photo credit: spontaneouspotato.deviantart.com
His malaise became more of a burden. His words and actions were wooden. Cracks appeared in his facade. Ella did her best to provide comfort and advice but her frustration and impatience began to show. “You need to share the wealth, Tom. With a professional. Something is not right and I am worried for you and for us.”
She was right, of course. But the act of beginning that journey overwhelmed him. He knew that he would eventually have to share the pain of his past. Never mind his current deceits. He wasn’t ready to think about the consequences of his truths.
It remained hard to say if the timing of yet another business trip was a good thing or a bad thing. Good because he could use it as an excuse to put off getting help. Bad for another reason. Would Temptation visit him a third time? Could he control himself? This trip would take him far from home. He would leave for the West Coast site in the San Fransisco area. It would be a six week stint. Ella could barely hide her anger. “These obligations are taking a toll on us. Each time you have come back from one of these trips in the past year,the night terrors resume. You need to tell your boss this is the last one. Time to focus on taking care of you and your family.”
He left home with a heavy heart and plunged into work. He had an outstanding reputation as a problem solver. He needed this part of his life to remain strong. By the end of the first week, he had fixed the first of a series of issues at the site. On Friday night, he sat down at the hotel’s bar and asked for a whiskey.
He was two drinks in and about to order another when he heard a voice behind him. “Need a bit more to take the edge off?” White porcelain skin. Long black hair. Wearing a stunning black dress. Her eyes looked like pools of water. She placed her hand in his. “I’m Lilith.” I can take you to a place that will bring you peace.” She place a card in his hand. “Call if you are interested.” And then she was gone.
The card was plain. No name. No title. Just a phone number. The bartender gave him a knowing wink. “Great experience for those who need it,” he said. Tom took out his phone and started to dial. His mouth began to water. His heart raced. A recorded voice stated: “Thank you for calling. A driver will be ready to pick you up in 15 minutes. Please wait outside.” He gave the bartender a puzzled look. “No worries, man. Just go.”
When he got into the back seat of the limousine, the driver opened the window slightly. Facing forward so as to remain unseen, he told Tom to put on a black faceless mask. Without thinking, he obeyed. Then they drove off.
In a matter of minutes, they arrived at a palatial residence. Secluded by hedges and a large forest, it looked over the city lights. His mask was removed once he set foot in the door. Lilith stood before him. “Welcome,” was all she said as she led him to a red-draped ante room. Six people-three men and three women- sat relaxing on the room’s fine furnishings.
An older, attractive woman dressed to match the room stood up and held Tom’s hands in hers. “Lilith sensed your need. We are glad you called.We believe in the healing powers of sensual expression. Many here come to us because they are hemmed in by society’s pressures. Our mission is provide a safe place to fill your needs, heal your pain and escape your troubles. All of us are participants in this endeavor, as we too have other lives. We fill our needs as much as you do yours. We charge no fees. We are here by choice and to enjoy one another. We do not use violence. We are selective about our members. So, if you choose to stay, you must engage in these same practices. We promise you unforgettable experiences.”