Part 8: #Two #Woodland #Reading #MrRight #Challenge #SecondTrance
Jen sat on a split log, leafing through the first few pages of her book. She hadn’t intended to actually read it, but there wasn’t that much to entertain her in this remote place. The hash was in the middle of a large area of woodland, and it had taken her quite some time to be sure she was at the right spot. The map didn’t tell her if these woods were open to the public, or who might own them. But there wasn’t a fence around them, just a ragged line of trees along the roadside. So she’d pushed her bike a little way off the road, where it wasn’t visible to passing traffic, and gone the rest of the way on foot.
At least half the distance she’d covered, by a conservative estimate, had been in back-and-forth zigzags as she compared her current coordinates to those she was aiming for. It wasn’t how she imagined a triumph, but now she was about as close as she imagined she could get to the goal.
She’d taken some photos of the trees stretching away in all directions, and one of herself at the point that her phone insisted was the closest she would be able to get.
She couldn’t leave then. Not when Eric might be along at any moment. It had been mid afternoon before she met him the first time, after all. And while she waited, she took a seat on the remnants of a tree destroyed by some minor catastrophe, and read.
“Enjoying yourself, miss?”
A voice right behind Jen’s shoulder startled her so much that she almost dropped the book. She quickly slammed it closed and tried to wedge it back into the top of her bag as quickly as possible. She’d left most of the shopping with her bike, just bringing one bag that contained a few snacks in case she was walking for longer than expected, the forms she should be filling in about certain members of supermarket staff, and a couple of items of produce that she knew she’d have to check the condition of when she filled out the paperwork.
Right now, despite having been on top of the same bag all the time she was walking here, the book wouldn’t go back inside.
“I’m sorry,” she gasped, wondering if the stranger might be a landowner, or a local. Or even a regular dog-walker, surprised to find a stranger on the route he normally had to himself. “There were no signs saying if this place was…”
And then she hesitated. The guy was wearing a heavy cotton shirt, that showed off a relatively decent musculature, and jeans that had been snagged by the undergrowth a couple of times on the way here. For a second Jen’s head spun, a realisation stirring in the back of her mind but she couldn’t tell what she should have noticed. This situation rang a bell, and she couldn’t quite place it. The face was sounding a whole carillon, but nothing was connecting. It was like the moment after a very intense party, knowing that something both incredibly wonderful and terrifying happened, but not being able to put her finger on the details. And then the clouds shifted and she could see the shapes that had always been there.
“Eric!” she gasped, eyes wide. “I didn’t recognise… Did you do something?”
“Maybe,” he answered with a little chuckle, and a half smile that seemed even more charming that he remembered. This was the confidence of a man who didn’t need to show off or do anything to inflate his ego, because he already knew what he was capable of. He didn’t need to boast, because everyone whose opinion mattered was already in awe of him. “You remember last time we met?”
“Of course! On that little island in Levinson Park. We found the hash together and I asked you to hypnotise me. Did you…”
“I left you with a little suggestion. Wondering if the next time we happened to meet, we could enjoy some of that first meeting again. The excitement and nervousness of meeting someone new, I think. If we met again while searching for another hash, you wouldn’t recognise me until we reached the point. I thought that might be an interesting reward for both of us, if we could find it.”
“Would have been more fun if I didn’t arrive so early,” she gave a shrug. “But you didn’t know I’d be here today, did you?”
“No. Heck, I didn’t know I’d be here myself. I’m trying to find a particular latitude and longitude using a sextant and compass, so there’s no way for me to know if the place is even reachable until I get there. So if we both make it, that’s something we should both enjoy. Right?”
“Yeah. I mean… Something a friend said after last time, he had me wondering if I’d given you my phone number after last time and then forgotten it. Like you could call me out of the blue, and I’d do whatever you asked. And I have to wonder if you did something like that. I don’t think you would, but it’s kind of… An exciting thing to think about. Yeah?”
“I think I know where you’re coming from. But I promise, I’ve not got your phone number, and even if I did I wouldn’t demand you come to meet me without your permission. I think we’re good meeting by chance, an extra thrill for the hash hunt. Maybe we should see how often we can meet like this, and maybe consider something else once we’re sure about how well we get on. Once we know it’s not just a one-time fluke, right?”
“I guess. I can’t believe I was so dumb, though. I’ve only been coming out on these adventures when there’s one accessible close to home. I never stopped to think that the location closest to home for me might not be the closest one to you. Is this local, or…”
“You want to know where I live?” He answered with a smile, and Jen found herself getting weak at the knees. Just thinking about what he could do to her if he wanted to, and he was happy to just play games. “How about we make it a challenge?”
“Another challenge like the first one? That sounds like fun, and this time my housemates wouldn’t laugh at me because I know there’s a big prize at the end of the trail.”
She blushed as she thought about those words, wished she’d found a more tasteful way to put it. Or maybe just a little less obvious; she wasn’t usually the kind to make her interest in a guy so obvious on their second meeting.
“Okay then.” Eric nodded, and pulled a watch out of his pocket. “I’ll tell you that this point wasn’t the closest to my home as the crow flies, but I estimated that it would likely be the easiest one for me to get to. And I’ll tell you that the journey here took me twenty-four minutes walking, twelve minutes in motor vehicles, and forty-one minutes on trains. As far as I can estimate with my watch, at any rate. Perhaps next time we meet at one of these, I’ll give you another clue of the same kind, and you can start trying to pinpoint where I’m coming from. Sound like fun?”
“Yeah…” Jen murmured, eyes staring into space as she tried to work out how she could get anything definitive from those numbers. She’d likely have to work out where the nearest station was, where he might have got off the train. And then a guess at whether he’d walked from the station, or if it was a little farther away, where he might have got a taxi up to. The train would likely be the most useful part, because she knew that arrival and departure boards were displayed online, and that certain route-planning apps would let her look at a current train and find out how many minutes away from its schedule it was at each station it had already passed through. With a selection of two or three stations close to here, she could work out all the possible origin stations that had been exactly forty-one minutes away. Both using the timetable times, and the actual times for today taking account of delays. Once she had that, and the possible combinations of walking and taxi time that would have got him here, she would also know whether he could have walked or driven to the station, and have a rough estimate for how close he lived to his own local station…
“Sorry,” Jen shook her head, and returned her gaze to the man in front of her. “That’s a very interesting kind of puzzle. And I’m sure it will be fun to solve. But while we’re here…”
“Would you like to take some pictures this time?” Eric asked. And while he waited for an answer, he pulled a camera out of his bag. It looked old, but well cared for. Maybe digital, or maybe there was film inside there, but it was clearly a hobbyist’s camera. There were more buttons and knobs on the device than Jen had ever seen before, and the viewfinder was a tiny eyepiece rather than a screen. “You know, a picture of you at the point? One of me too, or even a group shot so you can tell your friends all about this weird woodsman you met.”
“That would be neat. I think this log is pretty close to the exact point. As close as my satnav can guess, anyway, within twelve metres. So we could sit here and take a photo, and maybe chat awhile. And if you feel like it, you could…”
“I could what? Read over your shoulder? Don’t worry, that’s not a guilty pleasure of mine or anything. I just wondered, after last time, if you’d recognise me right away given that you seemed to already have a good idea where you were.”
“You could hypnotise me again?” Jen asked, trying to suppress the excitement in her voice. She didn’t want to sound too eager, or too horny, or any of the other things that could have come out of that request. “You could make me do embarrassing things. I mean, I know it really works now. I know you could mke me do anything. And I’ve had plenty of time to clear my head and think about how you could make me feel. So you know I’m asking this after I’ve had a good, hard think about what I could be letting myself in for. And all possibilities considered, I’ve got no doubts at all that this is something I want to do.”
“I have to admit, it’s a refreshing change to have a young woman so enthusiastic. And I’m sure I could think of some things we could try. Though I’m not sure how closely they align with your tastes, but I guess we could just wait and see.”
“Really?” Jen gasped. She could feel her heart racing now, and she was practically squirming in her improvised seat. She’d never been so excited by a man before, not even when one ex after another presented her with his impression of a sexy striptease, or when one in particular had snapped cuffs around her wrists and slowly whispered everything he was going to do to her. A simple conversation in the woods, fully clothed, went straight to first place in her list of exciting experiences. Because Eric didn’t need whips, or chains, or complex networks of knotted ribbon to show how powerful and dominant he was. He didn’t need whispered promises, oiled skin, or tightly fitting leather. Eric was in control of he situation simply because he was, and they both knew that. He didn’t need to put on a show. And if he wanted to play games, she knew that every single action would be the most intense moment of her life; not just a buildup towards something as simple and common as rough sex.
“Really. I think it might be fun to make a game of it, though. Something to give me inspiration, so that my post-hypnotic suggestions aren’t just bolts from the blue. A framework. Does that sound fun to—”
“Yes! That sounds wonderful!” Jen didn’t even give him chance to finish the sentence.
“Then how about we say that I will always take inspiration from something you’re carrying? Your shopping, or your clothes. It worked well last time, and it means that you might be able to take a guess what I might try, so it will be more of a challenge to surprise you. Does that seem fair?”
“Sounds like fun,” she answered without thinking. “Different every time. But in future I might not be carrying such easily pervertable things.”
“Then it will be a real challenge. I’m confident I could find something we can have fun with among your possessions. And, if I can ask, would it be acceptable for me to play with your memories? To encourage you to forget some parts of this discussion, maybe, so that I don’t spoil the surprise?”
“I…” she was just about to say ‘yes’, and then she thought again. “I’m not sure. I mean, surprises are good. But you were making it sound like a game, and that seems kind of exciting. It can’t be a game if I don’t know the rules, can it?”
“Good thought, I’ve got to agree with that. So you’ll still know the rules we’re playing with, and that I’ve got to use something you’re carrying. But as part of that, I might make you forget a few little things. Maybe if I ask you if something would be okay with you, I might ask you to forget that conversation so it doesn’t spoil the surprise. That good?”
Jen thought for a second and then nodded, a little nervous but more distracted trying to think what he could make her forget. She had ideas that were so intense, even when she could only half imagine them.
“And how about your normal life? Do you want things that you might find yourself doing, or unable to resist, while we’re here at the hash, or maybe you might find a little compulsion that stays with you until the next time we meet?”
“But that could be weeks! I mean, I hope it wouldn’t be, but… I don’t know, I’m sorry. Maybe I wasn’t as ready for this as I thought.”
“Because you’re nervous? No, that’s normal. And you don’t have to apologise for setting limits. That’s the important thing, that you know what you’re comfortable with. Being able to say what you like and what you don’t makes me a lot more confident, because you’re giving me all the pointers I need to find what really works for you. So, not until next time. But if I’m being inspired by the items you’re carrying, maybe some suggestion that’s bound to an object. For example, with the pens you were carrying last time, I could have trained you so that each time you see them, you feel compelled to make just a little mark on your body. A suggestion that continues after you get home, but if it gets too inconvenient you can throw them out, or put them in the back of a cupboard out of sight. How would that make you feel?”
Jen didn’t answer right away. She’d let out a gasp at the word ‘trained’, which turned her on more than she’d ever imagined it could. And now she was trying to guess if Eric had heard, and how much she was blushing at the thought that he might. She didn’t want to admit how excited she was now, but she wanted him to make her. The dilemma made it quite hard to think about anything else.
“That would be perfect,” she eventually stammered, realising that he was waiting for an answer. “You didn’t, did you?”
“No. If you’ve felt any desire to write on yourself since we last met, I think that must be entirely the work of your own fantasies. That’s entirely up to you, and maybe I’ll ask you to show me at some point.” That was enough to set Jen blushing furiously, her face on fire.
“In any case,” Eric continued with a sly grin, “there are a few other suggestions I might like to make, too. Things that would keep this game interesting. But I’m going to tell you first, and ask if these ideas are things you are comfortable with. Or uncomfortable in a way you enjoy, if that makes sense.” Jen just nodded to that, biting her lip a little. She knew exactly what that meant, and it was one of the hardest desires to describe.
“Well then, would it be acceptable if each time you came looking for a hash, you managed to put the most embarrassing items in your bag at the top, where I could easily see them?” Jen took a deep breath and nodded. She glanced over at her small bag, leaning against a tree stump. She was about to comment on that, but Eric took the words right out of her mouth: “It looks like you’ve been doing that already. So would it be good if you did that without realising?” she nodded more quickly this time. “And how about if I asked you to forget that I asked these questions?”
Jen just kept on nodding, as the list grew to seven questions. All things that sounded fun, mysterious, and exciting. And, she was sure, things that would excite her in so many ways.
“I think that’s everything I need to ask while you’re still thinking clearly,” Eric finished. “Well, maybe I should ask if you’re sitting comfortably.”
“Yeah. There’s moss on the log, it’s not too damp, but pretty soft.” Eric sat down beside her, to see for himself.
“And do you think you’re still in control of your responses enough to refuse if I suggested something improper?”
Jen nodded, and then elaborated a little: “I think so. I’m really looking forward to this, I’ve been wanting it for weeks, but you’ve not started yet. I’m getting impatient, mister.”
“That’s fine. But you know, you might be in trance without even realising. Why don’t we try some little exercises, to test your awareness of the situation. What’s your name?”
“Jen,” she pouted, and couldn’t resist a little giggle. For all the fun they were having, he was still someone she’d only spoken to twice. And it seemed the kind of situation she’d always been taught never to give a full name.
“That’s good. I don’t need to know any more than that, and I don’t want to be prying. Do you know what month it is?”
“September. It doesn’t feel like it though, with these temperatures. It’s still like summer.”
“What’s the capital of Botswana?”
“Close enough,” Eric laughed as he replied, and had to wait a couple of seconds before he could ask the next question in a normal tone: “Can you count down from five to one for me?”
“Five,” Jen said, and stuck her tongue out before the next number. She was feeling a little light headed, but nothing to indicate that she hadn’t been in sound mind and body to give him permission. Questions like this were just a little patronising, as if she wouldn’t be able to remember the next number. She hesitated just a little.
“Four,” she muttered, a little of the certainty draining from her voice. She wasn’t sure if she’d already said four, or if that was next, but surely if she repeated it she could just brush that off as not being sure he’d heard. She’d be more confident when she said…
Jen realised that she couldn’t remember how many numbers she’d counted. It was just like the jungle she’d been wandering around on their last visit, where she had no idea how far they’d walked, or how far there was still to go. Except that this time, the jungle wasn’t just in her mind. There really were trees all around them, and she couldn’t remember right now if those were all real, or something Eric had told her to imagine.
“Three,” her lips answered automatically, slurring the word just a little in the absence of input from her brain. She didn’t need to think about it now, she could just answer and listen, swimming in a sea of trees. It felt so good to let go, and to wait for his words to guide her to the centre of the jungle. It wouldn’t be long now, she could already feel her mouth opening to answer a question she didn’t remember hearing.