The Contract Ch. 01byblacknight99©
The young woman paused at the entrance of the storefront office building and regarded the sign beside the door: Dr. Richard Cordman. Psychology. Hypnotherapy.
She took a deep breath and reached toward the doorknob, then stood, mesmerized by her reflection in the dark glass that fronted the low building. When was the last time she'd dressed like this? A real dress ... purchased only hours before, chosen almost entirely on the recommendation of the saleswoman at the mall department store. Knee-length hem, fabric clinging to her gentle curves, neckline low-cut, revealing cleavage that was augmented by the underwire bra (also recommended by the saleslady, who had taken her client's inability to choose feminine attire as a challenge). She had had only $300 in cash – her "pin money," hidden from her mother (or THAT would have been gone, too!), and the saleslady had made sure that she'd had enough left over, after the dress and the bra and the panties and the hose and the high heels, for an inexpensive "makeover" at the cosmetics counter. She looked ... sexy. She hoped, at least, that she presented that false image. Another deep breath. She turned the knob and walked into the office.
The reception area was deserted, not surprising this late on a Friday afternoon. On the counter, beside the receptionist's window, she found a clipboard with a form attached, her name scrawled in at the top. She picked it up, sat down on the naugahyde-covered couch and started filling in the blanks. A few minutes later, just as she was finishing, the inner office door opened, and the frame was literally filled with the bulk of a large man. He looked, to her, like a football lineman. Big. Muscular. Dark. She blinked up at him, then quickly threw her gaze back down at the floor, embarrassed by his penetrating stare and smiling, congenial face.
"Dr. Abernathy, I presume," he commented with a voice more mellow than deep.
"Gail," she said in a quiet voice, still unable to look up at him. "Thank you so much for seeing me on such short notice, Doctor."
"It's my pleasure. Please come in." She allowed him to hold the door for her, which posed a small problem as she had to maneuver her tall, thin frame around his hulking body. Their bodies rubbed together slightly as she did so, and she repressed a small shudder. Then she had to let him pass again, as he led the way back and into a comfortable, manly office. The room held a sofa along one wall, an easy chair in front of a large, old-looking oak desk, and the inevitable psychiatrist's couch in the middle of the room. The blinds were open, and the late afternoon sunlight brightened the mood. She took the chair in front of the desk and waited patiently while he seated himself and spent several minutes reading the form she'd filled out; then he sat back and studied her unabashedly. She found it impossible to meet his eyes, and kept hers on her hands, which were clutching her knees.
"I know you, don't I?" he commented, at last.
This seemed to startle her immensely. "No! I mean, no. No, I'm sure we've never met."
He wrinkled his brow. "I'm certain I've seen you somewhere. Are you in TV or something? A model?"
"No. I'm nobody. I mean, I'm nobody important. And I've never met you. I'm sure."
He glanced back at the forms. "AH! I know! You live in that apartment complex down on South Grand, don't you?"
Her eyes shifted. "Um ... yes. I live at ...."
"Yes, I have the address on the form. I live right next to you ... in the complex right across the street. Small world." She said nothing, staring down at her hands. He pulled a yellow legal pad toward him and started writing, talking as he wrote. "Refuses to be led into normal conversation." He glanced up, but she didn't react. He sighed and studied the form again.
"You're a 'Research Genetic Data Analyst,'" he continued. "With a PhD. I'm guessing that you're on one of the WashU genome teams. Human?"
THAT made her look up. The corners of her mouth twitched upward, and she regarded him with a bit of awe. "Disease," she answered.
"Cancer? Which type?"
Again she regarded him with wonder. No one, obviously, had enough knowledge to ask such questions. "Prostate," she answered.
"On behalf of the members of my sex, I'd like to offer our profound thanks." But now she fell silent yet again, studying her hands on her knees. He pulled the yellow pad back toward him and wrote, muttering loudly "All attempts at flattery and humor completely useless."
"I ... I'm sorry, Doctor," she began, faltering. "I ... um ... we really need to talk about how I'm going to pay for your services." She never looked up.
"There's really no need to worry about that now," he said confidently. "I accept all major medical plans. If you're part of the Washington School of Medicine, I'm certain that you're covered for whatever ills you might have."
"No," she said gravely. It had been the most emphatic word that she'd uttered since she'd met him. Still, she didn't look up at him. "No. I'm not going to let the school know that I'm seeking psychological help. I don't want ANYONE to know. I will not use insurance, or let anyone know that I'm seeing you. Confidentiality is fine ... but people have a way of finding out things, especially if there's a paper trail. Eventually, they'll know what I came to you for. No one would ever understand. It's simply too bizarre. I can't risk anyone ever knowing. We need to agree on some other form of payment."
"I don't have any money," she said quietly.
That made him sit back and regard her in a different light. "Just so I understand who I'm dealing with here, Doctor ..."
"Please, call me Gail. It's important that you call me by my first name."
"Gail. All right. You can call me Richard. Now ..."
"No. I think I should call you by your title. We need to establish a psychological hierarchy."
"I'LL be the judge of things psychological!" he told her sternly. He sat back again and stared hard at the young, tall, pretty blonde sitting silently across from him for a long minute. He picked up the form again. "Okay," he continued with quiet authority. "Let me engage in a bit of earnest observation. You are probably the youngest PhD I've ever encountered. Twenty-three years old. Definitely the prettiest. You're a member of one of the best medical schools in the world, engaged in building a DNA model that's going to eventually save countless lives. Money should NOT be a problem for you ... and yet it is. Fame could be yours ... and yet you are one of the most introverted young women I've ever met. You are engaged in a profession where RESULTS is the most important thing ... and yet, when you have a personal problem, discretion is the overriding factor." He paused again. "It's time to tell me the reason you're here."
"First, we should agree on a method of compensation, Doctor."
"I'll decide what is first!" he said loudly, forcefully. She jerked her shoulders as if she'd been struck. He took a deep breath and continued in a calmer tone. "Whatever ails 'ye, young Gail, I can guarantee you that it's nothing new. I've been in this business long enough to believe that I've heard just about everything."
She took a shuddering breath. "I want you to make me fall in love."
He blinked. "Say what?"
"I consider myself pretty well read. I've always read at least two books a week. I've done that for as long as I can remember. I recall reading about a case in which a hypnotist took one of his subjects into such a deep trance that she was able to 'remember' past lives."
"You're talking about The Case of Bridey Murphy," he said, with a hint of exasperation. "There's no definitive evidence that her ability to see into the past was real."
"It doesn't matter," she countered, looking up at him at last. "My point is that she was placed into a hypnotic state that was much, much deeper than anything that had been tried before. Ultra-deep hypnotic trance is quantifiable. It's been done. It's possible."
"And you think that if I place you into such a hypnotic state, I can 'make' you fall in love?"
"I know you can," she said quietly.
"And what makes you think I can do that?"
"Because I KNOW you can," she countered calmly.
That made him pause. He considered it philosophically. "You think that if you BELIEVE strongly enough, you can MAKE it happen," he said, almost as much to himself as to her.
"WE can make it happen. Yes."
Again, he sat back and regarded her for a long minute. Again, she couldn't meet his gaze, and let her own fall. Finally, he heaved a deep sigh. "Who's the lucky man?"
She gave her shoulders a uniform twitch upward. "It doesn't matter. YOU can pick someone."
Once more, she jerked, startled. She looked helplessly up at him, and for the first time, tears sprang into her eyes. She opened her mouth to comment further, but obviously couldn't.
He couldn't think of anything to say for a long minute. "Alright, I HADN'T heard it all!" he muttered, just loud enough for her to hear. He looked imploringly at her. "You want to fall in love, but you don't care who you fall in love WITH?"
"I know it sounds crazy," she said, trying to bring her tears under control.
"Okay. From the beginning, now. What's this all about?"
"We HAVE to talk about how I'm going to pay you first," she implored. "I'm in debt. I don't have any money to spend. It's one of the reasons I chose you ...." She stopped abruptly, as if she'd said something she shouldn't.
He narrowed his eyes. "And just why DID you choose me? What makes ME your first choice out of all the psychologists in the greater St. Louis area?"
"I read your profile on the internet," she said quietly. "It's because of who you are ... and WHAT you are."
"Oh please," he groaned. "Please tell me this doesn't have something to do with my race!"
"What?" she asked, truly startled. "Oh. No. No, of course not." She hesitated. "I chose you because you specialize in hypnosis. And ... um ... because you're single."
"I KNOW what 'single' means!" he shouted at her. "What difference does THAT make!?"
But now she was crying in earnest. Tears were streaming down both cheeks as she looked pleadingly up at him. "I. Don't. Have. Any. Money," she said, punctuating each word. "I KNOW that it's going to take hours and hours of private sessions to get me into a deep enough trance to do what has to be done. Secret sessions! Hours of them! What do you charge? A hundred an hour?" He didn't answer. "Two hundred?" Again, he sat silently as she wept. "I can't pay you! And so, I took what little money I HAD, and I bought these clothes ... in hopes that ... in hopes that I could look attractive to you. In hopes that you would find me ... find me ... desirable. Sexually."
"Oh, God, Gail," he muttered quietly.
Completely distraught, she pulled her knees up to her body, leaned over sideways against the arm of the plush chair in a fetal position, and sobbed bitterly. He let it go on for too long a period, and then he rose, snatched a fistful of tissues from a pop-up dispenser on the desk, and went to her side. He shushed her gently, laying a beefy hand lightly on her shoulder. He felt that he'd never been good enough at "soothing" patients. Finally, she sat up again, miserable, stabbing at her eyes with the tissues. Not knowing what else to do, he returned to his desk.
"Gail, you seem to have thought this all out beforehand. You MUST have known that I can't become emotionally involved with a patient."
"It doesn't have to BE emotional," she said quietly. "And I wouldn't BE your patient ... not officially. You could just see me as ... as a friend. It would just be an agreement between friends. You know?" She heaved a shuddering sigh. "That's what I THOUGHT, anyway."
He smiled and shook his head in wonder. "Let me get this straight. You want me to see you, as a friend, for hours of hidden, private hypnotherapy. You want me to MAKE you fall in love with a person of MY choosing. And then, in return, you want to give yourself to me sexually ... as a friend, of course, for ... what? Some set period of time?"
"Yes," she answered, a little more firmly, as if for the first time, she thought that he might actually go along with the scheme. "Something like a one-for-one hourly swap. If it took you, say, ten hours of hypnosis, then I could ... um ... be yours sexually for ten hours. You know? Or something like that." She sat for a moment in deep contemplation, her tears finally forgotten. "Or we could agree on two-for-one, since I don't have much experience." She blushed. "Well, actually, I don't have ANY experience. I've never actually BEEN with a guy, you know? I guess that you'd have to take some time teaching me. So, we'll make it two-for-one."
"Two-for-one," he said quietly, covering his mouth with his hand, trying hard not to laugh. He cleared his throat. "And what, exactly, would you let me DO to you during this little pay-back period?"
"Anything you want," she answered, earnestly. "Anything! I'll do anything you want!"
Again, he cleared his throat to avoid laughing. Was ANY girl really this innocent? He put on his most officious face for her benefit, wheeled his chair to the side, in front of his computer terminal, tapped a few buttons, and then started typing furiously.
"Okay, I'll do it," he said, his typing never slowing. "I'm guessing that this is a relatively new concept for you ... something that you've just thought of today. Tell me what happened."
For the first time, she smiled brightly at him. "That's a pretty neat trick, Doctor," she said.
"What's that?" His typing never slowed.
"Typing one thing while you're saying something else."
"I teach a course at SLU, and this drives my students nuts," he said, matter-of-factly, his fingers never slowing. "Writing something on the board while saying something else. Not hard to do, but it keeps their attention. Now, tell me! I'm your doctor ... um ... friend ... uh ... friendly doctor."
She giggled, then grew sullen once more. "My mother left me again."
"She'd done it before. While I was still in high school, five or six years ago. She took everything. All the money, anyhow. She'd fallen in love with this dork from Paris ... France."
"I know where Paris is."
"She just took off. I was still a minor, officially, and the county wanted to stick me in a foster home. But I swung a deal with my counselors, since I already had enough placement credits to graduate early, PLUS skip my first two undergraduate years ... and I'd already qualified for a full ride at Mizzou, and so I just forgot all about her and moved right into a dorm, you know?"
He finally stopped typing and worked with the mouse for a moment. "Yes. I get the picture."
"And so, I got through school, there in Columbia, and then through grad school here, and when I got out, I moved right into the project I'd been involved with as a student; and they really wanted me, because my thesis caused this monumental stir where most of the big work was being done in Copenhagen ... Denmark."
"I know where Copenhagen is, Gail." The printer against the wall whirred into action. He got up and walked over to it.
"And then, six months ago, she just showed up again. She told me that she didn't have a place to stay, and so I let her move in with me. I could afford an apartment now, and I had an extra bedroom, and so I didn't really mind, because most nights, she didn't even come home. But I was never really around, either ... not during the days, you know? I really only SAW her once a week or so, when we'd go out for lunch, or something. She told me that she didn't have any money, and I really had more than I needed, you know? So I got her a credit card on my account with her own name on it. And then she told me that she wanted to help out more around the place, and so I let her mail the rent payments, and the utility payments, and the insurance payments. And I never really thought about it, you know?"
He returned to the desk with a single, printed sheet of paper and sat down again. "Yes, I know."
"And then ... and then this morning, she told me that she was leaving again. She told me that she'd fallen in love with this guy that had something to do with lumber up in Toronto ... Canada." She looked up, saw he was about to comment, and held up her hand to stop him. "Yes, I know. You know where Toronto is." She sighed. "She told me that her new lover needed money really bad, and that she just HAD to give it to him, even though it wasn't really hers to give, you know? And later, after she'd left, I got this funny feeling, and I started checking things out. And my credit card was maxed out ... right to the limit! And the rent hadn't been paid in THREE months! Or the utilities, or the insurance, or ANYTHING! And, it's going to take me months and months to get everything back together, financially."
"I'm sorry, Gail."
"But as she was leaving, we were sort of fighting. And I told her she wasn't acting very sane, you know? And she said: 'What do you know about it? You've NEVER been in love!' And then she walked out, and I sat down, and I thought about it. And I thought and thought .... And I just suddenly realized ... she was right! In high school, I'd only gone out on two dates ... and I was so nervous that I got physically ill! And then I absolutely refused. Never again! And I didn't. Not all through college, even though there were just two years of it. But I didn't mind, because I was so busy, you know? And grad school was just a blur. And now, I'm ALWAYS busy! I mean, I'm only suppose to work eight hours a day ... but right off the bat, I started working twelve. And now, everybody just assumes that's what I'm always going to do.
"And Mother was RIGHT! I've never loved ANYBODY! Not once! Not ever! And now ... now I've just GOT to know what it's like! I HAVE to! Before I do anything else ... ever ... before I do one more thing, I need to experience it. And I've read romance novels! I KNOW that I'll probably just get a broken heart. But at least then, I'll know that I HAVE a heart to be broken! And so, I thought up this plan. And I want to DO it, Doctor." She was crying again. "Please."
He regarded her tenderly. "Gail, you don't need hypnotherapy. All you really need is to sit down and talk this out with me ... or any other expert in the field."
"Please," she repeated plaintively. "Please, Doctor? I just know this will work. I've thought about it and thought about it! I just know that ultra-deep hypnosis exists, and that you can put me in a trance that deep because I KNOW you can do it. I BELIEVE you can. And I'll let you do anything while I'm in a trance. Anything at all. And I'm prepared to pay in the only way I'm able. It's going to work, Doctor. Please?"
He sighed and slid the paper across the desk toward her, facing her. He put a pen on top of it. "Sign that," he told her.
Without hesitation, she signed the bottom of the paper and slid it back across the desk to him.
He gritted his teeth. "READ it!" he told her, controlling his anger. Once again, the paper slid across the desk's surface. She dutifully picked it up and read it.
I, Gail Abernathy, am hereby entering into this contract with my good friend, Richard Cordman, in order for him to provide certain services that I desperately need. I understand that Richard will place me under exceedingly deep hypnosis in order to perform these services. I understand that the hypnosis sessions are going to be numerous and time-consuming, and I promise that I will follow Richard's instructions to the absolute best of my ability while he does this. I understand that, as part of this ultra-deep hypnosis, Richard will compel me to fall in love with an individual of his choosing. This is what I want. This will take place during the coming long three-day weekend of January 14th. At the end of these sessions, but before I am compelled to acknowledge my love for this aforementioned individual, I will repay Richard by becoming his sex slave for a period not to exceed twenty-four hours. I really want this to happen. I desire Richard, sexually, and I long for his sexual control. I endorse this contract freely and of my own will and aspiration.