Skye is happy, pretending to be totally human, but her canine removal frustrates her need to bite after sex.
That frustration holds, until the goddess Satis informs her that she will bear a special daughter to be, like her, vampire, witch and succubus.
The father of this special child could not possibly be Skye's pathetic, but rich, hubby Peter, so will it be Kath's Michael or Pamela's Tim and how can those ‘friends’ be side lined while Skye finds out.
A story of frustrations and satisfactions, vampire turnings, kidnappings carried out by those that hate Lilith - the first wife of Adam, Judith the CEO being suspected, and a trip abroad on a rescue mission, but above all - Skye's satisfaction by being the small but powerful faction within the cult of Satis.
Satis-faction, the story of fantasy creatures inhabiting a human world.
Chapter One. Skye. Sunday 5th June 1977.
Skye tucked her raven-black hair behind her ears but no reflection stared back at her from her bedroom window; no picture of her bright blue eyes or makeup that was always immaculate was confirmed. So, this would allow her full concentration on her calling on the goddess Satis. The low, morning sun picked out one side of the houses below her, down the hill, and forming a guard of honour for her magnificent dwelling. Nobody could see in through the one-way, spell-proof glass; nobody could see her bare chest or her nakedness below the window sill.
All the windows of her semi-mansion were constructed to husband Peter's specification, all with a smoky-grey glass and something to do with cheaper energy bills, he'd told her. That was except for the glass supplied by Skye's witching-mother for the bedroom. Skye smiled when she thought of Janice, her mother and the simple way she got around the glaziers on the site when the house was being built for Skye.
Skye's life was one of decadent luxury, fuelled by a hard-working, golf playing husband.
Who could resist a man building a home for his little woman at the top of a hill? Who could resist his charms on his announcing that I need never work again and only needed to organise my cleaners, gardeners and trips to the hairdresser and beautician while he constantly played golf? My only job in life is to organise his occasional cocktail parties for friends and colleagues, to look glamorous and to soak up the comments from his golfing friends of how jealous of him they are.
As required by those seeking total witch-concentration, no distraction from clothing or even a lack of clothing was felt due to the stable house temperature, but she did miss the communal broom circles of her youth, the nakedness of the open air and the drug infused besom-brush handle between the legs that hallucinated her head into a flying sensation.
Mam and her cousin Shelagh still attend, still brew potions to rub onto besom handles, still rub the length of those long handle-lengths between their legs looking for damp areas and bodily, osmotic-ingestion; but that all seems like a youthful experiment to me and I'm built for greater things. Maybe it's not the chemicals from the herbs that I miss, maybe it's something a bit rougher and demanding than my Peter.
Some of those that she’d included in 'The Pack' lived in the street seen from her window, some lived close, others lived nearer the centre of town. All were reachable by her mind. None were fellow witches; all were in her control.
I would still be just a witch if mam hadn't married Daniel the provider of fertilisation for the family’s women. Poor Daniel, she told me, had no idea of his mother's Egyptian heritage, her genealogical links with Satis or the fact that his own making came on his mother's Greek holiday when she was incubus-dreamed by a Greek looking for a one-night stand, and who found it with her the following evening. It all makes me different, hungrier, in need of action other than organising house cleaners. I need something for The Pack to do but see no future, cannot see into the future, need Satis to help me. My life is complete except for the dribbling into me of Peter the golfer. He putts, the ball dribbles forward but somehow, yet again, he’s missed the hole. Mam's herbs keep me from pregnancy but I doubt his dribble could reach its targeted egg anyway.
Hubby Peter was wealthy, loving, faithful, and kind, a rare combination in any man, maybe unique. Greta, Skye's lover, knew Skye more intimately, with that feeling being shared, but still something was missing for Skye. Something else was needed. Skye would find it.
I've never seen myself as ordinary, and it would be stupid to think that way. Let's say I have a greater than average appetite that has to be fed. Greta supplies the orgasms, Peter supplies the lifestyle, my canine removal has left me unable to feed on my sex-partners and this all leaves me frustrated.
Skye's head turned slightly. Donna lived just down the road and on the right. She was now rid of her evil husband, had changed in character and was soon to change again beyond all recognition. Skye knew that future through thought-reading as a witch. Kath, living opposite Donna had her affair, but that was finished when big Larry was assassinated by The Pack. Kath came off the pill and now looked after little Larry with all his baby demands. Judith, a rich businesswoman had her husband who she controlled with an iron hand, a whip and a riding crop, and then there was Pamela, far too happy with a man who, apparently, could work wonders in the bedroom.
A dear friend but the bitch boasts of Tim’s prowess far too openly, going on about the things neither Peter nor Greta can provide me with.
And then there’s me. Skye, the instigator of all that has been in The Pack and all that is to come and the only one who, outwardly anyway, appears to have an ordinary life, happily married to dear Peter and being the good housewife to the successful businessman while all those around me seek adventure and find it.
Skye was not naïve enough to believe that the turbulent, near-future that now bit at the pit of her stomach would be directed by her alone. Gaia, the spirit of the Earth, the female entity that birthed the Earth from her starlit womb and maintained the planet's equilibrium, despite the stupid actions of all the races that inhabited it, would instruct cousin Monique’s boss Galmau, and he would then manoeuvre Monique and thence Skye to dictate the actions of The Pack.
Too many chiefs. Why not deal with me direct?
Still at the window, Skye shook her naked body and looked down the street to Donna's house again, opposite Kath's. Donna wasn't there, but with witch, mind-reading powers Skye found her at work in her newsagent's shop where she was disgruntled and ready for change, big change and would ask Skye for it soon.
Kath was at home, had fed her baby and was one of those earth mothers that relished being fed from, and passing her earth-spirit on to her offspring, something her husband could not do, and which made her feel like the real and only parent now that hubby had done his minor stuff. Kath loved feeding her baby so much that she wanted more, needed more and would be a milk-nurse if asked. Skye shook again. Change was afoot in that household also, something to do with Michael’s wishes. A ripple in the air around Skye blurred her vision as if making her see the outside world through gauze.
My core builds with anti-period-pain, there not yet being a single word for that pleasant feeling, at least no word for another hundred years or so to come. It’s pushing pleasure up into my chest, hardening nipples to bursting point and making them ache. Poor Kath thinks babies are the answer to releasing that feeling. Change is coming and my trembling womb feels its approach and the gigantic consequences. Some say ‘I feel it in my water’ without knowing what they are saying. I feel world-change in my womb and in my nipples and know exactly what it means. This feeling, no fingers involved, certainly no man involved, just me and Satis. I hereby take the energy of Kath's feeding, the energy of Donna's need for a real man, Pamela’s pleasuring by Tim and Judith's power over her husband. All that power is now mine, concentrated within me.
A long and slow intake of breath whistled through Skye's nose as her arms started to rise automatically, palms upward, arms out to her side, her head back stretching her neck, a begging cruciform with the power picked up in her hands being directed towards her core muscles. The feeling of power waned as Satis approached and Skye felt existentially small within the universe.
Gaia has birthed the many galaxies that revolve around her, each galaxy produced on her orgasms that needed no male. Each galaxy has a huge number of solar-systems, each solar-system with planets around it and moons to those planets. On our planet I am tiny and revolve around my home, I am made of millions of atoms that are tiny solar-systems joined together to make me human and a servant of Satis. I am one of those humans with links directly back up that chain, not to Gaia admittedly, but as far as Satis.
Satis took over, after years of the secrecy of her existence being locked within Skye's soul. The Pack knew because it had been proved to them, that Skye's vampire, close-to, mind-reading powers existed as did her vampire nerve-reading fingers. That has been proved to the doubters and is beloved of my semi-secret lover Greta, who benefits from me knowing how she feels, what she wants, and where next to move dexterous fingers, or not to move, in a teasing fashion. They all know also that my witch powers include long-range mind reading and thought-speak.
The Pack had discovered, thanks to Skye assisting Judith in killing Colin, that her succubus powers allowed her to enter a man's dreams and treat him in such a way that he couldn't do without the real Skye, or in that particular case, the Judith that she'd imitated in his dream.
Satis uses dexterous fingers on me, easily knows my mind, knows how to separate mind and body by using me body to affect my separated mind.
The sneer on Skye's face looked evil and came over her without her wanting it. Evil-looking was totally out of character for such a caring and usually helpful woman. Her non-pregnant body wanted to move to a squat, as if to give birth in the old way, without lying down. The squatting woman carved into the wall of that Egyptian temple she'd visited came to mind. Gaia, giving a squatted birth to the fragile planet, but yet again in miniature form.
Skye’s head jerked back again without her knowing why as her arms, still in perfect cruciform display, balanced her and her legs spread out to allow for flowing bodily fluids from Satis as if Skye was partly giving birth, partly orgasming, as she slowly achieved her squat position. Skye chanted in Ancient Egyptian as her eyes rolled up inside her head and would have appeared to turn white, had anyone witnessed her act.
Her ancient Egyptian had been learned from her gran. "Oh Satis. Goddess over all females. Look down on your humble servant, a mere pawn in your ambitions. I am without a male inside me, do not need a male inside me, need only femininity to rule the world without males. Oh, Satis with your three faces, look on me with your face of vampire; look on me with your face of witch; look on me with your face of succubus.”
On chanting the ancient Egyptian word for ‘succubus’ Skye’s stomach spasmed doubling her over, her arms unable to help being spread wide and pinned there as she settled on her knees., her nose on the floor in submission The anti-period-pain feeling orgasmed out of her and her whole body bucked like a wild animal before she found herself sitting, sweating, looking at the spoiled, cream carpet through bulging eyes.
So it is. The future comes to me as a gift from Satis. Donna wants the excitement of killing again and wants it made possible by being turned to vampire. Pamela is too content and needs adventure over a long journey, but without Tim her precious sex machine. Judith is missing assassination, doesn't get satisfaction by punishing her husband with whip and crop and looks for more. Kath has completely ditched her vodka bottle, feels that her new-found sobriety leaves her lacking and will find enjoyment feeding her husband, dirty cow, passing her spirit into him as well as the new baby; Greta is mine and always will be and satisfies my needs where husband Peter fails as a mere male, and I am the servant of Satis and will show them all which way to travel, purely for my own single pleasure.
Tim will be mine for a borrowed time, long enough for me to appreciate what Peter hasn't got and to imitate the affair that Kath had. Could it be Tim that fertilises me to give birth to the next daughter of Satis? Every time Pamela boasts of his bedroom prowess, I imagine his juices shooting into me like a bullet. She doesn't notice my clenching, holding him inside me, in my head. The line of Satis has to be continued. Peter is pathetic but I wouldn't want him any other way. Tim, I guess will be my surrogate sperm donor. Or is it Michael, full of the baby bond passed to him by Kath?
As quickly as Satis had taken over Skye's head, she left it and left Skye sat in a sober stupor, trying desperately to remember everything that had passed through her head while she breathed too quickly. Had she seen a brief and future flash of an unknown room containing herself and Pamela's partner Tim? Witch power gave her the ability to mind read but only Satis showed the future. Was Satis telling her to take Tim from Pamela? Or Michael from Kath? Where was that room? A hotel? A gentleman's club? It looked somehow masculine.
The vision of me in that room with my men was the final divulged morsel from Satis and the reality of what he was doing to me completed my orgasm. It was all as I imagine a porno movie to be. Tim orgasmed me while Michael fed from my somehow milk-producing breast. One at a time please boys. Right. Clean up this mess with a damp cloth is my guess, then toilet paper, then that stain remover thing that my cleaners use, wherever they hide it, and then I’d better shower before I get a meal on, ready for Peter's return. The day of a servant of Satis is never finished until it's over. Where is my dressing gown? Another naked day under a gown, at least until an hour before he's due home. Dressing now would seem too human. I have a powerful daughter to birth but I also enjoy the silk feeling on bare skin.
Chapter Two. Donna Madison. Monday 6th June.
No newsagent customers for ten minutes allowed Donna's mind to drift as she watched her boss from the safety of her counter. Instead of threatening Skippy-the-Greek, her boss, Donna knew that she should have vaulted her serving counter, missing the till with her feet, and landed on his back, sinking her fangs into his neck, gorging on his warm blood until he breathed no more. “I did tell you Skippy that there would be consequences if you stroked my backside one more time." He couldn't hear her, he was dead and it was time for her to move on; except that Donna wasn't a vampire, not moving on and was stuck in a boring life and needed to snap out of her imaginary world and get back into the real, exciting world of remembering who had which paper, and which fags, and getting them ready for them before they reached the counter.
There was something seriously missing in her life and it wasn't just the lack of excitement since Pamela and her had shot those two kidnapping rapists in the Scottish forest. Well, maybe it was partly that. "Doptes," Donna's-post-traumatic-excitement-syndrome, as the girls in The Pack liked to call her condition, should not have to last for four years, no condition should. But, if there was nothing to replace that excitement then, well, the brain invents scenarios, childish scenarios like killing Skippy. The time is ripe for my change, I can feel it in my water, whatever that means.
Going out with someone for two years and watching things slowly fizzle out seems wrong and doing that twice is boring and a waste of four years of a woman's life. I'm not getting any younger.
Geoff and I just passed our two-year anniversary, not that the male brain knows what an anniversary is, so it's about time he fizzled out as well. He's a dud firework that spurts into life periodically but no longer does unexpected things to light my bonfire. We do still satisfy each other in bed but there should be more to life than that, surely. An affair maybe? It might be safer than me becoming a vampire.
Peg came in for her usual ten fags, looking as depressed as Donna used to look when Colin kept her mentally and physically controlled and only allowed her out to shop for his food. Peg asked for ten, Donna gave her twenty and felt a minor rush of excitement because Skippy was tidying the birthday card rack near the counter. Peg was about to open her mouth to explain Donna's mistake but saw her shaking a 'no' along with enlarged eyes. She took her change from ten cigarettes and left hurriedly. God, is this what excitement in my life has come to. The shop is quiet so it's back to reading the newspapers for me.
Three newspapers read, a handful of customers served, and the shop phone rang. The morning rush was over, so his highness was upstairs in his flat so now it was Donna's job to answer. "Bridge Street, Corner Newsagent. Donna speaking. How may I help you today?"
"Very posh dear. It's more how I can help you I think."
"Skye. How are you? It must be a month since we last spoke. Nothing wrong with Pamela is there?"
"Six weeks since the last meeting of The Pack love but I think it feels like even more, and why would there be anything wrong with your bestie? A meeting tomorrow at two if you can get away from that telephone answering job. Usually, when we meet in the middle of the day, Judith, Greta and Pamela share a car so Pamela should be there. I believe you still have Tuesday afternoons off? Greta may have something for us, maybe not though. She wants a group-answer to whether to pursue a case before she gets too bogged down in it, plus it gives us all a chance to catch up on gossip over tea. It's handy having Pamela and Greta working for Judith so they can all get here. Kath can always join us but will probably bring the baby so I arrange it for Tuesday afternoon to accommodate the most important Donna.”
Even though she was on her own, Donna lowered her voice. "When I knew it was your voice Skye, I had this horrible feeling you were going to say Pamela had been in an accident, don't know why, boredom and mind wandering from this job probably. Do you remember the question I asked you, four years ago now, about maybe joining Monique in one of her gateway-realms and becoming like her and you?”
"Like it was yesterday and I told you to get over the excitement of your killing mission, take some time to find a normal relationship and … ah, I'm guessing things between you and Geoff are not working out as planned and you feel being turned may be the answer."
"It's not his fault Skye. Obviously, no woman would want to go back to the abuse I suffered from Colin but Geoff is, I don't know, ordinary is the only word I can come up with and I'm bored with ordinary. I nearly called him Paul the other day and I think they could both be labelled as boringly average, with nothing spectacular about either of them. There's just no feeling of being in love there and I don't even know if I have any idea of what it's supposed to feel like anyway."
Donna had a quick think between exchanges, decided her idea of being in love was enjoying hot sex with a friend, and no, it wasn't like that in novels because the girl was supposed to be infatuated by the bloke, with or without sex, usually without until maybe the last chapter.
“I've mentioned before that me and Geoff are really compatible in bed and it's great physically, but I need something more than that but don't know what. Now that I think of it, we are so bloody compatible it's taken me two long years to work out I need love in a spiritual sense and not just him being a constant orgasm-producing machine. I think. Have you ever been in a position where you're bored with a bloke but can't kick him out because it would leave you alone in your bed at night? The word full-fill-ment comes into my mind and please, don't mention dildos because it just isn't the same in my mind after Colin abusing me so badly with them."
She heard Skye laughing on the other end of the line. “No is the short answer, love. My first ever physical relationship was an arranged marriage to vampire royalty, to Prince Trank when I was a virgin. It ended up with me kicking him into touch and sleeping on the streets of our town until Peter found me, took me home and married me, so I'm not the one to ask about long-term relationships with boyfriends, or looking for the right one to settle down with. As you can imagine, my life with the lovely Peter every night, coupled with the occasional Greta during the day is bliss for me. I take it you'd like me to speak to Monique? It's a huge decision Donna, deciding to get your teeth. By the way love, being turned and then being integrated back into the human world would not give you permission to bite your boss, even if he does keep touching your arse."
So, she was reading my brain waves, using her witch powers before ringing, might be doing so even now. "I think I'm ready, Skye. I'm desperate for something different in my life and I think this could be it. I think I'm begging. Have you read my thoughts about biting him then?"
Skye didn't try to change Donna's mind but did ignore her question at first. "Umm. Monique and Tristan are in France at the moment, I believe. That would be no good for you, unless you want to learn the language. I bet she could arrange something closer to home though. I'll suggest to her that she lines up ten or so single, vampire men of good moral character and schooled in the modern ways; that's modern as far as vampires are concerned mind you. Then you can spend some time with each and decide which one you want to turn you, if any. Witch reading, about you biting your boss, love. Vampire reading is only close-up reading and, as you are aware, I have both. I’ve just had a human thought. You turning would probably destroy your thing of two couples out together, so maybe, you would lose some contact with Pamela. Maybe that was why you felt concerned for her. On the other thing, Greta brings her own and my battery-operated toy is in my drawer for nights when Peter is tired or has had a long game of golf.”
Donna vaguely heard Skye's words and crossed her legs thinking about Monique's gorgeous husband and equally hot son that Monique had brought to one meeting of The Pack; but Skye was still being logical and, if she was still reading Donna's mind, she ignored her thighs rubbing together as she listened to Donna's thoughts and talked to her.
"I'm not sure if I explained this the last time you asked, dear? Your chosen partner will use nerve-reading fingers to understand your likes and dislikes, the same as I did to you to prove I was a vampire. He'll enter and climax you every time, but not necessarily in that order, that's guaranteed, bite you to extend your orgasm for as long as you both wish and, should you then agree, cut himself, pour his blood into your mouth and you will have your teeth and other vampire attributes within a day or so."
"God Skye. You make it sound so clinical, like going to the dentist's or having a cervical smear or something. They are good though, vampire men?"
"Better than Geoff or Paul, or even as you've sometimes fantasised, both of them at the same time. Taught from an early age on how to pleasure a woman. That's purely a selfish thing for them though, just because of their love of endorphin and sugar-rich blood that you will be full of, post climax, along with a little adrenaline. The more he can make your body shudder into a state of oblivion, the richer the blood for him, so it will be in his interest that you almost die of orgasmic pleasure. Problem is, you will have the same desires after you've been turned and will want to bite men and, well, you know. That's why it could be good for you and the man who turns you to stay together and bite each other."
Donna's crossed legs, behind the counter, were rubbing quicker at the thighs now and she was beginning to bend into the counter. She knew from experience that once her elbows rested on the papers and her head faced down in mock reading, that her climax would arrive but then disappear just as quickly. "So how do you cope then Skye? Having dumped your arranged-marriage vampire man and now spending your life with Peter.” She asked in her 'not about to come’ squeaky voice.
"I craved an ordinary human life, a life of not even being a witch anymore. I was a witch, vampire, succubus and those powers were taking over so I wanted to be just human. You are human and want to be vampire; what do they say about the grass being always greener? Peter paid for bridge work to lose what he deemed freaky teeth and to get normal teeth for me and paid to have my death tattoos removed, as you've seen, believing Trank to be an American punk guitarist. I'm happy to love Peter and have probably been in love with him since our schooldays, just before that arranged marriage. If you remember, Monique was told that all our destinies were dictated by her boss, Galmau, including yours."
Skye was in an info giving mood so Donna decided to take advantage. "You've mentioned death tattoos before. Will I have them?"
"Only if you marry. Being turned won't affect your protection status but if you stay with him, he'll want you to be shown to be owned by him. It's their way and has been for centuries. You can be boss in your own household but you will have to act subservient to him in public, as Monique does with Tristan, and he’ll be the boss in bed obviously. His first name, after any marriage ceremony, will be tattooed onto each of your breasts and just above your pubic hair, if you have any. Anyone who attempts to touch any of those places would then be, legally, wiped off the face of the earth by your husband."
"You've given me a lot to think about Skye. Thank you. I'll dwell on it overnight and let you know at the meeting tomorrow."
Skye sniggered into the phone. "Pretend to dwell all you like Donna dear, but know that I detect even from here that you only have one more clenching motion in you before you have your climax. To me you seem to have already made up your mind and will spend the night thinking about being penetrated with a monster sized weapon filling you so that it touches every nerve ending at the same time and yes, it will feel as if it’s lasting forever. Best I can explain in words is that it’s not like the church steeple you just climbed, falling quickly down the other side, it's more like a dome that he'll take you up slowly, a huge dome and you'll stay at the top of the dome until he stops biting and then he'll let you slowly roll down the other side of the dome back to normality.”
The rest of Donna’s day dragged, having none of the excitement of her phone call from Skye. Eventually, at the end of her shift, she walked home with no haste in her steps. She thought, briefly, about Geoff but decided her trip to a vampire realm would be enhanced by a pre-visit fasting. Her behind-the-counter climax would be her last in the human world, she decided, her next would come courtesy of a vampire hunk.
Television was boring not that she gave it that much attention and then, later again, sleep was sporadic and full of waking dreams, mainly centred around pictures on bodice-ripper book covers.
Chapter Three. Pamela. Monday 6th June.
The blank piece of office wall opposite Pamela's desk often showed images of her thoughts, or lack of thoughts. Her accounting workload was minimal, unless something big happened, and she was aware that for most of the time she didn't earn her salary; so, she had to come good on the big ones, the ones where Judith’s company recovered vast amounts of money and those exercises hopefully compensated for her above-average earnings. She hadn't expected Tim to happen along though, to sweep her off her feet, move in to share his life with her and to treat her like a princess.
A knock at her office door jolted her out of the grinning daydream, a 'come in' from Pamela as she picked up her pen and her boss Judith entered the room that she owned, situated in the factory that she owned, but she always still politely knocked.
"Just called for a chat,” she told Pamela and they both knew that there was probably more to it than that. "Wondered how you and Tim were, how settled you are, and whether he'd be okay with you heading off for a couple of days, starting tomorrow morning, heading for some investigative accounting? Week at the most."
Pamela couldn't help but smile at the memory that popped into her head. "That's what I told him I'd be doing the last time you sent me away. That time it was to the forests of Scotland, with Donna, in search of that kidnapper. I sometimes wonder if Tim thought it would be a regular occurrence and was surprised that my disappearing to 'check accounts' was a one off. I'd only known him for a couple of days at the time but still explained to him how I'd return to him pure and we even promised to be true in our absence from each other."
Out of my comfort zone, so no, I don’t want to go and leave Tim. She’s the boss though and pays well so it has to be. She said a couple of days then said a week at the most so I'm guessing a fortnight.
Judith picked up a hard chair and brought it around to Pamela's side of the desk. “I think the version you told The Pack was that you made sure he wouldn't want sex for a fortnight before you left, with him wondering what had hit him.”
Pamela blushed, having forgotten her revelation to her friends.
Bringing the chair around. Does she want to be a friend rather than a boss, or maybe she wants to be close to be quiet so that nobody overhears us. It could be that as the boss, she cannot abide to be looking up to me in my large, leather manager's chair?
Judith spoke as a friend rather than a boss. "It was instant for you and Tim, wasn't it? All my own loves have been a gradual getting to know a bloke before falling in love so I never did the 'eyes across the dance floor' thing like you did. So romantic."
Pamela's fingertips touched together to make a church steeple as she pushed against her chair-back. That patch of bare wall opposite her desk took her focus as she relished the memory of the moment that Tim and her had met. "Eyes across the shooting range. Yes, it was instant for both of us. It was the day you issued The Pack with our pistols and bra-clips, after our first lesson at the range. I knew that day that I wanted him, felt the electricity between us and knew I'd regret it for the rest of my life if I didn't book another lesson for the following day with my favourite instructor."
Judith smirked. "So, he gave you one. Lesson that is." Raised eyebrows showed her real meaning.
Pamela knew just how lucky she was to have a friend as a boss. "I made it obvious that I wanted him and snogged him against the shooting trap wall, nearly pushed him through it. It was the type of snog that told him I wanted him to ravage me, there and then. He went all respectful on me and said he didn't want to take advantage of me and so he took me for a meal to get to know me a bit better but, to be honest, I just wanted to get into his underpants. He knew I had no car, drove me home, I asked him in for coffee and he drove me home again."
"The lesson that you really wanted."
"Yes. The lesson that taught me I'd enjoyed relationships, enjoyed sex, but it was a lot different if that sex came packaged with someone you loved deeply, who was able to use his pistol to pleasure his woman above all his other feelings and then show her how quickly he could reload his magazine, or even carry on pleasuring me with an empty gun. When Donna and I were in our tent in the forest, I explained to her what happened that day in extremely minute detail and we've been close friends ever since."
Pamela gulped as she finished the sentence, remembering that Donna, in exchange, had told her about the woman sat beside her now, treating her husband to whips and riding crops and inviting Donna to join in. Luckily Judith broke her train of thought.
"My God Pamela. You’re making me horny now. I forget why I came in."
"For a chat you said but I think it was to ask me to leave my comfortable desk and go to look for another raping kidnapper. This chat and then a Pack meeting tomorrow afternoon. Coincidence?”
"No. No love, not a kidnapper but an accounting mission with no danger and carried out for me, not for The Pack so no pistol. Scotland again though but leaving in the morning so I’ll give your apologies at the Pack meeting."
Pamela tried to smile in recognition but wasn't happy to be sent away. "The Barnadon Works? Not that I'm a super sleuth, just that it's our only Scottish plant."
"Yes. His accountants have submitted figures, my accountants have gone over them and eventually they approved them yet again, but there's something not quite right. It's important that all the companies I own treat the other companies to their best advantage so that the synergy between all the companies turns in the maximum profit for the parent company, and for the shareholders."
Pamela needed a steer. “Am I allowed to know, in advance, why you think there's something amiss."
"You’ll laugh." Judith sat back.
"Promise." Pamela told her and got ready to try hard not to laugh.
"Little things disturb me in his accounts and you'll see them better than I can but the main thing is that when we have the monthly board meeting, he, Albert Grayson, looks at me as if he's getting one over on me, enjoys that fact and it makes him smile."
Pamela didn't laugh so it required no stifling. "That's good enough for me Judith. Female intuition is more powerful in my book than any written-down accounting figures. I take it that this is a personal matter rather than just financial. I'm assuming here boss, knowing you as well as I do, that the idea of a mere male, thinking he can outwit a female boss is abhorrent to you and he would have to be taught a lesson so that the other men, in charge of the other companies you own, learn from his experience."
"Something like that dear. If he is on the make, I wouldn't want to flog him or humiliate him but I would like to see him down the road, voted off the board. What do you think?"
Secretly, Pamela thought that flogging and humiliation were weird things to say. "I'm thinking about saying to Tim, goodbye, see you I don't know when, but saying goodbye in a big way again. In a way that would make him miss me something terrible and then, when I get back, let him reclaim me like I've been gone for months."
Judith's eyes widened with jealousy. "No cooling down for you two then after a couple of years together? He really changed you, didn't he?”
"Just a tad. Before we met, I thought my life was a bit boring. Then my abduction by Colin meant I thought my life with men was over. Tim changed everything. We, me and Tim, think we're still too young for kids and want to be nearer thirty, so I'm still on the pill. By the time we decide to be parents though, we'll have practised so hard we'll be expert. So yes, I suppose he did change me. I am a bit jealous and protective though and I think that's why I'm so open with The Pack. You know, we are so active in bed that he wouldn't dream of going elsewhere so don't even flirt with my man. That's why when he wakes up in the morning he'll be drained of energy and too sore to even look at another woman while I'm away and I'll give that info to anyone who wants it.”
Once Judith had left, Pamela rang Tim at the range and prepared him for her absence, explaining in a sultry voice how she wanted to say 'so long' in her own little way. Like the darling he was, he told her he'd go home early, prepare a meal for the two of them and open a bottle of wine. Pamela believed that what she'd promised him over the phone would easily compensate for her absence and have him thinking about her for every minute that she was gone.
Tuesday 7th June.
After an evening of Tim and Pamela both trying to place the other person in a position where they wouldn't be hungry for sex for a goodly while, she woke shattered in the morning and left for Scotland on the morning train. Judith's secretary had organised a first-class ticket for her to get to Barnadon and she'd been told that the trip from the station to the works or to her hotel was to be a taxi journey and she was to keep all receipts.
Pamela's plan was to drop her case at the hotel, then get to the works and introduce herself to Mr. Albert Grayson, have a quick look around the works, maybe a tour if offered, return to her hotel, read through the accounts and start work properly the following day.
On reaching Barnadon Station, a chatty old taxi driver stared at her legs while putting Pamela’s case in the boot of his car and nearly missed the boot through lack of concentration, which made her laugh internally. He was obviously younger back in the sixties when legs were more on show and probably felt nostalgic at Pamela's efforts to get that fashion to return. She took her portfolio bag inside the taxi with her because Tim had bought it for her and she liked to keep it close. On the journey, her driver told her something about the local football team, as if she would be interested, and then made a point of standing by the taxi while she walked into The Grand. Typical sad old bloke, his life revolves around women's legs, football and probably a pint in the social club when he can afford it.
The ride in the Barnadon taxi depressed her slightly. She was aware that the town had been built on coal and that the works were positioned there because of the local coal supply, but hadn't realised the full effect that the closure of a colliery could make on the look of a town. Shops, many of them, had ‘For Sale’ or 'To Let' signs over shuttered windows, litter blew around in the streets and the few people who were out and about had their heads down.
Carrying her own case into the hotel, being the independent type, gave her an aching arm but she was able to check in early. After being informed that she was booked in provisionally for a week with an option to extend it, she headed up to her room. The mattress of the bed appeared soft when she dumped her case on it and then transferred a few crease-able clothes to the wardrobe, and then nipped back down to reception and asked directions to the works that she was told was within walking distance.
Albert, the works’ boss, asked her to call him Bert. He took her personally on a tour of the whole plant and described processes as they walked. Pamela didn't know whether it was natural for him or not but he occasionally looked her up and down as if he was undressing her with his eyes, when he believed she was concentrating on something other than the direction of his creepy stare. From the men on the shop floor, she might perhaps have expected it, even felt slightly upset if she'd been ignored, but from the boss it felt wrong. She tried not to be side-on to him because he seemed fascinated by a possible gap in her shirt top, between buttons, where a glimpse of frilly bra might have been exciting for the old codger.
When they got to the office block Pamela mentioned that she'd need a desk on the following day but didn't mind sharing an office. She was introduced to Susan Sanderson, the company personnel officer who had an office with a spare desk and they seemed to get on well. As they started to chat Bert, as Pamela now called him, drifted off back to his own office.
Pamela wasn't going to start until the following day but had to make an observation before leaving, while resting her bum on the edge of her new desk and not caring if it made a crease mark on her skin. "Susan, maybe as head of personnel, you can explain something before I go. My boss, Judith Houseman, and she's also Bert's boss, tries her hardest to get more women into engineering. Here, as far as I could see when I did the tour, the shop floor is one hundred percent male and the office block is one hundred percent female, there being around ten of you women. All the women appear to be around our age, between twenty and thirty, and all have decided to wear short skirts. It seems odd to an outsider, especially with maxi-skirts and maxi-dresses having been the in-thing for a while. Are they wearing midis here in Scotland yet? Can you understand my confusion?"
Susan looked as if she was thinking for a bit. "Head of personnel, personnel officer, actually I'm the personnel department. Maybe, where you live Pamela things are better and more on-trend but here, since the pit closed years ago, it's been hard to get a job because there are no jobs to be had. There was only the pit or the engineering works really for the men, shop-work for the women, when we had shops. It's probably an old-fashioned idea in the big outside world but Bert gives the manual jobs to men because they need to support their families. I have no say in who is taken on. I sit in on the interviews but only to advise on legal matters, contracts, that sort of thing."
"And the women?"
"Couple of things really. It's well known I think that middle-aged Bert feels powerful with young women around him, smart looking young women, not that I put myself in that category. Small man, small mind. Again, things might be different where you live but here, if you are a wee unmarried woman, working in a plant with two-hundred working men, you are not going to wear a trouser suit or a maxi skirt, as if you're not interested in being asked out by a man who actually has a job. The guys see us about the place now and then, especially in the canteen and we, the womenfolk, are all in competition with each other, looking for a husband who actually has a job and some money, while we pretend to be upset by wolf whistles and suggestive comments. Personally, my wage goes to my mother who attempts to feed herself and my two sisters who are still in school, so it doesn't go on keeping my wardrobe up to date. My father and two older married brothers all work in various parts of the mill and the foundry."
Pamela told Susan that she was smart looking and she shouldn't put herself down, that things really were different where she lived and that her town depended less on manufacturing while women fought against suggestive comments. "I wear shorter skirts for me Susan, not because I want a man, because I already have the man of my dreams and he likes me to feel good about myself and express myself in the way I dress. In fact, he bought me this skirt.”
After a few more meaningless chatty items, including Pamela discussing her snap-able pencil look in a long skirt, Pamela walked back to her hotel, thinking. She felt as if she'd gone back in time. City life hadn't reached this town where men were the breadwinners and women either stayed at home or were subjected to being looked on as objects to wolf-whistle at, to accept lewd comments, and to be allowed to marry if they could tempt a man who had a job.
When Pamela reached her hotel room, she decided that she felt even more depressed than during her initial taxi ride, especially sat alone and missing Tim. The town she was sitting in needed to change, needed to catch up with the rest of the country, but who was she to change things? She was just a stranger, passing through. Maybe she could have some influence on changing ancient ideas within the foundry. That would, at least, be a start. Not wishing to go out to look for a place to eat, not wanting to sit in the hotel restaurant on her own, she ordered room service and switched the telly on to watch while she ate.
Having emptied the rest of her case onto hangers that refused to leave the wardrobe, she sat on the bed and ran her fingers over the gold initials on the expensive leather briefcase bought for her by her man. Okay, T.I.M were not her initials but it was nice to have a bit of him in her hotel room, along with his shirt that she intended to sleep in each night, the one she hoped he wouldn't miss from their laundry basket.