The Reluctant Psychic Ch. 03byonly_more_so©
I'd like to thank everyone for reading the story, voting and especially for leaving comments. I would love to hear how you think the story is going.
* * *
I was having a nightmare. It seems that the only dreams I have anymore are bad ones, luckily they don't occur every night. This dream hurts more than most because it's true. The details might be more sinister and fantastic in the dream, but the underlying facts are all true.
Years ago, before Anna's voice became my conscience, I made money playing poker. When I first started, I tried not to use my powers to gain an unfair advantage. It wouldn't be difficult to see the opponents' cards in their minds, but I chose not to do so. As I played, I convinced myself that I was reading body language and discerning my opponents tells. That was a lie.
When I first started playing, my powers merely told me if my opponents were excited or fearful. Playing against people on gambling vacations, that was all that I needed to win. Eventually I started playing against more experienced players who were more in control of their emotions. I found the variation in emotion was much less and to make it even more difficult the emotions often extended beyond the current hand. I still won, but not as easily, and I would win less money.
The more I played, the more I learned from my opponents. With every hand I learned their tricks subconsciously through my powers. I learned betting strategies, how to bluff, how to spot easy money, and my opponent's tells. In time, all I had to worry about was my own tells which I also learned from my opponents.
At some point I realized that I had been cheating all along. I think that was Anna's first attempt at reaching through to me. By that point I was drowning in gambling addiction. Knowing that I had been cheating only convinced me that I should cheat more actively, "in for a penny, in for a pound." At first, I peeked for a glimpse of their strategy, but soon the peeking turn to looking at their cards.
In poker, you can't win every hand, even with perfect knowledge; sometimes you just don't have the cards. At first this frustrated me, until I learned to bluff. Of course, this was another situation where I convinced myself it was natural acting ability that made my bluffs so effective and not my powers leaching confidence from my opponents. It got to the point where the only hands I lost were the ones I decided to lose. But even that wasn't enough. I learned to entice my opponent's into larger bets, convincing them to throw good money after bad.
Eventually the pit bosses became suspicious as the money quickly moved to my side of the table. They couldn't prove I was cheating, but they didn't really have to. I could have changed their minds, but a part of me didn't like intentionally using my powers on other people. I also could have played it cool and taken my time, but time doesn't feed an addiction.
I started in Vegas where I drained the high rollers at a dozen casinos. When I tried to make it a baker's dozen I wasn't allowed on the premises. So I bought a Ferrari and headed to Reno. I only made it through a couple casinos in Reno before people caught on. There was a picture of me in every casino in the state before I finally left.
It was an incredible high, having so much money and with every casino looking like an ATM. As I drove around the country I stopped at every Indian casino and floating casino I could find. I was so flush with cash that it seemed like I bought a new car every time I ran out of gas. I would forget where I parked, or park in a tow zone, sometimes I would even give the cars as a tip to a cute waitress. Eventually I made it to Atlantic City and learned that word had gotten there ahead of me. Every gambling establishment in the United States had a picture of me along with the words persona non-grata.
I bought my first private jet just to fly me to the world's gambling meccas. Realizing a whole country worth of gambling was already closed to me, I managed to disguise my winnings somewhat. But inevitably, my reputation in the States and my consistent winning at their tables led every casino I visited to turn me away. I only made it through a half dozen casinos in three countries before the whole of Europe turned its back on me.
Frustrated I turned my attention much further east and flew to Macao. When my plane landed I knew something was wrong when we were directly to a small hangar away from the main terminal. Inside the hangar were representatives of the city's top casinos, the police commissioner and a score of police officers. They explained that if I so much as set foot in a casino or gambling hall, I would be arrested, tried and convicted for cheating. They played by less forgiving rules.
As I was about to reboard my plane, one of the casino managers stopped me and handed me a card. When I asked for an explanation he smiled and walked away. I looked at the card which read simply, "Oleg Stukova, Import/Export, Vladivostock." The message was clear: I couldn't gamble in the light of day so I would have to play underground.
As I explored the underworld's gambling dens, I actually made as many allies as enemies. As often as not these infamous men were happy to lose money, provided their enemies lost more. But it wasn't only money, since in these games collateral was often the only prize. So I began accumulating cars, yachts, airplanes and villas. I even won odd things like oil fields, shopping malls and fishing boats. The further down I ventured, the seedier the prizes would become. Drugs, guns, and prostitutes started falling into my hands.
Even as I descended deeper and deeper into this depraved yet enticing world, a part of me wouldn't give in to evil. I couldn't destroy the drugs and free the enslaved whores without painting a target on my back, but I found ways to minimize the human damage. I did keep the guns, missiles and bombs, which linger in caves and warehouses even now.
My lingering humanitarian streak even extended to these unsavory people. Even against these disreputable people I never intentionally used my powers to make them bet a losing hand or to make them fold a winning hand. I also hadn't fallen so far that I would take money from people who couldn't afford the loss, since with these people bankruptcy meant certain death.
The time I broke both of those rules is the source of my nightmare.
* * *
I peered out past my wall of chips and pile of counters, at the sweaty man across the table. He had come in a few hours earlier looking like a minnow among sharks. Over the course of a few hours we had combined to eliminate all the opposition. He was the shrewdest opponent I had ever faced and I was surprised to realize he was a stranger to everyone, and not just to me. Who would have thought, I would find a worthy opponent in an illegal gambling hall deep into what would soon be called the Czech Republic.
Here amid the gun runners, drug-traffickers, mercenaries, adventurers and second world playboys, sat an anxious little man who claimed to run a whore-house. He started with a very small stake, too small for the tastes of the villains in the room. To sweeten the pot he produced pictures of three women to use as collateral. The vultures greedily gazed at the beauties, and the pictures were accepted as counters. Amid all the black counters of guns, tanks, drugs and murder for hire, sat three women dressed in white. I watched the three women huddle together behind his wall of chips, looking fearfully at my tanks and bombs arrayed before my own high walls.
Smoke slithered through the room in thick gray tendrils, wrapping about my chips and giving enticing caresses through my open collar. As the dealer shuffled the cards, I took another drink of absinthe, and cherished the bitter flavor. A green fog seemed to rise from the cup to dance sensually with the blue-gray smokes from the opium, hashish and tobacco. The absinthe fumes and narcotic smoke seemed to whisper words of encouragement into my ears as I was challenged by this opponent.
I let the anxious man win a small piece from my wall of chips, and even let him win a couple of tanks and a dozen kilo's of cocaine. He seemed more interested in building his wall of chips higher than in acquiring weapons or drugs. As he gathered them in he did so delicately, as if merely touching the counters revolted him.
"Yes, give him hope, it will make his defeat taste all the more entertaining," I heard the green fairy, absinthe, whisper in my ear. I gazed around at the vultures perched on their chairs, watching with greedy eyes as the army of counters and stacks of chips slid from one side of the table to the other. They might be out of the game, but they were ready to bid on the counters, particularly if I pried the ladies from my nervous opponent.
I heard another voice telling me the sweaty man only wanted one more hand and would then resign. The voice then told me what the man thought, "One more hand... then I can get away from these villains and this evil game forever." My eyes grew cold and I could see the air growing still about me. The smoke tendrils froze and frost grew on my glass. Another voice whispered in my ear, "how dare he lump you in with the other villains!"
I drained the green slush from my glass and with the next hand I started reclaiming all I had let him win. His tanks on their little tracks came back to my side. The guns and drugs were soon back in my control as well. I started wagering only chips to entice him into placing larger bets against me. The vultures crowded about the poor man as his wall of chips tumbled down. The women were tearful as they became exposed.
I finally had all of his chips in the pot, laying the three lovelies bare. I knew he hadn't gotten the card he needed on the draw and that my hand was better than his. "Too bad he is going to fold," whispered the fairy. "Yes, he won't throw good flesh after bad money... unless..." the fog said as it caressed me.
I reached out with my powers and convinced the man I was bluffing. Soon he knew his small pair was enough to beat me. The ladies looked at him in terror as he pushed them blindly into the pot. I sent in a pair of tanks to corral the ladies, calling his bet. The four bullets I threw down were two more than I needed to kill him and his pair of threes.
I raked in all my ill-gotten gains and began arranging for delivery of the counters. The nervous little man approached me and begged to reclaim the ladies. He would do anything he promised. "What kind of a pimp are you, to worry such about your whores?" I said with disdain.
"They are not whores. They are my wife and daughters... My wife is very sick, she needs an operation and this is the only way I could hope to raise the money in time. Please." The man continued to plead and tug on my sleeve, imploring me to have pity. A part of me watched in terror as this scene played out, but I have no control over acts long since done.
"You thought me a villain, so a villain I shall be," I said as I looked at the three ladies. "They may not have been whores before, but they are now." I picked up the picture of the oldest woman as she tried to cling to the other two. I casually threw the photo to the dealer and offered her as a tip. I threw in a pound of cocaine, since the sweaty fellow said she was ill.
"How can you be so heartless!" the sweaty man said. He drew a gun from his coat pocket and shot the dealer, snatching up the picture of his wife. He aimed the gun at me and grabbed for the photos of his daughters from my hands.
I used my powers to prevent him from shooting me. He was shaking and trying to back out of the room, but the vultures were close about him. "You can't kill me, and I will find them," I said. The small man seemed to shrink as if he stood before the devil himself. He tried again to pull the trigger and kill me, but he couldn't. Instead he turned the gun on himself. He was dead before I thought to stop him. As his body fell to the ground, the three photos drifted slowly downward like autumn leaves.
* * *
I sat up in bed, drenched in sweat. The sunlight had just started to shine in past the curtains, giving the room a soft restful glow. I took a few breaths trying to calm my racing heart. But I could still hear the report of the shot, and smell the acrid smoke that curled from the gun.
I felt two bodies quickly press close against me, one from the front and one from behind me. I looked down at Tiffany as she gently stroked my cheek. She made gentle sounds as she offered me comfort. I wrapped my arms around her and pressed my forehead against hers as she continued to stroke my check. I gazed into her hazel eyes and let her soft sounds soothe me. A deep shuddering breath brought her scent into my nostrils, the subtle scent of cherries displacing the remembered acrid smoke.
The arms of the girl behind me squeezed tight, and with that squeeze I realized it was Magda. I turned to pull her around in front of me, joining Tiffany in my lap. I hugged them both and turning to Magda began saying, "I'm so sorry," over and over.
Magda tried to tell me that I had nothing to be sorry for, even as Tiffany continued trying to calm me with soft touches and gentle sounds. I tried to tell Magda how I had wronged her, that I had killed her father, but she wouldn't listen to me, saying I owed her no apology, that she should be thanking me.
Eventually, the panic and distress caused by the nightmare subsided thanks to the love poring into me from my girls. Not just the two in my lap, but also from the few who were peeking in through the doorway, and from the ones who still slept on elsewhere in the house. I had wronged each of them, but they all loved me in spite of it.
* * *
The lurkers disappeared and Magda and Tiffany loosened their grips on me. I looked into Magda's gray eyes and said one last time, "I am sorry for what happened to your father."
Magda looked back at me and said, "I have forgiven you for the small part you played in my family's tragedy. You can't keep taking all the blame. You gave my sister and me another year with my mother, and my mother another year with us and without pain. Since I met you I have seen the world, gotten an education, and have a family anyone would be jealous of." She illustrated the last point by giving Tiffany a hug and a none too sisterly kiss.
Tiffany responded with vigor. I could feel their love for each other, much as I could feel their love for me. I could also feel them growing aroused. With reluctance Tiffany broke the kissing and shook her head gently. She pointed at her wrist and I saw Magda face light up.
"I nearly forgot!" Magda said as she jumped out of bed. She was halfway to the door before she turned around and gave Tiffany a quick kiss. "Thanks for reminding me." She turned away again, but returned for another deeper kiss. She left the room with a quick wave and hurried toward her room.
I looked at the remaining girl on my lap and asked, "What was that about?"
* * *
Tiffany shook her finger in front of my face and pushed me back onto the bed. Without further ado, she reached between her legs and grabbed my cock. It quickly hardened in her hands. When she was satisfied she lifted up enough to line my erection up with her sex. Then, with one hand on my chest and the other guiding me into her, she sat all the way down on me in one slow motion.
After I was safely ensconced inside of her she straightened her left leg and gently lifted it over my body. When it swung past my face I grasped it for a moment and gave her leg a kiss. She smiled at me as she finished the maneuver. Her left leg lay across my chest with her foot against my side, her right leg lay next to my body.
Tiffany thought up the position while we were watching a pornographic movie one evening. I had told her the sexual position we were watching, and imitating, was sometimes called a reverse cowgirl. Apparently this offended her blue blood sensibilities and let me know that real ladies ride side-saddle.
The position is incredibly awkward, but incredibly stirring as well. I looked up at Tiffany as she sat proud, upright and impaled. Her pale breasts are high on her chest and they rose proudly from her body. The neat braid of light brown hair that hung over her shoulder and across one breast added to the image of an uptight aristocratic woman. Even though she was fully nude, her poise and grace made her appear ready to ride out on a fox hunt.
But we both could feel the dirty secret of this fair lady. We could feel it throbbing inside of her as she moved slightly up and down. With her legs so close together, the pressure on my cock was exquisite. As I gazed up at her images leaked from her mind into mine. I could see us in her mind eye, where she was riding a giant stallion through a meadow.
As she sat side-saddle on top of me, I thrust my hips up towards her and allow them to drop back to the bed. I tried to mimic the pace of a stallion to fulfill her fantasy. We started at a slow walk, with regular short thrusts. She clicked her tongue at me to encourage a trot, which I had learned is a faster two beat gait. I made longer thrusts that were slightly further apart.
I could see a bead of sweat drip down Tiffany's neck as she tried to hold her poise. As I let myself be lead through a trot I watched the progress of the drop as it slid down her collar bone. I felt her vagina contract around me on each thrust and felt it release for the downward half of the cycle. I could also feel her subtle shifts in weight that kept her mounted on me as I thrust into her over and over.
She clicked her tongue again asking me for more speed. The first time I tried to imitate the three beat cadence of a gallop, it had disastrous results. But now I moved into the human gallop, which was a long hard thrust, followed immediately by a quick short thrust, and then a pause. With most of my girls it seems to take a steady pace to set them off, but the imagery is so powerful with Tiffany that this awkward rhythm causes her to orgasm with only a few strides.
I was sweating from the exertion of bucking her up in the air, and the bead of sweat on Tiffany's body slid down the reddening skin between her breasts. I saw her bite her lip to remain silent as her still proud body started shuddering in climax. Her head dropped suddenly, and her nipples became rock hard. I watched her sleek abs clench as I thrust into her. She literally rode me through her orgasm.
Eventually she had enough and we slowed down. She smiled at me and patted my chest admiringly. I could hear her thoughts saying, "Good boy," as she slows me down. Even though the ride has tired me considerably, she has me go through a slow walk, to cool me down.
She squeezed me inside her with a hint of regret. She knew that the position was too physically demanding and awkward to make me come. But her expression promises me that she will soon make it up to me, even if her mouth can't.
* * *
As Tiffany sat atop of me, with both of us catching our breath, Magda re-entered my room. She was fully dressed, including shoes, which could only mean she was going out somewhere. As I took in her excited expression and the feelings shining out from her, I knew she was obviously looking forward to the trip.
Tiffany opened her arms and Magda rushed into them. As soon as their embrace was over Tiffany started signing something to Magda. It was times like this when I wished that I had learned sign language. In the past I had used my powers to read Tiffany's mind. I had done so for so long that she assumed I knew how to read her signs. Now that I have given up snooping into my girls' minds, it left me largely out of her conversations.
"Thank-you. I'm excited too. It has been too long," Magda said. She turned to me and said, "Can I take one of your cars? Mine is too small."