• Published 26th Apr 2014
  • 1,089 Views, 19 Comments

Ace in the Hole - Revenant Wings

Caramel and a few of his friends go to a stage show for a magician from Canterlot. But when Caramel gets called on stage as an assistant from the audience, he'll find out first hoof how talented and skilled the magician is. +COMPLETED+

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The Ace in the Hole

“Are you even listening to me, Caramel?”

“Dude, you’ve been staring at the wall behind the bar for the last half hour.”

At least they weren’t making ridiculous remarks or teasing me. It was true, though. I had spent the last half hour drinking an ale and staring at the counter behind the bar. Specifically, I was staring at the poster for the magician that was on a sort of board held up by a pair of hooftacks. For what reason, I knew not. And apparently the others hadn’t noticed.

I don’t quite remember what happened the rest of the time in the theater. I had blinked and suddenly became aware of myself sitting in the chair. The magician – Ace of Diamonds – had shaken my hand and made the audience give me a round of applause. He sent me off the stage and back to my seat with a pat on my back and joked how I’d been gullible enough to go through with it.

I was torn between liking the magician and disliking him. He was almost as haughty as the mare had been, but there was something about him. He’d been more approachable and none of his jokes had been done in total malice; they’d just been to keep the crowd going during lulls. Even so, the fact that he’d taken a couple of jabs at me while I was up there was a little irritating.

I had spent the rest of the show only feeling half-aware of what was going on.

“Hey, Caramel, you in there?” Noteworthy called.

“I don’t know how much you’ll find of him,” Thunderlane commented. “I bet if you rapped against his head it’ll sound hollow.”

Noteworthy balled his hand into a fist and rapped it against my head. “Hello? Anybody home? Or at least a light on upstairs?”

I was trying my best not to hit them. I was told my father was a mean drunk and I kind of took after him. I almost wanted to drink two more ales just to get myself drunk enough that I wouldn’t care about punching Noteworthy in the face. And probably Thunderlane, too.

“Oh, please. He’s probably still trying to process what exactly his cutie mark means.”

Definitely Thunderlane.

“Leave him alone, guys,” Time Turner spoke up. “Especially you, Thunderlane. I mean, he his paying for your drinks tonight.”

“Aw, come on!” Thunderlane whined. “It’s just a little ribbing.”

“You call that ‘ribbing’? Might as well be punching him in the gut.”

“Now that’s an idea!” Noteworthy exclaimed. “Thunderlane, you could whip up a wind at Caramel and we’ll see how long it takes for him to realize it’s blowing hard enough to lift him.”

“Would you two just leave me alone?” I growled. “I’ve done nothing but sit here and drink a single ale and you two are constantly jabbing at me.”

“We’re just joking around,” Thunderlane said. “I wasn’t really going to do it.”

“I don’t care! You two have done nothing but bully and bother me since we’ve known each other, all because of a single event. I can’t believe what pricks you two are, and the fact that somehow I consider you friends.”

“Hey, we did help you move that one time,” Thunderlane said.

“And we helped get you that job at the Apple family farm,” Noteworthy added.

“Do you think that matters? Does that really say how nice you are to me when every time in between you just constantly shoot insults at me?”

For once in their lives, Noteworthy and Thunderlane didn’t respond. Thunderlane just looked surprised, but Noteworthy actually looked terrified. Of course, I wasn’t normally like that. Ever.

“I’m sick of taking your crap,” I continued. “Just because I do one little thing wrong doesn’t mean you need to bring it up every time we meet over four years.”

Noteworthy and Thunderlane took a few steps back.

Time Turner called the two over. “Perhaps it’s best we leave him alone for a little while. Let him cool down and we’ll try this again.”

I liked Time Turner. He might have stepped in a little late, but he can end an argument and talk sense into those two. It is something I appreciate. Heck, Time Turner I would actually consider a friend. He was the one who invited me to these things usually, and he usually split up any arguments between any of us, and he wasn’t argumentative to begin with.

Still, as I drank from my ale, I figured I probably needed to reassess some things. Time Turner was alright, but I probably needed to spend less time around Noteworthy and Thunderlane. Time Turner had some other ponies he knew, so perhaps I could spend some time around them. Maybe a change of company would suit me.

As I thought that, another pony walked up to the bar. I didn’t look over to see who it was, but the pony took a seat next to me. He tapped the bar a couple of times.

“Bartender, give me an ale,” a low, clear tenor voice said. Preferably the stiffest you’ve got.”

The bartender nodded, filled up a glass, and set it down in front of the pony sitting next to me. The patron tossed a couple of bits towards the bartender, who accepted them graciously, and placed another bit or two in a nearby tip jar. I heard him take a sip of his drink before setting the glass back on the table.

“You don’t mind if I sit here, do you?” the other pony asked.

I shook my head, still focused on the poster. “I mean, there’s like five other seats here, but I don’t give a crap.”

Another sip from both of us. “I see you’re staring at the poster.”

I nodded. “I just came out of the show and headed here with those three.” I absentmindedly pointed to where Time Turner, Noteworthy, and Thunderlane were sitting at a corner table, and where Noteworthy and Thunderlane were arm wrestling.

“Was that you three I heard not long ago?”

“Were we that loud?”

“No. I’ve just been in the corner watching. It was nice and dark.”

“Then why’d you come over here?”

“The ale tastes better when it’s still cold. Can’t get it that way except up here.”

It was a blatant lie. I shrugged. “I’ve never tasted the difference.”

The stranger took a sip of his ale and set it down on the counter. “So, what’d you think of the show?”

“Can’t tell, really. Got invited up on stage for some hypnosis thing. Felt like I just fell asleep for about ten minutes. Not too bad, but the rest of the show was weird after that. Just feels like I can’t remember a damn thing.”

The stranger turned around; I still couldn’t see him, but I could tell he was looking behind me at Time Turner, Thunderlane, and Noteworthy. “Caramel, isn’t it?”

I nodded. I didn’t ask how he knew; Noteworthy with one drink is as loud as most are with three. “Yeah. What do you need?”

The other patron stayed quiet for a long while. I took a final sip of my drink and looked at the empty glass while I considered another one.

“I bet you think that magician was a bit of a bitch,” he said.

I shrugged. “Can’t tell, really. He pushed a few buttons but he kept the crowd going and I don’t think it was supposed to be malicious.”

“It wasn’t.”

It took a moment for me to realize the fact that the stranger had given me an affirmation. Might have been the drink, might have been the fact that I was still trying to process what happened. In either case, I turned around to see who was sitting next to me and nearly fell out of my chair.

“Ace of Diamonds!?”

The magician turned towards me and smiled, looking at me with his ice-blue eyes. “Fancy meeting you here.”

“I could say the same,” I said.

Ace of Diamonds shrugged. “Call me Ace. And I like to come around to a bar for a drink every once in a while.” He took a large gulp of his drink and set the empty glass on the counter. “Ah… I’ve got to remember Ponyville has some good ale…”

It was weird seeing him there. “What are you doing here?”

“I believe I just answered that. But it seems I have another reason.”

I raised an eyebrow.

“I should offer you an apology.”

“Apology?” Surprise had now given way to curiosity. “For what?”

“Humiliating you in front of an audience, doing a few jokes at your expense. It seems like you get enough flack for that already with that group of ‘friends’ of yours.”

I shrugged. “Only one of them is my friend. The brown one over there is Time Turner. He’s a decent fellow.”

“But what about those other two? They were mocking you while on stage, and it’s carried over to here.”

“It’s been that way.”

“How long?”

“Four years.”

Ace stretched himself out. “Mind if I buy you another drink?” he asked.

I shrugged. “Do whatever you want.”

Ace got another two ales around, one for each. We sipped for a little while, not talking to one other. After a while, I finally spoke up.

“I still haven’t gotten an answer. Why are you here?”

He turned towards me and looked me up and down. “I like you.”

I threw a hand up in the air. “For what reason? I was a subject for like ten minutes of a two-hour performance before heading downstage, and we’ve only been talking for another ten minutes.”

“I like you because of how you reacted.”

I shrugged. “Doesn’t everyone react that way when you call them onstage?”

“You’d think.” He took a sip of his ale, though I left mine alone. “Everyone has their hesitations. Normally, getting someone for the hypnosis one either gets someone who becomes disillusioned by it not being like their fantasies or requires dragging someone onstage.”

“I don’t get what you mean.”

“None of them get into it. They don’t actually relax. Quite a few break.” He raised his glass towards me. “You did.”

“You told me to.”

“Ah, but do you remember what I said about magic?”

“I don’t know. You seemed to say a lot of stuff about magic up there.”

“It requires trust. A connection. You allowed that connection. Hypnosis only works if you want it to. Unlike the others, you somehow decided to put yourself on the line and trusted me.”

The constant gaze of the ice-blue eyes, as well as the drop in his tone, was beginning to unnerve me. I took a sip from my glass and attempted to act casual while looking for a possible escape route.

Before I could act on it, Ace placed a tattooed hand on my shoulder. I felt myself freeze up, my heart rate go faster, and my breathing suddenly picked up.

“Relax, Caramel,” said the soft tenor. “I’m not going to hurt you.”

I don’t know what happened, but there was something in the magician’s voice that calmed me down. Almost within seconds of the start of my panic, I felt my muscles relax and my breathing go back down to normal. My heart was still beating a little faster than normal, but for the most part I had been calmed down merely by his words.

Ace of Diamonds patted me on the shoulder. “Do you want to come back to my place?”

I raised my eyebrow again. “What for?”

“Just to talk. I don’t get to often. I’m treated like a celebrity more often than a normal pony. And you probably need a change of pace…” He motioned with his head towards the other ponies. “…from those two.”

I looked over at them. None of them seemed to notice that I had been talking with the magician. The arm wrestling had ended, but now they were talking and laughing. Even Time Turner was in on it, but I couldn’t tell what it was about and so didn’t assume anything.

“Relax,” Ace said soothingly. “It won’t be for very long. Caramel, come.”

I got up and walked out with Ace even as I kept looking back at Time Turner, Noteworthy, and Thunderlane.

* * *

Ace of Diamond’s room was part of the hotel right across from the theater, the opposite side of the block from the bar. It was odd, almost as though he could have been watching me the whole time, could have planned the whole thing out as he stared down at the theater from his hotel room, entering as smoothly and stealthily as he approached me at the bar.

Whether or not he had been staring at me earlier, Ace of Diamonds was looking at me now. Before I could object, he’d changed out of his fancy jacket and rather normally switched into a white tank top. He reclined back in an armchair with a high back and padded arm rests, holding a glass of a whiskey with two cubes of ice in his hand and resting his feet on the large double bed in the room. He was absentmindedly swirling it around, the ice tinkling on the glass, and looking at me with an intent gaze and a small smile on his face.

Despite his inclination to talk, I had not been so favorable. I’d been by the window in the opposite corner from Ace since my arrival, and the only actual response I’d ever given him was to accept a similar drink from him; it tasted like mint. I had sipped it slowly ever since I had arrived, hoping it would open me up to ask whatever questions I had in my brain – for I had quite a few – or at least numb me to the point I wasn’t uncomfortable anymore. It hadn’t been working.

Ace took a sip of his whiskey. “You were talkative in the bar. Why not now?”

I shrugged. It was a question I was asking myself, and one I didn’t know the answer to.

Ace clicked his teeth disapprovingly. “Come on. Caramel, speak to me.”

“What do you want me to say?” I asked. “I have no idea why I’m here, for one.”

“You looked like you needed someone to talk to. I need a break from work.”

“I don’t see what that has to do with bringing me here. Why couldn’t we just speak at the bar?”

“I would have been noticed eventually. And ponies can get irritating when asking for tricks once a show is over. That’s why I do shows: to show what I can do. What they’re asking for is private performances.”

“So you needed an element of privacy. I still don’t get how I figure into the equation.”

“Because I want to talk about you.”

I raised an eyebrow.

“So… Caramel, tell me about your friends.”

I sighed, looked out at the window, and thought back. If I couldn’t just escape right away, I could at least pacify him until he let me out. “I’ve known Noteworthy and Thunderlane for about four years, and Time Turner for about five. Time Turner’s always been a respectable sort, but Noteworthy and Thunderlane have always been on my ass for the last four years.”

“What did you do?”

“Why do you want to know?”

“Caramel,” Ace of Diamonds said in a gentle but slightly commanding tone, “answer me.”

“We were going out to see a game of cloud soccer in Canterlot. There were some mistakes about time, so I got in the shower a little late. When they arrived, I was still in the shower. We nearly missed the opening, but we still made it.”

“Why do you think they kept teasing you about it for four years?”

“It’s not just that. I’m not as smart as other ponies; my main job is to help the Apple family with the apple harvest. Otherwise, I just do odd jobs about town instead of play an instrument or know the mechanics of clouds. I’m also lazy and slightly uncoordinated, even without a drink in me.”

Ace of Diamonds looked at me curiously. “Why are you with them, still?”

I sighed. “You could ask me any question, any at all, and I wouldn’t know.”

Ace of Diamonds took the final sip of his whiskey and got up from his chair. He refilled the glass with water and used it to rinse his mouth out, swallowing the water. He sat the glass down on a nearby table and sat back in the reclining chair.

“Caramel, please sit on the bed,” he requested. “I want you to be comfortable, and frankly your standing up bothers me.”

I set my glass down next to Ace of Diamond’s and sat down on the bed. I looked uneasily at the magician’s feet, still in his boots, next to me.

“Is there a problem?”

“I’m confused as to why I’m here.”

“I’m confused as to why you want to go back.”

I opened my mouth to answer, but Ace kept talking. “You obviously are there and still don’t have a clue why you were. You’re friends with them but behind your back, they call you names. Hell, they do it to your face. Why the fuck do you want to go back?”

“What’s it concern you?”

I stood up from the bed and started to make my way to the door, but before I opened it I turned around and looked at Ace, who seemed unperturbed by the sudden reaction. “Thanks for the whiskey, but if you’re here to pry into my personal life, then bother someone else.”

I opened the door and walked out, but barely got into the hallway before Ace of Diamond’s spoke.

“Caramel, stop.”

I froze. I panicked. I didn’t know why I had stopped.

“Caramel, turn around and come back here.”

I wanted to run. I wanted to run away and take whatever insult that Noteworthy and Thunderlane would give me. But I turned my hooves around despite willing myself as hard as I could to run away. I walked back into the room. Ace made a vague waving motion with his hand and the door closed behind me, then locked.

I stared at Ace as I stopped walking in front of him. “What did you do to me?”

“I thought you said you were slow,” Ace of Diamonds said.

The events of the day started to replay my mind as I worked out furiously why I hadn’t tried to leave. The answer, to my horror, was “during the magic show, before I woke.”

“You really do catch on fast,” Ace of Diamonds said, somewhat proudly. “But if you knew, then why didn’t you leave?”

I opened his mouth. But I couldn’t.

“Caramel,” Ace of Diamonds said in a gently persuasive tone, “answer me.”

I fumbled around for a minute before giving him my answer. “Because it… there was… I couldn’t… you told me to.”

Ace of Diamond shrugged. “The door was open. You knew what was going on. Hypnosis can only work if you are willing. If that’s the case… why didn’t you break?”

I couldn’t answer. I could only stare at him, dumbfounded. Not because I didn’t understand; his logic was clear and easy to follow. But he’d touched a nerve. He was right, completely so. Which made me simultaneously amused and furious with him. I wanted to punch him, but I didn’t.

“Caramel,” Ace of Diamonds said gently, “I want you to tell me what you would do if you acted spontaneously.”

“I would have punched you in the face and walked out that door.”

“Why didn’t you?”

I had to think about it. “I didn’t because I can’t bring myself to. I can’t just punch someone and feel good about it. It wouldn’t solve anything and I… it’s not part of me. I can think about it all I want, but I’d never do it. I haven’t done it. Ever.”

Ace of Diamonds smiled. “You’re too good for them,” he said softly. “You’re too nice.”

“You still haven’t answered my question: what do you want with me?”

“It’s not a question of what I want.” Ace of Diamonds said. “Figure it out, and then I’ll answer your question.”

I sat there and stared at Ace of Diamonds. “What do you want to do with me?”

He sighed. “It’s a little off the mark, but I’ll take it. I want to make you a proposition. You said you did odd jobs and helped at the Apple family farm? I dare say you wouldn’t be missed. I could use you as an assistant.”

“Sounds like you called me here for more than just an assistant.”

“True, true. I called you here for more than that. Much like I stated in my show, I need to be able to trust my materials. If you agree to my deal wholeheartedly, I have that trust and my magic show can perform excellently. But I also need companionship.”

“Couldn’t you have found a mare for that?”

“Ah, I could. But have you noticed what happens? Once a month, they get bitchy. I confess I’ve never had luck with mares; I’m too much of a smart-ass myself.”

I stared at him in a sort of strange fascination, unable to respond.

Ace of Diamonds, noticing my silence, took it as a cue to continue. “Let me state you would not be completely without benefits. It’s a steady job, one that needs proper care and attention. I could exercise your mind and body; in turn, you would become smarter and stronger, which would help you obtain other jobs. It would pay decently, enough that after a few years, should you wish, you could retire with a fair amount in the bank, since I would be paying for everything we’d need. Finally, you’d have yourself some companionship, finding yourself in better company than you’re in right now.”

“What about them?”

“Do you really think they would care if you left?”

“Time Turner might. He was actually decent.”

“He’d understand. I haven’t exactly spoken with him, but from what I saw, he’d understand that you’d probably need a break from those two and that you’ve found yourself in a decent position.”

The offer was tempting. “What would you need me to do to confirm this?”

Ace of Diamonds smiled a little wider. “I can re-induct you,” he said, his voice a whisper that wrapped around and echoed in my mind. “You would awaken without qualms, yet you would be undyingly loyal to me. You would be completely aware unless I were to bring you back.”

I didn’t know what to say. “I don’t want to lose my mind.”

“You wouldn’t. Your memories would stay intact; I can’t erase them no matter what. I can, however, alter your mind just a little. Enough to be content. Enough to be happy, but not enough to suppress regret, or sadness, or fear. Hypnosis, I believe, is not a tool of destruction or control, but a tool to empower, to invigorate, to help…” He paused dramatically. “…to heal.”

I had to double check. “You’re giving me a steady job with a decent salary every week, which would be paid into my bank account, as well as potentially giving me work skills and a letter of recommendation for a new job should I decide to quit after a few years. In return, I have to promise to undergo an induction that would make me your assistant and companion, as well as alter my mind to essentially make me enjoy it, but without erasing my memories and allowing me to otherwise act normal.”

“That’s about it.”

“How many bits are we talking about?”

“Oh, somewhere along the lines of six hundred bits per week. All going into a savings account. Because of my skill and the fact that I’m an earth pony, I actually get a stipend form the government along with the money I make from shows. Your additional costs mean nothing to me.”

“You realize that question was not about the bits, right?”

“I’m quite sure you’ve already made up your mind. But, I suppose I have to go through with the question anyways: are you sure?”

I paused for a moment, looking at Ace of Diamonds. I nodded.

“Very well. Caramel, take off your shirt, then sit on the bed.”

I did as he asked. I took off my shirt and let it fall on the floor before sitting on the bed.

Ace of Diamonds took off his own shirt, and I found myself getting a good look at his chest. He had a delicately-toned chest with defined shades of a six-pack. He had a little fat on him but was overall lithe and more muscular, and yet he moved with surprising fluidity and grace, taking off the shirt in one flourish. His chest and sides were decorated with more of the black tattoos that seemed to curl around his chest and end in spiraling waves.

Ace of Diamonds pulled his chair over to me and I found myself harboring a strange impulse to reach out and touch his chest, to feel the soft white coat and touch the muscles and stroke his chest. Thankfully I didn’t go through with it. “You remember the card?” he asked.

“The ace of hearts?” I asked, restraining myself.

Ace of Diamonds nodded. He snapped and the card appeared in his hand. “You don’t mind me using it again, do you?”

I shook my head.

Ace of Diamonds leaned in close so that I could just barely see the end of his snout. He placed the card between us with the lone heart in the center of the card facing me. As he started staring into my eyes, I heard his soft tenor begin to speak.

“Alright, we’ll do things just like before. Relax and watch the card sway back and forth.”

I did as he asked, watching as the card made it’s simple motion back and forth in front of the piercing blue eyes, but noticed this time I stared more often at his eyes than I did at the card even though my eyes followed it.

“Good,” the magician gently intoned. “Just keep following the gentle pattern. Watch as the card gently sways back and forth in front of your vision. It’s an easy, simple, calming pattern, and you find yourself beginning to breathe in with every swing to the left, and breathe out with every swing to the right.”

The card went left and I breathed in. The card went right and I breathed out. It seemed to come easier to me as I was going through it a second time.

“Excellent. Now, I’m going to flick the card and, without looking away or thinking about it too hard, I want you to realize that it turns into a ten of hearts, though it keeps the gentle sway from earlier.”

The card gave a quick snap, and I could see the ten of hearts, keeping the same fluid sway that it had earlier. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t look away; the ice blue eyes seeming to keep me frozen in place.

“In just a moment, I’m going to count down starting with ten. With every number I count down, the card will flick and change to that number. I want you to keep watching the gentle sway of the card and don’t be alarmed. Are you ready, Caramel?”

“I am ready,” I said, already noting the slow response.

“Ten… You’ve found an easy pace and rhythm.

“Nine… You’re feeling yourself become more and more relaxed.

“Eight… Your body is feeling heavy and relaxed as you sink deeper.

“Seven… You’re letting go of your stress and inhibitions.

“Six… Keep breathing steadily in and out, the even tempo and rhythm allowing your heart rate to slower and become calm and relaxed.

“Five… Your focus is starting to drift, perhaps into my eyes, but you’re still following the card.

“Four… your eyelids are getting heavy, but keep them open and watch the gentle sway.

“Three… Your breathing is becoming slower and more even, still following the rhythm of the card.

“Two… Almost back to the ace, and almost to full relaxation.

“One… Completely relaxed and calm.”

I sat on the bed practically slouching over, and yet I felt comfortable and relaxed. I blinked wearily but I found myself unable to move, my arms hanging heavily at my sides and my legs and hooves almost seeming glued to the ground. And yet it was comfortable, even more so than when the magician had done it on stage and I found myself almost swaying along with the ace of hearts.

“Now, just keep being relaxed and calm as my words flow into your subconscious. You are now my assistant. You shall listen and respond to my every word, be it command or request. But you are also my companion; you will keep me company when I am lonely, and give me affection when I am sad or feel empty.”

“But most of all, I want you to understand something: I am not your master. I am your boss and you will carry out my orders when on the job, but outside of that you are my equal. You will not treat me like you are a servant, but will act like a friend to me. And in turn, I shall give you an equal amount in return.”

“But I do need your love and attention. You will listen to me when I give you an order, and you will love me like you would another mare or stallion. You are not afraid of being affectionate with me and will willingly show me such whenever the situation or feeling arises. And if I say your name before any command, you will obey that command without question.”

“Caramel, nod your head if you understand.”

I nodded.

The ace of hearts stopped swinging and eventually pulled slowly out of my sights. I stayed looking into Ace of Diamond’s eyes as I remained in the relaxed feeling of his trance.

“Caramel, lay down on the bed.”

I scooted myself a bit backwards and lay down on my back on the bed. Ace of Diamonds, shirt off and exposing his delicately-toned chest, crawled onto the bed over me.

“Love me, Caramel, as you would another pony.”

I felt Ace of Diamonds slowly lower himself on top of me, our chests touching. His arms wrapped around me in a gentle embrace, and I returned the gesture. He laid his head down on my chest and I took a hand and gently ran it through his mane and down his back. I felt him shudder underneath my touch as I stroked his back.

After a few minutes, Ace of Diamonds rolled over to the side, and I found myself being pulled onto my side, but I accepted it without qualm as he laid his head on mine, releasing eye contact for the first time. The magician started to stroke down my back and I felt a pleasant shudder go down my back much the same way it had gone down his. I felt his legs wrap around mine, but I didn’t object to the space. As a matter of fact, the longer we remained wrapped around each other, the warmer and more relaxed I felt. It felt good to be there with the magician.

I heard a pleasant sigh come from Ace of Diamonds as his hands reached up and touched my shoulders. It wasn’t long before a pleasant kneading sensation came from his hands on my shoulders; I tensed up for only a moment before feeling the tension release and relaxed back into his embrace, hearing myself give a calm sigh as he continued. I returned the gesture by letting myself run a hand gently down his side and felt the hairs on his back stand on end as his own back tensed.

It wasn’t long before we pulled back a little. Not enough, but enough for me to be able to run a hand down Ace of Diamond’s chest. I felt the soft white coat, pure as snow except for the black tattoos, and underneath I felt the muscles, currently relaxed as his lungs slowly and rhythmically expanded and contracted. He felt strong with the muscles under there, but he was relaxed at that moment and somehow I knew he wouldn’t hurt me, that he had no desire to.

I felt his warm, whiskey-tainted mint breath on my ear and found myself jumping only a little as he nibbled one of my ears. But that was soon over as I felt him lean closer and begin to nuzzle my cheek, hands gently rubbing up and down my back. His hips came to rest on mine and I realized he was slightly bent so that his larger form matched my hips and head, and yet I could feel his warmth as though he was lying completely next to me and began to gently nuzzle his cheek in return.

As this whole thing carried out, I began to realize something: Ace of Diamonds was doing something that no pony had done to me before. Every time I did something like gently rubbing my hands down his back or run my fingers through his mane or across his chest, he reciprocated. For every stroke down his back, he massaged my shoulders. For every time I ran my fingers through his mane, he would nuzzle my cheek. For every time I stroked his chest, he would gently caress my back.

And it wasn’t just in the interest of reciprocating because he said he would. It was all gentle, tender, soft motions. I sank into an embrace that was not only warm but tender and loving. The magician not only seemed to be allowing me to fill his emptiness, but also helping to fill my own. As I lay there with him on the hotel bed, he never did anything that was listless or without some sort of affection. At one point he began to whisper gently into my ear, and even that was done in a soft, soothing tone that relaxed and calmed me, yet had a touch of tenderness.

“Feel yourself relax, let go of everything. Feel how you are protected, kept. You are cared for, loved, wanted. You are able to feel all of this in my embrace, in this moment of time where nothing matters but being hugged. Right now, you’re allowed to feel safe. Just relax and let yourself sink in this embrace. Feel my strong, warm arms around you and know that feeling will remain.”

It was at this point my own emotions reached a peak and I pulled my head back away from him. Ace of Diamonds looked at me as though he thought I was going to pull away permanently – which I found cute; his shimmering eyes, the slightest hint of a pout, the way his ears flattened – before I leaned in close and kissed him.

The touch was electric. I felt the warmth transfer over from him to me and our eyes closed as we connected. The magician continued to wrap his arms around me, keeping me from leaving, but I knew I couldn’t bring myself to even if I wanted to. It wasn’t long before the shock left him and he reciprocated, leaning into my own lips as I continued gently running my fingers through the coat of his chest.

Experimentally, I allowed my tongue to go to the front of my mouth and lick his lips. He had a sweet and salty taste that still held a hint of the whiskey. He ended up doing the same, and I imagined it was about the same. His ended up going a little further, and I felt it touch my teeth and start touching my own tongue. It didn’t last long, and he soon pulled back, though I found myself pulling my arms away from his chest and placing them around his shoulders, pulling him closer to me, not wanting to let him go.

Eventually, we pulled our lips apart and our eyes opened. The room now had a faint orange hue that marked the beginning of a warm summer evening. A faint breeze went through the room and gently rustled the tablecloth of the table where our empty whiskey glasses were sitting. There was the faint murmur of walking traffic outside the hotel window, a mixture of voices and sounds that had no meaning.

After a while of sitting there, I felt Ace of Diamonds stretch out and pull me close to him. I now laid with my head on his chest, listening to his slow, rhythmic breathing and the even-beating of his heart. I lay there in calm, relaxed silence while the magician gently stroked a hand through my mane. My eyelids were heavy and I felt as though I could fall asleep, but I didn’t because Ace of Diamonds hadn’t told me yet.

“Thank you, Caramel,” I heard the magician say in a more relaxed and happy tone than I’d ever heard from him. “Now, sleep.”

I closed my eyes and leaned into the magician’s chest, falling into a peaceful oblivion as I continued to feel his fingers tease my mane. And yet I didn’t mind. Ace of Diamonds had more than made up for his ribbing me on-stage, and had done it in not the most unusual way yet it was still satisfying.

My cutie mark was supposed to mean “luck”. For a long time, I didn’t understand how that was since I kept getting myself into trouble.

But laying there with Ace of Diamonds… I considered myself pretty lucky.

Author's Note:

This was shameless. It's probably not my best.

However, plot-driven sequel pending.

Comments ( 10 )

I loved what you did with the hypnotist. You gave him an aura of depth and warmth, which is something I don't normally see in hypnofics. Well done.

Personally, when I've done what hypnosis things I have, relaxation is priority and dominance/commanding is far enough down the list that I will break out, so someone who is at least friendly makes it easier to fall. As for the depth and warmth, I'm surprised I pulled that off considering some of his behavior and language.

I like M/M without sex because I don't like reading porn, but I am gay and I'd like to see some representation in the stuff I read. Unfortunately almost everything that is M/M is either poorly written Soarin/Braeburn shipping, unfinished/cancelled, or clop.

Some Soarburn is decent. Not all of it, but I've found one or two good ones.

Ace is an evil, manipulative, monster.

He's that kind of guy who's charming, kind, and appears to have someone's best intentions at heart, but later reveals his trues colors later.

This is clearly shown with:

"But I do need your love and attention. You will listen to me when I give you an order, and you will love me like you would another mare or stallion. You are not afraid of being affectionate with me and will willingly show me such whenever the situation or feeling arises. And if I say your name before any command, you will obey that command without question."

If he truly wanted to help Caramel he wouldn't have said this, Ace is forcing Caramel to be his love slave through hypnosis and is only got him to agree because of psychological manipulation like a pimp does with prostitutes.

If Ace really cared about Caramel then he would have a least given him a few days to think about this life changing decision, and he certainly wouldn't have said that quote above. Even if Ace is attracted to, Caramel he wouldn't have if he's the guy you want us to think of hime as, he would have let their relationship progress naturally as the traveled together.

I have to say I'm impressed by these subtle clues you left us to find, Ace is a despicable pony, but he is a great villain, I can't wait to see what happens in the sequel.

I've never seen a plot like this before, and i'm looking forward to the sequel. I also like the use of Caramel as a main character.

Gay anthro isn't my thing, but still very well done.

It's not mine, either. I just had a thing, an idea in my head, and it wouldn't leave. :pinkiehappy:


I know that feeling. My latest story, the one about the giant monster pony vore, I just felt unnaturally compelled to write it after I dreamed about it. I don't even like big pony or vore, but still.

This was better than I expected. Well written. :pinkiesmile:

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