Sam woke up with a start and sat on the edge of his bed, confused at the light of dawn outside his bedroom window. He had no idea what time it was. Massaging his temples, he remembered fevered dreams of making love to Audrey here in his bed. Were they dreams? He tentatively touched the left side of his neck and found a tender bruise there.
"I've left a mark. It means you're mine." The memory of her voice drifted through his mind like her scent lingering on his sheets, just traces of her presence, but she was no longer here.
He rose from the bed and went to the bathroom. Her handwriting was still on the mirror, the big red letters jarring and harsh. He leaned towards the mirror to examine the left side of his neck. As tender and warm as it felt, the spot was nigh invisible, he wouldn't need to do anything special to cover it up when he went to work.
He went to the toilet and then stepped into the shower. Maybe washing himself would help clear his head. But as he stood under the hot stream of water and closed his eyes, his mind flooded with memories of making love to her. How good it felt to fuck her and how every time she encouraged him, he felt energised as if he could go on forever. Her kisses made him euphoric, and he remembered several orgasms without ever needing to pause.
When he got out of the shower and looked in the mirror again, his cock was rock hard, and he automatically reached down to start stroking it. That strange, detached feeling came over him again as he stood there staring at himself in the mirror jerking off, as if he wasn't doing this of his own accord. The Sam in the mirror was stroking his cock, and it felt as if he had no control over it. As the arousal built up, he felt dizzy and his eyes rolled up.
"I am yours, Sire." He moaned helplessly. "Please, take me." Hearing those words come out of his mouth made him feel like he was doing this for her. Had she commanded him to look in the mirror and stroke himself for her?
"Please take me, Sire. I am all yours." He shuddered. His body tensed up as the pleasure rose like a wave inside him, and then he suddenly froze up, utterly unable to move. A whimper escaped his throat as he started to shake. But the orgasm was gone now. He groaned, feeling like the energy was pent up inside him and he couldn't let it out.
"Well done, my thrall." Was he imagining her voice? Her compliment energised him, he sighed as he regained control of his muscles and his eyes settled back in their sockets. He looked at himself in the mirror, his skin wet and shining, wondering if she enjoyed looking at his shoulders and his downy chest, wondering what she would like him to do with his hair, what she would like him to wear today. Suddenly, he saw the events of last night in a very different light. Audrey's attention was not something to fear. On the contrary, he felt a yearning for her, for the gift of her touch and her kiss. The traces of her like the postcard and the mark on his neck made the yearning bearable, as if they were tokens of her affection, a promise that she would come back.
He got dressed and made breakfast in a daze, nothing felt as real and visceral as the events of last night. Online, he had received a number of messages, some from Jack and the other players, some from work. After breakfast, he managed to drag himself to work, where most people assumed that his grogginess and his dreamy looks were related to the weekend he had spent away from reality with other roleplayers in a hotel. And that was all for the better, he supposed.
It was a dreary Monday at work and he frequently found himself just staring into space, thinking of her. Audrey… Who was she? Where had she come from? Why had she chosen him? Where was she now? And that eventually led him to the question: what happened last night? Did a vampire really stalk him from the vampire roleplaying event all the way to his home where she drank his blood and had sex with him? Looking around him at work, where everything was the same drudgery as it was every Monday, it seemed utterly unbelievable.
He hardly got any work done and as he checked his phone for messages, which ironically he did only as a way to stop himself from procrastinating more, he found a message from an unknown sender. It said "see you tonight" and there was a link to an old, black and white music video. Sam watched it with a frown. The sound of the song was a romantic ballad with lyrics that seemed to be about devotion, but some of the moments in the video were downright intimidating. The harsh lighting from the side on the singer's face with the words "every breath you take, every move you make, I'll be watching you", and the man in the background looking in through the window, all of that evoked the idea of surveillance.
He sat back in his chair, the phone still in his hand and the chatter of the office going on around him. "See you tonight" the message said and there was no doubt in his mind that it was from Audrey. All day, even in the shower this morning, he felt like she was still watching him, still stalking him. And last night, the feeling of being followed made him afraid, afraid of the unknown. But now, he knew it was her. Audrey.
He felt a thrill he couldn't explain, a shiver that went down his spine and straight into his crotch. He had been bored and horny while stuck at work before, but this was different. He remembered what he had done this morning in the bathroom, how involuntary it had felt, and he was worried that if he'd go to the restroom at work, it might happen again. So he tried to focus on his job for the rest of the day.
When the workday ended and he was making his way back home, he felt nervous. Somewhere in the back of his mind the feeling that none of this was real still lingered. However, the way his body yearned for her touch and the way his erection jumped at the mere thought of her was all too real. The bruise on his neck started to ache more and more as twilight set in and he rushed to a grocery store to pick up some food and other supplies. He paused for a second, staring at the display of pain killers in the store. He realised he was afraid to go home. Afraid of her and the power she had over him.
But it was inescapable. He left the store with his bag of groceries and his feet walked inexorably to his apartment building under the glow of the streetlamps as the sky grew dark. As he opened the mailbox out of sheer habit, he glanced towards the parking garage, thinking about just getting in his car and fleeing. But on top of the local newspaper in his mailbox was another postcard. It had a picture of one of those heart-shaped padlocks on it, chained to a fence in front of a pretty sunset. On the back, written in that same thick red sharpie, it said: "You want to surrender."
The door opened and Mrs Kampers shuffled towards the elevator. He quickly turned the postcard around, afraid she might read the glaring red letters.
"Samuel, so good to see you're doing well." She smiled at him as if he was her grandchild.
He turned to press the elevator button for her and moved aside so she could lean against the wall if she needed. "Thank you, Mrs Kampers. How is your foot?"
She made a dismissive gesture and looked at the postcard in his hand. "Heavens, is there finally time in your life for a woman? Are you sure you can fit her into your schedule?" She chuckled.
The elevator opened and she made her way inside as Sam stood there, blushing and paralysed. There was a part of him that wanted to let the elderly neighbour know that he was obsessed with her, but a different part of him wanted to deny her existence. It couldn't be real. If Mrs Kampers thought she was real… He bowed his head, clenched his jaw and stepped inside the elevator.
"Are you embarrassed, Samuel?" Mrs Kampers pressed the button for their floor and looked at him. "Oh, don't be silly. Is she coming over tonight? Tell you what, I'll turn off my hearing aid. I was planning to read anyway." When the elevator arrived, she let him go out first and as he reached his door and quickly unlocked it, she stood still and took the small devices out of her ears and put them into her purse before opening her own door.
When he entered his apartment, he slammed the door and locked it immediately. He rested his head against the door, wondering why he had done that. Did he want to keep someone out? Or was he locking himself in? He shook his head and brought the groceries to the kitchen. When he was done squaring everything away, he proceeded to put away the ironing board as well, and then went to check on his laundry. In his bedroom, he noticed that his bed was a complete mess and he started to make the bed.
A hand unmistakably squeezed his ass, and he froze, closing his eyes. His heart throbbed and he held his breath.
"Did you miss me?" She whispered in that soft, alluring tone.
"Yes." The word escaped his mouth before he had even straightened up, but when he turned around to look at her, she wasn't there. Again, her footsteps made no sound.
He stood there, feeling apprehensive. The bruise on his neck felt hot and sore and his erection strained against his pants. He took a deep breath and then asked: "Is this how it's going to be from now on? During the day I pretend to live a normal life, and at night I'm your thrall?" He swallowed, saying that word out loud made him shudder.
"Don't pretend that you don't enjoy it." Her sing-song voice sounded as if it came from the living room now. "I know what you waahaant."
"I want to know what you are." He crossed his arms defiantly. "I want to know about vampires."
After a moment of silence, her voice beckoned him. "Come here."
With his heart beating in his throat, he went to the living room, where she was sitting cross-legged in the middle of the couch. She wore a short, black dress today, with black and white striped leggings and sleeves. She gestured with her hand to come closer, and when he stopped about two feet away from her, she tilted her head at him.
"Look deep into my eyes, Sam." She commanded him.
Her eyes… He stared at her captivating eyes and felt his jaw, his shoulders and his arms go slack. He swayed on his feet as the room started to spin around him, and his knees felt weak.
"Vampires don't exist." Her voice was clear and resolute as she held his gaze.
His head felt fuzzy and he was surprised to hear himself reply "Vampires don't exist" in a strange monotone.
"You will ask no more questions." Her hand closed and seemed to pull something away from him as she said that.
His body jerked and his breath hitched as she took his ability to question her away. Involuntarily, his mouth opened and he droned: "I will ask no more questions."
She smiled and blinked very slowly. "You are my obedient thrall."
But he still wanted to understand. His mind was still his own. He took a deep breath and tensed up, he managed to somehow break her gaze and look away. "I am not," he said through clenched teeth.
She chuckled. "Oh really?"
His breath quickened and he hugged himself as he stared at the floor. He didn't even know why he tried to resist her. It was futile. She was here now, in all her compelling glory.
"I know you want to kneel before me and show me the mark." Her tone was playful and melodic, but there was an inexplicable power behind it. Immediately, his legs carried him to the couch and kneeled down, no matter how much he wanted to defy her. His hands opened his shirt collar and the first few buttons automatically. With a hot flash of deja-vu, he looked away and bared the left side of his neck for her.
"Oh you delicious boy…" She leaned towards him on the couch and touched the bruise. When her fingernails grazed the tender spot, it was like electricity traveled over his skin and made his hair stand on end. He could feel his cock jerk in his pants and he clenched his muscles to stop himself from shaking.
"You're still fighting me. Why?" Her hand touched his cheek, caressed backwards over his ear into his hair, and then suddenly gripped his hair and pulled him closer to her. "Didn't you enjoy yourself in the bathroom this morning? Don't you remember what fun we had last night? Doesn't it feel good to surrender to me?"
Whimpering, he felt his eyes roll up as a direct reaction to the way she pulled his hair. His mouth opened but he couldn't speak. Words seemed so complicated right now. If there was something she wanted him to do now, he didn't understand what or how. It was an agonising moment to be suspended in, and after a shaky breath, he uttered: "Please…"
"Good boy!" She kissed him on the forehead and let go of him. "Please what?"
He tried to blink the dizziness away as he regained control of his eyes. He licked his lips looking for the words he was supposed to say as he sat there on his knees, still offering the left side of his neck to her. "Please... take me... Sire. I'm... yours." His words were low and slow, and he closed his eyes as he said them, his cheeks burning with shame.
She moaned as if seeing him like this gave her some kind of sexual gratification. And then she buried her face in his neck. As she clutched her arms around him and pulled him in closer, she lifted him up with unexpected strength, while Sam was flooded with so much pleasure and vertigo that he felt like his limbs turned to jelly and he passed out.