It was a chance encounter, really, like most great adventures, nothing that could have been predicted, it just happened. And yet, afterwards, it just seemed like it was meant to be.
Connie was in a mood and not a good one. She had lost her job and was doing her best to ask around, the friends of friends thing, and Debra was often her companion to parties and interesting seminars at the local library. Both were single and at the wrong end of their 30s and trying to come to terms with not being so desperate about that ticking clock. Connie had the attitude of hooking up for a month or two with whoever made her itches flare up, and Debra was nearly always fending off Connie's latest boyfriend's friend who also wanted some opportunistic action. She felt that her dozen lovers was enough to teach her what guys were mostly all about, and her heart didn't enjoy at all that empty feeling of being left alone with her hungers, her many hungers, unsatisfied. She needed a long time with her Hitachi and none of her guys had had the patience or fortitude to really get her off, and her drunken sleepovers with Susie in college taught her that even girls can be assholes after they get off too.
So it came to pass that they attended a silent auction at a fundraiser for a very very worthwhile cause for most of the attendees over the esoteric joys of making paper from odd materials and further printing pamphlets with old fashioned presses and all kinds of outdated quaint things that only the rich and nostalgic really could care about. And some hot artist types, of course, mostly gay, who were of course far more fun to talk with than the married and divorced suburban elders who all seemed to know each other. Who all clearly enjoyed undressing Connie with their eyes as she flirted and nonchalantly asked about their professions and eventually openings. Her own attire wasn't so compelling, but being with Connie meant that she got the attention of the ones Connie wasn't toying with. It was a typical experience - Connie would whisper snide comments about the last group as they meandered around picking out new social circles to invade. She had a great wit and Debra enjoyed playing second fiddle - it beat staying home and finding the energy to tackle all those should-do's.
There was a guy, an ageless older guy, though, who was also an interloper, and they smiled their hellos as they nearly crossed paths wandering a few times. Connie had hit it off with some artist and Debra peeled away and found herself almost bumping into this guy.
"Hey, you look about as lost being here as I am" he smiled genially. "My name is unimportant, but since that is so unusual, I'll allow you to call me Caret tonight" he added with a mischievous grin.
"How very kind of you, Caret, my name tonight is the same as it is every night, and that would be Debra" as she took his bait.
"Might that be Deborah, or did you say Debra"?
"I said Debra, but I do enjoy being called Deborah under the right circumstances"
"Well, my dear Debra, I would be delighted to learn of those circumstances. Perhaps I could earn your respect and knowledge of those circumstances with a little bit of misdirection"
"This whole party is about misdirection in my opinion"
"I could easily agree, yet I know not your rationale"
"They feed you, they offer you alcohol, nice wine actually, and a somewhat mixed group of socialites, and then they squeeze your for money. Everything is about money nowadays, its so boring"
"Now now now, I can't say I disagree at all, yet there are some things that are not about money. Imagination and illusion are not about money, might I be given a chance to illustrate?"
His manner of speaking was odd, decidedly odd, as if it should have some old world german accent, yet it did not. She was hearing his words but not really understanding them - typical party talk in many respects. But she wanted to hear more.
"Well, yes, I'll give you one chance"
"A most gracious offer, one that I am thankful for; I might guess that your specialities do not include particle physics at the string theory level, would I be correct?"
"Ummm, no, errr, wait, I mean yes, I am not a wizard at anything particle physics related, although I once had a boyfriend who would bore me to death on, well, as I think you would put it, such matters." For some reason she had slowed the cadence of her speech and tried to match his style to a slight degree. He had probably been checking out Connie and herself through the evening and so her guard was up, but softening.
"Allow me to explain a sadly discarded theory in particle physics by way of illustration. Now look here, I have these two rubber bands..." and somehow he did these silly cat's cradle like things with them between his two hands, and much to her surprise, the bands would intertwine and untwine and hop and jump from finger to finger and do absolutely impossible things.
"So you're a magician" she concluded after he handed her the two rubber bands at the end and she looked them over in simple curiosity.
"I am an Illusionist, actually, primarily, what you see here, an Actor in so many ways, and though I really do know other kinds of magic, perhaps real magic in many respects, that kind of performance requires a different kind of stage."
"And what kind of stage would that be?"
"Well, many and various." he gave her a discerning look. "You can keep the rubber bands. Ah, here comes your companion"
Connie waltzed over with a beaming smile. "Hey Deb, I have an interview next Wednesday! Who might this fine gentleman be?"
"He calls himself Caret tonight. Caret, meet my dear friend Connie" Caret worked his face into distinctively old school charm mode, took Connie's hand and brushed his lips across it, and without batting an eye, as if this were done every day, turned his full attention onto Connie and asked: "I have been told that Debra requires certain circumstances to be met before she allows people to call her Deborah, might you be know and be willing to disclose those circumstances to me, now, perhaps?"
"I have no idea what you are talking about" she took his obvious bait, "I hardly know you. Such knowledge may or may not be in my possession, and it certainly shouldn't be given out for free"
"Oh, but I earned something I think; Debra is now far more acquainted with the failed Theory of Strings as it relates to Particle Physics".
"Is that so?" Connie turned to Debra. "He strikes me as a salacious bounder to me"
"Now hold on! That would be Act III, and we are still in Act I. Perhaps you two would be interested in a small gathering at my house. I try to get a mix of old and new people together about once a month. Honestly, I do try out some new illusions, but there's usually some wine and extremely good chocolate." Turning to Debra, he added "Now Debra, might you agree that my illusions are interesting, and perhaps you might like to see more?"
"Delusions might be a better term!" Debra quipped, and feigning mock pain, Caret pleaded with the gods above for a fair hearing. Out of nowhere a business card appeared in his hand, surprising the shit out of Connie,
"Check me out, the offer is sincere, a week from Monday, 8pm. I'm strictly an amateur in the sense that I don't take money for performances, yet, well, I am on occasion in demand for charity events, not this one, but others." He left the card with Debra.
She liked him. Connie hated him. He was different, Connie was the same. Why not, she thought, I'll go alone.
The 8pm gathering was really only eight people, and all the others had chocolate in common. There was quite a story behind it, and many samples, and the politics of money and abuses of power quickly emerged from the usual social discretion around such topics once Debra voiced a supporting opinion, and Caret played low key host when he didn't interject a barbed opinion just to rile some opinions out of the less vocal. The 10pm witching hour arrived early, and several left, but four remained for the illusion of the night. Debra learned that the three others had seen a few performances and enjoyed them, so she felt comfortable waiting a few minutes.
Caret reappeared, in a hat, contacts, and a jacket, and was a different character entirely. Something of a smooth talking slick sell you a used pure gold talisman kind of guy, one that you couldn't quite place. Perhaps a gambler from an old fashioned riverboat. The illusion of the night involved matches and the horrific notion of burning the men or burning the women, imaginarily at least, and yet somehow everyone was caught up and egging each other on. Debra had the last choice, and it was to save the Queen of Hearts, and, lo and behold, she did, an impossible thing of course.
She was slightly hooked. It was clearly just a one illusion capper to the night, and the other three said their thank you's and headed towards the door, she whined a bit saying "but I want to see more!" and the others laughed, "be careful what you ask for, he'll keep you here all night!" in jovial ways, and as he was ushering everyone out the door he did, though, turn to her and say, "well, look, Debra, I could show you a couple more things, stuff I can't really show them again since its against my magician's creed. Do you really want to? I do appreciate a positive audience" and it was done.
The others left, and Caret took her into a small sitting room - what had once been a bedroom in suburbia, but his whole house had been rethought and every room had a more interesting purpose than was usual in suburbia. He warned her that he would do another costume change, and she took the few minutes to look over his bookshelves. Mostly science and other non-fiction, with some spy novels and some travel books. Very eclectic.
"Arrrrr!" he announced with a growl, entering in what looked like the disheveled clothing of a down and out pirate. He bantered back and forth in a deliberately overwrought accent, causing a small treasure map to shift from one place to another, and then to burn up in a flash, and another illusion about the bullet that nearly ended his life except for his force of will to bend the barrel of the gun at just the right moment, and other small silly things that were light hearted and fun. Stuff for kids of all ages was his intro, and she could see that he would keep them quite entertained. She was. He was weaving his dialog back and forth to keep her interest up and joking enough to keep it casual.
For his last piece he dug out a rope and had her tie his hands quite tightly behind his back, explaining that he often found himself in such a position after not escaping his bar bills quite quickly enough, wincing and twisting as he tried to escape, and then suddenly he had to sneeze and one hand jumped out and covered his nose and then quickly returned to his back in its agonizing position. She missed it the first time, but the second sneeze clued her in, and she called him on it, but he turned around and made her untie him to prove it was an illusion that she thought she saw him being polite - after all, pirates aren't known for their politeness he explained.
The rope. He had handed it to her afterwards so that she could examine it. She pulled on it, ran it through her fingers. It wasn't rough and it wasn't smooth.
"Would you like to know how its done?" he finally offered.
"Sure!" she crossed her wrists in front.
"So first, we start with just the one wrist, right?" and he took one and quickly looped a couple turns around it, then had her cross the other wrist and soon she had both wrists in an X with a long tail leftover falling to her feet. It was a much longer rope she realized, he had switched it. She twisted and turned to no avail.
He watched her closely with careful attention.
"You switched the ropes" she said.
"Yes I did"
"And tied them differently."
"Yes, that is true"
"Can I escape?"
"Certainly. Your teeth will make short work of the knots I tied. Less than five minutes"
She looked him over carefully. Her heart was pounding. She could feel her nipples swelling into a strongly pleasant stiffness. If he was going to do something crazy it would be now. He didn't.
"Why did you do this?"
"Many reasons, really. I'll tell you this one. You are quite intelligent, and attractive quite honestly, and might enjoy perhaps becoming, if you were interested, in becoming my assistant. There are a lot of illusions that require a sophisticated assistant, and you have a wonderful aura of responsibility and honesty about you that would work quite well."
There was a bulge in his pants that somehow her body was responding to.
"Tell me more"
"Arr.! That's me lass. I must ask your permission to lead you to my workshop, otherwise under the circumstances I might be accused of kidnapping. Would that be acceptable to you?"
There were three opinions at least on this offer, but the loins won out. He took the rope and led her carefully into his garage which, well, was a workshop. There were a bunch of pirate props made out of old looking wood and dark metal loops, including what looked like a classic "coffin" for sawing a woman in two. He led her to a support column, also adorned with hooks, and deftly pulled her hands above her head and secured the rope to one of them.
"You could be a wench I lured out for a quickie and instead found yourself hauled off to my ship"
"Ohhhh pirate Caret, no need to use this rope, you can have what you want, just untie me and I'll do everything and anything you want, I'll even use my mouth on your turgid member, that will be a treat" she saucily replied, writhing in a not very subtle way.
"Oh I know you'll do everything and anything I want, and for as long as I want, that's why I'm using the rope" he approached her slowly till he was about half an arm's length away. She feigned a knee kick to his crotch which he easily avoided, and then pulled hard and tried to undo her wrist ties to no avail. Walking away, he approached her from behind and quickly looped a new piece of rope around her belly, and secured her to the pole there, then about mid-thigh, then below the knee, her kicking was to no avail. Finally feeling safe, he again approached her.
She was somehow not concerned. Looking her in the eye, he stroked her neck, but she pulled away, and so he took her hair in his left hand and held her steady and stroked her neck again. Her body was having its own conversation with him as she could feel little twitches down where the volcano was oozing juices between her legs. When he had tied her thighs tight it had forced her labia together in an extremely delicious manner, one that she still sometimes would use to warm herself up with before applying the vibrator. In her twenties she could masturbate completely to orgasm that way, especially if it was being done a bit seruptitiously like on that hike when she ditched the banana slug group for the secluded grove.
His hand moved down from her neck to her blouse and without really stopping began to unbutton it, still holding her firmly with his left hand by the hair on the back of her neck. He didn't look down. His fingers necessarily brushed her skin, her modest cleavage, her belly below her brassiere, and still he didn't look away as he pulled it completely away, exposing her to his possible gaze.
He ran his hand gently over her belly, across the bare part of her chest above her brassiere, up to her neck, not once loosing his gaze. It was too much and too little at the same time, she closed her eyes and turned her head away, and he relaxed his grip on her hair.
"Do what you need to do to me, pirate caret, I am helpless to your charms".
He approached more closely, and ran both of his hands from her wrists above her down to across her bare chest again, to her neck, and then again. His touch was electrifying, calming, exciting. He used his fingernails gently, her nipples aching in hard points, as yet untouched. A few moments of nothing and a new rope was slung around her, a thick one, and with a giant knot that met her body at the juncture of her thighs and her body, and it was pulled snug. Serious jolts of pleasure started coursing through her at every movement. She opened her eyes again, and he leaned in and barely touched his lips against hers until she opened them and he used his tongue to explore her open lips before finally meeting her mouth fully with his.
His kiss. His kissing. He used one then both hands to cradle her neck. He kept kissing. It was good, it was very good. Suddenly his hands reached up under her bra and he felt her breasts and nipples for the first time, leaning against her knot.
It was everything she needed and more. She thrust against him and he kneaded her breasts and when that got old he worked her nipples between his fingers and when that got old he used his fingernails in just a way that kept her spasming in awful uncontrollable ways that she adored. Finally he cupped her cheeks and finished with a long slow kiss, restoring her bra, and pulling her blouse back together a bit. Somehow he reached up and a quick pull let her arms down, and he covered her eyes with one hand and she took the hint and kept them closed. He loosened the knot for her wrists and left her to undo it as he removed the other ropes.
She left her blouse unbuttoned.
He gazed at her uncertainly.
"I think I would like to explore further, at some other time, the possibility of becoming a magician's assistant. I assume there would be training involved"
"There most certainly would"
"Being the scoundrel and bounder that Connie predicted, I have no doubt that there would be much mercy shown to someone of the fairer sex, such as I."
"That Connie of yours, she is quite the wench. It would be hard to show her mercy, methinks, but for you, it would be hard to not show mercy, you are quite charming and delightful."
"And if I had landed that knee to where it was intended?" she looked at him shrewdly.
"I'll tie you down and give you what you deserve"
Debra had only an instinct to guide her, but somehow she knew she would be naked and it would hurt, and her cunt, yes, that word was what came to her mind, her cunt throbbed, and she was very sure she would want it filled, she wanted it filled really badly in fact right now, and she should leave before she did something silly like take off her clothes to see what would happen.
"And what would you do to Connie?"
The thought of Caret having his way with Connie was somehow compellingly appealing. She wanted Connie stripped and spanked or whatever he did, and to feel her breasts and make her squirm and torment her was this entirely new and deliciously evil thought.
"As your assistant it would be my duty to assist you, would it not?"
Caret looked surprised. The fact that Debra was still partially unclothed was not something he could ignore, and didn't want to, and that she was offering him Connie was far too much. They were both significantly younger, nothing good could come from this, he had in fact been a bounder.
"Debra, look, I... " he looked away. "I'm not a pirate, I'm many things but I can't pretend to even want to plan to do harm to Connie. Your charms overwhelmed my caution tonight, and I must call it a night before something even more stupid happens."
"What was stupid about tonight"
"The wine and the illusions were too much, and I grossly overstepped, well, gross isn't nearly strong enough, I absolutely took advantage of you and I half expect you to send the police over for me tomorrow"
"The wench in me did overwhelm my judgement, I do admit"
Caret looked pained.
"She should be punished next time we meet"
Caret drilled her with a piercing look.
"Those are words that could get you into serious trouble"
"Trouble would be pregnancy"
"It would indeed"
"So let's avoid that"
Caret paused. He approached Debra and peeled her blouse open and ran his fingers along the edges of her bra, dipping in under the fabric just enough to say he did. Debra didn't flinch.
"If I were a doctor I would tell you to take two aspirin in the morning for your hangover, and call me. I think it might be good advice. Drink lots of water."
"I do think that's good advice, so I'll take it"
"I am quite taken by you, in all honesty, and will pine like a schoolboy and be crushed if you don't call me."
Debra paused for a moment to digest that.
"I don't like that. What I'm going to do is write my phone number down on a piece of paper before I leave, and if you dare, you're going to call me and tell me when to come over for my next training session. The wench got away with it tonight, but if she comes out again, well, I think, well, I think you can teach her a few gentle lessons, with rope of course, and make her squirm and fight you till she doesn't fight anymore, I think that's how it goes, I really don't know, this is new to me, but it just feels right. Does that work for you?"
"It will if you indeed give me your number". He smiled a smile like he had done at the party where they had met.
She smiled a similar smile back.
She gave him her number.