Tanyth had enlisted a few other coworkers for the last phase of Linza’s training, which was simply practical application.
She wasn’t sure if this was how they normally did things, or if Tanyth was trying to account for Linza’s faux pas by bringing more staff into the equation. Regardless, she was grateful. If Tanyth had tried to soldier ahead and offer to be the subject for her first practice, it would have forced her to find the words to decline.
As it were, her first subject would be the same plump woman who had tried and failed to introduce herself that first day in the break room—Molly.
Linza’s training would start with the screen pulled aside. Linza sat on her stool, Molly on the bamboo mat. It was just the two of them and they were both naked.
Linza took a deep breath to steady herself. Molly was easy to be around, but a few pangs of anxiety still swirled in Linza’s stomach. “What do you like?”
“Well, let’s start simple. And have a bit of fun! Tanyth told me about your octopus mermaid!” Molly wiggled her fingers at Linza. “That sounds like loads of fun.”
Linza traced the gestures for a minor illusion, and an unmoving but lifesized image of the mermaid appeared next to them.
“Delightful!” Molly said.
Linza was surprised to find that while she had little experience with this sort of thing in actuality, her writing and fantasies had given her ample opportunity to think through the logistics, so she knew what questions to ask next.
“Which orifices may she grace?”
Molly giggled. “Mouth and pussy, please! No ass.”
“No ass, got it. What about tentacle bondage?”
Molly considered this. “Not on the first go. I just want a nice squooshy tentacle to fuck me, and to have something nice to suck on, y’know?”
“I do know,” Linza said. “And, I can imagine. Okay, so, last question. Do you want it to start gradually, or right away?”
“I want that fucking tentacle inside of me right now.” Molly’s eyes widened with eagerness.
The abrupt enthusiasm was enough to bring Linza back from her academic tone to a flush of arousal.
“Alright, here we go.”
“Oooh!” Molly said. “This is my favorite part.”
Linza started chanting and traced her fingers through the air. The crystal focus that she wore on a necklace vibrated against her chest.
The mermaid climbed up from the floor as if there were a portal to the sea there. Her hair floated around her like she was still underwater. She looked down upon Molly with a hungry look, licked her lips, and then descended on the plump woman.
As the illusory tentacle entered Molly’s sex, Molly moaned with delight. The moan was then muffled by the other tentacle that pushed its way into her mouth. There was not actually anything physical interrupting Molly’s speech, but her mind would be very convinced that she couldn’t speak and that the tentacle was why.
Then the mermaid started up a rhythm and gleefully fucked Molly.
Linza was able to watch better this time, now that she was not already in the midst of her own arousal, like she had been with Wyn.
Linza was aware simultaneously of what was actually happening and what Molly felt like was happening. The oddest thing about Phantasmal Force is that it exerted no ‘force’ at all.
When this spell was used in combat, it wasn’t the body but rather the psyche that it could damage. It sapped the will and energy of the person.
And so now Linza realized—and wondered why she hadn’t thought of it before—that the very same magic could also bolster the subject’s will and energy.
The mind was the true seat of pleasure. And so it made sense that a mutual illusion, applied thoughtfully, could be incredibly effective.
Linza noticed that it took far less effort to hold the illusion this way than in a combat scenario. She expected this to be because of several factors: her energies did not have to overcome the subject’s, and the subject likely lent some of their own energy to the spell with their enthusiastic participation—even a subject like Molly, who had no magical training at all.
Linza focused on Molly’s pleasure and attentively tuned the illusion. Faster or slower. Giving Molly a break from the tentacle in her mouth, but only for a moment. The mermaid caressed Molly from behind, running fingertips over her nipples.
Molly’s moaning reached the pre-orgasmic pitch with which Linza was now well attuned. And Linza had learned from her observations that when Molly was on the edge, she wanted more.
The mermaid grasped at Molly’s breasts, fucking her harder and adding her own moans to the experience.
Molly quivered into release, her plump curves turning to mesmerizing ripples, her groans of orgasmic pleasure muffled by the tentacle in her mouth.
Just as Molly finally relaxed, the magic quivered within Linza like a slippery fish. Then, it was out of her hands and the illusion was gone.
Molly licked her lips and swallowed, sighing. “Yeah… nicely done!”
As the magic fully receded from Linza, she felt suddenly exhausted. She wobbled on the stool and would have fallen had Molly not lunged towards her and caught her by the elbow. Molly helped her gently down, then knocked on the door to the hallway and called for water and snacks.
Those arrived a moment later, Tanyth carrying a tray and a look of concern in their eye.
Linza waved them off, hoping it looked like she was being polite. The true reason was that nausea curled in her stomach.
“C’mon,” Tanyth said gently, “You know your blood sugar is crashing. Just eat a little something.”
Linza acquiesced and was immediately grateful. Her stomach settled and her shaking evened out. The sensation was unmistakable, though one she hadn’t experienced in a while. She had pushed right up to the edge of her spell casting capacity. Eating something simple was helpful, but a good night’s rest was the only cure.
“How long was that?” Molly asked Tanyth.
“Almost twenty five minutes,” they said.
“Really?” Linza said. “No wonder I feel like I just pulled three all-nighters!” She had been right that she could hold the illusion much longer with a willing subject, but ten minutes was already over double what she should have been able to do in a day. Twenty five! Had it really been that long? She’d been so focused on Molly, she supposed that it could have been. Time flew when she focused like that.
“Molly was supposed to stop you after twenty…” Tanyth said, just a hint of scolding in their voice.
Molly squeaked and put her face in her hands. “Sorry! I lost track of time! It felt so good…”
Linza reached over to pat Molly’s shoulder. “There was no way in hell I was leaving you hanging there. So, don’t blame yourself.”
“Bless you, Linza. As long as you’re alright.”
“Yeah, I used to have to do this all the time, for class. It’s just been a while. Plus, I can sleep in tomorrow.” There was still one more day in the weekend.
Tanyth nodded. “You should sleep here at the estate. I’ll have the madame set aside a room for you.”
Linza folded her arms and smirked. “Are you worried about me?”
Tanyth rolled their eyes. “Not anymore, if you’re talking like that. But still. You’ll just fall asleep on the trolley and miss your stop if you go back now.”
“Hm. True.” She did feel like she was already about to nod off.
“And you may as well take tomorrow off, too. Usually, we’re trying to work somebody up to fifteen minutes, and then to seventeen or eighteen as a little bit of buffer. You have, as per usual, over-achieved.”
Emotions tumbled within Linza. Excitement at the complement. Renewed anxiety about her ignored confession. Anticipation at what Tanyth’s pronouncement meant. “Wait, so does that mean I’m ready to go on the schedule?”
“If you feel like you’re ready, then you’re ready. We have some patrons that are happy to book with newer staff, to help you ease in.”
“I am so ready!” Linza said.
“But tomorrow, you rest,” Tanyth said.
Their tone of gentle command, the cleric in them coming out, sent Linza’s emotions swirling again.
“Mhm,” Molly patted her hand. “I’m taking you out to lunch.”
In Linza’s excitement, she forgot that she was exhausted. As she pushed up to her feet again, her blood did not follow her head, and her vision blacked out.
Molly caught her again and lay her gently down to the mat. “Shhhh.”
Linza was sleepy enough to stay there. Molly slipped her robe back on and then scooped Linza up into her arms. Linza’s cheek rested against Molly’s breast as Molly carried Linza up to an empty room in the neighboring inn.
Even before Molly had finished tucking her in, Linza was asleep.
Linza awoke with the sort of dry mouth and headache that both alcohol-induced and magic-induced hangovers shared.
Gauging by the sun overhead, it was almost midday. It was not just the previous day’s exhaustion that she was recovering from, but all the nights of restless sleep as well.
She might actually sleep easy now, though. She’d done it! She was on the schedule!