He Loved Me
Jen is eighteen, lonely, and working as a waitress when handsome, charismatic Nick enters her life. They are drawn together like twin flames and begin an erotic affair that fulfills all Jen's sexual fantasies.
After Nick becomes obsessively jealous, Jen's world shrinks and she despairs of recovering her freedom. When she lets slip the name of her previous lover, a woman she left because Jen feared being initiated into the dark arts, Nick sets out to find and punish Marnie for daring to love Jen.
The hunt ends unexpectedly and Jen thinks she's finally free, but then she's haunted by a shape shifting creature howling outside her window. For the first time, Jen must decide if she will take charge of her future or remain bound to the dark side of erotic obsession.
Six months after I broke up with Marnie and two months after graduation, I found a job waiting tables at the Route 10 Diner. I had no experience waitressing, but the boss, Chuck, gave me the once-over, squinted his beady little eyes, smacked his lips a couple of times, and said he'd take me on a trial basis. It didn't pay much, but at least I made tips, and it trumped sitting at home trying to fill out college applications.
I'd been working there a couple months and was getting the hang of how to maximize my tips when the stranger sauntered into the diner a half-hour before closing. I changed my mind about leaving early as he draped himself over the green stool that had the hole I'd covered with black tape. When I smiled at him, his eyes crinkled and he raised his eyebrows as if he wanted to ask me something, but maybe felt a little shy. He took a long time with his peach pie, pushing it around the plate while he kept glancing at the mirror behind the counter. He was way too cute for me, and his gaze felt like sunburn on the back of my neck.
Chuck almost had a stroke when I offered to stay to clean the coffee pot. I snuck looks at my customer as I worked. Dark, curly hair I wanted to run my fingers through. Deep-set green eyes. Kind eyes, which showed what kind of judgment I had.
He asked my name.
"I'm Jen," I said.
"Nick." He offered his hand. Strong and calloused. A grip with authority. "Just moved here from the city." A deep voice that sent chills up my back. "Started work at the auto body shop down the street." He squeezed my fingers. "Guess I've found the best place in town for lunch."
He left without asking for my number, but the next day at noon, he showed up again with a big smile for me. While I loitered by the coffee pot as Chuck fixed three specials for table two, Nick asked if I got off for dinner. I pretended I had to think about it, but gave him my answer pretty quick. He was the best thing to come along that I could remember.
He took me to the roadhouse on the highway. The waitress took a long look at Nick and didn't even ask me for ID. We had a few drinks before the steaks came and afterwards, we started making out in the booth. We had trouble keeping our hands off each other, so no surprise we ended up in his apartment that turned out to be in a dreary building on the edge of town.
Two skinny shadows in hoodies hanging around the parking lot made me jittery as we walked up the dark stairs and down a long hall. I clung to Nick's arm. Inside his place, I found myself in an almost-empty room, which didn't reduce the hot and cold shivers in my chest; they should have been a warning about what I was doing. Deciding they were a sign of passion, I ignored them. After we got going again, I forgot the lack of furnishings and pretty much everything else. It had been so long since anyone had touched me, I practically burst into flames.
He found places in me I didn't know I had. The evening unfolded like a night one might read about in novels. I loved how he tangled his fingers in my hair, the way his eyes softened when we kissed, how he lingered over my aching breasts. Under his hands, my body dissolved into molten flesh.
I imagined myself a courtesan of ancient times, eyes outlined in kohl, ostrich feathers in my ebony hair. Golden silk hung from my shoulders as my lover's head floated down my belly, hands gripping my hips so hard my knees buckled. We cascaded onto the floor, moaning because we were still separate. I loved his hardness, teasing and opening me, filling me until I screamed to heaven for release. He took me higher than I had ever been. I forgot modesty, shame, everything my mother taught me. Afterward, we pressed ourselves against each other as if we were two people meant to be born as one.
He said he loved me and I believed him.
I was young.