Shell Game

byIroniclaconic©

"Mike, Courtney says you are looking at her funny. Stop it. Thanks."

Trav had already turned to flash Courtney a reassuring smile, so he didn't notice when Mike just shook his head and chuckled silently as he shut his bedroom door.

---

Halloween

Courtney was too much the skeptic to believe that people could sense when they were being watched, and she knew she was hot enough, particularly when showing the decolletage of an eighteenth century French aristocrat, that she was watched all the time, but some instinct told her to look behind her, and she saw the black-clad bandit at the top of the stairs. The porcelain mask was itself masked -- a black band extending beyond eyes framed by arched brows. The expression etched into the mask was one of jaunty bemusement -- a lopsided smirk topped by a narrow pencil mustache.

She was certain that behind the fixed, impudent grin, she was being silently assessed.

Thank God. She needed to get out of this costume fast, and her deliverance was at hand. She suppressed her reaction, and let her glittering, golden mask present the impassive face she wanted. Let him read that.

Michelle was being pulled away toward the guest bedroom in the basement, and she followed, meek as a mouse. Courtney watched and nodded to herself. The main risk to her plan was that the boys would chicken out without her knowing about it, leaving them in an awkward situation, but with both Trav and Mike making their moves, it was clear their plan was still on.

Courtney looked back up the stairs, and the bandit gave a crisp nod down the hallway, and then turned to walk in that direction, not deigning to see if his prey would follow.

Courtney followed.

Yesterday

"Mike is going to try to fuck you, and Trav is coming after me." The autumn air grew more chilly as Michelle spoke in a voice that seemed low and heavy with resignation, but Courtney considered that maybe it wasn't resignation in Michelle's sigh, but anticipation. Jealousy flared. Michelle had once been interested in Travis.

No, it was impossible. Well, it was half-possible, Courtney conceded. Mike concocting a scheme to try to fuck another woman was plausible to the point of being self-evident. Mike was amoral, uncouth, deviously clever, and he would surely love to sexually humiliate her.

But Travis? He was considerate to a fault. She didn't believe it.

Michelle had slumped on the patio deck chair, studying her cuticles and frowning.

"How is Mike planning to pull this off?" Courtney remained standing, brushing an errant leaf out of her hair. "I tried to disguise myself once to seduce a guy without him knowing it was me. It's harder than it sounds. He saw through it in seconds." Courtney was less convinced than the words she spoke. The man in question had always had been able to figure things out faster than anyone else she knew. Maybe Courtney herself would have been easier to fool, or maybe her disguise hadn't been as good as she thought.

"Mike and Trav are switching costumes halfway through the party."

"Trav says it's a ball."

"Halfway through the ball," Michelle corrected. "They aren't planning to tell us. Then they will each pull us to a bedroom, playing the strong silent types. Mike wanted to switch girlfriends for the evening, and talked Trav into it."

"You know Trav as well as I do. How did Mike convince him to do that?" Despite her words, doubt was gnawing at her. They were talking about sex, after all, and guys were inherently untrustworthy on the subject. If Mike convinced Trav he would be able to taste forbidden fruit and get away with it, who knew where even Trav's cock might lead him?

Michelle covered her face in her hands, and seemed to be blushing. "Mike is a little... forceful in the bedroom, you know?" Michelle dared a glance at her friend.

Courtney had heard them through the walls often enough, and recalled a few glimpses like Michelle's tied hands in bed a few weeks ago. Courtney secretly enjoyed hearing the words Mike would call Michelle in the heat of passion, and the acts he would command her to do. She thrilled in the contrast with having a loving, sensitive boyfriend like Trav, and the sounds of Mike and Michelle's vocal rutting would often stir Courtney to touch her own wonderful boyfriend until he awoke and had sex with her. At least, that was the obvious explanation for why hearing them seemed to be one of the few things that aroused her.

Michelle continued. "Well, Mike was bragging about... all the things he does to me. Trav acted jealous, and said that you would never let him do... those things. Mike said he just needed to practice on a compliant woman, and you needed to be... well... broken in, then Trav would know how to control you in the bedroom and you would know how to..." Her voice trailed off, and she shrugged her shoulders.

Courtney couldn't believe she was hearing this. All of her plans were in jeopardy."What? Submit?"

Michelle merely blushed again. "Anyway, Mike suggested they swap partners for a night, but Trav said you would never go along with it, so Mike suggested a costume switch at the masquerade ball, and they struck a deal. They didn't know I was listening from the hallway."

She sounded almost apologetic that she had eavesdropped on them. That was what clinched it for Courtney. Michelle was telling the truth. She was too beaten down by Mike, too useless to lie, and there was no purpose to a lie anyway.

A vertigo of dismay swirled through her head, and Courtney collapsed into a patio chair. Trav was critical to her plans. She had their entire life mapped out. She would be the guiding force he needed to rekindle his ambitions and follow in his father's footsteps. They would marry, have brilliantly successful business careers, and when finance and social journalists wrote stories about her, the fact that she was the daughter of a failed farmer would just be a testament to her inherent talent, acumen, and will to succeed.

Courtney's own body was insignificant to her, except in the pursuit of her ambitions. Before she first went to bed with him, she had already decided she would have let Trav do almost anything he wanted. She would be whatever he wanted her to be. She would take him in her mouth and swallow, learn to deep throat his cock or take it in her ass, pretend to love being tied up and fucked while Trav penetrated her other orifice with a vibrator, or let him bring other women into bed and follow his orders for them to kiss each other and go down on each other. Whatever it took, she would be the woman he needed, and she would satisfy him.

Her body was just meat. It was her goals, her ambitions, her mind that mattered. Courtney remembered the feeling of liberated power, arousal, and contentment when she realized how far she was willing to go to achieve her ambitions.

She had, of course, been relieved when Trav's bedroom tastes had proved more... pedestrian. Trav wasn't sexually adventurous, relieving Courtney of having to pay the price she had been willing to pay. Courtney had been perfectly content with that. Perfectly content.

Now it seemed that Trav indeed had sexual ambitions of his own that he had never voiced to her. Had she miscalculated? Had she missed a clue to Trav's interest in something more exotic? Could she recover from this? Could she use this? Except for the conflict with Mike, wrapping Trav around her finger had proved almost too easy, and she felt her competitive instincts stirring something within her.

Michelle seemed on the verge of tears. "I don't know what to do. It's so hard to say no to Mike, but you are my friend, and Trav is my friend, and this seems wrong. How do I make it right?"

God, Michelle had turned pathetic. She couldn't even make a decision any more. Courtney would have to decide for them, she realized. "We just tell them we know what they are planning, and that it won't fly." The thought of sex with Mike repulsed her and the thought of Trav fucking Michelle evoked strong feelings of jealousy. Michelle, with her doe eyes and blonde locks, was much prettier than she knew. Maybe Trav would discover he liked a compliant woman and would leave Courtney before she had a chance to show Trav just how accommodating she could be to his unvoiced sexual desires.

Michelle had a stricken look on her face. "You can't. Mike will know I told. You weren't in the house that day."

"Sorry, Shelly, I am not fucking your ape of a boyfriend just because you are too scared to confront him."

"I know! But please don't tell him. You are smart about these things. There has to be another way."

Courtney's first instinct was to ignore Michelle's pleas and go to Trav anyway, but Michelle's challenge intrigued her. Michelle was right about Courtney being smart about these things. Michelle may be unmatched except for Trav when it came to arcane knowledge and obsessiveness about highbrow art, but Courtney knew men and manipulation. She could spend a minute considering options.

Maybe there was something better than simply confronting the men, which had it's own risks. If she called out Trav and Mike in advance, he might feel guilty, but guilty people sometimes lashed out in anger at the person who made them guilty. He might just dump her. She couldn't risk that. Another alternative was just to just refuse the men the night of the ball, but she had to admit that the thought of a new challenge excited her. She felt a rising flush of heat that she only experienced in the throes of competition.

The answer came in a flash. "We will switch costumes as well."

Michelle frowned. "What? How will that work?"

"We have our own masks and we will be wearing wigs. We are about the same body shape, and they won't be able to recognize us with the masks on and the lights out. We will both be wearing large, uncomfortable costumes, so if we don't walk or move like we normally do, they will just think it's the costume. Let them do what they want. Mike will wear Trav's costume and do whatever sick things you normally let him do to you while you wear my costume. I don't give a shit if Mike thinks he fucked me so long as I don't have to touch him. I will wear your costume, and handle Trav."

The situation was pregnant with possibilities, and Courtney saw all of them. If Trav chickened out, she could let the matter drop and he need never know, which would buy her the time to adapt to his unexpressed bedroom desires. If he went through with it, she could make sure he had the worst sexual experience of his life, and he would blame Michelle. He would come back to Courtney's bed feeling both dissatisfied and guilty, and she would use both emotions to bind him closer to her, killing him with kindness while she fulfilled the sexual fantasies he wouldn't dare speak. College was about discovering yourself, and Trav would discover that he needed Courtney to be happy.

Michelle looked unconvinced. "Are you sure we can pull it off?"

Courtney smiled. "Of course. Worst case is that they catch us. If it's before they try to seduce us, we just confess to having the idea ourselves to tease them. If they catch us during the act or after, what can they say?" Courtney's smile broadened. "You worry too much. What can go wrong?"

---

Halloween

Courtney tried to adjust her corset as she followed Trav down the hall. Her ribs felt like they were grinding together, and there was a dull throb of pain every time she breathed. Trav was wearing Mike's bandit costume, striding with a quiet confidence that showed he had studied Mike's movements in preparation.

He was actually too good at it. Courtney considered that maybe it really was Mike after all, but she quickly dismissed the thought. Michelle had explained the entire plan, and so far the boys had done everything Michelle had described. Their entire behavior tonight -- the masquerade, the joint seduction, the silence -- only made sense if the switch had occurred and that was really Trav in the costume. There was no way it could be Mike. No way at all.

Trav paused outside the door to Mike's bedroom, and gave another head nod ordering her inside. The inert smirk on the mask somehow took on the expression of a knowing leer. Courtney dismissed it as a figment of her imagination.

She made a point of bowing low in her curtsy, knowing Trav's eyes would dart to her cleavage, so she made sure he had a good view before she stood to proudly brush past him. Courtney had always prided herself on her regal nose, and she held it up high as she walked in the room, and heard the door close and lock behind her.

Courtney had only glimpsed Mike's room before, with its images of scantily clad women holding beer bottles, a signed photo of the U of M hockey team, and a poster of the current roster for the Minnesota Wild, but she now observed another layer under Mike's frat-boy persona. Courtney had never thought to ask what Mike studied, but she saw well-thumbed business textbooks lining the bookshelves, with what appeared to be three years of back issues to Forbes, Fortune, and The Harvard Business Review. The books and magazines seemed well organized. He is probably flunking out, she thought, but she didn't really believe it.

That was when the lights went out, and her world began to change.

Strong hands seized her around the waist. She began to lean back into the embrace, but instead she was was spun around and shoved face down on Mike's bed. The impact against the mattress expelled the air from her lungs with a "whoof". She had been expecting something like this, although Trav was more forceful than she would have thought. Her first concern was that the noise she made would identify her, but Trav didn't seem to be paying attention. Instead, he was hiking up her suffocating skirt, allowing a cool breeze to touch her legs along with his insistent hands, which gripped the backs of her thighs to spread her legs apart.

Courtney knew Trav. He was the sensitive type who cared about a woman's pleasure. Nothing would take the joy out of the experience more than if she just lay there like a rag doll, non-responsive but compliant as he had her way with her. She would even make things more difficult by shifting her hips wrong, resulting in an uncomfortable angle for him, or she would break rhythm to cause an unplanned withdrawal just when he was getting excited. She would lie here and take it, but she would make sure the sex was so bad, that tomorrow, when he spent himself between Courtney's legs, in Courtney's own bed, it would be heaven in comparison. She readied herself for the inevitable penetration.

Instead, a sharp pain flashed through her ass synchronous with the smack of Trav's hand. He had spanked her! She tried to flinch forward, away from the blow, but Trav was ready for it, and she felt his other hand press down on the small of her back, pinning her to the bed. I didn't know he was this strong.

Trav's hand had landed across the lower expanse of both cheeks, dangerously close to the folds of her labia. The stinging sensation was already fading, but the skin near the impact site felt hot and swollen. Trav had full access to her backside, she knew. The cold air against her thighs and the rustle of fabric against her back told her that her skirt was completely lifted and pinned up behind her, underneath Trav's hand.

Anger flushed through her, and she tried to use her hands to push herself off the bed.

Smack.

Courtney bit her lip to contain a yelp as the second blow struck her rear -- this time flat across the left cheek, sending another jolt of sensual pain coursing through her body. Before she could recover, a third blow struck her right cheek, a fourth across her upper right thigh, and a final blow on her upper left. She felt liquid oozing down her thighs, and in a moment of panic, feared it was blood.

It's not blood, she realized. Her own body was betraying her. A warmth was spreading from her navel down her pelvis to her pussy, which she could feel was swelling, lips parting in anticipation of pleasure. She found herself involuntarily arching her hips to provide him a better angle, but she caught herself in time.

No, no no. It was one thing to let him do this by choice, but responding in this way would throw all of her careful plans out the window. She would lose control, and she was all about control. If Courtney were wet, she might respond. If she responded, Trav would enjoy it and give credit to Michelle. She needed to regain control.

Courtney's feet pawed at the floor, trying to find purchase against Mike's carpet. Her knees bent to thrust herself forward, but Trav seemed to anticipate her move. Courtney's wig was torn off her head and thrown to the side. The mask was gone with it, and she felt Trav's fingers entangle themselves in her hair. She silently thanked the darkness, as without her wig concealing the auburn hair so different from Michelle's blonde, Courtney's identity would have been obvious, and without the mask he would have known her immediately if he ever looked at her face.

She was trapped. If she pushed forward, she would only succeed in tearing a clump of hair out by her roots. Trav sensed her predicament and firmly pulled back on her hair. Courtney had no choice but to swan her neck and arch her back in compliance. The mild pain from the hair pulling only fueled her body's betrayal, Courtney realized with embarrassment. as she suppressed a moan and forced her hips still.

Why was this exciting her? She didn't like pain. She was flinching with every slap and hair pull, and she wished Trav would stop and just fuck her like a man. Hard. She wanted to feel his cock thrusting through her and his pelvic bones pressing against the skin of her ass. She wanted his hands to tear off her suffocating dress so he could touch her breast and squeeze her nipples with the new strength he was showing.

Smack

This one landed across her upper thighs, and Courtney was only spared a direct slap against her labia by mere millimeters. This time, however, Trav did not withdraw his hand. Instead, his fingers sought her folds, and she heard a sharp intake of breath from behind her as he noticed just how wet and ready she had become.

This wasn't like Trav. Trav was always slow, stretching sex out with foreplay, and he was constantly watching her to see whether she liked what he was doing. All the women's magazines said that was what women were supposed to like, but It was tedious, really, and Courtney always had to pretend like she enjoyed every insipid caress.

This was different. His hands were forceful, not tentative, as if he didn't care whether she enjoyed it. His fingers penetrated her only incidentally to arouse her. She knew their true purpose -- to call attention to her inflamed state. Trav was touching her to show he knew how aroused she became by his rough disregard.

Courtney's face flushed with the dismaying heat of humiliation as her lust transcended to a place she had never experienced. Why is this turning me on?. Images and desires flashed through her fevered imagination. Trav pinning her arms behind her back as he penetrated her from behind. Trav leaning over to spank her while she orally serviced him. Where were these coming from?

She felt Trav lean over her as he continued to explore her shame, fingers slipping past the vulva as Courtney hissed in response and involuntarily spread her legs further to grant access.Yes!

Trav's voice was hot in her ear, sending a cascade of chills to traverse the length of her spine. The words themselves, however, were worse. "When we are finished, you whore," he said in an angry snarl, "you can make me a sandwich."

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