ผูกพันด้วยรัก BOUND BY LOVE

This is a modern re-telling of the tale of Psyche and Cupid, the original Valentine’s romance.

Many thanks to NewOldGuy77 for quick, thoughtful, editing and comments!

(Dafydd)

“Look at her, my son.”

I looked over my mother’s shoulder at her computer screen. On it, a video played showing a young brunette laughing and playing frisbee with a dog on a beach. The woman was breathtakingly beautiful, unworldly even. It wasn’t just her body, although that was perfect in every proportion, it was her personality that shone through her expression and movements. She seemed full of cheerful innocence, with just a touch of mysterious sadness that tugged at my heart.

“What do you think of her?” My mother asked, her tone deceptively sweet.

“She is a woman. What should I think?” I replied, carefully.

“Does she arouse you?” My mother pressed her hand to my cock, not bothered by the fact that we were at work, or that I was her son.

“No,” I lied, keeping my penis flaccid.

Dealing with my mother, Madrona Wynne, I had learned to control my body. She demanded it of me. According to her, my erections, like those of all men, should be only for her. She was a witch in the true sense of the word, and her power came from the arousal she incited. The more cocks she hardened, the more power she had. The more power she had, the younger and more beautiful she could look, and the more cocks would harden, and so the cycle would repeat.

Her company, Wynne Beauty, was just the latest in a line of endeavors to launder and hide the money she’d amassed over her centuries of life. More importantly, she’d embraced the world of social media, a new way to connect with her admirers. Since launching a YouTube channel, her power had grown exponentially, as had her jealousy.

“Look at how many followers this harlot has,” my mother indicated a number on the screen. “It is nearly half as many as me, my son.”

I said nothing, resisting the urge to roll my eyes.

“But you prefer me, don’t you?” My mother asked, turning towards me.

Smiling up at me, my mother pressed her disproportionately large breasts outward and up. Her cleavage presented a shelf of fleshy pillows into which all of her (exclusively male) employees dreamed of pressing their faces, and she knew it.

To me she looked like a snake, coiling around its prey. I could imagine her jaw would soon unhinge and she would swallow me whole. It didn’t matter what I thought, though. I smiled sincerely and made an erection for my mother, which swelled under her hand.

“Of course, I prefer you, Mother.”

Looking up at me coyly, she unzipped my pants and pulled out my penis. My hard cock sprung upwards, arching to touch my belly button. Exaggerated sexual proportions ran in the family, a side effect of being witches who gained power from erotic energy.

To disguise my lack of true arousal, I sent a tingle of my own power through my penis into my mother’s fingers. She sighed and licked her lips with pleasure. Nothing made my mother happier than getting more power, no matter what she had to do to get it.

Turning back to her computer screen, her expression turned grim again, “The little whore is stealing power from me. I can feel it! She isn’t even a witch, it’s wasteful and conceited and I want her punished for it.”

“Perhaps a hex to blur her image in digital media?” I suggested the mildest approach I could imagine.

“You are too soft in the heart,” Mother hissed reproachfully, then giggled as she wrapped her hand around my cock, realizing her pun, “but not too soft in my hand, hmmm?”

Distracted, she turned from the computer and kissed the head of my penis gently, sliding her tongue across the glans, then swirling it around the corona. I sent another bit of power.

“Your arousal is the most delicious, my son,” My mother groaned as if in an orgasm.

Maybe this would distract her from wanting vengeance on that innocent girl, I mused. It was a vain hope, within moments my mother had turned back to the computer screen.

“The girl must suffer, and be seen to suffer, so that all her admirers will begin to pity and revile her. I will destroy her…”

I watched the happy young woman on the screen toss her long brown hair. It caught in the wind and blew back from her face, revealing a delicate straight nose and eyes so pale blue they were nearly white. Her full, but not too plump, lips spread in a laugh, revealing slightly crooked, white, teeth.

Compared to my mother, the woman on the screen looked real. Hauntingly beautiful, yes. But alive in a way that mother no longer was. Surprising myself, I realized that when I watched the video, my erection was much easier to maintain.

My mother spoke, interrupting my thoughts, “Wouldn’t it be delicious if this delicate creature, this idol of beauty, were to be married to an ugly and inferior man? How miserable it would make this vain creature to be wed to a monster, wouldn’t it?”

“Yes, Mother,” I agreed, but I doubted that anyone could match my mother’s vanity.

“You will find me a man like that. Someone truly disgusting. I will give you a potion that will make the young woman fall in love with him. Oh, how delightful it will be to see her lose all of her followers as she dotes on ugliness” My mother chortled. “It is a good plan, no?”

“Yes, Mother.”

It would do no good to argue. I knew from experience that if I argued for forbearance, my mother would just become crueler. So, if I wanted lenience, I’d have to find a way to do it subtlety.

(Ceri)

“Can’t we be done yet?” I tried not to sound whiny as I collapsed in the sand and rubbed at my calves.

My sister, Awen, frowned at me from behind her fancy camera, “No. You know I need at least two hours of video to edit the perfect five-minute montage, and it’s only been one hour. You can’t be tired already, can you?”

I sighed and flopped back in the sand, closing my eyes against the brilliant sun. I allowed a tear to leak from one eye. My muscles burned from running in the sand and my head hurt from the unrelenting sun. Awen had not been running, and she wore a baseball cap that protected her face from the sun, of course she was not suffering. I stifled that ungracious thought before it could grow into more resentment.

My sister had taken care of me after our parents died when I was ten. She had been nineteen and newly married and had let me move in with her, rather than sending me to foster care. It was that debt that now, eight years later, I worked to repay. It wasn’t my sister’s fault that her husband wasted more money than he made, I told myself firmly, she was only trying to make sure we would be able to keep a roof over our heads and food in our mouths.

“Come on, Ceri. Get up! We’re losing the light!”

Sighing, I pushed myself to my feet. I took a deep breath and looked out at the Celtic sea, filling my thoughts with its beauty and majesty. The smell of beach wrack (seaweed and salt) revived my spirits and I smiled. Who couldn’t be happy in a setting this lovely?

I ran into the sea and let the waves buffet me back, falling and laughing into the sand. I kept in mind all the thousand small rules my sister had taught me, look at the camera every once in a while, but not constantly. Have a genuine smile, not forced. Keep my body at an angle to the camera, never fully facing it nor completely sideways. Laugh, but don’t tuck in my chin. Open my eyes wide and look towards the light, not away. “Act naturally, but not comfortably,” was my sister’s golden rule.

I focused on the beautiful sunset that streaked orange across the sky, on the graceful flight of the birds, on the cool feel of the sand between my toes, anything that could distract me from the agony of my cramping muscles as the day slowly turned to night. Finally, my sister called for a stop, and I crumpled where I stood.

(Dafydd)

I watched as the girl from the video exhausted herself to meet her sister’s unrelenting demands. There was something sweet and alluring about her eagerness to please and her familial loyalty. The attraction I’d felt when watching her on video paled in comparison to the attraction I felt now.

I ran my hand over the love potion bottle that my mother had pressed into my hands a week ago. It left a small bulge in my pocket, reminding me of why I was here. I had a plan to execute, and it was time for me to initiate it.

Unnoticed by the two girls, I turned and headed up the road to where I’d left my car.

(Ceri)

“I’m so hungry,” I said, still laying in the sand where I’d collapsed.

“You can have a salad when we get home,” Awen snapped.

“Can we stop at McDonald’s for an egg sandwich?” I asked hopefully at my stomach grumbled.

“You know we can’t afford that,” Awen reprimanded me.

Uncharitably, I wondered if we really couldn’t afford food, or if Awen just preferred that I didn’t eat. She did say all the time that I needed to stay slim to look good in front of the camera, while she didn’t have to because she was behind the camera. I wondered if she hid snacks from me at our house. That isn’t a very nice thing to think, I reprimanded myself guiltily.

My stomach growled. It’s just hunger and tiredness making me grumpy, I decided. I couldn’t wait to flop into my bed. I didn’t think I had the energy to make a salad first, either. I let out a sigh as I stood up and started trudging back to the car.

I slid into the passenger seat and Awen pulled out of the parking spot, heading for the street. As she began turning onto the main road, her phone pinged. She picked up the phone to check the notification mid-turn. At the same time, the car in front of us slammed on its brakes.

“Stop!” I shouted, but it was too late.

We rear-ended the car with a sickening crunch. Since we hadn’t been moving very fast, Awen and I were fine. I was relieved to see the driver of the other car looked OK as well when he got out. He was a short, fat man with a bad comb over. By contrast, his car was beautiful. I didn’t recognize the manufacturer logo, but the low frame and sleek lines suggested it was expensive.

“Fuck!” Awen exclaimed, pounding her fist on the steering wheel before getting out of the car. I got out too, for the sake of sisterly solidarity.

“I’m so sorry!” Awen said, with over-the-top charm, and I knew she was going to try to get out of paying for damages.

The man ignored her apology as he examined the damage, a broken taillight. He frowned at it, unhappily.

“I know a mechanic who could replace that taillight for you, no problem!” Awen babbled, wringing her hands dramatically.

At this, the man finally looked up at her, “No, you don’t know a mechanic who can fix this,” he said flatly.

Awen frowned, “I’m sure he can!”

“Miss, this is a Pagani Huayara, not a common Porsche. I’ll probably have to send the car to Italy for repair, or maybe they can send a mechanic to me…” The man mused thoughtfully.

I could practically see the panic on Awen’s face as she realized how expensive this was going to be.

“It’s just that we don’t’ have insurance, sir.” Awen said nervously.

“Well, I am fully covered against uninsured drivers, of course.” The man replied, unperturbed. “However, the deductible is two thousand sterling. I trust you can cover that much?”

As he glanced back up from his car, the man’s gaze settled on me. I gasped under the power of his penetrating gaze. It was if he looked right into my soul, and I shivered a little. Power and confidence radiated from him.

“Uh, well,” Awen hedged, “maybe on a payment plan?”

The man quirked his lips in a small smile as he still held my gaze.

“I tell you what, I’ll let it go if you’ll join me for dinner.”

Out of the corner of my eye I saw Awen nod her head at me urgently. I swallowed nervously. I did a lot for my sister in the name of money, accepting a dinner date with a stranger was the least of it. But, for some reason, I felt uneasy.

“Why did you brake so suddenly?” I found myself asking, to delay the need to answer his offer.

His smile grew, “A squirrel darted in front of my car, and I do like to avoid unnecessary pain.”

I didn’t believe him for a second. Not about the squirrel, at least. The last part had seemed sincere, though. It was that mysterious smile, and his magnetic gaze, that made me want to say yes, not just for Awen, but for myself.

“Ok, I’ll go to dinner,” I agreed, feeling suddenly energized again.

(Dafydd)

My plan had worked perfectly. Ceri was sitting in the passenger seat of my Huayara, staring out the window as I drove.

It had been a last-minute decision to put on the glamour of an ugly man before I got out of my car. I had only planned to get Ceri to agree to dinner, where I could give her the potion and direct her at the ugliest man who happened to be in the restaurant. I’d planned to pick one who seemed kind, at least.

But instead, I found I wanted her for myself. Ceri was everything my mother wasn’t, kind-hearted, selfless, and naïve. The thought of sending her into another man’s arms made me queasy with jealousy, a strange new feeling for me. Was this what my mother felt all the time?

I pulled into the parking lot of the first restaurant I saw, a Denny’s. It wasn’t particularly romantic, but it didn’t need to be. I had a potion in my pocket that would add all the romance that was needed.

“I love Denny’s!” Ceri exclaimed happily as we walked in.

She really was adorable, I thought as I saw the genuine pleasure on her face at getting to eat a cheap diner. The girl had seen my car, heard the cost of fixing it, right? Certainly, she knew I could afford a hell of a lot better restaurant. That cynical thought didn’t seem to occur to her, though. It was refreshing.

Compelled to show her some consideration, I held open the restaurant door for her. She flashed me a brilliant smile.

“Thank you,” Ceri said warmly as she walked in.

I felt a flutter of warmth in my groin. How long had it been since I’d felt genuine arousal? I couldn’t remember. The waitress led us to a booth, and I found myself disappointed that I wasn’t able to pull out chair for Ceri, just to see her smile again. I shook myself internally, get a grip.

Ceri frowned at the menu for a long time before sighing sadly and ordering a salad and a water. I ordered a steak and coffee. I almost ordered extra food for her, some primal caveman instinct urging me to show her I could be a good provider. I suppressed the urge.

I considered Ceri silently. She fidgeted with her silverware nervously but said nothing. When the waitress finally brought her water, she drained the entire glass before I could spike it with the potion. The potion that I would use to make her love me, I’d decided, not anyone else.

“So, what were you doing at the beach?” I finally asked, just because I wanted to hear her voice.

“My sister was taking some video for her YouTube channel,” Ceri replied.

Her? Not yours too?”

Ceri shook her head, “Oh no, I just help her out with some modeling and acting. She does all the videography and editing, posting, and managing. So, it’s her channel.”

“And she pays you, then?”

“Pays me? No! She does most of the work, and she needs the money, so I wouldn’t ask for anything,” Ceri said earnestly.

With the number of followers that they had, her sister must have been making at least a couple hundred grand a year, more if she was working the right sponsorship deals. Clearly, Ceri had no idea how social media worked, and she just blindly trusted her sister.

“That’s very nice of you,” I said blandly.

(Ceri)

I could tell by his tone that Dafydd thought that I was being naïve. For some reason, it bothered me. I didn’t want him to think badly of me, even if he was a stranger. There was something about his personality that made me care what he thought.

I studied his round pudgy face thoughtfully. He didn’t have any laugh lines around his eyes and mouth, but a few wrinkles on his forehead instead, as if he had raised his bushy eyebrows in disbelief so often that the expression had stuck. The top of his head was smooth and shiny with baldness, surrounded by a low crown of black hair. His combover was incongruously desperate, a few hairs spread greasily over his bald cap – an insecure approach that didn’t match his confident attitude.

Dafydd wasn’t handsome, not with his small squinty eyes, bulging belly, and pasty white skin tone, but he wasn’t ugly either. In fact, when he moved, there was something undeniably attractive about the sense of contained power that emanated from him. He sat straight, shoulders back, his expression intense, studying me as I was studying him.

While I presented my body at its most attractive angle, my mannerisms were studied and practiced, under my sister’s unrelenting instructions. His posture and movements, on the other hand, seemed natural. My eyes wandered back to his face and met his gaze. I startled, unused to having men look me in the eyes, when they were usually focused on my body.

The moment was broken by the slosh of icy water the waitress poured into my empty glass. Nervously, I grabbed at my water and drank another full glass.

Dafydd frowned at me.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, not liking the feeling that I’d disappointed him.

“Your sister abuses your generosity.”

I scowled. I thought he might be right, but that didn’t mean that he had the right to say it. My sister was my family, my only family.

“You have no right to judge her. You don’t even know her,” I said hotly.

Dafydd held up his hands with spread fingers in apology, “Of course, you’re right. I am sorry for overstepping.”

The irritation I’d felt drained away with his quick, and seemingly sincere, apology. Still, an awkward silence settled over us. Yet, neither of us broke it. When our food arrived, we ate quietly.

Dafydd carefully cut his steak, with uncommon precision and focus. I collected a bite of my salad, with almost no dressing, and chewed it slowly, closing my eyes. A loud thump interrupted me, and I snapped my eyes open. Dafydd was holding a bottle of ketchup over his French fries and shaking it. Nothing came out.

“Empty. Could you grab another bottle from the table behind you?” He asked.

I had to slide out the booth and turn around to reach into the next booth and get the ketchup. I did it without thinking before realizing that there was no reason for him to ask me to do it. He could have got a bottle himself with as much effort. I frowned at him as I handed over the ketchup.

We continued our meal quietly. I wondered why he was willing to give up thousands of pounds just to have dinner with me, if he wasn’t even going to talk, or stare at me. I picked up my third glass of water, still watching him curiously. Because of my attention to him, I saw when Dafydd tensed slightly. I paused, water held before my mouth as I saw his slight twitch. What was that about?

Unfounded paranoia filtered through me, the same that had plagued me earlier when Awen had said we couldn’t afford fast food. Every woman has heard a thousand horror stories about drugged drinks. Never drink from a glass that you haven’t had within your control 100% of the time was the rule. And I’d turned my back on mine. I eyed the water and sniffed it, it seemed normal. Still, I gave into paranoia and set the drink down untouched.

Although I still watched Dafydd, he didn’t show any sign of interest in my failure to drink my water. I felt badly for my suspicious thoughts, but I still couldn’t drink the water. Not now that the idea that it had been tampered with was in my mind.

(Dafydd)

Ceri was not as simple and naïve as she appeared, it seemed. My mother was going to kill me when she found out that I’d wasted her love potion. Unless I could achieve her goal another way? I considered the problem as I slowly ate my steak and fries.

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