Differences

[mc, mf, hy]

((The following piece is more of an emotional mind-control ride than an erotic one. It probably won’t be to the liking of the majority of people because of that, but I enjoyed writing it. We all need to explore different avenues of creativity every once and while. For me, this is one of them.))


Brandon couldn’t believe his luck. It was finally happening! After weeks of contradictory flirting signs with the new neighbour—where the only thing that kept him going was his own self-confidence and pride—he had finally been given the green light to cross one of the most important thresholds leading to a woman’s panties: her doorstep. The invitation was clear and intentional, sexily purred with the intensity of foreplay. After the words: “I have something I’m dying to show you… Come to my place after four p.m.” glided down his ear canals mixed in with a bit of saliva and the tip of a tongue, the hunger for sex immediately came to life and his body entered in auto-pilot mode eager to fulfil its destiny of pleasure.

He didn’t know much about Carla, except she was an Italian bombshell who had travelled to the States in the hope of internationally expand her modelling career. There was no doubt the girl had the looks to be successful with her flowing blond hair, honey-coloured eyes, perfectly round, young breasts and a devastating smile that could make anyone’s jaw drop if stared upon for too long. Oh, and let’s not forget the long, winding legs. Every time he saw her walking down the street, hips swaying as if she was on top of a runway, all sorts of pre-seminal fluids came rushing in and on more than one occasion he had to change his pants to avoid being mocked about. For as long as he could remember women had always been able to tease him, but this one certainly did it more than anyone else. Whether that was a good thing or not it was something that didn’t bother him if he got what he bargained for in the end.

The moment he reached her house and rang the bell was one of undeniable enthusiasm. A couple of hours had already gone by since the erotic incentive and, during that timeframe, it had been real tough for him to think about anything else than the prospect of seeing her naked and thrusting his manhood all the way down her dripping pussy. Yet, this riding mood of his, soon met a series of unforeseen obstacles that began presenting themselves the moment she opened the door.

For starters, she was overly dressed. That wouldn’t have been that much of a deal if the clothes were tight enough to show more of her curves than hiding them from plain view, but that wasn’t the case. The white T-shirt was long, oversized and full of ketchup stains as if she had been eating a dozen hamburgers not so long ago, the jeans revealed no shape or substance with parts of the fabric falling in heaps right before his eyes. Dirty training shoes completed the sloppy combination altogether, but worse than all these elements combined was the fact that…

… she wasn’t wearing any make-up! It was something that shocked his senses, considering he had grown accustomed to seeing her impeccably produced. It was undeniable she still exuded a sense of natural beauty especially around her eyes and lips which could charm many men. Brandon, however, wasn’t part of that group. He was as shallow and superficial as you can expect, a glutton that fed on pin-up imagery, favouring the artificial lights of halogen lamps over the radiance of the sun. The Carla he desired was the construct of fashion, and not the ordinary woman that stood by the entrance and you can be certain that it took no more than a few seconds for his libido to drop like crazy. Chances were that the tendency was to keep on aggravating.

Confronted with the weight of reality, he immediately considered the notion of making up a good excuse to get away from there as soon as possible. Only her open smile stopped him from doing so. Well, that and the fact that she grabbed the collar of his shirt with her right hand, saying:

“Come on in. I’ve been anxiously expecting you!”

Really?! Somehow, he found that hard to believe, but at the time was polite enough not to mention it.

The house was big and cosy, full of light hitting from all angles. Overall, it looked in better shape than the person who owned it, with no dirt or dust anywhere to be seen. Everything was clean and shiny. All things considered, he felt caught in the midst of the weirdest looking contrast he had ever experienced.

“You have a nice place here.” he mumbled whilst purposely avoiding eye contact.

“Thank you. I like a lot too.” Carla said in return as she led him to a nice, comfortable sofa. “Please, take a sit. Can I get you anything?”

“No, thank you.”

He sat down, hands on his knees showing a bit more discomfort than he intended to. She seemed to take no notice of it and promptly left for the kitchen, only to return a moment after holding a jar of lemonade in one hand and two glasses in the other.

“Are you sure? The juice is freshly squeezed…” she insisted with puppy-like eyes. That pitiful expression upon her face made it even harder for him to break the news.

“Actually… I don’t like lemonade.”

“Oh… okay. That’s too bad, but I don’t want to force upon you something you don’t like.”

One didn’t have to be a genius to realize that she was a bit saddened by it all. How would she react if he suddenly told her he had to leave? The woman he wanted wasn’t the one present in that room… His thoughts were selfish and thin and he knew it. At the same time, he was also aware that his visual nature couldn’t be stopped when it was firing in all directions urging him to run off and never look back. His eyes betrayed his thoughts, but this time she perceived it all too well.

“You seem a little upset, Brandon.” Carla suddenly asked as she poured the bittersweet liquid into one of the glasses. “Is everything alright with you?”

“Hmmm… what?! Oh, sorry Carla… My mind drifted elsewhere just like that. Yes, I’m fine, nothing to worry about.”

“You don’t look like you’re fine at all. Why don’t you tell me what’s going on? I’m an excellent listener and I’m also pretty good at giving advices to others, too. Put me to the test, Brandon. I’m sure you won’t regret it!”

“I’ve got nothing to say, really. Don’t sweat it, Carla!”

“You’re the one that’s sweating, dear. I know you’re hiding something from me and, as matter of fact, I’m pretty sure I know what it is already since you’re not even looking me in the eyes when I’m talking to you… It’s the way I look today, isn’t it? You don’t approve… not one bit…”

“You’ve hit the jackpot but if you think I’m going to admit it out loud, you figured everything wrong”, he thought.

Carla leaned towards him and suddenly gave him a very sultry smile that inevitably caused a riot in his pants.

“I’m sure I can take care of that affliction of yours if you just give me a few seconds…” she said disappearing once more, this time into what appeared to be the door of the master bedroom.

Aroused and intrigued, Brandon remained in its place whilst trying to mentally ascertain what she was going to do. His money was on a complete makeover but the bet was lost when she returned with a red velvet-covered portfolio in her hands and sat very close to him, saying:

“Here you go! In here, you’ll find pieces of the most beautiful and sophisticated photo shoots I’ve participated in so far… why don’t we go through them, together? It’s going to be fun, I promise!”

He couldn’t believe it! What was the fun of seeing a sex bomb in pictures and then come to terms with the shoddy figure right next to him? It felt more like some form of torture to his lower brain, the type of which he wasn’t sure he could take for long. He tried to say something in return, but she was already talking again with a glint of happiness in her eyes.

“Look, this is where everything started for me! Let me tell you the story…”

And she talked, and talked, and talked, each page awakening memories of her life, each picture channelling her evolution in the world of fashion. Some of details were interesting enough, but most of them were plain boring for someone who just wanted to get laid. She kept him busy with a few rubs here and there until they reached the final page.

“Ah, this is what I really wanted you to see!” she exclaimed. “Tell me what you think of it.”

Brandon glanced at the two pieces of bright paper where she was portrayed dressed in a sexy red top and matching g-string. They were quite enticing, but he was upset and didn’t even bother to hide it any more.

“They’re two identical pictures next to each other, Carla! What’s there to think about?”

She took a sip of her drink.

“A lot actually because you, like many others, are not seeing the obvious. These pictures aren’t identical, Brandon. The photographer was smart enough to make them just a little bit different. Do you think you can track down the differences? You need to pay close attention to be up to the challenge.”

“What is this, Carla?! Are we playing children’s games, now? I’m sorry, but I’m not really interested!”

She pouted ever so gently like an innocent young girl. However, there was nothing naive about it:

“Not even if I tell you I’ll lose these clothes if you can spot them all? You heard me, Brandon! I know that’s what you want ever since you walked in and I’m willing to indulge you if you just play a little longer with me. I like my teasing games and this is one of my favourites. What do you say? Do we have a deal?”

“You’re actually serious?!”

The vixen in her was revealed when she cooed:

“I’ve never been more serious in my life… This is the final test to see if you and I are in the same league, Brandon! If you pass, I’m all yours and you can useme in whatever way you want for the rest of the afternoon and it doesn’t have to end there, you know?”

Now they were getting somewhere!

“I have to say that’s probably the most bizarre offer I ever received in my life, Carla! You have a more twisted mind than I thought!”

“Yes, I’m full of surprises!” she declared, emptying the glass. “You still haven’t answered my question? Are you in or out?”

“Oh, for a prize like that, believe me I’m definitely in! How many of these differences are, exactly?”

“Hmmm… I’m not going to tell you that. You’re just going to have to figure them all out by yourself. You know what they say: the greater the challenge, the greater the reward…”

“Right. Do I have a time limit as well?”

“I didn’t think of one, but if you insist…”

Brandon eagerly took the red portfolio from her hands.

“No, no, I don’t! I like my odds just the way they are right now, thank you very much!”

“Very well, but I should warn you that if you do end up taking too long I might lose interest and then, even if you win, the experience won’t be as memorable. Make me proud, Brandon!”

“I will, that’s for sure!” he replied, boasting confidence through every pore. There was no way he was going to let that offer pass him by. How hard could it be to uncover the variations in the two images if he looked close enough? He proceeded to find out by shifting all of its attention to them, moving from left to right, right to left….

A minute elapsed and he couldn’t find a thing. After the second, the situation remained the same. Upon reaching the third, he was anything but happy.

“What the hell? There’s really nothing different about them! Is she playing with me again?”

As if she had read his mind, Carla spoke once more:

“What’s the matter? You haven’t seen anything off yet? I’m starting to suspect you’re not even trying!”

“This isn’t as easy as I thought it would be…” he recognized.

“Of course it is if you pay close attention to what you’re doing. I shouldn’t be doing this at all, but I’ll see if I can help you get started. Begin by taking a good look to the image in the left and then move to the one in the right, attentive to every little detail, focusing and defocusing as many times as you need to make sure you see it all… from left to right, right to left … creating a rhythm for the movements in your pupils and then maintaining it steady… Let that same rhythm guide your breathing… harmony of both body and mind is essential to the whole discovery process… breathe in an out as you continue to inspect the images… leftrightleftright…”

Brandon did exactly as he was told but the results were the same. His shoulders stiffened.

“You’re getting impatient and that’s not good, Brandon. You have to keep following the rhythm… It’s still there… in your eyes, in the pictures, in every breath you take… Going with the flow is the right thing to do… left to rightright to left… everything getting clearer as you become progressively more relaxed… relaxation is good… a relaxed mind has a higher degree of probability of finding all of the differences rapidly as opposed to a stressful one… look for them in my long legs or move slightly upwards until you’re obfuscated by the golden beauty of my hair or the enticing red of my sultry outfit. There are so many beautiful things in the images for you to feast your eyes on, so many things you like about me that’s quite easy to slowly drift away… breathing more gently, now… everything slowing down all around… left to rightright to left… good… feel free to wander through every inch of my body… leftrightrightleft…”

He was indeed feeling increasingly relaxed with each passing second. It was difficult not to due to the combination of the sexy pictures and her soothing voice… How she was doing it was something he couldn’t quite grasp, but the feeling was getting more and more enjoyable… It just felt so good to keep staring…

“Yes, Brandon… you are now in unison with the rhythm… leftrightrightleft… hearing my words in a frequency just below the conscious level… leftrightrightleft… they’re travelling into the deep recesses of your mind now and will stay there… leftrightrightleft… you can feel yourself slowly giving in and that sensation excites you… your spirit is like a sugar cube dissolving in a glass of water and you know that once dissolved, it will never regain its initial shape again… Listen to me very carefully… the thought of moving from where you are now has just left you… it’s being replaced by the irresistible desire of staying right there, glued to your seat… lost in the images… lost in my voice… you understand only my words and you accept them as true beyond any doubt… the left hemisphere of your brain no longer works properly and neither does the right… you can no longer act wilfully but only execute my instructions… they are your world, your meaning now… nothing else is real… only me… only obedience… you want to obey, Brandon… Obedience to me is the only thing right for you…”

That made sense, he had to admit. He was so positively at ease now and such a state of utmost tranquillity was to be perpetuated in any way she deemed fit. The more he listened, the deeper he slipped into trance, eyes still open but not seeing anything at all.

“Hmmm, you’re such a good boy, aren’t you? I love good boys, Brandon… Boys that play my games so very easily but fail to grasp their meaning until it’s already too late… Now you’re in a very comfortable state of mind, one in which you will remain until being told otherwise. I’m now going to ask you a series of questions and you’re going to answer them truthfully because you can’t possibly lie to me when you’re this helpless. Did I make myself clear?”

“Yes, you did.” he droned, eyes opened but seeing nothing at all.

“Good. Now, Brandon, you were lying before when you told me you weren’t put off by the way I look today, weren’t you?”

“Yes, Carla. I was.”

“And why was that?”

“Because I enjoy seeing you in sexy outfits and wearing make-up. I’m sorry, but natural-looking women just don’t work for me in any way…”

“You should be sorry indeed because natural is beautiful as well. What you just said just shows me the objectifying vision you have of women. Has it ever occurred to you that I presented myself to you like this to study your reactions? To find out exactly in what light you saw me?”

“No, never… I just assumed you weren’t that interested…”

She kept pushing him with questions.

“Interested in what, Brandon? In having sex with you?”

“Of course… what else?! I was under the impression we had something going on when you invited me to your place the way you did and then you went along and confused my perceptions of it all. You really shouldn’t send mixed signals like that!”

“Perhaps not” she admitted. “However, the signals were part of the test, one I’m afraid you failed miserably. The moment you saw me like this you wanted to leave, right?”

“That’s right, Carla. I only stayed because of your offer…”

“I thought you were different, I really did!” she said, feeling a weight crushing her heart.

“But I’m not. I came here looking for some fun and that’s it!”

“I guess that’s the difference between us, then…” her voice faltered. Anyone looking at Carla that moment would realize she was devastated, but that was the price to pay for absolute honesty. Out of the blue, a spark of anger came to life in her eyes.

“You know what I should do right now? Since it’s obvious you only want me as a piece of meat, a sexual conquest and nothing more, I should use you for my pleasure alone! It would be very easy for to me to objectify you as well, especially given the influence I now can exert over your mind with my words. Would you like to become a sex toy, Brandon?”

There was a slight tremor in his voice.

“No… I can’t say I want that at all!”

“I figured as much… it’s a shame that I had to put you under to discover how much of a jerk you really are! You’re in luck that I’m not the vengeful type, but that attitude of yours has got to change somehow… You’ll never be able to build a meaningful relationship with anyone if you stick to the surface! There’s more to women than just their embellished faces or the clothes they wear… Though I can’t speak for every one of us, it’s safe to assume that many of us prefer men that go to the heart first before even considering getting inside our panties! Do you understand what I’m trying to explain to you?”

“I believe so.”

“Good. That’s an important first step, but you need a lot more. I sense a lot of prejudices within your spirit and those will have to be purged in one way or another. I can’t really say I’m the most qualified teacher so I’m going to take you to someone with a lot more expertise in the subject. Now, remain there contemplating your numerous character flaws while I go change. You’re not to move. That’s an order, Brandon, and you will obey me!”

“As you wish, Carla…”

She took her sweet time perfectly convinced that the technique used to ensnare both his conscious and unconscious self was powerful enough to withstand any attempt of release. And she was right! Brandon never protested for that’s not what he was meant to do and waited patiently for her return.

When she appeared before him again, she had morphed into the mesmerizing model he was used seeing, wearing a strapless mini dress and classic knee high black boots. The dress was bright red and its colour served to reinforce the entranced state he was in

“I’m ready. Let’s be on our way! Follow me!” she commanded.

Obviously, he complied.

* * *

Her name was Angela, and she had been one of the first persons the Italian model had met upon arriving to the States. A well-respected photographer with a knack for high-production scenarios, she possessed a talent like no other when it came to capturing raw emotions. Almost half of the pictures in Carla’s portfolio had her signature, including the one that had successfully frozen Brandon’s mind. The tactic for doing so had also originated from her for photography wasn’t her only passion.

The dark-haired and blue-eyed late-thirties woman opened the front door of her private studio to welcome her friend and the enthralled man that stood in the shadow. Such a sight made her feel warm and tingly inside.

“Carla, what a pleasant surprise! I sure wasn’t expecting you today but I’m glad you came. Please, come in… and your companion, too!”

“Thank you, Angie.” replied Carla as she motioned Brandon in. They walked into the dead centre of a very spacious division with cameras and lighting equipment lying in a corner. A soft piano music could be heard playing on the background “I tried to call you while we were driving here, but it kept reaching your voicemail.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I was busy in the back preparing one of my other sessions…” Angela smiled mellifluously.

“That’s why we’re here today. Do you have room for one more?”

“For you, of course I do! What exactly is his problem?” Angela asked as she approached the young man with inquisitive eyes.

“The usual: too much sex in his head and a lack of understanding of what a woman really needs. I was thinking you could instil some sense in him. Nothing too fancy: just the basics, really!”

Angela raised an eyebrow as she continued her inspection.

“Are you sure that’s all you want? I like the look of this one. I could teach him some most rewarding ways to please you…” Her hands rubbed his broad shoulders avidly. Brandon remained stiff and with the same glazed expression on his face.

“I thought about it, but the proper etiquette will suffice…”

“Hmmm… okay, then. Is that sadness I detect in your voice, sweetie? Did you have any real feelings for him?” inquired Angela slightly troubled.

Carla looked away before answering.

“I… That doesn’t matter, now.”

“I understand. I won’t insist, then!”

“You think I’m a hopeless romantic don’t you, Angie?”

“No, my dear, I don’t. There’s nothing hopeless about wanting romance and true love in life but there are other things that are important, too, other basic emotions that shouldn’t be suppressed the way you seem to do. Someday, I’m sure you’ll find the right person for you, but until you do, you should have some fun with the wrong ones as well. You’re still young, but life’s too short and sometimes I feel you’re not experiencing it fully, that’s all.”

“You really believe that?”

“Yes, I do. Do you know the title of the music playing in the background? It’s called “The heart asks pleasure first”. Think about it and let those primeval instincts take control every once in a while. You’ll be surprised with the things you may learn about yourself.”

“I’ll give it some thought. Thank you for the advice, Angie.”

“You’re more than welcome, sweetheart. Now, may I ask how you managed to put him so deep?”

“That was easy. I used the last picture on my portfolio.”

“Again?! Well, you’re becoming quite an expert with that trick. This trance is surely one of your finest works!”

“I had a good teacher.” Carla said smiling, because it was true.

“You certainly did. Now, could you please let me have control of him?”

“Sure. Brandon, listen to me. You’ve been obeying me so far and I’m very pleased, but now it’s time we part ways. I’m going to leave you in Angela’s skilful hands so she can train your intellect properly. This means that, from now on, you’ll do anything she asks until you’re allowed to snap out of your trance. Rest assured that you’ll not be harmed in any way as her conditioning processes are always painless, regardless of the outcome. Perhaps some day we can meet again when you’re more open-minded about certain things… Goodbye!” She planted him a gentle kiss on his forehead and turned his back on him to hide the threat of tears.

Angela led the man into the back section of the studio, more specifically into a darkened room that served as the main basis of operations for her alternate activity. Inside, a dozen TV sets were playing subliminally-laden videos to an equal number of subjects, their ages between twenty and sixty (it was never too late for her lessons…).

“Now Brandon, this is where you’re going to be given new meanings to your existence.” revealed Angela. “I’m specialized in behavioural modification, you know? I get all sorts of requests from disgruntled women to alter some of their boyfriends or husbands most annoying traits. Sometimes, I go a little further in the pursuit of sexual bliss but since Carla asked me not to, this is your lucky day. Sit here next to Mr. Higgins, he’s just started the same treatment you’ll be receiving as well. I’ll be back in a couple of hours to check on your progress…”

As the door closed behind him, Brandon was oblivious to anything except the sequence of pictures and commands being projected onto his eyes. They would certainly take its effects in his eagerly receptive mind sooner or later.

* * *

A soft breeze fell upon Carla’s hair, a much needed caress after another day unworthy of remembrance. It seemed her good looks were more of a hindrance than a benefit in her quest for legitimate affection. Brandon had just been the latest disappointment in a long list of past traumatic experiences.

She had lied to him, of course. They would never see each other again even after the reprogramming was complete. Why? It was quite simple, actually: his future actions wouldn’t be genuine at all, but merely a fictitious creation superimposed upon his mind and she wanted someone real right from the start. Angela had her way of seeing things but, in her heart, pleasure and love were synonyms and nothing in the world would ever change that.

Thoughts of this kind followed her all the way back to her house, undergoing only a slight modification when she realized there was a uniformed familiar face standing at her doorstep.

Oliver, the express delivery courier responsible for most of the service in her neighbourhood had two packages with him, most likely comprising of clothes given to her as additional payment for her latest photo shoots. He was tall, dark and handsome, a man of easy smile who enjoyed chatting with her every time he had the chance.

“Just the person I wanted to see!” he said as she emerged from the driver’s seat. “If you’ll be so kind to sign here…”

She did so, a part of her wishing he could stay for a while as she felt rather lonely. That wasn’t to be, though.

“I can’t right now as I still have a ton of urgent deliveries in the van! Can I take a rain check?”

“Sure.”

“Great. I’ll be seeing you, Carla.”

As she watched him go she couldn’t help but wonder why he was always so nice to her. Was he an actual Prince Charming or just another dreadful frog in disguise? One of these days, she would have to invite him in to find out….

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