Man in the Long Black CoatbyFatesPlaything©
Author's Note: This is only the first chapter in the series. If I follow my outline I have 5-6 planned out which will all be posted if I continue to receive interest in the series. The song quoted is Bob Dylan's "Man in the Long Black Coat". Things will heat up later in the series, but for now, this is mostly story line. I hope that you enjoy meeting my characters as much as I did.
"Preacher was a talkin' there's a sermon he gave,
He said every man's conscience is vile and depraved,
You cannot depend on it to be your guide
When it's you who must keep it satisfied.
It ain't easy to swallow, it sticks in the throat,
She gave her heart to the man
In the long black coat."
The sky has already darkened as Sara hurriedly snatches clothes from the line and tosses them into the waiting basket at her feet. She's only been outside for about ten minutes and the sweat is already drenching her. It doesn't matter that a storm is blowing in, it just ups the humidity and she feels as if she's breathing in water. She suddenly pauses in her task and looks about, feeling as if she's being watched. Seeing nothing but a dusty landscape crying out for the rain to come and the dark forest that neighbors her land, she shakes off the feeling but quickens her pace. Once finished she grabs the basket and hurries towards the house, glancing back over her shoulder as if to confirm it's all in her head.
Unnoticed, a man slips out from behind a tree, enjoying the view of Sara fleeing into the house. She's lithe and graceful, every step a dance. Her almost boyish figure combined with her innocent face make her look younger than her years, which he guesses number somewhere in the twenties. He can just imagine all that long blonde hair clutched in his fingers, her large blue eyes looking up at him pleadingly. When she's in the house, he waits a few beats before making his way back to his car, hidden on an old gravel drive not far away. It wouldn't do for her to spot him too soon.
Once inside, Sara kicks the door closed and sets the laundry basket on a chair. She just can't escape the feeling of being watched so she looks out the window once more as she twists the deadbolt and it's driven home with a satisfying click. She shakes her head and chuckles at her imagination. Why would someone be watching her? It's a small town, surely she'd know if someone new was around and lurking in people's yards. Besides it's not as if she's that big of an attraction. She mostly keeps to herself when she's outside of work, and she can't remember the last time she went on a date. She just doesn't seem to draw men to her the way other women do. She guesses it's because she never really developed any curves or womanly wiles, whatever those were.
Sara is snapped from her reverie as she happens to glance at the clock. Great, she's going to be late for work. She quickly folds her laundry and puts it away before selecting a thin summer dress to wear to work. She works in a bar, and even with the storm it will be busy because it's Friday night and everyone is looking to blow off some steam. She tugs on the dress, and slips her feet into a pair of sandals. She only takes a cursory look in the mirror, pronounces herself good enough and rushes to the car.
As predicted the bar is crowded and even though she's only five minutes late the owner gives her a stern look as she makes her way behind the bar. Sara inwardly winces. She's so bad about being on time. She's a dreamer and is often caught with her head in the clouds when she should have her mind on more pressing matters, like getting to work on time. It's just that she feels like there should be something more to this life. Something is missing, though she can't quite figure out what it is.
It hasn't always been this way. She can remember being happy, content, as a child. At least she was until her mother left. Things were pretty rough after that, but even then she didn't feel this restlessness inside.
No, that began when she was about sixteen. Then she started dreaming of HIM. She didn't know his name, still hasn't learned it, but she knew his soft voice, steel grey eyes, and his gentle but firm touch. She knew the strength that surrounded him and it had been a comfort to her over the years.
Ever since the day her mystery man first came to her, she'd been unable to accept things as they were. No other man quite measured up. Sara supposed that it was wrong to compare the other men to this figment of her subconscious, but she couldn't seem to help herself. A smack on her rear from her only friend, Jack, brings her back to reality and she goes to work.
Sara starts making her rounds, taking orders and exchanging a friendly word without actually hearing the responses past their orders. Her eyes take in the crowd as she collects the first round of beers, but she doesn't know what she's looking for. Drinks are dispensed and a local band starts up. She drifts through the shift, managing to keep up even though she is miles away. The night passes quickly with Sara never finding what or who she was looking for.
Sara dragged herself into the house, locking up everything up tight out of habit. She strips off her clothes as she stumbles her way into the bedroom and crawls into the bed, snuggling deep into the comforter. She's dreaming within minutes. HE's there again. She feels him watching her, and scans the room for him. A slow smile parts her full lips as she catches a glimpse of him in the shadows. She never sees him completely. It's as if the shadows cling to him, always revealing pieces but never the whole man. He walks towards her, slowly, his stride graceful and full of purpose. She feels his eyes as a hot trail over her naked form and realizes that she's kicked off her blankets. His hands caress her flesh, tracing the path his eyes just left and her own eyes flutter shut. A finger moves over her moist apex and her hips lift, a soft moan follows her pleased sigh. Her fingers fist the sheets at her sides as his mouth lowers to join his finger.
BUZZZZZZZ! Sara smacks the alarm clock off of the bedside table and huffs out a frustrated breath. She's throbbing and her small breasts are aching with need. Almost without thought a hand trails down to trail over her smooth mound and over her slick center. She pushes a finger deep inside and spreads the wetness over her clit, slowly toying with herself, enjoying the electric pulses shooting through her. Slowly her fingers build up speed until they are blurring with speed and she's panting out her orgasm, her head thrown back and a loud moan signaling her climax before her fingers slow and then finally cease.
It's been only in the last month that her mystery man has also become her lover. She supposed that her imagination was making up for the disturbing lack of such things in her life. He was always the same. He hadn't even changed a little over the years. He cut a tall, fit figure that exuded strength, always cloaked in shadow. He comes to her every night and awakens cravings in her that she's never experienced with anyone else. She sighs and drags herself from bed. The morning light is just starting to lance through the thin part in the curtain and she grumbles at it, sidestepping the patch of brightness on her way to the shower. She gets the water steaming hot and steps in, quickly lathering herself and washing away every hint of her morning's activities. She lathers her pussy and shaves it. She knows that she shaves it for HIM. From the first that's how she was when he started coming to her, as if he was manipulating her dreams, changing her appearance. She chuckles; right some guy is in my head toying with me.
Sara finishes up in the shower and shuts off the water. She steps out and grabs a larger towel, wrapping herself in it before grabbing a smaller one for her hair. She wraps her hair in the towel and wanders to her closet to contemplate her meager wardrobe. She decides on a pair of shorts and a skimpy white cotton top that reveals a strip of her flat tummy. She chuckles softly at her vanity. It's not as if anyone will be looking at her. She slips on sandals and gathers her hair into a ponytail. Ready to face the day, Sara tosses the towels into the hamper and goes to collect things to wash her car.
The car is Sara's pride and joy. From the time that she was fourteen she had started saving for the little TR250 and she took meticulous car of the machine. Any repairs she diligently performed herself, not able to afford a high-priced foreign car mechanic. She filled up a bucket with water and soap and starting to wash it off, lovingly removing any trace of dirt. She admired the finish, still nice after all of these years. Sure there were a few superficial scratches, but most wouldn't be noticeable once she'd waxed it. She glances up at the sky, pausing in her task to take in the bright sunshine and gauge whether the storm had spent itself. No, there would be no more rain today anyway. She was safe to baby the car all she wanted.
Sara daydreams as she goes about her task of washing and waxing the car. She thinks more on her midnight visitor, of escaping her mundane existence, and of all of the things that she'd always wanted to see in the world if she wasn't stuck in this little southern town. She smiles a little even though she knows she's stuck unless something changes drastically. She used to dream of some white knight galloping up to take her away, but she's no longer a little girl. Her hands are rough from doing everything for herself for too long. Who ever heard of a rescued lady in the story books having work-calloused hands?
Sara's mother just vanished when she was thirteen. She and her father had awoken one morning to find her gone, no note, her clothes still there, even an unfinished book on the nightstand. It was said that the women on her mother's side had been doing that for generations. One day they were just gone with no explanation, no one knew where they went, and no one heard from them again. There was no predicting when or even if it would happen. In large families, it might only happen to one of the daughters, but it always happened. She rolls her eyes, sure someone's going to spirit me off to join all the other women in my family. It's aliens, and I'm actually part of an alien race. She gives a snort and pushes that thought from her head, returning her attention to the car. Better to concentrate on reality. She had a leak in her roof that she needed to find the money to fix. There would be no white knight, or even a dark one to spirit her away and no elves coming about to magically fix her roof. Not that these admonishments stop her mind from wandering, no matter how hard she may try.
Sara's father held on until she was eighteen. It was as if he was just waiting until she was old enough to pass from this existence and join her mother, wherever she may be. Her father was interred in the local cemetery. No questions about where he was. From the time that he left Sara had done everything she could to make a solid life for herself. Blessedly, he left a house that had been paid for or she may not have made it those first couple of years, but here she was now settled if not happy and content.
Finished with the car, Sara shakes off the sudden melancholy brought on by thoughts of her parents. She stores all of her cleaning implements and goes in to fix herself something small to eat. The heat was, again, oppressive and she wasn't very hungry, but she knew she needed to force something into her stomach. She settles on a small salad and slowly eats as she stares out of the window into the backyard. It really wasn't much to look at, dust, turned to mud, and some sparse grass along with the forest further off, but she wasn't really seeing any of it anyway. She was seeing all of those places that she wanted to see so desperately, France, Ireland, England, anywhere but here.
Sara smiles as she washes off her dishes, then dries and puts them up. She goes to her small stereo and pushes play, cuing up the new cd that she allowed herself to splurge on last paycheck. Harry Connick Jr's devastatingly smooth voice pours out of the speakers and she sings along with him as she cleans the house. There isn't much in the way of new music to be found in the little record store in the strip mall in town, but Brent, the manager, ordered this for her special. She'd been so excited to rip into the plastic packaging and hear this newest album, new to her anyway. This was '30' and it had actually been out for a while now.
The sun is falling as Sara finishes up her cleaning and five miles away in an abandoned farmhouse, the stranger begins to stir from his sleep. He rises from his bed and begins to pace his little room. His patience is wearing thin. He's not used to waiting for what he wants. He just sees it and takes it. Why should he wait? He is royalty, he reasons with himself, it gave him certain rights. He'd taken too long in his search and he needed to get back to his people, to his homeland. He curls his lip, away from this filthy part of the country and its tasteless inhabitants. He pulls on his clothing for the evening and doesn't bother to glance at the dusty looking glass on the wall. He knows that he's perfect, why mess with it? He steps out into the starlight and smiles to himself, drawing his favored cloak around him. Tonight, everything would be made right. He'd be home by the next evening. How wonderful to look over the darkened landscape of his homeland once more, to share it with his lady.
His voice is confident as he calls up one of his many servants and tells him to make preparations for them to leave that very night. He's going to kick the dust of this little town off his shoes by the end of the evening if it's the last thing that he does. He settles himself into the black Mercedes that he'd hidden away the evening before and makes his way off to the bar. She'll be there tonight, even though she isn't working. He'd watched her last night, her unfocused gaze never even passed over him. He hadn't wanted to be seen that night, so he simply hadn't been.
The stranger lowers the top and cranks up a dark techno group, the Crux Shadows, letting the heavy pulse of the music move through him as he guns the engine and takes off with a squeal of tires. He'll stop for a bite to eat before hitting the bar. It wouldn't do to meet his lady with his stomach growling. He smiles and throws his head back in a laugh, ahh, but it's going to be a lovely night.
When the stranger passes her house, Sara is just putting on the finishing touches, singing along with Joan Jett as she talks about her bad reputation. The words are ironic, coming from the angelic appearing woman, but there is something about the song that she's always loved. Maybe it's just something she's always wanted to be, but never had the courage or proper motivation. Sure, there are whispers about her around town, about her lineage. How could there not be with all the strange disappearances in her family? With a final swipe of red lipstick the thought is shaken off. She shrugs on her little leather jacket with a purr of satisfaction and vows only to have a good time tonight on her one sacred day off. Maybe she'll even ask someone to dance with her. There is wildness inside of her taking hold. It's not a feeling she's familiar with and it makes her feel reckless, but she can't bring herself to worry about the new sensation. Instead, she revels in it and plans to take advantage of it.
With a laugh Sara gets into her car and revs her up, listening to the purr of the engine with satisfaction before cranking up the local rock station and tearing off down the road. She doesn't care that the wind will mess up her hair, she wants the top down. She can always fix it again once she gets to the bar. She pushes her car to go faster along the familiar country roads, enjoying the little thrill that the speed gives her. When she pulls in the bar, her appearance causes a little stir. There is something different about her tonight, but no one can seem to quite place it. There is new sparkle to her eyes, a new confidence in her stride that no one can quite comprehend. Whatever it is that has altered, it makes her shine and people can't help but notice. Sara is oblivious to the looks she receives as she strides into the bar.
Through the muted lighting and hazy smoke filled, Sara moves with her usual grace. She slips onto a barstool and winks at Jack, who's currently manning the bar.
"Think that you can manage to get a cold one for me, handsome?" she asks with a flirtatious smile.
Sara slips off her leather jacket, and they trade off. He stows the leather jacket behind the bar and she takes her first sip on the dark, cold brew Jack's handed her. She sighs softly, pleased with the dark flavor of the ale, and starts to scan the bar. No one here to try out her new found confidence on, yet. Oh well, maybe someone will come along later. The night is still young and the band hasn't even started up yet.
Sara digs through her purse for her pack of cigarettes. She only smokes when she drinks, and then it's just ultra lights. It's a small pleasure she indulges in so infrequently that she doesn't even have a lighter in her little bag.
She waves at Jack, "Hey, think ya can give me a light?" she calls over the others at the bar.
He shakes his head at her even as he holds the flame to the tip of her cigarette.
She holds up a hand as she draws in the smoke, then speaks, "Don't even start, slick. I don't smoke that often and you know it. Let me enjoy my one vice."
Jack lifts a brow and eyes the beer meaningfully.
Sara rolls her eyes, "The beer doesn't count and you know it. I'll only have a couple and you have never once seen me drunk." She grins, "The same cannot be said for you."
"This isn't about me, Sara-Jane," he states.
The seriousness in his look gives her pause and she tilts her head at him. "What is this about, Jack?" she asks.
"There is something different about you tonight, and I'm not sure that it's good." He pauses and runs a hand through his already mussed hair. "Look, you know that I'm your friend, and you can't say that about many people."
Sara only waits patiently for him to continue, sipping her beer and giving him her full attention. She's never seen her happy go lucky friend struggle for words. Jack had been everyone woman's dream, except for maybe hers, back in high school. He had those athletic good looks, a lanky build and the most charming smile. All that black hair was neater then. Sara liked it better in its unkempt state, long and in need of a trim. His smile always seemed to make those warm brown eyes sparkle. He wasn't smiling now. That alone shook her from her daze and she focused on him again. He had been waiting for her eyes to clear before continuing. He'd long ago learned the difference in her expressions when she was paying attention and when she wasn't.
Jack continues as if there had never been a pause, "Look," he pauses, his brow furrowed. "It just looks like you're looking for trouble, and I'm afraid that you're going to find it." Sara would laugh if Jack didn't look so serious. As it is, she bites the inside of her lip to maintain a serious expression. He leaves her alone to think about what he said while he goes and fills a couple of orders. When he returns, Sara's mood has already lifted again. She gives Jack a charming smile.
"Honey, I'm just out to find some fun tonight. I'll use my head." She gives a meaningful glance around the bar. Not a stranger in sight. "Besides what can happen around here? I'll be careful."
Jack shakes his head, but gives her a small smile anyway. "Alright, Sara-Jane, whatever you say." He returns to his tasks, still worried about his friend and vowing to keep a close eye on her tonight. He's been looking after her since her momma left and he doesn't plan to stop now. He doesn't want the same thing to happen to the closest thing to a sibling he's ever had. He doesn't know what he'd do if she just up and vanished on him. He snorts. He's getting just as bad as the rest of these people in this town. Maybe it's good that Sara-Jane is showing a bit of spirit. She has never really cut loose, and maybe it's just about time that she did. Still, he can't shake the feeling that he needs to look after her. He darts a glance at her calmly puffing on that cigarette and sipping at her beer. She looks restless, almost as if she's waiting for something. Her foot swings on the stool, her little white sandal dangling precariously from it.