Following Her Dream Ch. 13
Tension filled the air as Janet stared Violet down. Her heart raced in her chest, thumping in her ears and drowning out any ambient noise. She tried her best to maintain her composure, to appear confident and in control.
She was afraid. Her breathing was shaky and her hands felt ice cold. There was no way of knowing how Violet would react, not with how impulsive Janet took her to be. Her best course of action was to tread lightly. She wanted to make the first move, but the venomous glare that was returned to her was paralyzing.
The suspense she felt was shattered by a sudden laugh.
Violet's anger dissipated as she sat at the edge of her bed, clapping her hands. "Bravo, Janet. I'm impressed. Honestly," she said with a grin. "You certainly played a good game, but I'm afraid this is as far as it will go. Bit longer than I expected, but that's okay. Sometimes things are better when you're made to wait."
Janet could only continue to stare, confused by Violet's change in attitude. She stood there warily, trying to deduce her enemy's intentions. With someone as unpredictable as Violet was, it was no easy task. "What are you talking about?" Janet asked.
"Let me ask you this," Violet began. She leaned back onto both arms, crossing one leg over the other on the bed. "Do you think your actions up until now were your own?" The confident smile never left her face.
Janet scoffed, rolling her eyes. "Of course they are. What are you playing at?"
Violet shivered as she tilted her head sideways. "I've been dying to have this conversation for so long." She stared at Janet like a cat teasing its prey. "Here's the thing, everything you know about these last few days is, well... wrong. Everything you've been doing behind the scenes was done because I let you."
She paused for a moment, letting the information sink in. She pulled both legs up onto the bed as she ran her hand through her hair. "You see, I know you tried to program Snow the other day, before I arrived. I also know you believe that Rachel fell into your little trap with your teacher. What you may not know, however, is that I had them play along so that you could think you had the upper hand."
Violet saw the uncertainty in Janet's eyes now, the slight wavering of her resolve as she questioned the reality of her memories. It was precisely the reaction Violet had hoped for, and it felt delicious.
"It's a fun one, don't you think? Letting you have hope that maybe you'll win in the end. Truth be told, you were just playing along to my instructions from the beginning."
Janet took a step back. "That's impossible. You're lying..."
"You know the power of the device, Janet. You know very well that it's possible. You see, I enjoy playing with you." Violet rubbed at her neck before slowly sliding her hand down her chest and between her breasts. "You take everything so seriously, how couldn't I?" Moving farther, her hand stopped at her crotch, pressing against it as she purred.
"You look so delicious right now. It's a shame I'll have to put you back under. Don't worry though, I'll be sure we get to play again. Maybe next time I'll even record it! That way I can watch the moment you lose all hope. Again. And again. And again." Her face flashed with excitement every time she repeated that word.
Violet stood up from the bed. She slowly approached Janet, swaying her hips. "The only thing that could possibly make this better is to see you willingly give up. Let me see you break. Realize that there is no way out of this for you."
"S-stay back..." Janet warned, shrinking away.
Violet pouted. She stopped moving as she raised her fingers into the air. "One snap, and all will return back to how it should be, with you as my mindless slave. Are you ready, or would you rather go of your own choice? It'll be so much sweeter if you do."
Janet could only stare at the fingers in fear, waiting for them to make their sound.
Rachel held Janet's tablet to her side. She treated it as if it was the most expensive instrument in the world. If she were to have broken it, she'd as well have broken any hopes of reliving her experience with Ms. Gilio.
Worse yet, she'd disappoint Violet.
She stood outside the closed door, trying to catch her breath. Her race across campus was surely a spectacle to behold for the other students that looked her way. Those that did likely caught a glimpse of her bare ass as she ran by, her skirt offering little protection as it bounced with her steps.
She rubbed her leg firmly. It seemed to her that she might have pushed herself a bit too hard, but that was something she could worry about later. All that mattered right now was what awaited her on the other side of that door. With eager anticipation, she gave two sharp knocks on the wood.
"Come in," she heard Ms. Gilio say from the other side. The voice was softer than usual, a more friendly tone that she hadn't heard her teacher use before. It enticed Rachel, leaving her to wonder if Janet perhaps had given Ms. Gilio extra instructions as a surprise. She entered the office with high hopes.
Ms. Gilio sat behind her clean desk, smiling at Rachel. "Please, take a seat," she invited. "I was just telling Melanie here that you were helping me with a very important project that I wanted to show her."
Rachel tore her gaze away from her teacher, taking notice of Melanie as she sat in the chair to her side. She frowned, disappointed that Melanie had beaten her here. There would be no appetizer to tide her over. Still, she had a job to perform for Violet, and was permitted to have some fun after it was accomplished. With that in mind, she exchanged pleasantries with her victim.
"Now, if you don't mind," Ms. Gilio said to Rachel, gesturing towards the tablet in her arms, "let's get started. Once our business with Melanie is done, I'd like to have a moment to speak with you... in private."
The way the teacher accented those last two words sent shivers through Rachel. The voracious look the teacher gave when she said them had Rachel weak in the knees. She was too preoccupied with the implications to be concerned over Ms. Gilio's conspicuous voicing around Melanie.
Shaking off yet another daydream, Rachel pulled out the tablet as she took her seat. Logging in with the password that Violet so graciously entrusted to her, she handed the device over to her instructor. Her eyes darted between teacher and pupil with bated breath.
Ms. Gilio loaded up the program and promptly turned it to face Melanie. Rachel averted her gaze, careful not to stare at the colors despite a firm notion that it would make her feel so good. Without skipping a beat, Ms. Gilio began talking to Melanie. "Now then, with this project, I feel it's better to just show it to you, rather than explain it first. It'll all make perfect sense soon if you'll just watch the screen for me."
Melanie looked down as requested.
"Very good, Melanie. Just keep staring at the screen. Try to follow the patterns with your eyes."
Rachel's full attention was on Melanie now. She watched every expression that her classmate made. She had only seen the device used on someone once, back when Violet helped make Janet happy. The experience then was just as exciting as it was now, and Rachel wanted to make sure to relish it while she could.
"As you keep watching, you may start to notice just how tired you feel right now. Being valedictorian must be so exhausting. It'd be so nice to just be able to get a break from all that stress. You'd like that, wouldn't you? To be able to let go of all that stress and just relax?"
Her teacher had been speaking so sensually, Rachel had to look over and confirm that it was indeed Ms. Gilio that was talking.
"Yeah, that'd be nice," Melanie replied. Her eyes continued to dart around, following the shapes.
"All you have to do is keep watching the screen. Let the colors and shapes fill your vision. Don't worry about anything else right now. All those stressors are unimportant when you're in this room. Just let them fade away from your mind as you finally get the rest that you so desperately need."
Rachel waited with rapt attention. Any moment now she'd be able to see the tell-tale signs of Melanie going under. Just like Janet before her, Melanie's eyes would soon start to droop, her breathing start to slow. Just a little bit longer and she'd be under. Then Rachel could accomplish her goal for Violet and receive her reward.
"Doing so well now, Melanie. Keep watching. Let the colors relax you. Feel your muscles drain of tension as you begin to feel tired. It would be so nice to just be able to sleep and let go of everything. Nothing could be more relaxing. Nothing could be more pleasant. Are you starting to feel sleepy now, Melanie?"
This was it. Rachel could tell that they were almost there. Maybe now it'd be safe to just reach a hand under her skirt and start fingering herself. She so desperately wanted to. Melanie probably wouldn't even notice at this point.
"Mmm," Melanie purred. She adjusted her glasses. "Not really."
Rachel decided Melanie should be under enough as she started sliding her hand up her thigh. Images of Janet going under flashed in her mind. She could practically see the same look on Melanie's face now. Better yet, she'd be able to see the same look on Ms. Gilio. It wasn't until Melanie's response was fully processed that her hand stopped its advancement.
She studied Melanie's face. There was no sign of tiredness. Her classmate looked fully alert. "Wait... what?" Rachel squeaked out. She noted the frown given by her teacher.
"Hmm. It doesn't seem to be working, Rachel," Ms. Gilio said with a shrug.
"Th... that's impossible," Rachel stammered. There was no reason why it wouldn't work. She knows Melanie was staring at it, she watched her the entire time.
Rachel wondered how long it had been. Melanie had certainly been staring at it for longer than Janet did just a few days ago. Why did Janet fall under so easily, but Melanie seem completely immune? It didn't make any sense to her.
"What's wrong, Rachel? You look upset," Melanie said with concern.
Rachel looked up to see Melanie staring right back at her. That wasn't what she was supposed to be doing. "No, you have to look at the screen. Keep looking. Please!" Her voice was more panicked than commanding.
Melanie acquiesced and refocused her attention on the program.
"That's it, just keep looking." Rachel tried to come up with what to say to coax Melanie under, but she was too distressed. "You have to...to keep looking..."
"I think it might be broken, Rachel," Ms. Gilio announced.
"No. It's not broken. It can't be broken!" Her voice was becoming frantic.
"Maybe you should take a look, find out for yourself if it still works," the teacher offered. Without waiting, she moved the tablet over to face Rachel.
Rachel was quick to look away, shutting her eyes. "No! I can't, I..." This was supposed to be simple. She just had to let the teacher put Melanie under. Rachel just wanted to have fun with the teacher for a bit, and then they all could go meet up with Violet. That's how things were supposed to be.
"You don't want to disappoint her, do you?"
The question cut through Rachel as her eyes shot open. Just the idea of it was unimaginable to her. She looked up at her teacher in absolute fear. "Please. I promised her. What should I do?" She was hyperventilating.
"Just try staring at the screen for me, Rachel. Then we'll know for sure. It's all so simple. Don't worry, I won't let anything happen to you. I won't let you disappoint her. I promise."
Ms. Gilio's voice was calming. She promised to help. Rachel wanted so desperately to believe her. Her teacher would fix this, and then they could all go back and make Violet proud. Rachel gave her first tentative glance at the lights.
It was all so beautiful. There was a familiarity with the display that Rachel could feel, just like the last time that Violet used the device on her. She had been so upset back then. Violet had made her feel better - so much better. If that familiarity was with her now, it meant that she was going to feel better again soon. She just had to keep staring and let Ms. Gilio solve her problems.
Rachel could feel herself being drawn. Part of her realized that this meant the device wasn't broken. Maybe now they could use it on Melanie. Rachel would get to keep her promise.
"It's... working. Okay... Melanie?" Her voice was slurred, her body tensing as she fought to complete her task.
Ms. Gilio comforted Rachel as she began to fuss. With a calming shush, the teacher began speaking to her student. "It's okay. I'll take care of everything. There's nothing you have to worry about. Just keep staring at the screen, let all your troubles fade away. I'll make sure Violet is proud of you."
Rachel had never experienced such relief before. She let out a long sigh as her face relaxed. Ms. Gilio would make things right. It was the last thought that went through her head as the smile faded to nothing.
With Rachel fully under, Ms. Gilio and Melanie both straightened up as their expressions went blank. Pulling out her phone, the teacher sent a text out to Janet. She returned to Rachel to finish her instructions.
"Just give up, Janet." Violet's eyes were wild with excitement. She had Janet just where she wanted her. "I promise if you do this my way, I'll reward you in ways you could never imagine. If I have to force you under, though," she jiggled her hand, fingers at the ready, to emphasize her point, "I can guarantee you'll regret it for weeks to come."
Violet stood there, waiting for Janet to come to a decision. She was growing impatient.
Janet took a slow, deep breath as she straightened up. She looked Violet right in the eyes. "Go ahead."
Janet clenched her fists tightly, her knuckles white. "If what you say is true, then snap your fingers. Put me under. If you already have control of me, then it doesn't matter what I do. However, if you're blu-"
Violet's anger flared. "Bitch!" She drew her hand back and charged at Janet.
Janet stumbled backwards, saved from falling by the wall that her back slammed into. She grunted from the impact. She brought her arms up to protect her face as she closed her eyes and looked away. Time seemed to slow as adrenaline rushed through her.
It took a few moments for Janet to realize that she hadn't been struck yet. She noticed that the room had fallen silent. She no longer heard Violet's feet stomping on the carpet towards her.
Cautiously, Janet opened her eyes to peek over her own arms. All she saw was white.
Janet realized that Snow was standing in front of her, the back of her white head blocking Janet's view, her arms extended to both sides.
Janet had never felt so relieved. For a moment she really had questioned if what Violet was saying was true. The idea that she was changed in ways she couldn't even comprehend frightened her. For Violet to have known what she had done with the other two had only strengthened her claim.
In the end, Janet decided it wasn't impossible to figure out. There was only one point where she had control of the device to use it on Snow. And for Rachel to go silent right after leaving the shop? Violet had made a lucky guess, or was otherwise more intelligent than Janet gave her credit. Either way, for her to react this way after calling her bluff only proved to Janet that it was just that.
Timidly peaking over Snow's shoulder, Janet caught sight of Violet. Her fist was still raised in the air, ready to strike, but she wasn't moving. She was staring at Snow with a horrified expression.
"Snow, why?" she asked. When she saw Janet's face, her scowl returned. "How dare you use her like this," she spat. Realizing that Snow would protect Janet, she lowered her fist, but continued to glare daggers.
"It's over, Violet. No more games to play, no more people to abuse." Janet continued to hide herself behind Snow while keeping a careful eye on her opponent.
"Coward," Violet said under her breath. "If you think you're going to use Snow against me, you're wrong. You don't have it in you to be coercive, there's no way you'd hurt her. You have nothing over me. I'll never look at your device. You'll never control me."
Janet stepped out from behind Snow, who in turn lowered her arms and went back to staring straight ahead. "I have no intention of using the device on you." She saw a brief look of surprise cross Violet's face. "I don't need it to solve my problems. I certainly don't need it to deal with someone like you."
Violet scoffed. "So what's your big plan then, hero?"
"Simple. I'm just going to leave."
That caught Violet off guard as she stared speechless.
"More importantly, I'm going to make sure that you never see Snow again." Janet could tell she struck a chord when she saw Violet's mouth drop, her eyes wide. "Goodbye, Violet." With that, Janet turned towards the hallway with Snow following behind.
Panic set in. "Wait! You can't do that!" She took a step forward, arm outstretched. Snow quickly moved to intercept, halting Violet's efforts. She took a step back in response, watching as Snow turned once again to follow Janet, the both of them ignoring her. "You want me to beg? Is that it?! Fine! Please don't go! Don't take Snow from me again! Please!!" Violet was shouting, her voice cracking.
With annoyance, Janet turned around, sighing. "After all you've done, why should I do anything for you?"
Violet's response was loud and dripping with desperate emotion. "Because I don't want to be alone anymore!" She collapsed to her knees. Her words echoed through the room.
For the first time since she took Rachel, Violet looked human to Janet. Her expression softened, and against her better judgment, she almost felt pity for the weeping girl before her. It still wasn't enough to forget the indignation over Violet's actions. "You should have thought about that before you kidnapped Rachel. You have only yourself to blame, with your spiteful, manipulative nature."
Violet glared up at Janet once more. "You think I don't know that?! Do you really think I like who I am? I can't fucking help it! I can't change myself, so I just learned to embrace it. I've accepted the kind of person I've become." Her shoulders were heaving from her heavy breaths.
The two shared a cold stare as Janet looked down on Violet. "And that's why you'll always be alone."
The words hurt more than Violet cared to admit, the kind of declaration made all the more powerful because she believed it herself. Her will was destroyed as she slowly rose to her feet, her head low and her shoulders slumped. "Just get the fuck out of my house and leave me alone." She climbed into bed, her back to Janet, glaring at the wall. Her fist clenched her sheets tightly against her chest.
Violet waited until the door closed before she broke down in tears.
The two entered the store from the stairwell in silence. After crossing the room, Janet reached for the door before pausing. She stared at the handle in deep contemplation. With a silent curse, she kicked the door in anger before turning to Snow.
"I have a question for you Snow, and I need you to answer honestly." Snow gave no response as she stood there waiting to follow Janet. "Do you love Violet?"
"Yes," came Snow's simple reply.
"Before all the programming, the changes she made to you. Even after all the fights you two had, and after everything she did to us. You still love her?"
Janet inhaled deeply, holding it in. She rubbed at her face before letting the breath out through her nose, the air hissing past her hand. "Stupid. This is so stupid, Janet," she said to herself. She pulled out her phone, sending out a text. Turning back to Snow, she told her to wait there.