January 29, 2014

Vampire in the Passenger's Seat

The smell of him hung in the air like the last stitch of clothing in the dance of the 7 veils.  His gothic charms working their serpentine spell on her.  She could barely sit still, wanting only to crawl in his lap, entwine her fingers in those wavy dark locks, drink in the cold aloofness in his umber eyes, and commit suicide by drowning in the scent of his skin.  Sandalwood, tobacco, cloves, and the essence of rich earth wound their way through her thoughts as if they were her fingers in his hair while they sat, shoulders touching, trying to concentrate on community theater.

All the world may be a stage, but to her it was a monologue; the soundtrack the rush of her pulse and the heat of her skin.  This was their 5th date, but the first to offer the chance to dress in their finery under the guise of showing respect to the stage.  As the house lights fell, and the curtain rose, the murmurs in the house fell away.  Somewhere, a stage hand cued what sounded like a boom box with the opening score, and the shoddily painted sets come into view.  What followed was nearly 2 hours of discomfort, like having an itch that's too personal to scratch in public.

Their expression of enjoyment at the last curtain call mirrored the efforts under the lights; it was forced and hasty.  All of her salacious thoughts had evaporated in an unconscious effort to stave off fidgeting from boredom. Hastily they made their way through the departing crowds towards the exits.  Coats barely cover their shoulders as the cold night air wove its chilly tendrils through the throng of patrons.

As they walked in the cold of the December night, the cutting north wind blew his ropey mane from his shoulders.  He reached his gloved hand to the collar of his pea coat to protect his skin from the chill.  The peek of pale skin nestled below the black wool and the fleeting whiff of musk propelled her forward towards the warmth of the pub.  Rather than call the evening on account of disappointment, they'd decided to try and salvage the date by conspiring in dimly lit oubliettes, over cocktails, sharing knowing looks over the rim of a glass.  For theirs was the beginning of a delightful chase where one would feign losing ground and wait till the other caught up, only to sprint off and bidding the other to follow.  Innuendo clung to them like careless lipstick on a clandestine collar.

They sat, posing for the eyes that might be stealing glances at their hiding beneath the shadows and behind the velvet curtains, baiting the other to advance.  A caress, a wink, a oh-so-subtle quiver of the lip.  As the hour progressed, their need to retire grew strong.  He paid the tab as she stood behind him, enjoying the warmth of the alcohol and the knowledge she'd soon be walking just with him, strolling back to the car where they'd be alone.  

The wind tore the door from her hands, taking the warmth under her coat with it.  Grabbing for the buttons on her coat, she struggled to gather the fabric around her.  Scarf wrapped dandily around his neck, he shielded her from the worst of the wind.  When finished, she plunged her hands into the pockets, having forgotten her gloves at home in the rush to leave at the sound of his knock on her door.  Like so, they strolled, shuddered against the wind and cold, through the shuttered streets.  

The tail lights flashed as he unlocked the doors.  She slid into the passenger seat, rubbing her hands and blowing on them.  Her breath forming a meager cloud in the cabin.  The cold of the metal seat belt bit into her fingers as she clicked it into place.  Clasping her fingers together in front of her mouth, he backed out of the parking stall and merged into traffic on the way to ferry her home.  

He pulled into her driveway before the heater had a chance to warm up.  Turning the key in the ignition, the engine shuttered into silence.  They turned to each other, prolonging the moment by saying how odd the play was, but that the conversation over lambec was the jewel of the evening.  As he reached in to play with the locks of hair draped over his shoulder, he grabbed her hand.  Smirking, he commented on the pallor of her skin, that it was so fair he might be convinced that she was raised from the dead.  To which, she only raised her eyebrow and gave him a half smile; painted lips parting just far enough to expose the glint of her incisor.  Her wordless insinuation may as well have been a challenge.  Never one to back away, his eyes held hers, unblinking, his left hand grabbing her as he slid his right thumb and middle finger up her wrist, feeling for a pulse.  His smirk fell slightly and his gaze dropped as he pushed his hand further up her sleeve, finding nothing but skin and chill.

Inhaling deeply, she leaned in towards him, placed his hand on her throat, and purred "You indulge me." into his ear.  His hands searched for warmth and the heartbeat he worriedly needed to find.  Ignoring his thrumming panic, she nosed his hair aside, and stole a quick nibble of his ear lobe, rolling her tongue over his flesh, pushing with her teeth only hard enough for him to know they're there.  "Good night." she more exhaled than said, enjoying the faraway look in his eyes.  And with that, she grabbed her clutch and was gone; the deep shadows of the porch hiding her as she unlocked her front door and slipped inside.

It was 10 minutes or so before the engine of his car turned over, and still longer yet before he reversed onto the street and was gone.  The tendrils of panic in his face as he considered the mortality of the woman sitting next to him had been priceless. It was their 5th - and last - date.

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