My New Girlfriend Ch. 11bySvalbarding©
It was freezing cold outside when I left my apartment; my phone said it was hovering just below zero, with the wind chill even lower – unseasonably cold for our area with spring only a few weeks away, but my recent experiences were living proof that stranger things had happened. It took me a few tries to get the car to start, but it finally groaned to life and I headed for our diner. There, I would meet Courtney, maybe for the last time.
The public place had been her idea, and her rationale had been chilling. "With what you know about what I've done, I'm sure you'd feel safer around people," she'd said. Amazingly, with all that I'd learned in the past few days, the question of my own safety never even occurred to me.
When I pulled into the lot a few minutes later I saw I'd beaten her there, so I took a booth in our usual spot. It was as ideal for this kind of discussion as one could get, I supposed, in a side room that didn't get as much foot traffic or seating, so we'd have a modicum of privacy while still not being alone. I'd never before worried about being alone with her – unsurprisingly, I generally looked forward to it – but maybe she was right to caution me.
I kept my eye to the window, and before I'd finished sipping through my first glass of water, a bus pulled in to the stop across the street. When it left, I saw her standing behind it dressed as ludicrously impractical as ever for the season, a brief dress with a thin jacket over the top. (The jacket was open across the chest to maximize display of her cleavage, and I'm pretty sure she didn't own any clothing that hid much more.)
She saw me looking and gave me a timid smile as she made her way over. All my openings and arguments and strategies flew right out the window as I watched her make her way over to my table and seat herself across from me. The woman of my dreams, the love of my life, the source of all the pain and doubt in my universe.
Some kind of physical greeting was so much a part of our relationship that the absence of one was jarring as she sat down, folding her hands demurely in her lap. "Hi, Courtney." My mouth had become parched in an instant, and I took a long sip from my glass.
"Hi, Drew. I missed you. I'm so glad you agreed to meet me."
I shrugged. "I didn't want things between us to just end without at least talking them out."
A look of despair flashed across her features. "So that's it then. You've made up your mind."
"I didn't say that. I don't know. After what I saw... what I heard... I don't know what else there is to do. Hell, even just with the way I've conducted myself this past week I'm wondering if I'm fit to be with you for my own self."
"You are. Erika told me... well, pretty much everything, I think, and I don't care about any of that."
"But that's just it, Courtney, of course you don't. You can't. Something was done to make you this way, so that you feel like you love me no matter what."
She frowned. "So that I feel like I love you? So you're saying you don't think I love you. Is that it? How can you think that?"
"It's not a judgment – it's just the truth. If someone hit me in the head and I woke up thinking I was Samuel L. Jackson, it's not my fault I think it, but it doesn't make the feeling true."
"That's not how it is at all. I love you, Drew. I love you so much that losing you would be like losing my leg, or like a lung or something. I might be able to survive without it, but it wouldn't be living."
"Courtney... that's just the drugs talking. You don't love me. You're... chemically bonded to me."
"No!" She pounded her tiny fist the table and I jumped in spite of myself. She seldom raised her voice except in pleasure or to plead. "You may have learned some things this past week, but you don't know what's in my head or my heart, Drew. I know what it feels like to be compelled to act a certain way. Most people do, really, even if their reason for it isn't something you can exactly point to like you can with me."
"What does that mean?"
"You think the people who hand you your fries really give two shits about you having a nice day? Think the lady you hold a door open for is sincerely grateful, like she can't open a door on her own? I'm just saying – we all act the way other people want us to sometimes. For some people it's how they were raised, for some people it's social convention, for some folks it's a paycheck. For me, it just so happens to be a chemical compound brought to the U.S. by Afghani heroin smugglers."
"It's not the same thing," I protested. "You think Erika would have ever become someone's harem slave because of social conventions?"
"It's not... just because we might obey doesn't mean we love. They're not the same."
"I don't see the difference here."
Our waitress came over to impose an awkward break in our talk; we just asked for a cup of coffee apiece and a little space.
"Drew, honey," she began once she'd walked away, "whatever you think about my feelings... that's not what brought us here. It's what I've done. And right now you don't know everything, and some of it isn't at all what you think, and some of it is probably worse."
"Worse? It'd have to be pretty damn bad."
She fell silent a long moment, looking down at the table, ashamed. I didn't feel good about it, but I couldn't let pity sway me here. Our waitress poured us each a cup and we added our usual (two creams one sugar for me, three sugar no cream for her). We were just sitting there in silence but for the clicking of our stirrers against our mugs until she finally continued.
"Maybe you're right, and maybe I've set the bar that low. But still, I want to tell you. So at least, whatever you decide to do, you're deciding with all the information. And because... I need you to know I love you, and I don't know how else to make you understand except this."
"You really don't have to – I've dug up enough dirt as it is."
"I want to. If you're willing to hear me, that is. Just... just promise me, you'll let me finish. That's all I ask."
"How do I know I can trust you? How do I know you won't just say whatever it takes to convince me because that's what the drug makes you do?"
"Because if I just wanted to convince you to keep using me and emotion was no part of it, I would've met you at your apartment. I would have come in naked, fallen to my knees and worshipped your cock until I sucked a piece of your soul out with it. I'd have asked you to use me like I was a household appliance, like a dishwasher for your dick. I'd make you see me like nothing but some beautiful Thing with tits and ass and the most wet and willing cunt you'd ever felt, and made sure you knew that they all existed only for your pleasure. I'd let you put me in a cabinet when you weren't using me, loan me to your neighbors like I was a pair of garden shears, tattoo your name on every part of me so that everyone would know who this little sex object belonged to. Because you might take me back under those terms, and because I'd do anything to make you happy.
"But as much as you know I want to provide you all the pleasure in the world... you deserve more. You deserve love. And so do I. And even if I'd settle for you without it because yes, I'm fucked in the head in some pretty serious ways, I love you too much for you to settle for me as just some piece of flesh you feel nothing for."
I gave her a long look. I'd seen this woman begging me for relief and release a hundred times, but I'd never heard her sound so disconsolate over it. "All right. I'll listen."
"I moved here from a small town out west the summer after I finished high school. I never really told you much about my life growing up. Not because I was hiding it, just that it wasn't happy, and not in some sob story kind of way that makes me make sense. It was unhappy the way most people who leave home as soon as they can are unhappy.
"So I came out to the city with a few hundred bucks in my pocket and no real plan. I had some ideas about falling into something glamorous – modeling, acting, trophy wife to some tech billionaire. Instead I wound up with a few part-time minimum wage jobs, made some friends – Erika, Gina, Morgan, some of the folks you met at that party. Some others.
"I met Arman. He was a dealer then, so far as anyone knew. That's how I met him – one night we were out clubbing, and somebody introduced us. I wasn't exactly a saint where drugs were concerned, but it was my first time doing H. Arman paid me a lot of attention, and at the time I was pretty flattered. He's not a bad-looking guy, obvious bad boy cred, threw money around. The kinds of thing that impress girls who don't know better yet. I wasn't into him, not really, but I liked that he was into me. I decided to chase that feeling.
"So he gave me his number, and I called it a couple days later. Honestly I didn't really want to buy any more from him, but I'd never actually called a guy to ask him out before. So I used the H as an excuse. Arman remembered me though, took me out again. And again, and again. He said he liked me, started hooking me up for free.
"Of course, it wasn't until a good deal later he told me what he'd been dosing me all along. By then, it was way too late. The stuff he was handing out was partially heroin, but cut pretty heavy with something else. muraqaba, he told me one time as I was dosing up. I didn't even hesitate to pump the shit into my veins – he'd asked me to do it, and it felt so good to just give him what he wanted.
"Which, obviously, is what the muraqaba did. The stuff's like a kind of psychoactive syrup, sticks to certain parts of the brain. Dampens centers of creative thought, willpower, and spikes the hell out of the parts that release endorphins and dopamine. Some stuff I frankly don't understand, but the end result is your brain makes you feel good when you do what you're told.
"By the time he'd told me what it was, I was already in his pocket. I'd been fucking and sucking him on command, then he'd loan me out to "friends" – paying customers, in actuality, but I didn't care at the time. Then he told me to just hang out at his place – not where you met him, but a precursor to that setup – and just suck and fuck whenever I wanted to. And I wanted to all the time, because the drug made me obey, and obeying got me more of the drug. A fairly typical scheme, a pimp using drugs to conscript his girls, just with a more effective drug.
"There was a lot of conditioning involved in Arman's method. I'd taken a basic psych class in high school, and it's pretty much exactly what I read about there. Obedience was its own pleasure, but there was also the orgasms, the actual drugs... The other girls and I knew we'd become Arman's whores, but we didn't even care. We felt too fucking good all the time. If we ever got off the muraqaba too long we'd start to fade, but that took days. The conditioning helped, but without the stuff in our systems it only went so far. He made sure we were dosed at least every other day, griping all the while about how it ate into his profits.
"So long as he kept us dosed and gave us orders to obey, we could care less about our work, or our working conditions. Most of us hated him, but it didn't matter. Arman had the drug, which meant doing what he wanted got us more of it. He'd laugh in our faces as we fought for the opportunity to suck him off, call us his weak dumb sluts, cum in our faces and have the others lick us clean – and we thanked him. Sincerely. Then asked how else we could please him. I can still remember some of the scowls on those girls faces as they did what they had to for their fix, then grinning like the cat that got the canary seconds later when they got it.
"Here's where my story starts to diverge from the other girls. I suppose I don't need to tell you, but I'm a bit of a people pleaser by nature. Hell, even when I was just some trailer trash girl from the boonies, I got off on getting guys off. My first boyfriend honest to god broke up with me because I was pestering him too often to suck his dick. Story for another day.
Courtney flicked my hand with her thumb and index finger. "Don't judge – I was just a girl who loved the thrill of watching someone lose it over me. It was kind of inverse power trip. So when Arman got to working on me, melting my brain with the muraqaba, I guess I sort of went above and beyond. The more he let me serve him, the more important I was. Twisted probably, but that's just who I was.
"You see, I knew he was making major money off of us. I saw how much he liked having a bunch of hot girls at his beck and call. That shit-eating grin on his face as he told his latest bitch what he'd done, how he'd done it, then let her beg him to fuck her until the rest of her free will dribbled out her cunt... It burned into my mind.
"So I told him I could find him more girls."
"You volunteered?" I asked.
"Please, just listen. I came to him and said I was good at making friends, had some ideas on where I could meet more good candidates. Made a pitch. While he was fucking me, actually – Arman didn't like to waste time chit-chatting with his whores, so it was the only time I could get his attention.
"See, up until then, he did all his recruiting himself – went to places he thought he could meet girls of a certain age and look, girls who'd shoot up with his laced dope. The thought of having a bitch who'd actually multiply his investment, a slave who could make more slaves with no risk to him... I could literally feel the idea getting him harder inside me. My willingness to betray my fellow women turned him on like crazy, which turned me on, until we were both just exploding with orgasms.
"I think part of me even felt... I dunno. Benevolent? Is that the word? Like I was doing these girls a favor. I looked for girls who were in total shit situations – junkies, loners, people who nobody and no one, and I gave them purpose and happiness and a reason to get out of bed. Or to wake up and then stay in bed, at least.
"So I did it. I'm not proud of it, not any more, but I did. One of my part-time jobs was modeling at the art school – that was a good place to find prey. Clients too – guys who'd pay top dollar from their trust fund to pound the shit out of the cunts of those frosty bitches they'd sketched in class. I met Gina there again, working, and brought her to Arman.
"I found other places, other johns, other bitches. Week by week Arman's stable grew, and while I don't think I was necessarily his most gifted whore, my above-and-beyond service made me his favorite. His bottom bitch. He didn't even sell me to clients any more – I was his exclusively. Which only made me try harder. I convinced him to let me help train the other girls, and I did everything I could to make sure they served him as hard and as selflessly as I did."
"Take Erika for instance. I hadn't heard from her while I'd been all busy with Arman's work. So I followed her for a while, arranged a chance meet-up. I knew she was a user, and that was my in. I spent the whole week with her – and then her roommate, Morgan – just dosing them and training them, non-stop. I barely stopped to sleep. If one of them wasn't eating me out, it was strange. I had them take turns inviting over every guy they knew who'd want to fuck them, and charged the guy at the door before turning him loose to act out whatever gutter fantasies he'd had about them. I had them sell videos and photos of themselves on the internet. Sell their underwear as trophies to the men who'd fucked them. Empty their bank accounts in exchange for another dose of the very thing that had fucked them up so badly.
"Needless to say, it definitely made me feel a lot less charitable. I made Arman over $40,000 off those two cunts that week. I could tell Erika was kinda pissed at me, but every time I saw her starting to glare I'd just snap my fingers and point to my pussy and she'd be muff-diving into me like I was Maine lobster.
Courtney took a long sip from her coffee to lubricate her drying throat. "Arman got to the point where he'd confide everything in me. In truth, I think he was a little bit in love with me. To the extent a sociopath can be in love. I never really loved him back, though. He thought I did. But really, I just loved the high I got from the drug, and the power he put in my hands. It was intoxicating. After the week you've had, I guess you know a few things about how it feels to take someone and completely and utterly rule their universe. Even if it's wrong, I've never met the man or woman who can honestly say it's not the ultimate turn-on.
"As for Arman, he told me all about the drug – things I hadn't even known before. About his frustrations with its limitations – that he had to keep up a constant supply, so that a bad month in profits could mean barely being able to keep all his bitches dosed. How getting the stuff through customs was pretty hard sometimes.
"How it wasn't really turning the girls into slaves. Now this interested me, because I'd always thought that's how he saw us. Being his slave was certainly a major part of my own self-image by that point. But he went on about how really the girls were addicted to the drug, and he happened to have it. If they were really his, they'd be addicted to him and not to it. He wouldn't need the doses. He wouldn't have to worry we could be conditioned wrong, or be corrupted by someone else with some muraqaba on hand.
"It sounded like he had something specific in mind as a remedy, so I asked and he said he did. haymana, he called it. The muraqaba was old tech, developed by the CIA or somebody like that back in the 70's. haymana was cutting edge, not even on the radar yet, something his rich relatives back in the Middle East had paid top dollar to top biochemists for.
"It worked about the same way, only rather than just a psychoactive chemical that affected the brain so long as it was in the bloodstream, there was something in it that bonded permanently to the nerve stem itself. It gave that same jolt of pleasure, and within minutes formed a permanent bond to the person who kept that pleasure going. One orgasm, and the person who gave it to you rules your world forever. I know you've had a few orgasms so intense you thanked me... the haymana was basically feeling like that, like you'd just had your mind blown and were overwhelmed with gratitude and lust and a need to reciprocate. Except it never went away – or if it did, not for a long-ass time. Years, at least, but he said the scientists who'd made it hadn't had time to do that kind of study.
"It was right about then that I bailed."
"Bailed?" I interrupted. "You were there two nights ago!"
"Drew... let me do this chronological, OK? I don't want to screw this up, leave something out."
I shrugged. "Suit yourself."
"So, like I said, I bailed. And I wish to god I could say I did it because I'd finally reached a bridge too far. That my conscience caught up with me. That I looked at these women I'd once called my friends who I'd then gone and sold off as pieces of meat to a bunch of horny strangers.
"But I didn't. When Arman told me about the haymana, all I could think of was myself. I thought about my life, never again even having the limited freedom I'd had. Not ever being able to quit that life, or to get a little power trip on how much he needed me, or being able to fudge some of his commands when my dosage was running low.
"With this shit... I'd just be his fuck toy. A thing with two boobs and a pussy that could understand and follow orders. That'd be it for me, forever.
"I told him I didn't want that for myself. That I'd gladly keep on being his bottom bitch, but I wouldn't take the haymana. I don't know if my dosage was low or my resistance was just that high, but even so it took all I had to tell him off.