She was aware of a vague feeling of disquiet as they walked across the Square. She wasn’t quite sure where she was going, what time it was. Fumbling, she looked at her watch, to be met in turn with his smile and those eyes. She forgot why she had wanted to know the time, returning his smile and wondering if she was boring him with her chit chat. He seemed so relaxed in her company and she responded to his confidence. He hailed a taxi and she found herself staring at the West End as it passed. She felt warm, rested, secure. He smiled and nodded at her, patting her hand, caressing her shoulder. It was all so very wonderful, so very exciting. To find such a companion by sheer accident, to have such a relaxing evening in the face of the earlier disappointment. She studied the lights as they passed, wondering if perhaps she’d had a bit too much to drink. There was something niggling at the back of her mind, something uncomfortable. She tried to put it away from her as the cab stopped, she didn’t want to lose him for lack of giving him her attention.
They were in the sudden quiet of a back street. She smiled as he opened the cab door, inviting her out with a dignified flourish. He was so romantic. She thrilled inside, a secret smile of pleasure at the thought. In the shadow of tall buildings the air was cooler, cleaner. As he paid the taxi driver and his face bent away from hers, she felt her mind once more straying. There was something she was worried about, what was it? It was lost as he smiled again, encouraging her to walk with him. He opened a door, ushered her in. There was the faintest scent of citrus, something tangy. Small, enclosed, yet neither intimate nor comfortable. Where was she? It was a lift, moving silently up. She giggled as she watched the lights on the panel flicker. Oh dear, she had better not have any more to drink. She didn’t want to appear sozzled, leave a bad impression. The disquiet returned as she stood outside a heavy wooden door, her companion pressing buttons on a glittering steel panel. Something about what he was doing made her realise how expensive the door was. Expensive doors were heavy, solid: immovable. That door was expensive.
She turned, to look back for the lift, see if she could work out where she was. His hand reached down and touched her chin, pulled it gently towards him. He kissed her then, for the first time, and the ground swayed under her feet. Oh yes, this was it, this was it! He was the one, the one she had been waiting for, longing for. She smiled, leaned into him, felt his clothing against her. Smooth, sensual. The door opened and she was walking inwards, his hand gently covering the small of her back. She could feel his coolness through her dress, excitement flooding her. She took a step forward, hesitated, stopped. Something was wrong, something was very wrong. It was dark where they were heading. She turned, to move back, but his hand was on her shoulder, cool and demanding, what was it she wanted to say? She opened her mouth to speak, and he was there again, kissing her, swallowing her up. There really wasn't anything wrong; it was all rather exciting. She was as light as a feather, dancing, being carried through the air by his charm. Pale colours flowed around her, lights moving as they walked. The stars above her head were swirling, dancing with them as they moved. Dark green splashes of colour whizzed by. Her head lolled back, losing contact with his body. He tipped her forward again, and she snuggled onto his shoulder. This was so very fine, so very very fine.
The feel of the bed coming up from under her sent the warnings ringing out again. That was what was wrong, had been wrong since the restaurant; those damn bells. When were they going to stop that damned clanging? She tried to sit up. A mouth fastened over hers, drew out her breath, pulled at her, tugged something from her. What was she doing? All she could focus on was the cool mouth that was draining her of warmth. No, that wasn’t right, she was enjoying this. His mouth on hers, drawing, sucking. Imagined so many times before, she knew it was to have been warm, comforting. Not cool. But this mouth was cool, almost cold. Her surprise at that thought almost surfaced, but at the same time a hand started a soft, circular caress on her right breast. Joanne found her senses slipping into the heat and drive of the man floating somewhere above her. There was that cool mouth again, his salty taste, his hands, rough but welcomed, so very welcomed. His mouth lifted away from her, leaving her empty. Disappointment shook her body, she moved to follow after him. A tongue rested lightly on her neck, teasing, a hand moving over her stomach, rubbing downwards, pushing her back on the bed. Her trembling intensified. She had never imagined it could be like this. Back car fumblings and quick passions in parents’ beds, hurried to make sure they weren’t caught, had never been like this. This was what she’d waited for, dreamed for. This is what she’d known was in her path, one day. No silly stationary cupboard humping for her: no office tensions had yet caused her to drop her standards. Her body caught fire, the sharp, contracting pain in her groin catching her by surprise. The pain was intense, as she curled around the thought of loving him, being breached by him. She groaned and arched her back, truly slipping beyond her own awareness. There was only that tight, cutting pain, the burning in her breasts, the need for more. Her legs opened.
Although it had been a long time since Dreyfuss had loved physically with a woman, he had not forgotten the art of seduction. On whimsy, he excited the young woman beneath him, pulling out from her responses she had not known were hidden within her. He could feel her awareness, her excitement; it was this that served to pleasure him. He stroked and petted her, kissed and caressed, till the fire that was upon her, was upon him. Her complete physical acceptance touched him, was pleasing to him. She was an open book, and he could read her language with ease. There was a vulnerability that teased at him, made him feel protective and paternalistic. He had wanted to play, and in her trust found a game of innocence and beguilement. An odd taste for the evening, but the palette responded well to change. He waited until she was almost sated, when the scent of her salt and musk flooded him: then he moved. Centring his mouth along the vein which coiled around the base of the neck, he kissed her hard, sucking, biting, bringing her blood up to meet him. The sharp piercing pain as he opened her was lost in her climax, in the sudden hot flush to his mouth. Salt and heat as he filled himself. The first rush of pleasure over, he drew slowly; swallowing: savouring. All ceased to exist apart from his mouth, its convulsions, the endless stream that he drew up into himself. Her blood was incredibly rich, loaded with the earlier meal. The alcohol he had pushed upon her coming back up to meet him, warming him. Soon, all that she was would be his, and it would be a fine moment for them both. She would die in ecstasy, a rare gift in this world, and he would live by her sacrifice, satisfied with what she had offered. He fell into her blood and drank.
Fire exploded all through her. There was nothing but heat and flame and the enveloping waves that pulsed from her groin. Everything was washed ahead in the wave of pleasure, so intense it was akin to pain, ripping through her. She felt herself cry out, her spine convulsing, her legs jerking, her throat tightening. There was nothing; nothing but the long, slow flow of blood pulsing through her. She throbbed in its wake, the heat subsiding. She longed for rest, for safety. Everything in her wished to relax and give herself up to that binding, to the warmth that filled her. To fall into the sleep offered her. That sated, resting sleep. To heal herself upon its joy. She sought the sleep, sought the rest. Reaching out with her mind, she tried desperately to pull it down with her, bring it with her into her dreams.
She shivered. Shivered again. Somewhere, somehow, she was cold. She could feel the cold. It fell upon her, swallowing her. Swallowing her heat, eating her dreams. She fought the cold, tried to move back to that feeling, that feeling of belonging and completion. It slipped away from her. She moaned, muttered, moved, protested. She wanted the feeling back, and she was not going to go until it came with her.
Movement jolted him, impinging upon the scent in his nostrils. Under him, the body had tensed, was trying to throw him off. How amusing; that had been the least expected of reactions. Remedy was swift and effective. He felt a surge of power as he further opened the wound, her essence flooding him, sending him flying into the night, soaring through the darkness. He could hear her heart falter as pressure dropped, veins beginning to slurry. There, teasing in the back of his mind, he could sense her death, waiting for him to finish his pleasure. He pulled her closer, eagerly awaiting her final gift. Then, from nowhere, as the life’s flow was at its sweetest, he was without blood: without source. His vision cleared and the dreaming fell from him. He blinked, bringing the room back into focus. She was standing there, pale, beside the bed. Blood flowed freely from the gash that the leaving of him had torn across her neck. She was shaking, not from fear, from fury.
Her eyes blazed at him: how dare he, how dare he!
Dreyfuss sat up and stared at the being who had defied him when he was in full feed. He looked at the girl, her life flowing from her neck, oozing onto the floor. She was a pale and empty little thing, not even fully aware of her own needs. He smiled into her shaking eyes, lifted his hand to her, inviting their reunion. She took a step back, so fast she almost stumbled and fell. It was his turn to stare, to wonder. It was slow to build, lost as he had been in the feeding, but anger at her defiance entered the game. He shook his hand again, repeating the invitation, a warning about refusal openly given.
She stared at him, horror growing in her eyes: she was breaking the thrall. His eyes narrowed in annoyance. Open panic filled her features, she turned to flee.
His hand snaked out instinctively, grabbing her by the hair, yanking her back to the bed, back to his embrace. She whirled round and slapped him across the face. The tide of his own anger lit out from him, fast and bright. Releasing her hair he pulled back his arm, the blow sending her away, to land heavily against the wall. She crumpled and lay still. To defy him, at the moment of their shared ecstasy? To raise a hand to him? She would die in pain for reward.
Catching her up, he fastened again on her throat, intent on sucking her dry. His hands held her fast, fingers dug deeply into flesh too spent to bruise. The torn throat gave him easy purchase and he set to devour all she had, all she had ever been. Even then, almost dead, wrung like a cloth, she groaned, moving against him. He felt the bitterness of her rebellion on his tongue. He pulled back, spoiled for her. He reached for her neck, a quick snap and she would be gone forever. His hands enclosed her, seeking to find the right spot, where vertebrae would be easiest pushed apart from vertebrae. Still she protested, fought his actions. Her hand had risen to weakly push him off, fight him away. He grasped it and pulled it away, back under her own body. What strength was left in her was used to arch her back, giving off her message: fight, no matter how trapped you are; fight. He smiled and leaned down to kiss her. Somewhere, in the haze of her dying, she noticed him, and whispered up to him.
The words barely made it out of her mouth such was her weakness. My, he thought, such language from an innocent! He let her loose, grinning at her stubbornness. Some things were eternal, after all. Spirit such as this was rarely found, never mind uncovered so surprisingly. A part of him was pleased to have found a little savage in a cheap white dress. Without much thought for it he picked her up and tossed her back on the bed, the action more to do with an innate sense of tidiness than anything else. In the roots of his mouth an ache was building. He had been roused by her, his instincts kindled. Nothing would substitute for a full life, not now. The thirst was upon him, and he would quench it. He changed quickly, abandoning her gore for cleaner clothing. She would probably bleed to death before he returned.
The catching was easy, there were many who walked the streets in search of love, or death. When he raised his head he realised that her anger was still upon him. There was no throat left to the boy who had courted him, thinking only to find food for the night. Well food was what had been found, if not to his precise liking. He dropped the empty flesh onto the rails of Earl’s Court tube station. Another suicide, or fumbling mishap. London was used to that.
He returned home on foot, enjoying the night air and sense of freedom. The scents from the park beguiled him as he slipped past the shadow of the Albert Hall, disappearing out of the streets as effortlessly as he had emerged. After washing he retired, falling into a deep and dreamless sleep. When he rose in the middle afternoon he felt surprisingly rested. Light and alert. Active. As the coffee percolated, he went to check on his guest. To his surprise, she was still alive. The bruising on her jaw was minimal as there had been little blood within her to damage. She and the bed were splattered with dark brown splodges of dead blood; a shocking waste. What to do with her? Strangely, he had no instinct on the matter. Dreyfuss was mostly instinct. To survive as he survived, he had to be. He mused upon his own lack of immediate direction: a Dreyfuss without purpose was a strange and curious thing. He returned to his own bedroom and studied the matter.
As he showered, it occurred to him that the decision may be taken out of his hands. Returning to her room, which was a curious way for his mind to put it given how many had occupied it before her, he checked her pulse and blood pressure. A choice had to be made. To let her die, and end the matter, or allow her life? That was a nonsense, for she was meat as he looked at her. Dead was dead. The issue was when, not if. But something about that stubbornness had surprised him. Surprise in a life such as his was precious: unexpected bounty. Perhaps he’d kill her tomorrow? Regardless, she would die when he said so, not before.
He made a quick phone call. An hour later a courier delivered ten units of basic saline, plasma and sterile equipment. He set a drip, inserting the valve into the back of her hand quickly and cleanly. He refrained from polluting her with any drugs: if she’d been going to go under it would have happened before now. Wary of leaving her unconscious with a needle in her arm, he phoned his apologies through to the golf club; someone else would have to deliver the after dinner speech. Thinking that through, he contacted his second in command: things would have to run without him for a few days. He’d attend to any urgent mail that came into his study but apart from that, he was not to be disturbed. Well used to this, Gerald signed off in eager anticipation of a week in which he could call the shots.
Filling a bowl with tepid water and antiseptic, Dreyfuss attended to her neck. With all the gunge off, the tear was less than he had thought. Pressing the ragged edges together long enough to stop the fresh weeping, he carefully applied four paper stitches, sealing the mess with his own blood. Then he cut her dress and knickers off, sponging her down with cool water, remaking the bed around her. Rechecking her pulse and respiration he adjusted the flow of the drip and switched the light off as he went. He made a light snack of steak and eggs, settling down to watch a movie in peace.
Her dry coughing woke him from the rather pleasant slumber that he had slipped into. He had been dreaming of Eléan; which was unusual, for he had not dreamt of her in years. In the dream, she was calling to him, with that wicked half grin on her sly face. The call in the dream became the cough of his guest: he roused himself. She was half conscious, drifting in the way of those lost in the fight to waken. He gave her a few sips of water, checking her vital signs. She was fine, more or less, and he took out the drip. He needed to sleep, and she would be in the way, so he filled her veins with sedative. He went to bed and dreamed another dream of Eléan.
Looking in on her the next morning he was satisfied to see she had responded well to the enforced slumber. Her fatigued body was slowly recovering from the added stress of their encounter. Her mind wasn’t happy with the arrangement, her twisting and turning had pulled the sheet out from under her, but her skin tone was improved greatly. He shot her through once more with enough sedative to keep her under for a few more hours. His body ached from lack of activity and he felt in need of more work out than could be achieved on his home equipment. It wouldn’t do to have her up and around, screaming and pathetic when he returned from the gym. Without thought of it, his hands drifted over her body in more than a clinical assessment of injury. He hesitated over her breasts, slowly dragging his fingers over her left nipple. It sprung to life, reacting to his touch. He smiled, that sense of complete possession as sweet as ever. For whimsy, he brought the other to attention by the merest of touch of his breath. Sensing his invasion, she pulled away, a frightened moan escaping her lips. His smile deepened as he reached once more for the sedative. He pushed her so far under he heard her heart slow, her breathing hesitate, before settling into shallow swoops. He pinched her hard, on the fold under her arm: nothing. Lifting a lid he touched her eye: nothing. The smile that slipped from his lips as his hands travelled down to her groin was nothing short of a gloat: it was always so easy. The pleasure in digging his fingers deep inside her was not the pleasure of invasion, for that was a pleasure that palled all too quickly. It was the complete absence of awareness in her slack face, the total surrender of her limbs that enthralled him. She had no clue as to what was happening to her. He dug around, pushing the dry warm flesh this way and that, until it filled with moistness and expanded. He stabbed his rigid fingers into her cervix: nothing. All that was in her world, now, was his will. Even when she was unconscious, all she was, was his. Satisfied, he cleaned his fingers on the bedding and left.
He enjoyed the walk through the back streets to the gym he favoured for swimming. Most of the weights and running equipment was too light-weight, but the pool was almost perfect. He mulled the situation over as he pushed himself endlessly through the water, length after length ripped in two and left behind him. Which was the more sustained pleasure, the subtle yet silent power of the invisible, or the more immediate involvement of fear and struggle? It was an eternal question, one that he never truly managed to answer. For as he indulged in one, the other would entice his mind, beguiling him with the promise of more: a longer lasting satisfaction, a sharper and sweeter joy. It was a dilemma that shaped much of his life, that pushed and pulled at many layers of his living. Even now, as he changed back to the butterfly, it teased at him, took his mind off the rhythm of his stroke. For strength, he preferred to work out at home, where prying eyes could not react to the dead weights he could so easily conquer. He could pile the pressure onto his body, fighting his own limitations, testing out his mind’s strength in complete secrecy: no awareness of watchful humans to slow his responses and advise caution. Stamina however was always a public sport. No pleasure there unless observed, no triumph unless the bested stood in front of him, wheezing and shaking in their defeat. Five of the gym’s finest had slowly watched as he turned again and again, each length timed exactly to match the previous. In stamina he was only slightly more than they, each turn meting out as much punishment on him as it did them: yet he never lost. Three had taken his silent challenge today, and two were spent and useless, fighting for breath at the pool’s edge. He gloried in their weakness, their lack. The one still struggling on and on with him, ploughing a now straggly furrow in his wake, was going to drop out soon: the switch to butterfly had seen to that.He smiled as he tucked under once more, kicking softly against the edge, unwilling to allow his strength to gain him advantage. The victory would be his fairly; there was the joy. The only pain was that it would soon be time to move on, find new territory. Few accepted the silent challenge anymore, too much defeat etched in their faces. A new club with a well sheltered pool would have to be found. New meat to be taunted with his pale and slender body. New muscle bound fools to pitch against him, to be fired up by his feet kicking dust in their eyes as he passed. He mused on the pleasures in his life as he dried, aware that today’s prize had been bought for him by his sleeping playmate. The joys had once more begun to drain out of his life, slowly, almost unnoticed. The taste of her defeat had awakened him, brought life back to a jaded palate. A few days off work to play, to sport: that was just what he needed. What a gift he would give her, letting her final days serve his greater needs.