House of Slaves
House of Slaves
House of Slaves
ISBN 13: 978-1-934349-59-5
ISBN 10: 1-934349-59-3
A Pink Flamingo Ebook Publication
Copyright © 2005 Lizbeth Dusseau
All rights reserved
A Study in Seduction
A night not fit for man nor beast...driving rain, a fickle wind, and lies that chase her down the street. Looking for a place to hide, she stumbles into the close confines of teeming patrons in the neighborhood bar, swallowed whole by its anonymous humanity. She breathes a sigh of relief, just briefly, before being jostled toward the back, through the sweat, the smoke, the beer and booze, the loud talk and louder laughter. Everything clouds her senses, everything fogs her brain.
No place to stand or sit or find a drink, until spotting an empty seat in the last booth, she finally lands with a thud on the hard wood seat.
"A double Scotch, no ice, please," she calls to an indifferent waitress, three feet off. The saucy redhead turns around flipping her ponytail and glaring.
"There's an extra twenty if I can get it now, right now..." she looks up smiling meekly. Her body is slender, but womanly. Desire clings to it like the rain clinging to her dress and coat.
The waitress eyes her critically through her scraggly bangs, finally shrugging, "What the heck," she turns around and disappears.
The sound of a man purposefully clearing his throat makes the windblown blonde turn toward the wall. She is not alone!
"Oh, my. I'm sorry!" Her eyebrows furrow miserably. "There just wasn't anywhere else to go, and my feet are killing me...I thought the booth was empty..." she rattles on, flustered and annoyed.
"Well then, you can stay," he calmly allays the anxious woman. Maybe a tad condescending, but his smile is genuine. "I'm Martin."
"Thanks, really. Thanks. I'm Sarah." She settles in a bit. But after quickly apprising her host, she almost rather he kick her out. The smooth-talking darkly handsome type make her nervous, and though she's used to men like this, she has reason to be frightened of their motives. The fact that he speaks with a British accent only complicates the issue.
Reaching into her purse, she pulls out her last Marlboro Light. But before the lighter reaches the tip of her cigarette, the man reaches out and plucks it from between her fingers.
"Can't stand the smoke," he explains.
But the bar is filled with smoke, which she would hasten to point out, but she's too aghast to think of anything to say.
"My table, my rules," he adds.
Something about the authority behind the comment makes her blush, chagrinned now. She sits back in awe, while that first flutter of desire calls up feelings she hadn't expected to feel, not here, not now. How easily captured. How easily charmed. She observes him more carefully. He's all about precision. A starched shirt, neat manicure, even a simple gold pinky ring with a black stone on his right hand. He wears no tie, obviously having dressed down for the early evening.
"So what is Sarah hiding from on a night like this?" he asks, just casual banter.
"Hiding?" Her blush deepens.
"Ah, so, I'm right." He looks amused.
"Right about what?"
"Sorry, if I sound presumptuous, but you look like a woman with a lot of regret."
"Yes. Well. Am I all that different from any other woman?"
The waitress appears and slaps the double Scotch on the table successfully killing his reply. She takes a sip of her drink, then a generous gulp, feeling the liquor burn all the way down her throat. The alcohol works fast. Within a minute's time, the last hard edges of reality slip away. Even the stranger's cold clear eyes begin to blur before her and she sees little but the warm smile on his lips below.
"So, what else do I look like to you?