Between Logic and Madnessbyangel_in_disguise©
At first it was okay. No big deal, the electric going out. Not like it was the first time this had happened. Not even the first time it had happened at night.
At first it was okay. Then, as the minutes passed, it didn't seem quite so innocent any longer. It wasn't that any one thing made it seem sinister, or that even a series of things had taken place. It just was.
Marni paced back and forth across the short width of the living room in her little bungalow, nervously chewing on her fingernails. This feeling of doom was ridiculous. She knew it.
It wasn't like she was alone. In the house, yes, but there were others. All the houses up and down her block were in the same predicament. No power.
Looking out the front door, she saw nothing. Maybe it was the dense fog that made this time seem so menacing. Perhaps it was the paranoia of not having a phone. Earlier in the day she had thought to put her cell phone on the charger, but hadn't. Only yesterday she had considered going out to buy a 'real' phone that wasn't dependant on electric, but had done that neither.
She was the reason Hill wasn't home. He hadn't been keen on the idea of working a double shift, but she had made him feel guilty. Someone had to work for Kyle so he could be with his sick wife, and Hill was the only one available. He wouldn't be home before eight the next morning; nearly twelve hours away.
A sudden chill.
Hill had wanted to get a dog. She had said no. Between his job as a 911 dispatcher and hers as a party planner, they didn't have the time to train a dog or give it the attention one would need. It sure would have been nice to have the companionship of one now.
Stepping out onto the porch she strained to hear something. Anything. The sound of an opening door, voices, but there was nothing. No sound, no movement. Just the fog and the deafening silence.
Inside, she closed the door against the eerie unknown and began pacing once again. The flickering shadows of the candlelight only added to the uneasy feeling of the night. If only there was sound.
That creepy childhood feeling of being watched. She knew it was her imagination getting the better of her, but hugged herself anyhow. If only Hill was home!
Feeling childish and immature, she went to sit on the sofa. Within minutes she was up again. Pacing.
"You are being an idiot," she said out loud, just to break the silence.
As soon as the words had been spoken, it was like they were never uttered. As if the silence had sucked them in.
Open the door again. Her car was parked right next to the front porch, not twenty feet away. She couldn't see it. Was it like this everywhere? Close the door.
Taking one of the tall tapered candles, she went to the kitchen. Lock the back door. The last thing she needed was her imagination conjuring up some psycho serial killer.
Normally not a paranoid person, she chastised herself mentally for falling prey to her imagination. There was nothing sinister. There was no reason to be afraid. It was just a power outage. It was just fog.
A soft scratching at the front door.
Habit made her stop to listen. Fear stole her breath.
Scratching again. A soft whimper.
Internal struggle between logic and madness. She could almost hear Hill's voice telling her to step away from the door, go lock herself in their bedroom. Yet.. What if someone needed her help?
Once again feeling foolish for letting her imagination run wild, she went to the kitchen and found the biggest knife they owned. Knife in one hand, candle in the other, she once again approached the front door.
Standing. Listening. Only silence.
Letting out a breath she hadn't been aware of holding in, she set the candle on top of the cabinet next to the front door. Needing to abash the fear she'd let seep into her soul, but holding the knife in the 'ready' position, she slowly opened the door.
Only the fog greeted her. No more dense than it had been, but showing no signs of abating. As she began to close the door a shadowy form appeared, only steps away.
Small. Rounded. An animal of some type.
As the shadow approached her, moving tentatively, frightened, she saw the shape of a small dog emerge. It seemed to be a breed of mixed parentage, cowering at her feet.
No longer frightened, she knelt down to have a better look. The dog was shivering, almost to the point of seizure. When she touched it's head it laid down, softly whimpering.
"You poor thing," she said, keeping her voice soft not just for the dog, but for herself as well. "C'mere. No need for both of us to be scared little rabbits."
She slowly stood up, stepping back a bit, coaxing the small animal inside. He seemed hesitant at first, but then burst through the opening as if something unseen had frightened him. Unwittingly taking her cue from the animal, Marni slammed the door shut, locking both locks.
Heart pounding. Pulse racing.
"Well," she said to the dog, hoping to calm herself, "You sure did pick the wrong house if you're looking for someone brave."
Sitting down on the sofa, she patted her knee in an attempt to get the animal to come to her. In the dim light of the candles, she watched as the dog looked around, sniffing it's new surroundings before going to her.
"You are the strangest looking puppy I've ever seen," she said to the animal. "Look at those little ears! And your eyes… wow. Are they… green?? What are you, anyway? A cross between a terrier and a … I don't know what. You sure are a cute little fella though."
Petting the dog soothed her. She could feel the fear easing away. There, but not as strong. It was like someone had answered an unspoken prayer and sent her a companion to diminish the anxiety slowly building inside.
After a moment, the dog jumped up onto the sofa, laying it's head and front paws on her lap. It was no longer trembling, as if it too had needed a companion.
There was no collar, no tags to identify it. Sure she had never seen it in the neighborhood before, she wondered how it happened to be here. It didn't matter. In the morning, after Hill got home, she'd concern herself with seeing to where it belonged. Someone, somewhere, had to be missing it.
Marni placed her hands on the dog's head, gently stroking it's fur, calming her nerves until it didn't seem that the power was out, only that she'd decided to use candle light.
Everything would be fine. No longer alone. A sigh of contentment.
Thinking that perhaps her new friend would like some water, Marni went to the kitchen to search for a bowl. The single candle didn't permit much light, but she was able to find an old butter dish that would serve fine. Filled with fresh cold water, she placed the bowl on the floor near the hall.
Turning, she stopped in mid pivot. A man. A naked man. Curled up in a corner of the sofa. Too stunned to scream, she could only stare.
Moving. Stretching. Sitting up.
Marni stayed where she was, searching the room for the dog. Better to concentrate on where the dog was than to worry about who the man was, what he was going to do, and how he got in. Where did the dog go?
The man was sitting on the sofa, leaning forward, his elbows on his knees, head in his hands. Staring at her.
"I'm here," he said.
His voice was deep and rich, and even in those two words, there was a tone of sensuality. Her attention was gained not only because of his voice, but because of his words as well.
He sat back, his hands folded in his lap. Even in the subdued light of the candle she could see his shaggy shoulder length hair was the color of the dog's fur. Her guess was that his eyes were the same piercing green. Not wanting to undertake the impossibility that this man had been a dog only minutes ago, she considered her options for getting out of the house.
Without a second thought, she ran to the back door. A moment to disengage the lock, then it was open and she was out. Fenced in back yard to her left, gate and freedom to her right. She pulled open the gate, intent on getting past her car and finding her way across the street to her neighbors house.
The fog was no less dense than it had been. Running was not an option. Hands out in front of her, she searched for her car. Finding it, she felt along the side to guide her along the driveway.
Hands grasping her waist, stopping her. Heart pounding, pulse racing, a blood curdling scream stopped by a hand over her mouth.
"I'm not here to hurt you," she heard whispered into her ear. "Don't be afraid."
One arm around her waist, her body lifted off the ground like a sack of potatoes. Carried across the porch and through the front door. Inside again.
Although he set her feet on the floor, he didn't let go of her. She tried kicking at him, but he seemed to anticipate where her foot would land and moved his leg. She tried biting the hand covering her mouth, but he merely increased the pressure until it felt like her teeth would come through her lips.
"Shh," he said. "I'm not here to hurt you. Please stop trying to inflict pain upon my being."
What little she remembered from a long ago self defense class seemed futile against him. He kept his hold around her firm and steady, pinning her arms tight to her. Kicking and biting had been tried to no avail. Thinking surrender might give her a chance for escape, she let herself go limp.
He laughed. As with his voice, his laughter held that same sensuality.
His face against her neck, his breath warm, his lips brushing against her skin as he spoke, "That won't work. I can be everywhere… or nowhere, but I always know where you are."
Did he think he was God? She wondered, still struggling to be free of his grip. Or was he just some psycho stalker? But… how did he get in? What did he do with the dog? How long would this nightmare last?
He let go of her so suddenly and unexpectedly that she nearly fell to the floor. Free of his hold, she ran across the room to the hall and into her room. Lock the door.
Feeling for her bed in the dark, she crawled over the footboard and across the mattress to the headboard. Curled against the wood, she found the pillows, piling them up in front of her. It wasn't a strong fortress by any standard, but it was all she had.
Mind racing, tossing one thought after another, she was sure her head would implode. This was all a nightmare. Surely, she had fallen asleep on the sofa, would wake and laugh at the weirdness of it all.
He didn't knock. He didn't pound on the hollow interior door. There was no effort exerted to release the lock on the handle. Yet the door opened and there he was, standing in the portal, a soft light encircling his body.
"Ask," he requested, not moving from the open doorway.
Hugging one of the pillows to her, frightened that perhaps this wasn't a bad dream, she struggled to find her voice.
"Who are you? What do you want?"
Arms folded across his bare chest, ankles crossed, leaning against the door frame, he smiled at her.
"Are you really sure those are the questions you want to ask?"
How could there be light around him when he wasn't holding a candle, she hadn't brought one with her and the only candles lit were in the living room? Why did he look taller now than he had when he held her just a few minutes ago?
When she didn't speak, he walked into the room. The light seemed to be coming from him. His body wasn't lit up, yet… he was emanating the light around him.
He sat on the edge of the bed. Reaching toward her, he took the pillow she'd been clutching, sat it aside, and caressed the side of her face with the back of his hand.
"Lovely Marni. So many times I've watched you. So many times I've done just this, always while you slept. So many times I've wanted to show myself. Never the opportunity. Until tonight."
Torn between the fear that he was a psycho stalker who had somehow gotten inside or something totally unknown, and the unnatural calmness she felt when he touched her, she remained quiet.
Leaning in, he softly kissed her cheek, his lips barely a whisper against her skin. He put his hand in her hair, letting his fingers slide through her tresses, seemingly amazed. Hand on her cheek again, his thumb tracing her lips.
She wanted to scream, to run. She wanted to stay, to feel his touch. She was more afraid than she'd ever been anytime in her life, yet she felt the safest. A tear made its way down her cheek.
He continued to touch her face. Tracing her lips, her eyes, her cheekbones. His touch was both comforting and frightening. She wanted him to stop, yet was afraid that he would.
"All the times you've asked for my help, I've been there," he whispered against her cheek as his fingers made their way lazily up and down the length of her bare arm. "I hear you even when you don't voice your concern. I reply even when you don't realize you've made a request. And now… tonight …"
He kissed her neck. Soft, gentle, caressing…she felt her body begin to relax. His hands slid beneath her tank top, touching the bare skin of her midriff, soft, gentle. His lips touched her in kisses along her neck, jaw line, shoulders. Her shirt was slipped over her head before her mind could register that it was wrong, and by then he was kissing her breast swell above her bra, his hands stretching her body to a prone position on the bed.
Lying on the bed, his hands upon her in tender caresses, his lips plying her body with gentle kisses, she was caught in the turmoil of her mind. Part of it was urging her to stay quiet, to accept what was happening while another part was screaming for her to make it stop.
She and Hill weren't married, but they'd been together for years and even if things were a bit rocky right now, that didn't give her the right to let another man touch her. And this wasn't just another man….was he even a man?? This was someone who seemed to have been stalking her, who claimed to know her, know about her…. A stranger.
Her body was becoming more receptive to his touch. She could feel the familiar butterflies stirring in the pit of her stomach, the electric-like current in her bosom. It was wrong to feel this way… with this man.
She sat upright, knocking him away from her.
"No!" she said, her voice somewhat breathless as she scrambled across the expanse of the mattress to the other side.
He reached over and took her hand in his.
"I'm no one to be afraid of."
His voice was lyrical.
She shook her head, trying to free her hand from his. His touch seemed to soothe her, make her feel safe, and that scared her. She laughed at the absurdities of her thoughts, in constant contradiction, and wondered if this was what it was like to go insane.
"I've been with you since the day you were conceived," he said, his husky voice soft as he moved to be closer to her. "You've always been mine, yet … not. I watched you as a girl, I know every thought you've had, every feeling you've felt, I know what makes you happy… I know what breaks your heart. I know everything, Marni."
He had positioned himself so he was sitting on his knees in front of her. His hands were cupping her face. Before she realized what was happening, he had bent forward and placed his lips on hers, kissing her mouth in a way she had never experienced until then… undemanding yet with a hunger that seemed almost primal.
His hands on her again, his touches like quiet breezes, she was vaguely aware that they were lying across the bed. She noticed he had somehow managed to unhook her bra only when she saw it float to the floor. Then his mouth was on her bare breast and any protest she was about to utter was lost, completely forgotten in the ecstasy the feel of his tongue against her nipple aroused.
She could feel his breath on her, feel his touch as his hands traveled her body, taste the sweetness of his kisses on her mouth, yet it all seemed to be happening to someone else. It was almost as if she was watching from a distance while at the same time being a physical part of it.
Her hands went to his head, holding him to her, her fingers in his lush silky mane while his mouth … his lips, his tongue, his teeth… played her breasts like a musical instrument. She was aware of the soft moans escaping her throat, changing ever so slightly with every bite, suck, lick as he continued. The previous protests her mind had been lodging were dissipating with every breath she exhaled.
His skin felt like satin against her palms and fingertips.
The fear was gone. The fear of the unknown, of being alone on a dreadful night… the certainty of doom, the feeling of something sinister in the air…all replaced with a feeling of sheer enchantment at his every touch.
His hands slid her shorts down her hips, her thighs, past her calves and ankles, over her feet. His lips made a trail of kisses up her legs, first one, then the other, nipping at the inside of her thigh, soft supple skin being sucked into his mouth, his teeth and tongue playing against her taut flesh. Legs spread, she welcomed his body between them as he moved up, again using his mouth to tease her already aroused and hardened nipples.
"Oh, God," she whispered between ragged breaths when the feel of his tongue on her nipple caused a rippling sensation in the pit of her stomach for the umpteenth time in minutes.
She heard him chuckle, felt his body quietly shake against hers.
"No," he tenderly whispered. "Not God."
She moaned as his hand ventured between her legs, rubbing the material of her panties, now slightly moist. His finger began to trace the crack of her swollen labia.
His mouth was on her neck, biting ever so gently in the curve of her shoulder while his hand continued to rub against her, his finger separating the folds. The rippling sensation began to increase, building into small waves.
He moved again, his hands sliding her panties down, lifting one leg to free it from the confines of the small slip of material. Her legs spread wide in anticipation of what was to come, the waves building, as he put his hands on her folds, opening them. His breath was hot against her.
At the touch of his tongue against her distended clit she involuntarily arched up, a sharp intake of breath the only sound. His tongue danced against her sleek walls, toyed at her opening.
No one and nothing else mattered except the sensations his touch was eliciting. The world outside could disappear, and she wouldn't have noticed or cared. All that was important was that this feeling not end.
Who he was, or even what he was, held no note of concern as her body flamed in response to his every caress. The waves rippled and roiled, building upon each other, every nerve ending tingling. She was nothing. She was everything.
He moved again, letting his body glide up hers, until he was hovering above her. She wrapped her legs around his hips, trying to pull him down to her; the need to feel him inside her was overwhelming.
"Tell me you want me," he said, his voice husky with need.
"I want you!" she said between gritted teeth, her body in desperate need for fulfillment. "I want you. I need you."
"Say it, Marni. Say the words."
"Fuck me!" she called out.
"With what? Tell me."
Frustrated, she moaned.
"Say it. Say that word," he teased, lowering himself so his hardened shaft was touching her swollen mound.
"Cock," she said, the word uncomfortable. "Fuck me with your cock!"
She felt his hand glide his rigid shaft inside her, felt it throbbing against her own pulsating walls. He teased her, putting in only the head while his finger stroked her clit, making the waves of her building orgasm almost unbearable. Then he thrust inside her in one motion, causing her to cry out.
Legs wrapped firmly around him, her hands went to his backside, fingernails digging into the soft flesh found there. Her body rising up to meet his every thrust, her soul lost to the wonderland of lust, no thoughts were interpreted. She became a mass of undulating flesh, her senses reeling.