tagErotic HorrorGuilt and Lust

Guilt and Lust

byJoeDreamer©

Chicago.

It wasn't the cold that bothered me. It was the wind. Okay, it was the combination of both. I clearly wasn't wearing a warm enough jacket for this time of the year. I thought about going home, but I'd just left work and going to my apartment now would only depress me. I was one of those people who didn't do well by themselves. I tended to think too much and there was nothing at home to distract me so instead I kept my head down and followed my feet. They knew the way.

It wasn't long before I was standing in front of Cal's, my home away from home. I found myself wondering how many jokes really began with 'This guy walks into a bar'. Hundreds? Thousands? I guess in the end it didn't matter because even if there were just one, I'd be it. That's right, my life was pretty much a joke, and a sad one at that.

That's when I noticed the obnoxious St. Patrick's Day decorations on the one window the place had just below street level. They'd been there for a couple of weeks, but that didn't stop me from shaking my head and grumbling as I stepped down the stairs and walked inside. Mostly because I realized that today was the actual holiday.

If Cal's was a typical bar I would have turned around and gone home despite my desire not to be alone. There were worse things than being locked in my own thoughts. Dealing with a bunch of drunk strangers on St. Patrick's Day was definitely one of them, but this was Cal's. Strangers didn't come here. It wasn't that type of a bar. Not that the people inside were friends. The truth was that most days they felt like fellow inmates.

"I need a drink," I said, shaking my head at the morose thoughts flowing through my mind as I made my way to my favorite stool.

Cal's was a local cantina, but only in the sense that it was below ground. There was nothing Spanish in the décor. Hell, there was nothing distinctive about Cal's except for the bar itself which took up more than half the place. Even the St. Patrick Day decorations didn't help. It didn't help that there weren't that many and they were all the cheap kind.

There were a few tables in the back, but they were seldom used. That's not to say the food wasn't good. It just wasn't typically enough of a reason for people to come here because the atmosphere cried 'local dive', and not in a good way.

I had dinner most nights at the bar while watching some game and bullshitting with the other regulars. Those of them who ate also did so at the bar. I say that because many of them seemed to live off of alcohol and alcohol alone. It was that type of place.

"The usual?" Phil the bartender was doing his attempt at a welcoming smile as I unzipped my jacket and sat. It wasn't particularly pleasant, but I'd grown used to it. Thankfully, he wasn't dressed up for the holiday.

"Make it a double. It's been a long week."

"Long week?" Mikey, one of the other regulars asked from across the bar. "But it's Sunday."

"Really?" I groaned as Phil poured my drink and put it down in front of me. "I'll never make it." I took a swallow and sighed as the liquid burned its way down my throat spreading warmth and helping me relax for the first time all day.

"Seriously?" Mikey laughed.

I shook my head and glanced his way. That's when I noticed what he had on. Only Mikey would wear a black vest with such ugly, misshapen dark green shamrocks over a bright green turtleneck. He topped all that off with a Kelly green cheap plastic derby. Can you say cheesy?

"You have no idea." I was only half talking about how long the days felt. The rest was all his outfit. Poor Mikey. This was the perfect place for him. Me too.

The truth was that this week wasn't worse than any other. The problem was with me. I was burned out. I was tired of the same old shit and tired of being alone. It was times like this that fighting against my addiction became the hardest.

Addiction, what a weak sounding word. I think obsession or compulsion fit better. I guess all people who have one feel that theirs is the worst and I was no exception. What made mine particularly difficult was that it had a name. Sarina.

Now there was a dangerous subject. I usually tried not to dwell on her, but tonight was especially difficult due to my mood. The holidays always screwed with my head, not this was a particularly big one, but I guess any excuse worked these days.

I caught myself playing with the small ring on my right pinky and stopped abruptly. I was having a weak moment, but I wouldn't give into it. I hadn't in over a year and I wouldn't tonight either.

I was not going to see Sarina. Sure, I wanted to. She did stuff to me that made me feel as close to heaven as I'll probably ever get, but doing so would be a terrible mistake. Mostly because I knew that every night we spent together brought me one step closer to the other place, the one with fire and brimstone. Seeing Sarina would be wrong, very wrong.

"You're thinking about that girl who broke your heart again, aren't you?" I frowned at Phil's question. He smiled knowingly and added, "Sarina."

"What?" I asked in surprise, but then slowly remembered the night before. I'd gotten drunk while watching some basketball game, mostly because of my situation, but partly because I'd blown a decent chunk of change on one of the teams. Phil could relate to that and we got to talking.

He wasn't one of those chatty bartender types, which in my mind was another reason why this place was perfect for me, but I guess the loneliness got to both of us last night after the rest of the regulars left. I'd been a bit maudlin and in a moment of weakness I mentioned her name. I can't even remember the context. It wasn't much, but I cursed my stupidity.

Somehow Phil twisted that one slipup and my reluctance to talk about her into a failed romance. If he knew Sarina, he'd know that her and love had nothing to do with each other. I could try to correct his assumption, but what would be the point? Besides, it was dangerous to even talk about Sarina.

"You always play with that ring when you're thinking about her," he replied, not unkindly. I didn't quite jump when I realized that I was using my thumb to worry at the ring on my pinky again. "It's obviously reminds you of her." He was right, but not in the way he thought.

I needed to change the subject, and fast. Unfortunately, Phil didn't give me the chance. I liked to say the question that followed surprised me, but honestly, by this point I was expecting it. "You would probably be a lot better off if you got rid of the ring. You want to sell it? I might be interested."

"I wish I could," I sighed, but didn't explain when he frowned.

"Is this Sarina a beauty?" Mikey asked from across the bar, drawing the attention of some of the other regulars. Damn! If this kept up I'd have to find another bar to hang out in and that would suck. I liked Cal's.

"Not always." I was being cryptic intentionally, but that didn't mean I was lying. Mikey frowned and looked ready to ask another question, but I cut him off. I turned to Phil and said, "It's time for dinner. I'll have a burger and a beer." I decided to lay off the hard stuff for the rest of the night. I was in too weird of a mood and didn't want to do anything stupid like I obviously had the night before.

Mikey tried to get more information about Sarina from me for a few minutes, but even he took the hint after a while. The next couple of hours passed by uneventfully. I watched whatever game was on the television without really paying much attention. The beer was good and did its job. Eventually, I started bullshitted with some of the regulars again. I was actually starting to feel better when they came in.

The two women paused at the door and looked around obviously arguing quietly whether they should stay or not. They were clearly not regulars and more than a little out of place. There were seldom any women in Cal's, and even when there were, none of them were like these two. It was another reason why I liked the place so much.

"Can I help you ladies?" Phil asked from behind the bar. They stopped whispering abruptly and the shapelier of the two turned toward Phil and smiled. It was a very nice smile.

The young woman had a thick head of dark brown hair with green streaks and yellowish green highlights. At first, I thought she'd dyed it for the holiday, but maybe not. It looked good enough for it to be more than that. In either case, it only added to the sense of subdued sexuality that surrounded her.

I swallowed with some difficulty as I took in her outfit. She was wearing a heavy coat due to the weather, but it didn't hide the high black boots over equally dark spandex. I couldn't see her top, but the fact that her chest was on the large side was undeniable. She and her friend were obviously out celebrating the holiday, but that didn't explain why they decided to stop here.

"I think so. A friend of mine said that you make the best Sheppard's Pie in town. Is that true?"

"We like to think so," Phil smiled as I did my best not to groan. The Sheppard's Pie was definitely the best thing on the limited menu, but who would tell two attractive women from the right side of the town about a place like Cal's?

"Definitely," Mikey chimed in with a rather lecherous smile that looked even worse than normal because of his outfit. "Sit and stay a while, you won't regret it." His words were friendly, but I noticed the blond look at him nervously.

I didn't quite shake my head. Mikey was a nice enough guy, but he was terrible with the ladies. Frankly, I think he scared them. There was something just a little too intense about the way he stared at them. I had a momentary hope that his greeting would chase the two women away, but it didn't work out that way. The green streaked haired young woman clearly wanted to try the Sheppard's Pie and was overriding the blonde's concerns.

"There are tables in the back," I interjected when it became obvious that they were staying. I didn't want them in sight, not with thoughts of Sarina so close to the service tonight. Mikey gave me a nasty look, but I ignored him.

"I'd prefer to sit at the bar," the shapelier one said, still smiling. I didn't quite groan in frustration. Her expensive looking overcoat did a reasonable job hiding her attributes, but as I said before, she was too curvy for it to hide them all and I spend a few dangerous seconds taking them in despite my best efforts to look away.

"Seriously?" her friend asked. The shapely girl had already talked the blond into staying, but it looked like the latter was having second thoughts now that they were going to be eating at the bar. I guess she didn't like the look of us regulars. I didn't blame her.

The blond was the taller of the two with long hair and nice legs. Her coat was just as expensive as her friends and even longer, but it hung open giving me a glimpse of an impressive dark green dress. She was also wearing emerald earrings with a matching necklace.

The other woman was more my type, but it's not like the blonde's smaller set of curves weren't tantalizing in their own way. She had great legs, and unlike her friend, there was nothing subdued about her sex appeal. She was hot and knew it.

Frankly, she reminded me of Sarina. I pushed my beer back. I was done drinking for the night, or at least until the two women left.

They sat on my side of the bar, but thankfully closer to the door and a few stools down so I couldn't see them unless I leaned forward and looked their way. I made every effort not to do that. I tried ignoring them, but it wasn't easy. Especially with a couple of the regulars making fools of themselves by buying the ladies drinks and hitting on them.

The type of guy who frequented a place like Cal's had no chance with women like these two. It was obvious. The sad thing was that for the most part I think the other regulars knew it too, but that didn't stop them from trying. I must have sat there for another hour listening, but not taking part.

The curvy girl seemed nice enough and had a good sense of humor. The blond, not so much. She was a cold one. It wasn't the fact that she shot down everyone's attempt to hit on her, it was the way she did it. Yep, she definitely reminded me of Sarina.

That's when I realize I was playing with the ring again. I didn't quite sigh. This would never do. I glanced down at the bland gold band and frowned, my foul mood from earlier returning full force.

Such a small, unremarkable plain looking piece of metal. Neither too shiny nor too dull. There were no designs or etchings visible on the band. I'd once checked it with a magnifying glass just to make sure.

I didn't know much about its history. Hell, I never even saw it until just after my eighteenth birthday. I received it from my father. He was something else I never saw until that day. He actually had the audacity to call me from the hospital and tell me who he was and that he was dying. He said he needed to see me. It wasn't until much later that I remembered he said need and not want.

I refused to go visit at first, but his voice was weak on the phone and he'd said he was dying. I was afraid that if I didn't go visit him that very day, I would never get a chance to meet him. I tried to formulate what I was going to say to him on the way over, but it was hard because I knew almost nothing about him.

According to my grandparents, he was the reason why the daughter they loved took her own life soon after I was born. I'm not sure how they came to that conclusion considering they'd never met him and didn't know anything about him other than his name, but they seemed so certain that I never doubted them until I was almost sixteen. At that point I was questioning everything and somewhere along the line I realized that my grandparents really had no idea what happened between my parents.

My grandmother seemed to think that my father had seduced my mother and then disappeared. My grandfather insisted it was something darker because of the changes in my mother. He said she was always a happy child who looked at the world as something magical until the day she met my father.

Both of their assumptions were possible, but so were many others. The truth was that by the time my father finally called I had a ferocious curiosity about him and what really happened. I hated him all my life and nothing he said would excuse him for getting my mother pregnant and abandoning us both, but it didn't take long for me to realize I had to know.

The hospital visit was worse than a waste of time. It ended up being the biggest mistake of my life. My so-called father was barely lucid by the time I arrived and rambled on for twenty minutes about some family curse before pulling the small ring off of his little finger and insisting I take it. I did so reluctantly because he was so agitated that I would have done anything to calm him down.

He grabbed my wrist with surprising strength as he placed the ring in the palm of my hand without actually letting it go. He looked lucid for a moment. There was a sadness in his eyes that seemed to beg for forgiveness. He opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came out. Instead, he let go of the ring with obvious effort and released my wrist at the same time.

As soon as he released it into my care, I felt something shift. I can't explain what or how, but I knew it had. The universe suddenly seemed darker and more dangerous.

The weirdest part was my father's reaction. As soon as the ring left his hand his whole body sighed in an odd sort of relief. He looked like the weight of the world had been lifted from his shoulders.

I wanted to ask him about it, but in that moment his eyes became locked onto something unseeable and his body sagged in upon itself. I didn't realize what had happened until the monitor started shrilling. I stood there in stunned silence as a nurse and then a whole gaggle of them plus a couple of doctors tried to resuscitate my father, but it was a waste of time.

I remember glancing down at my father one last time before leaving. I know it sounds crazy, but some the bastard was smiling.

It wasn't until later that I learned what he'd given me. If there is a Hell, then I'm sure my father is in the deepest, darkest part of it. At least, that's what I prayed for. As much as I thought I hated him before we met, I'd never really known true hatred until I realized what he's done to me.

"You sure you don't want to sell that?" Phil's question broke me from my thoughts. He was eyeing the ring hungrily. Damn. I should never have mentioned Sarina to him. I'd opened a door that I couldn't close again. It was time to leave...to run away like I'd done so many times before.

The frightening part was that I was sorely tempted to give the ring to Phil, but it would be pointless. I'd tried that early on. The ring always ended up returning to me, usually leaving a morgue full of bodies in its wake. The guilt from those times still kept me up some nights. Then again, my life was pretty much one long, guilt ridden nightmare since the day my father handed me the ring as my birthright. A family curse that had been with us for generations.

What I wouldn't give to be rid of it!

"No, sorry," I replied, dropping some money on the table and standing. I paused and looked around. I knew I'd never be back here again and I wanted to remember it. It might have been a dive bar, a dump, but up until tonight, it had been a safe haven for me and my problem. I cursed myself for getting drunk the night before and ruining everything. Well, that and the two women for showing up today. It was time to go.

I moved a little faster than usual. I was trying to get out of the bar quickly, but I should have known better. Sarina was up to her old games.

"That is a nice ring, isn't it?" The blond had turned toward me, partially blocking my way and looking at me in sudden interest.

I knew it was Sarina's doing. People tended not to notice the ring unless she wanted them to. It's not like there was anything special or interesting about how it looked.

I guess Sarina was growing bored. Damn. It was my own fault really. She could probably sense my weakness. I'd given her the opening by talking to Phil and now everything was beginning to cascade out of control.

"I need to go." I tried to shift past the blond, but she slipped off the bar stool and stood between me and the door. I noticed that she and her friend were done with their meals.

"I'm Claire. Why don't you stay and buy me a drink?" Her smile promised far more than that. I swallowed with some difficulty. I knew that her sudden interest was Sarina's doing, but that didn't help much.

I hadn't been with a woman in over a year. All I had to hold me over were the memories of my past sexual encounters. All of them included Sarina. Each time she pulled me deeper into darkness. I hated her for that more than anything else, but my need for satisfaction was impossible to fight forever. She made sure of that.

Sarina was a sex fiend in every sense of the word. There was nothing related to sexual fulfillment that she wouldn't do...do and enjoy. She took great pleasure in driving me absolutely mad with desire.

"Sorry, can't tonight," I said succinctly, trying to get by.

"Well then," she said, reaching out and touching my arm. "Let me buy you a drink." It wasn't a question really. Her hand was warm and I felt a jolt of desire shoot up my arm. I looked into her deep green eyes and saw the hunger there. I felt my own continuing to stir as I fought it. Sarina was going for broke tonight. She'd be too exhausted to bother me for a long time if I could hold her at bay. Of course, holding her at bay was near impossible when she was like this. Damn!

"No thanks," I forced out and made to push by her.

"Are you seriously turning down Claire?" the other young woman asked in surprise. I shouldn't have stopped. I knew that, but I did anyway.

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byJoeDreamer© 2 comments/ 792 views/ 7 favorites

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