From “A Tortured Soul”
In this excerpt from A Tortured Soul Paul meets his ‘date’ for the Halloween ball, and it turns out she might prove to be a lot of fun.
Please bear in mind that A Tortured Soul is an adult novel with sexually explicit scenes and language.
There was a knock on my door. I usually left it propped open, as did the others on the corridor, but I always shut it when I was getting ready to go out. I don’t know if everyone feels this way, but I think washing, shaving and dressing are private affairs. As it happened, the knock came just as I’d finished putting on my werewolf costume.
I opened the door to find Red Riding Hood standing there, compete with a wicker picnic basket. Although I doubt it was filled with sweet delights for grandmamma.
“Yes?” I said.
She smiled. “I’m Hannah.”
My silence spoke volumes.
“Your date? Didn’t Amanda tell you? I thought she told you I’d be coming to pick you up, not the other way around.”
“Excuse me,” I said, closing the door on her.
Through the closed door I could hear Mark say, “He does that. I wouldn’t worry. Give him five minutes. Do you want a cup of tea or something?”
I picked up my phone from the desk and pulled Amanda’s number from the memory.
“Hey, stud,” she said—her usual greeting for me.
“So you’re arranging dates for me now?”
“Oh, so Hannah’s there already is she? Guess she couldn’t wait.”
“That’s not an answer.”
“Paul, chillax, okay. It’s not a night out in town, it’s a ball. You can’t show up without a date. And since Hannah’s next on the list anyway, I figured, makes sense. Right?”
“Bloody list,” I said, gruffly.
“Hey, what do you think of her outfit? Doesn’t she look gorgeous? It shows off her legs really well and the you’ve got to love the way it pushes up—”
I hung up the phone. I wasn’t worried about offending Amanda. She never got offended. Well, hardly ever. Which is the same thing. More or less.
Red Riding Hood (notice I didn’t call her Little Red Riding Hood—there’s no way you could call her Little in any way, shape or form, if you know what I mean) was in the same place I’d left her when I closed the door. I grabbed her arm, pulled her inside and let the door slam shut behind us.
“Paul, I thought Aman—”
“It’s Hannah, right?”
She nodded. “I’m sorry if I—”
“Let’s get one thing clear, okay, Hannah. This isn’t a date. You’re next on Amanda’s list. That’s all. Yes, I’ll accompany you to the Ball. Yes, we might talk or dance and I might buy you a drink or two. I’ll even smile when someone points a camera at us, but this isn’t a date and for all I care, we can separate when we get to The Union and not speak to each other all night. But you’re on this damn list, so I’ll do what Amanda’s promised you. At the end of the night, I’ll bring you back here and fuck you within an inch of your life.”
She hadn’t taken her eyes off me from the moment I interrupted her. I knew I wasn’t exactly playing the nice guy. If anything, perhaps I wanted to put her off. If she changed her mind and backed out, I might get a peaceful night—I might actually enjoy the night. But if anything, she looked even more interested. Treat ‘em mean, keep ‘em keen, isn’t that how the old saying goes? I never really believed it could be true, but looking at Hannah’s reaction, I started to wonder.
I pointed to the bed on the far side of the room. “See that?”
She looked across, then back at me. “The… The bed?” she said, nervously.
I nodded. “Get a good look at it now, because you won’t have time later, even when you’ve got your face buried in the covers while I pound you from behind. Because that’s what you want? Isn’t it? That’s why you’re here, right? You want to get fucked. You want me to fuck you like I fucked your friends. You want me to give you the best damn night of your life. Well? Is that what you want?”
She shivered. I smiled.
“Do you know what the French call orgasms?”
She shook her head.
“Le Petit Mort. The Little Death,” I said. “And tonight, I promise you, you’re going to suffer a thousand Little Deaths.”
She closed her eyes and shivered again, letting out a little squeak too. She hadn’t, had she? She couldn’t have suffered her first little death just from my words, could she?
<<Damn right she did! Oh, this is going to be a fun evening!>>
I hate to admit it, but that damn voice was right, it was fun. Hannah had something of a hair trigger, but the real fun came from keeping her on a low simmer for as long as I could without setting her off. A little touch on her upper arm. A light stroke of her lower back. A suggestion of what might happen when I got her back to my room. It was almost too easy. Almost. Regardless, it was a lot of fun.
One of the things that distinguished this formal ball from any other Saturday night in The Union, was the quality of the live entertainment. Saturday nights were always live music nights, but on this occasion, I’d actually heard of the band up on stage, and while The Mutt’s Nuts weren’t going to be headlining any summer festivals any time soon, they had at least had a couple of top twenty hits recently.
After their hour long set, which I’ll admit was pretty good, they took a break promising to do an encore set later, and much of the audience took the opportunity to have a break too. Hannah and some of her friends made for the bathrooms downstairs, while I headed to the bar to top up our drinks. I hadn’t had that many and I’d made sure Hannah hadn’t either. Not because I was adverse to the idea of getting royally drunk (actually, the idea had merit), but more because I didn’t want Hannah passing out on me before I’d had a chance to really see just how many Little Deaths this girl could take in one go.
Walking back through the bar, heading for the main room, with a drink in each hand, I almost didn’t hear the little voice calling to me.
I turned and grinned when I saw a red haired Little Bo Beep, complete with staff and bonnet—although there was a distinct lack of sheep. She must have lost them.
“Oh, hi, Imogen. You look—”
“Ridiculous. That’s what I look. And don’t laugh.”
“I wasn’t going to.” Genuinely, I wasn’t. I thought she looked really cute. But maybe she wasn’t going for cute. One thing’s for sure, she wasn’t well enough endowed for the outfit to do to her upper torso what Red Riding Hood’s had done for Hannah’s.
“I thought you were going as a witch,” I said.
“I lied. I didn’t want to admit to being Bo Beep in front the other girls.”
“Don’t you think they’ll notice anyway?”
“Probably, but with a bit of luck I’ll soon be too drunk to care.”
“So… Why?” I guested up and down her costume.
She half-smiled. “It was Vanessa’s idea. It’s a Welsh thing. Like a joke?”
I nodded. “I get it.”
“I saw your date,” she said with a smile. “Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. Good match. It’s almost as if you planned it.”
“She’s not my date. And I’m a werewolf, not—”
“Whatever. She’s cute though. For someone who’s not your date.” She smirked at me and there was a dangerous little twinkle in her eye.
“You think? I hadn’t really noticed.”
“Yeah, right. Of course you hadn’t. Too busy staring at her cleavage, no doubt. Boys! You’re all the same.” She waved her hand dismissively and we both laughed.
“So, you look like you’re having a good time,” she said. “Glad you came in the end?”
I nodded. “It’s better than I expected.”
“Good. I’m glad. Although, I’m starting to wish I hadn’t come.”
“My date is a bit… You know.”
“Really?” That surprised me. I’d assumed she’d have good taste. “Who did you come with?”
She looked across at a group of guys who were laughing and joking. It took me longer than it really should have to realise that they were a group of guys from Wintersmith, from my floor even. Although, they did live on the other side of the kitchen from me, so in my head that seemed like a good excuse. Currently laughing the loudest was…
“Steve?” I asked. She nodded. “But… Why?”
She shrugged. “Vanessa and the girls all had a date and… He asked. No-one else did. Oh, I said no at first. But he kept asking. And I really didn’t want to be the only without a date.”
“But I mean… Steve?”
“He’s not… No. No, that’s silly.”
I shook my head. “Nothing.”
“Come on, fess up.” She raised her hands. “Or I will be forced to tickle you.” It hadn’t taken Imogen long to realise I was ticklish and she regularly used it as a torture technique when, for example, I wouldn’t give the answer to a question on an assignment—which I did a lot. What can I say, it’s fun to have something as tiny as Imogen attempt to get the better of you through tickles.
“Okay,” I said, holding up the drinks I was carrying in each hand. “It’s just… I mean… I overheard him on the phone the other day and it sounded like he was planning to blackmail someone into going out with him.”
There was a momentary flash of anger in her eyes. I’m sure there was, although it was so quick I might have been wrong.
“Even he wouldn’t do something like that, would he?” she said.
“You tell me. You know him better than I do.”
“Yeah. I suppose.” She paused then, far too brightly in my opinion, she said, “So, if Red Riding Hood isn’t your date, why is she sticking so close? Or is it you sticking close to her?” She raised her eyebrow.
I rolled my eyes and sighed. “Why do you think?”
“I have no idea, Paul?” she said, playfully. She knew full well but apparently wanted me to say it.
“She’s… You know?”
“She’s… She’s next on The Damn List, all right?”
I gave her a stern look. This list of Amanda’s, and my discomfort with it, was something we’d discussed more than a few times.
“Sorry,” she said, looking not the least bit contrite.
“Paul, I’ve told you before, if you’re not happy—”
“Yeah, yeah, I know. But it’s easier said than done, Gen. You don’t know Amanda.”
“No, Paul, it’s easy. Look, repeat after me.” She made a play of taking a deep breath then exaggerated her lip movements as she said, “Nnnn-ooo.”
I huffed. “You can talk. Who is your date again?”
“Why’s that? Exactly?”
“It just is, okay?” Her tone said, loud and clear, Drop it. “Anyway, if you’re not putting a stop to this stupid list, do you at least know who else is on it?”
She rolled her eyes. “I do. Well, I know one person who’s on it, anyway.”
“Vanessa. She went up to that Amanda last weekend while we were in Central Pier. I think she was more than a little drunk at the time, but she says she doesn’t regret it. Actually, she’s quite excited about it.”
“Great.” Then I had a thought. Amanda had said that two freshers were on the list. “Er… Gen… You’re not… You’re not on the list are you?” Well, Vanessa was her best friend, supposedly. It made sense.
“Good God, no. No offence, Paul, it’s not you, I just couldn’t do something like that.”
“Good,” I said, then instantly regretted it when her gaze bore into me.
“What?” she said, “I’m not good enough for you, is that it? My boobs not big enough or something?”
“No. It’s not… I mean…” Her eyes started to twinkle seconds before she started laughing.
“It’s okay,” she said. “I get it.”
“Sorry, Gen. I really didn’t mean any offence, it’s just that—”
“I know, Paul. I get it. Okay? I feel the same. We’re friends and we’re colleagues, and something like that…”
“Yeah. It could ruin it.”
“Exactly. So stop worrying.”
I felt a hand on my shoulder. “Hi. Is that my mine?” I turned to find Hannah standing next to me. And I always thought it was supposed to be the Big Bad Wolf that had the hungry, I’m-going-to-eat-you-up look in his eyes.
I didn’t get to see The Mutt’s Nuts second set. It was my own fault, I guess. I’d kept Hannah on such a low simmer all night that it was inevitable she’d boil over at some point. We left the ball before anyone else, and with the voice in my head urging me on right up to the point I slipped my boy home, I proceeded to rock Hannah’s world.
By the time she was out cold, dribbling into my duvet, I had a feeling she’d definitely be back for seconds.