No world existed beyond the spill of cold light from the car headlamps. A midnight shroud had settled, smothering the land in a gloom where only dim glimmers and deep dark shadows existed. Storm clouds loomed menacingly in the nighttime sky, threatening a downpour that no living soul would wish to be caught in. The streetlights of civilisation seemed to provide people with a false sense of security once the sun set below the horizon, but out in the sparsely populated backwoods there were none. There was nothing but the wind in the trees, and four tyres rolling on the desolate leaf-strewn asphalt.
“Oh God,” moaned Kat, shuffling in her heated leather seat. “I’d give my left nipple to get my hands on his goodies.”
The sound of her friend Sally chuckling, echoed over the speakers of the car’s phone system. “Kitty, you’re so bad. If he’s so irresistible, why don’t you just knock on his door and tell him you want to rip his clothes off?”
“Oh, I’m tempted, believe me. My vibrator just isn’t doing it for me anymore. I need cock, and lots of it.”
“Kathryn!” her friend gasped comically. “If only your mother could hear you now.”
Kat smiled. Sally had always been good for a giggle, and with the unnerving rumble of thunder in the distance, she was in desperate need of one. A drive back home through the rural backroads of Massachusetts wasn’t exactly what one would call entertaining. Certainly not at midnight, and not when it was eerily gloomy and freezing cold outside. Kat hadn’t seen a street sign now for miles, and if it weren’t for the sat-nav unit glowing comfortingly in her dashboard, she would have been completely and hopelessly lost.
“She’d probably faint,” giggled Kat. “You should see him though, Sal. He’s got muscles on his muscles, and he dresses like he’s robbed an Armani delivery truck.”
She squirmed in her seat. Just the thought of the man in apartment twelve made Kat uncomfortably warm. He’d only moved into her building a fortnight earlier and already she was aching to get better acquainted with him. He had that physique which women find irresistible: the broad, strong shoulders and big burly arms. It was the kind of body that could make a woman want to slip a discrete hand somewhere wicked, and tease herself whilst watching him unload a removal truck down on the street below.
“He sounds fucking gorgeous,” replied Sally. “Listen, I’ve got to run. Seriously though, get your ass round to his place in something sexy. You never know.”
“Thanks, Sal,” said Kat, her finger hovering over the little red ‘end call’ button on the steering wheel. “Consider it done. See you tomorrow morning, okay?”
“See you then.”
Kat hung up and slumped back into the plush leather interior of her Mercedes C-Class. Images of the hunky mystery man tiptoed through her consciousness, teasing her delightfully. She imagined unbuttoning his soft, white linen shirt and running her hands over his firm sculpted chest. Kat sighed in frustration and focused back on the road. It was so dark outside that if it were not for the change in pitch of her tyres as she left the road, she would never have known that she was driving over the steel grating of a small truss bridge. As she approached the halfway mark, her headlights picked out two, bright green eyes in the middle of the road a split second before she was about to plough into whatever creature they belonged to.
“Shit!” shouted Kat as she swerved wildly to avoid hitting it. She stamped her foot down on the brake pedal, but was travelling too fast to avoid slamming her car into the side railing of the bridge. With a deafening crunch of steel on steel, and a terrifying shower of sparks and broken glass, she watched in horror as the front of her vehicle punched through the safety barrier.
A loud explosion knocked Kat back into her seat as her airbag deployed. It filled the car with a choking, acrid dusty smoke that burned her throat. Disorientated and confused, she began to wrench helplessly at the seat belt pinning her down. It was no good, she was trapped. She tugged harder and harder at the securing buckle, but froze in fear as the car lurched forward. Icy cold air, rich with the scents of earthy woodland, rushed in through the hole where the windshield had been. Kat stared wide-eyed out into a pitch black abyss, terrified that at any moment the car might tip forward. There was nothing down there but a river, and it was too dark to see how far down the freezing waters were.
“Oh God, oh God,” Kat whimpered, trying desperately to free herself from the wreckage. A grumbling groan of twisted metal resonated as the car tipped and leaned even further over the edge.
“Help me, please!” she shouted at the top of her lungs. Specks of blood peppered the glass as she pounded her fists on the door and shattered driver’s window. There was no one out there, but she pleaded anyway should someone have been close enough to hear her pleas.
Those were the last words she screamed before the car rolled off the edge of the bridge and plunged into the silent inky black.
Storm clouds hung in the air, obscuring the blue hue of the waning crescent moon behind a hazy autumn veil. Dried leaves, the colour of burnished gold and antique amber, rattled and hissed as the breeze caught the tall branches of the trees. Other than the whisper of the wind and the swell of the river’s current, silence reigned supreme.
One sensation drowned out all others as Kat eased into consciousness. As she lay immobile in the tangled weeds of the river bank, she was painfully cold. A stinging wind bit into her sodden clothes and numbed her aching limbs. With all of the strength she could muster, Kat rolled herself over onto her stomach and began to scramble up through the thick mud and brittle reeds. Fist over fist she crawled until she was out of the water.
Dizzy and in pain, every yard she travelled was both a challenge and a triumph. When she thought she was able, Kat clambered unsteadily to her feet and looked around. Nothing looked familiar. There was no bridge, no road, and no car. She felt woozy as she balanced precariously on unsteady legs. Kat touched the back of her hand to her forehead and then glanced down at it; the blood looked black in the moonlight.
Without any idea of what to do, and with no indication as to which direction she should travel to find help, Kat set off into the woods. She stumbled and fought her way through the dense trees and bushes. The further she travelled, the harder it became to progress through the heavy foliage. Branches snagged her wet, torn clothing, like someone was pulling her back, fighting against her efforts. Worse still, every single sound in the wildwood solitude kept her on edge. From the crack of a snapping twig, to the rustle of brush, everything had an ominous bearing of malevolence. She was sure she was being followed.
As if on cue, a booming crash of thunder exploded and ripped across the sky, shaking the very ground she walked on. Kat pressed her back to a tree defensively and clasped her arms around her body. She could feel her heart pounding in her chest like a heavy fist banging on a table. Heavy, frigid raindrops began to fall, clattering through the overhanging limbs above and pitter-pattering on her head. What was already a dire situation now seemed to be getting worse, and Kat was fast losing hope. She was cold and alone, aching and bloodied, and lost in the middle of the woods with no expectation of help.
Still she trudged on, through the scratching branches and thickening mud, until she eventually caught sight of a hulking shadow in the distance. As Kat got closer, she could make out in the gloom the silhouette of what looked like an old wooden cabin. With her heart hammering away and a sudden surge of adrenaline pumping through her veins at the prospect of rescue, she made it to the porch of the old shack just as the heavens opened.
Despite the limited light, it became immediately apparent that the structure had long since been abandoned. The wooden planks of the porch floor were split and twisted, and the windows were caked in a film of grime and furry green moss. Kat tried the door but found it was locked. Despite her best efforts, she was unable to force it open.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” she screamed, frustrated and tired.
As she was about to try and break a window to gain entry, the door clicked and eerily creaked open in front of her. She stared at it for a moment before pushing it open slowly. A thick, blanket-like settling of dust covered the ancient floorboards, disturbed for the first time in an age as Kat cautiously stepped inside. Unbeknownst to her, a small black cat which had silently followed her through the woods, slipped inside before she latched the door closed behind her.
The place looked like it hadn’t been touched in two hundred years. Every surface was thick with powdery dust, and shrouded by huge, silvery grey cobwebs. Adding to the charm of the place was the dank and musty smell; it was earthy and rich, like the hollow of a felled and withered tree trunk. Against the side wall lay a collapsed wooden table and the remnants of some old wicker baskets. The far wall appeared to be made of stone. There was a small square fireplace at the foot of the wall with a rusty grate sat in the bottom.
The rain outside began to fall heavier as the storm moved in. Despite the loud drumming on the roof, the floorboards could still be heard creaking as Kat ventured further into the darkness. Even though the cabin was sparse and uninhabited, she still considered herself fortunate to be out of the rain.
Scattered around the floor in the corner of the room were a number of books and sheaves of old, faded paper. Kat bent down and picked up one of the books, but no discernible writing could be made out on the pages. They were dried out and curling at the edges, having clearly languished unloved for many years. With her hands still shivering from the cold, she tore some pages from the book and scrunched them up, throwing them into the fire grate.
Kat had nothing to start a fire with, but hoped there may be a discarded box of matches lying around on the floor somewhere in the room. As she turned to start searching, there was a soft ‘swoosh’ sound from behind her as the pages burst into flames. She spun around, gasped and stepped backwards. Her eyes darted wildly around the cabin in search of danger. Something wasn’t right about this place, she’d felt it as soon as she’d stepped inside.
As she watched the pages burn from a distance, they unnervingly never turned to ash. Kat watched them blaze for nearly five minutes, becoming more and more concerned that the laws of physics seemed to be absent from her shelter for the night. She was thankful for the light and warmth, but at the same time perturbed by that which she could not explain. The wind outside was now howling, and the heavy rain streaked down the dirty panes of glass in rivers. There was no way she was going back out into that.
Sat cross-legged on the floor in front of the fire, she began to pick the small pieces of broken glass from her hands. There were small cuts all over her palms and knuckles, that were starting to swell slightly where they were beginning to bruise. As she meticulously removed the sharp shards with her fingernails, it bothered her that she was unable to remember how she’d escaped from the car. There was a sensation of being submerged lingering somewhere at the back of her mind. Lost deep in her thoughts, Kat was startled by the unexpected sound of a cicada moth flexing its wings. It buzzed loudly in the comparative silence of the cabin.
Kat shuffled backwards, instinctively trying to distance herself from the strange noise. As she put her weight down on her hand behind her, a floorboard lifted almost causing her to fall. The wooden plank was uneven and warped from years of damp winters and hot summers. Several deep breaths steadied her nerves as she stared at the shadowed hollow. An inquisitive and unaccountable urge to search the pitch black floor space overcame her. With a tentative curiosity, Kat reached inside slowly and felt around, eventually resting her hand on top of something solid. She removed the heavy rectangular object that she had found, and blew off the thick layer of dust which had settled onto it.
It appeared to be wrapped in some sort of rough-cut, yellowed animal hide. Underneath the rudimentary skin wrap was hidden away a leather-bound book. The rich, glossy chestnut patina shimmered in the amber light of the unnatural fire. Despite obviously spending countless years under the floorboards of an old house in the woods, it appeared to be in perfect condition. It must have been at least a couple of hundred years old, and clearly the previous owner had thought enough of it to try and protect it.
A square brass lock secured the book closed on one side, and despite Kat’s best efforts, she was unable to prise it open with her sore hands. She tugged and pulled at the latch, but all she managed to accomplish was to leave a smear of blood across the subtle, slightly tarnished engraved runes in the brass plate. A bronzed gleam drew her eyes to the side of the book. She turned it around and angled it towards the fire in order to read the words on the spine. Although the script had a semi reflective surface, the gold lettering seemed to burn brighter than it should have in the light from the flames.
The book had an unearthly feel as she held it in her hands, as if there was something unnatural about it. Kat didn’t know why, but an inkling of its contents flittered into her head before fizzling out, like a sudden and bright spark in the deep dark. What she held in her hands was a repository of danger, an Alexandrian library of dark secrets from times of old. But whether it was a tomb of maleficence, or a fountain of forgotten knowledge remained to be seen. With her pulse now racing and throat dry, she leaned in close and whispered the words quietly as she read them, “Sapientia de Maleficarum.”
A soft metallic click sounded as the locking plate popped free and the latch dropped open. Her breath caught in her throat as she sat the book in her lap. With fat, heavy raindrops tapping on the window and roof, and the wind howling and groaning as it whipped around the outside of the old cabin, Kat rested the book on its spine and thumbed her way to a random middle page. Her lips and throat were parched, her eyes wide with curiosity. With one last deep breath, she parted the book in the middle.
A blinding golden light flooded into the room, stinging her eyes. She tried to open them but everything had become a bright painful blur that she was unable to focus on. Kat felt like she was sinking, or rather, that she had sunk to the bottom of something but was now beginning to surface. Gradually, the feelings of surprise and unease faded and were replaced with the sensations warmth and comfort. The familiar and distinctive smell of jasmine could be detected from the essential oil reeds that sat on her dressing table. She was in bed at home, and the radiant light that hurt her eyes was the morning sun flooding in through her bedroom windows. ‘Was it all a dream?’ Kat thought to herself as she stirred. Through her groggy, sleep-hazed vision, a fuzzy silhouette began to come into focus. A black cat was stood on her chest looking down at her.
“Fuck off,” Kat grumbled. “I’m trying to sleep.” She rolled over and pulled her snuggly duvet tight around her shoulders and neck. A soft warm paw began to tap her cheek, squishing it and rolling it around.
“Go away,” groaned Kat, scrunching up her face and trying desperately to sink back into a restful sleep.
“Fooood,” the cat continued.
“Alright! Jesus, I’m getting up.” Kat threw off the duvet and climbed out of bed. Her limbs and muscles ached like she’d fallen down several flights of stairs, then climbed back up to the top and thrown herself down them again. As she stumbled her way to the bedroom door, she froze. Something wasn’t right. Kat slowly turned around and stared at the strange cat sat on the foot of her bed. It cocked its head to one side inquisitively as she narrowed her eyes.
“What?” said the cat.
“Ahh!” The scream was blood-curdling as Kat staggered backwards into her dresser. She crashed into it heavily, knocking over a vase of flowers and tipping over all of her perfume bottles and small trinkets.
“Ahh!” screamed the cat in response.
“You can talk!” Kat shrieked. “Who are you? What the fuck is going on?”
“What’s going on is you’re freaking out,” replied the cat. “Take a deep breath. Chill out.”
“Breathe. If you don’t breathe you’re going to pass out.”
Kat stared at the little black creature and remained pinned to the mahogany dresser. After a minute or so she started to take some deep breaths and calm herself. Her heart was racing, but it eventually started to slow down.
“Thanks,” she replied quietly.
After taking a moment to absorb the last sixty-seconds and consider the situation she found herself in, Kat turned and ran quickly out of the room and into the kitchen. She hurriedly flung open a corner cabinet and took down a medical box, ripping off the lid and tipping the contents out onto the counter.
“What’re you doing?” asked the cat. It had followed her from the bedroom and was now sat on the kitchen table behind her.
“Trying to see if I have anything for,” she frantically twirled her hand around her head, “imaginary voices.”
Kat glanced to her side and saw her reflection in the small square mirror hanging on the wall. Her hair looked like she’d been dragged through a hedge backwards. It was all caked up with mud, twigs and tiny pieces of broken glass. She leaned closer and ran her fingertips over where she had cut her head the night before; there was nothing there. Her hands were also completely free of any cuts or bruises.
“Why don’t you have something to eat instead of getting drugged up?” suggested the cat. “And speaking of breakfast…”
“Would you please
stop talking!?” Kat turned to look at him, shrugged her shoulders and went back to delving through her small mountain of miscellaneous medications. “I don’t know why the hell I’m talking to you anyway. You’re a cat, and cats don’t talk.”
“Listen, lady,” the cat replied, lifting one of his front legs. “You nearly killed me last night. I think I at least deserve some breakfast before you completely lose your shit.”
“Don’t you point your paw at me, you furry little bastard!” shouted Kat as she spun around to face him. “It was you, wasn’t it? You ran out in front of my car last night. Oh God, my car…” She’d completely forgotten about it. If a police report wasn’t filed straight away, people would soon be out searching for her body.
“Hang on,” she continued. Kat stared off into the distance as if she were trying desperately to remember something. “How-how did I get home?”
The cat just shrugged and started licking his paw.
“Well, how did you get here?”
“Dunno, actually. Woke up on your couch.”
“D’you know what it is?” asked Kat. She was smiling now and visibly more relaxed. “I’m still dreaming.” She chuckled to herself as she opened the refrigerator, took out a carton of milk and began to drink it. Big droplets splattered on her still sodden, dirty t-shirt as she gulped it down greedily.
“So what’s your name, anyway?” she gasped, swallowing the last of it and wiping her mouth on her arm.
“Fluffy,” he responded, and watched as a raised eyebrow was about to precede a question. “Don’t ask. It’s a long and tragic story. How about you?”
“Kitty? Are you winding me up?”
“No,” she replied. “My name’s Kathryn, but my friends call me Kitty or Kat.”
“Okay. Kitty what?”
Fluffy started to laugh hysterically. He rolled onto his side and tucked his paws in so that he became a jiggling ball of furry mockery. His tail knocked an orange off the fruit bowl which rolled across the table and fell onto the floor, “Stop it, I can’t breathe, too funny.”
“Shuddup you,” said Kat, pouting. She reached into the cupboard and took out a tin of tuna chunks. As she clipped on the can opener and began to turn it, she watched as Fluffy’s eyes went wide and his little tongue poked out.
“Here,” she said, pouring the brine into the sink, tipping the contents out onto a plate and placing it on the table. “Enjoy.”
It was actually funny to watch how animated he was whilst devouring the tuna. His tail swished from side to side, and he rocked from one back leg to the other like he was dancing a jig. Kat slumped heavily against the refrigerator door and closed her eyes. It was hard to make any sense out of anything: the car crash, the strange house in the woods, the book. Just as she’d decided to head for the shower and finally get cleaned up, there was a loud knock at the door. She dashed over and opened it a crack to see who it was.
“Oh, thank fuck!” whispered Kat loudly, dragging Sally into the apartment. “Get in here.”
“Kat, what the…” replied Sally, looking at her friend. “Jesus, what the hell happened to you?”
Kat started pacing up and down the apartment whilst she nibbled on her fingernails. Her appearance and erratic behaviour was clearly concerning Sally.
“Fucking cat, bridge, then in the water. Raining. Old place, smelled funny. This weird book… I dunno. Then back here.”
“And Fluffy can talk!” she yelled, gesturing with both hands to the black cat lounging on her kitchen table.
“When did you get a cat?” Sally asked. She walked up to her friend and clasped her face in both hands. With her thumbs pulling her cheeks down, she peered into Kat’s eyes. “What’ve you taken? Are you on drugs?”
“No, of course not,” Kat replied, shrugging her off. “Oh, never mind.” She collapsed wearily into the chair behind her whilst Sally took a seat on the couch. For a good thirty-seconds she watched as Sally shuffled about trying to get comfortable.
“Kat, seriously, you look like shit. Have you been camping in the woods? You’ve got twigs in your hair.”
“Last night, my car…”
Kat started the sentence but thought it better not to worry her friend. Explaining the near death experience of crashing through the side of a bridge would be bad enough, but how would she put all the other crazy stuff into sensical words? She wasn’t sure herself yet what was real and what was imagined.
“It broke down in the middle of nowhere. I got caught in the rain.”
Sally wriggled in her seat distractedly. Every few seconds she shifted her weight from one side to the other, or kept crossing and uncrossing her legs, unable to keep still.
“Damn, I’m sorry to hear that, babe. I hope it’s nothing too serious.”
“What is wrong with you?” asked Kat in an irritated tone. She’d been watching Sally try to discreetly scratch herself for the last minute. “You haven’t stopped fidgeting since you got here.”
“I had to sort my bikini line out,” she replied. “I’m going to Miami in a couple of hours, remember?” Kat had forgotten all about it. There was no way she could tell her what had happened now, she might cancel her holiday. As she watched with her face scrunched up, Sally stuffed her right hand down her jeans to have a scratch.
“Oh God,” moaned Kat as she turned away and glanced out of the window. “Where’d you go to get it done?”
“Well, I was going to go to Tiger Tammy’s. She’s got a special offer on at the moment.”
“Who?” Kat turned back to her friend, sporting a look of confusion.
“Tiger Tammy, you know. That weird bitch who runs the salon next to the bank. She’s got pink hair and eyes that look in different directions.”
“Are you serious?” Kat asked incredulously. “I’ve heard bad things about that place, Sal. I mean, what sort of name is that anyway?”
“You’re kidding me. You really don’t know why they call her Tiger Tammy?” asked Sally excitedly.
“Well, the story goes that she went round to her sister’s house one day to drop something off that she’d borrowed. Her sister wasn’t in, but her sister’s husband was.” Sally leaned a little closer and lowered her voice to a conspiratorial volume. “The sister came home and walked in to see Tammy’s huge fat ass bouncing up and down on her husband. She was giving him a seriously good banging by all accounts.”
“I’m serious! Tammy and her sister’s husband were going at it like no one’s business. They never heard the door open, and the sister was just stood there in shock. That is until Tammy moaned something about how good a lay the guy was. The sister lost her fucking mind hearing that. She went to the kitchen and heated up a big griddle pan…”
“Urgh. I don’t want to know,” Kat groaned, suddenly feeling a little sick. “Jesus, I can’t believe you let her near your cat flaps with hot wax.”
“Well, I didn’t. I chickened out at the last minute and ended up shaving it off instead. Now it's itching like fuck.” Sally’s hand jiggled away in her pants in a most unladylike manner. “I had to run for the bus yesterday and the friction nearly set fire to my knickers.”
“I’m really glad we have these little talks, Sal,” replied Kat.
“Listen, I can’t stop. This was just a flying visit. I’ve got a plane to catch and I reckon you need a shower, or maybe two. Just don’t do anything crazy until I get back, okay? I’ll give you a ring later.”
“Okay,” sighed Kat, suddenly exhausted. She saw her friend out and then flopped onto the couch. Even underneath the cushion that she had pressed to her face, she could hear Fluffy laughing.
“What?” she asked.
“Cat flaps. I just got it.”
Kat sat up straight and grabbed a notepad and pen from the coffee table.
“I’ve got to figure out what happened last night or I’m gonna go nuts,” she whispered to herself as she started sketching out letters. “What the hell was the name of that book? Sapi-something, sapientia de…”
As she closed her eyes and tried to picture the scene, a vivid image of the book’s spine materialised slowly in her mind. “Maleficarum. What the hell does that mean?” Kat reached out and picked up her laptop from the coffee table.
“Means witches,” offered Fluffy.
“How do you know?”
“I Googled it.”
He sat perfectly still on the window sill on the other side of the room. He was watching a wood pigeon sat on a branch of the tree outside.
“How do you know what Google is?” asked Kat, looking up and narrowing her eyes. Fluffy’s ears twitched. “Were you using my laptop this morning?”
Curiosity got the better of her. She clicked on the browser toolbar and started to scroll through her browsing history. There were lots of links to sites on magic and witchcraft, several of which used the latin word ‘maleficarum’ in the title. As she neared the bottom of the list, several porn sites were listed with search results for ‘sexy kitty’.
“Oh my god, you didn’t.”
Fluffy just shuffled himself around a little more and continued to gaze out of the window nonchalantly. She was going to have to have words with him about this later.
“So this phrase apparently means the ‘Wisdom of Witches’. Would that be witches as in long fingernails and big pointy hats?”
Fluffy jumped down from the window, strolled over to the coffee table, leapt up onto the top and sat down in front of her.
“I have a theory.” Kat rolled her eyes and folded her arms. “I couldn’t talk to humans before last night, right? And I take it you didn’t walk around talking to cats?”
“So,” replied Fluffy, giving his tail a swish, “you woke up this morning without a scratch on you, and now you’re talking to me. That sounds like magic
.” As said the word ‘magic’ his ears twitched.
“Are you winding me up?”
“No, I’m not. Look, maybe I’m one of those, thingamajigs. You know, witch’s familiars? Think about it. What does every witch have?”
“A broomstick?” offered Kat, clearly confused. Fluffy didn’t look impressed. “Bad skin?”
“They have a black cat!”
“So you think that because I opened a weird looking book, I’ve been bestowed with some mystical powers? Listen, I’m not a witch. Firstly, I’m still pretty hot.” Kat glanced down at her ragged muddy clothes and pulled a face. “Sort of. Also, if I was a witch, it makes sense that I’d be able to do some magic.”
As she finished her sentence, Kat lifted her right hand and clicked her fingers. From the compact Hi-fi system in the kitchen came a click as it turned on, followed by the dulcet tones of Nina Simone singing, ‘I put a spell on you’. Kat’s mouth hung open in shock.
“You were saying?”
“This is freaking me out big time.” Kat jumped up from the couch and strode quickly to her bedroom.
“Where are you going?” shouted Fluffy.
“I have to pop out for a bit,” said Kat, slipping on her jacket. “If the police find my car in the river and I haven’t filed a report, they’ll have search parties out looking for me.”
“Can I check my email while you’re out?” asked Fluffy.
“Sure, just…” Kat’s hand paused on the door handle. “You have an email address?”
“Lord Whiskerton at Gmail dot com.”
Kat just shook her head. Despite how totally insane talking to a cat was, she felt that if she didn’t just go with it, she’d be tearing her hair out and climbing the walls in no time. She opened the front door a little and peered out into the hallway. Everything looked normal.
As the doors to the elevator pinged and slid open, Kat froze to the spot with her mouth hanging open. Stood inside, wearing an expensive charcoal grey suit and some classy brogues, was the man from apartment twelve. He looked every bit a million dollars as he stood there smiling. Kat had never wanted to drop to her knees for a guy so much in her life.
“What?” she asked. Kat blinked a couple of times and then entered. “Erm, yeah. Thanks.”
As she stepped past him and caught the scent of his rich masculine aftershave, she wished silently for the elevator to break down and trap them inside. She wouldn’t need long, just long enough to flirt with him a bit and let him know that she was interested. Just as the doors glided shut and the car began its descent between the floors, a loud grinding noise followed by a shudder signalled some kind of mechanical fault. Kat was knocked against the wall as everything trembled to a halt and the lights went out. They were both plunged into complete darkness.
“Well, that was interesting,” the mystery man said quietly in the dark.
“Yeah,” replied Kat, thinking the exact same thing. Surely that was a coincidence. She felt her way slowly around the edge of the small space, keeping her back to the wall. “It could be worse though. You could be trapped in here with the guy from apartment three. He smells like grilled cheese sandwiches.”
“I like grilled cheese sandwiches,” he replied after he’d finished laughing. “I’m Dylan, by the way. Probably a good idea to know who you’re stuck in an elevator with, right?”
“I’m Kitty… Kat,” she replied, correcting herself.
“Lovely to meet you, Kitty Kat. I’d shake your hand, but you never know what you might end up grabbing by accident when it’s as dark as this.” He had a touch of mischief in his tone, flirty and playful at the same time. Kat thought his confidence was particularly sexy.
“I suppose you’re right,” she laughed. “I’m still tempted to try though.”
“Oh yeah? I’m game if you are.”
Kat just chuckled and leaned against the smooth, polished brass handrail, “I’ll bet you are. So you’ve just moved in, right?”
“That’s right. I’m in apartment twelve,” he replied, “and you’re in apartment ten.”
“I am,” said Kat, impressed that he already knew where she lived. “How did you know?”
“I heard you screaming this morning.” Kat’s cheeks burned a bright shade of red and her hands tightened around the cool metal. She was thankful he couldn’t see her face. “I was actually going to pop round to see if you were alright, but I didn’t want to interrupt anything.”
“It was a-a spider,” Kat tried to explain. “I wasn’t, erm…”
“Would you like to have dinner with me tonight?” The question came right out of the blue and threw her off balance. Kat just stood there with her mouth hanging open. “My place is still a bit of a mess, but it’d be nice to get to know one of my new neighbours a little better.”
“I’d like that,” replied Kat, nibbling her bottom lip. “Actually, why don’t you come round to my place instead? I’m not a great cook, but it’d give you a little longer to finish unpacking all of your boxes.” As soon as the words left her mouth Kat regretted saying them.
“That sounds great. Thank you.”
“Is eight o’clock okay?”
“It’s a date,” Dylan replied. “Of course, we have to escape from here first.”
Kat prayed her run of luck wouldn’t let her down now. She closed her eyes, bit her tongue and concentrated hard. After a few seconds, the elevator lurched back to life and continued its journey to the ground floor. When the lights finally flickered back on, both Kat and Dylan blinked, then flashed each other a coy smile.
“See you tonight then,” said Dylan as he exited the car. The quick wink he gave her before heading out of the front door made her mouth dry. Kat leaned heavily against the wall and took a deep breath.
“I wish I could cook.”
At eight o’clock sharp came the knock that Kat had spent the last fifteen minutes waiting for. Everything was prepared: she’d made the whole apartment fresh and sparkly, and then done the same to herself. Even Fluffy had been persuaded to take in the sights of the city for a while. Kat slinked across the floor in her heels and stopped to take a deep breath. With one last adjustment of her boobs in the strappy little black number she was wearing, she opened the door. Dylan looked fantastic. He wore a really classy pair of expensive dress boots, some black pants and a black leather belt. His broad, robust torso was covered in a crisp, white linen shirt that had the sleeves partly rolled up his forearms.
“Hi,” replied Kat, stepping aside to let him enter. She wondered if he’d clocked her checking him out.
“For you,” Dylan replied, handing her a chilled bottle of white wine. “I wasn’t sure what sort you like so I took a guess.”
“That’s perfect, thanks.” Kat took the bottle and led him towards the kitchen. “We're going Italian tonight so this will go great.”
The meal that Kat had planned was nothing fancy, primarily because she was a terrible cook. After scouring the internet earlier in the afternoon, she’d found a recipe article named, ‘The pasta dish that is impossible to fuck up.’ It had made her smile that there were people out there as terrible in the kitchen as herself.
“Take a seat,” offered Kat as she started to fiddle with the cooker knobs. “Just got to get the water boiling.” She could hear the hiss of the gas and the click of the ignitor switch, but nothing lit. Kat tried two more of the dials and again clicked the ignitor, but none of the hobs set aflame.
“Do you need a hand?”
“Oh, no thanks. It just needs a little finessing every now and then.” Frustrated that she was starting to look silly, Kat gave the cooker a firm kick. “Just light already,” she growled quietly to the uncooperative appliance. As soon as the words passed her lips, all four of the hobs burst to life at the same time, engulfing her hand in flames. Kat gasped and stepped back.
“Woah!” shouted Dylan as he rushed over. “Are you okay? Let me see.”
“No, it’s fine,” insisted Kat, holding it behind her back. She was so embarrassed.
“Nonsense. Let me take a look.”
She pursed her lips and held her hand out in front of her. Dylan took it in his own and gently turned it over. Kat was just as shocked as he appeared to be that there was not a mark on her. She just stared at it, amazed to see that it was completely unharmed by the fire. To try and lighten the mood, Kat just giggled and tried to wave it off.
“Always does that. Stupid cooker.”
After a passable tomato and basil linguini and a lovely bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, they both curled up on the couch with their glasses. The lights were dimmed low, casting long linear shadows across the polished hardwood floor. Outside the windows, nothing stirred but the gentle sway of the top of the trees, bathed by the streetlights in a warm yellow hue.
“I’m sorry the food wasn’t up to much,” said Kat as she sipped her wine.
“It was great, really,” Dylan replied with a smile.
“I’m no good at the fancy stuff. Maybe I should stick to what I know in future; I can make a pretty mean omelette.”
“In that case, perhaps I could have breakfast here some time.” The words trailed off but their meaning hung in the air. Dylan was easily the best looking guy that Kat had ever been on a date with. She liked everything about him: from his chiseled jaw-line and deep brown eyes, to his charm and subtle wit, it was all irresistibly attractive.
“I’m sure that could be arranged,” whispered Kat as she leaned in for an unhurried kiss. Dylan’s mouth was soft and warm, exactly how she’d imagined it would be. They kissed slowly, exploring each other’s mouths with a tender touch. His lips were supple and still sweet with the taste of the wine that lingered on them. Blood coursed through Kat’s veins at a rate of knots, so much so that it roared in her ears like an approaching storm. Her heart pounded in her chest so loud, she wondered if Dylan could actually hear it beating. When they parted, Kat licked her lips and swallowed hard.
“Wow,” she breathed heavily.
“Wow is right,” replied Dylan with a gorgeous smile on his lips. “Wanna do it again?”
Kat grinned and shuffled closer. This time the kiss was harder and more urgent. The first had just been to test the waters, but now they wanted more. His big strong arms wrapped around her slender body and pulled her in close as his tongue stroked against her own. His boyish playfulness was dreamy. He caught the soft curl of her lips between his teeth and tugged gently, causing Kat to moan. It was a dizzying experience as she melted into his embrace. Her skin tingled where he trailed his mouth across her cheek and began to nuzzle the crook of her neck. Kat loved to have the sensitive skin there caressed, it drove her wild.
A warmth spread through her body as his mouth and tongue kissed and licked at her throat. She could feel the tingle on her skin as she relaxed into the motions. When Kat opened her heavy eyes, she noticed in her peripheral vision a small black shape at the window. Sat on the fire escape outside was Fluffy. He lifted his paw and gestured to his mouth indicating that he wanted something to eat. Dylan’s hands were busy caressing the smooth skin along Kat’s spine. She barely had the mental capacity to silently mouth the words, ‘get lost’. Fluffy just sat there and pointed more urgently.
“I’m busy!” Kat mimed wide-eyed.
Frustrated at being ignored, Fluffy shuffled up close to the window and head-butted it. A dull thud could clearly be heard in the relative silence of the room. Dylan stopped teasing Kat’s neck and lifted his head.
“What was that?”
“Hmm? I didn’t hear anything,” Kat replied, mashing her impatient lips to his with a fierce passion.
“Mew!” Fluffy shouted as he once again bumped his head against the window.
“There it is again,” Dylan said. He shuffled around and turned to look at the window. “Erm, there appears to be a cat on your fire escape.”
“Ah, yeah. That would be Fluffy.”
“I think he wants to come in,” chuckled Dylan as he saw the cat resting his forehead against the glass.
Kat climbed off the couch and strolled quickly over to the window to let him in. It was getting warm in the apartment, so she decided to leave the window slightly ajar for a little fresh air. Whilst Dylan kept himself occupied for a moment, she dashed into the kitchen quickly and opened the refrigerator. As soon as the door was open, Fluffy had his head stuck inside.
"Got any chicken?"
“I’ll give you chicken!” she whispered. “What the deal? I thought you were out for the evening.”
“I got peckish,” he replied. “How’s it going?”
"Well, I would have thought that was obvious. Here," Kat said quietly. She took out a tupperware box and peeled off the lid. "Knock yourself out. Just stop bugging me, okay? I'm in the middle of something."
With a fresh bottle of red wine in hand, Kat sauntered back to the couch. She loved the way Dylan’s eyes followed the sway of her hips as she walked. It was like he was mentally undressing her one inch at a time.
"See anything you like?" she asked, holding up the bottle.
"Mmm. Yes I do."
He reached out and took the bottle, placing it on the table. In one quick movement, he seized her wrists in his strong hands and pulled her down on top of him. Kat laughed as she straddled his lap. She wriggled her hands from his grasp and ran her fingers through his short dark hair playfully. As Dylan lowered his hands and cupped Kat’s bottom through her dress, she flinched and then relaxed.
“Mmm, cheeky,” she whispered, leaning in for another kiss. Dylan was such a good kisser, easily the best she’d ever had. The way he sucked her tongue made Kat feel obscenely naughty. She could easily lose herself in his arms for a few hours.
“Mew mew-mew mew mewww, mew mew mew mew mew mew-mewww…”
Dylan’s mouth stopped moving as his lips released Kat’s tongue. She sat back and took in the expression of confusion on his face.
“Is-is your cat singing, ‘Love is in the Air’?”
It took a moment for his question to register. Kat turned her head to look at Fluffy. He was sat on the kitchen counter staring at them both. She narrowed her eyes in a way that made it clear that one more fuck-up would seriously impact on his ability to walk. Very slowly she replied, “No, no he’s not.”
Fluffy took the hint and decided to make himself scarce. He hopped off the counter, padded quickly across the floor and disappeared back through the open window.
“Now, where were we?” Kat took her time unbuttoning his shirt. He kept eye contact with her as her hands inched lower and lower. She wanted to savour the moment; it was exactly how she’d imagined it would be. As she gripped the two halves of fabric lightly, ready to part them and expose his bare chest, the phone began to ring.
“Aww, gimme a break,” sighed Kat.
“Leave it,” Dylan instructed. “Whoever it is, they’ll call back.”
After several rings, the machine picked it up.
“Hey, girl! Only me. Just checking to see if you’ve managed to get your hands on Hunky McBigBulge yet.” Kat closed her eyes and cringed. “It’s fucking boiling down here! Next time I come to the beach, you’re coming with me. Ooo! Gotta go, I see a sexy young thing that’s desperately in need of my body. Bye!”
“Hunky McBigBulge?” asked Dylan as Sally ended the call.
“That’s not what I call you,” explained Kat as she blushed. “That’s just Sally messing around. I mean, I’m sure you do have a big…”
Dylan kissed her hard, cutting off her words. The interruptions had been as frustrating for him as they had for Kat. With their tongues getting better acquainted, he slowly peeled one of the straps of her dress from her shoulder. Kat moaned into his mouth as the black fabric fell on one side exposing her full breast. She buried her face into the crook of his neck as he palmed her supple flesh. It was like all of her senses were heightened to the extreme; she could almost taste his masculine scent on her tongue.
Dylan sat her up in his lap and lowered his face to her chest. With the puckered flesh of her nipple exposed, Kat’s eyes rolled back into her head as he took it into his warm mouth and ran his tongue over the sensitive crinkled skin.
“Oh fuck,” she groaned, running her fingers through his short dark hair.
He bit into the softness of her breast roughly, tugging and sucking hard. The pressure was almost unbearable. The anticipation and hope of what the night might have held in store had kept Kat on edge all afternoon. She wondered if Dylan knew what a state she was really in. She wondered if he knew what a warm, cum-soaked mess her lace thong was now in. As she wriggled closer to him, Kat could feel the puffy lips of her swollen sex slipping against each other. On the outside she was playing it cool, but underneath her calm exterior lay a coiled spring of sexual frustration.
Dylan grabbed her ass firmly as she began to bite his neck. Feeling her teeth graze across his clean scented skin was powerfully carnal. As he squeezed her ass tight, Kat growled and dug her nails into the flesh of his shoulder blades.
“Ah!” he moaned loudly. “Damn, girl, you’re like a wild animal.”
Kat whipped her head back, breathing hard. She did feel wild, wild and untamed. As she lowered it back down, she caught a quick glimpse of her reflection in the dark window behind the couch. Her breath caught in her throat at the sight of two glowing green eyes staring back at her. With a single blink they turned back to their usual shade of espresso brown, but Kat was still startled by the vision. Had she just imagined that?
Her mind was quickly torn back to the reality of her situation as Dylan began to peel the dress off over her head. When it was free, he discarded in on the floor and sat back to admire the beautiful woman straddling his lap. With a coy smile, Kat lowered herself to the floor and slinked down between his knees.
She quickly freed him from the restraints of his belt and trousers, followed by the rest of his clothes. The look on his face as Kat’s warm tongue delicately traced the underside of his long, throbbing cock made her pussy clench. She could smell the warm musk of his loins as she licked up and down his hard length. Each time she reached the head of his cock, she rolled her moist red lips over the top and engulfed him in the warmth of her mouth. The deep grumbling moans were music to her ears.
Dylan’s cock was gorgeous. It was the sort of cock that Kat fantasised about taking into her mouth and worshipping for hours. Despite the hard floor making her knees ache, she wouldn’t have moved for anything. Her hand closed around his smooth scrotum and she squeezed, tugging downwards gently. This elicited a grumbled moan from Dylan as his toes curled. The harder she sucked, the harder she squeezed, until eventually his hands found the top of her head and he began to press down, encouraging her to take him deeper into her throat.
“Yes,” he hissed through gritted teeth.
Now that she could feel his hard length throbbing in her mouth, Kat rose from the floor. Dylan sat up straight as if in protest but she pushed him down onto his back. When he was lay along the length of the couch, she crawled over him and positioned herself over his face. A forceful lust coursed through her body and set her nerve endings ablaze, as she wove her fingers through his hair before gripping it tight.
“You know what I want.”
Gone was the apprehension of him seeing what effect he’d had on her. Kat’s thong was saturated in her arousal, and she wanted him to know. With a smile on his face, Dylan hooked a finger into the damp lace of her thong and pulled it to one side. The warm sweet scent of her perfectly shaved pussy was like a shot of adrenaline. His tongue began to lap and probe her aching sex, eager with ritual and hungry for more. He could feel the heat radiating from her core; it was like a fire was raging inside her and each flick of his tongue was stoking the flames.
The sounds she made drove him wild: the little pants and breathy whimpers, the broken moans and groans. Kat was already breathing hard when she began to grind against his tongue. Each time his lips sucked on her throbbing clit, her body quivered uncontrollably. She knew he enjoyed knowing that the swelling and reddening of her delicate folds was his doing.
Gradually her moans turned into soft purrs. They sounded to Dylan like warm contented sighs of sexual gratification. More and more she arched her back and rolled her hips as he devoured her hot sex. He gripped her thighs tightly in his powerful grip, and plunged his tongue into her pussy like he was splitting a sweet ripe nectarine. Kat clenched as he penetrated her. She felt feral, like something that had been caged but was now set free to roam. Something that was free to hunt.
Kat could feel the approaching orgasm like the vibrations in the tracks of an oncoming train. She pressed on his forehead and rose away from his mouth. As desperately as she wanted to come, she wanted to feel his big dick inside her more. She stood on shaky, uncertain legs and smiled.
“Let’s take it to the bedroom.”
Dylan stood up with his big hard cock swinging in front of him. He chuckled when Kat climbed onto his broad back and wrapped her legs around his waist. She pressed her cheek to his and with a daft grin on her face, pointed towards her bedroom door and whispered, “That way.”
As soon as they were through the door, Kat jumped off his back and crawled onto her double bed. Her lithe body flexed and rolled like a prowling feline as she slinked across the duvet on her hands and knees. Dylan licked his lips as he admired her gorgeous body. Kat in turn took a moment to appreciate his impressive physique. Having such a powerful, athletic man stood in her bedroom, completely naked and sporting a huge erection, made her grin like a cheshire cat.
She lay her head on the bed with a sigh and arched her back, offering her body to him at an obscene angle. Dylan couldn’t take it anymore. With the drive of a man who knew exactly what he wanted and was ready to seize it, he crawled onto the bed behind her and grasped her hips. His finger gripped the delicate lace of Kat’s thong and with a quick sharp pull, tore it from her body. She squealed in delight, squirming with a barely restrained desire for a good hard fucking.
Her sex was hot and wet. Dylan could feel her silky juices lubricating his cock as he rubbed the head along her pouting pink crevice. When he could resist the temptation no longer, he held her waist in his big strong hands and thrust forward. With one swift stroke he buried himself to the hilt, splaying Kat’s tight, bald pussy as he sank into the hot depths of her body. With each withdrawal, he watched the stretched folds of her sex draw along his slick length before disappearing with another thrust. It looked like her body was trying to suck him back inside.
Kat had only just caught her breath when Dylan achieved a steady rhythm, but he began to saw into her faster and harder. She felt dizzy and lightheaded, like the physical pleasure she was experiencing was a drug that she was beginning to overdose on. Each time he plunged forward, his thighs slapped Kat’s bottom with a dull clapping noise. She clenched and relaxed with each stroke, squeezing his big cock like a tight fist that was jerking him off. Dylan tightened his grip on her waist and pumped even harder, now growling with each laboured exhalation.
Kat could feel the climax swelling ever bigger inside her as she gripped the sheets between clenched fists. Each time she thought she had reached the precipice and was ready to tip over the edge into ecstasy, she found even higher heights that could be scaled. It felt like nothing she’d ever experienced before. Scary in its intensity, Kat wondered what would happen when she did finally orgasm.
“I can’t take anymore,” Kat’s voice quivered. She was becoming exhausted and shaking with the pent up sexual energy swelling in her body.
“Yes, you can,” Dylan whispered in her ear.
He flipped Kat onto her back and lay his big, muscular frame on top of her. His body was hard and hot. She revelled in the raw sexuality of his sweat-slicked skin pressing against her own. Her legs spread wide as his thighs forced them apart, before he rolled his hips and impaled her on the full length of his cock again. No words were spoken, no whispered tokens of affection. Kat wanted to be fucked hard, and Dylan was desperate to come.
The bed rocked back and forth as his thrusts became more forceful. Kat’s delicate frame was ploughed into the mattress with each punch of his hips, and all she could think about was how this was the best sex she’d ever had. To try and hold on, she wrapped her long legs around his waist and hooked them at the ankles. Dylan wrapped his muscular arms around her body and held her tight against his own. She could hear his heavy breathing in her ear as he buried himself deep inside her and clenched his eyes shut.
Kat gripped his short dark hair in her fists and ran the flat of her tongue over the sweaty skin of his cheek. She wanted him: to feel him, to taste him, to consume every part of him. Kat’s stomach tightened into a painful knot, and her thighs and back became taut and rigid as he forced himself as deep into her core as he could. It was the most amazing feeling she’d ever experienced.
A sudden heat pricked her skin and spread like a wild fire across her body. Kat opened her eyes and saw the light bulbs in the glass wall sconces glowing brighter and then fading to a dim glow as her chest heaved up and down. As Dylan squeezed the life from her body, she clenched her pussy as tight as she could around his throbbing cock. The room started to spin away, lost in the darkness of sensory overload. Her ears were filled with the roaring of blood, and her mind consumed by the pain of pleasure in a shaking cataclysm of delirium.
Her pussy began to spasm. Dylan could feel her muscles contracting over his impossibly hard cock. She was convulsing around him, as if her body was begging for him to give up his seed. His balls tightened as he gritted his teeth, and finally began to spew endless ropes of hot cum inside Kat’s shaking body. He hissed loudly as she raked her fingernails across his back leaving, angry red marks in his skin.
When Kat finally crested the wave of white hot bliss, the nerve endings all over her body blazed with a monstrous release of energy. She cried out as her body contorted, and all of the lights in her bedroom exploded in a shower of sparkling glass and fiery sparks. Time seemed to stand still as an electric current burned through her body, fizzling along her hot skin and eventually fading to a dull ache.
As Kat’s lungs heaved and she gasped her first breath of air, both of their bodies crashed to the bed hard as if they had been floating in mid-air. She was crushed under the dead-weight torso of Dylan, but felt completely satiated having his scorching frame pinning her to the mattress. Their bodies were hot and flushed, and dripping with sweat. Dylan didn’t have an ounce of strength left in his body, but somehow managed to roll himself to one side and hook a comforting arm around Kat.
They just cuddled together for a while, enjoying the high of the most intense post-orgasmic glow.
“That was unbelievable,” sighed Dylan quietly, not wanting to spoil the moment. “There’s definitely something a little different about you, Kat.”
“What do you mean ‘different’?” she asked with just a touch of worry in her voice.
“Well, I’ve never had sex with a girl three feet off the bed before,” he replied, leaning over and kissing her neck softly. “And, despite you being ridiculously
hot, I’m not sure that you should actually be fireproof.”
Kat looked up into his big brown eyes and smiled, “You think I’m hot?”
“I think you’re magic.”
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with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.
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