It was 3 weeks before All Hallows Eve and things just feel different this year. I can't figure out why. My cats are sleeping 23 of 24 hours a day. The remaining hour they want fed. Of course that is only interrupted by a trip to the litter box and a minute or two of actually showing a little gratitude to me. That is as long as I clean the litter box and have their food ready in their dish when they want it.
The people I work with seem normal enough and our workplace sexual encounters haven't changed in years. I tell them to "Fuck Off" and they reply in same. It's your typical hallway sex.
I've worked as a bank teller for the last few years, but I don't do much of that work anymore except for most Saturday's. The past couple times a very handsome man has come to my window as soon as we opened the doors. He's maybe 10 years older than me, 6 foot tall with an athletic build and intoxicating brown eyes that draw you to him like moths to a flame. His smile and his voice makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. This guy at my window just has something about him that makes me feel so ... wanted! Even his name made me weak in the knees, Ricardo.
Always after completing his business we would speak a few words with each other about off work activities. I'd just picked up a gym membership so I could get back into shape. I mentioned the gym's name and he told me has a membership there also and hopes to see me there some time. However, with his work schedule he only goes after sunset, but is usually there most nights. With that he smiled and strode off.
I couldn't help myself but watch his gracefulness and his nice round butt as he walked away. All I could think of is that he seemed to have it all. I will most definitely be meeting him at the gym. If I'm going to get him I've got to pick up my game and get in shape.
Work for that Saturday ended at noon and I thought about him the whole way home. For me the day was spent with chores around the house and getting myself ready for the next week's work. It has been nothing but the same boring routine for months. I need more in my life than just work and cats. Maybe using the gym and getting around a few people will help relieve me of my boring life.
Hell I haven't been on a date for so long I could be considered the old cat lady of my neighborhood and I'm not even 30 years old yet!
So the next day I made no excuses and went to the gym hoping to get just a few sets on the weight machines and then walk a couple miles on the treadmill. If nothing else I would be too tired to worry about my missing sex life and get myself out of my funk. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a porker, I just needed to tone up.
I had good sets on the weight machines working my upper body making me feel the pump. I'm immediately noticed the tone in my muscles. Maybe I wasn't as bad off as I thought. I just may be ready when swimsuit season comes in a few short months.
Having just started my walk on the treadmill, setting the computer program for a combination of flat paths and hilly trails to really wanted to get my heart pumping, I was shocked to find Ricardo on the treadmill next to me. "Hello Vicky. Nice to see you outside the office."
All I could do was yell at myself, "SPEAK TO HIM YOU IDIOT!" I stumbled out a hello and I got one of his incredible smiles in return. Oh, God I hope I don't trip and make a fool of myself.
Keeping with my program hoping it would impress Ricardo, we made some small talk while it was obvious he had no trouble keeping pace with the program he set on his treadmill. His was set for hard hill running and he never missed a step or broke a sweat. He must have great stamina. I blushed on that thought. I wonder if he noticed?
We both ended our walk at the same time and took a few minutes at the juice bar. I had a green tea mango smoothie while he declined an after work out drink. Odd, he doesn't sweat or partakes an after workout protein drink. I guess you don't need it if your in as good of shape as he is.
We talked about our everyday lives, work, world events, etc. He really listened to me and was genuinely interested in my thoughts and seemed to really appreciate my views on the latest world events. Oh this guy is definitely worth a go after.
He told me he had a wonderful time talking with me and hoped we could do it again as he turned and left the gym. I was so mesmerized watching him, I couldn't help myself from staring at his butt and the rest of that good looking body.
I went home and showered. The hot water felt good after a nice workout. Soaping myself up I kept thinking about him and couldn't help myself but think about him and think I need to shaving everything extra close tonight. Don't want to look like a Sasquatch while trying to a guy.
The feeling of strange increased as Halloween approached. There were horrible stories in the nightly news of women disappearing without a trace. Three women in the past week. The police were asking for anyone with information to contact them immediately and that all women should take necessary steps to protect themselves at all times. I immediately went out and bought myself some pepper spray.
I kept my schedule at the gym. I was doing well enough to start running on the treadmill instead of walking and had been going for about 10 minutes when I noticed him on the one next to me again. He was already up to pace and was watching me. When he mentioned he has been along side me for the past few minutes I was shocked. It just wasn't possible. I was watching for him and would've seen him come in. Strange.
We were having a great conversation at the juice bar after our workout when he just looked me in the eyes and asked if I wanted to go out dancing or a movie with him this weekend. His eyes beckoned me almost begging me to say yes, and yes is what I said. We made plans for a movie and drinks after.
He asked if he could pick me up at my apartment, but I told him I would meet him at the theater. I'm not sure why I said that because part of me wanted him to pick me up at my place just so we could have more time together.
We met up in front of the movie theater and enjoyed a Halloween classic with Bela Lugosi as Dracula. I like the classics. I heard him laughing a couple times during the movie. I asked Ricardo what was so funny. He just waved it off and said nothing. After the movie we walked to a local pub to enjoy a drink and conversation. We talked about everything that came to mind. When I was just about finished with my second drink I realized he hasn't touched his first. When I asked him why, Ricardo said that he really wasn't thirsty for anything and ordered just to be polite. I thought it odd, but readily accepted his explanation.
While in the pub we heard more talk of missing girls making me shiver at the thought. Fearing that girls weren't safe in the city, I asked Ricardo to walk me home and see me to my door. He gladly agreed and we started for my apartment by way of a lovely stroll through the park. It's always beautiful this time of year with the smells of autumn.
During our walk we would talk only as a new sight would pique our interest and would mention it to the other while peering into the others eyes. Every time I looked into his eyes I could feel my inhibitions lessen, my heart beat increase and my loins warm. There was something so special about his eyes that drew me him. They were so intoxicating.
How did we get home so soon? The last thing I remember was walking in the park watching the city lights shining off the surface of the lake. The thought only lasted a second or two as I realized he was kissing me gently on the lips. Suddenly there were visions of long lost lovers anew again caught in the ecstasy of their passion, shining from the sweat covering each others body in my mind. The vision was so intense, so real I moaned into his mouth as his tongue met mine.
As suddenly as it began, it was gone except for the sensuality of the visions from my mind. Only the intense longing of the lovers remained. I pulled myself away from our embrace looking into his eyes. They seemed different. Where they always so dark? I apologized for acting to impulsively blushing in embarrassment. I kissed him on the cheek and thanked him for a wonderful evening, but that I had to end the night as work comes early for me.
His disappointment seemed real, but ever the gentleman Ricardo kissed me lightly again and said he to had a wonderful evening and would love to take me out again as soon as I was free. He noted he hope to see me in the gym again next week, turned and left.
I felt strange as I stepped into the tub. My last conscious thought was that of my hands seemed to have a mind of their own as they caressed my body stimulating every nerve ending and every pore as I became lost in the scenes of the lover's embrace. The touch of my lover's hands on my body, the taste of his lips and smell of his cologne seemed so real. I became one with the woman pictured in my mind, willingly accepting a new reality.
I could not see his face, but it was so familiar to me. All of my senses were overpowered as an explosion of pleasure that is felt from impassioned lovers reunited after a long separation. I awoke from my trance, angered by being torn away from a reality I did not want to leave. As I came to I was shocked to see I was still in the tub and the water was cool enough to make me shiver along with the realization I had just climaxed. Just like the woman in my vision.
It seemed so real it scared me.
Laying in bed I began wishing to experience that passion again, hoping for the love of the man in my visions. He was so handsome, strong and yet so familiar. The night ended too soon and I woke in the morning to the alarm cursing the end of hope's dream.
Throughout the workday I found myself wanting to see Ricardo again. He said we would see each other at the gym, so I made sure my workout clothes was packed so all I had to do was get myself there. Making it to the gym I hit the weight machines hard and the treadmill harder. I was driven to get more fit so I could attract a man. I wasn't an old maid, but I feared being old before I found someone to love me and care for me until death do us part. A tight body always helps get a man, but personality helps keep the man. Too many of the men I dated were after former, not the latter.
Much to my disappointment, Ricardo didn't show. He must've gotten held up by something important, but I knew he'd show up just to see me. But the next two nights Ricardo was a no show, however I did meet someone new. A nice looking man that I guessed to be a few years younger than me introduced himself. He didn't have the sophistication of Ricardo, but he was a more rugged real life cowboy type with short sandy brown hair and matching brown eyes and a cute trimmed goatee. He was muscular, but not freakishly so, and he wore two small silver crosses around his neck. In other words he was hot. He introduced himself as Henry, but his friends called him Hank. He looked like a Hank.
Telling Henry it was nice to meet him we made small talk and he asked if he could assist me in my workout. Seeing the muscles he carried I knew he could help. I readily agreed and we went over my routine. Henry watched me intently as I pressed out each set making suggestions on form and mental concentration on each rep. He enforced the mental aspect of exercise would not only increase the rate of muscle development, but also mental toughness.
We hit the treadmill together and Henry surprisingly kept pace with me. I may have needed improvement in my weight training, but I had made good strides on my aerobic endurance. Usually muscle bound guys like him have little or no stamina, but he was different. Not only did he have a hot muscled body and stamina, but he oozed a strength of kindness and willingness to help others. By the end of our exercising together I asked since his friends call him Hank, could I? He gave me a big smile held out his hand and said "Friends." I took his hand in both of mine and replied "Thank You, Hank."
We left the gym and went our separate ways, but made plans to see each other again in two nights time for our workout.
At work the next day I actually caught myself thinking how wonderful an evening I had with Hank. It was fun just saying his name..."Hank." I couldn't help but giggle when I said it.
During lunch we heard news of more girls disappearing. Authorities were prompted to ask all women to take extra precautions to protect themselves and traveling alone was ill advised. Three of us from work attended to the same gym, on different nights and usually alone, so we decided we couldn't do it that way any longer. The plan was we all go together and leave together or not go at all. Our first night will be tomorrow.
I hoped to see Hank or Ricardo. Hank was my workout buddy and friend, even after just one night while Ricardo was, come to think of it, I'm not sure what Ricardo was beyond an intriguing handsome guy I went on a date with.
The girls and I made it to the gym, got dressed and walked into the workout room. The girls all stopped in their tracks looking at the guy using one of the machines. Their tongues were practically wagging out of their mouths. Eventually one of them asked who the hunk was over on the chest press machine. I smiled and told them that was my friend Hank. My friends chastised me for withholding information.
At that moment he must have sensed I was there as he looked up at me and smiled. He looked even more handsome today than when we first met. "Girls, that one is mine, go find your own."
"Hello Hank. Miss me?"
"You bet I did." Did I tell you he also had a slight southern draw to his voice. I liked it.
We picked up where we left off the other night. Hank pushed me on the machines making me concentrate on each rep not allowing me to give up. By the end of the hour I had a good pump and it felt great. I could tell Hank had fun working out with me and I felt good just being with him.
We were walking toward the juice bar and Hank stopped dead in his tracks. I asked him what was wrong, but he said nothing. He was staring toward the other side of the room, but at what I wasn't sure until I seen Ricardo. Ricardo was talking to some unnaturally enhanced blond.
"Hank, What's wrong? Hank? I shook him, but he continued to stare at Ricardo. Hank, do you know him? His name is...
"I know who he is! I know him all to well." I was taken aback at his tone and the sight of his eyes. They reflected almost pure hatred.
Gently reaching out for his arm, "Hank, what's wrong? I can tell you don't like him, but why? Ricardo and I went on a date last week and he treated me nice. He doesn't seem to be a bad guy."
He looked down at me and his eyes again shown the kindness behind them. He spoke softly, "He is not as nice as he seems. He has nothing but a black heart."
"Hank, what are you talking about?" Just about that time Ricardo came over to us.
I didn't notice it right away because I was worried about Hank, but Ricardo walked up to us like he had just seen a ghost. He looked intently at Hank, "How is it possible? How did you..."
Hank said nothing. All he did was point his right index finger to the sky. For a moment Ricardo and Hank just stared at each other, then Ricardo seemed to snap out of whatever was happening, "Hello Vicky, How are you this evening? I see we know someone in common."
He looked at Hank, "Well Henry, I can say it truly is a surprise to see you again. So tell me, was it a painful recovery?"
Hank did not speak, but his eyes stared back with such hatred it scared me. I broke the tension as best I could, "Ricardo, it seems you know Hank so I guess introductions are unnecessary."
"Oh yes, Henry and I go way back, don't we ... Hank is it?"
"Too long I'm afraid. But for not much longer I'm delighted to say ... Ricardo was it, huh? Amazing. I remember your name being plain old Richard back in a time. You remember this, don't you? It belonged to my sister." At that time Hank pulled one of his crosses out from under his t-shirt and immediately Ricardo became unsettled.
"It didn't help her then and it sure as hell won't help you now!" as Ricardo back up from Hank like he was expecting an attack. He looked at me, "Well Vicky I apologize for disturbing you and your friend here, I know I'll be seeing you again soon, so I must say goodnight," he turned and left hurriedly.
"Not if I can help it," replied Hank.
"Hank, what is going on? Why don't you like Ricardo and what did he mean when he mentioned your sister?"
"There are plenty of reasons for anyone to hate him. For me, it's because he killed my sister and I vowed justice for her."
'What?! I don't believe you! I don't think Ricardo would hurt anyone, he's not capable of such acts."
"How would you know? How well do you really know him?"
"I admit not well at all, but he doesn't seem the type to hurt another person." Hank seemed hurt by my statement, but acknowledged it.
"You don't understand it yet Vicki. You have only known me for a few days, but I swear on my sister's soul that I'm telling you the truth. It really doesn't matter if you believe me or not, but on Halloween it will all be over. Since you have your friends to get you home safely, I think it best I get going. I've caused you too much grief for the night. I'm sorry. Good night Vicky."
As Hank turned and walked away I could feel the sadness in Hank where his sister was involved. But when it came to Ricardo, the anger and hatred was impossible to miss. If what Hank said was true about Ricardo killing his sister, than I've got to stay away from him.
Ricardo was already gone from sight and I had to wonder if he left with that big boobed blond he was talking to earlier.
My friends caught up with me after I finished my half-assed workout. Plans were made to go back to the gym in two days. Heeding the warnings from the authorities to not travel alone, we watched over each other and made sure there were at least two of us at all times whether it was outside our home, office or the gym.
Two days later we made it back to the gym as planned and we were all shocked to find out everyone was talking about one of the popular girls who was a regular hasn't been seen for two days. I quickly discovered it was the blond that Ricardo was talking to the other night. "Oh my God, was Hank right about him?"
A few days later at the gym I seen Hank on one of the machines working out. He looked at me and gave a hesitant smile. I guess he worried that I was mad at him for the other night. Of course I smiled back and waved to him.
As he approached he still looked apprehensive and had difficulty looking me in the eyes. But after a few minutes of talking he finally did. He seen I held no animosity, but he apologized again asking forgiveness if he caused me to be upset the other night. He reiterated he spoke the truth about his sister and who killed her.
When I mentioned the blond girl gone missing he didn't act surprised. Instead he seemed to blow it off until he unexpectedly took his sister's cross off from around his neck and as he put around mine, "Do not refuse this and never take it off. It will help you against him."
"Hank, what really real is going on? I keep asking, but you don't tell me. What gives?"
"There's too much to tell and we shouldn't talk about such things here. But to answer your question he did get the best of me the last time we met, but it won't be that way again."
"What do you mean? Did you two fight and you got hurt.?"
"Yes, I'm afraid so, but things were different then."
I didn't want to push Hank too much right now so I told him about my date with Ricardo. "Hank, I do remember something strange when I went out on that date with Ricardo. We were saying goodnight and his eyes grew darker, almost black and I had the most sensual feeling come over me. He asked to come inside my apartment, but I said no. I'm not sure why because I really wanted to invite him in."
"It's good that you didn't because if he'd made it inside your apartment, you'd be dead."
"Hank you keep saying he is a killer, but if you have proof, why don't you go to the police and tell them your story?"
"The police are unable to do anything about this. There is no evidence that can be used against him in court and no jail cell that can hold him." "You already know he's responsible for the missing girls, don't you? How many more girls do you think will disappear before Halloween?"
"I can only do so much. I can't help those who succumb to his influence. Right now you have been the only one to refuse him. That not only makes you more intriguing, but more desirable to him as well. There has only been one other to refuse him." Hank's expression saddened suddenly, "My sister ... and he killed her because of it. But the bastard couldn't do it alone. He hired the worst scum possible to help him. There were just too many of them." There were tears puddling in the corner of his eyes, "I was too late to save her. That is when he got the best of me." Then his eyes darkened, "Since then, all but one has suffered terribly at my hands for what was done to her. The one left is your friend Ricardo and I swore on my soul that I would not rest until he pays for what he did to her and all the others."
Hank looked down to my chest and smiled, not in a lustful way, but more in a satisfied way. He gently reached in and slid his fingers in behind the cross pulling it away from my breasts, "This cross is very special. It, along with one other, were made from the finest silver from the Vatican vaults. Both were blessed by the Pope himself. One you wear," with the other hand he lifts an identical cross from under his shirt, "and I wear the other."
With that Hank leaned in and kissed me on the cheek looked me in the eyes hesitating for only a couple seconds and when I looked back at him I seen such kindness and warmth. I felt myself melt inside. I was drawn to Hank before, but suddenly looking into his eyes I found myself pulled to him like no man ever before. I don't know if it was the sadness in him that I wanted to comfort or the feel of his inner strength. Maybe it was just his big muscles and rugged good looks and the fact I haven't been laid in months, but I fell in love with him at that moment.
He gave me a small smile, said good night and walked away.
One of my friends walked up to me and asked if I was alright. She seen Hank talking to me and noticed the talk was intense. Then when she seen Hank kiss me and then quickly leave, she became worried.
I couldn't tell her anything about what Hank said about Ricardo being behind the girl from our gym disappearing. The cops would ask questions and it may put me in more danger. The story I gave her was that Ricardo and Hank have a history and a physical altercation between them ended badly with Hank being hurt. After Hank told me his story he left feeling badly about causing me so much drama.
She accepted my explanation and we all made it home safely.
This coming Saturday I had to work the teller line again and to say I was surprised when Ricardo came to my window would be an understatement. He was friendly as ever and asked me out again. I was tempted, very tempted, but declined. He seemed shocked at my refusal for a second date and became agitated. His eyes and facial expression tightened and he again pushed his invitation for dinner. I thanked him for his thoughtfulness, but declined begging other plans.
"I know your lying Vicki. I can see it in your eyes." Suddenly his eyes grew dark and I had such an emotional rush of lust as a scene of two bodies together in passionate embrace. Their physical ecstasy caused such a stirring inside me that I began to feel myself give into his request. At first the two bodies were just that. Faceless lovers lost in their own pleasure, but quickly I could see the man and woman were not strangers to me. In fact the pair were me and Ricardo together in the act of lovemaking!
A voice inside my head suddenly over powered the vision and I was brought back to the present. I swear the voice sounded like Hank's! I also realized I was holding Hank's sister's cross in my fingers.
Awake from the vision I looked at Ricardo and he was pissed. He held his temper, but I could tell it was taking a lot of control to do so. His eyes seemed to be getting lighter in color. I don't know why, but I think he heard the same voice. "Ricardo, Thank You but no, I don't want to date you."
"I'm sorry you feel that way Vicki. To say I'm disappointed just doesn't describe how I feel. But have no doubt, you and I will be seeing each other again and much sooner than you realize. I'll be in town for only a few more days and I need to see you again, but for now, have a good day."
His body language and walk was not smooth and graceful as before. It was almost juvenile the way he walked out of the lobby.
I wondered why I heard Hank's voice waking me from the vision I had of Ricardo and me. Then I thought of the other night when I looked into his eyes and the feelings I had for him. He did mention he would not allow Ricardo to harm me. But now I know it was much more than that. It was love.
The day of work ended at noon so the girls and I took in a light lunch and the gym for the usual Saturday view fest of weekend warriors who are trolling for dates. The guys who ignore their body during the week show off on Saturday thinking we woman will be in awe of their big hulking muscles and be mindlessly drawn to their beds. Yeah right.
The girls I work with are trolling themselves for prospective husbands, but since finding a good man who is husband material is hard to find, a good sex partner is doable. With girls around town disappearing they were hesitant getting involved with strange men, but if they made a connection it would have to involve double dating.
I remembered the feeling I had when I looked into Hank's eyes the other night. He's husband material and part of me is planning the wedding already, but first I guess we should go out on a date first. I caught myself letting out a small giggle as I said his name again. Like I said before, he looks like a Hank.
We all were walking into the room with the workout machines and I immediately looked for Hank. I was trolling for a Hank for a Saturday night date and I wasn't going to settle for a Tom, Dick or Harry. It was going to be a Hank or nothing at all. Looking around the room I wasn't overly surprised to see him, but my hackles immediately came up when I noticed a brunette with big tits talking and smiling at him. No way a bitch with big fake tits was taking my man!
I walked over to the two of them and put my arm around Hank's waist, "There you are, I've been looking all over for you." Boy if looks could kill that brunette would be dancing on my grave right now.
"Hello Vicki, I'm glad you made it." Turning to the brunette he introduced us, "Vicky this is Linda, Linda this is Vicki."
"Nice to meet you Vicki," it didn't sound like she meant it.
"Nice to meet you too Linda." Now I had to get Hank away from her, "Hank, I had trouble with Ricardo today and he didn't take it well when I turned him down for a date. Can I talk to you alone for a few minutes?"
"Sure, if you will excuse us Linda," boy the daggers that came from her. I so wanted to turn around and stick my tongue out at her, but that would've been childish.
We walked to the juice bar and I let him have it, "OK what gives?"
He seemed shocked, "I don't understand?"
"The brunette! Who is she to you?"
"Hey. Relax! I've only met her today. She's a nice girl and we were only talking. Now is Linda really the reason you're upset?"
"No I'm not upset about her. Oh hell, yes I am! I'm upset that you were talking to that girl. I don't want you talking to skanks! You're only allowed to talk to me."
He had a slight smile o his face, "Really? And why is that?"
I realized I just put my foot in my mouth big time, "Because I like you. More than like you actually and I didn't like seeing you having fun with what's her name."
"Vicki, we were only talking and she really is a nice girl. But I'm not interested in her."
I went from shocked to pleased and smiling, "Your not?"
"No. Not even a little."
"OK then." Now that that's settled, "How did you know what Ricardo tried earlier today?"
"You mean his attempt at seduction and the visions he put in your mind?"
"Of course. That was your voice I heard in my head and you broke the trance I was in and don't try to deny it."
At first he looked away and I could tell he was uncomfortable as he looked back at me, "I told you I will not let him hurt you."
"That doesn't explain your voice in my head, how did you know that was happening."
"The crosses we wear are special, remember? If we concentrate, we can sense when the other is in trouble." He seemed uncomfortable for a second then stated speaking again, "I've tried to stay away, watching over you from a distance, but I couldn't. I found myself attracted to you. Not just your beauty, but the goodness of you as a person."
While he was talking to me his gaze caught me just like before. His eyes seemed to claim me and the feeling I had was stronger than before. My God, I'm in love!
"Hank, take me out tonight. I don't want to be alone and I don't think you just want to follow me around any longer, do you?"
"No, I don't. I want to be with you, terribly."
I told the girls that we were going out and not to worry about me. I got the usual smiles and wicked looks from them since here I am going out with Hank, especially since I've talked about him so much lately.
We stayed with each other as we went to each of our apartments getting changed and going out for dinner.
While Hank was in his shower I gave serious thought of inviting myself in and washing his back, and by God his front! I bet he has a wonderful front. But I behaved myself and let the anticipation build.
Hank lived up to his name and wore ruff and tumble western style clothing. Boy did he look good. At my place I had the same desire of "shower interruptus" by way of Hank inviting himself in and washing my back and oh God my front! I knew he was too much a gentleman to do that though. I wore a little number that really brought out the color in my eyes and the size of my breasts. Did I show leg, you bet your ass I did. I was going all out for Hank.
We went to an Italian restaurant that enhanced the ambiance with low light and candles. The dinner started out quiet between us, but soon came more relaxed. I learned Hank really hasn't had a girlfriend for a very long time. He wouldn't elaborate how long it has actually been, but he gave up looking after he realized when the right one to come along, he would know it. I was hoping it was me. How I was hoping it was me.
Even though tomorrow is Sunday and I had things to do, I was in no hurry for the night to end. Still the restaurant had to close and we had some heavy talking about Ricardo to do. Making it back to Hank's place he brewed coffee and we sat down on the couch in his living room. "OK Hank, please tell me everything. I know something strange is going on, but you need to fill in some very big pieces."
For the next hour Hank told me of the then Richard Barnes being a kind shy man being slight in stature. He was was picked on by bullies and refused by women. Then one night he was approached by a beautiful yet mysterious woman. This woman seemed to be infatuated with Richard and spent many nights with him in public ignoring the countless suitors that tried to lure her away from him when they were out in saloons. "Saloons? You mean like bars, right?"
"I guess they're called bars now, but back then we called them saloons."
"What do you mean 'back then'?"
"I'll answer your question in a minute. OK?" I nodded my mead allowing him to continue.
He continued his tale saying that men started disappearing in town and it was of great concern, to everyone but Richard Barnes. The men who disappeared were men who bullied him, belittled him and insulted him daily. A pattern emerged that became apparent and the town avoided Richard. Of course he could care less of the happenings in town because he was in love. He fell in love with the first woman who showed him any interest and this woman was admittedly very beautiful, but that beauty came with a price. The cost of his soul and his mortal life.
It was three days before All Hallows Eve when the couple were walking hand in hand down a darkened street. It was also just like this coming Halloween, a Blood Moon All Hallows Eve. This night is very special as it only comes around once every 100 years. As they walked down that street, they were attacked by men who blamed Richard and his woman for the evil that befell the town.
They were small in number, but acted quickly and viciously separating Richard from the woman of his dreams. What the towns people were not aware of is that the woman and now Richard were not as they seemed. She was a vampire, young and in breeding age with the Blood Moon compelling her to pick a mate. Richard was her choice and he readily agreed knowing what the cost would be. That's the hitch with being a vampire's mate. It had to come from free will.
The mob, aided by the local church, ended up killing her, but failed to stop Richard. He took his vengeance out on those responsible for her death. He also knew his time was short for with the passing of the Blood Moon All Hallows Eve, his power would weaken so he had to move on. With his vengeance complete and his energy drained, he left town with a new found need to feed.
This is when Richard Barnes was died and Ricardo was born. He figured the change in name was more alluring to woman.
His need found him another small town many miles away. This town had yet to hear of the carnage that Ricardo left behind, but all too soon they would experience the same horror.
A brother and sister, Henry and Anne, owned a small ranch near by and happened to be in town the night Ricardo showed up. The sister was young and extremely beautiful. The brother was strong and very protective of his younger sibling.
He was in the hardware store getting supplies while she was getting food and other provisions from the general store. Ricardo noticed her and became entranced by her beauty. Ricardo by now was becoming into his own as a vampire with thousands of years of hideous instinct guiding his way. There was a charm about him now that very few woman could refuse. But the beautiful young Anne did just that. She always had an inner strength about her that could melt a man's heart or stop it with a displeasing look.
You see vampires can only take a mate during a Blood Moon All Hallows Eve and the love of Ricardo's life, evil or not, was no longer by his side and his eyes were set on Anne.
Henry and Anne were in town for only two more days before they would return to their ranch. Those two days Ricardo tried to attract Anne several times, but she turned him away each time. Anne was kind at first, but soon she could not allow further attempts by Ricardo and sent him away with a very public humiliating display.
That public display from Anne triggered all the old feelings that the then Richard Barnes suffered and his anger erupted into an attack of Anne. He reached for her throat and tore her collar exposing a family heirloom. The heirloom was one of two silver crosses. One she wore and one her brother wore.
The sight of the cross around Anne's neck sickened Ricardo immediately and he was forced to flee, but those old feelings and the hatred for being denied were too powerful to ignore. He needed help to get past the power of the cross so he could take his vengeance on Anne.
It was the night of All Hallows Eve when Henry and Anne left town to head home. The thought of Ricardo was put away as they rode their wagon on the dark road out of town. Several hours later they made it safely home, but they failed to realize they were in terrible danger.
As Henry was putting the horses in the barn, he was attacked by several men, knocking him unconscious. Anne was then taken from inside her home by the men, dragged out for Ricardo to confront. Upon orders the men ripped the cross from around her neck, leaving her virtually helpless as Ricardo wanted to punish her for refusing him.
No matter how hard he tried to control her with his mind tricks, Anne never allowed herself to submit. He failed so he killed her in a horrible way.
By the time of Anne's death, Henry awoke and came out of the barn. He went mad seeing his beloved sister's torn body dead on the ground. Even though he was out numbered and he knew it meant his death, he attack the men and Ricardo with a terrible fierceness. But in the end, Ricardo claimed another victim.
I sat there in silence trying to fully comprehend the story I just heard. "Hank, are you telling me what I think you're telling me?"
"Yes Vicki, I am."
"How is this possible? You said you were killed."
"Remember I told you I vowed my soul to God in destroying Ricardo? Remember the crosses? I guess I was dead, but not for any length of time. Ricardo was about to strike one last blow taking my head when the cross I wear came in his sight shining brightly like the mid-day sun. He fled in absolute fright with his men right behind him.
I was briefly reunited with my sister in heaven after I swore my soul to eliminating Ricardo from this earth. God had already accepted my vow and allowed me a moment with her. After a kiss on my sister's cheek, I was sent back to my battered body."
"But that means you over a hundred years old. How can this be? You only look twenty-five."
"Vicki, please understand, the whole vampire thing is just the tip of the iceberg. Richard or Ricardo or what ever you want to call him actually killed me when we fought, but God brought me back so I may stop this evil. He put me back in a badly broken body. I was rescued by a Catholic priest and taken in spending years under the care of nuns. It had to be my effort and determination to make my recovery happen. God promised the opportunity, but he will not do it for me. It has been a long and painful time, physically and mentally, to make it here for this final battle."
"My cross maintains my youthful appearance. I have until the end of this All Hallows Eve to destroy Ricardo and rid this world of his evil. If I fail my soul will be forfeit and I go to hell.
He is responsible for all the girls disappearing this Halloween season, but I cannot do anything to protect them. I can only protect you."
"Why me, why am I so important?"