“Listen to this – ‘Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it’.”
Aoife smiled at the words herself, then looked back to her husband.
“Juicy, isn’t it? Like a select invitation to explore the underworld – open to those who dare go searching.”
Toby responded with a raised head – recognition but not quite a nod. She watched as he extracted himself from a fitted silver grey suit, placed it expertly back onto its Savile Row hanger and hung it neatly in the wardrobe. Her own grey uniform was still sat in her side of their matching units. Unable to subdue her desire this morning, she’d left it to hang. Regardless of the suit, Toby’s work stayed with him, it was part of his very being – order. Aoife was bored of it.
“Damn, we were busy today,” Toby said, flopping down on the bed beside her.
Aoife devoured the outline of muscle beneath his crisp white shirt; his natural musk masked by Armani Black Code; the blonde wisps of hair freeing themselves from the carefully gelled side parting. She leant over and started unbuttoning his shirt, her unruly auburn curls cascaded around his face.
“I take it you’re feeling better now then?”
Aoife shot him an eyebrow. He was teasing; trying to make a point about her absence from work. It didn’t work though – him or the job. She’d been performing the good girl role for too long now – following Daddy into the boring world of finance, marrying his successor, doing her own supposedly feminine duties in admin.
“I just needed a day to myself,” she said. “It’s Halloween, isn’t it – a time to be naughty.” She let her big blue eyes dazzle wide with wonder.
Toby remained quiet so Aoife looked away from him towards the window. Darkness had descended outside and she longed to go and revel in it. She grabbed her book from the space between them, carefully folded the corner of its open page and turned to place it on her bedside table. She could feel Toby watching her, his vision gulping its colourful cover image. Surely he longed for more excitement too.
“I’m just so bored of my job, ” she said. “It’s like a vampire sucking on me without being in the least bit exciting. I don’t feel able to express myself or explore myself or do anything for myself. I want to lose control a bit – go to the dark side, you know.”
Toby breathed deep, his face pinched, contained. Still he said nothing. Aoife curled into his side, her fingers stroking his tanned stomach.
“It’s like Halloween,” she said. “All that fear of the dark side.” She sat up to dramatise. “Witches, ghosts, skeletons, the devil.
“Have you ever thought why they’re made to be scary?” Aoife paused then for effect.
“Because it’s our dark side – the evil pull of desire.”
Still he gave no response. Aoife looked down into his tired, coffee-coloured eyes. Toby was a caring man with old-fashioned values and the trashy grandeur of modern money. He liked the routine of work and the comforts that finances bought them. She’d found it comforting herself at first; having grown up in the same environment, it felt natural – the way things should be. It just wasn’t satisfying anymore. She longed for excitement beyond that which money could buy. Another way could be, she just knew it.
“Let’s pretend to be vampires tonight. Nosferatu is being shown in the Kirkstall Abbey ruins, with a live soundtrack. We can go and see that then head into town – see where the night takes us.”
She smiled suggestively at her husband. Toby might have followed the rules on the outside but get him indoors and he turned into a different man. It was probably what had kept her with him so long. That and the fact that he always did as she asked. Maybe it was time to play the bad girl a bit.
Aoife was enjoying the sound of her killer black heels crunching through the gravel as they walked through the gates up to Kirkstall Abbey’s ruins. A witches hat, vampire cloak and devil dagger were all silhouetted against the illuminated Medieval Cistercian bricks. Excitement fizzed through her body, her heavy made eyes narrowed in darkened delight, red lips pouted. She turned and flashed her false fangs at Toby.
“Careful not to lose yourself in the shadows tonight, my dear. I’m hungry for you.” Her mouth nuzzled playfully into his neck; her breasts, squeezed into a black velvet dress, pushed against his chest; her fishnet covered leg rubbed against his crotch.
Toby pulled her into him, raising his own blood-dripped fangs. “Mooa ha ha ha,” he cried.
Creasing in laughter, red wine powering them on, they made their way through the ticket hall and into the depths of the carefully lit ruins.
“Ooh, Irish coffees,” squealed Aoife , dragging him over to the old cart-like bar and ordering for them both. “And what are those lovely looking chocolates?”
The lady serving was dressed in an eighteenth century ruffle shirt and black witch hat. She held herself composed, seemingly without emotion and yet she smiled back at Aoife cat like. “These are chocolates, of course, but within them are the contents from a very special secret Canadian recipe.” Her face remained impassive but the husky voice, accented with a touch of French, was both alluring and mischievous.
“Ok. I’ll take one chilli and one dark. I always like a bit of extra spice.”
“I must warn you,” purred the lady. “A treat such as this is not for the faint hearted. These tiny creations can awaken exponential enjoyment.”
Aoife inserted her fangs and hissed playfully, snatched the chocolates and turned abruptly. A sharp angled lady with a neat brown bob flashed her own fangs at Aoife before laughing and pulling them out to talk.
“Have you tried those chocolates before?” Her own red-painted lips were raised at the sides evocatively; her deep brown eyes locked on Aoife’s.
Aoife shook her head and lifted the little red napkin to take a closer look. The rich cacao filled her nostrils and she placed the taste on her tongue. The bobbed lady waited, smiling as Aoife’s mouth marvelled at its guest.
“We got word that Mairie was bringing her stall to the show and, well, we couldn’t resist.” She held out a hand of black sparkling talons. “I’m Clara. This,” she said, grabbing for the stocky black suited man in a Scream mask beside her, “is Damien.”
“Well, that was just superb,” said Aoife. She was walking arm-in-arm with Clara, a double act crunch slicing out from their steps as they zig-zagged back across the gravel towards Mairie and her chocolates. Toby and Damien followed; their guffaws and lower level foot patter a welcome bass to the ladies higher pitched serenade.
“I just adore that film,” said Clara. She stopped then, amongst the shadows, her fangs back in place. Her voice had lowered to accusation mode and she’d moved to stand back from Aoife, her hands on hips, chest out, calling her to engage. “Do you, my red-headed temptress, find amusement in this dark material too?”
Aoife’s eyebrow raised in return, a wry smile etched along the outline of her mouth. She’d enjoyed this woman from the start. It was just what she’d been looking for – a female accompaniment to her desirous needs. She brought her own fangs back out to play.
“Darling,” Aoife growled, her eyes flickering. “I am darkness.” She pulled her hands out like Nosferatu’s claws, raising her top lip to snarl sharp. “Though amusing is not the word. Use exciting and you’ll have me in my quarters.”
The ladies broke role into bubbly giggles but the thrill was pulling at them both. Carla grabbed for Aoife’s arm.
“I hope you didn’t mind me laughing during the film,” she said. “I just find all that over zealous acting hilarious. I don’t see how you can’t. It’s like burlesque – kind of dark, you know. But exciting!” Clara finished with that same mischievous twinkle from before.
Is she trying to tell me something, thought Aoife. They’d been very friendly; Clara had seemed to have taken quite a shine to her. She supposed they’d taken a liking to each other – but in what way?
Back over at Mairie’s cart bar they found Toby and Damien just as enraptured. A whole bottle of vintage Faustino stood corked atop a giant barrel beside them, large goblets cupped weighty in their palms.
“Oh, my lurve,” groaned Damien as he pulled Clara into him. Her little frame immediately lost into the depths of his bulk.
Aoife imagined poking him slowly down with the point of her stiletto heel, a whip being pulled from her back and launched clack across his chest. She shook her head at the continuation of thoughts and turned away.
Toby had a lustful glaze spread across his face, his chest was rising and falling heavy yet controlled. Aoife recognised that wild ‘I want you’ look immediately. She was shocked to see it so apparent. Had he felt her yearning too?
“My dear,” called Mairie from behind her stall. Aoife looked back. “Did you find pleasure in the film?”
Aoife found it an odd question, especially given the curious thoughts and behaviour enrapturing her senses. She took her time to respond, looking away across the illuminated bricks of the Abbey and inhaling, trying to steady herself against the wash of pleasure – yes, it was pleasure – that flooded her insides. She looked back to the cat like composure of Mairie.
“I’m definitely enjoying myself,” she said, her voice lofty, reserved. “I’m not sure pleasure would be a word to describe that film though.”
Mairie turned her head slightly, recoiling in assured distaste. “Pleasure is apparent though, yes?” Her voice had raised coquettishly, the French touch adding sweetness to its dictation.
Aoife eyed her curiously. “Yes,” she said, turning away. Her body was glowing, she could feel the rush of beaming delight pumping in and out through her veins, snake-like, urging her to move in response. Yet her mind pulled back.
Carla and Damien were locked enjoying each other. Toby stood watching, unashamedly enjoying them too. A flash of excitement flushed through Aoife. Perhaps I’ve had too much to drink, she thought. Her vision seemed blurred, the whites of the spotlights hazy, her thinking obscure. Maybe another of those chocolates would help.
“I warned you about these didn’t I?” Mairie was smiling ruefully again, her eyes glinting. “They send a certain sweetness careering through your body.”
Carla’s touch shivered through Aoife’s body – an electric rush. Sweat cooled her skin. The air pumped heat like smoke. Hot and cold flushes danced around her body. There were flashes of flesh, the golden tanned torso of Toby and Damien’s hard white member. Her pupils were aroused; black spheres rushing with blood.
Fangs – moved into action and dived down onto Carla’s pale rose chest. Biting hard. Warm wet skin. A sugary flavour released. Aoife groaned. Carla screamed. The game – pleasure and pain. Black talons went gripping for arms. Sharpened edges pressed on flesh, arms charged with adrenalin. High pitched shrieks and low growls of symphonic advance.
Silk white sheets spotted red. Overhanging black, velvet. Textual indifference. Same. Together. Skin on skin, cold, hot, soft, hard – a beating down and coming together. Soothing then frenetic, like the interplay of fiddle and fingered keys. Left over notes of the mind from earlier – Nosferatu repeating. Claws. Fangs. Jangling power.
Crashing pain of bone on mental. Clang. Back. Groan. Flashing erotica. Droplets of kisses landing soft, the pounding hard – contrasting delights, dark and unusual. Female and male plus male and female – four.
Aoife’s auburn curls swirling, golden sprigs released from case, angular brunette shaped hard lined amidst the sheets and drapes and clothes and skin. Entangled they writhed. Enraptured they moaned. Pleasure, pain, excitement engaged. Howl.
Like a sudden jolt back to reality, Aoife felt herself crumble with uncertainty. She was positioned provocatively cross-legged on one side of an elaborate baroque style red and golden settee. Her body poised, her mind unsettled. A blur of surreal sensuality playing out around her.
Dark layers of red and black and golden textures held them all in this den-like party. How and when they’d got there she couldn’t quite remember. A candle-lit bar to the right had people laughing and chatting, their bodies giving out signals of delight, calling for another to engage in their enjoyment. Top hats and ruffled shirts, all dark and gothic, touched on the Halloween spirit yet held serious somehow. Just the way they played.
To her right she turned, mechanically, her body responding slowly to her brain. Toby was beside her, engaged with the couple they’d met earlier; the sharp bobbed brunette, Carla, sat between him and her stocky man, Damien. Their hands rubbing along her now bare legs and then up around her neck, holding, grabbing, all of them delighting in each other. Aoife looked away.
She’d wanted this, surely? Wasn’t this the kind of excitement she’d desired – a play with the fantastical, dark and almost sinister? The comfort of their boring beige home seemed enticing now too. Her mind sending signals, delight performing out through her body, no matter the direction. Home, warm and comforting, this …situation… cold, hard, not what she desired, not any more.
“Nosferatu.” It slithered away from Toby’s blood-splattered mouth. The word breathed out like ice from his slumbering depths. Aoife felt it ripple across her skin, the sensation electric, relaying that which had been rotating repeatedly around her own cognition.
Her eyes rolled in their sockets, her vision or imagination, she couldn’t quite tell, a blur of blood and skin and sex and death. “Nosferatu,” she whispered back into the safety of their bedroom. A soft white light spread stripes across them from the window. Their oratories satisfying her mouth – enough. A delight, she knew, that should be controlled and savoured, despite its constant calling.