Coming Into His Own Ch. 02byPhantomOp©
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Tom Crawford inherits a ring from his grandfather on his 21st birthday.
LEGALESE: Don't read this if you are underage, if it is illegal in your area, if it is offensive to you, or if you cannot distinguish fiction from reality.
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Many thanks to Lxndr for his input on this chapter's direction, as well as all the constructive criticism from everyone.
Tom got in the Mercedes and started it up, leaving Weiss Hall in a hurry before anything else unusual could happen. Between his mom's zoning out, her calling him Thomas, the offer to use her Mercedes, Dr. Portillo's change of heart on the essay, and Sheri's way of thanking him for getting the essay dropped, he was officially freaked out.
As Tom pulled into the driveway, he saw that his car was gone. "At least I have a little time to myself before Mom returns," he said softly. Tom grabbed the mail from the mailbox, walked inside the house, and headed to his room to check Google for a few things that he became curious about due to the day's events. His first search was on the phrase FORTES FORTUNA IUVAT. Google provided 'Fortune favors the strong' as the translation from Latin to English. Interesting.
Tom then searched on 'mind control rings', 'mental powers', 'Browne, Holt, Banks and Simmons', and 'signs of mental instability on 21st birthday'. Of the searches he performed, only the search on the UK law firm had any useful information. Browne, Holt, Banks and Simmons was a well-respected firm, founded in the 19th century, and specializing in business law, estate law, international law, and negotiation and conflict resolution. According to what scant records Tom was able to find online, the firm had a small client list. Those clients typically had been with the firm for generations. Tom read with interest the web page describing the founding of the firm, which made mention of the initial client families. The Crawford family name was among the names on that short list of charter clients.
"OK, nothing useful online about this ring," Tom thought. "Let's try experimenting some more, and see if it has any other strange abilities." Tom tried removing the ring, but as he began to slide it off his middle finger, a pulsing and throbbing pain in his head appeared, followed by his vision becoming blurry and the sound of the grandfather clock ticking in the hallway becoming deafeningly loud. As soon as Tom grabbed the sides of his head in pain, the agony vanished. Tom tried once more, and the same excruciating pain returned, but once he stopped trying to remove the ring, the pain was again gone.
"So much for taking this thing off! Looks like I am stuck with this for now," Tom grumbled to himself. He got out a notepad and jotted down some notes about his experiment. "Removing ring -- instant onset migraine. Let's not try that again." Tom looked at the page, then wrote down several more items: "Thinking about Mom not calling me Tommy -- immediate behavior change. Asking Dr. Portillo if we can skip the essay -- immediate behavior change. Thinking about Sheri 'thanking' me -- immediate behavior change." The last item really bothered Tom as he considered it. He had never really intended for Sheri to give him a blowjob Are you sure about that, Thomas? You certainly didn't try very hard to stop her. In fact, you seemed to be pretty into the whole thing, with your fingers curled in her hair as you face-fucked her.
Thomas (as he was beginning to think of himself now) could not seem to escape the words of Lord Acton, words that sounded more like an accusation than a statement, "Power corrupts...." Thomas sat introspectively for a while, wondering if this gift from his grandfather was really a curse. "I'm not a bad person!" Thomas shouted, though the words seemed hollow to his ears. Sure, Thomas, you're not a bad person. You are just a guy who wanted to have a little no-strings sex. There is nothing wrong with that, right? Even though the poor girl could not really consent to what you did. That's not evil, that's just a little on the sneaky side. I mean, it's not like you thought about your mother stripping off her blouse and bra for you this morning, so that has to count for something positive...
So deep in thought was Thomas that he did not hear his mom, until she crossed over to his desk and placed her hand on his shoulder. "Thomas, are you all right? I have been calling your name for three minutes." He started at his mother's touch, and turned to look at her. "I'm sorry mom, I was just OHMYGOD Mom! What the hell are you doing?" Julie Crawford was standing next to her son, a look of concern on her face as he jumped up from his chair and backed away from her. "Mom, why the hell are you standing there topless?" Maybe because you were just thinking about her being topless, Thomas. You see, everyone has a little evil in them.
Julie looked down at her full breasts, apparently unaffected by her son's outburst. "I don't understand, Thomas. You have never complained before today about my getting comfortable at home. May is such a humid month, and you know how I hate to feel sticky." Thomas' mind was racing -- what does she mean, I never complained before? She's never done THIS before! Am I so sick that I made my mother strip half-naked just for my own jollies? No way, I need to try to fix this. But what am I going to do, think her clothes back on? -- but he couldn't really come up with a good solution.
"Mom, why don't you just put your blouse back on, and forget about having come in here. I'll see you downstairs in a couple of minutes." God, I hope this works! Thomas stood there amazed as his mother blinked her eyes a couple of times, then turned and left his room, pulling her blouse back on and fastening it as she headed down to the kitchen.
Unsure as to how he managed to achieve that, Thomas slumped back down in his chair. If this was what his life was going to be like from now on, Thomas knew he would have to carefully consider his thoughts and actions. "I have got to watch what I think. I hope that lawyer in London has some more information from Grandpa Ethan that can help me figure out what is going on. Maybe there will even be some instructions on how to control the way I affect people. I don't want to end up crazy, or living like a hermit in order to stop making things happen to other people. I really wish this ring had an 'off' switch!"
Thomas looked at the clock on his computer, and discovered he had been sitting there for about twenty minutes after his mother left. Dreading what he would find, Thomas got up and headed down to the kitchen. His mother stood at the counter, checking the messages on the answering machine. Thomas was grateful that she has put her blouse back on, but her nipples prominently poking through the thin fabric of her top told him that she hadn't put on a bra.
"Hi, sweetie, when did you get here?" Julie asked as she looked up from the note she was jotting. "I didn't hear you come in. We have reservations for dinner at Morton's to celebrate. I got 6pm reservations, since I figured you would want to go out with your friends and have a good time afterwards."
"OK, Mom, let me just get showered and changed, and I will be ready to go." Thomas headed back upstairs, thinking I hope Mom changes, and remembers to put a bra on. Dinner would be a bit difficult to handle if I had to stare at her high-beams all night! After a quick shower, Thomas put on a nice suit and tie, making sure he is dressed appropriately for a five-star restaurant. Satisfied with the outcome, he headed back downstairs to wait for his mother.
Julie Crawford came down the stairs about fifteen minutes later, wearing an elegant Murad dress. Thomas was in awe when he saw how beautiful his mother looked. A strapless floor length evening gown in gold lame with sheer panels, the dress was gorgeous, but it paled in comparison to his mother's beauty. A simple pearl necklace and earrings completed her outfit, and Thomas had no doubt that every man in Morton's would be watching her as they entered.
Traffic was light on the way to the restaurant, and they arrived just prior to their reservation. The maître d' seated Thomas and his mother, and then called their server over to take the drink order. After he placed his order for a glass of wine, Thomas looked around the restaurant. To his dismay, the place was nearly full, with a number of attractive women to stir his imagination.
Ohshitohshitohshit! What the hell am I going to do if my imagination starts making things happen in here? This is SO not good! Thomas did his best to keep a tight lid on his thoughts. At first, it was easy; his mother was a good conversationalist, and had many entertaining stories about her day at work. However, by the time the salad arrived, Thomas was having trouble. He tried thinking about college assignments, he tried using meditational techniques, he even tried using "I am not a bad person" as a mantra, repeating that one idea over and over in his head.
When Thomas heard his server say, "Sir, may I clear that away for you?" he looked up and saw a beautiful young woman standing there, 'Angelica' embroidered on her uniform. As Thomas looked at Angelica, he began to envision her nude, cupping her breasts and playing with her nipples. He watched in horror as Angelica set down the dishes she was clearing and began unbuttoning her server's coat. Thomas's panicked thinking went into overdrive: She's gonna get fired for this! What will Mom say about this girl stripping right here? I can't believe this is happening again! Man, are those some perfectly shaped breasts -- STOP IT, that's what got this started in the first place!
Thomas expected his mother to be upset with Angelica's display, but to his surprise, Julie didn't act as if anything was wrong. Maybe because I already convinced her that it was OK to parade around topless. At least Mom isn't giving a repeat show! Her breasts weren't bad to look at, if you put aside the whole "That's my mother" thing. I'm sure she compares favorably to the women at the next table... Before he could stop his current line of thinking, Thomas realized that not only had his mother taken her full breasts out of the top of her dress, but so had the women at the next table. ohmygod, I am going to Hell for this!
The restaurant had gone completely silent as the patrons looked at the two women sitting near Thomas and his mother. They were nonchalantly cupping their breasts, playing with their nipples, and comparing sizes with each other. Some of the customers started murmuring as the maître d' approached the ladies' table.
"I beg your pardon ladies, but your open display of your assets, while quite enjoyable to a number of the patrons, is entirely inappropriate for an establishment such as Morton's. I'm afraid that I am going to have to ask you to leave." The maître d' stood next to their table, trying to maintain a professional demeanor, although it was apparent he was one of the ones that were very much enjoying the view.
Thomas grew concerned about what would happen when the maître d' came to his table, especially since Angelica was now sitting on his lap and trying to get him to suck her nipples. Perhaps I can think my way out of this. While I am enjoying Angelica's charms, I would hate see her fired because of my thoughts. Angelica, calmly get up out of my lap, put your clothes back in order, and forget about everything you have done after you asked to clear my dishes away.
Angelica, stood up, straightened her clothing and buttoned her top, then asked Thomas again, "May I clear that away for you, sir?" Relief washed over Thomas' face as he motioned for the young woman to take his dishes.
All right, that's one problem down. Mom, put yourself back together, and ignore the ladies at the next table. If the maître d' comes to our table, let me handle everything. Once again, Thomas was able to relax as he saw Julie fix her gown and return to picking at her salad. So far, so good. I might be able to get through this mess without having caused any major damage.
Thomas looked up as Emil, the maître d', walked over to his table. "Sir, I couldn't help but notice that your server was acting a bit unusually. Was there a problem here?"
"Emil, absolutely nothing out of the ordinary happened in the restaurant tonight. You did not see anything inappropriate, and Angelica has been a wonderful server. In fact, if you would be so kind as to give her something for me after my mother and I leave, I would appreciate it," Thomas said with as much of a straight face as he could manage. Talk about the old Jedi Mind Trick!
Emil took the business card from Thomas. "Very good sir. I am glad to hear that you are pleased with the service here at Morton's. If there is anything else that we can do, please let us know." With that, Emil left.
Now the only thing left to do is make everyone else forget that they saw my mom topless, and it'll all be good. Thomas began to concentrate very hard on sending out his thoughts to everyone on the restaurant, encouraging them to ignore what happened with his mother. The harder he concentrated, the more his head began to throb, and the sounds around him grew painfully loud. Even the soft lighting was too bright and harsh for him. Thomas gritted his teeth against the pain, determined to fix things so his mother would never be embarrassed by her partial public nudity.
Finally, Thomas reached the limit of what he could handle, and had to stop sending his thoughts out. It didn't seem to make a difference, anyways. He could still hear people murmuring, and caught the occasional disapproving glance from other diners. Well, at least I know I don't have absolute power with whatever this ring has done, Thomas thought before he had to close his eyes for a while against the migraine.
"Son, are you feeling all right? Perhaps we should leave. You look like you're in pain." Julie gazed with equal parts love and concern at Thomas, not liking to see him distressed. "I think you need to take a break from your classes for a while. You're very smart, but all this late night studying is wearing you down. In fact, I think that you should use that ticket to London. Take a week or two, unwind, and come back refreshed."
"That's not a bad idea, Mom. I'll go to the bank in the morning to get my passport and see the trustee about the papers for my money so I can take some cash with me. Do you want me to bring you back anything special?"
Julie smiled at her son's thoughtfulness. "Perhaps you can find a nice tea set there, Thomas. My grandmother had one, and I always loved the simple elegance it represented. It always made me feel like a princess, even though my parents struggled to make ends meet."
"I will be sure to find you the perfect tea set for a princess, then!"
Thomas' headache had still not gone away, so it was easy for Julie to convince him to leave and go home. Just before they reached the entrance, Thomas felt a tap on his shoulder. Turning around, he was startled to come face-to-face with Angelica. Apparently, Emil hadn't waited until after they left to give her the card with his name and number on it.
"Thomas? Emil gave me your card. I'm sorry that you aren't feeling well. I was looking forward to bringing your birthday cake out after dinner. So when Emil handed me your number, I was happily surprised. You're a cute guy, and I would have enjoyed singing 'Happy Birthday' to you. Maybe we can get together later if you're interested. You are interested, right? I'm not making a big fool of myself, am I?" Angelica chewed her lip nervously as she looked into his eyes.
"Yes, I would love to do something later. Have you ever done something totally impulsive Angelica? How would you like to go to London with me? I've got to take a trip there to meet some lawyer, and I think it would be fun to have a pretty girl like you for company, instead of having to spend all my time dealing with boring legal shit." Thomas could barely believe his own words. He was not normally so spontaneous, but this just seemed like a good idea.
"Wow, are you serious? I have always wanted to go to London! Let me just tell Emil that I'm taking some time off -- ummm, how long am I taking off?"