can I look at thoughts? They are thoughts, they’re not real!”

“Well, Mr. Vorelli, a lot of our clients say that they like to visualize their thoughts in some way, in order to get some distance from them and work on creative new ideas. Have you ever tried that?”

“Visualize my thoughts? I can’t say I have. How does that work?”

“Well,” she said, “all of us are thinking a dozen things at a time, and behind those thoughts are others trying to crowd into our minds, and it can be hard to think peacefully about any one thing with all the noise and clamor going on. So instead, if you imagine you can see your thoughts, sometimes you can step back from them and put them in order.”

“Interesting,” he said.

“Would you like to try?”

“How long before I see the doctor?”

“We have five minutes or so,” she said. “That’s really all I need—I mean, all you need.”

“Okay,” he said. “What do I do?”

She looked him in the eyes. “Just tell me, at this moment, what do your thoughts look like?”

His eyes darted up and to the right; Justine made a note on her notepad when they did. “I can’t really see anything,” he said.

“Well, sometimes it helps to close your eyes and ask yourself what they look like then.”

He closed his eyes. Again looking up and to the right, he said, “I can sort of make them out. They are just sort of blobs moving around.”

She made another note. “That’s interesting,” she said. “Some people see them as fish, some people as birds, some people seem them as clouds or leaves blowing in the wind, do your blobs look like anything?”

At that moment the blobs came into focus. “Yes,” he said. “Birds. They look like—birds. Birds.”

“Shhh,” she said gently, as if talking to a child. “That’s very good. What kind of birds? Some people see starlings, some people see ravens or crows, some see eagles—can you let them come into focus so you see what they are?”

“Yes,” he said softly. His eyes had begun to move back and forth in his head, as if he were watching a movie behind his eyelids. “They are very colorful, very bright—red and green and yellow and purr . . . ple . . .”

“Very good. Very, very good, Ralph. Now watch them as they fly up, away from you, in the sky, and they are going fly in a tangle, and then in a spiral, can you see?”

He nodded. “Yes.” His voice was barely a whisper.

“Good. Now if you watch closely they are going to swarm across the sky and spell out a word, watch, you don’t need to make it happen, they are spelling out a word, the word is R-E-L-A-X. You can see it. Nod your head!”

He knew he was nodding. He had forgotten who the voice belonged to, but he knew it was saying things he wanted to hear. It was probably his thoughts, low and seductive and so persuasive.

“Good,” the voice said. “Now you want to listen very carefully because I am going to tell you some things that are true and you know they are true and you will believe them. Nod.”

He was nodding again.

“I’m the official receptionist, and this is an official announcement from the office, Ralph. It has to be true or the office wouldn’t let me make it officially, do you understand? Of course you do. The announcement is this, so listen carefully since it’s officially true: this office is the place where you are allowed to tell your secrets. You want to tell Dr. Murphy your secrets because you know it is allowed. You know this is the official secret place and it will just be the two of you and you are so grateful to be allowed to tell her your secrets because she likes you and will help you. Nod.”


“Good, Ralph, the form is all filled out correctly so now you can rest comfortably in the chair waiting for Dr. Murphy. There’s no need to remember what we have talked about, you don’t need even to notice that I am here, you can just let yourself remember that you came here and Dr. Murphy greeted you and you told her all your secrets and you listened so carefully to all her helpful suggestions. Nod.”


“Good. Now just relax in your chair and watch your thoughts spelling out words until Dr. Murphy is ready for you. That’s right, let go completely.”

There followed a blank period that might have been short or long, until he heard a new voice saying, “Ralph?”

He saw Dr. Murphy standing in front of him. “Oh, sorry, lost track of time,” he said.

She gave him an amused look. “You seemed to be deep in thought,” she said. “What were you thinking about?”

A puzzled look came over his face. “Um—birds, I think. Birds. I … don’t know where that came from.”

“That’s interesting,” she said, gesturing toward her office door. “Why don’t you come in and tell me more.”

He got slowly to his feet. He seemed a bit bewildered, but not displeased; he followed her gesture into her office, and the door closed behind him.

Justine watched it close. Her technique was definitely improving. After Elle woke him up, poor Ralph hadn’t even noticed her sitting there—though he had definitely noticed her before going under. She had served him up perfectly; he was going to be putty in Elle’s hands. That thought made her sit up a bit straighter in her chair. She was ever-so-slightly flushed; although the room was pleasantly cool, small beads of sweat had popped out on her brow. She pulled out her cellphone and dialed. After a few seconds, her lover, Shahrzad Green. “Hello, sweetheart?” she said. “Are you still on the road?”

Shahrzad’s voice—low and intimate—always touched a deep place inside Justine. “No, darling, I just arrived and let myself into your apartment. Want to meet me for a drink? Or should I pick you up?”

“No, I drove myself over today,” Justine said. “Listen carefully because I am going to tell you some things that are true and you want to listen. You’ve had a long drive and a long day and I know you are tired, you need to relax, your need to let go of all your thoughts and worries, they’re swimming away like fish, they’re flying away like birds, drifting away like clouds, leaving you relaxed and empty, no thoughts, going back to that blissful state you’ve been in so many times before, and as you listen to my voice you know it is your reality. Shahrzad, it’s been a hot drive, your clothes are so uncomfortable, you are so eager to take them off, you will go into the bedroom and then take them all off and then you will feel your eyes grow heavy and you will get into bed and immediately fall into a deep sleep. And you will dream, Shahrzad, happy warm powerful dreams in which you make love to me in ways I’ve never experienced and even you have never thought of, and when I count to three you will forget we spoke but you will carry out all my suggestions. And when I wake you in a few minutes you will carry out all those fantasies. One-two-three—NOW! Hang up and go to bed!”

She heard a click. Fanning herself lightly with her free hand, she looked at her watch. It was 5:10. There would be some traffic, but she could be home and in bed with Shahrzad in less than 20 minutes if she left now.

She couldn’t think of any reason to wait.