Forty-five minutes later, the knock came at the door. She leaped up from where she’d been sitting on the couch, shaking, sweating, and threw open the door. He stood there, dressed in dark clothes, tall and thin and pale and smiling, always smiling, his teeth sharp and straight and white. His eyes were a light grey and sunken in his face, his hair a flat brown. Every aspect of his person seemed deliberately cultivated to suggest a lack of color, of life.
“Well?” he asked. “Aren’t you going to invite me in?”
“Stop messing around. Come inside.”
“Oh, come on. You know how much I like to hear you say it.”
She bit her lip. He was just being cruel, she knew. There was a mean streak to him and he loved taking it out on her. She never called unless she was desperate, and he knew it. And tonight she was very desperate. “Please, come in. I insist.”
He nodded, gave a little flourish and bow. “Thank you kindly. Don’t mind if I do.” He bent down to pick up a small duffel bag that he’d set on the ground and stepped inside. She knew exactly how the night would go, right down to all the teasing and deflections he would use, building up anticipation and longing and hunger within her.
He was a sadistic creature. But then, he was at least predictable in his sadism.