High Voltage MittensbyFeatherWatt©
Nina: Sam, should we do a recap at the start of the second full-length story?
Samantha: Yes, little rabbit.
Nina: Ooh. Keep calling me little rabbit.
Nina: Aw, come on.
Nina: Be my predator?
Samantha: Do the recap, and maybe.
Nina: Dear reader!
Nina: We published the first Mittens AAAAAAGES ago, and then we immediately started writing this sequel. It's been pretty much complete for over a year now, but we realized before publishing it that we'd left out a bunch of stuff that happened in between Mittens and High Voltage Mittens, so we wrote two in-betweener short stories, called Schrödinger's Mittens and Cyber Mittens.
Nina: And then we wibbled back and forth on writing a third in-betweener, while you all gnashed your teeth and waited patiently for the full-length sequel we'd promised.
Nina: Which we've now delivered, and which you'll be reading as soon as I'm done with the recap!
Samantha: I notice you're not doing a recap so much as talking about our publishing decisions, little rabbit.
Samantha: Get to the point.
Nina: SORRY SORRY SORRY
Samantha: Dear reader.
Nina: No I can do it
Samantha: ...If you must.
Samantha: Should we first explain about this chatlog, before people think that the whole thing's just a copy-paste of someone's cybersex session?
Nina: ...probably better ought to, sure
Samantha: "Mittens" is the story of how Nina and I got together, years and years ago. Nina is writing, and I am editing, and you are reading. At the end of the first "Mittens," and at the beginning and end of subsequent books, Nina and I paste in a chatlog where we talk about the book and show you where we are in life right now. As is something of a tradition these days, Nina is gagged and naked, and playing the part of my desk. My laptop is resting on her bare back, and she has her elbows on the carpet and her fingers on the keyboard of her own laptop.
Samantha: Her ass is exposed and vulnerable, and right now I'm stroking her left buttock with the bristles of a nasty little hairbrush.
Samantha: So that she knows to stop joking around and do this properly.
Nina: Can I do the Previously on Mittens bit now
Samantha: ...go ahead. But do it correctly. The hairbrush is waiting for you, Nina.
Nina: I'll be good.
Nina: Dear Reader!
Nina: In part one of "Mittens," Samantha and I got together and had awesome sex.
Samantha: It was eighty-odd pages! It was fifteen thousand words before I even got your panties down! There was a bit more to it than "We had awesome sex!"
Samantha: (dear reader: Nina is also forbidden from vocalising, which is why she just typed "Ow" when I spanked her bare ass with this hairbrush. Like this!)
Samantha: That's two. Now do it properly, or the handle's going in.
Samantha: And do _you_ see any lube around here?
Samantha: Because _I_ don't.
Nina: /takes a DEEP BREATH
Nina: We opened on Samantha wondering about a tipsy conversation we'd had the night before, in which I'd drunkenly clued her in on my kinks. She wonders about humiliation, and for some reason she gets hung up on _boxing gloves_ of all things. We go to another scene, of me using the Special Toy, which is a vibrator that was once broken, and Samantha has not only fixed but improved. We get into a little light technical discussion on vibrator modification while I reminisce, and we see that I now view this toy as a thing that Samantha has given part of herself to. Which I then put inside me. I ponder Samantha's obliviousness. Samantha researches boxing gloves, has a revelation about them, sends me an email because she wants to know more about erotic humiliation, and when I get it she's online - but she is masturbating at her desk at the time. I interrupt her and we get into a conversation in which we both reveal that we were merrily wanking away while thinking of each other. I arrange to come over in an hour, Sam eats a lot of toast and panics until I show up, then we kiss and hug and squeeze and fondle and she takes me upstairs.
Nina: Samantha teases me for a long time, indulging my authority kink. She is my predator, and I am her little rabbit, trembling and terrified. I slowly realize how strong she is, and it makes everything that much hotter, knowing that it's true - that she really IS stronger and faster and cleverer than me, and that I couldn't escape if I wanted to.
Nina: At one point she threatens to pee in my face, and that's when the reader learns about my watersports kink. Unfortunately a lifetime of hiding that particular secret has made me proficient enough that when I beg Samantha not to do it, I do it well enough that she believes me. And she does not pee on me.
Nina: Sad face. :(
Samantha: Don't be sad. I'll pee on you right now if you want.
Nina: We have an intro to write.
Samantha: Okay. Later.
Nina: THEN we have sex, and it's super-hot, and it goes on for AGES.
Nina: Anyway, it all ends up with us falling asleep in each others' arms.
Samantha: Satisfactory, I suppose.
Nina: Our story continues below!
Nina: If you'd like a copy of the first "Mittens" to read on your phone or your porn-filled e-reader, Mittens by Phoenix Baker (our nome de filthybook) is available at all good online bookstores.
Samantha: "Good" online bookstores?
Nina: All naughty online bookstores.
Nina: All online bookstores that need a _really good spanking._
Nina: Happy reading!
Samantha: And now, High Voltage Mittens. Thanks for reading, and if you like it, don't forget to rate it and tell your friends!
Nina: Or Sam will find you and set the coil-o-tron on you.
Samantha: I will.
Samantha: She's not joking.
Samantha: Happy reading, my little rabbits.
Samantha looked down at Nina. Nina looked up at Samantha.
Samantha regarded Nina critically, then gave in.
Look at those puppy dog eyes. How can I resist?
Samantha bowed her head to whisper in Nina's ear; "Yes, you may look at her."
Nina grinned, and turned her eyes to the painting.
This was a wonderful idea, thought Samantha with a smile, taking in the Renoir herself. Also a strange one. Probably fairly mild by Nina's standards...
She glanced at Nina, whose eyes were on the painting; her expression was serene, appreciative.
...still, taking it slow. Easing me into it. She pushed her glasses further up her nose. Easing Nina into it, too. She knows I operate strangely, and she appreciates it, but...
She strolled on, past the Renoir and towards the exit, her arms folded in standard I-am-walking-through-an-art-gallery repose. She didn't look behind her - she didn't have to. Nina tore her eyes away from the painting and followed.
But this is all very new to both of us.
I hope I don't try her patience.
A curator - elderly, with a uniform, walkie-talkie, and polite smile - held the door open for Samantha.
She returned his smile, with a nod and a "Thank you."
She heard Nina's quiet, polite "Thanks," behind her. She reached back, for the hand that Nina would offer.
They walked on a few steps in silence, along a beautiful but largely empty corridor, as the door closed slowly behind them, hissing gently on its air brake. Samantha slowed, applied gentle downward pressure on Nina's hand, and Nina was by her side, close and attentive.
"Speaking to another without my prior permission," murmured Samantha as the two proceeded along the corridor at sauntering speed. "What is the punishment?"
Nina swallowed. "Three smacks across the buttocks, medium strength, through underwear."
Samantha nodded. "That would be the case, except for...?"
"Saying 'uh,' 'um,' or any other such stalling nonsense." Samantha smiled as they walked. "What is the punishment?"
Nina remained silent. Samantha counted the seconds. After five, Samantha looked left and right, then stopped dead. Nina stopped with her. Samantha leaned into Nina until she was confident that Nina could feel her breath.
"Answer me, Nina, or you'll really wish you had."
Nina looked up into Samantha's eyes, visibly frightened, still silent.
Samantha counted the seconds. Finally, Nina spoke.
"Ten seconds' silence immediately," said Nina in a breathy exhale, "regardless of any instruction to the contrary. Cumulative and exponential physical punishment at your discretion for each subsequent infraction, to be recorded and administered at your leisure."
Samantha smiled, and carried on walking. "To go back to my original question, why is the punishment different for talking to the curator, this time?"
"Politeness modifier," answered Nina. "Halved punishment, rounded upwards, making it two smacks across my buttocks, medium strength, through my underwear."
"Yes. When incurring a punishment through politeness, or common decency, a modifier applies," said Samantha, quietly. "It's only fair that the punishment be reduced. However, this is further complicated, because...?"
Nina looked down. "Penalty for forgetting an aspect of a rule, in this case the politeness modifier itself."
Samantha grinned. "What is the punishment?"
Nina swallowed. "An increase in intensity to the original punishment. Two hard smacks across my buttocks, with or without underwear at your discretion."
"Without, I think. Let's look in the gift shop before we go."
Nina smiled. "Yes!"
The penalties are really racking up, thought Samantha, idly browsing the expensive knick-knacks on display. It's fun to try to figure out how many she's putting on there deliberately, and how many are genuine mistakes. Also, I'm going to have to come up with more varied and inventive punishments for Nina - spanking is fun, but we need some variety. I'm sure I can think of more, but I'll have to run them by her first, before putting them into the schedule.
Early days, yet.
She watched Nina flick through the postcards.
She's so pretty.
Samantha let her eyes drift across Nina's deep red hair, her pale shoulders, her insubstantial white blouse, her curves - she took a guilty peek at her behind, clad in tight blue jeans.
Hard to believe it's been so little time.
She approached Nina, from behind. "Find anything good?"
Nina nodded. "I love the curves on this one. I love the colors." Samantha watched Nina's eyes scan over the postcard - enjoying the way her pupils widened when she saw something beautiful.
She'd been enjoying that all day, and falling a little deeper in love with Nina at every painting they passed.
And her pupils widen like that when they settle on me, too. When her body responds to me, unconsciously, the same way it responds to a famous work of art - that's some kind of flattery, right there.
And doesn't the room seem a watt or two brighter when I look at her? Are my pupils doing the same thing?
I think they might be.
"I love the contrast," continued Nina, her eyes on the postcard. "Look how it flows."
Samantha looked at the postcard. She felt laughter bubble up inside her - she quenched it, and set her hands gently on Nina's shoulders, carefully watching her reflection in the postcard rack's acrylic.
She didn't want to miss her reaction.
"That would be 'Nude in an Armchair,' Nina." Samantha smiled, narrow-eyed, evil. "By Pablo Picasso."
Nina looked up, the color draining from her face.
Samantha leaned forward and whispered in her ear. "Looking at a depiction of a nude woman without my permission. The most important rule of our visit here today. We went over that one in detail. And you were doing so well, little Nina. What is the punishment?"
Nina took a deep breath, looking around to see if the shopkeeper was out of earshot. "Ten full-strength strikes across my buttocks... with the hairbrush." She swallowed. "Is there a Picasso modifier?"
Samantha squeezed Nina's shoulders, tightly. "It seems like there should be, doesn't it?" She kissed the tip of Nina's ear. "No, there's no modifier." She felt Nina shudder. "No leniency for you, Nina. No mercy. I know you didn't know you were looking at a nude, and that just makes this more delicious. Your poor little bottom is going to glow with the force of my brutality, little rabbit. That's what you get, when you play games with a predator."
Nina's voice, already barely a whisper, became so quiet it was almost inaudible - "Thank you, mistress."
"You're welcome, Nina. We should probably buy two of those postcards. I know I'll want a souvenir."
"Enjoy sitting down, Nina," said Samantha, in a happy, sing-song voice, "because after I get through with you, it'll be out of the question."
Nina squirmed and wriggled in her seat. "Please have mercy on me, mistress!"
Samantha grinned. "You'll cause an accident, distracting me like that." She changed up to fifth gear, and turned on the radio. "Shall we try to find some spanking music?"
Spanking music was not forthcoming. Instead, a sombre voice delivered a news bulletin.
Gradually the smiles - and the color - left Samantha and Nina's faces, as the report sunk in.
After a few minutes, Samantha had to pull over, take off her glasses, wipe her eyes. She felt Nina's arms around her.
The two women hugged as tightly as the gearstick would allow.
Probably not for the spanking I was so looking forward to.
Nina felt a lump in her throat. Not that I'm much in the mood anymore.
Nina watched Samantha sit down heavily on the couch. Her keys clattered on the coffee table. She sighed.
Will she send me away?
"Will you sit with me?" asked Samantha. She couldn't quite meet Nina's eye.
Nina nodded. "Yes," she said, quietly, and sat down carefully next to Samantha. "But..."
"No TV, huh? Or radio." Nina watched Samantha's face. "Not for a little while."
Samantha nodded. "I wasn't planning on it."
The two sat, their thoughts dark and private and alone. Slowly, over the course of several minutes, they gravitated together.
Soon, they sat huddled on the sofa, their arms around each other, staring down the world outside.
Finally, Samantha spoke.
"It's not that it happened, love."
"I know, Sam."
"It's that it happened again. It's that it keeps happening."
Nina sighed, closed her eyes, hugged Samantha tight. "I know."
She felt a hand on her head - protective, somehow.
As though it could stop a bullet, thought Nina, bitterly. They say he reloaded three times before the police shot him down.
All those children. A decade of love and life went into each one. It only took one lunatic and one gun to destroy all of that, in less than an hour.
We're all so fragile. Everything is so fragile. Love and laughter and friendship and all those forces that I thought were so strong - not a single one of those forces can stop a bullet. None of them will survive if some idiot shoots them because his mom finally evicted him from the basement.
She felt cold, even in Samantha's arms.
It wasn't even anyone special. It never is. It's never some powerful supervillian, or some evil genius... it's always just some loser with the sort of petty little problems that only ever affect one person. Some pathetic fuckup who never did anything more extraordinary than walk into a gun shop. Any idiot can do that.
He didn't earn that power. He just bought it. He probably put it on a credit card.
"How do you cope, Sam?" she whispered. "Your classes give you any, like, Zen way of handling this? What do you do, when something like this happens?"
Samantha stroked Nina's hair. "Oh, love... I've got it down to a fine art. We've all had too much practice at this."
Nina snuggled close.
Samantha sighed. "It usually goes down like this. First, I'm angry, and I look at short-term solutions to the problem. Things we can do that would stop it from ever happening again." She looked down at Nina. "And, because I'm angry, these solutions are all silly and destructive - either things that outright won't work, or things that'll work but will mess things up even worse in the short term."
"And then what?" Nina's voice was muffled by Samantha's sweater.
Samantha's fingers stroked gently around Nina's ear. "And then I think about my dad. His job was to take a bomb, disarm it, dismantle it, and make it so that it could never hurt anyone, ever again. He taught me how to use a soldering iron and a multimeter when I was six years old, love. He was always so calm."
Nina looked up, into Samantha's eyes. They were wet at the edges.
"He taught me the difference between destroying something, and dismantling it. And why that difference is important - they both end up the same, but it's the mindset you're operating with that makes the difference. You destroy something in anger, but you dismantle something with care, and serenity, and respect for the thing you're dismantling. You have to, or either it breaks or - in his old line of work - it blows up and kills you."
Nina squeezed Samantha. "I understand, but I'm not sure I get how it applies to... well, this."
Samantha kissed Nina on the top of the head. "Let me up. I want to show you something."
Nina, reluctantly, wriggled to the side so that Samantha could rise from the couch and approach the cupboard under the stairs. Nina followed her. She watched Samantha take a deep breath, her fingers on the handle.
Samantha turned to her. "I've never shown these to anyone."
Nina pecked her, gently, on the lips. "I'll be honored if you decide to, Sam, but don't feel as though you must."
Samantha nodded, and opened the door. She reached into the shadows and pulled out a shoebox.
"I knew it," said Nina, trying to lighten the mood. "Secret shoe fetish."
Samantha smiled - a fragile affair that reminded Nina of a leaf poking through soil. "If only it were that simple. Come on." She went into the kitchen, sat down with the box on her kitchen table.
Nina breathed the air. Of all the places in the world, this felt the most like Samantha. Her kitchen table was piled with junk; electronics, mostly. Here and there bits of motor, plastic casing, servos, manuals, schematics, miscellaneous incomprehensible detritus. Other kitchens smelled like baking cookies or bubbling coffee - this one did too, but with a faint metallic undertone of solder flux, and overheating batteries, and the chemicals that Samantha used to etch her circuit boards.
Nina took a seat. She felt very much at home here, and very much in love - sitting here was almost like being inside Samantha, in a way no less intimate than the way she'd been inside her last night. And this morning.
Samantha sat down, and took the lid off the shoebox. Inside was a chaos of shapes and colors, but one thing jumped out immediately.
"Jesus, Sam -" Nina's eyes widened. "Is that a gun?"
Samantha closed her fingers around the handle of the item in question. "It used to be," she said, very quietly. She pulled the item out of the box; a silvery jewelery chain hooked on it briefly before letting go. "But it isn't, any more. Here."