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Dimensionality - Basics

Alpanon Oct 27th, 2016 (edited) 850 Never
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  1. “Wake up” a most pleasant voice commanded, and Jake opened his eyes. For the first few seconds of staring at an unfamiliar ceiling he wondered if he’d finally gone off the deep end, drank copious amounts of alcohol and ended in bed with a prostitute, but then the memories of his rendezvous with Renate Bedrager began to flood right back in and he laughed the laugh of a man with a very dry throat. The memories were so absurd that he had obviously dreamed it all. How could the woman have commanded him to ejaculate and his body had just obeyed? How could she have had wings and a tail and horns? Her clothes would’ve gotten in the way, and the skin of her forehead, and that business with her eyes, hah, he must’ve been more desperate to get laid these past years than he had realized. Maybe he SHOULD hire a prostitute, or try to get back in the dating game. As if that could possibly…
  2. Renate was staring at him with her head tilted, her eyes red, her wings and arms folded, her hairless tail swishing like an unhappy cat’s, her horns… being horns. Her hair wasn’t quite as messy as it had been, as she’d taken a shower. Her body was covered in nothing but a towel and the musculature of her arms and legs was even more obvious now than it had been through her clothes. She looked like an Olympic swimmer or something. No hooves at the end of her legs though, just feet with toenails painted the same colour as her fingernails and lips were. She was real. And that mean yesterday had been real. Yesterday…
  3. “W-what time is it?” he asked.
  4. “Seven” she replied, tilting her head the other way, smiling faintly. Her tail may or may not have been signifying mischievous thought processes.
  5. “In the morning or the evening?”
  6. “Evening. I drove you to this motel while you slept in the backseat. Thought you could use the rest before you start making my life interesting”
  7. Jake grunted and threw the sheets aside. He was naked but didn’t care. After what Renate had done, there was no point in modesty.
  8. “I’m taking a shower” he said firmly. He had to establish some dominance. Show he had agency. Put his foot down.
  10. Jake put his foot down and felt something odd under his foot. It was a cardboard box. A shoebox, actually.
  11. “What’s this?” he asked, picking it up without waiting for a reply. Opening it up, he found sneakers. Brand new sneakers at that and quite expensive looking ones too.
  12. “Running shoes?” he asked, confused.
  13. “Yeah. Got you a bunch of stuff, but don’t worry about it, just go hit that shower” Renate said, slipping her tail between her breasts and undoing the fold of the towel, revealing her form completely. She had impressive abs and her pubes formed a heart over her vagina. It must take a lot of effort to keep it shaved like that Jake thought as he took the damp towel from her and walked into the bathroom. She smelled like shampoo now rather than sex.
  15. As the water hit him, Jake took inventory of his situation. He had no idea where he was, except that he was in a motel. Well, that’s not true. It had been around two o’clock when they left the diner, and if it was seven now, the drive was at most five hours. Unless Renate had opened some kind of magical portal or made the car fly. That seemed… unlikely. But the presence of a Succubus in his life had seemed rather unlikely until a while ago, hadn’t it? Of course he did KNOW they existed, kind of, but…
  16. With a deep breath Jake centred himself and looked at what he had gotten himself into. His mind raced through the developments of the day and his emotions ran that same rollercoaster again, but this time much faster and with less impact. At the end of it one thing was clear; he’s essentially signed a contract with a real demon and now had to stick to it. At least he hadn’t sold his soul as far as he knew, but now he had no choice but to pursue the adventure he had dreamed of most his life. It wasn’t all that bad when he thought of it that way.
  18. Emerging from the showers Jake half-expected Renate to be wearing a leather corset and be holding a riding crop, but to his immense delight – and possibly slight disappointment – he saw her wearing an oversized a tank top and some spats, and she quite clearly did not believe in bras. And possibly not underwear of any sort, now that he looked more carefully… ahem.
  19. Her hair was dry and ruffled again. At first Jake assumed she’d used a hair-dryer, but that didn’t make sense. There wasn’t one anywhere. Unless she’d magicked it into existence and away again, her hair simply turned like that on its own. Or maybe that part was magic too. The part where her tail and wings just went through the clothes without tearing the fabric certainly was.
  20. “What happened to my clothes anyway?” he asked, eyeing up the room and seeing not a hint of their presence.
  21. “Took them to the laundry so you’d have to wear what I got for you” Renate replied, the tip of her tail tracing figure-eights in the air.
  22. That didn’t sound good. If it had frills, he’d leave the room in his towel and drive out.
  23. Renate swung her hand and a bundle of clothes floated in the air. This should’ve shocked him, Jake noted. He felt nothing though. His fuse had been blown when it came to weirdness, obviously.
  24. The clothes were a dull, pale blue t-shirt, black shorts, some white tennis socks and a liquorice thong.
  25. He took hold of this last item with the tips of his fingers and held it at arms’ length. It felt sticky.
  26. “Like it?” Renate asked, blinking her eyes and waving her eyelashes in an innocent manner. That had to be a magical effect too; her lashes hadn’t been that long a moment ago.
  27. “I am not wearing these” Jake said firmly, waving the offending article around.
  28. “Hmm? Too bad” she replied, feigning devastation, making a pouty face, sliding along the floor right up to his hand and catching the thong between her teeth. Jake let go immediately and took sure to hold his towel on with both hands.
  29. Renate winked at him as she threw her head back, sending the thong high up in the air, higher than physics should’ve allowed, and then with a jump and a small flutter of her wings she caught the thong again, landing on the floor without a sound, her limbs spread, her ass in the air and tail swinging as she shook her head from side to side, growling like a dog – or rather, like a woman impersonating a dog – her eyes firmly fixed into his. The towel was becoming more and more inadequate for him.  He tried to hide his erection, and she winked at him again, gobbling the thong up like a dog would bacon. Jake cleared his throat.
  30. “You do that with socks too?” he asked, grabbing the bundled socks that were still floating in the air with the rest of his new wardrobe and threw them at her.
  31. The socks revered direction in the air and hit him on the forehead, sending him back a step. To keep himself from falling Jake reached his hands out to the wall behind him, letting go of the towel which fell to the floor, revealing his fired up loins.
  33. Renate was standing up now, licking her lips. Her lipstick was somehow as immaculate as ever.
  34. “Wanna play rough?” she purred, beginning to approach him in a slow zig-zag, her heels staying off the ground.
  35. “I… I’d rather not…” Jake muttered. He didn’t want to get on her bad side at this point. Or at all, really.
  36. “Then you’re going to waste that?” she asked, still coming closer. The smell of shampoo was gone, replaced by that familiar musk of hers. Jake swallowed.
  37. “I’m sure”
  38. Renate shrugged.
  39. “Go flaccid” she said, and he did, thankfully. This did nothing to the horniness he had begun to feel though, but he didn’t want to waste his time worrying about blue balls now.
  40. “Umm, you didn’t get me any other underwear?” he asked as he was pulling the socks on. It felt a little comical to start with them, but hey were the closest to him, on top of not floating in the air.
  41. “I could borrow you my panties if you like” she offered.
  42. “Going commando, right” Jake replied and pulled the shorts on. It didn’t feel right, but it could’ve been worse. Worse, and frilly.
  44. “Now that we’re dressed properly, how about we work up an appetite?” Renate asked, unrolling two plastic mats on the floor with a wave of her hand.
  45. “What?”
  46. “Just a little yoga. You need to get in shape, but that can wait. You need to be sharp tonight though, so we’ll get your body and mind all woken up, shall we?”
  47. Jake was not at all sure about that. Was he seriously going to do yoga with a Succubus while wearing no underwear? Was this the real life, or just fantasy?
  48. Just go with it, he told himself.
  49. “Fine” he said.
  50. “Goodie!” Renate did a little happy twirl and stood on her mat, gesturing with her hand for him to stand on the other.
  51. “First of all we’re going to start nice and easy, stand up straight now, lean your shoulders back, bad posture decreases your lung capacity you know…”
  52. Jake pulled his shoulders back and felt slightly taller.
  53. “Now just relax your body, no unnecessary tension, and just breaaathe iiiin~” she inhaled deeply, making her bosom swell. The sight made Jake smile, and he followed suit.
  54. “…aaaand oouuuuut~”
  55. He breathed out.
  56. “In through your noooooseee~”
  57. Inhale.
  58. “…aaaand oouuuuut youuur moouuuth~”
  59. Exhale.
  60. “Iiiinn…!
  61. Inhale.
  62. Exhale.
  63. Inhale.
  64. Exhale.
  66. Jake was beginning to get lost in his breathing and in the heaving of Renate’s chest. He wasn’t much of a runner himself, but judging by the new shoes she got him, they most likely would go for a jog at some point in the future, and he would definitely enjoy the jiggling of that rack. Running behind her would offer up another magnificent view as well. This wasn’t so bad.
  67. “You’re feeling pretty good already, right?”
  68. “Sure”
  69. “Good. Now let’s reach for those toes!”
  70. With that Renate doubled over and touched her palms to the floor. Jake grunted as his fingers didn’t reach more than halfway down his shins. This was an impossible task.
  71. “Hmm, well that’s no good, let’s try reaching for the sky then!” Renate said, reaching her arms up to the ceiling and arching her back, making her breasts bounce and exposing her hairless armpits that for whatever reason seemed more erotic than her body had when she was nude. Jake followed suit, this time with much better success.
  72. “Alright, now let’s do some injuns!”
  73. Renate spread one arm out to her side, reached for it with the other and feigned firing an arrow with a bow, making a small squat with her legs. Jake followed, and continued to follow as she repeated the exercise with her arms reversed, then again with the first, and rinse and repeat, then reaching for the floor again, Jake grunting, stretching back and revealing her navel as her tanktop peeled back, and Jake gasping, and again with the Indian stretches, and on the process went for three more laps after that. By the end of it Jake was feeling warm but not hot, he his heartbeat had picked up and his breathing was heavier, but all things considered it wasn’t too bad.
  74. “Alright, let’s calm down and centre ourselves” Renate said, her cheeks aglow with some inner fire.
  75. “Centre ourselves?”
  76. “Means we breathe again” she explained, and so they did, in through the nose, out the mouth, and on and on until any strain had disappeared and Jake felt plenty relaxed. This wasn’t really going anywhere, but what did he know?
  77. “Next we’ll be doing this” she said, bringing up her left leg and touching the knee on the left side with her right elbow, then doing the opposite with the other limbs. Jake followed, finding the act to be quite simple and yet somehow requiring more concentration the more times it was repeated. He almost lost balance towards the upper twenties.
  78. “Then the calves” Renate said without pause and dropped on one knee. Jake thought she was too quick with moving on, but she seemed to be enjoying herself, and her spats were so tight he could admire her shapes when her calves bulged under there. Once again he found himself wondering how it was possible for a woman to be more erotic with clothes on than in the nude.
  79. “Alright, we’ll be done with this part soon” she said when she got up, put her arms behind her back and pressed on one at the wrist with the other.
  80. “Done with what part?” Jake asked as they changed arms almost right away.
  81. “The warm up”
  82. “Hmph”
  84. Renate dropped on her ass and put her feet against one another, folded her fingers and pushed her knees down with her elbows.
  85. Jake found this to be a rather difficult exercise, one he had trouble maintaining.
  86. “I can already tell you’re in way worse shape than you should be at your age, and you don’t even have the excuse Hugo does!” Renate rebuked him with a beaming smile.
  87. “Uh-huh” Jake grunted.
  88. “You’ll be a total hunk by the time I’m done with you though” she went on as if he hadn’t sounded highly incredulous.
  89. “Why don’t you just magic me better?” Jake asked, realizing anew he lived in a world where magic was very real.
  90. “That’d be boring and you wouldn’t learn anything” Renate explained as if to a child, then folded her legs and straightened her back again.
  91. “Let’s centre again” she said, and they did. For a lot longer than before. By the time they were finished, Jake was getting almost sleepy. Renate’s chipper voice made him startle.
  92. “Alright, now we can get going. Let’s get up!” she said, standing without the slightest effort. Jake had to shuffle around a bit to get the necessary leverage to stand.
  93. “This next bit is actually going to be totally useful for you when you start learning magic, so please pay attention” she said once they were both in an upright position.
  94. “Learning magic?” Jake scratched his face a little awkwardly. Just because he was seeing it happened didn’t mean HE could do it. It hadn’t even occurred to him.
  95. “Well I mean I sure hope that book is going to teach you magic. You’re going to be in trouble without it. It’s not like I’m going to carry your ass through whatever we end up running into you know, that’d be boring”
  96. “Now hold on, you’re saying you don’t know what’s in the book Fletcher gave me?”
  97. “No clue. Wasn’t this like, established already? I’m here to not be bored. Your job is to fix me being bored. If I knew what you were going to do before you did it, it’d be boring”. She took that talking-to-a-child tone of voice again.
  98. “But you are saying there’s a possibility I might learn actual magic?” Jake insisted.
  99. Renate shrugged.
  100. “Sure. Maybe. Whatever”
  101. “If I do, can I get rid of you?”
  102. Jake regretted asking that immediately after saying it, but instead of getting angry, Renate laughed at it. It wasn’t even a girly giggle, she cackled like a hyena.
  103. “What’s so funny about that then?” Jake asked after she had calmed down.
  104. “You’ll never learn the kind of magic that can fuck with me, Badger-boy” she said, wiping tears from her eyes.
  105. “What, because I signed a contract with you?”
  106. “You… what? No, no you didn’t. That was with Hugo. That’s his book, I didn’t make it” she said, waving her hand dismissively.
  107. Jake crossed his arms.
  108. “So you’re saying Fletcher’s got the kind of magic to keep you leashed to me that I can’t undo it no matter what I do?”
  109. Renate tilted her head.
  110. “Me being here isn’t Hugo’s magic, dumb-dumb. You work hard maybe you can get better than him, maybe not. But you’ll never, ever be a threat to me. On any level. Got that?”
  111. Her voice was level now, which felt somehow ominous. Jake knew he shouldn’t keep up this line of inquiry, but he had started down the rabbit hole and he’d keep at it until he got to the bottom. That’s what he bloody well did.
  112. “Why? What makes you so special?” he asked.
  113. Renate shook her head.
  114. “You don’t know what I am. Telling you wouldn’t mean a thing to you”
  115. “Try me”
  116. She sighed.
  117. “Fine. I’m a Lilim. Know what a Lilim is, Badger-boy?”
  118. Jake had some ideas.
  119. “A type of Succubus, from Mesopotamian mythology, I think” he tried the ice.
  120. “Don’t know what a Mesobotany is, but hey, you’re right, we’re a kind of Succubus. The kind that’s got more power than you’ll ever have. As in, all of it”
  121. Jake tried to laugh this off.
  122. “What, unlimited powah?”
  123. “Yes”
  124. The Star Wars reference went completely over her head, but that didn’t bother Jake. What bothered him was that she was so adamant about convincing him she had such magnificent power. Sure she had bossed him around like he was a robot activated on voice command, but surely she was exaggerating to discourage him from even trying to have a go at her. If magic was real and if he could learn it, he would be able to pose a threat to her. It was only natural, the supernatural aspects notwithstanding. He would remember this for future reference, in case she tried to molest him again. Well, she wouldn’t try; she’d succeed until he learned his way around all that stuff. Jake was getting eager to study the book now.
  125. “I think we can stop here” he said, stepping off the mat and then taking a step right back.
  126. “What the…?”
  127. “You’re not going anywhere until I’m done, Badger-boy”
  128. “Don’t call me that”
  129. “I’ll call you that as long as you’ve got a badger’s body” she said with a nasty grin, and deep down Jake had to admit she was right about that one. His nickname hadn’t originated with his midsection of course, but nowadays it was an apt description. A little yoga wouldn’t change that though. Not that his opinion mattered, her magic was apparently plenty strong enough to keep him from leaving, so he’d just have to bear with it.
  130. “Fine” he agreed, swearing vengeance in his heart.
  131. “Now let’s centre ourselves again before we continue” Renate said, dismissing the whole argument.
  132. Jake felt like announcing exactly how he felt about this, but he had no power here. For now.
  134.             ***
  136. Breathe in. (Why am I doing this?)
  137. Breathe out. (This isn’t going to help)
  138. Breathe in. (This is stupid)
  139. Breathe out. (This is a waste of time)
  140. Breathe in. (Isn’t this taking longer than usual?)
  141. Breathe out. (It is, it is! I’m sure it is!)
  142. Breathe in. (Why would it take longer this time?)
  143. Breathe out. (Is she doing this to spite me?)
  144. Breathe in. (Or does she think I need to calm down?)
  145. Breathe out. (I’m plenty calm, I’ll show her calm!)
  146. Breathe in. (If she doesn’t change the pace of this I’m going to get up and…)
  147. Breathe out. (…and get absolutely nothing done)
  148. Breathe in. (I should…)
  149. Breathe out. (…just go with it)
  150. Breathe in. (…)
  151. Breathe out. (…)
  152. Breathe in.
  153. Breathe out.
  155.             ***
  157. “Alright, that’ll do. Let’s get up” Renate said, her voice in no way breaking Jake’s… there was no word for it. He was too bitter and pissed for serenity or peace of mind. He couldn’t be calm; he was a churning sea of rage. Right? Right. So what was it? Acceptance of the inevitable? Tranquil fury? Biding his time? A cold rage? Whatever it was, he felt okay. He felt like he wasn’t going to be upset at all this. At her. He was. But that could be let go. Yeah. But the sooner this was over and done with, the better.
  158. The two stood up.
  159. “So what exactly are we going to be doing?” Jake asked. He wasn’t angry. His voice wasn’t shaking with anger. He was calm. Calm and full of hate.
  160. “Breathing. Now do as I do” Renate said, standing with her feet at around shoulder-width, bringing her palms and fingers together like a praying Hindu.
  161. And breathed in. And out. Jake did so as well. Now that they were standing and her arms were forming a nice frame, the heaving of her chest was much more noticeable. He’d been staring at her cleavage a lot recently. He could do this.
  162. “Now make a small space between your palms” Renate instructed, cupping her hands so there was a space there.
  163. “Close your eyes and focus on the air there as you breathe”
  164. Jake closed his eyes begrudgingly. At least she still smelled nice.
  165. “As you breathe, feel the air enter your lungs”
  166. “Your blood carries the oxygen through your heart”
  167. “Just as blood and oxygen flow in your body, so does your chi”
  168. What?
  169. “Feel as your strength builds up from your belly”
  170. This is getting weird, what the hell is she saying?
  171. “Bend your knees a little but keep your back straight, feel your belly go taut”
  172. Sure, but there’s still flab on it though.
  173. “As you breathe, you feel your oxygen enter your lungs”
  174. You already said that, dumbass.
  175. “Just as you don’t feel your blood flow expect when a limb has fallen asleep and it starts up again, you don’t feel your chi either”
  176. Okay?
  177. “Imagine the oxygen moving through your body with your blood”
  178. I know how my body works, thanks.
  179. “Through the heart, to the belly, the legs, your dick, your feet, your toes, your arms, your hands, your toes, your brain, and back again”
  180. Thanks for mentioning my dick.
  182. There was some breathing and imagining.
  184. “Imagine now that as oxygen that comes from the outside flows with your blood and gives life to your limbs, so too your chi flows forth from your belly”
  185. How do I imagine chi? The hell is that?
  186. “Imagine it spreading to your body, surrounding your bones, glowing behind your eyes, in your head, at the soles of your feet, the tips of your toes and fingers, at the head of your penis…”
  187. Again with the penis?
  188. “As you breathe, feel as a coolness enters your lungs”
  189. Well thanks for making sense for a change.
  190. “As you breathe, imagine the oxygen as a cool blue”
  191. Done.
  193. Jake conjured up a vision of his body with blue lines spreading from his lungs to his “bloodstream”, entering the heart and going the natural route of oxygen in the body. His eyes had been closed long enough that imagining this wasn’t difficult.
  195. “As you breathe, imagine the chi as a warm yellow”
  196. Okay?
  198. Jake imagined the yellow chi flowing out from his belly. It didn’t circle back though. Renate hadn’t said it did.
  200. “As you breathe, imagine the chi as warmth that is leaving your body at the points I described”
  201. Alright, that wasn’t too difficult.
  203. There was some more breathing and imagining.
  205. “Now concentrate on the space between your hands again”
  206. Oh right, there was that.
  207. “As you breathe, the chi exudes warmth in your cupped hands”
  208. Chi, or me being a warm-blooded mammal?
  209. “As you breathe, imagine the blue, cold oxygen grabbing your yellow, blue chi with it”
  210. Sticky oxygen, or sticky chi?
  211. “As you breathe, FEEL the warmth move through your body”
  212. I’m supposed to be feeling what now?
  213. “As you breathe, feel the warmth move out from your belly and go to your extremities, but as the oxygen arrives, it takes part of the warmth with it”
  214. Huh, so it’s, wait, what? Okay?
  215. “As you breathe, focus on the space between your hands. The oxygen carries warmth from your feet, from your toes, from your shins and thighs, from your balls and dick, from your ears, your nose, your forehead, and down your biceps, your forearms, to your hands”
  216. Jake shivered. His feet actually did feel a little colder now, and his palms were sweating and his balls… He kept focusing.
  217. “As you breathe, feel your chi focus to your hands. Feel the oxygen carry warmth even from the tips of your fingers and down into your palms”
  218. He did.
  219. “As you breathe, feel the air in your cupped hands grow”
  220. He did. It was definitely getting warmer.
  221. “As you breathe, feel your chi make the air in your copped hands grow hot. As it grows hot, the air expands. Make the space bigger”
  222. He did. Damn it was hot; the air almost pushed his hands aside.
  223. “As you breathe, feel your chi focusing into the bubble. Feel your feet grow cold”
  224. Oh, his feet were cold alright. He wasn’t even sweating anywhere but his hands now. His genitals shrunk.
  225. “As you breathe, let the bubble of hot air grow to the size of a volleyball. Spread your hands”
  226. He did. It did.
  227. “As you breathe, open your eyes”
  228. Jake opened his eyes, and gasped. His focus broke away for a second, and he couldn’t be sure he had actually seen what he thought he’d seen, but in the name of all that is holy, he swore the air between his hands had been vibrating. As soon as he stopped focusing the apparition was gone though, and although the air felt hot as he swiped his hands through it, the heat he’d felt – in God’s name, ACTUALLY felt – seemed to be fading. His palms still felt hot, but the rest of his body wasn’t as cold as it had been a moment ago. Surely what he’d been feeling, that, she’d hypnotized him, yes, that’s it, it had all been the power of suggestion, some kind of trance, there’s no way he could’ve…
  229. There was a sphere of fire the size of a volleyball between Renate’s hands. The air around it vibrated just the way it had between his hands.
  230. She smiled at him.
  231. “Pretty neat, huh? I told you it’d be useful”
  232. Renate lowered one hand and balanced the ball of fire on one hand.
  233. “Of course MY magic doesn’t just go away the moment I see it” she giggled and started bouncing the ball of fire up and catching it as it came down.
  234. “I can also do this” she said, and before Jake’s eyes the ball of fire shrank down, first to the size of a basketball, then to the size of a baseball. At this size it began to glow white rather than red, and was almost too bright to look at directly. Then she simply closed her hand into a fist, and the sphere disappeared into her hand, shrinking down even more. She unfolded her hand immediately and what she was holding was still white, but…
  235. “En garde!” she said with a grin and threw it at him. Jake was dumbstruck and could barely bring his arms to protect his face, twisting sideways in a pathetic and desperate attempt to dodge.
  236. He was caught in the side by a snowball.
  237. A snowball. He took it in his hands and it felt cold. It melted in his hands, and it was, honest to God, just plain old snow.
  238. With his jaw hanging loose Jake stared at Renate, who had one hand on her hip, her face in a grin smug as a Cheshire cat’s.
  239. “You weren’t that shocked when I grew wings and a tail or made you follow my orders. Guess being able to do something yourself really drove in the point that this is real, huh?”
  240. Real. This was real. Not only was she a demon succubus thingy from another world who could do all that, but he, a human being, a real person in this very world, could do it too.
  241. “I…”
  242. Words failed him. Jake fell on his knees.
  243. “I don’t know” he said.
  244. “You don’t, I know”
  245. “I don’t know if I can get back up” he added, shuddering.
  246. “Aww, poor guy” Renate said and skipped to his side, helping him up. She felt warm.
  247. “I’m cold” Jake pointed out.
  248. “You would be, using up your own life-force that way. It’ll pass. We get some food in you, you’ll be right as rain” she explained, patting him on the back. She smelled so nice.
  249. “Uhh” he said in reply, almost keeling over. She caught him in her arms, supporting his entire weight now. There were black spots at the edges of his vision.
  250. “Easy does it” Renate said, sounding slightly more concerned now.
  251. “Let’s get you back in bed”
  253. She laid him in the bed and pulled the covers over him up to his neck. It felt rather nice to be in the warm now.
  254. “I’ll, uhh, grab us some coffee and, uhh, order something. You just take it easy” Renate said, wringing her hands. Her tail, wings and horns disappeared as she tossed her tank-top and spats away, her regular clothing floating to her, the two mats they’d been using rolling themselves up. In a jiffy she was out the door. Her scent musk lingered after she was gone. Today had been a weird day.
  256.             ***
  258. “Wake up. Hey! Wake up! Wake up and smell the coffee!” Renate’s angelic voice intruded into Jake’s stupor.
  259. “Hrmh?” he asked, not opening his eyes. Through the mists of confusion and drowsiness he remembered something about her being able to order him to do things with magic. She wasn’t doing that now, but she was still giving orders. Funny.
  260. “Here!” she said, grabbing the wrist of his right hand, which was hanging out of the bed, and put a hot paper cub in it.
  261. “Coffee. Black. Strong. I put in sugar in it” she explained as he grunted and groaned while getting into a more elevated position. There was only one bed in the room, he noticed, and now they were both in it. Neat.
  262. Renate was sitting on the bed, her boots and jacket somewhere. She looked nice when she was all casual, her tail wrapped about her ankles, her wings resting on her shoulders. She was sitting cross-legged, and staring intently at him. Better not offend her by refusing her offering.
  263. Jake sipped the coffee. It was strong and hot. He had a faint recollection of having had a lot of coffee today already. He wanted more. It was warming him up on the way down. He liked that.
  264. “There’s this too” she said, pulling a paper bag from behind her back. It had a strong smell about it, a smell that made Jake salivate. It smelled of grease and such. It was FOOD.
  265. Placing the half-drained coffee on the nightstand he opened up the bag and discovered two cups of buttered noodles inside. He politely handed one to Renate, who took it put kept staring at him as he opened his up and began to wolf it down with a plastic fork. There were some unidentifiable herbs mixed in with the noodles, and some pieces of meat too. And onion. And lots of grease. It was good. The chow went down easy with very little chewing necessary and the taste was simple yet irresistible, despite offering up contradictory images of health with the herbs and promises of heart problems with the grease. It did not survive long.
  266. Renate was eating hers much more slowly.
  267. “I just got these to tide us over until the pizza gets here” she explained.
  268. “What kind of pizza?” Jake asked as he drank what liquids had been gathered up at the bottom of the cup before returning to his coffee. He felt a lot better now than he had moments ago.
  269. “A big one” Renate said with a hopeful smile. Jake returned it, and with relief she kept eating.
  271. “You know” Jake started after Renate had finished eating and his coffee was gone, “it feels like it’s been a good long while since I met you and got Fletcher’s book and I still don’t know a damn thing about what’s in it”
  272. Renate pointed at the nightstand with an extended foot.
  273. “Put it in there, with the other book”
  274. “Other book?”
  275. “The one that was already in it”
  276. Jake opened the drawer and discovered two books: Dimensionality and The Gideon Bible. Dimensionality was thicker.
  277. With some effort – he was still feeling a little weak, it seemed – he took his book out, closed the drawer and put the book in his lap.
  278. “I should probably get started on this about now” he said.
  279. “I’m sorry”
  280. “Excuse me?”
  281. “I said I’m sorry” Renate said, hugging her knees and looking like she’d shrunk a little to hide behind them.
  282. “For what?” Jake asked, his brain not quite up to speed yet.
  283. “For pushing you too much. I keep forgetting people are like, fragile and stuff. So, yeah. Sorry”
  284. Jake sighed.
  285. “I forgive you. If anything, I should be thanking you. I did real magic today”
  286. “No you didn’t, you just blew some hot air. But even that’s too much for someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing, and I could’ve hurt you. So sorry”
  287. “I already said it’s fine”
  288. “Is it really though?”
  289. “Why wouldn’t it be?”
  290. “Hmm”
  291. Renate was looking away from him now.
  292. “What toppings does that pizza have?”
  293. “Stuff to make you warm. Peppers and stuff”
  294. Jake felt a sense of foreboding.
  295. “You don’t say?”
  296. “I’ll sleep next to you too”
  297. “I’m not sure that’s going to be really necessary…”
  298. “Sure it will, there’s only one bed”
  299. “Well, yes but…”
  300. “I’m paying for the room you know, so if you want to sleep on the floor, that’s your call”
  301. Renate’s eyes were lighting up again.
  302. Jake moved the book to the nightstand, next to his empty coffee cup. It could wait at least until the pizza had been eaten.
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