“SHADOW OF THE DRILL”
Charlene blushed, unable to speak. Decker’s nearness affected her as strongly as ever, and the knowledge that he would offer marriage to keep her, was a strong aphrodisiac. But then his arm encircled her waist; she tensed when she remembered the image of her body in the bathroom mirror after her shower earlier in the day. It was not a flattering picture, and she pulled away, embarrassed to be seen without the comforting camouflage of her clothes.
“Char?” He looked into her eyes with genuine concern. “Are you okay? Did you change your mind?”
She shrugged, looking away while tears of shame gathered behind her emerald eyes. “I’m sorry, Deck. It’s just…” Her voice trailed off as she involuntarily compared herself to Tawnee’s youthful perfection, but then her irritation, at the way that older women were so easily overlooked, caused her to speak bluntly.
“I’m fat, Deck. I’ve gained at least fifteen pounds since the last time you saw me naked, and I was no petite flower then.” She paused, thinking that he might jump in, but he said nothing, allowing her the time to say what she needed to say.
“Look, Deck… I know what kind of girls you like. I’ve seen ’em come, and I’ve seen ’em go, and they’re all the same. Young, drop-dead freakin‘ gorgeous, and… thin. Like I used to be.” She smiled bitterly, hating the cruelty of time. “Like I’m not anymore.” She fell silent, waiting for his nod of reluctant agreement and subsequent dismissal, but his actual response was completely unexpected.
Hearty laughter burst forth as he realized that, beneath her tough-as-nails attitude, she was as insecure as any other woman when it came to the way that her body looked. “Char,” he said when the laughter had passed, “do you honestly think I care about a few extra pounds? Do you think I even noticed?”
She stared at him in disbelief, and he shrugged, wondering if truth would be enough for her. “Char, fat or thin, you’re a beautiful woman, but… you’re so much more than that. So much more. You’re patient, you have a sense of humor that I actually get, you let me be who I am, and you have a crazy kind of intelligence that’s almost impossible to find in people today. Add it all up, and it’s sexy as hell. And…” He winked, knowing she was seconds from believing. “If that’s not enough, you challenge me. Constantly. No matter what, even when we’re barely speaking, you challenge me. So… that’s what I see when I look at you. That’s what I see.”
She wanted to trust him, but it was hard to push past her insecurities, regardless of what he had said. But, then his fingers gripped her hair while his lips captured hers in a passionate kiss, and suddenly, the belief was there.
“A PERILOUS THIRST”
I have a unique hunger, as you now know. And with this unique hunger comes unique problems, though many are now more easily overcome. Finding partners is fairly simple these days, even for one of my preferences. You would be amazed at the veritable smorgasbord of succulent young gentlemen found almost every night of the week in any leather bar. Or, maybe not. I am rather observant, and those are trooper’s boots beneath your jeans, are they not? And your key ring… most interesting. I must admit that I find the swing of your keys against your hip strangely exciting.
But in reference to the men who patronize those bars; I have found them to be audacious, daring to the point of abandon. They seek sensation at its maximum intensity, and the power, the unadulterated vivacity, that can be drawn from them at the absolute peak of rapture, is… Well, my friend, let me just say that it is ecstasy of the highest degree.
There is something about such men that draws me to them, forcing me to reach deep within myself to give them what they fearlessly desire. You may think that it is only the physical hunger that compels me, but I tell you now, that there is another need as well. One which is just as powerful, just as demanding, just as intense. The need of which I speak, is emotion. That human attribute you so cheerfully take for granted, but which was lost to me on the eve of my transformation.
Please excuse me, but I did not hear your question clearly. The level of noise in this establishment, at times precludes conversation. I believe that you asked if I was referring to love. Is that correct?
I think that I would have to say that the attributes of love, those exquisite yearnings to become one with another, is not what I’m speaking of. Rather, the emotion itself. Any strong emotion, whether it be love, lust, exhilaration, even fear (although that particular morsel does tend to leave a mildly unpleasant ambiance behind) is capable of being transferred from my partner to myself, during moments of intimacy. A high-calorie dessert, if you will. The chocolate truffles of the vampire’s feast.
You mentioned earlier that you find intimacy for the sake of physical pleasure alone, to be unfulfilling. It is the same with me, from a slightly different perspective. To engage another simply to feed, is to deprive myself of the aforementioned truffle, resulting in an experience that I would describe as adequate, at best. Therefore, I tend to choose my partners based not on my attraction to them, but rather, their attraction to me. The more captivating they find me, the greater their response to my seduction. Which, in turn, leads to erotic adventures of a most extraordinary nature.
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