Surprisingly, it didn’t take long for the novelty of Heather to wear off—for both of us. She’d been a guest and playmate (and frequent plaything) for the first three weekends after her brainwashing, but the constant indulgence of our fetishes lessened their impact, and so we left Heather to her own devices after about a month-and-a-half, preferring to spend our sexual time exclusively with each other. I was relieved that Debbie had shown no further signs of interest in mind control lessons, and she seemed to have even forgotten that she had the power of command. When I asked her about it, she simply said, “It was—fun. I can’t deny that. But what I’ve learned doesn’t do me much good—it takes too long to brainwash someone, and as far as getting sexual kicks—I have you and Heather, and neither of you need mind control. I use it at the grocery store to get the butcher to give me the best cuts of meat in the shop, to get apologies from rude people, and that’s about it. Besides, it’s not the kind of thing I really want to advertise.”
A small part of me played the doubting skeptic, wondering if she was having a field day with her power and using it to mask my knowledge of her activities without my knowing it, but then I looked at her. My wife, the honest, simple girl at heart, without the slightest hint of deception in her bearing. I slammed a straitjacket on my suspicious thoughts and locked them away, determined to take her word for it.
“I think I’m gonna go back to work next week,” Debbie declared one night at dinner. She had increasingly played the role of a prototypical stay-at-home wife over the previous month, keeping house and having dinner ready for me each night after work. She had also started to watch our finances closely, even to the point where she declined an evening out and away from the kitchen. I asked her if she really wanted to go back to her old company. “A part of me would,” she said, “but I know I have no chance. There’s no way Dickface would let me get past HR. I meant back to the Caston Company—you know, where I was doing data entry part time.”
I didn’t make a noise. I was too shocked to say anything, and it was all I could do to keep my face neutral. I didn’t know if I succeeded. My brain was spinning and my world along with it. Mr. Scary hadn’t faded away—he had just gone directly to the source. I hoped that Debbie wasn’t controllable, and that Mr. Scary hadn’t found out about her new power. “The money would help, and I’m going crazy being cooped up in the apartment all day,” Debbie continued, incorrectly interpreting the reluctance behind my silence. “It’s enough money to ease the crunch.” She walked over to me and licked my ear, sultrily breathing, “I’ll even take you out to Peterson’s if you say yes—and I’ll smoke cigars for you… all night.”
I felt a big surge of blood at the thought, and saw the inviting, seductive smile on my wife’s face. It was going to be impossible to say no without spilling the beans. I asked her if she thought they would have an opening, even though I knew the answer. “Oh yeah. I'd be testing some new medical equipment stuff for them along with the data entry now. Being a guinea pig for them pays really well—much better than just data entry.”
I finally found my voice. “Do you know if this involves any injections or drugs?”
“Oh no,” Debbie waved dismissively. “They hook me up to a bunch of electrodes and stuff like that, and they take some blood and do an MRI every so often.”
“Every so often?” I peeped, trying to maintain my cool and failing by degrees. “When was the last time you worked for them?”
“I went back to them when I walked out on you. Even though I was living at home, my mom and dad weren’t going to pay for my clubbing.” She blushed. “And I thought I was going to start my life without you, so I needed to make money. It doesn’t hurt or anything,” she said, trying to reassure me, but also with a note of puzzlement in her voice, signaling that my passive resistance had reached its limit. I gave in, encouraging her with dread, and once again, I was in constant fear of the shadow man.
Debbie’s first full-time week passed without incident. Mr. Scary had not attempted to contact me and she showed no signs of change. On the other hand, would I even hear the kill shot? He finally had her, and I was now a liability to his operation. As much as my wife’s mood had improved with her return to a paying job, mine deteriorated. Paranoia will do that to a person. It was inevitable that Debbie would notice, and she put two-and-two together very quickly. “What is it about my going back to work?” she asked me one Saturday morning before we got out of bed. “I know it’s not that you think women should be in the home—you didn’t support my MBA for me to bake cookies all day. The pay is good and the work is easy. I like it, and I work the same hours that you do, so it’s not keeping us apart. But ever since I went back—even since I brought it up—you’ve been acting weird. No, it’s more than that—you’ve been weirded out.”
I said something about being preoccupied at work. Debbie shot that down immediately. “Bullshit. Work pressure affects you in a totally different way. No, it’s almost like you’re afraid of something. Is there something about my job that you don’t like? Does all the medical stuff make you nervous? I’m not getting massive doses of radiation or anything, and I haven’t had a headache in months. I told you that it’s not a tumor.” I reiterated the same line, and after trying for a half-hour, Debbie gave up on making me crack. Or so I thought. We spent our Saturday shopping and doing laundry, nothing special.
We were folding clothes when Debbie said, “Y’know, it really sucks to be with you when you’re like this. I want you to be the same guy I fell in love with, and right now, you’re not him.” I looked at her with surprise. “I’m getting a vibe from you that I don’t understand. You’ve been jumpy all day, and you’ve been afraid of me for the past two weeks. What gives, Ray? C’mon, out with it.”
“Nothing, Debbie,” I insisted. “It’s just that—there’s some shit going down at work right now,” I lied. “I can’t really talk about it.”
“It is something,” she argued, “and I want to know what it is.” I braced myself for the pressure in my head and chest. It must have been obvious, because Debbie deflated and stated, “No, I’m not going to, Ray. I promised that I would not use it on you for things like this, and I meant it. I hope you’ll tell me at some point, because I’m starting to worry about you,” she finished, obviously frustrated, but amazingly committed to her earlier promise. I felt rotten, but there was no way I could ever reveal the secret behind our lives that if exposed, would likely be fatal to both of us.
She didn’t bring the subject up during the next week, although she let me know that she wasn’t happy: our bed was colder than I could ever remember it being. I hadn’t reached sleeping on the couch stage yet, but all indications were that I would wind up there if something didn’t change soon.
Debbie was already home when I arrived Friday after work. I asked her how her day was. She handed me a glass of wine to match hers as I joined her on the sofa. “Fine,” she replied. After a long, awkward silence, she sighed, “I can’t do this being mad at you thing. We’ve got to come up with some resolution that doesn’t involve me forcing you to tell me the truth by mind controlling you. Chocolate-covered strawberry?”
I accepted the sweet and carefully replied, “I’m really sorry Debbie, but if you ever trusted me for anything, trust me for this one thing. I just can’t tell you,” with as much sincerity as I could muster. “It isn’t because I don’t want to, but because it is in our best interests that I don’t.”
“Whatever it is, it must be a doozy after all that we’ve been through,” she muttered. “Well, then do you want to have a make-up dinner at Peterson’s tonight? I think our finances are off the critical list now.” I smiled, relieved that she had finally seemed to have acquiesced, and eager to spend some quality time with my wife. Debbie bounced up and smiled, “Well then, I’m going to go change from lab rat to hot’n’sexy wife for ya.” She happily danced into the bedroom and shut the door. I waited for her to get as pretty as she wanted to be for me, feeling a little bit of a stir below at the thought.
The bedroom door opened and I heard Debbie say, “You understand what you are to do.” I turned to see her leading Heather into the hallway by the pendant and her thrall’s blank, “Yes, Mistress” sent a surprisingly strong surge to my cock. “What are your commands?”
“I-must-suck-my-master’s-cock,” was the entranced reply. Led by my wife, and obviously fascinated by the pendant, Heather zombie walked towards me.
“Debbie!” I protested, shocked, despite the continued rapid inflation of my cock. I stood up as quickly as I could without hurting myself, thinking, this is not what I had in mind for tonight.
“Oh, sit down and take your pants off, Ray,” Debbie offhandedly said, smiling. My legs gently folded, I sat, and my hands started to do her bidding. “I have ways of making you talk,” she purred, “and by the end of the night, I’m going to know everything I want to know without breaking my promise.” I looked down at my rigid cock. “Very potent strawberry,” Debbie giggled, turning her attention to Heather as both women knelt at my feet. “Heather, the pendant holds your thoughts, and my voice is your thoughts. You will obey me.”
“Yes, Mistress. Your voice is my thoughts. I will obey you,” she tonelessly responded. Her obvious entrancement sent more blood rushing into my cock.
“Now, slave, give your master the best blowjob you have ever given in your entire life,” commanded Debbie, and Heather began to obey. Debbie slowed her by recapturing her attention with the pendant. “As you continue to watch the pendant, you will go deeper and deeper into mindless trance and you will feel an orgasm build. Watching the pendant will make the orgasm build stronger and stronger, but you will only cum when you have swallowed your master’s cum.”
It was a fascinating, hypersexual scenario that Debbie had created. Heather tried to keep her focus on the pendant, but the building orgasm forced her to close her eyes as the pleasure made her gasp and whimper. At the same time, she forced her own orgasm to back away as she concentrated on drawing my own, her hand rubbing the base while her mouth and tongue swirled and slid all over my cock. Heather opened her mouth, and plunged towards the root of my cock, her tongue lapping the underside of its root, and she drooled, holding her position like an X-rated sword-swallower. She would come up gasping for air, and then gasp in heat as the pendant would catch her eye, and she would resume her needful, exquisite oral attentions.
My hips began to move and I started making noises as her mouth made my cock increasingly sensitive, and Debbie moved the pendant directly in front of Heather’s face as she worked on me. Both Heather and I began to get louder. Seeing such a hypnotized, fascinated stare interrupted with orgasmic eye rolling and a mind control commanded blowjob… I sighed, loud, and deliriously happy, and the first volley surged through my cock, filling Heather’s mouth. She gulped, and then her eyes shot wide open with a muffled, “MMMMFFFFF!” I fucked at her mouth again, shooting more cum into it. Heather couldn’t keep going as my cock popped out of her mouth and she wailed, eyes fixed on the pendant, a vision that made me snort as the pressure built deep inside, and then I felt another hand wrap around my hardness and something soft and wet touched the tip—! Debbie smiled, self-satisfied, yet sultry as I grunted and my hips thrust forward again, deep in the throes of my own intense orgasm. A touch of impish glee appeared on my wife’s face as our eyes met, her tongue appearing, but not touching for an eternity until it flicked across the rim of my now-super-sensitive member. I made an animalistic noise, and reality twisted.
I don’t know how long it was before I regained the ability to speak, but Heather was sprawled out across the carpet, barely moving. “D-D-Debbie,” I pleadingly gasped, “I can’t tell you.”
“Oh, I didn’t expect you to tell me after that,” she smiled. “Go get cleaned up. There’s a lot more to come, and a lot more cumming in store.” I groaned, but complied, well aware that one way or another, I would be dining at Peterson’s with Debbie.
And Heather. After I had finished cleaning up, Debbie ran her hand between Heather’s legs and the resulting wet, fragrant fingers under my nose. “She’s going to be soooo much fun tonight,” my wife cooed, and my cock responded. Debbie got our slave cleaned up, released her from thrall, and the three of us headed off to Peterson’s Steak House for a late dinner. My wife suggested that we go listen to music at the cigar and martini bar after dessert. Before I could beg off citing fatigue, Heather enthusiastically agreed. “Remember, we don’t want her to know that she’s been—tampered with. It should seem justifiable to her,” Debbie sweetly whispered as we left the restaurant.
Heather was impressed by the décor and atmosphere, with the jazz band playing quietly, and the tables with groups and couples actively listening or engaged in quiet conversation. Being late arrivals, we had to sit at a secluded table far away from the bandstand. It wasn’t long before Heather was gawking at the five or six women who were smoking cigars. “Don’t stare,” Debbie gently scolded, “this is one of the few places where women can smoke cigars without being stared at.”
Heather blushed. “Sorry… it’s just that—I mean—do you smoke cigars?” Debbie nodded and fondled me under the table. “Of course you do,” Heather rejoined without waiting for an answer, “you smoke Mores. You wouldn’t have a problem smoking cigars in a place like this.” Debbie asked her if she’d ever tried a cigar. “Uh-uh. No way.” We ordered drinks, and then Debbie and I excused ourselves to browse the humidors.
“Ready to tell yet? You can save yourself the torture of waiting because you know you’re going to give in eventually. I promise you’ll get all of this privately if you tell me now,” Debbie asked me inside one of the humidors as she inspected a Padilla Signature 1932 Lancero. “Hmmm… I like this one,” she resumed, half to herself, before looking at me and finishing, “Otherwise…” Heather was putting out her Virginia Slim 120 as we returned, and I said a brief, silent thanks for being spared having to watch her smoke. “Well, before I settle in with this, I’m going to—powder my nose,” Debbie declared. “Heather?” Both women headed to the ladies’ room, giving me ample time to steel myself against my fetish and the Viagra effect.
It took them a while, and the band went on break. I studiously avoided watching any of the female cigar smokers, and thankfully, my cock was deflating. When they returned, Heather sat on one side of me, Debbie the other in the C-shaped booth, and then Heather reached into her purse, removing a Macanudo Portofino cigar tube. “I think I’m ready to try this, Ray,” she purred, eyes narrowed purposefully. “Show me how to do this—” Heather leaned across me, pressing her chest against me, “—mistress,” she finished in a whisper, her eyes suddenly blank and fixed on my wife.
Damn, Debbie’s getting real good at that, I thought. The close up study of enslavement reversed all of my preparations to that point and I was very quickly erect. My wife leaned close, preparing Heather’s cigar before her own, and then counseled a suddenly-cognizant Heather through the proper lighting of a cigar. Once it had been started, my wife whispered something to Heather that I didn’t quite catch, and our slave’s eyes went blank yet again. Obviously entranced, Heather took a big drag, french-inhaling, tilted her head back, and slowly exhaled through her nostrils. She repeated the action twice, the third drag breaking her spell. “Not bad,” Heather said, and then turned to look at me, lust fogging her eyes. So, Ray,” Heather casually offered, her hand meeting my wife’s on top of my trapped, painfully rigid cock, “I understand that you think women who smoke cigars are sexy.” Debbie only smiled, drawing on her own cigar.
Heather rocked easily, smoothly, slowly on top of me, having small orgasms with astounding frequency as I lay on the floor of our apartment. Debbie reclined off to the side, inflammatorily smoking a More through her long holder, while being amazingly detached from her own fetish. “I promised that I wouldn’t use my power on you to make you answer the question, Ray. I didn’t say that I wouldn’t use my power at all,” Debbie said, being disingenuous. The distinction hardly mattered at four in the morning, with me having been energetically fucking and/or licking one or both women for the past three hours as they had been continuously stoking both my fetishes since dinner.
I was on the verge of exhaustion. The combination of Viagra and my wife’s vamping was keeping me physically able, and her manipulation of the situation kept me in a suitable state of willingness. Each twitch of my nuts was increasingly painful. “You know what I want. We can go to bed, and we’ll leave you alone until you say you’re ready,” Debbie purred, slowly, demonstratively french-inhaling before posing for a long oral exhale. “I’m really impressed, though, Ray. I thought you would have cracked when I was licking Heather while she was self-tranced holding the pendant, and you were inside my ass.” The last words were delivered in a sultry, satisfied purr, and my cock surged at the deliciously decadent memory, making my nuts complain again. My wife knelt next to me, holding my head so that I couldn’t look away. “I don’t want you to be so raw that we can’t play for the next month. Why don’t you just—tell me,” she seductively cajoled.
My resistance was failing. I closed my eyes in an effort to stave off my pending ejaculation through force of will. “Ray…” Reflexively, I opened my eyes at Debbie’s soft, sweetly cooed summons, only to see her drag on the holdered cigarette, watching in spite of knowing what it would do to me. She leaned forward and kissed Heather deeply, exchanging smoke. Both women exhaled with dreamy expressions on their faces, and then Debbie held the holder for Heather, who took a drag and repeated the action, sighing, “I obey and adore my mistress.”
My cock surged, my eyes rolled crazily, and I groaned with a mixture of pleasure, pain, and exhaustion as I dribbled into Heather, who continued stimulating me, delaying the brief, welcome refraction that the drugs allowed me. “Just tell me and we’ll stop,” Debbie gently urged, her words and voice continuing to promise me the only thing I wanted in the world and I knew I could trust her because she was my beautiful, sexy, wife who fulfilled my fantasies and shared my hopes and dreams and she just kept talking so sweetly…
I sighed, “Your current boss works for the government and he’s the one that made me mind control you.” Then I passed out.
I opened my eyes to find myself alone on the floor with a pillow underneath my head and a blanket covering me. Sunlight was streaming into the apartment, but I had no sense of time other than that. However, I was very aware that my body hurt, and that my cock was erect again—and tender. “I’m sorry,” came Debbie’s voice before she appeared and sat on the floor next to me. “Oh—sorry,” she said, crushing out her cigarette. “That’s the last thing you need. I haven’t been able to stop smoking since… well…” Now that I looked more carefully, I could see that she’d been crying. “I sent Heather home,” she perfunctorily said. Her voice got small. “I had no idea, Ray. Is it really—?”
“Yes, it’s true,” I sighed in resignation, and proceeded to tell her the whole story, from my unwilling recruitment to my acceptance and exploitation of the situation, including the money they paid me to be her keeper, to the death threat hanging over our heads. I told her how she met her boss in Seattle and didn’t even recognize him, and had been to London under mind control as paid demonstrations of her suggestibility.
“So that’s why we always seemed to have money,” she finally said without any emotion. “So—and I hate to ask this—are you really a draftee, or an agent who got too close? I’m hopelessly in love with you regardless of the answer, and I think you’re in the same shit because it sounds like these guys don’t care if you work for them.”
I had an involuntary flashback of the twin executions from my recruitment. “No, I really am just the guy next door. I surfed the internet for smoking and mind control fetishes, and they used that to blackmail me, along with a death threat. They figured that I was a good fit for this assignment because you apparently had a level of trust towards me, and they believed that I might know something about mind control from my surfing habits. For my part, I did everything I could to stay alive—and to keep them from killing you.” Debbie cocked her head and asked me why they would have killed her. “Because I think you were a mistake. You wound up being part of an experiment that you weren’t even supposed to know existed. Something happened to you while you were entering data, and it turned you into a completely suggestible drone.”
“Just how suggestible was I?” she interrupted, bewildered.
“You would do anything anybody would tell you to, and I mean anything and anybody,” I answered, hoping that she wouldn’t press me for details.
I could see Debbie debate internally before asking, “And somehow you—cured—me of the anybody part, so I would do anything for you and nobody else.”
“That’s what they wanted, and that’s what kept us alive,” I answered. “I could make you do things that you had no conscious knowledge of, and nobody else could make you do anything. I suppose it was dumb luck on my part that I figured out how. They didn’t, and judging by their continued interest, still don’t, have any idea of how to create somebody else like you, but they’d really like to find out.”
My wife lit another cigarette. “So what are we going to do about this?”
“What do you mean, ‘what are we going to do?’ Not let them find out that you know for starters! Remember? Our lives depend on it. I just got started with you, and I don’t want it to end on Monday,” I snapped. “Debbie, these are dangerous people, with no oversight, as far as I can tell. They could kill everybody we know and get away with it.”
Suddenly, I found myself looking at a woman I didn’t recognize. Debbie’s face had gone dark, and she snarled, “Dangerous? They have no idea of dangerous,” her voice soft and full of menace. “I am not going to live in fear of these people for the rest of my life, and neither are you. I am not going to let them hurt me, or anyone I love.” Suddenly she blinked, and put her hand to her head. Debbie whimpered, “Not again,” and fell onto the sofa, unconscious.
I had just picked up the phone to call 911 when I heard Debbie weakly say, “No, Ray. I’m fine… I just have a bit of a headache.” I argued with her and got as far as pressing the “9” button. “No! Don’t call anybody for help!” she hissed. “No more doctors! I’m OK!” The urgency in her voice was accompanied by a sensation of being hit in the chest by a significant weight, and I took a few steps backwards to regain my balance.
It all happened so fast that I wasn’t sure if I had really felt anything. Debbie was ghost-pale, sweating profusely. I looked at the phone, still in my hand, and tried to dial 911 again. My hand froze about a quarter-inch above the keypad. I reached for my cell phone as her eyes fluttered shut again, intending to use voice dial. Every time I tried to say, “9-1-1’, or “911”, or ‘emergency’, or even “help,” words that would have activated the phone to call 911, they stuck in my throat. There wasn’t any pressure or any physical sensation; I just could not make my body do anything that was counter to her command. My heart started racing—Debbie was going to die in the apartment, and in her last cognizant moment, she had essentially barred me from taking any action that might save her life.
Before I could become hysterical, I heard her swallow. “Just—help me—to bed. So I can lie down,” Debbie weakly, haltingly said, one hand to her head. I was too afraid of her to wonder whether she was going to make me do it, or if she even realized what she was doing. Once on the bed, she moaned once, loudly, and passed out a second time.
Even though she was out, any attempt I made at dialing for medical help stalled. Eventually, I stopped trying to fight it, and just stayed awake watching Debbie. She looked exactly like she had during her coma, deathly still and pale. I prayed that it really wasn’t a tumor and that she hadn’t signed her death warrant with her final command.
Debbie opened her eyes shortly after noon on Sunday, moaning, “Ohhh… I feel like shit. Somebody turn off the jackhammer in my head.” She regarded me. “You look like I feel.” I croaked something to the effect that I hadn’t slept, being worried about her and unable to do anything about it. “Sorry,” she apologized, her face screwing in obvious pain. “Hangover from hell.”
“I wish you’d let me—”
“—Shhhhhh. Mustn’t disturb hung-over wife,” she tried to tease. I’m sure that my fear showed, and Debbie slowly turned her head away. “I think you should go get some sleep—but that’s not a command.”
“That’s a good idea,” I replied, and left the bedroom. I called in sick for both of us and had the bright idea of using that to alert someone else to Debbie’s condition. The effort only created an unintentional pause in my words until I crafted a lie to explain why we were missing work. That, I could say.
Debbie was unconscious for much of that week. The only constant was my continued inability to call for help. I watched over her, feeling helpless, unable to sleep for more than an hour at a time. On the rare occasions when I saw her eyes open, they were vacant and unseeing, and it was never long before they would roll back into her head and flutter shut. It frightened me even more that she wasn’t responsive to sound or touch during those times. On Friday afternoon, pushed far beyond the limits of my physical and mental endurance, my vigil reached an unwilling end as I fell asleep on the bed, next to my comatose wife.
Shaking… stop. Sleep. Go away. No. Sleepy… Tired. So tired. Shaking… Blurry… Debbie… Debbie’s singing… “Wake up, sleepyhead.” Soft covers. Sleepy…
“Why is it Saturday?” Debbie loudly asked, jolting me awake. “The last thing I remember is that I woke up hung over on Sunday and you went to sleep! What happened?” She was panicked, asking me to give some definition to the moment so that she could reclaim her sanity, and that realization startled me to complete alertness.
“Debbie! You’re awake! You’re alive!” I said, grabbing her and hugging her ferociously, only partially successful at holding my tears back.
She pulled away, and for an instant she looked at me as if I was just another part of her world gone mad. “What the hell—” She shook her head violently. “Owww… my head… I… I…” I held my breath, waiting for her to pass out again, poised to run for the phone. “Oh my god,” she breathed, as understanding mixed with fear and incredulity, dawned. “It is Saturday. A week later, Saturday.” The room was silent for eons before Debbie softly, and in a very worried voice, asked, “Ray, would you please tell me how I got here?”
The first thing Debbie did was to remove her command preventing me from getting emergency assistance. Now that she was awake, we agreed that there was no need for medical intervention. While my inability to disobey was counter to the way we believed that her powers worked, neither of us was eager to test this seemingly new development. She had apologized profusely for what she had done, locked herself in the bedroom and cried for an hour, come out for lunch and then, in the middle of our painfully artificial attempt at “normal” conversation during the meal, run right back into the bedroom and cried some more.
I had spent all week worrying about her physical condition, and now I was concerned for her psyche as well. I cautiously opened the door. She raised her head to look at me. Her eyes were red, and a large pile of used tissues was on the bed. She sniffled, “I’d really like to be alone right now,” with a plea in her eyes.
“I brought you some more tissues,” I said, equally soft, proffering the box. She giggled, despite herself, and I continued, “And I’d really like to stay with you.”
“Did I command you to do that? I don’t know any more, I can’t remember anything, I can’t control this power and—” Debbie’s self-flagellation ended in a burst of tears.
“You are my wife,” I quietly said, putting an arm around her. She stiffened at my touch. “I loved you when the only thing you could command was my heart, I love you now, and even if you are using your power, you haven’t changed anything.” She melted into my arms and cried, holding onto me for her life.
When she had calmed down a little, she said, “I swear I’m going to make this up to you.” I shrugged, indicating that I felt she owed me no such obligation. She winced. “And these headaches have got to go.” Debbie put up her hand and said, “I’m fine right now, Ray.” The strength in her voice put me at ease. “Besides, I’m not so sure that it’s such a good idea to call for help now that I know everything—but if I pass out again, call an ambulance. This has got to stop sooner or later.”
That placid declaration slowly dissolved into anger over the next twenty-four hours. As Sunday progressed, Debbie’s acceptance of her condition and our situation was waning, while my soft counter-reasoning became less and less effective over the course of the day as well. By Sunday night, she was once again completely outraged over what had been done to her, and her headache seemed to have faded to a background annoyance.
Instead, the extreme emotional agitation that seemed the most proximate trigger for her previous collapse was once again on display, putting me in the uncomfortable position of arguing to maintain the status quo in hope of preventing a recurrence. “…They’ll find us anywhere we move, kill us and anyone we talk to if we expose them… there’s no way to stop them,” I quietly, but desperately, appealed. We’d been discussing—everything for at least three hours, me continually pressing the point that the best possible outcome of all this would be that Mr. Scary would let us live without interference, while she insisted on making him and his organization pay for what they’d done.
Finally, Debbie took a deep, loud breath and looked at me. I recognized the gaze and the stranger behind it. “Ray… I love you, but this is going to stop,” she firmly said. I took a breath to press my argument against whatever she was thinking about, hoping to get the stranger to return my wife to me. “And I can see you’re just going to get in the way,” she sighed in frustration. I heard her say, “Good night, sweet prince,” and blackness enveloped me.