This story started as an entry into Chuck Wendig’s weekly flash fiction challenge, but due to various reasons I ended up missing the deadline. So I went ahead and started rewriting it to increase the quality. The challenge in question was to pick two genres at random from a list of 20, and write a crossover story in 1,500 words or less. As luck would have it, I ended up with “Parallel Worlds” and “BDSM Erotica”. The way forward seemed pretty obvious from there.
The tile floor of the lab felt cool under my legs, despite the warmth of the room. My eyes were covered by the sleeping mask I kept in my bag, and secured by my own pantyhose. Earplugs kept for the same purpose muffled every sound, leaving me with a near-total sense of isolation.
Every physical sensation, the only thing left to me, became more intense. The characteristically cool tiles. Little crinkles in my underwear, the only clothing left to me. Muscles flexing as I knelt. The smooth tightness of network cable wrapped around my wrists and ankles, preventing me from leaning forward. It was as if every nerve had its volume turned up.
How long since I’d been placed in this position, bound and nearly naked, I couldn’t tell. Subjectively it felt like a very long time, but the more rational part of me knew it was merely minutes. Time seemed to stretch, due to my limited senses and the anticipation of what might happen.
Over the sound of my pulse, I dimly heard the click-click-click of heels. I rose as much as I could, straining at the cable. No struggling would loosen my makeshift bonds, that was all too clear.
Behind me, the clicking ceased. There was a pause, long enough to make me shiver. Waiting for her to do something, anything, if only to end the waiting.
Hot breath caressed my neck, triggering an involuntary gasp. It was hard to believe such a subtle action would be so effective, but anticipation had done its work. Even though I couldn’t see her, I could imagine her satisfied smile.
Delicate fingers removed my earplugs, and a smooth, silky voice whispered, “Welcome to your new home.” It was strange, and arousing, to hear that voice coming from another pair of lips.
Thinking of her lips was a mistake. Suddenly they were all I could picture as she continued. “I planned to show you around, but seeing you in the flesh, well…you’ll forgive my impatience?”
The woman didn’t wait for a reply, running her fingertips along my neck, trailing her nails toward my collarbone. I flinched. My nerves were so sensitive that even after she lifted her hand, I could still feel it.
“It might interest you,” she said, continuing to caress my neck, “that you are on camera right now.” She paused to let the implications sink in. “Everything here must be recorded, you understand. Indeed, they’re active right now, recording every. Little. Piece of you.”
If I hadn’t felt exposed before, I unquestionably did now. I strained against my bonds, trying to lean forward and cover myself. Of course it was futile. Fingers trailed down over both shoulders, tracing spirals before unclasping my bra, and even that comforting barrier of modesty was lost.
A soft object pressed against my lips, which opened to allow what I guessed was a rolled-up pair of gloves.
“Now do be careful,” she said. “They are my favourites and must not be scuffed. Or bitten.”
The moment she spoke, I felt a sharp, painful sensation as she pinched my nipple, pulling her hand away as she did so. I nearly disobeyed her then, but managed to barely keep control.
“Very good,” she said, giving another tug, then drawing her nails upwards with more force than before. “I just know we’ll have fun together.”
Her hands left me then, their sudden absence making me ache. After long moments, I felt the tip of her shoe grazing my inner thigh, barely in contact with my panties. By now it was a wonder they hadn’t caught fire, and things would only get hotter from here. I gave a needy whimper, turning my face up to her. Feelings of risk, exposure, and being at this woman’s mercy induced feelings I’d never known.
Part of me felt a perverse urge to disobey. To bite down as hard as I could just to see the punishment would be. The greater part resisted. I was under her control now, resistance was for another time. For now I’d do my best to follow her orders, and give her all I had.
After all, who could I surrender to more deeply than myself?
We hadn’t finished celebrating when I noticed I was being watched. Not consciously, just an odd sense of attention that persisted even after I’d left for the day. As ridiculous as it was for a woman working as a scientist to accept something so mystical, it was hard to deny someone did have their eyes on me.
The obvious answer was a spy. After all, we had just proven alternate universes, long theorized, were real. It was straight from an old SF novel, but the science was sound. Something about the spy theory rang false, however. For one, our findings were all publicly available. Aside from which, I wasn’t so egotistical as to assume my contributions would rate that sort of surveillance.
A stalker made more sense, but even that felt wrong. For one, the feeling persisted no matter where I was, growing stronger by the day. Even the most talented stalker couldn’t see everywhere. Unless they had uncommon technology, which led me to the obvious solution.
My so-called stalker was myself.
Once thought, it was inescapable. Hadn’t I just proved the existence of parallel worlds, which must include a duplicate of myself? It took little to guess she might be further along in her research, and who better to study than the person you know best?
Logic told me that much, but there was something deeper than logic at work. Starting from the feeling of being watched, now a certainty, the realization that I was watched by myself brought with it a feeling of resonance. I felt myself sensing what she must feel while watching me, with unexpected results.
I found myself wanting to be seen. Every waking moment I felt her attention, and I wanted to capture it fully. Somehow I knew she wanted the same, and was drawn to me. Perhaps it was my imagination, but I thought I felt a hunger as well, that I needed to respond to.
From there, everything changed. Every activity was done as if I were on display, a surprisingly natural act. My style of dress became much more provocative than before. Stockings, low-cut tops and short skirts became the norm, and what I felt in return thrilled me.
In private, I went even further. Being watched unquestionably turned me on, and things began to escalate. Masturbation, once occasional, became frequent and theatrical, knowing that she was watching. The intensity of my orgasms grew more intense, and I hoped that she was feeling the same.
Somewhere along the line I began to make forays into self-bondage. If my duplicate were like myself, this would definitely pique her interest. I’d tried it years ago and liked it, but with an assumed partner, it was so much better.
It was only days later when she reached breaking point, as the air around me began to shimmer. Another woman would have been alarmed, but I expected this day, watching the scene around me shift into a familiar lab, containing an even more familiar woman.
We kissed without another word, each knowing the other could wait no longer.
Bringing her across the barrier was reckless, I knew that. Unauthorized use of equipment, improper protocols, probably a dozen other infractions. Desires drive us to foolishness though, and my desire was strong indeed.
Falling for her wasn’t in the plan. She should have simply been an observation subject, a convenient baseline. Initially, that’s all there she was as I followed her daily life. My detachment didn’t last long, and I found myself attracted despite myself. To say nothing of massively turned on, as it became clear she was deliberately provoking me. Soon I began watching in secret, keeping the results from my colleagues for my own gratification.
Was it wrong to feel this way? Certainly it was thrilling, the lurking immorality of falling for my own duplicate. There was more to it than narcissism though, all the more when I realized what the variation between our romantic tasted meant we were highly compatible. It felt natural, almost inevitable, to be drawn to this woman, who understood me on a deeper level than any conventional lover.
Not that I was nearly so rational about it. All I was sure of was that I wanted, needed the woman who knelt at my feet, so badly that any risk was worthwhile. No matter what, I would fight to keep her.
I nudged her crotch with my shoe again, revelling in the moan it brought from the back of her throat. How could I be expected to give this up?
Leaning forward, I kissed the corner of her lips and gave a sudden, hard twist to her nipple, causing her body to jerk. Now, I thought, how was I going to drive her absolutely out of her mind?