Copyright 2020 by Lorenzo Marks. All rights reserved.
Emma awoke with a start. She had been in a disturbed sleep, but she had no recollection of her dream other than a lingering vision of a cloud of white powder floating toward her face.
At first she had no idea where she was, but raising her head groggily, she realized that she was lying on the couch in her living room. As her faculties slowly returned, she also became aware of two other things—it was getting dark, and her doorbell was ringing. With some effort, she raised herself up, swung her legs over the side of the couch, and looked at her watch in dismay—it was nearly six!
Good God! I must have been sleeping here all day!
With the persistent doorbell exacerbating her throbbing headache, she picked up a printed document from the coffee table. Then she remembered—it was Saturday, and she had been planning on spending the weekend interviewing prospective tenants for her vacant spare bedroom. Blinking to focus her eyes, Emma scanned the tenancy agreement, and with a start she saw that it had already been filled out and signed—both by herself and a certain Mr. Felix Tanner!
Her heart suddenly pounding, she had absolutely no recollection of meeting this person, and besides that, she had only replied to emails from female applicants. But here in her hand was physical evidence that not only had she interviewed a man, but had also apparently decided to take him on!
The doorbell, which had paused for a moment, now resumed its assault on her senses, and she rose unsteadily, the completed form still in her hand. Using the wall for support, Emma went into the hallway and, after peeking through the spy hole, opened the front door with the safety latch on.
A somewhat rotund middle-aged man was standing on her porch with a few shabby leather bags and suitcases. Seeing Emma, he broke into a rather plastic smile and said, “Emma! There you are! I was beginning to wonder if you had gone out!”
Emma blinked at him, still trying to figure out what the hell was going on. Dressed in a Victorian style three-piece suit, he had a round, pink face, a mustache that looked as if it had been waxed, and a red, veiny nose.
“I’m sorry,” Emma said. “Do I know you?”
His smile faltering momentarily, the man said, “I should hope so. We were talking in your living room only this morning.”
Emma frowned and shook her head. “No, we weren’t.”
“Surely you haven’t forgotten? The advertisement? You were looking for a lodger.”
Felix gestured at the tenancy agreement in her hand.
“No, that’s impossible,” Emma said. “I can’t have signed this!”
“But you did, Emma. Look at the signature. It’s yours, and I watched you put it on the dotted line—right beside mine.”
The stranger fished around in his pocket and poked a cream colored business card through the gap. It read, THE AMAZING FELIX TANNER—MENTALIST EXTRAORDINAIRE, and had a phone number underneath.
Emma looked incredulously at the card and then at the tenancy agreement in her hand.
“Yes, that’s me,” Felix said impatiently.
Now Emma’s eyes shifted towards Felix’s luggage and a wave of panic swept over her.
As if reading her mind, Felix said, “That’s right. You told me I could move in this evening.”
In spite of her disorientation, Emma detected something not quite right about this man. His face did look slightly familiar, although she was still certain that she had never met him, but there was something disconcerting about his manner, the way he seemed to be greedily appraising her which made her feel increasingly uneasy.
I’ve been drugged. That has to be it!
“Look, I’m sorry, there’s been some kind of mistake,” she said. “I was only considering female applicants.”
She started to shut the door but then Felix quickly said something that stopped her in her tracks.
Emma stared at him.
“What did you just say to me?”
“Open the door, Emma,” Felix said. “There’s a good girl.”
“How dare you talk—” Emma said, but even as the words left her lips she was already pushing the door to and unhooking the chain.
What the hell am I doing?
Slightly panicked, Emma helplessly stood aside to allow the freaky looking man inside—and catching a noseful of his spicy aftershave and oily hair as he passed by.
“Get out!” she yelled. “Get out of my house!”
Felix regarded her calmly and then said, “Please don’t make a scene, Emma. I’d like you to lower your voice from now on. Don’t want you disturbing the neighbors. My bags, if you please?”
Her head in a spin, Emma watched the strange man disappear into her living room, and then, as if driven by an unknown force, she obediently picked up the suitcases and carried them inside. To her growing consternation, Felix was already making himself comfortable on her couch.
“Take them up to your bedroom please, and then you can welcome me with a nice cup of tea. Milk but no sugar.”
Rage now mingling with her confusion and fear, Emma opened her mouth to scream at him again, but this time her words came out soft and even. “Who do you think you are? You have no right to even be here, let alone ordering me around like this.”
Felix gave her an amused smile and said, “And yet you are obeying, are you not? Now hurry along.”
Emma certainly couldn’t deny that, as unbidden, her legs carried her up the stairs. The question was—why?
Blinking back tears of frustration, she dumped his bags on the floor of her bedroom and went downstairs to the kitchen. She automatically filled the kettle and switched it on before taking a cup and saucer out of the cupboard.
As she waited for the water to boil, Emma tried to slow her racing thoughts. He’s done something to me, that much is obvious. It must have been when he was here earlier. All those lost hours while I was unconscious! He’s had plenty of opportunity to program me like this. Program? Is that was it was? Had he somehow managed to override her sense of free will while she had been out of it?
Emma suddenly felt lightheaded as the ramifications hit her like a sledgehammer. What else could he make her do? What did he have in mind? And most chillingly—how long would this last for?
Suppressing a sob of dismay, Emma carried the teacup into her living room, desperately clinging to the notion that perhaps she was still asleep and this bizarre scenario was all part of some awful dream. Unfortunately, Felix the mentalist—her new tenant!—was still here, shoes off, and relaxing in her home as if he now owned it!
“Ah, thank you,” he purred. “Put it on the coffee table and come and kneel on the floor next to me. It’s time we had a little chat.”
Yet again, even though she was resisting mentally, Emma submissively complied with his request. As rapidly as these frightening and surreal events had transpired, it was fast becoming obvious that she was completely under his spell for now, and that she would have to try to calm herself in order to figure out a way of extracting herself from it. Kneeling on the carpet, looking up at this caricature of a man, Emma took a deep breath and asked, “What have you do done to me?”
“What makes you think I’ve done anything?” he asked, reaching out and stroking her hair.
“Don’t touch me!” Emma said, flinching away. Her natural instinct had been to get up and run, but her knees remained frozen to the carpet. Also, she had intended to shout at him, but again her words had left her mouth quietly and demurely. What had he said earlier? I’d like you to lower your voice from now on. And that was exactly what she was doing—permanently it seemed, unless he told her otherwise. As she digested this realization, a knot of fear twisted in her stomach. If this was all true, she was nothing more than his puppet, and he could make her do anything he wanted!
“Please keep still, Emma,” he said, and to her alarm, this time she remained kneeling at his feet while he played with her brown, shoulder length locks. His long nails teasing her scalp made her skin crawl and she shuddered involuntarily.
Seeing the goose bumps on her forearms, Felix said, “You like that, do you?”
“No!” Emma gasped, her voice little more than a whisper.
“Then why are you letting me do it?”
He was toying with her now, pretending that he was the innocent party, and the fact was, to an outside observer, it certainly would appear as if she was allowing him to touch her without resistance. Only her speech gave any indication of her non-consent—but actions speak louder than words. What if he decided to violate her simply by instructing her to actively have sex with him? How could she prove in a court of law that she hadn’t been a willing partner?
These awful thoughts tumbled through her mind in a microsecond before she said, “I’m not! You’ve done something to me—and it happened this morning!”
“You drugged me,” Emma said in a quavering voice. “Why? What do you want from me?”
“Hmm, let me see,” Felix said, his fingertips now trailing down the nape of her neck, making her grimace. “Well, you are a very attractive young lady, Emma, and I am a lonely old man looking for female company. So what do you suggest?”
Subconsciously, Emma had already suspected that this was coming, but now that he had articulated his intentions, Emma began to suffer palpitations.
“W-What are you saying?”
“Let me spell it out for you. Over the coming weeks you are going to surprise your friends and family, and your boyfriend if you have one, by falling for a much older man—that would be me, by the way—and your infatuation will be so intense that you will do absolutely anything to make me happy. That includes sacrificing relationships, social circles, even your career. Your sole purpose in life will be to serve The Amazing Felix Tanner in every conceivable way.”
Emma was shaking her head slowly, the walls of her living room receding rapidly, her heart thumping in her chest. “No—I-I won’t! I can’t!”
“I’m afraid you have no choice in the matter, dear,” Felix said, taking her hand. “You can, and you will. As of this moment, you and I are going to be lovers. Now come up here and give me a kiss.”
Her nightmare spiraling rapidly out of control, Emma’s body automatically perched itself beside the portly old stranger on her couch, and she turned her face towards his.
Oh God! I have got to fight this! she thought desperately.
But it was useless to resist! Her body was instantly complying with every single one of Felix’s verbal commands, and she was powerless to prevent it from happening! Screwing her eyes tight shut, she planted a light kiss on his saggy cheek and then pulled away in disgust.
“Well, that wasn’t much of a kiss, was it?” Felix said. “You’re supposed to be in love with me. I want a nice wet French kiss on the mouth. I want to taste your little pink tongue. Tell you what, come and sit on my lap and we can try it again.”
“Please—” Emma said, her arms and legs shaking now. “I’ll give you money, anything, if you’ll just let me go!”
“Well yes, you will give me money—everything you have in fact. I’ll be holding the purse strings for both of us from now on. In the meantime you’ll need to learn how to satisfy a man properly. Come along now, hop on.”
No! No! No! Emma screamed in her head, but his magical spell over her was absolute, and she promptly sat on his lap. To her horror, she could feel his erection beneath her buttocks, and she jerked upward.
“Stay in place,” Felix said, his breath warm on her neck. “Now put your arm around my shoulders and give me a lingering wet, kiss.”
A tear of despair trickled down Emma’s cheek as she opened her mouth and placed it over the revolting man’s lips. As her tongue made contact with his, an image of her boyfriend, Steve, unexpectedly popped into her head and she sent a choked sob down Felix’s throat. She was cheating on her true lover! What if he found out about what she was doing right now? And what if he were to ever witness a scene like this—or worse? How would she explain it away? That she had been somehow hypnotized to do it? There was no way that he, or anyone else for that matter, was going to believe that!
Felix had stated that Emma was going to surprise everybody by falling in love with him. She knew that would never happen, but as their tongues continued to thrash around together, it occurred to her that if Felix had the power to make her speak quietly, then it was also quite plausible that he could tell her what to say. And that meant he could force her to break up with Steve, and also to happily explain to her friends that she was indeed infatuated with this ugly intruder in her life! A new terror pulsed through her as it dawned upon her how utterly trapped she was!
Suddenly aware that Felix was sliding his hand underneath her butt and squeezing her left cheek, she tried to will herself to move away, but her lips remained stubbornly glued to his! This deranged sicko could keep this nauseating kiss going for hours if he so desired!
His sickly sweet breath blew hot down her throat as his tongue danced over her teeth and then explored the roof of her mouth. This outrage had already been taken to a deeply personal level and woefully, Emma instinctively knew that he intended to take it much further.
Fresh tears began to course down her cheeks and Felix finally removed his tongue from her mouth. But instead of her ordeal being over, he started licking away at her salty tears! The sensation of his soft tongue fluttering over her cheeks was so intimate that she felt even more violated than when he had just French-kissed her!
“There, there” Felix cooed. “It can’t be all that bad. Besides, with practice I’m sure you will get quite used to it—and I can guarantee that we will be practicing a lot.”
Never! Emma protested in her head. You might have control of my body, but my heart belongs to me!
“Now that we are a little better acquainted, we need to do something about your attire.” Felix said, running his damp fingertips down the back of her neck. “As you might have noticed, I am a rather old fashioned person, and I like my women to dress appropriately. I’m afraid your jeans and t-shirt get-up just won’t do. Likewise the scanty underwear I’m sure you are wearing. That will all have to go—in fact, you can donate your entire wardrobe to Goodwill. I don’t even need to check it because I have seen how you modern missies dress these days.”
Emma stared at him, eyes wide. “All of my clothes?”
“Yes, everything. But don’t worry, I have brought some carefully selected apparel for you, and you will put some of it on in a moment. I’ve thought of everything. There will be a uniform for your housework, a special costume for gardening, some lovely nightgowns, and a few nice outfits for outdoors.”
Emma’s stomach lurched at the ramifications of his words. The thought of even walking around in public with this vile man was mortifying enough, but what if any of Emma’s friends saw her dressed in some antiquated frock? She would quickly become the laughing stock of her social circle!
“Please,” she softly whined. “You really don’t have to change my clothing.”
Felix gave her a pitying smile. “You still don’t quite get it, do you? I can do anything I want with you—and I fully intend to. In a few months time, you will be quite unrecognizable to everybody that knows you—in both your appearance and behavior! Now let’s go upstairs to your bedroom and get you suitably fitted out.”
He patted Emma on the thigh and she dutifully stood and followed him up the stairs. As she watched his broad ass ascending her staircase, it finally hit her that this was all really going to happen! She was about to throw out all of her clothes and wear what her new and legally signed up lodger told her to! He had talked about housework and gardening. Did that mean she was going to be reduced to the role of his maid?
As they entered her own bedroom, Emma finally understood that her only hope of regaining her freedom was to find out what he had drugged her with. Then she might be able to reverse the process. She could only pray that—God forbid!—the effects weren’t permanent.
Felix placed one of his battered suitcases on her bed and opened it. Then Emma watched in horror and dismay as he began to lay her new wardrobe out on the bedspread. Her suspicions had been confirmed—these frocks and undergarments looked as though they were from the Victorian era! Where the hell had he got them from? A fancy dress shop? There was no way she could possibly be seen wearing this ludicrously old-fashioned stuff!
After deliberating for a moment, Felix selected some items from the main pile and arranged them separately on the other side of Emma’s queen size bed.
“I think we’ll start with these,” he said breezily. “A nice period chambermaid outfit. When you are dressed, you can empty your closets and drawers and put everything into bin bags for the Goodwill people. No time like the present. But first, you need to get out of the trashy clothes you are wearing.”
Emma felt her throat go dry.
“Here? In front of you?”
“Where else?” Felix said, with a mischievous glint in his eye. “Surely you aren’t shy about changing in front of your new lover?”
“Please don’t make me do this!” Emma whimpered frantically.
But already she discovered that she had unbuttoned her jeans and was now pulling down the zipper! That was the depth of control he had over her! He didn’t even have to bark the order or repeat himself. It was a simple suggestion, which meant that if they were ever together in public, he could convey his orders in the most innocuous fashion, so as not to arouse anyone’s suspicions.
Feeling helpless beyond words, Emma was reduced to being a mere spectator as her hands rolled her denims down her slender legs. Tugging the tight fitting cuffs over her ankles, she straightened up and caught sight of herself in the mirror. That morning, she had put on a pair of gray boxer briefs emblazoned with a cartoon face sticking its tongue out—now she really wished she hadn’t!
“How cute,” Felix said. “How old are you, Emma?”
The ironic tone of his voice, combined with her partial state of undress, caused Emma to blush furiously. Placing her hands in front of her crotch, she turned her face away in embarrassment.
“Now don’t be rude,” Felix said. “Look at me and tell me how old you are.”
Again, the request was delivered in a mild enough manner, but like a preprogrammed automaton, Emma immediately turned to face him, and feeling like a silly girl, she said, “I’m twenty-three.”
Felix nodded thoughtfully. “Thirty five years my junior. Even so, for a modern young miss, I’m surprised at your frivolous choice of underwear. Anyway, that will all be changing very soon. Now, the t-shirt, if you please?”
Even as her treacherous fingers started lifting the hem of her shirt, Emma’s knees began to shake. Although she had quite small, pert breasts, it must have been readily apparent to Felix that she was braless because as her chest slowly came into view, he craned his neck forward for a closer look.
In the mirror behind him, Emma watched with growing despair as her perky, brown nipples revealed themselves to this stranger for the first time. She was briefly relieved of the sight of his hungry eyes as she pulled the shirt up over her head before dropping the garment to her feet. She immediately cupped her hands over her nubile breasts, acutely aware that all she was wearing now were her suddenly embarrassing boxers and a pair of pink ankle socks.
How could things have developed so rapidly? Not long ago, this despicable man was standing on my doorstep. Now I’m undressing for him in my own bedroom!
“There’s really no need for you to cover yourself, my child. By now, you will surely understand that I can look at you any time I please. Besides, you haven’t got much to hide anyway!”
His mocking comment suddenly triggered a burst of outrage within Emma. Who the hell did this guy think he was? The last thing in the world she wanted was to display her naked body to him—and now she had to endure his unwanted criticism too?
Instead of telling her to lower her arms however, Felix ran his tongue around his lips and said, “Let’s get those silly underpants off, and we can get you into some sensible clothing.”
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