The strobes flashed, and the fans churned up a make-believe ocean breeze. It even smelled like the beach in the studio, from the ton and a half of sand they hauled in for the shoot. The center of attention was a lithe, fair-skinned model with long hair that flowed like black water in the wind. As the cameras clicked and hummed, she posed expertly, every move perfect, every look to die for.
Two lighting technicians enjoyed the show. Their equipment was in place and required no adjustments.
"Man, is she a piece of ass or what?" Brad said, eyeing the way the sarong clung to the model like a colorful coating of gossamer. He was the younger of the two men, tall and blonde, with the physique of a bodybuilder.
"No shit. And she's old enough to be your mom," Ron replied, getting a look of stunned disbelief. "I kid you not. She's at least forty."
"You're full of it. She looks twenty."
Ron nodded in agreement. "But get this. Jenny in makeup says she worked with her in the early nineties—fifteen years ago."
They stopped talking as the model took off the sarong for the next segment of the shoot. She was wearing the tiniest string bikini either of them had ever seen. The triangles of yellow cloth barely covered her nipples and pussy. Her firm breasts bounced gently—and naturally—as she practiced her upcoming moves. From the back, the thong consisted of a yellow string low across slim hips, and a pencil-thin strap that disappeared into the crack of an amazing, heart-shaped ass.
"I don't care how old she is. I want to fuck her," Brad said.
Ron laughed. "Good luck. Jenny says she's the original Ice Princess. She could have been a supermodel, but instead she works little gigs like this—one shot deals. Here, Europe, Asia, everywhere."
"Maybe that's why I've never heard of her," Brad said, looking at the name on his clipboard. "Nelah Alejandro." He pronounced it slowly, letting the syllables roll off his tongue.
Greg Bryant pulled his cab to the curb and jumped out to help two elderly women disembark. He waited until they buzzed one of the apartments, got a response, and waved to him happily.
Back in the cab, he counted the bills one of the women had given him. Twelve dollars, all singles, for a fare of $11.50. A four-percent tip. Greg sighed and smiled, knowing the old broads meant well.
Besides, he couldn't complain. The night before he ferried two Japanese businessmen from LaGuardia Airport to their hotel in Midtown, then waited with his meter running while they checked in. He waited for them again outside a fancy titty bar, where they got liquored up and found a couple of young hookers. When he dropped the happy group back at the hotel, one of the men handed Greg a wad of fifties that added up to more than double the fare.
That made up for the fifty-cent tip from the old ladies. And they'd been nice, telling him about their holiday plans and calling him a 'nice young man', like his grandma used to. With his short, sandy hair and pale blue eyes, Greg did look younger than his forty-five years. Working two jobs and skipping a lot of meals helped keep him trim.
He taught English Lit at a junior college by day, and drove the cab at night because it paid better. In his spare time, he was writing the great American novel. The current attempt was a love story, fraught with irony and suspense. Greg was stuck at chapter six, trying to figure out why anyone would fall in love with the losers he had for main characters.
He checked his watch and yawned. It was only six-thirty. He decided to cruise toward Midtown and look for more Japanese businessmen.
The photo shoot was finished, and the director and client were ecstatic. The problem was going to be choosing which perfect shots to use. As they fawned over the model, Brad continued to stare, his dick hard and his mouth watering. God, did he want that bitch.
He took his time breaking down the equipment, waiting while she changed clothes. Ron was long gone, headed home to his family. When she emerged, the model was stunning in a silk blouse and suede skirt. Her long legs were bare and sleek, and needed no stockings. She paused at the control center to thank the departing crew, and to pick up her purse.
Brad walked over, drying his palms on his jeans. He blocked her path to the exit, and waited for her to turn. When she did, the look she gave him took his breath away. Poised, quizzical, as though she expected him.
"Hey," he said.
"I mean, Hi." Brad managed, swallowing hard. "I'm Brad, in lighting." He motioned toward the equipment stacked against the wall of the studio.
"How nice," she said, amused.
"You did great," Brad said. "Really hot. I mean, that suit was made for you."
"I do my best," she said, then looked him up and down slowly. She licked her lips.
"Your name is Nelah?" he said, shoving his hands in the front pockets of his jeans to cover a rapidly engorging dick.
"Close," she said, studying his crotch. "It's a short 'e'. Nayluh." She looked up, and caught him staring at her tits. The silk blouse was open nearly to her waist, and she wore no bra. Her nipples showed through the sheer cloth, dark and slightly puffy.
"Oh, okay," he said.
"And you're Brad. In lighting." The tip of her tongue caressed her upper lip. "You're a big boy, Brad. Do you work out?"
He nodded proudly and flexed his arms, glad he'd worn the tight black T-shirt.
"Is there something you want to ask me, Brad?"
"I don't know, I just thought you were hot and I wondered..."
"If I wanted to fuck you?"
He stared at her, stunned. Light-headed. He could smell her hair and skin, and the effect was overpowering.
"Sure, Brad. I'll fuck you. Are you sure you're up to it?" she asked. "I play rough. Is that okay?"
He glanced around, relieved that the set was deserted. "The rougher the better! Let me get my coat." He couldn't believe his good fortune—positive he was in for the ride of his life.
A misting rain began to fall, and that was good for business. Greg had four decent fares in succession, with the new passengers getting in as the old ones were departing. He turned his light off, intending to find a place to park so he could eat his dinner. He cruised up Fifty-Eighth Street looking for an opening.
He pulled to the curb and reached for the brown paper sack next to his feet. He heard a quick rap on his window, looked up and saw the most beautiful woman in the world.
Her long, raven hair cascaded off her shoulders as she leaned forward. Her pale silk blouse gaped open, revealing a set of naked tits that took Greg's breath away.
"Are you off duty?" she asked, smiling enticingly and placing an elbow against the window frame. Greg tried not to stare at her breasts.
"Uh, yeah. But I guess I can eat later," he said, looking up into her dark eyes. They were huge, deep, and exotic. She stood and turned. Her suede skirt hugged her slim thighs, six inches from Greg's nose.
"Let's go Brad," she said, opening the rear door of the cab. Greg watched as a guy who looked like a bouncer dropped a cigarette and walked over. He was wearing a fake leather jacket over a black T-shirt and faded jeans.
"The Stratford. On Fifty-Sixth just off Park," the woman said.
Greg nodded. If it was her place, she was gorgeous and rich. The apartments on that block went for well over a million bucks.
On the way, Greg pretended not to listen as the bouncer made stupid jokes about his dick size and sexual prowess. Greg glanced into the rearview mirror and saw the woman stifling a smile. Then she intercepted the big guy's wrist as he tried to slip a hand inside her blouse.
"Behave yourself," she said, like she was with a five-year-old.
"Here we are," Greg said, as they pulled up to the Stratford. The building was first class, complete with a liveried doorman and covered walkway that extended to the curb.
"That'll be... seven eighty-five," Greg told the woman, who poked a twenty-dollar bill through the slot in the glass divider.
"I don't need change."
Greg thanked her and gave her the receipt and one of his cards, telling her to call if she ever needed a cab to the airport. As he spoke, the woman smiled as though she was enjoying a private joke.
Brad tried to grope Nelah in the elevator, despite her warnings. Finally, she gave him a shove against the wall to get his attention. He was surprised by her strength.
"Hey! I told you to behave yourself," she said.
"Yeah, but you're so goddamn hot. And you said we were going to fuck," Brad protested.
"I didn't say we'd do it in the elevator," she said. The doors opened and she stalked out, down the short hallway to her apartment door. She looked back to make sure Brad was following. She unlocked her door and waited, letting him enter first.
"Nice place!" he said, taking in the white and black leather furnishings, accented by bright contemporary artwork. He walked into the large main room, impressed by the huge plasma television and home theatre setup. Brad decided it would be sweet to move in with the model for a while. He adjusted his package in his tight blue jeans, wondering if they were going to fuck on the big leather couch or in the bedroom.
He took out his cigarettes and tapped the pack against his palm as he searched for his lighter.
"Don't," she said. He shrugged.
"You must make the bucks modeling," he said, as he took off his jacket and tossed it on a chair.
"I do well enough," Nelah replied from the kitchen. She walked into the room carrying a glass of white wine and a big tumbler full of scotch. She handed the tumbler to Brad and sat on one end of the couch, kicking off her shoes and drawing her legs under herself. Brad looked at the Scotch.
"Don't you have any beer?" he asked.
She pointed toward the other side of the couch. "Sit. You need to drink that—it'll relax you and give you more stamina later."
Confused, he perched on the couch and sipped the whisky.
"I heard you travel a lot."
"I'm not here that much. I like to keep moving," she said.
Perfect, he thought. "If you need someone to watch your place for you..."
She ignored him, interrupting. "So, Brad. You have a lot of family here?"
"No, they're all back in Minnesota," he said, grimacing. "Bunch of assholes. Especially my old man."
Nelah smiled. "You don't talk to them much?"
He laughed. "Never. Like I said, they're assholes."
"And your job? Are you a regular at that studio?"
"Nah, I mainly freelance," he said, taking a big gulp of the Scotch. "This stuff is okay, I'm getting a good buzz."
"I'm glad," she said. She placed her wineglass on the end table and picked up a small black case. She opened it, revealing a syringe and several vials.
"What the fuck is that?" Brad asked.
"Can't be too careful these days. Just a blood test—give me your arm."
"Hey!" he said, as she held his wrist.
"You said you wanted to fuck. I hate condoms, don't you?" she said, smiling seductively.
"Yeah... I guess," he replied, holding out the arm and gulping more Scotch, trying to look brave. Brad hated needles.
She worked quickly and expertly, drawing a small amount of his blood. She mixed it with a series of reagents and set the vials on the end table. He watched her breasts move as she shook the vials, and wondered if she was wearing panties. Maybe a thong—that would be nice. He drank more Scotch, enjoying the glow it gave him. Jesus, she was a hot bitch, even if she was a little weird.
"Did I pass?"
"With flying colors. Drink up, so we can get started," she said, smiling. She watched him drain the tumbler, then stood and helped him to his feet.
"Whoa, I'm a little dizzy," he said, steadying himself on her shoulder. "I guess it was that needle. They freak me out."
"You'll be fine," she said, taking his hand. "Let's go."
She led him into her bedroom and to the edge of a king-sized bed. Unlike the rest of the apartment, the bedroom was dark—the window was covered with heavy draperies, and the walls were painted a deep red. The furniture was old, made of dark wood, roughly fashioned. Nelah walked around the room slowly, lighting candles.
"Get undressed, Brad."
He fumbled with his shirt, then his jeans and briefs. His cock was hard, already aching.
"How about you? I want to see those titties," he said.
"Soon. Go ahead and lie down. Get comfortable."
He eased onto the big bed on his back, then stroked his dick a little.
"Jesus, I'm pretty fucking horny."
She walked to the bed and took off her blouse, then unzipped the skirt and let it fall to the floor. She wasn't wearing panties.
"I can tell," she said, looking at his cock.
Nelah climbed onto the bed and knelt next to Brad. He grabbed her right breast and squeezed, stroking her nipple with his thumb. She ran her fingers over his balls, then started jacking his dick slowly.
"How come it's so dark in here, and weird?" he asked, still kneading her tit. "You some kind of witch?"
"Don't be silly. I'm a vampire."
He laughed. "So you're going to bite my neck?"
She smiled. "You watch too much television, Brad."
Greg finished loading the luggage in the trunk, then eased the cab into the dense traffic near Penn Station. The young couple he was taking to their hotel snuggled in the back seat, and pointed excitedly at landmarks they recognized. Greg decided against his usual shortcuts, instead taking them through Times Square and the theatre district along Broadway.
As he drove, he thought about the woman. The way she leaned against his cab, showing him her breasts. The confident way she spoke to the blond bouncer, and her amusement at his stupid comments. But mostly he thought about her eyes. The way she looked at him as they talked, and that little smile at the end.
Something about her seemed familiar, but stayed just beyond his ability to make the connection. She looked like an actress, so maybe he'd seen her on television, or in a movie. That was probably it, he decided.
The chatter from the backseat had stopped. Greg checked the rearview mirror, and watched for a moment as the young couple kissed. Mouths open wide, their lips and tongues working hard. His hand was cupping a breast through her blouse as her fingers stroked the crotch of his jeans. You could practically smell the raging hormones.
Greg was a big fan of young love, and didn't object to them getting in a quick grope. Hell, he'd had people fuck in his back seat. But watching the couple depressed him, and made him feel incredibly alone. He couldn't remember the last time he felt the way they did, connected and alive. Perhaps that was why he was struggling with his novel—he'd forgotten what it felt like to be in love.
"Just relax, Brad."
Nelah straddled him and pulled his cock into position beneath her. She sucked in a quick breath as the head penetrated her, then rotated her hips as she eased down on the thick shaft. She paused, working the muscles in her pussy. Brad was a jerk but he hadn't lied about one thing—he had a nice, big cock and she loved the way it filled her.
"Wow! How do you do that? Like you have fingers in your fucking cunt!" Brad said, grinning.
"Lots of practice," she said, arching her back and grinding her ass against him. He was playing with her tits, pinching and flicking the nipples.
"And you got a great set of hooters," he said. "Not real big, but these babies will never fucking sag."
She moved his hands away and leaned forward, pressing a hard nipple against his lips. He licked it, then began to suck. She moaned and held his face in place as she started to fuck him, her hips rising and falling in little popping motions—quick and steady. Her long, black hair coiled on her shoulders and back, moving like it was alive.
She closed her eyes and got into a nice rhythm, letting the lips of her pussy slide about halfway up his plump cock before ramming herself back down. Brad was suckling one breast, then the other, trying to get the whole thing in his mouth.
"I usually fuck doggy style, but this is great!" he said, panting. He began thrusting up into her, holding her hips with both hands.
Nelah wished he would shut up—he was ruining her mood. She reached back and started massaging his nuts as he fucked her.
"You gonna come?" he asked.
"Oh, yeah," she said, then faked it to keep him happy. His lower body was on autopilot, pumping wildly, his breathing increasingly ragged. With her free hand, Nelah stroked his neck for a moment, then felt his pulse. Brad's heart was hammering dangerously fast.
She waited until he was about to come, his rhythm faltering, then squeezed his dick low around the shaft, circling it most of the way with a thumb and finger.
"Hey!" he protested, hips jerking. She pulled up, letting his cock pop free, keeping a firm grip on his shaft. She knelt between his outstretched thighs.
"That hurts! What're you doing?"
"I want you to come in my mouth," she said, easing closer. "That'll be better, right?"
"I... guess so," he said, wondering why she did the fucking blood test.
She licked the head, then the shaft, cleaning him and enjoying her own taste. His balls stopped twitching, so she released his shaft. A little come oozed out and she lapped it up, then started sucking him.
As she took him deeper, and deeper, into her throat, she cupped his balls and squeezed. Brad moaned, the muscles in his thighs trembling.
"I'm so fucking hard. I've never been so fucking hard."
He tried to raise his head, and pull his elbows under him but couldn't. He felt dizzy.
"It hurts! I need to fucking come!"
Nelah wet her fingers in her own juices, then slid one into Brad's asshole. He jerked, surprised, and tried to pull his knees together but they wouldn't cooperate. She pushed another finger into him and worked both around, loosening his sphincter as she sucked his cock faster.
"What the fuck?" he gasped, fear in his voice. Why couldn't he move?
She found his prostate with her fingertips and pushed, forcing them into it. She pulled her head up, spit on his dick, and began to jack him quickly with the hand that wasn't in his butt.
"Come on, Brad honey. I want all of it." She smiled at him as she sucked the head of his cock into her mouth and lashed the tip with her tongue.
"Oh, Jesus! Oh, Fuck!" His body jerked on the bed as he came, his upraised knees flopping weakly. Nelah swallowed hungrily, continuing to work him with both hands until she was sure he was finished.
She wiped her face and hands on his thighs and sat up.
"Oh, that was good." She felt better already, a feeling of vitality spreading through her body. She rested, catching her breath.
"Something's wrong," Brad said. "I can't move."
"There were drugs in the booze, Brad," she said, shrugging. "That's why your cock is still hard, and your heart is beating so fast."
Nelah crawled to the side of the bed, opened a drawer and removed an old wooden case. She returned, holding it up for him. When she pressed the catch and the case opened, Brad began to cry. She picked up the ornate dagger, its three-inch, razor-sharp blade glistening wickedly.
"I'm sorry, but you've got something else that I need. That neck-biting thing is bullshit, but we do drink blood."
"You're a... vampire?"
"I told you I was."
"When you do me, it'll make me one too?"
"You really do watch too much television," she said. "No, Brad. It'll just make you food."
She stroked his cock a few times, then squeezed it tightly two inches below the head. She placed the edge the knife against the shaft just below the glans, then paused.
"I really am sorry. Maybe if you hadn't been such a jerk," she said softly. "It won't hurt much, I promise."
"You fucking bitch," he sobbed, eyes showing raw terror. "Fucking bitch!"
She drew the blade across quickly, cutting just deep enough to nick an artery. Blood trickled out, despite the pressure she was applying below the wound. Nelah leaned in and took his cock into her mouth once last time, released the makeshift tourniquet, and drank.
When Brad finally stopped bleeding, she collapsed onto the bed next to his body. Nelah was incredibly tired, but her needs were satisfied. She slept.
When Greg got home, he was still depressed. His apartment was too quiet, and seemed dreary. He opened a beer and drank it, then got another. He usually tried to work on the novel for a couple of hours at night, but knew that would be pointless in his present mood. He turned the television on, not really paying attention.
The movie Serendipity was showing on cable. Greg had seen it twice, and all the romance only made him feel worse. The Sara character struck him, though. The woman he saw in his cab, the one with the amazing eyes, looked a little like Kate Beckinsale. But more like in Van Helsing, with the long dark hair.
The woman in the cab was even more beautiful. She was hypnotic, enchanting, bewitching. Her face stayed with Greg, he couldn't shake it, and he knew she was the real reason for his depression. Something about her reminded him of everything missing in his life.
He went to bed and masturbated, thinking about the woman. And, when he slept, he dreamt of her.
When Nelah awakened, it was mid-day. She felt groggy, the way she always did after a feeding session. She needed them more often now, because her time was approaching.
She showered, letting the hot water steam away the stains and soothe tired muscles. Feeling better, she dressed then picked up the phone.
"I need you for a clean-up."
"Another, so soon?"
"Yes. He's in the bedroom. I'm getting ready to go out."
"I'll dispose of him. Will there be complications?"
"No. He was a loner. No one will miss him."
There was a long pause.
"You have to do it soon, Nelah."
"I know. I've got four days."
"Still thinking about the blonde from the coffee shop?"
"Just do it, Nelah. It's our way—you have no choice."
"I swear, this is the last one."
"You said that before you became Nelah, remember?"
"I mean it this time. No more."
"What's her name?"
"Alizan Morneau. It's French."
"It's lovely, I'm sure she is too. I can't wait to meet her," he said softly. "You go out. I'll clean up the mess."
Barry was an old friend. He was her mentor, the one who taught her the ancient rituals when it began for her as a Moldavian peasant girl of fifteen. They'd been lovers once, many years before, but now he just looked after her. Nelah was finished with Brad, but his body was still useful to others.
Nelah left her building, squinting because of the bright sunshine. The doorman hailed a cab, and she tipped him as it pulled up.
"The Roasted Bean, on West Forty-Seventh. Do you know it?" she asked.
"Sure. Nice place," Greg said, then smiled and looked at her. God, she was gorgeous. She was wearing jeans and a pink sweater that hugged her figure.
"Yeah, small world," he replied. Actually, it wasn't. He waited at the curb outside her building all morning, watching for her.
Traffic was heavier than usual. At a light, he turned to face her.
"It's been bothering me. I think I know you from somewhere."
"You really don't remember?"
"No. Do you?"
"Of course. Nineteenth Century Literature. The Victorian Age?" she said, smiling.
"My first class," he said. "But that's impossible—that was seventeen years ago."
"Closer to eighteen," she said.
"You can't possibly be that old."
"First row, middle seat?" she said, drawing her thick hair into a ponytail, tilting her head down and looking up at him.
His breath caught. "Jesus. I remember you. It's... Naomi?"
"Nelah." She smiled and pointed. The light had changed. Cars were honking.
"That was a good class," he said, driving again. "You were my best student."
"I had a huge crush on you."
"Oh, yeah. Why do you think I hung around after class asking questions?"
"I don't know. My breathtaking insights?"
"That too, but you were really cute. And you had a nice butt."
"Thanks. I guess."
They traveled in silence for a minute. Traffic had thinned, and they were nearing the coffee shop. There was so much he wanted to ask her, but there wasn't time. And a fleeting relationship so many years ago didn't give him the right to intrude on her life. She was just a passenger in his cab.
"It's Greg, right?" she asked.
"You're probably too busy, but I'm not meeting anyone," she said. "I'd love to have coffee with you."
"Really?" He glanced at her. "I mean, sure. I'm not even supposed to be working today."
They settled into a booth. Greg was a little nervous, so the elaborate menu of desserts and exotic coffees offered a convenient distraction. As he read, Nelah searched the room then smiled and waved.
A beautiful young woman with long, strawberry blonde hair waived back.
"Hi! Be there in a sec, okay?"
Greg studied the waitress. Wow. She oozed confidence, like she knew she was beautiful and didn't spend much time thinking about it. Even the ugly brown uniform looked great on her. Long legs, tiny waist, big tits.
"Is she a friend?" he asked.
"No, not really," Nelah said, watching the girl. "I met her here. Isn't she pretty?"
"Not as pretty as you are."
"Thanks. Wait till you meet her, she's a great kid."
They looked at each other for a moment.
"How is it that you're almost as old as I am, but you look the same as before?" Greg asked. "You're more confident, and, I don't know... polished, I guess. But you don't look any older."
She looked away for a second, indecision in her eyes. Then she was back in control.
"I'm a professional fashion model, Greg. I have to take care of myself."
"Oh, okay," he said. He smiled, pretending that he bought it. She smiled back, pretending that she believed it.
"Sorry to keep you guys waiting," Alizan said, grinning. She leaned and hugged Nelah. "You look great! Love your hair." She looked at Greg.
"This is Greg Bryant. He's an old friend," Nelah said. Greg wished she hadn't said 'old.'
"Cool! Hey Nelah, are we still on for Friday?" Alizan looked excited, her green eyes sparkling.
"Of course," Nelah said, glancing at Greg. "I'll pick you up, then we'll go to my place."