Alex’s left eyelid twitched slightly with frustration as, for what felt like the hundredth time, Winter said: “Could you just show me that one more time?”
She’d never imagined she’d wind up feeling frustrated when she’d received a message from Winter, her long-time crush and new friend—thinking of her that way still gave Alex butterflies in her stomach—asking her to come visit her apartment one afternoon and give her some workout advice. Alex had jumped at the chance to meet up with Winter, especially since the goth girl had promised it would just be the two of them.
Alex had arrived at Winter’s apartment about fifteen minutes early because she was so eager not to be late, but Winter was thankfully untroubled by her early arrival and had invited her in straight away. Alex had been immensely pleased to finally satisfy her curiosity about the kind of place a girl like Winter would live. She lived alone in her remarkably spacious apartment a short distance from campus, and everything about her place was clean, tasteful and expensive-looking. Winter must have rich parents, Alex figured. The decor was entirely in keeping with Winter’s goth aesthetic, with incense burners, candles, morbid black-and-white paintings scattered all over the place. The living room had a huge tapestry hung on one wall, covered with dizzying array of occult-looking symbols, the meanings of which Alex couldn’t fathom.
“You really need to see it again?” Alex asked, her voice slightly strained.
“If you wouldn’t mind,” Winter replied, sounding entirely untroubled as she sipped at her cup of tea and regarded Alex with shining eyes. Alex took a couple of deep breaths and prepared to stretch again, just as she had been doing all afternoon.
Winter had told Alex that she wanted to start working out more—which had surprised Alex, since Winter seemed to have a perfectly trim physique already—and had asked Alex to come over and teach her some basic workout routines. It made sense to ask her, Winter had said, given how much time she spent working out. Alex couldn’t argue with that. She practically lived in the gym. She was there every day, morning and night, pushing herself harder and harder each time. When she wasn’t there, she was out jogging. Alex had lost more than enough weight to satisfy her initial goals, but she’d found her regular workout schedule impossible to break and the practice of pushing her limits more and more to enhance her body almost addictive. It was thrilling and viscerally satisfying like nothing she’d ever felt before. It had taken over her life, she had to admit. All her meals were based around a carefully-researched meal plan to maximize energy and muscle gain, and she’d traded coffee and wine for protein shakes and electrolyte drinks. She was making only the barest effort with her schoolwork, and was struggling to care about all the angry emails she received from her professors, piling up unread in her inbox. Alex spent more time researching exercise techniques than anything academic. Besides working out, she only had one other hobby: masturbating. Every time she left the gym, exhausted, she staggered home, collapsed on her bed and fucked herself silly. It just felt so good. Alex loved how in-tune with her body she felt, and if that manifested as a higher sex drive, that was far from the unhappiest thing she could imagine. She masturbated as many as a dozen times every day—at least, when she couldn’t find someone else to scratch that particular itch for her. Sometimes it was Sierra, and sometimes it was a random stranger she ran into whilst jogging or at the gym. That had happened more than once now, and Alex had long since stopped feeling any shame about it.
Alex turned to face Winter sideways on and then extended her left leg forward and bent her knees, demonstrating a basic lunge stretch. Out of the corner of her eye she could see Winter watching her keenly, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that none of this was really about teaching Winter anything. Alex had tried suggesting Winter give the exercises a shot, but the goth girl had demurred. She said she’d attempt them and let Alex appraise her efforts, but only after she felt she understood all the exercises well enough. Strangely, though, Winter wasn’t dressed appropriate for exercise at all. She was wearing a long, flowing black dress and had been sipping tea out of an elegant china teacup all afternoon, and the way she’d been studying Alex had made her feel more like prize poodle on display than an exercise coach. If she hadn’t known better, she would have sworn Winter was more interested in her body than in what she was doing with it. Her eyes constantly traced and re-traced the curvature of Alex’s muscles as she exerted herself herself, her gaze so intent that she was practically leering at her. To an extent, Alex couldn’t blame her. Her muscles were becoming increasingly large and well-defined, to the point they attracted looks and comments from passersby. But there was something else in Winter’s eyes too. An eagerness and a possessiveness that reminded Alex more than anything of the way a master sculptor might appraise a half-carved piece of marble, hungry to press on with their work. It didn’t strike Alex as the way someone would look at their exercise coach or their friend, or even another human being.
“May I…?” Winter asked, raising the small remote control she had in her hand.
“Oh… sure,” Alex answered, blushing. Winter pressed one of the buttons on the remote and a set of vibrators attached across her body purred into life. Alex gasped, and had to fight to keep her body in proper form. She used vibrators as much as possible when she exercised, even though the constant, insistent pleasure made it hard to concentrate. How could she not use them? It was common sense, although feeling such pleasure at something so normal made her deeply embarrassed.
She was so glad Winter had told her it was common sense. She must have been making such a fool of herself at first, working out with at least one vibrator against her pussy. Winter had even been so nice as to buy her a new set, one that could be controlled remotely and that included a small, vibrating butt plug, which was now humming away inside Alex’s ass. For a while, after Ashe had questioned it, Alex had been struggling to figure out why exactly it would be common sense. Fortunately, Winter had been kind enough to remind her: vibrations running through the body, especially through sensitive areas, stimulated weight loss and muscle growth. It was obvious really, Alex realized. She couldn’t imagine why she’d needed Winter to tell her. It was common sense.
Her body throbbing and thrumming with heat and pleasure, Alex struggled to make her way through the series of exercises she was meant to be teaching Winter. She was already tired from demonstrating them repeatedly; her breath was ragged and her muscles were screaming at her for relief, and every time she thought she was getting into a good rhythm, the vibrations against her pussy and her tits would seem to redouble, sending little lightning shocks of pleasure coursing through her and making her twitch and heave, threatening to send her off-balance. All the while, she was conscious of the way Winter was looking at her. She was staring at her intently, leaning forward as she sipped her tea, eyes shining.
“Wait a minute,” Winter spoke up. “Could you just hold that position for me?”
Alex froze. She was mid-stretch, with her arms and legs tensed. Holding the position was almost painful, but she couldn’t bring herself to do anything that might displease Winter. Winter rose to her feet and walked a languid circuit around the coffee table until she was standing right beside Alex.
“I think it’ll be easier for me to understand if I just…” Without saying anything, Winter reached out and rested her fingertips on Alex’s upper arm. Alex’s breathing caught in her throat. Winter started moving her hand, slowly drawing her fingers up over Alex’s shoulder and then down her side. Alex couldn’t move, of even speak. All she could do was hold her pose, her body straining, panting hard, as Winter examined her. Somehow, Winter’s touch was more powerful and felt more electric than all the vibrators on her body put together. As Winter’s hand traveled across to her abs and then down over her hips to her thighs, Alex noticed that she seemed to be tracing the outlines of her muscles, applying just barely enough pressure to test their definition and firmness. Alex had to fight to suppress a moan.
“Oh yes, you’re coming along wonderfully,” Winter purred. Alex frowned. What did that mean? Winter removed her hand, and slowly walked back around to retake her seat. She picked up the vibrator remote and switched off the vibrators. Alex was grateful for the relief, but a little confused too. “Come, sit at here at the table with me.”
“OK,” Alex replied, her confusion deepening. Wasn’t she supposed to be teaching Winter how to work out? She made to sit down, but then noticed that there was only one chair: the one Winter was occupying. She looked at Winter.
“Why don’t you just kneel opposite me, across the table?” Winter suggested, a playful smile on her face.
Not seeing that there was any alternative, Alex approached the table and sank to her knees. She looked across the table at Winter. Now that she was kneeling, she had to crane her neck to look up at the goth girl, she easily loomed over her. Alex shivered. Her body was still weak from the exercise and the pleasure, and the way that Winter looked down at her with such easy dominance made her feel even weaker.
“Alex, be a dear and look at me very closely, won’t you?” Alex looked, and found herself drawn into Winter’s large, endlessly deep eyes. Winter’s next word was laden with strange emphasis, as if she was casting a magic spell. “Release.”
For a long moment neither Winter nor Alex moved, but inside Alex’s head, her thoughts were moving so fast it was overwhelming. A tidal wave of memories crashed over her, memories that didn’t make any sense until they started to slot together in order. She could remember sitting motionless in front of Winter over and over again, transfixed by a pocket watch swinging on a chain, as Winter whispered things to her, filling her head with ideas and suggestions. She remembered Winter telling her that her studies didn’t matter to her, that all she wanted was to go to the gym and work out. She remembered watching a strange video of a spiral Winter had sent her, whilst Winter’s recorded voice told her that she wanted to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe of pink, skimpy clothes. She remembered how, at the party with Winter’s friends, Winter had somehow hypnotized her to calm her down and then make do all kinds of incredibly sexual, deeply embarrassing things, and then forget about it. Most horrifically of all, Winter had made her accept everything she told her as common sense.
At the same time, it was as if a veil was being lifted from Alex’s thoughts, a veil she hadn’t even been aware of. Something had been clouding her mind, making it hard for her to think, hard for her to concentrate on anything except working out and getting off, and hard for her to resist anything Winter told her. For the first time in two months, Alex could think clearly again, although the deluge of information flooding her mind was so overwhelming she felt she was going to faint. The extent of what had been done to her was staggering. How had she believed that wearing vibrators during exercise was common sense? But it had seemed so simple, so convincing. She caught sight of a stray lock of hair out of the corner of her eye, and gasped. She was blonde! The memory of dyeing her hair was all twisted; she could now remember Winter manipulating her, making her believe she’d always wanted it, and then making her suck Violet’s dick for payment. Winter. Alex looked up, vision swimming, to see that Winter was still looking down at her and smiling. Winter was the one who’d done this to her. Her crush, and the girl she’d come to consider a friend. Alex wanted to scream. She wanted to cry. She wanted to get up and run away. But the moment she made the slightest move to get to her feet, Winter said:
“Stay there, won’t you please?”
Alex’s legs froze beneath her, locking her in a subservient kneeling position. Winter slowly crossed her legs.
“Well. I’m sure you have a lot of questions.”
That was an understatement. Alex’s mind was buzzing with so many questions, she had no idea what she wanted to ask first. When she opened her mouth, the first thing that came out was: “H-how?”
“Hypnosis,” Winter replied simply. “You’d be surprised how malleable minds are, once you learn how to manipulate them. You were particularly susceptible, I must say. Smart girls always are. Your minds are so… structured. So predictable. All it takes is a few small pushes in the right places.”
Alex struggled to believe that, but given everything that had happened, it was undeniable. Her next question was equally simple. “Why?”
Winter smirked. “Because I can. Because I was bored, and you stumbled into my lap and seemed like you’d make a fun toy.”
Even after all the revelations she’d just experienced, the bald-faced amorality of Winter’s response was shocking. Alex’s lip started to quiver. “H-how could you do that to me?”
“Do you remember what you first said to me, when you asked me out on a date that time in the library?”
Alex blinked. Her memories had been restored, but that was such a small detail from such a long time ago. “No.”
“You said you’d do anything to be with me.” Winter’s smug, triumphant grin was wider than ever. “You said you’d change if I wanted you to. All I’m doing is taking you at your word.”
“W-what?” Alex couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “This isn’t what I meant!”
“Perhaps it’s not what you expected,” Winter mused, “but it’s what you said. Anything. You know who would say that? You know who would offer ‘anything’ for a date with someone they don’t even know, who they just have a pathetic, infantile crush on? No-one. At least, no-one who actually liked themself. Face it, Alex. Before me, you were boring. You were a mousy, wallflower nerd obsessing over a goth girl you saw at the library to distract yourself from how empty your life was.”
“I… I…” Alex had been totally unprepared for Winter to throw all that at her. She hated how true it felt. “That’s not—”
“But look at you now.” Winter’s voice dropped, becoming soft and sensual. It was the same voice she used when she hypnotized Alex. Alex found it impossible not to listen intently to her. “Look what I’ve made you. Isn’t this what you always wanted? Look how thin you are. How strong. How pretty. You’re even popular. Can you really, truly tell me that you don’t want it? None of it?”
“I don’t!” Alex insisted, with as much firmness as she could muster. But Winter just kept looking at her, her penetrating gaze piercing right through Alex’s veil of fake confidence. “I… I…” Her instinct to utterly reject whatever Winter said was fading and self-doubt was creeping in. Of course she hated what Winter had done to her. It was monstrous. She’d been completely violated. And yet, did she really hate it all? The more Alex asked herself that, the more uncertain she felt. She looked down at her body, at the body Winter had given her, she didn’t feel sad or angry or disgusted. She felt happy. This was the body she’d always wanted. Perhaps a little more muscular, but that didn’t really matter. She felt healthy and pretty and sexy like never before. She couldn’t deny that without Winter’s influence, however malicious, she’d never have gone to the gym even once and she’d certainly never have kept at it long enough to mold her body into the trained, slender, attractive form it now was.
There was also the sex. For years, Alex had yearned to experience that kind of raw, unfiltered, unselfconscious pleasure. She’d fantasized about girls being interested with her, about getting a chance to actually do the things she’d spent so much time reading about online, her face hot with embarrassment. Now, she had that. She thought about all the times Sierra had fucked her, and all the times Winter’s friends had taken advantage of her. Maybe she hadn’t exactly wanted it on those terms, but it had felt twice as good as even her wildest fantasies. There was no point denying it or pretending Winter hadn’t surely noticed the way she was squirming slightly at the memory of all those things.
“You see? I can see it in your eyes. You know I’m right.” Alex found herself wishing Winter would leave her alone for just one second, or at least go one minute without using that frustratingly alluring tone of voice. She could feel Winter’s words slipping into her mind, coiling around her thoughts and making it impossible for her to keep things straight. “If I let you go right now, you’d go right back to being the same sad, dorky girl you always were. So why not give yourself to me instead?”
Alex didn’t answer that. She didn’t have a good answer. Instead, she asked another question. “W-why so much exercise? Why strength training? It’s not just about losing weight anymore, is it?”
“No, it isn’t,” Winter explained, still grinning. “What can I say? I have a weakness for muscular girls. There’s something so hot about a girl who could bench-press me or break me over her knee, and something even hotter about knowing that for all her strength, she’s helplessly within my power.” The arousal in Winter’s voice was plain, and sent shivers down Alex’s spine. “Not to mention the thrill of knowing that you’re changing yourself, working so hard every day and pushing yourself to your limits, all because of me. It’s just so intoxicating—the idea of warping you beyond recognition, just because I want to. I mean, just look at Sierra.”
The surprise Alex felt must have been clear on her face, because Winter laughed loudly.
“Yes, she’s like you. Or at least she was. Now she’s all finished, and I’ve had my fill of her… mostly. Believe me, if you’d met the girl she was before, you’d never have believed they were one and the same. Surprised? I know how dominant she is around girls like you. I made her that way. With me, she’s quite different, I assure you.” Winter giggled.
Alex felt herself trembling. If what Winter was saying about Sierra was true, then there was no denying it. This was real. The changes were real, and they could be permanent. Alex’s distant hope that this was all some kind of horrible nightmare was fading fast. She wanted to deny what Winter was telling her, but the more she thought about it, the more it made a terrifying amount of sense. Sierra had taken her under her wing. Helped her work out. Fucked her, and trained her to please. She could even remember Sierra mentioning Winter once or twice, drawing Alex further into her schemes.
“Is… is that…” Alex whimpered. “I-Is that what you’re going to do to me?”
“Make you dominant, the way she is?” Winter laughed. “Oh no. I did that to her because it amused me. She was such a timid little thing, even more so than you. For you, I have something different in mind.”
“Wha—” The penny dropped before Alex could ask the question. “M-my intelligence… my grades… you’re the reason I haven’t been able to think! You… you’ve ruined everything!”
Winter just giggled. “It’s so perfect, don’t you think? A smart, nerdy, studious girl like you, losing all her brains. The irony is just delicious. Once I figured that out, I decided to go all the way and make you into a stereotypical bimbo. The pink, the giggling… don’t you just love it?”
Alex was speechless. Beyond speechless. What could she say in the face of such raw dominance and malice? There was no argument she could make that would persuade Winter; that was obvious. It was like she was kneeling in front of a monster, or a demon. She could sense that Winter looked at her as nothing more than her plaything, as something she could freely use for her own amusement without difficulty or consequence. Alex found her terrifying. But once again, she had to admit something horrible to herself: she found Winter irresistibly alluring too. The goth girl’s every word and gesture screamed power and dominance and confidence. It was like she was born to be in control. There was no doubt or hesitation to her. Alex felt like she was in the presence of a goddess. It seemed only right that she should kneel and obey. It didn’t matter that what Winter was doing to her was monstrous; a superior being like Winter should be able to do whatever she wanted with her. Alex was fighting a losing battle to convince herself that she only felt that way because of Winter’s hypnosis. Perhaps it was some kind of leftover trace that Winter had cunningly left behind. Deep down, though, she knew it wasn’t true. On some level, the urge to submit had always been part of her, and she couldn’t imagine a more perfect creature to submit to than Winter.
“Well?” Winter pressed eagerly. “What do you say, Alex? Will you surrender yourself? Will you give yourself to me?”
It took Alex a long moment to muster the strength to say: “No.”
Winter raised an eyebrow. “No? Can you really be so sure? Let me tell you what is going to happen to you if you surrender.” Winter rose elegantly to her feet and walked a slow circuit around the coffee table to behind where Alex knelt, her long black skirt swinging and bouncing as she walked. She bent down behind Alex, placing her head just beside and behind Alex’s. Still bound by her command, Alex couldn’t move besides turning her head as far as she could to look at Winter.
“You’re going to keep going to that gym, day after day.” Alex shivered at Winter’s whispered voice so close to her ear, still dangerously seductive and powerful. “You’re going to become so strong, so fit, so muscular. You’re going to push yourself so hard, just for me.” Alex gasped as Winter slid her hand around Alex’s bare waist. “You’re going to mold yourself into exactly what I want you to be. Stronger, faster, better, all so you can be more pleasing in my eyes. All so your body can satisfy me better.”
Suddenly Alex could picture it vividly. She could imagine herself growing stronger, bigger, more muscular. She could imagine Winter inspecting her, just like she’d done earlier, She could imagine Winter throwing her down and fucking her, using her new, trained body like a sex toy for her own amusement.
“I’m going to fill your mind with sex,” Winter kept whispering, “until it’s all you think of. All you dream of. You’ll be a needy, voracious, desperate, dripping slut your every waking moment. I’ll fuck you every single day, or give you to my friends to use like a cheap whore, and even that won’t be enough for you. You’ll be constantly begging to be fucked. Everyone will know what you are. Alex the shameless slut.”
Alex could picture that too. It would just like all the times Sierra had fucked her, or the time Marie had finger-fucked and humiliated her at the party, except every day. She’d spend her whole life drunk off of pleasure or arousal. Whenever she wasn’t at the gym she’d be trying to get her pussy filled, by her own fingers or by someone else. Winter kissed the curve of Alex’s neck, and it was like she could already feel that pleasure coursing through her.
“And I’m going to take away every last bit of that intelligence you worked so hard to develop.” Winter’s other hand was all over Alex—her tits, her stomach, her hips. Alex was completely helpless within Winter’s embrace. “I’m going to make you so dumb. You’ll barely be able to string a sentence together without giggling like a hapless bimbo. Won’t that be nice? You won’t have to do any of the difficult, stressful studying or thinking. No-one will expect anything like that, not from you. I promise, it’ll feel so good. The more brainless you get, the better it’ll feel, until everything you once knew will be gone and you’ll be in constant, mindless bliss.”
Alex was practically moaning at the thought. It was so vivid, so powerful, so tempting. But at that last suggestion, Winter’s words caught onto some secret nest of resistance. The thought of truly losing her intelligence like that was repulsive, so repulsive it shocked Alex out of her reverie. She couldn’t let that happen! She’d worked her whole life to become smart, to get to college, to ace her exams so she could really be something one day. It was the thing she was most proud of. She couldn’t let that slip away, she just couldn’t. Not in exchange for something as simple and crude as sexual pleasure.
“No!” Alex shouted. It took all her strength, and more besides, to shout with such conviction, but she managed it. “I’ll never give myself to you!”
“Never?” Winter removed her hands from Alex’s flushed, sensitive body and stood. Alex found herself missing her touch. “How amusing!”
“I mean it! I’ll never let you do that to me!”
“Let me?” Winter laughed. “You silly girl, did you really think I was offering you a choice?” Winter looked down at Alex, looming over her, and Alex’s conviction started to waver. “Let me be absolutely clear: this is going to happen. You can’t resist me. I’m already in your head, Alex. I can already make you do whatever I want. It’s so easy. No, you’re going to be my cute little muscle bimbo, whether you like it or not.”
“T-then why all this?” Alex asked, confused once again.
“This? This was just a test. I wanted to see if you were ready. Evidently not—not yet.” As she spoke, Winter walked back to her chair and sat down in it, crossing her legs, resting her head in her palm, and fixing Alex with a cold look of raw, smoldering dominance. “I promise you, next time we have this conversation, you won’t just say ‘yes’. You’ll beg for it.”
Alex wanted to protest, but Winter’s tone brooked no question or disagreement. She sounded so sure, Alex couldn’t help doubting herself. Again, she was gripped by the feeling that the goth girl sitting in front of her was more like a demon or a goddess than a mere human. Her aura of power was just that strong.
“Here’s what’s going to happen now,” Winter continued. “I’m going to snap my fingers, and you’re going to wake up. You won’t remember any of this, and all the little changes I’ve made to you over the weeks will all fall back into place as if they were never gone. But first, I think I’m going to make one little change, just to show you how powerless you are.”
Winter let that threat hang in the air for a long time, until Alex’ curiosity got the better of her and she blurted out: “What?”
The goth smiled cruelly. “I’m going to take your name.”
Alex’s eyes went wide.
“’Alex’ isn’t much of a name for a bimbo, don’t you agree?” Winter reached a hand down the front of her dress, fishing for the end of the chain Alex could see hanging around Winter’s neck. Fear settled over her. She knew what was going to happen. “Much too neutral. A bimbo should have a nice, feminine name. The kind of name that makes you sound like a stripper. ‘Alex’… short for ‘Alexandra’, I suppose? Hmm…. Oh yes, I know.”
Alex saw Winter pull something out of her dress. She knew what it was and forced her eyes shut, hoping against hope that she could somehow defend herself. But it was no use.
“Look at me, Alex.” At the command, Alex’s eyes flew open. Instantly, her gaze locked onto the small, silver pocket watch that Winter was holding by the end of a length of chain, dangling it in the air. The way she made it swing side to side slightly was utterly captivating, and resonated with so many memories of Alex having her mind and her will taken away.
“Good girl,” Winter whispered. “You know what to do. Just stare at the watch. That’s all you have to do right now. So simple, isn’t it? You just can’t help yourself. You know that this watch has power over you. You know that I have power over you. You can’t fight the watch. You can’t fight me. So just stare, and feel your mind melting, growing soft and pliant for me.”
Alex found herself swaying side to side in rhythm with the watch. Her eyes followed it, unblinking, tracking the movement of the second hand around the clock face. She felt like time had slowed to crawl.
“Perfect.” Winter’s voice sounded far away now, but still irresistibly seductive and powerful. “Now, listen. I’m going to tell you something. Just one thing. That’s all you need to think about right now. All you need to focus on. This one thing, this one truth. You’re going to feel it, burning its way into your mind and your soul, growing, taking root, until it’s utterly a part of you. Can you do that for me?”
Alex found herself nodding. She would do it. She’d done it before. She could remember now. She could remember how powerful Winter was.
“Good girl. Now here it is: your name is Lexi.”
Alex frowned. Her mind was primed to obey, but her name was so important to her. It was such a vital, central part of who she was. Winter’s suggestion met with resistance, and she tried to stoke those fires of resistance as hard as she could. Her name was Lexi… no! That wasn’t right! She could feel it wasn’t right. Her name wasn’t Lexi, it was… Lexi. Lexi. She kept turning it over and over in her head, but somehow, no matter what she asked herself, no matter how she tried to look at it, that was her name. She didn’t have any other name. When she thought about her name, it was the only thing that came into her head. Lexi. Desperate to hold on, by some means, to the name she could only remember losing, she delved into her memories. Right before her minds eye, she could feel them changing, warping, distorting. In all her memories of her friends and family calling out to her, all they were saying was ‘Lexi’, ‘Lexi’, ‘Lexi’. Was… that her name? Was her name really Lexi? If it wasn’t, why couldn’t she remember any other name? Had anything really changed? She could still remember something, a faint glimmer, just enough to remind her that Winter had done something to her, but within a few moments even that was swallowed up by the deep, entranced blackness of her mind.
Her name was Lexi.
Winter snapped her fingers, and Lexi woke up.
Lexi yawned and stretched up with her arms. What had happened? Why was she kneeling on the floor? Wasn’t she meant to be showing Winter how to workout?
“Lexi?” Winter called out. “Lexi, can you hear me?”
Something about the way Winter was calling out Lexi’s name felt odd and foreign, but she couldn’t quite place the feeling. Lexi giggled. “Yeah, of course!”
“Good. You were showing me some exercises, and then all of a sudden you said you were feeling dizzy and needed to sit down. I think you might have sort-of fainted for a moment there.”
“Did I?” Lexi giggled again. She felt awfully light-headed for some reason. She couldn’t remember feeling dizzy or needing to sit down, but then again, she couldn’t really remember anything that had happened in the last few minutes.
“Are you sure you’re OK?” Winter sounded concerned, but she didn’t look concerned. If anything, the look on her face was triumphant. “Do you know who I am?”
Lexi giggled. What kind of question was that? “You’re Winter.”
“And do you know where you are?”
“I’m at your house.”
“And do you know who you are?”
For some reason, thinking about that question gave Lexi a slight headache, and she had to pause for a moment to recover. But after that, she answered confidently: “I’m Lexi, of course!”
“Good!” Winter laughed, and Lexi found herself giggling along with her even though she didn’t understand what was funny. “Well, I don’t think you should do any more exercise for now. You should head home and get something to eat, and maybe get some rest too. You can finish showing me those exercises another day.”
Lexi nodded. Winter always knew what was best. She rose unsteadily from her kneeling position, and Winter was there to help her to her feet. Winter was so good to her. The goth girl guided Lexi out to her front door, and made her promise she’d be able to get home safely.
“Bye!” Lexi said after promising her, stepping outside.
“Goodbye,” Winter replied, and then, after a long pause and with a mysterious smile on her face. “Lexi.”