Make Me Ch. 03: Observation

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“She affords this on a librarian’s salary?” I asked Bri as she pulled into the driveway. “Jesus, what’s the rent on this place?”

Bri laughed nervously as she put the car in park, “Actually Anna owns it, it’s paid off and everything. You’re gonna love all the artsy stuff she’s got up inside, Cassidy.”

“Is her family rich or something?” I queried, peering up at the modern blue and grey two-story dwelling with its fancy trim and two car garage. The garage was open, and inside was a little sports car, and a bunch of work out equipment.

“She doesn’t like to talk about her family.” Bri said, sounding for all the world like she was reciting something. “But she’s really good with money. She keeps trying to get me into penny stocks or something, but you know me, Cass…” She shrugged, grinning at me, but still an edge of nervousness in her tone. I didn’t like it.

Is she just nervous about us meeting? I wondered, Or is there something off about this new girlfriend that’s setting her on edge?

“Si, mija,” I said, in perfect imitation of my mother, “You spend it all on take out and video game stuff, right?”

“Some of that swag will be collectible someday! You just wait and see.” She joked as she pushed the door open. “It’s all investment.”

As we exited the car, the door in the garage that led into the house popped open, and the new girlfriend emerged. She was about my height, maybe a bit shorter, and every bit as gorgeous as Bri had insisted she was. She looked young about the face, but I realized as she smiled and came over to us, that she moved with a smooth confidence, like she was my age or older, like maybe early thirties to my late twenties. She was black, and though she was lighter skinned than Bri, who didn’t look mixed even though her bastard of a father was a gringo just like mine, her features were clearly black. She had the look of some of the Southern women I’d known when I’d spent a season in New Orleans, and as soon as she spoke I knew her for Louisiana bred, even if her accent was light enough to be barely noticeable.

“Hey, you made it back early! Traffic wasn’t too bad?” She asked, returning Bri’s kiss and smiling down at her before glancing up at me.

I was busy lugging my suitcase from the hatchback of Bri’s lime green compact, but I looked up and smiled back, hoping my wariness didn’t show too much.

She hurried over, “I got that for you.” She said, reaching out and rotating the suitcase before lifting it out as if it weighed about as much as a pillow. Damn. I could barely drag the thing, and there she was holding it by the handle with one hand like it was a briefcase or something. “This car takes a bit of extra finesse.”

“Thanks.” I said, my innate shyness warring with my protectiveness for my sister.

“I’ve heard a lot about you.” She said warmly, her almond colored eyes meeting mine. “I’m glad to finally meet you, Cassidy.”

She held out her left hand, as her right was occupied by my suitcase, and I shook it instinctively. Her grip was firm, but not challenging.

I wondered what Bri had told her about me and felt the prick of heat at my neck. Did she know all our history? How I’d done a shit job of protecting her, then abandoned her for years until she finally had to come find me? Was her statement loaded with criticism, or did she only know surface stuff about me? I know Bri loves me and wouldn’t air out all my dirty laundry to just anyone, but maybe she was serious enough with this woman to have gotten into the deep stuff.

“Y-yeah.” I found myself stammering. I cleared my throat. “I’m glad to meet you too, though for some reason, Bri was keeping you a secret.”

Anna laughed and started for the door, where Bri leaned against the jam watching us, that nervous look on her face again as she chewed her lower lip.

“She was probably saving the big reveal for the sake of shock value.” Anna said as she led the way into the house, Bri stepping aside to let us in. “There has to be some sense of mystery and suspense.”

“Hey!” Bri complained, the corners of her mouth turning up, “I did too tell Cass about you, I just left out…the more recent developments.”

Like the fact that you two live together, and how serious it is. I thought. And that you’re apparently loaded, and anything at all about your personality.

The first room was a laundry room, with a brand-new washer and dryer that looked like they probably cost more than I make in a month, and I make decent money these days, so that’s saying something. As we walked through the house and the two of them bantered back and forth, teasing each other in that familiar way that I imagine old people who’ve been together for a lifetime do, I wondered again why Bri was so nervous. Anna seemed genuinely nice. She looked at Bri and kinda melted a little, and Bri looked at her like she was the only woman in the world. But Bri’s father had been charming too, and he’d looked at my mother much the same way at times.

Maybe this Anna had a side Bri casino şirketleri didn’t want me to see.

Despite my reservations, the evening went surprisingly well. Anna went out of her way to put me at ease, letting Bri pick the music, the topic, and even what to eat for dinner. To my surprise, Anna cooked dinner from scratch. Neither Bri nor I grew up with parents that cooked much, and our experience had been mostly anything that came out of a box, so I was doubly surprised that Bri jumped up in the kitchen and played sous chef.

Their kitchen dance was easy and fluid, and seemed practiced, even though Anna had said they’d only lived together for a little less than a month. I sat at the kitchen island with wine and bits and pieces of things Bri slipped onto a plate in front of me and watched as Anna did some sort of sorcery that involved things that belonged in the scary area of the grocery store that I avoid, full of colorful things that grow out of the ground.

I was finally feeling at ease, and beginning to appreciate what Bri saw in this kind, competent woman, when it happened.

It was subtle, and if I hadn’t been hyper aware of such things, or so overprotective, I might have missed it entirely. Anna was stirring something called a roux, furthur confirming she came from the deep south, and she called out over the music that Bri had turned up slightly louder than necessary. “Babe, hand me that flat spatula, this spoon isn’t keeping it from sticking.”

Bri, who was eyeing the selection in a countertop wine cooler, retrieved the requested item, and then set it down just out of Anna’s reach. Now I’ve seen my sister pull this trick before, a flirty teasing thing she used to do with a roommate I had in college she’d had a major crush on. She never pulled that sort of thing with me, so I figured it was just her way of getting attention or something.

Anna didn’t actually say anything back, she just turned off the burner, the flame winking out, and turned to look at Bri. The stare she cast at Bri was clearing a warning, almost a threat. Bri wasn’t even facing her when she did it, but she froze, turned, and I swear I saw her swallow as her eyes widened a bit. She walked back over, picked up the spatula, and placed it directly in Anna’s hand, not breaking eye contact at all. Anna grinned, wry or smug perhaps, and watched Bri out of the corner of her eye for a long moment as she turned back to the stove, flipping the gas burner back on.

A chill shot through me.

The guest room was comfortable, but I didn’t sleep well. Jax, Bri’s cat, was curled up at my feet, which helped, but I lay awake for a long time, images from the brief exchange settling hard and painful in my gut.

The next day I woke early to the smell of coffee and soft voices. I knew they both had work that day and would be gone soon. I really needed a bit more sleep and I was tempted to hide in the guest room until they had left, but Bri didn’t leave me that option.

My door eased open and I squinted against the light from the hall as Bri slid into the room and shut the door behind her. She was dressed in her mail carrier uniform, but her shirt was still unbuttoned to reveal a grey undershirt underneath.

I tossed the blankets back at the edge of the bed to invite her in.

“Morning, sunshine.” I murmured to her as she clambered into bed with me and burrowed under the covers.

“I’m glad you’re here Cass.” She said as she snuggled close. I wrapped my arms around her and drew her in to my chest. “I miss you.”

“You too, mija.” I said softly, the sleep starting to fall away from my voice. “Who knows, maybe this job interview will pan out, huh?”

“I’d like that.” Bri said, her untamed curls tickling my chin. “You could totally stay with us for a while, at least while you get settled. I’d have to talk to Anna, but she’d say yes, I’m sure.”

“Are you?” I asked, wondering if this was an opening to broach my concerns.

Bri chuckled under her breath. “She knows how much you mean to me,” she said. “she’d agree to almost anything I ask I think. And she wants you to like her. I want you to like her.”

I didn’t know how to respond to that. It’s not that I didn’t like Anna, most of what I’d seen made her seem pretty great. Wealthy, charming, very attractive of course, she obviously worked out a lot. But she struck me as someone who put on a front, and until I saw what was behind it, I wasn’t willing to trust her. Not with Bri.

After the two of them went to work, I spent the morning preparing for my interview. I researched the company. It was a security firm that worked with several high-profile clients. These days security firms that were successful weren’t just a bunch of burly guys in suits for hire, the real money was in cyber security, and that’s where I came in.

I looked into some of the biggest name clients of the company, and it took me about an hour to hack part of the way into one of their systems. I placed a harmless bit of code, a flag with my casino firmaları professional signature on it to mark a weakness in their current system, jotted down in a notebook where I had put it, using my own personal shorthand. Can’t hack a secret code written in ink in a notebook.

I guess my job makes me paranoid. Or maybe I’m already paranoid, and that’s why I’m good at my job. Maybe that’s why, after ironing my interview outfit, and drinking some fancy herbal tea Anna had stashed on a high shelf, presumably out of Bri’s easy reach, I started to snoop.

Now, I’m not usually the type to go where I’m not invited, even professionally, I’m a tester, not really a hacker. Hacking is the tool I use to test the security of a client’s system, I’ve never hacked anything for illegal purposes.

At first, I was just looking at the art on the walls, Bri didn’t give a crap about art, but Anna was obvious a connoisseur because each room had its own style and genre, like an art gallery with a collection in each area.

At least, I told myself I was looking at the art. After wandering the upstairs hall, peering into the bathroom, and finding myself at the door to Anna and Bri’s room, which was cracked, I paused to listen. Like I said, I’m a bit paranoid, obviously I wasn’t going to hear anything. No-one was due home for hours, and by then I’d be at my interview.

Jax wound his way around my feet, peering through the crack in the door, doing a cat imitation of me. “You want in?” I asked, giving myself an excuse to push the door open.

Jax stood half in, half out of the door way indecisively, much like myself.

This is stupid. I thought. What do I think I’m going to find? Evidence of abuse just laying around?

“Just a quick look at the art?” I said uncertainly to Jax, who finally decided that entering the room was in his best interest. He leaped up onto a window seat and stared intently out the window. I walked in, but I didn’t even look at the art on the walls. Instead my gaze was drawn to a digital video camera laying on a desk.

It wasn’t just some regular home camcorder from Target’s electronic section, this was a state of the art piece of equipment.

I thought again of the art pieces on the walls. I don’t know a lot about art, but I know the difference between a print and an original, and these pieces were all originals. Maybe they were local artists, but still, librarians didn’t make that much money. This camera, even though it was a few years old, was worth several thousand dollars.

Something wasn’t right. Too many things just didn’t add up, and over the years, I had learned to trust my gut about these sorts of things.

I picked up the camera, sat on the chair near the desk, a simple wooden dining chair with no arms, and flipped the camera on. The battery was low, so I looked around for a charger, and found one in a camera box that housed a bunch of attachments as well as two different tripods.

Once the camera was charging, I navigated the screen on it to the most recent video and hit play.

The camera was obviously on one of the tripods, or propped on something, because both Anna and Bri were in the shot. Bri was on the bed, asleep, and very much naked, sheets twisted around her legs. Anna stood over her, fully dressed in motorcycle riding gear, sans helmet. Her riding gloves were tucked into a belt, and she watched Bri sleep for a full minute, before shrugging out of her jacket. She wore a white tank top underneath that showed off her strong sinuous shoulders and arms. She reached under the bed and pulled out a rope.

My throat tightened.

Anna trailed the end of the rope over Bri’s shoulder, down her back, and over her ass. Bri mumbled something in her sleep and swatted at the annoyance, but Anna caught her hand, looping the rope around it in a quick, practiced motion. She pinned Bri’s hand above her, climbing up and sitting over her back to keep her from moving as she woke up and realized what was happening. Anna paused as Bri came awake, and murmured something in her ear, then after another brief pause, she grabbed Bri’s other wrist, dragging it up and tying it securely to the first.

In just a few moments she’d secured the ropes to the head of the bed, and she proceeded to tie Bri’s ankles to the posts at the foot of the bed, leaving Bri prone, face down with her legs apart.

The whole process took less than two minutes, and Bri was still blearily waking up as she finished, protesting softly, and burying her face in the mattress. It was obvious it wasn’t the first time something like this had happened, Bri seemed resigned, not surprised. She tested her bounds.

“You won’t get free.” Anna said darkly. “We have to have a little conversation, and I want to make sure you’re paying attention.”

Bri whimpered, and something tightened and warmed inside of me. I paused the video, shocked at my response. This shouldn’t be arousing me…this should be making me sick. I should take this to the police…what is güvenilir casino wrong with me? I thought. Maybe it’s just a sex game. Maybe they’re just going to have sex, Bri’s awake, she hasn’t asked her to stop as far as I can tell.

I steeled myself and hit play, knowing I was crossing a line by watching this, but not caring. If Bri was in danger from this woman, I had to know.

“You pulled some of your old game on me in the kitchen today, with the spatula.” Anna said. “In front of your sister too. What was that about?” She trailed a hand down over Bri’s back, ass, then thighs, eliciting a shudder.

Of pleasure or fear? I wondered. My own response was a bit of both, I realized, but I pushed the thought aside and kept watching.

“No answer?” Anna said.

“It…it was just habit, I think.” Bri stammered. There was definitely a note of fear in her voice. “I was nervous, I want you two to get along and… I, ugh, I don’t know. I’m sorry.”

“You corrected yourself,” Anna said. “Which was good, but you knew better in the first place, didn’t you?”

“Fuck.” Bri cursed, writhing a bit. “Come on, Anna, my sister is here.”

This had happened last night, while I’d tossed and turned just down the hall.

Anna pulled her motorcycle gloves out of her pocket, and set them on the table by the bed, one stacked neatly atop the other.

Everything she did was controlled, clean, and intentional. I glanced up from the camera screen, my eyes scanning the room, and I realized suddenly that her whole house was the same way, each room arranged just so, each space organized, controlled, and intentional. None of Bri’s stuff laying around in piles like I knew she usually left it, in fact, other than a few pieces of furniture I recognized from Bri’s old place, the place was very Anna, and not very much Bri.

It’s like she’s being entirely eclipsed by this woman. I thought, feeling my arousal ebb a bit. I tuned back into the video in time to find Anna pulling her belt of slowly. “Keep watching me Bri.”

Bri whimpered again, tensing as the belt slipped free. “You know what’s coming, don’t you?” Anna purred. “You know what happens to good girls who behave like teasing little brats?”

I felt myself grow wet as Bri struggled again against her bonds, straining and gasping, “Please, Anna.”

Anna trailed the belt across Bri’s upper back, and Bri moaned, biting her lip to silence herself. Anna let the belt flick across her skin lightly, not a real strike, just a warning, or perhaps a warm up.

“Your job now is to practice doing what you’re told.” Anna said. “No crying out, no loud sounds, you stay as quiet as you can, and maybe, maybe I’ll give you a treat when your punishment is over.”

Tears pricked my eyes even as a flush of warmth flowed through me. My hands shook and I managed to pause it, catching Anna as she lifted the belt for the first real swing. Why is this turning me on? This is awful, I can’t watch this. I thought. She can’t want this, Bri wouldn’t, not after everything she’s been through…

I remembered Bri’s father wielding a belt, not caring where it landed. I remembered the girl curled in on herself, arms over her head as the thick leather swung down. I remembered watching through my own tears as I begged Frank to stop, as I insisted that everything was my fault, not Bri’s, even though I had no idea what had set him off in the first place. I remember every time that he ignored me, delivering between six and ten swift strokes before storming off, venting his rage into the otherwise silent house until the door slammed, cutting off his harsh, cruel words.

I sat, tears on my cheeks, unable to watch and further. Just as I was about to set the camera down and…I’m honestly not sure what I planned to do next, because before I could do anything at all there was a voice behind me.

“You should probably watch the whole thing.” The voice was gentle, but there was reproach in it.

I jumped, turning in the chair to find Anna leaning on the door frame, her arms crossed, eyeing me with an unreadable expression on her face.

“I gotta say,” She added. “I always figured if I came upon a half-naked girl in my room handling my…equipment…it would be a much hotter scene than this.”

Half what? I looked down at myself, realizing that in preparation for changing for my interview I just wore a thin black undershirt and panties, nice, lacy panties that bordered on lingerie. Fuck.

“Well, go on.” She said, gesturing towards the camera. “Watch the rest.”

I steeled myself. Yeah, sure, I’d totally invaded Anna’s privacy, but whatever was going on between her and my sister was fucking scary, and I wasn’t going to just roll over and ignore it.

“I’ve seen enough.” I said coldly, standing up to face her.

“Sit.” Anna said, her voice holding a dangerous edge, “The. Fuck. Down.”

I didn’t even hesitate. I sat. It was instinctive.

She pushed off the door frame and came up to me, and I realized my hands where shaking. I thought of her muscled arms, all that work out equipment in the garage, Bri mentioning she was a runner. And I realized that even if I was a teeny bit taller than her, my computer nerd self was no physical match for this woman.

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