The prey of the beast screamed bloody murder
The line between hoping and hurting
Former believers they beg for release
As love looking down on them smiles and picks his teeth
The sun began its slow descent towards the horizon. The smog, sea mist and thickened lens of the atmosphere painted the orb in a dull orange color, the horizon dripping in red. Helena lay sprawled atop the large gargoyle, her long legs hung loosely swaying back and forth. With one hand, she leaned her head onto her fist, the other drifted the fatly rolled joint to her mouth. She was bored and the marijuana wasn’t having the affect she wanted. But, that’s the way narcotics and her system worked. If she wanted to get drunk, she had to drink a gallon. If she wanted to get high, a dime bag wasn’t going to get the job done.
She was bored, twitchy, antsy. It had been this way for days. The kind of restlessness that wouldn’t be sated with patrolling and ass-kicking. She thought a little mental vacation would do the trick. It didn’t. It had a slight effect, her muscles were relaxed. Her mind drifted aimlessly. But the snake inside didn’t rest. It slithered around her insides, coiled and twisted. It was hungry and it would not rest until Helena sated both their appetites.
"Where’s Barbara?" Helena leisurely turned her head towards the blonde standing in the doorway. Dinah was wearing faded blue jeans, a little tighter than she normally wore and one of those pseudo peasant blouses that were all the rage these days. The 70’s were back, again. Helena hated the 70’s.
"Mama Bear’s not here. It’s just me, the big bad wolf." She drawled before taking another long drag. Dinah walked closer towards the gargoyle. Helena could feel the young woman’s eyes on her, examining her. "What?"
"No, I’m not." She leaned to the left letting gravity pull her body towards the balcony, landing bonelessly on the stony floor before standing to her full height. "It takes more than this to get me where I wanna be. Want some?"
Dinah shook her head. Helena shrugged, taking another drag. "Your loss."
"Does Barbara know you’re doing this?"
"And what could Barbara do?" Her voice hitched mockingly. "Send me to my room? Put me on restriction? Form an intervention where you and everyone else can tell me how much you love me and that I’m destroying me life?" She flicked the remainder over the edge. "Do you always do what Barbara thinks?"
"No." She blushed slightly. Helena tilted her head, her eyes running up and down Dinah’s long, lanky frame. The snake inside hissed.
"I can see that." Her eyes stopped at Dinah’s chest. "You’re not wearing a bra. Tres risque, Baby Bear. What would Mama Bear think?"
Dinah stepped back. Her arms suddenly crossing over her chest while pale cheeks flushed a deeper red. Helena moved with her. Stepped inside Dinah’s personal space. "No, don’t cover them up. I like it."
She stepped back again. Her heart began to pound in her chest. She wasn’t sure what she’d just started. Like walking into a cage with a wild animal, sometimes it would lay still, sometimes it would strike. Her attempts to hide her feelings for the brunette had been as futile as trying to stop the tide. And Dinah’s feelings often became a plaything for Helena’s amusement. "Helena, stop it."
"Stop what?" Helena stepped with her.
"This." Dinah retreated until her back met the wall.
"I just said I liked you not wearing a bra. Is that a crime? It’s not like I said I was going to touch them or anything. Unless, of course, you want me to." She moved closer. Until their bodies were millimeters apart. She raised her hand, let it hover over Dinah’s breast. "Do you want me to touch you, Dinah?"
"Then why aren’t you wearing a bra?"
"I..I.." Dinah stammered.
"Is it because of this?" Helena placed her hand onto the soft flesh. Pressed her index finger against the now erect nipple, slowly circled the nub. Dinah hissed at the contact. Her eyes barely visible through cracked lids. Helena pressed closer. Her mouth a hair’s breath from Dinah’s ear as she purred seductively. "Is it because you were innocently running around the Garden. But the running made you hungry, and the apple looked so good. And you just wanted a little taste of sin? Wanted a little taste of all the dirty, nasty things inside. Did it taste like sin, Dinah? Like fucking and sucking and bodies covered in sweat. Tasted so good it made your pussy so wet you couldn’t stand and all you could think was ‘if I don’t wear a bra, maybe Helena will give me the rest of the apple’?"
Dinah whimpered. "Helena, please."
Helena continued kneading the soft flesh. Tilted her head into the crook of Dinah’s neck, deeply inhaled the soft fragrant scent of skin. Ran her tongue along the throbbing pulse point. "Please what?"
"Don’t." She licked her lips. "Stop."
"Don’t stop? Didn’t plan to." Helena leaned in closer, until their bodies pressed together. She pinched Dinah’s nipple. Grinned as the blonde hissed, arching into her.
"No." Dinah gritted her teeth. "I mean stop."
Immediately, Helena stopped her ministrations. The lascivious grin still plastered on her face. "Are you sure?"
Dinah’s eyes were clenched tight. She hated this. Being toyed with like a plaything. Hated that more than anything she wanted Helena to keep going, to take her over the edge even if it meant leaving her lashed and torn down at the bottom. But, she didn’t want to be a plaything. A toy used and abused then tossed like trash. The word struggled through her mouth raggedly. "Yes. Stop."
Helena stepped back. Watched as Dinah shivered at the heat now replaced with cool air. "Your loss." She swaggered into the Clock Tower, a triumphant grin plastered on her lips. "Call me when you want to taste the rest of that apple. And, believe me Dinah, it tastes good."
Love is the ghost haunting your head
Love is the killer you thought was your friend
Love is the creature who lives in the dark
Sneaks up, will stick you and painfully pick you apart
The Dark Horse was packed for a Wednesday night. It had been Helena’s suggestion, trying different themes for the week. Anything to ease the monotonous boredom of tending bar. Tonight was Goth Night. And they came like moths to the proverbial flame. The normal lighting had been replaced with dark red lamps. Shafts of white light sporadically cut through the crowd. A crowd of blackened hair and painted faces. The flash of pointed teeth. Of danger and desire.
"Bartender." Dinah’s voice cut through the chatter. "Pour me a drink."
Helena turned to the blonde. She was wearing black leather pants, Helena’s, and a white poet’s blouse, also Helena’s. The shirt was held together by the middle two buttons, an effect which showed a large expanse of cleavage and probably explained why Dinah had snuck into the bar unabated. It was conservative in the room filled with corsets, cloaks, fishnets and studded dog collars, but not enough to where Dinah looked out of place.
"How did you get in here? Never mind." She cocked a playful eyebrow. "Does Mama Bear know you’re here?"
Dinah propped her elbows onto the counter, resting her chin on interlaced fingers. "It’s like someone told me, what Mama Bear don’t know won’t hurt her. So, where’s that drink?"
"Where everything else is, in your dreams."
Dinah pouted. Then leaned back in her chair to try for another angle. "Do you like my outfit?"
"Yeah," Helena snarled, "Especially when I’m wearing it."
"They seem to appreciate it." She cocked her thumb over her shoulder at the crowd.
Helena’s eyes closed to mere slits. "It’s not the clothes they want. It’s the virgin princess underneath." She leaned over the bar. Her face illuminated by a shaft of light, accentuated the wicked expression on her face. "What would you say if I gave them to you? Bolted the doors and said it’s open season on Dinah Lance?"
Dinah swallowed hard. The first sticky tendrils of fear creeping into her system. She licked her lips, taking passing glances around the bar. She could see men and women in the shadows, their eyes on her, eyes already ravishing her body just looking for the opportunity to make real what was fantasy. Helena wouldn’t do that to her. She KNEW it. It was the thought behind it. The thought that had caused Helena’s eyes to change, and her voice to go low and throaty. The idea turned Helena on.
And just like that, she was back. Helena’s eyes returned to normal, her mouth stretching into a toothy grin. "God, kid, lighten up! It was just a joke."
"What’s SHE doing here?" Leonard skidded to a stop next to Helena. His eyes glared back and forth between the two women.
"Don’t ask me. Ask Nicco, he let her in."
"I’m telling you. I won’t get shut down because my employees think they’re above the rules. Either she goes, or you both go."
Dinah waited until the man sauntered away. "Helena." She whined.
Helena dug into her pocket. Pulled out a key and handed it to Dinah. "Here."
"It’s a key, idiot."
"What’s the key for?"
"My apartment upstairs."
"You’re trusting ME inside your apartment."
"It’s not about trust, kid. You can either go up to my room or you can walk the streets naked. Either way, you’re getting out of my clothes."
Dinah’s mouth clamped open then quickly shut. Helena had stated her words in that way where she wasn’t really sure if the brunette was teasing her or dead serious. Helena making Dinah walk home naked seemed like something she would never do, and just the kind of thing she would. Dinah decided not to take her chances, sliding off the barstool.
Helena stood close to the bar, watching Dinah leave. The red lights splashed onto Dinah’s blouse until it dripped red. The crowd parted for her, moved together like a flock of birds. The air crackled around them with sexually charged energy, fueled by the low throbbing beat of the music.
‘They knew with the Dawn –
They knew with the Day
They knew what they had
Would be young naked prey’
They watched her, they wanted her. But no one moved towards the blonde, a silent acknowledgment as to just whose prey traversed the stairs.
They used to dance in the garden in the middle of the night
They were naked as the day they were born skin all bone-china white
O you were a vampire and I may never see the light
Dinah hurriedly closed the door behind her. Her heart still hammered wildly in her chest. It had been like what she’d experienced at school walking through a gauntlet of boys, feeling their eyes on them, leering at her. But, nothing compared to the raw sexual energy from below. The boys at school used sex to hide their insecurities and fears. There was no fear downstairs. And it wasn’t just men who leered at her with their eyes. There were women. There was Helena.
She’d accidentally brushed up against one of them. The images came in a rush so powerful Dinah stumbled. She knew the sign in front of the bar had said ‘Vampire Night’. As she glanced over her shoulder one last time, Dinah wondered if the stories were true. Decided that was a question she’d save for later, much later. Like, never.
She flicked the light on, turning to examine Helena’s apartment. More red light filled her eyes. Helena’s apartment was a large one room loft. A den by all appearances. The ceiling undulated with muslin. The dyed fabric filtered the light while giving the room a rounded appearance. The walls were painted a deep, almost black violet, sparingly dotted with candle filled sconces. There was a large screen tv, a couch, a fireplace and a bed. Any more minimalist and it would be vacant. The large bay windows were covered in thick velvet curtains. Candles of various shapes and sizes, sitting on crates, the floor, lined the walls. Dinah pulled the matchbook she’d swiped out of her pocket. She walked around the room lighting the candles. The soft glow of the flames gave the room a romantic feel to it. Never, not even in a million years, would Dinah have figured Helena for a romantic.
There were no pictures in Helena’s apartment. None of the accruements most people filled their living spaces to give it a sense of home. The only picture in Helena’s apartment hung over the fireplace. Dinah stood before the fireplace staring at the picture. It was a painting. There were people nude in a grove, laying about, making love, enjoying the scenery. In the background, several more stood hand in hand moving in a circle.
"It’s the only thing of my mother’s I kept." Dinah jumped at the sound of Helena’s voice. The brunette stood next to her, a bottle of a green colored liquid swung loosely from her hand.
"Is it real?"
"Yep. Matisse circa 1900, at the height of the French impressionistic movement."
"How much is it worth?"
Helena shrugged, her words slurred slightly. "A couple million probably."
"Oh my God." Dinah choked. "Shouldn’t this like be in a museum or something?"
"Why? It’s mine and I don’t like sharing." Helena turned her attentions to Dinah. "Now, tilt your head back and open your mouth."
"Just shut up and do it."
Dinah eyed her suspiciously before tilting her head back. Helena grasped the bottom of Dinah’s jaw with one hand before pouring a mouthful of the green liquid into her mouth. It splashed into her mouth, filling it immediately until it spilled over, pouring down Dinah’s front. All before Dinah had the chance to close her mouth. The blonde coughed, green liquid sputtered from her mouth.
"Yeah, Absinthe. It’s great isn’t it? But, be careful, too much and it can drive ya insane." Helena took another long draught from the bottle. She cocked her head, staring at Dinah. "I told you to take off my clothes."
Dinah gaped at her. "I thought you were joking."
"Not when it comes to my clothes. Now strip."
"Dinah," She cut her off. "You have ten seconds or I do it myself."
Her cheeks reddened with embarrassment. But, there was also the flush of excitement. She was alone, in Helena’s apartment, about to be naked. Helena flopped onto the bed, rolling onto her side. Body stretched languidly. Her eyes glued to Dinah, watching her strip. Dinah slowly pulled off the shirt, tossing it onto the floor. Next came the leather pants. She wanted to be seductive, but her hands wouldn’t stop shaking. She stripped down to the only article of clothing that was hers, her panties. Embarrassed, Dinah covered her chest with her arms.
"Do you love me?"
"Yes." Helena answered. She continued to stare at her while pulling from her bottle. "Does that surprise you? That I’m capable of love."
"No, of course not. It’s just that.."
"Don’t get me wrong." Helena rose from the bed. She began circling Dinah as she talked. "I don’t love like other people. If you’re having fantasies of us holding hands, or flowers, or a commitment ceremony, you can forget it." She stood behind Dinah, wrapped her arms around the blonde’s waist. Her fingers slowly crawled upwards, cupping Dinah’s breasts, a hand still holding onto her bottle expertly. She kneaded the soft globes, feeling Dinah squirm in her arms. "Love is flesh. Nothing more. Nothing less. And just like flesh, it’s born, it breathes. Lives and then dies. Flesh isn’t eternal, Dinah. And neither is love. I enjoy love like I enjoy flesh. With sex."
"Do you love anyone?"
"I loved them all." With one hand she drew lazy circles across Dinah’s stomach, felt the butterflies unleash under her fingertips. "Carrie, Jenna, Eric, Chantal, Missy, Santo, all the others. Sometimes, one at a time. Sometimes, all at once. Loved them with every fiber of my being."
"Is that what’s going on in your sex-crazed little head, images of me and Barbara fucking." Helena giggled at the question. Her hand moved lower, playfully petted the soft blonde curls. By now, Dinah was squirming in her arms. "Are you a virgin, Dinah?"
"Really?" Another throaty growl escaped Helena’s throat. She dipped her fingers lower, gently stroked the desire soaked lips. "Was it a guy or a girl?"
"A guy. Tommy Kremen."
"When did this happen?"
"Three months ago." Dinah could feel the liquor grabbing hold of her system. A strange numbness combined with an euphoric sensation. She felt loose and rubbery, like her bones were slowly melting. Her hips began grinding on their own, thrusting onto Helena’s fingers.
"Did you enjoy it?"
"Why not?" Helena nibbled on an earlobe.
"The first time always does."
"Are you going to hurt me?"
"Yes. But no more than you can handle. A poet once wrote ‘the Eskimos have 53 different words for snow, there should be just as many for the word love’. Love is like sex. There are many different words. Different positions. Different sensations."
Suddenly, Helena whipped Dinah around. She placed the bottle of absinthe to Dinah’s lips, as the liquid began to pour from the corners of Dinah’s mouth, Helena yanked away the bottle. Hungrily planted her mouth onto Dinah’s. She consumed Dinah, probed the inside of her mouth, licked the absinthe from her tongue. Dinah found herself caught in the moment. Her arms wrapped around Helena’s shoulders, pulling her tighter. They kissed hard, wet and sloppily. The only sound was of soft moaning, the smacking of lips and the dull throbbing beat from below. Helena pulled her head back, breaking the kiss.
"On the bed," Helena growled. "Now!"
Dinah staggered into a slight limp. Helena’s bed seemed so far away and the heat between her legs made it hard to walk. She flopped onto the mattress, rolling onto her back. Helena stood at the edge of the bed.
"Aren’t you going to take off your clothes?" Dinah asked.
"No." She knelt onto the mattress, "Open your legs."
The warmth increased throughout her body in a slow burn. Her chest rose and fell in sharper jagged breaths. Dinah stared up at Helena with fearful trepidation. There was a predatory look in Helena’s eyes. They had changed to their feral hue. Her body trembled with energy, as if the last remnants of her control battled to keep the monster at bay. This would not be like that night with Tommy Kremen. Tonight, Dinah finally realized when it came to sex, she had more to lose than her former virginity. She opened her legs, Helena sliding on her knees between them.
Helena leaned over Dinah. Planted one hand next to the girl’s torso. With the other, she raised the bottle of absinthe over Dinah’s chest. The liquid fell liberally from the bottle. Cascaded over and mixed with the flushed sweaty skin.
And then she drank.
Dinah cried out as lips hungrily suckled from her breast. At the fingers, pinching and tweaking her other nipple, learned the meaning of the words ‘pleasure and pain’. She was a buffet of flesh, and Helena fed off her. Lapped and suckled all over her chest, her breasts, her stomach.
Helena growled feverishly. Slid a hand roughly between Dinah’s legs. Parting the swollen lips open with her fingers, she slid inside. The flesh was hot, wet. Her opening was tight. She thrust two fingers deep inside Dinah. The blonde let out another cry, her back arching at the contact. The slick walls gripping her fingers as she pumped them furiously.
Her head began to spin. It hurt and it felt good and she could feel everything and nothing at all. She could only describe it as being ravished. The lips on her breasts had turned to teeth, scraping against her skin, biting her until she could feel welts forming. The fingers inside her, stretching her open, filling her, hurting her, driving her further and further towards the edge. Dinah gave herself to Helena. Until she was nothing more than flesh. She was loved, the only way Helena knew how, by taking her.
Helena lifted the blonde into her arms. Dinah wrapped her legs around Helena’s hips, continued thrusting her own wildly. Another finger entered her and Dinah screamed. She was so close, to something she’d never imagined existed. Helena’s lips were on her neck. Then the sensation of teeth. Teeth digging into her flesh, and Helena was thrusting and fucking and biting. Snarled into Dinah's neck as the skin broke. Dinah screamed, a low, guttural sound that ripped outwards from the center of her being. Her body jolted, clenched around the fingers deep inside her.
And then, it all went black.
Like every heart to the beat before, And every wave to kiss the shore
I’m not the first, I’m not the last. And soon to be your past
But every morning, when the light comes creeping in around my eyes
Another future falls behind the one I had in mind.
The first sensation was of pain. A blinding white hot throbbing behind her eyes. Dinah groaned, fingers immediately massaging at her temples. She dared to open her eyes. The room was dark. The tiniest sliver of light sliced through the closed curtains.
‘It always hurts the first time.’
Helena’s words echoed in Dinah’s head. And she did hurt. Her muscles felt sore, like after a hard work out. Her head throbbed, along with a dull aching sensation between her legs. She tried to remember the night before but it was all a blur, nothing more than vague images and sensations. She’d made love to Helena. Or, at least, Helena’s definition of it. She stretched her arm out across the bed, feeling for Helena but coming up with nothing more than bare sheets.
"Helena?" Dinah called out. Nothingness answered her back. Helena was gone.
Dinah rolled off the mattress. Another groan escaped her lips and she steadied herself as the room began to spin. It took longer to make it to the bathroom than Dinah expected. She stepped gingerly, waiting for the dry heaving sensation that cramped her stomach to recede with each step.
Eventually, Dinah made it to the bathroom. Taking the theme of the rest of the apartment, it was sparsely decorated. Black mats, instead of the favored red, lay on the floor. Dinah yanked open the medicine cabinet. She guzzled several mouthfuls of Pepto Bismal for her stomach, then used the liquid to wash down a handful of aspirin.
As her stomach settled, Dinah stared at her reflection in the mirror. Large black circles hung under her eyes. Her skin was ghostly pale. It was nothing compared to the marks on her skin. Angry red welts, the shape of bite marks, spotted the surface of her chest. A large white bandage was taped to the base of her neck. Dinah gingerly peeled the tape off, gasped at the mark on her neck. The indentations were deep, cleaved into her neck. The skin was raised and bruised, surrounded by purpling swollen flesh. She hadn’t been just bitten, she’d been marked, possessed. Her heart sank as she stared at her wound recalling Helena’s words. This was how Helena loved. She took. She consumed. And then she left. There was no more flesh for Dinah to offer. No more love for Helena to take.
It overwhelmed her. Left Dinah feeling used. Helena hadn’t been interested in what Dinah could offer, just what she could take. Dinah had listened to Helena’s words, all while thinking that maybe she could change her. Maybe Dinah’s love would be enough. Stepped into the cage only to act shocked because the animal had struck.
She paused in the center of Helena’s apartment. She had no clothes of her own here. Everything was Helena’s, down to the heady scent still lingering in the air. It smelled of sweat, sex and blood. Of the willing sacrifice for Helena’s sexual bloodletting. All because Dinah was foolish enough to believe Helena would love her.
Dinah grabbed at the clothes strewn on the floor. Jerked her body into them. They were the same ones from last night. The shirt was crinkled with dried Absinthe, the smell rankled her nose. She didn’t care. Just wanted to leave. If Helena wanted her clothes back she’d just have to do what she always did – take them. This time, Dinah wouldn’t give in. She wouldn’t dream of possibilities and maybe’s. She could be callous, and cruel. Could think only of her own desires and to Hell with what anyone else felt. She’d hurt Helena the way she’d hurt her.
Tommy Kremer had taken her virginity. Helena had taken something more, her innocence, her idealism. The hardest lesson learned – sometimes love isn’t enough. Dinah swore she would stop loving Helena.
Now, all she had to do was believe it.