tagMind ControlNecrophobic



Lori knocked gently on the office door, more as an informative gesture than a request to enter. As if I'm the one who needs an invitation, she snarked to herself. She tamped down that thought, though, before it could become anything more than a passing notion. This was already going to be an awkward meeting, and Lori didn't want to say, do, or even think anything that would get Human Resources involved.

Not that 'Human' Resources should even be- Lori pushed that thought away too.

"Come in!" the voice said from the other side of the door. It was a rich, deep woman's voice, filled with a thick accent that turned the soft 'i' sounds into hard 'ee' sounds, and carved the 'c' in 'come' into the air like a knife. Lori tried hard not to roll her eyes as she opened the door. Seriously, didn't Isabella even try? If Lori had ever impersonated her boss, everyone would accuse her of perpetuating unfair stereotypes.

Isabella was sitting behind her desk wearing a black dress that blended into the darkness, her pale face lit only by the glare of the computer as she scrolled through budget spreadsheets. Her black hair and dark eyes seemed to drink the light wherever it touched them, leaving only her alabaster skin visible in the shadows. "Please, close the door behind you," she said, gesturing airily in Lori's general direction. "Oh, and feel free to get the light."

Lori groped for a moment before she found the light switch. Once she flipped it on, she was able to make her way to the chair on the other side of the desk. She sat down, trying to pretend she was simply taking an interest in the collection of Precious Moments figurines on the shelf behind her boss. "Um, you wanted to see me, Miss Dalca?" she asked, keeping her voice studiously neutral and polite.

"Yes, my dear," Isabella said, turning away from her computer to face Lori directly. Lori studied the small ceramic figures even more intently. "Please, call me Isabella. I was hoping we could have a little one on one chat, you and I. Just to clear the air, as it were. Please don't be alarmed," she said quickly, a slight chuckle in her voice. "Nobody's unhappy with your work. I've been having this same conversation with a number of your co-workers since I replaced your old supervisor, and today happens to be your turn."

That wasn't why Lori was alarmed, but she tried her damnedest to arrange her facial features into an expression of sudden relief. "Well, I'm glad to hear that," she said. "I mean, I knew you'd met with Laura and Bhita, but they didn't say anything about what it was about. Um, not that they would have. Gossiped or anything, that is." Lori knew she sounded nervous, but the last thing she wanted was for Isabella to get the wrong idea about her co-workers. She might really bite their heads off.

Lori winced, hoping it just looked like she was trying to stop babbling like an idiot. She felt more certain than ever that this meeting was going to end with her putting all her belongings into a cardboard box. There was no way that Isabella couldn't see right through her, and less than no way that she would put up with an employee who would cheerfully put a stake through her heart if she thought for a second she could get away with it. Lori put on a plastic smile, but she was already bracing herself for the worst. (Well, not the absolute worst. Maybe the second worst.)

But Isabella just laughed. "Please, my dear! There's no need to be so worried. I don't bite." She paused, perhaps a touch melodramatically. "Actually, that is what I wanted to talk to you about. I couldn't help but notice that you've...avoided me, since I came to work for this company. Little things-leaving the break room in a hurry whenever I walk in, avoiding voluntary events, sitting in the back at meetings-but they've added up. Lori, do you have a problem with me?"

"No!" Lori blurted out, knowing that it sounded forced. "No, Miss Dalca. No problem at all. I'm just always keen to get back to work, you know? Busy busy busy, that's me." She forced a giggle, uncomfortably aware that she was lying like an actor in a bad sitcom.

"Mhmm," Isabella replied, noncommittally. "Why don't you look me in the eye and say that, then?"

Lori couldn't help herself-she flinched. "I thought so," Isabella said in a tone of resignation, not even waiting for a response. "This is about my being a vampire, isn't it?"

Lori felt a flush of color coming to her cheeks. She hoped she looked indignant instead of embarrassed. "How could you think that, Miss Dalca?" she said. "I, I have lots of vampire friends!"

Isabella smiled again, but this one was a little colder. "But let me guess. They got rid of their accent, they never let their fangs show. They keep their eyes covered when you're around, and their wardrobe is all khakis and sweater vests. They take night jobs so you never have to be confronted with blackout curtains. They don't drink blood in front of you because they're afraid it might upset you." Isabella sighed. "You're a young woman, Lori. I wouldn't have imagined you to be so necrophobic."

Inwardly, Lori bristled. She had always hated that term. Of course she was necrophobic! They were undead monsters who drank human blood to survive-fear was an entirely healthy human instinct when confronted with someone who could turn into mist, mesmerize the unwary and tear open your throat in the blink of an eye! It didn't mean she hated them, or begrudged their right to exist so long as they stuck to feeding off willing donors or animals or that new cloned plasma stuff, but she was definitely afraid of them.

And this one could fire her, on top of everything else. "I'm not," she said, trying to tell herself that it was entirely true in the sense that Isabella used the word. She wasn't sure if her boss had the ability to read minds on top of everything else, not all of them had the same gifts. But better to be safe than sorry. "Really, I'm not. It's just, you know...it's a little different when you're alone. I mean, alone with, with...um. You know." She trailed off, trying to find a way to say it that didn't make her sound prejudiced. "With someone like you."

Isabella looked hurt. That was the worst part. Lori's gut churned with a mixture of shame and defensive anger. She didn't have the right to look hurt! She was an immortal queen of the night who rode the shadows and feasted by moonlight, she didn't get to have hurt feelings because someone felt nervous around her! "Do you really think that I would do anything to hurt you?" she asked quietly.

"No," Lori said cautiously, qualifying the statement in her head carefully to keep it from being a lie. "I don't actually think that. Even if you were a, a dangerous type-"

Isabella tightened her lips to a thin line. "Vampire on human crime is so rare as to be statistically insignificant in the United States," she said sharply, the words sounding like she could recite them by heart.

Lori tensed up, interjecting quickly before the situation could go from bad to worse. "I know, I know!" she said, nodding her head rapidly in agreement. "But my point is just that even if you were one of those, those one in a million vampires, you wouldn't do anything here in a public place in broad daylight. I know that. Really, I do! It's just..." She sighed. "It's hard to get past it. Emotionally, I mean. Intellectually, I know you're perfectly safe, but I just can't help remembering all the people in all those horror movies who thought they were perfectly safe too."

Isabella sighed. "I swear, I wish I could erase every one of those movies! So many hurtful stereotypes." She straightened up at her desk. "So, we must ask each other the important question. Do you think that this will affect your ability to work under me? Because I don't wish to get HR involved if we can avoid it, Lori, but I do expect you to treat me with the same respect you treated your old boss. If you can't do that, well..." She left the rest of the sentence unspoken, but Lori knew how it ended.

"I...I'll try," Lori replied. She paused, but Isabella did nothing to fill the silence. It hung in the air, thickening into tension until Lori felt like she had to say something just to break it. "I want to. I really do."

"If you truly want to, Lori, then you need to show me that," Isabella said. "You need to demonstrate to me that you are capable of trusting me, if we're to have any hope of a working relationship."

"I will," Lori said quickly, willing it to be true so hard that she almost made herself believe it. "You'll see, I'm really going to try. I promise. It just takes a little time, that's all. If you give me a chance, I can prove that-"

"Lori," Isabella said, breaking into the stream of babble with a voice that tugged at Lori's hindbrain with the memory of every authority figure she'd ever had, "look into my eyes."

It should have sounded silly, like a classic horror movie line delivered in a Romanian accent so thick it would have embarrassed Lugosi. But it didn't. It sounded like an ultimatum, and Lori knew that was exactly what it was. She either looked her boss in the eyes and let her do...whatever she was going to do...or she cleaned out her desk. And Lori couldn't afford to lose this job.

She did the only thing she could. She looked Isabella in the eyes.

They were beautiful. They were red, just like the stories all said, but nobody ever conveyed just how gorgeous that rich burgundy color actually was. She felt like she could swim in them, like she could simply dive into those wine-dark seas and lose herself forever in their depths. Lori felt the fear leave her body, followed by the tension, followed by any awareness that she was anything other than perfectly content to stare forever into Isabella's gaze.

"There," Isabella was saying, her voice seeming to echo inside Lori's head. "That's not so scary, is it?" Lori tried to say no, but her voice seemed to have deserted her in a rush of sensual lethargy. She managed to let out a vague, incoherent mumble that didn't even sound like words anymore. Somehow, she knew that Isabella understood.

"You're perfectly safe, my dear," Isabella purred, and Lori felt a shiver of bliss wind around her spine and send tingles of pleasure throughout her body. She had never imagined that Isabella's voice could sound so beautiful. "Just relax, and let go of all those worries. They seem so silly now, don't they?"

Lori nodded like her head was on a string. She could feel her thoughts popping like soap bubbles, all the fear and the stress and the hatred dissipating into the empty air and leaving her mind hollow and eager to be filled. She wanted nothing more than to please Isabella now. Her eyes were drinking in the deep red glow of Isabella's stare, and she was imagining herself kneeling in front of the other woman naked, anointed with sacred oils, quivering with desire and aching for the moment when Isabella would...would...

"Come here, my dear," Isabella said, beckoning Lori with a lazy wave of her hand. Lori floated to her feet, her body no longer under her control. She felt like she was being carried to Isabella by a gentle breeze, drawn irresistibly closer by a pressure on her mind that felt as soft as a lover's caress. Isabella wanted her nearer, and Lori knew that she would never be happier in her life than when she was pleasing Isabella. She didn't let herself dare to wonder why Isabella wanted her nearer, but in her fantasies, she was on her knees, panting with arousal as she rubbed her clit and sent her blood racing with the pure sensual heat of her masturbation, her heart pounding as she waited for Isabella to...to...

"Just settle in at my feet," Isabella said, guiding Lori with her words and her will to a kneeling position next to Isabella's chair. She gazed down at Lori, and Lori gazed helplessly up at her. Lori's clothes felt tight, unreasonably constricting on her. She yearned to peel them off, to expose her naked body to Isabella just like in her fantasy. She wanted so badly to stroke and finger herself for her vampire queen, to set her body alight with the heat of her blood rushing to the skin leaving her flushed and reddened, glorying in the knowledge that the sight of it had to be awakening Isabella's hunger, delighting in the sight of the fangs in that smiling mouth, ready to feel...to feel...

"is there something you want, Lori?" Isabella asked, her voice a picture of innocence. "Something you would like to ask me for?"

"Please," Lori whimpered. Even if she'd wanted to stop herself, she no longer had anything but a memory of self-control. "Please drink me, please taste my blood, please take all you can, all you want, all you need, please sink your fangs into my unworthy flesh and drink deep, all I am I want to give to you, all of my body wants to yield to your devotions, please Mistress, please Goddess, please drink please..." She squeezed her thighs together rhythmically as she spoke, feeling the heat between her legs building as her climax neared. She knew she was going to cum when Isabella bit her. She knew she wanted that more than anything.

Isabella smiled. Her fangs, sharper than razors, were the most beautiful thing Lori had ever seen in her life. She leaned down, her stare irresistibly beckoning Lori with waves of drowsiness until Lori's eyes slipped helplessly shut. Lori knelt there, trembling, her body on the edge of orgasm, waiting for the moment that Isabella's kiss would cut into her flesh and give her the consummation she wished for so devoutly...

She felt Isabella's lips on her neck. And she came.

She didn't even feel any pain, it was all pure pleasure. The sensation was soft, soft as the whisper of a butterfly's wing against her skin. Lori felt her orgasm hammering at her mind, not just the sexual heat of her climax but the deeper pleasure of knowing that she was pleasing her queen. It was beyond anything she had imagined, anything she could imagine, rewriting her sexual preferences in an instant to be whatever Isabella wanted her to be. She would be her servant, her devoted bloodslave, her chalice of immortality, and it would feel so perfect for the rest of Lori's life even if that life ended now-

And then Isabella whispered, "No." She pulled away, and instantly the spell was broken. Lori's eyes flew open and she reached up to her neck, wiping desperately at the skin, but there was no wound. Not even the lightest scratch.

Isabella gave her a gentle pat on the shoulder. "See? You have nothing to fear, Lori. At least, not so long as you get the Montcrief file closed by Friday. We're already a week past deadline on that one. I know, it's not your fault, but I'm afraid we're going to have to get them off our desk one way or another, wouldn't you agree?"

Lori staggered to her feet, her limbs feeling shaky and exhausted. She looked down at her dress, hoping the damp spot on her panties hadn't soaked through to her skirt. "Um, yeah," she muttered, trying to bring the details of the Montcrief file to mind through a haze of images of her naked body kneeling at Isabella's feet. "Yes, of course." She never knew how happy it could make her to agree with her boss.

"Excellent," Isabella said. "Then I won't keep you any longer. I'm glad we had this talk, Lori. I think it's definitely going to improve our working relationship."

Lori nodded, "Yes," she said, barely managing to swallow back the 'Mistress'. She wondered if Laura and Bhita's talks had gone like this. "I'll just get back to it, then." She slipped out of the office, switching out the light as she went. The last thing Lori saw of her boss before the door closed was those eyes, glowing wine-red in the shadows. Lori knew in her heart that she never truly wanted to be free of those beckoning eyes again. And she never would.


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