Chapter 30

Arthur

Life

I was surprised by Harriet's enthusiasm. I guess I was still recovering from being moved so deeply by her confession and description of how her perspective had changed.

It felt ... amazing to finally be understood, especially by the only person whose opinion I cared about. I'd like to think we were soul mates. That would be the greatest gift in the world.

Hey, perhaps Henry will stop interfering if he finds out Harriet and I are destined to be together.

Making Harriet my proprius

5. Loosening other bonds

"So you really want to do this tonight?" I asked, moving my head back so I could see her and clasping my hands together at the bottom of Harriet's spine to form a cage so that she couldn't fall backwards.

"Yes," Harriet said, with certainty.

"Okay. Well, I reckon it will be easier if you're on my bed." I let go of her and she compliantly slid off and sat on my duvet.

Method

i) Hypnosis

"I'm going to hypnotise you," I told her.

"Okay," she said calmly.

I held her hands and gazed deeply into her eyes. She was instantly caught and held by my gaze. I continued to stare, watching her pupils dilate and her eyelids close less frequently. Finally, I whispered "Sleep," and her head rolled forwards, her eyes shut. Her breathing was calm and steady.

"Harriet Thyme," I murmured, "you are under my power. You will do whatever I ask of you."

"Yes, master," she said, in a dull, monotone voice.

"When I wake you up, you will think less about your friends. You will still like them but no one will be as important to you as me. The time you usually spend with them you will want to spend with me. You will crave my company. At school, you'll act normal and still treat your friends as you normally do, but once you get home, the first person you'll want to see is me."

I clicked my fingers.

Observed Effect

None. None was expected.

END OF STEP 5

Harriet woke up.

She smiled at me. "Did it work?"

I shrugged. "I'm guessing so. It usually does."

She looked a little confused as if she had been expecting me to say something like "Yes, definitely".

"Oh, okay then," she said. She smiled. "Well, next thing then."

"You should be worried about me using so much power over you," I told her, half teasingly, half seriously.

"But I'm not," she replied simply. "I know you'd never hurt me."

I smiled. "Last one then."

"For tonight," she reminded me.

I laughed. "Yes, Harriet, for tonight."

6. Becoming the only one she can turn to

Method

i) Persuasive Statements and Suggestion

Harriet sighed contentedly and lay on her side on my bed.

"Harriet, you love me, don't you?"

"Of course I do, darling," she replied.

"And I'm the only one for you, right?"

"Right," She smiled.

I added hypnotic power to my voice. "And if you ever had a problem, you'd come to me, and if you needed to talk to someone, you'd choose me."

"Yes, darling," she murmured, gazing into my eyes, almost as if she were willing me to turn the hypnotic power on there.

I made it an outright suggestion when I said "I'm the only person you can turn to. The only person who understands."

"Yes, master," Harriet whispered, evidently stunned by the way I had changed so quickly from persuasion to suggestion (though naturally, she didn't know those terms).

"Harriet, you will feel pain without me. It will feel like there's a hole in your chest when I'm not around because life is dull and unsatisfactory when one is missing one's soul mate. You will feel that I'm your soul mate. No one could love you half as much as I do, no one will see you in exactly the way I see you. No one could ever make you feel the warmth and joy and security I bring you. Harriet, I am irreplaceable."

"You're irreplaceable," she repeated.

ii) Possessive Statements

"You're mine." My gaze turned hypnotic too.

"I'm yours."

"Your heart is mine."

"My heart is yours."

"Your soul is mine."

"My soul is yours."

And finally, the words I had not been able to say on that day in half tem: "Your will is mine."

Harriet, transfixed by my eyes, mesmerised by my voice - in other words, utterly under my power - repeated.

To my complete surprise, she half rolled, half fell onto her front, eyes closed.

"Harriet?" I asked, concerned.

She woke up, dazed.

And then she looked at me. And stared.

Observed Effect

Total Captivation. There was so much love in her eyes and awe in her expression that her mind must have been spinning.

For a long time, she didn't say anything. She just sat there, looking at me as if I were an angel.

Finally, she whispered one word. One word that put this whole situation, our entire lives into perspective.

The word was "Wow."

END OF STEP 6

Harriet

"My will is yours."

The world went black. And when I reopened my eyes, it was filled with dazzling light. Except it wasn't. Because filling my vision was Arthur, not any blinding sunshine or glorious moonlight. But he was like the sun and moon combined. It's hard to explain. He wasn't glowing or exuding a visible aura or anything like that, but the way I felt about him, the emotions he evoked from my soul, made him to me the most radiant person to look at. It was like ... luxury to gaze upon him. And for a long time, I simply sat there, my breath taken away by his stunning ... him-ness.

My vision, my feelings and my acute awareness of the perfection of this moment crystallised into a single syllable that seemed to convey every last thought in my mind.

"Wow."

And Arthur was looking at me, his expression revealing that he was sincerely touched so that I was almost moved by my own effect on him.

I thought I could see tears in his eyes as he whispered "Oh, Harriet, this is so special."

"It is, Arthur," I agreed, and I knew (because Arthur would always recognise every tiny detail in my speech and actions and understand it) that he could hear that his name was like a substitute for ‘master' because his captivating nature was so overpowering that I couldn't help but feel like his slave. This wasn't a bad thing, though. I knew Arthur would never ever exploit his power over me or do anything that would hurt or sadden me.

He sat me up, took my hands and kissed them.

"Never leave me, darling," he said, his eyes filling.

How could he think that I would?

"I won't. I can't. I love you, Arthur. You're the one most important person in my life and if you left, I could never feel happiness again."

He hugged me tightly.

"I will never leave you," he promised, the intensity of his love almost making him sound aggressive. But Arthur was gentle, tender, sweet, kind: he would never hurt me.

"I love you, Arthur," I repeated for emphasis.

"I love you, too, Harriet."

And those words would mean I could last through anything.

The End

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