A man has plotted his course through life; what happens when fate takes the wheel?
|The Troll Meets The Magic Mountain
* * * *
I was in my moment.
As I popped the clutch, my bike lurched forward with a roar and gravel shot out from behind us, spraying across the road into the brush on the other side. Unlike many trips before, the motorcycle seemed to be possessed with a life of its own this evening, screaming through the bushes that concealed the opening to the trail. For the first time since I’d been riding it, I had trouble maintaining handholds on the handlebars.
Snapping into the first turn I almost thought I’d lost control, the rear tire pounding into the side of culvert that I’d easily skimmed through in the past. The engine gave out a low, throaty roar, and kicked into the next short straightaway, kicking more dirt and gravel into the surrounding forest. I had the sudden feeling that this night was going to be unlike any other, and began to seriously show some concern for my passenger.
The sudden acceleration had pulled my hands back on the handlebars, causing me to grasp the accelerator in a death grip, ensuring that our trip to the top would be made much faster than I’d wanted, something I was not quite prepared for right now.
My bike had taken control of our ride to the top right now, and it seemed that we’d hit every bump, hole, root and branch through the whole route, as if the bluff was determined to imprint the memory of this ride indelibly into our minds on this particular night. My major concern at the moment, was how to stop this crazy ride once we reached the top.
I was acutely aware of her firm breasts jammed into my back as I fought my once friendly bike to the top. It was as though she’d become part of my skin, and I almost feared that she’d fall off during the rocket ride. As the bike deposited us on the summit in a wide, skidding climax, all I could hear now was the ‘pum-pum-pum’ of the engine of ‘horror’ in an idle as I dropped the kickstand on the old stone slab that Eileen and I had used to keep the beast upright on our trips here in the past.
Slowly catching my breath, I was almost afraid to check on the status of my uninvited guest. Even though she had not been invited on my little trip, I still felt responsible for her safety, however tenuous that might seem right now.
I shouldn’t have worried however, as she’d managed quite nicely, with only one slightly odd result, for both of us. Her hands had somehow settled into my lap during the trip, and I’d managed somehow to present her with a rigid erection as a pommel for her balance and security. Probably out of stark raving fear, I figured, as I was relieved to find even myself in one piece after this trip. This was definitely NOT turning out to be a regular night for me.
Slowly loosening her grip on my crotch, Lenore apologetically slipped off the back of the bike, removing the helmet at the same time, and shaking her hair into submission once more. I watched her as she glanced around at the moonlit lookout area, and I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting to see, but I was surprised to see her step into the moonlight as though she owned the night.
Watching the soft breeze catch her hair once more, gently moving it around her head as though caressing her face, I felt once more that the evening was getting away from me. Whatever magic this mountain possessed, it seemed to have favored my passenger this night, and all I could do was go through the motions of previous visits to this site. I switched off the bike, and dismounted, untying my skullcap, and walked slowly towards the edge of the lookout.
The sky was perfectly clear, and the stars were dominated by a beautiful, crystal clear moon, bathing everything below in a wonderfully white light. The Mississippi River was a majestic ribbon of bright, rippling water, usually hypnotic enough to allow me to meditate at length and cleanse my soul, or at least allow me to blow off enough steam to purge my anger for yet another foray into the working world for a while. Tonight however, it seemed to be more agitated than usual, but it could have simply been my perception of it, now that my routine had been disturbed.
Lenore had wandered to the edge of the lookout, gazing out over the panorama set out before us. Aside from a brief apology for where her hands had ended at our final stop she hadn’t said a word.
Tonight however, everything seemed to be a bit out of rhythm, and unsettling, and it didn’t give me the same level of comfort I’d become accustomed to in the last few years. I couldn’t understand what the difference was, unless it had to do with the presence of Lenore.
Shaking off the sense that this night was discordant somehow, I decided to continue with my routine as though nothing had changed, and began to untie my blanket roll from the back of my now silent bike. The forest around us, shocked into silence just after our arrival, began to cautiously speak again, the clicks, squeaks and whistles of bugs and other critters discussing the intrusion of our noisy party began to assert themselves once more.
I spread the blanket near an old stump that had served as a small table for the wine that Eileen and I had toasted with and consumed on our celebrations of life whenever she visited, and I used to reminisce when she was unable to attend. A large handkerchief completed the setup as my tablecloth, and I returned to the bike and pulled the bottle of Merlot and a couple of clear plastic cups from one of the saddlebags.
Lenore was approaching the stump just as I was returning with the wine, and as I set everything on my makeshift table, I couldn’t ignore the fact that she was drop-dead gorgeous, and the memory of her glued to my back on this ride, and the subsequent stranglehold on my erection as we arrived refused to leave my mind.
She stopped short, cocking her hips, arms folded beneath her lovely breasts and gave me a questioning look. I could see I wasn’t going to get through this night without offering some explanation for what was taking place.
“An old ritual,” I said. “My sister and I found this place years ago, and we used it to keep our heads straight in a way.” Her eyebrows wrinkled in puzzlement once again, so I continued. “Our parents had some problems when my sister, Jeremy and I were still in school, and it didn’t really work out well, so I ended up raising both of them to some extent.”
I was beginning to wonder why I was opening up to this stranger the way I was, but I figured that it had to do with the awkwardness of our situation. Maybe it was just the strangeness of the night tonight that was causing my lack of caution, but I felt my guard was slowly breaking down around this woman.
Finally she spoke. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to intrude on this. I just wasn’t sure what to do to stay out of your hair.” Looking around the clearing, she gestured to the enclosure and asked, “Is THIS the location of the ‘Magic Mountain?’ It’s absolutely out of this world!”
The significance of what she’d just said escaped me for now, as I was caught up in the vision before me. She had the movements of a wild animal I thought, smooth and effortless, gliding with an almost liquid grace around the lookout area. Occasionally when I looked at her out of the corner of my eye, she seemed to shimmer in the moonlight, becoming almost transparent, and I thought I was beginning to succumb to some sort of ‘Magic Mountain’ spell.
I shook my head to clear it, and returned to the task of uncorking the Merlot so I could fill the two glasses . . . wait! Would it be improper to have her participate in the ritual, I wondered? I can’t imagine Eileen objecting to it, but I was getting deep into uncharted territory right now, since I really knew nothing—or very damn little—about Lenore, other than she worked with my baby brother Jeremy. And, she was a very good dancer! And, she was a fucking fox!
Under her careful gaze, I poured wine into the two cups, and offered one to her, which she accepted gracefully. Stepping to the edge of the clearing facing the moonlit panorama, I raised my cup, and toasted my sibling’s good fortune, especially wishing good luck to my sister Eileen. Lenore joined in the toast, and thoughtfully sipped the wine afterwards, watching my face as though there might be more to the simple ritual.
One thing she wasn’t, I decided, was a blabbermouth. Even during our ‘impressed’ date this evening, she hadn’t said but a few words to me, and now this silence was beginning to wear on my nerves a bit. She still had my leather jacket on, and to be truthful, she looked better in it than I did. I scanned her body more carefully now, and took in the wonderful effect the moonlight was having on her body, much different than what I’d experienced in the party club. Long, sinuous legs, a wonderfully landscaped ‘altar of pleasure,’ a very trim waist, swelling up into breasts that begged for attention, I wondered at the ‘Ice Queen’ reputation. Sigh!
The air was nice and balmy, and the soft breeze that greeted us on our arrival to the top of the bluff still stirred around us gently. The whole site was beginning to take on an unreal aspect, and finally Lenore broke the silence with a question.
“Why aren’t you here with your girlfriend?” she asked. “Jeremy had mentioned to me that you were still single, but I’d have expected that a trip as special as this warranted better company than me, a complete stranger.”
Stranger, yes… But I had a feeling that I knew her better right now than countless dates and ‘one night stands’ over the past several years. Those other relationships had been few and far between, and I wasn’t ready to commit to anything more permanent after the fiasco my father suffered through.
“I’d have thought that you’d be a little uncomfortable being with a biker whom you know nothing about up here tonight,” I countered. Her chuckle made me suddenly feel a bit uneasy, and what she said next sent my mind struggling a bit to regain some confidence and control over my evening.
“It’s me that you have to worry about, Matthew Phearson,” she said quietly. I watched as she slowly began to circle me, her ice-blue eyes glowing softly in the moonlight. “I’ve waited a long, long time to finally meet you, and I think now, I’ve finally made up my mind.”
The hair on the back of my neck began to rise, and my earlier thought about being stuck with some kind of vampire began to crowd into my mind, as ridiculous as I knew that to be. But she didn’t seem to be aggressive, just . . . odd, curious, even playful. Despite losing what I considered control of the moment my ritual was done, the toast completed, so I was now able to focus more completely on the ‘other’ attributes of my unwanted passenger.
Hoping to regain some ground, I asked her, “So, does the ‘Ice Queen’ have a lover waiting for her to come home to?” I noted that she flinched at the reference to ‘Ice Queen,’ but she’d immediately regained her composure to respond, “Yes, I’ve been in love, for several years now.”
That revelation didn’t seem to affect her attitude however, and she finally stopped to face me once more. Stepping directly up to me, she hooked a finger into my belt.
Pulling me into her, we ended up almost nose-to-nose, and I sensed an unspoken challenge to me to cross an unspoken line. This was definitely not turning out to be my regular ‘special night.’ I could feel her soft breath on my face as her eyes drilled into mine. I could also smell her scent, soft and a bit spicy, but with an unmistakable aroma of worn leather, me, and her arousal.
It was though I’d marked her somehow when she’d taken this ride with me, and I had the strongest urge just then to give in to my animal side and take her on the spot. Looking at her, I knew in my heart that I’d encounter no resistance if I did, despite her earlier comment to me about not “putting out.” I figured that this piece of ass might be much more expensive to me than I wanted, so I pulled back all impulses to make her a conquest.
* * * *
It’s said that we are all captives of our past, and unless we find a way to break the chains of some memories, things will always be the same. My sister had always insisted that my bachelorhood was a result of our parent’s problems when we were much younger, and I could see her logic in that, but I was determined to plot my own course, regardless.
Our father had discovered that our mother had been involved in a scandalous three year affair with one of the attorneys in the law office in which she worked as a secretary. I had just started high school, and had a front-row seat to the devastation this revelation dealt to our nearly idyllic family life in those days. Eileen and Jeremy were affected as well, but to a lesser extent than me, as high school students, while not the most sophisticated crowd in the world, had enough knowledge of ‘real world’ happenings to understand what that made my mother, and my father.
To give our father some credit, he offered to reconcile for the sake of the family if she were willing to give up her lover. She, in turn gave him a counter-offer: if he were willing to allow her to keep her lover, she’d stay with our family and continue to get involved in our lives growing up. The implication there of course, was that their married relationship would cease once Jeremy left home. He declined; in more ways than one as it turned out.
He had tried his best to keep our family on an even keel during our school years, but he was not the man he once was. We had the unenviable experience of watching our father slowly fade from the confident businessman he once was, into a gray shadow of himself, only the memory of his 17 year relationship with his wife, and the mother of his children to give him solace, and pain.
* * * *
I slowly took Lenore’s finger from my waistband, and stepped back a bit. My heart was pounding against my ribs so hard she had to have heard it, and I had the makings of a wonderful erection building in my pants, but I was determined not to be ‘the other man’ in another woman’s relationship. If she had been completely unattached, we would have been moving to the wild dance of love on my blanket already.
She didn’t seem too surprised at my reaction to her somewhat aggressive behavior, and instead, simply asked me if she could have another cup of the Merlot. As I poured another cup for each of us, she went to the blanket I had spread on the ground, and gracefully sat, crossing her legs. It was getting really tough for me to keep my emotions in check, as each time I saw her in a different pose, it only increased my desire to take her, hard!
As I passed her the glass of wine, I sat next to her, gazing out over the moonlit landscape. She sighed, and leaned her head on my shoulder. This was definitely pushing me out of my league, I thought, as I put my arm around her shoulders. Reflex I thought, but inside, I was absolutely vibrating, and aside from her beauty and composure, there wasn’t a whole lot more to account for it. Right! If you believed that, I could sell you some rainbows for harvesting pots of gold.
Taking in a deep breath, she began, “A few years ago, while I was in the university, I had a roommate who had just arrived from a small town in the Midwest. She was a real sweetheart, too innocent, too naïve for the ‘big city.’ I made it my goal to see that she remained that way, at least until she decided to enter into other relationships that made sense.”
I was about to interrupt, but she quickly put a finger on my lips, and said, “Please, let me tell you this story; if you have questions later, I’ll answer them for you.” What the hell, I thought, I had the time but not many answers. I gestured for her to continue, and refilled our cups with wine.
Taking a sip from hers, Lenore continued, “For two solid school years, she filled me with stories of one of the most wonderful men who ever lived, at least in her mind. I tried to ignore her, blow her tales off as the imaginings of a young impressionable girl, but it started to etch its way into my brain, much like water dripping on a rock over time. I had to find out if this was reality or myth. I’d fallen completely in love with her fabrication by the end of the second year, and I began to hate her for possessing this man; I was the lady left out.”
She stopped for a moment and took another sip from her cup. It was quite apparent that she had no idea of the effect she was having on me; her touch, her voice, her very scent was clawing its way into my head, and my groin. This was getting much tougher for me, I realized. Her story though, was beginning to capture my imagination, and I was hoping that she’d get on with her tale.
In no hurry, she simply placed her hand on my thigh, absent-mindedly squeezing and caressing me, increasing the heat of our moment, whether intentionally or not. I was being drawn into her world, her words, and her own personal magic, and I was beginning to hope for a much different outcome for our visit together than what I knew was fated to play out. Too bad, I thought, another time, another circumstance and we might have grown into something much more.
Lenore had been quiet for a bit, so I interjected. “You really love this guy?” I asked. I watched as her face broke out into a big smile. Fuck! I was beginning to love that smile! Not only that, I was beginning to feel a little jealousy creeping into my soul.
“You bet your sweet ass I do,” she responded, “and the sad thing is, he may never know how much.” As she finished this comment, she gave an extra squeeze on my knee, and I had to squirm a bit to escape the reaction I had to her grip.
I was beginning to feel that if anything happened tonight, it would be more of a ‘revenge fuck’ than anything meaningful to me. However, she didn’t seem inclined to take advantage of her situation at the moment, and slipped back into silence. Against my better judgment, I pressed her once more.
“You know, you really need to be with your lover tonight, not with me,” I said. She remained pressed against me, and showed no inclination to move away. As a matter of fact, she began to move her hand higher on my thigh as she caressed my leg. Against what my body was trying to tell me, I stopped her hand with mine, capturing it firmly against my thigh. This could turn ugly, I thought, but I gave it one more attempt.
“Lenore, I will NOT be the ‘other man’ in any woman’s relationship with her mate, ever! You’ve been telling me of your great love for your man over the past several minutes, but I’m getting a feeling that you’re trying to pull me between you and your lover right now. It’s not going to work. I don’t share.” She pulled her hand away, and chuckled.
“She told me it wouldn’t work; I just had to try.” She whispered, almost to herself.
Puzzled, I was about to say something, but she continued, aloud for my benefit. “At the end of my graduate work, I was about to make preparations to embark on my voyage into the business unknown, but I had to confront my roomy once more. I told her that I’d fallen in love with her man, and that if I ever met him, I wouldn’t hesitate to take him from her. It was her own fault, I told her. She’d seduced me with her stories of him over those two years, and now I had become obsessed with finding and claiming him for my own.”
Once again, she fell silent, studying my face with her beautiful, piercing eyes. She sipped from her cup, slowly, allowing for the tension in the air to mount. Her grip on my thigh had returned, and she gently caressed my leg, just above my knee. Oddly enough, I felt a comfort in her touch, and I suspected that she was casting some sort of spell on me, simply because I wanted to hear more of her story.
“You know what she did then, Matt?” she asked. I had no bloody idea, and shook my head in the negative. “She laughed at me! The little bitch simply laughed at me.” Looking at her face, I saw no anger, but instead a wide grin, her mouth turning up at the corners. Unconsciously, I wondered what it’d be like to kiss that lovely mouth.
“Before I left school to return to the job market, she gave me a name, and a location on a card, and told me that if I could tame this man, she’d be more than willing to give him up to me,” she continued. “And then she said a couple of odd things before I left to catch my ride. She smiled at me, and told me that ‘her’ man was a natural for me, but not to be afraid of the wolf.”
Her words were simply spinning around loosely in my brain right now, but something was happening here, something oddly familiar. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it at the moment. She was still watching me, very carefully, and smiling that captivating smile.
To break the spell, I asked her, “Just where is your man tonight? Isn’t he going to miss you? I should take you back home now, if you want.” Again, she put her finger to my lips to silence me, but returned her hand to my thigh, this time much closer to my already agitated cock. “My story? Do you mind?” She raised her eyebrow at me. I just shrugged my shoulders—what the hell?
“Ok,” I countered, “I assume you finally tracked him down?” She looked at me for a few moments, then up at the moonlit sky, and took in a deep breath. Even that simple act of hers made my pulse quicken, and I began to really believe that she was very likely a witch of some kind. Truth be told, I wanted this night to go on a bit longer.
“Yes, I did,” she said softly, “and I’m more in love with him now than I was when my goofy roomy began to brainwash me with him. Tell me Matt, what do you think I should do about him?”
Her question caught me a bit off guard, and all I could think of to tell her was my own general philosophy regarding all relationships. “If you really love him, with all your heart, never betray his trust, ever!” I knew this response was ‘knee-jerk’ from my father’s experience when I was growing up.
As I was saying this, I was feeling myself stepping back from her, and the effects that she was having on me. “Most importantly Lenore, BE with him, don’t let him out of your sight if you can! It’s not just a trust issue; partners in love need to touch each other on a regular basis, just to keep their emotional energy at peak performance.”
I had been weakening to her considerable charms all night, and this last bit of advice was designed to prevent me from doing something I’d probably regret for the rest of my life. Breaking our ‘magical’ bond this evening would likely ensure that I’d remain the city ‘loner’ for a whole lot longer, but I wouldn’t have to have the breakup of a couple in love on my conscience.
“I agree, Matthew Phearson, with your philosophical outlook, but I want a more permanent relationship with him than I think he’s prepared to provide me at the moment. What do you think I should do in that case?” She was looking at me now through her long lashes, as though evaluating my answers on a “pass/fail” scale.
During her questioning, her hand had made its way up my thigh to my very anxious package. I could feel her fingernails gently scratching my balls through my jeans, occasionally grazing my now very erect cock. It seems that her conversation was in some conflict with her actions at the moment, and I was slipping into a ‘fight or flight’ sort of emotional double-bind.
In self-defense, I told her, “If you think you know your man well enough, you should probably squeeze him into a commitment of some kind as quickly as possible, to eliminate any lingering doubts about your relationship. If he balks, you’ll at least know where you stand.”
“Kinda heavy handed, don’t you think?” she replied. I had to smile at that comment. She was screwing with me, I was sure. “Look Lenore, I’m sure that you’ve bumped into a mirror once or twice while growing up, so I don’t have to tell you you’re a knockout! You’ve probably had more love-sick puppies sniffing your butt than the law would allow under ordinary circumstances. So if this beau of yours isn’t damaged in some serious way, there should be no argument from him to take your relationship to a higher level.”
I topped off our cups with the last of the merlot, and we made a small toast to the beauty of solid relationships, but I was still a little concerned about her attention to my equipment, simply because she’d not relented a single bit in pushing my hormone level up several more notches. The soft scent of her breath against the side of my face as she related her story to me was absolutely intoxicating, and I could only wonder if she knew the affect she was having on me just then. This whole situation was getting even more surreal.
“So,” she asked, “you figure that the sooner the better?” Thinking to get this situation back under control, and get our asses back on the road back to town, I replied, “Damn right, the sooner the better.”
Things began to become much more complicated all of a sudden, and I knew that this was going to be a night that I’d remember for the rest of my life.
* * * *