Alison sat at the old, banged-up metal desk in her drab office. There were no windows in her room. She became claustrophobic unless she took a break and went outside every few hours. "Like a prison," she thought, and the irony made her chuckle. Most of her clients were attempting to avoid prison.
The World War II era building in the industrial district was a dismal place. It had several previous lives, but its current incarnation was as a court-ordered counseling center.
She had brought in a few whimsical items, mainly for her own mental comfort. These included a few oversized Rorschach prints she hung up as wall art. It amused her when the clients projected onto them. Most did, eventually. They also seemed to like the blue lava lamp. There was a small cork bulletin board beside the desk, on which she had tacked notes to herself, newspaper articles, cartoons about psychotherapy and Chinese cookie fortunes. The corkboard was her personal inkblot, revealing much about her beliefs and wishes, but she was unconcerned about the self-disclosure. The men and women who came to see her were either too self-absorbed or apathetic to notice.
Alison had worshipped a famous psychology professor at UCLA, in the classroom by day and in the back seat of his car in the library parking lot by night. He was old school - a humanist - and she had adopted his belief that in order to be of use to people, she must always think of them as human beings first. The court referred to them by case number. The nearby hospital that provided psychiatric medications called them patients. Alison wanted most of all to be of use - to re-habilitate, re-educate and re-direct. So she called them her clients.
She had helped develop and implement a treatment strategy for young men involved in violent behavior associated with gang activity. She was attracted to the specialty, as most shrinks are, for personal reasons. Alison closely resembled her light complexioned mother, but she continued to feel the pull of her swarthy father. He and her brother both suffered violent deaths the year she turned fourteen. Her mother moved them away from Los Angeles so that she could attend high school in the suburbs, but Alison returned to the city when she began college. She studied sociology and eventually psychology, dedicating her life to changing the culture she believed killed her father and brother.
She graduated with honors, earning her doctorate at twenty-five. She passed the clinical license exam on her first attempt, something none of her classmates achieved. At thirty, she had published and had the respect of her peers. It did not bother her that she was never well paid. Psychologists with practices full of West L.A. creative types and Beverly Hill matrons got rich. Mixed race girls from East L.A. who specialized in antisocial behavior did not.
Now, at age thirty-three, she sat in the depressing little room, half a world away from almost everything she knew. Alison pulled out her regrets like a handful of tarot cards and imagined spreading them across the desk one at a time.
If only I had kept dating that medical student - he was hot for me. Why can't I ever be attracted to the clean-cut ones? If only I had not spent so many late nights working with Carlos. If only I had not given him that blow-job in his office, or at least not on that afternoon when his bitch-of-a-wife and co-founder of the clinic decided to check up on him!
"If only I wasn't such an idiot!" she half-shouted. She despised herself for her weakness and her stupidity. All the toil and time she had put into building a solid career, wasted because she had fallen for a rescuer fantasy.
Carlos pled to his wife and the board that Alison had seduced him.
The clinic fired her from her job for "unprofessional conduct". The board put her license on probationary status. She thought the humiliation might kill her. Her rage was so powerful that she felt she could kill him, if she could get away with it. When her uncle gave her the name of a family hit man, she toyed with the idea for two whole days. Fearing for her sanity and despairing that her reputation was in shreds, she chose travel, as fast and as far as possible, over murder.
She placed a call to her long time best friend, Jennifer, who had moved earlier that year to Melbourne, Australia. After Alison tearfully confessed the whole sordid mess, her friend encouraged her to come for a visit.
She arrived the weekend of the race riots on the beach. The television blared images of the police, outnumbered and ineffectual against mobs of white youths hurling racial slurs like so many rocks. The images were jarringly at odds with Jen's description of the tolerant, peace loving people she had come to know as neighbors. Alison read the coverage of the conflict with fascination. It seemed a shock to most that such a large group of angry, bigoted youth could exist within their community.
The Australian Security Intelligence Organization, on analysis, determined that the rioters had "the potential to cause distress to sections of the Australian community, and perhaps threaten life." There was a great public outcry. Political leaders blamed each other, claiming the policies of the opposing party created unemployment or kept youth from attending university. Police called attention to their lack of funding and support from the government. Their solution was to enforce curfews by way of more cars and officers on the streets. Religious leaders said the violence was a sign of a breakdown in moral values. They urged parents to take control and bring their wayward children back into the faith. Artists pointed to long-standing separatist tendencies in the culture. They created performance art and wrote songs to protest intolerance.
Everyone's solution seemed to involve money. A government task force was quickly established. When Alison read the notice in the paper that they were interviewing counselors for an intervention program, she took her resume in that same day.
Not only did she get the job, but within six months she was made program director. She dove into her work each morning to beat back the loneliness that clung when she was home alone in her little flat. She had not taken time to explore the area at all. Jen was always after her to come out, but Alison put her off more than she agreed. She had begun to regret moving half a world away from what had been her life. No longer faced with daily stares and whispers, she wondered if she had overreacted. Perhaps she could have stayed in Los Angeles and rebuilt her career. It was a big place.
The buzz of the intercom startled her out of her recriminations and reminded her of the work at hand. She had read the file on the new client. She always met the clients prepared; it was essential to stay one-step ahead with this population.
Outside Alison's view, the male clerk at the front desk reached through the window to the man in the waiting room and gripped his hand three times in a gang shake. "How did this happen?" asked Bruno quietly.
The tall, brooding skinhead shrugged. "Wrong place. Wrong time. What the fuck are you doing here?" he asked.
"It's a paying gig," said Bruno. "Cushy job, mate. Pays twice what I made as a bouncer and no one has puked on me yet," he said with a grin.
Alison's voice came out of the box on the clerk's desk. "Please send him in, Bruno." Bruno waggled his eyebrows. "You're on," he said and buzzed the lock on the interior door.
Alison stood, holding out her hand in greeting. "Hello, Henry, I'm Dr. Reyes."
Hando's tall, jackbooted figure filled the doorframe. He stood staring at her, his hands thrust deep in the pockets of his trench coat. His eyes flicked down to her outstretched hand, then back to her face. He waited so long that she began to think she might not get him inside the room. He finally withdrew one hand from his pocket and swallowed her small one with it.
Alison's practiced handshake was firmly professional yet softly feminine. "Please, come in," she urged, and took a step back. She inclined her head at the little sofa.
His eyes met hers again, and he waited another beat. Hando did not know what to expect, but it certainly was not this bird in her fitted suit. In two strides, his long legs carried him into the room, and he deposited himself on the couch. He sat, knees wide apart, boots planted on the floor, staring at her.
His brooding presence completely dominated the room, dwarfing the couch. Alison noted that everything seemed smaller in relation to him, including her. Even his clothing looked like it could barely contain him; the muscles in his arms, torso and thighs appeared ready to rend the fabric. He clearly did not want to be here, and he would not have come had his parole officer not made it clear that failure to cooperate would land him straight in prison. He was surprised to be sitting alone with an attractive young woman, but uncertain whether it was a good surprise or not. She was easy on the eye but he did not intend to talk to her. This was Hando's first serious arrest as an adult. The court had forced him to go to these witch doctors before, as a kid.
Alison gave him her standard introduction speech, explaining the limits of confidentiality due to the court referral. My, he is a big boy,
she thought, as she surreptitiously noted his powerful build. "I'm going to make some notes today since this is the first time that you have been here. Today is just the assessment. Later, there will be group therapy, although some clients like to continue in individual treatment as well," she explained.
What a waste of time,
thought Hando. Why did Hitler run Freud out of Vienna when he could have killed him?
Alison opened the file on her lap and flipped to the personality profile. The results showed that Hando had answered honestly and cooperatively. Often these men were either too oppositional or simply illiterate and could not answer the questions. Henry had not only read the test, but had made little notes about some of the questions in the margins. The results indicated a strong likelihood of Antisocial Personality Disorder, with some paranoid features.
"Did you find the test interesting?" she asked.
"I thought it was crap," he said flatly.
She smiled slightly. "You have an extensive juvenile arrest record, but no arrests from eighteen until now. You're what, twenty-four? How do you account for that?"
"I got smart. You're not from here. What are you doing in this country?" he asked.
"I'm working," she replied, meeting his baleful stare.
"Couldn't they find an Aussie to shrink our heads?" he asked.
"Apparently not," she replied, arching a brow.
His voice was a real surprise. It began as a deep, low rumble and modulated to soft and light as her silk blouse. She forced herself to look back at the report in her lap. His social history showed aggressive and opportunistic behavior from an early age. There had been deliberate fire setting, petty theft, and truancy in elementary school. Henry progressed to violence against peers and caregivers at age ten. By his mid teens, there were reports of theft with assault of the victim, and finally, racial attacks.
Flipping further back in the file, she found a copy of the hospital records from his birth. His mother was a drug addicted prostitute and he was removed by social services from her custody at birth. He had been detoxed in the neonatal unit. When no other family member appeared to claim him, he was placed at the children's orphanage. When he began to get in trouble with the law, he was removed from the orphanage and placed in a juvenile jail run by the Department of Community Services.
Reactive Attachment Disorder
, mused Alison.
"Gang leaders often target young men in jail. They provide a kind of family and protection. Were you recruited into the Patriotic Youth League while at the juvie center?" she asked.
He stared his lack of interest beneath half-closed, thickly lashed lids. It was difficult to look away from his eyes, she realized with a start. Clear and deep as the Pacific, they made a dramatic contrast with his rough exterior. She found him extremely attractive. It was very disturbing. She looked back at the file and tried to focus on his wrap sheet.
"So they brought you in on assault with a tire iron? This says there was some property damage. Also, you deliberately broke the victims fingers. The officer on the scene was convinced you would have beaten him and the Lebanese man to death if his partner hadn't apprehended you. Can you tell me how it happened?" she asked, trying hard to maintain her professional veneer.
Hando flexed his fingers and examined his nails. Alison looked at his hands. His ring finger was significantly longer than his index finger. She looked up and wondered what that sweet mouth was doing in the middle of that brutal face. The stubble on his chin accented the cleft there. She had just read a study that correlated these particular features with abnormally high testosterone counts.
Hando dropped his hands back in his lap. He slouched down low on the couch and looked pointedly at her legs. He tilted his head slightly, trying to see up her skirt. A sly smile spread as he imagined fucking her, his thoughts as plain as if he had said them out loud. Alison sucked in her breath as she read him and felt the unwanted thrill race through her.
"Why'd they let a little girl like you alone in here with me?" he asked softly.
"I'm not a little girl," she heard herself say. It sounded absurd. "I mean, I'm nearly ten years older than you, Henry"
This was not good. She could not allow him to intimidate her. "So what made you go after this man in particular?" she asked, trying valiantly to maintain the focus of the interview.
Hando clenched his jaw in irritation. "Nothing. Look, it wasn't the first time, all right? He was just a fuckin' Paki, like any other Paki." His eyes darted around the room and he focused on the corkboard. "What's with the fortunes? You like that gook food?"
Hando stood up and walked over for a closer look. He took his time, reading every comic and clipping. Alison suddenly regretted allowing this man any unguarded look into her psyche. Hando turned and looked at her critically. "Where's your boyfriend? You leave him home? Have a fight? That why you came all the way over here?" She held her breath as he moved closer, menacing her with his presence. Then abruptly, he sat back down and resumed the staring contest.
She could deal with angry outbursts. She felt she understood where that came from and did not take it personally. At least the anger gave her something to work with. It was when they stone-walled her that was most difficult. This one was offering no chink in the wall, no place to gain a toehold. It was always dicey, of course, deciding how much to provoke them. Without a push, she might never get anywhere. Too great a push, and she ran a different risk. She sat, legs crossed, tapping the end of her pen on the file in her lap, and stared back at him. Hando's face remained blank and impassive, his gaze unwavering. She could tell he was staring his challenge at her, and she knew the message he conveyed was one of contempt and disinterest. Alison's eyes narrowed slightly. "It says here that your mother gave you up at birth and your father is unknown. Do you know anything more about them?" she asked.
Hando's eyes flicked sideways away from her gaze. He gave off a small sigh, then his eyes returned to hers. His brow knit almost imperceptibly.
Her pulse quickened. He was still attempting to convey boredom, but she saw the reaction to the family question. Alison decided to push on. "Do you know anything about your ancestry?"
He peered at her curiously. Heritage was something that interested him. "Just Aussie," he shrugged. "Why?"
"Really," Alison spoke slowly, gauging his reaction. "I wonder."
"What?" Hando asked, frowning.
"It's just that ... the planes of your face, your frame ... I wouldn't be surprised if there was Maori blood in you," As it left her lips, she saw his lids flutter. His eyes rolled slightly back in his head, his hands clenched and unclenched once, and his jaw tightened.
Warning bells began to sound in her head. She put her hands on the arms of her desk chair and prepared to flee. She had been through this scene several times before and had always managed to either calm the client or escape unharmed. She looked toward the door; her path was unobstructed. She stood and the file slid from her lap onto the floor.
Hando leapt from the couch like a coiled panther. His enraged face filled her field of vision. He knocked her back in her chair. He towered over her, gripping her throat with one hand, and forced her chin up at a painful angle. He was so close she could feel his short, quick breaths on her face. Her eyes, enormous and dark, stared terrified into his steely ones. The hand with a stranglehold on her neck and the murderous glint in his eyes told her that he could easily snap her neck.
"Don't ... fuck ... with ... me!" he spat the words in her face.
Alison's self-preservation skills surfaced through her fear. She lowered her eyes from his gaze and controlled her breathing, willing herself to remain calm. If she tried to fight him or became hysterical, he would surely assault her. She maintained this submissive posture for what felt a long time until she finally felt a small tremble in his hand, still gripping her throat.
Hando was watching her intently. She had become docile, as he required. Standing so close, he smelled her scent again. It was something sweet, but not like strong perfume. He was trying to figure it out as he admired the neat chignon pinned at the back of her long, graceful neck.
This bird has real class,
he thought appreciatively. It was true she had angered him, but she did not know any better. Stupid fucking shrink propaganda had spoiled her mind. He finally released her neck.
She dressed conservatively to discourage such thoughts but the fitted suit only served to emphasize her female form. He straightened the collar of her silk blouse, fingering the soft fabric. Her education and style made her exotic to him. Alison slowly raised her eyes.
Hando had an intense desire to mess up her perfect red lipstick. He took her face between his hands and assaulted her mouth, thrusting his tongue into her, forcing her to open to him as he fed.
Alison felt the room begin to spin. She wondered in an oddly detached way if he was going to rape her. She told herself to pull away but instead, she responded to his kiss hungrily.
The intercom buzzer went off, signaling the end of the session. That jolted Alison back to reality and she shoved hard against his chest. Hando stood up straight, staring in confusion as lust mixed with rage coursed through his body. Alison watched the play of emotions across his face and held up a hand to him to ward him off. "I apologize, Henry. I didn't mean to be disrespectful; I was only trying to get you to talk to me. It's my job, you know."
With effort, Hando regained his composure. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and stared at the red lipstick there. He backed toward the door, a dim worry about the consequences of his behavior just beginning. Alison could not believe what was happening. She wondered how things had spiraled out of control so fast. Had he just assaulted her? She knew she had to straighten things out fast but it was too late. He was out the door and gone.
She picked up the phone to call his parole officer and tell him what had happened. Then she set the receiver back down. She replayed the whole session in her head. His behavior was frightening and inexcusable. Yet she partly blamed herself. The most troubling thing was the overwhelming attraction she felt toward him. She decided the most ethical course was to wait until his next session, talk about what had happened honestly, and offer to refer him to another therapist.
She went into the bathroom, splashed cold water on her face and reapplied her lipstick. "Pull it together girl," she told herself in the mirror. She stepped into the outer office. "Is the next one here?" she asked.
"Yes, Dr. Reyes," the male clerk replied.
"Good. Send him in," she said.
Alison thought about Hando all day and dreamed about him at night for the next week. She took extra care dressing, and with her personal grooming, all the while rehearsing her speech about how inappropriate it would be for them to have an intimate relationship. When he did not show for his appointment, she felt bereft. She told herself it was because she was concerned for his welfare. If he failed to complete the program, the police would pick him up and he would go to prison.
It was the last appointment of the day and she waited until the entire hour had passed before leaving. She had sent the clerk home. She opened her office door, walked through the outer office and stepped into the darkened waiting room.
"Am I too late?" he asked. Alison spun around to see the tall figure lurking in the shadows. The door had an electric lock that which operated from the clerk's desk. Hando had caught it as she came through.
Alison continued to back toward the exterior door. "Yes. I waited for you. Why didn't you let me know you were here?"
"I'm letting you know now," he said quietly.
She was moving out of his reach. He kicked over a waiting room chair to prop the interior door open and came toward her. She flung open the exterior door and ran outside. Hando caught her before she made the parking lot. She screamed. He clamped one hand over her mouth and wrestled her back inside the building. He half dragged, half carried her back to her office. She was kicking and thrashing but did not make contact.
"Leave off, now. Let's have our talk," he said calmly, as though he were speaking to a child throwing a temper. He tossed her into the room. Alison stumbled and cowered against the desk. The windowless room was completely dark, but she could hear him shut and lock the door, jamming a chair beneath the handle. He crossed the room and fumbled on her desk, switching on the lamp. He turned to face her, his eyes glowing coolly in the dim light.
"What do you want?" she demanded in as firm a voice as she could muster.
"I want," he paused and cocked his head, "to know why you didn't turn me in."
Alison stared. She had been preparing for this conversation all week, but never imagined it would go like this. "You should not have assaulted me. B-but I felt partly responsible," she said.
you!" he said incredulously. "Believe me, you'd know it if I assaulted you. I kissed
you. And you liked
it," his said with a malevolent smile.
"You g-grabbed my neck," she said and winced, hating herself for stuttering.
He reached out and she flinched. He paused, and then carefully moved her hair aside. He peered at her neck. "I don't see any bruises," he said and shrugged.
She forced herself to stand up straight and look him directly in the eyes. She was nearly as tall. "Clients do not kiss their therapists," she said.
"You kissed me back. You ... liked ... it," he said menacingly, moving even closer. He had thought about her all week - her smell, the feel of her mouth, her skin, her blouse, and her luminous, dark eyes. He could not stop thinking about her even when he tried and it made him angry.
He hid out for a few days after their first session. When his friends told him that the cops had not come looking for him, he returned to the vacant warehouse where he had been living. He began to wait and watch near her office, and he followed her when she left. He knew her routine.
Alison was trembling. "Just tell me what you want. Do you want me to sign off on the court papers?" she said.
"I want," he said as he leaned in and pressed her back against the wall, "to kiss you again." His mouth was on hers and again she felt that dizzy mixture of fear and overwhelming sexual desire. It blotted out all rational thought.
He ran his hands over her blouse as he continued to devour her mouth. The top button popped off in his impatient fingers. His hand slipped inside and pushed her bra cup aside. He rolled her nipple between his thumb and finger. Alison's arms went up and around his neck. He used his other hand to trace her thighs through her skirt. She shifted her hips forward, pressing against the heat of him. He let go of her breast to pull her skirt up over her bottom. He slipped his fingers inside her panties. Alison moaned into his mouth and opened her legs. Hando pulled roughly at the crotch of her panties, and the fabric bit into her skin. Then he was thrusting his fingers violently inside of her as she rocked her hips to meet his hand.
"I want to see," he growled, breaking the kiss. Alison gasped for air as he pulled roughly at her clothes.
"Stop," she breathed, convincing neither of them. She pushed weakly at his hands.
He brushed her efforts aside and stuck a scolding finger in her face. "I don't want to hurt you. I just want to see what you've got on underneath," he said. Hando had her stripped to her underwear in seconds. Alison was wearing her best ivory silk and French lace. She felt like her legs might give out, as he looked her over. He had only seen women look like this in pictures, never in the flesh.
"Take your hair down," he commanded.
Alison stared stupidly, fear edging out arousal once more. With an exasperated sigh, he reached behind her head and pulled roughly at the pins. Alison remembered what to do and reached to help him. Her black hair tumbled around her shoulders and he took a step back to appreciate her. Her dusky skin, dark hair and eyes, and body wrapped in the fine lingerie combined to create the most exotic creature he had ever seen. Women like this simply did not enter his life.
Hando prided himself on never spilling his pure seed in a foreigner, but his need to posses her was making him reconsider his rules. It angered him that she should have such power over him, and he determined to teach her who was in control and bend her to his will.
He moved slowly and deliberately, silently demanding she look at him. He pulled off his boots and suspenders, and removed his shirt. Alison shivered, seeing the muscles flex in his torso and arms. She appreciated the quality of his tattoos, since they were common among the men of her family as well. He exuded raw masculine power. Hando undid his fly and gave her a menacing smile.
"Please, listen to me. We cannot do this. The cardinal rule of psychotherapy is: Thou shalt not fuck the client," she pleaded. Even as she said it though, she marveled at his long, muscular legs and the massive erection straining the fabric of his briefs.
"Fuck yer rules," he growled, as he tossed his trousers on the heap of their mingled clothes. He stood with his hands on his hips, watching her watch him. Alison could see he was preening, and thought he had every right. My God,
she thought, he's the perfect male animal.
"You should know before I fuck you. It's been Hando, not Henry, since I was ten," he said.
Alison barely had time to wonder why he was bothering to tell her this before he pulled her to him. He wrapped one arm tightly around her waist, and his other hand wound itself in her thick hair and yanked her head back. His wide tongue lathed her neck, from ear to shoulder and back again. He hissed into her ear, "Did you really think you were going to get inside my head, bitch?"
He spun her around and shoved his weight against her so that she fell on top of her desk. He kept one hand in her hair, holding her down against the desktop with his arm, while his other traced down her back, along her spine, down the cleft of her rear, and cupped her sex. He slipped a finger into her again, and she heard him chuckle with satisfaction.
He kept the one arm against her while he pulled off his jocks. He gripped his hard-on, nudging it against her ass. Oh sweet mother Mary,
thought Alison, the lapsed Catholic, this is it! Please just not in the ass.
Looking around frantically in front of her, she saw the letter opener. Her hand shot out toward it but he grabbed her wrist and wrenched it painfully behind her back. He bore down on her back, flattening her cheek painfully against the desktop. "I thought you were ready for me love," he said low, in her ear.
The letter opener clattered to the floor behind the desk as he swatted it out of reach. He ripped the phone cord out of the wall and bound her wrists behind her back. "I didn't want to do this, but if you're going to give me trouble ... "
The sensation of being bound and helpless was all Alison needed to give in and stop fighting. She was blushing furiously when he turned her around again. She had no idea what to expect. One second he was manhandling her, the next he was gentle, almost worshipful. She did not want to fight him anymore. Her heart was leaping out of her chest and her breasts rose and fell with the effort of her breathing.
He put his arms around her, bringing their bare flesh together once again. "You're not going to kick me or scream, are you love?" Alison, held prisoner by his crystalline eyes, shook her head negatively. She could not trust her voice. "Good. Because I don't want to gag you or tie your feet, but I will, if you won't behave." He smiled down at her almost sweetly and Alison was amazed to realize was smiling back at him.
"I'd rather hear you, you see, because I want you to say my name," he purred.
"Hando," she obediently replied.
He smirked at her. "Not yet, you dumb cunt!" He was having trouble maintaining his anger. She was giving in to him so nicely. He wanted to dominate her, not rape her. He liked a bit of rough, but he had never forced a girl, yet. He looked at her full, red lips and knew just what he wanted.
"On your knees," he ordered. Alison dropped to her knees. She now had an eye-level view of his penis. She gasped. She had expected him to be large, looking at the rest of him, but she had not expected the small ring that protruded out the tip and disappeared again under the velvet rim of his glans.
"Open your mouth, and I'd better not feel any teeth," he commanded. Alison obeyed and he rewarded her with his prodigious cock. He moved slowly at first, enjoying the show, but the pleasure drove him to go faster. Soon he was pulling her head toward him as he pumped in and out of her throat. This woman knew how to blow him like a whore. The young girls he had been with were so awkward, roughly grazing their teeth on him. He had smacked a couple good for their lack of expertise.
Alison could not use her hands to control his movement. It was hard not to panic as he began to pump deeper into her throat. She forced herself to relax and as she felt his excitement build, she found a power within the surrender she had never known. She heard lewd moaning and was surprised to realize it was coming from her.
Hando pulled out of her mouth at the last moment. Breathing hard, he hauled her to her feet and bent her over the desk again. She braced for the onslaught as best she could but instead he ran his hands slowly over her back, buttocks and down the backs of her legs. He kneeled behind her, nosing into her sex. When he stuck his tongue into her slit, her mind went blank. She needed the cold hard desk beneath her then because she lost all control over her body. When her juices began to run down her thighs, he stood up; satisfied that she was ready.
Alison felt him nudge at her opening and then he slowly slid in all the way. Shock waves passed through her body as she adjusted to him. He stretched her so wide and filled her so deeply she stopped breathing for a minute. Nothing else existed except the place where their bodies joined. When he finally began to move in her, the first thing she noticed was the sensation of the metal ring. It allowed her to feel him more deeply than she had ever felt any man before. The pleasure was so intense it was painful and again, she moaned.
Hando braced one hand on the edge of the desk and reached his other between them, grazing the tip of his finger across her clit. He stroked into her roughly, to make her ass bounce. Hando was used to overpowering his sexual partners. Most of them were passive and inexperienced, or simply terrified of him. This one however, responded with passion and strength, pushing back against him, absorbing his blows. This excited him but also felt like a challenge. He began slamming into her, faster and harder, like a freight train. This sent Alison into a shuddering, mind melting orgasm. She bit her tongue to stop herself from screaming, and tasted blood. The muscles in his long thighs bunched, his knees locked, and he shot off right behind her. He stroked her hair and face gently as his breathing returned to normal.
They avoided looking at each other as they pulled their clothes back on. Hando was in tremendous conflict. He desperately wanted to see her again. He was angry with himself for wanting her because he knew it was crazy. Sure, she was beautiful and a great fuck, but she was the enemy. She had the upper hand. Her recommendation could set him free or send him to prison. He also realized that she was beyond his reach. She was an educated professional, several years his senior and a woman of the world. He was a homeless local tough with a police record sitting in a file in her desk. He wanted to possess her but felt inadequate to do so and it made him furious.
Passion spent, Alison was appalled by what had happened. Professionals simply do not let these things occur,
she lectured herself. First the colleague, now a client! I am a whore!
"Hando, I have to refer you to another therapist immediately," she said guiltily.
"No," he said flatly. He had finished dressing.
"I can not see you again," she said, regaining some of her professional veneer as she slipped her pumps back on.
"Here's the deal. You're going to see me as many times as you're supposed to, and you're going to write me a nice little report that says I don't have to go back to jail," he said evenly.
"And if I don't?" she dared to ask.
He leaned into her face, eyes glittering and crazy again. "Then I'll hunt you down and cut your throat," he said.
The speed with which her lover departed and this psychopath appeared stunned Alison. She knew she was in real peril. He opened the door and strode defiantly away from the office as she stood gaping after him.
Alison's father had given her a switchblade and taught her how to use it to ward off an assailant when she was twelve. She seriously doubted whether she could use it on Hando if she had to now, but she began carrying it with her everywhere. But she had mace in her desk drawer at the office. She replayed her two visits with Hando repeatedly in her mind. She thought she could see opportunities to spray him, or escape in retrospect. Then she would think that, no, there was not much she could have done to fend him off. She realized she was reacting like a crime victim, replaying the scene and second-guessing herself. She could not think about much else.
The strange part was that although she was afraid of Hando, she very much wanted him to return. It was the hottest sex of her life. I am one sick puppy,
she thought. She knew that the sex had completely ruined the therapeutic purpose of his sessions, and that she was of no use to him now. She also knew she was at real risk for losing her license if anyone found out. She could not ethically see him as a client again, there was no way she could write the court report, and she knew it would be crazy to see him outside the office. Yet she fantasized about this continuously. She felt very guilty about it, but could not stop.
She decided that the best course of action was to find a male therapist, so she could refer Hando to him. Two days after Hando's second visit, she held interviews. She hired a young graduate student named John. He had a pleasant, friendly way about him, very non-threatening. He would work for cheap, so he was less likely to leave, and had previous experience with court-ordered offenders. Most important of all, he was big. Criteria fulfilled, Alison decided happily.
To celebrate their new partnership, she took John out to lunch. They got on easily. They were sharing a laugh at a table in a cheap neighborhood diner when Hando and three of his mates came in. They sat in the booth directly next to hers.
Alison fought to remain calm. She wanted to believe it was a coincidence, and yet she had the eerie feeling he had been watching her. She had disregarded the idea as paranoid and unlikely, until now. If she had risked much, he was risking more. She dared a glance in his direction and immediately regretted it. He was watching her intently and when their eyes met, he smirked and gave a nod of acknowledgment. The small gesture seemed to contain all that had passed between them, and she felt both embarrassed and aroused at the memory. She was careful not to look at him after that, but it did no good.
When his mates rose to go, he waved them off, stating loudly that he would catch up with them later. He walked over to Alison's table and waited expectantly, his fingerless gloved hands clasped in front of him. She managed a weak smile. The uncertainty about what he would do made her feel ill.
"Hando, this is John. He's going to be working at the office with me. John, this is Hando," she said, trying to sound relaxed while still addressing him with respect.
John stuck his hand out to shake Hando's, but the skinhead kept his hands clasped before him. Hando stared at John malevolently. Alison recognized the clenched jaw, the eyes flicking quickly over the perceived opponent, and held her breath. Hando finally turned back to her. "Good to know you won't be all alone there at night now," he said.
The look in his eyes told her that this was not over with him. Then he turned and left the diner. She let out her breath and smiled nervously. "It's an interesting group," she offered.
John's concern was clear. "You know, I was dead cert he thought I was some sort of threat just then. If he's attracted to you, you could be in real danger," he said.
Alison looked down into her coffee cup. "Yes, I know, that's just one reason I need you. I only saw him for the assessment. I want you to do the follow up with him," she said.
John nodded his head. "I think that's a good idea."
After the incident at the diner, Alison saw Hando lurking everywhere she went. She always pretended not to see him. He was across the aisle in the grocer's and at the chemist. Most of the clients lived within walking distance of the office, which was located in an industrial area, but to reach the neighborhood where she lived, he had to take the bus or the train. Sometimes she saw him pacing slowly up and down the street in front of her flat, yet he did not come to her door or try to speak with her. It seemed that his whole purpose was to let her know that he was watching.
She knew that she should feel threatened by this behavior, but each time she spotted him, she felt a secret thrill. She suspected he would try to make contact with her again. She began to have dreams, which began with him making passionate love to her and ended with him strangling her to death. She lost her appetite and developed insomnia, but she would not call the police or his parole officer.
Hando showed up on time his third appointment. Alison went out into the waiting room to get him herself. He was pleased and took this as a good sign. He could feel his desire start to rise as he watched her walk ahead of him into the room. But he stopped abruptly as he entered and saw John.
"Hando, I feel it would be best if John took over your sessions. I'm sure you'll do fine with him," she said and quickly stepped out of the room, not daring to look back. Her heart thudded dully in her chest throughout the next hour and she could not concentrate on the report she needed to write. She had expected him to bolt immediately, but fifty minutes later, she heard the door open and Hando walked down the hallway. He had to pass her door as he exited the office. She had left it ajar so that she could hear when he left. She held her breath as he approached and passed, without breaking stride.
When she heard the outside door open and close, she went into John's office. "So? How'd it go?" she asked.
John shrugged. "Well, he's a tough nut, alright. Mostly just sat and stared at me. May as well move on to anger management group. He's not interested in talking one on one. Not with me anyway. What exactly happened in your last session?" he asked.
"About the same as you describe. Why? Did he say anything about it?" she asked, trying to sound casual.
John hesitated. "No. Well ... he said he wouldn't talk to me because I didn't have tits," he admitted with an awkward chuckle.
Alison tried to make light of it. "Yes, and that's what I meant when I said I wanted him seen by a man. Typical dominance thing, I suppose," she said.
John nodded. "Yes. If you had seen him longer, there could have been some sticky transference," he said thoughtfully.
Alison nearly laughed out loud at his unintended but accurate metaphor. "It's court ordered counseling. He does not get to choose his treatment plan. His kind often does better in group anyway. You made the right call," she said, ending the consultation. Alison left the office that night with a tremendous sense of relief knowing that Hando had not told on her.
A few days went by with no sign of Hando. Alison told herself that it was for the best, but could not make herself believe it. She knew he was capable of hurting her, but somehow the idea of never seeing him again was more frightening. She worked through the week in a depressive funk. That was the problem with the adrenalin rush of a dangerous relationship, she knew all too well. Life seemed so damned dull without it. However, if a stable life required abstinence from unhealthy relationships, then she would have to learn to live with the boredom.
Friday evening rolled around. She met Jennifer, the friend who had talked her into emigrating, for drinks at a pub frequented by young professionals. She left behind her conservative suits, opted for a short, tight black skirt, and knit top. High-heeled black boots completed her look. She left her long hair down.
A night to feel young and sexy, free from professional constraints, was just what she needed, she decided as she drained her third rum and diet Coke. The two friends continued on a pub-crawl from there, dancing where there was music and drinking and flirting where there was not, until early the next morning. At one club, while out on the dance floor, she thought she saw Hando up near the bar. When she moved that way for a closer look, there was no sign of him.
Jennifer drove her home close to three in the morning. Alison got out at the curb and waved goodbye. She shivered and wrapped her arms tight around herself as she watched her friend drive off in her Beetle.
Alison turned and began to walk up the pathway to her door. Heavy boots crunched on the gravel behind her. She wondered belatedly whether she should have asked Jennifer to wait until she was inside.
"If you want to talk, then let's talk. I'm not going to run," she said as she turned slowly to see Hando standing on the walk behind her, hands thrust into the pockets of his long coat, face unreadable in the shadows. "Why are you following me like this? What do you want?" she demanded.
He stepped forward from the shadows and the streetlight revealed his face. "I want to see you again," he said softly.
"I tried to explain it to you. It's not ethical. What we did was wrong.
It can't happen again," she said firmly. Alison felt her throat constrict on the words and cursed herself for caring for this dangerous man.
Hando stepped closer. "I don't give a fuck for your ethics or your headshrink crap. You belong with me. Just send in your stupid little form and be done with it so we can move on. You know you're not going to send me to jail, or anywhere else, don't you?"
He was right, and she knew it. She had lost all perspective, all sense of what was right or even necessary. Alison took a step backward. "You are right, I can't be objective with you, and that's why I can't see you. Not at the office, not anywhere." She slipped the knife from her pocket and hid it in her hand.
He clenched and unclenched his fists rhythmically as he spoke. "I knew you would make it hard. I watched you shaking your tits tonight for every bastard in the city," he said through clenched teeth. His eyes, large and wild, rolled back in his head so that she could see the whites as he took a deep breath, trying to maintain his composure. It was no use. He could smell her. He must have her or go crazy from the wanting. He made up his mind.
"I don't want to wait anymore," he said, sounding almost calm.
"Good night Hando," she said as firmly as she could and turned from him. She got three steps toward the door before he grabbed her. She was out of practice, but the adrenaline rush made her brave. She flicked open the knife and tried to plunge it into his thigh, but he knew the sound of a switchblade and turned away. It caught his coat and clattered to the ground. Their eyes locked.
"Shit!" she cried and flung herself at the door, but she could not get it open.
He stopped to pick up the knife before he finished unlocking the door. He handed her the key but pocketed the knife.
Alison took the key from him. "Go home," she said with a quaver, as if trying to discourage a snarling, drooling Doberman.
"No. I'm coming in and I'm going to fuck you until I've had my fill," he said pushing the door open.
Alison was having trouble thinking through the alcohol fog. "Rape!" she started to scream.
Hando clapped one hand over her mouth, the other around her middle, and pulled her inside the flat, muttering in her ear, "Bugger me. You're a real piece of work, you know?"
He shoved her roughly, and she stumbled against the sofa, as he slammed and bolted the door shut. "What's this then?" he asked quietly as he held her knife aloft. It glinted evilly in the moonlight coming in from the front windows. "Did you think you were going to cut me with this?" His soundless laugh indicated how ridiculous he found her efforts at self-defense. He moved slowly, menacing her with the knife, until he held it under her nose. "Didn't you think I might use it on you?" he asked and gave her another push.
Alison sprawled back against the sofa. Hando shrugged off his coat and was on top of her before she could sit up. He nudged his knee between her legs, opening them. He took hold of her knees in his hands and pressed her booted legs apart and back, exposing what lie beneath her skirt. "What, no lace tonight?" He frowned, "I liked those." He flicked the blade open and leaned in.
"No! Oh my God!" Alison screamed.
Hando's head jerked up, and he clapped one hand across her mouth, pushing her head back into the throw pillows. "Shut the fuck up, bitch! What's wrong with you? I'm not going to cut you!" He glowered for a moment. "Calm down, will you?" he asked more softly. He reached between her knees and in one deft flick, he split the crotch of her panties. The blade did not touch her. "There, that's better," he said with a nasty grin.
Alison's heart was still racing in terror. She had not agreed to this. He was tormenting her and taking her by force. This was not exciting. It was just frightening and awful. Before she could respond, he was on her and forcing his way in. Alison cried out in pain. Hando looked at her face and stopped. "Fuck!" he said.
She was dry and he realized that she must really be scared. This would not work without some lubrication. He remembered keenly what she'd felt like in her office, bent over the desk. He had thought of little else since, and he wanted it like that again. He liked her fighting for it with him, not shrinking in terror from him. He sucked his breath in and slowly blew it out, pursing his mouth and staring at the ceiling. "Okay," he said to the argument in his head.
He withdrew but remained poised over her. He reached between her legs and caressed her. Alison tried to squirm out from under him but he would not let her up. "Where do you think you're going?" he asked, bending his head in for the kiss. She tried briefly to resist but very quickly succumbed, arching and moaning beneath him. After several minutes of necking and petting, he looked into her eyes.
"Better?" he asked, brows raised, voice patronizing.
Alison wanted to hate him then, for the calculating way he was manipulating her, but she wanted him too much. He pushed her top up over her breasts, freeing them from the black lace bra and tugged at her nipples, pinching and pulling them to erection. "I watched you shaking these all night at other men. You will not do that anymore, do you understand?" he said with low, velvet menace.
"Yes, Hando," she said submissively. She understood her role.
"From now on you will only go out dancing with me. That way if some bloke gets ideas about getting where I am now, I can cut his nuts off," he said.
Alison's body betrayed her mind, her arousal growing at both his words and his touch. There was something both scary and deliciously liberating about surrendering her will to him. But I wish he didn't have to be such a bastard about it,
"Alison?" he purred.
It was the first time she had heard him speak her name. "Hmmm?" she responded dreamily, lost in the feelings he continued to arouse with his hands and mouth.
"You are mine," he said.
"Mmmm," she said.
"Say it," he commanded.
"I'm yours," she sighed.
"You are my whore. Say it."
"I'm your whore," she moaned as he slid his fingers inside her. She made a delicious sight, her dark eyes soft and unfocused, her face flushed with passion, body writhing beneath him, ready to beg for it. He chuckled wickedly. She was actually panting.
"Tell me you want me to fuck you," he said, rising above her.
"I want you to fuck me Hando," she said and meant it.
Hando pushed her knees back to her shoulders and kneeled between, his long, tattooed torso looming over her. She was still fully clothed, only her breasts and sex exposed. She looked between her splayed legs and saw him grip his massive cock. The silver ring glinted nastily. He slammed home in one thrust, roughly grabbing handfuls of her thighs and holding her prone, and began to pound into her mercilessly.
Alison gasped and squirmed, delirious with pleasure. Like a bitch in heat,
thought Hando. He loved the way she reacted to him. It made his desire swell even greater. He often preferred to take his partners from behind because it emphasized his dominance, but the lust on Alison's face was well worth it. The memory of her shimmying on the dance floor earlier flashed in his mind and he sneered. He thrust harder and faster, determined to teach her to dance only for him.
Alison grimaced at the intensified pummeling. She tried to wrap her legs around him, but he would not allow it. He held her firmly in place, preventing any friction against her nub. She wriggled again, trying to gain a better position on him, but he pressed her legs back even further, nearly doubling her in half. He glared at her as he continued to piston in and out.
"Unh! Let me lower my legs!" she begged. Hando was pounding her with such force that it jarred the words from her mouth.
"No," he said.
"But I can't get there!" she panted.
He glowered. "This is not for you. This is for me. Your hole is for me, understand?" he asked.
She stared at him and realized he was punishing her, but for what? She could feel her climax build, it was right there, all she needed was a second of contact and she would go off like a rocket, and damn him, he was not going to help her. Hando lunged into her several violent thrusts. The muscles in his arms bulged from the effort of holding her legs back, the tendons in his neck stood out thickly; he threw back his head and closed his eyes. He grunted once and was still. She watched him, mesmerized, as his seed pulsed into her. She realized with a jolt that he had not used a condom.
Hando opened his eyes. Surprise and annoyance crossed his features as he looked down upon her. "What are you smiling at?" he asked.
She wiped the smile from her face and said seriously, "I'm admiring you. You're such a beast."
That distracted him for a moment. He did not expect praise for his behavior. "You're one of those tarts who can cream every time, aren't you? But I didn't let you," he said.
"No, you didn't," she agreed.
"Don't you want to?" he asked, arching a brow.
"Yes," she said, wriggling beneath him.
"You have to earn it," he said as he withdrew. He paused and surveyed the conquered territory with satisfaction.
"I bet you will give me another chance," she said, and could not keep the smile from her lips any longer.
Hando's brows drew together as he tried to determine whether she was mocking him. Damn the bitch anyway!
She made him furious but once he had his release, his anger dissipated. He shook his head and stood up.
He pulled on his jocks and scratched himself. Alison stood carefully, uncertain if that was allowed or even if she could still make her legs work. She looked to Hando for approval, but he was busy inspecting her things. She went off to the bathroom to clean up. When she returned with her dressing gown tied around her, he was looking at her books.
"I don't have Mien Kampf," she quipped. He gave her a look that said he was not amused. Humorless bastard,
He picked up the frames sitting on the shelf one by one and peered at the photos. Alison at her first communion; sitting as a baby on her fair mother's lap, her darker brother and father standing next to them; her father with his arm around her brother's neck, rough housing in Griffith Park on a Sunday, both grinning into the camera, both with gang insignia tattoos visible on their arms. Hando turned and looked at her quizzically.
"My father and brother, when he was about thirteen. They were both murdered two years later," she said and shrugged, but her eyes were sad. "That's gang life, right?"
"You look like your mother," said Hando.
It occurred to Alison that he was trying for some kind of truce. It was a precarious arrangement. If they did not let any of their beliefs or anything that mattered into the room with them, they were able to stay here together. She hoped he could see beyond the color of her skin and hair to their commonalities, but she doubted it.
All Hando knew was that he wanted to keep her. He was disappointed that she was not pure white blood. Her skin was light enough, but now he knew for certain that she was a half breed. Being from Los Angeles, what could he expect? Inter-breeding mongrels, the lot of them.
He was trying very hard not to think about it. For the moment, his loins were winning the battle with his head.
Alison went into the kitchen beside the living room. "Are you hungry?" she asked.
"Yeh," he answered.
Definitely no Mexican food, what's safe?
she wondered. "What do you like?" she asked. She opened the fridge. "How about steak and eggs, that's a good solid meal for a big bloke like you," she suggested and smiled over her shoulder at him. He gave no response, having moved on to her books. She took his silence as agreement and started cooking. Hando felt his stomach cramp as the food smells reached him. It had been a long time since his last solid meal and even longer since someone had cooked for him.
She set his plate on the table, poured him a big glass of milk, and watched as he wolfed down everything. He did not bother to refill the glass, but drained the rest of the milk from the bottle. "Any tea?" he asked.
She tried to make herself busy and not stare at him. He was so male in everything he did, she loved watching him, but he broke her heart. It was clear, from the file she had read, that no one had ever taken proper care of him. Maybe no one had ever loved him. She knew that by this age it was too late. He was likely incapable of a real relationship. She died a little, to look at him and think what he could have been. He glanced up and she quickly lowered her eyes. I must not let this man think I pity him in any way,
Alison began to clear the table and put things away in the fridge. When she came near him again, he reached out and pulled her onto his lap, fingering her robe. "I like this," he said. "It's soft." Her intimate things were sexy as hell and soft as butter. He had never seen anything like them. Hando pressed his face into her hair and inhaled. There it was again. "What is that smell?" he asked.
"Almonds and cherries," she said.
He took her face in his hands and turned it side to side. He liked her liquid, dark eyes but mostly he liked the way she was looking at him. Many girls had looked at him with fear and a few women had looked at him with lust. No one had ever looked at him as Alison did - like he was wonderful. He was falling in love but he did not know it as that. He only knew that he liked being with her more than he had ever liked being with anyone.
He bit her shoulder, and slid her robe open. It pooled around her waist. Alison laid her head back against his shoulder, exposing her neck to him. Hando took the invitation and began suckling and biting. Alison began writhing on his lap. Gooseflesh rose across her arms and shoulders, and her nipples rose in stiff, dark peaks. She turned to kiss him and their mouths locked in a passion dance. She caressed his head with her hands, rubbing at the short bristles there.
"You like that?" he paused to ask. "On me head. The short hairs?"
"Yes I like that. It feels good," she said.
With that, he stood up, still holding her. Alison wrapped her legs around his torso as his arms supported her bottom. She giggled. No one had picked her up and carted her off like this since she was a little girl. He found her bedroom and paused in the doorway. The room was extremely feminine. There was a pretty comforter on the bed, lace toss pillows, candles and flowers, more framed photos and a vanity filled with lotions and sprays. The room smelled good, like she did. He carried her to the bed. He was going to drop her but something about this room made him set her down ever so gently. He stood up and looked at her lying there, dark hair spilling out around her.
He nudged her robe open with one finger, revealing her slowly, until she lay naked upon it. He bent and kissed her, pulling at her lower lip with his teeth, then nibbling her earlobes. Alison jumped when he began rubbing the coarse stubble on his head and face in her neck, then down lower. She gasped. The prickly hairs were so rough on the tender skin of her breasts. It made her nipples stiffen painfully. Hando rubbed his head across her tender skin, down and across her belly. She tried to roll away but he trapped her, pressing her thighs apart and pinning her against the bed. He rubbed his face all over her tender inner thighs and across her wet sex. She was still highly stimulated from before and the rough feel was almost too intense. Just when she thought she could bear it no more he stopped.
He stood up and pointed down at her. "Don't move," he commanded. He went into the kitchen for a bowl. He found the rest of what he wanted in her shower. He returned to the bedroom, grinning salaciously, carrying her razor, shave cream, towel and a bowl of water.
"What are you doing?" Alison asked, although it was plain.
"Since you like my head so much, I'm going to shave you too," he said. He squirted the shave cream into his palm and scooped some out with his fingers, smoothing it on in small circles. He dipped the razor into the water stroked it across, leaving behind bare skin. Alison thought she would lose her mind before he had finished. She had never been in such a high state of arousal. She would have gratefully done anything he wanted, just so long as he brought her sweet release. When he was finally done, he wiped her off and ran his hand over her newly smooth skin.
"This will help you remember me," he said with a sly smile.
Alison thought that was an odd thing to say. "As if I could ever forget you," she said.
Hando stretched out next to her on the bed and pulled her toward him with one arm. He pressed her face down toward his rigid cock with a hand on the back of her head. Alison hooked her little finger through the tiny ring and gave it a gentle tug before lowering her mouth on to him.
Hando let out his breath with a hiss. "Sit on me face," he said as he tugged at her leg. Alison complied. Facing the foot of the bed, she straddled his face. His strong hands gripped her ass, pulling her toward him as he worked his thick tongue in and around her. Alison hungrily devoured his hard-on, her head bobbing up and down rhythmically. Both were lost to anything other than the sensations in their mouths and loins.
Alison's climax came almost immediately. The long build up of sexual tension coupled with the lewd sensation of her shaved pussy, so bare to his tongue, pushed her right over the edge. She fought to maintain control and not bite down or choke on him. As the last spasms passed, the velvet touch of his tongue felt like sand paper on the raw nerve endings in her sex. She tried to move off him but he held her in place, giving her a reprieve from his tongue as though reading her mind.
He loved looking at what he had done to her. Now she belonged to him. After a while, he began to lick at her again. She moaned around his cock. He felt the vibration in her throat and began to lift his hips up off the bed, pushing deeper into her throat. He pulled gently on her clit with his teeth, trapping her in his mouth, and suckling. Her thighs began to shake and she came again, wave after wave of pleasure rolling through her. She wrapped her hand tightly round his base and pumped in time with her mouth. He rewarded her attentions by filling her mouth. She swallowed him greedily.
"You taste lovely," she sighed as she curled against his strong, warm body. The sky was beginning to lighten with the first rays of dawn outside her bedroom window. Big brute,
she thought as she drifted off to sleep, emotionally and physically exhausted.
When she awoke the next day, it was nearly noon. She had slept as if she had been drugged. She stretched out her arm for him, but he was gone. She lay still a moment listening, but the flat was quiet. She shifted and the sheet pulled roughly against her tender, exposed sex. A confused jumble of emotions rushed back at her, and sat like a heavy weight on her chest, making it hard to breathe.
She felt a strong urge to flee the bed and its memories of the night before. She got up, pulled on her robe and padded out to the kitchen to make coffee. He had left her switchblade sitting on the counter. She picked it up and ran her finger along the cold steel, remember the terror she had felt when he surprised her and refused to leave. She sat down at the little table, sipping at the dark, rich brew, and tried again not to think about him. She decided she was relieved he had gone before she woke.
At her elbow was a paperback copy of Thus Spake Zarathustra
by Nietzsche that Hando had been thumbing through the night before. "What does not destroy me, makes me stronger," she quoted and nodded her agreement. She took another sip, thinking how strange it had turned out. Having him here, inside her private world, had made him real. Before, he was merely an enigma - a thrilling, beastly sexy enigma. Longing and regret stabbed freshly at her heart. She felt her robe glide against her newly bare skin as she crossed her legs. Bastard!
That was what he had meant about helping her to remember him. She thought it remarkable what he understood about desire and obsession, given his stunted life experience. With every move of her body, she thought about him now, whether she wanted to or not.
She rose from her chair abruptly, wanting to wash the smell and feel of him away. She went into the bathroom and ran the shower. As the hot water cascaded across her, she began to relax. She would have to sort out what to do about him, about them, before Monday, but she still had the remainder of the weekend for that. She reached for the shampoo and lathered her hair. She rinsed the soap away, humming a show tune from South Pacific.
"I'm gonna wash that man right out of my hair ... ."
"Cherries and almonds," said a deep male voice, jolting her out of her calm. She opened her eyes and saw him grinning at her, holding the shower curtain open. He started to say, "I love that smell," but her scream cut him off.
He was on her in an instant, his hand once more clamped across her mouth. "I can't say 'G'day without you screaming?" he asked, standing in the shower with her. His clothes quickly becoming as wet as her naked skin. She stared across the top of his hand, into his intense aqua eyes. Cautiously, he removed his hand.
"I thought you'd gone," she gasped. "You scared the shit out of me."
"I went to pack me kit," he explained. "Thought I might stay awhile."
He kissed her roughly, running his hands down her slippery, warm back. Steam clouds rose above their heads. He released her, blinking away the droplets that clung to his long lashes. She heard his sodden clothes plop on the bathroom floor and then he was back in the shower with her. She felt herself slipping further down into a dark whirlpool of desire and danger.
They left the flat only once all weekend, to the grocer's for more food and beer. Hando insisted on going with her, as though he feared she might not return. She was very uncomfortable in the store. Hando's social skills consisted of scanning for potential threats and greeting each male that came within ten feet of them with open hostility. It lasted less than half of an hour, but the shopping trip convinced her that this relationship, or whatever it was, must remain separate from the rest of her life.
She unplugged the phone when they returned to her house. They did two things that weekend. She fed him and he fucked her.
They sat together on the sofa Sunday evening after dinner. She had put on Wagner's Ring of the Niebelung,
suspecting he might like it. Hando was lying with his head in her lap.
"God is dead, and the superman is nigh!" she read aloud from Nietzsche. She was playing at being his Eva Braun, indulging her black sense of humor in order to preserve her sanity in an increasingly crazy situation.
Hando knew she was accommodating him, but her performance fit his ideal so perfectly that he very much wanted it to continue. He was accustomed to taking what he wanted without negotiation, and he wanted her. He was getting a taste of something he had never had and did not know he was missing. Now he felt like a starving man at the banquet.
He had the feeling she could see inside his mind, and he did not like it. People who knew what he was thinking did not want to stay around him. Alison seemed to like him anyway. That was intriguing, but left him suspicious, and the uncertainty made him aggressive. If there was something he did not understand, he typically wanted to beat it or fuck it into submission. Lucky for Alison, he found her attractive.
He had never equated sex with intimacy before. He cared whether it was good for the woman only so long as it improved her performance on him. Alison responded to him in such a gratifying way that he began to focus on her pleasure more than on his own. These alien feelings made him even more anxious. She behaved as if he was in charge, but as the weekend progressed, he had the unsettling feeling he had somehow lost all control.
She rubbed the palm of her hand across the bristles on top of his head. "I have to go back to work tomorrow morning," she said and waited, but Hando did not respond. "What will you do?" she asked.
He tipped his head back, gazing at her upside down. His face was impassive. "Quit your job," he said.
For a long moment, gazing into his hypnotic eyes, she was seriously tempted. God help me, I love him
, she thought. She traced the tattoo on his chest with her fingertips. Here in her private world he was beginning to trust her. The irony tasted bitter. She would have never accomplished this with him in the office. He was developing tender feelings. She could also see that he was depressed. He had no framework for the intense, raw emotions washing over him now. He had no experience of trust, surrender and love.
"I can't quit my job. I have to make a living," she said.
"Yes you can. Don't go back there. You could earn a crust lots of ways," he said. He thought she was smart as well, smart enough to do any number of other jobs. Entirely too smart to be with him, but he would not say that.
"I like my work, Hando. I know you think its crap, but it's all I ever wanted to do," she said.
"I'm gonna get mad if you keep talking like this," he warned. "Read me some more. I like this Nietzsche," he said and then more softly, "I like your voice."
Alison called in sick that Monday morning, buying them one more day, but as evening approached, she faced the same dilemma - what to do about Hando. Regardless of his wishes, she was not about to quit her job.
They were in her bedroom, having already tried out every available surface in her house, including the kitchen table, the top of the washing machine, the shower, the sofa, and the living room floor, which had given her rug burns. His stamina was amazing. Maybe he is from a superior race,
she thought, just as there was a knock at the door.
Alison sat up abruptly, listening. "Did you hear that?" she asked.
Hando shoved her back down into the pillows. "Ignore it. They will go away," he said. The knock came again and this time they could hear someone calling her name.
"Who the fuck is that?" asked Hando angrily as he dismounted and yanked open the lace curtain covering her window. Alison recognized John's car, parked on the street.
"Get away from there!" she said as she came off the bed, wrapping her arms around his middle and attempting to haul him back. "Please," she implored. "Just wait here and I will get rid of him."
"Him? You have a boyfriend you didn't tell me about?" he asked suspiciously. She grabbed her dressing gown and tied the sash around her waist. "You can't go to the door in that!" he said in outrage.
Alison threw her hands in the air and made a sound of great exasperation. "No, I do not have a boyfriend. It's someone from the Clinic. He cannot see you!" she said as she tore off the robe. She pulled on her jeans and t-shirt draped across the bedroom chair. She scurried out of the room and down the hall to the front door. She looked through the peephole. Sure enough, it was John. She took a deep breath and opened the door.
"Hi," he smiled and handed her a brown paper sack. "It's soup. I hope I'm not disturbing you. How are you feeling?" he asked. He took in her disheveled hair, swollen lips and the love bites on her neck and felt a tremendous fool. Clearly, it was not a cold that had kept her home.
Alison glanced nervously down the hall, fearful that Hando would come down it any second, naked and enraged, and use John's head as a rugby ball. "I'm okay," she said, turning back to him.
John rubbed his hand across his face. "I feel so stupid. Obviously, you are fine, but I had a bad feeling. I know that creep has been following you, because I saw him," he began.
"What?" she asked alarmed.
"That skinhead. He has a fixation on you. I've seen him follow you when you leave the office. You can't be too careful. I should have told you sooner, but I didn't want to frighten you ... "
"How do you know he followed me from the office?" she asked.
"I was leaving at the same time, just behind. After that, I started to watch, and he did it every day for three days," he said.
"So you were following me too," she replied.
"Um, right, but only because I was concerned," he said, his blush deepening. "Have you noticed him around here?"
Alison held up a hand. "No, so far you're the only one who has followed me home," she said, gently chiding him. "This is what happens with graduate students. When you first started learning the diagnostic manual, do you remember diagnosing yourself with all kinds of weird things?"
He smiled sheepishly. "Yes."
"We all do it. This is your first independent experience with a really difficult population. You just let your imagination run away with you. I'm a big girl, John. I've been dealing with these types for years. I know how to defend myself. But I appreciate your concern. Now as you can see, I'm perfectly fine, other than a touch of the flu. Thanks for the soup," she lifted the bag and smiled. "I'll see you tomorrow then?" she asked as she saw Hando from the corner of her eye. He was walking slowly down the hall toward her.
John nodded, embarrassed. "Call me if you need anything," he said as she gently shut the door in his face. She leaned against it, clutching the bag to her chest. She let out the breath she had been holding.
Hando looked at her accusingly. "He wants you," he said.
Alison frowned. "You are imagining things," she said.
"That's what you said to him, but he was right," he said. "I did follow you home."
She went into the kitchen and he followed. Alison had been going over and over it in her mind. She knew that if she stayed with Hando, it would likely destroy her. He would never tolerate her having an independent life, full of the work and people she needed. Perhaps most frustrating of all, there was no way to reason with him.
She feared that he was not going to let her go, but she also knew what motivated perpetrators. She had to threaten his freedom, but very carefully. "If anyone finds out about us, you will likely go straight to prison. I would not be able to practice here any longer. I'd be deported," she said, keeping her voice calm.
He started to pace the tiny room, like a wildcat caught in a too small cage. "How in fuck's sake is anyone gonna know?" he demanded.
"Anyone could see you coming and going from here at anytime. It was a huge risk when we went out to the grocer. Just now at the door, if John had insisted on coming in ... ."
Hando cut her off. "Then I'd have beaten the shit out of him. Why would he come in? Has he been in here before?" he asked jealously.
"No, he hasn't. It's a professional relationship, not a personal one," she said. She turned away and opened the refrigerator.
Hando glared at her back. "You'd fuck him if you wanted to - you wouldn't care if he worked with you," he said.
Alison paused. It was uncanny how well he intuitively understood her weaknesses. She put the soup away and shut the fridge. She turned back to face him. "I don't want to fuck him, okay? And that's not the point. You have to complete the program. You have to go back to group and finish, satisfy John that you're not a threat, and then you're home free."
His brows drew together. "A threat to what? Society or to you?" he asked.
"To society," she said too quickly.
Hando looked at her sharply. "You hired him to protect you from me, didn't you?"
"I can't help it if you're so damned obvious! He could tell you had - an attraction to me, back when he first met you in the diner. That's why I transferred your case, yes," she admitted.
Hando shook his head. He chuckled, but it was a sound devoid of humor. He loomed over Alison, jabbing his finger at her. "I'll do your fucking program. I'll sit there and not say a damned thing, but only if it's with you. I'm not talking to that wanker. Just you. If you send him in there with me, I'll hurt him. Do you understand?"
She nodded silently. She knew he meant it. He was getting more upset by the second. That vein she had seen before was pulsing in his neck again.
"Good. And when it's all done and you've signed off for the judge, you're still mine.
I don't want to hear any more of this shit about not coming around you. That's the deal," he said emphatically.
Alison lowered her eyes. "Yes, Hando." It was the only safe response. She was surprised and relieved when he dressed then and stormed out of her house.
She had trouble sleeping that night. When she woke in terror from another nightmare, she missed his strong arms keenly.
Tuesday Alison looked for Hando but he was nowhere in sight on her way to the clinic. She met with John, as she usually did, first thing in the morning to go over the caseload. "Thanks for holding down the fort for me yesterday. I almost never get sick," she said.
"No worries," he said affably. He wore glasses. His trousers were always slightly baggy, not in an urban street-smart way, but in a nerdy college boy way. He always wore a tie even though she told him that he did not need to. He protested that since she dressed professionally, he thought it only right to match her standard. He was unfailingly polite. Why can't I ever fall for ones like this?
"I've been looking over the roster and we have really grown in a short period of time - you came on board just in the nick!" she smiled. "You've sat in with me enough times, do you feel you are ready to handle a group on your own?" she asked.
"Yes," he said enthusiastically, then frowned. "But - there are rather a lot of them, you know?"
"I didn't mean for you to take them all! I think we can split them into two groups. That way they should all have time to process and it won't feel so jammed," she assured. "This is your list," she said, handing it to him.
He scanned down the list and then looked at her oddly. "Where's the big skinhead?"
"He's in my group," she said.
"What? I thought we agreed he should see me?"
"I think I may have unfairly biased you against him. It will be difficult for him to receive any benefit from the program as such," she said. "He called and spoke to me at length last week. He was very appropriate. He explained why he is more comfortable talking to a woman. I think I misjudged him," she said, maintaining a neutral expression.
John had not known Alison long, but he thought she was more sensible than this. "He'd be more comfortable raping you!" he said.
"Really, John, I don't think ... ."
He leaned forward urgently in his chair, feeling a strong need to impress on her the danger. "I remember how territorial he acted over you when I met him. He was clearly pissed off when we switched him over to me. He is attracted to you. And I think he's a sociopath," said John.
He was undeniably correct. Alison felt the tremor start in her knees. She fought to keep it out of her voice. "You're not only overreacting, you're out of line. I don't need a guardian. Please try to remember that I've worked with some of the toughest cases anywhere. If this client wants to work with me, so be it. I can take care of myself," she said.
Her outburst surprised John. He had seen her keep her cool with the most provocative, nasty excuses for human beings he had ever met. Something seemed dodgy here, but he relented. She was the boss, after all. "Well, I don't like it. If you have any problems with him ... ."
"I won't." Alison interrupted. "You write the notes for your group, and I will continue to write the court reports. If our population keeps expanding like this, we will need to hire another therapist. I think that's very exciting. I need to get busy writing those grant proposals," she said, indicating that she had moved on to the next topic.
Hando failed to appear at group through the week. Alison watched for him but he was nowhere. She did not know which would be worse - if he failed to show and was picked up for violation of probation, or if he actually came. Her nightmares were back and so was her insomnia. Every night she lay in bed, remembering how it had been with him there. She half expected to wake and find him looming over her. She tried every distraction she could think of, but it was no good. Her skin burned at the memory of his touch. By the end of the week, she had dark circles under her eyes.
"Are you feeling crook?" John asked her Friday morning. "That flu come back?"
"Right as rain," she answered. She was avoiding any but the briefest exchanges with him.
Hando was no better off, picking ridiculous fights with his mates and being belligerent with the world at large. He knew the cops would pick him up for violating probation at the first opportunity, but he did not plan to give them one. He figured he had simply been careless the last time. Somehow, he felt that Alison had caused his misery, since he could not get her out of his head. He did not tolerate anyone telling him what to do under any circumstances, and he had no intention of sitting in some classroom with a bunch of pansies.
He fantasized about showing up to the clinic or her house and dragging her off with him. The more he thought on it, the simpler it seemed. She would give up her life and come live his.
The time for Friday night's group arrived. Alison was ready. She had pulled the chairs into a semi-circle. She always sat in the chair closest to the door, with the best view of the whole room. Her group consisted of six men and women, when they all showed. There were mandatory random drug screens. Coats were not allowed in the group room to help decrease the threat of concealed weapons. All unexcused absences were reported to their probation officers. They all understood that one strike on these rules and they could be in prison.
She had broken the rules by not reporting Hando's absence. If he failed to show this time, she would have no choice.
The group room was much larger than the two counseling offices. The building had been a dance studio at one time and there was a large mirror across the back wall. Alison found it useful for keeping an eye on the men's hands. She was writing that night's outline on a large pad of paper on an easel. A man with a long grey ponytail named Mickey leaned toward his neighbor and loudly whispered, "If the chalkies in school were more like this spunky sheila, I might have stayed."
Low chuckles greeted this remark. Alison turned and cast her stern teacher look at them. She started and stared. Hando was sitting in her chair. He had slipped in after the others. Hando glared at Mickey, looking set to square off.
There were only men in her current group, and although they considered the class a joke, they did not really mind coming since she was nice to them and easy on the eye. The diversion program certainly beat sitting in a cell. Mickey jumped up and pulled another chair off a stack near the door. He set it down at the edge of the semi-circle and swept his hand toward it, making a bow.
"Thank you," she said with a tight smile. She took her seat and quickly launched into the night's topic. She passed a stack of handout pages around the group, knowing the men would toss them in the street as soon as they were out the door.
"The goal of this program is to help you find alternative ways of dealing with anger so that you do not perpetually get into trouble and hurt others by lashing out," she began. The men settled down and made a pretense of listening. She covered the group rules, the limits of confidentiality due to the court reports, and got them to introduce themselves briefly. Some of them had histories of drug dealing or theft, others of domestic violence.
"I could never hit a girl," volunteered Mickey. He smiled at Alison, revealing his gold tooth.
Hando remained true to his vow not to participate. He sat staring straight ahead, silent as a stone carving. She decided to talk fast and let them out early. If she could just get through this session, she would lie if she had to, and say he had completed the whole thing. There was no way she could go through another night like this.
"The first step is to identify what it feels like in your body when you begin to get good and angry. Some people feel it in their chest, like a tightening. Others feel a rush of blood to the head, or clench their jaw. Some actually make fists," she said watching Hando with growing alarm. "When you notice these things happening in your body, it means you are about to lose control. It is like a warning bell going off. That's when it is time to walk away."
"What's it mean when I get a rush of blood to this?" Mickey asked grabbing his crotch. The others exploded in laughter.
"That's inappropriate," Alison began.
Hando was on his feet. "Get the fuck out! Now!" he yelled. His eyes bugged wildly and his mouth had bits of spittle at the corners as he picked up his chair.
"Hando, please don't do this," Alison begged, but he ignored her.
Mickey leaned forward, hands stretched out before him to ward off the skinhead. "Steady there, steady mate. You don't want to do this," he said.
Hando roared as he swung the chair. Mickey flew backward a few feet before landing and skidding across the floor. He stopped when his head smacked dully into the wall. Mickey looked up, bleeding and stunned. The others pressed back into their chairs as far as possible.
Alison was shaking. "Stop!" she cried.
Hando turned toward Alison. "Shut up! I'm not sittin' there and take it like a poof while these knobs crack onto you!" He turned back to the men. "All of you! Rack off! Now!" he ordered, brandishing his chair like a lion tamer. The others ran from the room. Hando tossed the chair aside and charged across the room toward Mickey, fist pulled back for the next blow. Mickey was up and out the door just ahead of him.
called Alison. Hando nearly knocked her over as he stormed back into the room.
"Bruno went home. I gave him the night off," he said.
She looked at him aghast. "What have you done to him?"
"Quit your whingeing or I'll smack you," threatened Hando, shaking his finger in her face. "I didn't do anything to him. He's a mate of mine. I asked him to piss off and he did."
Alison shook her head in amazement. "Unbelievable. Well. I hope you're happy. The cops will pick you up now for certain," she said.
"Do you really think those wankers are going to call the cops and risk getting blamed just to save little you? 'I don't know what happened officer. I didn't see anything. I was too busy cracking a fat looking at the skirt to notice a fight,' That
is what they are going to say," he said in disgust.
"All the same, if you plan to remain free, I think you had better start running," she said.
Hando felt slightly calmer after eliminating the perceived threat. He took hold of Alison's arms and pulled her up so close that his nose touched hers. He ground out his words. "You still don't understand. You belong to me. I'm not playing your games anymore. We're doing this my way now. We're going back to your place and pack your kit. Then you're coming with me," he said. Over the past few weeks, he had wondered repeatedly how and why he had got involved with this bird, and what he was to do about her, but now it was all becoming clear.
"You belong to me," he repeated, feeling the soft heat of her. He claimed her mouth in a brutal kiss. He caught sight of their reflection in the big mirror across the room. She was so delicate, and he liked how powerful he looked holding her in his arms. He smiled at the reflection. Alison knew that smile and fear took a renewed grip on her heart. Hando leered, watching as he cupped and weighed her breast, and then slid his hand down and over her hip. "Take off your clothes," he purred in her ear.
"No, Hando. Not here, not like this," she pled.
He laughed soundlessly. "Strip, bitch, or I'll tear it off you!" he growled. He released her long enough to pull a heavy table in front of the doors. Just in case,
he thought, although he really did not expect company.
Alison quickly removed her clothing. It was bad enough to be a hostage. She would need her clothes intact if she managed to escape him. When she was down to her panties and bra, she realized she was near the wall phone. Bruno was gone, but if she could just dial the emergency number, someone might hear her or at least trace the call. She glanced furtively at Hando. He was busy pulling off his pants and boots. Her hand shot out and she depressed the button to the outside line. When he looked over at her, she was standing there innocently watching him. He picked up one of the chairs, carried it over and set it right in front of the mirror. She turned back to the phone and started to dial. She pushed the last digit and his hand came down on hers, depressing the receiver and disconnecting the line. He twisted her arm painfully behind her back. With a wrenching, cracking commotion, he tore the phone out of the wall with his free hand and smashed it on the ground.
"Guess you felt like you just had to try," he smirked. "No one's coming to save you now, love. No one gives a fuck about you, except me."
He towed her with him over to the chair, disposing of her bra and panties in a blink. He sat and pulled her onto his lap. She could feel his erection poking her behind. She leaned back against him, facing the mirror, as if she no longer had control over her own body. He stroked and fondled her breasts with both hands, biting and licking at her neck, rolling her nipples in between his fingers. She shivered as the gooseflesh rose across her skin. He continued to watch what he was doing to her in the mirror. She could see one blue green eye peeking out from behind her neck.
It was incredibly arousing, even as her mind was reeling against his threat to kidnap her. She closed her eyes, trying to stop her reaction to what she was seeing. He bit her earlobe a little harder. Her eyes flew open.
"Watch," he hissed. "Watch me touch you," he said. She looked across at the mirror and into his smoldering eyes. A hand trailed down from her breast to rub slow circles across her flat belly. The other hand came around her and then he was pulling her knees apart, opening her to his view. He smoothed his palms down her thighs and back up, then his fingers danced into the center of her sex. He thrust his fingers deep inside her and purred in her ear, "Good girl, you're wet."
His voice was softest velvet for her now as he instructed, "Raise up, that's it, right there, now sit down on me," he coaxed, wrapping one big arm across her middle to hold her in place. He gripped her chin in his other hand and tipped her face up. "Look," he said. Alison was astride his lap, her feet dangling above the floor. As he pulled her back against him, his cock was clearly visible, penetrating her. She gasped.
Hando could only look so long before he tucked his face behind the curtain of her long, dark hair. He leaned his head against the back of her neck. He was afraid that if he looked too long he would come and he did not want that yet. He wanted to burn the image of him possessing her into her brain. Alison could not look away from the mirror. She gaped at his massive cock splitting her in two, her mouth hanging open. When Hando felt like he could stand it no more, he tightened his grip around her middle. His feet planted firmly on the floor, he raised his hips off the chair and thrust upward as he pulled her down on top of him, over and over again. Alison's arms, legs and head bobbed outside her control as he used her. Hando's breath grew raspy and heavy on her neck.
He watched her breasts bobbing wildly as he intensified his thrusts. Hando hid his face, unable to watch anymore. Alison reached behind and cradled his head with her hand. "Watch," she said to him. Hando looked at her in surprise. She caught and held his eyes. "I love you," she whispered. Overcome by emotion, waves of pleasure broke and surged across her body.
Hando shuddered; secretly thrilled he could affect her like that. He rubbed his stubble against her silken cheek and breathed in her scent. He had felt an ache and longing like none he had ever known in the days they were apart. Now she was his again, and the sweetness of it filled his chest until he could barely breathe. He blinked rapidly. Dammit!
Somehow, she was controlling him again! He stood up suddenly and shoved her forward. Alison smacked painfully against the cold, hard glass.
"Ouch, hey!" she started to protest, but he was ramming into her, lost to anything but the feel of her wrapped tightly around him. She braced her palms against the mirror and pushed back, trying to prevent him from driving her into the wall. She heard a low growl start in his throat. One, two, three thrusts later, he let out a soft, tortured howl, biting at her shoulder as he came.
As his climax subsided, Hando disengaged and moved away from Alison. He looked at her warily. Why is it that every time I set out to teach her a lesson, I feel less and less in control?
"Hurry up and get your clothes on and let's get out of here," he said crossly. He pulled on his pants and shirt while she retrieved her underwear.
That was when they heard it, from a long way off. Alison and Hando looked at each other in fear. "Oh no," she whispered.
"No," he said firmly, shaking his head. "It's not coming here. It's going to pass."
"Run!" she cried. "Just go! I don't want to see you locked up!"
"I'm not going anywhere without you," he said angrily. A siren screamed to a stop outside the building. Next came the voices, shouting and urgent, but she could not make out what they were saying. The sound was muffled until they got inside the building. Then she could tell they were calling her name. They came closer until they were right outside the door, banging and calling. She turned back to Hando, but he was across the room, on top of the cabinets, trying frantically to open a window. The men were calling his name as well, on a bullhorn, telling him to give himself up and let her go. There was a great rending crack as splinters flew from the door and the edge of a fire axe appeared.
Hando had the latch undone and pushed the window open. He turned and reached out to Alison. "Come on!" he called. She took two steps toward him and stopped.
"Alison!" he called her name like he was firing a cannon.
"Go," she said quietly.
Hando hesitated. He swore under his breath, looked at the door, once more at her, and then he was gone.
The police kicked the door open and rushed in. Alison was too stunned to realize she was dressed only in her underwear and the blouse she had just managed to pull on. An officer threw a blanket around her as the questions began. She could not seem to form words. Their voices sounded like they were coming from a long way away again. She was so very cold and she began to shake uncontrollably.
The police figured out that Hando had gone out through the open window and gave chase. Then John was there and she wondered why he was helping her dress. "I came by just to check, you know? I know you said you would be all right but I had a bad feeling. When I saw all those blokes blow through here, but not him, I knew you were in trouble." He was crying. "I shouldn't have waited for the cops. I should have come in after you."
"Shh ... it's okay, it's okay," Alison tried to comfort him. Her eyes were glassy. "He would've killed you," she smiled. "He never hurt me."
John and the officers exchanged looks. He laid his palm against her cheek. Her skin felt cold and clammy, and the color had drained from her face. "She's in shock," said one of the officers. They all reached the same conclusion. Clearly, the brute had raped her. She was all but naked and the sharp tang of sex permeated the room.
John walked her out to the police car. He rode with her to the hospital. Alison refused to let them do a rape kit. When they took her down to the station, she refused to press charges, insisting that nothing had happened.
Two days later, she flew home.
The Southern California sunshine was warm on Alison's face as she sat on the park bench. They were enjoying a lovely late September day. "Who needs seasons when it's as beautiful as this?" she wondered aloud.
It took time for the nightmares to stop. They still came once in awhile, but usually only when she got too tired. She found that distraction was the best way to move on and make peace with the memory. Henry provided plenty of distraction.
"You should put a jacket on, your little ears are cold," Alison's mother admonished her grandson. Henry was her light and her life. He was only three years old but already, he was throwing his weight around on the playground.
"Come here you little thug," said Alison, but there was more love than scold in her words. Henry turned to his mother, his aqua crystal eyes dancing with mischief. He reluctantly scuffed over to where she sat. "I saw you throw sand at that little girl. You go over there and tell her you're sorry or we're going home," said Alison. Henry scowled. Alison hid her smile and rubbed the bristles on the top of his head.
© 2000/2008 Tamara