A Story for a Dark Night
By Dee Lloyd
The minute Sam left the shelter of the parking garage,
the biting North wind hit him full in the face. He shoved up the back of his collar and
shrugged a little deeper into his leather jacket to try to keep the chill drizzle from
dripping down the back of his neck. It didnt work.
Lord! He was tired. Tuesday nights were usually slow in
Emergency at Memorial. But, for some reason, tonight all the crazies had come out. The
grand finale had come when one gang of kids got their hands on some automatic weapons and
decided to eliminate as many of their rivals as possible. For the last four hours, Sam had
tried to piece the torn bodies of half a dozen twelve-year-olds back together. Not all of
them had made it.
He was so sick of the smell of blood
failure. He needed company. Yes, cheerful, uncomplicated company and a stiff drink. By
this time of night, there should be a lot of relaxed cheer at The Embers. If he was lucky,
there might even be a friendly woman. Wouldnt he love to finish up this depressing
night with a good-looking blonde cuddled up to him!
That hope kept him striding through the black night.
His boots skidded a little on wet asphalt and slippery leaves that glistened in the red
light from the Embers Sign.
A big red banner reading "GRAND OPENING! Under New
Management," hung over the door. That hadnt been there when hed dropped
in two or three weeks ago.
Sam didnt like to think of The Embers changing.
He hoped the new owners could maintain the free and easy atmosphere of the bar. But he
didnt slow his pace. He was ready for a good time. Was he ever!
He blamed the damp wind for the shiver that slithered
up his spine.
He pushed open the varnished oak door.
The air was wonderfully warm and smelled of good liquor
and a blend of expensive perfumes. He always marveled that so many people could be
laughing and talking without creating an unpleasant din in this solidly-built old hotel.
Everything looked almost the same. The new lighting
fixtures didnt seem to emit as much light as the old ones but the the place looked
much the same. The piped in music was unfamiliar but not unpleasant. Although some of the
customers who were relaxing in the old comfortable red velvet wing chairs at the low
lounge tables were familiar, Sam was in no mood to make conversation with them. He headed
for the relative privacy of a perch on a tall leather stool at the mirrored bar.
He was relieved to note that the new owners had not
replaced Dan as bartender. Although he and Dan did not have a particularly friendly
relationship, Sam was always glad to see him. Dan caught his eye, reached for a glass from
the rack above his head, and waved him down to an isolated seat at the far end of the bar.
His bourbon on the rocks was in front of him as soon as he sat down.
"My goodness," a soft voice murmured.
"You must come here often."
The smiling blonde who somehow was sitting on the next
bar stool sipping a half-finished drink could have come out of his dreams. Her brown eyes
were warm and friendly, her nose straight and a little short, and her mouth a bit on the
generous side. From what he could see of her body, it was generous, too. In her fuzzy,
white sweater, she looked wholesome and sexy as hell.
He swallowed hard, then smiled back. "Often
enough. But mostly, I get the service because the bartender is my cousin."
She leaned forward. Her angora sweater almost grazed
"Yes," she murmured, looking deeply into his
eyes. "I should have seen the resemblance right away. Dark hair. Dark eyes. Square
chin." She smiled that ingenuous smile again. "Hes good-looking,
Sam had difficulty pulling his eyes away. This woman
was something special.
"Sam Faber," he said, reaching for her hand.
"Hi, Sam. Call me, Cuddly," she replied with
a husky little laugh that he found unusually appealing. "Alicia sounds so
Now if that wasnt an invitation, what was? And
she hadnt taken her hand back either.
"Id love to, Cuddly." He began to make
lazy circles on the back of her hand with his thumb. "Can I buy you a drink?"
The heat generated by the friction of his thumb on her
hand was becoming almost uncomfortable. And an electric charge was carrying it deep down
into his body. Hed never really believed the reports hed heard about unusually
strong reactions of body chemistry between a man and a woman. Could they be true? He had
come here looking for a warm woman but this attraction he was feeling for Cuddly was
stronger than he was prepared to deal with.
He took a deep breath and told himself to relax. He
deserved to let go after the trauma of the shift he had put in. As the background music of
violins swelled and filled his mind, he felt the stress drain out of him.
Cuddlys warm brown eyes grew hotter and darker.
Sam felt himself being drawn into their depths.
"Im staying here at the hotel. Why
dont we have our drink in my room?" Her husky voice seemed to come from a great
Sam did not answer. Cuddly threw some bills on the bar,
took his hand and led him out the door that led to the hotel lobby.
Minutes later, he found himself half-sitting,
half-lying on a quilted, purple satin chaise lounge. Cuddlys whole suite from what
he could see was a symphony of purple and ivory satin. Sam was aware that his denim and
leather were totally out of place. That hardly seemed to matter because he had his
leather-clad arms full of soft and affectionate woman.
Cuddly moaned softly as she pressed open-mouthed kisses
along his jawline. She zeroed in on his mouth. Her taste was sweet and tart and
intoxicating. Her sharp little teeth nibbled at his lips.
"Let me help you take off your jacket, Sam,"
The barrier of the jacket was gone in seconds. His
shirt followed. The moment he felt the softness of her breasts and her hardened nipples
through the thin layer of her sweater, Sam was lost.
Twinges of common sense told him that he, Sam Faber,
should get his ass out of there as fast as he could. There was something wrong
too easy about this wish fulfillment. But he had never been as quickly frantic to
consummate a relationship with a woman. Her voice hypnotized him, her soft body was a
powerful magnet that he could not resist. Soon they were both naked and writhing on the
large bed that had loomed in the background.
No woman that he had ever been with had wanted him this
badly. Cuddly kissed and sucked and bit him. She tantalized him until with one mighty
thrust and one deep bite on his neck they reached the goals that they had set themselves.
When Sam awoke some time later, Cuddly was still in his
arms. He tried to remember how he had convinced her to let him take her to bed. Almost
everything leading up to the moment she had begun to remove his clothes was a blank.
"Hello," she said, with that slightly
innocent, mostly knowing smile of hers. "Are you all right?"
"All right?" He beamed the smile of a
well-satisfied male. "I couldnt be better."
She sighed. "No, you couldnt. You are
definitely the best."
Slightly uneasy, he raised himself on one elbow to look
down at her. She was truly a wonder
lush and sexy and beautiful. However, he was
aware that she was totally in control of whatever would happen with them.
"This isnt over, is it? I mean we will see
each other again?"
"Oh, yes," she said with a little twisted
smile. "We will see each other for a long, long time."
There was a long pause.
"Why did you choose me?" He knew she had done
all the choosing.
"I couldnt resist your scent."
The look on her face frightened him. "Scent? I
dont wear any scent."
"The Blood!" she purred.
He touched one of the spots where she had bitten him.
Oh, Lord! What had he done?