The girl Hunter was grinding onto wasn't very attractive. Desperate, she'd put on a low dress and done her hair. The beer was already affecting him, and she looked much better in the changing lights and loud music. By now Michael's actual ability was out manuevering Hunter's energy, and he kept getting requests to dance with other women. Every time though, the girl in his hands looked up at him and smiled, beaming, and he just couldn't bring himself to let her go. In all honesty, Michael was falling for her, slowly but surely.
The first time Michael and Samantha kissed was at 2:30 am, on the dance floor at Jimmy's Bar. He asked her her name, and she told him. He didn't find out any more about her on purpose, because he liked the mystery.
By then Michael was focused on her and he had sobered up quite a bit. Her features were delicate, like a rose without thorns. When he finally found a few precious seconds to move his eyes off her, Hunter was gone. There was no way to tell if he had taken a girl home or gone back on his own after having a few more drinks.
“Is something wrong?” the girl asked, and pouted ever so slightly.
“Is something wrong?” the girl asked, and pouted ever so slightly.
“No, no. My friend went home is all. I didn't see him go,” he said softly.
“Oh.” She smiled. “Well, it's getting late you know.”
“Yeah I know. It's okay, I don't feel bad about missing it.” He held her close, and kissed her again. She pulled away, and Michael looked surprised. “What's wrong?”
“I have to go...” She held Michael's hand as she walked to the counter and retrieved her bag and pulled out a pen and paper. She wrote something quick on it. “Here, it's my number. Call me, okay?”
“Okay, I will.”
Samantha walked out, looking back for a brief moment before exiting through the swinging doors. It was almost time for last call, so he headed back to the bar and ordered a few more drinks so he'd go home warm in the cool air. Damn, tonight was good, he said to himself, before realizing he'd have to pay for Hunter's rent. He took a seat next to an old man way past his prime, his skin aged by smoking, and a young women with dark red hair and highlights of black. She was drinking her own whiskey or rum, of which Michael couldn't be sure. When he ordered his drink, she turned to him, and asked him a very open question.
“Do you like that girl?” She was so forward that Michael was taken aback.
“Uhm, yea. She was nice.” He responded, surprised.
“You don't have to lie. I can see it in your eyes. She was a beautiful little thing too. You should be happy.”
Michael looked closer, trying to tell if she was just fucking with him or if she was completely serious. Her eyes were incredibly dark, a deep shade of some color Michael couldn't quite place. Her black lipstick shined against her soft, white skin and her hair kicked out energetically from its roots. She was looking at him with a soft smile, enticingly sexy, and along her neck was a patterned tattoo of a symbol Michael didn't recognize.
“Well?” she pushed.
“Yes, yes, okay? She was amazing. It's been awhile since I met someone I felt I actually liked. Why the fuck do you care?” He wasn't comfortable talking to this strange woman about this, not at all.
“Because, I was watching. It was...interesting.”
“Huh?” He was truly confused now.
“Tell me; what took her from a simply attractive woman to whatever it is she is now in your mind?”
Truly stunned, Michael leaned back a little. He had to think hard on this, through the liquor and dehydration, to come up with his response.
“It was her smile. I think. The way she looked at me, I could tell she felt the same. Guess that's all there was to it.” He paused. “What's your name?”
“Well, wouldn't you like to know? Let's not..” She leaned in close, her lips incredibly close to his ear, “make this personal.” Michael's eyes followed her hand, tipped in red nail polish, as she looked him in the eyes unblinking. It slowly moved toward his cheek...and touched it ever so slightly. Michael was lost in the sensation of arousal; the way she'd simply touched him to make him feel this way making causing an even more heightened attraction. With the slightest pressure she caressed it, following a line to his neck, causing arcs of cool energy to race through his veins. The hair on the back of his neck stood upright, and with her thumb she pushed his head to the side. It was moving to be in line with hers. He was breathing so heavily he thought he was having an attack of some kind. His eyes followed her arm as his head turned, as his entire heart seemed to shift in his chest. Face to face she was the most beautiful human being he'd ever seen in his life, and he looked her in the eyes. His heart stopped. He was unable to breathe, as if her movements controlled what he could do. She leaned in and closed her eyes, and kissed him.
Michael felt warmth fill him. His heart started to beat again, then more quickly until it was going in machine-gun bursts. He closed his eyes and rode a roller coaster of pure adrenalin. His hands reached up on their own and one held her waist, the other the back of her head. He was on fire, full of heat, lust, and desire. She was the one he'd been waiting for. He was sure of that now. Why else would.. Michael lost his thoughts as her other hand moved up his leg, causing it to spasm. Sensing that he was having too much at once, she let go and leaned back. Staring him in the eyes she pulled a few hundreds out of her bag on the counter, and placed them on the table. The old man sprang for them but the bartender was too fast and snatched them, as the old man cursed and continued to drink. Without blinking she got off her stool, and grabbed his hand.
“Come with me.” She said.
“It could be said that men are weak creatures. That what they do is beastly, inhuman, and wrought in lucid imaginings. Simply put, men can be considered monsters of the classical bedtime stories, of the things we never wish to be. They are only animals, looking for survival in a world doused in chemical addiction and laced with debauchery. But the truth is much darker. We seek excuse for these actions of violence and sexual perversion. We seek affirmation that we are the 'norm'.
We are the monsters of our own nightmares. We scare ourselves. We are what is human.”
-Prof. Of Psychology at Clintwood International College
Lucas Brown, Phd.
The girl didn't so much as drag Michael from the bar as she guided him along a path he was destined to follow; or at least it felt that way. She never once turned back as they exited the bar, went out the doors and down the street. Then something struck Michael, like an anvil to molten metal.
“Where are we going?” he asked for the first time.
“You'll see, Michael.”
He'd never told her his name. He'd never said it out loud the entire time they were at Jimmy's. How did she know? Was she a stalker? Was she going to kill him?
“Are you going to kill me?!” He couldn't stop himself from saying it.
She stopped in the sidewalk, turned around and came nose to nose with him. Heat seemed to emanate off her body in waves, pulses of it washing over him. It was amazing, as if every beat of her heart could warm her surroundings.
“No, I'm not going to kill you. I wanted to show you something. Something I think you can appreciate.” She licked the sliver between his lips and worked her way into his mouth, and they embraced. From that point on Michael followed her without question, unsure of the ending but excited for the journey of wherever he was headed.
This was the best night of his life.
As it turned out, the location wasn't as important as the reasoning for the woman. She took him to a darkened alley, empty say for the trashed newspapers on the ground and the guttural howl of the air being squeezed down the passage. As he followed her down it, he was drawn to one particular place of no obvious significance. It lay just beyond the dumpster, and the woman let go of his hand and stood on the point. He stopped, terrified for what would come next.
“Come here. I'm not going to hurt you.”
“O-okay.” He took a step forward, then another. She reached out to him and mouthed 'come' and added an innocent smile to the end, and he closed the last few feet without exploding or being shot, like he thought would happen.
Even in the breeze he could feel her warmth. It drew him in almost as much as her deep eyes and beautiful visage, but more than that, as he stood there waiting, he felt the breeze die down. This was a key moment, Michael was sure, but for what reason he did not know.
“I wanted to show you this.” She reached into her handbag and pulled out a small box.
“What is it? A keepsake? Something important to you?”
“You could say that.” She smiled that pulling smile that made you swallow and your manhood jump, and she opened it. Inside it looked like a normal box, but it was lined with something hard to make out in the darkness. The woman grabbed his hand and put it inside, and he could tell what they were immediately. Cigarettes. A Hundred at least. They were hand rolled, set beside one another perfectly, and they seemed filled to the brim with tobacco.
“Go ahead, take one. I made them myself.” He was compelled to grab one. He held it up in the light and it seemed to glow, the white paper glossy and soft at the same time casting a sheen onto the brick wall beside them. He could make out every detail. They were perfect.
“These are...these are perfect. I've never seen such...well...good ones before. How did you..?”
“Trade secret.” She replied, and giggled.
It was hand rolled, of that Michael was still certain, but either she was a master roller or she had used a machine to do it, because it was symmetrical, lump less, and had no markings of being roughed by human hands. Michael was lost between her allure, the sweet scent of tobacco in the air, and the sensation of the beating warmth undulating across his every feature. He wanted to smoke this cigarette with this girl, and he wanted to do it now.
“Can we smoke one?”
“I thought you'd never ask. Here, you take that one, and I'll have my own.” She pulled a lighter out of her pocket, and put the box away. She lit one of the cigarettes, breathed the open air in deeply, and breathed back out again. The smoke washed over him, a fog. Out of it came the lighter, which he took.
Michael held the cigarette in one hand, light the end, and sucked in.