She gazed into her own reflection shown by the mirror above the bed, enthralled by a feeling, unfamiliar…

Nancy, a young women, sweet clam and caring. Nancy tended bar at a hotel/restaurant in a downtown Metropolis. She was a mother, then shortly after became a wife. Nancy, she’s married to a hard working man, a wonderful man, albeit an often emotionally distance man, dispite that he loved Nancy and their child, a little boy unconditionally. Nancy and her husband had a fairly simple routine: Nancy would prepare and pack lunch for her boys, get their son dressed, walk to catch the train, see their son off to school, then they would continue walking together a short distance. The two would share their predictions of what’s to come throughout the day, stopping at the corner where they must depart each others presence. Then kiss, say I love you, and continue on their own to work. Nancy, with only a few blocks to go before meeting her destination notices a black car that seems to have been following her. She slows down and tries to take a look inside, hoping for a recognizable face, but the car sped off. Nancy has made it to work and forgotten her disquietude brought on by the ominous car she thought had been following her. Nancy began her shift as she would any other.  She washes her hands, grabs a new box of both lemon and lime, then a knife so she may cut them into wedges. She carries this all to the front where she is startled by a figure sitting in the shadowy corner of the bar counter. Nancy, still holding tight to the boxes of lemon and lime, knife placed on top. She gently sits them down on the edge of the lower counter. With trepidation inches toward the area of the bar where she can now fully see the shape of man seated alone. Nancy with her comely smile and gregarious personality, says hello. The man then says with a voice Nancy found most attractive. hello, and asked if he could order a drink. Nancy apologized and told the man that the bar was closed, but she’ll be more than happy to get him what ever he would like, but that’s  if he returned after 10am, or any other time during regular business hours. There’s a clinging heard which grabbed Nancy’s attention thus causing her to turn her head. She realizes, as she looked toward the sound it was the knife, once atop the boxes that had fallen to the floor. She turns back to continue addressing the man, but he had gone. Her face, pensive, thinking: how was it possible that she didn’t hear him leave. Then she began to smell something, something that she didn’t recognize initially, but after a few moments  it then began to remind her of a dog. Nancy standing still there, thinking again and again, over possibly nothing, she began to feel idol and she had to continue her work. Just as she finished all her opening preparation more staff tandem arrived. Nancy didn’t mention to anyone what happened to her this morning, but she kept an eye out for the once adumbrated gentleman. Eight hours had passed and Nancy’s shift was over, after saying goodbye to all of her co-workers and some guest of the bar, she headed to the train, where she met her husband and son daily. And from there the little family together trekked toward home. The next day had come and the routine same as every morning was completed without flaw.

12:17pm, Nancy and the other staff were bored, primarily watching the clock, it was a Tuesday and as to be expected at a time such as it was there were very little guest to take care of. A man then walks into the bar and most of the staff are busy sending texts or talking to one another to pay him any mind, but not Nancy, his presences immediatel stole her attention and hers seemed to have done the same for him.  The way that they locked eyes was almost predatorial. He sat himself directly in front of her, she then placed down a black bar napkin and asked,

“Can I get you a menu, something to drink?”

He replied “Yes, a red. Cab, if you have it.”

Nancy’s ears recognized the  voice and a happy, yet peculiar expression ran over her face.
“Was that you yesterday morning, here alone?” The man asked, although aware of the answer.

“No! yes…” She nervously answers.
Nearly dropping the wine glass she had picked up to prepare his drink. He smiles, delighted by her being bashful. She noticed his teeth, how white and straight they are, she complimented them as she pours his wine into the glass.

He thanked her and said, “My cup will soon make your counter a sea…”

Smiling, his eyes suggesting she look down. She does and just before the cup over flowed she pulled back the bottle and laughs.

He grabs the over poured wine glass, raising it and says, “Cheers.”

Nancy then walks away to check on her other guest. She comes back to ask how is the wine. Only to find that again he has disappeared, the wine glass toomer and far too much money left to pay the check.

Nancy walking to the train, alone as usual to meet her husband and son so they could all start on thier way home. She is stopped suddenly, by an odor she thinks is a dog, again. She looks around, and sees many people, but no happy, hairy quadrupeds. She smells herself a moment, but there was nothing. She continues walking. While on the train she attempted to tell her husband of the disappearing act she had witnessed now, twice, but he was barely listening while playing with their son and some old toy he considered his favorite. Nancy a bit too tired to become upset over being ignored. She ended the conversation she was having with herself.

Wednesday afternoon, the hotel restaurants crowd is quite steady. And again comes this man sitting in front of Nancy.

“We should put a bell around your neck.” She suggested with a chuckle and smile.

He then apologizes for disappearing twice before, startling her and then he formally introduces himself. “I’m Sam.” He says holding out his hand with the intention of it being shaken by hers.

She then shakes his hand and it was warm, so warm it sent a charge through her completely. Hoping he didn’t notice she says, “Sam, meet Nancy, me.” She laughs again. Both continue smiling at the other without control it seemed.

He ordered his red wine and she readied it for him. It’s just the right kind of busy in the restaurant today that she can hold a steady dialog with Sam while tending to the rest of her guest at the bar and servers request. Sam, even though he’s enjoying the chat must go, but he assures Nancy, that for her, he’ll be back. A few hours later her shift was over and she headed to that train where again she would meet her husband and son. On the train this time her husband had stories to share of his own, but only a small portion of Nancy’s thoughts are collecting the words of her husband while the majority is replaying her earlier stimulating conversation with Sam.

Thursday came, it was mid-afternoon, Sam had arrived and the conversation seemed to have picked up exactly where it dangled. Sam enjoyed watching Nancy work as he consumed his red wine. Another waitress sees him staring, approaches him to says,

“You know it’s our job to flirt with you, she’s married with a kid.”

He turns and replied “Is it now?”
“Yeah, but I suppose telling the truth isn’t.” Says the waitress.

She began slowly switching away as a cat would flirting with Sam and Sam was interested. He calls her back,

“How would you like to come to my room tonight for a drink, I’m staying here in the hotel?” He asked.

The waitress has already agreed, seems before he had completed the question.

The next day came and went, few more days passed on into the next week and some time after that. Sam was there every day Nancy was, ordering his red wine, conversing with her about her life, her interests and many things, flirting with her and watching her work. Today Nancy was taking care of a table of regulars that would typically sit at the counter, but this day they needed room for celebration. Nancy had just finished delivering to the men at the table drinks. And again she smells what reminded her of a dog, she too quickly turns, searching for the source of the odor, and trips over her own feet and begins to fall, but there Sam suddenly was to catch her. She felt that warmth of his again. But this time the pull was much stronger, it tantalized her and Nancy, unlike any other day was itching for work to end.

Her shift had ended and Nancy rushed out of the building, raced to the train, beating her husband and son their and once they had finally arrived she rushed herself and her family’s getting home, where she quickly fed her son, put him in his bedroom, turned on his favorite cartoon show, before closing his door. Nancy then ambushed her husband with kisses, pulling him into their bedroom. She tore off his clothes and made a love to him that Casanova, in his prime could not have experienced. Nancy’s husband rarely initiated their adult play, but this time for him raised a bit of suspicion while he watched her sleeping that night.. The next morning on their way to the corner where they would depart after dropping their son off to school. Nancy’s husband asked her had she been feeling well lately or was there something she needed to discuss. Because recently she had been getting what he called unnecessarily pretty for work and the way they made love last night, well frankly the way she made love to him was found it quite satisfying, albeit, interesting. Nancy listened to her husband’s concerns and apologized for if to him she seeming off, but assured him that she loved him and everything she’s was doing is for him and only him. The two kiss then walk their separate ways. This morning before she headed off to work she stopped at a winery, not too far off the path of her work to pick up a bottle of Cabernet for Sam, a going away gift to him because a few days earlier he had mentioned his business was done in the city and he would be leaving. She got the wine and a red ribbon for decoration. Nancy got herself to work on time, started her opening duties all the while anxious and eager for Sam to come.

Mid afternoon had arrived and so did Sam. She had his drink ready and a farewell speech she had practiced in the mirror for hours at home some days before. They speak for a while then Sam decided he was ready to pay his tab, says to Nancy goodbye and that he hopes to see her again. She asked him to wait for her outside and she would be out in just a moment. He does so and Nancy so sweetly came out shortly after. Presenting to him the lovely bottle of Cabernet, a hug and a kiss on his cheek. He now seems embarrassed, and initially says that the wine was something that he can not accept.

Nancy then told him, “It would break my heart if you do not…”

So Sam, feeling guilty then accept the gift.

But, that was on the condition she allowed him to buy her dinner that night. Nancy is flattered and wants to say yes, but is hesitant if she should. He smiles and touches her arm, Nancy, so enthralled by his warmth she says yes.
When her shift ended she called her husband who she typically meets as he waited with their son at the train.

He answers, “Hello.”

“Hey honey, one of the waitresses hasn’t been showing up for her shifts, and tonight I’m told we’ll be busy. I have to stay.” She says to him, equivocating the truth.

But, her husband, so understanding doesn’t question anything. He heads homes, just him and their son. Sam opens the door to the hotel and leads her back inside.

Nancy asked, confused. “Are we going to your room?”

He says, “Yes. It’s still booked until 11am. We could order room service, take out… relax and better get to know each other.”

Nancy, just agrees. Feeling guilty for becoming less worried the further she goes.They arrive at his suite with a “Do Not Disturb” sign hanging from the handle of the door. They enter and Nancy is just astounded by its decor, never having been in one of the rooms herself, also by how oddly clean the suite is. And again she notices a strange smell, she smells a dog, but immediately placed it out of her mind, to reframe from it’s mention so not to offend. Sam sits the bottle of red wine on the table beside the door and they continue their talk, they discuss food options. Sam says he’ll enjoy whatever she chooses, walking toward the bottle of cab to open, and pour her and himself a glass. Nancy settles on Chinese, and favorite of hers;she makes the call to the restaurant placing both their order. And while the food is in route they continue to talking, mostly mundane things that they have gone over before in the bar. While Sam is speaking and sipping his wine Nancy abruptly spits out,

“I’m a married woman, you know that, right? I have a beautiful son, a hardworking, honest husband. A very good life!”

Sam then calmly replies, “Of those statements, who are you trying to convince? You are here with me thanks to nothing, but your own free will.”

She understand and agrees with his prospective and says, “I should leave, this can not end well.”

Nancy, swallows all that is left in her wine glass, then readies herself to go, Sam stands, after sitting his glass down with a baleful look in his eyes following her toward the door. Nancy opens the door and there the youthful delivery man stood with their food and his eyes fixed on Sam as though he caught a glimpse of something he wasn’t certain he was seeing.

Around turns Nancy, curious why the boy had that particular express across his face. But, after she had turned she saw only Sam standing over her shoulder. Nancy takes the food, Sam then grabs for his wallet to tip the boy, never once loosing eye contact with him. The boy seems quite frightened by Sam’s arduous to describe demeanor. The delivery boy, filled with trepidation cautiously takes the money Sam has in his hand, Sam then starts slowly closing the door sending him on his way. Now after Sam closes the door he stands there for just a moment and begins to think it’s time to do something drastic, something that would make her stay. He slowly walks to Nancy as she stands in kitchen nook looking through the packages of delightful smelling food.
Sam grabs Nancy and kisses her. Nancy, stifled by this took some time before she pushed him away.
“I knew this wouldn’t be a good Idea, I have to leave.” Nancy nervously says as she with obvious hesitation gathers her belonging, again.

Sam intensely suggests that she stay, stay there him. As he moves toward her, he takes the bags away from her hands and he continues telling her how he would change her life. Sam tells Nancy if she were with him she would not have to work anymore, she would no longer have a man that makes her feel neglected and alone. Nancy is shocked by his assumption of her feelings and her relationship. Nancy still silent, not moving an inch. Sam has his arms still wrapped tightly around her at the waist.

“Tell me that I am wrong. Say to me that the way you talk to me isn’t as if you haven’t had a meaningful adult conversation in years. How is it that I know so much of you and I’ve only known you for a few weeks time. Tell me that my holding you right now doesn’t feel justifiable… Nancy, I saw the colors of your eyes change the first time we touched. Just stay here with me, let me take care of you…” Sam confesses.

Nancy, flummoxed and overrun by lust, kisses him. While the memories of every conversation she wanted to have with her husband, but could not because he was watching his sports on television or attempting to fall asleep. Thoughts of her son crying because what she had prepared for dinner was not what he wanted, the way he would scream when it was bath time or wasn’t ready for bed. Nancy kissed this man and unlike what she felt while kissing her husband, Nancy felt valued, Nancy felt wanted. Clothes begin to fall off as the two move each other to the bed. Nancy, so taken by the warmth of him, she could not stop this, not that tired. In the bedroom of the suite she gazed into her own reflection shown by the mirror above the bed, enthralled by a feeling unfamiliar. Nancy’s fingernail drag from his shoulder down to his lower back. Sam, like a masochist enjoys the pain. Nancy, sighing and calling his name, what a pleasure he is bring her. During that same moment she wanted him to speak to her, she asked him to tell her what attracted him to her, she wanted him to tell her what he imagined when alone during the night and he thought of her.

“What you taste like, your scent…” He says breathing heavily.

The answer was something Nancy has never heard before and than the fleeting scent of a dog she began to notice again. She pushed Sam up to ask him what it was, but before she could she noticed his eyes had turned black so black she could not remember what color they were before. And those teeth she had many times admired grew larger and more shape. Before Nancy could scream he used those teeth to tear at her throat. He quickly climbs from atop Nancy and paces the corning of the bed just watching the blood pour from her neck as red wine from a bottle. She holds her throat attempting to apply pressure, but she is not strong enough. Nancy’s eyes follow him as he paces the room, ponderously breathing and growling. He brushes pass the closed curtain allowing the moon light in for just a moment, it cascades over the lifeless body of her co-worker, the waitress who for days had been missing. Nancy sees her throat has ripped out and hole in the young waitresses chest where her heart should have been. Nancy wants to fight, she can not, she is hemorrhaging, slowly, she has already seen her fate in the dead eye of the waitress. The memory of her husband pausing his sports games to ask her if she could repeat what it was she had said, but she was too vexed to begin a once failed conversation again. The way he entered the bed,attempting to cuddle her, but she would just push him away, then turning herself over to talk, but he has already fallen asleep. Nancy had thoughts of her son taking the first bite of the food she cooked and it being so delicious, changed his mind and how when he screamed at bath or bed time, her husband came in with his favorite toy, essentially making all better.

Downstairs, into the restaurant bar walked Nancy’s husband, carrying Chinese food and their son. Her husband asked the manager to grab Nancy for him since their son couldn’t sleep without a good night kiss from mom. The manager told him Nancy was not working, and apologized to him for any inconvenient. He was confused, but not upset by the news. He grabbed his phone and starts dialing Nancy.
Back in the suite, Nancy is still without help she sees the glow of her phone and knows it’s her husband calling her, but she cannot answer. She looks at the reflection of her naked body in the mirror above the bed, she is invalid, helpless laying in a pool of her own blood. Back onto the bed and on top of Nancy crawls a creature she once knew named Sam. Too weak to tremble in fear, she begins to cry and hopes that when her body is found she will be forgiven. Forgiven by her husband for betraying his heart and trust, forgiven by her child for putting her desires ahead of him, unlike a mother and abandoning him while still so young.

“This should have never happened.”she thinks as she watches this creature raising its hand with long sharp claws protruding from them. Brings them down, heavy, digging into her chest. The reflection of herself she could unfortunately see was no more, Nancy is dead.

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