Julie Equals emerged from the bedroom in a sheer blue nightie and pink panties. The moans emanating from the room were silenced as she shut the door behind her. In the almost a year that she and her husband had owned the house, they’d done a bit of remodeling, and soundproofing the bedrooms had been an early project.
She walked through the living room to the kitchen, encountering three women stretching on yoga mats on the floor. Her friends Claire and Rachel had stopped by and Claire was giving a private yoga lesson to Rachel and Susan; her roommate and girlfriend. Susan turned to face Julie as she went past.
“Hey, how’s he doing?” Susan asked her.
“Not great,” Julie replied, entering the kitchen and continuing the conversation through the breakfast nook window. “We’re only on day two of the antibiotics, so the headache’s still driving him nuts.” She filled a bowl with some soup and popped it in the microwave as they spoke. “Today’s a sort-of anniversary for us, and I had a surprise planned, but that’s not going to happen now.”
“Damn,” Claire said. “Ear infections suck. Hope he’s better soon.”
“Me too, and not just because of the special occasion,” Julie said as she filled a plastic bag with ice and put some more in a glass. “I mean, he’s never been one of those ultra-macho guys when it comes to pain, and I guess it’ll go away soon, but I’ve never seen him like this.”
The other three women nodded. Julie and her husband Troy had literally been best friends since birth, growing up as next-door neighbors; and aside from her once taking a long trip to Europe with another friend and the two of them attending colleges in different states, had been largely inseparable pals most of their lives. Their closeness had caused other romantic relationships in their lives to suffer as their partners eventually grew jealous and suspicious of their friendship, until they realized that they truly loved each other more than anyone else in the world and began the romance that led to their marriage. The other three women knew their history and took her statement that she’d never seen him in his current state seriously, beginning to worry about him.
“Would you like me to sit with him a bit,” Susan asked. She was Troy’s girlfriend as well as Julie’s. All of the women in the room could safely claim to be in a relationship with the two of them, but Susan was closer to him than Claire or Rachel. Julie and Troy had agreed early in their relationship that their love was big enough to share, and so their marriage was quite open. After they’d helped her get out of an abusive relationship, Susan had become a welcome addition to their home and their life together; and although she had her own bedroom, any combination of the three of them sharing a bed was a common sight in the Equals household.
“I think he’d like that,” Julie said with a smile as the microwave beeped. She placed the now hot bowl of soup onto a tray, setting the ice bag in one corner of the tray and the glass a distance away from it. A can of Coke from the fridge went next to the glass. “No need to stop the lesson, though. I have a feeling things are going to be like this all day. Probably all weekend.” Julie took a bottle of Ibuprofen from its place above the kitchen sink and shook two tablets out of it before giving it a moment’s thought. She then put the tablets back in the bottle and set it next to the homemade ice pack on the tray.
“That bad, huh?” Claire asked.
“Ear infections are weird like that,” Julie replied, grabbing a spoon and a row of saltine crackers. “The doctor said it’s all pressure and inflammation. Ice packs and ibuprofen help a little, but it’s hard to get him to take anything stronger.” She looked around the kitchen for another moment, trying to think of anything else to include on the tray.
“Have you tried ... you know ... doing what we do?” Susan asked. That caused Julie to stop dead in her tracks and a look of “Oh shit, why didn’t I think of that” to appear on her face.
From an early age, she and Troy had been fascinated by the subject of hypnosis and mind control and studied every book or reference that they could find on the subject; until by the age of nine, they’d learned the secret of how to control others. That, along with Troy’s financial genius, was part of how the two of them could afford such a large house and how they’d met and become intimate with the other three women. They’d been teaching their ability to Susan as well, and it was such an everyday part of her and Troy’s lives that it hadn’t even occurred to her to see if that would help him.
“I haven’t yet, but I will now,” she answered, thinking of the last item that she needed. She went to a cupboard and pulled out a small bag of plain M&Ms, setting it on the tray and picking the whole thing up. “He loves these when he’s sick,” she explained to the others. “Says it makes them taste better.”
Troy Equals was lying on his bed in his darkened room and groaned, clutching the left side of the top of his head. Pain pulsed through the entire left side of his head and down the back of his neck as he shifted position again. He’d tried laying on his right side, but that made the pain that had spread to his neck worse, and the left side just pressed his head into the pillow, worsening that as well. Lying on his back with a neck pillow lifting his neck up from the pillow seemed to be the best compromise that the pain would allow.
The door cracked open and Julie stepped inside. The light didn’t aggravate his headache, but his eyes had adjusted to the dark, and he rolled onto his left side away from it, instantly regretting the decision as his left ear touched the pillow and he gave another gasp of pain before rolling back to the central position. Julie made a small frown at the sight of her best friend in agony, but quickly changed it to a smile as she approached his side of the bed with the tray.
“Hey, boy,” she said softly as she set the tray on his nightstand with the icepack being the closest item to him and opened the can of Coke, pouring a glass. Troy’s hand shot out for the ice pack and he set it under the left side of his head. The bottle of ibuprofen was his next target, and as he was fiddling with the childproof cap, he registered that Julie had spoken to him.
“Hey, girl,” he responded, fishing two of the pills from the bottle. Julie held out the glass for him and he swallowed the two pills, chasing them with a drink of soda. While he did so, she grabbed the bag of M&Ms and opened it, taking a few for herself before handing the rest to him. He gave her back the glass, popped a couple of M&Ms in his mouth, and leaned forward for another sip of the Coke before handing her back the candy. She took a sip as well before returning both items to the tray. “Thanks.”
“Always happy to help, Master.” Julie said as she opened the saltines and set them next to the bowl of soup that was still too hot to eat. Their shared fascination with mind control from an early age had been such a big part of their lives that long before they’d been a couple, they’d taken to calling each other Master and Mistress as pet names.
“Did you look it up, Mistress,” he asked.
“No, Troilus, I did NOT Google how to safely drill a hole in your head,” she said with a small laugh. Hearing her laugh caused him to smile through the pain.
“Trepanning is humanity’s oldest form of surgery. Someone’s probably posted detailed instructions...” She cut him off.
“I already have to explain the Master/Mistress thing to people whenever we do it in public, hon. And trust me, you don’t want something on your head that people are always asking about.” Julie’s hair was unusual, in that it was a dark brown from her roots to about four inches, where it turned a buttery blonde. It had been that combination of colors since infancy, and doctors had been able to provide any explanation for it.
“I just tell them my Sunflower’s a complicated lady,” he replied. She gave him a playful punch before remembering that he was in pain, and an apologetic look appeared on her face. He hadn’t noticed, and shifted the ice pack to where the pain was flaring up the most. “So who’s here?”
“Claire’s giving Susan and Rachel a yoga lesson,” she answered. Claire had owned a yoga studio when they met her. With Troy’s financial and business advice, she now owned a chain of four “Inner Claire-ity” yoga studios around the Tacoma and south of Seattle areas.
“It’s cool if you want to go join them,” Troy said, reaching for a couple more M&Ms and another sip of Coke, trying and failing not to wince in front of her. “This is sort of my plan for the day.” Julie took the glass from him, finished it, and then refilled it with the rest of the can.
“Nah, they’re really just doing yoga. Nothing fun yet. Besides, I made a deal with that priest guy, ya know: Richer, poorer, sickness, health, better, worse; this’d be that third one.”
“There’s gotta be a loophole for three hot chicks getting all bendy and sweaty in our living room,” Troy responded, shifting the ice pack again to concentrate on another area as the ibuprofen began doing its job.
“Actually,” Julie said, getting up and walking into Troy’s private bathroom off the bedroom; her own being on the opposite wall. “Susan had a pretty good idea for something that might help. I feel kinda dumb for not thinking of it myself. This isn’t part of it, but it’ll help.” She returned with a white tablet and held it out for him, picking up the glass of Coke with her other hand. Troy looked at the tablet that he knew to be Percocet in her hand and was about to protest before she pushed it closer to his mouth.
“First off, yes, you are going to take this, Mr. Equals, and spare me the John Wayne ‘I’ll just tough it out, little lady’ shit, because I am voluntarily passing up the possibility that the goings-on in our living room might break into hot multiple girl-on-girl action at any time to sit with my ailing best friend who’s in no shape to either watch or join in. That being a point that you are not going to argue with me, I am also going to minimize his suffering in any way that I can. So take the fucking pill or I’ll do what we do and compel you take it anyway.”
Julie could see by the look on his face that he was still trying to think of a way to weasel out of it, so she swung her leg up onto the bed and bent her knee, pulling up the hem of her nightie and exposing the panties that Troy could already see through the sheer fabric anyway. “Surely you’re not afraid of a little danger, Mr. Bond?”
“I live for danger,” he said, taking the pill and popping into his mouth and accepting the Coke to swallow it with. “And invoking the sacred name of James Bond is low, Mistress.” The pressure in his head relieved a bit more and he connected some mental dots. “Everyone’s here today, hon. What day is it?”
“Saturday,” Julie replied. A pained look appeared on Troy’s face that Julie could tell had nothing to do with the infection.
“Shit, I got you something, it’s in the car.” Troy leaned forward, trying to get up. Julie put her hand on his chest and gently pushed him back down onto the bed.
“You’re staying right here, Master. I got you something too, but they can both wait until you feel good enough to not ask me to look up drilling a hole in your head.” She thought a second. “Or at least until I can’t subdue my husband with one hand.”
“Ok, ok,” Troy said, as Julie walked over to her side of the bed, turning to face her, the pressure on his neck relieving enough that he could turn onto his right side. “Our first time, though, a year ago today, and I’ve got to have this thing going on.”
“Well,” Julie said, slipping off the nightie and removing her panties before crawling into bed next to him. “Spending the day in bed with the man I love, horrible headache or not, was one of my ideas for celebrating it anyway. And Susan gave me an idea that seems so obvious now that I’m kicking myself for not thinking of it before.” She reached out and put her hand on his right cheek, stroking his ear.
Troy sighed at the sensation, the stronger painkiller now beginning to kick in. The two of them had been putting each other into trance for so many years that both of them had numerous mental triggers in place for the other’s use, and the little circles that Julie was stroking behind his earlobe was one of them. She smiled to see a look other than pain on her best friend’s face after the past few days.
“Relax and go deeper, My Love,” she whispered to him. “Allow me to take you back to that special day.”