The drifter is a mess, caked with dirt and blood, his pants soaked with it.

He needs a break from the road, a change of clothes. So he finds a gas station bathroom to change into a t-shirt and jeans, enters the first bar and music venue he comes upon. He has a few drinks, thinks vaguely about what’s transpired to the point where he’s been brought here. The bar is not too busy, and the bartender doesn’t know him, doesn’t care where he came from or what kind of lurid colors streak his past. Only that he has money to drown that past deep. He drinks a few beers, but wishes he had something for more of a buzz. As he’s thinking this, he notices the girl at the edge of the stage. She’s pretty in an average way, looks like she could hold her own. Something about the way she carries herself attracts his attention. It’s confident but vigilant. Scared of something, but ready to defend herself if it came down to that. The band taking the stage distracts her, and now all she just looks like is a girl out to enjoy the evening. Alone? Maybe. He’s seen the aforementioned look on her face before. She’s probably broken up with someone who didn’t take no for an answer. Or she’s waiting for a blind date. Or her boyfriend’s supposed to meet her here, and he’s a real creep oozing with jealous. A thousand scenarios. He loses interest in her quickly. As he’s coming back from the bathroom, she’s going to the bar for a drink. She deliberately takes a seat next to him, even though the bar isn’t crowded. There’s a moment where he wonders if she had seen him watching her. They get to talking. He can tell she might like his attention a bit too much. He thinks about coming on to her, but is spared the spectacle when one too many drinks ends up slipping from her hand to his shirt. As she’s clumsily trying to help clean the stain off, he sees something in her eyes, however bleary they might be. Emptiness, pain, vulnerability; a person whose suffered brutality, maybe more than once, and didn’t come out of it entirely unscathed. The first stirrings of kinship awaken. But knowing better, he decides to leave. When she asks to exchange numbers, he shakes his head. == The drifter decides to settle in town for awhile, shove his past his far enough behind him until a semblance of comfortability is achieved. It’s a small town, but large enough that being a newbie won’t be rise for too much concern. He gets work at a night club as a bouncer, a day job stocking shelves in a supermarket. Several weeks go by where his life is the most mundane it’s been in years. Until one day he runs into the girl from the bar in the grocery store during his shift. She’s dressed a little neater, and recognizes him right away when she pushes her cart down the aisle he’s working in. They have lunch together at her request, even though he’s reluctant to. He notices the same strange aura about her again and shrugs when she asks if he’d like to get together some time. She pushes him for information, but he isn’t forthcoming, and when he retreats from the conversation and it dies altogether, she gives him a strange smile and says she’ll be seeing him around. Some nights pass. And then one morning he wakes up to the news of a murder on the local college campus. A body of a man found in a dumpster, no visible marks of trauma, no leads. It’s not a student. It’s not anyone that is immediately recognizable. The detective rambles some inchorent, canned line

about dental records. The drifter spends the day watching bad daytime TV and swallowing pain medications. It keeps the vicious thoughts of death at bay. He forgets to call in sick to work, and the next morning, and gets the message if he doesn’t show up for the third time without a call, he’s fired. So let them fire him, he thinks. There’s more jobs out there, more towns, more miles. The same night, the girl shows up at the club as the drifter is working. They talk awhile and she tells him what she’s heard around town about the murder, the gruesome details not heard or shown on the news, and she appears to be in da lot of istress. He drowns it out, calms her down by getting her something strong to drink. She has a couple glasses, asks him if he has anything stronger. Leaving her to get stoned on the pills he gives her and do his job, he comes back when it’s time for him to switch shifts. She’s sprawled out in a booth in the back of the club, more than a little tipsy, and he sits down next to her and feels the first pang of arousal- she’s alone again, vulnerable, and the music’s too loud and there’s too many people for the two of them to be singled out or remembered. As the feeling unfurls further, his mind sinking into the depths of predatory instincts, he draws himself back, scolding himself about crawling back into the skin of his past. There’s some awkward drawn out silence as he just sits there watching her. And then she gets up and slides into his lap, her supple body flush to his, her hips grinding a slow rhythm to the beat of wanton desire. I’ve thought you were hot you since I met you, she murmers. But he doesn’t reply, just moves her off him, stands up and takes her by the hand. They’re in the VIP area, a darker corner of the club where the music is just a distant, muffled thump. Alone, they don’t bother to entirely disrobe. She’s unconcerned with protection, sinks down on to his erection with a shudder of what can be interpreted as relief. The drifter remains detached from the sex itself, watching her ride him without a sound; Watching the contortions of her face, the tremors that course through her body, the skin of her pale neck and collar flush brilliant red. The barrage of endorphins slamming her brain, her revelment in the act, the alcohol and pills make it so she doesn’t notice his strange behavior. As he’s close to orgasm, he leans in close, breathes in her scent. Whispers in her ear of his hands circling her neck, choking off her air, pushing her to the precipice and letting her down without mercy. He can give her the pain he knows she craves, he promises, let her walk the boundless edge. He knows what’s in her mind, feels her need against his own like a caged bird beating at the bars that trap it. And he almost can’t hold back the darkness that coils like a fierce, black serpent around his racing thoughts. With ragged breath, his hand fists in her hair, pulls her head back gently so that she’s looking into his eyes, giving her the opportunity to opt out of the game. But her hips only pound harder at him, bringing him off. He barely makes a sound except for the startled grunt. He releases his grip on her, and she reaches up and wraps a hand behind his neck, digs her nails into the flesh. Her other hand caresses his face, presses a thumb past his lips, cups his jaw and jerks like she’s hooked a prize fish. Teeth clamp down on the flesh, not hard enough to draw blood, but hard enough to send the rush of blood roiling through her body. A strangled cry escapes her, head whipping back as she climaxes, her body quaking. Afterward, she pries harder for information in her languid state, curling her body around him, nipping at him. He pries her off and stands, refusing her once again. He doesn’t tell her that it’s for her own safety. But he tells her that the door has now pried open, and when she’s ready to step through, he’ll know.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful