Temptation

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Attraction may take but a single glance. No words need be spoken. This romance carries that to the ultimate degree.

The beginning is so far distant it all seems like a dream. The only reason I know it happened is because of how she tore my heart out. I don't know if I'll ever be the same again. Hell, I know I won't.

I can tell you don't believe me. I can see it in your eyes, but that's just because it hasn't happened to you, yet. That's why I'm talking to you. Maybe I can prevent it from doing this to you, when it does happen.

Here, don't look at me like that. I may sound crazy, but listen to my story and give it a chance. You haven't finished your drink yet, there's still time ... 

The late afternoon was smokey like it gets in Autumn. The sky was warm blue while the earth below was covered with fiery leaves and the first brisk breath of winter's chill.  I was between classes. I'm a teacher of English up at the University of Utah ... an assistant professor, lucky to have the job. What they call my office was just too cloying for me to stay there. I was tired of hitting both walls with my elbows every time I turned the page of what I was reading. 

"Hi, mind if I sit?" 

"No, not at all. I don't recognize you. Are you in on of my classes?"

She looked taller from where I sat on an old concrete bench nestled between two elm trees. Her fine, angel gold hair stroked her throat as she laughed and shook her head no. 

"You just looked so poetic sitting here, I had to come over and see if you were real. My nme is Jennifer, Jennifer Warren." 

She stuck out her hand from between the pile of books she was carrying, managed to tumble them all between our feet.

"Oh! Ouch!" Our heads bumped as we each knelt to gather them up

"You didn't have to do that ..." She said, while rubbing her forehead.

"I'm sorry," I stammered. I usually wasn't at a loss for words. Somehow things weren't happening as they usually did. Laughter tumbled out into the air and disappeared into silence. I felt dizzy and wasn't sure it was because of the bump.

"Oh, you're, real all right ..." She grinned, "Are you O.K.? Here, let me ..." 

The books settled back down against each other on the ground as she stepped up close and slid cold hands against my brow. 

"Just be quiet ... I'm good at this ..." She whispered, massaging my temples with steady motion, as pure as the beat of a metronome.

I moved my legs apart as she pressed between them to settle into the massage. Her sweater and skirt smelled like the musky scent of the leaves coloring the world around us. "My name is Dan, Dan Wright."

She slipped fingers down to my lips and pressed my words silent. "Hush ... or this won't help ..." The words of the passing students slipped away as her hands continued to play against my head and then down to my shoulders ... feeling the tension and easing it away.

"There ...."

"You're done?"

"Yes ... for now ..."

"May I sit?" 

"Of course ..." I looked up at her face, glowing with the sun behind it as she slipped down onto my knee ... her arms sliding from around my neck to grasp my hand.

"I lied." She said simply.

"I've been watching you for weeks. I even know where you live, what you eat at the cafeteria, what you wear every day. You seemed like, today, you were waiting for me."

 

************************

The waitress stopped in front of me waiting for me to order. "Same as his," I murmured. "You want another one? I'll pay." I wanted him to stay. Slow seconds dangled in front of eternity before he answered.

"Ok...yeah, sure. But only one, you hear?"

"Great. I really appreciate it." I could feel the relief wash through me.

"She's talked about me?" I asked. The pain in my throat was raw. I swallowed some of my drink and felt my hand quake as it settled the glass back down onto the table between us. 

"She was nice."

 

************************************

I liked the way she fit against me. Her hands pressed my fingers away from my palm as she gazed down. "You have a strong lifeline ..." She smiled. Her body warmth was seeping into me through our clothes.

"You've ... been following me?" She was pretty; sexy too. I wondered what had attracted her to me.

"I know you're not dating anyone."

"Yes, I am ..." I laughed softly, cupping her face and kissing her...

" You are?" She was hesitant for the first time since we had so boldly met.

 "Yes ....you .... if you'd like ..."

She let her breath out and kissed me back ... the warmth became warmer between us. I tasted her smile once more and

then she broke away. "Look, I have to go...I didn't mean for us to meet like this." I nodded. It was all happening pretty fast. "I liked it." She could read my feelings on my face. I wasn't lying. "Ok, then. Well, I'll see you.", and she was off. I called her name but she didn't look back.

It was time for my next class. It went faster than usual, my thoughts turning back to the strange moment we'd shared. I went on automatic, explaining Elizabethan Literature to the class who was on automatic as well, several students taking copious notes to keep themselves awake while the others traded sighs.

She wasn't there when I left the classroom. I half suspected she would be. I could feel her though, her eyes on my back. I restrained myself from peering around me. She'd come back when she was ready. And she did. 

 

******************

"I'm not sure I want to hear about this ... bragging about your exploits should have left you in your teenage years." He swirled the rest of his beer around inside his mug and appraised me again with his eyes before taking another sip. 

I waited until he put the mug back down and looked him back in the eye.

 "This is something you should know before you make any strong commitments with her. I know it's hard to see beyond her right now. How I know! I'm probably the only past you'll learn about her if she's like she was with me." I saw the light of uneasy comprehension dawn on him and settled back in my seat to finish the story. It was his hand this time that shivered as he took another drink.

"All right, get on with it. I don't have to believe a word you say, you know, but your right about not knowing much about her."

I couldn't resist. "For starters, she's not Jennifer Warren. She uses that name because she likes it. When she didn't show up for days, I checked the student records, even the faculty and family records just in case. There's no one by that name at the university. That's something you can check for yourself if you want to."

I didn't like what I saw in his eyes just then. I knew I was throwing too much at him, but I only had this one moment to share it all. I reached out and grasped his hand to steady him.

It did the job. He jerked his arm away angrily and called for another beer.

"If you're lying, you know I'll kill you..." He said simply. I nodded. I'd felt the same way. 

I'd left the bedroom window open to let in the night air. I'd finally settled back into my routine, teaching the familiar classes and doing my writing and reading on the side. She had become a pleasant fantasy for when I grew tired and needed to take a break, but nothing more, I thought. The days had turned into a week

It was the same as the day before. I had come back a few times to the same bench under the tree, but she'd failed to show up. The feeling that she was watching me had faded slowly, too. She was either very, very good ... or ... I didn't know exactly what .... there was little or no explanation in my mind for what had happened.

There didn't need to be. I wasn't a scientist and knew better than to believe there was a solid reason for everything, especially in things of the spirit or emotions.

It wasn't until I was seated in the library, pouring through some of those dusty research tombs that occupy the fourth floor when I felt, more than saw, someone slip into a seat one table away in front of me. It was her. The chill that went through me was so strong that I felt goosebumps on my arms as I stared at the sight of her. It was as if she hadn't recognized it was me, sitting so close to her. It felt like she wanted to be left alone.

Her body language soon told me otherwise. She stretched and woman curves caressed my vision as they rode beneath her sweater and skirt. Her eyes looked past me, but there was a small smile upon her lips that told me volumes more than the research books beneath my fingertips.

She had sought me out again. I slid down into my chair and lifted up one of the hardbound books, my eyes trailing over her as she flirted silently with me for the next few hours ... until even the sound of other footsteps on the library floor walked away into silence. 

The teasing ways of her suddenly grew more bold and intense, her lips pouting as her fingers played with long strands of her hair ... sliding down her throat and ... but I don't need to tell you what she can do, do I?

With minutes to spare, before the libary closed, she rose from her chair and before I could muster my courage, walked away into the night. When I finally got to my front door, she was sitting there beneath my porch light, waiting.

The first chill from seeing her had been replaced by fiery heat. She must have seen it on my face. She stood up to meet me and placed her hand against my cheek as she spoke. "I didn't want you to forget me." She smiled, leaning forward to taste my lips. 

I didn't move. Instinctively, I knew if I did she would be gone before I could blink an eye. "Leave your bedroom window open, will you? I like watching you when you're alone."

With that she was gone. It wasn't a matter of not letting her go. She moved so quickly that I almost wondered if I had imagined her. The taste of her lipstick and the smell of her perfume against my skin told me otherwise. I realized if I wanted more of her, I'd have to reel her in like a fish. Let her learn to trust me. That's what I thought then. Of course, it's different now. Things happened. 

"I know she can be so tempting when she wants to be, and then suddenly, just when you think you're there with her, she's gone!" He whispered from the other side of the table. There were several beer mugs spread like empty lives around us waiting to be filled. I nodded in understanding, wondering if he wanted to say more, but the distant look left his face and he turned his attention back to me. 

I thought I would surprise her. I left the window open as she wanted; but again, it was an eternity of my personal wanting her time before I saw her, standing there at my window as I prepared for bed. I felt I was ready this time, to give some of her own back to her. 

Without a word or a glance of acknowledgment, I did my routine set of exercises on the floor ... pushups and situps ... until the sweat poured from me against my chest and my muscles grew weary.

Out of the corner of my eye, I knew she was there, like a shadow, watching me.

I turned out the lights then, my back to her, and went into the shower. She hadn't said a word the whole time nor made any indication she wanted to come inside. She just watched.

When I came out, I thought she had gone. I didn't know whether to be glad or sad. I stopped myself from going to the window and settled myself under my covers.

It took a while for my eyes to adjust to the darkness, and then I saw her standing there in a corner of the room. I watched her until my eyes grew weary, not making a sound nor moving a limb ... until I finally willed myself to sleep. She was gone in the morning. So was a pair of my slacks, a shirt, and other apparel.

The next night it was the same, except when I awoke, I discovered she had laid out what she wanted me to wear that day. It may be hard to believe, but I allowed myself to be led into this strange existence. It was so slow and she was so .... tempting .... it was impossible for me to resist. I fooled myself into believing someone had hurt her and she needed this strange way to reassure herself I would not do the same. 

"When did you begin to follow her?" He asked. We both were through drinking. The place was an all-night bar and grill, so neither of us felt compelled to leave. I had his attention by now, if not his total belief.

Just like the rest of her, this was not a sudden thing... It got so she actually would climb through the window and lay on my bed watching me, as the nights grew colder... but never once did she stay there when I prepared myself for sleep. I don't know how long she stayed after I slept, nor what she did as I dreamed.

One night she was just .... different. She did her own set of exercises with me, she came in jeans and blouse that she undid to reveal a leotard, and she exercised right there with me ... even taking a shower after I did, all without a word exchanged between us. That is, until I came out ready to get into bed. She pressed me to her and whispered while kissing my ear and neck ..."Do you want to see my favorite place?"

I stepped back and nodded. I thought we were making something special like she was ready now to share part of her, she had never shown anyone else. She made me feel ... like ... the two of us were alone in the world and everything was ours for the taking ... like now, there need be nothing between us. I could almost read her every nuance, her every gesture now ... as if we alone spoke a different language of pure feeling in our simple expressions together.

She slipped back into her jeans and blouse, not waiting for me to dress. I managed to pull on something, I forget what, and slipped out the window after her, not wanting to lose her in the night.  She was a shadow. I couldn't look directly for her, she moved so silently and quickly, I had to look around me and use my peripheral vision. She was like a cat. 

I followed her. She climbed through a bedroom window and I could smell the scent of her strong in her room. She lived only a few blocks away from me in a row of student apartments I hadn't known were there. She turned to me as I stood at her window, her eyes glowing.

The light from a street lamp cast my shadow into the room and against her wall ... she moved to it and cuddled up against it ... dancing with it as I touched her with my shadow hands...and sighed contentedly ... It went on like that for several weeks ... some new invention, some new fantasy always dangling between us to arouse my senses and draw me to her. 

 

"Yes, I know..." His voice was so low I strained to make out the words. The sound of his voice was strangely hollow. "She gives you nothing to hold onto ... except the yearning ... and yet it can be so exciting it seems enough ... until you are without her."

 

I nodded my head slowly. "Her eyes told me when she would allow me to follow her, at first ... told me when it was time to enter her room ... when to take the small personal gifts she laid out for me ... the drawers open for me to choose what she would wear...

"It changed you, then?" He whispered, looking deep within himself. I smiled bitterly. 

"It changed me so much I couldn't do a decent class. Some days she would come and sit in the front row ... tease me without a word and then leave ... I never knew when to expect her and never knew what she would do next ... always the tantalizing glance, the sweet surrender to her will, the warmth she aroused that lasted for hours with her ... and then the days of nothing but expectation. It started to show in my classes and I was called in by my supervisors. They asked if I needed some time off ... asked if I was sick ... I knew better than to say what was happening. They gave me an unpaid leave of absence for a month to get myself in order and told me my job would be there when I came back, but I heard the hesitation in their voices as I left. I didn't care ... I thought it would give me more time with her. Yeah, she has. She's afraid of you. She said you were nice at first..." 

"It's time we talked..." She smiled. Running a damp towel over her neck as she finished the set of exercises she'd been doing on a rug in her bedroom floor. Her voice sounded as loud as thunder. We hadn't spoken a word to each other for days.

"All right." I leaned back against her wall, studying her intently. Her breasts rose and fell with the recent exertion of her aerobics. She stretched and got up, padded over to her chest of drawers and withdrew a box. "here ... this will explain.." She laughed ... arching her throat and exposing it to my curious glance.

"That's all?" My own voice sounded funny in my ears. I was that unused to speaking with her.

"Yes...." She sat down on her bed and waited for me to open the box. It was filled with pictures of me ... from even before I had known she was watching me. I felt like I was watching a stranger. She had caught me in private ways that made me look very vulnerable ... and in others, I looked self-assured and poised ... 

She was a masterful photographer ... good enough to make money with her talent. I raised my eyes to tell her this, but she had other things on her mind.

"That was the first time, wasn't it?" His lips twisted in a tight grimace.

"Yes ... it was like nothing I ever dreamed of with her. She had studied me so long and so well she knew my every thought, anticipated my every feeling, as I did hers. I thought it would go on forever."

"...but it didn't..."

"No .... you're right ... it didn't ... there was never another time. That's when I began stalking her, instead of her stalking me ... I couldn't help it ... she ..."

"I know ... and you killed the one before you, didn't you ... the one she said was 'bothering' her .... the one she said she was afraid of ..."

"That's right ... I did ... how did you know?"

"... because .... tonight is the same ... for me." He said simply, drawing out the gun and pointing it at me. 

"I'm too late then, aren't I?"

He nodded, turning the pistol against his own head. The explosion rocked the room we were in and I gasped as I noticed HER sitting nearby, close enough to be listening to both of us. She had been watching the whole time.

The gun was in my hands. People were shouting. She was caught between them and the door. I smiled. She had been a good teacher. How tempting she looked, but the stalking time was over.


Submitted: December 20, 2019

© Copyright 2021 bobric. All rights reserved.

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hullabaloo22

Twisting and turninig in unexpectedly creepy ways. Good storytelling, Bob.

Sat, December 21st, 2019 9:10pm

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