A Master's Ring: Book 03byelsol©
"A new car isn't a new car as soon as you drive it off the lot, but Paris is always Paris," Melisa said dismissing my suggestion. I did not ask how she knew that if she had never been to Paris.
To distract the three girls from their continued assault on my secret-keeping ability, I asked why they took the offer so seriously when it should have been obvious I was joking.
"You're not going to get us anything?" Emily asked with a little girl pout. I stared at her until she winked to tell me she was kidding.
"You bought everyone in your house a new car," Sandra said in a voice laced with a noticeable amount of avarice.
I wondered if the credit card company really meant 'no limit'. Sandra, up to her eyebrows in student loans, was sure to test those words. She had quit one of her part-time jobs when the sorority returned all the fees she paid during her time as a sister. The sorority received a lot of financial support from the Brotherhood's entities, and Jeremy whispered the girls' names into the right ear. All of them had been grateful, but Sandra cried with her face buried in my neck. I made a mental note to ensure Sandra did not hit a credit ceiling during her shopping spree.
"Give Melisa your student loan information," I told Sandra.
"Why?" she asked surprised.
"If I told you to get under the table and suck my dick, would you do it?" I asked her.
All three girls pushed their chairs back and leaned forward expectantly. I sighed and swore I would never say something so incredibly stupid in public to Sibling candidates again; at times they were more eager to please than Siblings.
"No," I said clearly.
The chairs were pulled close to the table with grumbles of disappointment. I studied their faces to see if they were serious; I was almost convinced Sandra and Emily would not have done it.
"If you wouldn't question that," I said looking at Sandra. "Don't question this."
"You're going to pay them off," she stated.
I raised an eyebrow at her tone of voice.
"I'm not being ungrateful, David," she said playing with her food. "And fuck if I'm going to say no, but..."
"You like to earn your way," I said carefully.
She nodded, as did the other two girls.
"Emily's reward for good grades is probably going to cost me more than your loans," I said widening three pairs of eyes at the table. "Believe me, you're going to earn every penny before I, alone, am through with you. In fact, the day will come when you'll have paid back far more than I give you."
Sandra's eyes were committed when she nodded at me. I had the feeling she was only waiting for Alyssa to step up before she did what was necessary to seal a life with us.
"So Sandra, what's the total on your student loans?" Emily asked a couple of minutes later. "I'd like an idea on how much harder I need to study."
The girls left after another attempt to bribe me to spill my guts. I was almost tempted when they offered a three-woman blowjob in the restroom to tell them at least the grand total of their rewards. Unfortunately, Alyssa's could not be assigned a monetary value. Melisa and Doris Alex had a lot of suggestions about Alyssa's reward, but I had already decided. Melisa was more imaginative then the girls in her attempts to get me to tell her about Alyssa's reward but was hampered by my ability to take whatever she offered. Needless to say, it did not stop her from trying anyway.
"Working on the replacements already," Rachel said sitting down across from me.
It was the first time she had talked to me since leaving the house.
"I don't know what you mean," I said with a friendly smile.
"I heard Heather, Malia, and Janet won't be back next semester," she said returning the smile.
"You heard?" I asked.
"It's the juiciest piece of sorority gossip right now," she told me. "Normally, their flight would make you look bad, except every one of your girls is making sure we know it has absolutely nothing to do with you."
"It does though," I said sitting back.
"You would say that, and I believe you," she answered with a nod. "I also know it has less to do with you than you think. My sisters aren't stupid either; they can read the writing on the wall."
"So you heard about this through the gossip mill?" I asked.
"They didn't tell you themselves?" I asked confused, not that anybody had told me. Rachel looked away from me for a minute.
"We haven't been doing a lot of talking," she said finally.
"You know what happened, David," she said biting her lip.
"You left, so what?" I demanded. "It didn't have anything to do with them. There is no reason for all of you not to be talking."
"We just haven't been," she said, raising her voice. "You can't really think we can just go on being friends."
I scanned the room and people put their heads back down ignoring us.
"I think we can choose to go on being whatever we want," I told her. "So the truth is you are not talking to them."
"No!" she grumbled angrily.
"So they are not talking to you," I said in a menacing voice.
"No, David," she said exasperated. "We're not talking, just like you and I are not talking."
"You are not talking to me, Rachel," I said pointedly. "I've always been willing to listen."
I stared at her for a while.
"What?" she asked not able to bear the pressure of my eyes.
"Nothing happened between us, Rachel," I said patiently. "I don't mean that I didn't want it to happen, nor will I say you didn't want it to happen. I'm saying that nothing happened. Why are you letting nothing stand between you and your friends?"
"They're not talking to me," she whispered defensively.
"I'll bring them over to the sorority house tonight," I told her. "Will you talk to them?"
She pressed her lips together tightly and looked away again.
"Do you love Melisa?" I asked.
"You know I do," she said angrily.
"But you're letting her go through this alone," I pointed out.
"She cried in my bed the night you left," I told her. "Cried a lot, Rachel. What you think I felt is nothing compared to what Melisa and you did fee; for each other. Both of you made choices that meant you couldn't be together, but neither of you should call what you had love if it doesn't deserve the respect of staying friends."
Rachel's eyes turned into blue fire as she stared at me.
"It might not matter to you though. Maybe you want to get back at Melisa and the other girls thinking they were your friends because of me; I can understand that. The truth is Melisa seduced you for me, but don't lie to yourself, Rachel; you let her because of me," I said.
She leaned forward looking like she was getting ready to jump across the table to go for my throat.
"You can choose not to be their friends anymore," I said hardening my voice. "But Stephanie has absolutely nothing to do with you and me."
The name flushed the anger from her face.
"Don't, David," she pleaded guiltily.
"She needs you, Rachel," I said. "You didn't have to help her. You didn't have to become her friend. You didn't have to give her a part of your pain so she would let you carry some of hers when it was poisoning her soul from the inside. You did though, and abandoning her is unforgivable."
I sat back and stared at the ceiling.
"I'm the asshole here, Rachel," I said without looking at her. "I could have stopped this, and I chose not to."
I looked around the room before standing up.
"I've had one friend, Rachel," I told her. "He took the word 'friend' with him from my vocabulary when he died. I will never use that word for anyone in my life again. None of you have what Jason and I had, but these are your friends, your sisters, Rachel. You are giving them up because you think somehow I have more of a right to them than you do. What they have given me, you can never have; what they have given you, I will never accept. I'm not worth losing your friends over, Rachel. What didn't happen between us is not worth a single one of your tears; but being in love with Melisa and losing that part of your relationship is and so is not being there when Stephanie wants to talk to her friend over ice cream at two o'clock in morning."
I leaned down until I was as close as the night that we almost kissed.
"If somewhere behind your eyes is the thought you did something wrong and need to be hurt over it. Don't bother, Rachel. No matter what I wanted or what happened, I never believed we were going to be together."
She was crying when I left.
"Why are they here?" Melisa asked when my guests for the evening arrived.
We were sitting in the backyard; it was cold but I liked the biting touch of the winter air. Melisa had joined me outside after a long phone conversation with Rachel. She came out with eyes puffy and red to thank me. The crying started again when she sat in my lap and wrapped her arms around my neck.
"There's a problem with Alyssa's reward," I told her.
"Oooh," she said sitting up.
Her eyes took on a manipulative light as Roderigo, Samantha, and Anna approached the table. The Siblings accompanying each Brother walked a couple of paces behind them. A hulking, baby-faced brute that I guessed was Simon paced behind Samantha; Anna's Leonard walked behind her newly motorized wheelchair; and an athletic Asian woman followed Roderigo.
"What's wrong with Alyssa's present?" Melisa asked trying a different angle of approach to get me to talk. I turned her slightly to swat her behind.
"No!" I said playfully.
"Oh, come on, pretty please," she said in a soft sexy voice.
"I'm not going to tell you," I replied.
"I meant another spank," she said standing up and sticking her tongue out at me.
I shook my head and rolled my eyes at her.
"Send Doris Alex out when she's done whatever she's doing," I told her.
"Oh-oh!" she said. "Four Brothers and a Sibling; I can't quite decide if that's an orgy or trouble... an orgy of trouble... trouble at an orgy!"
She raised an eyebrow when I stared at her.
"It's about time!" she said with immense satisfaction putting it together as the Brothers sat down at the table. Their Sibling companions stood directly behind their particular Brother's chair.
"Go fetch, girl!" Anna commanded my First.
Melisa leaned down to kiss me and ran into the house.
"What were your instructions?" Roderigo asked with a sigh.
"I said she was to come out here when she's done whatever she is doing," I told him.
"Nice and vague: a fair test," Samantha said looking at the backdoor. "Let's see how far our little redheaded Sibling has strayed."
The Siblings joked with each other over their respective Brother's head until Simon looked at his watch and noticed we had been waiting for fifteen minutes. The Siblings quieted, but their eyes moved from Brother to Brother as time passed. At a half-hour, their eyes locked in a position that stared straight ahead.
"How long have you been dealing with this?" Anna asked softly.
"Since I moved into the house, but it only got this bad after the night with Malia," I informed her.
"Hmmm," she said pensively. "My understanding of that night was that the Bloodline indoctrination worked."
"I don't know what you're talking about," I said curiously.
"Bloodlines get a different indoctrination than a normal Sibling," Roderigo said. "One of the most obvious differences is the command phrases don't work on a Bloodline Sibling as it would be too easy to gain control of other Siblings through them."
"Bloodlines stand at the top of the indoctrination food chain; they have complete access to the command phrases. The use of their power is supposed to make them need to perform an act of absolute submission to a Brother," Samantha added. "Normally, it is a sexual act they key on."
"Brothers rely too much on indoctrination," I said.
Simon's eyes flashed, and he leaned towards me. Samantha turned her head at his movement causing him to snap back into position.
"You were being such a good puppy, Simon," she said disappointingly to him. "Why did you have to ruin it by peeing on the carpet in front of my Brothers? The punishment will be severe considering we are in the middle of discussing another puppy's bad behavior when you did it."
"Bitch," Roderigo said angrily. "We were discussing a disobedient bitch!"
"That wouldn't be your disappointment of losing her to David talking, would it, grandson?" Anna asked with a small smile on her lips. Roderigo waved her question aside as irrelevant.
"Does she know it wasn't just you waiting for her?" he asked me pointedly.
"Not unless Melisa told her," I responded.
"Melisa sounded like she has been expecting something like this meeting," Samantha said with a raised eyebrow.
"Janet put it together for me, but I would bet Melisa has been keeping score on Doris Alex's misdemeanors for a long time," I told her.
"Melisa didn't point them out to you?" Samantha asked.
"This is exactly the sort of thing a First allows a new Brother to handle on their own," Anna said dismissively.
"Melisa has to know that Doris might have pushed David past the point of no return," Roderigo said.
"On one side, David's continuing development as a Brother," Anna said with an inelegant snort. "On the other, no Sibling would ever dare think bad thoughts of David again. I'm sure Melisa slept soundly with those being the possible outcomes. Don't let the pretty face fool you; like I said, she's a ruthless little bitch; I'm very proud of the job her daddy did training her."
Samantha snickered in response.
"Is the failure in indoctrination so bad that my tone of voice would trigger a reaction from him?" I asked Samantha looking at Simon.
"No," Anna told me. "I don't think it's your tone or words, so much as it's you. Enforcers exude a certain aura of danger, but you're worse than I was. It's more pronounced when you're around Brothers; I think Siblings tied closely to any Brother you encounter will have a similar reaction to Simon."
"Samantha, you're a fucking bitch!" Roderigo yelled harshly leaning towards her.
Simon did not react in the slightest.
"I would say Siblings stand with Brothers in their dislike of you," Roderigo said amused.
"I was never a popular person until shit needed to be shoveled," I told him.
"In those cases, I bet you and Jason were the first names on anyone's lips," Anna said ironically.
"Yes, we were," I replied. "We certainly were."
"And so here we are with a Bloodline Sibling shitting all over your backyard," Samantha sighed impatiently.
"I thought indoctrination was supposed to prevent things like this," I said to Anna.
"Where did you get that idea, boy?" she asked confused. "Indoctrination is about obedience and trust."
"We're satisfied as long as indoctrination ensures our secrets are kept, and Siblings will heel when we call," Samantha told me. "The rest... well, you've experienced Malia and Janet."
"I'm sure someone like you thinks emotions are a bit chaotic," Roderigo said to me. "But as long as it doesn't turn obsessive, there's nothing wrong with love being a part of our relationships with Siblings."
I stared at him for a minute; it felt like he was trying to sell himself. I did not know what the currency I had to pay in was so I nodded in a fashion that committed me to nothing.
"If this all true, then Brothers definitely rely too much on indoctrination," I told them. "If you can't stop someone from 'shitting in my backyard', why would I ever think they couldn't burn my house down?"
"I can't do anything about the fire, but since I didn't like the smell of shit I started training my own Siblings after their indoctrination and Brother tour were complete," Anna said. "Indoctrination is a Sibling creation anyway, and their idea of obedience is not my own."
Samantha nodded in complete agreement.
The backdoor opened and Doris Alex stepped out of the house.
"Dear Brothers, I give you Sibling obedience," I said acerbically. The three Siblings visibly flinched at my words.
"Forty-five minutes," Samantha said tonelessly.
"Are you sure this is not your fault?" Roderigo asked. "You're very lenient with them."
"Do you think this is my fault?" I returned the question.
"Melisa is very independent," he pointed out.
"No more than any other crested Sibling," Anna countered for me.
"She doesn't wear his crest," Roderigo said defensively. The two female Brothers gave him a matched pair of disappointed looks.
"You shouldn't talk, Roderigo," Anna said. "I believe your Kiera is among the most spoiled Siblings on the planet."
I got the used car salesman's pitch feeling again; Samantha's raised eyebrow told me I was not the only one who noticed. I tried to figure out why Anna would join Roderigo in his efforts to sell himself to me.
Doris Alex did not react to seeing four Brothers waiting for her. She walked towards us like she was walking to a table of her sorority's officers. She pulled the chair we setup for her out, and sat down.
"You asked for me, David," she said facing me.
Care needed to be taken when dealing with Sibling misbehavior. Sometimes disobedience or an unseemly attitude was a sign that they were not getting something they need; Michael was much better behaved after Doris Alex manhandled him. Other times, their behavior was foreplay as with Susan. Real punishment had to be saved for instances that truly displeased a Brother, or it would have been difficult to modify a Sibling's behavior when necessary.
"I hear that Janet, Malia and Heather will not be returning next semester," I said to Doris Alex.
"Heather wants to return home and be with the Brother that recruited her into the Society," Doris Alex informed me. "Janet confessed what she feels for you and wants to go with Heather. I thought it was a good idea since the breakdown of the twining attempt left Heather hurting badly. Janet has been there for her, and Heather has been there for Janet now that she needs comforting."
"Is it normal that I wouldn't be told about their decisions?" I asked the assembled Brothers.
"Forgive me, David," Doris Alex said quickly. "I thought the girls were going to tell you themselves."
She looked around the table nervously as the thought that four Brothers did not sit with a lone Sibling without a reason sank in.
"Obviously, Malia can't stay here any longer," she told me carefully.
"Make believe, he's a new Brother without the training or information that isolation would have given him," Samantha said smartly. "Explain why Malia cannot stay."
"She's incompatible with you, David," Doris Alex informed me. "It's not uncommon, but most of the time it doesn't matter since the Brother and Sibling would naturally avoid contact. If they did come together, it would be isolated to a brief sexual encounter where the Brother was only seeking immediate relief. Malia's living near you; she has day-to-day contact. Her problems with you could stain your relationship with other Siblings. I can't allow it, so I'm sending her home."
"You can't allow it?" Roderigo asked innocently.
"My instructions were to make David's transition into the Society occur as seamlessly as possible," Doris Alex said quietly.
"He's in a collegiate atmosphere," Samantha said thoughtfully. "Jeremy has only had problems with two Siblings since he started teaching here; yet three of David's initial Siblings leave in the first year."
"Like I said, Brother, Malia and David's problem is not uncommon," Doris Alex defended. "Plus many Brothers experience a Janet situation in their life. Heather only recently became aware of how much she wanted to return to her first Brother; she might have stayed though, except I think she wants to give Janet a direction to run. Those two will probably twin as soon as Heather recovers from the failure with Malia."