Simon had been at the club for a few hours, he was always surrounded by friends and barely had a moment to himself, but he still smiled at Holly when she arrived as if he'd been waiting for her all night. She enjoyed the warm hug, even though she knew everyone was greeted like this.
The evening passed as usual for both of them: dancing, chatting, casual sub/Dom with acquaintances. Holly could never tell if her draw was heightened or decreased by hanging around with Simon, but she'd rather bask in his light than have her own fangroup without him in it.
He passed her as she was having her boots licked by a young puppyboy. "Adorable," her friend commented and patted the sub on the head. The boy looked up at them for a moment, and they sighed in mutual appreciation of the fuzzy look in his eyes.
"So subbed out..." Holly murmured softly, even though the puppy was too engrossed in her feet to be listening.
Simon held her shoulder. "Completely given over..." he whispered in her ear. She felt her stomach flip and looked sharply in his direction but he'd already moved on, sliding in between two goth girls who seemed to have come there with the express purpose of getting into a threesome with him.
Her interest in her pet was waning, so she pulled his head up to her level, "Very good boy!" she purred in her best Domme voice. He shuddered and panted gratefully and she dismissed him.
Holly couldn't put her finger on it, but she didn't seem to be enjoying this kind of thing as much as usual. She didn't consider herself massively into 'the lifestyle', so just dabbled with whatever came her way, but she'd noticed her submissive side coming to the fore recently. Something had felt right when Simon had described the total surrender of the puppyboy. As if he could see inside her, what she needed better than she could. It was unusual for her to have such a physical reaction to his words though.
She looked over at Simon, he caught her eye and held it for a few moments while he did something under the table to one of the girls. Holly groaned. The twist of emotional pain was unmistakable. Without noticing it happening, she must have been falling for him for months.
Holly was too confused to stay, and tried to say goodbye quickly. Simon made impressively persuasive arguments for her to come back to his with the girls afterwards, but she excused herself. She needed to think.
In bed her mind was racing, trying to reassess things that had passed between them over the last few weeks, but as she knew, it was too easy to read what you wanted into things. She slept fitfully and dreamt of him with the vividness that comes after something repressed comes to light.
The week veered between her trying to ignore her feelings, and overanalysing every online or text interaction that passed between them. She wasn't even sure what she wanted from him, it was just a sort of free floating desire that felt very different to her usual crushes.
Although Holly was prone to obsessing over people and longed for someone who'd be as crazy about her as she was him, she couldn't see this happening with Simon. He was exciting to be around because he couldn't be pinned down, everything was interesting to him, and that meant he was easily distracted. When he was focused on you, you were the centre of the world, but the next second it would be someone else. She wouldn't change him for anything.
Club night came round again. It was relatively early for her to arrive and Simon was surprised to see her, but took the opportunity of relative quiet to inform her in graphic detail of what she'd missed by not going back to his the previous week.
Eventually he asked how she'd been. Holly gritted her teeth and resolved to just be honest. He'd never freaked out at her yet, she was confident in his ability to handle the situation better than she could.
"Eh, I'm feeling a bit weird, really."
"Aw, babe, what's up?"
"Um. I've been having a lot of fantasies. Of submitting. To you."
Simon chuckled, but his 'as if' expression faded when he saw she meant it. "Oh. Wow." He frowned, "I mean, that's sweet, but you sound like... serious."
Holly's stomach was churning. She couldn't believe she was even talking about this. "Ah, it's OK, don't worry about it. Just thought I'd let you know, so it didn't get weird."
"It's already pretty weird, but it's cool. I don't have a problem with it, just..." he put his arm round her, his voice kind but sad, "I don't really feel that way about you."
The words that would be carved on her gravestone.
She tried to disguise wiping away a tear by leaning on her hand. "Oh I know! I know, I don't expect anything from you..." she pulled herself together and grinned in her usual mischievous way, "I just thought I'd give you some ammunition, you've been getting a bit soft on me recently."
He smirked in a 'you're in for it now' way, then turned his back on her to charm the boy sitting the other side of him.
Holly breathed deeply and went for another drink. The pain felt good, her system was able to process it into a sort of cathartic buzz so long as she knew where she stood. It had been a bit awkward, but she'd made the right decision. This was so much more bearable than the doubt and paranoia she'd been through all week.
When she went back to the table, she was still being play-ignored so just chatted to a few friends, politely declined some advances, and tried to enjoy herself. After less time than she'd anticipated, Simon turned back to her and shuffled her into a corner to talk with a bit more privacy.
"What kind of fantasies?" He asked, then quickly added, "I'm not making any promises, mind."
This was unexpected, but Holly tried to just be open without getting her hopes up. "Oh, you know, being led round on a collar and lead, tied up, teased, headfucked..." She looked down bashfully, "but, I'd do anything you wanted really."
He snorted. "Fuck, collar and lead? Seriously? That's such a cliche!"
She smiled in agreement, enjoying her own humiliation. "I know."
"Hmm. It might be fun, so long as you don't start wanting anything more." Simon was able to make the most cutting thing sound friendly and reasonable. They regarded each other quietly for a while, then he took something from round his neck, ironically the least collar-like thing he was wearing. "Wanna try something? Just for tonight? See how it goes?" He asked casually.
Holly's voice caught, but she tried to match his tone. "Sure."
He reached over and clasped the simple leather strand with a few beads on it around her neck. She shivered a little, his touch was magnified by the adrenaline pumping through her. "This is really simple. When you're wearing this you do as I say."
His voice had changed, perhaps she was just imagining it, but it sounded fuller, more powerful, more authoritative than her own thoughts. Holly's breathing sped up. She couldn't speak, so just nodded.
Her eyes half closed as she felt sweet release from responsibility flood her veins. She was falling into subspace without a hitch.
Simon watched Holly carefully. She was usually good at hiding her feelings, he could generally read her better than most, and easily persuade her to explain herself if not, but this was like seeing a mask fall. Her face softened, she looked childlike, mouth drooping open slightly, eyes gentle and trusting. It was beautiful.
He had to pull himself together, it was just Holly, he was getting caught up in her craziness. "Kneel on the floor, suck your thumb, let your mind go blank."
She slid into place gracefully, doing as she was told without question.
Simon ruffled her hair. "Wait here, I've just got to go and talk to someone." In the role he was playing he didn't really owe her an explanation, but somewhere in there was his friend, and he wasn't going to turn into a complete bastard, even if it would have turned her on.
After some time, Holly became aware of a man standing looking at her. She gazed up at him, not taking her thumb out of her mouth.
"Well, well, what do we have here?" He settled down on the seating next to her. "A little girl with no one looking after her? Where's your Daddy? Or Mummy?"
Holly wasn't sure how to respond, her thoughts were still sleepy and she didn't know if she was allowed to stop what she was doing. She just looked confused and hoped that would be enough.
The man patted his knees. "Come and sit here, I'll take care of you."
It didn't feel right. She shook her head.
He sighed. "Now don't be dense, he told me to come over, he wants you to do this."
Could it be true? Holly's mind whirled, she didn't really know what Simon would do with her once he had her in his power. Perhaps he was into sharing his subs. She felt sick but didn't want to risk failing her first test. Cautiously she went and sat on the stranger's lap.
"Excellent!" He held her wrists down by her sides, it was scary but reassuring at the same time. He murmured into her ear, "let me be your Daddy now, you're safe with me."
She was still feeling pretty subby and aroused, and there was something appealing in his words. She relaxed back onto him, trying to quiet the voice in her head screaming at her to get the fuck out of there.
"That's a good little slut, now spread your legs for me."
That jolted her out of it. "I don't think..."
He squeezed her wrists tighter, she tried to wriggle away, but he was too strong for her. Without warning he let go suddenly, and she leapt up to see Simon looking at the man with something like Armageddon in his eyes.
"What the fuck's going on here?" Simon asked as calmly as a surgeon's knife.
Holly fell at his feet contritely. "I'm so sorry..."
He stopped her with a shake of his head. "No. I'm sorry. I should have taken better care of you." He stroked the back of her head to reassure her.
The interloper tried to bluff it out. "Come on, mate, she was all ripe for the taking, anyway, she liked it, didn't you, slut?"
Holly just buried her face in Simon's belly and hoped everything would go away. He knelt down to talk softly to her. "Do you want to be with this guy? I'll piss off if I read this wrong."
She felt as if she'd been slapped awake. Her voice was strong and certain. "While I'm wearing this necklace I do as you say," she told him. Everything about her made it clear she wanted it that way.
"You heard her," said Simon, standing again, his voice filled with contempt. "She's mine."
The other man held up his hands. "Fine." He was quickly lost in the crowd.
They were both a bit shaken, and didn't really feel like staying. Simon called a cab, and Holly barely registered that it was just for the two of them for once. He gave his address, then reached out and held her hand. It wasn't particularly romantic, but made Holly feel a lot better, and she gripped it tightly.
"Do you want your necklace back?" she asked as neutrally as she could.
"No, no, you're going to be wearing that for a little while yet."
Holly smiled and snuggled into him. That was all she needed to hear.
After getting to Simon's flat and sorting themselves out a bit, Holly was led up to his bedroom and sat on the bed while he put on some music and tidied up a little. He was lost in thought, and she responded by sitting quietly and waiting to see what happened.
Eventually, Simon stood and looked at her with a hesitant expression. "Can we just hang out for a bit?" he asked her.
She made cute noises and reached out for him, pulling him down into a friendly cuddle. "Jeez, of course!" They snuggled together for a while, it was familiar and comforting, but had an additional edge for Holly this time. She noticed the smell of his hair, his hand on her back was more charged than usual, they held each others' gaze in a new way.
"Are you OK?" He whispered eventually. "I don't think I can do some kind of heavy scene right now."
She shrugged. "I don't mind, the last thing I want is for you to be doing something for my benefit."
He kissed her forehead lightly. "What do you want, hun?"
Holly considered his question seriously, "I think I just want to see what comes naturally."
Simon ran his hand up and down her arm, "yeah, fair enough, it's just really hard for me to treat you like some sub, you know?"
Her stomach dropped: she was always the sister, always the best friend. She took a deep breath to try to stop herself crying.
"Hold it..." Simon interrupted suddenly, and she froze on reflex. His eyes flashed as she struggled but he kept it going until she had a rushing in her ears, and was begging him silently for mercy, "...and let it all go."
Holly felt her will drain away with the air, dazed by his ambiguous smile as he took over her most basic functions. She was a little frightened of how easily he could reach in and puppet her, but that, of course, was his charm.
"Good girl." His praise made her shiver with a pleasure buried too deep for her to be able to resist it. "Now, keep breathing slowly and deeply as you relax for me, let your thoughts drift..." His voice had taken on that softly irresistible tone that seemed to buzz in the middle of her head.
"Shh, Holly, don't think, just do as I say." Well, she'd tried. As her eyes fluttered closed, he whispered a reassurance to her disappearing consciousness, "this is for my benefit too, you can trust me on that."
Simon wasn't an expert at hypnosis, but he was an expert in Holly, and managed to nudge her gently and smoothly into putting herself into trance for him. He let her enjoy the feeling for a while, idly stroking her and watching how she responded in this state.
"Holly, are you very deep right now?" He asked her in a soft voice, not wanting to startle her.
Simon smiled at her manner, literal and without guile, he hadn't really seen her like this before, it was quite sweet. "That's fine, this is just an easy level of trance for you to return to, isn't it? Just right for playing games, having fun, feeling a bit controlled and helpless."
"Mmm." She wriggled a bit, picking up on the permission in his words.
"Let's call this 'playtime'" It was a sickly word, and he enjoyed seeing the conflict under the trance, knowing part of her was still awake enough to be cringing at how wet and open it was making the rest of her. "Can you fix that in your mind?"
"Yes." She wasn't entirely happy about it, but he didn't feel the need to test her, she would probably have let him give her triggers without even being hypnotised.
"You're doing very well, you're very good at following my instructions." Simon became increasingly still and his voice started to sound like he was asleep himself, "and now we're going to go even deeper, just follow my lead, I'll keep you safe."
Holly sank like a stone, the part of her that was watching what was going on marvelled at how naturally Simon was able to do this, perhaps he'd been reading up. Then even that part got seduced by the endless soothing rhythm of his words and loosened it's grip on things.
"OK Holly, we're in a very deep place now, just you and me, nothing else to concern you."
She felt like she was in an infinite flotation tank, her perception of the room was minimal, his voice echoed around with no thoughts of her own in the way.
The most persuasive, reassuring voice in the world spoke again. "I'm going to tell you some things and as soon as you hear them, you'll know that they're true, they'll become a part of you, as if they've always been there, do you understand?"
"Yes," Holly responded without hesitation. There was an imperceptibly slight flicker of worry that was washed away in waves of trust. Her hidden observer was sedated, but had always woken up kicking and screaming if anything really bad happened. Of course, she'd never been hypnotised by anyone she was this crazy about before.
"Good." There was a gentle edge to Simon's voice, something more affectionate than he usually showed. "Now, you know I care about you, and this is unconditional, I care about you because of who you are, and not what you do. Do you understand?"
"Yes." Holly sounded surprised and certain in the same breath.
"So, whatever games we play, you don't have to do anything you don't want to. I want you to be happy, so you're actually helping me if you're honest about how you're feeling. OK?"
"Yes." Almost wonder, this time.
"Excellent, and whenever you need to you can draw on a powerful confidence, and strength, and do what's right for you. When you're with me, or at any other time."
"Oh," he leaned in and whispered in her ear, "and you're very, very sexy and attractive."
Simon allowed himself a smile at her childlike acceptance of what he was saying. "Whether you're consciously aware of it or not, deep down you'll always know these things are true, whatever else we do. Do you understand?"
"Very, very good. Now you can start to wake up... your thoughts coming back... your will coming back... as I count from one to ten..."
Holly could almost feel her consciousness pouring through her body as he counted her up, and blinked her eyes open, taking some deep breaths. "Fucking hell," she mumbled, tongue still a little thick.
He handed her some water, she drank plenty, and he put it down again before he spoke. "How was that?" His expression was fairly bland, but she detected a boyish uncertainty hidden in there.
She hugged him tightly. "Simon, my God, I didn't expect that at all!"
"But... it was OK?"
Holly laughed, "Yes! Yes, it was amazing!" She looked seriously at him, "but since when have you been that good at hypnosis? Or so considerate for that matter?"
"I'm always considerate, bitch!" He pinched her and they wrestled for a bit, enjoying goofing around. After a few minutes, they relaxed again, tangled together. "Anyway, hmm, I did look at a few videos of hot girls being tranced recently, so I guess I learnt a bit there, but mostly I can just pick up what to do off the person I'm with, you know what I'm like."
She nodded, he had an almost telepathic ability to read people and their desires.
"The thing is," he looked away, "I can be a real shit sometimes, and I sort of just let that happen with a lot of people, but I didn't want to risk messing you up, so, dunno, hope that helped." He turned back. "I can't... maybe I can't be what you want, but I don't want you to feel bad about it, let's just see how it goes."
They just held each other, processing feelings. "Shall we go to sleep?" Holly asked after a while.
"Hell no!" Simon grinned wickedly, showing a lot of teeth. "It's playtime..."