For the most part, the smoke had cleared. As had the lot outside the set; rendered so of course by the fire, but the late hour played its part too. Harsh red and subtle pinks clouded the sky.
The fire engines and ambulance had rolled out, but a police car remained, the lights on the roof still flashing. Which only compounded everyone’s suspicion that an arsonist was to blame for the day’s events. Worse still, that whoever the firebug was, he or she might return.
Quietly I stood by staring at ashes. With my arms folded in front of a sporty blue number. It was fairly tight but it was all I’d been able to find to replace the blouse I left in Jack’s trailer. Something no one dearly missed.
Suddenly I heard a match strike behind me and I spun about in alarm. I watched with anticipation as a fiery match hovered before me. Just in the shadows. My throat was caught and my feet were hooked, so I could neither fight nor flee. Though it seemed I need do not either when the ghost lit a cigarette and waved out the fuse. Though it gave the man, as I assumed, a faintly illuminated figure, it did not reveal a face. And all that was of little reassurance.
I cleared my throat, “Who goes there?”
He took a long drag. Then he chuckled and evaded the question by asking one of his own, “Helluva night, hmm?”
I backed up slightly, but answered, “Yeah. Yeah, pretty rough actually.”
“Oh, I’m sorry if I come across as rude. I swear, I was laughing at something else.”
“...Whatever, it’s fine.”
I felt my phone buzz and vibrate from within my purse. It was most likely Jack. So I was about to leave when he piped up, “What’s your name, love?”
I stopped short and looked around. The police were quite a ways away. And there was nobody closer, save the stranger. Though he hadn’t moved at all. He stayed to the shade. Lurking there like it was his cape, and mystery was his tongue. And then I looked down to my shoes, and I thought how unsensible they were. If I ran, I doubted I’d get far. I slowly reached inside my bag and found my keys. One by one I fit them between my knuckles and I made a fist with my other hand. Then I finally faced the man.
“Kamala?… Oh that’s right! Jack Lynch’s assistant... You know, I’d heard that it takes more than one lass to satisfy him?”
I felt a little guilty when he insinuated that Jack was unfaithful, and said in his defence, “A popular rumour. One with no foundation.”
“Oh I’m sure. You two are just close friends. Friends who have no need for… blinds or curtains.”
My eyes widened. Did he see me with Jack inside his trailer?
The man took a step closer. I tightened my grip on my keys.
The man continued, strolling closer still, “You and... many others. Including Rita Severn, and apparently Ms. K—”
I heard a shout not far off. One that belonged to the loudspeaker on the show. Ms. Kensington. She was coming to my rescue, so I sighed in relief.
“I said hey!” repeated Ms. Kensington as she strode over, “What’s going on out here?” Noticing my face in the dim light she asked, “Meera? What’s going on?”
“Apologies, ma’am,” the man interrupted, taking a final puff of his cigarette before flicking it away. “Kamala and I were just having a little chat. I didn't know I was disturbing you.”
“A little chat, hey? Who are you then?”
He hesitated at first, but eventually took one step further into the remaining light, “Patterson. Stacey Patterson. How do you do?”
I looked at him closely, but the sun had gone down so quickly I barely saw an outline.
“Patterson? The slimeball tabloid writer?”
He snickered, “Yes, the very same. Kamala was about to tell me—”
“No, Ms. Kensington I swear, I didn’t tell him anything! I didn’t even know who he was!”
Ms. Kensington sneered at Mr. Patterson and replied, “Alright. Well, it’s getting late. Kamala and I are going to call it a night. Mr. Patterson is gonna fuck off as well, or I’ll have the police talk to him.”
The two of us, Ms. Kensington and I hurried off. She escorted me to her car, her hand on the small of my back. I thought nothing of it at the time, but it had slid down there from between my shoulder blades. To a spot just inside my halter top where my skin was not exposed.
The blur of cars and streetlights passed us by as we headed toward the city in silence. The heat turned on full blast. Occasionally she would look over at me and smirk. We had driven quite the distance from the set and the murky Mr. Patterson before the director finally spoke. Perhaps after a quarter of an hour.
“Are you breathing normally again?”
I shook my head. “Yeah I… I’m okay.”
“Why Kamala? Why in the hell were you talking to that guy? Didn’t Denny tell you not to talk to him?”
“I hadn’t initiated… well... that is to say I didn’t seek him out. And I didn’t know who he was.”
“Well you know now. And he is a creepy man.”
“Is he dangerous?”
“I don’t know. Maybe. I only know what I’ve heard.”
“What have you heard?”
“About the Black Mass? Nothing good. For instance, he’s shady. And I don’t mean he just hides in the corners eavesdropping shady. Supposedly he has connections with organised crime. I don’t know if he’s ever hurt anyone, since he’s mostly been a nuisance for the crew. But I wouldn’t put it past him laying a hand on you. A hottie such as yourself.”
I was about to say that I would have run, but that I didn’t have the shoes for it. But I was thrown. I smiled at the compliment and blushed. And the way she spoke, so softly… made me lose my train of thought.
“If you ever find yourself alone with him again, run anyway. As fast as those... long legs of yours will carry you. And at least call for help.”
I nodded my head and turned to her, “I know. And I promise I will.” When I looked at her though, I found myself looking at her toned legs. Tight black leggings doing well to accentuate them. From ankle to thigh. My eyes soon wandered higher up the inseam... I blinked rapidly as if I was hallucinating, and I tried to focus out the window.
“And um…” I cleared my throat, “thank you, Ms. Kensington. Not just for the ride, but for stepping in.”
“No problem. And call me Alex.”
Again I nodded, “Alright.”
“Anyway,” Ms. Kensington carried on, “where am I taking you?”
“Um, not far actually. Just make a left here. I need to pick up Jack’s dry cleaning, and, I’ll pick up a coffee as well. His hotel is nearby.”
“Don’t tell me you live there,” asked Alex, pulling up to the pavement.
“No, I just thought I’d get it out of the way. He asked me before we left.” I showed Alex my phone, with the pertinent text glowing on the screen.
“Mhm. Well... how about... I run that errand with you? I’ll keep you safe, huh?”
I laughed, “Okay.”
“I... won’t let you out of my sight tonight.”
She gave me a smile like I’d never seen before. It was coy the way her lips curled, and the way she batted her sapphire eyes. I found her hand on my own, and instantly all the little hairs along my arm and up my spine were raised. It made my heart flutter, and I had no idea what was happening. That this woman with whom I had spent such little time could make me feel like that; that a woman could make me feel like that. And that was just one touch.
I almost asked out loud, am I attracted to her? To women?
“I…” I stopped. I gasped. All of a sudden I took a breath and… all I could smell was her. Not just some rose and orange blossom scent but a Spring meadow. Actually more than that. Just after the rain. I could have sworn there was dew inside the car, not just condensation. Not just that bead of sweat rolling down my back. I wanted her. There was no question about it.
I tried again, “I uh… I’m… I suppose I could get… Jack’s… another day.”
Alex was confident though and her voice was sensual, “Let's not talk about Jack. I want to focus on something other than work. I want to focus on you. Where do you live, Kamala?”
“I… I don’t know what’s… Is it hard to breath in here? Or is it just me?”
Then she winked at me and I couldn’t help but let out a moan, and leave my mouth agape. I simply pointed and she drove up the lane. All the while, she was stroking my forearm and driving me insane. I wondered briefly how this came about. Had Alex desired me as well? Had I done something to make her act this way?
A few streets later and we arrived at my building. Eventually her hand was in mine as we rode the lift and walked down the hall to my flat. But it didn’t seem like I was walking. My knees felt too weak to bend. And my stomach was full of butterflies.
“Um… So this is my place,” I stated nervously.
Alex licked her lips lasciviously. Like a lioness hungry for her prey. She gazed into my eyes with yearning. So much so I was entranced by her and unable to look away. She could have stolen my soul and I would have let her.
“Do you… want to come in? I could make us some tea?”
“Tea? Yes, I’d love to.”
At last we were inside my place. Rather unconsciously I led the way to my bedroom. And then the last thing I remember being remotely normal was turning on the light.
Before I knew it, we were an inch apart and our faces were even closer. Her fingers were a comb through tangled curls, and my eyes shut slowly so I could see her better. Alex’s nose brushed my cheek, and my mouth began to ache as she denied me the kiss. Instead her head dipped down to my clavicle. Her hot breath blew dull fire against me, and she pecked at my bare skin starting from my collarbone up the nape of my neck, nuzzling me.
I recall muttering, “Alex? ...Is… is this real?”
“Is this really happening?”
“Alex… I’ve never done this before. I didn’t know I was—”
To which Alex whispered in reply, whilst putting her index finger up to my mouth, “Kamala... you talk too much.”
After that brief exchange, I gave in and everything became aetherial. Surreal. As if I was viewing everything through translucent glass, tinted red like lust. For her face and her body were warm and blurred around the edges.
My other senses remained sharp. I heard her cardigan fall to the floor and her laboured breathing mix with mine. I felt her lips and her fingertips dance over me. And her perfume overwhelmed my nostrils. After the rain. I half-wondered, could she have put me under a spell? And more importantly, do I even care if she did?
I hardly realised that we were joined at the pelvis, and she was groping my buttocks. That my hands went up her sides from her waist to her breasts. It was as if we both slipped through one another’s fingers like silk. Too slick and lustrous to hold onto.
I slipped her shirt off and with deft fingers unhooked her brassiere as well. Immediately she peeled off my top so that we were both bare-chested and layers of clothing were strewn on the ground.
For a brief second we took each other in, admiring each other’s feminine form. Making me all the more aroused. Her auburn hair dripped down a waterfall and I wanted to run my fingers through it. Her supple breasts could fit in my palms, and I wanted to squeeze and suck them. Her flesh was soft and pink, though now, she was almost red she was so exhilarated, and I wanted to caress every square inch of her. I imagined that this svelte figure could only have been a goddess sent to tempt me. A succubus I couldn’t turn away. Though I suppose we were both just as wanton.
Then she shoved me onto the bed and she jumped on top of me.
Finally her lips met mine, right where I wanted them. I quivered and shook all over I was so excited. As she rubbed me, she pressed her face against mine. Our lips smacked and our tongues flicked about like the tails of whips or serpents. And not gently, but with a passion burning as out of control as the fire earlier that day. A fire I didn’t want to be extinguished.
“W-w-wow!” How did I get here? How can I stay here?
Alex and her tongue drifted steadily lower down. Her hands followed close behind, dragging over my body like anchors. For a moment she buried her face in my bosom and drew rings around my nipples. I giggled. Then she started on my jeans, stripping them off like the sheets on my bed.
That carnal woman was panting and hovering over me. Teasing me when she knew I was wetter than a tsunami. I looked down and she looked up. Mirth in her eyes and lust on her lips. Without a second thought she pulled the lace down. So quickly too, I heard them rip. I moaned again, softly begging, “Alex. Yes. Yes please. Please please please.”
Although I didn’t need to tell her twice. She must have been starving. She was insatiable and couldn’t be stopped. Not that I wanted her to. I shot my hands down and gripped Alex roughly by the scalp, pushing her face closer and forcing her tongue deeper inside me.
Sometimes I held my breath and sometimes I panted loudly. Either way she took my breath away. When I could make a sound, I whimpered uncontrollably. I squealed in high pitch as she ravished me. As she made me raw. And as Alex pleasured me, the only other thing that concerned me was whether I would be good enough to return the favour.
The day had had its stresses however. Perhaps I was equally as ravenous.