Songspiration: Cola, by CamelPhat, Elderbrook, Robin Schultz Remix
11:09 pm. Saturday night in the SoDo.
Icy rain fell in sheets, illuminated in the artificial halos of streetlamps. Rey peered out of the cab window, squinting through the deluge to map the route to her destination. She thanked the driver and flipped her hood over her head, exiting fast to make a mad dash down the alley. Her footfalls sent up small splashes as she ran, dodging deeper puddles to finally dart beneath the shelter of an incongruous awning.
At the back of the alcove was a set of heavy double doors, nondescript but for the red hieroglyphic symbols that crawled vertically down their surface. A beefy man in a bomber jacket stood at the threshold, his arms crossed and expression guarded by a mirrored pair of sunglasses. To his left was a built-in, glass-fronted booth housing a sullen cashier.
Rey glanced at the bouncer from under her hood, making eye contact before approaching the pale girl in her dimly-lit booth. Neither smiled, which suited her just fine.
She wasn’t here to make friends.
An exchange of bills and several swipes of a wand later and she was pushing through the double doors and into another world entirely. She paused, her eyes adjusting to the dimness. The heavy pound of percussion vibrated through her body like an old lover come around, and Rey bit back a satisfied smile.
The club was a throbbing, cavernous wonderland – just the way she liked – a perfect place to disappear.
She located the coat check and discarded her wet jacket before exploring a little. There were several hallways behind her lit with an eerie green light, like portals to unearthly realms. A long bar thronged with people sat to the left, while the dancefloor opened up to the right, taking up the majority of the vast warehouse.
Rey ignored the bar entirely, passing through banks of dappled fog to skirt around the frothing sea of dancers.
Reaching a back wall, she leaned back against it and scanned the scene with hooded eyes. The DJ perched above the action in his crows-nest booth, and half-naked dancers contorted in cages. On the far wall was a stage. She could make out various props set up there: lengths of chain swinging above the raised platform, sporting an assortment of manacled bars. A glorified sawhorse-contraption and various other paraphernalia. From the look of it, there was to be some kind of BDSM show later.
Her eyes passed dismissively over the setup, moving on to that which drew her in the first place: the floor. Emerald laser lights lanced through the thick fog as the music began its abduction. Her hum of bliss went unheard as the rush of energy bled through her muscles, infecting her. The relentless beats drove that antsy feeling higher with each passing second, demanding she move.
Setting a water bottle down against the wall, she gave in to it, shimmying out to the edge of the floor. Her slender arms joined the ranks, raising up in anticipation, hips beginning to swing as the heavy, repetitive percussion built into an unsustainable frenzy. When the beat dropped, her eyes closed and she was a goner. There in the altered reality of the club, all her cares dissolved as she became a live conduit for restless energy. The music was in her, and she obeyed - her body undulating to the jagged beats, head tossing, lips parted blissfully.
This. This was the reason she came to these stash-spot industrial clubs: complete anonymity and utter submersion.
Disappearing among the throngs of drugged-out kids, she found deliverance from the stresses of her life, giving herself over to the high born of tireless, frantic dance. Nobody gave a fuck who she was, and nobody bothered her. This sort of place wasn’t for hooking up or socializing - it was for sweating your kidneys out into sweet oblivion. Rey found the release crazy-addictive, and she came back to it time and again, losing herself in the synthetic beats, dancing until her clothes were soaked and body threatened to collapse from sheer exhaustion.
She was caving to a heavy mix of darkwave synth when she saw him.
He stood out because he wasn’t dancing, a tall figure frozen in place as sweaty club kids writhed about him, oblivious to the statue-like man in their midst. She frowned slightly, struck by the odd sight. The strobes flickered hypnotically, freezing frames in their brightness.
As she stared, his eyes lit a terrible red. She blinked and the unnerving color vanished. The lights were messing with her spun pupils. Had to be...but even so...
He was watching her.
Her frenetic pace slowed to a series of distracted undulations, watching him back with muted interest. He was handsome in a way that promised trouble. His pale skin virtually glowed in contrast to hair so black it looked blue. His eyes were very dark, though she couldn’t really tell the color what with all of the light effects.
Red, her mind supplied sarcastically.
He had a charismatic look that belied the ink that crept tantalizingly up the side of his neck, hinting at much more hidden under the collar of his black leather jacket.
The man was tall, looming over the kids around him - a modern-day Adonis, his white t-shirt stretched over wide pectorals that tapered to a solid, V-shaped build.
With his distinctive looks and height, he belonged in a GAP photo spread, not standing rooted amongst a throng of sweat-soaked, tweaked-out dancers.
Hot as he was, she shivered.
Something was off. The way he was looking at her was intense, unwavering, focused. He had the kind of dark, unblinking stare that made you feel pinned in place from way across the room, and it was having an effect. She realized she’d stopped dancing and was now standing stock-still, as if he’d cast some kind of creepy-ass spell.
This guy was ruining her vibe.
She found herself frowning in annoyance, unwilling to admit that his behavior was disturbing. Turning her back, she snatched her water bottle from the ground and tipped it to her lips, muttering curses. Rey took her time drinking, hoping that when she looked again, he’d have moved on.
When she turned back around, he stood a foot away staring down at her, having crossed the distance with preternatural speed.
She squeaked, stumbling back against the cool cement wall in surprise. Recovering herself quickly, she brushed the plastered strands from her forehead and leaned toward him aggressively, twisting her features into the best rendition of pissed-off she could muster.
“What the fuck, dude? You need to back it up!” she spat, her eyes flashing.
One corner of his generous mouth turned up in a smirk, a completely inappropriate reaction to her anger. He leaned forward, forcing her retreat as he cupped an ear like he couldn’t hear her. His voice was deep, almost metallic, and his eyes sparkled with amusement.
“You want me to do what?” he asked with a sidelong glance. “Did you say you want me to...back it up?”
His amusement only served to piss her off further, and her scowl deepened. This guy was a serious dickhead.
Up close, the details of his face were way too clear: a scattering of moles over pale skin, strong nose, dusky eyes framed by low brows. The knuckles of both of his hands crawled with strange symbols, the tattoos appearing black against his fair skin. What a creep.
He was completely ignoring both her words and body language, towering over her and boxing her in.
Rey did her best to hide it behind her scowl, but uneasiness had its icy finger upon her breast, and the chill was spreading with each second that passed. He was so much bigger than she and had no qualms about her upset.
Instead of backing off, he stared down at her with a hungry expression, his intensity meter cranked to 110%. Much as she hated to admit it, it was unnerving. She felt her muscles tensing as she prepared to bolt sideways and not stop until she was as far as she could get from this asshole.
He must have seen her intent, for his expression devolved into something truly predatory as he locked his forearms at her sides, using his superior size to trap her up against the wall.
“Oh no. You aren’t going anywhere,” he stated, frightfully calm and assured.
She stared up at him with wide green eyes, shocked by such a bold move. Her heart pounded against her ribs, and she wished for the first time she hadn’t mouthed off to him. Her gaze darted over his broad shoulders, hoping somebody was seeing what was happening, but the same obliviousness that welcomed her into its fold now forsook her. With a sinking feeling, she shifted her attention back to him. Her captor.
His attention was hyper-focused on her, and she felt the drip of true fear begin to slide down her spine. The club bumped around them, pitching into black as spindly white laser beams sliced erratically through the air.
“Something about backing it up…?” he drawled, his smile barely visible in the fractured darkness.
She watched with dawning dread as his hand shot out to the side, fingers widened in a gesture for those behind him to stop…
A strange rushing filled her ears, like the sound of wind becoming a gale. Then all at once, it cut off. An abrupt termination. It took only a millisecond, her mind tripping over itself as she perceived the wrongness. Her ears rang in the sudden silence.
What the fff--
Words, even those in her mind, utterly failed.
Her heart spasmed as she stared over his shoulder.
Everything and everyone had stopped.
The back of her neck crawled as fine hairs stood on end, her body physically responding to the eerie stillness. Her eyes moved dazedly over dancers paused in motion. Colored beams slanted through unmoving plumes of fog. The DJ was a statue that guarded frozen turntables. She stared in bewilderment as her eyes spotted tiny dust motes suspended in flight. All of reality had just been halted as easily as hitting the pause button of a remote.
She heard herself swallow noisily, her mind failing to understand how this place of overwhelming sound, light, and movement had been brought low by a simple gesture. Fighting, and loosing.
Overwhelmed, she closed her eyes, beginning to whimper as panic flooded her veins, cold and paralyzing. Her hand crept up to pinch herself viciously, bidding herself to wake up, her mind babbling that this had to be some kind of fucked-up dream…
A large hand tipped her face up and a gravelly voice cut through the silence.
“Is that ‘backed up’ enough for you?”
She wrenched her chin from his touch, making to bolt. Large hands gripped her biceps, slamming her back into place against the wall.
His voice slid through her mind like a snake in a cradle. Leaving so soon?
Her wide, frightened eyes met his stare and she quailed, realizing he hadn’t spoken out loud, but that she’d heard him anyway. Realizing that, in all this vast cavern of horrors, they alone remained animated and unaffected.
He’d isolated her.
His gaze was alive once more with sanguine red, and her knees liquified as it dawned...he wasn’t entirely human.
Every second she remained left her more immobile as secrets were revealed in that bottomless gaze: ancient, malevolent, powerful, hungry. She shrank against the wall, wishing she could slip free of the vise of his hands and merge with it.
Her eyes fluttered with the need to faint, incapacitated as he lowered his mouth to hers.
Their lips met.
Her heartbeat shorted as a bolt of electricity zipped up her spine. It was involuntary—the way she arched in shock against him, her head tipping back to give him better purchase.
That jolt awoke every nerve ending and they hummed at attention like well-trained pets. Like she was attuned to him. Locked in her head, Rey let herself scream. His tongue was hot and wet as it plundered the cavity of her mouth, lips ravishing her with the most sensual moves, and she!—she didn’t fight, her mouth opened against her will as she allowed the kiss.
Rey moaned in real confusion as her body reacted all wrong. Languid pleasure spread through her bloodstream, and she felt herself throb in unsanctioned arousal as a surge of wetness dampened her panties.
Her whimper morphed into a muffled sob of dismay. How was this happening?!
He paused his assault, breaking their contact to hum in pleasure - a cocky, triumphant growl. Thus released, she lowered her head and gasped for air, one hand rising between them to press unsteady fingers into her temple. She stared at the strip of white tee shirt peeking from the dark leather of his jacket, seeing nothing as she clawed desperately at her departing sanity.
He chuckled, well-aware of the effect his touch was having.
It was that mocking laugh that galvanized her, breathing life into her frozen limbs. When he allowed just a fraction of space between them, she summoned every ounce of courage and took a wild chance.
Utilizing the moves from that long-ago self-defense class, she drove her knee up between his legs as hard as she could, hitting him squarely in the balls. Success was sweet as the air left him in a whoosh and he doubled over, cupping his crotch. His jaw lined up beautifully to catch the quick swing of her elbow, and her boot descended with a furious stomp on the top of his foot. Then she was pivoting lightning-fast, dashing away from him with all of her fright as jet fuel.
She didn’t look back as she fled through the surreal scene, darting between bodies frozen in whatever action they'd been in the middle of.
His voice cracked like a whip behind her, causing her to crash into a club-goer, the impact sending the stiff body toppling to the floor.
“Yesssss, run—make me work for it.”
His implied promise had her doubling her efforts, fleeing in concerted panic. There was no destination, anywhere was good. Anywhere, so long as it was away from him, away from that voice, those eyes, that logic-defying kiss and the fucked-up effect it had on her.
She careened through the crowd, bouncing off of frozen people, humans who had not moments ago been alive, enjoying a Saturday night out.
Mannequins, her mind blubbered, desperately trying to cope with the insanity. They crowded the floor, effectively hindering any direct escape, much as they would have in a world where the laws of physics and logic still applied.
Risking a backward glance, she keened like a wounded thing.
A bar materialized and she darted under the counter flap, searching for something, anything she could use as a weapon. Short-lived relief lit through her as she spotted a paring knife near a bowl of cut limes, turning in time to see him saunter up to the bar opposite her, cocky and self-assured. She brandished the knife with hands that shook, baring her teeth like a cornered cat as she flattened herself against the shelves of liquor.
“You look like a tall drink of water,” he rasped, “and I’m thirsty.” His eyes shone red for a moment, flashing at her like discs of brimstone.
“What the living fuck are you?” she hissed.
His debonaire smile had no soul; he looked at her with the flat, hungry appraisal of a reptile regarding its next meal.
Without looking away, he delicately lifted a lit cigarette from the fingers of a girl frozen next to him. Lowering his head, he brought it to his lips for a drag. The cherry glowed, casting a hellish tint to his eyes where they narrowed at her. Smoke poured from his lips like a sluggish river, lending an ominous haze to the space between them.
“I am your reckoning, Rey,” he growled in that smooth, metallic voice. “You drew my eye, and now I need a taste…”
“But I-I don’t understand,” she managed, struggling to hold it together and not break down right then and there.
“It’s not for you to understand, mortal girl,” he breathed, casually snuffing the cigarette on the back of its owner's hand.
The stench of burnt flesh spread, and Rey’s face crumpled as she choked on a sob, shaking her head in horrified denial.
A slow smile spread over his face and he blinked at her very deliberately, as if they were flirting.
The smile faded as quickly as it had come, replaced by something else. Her eyes widened as he vaulted over the bar with fluid ease, landing directly in front of her.
Without thought, she plunged the knife as deep into his chest as she could, crying out in disgust as she felt it hit a bone.
Time held for a moment, his face motionless, and in that pause, she allowed herself the smallest flicker of hope…
His eyes flared to hellish red, an evil smirk crossing his lips as he began to lean into the blade, his weight causing her to tremble even more wildly than before.
Her hands fell limply to her sides as her head shook in faint disbelief, moving away from him as one dazed. Ohmygod, ohmygod, please no—
The hilt of the blade protruded sickeningly from the sculpted expanse of his chest, a dark stain spreading around it like a cloud of ink.
“Please,” was all she managed, her whisper cut off as she was seized and tossed into the air like a doll. He was strategic, using the side of her body to clear all glassware as he flipped her onto the bar.
She was too winded by the hard landing to do anything but wheeze as he leaped up to straddle her. With a sharp yank, he tugged the knife from his breast. It made a sickening squelch, leaving a ragged tear in his shirt.
“Don’t do that again,” he warned, shooting her a scathing look as he brandished the blade. It glittered red in the dimness and he brought it to his lips, giving its flat a long, obscene lick front and back.
She wanted to cry but couldn't, swallowing as the knife flashed in his hands, suddenly between her breasts. Her breath was a series of terrorized puffs as he slipped it beneath her shirt, sawing at the fabric violently.
Her boots were torn from her next, followed by her cargos which he yanked roughly from her legs. When his furious assault finished, she lay before him in nothing but her panties and the tattered remains of her bra and favorite Death Star t-shirt.
He gazed down at her, his stare avid as he drank in the sight of revealed skin against the dark wood of the bar.
Rey slid one arm protectively over her breasts, the other over her hips as she shrank before him in abject misery. He allowed it, seeming to relish her pathetic attempts to shield herself from his gaze.
She could hear the mild amusement in his voice as he spoke.
“So miserable…” he remarked, searching her face with smoky eyes, reading her emotions like script. “You think you’re going to hate every second of this, don’t you…?”
She grew still as the statues around her, unbreathing as he lowered his mouth to her ear. His breath was a warm feather against her skin.
“My poor baby,” he crooned, sounding deceptively sympathetic before reverting back to true form.
“You’re gonna cry when I fuck you. Only not how you think…”
* * *
Couldn't resist a mention of that GAP campaign spread. Y U M. For those unaware, feast your eyes on the hotness that is:
SoDo: The district south of downtown Seattle, mainly industrial.