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Author's Note: "The Harem on the Hill" is part of an ongoing reader-shaped serial narrative, updated weekly-ish.  To catch up on the several months of additional content, and to get a vote in shaping the latest story choices, check out the info on my DeviantArt page: https://www.deviantart.com/maverickthewriter/journal/Serial-Preview-818531396

PS: I left the original choices in, with the winner bold and italicized, so you can decide for yourself where the voters went right or wrong :).   

Part I

You sit at your computer and click through the feeds from 32 closed-circuit video cameras. Eight cover the perimeter of your estate, including the indoor/outdoor pool, tennis court, carport and surrounding grounds; ten secure the first floor, including the entryway, kitchen, breakfast nook, study, and the living and dining rooms; while another eight show images of the upstairs bedrooms, game room, and loft. The ones you pay the closest attention to, however, are the six new ones covering your brand new basement. Of course, it’s only a basement in the sense that it’s underground and part of your home. “Compound” is probably more fitting.  

Satisfied that the cameras are well-placed and their pictures clear, you lean back in your chair and smile. People assume you’re retired and living the good life, counting dividend checks and whiling away the hours at your remote palatial estate. In truth, you’ve never been busier. You’ve done more work in the past year, hard physical labor, than the rest of your life combined--and have loved every minute of it. Mark Twain once said, “find a job you enjoy and you’ll never work a day in your life.” He should have said “jobs.” Over the past twelve months you’ve been an architect, a carpenter, a plumber, an engineer, a researcher, a private investigator, and a hacker. None of those professions ever appeared on your “what I want to be when I grow up” lists in grade school, but you cherished every hat you wore, knowing the ends would justify the multifaceted means.

Especially now with the ends so close. 

You take a fat and well-worn spiral notebook from your desk and flip through. Each page features a collage of photos, articles, and pencil-scribbled notes. To the uninitiated, it would appear to be a scrapbook cobbled together by a High School girl--chock full of candid photos and even more candid assessments of her classmates (“a bitch,” “rather stupid,” “smutty”), but you know better. What you hold in your hands is far more important than some teenager’s wanton musings.

It’s your bible.

You reach the last page on which three names are circled: Tabitha Reynolds, Bernadette Muncy and Tina Jordan.  You don’t need a refresher—you probably know more about these girls than their families--but you flip to each girl’s section in the journal out of habit. One of them is about to win the lottery.  

Tabitha Reynolds is an auburn-haired beauty standing nearly six-feet tall. She is undoubtedly the prettiest of the three, but you initially discounted her because of her stature. “Healthy,” “big-boned,” and “Amazonian” were a few of the words you scribbled to describe her; “intimidating” could have been another. She’s more women than most men would dare to handle. 

Of course, that may be why she spends most evenings at home playing video games and noshing chips. A gym rat by day, Tabitha turns couch potato at night, and the daily gym visits that keep her lazy lifestyle in check have begun to fail. Last you saw, her leotard had grown tantalizingly tight.  

Bernadette Muncy is a bespectacled blonde that works at the local library. Stern and conservatively dressed, Bernadette accessorizes perfectly with the dusty tomes standing rigid on the shelves. As per convention, she spends her nights at home, alone with her cats, reading classic literature. 

But there’s something about her that suggests she has more to offer than anonymity. After hours, Bernadette slips from her finicky façade, letting her hair down literally and figuratively. She darts around her living room with her feline friends, playing “air violin” to surprisingly loud classical music, and though she spends much of her time reading, her bedtime docket consists of Fanny Hill, Lady Chatterly’s Lover and Madame Bovary. On more than one occasion, you’ve witnessed her struggle to hold a weighty volume with one hand as her other disappears beneath the sheets. 

Tina Jordan is the wild-card. The petite and mousy bob-haired brunette is the only girl in your journal you don’t have a great read on and, ironically, is the only one you’ve actually met. She works as a waitress at a small coffee shop you frequent that’s almost always empty—just the way you like it. At first you thought she was aloof, but she’s just shy. She’ll talk if you invite it, but unlike the cheerily fake platitudes espoused by most tip-hungry hostesses, she’s content to keep quiet while she keeps your coffee hot. 

You’ve considered asking her out, but know now is not the time. You’re not sure if that time will ever come…which is why she’s on your short list. If nothing else, you’d love to rescue her from that hell-hole hovel she battens herself inside every night.  

You close the notebook. As disparate as the girls seem, they’re similar in all the ways that matter. They each live alone, but more importantly they’re loners—at least relative to their hyper-connected millennial brethren. None are active on Twitter or Instagram, and only Tabitha has a Facebook account (Which hasn’t been active in months. Perhaps she’s waiting until she loses those pesky new pounds?). 

No boyfriends. No nosy family. No burdensome jobs with heavy responsibilities. (In fact, none of the girls seem particularly ambitious or upwardly mobile.)  No visible tattoos or major vices. Each girl is a clean slate, primed and ready for someone to leave their mark.

That’s where you come in. 

You flip back and forth between them. The moment you have worked so hard for has finally come. Which girl do you choose?

A.) Tabitha Reynolds
B.) Bernadette Muncy
C.) Tina Jordan

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Part II 

"Need a ride?"

Tina Jordan peers out into the rain from beneath the awning of Cornucupia, the coffee shop she just locked the door of. "Hey, what are you doing here?"

"I thought you closed at midnight," you say from the half-open window of your Ford Explorer.  

"Only on weekends," she says. Between the downpour and the slapping wipers, you can barely hear her.  

"Jump in," you say. "I'll give you a lift."

"That's OK," Tina says after a moment's hesitation. "I was just going to see if it lets up."  

"Well, at least wait in here. It's warm and I'm playing Enya." The Irish folk singer played incessantly over Cornucupia's staticy ceiling speakers.  

"Oh great," she says, cracking a smile. "I think I'll stay wet."   

"Suit yourself," you say. "I'll be rocking to Time and Tide if you change your mind." With that, you roll your window up.

Conveniently, it starts pouring even harder. You watch as Tina huddles beneath the shallow canopy, arms folded across her short sleeve work blouse. The jean shorts that complete the ensemble offer even less protection. Wind-blown drops punish her bare legs and sandaled feet.  

After a minute, Tina rushes from the shelter holding the day's newspaper over her head like an old movie. She throws open the passenger door and lands with a splash on your SUV's heated seat.  You hand her a towel.

"Thanks," she says, rubbing the cloth across her face and neck.  

"Where to?" 

"Do you mind if I just sit here a few minutes? It never rains this hard for long."

"No problem."  You're not sure if her reticence is stranger-danger related or embarrassment about her shoddy abode, but you suspect it's the latter.  Tina sneezes into the towel. "Bless you," you say. "Hope you didn't catch a cold."

She sneezes again. And again. "Do you have cats?" Tina sniffles between fits.

"No." You fish a handkerchief from your console and hand it to her. 

"Sorry," she says with a frail smile. She holds the tissue beneath her nose as another sneeze erupts.  

You take another handkerchief from the console. "Do you need another?"  

Tina slumps in her seat, slowly leaning until her head rests against the passenger window.

"I guess not." You return the handkerchief to the Ziploc it came from, back slowly out of the lot, and drive off into the darkness.  


You pace your study like an expectant father.  Did you make a mistake?  Tina's abduction went smoothly--you're certain there were no cameras in the parking lot and hardly anyone was on the roads--but that's not the point.  You know Tina. You like Tina. You've been seen with Tina. It's a faint connection, sure, but a connection nonetheless. It's going to complicate things.  

Still, you doubt you'd be feeling the same adrenaline with either of the other finalists. It's intoxicating.

Suddenly, your computer emits a shrill beep. You check the monitor--she's beginning to stir!

You watch Tina writhe restlessly on the bed you placed her.  She looks delicate to the point of frailty. Like a baby bird floundering in a Queen-sized nest.  Eventually, she rolls to the edge, dangles her legs off the side, and pushes herself to a seated position. 

You press a button on your computer's console and speak--

"How are you feeling?"

Tina stands and folds her arms across her chest. She glances around the room, wondering where the voice is coming from.  

"You can talk. I can hear you."

"Fine," she says, looking skywards. 

"Good. Can I get you anything?"

Tina's arms stay clamped across her torso.  "Something warmer?" she finally says.

You considered changing her out of her damp uniform but thought better of it. "Of course. Check the bureau." 

Tina moves to an antique chest of Mahogany drawers along the wall. She opens the top one and removes a white Terry cloth robe.

"Is this your idea of foreplay?" Tina says.   You detect a slight smile, but it quickly vanishes and she drops the garment back in the drawer. "Or did we already...did you..."


Tina stands rigid. For a moment you fear your monitor may have frozen, but then she dons the robe and ties it tight across her tiny waist, leaving the belt's ends dangling nearly to her knees. She's lither than some of the fashion models you used to date, but while their famined forms were born of a maniacal desire to stay thin, Tina's seems a result of circumstances beyond her control.

"Are you hungry?"


"Help yourself."

Tina wanders into an adjacent kitchen.  You press another button on your computer and the monitor snaps to a view of her opening a refrigerator.   If she's surprised by the amount of food packed inside it, she doesn't let on.   After some consideration, she removes a foot-long sandwich.    

"Will you be joining me?" she says, looking straight at the camera.

Her invitation takes you aback.  "Not right now," you finally choke out.  

Tina shrugs and sits down at the kitchen table.  She eats daintily, but with purpose, pausing only occasionally to dab her mouth with a napkin.  It takes nearly thirty minutes for her to work her way through the whole sandwich, but you watch the entire time transfixed.     

Looking satisfied, Tina leans back in the chair, rests a hand on her belly, and turns towards the camera--

"Now what?"

Now what, indeed.  

A.) "Grab some ice cream from the freezer."
B.) "Pour yourself a drink."
"Now it's time to get some meat on those bones."

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42 minutes ago, xandercroft said:

Hmmm this may be too dark for me.  

Maybe? To each their own, but by my estimation, at least as far as it's gone to-date, this story is nowhere near as "dark" as some of Maverick's (unquestionably very dark) other works. Or my own, for that matter.

As someone who's been lucky enough to read all the new "The Harem on the Hill" stuff hot off the virtual press, I can say (with obvious but sincerely restrained bias) that Maverick's work on this story has been much more nuanced and intricate than I ever expected given the basic "fattening harem" concept that serves as its foundation. I was skeptical of the concept at the get-go, but now I think it's become a pretty darn interesting, character-driven story...with an added twist of unpredictable tension coming from the (substantial) audience-driven choices at the end of most installments. I don't think there's anything else out there quite like it in the world of weight gain fiction right now.

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Part III


"Now it’s time to get some meat on those bones."

Unfazed, Tina twirls the dangling end of her belt like a tassel.  “Well then come feed me, big boy!” 

You expected waterworks.  You expected begging and pleading.   What you didn't expect was capitulation (at least not so soon).  Of course, Tina may not understand the full gravity of her situation...and you're not sure you're ready to lower the boom.

Tina runs a slender finger down the modest swell of her belly.  “I’m still awfully hungry,” she says with a pout.

Although your manhood—which points towards the monitor like a lust-driven dowsing rod—is clearly in favor of stuffing the bob-haired beauty silly (in every manner possible), you hesitate.  Could this be a trap?  You’ve never been an impulsive man.  Are your feelings for Tina clouding your judgment?  You imagine sticking to the plan would have been easier with Tabitha or Bernadette.

Still, you chose Tina for a reason.  This may be why.  

You open the bottom drawer of your desk and remove a pair of handcuffs.  You doubt tiny Tina could overpower you even if she meant trouble, but you believe in safe sex.  Of course, if her intentions are pure introducing bondage to the mix might be a colossal mistake.     

You squint at the monitor.  Tina still sits reclined in her chair, hands folded across her belly, looking expectantly towards the camera.  

It's time to make a decision: 

A.) Join her.
B.) Join her...but bring the cuffs.
C.) Resist her siren's call.

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“I’ll be right there.”

You grab the handcuffs and serpentine your way down numerous hallways, corridors and stairwells.  You had considered installing a central elevator when you first built your home, but thought better of it.  You figured traversing the roughly 20,000 square foot property would be good exercise.  Now that you have another floor to contend with, however, you’re beginning to regret your decision.  

Your heart races as you reach the basement—partly from exertion, but mostly in anticipation.  You twirl the cuffs on your finger.  You have additional failsafes in place if Tina makes a break for it, but you really hope it doesn’t come to that.

As you grasp the handle to Tina’s chamber, you hear a faint 'click' signaling the door is now unlocked.  You swing it open and step through.   Outside of a lack of windows, Tina's quarters look just like a typical studio apartment: comfy sofa, large flat-screen TV, the latest stereo equipment, and lots of mirrors…both traditional and two-way.   

You walk through the living area into the harsh fluorescent light of the kitchen...but freeze in the doorway.  Tina is gone!

You glance back into the living room.  You were careful to shut the door behind you and there aren't many places she could hide.  (After a couple of months you expect there will be even fewer.)

You step tentatively into the kitchen.  That's when you spot a trail of garments leading away from the dining table.  Blouse.  Shorts.  Bra.  Underwear.  Each is staggered a few feet from the next leading into the bedroom.  (You'll have to remember to review the surveillance tape striptease later.)  

You follow the well-tailored trail into the bedroom--and find Tina lying in bed, her robe tied loosely across her hips and torso.

“I thought you’d never come.”

You let the handcuffs dangle in your hand.  Tina’s eyes widen, but offer no hint of anxiety.

“You planning to cuff me and stuff me?”

You nod. 

Tina runs her hands between the gaps in the lattice headboard.  Then she lowers her voice to approximate a growl.  “Feed me, Seymour!” 

It takes all the cuff’s teeth to clasp them around Tina’s tiny wrists.  She squirms, but doesn’t complain.

Marching back to the kitchen you head for the pantry.  Tina might have been alarmed had she opened that instead of the refrigerator.  It’s a monument to junk food, packed stem-to-stern with processed pastries, potato chips, donuts, and assorted candies.  While there’s fruit in the fridge, the healthiest items in the pantry are oatmeal cookies.

You grab a box of Twinkies from the shelf, hook your arm around a dining chair, and head back to the bedroom. 

Tina frowns as you plant the chair next to the bed. “Wouldn’t you rather be up here with me?”

You rattle the Twinkie box.  “After.”

Opening the box, you take out a Twinkie and delicately remove its cellophane wrapper as if unveiling a sculpture.  Tina opens her mouth expectantly, but instead of feeding her you set it on her chest, just out of reach of her lips.  Then you open another and place it behind the first.  And then another.  And another.  Until a line of Twinkies stretches from her chin to her crotch.   

“It looks like a choo-choo train,” Tina says.  The exaggerated tilt of her head forces a double-chin that belies her size—perhaps providing a glimpse into the future.

You nod, placing the final Twinkie into position.

“Am I the tunnel?”

You nod again.

Tina smiles and opens wide.

You make a “chugga-chugga” sound as you maneuver the first spongy treat up Tina’s chin, over her bottom lip, and into her gaping maw.  Surprisingly, you’re able to get the entire cake inside just as the 'tunnel' collapses gently around your fingers.  You let them linger on her lips for a moment, allowing Tina to suck them clean before retrieving the train’s next calorie-laden car.

This ritual repeats itself over and over—as one car completes its journey the next begins its ascent, reaching the summit just as the tunnel reopens, leaving no trace of the previous fat-filled freight.          

It soon becomes clear where it’s going, however.  The flatlands that marked the end of Tina's Twinkie train gradually becomes a hill, with the ‘caboose’ pointing upwards towards the crest of her abdomen and the adjacent car angling downward towards her torso.  You can’t help but wonder how much stuffing it would take for each to slide down their respective sides. 

“I’m done,” Tina says, licking a spot of cream from her lips.  She looks uncomfortable.  You’re not sure which is tighter--the pinch of her handcuffs or the tie of her robe across her waist.  Still, she manages a sly smile.  “Care to explore any other tunnels?”   

“Last two.”

Tina says nothing, but obligingly opens her mouth.  You make her wait, relishing the Twinkie’s journey down the fresh slope of her stomach, through the gentle valley between her pert protuberances, and finally up the rounded peak of her chin.         

After you weave the last Twinkie’s circuitous path to demise, Tina tilts her head back like a baby bird struggling to swallow regurgitated food from its mother…though you suspect it's regurgitation she's trying to avoid in this case.

“Oh, God,” Tina says, as she forces down the final bite.  “I’m going to get fat as fuck.”

What’s next?

A.) Time to mount your prize.
B.) Let Tina know just how fat you plan to make her.
C.) More food!

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“I’m going to get fat as fuck.”

"Yes.  Yes, you are."

You yank Tina's belt.  Agony flashes across Tina's face, but turns to relief as the knot gives way and the flaps of her robe fall open.  

Tina's abdomen domes dramatically between visible hipbones like a third-world child in need of a sponsor.  You press a finger into its firm crest, but instead of a Doughboy giggle, Tina closes her eyes and moans softly.  

"Don't worry.  This will soften up soon enough."

Your finger follows the dramatic slope of her engorged belly until it reaches her rock-hard sternum.  Rising incongruously from this flesh-free flatland, Tina's nubile B-cups point skyward, rivaling her belly in their defiance of gravity.

You diddle an erect nipple.  "So will these."

"Mmmm," Tina says.  "Fuck me."


Tina's eyes flit open.  That wasn't the response she was expecting.  

"You have work to do."

You stand and move to the headboard.  As you fish in your pocket, Tina relaxes, expecting you to release her.  Instead, you pull out a thin metal bracelet and clasp it around her right wrist just below the angry marks from the handcuffs. 

Tina struggles to view the device from her awkward position.  "What is that?" she says, a hint of panic in her voice.  The vulnerability of her predicament finally seems to be dawning on her.  

"That tells me everything I need to know about you," you say, returning to your chair.  You remove your phone from your back pocket and bring the screen to life.  "It tells me where you are.  It shows me what you're doing."    

Suddenly, your phone emits a shrill beep.  

"And it warns me when your heart rate and blood pressure spike."  You turn the screen towards Tina.  "Like they are now." 

Tina's wide eyes follow her pulmonary currents as they bounce across the screen like a ball.  

"It's like a Fitbit,” you say, returning the phone to your pocket.  “No, make that a Fatbit.  Either way, it’s going to help you to reach your ideal shape.”  You lean forward and whisper in Tina’s ear-- 


Tina swallows hard.  "Is this what you did to Veronica Tate?"

There's a long pause as you consider Tina's question.  Then you smile.  "I'm going to release you now."  You slip a key from your pocket and insert it in the lock of her cuffs.  "I won’t hurt you as long as you don’t try to hurt me.  Understand?”

Tina nods.  You turn the key and the tension in the bindings relaxes, fading the red from her hands and wrists.  She pulls them back through the headboard and rubs them vigorously.

“Tomorrow, we’ll discuss our future together,” you say, grabbing the chair and heading for the door.  “Goodnight.” 


You stand on your bedroom balcony wishing you still smoked.  The rain has stopped, but the air is thick and fragrant.  You take a deep breath.

Veronica Tate.  That’s a name you haven’t heard in years. 

You lean against the railing and stare out over your property.  The lights of the city silhouette the tree line and illuminate the low clouds, giving it an ethereal, Moorish glow.    

As you try to wrap your head around the night’s events, you’re interrupted by another alert from your phone.  You check the screen—Tina’s vitals are spiking again.

You step inside and head towards your office.  You anticipated this.  Tina’s figured out she’s a kept woman.  You imagine she’s trying to break down the door or smash through one of the two-way mirrors with a chair. 

However, as you click on the monitor you find Tina doing something you didn’t expect—


Tina lies in the same position you left her, but now has both hands between her legs.  As her body twitches rhythmically, empty Twinkie wrappers cascade off the side of the bed like a cellophane waterfall.  Watching transfixed, your hand unconsciously finds your own crotch, and you're soon rubbing up and down in matching cadence.    

You both finish at the same time.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: There was no poll for this chapter as it was written while I was traveling over Christmas.  If you want to get up-to-date with the story, and have a say in the action, check-out how on my DeviantArt page: https://www.deviantart.com/maverickthewriter/journal/Serial-Preview-818531396  

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Part VI


The following morning, you sip your coffee and monitor Tina from your office as she takes a self-guided tour of her apartment.  She’s still dressed in her robe, but has added a pint of ice cream from the freezer as an accessory.  She carries it with her from room to room, occasionally digging out bites with a spoon. 

“I don’t remember this from Architectural Digest.” 

Your home featured in Architectural Digest last year, just before you commenced your modifications.  At the time, they fussed about its external Tudor stylings juxtaposed against the Modernist-meets-Deco flourishes inside.  You’re not sure how they’d react to the basement’s functional dungeon motif.

“Do you like it?”

Tina shrugs and takes another bite.  “It’s OK.”

You had planned a game room for Tabitha and an elegant study for Bernadette, but Tina was a blank slate and you had decorated accordingly.  Although you outfitted the apartment with a tasteful selection of vintage furniture and art, you had to admit that it was rather faceless.

A heavy iron door along the wall attracts Tina's attention.  “Where does that go?” she says.

“Would you like to see?”

“Mmm-hmm.”  Tina nods as she holds the spoon in her mouth like a lollipop.  She looks like an inquisitive child.

You press a key on your keyboard and a ‘clicking’ sound comes over the monitor.  Tina tentatively pushes the door and it swings wide, flooding the room with sunlight.  She stands frozen in the doorway for a moment, shielding her eyes, and then steps outside--

You click another key and the perspective switches to an overhead view of a circular courtyard.  As Tina emerges from the edge of the screen, you zoom in on her face.  It’s in awe. 

Inspired by Monet’s garden in Giverny, the courtyard is an explosion of colors.  Roses, clematis, poppies, and sandy trails rimmed with nasturtiums.  Tina winds the path from her bedroom, crosses an arched green bridge over a Lilly-covered koi pond, to a gazebo at the courtyard’s center. 

The courtyard itself isn’t a true circle, however.  It’s actually an octagon enclosed by eight identical ivy-covered brick walls.  Each thirty feet high.  Each with a windowed embrasure near the top.  

And each inset with a handleless iron door. 

“Where do those lead?”  Tina says. 

“I’m afraid I can’t tell you that.” 

Tina sits on a swing beneath the gazebo’s canopy and continues to eat her ice cream.  “Let me guess--the gym?”

You sip your coffee and smile.  Although you're not in the same room, Tina seems to detect it and joins you with her own impish grin.

“Or is that where you hide the rest of your concubines?” 

You’re not sure if Tina’s insightfulness is alluring or alarming, but the growing stiffness in your pants suggests the former. 

How do you respond?

A.) Less talking, more eating.
B.) You're my first.
C.) All in good time, my dear.

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"Less talking, more eating."

"Fine, don't tell me,"  Tina says as she finishes a bite of ice cream.  "But this would be a lot more fun if..."  Tina gets a faraway look, then sets the container down on the swing.  "Y'know what?  I'm not hungry anymore."  Then she stands and walks briskly back to her chamber. 

"Please pick that up."

"I'm sure you have people for that," Tina says without breaking stride.

Tina was right.  You do have people for that.  But they don't come until Tuesday.

You press the 'talk' button again, but no words come out.  What should you do?  Apologize?  Threaten?  Tina's left you speechless staring at a half-empty ice cream carton.  

An alert shows Tina's chamber door is now securely closed.  And with a slam, no doubt.  You swivel in your chair and chuckle.  Your first fight.    

Sighing, you hoist yourself up and begin the long trek downstairs.  You're not exactly anal-retentive, but prefer things neat and orderly.  It took effort leaving Tina's room the previous night without gathering up all the Twinkie wrappers.  You certainly can't have ice cream melting all over your imported Koa wood bench swing.  

However, any bother you feel vanishes the minute you enter your paradisiacal garth.  It's a feast for the senses.  The sun warms your skin.  A respiting bird serenades you.  And as you reach the gazebo, Tina's lingering scent mingles with the flora to form a mellifluously aromatic cocktail.  

You pluck the pint from the swing, wipe away a ring of condensation that had formed beneath it, and sit down.  Outside of barking instructions to your gardener, you haven't visited the courtyard in months and plan to take advantage of the opportunity.  

You plunge the spoon into Tina's half-eaten ice cream and take a bite.  Your lips linger on the cold silver as Tina's had moments before.  You smile.  Both at the thought and the irony of having to clean up after your 'slave.'


Your pit stop in Eden is interrupted by shrill blasts from your phone.  You fish it from your pocket as the spoon dangles from your mouth. Tina's vitals are spiking yet again.  

Now what?

You swipe to an app that brings up a video camera embedded in Tina's bracelet.  Rather than the inside of her apartment, however, you see something you don't expect--

The back of your head.

The spoon clatters to the ground as Tina throws the tie of her robe over your head and yanks you back by the neck.  Then she quickly cinches it into a noose and, using all of her 120 pounds, pulls downwards.   The swing tips back like a dentist's chair, lifting your feet off the ground and positioning you face-to-face. 

"Surprise, Motherfucker!"

With your hands clutching the belt and your legs dangling off the inverted bench like a midway ride, you have little leverage and few options.  You're impressed.  

"Time to establish some ground rules, OK?"

You nod, unable to speak.  

"If we do this, we do it as a team, or we don't do it at all.  Understand?"

You nod again.

"If you can agree to that...."  Tina leans forward and presses her lips against yours, savoring their sticky sweetness.  "Then I'll help make all your sick little fantasies come true."  

Tina loosens her grip, giving you slack to breathe, but not much else.  

"Do we have an accord?"

"Yes," you gasp.


The belt whips from your neck, releasing the tension and ejecting you from the swing as it lurches back to its natural position.  Rubbing your neck, you turn towards Tina.  She stands defiant, robe open, twirling her belt like a lasso. 

"Like what you see, cowboy?"       

You can't help but smile.  Suddenly, Tina crumples to the ground.  Her body twitches a moment, then goes still.  

You blow across the top of your phone and holster it in your pocket like a six-shooter.  Sauntering over, you examine Tina's body.  Her robe is splayed and most of her charms revealed.  Pert breasts.  Neatly trimmed pubic patch.  And an arching belly packed-tight with last night's indulgences.    

"That I do, Ma'am," you say as you kneel beside her.  You find her eyes, but they don't find you.  They're still a million miles away from the 25,000 volts that just coursed through her. 

"But now we need to discuss MY ground rules."

What do you say?


A.) "The only rule is I make the rules."

B.) "Rule #1: Disobedience will be punished."

C.) "I'm gonna hafta slow ya down a mite, partner."

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“Rule #1: Disobedience will be punished.”

Tina stares, unblinking.  You tilt her face in your hand your hand, but it flops back as you release it.  Her vitals are stable—no alerts from your phone—but it’s evident the shock has her in shock…or some other (hopefully temporary) vegetative state.      

“We’ll discuss the other rules later.”

You position your right arm under her knees, your left arm beneath her shoulders, and lift her from the gazebo’s stone floor.  She’s light as a feather--even with the extra pounds of food in her belly.  You wonder how much longer you’ll be able to move her so easily.

As you carry her back to her chamber, you also wonder if this is another trap.  Your heart races with a euphoric mix of anticipation and adrenaline.  If you were wearing Tina’s bracelet you’re certain your phone would be blaring.

You feel a touch of disappointment as you lay Tina on her bed without incident…though you are relieved she’s begun to stir.  You’re not sure what you’d have done had she gone into cardiac arrest.  

A shudder goes through you.  In addition to logistical complications a medical emergency like that would create, you don't want to hurt Tina.  And if the events of the day are any indication, she doesn’t want to harm you.  She just wants to be part of the team.  It's food for thought.  

Right now, however, the only food you're interested in is that which can fatten up Tina.  

You leave Tina alone to recover.  You have work to do.  Contrary to popular belief, maintaining your corporate kingdom is a full-time job even in "retirement."  Not that you're afraid of hard work.  You've always been a do-it-yourselfer, for better or worse.  Your "bull by the horns" mindset helped build your empire, but your obsession with micromanaging minutia almost destroyed it.  Ultimately, stepping back was the only way to move forward. 

You pay bills, return phone calls, and respond to e-mails.  Out of curiosity, you flip on the local news.  No mention of an abduction or a missing person.  

After supper and a quick workout, you plan to check-in with Tina but ultimately decide against it.  You're not angry with her.  Quite the opposite, really.  Her ambush has you more invigorated than you've been in years.

But she doesn't need to know that.  You want to make her sweat a little (figuratively, at least).

You can only stay away for so long, however, and the next morning you rush to your office like a kid at Christmas.  Tina may have been on your 'wish-list,' but she's proven anything but expected.  

Her chamber looks like a frat party just broke up.  Wrappers and remnants of food litter the kitchen, and a smorgasbord of half-eaten foodstuffs covers the coffee table so completely that you can't tell its color.    You cringe at the mess, but seeing it on-screen blunts the impact somewhat.    

Tina lies asleep on the couch, camouflaged by the clutter.  It's hard to imagine all that food for a party of one...especially someone looking so peaceful and petite.

You check Tina's vitals.  125 pounds.  A five-pound gain.  Unfortunately, other physical evidence is obscured by the clutter and Tina's crumb-covered robe.

"Rule #2: You must keep your apartment tidy."

Tina doesn't stir.  An empty wine bottle at the base of the sofa suggests more than just a food coma.  

You're not sure what to make of it all.  Is it a ruse?  A good faith gesture?  Or is Tina resigned to her fate?  You've always been able to read people, but Tina is a locked-tight tome.  

What do you do?


A.) Progress is progress. Leave her alone.

B.) Wake her and demand adherence to rule #2.

C.) Wake her and ask her some questions.

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You turn off the monitor. Five minutes later, you're still staring at the blank screen. You resist the temptation to turn it on again, however, and eventually rise to start your day.

You putter in the garden. You take a dip in the pool. You try to stay busy, but find yourself constantly checking your phone like a teenaged girl. The highlight of your day should have been the 5% gain in Apple stock (of which you own 10,000 shares), but instead comes at 5:57 PM when Tina's weight clicks from 125 to 126.

It's clear where your true investments lie.

As the week goes on, Tina's weight ping-pongs between 124 and 129, but remains on an upward trajectory. Returns to lower numbers are brief, like fleeting glimpses of a setting sun before it disappears, while the higher numbers endure for a day or two before likewise fading into the sunset.

It would be enjoyable if Tina wasn't so miserable. At first, you have to fight the urge to check on her constantly, but by the end of the week, you can only bear checking-in for a few seconds at a time. Tina's entire day is spent eating and sleeping, and while neither is "Must See TV" you actually prefer watching her sleep. Her self-stuffing is robotic and perfunctory and, combined with a lack of attention to personal hygiene (Tina still hasn't showered or changed from her robe), is about as titillating as watching a homeless woman eat from a dumpster.

Every now and again, she looks wearily towards the camera and says something...but you keep the sound muted. That's what really breaks your heart. Tina needed to be punished, sure, but you never imagined it would be such a punishment for yourself.

A week after beginning her solitary confinement, Tina hits the 130-pound mark. However, any joy you feel at her progress fades away as the video on your monitor fades-in. Her apartment is a disaster--you've grown accustomed to that--but now the words "Talk to me!" are scrawled across the fridge, the television, the pantry door, the walls, virtually any flat surface not already obscured by trash. It appears to have been smeared on with ketchup or some other dark-colored condiment.

At least you hope that's what it is.

You can't find Tina...but a lump near the foot of her bed suggests she might be under the covers.

"Tina. Tina!"

No answer. No movement. Tina's vitals seem fine, but the fluctuations in her blood pressure and resting heart rate over the past week make it difficult to tell if she's asleep or waiting in ambush.

You feel like a zookeeper who's been shipped a dangerous exotic animal with no care instructions. Tina's behavior and insights are a concern...but your lack of knowledge about her concerns you even more. It's high time to get some answers.

But what tact should you take? And can you trust Tina to give them to you? You've been meaning to drop by Cornucupia (disappearing from the coffee shop at the same time as the hostess looks suspicious); maybe you should do a little detective work on your own?

What happens next?


A.) "Alright, Tina. Let's talk."

B.) Give her a shock to force her from hiding.

C.) Visit Cornucupia.

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"More coffee, hon'?"

Marge, a matronly, gum-smacking woman armed with a coffee carafe and a drawl hovers over you once again.  She just filled your cup minutes ago and you've barely taken a sip.

"No, thank you.  Just my check."  

Marge responds with a nod and a gum-smack, then scurries off behind the counter.  

Visiting Cornicupia has been a waste of time.  Outside of a "Help Wanted" sign on the window (apparently Marge isn't the long-term solution, thank god), it appears to be business as usual.  At least your signature will be on the check, providing proof of your visit.

Rather than Marge returning with it, however, it's Paul, the shop's owner.  You're glad to see him.  If for no other reason you've now been witnessed by a familiar face.    

The happiness you feel evaporates the minute he opens his mouth, however.   

"I figured the police would be by to ask about you," Paul says, setting the check beside you on the table.  

You stare slack-jawed at the paunchy, middle-aged man.  "What do you mean?"

"Tina, the girl who used to wait on you?  She was obsessed.  I thought she might've kidnapped you...or worse."  Paul plops into the chair beside you with a heavy sigh.  "I'm glad to see that's not the case."  

"Obsessed?  With me?"

"Oh, yeah.  She started work here right before you started coming in.  Once you did, she never wanted to work a shift unless it was a day and time you might come."

"That's odd,"  you say, shifting in your seat.  "She seemed a tad shy."    

Paul leans forward.  "It's the quiet ones you have to worry about."  

You swallow hard.  "Where is she now?"  Like a clever attorney, you're keen asking questions to which you already know the answers...but not when the answer implicates yourself.     

"She no-call-no-showed a little over a week ago and I haven't seen her since.  With you here, it wouldn't surprise me if she suddenly stopped in to pick up her check."  

It would surprise me, you think.   

"She was a hard worker though.  I'll miss her."   Paul stands and begins to clear an adjoining table.  As he gathers up a newspaper spread across it, he smiles.  "I won't miss having these torn-up though.  If you were mentioned in an article, rest assured she'd rip it out!"   

You rise, take a final sip of your coffee, and nod to Paul as you throw $10 on the table.  As you turn to exit, he calls after you--

"I hope you realize I was being tongue-in-cheek. Tina's just an overzealous kid.  I wouldn't be worried."

You wish you could share his sentiment. 

AUTHOR'S NOTE: There was no poll for this chapter.  If you want to get up-to-date with the story, and have a say in the action, check-out how on my DeviantArt page: https://www.deviantart.com/maverickthewriter/journal/Serial-Preview-818531396  

Edited by Maverick
Apparently "coffee **" is verboten

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"Alright, Tina.  Let's talk!"

You had driven home as fast as possible.  On most days, the windy two-lanes with their 25 MPH speed limits were a refreshing respite from the hustle-and-bustle of big-city freeways.  Today was not one of those days.

"Damn it, Tina!  Don't make me zap you again!"

Staring into the monitor, you can't take your eyes off the conspicuous life-sized lump near the foot of Tina's bed.  There's been no movement since you left for town and no sign of Tina elsewhere in the apartment.  You've received no emergency alerts from your phone and her vitals remain consistent, but you can't help wondering if they're a bit too consistent.  They haven't fluctuated in hours. 

"Final warning."

You scour the bed bulge for motion.  At this point, you wouldn't put anything past Tina.  She could merely be in a drunken slumber, or she could be waiting in ambush...or she could be dead.  That possibility had you squealing your SUV around hairpin turns.  Based on what Paul told you at Cornucupia, it would likely be the final nail in your coffin as well.    

Just as you're about to send 25,000 volts surging through the bracelet on Tina's wrist, you mercifully detect movement.  Along the screen's periphery, the sliding door of the bedroom closet hurriedly opens and Tina clambers out.  

"Alright, alright, hold your horsepower."

Tina looks like a bastion of heaven within her apartment's disheveled hell.  No longer in her filthy robe, Tina is done up and adorned in a sheer lace nightgown from her bureau.  The oily brown hair she had been hiding behind is now a glistening chestnut hue that frames her face like a masterpiece--one freshly painted with lip-gloss and a familiar shade of blush you added to her bathroom drawer.    

"Like what you see?"  Tina spins around, causing the garment's sheer fabric to lift away from her body, revealing a pleasing silhouette.  The pirouette is all-too-brief, but enough for you to glimpse nascent curves that hadn't existed mere days before.  Tina may have a ways to go before she's fully ripened, but at least she's graduated from pre-pubescently petite.

"I do," you say.

"I'm glad you approve."  Tina beams and gives a quick curtsy.  "I wanted to surprise you in person."  

"How long have you been hiding?"

"Hours!  You shouldn't make a girl wait, y'know?  It's rude.  Not to mention that's time I could have been eating..."  Tina smiles slyly at the camera. "Or doing other things." 

"I was afraid I might end up with another noose around my neck."  

Tina shakes her head.  "You don't have to worry about that.  We have an understanding, right?" 

"I paid your boss a visit today," you say, ignoring her question.

"Did you pick up my paycheck?" 


Tina reacts like you forgot to pick up milk at the grocery store.  "We may want to do that before people get suspicious.  I should probably pay my rent, too.  Trust me, you do not want people seeing what's inside my apartment."

You take a deep breath.  "What do you want, Tina?"

"I want what you want, baby."  Tina places her hands on either side of her abdomen, causing the nightgown's cotton fabric to press tight across its swollen crest.  "And right now I want you to tell me how fat I'm getting."

What do you say next?

"Alright, Tina.  Let's talk!"

You had driven home as fast as possible.  On most days, the windy two-lanes with their 25 MPH speed limits were a refreshing respite from the hustle-and-bustle of big-city freeways.  Today was not one of those days.

"Damn it, Tina!  Don't make me zap you again!"

Staring into the monitor, you can't take your eyes off the conspicuous life-sized lump near the foot of Tina's bed.  There's been no movement since you left for town and no sign of Tina elsewhere in the apartment.  You've received no emergency alerts from your phone and her vitals remain consistent, but you can't help wondering if they're a bit too consistent.  They haven't fluctuated in hours. 

"Final warning."

You scour the bed bulge for motion.  At this point, you wouldn't put anything past Tina.  She could merely be in a drunken slumber, or she could be waiting in ambush...or she could be dead.  That possibility had you squealing your SUV around hairpin turns.  Based on what Paul told you at Cornucupia, it would likely be the final nail in your coffin as well.    

Just as you're about to send 25,000 volts surging through the bracelet on Tina's wrist, you mercifully detect movement.  Along the screen's periphery, the sliding door of the bedroom closet hurriedly opens and Tina clambers out.  

"Alright, alright, hold your horsepower."

Tina looks like a bastion of heaven within her apartment's disheveled hell.  No longer in her filthy robe, Tina is done up and adorned in a sheer lace nightgown from her bureau.  The oily brown hair she had been hiding behind is now a glistening chestnut hue that frames her face like a masterpiece--one freshly painted with lip-gloss and a familiar shade of blush you added to her bathroom drawer.    

"Like what you see?"  Tina spins around, causing the garment's sheer fabric to lift away from her body, revealing a pleasing silhouette.  The pirouette is all-too-brief, but enough for you to glimpse nascent curves that hadn't existed mere days before.  Tina may have a ways to go before she's fully ripened, but at least she's graduated from pre-pubescently petite.

"I do," you say.

"I'm glad you approve."  Tina beams and gives a quick curtsy.  "I wanted to surprise you in person."  

"How long have you been hiding?"

"Hours!  You shouldn't make a girl wait, y'know?  It's rude.  Not to mention that's time I could have been eating..."  Tina smiles slyly at the camera. "Or doing other things." 

"I was afraid I might end up with another noose around my neck."  

Tina shakes her head.  "You don't have to worry about that.  We have an understanding, right?" 

"I paid your boss a visit today," you say, ignoring her question.

"Did you pick up my paycheck?" 


Tina reacts like you forgot to pick up milk at the grocery store.  "We may want to do that before people get suspicious.  I should probably pay my rent, too.  Trust me, you do not want people seeing what's inside my apartment."

You take a deep breath.  "What do you want, Tina?"

"I want what you want, baby."  Tina places her hands on either side of her abdomen, causing the nightgown's cotton fabric to press tight across its swollen crest.  "And right now I want you to tell me how fat I'm getting."

What do you say next?


A.) "Before I do anything, I need to know I can trust you."

B.) "You've been quite the piggy this week, haven't you?"

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"You have been quite the piggy this week, haven't you?"

"All for you, baby," Tina says, turning sideways and running her hands across her belly.   "Did I do good?"

"You did good."    

Tina smiles.  "Let's feed this body into oblivion."  

As much as you want to focus on Tina's marked progress, you're distracted by her not-so-sweet suite.  Tina looks like a ripening fruit--her apartment just looks ripe.    

"My little piggy needs to clean her sty first."

Tina puffs her bottom lip.  "What are you going to do when I'm too fat to move?  Things are going to get messy."  You detect something in her voice.  Not quite a veiled threat, but definitely added subtext.  Before you can reply, she throws up her arms.  "Fine," she says.  "I'll try not to burn too many calories."  

"Cleaning solvents are under the sink.  I'll check back in a few hours."

Tina mutters something under her breath as you click off the screen.  

You busy yourself with a business proposal for your LLC, but as has often been the case during Tina's stay you have difficulty focusing.  While it's mostly due to sugarplum-like visions of Tina's rounded belly dancing in your head, less idyllic daydreams also niggle your subconscious.  What's Tina's end game?  What did she mean when she said, 'Things are going to get messy?'  And why on earth did you leave so many toxic chemicals at her disposal?  Fortunately, a quick swipe on your phone shows she's using them to scrub floors and polish chrome rather than set traps or mix explosives.

Loose ends and unanswered questions have always been the bane of your existence.  You loved puzzles and mystery books as a child, but only because you knew they'd eventually get solved.   As long as you remain in control, however, you're sure the shroud around Tina will lift.  Though the thought of Tina as a gluttonous pig held captive in her own flesh and squalor is perversely appealing, forcing her to clean her chamber was a calculated component of control.  As you mindlessly add amendments to the proposal you're reviewing, you think of another 'test' you'd like Tina to perform.   


Hours later, Tina dozes on the living room couch.  Her hair is matted and her disturbed make-up forms dark circles around her closed eyes.  The apartment looks immaculate, however.  Paul was right--she is a good worker.

Tina's eyes flit open at the sound of your booming voice, and she deftly swings her lithe legs off the sofa and springs to a standing position.  You expect with another 50 pounds or so her movements won't be quite as nimble.       

"The floor's clean enough to eat off of," Tina says, gesturing towards the kitchen  "Would you like me to show you?"  Tina places her hands on her hips and pivots in place.  "Or would you prefer a physical inspection?"  

What do you do?


A.) "Let's see you eat off the floor, piggy."

B.) "I need you to do a little something for me first."

C.) Give both Tina and her room a thorough inspection in person.

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You drum your fingers atop the steering wheel as a svelte, well-heeled woman in her early 30s crosses the street in front of you.  If her nose were any higher it would whistle in the breeze.  An equally snooty-looking French Poodle trails a few feet behind her.   Whenever it deigns to sniff or soil, the perturbed woman gives its leash a whiplash-inducing tug.      

You ponder what she'd look like with another fifty pounds.  Would her sugar daddy husband, or whoever bought her that visible-from-space diamond ring, be as inclined to splurge and splooge for her if she were obese? 

You're about to look up the size ranges for Prada dresses when Tina opens the passenger door and climbs into the SUV.  She hands you a warm paper cup and the familiar aroma of Cornicupia's dark roast fills your nostrils.       

Just like old times.

"Thanks," you say, taking a tentative sip.  "Did you get it?"

Tina waves the windowed envelope containing her final paycheck.  "Think Paul will recognize me when I come back for my W-2?"  

The autumn chill forced Tina to dress more demurely than she wanted for your little adventure.  She actually suggested wearing her old work uniform hoping Paul would notice her gain, but you had nixed the idea.   Adorned in a more weather-appropriate jeans/sweatshirt ensemble, you can't detect her progress either, but know there are a dozen or so pounds of fresh flesh being belted into your Explorer than there were a couple of weeks ago.  

"Did you get something for yourself?"

"Latte Creme Freeze," she says proudly, holding up her cup.  "Over 1,000 calories."

"Good girl."  You set your cup in the holder and put the vehicle in gear.  "I was wondering what took so long."

That's a lie.  You had been watching the whole time.  You weren't wild that Tina had told Paul she'd be back to pick-up her W-2, but everything else went according to plan. 

$174.32," Tina says, reading from the check.  "Whatever shall we spend it on?  Maybe a monogrammed pillow for your pet?" 

"I don't own any pets."

Tina arches an eyebrow.  "Is that so?"  

Pulling into traffic, you quickly catch-up with the young socialite dragging the poodle.  

"What about her?" Tina says, her sly gaze conveying the query's deeper meaning.  

"She's married," you say, returning your eyes to the road.  "And she has a dog."

"A kidnapper with scruples?"

You shrug.  "It complicates things."

Tina takes a drag from her drink.  "Am I uncomplicated?"

You smile and shake your head.  "No."

As you pass the woman, Tina continues to follow her in the side mirror.  "I'd love for a priss like that to get fat as fuck. You can tell staying hot is her only responsibility."  The shrew gives her poor poodle a final pull as she fades from view.  "It certainly isn't walking that dog."  

After a moment's contemplation, Tina adds, "Hey, how did you know I didn't own a pet?"

You tap your index finger against a nostril.  "The nose knows."  

"Oh, right," Tina says, remembering how allergies helped lead to her capture.  "Still, I could have a fish....or a lizard."

"Then you better feed them when we drop off your rent check."  You turn the vehicle down a side street towards the dilapidated apartment complex Tina used to reside.   

Tina takes another sip of her latte.   "Do you want to grab a bite to eat?  There's a great little bakery just up the street."  Tina reaches across the seat and touches your thigh.  "We could engage in a public display of confection." 

You shoot Tina an incredulous look--partly for the horrible joke and partly for the sheer absurdity of the suggestion.  Strangely, it's more the former than the latter.  You may be on an errand to tie-up incriminating loose ends with a hostage, but it feels more like a Sunday drive with your girlfriend.     

"What do I have to do?" Tina sighs, removing her hand from your leg.  "I could have escaped.  Hell, I could have killed you.  But instead, I agreed to be your concubine."  Tina lifts her sweatshirt and pinches a surprising amount of pudge extending over the lap-band of her seatbelt.  "Your FAT concubine."


A horn from oncoming traffic sends you back to your lane and Tina's sweatshirt back to her lap.  After some seconds of bemused silence, you finally manage, "You couldn't have killed me."

Tina's delicate jaw drops.  "Are you kidding me?  If we hadn't come to an understanding, I'd be on the cover of People Magazine right now.  BARISTA  BABE FOILS BILLIONAIRE'S HAREM EMPIRE."  Tina punctuates each word with her hand as if it were written in the sky.         

"It could still happen," you say.  "BILLIONAIRE FATTENS BARISTA BABE INTO OBLIVION."  

"Mmmm," Tina says, writhing in her seat.  "I like that one better."  

You approach a large red brick building that had been a factory through the 1970s, then lied in decay until the new Millenium when it was refurbished as part of a trendy downtown revitalization effort that hadn't quite made it to Tina's apartment.  Green awnings at even intervals mark the storefronts, and a neon sign reading "Fred's Breads and Sweets" hangs on the wall facing traffic.  

"That's the place," Tina says.  She looks at you expectantly.    

What do you do?


A.) Stop for a bite.

B.) Business first.

C.) "Not until you're too fat to run."

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"Not until you're too fat to run."

You punctuate your comment with a stern glance and the 'click' of the child lock.

Tina closes her eyes and looks out the passenger window.  With her head turned, it's hard to gauge her reaction, but it seems you're in for a healthy dose of the silent treatment.

"Here is fine," she says after a moment.  You pull over just before the parking lot to her apartment building.  It's red brick like the trendy shops and studios you just drove past, but holds none of their charm.  With its hard-angle architecture and indistinguishable rows of wrought iron windows, it looks like a prison.

Tina turns to you and holds out her hand.  Her big brown eyes are red and moist.  "Well?"

The plan was to have Tina drop a cashier's check covering six-months rent through the drop-slot of her landlord's place.  Now you're wondering if that's a mistake.  You didn't scout her apartment building like the residences of the other candidates in your notebook.  Tina swears there's a video camera covering the entryway, but you see no sign of one and are dubious a dive like that would have much high-tech security.

"This is the only way this is going to work," Tina says.

You want to trust her--she did fine at Cornucupia--but a quick knock on a door or hastily written message on the check's envelope and you could end up being an odalisque in someone else's prison harem.  In her current state of mind, can you take the risk?

Tina manages a fragile smile.  "Trust me."


A.) Trust her.

B.) Drop the check off yourself.

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You place the envelope in Tina's hand and unlock the door.  Tina exhales hard, then gets out and strolls towards the dilapidated brick building.  Hints of her breath trail behind in the cool morning air.

Once she reaches the entrance, you bring up her bracelet camera on your phone.  The view is shaky, but you can clearly see a surveillance camera with a blinking red light pointed towards her as she enters through the apartment's security screen. 

You take a sip of coffee.  So far so good.

Just as you're removing the lid to take a bigger swig, however, the screen goes black.  Scalding liquid sloshes over your hand and onto your pants.  


You fumble with your phone while dabbing the spill with tissue from your console.  Both the phone and camera seem fine.  The view is obscured, but you still hear the echoing click of Tina's shoes against the hard floor of the corridor.  Perhaps the camera simply got covered by her sweatshirt sleeve.

Your relief is short-lived.  Seconds later, a series of rapid-fire thumps pump from the phone's speakers.  The sound is unmistakable.

It's knocking.  

"Son of a--"

For a brief moment, you debate what to do.  (Call her?  Retrieve her?  Zap her?)  Unfortunately, that's all it takes for someone to answer the door.

"Where the hell have you been?" a gruff male voice demands. 

"Not here," Tina whispers.  "Inside."  

The next sounds you hear are a slamming door and the metallic 'click' of a deadbolt.  It might as well be your prison cell.

"What's going on?"  The gravelly voice continues.  "Are you in trouble?"

"I don't know.  Can we sit for a sec?"

"Sure.  Are you hungry?"

"No," Tina says, adding an ironic chuckle.  "I can't stay long."

"What's up?" the man says after a brief pause.

"I'm afraid you won't be seeing much of me anymore.  Actually, that's not true.  You'll be seeing much more of me when you do see me, but you won't be seeing me as much."

"You're not making sense, Tina."  

You're unsure who this dude is, but the familiarity with which he addresses Tina makes it clear he's not just her landlord. 

Tina takes a deep breath.  "You know that guy?"

"Which guy?"

"THE guy."  

"THE guy?"

You're tempted to scream, "she means me!" into the phone to break-up their Abbott and Costello routine.  Fortunately, the mystery man catches on.

"Oh, THAT guy?"

"Yes," Tina says.  "I'm with him now."

"You don't say.  Does he kn--"

Even without a view of the proceedings, you can picture Tina holding up her hand to stifle his follow-up.   

"We're very happy.  In fact, he bought me this bracelet."  

Suddenly, the screen floods with light to reveal a rugged man in his 50s, wearing jeans and a T-shirt, seated on a 1970s sofa.  His close-cropped hair suggests a military background, as do the faded tats along his forearms.  Apart from a cane that lies across his lap, he still looks in fighting shape; however, his gentle eyes and snub nose belie his battle face.  They also evidence an inconvenient truth:

You've just met Tina's Father.

The man leans so close his distorted, fisheye lens face fills your screen.  You can't help sit-up straight and suck-in your stomach.

"Wow!" he says, easing back.  "That's a beaut!"

Tina hands him the envelope.  "He also wanted me to give you this."  

"What's this for?"  His eyes go wide as he opens the envelope.    

"That's six-months rent."  

He extends the envelope back to her.  "I've never charged you rent."

"Just keep it.  You may need to hire somebody.  And I don't want you renting out my place."

"You know I would never do that, babycakes."

"I know, Dad," Tina says, providing paternal proof.  

Both of them rise and, seconds later, you're participating in a dizzying group hug.  Mercifully, Tina's sleeve slides back over the camera before you need Dramamine.  

"Uh-oh, somebody's been eating a few too many of those coffee shop scones." 

"Da-ad."  You imagine Tina pulling away at the good-natured teasing. 

"When will I see you again?"   

There's a long pause.  

"I don't know," Tina says.  

Another pause.

"We may do some traveling..."

Suddenly, it sounds as if a rat is clawing its way through your phone.  The scratching nearly drowns-out Tina's voice. 

"So it may be a while before you see me again..."

You adjust the volume.  It's not distortion.

"But I promise I'll visit."  

The scratching ends abruptly and it dawns on you what Tina was doing--


"I love you, Dad."

"I love you too, sweetie."

Unsurprisingly, the on-screen view returns as Tina exits the building.  Despite her gain, there is a renewed spring in her step.  She even jogs a few feet towards your car--the most exercise she's gotten in weeks.  

"Thank you," Tina says, as she buckles her seat belt.

You nod and start the engine.  "No more long sleeves though."


Tina rests her head against the window as you begin the long drive back to your harem on the hill.


AUTHOR'S NOTE: I was transitioning to work from home in the early days of the quarantine when I wrote this, so no choices were presented for this chapter.

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"Ooh! is that a stretch mark?"  

"I think it's just a bit of sauce."

"Oh, damn."  Tina swipes a finger along the side of her stomach and brings it to her lips.  "You're right."  

Tina sits in her underwear, enjoying a home-cooked meal of pasta and breadsticks.  She offered you some, but you politely declined.  

It's her other offerings that have you enticed.

It's been three weeks since your trip to town and Tina has been an eating machine ever since.  You're not exactly sure what to attribute it to.  Your show of faith?  Her taste of freedom?  Regardless of the reasons, you're not complaining.  

Neither is Tina.  As she gobbles linguine with gusto, you suspect the #1 reason for Tina's gluttonous overindulgence is simply enjoyment.  It shows in her dimpled smile--and is starting to show everywhere else.          

Watching from your computer, you bring up Tina's weight: 142.  Up more than 20 pounds since her arrival.  In truth, it's a fairly modest gain when you consider getting fat has been Tina's sole assignment since her capture, but 'slow and steady wins the race' as your father used to say.  Of course, that was a proverb he applied to business.  You seriously doubt Tina will be winning any races by the time you're through with her.

'Slow and steady' isn't an approach you'd favor with most girls, but if you've learned one thing from your time with Tina, it's that you're better off keeping her happy.  That may well be the only thing you've learned.  You didn't ask many follow-up questions about her unauthorized homecoming, and Tina seemed reticent to discuss it.  Instead, she's been inclined to keep her mouth filled with food...and who are you to argue with that?

Suddenly, Tina stops eating and pushes her breasts high up in their cups.  "Are these getting bigger?"        

"Let me see."

Tina smiles and turns demurely away from the camera.  As she reaches behind to undo her black lace bra, two small creases form on either side of her back.  You doubt they make an appearance last week.  

Covering her breasts with her hands, Tina turns back around.  "Peek-a-boo," she says, flashing you briefly. 

Although not yet large enough to snag the sauce that blemished her belly, they've clearly grown.  No longer the pointed protuberances your Twinkie train negotiated weeks before, they've rounded into perfect semi-circles seemingly supported by an invisible shelf.  Her areolas and nipples further defy gravity, pointing towards the camera as if to say, "look at us!"  Michaelangelo's marble masterpieces have nothing on this girl's genetics.

"Looks like you're getting quite the handful," you say. 

"Yeah, but I have small hands."  Tina gazes into the camera as she massages her mammaries.  "Someone else should test that theory."

You've managed to resist Tina's charms to this point, but it's gotten harder (in more ways than one) as they've grown more substantial.  You can think of a dozen reasons why capitulation wouldn't be prudent at present, but this is your pleasure palace.  Why allow the slave to torture the master?  

On the other hand, maybe the time is ripe to expand your harem?  Tina has proven to be a fine wine.  Perhaps she should be allowed to breathe.  Another vintage could quench your thirst while Tina reached her full-bodied potential.  

If so, it might not be a bad idea to involve Tina in the selection process somehow.  A gesture of good-will from her "partner" could keep her from getting antsy from a lack of carnal attention.  And who knows?  A fresh wine in the cellar could make for some interesting pairings.  

What do you say?


A.) "I'm happy to lend a hand."

B.) "Another pair of hands is just what we need."

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"Another pair of hands is just what we need." 

"Interesting," Tina says.  "Should I consider that a promotion or a demotion?"

"A Promotion."

"Good."  Tina juggles her breasts in her hands.  "I was afraid I was losing my charm."

"No, your charms are growing just like the rest of you."  

You lean back in your chair and put your feet on the desk.  

"In fact, there's something I'd like to show you."


"What do you think?"

"Quietly alluring..." Tina sits at the kitchen table, reading from a spiral notebook with a half-eaten chocolate donut by her side.  "Awww," she says, smiling at the camera.  "You're so sweet."

You fidget in your seat.  It was your intention to place Tina's section of your journal into an "active" or "pending" folder, but hadn't done so yet.

"I'm glad you think so," you say.

"I certainly fared better than some of the others..." Tina leafs through the document.  "'Snobby'...'Off-putting'...'Bitchy.'"          

"That's why you're here and they're not."  

"Lucky me."  Tina smiles and takes a bite of her donut.  "Still, it'd be fun to fatten some of these bitches up."  Tina raises a picture of Tabitha Reynolds, one of your original top three.  "What about her?" 

"Why do you think she's a bitch?"

"She just has that look, y'know?  Like she's hot shit."  Lilly squints at one of Tabitha's more recent photos.  "Ooh, Ms. Hot Shit is getting a tummy!"   

"She was a finalist."

"I told you we make a good team," Tina beams.  "You were probably smart to wait on her, though.  She looks like a two-man job."          

"Any others?"

Tina flips to a rotund redhead.  Margo Martin was the only fat girl you'd documented in your journal.  Most of the girls, like Tabitha, had potential, but at well over 200 pounds Margo was the only one who'd realized it.

"Ever hear the expression 'getting there is half the fun'?"

Tina pops the final bit of donut into her mouth.  "That's what you have me for!  Besides," she says, running a finger along Margo's swollen visage.  "I think she still has quite a journey left."

Although you don't find Margo particularly attractive--you certainly couldn't imagine escorting her down a red carpet--something compelled you to follow her...and maybe it's the same thing Tina sees.  Buried beneath the drab and dowdy facade was a pretty twenty-something who'd given up.

"If nothing else, she'd be easy to catch," Tina adds with a wry smile.  "All you'd need is a trail of cookies to your Explorer."  

You cringe at Tina's crassness.   "What about Bernadette Muncy?" you ask, changing the subject.

Tina turns to the dog-eared section on the bespectacled blonde.  "She looks too mousy and mealy-mouthed.  Don't you want a challenge?"

"Are you saying quiet ones can't be a challenge?"

"Touché," Tina says, licking the chocolate from her fingers. 

Who do you chose?  


A.) Tabitha Reynolds.

B.) Margo Martin.

C.) Bernadette Muncy.

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"Tabitha?  Tabitha Reynolds?"   

The statuesque redhead stops short of her cherry-red Cherokee and turns to face the voice.  "Yes?"      

"Oh, my God!  I thought it was you."  Tina, dressed in a black unitard with a white towel draped over her shoulder, rushes up to her.  "Laura Gavin...Boothe Elementary?"  

"Oh...Yes!"  Tabitha smiles down at the bob-haired brunette.  "How are you?"   

"I'm good.  It's nice to see you.  Jesus, you look great!"  

She does look great.  Well-packed into a green unitard of her own, the effects of her nascent gain are largely obscured by a sweatshirt tied around her waist.   

"That's so nice of you to say."  Tabitha brushes away a lock of auburn hair pulled loose from her scrunchie.  "You look great, too."

"Oh, you don't have to pander to me," Tina sighs.  "I've put on a good twenty-five pounds."  Without a sweatshirt to similarly hide her hips, the bulge of her lower abdomen is obvious.

"Really?  Well, you must've been a twig, because it isn't noticeable.  Are you a member here?"

"Just joined.  I figured I'd better do something."  Tina pats her belly.  "Video games weren't keeping me skinny." 

"You're a gamer?  What do you play?"   

"Oh, Fortnite mostly, though I love the Halo games."   

"Me too!"   


You watch the conversation from your Explorer backed into a parking space one row down and three cars over.  It's the demarcation line.  Any closer and the security cameras affixed to the gym will pick you up. 

"That's so cool!" Tina exclaims.  You can't help but think she's responding to your words in her earbud.  

"Us gaming gals have to stick together," Tabitha replies, unaware of the voice in Tina's head.  "What's your tag?"

"Excuse me?" 

"Your gaming name."  

In the rearview mirror, you spy a man and woman leaving the gym and heading your direction.

"I'll write it on one of my cards," Tina says, gesturing your way.   "My car's right over there."

"STALL," you command.  "INTERLOPERS." 

"Gosh, what am I thinking?" Tina blurts.  "This is the 21st century.  Do you have your phone?"

"No, I left it at home."

"Me too," Tina smirks.

The couple from the gym pops the trunk of a copper Buick two cars down.   "SHIT."     

"Just tell me, I'll remember," Tabitha says, a hint of irritation showing through her flight attendant smile.

"It's got lots of numbers and symbols.  Besides, I want to give you my phone number, too.  Just in case you ever need a workout buddy."

Rather than leaving, the couple chatters away as the man holds the trunk hatch aloft.  They can't see Tina or Tabitha from their position but you're right in their periphery.  


"I'm sure I have a pen in my car."  Tabitha inches towards her vehicle.  It's clear she's ready to be done with her erstwhile "classmate."    

"Cool."  Tina follows Tabitha and you lose sight of them behind an Escalade.


Suddenly, it sounds like the microphone in Tina's bracelet is bouncing down a mountain.  You lean across the passenger's seat, but still can't see beyond the behemoth parked beside them.   


Before you can bring up the camera on your phone, there's a loud THUD, as if the bouncing bracelet hit bottom. 


Several seconds of excruciating silence is finally broken by Tina's voice on the other end: "It's done.  Should I follow you, or do you want to follow me?"

You wrench the steering wheel in your hands.  "FOLLOW ME.  TIGHT."


PS: Sorry, there were no choices this week. I don’t like to shoehorn them in when not appropriate. 

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The drive back to your property takes twice as long as usual.  In an effort to avoid traffic and video-monitored intersections, you take so many side-streets and back alleys you should be mapping for Google Earth.  

To Tina's credit, she stays close (but not too close) and maintains radio silence as you serpentine your way out of the city.  "Loose lips sink ships," as your Father used to say--though your silent treatment towards Tina has more to do with how pissed you are than any sort of prudent strategy.  With each pedestrian you pass, or friendly resident that waves from their garden, your anger grows.

It isn't until you pass through the gate at the base of your estate that the grip on your steering wheel finally loosens.  After winding up the hill, you park in the roundabout near the main entrance.  

"Was that the scenic tour?" Tina says, clambering from Tabitha's jeep with a canary-chomping grin.  

"What the hell did you do?"

Tina glances back at the crumpled body in the passenger's seat.  "I improvised."  

"Jesus," you say, looking through the window.  Thankfully, Tabitha's substantial chest is still heaving.   "You can't improvise something like this."

"What's your problem?  Mission accomplished."

"Mission accomplished?  I just lead a kidnapping parade through downtown and you tell me 'mission accomplished'?"  You hold your arms out to the vehicle like a game show shiller.  "This.  Is.  Evidence.  We don't want it here." 

"This.  Is.  Better," Tina says, mimicking your condescending cadence.  "No vehicle, NO evidence.  Nobody will know what happened or when.  Hell, it'll be weeks before anyone realizes she's gone." 

"What if there's GPS?"

Tina looks at you as if you're stupid.  "In an '04 Cherokee?  I don't think so."   

"It doesn't matter.  This is one more thing they'll be looking for.  Only now it's got your fingerprints all over it."   

Tina stands akimbo and puffs her growing chest.  "You're just pissed you weren't in control for once."

"Fuck you, Tina."

"Fuck.  You.  Back."  Tina punctuates each word with an index finger to your sternum.  

You grasp Tina's waist and press her firm against the side of the jeep, burying your face in the crook of her neck.  She gasps and wraps her arms around you, lifting your shirt and exploring your back with her hands.  Necking transitions to deep-throated kissing and, after a quick scooch to avoid the protuberance of the door handle, you're back at it, pushing against Tina so firmly her feet nearly leave the floor.  

You run your hands up Tina's sides as hers push below your belt.  Set firm in her leotard top, Tina's nipples harden at the urging of your thumbs, while your other digits test her "more than a handful" theory.  Her soft moans encourage your mammary massage...

Until you realize it isn't Tina moaning at all, but Tabitha!  You break your lip-lock and look through the window just as Tabitha's eyes meet yours.  Hers widen while yours wince shut with her blood-curdling scream.

What do you do?



A.) Try to calm her.

B.) Subdue her.

C.) Sic Tina on her.

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Tabitha screams unabated.  She certainly has a healthy set of lungs.  Miles from civilization, you aren't worried about anyone hearing her cries; however, her wild-eyes are concerning.  A cornered animal is a dangerous animal.

Tina looks to you as if awaiting a code to shut off an alarm.   You merely shrug.  "This is your show," you say.

"Tabitha," Tina says calmly.  "Tabitha, let me explain."

Tina repeats the refrain in a forceful tone that belies her size.  It's commanding yet motherly, and, most importantly, it works.  Tabitha's shrieks fade and her heaving chest relaxes as if her DDs were slowly losing power.  Although a part of you was hoping for a good old-fashioned cat-fight, you're impressed nevertheless.   

"I know this is confusing," she continues.  "I was scared, too, when I arrived." 

As she speaks, Tina extends her hand behind her back.  It looks like she wants you to ‘slap her five’ like one of those 70s sitcoms, but it quickly dawns on you what she really wants.  You dig discreetly in your pocket and remove a thin copper bracelet— identical to the one adorning Tina’s wrist the last few months—and place it in her open palm. 

"Do you recognize this man?" Tina says, tilting her head towards you.  You smile awkwardly, stifling the urge to wave.

Tabitha nods.

"I thought you might.  Now, look around you."

Tabitha glances around.  Vibrant garden flora.  Palm trees.  A patterned Travertine drive circling beneath a columned carport big enough for four vehicles.  To Tabitha, it must look like a tropical resort.  All that was missing was a valet to take her keys and guide her to her room.

That's where Tina came in.

"Tabitha, you’ve been chosen to participate in a kind of reality show." 

Tabitha's eyes ping-pong between you both.  "Like 'The Bachelor'?"

"Yes!" Tina exclaims, her face beaming.  "Very much like that."

"Where are the cameras?" 

"Let me show you."  Tina walks around the Jeep to the passenger side, effectively trapping Tabitha.  A classic pincer maneuver. Then she extends her arm and points out cameras...real and imagined.  "There's one over the awning."  Real.  "There's one in the plant potter."  Imagined.  "There's one affixed to that lamp."  Real.  "And there's one embedded in the eyes of that nymph statuary."  Imagined.  Though it would've been cool.

Tina raps her metal bracelet against the passenger window.  "This is the most important one though."

Tabitha studies the circular bronze bangle through the glass. Then Tina holds up the empty one.  Matching friendship bracelets.  Tabitha rolls down the window for a closer inspection.

Her pretty face contorts as she struggles to process everything in her groggy stupor.  You can almost caption her thoughts as they careen like a drunken sailor: Could this really be a reality show?  Maybe.  Is this girl my competition?  Not impressed.  Is this guy the prize?  Wow.

Then she scowls.  Something wasn't right.  Reality shows don't steal cars and kidnap contestants.  Tabitha runs her tongue along her bottom lip, detecting a swollen spot from Tina's ambush. Fear returns to her eyes.

But before she can act on it, Tina clamps the metallic bracelet around her wrist with an incarceratory 'click' and a satisfied smirk.  

That's when the cornered animal reemerges.  Only this time she does more than scream.  

Tabitha shoves open the passenger door and connects hard with Tina, sending her sprawling.  In an instant, she's sprinting down the drive.  Fast.  Apparently, the conk to her head (or whatever Tina had done) wasn't going to slow her down any more than the pudge recently accumulated around her midsection.  

You pull your cellphone from your pocket and swipe away.  As much as you want to admire Tabitha's bulbously bounding backside, you don't have time.  In a few seconds, she'll disappear down the crest of the hill.  That could create problems.

Stepping toward the back of the Jeep, you wait until Tabitha cuts across a grassy area before pressing a button that freezes her mid-stride.  Fortunately, the fescue comes to her rescue, cushioning her subsequent tumble.  Apart from green knees and elbows, she should be fine.

Suddenly, there's a blur of motion beside you as Tina snatches the phone from your hand and bolts down the hill.  


She doesn't stop.  You have no choice but to race after her.  She's fast too...but unlike Tabitha, Tina's poundage hasn't been mitigated by hours on the treadmill.  You'll catch her before she reaches the gate.

Only she doesn't head for the gate.                

"Fucking bitch!"  Tina screams and points your phone towards Tabitha like a remote control. The ravishing redhead contorts violently as Tina rushes up, prepared to do more damage. Physical.  Verbal.  Electrical.  Probably all three.  Fortunately, you arrive a second later, wrapping your arms around Tina from behind and lifting her with a bear hug.  

"Drop it!" you yell.  Although crippled of the ability to navigate its on-screen buttons, Tina clutches your phone defiantly.  "Drop it," you command again.  You sound as if you're scolding a dog that's run off with a pork chop.  Regrettably, your timbre is less firm than your wood, which stiffens as Tina wriggles against you. 

Tina finally drops the device and you deposit her, ass-first, to the ground--her inelegant dismount having more to do with her increased girth than anger on your part.  You arch your back and catch your breath.  She's definitely upped in weight-class since the last time you carried her. 

Tina huffs in the grass, alternating contemptuous glances between you and Tabitha.  You retrieve your phone and check her victim.  She's breathing and, impressively, still semi-conscious, moaning softly as if waking from a nightmare.  

You turn towards Tina.  What do you do/say?


A.) Zap her.

B.) Banish her to her room.

C.) "Help me clean up your mess."

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