Lisbeth didn’t get around to meeting Lawrence Coldwell till Wednesday. Not only had he been expecting her call, he already knew who she was. Apparently “confidential records” didn’t really matter to him. When he had offered to treat her to lunch at the house, it hadn’t really sounded like an offer. A girl who had identified herself as “Emily” arrived at Mind Hall in a rather expensive sports car, picking Lisbeth up and driving her to the house. As it turned out the frat wasn’t a single house but a complex of three, with a pool, two Jacuzzis and a massive yard. Apparently it was all paid for by donations from the alumni association.
Lawrence was waiting in the yard, sitting at an intricately worked iron table, all roses and thorns. The table had an elaborate continental lunch laid out on it with a very nice tea set. Lawrence also wasn’t alone, he was with another boy who introduced himself as Jake Smith, yes that was his real name, no he wasn’t in witness protection. The whole thing was laid out with a certain dramatic flare that Lisbeth had learned to appreciate from dreams. Lawrence wasn’t anything special, he was of average height and average looks but he did dress nice. Emily it appeared was also invited to the lunch. Lawrence started talking with a no-nonsense attitude.
“We three are the Elder Council.”
Lisbeth just raised her eyebrow.
“We didn’t choose the name, it predates our attendance here by twenty years and we can’t change it. It just means we are the three most senior members currently active in the frat. It gives us some administrative duties and means we have to greet new members.”
“Still not sure I want to be a member.”
“Tough luck, you’re already in. The only question is if you want to take advantage of the resources we have or not.”
“Fine, what resources?”
“When you move off campus you will be given a room here, you don’t have to use it. Also we have a lawyer on call if any of us get into any legal trouble. We have a list of approved therapists that are trained to deal with dream walkers and are covered by the association.”
“This seems very generous.”
“Lisbeth you have to understand, we dream walkers will look out for each other. We know that if one of us goes bad it is up to the rest of us to find them and we don’t want to do that. Also a lot of us get dangerous jobs and it is up to the community to make sure we are not taken advantage of or otherwise abused.”
“Fine I get it, part of the community and all that. Anything else?”
“Yeah, Jake here is your ethics TA and Emily if your Law TA so they can help with any of those classes if you want. The only thing left is the party.”
“It’s a dream party isn’t it?”
Dream parties were the bread-and-butter of a dream walker. Dream walkers could take a person out of their own dreams and put them in another dream. This allowed for dream walkers to host parties or other meets. Since distance was not an issue, some of the larger parties could have thousands of people from all over the world, with hundreds of dream walkers ferrying people in. Dream parties were also hosted for the intelligence community and for international businesses. Because of this dream walkers that gained a reputation for confidentiality could make large amounts of money for relatively little work.
“Yeah, it’s pretty simple. You can bring anyone you want that’s not blacklisted as long as they’re local, preferably a student. Make sure you get permission to bring them first. We host the party to keep goodwill on campus, so people will do their best to try not to antagonize us and get on the blacklist.”
“So anyone I want, however many?”
“Pretty much. I’ll email you the blacklist, please don’t share it.”
“Requirements for the list?”
“Arbitrary, if someone pisses you off you can add them. Oh yeah, we also have a standing agreement with the Dwarves so we can attend any of their religious celebrations. Their first one of the year is on Friday, you can bring friends.”
After that there wasn’t much else to say, besides some friendly gossip and advice on good classes to take. Unlike others, these three understood when Lisbeth said she didn’t really care about her major; dream walker didn’t really need a degree. Eventually Emily offered to take Lisbeth back to her dorm. Lisbeth found the return trip to be much more pleasant, since she wasn’t worrying about who she was going to meet. Upon her arrival at the grey monolith of a building, she found that Mind Hall had started to grow on her.
Nerissa had promised to wait for Lisbeth in the lounge in case she needed comforting after dealing with ‘the dream walker secret society’. Lisbeth didn’t particularly feel the need for comforting, but she certainly wouldn’t mind a little bit of it. Nerissa was waiting for her in the lounge watching T.V., her back to the lounge entrance. Nerissa hadn’t noticed Lisbeth’s arrival because she was generally quiet and her shields were still up. Lisbeth decided that it would be a good time to have some fun with her.
Lisbeth vaulted over the back of the sofa Nerissa was currently seated on, then turned and pulled Nerissa into a tight hug, burying her own face in Nerissa’s chest. “Ah, umm Lisbeth. Are you ok?” Nerissa responded, rather startled.
Lisbeth didn’t respond, just pulled Nerissa into a tighter hug and started shaking. Mostly from suppressed giggles, but hey, she knew Nerissa would secretly enjoy it until she figured it out. Nerissa responded by putting her arms around Lisbeth and trying to embrace her, but the angle was a little awkward.
“Lisbeth, seriously what’s wrong?”
It was something in Nerissa’s concerned tone of voice that pushed Lisbeth over the edge and she started laughing in earnest. Looking up Lisbeth saw a look of confusion on Nerissa’s face, so she quickly pulled down her shields in way of explanation. Lisbeth was able to watch Nerissa’s face go from confusion to understanding to what she assumed was mock outrage. Nerissa, once she reached that point gave a squawk and tried to push Lisbeth back onto the sofa. This didn’t work out quite as intended, since Lisbeth was still holding onto her quite tightly. They both ended up falling back onto the sofa, and then rolling onto the floor with Nerissa ending up on top.
Lisbeth, who had ended up flat on her back, was treated to a rather unobstructed view of Nerissa’s chest down the front of her shirt. Lisbeth might have been enjoying burying her face into Nerissa’s cleavage earlier, but now she was able to fully enjoy the view as well; it was actually more impressive than Nerissa’s dream had indicated. The rest of Nerissa was also visually pleasing, her amber eyes were framed by medium-length light-brown hair, and she had a slight tan. Lisbeth was also enjoying the fact that Nerissa had decided to put her hands on Lisbeth’s shoulders and hold her down with slightly more force than was comfortable. Nerissa was looking down at Lisbeth with a slight predatory gleam in her eye, or at least she had been, now it changed to something slightly darker. What changed?
“Lisbeth have you been spying on my dreams?”
“Please don’t be mad, I was just so worried after the meeting about what everyone was thinking.”
I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Please let me make it up to you. Please don’t hate me. Lisbeth could hear her own heartbeat in her ears, her breathing rate increased even as her throat tightened up. Suddenly Nerissa was kissing her. What.
“Sorry, that seemed like the fastest way to calm you down.”
It was, too. In a way, Lisbeth was in a situation she understood, was use to controlling, and therefore she was calming. Not that she was much in control of this particular situation that was still alien to her. But it wasn’t the first time someone wanted to hold her down and take her. Nerissa practically jumped up away from Lisbeth. Why? Wait no, that was out of context, it’s only happened in dreams don’t worry about it. She saw Nerissa relax at that.
“I don’t hate you. I’m just upset, that was an invasion of my privacy. This is what normal people feel like around me isn’t it?”
“Probably. I wouldn’t know, and I really am sorry.”
“Just don’t do it again without permission, okay.”
“What about with permission? Because there is a party I would like to take you to.”