Excerpt from Venom

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[please critique!]

His name was either Dave or Davis, Kelli couldn’t remember. He’d asked for a favor. She willingly gave it to him. “No” was a power she had recently mastered but only rarely used against men. Dave/Davis had been promising; other girls in her dormitory had mentioned his talents in all areas of life, from the rugby field to the sheets. Looking at his face, relaxed in sleep, with the sheet draped artistically across on ankle of his still naked body, he looked the part she was hoping he could play. However, no amount of looks could make her feel great in bed. She hated how she was secreted in these boy’s rooms. Kelli couldn’t help feeling empty inside. Expected to slip through the shadows and into their dark messy beds. Thighs open, body willing. Ready to touch and feel. Pleasure was hers to give only, never to receive—though maybe in the future?

She slipped out of his bed. Threw on her shirt and skirt. She walked of his room carrying her shoes in one hand and her purse with her panties inside in the other.

Breasts sore, the space between her thighs throbbed like a beating heart. Skin still smelled of his deep musk. She was just a tester strip in a second rate cologne shop. Muscles tense. Lips bruised. The hair on her head felt too light now that the weight of his hand was gone. Tired fingers fumbled with the keys when she was finally bathed in the light of her dormitory’s front door.

Hello there.

Kelli turned around to find a man in a suit standing just out of reach of the light’s golden halo. His hands were in his pockets, a hat sitting low on top of his head, a pocket watch chain glinting dimly. As he took a step into the light, peering up at her under his fedora. There were flecks of gold in his green eyes. Or was it flecks of green in the gold? She remembered seeing him leaning against the column the previous year, when she was still a first-year. His nose was rather large with a round rather than pointed tip. His jaw was more feminine than handsomeness would allow, yet it worked with the slender nature of his face. She felt both drawn to and repelled from him at the same time. Goosebumps sprang up on her exposed forearms.

“Hi.” The key went into the lock on the third try.

How are you doing?

            “Great. I got a test tomorrow so I should go study.”

Oh well the best of luck with that—what’s your name?

She paused with the door handle caged within her fingers. “Kayleigh.”

Before he could ask another question, she slipped into the dark interior of the building. She gathered her soap and shampoo. She walked towards the communal bathroom, stripped, and stood under the steaming water. She watched her skin turned from white to pink to red, her hair hanging in front of her face. The white bar of soap was softer on her skin than their hands ever will.

~ ~ ~

Alec [previously Lugh] watched her squeeze her hips through the narrow opening of the dormitory door. There was a click, then darkness swallowed the porch. She lied about that test she had, he could have caught a whiff of that rotten-egg smell from the next town over. But her name was different. That lie had been a subtle aroma wafting through the air. That lie, honeysuckle in an open field, was sweet in its simplicity, alluring in its covertness.

This girl could almost rival him.

Alec found himself more intrigued the more he thought of her. She was pretty enough, but there was an aura around her that spoke of hidden potential. There was a darkness to her, a black tint to the emotions surrounding her at any given time. He pulled out his golden pocket watch and admired the mirroresque cover. EJC was carved into the surface, remnants of a different man with goals and a purpose to his life. The letters distorted his reflected image. Features that should have been so familiar now seemed twisted and foreign. A creature and not a man stared back at him. Its eyes glowed in the low light, an animal on the prowl for its next victim. He opened the watch and glanced at the stark white face with a crack spanning from the 12 to the 9. It didn’t seem like only seventy years had passed since he was tested and found worthy of his title.

Back when the clock’s face was still pristine, Alec had been just an ordinary man. His father’s inheritance allowed for his passion in suits, women, and equally decadent commodities. Back when he had been Alec Shimon Callahan, son of the late Elliot Jamieson Callahan. The world had bowed down to him. For different reasons, of course.

He had always been fond of jazz music. Nothing could put a smile on his face more than the fullness of the cornet, the trill of the clarinet, the even strumming of the bass. So he took a trip to New Orleans to hear the great musicians and bask in the beauty of the French Quarter. Those two activities would have to be done separately, unfortunately. His fondness for music had yet to reach his upper-class brothers in Louisiana.

The journey from Edinburgh had been long what with the constant swaying of the ship upon the ever moving waves and the occasional storm that would rein down Zeus’ and Poseidon’s wrath. There is no sweeter feeling than that of a solid wooden deck under one’s Oxfords.

He had been walking down Upper Chartres Street, his hands in his pockets, admiring the ironwork balconies silhouetted against the warm lights from the second and third floors. Alec remembered hearing snatches of conversations thickly laden with Creole accents. There had always been laughter flowing from the French blinds. A spring shower began as he passed by the St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. He opened umbrella that had been resting on his arm, but didn’t change his pace. The smell of water, the rumbling of the thunder in the distant flashing night sky; there had always been some element of magic to the rain. Alec smiled and continued walking.

She had been standing in the steeple’s shadow, lowering her yellow chemise to rest directly above her nipples. A pretty thing (at least  that’s how she appeared with the rouge on her cheeks and the red on her lips) with her black curls tumbling out of her short bob, a leg clothed in a stripped stocking peeking out from beneath her grey skirt. That cheap hairpiece would be the first thing he removed; allowing it to remain in her hair while the force of their movements only worked to loosen it would make her look less appealing. He walked over to her.

I would not do that if I were you, mon cher.

He paused. Last he checked, Alec had been the only person besides the whore on the street that night. He looked around and saw an elderly man leaning casually against the side of the cathedral, a wooden walking stick in his hand. There had been something strange about the man that Alec could faintly remember. However, the specifics were always just outside the reach of his memory. He had still been just a man after all.

He only remembered the ornately carved, wind-gust pattern on the walking stick. And the man’s strangely lit yellow speckled eyes.

“And why shouldn’t I, Sir?” Alec asked, his gaze moving from one body to the other.

That one there has a nasty illness. I would keep my distance from her.

            The girl was still just staring at him with her heavily lidded eyes, her hand massaging the skirt and her top, lifting the fabric higher than most would like to see before allowing it to ease its way back down.

“I believe I might take the chance, Sir. But I do thank you for the warning.”

Alec took a step towards the woman, his intent written in my smirk and the way he stared at her body from the curve of her large breasts and the hips barely visible through her dress. Oh how he wondered how her hips would feel between his hands.

The girl vanished. No longer was she in front of him. No longer was she biting her lip and adjusting her fake black curls. “Where did—?”

The man laughed, deep and full.

You have needs that cannot be sated, am I right?  He pushed himself off the stone wall, his walking stick already guiding him forward. As he walked, Alec noticed no sign of a limp or ailment. In fact, the man topped right in front of him, spinning the walking stick briefly in a large circle at his side. You’ve always had these urges and nothing—no one—has fully been able to satisfy you, am I right?

For the first time since Alec first began roaming streets in search of the soft, warm, tightness of a loose woman’s quim, since he found the older woman in the ghastly streets of Dublin on one of his father’s many trips, he wished he hadn’t gone searching for a night of sweat-sheened bodies moving together.

“Have we met?” Alec looked at the church, wondering if the doors were unlocked at such an ungodly hour of the night.

No, we have not met per say. I do know you, however. I know every person who is…intimately in touch with their sins. And you, mon cher, are right at the top of that list.

 Alec opened his mouth to object. He wasn’t more sinful than the next privileged man whose money needed to find a home outside his billfold. But the man placed a large hand on his shoulder and steered him away from the cathedral. The man had a grip that was tighter than a pair of thighs locked around his waist.

I have a business proposition for you, Mr. Callahan. One you’d be a fool to let pass you by.

The man’s eyes continued to shine as the two of them passed under a street lamp.

“I’m listening.”

~ ~ ~

“Will it hurt?’

No, just a tickle really.

“Will people know my name?”

You are perfect. No, they won’t but do not fret. Others will know of you enough to not need a name. They will create their own.

“How long?”

Depends. When you find another whose greatest fault is their most intriguing quality, then you can pass it on.

            “It is that easy? It doesn’t sound like I’ll have this power for long.”

Be warned, mon cher, it will be longer than you think. Not everyone will be as eager as you are now.

~ ~ ~

Power.

Alec could feel it flowing through this body. Hotter than fire, the sun, Hell itself. This blood circulated with such fervor, collecting all over in bursts of heat and life. This was by far better than anything.

Raimond, this is superb! Why did you ever give up this feeling?

Normand was leaning heavily on his walking stick. In the faint light of dawn, he looked older. There was sweat on his brow. His eyes were dull; brown and lifeless. “The elation grows old, mon cher.”

Alec didn’t hear what his predecessor said. He clenched and unclenched his fingers, reveling in sensation. A bird flew past him, trilling her morning song. He watched as she flew off into a tree. The color of her feathers, crisp white, glowed in the light. She was a beacon in the morning.

“A word of caution, Alec.”

He turned to find that Raimond was now sitting on the cobblestones, leaning his back against the brick wall of a local home. This skin had lightened from a copper olive to an ash grey. His walking stick was lying across his outstretched legs. Wrinkles had formed at the corners of his eyes and mouth, across his large forehead.

Alec closed the difference with a few long strides, kneeling down next to the man. What is the matter?

            “Oh mon cher, how little of life you know. Now listen here. Chaos is your crusade, not vengeance nor personal gain. And never let those who know what you.”

Why not?

            “Secrecy is our life source. Without that, you are nothing.”

You didn’t tell me this would happen.

            Raimond let out a wheezing, cracked laugh. “Would you have accepted if I had?”

~ ~ ~

~ ~ ~

Thrusting, kissing, petting, touching, the sharp stink of sweat and cum, a cadence of grunts and moans, eyes that change from blue to flecks of gold and green.

Kelli clutched her swollen belly, panting through the frozen image of those eyes set in Jack’s face. She’d been too concerned with reaching the big O to see the change as more than a shift in the light as he climaxed. But the change had happened.

Sean snored in his linin cocoon next to her. There was a trail of spit on his chin.

She looked down at her stomach. She was just beginning to show, just beginning to grow into a responsibility she wasn’t sure she could handle just yet. Jack had to be the father. He was the only one she’d been with at that time. Sean was too dimwitted to see that it had been too long since they’d slept together for the baby to be his. He didn’t even question it when she’d told him a few weeks back. He never questioned anything she did or said; no one could see through her.

But those eyes.

The man in the suit had known. He’d smirked at her as she lied. She saw in those gold speckled eyes that narrowed, focusing in on her that he knew. It had amused him. But then she told him of the baby and he’d gotten angry at her.

Those eyes

Kelli’s hands started to shake. Jack had told her to meet him in the park, underneath an oak tree that would turn the brightest shade of red in the fall. He had been early, a rarity. They had walked, his car was nowhere in sight. They went to a hotel, not his apartment. He had smiled at her the entire time. Right up to when he slowly took off her dress, kissing her shoulders and the crook of her neck. There was no rush, no nibbling on her earlobes, no live bites on her breasts or inner thighs. Kelli had thought Jack was trying something new, role playing in a way. She’d been into it. Jack wasn’t who picked her up that night in the park, the man just looked like him.

He made those around her tell her the truth. Kelli no longer wanted to leave the house. All the secrets inside her head, whirling and twirling, dancing to some strange unearthly music. Every night was a struggle; tossing and turning, trying to forget what she had learned. She only ate because she had to for the baby. The taste of food had lost its appeal. If he could do that, the man could do anything, even impersonating Jack.

She started to breathe heavily. Sean’s snoring ceased. He rolled over, wiping the drool from his chin.

“You okay?”

“Kelli? What’s wrong?”

The baby. It wasn’t Sean’s and it wasn’t Jack’s. It was his.

~ ~ ~

“What’s this?”

“You know very well what it is.”

“But why? I thought you liked it here, with me.”

“I need to focus on the baby. Sean and I are trying to make things work.”

“Am I…?”

“No. Sean.”

“Bullshit.”

“Jack, its Sean’s baby. End of story.”

“I can’t let you leave. I know this started for the fun of it but recently I’ve grown…attached to you. You are so easy to talk to. I feel like I can tell you everything.”

“That’s why I need to go.”

“Bullshit.”

“I’ll see you—”

“I love you. There, I said it. Now stay with me?”

“You don’t love me.”

“Says who?”

“I know you, Jack. You’re incapable of love.

“And you’re not?”

“I love Sean.”

“Bullshit. Bull fucking shit.”

“Bye.”

“Don’t you dare walk out that door. Kelli? Kelli?”

~ ~ ~

“…your seat belt, lift the upper portion of the buckle. We suggest you keep your seatbelt fastened throughout the flight as we might experience…”

She wished she had more money with her. Working until the next paycheck wouldn’t have killed her. Kelli just needed to leave.

“Aren’t you a pretty thing?”

The older lady beside her was wearing a contemptuous smile. Her washed-out, transparent hair was swirled together on top her head. She was a statue, her age forever marked on her stone face and hair.

“Thank you,” Kellie said back. Her hand naturally moved to the top of her stomach.

“Too much makeup, though. You look like a slut. And pregnant without a wedding ring? Tramp.”

Kelli puckered her dark red lips. She wished the seat next to her had remained empty.

“Oh dear, I don’t know why I said that!” The woman shook her head. “Sorry.”

Before she could hear any more secrets, Kelli placed her padded headphones over her ears, turning on the CD player. She tried not to think of what Sean’s face would look like when he woke up and saw the rolled up note within her ring. He would be shocked, for sure. He might even be sad. He would pull at his hair, maybe even bite his knuckle as he always did after a stressful day at work. She wouldn’t feel sorry for him. She had to think of herself and her baby. Too many secrets, solitude was the only way to keep her sane. And her baby. What would happen to her? She might draw in secrets, too. No, she wouldn’t feel sorry for leaving him.

A wave of turbulence hit the plane, sending the suitcases in the overhead compartment rattling around. A young flight attendant grasped a seat at her side as she steadied herself. Kelli felt like she could relate to that woman.

The plane broke through the clouds, floating in pale blue. America was said to be the place for new beginnings. The perfect place to raise a child. Perfect place to disappear, to live low. Kelli wouldn’t be like her mother, the strange mystery woman who left her at the church all those years ago. She rubbed her stomach, humming the current track to it. Even with all the secrets, she would never let anything harm the little girl inside her. Kelli felt a quickening of her heart when she thought of what her baby would look like. Beautiful, no doubt. A little pink nose, a tuft of brown hair. As long as her eyes were any color but yellow. Kelli shuddered.

Maybe she would name her Lara.

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