For the millionth time that day, Trevor read the gift card.
‘One free massage, courtesy of Mamono Massage, the most unique massage parlor out there! Come enjoy the relaxing touch of a tail, tentacle or paw you can’t find anywhere else!’
Grimacing, he moved down to the fine print:
Today, in other words. He wished he knew what was going through Mike’s head when he bought this thing for Trevor. Mike knew he didn’t like mamono. Everyone he worked—well, used to work with knew that. Did he get this during some cheap Valentine’s Day special? No, Mike made plenty more than Trevor, so Trevor wouldn’t expect him to skimp on a gift.
Trevor let out a shaky breath and let the gift card fall to his lap. Mike wasn’t always 100% there. Brilliant, yeah, but Trevor couldn’t always tell if he was brilliant on a level much higher than his own mind, or lower. Sometimes Trevor felt his friend had a little goblin in his head, switching his brain on and off whenever he got bored.
Trevor’s original plan was to just trash the thing and pretend like it never happened. Mike, however, had thrown a wrench into that plan when he started asking Trevor about the gift card. Every day, some kind of question or reminder or comment or something. He almost seemed excited to hear about it. As much as Trevor might have wanted to, he couldn’t just throw the gift away. He couldn’t bring himself to do that to Mike.
Grumbling, Trevor lifted up the gift card and read it again. Still the same description, still the same expiration date. He could hear Mike in his head, saying, “It’ll be great, man! You’ll get the kinda massage that could change your life!”
The only kind of change Trevor wanted in his life was a job. And whatever he got, he certainly wanted it far away from any mamono.
“It’ll help you get over your fear!”
A completely healthy fear, one that kept him safe and single. It wasn’t like he couldn’t function around mamono, he just didn’t enjoy their company. Or much anything about them.
But what could he do? He owed it to Mike for putting him up after the fallout at work. And it wasn’t like he didn’t have some tension in need of relief. Trevor whacked his head on the dashboard. This wasn’t going to relieve any tension.
Enough dilly-dallying. He was here, it was the last day to do it, and he had nowhere else to be. Just had to get it over with. All the mamono that worked there were surely professionals, though he wasn’t positive the definition of ‘professional’ was the same for humans and mamono.
His eyes narrowed as he scanned the parking lot. There weren’t many cars around, and no one had come or gone the whole time Trevor had been outside debating with himself. Not entirely unexpected, he supposed. The place wasn’t top notch, out back behind some strip mall with a parking lot that needed some attention, though the storefront looked nice enough. A working neon ‘Open’ sign stared back at him from the tall windows. He tried to look inside, but the glare from the sun made it impossible to make anything out. At least that daylight would make it less likely they’d try something? Maybe?
“Just gotta do it,” he whispered to himself, and got out of the car.
By the time he got to the front door, his palms were sweating and he could’ve sworn he was running a fever. A shaky hand pulled the door open and a bell chimed.
“Oh! Welcome! Come right on in, hun!”
His greeter was a peppy little thing, wearing a modest enough shirt with the company logo over her heart. Two cattle horns grew from her head, her ears were far too big to be a human’s, and her tits were… generous, especially for her size. She certainly knew how to wear a smile, though.
‘Even the receptionist?’ thought Trevor. Actually, no, *especially* the receptionist. This place marketed hard on their masseuses being mamono, of course the first person a customer met, the receptionist, would be one too.
“H-hi.” Ugh, he was stuttering. Good going, Trevor, show them exactly how worried you are around them. I’m sure they love that. “I’m, um, here for a free massage?” He shoved the gift card out in front of him, hoping the receptionist knew what to do with it.
“How ‘bout that?” She had a soothing, mild sort of drawl to her voice. Still wearing that smile, she took the card from him and swiped it. “You know, ya the first guy to redeem one’a these. See a lot more gals in here.”
“Oh. That’s nice.”
“What’s your name?”
“You get this from your honey, Trevor?”
“No, I… I, ah, don’t have one.”
“Oooh, you best not say that ‘round the girls here, they’ll snatch a cute thing like you right up.”
Trevor pulled at his collar. Did the air get thicker somehow? It wasn’t going down to his lungs so easily. He should’ve kept his mouth shut, but what else was he going to say? ‘I got this from my male roommate as a ‘Sorry our asshole boss fired you’ gift?’
“I won’t,” he replied.
The receptionist gave him a look before turning to her computer. “Well, I got a few girls available right now, or you can pick from anyone who works here and then make an appointment to come back some other time.”
“No appointments.” Absolutely not. He’d never be coming here again. “Do you have anyone who is, umm, not so mamono?”
Wow. That sounded horribly racist. Or specist? Was that a word? “Sorry.”
Fortunately, the receptionist wasn’t fazed. She reach over, and laid her hand atop Trevor’s sweaty one. “Hun, I hear ya completely. Not everyone who comes here is ready to dive right in. I’m just happy to see you here.”
Trevor watched her tongue roll around her cheeks as she scanned the computer screen. “Hmm. Well… no, probably not. Not her. Ehhh, not her either. So either her or…” She took a moment before looking back to Trevor. “I think your best bet is Aneru. She’s been doing this a while, knows how to lay it on real gentle if that’s what you want. And as a succubus, she’s–”
“No!” Trevor shook a hand at the receptionist. “I mean, please, no thank you.” No succubi, never a succubi.
The receptionist gave an understanding nod. “Alright, hun, you don’t need to do anything you don’t wanna. But that only leaves one other girl I think would work, and she’s not all that human.” She raised a finger before Trevor could protest. “However, she’s wonderful with new customers, very easy to either chat with or completely ignore, your choice. Not only that, she–” The receptionist paused to look around and make sure no one else was around. “Between you and me, she gives the absolute best massages you can get here. The other girls get a little jealous ‘cause her equipment gives her somethin’ of an advantage.”
“Equipment?” Trevor swallowed. “I’m not so sure I want to know what you mean.”
Her gaze softened and she clasped her hands together, resting them on the desk. “I understand, really, I do. I’ve seen all sortsa people come in just as nervous as you. There aren’t really a lotta mamono ‘round the city, and the exotic allure of it all fades a bit when you’re actually here in-person. Now you’re tellin’ me you don’t want to make an appointment, and I’m telling you I’ve got two great gals who I guarantee will send you off feelin’ better than you could dream. I want you to have a good experience, but you gotta work with me.”
A succubus or a something with ‘equipment’. Trevor paled before the decision, his legs about ready to drag the rest of his shaking body out the door. On one hand, a soul-sucking demon who’d probably be taking a little something from Trevor but looked mostly human, on the other, a supposedly more sociable mamono who was much less, well, human.
Sweat smeared all over his hands as he rubbed them together. He considered asking exactly what kind of mamono this other option was, but at the same moment realized it didn’t really matter.
“I think I’ll go with the second one.”
“Excellent choice, dearie. Now just take a seat and I’ll go back and get her.”
Trevor gave a meek nod before shuffling to the nearest chair and collapsing into it. He couldn’t shake the feeling he’d signed his own death certificate. Or even worse, marriage certificate. Mamono were notoriously aggressive in that regard. They’d likely take a gesture as simple as redeeming a gift card here as a personal indication of interest and pounce him. As proactive as mamono were known to be, though, they were even more respectful of established relationships. Maybe out of fear of the other woman, or maybe it was just part of their culture, but all came to a screeching halt as soon as they knew you were taken. He just needed to keep his single status a secret, and he’d probably–
Oh no. He told the receptionist. He told her he was single! Trevor shot up from his seat. No no no no! He had to go back and get her and make sure she didn’t tell anyone! One step forward, though, and he was already frozen. Go into the back of a building crawling with mamono? That was just asking for it! His eyes shot to the door. Was that the answer? He’d pushed himself so hard to get this far, but circumstances had changed. Yes, running was his only option, else whoever came out of that back room would be pouncing his fatally-bachelor body.
He took one step toward the door.
Caught! Not even two steps and he’d been caught! It’d been a good life, he supposed, but not nearly long enough. Determined to show at least some semblance of composure, Trevor wiped the sweat from his face on his sleeve, forced the knot in his throat down, and turned toward the voice.
Then nearly fainted.
Standing right next to the receptionist was something more than a lamia. He recognized the long, winding snake tail ending where the human half’s waist began, and even above the waist she was mostly human, just… with extra arms. Six in all, two pair resting at her sides with the last propped on her hips. Hips, yeah, she definitely had those, more than any half-snake woman had any business boasting, and a smooth stomach he caught sinking in with her breath. His eyes soaked in tan skin as they rose up her chest and across fine bosoms held in place by a modest sports bra that teased at showing more. Slung around her waist was a burnt orange towel, seemingly loose enough to fall off at any moment, though she didn’t appear to be concerned with that. She had her hair propped up a bit and from there it splashed down her back and front, silky and so fluid Trevor felt an urge to reach out and touch it. It was red, but not colored at all like any redhead he knew. It was darker, much darker, like blood stained with ink. Her snake tail was much the same color.
When he thought he’d seen everything, he noticed her ears subtly pointed. Like a cherry atop a sundae of inhuman features.
“Hi, there. I’m Mairusa. You can call me Mai if you’d like.”
Her voice carried refinement but with an aftertaste of frankness that caught Trevor off-guard. Her words laid so heavily on the air Trevor could’ve sworn he tasted them. They tasted like wine.
Blinking, he yanked himself out of whatever trance she’d put him under. His eyes darted back and forth between her arms. If this was an introduction, was he supposed to shake one? Mamono did that too, right? And if so, which one? All of them? Or just the one side?
In a desperate attempt to keep his head from shouting at him until he went deaf, Trevor shoved his hand out between himself and the sort-of-lamia, squeaking, “Trevor.”
I stared far too long, thought Trevor. She’s got me pinned as a mate now. Would she stop me if I tried to run? He gnashed his teeth behind a rigid smile. He couldn’t do that to Mike. Or himself. He’d come too far.
She clasped his hand with one of hers, giving a brief but confident shake. “Pleased to meet you. Now if you would follow me?” She gestured with her many hands to the back, then slithered ahead.
Trevor looked to the receptionist, eyes pleading, but she wasn’t there to bail him out. With a warm smile and a wave, she sent Trevor off to his doom.
His forced smile fading, he ambled after the lamia. He had to give her a fair bit of distance as her lengthy tail ate up most of the hallway for quite a ways behind her. Trevor imagined her rearing high up on her tail like a cobra, extending those six arms to look like a hood, then striking with the blinding speed. Maybe she’d just hold him; he heard a lot of mamono were touchy-feely and nothing more. Maybe she’d wrap him up for hours of sex, or maybe she had powers like a succubus where she’d drain his life away, hold him at the cusp and use him as food as long as she decided to keep him.
Trevor shook his head. No, there was no way they’d let a mamono like that work at a real massage parlor. The place would go out of business if they abducted all their customers. He needed to be reasonable about this, keep his head level. He was going to go in, have a quick massage, and get out.
He realized he’d been playing with his hands again and stuffed them in his pockets. Perhaps he was a nervous wreck, but he didn’t need to be constantly reminding the lamia of it. Weakness could only lead to trouble.
Dragging his eyes up off the floor, he watched the lamia’s back as she swayed to and fro. Her arms swung at weird intervals and Trevor found himself oddly interested in the shifting of the muscles and bones on her back. He’d never seen six shoulders before, never really thought about how it would work either.
She turned into a room and Trevor tensed. It was time.
The room was nothing if not cozy. A cushy massage bed lay out in the middle of the room, a dull, cream-colored light filled the room and on the opposite side of the room, a translucent shade covered the entrance to what Trevor guessed was a small changing room. The sound of softly flowing water tickled his ears. After a moment of thought, he realized the obnoxious hum of air conditioning had disappeared as well.
The lamia moved her tail out of Trevor’s way and gestured to the back of the room. “Go ahead and change, I’ll wait out here. Would you like to use oils today? No extra charge.”
His manufactured smile failed to make it back onto his face. “No, I’m fine.” Stiff steps carried him into the changing room. He did his business as quick as he could, constantly glancing at the entrance, and only walked out when he was sure the towel was tight and secure around his waist.
“Please lie down. I’ll be getting your back first.”
Trevor watched her many hands move about as he approached the table. Two were at her sides, two were rubbing against each other, and the last two were pushing her abundant flow of hair behind her back. He couldn’t imagine having so many arms; he’d lose track of them constantly.
Running a hand across the massage bed, he paused. The soft, puffy material invited him in, but he couldn’t bring himself to just lie down. On his stomach, no less, where he wouldn’t be able to see that lamia move around at all. Each second he fell further into the well of his mistake, yet every time he stopped to look back, he imagined escape was only a hop away.
His eyes darkened. He needed to give up on the notion of turning back. The mamono had shown no real hostility, and they worked at a respectable–well, they worked at a business, at least. Besides, he was already in a room, alone, mostly naked with a mamono. If she wanted to do something, she could–without an ounce of consent from him.
Trevor glanced over to the lamia. She stood there silently, a small warm smile on her lips, many hands waiting patiently. The receptionist had said she was good with newcomers. Surely she could see how stressed Trevor was, how nervous and hesitant he approached the bed. Shouldn’t she be saying something? Trying to calm him?
If he kept this ridiculous inner debate up, he’d be standing here forever. Clutching at his thumping heart, Trevor took a deep breath, counting the beats, waiting for it to calm. This was happening.
He laid on the bed slowly, making sure his towel covered everything. It was easy enough for mamono to get ideas, he didn’t need to give her help. He rest his face in the special headrest and stared at the floor, wincing. Any moment now.
“Are you ready?” Her tongue still slathered every word with composure and sincerity.
“Yes. Yes, I laid on the bed. That means I’m ready.”
“I don’t want to do anything you’re uncomfortable with.”
“Well, neither did I, but I’m here, aren’t I?” He cringed the moment the words were out of his mouth. “No, sorry, I didn’t mean that.”
“It’s alright. You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to.”
“Just… just start, okay? I’m already lying down.”
“If that’s what you’d like.”
Trevor closed his eyes. He heard her scales shift as she slithered closer, closer. His body was on fire. The well of anticipation swelled to overflowing. His muscles tensed and burned, fearing the touch that was soon to bear down on them.
It came. And surprisingly, Trevor didn’t die.
He cautiously opened his eyes. The floor still looked quite the same. He hadn’t exploded or been crushed in a whirl of snake coils. He was also pretty sure his soul was still in his body. The only change was the touch of two hands on his shoulders, rolling gently around his muscles. Soft, warm strokes played across his skin as nimble fingers searched for knots. All things considered, it wasn’t horrible. Maybe not heavenly, but better than all the other things he imagined the lamia doing.
He gave himself a pat on the back. The worst was probably over. All he really needed to do was lie here for another twenty minutes or so, the lamia would do her job, and then he’d leave. Heck, he didn’t even have to look at her any more. He could simply imagine it was a normal human giving the massage.
Frowning, his train of thought came to a halt. He remembered six hands, yet only two were on his back. Strange. Not that he was disappointed or anything, certainly not. But he hadn’t been expecting such a normal massage.
Trevor shrugged mentally and dropped the matter. He’d asked for a massage as done by a more human mamono, maybe the receptionist had told this lamia–what was her name again? Mairusa?–as much. Considerate of her. Closing his eyes again, Trevor did what he could to loosen his muscles and enjoy the massage however her could.
Yet, as the minutes passed, Mairusa’s hands working his shoulders, peace evaded Trevor. In fact, he grew only more tense. Was it typical to spend so long on the shoulders or was it just him? How long was the massage going to take if it progressed like this? Did she intend on never using more than those two hands? Trevor figured she’d speak up somehow, maybe with a, “You’re so tense,” or “How does it feel?” but she remained entirely silent. Take away the trickling of the fountain and the rubbing on her hands on Trevor’s bare back, and the room would’ve been devoid of sound. This may have been a relaxing atmosphere to her, but did she intend to take his opinion into account? She didn’t know what he thought of her massage or what he was looking for. Circumstances dragged him in here, the least she could do was attempt to be friendly. His friend had paid for him to have a mamono massage, it’d be a waste if he didn’t get to see what that would be like, if only a little.
Either the receptionist had been lying or ignorant; this lamia wasn’t any good with new customers. Or at least customers that required more than an ounce of work. Well, if the receptionist had said he could ignore this lamia as much as he wanted, that’s just what he’d do.
“Why aren’t you saying anything?” Trevor had always been terrible at ignoring things.
“Did you want to talk?” He could’ve sworn he caught some teasing there.
“I’m not saying that, I just think a host like you should try to be more sociable.”
“What would you like to talk about?”
“Again, I didn’t say I wanted to talk… but how are you supposed to know how well the massage is going if you’re not going to ask for feedback?”
“I’m confident in my abilities.”
“Really?” Trevor rolled his eyes. “Well, I’m not feeling relaxed at all.”
“I can tell. Your muscles up here are tighter than a drum.”
“Aren’t you supposed to be doing something about that?”
“Certainly. But you need to let the tension out as well. My hands can only do so much on their own.”
“I’ll get right on that.” Trevor simmered. Mairusa wasn’t changing anything! Not that her hands felt bad by any means, but he couldn’t feel any tension draining like in a proper massage. “Okay, I might be crazy for suggesting this, but why aren’t you using your other hands? Surely those work just as well?”
“Would you like me to use them?”
Trevor’s fists clenched as a growl built in his throat. “Just do what you have to in order to make this an actual massage instead of just… groping at my shoulders! You don’t have to run every little thing by me.”
She could take that the wrong way, but Trevor wasn’t so hot on caring any more. The fact she was doing nothing annoyed him far more than the prospect of her doing too much.
She cleared her throat. Even that she did with composure. “I’ll use my other hands, then.”
Four more hands descended on Trevor, their precious touch sending shivers up his spine. Two began rubbing circles on the small of his back while the other two slipped between his shoulderblades, caressing the bone where it bulged. As if she’d stolen control of them, his arms went limp and a sharp breath wheezed past his lips. Six hands worked in sync, each stroke and grazing finger focused, stirring his muscles till they turned to goo. Trevor arched his back away from them, unable to stand the sudden rush of sensation, but Mairusa’s hands pursued their prey without hesitation. Soon, all Trevor could feel was a sea of loving touches swarming all over his back.
She hadn’t needed him to relax at all, and that bull about him relaxing was her trying to give him some illusion of participation. Fat lot of help that was. She should’ve done this from the start.
“Why didn’t you say you were much better with all six hands earlier? You wasted a bunch of time.”
“You’re enjoying my hands, then?” A pleased smile grew on her face. “To answer your question: you did not seem comfortable with talking.”
“The silence and ineffective rubbing was much less comfortable. And I still don’t want to talk.”
She poured her hands into her working, drawing every ounce of tension from Trevor’s back whether he wanted it or not. Once his back had turned to mush, her hands shifted. Two began teasing the muscles on his neck, two descended his arms, and the final two shifted to his sides.
Trevor gasped and twitched when the last ones found their place.
“Ticklish, are we?”
Trevor grumbled. He wouldn’t give into her teasing. It wasn’t long before those fingers pinched and tickled at his sides, making him yelp and squirm. For the first time since the massage began, he lifted his head to glare at Mairusa. It darkened further when it met her all-too-content grin.
“Off limits,” he said before laying his head back down.
“Whatever you say.”
His neck muscles began to twitch as her hands loosened them up and tingles peppered his arms where her touch graced them. Trevor took a deep breath and closed his eyes, ready to zone out the rest of the massage, but for some reason, his thoughts would not slow down. He tried thinking about nothing, counting sheep, anything, but he kept hearing the trickle of the fountain, the friction of her hands on his skin, and his heart thumping in his chest. His back may have relaxed, but his mind had not.
“I grew up not far from here. On the other side of the city,” said Mairusa.
“Yeah?” said Trevor. Might as well humor her.
“This is one of the few cities with a large enough mamono population to have schools designated for us. The one I went to wasn’t fully mamono, just half, but that allowed us to interact with humans much more, even make friends with them.” The hands on Trevor’s neck moved down a bit and dug in harder, making him gasp. “Most of my friends were mamono, much like everyone else, but I knew a few humans, among them a girl name Nancy. She liked stitching, something she probably picked up from her grandmother, and as it turns out, six arms make you awfully good at stitching.” She paused in reminiscence. “Well, they would if you’re not butterfingers with all of them. Maybe that’s where I picked up my dexterity.”
As if to show off, her fingers on his arms and sides began groping at individual muscles, picking them out and rubbing each down with incredible precision and patience. Trevor’s skin burned up where she touched.
“We made all sorts of things, most either entirely useless or revolting to look at. But it was something I had in common with a human, something girly, as it were. My mamono friends preferred sports like swimming or basketball, especially the mamono-specific ones like harpy racing. Since then, however, the hobbies of my younger years have faded away.”
Trevor kept silent. It was nice to listen to her; her voice was as soothing as any massage, and the blunt sort of confidence she wielded with it laid cozily on his ears and his mind. It could be a part of some plan, though, some way to catch him off-guard, guile him into trusting her and then…
“How did you end up here?” he asked.
“This business is mamono-only, which makes things much, much simpler. That, and I didn’t have the money to move away, as much as I might have wanted to.”
“You want to move away?”
The hands on his sides suddenly dug into his skin and he winced, gritting his teeth as the mix of pain and pleasure hit him. “You seem ready for me to move on.” Her hands left his arms, neck and sides, leaving warm wells of throbbing contentment where they had been. The six hands popped up next on his legs, three on each and firm, curious grips exploring his calves and thighs. “How high would you like me to go?”
“No higher than the towel.”
She paused a moment, then nodded. “Very well.”
Sinking into a rhythm, her touch sent both chilling and fiery waves through Trevor’s body. Only after she had repeated her cycle of caresses several times could Trevor relax again, though his teeth wouldn’t stop chattering.
Trevor hated the unabashed way his body betrayed him. With a few simple strokes and squeezes, she was playing him like a fiddle. Perhaps the succubus would’ve been a better choice? He dismissed the thought the moment it entered his head. Humiliation was better than whatever that succubus would’ve done. He just needed to get his mind off of her massage and those hands.
Maybe talking was his answer, even as little as it interested him. “So you’re working here only because it’s easy to? Did you even train to be a masseuse?”
“Mmm, no and yes. I trained before finding the job at a local school. I had hoped to find a job somewhere else but things didn’t work out.”
“Why a masseuse?”
“I enjoy helping people, watching their stress drain away under my hands and tail. I almost became a nurse instead, but circumstances didn’t allow it.” She leaned in toward Trevor. “I’m glad I ended up here, though.”
Trevor whimpered. Her hands dug in harder, kneading the muscles with their terrible precision, and he felt his legs melt just like his back had. Mamono or not, Mairusa was good.
“How about you? What do you do?” she asked.
Trevor closed his eyes in thought, considering the question before answering. “Nothing.”
“Nothing?” She sounded a touch incredulous.
“Yep,” Trevor grumbled. “Nothing.”
“How did you end up in such a lucrative field?”
Trevor almost smiled at that. “Doesn’t matter.”
Her hands paused a moment. “It would help me relieve your stress if you talk with me a bit. Give me a chance.”
“Why do you care?”
“Because I want to care. Because it’s natural for me. I said I like helping people, didn’t I?”
Trevor lifted his head to look back at her. She wasn’t grinning, wasn’t teasing him with a smile like before. Complete sincerity painted her face.
“I was an accountant. A numbers guy.”
“Why did you choose to do that?”
“I dunno. Guess I fell into it? I went to college with a friend of mine, and he was all excited about being an accountant and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life so I just followed him, like a lot of people. He was pretty smart, charismatic. Lots of people got swept up by his personality.”
“Did you used work with him?”
Trevor sighed heavy enough for her to hear. “Yeah, used to. Got left behind I guess you could say. He was way too smart and ambitious for me to keep up with. He had some kind of gift. It’s not like he discarded me, it’s just… ahh, this is stupid. Go back to the massage.”
“If it’s something that troubles you–”
“No, I said too much already, it doesn’t matter, just do the massage.”
Trevor buried his blush in the massage bed. Her massage had made him loopy and he’d ended up rattling on about things no one cared about. It’s not that he blamed her for asking; it was her job to be nice. The sooner this whole thing ended, the better.
“You know, whatever success your friend did or didn’t have has no reflection on you.”
“Yeah, and whatever some random lamia thinks of me doesn’t, either.”
Trevor glanced back at her. “What?”
“I’m a marilith. It’s a certain type of lamia. While lamia descended from snakes alone, marilith are an offset further changed by their demonic roots. We’re something like a cross between a succubus and a lamia, but with six arms instead of wings and a tail.”
“Fan-fucking-tastic.” Heat rushed to Trevor’s face. Sweat formed in his pits and on his face. A succubus-lamia. Did fate really hate him so much?
“Do you harbor some ill will toward succubi?”
“Oh no, it’s just that they have a harder time keeping to themselves. Much harder. And they kinda kill men.”
She had no comment on that and returned to the massage, but the silence that lingered between them had a certain weight of thought. Trevor closed his eyes and gave napping another shot, but he couldn’t erase the scowl from his face.
“Sorry,” he said. “I shouldn’t be so rude.”
He should just accept it, he decided. Accept that all mamono are going to have some sort of corruption, some inherent part that whispers at them to devour humans. No matter how nice they act on the outside, their monstrosity isn’t limited to their appearance. Mike wanted him to give this place a try? Well, he did. And it turned out exactly like he thought it would.
“You have nothing to fear from me.”
For some reason, he believed her. Barely.
That thick stench of silence came back just long enough for Trevor to recognize it.
“Please flip over onto your back.”
Trevor hesitated. “Can we just call it a day?”
“I haven’t finished yet. It would be unprofessional for me to let a client leave without receiving the full service they paid for.”
“Well, I didn’t pay for this.”
“I don’t care.”
Trevor pushed himself up, twisting his upper body to face Mairusa. That may have been the first thing he heard her say with actual spirit to it.
“Look, lady–Mairusa–you’re misplacing your concern. Maybe the next guy or gal who you help out deserves your time and effort, but not this one. It’s wasted on me.”
She placed several of her arms on her hips. “It is not up to you who I do or do not give concern to.”
Trevor’s eyes squinted in an incredulous stare. “Why? Why are you so persistent about this? I’m just another customer. Heck, I’m not even that, I didn’t even pay!”
“I am persistent because I feel like it.”
“Then you’re crazy.”
“That very well may be true. Please, on your back.”
Trevor glanced at the door. If he went for it, would she try to stop him? Actually, he’d need his clothes first. Would she keep him from changing? Was she willing to go that far?
“Fine, then.” He flopped onto his back and fixed his eyes on the ceiling. “Go crazy.”
She approached and reached out.
“That’s sarcasm, by the way. Don’t really go crazy.”
A small smile cracked on her wounded face. “I’ll try not to.”
Six hands descended upon him again, groping at his stomach, his chest, his arms. Trevor wasn’t all that familiar with what sort of muscles one would massage on the front of your body, but Mairusa seemed to know her way around.
Trevor kept his eyes glued to the ceiling, keeping his face impassive to the swarm of gently caresses assailing his body. He’d given Mairusa her chance; no need to push it any further. In a way, he pitied her, stuck in a mediocre job, slaving herself away to the concerns of others. She probably tried so hard to connect with everyone that came in here and devoted far too much of herself to their problems. How could she, a single, temporary point in their lives, hope to fix anything? Trevor wouldn’t call her presumptuous, but rather foolishly optimistic and short-sighted. A customer may walk out tricking themselves into feeling better than when they came in, but soon they’d realized nothing in the outside world had changed, and all that feel-good chatting had been a waste of their time.
The longer he stared at the ceiling, the harder his eyes tried to shift to Mairusa. He soaked in the detail of the ceiling, its cream color, the specks of shadow given off by the thousand tiny lumps on it, and the lights, how they were warm and easy on his eyes. Again and again, however, he caught his gaze moving slowly downward to his masseuse.
It became too much. He gave up and stared at her, expecting a smirk or something back, but received nothing of the sort. She was immersed in her job. Complete focus sharpened her eyes enough to cut into Trevor. Attention guided dexterous hands against his body, filling him with a refreshing warmth. His face flushed at seeing her so determined, like if she could just see through his skin, she could massage everything away.
‘Why!?’ he wanted to scream at her. ‘Why are you trying so hard?’
Her hands achieved their purpose; Trevor’s concentration broke and he sighed in contentment. Feeling his sigh on her cheek, Mairusa turned and smiled when she saw him watching her.
“Why do you want to leave, anyways?” Trevor swore he wasn’t in control of his mouth half the time.
She hesitated. Not expecting him to talk to her, perhaps? “Because I grew up around here.”
“Usually that’s a good reason to stick around.”
“And…? C’mon, you gotta meet me halfway here.”
Her hands slowed. “I don’t like the memories I have of this place. I would rather leave them behind.”
At least she turned out alright, thought Trevor. At least she knew what she wanted to do with her life.
“What happened at your last job? Did you quit?” she asked.
He should have expected this, asking her about something so personal. “No, I was fired.”
“It was going to happen sooner or later, suppose it’s best it’s already come and gone so I can move on.”
Mairusa didn’t ask anything more, but Trevor could hear the question on her thoughts. Or perhaps he just wanted to vent.
“My boss got caught stealing money and blamed it on me. It’s surprisingly easy to cut a little off the top and keep it for yourself if you’re the one in charge of keeping track of it all. He screwed up though, got too greedy and someone noticed. So when it came time for someone to take the blame, he pointed his finger at me.”
“Did he have something against you?”
Trevor chuckled. “He had something against the world. A complete asshole. I was just unlucky.”
“And nothing happened to him? At all?”
“Nope. I should be glad I got away with just losing my job. There wasn’t enough evidence to convict me of anything. I suppose since my story was that my boss was the one stealing, he probably had to lie low a while. Maybe he’s gone back to it, maybe not. I don’t care any more.”
“I’m sorry. That’s terrible. No one should have to go through that.”
From the tone of her voice, Trevor could’ve thought she actually meant it. “Yeah, well, people do. I’m sure even you’ve gone through something like that.”
She shifted to his legs. Massage was about over, then. As much as he tried to fight it, Trevor couldn’t deny his curiosity. Not just about Mairusa, but himself. What made him talk to her? Answer her questions? He didn’t owe her anything. A short while ago he wanted nothing more than to get out of here.
“Is that something why you want to leave, maybe?” he asked.
“Yes.” Her voice sounded fragile enough to shatter.
“What is it?”
“My youth had complications.”
“Like what? Discrimination?”
“That was one of them, yes. But I have a feeling I’d see that anywhere.”
“Then what?” Getting an answer out of her was like pulling teeth.
“I’ve got time.”
She looked him in the eyes. “You were not so curious a few minutes ago.”
“Do you see the irony here?”
She gave a weak smile. “I suppose so.”
“Then let’s hear it.”
Leaning back into the massage, she began her story. “My mother died when I was very young. My father didn’t take it well. I was too young to remember what he was like before, but I was told he was a very open a loving person. The kind of man any mamono would hope to have father their children. I guess you could say he loved my mother too much.
“All I remember from him is apathy. Part of me wants to say he hated me, but I think the truth of it is he pitied me. Pitied that I couldn’t know my mother, pitied that I didn’t have the father he knew he could be. I learned to be self-sufficient very early on. He poured himself into his job, leaving little time for me. I think he wanted to spend as little time with me as possible. I heard I looked very much like my mother. Meals were fast food or whatever he could throw together. Once I learned how to cook our diets improved a little.
“My father actually made decent money, but he was always behind on bills, which led to immense debt. I was able to sort things out, make a budget, and get us to a place where we could live a little nicer, but he never bothered. Everything about him was so stagnant. Never got a promotion, never moved, only purchased new things when he was absolutely forced to, and even then, it required a lot of help from me.
“Outside of middle school, I didn’t make friends. Didn’t have time for them with all the responsibility I had assumed from my father. That human I told you about earlier, Nancy, she stuck around longer than everyone else. We still talked well into high school, but even she faded away. Or, I should say, I faded away from her.” Mairusa glanced at Trevor. “All I remember about this city is the responsibility I had and the childhood I didn’t. Everything about it reminds me of yesterday. The parks I never walked through with my parents. The playgrounds I never knew. The city blocks I never roamed. The bars I never went to at midnight because my friends dragged me out to them. The stories I’ll never have. That’s why I want to leave.”
Trevor swallowed, trying to figure out how to respond to that. He couldn’t really relate; they lived in different worlds. “I’m sorry,” was all he could come up with.
“It’s alright. I’ve come to terms with it. It’s just hard to move on when every day reminds you of it.”
“What’s your dad doing now?”
“Still working the same job. I think he’s doing a little better though, now that I’m gone.”
“There’s nothing for you to apologize for.”
“No, it’s just… I came in here with all these assumptions, I guess I never figured someone could have it worse off than me. I shouldn’t have asked.”
“If I didn’t want to tell you about it, I wouldn’t have. And how good or bad my life is doesn’t take away from the trials in yours.”
Trevor shook his head. “There you go again. I’m starting to think it isn’t an act.”
“Trying so hard to care. Look, I’m sure you’re a nice marilith, but you don’t know me. I’m so boring it’s painful. Trust me, I’m not worth bothering with.”
“You’re right, I don’t know you.” She placed a pair of hands on her hips then cocked her head as she stared right into Trevor’s eyes. “But I can tell you’re worth more than you’re giving yourself credit for. You lost your job, yes, but you stayed strong. You didn’t push that anger or frustration on to anyone else and you didn’t try to take revenge. Maybe you fell behind your friend from college, but that neither means you’re a poor accountant nor your friend never cared about you. I’m betting once you find something to be passionate about, you’ll discover you can do some truly incredible things.”
“Maybe.” Trevor looked away, his face burning. “But thanks.”
She glowed with her smile. “You’re welcome.” Her hands released his legs and glided across his thighs, his shins, everywhere he was exposed. Soft touches sent chills up his spine. When her hands passed by his waist, he felt something else, too. His face burned all the brighter. “The massage is all done. Are you feeling better?”
It took a moment for her words to register with Trevor. He lifted his head and looked down at his body, then shook out his arms and legs. He looked the same, but…
“Actually, yeah.” His arms and legs were lighter and his muscles felt like they could breathe. Not a trace of soreness anywhere. While his head was still a little hazy from lying down in such a calm environment, his body was ready to run a marathon. He’d be damned if this wasn’t the last thing he was expecting, though he hadn’t expected a six-armed mamono would be giving him the massage, either. “I’m feeling great.”
“Wonderful.” Her voice continued to massage his ears, even if her hands had finished their job. “If you’d like, you may go change back into your clothes and leave.”
The way she said that, though… “‘If I’d like’?”
Her smile grew and Trevor could’ve sworn he saw a blush. “There are certain additional services available.”
He swallowed. Loudly. There was no need to state what those additional services were. Fidgeting on the massage bed, Trevor suddenly felt much more vulnerable in front of Mairusa. His hair tingled and while his eyes were everywhere but on her, they very much wanted to be.
If she had offered twenty minutes ago, he would’ve answered with a gag at best. But now–it was like someone else was in his body. He couldn’t deny some small nugget of curiosity had nudged him toward coming here, and Mairusa was certainly a figure of wonder. Thinking back to the massage, he closed his eyes and imagined those hands on his skin again, but this time focused on something different. And come to think of it, she hadn’t even tried using that tail of hers.
A soft chuckle caressed his ears. When he opened his eyes to see what it was for, he found his arousal had announced itself quite clearly. He rolled onto his side away from Mairusa, only to receive a more hearty laugh.
“No need to be embarrassed. I find it rather flattering.”
“Would you believe me if I said this wasn’t how I planned this thing going?”
“Yes.” She laid a hand on his shoulder. “You know, my hands–”
“Ah!” Trevor threw up a hand, cutting her off. “I’ve got no lack of faith in those hands. It’s just, y’know, a little sudden.”
“Tell you what: if you want to leave right now, that’s just fine. I don’t think you’re scared or uptight for passing on this, especially when it’s thrust upon you. You’re walking out of here feeling much better than when you came in, and that’s exactly what I wanted. However,” Mairusa leaned in, more of her hands grazing over Trevor’s back. Her voice came out a whisper. “I can turn a good experience into one you’ll never, ever forget.”
Trevor literally could not get any harder.
He felt the sweat form on his face and drip down. Muscles that were relaxed a moment ago froze up. Breaths came out short and haggard. Mairusa’s hands, once a touch of divine serenity, now hunted across his body with debase intention. It was like Mairusa could see all the little tweaks and rubs needed to drive his arousal through the roof.
A sigh of contentment passed through those luscious lips. “Wonderful. Could you get on your stomach?”
Trevor’s eyes narrowed. “My stomach?”
He shrugged inwardly, but did as she asked. A moment later the upper half of the bed eased away from the lower half, leaving a nice gap right where Trevor’s raging arousal throbbed.
“A neat little feature, don’t you think?”
“Y-yeah.” Trevor bit his tongue, trying to keep himself from stuttering, but Mairusa had already picked up on it.
“You are lying down in front of a mamono with six arms and a lamia tail. It’s a natural reaction. But don’t worry, soon it will all melt away. I’m going to wrap you up next, alright?”
Trevor didn’t even have time to reply before his legs were coiled up by Mairusa’s tail’s loving embrace. Instinctually, he tried to squirm out, but she held fast. A moment later, he felt two soft breasts against his back and two hands on the backs of his shoulders, pushing him into the massage bed. In seconds, without the tiniest effort, she had him helpless.
His body struggled before he knew what he was doing. He reached behind his back, trying to get a grip on Mairusa and pry her off and his legs tried to get some breathing room between her coils, but he didn’t have the angle or leverage to do a thing. His lungs started to strain for breath.
“Shhh, calm down.” Mairusa loosed a little on his legs and slowly ran her hands down his arms. “It’s fine. I’m not going to do anything you don’t want me to. You trust me, right?”
Trevor closed his eyes and took several breaths before replying. “Yes, I do.”
“Good. Let’s just calm down. I’ll give you a moment, okay?”
Blushing, Trevor nodded. He was making a fool of himself. The only thing keeping him from calling the whole thing off was the fact she couldn’t see his face. After holding his composure the entire massage, here he was falling apart because she’d wrapped him up a bit. Why was he so worried? She could’ve done this at any point before–why freak out now? He told himself to take a deep breath.
“Okay, go ahead.”
Mairusa licked her lips. “I thought you’d never say that.”
Two hands dug into his shoulders, kneading the muscles, but different this time. Deeper. Smoother, somehow. His arms began to shiver from the raw pleasure now melting his muscles. Her soft breasts pushed harder into his back and then began to rub up and down on him. Pants like whispers met his ears as her mouth drew close to them.
Trevor moaned. His arousal grew harder still. Blinking several times, he tried to hold himself in the present, stay alert and focused, but her hand and breast massage was buffeting his mind like waves on a ragged raft.
“Now, I wonder where those other hands went?”
Trevor gasped. Four hands swallowed his member whole, one giving his balls a gentle squeeze, one rubbing his head with fingertips, and the last two pumping his shaft. Shyness that burnt his face red couldn’t stop the constant stream of moans and gasps flowed out. Delicate, precise motions worked his cock and balls in a seemingly neverending cycle.
“Shh, shh. No need to be so loud. Just relax and let my hands do all the work.”
Six heavenly hands dug into Trevor. While four stirred up his arousal to maddening heights, the other two continued to massage his neck and shoulders. Heat roared from her touch like her hands were made of fire. Her tail stirred as well, the muscles lining it squeezing and flexing in waves, smothering Trevor’s legs with it’s own massage. The rigor with which she attended his legs was maddening.
Mairusa cut him off with a sharp squeeze of his shaft. “Uh-uh. No talking, no thinking. Just enjoy. Lose yourself to the pleasure.”
What else was he to do? His legs had no room to move, his arms were jelly at her touch, and the last thing he wanted was to squirm away from those pillowy breasts on his back or the attentive hands on his cock. Closing his eyes, he tried to endure. The rumbling peak of orgasm taunted him, sludging ever closer, gnawing at more and more of his mind as the seconds passed. Mairusa didn’t want him to cum as soon as possible–no, she wanted to drag this out. Extract tension from his body while immersing him in all-encompassing pleasure. Soak it into him until it was all he knew.
A whimper pushed out past his lips. He was losing the battle, one he was doomed to lose from the start. The rumbling of release didn’t grow louder but clearer, like a whisper in his ear. Or was that Mairusa, teasing his ears with tantric words as her body pressed into him, an attempt to fog his mind with nothing but thoughts of her?
Trevor mindlessly thrusted into her delicate hands. He couldn’t wait any more. They responded with more profound efforts–never too vigorous or quick, but terrifyingly exact. A palm cupped his cockhead and smeared his pre around. With firm grips, the hands on his shaft pumped lovingly and his balls tumbled through the dexterous fingers of the last hand. He was totally and completely hers.
Release came with a dizzying calm that sent chilling waves through Trevor’s body. It wasn’t a shock or violent storm of pleasure, but like pouring into a cup that’d overflowed and never stopped. His cock didn’t burst, but leaked, soiling those precious hands of Mairusa’s. Trevor didn’t realize he was drooling until it hit the ground.
“Good, good. Give yourself to me.”
Curling his hands into fists, Trevor endured the mind-wracking pleasure pulsing through his body. He kept leaking on her hands, more and more, but she continued as if nothing had happened, as if no amount of cum was enough. The orgasm was continuing too long. Trevor’s body had begun to spasm, but Mairusa’s massage soon calmed it back down.
“Too… too much,” he gasped.
“It’s alright, I won’t stop. It’s alright.” Mairusa cooed.
Her hands shifted. Thier soft touch ran up his member one after another in a milking motion, always carressing toward the tip, coaxing out far more than Trevor had ever released. It was impossible to deny their gentle demand, so Trevor did all he could to satisfy it.
While already cumming, another orgasm slammed into him, pulling taunt every muscle in his body at once. The mild stream from his cock exploded into a gush, eliciting a pleased sigh from Mairusa. Shoving his hips into her attentive grip, Trevor let out the last bit of energy left in his bliss-ravaged body.
Mairusa lifted herself off of Trevor, removing the hands and tail that had served him so wonderfully. As drained as he was, part of him wanted to pull her back, beg her to continue, but he knew it had to end. He took a minute to catch his breath, then rolled over onto his back. Grinning, he turned to Mairusa, finding a equally satisfied smile on her face.
“I see you enjoyed it,” she said with her subtle sarcasm.
“Understatement of the century. Think I’m gonna need a minute.”
“Certainly.” She glanced below the massage bed. “Looks like I’ve got a bit of a mess to clean up.”
Trevor swung his legs off the bed toward the changing room. “Don’t act like you didn’t enjoy making it.” When he hopped off the bed, his legs almost gave way. “Woah. That’s new.”
“I may have used a little demonic energy to draw that orgasm out. But just a little.”
“I may have noticed a little.”
“I’ll leave you to it, then.” She gave a polite nod. “Be sure to talk to the receptionist on the way out. As a first time customer, the she will have a discount for you.”
“Wait,” he said. Mairusa stopped mid-turn. “When are you available next?”
“Tomorrow at seven p.m.”
Trevor’s brow furrowed. “I thought this placed closed at seven.”
“I wasn’t talking about a massage.”
He blinked a few times before a smile grew on his face. “Seven o’clock, then.”
The receptionist wasn’t lying. He never would’ve dreamed he’d leave feeling this good.