Luke was kneeling naked in a dark room, staring at the most beautiful thing he had ever seen in his life.
"You can't take your eyes off it, can you?" said the low, velvety voice behind his ear. Luke mumbled something in reply.
"I'm going to tell you some things now. Things you will not remember hearing. But when the time comes, you will obey them anyway; automatically, instinctively. Are you ready to hear these things?"
Luke mumbled something else.
"The first thing is, meoooooowwwww. Meooow? Prrrrrrrrrrr..."
Luke blinked awake to find his cat Grendel perched on his chest, purring loudly and nuzzling his chin. Groggily he reached up and scritched her. "Have you been hypnotizing me in my sleep, Grendel? Bad kitty."
While his coffee brewed, Luke tried to retrieve the threads of the dream, but they seemed to unravel as he pulled on them, leaving nothing but an impression of a sultry voice murmuring commands in his ear. He'd had very similar dreams several times that week, and twice had built sexy morning fantasies around them. His hand brushed against the front of his pants as he imagined a curvy dominatrix in black silk robes that revealed as much as they hid, standing with her legs apart as he knelt at her feet. His cock pushed insistently behind the zipper as he imagined her pulling her robe aside and telling him to lick her, and he quickly unbuckled his belt and fly and slid a hand inside. The front of his underwear was already a little bit wet, and he slowly squeezed up the length of his shaft to get a little bit more out, to get his palm slippery so that when he wrapped his hand around the shaft it would slide smoothly through his fingers. The feel of precome on his skin, and the smell of it, mingled in his head with the imagined feel of her soft folds parting around his tongue, the smell and taste of her. All he could remember of her voice from his dream was a vague sense of something sultry and low and breathy that vibrated through his body like an irresistable force; he wasn't imagining words now, but just the feel of her voice washing over him, carrying him away. She ordered him to lie back now and straddled him, sliding his cock deep inside her and riding him hard until he came...
The other thing that kept happening was it kept making him late to work, he thought ruefully as he cleaned himself up, splashed his coffee into a thermos, and hustled out the door. Taking the stairs so he wouldn't have to wait for the elevator, he noticed as he ran by a stack of boxes piled by the next door down from his. He'd heard someone new was moving in there; Luke briefly wondered when he'd meet them. He remembered seeing a sign in the lobby about recent breakins in the building (more than one!) and wondered if the boxes would be safe there, but even as he wondered this he saw the door of the apartment start to open and so, relieved and being late already, ducked back into the stairwell and took the steps two at a time.
"You've been building up to this for a long time, haven't you? Trying to stay away, but still drawn irresistibly closer and closer..."
Luke mumbled something in reply.
"I bet it's such a relief to finally give in, isn't it? To know that you can't fight it. To finally be able to stop trying..."
"It's such a joy to submit completely. To know that you're going to obey. Isn't it?"
"Here is what you are going to do now. You don't need to remember this, because it will happen automatically; you are no longer in control. What you are going to do is mrrrrrrreowwwww? Prrrrrrrrrrr..."
Grendel was licking his face. Waking up so turned on with a cat licking him was getting just a little embarassing. Luke hastily got out of bed.
In the shower, Luke quickly gave up any pretense that he wasn't going to jack off thinking about it every morning that he had this inexplicably sexy dream. He was rock-hard before he even turned the water on. Stepping back so the warm spray fell straight on his crotch, he closed his eyes and wrapped his hand around his cock and mentally fleshed out his image of the sultry dominatrix a bit more. Curly dark hair that flowed in little ringlets over the tops of her breasts, as she looked down at him ... he wasn't very far into the fantasy before he was kneeling on the floor of the shower, all the water passing over his head as he needed to be kneeling even imagining her voice commanding him, coming so hard for her...
And shivering as he realized he was kneeling on the cold floor of the shower with a handful of come. Awkwardly he stood up, and finished washing.
Late again, he took the stairs again and this time actually caught a glimpse of his new neighbor on the way out. She was a short, cheerful-looking woman in a light green business-casual shirt and dark slacks, with square-framed glasses and reddish hair in a short bob. She caught him looking at her as she bent down to pick up yet more boxes, and smiled and waved. He waved back, then hurried down the stairs.
On the way out of the building he noticed a wallet lying on the ground next to the bushes. Assuming it belonged to one of his neighbors, he picked it up; but the address on the ID inside was all the way across town. He tucked it into his pocket and planned to call the owner from work.
"Hi, I'm looking for a Sandra Bloom?"
"Hi. I seem to have found your wallet."
"Oh! Well, thank you for calling! I was wondering what happened to it; it must have fallen out of my pocket somewhere. Can I come pick it up or something?"
"Sure, if that's convenient for you; or I could drop it off tonight if the address on the driver's license is still current. My name's Luke Harriston and I work at 128 Fifth Street downtown; I'll be here 'till 5."
"Thanks, I think I'll come by; I don't have any classes this afternoon. Where did you find it? Oh, shoot, I have to go -- you can tell me when I get there. Bye!"
"Okay, just call this number when you get to my build--" click
Despite his fears, the attractive young brunette from the drivers' license photo did manage to find his office and call up from the lobby. He offered her coffee from the little coffee kiosk by the front desk, in recompense for having to come all the way downtown to get her wallet back.
"Well, as long as you're not buying it with my money," she said, grinning and making a show of counting the two bills that had been in the wallet when he found it. "Where did I drop it, anyway?"
He told her his address. "It was right by the side of the building, as I was leaving by the side staircase."
She stopped with a confused look.
"What's wrong? Do you know somebody in my building that you might have been visiting?"
"Yeah, actually I do. One of my teachers lives there; I just helped her move in last week. But I haven't been there since then. I know I wasn't there any time yesterday. But I also know I had my wallet yesterday morning."
"Did you have one of her classes yesterday? Maybe ... oh, I don't know, maybe you left it in her classroom and she took it home intending to get it back to you and also dropped it and ... okay, I'm just making shit up. I have no idea. But that's where I found it, anyhow."
"I did have her class yesterday," Sandra said. "It was on..." she furrowed her brow for a moment as if trying to remember. Luke waited. Sandra's brow very slowly unfurrowed, but she remained otherwise motionless, staring blankly into space.
Luke waited a bit longer.
"Um... ?" he said, finally.
"Huh?" she replied, immediately becoming animated again. She blinked a few times.
"You were talking about your class?"
"Right, the class you had yesterday with the teacher who lives in my building?"
"Teacher who lives ... where do you ... oh! Oh. Right, you ... right." She stared at him for a few moments, eyes going in and out of focus as she apparently tried to remember her train of thought. "Right, my Sumerian History teacher. She ... she just moved into your building. I helped her move last week."
"Well, it sounds like maybe you dropped your wallet in her class," Luke said, smiling. If you were that out of it in class, I bet you did! he thought to himself.
"Yes ... um, I have to go. It was nice meeting you!" Sandra flashed him a smile, then hurried away, leaving her half-finished coffee behind.
Bemused, Luke headed back upstairs to work.
Coming home from work, as he was stepping out of the elevator onto his floor, he once again ran into his new neighbor. "Hi! You must be just moving in. My name's Luke Harriston; I have the apartment next-door to yours." He held out his hand.
"Oh hi! I'm Selene Lindsey. Pleased to meet you! Sorry, I still have a few boxes to run up from my car before it gets dark" she replied, shaking his hand with a bright smile and then ducking apologetically past him to the elevator.
Luke wandered forward blindly in a daze.
That was the voice from his dreams.
Somehow he managed to open his apartment door and stumble inside, not really seeing anything.
After sitting on the couch for a while, Luke started to pull himself together. "Okay, I have a huge crush on my next-door neighbor's voice, and have been masturbating to the memory of it all week. I must have heard her talking some time when she was moving in. It's hugely embarassing, but not really a problem, is it? No, it isn't."
"Now what? Should I go see if she needs more help moving those boxes? I might get to hear her talk more..." He was instantly hard. "Ok, only a little problem..."
He got up and headed down the hall towards the elevator. As he reached it, the doors opened. "Oh, hi again!" said his neighbor.
"Hi," said Luke, trying to calm his fluttering stomach. "Do you need any help with those boxes?"
"Oh, sure, thanks!" she replied, brushing a lock of hair behind one ear. She held the elevator door open with her foot while sliding a box out into the hall. "Can you help me get these boxes out of the elevator? Then we can move them into my apartment next."
Luke helped her shuffle boxes into the hallway and then, once they'd let the elevator go, into her apartment. Her apartment was similar in layout to his, but stacks of cardboard, crumpled newspaper, and foam showed she was clearly still unpacking.
"Thanks so much, Luke-- Luke, right?" she asked. He nodded. "Can I offer you..." she glanced inside her refrigerator, "a beer or diet soda?"
He smiled nervously. "Beer's great, thanks."
As she bent down to pull two beers from the refrigerator door, a necklace slipped out from her shirt, a gold pendant on a long chain. "Nice necklace," heremarked.
"Thanks," she said, handing him one of the beers. "I got it on a dig." She chuckled. "I like saying that because it makes it sound like I unearthed it out of some mysterious ancient temple or something. Actually a local sold it to me in a bazaar. It's fake, of course." She held it up for him to get a closer look.
The pendant was a thick cylinder covered with cuneiform, attractive chicken-scratchings he couldn't read. It swiveled a little as it dangled between her fingers.
"First, the metal's wrong-- ironically for a fake, it's a bit too pure for the period that ... well, for any period that used cuneiform. Second, that isn't really cuneiform. It isn't quite like any of the real writing systems, and if you look closely it has features that just didn't occur in cuneiform writing-- like curved lines."
Luke stared at the pretty pendant dangling between her fingers. Between the lines of writing, there was also some sort of symbol or picture that he couldn't make out. "So why did you buy it?"
"I just thought it was pretty." She laughed. "And kind of silly. An ironic memento of my work. Nowadays I think it has some mysteries of its own-- like why someone would make an obvious fake out of gold! So I still get a kick out of it." She tucked it back into her shirt.
"Anyway, thanks for helping me with my boxes, Luke," she said, and raised her beer bottle in toast. They clinked bottles, and drank. "It was kind of you to come over and give me a hand." After a moment her eyebrows shot up suddenly, then her eyes narrowed, then her face smoothed out again, and she smiled. "Why don't we go sit in the living room?"
"Ok, sure," said Luke. He wasn't sure what was suddenly going through her head, but he was sure he wanted to keep hearing her speak. As long as he could keep his untucked shirt hanging loosely over his lap, so it wasn't obvious how painfully hard her voice was making him.
The conversation that followed was an odd one. Luke found her voice so affecting that he had to concentrate very hard just to interact normally instead of closing his eyes and getting lost in the luscious tones of her words. As it was, he would occasionally take a moment to realize she'd asked him a question. But he thought he was for the most part hiding his reaction well ... which was good, because she seemed to be watching him very closely for something. She told him about her work; he mentioned his own job, but mostly wanted to hear her talk more, and she obliged-- still watching him closely. After a while, she stood up suddenly.
"Would you like to see some of the things I work on?"
She opened a door into a small office. Despite some unpacked boxes, the room was fairly neat; and dominating the space was a cloth-covered object on a pedestal on top of a desk against one wall. She walked over to it.
As near as he could figure, the adjacent wall was next to his apartment. He tried to visualize his apartment layout and mentally compare it to hers.
"And this is the piece that-- what on earth are you looking at?"
Startled out of his architectural ruminations, Luke turned from the wall he was speculating about, to see his neighbor and the object of his recent intense nighttime sexual fantasies standing in a dramatic pose, holding the cover she'd apparently just taken from a strangely-shaped black statue sitting on the desk. She'd obviously meant for him to admire it, and he'd dropped the ball. "Sorry! I'm sorry, I was just-- my apartment's on the other side of that wall, I was wondering which room. Ah, that's a very interesting statue, um, what is it?"
Selene burst out laughing.
Luke stared helplessly for a moment. "Um, I'm sorry, ah, what did I say?"
Selene took a moment to stop giggling long enough to talk. "Nothing, I ... nothing, really, I'm sorry, I just thought you ... I mean, I was..." she giggled some more, then finally got it under control. "Ah, you know, here I did this whole dramatic unveiling thing and you were looking at the wall after all. I was, um, laughing at myself, you know, for thinking the statue was all that impressive."
Luke thought it sounded like there was something else. But clearly he'd ruined her showy moment. "I'm sorry! I'm kind of out of it today," because I can't hear your voice without thinking about sex, he thought but didn't say, "but I really do want to see the statue. What did you say it was of?"
"I'm not actually sure, although it seems to be dedicated to Ninhursag, a Sumerian fertility goddess. This is her symbol," she said, pointing to what could have been an omega on a flat part of the statue. "From contextual references I think this particular statue is dedicated to one of the earlier goddesses who later became syncretically merged into Ninhursag, actually."
"What's that material that it's made of?" Luke asked.
"I'm not sure of that either! Another mystery," she replied, stroking the smooth black surface fondly. "It's lovely, though, isn't it?"
Luke found the sensual brush of her hand against the statue a bit difficult to watch, and swallowed. "Ah. Yes."
"Anyway," she said briskly, giving her head a little shake and folding the cloth back over the statue, "I'd probably better turn in for the evening. I have an 8am class to teach, of all things! And I don't get to sit in the back row and sleep through it, unlike some of my students!"
"Hah, that probably explains it," chuckled Luke. "I met one of your students, but she couldn't give even the vaguest account of what your class was about..."
"You talked to one of my students?" Selene seemed suddenly wary again.
"Yeah, Sandra Bloom-- I found her wallet by the side of the building. Did she leave it in your class? She wasn't sure how it got here, but I was thinking maybe if you'd picked it up for her and then it fell out of your stuff on the way in..."
"Oh. Um, yeah, she did that. I assume you looked inside and found her name and called her, then? Thank you; that was very good of you."
Luke's knees felt weak when he heard her say "very good," and his eyes fluttered briefly closed as he gasped a little with the pleasure of it. When they opened, she was staring closely at him again, and then her eyes widened as a little smile came to her face, and then the doorbell rang.
They both jumped. "I'm, ah, I should probably, I mean..." Luke mumbled after a pause, as they both turned towards the door.