Chapter 1

Caution: This Mind Control Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Fa/Fa, Mind Control, Magic, Lesbian, BiSexual, Heterosexual, Fiction, MaleDom, FemaleDom, Harem, Oral Sex, .

Desc: Mind Control Sex Story: Chapter 1 - A student vacationing in Iceland stumbles into a conflict between an ancient Norse deity and the man who's found her magical totem.

I know a sixteenth [rune]: If I see a girl

With whom it would please me to play,

I can turn her thoughts, can touch the heart

Of any fair-armed woman.

I know a seventeenth:

If I sing it,

The young girl will be slow to forsake me.

-- Words of the Most High, from the Elder Edda, c .800-1000 A.D.

The bars in Reykjavik aren't notably different from the bars in Brighton, or Boston, or Berlin, or Bali, or Bombay. Sure, everyone talks about the joys of taking in the cultures of other lands, and in the day-- at work, at play, on a beach-- it's possible to see differences in attitudes, mores, taboos. But alcohol and a sizzling dance beat are the great equalizers, and no one pays enough attention to what the deejay is saying to care about what language he happens to be speaking.

That was Ada's train of thought as she returned from the restroom to the poorly-illuminated table she shared with her friends. It was evident from Callista's slightly bored look that she shared this unspoken revelation; the redhead was looking around the club for something vaguely unique. Brandy, on the other hand, was oblivious to these kinds of thoughts. She'd started early by consuming the small bottle of Finlandia in the hotel room's mini-bar and was smiling broadly at several gentlemen in the establishment she would never have even glanced at cold sober. They were staring back. Evidently they liked blondes.

Ada's lips quirked. Same club. Different country.

"How's the loo?" Callista inquired.

"Cleaner than the one last night. Ick."

Both girls looked to Brandy for comment, since it had been her overconsumption which had ruined the aforementioned ladies' room the night before, but Brandy had stood up and wandered in the direction of the bar, where two average-looking guys awaited her.

Ada was hardly shocked. "Again?"

"Shouldn't we stop her?"

"Nah, it'll be fun to give her shit about it in the morning."

"If we see her in the morning."

"You don't think she'll go off on another unscheduled ski trip without us, do you?"

"I don't know what to expect on this holiday, really. When we're back in London, she never acts this ... overt."

"No, but she doesn't drink much there, either. She's been quite the greedy one on this trip. In more ways than one."

Brandy had her arm around one guy's back, and was giving the other a "come hither" look.

"I can't watch!"

"Darling, we have to!"

"No," Ada replied, knocking back the rest of her drink, "I'm going to go off on a trip of my own. Just around the club, is all."

"My feet still hurt from the hike today and these bloody pumps. See if you can't scare up some gents for us, dear." Callista looked almost wistfully toward Brandy, again. "Preferably better-looking ones than that lot. Or else a few more drinks so we're like her and don't care so much."

The American girl chuckled at that, then stood up and left her companion nursing a cocktail.

It had been a fun trip, if perhaps a bit more on the relaxing side than on the exciting, for her. Unlike Brandy, Ada and Callista had spent each night in their own beds, unaccompanied. Not through lack of opportunity, of course-- Ada's curvaceous figure and creamy complexion got her hit on in nightclub after nightclub, and tall, leggy Callista was no slouch either. For whatever reason, however, neither girl had found what she was looking for in the selection of men they'd been granted. Brandy had been less choosy and, when Callista had made a not-quite-joking comment about her promiscuity, had replied back, "I've just spent three months slaving away at physics and maths, and I'm damned well going to have a rutting good time before we have to jet back to London. And when I say 'rutting', I mean plenty of it."

Her friends had smiled and shaken their heads, and expressed mild disapproval ... but it was hard not to admit that after nine days of seeing Brandy hook up at every possible occasion, the other two were starting to feel a bit left out of the game.

Ada passed the second dance floor (there were three)-- fairly empty, though somewhat respectable for a Tuesday night. Certainly no one ... er ... nothing interesting, though.

On the other hand, sitting alone at the bar with a martini glass in hand (sans olive) was a broad-shouldered blond man with a big smile and wire-rims. She liked his look and sat down next to him.

"Hello," he said to her as she took her place on the barstool, crossing her legs. He very decidedly did not look her up and down (or at least did it surreptitiously enough that Ada missed it). She found this refreshing, and the Texas drawl was something else she hadn't encountered in awhile. Not too many Dallas natives in London, let alone Iceland.

"Hi," she replied, flashing her teeth at him. "What's a corn-fed boy like you doing so far from home?"

"Buyin' you a drink, darlin', what else? What'll it be?"

"A Red-Headed Slut."

Instead of the expected Had one of those. I asked what you'd like to drink... the gent offered a no-nonsense, "That's cranberry, Jaeger, and Peachtree, right?"

Ada nodded, deciding she liked this man. "What's your name, darlin'?" she inquired in a decent emulation of his accent.

He took no offense, of course, and after ordering for her, he replied with, "Zeke Rutledge. And yours?"

"Zeke? Your parents not like you much?"

"Hey, it beats 'Ezekiel' all to hell. And my cousins Nebuchadnezzar and Ahasuerus never cease to express their envy." He grinned.

It was infectious. "Ada," she replied, to his unrepeated query.

"'Ada'. I like that." The bartender took the cash he offered and set the drink down in front of her.

"I'm glad."

They talked and flirted for a while. He was on a business trip for his father's company, where he was a regional manager; she told him about school in England and her concentration, world history. His glasses did not hide his beautiful brown eyes from her, nor did they conceal his obvious admiration for her. She was about to ask him if he'd like to go someplace more private when Callista showed up, clearing her throat.

"Um ... hi, Callista. This is Zeke. Is everything okay?"

Callista nodded politely at Zeke. From Callista's look, everything was not okay. "That tart has done it to us again!"

"Brandy? What did she do, now?"

"You know those two blokes she was throwing herself at?"

"She left with them?"

"No, that's the worst part. She can't even stay that faithful. She left with a totally different gent, and the other two apparently decided I was the consolation prize."

"Did she at least tell you where she was going?" Callista cocked her head and inclined an eyebrow. "Hmmm ... apparently not. Cell phone?"

"Voice mail, dammit."

"Maybe she just went back to the room?"

Callista looked unconvinced, but hopeful. "Maybe. Could we go check? We've got those reservations for midnight golf tomorrow, and she's the only one who even likes the sodding game. If she's not there, we can get our money back and not have to endure the tedium."

Ada looked despairingly at Zeke, but he smiled and gestured that she should go. "I would like to see you again, though, darlin'."

What a nice guy. "I'm so sorry!"

"That's okay. Do you have a phone number with you? We can have dinner tomorrow night. It sounds like your plans may be canceled."

Ada used a pen from her purse to write her cell phone number on a cocktail napkin, then gave him a hug and a kiss on he cheek, waving goodbye.

Callista complimented her on her selection on the way back to the hotel. "I should have known you'd snap up all the quality ones for yourself!"

"He is pretty cool, isn't he?"

"He is pretty, anyway. Blond is my favorite flavor."


Callista giggled. "I'm just joshing you, dearie. But find out if he has a chum or something for me, all right?"

"Will do."

There was a knock at the door, and Ada, with a last glance in the bathroom mirror, slid on her pumps and went to answer it.

The door opened to reveal her new friend, Mr. Rutledge, decked out in a sport coat and one of those ridiculous string ties. Somehow, on him it managed to look good.

This time, Zeke was unable to refrain from looking her up and down-- though he tried to make it seem casual-- but this only served to give Ada a secret inner thrill. A girl liked to be rewarded for her efforts, after all, and she'd spent more than an hour and a half getting made up for tonight.

"If I were a man o' less culture, I'd whistle at you, Ada. You look great."

She dimpled. "You look quite dashing yourself, Mr. Rutledge."

"Ah, it's that formal, is it? Or is 'Zeke' too goofy for you? Can't say as I blame you."

She blushed. "It's not that. It's just that I've been at university for three years now, and I'm used to seeing boys, not men. I guess it's had an effect."

"I'm only twenty-five, darlin'. 'Mr. Rutledge' is still my daddy, not me."

"I'm sorry, Zeke. It won't happen again. I reckon."

"Are you making fun of a Texas boy, now?"

"No sirree, nohow. Um ... yee haw?"

They shared a laugh, then she grabbed her purse and took his arm as they let the door close behind them.

"How'd things fare with your friend last night?"

She's been a whore all week, why should last night have been any different? she didn't reply.

Brandy had, unsurprisingly, not been present in their room, but she had returned the following afternoon, ranting and raving over Ellis, the man she had met last night. Despite Callista's best attempts to make her feel terrible or even a teensy bit guilty about abandoning her friends, Brandy had steadfastly defended her actions by describing the sexiness of her companion. When they had told her that they'd canceled the golf reservations, she had laughed and commented that she would be doing something much more exciting tonight than playing golf ... though it would still involve balls and long hard objects.

Callista had wrinkled her nose at Brandy's crudity, but Ada'd thought she sniffed more than a little bit of jealousy there.

"You lot should come with me tonight when I go back there. Ellis has a friend named Dorian, and one of you could hook up with him. Or both of you could." She had grinned like a Cheshire cat.

Callista had looked interested, despite herself, but Ada had replied that she already had a big date planned.

Ada'd waited for Brandy to make some semblance of a polite inquiry about the guy she would be with, but Brandy had ignored that particular revelation other than to utter a snide, "Good! More for me!"

Callista had decided to go with Brandy, then; Ada, annoyed with Brandy for being so self-centered, had bid them both a cool goodbye and had hopped in the shower to get ready. By the time she'd turned off the spigot, they'd been gone. And good riddance.

"She'll be okay. I'm just glad I didn't have to go golfing."

"Yeah, I'm not a fan myself. Golf, to me, is like bein' a queer: a lot of people do it and seem to like it okay, and I'm very happy for them, but it just doesn't interest me very much."

"Well, that's okay. I like you just fine, even though you're under par, in the queer sense. Your clothes, for instance, could benefit from a Queer Eye. The string tie has to go. It's way too 80s to be seen out of the Lone Star State."

"Ma'am, I am insulted by your disrespect for my cultural heritage, and you will definitely pay for that by eating whatever it is I choose to order for you. And since they probably don't even have rattlesnake where I'm taking you, it's bound to be something even scarier."

"It's a deal, Texas. Now show me the way."

In the end, he refrained from ordering the singed sheep's head, though it was a near thing. He did not let her escape unscathed, though: he interviewed the waiter in an effort to find something disturbing. After eliciting blank looks when he asked about rattlesnakes and "gators", he ultimately asked if there was anything on the menu "which eats people", then watched in glee as she sniffed tentatively at the cured shark meat appetizer he ordered as a result. She found it a little tough for her taste, but not at all bad.

The main course was some roasted fowl she'd never heard of (ptarmigan?); she found it delicious, and Zeke described it as tasting "like chicken should taste". Dessert was some yogurty stuff called "skyr", and they shared it out of the same bowl. And the same spoon.

When he started popping blueberries into her mouth with his fingers, she decided it was time to go somewhere more intimate, though she hadn't yet decided whether to take him to her room or go to his. In the end, because he was too polite to ask, she made the invitation, hoping Country-Boy wouldn't find this too forward. Indeed not, as he smiled broadly and called for the check in response.

He was an utter gentleman the entire walk home, and she very much hoped that he wouldn't continue to be so once they were in the room.

She needn't have worried overmuch. As soon as the door closed behind them, he grabbed her with his muscular arms and crushed her mouth to his own. She threw off her jacket and wrapped her hands around his neck, tongue wrestling with his-- sometimes probing into his mouth, more often accepting him into hers.

"Accepting him into hers" became the theme of the evening, actually; he put his hands on the backs of her thighs, and began sliding them upward. She tried to assist by hiking her dress up higher, but he grew impatient and yanked it up with a ripping motion that tore seams. His hands entered her panties from behind, and she gasped into his mouth when his fingers entered her and started slowly, deliciously, rhythmically to thrust in and out. She felt her dampness wet his palms and the silk of her underwear, and he deftly used his left hand to unclasp her bra through the back of her dress. I could love a man who uses his hands... came her inner soundtrack album, and she shushed him as he asked why she was giggling.

He responded by suckling her breasts through the dress, and eventually she unbuttoned the top so he could access her more directly. Yes, there ... Between the fiery invasion of her pussy and the nipple stimulation, she melted in her shoes and began fucking back at his fingers as she came.

She couldn't see his face in the dark, but somehow she knew he was grinning at her. She pulled him back on the bed and demanded that he take her, now. He was happy to be her guest, pulling her panties down with the same fervor he'd used to yank the dress up. With a minor pause to add protection-- she was thankful; she'd been too aroused to even remember to ask-- he was inside her, his powerful thrusts teaming up with the solidity of his cock to make her breath come in sharp bursts. She felt his weight on her hands as he held her down for his use, and when he slowed, stopped for an intake of breath, and then really started pounding her in his own orgasmic fury, she met him all the way with a screaming climax of her own.

It wasn't until he got out of bed in the morning that she saw the claw marks she'd made on his back, but she'd liked the look of them. They looked like ownership. Mine... she thought, and sank back into a sated slumber.

He'd left her a note on the table: "Tried to wake you, but you were kinda tired for some reason. Want to see you again tonight. Texas."

She smiled fondly and laid back on the bed. She wasn't sure how serious she wanted this to be-- they weren't even living on the same continent, after all, and long distance relationships sucked bigtime ... but for now she was just reveling in the excitement of someone new ... someone wonderful ... someone who wanted her a lot. She stroked her body lightly, remembering last night, and her arousal started to resume--

The door opened, then, and she covered up with a sheet as her roommates entered.

Both were somewhat bleary-eyed; apparently they'd not gotten much sleep, whatever they'd been doing.

They weren't too shy about discussing it, either. "Well, look what we have here!" Brandy declared. Looks like we're not the only ones who got royally shagged last night."

Ada reddened as Callista picked up the bottom of the tangled sheet and peered underneath. "I'll say. And from the aroma, I'd say she enjoyed it a lot. And still is. Should I smell your fingers, dearie?"

Ada leapt out of bed, the sheet wrapped around her torso. "What's gotten into you two?"


"And Dorian." Brandy shuddered with the memory.

"You simply must come with us to meet them, Ada darling!"

"Yes. The backwoods boy is pretty enough, but you just don't know what you're missing with Ellis and Dorian. Why waste your time with a man in a cowboy hat?"

"Because I fancy him, that's why! Look, just because I haven't gone from normal college gal to playing the tart for a couple of two-bit pickup gents--"

"'Fancy'? 'Tart'? 'Gents'? I do believe she's been in London too long, Brandy. She's even talking like us."

"I do so hate when 'Merkins try to sound British."

Ada was repulsed, and she was sure it showed on her face. Brandy she would expect this from, given the past week's example, but Callista was just as bad, if not worse. "Sure, Brandy, whatever you say. Look, I don't want to meet the men who've made you into fucktoys. I'll be even more British for you, now: bugger off! I'm getting in the shower."

"Shall we join you?"

"Right! I smell like rut."

"No, thanks." Ada nearly ran into the bathroom, locking the door behind her and leaning against it, freaked out. She heard the two giggling through the door, and then a hushed conversation which she felt certain contained her name several times. Finally, she shook her head, turned on the faucet, and waited for the water to get warm.

When she emerged a half hour later, her girlfriends were asleep, mutually entangled in the remaining sheets. And naked. She hurried to don a pair of slacks and a blouse, grabbed a pair of shoes, and fled.

She didn't see the face of the man who seized her outside their room and dragged her, hand over mouth, down the hall into an executive suite.

After gagging her with a torn slice of bedsheet and binding her to a chair with leather cords, the big bulk of a man left her to sit alone in the living room. He made a hushed phone call, but she didn't understand a word of it. It sounded Icelandic, but it could have been anything Germanic; Ada was not big on languages. And she was terrified; she didn't know if he was going to rape her or kill her or both. Nor in which order he was going to do them.

The fellow hung up the phone, and approached her slowly. He looked at her, not unkindly, and wiped away her tears with one of his hands. His words were possibly meant to be soothing, but all she could think of was where his hands might go next.

Across the room, evidently, along with the rest of him. He sat at the kitchen nook and sipped at a glass of water while he watched her, and after more than a half hour of this behavior there was a knock at the door. Ada didn't know what horrors to expect next, and the door swung open to reveal...

... a dark-haired woman. She was tall, looked to be in her early thirties, and was quite pretty, really. She spoke to the man in the same language he'd used before, and then started ... singing to him. He swayed a bit in rhythm with her music, then slowly bowed his head and walked out the door, leaving the two women alone together.

"I'm sorry for the way you were brought here, but there was no good way to do this and be sure of my safety, so I had to use the large oaf who just left. I've released him, and after he gets back to his room and drops off into a mid-morning nap he will forget all of this ever happened.

"You won't, however. You're going to help me get what I want." She caressed my face, and I flinched. She smiled into my eyes. "Don't worry, I promise you'll thoroughly enjoy it. One way or another."

The woman, who was wearing a shift dress that belied the temperatures outside, sat on the sofa opposite her. Glancing down at her watch, she sighed. "You know, I could wait another hour or so to be sure, but I have never been very patient. Besides, the extra seidh I just gave him should still carry enough power to get him to his pillow, even if he's released in all other ways.

"Let's begin."

The brunette began humming an almost familiar tune, but Ada couldn't place where she'd heard it before, unless it was moments ago before the man left. But it was so much more complex than that, using unfamiliar notes too subtle in differentiation to be found on the keys of a piano. To Ada it sounded vaguely Indian-- it wasn't harmonic, but it did have a certain melody of its own. She was a bit fascinated by it, but the bound-and-gagged state she was in was hardly conducive to music appreciation.

When the woman opened her mouth and the tones had actual words, Ada lost all those concerns.

The words were meaningless to her; they were not English, but even if they had been she wouldn't have been unable to decode them on a conscious level. No, these words spoke directly to her soul, to deep parts of her brain which weren't accessible under normal conditions. She felt her heart soar, and her mind bend, twist ... Anger, fear, even confusion all faded, replaced by peace, sweet tranquility, and love.

Love for this woman who sat before her, an undying affection striking to the core of her being. Desire to make her proud, to make her happy, to seize some of the same love from this woman in return. And suddenly Ada knew her name, it slid into her and made her sigh: Gullveig. Many other names danced in that song, but the only other than Ada could feel was appropriate was "mistress".

The song went on for hours, days ... but probably really only minutes. When it ended, Ada wept at its absence. She'd never known anything so beautiful.

"Now, my pet, I'm going to remove this so we can talk together. I know you'll remain very quiet so you can learn what I need to tell you. Isn't that right?"

Ada nodded vigorously. She wanted to taste her mistress's name on her lips, and this makeshift gag was preventing that.

As lovely hands twisted the knot loose behind Ada's head, welcome air rushed into her mouth. She sucked it in, and panted out, "I love you, Mistress Gullveig. I will do anything for you."

"I'm sure you will, pet, I'm sure you will." Gullveig said to her, caressing her cheek. "And that is my truest name, indeed, but I prefer 'Heidi' right now. It's less conspicuous, even though I've used it before, too."

"Mistress Heidi, I--"

"Enough with the 'mistress', love. I know it's there, you've no need to say it aloud. Simply 'Heidi'. If it makes you feel uncomfortable to be so familiar, you may downcast your eyes. But I would prefer to see them. They are quite lovely and green. You remind me of a pet I had a thousand years ago, and thrall by the name of Lin. Her eyes were the color of yours, and it gave me such a thrill to make her mine. Tell me, girl, what is your name and how do you feel?"

Ada gave this vision of beauty her name, and would have followed with a long personal history if she didn't feel it would be boring for her mistress. "I feel great love for you, but ... scared. You ... you had me dragged here, against my will, and I don't think that's right. But, in my heart..."

"Yes, pet?"

"In my heart, I know I can't help myself. I'm weak for you, mis-- Heidi. I know what I want, but I know that I should not..."

Heidi sat down on her lap, smelling delicious, and Ada struggled not to sink into the black, shoulder-length hair. She knew she should be exerting every ounce of her being to resist this woman's touches, holding her breath to ward off the woman's perfume, closing her eyes to blot the woman from sight. She knew she should be doing all these things, but in truth she didn't ... want ... to. And Heidi could tell.

"Yes, my pet, you're feeling it, now. I can see it in your eyes. You couldn't stop wanting me even if I asked you to." She leaned in. "But I won't ask you to, Ada, darling. Desire is where I want you to go, and that is the path you're on, now." Then Heidi's mouth was upon hers, the taste of the tall woman's tongue fresh and moist, breasts crushed to breasts as the kiss went on and on.

"Indeed," whispered the cajoling voice as lips parted, "if I were to let you loose right now, you'd not even run, would you, my pet?"

Ada's answer was an urgent attempt to reclaim Heidi's mouth with her own, and the moan she emitted as she did so left no doubt what her answer was.

In a moment, the cords which held fast her wrists and ankles were severed by Heidi's knife. True release, of course, was not to be so easily obtained, even after the worship of her mistress's body commenced.

"The song I gifted you with is my seidh, my spellsong. Its secrets lie far back in time's depths. I have forgotten when or where or how I knew it, but known it I have for countless lives of women. Woden I gave this gift in years past, the gift of magic in the voice, and in return ... well, that is the entire point of this discussion, isn't it?"

Ada propped her chin up on a pillow, trying to follow every last word Heidi threw out to her. It was difficult to concentrate when what she really wanted to do was take her mistress into her arms once more and shower her with orgasmic bliss once more, as she had in the hours before. Heidi sprawled atop the mattress, nude, relaxed, restful, but alert to her thrall's attention.

"The seidh was my bargaining chip, but what I am missing, now, is far greater. And my loss has been the gain of two useless men who do not know what they carry. It is both tragic and amusing.

"Your friends are enslaved by the men they just met, by..." here she paused, searching for words.

It struck Ada as obvious, when she thought about it, "You mean Ellis and Dorian."

"Ah, is that their names? I hadn't gotten that close, yet. Interesting."

She was filled with joy, knowing that she'd helped her mistess in some small way.

Heidi continued. "Long ago I lost the totem, and I had no idea it had come to Iceland else I might have recovered it. But now it has been found, and its first use called to me like a lover. And so I came here, and watched, and waited. I know much seidh besides the love-compulsion, and soon your friends became known to me, and their plight, and their masters-- at least from a distance. And you, also, my pet." She stroked Ada's hair.

It felt delightful, but Ada was still confused. "Heidi ... Love, I don't understand. About seidh, about totems, or what Ellis and Dorian are doing. Or Woden... ? Wasn't he a Norse god or something?"

"He was that, darling, and the best of them. I could tell you such tales ... You have heard some of them, corrupted by the ages. The Norse told many tales of my time, but as with any oral tradition, things went awry."

"I promise, nothing will ever go awry with my oral traditions."

Heidi grinned in mirror-image to Ada's own lascivious expression. "I don't know what you mean, precious, but I trust you'll show me. Later, though. There are things you need to know, now, for the task ahead.

"The Norse poems were eventually collected into the Edda, but by then they were so garbled that they had long lost any real historical worth. My first death, as Gullveig, was closest to the truth, and when I arose again as Freyja, Hoern, Mardoell, Syr--"

"Your first death?"

"Pet, I am of the Vanir, the Eldest. I can die, but I am reborn into a direct-line female descendant by the next sunrise..."

Ada was fascinated. She had known her beloved was long-lived, but hadn't realized the form the immortality took.

" ... which was troublesome back in the early days, when plagues could take hold and eradicate entire populations of my descendants, and I was reduced to a mere disembodied sprit. Now it is much different. Better. Most of the world is descended from me in some way. I don't like dying, but at least I don't spend as much time dead as I once did."

"The Aesir ... killed you?"

"Dozens of times. Sometimes rather painfully. It was an age of misogyny, but Thor was the worst of the lot. I could tell he actually enjoyed it.

"Anyway, I don't know where Woden got his runes, but at some point he found a pair that were very potent when placed together, and the girls all flocked to him. Needless to say, I was very intrigued by this, and I offered to teach him my magic in exchange for the runes. The runes were all fine and good for controlling mortals, but his fellow Aesir weren't affected. Seidh, on the other hand... seidh is universal.

"So I taught Woden seidh, and he forged for me the runestick, Od." Ada watched Heidi's mouth as she said the word. She pronounced it "ode", with perhaps a hint of a rolled "R" at the end. "And for a long time the Aesir watched as I bent womankind to my will."

It excited Ada to imagine this, hordes of womanflesh worshipping her mistress, the sounds, smells, tastes ... She began squeezing her thighs together slowly, subtly, rhythmically.

"Eventually it was Thor who was my undoing. He was angry with Woden for accepting my bribe and decided to take matters into his own hands. He found me in my temple, making love to my worshippers, and bludgeoned me to death with a metal club. Years later I returned to Sweden, dug up the corpse where my followers had buried it, and searched desperately for Od, but it was gone ... Gone, and nowhere to be found, by gods or men. Thor was gone, too, damn him, and I was never able to wrest the secret out of him before he was ... killed..."

"What happened to him? I thought you could never really die."

"No, pet, the Aesir are truly immortal, but they don't die and come back the way I do. They heal, though it can take a long time depending on the damage. And the damage can be extensive. The Aesir aren't as casual about death as I can be, so they've adopted a somewhat mortal existence. Last I heard, Woden was the top executive of a law firm in Berlin. Loki owns a string of used car dealerships in California."

"And Thor?"

Heidi looked conflicted. "I'm not sure. The Inquisitors couldn't kill him, so they just repeatedly tortured and mutilated him. It was an ugly fate, even for someone like Thor."

She shook her head. "At any rate, back to the matter at hand ... Od has ... limitations. The men who are using it on your friends have likely figured out that its power doesn't extend very far. Not even a mile, really."

"But ... Brandy and Callista have been farther away from them than that. How is that possible?"

"Your friends don't know they are enslaved. They probably just think the men are somehow the most arousing people they've ever met, and want to do everything for them, even when not under Od's direct influence."

"Are you saying they're in love with Ellis and Dorian? Even when they're far away?"

"Love is probably too strong a word, too complex an emotion. Od is limited to unbridled lust, but within that space, its effects are much, much stronger than seidh."

"Impossible, my love."

Heidi smiled at her and touched her cheek. "You only think so, now, pet. Wait until you've felt its presence. Truly, it is hnoss, as the old songs said." She sighed, but Ada looked blank at the reference, so Heidi explained further. "In the poetry traditions, it was said that Freyja was wed to Od, and that they had a daughter, Hnoss, 'delight'. Which was close to true, in a way-- I brought much delight to the world of women when I possessed Od. And will do so again, when you've retrieved it for me."

"Me? Mistress, how? What if they use Od to ... to..." Ada couldn't finish out loud. To take me away from you? "Couldn't you ... use your seidh on them, as you have on me?"

Heidi shook her head. "I have considered it, but it's too dangerous, my pet. My seidh cannot own more than one person at a time-- that is the rule-- and I don't know which one of them has it. Also, if you try and fail, I can send another minion and try once more. If they take me ... all is lost."

Something deep inside Ada felt hurt to hear this callous disregard for her, a replaceable "minion", but she wanted to please her mistress in any way she could, and if that meant self-sacrifice, then so be it. Imagining her wonderful Heidi at the whim of those men ... She shuddered.

The other woman went on. "Od is not seidh. Its enslavement is entirely sexual in nature. The body is subjugated to Od, and the mind is subjugated to the body's wants, the body's needs. In days long gone, I would use the runestick to reinforce my hold of the mind using bodily lust, and augment the body's feelings with seidh. The end result was that my control was not limited to one slave, and distance from Od became irrelevant. The mind and body were tamed and the will was malleable in my hands." She was lost in memory, and her breathing grew deeper and faster. She broke her reverie. "And it will be so, again, my pet. Soon you will see. And feel."

Heidi discarded her gown, and Ada nearly wept with joy at the sight. "Pet, I believe you were going to illustrate your oral traditions for me?"

Ada didn't respond with words because her mouth was otherwise engaged.

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