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Subject: {ASSM} The House at the End of the Street 17/18 (mf ff msolo fsolo group inc 1st oral voy mc nc bon toys humil magic)
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<1st attachment, "Chapter17.txt" begin>

WARNING: This is a work of erotic fiction. It contains depictions of
nudity and graphic sex.

Author: A Strange Geek
Title: The House at the End of the Street
Universe: Haven
Summary: 4 teens find a mysterious house that can grant them great
power. Will they lose themselves in sexual revelry, or will they turn
from the darkness in time? Or does the house itself have an agenda ...

Part: 17 of 18
Keywords: mf, ff, msolo, fsolo, group, inc, 1st, oral, voy, mc, nc,
bon, toys, humil, magic

Copyright A Strange Geek, 2006

Feedback welcome! Please email me at astraYOURngegeek@comMINDcast.net
( lose YOUR MIND to email me )

Or to send anonymous feedback, use the form at bottom of HTML version:

http://www.asstr.org/~A_Strange_Geek/novels/TheHouse/Chapter17.html



---------------

Saturday morning.

Jason never did think of any new scheme to delay the others, nor was he
able to get up in time to get to the house any earlier than the
"normal" time. Without saying nary a word to either of his parents, he
simply headed out the door and began walking towards the house as
quickly as possible.

Richie never did wake up on time to head over to the house before the
crack of dawn. He had taken so long to get back to sleep that he did
not awaken until well after the sun had risen. He did not bother to
even try and talk to his mother. He simply dressed and headed out.

Melinda and Heather said nothing to each other as they rose, showered,
and dressed. Melinda studiously avoided her mother's gaze as the two
girls marched out the front door together.

They turned onto the street from the walk, casting a momentary glare at
each other, and falling into uneasy step side by side. After passing a
few houses, Melinda quickened her steps. Heather reached out and
grabbed her little sister's shirt by the collar and dragged her back.
Heather increased her stride, but Melinda elbowed her in the side and
started to overtake her. Heather jogged to catch up, pushed Melinda to
the side, and pulled out ahead.

Suddenly, from behind, Richie barreled his way through them, pushing
both of them to either side so roughly that they almost stumbled and
fell.

Melinda and Heather broke into a run hot on Richie's heels. They caught
up with him just short of the intersection, clawing at the back of his
shirt and bringing him almost to a stop. He fought to shrug them off,
stumbling and allowing them to pull up beside him. He viciously shoved
Melinda off her feet and tried to kick out one of Heather's legs from
under her. He just barely caught one of her ankles, forcing her to
stumble to a halt. As she rounded on Richie, Melinda ran full-tilt into
him and knocked him off his feet.

As the three of them got into a shoving match, Jason ran through the
intersection and towards the cul-de-sac.

The three of them stopped tussling with each other and ran in pursuit
of Jason. Richie was the first to catch up with him, grabbing him by
the collar and hauling him back. Richie edged out ahead of the others
and slammed into the gate.

The others piled up behind him. Melinda kicked his hand from the latch.
Richie shoved her off her feet. Heather kicked him in the shin. Jason
pushed him to one side and made the grab for the latch himself. Richie
tried to throw a punch at him but missed, letting Heather trip him and
send him to the ground. Jason managed to unlatch the gate, but Heather
pushed him down as he opened it. Melinda popped up and ran, elbowing
Heather in the ribs and knocking the wind from her. Just as Melinda
made it to the door, Richie grabbed her and shoved her to one side,
only to have Jason push him down. Heather barreled into both of them,
and they spilled into the doorway and onto the living room floor.

"I got in first!" Heather shouted, her breathing ragged as she
struggled to her feet. "It's my turn!"

"Bullshit!" Richie roared. "You bitch! I fell in before you!"

"Fuck you, Richie!" Jason screamed. "I was in front of you when you
fell!"

"You little shits!" Melinda screeched. "You all cheated! Fucking
cheaters!"

All four began to yell at once, hurling vile epithets between shouts
demanding his or her turn, punctuated by occasional shoves, kicks, and
punches.

"Wait! Wait a minute! Everybody, /SHUT THE FUCK UP!/" Jason bellowed.

The other three abruptly fell silent and glared at him.

"Look, it's obvious we can't agree who got in first."

"I said I got here first!" Heather exclaimed, red-faced. This started
up the bickering once again.

Jason called for silence again until his throat was almost raw. "Shit,
will everyone be quiet for a minute? Let's do what we did before. Let
the house decide."

A sullen look came over everyone's faces as their eyes flitted
suspiciously amongst the others.

"Fine," Melinda finally said, though a single stamp of her foot showed
what she really thought of this idea.

"Yeah, all right," Heather said resignedly.

Jason turned to Richie expectantly.

Richie folded his arms, and shot Jason a furious look. "Whatever."

Jason relaxed. He was quite surprised at how everyone fell for that. It
looked like he was going to get his way after all. After all, he was
the responsible one, the one that really deserved the power.

"Okay," he said, his voice sounding more confident as he looked up.
"Uh, do you know who's turn it is today?"

The answer came back immediately: /Yes, of course I do./

Jason started to smile. "Then whose is it?"

/Mine./

Jason's smile faded. "Huh?"

"What?" Heather cried.

"Jason, what did it mean by that?" Melinda asked, eyes glistening with
fear. "What did it mean?!"

"I don't get it," Richie said, though his eyes betrayed mounting dread.

The front door slammed shut, startling all four into silence.

Melinda felt it first. "Oh my God ..."

"What? No ..." Heather murmured.

"Aw fuck, no, c'mon!" Richie cried.

Jason could not get this throat to work, and simply whimpered.

There was barely any time at all to resist. It swept down on their
minds like a flood, overwhelming them, drowning out the mental scream
that came from the realization that they were being enslaved by someone
or something whose motivations they knew nothing about.

Save for Jason. He knew something of Mara, and what she had likely gone
through. Because of it, his anguish was far more than the others put
together. When it descended upon him, he fought it viciously, so much
so that he very nearly seemed to hold it back for a second. But when it
swept in anyway the next moment, he realized it had only been toying
with him, as if mocking his knowledge.

Then it was over. All resistance and will was gone. Four glassy-eyed
teens stood in a rough circle, standing still, their bodies trembling
slightly as they obediently responded to their mistress' wishes.

/So you all wanted power, did you?/

Their breathing grew deep and husky, panting softly as each of them
grew swiftly and intensely aroused.

/Then I will show you power./

Pussies grew damp. Cocks grew hard. They moaned their distress, their
desperate need for relief.

/I will show you how this power is to be wielded./

All four of them began to strip off their clothes.

/And when it is over, we'll see who really deserves the power./

Four naked teens now stood facing each other, shaking with lust so
intense that denying it was driving them slowly mad. Hands clenched
into fists with the desire to touch their aroused flesh.

/Now my little slaves, upstairs with you, and we'll have some fun./

The four of them fell into step and headed silently towards the stairs,
their mind obeying every command fed to them without thought or
question.

/Or at least I will have some fun. But that's what it's all about when
you have the power./



The house made no effort to conjure anything resembling something they
would recognize, for it was no longer important. The room the four
entered was not even a bedroom, nor did it even have furniture. It was
nothing more than a place with four walls, a ceiling, and a floor
covered in several layers of plush cushions. It was no longer a
bedroom, but a room designed for one specific purpose in mind.

There was no delicacy, no foreplay, no buildup, no sense of desire of
enjoyment or wish for satisfaction. It was direct, sudden, and intense.
It was little more than the raw expression of brutal lust magnified to
obscene proportions.

The moment they walked into the room, Melinda and Heather fell onto
their backs, and Jason and Richie coupled with them. Each boy simply
stabbed his partner's pussy with his cock and began quick, mechanical
fucking. There were no sounds other than simple moans and whimpers of
building towards sexual release. It could hardly be termed "pleasure".

Their cries of orgasm were strident, short, and mournful, for their
release did little to dampen their intense lust. The boys' cocks did
not even soften more than just a small bit before returning swiftly to
rock-hard erections, pulsing lightly and aching again with the renewed
need for relief.

Into the girls' mouths they went, both Heather and Melinda licking and
sucking in ways far more skilled and frenzied than they ever had before
with the others controlling them. Both girls moaned in desperation for
their own relief, each thrusting a hand between her thighs and
massaging her slot with fast, firm strokes. When the boys' cocks burst
into orgasm inside their mouths, they lapped up the seed as if
starving. After the boys were spent, the girls kissed each other deeply
and tasted of each other's mouth before finally swallowing.

From this point on, any further sense of order broke down. Pairings
happened apparently at random, and there was little pause before the
next. The sounds of sex became a constant drone of deep, urgent moans
and shrill, needful cries. Pairings became threesomes, and finally, a
complete, mindless orgy. Heather on her back, Jason on all fours with
his cock plunged into her mouth, Melinda licking Heather's pussy,
Richie spearing Melinda from behind with his cock.

After this, when all four had again expended themselves, they each fell
limp onto their backs or sides among the cushions. They panted hard,
bodies covered in a sheen of perspiration. Each one of them ached from
the intensity of the sexual activity, yet still craved more.

However, something else was happening. Very slowly, the control over
them was eased. It did not lift away entirely. It remained in a
twilight between the light of their own consciousness and the darkness
of enslavement that remained hovering over them, like a false dawn
before a morning sunrise that was not to be.

Moans of lingering sexual release turned to groans of despair. Melinda
turned her head into one of the cushions as tears trickled from the
corners of her eyes. Heather covered her eyes with a shaking hand.
Richie clutched at his aching privates with a glazed look in his eyes.
Jason kept murmuring under his breath, audible to no one but himself:
"Please, Mara, stop ... Mara, don't do this ..."

/Imagine having the control over you slip just a bit like this./

Melinda sobbed once, her hands clenching. Heather took a single, breath
and let it go, her body quivering. The boys groaned, Richie shaking his
head.

/Which do you prefer, release or return to slavery?/

"No more ..." Heather murmured, unable to command her voice to rise
above a whisper. "No more, please ..."

/Easy decision? It gets harder. Much harder./

"Stop it ... stop ..." Richie cried in anguish. His and the others'
protests died as their mind were again plunged back into the darkness,
swallowing up their will once more.

/Now let's go again, my little slaves./



The lustful noises they made became strained and tinged with
desperation and torment, as if even while their wills were completely
enslaved, some part of their true mind state was managing to break
through. Or it could simply be the house playing a cruel game with
their minds. It was impossible for them to tell.

Their activities grew more frantic. Jason and then Richie in turn
fucked Heather between her breasts, cumming hard and copiously between
them. Melinda came to her and lapped it up, then suckled at Heather's
breasts as her behind was spanked by both Jason and Richie. Then
Melinda had to hump Richie while at the same time sucking off Jason,
while Heather straddled Richie and made him lick her pussy.

It devolved quickly into one continuous orgy of sex and fetish. At one
point, both girls were spanking the boys. At another point, the boys
were licking the girls' feet. The sex grew increasingly messy, girls
spotted with cum, the boys wet with pussy fluids. Finally, their bodies
could no longer keep up with the demand. Muscles ached as badly as
genitalia, movements grew labored and painful. At last their mistress
relented, and they collapsed onto their backs, groaning and limp.

The twilight cruelly returned.

"No, please, oh God no!" Melinda sobbed, her body shaking. Tears flowed
down her face.

/Release or enslave again?/

"I d-don't want to do that again ..." Richie said in a badly shaking
voice.

"Mara ..." Jason groaned in desperation. "Please stop ..."

Heather let out a wail and turned over, crying hard into a cushion.

/Tougher choice now, isn't it?/

"Not again, please not again," Melinda begged. "D-don't ... don't make
me do that again ..."

/Don't want to remember it, do you?/

Melinda curled up and whimpered pitifully.

/That was a taste of the worst of it. Just a taste. Oh, but surely, you
could do better./

The four of them slowly quieted.

/You'd never go that far, of course. Not if you had the power./

No sound other than labored, heavy breathing.

/It's time for us to find out./

The control returned so swiftly that each of them jerked. But this
time, when they rose painfully from the cushions, the lust was absent
from them. Their expressions were chillingly blank, as if they had been
made to cease to care about anything. Without a word or a sound, they
reached under various cushions, directed unerringly to the items that
they simply knew would be there. In fact, they knew exactly what the
items were, and what they were to do with them. No matter how their
imprisoned consciousness screamed and shouted, it did nothing to stop
their bodies from carrying out the motions.

Each of them soon held two pairs of bright, gleaming metal handcuffs,
one with a short chain, the other with a longer one. There was no
hesitation or forethought, no glimmer of doubt on their faces, save for
the tiniest glint of fear deep in their eyes. They each knelt on a
cushion, forming a straight line side-by-side to each other. They
reached behind them and secured the short-chained handcuffs tightly
around their ankles. They then threaded the longer one between their
ankles and around the chain and closed the cuffs around their wrists.

They were swiftly released from enslavement.

No one cried out. Tears flowed down Melinda's face and trickled from
Heather's eyes. Richie heaved dry sobs, and Jason's face was screwed up
in anguish. But no overt noises were made, for all four of them were
far too frightened to utter anything more than a piteous whimper, or
even to pull at their self-imposed bondage.

/And now, my little slaves, it is time for you/ "to meet your mistress
in person."

Nothing that had happened to them that day filled them with as much
terror as hearing the ethereal voice of the house materialize into a
real, breathing, living person. Or living, at least, as far as their
meager senses could discern. They knew it -- or rather, she -- was
standing in the doorway, but it was a long time before any of them
dared to turn their heads towards her, as if desiring to remain in
ignorance as long as possible.

Jason was the first to dare, and he swallowed as his gaze rose to the
woman's face. Despite knowing who it was already -- or perhaps because
of it -- a chill visibly rippled through his body and his mouth opened
as if in surprise or awe.

She was exactly as she looked in the portrait on the wall in the living
room. Creamy skin, raven tresses flowing in waves around her roundish
face, eyes of deep violet, intense and fiery. At the same time,
however, there was a sense of tiredness, a hint of exhaustion, as if
everything that had happened was as taxing to her as it was to the four
teens.

Her body was clad in a simple, white nightgown, reaching only just past
her hips, her body naked underneath it. She placed her hands on her
hips and strode slowly into the room as one by one the others looked
towards her, greeting her with equal measures of fear and anger. Her
feet kicked casually at the cushions, forming a path to bare hardwood
as she walked.

"Please let us go," Melinda begged in a small voice. "P-please ..."

Mara paused and cast a cold smile down at her. "And miss the
opportunity of your lifetime?" she said a husky voice and predatory
gaze that made Melinda shiver. She shifted her eyes to the others.
"Surely none of you want to pass it up either? Not when you are so
close to having it all!"

Jason stared at Mara. He tried to imagine this woman when she was still
alive, when she was just a plaything of this Loner character. Surely
she would not have looked as confident and intimidating as she did now.

As if sensing what he was thinking, Mara's gaze shifted abruptly to him
and narrowed. One corner of her mouth rose, twisting her lips into a
sadistic smirk. "Don't think you know me, Jason," she said darkly.
"Don't think you know what I'm capable of."

Jason simply stared, his gaze unrelenting.

"Yes, I know what you know. Or what you /think/ you know."

"J-Jason, what's she talking about?" Heather demanded in a quavering
voice. She pulled in vain at her restraints.

Richie looked to Jason as well, but he was too frightened to speak. Yet
his eyes spoke volumes. They begged for Jason to solve everything. It
was just like Richie had when he had been close to failing that course
in school. Jason had rescued him then; now he wanted to be rescued
again.

Melinda cried harder and shook violently. She could not even bring
herself to raise her eyes to Jason. "I'm sorry," she whimpered. "I
sh-should have stopped ... I shouldn't have l-let you talk to me ..."

Mara dropped to one knee and grasped Melinda's chin. She yanked
Melinda's head up to force the girl's gaze to hers. Melinda's eyes
shimmered with terror. "And you think that would have mattered? You
think you would have listened? That you would have stopped? I sincerely
doubt it."

Melinda sobbed and jerked her head away.

Mara rose to her feet. "None of you were going to stop. You all wanted
it. You all wanted the power to yourself, every last one of you!"

"Only because you offered it to us!" Jason blurted loudly.

Mara grinned wickedly. "And did I force you to take it?"

Jason remained silent, staring at Mara, his sympathy for her having
evaporated into cold hatred.

"/You lied to us!/" Heather screamed. "You ... you promised me I'd have
it!"

"You promised it to me, too!" Richie cried.

"And did I force you to listen to me?" Mara said smoothly. "Did I force
you to believe me? No, you did that yourself. You put your faith in me,
and in the promise of power."

Heather whimpered and looked away. Richie just stared, his lower lip
trembling.

"And did I force you to use it on your parents, Jason?" Mara continued
in a sultry voice. "Did I force you to use it on your boyfriend,
Heather? Or on your mother, Richie? Melinda?"

"I don't want it anymore!" Heather wailed, shaking her head violently
as tears streamed from her eyes. "/I don't want it!/"

"Oh, yes, you do! Don't lie! All of you want it! Because the
alternative is worse. If none of you take it, then /I'll/ take it."

"Wh-what?" Richie croaked, his eyes wild with fear.

Melinda raised her head and stared fearfully at Mara.

"I am going to offer it to you each in turn," Mara said, pacing back
and forth before the four of them. "If you want it, I will bestow it
upon you. The other three will be your slaves, for you to do as you
will it. You will be able to use the power on whoever else you want,
whenever you want, to whatever ends you want, for the rest of your
natural life.

"But if you pass it up, you risk another taking it, and then /you/
become the slave. And if none of you want it, I will take it, and I
will do as I wish with it."

"That's not fair," Melinda squeaked.

"Oh, but it /is/ fair, Melinda. Power has a price, and the price must
be paid. I am simply demanding payment /now/."

"You ...y-you can't do this ..."

"Look at it this way, Melinda," Mara said with a shark-like smile.
"Either way, you can come out ahead. You take the power yourself, you
get to call the shots. Someone else takes it, you get to be a slave
forever, and never have to think about what you've done."

Melinda shuddered again and sobbed.

"'I wish Richie hadn't let me go.' Isn't that what you said, Melinda?
You knew even then it was better to stay under than be made to
remember."

"Stop it ..." Melinda moaned. "P-please, stop it ..."

Richie glanced over to Melinda, and for the first time, his eyes
betrayed a trace of genuine remorse as he remembered what he had done
to her.

"That's it, isn't it? That's really the rub in it. When you come out of
it, you remember everything you did. You remember the humiliation, you
remember the pain, you remember the shame. All of it."

"Like what happened to you?" Jason ventured, his heart pounding. The
others gave him a quizzical glance.

"Yes, Jason," Mara said heavily. "Exactly what happened to me.
Remaining a slave is preferable to that."

"Then why are you doing it to us?"

"Take the power and find out."

Jason blinked, staring.

Mara smiled. "Yes, Jason. I'm offering it to you first."

Heather gasped softly. Melinda bit her lip. Richie looked terrified.

Mara's voice softened and she dropped to one knee before him. "Jason,
you're the responsible one," she cooed. "You've been thinking that
yourself. You know how to respect limits. You can handle this. You can
go easy on the others. You'll never abuse it. The others can't ask for
a better master, can they?"

Jason swallowed hard, trembling. He glanced over towards the others,
his eyes wide.

"Jason, if you don't take it, who knows who might get it! Do you want
Richie to have it, hmm? Do you think he can handle it? Or Heather? Or
even Melinda? Remember what Melinda made you do with Richie. I'll bet
she even liked watching it."

Melinda whimpered, mortified.

"But you, Jason, you can show how much better you are then they are.
You can be generous. You can be kind. You won't carry any grudges. And
as for using the power on others, why, you've been a model of restraint
so far. Only when absolutely necessary, right? Your mother, your
father, all of that was necessary. Of /course/ it was. So what do you
say, Jason?"

Jason glanced at the others again. Memories of his mother and her
reaction, the fear in her eyes, came back to him in a flood. His
father's desperation to know what was going on, and his own fear that
Jason was the source.

Yes, he had indeed used the power only when he needed it. How else had
he been able to keep his internet long enough to find out everything he
had about Mara and the house? But he almost used it on his Dad just to
get out of a potential punishment, and he almost used it on a feeble
old woman. Could he trust himself to keep showing that restraint? He
honestly had no answer to that.

And there was the one aspect of it that he had refused to acknowledge
until now. He /liked/ using it. When he decided to use it, there was no
question in his mind. No amount of restraint would change that. That
scared the shit out of him.

And then he remembered Melinda, and her words to him after Richie had
made her and Heather go at it. That had hurt. It all stopped being fun
anymore after that.

Jason looked up at Mara, and forced himself to say, "I won't take it."

Mara did not react. She maintained her steady smile and simply moved to
the next. "Heather."

Heather gasped and looked up, shaking.

"You're the oldest, Heather," Mara said smoothly. "You're the most
mature. You know it. Your mother knows it. Why else does she defer to
you so much, and put you in charge of your sister? You're all grown up,
Heather. You were the first to have sex out of all of them. If nothing
else makes you an adult, surely that does."

Heather just bit her lip and said nothing.

"Your little sister is a handful, isn't she? Think if you could control
her, keep her quiet and obedient, just like you always wanted. You
never did want a younger sister. You /hated/ her when she was born!"

Melinda's mouth dropped open and she stared at Heather, her horror
magnified when Heather confirmed Mara's words by dropping her eyes in
shame.

Mara reached under Heather's chin and gently coaxed it upwards,
touching her as tenderly as a mother might. Heather's eyes glistened
and she sobbed once as her gaze fell on Mara's face.

"And what was it you wanted, Heather? Attention, that's all. You wanted
to stay in the center of attention. Of course, you do, Heather. You're
deserving of that. You're your mother's darling little girl. She thinks
the world of you, and she gives you the world.

"And you wanted to be popular. And to have a nice boyfriend. You didn't
have many demands on life at all. Certainly that's better than your
'wallflower days' as a little girl, hmm?"

Melinda looked at Heather in shock. Heather? A /wallflower?/

"Of course, you don't want that. You don't want to go back to the days
when you were a nobody. When no one looked twice at the plain, shy,
friendless little girl you were before you hit puberty. Poor, meek,
little Heather ... the one the older girls used to call the 'runt'."

Tears dripped silently from Heather's eyes.

Melinda just stared at her sister. She never knew any of this. It was
as if she were looking at Heather and seeing a totally different person
now.

"Well, Heather, you have everything you want now. You can make it so
that no one takes it away from you. Everyone will love you and your
boyfriend will remain forever loyal to you. Surely with your simple
needs, you can handle this power just fine. Someone mature can do that.
Someone like you. Right?"

Heather swallowed. She could not bring herself to look at the others.
Suddenly she wasn't feeling as mature she she thought she was. She was
feeling more like a helpless child. She wished her mother was here to
take care of this for her, to make the decision for her.

If she passed it up, Melinda or Richie would surely take it. Her life
would be a nightmare under them. Melinda would step over her and Richie
would make her his mindless sex slave.

She never wanted to hurt anyone. She only wanted things to be
comfortable and predictable. She wanted what she thought everyone
wanted, what she /should/ want. Now it no longer seemed like such a
great accomplishment. What was the point in taking the power for
herself now?

Heather took a deep breath and let it go with a yell before she could
change her mind. "I said I didn't want it before and I don't want it
now!"

Melinda stared in utter astonishment at her sister. Richie uttered a
small whimper of relief. Jason just closed his eyes and sighed.

"Melinda."

Melinda gasped and stared at Mara. The others tensed.

"This is going to be your lucky day after all, Melinda!" Mara cried
happily. "You finally get what you always wanted. Nothing's gone your
way, has it? A sister that treats you horribly, a mother that treats
you like a baby, and then when you find this nice house here that lets
you start to take control of your life, no one will let you have your
turn."

Melinda's eyes flicked over to the others briefly. There was no
mistaking the resentment in her face.

"But you don't have to worry about that anymore, Melinda. You can take
it now. You'll never have to worry about getting your 'turn'. You won't
have to ever rely on someone else feeling generous and 'allowing' you
to have some tiny bit of say in your life, like a little food scrap
tossed to a stray dog. Do you still want to keep being that dog,
Melinda? Do you want people like Heather or your Mom keeping you on a
leash? Because that's what they've been doing to you. You deserve a lot
more than that, don't you?"

"Y-yes, I do," Melinda said, her eyes hard. "I do deserve more than
that!"

Heather whimpered softly.

"And, Melinda, look who comes after you. You're sure that Richie will
take it if you don't. Bet he really liked seeing you and Heather going
at it, didn't he? He'd love to see that again. And again. And again."

Melinda squeezed her eyes shut and tried to hold back further tears.

"Take it, Melinda. You want it. You know you want it. Don't take the
chance."

Melinda trembled. Mara was offering her everything she wanted. Or at
least, it was everything Melinda thought she wanted. She thought she
wanted the attention, the favored treatment, the popularity. In other
words, she wanted to be just like Heather.

And now to learn that Heather had been just like her. Always the one
overlooked, always the one ignored. Yet when Heather got what she
wanted, she turned into what she was now. If Melinda had the power, if
she could get whatever she wanted, she realized that she would indeed
become just like her sister in every way. She would become the very
person that, until now, she had so hated. That made the decision for
her.

"No!"

Mara raised an eyebrow. "Are you sure?"

"I don't want it!"

"Even if ...?"

"/I SAID NO!/" Melinda shrieked.

Mara paused, then nodded once, and slid to the side.

Richie raised his eyes to Mara, his mouth dropping open. His heart
thudded in his chest. His hands clenched and unclenched behind him.

"Well, well, well, Richie," Mara said with a sly grin. "It seems you
are going to make out a like a bandit."

"Wh ... wh-what d-do you mean?" he stammered.

"Oh, you know exactly what I mean. You get it all, Richie.
Congratulations. It's what you wanted from the start. You never wanted
to share. You never wanted to take turns. From the very moment you
muscled your way in on this, you wanted it to be all about you."

Mara's eyes flitted downward briefly and back up. "Why, Richie, you're
even getting another hard-on just thinking about that power. Even after
all that sex, the very idea of having that power is simply too exciting
for you to contain yourself."

Richie panted lightly, unable to take his gaze from Mara, his eyes
glazed.

"Besides, Richie, you're not half as bad as the others think. You made
them all cum. That's what it's all about. You'll keep them all quite
happy little sex slaves. So long as they're cumming every day, that's
all that matters."

Richie said nothing. He was shaking badly. He was very much aware of
two things. The first was that everyone else's eyes were on him; he
knew this without even having to look. The other was that a voice was
shouting the answer "yes" in the back of his mind. He /did/ want it. He
wanted it all. He couldn't deny it.

"But, Richie," Mara said, her voice growing soft and somber. "That's
not the real reason you want it, is it? It's your mother."

Richie's face took on an anguished look. The others exchanged confused
glances.

"You just want her home more often, You want her to pay more attention
to you. You want her to start acting like a real mother for a change.
You want her to /love/ you."

Tears trickled out of Richie's eyes.

"You can have it, Richie. You can have all that. Never mind the sex,
that's not really important to you now, is it? You'd give up all that
if it meant having a real mother, wouldn't you? You'd give it up if you
had a mother who wanted to make dinner for you more often than she
wanted to get laid by any guy that crosses her path. Mothers don't go
getting fucked by strange men. They stay home and take care of their
children."

Jason just stared at Richie in disbelief. In all the time he knew
Richie, he never suspected this. Jason knew Richie didn't have a father
at home, but Jason never knew Richie's relationship with his mother was
this bad. Suddenly a lot of Richie's behavior over the last year made a
lot more sense to him.

Even Heather and Melinda now looked at him with a trace of sympathy on
their faces. But Richie had yet to say anything, and that sympathy was
masked by mounting fear.

Mara placed a hand on Richie's shoulder and squeezed affectionately.
Richie looked away.

"You can have all you want. You can make your mother be a mother. Or
... at least you can stop her from calling you 'fuckwit' all the time."

Heather's mouth dropped open in shock.

Richie was openly crying now, tears running down his cheeks. He could
tell Mara "yes" and all his problems would be over. He would be the
apple of his mother's eye. She would stop sleeping around. She might
even care for him again.

Yet all he could think of was his mother lying on her bed, and those
horrible welts. Welts he had caused in a moment of inexcusable
thoughtlessness.

Then there was the rest of them: Jason, Melinda, and Heather. As angry
as all of them had been at him for what he had done, they all passed up
the power. It would have been the perfect revenge to exact, and none of
them took it. Stacked up against that, the power did not seem all that
attractive to him anymore.

Richie made a small, inaudible noise.

"What was that, Richie?"

He repeated it, louder, but not enough for the others to hear, his head
shaking.

"Come now, speak up, Richie!"

"/I said no! No, you fucking, stupid, horrible bitch! No, no, NO!/"

Richie's scream echoed briefly through the house and was followed by
absolute silence, save for the labored breathing of he and the others.

Mara paused for a very long moment. Her eyes flicked back and forth
among the four of them. Slowly, she stood.

"Very well," she said flatly. She turned and stepped away from them.
"None of you want it. So be it. Then I will do as I promised. I claim
it for myself, and use it as I see fit. Here is what your decision has
brought you."

A series of loud snapping noises startled the four teens. In seconds,
all of their handcuffs had popped open and clattered to the floor
behind them.

Mara took a deep breath and let it go, and her shoulders slumped.
"Thirty-six years," she murmured softly. "It took thirty-six years."

The others rose numbly to their feet. Everyone wanted to know what was
going on, but no one wanted to be the first to ask.

"Finally," Mara said. "/Finally/. After all the failures. After all the
ones that took it without question. Someone did it. Someone turned
away. Someone passed the test."

"The /test?!/" Heather screeched, an incredulous look on her face, her
eyes wide. "This ... all this ... the house ... what ... what you
j-just put us through ... /this was all a fucking TEST?!/"

Mara turned around. Her eyes betrayed a more somber look now, their
malevolence gone. "Yes, a test."

"/You fucking bitch!/" Richie bellowed, wiping at his eyes. "You ...
y-you made me get my Mom hurt! You ...!"

He took a leap towards Mara, his eyes filled with rage and pain. Jason
grabbed him and held him back. "No, wait, Richie, you don't know the
whole story!"

"Get off me!" Richie said through clenched teeth, flailing his arms and
breaking away from Jason. "You don't know what she did, what she made
me do!"

"I made you do nothing!" Mara declared, stepping up to him. "I made
none of you do anything. I let you have a taste of this power, and you
did as you willed with it. I made no decisions for you. Just like you
made the decision now to refuse it."

"Why did you do this?" Melinda cried in anguish. "Why did you let us
have it the first place? Why did you put us through this? Why?!"

Heather put a hand on Melinda's shoulder, lightly, not sure if Melinda
would just shrug it off. She didn't.

"Easy, Melinda," Heather said in a softer voice. She gave Mara an icy
look. "But I want to know, too. What the fuck was all this about, huh?"

"Jason knows," Melinda sobbed. "But I wouldn't listen to him."

"I-I don't know the whole thing," Jason said. He looked towards Mara.
"I just know you're Mara Sanders, right? And Mara Lake."

Mara nodded, a sad look on her face. "Or, I /was/ Mara Lake. I'm sure
Elizabeth told you when she 'died'."

"Yes, she did."

Mara gave him a wan smile. "Congratulations, Jason. You're the first
one that's gone through this test that bothered to try to find out
anything at all about this house. You're the first not to accept it at
face value."

Jason's pride was tempered by the memory of some of the awful things he
did to grab the power for himself, even after learning all that.

"Well, someone explain it to me!" Richie demanded.

"Jason, tell them what you know, and I will take it from there."

Jason nodded, feeling a little nervous with all eyes on him. "Well, um
... I know that Mara ... uh, that's her ... was kidnapped by some guy
that was called The Loner back 1956. He ... he did something to her.
I'm not sure what. I think it was something similar to what we've been
doing ... what Mara did to us."

Jason was unable to say this last part without bitterness in his voice
and a brief glare at Mara. She accepted it and just nodded once.
"You're right so far, Jason. Go on."

"This guy, The Loner, I think he might have ... have kept Mara like a
slave. He killed himself in 1965. He had killed some woman, and the
cops were going to arrest him, but he shot himself first. Then Mara
moved into this very house in 1967, and ... uh ... d-died in 1969."

Several of the others visibly shuddered, and looked at Mara with a
flicker of renewed fear in their eyes.

"Mara was friends with a woman named Elizabeth Jellison," Jason said.
"She was ... is, rather ... a witch. I talked to her last weekend. She
told me all this, though I didn't understand all of it, and there's
still parts I don't get."

Heather looked shocked. "Wait, you don't mean that ... that Mara was a
slave for ..."

"Nine years?" Mara said, her eyes growing icy. "Yes, Heather, that's
exactly what he's saying. Nine years. Remember how you felt when you
started coming out of the control? Imagine what it feels like to have
that happen after /nine years/."

"Oh my God," Melinda whimpered, sniffling back tears.

"And you were going to do that to us!" Richie screeched.

"Only if you did not turn away from it!" Mara shot back. "And you would
have deserved it if you did not! No one should have that power! I have
lost count of the number of people that have come through this house
and were all too eager to take it."

"And you just /give/ it to them?!"

"Yes, I give it to them! It keeps them out of the way. Let them revel
in their perversion. Otherwise, they may seek it themselves, and do as
the Loner did. I was one of five girls. Five. His own little harem. A
harem of mindless sex slaves."

"I still don't understand all of this!" Richie exclaimed.

"Neither do I," Jason admitted. "I don't know how the Loner did it, or
how Mara came to be ... well, tied to the house."

"I want to know, too," Heather demanded. "I want to know the whole
thing."

"Tell us!" Melinda piped. "Why did we have to go through all this
shit?!"

"I will do better than that," Mara said. She stepped away from them and
towards the room. "I will show you."

She brought her hands up and opened her arms before her.

At once, the room shimmered and changed.
<1st attachment end>


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