Tom Benson Creative Writer and Artist
Tom Benson           Creative Writer                                      and Artist

3. Choices

The Lounge

Heather stood at the window. To her front was a view of her beloved mountains. She was at one end of a double lounge. Nearby, there was a three piece suite and a coffee table. The other half of the room contained a large comfortable sofa facing two TV screens. Heather checked her watch before stepping out into the hallway.


Kirsten was admiring the painting of Echo and Narcissus. Her long copper hair was immaculately brushed and shone with health. It contrasted well with her royal blue mini-dress. The dress complemented her figure with its high neckline, fitted waist, and flared skirt that exposed a generous amount of thigh, and drew attention to her lovely legs. She wore black court shoes.


Her makeup was perfect.


“Good morning, Kirsten. I’m Heather, and I’m delighted to meet you, finally.”


“And I’m delighted to meet you too,” Kirsten said, appraising her host.


The two women approached and kissed each other on both cheeks.


Heather ushered Kirsten into the lounge. “I hope you slept well and enjoyed breakfast.” She indicated the sofa near the window. “I know it must have been a long drive to tackle on a winter evening.” Heather used an armchair on the other side of the coffee table.


“The journey was quite stressful, but I’ve come prepared to do whatever it takes to work things out.” She sat forward on the edge of the large sofa.


“Well,” Heather said. “It sounds like you’re raring to go. I wanted to meet you last night, but something came up. You’re a brave girl to consider this, but I’m glad you’ve decided to let us try to help.”


 “A couple of hours driving in the dark with a sleeping passenger will probably be minor compared to your programme.”


Lauren appeared from a small room at the other end of the lounge, carrying a tray of coffee.


She nodded and smiled at Kirsten, and set the tray on the table.


Lauren said, “I bet you slept well last night.”


“I did,” Kirsten said. Thank you for being so helpful. I was apprehensive by the time we arrived.”


“Don’t mention it,” Lauren said, and joined Kirsten on the sofa. “If you decide to go ahead with this programme, we’ll be getting to know each other well.” That statement was allowed to sink in.


“If I may say so,” Lauren continued. “You’re very pretty.”


Kirsten’s cheeks reddened. “Thank you. Coming from you, that’s a compliment.”


Lauren smiled. “Thank you. That’s very kind of you.” She prepared the coffees.


Heather remained silent while Lauren settled the visitor.


As they enjoyed coffee, the three women made small talk about the location, and how secluded it was. Heather didn’t say much. When the time was right, Lauren excused herself to go off to deal with other duties.


Heather said, “When you first got in touch with me Kirsten, I wasn’t sure if you would be able to deal with my methods. I was both surprised and delighted that you were able to send the specimens I requested.”


Kirsten’s lashes fluttered, and her cheeks coloured. “I didn’t like lying to Nick, but you said in your message that it was important to get the results quickly.”


Heather went on. “Hygiene is crucial if this week is going to work. It gives everybody involved confidence, to know that things can be done naturally.” Kirsten nodded but said nothing.


Heather said, “I do realise that you might find it embarrassing talking about certain aspects, but it’s something we must do.”


“It’s true what you said in your final email,” Kirsten said. “It’s easy to get in touch with somebody and discuss sexual issues, but it feels different when you’re sitting in a room in person.”


“You’re here now, Kirsten, and I’d like you to know that whatever happens here, you will not be made to feel inadequate, or forced into anything. You will also not come to any harm.” She studied Kirsten’s features. “I need you to understand that, okay?”


“Yes, I’m sorry, I’m coming across as a bit of a prude, but I do want to learn too. I think the description that you used in your email was, ‘curious’.” She looked away from Heather for a moment. “I’d like to experience new things, but you’ll have to take it slow.”


“Okay,” Heather said. “Let’s take it from there. I’m going to ask you a couple of questions, and I’m preparing you with a bit of a heads-up because this is very important. When I ask you these questions, I’d like a reply to each one as quickly as possible, say within ten seconds or so.”


Kirsten’s lips parted and quivered.


“Please don’t be nervous,” Heather said. “If you’re going to continue with this programme, I have to stress something. At some point, either I will say or do something, or somebody here will say or do something that might distress you. You must be prepared.”


Kirsten swallowed, nodded slowly, and stared into Heather’s eyes.


Heather smiled and leaned forward. The two women were seated opposite each other at the coffee table. Heather leaned forward and spoke quietly, and it gave Kirsten a sense of intimacy and confidentiality.


Heather said, “What do you think of Lauren?”


“She’s beautiful,” Kirsten said. “I hope Nick doesn’t see too much of her.”


“I know what Lauren’s taste is like, and when she told you that you were very pretty, she meant it.” Kirsten blushed again and lifted her left hand to cover her mouth. Her eyes sparkled.


Heather said, “Next scary question.” She edged forward and spoke almost in a whisper. “Have you ever kissed a girl, Kirsten?”


“No,” she said instantly and was embarrassed by the speed of her response.


“If I asked you at some point this week to kiss Lauren ... would you be able to do it?”


Kirsten’s eyes opened wide, and her lips parted. She blinked several times.


“Answer quickly please, Kirsten,” Heather urged.


“Y ... yes, I think I could.” Kirsten said, her eyes wide, unable to believe her reply.


“Good,” Heather said. “Don’t worry. I’m not about to bring Lauren back to test you.” She smiled at her guest. “Now I’m going to bribe you. If we continue to progress like this, I’ll pour us another coffee.”


Kirsten relaxed and giggled. There were an underlying tension and nervousness.


Heather nodded and smiled. “How would you describe me, Kirsten?”


“Oh that’s easy,” was the instant reply. “You’re gorgeous.” Kirsten’s smile faded, and her trembling lips parted. She knew what the next question would be.


Heather whispered, “Would you be able to kiss me, Kirsten?” Kirsten looked straight at Heather’s brown eyes and her glossy lips for a moment. She thought of the websites and her thoughts during the journey.


“Yes, Heather,” she said quietly. “I could kiss you.” There were no giggles as Kirsten continued to look at Heather and became aware of her rapid breathing.


“Thank you,” Heather said. “I’ll pour that coffee, and then we’ll discuss a few things about the days ahead.”


“Thank you,” Kirsten said, and as she lifted her cup and saucer, the bone China played a symphony. “I’m sorry, this is all so ‘out there’ for me, you know.”


“I assure you that no harm will come to you, or Nick, but what I need from both of you is complete trust.”


“I’m all yours” Kirsten said, trying to sound confident. Those three words hit her, and the crockery danced in her hands. She glared at the offending cup and lifted it to take a sip.


“That’s my girl,” Heather said. “How do you think Nick will take to the idea of you taking part in activities?”


“He thinks I’m only here to be close during his treatment. He wouldn’t expect me to take part in anything.” She looked down at the coffee table for a moment and then looked up. “I apologise if I’m a bit reticent as we discuss things.”


“Forget the apologies. I’ll be asking you to accept certain methods, and to say, do, or observe things that might upset you. We can’t afford to be apologising to each other.” It was another statement that was given time to sink in.


Kirsten nodded, and her lips twitched as she forced a smile.


Heather said, “You were open in your answers to my emails, so I know that you’re nervous. When did you decide that you wanted to take part?”


“Since we’ve been in touch, I’ve had time to think,” Kirsten said. She breathed deep and exhaled. “During the drive last night, I tried to imagine doing things, and I got excited. Is that good?”


“That is perfect,” Heather said. “I want you to be excited, and enjoy your visit.”


“Thank you,” Kirsten said. “I might blush a lot, or even burst into tears, but please persevere with me.”


“I’ll take it easy, I promise, and so will Lauren. Now, with regards to the other part of this case, if your suspicions are correct, I’m confident we’re going to uncover a few of Nick’s secrets.”


Kirsten said, “You said that I might be able to watch some things that involve him.”


“If you wish, you can watch everything that involves him, but it will be up to both of you.”


“I don’t understand. How will it be up to both of us?” She squinted as she considered the idea. “Will he know I’m watching or that I’ve heard something?”


Heather said, “I may not have an ethical approach with everything I do, but this process will be aimed at helping you two to tackle some deep issues. I’m saying that, if it’s your wish to observe Nick’s treatment, then he should be made aware that you’re watching.”


Kirsten sipped her coffee and remained silent.


Heather continued. “Perhaps we’ll find out some things about Nick that make you feel uncomfortable. From what you’ve told me, it sounds like you two are unable to discuss things, and you said he wouldn’t go to a counselling session.”


“That’s right, but I’d like to know what makes him tick,” Kirsten said. “When I’m involved in something, will I have a choice about him seeing me?”


“Kirsten, if you wish, we’ll tell him that you want him to continue, but you’d rather go back home than have him watch you doing anything. He will only know what you want him to know.”


“What would you suggest?”


“I know this might sound awful to you right now,” Heather said. “I think if you want this trust thing to happen, it has to start here.” She paused and sipped her coffee.


Kirsten bit her lip, and her eyes were blinking rapidly.


Heather put down her cup. “I think you should view each other.”


“What if he sees me doing something ... like kissing another woman, or I see him doing something, and it means we finish?”


“Again, I know it’s hard to understand right now. Try not to judge anything you see straight away. Perhaps it would be better to think that Nick is going to be the subject of what I set up this week. You are going to be observing the results - if he’s happy to let you watch.”


Kirsten nodded and squinted. She was taking in every word.


Heather continued. “You are not here for treatment. I’m thinking of sessions you get involved in as advanced sex education.”


“Well, I have to admit, that sounds pretty clear, although I admit, I am nervous.”


“The key is Kirsten, to trust me and the people who will deal with the case. One important factor is, that if a person is being observed, they have the right to know, even Nick. Is that clear?”


“Yes, that sounds fair,” Kirsten said, smiling with genuine satisfaction.


“Okay, before I go on, is there anything else you’d like to ask?”


“You mentioned something in your messages called The Agreement. Do we both have to sign that?”


“Oh no,” Heather said. “The Agreement is a document specifically for Nick. I’ll tell you more about that in a short while, but if there are no more urgent queries, I’ll give you a more detailed explanation of the programme.”


“Okay, I’m ready,” Kirsten murmured, and sipped her coffee.




Heather explained about The Agreement and gave a copy to Kirsten to read at her leisure.


Heather stressed that Kirsten should know about the document, but she would not be asked to sign it. Kirsten listened to a brief explanation of the rooms, their general uses and the colour coding.


Her eyes opened wide as she heard about the room contents and their purpose.

Heather said, “Are you okay?”


“Yes, I’m sorry. There is so much to get my head around.”


“Right then,” Heather said. “This is your lounge from now on. I wanted to talk to you in here so that it wouldn’t feel alien to you when I left after our chat.” Heather stood, and led Kirsten to the window.


“If you look out of this window you’ll see the Grampian Mountains. Please, don’t be worried about anybody looking in. This building is a mile from a public road, and this room is 15 feet from the outside ground level. We’re in a remote location.”


“I thought it was a bit strange, being met by Lauren and then following her car for the last few miles.”


Heather said. “I trusted you from the responses to my emails, and I wasn’t worried about Nick because I knew he’d probably still be sleeping. I wanted you to see that I treat our security seriously, and the best way was for you to follow Lauren on the back roads.”


“It worked. I’m impressed, and apart from being north of Pitlochry, I’m not sure where I am.”


“If you like, at the end of the course, you can follow Lauren out for the first few miles when you leave.”


Kirsten felt Heather’s hands on her shoulders. She turned around.


Heather said, “If you look at the other half of the room you’ll see that it’s a little darker, and I like to think, cosier.” She paused as Kirsten looked around. “Lauren will be your mentor, and she’ll spend as much or as little time with you as you want.”


“So, I don’t come to your Consultation Room, the way Nick will - if he accepts things?”


“No,” Heather said and smiled. “It will be personal mentoring and coaching with you – not consultation.”


Kirsten nodded, happier. “Why are there two televisions over there?”


“One of them is a regular TV, but the other is a monitor hooked up to a Closed Circuit Television system. You know what CCTV is?”


“Yes, like they use for security.”


“It’s exactly the same, but it’s all indoors here. If you use the white remote control, whichever room Nick is in, you’ll have the choice of watching, and if you wanted to, you could listen to what is going on.”


“Do you mean, even if there is somebody with him?”


“Yes, and that might be important for different reasons.” Heather reached to a bookshelf near the window. “This is a book I wrote myself titled, ‘Sexuality and Perceived Disorders’ which is going to be invaluable reading for you over the next few days.”


“Should I read it before I watch or listen to anything?”


“I would suggest that you tune into my initial interview with Nick, and then read when you feel like it. I would also suggest reading whenever he is having a meal break. He will not be involved in anything. He’ll always be alone for meals, and he’ll have at least an hour away from any consultation or activity.”


“Thank you. I’m trying to deal with the excitement of the unknown.”


“That’s a healthy place to be.” Heather pointed to the door of a small kitchen where Kirsten could help herself to drinks or snacks. “Your meals will be arranged so that you and Nick are never in the dining room at the same time.”


“Do I stay in the same bedroom that I used last night?”


“Yes, that’s yours for the week, and you won’t spend any time with Nick.”




“Right, if there are no more immediate questions, I’m nipping upstairs to check a few things. I’ll be right back, just in case anything else comes to mind.”




Kirsten already felt more comfortable, and knowing that she and Nick would not meet during their stay helped her to relax. She felt she would be more inclined to get involved in new activities without him.


It was reassuring. Kirsten would spend a lot of her time in the lounge. She could have solitude or companionship as she wished. There was a TV if she wanted to use it, but she realised the most important screen would be the large one that allowed her to observe and listen to Nick.


The wall behind the two TV screens was a light green colour with an embossed floral pattern, so it wouldn’t be a distraction when watching a screen. There were two doors on the left. One was to Kirsten’s small kitchen and the other her bedroom.


A painting adorned the main wall. It was an orgy of four people, cavorting and providing mutual pleasure to at least one of the others in the group. Kirsten felt her face flush when she went for a closer look and hoped nobody would find her examining what all the hands, tongues and toes were doing.


When the door opened, and Heather walked in again, Kirsten had just turned away from the painting. Her face was still beaming.


Heather smiled. “That was painted by a friend, who took inspiration from The Roman Orgy by Vasily Kotarbinsky.” She grinned. “The characters in that variation have been painted as if it’s a modern day fancy dress party and having had too much wine, the guests take the theme too far.”


Kirsten said, “The detail is incredible, and it made me feel like a voyeur.”


“As long as you enjoyed the feeling, that’s good,” Heather said. “You’ll be experiencing that a lot while you’re here.”


The two women were standing beside the large sofa facing each other.


Heather took Kirsten’s hands in hers. “I know that watching me at work will feel a bit underhand at first.” She raised an eyebrow. “I’ll have Lauren coming to spend time with you in here, and she’ll give you a very simple briefing about the interviews, and the activities involving Nick.”


“You mean Lauren will always be here watching and listening to him as well?”


“She’ll come here to explain things, and then it’s up to you. It will be up to you, whether you’d like her to stay with you, or if you’d rather be alone.”


“So if Nick said something about me and him, Lauren would hear it too?” She knew she was gabbling and repeating herself. Her lips trembled.


“That will only happen if you wish, Kirsten. What I need you to accept is that Lauren might be taking part in activities with you, or with Nick. I think it would be helpful if you and Lauren could form a bond.”


“You mean confide in her from the start?”


“That’s it precisely,” Heather said. Lauren would have to know how fragile Kirsten’s nerves were.


“Will you be doing anything with Nick?” Kirsten asked. “I mean, apart from interviews.”


“Yes, I will, but remember that regardless of any pleasure derived by anybody in the activities this week – the aim is to benefit you and Nick.” Kirsten looked away and bit her lip, and then turned toward Heather.


“Will Lauren ... be taking part in anything physical with Nick?”


“Yes, she will, Kirsten. I’m not going to lie to you. Whatever we do is not personal, and neither of us is going to try to steal your boyfriend. No matter how bad you might feel at some of the things you might see or hear – this week is all about making your relationship with Nick stronger - not weaker.”


“You’re both so attractive, and Lauren isn’t much older than me.”


“Please get into my book as quickly as you can. It will help with your perspective.”


Kirsten’s eyes moistened. “The more I hear about this week, the stranger it all seems. It just feels wrong to know that other women are going to be with my boyfriend. Now I don’t know how I’ll deal with it.” She looked away, shaking her head. She wiped her eyes.


“Would it be easier to deal with if I let Nick know that Lauren would be spending time with you too?”


“Lauren and me ...?” Kirsten said. Her eyes widened. “What will she be doing?”


“She’ll leave that up to you, but please relax, and be open.”


Once again, Kirsten closed her eyes briefly. Embarrassment and nerves combined.


 “Go on,” Heather said. “If you have a question, please ask. Nothing will shock me.”


“It’s all so ... unreal.” She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, exhaled, and opened her eyes.


Heather said, “Please relax, Kirsten. We need a mutual trust if you guys are to get the most out of this.”


“Okay,” Kirsten said and took another deep breath. “Will I learn about some ... unorthodox, or should I say, unusual ways to give and receive pleasure?”


“Of course you will, if you’d like that,” Heather whispered and moved closer. “I know Lauren will be happy to advise and coach you.”


“Thank you,” Kirsten said, forcing a smile. “You have beautiful eyes.”


Heather looked down at Kirsten. “Are you coming on to me Kirsten?”


Kirsten laughed, but it was due to nerves. She covered her mouth with both hands. When she realised that Heather was gazing at her, it caused her to experience the strangest, warm feeling inside.


Heather held her arms out and stepped forward. “Give me a hug.” She smiled. Kirsten’s eyes opened wide, but she opened her arms. She wrapped her arms around Heather’s body, and felt Heather’s hands high and low on her back, pulling her close. Their bodies felt comfortable together. It was a strange, but pleasant feeling.


Heather placed her lips close to Kirsten’s ear and whispered. “Don’t worry. Things will be fine, and you are going to enjoy your stay.” She kissed Kirsten’s hair, and then squeezed her before the two women stepped apart.


Heather said, “Are you ready to know if Nick has signed?”


“I suppose I’d better be,” Kirsten said. “Where is he now?”


“He’s had a good rest, and breakfast. Right now he’s sitting in the White Room looking over The Agreement, which I know he’s already signed.”


“How do you know?”


“When you popped out to the bathroom a short while ago, I watched him on your monitor. He follows the words with his finger when he reads.”


“That’s right. Did he sign the document straight away?”


“No,” Heather said. “He read the first question at least twice from what I could see.”


“What’s the first question?”


“The first one is, ‘I would agree unconditionally to my girlfriend taking part in this programme’ that slowed him down.”


“Why do you think that would be?”


“There are two main reasons. First of all, if he was the type who wants to be able to do what he likes, but not be happy for you to have the same freedom.” She paused. “He might also be worried about you being involved in things, or how the activities might affect you.”


Kirsten looked down. “We only use about three sexual positions,” she admitted in a sheepish tone. “I only had one serious boyfriend before Nick, and I had a strict upbringing, so no boyfriends until my mid-teens. I don’t have the experience of other girls he’s known.”


“Ah, now you see,” Heather said. “You’ve accepted what Nick told you. He might have said that other girls were prepared to do certain things so that you would think those things were normal and accept them.”


Kirsten wiped her eyes. “Are you going to find out about things like that?”


“I’m aiming to find out those things, and a whole lot more besides.”


“Did Nick slow down at any other questions?”


“Yes. He read Number 9 twice too. It says, ‘I agree that my girlfriend may observe any interviews or activities in which I’m involved’. He signed, so he knows you can choose to watch.”


“Before you go Heather ... if I asked you for a single piece of advice for me right now - what would it be?”


“I’d suggest that you try to relax.” She maintained eye contact. “I know this will be embarrassing for you, but if you see or hear something this week that arouses you, please feel free to masturbate.” Kirsten gasped, and Heather smiled at her. Kirsten’s lips remained parted, and she remained speechless, looking at Heather.


Heather said, “As I said, Lauren will be your companion whenever you want her here. If you wanted her to help you in any way, all you have to do is ask her.”


“Is Lauren a ... gay?”


“Lauren will be anything you want her to be, Kirsten. Please trust her completely.”


“I promise, I’ll try to relax,” Kirsten said. “Thank you for this, and your patience.”


“I’ll see you later this morning,” Heather said and nodded towards the CCTV monitor. “Enjoy the show.” She gave Kirsten another quick hug, winked and then left.


Kirsten returned to study the modern version of the orgy painting and then settled herself on the large sofa in front of the two screens. She lifted the white remote and pressed the power button.


The screen filled with the view of a smart office. There was a desk, chair, armchair, coffee table, and couch. Large photographs adorned the walls. Kirsten operated the direction arrows on the remote to use the different camera views. Heather had explained that there were four different views in each room. The zoom feature operated on all views.


Kirsten changed channels and found the White Room, Green Room, Pink Room, and the Red Room. Appropriately, the Black Room was too dark to see anything, but she decided she’d try it again later when the lights were on. Perhaps that room had no windows.


When Kirsten selected the Consultation Room again, she played around until she understood how to zoom into the preferred view. The desk and armchair filled the screen.


While she waited, she lifted the copy of The Agreement that Heather had left for her. She gasped several times as she read.




Sunday 16th July 2017


My most recent publications:

Highland Games - 4

An Erotica Novella


A Life of Choice: Part Four

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