The Mentor

The Mentor

Image:  Inevitable Fate by BoomGTS

This is my first true vore story, and it’s also my first story with a female protagonist.  There’s a male pred, a female pred, some male prey, some female prey.

Dedicated to everyone who helps someone else try something new.


 

Chapter One

Naomi was elated finally to be getting out of Records. She had been there just under a year, but it had seemed like five. It was the dullest job she had ever had, though she had only ever had two jobs, both thanks to Joan.

Joan had been her best friend in high school. Joan had had more popular friends, including boys, but none had been as enduring as Naomi. Joan’s family had money, but Joan was determined to make her own way. Naomi admired that, and when Joan got a part-time job as a waitress at the local Outback Steakhouse, Naomi joined her.

She liked working as a waitress, particularly when Joan had the same shift, but the hours were unreliable, and it wasn’t much of a career path. It got worse when Joan quit to work at the HMO downtown. For the first time, Naomi took stock of her prospects and decided she needed some more transferable skills.

She enrolled at the local community college and told her course advisor that she wanted to get a job where she could use her people skills, like Human Resources. He put her in classes called things like Teambuilding and Identifying Competencies. They were simultaneously mystifying and banal, but even though Naomi could grind the grades, she quickly found herself undermotivated.

On the night before the last day to withdraw from her courses without academic penalty, Joan called Naomi and told her she know about an opening in Records. She applied the next morning.

Naomi worked on a different floor than Joan, but she got to see her at lunch and they rode the train together. Even better: Naomi’s cube was next to Rick’s.

Tall, blond, handsome in a Midwestern cornfed way, Rick instantly charmed Naomi. He had an easy smile and self-assurance, and Naomi wanted both. On their first date, she learned that Rick’s parents had been supporting him while he was at the university, but they cut him off when he dropped out during his first year. Working in Records was his only job besides a paper route in junior high. He expected his parents to cave in and give him back his trust fund sooner or later.

Two months after Naomi and Rick started going out, Rick’s prediction came true. His mother called in tears and Rick played her like a fiddle. Back at the teat, he quit his job the next day. He spent his time running a couple of websites and playing video games. They were still together, but Naomi insisted on keeping her own apartment.


 

At the end of her last day in Records, Naomi had just finished packing her personal items into a banker’s box when she looked up to see Joan. Not quite 5’6″, Joan’s figure filled much of the cubicle’s “doorway.” Her heavy breasts lolled to one side as she leaned against the cube frame. Her beleaguered blouse struggled to contain her generous muffin top, while her jeans encased a bottom ample enough to swamp a jet-ski. Rick once called Joan “Rubenesque,” one of those words guys used when they were embarrassed by their boners. Naomi was always struck more by Joan’s large round eyes popping out from her friendly bronze face and outshining her wavy brown hair.

“Leave that stuff there,” said Joan. “They’ll take it up when they switch your nameplate tomorrow.”

Naomi stood up to grab her coat. She had maybe an inch on Joan, but her frame was much more delicate. She flared a bit at the hips, but that was it. Her narrow eyes were usually shielded by large eyeglasses, making her earnest face seem even wider. Her long straight brown hair was darker than Joan’s and reached the small of her back. Her default expression was one of concentration, but she was quick with a charitable smile.

They took the elevator together and walked toward the station, where they waited for the train as they did most evenings.

“Are you ready for the exciting world of Processing?” asked Joan.

“Anything’s better than Records,” replied Naomi. “What do you know about Stefan?”

“Work-wise, I only had one project with him. He’s smart and easy to work with. You’ll like him.”

“So, better than Phil, you mean,” said Naomi, referring to her supervisor when she started in Records.

“Way better.”

Naomi looked up as they walked, wondering how she should conduct herself for her first meeting with Stefan.

“One thing you gotta know about Stefan,” said Joan, “but don’t say anything about it. To anyone.”

“Sure,” said Naomi, apprehensive.

“Right after I first started, there was the company Christmas party. I ain’t never seen such a spread of free booze. I’ve been to Irish wedding receptions that were drier than that shindig. Anyway, it must have been a rare experience for Stefan too, because he was soaked to the gills.”

“Stefan?” said Naomi, cresftallen.

“Yup. He even tried to grab my ass.”

He must have been shitfaced if he missed that, thought Naomi.

“What a pig,” said Naomi. “If I wanted that I could go back to the Outback.”

“No, it’s cool,” said Joan. “He apologized the next day, and he said the booze was no excuse.”

“That must have been awkward.”

“Kind of. I’ve seen lots of crude drunks, but never in this kind of workplace. Anyway, he’s been a gentleman ever since.”

“Don’t tell me his eyes don’t wander.”

“Yeah, but so what? Everyone looks.”

Naomi turned to face a guy standing about ten feet away from them on the train platform. He averted his gaze rather inartfully, and she sighed. She wished Joan hadn’t told her that anecdote.

By the time she had to get off the train, however, she had resolved to ignore Joan’s little barb. She was moving on, intent on discovery, more of the world and of herself.


 

The next day, Naomi found her new desk and saw that Joan had been right again; her stuff and nameplate had been duly transferred. Her reflex was to settle into her new cube, update her email signature and reorganize her office supplies until someone came along and told her what to do. She sat down and started to log in, but then she was so struck by her own fecklessness that she pushed back from the desk and stood up, looking around.

She had already scouted out Stefan’s office, and now she could see the door ajar, the overhead light on. Before she had left home that morning, Naomi had fretted over her wardrobe for fifteen minutes before saying “screw it” and grabbing a top and pants more or less at random. Now she was regretting her shirt’s frilly collar, which was refusing to lie flat. She flipped the circuit breaker in herself again and launched herself towards the door.

Stefan was standing behind his desk, slightly hunched forward, so intent on reading something on his monitor that he had neglected to finish sitting down. Naomi didn’t say a word, but he nevertheless noticed the air she displaced, and looked up with an expression of mild surprise, perhaps even wonder.

“Hi, I’m Naomi” she said with a gushy smile.

“Most definitely,” he said, looking astutely into her face. He stood up straight and inhaled deeply, and Naomi wondered if he might have recently over-exerted himself; he was a little overweight and possibly unused to exercise. Keeping his eyes on hers, he slowly walked around his desk and extended his hand. His grip was prolonged but gentle. He wore a class ring, but no wedding ring. “Welcome aboard.”

Naomi thought Stefan was about four inches taller than her, and a great deal heavier, but he carried it well and his clothes fit. So many people were in denial about their actual size and kept trying to squeeze into their old clothes from a slimmer era. Stefan’s hair was short and neat and his face was clean-shaven. His jaw rarely moved, but she found herself noting every time it did.

“What should I start with?” she offered.

His smile broadened. “We’re going to drop you in the deep end on your first day. Outstanding reconciliations.”

Naomi nodded decisively. “All right,” she said, “I’m up for anything.”


 

At the end of her first day, Naomi was drained. She hadn’t been expected to do anything completely out of her experience, but it was all still new, and she desperately wanted to make a good first impression.

Fortunately, Stefan noticed how quickly she picked up on the details of the procedure, and he even acknowledged that she had figured out a way to save time by pursuing two separate investigations concurrently. She took the treasure of that moment home and polished it all evening.

The next day, Stefan invited her to lunch as a welcome celebration. At the cafe, Stefan ordered a club sandwich, and since Naomi had been there before with Joan she didn’t hesitate to order the pulled pork she liked last time.

While they waited for their food, Stefan asked about her background. Somehow he already knew that Joan was responsible for Naomi joining the firm, and he steered the conversation toward Naomi’s career goals.

“Don’t worry,” he prefaced, “I won’t be offended if you don’t see yourself still in Processing five years from now.”

Naomi was relieved; she always hated that question in interviews. “I wouldn’t say that, exactly,” she replied. “I’m just open to new opportunities. I gotta keep my mind active. There has to be a puzzle, a challenge.”

“Not a lot of challenge in Records,” he prompted.

“Definitely not,” she said. Unless you counted staying off Phil’s radar, she thought ruefully.

“Yeah, in this economy the average worker can expect to make at least three major career changes. Not everyone appreciates that.”

“My parents sure don’t,” she said.

Their sandwiches arrived. Naomi was happy to stop talking and tucked into her lunch. She was almost half-finished with her sandwich when she looked up to see Stefan looking at her. Something about his expression stopped her mid-chew.

“What?” she asked.

“Forgive the stereotype,” he said, “but I haven’t met that many young women who enjoy meat, I mean, truly take pleasure from it, particularly on their lunch hour.”

Naomi nodded, swallowing. “I know what you mean,” she said. “They’re usually all ‘Gimme a salad, with dressing on the side.’ It’s like a contest to see who can hate food the most.”

“Exactly.”

“Not me. I’ll never apologize for having what I like.”

They moved on to her pets and vacation dreams, small talk lurching along until the server brought the check. A thought struck her, and before she could reconsider, she blurted out, “It’ll be my treat next time.”

If he was surprised, Stefan didn’t show it. “Deal,” he said. “Where?”

Giving into the moment, Naomi asked “Do you like sushi?”

Stefan smiled. “I’m afraid I’ve never tried it,” he said, “but I’d appreciate the guidance of a connoisseur.”

“Okay,” she said. “Same time next week, I’ll show you my favorite place around here. It’s only two more blocks.”

“Great,” he said, “it’s a date.”

She was about to add that the restaurant didn’t make sushi as good as her mother did, but she stopped herself in time and just smiled as they got up and returned to the office.

On the train home that night, Joan was less than supportive. “Are you falling for him?” she asked skeptically.

“No, no,” replied Naomi. “I just want to have a comfortable working relationship, and I want to know what he knows.”

“What do you think he wants?”

“Why can’t he want the same thing?”

Joan just rolled her eyes, and Naomi turned to look out the window.

That weekend, Rick surprised her with a trip to Broadway. They went shopping, saw a band play in a club, and he even bought her some shoes. Mommy’s check must have cleared, she thought. When it came time to look for someplace to have dinner, Naomi glanced at the trendy sushi place across the street and chuckled. She still remembered the deer-in-the-headlights look on Rick’s face the first time she suggested that.


 

A week passed and Naomi continued to rise to meet the challenges of properly billing other insurance companies for the correct reimbursement. Naomi finally let herself believe she was earning Stefan’s confidence, and she wondered if she wanted to try running the Processing department one day.

On Friday afternoon she had found herself with an unusually high level of energy. She thought she could get a headstart the next week by doing the first stage of all the remaining claims in one batch, but it would still take her past five o’clock.

She texted Joan not to wait for her at the train, but for some reason she told Joan she had to buy a birthday gift for her mother. It was true that her mother’s birthday was coming up, but Naomi didn’t expect to spend more than fifteen minutes gift-shopping online.

Of course she noticed that Stefan’s light was still on. She powered through the batch of claims, fully expecting him to saunter past and ask what a nice young woman like herself was doing working so late on a Friday, but he never arrived. She saved all the documents then bundled the hard files for the next step on Monday.

His light was still on.

Of course, she hadn’t actually seen him in the office after five. Maybe he left early, went to happy hour somewhere? No, the motion sensor would have timed the light out by now. Could the custodian be in there? No, they don’t clean on Friday nights.

This is ridiculous, she thought. She stood up and walked into Stefan’s office as if she were expected. He was in his chair, watching some kind of video on his computer, which he paused or at least muted when he saw her stride in.

“What’s a nice young man like yourself doing working so late on a Friday?” she asked smoothly.

He grinned and sat back in his chair. “No one’s called me ‘young man’ in a long time.”

She realized she had never made a conscious attempt to guess his age. He couldn’t be over thirty-five, she thought. A bit deflated that he hadn’t asked why she was still in the office, she slowly orbited behind his desk, clearly angling to see what he had been watching. He didn’t move at all except to track her movement with his bright eyes.

She stepped next to his chair and she heard him inhale deeply as she leaned toward his monitor. A surprised snort escaped her; it displayed a video of a demonstration of proper sushi preparation.

She turned to him with a look of wonder. “Why are you watching this?”

“I like to know how to do things the right way,” he said with a shrug.

She turned back to the monitor and absently sat on his desk, and he allowed himself to watch her ass settle on his desk blotter. The video wasn’t even from one of those dumb celebrity chef shows; it was a documentary in Japanese with English subtitles.

Naomi crossed her arms in front of herself and looked into Stefan’s face. Many times in her life she had thought about learning sushi prep, but she had always associated it with accepting another layer of deference to her mother. Stefan had just gone onto YouTube.

Tilting her head back in appraisal, Naomi noticed that Stefan had started fidgeting with his ring, but otherwise he was completely still. She suddenly wanted to know what it would be like to touch his hand. She reached out with her right hand, she heard his breath catch, then smoothly but swiftly he caught her hand with both of his.

His palms felt dry but extremely warm, and instantly she wanted him to keep holding her hand for as long as he liked. He swallowed and smiled.

“Would you like to see a magic trick?” he asked with absurd delicacy.

Naomi deflated a bit. Was he truly that nervous? Well, regardless of his ultimate intentions, she wasn’t going to pull back and go home just yet. “Sure,” she said knowingly.

Stefan removed his ring and pressed it into her palm. She saw that it didn’t have any engravings like a typical class ring; just a large, irregular stone. He closed her fingers around the ring and held her by the wrist.

He started speaking some silly nonsense words, but a strange prickly sensation began in her palm and started to creep up her arm. She looked into his eyes and found the hunger she had been hoping for, and she let her arm relax. Okay, she thought, this better be good.

With the index and middle fingers of his free hand, Stefan tapped the back of her closed fist four times, chanting something like “toon” with each tap.

He released her wrist, and her world rushed away from her. The ring ballooned in her hand and she quickly dropped it as it became too large and heavy to hold. An enormous tent of cotton collapsed on top of her, and she scrambled to find a way out. Then she noticed she was somehow naked, and that’s when she started to panic.

The cotton tent lifted away, and she looked up into gigantic version of Stefan’s face staring down at her with the same desire. She glanced about frantically, starting to hyperventilate and trying not to believe what her eyes told her. She was standing naked on Stefan’s desk, just over four inches tall.

Desperately trying to fashion an explanation, Naomi’s eyes darted to Stefan’s ring, now subjectively thirty feet away on the desk blotter where she had dropped it. Stefan followed her gaze and deftly collected the ring and put it back on before she could take a tiny step toward it.

He sat up straight and loomed over her. My God, this can’t be happening, she thought. He’s enormous, like a living office building. He inhaled slowly, and she watched his chest swell like an approaching thunderhead.

She spotted his hand coming for her out of the corner of her eye, but she didn’t have time to do anything but hunch down and cover her head. His warm fingers wrapped around her like prehensile tree trunks and pressed her to his hot palm.

Her stomach dropped as he effortlessly lifted her off the desk, gathering her collapsed giant clothes with her other hand. Then vertigo as he stood and lurched across his office to close and lock the door.

Returning to his chair, Stefan raised Naomi to his immense face, her head and arms protruding from the top of his fist while her shins and feet dangled below. He turned her face down and pressed the nape of her neck under his nostrils, then drew the wind past her throat as he breathed her scent in.

He sniffed her once more, then brought her upright and lowered her before his chest. Tilting his hand back until she was reclined forty-five degrees and looking up at him, he opened his fingers. She immediately put her arms out to hold onto his thumb and his index finger for support, not bothering to cover her privates.

“What did you do to me?” she shrieked.

He licked his giant lips, and she saw his face clouded by raw appetite. He brought her lower and closer to him, just below his sternum.

“Do you think you could fit in here now?” he rumbled, her viscera clenching at his godlike voice.

“No!” she cried. “I don’t want to go in there!”

Naomi would remember the grin that came over Stefan’s giant face for the rest of her life. “It’s not about what you want,” he thundered. “Not at all.”

He brought her back up to his face as she made a futile attempt to scramble up out of his hand, presumably to leap to her death on the floor below. His irresistible thumb clamped down on her back and her arms flailed as he tilted his palm out from under her and guided her kicking legs into her mouth.

She gasped first in terror and then in wonder as his mouth became her whole world. His hot breath enveloped her entirely, stifling any thought of escape. Every twitch of his mighty jaw electrified her because at any time it could have brought her to a crushing end. The sharp stones of his teeth raked her tender flesh and rattled her brittle bones.

But before and beyond all of these was his tongue. Slick and sinuous, tidal and trembling, it reached every last part of her body with its silky pads. It pinned her to the roof of his mouth, it threw her ass underneath his molars, it snaked its nuzzling tip between her labia. It was the ultimate avatar of his insatiable desire.

At first her head and shoulders remained outside his mouth, his pliant lips rolling indominatably over her clavicle and neck as he swirled her body about with his tongue. His smallest groan of pleasure reverberated around her a hundredfold. Then she gave a short shriek just before he sucked her entirely inside.

She managed to keep her head and neck clear of his blade-like incisors, but her arms and legs often found themselves gripped between his teeth, compressed to the bone before being released and savored by his ever-shifting tongue. No light was admitted, and the only fresh air came from his sinus when he aerated his taste buds.

More than his terrible teeth, Naomi dreaded the well leading to Stefan’s stomach, for that is where he had threatened to send her. Every fluctuation of his epiglottis sparked her fear that his tormenting tongue would finally convulse her backwards and down to her demise.

I don’t want to die, she screamed in her head, not like this. She desperately pulled her limbs in close, away from both his teeth and his throat, but his all-conquering tongue would always reposition her as it pleased.

Naomi finally realized that, ultimately, her attempts at self-preservation were futile. If Stefan wanted to swallow her, she would be swallowed. She didn’t stop evading his esophagus, but her breathing steadied and she began to marvel at her own helplessness.

How had he done this to her? One minute she was pitying his inability to pursue her, the next he was sucking on her like a lemondrop. He had removed her from every experience she had ever understood, literally reducing her life to an unwinnable contest with his tongue. She resented the unfairness of this ridiculous fate, but she also began to appreciate the fact that he was simultaneously licking both her face and her cunt.

She stretched out her limbs and embraced his tongue with a passion, wrapping her tiny arms and legs around the slippery muscle and burying her face in the pliant pink. Just as she started to grind her crotch into the peak of her bucking mount, it slammed her into the roof of his mouth, the hard palate scraping her skull and her ass.

I won’t let go, she thought, as he slid her back and forth, savoring her struggle. If you want me down there, she sneered, you’ll have to do it yourself. The wind was knocked out of her as his tongue compressed her further.

Even with all the pressure and tumult, Naomi’s inner ear detected a dramatic shift in the orientation of Stefan’s head. She had no air in her lungs with which to scream as his tongue convulsed and effortlessly shook free of her grip. A brief drop, and she found herself lying cold and aching in his giant palm.

Naomi looked up into Stefan’s eyes, great hazel suns that shone down on her in smug satisfaction. She knew his power over her hadn’t diminished a bit, but she found it curiously comforting to at least be able to see his face. Well big boy, she thought, what now?

He licked his lips again, then gently lowered her to the floor next to his feet. She didn’t dare move, so he slowly tilted his hand until she slid off and found her feet on the hard chair-roller mat.

Hunched forward in his chair, Stefan loomed over Naomi. She couldn’t take him in all at once; she searched his huge face for some sign of his intentions, but she kept darting glances at his car-sized feet, every scuffle of which sent vibrations to her through the mat.

He brought his hands together and again removed his ring and extended it to her. She studied his face a moment more, then reached out with both arms to take the steering-wheel-sized ring.

“Hold the stone against your skin,” thundered Stefan from above. Naomi turned the ring and pressed the melon-sized gemstone to her abdomen.

He reached his hand down behind her and gently spoke, “Only the person who lays the curse may lift it.”

She knew she should be paying very close attention to his every word, but all she could remember was the final word, intoned with each tap on her back of his log-sized index finger, “hoop-hoop-hoop-hoop.”

She felt butterflies in her stomach and the ring started to dwindle in her hands, and Stefan sat back, his eyes widening in half-surprise as he watched her grow back to her normal size. She was no longer coated in his spit, but she was still naked, and she put one hand down on the desk for support.

Was that just a dream? she wondered. No, her muscles remembered every contusion quite vividly, and her clothes remained behind the desk where Stefan had piled them. She started to cover her privates, then saw Stefan sitting with his hand out. What did he want? Oh yes. The ring.

She brought both her hands to hold the ring delicately so she could feel all its features while she examined it, although she was careful not to touch the stone again. The gem was deep amber in color, and the mounting was secure but inefficient. The gold plating was also poor, the base metal showing through at the sharp rim.

Stefan had sat back and crossed his arms, but if he had ogled her while she inspected the ring, he had drunk his fill before she again looked him in the eyes.

Still holding the ring tightly, she asked “How does it work?”

“Magic,” he said blithely.

She cocked a skeptical look at him. Somehow he managed to look embarrassed, and he sheepishly extended his hand again.

What levers did she have over Stefan? She was standing naked in his office, and by any definition he had just sexually assaulted her. No one would believe the truth of course, but she could make up something more plausible. If she ran from his office, naked and screaming, she could probably find a witness to her distress.

But she knew she wouldn’t do that. She never was a very good liar, and that kind of detailed lie would have to hold up for months of professional scrutiny. She also knew that if she turned on Stefan now, she would never learn how the ring worked or see its power again. Most puzzling of all, he could have easily disposed of her and instead he had restored her to her normal size. She had to know why.

With one hand covering her crotch, Naomi placed the ring into his waiting palm. She then covered her chest and asked “Would you please excuse me while I get dressed?”

Stefan gave a courteous smile and nodded, then got up and left his office, closing the door behind him. Naomi stole up to the door and quickly bolted it, then returned to her clothes.

When Naomi finally emerged from his office, she found Stefan sitting in a nearby chair, hunched over his phone, showing no trace of having recently imperiled a co-worker with supernatural powers. From his phone’s chirps, she even recognized the addictive game that held him in thrall.

Naomi knew that if she just left for the weekend now, she would be tempted to pretend the whole thing never happened. She had to keep hold of this thing, somehow. She slowly approached Stefan, who remained engaged with his phone. Then she took a seat about ten feet away, with a desk in between them.

When he didn’t look up for a minute, she asked quietly but clearly, “Where did you get the ring?”

He put his phone away and looked at her judiciously. “I inherited it.”

“How did you learn how it works?”

He stood up and exhaled. “The hard way,” he said, and walked back into his office and closed the door.

 

Chapter Two

Naomi got angrier and angrier as the weekend progressed. She tried everything to distract herself—wine, TV, housecleaning—but nothing worked. When Rick wanted to fool around with her, she hoped that might divert her racing mind, but no sooner had he put his arms around her than her skin began to crawl and she had to excuse herself.

She was still on edge when she got to work on Monday. She picked up the stack of claims she had queued up on Friday afternoon and put them back down. She watched the lobby doors waiting for Stefan to have the nerve to show his face. By nine-thirty she started to imagine that he wasn’t coming back ever, that he had abandoned this identity and life and fled to start over somewhere else. Then at nine-thirty-four he strode out of the elevator and into his office as normal.

She didn’t give him a chance to read his email or even hang up his jacket before heading into his office and closing the door behind her.

“Have a good weekend?” she asked stridently.

He shrugged and nodded. “Same ol’, same ol’,” he said.

“So that’s normal for you, huh? You always shrink people and almost swallow them?”

He held her in his steady gaze. “No,” he replied quietly, “that’s not normal.”

“Why not?” she asked, her eyes drifting to the ring on his finger.

He swallowed. “What do you mean?”

“That ring is amazing,” she said. “You could, I don’t know, take two dozen people to Paris with one plane ticket.”

A surprised smile spread across his face. “You’ve been thinking about this a lot, haven’t you?”

“I can’t think about anything else!” she cried, her composure fracturing. “Do you realize how easily you could have swallowed me?”

Stefan’s face sobered. “Yes, I do.”

Naomi bit off her retort and narrowed her eyes at him. His eyes seemed to retreat into his skull, and his jaw held itself totally immobile. She studied the dimensions of his head, estimating the volume of his mouth, and imagined her tiny self in there, seen from the perspective a normal-sized person outside.

“Why didn’t you, then?” she asked.

He blinked. “What?”

She shook her head in mock confusion. “Why didn’t you swallow me?”

He exhaled sharply and pursed his lips. Then he brazenly looked her up and down and said, “You don’t have enough meat on your bones.”

She only considered this for a second before raising her skeptical eyebrows at him and crossed her arms.

He lowered his gaze, then sat down heavily. She advanced on him, and he looked up at her with a weary smile.

“I just wanted to taste you,” he said, his eyebrows raised disarmingly.

Stefan held his sincere smile for a number of moments, until he gave in and effusively licked his lips and swallowed. Naomi’s arms slowly fell to her sides as she grasped that he was telling the truth.

She sat down, then stared into space as she imagined having a four-inch-tall person in her own mouth. What would that feel like?

Stefan sat perfectly still as he watched Naomi put her hand to her throat. She turned back to him with a bit of a smirk.

“So how did I taste?” she asked.

He briefly closed his eyes and again wet his lips. “Fear, salt, rage, sex,” he listed slowly.

“That doesn’t sound so strange,” she said, swallowing herself.

“Wait until you taste them all at the same time,” he said with a bashful grin.

Naomi sat without speaking for a few moments more, lost in a storm of thoughts and sensations. She needed to digest all this. She got up to leave.

“Are we still on for sushi this week?” asked Stefan. “I think you’ve already treated me.”

She stopped and looked at him, her breathing labored. “Sure,” she said, not sure at all.


 

Naomi’s morning encounter with Stefan left her unsettled for the rest of the day. She couldn’t concentrate, and she more than lost the ground that she had gained staying late on Friday.

Joan had taken a different train that morning, but after work she met Naomi in the lobby and they walked together to the station. Joan started talking about her weekend, but Naomi couldn’t even take on small talk. Finally Joan had to prod her.

“What’s eating you?”

Naomi looked at Joan shakily, then slumped against a pillar on the train platform. “I’m not sure I can stay in Processing.”

“Those jerks at Aetna still fucking you around on the phone?”

“Yeah, but that’s not it.”

Joan tilted her head back appraisingly. “It’s Stefan, isn’t it?”

Naomi looked down the tracks for their train.

“Did he creep on you or something?” asked Joan.

Naomi looked for their train a moment more, then looked at Joan and briefly shook her head.

Joan nodded slowly, then turned away slightly to hide her eye-roll, but Naomi caught it anyway.

“What?” Naomi demanded.

“You’re so predictable,” said Joan.

“What do you mean?”

“This guy gives you pants-feelings and you’re letting it get to you because it messes up your plan,” Joan drew out the last word with contempt.

Naomi’s jaw dropped at this assault. “What are you talking about? What ‘plan’?” She realized too late she had neglected to deny having feelings (of any kind) for Stefan.

Joan raised her arms in accusation. “You don’t even realize how this plan is messing with you. You want Rick, you want the white-picket fence in the suburbs, and you want a couple of rugrats. Sooner or later Rick’s gonna figure out how both to piss off his mom by marrying you and still keep her checks coming, and then you’ll have everything you want. Or think you want.”

Naomi was reeling. Joan had made fun of her and Rick before, but she had always supported her in the end. This was closer to cruelty. She supposed she did want something like the life with Rick that Joan had described, but it wasn’t something she was actively plotting, and it certainly didn’t “mess with” her. The bit about Rick marrying her to piss off his mother went too far.

“You have no idea what you’re talking about,” said Naomi. “Rick and I are a team; we’ll always be there for each other, wherever we end up.” Naomi wasn’t sure she believed this, but she needed to make Joan step off. “This has nothing to do with Rick. There’s something strange in Stefan’s past, and I’m not sure I can trust him.”

Naomi turned away from Joan and headed down the platform to board a different coach. Her face felt hot, and her throat felt dry. She hadn’t seen this side of Joan before, not turned against her. Can you ever truly know someone? she wondered. How do you know when you’ve really tasted their essential nature?


 

Stefan knew a wide variety of the sushi offered by the bar that Naomi had selected, but he was quick to acknowledge those missed by his hasty education. Before trying any of them, he asked her which was her favorite. When she told him, she expected he would take the easy way out and just have what she was having. Instead, he asked her why she liked it, and although he did eventually try it, he had three more rolls of a kind he had clearly researched beforehand.

Watching Stefan eat was a different experience now. Naomi tried to spot the reactions in his face as each flavor hit his tongue. He took his time, and she found herself wondering if he had chewed each roll enough before swallowing. As fascinating as his gustation was, however, her eyes kept returning to his ring.

Once the plates were cleared and they were working on their tea, she jumped right in. “How many people have you used that thing on?”

He kept his eyes on hers as he sipped his tea. “Hardly any. I can’t justify the risk of getting caught.”

“Did tasting me justify it?”

He beamed. “Yes, but there was no way to know that until I tried it.”

Naomi thought she understood the hunger for experience that could drive someone to take such a risk. As she ran her tongue over her teeth and again enjoyed the medley of tastes from their lunch, she was glad she decided to go through with their plans. She wanted to continue exploring with Stefan, but she wasn’t sure what else she had to offer him.

“You said I didn’t have enough meat on my bones,” she said.

He rolled his head and raised his eyebrows ironically.

“What about Joan Foster?” she said softly.

His breath caught. “What about her?”

“She’s got quite a bit of, uh, meat, don’t you think?”

He furrowed his brow, but his smile remained. “She’s your friend, isn’t she?”

Good question, thought Naomi. “We’re not as close as we used to be,” she said. “But she did tell me about the Christmas party.”

His smile dimmed, and he lowered his eyes to his cup, where they stayed. “Never been that drunk, before or since,” he said, shaking his head.

“Did you have the ring with you at the party?”

Another head shake.

“If you had, what do you think you might have done?”

He raised his eyes to hers, then exhaled deeply. “I honestly don’t know.”

Naomi just nodded and looked at him soberly, trying very hard not to show the smile she felt.


 

That afternoon Naomi deliberately stalked Joan at the train platform and followed her to her seat and sat down next to her before Joan could notice. Joan turned and looked at her skeptically.

“Hey,” said Naomi.

“Hey yourself.”

Naomi just kept smiling the mischievous smile she had had since she first spotted Joan on the platform.

“Look,” began Joan, “I’m sorry about what I said about you and Rick. I was unfair. Your life is none of my business.”

“No worries,” replied Naomi, her smile widening. “I guess it does seem like I’ve got this big plan, but I swear I don’t. In fact, I think I drift along too much, letting things happen to me, you know?”

“Well, as long as you’re thinking about it.”

“Always.”

Naomi let Joan ramble on about something dumb her sister did, then waited until they were almost at her stop. “Oh, I just remembered,” said Naomi. “I’ve got something to show you. Come by my desk after work tomorrow.”

“What is it?”

“Don’t worry. It’s really cool. You’ll like it.” Then she jumped up and slipped through the doors.


 

It was another Friday afternoon, and many of Naomi’s co-workers had left early, so no one saw Joan arrive in her jacket and backpack and make her way to Naomi’s desk.

“Alright,” said Joan, “Whaddaya wanna show me?”

Naomi looked up with a grin. “Oh, Stefan’s got it now.”

Joan inclined her head questioningly. “I thought you said he was strange.”

Naomi nodded. “He is. I’ve just decided I’m okay with it.”

“Okay enough to go out with him?”

Naomi blushed. “No, not like that.” Then she grinned conspiratorily. “Not yet, anyway.”

Joan raised her eyebrows at that. “Okay, whatever. This better not take long.”

Naomi stood up and led Joan through the doorway into Stefan’s office. He looked up, expectant but unsmiling.

“I told Joan about the magic trick you showed me last week,” said Naomi.

He looked at Naomi for a couple of beats, then said, “I hope you didn’t spoil it for her.”

“Oh no,” replied Naomi. “I just want to see the look on her face.”

Keeping his eyes on Naomi, Stefan let a disarming smile creep across his face. “Alright,” he said, turning to Joan, “Would you care to come over here?”

Joan looked apprehensively at Naomi. “What’s going on?” she asked with forced casualness.

“Don’t worry, you’ll love it,” said Naomi with unforced enthusiasm. “Trust me.”

Joan grinned and shrugged as she walked toward Stefan. Naomi surreptitiously closed and bolted the office door.

Naomi’s palms tingled as she watched Stefan remove his ring. She followed Joan and then walked around her, not quite standing at Stefan’s side. Joan’s expression had already returned to slight impatience.

“Give me your hand,” said Stefan, and Joan snorted and complied. Naomi’s mouth had gone dry, and she wet her palate with her tongue. She focused on Stefan’s words after enclosed his ring in Joan’s fist, followed by the four taps, “toon-toon-toon-toon.”

Naomi couldn’t restrain her gleeful anticipation any longer as Joan turned to her with a look of confusion and betrayal.

“Grab her pack,” said Stefan, pulling Naomi out of the moment. She hurried behind Joan to seize the heavy backpack just as Joan dropped out of it, leaving her jacket dangling, the sleeves still through the straps. She set the pack behind Stefan’s desk while he fished through the pile of Joan’s clothes.

Naomi heard Joan before she saw her, a squeaky yelp as Stefan’s fingers found one of her legs and lifted the tiny woman out, upside down and wriggling. She had seen Joan in various states of undress before, but never completely naked.

Joan’s butt, boobs, and thighs bounced as she tried to escape Stefan’s grasp. She was too absorbed in fending off her giant molester to look at Naomi, but even at their tiny size Joan’s wide eyes had popped even wider with terror.

Joan remained just as helpless when Stefan transferred her to his fist and brought her upright. He left her arms outside his fingers, so she was free to futilely attempt to prise them open and to pitifully pound on them with her tiny fists. She even grabbed at the ring—which Naomi had missed seeing Stefan retrieve—hoping to somehow reverse the spell.

Naomi hunched forward and brought her face close to the four-inch-tall woman clutched in Stefan’s fist. Joan finally saw her and cried out, “What the fuck, Naomi? What did he do to me? Make him let me go!”

Her voice sounded tinny to Naomi, and her boobs popped out and onto the side of Stefan’s index finger as she flailed her tiny arms about. Naomi couldn’t help extending her own finger and brushing Joan’s blueberry-sized tits.

“Get the fuck away from me, you bitch!” shrieked Joan, trying without success to obstruct Naomi’s probes. “You’re a pair of fuckin’ pervs! God, somebody help me! Fuckin’ leave me alone, Jesus!”

Naomi drew back and looked up to see Stefan watching her intensely. Joan’s violent cursing suddenly seemed comic and trivial. Stefan was poised, waiting for Naomi’s response. She took a quick breath, licked her lips and started to speak, but she could find no words. All she could manage was a sharp, abbreviated giggle and a goofy grin.

Stefan blinked and gave a broad smile. “I think it’s my treat this time,” he said, lifting Joan toward Naomi and opening all of his fingers except his thumb and index finger.

Naomi watched in wonder as Stefan lifted her tiny friend past her face. “What the fuck are you doing?” shouted Joan, writhing in panic. Naomi let part of herself share Joan’s mystification, because she wanted also to anticipate the coming realization as long as possible.

As she was raised above Naomi’s head, Joan started kicking her legs more wildly. “Catch her legs with your lips and tongue,” advised Stefan.

“What?!” yelled Joan. “Fuck you! Don’t even thinking it, you bitch perv freak!”

Naomi was surprised at how much glee she felt hearing this from her tiny friend. Her smile broadened even further, and she tilted her head back and opened her mouth wide. Stefan lowered Joan toward Naomi’s mouth, her tongue undulating in anticipation.

“No, Naomi, please, no!” screamed Joan, furiously pushing against Stefan’s pinched fingertips. Naomi’s lips stretched out and closed around one, then the other of Joan’s tiny thrashing feet.

As Joan’s legs slid in further and Naomi’s tongue helped pin the gerbil-sized woman to her palate, Naomi was struck by the curious tastes and sensations flooding her mouth. Joan’s feet tasted of sweat, the tough skin repelling saliva and the tiny toenails gouging her gums and tongue. Joan’s skin then turned soft and warm as her calves, thighs, and ass passed between Naomi’s lips. Naomi’s tongue slathered over every flank and fold of Joan’s squirming abdomen, tasting the salt of her sex and the funk of her fear.

Stefan let go of Joan just as Naomi’s lips rolled over Joan’s careening breasts. Joan was still screaming bloody murder, but Naomi could no longer make out her words or even truly register her voice. Naomi’s world now consisted only of her tongue, teeth, lips, and throat. All that flesh that Joan used to flaunt was now Naomi’s to suckle and gnaw. Over and over, Naomi delighted in swishing Joan’s tender ass between her jaws and raking her molars across the pliant flesh.

Naomi had brought her face back forward, her eyes closed in rapture as Joan, now face down, pounded on her lower lip and chin. Naomi opened her eyes to see Stefan watching her closely, drinking in her every reaction.

He smiled and said, “When you’re ready, take a deep breath through your nose, put your head back again, then send her down.”

“No, please!” screamed Joan, who was then muffled as Naomi’s lips puckered closed in puzzlement. Swallow Joan? she thought. Wouldn’t that kill her? Of course it would. This is what you wanted all along, right? This wasn’t going to have a happy ending, not for everybody. Stefan knew it. You knew it too.

Naomi nodded to herself, inhaled deeply, and tilted her head back. Her tongue pulled Joan back and her lips pushed her past her teeth, but Joan squirmed and flexed as much as she could, even when Naomi’s closing incisors threatened to sever her forearms. Joan’s legs struck Naomi’s uvula, almost triggering her gag reflex. Joan continued to grasp at Naomi’s teeth, finding handholds that Naomi couldn’t grind away. She’s too big, thought Naomi, I’ll never get her down.

With her head still back, Naomi opened her eyes and looked at Stefan pleadingly. He raised his eyebrows at her, and she finally shook her head. He pursed his lips and nodded.

“It’s always tough with someone you know,” he said, holding out both his hands, palms open.

Naomi did her best not to gag as she hunched forward and expelled Joan from her mouth with her tongue. Joan continued to struggle, of course, and she struck her head and limbs on Naomi’s teeth before dropping into Stefan’s waiting hands.

Stefan closed his fingers around the still-squalling Joan as Naomi put her hand to her throat. “I’m sorry,” she whispered, “She was too big.”

“No worries,” said Stefan. “How did she taste?”

“Amazing. The skin, the warmth, the fight; absolutely nothing is hidden, and it’s all on your tongue.”

Stefan raised his eyebrows appreciatively and nodded. “I also get what you mean about wanting more meat,” said Naomi, licking her lips.

Sputtering, Joan’s voice finally broke through to Naomi again. “You people are fucking crazy! Let me go!”

Naomi and Stefan both looked down on Joan in amusement. He collected both her little arms and pinched them together over her head, then lifted her out of his palm and dangled her in front of his face.

“Merry Christmas to me,” he said a wag of his eyebrows and a feral grin.

Joan was drained, but she found the will to resume struggling as Stefan snaked his tongue over her tits and between her legs. He lifted her up and lowered her into his mouth, but her progress paused while he let his teeth graze over her plump derrière.

Naomi stepped closer to watch Stefan’s face as he swished the tiny woman about his mouth. Any sounds of protest Joan might still have had in her were drowned out by Stefan’s low moans of pleasure. Naomi smiled to see that Stefan took no less enjoyment from Joan’s bountiful rolls than she had.

Stefan opened his eyes and then his mouth, and Naomi could see the exhausted Joan, lying limp on his restless tongue. He kept his jaws open wide as he raised one hand and slightly waved his fingers. Joan revived in alarm when he matched his finger-wave with a consonant-less salutation: “Aye-aye.”

Naomi saw Joan’s limbs scramble as Stefan’s tongue flipped her backwards. It seemed impossible due to the movement of his tongue, but Naomi would always imagine she remembered seeing Joan’s wide eyes disappear into the dark as her final cry of “No—” was obscured by Stefan’s slick swallow.

She hurried forward to put her ear to Stefan’s chest, trying to detect anything further from Joan, but all she could hear was Stefan’s heart and stomach.

“Are you digesting her?” she asked, still straining.

“Not yet, the acid’s too weak,” rumbled Stefan. “She’ll suffocate first, unless I bring her back up.”

Naomi drew back and looked into his eyes. “Will you?”

Stefan blinked and smiled, then slowly shook his head.

She put her ear back to his chest for a few moments more, but there was no more sign of Joan. Her old friend had just disappeared entirely inside her new boss.

Naomi stepped back from Stefan, staggering a bit. She avoided his eyes, looking at the desk and floor where she herself might have met a fate similar to Joan’s. She knew she should feel guilt for having roused Stefan’s appetite. No—her appetite.

She noticed Stefan gathering Joan’s clothes and pack. He found her phone. “Do you know the password?” he asked. Naomi shook her head.

He stood up and put his hand on her arm. “Did anyone see her come down here?”

“No.”

“Do you think she told anyone she was coming to see you after work?”

“Probably not.”

He took each of her shoulders in his hands. “That was some treat,” he said. “We’re gonna savor it a while. But right now you should do what you usually do after work on a Friday.”

She finally met his eyes and nodded her understanding. She glanced one last time at Joan’s pack, then turned and left.

She absently gathered her coat and bag and made her way to the train. She made it all the way to her stop before she realized she hadn’t for a moment worried about what Stefan was doing with Joan’s stuff or whether they’d ever be caught. She had assumed that they were perfectly safe, that there would be no consequences. Instead, she had been remembering how good Joan’s haunches had felt between her jaws, and now she was regretting that she would likely have to settle for takeout carne asada for dinner tonight.

 

Chapter Three

It was about a week before someone from HR called Naomi to ask if she knew where Joan was. Joan’s more immediate co-workers had all been contacted, and no one knew that Joan had gone anywhere after work besides straight home.

Naomi’s work with Stefan was still professional if somewhat relaxed. She felt she very comfortable with him, even more so than with Rick. She seized the next opportunity they were alone together to talk.

“I really wish I could have done it,” she said. “She was just too much at once.”

“More for me,” he replied, chuckling.

“Is there any way to make them smaller?”

“Sure. Each tap at the end of the charm halves their size. We took her—and you—down to one-sixteenth. Do you think you could handle one-thirty-second?”

“No problem!” she said, losing herself in thought.

Eventually a police detective asked to see Naomi and the rest of Joan’s co-workers. Naomi was ready to lie about not having seen Joan that day after work, but she was unprepared for the detective’s last question.

“Did Joan have any enemies that you know of, anyone at work that might have a grudge against her for any reason?”

Joan hadn’t had any “enemies,” but like everyone else who worked in Records over the past year Joan did everything she could to avoid Phil, their former supervisor. Not too long ago, she had told Naomi to stay away from Cafe Biblio on Vine, as Phil was known to hang out there.

“Um, no,” Naomi stumbled, hoping to sound as if the very idea of people having enemies was foreign to her.

“That’s fine,” the detective said perfunctorily.

Perhaps unwisely, Naomi dragged out the interview with a question of her own. “What do you think happened to her?”

Fortunately, the detective was less guarded with her information. “Well, her cell phone records indicate that Joan—or at least her phone—stayed in the building about a half-hour after she was last seen in her office, then she took the train to her usual stop. There’s no more data after that, so her phone must have been shut off at that point.”

“I sure hope she’s okay,” said Naomi.

“So do I,” said the detective, who probably didn’t notice Naomi’s tongue dart out and run over her upper lip.


 

As Naomi strolled down Vine Street she caught her reflection in a thrift shop window as she paused to check herself out. Completely harmless, she thought. No one would suspect a thing.

She walked another half-block to the cafe and casually ordered a drip coffee, paying cash. Scanning the tables, she saw him furiously typing at his laptop and nursing a huge latte.

“Hey, Phil,” she chirped.

Phil looked up, his brow instantly furrowing, his mouth falling open slightly. She endured his confused glare for at least five seconds until his face relaxed into a patronizing smirk of surprise.

“Naomi,” he said. “How have you been?”

“Great!” she replied. “A couple of months after you left, I got promoted to Processing.”

“Oh yeah? How’s that workin’ out?”

“Great!” she repeated. “You’re still doing free-lance stuff, right?”

“Correct,” he said sniffily. “You have to make the right contacts, but it beats having to answer to some asshole every day.”

“I’ll bet,” she said, nodding knowingly.

“So what brings you to this wretched hive of scum and villainy?” he asked, giving his eyebrows a workout.

“Oh, I finally got Rick to agree to some spring cleaning, and I’m getting rid of some of his old comics and stuff over at Gary’s Grimoires.”

Phil’s eyes narrowed. “By ‘old comics and stuff,’ does that include his back issues of White Dwarf?”

“I—I think so, yeah. Why?”

“All of them?”

“Pretty sure.”

“He could make a fortune on eBay!”

“Well, Rick never has concerned himself too much with money. He just wants them gone.”

Phil rubbed his chin for a moment. “I could take them off your hands, if you like,” he said with studied indifference.

“Oh—okay,” said Naomi slowly.

“How much do you want for them?”

“I don’t know; fifty bucks?” Naomi had looked up the last such sale on eBay; it was two years ago when a similar collection had sold for five times as much.

Phil pursed his lips. “Howabout forty?” he offered.

“Uh, okay!” said Naomi, brightening.

“Cool,” said Phil, nodding slowly and smiling.

Naomi was about to say more, but she was interrupted by a tap on her shoulder. She turned to see Stefan standing there, holding a latte and smiling quizzingly at Phil.

“Oh, hi!” gushed Naomi. She turned to Phil and said, “Phil, do you remember Stefan? He’s my boss in Processing.”

“Sure,” said Phil, standing up to his six-foot-one height that Naomi remembered from too many tantrums. Stefan switched his drink to his other hand and leaned forward to shake Phil’s.

“How’s life outside our small pond?” asked Stefan.

“Awesome,” replied Phil. “Lots of room out here.”

“Well, you know what they say; there’s always a bigger fish.”

Phil snorted and turned back to Naomi. “You wanna take care of those mags now?” he said, not really asking.

“Sure,” she said. “They’re in my car, in the plaza garage.”

Phil drained his cup and started packing his laptop.

“What’s the deal?” Stefan asked amiably, looking first to Phil, then Naomi.

“Oh, I’m selling Phil some of Rick’s old magazines.”

“Which ones?”

“White, uh, Dwarf, I think.”

“I already closed the deal; they’re mine,” barked Phil, finally ready to leave.

Stefan put up a placating hand. “No worries, just curious. Mind if I tag along?”

Phil scowled at Stefan, but Naomi pre-empted any objection. “No, that’s cool. There’s a good sushi place I can show you afterwards.”

“Raw fish?” grumped Phil. “Don’t make me puke.”

Naomi just shrugged and smiled as she led them to the garage. She told Phil what she liked about her new position, and Phil did a poor job of pretending that he cared. She steered the conversation to how funny her new co-workers were, and as they neared the lonely corner of the garage where her car was parked, she stopped them and turned to Stefan.

“Show Phil your magic trick!” she said.

Phil’s impatience had been building since he laid eyes on Stefan, and now his sigh spilled over into a sputter.

“C’mon,” continued Naomi, “it’ll be really quick and really cool.”

Phil looked skeptically at Stefan, who swallowed the last of his latte and said, “It’s actually quite simple, but you won’t believe your eyes.”

“Okay, fine, make it quick,” said Phil with another petulant sigh.

Stefan removed his ring and handed it to Phil. “Close this in your fist.”

Phil gave Stefan a doubtful look, then held the ring between his thumb and forefinger as he scrutinized it. He rolled it around to examine all sides, then said “Huh” as he enclosed it in his palm fingers.

Stefan gently gripped Phil’s wrist with one hand tapped Phil’s fist with the other while speaking the charm. Five taps—”Toon-toon-toon-toon-toon” and Phil dropped out of sight under his clothes.

“Get his stuff,” said Stefan as he fumbled after the ring rolling and clinking on the concrete. Naomi collected the bag containing Phil’s laptop and phone, then she gathered up his shoes and jacket. She froze when she saw the two-inch-tall Phil poke his head out from under his collapsed pants.

Stefan grinned as he squatted down and popped the lid off his near-empty latte cup, then scooped the tiny man into the maw of the waxed-paper 12-ouncer. Just before he pushed the lid back on, he brought the cup to his face and said, “Don’t go anywhere.”

Setting the cup on the top of Naomi’s car, Stefan opened the back door and retrieved the bundle he had left there when she had picked him up. As he unfolded it, Naomi asked, “What is that?”

“It’s a Faraday bag,” he replied. “Put his laptop inside.”

She noted the heavy mylar lining as she slid the nylon bag into the larger pouch. They stowed the now-jammed electronics in the trunk of the car with the rest of Phil’s effects. Then Naomi gave an anticipatory shudder before she reached for the latte cup.

It felt empty as she lifted it. She tilted it to a slight angle, and she felt Phil slide to one side. She strained to hear the expletives she was sure he was uttering.

Stefan broke her concentration with a hand on her back. “We should get in the car,” he suggested.

She looked at Stefan, then nodded. Stefan got in the passenger seat while she walked quickly to the driver’s side and got in. She put the latte cup in the cup holder, then sat back to marvel at the effortlessness with which she had just contained the fearsome Phil, as if he were a bit of litter to be disposed of later.

Naomi put the key in the ignition, but then she took her hand off the key and picked the cup back up. She pried off the lid and peered down on the tiny naked Phil, dripping with impotent rage and double-skinny half-caff.

“How’s it going, Phil?” she sang. “Having a productive day?”

Phil waved his fist up at her and started into a profanity-laced tirade, but he was interrupted when the slightest jostle of Naomi’s wrist threw him face down into the sweet brown puddle. She felt warm all over as her heart swelled in her chest and she squeezed her thighs together. She couldn’t drive home like this; she had to do it now.

She tipped the cup on its side and poured Phil into her palm, ignoring the stray latte drops. As she put the empty cup back, she brought him close to her face. He tried to stand up, but she tripped him with the index finger of her free hand, then pressed on his back until he was pinned face down. She kept pressing until she saw his tiny eyes go wide with fear.

Naomi had previously expected she would do this quickly while she still had the nerve and before Phil could say anything that re-triggered her trauma from her time in Records. But now she was finding both that Phil couldn’t say or do anything to upset her and that she wanted to savor this moment.

She lifted her finger from Phil’s back, then pinched both his arms between her finger and thumb, dangling him before her haughty face. “Tell me, Phil,” she said, “do you believe in karma?”

The two-inch-tall man simply stared at her in terror.

“No,” she continued, “I suppose not. But you’re about to start.” She brought her other hand up and flicked her curled index finger into the tiny man’s groin, catching his balls squarely on the unyielding edge of her fingernail.

Phil’s yowls resounded with the clarity and compulsion of a dinner bell. She was almost ready—her tongue wouldn’t keep still—but she realized there was one thing she was still waiting for.

And then it happened. Phil, his tortured arms held fast in her grip and his dangling legs futilely trying to guard his groin, started crying. Naomi remembered all the times Phil had reduced (ha!) her to tears with his violent temper. Her face felt flushed.

“I wonder if you’re remembering all the times you made me feel like shit. Well, guess what, Phil? I’m about to turn you into my shit!”

She raised the tiny wriggling man and tilted her head back. “See you in about twelve hours, turd,” she said, and lowered him into her open mouth.

Phil’s piteous howls increased in volume until he was entirely inside and Naomi let go of his arms and closed her lips, and then his cries of terror started to buzz against her cheeks, tongue, and throat. Half the size that Joan had been in her mouth, Phil was trivially easy for Naomi to manipulate with her tongue. As the various flailing parts of Phil’s body came into contact with her tongue and she began to taste his fear, Naomi recoiled her tongue, leaving him momentarily rolling around her inner bottom gum. But then she felt his tiny fist pound against her gum, and the sheer effrontery of the strike incensed her, and she dug him out with the tip of her tongue and violently pinned him to the roof of her mouth.

Time for a little tenderizing, she thought, and she shifted Phil between her molars and slowly ground her teeth back and forth. A sustained buzzing in her tooth told her that Phil was screaming for his life. She couldn’t see him, of course, but she imagined him pinned between the jagged stones of her teeth, his tiny head wedged into a dark hollow and half-submerged in a puddle of her spit, and it made her smile.

CRUNCH.

She had been gazing absently through the windshield at the dark concrete garage wall as she imagined Phil’s travails, but now her eyes went wide and shot directly to Stefan. For his part, Stefan had been turned sideways in the passenger seat so he could focus on Naomi’s face, and his mouth had fallen open slightly. Seeing Naomi’s alarm, he closed his lips and swallowed, but otherwise he didn’t move.

Entirely new sensations flooded Naomi’s mouth. She knew what blood tasted like, but there was no analogue in her experience for the other tiny organs that had just ruptured. It was mostly salty, but other flavors hinted at Phil’s most recent meal. She worried that she might gag.

Stefan rescued her. “Finish chewing and swallow,” he said calmly. “He’s tiny. Do it now.”

She chewed once more and started to gulp, but then she remembered why they had come here today and instead she smeared Phil’s remains across her palate and swallowed it over a pair of convulsions, savoring the carnage she had caused.

Naomi looked back at Stefan, who was still poised awkwardly in the seat, a look of wonder on his face. “You alright?” he finally managed.

She swallowed again and nodded, smiling.

“How was it?”

It was justice, she thought. It would sound silly if she spoke it aloud, but that’s what she felt.

“I didn’t mean to chew him,” she said with a complete lack of remorse.

“I know.”

“I’m stronger than I thought.”

Stefan nodded, then tried to straighten his pelvis and legs in the seat. Naomi noted the delicacy of his movements.

So here we are, she thought, two people who each helped the other murder someone. Who do we think we are? Her tongue writhed against her palate again.

Neither of them said anything as Naomi drove Stefan home. They each stole a number of glances at the other, briefly meeting once or twice before looking back at the road. When they arrived at Stefan’s house, Naomi pulled out her phone and turned it on to check for messages, but she had no signal.

“There’s no coverage at this end of the valley,” sighed Stefan. “There’s only one logical place to put a tower, and the parcel’s tied up in a dispute between the city and the county. The city just filed an appeal, so we’ll be lucky to get a signal out here in three years.”

Naomi smiled and put her hand on Stefan’s thigh. He didn’t jump, so she leaped instead. “Come over and have dinner with me and Rick next weekend,” she said.

He blinked, then exhaled and smiled. “Sure. Should I bring anything?”

She felt her eyes fall on his ring for a half-moment before reuniting with his.

“Howabout some wine?” she suggested.

“Sure. What are we having?”

“Dunno yet, but whatever it is it’ll be loaded with garlic. Rick wants it in everything; he would swim in the stuff if he could.”

 

Chapter Four

Naomi actually forgot about her dinner invitation to Stefan less than an hour after she dropped him off. She completely compartmentalized her experience with Stefan from her previous life. She fell back into routines for most of her waking hours, but in her spare moments—without any conscious decision on her part—memories of Joan and Phil struggling in her mouth, and of Stefan watching her, would seep unbidden into her mouth, and she would find herself licking her lips. Returning to her mundane life required a measurable amount of time, but once the transition was made, she had no memory of her desire or design. If Rick had noticed Naomi’s spaciness, he didn’t seem to worry himself over it.

The situation changed when she went back to work on Monday and saw Stefan approach her in the corridor. Her knees started to buckle, her stomach dropped, and for a moment she thought he had found a way to shrink her without the ring or the charm. But it was just the vertigo from fully integrating the memories of her decisions. She slumped against the wall, and Stefan hurried to her side.

“Are you alright?” he asked.

She nodded, but she accepted his help in standing straight. He looked her in the eyes for a moment, then he nodded in the direction of his office. She nodded again briefly. He continued on to his office and she followed three paces behind. She closed the door behind her and sat in the chair across the desk from him.

“Let’s call Saturday off,” he said.

She had been quite daunted by the changes to her life that she had been contemplating, and the promise of a return to normal seemed comforting for about two seconds. But then she remembered her hunger, and the thought of never satisfying it again was intolerable.

“No, I need to feel the wriggling in my throat and my belly,” she said. “I didn’t get that with Phil.”

“You could have someone else, someone less connected.”

She shook her head. “It has to be Rick. I want him to struggle for me, struggle against me, for the first time in his life.”

“And the last,” he said.

Naomi’s expression didn’t change.

Stefan looked at her, took a deep breath, then let it out slowly. “Have you figured out your story for Saturday? It would be ideal if people had reason to believe he was somewhere other than your place.”

“No,” she admitted, “I haven’t given that any thought at all.” She knew that she had been avoiding that particular chore.

“It doesn’t have to be this Saturday. We can wait until you’re ready.”

“No, it can’t wait.” And neither can you, she thought.

“Well then, see if you can’t find a way to get him to leave his phone at home.”

“He doesn’t have one.”

“What?”

“He refuses to get a mobile phone. He says he’s paranoid about his location being tracked, but I think he just likes being conspicuously different. It’s very annoying.”

“It’s also very convenient,” said Stefan with an impish grin. Naomi laughed, and she knew she was committed.


 

The week dragged on its way to Saturday, and Naomi didn’t suffer any further misgivings. The barriers between her thoughts and desires dissolved, and her quiet moments were devoted entirely to her tongue.

Whenever she ran into Stefan, she could read his appetites coiled in the tendons of his wrists and throat. She caught him staring furtively at her lips the way that other men tried to sneak looks at her breasts. She thought it was adorable.

Saturday finally arrived and Naomi spent almost two hours at the farmers’ market getting choice ingredients. She stopped short of making her own pasta, but on her way home she visited the Italian deli for artisanal vermicelli and some imported Romano.

After she prepped the sauce and the vegetables, Naomi took a shower. Rick still hadn’t arrived by the time she got dressed, and she was in the middle of doing her makeup when he showed up, letting himself in with the key she had given him.

When he appeared in her makeup mirror, she froze.

“Hey,” he said.

She held still another moment, then resumed applying her mascara.

“What?” he said.

She turned around to take in Rick in his T-shirt, cargo shorts, and sneakers. At least he left the crocs at home, she thought.

“Oh,” she said with forced patience. “I didn’t think you’d wear that.”

Rick did that thing where he started to roll his eyes but then turned the whole thing into an unjustifiably wide grin, as if she’s just told the world’s funniest joke. “I know he’s your boss,” he said between laughs, “but it’s not like we’re going to a funeral.”

Naomi just smiled affably and turned back to her mirror.

At ten minutes after the appointed hour, the front door intercom chimed, and Naomi buzzed Stefan into the building. Rick bestirred himself in time to stand in the foyer to greet Stefan after Naomi opened the door.

“Hi, I’m Rick,” he said, extending his hand for a token shake.

“Stefan,” he replied. “Nice to meet you.”

“Come on in,” said Rick, as if it was his apartment. “Can I get you a beer?”

“That would be great, thanks,” Stefan said, handing Naomi a bottle of Barolo.

Rick and Stefan sat in the living room while Naomi started simmering the sauce and put the vegetables in the oven. Rick had gotten the beers, but she had to get the dish of almonds herself before she could join them.

“So,” Rick was saying, “Naomi tells me that her job is substantially more complex now that she’s working in Processing.”

“Of course,” agreed Stefan. “She makes the first pass on all the cross-claims. Our reconciliation process depends on her good judgment.”

“Cool,” said Rick. “I just know I hated Records.”

“Sure, it’s pretty tedious,” said Stefan. “But someone as bright as you could have moved up. I think there’s an opening in QC, in fact. Think it over.”

Naomi cringed as Rick went into movie-quote mode. “Senator,” he pronounced, “you can have my answer now, if you like.”

Stefan nodded and smiled in recognition, but nothing could arrest Rick’s momentum.

“My final offer is this,” Rick recited, “nothing. Not even the fee for the gaming license, which I would appreciate if you would put up personally.”

Stefan kept his polite smile. “Alright, I got it. I’m sure we’ll be safe in Naomi’s hands.”

The pasta cooked up very quickly, and it was ready by the time Naomi had to put the vegetables on the table to rest and Stefan finished cleaning the used pint glasses.

The sauce was delicious and, as promised, heavily laced with garlic. Naomi might have cooked the vermicelli a bit too long, but Stefan was effusive in his compliments and Rick grunted his concurrence. The wine was a perfect complement, but Naomi couldn’t give it the attention it deserved tonight and she limited herself to a single glass.

When they all had sampled at least a bite of each dish, Naomi prompted Rick for the detail that she knew Stefan was waiting to hear. “Rick, tell Stefan about the hilarious prank you pulled on Greg and the others.”

To his credit, Rick remembered to wipe his mouth before launching into his story. “So there’s this long-running inside joke between me and my friends about this bear that supposedly lives on the Flathead Lake Trail. You know where that is?”

“I can’t say that I do,” replied Stefan.

“It’s less than three hours from the city,” continued Rick. “The first time we went out there was back in high school. The signs at the trailhead said to hang your food in a tree at night so bears won’t get in your tent, so that’s what we did the first night. The next morning, we went to get our food and the bag was torn. Most of the food was still there, but Greg said that all his beef jerky was gone. No one knew if he actually put any beef jerky in the bag, but over the years the story of the beef-jerky-loving bear of Flathead Lake has just grown.”

“I see,” said Stefan.

“Anyway, I thought it would be funny to tell Greg I was going back up there finally find the bear, and that they should come meet me tonight.”

Naomi jumped in. “I told Rick,” she said, “‘Just imagine their faces when they find your tent but not you.'”

“But it was my idea to scatter the beef jerky wrappers with the fake blood on them around the tent,” said Rick.

“So, you guys went up there already?” asked Stefan.

“Last night,” Rick said triumphantly.

“Oh, that’s great,” said Stefan, smiling at Rick then Naomi then back to Rick. “I want to hear the whole story when they get back.”

“Yeah, we’re gonna have a lot of fun with them,” said Rick, chortling.

Both Rick and Stefan resumed eating and drinking, but Naomi’s already slow pace dropped even more. She looked at each of them in turn, her familiar safe life and her new scary one. She already knew which she preferred, but she still wondered if she could hold onto herself. She remembered staring down Stefan’s immense gullet. She had gotten herself out of there once, but could she do it again? Then she remembered Phil’s helplessness when she pinned him to the roof of her mouth with her tongue. That was me, she thought, that is me.

“Hey Stefan,” she said coquettishly, “I wanna show Rick your magic trick.”

Rick had been reaching for his wine glass but now he left it on the table. “What, like three-card-monty? I figured all those card tricks out years ago. Saw a show with Ricky Jay. He’s the best.”

“This isn’t one of his,” said Stefan, removing his ring and handing it to Rick. Rick twirled the ring between his thumb and forefinger, then clasped it firmly in his fist, testing its solidity.

Naomi had gotten up and was now standing next to Rick’s chair. “Keep the ring in your fist,” she told him, “and hold it out towards me.”

Rick did as he was told and Naomi forced herself not to look at Stefan as she recited the charm that she had practiced. Rick’s goofy, half-drunk grin never wavered as she tapped the back of his fist six times, “Toon-toon-toon-toon-toon-toon.”

Perhaps it was because it was her first time performing the charm, but it seemed to Naomi that Rick dropped out of his T-shirt and into the seat of his cargo pants much quicker than Phil or Joan had shrunk. Maybe it was faster because she had made him smaller, just over one inch tall.

She first plucked the ring from the pile of clothes and handed it to Stefan, who was watching over his steepled fingers. Then she uncovered little Rick, who as she expected was still sitting on his ass, refusing to believe what had happened.

Rather than grabbing him she curled her fingers to make a shallow bowl of her hand, which she gently set down next to the tiny (so tiny!) man. “Come on, Rick,” she said softly, “climb on and tell me what you think of the new trick I learned.”

He looked up at her towering over him, and she strained to read his miniscule expression. She heard a squeak, but nothing she could make out.

“Ow, wow,” she said, breaking into a giggle. “Your tiny voice is ridiculous. Let’s bring you closer, into the light.”

Another brief squeak as she rolled her palm over and enclosed him in her fist. She stood up, then pushed her plate back from in front of her seat. Before she sat down, she held her fist in front of her face and looked at it. Rick had gone mostly limp, but he was still shifting a bit, sending an electric thrill through her palm and fingers.

Naomi looked at Stefan, who had been watching her intently. He raised his eyebrows and gave a devilish grin, and then Naomi gave a sharp guffaw as she realized he was imitating her own expression. With another chuckle, she licked her lips and sat down.

Unlike Rick, Naomi hadn’t spilled any of her sauce, so the white tablecloth was pristine when she rolled the inch-tall man out of her palm and onto the table. He came to rest on his stomach, facing away from her, so she had a good look at his tiny ass. She delicately brushed it with the tip of her index finger, and while it wasn’t as soft as she expected, Rick reflexively writhed under her touch, which delighted her no end.

Rick started crawling away from Naomi, and she slid her fingertip under his hip and gently rolled him onto his back. She brought her face down over the tiny man, stopping just short of obscuring the overhead light. His expression of uncomprehending terror reminded Naomi of an exhibition of miniature sculptures she saw once. The fine details of his tears and eyebrows were fascinating. What other reactions could she elicit from this thimble-sized boy?

Naomi’s tongue finally slid out and aimed its tip at Rick’s crotch. Although she ought to have guessed it before, she recognized that he had been shouting “Naomi!” She didn’t stop, of course, and the tip of her tongue jostled his infinitesimal cock and balls, which were smaller than grains of rice.

Rick started scrambling backward away from her probing tongue and looming mouth, so she brought one hand behind him and pinned each of his tiny arms under her thumb and index finger. His face was almost out of sight underneath her nose, but she could hear his squeals as her warm tongue stirred his tiny cock to life. He wasn’t screaming “No!” the last time I went down on him, she thought to herself, her chuckles washing over the tiny man.

Naomi recognized Rick’s squeaks shifting into reflexive bestial grunts, but if he had produced a micro-drop of jism, she couldn’t tell. She pulled back a bit to see his face again, but he turned away and curled up into a ball like a junebug. She placed her hand over him, flat and palm-down, then lowered it until just her palm was in contact with his body. As she commenced rolling him around like a dab of cookie dough, she looked over at Stefan to see him tensed with wonder and desire.

I have them both, she thought. Whatever she did with Rick, Stefan would accept it. If she asked for the ring back to return Rick to normal, Stefan would assent and tell her the reverse charm. There is nothing stopping me, she thought.

She lifted her hand off of Rick and sat back in her chair, both hands folded in her lap. She ran her tongue along the inside of her teeth, then on the outside of her lips, then she sucked on her top incisors, producing a sharp smack. She knew that she was looking at Rick for the last time.

Shortly after Naomi’s palm had stopped molesting him, Rick had slowly uncurled and looked about. When Naomi had sucked her teeth, he had turned to look up at her with fear. Now she was slowly leaning forward, her eyes fixed on him, and he struggled to his feet to flee.

As she started to loom over Rick, Naomi said, “We’ve had a good run, Rick, but I’m moving on. I’ll keep a bit of you inside me wherever I go. Goodbye.”

The tiny Rick had absurdly tried to flee from Naomi’s advance, but as she spoke her final words she brought her hand directly over and above him, forming a cage. She curled her tongue into a semi-straw and she heard his final abbreviated shriek as she slurped him up into her mouth.

The tides of her mouth tossed him around and around and around. In most dimensions, he was less substantial than a throat lozenge. Even better, he was struggling for his life, so everywhere he landed he pushed back with his tiny arms and legs. She was careful not to land him between her jaws, but his flailing limbs tickled her gums, her cheeks, her palate, and of course her mighty tongue.

Imagining the tiny man being thrashed helplessly around the wet cave of her mouth, Naomi couldn’t remember ever feeling so smug. She stood and walked over to where Stefan was sitting, his arms resting atop the table, his legs splayed underneath. As she neared him, he pulled in his arms and sat back in his chair, swiveling to look up at her.

Like an errant wad of gum, Naomi deposited Rick between her cheek and lower gum. Glancing at Stefan’s crotch, she said, “Take it out. I want him to see it.” I want to see it too, she thought.

Stefan blinked, but Naomi held his gaze and didn’t move until he started to unfasten his pants. Then she slowly lowered herself onto her knees, keeping her eyes on his. When he had taken his pants down to his ankles, she looked directly at his feet and removed his pants and briefs entirely. Then, and only then, did she look at his cock.

Before this evening, Stefan’s cock might have been a bit shorter than Rick’s. It was rock hard, of course, erupting from a forest of soft brown hair. Naomi’s pulse quickened as she saw the width of the shaft where it met his sprawling sack.

She fished Rick out of the gully next to her cheek and cradled him on her tongue just past the flexing tip. She then moved forward, opened her jaws, and extended her tongue to where she hoped both that Rick could see the extent of Stefan’s cock and that Stefan could see the outline of Rick’s reaction. She watched as Stefan peered smirking into her mouth and then as his smirk became a predatory grin. With that, she flipped Rick to the other side of her mouth, again outside her teeth, and bent forward to her task.

Naomi had never really thought of blowjobs as any kind of skill she should try to master. She performed them on request, and Rick had never seemed to regard them as complicated or subtle. Recently, however, all kinds of possibilities had been preoccupying her thoughts, and the Internet was surprisingly more helpful on the topic than she would have expected.

She started by cupping his furry ballsack and circling the base of his shaft with her thumb and forefinger. Then she extended her tongue to the underside of his shaft where it met his sack, and she traced a line with her tongue all the way to the ridge under the head. Then she raised her own head, opened her jaws wide, and engulfed the top half of Stefan’s cock.

Naomi kept her hand on the base of his shaft, pumping in time with her lips when they slid up and down, cradling his balls when she worked on the head. Once she had established her rhythm, she brought her other hand up and started to gently massage Stefan’s taint with her thumb.

Her eyes were closed the entire time, as she tried to imagine what Rick must be experiencing; the whale-sized cock surging in and out of the slick cavern of her mouth, her demonic tongue slathering over every surface, focusing its irresistible strength on coaxing the monster worm to explode. He was no longer struggling against her gum, but there would be no escaping the cacophony of slurps.

Soon she felt a touch on the underside of her jaw, and she opened her eyes and looked up at Stefan. His face was flushed and he was breathing rapidly. He met her eyes and nodded quickly, and she paused to again re-position Rick, this time on the back of her tongue. The next touch of her lips on the head of Stefan’s cock was delicate, but her grip on the base of his shaft and her thumb on his taint were firm, and his thighs went taut as his jism shot forth into Rick and propelled the tiny man down her gullet. Stefan’s load was not so voluminous that she couldn’t feel Rick scrabble at the back of her mouth or wriggle against her throat. She swallowed joyously.

Naomi now had a warm happy lump in her belly, and she milked Stefan for every last drop, imagining she was drowning Rick in a white lake of cum. Her tongue finally sated, she let her teeth have a gentle bite on Stefan’s cock as it withdrew, causing him to flinch. She stood up and grinned down at the panting man, and she rubbed her stomach. I have them both, she thought again.

She turned and walked to the kitchen, then returned with a carton of latex gloves. She pulled on a pair, fished Rick’s car keys out of his shorts, then turned back to Stefan. “Shall we?”

After pulling up his pants, Stefan donned his own pair of gloves and they went down to find Rick’s car parked on its usual side street to avoid the tortuous route to her building’s visitor parking. She retrieved her own car and followed Stefan as he drove Rick’s car to a trailhead one hour closer than the one for Flathead Lake but which was connected to the latter. After locking Rick’s car, Stefan joined Naomi in her car and handed her Rick’s keys.

“Do you know what to do with his clothes?” he asked.

“I do,” she replied confidently.

“You’ll have to be plausibly frantic. When Greg and the others get back, you should probably call the police yourself.”

“I know.”

No sooner had she set the parking brake on her car back at her place than Naomi lunged out of her seat and pressed her mouth into Stefan’s. He was momentarily startled, but he quickly returned her ardor. Her tongue eagerly explored his lips and teeth and gums. His tongue was no less probing, and she fancied he could taste a remnant of Rick (and himself) in the corners of her mouth.

When she finally broke off, she gave him a contented smile and said, “Thanks.”

He drew a deep breath, gave her an admiring look, nodded, and got out of her car.

After she had gone inside and properly disposed of Rick’s effects, Naomi sat back down at the table and remembered how the tiny man had been helpless before her. She plucked a bit of leftover garlic pork from her plate and dropped it into her mouth. As she rolled the morsel over and over with her tongue, her hand found its way underneath her dress and into her underwear. Her legs were no less splayed than Stefan’s had been, and the burrowing of her fingers matched the contortions of her tongue in their tenacity.

For as long as she could, she resisted swallowing the niblet of pork, severely eroded by her saliva and her restless tongue. When she finally gave in and pushed it down her throat to her waiting stomach, her fingers jerked rapidly inside the opening to her canal and she let out a deep growl of joy, which quickly transformed into a resounding belch.

 

Chapter Five

Pretending to be a distraught girlfriend turned out to be more difficult than Naomi had imagined. The investigation took longer than she thought, too, including letting the cops search her apartment twice (the first at her invitation, the second with a warrant). The worst were Rick’s parents. They called shortly after Naomi made the report to the police (“Why didn’t you call us first? He might have come home!”), and his mother was immediately suspicious. Naomi was convinced that his mother had said something to the cops to provoke the second search.

She also kept her contact with Stefan strictly professional. She could sense his lingering attentions to her, but she was confident enough to reserve her feelings for private contemplation. Almost a month had passed since Rick’s disappearance before she gave Stefan enough of an opening to press an overture.

“Got any plans this weekend?” he asked.

“None at all,” she replied. “Why do you ask?”

“I’d like to make dinner for you at my place. Does Saturday work?”

“That sounds like just the treat I need,” she said. “What are you making?”

“That’ll be my surprise,” he said without flourish. “But I hope you come with an open mind; I’d like to try something new.”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she said, surprised at how easily her answer came.

Naomi puzzled over the possibilities for half a day before deciding that she preferred the mystery. She had no regrets about anything that had happened since meeting Stefan, something she reminded herself of whenever self-doubt cropped up.

Arriving at Stefan’s house on Saturday evening, she caught herself trying to identify any of the cars parked nearby, but in this she was unsuccessful. Once she entered his home and scented his kitchen, however, she knew what they were having for dinner.

“I admire your audacity,” she said after Stefan greeted her with a peck on the cheek. “Not in a million years would I try to pull off something like this. Where did you go for ingredients?”

“You know Matsuno’s, off Division?”

She did, and she gave a low whistle. “Pricey.”

“Well, I’ve been in there often enough recently that I think he’s giving me a break.”

He brought the drinks. She wasn’t really a fan of sake, but it was traditional and Stefan’s selection was better than average. At least they weren’t sitting on the floor.

Stefan’s kitchen featured a large island topped with white stone—she couldn’t tell if it was marble or granite. It had a four-burner gas range, but tonight it was merely the staging area for trays of seaweed-wrapped discs of rice.

Naomi sat on one of the two stools next to the island while Stefan stood opposite her and selected the first fish. As she watched him clean and fillet it, her affect slowly shifted from indulgence to admiration (and, to be honest, a bit of envy). By the time he was on the fourth fish, she was making mental notes for her next attempt at the craft that she last abandoned almost five years ago.

The dining was sheer pleasure. All four fish were excellent, and Stefan hadn’t made a single poor cut. It even improved the sake. At the conclusion of the meal Naomi felt warm all over. “I can’t remember ever having such a lovely feast in any restaurant,” she said.

“Better than Mom used to make?” he prompted with a smirk as he cleared the trays.

“Squashes Mom like a grape,” she said, getting up from her stool and rounding the island to slide her arms over his shoulders. Their kiss picked up from where they left off the night she made garlic pork, their lips pressing slowly, less hungrily, each parting followed by gentle nibbles. Her arms drifted down to his lower back and her thigh nudged between his. He drew a deep breath through his nose and brought his lips down to the side of her neck, where he planted a quick suckling kiss, then he grasped her shoulders and gently pulled back.

“Are you ready for something new?” he asked huskily.

Naomi was slightly startled, as she had assumed the exotic Asian Yellowtail had been the novelty of the evening. Nevertheless, she welcomed Stefan’s next offering, whatever it might be. “Certainly,” she said.

He looked at her appraisingly, but before she could fully discern his verdict, he said, “Follow me,” and turned to walk toward his bedroom. She did not hesitate at all but smiled to herself as she walked after him. All evening she had been sensing Stefan’s restraint, his reminding himself not to indulge in too much ceremony. Having taken the measure of some of his appetites, she was confident that she would be able to easily share his enthusiasm for whatever he had prepared.

Stefan’s bedroom was tastefully if simply appointed. A single dresser and chair, a deep closet next to a full-length mirror on the wall, and internal shutters on the windows that could block out the brightest sunlight. The queen-sized bed had a small shelf running the length of the headboard. Most important of all, everything was clean.

Stefan had walked straight to the dresser, and now he reached into a drawer and pulled out a handful of salmon-colored scarves. Naomi looked at them and then to his face. “Another magic trick?” she asked with the barest minimum of amusement.

He clearly wasn’t prepared for any questions at that point, however whimsical, and he was momentarily flustered. He tried to recompose his smile. “Uh, no,” he said. “I just wanted to, um, I just wanted to tie you up,” he concluded, raising his chin.

Naomi felt a mixture of relief and excitement. Relief that she hadn’t embarrassed him, and that he had been able to proceed with his proposition. She also realized that her quip betrayed her subconscious worry that Stefan might have another reality-bending surprise waiting for her.

She was excited because she had instantly decided that yes, she wanted to be tied up by Stefan. Bondage was something that had loitered around the fringes of her sexual imagination for as long as she could remember, but being with Rick and similarly vanilla partners she had never given it a moment of serious consideration. Now that she was presented with it, all reluctance fell away. She looked back at Stefan’s bed, and she immediately noticed the fittings at each end where bindings might be affixed.

Fully aware that Stefan was scrutinizing her face as never before, Naomi did her best to keep her cool. She wanted him to eventually know that she was one-hundred-percent enthusiastic for his proposition, but she couldn’t resist drawing it out, hoping that he would reveal more about his desires.

She knelt down and examined the metal loops bolted to the foot of the bed. The finish was unworn, and there was a bit of sawdust on the backside where the drill had poked through. “How long have you been thinking about this?” she asked, turning to look him in the eye.

“Since I decided not to swallow you,” he said without hesitation. She nodded, then stood back up and faced him.

“Where did you get those?” she asked, gesturing at the scarves.

Incredibly, he reddened. Then he gave a awkward smile. “A shop called Lover’s Lane,” he admitted.

She smiled reassuringly and pulled one from his fist, then wrapped it around her fingers. “At least they’re not fuzzy pink handcuffs,” she said.

He shrugged, and his blush faded a bit. “I think these are safer,” he said, “and they’re probably more comfortable.”

She rescued him by planting another kiss on his mouth. When she broke off, she whispered in his ear, “Let’s try them out now.”

He exhaled quickly, then stood back up and looked her up and down. He inclined his head towards her feet, then sat in the chair facing her.

Naomi was more than ready for this, and she wasn’t frightened by the idea of being tied up. Stefan had already seen her naked, and she had already had a close-up look at his cock. What she hadn’t quite anticipated was Stefan watching her from his chair. Taking his earlier restraint as a model, she performed the most casual and unembellished striptease she could.

Of course it made her wet.

As she dropped the last item of clothing onto the pile, Naomi clasped her hands together just above her privates and looked at Stefan. He hadn’t moved, and one of his legs was still crossed over the other. He gestured to the bed with one hand. “On your back, if you please,” he said.

She located the four mounted loops at the head and foot of the bed, then clambered on and assumed the spread-eagle position necessary to place her wrists and ankles nearest the loops. Once she had settled, Stefan stood and drew a scarf from the jacket pocket where he had stuffed them.

As he bent over her arm to bind the first of her wrists, Naomi wondered if he could smell her arousal. She quickly decided he could not, as he seemed too focused on his task to be attending to his senses.

When he had secured all four of her limbs, he stood at the foot of the bed and looked down upon her. She thought she recognized the expression he had had back when she lay tiny and helpless on his desktop. He licked his lips, and she remembered how easily she had been dominated by that tongue. Her pulse quickened.

“Excuse me a moment,” he said and stepped into the adjoining bathroom. He left the door open, but she couldn’t see what he was doing, and she couldn’t make out any sounds, either.

Some instinct led her to test the tightness of the bonds at her wrists. In fact, there was the barest slack in the scarf securing her right wrist. She couldn’t immediately slip out of it, but with time she might be able to work it loose enough to get a finger into the knot.

Then Stefan came back into the room. She didn’t know what kind of expression he might have been hoping to see from her, but when she saw that he was completely naked, she went with “hungry.” As she searched his face, however, she realized he wasn’t seeing her expression at all.

Stefan again stood at the foot of the bed, truly ogling Naomi for the first time. It was that odd mixture of awe and possession that she had seen a million times from boys and men. She felt like a buffet table loaded with dessert pastries, or perhaps an elaborately-detailed model of the Battle of Helm’s Deep.

“Like what you see?” she said, unable to keep the accusatory condescension out of her voice.

He jerked back as if he’d been slapped. He looked at her face in surprise, then he pursed his lips and swallowed. He walked to the side of the bed, then stepped up onto the mattress, so that he was standing next to her torso, looking down at her outstretched body.

Stefan’s face was recomposing itself as he tried to figure out what he wanted, so Naomi decided to look at his cock for the moment, hoping it might be more decisive. It had been getting harder from the moment he emerged from the bathroom, and her comment didn’t seem to have stemmed the surge. The shaft and balls bobbed as the blood kept flowing in, and because she couldn’t fondle it herself, she willed Stefan to do so. She wondered what he was doing with his hands, and that’s when she noticed that he still had his ring.

He was rolling it back and forth between his fingers, and he was looking at her breasts, at his cock, at her pussy, at the bathroom door; anywhere but her face. Then he suddenly took a deep breath, clutched the ring in his fist, and rapidly spoke the charm, followed by five taps on the back of his hand, “Toon-toon-toon-toon-toon.”

Stunned, Naomi’s mind grasped after small details. Oh, she thought, that’s what it looks like when they shrink with no clothes on. Oh, that sounds like the ring bouncing on the carpet.

For a moment, she couldn’t see Stefan. She no longer felt his weight depressing the mattress, of course. Then she felt his tiny hands and arms on her side, just above her hip bone. The man who had expertly prepared the best sushi dinner she had ever eaten and then tied her up so he could fuck her was now struggling to pull himself atop her belly.

Confusion and disappointment warred within Naomi. She thought she had been ready for anything this evening, but she had been wrong. As she watched the three-inch-tall man find his uncertain footing upon her abdomen and look around at her body, she decided that more than anything else she was simply curious to discover his next action. And hers.

After another moment of gawping at Naomi’s sprawling nudity, Stefan hiked up to her left breast and flung himself onto its slope. She could feel that he still maintained his boner as he embraced her tit and thrust it against her. The sensation was not unpleasant, but she found that she wanted to see his face, to know what he was feeling.

Naomi also resumed trying to slowly increase the slack in the scarf binding her right wrist. Stefan was too busy to notice, but she wouldn’t have cared if he had.

The tiny man climbed to the top of her breast and started to kiss and suck on her nipple. She remembered the first time his tongue had embraced her, and a short laugh escaped her and sent tremors through her breast. He hung on and didn’t even interrupt his ministrations to her nipple, as big or bigger than his head. Once more, she saw the Stefan she had come to know, certain of his appetites and confident of his abilities.

He humped her a few moments more, then she saw him take hold of himself and push off from her pliant flesh. He let himself slide down to her sternum, where he stood and looked up at her face, rubbing one of his shoulders with his tiny hand.

Stefan had brought his miniscule face as close as he could without forcing Naomi to look at him cross-eyed. His expression was one of wistful yearning, lust and wonder leavened with rueful memory. She had a thought, and this being the night for it, she acted on it.

“What was her name?” she asked. “The woman who left you the ring.”

Stefan let his hand drop to his side, and his mouth fell open a bit. His face dropped for a moment, but then he raised his chin and looked back into her eyes. “Melissa,” he chirped in his tiny voice.

Hearing this man she had been in awe of squeak like a mouse made Naomi deflate. She had guessed at some of his history, and she had seen what he could do, and indeed everything that had happened this evening had been his design. But now he was standing between her boobs, liable to lose his footing at her slightest inhalation, and it was a struggle to think of him as a man of consequence.

“How long did she have you?” she asked.

Stefan shifted his weight on his feet, perhaps because she was drawing breath, perhaps for other reasons. “Two months,” he replied.

She could sense a dozen more questions starting to germinate in her mind, but in a flash she decided she didn’t want to learn any more about Melissa. Her tongue made a contemplative circuit of her teeth and palate. Stefan was still looking up at her, entranced by her lips.

“Was it your idea to put her in your mouth?” asked Naomi.

“Yes,” said Stefan with just a bit of conflicted pride finding its way into his faint voice. Naomi no longer felt any need to hide her feelings from Stefan, and her admiration for the tiny man returned in the form of a smirk. For the first time in the conversation, he managed to look away from her imposing face, and he again took in the vista of her exposed body. There was, however, one crucial detail she needed to know.

“Did you mean to eat her?” she asked.

Stefan’s head whipped around and he was once again transfixed by her gaze. She slowed her breathing to give him better footing, but he shifted and stepped back anyway. He reminded her a bit of a child eager to get out on the playground but was forced to wait for a parent to finish talking. Does he not realize what is riding on his answer? she wondered. Could I tell if he lied?

Imagining how she must appear to the tiny Stefan, Naomi tried to keep her eyes steady and receptive. There was nothing she could do, however, about her restless lips and tongue. Although she held his gaze, she felt his searching slip away from her face and turn inward, his trepidation having nothing to do with her at all.

“No,” he whispered finally. Then he drew a deep breath and exclaimed, “No!” loud enough that he was sure she could hear.

Naomi closed her eyes. Stefan seemed to interpret this as a kind of dismissal, and he began to crawl upon her right breast. She was seized by the desire to press her breasts together and smother the tiny man, but she refrained from flexing her fingers or drawing any attention at all to her wrists or their bonds.

Instead, she opened her eyes and exhaled, then settled into watching Stefan take his pleasure from her. She had always thought of her breasts as rather small, and even though Rick had never complained or teased her about them, hanging around with Joan had not improved her self-image. Now she found herself enjoying the sight and sensation of a man nuzzling her boob while being dwarfed by it. Stefan might have looked at the expanse of her naked body as territory to be explored and conquered, but she knew who had conquered whom.

His little stiffy had returned after bowing during his confession, but in fucking her tit he wasn’t applying the fervor she imagined was necessary to bring himself off. She had never had anyone come on her breast before, and she supposed that receiving the jizz produced by balls the size of poppy seeds would be a harmless introduction, but she need not have worried.

Heaving but unspent, Stefan let go and stood back from Naomi’s breast. He looked up at her nipple, beginning to darken with arousal, then apparently thought better of scaling it. He cast about, sneaking glances at her mouth and at her crotch, desperate not to miss any aspect of this rare opportunity. He didn’t dare let his eyes linger too long on her face, but she pointed a warm smile at him all the same.

Finally she couldn’t abide the denial of their mutual desires any longer. “Put your cock in me,” she said, doing her best not to startle him.

He turned to look at her, and she met his regard with an expression of frankness and a bit of impatience.

“You’ve gone to all this trouble,” she said. “My pussy’s right there. You’ve wanted this since you first tasted me.”

He crossed his arms and continued to search her face.

“Look at it,” she commanded. “I’m ready for you.”

He let his arms fall and his gaze dropped from her face. Then he looked at her face one last time, nodded, then turn to walk towards her crotch. She held her breath, both to give him a steady path and because she wasn’t at all sure he wouldn’t change his mind.

He reached the small trimmed patch of hair at the top of her mons, the only remnant from that morning’s grooming. He trailed one hand through it as he passed, and she continued to hold still so as to feel every rustling of his passage. As he became even tinier with distance, she stopped trying to read his emotions from his shoulders and just watched his tiny ass churning as he walked toward her hungry pussy.

When he reached the top of her vulva, he knelt down and reached both of his arms between her lips. She gasped as his tiny hands found her clit and exposed it to his attentions. He leaned forward and down and—OH HE’S KISSING IT.

She might have closed her eyes to concentrate on the sensations, but she couldn’t stop watching his tiny back and shoulders, curled forward and bobbing as he fellated her clit. She didn’t realize how wet she was until he reached an arm under her hood and easily slid it around the horn of slick flesh.

Her pelvis bucked reflexively, and she was certain that he had bit her, bit her with the teeth that once might have ground her to paste. She let the tremors roll on; she was no longer worried about his footing or is grip, and she was done luring him.

Naomi’s rapid breathing became a series of moans that seemed subdued to her but probably resonated more strongly to mouse-sized Stefan laboring just below her diaphragm. He altered neither his rhythm nor his pace, and her moans clenched into a deep grunt as her juice trickled past her lips and puddled at her taint.

She felt him leave her mons before she saw it; he swung his legs down between her lips and hung onto her clit until he could let himself down. He reached his arms wide to stroke her outer lips from top to bottom, where he brought his hands together and slipped them between her inner lips. Then he stood up and nestled forward, and she imagined her pink wet lips kissing his face and chest and folding around him to graze his tiny ass.

Naomi strained at her bonds as never before. She needed her hands in her crotch, one to resume diddling her clit and one to shove Stefan deep into her cunt. Feeling him rocking between her lips was a terrible tease. Wait—was that his tiny boner? He was humping away like it was.

She needed to reach him before he finished. “I need you inside now,” she called, hoping her genuine neediness made her sound alluring and not like a playground monitor.

He paused in his thrusts, and she prayed he wasn’t coming yet.

“You belong there,” she said, meaning every word.

Unable to see Stefan’s face or read his body language, Naomi couldn’t tell if his inaction was due to a fear of entering her body, conflicts between his own desires, or post-ejaculatory torpor. She felt her frustration coalesce into a whiny moan, but she quashed it before it could be vocalized.

Then, before she could relax her muscles, half of his body slipped through the opening to her canal. Was it—it was his legs, shooting inside and up along the forward wall of her cunt. In the greatest act of willpower she could remember, she forced her pelvic muscles not to contract or react at all to the probing of the tiny man’s limbs.

C’mon, you little fucker, she thought as she moderated her breathing to minimize the chance of another orgasm at this point. She could still feel his arms stimulating her inner lips, and she wondered if this was what guys go through when they try to mentally defer ejaculation. What sweet torture, she thought.

It took Naomi a couple of seconds to recognize the sensation, but then it was clear that Stefan’s tiny hands had somehow found the necessary grip and leverage on the threshold of her pussy to thrust the rest of his body inside hers, like an astronaut in zero-G going feet first through a hatch. Even after his arms and hands slipped inside her, she kept up her breath control, unsure just how deep he had gone. Then his feet touched her cervix, and she finally let a triumphant grin spread across her face.

Her pelvic muscles grabbed him with the sudden ferocity of a submerged frog taking an insect on the surface of a pond. His limbs were pinned, and he couldn’t find the leverage to even start to free himself. Her grin faded into the tight thin seal that she was willing her labia to mimic. He spasmed against her straining membranes, and then she could no longer hold back the flood of her joys.

Oh, she had him, as deeply as anyone could be had. She imagined him gripped tight in the hot wet dark, her pussy walls convulsing him deeper as an homage to her tongue’s earlier prey. She pictured her cervix dilating like a second gullet, drawing him in to be mired in her uterine lining and dissolved.

All that Stefan ever was and ever would be would now become part of Naomi. As she bore down upon him, shutting out all air and light and flooding him with pressure and heat, Naomi realized that she was dominating not only Stefan but also Joan, Phil, Rick, even Melissa. They were all there, in her pussy, in her belly, in her blood.

All of her bonds went taut as she arced her pelvis upward and clenched her Kegels in triumph. I will contain the whole world, she thought. Nothing will escape my appetites.

Whether the cause was suffocation, drowning, or her final pelvic embrace, Stefan had stopped moving. She lowered her abdomen back onto the mattress, and she felt more of her fluids seep out. You were delicious, she thought as she faded from consciousness.


 

Naomi didn’t know precisely how long she had lain there. The wet spot had gone cold. She couldn’t see or hear anyone else in the house with her.

She resumed trying to increase the slack in her right wrist bond. Unhindered by distraction or concern for stealth, it still took the better part of an hour. Even when she got one arm free, freeing her other limbs proceeded painfully slowly.

The first thing Naomi did once she was free of Stefan’s bonds was to search the floor for his ring. It was easy to find, under the bed less than a foot from the edge. She grabbed it and put it on the fourth finger of her left hand. It fit perfectly, something she never gave a second thought.

Next she found her phone and turned it off. After getting dressed, she located Stefan’s supply of latex gloves, donned a pair, and commenced cleaning. She started by changing the bedsheets and washing the soiled linen. While that was running, she collected all evidence of the sushi dinner and its preparation, along with the scarves, and stuffed it all into a doubled plastic garbage bag. Then she ran the dishwasher.

While she waited for the dishes to dry, Naomi wiped down all the surfaces she remembered touching with her bare hands and a few others just to be sure. She felt absolutely no urgency.

After putting the cleaned sheets and dishes away, she carried the plastic bag to the front door. Before walking out and locking the door behind her, Naomi turned and addressed the house as a whole, “Thank you, Stefan.”


 

Naomi knew the detectives found her connection to all the missing people impossible to ignore, but she also knew that they couldn’t place her at the last known locations of any of them, they had no motive, and of course they had no bodies. If they had found any of her fingerprints at Stefan’s house they would have arrested her, but they must not have because all they did was request two different interviews at her place. She knew the second interview was just to try to poke holes in her story and to get her emotions to betray her. She found her most convincing shelter in anger, channeling her disappointment in Rick. She could tell that her performance had been successful, and that she would just have to be much more careful in the future.


 

A year later, two hours up the interstate, a young man spent almost an hour in a specialty restaurant store going back and forth between three different sets of fillet knives. After he finally made his purchase, he took a sidewalk table at a nearby cafe to have some coffee and hopefully avoid buyer’s remorse.

With the carton open on the table and the blades glinting in the sun, the man looked up to see a slim woman, on the shortish side, with long straight brown hair.

“Nice knives,” she said genuinely. “I hope you know how to sharpen them.”

“With a stone, right?” He was taken slightly aback, but something in her tone made him instantly respect her authority.

“A waterstone would be best,” she said, reaching for the largest blade of the set. “May I?”

“Be my guest,” he said without hesitation. He noticed she was wearing an unusually large ring. “That’s not a class ring, is it?” he said. “Where did you get it?”

The woman met his eyes and licked her lips. “I inherited it.”


 

Originally posted:  25 Sep 2015

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