BHM Served (eventual BHM, civilian turned feeder, slow burn, economic satire)

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stevita

like the pancake
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
238
Location
Texas
Christyn went through the motions. She woke up. Her phone buzzed. She ate a piece of bread with ketchup and went to work. Her phone buzzed. She ate a cup of salsa. She took a smoke break. She struggled to change a keg until Topher came to help her. Sten relieved her for the night shift. Her phone buzzed. Another piece of bread, or two, if Auralee was around to chastise her: “That’s all you’re eating?” Eventually, Auralee started buying the thick bread.

She ran into Auralee and Alex making suck-face up against the fridge. Or Zeke and Sabine in the living room. Or Hope and L’vonte out by the pool on days when she drove up from Houston to visit. Eventually, she decided they should have a system so that everyone could have their privacy and started a spreadsheet where people could book a time slot in a certain space around the house and expect not to be disturbed.

As for Christyn, she returned to the sex shop Alex had brought her to and perused their selection of porn, but nothing appealed to her. She did buy some more of that pheremone perfume Auralee had introduced her to, though; she was running low. The company that made it had discontinued Angel Cake, but the shop girl recommended another one to her, Deadly Sin, that smelled just like cherry pie. She had nobody to impress, but she did find the perfume improved her tip percentage marginally.

She started writing trashy feedist fanfiction about this new show she was watching to help her fall asleep, one of those sword-and-sorcery dramas with a brooding hero and a cute baby-faced sidekick who, if you asked her, could stand to gain a little weight.

She went to court, and once again, her trial was deferred.

The monotony was broken when Serenity came home one day out of a job thanks to a bad review from an angry customer. Serenity was crying, and Christyn, for once, didn’t know what to do. If this was a simple matter of workplace mistreatment, they could all call someone--they were about 40 strong now, and 40 calls wouldn’t go unnoticed. But Texas was an at will state; your boss was justified to let you go for anything.

That was when Sabine chimed in: “This asshole who left the review, did he put his name on it?”

“He did. I saw it. They have to, on this site,” said Serenity, pulling up the review on her phone.

“Perfect,” said Sabine. “If we have his name, we can find his house.”

***

It was Alex as the getaway driver, along with Serenity to serve as lookout, Sabine as head of the operation, and Christyn, at Sabine’s insistence, to help her out with the hands-on bit, because the ‘fearless leader’ of the Server House ought to know how to do these things.

Christyn didn’t like to think of herself as the leader of anything, but Sabine was adamant that these people looked up to her. She had already been leading them without really meaning to, and now, it was time to step out of the phone booth and onto the battlefield.

So there they were, pulling up in front of an expensive estate house in the Tanglewood area.

“Aight, Chrissy, come out here and give me an extra set of hands,” said Sabine.

Christyn giggled. “Did you just say ‘aight'? I think Zeke is rubbing off on you.”

Sabine stammered incomprehensibly. Christyn couldn’t see it, but she was sure the young woman was blushing.

It was a long walk up the driveway for the girls as Serenity stood watch near the edge of the property and Alex rolled the car another block up the road for stealth. “Damn, this is a big enough property, and the car is far enough away from the house,” mused Sabine. “I think we should do the gas tank instead of the engine block. Sends a more powerful message. I just wish I brought more thermite, so we could do both.”

“Thermite?” Christyn knew Sabine had explained to everyone what they were doing on the car ride, but she was having trouble focusing lately.

“Thermite,” said Sabine, hefting the duffle bag slung over her shoulder, “is a combustible powder consisting of a fuel source, in this case, aluminium, and a metal oxide, in this case, iron oxide.” As they reached the car, she set down the bag and opened it, pulling out a terracotta flower pot. “Hold, please.”

Christyn took the pot, which Sabine proceeded to fill with a powder from a large metal drum. “Thank you. Now, we align the thermite with the fuel tank…” Sabine took the pot and placed it on the roof of the car. “Stick in the fuse...cover this whole badboy up…”

They walked the fuse all the way to the road, where Sabine lit it up. “And now we run like the devil!”

Sabine beat her to the car by seconds, and by then, the fuse had burned out. Christyn could see the thermite start to burn white hot on the roof of the car, melting through the metal and into the interior.

“Drive, drive, drive, drive!” screeched Sabine, and as Alex took off, Christyn struggling with her seat belt, the blast from the explosion shook the whole road. The mushroom cloud bloomed orange and angry in the rearview. “And that,” she said, “is what we do to assholes who leave shitty reviews.”

***

A soft knock sounded at the doorway before Sabine called in, “Chrissy, can I come in?”

“Sure, we’re all decent.” Well, as decent as they could be in a poorly ventilated house with dozens of people living in it. It was the coldest winter Houston had seen yet, but nobody felt the chill. It wasn’t uncommon for the men in the house to go shirtless while the women walked around in loose nightshirts and panties. There were five in the room, Christyn included, but all of her roommates were lying in bed with headphones on while she lay in her own with a pen and some hotel stationary.

“What are you writing?” asked Sabine as she entered the room. “More of your fat gay fanfiction?”

Christyn turned over the notepad. “How did you know about my fat gay fanfiction?”

Sabine rolled her eyes. “Auralee reads it at work. She says you’re pretty good.”

Of course. She should have known.

She was actually writing a letter to Damian that she wouldn’t be able to send as long as her trial was going on. She’d written several of them and stashed them under the floorboards. It made her feel a little better to pretend she could tell him about her day, but she didn’t want to admit it to Sabine. “Yeah, I was writing fat gay fanfiction. This one’s gonna be the fattest and the gayest yet. I’m having the protagonist put on at least two hundred pounds, I haven’t decided on a final number yet. But I do know there’s gonna be a lot of anal sex.”

“Well, that’s just swell,” said Sabine, and she didn’t pry. “Anyway, I just came to make you an offer. I was thinking, it’d look pretty bad to the people if their fearless leader ever got taken in by the cops on one of our little outings.” Since their first epic act of vandalism, there had been half a dozen more petty revenges enacted by the Server House against acts of industry injustice, three of which Christyn had actually been present for. Like it or not, she was becoming something of a cult leader. “I could help you combat train, if you want.”

“That’s a good idea,” Christyn agreed. “I mean, I’m kind of dreading the idea of an exercise regimen, I feel like garbage all the time, but I really should pick up some skills, shouldn’t I?”

“Well, that’s the thing,” said Sabine. “If we’re going to do this, you’re gonna need to eat more than a piece of bread with some ketchup for every meal.”

Training with Beans did improve her appetite--or maybe it just took her mind off of all the things that depressed or scared her so she could swallow without feeling like she was choking. At 125 (yes, Auralee was still monitoring), her strength was coming back to her and she was no longer lagging at work. Topher never complained, but she could tell by his elevated mood on the clock that he was relieved to no longer have to do the majority of the workload.

Beans was a dirty fighter, too, and as Christyn picked up her tricks while honing her own technique, she became confident that not only could she evade arrest if she needed to, but incapacitate any poor sonofagun who tried to arrest her.
 
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stevita

like the pancake
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
238
Location
Texas
“We did it, guys! Fourteen bucks an hour and healthcare!”

The Server House was now 60 strong, comprised of industry workers from all over the greater Houston area, including Shane, Felipe, and a few other people from McCarthy’s, along with Javier Winrock, who Christyn had taken home and cleaned up after she found him panhandling for change. He had yet to find a job, but he was trying his best to straighten out his life. He regularly attended AA, too. So far, he had racked up sixteen desire chips.

Almost everyone from the hotel bar and a couple of the front desk clerks also lived under the roof, and with that sort of manpower, they decided it was time to mobilize against the hotel at last. For months, they compiled evidence, photographing every health code violation (and planting a few themselves), documenting every tip theft, and recording their conversations with the owners. Then, at last, they picked a day and all refused to show up for work. One of the front desk girls had hacked into the security camera feed, and all day they watched and laughed as Robert struggled to check people in and Sylvia nearly burned herself on the stove in the kitchen again and again.

When they came back to work, they had a list of demands, and too much dirt on the place for ownership not to cave.

Returning triumphant, Christyn led her coworkers into the kitchen with a case of beer balanced over one shoulder, which she put down with a soft thud on the island countertop. “Alright, so what’s the plan? Who’s gonna stage the next strike? Santiago, you said your other job treats you rough, too, right?” she asked, but nobody was listening. Most of them had already started reaching for beers. “Um, guys...those aren’t cold yet,” she said, but that didn’t deter them. Most of them had already pregamed before the negotiation with the hotel owners and were too drunk to care. One of the line cooks, Ismael, broke his beer bottle open against the kitchen doorway and started chugging.

Then, he choked and promptly collapsed.

“Come on, stop fucking around, man,” said another cook. Christyn dug for her phone in her purse.

“He’s choking on glass, or else he’s got it in his lungs. We have to call 911!”

“Yeah, okay, great, call 911,” Topher snapped, “and then you can be the one to explain to the cops why there’s sixty of us in here, all stockpiling notes on how to blackmail our employers! Or why the guys from McCarthy’s are building a guillotine in the backyard!”

“He could die!”

“We’re at war, Chrissy! There’s going to be casualties!”

Sten knelt down next to Ismael and took his pulse. “He’s gone.”

Christyn’s eyes welled with tears.

All she’d wanted to do was get a little justice for the working class. Now, she’d completely lost control of the situation, and someone had died under her roof. What would Damian think of her now?

“I’ll get a shovel,” said Topher as the crowd dispersed.

***

The Server House was an organism with a heartbeat and a consciousness and a metabolism all its own. It was bloodthirsty. It consumed the souls of industry workers and spat out instruments of vengeance. Even the most docile managers’ pets eventually clamored for their employers’ heads on pikes after a while under the roof as they met other hospitality workers, exchanged horror stories, and realized that being mistreated at work shouldn’t be normal.

The guys from McCarthy’s all burnt their fingerprints off with pineapple juice before disassembling the guillotine, transporting it to the restaurant in separate cars, and rebuilding it in the foyer in the dead of night. Christyn read on the news that while the blood on the restaurant floor matched Libby McCarthy’s DNA, the police department couldn’t open a homicide investigation in the absence of a corpse. (She guessed Auralee had gone along to help; she was the resident expert at recycling corpses.)

Eventually, Zeke and Beans moved out. Sometimes Christyn wished she could do the same...but every time she heard of one of her servers getting the short end of the stick from the boss, she was reminded of the duty she had taken on by bringing them all together. Now that the movement was well underway, she couldn’t abandon it.

It was dirty work, but there was still so much of it to be done.
 

stevita

like the pancake
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
238
Location
Texas
THIRTY

Damian stirred from the bible he was reading in bed (not his choice of literature, but it was all there was to read around here) as a volunteer in a tan shirt bearing the Ebenezer Baptist Hospital logo inched her way into the room. She was good-looking and probably his age--actually, maybe a little younger. She could have been in college. Had he really spent his 21st birthday behind bars? It was a cute white girl with brown hair and glasses, wearing a nametag that said, Hello, my name is Michelle. Her high-waisted navy blue pants cut a clean line between the top and bottom halves of her curvy figure in a way that he found quite pleasing to the eye, and what’s more, she was holding a tray of food. He couldn’t help himself from experiencing a certain...reaction.

“Oh, good, you’re awake!” she said. “You’ve been sleeping a lot since you got out of surgery. It’s beef stroganoff tonight, by the way.” As she moved to set the tray on his lap, he pulled the covers over himself to hide his situation. “Oh dear! Are you cold? I could adjust the thermostat.”

“No, it’s not that, I just…” He was already red in the face; he might as well admit it. “I ain’t seen a female in a long time, and I wanna be like, respecting you.”

“I see.” Her cheeks pinked. “Well, the Devil tempts us all. You’re a good man, Damian. I can see why our Father loves you. I was speaking with the surgeon: apparently, the blade missed your right lung by millimeters. You might have died.” She set down the tray and he dug in. Noodles in a brown gravy with strips of beef...steamed green beans and a side salad...a piece of chocolate cake and an ice cold can of soda. None of the food was very flavorful, but Michelle had given him a salt packet to remedy that, and more importantly, it was enough. He hadn’t had a satisfying meal since the last time he was in the hospital. Maybe he should get himself injured more.

“I heard that you were attacked by a racist,” said Michelle, sitting by his side now as he sucked the last crumbs of cake from his fork.

“I was asking for it.”

“Don’t beat yourself up, Damian. No one gets to choose the color of their skin. What happened to you was not your fault. And the man who attacked you will pay for his sins.”

“Thanks, Michelle.”

He wasn’t even religious.

And it was totally his fault he was in the hospital.

What happened was this: a new guy turned up at the jail, to the instant distrust of the other inmates. Damian heard it through gossip that the man was Cormac Mathison, a suspected Klansman who had gotten convicted after attempting to burn down the wrong motherfucker’s house. None of the guys in the cell block wanted him around, and a few of them were talking about killing him.

“Y’all tryna catch another charge?” Weezy asked the conspirators one day in the rec yard. “Look, if we really wanna get rid of this guy, we gotta get him to strike first. Get him to catch charge instead, launch his ass straight to federal.”

“Aight bet, who’s gonna take the hit?” somebody asked, and everyone looked straight at Weezy.

“Man, why I gotta be the human sacrifice?”

“I’ll do it,” Damian volunteered. Weezy had had his back since he got here. Be fucked up not to return the favor.

So, the next day as he was distributing lunch trays to the other prisoners, he handed Cormac his and said, “Ey, Mathison, you related to a girl name Sabine?”

Cormac glared. “I swear to God, if you touched my cousin--!”

Well, that had worked out perfectly. Now to provoke him a little.

“Hey, don’t worry about Beanie, man. She out here makin’ y’all ancestors proud. She like to do it real rough, with the whips and everything. Likes to be called Mistress.”

“The fuck you just say to me?” Cormac reached across the line, grabbed Damian by the collar, and slammed him to the counter.

The other guys shoved him out of the line and Damian staggered back, choking out, “Have a nice day!” wearing his best customer service smile.

Unfortunately, that little scuffle wasn’t enough to draw the guards’ notice, but Cormac earned his place in federal prison a few days later when he shanked Damian multiple times in the back.

“How are you feeling?” asked Michelle.

He was feeling fine, but he had learned from his last hospital stay that it could benefit him to play weak. “Better...still a little faint, though.”

“You poor thing! Your blood sugar must be low,” she said. “I know! You just go back to your reading, and I’ll go get you another soda from the cafeteria. And, if they have any left, maybe another piece of cake, too!”

The door closed behind her as she left, and he smirked to himself. “Praise the Lord!”

***

The intermittent numbness in Christyn’s legs was getting worse. Now that she had health insurance, she decided to get it checked out. She made an appointment and allowed the doctor to examine her before he sent her down to radiology. Once the X-rays came back, he tutted and gave her a serious look.

“Ms. Brandywine, have you recently lost a lot of weight?”

“Is forty pounds a lot?” She wasn’t even trying to be sarcastic. After her dabblings in feedism, she really didn’t know anymore.

The doctor looked shocked. Christyn glanced off to the side, backpedaling.

“I did manage to gain some of it back...anyway, the last time I was at the doctor’s, they said I was overweight for my height.”

“Look, I don’t know what your primary care physician told you, but dropping such a large amount of weight, especially in a short period of time, isn’t healthy. You do need some body fat.”

“There’s no winning, is there?” muttered Christyn, repeating the words she’d heard Auralee say dozens of times.

“This is serious, Ms. Brandywine. Drastically reducing the amount of cushioning in your body can cause spinal misalignments even in people with healthy spines, but in your case, with your pre-existing spinal troubles…”

“What are you saying?”

“I’m saying, you’ve already delayed surgery for far too long, and now, it’s become urgent.”

“How urgent?”

“If you don’t get this operation, you will be bound to a wheelchair before you’re forty.”

***

The surgery went smoothly, and so did the recovery. Christyn was off her feet for weeks, but not so long that she was forced to miss the next Rodeo. Not that she would have minded sitting it out, but the money was always decent, and she still had legal fees, so she figured she might as well go.

It was toward the end of summer that things took an unexpected turn. Instead of the usual court proceedings, the prosecutor had requested a special hearing. There’d be no jury. Instead, a panel of three judges would determine whether new evidence would be admissible in the criminal trial.

Christyn was a mess of fried nerves in Zeke’s passenger’s seat en route to the courthouse. She had insisted on carpooling for the sake of the environment--that, and she was too anxious to drive. Neither of them knew what kind of new evidence might have surfaced against her. Both were avoiding the subject.

“How’s Beans?”

“She good. Whenever the hot water goes out at the new apartment, she takes a cold shower anyway and pretends she getting tortured by the CIA. I’ll hear her interrogating her own self in there...it’s kind of cute.”

Christyn snorted.

Then they pulled up at their destination, and her insides tied themselves into knots.

The prosecutor was already present when they entered the courtroom. “Good, you’re early,” he said. “You’ll have to excuse my witness, who has a long drive in from Spring, but should be here on time.”

That filled Christyn with even more dread. She immediately thought of Jesse. Had he somehow managed to obtain proof of her association with Damian? Had he figured out where she lived? Who had sold her out? Was it Alex? Had he spied on them? Taken pictures? Was prison the damnation he had in mind for her?

Then, a minute before the proceedings were scheduled to start, in walked Lily in a red leather pantsuit with a shit-eating grin on her face.

Ooh, that bitch.

Christyn kept her face neutral, knowing if she showed any sign of recognition, it was over.

“What is this?” asked Zeke.

“I’m here to offer eyewitness testimony,” said Lily.

“And who are you?”

The prosecutor gave her a protective pat on the shoulder. “You can save it for the bench, honey.”

Soon, Lily was called to the stand. “Would you please state your name for the court?” asked the prosecutor.

“Lilith Cable.”

“And what is your relationship to the defendant?”

“I work with her at ABC Hospitality.”

“And how do you know Damian Mendez?”

“He’s my brother.”

There was a murmur amongst the judges.

“Do you have reason to believe that your brother was in contact with the defendant before the theft of her vehicle?”

“Yes.”

“That reason being…?”

“Well, I went to her house and he was there.”

“By that, do you mean Ms. Brandywine was harboring him as a fugitive?”

“Objection! Counsel is leading the witness,” Zeke interjected.

“Sustained.”

The prosecutor took a step back. “Did it appear as though your brother was living with the defendant?”

“‘Living with’ is a generous term here. ‘Held in captivity’ might be more appropriate,” said Lily, her voice venomous.

“By that, you mean…”

“Well, she was forcing him to get fat, for one thing,” said Lily. The judges exchanged an uncomfortable look. “I managed to swipe her notes while I was there. I submitted them for evidence, if that will help the case. I just want to see this sick woman brought to justice.”

Christyn could have fainted.
 

stevita

like the pancake
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
238
Location
Texas
After some negotiation, Zeke managed to get them granted a short recess, but the prosecutor didn’t seem confident in him: “I would advise that you come back with a sample of your client’s handwriting, and pray to your higher power for a mismatch.”

She could tell the gears in Zeke’s mind were working as they walked to the law library down the street, but she couldn’t stop herself from internally playing out the worst of case scenarios. When he sat down in front of a computer, she practically collapsed into the seat next to him, babbling and hyperventilating, her eyes blown with fear. “Oh god...I’m going to prison. I’m going to prison, and I’m gonna be in the tabloids! They’ll give me some grotesque nickname, too. Oh, fuck. They’ll call me the Witch of Richmond! And then when I get out of fucking prison, no one will hire me for a foodservice position! Then I’ll have to learn how to be a code monkey, and I’ll have to work in a shitty cubicle, probably next to some skinny white guy named Brad...and of course, Brad will start hitting on me, until a bunch of our coworkers come to warn him, all like, ‘Ooh, be careful of that one. She’ll make you as big as a house. Don’t you know that’s the Witch of--’”

“Chrissy, pull your whole ass together!” Zeke snapped. “Ain’t nobody going to prison, ‘cept maybe Ms. Red Leather in there. That’s the rapey sister, right?”

Christyn forced her breathing to slow. “Yes, that’s her.”

“You mentioned once that Damian had taken out a protective order?”

“Auralee has a copy. If she’s at work--”

“Already found it.”

They returned to the courthouse, where Zeke presented the protective order. “What has this got to do with the case at hand?” asked the prosecutor as he began to examine the first page. “My witness isn’t the one on trial here.”

“No, but if you keep reading, you will realize that it’s impossible for Ms. Cable to have had a meeting with Damian Mendez without an appointed court official present, unless she was in violation of her no-contact order. So unless she’s blatantly lying about the entire encounter which she’s described on the stand...or, unless she had worked out a deal with an unnamed third party which allowed her to bypass being charged for her own infraction…”

“What are you insinuating?” asked the prosecutor.

“I’m not insinuating anything. You just seem to be skimming that protective order pretty quick. Not that it means anything. It’s not like you knew. In fact, I’ll put money on both you and Ms. Cable passing a polygraph with flying colors to prove it.”

Christyn’s case was thrown out shortly thereafter, all charges dropped.

***

Ever since he got out of the hospital, Damian had enjoyed a new popularity amongst the inmates for taking one for the team in order to get a public enemy out of the cell block. Or it could also be because everyone thought he was dating a Mathison. Sabine’s family name really carried weight from Texas to Virginia. Apparently, the Mathisons were insanely rich, unfairly powerful, extremely politically involved, and notoriously, destructively racist. Everyone on the outside was afraid of them--well, of the ones who weren’t behind bars, at least. To have ‘turned’ one of them was seen as a next-to-impossible accomplishment. Over the next few weeks, the inmates bombarded Damian with questions about Sabine: what she was like, how he had convinced her to ‘renounce the old ways,’ whether or not she had been disinherited, if she was good in bed. He made stuff up as he went along, well enough that nobody knew he was lying.

As the months passed, he ended up in the hospital a few more times--once after an actual fight but twice for urgent and completely imaginary health emergencies. He was getting pretty good at faking sick, and before too long, he had the others doing it too, for a night outside the prison walls with a decent meal and a comfortable bed. Weezy even figured out how to induce vomiting, though he refused to let Damian in on the secret, not that Damian would have wanted to take it that far, anyway.

Then one day in late Fall, a guard came to his cell and rapped a club against the bars. “Get up, Mendez. The warden wants to see you.”

He was escorted to the Warden’s office in handcuffs, and once they got there, the guard sat him down in a chair and cuffed his ankles, too. The two sets of cuffs were connected by a metal rod so that he was quite paralyzed in his seat as the warden stared him down across his desk.

“Mendez, what am I gonna do with you?”

“Did I do something wrong?” Damian asked timidly. More and more he was learning that there was a time and a place to be defiant, and it wasn’t when his wrists were shackled to his ankles.

“Why don’t we go down the list? You’re always in an altercation, but somehow you always get off scot free. Either that, or you’re always in the hospital. You and the rest of that whole cell block. Is this some sort of uprising you’re plotting?”

“Uprising? C-c’mon, you really think I could start a uprising? I don’t even know if I can spell ‘uprising,’” said Damian, hoping this was not the day he got sent to federal. “Just tell me what you want.”

“I want you out of here, and so does the court,” said the warden. “You and your merry band of hypochondriacs are costing the state too much money. What was it last week: an ambulance to St. Ebenezer over a false alarm for internal bleeding?”

“I been stabbed in here. I was in pain. I got worried.” Technically, they couldn’t prove he hadn’t been in pain.

“I’m sick of dealing with you, Mendez, plain and simple. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can be charged with. However, you’ll be eligible for parole in seven months, and if I pull some strings, I can make it one.”

Damian didn’t know what to say. Was he dreaming? “Wow...thank you.”

“I’m not doing this for you. I’m doing it for me, and on one condition.”

“What? Anything.”

“I never want to see you in my prison again.”

***

It was Christyn and L’vonte’s turn to cook dinner for the house. She was absently tossing pasta with Alfredo sauce and beef tips in a red wine reduction in separate pans on the stove while he assembled a gargantuan bowl of salad when her phone rang.

“Auralee speakiiiiing!” slurred Auralee.

Christyn snorted and rolled her eyes. “You say that when you answer the phone, Aura, you drunk disaster. I know it’s you, I have caller ID. Anyway, aren’t you at a show?”

“Yeah, and we just let out. Listen, though, I have something importantly urgent to tell you.”

“Let me have it, then, Redundancy Department of Redundancy.”

“I was just checking the District Clerk’s records after the show, and--”

The rest of Auralee’s sentence was lost as she let out a scream. There was a clatter, like she had dropped her phone.

Christyn’s stomach did a backflip. Suddenly, the pasta she was making seemed completely unappealing, even though she had already taste-tested it and found it delicious. Was her trial back on? Or worse: had Damian had time added to his sentence?

When Auralee returned with Alex in tow, Christyn’s worry shifted to the shaken redhead. Auralee’s phone screen was cracked and as soon as she made it inside, she went straight for the liquor.

“What happened?” Christyn asked Alex.

“Well, you know Aura’s been pretty open with the media lately about the feedism thing. Not that I mind. In fact, I find it preferable to being hounded about my mental health. I’d rather people know I put the weight on for her. But not everybody has been understanding. Some people think being a feeder makes her inherently abusive.”

If you asked Christyn, that whole relationship had started out abusive on both ends, but she was glad those two were getting over their toxic behaviors, at least concerning one another. Auralee was still very much a serial killer, and Alex could be a real asshole when he didn’t watch himself.

“Some bitch decided to throw something at her out of a bucket,” Alex continued. “I managed to pull her out of the way, but when the liquid in the bucket hit a parked car, it stripped off the paint. She’s terrified. Rightly so. I just hope people will be cool once we go on tour.”

“Say, did she happen to mention some important thing she wanted to tell me?”

“No, she’s just been freaking out for the last half hour.”

In the morning, Alex and Auralee left for another statewide tour before Christyn woke up. She waited for bad news, watching her phone for a call from Zeke or the Fort Bend County Court, telling her she wasn’t off the hook yet, or Damian had caught a charge.

It blew her mind the next week when she ran into him in the middle of the night at the supermarket.
 

stevita

like the pancake
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
238
Location
Texas
5. The Good Word

THIRTY-ONE

Christyn had become the most terrifying person she knew.

Her first instinct was to be a little cold to Damian. This was for his own protection. She offered to take him in, for now, but thought to herself that in a few months, when he was back on his feet and didn’t need her anymore, if he decided he wanted nothing more to do with her and the Server House, it would be the safest thing for him.

Only, it didn’t even take a whole car ride before her resolve broke and she was declaring her love.

Morally, she knew she should let him go if that was what he wanted. And she would. But it would hurt so much, she wasn’t sure she would survive it.

She observed him as he took in the changes she’d made to the interior of the house. The living and dining rooms were now cramped with cheap furniture to seat at least 30, which was about twice as many as were off work and home at once at any given mealtime. He seemed guarded, and he was right to be; she’d shacked up with almost a hundred people he didn’t know. She followed him closely into what had once been the master suite, now with its four sets of triple-decker bunks, one against each wall, some of them occupied by sleeping workers. She’d had each of the rooms outfitted the same way for a maximum occupancy of 120.

The bathroom light was off, and Christyn said, “If you’d like to get yourself cleaned up, now would be a good time to do it. The bathroom won’t stay vacant for long.”

“I don’t get it,” said Damian. “All this time, I thought you’d be mad at me...I didn’t think you’d want me back.”

“Oh, Damian…”

She knelt down beside the bed she slept in and pried one of the floorboards off of the floor. “Here’s your stuff, by the way,” she said, handing him his wallet, ID and social, his prepaid card and almost $6000 in cash that he managed to save up at the bowling alley, along with several sheets of folded up hotel stationary.

“What are these?” he asked, thumbing through the letters.

“I...I wrote. I just couldn’t send them, since our cover story in court was that I didn’t know you. If I’d had any contact with you, my story would fall apart, I’d do jail time, everything you’d done for me would have been in vain, and Zeke’s reputation as a lawyer would have been destroyed.”

She watched him skim over the letters one by one. About halfway through the stack, he let out a laugh. “Alex took you to the dildo store?”

“Not only that, but he was earnestly frightened by my, uh, choice of instrument. You should be proud of your ability to implicitly intimidate other men from inside a locked cell.”

A little red in the cheeks, he returned to reading. The second half of the letters detailed the formation of the Server House. Soon, he got to the last one, the one she’d written after Ismael had bit the dust. In the letter, she had poured her heart out about what a dangerous game she’d gotten herself into without even realizing it. While she’d organized these workers in the hopes of creating a local climate where blue-collar people could live in comfort and happiness, never afraid of retaliation from cruel and capricious employers, she feared that taking up the mantle of head tactician in what could only be described as a class war was turning her into someone Damian would no longer love.

“Are you kidding me?” he said at last.

Once upon a time, he had asked her if she was shocked to hear of his deepest secret, and she had replied, it wasn’t that weird.

They’d just impeached a President.

And now, in the same intonation she’d used those years before, he said, “I was in jail for two years. I’ve got the shit beat out of me, I’ve seen people die, and I probably know almost as much as you now about taking dick. A dead guy or two is nothing to me.

“Besides, you’re amazing! I admit, I was a little freaked out when I saw the place...but knowing these folks actually organized...somebody had to start fighting the good fight for people like us. And knowing that person is my girl is extremely hot.”

An intense feeling of comfort and relief washed over her. It was all she had wanted to hear that she was still his girl.

She let him make use of the facilities while she returned to the kitchen to heat up something for him to eat.

She was pulling one of the leftover sandwiches from earlier that day out of the oven when he joined her, all cleaned up. “You don’t really look terrible,” she said, appraising him up and down. He was still modestly soft around the middle, although a lot slimmer than he had been before the arrest, but not death-camp thin like he had been after his very first stint in jail. “It was just a shock on my eyes--after all, the last time I’d seen you, you’d just cleared the two-hundred pound mark.”

“Yeah, jail took off about thirty, and I’d like to get back up to my record high as ASAP as possible,” he confessed. That, she could understand. The last two years must have been miserable for him, and she could see why he was eager to take all those experiences and bury them.

“Well, dinner’s served,” she said, placing the sandwich on a plate and setting it down on the kitchen table. He sat down and dug in with gusto and she stood over him, smoothing her fingers through his hair as he ate. “Don’t worry about anything,” she assured him. “I’m gonna take good care of you, okay? We’ll have you fattened back up in no time.”

“Fuckin’ love it when you talk dirty,” he said as he finished. “Is there more?”

She heated him up another sandwich, along with some of the macaroni salad, and he went back to town. “This is really good. You said one of the tenants made it?”

“Yeah, there’s a schedule up on the wall there,” she said, pointing to the sign-up sheet beside the fridge where occupants of the Server House could volunteer to cook, serve, or clean up at mealtimes. “We all take care of each other here, and a lot of the folks use dinner as a chance to show off their skills so that someone else might recommend them into a better job than the one they’ve got. Plus, if you work ten shifts in a month, I waive your rent.”

“Rent?”

“I charge ten bucks a month to help cover the grocery bill, and if I have any left over I usually give it to whoever needs it most for legal fees. Turns out, the restaurant industry is full of people in trouble with the courts.”

“Don’t I know it, and you,” he said, “are too good for us.”

As he finished his second sandwich and started on the macaroni, she whispered gentle encouragements: “That’s it, keep eating, baby. You need your strength back.” Although her teasing came welcomed and seemed to invigorate his appetite, he had to tap out as soon as he had cleaned his second plate, seeming genuinely disappointed in himself.

“Hey, it’s okay,” she said, pulling up a chair next to him so she could wrap her arm around his shoulders. She was as ready to see his figure fill back out as he was to reclaim his body from the unjust legal system, but she understood some things couldn’t be helped. “Your capacity isn’t going to be what it was before jail, but we’ll work your way back up slowly.” She slipped her other hand up his shirt and found his little belly full and tight. Gently, she rubbed it in slow circles.

“Mmm, don’t stop,” he hissed between shallow breaths. “Missed this so much.”

“I bet.”

After about fifteen minutes, she asked, “What do you want now? Sleep, or sex?”

His eyes widened. “There’s too many people here!”

She smirked. “You think I wouldn’t think of everything?” She pulled out her phone and referred to the 'do not disturb' spreadsheet. “Oh, hey, the library’s free tonight.”
 
Last edited:

stevita

like the pancake
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
238
Location
Texas
Christyn had told Damian she would exempt him from the rent, but he insisted on at least putting in his shifts in the kitchen. He started on dish, but moved up to the stove pretty quickly, and everyone he talked to approved of his cooking. “Thanks, I learned in jail,” he’d tell them, which led to a lot of conversations about common experiences. As it turned out, a lot of restaurant workers had been to jail.

He found the invitation on Christyn’s nightstand--which was technically his nightstand now, since instead of taking up a bed he’d decided to share hers--addressed to both of them in fancy script.

You are Cordially Invited
To a Grand Celebration
Commemorating the Disinheritance
Of one
Ms. Sabine Olivia Mathison

“Oh, good, you saw it,” said Christyn as she came out of the shower to find him skimming the letter. “Should I go ahead and RSVP for us?”

“You go ahead; I don’t know what I’m doing that day.”

Christyn scoffed. “Damian, you don’t have a job.”

“I don’t know if I want our friends to see me like this, okay?”

“What, down a couple pounds? It’s Zeke and Beans, what do you think they’re gonna do, judge you?”

He sighed. “I just don’t want their pity.”

Fortunately for him, he was putting the weight back on fast, a fact that was made obvious by the Server House’s implicit cultural pressure not to wear a shirt. Every time he passed a mirror, it seemed he was bigger than the last time he’d seen himself. He might’ve been more worried if he wasn’t so turned on, and Christyn was thrilled, always bringing him sweets from the store when she got back from work and whispering encouragements into his ear.

Her whole body wrapping around him and squeezing as they lay in bed…

The way she said, “It’s so lovely, feeling you fill out again…”

More than once, she couldn’t find time on the spreadsheet, so she dragged him to the Hotel Flamenco, where she was friendly enough with the front desk staff to score a free room. Those nights were his favorite. She would order tons of takeout and proceed to feed him and squeeze him and please him until he blacked out from the overwhelming euphoria. Then he’d wake up in the morning still deliciously full and completely spent, with her arms wrapped around him tight in her sleep as if she never planned to let go.

It was over dinner one night that Damian discovered a new side of Christyn that must have developed during their time apart. He was huddled around a table in the living space along with her and three other servers, raising a mild complaint: “Chrissy, why you won’t let me see what kind of car you drive? I promise I won’t crash it.”

“Sorry, Damian, but it’s not just about the vehicle. It’s a precautionary measure for your own protection,” she replied.

“What do you mean?”

“Now that I’m kind of leading a movement, no doubt I have some big enemies. What if someone figures out that we’re close? What if you get kidnapped by someone trying to get at me? The less you know, the more likely they are to catch on that you don’t know jack, and let you go.”

She had a point--a point he soon countered. He leaned over, brushed a strand of hair behind her ear, and lowered his voice so that only she would hear: “You know, the heavier you make me, the harder I’ll be to kidnap.”

A smirk spread slowly across her face. She got up and walked to the kitchen. When she came back, she was holding a plate of lemon squares. “Who wants dessert?” She put the plate down in the center of the table, and as she sat back down, she shoved two in Damian’s mouth at once, one stacked on top of the other.

He could barely control his erection. What was she thinking, getting him this helplessly horny in front of all these people? Then again, this new exhibitionist tendency of hers added a fresh degree of naughtiness to their relationship.

As he chewed and swallowed (delicious, by the way), she whispered to him, “It’s the black Smart Fourtwo.”

The week after that, he came down one morning to find everyone who was currently home in the living room, on the phone with either the Labor Bureau, the health department, or the EEOC.

Revolutionary business, he guessed.

When Christyn was between phone calls, he asked her if there was anything he could do for the cause. “Yeah, can you run down to the corner store and get me a new phone charger? This one’s screwing up.” Before he turned to leave, she tossed a set of keys at him and said, “Here, take Carolaine.”

He caught the keys in midair and gasped. “The Fiat? I thought I wrecked her!”

“I had her fixed. Now, take her. Wouldn’t want you to have to walk and burn too many calories.”

Again, that taboo thrill of knowing she wanted everyone to know exactly what she was doing to him excited him. When he got back, he might just have to pull her away from her calls.
He threw on a shirt and ended up walking after all. He wanted an excuse to get some fresh air and really feel the scope of his freedom.

“Sorry I took so long,” he told her when he returned, handing her the phone charger. “I walked. I know you told me not to…”

“That’s fine,” said Christyn. She was alone in the living room now, the others having either gone to work or gone to bed. “I just needed them to hear me say it.”

“That’s kinky for you, isn’t it?”

“It’s more than that,” she said. “You know Auralee was attacked at a show over being a feeder, right?”

“Fuck, this was when, now?”

“Just before you got back.” She came forward to close the space between them and placed her hands on either side of his hips. “You know, I used to think what I liked about this, this feeding you up business, was deviating from the norm. But the more I think about it...especially after what happened to Aura...and what almost happened in my trial…”

“What happened in your trial?” he asked, but she was on a roll with her monologue. He guessed the courtroom drama was a story for a different day.

“I’m tired of us being thought of as some sort of circus freakshow in society. To feed someone...to nurture them, to cherish and indulge them until there’s literally more of them for you to love…” She gave his sides a slow, adoring squeeze that sent tingles up his spine. “Or to want to be loved like that...there’s nothing abnormal or unwholesome about that. In fact, it should be the ideal. So I’m done with the idea of rebelling against society. I want to take this thing we have and make it normal. I want the norm to conform to us.”

Damn, she was hot when she got all cult-leadery.

There was one slight problem with her plan, though.

“That might work on the folks in here, but I can’t see it catching on with the rich-rich folks. Advertising got ‘em chasing perfection too hard.”

“This right here,” she said, slipping her thumbs under his shirt, her nails biting lustfully against his pudge, “this is perfection. And as for the one percent--good! Let them stay hungry and weak, and when the time comes, we’ll crush them under the heel of one non-slip shoe!”

He had to kiss her then. She leaned into it, biting gently on his bottom lip in the way that she knew made the breath flutter out of his throat.

As he came up for air, he tried to give her back her car keys, but she said, “Keep her.”
 

stevita

like the pancake
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
238
Location
Texas
Damian got a job at ABC Hospitality as a server, cashier, line cook, dishwasher, busser, barback, and bartender--he didn’t think he could handle bartending on his own, but Christyn had assured him he already knew enough bar basics to handle the easy mixes he’d be pouring at most stadium events and concerts. To celebrate, she decided they should get out for some fresh air and a picnic in the woods far enough from the house that they would have no visitors.

It was a lovely day, and if Damian’s reactions were anything to go by, an even lovelier meal. She relished his moans of delight as he ate fresh baked bread with butter and jam, veggies smothered in a zesty cream dip, apples dunked in peanut butter, and custard fruit tarts straight from her hands while they split a bottle of white wine. Afterwards, he pulled her into his lap and held her gently, running his fingers through her hair as she sank contentedly against his body with her head on his shoulder.

It was nice, getting this sort of sweet attention from him. Usually, once he’d eaten his fill, he turned into a horny mess liable to explode in his pants, only getting cuddly once his cock was satisfied. Lately, though, he was less urgent, more contemplative, calmer in general. She wanted to credit the change in his demeanor to a greater sense of maturity--after all, he’d been a restless eighteen-year-old when they first met, and this year he’d be turning twenty-three--but she knew she was deceiving herself if she discounted the possibility that jail had changed him, too. She just didn’t like that thought.

He was unusually quiet today, and as she started to sober up, she wondered if something was troubling his mind. She sensed that there was more than just love and tenderness in his embrace. He wasn’t just giving affection...he was seeking comfort. “What’s up? Talk to me,” she said.

“Nothing. It’s dumb.”

“Damian, nothing you have to say will be dumb to me.” Okay, there was that time when he asked her how to spell ‘customer.’ And the time he asked her if a ‘quarantine’ was a type of fruit. And the time he asked her over the phone if she had her phone. But anymore, she found his oblivious moments more charming than anything else. Her precious boy...he had been through so much. He deserved to hold onto what remained of his naivete.

“It’s just...I’m worried there’s something wrong with me.”

She looked up at him in concern. “Do you feel sick?”

“No, I feel fine. But don’t you think thirty pounds is a lot of weight to pick up for just a little over a month? And I’ve barely even been trying.”

“Aww, baby.” She turned around to give him a reassuring squeeze around the waist. “I’m sure you have nothing to worry about. Almost everyone who loses weight ends up gaining it back, and since you haven’t been actively trying to keep it off, it’s bound to come back on much easier.”

“You sure? I just don’t wanna drop dead one of these days cause it turns out one of my organs fucked up.”

“If you feel fine, I’m sure you’re fine,” Christyn repeated. “But if you want a second opinion, Auralee is the resident expert on these matters.”

So the next day over dinner, he consulted Auralee, who gave him the same answer Christyn had, with the addition of, “This latest jail stint is sure to have slowed what was left of your metabolism. You’ll probably gain a little more weight before your body settles on a new set point. But if you’re still concerned, my brother is a doctor, you can ask him.”

So he had Auralee call her brother, and Dr. Ashton Kingston came by to make a house call. He shooed everyone else out of the library, where he took about a half hour examining Damian before releasing him. “How did it go?” asked Christyn once the doctor left.

“Not bad. He took my blood pressure and stuff and kept me talking so I didn’t even notice when he took a blood sample. He said he’d be back on Thursday with the results. Oh! I finally learned what calipers are for!”

“What do you mean, ‘finally?’”

He briefly told her about the time when he jacked a set from Auralee’s bar, thinking it was some sort of fancy beer opener. Christyn laughed at that; only he could have made that mistake.

Three days later, Dr. Kingston returned with a folder full of test results, this time refusing to step foot in the house, not wanting to deal with the 90 servers and cooks. Christyn had stepped out to lend Damian some moral support, and she clapped her hands together with a smile when Dr. Kingston handed Damian the papers and said, “I ran all the endocrine tests, checked your blood sugar and liver function, everything looks good. Couldn’t find anything wrong with the urine sample either. Your body fat percentage is sitting at a little over 30%, but given your healthy vital signs, I’d say that’s more an aesthetic matter than anything else. In short: you’re fine.”

Damian gave him an inquisitive look. “You sure? You’re not gonna tell me I need to lose some weight or else I’m up for a whole future of health problems?”

“Is...is that what you want me to tell you? Wait a minute, is this some sort of kink thing? I should have known, my sister said you were a friend of hers.” He pinched the bridge of his nose in irritation.

Christyn took Damian’s hand and took a defensive step forward. “It’s nothing like that! He just wants a thorough prognosis.”

“Well, I can’t find anything wrong with you,” Dr. Kingston reiterated once more. “Another doctor might tell you you could die of diabetes or a heart attack down the line, but another doctor might also receive you staggering into the ER with a gunshot wound and tell you that if you just lost some weight, you’d be a smaller target. And I’m not gonna lie to you, you might die of those things one day. Thin people die of those things, too. You might also get hit by a shark or eaten by a bus...goddammit, it’s eaten by a shark or hit by a...fuck my sleep schedule right now. What I’m trying to say is, it’s not my job to divine the future. It’s my job to make sure you’re healthy now. And you’re fine.”

“I’m fine?” Damian repeated.

“You’re fine. That’ll be $4000.”

Christyn bit back an ‘I told you so’ and started counting 400 ten-dollar bills out of her handbag.

As the doctor drove back towards the city, Damian looked at Christyn and asked timidly, “Are you mad?”

“What? No, baby, no!” She pulled him into a tight embrace, grinning contentedly as his arms wrapped around her. He was bigger than the last time he’d hit the 200-pound mark--back then, his limbs had bulged with muscle from working at the bowling alley, but the weight had all come back on in pillowy plushness and Christyn liked this better. He looked so comfortable and well-cared for, and she relished the way his body yielded to hers at every point of contact.

“I was just thinking that could have gone a little better if you’d been insured.”

“Sorry,” he said, but she wasn’t angling for an apology here. She was dropping a hint.

Obviously, she would need to forego the subtlety.

Her head resting against his chest, she looked up at him and said, “You know, I could put you on my health insurance if we were married.”

She felt his heart rate race against her cheek.
 

stevita

like the pancake
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
238
Location
Texas
THIRTY-TWO

"Not really how I pictured getting married," said Damian as he got in Christyn's passenger's seat once the paperwork was signed at the courthouse. In all his daydreams, he'd been the one to propose to Christyn. He'd do it on a date, have the waiter put the ring in a glass of her favorite French chardonnay. She'd look so beautiful walking down the aisle in her dress that he would be moved to tears.

If things got any more backwards from the way he had envisioned them, in a couple years he'd be the one carrying their child to term.

But it was best to get it done quick for the insurance, and besides, Christyn didn't have time to plan a ceremony, busy as she was leading a revolution. She probably didn't want to make it over-the-top anyway.

"Sorry we don't really have time to stop for a reception, but we're already about to be fashionably late for Sabine's party," said Christyn as she keyed the ignition. Rolling down the window, she gazed out into the town scenery and smiled. "Christyn Mendez...kind of got a ring to it."

Zeke and Sabine had bought a small, quiet house in west Houston close to the bowling alley. When Damian and Christyn arrived, the party was well underway. About twenty people shuffled in and out between the backyard and the inside of the one-story house. As Christyn led the way around back, Zeke locked eyes with her and said, "The fuck, girl? You don't RSVP no more?" Nevertheless, his tone was friendly and he laughed as he handed her and Damian each a beer. "C'mon, I'll show you where the snacks at. You can get your man something to eat. Just don't be mad when you see what I made; I kinda went all out for this one."

So, Christyn and Zeke were still locked in a never-ending battle to one-up each other as the best cook, huh? It was nice to know some things hadn't changed while Damian was in the slammer.

It was while Zeke was showing off his cooking expertise on the other side of the yard that Sabine snuck up on Damian, grabbing him by the shoulder and yanking him around to face her. "Damian, what gives? You dodge my calls, you leave me on read…?"

She was fuming. For a moment he was afraid she'd hit him.

"Sorry Beans. It took me a minute to adjust to life on the outside again, and I guess I didn't want to burden you."

"Did it ever occur to you that as a best friend, it's my job to bear your burdens with you?"

"...Aww...Sabine…" He was touched to hear that she considered him her best friend. His eyes got wet, but he willed himself to be a man and not cry. She wrapped him up in a tight hug, and damn, for a woman almost a whole foot shorter than him, she had a strong grip.

"So, you got wrote out of the will?" he said once she had released him.

"Yeah, I knew it was coming for quite sometime now. I never liked to take my family's money anyway. And now that it's official, I decided to throw a party, just to be extra 'fuck you' about it."

They spent a few minutes catching up. Will no longer worked at the bowling alley. Molly McCready had sat him down one day after he stumbled tableside under the heavy influence of sedatives. She had asked Auralee if she could feed him alongside Ann, since he was 'clearly weak on his feet,' and Auralee had given him over without a fight. This became a regular thing, until just last month, he came down with a fatal case of insomnia.

There was a new barback, too, a girl, clocking around 120, that Sabine hadn't believed in upon first sight, but Auralee had liked her references and given her a chance. Then, on her trial run, she'd had to move a keg to the back, and when she found she couldn't lift it, she tipped it on its side and rolled it back to the walk-in. After that, Sabine was sold.

"Smart," said Damian.

"Yeah, it's nice working with someone who's got a brain."

"Hey!"

"And she's a total feeder, too. Whenever she and Aura are on the clock together, all they do is gossip. Not that Aura is there much, now that she's playing with her band. If you wanted to come back, she'd probably make you a full-fledged bartender. Oh, Virtue's not there anymore either. Apparently she went on this crazy laxative tea cleanse after some smartass at work told her he had tampered with her food? Anyway, she died of dehydration."

"Bitch had it coming," said Damian. "But I don't think I'll be coming back. Now that I'm not a wanted man no more, I'd rather not sell human flesh for a living."

"Fair. I should probably move on myself; I finally got off on that assault charge."

"But that means…"

As Damian recalled, Sabine and Zeke had planned to get married after her charges were cleared. That's when he noticed the rock on her finger. "Oh my God, lemme see that!" he said, taking her hand. "Wow...it's so pretty."

"Thanks! It was Zeke's great grandmother's. It took me forever to win his family's trust, my family's got a bit of a reputation--"

"I bet. I met your cousin Cormac."

"Oh my God, are you okay?"

That was when Zeke and Christyn returned, Christyn handing Damian a paper plate piled high with mini cupcakes, tiny quiches, vegetables with a hearty glob of a homemade-looking dip, and thick, juicy slices of brisket. "Zeke may have outdone his personal best, but I'll let you decide who the real top chef is here."

For once, the food came second on Damian's mind. "Zeke! Congratulations, man! When's the wedding?" he asked, clapping Zeke on the back.

"As soon as we can make it, bro. It would've happened earlier, only I was waiting for my best man to get out the lockup."

For the second time that afternoon, Damian almost cried with joy.

***

'209, it's good to be back,' Damian typed as a quick caption before uploading his first photo post on his blog in years. Immediately, his inbox was alive with messages, most of them to the effect of, 'Where the fuck have you been?'

He took a screenshot of all of them and uploaded that as well, attached to his answer: 'Jail lol'.

That just led to more activity in his inbox. One anonymous user (a girl, he thought) congratulated him on managing to come out of jail fatter. Sadly, he had to burst her bubble.

'Been on the outside for a while now actually. Did lose weight in there just never posted pics, didn't want to depress my adoring audience ;)'

After answering a few more questions, with the generous help of autocorrect, he was ready for breakfast. This was the only meal of the day that usually wasn't organized in the Server House, and Damian took advantage of his privacy in the kitchen to whip himself up a bunch of scrambled eggs with bell peppers, potatoes, and spices, along with a whole avocado and a few tortillas to wrap it all up in. He shuffled into the living room and turned on the TV before starting to eat. Christyn having already left for work, he had for company Alex and Auralee, who trudged inside after a night of drinking in bars (and probably sex in the Camaro), and Ruth Lambert, this pale, skinny, barely legal little thing who he guessed worked as a line cook somewhere by the way she was always eager to help in the kitchen even if it wasn't her day.

"That's all you're eating?" Alex teased, passing Damian where he sat on the couch. "I'm closing in on 270, bud, better catch up!" Alex had indeed gotten quite heavy, a fact that was highlighted by his shirtlessness. Auralee stared lovingly after him from an armchair with what looked like a wine glass full of whiskey. "Don't worry, you'll get there...if you try." He gave Damian's gut a firm, teasing smack on his way to the kitchen.

"Hey, leave Damian alone! He's trying his best," said Ruth from her place on the floor.

"It's fine," said Damian. "He's the only one competing." He was used to good-natured teasing from the guys at the house about the progress of his weight gain, with frequent pokes and smacks in the belly. If it had bothered him, he would have put on a shirt, but he was actually enjoying the attention. Maybe he was a little more bi than he thought. That, or Christyn was rubbing off on him with her public display kink.

"So, 'feedism,' is that what it's called?" asked Ruth.

Auralee leaned forward over her glass. "If it's something you're interested in, I'd be glad to elaborate on it. Damian was just a little older than you are now when I first mentored him on the subject."

"I will press you tomorrow!" Ruth promised. "For now…" She tossed a controller at Damian and fired up the gaming console. He groaned. So much of his friendship with the young tenant was centered around playing--and regularly getting his ass kicked at--first-person shooter games. "Chrissy mentioned she would be out late with Sabine after work. I figure this leaves us with at least thirteen hours of slaughter?"

Damian's heart sank. He hated these days, when he was off work and Christyn went out to save the world. He was happy for her, but self-conscious about all the time he could have spent helping her.

She never announced when she was leaving for her next great feat of vandalism. She just took off, and Damian had to hear about it through gossip.

"Can't I eat before you kill me?"

Ruth mercifully let him finish his plate, and then proceeded to murder him over and over again. Seriously, how was she so quick with her hands? He guessed she worked as a salad prep, chopping vegetables all day. She made lunch (meatball subs for the house), he made dinner (battered cod, risotto, sauteed spinach, and a side of 'fuck you, how the fuck you win again?'), and soon, but not soon enough, it was dark.
 
Last edited:

stevita

like the pancake
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
238
Location
Texas
He waited up on the couch after the others had gone to bed, or at least, he tried to. By the time Christyn returned, he had passed out. It was past midnight when she shook him awake. There was blast debris in her hair.

As she helped him to bed, he asked, "What did you do tonight?"

"A few friends in the industry were being given the raw deal by the owner of their restaurant. So, just to send a message, we staked out the laundromat they also owned, waited for the employees all to leave, destroyed the cameras and blew it up." As he fell into bed, she slid a small, white cardstock box into the nightstand. "Sorry for leaving you alone. I just didn't want to put you in danger."

"What's that thing they say about forgiveness and permission?" said Damian.

Christyn sighed. "If I could stay with you all the time, I would, you know that. But I'm the leader here. The people expect me on the front lines."

"I'm not saying I want you to stay home all the time like a lil housewife. I'd never try and do that to you. I'm just saying, you could take me with you next time--"

"No! It's too dangerous!"

"Not too dangerous for you, though?"

"I've been training extensively."

"Right," he said. "I did hear you fought thirteen cops that one time."

She laughed. "Bit of exaggeration from the tenants. It was one cop, and he wasn't armed, and anyway, Auralee was the real hero that day for forcing a ruphy down his throat once I had subdued him. But even with all my training, I barely won that one, and it was terrifying. It's not anything I'd wish on you. Besides, you've been to jail how many times now? Haven't you had enough adventure?"

Adventure wasn't the point, he thought quietly. He just wanted to be with her, in all things. But, he would convince her to see things his way on some later day. She was tired, and he didn't want to stress her out more by continuing to argue.

He took the box in hand and read the label by the night's bright moonlight. "Huh...so I know you bi...how does a lesbian bakery work? Do you have to be a chick who likes chicks to shop there, or just to work there?"

She laughed. "Lebanese, not lesbian. As in, the country of Lebanon? Well, open it!"

Inside were four triangles of some kind of flaky pastry with what looked like a nutty filling between the layers of dough. "What are these?"

"You've never had baklava?" She curled up in bed next to him, took one of the pastries and held it to his lips. He bit down on the corner and his eyes widened with pleasure. It was light, sweet, delicious.

He wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her close as she fed him another bite. She had recently, finally, regained the weight she'd lost in his absence, and he relished the feeling of her softness against his own, telling him she was happy and safe--well, as safe as you could be when your hobby was blowing up buildings.

"Aight, apology accepted," he decided.

For now.

***

On an average, Damian was working three shifts a week with the agency, which left him more than comfortable after covering his share of the rent, even if his savings had mostly gone to court fees.

There was the convention center, where he picked up as a cook and had the misfortune of burning his hand on a flat-top stove after some idiot failed to say 'right behind'.

Then there was the server shift he worked at the old folks' home. He had to cut some elderly dude's chicken for him because he couldn't do it himself--it wasn't a pleasant experience. When he came home, he told Christyn all about it and said, "I know we like to play around with you feeding me, but if I ever get to that point, just pull the trigger. Right between the eyes."

"If that's how you feel," she responded, "don't let them send you up to memory care."

"That won't be a problem. I don't think I'm welcome at the old folks' home no more."

What happened was this: one of the elderly ladies in the dining room had been struggling with the pack of crackers for her soup. Damian had offered to open it for her, only to find he was having a hard time, too, with his bandaged hand.

He was still banned from possessing a firearm by the court, so, in spite, he had bought a folding knife and taught himself how to do a few tricks with it.

"So I whip it out like so, see?" he explained to Christyn while demonstrating how he'd pulled it from its place, clipped to his pocket, and flipped the blade out one-handed. "And then the poor lady faints."

"Sexy," she remarked, pulling him close by the belt loops. "But yeah, I'd say you're banned from there."

Then there was the matinee at the Houston Symphony ('matinee' being the word for a show that takes place in the daytime, Christyn explained.)

He and Christyn had the same shift, him on the register, her on the well, so they decided to carpool. She hated driving fast and they were running slightly late (his fault, he'd insisted on eating her out after breakfast), so he offered to relieve her of the duty, but once he got behind the wheel of her car, he found he was having certain difficulties.

It was...small.

Christyn had the driver's seat scooted all the way up so she could reach the pedals, the result being that his belly was pressed against the bottom of the steering wheel when he first wedged himself in. "What is it with you and small cars?" He'd been unprepared for the way he would fit behind the wheel of the Fiat and had to adjust the seat accordingly; the SmartCar was a whole nother matter entirely.

"She's fuel-efficient, okay?" said Christyn, sliding into the passenger's side. "And you wouldn't believe her turning radius."

"This one got a name, too?"

"Lizaveta," she admitted with a slight blush.

He was only able to move the seat back a few merciful inches thanks to all the garbage behind it--it was just as messy in here as it had been in the Fiat, which had taken him days to clean out. "Damn girl, I know you like junk in the trunk, but don't you think this a little excessive?"

Well, they made it on time, but the only parking they could find was the lot behind the Lancaster Hotel, and it was fifteen dollars, but fuck it. He was making fourteen an hour for this shift, and sometimes you had to spend money to make money.

When they entered the symphony hall, the little inconveniences kept adding up.

First, the manager ran out of sign-in forms. While Christyn went up to the mezzanine level to set up the bar they would be sharing, Damian was kept waiting fifteen minutes in the office for the manager to get a copy of the paperwork scanned and emailed by the agency, because apparently he didn't have a blank form saved. Then he got lost, twice, on his way to the mezzanine. Christyn was hard at work taking stock of all the inventory, having already fetched all the liquor, soda, and snacks for their station, so he decided to go back downstairs and pick up ice, only, on his way back up, he struggled to get the cart over the elevator threshold and somehow managed to knock it on its side. He was out-of-practice with heavy lifting, which made it hard enough for him to right the cart and load 80 pounds of ice back onto it. Having to do it while the elevator door hit him repeatedly in the back just felt like it was fate's way of being extra.
 

stevita

like the pancake
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
238
Location
Texas
The pre-show rush was hectic, but at least there would be no intermission, meaning they could take as long as they wanted to break for lunch and clean up. It also meant he could lose the tie. At his first opportunity, he snatched it off and stuffed it in his pocket. God, he hated that thing.

Back on the main floor, he stood in line behind Christyn while she talked to the cook fixing their plates. "You want just the sides as usual, Chrissy?"

"Yeah, and give him my chicken and give me his mac and cheese." Oh, she knew him too well.

But…

He gave her a pleading look as if to say, that's all? She caught on immediately. "Actually, give him double vegetables, too, there's nothing sexy about vitamin deficiency. And let him get extra lemon butter sauce on the side, please?"

"So food is sexy now?" said the cook as she handed them their lunch. "What you kids up to these days?"

"I'll tell you all about it sometime, Charlene." Christyn smirked, took her bread roll, and plunked it onto Damian's plate before winding an arm tightly behind his substantial hips to lead him back upstairs. Charlene, the cook, looked bewildered.

Christyn had the remarkable ability to eat while doing math, so by the time they were done with lunch, the closing inventory was complete. She pushed a small apple crumble towards him on the counter and offered, "Dessert?"

"Are we allowed to have these?"

"I left it out of starting inventory. Our secret, kay?" she said before kissing his cheek.

It was a sweet end to what had been a stressful shift, and they might have gone on to have a perfect rest of the day if it wouldn't have started flash flooding on the drive back to Richmond.

He tried to soldier through it for the longest stretch of Westheimer. If he went slow enough, he wouldn't hydroplane, right? And this part of town was on high ground. He thought. The water wouldn't get too high. Right?

But soon the rain was coming down in sheets so thick he couldn't see 40 feet ahead of him.

He could make out the vague outline of the next car ahead, but couldn't see its headlights through the storm.

"Pull over!" Christyn had to shout over the sound of the rain, and even then, he could barely hear her.

"Where?"

"The next right."

He pulled into a strip-mall parking lot and cut the engine while Christyn checked the weather on her phone. "Well, it looks like we might as well get comfortable here."

And it kept coming down.

The humidity was unbearable. He stripped to his undershirt, folding his vest and button-down and placing them on the dash. Even still, the air seemed to hold an oppressive quality, and he didn't realize he had started to have trouble breathing until Christyn reached over the gear shift and took his hand, rubbing circles into the back of it. "Hey. You alright?"

"Yeah, it's just…" He struggled to find words, but once he was able to translate what he was feeling into something coherent, it became obvious to him why he was freaking out so bad. "I don't like feeling boxed in. It's like jail again."

"But it's different. I'm here now."

"I know...I know you got me." Still, a lump settled in his throat that he couldn't swallow.

"And it's only for another three hours, according to the weather forecast."

"Well, fuck me," said Damian.

"I would, but there's no backseat."

"SmartCar, more like smartass," he said. Then, a while later, "Shit, I don't know if I'm hungry again, or if I'm just stressed out."

Christyn smiled. "Well, you know I never turn down an opportunity to spoil my man. Come on, there's a cafe in the big bookshop."

They got out and ran until they were under cover of the row of awnings in front of the shop doorways, but even then, they were both soaked through. Christyn showed him where the bookshop was, but when he stepped inside, the whole place was filled with clanking and whirring noises that didn't sound book-related.

"Shit, that's right, they closed the bookshop," said Christyn.

It was a gym.

"I guess this is how culture dies," she sighed.

The people on the machines had all turned to stare at him. He was certainly out of place; he knew he looked like he had never touched a piece of gym equipment in his life. (And he really hadn't, unless beer kegs counted.) On top of that, the rain had practically made his white shirt see-through, putting every bulge and roll on display. Their eyes held a mix of different emotions, none of them good--disgust from the pin-thin woman on the elliptical, smug superiority from the jacked guy lifting weights. And yet, all these judgmental looks made Damian strangely excited. It was like getting validation that he was officially fat.

And it was kinda turning him on.

Christyn, however, didn't think it was funny. "What are you assclowns looking at?" she snapped. "It's flash flooding, and what are you doing? Running up stairs to fucking nowhere." There was venom in her words. He hadn't seen her this angry since Jesse Markham punched her in the face. "Enjoy being brainwashed by the media. By the way, guess how I'll sleep knowing how when the end times come, people like you will be the first to starve!"

They were promptly kicked out by management and waited out the rest of the storm in the electronics store next door.

By the time the rain subsided, Damian had no doubt that he was starving. As soon as they got back on the road, he took a left on the beltway and stopped at the fast food place where he used to work. The sign was still broken, and a few of the windows were boarded up, but there were customers in the parking lot. A paper sign on the drive-thru window declared,

DRIVE-THRU CLOSED DUE TO SHORT STAFFING
PLEASE ORDER INSIDE
NOW HIRING
APPLY WITHIN

So he parked and told Christyn, "Get your strap."

"What?" she asked, confused at first. "Oh, right, 'strap' means gun."

Once she had it strapped to her hip, he led the way inside. There was no one at the counter, but he heard someone flipping burgers in the back. There were five occupied tables, two of them still waiting for their food, which wasn't a huge crowd unless you only had one guy on shift. After a minute or so, a familiar voice shouted, "Number 24, order up!" and Damian's old pal Weezy emerged from the kitchen to throw a tray onto the pickup counter.

"Shit, Weezy, I'm used to only seeing your ass in jail!"

"And what sweet encounters, bro!"

Damian went rigid. "Really, Weezy? Right in front of my girl?"

Christyn, who Weezy must have thought was standing behind Damian in line as she lingered a few feet back to look at the menu, gaped. "You had a butt buddy?"

"Oh, shit! I didn't realize--but then, you must be Ms. Mathison?"

Well, damn. It was going to be hard enough to explain to Christyn that he'd had a prison boyfriend without having to go into detail about pretending to date Sabine for street cred. (Cell block cred. Same difference.) Fortunately for him, she played along. "Actually, it's Mrs. Mendez now."

"Man, congrats, dog!" said Weezy. "What y'all want? On the house."

They ordered quickly and picked out a table in the back to wait for their food. "So, you and Weezy, huh?"

He shrank in his seat. "Are you mad?"

"No, we never explicitly agreed to be exclusive," said Christyn. "I'm just surprised. He's so...skinny. So, did you, uh...give it or take it?"

"We didn't really do much butt stuff. He didn't like to make me starve myself for a whole day."

"You know you don't have to do that. As long as you give yourself an enema beforehand--"

"Chrissy, you are full of surprises! Am I to understand you're into pegging guys in the butt?"

So that's what she thought he meant by strap.

She laughed. "You don't have to say 'in the butt' if you've already said 'pegging'."

Weezy came to deliver their food personally. "Anything else I can do for you?"

"Yeah, I got cash if you got weed," said Damian.

"Sorry to disappoint, bruh," said Weezy. "I ain't getting caught breaking parole this time. This job is tight, man! All day long, these curvy honeys coming through...it's perfect for a, what you say the word is? Feeder?"

Christyn smiled. "Well, I think I like you, Weezy."
 

stevita

like the pancake
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
238
Location
Texas
THIRTY-THREE

Christyn wound the cool tape measure around Damian's waist as he stood facing her in his undershirt and undone dress slacks, about to head off to work once she collected some new measurements. "Yep, definitely gonna need at least the 40's, but you may as well get the 42's, just so you'll have a little room." Another ten pounds had rounded out his middle and padded his ass such that the 38's he had on would still close, but just barely, and bending over was like playing Russian roulette, except instead of a bullet to the brain, he risked having them split down the seat.

"You really want me to fill out those 42's, don't you?"

"I want you to be comfortable," she said, but her mischievous grin gave her away. She draped the tape around his shoulders. "Here, you can do this one."

He closed it loosely around his neck and tried not to think of Lily's hands there. He thought of her rarely, and never fondly. The other week, he'd heard on the news that she had been declared missing, and Auralee had said, You're welcome.

He waited for her to jot down the number and gave her the tape back. "Do you ever think about Jesse?" he asked.

"Sometimes. I try not to. Thinking about him makes me feel stupid."

"Chrissy, you are anything but stupid."

"But I spent so long letting him torture me and convincing myself I enjoyed it, when I had the sweetest, most loyal guy, who happened to be crazy about me, right behind the bar with me."

He hugged her tightly, pleased by the comforted sigh she let out as she let her body sink against his. "One day it won't hurt anymore." He wished he could hold her like that all day...but he really did have to get ready for work!

He had to suck in to do up the pants, and once he let himself breathe, his belly spilled over the waistband while his button-down grudgingly contained it, but in no way minimized it. Fastening his belt, he whined a little in pain as the buckle pushed into the bruise it had left on the soft underside of his gut the last time he'd had to squeeze into these pants.

"Poor thing," said Christyn, massaging the spot with the flat of her hand. "Y'know, maybe you should switch over to suspenders. Auralee says she's encouraged most of the men she's been with to make the switch, and they unanimously found it more comfortable."

His imagination began to run a little wild at the thought of Christyn and Auralee having casual feeder talk as a regular thing. "What else did you talk about with Auralee?"

"Well, we certainly weren't making any money or passing any Bechdel tests." She handed him his vest, which he put on but decided to leave open for the moment, and the dreaded tie, which he stuffed into his pocket.

"I never got why we had to dress so fancy to serve food to people."

"People who don't know how food is prepared have more confidence in the quality of the food when it's presented by someone professional-looking. Think about it: would you rather me serve you at a restaurant table wearing--?"

He didn't even let her finish asking the question. "Naked."

"Well, that's just a health code violation."

She sent him off with a passionate kiss, making it tempting to just stay, but he managed to drag himself to the car eventually.

The shift was easy enough. He was serving a plated lunch to a boardroom of 20 executives on the 20th floor of the BBVA corporate headquarters. Most of the work was in the setup: it took two hours for him and Sarah, the banquet coordinator onsite, to polish all the cups and utensils, then set up the room with silver, napkins, bread and butter plates, lemons, sugar, salt and pepper shakers, and finally, glasses of water and iced tea. Things might have gone faster, if not for the fact that Damian was...a little distracted.

Of course, he was happy with Christyn, and would never dare do anything to hurt her. The fact of the matter, though, was that Sarah was very beautiful. She had a round, angelic face, with wide blue eyes and plump lips, framed by light brown hair that curled gently in its loose ponytail. She was about his height, but had 50 pounds on him at the very least, most of her weight carried in her hips, rear, and thighs--he had always been a sucker for bottom-heavy women--though her soft stomach and round, perky breasts lost none of his attention, put on display as they were by her formfitting suit jacket.

As they stepped into an unused office to await the arrival of the chef, she said something to him, but it took a couple tries before he registered her words.

"I said, is this your only job?"

"Yeah, for the while," he replied.

"But you've obviously worked in foodservice before. You seem to know what you're doing."

"I been in the business since eighteen."

"Same! Except I'm 29 now," she said. "Sometimes I miss my younger days of working in dive bars--"

"Ah, c'mon, Ms. Sarah, you still pretty young. You could go back to it if you wanted to."

"Thanks, Damian. This job has its perks, though. For one thing, it's stable. Say…" She handed him her phone and said, "Would you mind terribly if I asked you to give me your contact information? That way I can give you a heads up when I'm about to post a shift to the agency. I could use an experienced server, pending your availability. I used to have a regular server from ABC, real reliable girl, but she refuses to work with us any longer. It was a nasty incident; she was a vegetarian, she told us as much, and Chef Georges went ahead and served her a shift meal full of chicken stock anyway. Poor thing bent double and threw up in the parking lot."

"Damn. Yeah, no problem. And I don't have any food allergies, so you don't have to worry about that." Somehow, it didn't feel strange giving his phone number to someone he'd just met.

Somehow, he felt like he'd met her before, as unlikely as that was. She just had one of those warm, inviting personalities that put him at ease.

Soon, Chef Georges arrived upstairs, wheeling a hotbox into the office, followed by a female cook with a cart of salad ingredients. The chef, a short little man with salt-and-pepper hair and rimless glasses, snapped at Damian while preparing the first of the salads, "Well, what are you waiting for? Start dropping these off!"

"Cool your jets, Chef," said Sarah. "How was he supposed to know they were ready?"

In the past, he might have went off on the chef, but he was calmer now, more in control of his emotions than he had been when he had first entered the industry. It helped that Sarah was there to defend him. As he brought three plates into the boardroom and set them down in front of the bankers, Sarah followed with another two, and they kept on like this until everyone was served.

After a few minutes, Sarah said they could go ahead and clear. Damian followed her lead, noticing that the salads were mostly uneaten, but no one was touching their food anymore.

On his way in and out of the unused office turned prep and buss station, the chef grabbed him around the wrist, stopping him in his path. "You serve with the left, clear from the right! Didn't anyone ever teach you how to do this properly?"

"I really don't think it matters," said Sarah.

Next, they served entrees: brown butter salmon with sides of polenta and charred broccoli. Sarah watched the clock for thirty minutes before telling him they should start clearing, even though the entree plates were not much more disturbed than the salads. At last, they served something called 'trifle' in glass cups for dessert, offered coffee, and ducked out of the boardroom. "You can clock out and take a lunch break if you want," Sarah offered, handing him an extra entree plate that the chef had put together by accident.

Damian didn't get more than three bites in. The salmon was rubbery, the polenta runny, and the broccoli wilted and unseasoned. He scraped the mostly untouched contents of his plate into the trash just in time for the chef to turn around and catch him.

"Do tell, is there something wrong with the food?" Chef Georges was red in the face, his tone demanding. He was clearly looking for a fight. Sarah gave Damian a worried look. He decided not to ruin his chances of getting invited back over some grumpy little 'chef' who wanted to start shit.

"Nah, it's good," he lied. "I'm just trying to cut a little weight is all." He patted his belly for emphasis, his tight vest not even allowing it space to move. The chef didn't seem convinced. Later on, Damian overheard him muttering to Sarah that he was 'pickier than that stuck-up vegetarian girl,' but he wasn't about to let the guy shake him.

After they cleaned up, the chef returned to the kitchen, and Sarah, who had skipped lunch, said, "I don't like the food here either. In fact, I was going to invite you to lunch at this restaurant not far from here, but that might not be a good idea. The food there is pretty heavy. If you're trying to lose weight--"

All Damian heard was 'lunch'. "Was I that convincing? I just didn't want to hurt Chef's feelings. I'm actually starving. I couldn't eat that crap, though. I've had better food in jail."

Sarah walked him to his car in the garage, and when they arrived at the green Fiat, she asked, "Do you mind? I take the bus to work."
 

stevita

like the pancake
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
238
Location
Texas
"Oh, no problem," he said, opening the passenger door for her.

An hour later, he was leaned back in a barstool next to her. His vest and tie hung off the back of his chair and he was precariously stuffed after two glasses of rich, dark beer, half a basket of buttered rolls, and the crispiest, most tender chicken fried steak he had ever had, served with sides of fluffy mashed potatoes and green beans smothered in gravy and bacon. Not to be outdone, Sarah had cleaned her own plate, along with the other half of the bread basket and a side-order of fried mushrooms. "Thanks so much for lunch," said Damian.

Sarah smiled. "We haven't even gotten to the best part." She flagged down the bartender and ordered a piece of cookies and cream cheesecake. "Do you want your own, or do you want to just have a few bites of mine?"

A few bites were probably all he could take before he passed out at the bar in a food coma. "I bet we can share, and then if we're still hungry we can order more."

The cheesecake landed, and it was not disappointing. Damian didn't care as much as most people did for cheese in its salty, melted, yellow form, but in a cake, it was delightful. The first bite he took hit his tongue rich and sweet, and even though his belly was packed dangerously close to too full, he chanced another bite, then another, wanting to chase the flavor.

Then…

Ping!

He heard the click against the underside of the bar counter before it registered to him that the button of his shirt at the roundest part of his middle had popped off, allowing his fat to spill through the gap in the fabric, with only his thin white undershirt preserving his modesty.

He ran his thumb down his belly experimentally, simultaneously loving how big and tight it felt and fighting a boner. Not wanting to have to explain his lifestyle choices to a woman he had just met, he made an excuse: "Well shit...my wife always be shrinking the laundry…"

"Your what?"

"My...wife?"

"Oh my God," said Sarah. "I am so, so sorry. I didn't mean to be untoward. It's just that I didn't see a wedding ring...and you hadn't mentioned there was a woman in the picture...but then, people don't wear rings to work in foodservice…"

For the first time, it occurred to him that Sarah was interested in him. She'd meant to ask him on a date.

"Well, fuck. I'm sorry too. I didn't mean to lead you on or nothing, I just thought we was both hungry."

Sarah's cheeks were bright red. Damian's phone vibrated in his pocket. He checked his texts.

Christyn: Miss u boo!
Christyn: If you want u can meet me @ the hotel when I get off 2nite
Christyn: n have some room for dessert!!!

"That's her," he said. "She, uh...she says she can't wait to see me."

***

Damian didn't disappoint Christyn, turning up at the hotel lobby right at midnight as her shift ended. He had changed out of his work uniform, but even in his hoodie and sweatpants, it was undeniable how much he had grown in no time at all thanks to how small they were on him. The hoodie even rode up to expose a sliver of belly--definitely time for another shopping trip, as much as she wouldn't mind seeing him lounge around in too-small clothes all the time. After clocking out, she jumped into his arms, her breath hitching as his laughter made his abundant belly jiggle against her, his body so weighty and sturdy that her full-force pounce didn't move his footing an inch on the ground.

She practically dragged him to her room, where she had a slice of tres leches from the restaurant area ready in the mini fridge. "Are you hungry, baby?"

"You did say to save an appetite…"

She took her cue to lay him down in bed and feed him, gently, rewarding him with slow, passionate kisses after each bite. After he was done, she laid down herself and pulled him towards her. "Come on, baby," she said, "I want to feel how heavy I'm making you."

To her surprise, he resisted her, sitting up braced on one leg, unmovable. "Damian…?"

"Chrissy I've...I've never been this heavy before."

"I know. That's the point."

"But what about your spine troubles?"

"Oh, so considerate!" She linked her hands behind his neck and pulled him closer. "I love you for that. And I know you love me. Listen, though: I got the surgery."

His deep brown eyes widened with delight. "New spine?"

It wasn't quite that simple, but she'd go with it. "New spine."

He peeled off her pants and ate her dutifully, and then, when she was so wet she could scarcely bear it anymore, he rolled on a condom and buried himself in her. The soft weight of his body pressed her excitingly into the mattress, and as she gripped his pliable hips, thinking how the bulk of his belly against hers was tangible proof of her love for him, she drew closer and closer to completion.

Her fingers tangled in his jet-black curls and she sighed, "Say my name, Damian.

"Tell me you know I love you."

"Fuck. Chrissy. I. Know. You. Love me."

He exploded then, whimpering with pleasure, and her legs wrapped around his waist to hold him close and keep him inside while she rode out her own orgasm.

Afterwards, as they lay spent in each others' arms in bed together, clothes having all been cast off at various points in their lovemaking, she idly squeezed at the sexy spare tire padding his waist, pausing now and then to trace the stretchmarks running up his side with her pinky nail, when suddenly she felt him go rigid. "Did I do something wrong?" she asked, removing her hand and placing it on the bed.

"No, s'not like that." He took her hand and placed it back on his side. Then, he seemed to change his mind, wrapped an arm around her waist, and pulled her up in bed beside him so she was seated upright against the abundance of hotel pillows. "I kind of...went out with someone today," he confessed. "I didn't know it was like a date! She offered to buy me lunch, and the food at the bank sucked--"

Christyn burst out laughing. "You think I'd be mad? After the conversation we already had with your prison boyfriend?"

He flushed. "I just feel weird about it."

"Well, you should know by now that I'm not possessive. So, tell me: was she attractive?"

"For you, or for me?"

"Ideally for both of us."

That's when Damian seemed to get it. "You...want us to have threesomes with other people?"

"Only if you want to."

He was half-hard again at the very idea. "Dang, Chrissy, when did you get so freaky?"

"I had nothing to do while you were in jail except get freakier."

"Wait...you're telling me you had a house full of half-naked restaurant people and you never did anything with them? Cause you know, you'd have had my blessing. I ain't possessive neither. I didn't even think you'd want me back, but that would've been fine, I'm not some psycho stalker like the last guy."

"I was too sad to do any, well, hands-on experimentation," she said, "but that didn't stop me from watching porn and getting ideas. Besides, who knows, this woman might be into our particular brand of depravity. After all, she did make sure you were fed…"

***

Christyn was pleasantly surprised to learn Damian's lunch date had been with her old pal Sarah from the bank HQ. Unfortunately, Sarah proved quite difficult to make plans with. Christyn called her on the phone to invite her to dinner a handful of times, only to get the same response again and again: 'I'd love to sit down and spend some time with you and your husband, but I'm really busy with work right now. Maybe call me again in a couple days?'

How many catered events did they hold at the bank, exactly?

But it wasn't so big a deal. Christyn and Damian were more than capable of finding things to do on their own. They had become regulars at the dine-in movie theater a five-minute drive from the Server House. Damian had a fascination with movies about witches, and Christyn wasn't really a movie buff, but she relished the opportunities to take him out and show him off. Neither of them cared much for the bartender, Ginger, this crazy old woman who thought vaccines caused autism, but for some reason she became overly fond of the two of them, so they usually dined at the bar rather than in their seats, putting up with her conspiracy theories and ridiculous ramblings if it meant her sneaking an extra shot into their drinks on the house.

They hung out at the mall even if Damian's wardrobe didn't need replacement; it was just nice to walk around in there holding hands and looking through shop windows at all the things other people coveted.

And they got debauched a lot, too. Once, they both got daydrunk and decided that getting matching ink was so much more romantic than wedding rings. Another time, she came home from one of her and Sabine's outings to find him stoned out of his mind, trying on her bra. She'd almost died laughing on the spot.

She stayed busy, too, between her two jobs, and as spring came around, she found herself, either out of a sense of obligation to the staffing agency or some deep-seeded masochistic streak, returning once more to work at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
 
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stevita

like the pancake
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Messages
238
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Texas
Her first day back at the stadium, Abigail presented her with some surprising news: "You'll be reporting to the satellite bar outside the club doors across from concessions. One of the committeemen requested you specifically."

In the three previous years she'd worked this event, she'd never learned any of the committee members' names, and of the ones she did recognize from year to year, she didn't get along with any. As she made her way to her designated station, her heart began to race with fear. What if Jesse had somehow found out she was working here and talked his way onto the committee?

By the time she reached the bar, she was near tears with panic.

She was the first to arrive, and as she was counting up the mixers, a youngish white woman wearing a committee badge joined her behind the bar. She had blonde hair and wore a checkered shirt and straw hat. She was decidedly not Jesse Markham, which let Christyn breathe a sigh of relief. "Do I know you?" she asked. "My supervisor told me I was requested at this bar."

"Must have been the other guy. I'm just tallying tickets today, someone else is stocking liquor," said the woman. "I'm Angie, by the way."

Christyn quickly forgot that, her dread returning. Then, about an hour before doors, Damian came up to her bar with her liquor bottles on a cart, along with a plate piled high with food, presumably from some committee lounge that Christyn had never actually seen. She knew the committee members got fed for free, in fact, they usually ate shamelessly in front of the bartenders, who got zip-diddly-squat in the way of benefits.

He was dressed for the occasion in a suede vest he left open so as not to constrict his plush middle, along with a button-down, jeans, boots, and a cowboy hat--she couldn't decide whether the getup was ridiculous, or kind of sexy. "You're on the committee?" she asked, a grin spreading across her face.

"I didn't want to say anything. I wanted it to be a surprise. But after how rough your first rodeo was, I wanted to help lighten your load."

The blonde looked at him, then the plate on his cart, and said, "Didn't you already eat two whole plates downstairs?"

"This one's for the bartender," said Damian, handing Christyn the plate, which held glazed carrots, potato salad, cole slaw, mac and cheese, and a warm, buttered bread roll. He had done a marvelous job at guessing her favorites, and she might have fallen straight into his arms if she didn't have work to do. "Does nobody else here feed them? Cause I'm not gonna lie, that's disturbing as fuck."

He turned to Christyn as she started on the bread roll. "You been crying?"

"It's just allergies," she lied. She wished she could have jumped him right there, let him hold her tight as she buried herself in his softness, but she had to remain professional for work.

The committee worked in three rotating teams, so every third day, Christyn could count on having someone for support who actually knew how to barback, which put her in a better position than in years past. After the concerts, she and Damian often stopped at the 24-hour fast food joint on their way home to catch up with his jail buddy. (She thought it was hilarious that Damian had told him and everyone else in the cell block that he'd been dating Sabine Mathison for clout, and happily kept up the ruse to get faster service.)

Sarah finally called to try and make plans, but Christyn was 'so busy with work,' so it would 'have to wait until the end of the Rodeo'. She wasn't miffed enough at Sarah for blowing her off so many times to shut her down entirely--just miffed enough to give her a taste of her own medicine.

***

Damian would say his first Rodeo went pretty well, as far as his own workload went. Then again, he could clearly see that the committee members were treated far better than the actual laborers. He did his best to make sure Christyn was sufficiently fed and well-attended to on the days that he worked with her, but what about the other bartenders? And the security workers, standing at the entrance all day in the Texas heat? Or the cooks in the tents outside, working long shifts while subjected to both the sun and the grills?

All around him, ticketholding guests berated employees to work faster while their children fussed and cried. Everyone was supposed to be having a great time, and yet, he felt he had only seen more misery in one other place, and that place was state jail.

And every day, when Christyn put her hand over her heart for the Pledge of Allegiance, she crossed the fingers of her left hand behind her back. He could see why she did it.

He was glad when it ended. She was a lot more tired than he was, but he had the freedom of drinking on shift and actually got to take days off. In the week following the final show, he made sure she didn't have to lift a finger around the house. She had gone back to her hotel job, but he insisted on taking her slots in the Server House kitchen, and every night when she came home, he had an old fashioned ready for her and a seat open so she could rest while he rubbed her feet and massaged her shoulders. "You're too good to me," she said once while he was working out an especially tense knot near the back of her neck. He thought to himself that there was no such thing as too good for her, but he was glad she was happy.

Then came the day when she was finally able to get ahold of Sarah and plan a dinner.

She had bummed a suite at the hotel with a kitchenette and slaved all afternoon in there, whipping up a loaf of bread and her signature calorie-bomb green dip, a whole oven-roasted chicken, whipped carrots with butter, sugar, and cinnamon, crispy, lightly charred kale, and a decadent peach cobbler for dessert, with ice cream in the freezer for a topping. Damian, meanwhile, busied himself pacing the front of the suite, and once in a while pacing on the balcony when he needed a cigarette for his nerves. When she called him over to taste-test everything, he took more than a small sample, hoping some food would calm him down. It worked, sort of.

"Are you nervous?" she asked. "You know, we don't have to do this if you don't want to. We can just as easily have a nice dinner."

"No, I want to!" he said. He knew it would make Christyn happy, and besides, ever since he'd seen that pre-op picture of Auralee, he had felt an undeniable curiosity about sex with a BBW. "It's just...what if I nut after only a minute or something like that?"

Christyn smiled. "I'm sure you'll be fine. Your stamina has increased a lot over the years. If you're really worried, just think about dead puppies to keep yourself from busting. And stop," she said, holding the dip bowl out of his reach as he went in for another 'small taste,' "ruining your appetite."

He scoffed. "Think about dead puppies while I'm with two fine ladies, one of them being my wife and the most smokin' hot girl in the world. Like that's gonna happen."

After another fifteen minutes, Sarah arrived, announcing her presence with a knock at the door.

When Damian let her in, Christyn was just finishing up setting the table. "It's good to see you again, Damian," said Sarah, shaking his hand and seeming self-conscious about their little misunderstanding the last time they met. She was dressed conservatively in a chocolate brown sweatervest over a white button down and khakis. Although her sensible outfit probably kept her warm enough on the strikingly breezy April day, it did nothing to camouflage the generous curves of her figure. Damian didn't think there were any clothes in the world that could do that.

"And Christyn, it's been too long!" she said, stepping further into the hotel room. "You know, the other day I swear I got an admission of guilt out of Chef Georges about purposely tampering with your food. If I can get him to say it again and record it this time, you could take him to court and obtain quite the settlement."

"I appreciate you looking out for me, Sarah," said Christyn. "But I didn't invite you over to talk about money. Won't you sit?" She pulled out a chair at the table.

Christyn fixed a round of vodka smashes for everyone and served Damian and Sarah each a plate before assembling her own of everything but the chicken.

Sarah was certainly enjoying her meal. Between seconds and thirds, she said, "Goodness, Christyn, for someone who doesn't eat chicken, you sure know how to cook it. I usually don't even like the white meat."

"You've got to throw the bird in the oven upside down, so the juices from the dark meat drip into the white meat and give it that flavor," said Christyn, as if this was something that was taught in every first-grade classroom.

When dessert was served, Damian finally remembered where he had seen Sarah before. Christyn seemed to recognize her at the same time.

Back at the restaurant, she had had more restraint, but now, in the privacy of the hotel room, she had no problem moaning into her peach cobbler as if she was approaching orgasm, and he realized he followed her blog. She had a lot of videos posted, most of them focused on mutual gaining, but in a few of them she more solidly took on a feedee or feeder role. He had shown Christyn a couple of videos of activities he wanted her to try, including this one where Sarah was feeding a guy and rewarding him with five strokes to his cock for every bite he swallowed.

So that's why she was always so busy. On top of her job, she was shooting porno.

On his fourth drink now, he smiled broadly and said, "By the way, my wife and I are big fans of your movies."
 

stevita

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Sarah flushed, swallowed the bite of ice cream in her mouth, and looked at each of them in turn. "I...take it you're in the community?"

Christyn nodded. "Damian's my feedee. Although, we were talking, and we both agree we find you quite attractive. I know you were interested in him, and we were hoping to invite you to have a little fun with us? Only if you wanted to, of course."

A smile spread across Sarah's face. "Well...where would you two want me to start?"

***

Damian awoke still tingly all over from the alcohol, spent, satisfied, and full from two heaping plates of dinner and two more of the best peach cobbler he'd ever tasted, the second one fed to him gently by Sarah, who sat in his lap while Christyn played with his hair and murmured sweet nothings to both of them. The rest of the night had been a whirlwind of pleasure: Sarah's warm weight on his hips as she rode him in bed, the taste of Christyn in his mouth, wet and slick and hot for him, the sound of them making out while he coaxed them both to their pleasure, Christyn's work-worn hands brushing Sarah's soft ones against the stretched-tight surface of his full belly. True, he'd finished earlier than he had hoped, but all it took was Sarah bouncing on him while he explored her hips and waist with his hands to make him hard again inside her within moments.

He was half-awake when he heard the girls giggling in the shower together, but he was still too blissed-out to move. It wasn't until later in the morning that he willed himself out of bed to clean himself up.

When he came out of the bathroom, dressed in last night's clothes, Christyn and Sarah were side by side in bed together, reading the magazine that had been provided with the room.

"These ads are ridiculous," said Sarah. "Look at this ad for these pills. 'Lose 20 pounds in 20 days'? Even if that were possible, it would be dangerous. And I'm not just saying that because, well, you know."

"That's capitalism for you," said Christyn. "It's easy to get rich when you've brainwashed the public into buying an impossible dream."

"Fuck the diet industry," Sarah agreed. "Fuck industry in general."

"Hear, hear." Christyn rolled up the magazine and chucked it against the opposite wall before rolling over to look at Damian. "Well, hey, sexy. Come here."

He joined them in bed, where they spent the remainder of the morning cuddled up together. He was happily pressed between both of their soft bodies when Christyn suddenly piped up, "You know, Sarah...speaking of capitalism and its crimes against society...I think you'd get along with my roommates. They're of a like mind. If you have nothing to do today, I'd love to introduce you."

Damian should have known Christyn's interest in a threesome was at least somewhat part of a recruitment effort.

Dammit! Why was that hot?
 

stevita

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THIRTY-FOUR

Sarah was shy when she first entered the Server House, Damian and Christyn close at her heels. The others seemed instinctively wary of her. "Do I...do I put off a bad vibe or something?" she asked.

Christyn shrugged. "You do have something of a managerial air about you. Relax your posture a little. Let me get you a beer. Maybe take off your pants."

Sarah gaped incredulously, understandably nervous about going among a bunch of strangers half dressed. But a few drinks later, she was laughing and having a good time with the others, sprawled out on the living room sofa in her panties and undershirt like everyone else in the house while Damian fixed lunch.

When he came out of the kitchen to let everyone know they could help themselves to a bowl of stir-fry, Sarah was exchanging workplace horror stories with a few servers who lived on the second floor.

"...So then the executive banker starts yelling at me, all, 'I specifically asked for grilled shrimp, not blackened, good God, woman, can you even read?' as if I was the one who cooked the food for that meeting, and you know, even if I had been the one to make that mistake, where's it written that just because you work in a fancy office, you get to mistreat other people? Especially the ones who handle your food?"

"You got his name?" asked Recheena, who was sitting nearby. "You know if you have his name, you can find his house."

Sarah took another swill of beer and smirked. "Peter Bianchi. And he drives a powder-blue Cadillac."

Damian would have thought it would be harder to recruit her. The Server House was made up of line-level employees strapped enough for cash that they were willing to sleep twelve to a room if it meant only paying ten bucks a month for rent. Sarah wasn't so down on her luck...then again, Christyn had worked her over in steps, from 'Let's have dinner' to 'Want to have a threesome with me and my kinky husband?' to 'I agree with your opinion on the pervasive use of body shaming in the media' to 'Welcome to my personal hotbed of lawlessness, Godleseness, and shirtlessness. Now let's talk revolution.'

What had she called it again?

Oh yeah. Rule three: the law of approximation.

Lunch was a hit. Damian had left the beef tips on the side for the sake of Christyn and the other vegetarians in the house, but cooked them in the same pan he'd done the noodles and vegetables in so the meat would soak up the sauces and seasonings. "You made this?" asked Sarah, her eyes wide and impressed after she swallowed her first bite. "You're wasted in the front of the house. In fact, if you want, I can recommend you into a cooking position that pays twenty an hour. Chrissy too!"

Christyn was too attached to bartending to consider the offer, but twenty an hour sounded mighty sweet to Damian.

***

Armed with Sarah's letter of recommendation, Damian got a job at 6-Star Catering, the premier catering service in the greater Houston area according to their website, but he had been in the industry long enough to know that every company probably called themselves that. They had him scheduled to work 5:45 AM to 3, Tuesdays thru Fridays, on the eighteenth floor of a downtown high-rise where a law firm called Ellis, Ellis and Rockford had their office. Zeke happened to work there, but, as Damian was working in the kitchen most of the time, he only ran into him once in his first month.

The early hours were a pain at first, but he adjusted quickly, having had to keep to a similar timetable in jail, and he liked getting to cook all morning for a living--and sample the food to his heart's content. "Hey, this is really good," he told his partner on the line one morning after helping himself to a spoonful of the mashed potatoes that were going on the buffet line for the staff appreciation party later on that day. "Good job, bro." His partner gave him a confused look. Shit, that was right. The guy only spoke Spanish. "Um, how do you say 'good'?"

Okay, he was going to have to work on his Spanish. But other than that, he was having a great time.

***

"Well, howdy, stranger! It feels like it's been a hundred million years!"

It was Wednesday. Shortly after Damian got out of work at the law firm, Sarah called him asking if he was available to work a banquet at the bank. He figured it was the least he could do for her, seeing as she had helped him get a full time job. Plus, she had been a valuable resource to the revolution, using her contacts in the industry to keep the Server House informed on who was hiring, who was firing, and who needed to be rattled a bit.

"That's what happens when you get a man hired somewhere else. Thanks for that, by the way. I really like it over there. The other cooks even teaching me some Spanish. So far, I'm having a 'callete gordito' day."

"I don't know any Spanish, but that's fantastic! And you're even early!"

"Guess I was excited to see you," said Damian.

Along with Christyn, they'd had some fun a couple more times. Usually the two girls would take turns feeding and fucking him, but sometimes, Sarah wanted to be fed, too. That was the part where Damian fumbled a bit; he didn't have much of a feeder instinct at all, preferring to be on the other end of things. But Christyn was happy to indulge her.

Sarah was right, though, it had been a while.

"Chrissy was home, by the way. She said since you're always so good about keeping me fed, we should return the favor." He set the plastic bag he was holding on the table in the banquet room where they would be setting up the food for the party in about half an hour and pulled out one of Christyn's to-die-for baguette sandwiches with the Vietnamese hot sauce, offering it to Sarah.

"How sweet of her! Love me a good banh mi," said Sarah, unwrapping it from its paper.

"She also said to give you this," said Damian, fishing a note out of his pocket to hand it to her.

All Server House related correspondence was done on paper, in code, and delivered by courier, in case of tapped phones. Damian resented Christyn a little for not teaching him the code. He knew she was just trying to keep him safe, but he didn't think the answer was to keep him out of the loop. He had an idea how this would go, though. He'd get bold and do something reckless that she didn't want him to do, something would go sideways, she'd be upset, they'd have a silent stand-off, they'd pine for each other, one of them would apologize first, then the other would, and then they'd come out stronger.

It was just torture, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Sarah read the note, shredded it, and stuffed the pieces in her pocket for later disposal.

"She free tonight, too," said Damian, unwrapping his own sandwich. "If you want, maybe we can all get together?" Even if he did know he was in the calm before a storm, he still had wants and needs.

"I could be persuaded. Listen, though, Damian...I don't think the poly thing is for me, in the long run," she confessed. "I like you both, I really do, but I can't help feeling like a third wheel. It's hard to find someone local who's, you know, into the lifestyle, and maybe that's why I jumped straight into bed with you guys, but down the line I really hope I can find someone to call mine."

"That's a mood. But hey, there's hope." At first he thought of Lacie, but regrettably, he didn't have her number. There was someone else, though. "I do know a guy. Total feeder. Only problem is, he a bit rough around the edges, and he might, uh, be too skinny for your liking."

"Oh, I'm more or less bi-sizual, if that's a word."

"Great! I can give you his number. He'll love you. And he's a great cook!"

This might have been a mistake.

Sarah and Weezy hit it off immediately, which was great for them, but it also meant Damian had to put up with Sarah raving every shift they worked together. Before long, she couldn't go thirty minutes without saying 'Luis is so wonderful,' or gushing about how pampered he made her feel, or talking about his cute little ass, which was weird to hear from a third party about someone who had sucked your dick. Then again, Damian had heard crazier.

Christyn had said it before and after all these years, he felt it: the world had gone insane.

At least once a week, a small party from the Server House went to go blow something up that needed blowing up.

A new diet supplement had just hit the market with FDA approval despite the fact that it almost certainly caused blindness.

The other week it had made national news that one of the world's largest online retailers had been covering up the exhaustion-related, on-the-clock deaths of fifteen of its workers at a warehouse in Georgia.

Two people finding love was ultimately a cause for celebration in these trying times.
 
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stevita

like the pancake
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Dec 7, 2019
Messages
238
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Texas
Zeke and Beans had a small but beautiful wedding at a church. They had anticipated rain, which was why they had opted to have the ceremony indoors. They decided on only two bridesmaids: Sabine's best friend from high school, Carmen Aguirre, and Zeke's younger sister Hope.

It was a little weird for Damian, seeing Hope again, with L'vonte as her plus one as he cradled her baby, who looked a little too much like Weezy. It was always a smaller city than you thought.

After the vows were said, Damian and Hope caught up. He learned she had spent some time in the Server House before finding her own place and that she knew of feedism thanks to Auralee, but the idea made her uncomfortable. "Them feedees, or whatever, can do whatever they want, power to them, but I don't want no strangers looking at me thinking bout fattening me up, you know?"

He thought that was reasonable and decided against telling her about his involvement in the kink. Maybe she'd assume his weight gain was due to stress. He had spent a hot minute in jail, after all.

Christyn caught the bouquet, but Auralee snatched it out of her hands. "You're already married!" she snapped, smacking her over the head with it.

As the rain cleared, Damian stepped outside to smoke a cigarette. Christyn soon joined him, lighting one of her own. "What's on your mind? You look sad."

"I'm not."

"Okay, good!" She lit up her own cigarette. "I was talking to Sabine's friend, Carmen. She's nice. Also, I like Carmen for a baby name."

Damian looked at her, startled. The smoke swirled around her and she smiled. "I know, I know, I don't seem like the type. In fact, I never thought I would want to be a mother before I met you. The world is so awful...but lately, I've been thinking. The only way to fix the world is to raise good people. And you and I, we could bring up some kind, well-rounded people."

"Ain't you the expert in making people well-rounded."

"Damian!" She smacked him in the chest. "Don't be a pervert while I'm talking about our future children! Unless...unless you don't see children in your future."

Much to the contrary, he had always hoped that one day he could be a dad, and give his kids all the love he'd missed as a child. And if he had to pick a mother for his children, of course it would be Christyn. It was just…

"I didn't think you wanted kids. You didn't even want a wedding."

He had to admit he was envious, seeing Zeke and Sabine declare their union in front of Zeke's family and a handful of Sabine's friends.

"Oh, baby...is that what you think?" asked Christyn. "I always wanted a ceremony. I was just...well…"

"What?"

"I was waiting for you to hit your goal weight," she said. "No sense in getting you fitted for a tux twice."

His cheeks heated and a giddy smile spread across his face. "I already hit it."

"Really?"

For a while now, he had been relaxed about the gaining thing. He already knew his metabolism was broken, and now that he was working back of the house, the pounds piled on without him even trying. It was no surprise that he'd surpassed his original goal.

The 42's he'd picked up a while ago used to have some room, but now they fit perfect.

He slung an arm around Christyn's shoulders and whispered into her ear, "237."

She practically jumped him, clinging around his waist with all of her force. "No wonder you're so nice and soft lately!" She squeezed him a little tighter and he felt his skin tingle all over.

***
The reception was held at Pasture--Auralee's new barback had a second job waitressing there, and had talked to management about hooking some friends up with a good deal. As the wedding party arrived, Sabine having changed into a more understated dress, a hostess led them to a spacious private dining room in the back. Soon, a team of two servers came to take drink orders for the 20-top table.

Christyn had offered to be designated driver so that Damian could indulge in as many drinks as he wanted, but he'd said he was okay with driving--"I know you like alcohol, and me, I'm really more interested in the food." So, while he contented himself with his old favorite of sweet tea with creamer, she ordered an old fashioned, but she didn't like it as much as the ones Damian fixed her at home. She politely finished it, but the next time Elliot (or at least, she thought that's what the waiter had said his name was) came to check on them, she ordered a Manhattan.

After the first few rounds of drinks, pre-ordered appetizers were set, and she encouraged Damian to take generous samples of lobster egg rolls, spinach dip, prosciutto with crostini, bacon wrapped shrimp...anything appealing to him that the spread had to offer. She watched him all the while, taking in his various pleased expressions with delight, loving to see him so satisfied and spoiled by his dining experience. She looked forward, too, to the impact the luxurious meal would have on his waistline--the food might've been organic and health-conscious, but that did not mean it was all low calorie, and Zeke and Beans seemed to have sprung for the most festive--and most decadent--options from the menu.

Eventually, the servers returned to take the party's entree orders from a limited menu. Christyn was pleased to find one of the options to be the shrimp pasta she'd never gotten to try after she'd technically assaulted her date and stormed out of the restaurant, so she ordered that, and as for her husband, who had given her his menu and told her to order for him…

"What's the most fattening option?" she asked with a smirk. (She had downed two more cocktails by then, and her exhibitionist side had come out to play. He was so, so close to 240, and if he was willing to go a little further, she would love to see his gorgeously plump body hit its next milestone...)

Damian blushed scarlet and rose to at least half mast in his dress pants.

"That'd be the chicken and andoullie risotto, no contest!" said Elliot's banquet partner, whose name Christyn hadn't caught. Her tone was bright and enthusiastic, as if she hadn't just been asked the most bizarre menu question imaginable. She looked up from her pad and pen at each of them in turn. "Wait. Damian? Christyn?"

Christyn gave a self-conscious half-laugh. "Cashier from Cafe Alexis whose name I never learned."

"Lacie!" Damian grinned once he recognized her. She was more muscular now, more angular, and she'd cut her hair into a short pixie cut which she had spiked with gel. "Neat, you work here now?"

"Here and Memorial Lanes. Auralee is teaching me loads, and not just about barbacking."

This must be the new feeder girl Auralee and Sabine had mentioned a few times. The realization dawned then on Christyn: "You two…?"

"Briefly. I had to back off, though," explained Lacie. "I couldn't be with him in good conscience, knowing deep down he loved you. I knew you would come around. And look how well you've taken care of him!"

Christyn's heart swelled with joy. "I try my best," she said, leaning into him with her head on his shoulder, resting a hand on his plush upper arm.

She enjoyed her meal, but not quite as much as Damian enjoyed his, along with her leftovers when she couldn't finish. "That's it, darling, eat it all for me," she coaxed him through the last few bites in low tones the rest of the now-debauched crowd couldn't hear. "You're always so needy when you're stuffed, and I want you needy. I'm going to take you to the hotel after this, so I can strip your clothes off and drag you in front of the mirror and you can watch yourself jiggle all over while I play with you. And then, when you can't even take it anymore, I'll throw you on the bed and fuck you until you scream."

"Fuck, Chrissy, Sabine gon' kill me if I nut my pants at her wedding reception!"

Dessert came then, and he could only take a few bites of chocolate lava cake before he succumbed to satisfaction, leaning into her while she wrapped an arm around him and rubbed his shoulder.

On their way out, she bumped into the back of a man's barstool. "Oops! Sorry!" Maybe four cocktails wasn't such a bright idea on her part. Damian took her around the waist and helped steady her as her head swam with drunken floatiness. The man at the bar turned around.

"It's no problem at all--oh. Um. Hi Chris."

She should have expected to run into Paul. He was, after all, a regular here.

What's more, he was fat again, which took her by surprise. "You look well," she said, a little guarded. "Paul, this is my husband, Damian. Damian, this is Paul, my...um…" Did he count as an ex if they had only been on one date?

"The salad guy, right?" Damian finished for her, stifling laughter.

Paul winced. "That night wasn't one of my brightest moments."

"Well, you were punished for it," said Christyn. "Thanks, by the way, for not pressing charges."

"I was being a douche. Anyway, those pants haven't fit in a while, so it's not a big deal about the salad dressing stains." She hadn't wanted to bring up his weight at all, but it was something he seemed to feel the need to talk about. "These past few years, I've done a lot of work on myself and I've learned not to be judgmental of others' bodies, as well as accepting of my own. Of course, a big part of that was Meghan and Maia…"

"Therapists?" Christyn guessed.

"No, actually, they're, uh...they're my feeders," said Paul, "if that term means anything to you."

"Damn, how many of us are there in this city?" said Christyn.

Then, from Damian: "Bro, how come you get two?"
 

stevita

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Location
Texas
When they got to the hotel, Christyn had mostly sobered up, but she was sleepy. She'd been all big talk at the restaurant, but she would have to lay down for a minute before getting up to anything too kinky. She collapsed on the bed without unmaking it, and when Damian joined her, she curled up between his thighs with her head resting on his belly. "Is this okay?" she asked, not wanting to cause him any discomfort if he was still too full.

"Yeah, had time to digest on the way back," he said, gently playing with her hair. She lost track of how long she lay like that on him, until she felt something being propped against the top of her head.

"Damian, what is that?"

He startled beneath her. "Shit, Chrissy, I thought you was asleep!"

"What is that? On my head?"

"Um...someone left a book in here. Looked interesting."

"Do you always use me as a book rest when I'm asleep?"

"You use me as a pillow, so I think it's fair."

She was too comfortable to protest, or move, so she let him finish reading the first chapter. When he set the book aside, she scooted closer and kissed him softly.

They made sweet, gentle love in the missionary position, then showered, then went to bed, and when he rolled over to wrap an arm around her and told her he loved her, she said it back without hesitation.

***

"Alright, Ruth, you're on for catering. Anyway, I gotta let you go, we're pulling up at the shop here…"

It was Damian and Auralee in her car as he got off the phone, making a gesture with his hand to signify that Ruth Lambert had been talking his ear off for the last thirty minutes as she said her last thank-yous and goodbyes. His and Christyn's wedding was well into planning, and everyone at the Server House wanted in on it. As Christyn was busier out of the two, he had volunteered to interview people to cook, make drinks, and decorate for the event.

"Oh, cut her some slack, she's lonely," said Auralee as they got out of the car. "You know she's a virgin?"

Damian shrugged. He didn't need to know about the sex lives of his roommates. Then again, if Ruth didn't want her business spread around, she shouldn't have shared with the biggest gossip in the house. "Yeah," Auralee went on. "It sounded like her one and only relationship was really passionate. The guy was into feeding her, too, and she liked it. She's come to me for advice a few times on the subject. Unfortunately, that schmuck ghosted her."

"Poor thing," said Damian.

Maybe she should have let the fucker beat her at video games for once.

They stepped into the store, which was an upscale menswear place where Damian was to get fitted for his wedding tuxedo. He wished he could have gone with Christyn, but between the hotel, the agency, and a handful of private gigs she'd started picking up from regulars she met at her jobs, along with some revolutionary thing she wasn't telling him about, she was booked solid, and besides, Auralee had a lot of experience in helping 'men of his girth or larger' shop for formal wear.

Once he took a look around inside, a realization struck him. Every man he saw perusing the racks and shelves was bigger than he was by a considerable margin. "You took me to the fat guy store," he murmured, cracking a grin at the fact that he even qualified to be here.

"I sure did! Aren't you excited?"

She took him to the back, where a short, rotund white guy took his measurements, had him try on several pieces, and asked him a million questions: was this okay, did that pinch too tight, did he prefer to wear his pants at the natural waist, or underneath his belly?

"Underneath, I think," said Auralee, and Damian went ahead and trusted her. He knew she and Christyn talked.

"You're the future wife, I presume?" asked the tailor, and Damian was about to introduce Auralee as his friend or perhaps even his sister. Sometimes it felt that way between them. But then she had to ruin the moment as only she knew how to do.

"Ha! Let him put on another 200 and then, then maybe we'll talk."

Damian choked on his own spit and the tailor fumbled so badly with the pins he was holding that he stabbed himself several times in the palm at once.

He grabbed dinner with Auralee at a restaurant in the same strip mall and later, much later, they linked up with Alex at the Sapphire Lounge for some drinks. Zeke came in some time after that, said his hellos, and ordered a beer, but wouldn't stop glancing at his phone. This was normal as of late. It meant someone in the Server House was out doing something illegal, and he was on call in case they got arrested.

Thirty minutes before close, when Damian was four beers in and feeling happily buzzed, just about half the Server House flooded into the bar, at least forty people. "Hey, baby! Aura said y'all would be here." She hugged him where he sat on his barstool. She smelled like sweat and smoke, but not from cigarettes.

"Where you just come from?" he asked her.

"I...well I...you see…"

Sabine, who was closeby, gave her a sharp, he-deserves-to-know glare and said, "We were downtown, standing with the families of the Savannah warehouse workers."

He had known, of course, about the protest that day in several major US cities calling for the criminal investigation of the company that killed all those workers. Christyn had told him not to go, which he'd been happy to go along with, but that was before he knew he had been singled out specifically, and that literally everyone else was going.

He flagged down the bartender. "Double vodka, please."

It wasn't lost on Christyn that he was upset. She knew he hated vodka. "Damian…" She reached for his hand, but he jerked it away.

"Why wouldn't you tell me you were going?"

"I wanted you to be safe."

"Goddammit, Christyn! What's the point of keeping me safe if you won't let me live? Do you think I'm too stupid to come with you whenever you do these things? Or too weak?" He may not have been smart, that much he knew. But fuck it! He still believed in things.

"Damian, no! I don't think you're weak. I...I think I am."

"What does that even mean?"

Her and her weird logic sometimes.

A couple more doubles of absolute paint-thinner quality vodka later, he stormed out to the patio, where he sat on a bench, lit up a cigarette, and brooded. He hadn't wanted to blow up in front everyone from the Server House, but he was incensed by Christyn's latest act of exclusion.

"Hey, man." It was Zeke who came up behind him. "Look, I get it. I really do. Sometimes you gotta stick to the sidelines, though."

That's when Damian snapped once again. Standing up, he whipped around to face Zeke. "That's easy for you to say! You're a lawyer! They need you on standby in case somebody gets arrested! And what am I, huh? I'm just Chrissy's poster boy for fat liberation as a springboard to socialist revolution! Which is fine, but it's not all I want to do! How can she not get it?"

"Look, man, all she said was, stay out of it. She didn't say no 'stay out of it or else.' You could've gone if you wanted. She'd been worried off her shit, but it's not like she woulda hurt you. The cops mighta, though. Sides...

"You didn't see her when you were in jail," said Zeke, calm as ever. "Our girl was a wreck. She barely ate...she never smiled...it was like her soul left her body. You want to help her with the cause? Don't make her lose you again. Besides, I know you don't want to go back to jail. I sure don't."

Damian blinked. "You went to jail?"

Zeke, with his pressed suit and tie and 4.0 GPA, who never did anything more deviant than fuck a lot of girls or leave raw fries under the three compartment sink?

"It was another protest, back in 2014." Damian didn't remember what had gone down in 2014. He'd lived with Lily then, and she rarely remembered to pay the cable bill. But he didn't want to ask and make himself look like an idiot, so he let Zeke continue. "It was peaceful, until Houston's finest showed up and started throwing flash grenades at us. This one lands right between my feet. So I, uh...I pulled the pin outta that ho and threw it back."

Damian laughed. "Knew there was a reason I liked you."

"Ain't no laughing matter, kid. Things coulda ended up real bad for me. But my public defender actually gave a shit, and got me off in the end. That's when I decided to go into criminal defense.

"Now, look. As your friend, I'm gonna tell you, you are allowed to say no to Chrissy if you want. She already knows. Trust me. But as her friend...be careful with that girl's heart, okay?"

Damian had mixed feelings as he and Zeke walked back into the bar together. He was calmer now, but then he saw Christyn, trying to give her soldiers attention as they all fought for it, but misty-eyed and looking around the room to see where he'd gone, and her pain became his own. He approached her and held her tightly.

"You're not mad at me anymore?" she asked softly.

"Just glad you're here. Sides, Sarah got a boyfriend now, so I'm all out of backup plans." She kneed him in the leg, but it was playful, and anyway, he was too drunk to feel it.

"Seriously though, Damian, I'm sorry. I should have given you a choice."

"I always had a choice. I'm not your slave," he pointed out. "Just a bit of a sucker for you is all."

It wouldn't be so bad, he decided, being the safe, responsible one of the two, at least until she learned to believe in herself more. One day she'd know that as long as she was fine, he would be, too. No matter what kind of trouble he got himself into, he had no doubt she would save him sooner or later.
 
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stevita

like the pancake
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
238
Location
Texas
THIRTY-FIVE

A strange thing happened on Christyn's way home from the retirement facility one afternoon.

She was stopping at the Lebanese bakery: Damian had really enjoyed baklava the first time, and even if she had recently narrowly escaped having to beg his forgiveness--she didn't know what Zeke had said to him, but it had worked--she thought she might get him a treat anyway for no other reason than she loved him.

The robust, dark-haired woman in line ahead of her was placing an impressive order for a large box of ma’amul and three dozen znoud el-sit, plus more cheese qatayif than Christyn thought she would be able to carry. Or maybe she would manage it: she had to be used to carrying a lot of weight already. She was easily as wide as two of Christyn, and Christyn wasn't skinny, having made a full recovery from her long depressive stint.

The woman turned around to face her and said with a broad smile, "Sorry about the wait. My man gave me a large sum of money and instructed that I spend every cent on sweets for myself. He likes to keep me soft and cuddly."

"It's no trouble." Christyn wasn't fazed by the woman's admission to a total stranger about being in a feedist relationship that also seemed to have a splash of financial domination. Maybe telling people about it was part of their kink. She could relate. "It gives me more time to decide what I want. I was just gonna get some baklava, but maybe I'll get some of those cheese things, too." Auralee would love those.

"You should get whatever you want!" said the woman. "You deserve a nice fattening treat. Fat women are so much more superior to thin women. My man taught me that."

Christyn shifted her weight from one foot to the other. She was in that in-between zone and wasn't sure if she was being fat-praised or thin-shamed. Not that she cared too much. She liked her body. And Damian loved it. What else mattered?

"Oh, I'm actually here for my husband. He's more of the feedee in our relationship, if that means anything to you."

"Isn't that a little reversed?"

"Isn't that a little gender-conformist?" Christyn knew most of the feeders online were men, but she chalked that up to the fact that women were conditioned to be less sexually assertive and feedees were stereotyped to be submissive.

"You always struck me as a tough one to tame, Christyn."

What?

Christyn racked her brain, trying to figure out how she knew this woman. Just then, the cashier finished packing her sweets and rung her up. She paid, took her two hefty sacks of purchases, and said, "Until we meet again!"

Just as the woman reached the exit, Christyn remembered where she'd seen her. Bella Alba was a good deal heavier than she had been when Christyn saw her at Stella's apartment, but her features were still recognizable if she looked hard enough. So, Bella was a practicing feedee now? Good for her. "Hey Bella, do you still work at the nail shop on Hammerly?" she asked, but Bella didn't turn around or answer her, just walked out the door.

***

It wasn't uncommon these days for Christyn and Damian to both be awake before the crack of dawn; they both had jobs that demanded long commutes and early shifts. She was assembling her stuff in the kitchen--cocktail shaker, bar spoon, ice tray, spill mats, freshly printed menus--when he came downstairs, groggy but fully dressed for his kitchen shift. "Whoa, what's all this stuff?"

"I'm working a wedding in Spring today. I have to be there by ten, and Lizaveta doesn't get great highway speeds. Check it out." She handed him one of her cocktail menus. She had never actually met the client, Felicity Ogden, face to face, but her email had said that she'd heard a load about Christyn's talent for inventing cocktails from a friend who used to be her bar regular at the Capital. "The bride asked me to come up with all these signature cocktails for the reception, and I'm thinking of using some of them for ours."

"Mmm, whiskey and Irish Cream with whole cream, soda, homemade blueberry syrup, and egg white foam...sounds delicious!"

"Ah, shit." Felicity had asked her to strike that one. Said it was too fattening. "Now I need to reprint every single one of these."

While she was making her last-minute preparations, Damian rushed out the door for work. She would have hoped for a kiss goodbye, but he was about to be late. So was she, to be honest.

Funny, how missing one person could make her feel so wanting even after only a minute, even in a house full of almost a hundred servers and cooks.

The drive to Spring was long and uneventful. She kept the windows down and the radio blasting the rock mix station, which she distinctly remembered was the same station Jesse played in his car. She had thought about changing it, but decided not to what now seemed like long ago. She didn't have many reliable memories of her time with Jesse; she was sure he had warped her experiences with his gaslighting, but she was also sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that this had been her radio station since long before she met him. He had probably changed the station in his car to match hers after hearing her playing it in order to trick her into trusting him.

And he had already taken so much from her. According to Auralee, she started seeing him shortly after her twenty-second birthday, so that was, what, around two and a half years of her life?

Damned if she was going to let him take her radio station, too.

When she arrived at the wedding venue, she was met by one of the bridesmaids, a brunette in a green dress who looked distressed. "You must be the bartender! Great, we have an emergency. The waitress never showed up, and Felicity needs you to serve at cocktail hour before the ceremony."

Christyn was barely even out of her car yet. "Yikes. Then when am I supposed to set up the bar?"

"Right after cocktail hour. I know, it'll be tight for time."

No kidding. It meant Christyn would have to work straight through without a break. "Ms. Ogden didn't tell me anything about having to serve in addition to bartending--"

"I know, I know, trust me, I'm stressed too. But at least she's paying you. All I got was this lousy dress. Oh, by the way, she says she'll increase your wage to $30 an hour while you're waitressing, if that helps."

On the one hand, no lunch break.

On the other hand, more money.

She accompanied the bridesmaid up to the kitchens and got started loading trays with passed appetizers and flutes of champagne.

The shift wore on hour by hour, long and monotonous. There were a few other staff members, but so many guests to serve between them all that she never got a word in with them edgewise. While the ceremony was going on, she set up the bar, and almost the moment she was done, she was slammed with people coming up for drinks. She barely had a moment to breathe, the crowd was so thick, and so eager to get their buzz.

Eventually, the reception dinner started to wind down. As she was beginning to clean up, she saw the groom having a conversation with his new wife. He seemed to ask her permission for something before he walked up to Christyn's counter and stuffed a $20 into her overflowing tip jar. "Excuse me, Miss," he said, his tone polite almost to the point of meekness, "but before you break down, may I have a vodka soda, and one of your bell pepper mojitos for Felicity? She loves that one."

"You don't want a fancy drink, too?" she asked as she began to muddle mint and limes for the bride's cocktail.

"Watching my sugar. I want to look good for the new Mrs., you know?"

She appraised him briefly. He wasn't bad looking. Especially a little disheveled with his hair windswept from dancing, jacket cast off and his shirt sleeves rolled to the elbow. Christyn, however, preferred her expensive menswear filled out with a little more man these days than the groom's thin frame had to offer.

His covetous gaze at the glass as she strained the fruity drink over ice didn't escape her notice. "You want to, or she wants you to?" Ordinarily she wouldn't be so blunt, but she was exhausted after working all day and was losing her filter.

He flushed. "Well, she did give me a list of what I should order...but I'm inclined to agree with her in all things."

"Surely not all things…?"

"I might not always like it, but Felicity knows what's best for me."

Christyn wanted to gag. She couldn't imagine how anyone could be happily involved with such a sycophant. Even Damian knew when to push back when Christyn got too wrapped up in one of her overprotective moods.

Then again, someone like Jesse Markham would enjoy being unconditionally acquiesced to, but he wasn't so much in the market for a partner as for a subject over which he could rule like a vengeful God.
 
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stevita

like the pancake
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
238
Location
Texas
As he continued to gaze at the sweet mojito, Christyn felt a pang of sympathy. As she prepared his vodka soda, she snuck in a splash of lemon juice and a generous squirt of simple syrup. When he reached across the bar for the drinks, she noticed a thin leather band secured tightly around his wrist on the same side as his wedding ring, held in place with a silver buckle, but thought nothing of it at the time.

"There you are!" Felicity escaped the crowd to join her husband at the bar, holding an empty plate. "What's that, honey?" She looked at Christyn and asked her, "What did he order?"

Christyn wasn't sure who she felt sorrier for.

"A vodka soda. I spiked it with a little lemon juice. It's good for the metabolism."

"Yes, yes, I read that!" said Felicity, nodding with approval and prying no further. "Anyway, why don't you get yourself some dinner from the buffet before they break it down?" She handed Christyn the plate.

Christyn was, of course, starving, having not eaten since breakfast at the house. She took the plate, not even bothering to wipe it down even though it was still damp from the dishwasher, walked over to the buffet, and loaded it up with shrimp and cocktail sauce and some sort of kale and couscous salad. She wished there was something a little denser on the spread, but this would have to do. She returned to the bar with her meal, intending to finish cleaning up once she was done eating, but she hadn't even gotten halfway through her meal before collapsing, ass-over-tits, on her back behind the counter.

***

Damian returned from work to find the whole Server House gathered on the ground floor, making phone calls.

"What are we doing tonight?" he asked Recheena as she hung up the phone while she passed him in the hall.

"There's a restaurant that been making their servers work twelvers with no break," she explained. "Someone posted about it in the server group I'm in online. So now, we all calling the place, puttin' in to-go orders we ain't never gonna come pick up or pay for. They want to do our people dirty? We'll waste their time and their money." So, a typical night in, then. "You down?"

"Bet!" He was a little iffy about the food waste--there were starving homeless people who would love to have whatever the restaurant was forced to discard thanks to this mass call-in--but it wasn't like the restaurant was going to donate its unused backstock to a good cause anyway. And with so much unclaimed to-go food sitting on the line, hopefully the servers would be able to snatch some of it on their way out for the night.

She pulled up the menu on her phone and he looked through it. Damn! Bacon wrapped meatloaf with garlic mash and creamed spinach...shrimp and lobster egg rolls...snapper over asparagus and coconut ginger rice topped with mango pineapple pico and lemon butter sauce…

"If this wasn't a evil soul sucking company that we're not tryna give money to I might actually order from here," he said.

"Feel that. Too bad the restaurant in Michigan."

He called in and ordered a good quarter of the menu, left a fake name for the ticket, and then repeated the process online through the restaurant's website. It was too bad they would be closed by the time Christyn returned from work. She loved pissing off shitty restaurant owners. He thought about texting her the details in case she got a chance to call in over her break, but he didn't know how strict her client would be about phone use. He would have to settle for telling her all about it in the morning.

Only, she wasn't back by morning.

***

Christyn awoke on a cold tile floor.

She didn't remember leaving the wedding and suspected she hadn't; at least, not on her own two feet. Painstakingly, she staggered upright. Her mouth was dry and her head throbbed from dehydration. It was light outside, she could tell from the small window, but she didn't know how long she had been out for.

She was in some kind of...actually, she couldn't tell what kind of room it was. There were cupboards and a counter, along with a microwave and a sink, but no fridge and no stove. Thinking quickly, she threw open every cabinet and drawer. They were full of kitchen supplies--mostly Ziploc bags and rolls of plastic and foil--but she did manage to find a knife. She wrapped the blade up in paper towels from a roll that was sitting on the counter and slipped it down her shirt.

There was also a phone on the wall. She tried the door first, of course, but when that was locked, she took the receiver off the hook and dialed the most reliable help-line she knew.

"Auralee speaking."

"Aura! Aura, listen, it's Christyn. There's an excellent reason why I haven't come home, and I don't know where I am right now...I'm in a locked room…oh god, Aura, please do something--"

"Hang on, I'll call the cops on the other line and connect you--"

"AURA, NO!"

Even if Auralee had the world at her fingertips--or maybe because she did--she could be so naive sometimes.

"For all we know, it's the cops that fucking abducted me!"

"What would the cops want with you now?"

"Auralee, I am the leader of a militant grassroots workers' rights organization!" Christyn snapped. "I know we've been careful, but who knows what they already know? Don't you have people you can call? Private security?"

"I can try and contract some guys, but first I need to figure out where you are. Stay on the line, I have my dad's old police call-tracing software on my computer."

That was when Christyn noticed a faint odor filling the air, along with a thin, swirling smoke. She whipped around to see it was coming from a vent by the ceiling. She began to feel drowsy. "I don't know how long I can do that."

"Just stay with me, Chrissy."

Christyn left the phone off the hook, dangling by its cord, as she flew to the window and pounded on it so hard with the butt of her fist that it broke. But there was no way she was squeezing through that thing. The hole she'd punched in it was letting the gas out, but not fast enough.

She tried to hold her breath. She actually lasted a good solid while. But eventually, she succumbed.

***

Damian arrived home from work to find Auralee scrambling to her room, looking frantic. For being stumbling drunk, she sure moved with a sense of urgency. Curious, he followed her, standing in the doorway as she shoved a few roommates out of the way to pull her laptop out from under her bottom-bunk.

"Where's the fire?"

Auralee connected her phone to her computer and opened up something that looked like location-tracking software, but said nothing. For several minutes, he watched her while she worked, manicured fingers typing rapidly and then backspacing over drunken mistakes. Then, she swore under her breath. "I lost the signal, she must have hung up. Or somebody did."

"Whatcha doin'?" Damian asked.

Auralee stood up and led him into an empty room. Closing the door behind her, she said, "Don't panic, and don't tell the rest of the Server House. I'm not trying to incite hysteria here. But Chrissy got herself kidnapped."

***

Christyn faded in and out. She felt like she was perpetually falling, then passing out again, then barely coming to but too weak to stand, and yet, somehow lifted, manipulated, before she was falling again. She had no clear notion of the passage of time--no clear notion of anything, really, except for at one point, when a hauntingly familiar voice drawled into her ear, "Did you miss me, kitten?"

When she awoke fully, she was sitting in a steel chair. It was meant to have cushions on the backrest and the seat, but those were missing, subjecting her to the cold, hard bars of the frame. Her pants, socks, and shoes had been removed, but her shirt was still on her, and the hilt of the knife was untouched between the bottoms of her breasts.

As for how she hadn't fallen off the chair in her sleep, she was secured to the armrests tightly by the wrists and forearms, all the way up to the elbow, with rough rope that threatened to scrape her skin if she so much as squirmed.

She should have known this had something to do with Jesse Markham. He must be the friend of the bride who had given her a referral. Come to think of it, Felicity had come across as the controlling type. That wristband the groom had worn, was that his slave collar? Felicity and Jesse had probably bonded over the fact that they were both powermad abuse enthusiasts using BDSM as an excuse to be as heinous as they pleased.

And that dinner plate she had thought was simply wet from the dishwasher: she'd bet anything now that it had actually been coated with a strong sedative.

The chair was wide-set--she wondered if Jesse planned to put her through some force-feeding regimen. Maybe after fattening up Estrella, he'd fallen down the rabbit hole and gotten addicted.

For some reason, she found herself more or less neutral to the idea. Better to be fed than starved, she thought. She also felt dazed and oddly euphoric.

That was when she noticed the IV stuck in her left arm, connected to a bag on a stand. She struggled, or at least, made an attempt to, but the chair was heavy and her limbs were leaden.

The room was plain and windowless, lit only by a single bulb dangling from the ceiling. The door, she realized, must be obscured in the shadowed extremities of the space.

Before too long, out of those shadows stepped Estrella.

"My God, you've gotten fat," Christyn blurted, somehow bold despite her own compromising partial nudity. She didn't know why. "I didn't even recognize you at the Lebanese bakery."

Was she trying to get a rise out of Estrella? Or test the waters to see just what Jesse had done to her mind? It was anyone's guess.
 
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stevita

like the pancake
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
Messages
238
Location
Texas
"I know!" beamed Estrella. "Master is so good to me. He feeds me lots and makes sure I'm never hungry. Maybe if you're good, and you submit, Master will be just as good to you."

Think, Christyn, think!

Okay. Obviously, she was tied to a chair and she had been drugged. She was powerless against Jesse. Estrella, on the other hand, was free to move about as she pleased. At least, Christyn deduced as much, if she was allowed to come down and see her alone like this.

If she could get into her head, perhaps sway her loyalty…

She should have thought of this plan the moment Estrella entered the room, but she was just so tired, and disoriented, and stupidly happy…

"Why did you come here?"

"I wanted to see what Master saw in you. You're said to be witty, but I don't see it. And you've got a pretty face, but you're pitifully skinny."

"Listen to yourself, Estrella," she said. She heard herself slurring, but couldn't help it. "This isn't you. Back when we were friends, you would never shut up about your diet. On your own free will, you starved yourself until your airbag failed to deploy!"

"I know. Master saved me from such self-destructive behaviors."

"You used to give me flack for ordering extra salad dressing. Remember, Estrella? You thought I was fat. You thought I was disgusting! And now, look what Jesse Markham has done to you!"

"M-maybe deep down it was because I was jealous!" Estrella retorted. "Maybe I wanted to be the fat friend instead, so I tried to make you lose weight."

"Careful, honey, your cognitive dissonance is showing."

"Shut up!' Estrella screeched. "Shut up, shut up, shut up! Master has enhanced me. He's turned me into the perfect slave--a chance you squandered when you ran off with that idiot barback!"

"You mean the one you were obsessed with?"

Something in Estrella's expression shifted.

Relief washed over Christyn. She had found an in. "Don't you remember?" She let her voice drop low and slow, using the same tones she'd once used to lure Damian out from behind the driver's seat of his car. "You loved him. You loved him so much you held a gun to my head! Jesse told you he would help you win him back, and then he betrayed you. Oh, but that obsession is still inside you somewhere, isn't it? Burning, small but inextinguishable, like a pilot light. Imagine that light burning brighter and brighter…"

"Wh-what are you doing to me?"

"Hotter and hotter, brighter and brighter. Oh, you can feel it, can't you?" She raised her pitch, letting her voice sensually pick up speed. "Burning brighter and brighter! Hotter and hotter! Until you can feel that old familiar spark consuming your whole heart!"

Estrella had gone quiet.

"I'm going to count backwards now from three, and snap my fingers," said Christyn, "and when I do, you're going to say his name. Three...two...one."

SNAP!

"Damian…"

As his name fell from her lips, wet pools of sadness settled into her eyes.

"If you have any doubt that what I'm saying is true," said Christyn, feeling like she'd gotten through, "then go back to your Master. But if not, I have a knife down my shirt. Take it off me and do what you will."

Estrella took four shaky steps forward and reached down Christyn's shirt, gripping the knife's hilt. Maybe she would stab Jesse in the back with it.

Or maybe she would take one look at herself in the mirror and slit her wrists.

Either way, it was a win.

***

Christyn wasn't sure how long she had been tied up, but eventually, the bag ran dry.

The man that came in to replace it was barely recognizable as Jesse Markham. The too-blue eyes were the same, but different--they looked sunken in their sockets against his cheekbones.

Jesus. He had cheekbones now.

His hairline had receded a little further, his hair graying slightly, and he had lost a lot of weight. He was broad in the shoulder enough that his newly narrow waist made him look disproportionate. Dehydrated. He was wearing skinny jeans and a thin wifebeater. Christyn snickered at the sight of him. Ugly shirt, uglier name.

She thought to herself with satisfaction that Damian could've easily snapped him in half.

"Good morning, my adorable slave-kitten."

Of course, Christyn had no way of knowing whether it was morning, or evening, or sometime in between, or outside of that timeframe entirely. His words might have disturbed her more if he had given her a window and managed to convince her that it was morning, despite a view of a starry night outside. As it was, she found it hard to worry about anything. She still felt so floaty and dreamy, and bold, and something like invincible. Had she not, after all, figured out his tricks? She could now induce a trance as well as he could, maybe better.

Maybe if she could just find a way into his mind…

"The correct response, kitten, is 'Good morning, Master,'" said Jesse. Christyn laughed in his face and spat on the floor. He narrowed his eyes. "My my, how uncouth. But I suppose that's to be expected. I trust by now you've figured out what's in the bag?"

He switched the empty IV bag out for the new one he had in his hands.

"Ethanol," she slurred. When he didn't contradict her, she knew she had guessed correctly. It wasn't so bad. At least she got to be drunk while he held her captive in this state of indecency.

"You always were a smart, smart girl!" Jesse praised her, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. She didn't quite have enough wits about her to recoil like she wanted to. "But you've always had a bad habit of being attracted to things that are bad for you. First, the bottle, then, Ms. Kingston, and finally, that lowlife Mexican."

"A brute, an abuser, and a racist. Well, aren't you quite the prize?"

SMACK!

The back of his hand connected with her face, but she barely felt the blow. Either he was much, much weaker than she had ever known him, or she was plastered.

"Careful, kitten. Your sharp tongue makes my hand itch. But you won't be using it for much longer." He gave the IV bag a careful flick. "You see, in a few weeks, you'll be quite brain-damaged. You won't be able to make any of the bad decisions you're so wont to make anymore. Instead, your Master will make them for you. You'll withdraw, of course, once I take you off the ethanol, but you won't be able to reach for the bottle. In fact, you won't even know what it is. You won't even remember your own name. But no matter; I'll give you a new one. I'm feeling Fluffy. You'll be right as rain before you know it, and then? You'll crawl on hands and knees because you'll no longer have the motor function to stand, and you'll eat from a bowl on the floor, just like a good little kitten."

Suddenly, things were not OK anymore.

She struggled in her bonds. The rough ropes opened up tiny scrapes in her arms, but she couldn't feel the pain. "You can't keep me like this for weeks! How am I supposed to use the can?"

Then, she remembered her pantslessness, and before he even spoke, she realized the answer.

"Whenever you need, I'll place a bucket underneath that chair."

***

Time passed. Christyn ruminated. Maybe she shouldn't have been so flip and glib with Jesse. Then again...maybe if she started to pretend to acquiesce to him, her initial resistance would make her performance more convincing. Then, his confidence in his ability to reign her in bolstered, he might be persuaded to permit her a favor, such as a phone call.

Jesse replaced the IV bag one more time and a while later, Estrella came in with a hotel lobby, Continental breakfast sized box of cereal. "Master says you need to eat." She tore the box open, grabbed Christyn by the throat, and poured the cereal into her mouth. A lot of it missed, landing on the floor or else down her shirt.

"You're not very good at this," said Christyn, when she wasn't attempting to crunch dry cereal in her already dry mouth. Shouldn't Estrella know how to serve food, after working in the restaurant industry? Or was she now so severely gaslighted that she had no concept of silverware anymore?

"Well, what exactly do you want from me, slave?"

"Well, for one, some milk. And maybe you could use a spoon?"

"Demanding brat." Estrella started to heave her bulk out of the room, when Christyn suddenly had an idea.

"Wait! Kind, beautiful Estrella. Sweet lady. Mistress."

Estrella quickly turned. Jesse had clearly been stingy with his affection, if Estrella was so easily swayed by being called a few nice names. "What is it, slave girl?"

"It's just that...you're so beautiful. I should wish to be beautiful for Master. Not as beautiful as you are, of course...but more beautiful than I am now. I'll need to eat, Estrella. And I really don't like cereal.

"Don't you want to make me more pleasing to our Master?"

Estrella's jaw tightened. Then slackened. "What do you want?"

"If my beautiful Mistress Estrella could bring her starving, pathetic charge some scrambled eggs with cheese, she will be most grateful," said Christyn. "In fact, if you'd like to bring me my phone, I could wire you the money."

"What a gracious girl you're becoming! That won't be necessary, though; I'll just use the cash in your bag."

Curses. Foiled again.

But at least the next time Estrella came in, she had a box of scrambled eggs, still steaming and warm. Between bites that she awkwardly spooned into Christyn's mouth, spilling a considerable bit in her lap, Christyn asked, "Does Master get angry when you spill on him like this?"

"Master prefers to feed himself. He likes to retain control," said Estrella.
 
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