Please enjoy this strange, oddly sexy, ghoulish tale. I hope it give you shivers of all kinds. Please, enjoy.
“Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
Love can transpose to form and dignity.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath Love's mind of any judgment taste;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste.”
― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream
“Tell me.” Her voice, hoarse and hushed, whispered into the sightless, scopeless space Eli no longer recognized as his room. Without his glasses, the witching hour had warped his pitch-black bedroom, distorting the familiar shapes and scales into strange shades of themselves.
“Say it.” Her tone tightened as he felt Her lean in closer. Her hot breath felt wet as it fluttered against his shivering skin. He bit his lip to seal the words back, blood touching his tongue sharp and metallic like a sacrifice.
He wouldn’t say it. Couldn’t.
Lord knew, he shouldn’t.
Eli tried to turn away, but he was dragged back by the tangled tug of his trapped strands held tight in Her hand, his scalp burning as She pulled. His teeth released on a gasp, his head forced back to stretch and expose his vulnerable throat as he gulped breathlessly.
He loved Her.
“I can make you,” She murmured with a biting sweetness that sunk sharp as the nails that scratched and scored his scalp. “You know I can.”
Utterly unwillingly, he loved Her.
Eli’s head reared back as his spine arched against the sensation—like a current, live and electric—that shot through him from the silken weight that swooped almost unbearably hot atop him. She slithered over him, the satiny slide of Her hair spilling around him as She lowered Herself over him, the touch of Her skin a scorch along the length of his body. Each caress felt like a lash as Her ankles linked and lingered, brushing the bony bridge of Her left foot up and down and up his leg again.
Her hands crept to press hard against his chest. It scalded, that touch, as She sidled over his body, Her legs vice-like as they pressed into his hips. He cried out, the sound scratchy and weak compared to the scream caught—choked—in his throat.
Blind in the heavy darkness, he writhed against the small, but unshakable shape anchoring him down onto the comforter. Fragile fingers gripped his wrists like manacles as manicured nails dug like talons into his skin. He couldn’t see Her. Not really. Just a faint outline—a sinuous shadow—flowing, undulating over him as his near-sighted eyes strained to see.
He tried to trace the curve of Her, to touch with his gaze what his shackled hands couldn’t take. But the more he fought to focus on Her—to know the secrets of Her shoulders and spine, Her cheeks and thighs—the more She seemed to melt into the moonless night.
He lunged for Her, gritting out a throaty growl. With his hands and hips still held tight, he surged—whole-bodied and determined—toward Her, reaching for Her heat. Aching against the halted arch, he snarled as his chest met nothing.
Just the echo of Her.
Warmth like the smoke from a spectral flame.
He fell back to the bed, defeat a dull thump in the down as Her laughter, light and low, purred in his ear like a taunt. “Tell me.” The summons was a song that set his teeth on edge. Her tongue flicked a fiery lick along the sweat-slicked skin of his neck. “Tell me.”
So he did.
Like he always did.
He told Her. He loved Her.
She smiled, the white gleam almost swallowed by the dark, as She tore the confession from his mouth—his soul—on a howling moan. His whole body tightened as the tortured sound spilled out into the shadows. He jerked, his release a ragged, rough relief that left him feeling drained as Her body blanketed his.
She’s so hot, he marveled on a mewling yawn, Her skin all soft and slick heat. He should have been warm beneath Her, warmed by Her. Instead, he let his tired eyes close and shivered against Her as She cuddled closer, a fire that burned but offered no comfort. A flame that stole heat and gave none back.
God help me, he thought as he drifted off into dream, I love Her.
* * *
Eli woke the next morning, his tired eyes reluctantly blinking against the glaring sunlight that seeped in through the window blinds. He groaned as he rolled over onto his back, staring up at the ceiling as wakefulness washed over him. He stretched across the mattress in a sulky sprawl, his hand drifting unthinking to the other side of the bed. He stopped with a frown as he touched the mattress.
She was gone, an almost forgotten phantom faded in the light of day.
Shivering, despite the warm, west coast morning, Eli grabbed the blankets kicked to the foot of the bed and curled into their comfort. He closed his eyes as a serene smile pulled at his lips. Rolling into the bedding, he liked to think he could still smell Her—earthy and spiced—a scent left lingering against the pillow. He inhaled deeper but, if it had been there a moment before, it was already gone.
Groaning gruffly, he sat up, his hand still clutching the duvet about his shoulders. He grabbed his glasses and scooted to the edge of the bed. Squinting as he adjusted the frames on his face, he glared out at the bright, blue skies a moment before getting dressed.
He pushed his bedroom door open and stepped into the hallway, feeling easier in the shadowy space. Padding down the hallway, his bare feet crept across the hardwood floor. The slight squeak of it sounded loud in the silence as his feet stuck and smacked with each step.
Eli paused as he reached for the stair railing, a soft sound stalling his hand.
Low and seductive, Her laugh was distinct, sending an instinctive shudder through him as his spine stiffened. His fist gripped the railing hard. Lord, he knew that sound, unmistakable yet somehow strange. He cocked his head, trying to decide what was different.
It was dulcet, Her laugh, sweet and delicate. Louder as it fluttered freer through the airy space of the house, it had a lightness to it that it’d lacked in the hushed shadows. Listening to it now, he wondered if it were really Her at all.
Eli frowned and closed his eyes. For a moment, he just breathed and listened as that laugh moved into muted whispers, the hushed tones like ashes from a familiar fire. Step by stumbling step, he started down the stairs, led as if on a leash.
He turned around the corner, past the living room and toward the kitchen, Her voice beckoning him closer with murmured words he could barely hear and couldn’t understand. His hand raised instantly, the sunlight streaming in through the large bay window jarring him as he entered the room. He blinked.
“Morning,” Eli heard his roommate, James, greet.
Eli took off his glasses and blinked again—and again—clearing his vision. He pressed his fingers against his eyes, banishing the exploding lights throbbing just behind closed lids. Wiping his watering eyes, he slipped back on his glasses and peered until James and his girlfriend, Marisol, emerged from the blur.
At the stove, the couple looked so wholesome framed by spice racks and brightly painted walls. A multicultural Rockwell.
“Morning,” Marisol echoed, her voice sweet and demure, as she anchored a long strand of dark, heavy hair behind her ear, her tanned, sun-kissed cheeks flushing prettily pink.
Eli nodded to them both with a still groggy grunt before moving to the coffeemaker, the aroma of it calling to him. He poured himself a cup, all the while studying the couple making oatmeal on the stove. He leaned against the counter and watched Marisol lean in to feed James a bite of fruit, the ripe strawberry passing through smiling lips. Eli’s lips thinned as she wiped red juice from James’s chin, his pale skin a stark contrast against her delicate hand. Letting out a low laugh, James licked the tip of Marisol’s finger before leaning down to kiss her, just a swift, sweet brush.
Eli drank deeply, raising his cup high until all he could see, smell, and feel was the dark, bitter brew that burned his tongue. He watched as fog from his breath and the coffee’s heat built on his glasses, clouding his sight. He turned to leave, to head back upstairs, the mug hot in his hands, when he stopped suddenly.
He flinched as sunlight flared bright and hot behind a cloud blown by the wind, blinding him further through the misty film on his lenses. He scowled and lifted his hand up to his eyes as he passed by the kitchen window.
Shielded from the sun, he blinked at a flash of a figure in the glass. The mirrored apparition reflected back, meeting his gaze heatedly through the pane like a visual touch.
Even half-blind, he knew Her sweet, dark skin, that smooth expanse that dared touch. Knew the cocksure tilt of Her head and the coy curve of Her spine. A shiver slithered through him as the room—the air and feel of it—changed. Eli whirled around, hot coffee sloshing on his hand. His heartbeat raced as he choked past the dreading excitement clogging his throat. Almost too afraid to move, he looked.
But She was gone.
Eli’s gaze narrowed on James and Marisol, warmed by the day shining in through the window. With their backs now turned to him in the sunlit kitchen, their twittering laughter was muffled as they huddled close over the sweet-smelling meal held warm in their hands.
He frowned as he removed his glasses with a swift whip of his head, polishing the lying lenses on his shirt with furious fingers. Putting the cleaned frames back on, he peered at the window, trying to see something—anything—besides the bright, sunny day.
With a disappointed sigh, he shook his head at the crisp, clear, late summer morning before clutching the steaming cup in his hands and heading back toward the shadowed stairs.
* * *
Eli woke up with a start, still sleep-thick as he blinked hard at the black that blanketed his bedroom. His leg instinctively kicked out at the slight tickle creeping up his calf but the thick sheets, tangled tight around his chilled feet, trapped him.
Struggling against the bonds, he gasped at a hard clasp on his ankle. His entire body stiffened as his eyes snapped open.
At that almost silent hiss, he blinked frantically into the dark night that all but robbed him of his senses. His still sleepy eyes strained, forcing some kind of sight, until those shifting shades took shape.
She hovered at the foot of his bed, a dark shadow smiling down with one hard, insistent hand on his leg, the other pushing deep into the down comforter. One knee rose to perch on the edge of the mattress, Her movements slow, stalking. Predatory. Eli held his breath as he watched Her crawl up the bed to loom over him, Her hair—long and loose about Her—falling down around Her as it stroked his skin, a silken curtain cutting off the world, leaving only them.
She shushed him again, over and over, the sound both a soothing coo and a purred warning.
His jaw tightened against a groan as he jerked at biting nails that climbed up his limbs to clamp around his knees. He gritted back a plea—a building, begging need that bubbled up his throat—as She pulled Herself up along his body, clawing his flesh.
For a moment, She released Her hold on him. But his brief sigh of relief ended in a hiss as fingers armed with sharp, manicured tips grazed high along the sensitive skin of his thighs, leaving long, red trails he didn’t need to see to know burning in their wake.
Her humming moan harmonized with him, a keening melody in the quiet night as Her hips settled heavy over his, pressing hard along the heels of Her hands. Her weight—the tangible heft and the untouchable substance of it—hurt as it bore down on him.
He needed to move. He needed to fight, to struggle, to get free. He squirmed, trying to buck Her higher—lower—anywhere other than where She’d seated Herself. But She would not be moved. Thighs, soft but strong, locked along his hips, holding them still in silent warning as Her hands roamed up to coast along his chest, his shoulders, and up the stretched length of his arms to wrap around his wrists.
He let out a ragged grunt as She leaned down over him, the fluid fall of Her hair cool as it hit his hot skin. He turned his face away from grinning lips a taunting breath away, but he was surrounded—Her feel, Her scent, Her presence everywhere. He inhaled deeply and shivered. The scent of spices, like smokey cardamom with a peppery heat, assaulted him, making his mouth water.
Though he thought to deny it, he needed Her closer. With a sibylline smile, She bent low and licked the hollow of his throat, Her grip tightening as his body tensed. Her lips, soft and full, sipped at him, drawing at him—drawing from him—leaving him weak and without.
His whole body lurched as Her teeth—sharp and biting—latched onto his shoulder, the tough tendon made tender under Her touch.
He moaned and writhed against Her hold that he should have been able to break but couldn’t. His muscles bunched as he tried to struggle—as he tried to try—but Her bite just tightened. Eli’s spine arched—pulled impossibly taut—his breath caught in his throat, as his body instantly shocked still. “Dear God.”
He told Her.
He loved Her.
Without prompting or order, the soft words surged from his lips before he could bite them back.
For a moment, they both stilled, both their bodies held stone-set in the brittle night. Even in the darkness, Eli could see the flickered awareness—the quickly quashed question—that flashed in Her dark, heavy-lidded eyes before She bowed Her head again, searing Her lips like a brand to his flesh. Braced against his neck, he felt Her suck in a deep breath. He groaned.
“Shhh.” The hush hissed in his ear before Her lips descended onto his, capturing his cry behind pressed, pursed lips. All words, all thoughts, left him, were wrenched from inside him into Her. Her hands tightened on his wrists as Her legs squeezed, a guttural groan rumbling both hungry and satisfied in Her throat. With an arrogant growl, She nipped at his bottom lip, sucking at its fullness. “Shhh.”