By Karen Singer
Chapter 35 – Part 2 of 2
Every single store. Every department in every single store. Every part of every department in every single store. Paying the most attention to, and lingering the longest in the feminine areas far more than anything else. Examining feminine things. Touching feminine things. Trying feminine things…especially every sample in the mall. And everywhere they went, Steve garnered looks that ranged from outright amusement, to spiteful hate. Yet there wasn’t one thing he could do about any of it. And then they stopped for lunch – long after most other people had already eaten. That was the only thing so far that Steve had to open his purse for and pull out any money. He couldn’t believe it.
His feet were sore and tired. Diane was wearing flats. Her feet weren’t sore, so she claimed, but she did say she was tired. “So take me home!” he flat out told her.
“I can’t. You drove!”
“Then where’s my car?”
“Outside. In the parking lot.”
“Bullshit!” he muttered. He had already searched the entire parking lot, all the way around the humongous mall. His car wasn’t there! Instead he and Diane had looked at makeup. Squirted themselves with perfume samples. Smelled candles. Fondled millions of miles of clothes. Tried on clothes – himself included because every time he tried to not do it, his back began that horrible itching the witch had plagued him with in Saint Thomas. The damn witch.
Monica just refused to back off…much to Diane’s delight. For much of the day now, he and Diane had gone from one feminine thing to another, looking at this and that, and also passing through every department in every store, including the places that sold things he would have normally been interested in seeing.
And then, just as Steve finally began to get his breath after half a day of shopping, his eyes went wide again as his body seemed to get up by itself from their lunch table in the food court, and carry him right back out into the mall to start all over again.
“Where are you going?”
“I don’t know!” Steve exclaimed angrily. “My damn body is just going again.”
Diane was tired, but she followed after him. It really had turned out to be a fairly nice day…sort of. If Steve had been a woman, she would have really enjoyed it. But she had still actually enjoyed it – a lot. But then that was because of her dominant side that liked to be exercised and tickled every once in a while. She still just wished that the other side of her could get some attention too.
“Damn! Not again,” Steve exclaimed. “We’ve already been in this store.”
“Twice!” Diane pointed out.
It did no good. Under Karen’s instructions to keep Steve out and in the public eye for as long as possible, and looking at feminine things as much as possible, she once again began leading him through every store in the mall.
Diane’s cell phone rang. As tired as she was, she pulled it from her purse. “Hello?”
“Are you with Steve?”
Diane recognized Monica’s voice. “Oh yeah!” she said. “I’m still here. Exhausted, but still here. Where are you?”
“In the parking lot, hoping Steve is still there. Carla and I both came.”
“We’re upstairs right now,” Diane told them. Try finding us in some of the little stores near the food court.”
“Be there as quick as we can.”
“Don’t hurry,” Diane told them. “I don’t think we’re leaving here for a long time yet.” She heard Monica laugh as she hung up the phone. Now where was Steve? Oh there, looking at lipstick…again.
It was fifteen minutes before Carla and Monica caught up with them, and when they did, they were treated to the sight of Steve seeming to be all too interested in a display of costume jewelry. Diane was right at his side, discussing some of it with him. “How’s it going?” Monica asked as she and Carla made their presence known. Monica immediately noted the look of pure hatred on Steve’s face.
“Pretty good,” Diane told her. “It’s just been a long day.”
“So leave,” Monica suggested.
“I can’t. I came with him.”
“Why? You knew he was going to be here a while.”
“Yeah. And I’m staying.”
Monica shrugged. “Suit yourself. We just came to see what he was up to.” Again she noted the look of pure hate in Steve’s eyes.
“We’re just shopping,” Diane said. “Not buying anything. But still shopping. Pretty hard actually.” She smiled. “For a lot of it, it’s been a pretty nice day…if you don’t count the way everyone has been looking at us and laughing at him.”
“You’re the one who rode with him.”
“I know. And I’m still glad I did.”
Diane nodded, and her eyes lit up bright and excited. She pulled Monica and Carla further away from Steve and whispered, “I talked to the Sorceress today. It was…awesome!” she breathed.
“You what?” Carla exclaimed.
Diane nodded. “Shh! Don’t let him know!”
“Don’t…” Monica stammered. “Where was she? Is she still here?”
“I thought she was somewhere far away,” Carla added.
Diane nodded. “She was here, but she wasn’t. She was…I guess, controlling Steve from wherever she is. When I talked to her, she said Steve was sound asleep and still thinking he was in bed.”
“Sounds all wrong,” Carla muttered.
Diane shook her head. “But it wasn’t! And when she woke Steve up and he saw where he was and what was going on…oh wow what a commotion. It was…awesome!”
“So she’s like, gone now?” Carla asked skeptically.
Diane shook her head. “I don’t think she’s completely gone. I keep seeing little signs of her at work all day long. She keeps making Steve do things he doesn’t want to do…”
“Bullshit!” Carla exclaimed, not believing it.
“…and making him go places he doesn’t want to go,” Diane finished. She looked between Monica and Carla. “Trust me! I’ve been watching him closely all day!”
“Did you try talking to her again?” Monica asked skeptically.
“Just once. I got no response at all. I was only talking to Steve and nobody else.”
“Sounds weird,” Carla said.
“Sounds impossible,” Monica added.
Diane nodded. “Just like everything else she’s always done. Weird…and impossible.”
The way Diane had said that, both Monica and Carla could only agree.
“So how much longer are you going to be here?”
“No idea,” Diane told them. “I’m just waiting to see. Are you joining us?”
“That’s what we’re here for,” Monica agreed with a grin.
They walked back over to where Steve was now hanging a colorful necklace over his head and looking in a mirror to see how it looked. As far as Monica was concerned, he looked…ridiculous. And Monica noted that he looked that way despite the cute dress he was wearing. She saw him turn his head. He seemed to be acting one way, but the look on his face and especially in his eyes was nothing but pure hatred – still. And she watched as his body seemed to remove the necklace, replace it with another one, and then go back to arranging it and primping in the mirror. Strange. And weird! Maybe there was something to what Diane had just told them.
“How’s it going?” Monica asked Steve directly, not only noting the look of hatred still in his eyes, but also getting quite a bit of satisfaction from it.
“How much longer do I have to endure this…torture?” Steve asked angrily. “How much more of this do I have to take?”
“But Steve. It looks like you’re having a great time.”
“I…hate this!” he spat angrily.
Monica and the others watched as he picked up a hair decoration and held it on top of his head, and looked at himself in the mirror again. It was one of the strangest things any of them had ever seen. The look on his face said one thing. The words that left his mouth agreed. But his actions were just the opposite.
Together, they all finished going around the mall again. And then at Carla’s suggestion, they all managed to stop in a nice Italian restaurant in the mall for dinner. It was a much welcomed relief for Diane, and especially Steve. But once dinner was over, once again Steve was driven to go back out and shop, nearly leaving everyone else behind as Karen literally walked him out of the restaurant when the others wanted to stay.
Monica and Carla only stayed a few more minutes with Steve and Diane. Since there didn’t seem to be any point in them staying longer, they left, telling Diane they couldn’t wait to get the full story from her on Monday.
Once again, Steve and Diane continued going through the same places they had visited multiple times throughout the long day. They kept shopping until nearly eight thirty when some of the stores in the mall began getting ready to close. That was when Steve suddenly turned to Diane and said, “I think it’s time to go back to the car and go home.”
Diane was caught off guard. But she noticed immediately the change in Steve’s tone of voice, as well as his manner. “Sorceress?” she whispered.
But Steve immediately turned away and began heading for the parking lot. Steve, listening in, never really caught what Diane had said since she had barely whispered the word, but he didn’t miss the fact that his body had said it was time to go home. That witch Monica was long gone now. She must have finally decided it was enough. It was about time! Way, way past time. Somehow, someday, someway, he was going to kill her for this. For this and so many other atrocities she had done to him. Somehow. Someway.
Steve was so glad to get back outside into the parking lot, even though he wasn’t in control of his body…again. But his body seemed to be taking him somewhere that obviously led directly to the cars ahead. He and Diane entered a row of cars and kept walking, passing perhaps half a dozen cars, when his body suddenly stopped. And stood there. And Steve realized he was looking at his own car. “My car!” he exclaimed, staring at it with disbelief.
“Um…yeah,” Diane replied.
“But…it’s right there!”
“That’s where you parked.”
“But it wasn’t here earlier. I looked. I walked through the whole parking lot looking for it.”
“Well, it was right here where you left it,” Diane replied.
Steve shook his head. “I don’t believe you.”
Diane shrugged. “Suit yourself. Now are we going home?”
The ride back to Steve’s apartment was mostly silent. Diane could see that Steve was still angry, but at least he wasn’t yelling or complaining anymore. She was also very sure that this time it was Steve who was driving and not the Sorceress. In fact, as far as she could tell, now that Steve was going home, all traces of the Sorceress seemed to be gone. Which was kind of a pity, because Diane would have really liked to talk to her again.
As Steve drove, Diane did her best to study him. It had been a very interesting day. One she had actually enjoyed. It was all just a shame. “How bad was it?” she finally asked softly.
Steve turned his head quickly towards her, the angry look back in his eyes, then he turned back to the road again. “Awful! I hated it! I could kill all of you!”
Diane fervently hoped he wouldn’t be able to. She had no doubt that he did want to kill them – including her. “You know,” she said. “I enjoyed it.”
“You would! You witch!”
Diane had no doubt she deserved that comment. She ignored it. “That’s not what I meant,” she said. She saw him look briefly towards her, then away again. “What I meant is that…well, if you didn’t look so…ridiculous, then we could have been nothing more than two girlfriends out shopping for the day. And that’s mostly what it was. Two friends out shopping.”
“I’m not a girl. And I’m not a friend!”
“I know,” Diane replied softly. She took a big chance. “But Steve…I’d like to be your friend.”
Steve nearly wrecked the car. Fortunately, there were no other cars around him at the time and he soon had things under control again. “It sure doesn’t look like it to me. No friend would do what you do to me. A friend would help me instead.”
But Diane saw things differently. “I don’t know,” she replied. “Maybe some friends might do things like that to you…or with you.”
“Not in my book!”
“No,” Diane replied sadly. “I’m sure.” But in her book, they were the kind of things that added the only real bits of interest to her life. Steve just couldn’t see that…yet.
“I’d still like to be your friend,” she said.
“Then stop doing this to me! Stop it, you witch!”
“I’m not a witch!” she told him.
Was he right? Was she close enough? But… “I’m not a witch,” she said again.
“No. Maybe not. But you are Monica’s friend. And there’s no way you can tell me that she’s not a witch. And a damn powerful one.”
Diane could have told him. She could have set the record straight. But it was for their own protection and safety that Steve had to believe Monica was a witch. He was supposed to believe they were all witches – for their own safety. But Diane was still hung up on Steve. And since the Sorceress refused to make him love her, then she was doing the only thing she could. She was trying to be his friend instead.
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It had been a long and wonderful day for Karen. Difficult at times, but she thought she had handled everything brilliantly. At least as far as she was concerned. And poor Steve, he had been tormented endlessly for the entire day. She could still feel his seething hatred for all of it as he went about getting ready for bed…driven by thoughts of exhaustion that Karen herself was feeding him.
But as Steve did this and that in his apartment, slowly settling down for the night, Karen was still remembering things from the day. And especially things that Diane had said. She said she wanted to be a friend. But a friend was…. Her mind turned immediately to Saint Thomas…and Ellie. She still missed her. Somewhat at least. But Ellie and Mandy had been like friends in a way. Girlfriends. And Karen had actually enjoyed that. Especially since they didn’t seem to mind poking fun at Steve in the least.
And now here was Diane, asking to be her friend…no, Steve’s friend! Diane knew nothing at all about Karen living inside of Steve, and Karen knew without a doubt that things had to stay that way! It was more than important. It was critical! But still, would Diane make a good friend? As far as Karen could see, she might make a very good friend. Especially since she did have that dominant side where she liked to tie Steve up and be in control.
But to have a friend. An actual friend. Karen wondered how she could manage that and not let Diane know anything at all about her real nature. It would be difficult. Maybe impossible. And maybe it was something she could ask Susan about.
Once Steve settled down in bed. Karen immediately put him fully to sleep. She got up and logged into their computer and started a new email to Susan. She told Susan in detail everything that had happened all day, and especially about Diane. Including about Diane wanting to be a friend. And…was there any way that Susan could see, that Karen herself might one day have a friend?
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Diane had driven straight home. But her thoughts refused to leave Steve. It had been a long and tiring day…especially for him. She had no doubt he had hated every bit of it. But this time it wasn’t Monica or any of them that had been punishing Steve, this time it had been the Sorceress. Diane had only gone along to watch. This time, it had been the Sorceress’s turn.
The Sorceress. So powerful. She was…awesome! It was the only way Diane could think of her. And she had talked to the Sorceress…sort of…this morning. She had actually spoken to her! She was somewhat awed by that as well. But the Sorceress, as powerful as she was, wouldn’t grant the one thing that Diane wanted. The Sorceress had refused to make Steve love her.
Diane remembered the long day now behind her, and she remembered a few weeks ago when poor Steve had been forced to play puppy for the entire weekend. She had enjoyed that a lot. But there was one small part of that weekend that she would never forget. For that one brief evening, she had let Steve tie her up and have his way with her. And it had been…magical.
Magical. Magic. Witches. Sorceress.
Yearning. Submitting. Trusting. Loving.
Diane wanted the magic again. Firing up her old used secondhand computer, she dug an email address out of her purse. An email address that was nothing but a bunch of random letters and numbers…as far as she could see. An email address that held no clue as to who the owner actually was. The email address of the Sorceress.
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With the time zone difference, it wasn’t all that late when Susan got Diane’s email. She was surprised to see it mostly because she was still waiting to hear from Karen. But what she read, raised her eyebrows.
It was awesome to see you at work today, and even more so to actually talk to you! I still can’t believe it!
Sorceress, I know you said you wouldn’t make Steve love me. But I still want him. And I can’t stop thinking about him. So if you won’t let him love me, then I’m still going to try to be his friend – as much as he’ll let me anyway. I know he doesn’t want me for a friend, and in many ways I guess I can’t blame him.
Please don’t worry though. I have no intention of telling him anything at all about you. And after watching you at work on him today, I’m more amazed at what you can do than ever.
But Sorceress, since you won’t make Steve love me, then I have another request. A much smaller one. And please consider this – for my sake.
I want to do things with Steve again. You already know I like to be dominant sometimes. But I also told you I yearn for someone to dominate and control me. Sorceress, especially since we’re talking about Steve, I need some kind of assurance that if I let him tie me up somehow, that I will be safe and that he will eventually release me. I know he’s not supposed to be able to hurt me, but I also need to know that he won’t just leave me there helpless, to rot and die.
Please consider doing this one tiny thing for me Sorceress. Please.
Susan read though Diane’s email twice. What had gone on? She couldn’t wait to get Karen’s email. She checked her inbox one more time, and was surprised to see another email coming in just then. From Karen! She quickly opened it and read it. It was a lengthy email detailing their entire day, including Diane. But the parts that caught Susan the most, was Karen wondering about a friendship with Diane. How would that work? How could that work? Susan herself wasn’t sure if it should work. But Karen was her surrogate daughter. Karen had been so good. And evidently Karen herself had managed brilliantly today. Susan would go through Karen’s detailed email again later to try to relive as much of it as possible for her own enjoyment.
Diane wanted Steve to be her friend and she wanted assurances that he wouldn’t leave her stranded. Karen wanted a friend.
Susan’s ignored Diane’s email that had come in first and wrote to Karen instead.
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Karen had wandered around the apartment for a few minutes, only waiting to see if Susan would get back to her before tomorrow. Sometimes she did, sometimes she didn’t. Fifteen minutes after sending the email, Karen checked again and saw a reply. A reply asking her to phone Susan so they could talk.
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Diane settled down in bed. But her mind was still on her day with Steve, and the email she had sent to the Sorceress. Giving up one more time, she got up to check to see if there was a reply yet…not that she really expected one. She was just anxious and hoped there would be. She was thrilled to see a reply – already!
I cannot make Steve want to be your friend. I’m afraid you’ll have to earn that. But I have a feeling it may not be as difficult as you may think. At this point I’m quite sure he needs a good friend.
I have only one request. As you said, please don’t let Steve know anything at all about me. That’s all I ask.
Now, as to him not leaving you helpless, that much I have now taken care of. Please don’t make any more requests like that of me. They are not as easy to manage as you may think.