Jeff Manning

It all begins with a subtle glance.

A Subtle Glance

TW: Sexually Assult

A younger man than myself may not have given it a second thought, but she had clearly meant to be looking at me, and that look clearly suggested more than just a passing thought. On any other day, I might not have given her the time of day. She was, after all well past her prime. She wore a jet-black dress that showed more than left to the imagination and matched her hair perfectly, which fell neatly upon her shoulders from a part perfectly down the middle. her skin was pale, adding stark contrast to her bright blood-red lipstick. her eyes were emerald green, and while I only saw them briefly, they peered deep into my soul.

The giveaway, though, was what those eyes showed. though she wore concealer, a faint tinge of black could be seen beneath, accentuated by her sunken eye sockets. She had flecks of grey in her otherwise perfectly black hair, and small but defined crow’s feet revealed her true age. Still, I was hardly a young man anymore and certainly didn’t have the looks to be choosy.

I downed the last of my drink, a whisky neat and placed my glass firmly on the bar. Before making my way over to her.

“What are you drinking?” I asked trying to keep a cool indifference to my voice. I could feel my insides churn in a nervous knot. Dispite my age, talking to people, especially those of the opposite sex had never gotten easier. I formed my expression to something I hoped reflected the cool tone I had tried to portray as she turned with an air of confident indifference toward me.

“that depends, ” She said coyly.

“on what,” I said, feigning a smile. My mind raced on what she might say next. Was she asking because she had expensive taste? I had an alright job, but I certainly didn’t have money to blow. I was never much good at flirting ether, if she said anything witty I’d certainly struggle to respond.

She turned her body in her chair and licked her lips seductively

“On how long we’re staying.” she finished.

I could feel myself flush involuntarily. I had been planning on coming over to strike up small talk, and of course in the back of my mind I had hoped it would lead to more. But if I was being honest with myself, I was never expecting that moment to come. Now that it had and so suddenly I found myself struggling for excuses why we should have another drink, and maybe stay awhile

My apartment’s a mess.. I could say, I could say that .. no she’d think I was a slob… I’m staying out of town.. no then I’d need to book a motel.

While my mind tried to find a way out her face changed and while she never said it, I could tell she was bored.

“I drink an old fashioned,” she said flatly as she turned towards the bar.

I felt flush. Further, I could order her drink, but then what would I do? She obviously knew I wasn’t who she thought. No, I finally resolved it. This is going to be my night.

“My place or yours?” I finally blurted out, in what I hoped was a flirtatious tone.

What felt like an eternity started, she didn’t move a muscle but I could see a small smile cross her face.

She raised her right hand and gestured to the bartender “check please”

Without a glance, the bartender went to his computer and tapped on the screen a few times. Moments later, a small slip of paper slid out of the printer beside the machine which he snatched up quickly and placed in front of me without ever glancing up.

I chuckled quietly, both at the audacity and at my nerves.

Clearly, this woman knows her way around these encounters, and the barkeep knows it.

I fished for my wallet and pulled out some cash before placing it gingerly on the bar. The bill wasn’t huge but it wasn’t paltry either, and with the tip, I effectively had my wallet cleaned out. She finally slipped out of her chair at the bar and started heading for the door her dress accenting her bottom making it shake gently with every stride. I let my eyes rest for several moments then slowly moved up the smooth curve of her back to where her hair met her shoulder. I realized she had not brought her purse, and I doubted she could hide a card anywhere on that dress.

It was at that moment she turned her head back to to me,

“Are you coming big boy” she called coyly.

I felt my face flush once more as I snapped back to reality and stumbled forward. I quickly passed by her and grabbed the door making a sweeping gesture to allow her to pass (who said I couldn’t be a gentleman).

As we cleared the doorway I could feel the cool autumn air on my face. I flipped up my collar to provide a bit of protection and picked up my pace to fall in beside her as we faced the busy street. A taxi rounded the corner and I raised my hand to hail it down. I opened the door allowing her to step in first before following quickly behind.

The cab smelled of cigarettes mixed with the faint smell of vomit and old food. The seats themselves were made of cloth that was clearly worn and stained. A sheet of plexiglass sat between the front and back seats dividing the driver from the passengers. Marks were etched into it, some bearing resemblances to characters, others promising a good time by calling what I suspect was an unsuspecting ex’s phone number.

The driver peered at us from his rearview mirror he appeared to be an older man his face leathery with a strong o’clock shadow. he wore a checkered flat cap which covered greying greasy hair.

“Where to” he said in a gruff voice

I looked at her, and she at me, meeting my gaze. A smile slowly spread across her face

“Why you’ve been so kind this evening as to pay for my drinks, it’s the least I can do to host you”

She turned to the driver, “take us to 236 Parker Street”

with that the driver reached forward and pressed a button on the device in the middle of his dashboard causing to display the number “3.50” in bright red. The car lurched forward and we were on our way.

The drive was mostly wordless, I focused mostly on the number on the display tick up every few seconds “7.50 … 8.00” my mind focused on the night ahead. Were we going to have sex tonight? Should I spend the night with her or leave? As I thought about what might happened I realized I hadn’t even asked this woman her name.

I turned to her she was starring out the window into the street watching as storefronts went by punctuated by the occasional tree, or car. I opened my mouth ready to speak, and almost as if she had read my mind she answered.


“What?” I said taken aback

“You were going to ask my name, were you not?” she said, and turned once more to face me.

“I … uh” I stammered unsure of how to proceed.

She simply smiled and placed her hand on my cheek.

“Surely you must have a name as well”

“Robert” I said quickly, “But most people call me Rob”

“Well Robert, this is my place” She said as the car came to a stop.

“23.50” came the voice of the cabby from the front. I fished for my wallet once again and took out my bank card

“uhh.. debit?” I said sheepishly,

The cabby groaned loudly and opened a compartment between the seats he shuffled around moving what sounded like piles of paper before finally producing a small debit machine. He pressed a button upon it and the screen came to life presenting a crude spinning globle and the brand name above. After what felt like an eternity it finally beeped at him indicating it was ready.

He jammed the keys on the keypad to enter the amount in and handed it back to me. I slipped my card quickly in the machine and entered my code. I tried not to think to hard on the money I was putting out tonight.

Finally the machine chimed to let me know it had successfully taken my cash and we exited the cab back into the cool night air. before us was a large rot iron fence leading up a long path to an impressive Gothic style home Grotesques flanking the entryway on tall stone pillars. We walked up to the building and I gathered she could sense my astonishment at her home.

“It was my grandfather’s home, he willed it to me before he served in the war. He was an Architect and had promised her the finest home money could buy so he built this for her.”

“It’s beautiful” I said, my mouth agap and my head turning to take in the courtyard. compared to my small apartment, this place was practically a mansion.

She looked at me and giggled, “Well are you just going to stare or are you going to come in” she said in a flirtatious tone.

I snapped my mouth shut abruptly and I felt my face flush once more. I knew I was way out of my league with her and with every step I felt like I was putting my foot in my mouth. I decided to put on what I hoped was a confident look and stepped toward the door before turning to her and gesturing forward.

“After you!” I insisted.

She giggled again “Such a gentleman” she chided before withdrawing her keys from between her breasts. She leaned forward to insert the key into the lock taking care to push out her butt as she went as she did so the folds of her dress revealed she had nothing beneath it. she peered back at me as she slowly slid the key into the lock and licked her lips. I felt my heart rate increase and an involuntary jitter go through my body.

She turned the lock slowly and pushed the door open revealing a dimly lit foyer with marble flooring and a wooden staircase disappearing above the doorframe to what I assumed was a loft. “Oh you know just your stereotypical rich persons masion, no big deal” I thought to myself.

She stepped through the doorway looking back at me coyly. I swiftly followed suit closing the door gently behind me. The room I entered bore an age to it I had not expected the flooring bore several cracks and the banister of the stairs showed signs of wear as though it had years of use. Perhaps most unusual was the dust that appeared to coat everything as though the house had been abandoned for years. Cobwebs hung from the chandeliers and clung to the stairs.

What appeared to be a living room sat to the right of the only light illuminating it came from the chandelier above us leaving it mostly shrouded in darkness. However an odd shape caught my attention and I squinted to see it clearly. As my eyes adjusted it appeared to be sheets covering most of the furniture.

I started to feel an uncomfortable nagging feeling that something wasn’t quite right. My brain kept nagging at me to just turn around and walk away, after all I wasn’t obligated to stay. But another part of me, the primitive part, the part that feared rejection and lusted for something normally out of it’s reach kept my feet firmly planted.

She must have sensed at that moment something in a casual tone, “Mind the mess, I only recently started living in the place full time and I rarely have company” over her shoulder as she headed past the stairs toward another room which appeared to be the kitchen.

I stood there for a moment and again considered my options, I could leave right now the door was right there after all. But then again, I had no real reason to panic the house was just a little dusty. I chalked the uneasiness up to my nerves about the evening and headed toward the kitchen behind her.

Unlike the fourier before it, the kitchen was immaculate. stainless steel appliances surrounded a an island in the middle of the room. The counters appeared to be granite and reflected the bright white light coming from the 3 LED bulbs contained within their round frosted fixtures hanging down from the ceiling.

The floor was hardwood contrasting starkly with the white marble of the fourier ending at the doorway, and making the two rooms feel like separate homes entirely.

Across the kitchen a small table sat with 4 chairs around it. The table itself appeared to be a simple wooden table stained black and decorated with a simple doily upon which sat a bowl full of fruit. Beyond the table she stood before a bar cart pouring fluid out of an ornate decanter into two lowball glasses. She sat the decanter down before picking up both glasses and holding one out toward me. I quickly crossed the room taking the glass from her and giving it a quick sniff.

While I didn’t have the most refined olfactory pallet, I could tell immediately it was a whisky of some kind. It had an inoffensive smokey odour to it and a rich golden colour, and I was quite sure it was a top-shelf quality.

“Cheers,” She said, holding out her glass to me.

“What are we cheering to?” I asked back

“To new beginnings.”

She smiled, though it didn’t quite seem sincere somehow. I could feel that familiar feeling in my stomach again, like my mind was trying to tell me something that I could not quite consciously put my finger on. Unfortunately for me though, the female figure is a powerful motivator and she had plenty of that and knew exactly how to use it.

We gently touched our glasses together and she gently brought hers to her lips watching me intently while doing so. I took a deep swig of mine and felt the smooth and rich taste fill my senses as I swallowed. The familiar tingle filled my throat and awakened my senses. It was definitely a drink way above my pay grade.

We took some time here to speak, me about my life, her most about her job avoiding anything beyond that. After several minutes, however, I could feel myself becoming tipsy. Strange, I thought to myself, I hadn’t had that much to drink.

My vision started to get blurry and black around the edges and grew inward threatening to envelope everything. I could feel my body starting to feel weak and I dropped my glass and stumbled to the floor. Finally, it clicked, and everything made sense.

“You drugged me…” I muttered with my last breath.

Then blackness.

When I awoke I found myself in a dimly lit room. My head ached and I could feel a strange burning sensation on my arm. I lifted my head slowly, and winced as thundering pain threatened to drive me unconscious once more.

The room appeared to be largely bare save for the bed that I found myself in, a simple nightstand with an ornate rot iron lamp and a chair upon which a pile of cloths sat. I lifted the covers quickly and found that I had been undressed. Small lacerations appeared on my thighs and genitals and on my forearm a deep puncture wound where a red line travelled until ending at my chest.

As i observed I suddenly felt another presence in the room. Not in the way you might suspect through sight, or even sound. This presence almost seemed to envelop my consciousness. I looked up to find my host but she looked much different now. What had once been a beautiful figure with defined features appeared before me as what I can only describe as a demon. In her hands a young woman her mouth tapped and her arms and legs bound.

“You should eat. You’re probably starved.” Said the thing, and she pushed the bound woman at me.

I wanted to help her, my mind screamed for me to as my hands acted almost as though they had a mind of their own. I felt a swirl of emotion of hunger, of lust, of an almost primal need. I felt myself become engorged and my mouth salivating.

The woman screamed through her bindings as my hands tore through her clothing effortlessly and I had my way with her. I could feel her fear, her pain. I clamped down on her wrist and the warm taste of blood filled my mouth. She jerked several times before stopping and I released my grip.

“What have you done to me” I screamed but no words came from my mouth. My body, as though controlled by a new master stood up to face my host. It handed me a tissue and I could feel myself dab my mouth off. I walked over to the clothes that had been laid out before me. A suit consisting of pants, shirt and a jacket with a red tie. I quickly put on the new outfit before walking over the mirror to adjust my tie.

I could see my host standing behind me and as I looked from it to me, and me to it I could not tell the difference. I laughed, and it laughed with me and as I opened my eyes I saw myself once again and my host has she had been when I met her.

“Well you’re quite the story teller Mr… “

“You can call me Rob,” I say as I take another sip of my drink.

“I’ve got plenty more where that came from,” I say with a wink and motion the bar tender for the tab.

“My place or yours”.






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