Naira stepped out of the bright, offensively sterile office building and into the cold, muddled gray afternoon. Nothing had been adding up quite right in the office today, or at least not in the way her bosses wanted it to add up, and minute after minute it had felt like the building itself was trying to smother her. She had needed to get OUT, and the cool post drizzle world seemed the perfect balance to her dry, overheated life.
She inhaled deeply, loving the scent of wet dirt as it reconnected her with some bucolic past she had never had.
"You look like you could use a smoke."
The voice startled Naira, but she shouldn't have been surprised. She was standing in the middle of a city after all, and far from being threatening the voice was a rather friendly feminine one. It turned out to belong to a tall blond wearing a long raincoat, leaning up against a non-descript gray van and tapping a pack of cigarettes against her palm. Naira found a wan smile for her.
"Nah, I promised my man I'd quit."
"Suit yourself," the blonde said with a shrug, opening the pack and drawing out a slender tube. She raised it to her lips, slipping the pack into her pocket and bringing up a lighter.
Naira watched, with a longing fascination, as the blonde flicked the lighter and inhaled deeply. The tip of the cigarette flared red. The woman closed her eyes as she put the lighter back in her pocket, some small ecstasy on her face as she took the cigarette out of her mouth an exhaled, letting the smoke billow out, her whole body relaxing in an almost post-coital fashion. She opened her eyes again, looking slantwise at Naira.
"You know, I help people quit these things for a living."
"The irony of it all," Naira mused as her eyes traced the glowing tip, memories of post finals soirees with a glass of wine and a cigarette dancing in her brain. She couldn't exactly recall what the buzz of a cigarette felt like, but she knew she longed for it. Hell, the day had been shit, she needed something to get her over the hump. Just this one little relapse. "Can I actually take you up on that offer?"
The blonde took another slow drag then drew out another cigarette with a little smile. Naira took it and raised it too her lips, leaning in towards her new vice giver. The woman took out the lighter and flicked it, the flame touching the end of the cigarette. Naira in inhaled, the familiar acrid tang of tobacco rushing back memories. She closed her eyes like the woman had, focusing on the taste, the feel, the subtle rush. It relaxed her, but also made her feel more awake. God, how she had missed it.
"It feels nice, doesn't it?"
"Mmhmmm," Naira nodded as she let the smoke out, feeling like a dream.
"I love to just let the feeling wash over me as I take a drag, how my whole body focuses on my lungs for a moment, just feeling them expand, then release, it's wonderful."
Naira nodded, only sort of hearing the words. She shouldn't be doing this. Doug had been right; it wasn't good for her health. But she already had the cig and it would be rude to waste it by snuffing it out early. She took it to her lips again, inhaling. Her whole mind focused on the act filling herself up with the delicious smoke, then slowly releasing it. The blond said something else that she completely missed in her new rhythm. Inhale, exhale. Build, release. In, out. When she took the last drag, the burning ember almost to the filter, Naira felt disappointed. Empty, really.
"You smoke so well, have another," said the blonde, holding out a whole new cig. Naira yearned for it, but...
"I shouldn't. I promised I'd quit."
The blonde smiled and gently touched Naira's shoulder. "I know, but it's so relaxing and I can tell you've been working so hard."
Naira bit her lip. There was something patronizing in the blonde's voice, but the cigarette looked so good. She took it, leaning slightly towards the blonde again. Their eyes met. The blonde had a cocky little smile, and Naira knew her need was showing through. The blonde flicked the lighter. For a moment Naira was afraid fulfilling her craving would not give her pleasure, like someone eating sweets just because there was food. But she inhaled, felt her chest rise as the smoke came into her, filled her. It was as good as she could have hoped.
The blonde was talking as Naira took long drag after long drag, but she didn't really listen. Maybe she was being bad company, but she was too focused on the act of smoking to pay attention to anything else. It was better than she remembered. It completed her. She was lost to time, only coming back to reality when the cigarette died.
"Want another?" the blonde asked, the paper wrapped poison already in her hand. Without a word Naira took it. The blonde lit it. The wonderfulness began again.
When Naira was about halfway through the cigarette the blonde gently put a hand on her back.
"Let's get you in the van," she said. Naira just nodded as the blonde opened the cargo door in the back and gently pushed the compliant woman inside. There weren't any back seats, leaving a large empty space. She didn't even really think about it, her mind lost in a tobacco infused haze as she took another drag.
The blonde gently guided Naira so she was laying on her back, then pinched the cigarette and tossed it out the back of the van. Naira whimpered, but did not object as the blond strapped her to the floor in the empty van.
"Nighty night," the blonde said, and Naira went to sleep.
Naira woke up with a sudden rush. Her lungs felt like she had gone through a whole pack in a sitting. Where was she? She was lying on a naked on a bed, but there was only a dim light right above her and somehow the details refused to come into focus. She tried to turn her head. She couldn't. She tried to move. To sit up. To twist. To wiggle her toe. Anything. She couldn't. She panicked, her breath coming in short panting breaths as she looked up at the light.
"Hello?" she asked, wondering if there was someone in the darkness.
"My little kitty-cat is awake," said a familiar voice, fingers toying with Naira's dark curls. The blonde. Memory came back to Naira. She had been smoking and then ... it had felt so good, so calming.
"That's a good little kitty-cat, relax." There were fingers stroking her cheek, then the soft brush of lips on her forehead. Kitty-cat was such a relaxing name. It made her think of a kitten napping in the sun, and that made her remember how relaxed she felt while smoking cigarette after cigarette as the blonde had explained to her that she was a kitty-cat.
The fingers drifted lower, up onto the swell of her breast, and the blonde's angelic face hovered over hers.
"Can you move kitty-cat?"
Kitty-cat tried to shake her head. "No."
The blonde bent down and softly kissed kitty-cat's lips, then took her wrist and lifted her hand, laying it on her freshly shaven quim. The memory of grooming herself for her owner came back to kitty-cat as her fingers danced over her mons. Her arm was able to move as she fingered herself, smiling lovingly up at her owner, who smiled back.
"I'm sorry Mr. Bennett, we've got no leads."
"But they saw her at that hypnosis show!"
Detective Simone Thales forced back a sigh as she shook her head. She felt for Doug Bennett, she really did, but the bottom line was the department did not have the resources to continue to look for his girlfriend and he was latching onto this ridiculous conspiracy theory.
"We've interviewed the hypnotist, she even voluntarily let us search her house, and we've been through that club again and again. Besides, if she was at that show there were plenty of people there, she could easily have gotten away if she was being coerced."
"But she was HYPNOTIZED!"
This time Simone could not stop the sigh. The powerfully built black woman leaned back in her chair, considering the man in front of her. Doug Bennett was a smart man, an engineer, and very cute in a nice guy kind of way. He was definitely not crazy, but he was desperate and willing to believe anything that might be a clue.
"We've already looked into that, and our forensic psychologist said she might be experiencing Stockholm syndrome, but there's still no link between the club and Ms. Salafi. We just don't have the resources to keep on a case with no leads."
Mr. Bennett slumped, then nodded. "I guess you're right. There's nothing you can do. Thanks for everything detective."
As he stood up and got his coat Simone felt a tug in her heart for him. Maybe, just maybe, Naira Salafi was out there somewhere, and they would get a lead and put people back on the case. But Simone doubted it.
Her phone rang and she took a brief moment to compose herself, ready to be all business once again.
"Detective Simone Thales."
"How is my little fuck bunny?"
Simone could feel herself getting wet. Fuck bunny was such a slutty name, and she had been such a slutty girl. Smoking cigarettes with a potential suspect. Letting the suspect touch her, fondle her.
"I'm good Ma'am," said Simone, her hips rocking slightly in the seat. God she wished she wasn't in the office. Her nipples were so hard it almost hurt and she wanted to cram her hand in her panties right that instant.
"Did he come by asking about kitty-cat?"
"Mm, yes Ma'am. He did." Kitty-cat had been a great fuck. She remembered kissing her, feeling smoke pouring into her mouth from kitty-cat's.
"Hmm, well, I hope to see my little fuck bunny tonight." Fuck bunny moaned. She knew she was flushed. She was such a slut. Anyone could walk in on her right now.
"Yes Ma'am." Fuck bunny couldn't help herself, her fingers started running up her inner thigh.
"Until then be good."
"Alright ma'am, you take care too." And with that Detective Simone Thales hung up. If someone had asked her what the call had been abut she would have shrugged it off as "some personal bullshit".
Doug could not believe he was here. This was illegal. Crazy. If there had been anything to find sure the police would have found it, but he had to know. The witnesses had seemed so sure, and it all made a weird sort of sense.
A very weird sort of sense.
He approached the back door of the house. It was a very nice neighborhood - he really didn't think a professional hypnotist would make enough money to live in this - so he was hopeful that she would not lock her back door. It seemed like forcing entry would make whatever charges he might face a lot worse. Sure enough, the door slid smoothly open into a small kitchen area.
Doug slid the door shut as the fact that he had absolutely no idea what he was doing came surging back to the forefront of his consciousness. Where could Naira be hidden? Where wouldn't the police have looked?
He took out a small LED pen light and shined it around the room. It all looked terribly normal, if well kept. Were there secret doors? He needed a better feel for the layout of the house before he could even guess where such a thing might be. He headed into the hallway, happy the plush carpet muted his footfall.
As he walked towards the end of the hall, carefully scanning the small blue lit area in front of him, his nose was infiltrated by the nauseating scent of tobacco. He had always hated the scent, especially on Naira's breath the first few time they kissed, but he had never smelled it as intensely as he did here. It made him want to wretch.
Then he heard it; a high, surprised sound so universal and yet so intimately familiar. As he approached the end of the hall he heard the other, lower sounds that had surrounded that delightful little squeal so often.
He remembered the first time he had made love to Naira. She had been in his lap, reclining against the arms of the sofa, her soft lips mashed to his as their tongues dance around each other. His hand had slid up her bare, smooth thigh, under the hem of her skirt. As the kiss broke he had rubbed her mons through her underwear, looking into her lust-glazed eyes as she had made those low, earthy tones.