The First Before

By Tom Gungy -
published May 17, 2018

A man decides to look up an old flame and mend some bridges. The old flame’s husband shouldn’t mind afterwards.

My heart stopped when I had come home to find my partner, the man I had married, with another guy. They weren’t in bed or anything. It was nothing nearly as simple. Gary was sitting next to the guy on the couch. A blank look was in his eyes with what seemed to be a tired smile on his face. What bothered me though was the fact that the man Gary was listlessly perched next to was his ex-partner, Luke, whom he had a romantic history with that stretched out to be at least twice as long as ours. My heart stopped because I knew. I knew Luke still had a very unique hold over Gary as well.

“You are not welcome here!” I menaced the well-dressed man in a blazer, already ready to throw the man out. When he turned to me from my disturbingly unphased partner I had expected to see some semblance of shock or surprise on his face.Instead Luke’s smile revealed that he was just as unphased as Gary, despite my briskly striding towards him with clenched fists.

I was within swinging distance of the smug man when he calmly said, “Relax, cutie pupper.”

I froze. I found myself blindsided. I felt like like the sharp intruder had just told me something I never expected to hear. He might as well have told me that Gary was dead or I had cancer. My heart raced from the shock. Did he really just say that? I glanced to Gary for a brief moment. He didn’t meet my gaze. His focus was still set straight ahead with that unknowing grin, and never had I felt such a horrible sinking feeling from my partner’s smile. Luke had taught everything Gary knew about hypnotism. Gary had told me that Luke had previously used it on him like he now used it on me behind closed doors, but I had always hoped that Gary had moved beyond that.

“Good cutie pupper,” Luke continued in his unrushed way as he lazily pointed to the floor. “Sit.“

A mental struggle asserted itself in my mind and manifested as a pounding headache. Part of me, my consciousness, fought to ignore the command. It fought so I could grip this smug, sharp man by the collar of his stupid, spiffy dress shirt and throw him out the front door. Yet another part of me instinctively saw to my body lowering to the floor. Years of Gary, a man I loved and would do anything for, using the same commands on me in situations of pleasure and for my enjoyment with my total consent were deeply ingrained into my mind. In that part of my mind, commands were as simple as a force of gravity, and as such, I couldn’t resist the pull bringing me to my knees. My butt tentatively resting on my heels.

“It seems that Gary here has been carrying on his master’s trade,” Luke announced to no one in particular. His arm stretched around my partner. Gary continued to beam as if he was enjoying a casual conversation. I clenched my teeth. Did he even realize I was being bent to obey against my will? Was there a part of him still resisting?

"And it’s always good to see that my work has stood the test of time. Isn’t that right, slave slut?”

“Yes, Master,” Gary emphatically agreed, seemingly ignoring my desperate gaze from below. I knew that he was being manipulated as well, but I couldn’t help but feel betrayed. I tried to send a message to the part of him I hoped was still fighting too with my eyes, yet he wouldn’t even look at me. Luke must have seen how badly I wanted to get through to him though because his domineering smirk now bore down on me.

“Do you need something, cutie pupper?” he asked in a tone not unlike how some would address an animal. Despite my still fervent resolve, my hypnotically intilled canine instincts elicited a pathetic, needy whimper from my throat. I blushed after I made the noise, and I saw from the sadistic twinkle in Luke’s eye that my face’s new reddened shade wasn’t lost on him. He took pleasure in it.

“Go on then, cutie pupper!” he encouraged with a growing smile. “What do you need? Come on, boy. What do you need?”

My brain scrambled at the man’s words. My befuddled mind struggled with the question as it was viciously being split in two by its own opposing parts. Gary’s “cutie pupper” was dying to appease the man he was now looking up at, calling the shots, and repeatedly reasserting his control with the trigger drilled into my head. It was only natural for him to obey when someone called him “cutie pupper.” He always had with Gary, after all. Though in thinking of the love of my life sitting next to the man calling the shots, the other part of me pushed harder though. I thought about how he sat there, smiling simply and mindlessly, as a prisoner to his own past demons. I knew what I needed. I knew what Gary needed. I needed to get help.

I dashed for the door as fast as I could. I thought about how I could go to the neighbor’s house to get help, call the police, or even call a friend if I needed to. The possibilities were endless for receiving assistance, yet I knew I couldn’t do it with Luke around, repeating my trigger, and addling my mind. It wasn’t until I was to the door and I reached up for the handle that I realized I had never actually gotten up. I had scampered to the front door on hands and knees like a dog. I saw that my outstretched hand was curled into a fist. An increasingly loud part of my mind even recognized it my “paw” instead of my hand. I whimpered some more, shamelessly and helplessly, as I pawed at the door with two curled fists. All that came was a mocking knocking with every desperate strike. Then I heard the laughing from behind me.

“Look at the cutie pupper trying to outside without his collar,” Luke taunted with roaring laughter. “Slave slut, call your boy.”

Oh no.

“Cutie pupper,” I heard Gary call.

I clenched my eyes shut as I tried hard not to listen. I frantically beat at the door even harder.

“Cutie pupper, come here,” the passive yet devilishly tempting voice repeated the call with increased urgency.

I felt my agency start to slip away as the instinctual obedience started to grow and overwhelm my consciousness. I had barely resisted when Luke was using my trigger. I resisted because I knew I needed to help Gary. I needed to get out of here. I needed to-

“Slave slut,” Luke admonished my beloved with a growl. “I thought I trained you better than this. Control your boy for me. Make him mine.”

That’s all it took.

“Cutie pupper! Here! Now!” my master sternly commanded.

The dam burst, and I was helpless to obey. I scampered to Master with all due speed and whimpered in penance for my heinous crime of disobedience. Master looked mad for a few seconds before the sharp man next to him said a few thing. Then Master had that nice, blank smile he had on before as he fished his hands into his pants. I liked it when Master was happy. I also liked it when he fed me his bone.

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