Lifting her eyes up at me, she says, ‘We had sex in a house that has just been raided. Don’t you see how...’
‘Thrilling it was?’ I reply.
‘You think that was thrilling?’
She sounds… amazed.
‘I made sure we were alone, Julia. I made sure of it.’
Her shoulders shift uncomfortably inward, as if they’re cold. I make up for the shift.
Her elbows knock my ribs, gently. I move inward and caress her breast with my pinky, and then, finally, cup it in my hand. Her frown curves upward. It stalls flat. Her eyes glaze over for a second as the memory comes to her. I keep my tongue still and watch and wait.
‘It did not just start tonight. I think this has been going on for a very long time. I noticed it for the first time today. I walked in from our work and rested. I was thinking of you, actually.’ I hide my grin. ‘The light went on and off. I saw it. I swear I saw it. I had to come here to check on the house, and also because I need to find more work. Finances aren’t so great for me at the moment.’
She sucks a sweet cold cup of air and goes on.
‘Julia. Forget finances. You know I’ll take good care of you. I’ll quadruple your salary. Don’t worry about that. What’s this other issue?’
‘I think I’m being stalked, Henry.’
‘How?’ I ask softly.
Her face points east. I follow. A closed thick black laptop rests on the dressing table. The charging light is on. It blinks on the side.
‘You think a hacker is stalking you?’
‘Hacker… sounds old, but yes. I think so.’
Feeling a primal need to protect her, I hold her arms and hoist her up. We sit at the edge of the bed. Her thighs are still sticky.
‘Do you have a bag packed and ready to go?’
‘Grab it and change. We are not safe here.’
In my mind the rational and logical steps to take slam each other in rapid fire. Her images could be all over the Internet. I could very well be a target, not knowing how many cameras were around her apartment.
The man or woman, the intruder, must still be in the vicinity. Why did they choose tonight to come to her home and frighten her? What were they here for and why now?
A curled hand on my shoulder calms me. I turn. She is dressed in sweats and a cotton shirt. A hoodie. Hidden pleasures beam under these clothes. My shaft twitches, even though I know it’s the wrong time.
The streets are empty. The roar of my steed is loud. The warmth of her arms around me is more than I deserve.
We are home. I don’t bother with the lights, nor the pleasantries. Her thighs in my arm and her face in my chest, I hold and carry her down the steps into my bedroom. She does not protest. I feel her breath slow down, her guard lowered.
I know the place like a bat, and after setting her down on the bed, I move away and strike a few matches. Three candles will be enough. The gray walls blink back in old displeasure.
The room is filled with incandescent light, a taste of the vintage priests who had built this house as a church first. I turn to her, peel off my mask and plod towards the bed. She has her arms to the side, her head tilted. Her eyes are shut, and her breathing is regular. She fell asleep.
Exhausted, I believe. More emotional than physical. I take my clothes off and join her from behind, spooning and comforting her tired body. I too think of closing my eyes and dreaming of a better morning where it all makes sense.
Tonight I will take my time to observe her. To watch her. I want to study her every pattern, know every strand of hair falling from her crown.
I want to know her chest, how it heaves when she moves an inch to the left. How she reacts when I squeeze her right ass and play with her labia. How she gasps for air when I choke her. How she screams when I tell her not to cum. I want to watch her wake up with no sense of gravity, space or time.
I want her to realize just how out of control her life has become.Chapter Seven - JuliaFlickering. Subtle. Vibrant. No wind. Lush movement. I swallow. Restriction. I cannot move. Another.
I open my eyes.
On my back, I am fixed in place. My arms cannot move. I smell sage in the far distance. The air is clear and light. The towering man lifts his feet from the padded floor with calculation. I sigh.
A black pod is in his hands. His skin glows from the lights above. The lights, bulbs as tiny as strawberries, move and wave. They are candle lights. I see that now. I turn my head. More candles.