No, onto business, my #WedPeeks post for this week is chapter ten of Desiderium, is a dark fantasy/horror and is for mature readers.
*Warning: There is violence, sex, and a lot of profanity in these pages.
~ TEN ~
Not all those who wander are lost. I forget where I heard that, but I always held it to be true. I had certainly wandered enough in my life, with great intention and deliberation, turning my back on the conventionalities our culture told us to embrace in favor of traveling and seeing the world around me. First I had done it alone, and then later with Sophie. I wandered, was frequently lost, but always ended up exactly where I wanted to be.
But just as often it seems the opposite can be true. Some who wander are lost. Or will be soon, when the thing they seek finally allows itself to be found.
I am lost.
Sophie had been true to her word. By the time I got home from work all of her stuff was gone. It felt profoundly wrong and simultaneously so right. I had thought that I was going to spend the rest of my life with Sophie. But the woman…the night I had spent with her awakened something deep inside of me. Something I don’t think I ever knew was there. She had warned me, told me that humanity was nothing but a thin veneer over the heart of an animal, and I know she’s right. Despite the conflict I feel over Sophie leaving, there is an undercurrent of deep excitement and thrill about the path I’m on now. It’s unsettling and overwhelming.
I spent no time in the now-empty house after I got home. Instead I went in search of the dark-haired lady. I needed to feel again that certainty that I had felt the morning after our first night together, and I needed her body. After two days of nothing and my libido still elevated to a feverish pitch, I was aching for an outlet. I found her, finally, somewhere around midnight on that seedy ledge that first ruined, but now seems to have saved, my life.
When I woke up this morning I was glad to see I was in my own bed instead of a filthy trash heap. I was enveloped in that same sense of euphoria as last time, and I could still smell her ripe scent all around me. My body ached as if I had just completed a triathlon.
The sun was streaming in through the windows and I could hear birds twittering in the trees outside the house. I looked around my room, collecting my thoughts, and my eyes fell on that picture of Sophie and I in France, standing outside that cathedral with the rose-colored window and the labyrinth. She was beautiful that day. Is beautiful every day. Was. Is.
I looked at the clock and saw it was 6:00 pm in the evening. I thought briefly of work—another no-call, no-show isn’t going to go over well. Especially considering I have no real excuse, no emergency to explain away my carelessness. But then again, I am a rising star and a valuable team member, or so they frequently tell me. Two days would not kill my career. I didn’t really think about it for long, all I could think of really was Annabel. Annabel Lee, I’ve decided to call her. The dark beauty who captured my soul last night. God damn… I have never experienced anything even close to the heaven that is Annabel in all my life.
I thought back to the feel of her pushing me back onto a soft bed after climbing those endless steps. From there my memory is disjointed, flashes of disconnected images only. Damn good images, though. Despite my complete physical exhaustion I feel a stirring when I dwell on it.
I have never felt anything like what I feel when I’m with her. I thought I had had it good before, but everything before was like the brightness of a light bulb in the face of the sun. Completely eclipsed. Nothing will ever measure up now. Nothing compares to Annabel. I am bewitched, smitten, and madly in love with Annabel Lee.
The wonder of it makes me laugh; it’s ludicrous and fabulous all at the same time. Is this what they’re talking about when they talk about love at first sight? Can you love someone after two nights? After two nights with very minimal talking but a whole lot of fucking? We men are as simple as women joke we are…offer us the most amazing sex of our lives and we’ll eat out of your hands and declare undying love. What a joke.
I lean forward in bed and drop my head in my hands. Damn I’m sore. I feel hungover, even though I hadn’t even had a single drink. Just dehydrated from all the exercise I guess. I laugh out loud, the sound thunking solidly in the deep quiet of the room. My eyes stare unseeing at the carpet between my bare feet. Something catches my eye.
I lean forward for a closer look, and then lift my foot up onto my knee, a quiver of discomfort shooting through my gut. It’s a bite mark. A perfectly clear outline of two rows of teeth on the arch of my foot, a bite hard enough to have broken through my skin and left a smear of blood on the top of my foot. I flitted through those disjointed memories from the night before and couldn’t find one associated with that bite. I sat quietly for a moment, considering, and then shrugged it off. People have odd habits when it comes to sex. Some are silent, some scream, and some bite. It isn’t so odd, really. In fact, I find it kind of sexy, that she would feel so free to embrace this freaky side of herself in our fucking. It makes me want to, as well.
I stand up and walk over to the picture of Sophie I had noticed earlier. I pull it off the flat-headed nail it was hanging on and look at it for a moment. I feel a flutter of guilt, brief and slight as a wisp of cloud on a hot summer day, and then I put it face down in the top dresser drawer. I was done with that part of my life, and moving toward something entirely new and different. I didn’t need Sophie staring down at me as I slept at night, and I sure as hell didn’t want her picture there if Annabel ever came to my place. She probably wouldn’t be bothered by it; she might even like it, but I just didn’t want it around. It made me feel uncomfortable, conflicted. Guilty.
I walk to the shower, turn the water to scalding, and once the steam starts billowing out of the glass enclosure I step in and let the hot water run down my sore body. It stings in several places, and each inspection reveals another bite mark or a scratch, not just small scratches but the kind a pissed-off cat might leave behind. Deep and long, frequently deep enough to draw blood.
A small, quiet snake of fear slithers deep inside my belly, but I push it even further down and smile, thinking of our next encounter. I like this animal inside me I’m starting to get to know. I feel like a stag in rut, powerfully male. We all need to get back in touch with this side of ourselves, and I am grateful to Annabel for showing me, for opening this door and giving me the opportunity to step through.