Jack paused and took a moment to examine his reflection in the windowpane. He adjusted his bow tie, apparently out of nervousness, but Diane recognized the performer in him at work. When he said, "I'm not so sure this trip was a good idea, love," Diane knew he wanted her to ask why. He was just an old ham at heart, really.
"This would, of course, be a sincere concern of some sort," she said. Just because he wanted her to ask didn't mean she planned to make it easy for him. "Nothing at all to do with your claim that the best rendition of 'The Barber of Seville' was done by Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny, and you see no reason to attend an inferior production."
Jack put his hand to his chest in mock pain. "You wound me, my darling. Naturally, when you suggested we spend an evening at the opera, I was thrilled to oblige."
"And the fact that you were looking at Pat Benatar concerts last week..."
"Pure coincidence. Although I am glad to hear she's decided to do a second show in the Twin Cities." Jack turned away from the window, taking his wife's hand as the two of them headed towards the auditorium. "No, I'm just worried about you. I mean, you're young, you're beautiful, we're at the Opera...you're clearly in grave danger of being targeted by the Phantom."
Diane nodded. "Yes, I suppose I should have seen this coming. This would be the Phantom of the Ordway, I suppose?"
Jack showed nothing but sincerity in his big brown eyes. "Of course. Everybody knows that the designer of this theater was killed during its construction. He and his girlfriend were schtupping backstage, the beam he was standing her up against collapsed, and..." He made a dismissive hand gesture. "Pfft. Poor bastard didn't even get a chance to climax. Ever since, no good-looking woman has been entirely safe here."
"Amazing," Diane said. "What's even more amazing is that I hadn't heard about any of this. You'd think, being an architecture major, that something so... interesting... andby'interesting'imean'bullshit'... would have come up in my studies. And yet, all of my professors--who must have been complicit in some dark conspiracy to cover up the tragedy--told me that he continued to have a long and storied career in the industry before finally dying in 2002 at the age of 84, 18 years after this theater was built. Clearly, though, I must bow to your superior knowledge, because I know my husband would never lie to me."
Jack stopped dead in his tracks. "You're sure on that?"
"Quite sure. No Opera Ghost, of either the Pratchett or Webber variety."
"No Opera Ghost at all?" Jack's expression was one of innocent consternation. Diane wondered exactly where he was going with this.
"None." The flow of human traffic was beginning to subside. The opera would be starting in a few minutes.
Jack leaned in and whispered in his wife's ear. "Invisible Touch," he said. Diane drew in her breath sharply as she felt a phantom finger trace its way down the line of her spine, all the way from the base of her neck to her tailbone.
Jack watched the expression on her face. "You know," he said, "I'm beginning to think there might be something fun to watch at the opera after all."
There are times, Diane thought as she managed to collapse into her seat, that I really wish I wasn't quite such a good hypnotic subject. The ghostly fingers had moved down to the soles of her feet now, tickling and teasing them as the opera began. "Piano, pianissimo, senza parlar," Fiorello sang, but Diane had other things on her mind.
Was this a new trigger? She could never be entirely sure; she had been playing with Jack for long enough that he didn't have to work too hard to make her forget things. She'd obviously forgotten that he'd implanted the trigger, but had she also forgotten other times that he'd used it on her? No, she thought, glancing at him as he pretended to pay attention to the opera. He was enjoying himself too much. This was a new one for both of them.
An impressive one, too, she noted as she felt fingers tracing slow circles around her thighs. Just lightly, tracing along her lap, but the sensation was unmistakable. She could look down and see that there were no hands on her body, but it didn't break the illusion at all. She kept expecting to see the fabric of her dress move. Jack had really outdone himself.
Diane settled in to try to enjoy the show. As impressive as Jack's hypnotic skills were, she could enjoy them later. For now, she just wanted to listen to a little light opera. She sat back, trying to remember exactly how the plot worked. The man singing was the count pretending to be the student, and the man he was singing to was the barber, and...
The fingers traced around to her inner thigh, and Diane stopped breathing for a moment. She could feel them, the phantom hands slowly creeping up her thigh, now less than an inch away from her suddenly very engorged clit...Diane focused on letting her breath out slowly. No moans, no gasps, no whimpers. Opera fans had no sense of humor when it came to disturbances during the show.
And Jack knew that, she thought as the fingers slowly, almost imperceptibly, crept closer to her pussy. And she knew that he knew it. She gritted her teeth and tried very hard to just breathe. Her hips thrust forward just a little, involuntarily, but it didn't matter. The phantom fingers weren't real, she couldn't move deeper into their touch. She was totally at their mercy...
She felt them slide back around her thigh and run along the swell of her hip. Diane breathed a quiet sigh of relief that nonetheless got her a tiny disapproving look from the woman sitting three seats away. Tough crowd.
When they got out of this, Diane grumbled to herself as she felt the 'hands' rest possessively on her hip, she was going to have serious words with her husband. At the Rasputina concert last week, he was all attentive to the music. When they went to see Great White--Great White, for fucksake--he was totally into the band's performance. But take him to 'The Barber of Seville', and Mister Mischief had nothing better to do than disrupt her night.
Mm-hmm, her brain said right back to her, and is there some reason you're not asking him to stop? Diane didn't know exactly which part of her brain had decided to argue with her sound, reasoned opinions on proper behavior when dealing with high culture, but it was probably the same part that was currently making her believe that invisible hands were trailing down her thigh to her ankle, oh so slowly.
Diane tried to pretend that she didn't want the disruption of whispering to her husband in the middle of the production, or at the very least didn't believe that he'd break the post-hypnotic suggestion, but her brain was having none of it. It knew perfectly well that if she really wanted Jack to stop this, he would. And she wasn't doing it.
Then her brain decided to tweak her nipples. Diane decided her brain could be a real bitch sometimes.
The 'hands' pinched harder. Definitely a bitch. A real... teasing... bitch. Diane gripped the arms of her seat so hard her palms went white. She let out a long, slow breath. Easy, normal breathing, that was the--ohgoditstwistingthem--key.
Jack kept giving her sidelong glances. Each one suggested that butter, if placed in his mouth, would remain a cool, spreadable semi-solid. It was the general expression he got when he was really enjoying watching her struggle.
Definitely, revenge would be in order at the end of the night. Perhaps she could... could... the phantom fingers rolled her nipples, and Diane's eyes rolled back in her head. Perhaps she could fuck him silly, was the obvious answer. She'd be lying if she said she wasn't loving every minute of it. She'd really be lying if she said that trying to keep from moaning out loud wasn't half the fun.
The fingers traced the swell of her breasts then, and Diane did let out a tiny whimper, but it was lost in the swell of Rosina singing, "Lo sono docile, son rispettosa, sono obbediente, dolce, amorosa, mi lascio reggere, mi fo guidar." Diane had no idea what that meant, but it sounded pretty. In fact, the whole opera sounded pretty. Part of her wanted to find a translation when she got home, but she'd heard that not knowing what the words meant was half the fun.
Finally, the hands left her breasts for a bit and began to stroke her temples. Diane sighed quietly in relief, and started trying to concentrate on the music again. It was mostly sneezing and yawning at the moment, but Diane hoped it would get good again soon.
She settled into her seat as Bartolo and Basilio began to sing, and let the music just wash over her. It really was an excellent performance, very mellow and relaxing, and those fingers on her temples were really quite soothing. Very soothing. Very, very...
Even as she thought it, Diane felt herself starting to sink helplessly into trance. Was this something Jack had programmed her with, she wondered, or was she just naturally responding to the feel of the fingers? Fingers, she noted distantly, that she was already suspecting pretty strongly that her own mischievous side was controlling. Diane knew she was subby enough to want to go into a trance in a public place. She also knew Jack had a wicked streak to him. They were both perfect suspects; motive, means, and opportunity, all right there.
Diane struggled to keep her eyes open. She knew they'd gone glassy and vacant, but at least she could still see what was going on as well as hear it. Her brain felt like it had been wrapped in cotton wool. Don Basilio's aria washed over her sleepy mind like a wave, and those fingers kept stroking, kept soothing, kept taking her deeper.
No, she thought. She was in control of this. Those fingers were figments of her imagination. She didn't want to be in trance, and so she could wake up. She really could. Any time she wanted. And she did want to. So she would, any... second... now... She blinked a long, slow, lazy blink.
It was almost a relief when the phantom sensations relocated themselves to her crotch. It definitely helped her perk up a little, at the very least. But she still felt more than a little light-headed, and knew that she hadn't gone more than halfway out of trance. It wasn't like physical stimulation brought her out of hypnosis, not anymore. She was too well-trained for that.
So while Figaro and Rosina sang their duet, Diane struggled to keep from doing a little singing of her own. This time, the hands weren't out just to tease her, no sir. They weren't content to just inch up her thighs and then dart away. Diane felt a hand gently patting her pussy lips--not quite strong enough to be considered "spanking" per se, but definitely intense enough to make her squirm in her seat. She felt a tiny droplet of sweat roll down her back... or at least, she thought she did.
Diane's legs spread a bit wider, involuntarily. She knew there was no need; the touch could go anywhere her imagination could fit it into, from her clit to her asshole to the inside of her mouth. But her body was definitely having trouble remembering little details like that. All it knew was that those fingers felt good, and it wanted more. Her right knee pressed up against Jack's tightly, and her left bumped momentarily against a woman in her forties who looked more than a little startled before Diane pulled it back.
She probably looked like quite a sight. Diane imagined herself, her soft brown hair damp with sweat, her brown eyes staring vacantly at the stage, gripping the seat with total intensity of focus. Either this woman was going to think Diane was the biggest opera fan ever, or she was going to think she was a crazy pervert.
Diane gritted her teeth as the finger gently slid along her labia, feeling its way up and down her slit. If this woman took a deep sniff, "crazy pervert" would probably become the obvious choice.
Total havoc was breaking out on stage as Bartolo and the Count bickered in the public square, and Diane felt like it was just an echo of what was going on inside her. The fingers slid in and out of her slick pussy, now, and telling herself that she was just imagining it did no good. It felt utterly real. Her panties felt moist and clingy, and Diane just had to hope that her juices weren't staining her dress. Everything just seemed to swim in front of her eyes, and she bit down on her lip to keep from moaning in pleasure.
The pain wasn't stopping the pleasure; far from it, Diane felt everything more intensely. She wanted so bad to cry out, to whimper, to moan and scream and gasp and straddle her husband right there in his seat and fuck his brains out and she couldn't hold out any longer, she couldn't hold this in even one more second...
"Non ragiona, si confonde, si riduce ad impazzar..." the assembled singers finished, and Diane slumped down in her seat as the fingers moved away to the back of her neck.
"oh fuck oh yes oh god oh oh oh..." Diane knew she couldn't make that much noise even in here; she'd be lynched alive if she let everything out in the opera itself, but that didn't mean she particularly wanted an attendant knocking on the door of the bathroom stall to ask 'if everything was alright'. But she could at least release some of the tension with a few gentle moans as the fingers got uninhibited.
Jack helped Diane back to her seat, every inch the gentleman. "Enjoying the show?" he asked her. Without waiting for a response, he said, "I know I am."
"It's... I'm..." the fingers were fondling her ass now, and Diane gave serious thought to asking him to break the suggestion before the second act began. The few minutes in the bathroom hadn't cooled her off at all; if anything, they'd gotten her even more worked up. She didn't know what she was going to do if the fingers started really going to work on her again, and for a moment, Diane wondered if they weren't taking their games too far.
Then the phantom digits traced a gentle line along the underside of her chin down her throat, and her worries just melted into sensuous pleasure. Fuck it, Diane decided. She had a will of iron, at least when it came to doing what she was told like a hot little subby-girl. She wasn't going to spoil their evening by giving in and ripping out a few good screams when her orgasm hit, despite the quiet little hot button that the idea of such a public humiliation triggered.
"s'nice..." she slurred out, just before the music began. Jack's grin could put the Joker to shame.
As before, the touches eased off a little as the singing started, and for just a moment, Diane thought she might be able to listen uninterrupted. But she'd totally lost the thread of the plot in all this. Bartolo and the Count, who were supposed to be at each other's throats, were singing a duet all of a sudden. She'd probably be able to figure out why if the whole thing wasn't in Italian, of course.
No idea of the plot, no idea of the words, but it all sounded very nice. There was probably a metaphor for life, there, but the fingers tickled Diane's armpits just then, and she lost the train of thought in the desperate struggle not to giggle. This was completely unfair, she told her own subconscious! All this work not to moan, and now she had to avoid laughing too? How much was a girl supposed to take?
Her subconscious apparently decided on 'all of it,' because just then she felt tickling on her feet as well. Diane wriggled in her seat, trying to keep from laughing, and trying to keep the wriggling from turning into writhing. Sounds weren't the only way to make a public display, she thought.
Diane clenched her jaw like a drill sergeant, trying to focus on the music through it all, but her head was swimming with pleasure. She caught snatches--"Che tremarella! Questa e febbre scarlattina!" but as her body shook with excitement, they washed into her brain and left nothing but confusion. All she could think about was that she mustn't scream, she mustn't moan, she mustn't whimper. Listening to the music no longer mattered next to holding in emotions too wild to contain.
Once again, the storm of sensation broke, leaving her sweating and trembling in her seat. She had to look around at the other patrons to make sure she hadn't let out a shriek without even noticing in the throes of passion. The music had moved on, the old woman (whose role in the story Diane didn't even understand right now) was singing, "Una smania, un pizzicore, un solletico, un tormento..." Diane didn't get what all that was, but she felt pretty tormented at the moment. The fingers were just stroking her arms right now, but any moment they could decide to go for her erogenous zones once more.
And there she was, externalizing them again. It wasn't like they were real hands, real fingers. Jack hadn't programmed her to feel specific sensations over the course of the night. That wasn't the way hypnosis worked, and anyway, he was far too lazy for that. No, he'd given suggestions to make her feel the invisible touches, but she was the one who was deciding where she got touched. This was her own subconscious, that was all. No magic, no phantom, not even really her husband at work. This was just her, and that meant that if she wanted to, if she really wanted to keep them calm and relaxing, then they would.
Shit, she thought as the touches moved down to her pussy again, I guess I must not really want them to.
Now the fingers began deeply massaging her cunt, even as they seemed to multiply. More hands touched her breasts, gently massaging the swell of her soft tits, a hand cupping each boob and a thumb running over her nipple as the fingers down below diddled her clit. Oh, fucking perfect, Diane thought. I'm getting gang-banged by my own goddamned imagination.
But she couldn't stay mad at herself for long. It felt too good. Rosina and the Count seemed to be working towards a resolution, but Diane pressed her head against the back of her seat and tried desperately to avoid a "resolution" of her own. This wouldn't be so bad if she didn't have such a tendency to be loud during sex. She half-way felt like a teenager again.
A gasp escaped her lips, and a few people sitting nearby gave her disapproving looks, but it wasn't loud enough to carry more than a row or two. On the stage, people were arriving in a dizzying procession, notaries and soldiers and jilted doctors and threatened music teachers, and Diane just prayed that meant that the opera was ending soon, because she could tell that this time the fingers weren't going to stop until they wrung a loud, shrieking, embarrassingly intense orgasm out of her.
Suddenly, she felt more fingers, this time sliding into her anus. The very shock of it almost sent her over the edge, and her vision swam for a moment. She bit her lip so hard she tasted blood. Everyone was hugging, and happy, and Figaro was singing, "Di si felice innesto, serbiam memoria eterna," and Diane prayed to God that meant, "We're just about done," because the fingers just weren't stopping, and she could feel those tiny, sub-vocal grunts at the back of her throat, not loud enough to hear yet, but she couldn't hold them back anymore. She clenched her eyes shut.
Rosina and the Count were singing about "Amor e fede eterna", and it sounded so sweet. Diane knew that she'd associate this song with orgasmic bliss for the rest of her life. Unless she associated it with public shame and being kicked out of the Ordway, of course. It was coming down to a photo finish. Coming...cumming...
And then she heard, "Amore e fede eterna si vegga in voi regnar," one last time from the entire cast, and the crowd leapt to its feet in applause. Nobody applauded harder than Jack, but his eyes weren't on the stage at all. They were on Diane, as she finally let out a loud, whooping shriek of delight and tensed in her seat once, twice, and finally a third time before slumping down in exhaustion. Her dress was drenched with sweat, her eyes were closed, and she had a gaping grin on her face.