Your Night to Remember (mm hypno)

~written especially for Hyptrance~

Copyright © 2009

IMPORTANT: Any use of the words "boy" or "lad" within this story refer strictly to the legal-age protagonists and indicates only their youthful mindset and immature attitudes. It in no way is intended to refer to anyone who is underage.

He walked into the room as if he owned it. There was no arrogance or pomposity in his gait, but he exuded confidence as he made his way across the floor and around the room, extended the occasional nod or smile. He was dressed impeccably in a tuxedo, as was every other male present, yet he was the only one who seemed truly at home in his. The formal wear was as much an extension of him as was his thick hair or his wry smile. The hair, which hung in loose bangs over his forehead, was carefully prepared and coiffed to look as if it had been left to fall haphazardly on its own. The smile, which came so easily to him, put at ease those whom he met as he passed by, allowing him that moment of extra time to observe behaviors, interactions, and responses which he knew would be invaluable for him to recall later. His name was Rosco Bomer, and he was a hypnotist. And he was exceptionally good at his job.

Rosco had been hired to provide the evening's entertainment at a high school senior prom. As the boys squirmed and fidgeted in their unaccustomed tuxedos, Rosco alone seemed perfectly at home in his, the fit tailor-made and the only one in the room that was not a rental. He watched the girls, some pretty, some plain, most of them seeming quite happy. All of them provided a direct contrast to the boys in that they were actually quite happy for the chance to dress up. He watched them all, his eyes taking everything in, summing it up.

The attendees weren't quite sure who he was or what to make of him. It was still quite early in the evening and the room was just beginning to fill up. He looked young enough that some of the kids assumed he was a senior from another school who came as someone's date. Others thought perhaps he went to their school but was one of those background lurkers whom they'd never noticed before. One or two of the sharper students realized that his confidence and poise pegged him as an adult, and thus he was thought to be some kind of chaperone, perhaps a college student or teacher's assistant. How old was he, anyway? His appearance was youthful yet just ambiguous enough that it was hard to tell. Some gauged his age at early twenties, others mid-twenties. A few bolder guesses put him at 26 or 27. Surely not more than 28. And there was no way he could be thirty. Whichever estimate was correct, he never said. No one had the nerve to ask, and he never offered.

What he did do was stride casually about the floor, observing. At least at first. He saw the nervous girls and the spectacled virgin boys nervously fingering their pockets to double-check the presence of condoms or motel keys. He could tell at a glance which boys had been dragged there, which girls had enticed their dates, their corsages, and dinners with sexual blackmail. He could spot the two boys whose pampered dates were unknowing beards, as they held the lovely young dames tight while secretly eyeing each other from across the room. He also noticed one openly-gay couple in their garishly bright tuxedos and excessive hairstyles, using bravado to mask the fact that they were both scared shitless to be attending together. Conversely, Rosco also noticed the two conservatively-attired boys sitting at a table in the back, hands held gently together between their cups of soda, not quite so afraid but content not to be noticed. Some girls giggled and flirted with the handsome Rosco as he passed, some of the less-secure boys puffed themselves up and threw out threatening glances that only made them look comical. After one pass of the entire room, Rosco was done observing and was ready to mingle.

Rosco chatted with people at random, usually complimenting the dresses of the girls, how impressive the tuxes looked on the boys. Casual banter came very easily to Rosco, and every person to whom he spoke was quickly disarmed and found him likable and charming company. When the questions inevitably started, "Who are you here with?", "Where do you go to school?", and finally the more blunt, "Who are you?" and "What are you doing here?", Rosco brushed them all aside without ever sounding rude or terse.

"You'll see", he would smile, and for some, whom he eyed with a strange sense of promise, he would say, "That's for later."

Everybody found him to be fun and friendly, yet nobody seemed to know him. Almost nobody.

A senior student with rugged good looks moved past the dashing hypnotist, making every effort not to look at him. It was clear that he alone knew who the mysterious stranger was, but wanted no one else to realize it. The boy pulled a bit at his shirt collar, clearly uncomfortable in the formal wear, his face and mannerisms indicating he'd be more at home and at ease in a sleeveless plaid shirt, blue jeans, and work boots. As he let his hand drop from his stiff collar, his cuff caught on the pin of his boutonnière. He barely contained his cursing. The rugged lad had a girl on his arm, an attractive young lady in a yellow gown that matched the flowers of the sticking boutonnière. The farm boy seemed not to notice her. His eyes were instead upon a tall emo lad just a few feet away. This boy had a shock of black hair that hung over one eye and although he looked more at home in his tux than the other boy did, it was apparent he belonged in something like leather and dangling chains. The girl he walked beside and doted upon was even prettier than the farm boy's escort. This girl's lavish lavender and midnight blue gown not only matched the small flower on her date's lapel, but also the streaks dyed into his hair. It was hard to determine at first which of the cute couple was wearing more eye makeup.

When the emo boy caught sight of the farm boy, they briefly made eye contact. Emo flashed a bright smile at Farm Boy, with just a hint of malice behind it. Farm Boy had daggers for him in return. The emo boy lifted his date's arm in his and kissed her gently on the back of her hand. As he glanced back at the farm boy, the message in his eyes was clear. I've got her and you don't. The farm boy held up his own date's hand, his fingers tightly interlaced with hers, and actually shook her hand back at the other couple. See? I've got mine too, smartass. He then turned away so brusquely that he nearly yanked his date off her feet. He was oblivious. As the farm boy dragged his hapless lady across the floor, he looked the hypnotist right in the eye. The hypnotist looked back. Upon seeing contact was made, the farm boy gave a sharp jerk of his head, indicating the emo boy behind him. Once again, his message was clear. That's him. The hypnotist nodded discreetly in acknowledgment. In fact, his response was sufficiently discreet that the farm boy didn't pick up on it at first. He began to stride toward the hypnotist, his girl in tow, when the handsome older man with the slightly wild hair nodded again, more intently, and with a quick look of his eyes, indicated that the farm boy should simply move along. The lad paused for a moment, registering the signal, then moved on. The hypnotist continued on his way, shaking his head ever so slightly. The farm boy was not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Rosco the hypnotist, however, was. As the student deejay began to play his selections and slowly the floor filled up with young dancers, Rosco continued to observe, seeing who was the most comfortable on the open floor, who was shuffling with the least invested movement. After the first two fast dances and partway into the first slow dance, Rosco knew what he wanted to know. As there was a brief break in the tunes, kids made their way to the punch bowl and trays of cookies and brownies. Rosco made his way along the line, taking nothing in the way of food, but making friendly comments, offering smiles, lingering here and there at strategic points with specific persons.

Rosco made his way to the VIP section of the floor. There was a small roped-off section of the room reserved for VIP guests. The prom-goers in this section were not necessarily special themselves. They merely paid a few extra bucks to be treated that way. By paying a more exorbitant fee for their tickets, VIP guests got to sit in the special section on slightly nicer chairs, at slightly larger tables. Complimentary coursages and floral arrangements dotted the tabletops (more for decorations and take-home keepsakes than as functional accessories), and one of the chaperones saw to it that a separate tray of snacks, identical to those everyone else lined up for, remained close at hand and readily accessible from their seats. It wasn't much in the way of VIP, but the extra expense went to some worthy cause or other, and it helped some of the boys make their dates feel a little more special. One or two of the poorer kids shot spiteful glances at those in the VIP section, but everyone else seemed to take it for what it was. That is, except for those locked in competition.

The emo boy made quite a show of guding his date delicately by the hand into her seat at their VIP table. He pulled back her chair, held her hand until she was seated, delicately brushed her shoulder as he passed, and kissed her lightly on the cheek as he sat down. Rosco smiled. The display was obviously more for the benefit of onlookers, but the hypnotist still found it charming. This one was a performer. Then in came the farmboy, his date's hand clenched in his fist, her dragging behind him. He shot a look of malevolence with intent to kill at the emo lad, and forecully yanked a chair away from his VIP table, slamming its legs into the floor. He jerked a finger at the empty seat, indicating that his girl should plant her ass there. He sat down, neither noticing nor caring about his date's welfare as she situated herself, and he glared at the emo boy two tables away. Rosco rolled his eyes. Oh, brother. Rosco continued to work the VIP section, saying hello to everyone there, commenting on the snacks, mentioning the music, how well they all danced. Completing his assessments, making his choices. He also made note of their names. Scattered upon the walls throughout the room, everyone could find his or her name, listed as couples, upon construction paper, scrawled in magic marker, with the prom theme, Your Night To Remember, written across the top. But on the VIP tables, these cards were much larger, made of sturdier cardboard, names affixed in glitter, festooned with gauzy ribbons.

Rosco looked at the emo boy's table and saw their garish little heart-shaped tag read Adam & Christine. He made a point to remember that. As he walked out of the VIP section, Rosco also noted the names upon the table of the pouting farm boy and his neglected date. Kris & Lacey. He made a point to remember that, too.

The night was at its halfway point when one of the chaperones silenced the music and took the microphone. The speaker rambled on a bit about how lovely everyone looked, allowing the time necessary for those lingering at the snack tables or with the photographer out in the hall to make their way back to their seats. "Tonight we have a special surprise for everyone", came the announcement. "Although fun diversions galore await later at tonight's post-prom party, it was decided that something extra special was in order for the prom itself. Young ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage, Hypnotist Rosco Bomer!" A few kids looked around at the word 'hypnotist', uncertain what to expect, clearly nervous it might be directed at them. Others sat up straighter to get a better look at what was to come, anxious to see their friends and classmates magically humiliated. Everyone applauded loudly as their new buddy with the floppy hair and ready smile took the stage.

Rosco grinned, taking the mic from the departing chaperone. To the audience, he smiled, "Told you you'd find out who I was." A small ripple of laughter. With an easy gesture, Rosco pulled the microphone from its stand and set the stand aside. "Yes, I am your hypnotist for the evening, and as you may already know, that makes YOU the stars of the show." Nervous laughter this time. "Fear not", Rosco assured them. "Hypnosis does not make a person do anything they don't want to do--but frankly, some of you will be pretty amazed at what you secretly want, and are willing, to do." Guys clapped and cheered loudly. Rosco held up a hand to silence them. "Now, I only work with volunteers. No one will be forced to come up on stage if he or she doesn't want to. Some of you will be relieved to know that." Looking around the room, he could see that several students did breathe a sigh of relief at that. "What some of you may not know, however, is that I already have my volunteers." Puzzled looks filled the crowd, as students stared blankly first at Rosco, then around at each other.

"As you are all no doubt aware", Rosco continued, "I had the privilege of wandering about among you this evening and got to meet just about everyone. What you are not aware of is that during that time, some of you sent me unspoken signals which even you may not have been conscious of. That signal translated into two words." Rosco pulled the mic close to his mouth for effect, as he whispered eerily, "Pick me."

"Oooh"s and "Uh-ohh"s filtered around the room. Before they could begin to guess who had unwittingly volunteered, the students saw someone offstage toss up a small doll to Rosco. The hypnotist held it aloft. It was a 12-inch tall plush doll in a tuxedo, with a comical face that looked something like Rosco. "This", he announced, "is Little Rosco." He paused for the few anticipated male snickers. "Get it out of the gutter, fellas." Big laugh at that one. Going on, he explained, "Little Rosco is going to help those of you who are my volunteers realize just who you are." The deejay and his assistants were setting up a line of chairs behind Rosco as he spoke. Rosco indicated that one be brought up beside him. He set Little Rosco atop the chair back. "Now, some of you out there are already hypnotized, believe it or not." This got many nervous and amused stares and sideways glances from the group. "I was able to do so easily as I walked among you. Little Rosco will now help point out which ones you are." He went through some amusing bits of business with straightening Little Rosco's tie, arranging his dangling legs in a casual pose. "Now! I stress here that only those who experience what I am about to describe are to respond. Do not fake it in attempt to join in. I'll spot you out. For those of you who DO experience it, do not be concerned, just go with it." He had everyone in rapt attention. The room was silent with anticipation.

"As I lift Little Rosco's right hand", he announced clearly, some of you will feel your OWN right hand float up into the air. This is not your doing, just go with it and let it happen. Do not make an attempt to try to resist, I assure you it just won't work." He paused for effect, then, "Watch closely." Rosco gently lifted the doll's right hand upwards, as if the toy were raising his hand in class. In response, several kids scattered around the room, found their own hands mysteriously rising into the air, slowly, inexorably, unstoppable. In another moment, the room of seated prom-goers was peppered with raised hands, eleven in all. Whispers and giggles abounded. Girls looked at their dates, boys looked at theirs. Rights hands hovered here and there, along with nervous laughter.

"I swear, I'm not doing anything!" said one girl. "Dude, what are you doing?" one buddy blurted at his pal. That same pal tugged at his own arm with his free hand, pulling in vain. "Man, it's not me!" Another boy, more reserved, just gazed in awe at his hand floating high above his head. "That is just too weird..."

Rosco lifted both his hands, allowing Little Rosco to rest on the seat of his chair, and quieted the crowd. "No, there are no doubt those among you who must wonder why on earth you were chosen as my volunteers."

"Um, yeah", said one athletic young man on the far side of the room, his arm hovering in the air. "Right here, dude!" Scattered laughs.

"Okay, fair enough", Rosco grinned. "Let me explain something very important." Noticing the looks of concern on a few of the faces of those with raised hands, he added quickly, "And don't worry about your raised hands. They'll just float there as if held aloft by a large bundle of balloons. You'll feel no muscle strain on your arm whatsoever." Everyone seemed to relax a bit knowing that.

"As I made my way around the room earlier, I was watchful for certain attributes that make a good hypnosis subject. Intelligence, first and foremost. Contrary to some opinions, a slow or dull-witted person is almost impossible to hypnotize. You need someone smart and insightful to really get the best response." Several of those with their hands raised smiled at this news. "I also looked for imagination, humor, and any hint of an outgoing nature." Before any of the selected volunteers could puff themselves up or anyone else could feel slighted for not being included, Rosco said, "And this group did not make my decisions easy. I have rarely been amongst a group of students with as many smart and personable people as this one." A small burst of applause and a few cheers came then, none of the prom goers suspecting that Rosco had repeated those same words countless times and innumerable settings. They were appreciated, that was enough.

"What I am going to do now", Rosco explained, pulling Little Rosco back up onto the chair back. "Is lower our little plush friend's right hand now. If any among you truly wish to be excluded from this evening's program, you will feel your hand lower gently back down and I will see to it that a suitable replacement for you is found. I hope you agree to take part, however, as out of this extraordinary group, you are my first choices." Of course, when Rosco made a show of lowering the little doll's hand, none of the students followed suit. "Excellent", he said. Then, Rosco held his own right hand out over the crowd and said strongly. "Lower." Every volunteer's hand lowered easily to his or her side. Boys and girls around the room marveled that their hands were once again theirs to control. One boy's "Whoa" carried over the quiet crowd.

"And now, with your kind permission", Rosco began, then commanded firmly. "Rise, please." All eleven volunteers rose to their feet, none of them expecting to. Nervous laughter came from more than half of them. With no intention of getting up, they all found themselves on their feet, almost at attention. Rosco held both hands up in a broad, sweeping gesture. "Ladies and gentlemen, a round of applause for your stars of the evening." Everyone applauded loudly. For the first time that night, the irritable farm boy joined in, his happy expression very nearly hiding the gleam of malice in his eye. Among those standing was the wild-haired emo boy, his date Christine amused and a little nervous, but willing to see him off for whatever came next. Farm Boy Kris indicated by the anxious slapping of his meaty palms that this was what he had come to see. He shot a congratulatory look at the hypnotist on stage. Rosco ignored him.

"Now, if you would all allow your legs to carry you up here to join me on the stage, and find a seat." The eleven boys and girls immediately began to move forward like windup toys, some legs and arms even working in a slight herky-jerky fashion. Rosco's pull was such that he had already planted a suggestion that when summoned to the stage, they would respond immediately, and no necessarily of their own accord. Everyone laughed and applauded. It appeared that the show was already well under way. A few girls laughed nervously, anxiously, and one athletic boy even said jokingly, "I guess I'm goin' on stage now!"

In short order, the eleven chairs behind Rosco were filled with students in handsome tuxedos and glamorous gowns. As Rosco hushed the crowd, he reached down to pick up the one empty chair, the one he had used as a prop for his little doll. He stopped. "Ohhh...wait a minute. We seem to have one vacant chair. We can't have that." He turned and counted the group on stage. Six boys, five girls. "1...2...3...4...5...6...7...8...9...10...11." He turned back to the crowd. "This evening's performance calls for an even dozen performers. I guess in using this chair for Little Rosco, I must have forgotten that!" Rosco set his toy counterpart quickly back upon the chair back. "Little Rosco, let's hurry up and find our missing volunteer." Rosco peered out at the crowd, eyes searching. "Now, we know he's smart, outgoing, insightful, helpful...where could he be?" He leaned in close to the little doll. "Tell you what, Little Rosco, why don't you raise your left hand and see if we can't find him? Left hand going uuupppp."

Everybody in the room waited with baited breath. Who was left? Was it going to be them? A friend? A popular kid, or perhaps nobody they knew? Eyes darted all around to spot the missing subject. The anitcipation was that it would be a girl, which would even things out, half and half. Until, over in the VIP section, they found the last one. His left hand held high, floating in the air and unable to be pulled back down, everyone was surprised to see who he was. But none more surprised than Kris the farm boy. "Hey, wait a minute!", Kris shouted. "I never signed on for this!"

"Evidently you did", Rosco smiled pleasantly. "But just to make sure, if you really, really, would like to have someone else take your place—" and at this point half the boys in the room either stood up or waved their arms frantically. "Pick me!" "No, pick me!" "I'll do it!!" Rosco held his own hand aloft to quiet them. "If you want to bow out, Kris, simply reach up and pull your hand down. If you really would rather sit this out, it should come down easily. But if even a tiny part of you wants to be in the show...up it will stay."

Kris pulled violently at his arm, even clutching his wrist. His levitated arm was like a steel pole set in concrete. It wasn't going anywhere. "Really, dude!", Kris cried, "I don't WANT to!" Then, to his own arm, he snapped, "Come DOWN, already, dammitt!" Everyone laughed hysterically.

Rosco continued, "Kris, all you need do to make your position clear is either stay in your seat...", and he paused for effect, "Or, Kris...come up on the stage."

Kris was on his feet in an instant. The room exploded in applause and supportive cheers. Lacey, Kris's neglected date, clapped the loudest. Kris looked down at her, his face beginning to look panicked, and he said, "Really, I don't want to do this."

The lovely Lacey grinned, and for the first time that night, the mischievous look in her expression matched her date's. "Go on", she coaxed. "It'll be fun." More applause.

Before Kris could protest, he was off. His legs carried him out of the VIP section and steadily toward the stage, his legs moving stiffly, like a tin man's, his arms occasionally pin wheeling to maintain his balance. He looked helpless and he looked ridiculous, and everyone in the room loved it. The laughter rose to a fever pitch and the real show hadn't even started yet. Rosco set the final chair on the far left end of the row on stage and indicated it for Kris. The unwillingly volunteer farm boy sat down in it hard, his face a mixture of incredulity and barely-contained fury. Once there, he immediately tried to stand up. Rosco gently patted Kris on the shoulder, pressing him down into his chair. "So glad you decided to join us, Kris", he said into the microphone. "Or at least your subconscious did." Kris started to get up as Rosco walked down the line, but Kris was astonished to find that he couldn't. It was as if his butt were glued to the seat. He wasn't going anywhere.

Rosco walked up and down the line of seated, formally-attired subjects, shaking hands, asking names of those few he didn't know, verifying those whom he did. He frequently turned to the audience, explaining why he had chosen this boy or that girl, complimenting their intelligence, cheerfulness, or other attributes. It put each one more at ease and helped warm them to the crowd. Two in the lineup didn't pay much attention to what was going on. One of course was Kris, who, from his vantage point at the far left end of the row, glowered balefully at his arch-nemesis Adam, he of the floppy emo hair, who was at the opposite end of the line in the far right chair. Adam looked back at Kris, returning stare for stare, only Adam's looks came with a bright smile that conveyed more unspoken taunts than friendship. Rosco stopped over Adam. "You seem a little distracted...Adam, isn't it?"

Adam was snapped out of his reverie more by the sound of his name than by the presence of the microphone being thrust in his face. But he blinked rapidly and brought himself back to the moment. "Um...yeah, I'm Adam. That's right."

"What were you looking at, Adam?", Rosco asked. "I'm not boring you already, am I?"

"No, no...ah, I was just looking down Kris."

Rosco deftly moved the mic back to his own mouth. "Oh, you guys friends?"

"Not by a fucking long shot", Kris mumbled, crossing his arms over his chest. His remark was caught by a few people closest to the stage.

"Talking to Adam right now, Kris", Rosco said. He then stuck his hand out toward Kris and snapped his fingers very sharply. SNAP! "You want to be quiet now."

Kris started to spit out another snide remark, but found that though his mouth moved, no sound came out. A few people in the audience caught on right away. Kris persisted in trying to talk, more intently, but produced only silence. Rosco slowly sauntered over to him. "Having problems, Kris?" Kris tried to speak, tried to shout, even, but again, no sound came out of him. He pointed frantically to his mouth, to his throat. Nothing. Now people were really laughing at him. Rosco smiled at the house, then turned back to the increasingly-frantic Kris.

"Was there something else you wanted to say out of turn, Kris?" Kris stopped, closing his mouth. Giggles everywhere. He shook his head. "You want to wait your turn, don't you?" Kris nodded, his expression that of a scolded 5-year-old. "What is it you'd like to do, Kris?", Rosco asked, snapping his fingers again. SNAP. Rosco held the mic up to Kris's mouth. Furtively, Kris leaned forward, uncertain. Rosco nodded. Go ahead.

"I want to wait my turn", he answered dolefully. Uproarious laughter, a smattering of applause. Kris glared at the crowd. That only made it seem funnier.

Rosco patted Kris on the shoulder. "You're a good man, Kris." Rosco started to walk back to Adam, and Kris gingerly raised his hand. More giggles. Kris tried to ignore them. Adam pointed back to Kris, to bring him back to Rosco's attention. Rosco turned to see Kris sheepishly holding up his hand.

"You want to ask me something, Kris?"

Kris nodded. "If it's okay." Snickers.

Rosco walked back. "Sure, just this once. What did you want to ask me?"

Kris leaned forward, swallowed, and said softly into the mic, "I really don't want to do this. Can I just go please?"

Rosco offered a good-humored frowny-face. "No, no, Kris. That's not what you want. You want to stay right here and do whatever I tell you, right?" SNAP.

Kris set his hands in his lap and, head held up, responded, "I want to stay right here and do whatever you tell me." His eyes widened with an expression of Did I just say that?? Before he had the chance to fully register it, Rosco thrust his hand out to him in a friendly gesture.

"Well done! That's what I like to hear!"

Reflexively, Kris took Rosco's hand to shake it, and Rosco rapidly yanked his arm forward in a sudden and furious gesture. "SLEEP!" Kris slumped forward like a rag doll, sound asleep and deep in trance. Rosco gently propped Kris back up in his chair, where he lay awkwardly in a heap. The crowd went wild with applause and cheers. Rosco returned to Adam, waving one arm easily to quiet the house. Rosco once again held the microphone before Adam. "So you and Kris are friends, then?"

Adam paused, gulping, looking out at the crowd, then up at Rosco. Finally, he said, " wouldn't say that, exactly."

"What would you say, exactly?"

Uneasy silence. Then, Adam leaned into the mic, whispering, "That he's kind of a jackass." Big laugh.

"Well, that's not a nice thing to say about your friend, no is it, Adam?"

"Um, he's not—", Adam started, but Rosco had dropped a heavy hand atop the boy's head, the wild hair sticking out between the hypnotist's fingers.

"Maybe you should SLEEP on it!" Adam slumped forward so heavily that Rosco had to catch him and prop him back up as well. More applause.

This time, Rosco let the applause build as he went from one person to the next, putting each one into a sudden, deep trance. The young lady next to Adam he transfixed by waggling and waving his fingers about before here eyes, up and down and around, she never noticing that he'd taken gentle hold of her wrist until he pulled it. "SLEEP!" She was gone. The next girl he began to speak with, placing a hand upon her shoulder and "SLEEP!" a swift tug on her shoulder sent her under just as easily. The next boy, the tall athlete, he had follow his fingers as he pointed first this way then that, rapidly. "Just a little exercise to determine your awareness. Follow my finger. Look here. Now here. Here. Now over here. Up. No, up. And down, and SLEEP!" Out like a light. Another boy, eyes wide in anticipation, he simply poked lightly on the forehead. "SLEEP!" Gone. The next two were both lovely girls, looking quite sweet in their prom finery. The first he smiled at and said, "So nice to have you here. What's my name?" She began to stammer. "Your name--? Don't you mean, um, what's my--?" "SLEEP." A gentle pull on her arm, just above her wrist corsage, sent her under. The next girl, every bit as pretty but looking terrible nervous, Rosco approached gingerly. "And who were you?" She smiled nervously. "Sarah." Rosco beamed. "Sarah, you know what it's like to be thoroughly enjoying a night's sleep before a morning when you have to get up? Have you ever half-opened your eye during that wonderful sleep to notice the clock and see you still have two or three more hours before the alarm goes off?" Sarah sat up a little straighter, nodding happily. "Of course you do", Rosco agreed. Ever so gently, he rested his fingertips over her eyelids, easing them closed. "Just think of that. Go back to that peaceful, wonderful sensation, annnd SLEEEEEP." Sarah's head nodded lightly forward and she was out. Rosco stepped up to the next boy, looking quite dashing in his black tuxedo with rich wine-colored vest, tie, and perfectly matching boutonnière. "Benji, right?", Rosco asked, recalling him from their earlier meeting on the floor. "Ben's cool", he said softly. "Only my girlfriend calls me Benji." A few soft, good-natured giggles came from the crowd. "Ben", Rosco went on, "look behind me, around either side, and pick out a face in the crowd. Concentrate on it. Focus. Got it? Good, now pick another. Farther away than that. Got it? Excellent. Now find a third face. No, on this side of me. Perfect. Look back to the first face. Now the second. Try not to move your head. Back to the first. The third. Now the first, back to the second, the third, the SLEEP!" Ben was down. The next two, a boy and a girl sitting quite closely together (he recalled they'd been part of a double-date, but they were not dating each other), Rosco simply grabbed both of their heads rapidly, thought gently, and commanded "SLEEP!" The two best friends were out. The final subject, a boy in a subtly pinstriped tux with a classic high shirt collar, sat between one of the two that Rosco had just put out and the already-sleeping Kris, whose head almost rested upon the boy's shoulder. "Nice tux", Rosco nodded. "Th-thanks", the boy said, almost shaking. "You nervous?", Rosco asked. The boy nodded rapidly. "Don't be. What color is my tie?" "Huh?" The question came out of left field, and before the nervous lad could acknowledge the white bow tie around Rosco's neck, the hypnotist had deftly slipped his hand around the back of the boy's neck and gave it a soft squeeze. "SLEEP!" With that, Rosco stepped aside and gave a grand gesture to the line of twelve students, all dressed very nicely in tuxedos and gowns, all flopped over and sleeping soundly in their chairs. The room exploded in applause. All this before the real show had even begun.

Rosco did not wait for the applause to subside. Instead, he merely pulled the microphone close to his lips and spoke to his twelve subjects. "As you rest there, sleeping comfortably, feeling so good, so very much at peace, you will listen to my voice." The applause died down quickly. No one wanted to miss anything. "Feel yourself drifting deeper and deeper into this state of hypnosis. It feels very relaxing, very good. It is quite natural to feel wonderful while in hypnotic trance. Already you may notice that you are fully aware of everything that I am saying, fully conscious of all that is happening around you. Any ideas that someone under hypnosis becomes a brainless zombie is a myth. It's also a myth that there are no side effects to hypnosis. The side effect is that you will feel absolutely wonderful. As you rest there in your seat, you can already feel yourself feeling better and better, happier and happier. It's all very natural, all quite normal. In fact, the better you feel, the deeper you go, the deeper you go, the better you feel. Deep breaths now, and let yourself sink down deeper and deeper."

The audience was held spellbound as they began to pick up their fellow classmates and friends, already slumped in their chairs, growing more relaxed, as if their bodies were liquefying, all tension in their muscles literally melting away.

"And what you are going to do now", Rosco explained, switching from a tone of suggestion to command, "is take three very deep and relaxing breaths. In through the nose, out through the mouth. With each one you become more and more aware, more and more awake. But as you awaken, you will find that this wonderful feeling of relaxation stays with you. And when you open your eyes, you may not realize it but you will still be deeply in trance and will feel better than you have ever felt in your entire life." He paused half a heartbeat, then said, guiding them, " and and out...and Three. Eyes open, wide awake."

Everyone in the lineup opened his or her eyes, looking happier and more relaxed than anyone had ever seen them. Rosco held the mic up again. "Feel good?" Everyone, the surprised Kris included, nodded or smiled cheerfully. "Great. Now SLEEP!!" Rosco made a grand sweep with his hand and the entire line of student subjects slumped over to the right, collapsing like a row of dominoes, heads flopping down onto the shoulder of the person next to them. The house went silent. Rosco took a step forward, indicating the line of entranced subjects to the room. "Ladies and gentlemen, may I present yours stars of the evening!" The room went wild with applause, whoops and hollers. And the show was off.

As Rosco spoke to the audience, a dozen handsome lads, cute boys, and pretty girls zonked out behind him in their tuxedos and beautiful gowns, the young men and women filling the room listening in rapt attention were not the hypnotist's only admirer's. The chaperones lingering by the door nodded and smiled to one another, apparently pleased by their choice of entertainment. Among the adult overseers was the faculty sponsor for the student prom committee. A tall man with a bristly moustache, he nodded to the handful of students seated nearby, who comprised the committee that had made the entire prom night, from advance ticket sales to cleanup following the after prom, come to be. The few boys and cluster of girls on the committee, committed rah-rahs all, had left their respective posts at the snack tables, ticket window, and sound check station to watch the show. Silent winks, pats on the back, and handshakes were shared and exchanged among them. Two of the committee students leaned back to make eye contact with their sponsor, who gave them a supportive thumbs up. They silently, but unanimously, agreed that they had made the right choice in hiring Rosco Bomer. There would be only one of their number who may be doubting that decision, and he was in no position to make his opinion known. He was up on stage. Kris, the angry farm boy and secretary for the Prom Committee, was currently zonked out with the rest of his dozen fellow subjects under Rosco's influence.

No one on the prom committee had guessed that Kris would become part of the evening's entertainment. But then, he had been the most vocal in his support of the decision to hire Mr. Bomer the hypnotist, so some of the kids now took it as part of his plan all along. A couple of them wondered briefly why Kris had seemed to put up such a fight about going up on stage to be hypnotized, but now they assumed it was all part of the act. His supposed resistance would easily dispel any suspicions of favoritism in the hypnotist's selection of one of the prom committee to join his act. The kids in the committee smiled, snickered, and elbowed one another playfully as they realized this must have been Kris's plan all along. The faculty sponsor held a silent finger to his lips, urging silence amongst the group. A nod of his head and subtle jab of his finger toward the stage indicated they need to put their eyes back on Rosco.

Rosco, now making his way up and down the stage, explaining the essence of hypnosis to the audience, was the only one who knew that of his dozen subjects, Kris was the only one who truly did not want to be up there. But then, that wasn't all that Rosco knew about Kris.

Two weeks earlier, as final confirmation for his appearance at the senior prom approached, Kris had shown up on Rosco Bomer's doorstep. As soon as he opened the door, Rosco could tell that the young man was trying very hard to present himself at his best. The young man was dressed in a nice dress shirt and slacks, with a tie whose lose knot spoke of multiple failed attempts to tie it correctly.

"Mr. Bomer?", he began, offering an anxious smile. "My name is Kris, I'm here with the final contract and details for the hypnosis show you'll be doing at my school on the 24th."

Rosco nodded. "Ah, yes. The senior prom." He took the manila envelope from the lad, flipping it open and glancing over its contents. Contract with payment agreement, specifics as to date and place, the evening's timetable, contact information. The usual. "But you could have e-mailed all this over, Kris. There was no need to bring it personally."

"Well, I am secretary of the prom committee, and I wanted to make sure that everything got to you alright."

"I would have sent a confirmation e-mail." He held up the contract. "And you would have gotten your signed copy of this in the mail within another day or so."

"Uh, yeah. Still...", Kris rocked back and forth on his heels, unsure of what to do with his hands. He wanted to say something else. But didn't know if he should jump right in with it now, or say something official-sounding. Rosco saved him the trouble.

"Was there something else, Kris?"

He nodded.

"Something you wanted to ask me?"

"Actually, yeah." He fidgeted, scratched his head, put his hands in his back pockets, took them back out. He leaned forward conspiratorially. "Can I come inside for a sec?"

Rosco took a step back and threw his arm wide in invitation. "By all means."

Kris looked around at the living room, a bit put off.

"Everything alright?", Rosco asked as he shut the door.

"It all looks normal. Like a house one of my neighbors would live in."

"Well, I do have neighbors, too", Rosco pointed out.

"No, I get that, it's just, what with you being a hypnotist and all, I kind of suspected...I don't know, something more..."

"Weird expressionist art on the walls, hanging pendulums and crystals all around, maybe a giant lava lamp in the center of the room?", Rosco offered.

"Sort of, yeah. But it guess this makes sense. I mean, you look all normal and stuff. No big black moustache or top hat and cape or anything." Kris began to pat the tops of his fists together in front of him. The hypnotist took a seat, but Kris remained standing. It made the boy feel a bit uneasy, but he didn't want to make this seem like some kind of formal "session".

"So?", Rosco asked. Kris looked at him with an empty expression. "What was it you wanted to talk to me about?", Rosco prompted.

"There's this question...", he shook his head. Wrong wording. Start again. "I just was wondering, I mean, in addition to your show that you'll be doing..." Too official-sounding. Fuck! "You've agreed to do the prom, and that's great and all, but I hoped that—"

"You're not canceling, are you?"

"Oh no! God, no, Nothing like that. I was hoping there was something else you could do, apart from the show you'll be putting on."

"The terms of the contract are pretty specific. I've only been signed to do the show during the prom itself. If you want an encore for the after-prom, it will require an additional fee, and this being somewhat last minute—"

"No, it's not part of the show, or a separate one, it's personal! It's—" Kris threw his hands in the air and started swearing under his breath. This was coming out all wrong.

"Do you have a specific problem you'd like to address, Kris? Apply hypnosis to quit smoking, or something like that?" Rosco could sense that this was not at all what the boy had in mind, but was eager to prompt him to spit out what he really wanted.

"Nah, it's not like that, it's---gah, you'd never guess."

"You'd be surprised what I can guess", Rosco said, standing up. "Whatever it is you want, it must be important to you, since you drove more than an hour out of your way to come here. You wanted to make a good impression, which is why you dressed in clothes that you are so unaccustomed to." Kris began to say something, perhaps to contradict the statement, but Rosco continued so that he hadn't the chance. "The way you keep shifting your weight tells me that you're uncomfortable in those loafers you're wearing. The shininess of them shows that they're either new or something you don't wear very often. Your stance and body language indicates that you'd be more at ease in something work boots."

Kris felt his jaw drop open. He was dead-on.

Rosco began to walk around the boy in slow circles. Your build and sun-bleached hair, to say nothing of you extensively tanned skin, tells me that you work outdoors a great deal. Seeking those forearms, even through your shirt sleeves, speaks of many hours of lifting and throwing. I'd say you're a farm boy."

"My-my folks have a farm just outside of town, I mean."

"The way you've begun rubbing your chin and neck also tells me that you shaved just for this little visit and that's not something you're used to, either."

Kris let out a breath. "Man, you're good."

"And you're wound up about a girl", Rosco countered. "That's the only thing I can think of to make an otherwise strong and probably confident farm boy like you go this far out of his way and out of his comfort zone. Am I right?" Kris nodded, dumbly.

Rosco sat back down. "So what do you think I can do for you? Help you with your confidence around a certain girl? Help get your nerve up?" He glanced a bit down from Kris's large belt buckle. "Perhaps help you get something...else up?"

Kris shook his head vigorously. Then, after a moment's pause while he gathered himself, Kris looked up at the hypnotist and admitted, "Okay, it is about a girl." Rosco inclined his head. he was listening. Kris pulled up a small chair and sat down before the hypnotist. "Here", he said, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a folded bit of paper. he handed it to Rosco. The scrap was an article taken from what appeared to be a school newspaper. In it, a photo of a emo-haired young man was smiling and waving to the camera. Beneath the picture was a caption about an honors award ceremony. The caption was incomplete due to the tear of the page.

Rosco looked up at Kris. "Um, this is a guy, I'm afraid."

Kris rolled his eyes in frustration. "Of course it's a guy. Adam. And it's a fuckin' guy who's got the girl that I want to be with!"

Rosco looked at the boy in the picture again. The haircut, the bad dye job, the eye liner. He looked back at Kris. "This guy? Has your girl? Really."

Kris began wringing his hands. "He and I have been at it since Freshmen year. Whatever he sees I want, he takes. He'd been friends with her—"

"This girl?"

"Yeah. Been friends with her forever and he knew I was dying to ask her to prom. So what does he do?"

"Asks her first?", Rosco ventured.

"Exactly!", the farm boy sneered. He shook his head, as if trying to shake the image from his mind of the two kids together. He leaned in to Rosco Bomer. "Look, I really pulled to have you as our prom entertainment."

"Well, I appreciate that..."

"I even suggested we offer you money above your usual fee to make sure we could get you."

"Okay, that's pretty nice and all, but my schedule was open that day, so you may already know that I only charged my usual fee—"

Kris waved that away. "I know a guy who went to that Community Center lock-in thing last summer."

Rosco searched his memory, then felt an intake of breath as he said, "Ohhh, right. The Grace Church youth all-night party. Yes, I appeared there."

"He told me, this friend, that you took two guys from the audience and, like, switched them. You know?"

In fact, Rosco didn't know. He processed Kris's awkward language and then realized what he way saying. "Yes, I think I know what you mean. I took one boy who was very large and athletic and another who was small and bookish and basically had them become one another. The small kid thought he was a huge jock and the big guy thought he was a scrawny nerd. It's a fun routine, it was very well-received."

"Yeah, but you can do that to anyone, right? Switch them into something else?"

"Yeesss...", Rosco said, not liking where this was going.

"How long can that, like, last?"

"As long as the skit runs. As long as I need it too." Rosco shook his head, "Look, son", he started.

"Son? You're not that much older than me.", Kris said, suddenly defensive.

"Perhaps not", Rosco allowed, "but first of all, keep in mind that the two boys from that night were already very good friends. Next, I am not about to pull some hypnotic switch and make this boy think he's you or whatever so you can walk off with some girl."

"She's not just 'some girl', she's the hottest girl in school! Why else do you think I want so bad to get with her?"

Rosco was beginning to feel great distaste for this farm boy. "Still, I'm not going to do that kind of switch for you."

"Cool, because that is so not what I had in mind." Rosco raised his eyebrows. Oh really? Kris pulled his chair a little closer. "Here's what I had in mind. And I will so pay you whatever you need up front. I've been saving up for this." For the next fifteen minutes, Rosco listened quietly as Kris revealed his little plot. How Rosco would deliberately pick Adam as a volunteer for his act during the prom, and what would follow afterward. When the boy was done explaining, Rosco leaned back in his chair, rubbing his chin and nodding slowly. He got the picture.

Kris waited in silence as Rosco contemplated, then he handed the newspaper clipping back to the farm boy. Kris held up a palm. "You keep it. You might need that to identify him when the time comes."

Rosco glanced at the image on the newsprint again, the wide smile, the effeminate eyes. "Oh, I think I'll be able to pick him out. I have an excellent memory for faces."

Reluctantly, Kris took the clipping back, wadded it into his pocket, nodding and trying to look confident. "So, do we have a deal?" He extended a hand for Rosco to shake.

Rosco looked at the hand. Then he looked at Kris. Right in the eye. "Before I can agree to anything, there is one thing I absolutely have to do. But I need your permission to proceed."

Kris looked back, trying in vain to meet the intensity of his stare. "Then you can do this--?"

"You have to say yes, Kris. Say yes."


Then Rosco took his hand. Kris never saw the tug coming, didn't consciously hear the command, was completely unaware of what he had just agreed to. The next thing Kris was fully aware of was how good he felt riding home on the highway. He was smiling brightly, feeling on top of the world. Everything he had cooked up was going exactly according to plan. There was a brief moment, at mile marker 50, when Kris realized that he had only the vaguest memory of finishing his visit with the hired hypnotist, or of leaving his house. There were smiles, a pat on his shoulder, a handshake...why was it all so damn foggy? In another moment, he dismissed it. No need to obsess about recalling every little second. He had gotten the job done, that's what was important. Kris felt better and better the closer he got to home. He could hardly wait for prom.

Now prom had arrived. He was there, Adam was there, Rosco was there. And unlike Kris's master plan, all three of them were up on stage, all under the waiting and watchful eyes of the school's prom-going guests. The hypnotist had already made a few mild jokes to set the lighthearted mood. As Rosco prepared the crowd for what was to come, he stopped one at a time at each subject, gently placing a hand on a shoulder, resting fingers atop the head, easing each student down deeper and deeper. Starting at the far right end of the stage, he lingered a bit on Adam before making his way down the line. Rosco leaned in close and whispered something to Adam, keeping his microphone well away, and Adam's eyelids fluttered rapidly as he sank deeper and deeper into his seat. Rosco had to remind him that he would not slump so far that he would flal off his chair, but looked as though he might. One at a time, he visited each formally-attired student, sending them deeper with quiet words and a gentle touch, pausing only for second on each one, save for Kris on the other end, whom he spent nearly as much time with as he did Adam. he was ready to begin.

"What you're going to see now", Rosco told the crowd, "are fun little exercises known as deepeners. They are just what they sound like, experiences for each subject to send them deeper and deeper into hypnosis, each and every phenomena programming their subconscious minds to be very responsive and truly enjoy the experience. Shall we begin?" The crowd went wild.

Rosco turned back to the row of slumbering attendees and said firmly into his mic, "When I tell you to open your eyes, you will sit up straight in your chair, feeling fantastic, feeling incredible, feeling just marvelous and completely unaware that you are still very deeply hypnotized. Eyes open, wide awake!"

The entire row sat up, eyes barely blinking, everyone looking truly happy to be there, even the boys on either end. Rosco wasted no time putting the group to use. He began with the usual, with everyone finding their feet glued to the floor, then their hands glued to their lap. He waved a scrap of paper, decsribing it as a $100 bill, and offered it to anyone who could simply take it from his hand. Nothing doing. Upon relasing their glued appendages, he told them it was very hot, nearly 120 degrees in the shade, and everyone fanned themselves relentlessl yin hope of some relief. He then had them all hold up their empty hands to find a cooling drink of water there. Each subject, boy and girl, greedily gulped the refreshing nonexitant liquid only to be told by Rosco, "Oh, no! I forgot—that was giggle water!" Suddenly the entire line was suffering from a case of uncontrollable laughter. Most gripped their sides, a couple of the girls turned to each other for support. One slender lad actually threw himself down on the stage and pounded his fists and kicked his feet from laughter. Rosco then gave every subject present name amnesia. Try as they might, no one could recall their own name. But Rosco gave the old trick the added twist of telling all on stage that the memory of that lost name would return instantly if his back was turned to them. But if he faced them once again, the name would vanish once more. He'd hold the mic before a student, asking, "What's your name, again?" He got nothing but a look of stupefaction and embarrassment. "Well, maybe one of your friends up here knows", and he'd turn away, supposedly in search of assistance. Immediately, there'd be waving arms and a rushed "Ooh! OOH! I know it, come back!" Rosco would spin on his heel. "How's that again? You know your name?" Another blank look and sometimes an awkward, "Uuhhhh..." in reply.

His opening routine picked up in speed and absurdity. The person next to you really smells bad. Everyone squirmed and made faces. The stench has reached a point that you need oxygen! Your shoe is an oxygen mask—take it off, hold it tight to your face and breathe deep!

The crowd was eating it up. The deepening routine Rosco used for his start was basic and mostly unoriginal, but to the kids in the room, it was all fresh and new. Even those who had seen a hypnosis show before got the added bonus of seeing their classmates and friends caught up in the silliness. Laughter and applause filled the air. Once or twice, Rosco had to urge the onlookers the collect themelves. Rosco also noticed that the most shrill, obtrusive, and annoying of the laughter always came from the girls. In every show he did, it never failed that the most piercing, aggravating braying came from the girls. It was a universal truth and one that never failed to annoy him. More than one DVD from his earlier days was ruined by shrieking girls who sat too close to his recording equipment. He tried his best to dismiss the occasional nails-on-chalkboard cackling of the various girls as he moved on to the meat of his show.

One by one, he began to invite subjects up out of their chairs to join him individually. Those still seated were brought to wakefulness so they could watch. Two girls were brought up beside Rosco, both of whom were noted honor students. Rosco left them not only with no knowledge of their names, but removed the number 4 and their distinction of left and right.

"Okay, so what were your names again?" Confused pauses and more laughter. "Yes, being hypnotized can be a bit disortienting, I know. Do something very simple, something very elementary to help collect yourself. Count from 1 to 10, taking deep breaths. Use your fingers." Each girl was astounded to find they had not ten but eleven fingers. More laughter. "Oh, there seems to be some sort of problem, ladies. Why don't you come over to my right, and you stand at my left." More laughter as the two straight-A students bumped into each other and turned in small circles trying to figure out where they were to go. "Oh, for heavens sake", Rosco said, feigning frustration, "let's try something as simple as I can think of. What's 2+2?" More confusion, mumbling, and fidgeting. "How many wheels are there on a car? How many legs does a horse have?" Uproarious laughter. He sent the girls back to their seats, and oddly enough, they seemed the most amused of all.

So it went. Rosco pulled the smaller Ben up beside him and across from him he stood a much larger boy. He could tell as they interacted watching the girls that they were good friends. That was also why he'd picked them as subjects. He gave the boys their names back and spoke to the smaller one first. "Now, Ben, who is this in front of us here?" Ben smiled. "That's my friend Jake." "Jake what?" "Jake Haskell." "You know a lot about your friend?" "Dude, I know everything you'd want to know. And a lot that you don't!" Jake nearly blushed, shaking his head. "Is that right?", Rosco said. "SLEEP!" Ben's head flopped forward and he almost fell face-first upon the stage.

"Sleep and stand", Rosco said quickly, "sleep and stand, your legs support you. Ben, from now on, you not only know everything there is to know about Jake Haskell, you ARE Jake Haskell. That is who you are. You know and accept this to be true. Eyes open. So, what's your name, again?"

"Jake", said Ben.

Rosco smiled, the room began giggling. "Jake what?"

"Jake Haskell."

"That's great, Jake. Would you care to tell me the most embarrassing thing there is to know about yourself?"

"Not really, but I guess I could." Everyone howled as the real Jake squirmed.

"Aw, I guess we don't need to do that just now", Rosco teased. "Maybe later." His playful questions went on, until he gripped Ben by the shoulder and pointed at Jake. "Why, Jake! Who's that? Look at him!"

Ben paled at what he saw. "That's me!" The room exploded in laughter.

Rosco turned to Ben sounding very serious. "That guy is imitating you—he's impersonating you! You gonna stand for that??"

"No way!!", Ben shouted.

"You will never touch that imposter, never make any physical contact or become violent, but you will really let him now how much his identity theft upsets you, Jake! Go get him!"

Ben stormed across the stage to bawl out Jake for impersonating him. Jake began to laugh, but Rosco snapped his fingers rapidly. SNAP! "Jake! It doesn't matter what your friend is saying to you, you are extremely apologetic and beg his forgiveness!" SNAP! SNAP!

Little Ben in his perfectly matched tuxedo raced about the stage hollering at the larger Jake for trying to pass himself off as someone else. Poor Jake just held his hands up in supplication. "I'm sorry! I am SO sorry! It won't happen again!"

By the time those two sat down, Rosco had another of the girls leaping to her feet every time he said "welcome" and she would then dance the hula as if she were in a Hawaiian grass skirt. "It's so nice that you're all making me all feel so welcome!", Rosco would say. Up she went, dancing. A moment later, she had no idea why she had done it and sat back down. Rosco continued, "Well, I'm glad to welcome all these fantastic volunteers to perform with me—" Up she went, hips swaying.

The tall athletic boy who had a magnificent smile, got turned into a very happy dog. Rosco called him out of his chair with some kissing noises. "Here, boy!" The powerfully-built jock was down on all fours, tongue hanging out as he panted. Rosco had him bark, whine, and play dead. As Rosco scratched his belly in praise for his good job doing tricks, one of the boy's legs shook happily. Thunderous applause. Another boy, the one Rosco had only needed to poke lightly on the forehead to go under, marveled at the dog routine and smiled hopefully at Rosco. He held his hands up, fingers clasped, in a pleading gesture.

"You wanna be a dog too?", Rosco asked, more than a little surprised. The boy nodded with excitement. Huge round of applause. "SLEEP!" Rosco sent him back under and when he awoke, he too was down on all fours, rolling over, begging, madly chasing his "tail", and then rubbing lovingly against Rosco's leg so furiously that the hypnotist had to snap him out of it just to get him back ito his chair.

Then Rosco had come to Kris. With a gesture, Rosco indicated that the farm boy was to stand. With some trepidation, he did so. Rosco tapped Kris's forehead and made a clicking sound with his tongue directly into the microphone. "Clikk! Sleep. Kris, you are now the world's foremost Chinese translator. From now on, everything I say you will translate for the audience into fluent Chinese. This is perfectly normal, you do this all the time, it is your calling, you are exceptionally skilled at it. Open your eyes." Kris opened his eyes and stood tall. Rosco turned to the audience and said with a bright smile and broad sweeping gesture, "I just want to thank-you all so very much for having me here."

Kris stiffened his back and declared, "Kung TANG fow wing-thopp!" People laughed so hard there were squeaks and snorts sprinkled throughout them.

Rosco went on, "We do hope you are enjoying the program."

To which Kris responded, "Fung-lung foola chu! Bing WOPPits!" Feet could be heard stomping against the floor, knees literally being slapped in hysterics.

"Uh-oh!", Rosco said, pointing at nothing in an empty corner. "Someone is videotaping the program, that's not allowed. Kris, tell them to stop."

Kris puffed himself up and snorted angrily at the indicated empty space, "HOO-cha! Ding winga tung pang HOOTCHA!" Applause now peppered the helpless laughter of the crowd, drowning out even the annoying screeches of the younger girls. But Rosco found there was more to it than that.

One rather piercing laugh cut above the others in the room at the sight of Kris's nonsensical translations. It was Adam, the floppy-haired emo boy, guffawing from the opposite end of the stage. All traces of his postured charm had vanished and his leering expression bore nothing but malice. Being under hypnosis had not only relaxed him physically, but had relaxed the facade of composure he'd evidently been presenting all evening.

Rosco turned to see Adam clutching his belly and nodding his head as he laughed far luder than was called for. "You find that funny, do you, Adam?", Rosco asked.

Adam made quite a show of catching his breath, waving the air as if magical hypnotic vapors hung there and needed to be dispersed for him to regain his composure. As he was able to speak, Adam exclaimed, all smiles, "Man, he is such a tool!" Quickly, the laughter in the room began to die down.

"How's that, Adam?", Rosco said. His tone was such that anyone could tell he was hinting that such an outburst was unneccessary and uncalled for. Still, Adam pressed on.

"I told you, he is such a jackass! Make him buck like a chicken—better yet, make him into a dumb dog like the other two guys. Make him hump his chair!" As Adam cackled madly, the rest of the room fell silent. This was not funny, and they all knew it.

Rosco snapped his fingers in front of Kris's face. "Sleep." Kris's head slumped forward and he remained standing. Rosco sauntered over to Adam. There was now tension in the room in anticipation of what might happen next. "You don't really think much of our friend Kris, is that right, Adam?"

"Jack-aaassss!", Adam proclaimed, finding it hilariously funny. No one else did.

It was clear to Rosco that it was not Kris alone who needed a serious attitude adjustment. Adam was every bit as much of a self-absorbed little brat as his farm boy counterpart. Rosco saw this as the perfect time to shape them both up. He snapped his fingers at Adam. "Sleep." Adam slumped forward in his chair, so out of it that Rosco had to catch him. "Adam", Rosco said firmly, propping him back up, "you seem to think that Kris is a jackass, but you realize now that you in fact are the jackass. You are literally a donkey-person and you are my translator for all the other donkeys who may be in attendance tonight. When I tell you to, you will join me at my side to do your job, at which you are very proficient. With no memory that this will happen, open your eyes."

Adam sat unawares as the tension in the room seeped away and the humor began to rebuild. Rosco stood again beside Kris, and touching him lightly on the shoulder, said, "Open your eyes." Kris opened his eyes, looking as if nothing had happened. "Let's continue, shall we?", Rosco suggested.

Without further prompting. Kris looked at the crowd and translated, "Doo teng-chow, fwuppeh?" Every single person, Rosco included, nearly hit the floor.

When Rosco had composed himself, he said with mock surprise, "Say! Look who's here, it's Adam Longears, our official donkey translator. And why, he's your very best friend in the world, isn't he, Kris?"

Kris looked over at Adam, genuinely happy. "Teyy! Ping wah fu!"

"Come on over here, Adam", Rosco called. "In case some of the fine donkeys in the audience can't speak Chinese." Adam hurried over, looking pleased as punch, utterly clueless. Rosco stepped back, and without any prompting from him, the two arch-enemies shook hands, nodding pleasantly.

"Hoo-thung!", Kris said brightly. Adam answered back, "Haaww!"

Everyone nearly pissed themselves, whether they were seated on or off the stage.

And so Rosco continued for the next three minutes. "The news today says that we are in the midst of an economic crisis", he reported dolefully. His translators responded in turn. "Hung fin poola ga-CHUK! Agga googa runchit." "Heee-HAWW! Haw-he-haw-hee-Haaaawwrrkk!!" Rosco just started throwing out anything that came to mind—social commentary, sports scores, weather. Each one was met by twin translations into gibberish and barnyard sounds. By the time they were done, the room was nearly ready to rise to its feet in ovation.

Rosco eventually snapped the two out of their respective translating roles and broke one of his cardinal rules by leaving them standing there having no idea what had been going or what they were doing. He wanted them off-balance for what he had in mind for them for the rest of the evening.

Rosco sent them back to their chairs and saw to the rest of the group, giving each volunteer "star" his or her moment in the sun. But in between each one, he always came back to Adam and Kris. The crowd caught on in a hurry and enjoyed the humiliation of the two sworn enemies the most. In between the simple skits of having this boy find his palm stuck to his forehead or that girl thinking the chair beneath her had given her a small shock, Adam and Kris were subjected to the truly ridiculous stuff.

Rosco lined them up side-by-side on the far right side of the stage, announcing to the audience, "Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for a truly breathtaking split-second of action! Our men Adam and Kris are about to engage in a fast-pace sprint race from one side of the stage to the other to prove once and for all who is the better man!" The crowd rippled with anticipatory laughter and the competitive boys shot each other looks of "Oh, I'll show you." As Rosco held up his finger in a gun pose as if to fire a starting pistol, he called out with great bravado, "On your mark! Get set! Oh and by the way, you two can only move in slow motion. GO!" He made a 'bang' noise into the microphone, indicating the starter's shot had been fired, and the two boys thrust themselves forward with great intensity. They both moved at the speed of a broken snow blower. Their faces twisted into masks of sheer effort, they swung their arms and stretched their legs forward with each step, all at an impossibly slow pace. The audience was laughing loudly, but when Rosco signalled the deejay to turn on one of the discs the hypnotist had brought—bringing the inspirational tones of Chariots Of Fire onto the overhead—everyone went crazy.

"Speak words of encouragement to yourselves", Rosco prompted, "and trash talk that loser next to you!" The boys began to speak to themselves and each other, also in slow motion. Their drawn-out, incomprehensible ramblings only made the onlookers laugh all the harder. As the slow-motion duo forced their way almost to halfway across the stage, Rosco plucked the smallest of the girl volunteers from her chair and literally had her walk circles around the confused boys, who thought they were running full-tilt. Some small part of their minds realized that this was a good indication of what they were in for in regard to the rest of the night. By the time they made it to the other end of the stage, the house was roaring with laughter as Adam and Kris, still in slow motion, collapsed in a heap and wound up a tangle of arms and legs, gasping for breath.

Rosco walked over casually to the exhausted duo and said calmly, "Your speed now returns to normal", and he snapped his fingers. Both boys were still breathing hard, but now at a normal pace. It made them seem all the more silly.

Kris looked up at Rosco, dumbfounded, "How did you make her go so fast?!" Howls of laughter. Kris was utterly confused. "Seriously, I've run track and never known anyone who could go that fast. Did you, like, tap into some part of her brain or something?" More laughter.

Adam looked at the crowd, equally confounded. "It's a legitimate question", he said, still gasping. Uproarious laughter. Kris looked over to the tiny girl in her chair, who tittered with amusement.

As the boys blinked in befuddlement, Rosco leaned over and said into his microphone, "When I snap my fingers, you will realize exactly what you have just been doing." Snap. The boys' eyes came into sharp focus. They looked at each other, then out at the audience, utterly mortified. The room went wild. "Back to your seats", Rosco instructed, as if speaking to a couple of kindergarteners. The boys got up, hopelessly embarrassed, and slef-consciously made their way to their chairs. The whistles and cheers from their friends and classmates in the house only served to make them feel more humiliated. And they both sensed that it was about to get worse. Much worse.

As the night unfolded, the other student volunteers got to experience such firvolity as finding they have silly puddy noses that felt amazing and stretch like taffy, or being struck with a barrage of tickles by invisble fingers whenever Rosco said the word "serious". But as much as everyone enjoyed that, the crowd loved it when Rosco pulled Kris and Adam out of the lineup. Believing he was one of the last remaining contestants on American Idol, Kris stood at the microphone and belted out the popular song "Apologize", only to find as he tried his utmost to sing with the pop star voice Rosco told him he had, that he first squeaked like a cartoon mouse, then croaked with ribbits like a bullfrog...all in time to the music the deejay played for him. Kris was mortified, the prom-going onlookers were delighted. What's more, each time Kris tried to sing, Adam found he was prompted to soar out of his chair and dance around the stage in a strange combination of ballet and interpretive dance. Each time that Rosco, posing as the helpful guide and companion, stopped Kris from his embarrassing solos, the music stopped and Adam's dance came to an abrupt halt, leaving him wherever he had last alighted, feeling totally baffled embarrassed. They were the two most reluctant stars Rosco had ever featured.

Eventually, Rosco let the humorously-abused duo sit back down and began his wrap up by having different volunteers leap up and yell odd things on cue. Benji would find himself jumping to his feet and shouting, "There's no need to fear, Underdog is here!", while his friend Jake was helpless to stop himself from yelling out "I'm a werewolf--HoowWOOOOO!" when triggered by his cue. In short order, those two were not only spouting their silliness, but the girls and the other boys were adding such lunacy as "I live in a pineapple under the sea!", " I'm bringing sexy back!", and "Th-th-that's all, folks!". As he completed his set, Rosco managed to use all of their triggers in a single sentence, making all the volunteers leap to their feet, shout their catch phrase and plop back down, like some depraved version of the wave. Kris and Adam were allowed to sit this one out.

To finish, Rosco always had the prettiest girl on stage believe she had spotted her favorite celebrity idol sitting in the audience. As his chosen victim leapt up, almost tripping on her ball gown, she raced off the stage and grabbed a confused spectacled boy in a plaid tux. She was screeching, "Oh my GOD, Taylor Lautner! It's Taylor Lautner!!" much to the small boy's panic and to everyone else's hilarity. She refused to return to the stage until he posed for a picture on her iphone and gave her a kiss on the cheek. The girl was elated and blushing, the rattled geek earned an ovation and even took bow before his fellow prom-goers. That was usually how Rosco ended his show. Usually. But tonight was anything but usual.

Rosco went down the line and had each person stand up to be greeted by applause for the job he or she had done as his stars. Each volunteer got to take a bow, bask in the adulation, and then have all triggers and suggestions removed, to be left with not only full recollection of their onstage shenanigans, but a jubilant feeling of happiness to last the rest of the night. One by one the volunteers left the stage, wide awake, refreshed, and extremely happy. He saved Kris and Adam for last.

Bringing Kris and Adam down center stage, standing on either side of him, Rosco announced, "Let's hear it for these two guys, huh?" The entire room went wild with applause, whistles, and laughter. "They were great sports up here tonight, weren't they?" Several people actually stood up as they applauded. Rosco took that moment of raucus aproval to lean in close to the boys, using an arm around a shoulder of each of them to pull them toward him. In a quiet voice only Adam and Kris could hear, Rosco said into their ears, "This is it, you two. I am giving you back your free will for the final bow. All you need to do is reach out and shake hands, and smile. I let you leave and we call it good. Nod if you understand." Almost impreceptively, the two young men's chins lowered a bit, then rose again. They got it. Crisply, Rosco snapped his fingers directly beside their ears, bringing clarity of thought back to both of them. Rosco smiled broadly for the crowd. "Let's send these two star performers on their way, shall we?"

Rosco stepped back one pace and watched the two lads intently. Less than two feet apart, they stared at each other. Their looks grew hard and Adam stuffed his hands into his pockets. Upon seeing that, Kris made a show of slowly moving his hands around his back and sliding them into his rear pants pockets. He whispered to his opponent, "You fuckin' asshole." Adam looked back in defiance. "Screw you, ya dumb hick", he sneered.

Rosco breathed hard out his nostrils and a dark haze clouded over his eyes. Dammit all to hell. Well, the little bastards had their chance. He quickly stepped between them again before the crowd could pick up on the mounting tension they were exuding. "Or hey!", Rosco called out, "Who wants to see one last bit of fun from our wonderful boys here? C'mon, let's hear it!"

At that prompting, the crowd of formally-attired onlookers let loose with a thunderous cheer of approval, and even as Kris and Adam realized what that meant, looks of concern now upon their faces, Rosco clamped his hands down firmly upon each boy's head and shouted with authority, "SLEEP!!" The two boys' heads slumped forward, and while their legs still supported them—barely—it was clear they were back down as deep as they had ever been. Rosco sauntered around them casually, speaking into his microphone, addressing the crowd as much as the two of them. "As you stand there, gently swaying", and the two young men began to sway a bit where they stood, "feeling yourself going deeper and deeper into hypnosis, you can feel your entire body relaxing as never before." Rosco circled them like a predator, appearing to the crowd to be nothing more than a showman. He knew he had become something altogether different. "In fact", Rosco went on, "as your body relaxes, you can feel it becoming softer and more fluid, so totally free of tension."

The boys' legs began to buckle a bit at the knees, their swaying increased. "It is a very slow process", Rosco stressed, his words bolstering them a bit, "but your body is becoming like jelly, and as you sink deeply into trance, your solidity fades away." As Rosco circled them again, he gently nudged past their shulders, subtly pushing them towards each other. "You find that you are becoming a being of soft and loose jelly, sinking down to the stage as you go." The boys slowly sank downward, legs bending at the knees, arms swaying like rag dolls, easily stumbling toward each other like drunken scarecrows.

With the eyes of the crowd glued upon the melting young men, Rosco quickly stepped over to the deejay's station and had him play some soft, haunting instrumental music to back the boys' downward descent into deep hypnosis. While there, Rosco leaned close to the deejay and whispered, "Call me up some ballads, would you?" The deejay nodded and his fingers moved deftly across his control monitor in response to the hypnotist's request.

Center stage, Adam and Kris had fallen against each other, unconsciously desperate for some form of support for their sagging bodies, they slid slowly down towards the stage floor, oblivious of their mutual contact as they seemed to be stuck together, hip to hip, shoulder to shoulder, head to head. The audience laughed and applauded at their slow motion tumble. It provided the perfect cover for what Rosco was busy doing. He pointed to the deejay's screens. "Here. Go here", he requested. Speedily, the disc jockey called up the file marked 'Oldies' and then went from there to 'Classics', which was cross-sectioned with 'Movie Soundtracks'. As Adam and Kris slumped down first to their knees, then to their asses on stage, Rosco ran his finger down the monitor screen before him and finally stabbed at one listing.

"This one", he said, grinning evilly. "Do me a favor and play this one whenever I cue you. Can you do that?"

The deejay nodded. "You got it."

With a thankful pat on the maestro's shoulder, Rosco stepped away from the music station to see both arrogant boys flopped upon the stage, bodies like melting gelatin, heads rested next to one another, arms almost intertwined. Rosco stepped forward, his own arms spread wide, leaving the onlookers to believe he had merely moved aside to allow his jelly-bodied subjects to be in the spotlight as they collapsed together in an unwilling trance. "And what do you think of that, eh?", Rosco prompted. The crowd applauded, eager for more. "These guys are by far among the most responsive subjects I have ever worked with!", Rosco declared in faux admiration. "Let's have another hand for them!" Whoops and cheers rose up and Rosco walked purposefully over to the two prostrate boys. "What say we let these two fellows star in our big finale??" The resultant cheers indicated the two warring young men were done for. It was indeed time for their finale. Or rather, their finish.

Rosco spoke boldly into his microphone. "When I snap my fingers, you will awaken, feeling very refreshed and energized and with a complete memory of your time spent on stage here tonight. You will take a quick bow and you will leave, each of you exiting by opposite sides of the stage. However..." He gave a heartbeat's dramatic pause. "When you hear this music—" And Rosco cued the deejay. A classic melody echoed across the room. The haunting tones of the Righteous Brothers singing 'Unchained Melody'. Ooohh, my darling...I've hungered for your touch... Ripples of laughter washed throughout the crowd as they imagined what could possibly come of that. Rosco waved them down in attempt to restore some semblance of quiet. He was only partially successful.

Rosco gave a quick jerk of his thumb across his neck, signalling the deejay to cut the music. Into his microphone, louder than before, he continued, "Whenever you hear that music, you will immediately and instantaneously turn back to see the person you have been on stage with as the...most beautiful have EVER your entire life." Uproarious laughter from everyone. "The moment you lay eyes on this wondrous, glorious person, you will rush into that person's arms and dance for as long as that song is playing." The laughter was now punctuated with applause. Rosco held his hand up again. Wait, I'm not done, his expression said. "While you are dancing, you will be filled with the most rapturous, happy feeling of joy and overwhelming affection for this beautiful, beautiful person. This person completes you." Boys in the crowd were whistling now. "But the precise second the music stops, you will realize exactly what you are doing and precisely who you are doing it with." Now everyone in the room was applauding. Rosco then turned to face the crowd rather than the boys collapsed on the floor. "This command will last...all...night...long." After waiting a moment for the resounding approval from the house, Rosco said, "With no memory I told you any of this, 1...2...3...eyes open, wide awake! Let's hear it for Kris and Adam, ladies and gentlemen!!"

As the boys picked themselves up off the stage, more than a bit confused as to how they got there, everyone rose as one man to give them a standing ovation. Still somewhat overcome with embarrassment over all they had been made to do up to that point (their memories were returning quite rapidly in that regard), they nevertheless each took a quick bow when prompted to by Rosco. He then gestured them both to step down from the stage, sending Kris off to the left and Adam off to the right. The young gentlemen were nearly to the steps at either end of the stage when Rosco cued the music.

Ooohhh, my darling...

Kris and Adam both spun on their heels and looked at each other from across the stage, eyes flashing as if seeing the other boy for the first time. With longing on their faces, they raced back where they had come from and clung tight to each other, holding on in a loving embrace, first just clinging tight, then swaying ever-so-gently to the music. They were oblivious to the cheers of the crowd watching them. As far as Adam and Kris were concerned, they were the only two people in the world. They had no awareness that everyone in the room was laughing at them. Until Rosco cued the deejay to stop the music.

Rosco moved closer to the two, who were still obliviously clinging to one another, possibly even still hearing the song in their heads. "Enjoying your dance?", Rosco asked. Adam sighed and Kris just moaned a satisfied, "Mm-hmm..." Over the ripples of laughter around the room, Rosco said brusquely, "May I compliment you on your choice of date?" Adam and Kris looked at one another and instantly jumped backwards, faces aghast, as if they'd just been splashed with acid. Big laugh from everyone. As the two boys looked at each other as if they were ready to throw down right there, Rosco quickly stepped in and began happily shaking their hands. "So sorry, fellows! We couldn't resist getting one last laugh in at your expense. Let's hear it for these two, huh?" The house applauded and cheered, their approval deflating the two boys' anger slightly.

Rosco patted them both on the shoulder and said, "You'd better get back to your real dates before they get jealous!" A chuckle from here and there in the house and the two disgruntled hypnosis subjects began to depart the stage. Rosco immediately turned to the deejay and twirled his finger in the air. One more spin, please. The music started once again, Ooh my love, my darling..., and the boys again whirled around to look at each other. Kris was nearly off the stage at that point, Adam had one foot down on the main floor. But upon seeing each other, their entranced love swept back over them and they ran to each other's arms. Everyone laughed again as if seeing this stunt for the first time. It did not appear that it would get old any time soon. This time, as the boys swayed and clung to each other, Rosco went to the edge of the stage and whispered into his mic, "Where are their real dance partners?" The house lights were brought up just enough so that he could see the raised hands of the attractive Christine and Lacey. "Could you come up here, please? I have a feeling these two are going to need a couple beautiful escorts to get them away from each other." The girls walked up on the stage, both of them all smiles, and Rosco had them wait to the side.

Rosco then approached the dancing young men and spoke gently to them, microphone held close to catch everything. "You having a good time tonight?"

He held the mic to Adam. The floppy-haired emo boy sighed, then said softly, "Yes. Oh, yes. Wonderful." His tone was so sincere that the crowd laughed even harder (if that was possible).

Rosco held the mic to Kris, who was already muttering his response. The microphone caught him repeating, "So beautiful. You're so beautiful. I love you, I really love you. So beautiful." That one got a massive ovation. Then Rosco signalled the deejay to cut the song. This time, neither boy needed to be snapped out of his reverie. Instantly, they realized what they were doing, and more importantly, who they were doing it with. They jumped backwards, arms ready to shove the other off if either of them delayed. Neither one did. As Kris and Adam stood facing each other, eyes burning lasers into his enemy, Rosco stepped between them.

"And I cannot think of a better way to end our show than right there! I'd like to extend a big, big hand to all of our volunteers. Without you, there would be no show!" Rosco stuck the mic under one arm and led the clapping for each volunteer who'd had his or her turn on stage. "And a special round of applause for our two big stars of the evening!" Rosco took the boys firmly by the arms and turned them to face the crowd. "Take a bow, guys, you were brilliant." Sensing their hesitation to show any appreciation for their own humiliation, Rosco moved his grip to the backs of the boys' necks and applied just enough pressure at the right spot to get them to bend forward at the waist. As Adam and Kris stood back upright, still a bit disoriented from being forced into a bow, Rosco said, "Your dates are here to see you back. Ladies, if you could lead your men to the floor."

The girls took their dates—reluctantly, by their expressions—off the stage. The boys paid little attention to the girls and instead shot each other looks of malevolence with intent to kill. Rosco pretended not to notice as he addressed the crowd a final time. "I cannot thank-you enough for having me here tonight. I hope we can meet again one day. But for now, let's continue with the main reason we come to prom in the first place. Everybody dance!" The deejay started a popular fast song and the lights shifted from the stage to the dance floor. Kids throughout the room took their partners by the hand and hastened to the floor, anxious not only to get up and move, but to burn off some of that incredible positive energy that they'd built up while watching the show.

As things returned to normal for this high school's Night To Remember, Rosco continued watching Kris and Adam from the sidelines. He could just let them go after this, provided they had learned their lesson. It was soon apparent they had not. All Rosco needed to see them do was show their dates some kindness and attention and have Adam and Kris avoid one another. Rosco already knew at this point that a handshake and a friendly parting of the ways for the two of them was an unlikely pipe dream. He simply hoped for a break in the hostilities. Nothing doing.

Within a span of less than fifteen minutes, Adam and Kris had a rude confrontation at the punch bowl, shared some deliberate bumping and shoving while crossing the dance floor, and had a brief scuffle over chairs in the VIP section. Rosco had seen enough. He once again approached the deejay. Crouching down beside the young man's chair, Rosco handed him a $50 bill. The young man looked at him askance, mouth open to ask what that was for. Rosco anticipated his question and spoke first.

"You know that oldie you played to get the two Bobbsey twins to slow dance together at the end of my show?" The deejay nodded. "You still have it handy?" The deejay pointed to one of the small side screens beside his main monitor and indicated that the song was still in rotation and could be called up instantly. "Good." Rosco leaned close, pointing to the bill in the lad's hand. "There's another one of those for you at the end of the night if you put that song back on every time I cue you. Deal?"

The music master smiled broadly and extended a hand, which Rosco shook. "Your wish is my command, swami."

The remainder of the evening was not dull. The dance started at 7:00pm, with Rosco's show at 9:00 and ran for about an hour. Now with still about an hour and a half left to go before the last song, Rosco had plenty of time to apply his posthypnotic command on Adam and Kris. He wasted not a moment of it.

Rosco looked to the floor and found Adam and Krs at a faceoff. They had actually stopped during a slow dance with their respective dates and were practically nose to nose with each other, eyes squinted and nostrils flaring. Rosco was too far across the room to hear what they were saying to each other, but their angry gestures and expressions made their intent more than obvious. The lovely girls they should have been tending to pulled their men by the arm in an attempt to get them away from each other. Those attempts were brushed away in favor of continuing their childish dispute. Rosco noted that one of the prom-going couples had already alerted a couple chaperones to the danger of the escalating conflict. Two of the larger male chaperones were beginning to make their way across the floor to separate the two boys, possibly even eject them from the premises. That would never do.

Rosco sent a nearby freshman over to the chaperones, who were directed to look over at Rosco. The hypnotist signalled the two men with a "cut" gesture of a hand across his throat. Stop what you're doing. I've got it. As the music faded, ending the song which the boys had interrupted with their tirade, Rosco cued the deejay. Once again the Righteous Brothers' velvet tones rang out across the dance floor. Instantly, Kris and Adam froze in place, then their looks of outrage transformed into devotion and they fell into each others' arms, swaying affectionately. All across the floor, couples stopped short, wondering why the song had be reintroduced, then spotting what had become of the two battling man-boys. Laughter and applause arose again and Rosco let Adam and Kris enjoy their dance for a verse or two before cutting it abruptly and allowing the deejay to go back to fast dance music without missing a beat. Adam and Kris yanked themselves back as the hiphop sound thundered once again. They shared a brief look of horror, then grabbed their girls and ran in the other direction. They could not get away from each other fast enough.

Kids clapped and howled as the two 'tuff guys' fled to far corners of the room. One chaperone gave Rosco the thumbs-up as he passed the hypnotist, the other man gave the handsome man a high five. But Rosco's fun had only jus begun.

At least once every fifteen minutes, Rosco cued the music of Unchained Melody to sing out again. The very next time that Rosco called for the song again, a great many of the other prom-goers were ready for it. As Adam and Kris abandoned their dates to cross the expanse of the room and fall together in their loving embrace, camera phones and small digital video recorders popped up everywhere. Rosco was impressed at how quickly the students reacted to the situation. Cameras flashed, recorders whirred softly. By the time the song had been cut and Adam and Kris had stepped away from each other, video and still captures were already being uploaded by the dozens to MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube. Adam and Kris looked around at their fellow classmates and saw all the smiles on their faces and the small devices in their hands. They knew exactly what was happening and were totally mortified. But the fun was far from over.

Soon Adam and Kris dreaded every new selection that might come up on the sound system. They tried to avoid one another, staying to far ends of the room as much as possible, but within two notes of the classic love ballad, they always fund each other. The two lads also learned very quickly that attempting to simply leave was not an option. As Kris dragged Lacey toward one exit and Adam pulled Christine toward another, the deejay spotted them even before Rosco did and put the song back on—right in the middle of another tune—in anticipation of the hypnotist's signal. "Good catch", Rosco winked to the sharp young man spinning discs (or playing files, in this case).

At one point, Kris was drawn out of the men's room where he had been seeking refuge in a stall and Adam was yanked out of the nearby courtyard where he imbibed in a borrowed cigarette to settle his nerves. Adam usually loathed smoking, but was willing to try anything at this point. (Besides, if he got caught, he might get thrown out and placed somewhere out of the reach of his hypnotic trigger. No luck there.) There attempt to lay low backfired and both boys burst dramatically form their hiding places, eyes darting about in search of their hypnotized true love. This time when they flew together, their hands clutched at the other and fingers ran through their hair. Each time responding to the trigger made them fall into the suggestion more deeply, and fall for each other more passionately.

So it went. Adam and Kris danced together in front of the VIP section. They swayed in shadowy corners of the floor. They hugged and doted on one another in the center of the floor. Other dancers quickly learned to clear a path for them as they raced to find one another in between hypnotic cues. A lady who was one of the party planners whipped up an extra construction paper name card of Kris + Adam with glitter and glue (she always had a stash handy lest one of the others rip or fall down and get trampled). Plenty of kids snapped pictures of the two dancing next to their personalized decoration. Once, the two enemies were so deeply caught up in their hypnotized dance that they were easily led back to the stage by a couple of the larger jocks, and left there to turn and swoon as lights reflected off the mirrored globe above them. By the time the music track changed and Kris and Adam once again pulled back with looks of disgust and frustration, there were at least a dozen video clips being saved from a variety of angles. There would be no way to intercept them all.

As the night wound down, Adam and Kris successfully stayed away from each other, although their expressions and demeanor were still that of someone who'd been sucking on a lemon rind. Their lovely dates wound up drifting away from them and joining groups of other friends who at least paid them some attention and expressed appreciation for their being there. The prom photographer had closed up his setup of lights, linen backdrop, and order forms for the many couples' commemorative photos and only the underweight AV photog made his way around the room snapping last-minute candids for the school paper's next issue. Rosco noted that the time night winding down and only a few songs remained. Some young gentlemen were leading their dates to the door and a few stragglers were hopping about gathering directions to one or more of the various after parties. That was when Rosco sidled up to his deejay friend and gave him the word. "One last time." The deejay nodded. "And", Rosco added, "play the whole thing."

"You got it", he nodded.

Hypnotist Rosco reached for the microphone to announce the last dance of the evening—though admittedly more to bring attention to his two repeat victims—when the deejay took hold of his arm, stopping him. "Let me." The young man leaned forward and spoke to the crowd in his best silky-smooth radio voice. It got the attention of everyone still present. "Well, ladies and gentlemen, it seems our evening is coming to a close. The clock has wound down and the music has all but stopped. I thank-you all so much for coming and hope you had a wonderful time. The school is being good enough to host a free after-party, and I encourage you all to attend. Those of you who have other destinations in mind, I urge you to be smart and be safe." At that remark, the chaperones exchanged approving looks and nodded in appreciation. "For now, this has been your senior prom music master and before I go, I offer you all one last slow dance to make truly this...your night to remember." With a buildup like that, there wasn't an ear that wasn't waiting in anticipation for the final number, not an eye that wasn't looking toward the floor.

Adam and Kris figured their troubles were over, at least in terms of them being hypnotically abused, as they made their way toward the exits, barely noticing their dates. But as soon as the song started, they certainly noticed that.

Ooohh, my darling...I've hungered for your touch...

Kris and Adam were no more than a dozen feet from each other as they neared the doors and their final escape. They turned to face each other, stepped closer, took one another by the hand, and made their way to the dance floor, eyes sparkling and hearts beating stronger. The laughter wasn't as loud by this point, but everyone still smiled and enjoyed the spectacle. Several couples even joined them on the dance floor. One of who was the two boys in the conservative black tuxedos who had, up until that point, remained in the shadows or off to the sides. This time, as Kris and Adam swayed, dancing longer to this song than they had all night, they held each other tighter, pressed foreheads together, and even gripped their partner's behind. A few more photos were taken, including a good number by the newspaper photographer. As the song neared its crescendo, Adam and Kris, lost in their hypnotic reverie, leaned in close for a romantic kiss. A number of cameras flashed. Even those dancing with their own partners stopped to watch.

The music suddenly stopped, the playback cut off in mid-verse, and Rosco said into the microphone, "Whoops! Whoa there, let's not have any of that!" There was a final ring of laughter and Adam and Kris, arms still around each other's shoulders, blinked themselves back to awareness, realizing at once what they were doing—and what they had almost done. So overcome with embarrssment were the battling duo that they didn't even jerk away or dart across the room as they had previously. They simply took a pace back from one another and stood there feeling humiliated. The passersby did not make them feel any better.

"Why didn't you let them go??", one gay couple pleaded. It was the outspoken pair in the garishly bright tuxedos and wild hairstyles who had spoken. "Do you have any clue how long some of us have dreamed of seeing that?!"

The cute, conservatively-attired young fellows left the dance floor holding hands, and one of them gave Kris a friendly pat on the shoulder as they passed. "You make a really cute couple. You should think about getting together."

Silently, the two sullen boys shuffled their feet to find their dates, who were waiting for them by the main door. "Umm...I guess we're done here", Kris mumbled.

"Oh, we're done alright", Lacey said pointedly. "You realize that you spent more time tonight with Mr. Hairdo here than you did with me."

"I couldn't help it!", Kris declared. "I was all hypnotized and stuff!"

"We both were", Adam agreed.

Lacey moved right up to Kris's face. "I'm not talking about the dancing. That was the only time you showed the slightest romantic potential all night."

Adam moved away from the unhappy couple and offered to help Chrsitine with her light wrap. She refused. "Uh, what do you think about going to one of the after parties?", he asked.

"I think I'll be going, just not with you", Christine said. A cluster of her friends, boys and girls, waved to her from nearby, indicating that she join them. She smiled in their direction then looked back at Adam for the last time that night and sneered. "I'm sure you and Kris will be very happy together. Fight all you want, I don't want to deal with it." With that, she was gone.

Kris watched the entire exchange and then turned to Lacey. "You want to maybe go out for drinks or something?"

"I want you to take me home. Right now." She spun on her heel. "I'll be in the car." The two young men were left alone. But not for long.

Rosco walked up to them and the two immediately took a step back, looking daggers at him. "What the fuck do you want??", Kris snarled.

"Haven't you already done enough to us?!", Adam said, sounding petulant and hurt. It was amazing how they both still felt that everyone else was at fault for their problems.

Rosco offered them a friendly smile. "I realize that things didn't exactly turn out how you wanted this evening, sorry to see that." Before either boy could offer a retort, Rosco placed a firm but gentle hand on each of their foreheads. He spoke softly to them as their eyelids fluttered and then closed. No one nearby could hear what Rosco had said. As the hypnotist removed his hands, the boys went right back to where their perceptions had been before Rosco touched them. "Listen", the hypnotist said, "if you ever feel the need to talk, I do some hypnosis counseling." He handed them each a business card, which the boys took and, surprisingly, did not tear up into little pieces. As Rosco walked away, one of the chaperones who witnessed their cryptic exchange raised a finger to speak with the hypnotist. Turning to the concerned teacher, Rosco smiled and answered in anticipation of the question. "Had to remove their hypnotic trigger to respond to that old song. Can't have them jumping up and slow dancing for the rest of their lives whenever they happen upon that tune on an oldies station." The chaperone smiled at that, and satisifed with that explanation, went on his way.

As happy couples and smiling friends made their way out to the parking lot, they were delighted to find that the newspaper photographer who had been snapping candids had a few printed copies to share with his friends as they passed. To the VIP guests, he extended the added surprise of keepsake photos he'd captured throughout the night, placed in commemorative frames of slender cardboard. As the last few couples made their way into the chill night air, Adam and Kris lingered some thrity feet away, waiting for the hall to clear out. After all the jibes and jokes at their expense that night, they saw no reason to exit with everyone else and be subjected to more of the same.

The school's AV Photog saw the duo and approached the two pissed-off boys. He extended to them a cardboard-framed photo from the stack under his arm. "Here. This is for you. It's something I'd bet everyone wishes they had tonight." It was a photograph of the two of them, Adam and Kris in closeup, just about to kiss—and looking very much in love. The two young men were horrified.

"It's your night to remember!", the AV student grinned. The twosome actually joined forces of their own free will for the first time that evening and angrily chased the scrawny photog off, hurling the photo after him.

The svelte newspaper geek grabbed up the rejected picture as he departed (evidently he was quite skilled at snatching up his lost belongings while being pursued by boys larger than him), and with a sly grin, offered the duo a wave goodbye with the framed keepsake. "This is SO going into our next edition. G'night!"

Soon the hall was empty, and the lights were being turned off. The deejay was packing up his equipment and the few chaperones still on hand were ushering out any lingering students and seeing them on their way. The two remained silent, but the thought they shared was relatively apparent. If they never went outside and resumed their everyday lives, they might not have to deal with the repercussions of their terribly humiliating night. But the urgins of one of the chaperones that the boys be on their way eventually brought that to an end. Adam and Kris wandered out the doos, which closed and were locked behind them. In the large parking lot, only two cars remained. One was Adam's, the other was Kris's, inside which Lacey waited impatiently. They stood there in silence for some time.

"I want to kick someone's ass", Kris fumed.

"No argument", Adam sighed back.

They remained standing quietly until an idea occurred to Adam, and he reached into his pocket and withdrew the card which Posco had given him. "This got his address on it?"

Kris plucked his own card and glanced at it. "It does. Even if it didn't, I know where he lives." He looked at Adam, and for once his angry glare was not aimed at the floppy-haired emo kid. "I say we get us some payback."

"The arrogant bastard ruined our entire prom", Adam agreed, his own ego making him accept it as true.

"Let me ditch the girl", Kris said, walking toward his car.

"I'll meet you there", Adam said.

And before long, the two angry young men were driving down lonely side roads in search of Rosco the hypnotist on a mission of revenge. Every mile of the way, they both believed it was their own idea.

* * * * *

Their cars pulled up to Rosco Bomer's home simultaneously. Adam had almost gotten lost once, but Kris kept him on track, using their cell phones to keep in contact. They stepped out of their cars, both still dressed in their tuxedos. They never stopped to change clothes, so important was their mission to confront the cruel hypnotist who had ruined what was supposed to be the best night of their lives. Kris and Adam shared only a curt nod, indicating their mutual intention to punch the handsome hypnotist into the middle of next week. They strode side-by-side up to the front door, oblivious by their shared anger that they actually made a pretty good team. Ignoring the doorbell, Kris pounded with his fist on the door.

There was no response. Lights were on inside, but still, if the hypnotist had gone somewhere else after his performance, their trip may have been for nothing. Adam leaned forward and pounded his palm against the front door. Kris called out.

"Hey, Rosco! Open up!"

In another moment the door opened and there stood Rosco, looking very much at ease and not the least bit surprised to see the two young men in black tie and furious expression. "Well, hello, you two. Come a long way, haven't you?"

Rosco had changed out of his tuxedo and was dressed in casual attire of well-worn jeans, a flattering sweatshirt and deck shoes. His obvious comfort only made the boys broil all the more.

"We want to talk to you!", Kris announced, making it more than clear that what they really wanted was to throw down with him and pound him mercilessly.

Rosco made a sincere frowny-face and stepped back a couple paces. "You'd better come on in, then."

Not stopping to think that this was far too easy, Kris and Adam stomped into the cozy living room. Rosco indicated the couch. "You'll want to sit down right over there and get comfortable."

"Why would we want to sit down and get comfortable?", Kris asked, incredulous. He and Adam then proceeded to walk over to the couch together and sit down next to each other, adjusting themselves to get comfortable.

"Go ahead and sit back", Rosco suggested.

Kris and Adam sat back into the squishy couch, in perfect unison. There they sat, as if waiting for further instructions. Rosco looked at them, a slight grin at play in the corner of his lips. After a moment's pause, he said, "You had something you wanted to talk about, then?"

Suddenly regaining his motivation, Kris blurted out, "What? Yeah! I mean...yeah! We wanted to talk to you about what you did to us tonight!"

"You totally—I mean TOtally—fucked up our whole night!", Adam chimed in.

"You fucking ruined our prom", Kris reiterated. "Our goddamn PROM!"

"Oh, dear", Rosco mused. "You sound pretty upset."

"After how you treated us, you better believe we're upset!", Kris agreed. "Damn right!"

"You humiliated us, you made fools of us, you abused your power over us", Adam ticked off the offenses on his fingers. "You made us look like dicks in front of our girls!"

"Oh, I'd say you were doing a pretty fair job of that on your own", Rosco commented.

"Okay, that's it!", Kris shouted. "Cut the crap! You know what you did, we know what you did—we're not here to have some nice little chat!" Instantly, he was up out of his seat. Adam joined him, rising to his feet.

"We're here to kick your pompous ass in!", Adam yelled.

"You really want to do that?", Rosco asked with feigned shock and surprise.

"Yeah!", Kris verified. "You'd better believe it!", Adam seconded.

"Shame you can't move then, isn't it?", Rosco commented.

Both boys looked at him as if he were an imbecile, but then they tried to move forward to set upon him. They went nowhere. It was as if their feet were glued to the floor.

"Right now your legs and feet are like reinforced concrete. Solid cement with steel posts inside to hold them steady. You can feel the sensation moving up your bodies into your torso, can't you?"

There was no doubt about it. They could.

"Let us go, you fucker!", Kris snarled. He jerked and pulled, but he could feel that everything hypnotist Rosco was telling them was true. He could feel that his legs were now made of cement. Adam was faring no better. As he struggled, he could swear that he could actually feel the immovable steel rods inside his legs, protruding up past his hips and into his waist and midsection. He groped at empty air as Kris threw ineffectual punches toward Rosco who stood several inches away. Try as they might, they posed no threat.

"You want this to keep going, then fine", Rosco said, pacing back and forth before the two angry boys, keeping easily out of their reach. Rosco held up one hand and the boys focused their gaze on it. "Now your shoulders and back are reinforced concrete, too." He snapped his fingers.

"Arrhh! GodDAMNit!", Kris cried. He was in no pain at all, his outcry came from sheer frustration. But from his frozen position, like some centuries-old sculpture of a bound slave, it looked as though he was. Adam was equally held fast, his back frozen in an awkward position, his arms held out at his sides, stuck in mid-punch (or grab), his hands and wrists pathetically twisting and snatching at nothing.

"Now, I can understand that you're both upset", Rosco remarked.

"Damn right we're upset, you asshole!", Kris shouted.

"We're fuckin' PISSED!", Adam hollered.

Rosco held up a finger. "Both of you need to quiet down and listen to me, or you'll see what it feels like to have your balls turn into steel weights, rips off your body and roll away." Both boys shut up quickly. They knew he could do it. "Now, if you haven't figured it out by now, I'M the one in control here. This is my house, I'm in charge. If you aren't convinced of that yet, watch this. YOU cannot control your own bodies—but I can. I can mold you just like clay."

With that, Rosco walked confidently to the two angry boys and moved their limbs as easily as if he were posing a pair of pipe cleaner dolls. The boys watched with astonished, wide eyes as the man with such power over them manipulated what felt to them like solid cement. It was disconcerting to say the least. With ease and efficiency, Rosco posed both boys side by side, arms and legs tightly together, hands down at their sides like soldiers standing at attention.

Rosco stood directly in front of both boys, looking right into their eyes. "Now you can feel your entire bodies becoming stiff as solid marble. In fact, they are marble—YOU are solid blocks of marble, from head to toe. You are becoming statues, and you know it, you can feel it. I am not kidding here." Both boys looked down at their stiff bodies and it was clear from their shocked expressions that they could feel what was being done to them. This was no trick. According to their senses, it was all too real. Their minds were making it real.

Kris's and Adam's mouths dropped open in shock, and Rosco, not missing a beat, slid his hands underneath their chins and closed them. "Your mouths are sealed shut. You can feel the powerful marble setting them in place, then growing over them, transforming them. You are nothing more than statues of two very attractive, arrogant boys in prom tuxedos. You can only blink or move your eyes. That's it. I want no interruptions."

The boys stood there, frozen and frightened, eyes a bit wild. Their chests would be heaving with anxious breaths if they believed they could move them. Rosco stood before them, arms crossed in defiance, and nodded curtly. "Good. That's better." He then pressed a palm against each boy's chest and pushed forward. Like toppling timbers, the two boys began to fall backward. They each tried to cry out, but of course that yielded no good results. "Mmmphh!" Rrmmmhh!!"

As they started to go back helplessly, still frozen in their stiff statue poses, Rosco caught them by the shoulders and stood them back up. "I take it I've made my point." Both boys looked at the young hypnotist with eyes that begged for mercy. Rosco saw and recognized it. He let out a slow breath. Stepping back, he said in a softer voice, "Now, I want to have a conversation with you. Obviously, we can't do it like this. What I want to do is have you sit down here on the couch, next to each other, as adults", and he stressed that word firmly, "and hash this out. Are you ready to do that?" Both boys' eyes blinked furiously. They were scared and wanted out.

"I'll take that as a yes", Rosco conceded. "When I snap my fingers again, your bodies will be your bodies again. But know full well that I control them, and you cannot possibly do anything to hurt me." Kris's gaze hardened and Rosco registered a notion of "We'll see about that", forming in his mind. "Do NOT test me on that", Rosco added. Then softer, "I do not want to have to hurt you." Adam's eyes darted helplessly in Kris's direction, unable to see him clearly out the corner of his eye. Don't push him, man. Don't push him. But the fire had already left Kris's eyes. He had gotten the message.

Rosco snapped his fingers. The boys fell back into themselves, limbs limp and stumbling slightly to regain their footing. Kris rubbed his shoulder, not so much out of any soreness to be massaged, but verifying that he was once again flesh and blood. Adam leaned forward, hands on his thighs, breathing hard, relieved to feel like a person again.

"So what the hell did you want to talk abou—", Kris began. Rosco didn't let him finish. He snapped his fingers again, the crisp sound echoing harshly in the small room.

"Sit down."

Kris and Adam sat down hard on the couch behind them. Neither boy had intended to do so, but they did instantly nevertheless. They both understood that if there had been nothing in the way of furniture behind them they would have just fallen right to the floor and stayed there. It was enough of a jolt that Kris curbed his tongue and closed his mouth promptly.

Rosco strolled over to a lounge chair across from the couch and, pulling it closer, took a seat. "Now then", Rosco began. "Adam, did you know that upon finding out that I was to be the entertainment at this evening's festivites that your friend Kris here hired me to use my abilities to take you out of the equation so that he could have a shot with your date?"

"What?!", Adam blurted, horrified, looking daggers at Kris. "You did? You fucker! What did you tell him to do to me??"

Kris began to answer, arms already crossing before him defensively, but Rosco intervened. "That's not important. What is important is why Kris would feel it necessary to go to such extremes."

"Because he's a dick!", Adam snapped.

"Hey! You are every bit as big a dick as I ever could be!", Kris snarled back.

"I never asked a hypnotist to turn you into a chicken or dog or whatever!"

"Actually you did", Rosco pointed out.

"What? I did not! I never tried to hire you to mess with his head!"

"No, you tried to have me do it for free", Rosco stated flatly. Adam opened his mouth to protest but Rosco cut him off. "The minute you saw Kris walk up on that stage, you started offering cruel suggestions by which you wanted to see me torture him. Have you forgotten that? I have a DVD of the show if you need me to play it back for you, Adam."

Adam slumped in his seat. "No, I remember."

Kris pushed his chin into his palm, pouting. "And it wasn't a chicken or a dog. That would be lame. I asked him to make you a fag."

Adam exploded. "What?! You asshole! For how long??"

Kris shrugged. "I dunno. Forever, I guess. Long enough for me to get Christine."

Adam was out of his seat. "I don't fucking beLIEVE you!" Then, to Rosco, an accusing finger pointed at Kris, "Turn him into a statue again! Leave him that way!"

"Like if you were a fag you'd give a shit who had Christine", Kris justified, starting to rise up off the couch.

Adam shouted louder. "Put him out in the school courtyard where pigeons can shit on him!"

"Enough!", Rosco declared. "Sit!" Both of them hit the couch hard. They began to speak simultaneously, but Rosco snapped his finger angrily. "Button it!" Kris's and Adam's lips closed tight, sealed in place. "Do NOT make me regress your minds to age two, stuff you into adult diapers and have you shipped off to some insititution for the mentally impaired! Is that what you want??" Both boys sank in their seats, heads shaking in protest. They'd be good. Rosco returned to his own chair, ready to continue. He let out a deep breath.

Feeling a bit more centered, Rosco settled into his seat and spoke. "Both of you have behaved abominiably. You do not sic a hypnotist on someone because you're jealous of his girl", he said to Kris. "A girl who", he said to Adam, "I suspect you do not even recognize for all she's worth."

Kris shot Adam a condemning look and went "Mm-HM!" from behind his sealed lips.

"You're hardly one to judge", Rosco switched back to Kris, "since you treated that nice girl Lacey like she was absolutely nothing! How much time did you spend with her this evening, as opposed to being so preoccupied with hating on Adam here?"

Adam shot Kris a look along the lines of Yeah, man, but made no effort to speak.

"We've established that you have both got a lot of improvements to make", Rosco pointed out. "I'm giving you your voices back and we will continue this discussion in a civil manner.'' Without waiting for his announcement to sink in, Rosco leaned forward and clamped his palms tightly over their mouths and gave each boy's face a slight squeeze. He then pulled his hands away and sat back in his chair. He made an open gesture with his hands. There, done.

Adam and Kris both felt their faces, rubbing their jaws and feeling that they could open their mouths again. Kris began to mutter, "...damn, no need to be so rough, man..." but Rosco interrupted.

"What was that?"

Adam jumped in, saying, "Thank-you for giving us our voices back, Mr. Bomer." His tone was forced, but he relayed his understanding that he was the submissive here. Rosco stared at Kris, who said nothing. Adam slapped him lightly on the leg.

Kris reluctantly said, "Yeah, thanks..."

Rosco let out another slow breath and interlaced his fingers. "There is a way for both of you to get out of here without any further...chastising from me. I don't think we're going to resolve whatever issues you two have tonight. That much is clear. But all it will take for me to return control of your bodies back to you and let you walk out that door of your own free will is for the both of you to shake hands and apologize. That's it."

Kris and Adam looked at him in disbelief. "Do what?", Kris said.

Rosco repeated himself, something he did not do often. "Just turn to face each other, apologize, and shake hands. Then go your separate ways."

The two boys stared at Rosco, then at each other. Then they both stared at the opposite walls.

"If I were you", Rosco said to Adam, "the first thing I would do is get to that after party and ask for your girlfriend's forgiveness. And if I were you", he looked at Kris, "I'd go straight to that Lacey's house, with flowers or a nice CD, and tell her how sorry you are for the way you treated her. But first..." and he swept his hands together, indicating that they resolve things between themselves to start.

Kris stared at Rosco, looking hurt and offended. "I'm not apologizing to him. He had it comin'."

Adam flipped his hair out of his face and seconded the sentiment. "I don't need to apologize. I've got nothing to apologize for." And he fixed Rosco with a stern gaze, adding, "To anyone."

"You need to reconsider this", Rosco told them. "Make amends and get on with your lives." There was a twinge of regret and sorrow in his voice.

"Or what?", Kris challenged. He had picked up on the emotion in Rosco's voice and mistook it for weakness. "You can't like, turn us into statues forever or anything. We don't kiss and make up, what the hell are you gonna do?"

Adam felt emboldened by Kris's show of defiance. "Yeah, that's right! You turn us into something, like the two-year-old minded idiots you said, that's gonna lead right back to you. You can't do nothing to us!"

Rosco shook his head. "Guys, just apologize, shake hands, and go. You do not want to go down this road."

Kris almost laughed. "Or we'll keep hearing that gay old love song whenever we see each other? Yeah, no clue there as to who caused that! We're done here. You're just lucky we don't kick your ass on the way out."

Rosco looked at Adam. "Hey, don't look to me for support", Adam warned. "For once in his life, fucktard here's making sense. You got nothing you can do, and we got nothing to do."

Rosco let out a disappointed sigh. "If that's the way you want it."

"We do!"


Rosco stood up and waved his hand over the two boys. "Glue."

They both looked at him in confusion. "Glue? What glue? What the hell are you talking about?"

Rosco said solemnly, "You are now both glued to the couch. Your bodies are stuck fast. Cemented, epoxied, welded there. You're stuck in place and no force on the planet can unstick you. The more you try to struggle, the more you'll be stuck fast." As Rosco pushed his chair back against the wall where he'd gotten it, the boys attempted to move. They couldn't.

"You see", Rosco told them, "everything you've experienced to this point has been basic show hypnosis, for want of a better explanation. Instant inductions, sudden deep trance states, quick responses and sensations. Great for demos, seminars, and prom shows. Almost never yields any lasting results. For that you need a series of sessions...of treatments. Starting with advanced, progressive relaxation."

"What...wait, what's that?", Kris asked, frightened again.

"Y-yeah", Adam said, his confidence fading too. "What does that mean?"

Rosco Bomer leaned forward and gently touched each boy's mouth with a middle finger, then dragged it lightly across their lips. "Glued", he said softly. The boys tried to speak, but as they had been told, their lips were glued shut. They both began to breathe harder, puffing through their noses, their eyes wide and pleading. Rosco took a step back and looked at them, there in their handsome tuxedos, stuck to the couch by hypnotic glue, lips sealed shut. Rosco shook his head. This all could have been avoided, he thought. But what he said was, "I tried to warn you."

Rosco took another step back and closed his eyes. He took a deep breath and extended his hands out before him, palms open, fingers slightly spread and hovering directly before each of the frozen boys. As Rosco steadied himself, Kris and Adam shuddered in anticipation of what the hypnotist was doing. They could tell that this was not just some misleading mind trickery. Whatever was happening now was of an entirely different level. The boys were now more than ready to abide by the master hypnotist's conditions, and wanted to shout out that they surrendered. Of course, they could not shout anything. The best they could do was whimper. Even that sad little effort was about to go.

Rosco opened his eyes and locked his gaze upon the formally attired subjects before him. Rosco said nothing. His breathing was slow and deliberate. In and out, with steady forced precision. In through the nose, out through the mouth. With no conscious intention, Adam and Kris found that they were mimicking Rosco's breathing and following it perfectly. They took deep breaths in through the nose, and breathed out through their mouths, lips barely parting, just enough to exhale, then sealing shut once again, held fast by hypnotic glue with each new inhalation. This went on for only a minute or so, but the boys' hearts pounding in their chests and their terrified anticpation told them it was far longer.

With no further announcement or preamble, Rosco dropped both his hands very suddenly, very rapidly. "SLEEP." Their eyes closed instantly, heads flopping to one side—ironically, toward each other. Their bodies retained a certain stiffness, since to their minds, they were still glued to the couch. But they were under now, deeper than they had been all night. Rosco relaxed his body and looked at them. Softly, he repeated, "Deeper and deeper, resting comfortably, feeling very good, thoroughly relaxed, tha-aat's it." The words came more out of reflex and long practice rather than any consideration for his two subjects' comfort. Rosco sighed. "Sorry about this, fellows", he said. Then he paused for a moment, considered that, and said to himself, "No, I'm not."

Rosco took a moment and got a drink from his cabinet sideboard. It was only apple cider, but Rosco lingered over his drink, enjoying the moment of quiet as he let the boys snooze. He kept his back to his victims as he savored the sharp taste of the cider, not wanting to subject himself to them again until he had fortified himself somewhat. After a moment's refreshment, Rosco turned around and looked over the two boys, looking so serene as they sat with eyes closed, deep in hypnosis. Not as deep as they were about to go, but still, they looked peaceful. There was also something else about how they looked.

Dressed as they were, still in their full tuxedos (they hadn't even loosened their bow ties), the two young men looked very nice, and not at all like the arrogant little assholes they were. That was one of the reasons Rosco always loved doing mid-prom shows, rather than after prom hypnosis shows. Seeing the girls in their fine dresses, the boys in their tuxedos, all flopped over helplessly limp in hypnotic sleep was always a delight to behold. The two boys, even more handsome in their formal attire, gave Rosco an idea. He drained the last sip of his cider, then set his glass down with renewed focus in his eyes.

Rosco imagined Kris and Adam as they would normally dress. Kris's everyday attire was easy to envision, having met the lad once before. He'd be in a sleeveless plaid shirt, denim jeans and work boots, a worn cap upon his head. What Adam might wear Rosco had to leave to conjecture, but he assumed that it would involve a great deal of black, a sundry unnecessary pockets and zippers, decorative chains and pinback buttons bearing catchy political slogans, an excess of hair product to go with his rather embarrassing eye makeup. In their day-to-day lives, Adam and Kris must look so very different from one another. But now the duo were in their tuxedos, looking not only very sharp but very much the same. Rosco would build upon that.

"I know you two can hear me perfectly well", he said to them. His voice was already settling into its soothing, yet authoritative tone. "Hypnosis enhances your senses rather than dulls them. I want you to be aware at this moment of what you are wearing. You are wearing formal tuxedos for your prom night. And you look very, very good in them." The slow breathing of the two boys increased in depth for one intake. The captured twosome slumped helpless on the couch did not expect to be complimented on their appearance. "Consider those nice shoes. How smooth and shiny they are. Focus the memory of your mind's eye on how they shine, how slick and appealing they look." The tuxedo shoes did indeed shine in the light. They were highly polished, with very thin laces. The kind of footwear designed to be worn only for an evening, a day at most, then returned. But they looked good. Rosco said as much. "They look good, you know they do. Sometimes these types of shoes feel stiff and uncomfortable. Not yours, though." Rosco moved a bit closer and lowered his voice an octave. "Your shoes feel very comfortable. They feel so good. They feel excellent on your feet. As you rest there, you can feel them cushioning your feet, supporting your soles as if with spongy pillows, growing softer with every breath you take."

The boys' minds were racing. They were still waiting on those adult diapers, or being turned back into statues, or worse. Why was their captor going out of his way to make their shoes feel good? What was he doing??

Rosco's voice slowed in pace as it grew in intensity. "In fact, those shoes feel so good, it's almost as if they're melting onto your feet. There's no heat involved, but your soft, comfortable, wonderful shoes are hugging and cushioning, massaging your feet as they grow softer and softer, melting into the most soothing material you've ever felt." The boys' breathing slowed as they realized that everything Rosco was telling them was absolutely true. How was he making their shoes change like that? However he was doing it, it felt fantastic.

"Your shoes are soft and gooey like gelatin now", Rosco continued. "They feel better than anything you have ever felt on your feet. They are no longer just tuxedo dress shoes, they are exuding a wonderful, peaceful sedative that seeps into the pores of your skin, relaxing your feet and sending you deeper into trance. Every muscle and fiber in your feet are totally and completely relaxed now. It feels amazing..."

Kris and Adam would have moaned softly if they had control of their mouths and tongues. As it was, they had never known their feet could feel so good. Especially after having been on them all day, and dancing for a few hours besides. Whatever it was that Rosco was doing to them, they no longer cared. They just didn't want him to stop.

"Now boys", Rosco said, "you need to relax and rid your bodies of tension. What I have done to your feet I would like to continue and expand to do to your entire body. Nod if you understand me."

Very slightly, both entranced boys nodded.

"Would you like me to continue?", Rosco asked. "Nod if you do."

Again, both boys nodded slightly. They loved how they were beginning to feel and they wanted more.

"Very good", Rosco grinned. "Let's continue, then." And so he did.

As Rosco spoke, everything he said became reality for his subjects. His voice remaining mild and soothing yet strong and confident and Kris and Adam's willpower grew weaker and weaker. "Your trousers", Rosco told them, "are the most comfortable pants you have ever worn. The formal black tuxedo pants feel so good against your legs, around your waist, hugging your ass. Feel it. Experience it. God, it feels soooo good." And they did. Adam and Kris realized that the tuxedo pants they had on were by far the single greatest pants they had ever worn. They felt so good, so comfortable.

"And as you notice how comfortable those trousers feel, you can feel them changing into an even more comfortable, more amazing substance. Just like your shoes—which you can feel still feel fantastic—so too do your pants become a soft, gooey, jell-o like substance that holds and supports you, molds to your body, and whose peaceful and sedating qualities seep right into your pores. They take all your stress and tension away, making you so relaxed, so happy, so very much at peace."

Kris and Adam could feel it. From the waist down, they had never felt better. They ached to have the process continue. They had never felt this good before in their lives. Their cocks twitched a little, starting to grow hard from the intensity of the supreme enjoyment. Neither boy noticed. They both felt too good to care.

"I would like to go on", Rosco told them. "Shall I keep going and help you feel even better?"

Both Adam and Kris nodded dumbly, their mouth grown slack, the first specks of drool appearing at the corners of their mouths. They wanted more so badly.

"Very good", Rosco smiled. "Feel your shirts now. You never realized, never noticed how soft they are. They feel so good, so comfortable, they fit you so perfectly. Feel how they hug you and caress your skin." Adam and Kris moaned softly. "they feel so good, they make you feel so good. You never want to take them off, do you?" Almost imperceptibly, the boys shook their heads. No, never take them off. "As you rest there, feeling those wonderful, wonderful shirts on your body, the soft material begind to change, just like with your pants and shoes. The shirts grow even softer, a bit thicker, becoming pleasantly gooey, like thick syrup, embracing you and seeping into your skin. Ooh, it feels so fabulous. Your muscles loosen, your arms, shoulders, stomach, your chest have never felt so relaxed, so free of stress."

Adam and Kris sank deeper into the soft couch. They had never been so deep in trance, and there was no trace of tension or resistance in their bodies. Their breathing was so slow and steady. To anyone looking on, it would seem for all the world that the two young men had partied too hard at the after prom and had passed out drunk. Rosco could see that they were as good as his. The time had come to wrap them up with a big bow. Or in this case, a jacket.

"Now", Rosco stage-whispered to them, "you become aware of your tuxedo jackets. They feel more than 100 times as comfortable, fit a thousand times as well as they did before. But oh, they feel so very heavy. You have never worn anything as heavy as your tuxedo jacket, have you? It weighs upon you, so heavy, so firm. It's still very, very comfortable, but it is so, so, terribly heavy."

The boys began to slip toward each other, their heads pressing together, their bodies seeming like oversized rag dolls.

"That heavy tuxedo jacket is now turning into that wonderful gooey, oozing jelly", Rosco explained. They felt it happen. How was he doing this? They no longer cared, they only wanted it to go on, to never stop. "That heavy jacket grows lighter as it becomes that warm, soothing, comforting jelly, wrapping itself around you, seeping on top of the soft and gooey shirts, increasing your relaxation thousands and thousands of times over." Kris and Adam sighed. It felt so good, better than either had ever felt in his entire life. "At long last", Rosco said, his voice hushed and quiet, "you are barely aware of the bow tie around your neck. It feels so comfortable, so much so that you forgot that you even had it on. No sooner are you reminded of it than it too melts away into a soft and delightful goo that seeps right into your neck, coating your throat, sending wave upon wave of relaxing sensations and feeling of pure joy up into your head. That joy floods your mind, fills your thoughts, sends you down deeper. Ever deeper. Deeper and deeper into hypnosis, feeling so good, so content, so utterly at peace...and content to do whatever I say."

In their minds, Kris and Adam began to take on the aspect of their gelatinous formal wear. They could feel their bodies growing softer and softer, at first pliable like children's play dough, then semi-solid like Jell-O. Finally becoming no more substantial than flowing molasses, convinced and knowing that their bodies were melting away, oozing softly into the couch and into each other. The tuxedo-wearing former enemies slid completely over onto each other as they sank ever deeper into hypnotic sleep, their rapidly emptying minds hungry for new commands to fill them. As far as they knew, and utterly believed, their bodies had mixed together, like two different brands of molasses oozing into one another, their formerly substantial bodies now nothing more than softly swirling puddles, sinking into the upholstery fabric beneath them, absorbing each other as they dribbled onto the floor to form ineffectual puddles upon the carpet.

Rosco took a step back and looked at Kris and Adam deep in hypnotic sleep. They were goners. Flopped all over each other, jaws slack and eyelids fluttering. He smiled brightly and gave a curt nod of approval at what he saw. The hypnotist rubbed his hands together and said to no one in particular, "And for my next trick..."

* * * * *

Kris knew he needed to make things right with Lacey. He moved with purpose down the sidewalk to her house, flowers in hand, a teddy bear under his arm. Kris had no clear recollection of how he gotten to this point. There had been the prom, the whole hypnosis show debacle, him upsetting his date, then...what? Something about going to tell off that hypnotist. Or get advice from him? Or maybe he went to tell him off and then got advice? It didn't matter. What mattered now was doing right by Lacey, whom Kris knew he had treated like shit. He had to fix it. Then he had to...there was something important, he knew that. Take her out to dinner or something? No, that wasn't it.

Kris's tuxedo was long gone and he was dressed in a very nice chamray shirt and crisp new jeans. He was in work boots, but the best and newest pair he had. He looked very nice. Kris tried to remember if and when he had returned his rented tuxedo. It was such a shame to have to let it go. He looked so good in it and it was the most comfortable thing he could ever recall wearing in his life.

Kris was at the doorway, standing on the porch, saying all the right things to Lacey. He had never been so eloquent before, and in truth had no idea where the words were coming from or what exactly he was saying. The words were lost to him as soon as they left his mouth. Lacey had looked so angry when she answered the door, he took her verbal abuse with great contrition and then admitted that he deserved that and more. The next thing he knew she was standing holding the bouquet of flowers (when had he given them to her?) and he was offering her the adorable stuffed bear. At some point she must have accepted it, because the next thing Kris knew, she was hugging it and wiping away a tear. Someone was saying something really nice to her, and it was making her cry a little. Who was talking , anyway? After a moment's concentration, Kris realized it was him.

"There's no excuse for how I treated you, Lace", he found himself saying, and actually meaning it. "And it only goes to show that you deserve better." Kris stepped off the porch and began to walk away. At the end of her walkway, he turned one last time and said, "I hope you can forgive me one day. And I hope you'll be happy." Kris departed, not hearing her cries after him that she would call him and that it would be okay.

Adam knew he had to make amends with Christine. The image was still fresh in his mind of how he had neglected the poor girl in favor of his ongoing feud with Kris (why had he ever had any bad feelings toward him, anyway? what was up with that?). Adam could recall how he had taken Christine to the prom, gotten caught up in that hypnotism show fiasco, been made a fool of, then left his lovely friend and date to go off to the after prom without him, feeling hurt and abandoned. He had even going to that hypnotist's house to take it out on him, but luckily got some advice and counseling from the far wiser and level-headed man. Thank goodness it turned out that way. And then...then? Well, Adam was on the front stoop of Christine's home, ringing the bell and hoping that she would deign to speak to him.

Adam fidgeted as he stood waiting for the door to be answered. His tuxedo was gone (damn shame, too--he loved that tux!) and put aside for dry cleaning. Unlike most of the prom-goers, Adam actually owned his own tuxedo. Now he was in a tasteful tight V-neck sweater and black denim jeans. He wore stylish tennis shoes, though one of the more bland pair he owned. No sparkles or glitter. His hair was combed neatly without the gel and his face was washed clean of any of his usual glam makeup. It felt odd, but it also felt oddly...right. He just hoped Christine would even allow him to say his piece.

And so she did. The next thing Adam realized, Christine was holding the bundle of flowers he had brought to her as a peace offering. Adam had picked them out especially because the color of the blossoms matched Kris's eyes. Christine's anger softened as Adam gave her the mix CD he had stayed up late burning for her. As Adam stepped off the stoop, walking backwards, he smiled and with sad eyes admitted to her, "Christine, you really deserve better than me. After how I treated you—mistreated you—I can't bear to be with you and think I could ever hurt you again. Please try to find it in your heart to forgive me." Adam turned and walked away, not even registering Christine's plea that he come by later. He called over his shoulder, "I really hope you find someone worthy of you!" There was no trace of insincerity in his voice.

As Adam departed, he felt not only that what he had done was right and the decent thing, but he also felt a tremendous sense of relief. A great weight had been lifted from his shoulders and he was going to be okay. All that was left for him now was to last through the remains of the day until Sunday when he could once again see Kris. He hoped he could make it.


The rest of that Saturday, both Lacey and Christine tried to call and text Kris and Adam's cells, respectively. After about a dozen missed calls, both boys sent back identical text messages to their former prom dates late Saturday night.

Something is different now. I can't explain it, but I know you need to move on. Find someone better, who deserves you. I'm sorry.

On Sunday, the girls tried their calls again, only to find the cell numbers had been disconnected.


Sunday afternoon, Kris and Adam drove back to Rosco's house. They had no idea why they were doing it. They just felt that they had to. Perhaps they were going to thank him for his help and advice. Yes, surely that was it.

After parking on the terrace outside of the hypnotist's house, Kris and Adam got out of their cars and stopped when they saw each other. For a split second, each felt a rush of hatred upon seeing the other. No sooner had it occurred, however, than it vanished instantly, replaced by a feeling of true friendship and deeply-felt camaraderie. Adam and Kris walked up and gave each other a great big hug. As they lingered in their embrace, patting one another fervently on the back, Kris said, "Missed you, man."

Adam choked back a tear and answered, "Yeah, me too."

From the window, Rosco watched and smiled. As soon as the duo mounted the porch, Rosco opened the door for them before they had the chance to knock or ring the bell. Without further prompting, the boys entered the hypnotist's home and immediately felt an odd feeling of comfort and peace come over them. For a moment, Adam and Kris stood before Rosco, just looking at him, not entirely certain why they were there, but with the lingering feeling that they needed to be there. Kris looked at Adam, and Adam looked back, both of them finding themselves grinning for whatever reason. Finally Kris broke the silence by saying, "Well, here we are."

Rosco smiled warmly. "Indeed you are. Good job."

Just hearing those simple words of praise from Rosco made both young men feel very happy and very proud. Rosco took note of how the two boys were dressed and appreciated how well they had followed his posthypnotic instructions. He was particularly impressed with Kris, who no longer looked like such a backwoods ruffian.

Rosco nodded to the nattily-attired farm boy and said, "Kris."

Kris responded immediately by answering with, "I'm an arrogant muscle-headed dumbass redneck." As soon as the words left his mouth, Kris's head slumped forward in deep hypnotic sleep and he swayed slightly as he stood, breathing deeply and utterly unaware of what he had just said and what had happened to him as a result.

But Adam knew, and blurted out, "Wait a minute—what? What did my friend just say--??"

Rosco gave him no more time to consider it. He said only, "Adam."

Adam instantly turned to face Rosco with a smile and responded, "I'm a vindictive preening clueless prissyboy." Then he too was gone, slumped forward, fast asleep, arms dangling and legs barely supporting him.

Rosco grinned broadly. They were both responding splendidly. Gently, Rosco placed his palms on the chests of both boys and with the slightest pressure, making them slowly walk backwards toward the couch. Once their legs made contact with the furniture, effectively stopping them, Rosco gave them a further push, sending them both down hard onto the soft cushions. As soon as the seat, Adam and Kris felt their entire bodies melt back into jelly and fell over onto each other.

"You guys are best friends, aren't you?", Rosco told them.

Dumbly, they both nodded.

"What do best friends do?"

Still sluggish from their trance, both boys reached with his hand until he felt the other's hand. They immediately interlaced their fingers and held hands. It felt wonderful to them. Sensations of joy and genuine connection ran up their arms, into their hearts, and swirled like a fog around their brains.

Rosco whispered encouragement to them, allowing each boy to sink deeper into trance and reinforce the joy he felt at holding hands with and feeling affection toward his former hated enemy. After ten minutes of reinforcement, Rosco had them stand up, still holding hands.

"Open your eyes." They did. "Look at your clothes and you'll realize that is NOT what you should be wearing at all."

"Hey!", Kris said, "what the hell am I wearing??"

Adam was equally befuddled. "How did I get these on? What's the deal?"

Both of them were indeed dressed in their own clothes, and in truth there was nothing wrong with them. But for all the boys could tell at that moment, they might as well have been dressed in rags.

"You'll see quite clearly when I open this cabinet that your real clothes are in here", Rosco told them. He then opened up a tall cupboard that lay between the living room and the dining room. Within it were two matching tuxedos.

"Wait, those are my clothes!", Kris declared upon seeing the tuxes.

"Mine too!", Adam was quick to agree.

"You want to strip off what you have on now and get into your real clothes as quickly as you can", Rosco told them.

Without another word, Kris and Adam were shucking off their clothes with lightning speed. Shirts were tossed onto the couch, shoes kicked off and pants left haphazardly on the floor. Reduced to nothing more than their underwear, Adam and Kris hurried to the cabinet and withdrew the tuxedos. Rosco noted the underwear and decided he could do better.

"Take a look at those shabby gross underpants you have on. You want to take everything off."

One glance downward and both Kris and Adam saw dingy, grimy torn rags clinging to their crotches where their shorts once were. "Aww, gross!", Kris moaned, shucking off his pristine gray boxer briefs.

Adam was close behind as he whined, "Eewww!" and peeled off his bright blue bikini briefs, tossing them away like they were about to crawl after him. Much better, Rosco thought.

Mindless of the fact that they were now buck naked an exposed to both the hypnotist and each other, Kris and Adam took their time stepping into the tuxedos Rosco had provided. They were not precise fits, as were the prom rentals they wore the previous night. These tuxedos were from Rosco's older wardrobe collection from his many nights traveling as a night club hypnotist. He knew that he was close enough in size to his two subjects that the formal attire would fit them well enough.

The assigned tuxedos fir the boys splendidly. In fact, the pants were just a bit too tight on both of them, moreso on farm boy Kris, which in their commando state actually looked pretty enticing. "You like being in your tuxedos, don't you?", Rosco asked.

Both Kris and Adam nodded, grinning ear to ear. They felt wonderful. "Good", Rosco nodded back. "Now sleep." With a snap of his fingers, both boys' heads dropped forward and they sank back into deep trance. Rosco knew that no further deepeners were necessary at this point. He had them so well conditioned that they would easily accept whatever they were told. So they did.

Rosco sat comfortably in his favorite chair with his feet propped up on a foot stool. He sipped gingerly from a very tasteful china tea cup, enjoying a soothing herbal blend of his own creation. Once he was suitably comfortable, Rosco snapped his fingers. From around the corner came Adam and Kris, attired nattily in their tuxedoes, white towels slung tastefully over their arms, to wait on him. The boys, moving like obedient zombies, refilled his tea cup, fluffed the pillow behind his head, and generally doted on Rosco. They occasaionally responded to his half-hearted thanks with phrases like, "As you wish, Sir", and "We live to serve you." Rosco silently wished he smoke, so that he could send the two flurrying about to catch falling ashed he might flick carelessly toward the carpet.

Over the course of the next coupel hours, Rosco had his young servants tending to every need of his household. They vaccuumed the carpet, mopped and waxed the kitchen floor, cleaned the bathroom, dusted, polished, and generally made themselves useful, all the while smiling joyously for the opportunity. "Thank-you so much for allowing me to serve you", Kris would say. "It is my pleasure and privilege to do your bidding", Adam told him. As afternoon bled into evening, Rosco enjoyed a very nce dinner (it turns out Kris was a fairly good cook, Rosco made a note of that) as one boy stood on either side of him, in their tuxedoes, at attention, towel on one arm, ever ready to clear dishes, serve the next course, or even lean forward lovingly to wipe a smudge of food from the corners of their master's mouth.

It was sunset when Rosco stood in the living room, the walls bathed by the pink glow of the day's fading light, looking down at his two personal butlers. Each boy was down on one knee, head bowed respectfully, awaiting further commands to make their lives complete. "How can we serve you, sir?", Kris asked. "Yes, please tell us what you want us to do", Adam readily agreed.

Rosco grinned at their total compliance, but he knew that the joke would get old in a hurry if he stayed on this path. He decided that these two arrogant, self-absorbed, and frankly very handsome young men needed something a little more humiliating...a little more life-altering...than one day of servitude. And he knew just the thing. Rosco knelt down between the two genuflecting slaves. There he gently cradled their heads in his arms and addressed the two tuxedoed lads in soft tones, layering suggestions and commands that he knew they would not remember. Having secured their ignorant and intractable obedience, he stood up and spoke again, strongly and with clarity.

"When I snap my fingers twice", Rosco said to his young servants, "you will bcome fully aware of exactly how you are dressed and what you have been doing all this time."

Snap. Snap.

Kris and Adam blinked, raising their heads. Immediately, they saw what they were doing, down on one knee before that hypnotist from prom, both of them dressed in tuxedos. A combination of confusion and horror was on their faces.

"What the fuck--?!", Kris blurted.

"What have we been doing??" Adam scrambled to his feet. Kris joined him instantly.

"Where the hell's my clothes, man?", Kris demanded.

"I think you both look good in the tuxes, actually", Rosco smiled.

Kris, rage boiling, drew back a fist and launched forward to smash Rosco full in the face. His arm, his entire body, froze several inches from Rosco, preventing impact. Rosco waved an admonishing finger before the farm boy.

"That wasn't very nice."

Kris immediately took a step back, hands at his sides, a look of shame upon his face. "I'm sorry, sir." No sooner had the words left his lips than his eyes grew wide with shock that he had said them. He looked to Adam for some kind of support, only to find the floppy-haired boy every bit as aghast as he was. Neither of them could determine what made the angry Kris respond so submissively. Rosco paced slowly back and forth in front of them.

"So...what have you been doing?", he asked.

"Oh hell...", Was all Kris could manage to get out.

Adam swallowed. "We...we were like your servants or whatever."

"Your slaves", Kris ammended.

"That's right", Rosco confirmed. "How'd that work out for you?"

Adam's eyes grew a bit wider from fright and he bit his ower lip. "We liked it!"

Kris, shaken, nodded his head. " felt good. Howcum it felt so good?" His knees were beginning to tremble.

"You getting scared now?", Rosco asked them, fully knowing the answer.

"N-no", Kris stuttered. "I'm okay."

Adam swallowed hard. "Maybe a little. Not a lot, though."

Rosco smirked. "The truth." Snap.

"I am so fucking scared right now", Kris admitted freely.

"I might shit myself any second", Adam agreed.

"Well, you're both in the same position", Rosco informed them. "Both of you have been controlled today. Take some comfort in that." Adam and Kris looked at each other. "Take comfort in each other right now", Rosco ordered them.

Without taking another breath, Kris and Adam turned and took each other in their arms. They embraced tightly, sharing their fear and allowing the warmth of their bodies to melt it away. They had no idea what prompted them to do this, nor why they could not stop. They tighter they clung together, the more difficult it became to resist and pull apart, but the less it seemed to matter. Both boys strained to hear the notes of that old love ballad, that would explain their actions and why they were behaving this way so suddenly. There was no music. All they could hear was the steadiness of their own breathing. They closed their eyes, clinging tightly, hands finding the back of one another's head and holding it tenderly. Cheeks pressed together and the heat of their skin mingled and raised their heartbeats. Unable to stop himself, Kris whispered to Adam.

"It's going to be alright."

Adam squeezed his eyes closed tightly and whsipered back, "We just have to stick together."

Slowly the young men allowed themselves to come apart just a bit. Just enough to look each other in the eyes. They could feel the other's soft breath, see into his eyes, sense a powerful connection, ulike any they'd ever felt before. Easily, gently, they touched each another's faces. A thumb lightly brushing an ear, a palm cradling a cheek. Kris felt his fingers going through Adam's thick black hair even as Adam felt the short softness of Kris's buzzcut. Slowly, inexorably, their lips drew trogether. Mouths open, tongues eager to probe, they knew at that time ony one thing.

They had to kiss.


Kris sat up in bed, gasping for breath. He was at home, dressed as he always did when he slept, in boxers only, under his own covers. His eyes darted around the room, eventually finding his clothes—his real clothes—cast about as usual. Jeans on the floor, shirt tossed over the back of a chair. His work boots were around here somewhere. He had been at the hypnotist's house, he thought. He had been there all day, with Adam. he was in a tuxedo...he was...he was a servant or something.

Adam threw back the covers and inhaled sharply. He slept naked, and so he was now. He put his hands down on the mattress and forced himself to sit up, his eyes searching the darkness of his room to gain some way to reorient himself. His clohes were neatly folded and set on the nightstand near his dresser, as they often were before he went to bed. He could not recall how he had gotten back home. He was at Rosco's with Kris, wearing a tux, waiting on the guy hand and foot. How--?

Kris felt himself get almost painfully hard when he thought of Adam dressed in that tuxedo.

Adam felt his incredible erection throb against his chest when he envisioned kris in his tuxedo, dressed identically to him.

Kris couldn't shake the image of the beautiful Adam, dressed exactly like he was.

Adam imagined Kris standing before him, reaching to hold his head, to caress his face.

Kris could almost feel the warmth of Adam's breath as the drew close into a kiss.

Adam felt the heat of Kris's body against his own, even through the jaket of their tuxedos.

As the inescapable image increased of their lips coming together, their tongues entwining, their hearts combining, both boys fell backwards onto their pillows, their breathing labored, their bodies perspiring slightly. Depsite all efforts aaplied through tugging and massaging, their stiff and unyielding erections remained all through the night and well into morning, never knowing release.

* * * * *

The last days of school went by like a blur. Or more accurately, in a haze. As they had originally expected, Adam and Kris took their share of razzing and ridicule over the spectacle they provided during the prom hypnosis show. For some reason, it did not bother them anywhere near as much as they thought it would. Kris found that his usual rage-induced loss for words was gone and, rather than punches, he actually threw some pretty snappy comebacks to the taunting remarks that met him as he navigated the halls. Adam discovered that his good humor over the incident allowed him to even cheerfully autograph the latest issue of the school paper (the young journalist was true to his word about them being featured in it). Even still, it wasn't long before both young men were called to the principal's office.

Principal Hanishan was known to the entire student body, and a good share of the faculty, as Mr. OOT. The name stood for Out-Of-Touch, although no one told him that. Hanishan spent many a long hour alone at home trying desperately to uncover the meaning of this mysterious coded nickname. It was this general cluelessness that inspired him to summon Adam and Kris to his office the morning of their first day back after prom. The white-haired man well past his ideal retirement date sat in his chair behind an oversized desk that he thought made him look important and steepled his fingers together, which he though made him look intelligent and in control. It only made him look like a losing applicant for a role as a James Bond villain.

"You boys may be interested to know", the principal said, swiveling slightly in his chair as he stared at the ceiling, "that I am very much aware of what happened between you during the prom's hypnotist program." He waited a beat, allowing his stunning revelation to sink in, and then slowly lowered his head to meet the eyes of the two senior students. "Does that surprise you?"

"Not really, no", Adam said. Kris just shrugged.

Hanishan found he was quickly deflating. "What, really? Why is that? I mean, I wasn't even there. I wasn't one of the chaperones. How could I know--"

Kris answered, "It's been in the school paper. Everyone's been talking about it."

"Incessantly", Adam interjected.

"Yeah", Kris agreed. "Everyone's all but hired billboards about it, so I guess you'd kind of have to be living in a cave not to know about it."

Adam turned to Kris and remarked, "You know I was picking up a bag of chips at the little Frontier Mart at the edge of town and the clerk was all like, 'Heard you made a wonderful performance at your prom show, Mr. Adam, good for you.' Swear I'd never even met the guy."

"No way."


"Guy at my aunt's old church stopped me on the street the other day to tell me he knew about it and razz me a bit", Adam recalled.

Hanishan cleared his throat uncomfortably in an effort to bring their attention back to him, discarded his posturing and pulled his chair closer to his large desk. "Yes, yes, exactly. It is this very razzing that I have called you here about."

"What, you want to get your shots in too?", Adam asked, incredulous.

Kris started to knead his forehead in annoyance. The old guy was clueless enough to actually do it.

Hanishan waved his hands before them. "No, no, nothing like that, of course not. The thing is, gentlemen, that your reputation proceeds you. Just about everyone knows that there is a certain rivalry between you."

Everyone but you, the boys thought, sharing a silent look. There was no doubt in their minds that this had had to be spelled out to the aged principal, either by a secretary or, more likely, by a student assistant.

"And there is some concern", the principal continued, oblivious, "that if you experience growing frustration over this teasing and public ridicule that you shall I put this...take it out on each other?" He leaned forward, fingers interlaced, tilting his head and raising one eyebrow in what he was sure was a very telling and intimidating manner, but in fact only made it look as if he were at the beginning edge of some kind of seizure. The boys thought about what the older man had said, or rather, tried to say. Kris spoke first.

"So...what, you think we're going to start wailing on each other in the halls if people keep making fun of us over the whole hypnotizing thing?"

"It seems a distinct possibility", the principal said. "After all, what better way to run contrary to the image of you two slow dancing together in formal wear", he indicated the school newspaper on the corner of his desk, "than engaging in fisticuffs to show your masculinity and diffuse those types of rumors and suspicions."

"Not if you saw Brokeback", Adam said.

"I'm sorry, you've broken someone's back...?"

Kris jumped in quickly. "Mr. Hanishan, we appreciate your concern, but it was all a joke. People are gonna laugh, then they're gonna find something new to laugh about."

"And the more they get a rise out of us, they more they're going to keep at it", Adam agreed.

"Exactly! So we either ignore their jibes or just go along with it. Either way, it'll blow over. If not..." Kris shrugged.

Adam completed his thought. "...we graduate in like two weeks, anyway."

The principal nodded, not entirely sure if the two boys had already solved the problem on their own or if he had just made some kind of impact on the boys. He considered it for a moment and opted to go with the latter. He sat back slowly. "Splendid. I am so glad we had this chat so we could resolve the issue in a civilized manner. That's what we're here for, to help prepare you for life in a responsible adult world."

The boys simply nodded and smiled, hoping that if they agreed with him, he'd stop talking and let them go.

"And this is just a cautionary meeting", Hanishan told them. "I'm not going to expel you or have you locked up or anything." The boys looked at him askance. What? The principal inclined his head toward the space between the two young men. "You can stop holding hands for reassurance."

Adam and Kris quickly looked down to find that yes, in fact, they were holding hands. Neither boy had any idea they were doing it. Wouldn't you know it that old Mr. OOT would notice that, of all things. Rapidly, both young men shoved their hands into their pockets.

"So we're done here?", Adam asked. Kris shot him a look that said, Oh please, dear God, let it be so.

The old man waved his hand toward the door. Yes, yes, be on your way. I have spoken, all depart. After the boys had hurriedly left his office, principal Hanishan stood before the tall window directly behind his desk, hands clasped behind his back. He looked out at the tiny enclosed courtyard beyond the glass and reveled in the misplaced sense of his own power and authority. Another crisis averted by his expert analysis and timely intervention, honed by decades of experience. As he gazed with approval at the small garden he had been slowly killing due to his inept pruning skills, a thought occurred to him. He called out to the next room.

"Laurie!" No answer. Again, louder. "Laurie!!"

Into the room came a slender wisp of a girl with red hair, carrying a notebook. "It's Lisa, Mr. Hanishan."

The old man looked at her, baffled. This was not why he summoned her. What was Lisa?

"I've been here for two semesters now. It's Lisa."

Oh. Right, right. Her name. Yes, Laurie's name was Lisa. Of course. He nodded as if he understood.

"Do me a favor and look into the friends and companions of the two young men who had just been in my office. See if any of them have experienced any spinal injuries of late."

Lisa scribbled something on her pad that she hoped looked like notations and left in a manner she hoped looked urgent. Rolling her eyes, she returned to her desk. She had long since stopped asking.


The final school days of Adam and Kris continued to get hazy, as if the surreal interlude in the decrepit prinicpal's office had not been enough. The two former arch-enemies found themselves compelled to hang out together, eat lunch together, and car pool to and from school and senior events. More than once the perviously feuding duo even found themselves walking the halls holding hands. Most of the other students loved it, assuming that the two boys had decided to fight fire with fire in regard to their prom taunting through a rebellious display of self-depreciative humor. The girls Christine and Lacey found the boys' newfound good humor appealing and at least once tried to reconnect. They were politely refused.

As the final days of class wound down and more events filled the calendars, Adam and Kris found themselves attending each one, and always together. The big bonfire at the beach had a T-shirt theme, and while most of the students wore shirts bearing the logos of bands, video games, or colleges they wished to attend, Adam and Kris arrived in novelty tees. Kris wore a blue shirt with the iconic images of two "male" figures, as would be seen on the door to a restroom, side-by-side holding hands. Adam's shirt was more flamboyantly colored, featuring a cute cartoon sheep with pink wool and bearing the legend Pink Sheep Of The Family in frilly script. By this time, their fellow students thought the joke had gotten stale. One jock in a University of Michigan shirt walked past Kris and, shaking his head, grumbled, "Man, we get it. The whole look-at-us-we're-phony-gays thing is so last week."

Confused by the remark, Kris looked down at himself and was stunned to see what he was wearing. He turned to Adam, and pointed his own shirt out to him. Adam was equally befuddled. "I don't even know where I got this", Adam admitted.

"Well, don't look at me!", Kris blurted.

The two thought of shucking off their shirts, but decided that the image of them runnign around shirtless would only make things say nothing of departing together only to reappear wearing something different. They stayed, and everyone got a good look at them.

At the senior breakfast, the dress code was casual attire, and while most students arrived in sschool shirts or at least the school colors, Adam and Kris appeared quite differently. Kris arrived dressed, for lack of a better description, dressed like Adam. He had temproary dye in his hair making it jet black, and was in classic emo attire of chains, black colors, and pinback buttons. Before anyone could remark on his outlandish getup, Adam arrived, dressed very much like Kris. Or rather, how Kris usualy dressed. Adam's skinny frame was in faded blue jeans, work boots, a sleeveless plaid shirt, and a grease-stained trucker's cap. For some odd reason, nobody wanted to sit next to either of them. Without thinking much about it, they sat next to each other.

When classes were over, there was not much left to do accept get their sheepskins and then get out. Thankfully, commencement rehearsal went by without incident and neither boy embarrassed himself in front of the entire class, either consciuosly or otherwise. As the large group dispersed from the auditorium in anticipation of the following evening's big ceremony, one small lad who worked with the organization committee, made his way to the restrooms. All curly hair and glasses, the lad hurried his way along to relieve himself and then get back out to the auditorium to go over music cues for the following night. He only made it so far into the restroom before he stopped short. There in the far corner of the room, before the last of the stalls, was two of the graduating men, one with short hair, one of long emo-ish style, wrapped in an embrace and kissing passionately. Each had his ceremonial gown thrown casually over one arm. Their mortarboard caps lay tossed upon the counter by the nearby mirror. Their reflections created the image of four young men going at it, hands groping and tongues probing. Spinning around in an about-face of almost military precision, the curly-headed lad turned tail and left the bathroom in a hurry. He suddenly didn't have to go anymore.

The squeak made by the kid's tennis shoe upon the floor tiles caught Adam and Kris's attention. They looked up in time to to see the rapidly exiting boy reflected in the mirror. At the same time, they saw themsleves.

Kris jumped back as if he'd been stung. "Fucking hell!"

Slowly, as if the floor were scattered with broken glass, Adam stepped away as well. "Whoaaaa..."

"Dude!", Kris shouted, his voice echoing off the walls of the abandoned men's room, "what the hell were we just doing??" Gasping for breath, he looked to Adam. "Have we...have we done that before?!"

Adam swallowed hard enough to be heard by Kris several feet away. "Kris. Do you think...are we still hypnotized?"

The question hung in the air, heavy and unanswered. How could they still be under hypnosis? The show at prom was days, weeks ago. Everyone knew that you couldn't alter someone's behavior after a single hypnosis session, could you? Even a smoker going through hypnotherapy to quit needed regular reinforcement, didn't he? Wasn't that right?

The boys left separately, their eyes sharp to see if anyone else had spotted them. The auditorium was now deserted, save for some organizers and tech people clear over on the other end of the building. No one had seen them, other than that small boy. No one had seen them this time, anyway.


The graduation ceremony went off without a hitch, save for the keynote speaker's somewhat rambling address, and everyone lingered around as cameras flashed and camcorders whirred, capturing the moment. Once again, Kris and Adam found themselves together, this time posing for pictures side by side and with their families.

"It's so nice to see you two boys have gotten so close", Adam's mother beamed. "What a shame it should happen so late in the school year!"

Adam was incredulous. "Mom, you've seen us hanging out together? Like, at the house?" He looked to Kris, whose expression broadcasting How the hell should I know?

Adam's mother snickered. "Like anyone could miss it! You two have been attached at the hip lately!"

It was Kris's mother's turn to step in. "Boys, boys, we need to get you together. Toss your caps in the air—no, no, better yet, put your arms around each other! Go on, do that!"

Kris felt a bit embarrassed, even though every other parent in the crowded room was doing pretty much the same thing. "Ma, we don't really need to—" but before he could even complete his thought, he found his arm snugly around his new best buddy. He turned to ask how the hell that had happened, but all he could do was smile brightly. "Cheese!!"

Shortly, there was a voice over the PA system announcing the departure for the all-night senior graduation party. Gowns and hats were passed over to parents, kisses exchanged, and hasty waves shared as new graduates hastened their way to the exits to load into the arriving buses. Kris and Adam looked at each other, considering all that awaited at the grad party. The Velcro wall, a bungee run, sneak-peek movie showings from the local Cineplex, food and drinks, a live band maybe. Possibly, even a hypnotist. The two boys slowly shook their heads. No. Fucking. Way.

Kris's mom nudged him in the arm. "You and your friend should go. You need to go off with your friends, let loose a little. Might be your last chance, what with all your talk about the big summer job you two have lined up."

Kris and Adam felt their eyes grow wider. Summer job?

"Oh, I know!", Adam's mom squealed, laughing. "All the time, it's phone calls, text messages, even those drives out to see their new boss-man. You'd think they'd forgotten how to have some fun!"

"Not something most mothers of the senior class need to worry about", Kris's mother agreed.

"I've never seen anyone so excited about an internship/summer job/apprenticeship- thing as these two", Adam's mom glowed, clearly happy that their boys were both taking their future so seriously. "And such a charmer, this Mr. Boomer—"

"Bomer", Adam and Kris said simultaneously. Phone calls? Text messages? And when the hell had they gone back there after the debacle of confronting him on prom night? How many times had the hypnotist layered suggestion after suggestion within their minds and they had not even known it?

It was clear that Kris and Adam needed to separate. The longer they remained in close proximity, the greater the danger that they could wind up someplace like in the middle of a fountain downtown, stripped to their underwear and making out like the lead characters in some chick flick.

Kris stepped up to his mother to tell her he needed to go. To go now, and far away, alone. Likewise, Adam placed a loving hand on his mother's shoulder to tell her that he needed some time alone, also as far away as possible.

"Actually, ma, Adam and I have some fun planned for tonight, just the two of us", Kris smiled.

"Yeah", Adam agreed. "It's something we've been looking forward to for a while now, to be honest."

Both boys shared a frightened look from behind their frozen smiles indicating that neither of them knew where the hell those words had come from or what they were talking about. Maybe they would swing by the senior party later they may have said, there were kisses on the moms' cheeks and some quick promises that their evening would involve no drinking.

The next thing they knew, both boys were in the parking lot about to get into their respective cars. They were tossing their caps and gowns into the back seats of their vehicles when Adam looked over at Kris and asked him, "Do you remember walking out here?"

Kris blinked a moment, then shook his head. "No."

Adam looked around trying to get his bearings, searching his memory to recall what he had done or said after saying goodbye to his mother. It was only a few minutes walk from inside the auditorium to the parking lot, but to have that portion of time wiped away...what else was missing? What else had he and his former enemy done without them even knowing they'd been doing it?

Kris spoke first. "We drive. We take off now, each of us in different directions. We go fast, and we go far. This Bomer guy can't pull our strings if we're miles away."

Adam nodded, not entirely sure if that was true, but willing to take it chance it might be.

"I'm going that way", Kris announced, pointing down the road beyond the parking lot which headed west.

"Then I'm going this way", Adam countered, pointing down the eastern stretch.

Without another word, the two got quickly into their cars and drove off. Kris moved as fast as he could without breaking the speed limit and being slowed by getting pulled over for a ticket. Adam was less cautious and every bit as fast. He headed for the highway as Kris went for the back roads. Neither had any idea where he was going, only that he wanted distance between him and his counterpart. They lost track of time as they pushed on for what must have been hours. The sun was setting as Kris pulled into a driveway on his left. Adam felt himself grow weary as he turned off the road to his right. Their separate journeys come to an end, both cars came to a stop and the two young men breathed a sigh of relief. They turned off their engines, paused to silently congratulate themselves on their successful escape and stepped out of their cars into the night air. But what they saw took them completely by surprise. They saw each other.

"What the fuck?", Kris said. "You were supposed to be going east!"

Adam was equally dumbfounded. "Well I thought you were driving west!"

"I was!", Kris declared. "I did!!"

"Then how the hell did we both end up at the same place?!", Adam demanded.

It was a reasonable enough question. They looked around to see where they were. They were in the driveway in front of Rosco Bomer's house.

"Aw, shit no", Kris whispered.

The two boys walked up to the front porch, their legs moving steadily by some unknown compulsion.

"We need to get out of here", Adam stated.

"I know, I know", Kris agreed.

"Then why the fuck are you still walking toward the damn house?"

"I don't see you doing any better!"

The duo marched in unison up to the front door and knocked twice. Rosco's voice came from inside.

"Come on in, boys. It's open."

Adam and Kris entered the hypnotist's house and closed the door behind them. No sooner were they inside than they both tried their level best to turn tail and run back out. Nothing doing. Both young men actually reached down and tugged at his legs, trying to pry his feet up from the floor. It was as if they were nailed there. The two then tried to push and shove one another around, or at least uproot their petrified feet. It was like trying to topple a two-ton statue. Rosco rounded the corner with a casual gait. The moment Adam and Kris saw him, they snapped to attention. Standing straight, eyes forward in sharp focus, they even offered a crisp salute.

"Sir! The arrogant muscle-headed dumbass redneck and the vindictive preening clueless prissyboy reporting for duty, SIR!!"

No sooner had the words left their mouths than the two boys' eyes took on an expression of shock and surprise. Where the hell had that come from? They were still unable to budge from their military poses.

"I trust you two have had an...interesting...last couple weeks of school."

The two remained frozen in their saluting poses. They didn't even blink.

Rosco stared at them for a moment, wondering why they didn't respond. Then, it occurred to him. "Oh. Right, right. At ease, boys."

The duo immediately struck the proper pose, arms behind their backs, feet shoulder length apart. Their eyes remained focused dead ahead, unblinking. Their lips were tight lines and looked as if they had been glued that way.

Rosco took note of their discomfort and said casually, "You may speak freely." He then added quickly, "Just watch your tone."

"How...why did we do all that?", Kris asked, trying not to stammer. "How did you get us here?"

"Don't let's waste our time with asking questions you already know the asnwers to, Kris", Rosco said. True enough. He was a hypnotist, they had both been hypnotized, but good. Next question.

"Okay then", Adam asked, "why are we back here? What do you want from us?"

"That's more like it", Rosco nodded. Slowly, the hypnotist paced once before the frozen duo. "Can you move?"



"Good. For the last several days, you two have been the best of buddies, attached at the hip, and acting in ways you never would have dreamed of before that prom night. How much of it do you remember?"

There was a moment's silence as the boys thought about it. Then-

"A little, I guess."

"Not much."

"Well, I'm going to give you back full recall of everything you have done and experienced. When I touch your forehead, you will be instantly aware of everything you have experienced in the last couple weeks. Get ready."

Reflexively, Adam and Kris closed their eyes. Gently, Rosco reached forward and pressed an index finger to each boy's brow. All their memories came flooding back. Every moment reappeared in their minds, crystal clear and freshly intense. Each time they buddied up together and spent time side by side, in school and out. All the stupid outfits the makeout sessions (they'd been kissing??). Each time they took long phone calls from Rosco or received his texts eliciting commands, the rides back here for reinforcements in his hypnotism. Adam and Kris swayed a bit under the onslaught of the recovered information. They needed to grab hold of each other's arms to brace themselves. When they returned to their sense and to the room, eyes blinking open, they were quick to not only let go but shove clear of each other.

"Clouds lifting?", Rosco asked.

"What the hell was all this shit for?", Kris asked, emboldened by his growing rage.

Adam ran his fingers through his hair, nails digging at his scalp. "Ohhh Godddd...what the fuck have you had us doing?!"

"You made us look like stupid assholes!", Kris snapped.

"No more so than you already did yourselves", Rosco observed. "So now you know what you can end up doing. Or, more accurately, what I can make you do." The two began to speak simultaneously, mouths angry and eyes a bit wild, but Rosco cut them off. "You've been a lot more popular and easy to get along with of late, if that's any consolation."

"It isn't", Kris seethed.

"Well, the solution is easy enough", Rosco told them. "Just do what I asked you to do before." The two looked at him blankly. "Shake hands, make nice, and go on your separate ways. It's that simple." The two continued to stand there, saying nothing, only this time they were fuming and pouting more than just staring. Rosco took them each by the shoulder. "Turn and face each other." Reluctantly, they did. "Look each other in the eye." That took a little more doing, but they forced themselves to look at each other. "Make amends and then shake hands. That's it."

"Why?", Adam asked. They turned to face Rosco. "Why is this such a big fucking deal to you?"

"What do you care if we hate each other? Is this even necessary?", Kris demanded.

"Unless you want to start your summer job right now, it is", Rosco cautioned.

They turned to face each other again. Adam looked at Kris. Kris looked at Adam. All their memories were intact now, the images and knowledge of how they had spent all that time together, dressed as they had, acted as they did. How they had been tricked, fooled, entranced to think the other boy was actually a friend, a companion...even more. Yet none of the imagined feelings of friendship and affection lingered anymore. Now they saw each other with those same spiteful eyes that saw their childish fued as reasonable and justified. The very idea of making nice with the perceived asshole before him made each young man's stomach churn. But if it meant getting the hell out of here...

Kris stuck his hand out first. "Sorry, man. You're alright. Let's let it go."

Adam was about to tell him off, but he saw the silent message in Kris's eyes. Go along with it. Hesitantly, Adam extended a hand. "Yeah, okay. I get what you're saying. I'm sorry too."

The two claped hands and shook once. Rosco's hands clutched each boy's head and held tight. With great authority and firm tone, he ordered, "You have to mean it. Speak only the truth."

Instantly, the two boys yanked their hands away from each other. Kris even wiped his palm on his pants.

"Fuck no!", Kris shouted.

"You complete asshat", Adam sneered. "All you had to do was fake it and you fucking ruined it!" He disregarded entirely that he was equally unable to lie whie under Rosco's suggestion.

"So you can't allow yourselves to just forgive one another for these real or imagined slights—", Rosco said.

"They aren't imagined!", Kris spat.

"I don't just imagine that he's a dick!", Adam added.

Rosco threw his hands up. "Whatever! You can't even forgive and let go of your idiotic hatred for one second!" It was more a pronouncement than a statement.

"No way!", Kris declared. "I shouldn't have to!"

"Why should I give him something he hasn't earned?", Adam demanded.

"What is your problem, anyway?", Rosco asked, infuriated.

"He took my girl!"

"You treat me like shit!"

"You look like a freak!"

"You look like a redneck!"

"Okay, that's enough!!", Rosco shouted over them. "You have once last chance to let go of all this bullshit or you start your summer jobs with me right NOW!"

"I fucking dare you", Adam hissed.

"BRING IT ON!!", Kris hollered.

"Sleep." Snap.

The two stood there, zonked out completely, swaying back and forth. Gently, easily, they came to rest against one another, shoulder supporting shoulder, heads titled together.

Rosco put his hands on his hips, looking them over. "Don't say I didn't warn you."


The odd "Dum-dadda-dum-dadda-da-DAA!" western chant filled the air and seeped into Adam and Kris's dozing consciousness. What followed immediately was a pounding beat of electric guitars and banjo strumming, of all things. The boys blinked their eyes open, each thinking he had been deeply asleep (which was true) and that he needed to get up (which was not). As the country music rose in volume for about half a minute, all vestiges of sleep left the two recent high school graduates. They found they were both standing, side by side, in an enclosed space. It was a room that looked like something out of the school's theater department, with crisp white paint, bright stand lights, and a line of tall and wide mirrors covering one entire wall of the room. Only a strong wooden bar broke the smooth reflective pattern they provided. When the brusque lyrics began booming from the copious speakers along the far wall, Adam and Kris both jumped a little, startled by the sound. They grew more surprised as their feet began to tap and step in time to the music. Neither Adam and Kris had ever heard this country song (they may have heard of it, as some of its lyrics sounded vaguely familiar), and yet they kept perfect time.

The verses rang out from the large black speakers in a husky voice.

"Well, I walk into the room passing out hundred dollar bills, And it kills and it thrills like the horns on my Silverado grill!"

The boys began with basic line dancing steps and then quickly found themselves executing more complicated choreography, stomping their feet and moving gracefully around the hardwood floor. This was doubly surprising not only because neither of them were particularly good country dancers, but because they had no idea what step their feet were going to take next until each dance step had been executed and they were already moving on to the next one.

"Cause I saddle up my horse and I ride into the city! I make a lot of noise
Cause the girls, they are so pretty!"

In perfect unison, Adam and Kris spun on their heels and continued dancing while facing the grand mirror. Each gulped at what he saw. The boys were dressed up in matching cowboy costumes. They wore red bandannas, large black cowboy hats, and huge chaps. They wore cowboy boots on their feet and loose-fitting open vests. Both boys were shirtless, showing off Kris's muscles and Adam's trim form. Toy guns hung from side holsters on their hips. Two large prop hay bales sat behind them on the floor opposite the mirrored wall. Atop those, a saddle and a looped lasso. No detail had been missed. The costumes fit perfectly. How had Rosco done this? At almost the same moment, Kris and Adam both realized that not only was the hypnotist a showman, but he had had access to the two hypnotized boys multiple times during which he could easily have had them fitted.

They wore no pants. Only very revealing leather jockstraps. Their bodies were completely clean of any body hair. When had THAT happened?? Adam and Kris executed their next few steps and moves before the mirror, thumbs hooked into their belts with the enormous silver buckles, hips thrusting like go-go dancers. It was clear Rosco wanted them to get a good look at themselves. Of what he had reduced them to.

"Riding up and down Broadway on my old stud Leroy! And the girls say
'Save a horse, ride a cowboy!' Everybody says, 'Save a horse, Ride A COWBOY!!' "

Forced faux cowboys Adam and Kris danced and thrust and stomped the floor. They spun around slowly, deliberately, and got a good look in the mirror at their snug-fitting, assless chaps. Their hands shot to atop their hats during the instrumental segue, feet kicking up and groins thrusting harder. They let out whoops and "Yee-haws!" as if they really were a couple of cowpokes having the time of their lives. Inside their chests, their hearts pounded. Their faces glowed beat red with embarrassment and their eyes begged for escape.

Eventually, mercifully, the song came to an end. It was the longest 3 minutes and 23 seconds of Adam and Kris's lives. They gave a few final steps, spun in place, then dropped down on one knee before Rosco, who stood leaning in the doorway, watching. Sarcastically, he clapped in response to Adam and Kris's impromptu (yeah, right) performance. Rosco then held his hands out. "Welcome to your summer job, fellas. Either of you care to reconsider your decision not to make up and play nice?"

Neither of the boys said anything. Neither of the boys could say anything. Rosco had them under the suggestion to stay there, down on one knee, smiling brightly and quietly, until they received their next suggestion. Their eyes screamed silently to be let go, but they had already blown that chance.

"What say we have an encore, little cowboys?", Rosco said. "I would love to see that routine again!"

Rosco produced a remote from his pocket and pointed it to the left side of the room, restarting the stereo. "And let's turn it up, shall we??" Rosco then fingered a second remote, indicating the twin video cameras he had set up as he did so. The duo of fueding young men then knew they would not only be controlled and humiliated, all that they endured would be preserved for posterity.

The music blared, louder than before, and at the first beat, Adam and Kris were on their feet, boots stomping, faces beaming, asses bared.

"I'm a thorough-bred, that's what she said! In the back of my truck bed, as I was gettin' buzzed on suds! Everybody says- Save a horse! Ride a COWBOY!!!"

And thus began Kris and Adam's summer job with Rosco Bomer.

* * * * *

It wasn't long before Adam and Kris lost all track of time. Each day they started early, jumped out of bed with a broad smile pasted on their faces, ate quickly and drove off to Rosco Bomer's house. They spent the entire day there, being controlled and humiliated, with only a quick break for lunch. By the time they were released and allowed to go home, they were both exhausted and demoralized. They were in no shape to fight their conditioning of telling their parents what a joy their summer job was, always with bright smile and glowing voice. No sooner did each young man's head hit the pillow of his bed than he would fall helplessly into a deep sleep state, where his unconscious mind would reinforce his programming as he slept heavily. The next morning, it would all begin again.


When Adam and Kris next awoke, they squinted against the light and found that they were together in the same room. What was this? Had one of them moved under posthypnotic suggestion to visit the other boy's bedroom? Or had they both gotten up, fast asleep, and met at a separate location altogether? They tried to move and found that they couldn't. At least not very successfully. That was when the room came into focus.

They were not in either of their bedrooms. Instead, they were in a basement, or rather, what looked like a dungeon. Walls of ancient brick, large and grimy, surrounded them. There was a chill in the air, which Adam and Kris soon realized had nothing to do with the room temperature. They were both very nearly naked. Clad only in skimpy loincloths, the small scraps of dark velvety material barely covered their packages. They were secured to their bodies by a small bit of string that wrapped around their waists. Once again, they were bare-assed. The boys were damp and sticky, covered with dried sweat and something else they could not identify. Smudges of what appeared to be brown dirt and soil peppered their exposed skin.

"What the hell--?", Adam said at last.

"Where the fuck are we now??", Kris asked no one in particular.

He attempted to move again but found that he was restrained. In fact, they both were. Chains were fastened about their wrists and ankles by formidable-looking metal manacles. Around their necks were thick, metallic collars bearing large name tags identifying them each as "SLAVE BOY". The chains were locked onto their bonds with their ends bolted firmly into plates upon the walls and the floor.

"If we're in some third-world country and he's sold us off to a kinky sheik or something, I am gonna be so fucking pissed", Kris snarled.

"No, wait", Adam said. "Pull on your chains."

"I'm trying!"

"No, not to get free", Adam amended, realizing that they were too well secured. "But just notice how they feel against your skin."

Kris looked at him askance, not sure what he meant by that, but then gave it a try. He then understood what Adam meant. "These...these aren't metal."

"They sure look like it", Adam observed.

"But they're not. They feel more industrial rubber or something. Like you'd get on a tractor tire."

"I'll yield to you as the authority on that."

"Look", Kris said, nodding his head forward, toward the far end of the room.

There was an assortment of spot lights, reflective umbrellas, cameras, and a video playback system cluttered there.

"I don't think we're in a third-world country", Adam sighed.

"Ah. So good to see you boys are up." Rosco entered the room by descending the stairs. They were still in the downstairs studio. "You were both really bushed, so I let you sleep for a while."

"What the hell have you done to us?", Kris demanded.

"Where have we been??", Adam asked, a bit frantic.

"Why would you ask that?", Rosco inquired, a bit perplexed by the question.

The boys indicated themselves, filthy, collared, and in chains.

"Ohhh", Rosco realized. "That." He walked over to a small kit nearby the video player. He opened it up to reveal a stage makeup kit. "You haven't really been dragged through the dirt. It's makeup." He held up a tin of bronzer and a plastic tub of something granular. "PFOO!" He blew across the top of it and a cloud of brown powder flew into the air. Rosco then picked up what appeared to be a plant spritzer bottle and misted the boys directly in the face. PSSHTT!


"Watch it!"

"Perspiration", Rosco winked. They boys looked at each other and saw that it seemed for all the world that their brows were now moist with sweat. Rosco held up a large clear tube of something. "A bit of oil, to accent those young muscles." Another glance down and the young slaves saw that certain areas of their physiques did indeed shine here and there in the light. They both sagged in their chains, looking almost relieved.

"So all this...this sweat stuff and wet spots around my crotch and ass...", Kris started.

"We didn't actually, you know...", Adam continued.

Rosco smiled. "Oh no, that part's real. That sweat's natural." Adam and Kris's faces fell. "Yep. It's alllll you. Here, let me show you." He wheeled the video player over to the bound young men and pressed play.

Upon the screen appeared a very professional opening sequence for what appeared to be a short film. The title came across the screen in a swipe-reveal, reading Prisoners Of Love! in a florid script. Starring: Adam & Kris, Slaveboys in love! Watching, Adam and Kris's jaws dropped. Before they could make a remark, they saw themselves onscreen, bound as they still were now, dressed as slaves (if their skimpy loincloths could be regarded as being dressed). In this filmed version, the stony backdrop behind them truly looked like the cold walls of an ancient dungeon. The film used a visual effect that made the images look old and aged, as if this were a secret recording of events that happened long ago. As they were now, Adam's and Kris's arms were held upward by their manacles and chains, fastened high upon the wall, very near to the ceiling. Their ankles were tethered to the floor. But here, they seemed more resigned to their fate, not at all surprised at the state they found themselves in upon waking.

  Onscreen, though chained and collared, the slaveboys reached for one another, straining against their bonds, trying to hold each other in his arms.

"Oh, Kris", sobbed the enslaved Adam, "to think we've been locked up in this cruel dungeon just for the crime of loving each other!"

Slave Kris fought back the tears and nodded, "Would that we lived in another time, when being true to one's heart did not lead to imprisonment and slavery!"

Adam reached for his bound lover as he choked back another sob, "I'd rather be a slave if being a free man meant denying my love for you!"

The dialogue was schmaltzy and overdone, but coming from the two hypnotized young men, it came across as passionate and sincere.

"How the fuck long have we been doing this shit?!", Kris spat.

"In general?", Rosco asked.

"Making the damn video!!", Adam shouted.

"Oh, this particular plotline goes on for about another 90 minutes", Rosco informed them. He paused the playback.

"An hour and a half?", Kris said, horrified.

"Well, yeah", Rosco reiterated. "Then I go on to the next disc. That one's closer to two full hours."

"Aww, geez!", Adam crumbled. It was only the chains that held him up. "What all did you have us do?"

"Whatever two poor captured gay slaves would do. Whatever comes naturally, I guess. I haven't reviewed everything. And I might have missed some stuff, too. I had to pause here and there for a pee break. You two have amazing stamina. You just keep on going, and going, and going..."

Kris ran his fingers through his hair in desperation. "Ohh, God! I'm a rump ranger! I'm a worthless fucking knob jockey! Shit!!"

"As to how long you've been here...", Rosco began, walking easily over to the two chained hypno slaves, "...allow me to elucidate." Rosco took each boy by the front of his slave collar and hefted him upright. Adam offered no resistance, although Kris tried at first to pull back a little. But only at first. Once Rosco had their full attention, he quickly slapped his palms against their foreheads and said, "Flashback."

Both slaveboys experienced a flood of imagery and recollections filling their minds with at least two weeks worth of events. They saw themselves spending every day at Rosco's, undergoing hypnosis and deep mental conditioning. They saw themselves telling their parents that to save on time and gas, they'd be bunking at Rosco's for at least a week at a time, and would only return home on an average of once every seven or eight days. Their own voices in their memories sounded murky and distant, as if they were hearing prerecorded messages being delivered by someone who only mimicked their voices. The parents, encouraged by their dedication to their sons' summer jobs, agreed heartily. Adam and Kris saw themselves undergoing trance after trance, each one deeper than the last. They recalled costumes and hypnotized performances both demeaning and ridiculous. They recalled showering together and even sleeping in the same bed.

Exhaling heavily, both Adam and Kris looked daggers at their hypnotist captor.

"You fucker", Kris hissed.

"For what it's worth, you're not", Rosco offered.

"What?" Kris was confused.

"You mean...we haven't had se—we didn't...these little cloth-on-a-string things don't restrict a whole lot of access!"

Rosco was quiet as he unfastened the thick rubber chains around their wrists. He left the collars and ankle bonds in place. As the two captives rubbed their wrists (which was more for reassurance of their freedom than anything else, as they really didn't feel raw or chafed by the padded rubber), Rosco fetched a couple of chairs. He sat the chairs down before the boys and said only, "Sit."

Without offering any resistance—perhaps assuming they wouldn't be able to—Adam and Kris sat. Rosco gestured that they should let their arms lay limply beside the seats of the chairs and they did so. Rosco snapped his fingers. "Clamps." Snap.

The young men looked down and saw what they believed entirely to be stiff metal manacles fastening their arms to the chairs. They knew there was no way such binding devices could simply appear, but they felt solid enough, and straining against them only verified this sensation. Rosco rolled the video player over to them.

"Oh, you are not going to make us watch it!", Kris growled.

"Seriously", Adam said, a tremor in his voice, "you can't seriously expect us to sit through that."

Rosco prepared the playback to restart from the beginning, saying, "I just want you to see something."

"We've seen it already! I don't want to see any more!", Kris said.

"Quiet time", Rosco said, and snapped his fingers. Snap. Kris shut up instantly.

"Our memories are coming back, you just did that", Adam urged. "You don't have to—"

"Quiet time for you, too", Rosco interrupted. Snap. Adam fell silent.

Both boys tried his level best to speak. Of course, they could not. They pretty much expected that. What they did not expect was that when they looked at each other, they saw metal plates bolted over their mouths. Square plates at least an eighth of an inch thick covered their mouths, a series of formidable bolts surrounding their edges, securing them to each boy's face. As much as they knew this was impossible, there was no denying the weight and the strength of the plates they felt upon their skin, the thick gag bit extending from the plate into their mouths.

Both boys started at the sight of his companion with the metal plate upon his face, then grew even more concerned as he tried ineffectually to move his lips. Their attempts to speak only resulted in murmurs and groans.



Rosco straightened the viewing monitor before them. "We'll have no talking for the duration of the film, gentlemen slaves", he told them. "Simply sit quietly—obediently—and pay attention."

Rosco started the video playback and casually walked away, toward the stairs. Both boys watched wide-eyed as they saw themselves appear on the screen, in their chains, dirt makeup all over them, professing their love to one another. Instinctively, they both squinted their eyes shut. Rosco had anticipated that. Without even turning around, as he mounted the first step, he said, "Eyes wide." Snap.

Both Adam and Kris found their eyes springing wide open. They strained to close them, but it was to no avail. They couldn't even blink. They watched. They had to.

For an interminable amount of time, they watched themselves tenderly touch, caress, and reassure each other, bound as much by their affection for one another as by their shackles. As the movie went on, their affection grew in its demonstrations. They clutched, hugged, kissed passionately. Both Kris and Adam whimpered helplessly when the videotaped slaves interspersed their hungry kisses with whispered words of devotion behind closed eyes and their cocks grew rigid with erections.

Eventually, the slaves onscreen clutched with one hand and grasped the other's rod with the other. Each took turns holding both their dicks in his hand, pulling and massaging. By the end of their entranced slave interlude, they both held each other's faces, kissing hungrily, as their swords crossed beneath them, rubbing and growing red and engorged. As the two bound slaves held each other tightly, they reached climax at nearly the same moment, squirting stream after stream of cum all over their legs. Both boys looked down at themselves and saw the partially-dried, sticky remnants of their hypnotic encounter. Their hearts were pounding, but not from shared affection.

Through it all, neither of the boys dropped to his knees to take the other boy in his mouth (the chains didn't reach that far). Nor did they turn one or the other around to engage in anal intercourse. It could well be that Rosco had given them instructions not to do so. One small safeguard, if nothing else. As the screen faded to black and the two young men on their supposed summer job sat trapped in their chairs bound by chains both real and imaginary, they realized that they truly were slave boys now. Even at that, they at least had not been forced into anal intercourse. Perhaps Rosco thought that allowing them to realize that may have been some form of comfort. It wasn't.

* * * * *

Adam and Kris awoke feeling more rested and refreshed than either of them could remember. Not just more refreshed than at any time during their hypnotized entrapment, but at any time ever, in their entire lives. They sat up. Both young men were in twin beds, each one placed in the far corner of a small room, so the beds were diagonal to one another. As the boys sats up, the dreamy fog of sleep leaving their minds, they saw that they were facing each other from across the room. At least he didn't stick us in a king-size together, each of them thought.

Still a bit foggy, the cobwebs of sleep—or, more likely, deep trance—not yet shaken from their heads, Adam and Kris slowly pulled back the covers and swung their legs to the side of the bed. It was then they saw how they were dressed. Each boy was attired in an identical, snug-fitting jet black rubber catsuit that made each of them look as if they had been carefully dipped in oil before retiring. Even in the dim light of the room, with morning sunlight leaking here and there through the window blinds, their rubbered arms and legs caught the light and glistened and gleamed with high polish.

Adam looked at his arms, sheathed in form-fitting black rubber that stopped at his wrists, leaving only his hands free. He quickly touched his chest and abs, seeing just how far the suit went (pretty much all the way, it was everywhere) and was taken aback by the ripple of pleasure that swept through him at the contact of skin-on-rubber-on skin of his fingers touching his rubber-covered torso which pressed against his flesh underneath. He fought back a shiver, and was only partially successful.

Kris was looking down at his large bare feet that protruded from the rubber leggings that clung to his legs and ended at his ankles. Kris curled and uncurled his toes, tensing muscles in his legs that sent miniature waves of delight up his legs and all around his glutes. He felt his entire body clench in response and his resulting body tremor was even more pronounced than Adam's. Kris looked across the room at Adam. Adam returned the wide-eyed stare.

"What", said Kris in a low voice, "the fuck...are we wearing?"

"I have no idea", Adam answered. Gingerly, he began to stand up. It did not make his situation any better.

As Adam rose to his feet, he felt the skintight rubber suit pull and caress against his bare skin underneath, teasing and delighting every inch of him. His cock began to stir. Looking over at his nemesis/fellow prisoner, Kris felt his own loins stir at the sight of his brother captive standing there, wrapped in rubber, streaks of sunlight striped across his highly polished frame.

Kris got up, a little too quickly, and as soon as he felt the rubber press against his back, down his spine, and across his ass, he became instantly hard. He knew he had to get out of this fucking suit, whatever it was. He began to fumble for a zipper, first up and down his front (oh maannn, that feels so good, rubbing my chest, my abs, God no, do NOT drift down to my crotch...!) and then, rapidly, around his back. There was no zipper, no catch, no release. Nothing to set him free from this wonderful and exquisite torture.

Adam was likewise confounded, as he checked even his sides for laces and found nothing but smooth, uninterrupted rubber. Neither boy had any understanding of the term 'neck-entry', but that is what they were wearing. Custom-designed, neck-entry catsuits that, once climbed into, were virtually impossible to get off without help. Adam tucked a finger into the snug crew-neck of his suit and pulled. It gave only slightly. Clenching his teeth, he tried to pry up a cuff at the end of his sleeve and lift the rubber sheath from his wrist. Nothing doing. Adam looked up and saw Kris, fighting with as much determination and as little result. The sight of his arch enemy, all in rubber, tugging away at his second skin was making Adam terribly hard. He tried to avert his eyes from the muscular farm boy tearing ineffectually at his rubber attire, but again, without much result. Kris kept groping, Adam kept staring.

Soon, it was Kris's turn. He yanked and pulled at his rubber suit, just making matters worse for the erotic tactile snesations it created, and found it was like trying to remove his own skin. "It looks damn near like these things were put together around us", Kris suggested, shaking his head in frustration. The idea was ridiculous, but then, so was there situation. Kris looked up at Adam and saw him in his matching predicament. "Maybe if we..." Kris froze. Adam was not as physically impressive as Kris, but the sight of him, his slender build, raven black hair, dazzling eyes, literally pawing himself—his rubber self—was making Kris incredibly aroused. Adam looked up and met his eyes.


Kris just stared. He began to speak, found he couldn't, closed his mouth. Then he couldn't seem to figure out why it was he was trying to speak int he first place. Good Christ, but Adam looked hot. "Yeah what?", he finally managed to say.

"Maybe if we what?", Adam said. "You were saying something, like you had an idea. Maybe if we..."

Kris's mind swam to find the answer to that hard question. Maybe if we jumped all over each other and rolled around on the bed rubbing together like a couple of ferrets in heat. Then he found himself again. "Oh! Right! No, it was, I was thinking, maybe if we had a little more light to work with, we could see how these things come off." Hurriedly, Kris strode over to the window and yanked on the cord to the blinds. The blinds zipped upwards, flooding the room with morning light. "There. That ought to give us something to work with—" Kris turned around and found he had lost his voice all over again.

Adam stood fully lit with morning sunshine. The skintight black rubber suit he wore, which looked so enticing in the dark, now appeared ten times as erotic as it shone brightly with gleams and glints of pure white over his every curve and nuance. Adam had not yet looked up, and as he busied himself still searching in vain for some type of zipper or seam, the flashes of brillance of his polished suit seemed to jump from here to there, accenting the length of his arms, the trim cut of his abdomen, the supple curve of his ass.

Kris stuttered numbly, trying to reclaim the sentence he had been forming but which now drifted off as he stared like an imbecile at the rubbered Adam. He was extraordinarily hard. Adam realized that Kris had not finished what he had been saying and looked up to ask him. "The light helps a lot, but I'm still not finding any way to get out of this fucking thing. God, it sure is...shiny..." Adam had caught sight of Kris. Kris stood there, backlit by the open window. His mostly-silhouetted form actually made him look even more attractive, if such a thing was possible. Kris's broad shoulders, strong arms, and farmboy's hips were outlined by the glow of morning daylight, giving him an angelic quality that made Adam's cock spring to life and press hard against it's latex confines. It did not help diminish the erotic sensation of the suit by any means.

Kris squinted his eyes, trying to collect himself. He was not turned on, he was not turned, he so was not. Oh hell yes he was. Kris shook his head, as if that would shake away his sudden gay thoughts about the hot emo guy in the rubber suit standing before him, and opened his eyes. "Adam, I was just thinking that if we could see better, we might—" He stopped, noticing something over Adam's crotch. Why was he looking there?! Shake it off, shake it off. Kris pointed. "Dude, right there on your pants."

Adam immediately cupped his hands over his hard-on. "What? Yeah, that. It's nothing. Morning wood. It's nothing. Happens to lots of guys. It's not like I'm getting all worked up or anything. It's totally normal. Forget it."

Kris furrowed his brow. Why had Adam mentioned that? Kris hadn't even noticed he had a raging...but oh, holy shit he sure did now. Shake it away. "No, it's not that", Kris started.

"Hey, it's not like you don't have one, too!" Adam jerked his chin toward Kris's engourged wood within his own rubber suit. Kris looked down quickly. Hell's bells, he had turned just enough at the waist that his protrusion was actually catching the light. Kris slapped his hands over his crotch.

"Well, stop lookin' at it, perv! Anyway, that's not what I meant! Look under your hands."

"What for? Wanna take another peek?"

"What? No!"


"Just take your fucking hands away."

"You take your hands away."

Frustrated and impatient, Kris strode across the room and took Adam's arms by the wrists and pulled them away from his crotch. Holding them up in the air, putting Adam in a 'surrender' position, Kris met his nemesis eye to eye. ", asshole!"

Adam tried his best to meet Kris gaze for gaze, even though he could feel from Kris's grip that he was clearly the stronger of the two. "What're you gonna do now, queer boy? Throw me on the bed and have your way with me now that I'm dressed up in this—"

Kris cut him off. "Look down."

"Why? So you can make fun of the fact that I've got a perfectly innocent bone—what the hell is this?"

Kris angled his body into the sunlight and looked down at himself. "Dude. I've got one, too."

Each young man had a rubber patch over his privates, held tightly in place with several shining metal snaps. It was snug enough to outline each boy's package, but loose enough to provide a little extra bulge as well.

Adam swallowed. "You can let go of my arms now."

Kris hadn't even realized that he was still gripping Adam by the wrists. It felt so natural, so nice, even. That contact. He hurriedly let go, then took a step back, acting as if his failure to release Adam's arms was a simple oversight. He turned his attention back to the snap-on pouches fastened over their cocks.

"What the fuck, man?", Kris asked. Then he looked back at Adam. It looked kind of hot. It looked really hot, actually. Especially on him, all tall, rubbered, with that dark hair of his. Shake, shake, shake.

"It''s a codpiece", Adam explained.

Kris blinked. He'd never seen anything like it. "I though you didn't know what it was either."

Adam felt defensive. Trying to hide that his eyes had also fallen on his fellow captive's newly-defined package, he said, "I know what one is, I just didn't know what I was doing with one."

"What's it for?", Kris asked.

Adam looked very nervous. Like he was about to reveal some kind of forbidden knowledge about something he wasn't supposed to know. Kris became impatient.

"What's it FOR, man?!"

Adam swallowed uncomfortably. He tried to get a little more breathing room out of his rubber suit, realized that the crew neck was too snug, gave it up. "The, um...the snaps on top, you pull them down, and—No! Don't DO it now!!"

Too late. Kris, anxious to have this strange contraption off his crotch, pulled at the top of his codpiece, allowing the flap to fall open. There, barely contained behind an open circle of reinforced rubber, was his member. It didn't stay contained for long. In another second, his penis spilled out, followed by his testicles, which tumbled out and were caught by the portion of the codpiece pouch that was still snapped on.

"Oh, shit!", Kris cried. "Oh, fuck me—my junk is everywhere!" He looked to Adam, pointing an accusing finger. "You wanted me to do that! Christ, yuo told me to!"

"I told you NOT to!"

"Stop looking at me, you fucking faggot! God, you're checking me out, you freak!"

"You're the freak! I'm not the one with the donkey dick!"

"I knew it! You're looking at it! You're cruising me right now! Oh, fuck!"

"I can't miss it, you jackass! It's practically down to the floor!"

"STOP LOOKING!!" Kris fought desperately to shove his dangling member back where it came from, realized there was no way to get the genie back into the bottle, and opted to just snap himself back up. The codpiece did a fine job of displaying his package, even rewrapped in rubber. Adam saw that clearly enough.

"Fag", Kris sneered.

"I'm not gay", Adam insisted.

"How did you know about this thing, then, huh? How would you know what one of these cud pieces was, unless you're queer? Explain that!"


"SEE?! Right there! Fag!"


Kris backed away. "Just stay the hell away form me until I can figure out how to get out of this rubber fag suit."

"Hey, I'm wearing one too!"

"You probably like it. You probably helped him dress me up in it."

"I will kick your sorry ass, you stupid redneck—" Adam puased in his threat when he saw Kris's expression change. It wasn't one of concern or rage, it was surprise. Adam furrowed his brow. "What?"

"Dude. I just backed into the window."

"Yeah? So?"

"If I ask you to do something, will you promise not to take advantage of me and fag rape me?"


"Look at my ass."

"What, are you serious? No way!"

Kris took a deep breath, let it out slowly. "Just. Look. At my ass. I am going to turn around very carefully. If you try to jump me, I will totally kick your ass."

"Like I'd want to jump you. And like you could."

"Just don't try it. I'm warning you."

"So turn around already!"

Kris rotated where he stood and placed his hands on the glass of the window. Arching his back ever so slightly, he spread his legs and pushed his ass outward. "Do you see it?"

Oh, Adam saw it alright. A magnificent, toned, muscular ass held tightly within form-fitting, highly polished black rubber. Holy shit, how could he not see it?

"Umm...what, uh...what am I supposed to be seeing here, exactly?"

"The hole."

Hole? What hole? HIS hole? The suit was form-fitting, it covered up the guy's hole. What, was he crazy? "I don't see any ho—", at that moment, Adam did see it. "—holy shit, you're right. There is a hole there."

And so there was. A small opening, about the size of a nickel, right dead center in the seat of Kris's rubber suit. The area surrounding the hole, perhaps two inches wide, was a slightly different color than the rest of the rubber bodysuit. If Adam hadn't been scrutinizing it, he most likely would not have noticed it.

"What are you doing back there?", Kris demanded. "Can you see it, or what?"

"I'm checking something", Adam told him.

Kris spun around in a hurry. "Don't touch me!" To his surprise, Adam was still several feet away, both hands around his back, fingering himself...or something. Kris raised an eyebrow. "Dude, what are you doing?"

"I've got one too", Adam said. "A hole back there in my suit. God, the area around it is kind of funky. Feel it."

Kris tilted his head to the side. Okay. Almost zombielike, he began to move toward Adam, his arms outstretched. Adam caught sight of Kris as he approached.

"Ahh! Not mine, YOURS! Feel your own hole!"

Kris took a quick step back, grabbing his own ass firmly. "Right! I knew that! I knew that was what you meant." Then he really felt what Adam was talking about. "Dude. What is that??"

The area around that tiny hole was softer than the rest of the rubber. Supple, pliable, very easily pulled and widened. More than enough felxibility to stick something into...say a penis. As they pulled, a slippery substance, something fresh and scented seeped out onto their fingertips.

"Aww, man", Kris griped. "Do you feel that??"

"Yeah, I do."

"What is that?!"

"I think, most likely", Adam started, "well, kind of obviously, I guess it's..."

They spoke in unison. "Lube."


Kris looked at Adam and his expression softened. "You've got one too." Adam shot a look that translated clearly to "Duh." Kris let out a slow breath of exasperation. "Sorry, man. I forget, much as I hate you, you're stuck in this insane situation as much as I am. You don't want this, either."

Adam breathed a little easier himself. "Not hardly." He was still nursing a massive hard-on, but tried to ignore it while silently appreciating that his codpiece partly covered it up. Partly.

Kris approached him. "At least if we gotta piss or take a dump, these stupid suits will make that a little easier, even if we can't figure out how to get 'em off." He offered a weak smile. Adam grinned back.

"Maybe we should help each other."


"Look over each other's suits, see if we can't spot something from the outside that's harder to see while wearing them. Just this once."

Kris nodded. "Deal."

Gingerly, the rubberized duo began to look each other over. Nothing new. Kris jerked his head toward the window. "We should step closer to the light." Adam nodded. Okay. So they did. No seams became suddenly apparent as the morning sun beat down against their black latex bodies. All that became readily apparent was that black absorbs sunlight and they were growing increasingly warm. Kris stood and looked at Adam, feeling himself heating up. Adam looked back, getting warmer all the while. Slowly, Adam turned around, allowing Kris to examine him a bit more thoroughly. Kris did. He stared intently at Adam's tight ass, his thighs, his trim waist, his shoulders, which were a lot broader than he thought, accented by the gleaming rubber.

"You see anything?"

Kris gulped. Oh, yeah.

"Well?? Is there a zipper or something?"

Kris shook his head. "I—I can't tell from here."

"You need to get closer."

Kris felt his dick pushing against the codpiece pouch (he never did get it stuffed back inside his suit all the way). It was like his little dancing sausage was eager to try out that lubed stretchy-hole himself. Unsnap the pouch, unsnap the pouch. Turn me loose!

Very slowly, Kris shuffled forward across the carpet and began to touch Adam's suit. It was so very warm. Gently, he slid his fingers up and down Adam's sides and pressed his palms all over his back. No zippers, no fasteners, no clue. Kris had no idea what a neck-entry suit was and knew only that Adam looked so fucking good in rubber. Kris closed his eyes and was surprised to find that his inward breathing was becoming ragged.

Adam turned around suddenly. "Maybe there's something more to that hole-in-the-seat thing. You don't suppose—" He was face to face with Kris. Adam could feel Kris's breath upon his face. It actually smelled sweet. He stopped talking. Carefully, he rested his hands atop Kris's shoulders.

"I've, um, I've heard of there being zippers along the shoulders. Of, like, wetsuits and stuff like that."

"No", Kris whispered, shaking his head slowly. "No zippers there." He rested his hands on Adam's chest. It was harder and more muscular than he imagined. "N-no front zip, either. know, up the front."

Their eyes locked and they had no idea why, but they found it impossible to move. Adam slid his hands from Kris's shoulders up to his neck, which he held very gently. When next he spoke, his voice was almost to soft to hear. "No back zip at the neck, either."

Kris drew closer and cradled Adam's face in his hands. "It's okay. We'll find a way out of this." Adam's eyes were so lovely. Like a girl's. Or like a bird's. How could he not have noticed that before? He pulled Adam's lips toward his. The warmth of his breath was matching, if not surpassing, the warmth of their sun-drenched ebony suits.

Adam's heart was beating so quickly now. He shifted Kris's head to rest upon his shoulder. He wanted to kiss him so badly, and that scared the hell out of him. The two young men held each other tightly, Kris's head upon Adam's shoulder, Adam resting his own head against his fellow captive's. Neither said anything for a while. Adam was painfully aware that he was so, so very hard. He hoped that Kris would not notice, but then realized the stiff thing his dick was pressing up against was Kris's own erection. Both were fully aware of it. Still, they said nothing.

"I'm sorry about this", Adam whispered. Then, "We'll find a way out of this."

Kris breathed softly into Adam's rubber shoulder, which felt so good, so warm and smooth against his cheek. He watched his breath fog against the polished latex surface and then evaporate in the still air. Finally, Kris murmured, "No hurry."

Adam held him for a few more moments before what Kris had said truly sunk in. "Wait a minute...what?"

A chime sounded.

The two rubber boys instantly mobilized. Without thinking, they broke off their embrace and raced to a standing wardrobe behind the door. They hadn't even noticed the wardrobe before, but they sped to it and threw open the doors as if by practiced routine. Without a word to each other or taking a moment to question what they were doing, Adam and Kris pulled from the wardrobe the few items that were inside it.

First they grabbed perfectly matching suspendered rubber stirrup pants. They jumped into the pants, the suspenders strapping over their shoulders, their feet slipping into the stirrups. Next they grabbed a pair of rubber jackets, each boy pausing one heartbeat, turning his back to his companion so he could help slip his friend's arms through the sleeves. They turned to face each other, seeing the jackets had faux fronts which looked exactly like formal evening wear. White shirtfront, high collar, dickies, and white bow tie. As the duo reach across to his companion to fasten and button and secure the rubber jackets, there was a sound of tinkling bells nearby.

It came from a tiny intercom, no larger than a baby monitor, which sat atop the wardrobe. The tinkling sound was like that of a glass dinner bell being run to summon servants. The gentle sound made Adam and Kris a bit nervous and concerned.

"Second chime", Kris said, checking Adam's shirtfront so that all looked presentable.

"I know, I know", Adam answered, straightening Kris's tie. "We better be out that door by the third ring or we'll be in trouble."

Hurriedly, they yanked the last items from the wardrobe, which were shining white unlined rubber knee boots. Each young man stepped into the boots and brushed his pants to assure they were free of lint and dust. Scrambling, they leapt before a full-length mirror on the wall opposite the wardrobe and examined themselves. They looked dashing. They were now clad in gleaming black rubber tuxedos, a dark and super-polished stripe running down the outside of their trousers. The jackets were trim and well-fitting, with white shirtfronts, sleeve cuffs, and ties that matched their rubber boots precisely. They looked like adorable rubber butlers. Which was now just what they were.

The chime sounded from the intercom again.

"Third bell!", Adam said eagerly.

Kris began to shove him by the shoulder to get him out the door. "Go! Go! GO!"

The rubber-tuxedoed lads ran full tilt down the corridors from the bedroom in which they'd awakened and made their way at breakneck speed to the living room. There they found Rosco Bomer, sitting in his favorite chair, clad in a smoking jacket and slippers, sipping a cup of tea. They had been in his house all along. The duo came to attention before their master, backs straight, arms stiff. "Rubber butlers reporting for duty, Sir!", they said together.

"Dumb redneck butler wishes you a very good morning, sir!", Kris said.

"Arrogant emo butler says a very good day to you, sir!", Adam said.

Rosco sat there and happily sipped his tea. This was the best way to greet the day, he decided. He waited a moment, enjoying his steaming mandarin orange spice almost as much as he was the sight of the two young adults dressed up in haute couture isoprene, eagerly awaiting his every command. After a minute or two, Rosco set his cup down on a side table and stretched a bit, finally resting his hands, fingers interlaced, across his chest. It was another few moments before he spoke. Adam and Kris stood stock still, never budging.

Suddenly, Rosco said, "Redneck rubber butler."

Kris clicked his heels. "Sir!"

"Fetch me my clothes for the day."

"Yes SIR!" He was off like a shot.

"Emo rubber butler."

Adam clicked his heels. "Sir!"

"Make me breakfast."

"Immediately, Sir!" He ran toward the kitchen. Rosco called after him.


Adam skidded on his rubber heels, raced back to Rosco. "Sir?"

Rosco held up his teacup and saucer. "This doesn't belong on the side table, does it?"

Adam looked mortified. "Sir! No, sir! I am so sorry, sir! I will see to it right away, SIR!" Adam snatched up the cup and saucer, feeling ashamed for having left it behind, despite the fact that it was Rosco who had left it on the side table in the first place.

Both boys moved with a sense of determination and purpose. Kris was at Rosco's side with pressed pants, a nice shirt and a selection of socks and ties to choose from. "I think you would look spectacular in this, sir." Adam was furiously scrambling eggs, adding a blend of cheeses and herbs, toasting bread, preparing an arrangement of marmalade and orange juice. He brought it out to Rosco on a tray. "For you, Sir, unless you would care to be served in the dining room, sir. Your choice, of course."

Rosco enjoyed his breakfast from its serving tray, sitting nattily attired in fresh-pressed clothing and his slippers. As Kris eagerly shined Rosco's shoes and Adam carefully arranged a small fruit cup of strawberries, blueberries, and melon slices, Rosco was aware of the fact that he was in direct violation of even the most lax hypnotists' ethical guidelines. But he was having too much fun to really care.

"Aware", Rosco said, snapping his fingers crisply. Snap. Both Kris and Adam stopped what they were doing and remained frozen for a fraction of an instant. Their eyes came back into focus.

"Aww, shit!", Kris said.

"He did it to us again", Adam realized.

"How long have we been your slaves this time?", Kris asked.

"Servants, not slaves", Rosco corrected. "We did the slave thing earlier, remember?"

"Is there any special reason you put us in rubber suits?", Adam asked.

"You feel pretty humiliated?", Rosco asked.

Kris and Adam shared a look that had more Well, duh in its expression, then both said, "Yeah."

Rosco said, "You know what we all need? Some early morning entertainment. Something to aid in the digestion."

"Aren't you even going to ask if we're going to make up or anything?", Kris asked, the worry in his voice increasing.

"Yeah, that was the deal, right?", Adam agreed.

"Not just yet", Rosco said. "For now—happy dance!"

At the trigger words 'happy dance', Kris and Adam dropped what they were doing and rushed over to a cabinet near the foyer. From it they pulled two black top hats and white canes. Rosco held his hand out and before either lad could question what for, Adam moved on autopilot and placed a remote in his palm. Rosco pointed the remote at the small stereo nearby as Adam and Kris stood side by side at the far end of the living room in wait. Neither could speak, both were fully aware of what they were doing, both were helpless to stop it. The music began. It was a peppy, 1930s ragtime beat from some forgotten orchestra leader or other. At the sound of the first note, Kris and Adam broke into a simple hat-n-cane number and danced together, smiling brightly and feeling like idiots. As Adam and Kris stepped and spun and clicked their heels, they laid eyes on each other and found that the sight of their companion in his rubber tuxedo was making each of them monstrously hard. The sheen of the black rubber, the movement of the material upon their skin, the increased perspiration which made the rubber costumes slip and slide against their firm bodies...all of it made them uncontrollably aroused. They would swap canes and pass their hats to one another's heads and each brush of their hands, skin upon skin, only made things worse. God, he is so hot in that rubber tux, Adam thought. Why does he have to be so fucking cute all the time?, Kris pondered. The ragtime song lasted only three minutes, but as the young men took their final step, arms extended and canes planted upon the floor, they felt they had been dancing for hours.

As they panted a bit, smiles frozen on their faces, Rosco offered them a smattering of condescending applause. "Very nice, boys. Very nice. Why don't we put the hats and canes away for now. But keep them where you can get at them. I'd love to pepper my busy day with some more of your light fantastic."

So their day went. Kris and Adam were allowed brief breaks for sensible meals, but mostly waited on Rosco, fetching this and that, filing things in his home office, preparing him lunch and afternoon tea, taking his calls, cleaning his house and garden. Without warning, Rosco would holler out, "Happy dance!" and the two rubber butlers would be forced to spring into a clumsy tap dance, a sloppy soft shoe, or a rollicking ragtime, depending on the music Rosco selected. They felt abused, they felt humiliated, they felt so, so very hot for each other. When a moment arose that Rosco had no chores for the rubber butlers, he would stand them in a corner, facing each other, chest to chest, and freeze them in place, holding one another's faces, their noses touching. These moments were the hardest. The second time it happened, Adam and Kris found they could speak to each other in whispers. They weren't sure if that was a blessing or if it just made it all worse.

"I'm sweating like a fucking pig in this thing", Kris whispered, cradling Adam's face in his palms.

"I am too", Adam admitted, bracing Kris's cheeks in his hands. "I sweat a lot anyway...I'm probably making your face all wet."

"No worries, it's not like you can help it."

For a while they said nothing, their chests pressed together, double layers of rubber held one against the other, rivulets of perspiration rolling down their abdomens to stream over their legs and collect slowly into their knee boots.

"God, if we could just move like an inch closer, I could kiss you", Kris whispered.

"Or a little more, we could at least hold each other", Adam agreed.

Their eyes widened at their own words. They had no idea why they had said these things nor why the thought of them made them feel so hard. As they pressed together, there was no hiding their erections from each other. They practically pulsed through the latex bodysuits and rubber tuxedo pants.

"It's the hypnosis", Adam whispered. "He made us say that."

"Let's not talk anymore", Kris whispered back.

"Good idea."

When the time came to serve Rosco his dinner, Kris and Adam were attentive and very quiet. They saw to their master's every need all the way down to using little silver scrapers to sweep crumbs from the table, just as waiters do in 5-star restaurants.

"Awfully quiet tonight", Rosco observed.

"Nothing much to say, sir", Kris said softly.

"Servants should be seen and not heard", Adam mumbled, shrugging.

Rosco was unaccustomed to this. The two boys were either cursing him or cursing each other. They were surrendering, but not in the way Rosco had intended.

"Tell you what!", Rosco suggested. "How about a little dinner show?" Adam and Kris shared a glance of horror with each other. They knew what Rosco was about to say and it made their cocks stir. "Time for a bit of happy dance!"

The boys moved rapidly toward the cabinet to retrieve their hats and canes, but Rosco stopped them. "No props this time, fellas." Adam handed the hypnotist the remote and quickly took his place beside Kris. Rosco lightly fingered the remote and found the selection he was looking for on the small boom box that sat on the kitchen counter near the dining room where he was seated. There was a soft hum as the box came to life and a tinny click as the music was selected. Kris and Adam's hearts pounded as they heard the tune that came forth from the small speakers. A slow dance.

Oh, it was of the type of an old musical, to be certain, but there was no mistaking that this number called for Kris and Adam, attired immaculately in their rubber tuxedos and tall white boots, to dance closely and sway gently. The female vocalist offered a sultry version of After You, Who? a song both young men would be prepared to swear they had never heard of, yet they swayed and pivoted like Fred and Ginger from a black and white film out of the early '40s.

After you, who...could supply my sky of blue?

After you, who...would I love?

Adam and Kris had no idea how it was they were moving in perfect time to the music, nor how it was they even knew the steps they were dancing. But they never missed a beat. They swayed together like romantic leads in an old film, arms around waists, hands lovingly draped upon shoulders, fingers delicately placed within palms, outward spins, twirls, and then drawing each other close together.

The duo danced across the expansive kitchen, giving Rosco a perfect front row seat from his spot at the dining table. The clunky, oversized rubber boots moved like professional dancing shoes across the linoleum floor. Rosco tapped the remote and turned up the music.

Hold my hand and swear
That you'll never cease to care.
For without you there...what could I do?

The tenderness of the lyrics, the intimacy of their movements were quietly building inside both Kris and Adam. Each touch of their hands against their rubber costumes sent electric charges up their arms, down their torsos and directly into their loins. Each step in their huge boots felt like a massage against their bare feet, launching waves up excitement upwards, arcing across their inner thigh to maximize their arousal.

Kris rested his chin upon Adam's shoulder as he swayed behind him. Adam gently reached up with one arm and placed his hand behind his leading man's head. His scent was intoxicating. Kris felt the same. They swayed again, twirled, drew close, face-to-face, and found their breathing harsh, their longing intensifying by the second.

The other dances were different. Equally demeaning, yes, but silly and playful. This was ten times as intense. And both young men were certain that neither their little snap-up pouches or thick rubber trousers would be able to hold back their throbbing erections for long.

By the time the song reached its final verse, Kris and Adam had reached a new appreciation for each other. Not for the graceful dance moves they'd executed, but for the fact they had been to keep from shooting their loads. But that part wasn't going to last for long. As the duo stopped dancing—praying that there was not another song on the rotation—they found themselves back-to-front, with Kris pressed tightly against Adam's backside. Adam had Kris's hand in his, draped tenderly across his own chest. Inwardly, they were shaking. Hold it together, man. Hold it, holllld itt. Then Rosco whispered a single word.


And that was it. Kris and Adam had been in their rubber outfits all day long. Formal-looking rubber tuxedos on the outside. Huge white rubber knee boots that stood out against the black with smooth unlined interior that caressed the skin of their feet. Tight, form-fitting bodysuits on the inside, with codpiece pouches that both held and tantalized their cock and balls. Balls that had been buzzing every time they were made to move about their servant's tasks, perform humiliating dances, or stand in the corner together, cradling each others' faces, members pressed tightly together. There was only so long they could hold it all in.

Kris shot first. His balls buzzed and his dick went hard as concrete. He gripped Adam with powerful clutching fingers he could not unclench and pressed his cock hard against he fellow butler's back. Rubber on rubber, rubber on skin, body on body, Kris shot load upon load. He had never climaxed like this in his life. Not with Lacey, not with any of the girls he knew from cheerleading or choir or orchestra, not from the countless nights spent in front of the computer with his pants around his ankles and a box of tissues within reach. This orgasm was blowing Kris's mind.

Every inch of his skin came alive and Kris was suddenly aware of every tiny droplet of sweat upon him, pressing against the rubber of his costume. His hips thrust and his face froze in look of shock and pleasure, as he unwillingly pounded Adam's back, humping and firing, shooting what seemed like a never-ending load of jism inside his suit.

Kris's first thrust was what triggered Adam. He had heard Rosco's command word and felt his body relax all resistance, but it was Kris's humping that let Adam loose. feeling his own dick unleash a torrent of cum, Adam reflexively grabbed Kris's hand tightly, moving it down and slapping it over his crotch. Adam's hips shook and he shuffled his feet unconsciously, trying to keep his footing. The slippery coating of sweat within his boots overpowering their rubber treads upon the smooth floor. Adam's body moved in quick, jerky staccato motions as he shot one spurt after another. The more he shot, the more he pressed Kris's hand down upon his throbbing cock. He was using the other boy's palm to masturbate himself. Adam's mouth fell open and his eyelids fluttered.

Before long, both young men were finding it hard to stand. Their legs were buckling badly. Kris and Adam pressed more tightly together in attempt to steady themselves, but that only made matters worse. Kris pushed his face more firmly into Adam's neck. Their skin-to-skin contact exacerbating Kris's fierce thrusting. Adam clutched at Kris's hand over his crotch and grasped at Kris's shoulder with his other hand. He pushed backwards, only serving to tighten both their grips, and their jerking, spastic motion.

The back of their knees unlocked.

Gasping, they fell forward onto the floor, their bodies spent and left with all the solidity of limp rags. Their knees hit the floor and sent a shudder through their bodies, causing them to clench together. They never felt the impact. Only the final forceful thrust shared between them. As their perspiration became more apparent, as Kris and Adam gasped for breath, as they felt stream upon stream of semen trail down their legs and pool around their knees within its rubber confines, the duo trembled once, briefly. Then they fell over.

There was a moist splat rather than a thud as the twin rubber butlers tumbled onto the floor. Lying there, they found they could not let go of each other, and instead just lay there, breathing hard, still aroused and excited but unable to do anything about it.

"That", Rosco announced, "was fucking AWEsome!!"

He rose from his chair and walked around the collapsed couple, casually applauding. "Great job, you two. Great job! You're finally learning to cut loose a little."

Kris and Adam just lay there panting, feeling the control of their muscles slowly returning. Whatever curses or hateful remarks they wished to fling at Rosco would have to wait.

"This is gonna look great on your site!", Rosco beamed.

Adam's lips moved for a bit before any sound came out. At last, he said, "Wh-what did he just say?"

"What site?", Kris asked.

Rosco produced two different camcorders that had been running during their entire dance sequence. One atop the refrigerator, the other tucked between two potted plants. Both had captured footage the rubber butlers' dance and their uncontrolled humping and eventual collapse onto the floor.

" fucker...", Kris wheezed.

Adam began to cry.

The two hypnotized captives got cleaned up and ate in a daze. the next thing of which they were truly aware was when they sat together, side-by-side upon one of their beds in their room. They were dressed in fresh black rubber catsuits and their scrubbed-up white knee boots. Their latex tuxedos had been put neatly put away in the wardrobe (despite their urges to rip them to pieces). They were watching a video playback of their own website which Rosco was evidently designing. On the video the two young men, clad in their rubber tuxes, thrust and humped and squirmed and finally fell twitching upon the kitchen floor. The site was not yet launched, but both Adam and Kris felt a lump forming in his stomach in anticipation of when it would. They knew by now that Rosco did not make idle threats.

The boys were holding hands as they watched, although they had no conscious awareness of doing so. The contact offered them a small measure of comfort, regardless of their level of awareness.

Adam spoke first, saying, "At least he didn't have us do it in front of a live audience."

Kris offered a frown in surrender. It was of little help.

In the corner of the room, Rosco stood with his arms folded, watching. He had hypnotized the duo to be unable to see him. Rosco considered what Adam was saying. It was not a bad idea, at that.

* * * * *

Kris and Adam walked into the room feeling a bit uncertain and concerned. The lights were dark and the music was pounding. There was a crush of people, most all them were men. Many of them were gorgeous. It looked like a gathering of models or commercial actors. Pushing forward, Adam and Kris found their way into the main room, which opened up past the entryway. The interior was much larger than the entrance implied. The air was filled with a misty haze that could have been from a fog machine, or could have been from cigarette smoke. It was difficult to tell. Colored lights blinked and flashed and a small horde of people danced in a large cluster in the center of the floor. Those present laughed and smiled, carried drinks and leaned in to hear one another over the noise. Why was the music so damn loud??

The duo found themselves pushed along by the movement of all the people, not certain which way they should be going or how they even got there. Kris grabbed hold of Adam's arm and yelled into his ear. "Dude! Are we at a gay club?" Adam could barely make out what he was saying, but understood Kris's confusion, as he shared it.

Kris tried again. Leaning in close to Adam and pressing his forehead to the side of the taller boy's head, he shouted, "How did we get here?" Adam shook his head and shrugged. He had no clue.

Adam pulled Kris close and held onto his neck as he yelled back. "Last thing I knew, we were watching that web site thingie and feeling exhausted—ready to pass out!"

Kris nodded. Then he paused. He hollered again. "Do you feel tired?" Adam shook his head. He actually felt supercharged. he had no idea why. He tried to say something else, but the pounding of the music and the constant din of all the people made it impossible to be heard. Suddenly the music stopped.

Everyone stopped as well, ears ringing and skin still a-tingle with the lingering resonance of the music's echo. A harsh voice (male? female?) came over the loudspeaker in a brusque announcement. "Get your shit together and bring your eyes around, people! Our guests have arrived! Put your damn hands together for our amateur dancers!" A spotlight shone harshly on Adam and Kris. They squinted against it, having no clue what was happening or how to react. The harsh voice did not wait for them to get their bearings.

"Presenting Country Boy Kris and Emo Adam!" Everyone whooped and cheered and the two hypnotized boys finally got a good look at each other under the glaring spotlight. They were nearly naked, dressed as go-go boys. They were shirtless and, yes, pantsless. All they wore were a matching set of low-cut briefs. They framed and displayed their packages prominently along with just about everything else they had to offer. The briefs had high-cut legs and fit the two boys tighter than their rubber catsuits, if such a thing were possible. The briefs were made of some kind of material (spandex, maybe? lycra?) that shone in the light like silk or a type of lamé. The only other thing the boys had on were brand-spanking new hi-top expensive leather athletic shoes of jet black.

Adam and Kris looked at themselves, on display like Thanksgiving turkeys or Easter hams, their skin shaved smooth and oiled up to an enticing sheen. Their shoulders and heavily-moussed hair sparkled with glitter. "Oh, no", Adam mouthed. Kris did him one better. "Fuck me!"

"It appears our clueless little newbies have no idea what an entrance cue is", the arrogant announcer chided. "Somebody show them where they're supposed to be."

However confused Adam and Kris were, there were others who certainly knew a cue when they heard one. Two gargantuan men in back T-shirts and headsets strode over and hefted the young men up as if they were made of marshmallows and teddy bear fluff. Unsure of what was going on and in no way eager to find out, Adam and Kris begged to be put down and kicked their feet. All to no avail. The crowd howled and applauded them. They thought it was all an act.

The mountainous men carried Kris and Adam over to one side of the club and walked them up a wide staircase to an elevated cage. They unceremoniously deposited Kris and Adam into the dancer's cage (which was barely big enough for both of them), slamming and locking the door behind them with a huge padlock that looked like a prop that was strictly for show. It wasn't. They could tell from the solid CLACK as it was secured and the hard clank as it fell back against the bars that the lock was all too real.

"Have fun, boys", one of the massive bouncers said and descended the steps back to the main floor.

"Dance, noobs!", the angry announcer called, and the music pounded once again.

Adam looked to Kris, frightened and still unable to process what was going on. Kris stared around the room from their high vantage point and could not get over how similar the room seemed to straight clubs he'd been in before. Clubbers beneath them began to pound their fists into the air and shout up at the petrified duo. "DANCE! DANCE! DANCE!"

A sly grin spread across Kris's face. "What's so damned funny??", Adam asked him, shouting to be heard.

Kris leaned close to him. "This isn't happening! It's all a hypnotic illusion!"

Adam looked incredulous. "What?!!"

"Think about it! You honestly think some hypnotist could arrange something like this? All these people and everything?" Adam looked at everyone growing increasingly impatient about the unmoving dancers in their performance cage. They all looked pretty real to him. Kris shouted again, "We're still in his fucking basement! I bet he's filming us right now—probably planning to green-screen us into some club background for one of his perv videos!"

Adam's eyes widened. "You think so?"

"I KNOW so! Does this place look familiar to you?"

"Like every club I've ever been in."

"Exactly!", Kris shouted, triumph rising in his voice. "That's 'cause it's all in our heads! He expects us to crumble and bawl like babies! We gonna give him the satisfaction??"

The voice from below had risen in timbre and anger. "Come ON! DANCE!!"

Adam smiled back. "Hell no."

"Then let's give this asshole a show he won't forget", Kris sneered. He instantly broke into a dirty dance of thrusting pelvis and shaking fists. The house roared it's approval. Not wanting to be left out, Adam joined in. He grabbed the cage bars in his fists and began to hump the air in before rubbing his hands all over his chest, face striking sultry and seductive poses. The crowd went wild.

"That's it, rookies", the announcer said, "shake it hard—and you don't stop until we tell you to stop!"

Their previous humiliation upon the kitchen floor--after their rubber humping orgasms had sparked their subsequent breakdowns--still burning fresh in their psyches, Adam and Kris decided then and there that they would not be beaten, and they would never surrender. Each thought the other was a blazing asshole, but by God, they were assholes in this together. And so they danced. They bumped, they grinded, they pantomimed every unsavory gyration they recalled having seen in music videos. The crowd enjoyed it for the most part, and the music thumpa-thump-thumped out a techno beat as the lights flashed. The drafted go-go boys' moves were playful and sassy, in a "you're not gonna get me" kind of way.

Eventually, though, they needed to pause for breath. "How long are we supposed to be locked up in here?", Kris shouted.

"I have no idea, but I need a drink or something!", Adam shouted back.

Both Adam and Kris tried to pause for breath. They tried. Their arms and legs buzzed and twitched, as if dancing were literally in their blood and bones, and stopping would result in some kind of reaction. The burn was felt in their legs, their feet continued to shuffle and their shoulders actually spasmed.

"Wait...what the fuck's going on--?", Kris asked.

"I—I have no clue!", Adam offered, being of less help than he'd intended.

The harsh voice from the sound system crackled back at them. "Get your asses moving, go-go boys! If you're in the goddamn cage, you're gonna DANCE!"

Kris and Adam sprang back into their routine, although with considerably less sass and rebellion than before.

"Why-why can't I stop dancing??", Kris asked.

"I'm telling you, I don't KNOW!", Adam shouted back.

"You've only been at it for twenty minutes", the angry disembodied voice called. "You'll know when it's time for a break. SHAKE your BOOTY!!"

That was when their dancing took on a life of its own. Kris and Adam felt something in the back of their brains twinge and they began to move with the same preprogrammed skill and grace that they'd felt when dancing ragtime or tap in their rubber tuxedos. Now they moved like experienced go-go dancers. Very experienced. And very, very gay.

The first things they did were for the audience. Adam and Kris moved as if their muscles were fluid and flowing, their hips swaying and backs arching in mesmerizing motions. All clumsy movements they'd mimicked from music videos were forgotten. Now the two moved as if they'd been seducing gay club crowds all their lives. The house roared its approval, believing that their earlier awkwardness was just playful intro to what they were truly capable of. Even the coarse deejay shut up as the moved within their dance cage.

Adam's eyes looked to Kris whenever possible. Adam knew he no longer had any control over his body and needed to confirm that Kris was in the same situation. Caught within their preprogrammed dance, pausing to connect visually was not easy, but at the arc of one turn, or the apex of some twist and arch, they duo's eyes met and Adam was able to register the same amount of confusion and fear in Kris's eyes that he felt in his own. A stage act in hypnosis commonly pulled attractive boys from the audience and used them in an imagined stripper/Chippendale scenario, but in that instance, the entranced volunteers really believed that's who they were. In this case, Rosco definitely wanted Adam and Kris to remember who they really were but be unable to do anything about resisting the roles they'd been given to play.

Soon, resisting their roles was the least of their worries. Losing themselves in them was now a primary concern. Kris, who had never been able to do much more than a couple line dances or stumbling hip-twists at a wedding reception moved like a pro as he ran his hands over his brow, locking fingers behind his head, and then using the extra purchase to thrust his hips in a way both skilled and alluring. Adam found his hands moving as of their own accord as they stroked his chest, caressed his face, and slid down across his moistened abs, dripping with sweat, to finger the interior of his tiny briefs.

It felt so good, so exciting, to be the center of attention, to have all these men looking at them and wanting them. They knew it was wrong, and their minds tried shouting from within. This isn't right...this isn't's not who I's all hypnosis, I've just been hypnotized, that's all...I can't help myself...but listen to them, they love me...they want me...oh, this feels incredible...! Soon their own inner voices were drowned out by the booming music and the catcalls of onlookers and admirers.

The next things they did were for each other. Kris and Adam were holding onto the cage bars and "making love" to their dancer's prison. They both reached out their arms wide as they moved, and the tips of their fingers brushed. That was all that it took. The now-telltale electricity ran up their arms and they turned slowly toward each other. The crowd quieted somewhat, sensing that something was going on, but not quite able to determine what. Now Kris and Adam locked eyes. They realized that they were in no way in control and were beginning not to care. They stepped forward, facing each other, arms up, then palms touching, then fingers interlaced and locked. The crowd noise increased. Cheering? Whooping? Jeering? The two caged go-go boys who formerly were Kris and Adam were uncertain and could not have cared less.

They danced together, hips thrusting, briefs touching and rubbing, arms intertwined and eventually reaching around the other's back to trace the line of his spine and squeeze the firmness of his ass.

"F-fight it...", Adam tried to say, but only managed a wheeze and a soft groan.

Kris started to say something but it was amidst the club noise and there own heavy breathing. They were pressed against each other, hands everywhere, kissing necks, grabbing hair, legs locked, before Kris even realized that what he had been trying to say was "Shut up. Just give in to it. Let go, let go..."

Then, for a small, intoxicating, unbearably short moment, Adam and Kris held each other's faces in their hands and gazed into each other's eyes. The dance club receded and for a moment, the noisome surroundings fading away and leaving only these two handsome young men, shirtless and perspiring, bare legs touching, alone in their barred enclosure. All was quiet and they could only see each other. The lights continued to flash, the smoke continued to roll, but all else was quiet. Both Adam and Kris knew what was going to happen and they were helpless to stop it. Worse, they were no longer certain they wanted to.

On all sides, people screamed and shouted, whistled and wailed. But they were invisible, their cries evaporating silently from their lips. Kris and Adam could hear only one thing.

Ooohh, my darling...

I've hungered for your touch.

Trapped within that cage was the most beautiful person in the world, and Kris leaned forward, eyes closing, lips parting. Adam saw the most amazing vision of loveliness across from him and he moved in with heart pounding and eager desire.

They kissed, long and lovingly, and the room was entirely gone for them. They continued to sway, partly in time to some distant music they could no longer hear, partly simply following the urge of their own bodies. Each young man held his companion tighter and tighter, kissing more passionately, each consumed with a single burning thought.

"Do not let this end. Oh, please God do let this incredible moment end."

It did end. Neither Kris or Adam could say with any accuracy when, but it did finally end. They were both exhausted and spent. Their awareness came in fragments. Moments spent out of the cage, along a narrow, thing stage of sorts. The bar? Was there a bar? Yes, there had to have been, because they both remembered leaning against it as they caught their breath. The drank sodas as the huge bouncers kept admirers at a distance. Eventually coats were placed over their shoulders and they held hands as they were escorted from the club. It was quite late. The thick mélange of hungry eyes and gleeful smiles tossed compliments and encouragements their way, sprinkled here and there with a few thank-yous for putting on such a good show. The harsh voice of the deejay shouted angrily behind them, making them jump before realizing it was not they who were being addressed.

"You are either deaf or stupid! I said no drinks on the dance floor!!"

The car ride home was remarkably brief, or possibly just seemed that way as the hypno-slave go-go boys drifted in and out of sleep. Neither Kris nor Adam had any recollection of getting out of the car. Their next clear memory was of them standing at the edge of the kitchen in Rosco's house, half-awake but coming around as their hypnotist master stood beyond the living room, speaking to someone at the door.

"Even better than you promised, Ross."

"Yeah, they're good kids. Interning with me this summer, you could say."

"At first we were all like, dude this is a joke, then all of sudden it was like they were all, holy shit! lookit 'em go! They really knew their stuff."

"Hypnosis shows aren't the only venue I have history with, and they wanted to learn the business."

"Well, they did four encores after their set. They were on fire!"

"Bouncers were careful that nobody touched them?"

"Hey, like you said. Some came close, one guy even tried to grab the shorter one, but he wound up out on his ass in the parking lot. We kept 'em safe."

"Good, good. Well, it's getting late. It's a long drive back for you."

Adam and Kris were fully awake now, standing there in only their small briefs and athletic shoes. They stank of smoke and sweat and had wads of dollar bills shoved into their waistbands. Nobody was this good a hypnotist and there was no way in hell they were imagining it. Adam looked at Kris.

"Still think we're in his fucking basement?"

Kris just lowered his head and said nothing.

Both Kris and Adam continued to say nothing as they were led to a bathroom and given full reign of the shower and al the soaps and moisturizers and body washes they wanted. The hot spray helped soothe their aching muscles and alleviated the smell. They showered together, no longer caring about whether it meant anything. Adam cried a bit, Kris pretended not to notice.

The next thing they knew, they were both back in their bedroom in their own twin beds. They were not dressed in rubber but instead in very nice, very soft matching pajamas with happy patterns on them of hearts and paisley. Kris wondered if that was better or worse than the rubber suits with the stretchable hole in the back. Both boys were deeply asleep before they could contemplate that much.

* * * * *

Adam and Kris had the day off. They ran through the mall with light hearts and bright smiles. They had been given permission to hang up their rubber tuxedos and costumes, discarding all worries of cooking and cleaning, recording videos in costumes and breaking into hypnotically-programmed dance routines. Kris felt the way he did when he was 10 and his mom and dad first took him to that shopping center outside of that big town where his cousins lived. It was his birthday and they turned him loose in the largest toy store he'd ever seen. It even had a playground in the middle of it. Kris lost track of how many times he went down that bright yellow spiral slide into the pit of colored balls.

Adam had never been happier. Well, maybe once, but then, this felt an awful lot like that. He had been 9 and it was the first time he had been allowed to go to the movies with three of the neighbor kids without any adult supervision. Adam was the youngest of the group, but they treated him just as if he was one of the guys. The hit the mall and spent time in the comic book shop and then in the music store before finding their way to the theater. They gorged themselves on popcorn and sickly-sweet boxed snacks that stuck to your teeth. They saw a double feature, the first an adventure with amazing CGI monsters and the next a hilarious computer animated comedy.

But neither Kris and Adam's treasured past moments were quite like this. To be here, running free on a surprise day off, their last summer after high school, spending it with the best friend in the whole wide world. What to do first?

Once past the first courtyard, Adam and Kris stopped at the wall near the small fountain, just around the corner from the rest rooms. The wall was one of those highly-polished marble jobs that was so shiny you could easily see your reflection in it. The boys stopped to check themselves out. They both found that they looked fantastic. They wore identical outfits, since that's what best friends do. Adam and Kris were in custom-made sailor suits reminiscent of an Old-World parochial school. Their suits were bright blue (a cross between royal blue and cobalt), with sailor-style collars and back flaps that hung past their shoulders, complete with short white ties and matching white hats with blue trim. Their sleeves were long (with white triple stitched piping), their pants legs were short. Above the knee. On their feet they wore boots, similar in many ways to the white rubber boots they wore with their rubber butler tuxedos, except that these were snug-fitting with a top fold-down cuff. It showcased their freshly-shaven legs beautifully. Adam and Kris nodded their approval at their reflections, then at each other, before starting back down the mall.

They weren't running so much as skipping, although they weren't aware of that, or that such a mode of travel was the least bit unusual. Any more than holding hands.

As Adam and Kris skipped happily by, their expressions almost blissful, passersby made offhand remarks such as "Fraternity initiation. Ignore them." and "What the hell's their deal?" One older woman, her face a crease of lines that came from believing she knew much more than she did, turned to some confused teens who were watching the prancing duo and explained, "Summer theater program. They've been given costumes and made to spend the day acting out a role. Local day camp does it every year." The fact was the nearest civic theater was no longer running a summer program and hadn't since 1979, but the misinformation was accepted due to the authority in which it was stated.

Kris and Adam visited the toy store, the video rentals, and the indoor go-cart track. They eventually found themselves at the cookie counter. Like kids at Christmas, they purchased the biggest and gooiest chocolate chip cookie available, still not yet cooled upon the waxed paper, on display beneath the slanting glass. They sat at a small table near the counter and shared their spoils, each one biting into one side of the cookie at the same time as they held it with both hands. They giggled and snorted as they scarfed the sumptuous baked good. Then they shared an extra-EXTRA-large chocolate milk, served in an old-fashioned soda glass. They used two straws and said nothing as they fought back more giggles while they slurped and swallowed, each making faces at his buddy in the hopes that he would have to stop to catch his breath, leaving the majority of the drink for himself. Each of them had a moment where chocolate bubbles came out his nose. In the end, they decided it was more or less a tie. They observed it with a hug. Some passersby had been taking pictures of them during their snacking silliness. Neither Kris nor Adam noticed.

By late afternoon, both the sailor-suited boys they needed to be heading for home. As they skipped merrily along, holding hands and humming a popular song, someone, somewhere, said something and there was a crisp sound of fingers clicking together. Snap.

Adam and Kris stopped in their tracks and realized that they had no idea where they were. Obviously, they were in some kind of mall or shopping center, but nothing looked familiar to them. "Where the hell are we?", Kris wondered aloud.

"Dude", Adam said. "Look at yourself."

Kris did. Then he looked at Adam. Then he looked at both of them. He saw they were still holding hands and swatted Adam's away as if it were something rancid. "Aww! You have got to be fucking kidding me!"

"Maybe we're in his basement."

"Oh, screw you! You know damn well we're not in his goddamn basement! Shit!!"

In an uncomfortable rush, the two hypnotized young men looked around at their surroundings and with each new sight, their memories came flooding back.

"The toy store", Adam saw.

"We played with that train set", Kris moaned.

"The movie rentals."

"We never made it past the kiddie section."

"You were reciting lines from Mr. Bumblebee's Bumbling Journey."

"Shut up!!"

"Oh, man. The go-cart track."

"I beat you three races out of five."

They were looking back at the cookie counter when their hearts sank. Adam swallowed hard, feeling his full belly, and said, "Over...over there, we sat and..."

"Not. Another. Fucking. Word. I remember it."

Before another demeaning memory could come back to them, someone else spoke.

"Well, well, well. Looks like we got ourselves a couple of little faggots here on an afternoon outing."

Kris and Adam turned to face four kids, perhaps about their age or a year older or maybe younger. They were all dressed much the same, though without the aid of any hypnotist's urgings. Their T-shrts were dark and covered with faded silkscreens of skulls, bats, and other images meant to appear frightening. Their pants were too big, and festooned with meaningless buckles, chains, and laces. One of the four wore crumbling black sneakers, the other three wore work boots that had clearly never seen a day's work, not even the meager effort needed to have their laces tied. One of the foursome, a scruffy hoodlum of about Kris's height, bore down on the hypnotized duo. He wore a wool cap, utterly superfluous in the warm summer weather, and had a wispy pubic hair mustache that would look humorous were it not adorning a face with so seething an expression. Of the four ruffians, he was clearly the leader.

"When did they start letting fags into this mall? This is where we hang out. NO queers allowed."

"Just back off", Adam said. "We've been hypnotized. We can't help—"

Kris waved an angry arm. "Don't explain to these losers."

"Hipped and tyzed", the moron repeated incorrectly. "That what they call it these days? Huh? When you butt-fuck you're all hippin' your tyzes?" His minions laughed at his rapier wit.

"When the hell did you get ownership of a whole mall?", Kris asked. "You can't tell people where they can and can't go. Or who they can be."

"I can tell you that you can be dead!", snapped the 20-to-lifer in the making, and he lunged at Kris. Without missing a beat, Kris dodged the clumsy attack, grabbed the kid by the arm and flipped him over to land hard, on his back, upon the floor, where he lay, groaning.

The second gangsta wannabe dove at Adam, letting out a frantic "Aauuugghhh!", presumably because his comeback skills were even less noteworthy than the first kid's. Adam crouched down skillfully and with a lightning-fast sweep of his booted leg, knocked the attacker's legs out from under him, to send him face-down onto the floor, where he slid for about fifteen feet before bumping against the edge of an empty kiosk.

The other two hoods weren't sure what to do at that point, but being imbeciles, tried a dual attack at the two in the sailor suits who had just kicked their friends' asses. On reflex, Kris grabbed Adam's forearms and spun him around in a wide circle, his entire body swinging in an arc. Adam's swinging feet only brushed the two morons, but had enough impact to send them sprawling backwards, unhurt. As soon as the two losers scrambled to their feet, shaken, they ran out of the mall, looking back once at the sailor-suited superheroes with genuine fear in their eyes.

"I didn't know you knew any martial arts stuff", Adam said to Kris.

"I don't", Kris answered, a look of puzzlement on his face.

"I think it's time to go", Adam suggested. Kris nodded agreement and they hastened toward an exit in another direction.

A few people here and there applauded the two boys in sailor suits who had so valiantly held their own against the bullies. Kris spotted at least two girls who were recording them, one on her phone, the other on a pocket camcorder. Adam actually paused for a heartbeat to take a bow. Kris even tossed the girls a friendly salute, much to Adam's surprise. Kris only shrugged. "Won't be the first time we got caught on video doing something stupid. Might as well make the most of it."

As the duo glanced back, mall security guards were tending to the fallen ruffians. One guard hefted the gang leader to his feet, scolding him. "Told you boys not to come 'round here anymore." The second was too busy crying to say anything.

Outside, the surroundings still looked unfamiliar to either Kris or Adam. In their pockets they each found a red bus pass, and during an interminable time sitting on a bench it took them a while to find, they waited for the bus whose numbers matched those depicted on their passes. They sat through two different buses and a host of stares and snickers of boarding and disembarking passengers before the one they sought finally pulled up.

The doors opened and a friendly, slightly overweight driver smiled at the pair as if he recognized them. "Well now", he said in a tone one would use when addressing special needs children, "did you two boys have a fun day today?"

Kris and Adam mounted the steps of the bus, showing the man their passes, which he more or less waved away. "Yessir", Kris said. "Thank-you." "Lots of fun", Adam echoed.

"Sounds like somebody's a bit tired", the driver grinned. "I warned you, you could wear yourself out if you don't pace yourself!" The two young men in the embarrassing outfits made their way to the back of the bus, heads lowered in humiliation that the driver mistook for exhaustion. He watched them take their seats and then hollered back to them, "You boys catch a quick nap if you need to. I won't let you miss your stop." Kris nodded, attempting a grin he hoped looked appreciative. Adam waved.

A tall black kid getting off his shift from the food courts eyed the duo at the back of the bus suspiciously. "Glen, you know those guys?"

"First I ever saw 'em was today. They's special kids. You know." He furrowed his brow and gave a condescending smile. The boy nodded in understanding.

"Nice outfits", he remarked, and the bus closed its door and pulled away.

A gentleman sat across from the young mall worker, his face buried in a newspaper. No one noticed him. Especially not the boys in the back, who also had not noticed him as he followed them throughout their day, nor when he sat nearby as they skipped past, giving them their trigger word as he snapped his fingers.

Kris and Adam sat upon the couch in Rosco Bomer's living room, still in their sailor suits, literally with their hats in their hands. It had been more than an hour and a half ride home on the bus, including transfers to three different lines in all. Rosco stood looking down at his charges, arms crossed, his face implacable.

"Give up?"

Kris ran his hands through his hair and sighed. "Mr. Bomer, you have had dancing to your tune—literally—you made us into your slaves, you dressed us up like idiots."

"Humiliated us, degraded us", Adam chimed in.

Kris spread his hands in surrender. "I'm done. I give. You got me.

"Us", Adam corrected.

"You got us", Kris amended. "If you wanted to tear us down to like, nothin', well, mission accomplished. You win. Whatever it was you wanted to get out of this—it's yours, man."

Adam shook his head. "We might as well just move in here as your permanent slaves anyway, now. I don't think I can show my face in public again."

"That's for sure", Kris agreed.

"That isn't what I wanted", Rosco told them. "That's never what I wanted. I've told you what I wanted from the beginning. Just look at each other and—"

Kris did not let him finish. He turned to Adam and said, "Dude, I totally respect you. I didn't before, but I sure as hell do now. All the crap we've been through these past weeks, how you've held it together even with all the mind games and shit?" He patted his heart and held up a fist, curled fingers toward Adam. "Respect."

Rosco started to say something, but Adam jumped in too quickly. "I am with you all the way, Kris. You are a freakin' god already. The way we keep getting dressed up in these god-awful stupid costumes and outfits, they way he's been twisting out libido and sense of attraction so we don't even know which way is up...and you never broke." Adam clasped his palms together before his lips and bowed them forward to Kris. "Esteem."

Without further prompting, the two young men reached over and gave each other a buddy hug, then shared a double-tap knuckle handshake which ended in a spread-fingered explosion pantomime. In unison, they said, "Friends."

Kris looked up at Rosco. "Can we go now?" Adam looked as well, awaiting the answer.

Rosco could tell that they were not faking. They had been through the gauntlet together, entered as sworn enemies and emerged as friends. They would probably stay so for a very long time, possibly the rest of their lives. Rosco nodded slowly.

"One last thing to do first. Get comfortable and close your eyes."

"Ohhhhh no!", Kris said, rising from his seat. "No way! Uhn-uh! You have hypnotized and hypnotized us and we are done! No way in hell I am letting you ever again--!"

Rosco interrupted. "Do you not want me to remove all the triggers in your head, or would you rather wander around knowing you could turn into a go-go dancer or a skipping school boy at any moment? Sit down."

Kris fumed silently for a second, then sat back down hard. Crossing his arms in a huff, he muttered, "I sat down because I wanted to, not because you made me."

Rosco let that remark go with a roll of his eyes. "Get comfortable, you two." He then watched as Kris and Adam adjusted themselves upon the soft couch and added, "I have a little story to tell you. Once upon a time, I was an obnoxious little prick in high school just like you two. I also had someone whom I considered my arch enemy, and we pretty much took turns at making each other's lives hell whenever possible. We were stupid, shortsighted, and presumptuous. I hadn't even gotten involve din hypnosis yet, he was doing who-knows-what, but for whatever reason I no longer remember, we decided the other guy needed to be destroyed. Thus began our barrage of exchanged idiocy. Granted, at least our personal antagonism had nothing to do with a high school fling with some bubble-headed girl that would never last a month past graduation."

Kris and Adam shared an uncomfortable look with each other. Feeling the story was a bit too close to home, they opted to say nothing. They just looked back at Rosco.

"Long story short, years later I learned that his father owned a series of nighttime establishments, one of which was a comedy den, the other a magic club. Had I not been such a monumental dick, who knows how much help that could have been to me as a budding hypnotist and entertainer. But I was too busy fighting an enemy I need never have had."

Kris looked down at his boots. "Bet your big enemy never tried to get somebody to turn you into a fag", he mumbled. Then, to Adam, "No offense. Just sayin'." Adam waved it off. None taken.

"Admittedly, no,", Rosco conceded, "but there was that thing with the gallon jug of piss dumped in the car on Homecoming. To say nothing of the clothing theft from someone's gym locker to be replaced with only a pink tutu."

The boys sat up. "No way!" "Are you serious? Who did which to who?"

Rosco held up a hand. "That distinction's not important. Lets just say that I will never play a venue that at any time has ever featured a ballet and leave it at that."

Kris and Adam laughed hysterically and shared a high five.

"Enough. You get the point. Young feuds are pointless and destructive. They not only burn bridges you may not even know exist yet, but it leaves you looking ridiculous and laughable. Now sit back."

Still grinning, Adam and Kris sat back in their seats, hands resting on their laps, legs uncrossed.

"Do it", Adam said.

"Fix us up", Kris agreed.

"Fine", Rosco answered. "Are we sitting comfortably?" Nods from both. "Then we'll begin."

* * * * *

Kris and Adam were adrift. They could only vaguely recall the couch, the sailor suits, and Rosco Bomer's pep talk about his own high school feud. Now none of that mattered. All that concerned the two young men was relaxing, and sinker deeper and deeper into the fine and glorious state in which they found themselves. There was a dim recollection of tensin their muscles, then relaxaing them. It was fading fast. Their feet inside their silly white boots growing more peaceful, free of stress and tension, then gorwing heavy and warm. Their bare legs feeling the cool air of the room brush against them, removing all tension and leaving only warmth and comfortable weight. Their bodies within their childish sailor uniform costumes becoming progressively loose and relaxed. Upper legs, pelvic region, abdomen, torso, and arms...all becoming loose like wet spaghetti, growing warmer, becoming heavy, resting so peacefully. Kris and Adam felt their shoulders and necks lose all feelings of solidity and resistance, eventually drifting away to the same nondescript dimension that held and cusioned their bodies. All that was left was a feeling of such peace and tranquility as rhey had never known. Heads empty of worry or concern, afloat in a crystal clear sky of joyful pink and soft fluffy sunshine. Jaws hanigng slack, mouths turned up at the corners in a simlpistic grin, eyelids fluttering as their subsconsious minds took control, neither Kris nor Adam was aware as he slid toward his companion, heads coming to rest together. They had no knowledge of their boots being slipped off their bare feet, of their uniforms being stripped gently from their limp bodies, of lying naked, bare bodies resting against one another, minds so far gone they may well have been removed entirely.

Now there was nothing but peace. Peace and one, overpowering, burning deisre to be true to themselves, and to each other.


They awoke to find themselves dressed impeccably in tuxedos again. But these outfits of matching formal wear were different from those they'd had on before. They were not inexpensive rentals, and they certainly were not made of rubber. Unlike the times the duo had wakened to find themselves dressed as cowboys, rubber butlers, go-go boys, both Kris and Adam's head felt prefectly clear. They sat up, finding that they had been laid down gently upon red velvet fouton couch. The room was softly lit with more tasteful props than the young men had seen before. A white trellis against the far wall, small tables with lanterns upon them, the back wall covered with something akin to climbing ivy, but with scattered blossoms of red and blue.

Kris and Adam got up and looked around the room. A small stereo had been set up across from the velvet couch with a selection of CDs featuring a variety of music and a remote. Bottles of water and a small tray of snacks were nearby.

"This time we really are back in the basement", Adam observed.

"Looks like it", Kris said, not really prepared to swear to anything just yet. "That fucker. He said if we made nice and let him hypnotize to get rid of all the triggers and crap, he'd let us go."

"Actaully, he never really came out and said he'd let us go", Adam realized. "He just let us assume that."

"So what do we end up doing now?", Kris asked, not really expecting an answer. "Host a fucking awards show?" He looked down at his tuxedo, trying to place where he was meant to go in it.

Adam was slowly moving about the room, waving his arm back and forth at empty air. He was feeling for anything that might have been rendered invisible to them. "I don't think there are any cameras or anything in here this time", he decided. "Unless they're really small and hidden, like the ones in the kitchen that one time, but somehow I don't—" he stopped, staring at Kris.


"Nothing. It's just, I was only thinking..."


"You look really nice."

Kris was taken aback by Adam's honest compliment. He almost reflexively tossed out a snide comeback, but stopped himself. "Um, thanks. look reallynice, too."

Adam paused and really looked at himself for the first time. "God, these are really nice tuxedos, aren't they? Is this some designer label? We look...we look pretty damn sharp."

Kris rolled his arms, shrugged his shoulders. "And they fit right. I mean, really fit and everything. Like custom-made jobs." Kris did a slow spin around and found that he liked the way he felt. "I actually feel good. I mean, really good. I'm awake, I don't think there's anything buzzing in my head or anything. Maybe he really did remove all that shit he put in our brains." He pursed his lips, thinking. "But if he did, then what's up with the fancy tuxedos? These things aren't exactly cheap. And howcum we're stuck back in the basement? I get the feeling he wants us to still do something, but I'm not sure what—"

"I'm gay."

Kris stopped short. He looked at Adam. "Uhh...what?"

"I think you heard me."

Kris shook his head. "Yeah, I mean, I know I did. But, like...what?"

Adam sighed, looking upward. "Are you going to make me say it again?"

Kris thought about any number of smartass remarks or jokes he could make, found he had no real desire to say any of them. "Just, you threw it out there so fast. Could you...are you serious?"

Adam looked him dead in the eye. "Yeah. I'm gay."

Kris looked back. Any crass comments or snotty remarks he might've had were gone. He saw only a friend. A friend who was very courageous. "That", Kris said, "that was really brave. Thank-you for like, trusting me with that."

Adam felt a wave of relief wash over him. "No smartass remark?"

Kris shook his head. "No."

Adam slipped his hands into his pockets and let his eyes wander to the wall. Like, now what are we gonna talk about?

"I'm sorry about all that shit I had planned with Bomer", Kris offered. "Guess that hit pretty close to home then, huh?"

"Guess so."

"You know the only reason I did it is that I was totally jealous of you, right?"

Adam looked back at Kris, eyes widening. "Say what? No! No, I didn't know that!"

Kris began to walk in small circles. "Well I was...I am!"

"How the hell did you ever become jealous of me?!"

Now it was Kris's turn to stuff his hands into his pockets. "Well, it's like, uh...damn, even the lining in these pockets feels good. What is that, silk?"

"Answer the question."

Kris let out a tired breath. "Every time I was always trying to be all cool and not seem like a hick and really watching what everyone might be thinking of were always right there, just, just being you."

"What does that even mean?"

"It means you always act like you don't give a shit what anyone else thinks. That you're just yourself, and you're totally okay with that."

Adam shrugged. "Sometimes, yeah. Pretty much."

"It's not that I want to dye chunks of my hair or start wearing eye liner or anything, it's just..."

"I get it, I see what you're saying", Adam said.

"You're just comfortable in your own skin", Kris said, summing it up.

For a little while the two said nothing.

"You do look good", Adam said at last.

"You said that already."

"Bears repeating."

Kris looked at Adam and saw something different in him. "'re, you're not like...into me, are you?"

"Kinda. Yeah."

Kris swallowed. Started to say something, stopped. Then he said, "Well, it's all that hypnosis stuff. We were slow dancing and thought we were with the most beautiful person in the world—"

"I was", Adam said.

Kris spoke a bit more quickly, "—he had us doing some pretty crazy, like totally gay things with each other. It's probably really easy to get confused. These last few months—"

"I've been into you since freshmen year."

Again, silence between them.

Kris asked, "You sure?"

Adam nodded. "Oh yeah."

Kris sat down on the couch and exhaled longer than he needed to. "Fuck."

Adam stared at his shoes...his really nice, hi-end designer shoes...until he heard a soft patting sound. He looked up to see Kris patting the cushion of the couch beside him. Come sit by me. Adam did. For a while, they sat in silence.

"That long, huh?", Kris said.

"That long."

"That explains a lot", Kris mumbled.

Adam turned to him. "What's that? Explains what?"

"Well, sometimes when I'd look at you, there'd be this, I dunno, this thing that would pass between us, and I couldn't help but think that maybe—"

"Whoa, whoa, wait a minute. When did you ever look at me?"

Kris paused, realizing he'd said more than he meant to. Then, with a half shrug that said, What the hell, he just came out to me..., he went on. "I would...well, I would check you out sometimes."

"You would check me out??"

"Just sometimes. You know, you would wear these pretty wild outfits sometimes."

"But you would check me out."

"A little, yeah."

Adam smiled a bright and beautiful smile. His eyes seemed to sparkle a bit as he asked, "Like what you saw?"

Kris threw his hands up. "Hey! I like girls! I like girls, like, a LOT. I've had sex with girls. Real-live sex. Boy on girl action. I like girls."

"Okay, you like girls." Adam looked away.

"I just think that maybe I might like boys, too."

Adam looked back at him. "Dude, do not toy with me."

Kris dropped his head and ran his fingers through his hair anxiously. "Godddd...why did he have to put us in these damned tuxedos??"

Adam felt he was missing something. "Why? It's not like these are those rubber clown suits with the huge clomping boots or anythi—"

"Because you look so fucking hot in a tuxedo."

Kris turned and looked directly into Adam's eyes and the sincerity was evident there. Adam saw it mirrored back at him in Kris's.

"Kris, I...I'm not sure what I should say—"

"No more words. I'm done talking."

Gently, Kris reached over and touched Adam's cheek with his fingertips. Slowly, tentatively, he kissed him. Adam did not stop him. They pulled away. Not by much, but they broke contact for a moment. Again, they looked into each other's eyes. This time there was something else there, something softer. A connection, a yearning, an invitation. Kris stroked his friend's hair. Adam cradled Kris face in his hand. Again, they moved together. Adam pressed his lips to Kris's, who opened his mouth in welcome. For several minutes, all they did was kiss.

When next they pulled away, they found they were both flushed, their hearts beating faster than either though possible. They rested their foreheads together to collect themselves, their hands already stroking arms and chests.

"God, what are we doing?", Kris whispered.

"What feels right", Adam whispered back. They kissed again, feeling their passion growing. "Does it...does it feel like he's controlling you?", he asked.

"No", Kris admitted. "It feels like something inside of me is."

Without another word, they peeled off their tuxedo jackets and tossed them aside. More freely, and with greater conviction, they kissed. Hands touching faces, fingers clutching hair and releasing them in a soft cascade, Kris and Adam kissed with open mouths and probing tongues, feeling an energy, an electricity of the kind neither had ever felt before.

With fumbling hands, Adam loosened Kris's bow tie. Kris skillfully unclasped Adam's tie, letting it tumble to the couch. More kissing, more passionately than before. Both young men kicked off their shoes. As Kris was sliding his suspenders from his shoulders, Adam was already unbuttoning his shirt. They never broke from their kiss.

They knew they were racing down a road that had only one outcome. Kris and Adam finally pulled themselves apart.

"Music", Adam said.

"Protection", Kris replied.

Feverishly, they scoured the room. Adam went straight to the small stereo and started shuffling through the many CD cases madly. Country Western Hits, That Old Soft Shoe, Gaiety Dance Numbers of the '30s, all the stuff that they had been hypnotized to dance around to. No, no, none of that would do. None of it was right. He kept digging.

Kris was growing a bit frantic. Where in this room would there be condoms? He gave the area a quick looking over and realized immediately there was nothing here. Kris found a small back hallway just off the bottom landing of the stairs. Why in all this time had he never noticed it before? Stupid question. He wasn't allowed to. Kris followed the tiny hallway to a small bathroom and changing area. That made sense. Above the sink, Kris pulled open the mirror medicine cabinet to find...toothpaste, soaps, shaving cream, razors, depilatory foam (oh, so that's how he did it) dental floss, tweezers...ah! A box on condoms.

Kris checked the expiration date, so that they had plenty of time, barring the possibility that they'd be down there for another year or so, and raced back to Adam. Rounding the corner, he held the box aloft. "We're good."

Adam turned, holding up a CD with some kind of snooty orchestra leader on its cover. "How does Mantovani sound?"

Kris shrugged. "Sounds great. Whatever."

Adam tossed in the CD and set it on repeat. Kris set the box down in easy reach. Neither remembered even crossing the room. They were in each other's arms, peeling off clothing, kissing, and caressing. Both of them felt more alive than they ever had in their lives. They fell upon the couch as soft strings and gentle melodies issued from the stereo speakers. Whoever the snooty orchestra leader was, he knew his business. The couch easily opened underneath them to spread open to twice its previous width. In another moment, their pants were flung upon the thick white carpet below the makeshift bed.

Kris moved from kissing Adam's lips to his face, then his neck. He allowed his instincts to guide him and continued on a steady trail of kisses over Adam's chest and down his abs. Adam reeled under the eager touch of his friend's lips, clutching his shoulders and feeling his head loll back as he breathed in heavily.

"Not...not so fast", Adam gasped. "Slow down a bit."

"I can't", Kris admitted honestly.

Within seconds, Kris's tongue was at play on Adam's cock and balls, licking and lingering. Kris was silently thankful that their hypnotist master had shaved them smooth everywhere. Kris sucked hungrily on Adam's balls and then began to tenderly service the head of his cock.

"Are-are you sure about this?", Adam asked him,

"Never been surer."

Kris went down on Adam as f he'd been born to it. Adam knew this was Kris's first time, and braced himself for the brush of teeth. It never happened. Kris sucked and attended to Adam's thick member on instinct alone, adjusting by only reflex. Adam shivered at the attention. It was by far the best blow job he had ever had.

Soon, much sooner than Adam would have liked, he felt himself surging with a rising orgasm. He pushed against Kris's shoulders. " have to stop..."

Kris spoke around his friend's dick. "No, need more."

"I'm...I'm about to cum...I mean it...pull back..."

Kris could not. As much as he dreaded the though of this, his first gay sex, ending with swallowing another guy's juices, he found himself wholly unable to release himself from Adam's member. Finally, Adam pushed hard against Kris's shoulders and came free of his lips. Instantly, Adam shot. A veritable geyser of cum sprayed forth, catching Kris in the face.

Adam tried to step back, but Kris grabbed hold of his ass and squeezed tight. His grasp acted as a trigger, causing Adam to fire again and again. Kris lowered his head and took the brunt of the orgasm onto his face, his forehead, and in his hair. When Adam finally collapsed, breathing ragged, against Kris's shoulders, Kris rubbed the jism into his hair.

Adam fell to his knees in front of Kris, kissing him desperately, pausing here and there to lick his own spooge from his friend's face. He pushed Kris backwards, leaving him to fall upon the soft futon bed. With no further prompting, Adam nearly swallowed Kris' penis in his mouth and sucked for all he was worth. Kris writhed under his attentions, grasping at the red velvet surface of the futon. He had never felt anything like this. No girl had ever been able to excite him in this fashion, so quickly, so intensely. His toes curled and uncurled as shivers raced up his spine and he silently prayed the sensation would never cease.

Kris found himself rising to climax at unbearable speed and through sheer force of will brought himself back to the room. "No", he said in a voice that was as forceful as it was quiet.

Adam looked up at him, concerned. He withdrew from the cock and asked, "What is it? Are you okay?"

Kris smiled. "Roll over."

Adam did so, and Kris grabbed one of the nearby condoms. As he put it on with practiced skill, he asked, "You okay with this?"

"Just put it inside me."

Kris needed no further invitation. Slowly, carefully, and in fact, lovingly, he inserted his dick into Adam's hole. Adam's mouth fell open in a wide 'O' and he moaned as his friend slid inside him. Adam grabbed at the edge of the futon and Kris held tight to Adam's midsection. Adding handfuls of spit as needed, Kris began to slide, in and out, ever so carefully.

Adam felt his eyes close involuntarily and his eyelid flutter in ecstasy. Kris had never felt such excitement, such arousal. He pushed in and out, gently caressing the small of Adam's back, kneading his ass and his outer thighs. As Kris's excitement peaked, he increased the speed of his thrusting, almost to the point of climax. Then he would stop. And after a moment, a terrible, eternal moment, he would begin again. Slowly, ever so slowly, and then build in speed and intensity again. It was driving Adam crazy.

Kris's edging continued for the better part of half an hour. Adam was harder than he had ever been in his life. He actually began to fear that he would burst before Kris would cum. As Kris reached the point of climax again, he began to slow once more, and Adam reached around behind him and grabbed Kris's hips.

"Finish", he urged him. "You have to finish."

Kris shook slightly. He didn't want to stop. He wanted this to go on forever. But Adam began to pump and pull his arms back toward him again and again, guiding Kris's hips.

"Please just cum, you have to cum."

Kris gave in and began to thrust faster and faster. Both of them began to cry out, moaning louder and louder. Their every fiber was alive with fire and electricity. Kris shouted first as he shot the greatest load of his entire life. His whole body stiffened like a statue as he fired stream upon stream into the condom, heating Adam's body from the inside. As Kris shot, so did Adam. Another magnificent load, all over the couch, staining it's velvety red surface with stream upon stream of thick, viscous white.

After what seemed an hour or orgasm, Kris withdrew—barely—and the duo fell off the couch to land together on the soft white carpet. The layered underside of the rug cushioned their landing, and they lay side by side, bare shoulders and thighs touching, trickles of sweat mingling as they rolled across their skin.

Adam and Kris listened to their labored breathing, coming in ragged gasps, and wondered how long it would take for their heart rates to return to normal. In the background, quietly, Mantovoni played on.

* * * * *

The two young men lay naked on the thick carpet, cradled in each other's arms, gently coming down from the high of their lovemaking. Their skin was warm, their heartbeats slowly returning to normal. After a while of lying there in silence, they turned to face each other.

"Hello", Adam said.


"That was pretty amazing."

"You were pretty good yourself." Then Kris's face grew pale. " What did we just do??" He sat up, drawing his legs toward his chest, his arms around himself.

Adam sat up next to him. "Hey, it's okay. It's okay, I promise. It was a good thing."

"It felt like a good thing, but now..."

Adam placed a kind hand upon Kris's shoulder. Kris did not pull away.

"I used to dream about this happening", Kris confessed.

"What, seriously?"

Kris nodded.

"Live up to expectations?"

Tears welled up in Kris's eyes. "Don't laugh! I'm serious!" Adam nodded, his face a mask of understanding and acceptance. He inclined his head forward to indicate Kris should go on. "I was always so uncomfortable with how at ease you were with yourself. I was all, like, 'Who does he think he is, you know?' And then I felt this weird...I dunno, attraction to that. To all that confidence you had."

"A lot of that was faked", Adam admitted.

"Nevertheless", Kris shrugged. "But I didn't understand why I felt that way and it really scared me. Like it was becoming not so much who does he think he is as, 'Who do I think I am??'. And it was so much easier just to hate you than it was to get to know you." Adam nodded again, never moving away or showing any sense of judgment.

After a moment, seeing that it was safe, Kris continued.

"I used to have fantasies about you. I used to whack off thinking about them."

"Honestly?" Adam was truly surprised.

Kris nodded. "Oh, yeah. They always ended up with me fucking you, but it was always this mean, rape-scene thing. Like I'd tackle you in the locker room or whatever or find you alone in the halls after school. And it wasn't so much that I was fucking you as I was conquering you. Like making it so those thoughts you inspired couldn't get me anymore." Kris's tears were flowing freely now. He wiped them away with back of his hand. He saw the growing concern on Adam's face and place a hand on his knee. It was gentle and warm.

"Hadn't had one of those in a long time, though", he assured his friend.

"How long did those go on for?"

Kris looked Adam in the eye. "Up 'til halfway through sophomore year."

Adam grinned. "So, what have you been whacking off to since then?"

Kris jerked his head back toward the upended and stained futon bed and the remembered image of what happened there. "That, basically."

Adam's grin blossomed into a smile. "Yeah. Me, too."

"This was way better", Kris smiled back. "Doing it for real."


They leaned in and kissed again. The contact was no longer tentative or searching. This time was the fire of discovery behind it, and a growing strength of discovered identity and truth.

"Did everybody have a good night?"

Rosco descended the stairs, taking Kris and Adam completely by surprise. They scrambled to get off each other, slipped, tried again, fumbled for their clothes, throw pillows, anything they could find on hand to cover up. By the time Rosco reached the bottom landing, Adam had one leg down his trousers (backwards, with the seat facing front), Kris had scrunched up the rug and strategically placed it in front of him.

"I trust you both have had a very revealing heart-to-heart..." Rosco stopped at the foot of the stairs, staring at the two naked boys, his eyes wide and jaw slack. ""

Everyone just stood silently for a moment. Adam and Kris stared at each other, then stared at Rosco. He stared back at both of them. The pregnant pause lasted for perhaps a whole minute.

"Well!", Rosco said, "What have you two lads been up to, anyway?"

Whether it was the unexpected sight of the hypnotist or his upbeat tone, both Adam and Kris were overcome by feelings of outrage and regret. They knew now that they had been had.

"As if you didn't know", Kris hissed.

"Well, granted, I think I can figure it out", Rosco admitted.

"Where do you get off playing with people's lives?!", Adam cried.

"Now hold on, you were given plenty of chance to back out of this early on. You knew you were in for a heckuva ride from the beginning—"

"You set us up, you set this whole thing up!", Kris chided.

"Well, yeah. Duh. I mean, who else--?"

"All the props, the costumes, the whole...the whole atmosphere!" Adam spat the last word as if it were toxic.

"I thought it was kind of nice and non-threatening, actually", Rosco offered in a tone that both young men knew had to be false sincerity.

"You bastard", Kris said, fuming.

"The music", Adam said, nodding toward the stereo, upon which Mantovani was still playing.

Rosco picked up on the CD on rotation. "How did you find that?"

"The condoms", Kris added.

"The cond—what? Where??"

"Medicine cabinet. Bathroom."

Rosco's brow furrowed as his eyes darted up and to the left, searching his memory. "Are those things even still any good?"

"God! Drop the act! You wanted this to happen!", Adam accused.

"You made us DO this!!", Kris shouted.

"What? Whoa! I so did not!"

"Then why the tuxes? Huh? You mean to say you didn't dress us up like that?"

"Well, sure, but after all the stuff I put you through, I thought you could use a moment of dignity. I had them made to order for you. You can have 'em."

"Like we'd want ANYthing from you!", Adam sneered.

Rosco was waving his hands furiously. "Hold everything here! I did NOT set you guys up to fuck!" His raised voice silenced the two naked boys for a second. Then Rosco said, "Seriously, did you two really fuck, then, or what?"

"You set us up with the one bed!", Kris pointed out.

Rosco held up a finger. Wait a minute. He walked over to the corner of the room and indicated a rollaway bed, set up on its side. Sheets, pillows, and blankets were folded neatly on top.

"Where'd that come from?", Adam asked.

"Been here the whole time", Rosco told them.

Kris pointed at the cot, "You made it so we couldn't see--?"

Rosco shook his head.

"Still, leaving us in those tuxedos", Adam declared, "It's not like we'd be able to sleep in them. We'd have to get naked eventually--!" He was stopped by Rosco's pointing finger. There on an end table near the upturned futon were two sets of neatly pressed pajamas.


"You're making us see those", Kris said.

"Oh, fer--!" Rosco threw his hand sup in the air. "You're not hypnotized anymore!!"

They both looked shocked. "We're not?"

"NO! You had your trial-by-fire breakthrough last night. I removed everything just like a said I would, leaving you with only one compulsion."

"A-HA!!", Kris said.

"To be honest with each other!", Rosco told them. "You get some time alone in a safe atmosphere—by yourselves—with a smidgeon of dignity, at least. And be honest with each other about why this whole enemies bullshit started in the first place!"

"That's all...?"

"That's ALL!"

"You didn't set this whole thing up?", Adam asked quietly.

"Not with this intention, no."

"So...everything we did...", Kris pondered.

"Was alllll you", Rosco told them. "And whatever it was, it was the truth."

"But-but the music?", Adam inquired.

"Was it set up for you and running by remote?"

"I had to dig through a bunch of discs. Found it in the bottom cupboard."

"There you go."

"Um...condoms?", Kris asked.

"Laid out and waiting?"

"No. I had to look for them."

"Like I said."

Adam and Kris looked at each other, confused and uncertain of what was going on or what would happen next. Kris finally said, "We could be in trance right now and totally imagining all this."

Rosco lost it. "Oh, fer crying out loud!"

"There's one way to find out", Adam suggested, jerking his head toward Rosco. Kris understood. He nodded.

"What way?", Rosco asked. "What do you mean?"

Buck naked, Kris strode over to Rosco and hauled off and punched him in the jaw. THWACK! Rosco reeled under the blow and began to tumble backwards, barely catching himself.

Kris turned to Adam. "We're not hypnotized."

Rosco nursed his jaw. "I thed dat!"

Kris and Adam looked at each other. With new eyes, and with a growing sense of freedom. Only Adam could say anything and it wasn't much at that.


* * * * *

The time had come for Kris and Adam to leave. Rosco saw them to the door and helped to make sure everything was properly packed for them.

"Okay, now have you got everything?", Rosco asked.

"Yes, for the hundredth time", Kris sighed.

"Got your clothes, your toiletries and all that?"

"We got it, we got it", Adam assured him. Neither of them were used to seeing this side of their hypnotist master, the kind and attentive side. The side that was really who he actually was.

"Here, take these, too, now", Rosco said, offering them two large garment bags.

"What's all this, then?", Kris asked.

"Your tuxedos. I was serious...I had them tailor-made for you, the least you can do is take them with you. They're yours."

"What, seriously?", Adam asked.

"These are, like, really expensive an' shit", Kris said.

"They are really expensive and shit, and they won't fit me, so somebody should take 'em. Here, wear them from time to time. Impress the ladies." The boys exchanged a sly look. Rosco corrected himself. "Or whoever."

"What's in these?", Kris asked, referring to a blue plastic tub. There were two of them, each one with a label for one of the boys.

"Your costumes. It's not like those'll fit me, either."

"What, the cowboy outfits, the go-go boy things...?", began Adam.

"The rubber tuxes?", Kris asked.

Rosco nodded. "Sure. Everything. Catsuits, knee boots, the whole ball of wax"

"Ohh, no", Kris decided. "Like we'd want keepsakes of all the stuff you stuck us in when you were controlling us."

"Especially the rubber tuxes", Adam added, shaking his head.

"The outfits we wore when you made us masturbate all over each other", Kris pointed out.

"Technically, I only made you masturbate against each other, so..." Rosco saw the distinction did not garner a laugh. "If you don't want 'em, they're just going in the trash."

A pause. A shared glance. Then, a shrug. "Yeah, okay, we'll take 'em", Kris relented.

"Never know when a rubber tuxedo might come in handy", Adam said.

"What about that web site of yours", Kris asked. "Of ours. You ever launch it? Should we be worried about being recognized at clubs or on the street now?"

"Oh, I never launched the site. I never intended to. I was just mind-fucking you."

Kris considered this. "Would it have been a pay site?"

Adam put down his bag. "Whoa, what does that matter?"

He held up a hand. "Just a second. Rosco, would it have been a pay site?"

He considered it. "Yeah, I guess it would have to be, given the content. If it ever existed. Which it doesn't."

"Put it up", Kris told him.

"What're you, crazy?", Adam said.

"Think about it, what's the worse that could happen? People start saying we're gay??"

"Or bi", Adam pointed out.

"Exactly. We're legal." Then to Rosco, "Launch the damn thing. Just change our names and stuff and see what happens."

"We get the lion's share of the profits, though", Adam insisted.

Rosco thought about it. "Agreed. I'd say you've earned it."

"Damn right we have", Kris stated. As he stacked the tubs and started to lift them, he looked back at Rosco. "Okay, before we split, you've got to fess up about something."


"All this stuff you did with us—"

"To us", Adam corrected.

"Okay, to us", Kris agreed. "Was that all just to get through to us about being dicks to each and maybe even connect with our inner selves and fears and all that—or was there a big part where you just wanted to get off on it and get a cheap laugh at our expense?"

Adam leaned forward, interested to hear the answer.

Rosco grinned in spite of himself. "There was definitely a cheap laugh factor involved."

"You asshole."

Adam nudged Kris. "Hey, we started it." Kris smirked. True.

As Adam and Kris got into their cars and prepared to depart, Rosco slipped them each an envelope. "What's this?", Kris asked.

"Your pay for the time you spent doing your 'internship' here. And some other stuff."

Adam gawked as he opened his envelope. "Dude, there's a shitload of money in here! And...plane tickets?"

"It's only the end of July", Rosco pointed out. "Enjoy the rest of your summer. Go wherever you want. The destination can be changed, I made sure."

"What's this?", Kris asked, unfolding a piece of paper.

"Letters of recommendation", Adam said, reading his over. "For college!"

"Don't waste those", Rosco encouraged them.

"Or these", Kris said, pulling out a CD from his envelope. Adam saw he had one too. Kris held up the disc of orchestral musical selections. His friend smiled.

There were shared hugs and the young men who had been hypnotized, demeaned, had come together, and found themselves, got into their respective vehicles.

"You realize if that site thing takes off, we'll have to come back from time to time to do updates", Kris said.

"We'll see what happens", Rosco told him.

The two left, driving down the same road, together. And for once, headed in the same direction.

* * * * *


The six college students left the comedy club laughing their asses off. They were Kris and Adam, holding hands and enjoying their three-year anniversary, Deborah and Charmaine, the lesbian girlfriends, and Steven and Mindy, the token straight couple.

"I swear to God", Steven said, "every time a hypnotist is in town, you two goofballs have to go to the show and you always wind up on stage."

Adam and Kris smiled and nodded. "What can we say?", Adam shrugged.

"We've just got this thing for hypnosis", Kris told them.

"Well, you made fucking hilarious naked chickens", Charmaine said.

"We weren't really totally naked, were we?", Adam asked. "How far did he get us to strip?" He looked to Kris. "It was an adult show."

"Just down to the boxers", Mindy promised.

"Although one of you wears bikini briefs", Deborah chided.

"And with that image fresh in our minds", Steven cut in, "who wants tacos?"

"Not for us", Kris said. "Adam and I have something planned at home."

"You always have something planned at home", Charmaine said, rolling her eyes.

"We'll catch you next time", Adam promised. "Pizza on us."

"Yeah, next time there's a hypnotist in town", Mindy said.

The gay boyfriends practically skipped off, holding hands and laughing together.

"What the hell do you suppose they do when they ditch us?", Steven asked.

"I don't want to know", Mindy said.

"Honey, I'm as gay as a handbag full of rainbows and even I don't want to know", Charmaine admitted.

The quartet went off to their dinner of bad Mexican food, none of them suspecting that Kris and Adam, former high school enemies and now the cutest gay couple on their college campus, were off to an intimate evening involving a pair of rubber tuxedos. That and their all-time favorite CD selection. Mantonvoni, don't you know.


If you enjoyed this story, please write the author and let him know so he'll write more, at [email protected]