His whole body was covered in night sweat. He was so tired that he couldn't imagine having possibly slept. The sheets were covered in moisture, clinging to his skin and making him horribly uncomfortable. His heart was pounding fast. He'd had a nightmare, he remembered that much. But he could only recall fragments of what had happened in it. He felt like he was struggling in a dim, cold, creepy place.
That was right. In that place, strong, inhuman hands had grabbed at him. He had hung on desperately. If he slowed even a little, he would plummet headlong downwards - he remembered the fear of it. The terror was vibrant and intense. He was in a kind of delusion where the dream world seemed to be connected to reality.
"Don't be so stupid..."
He looked all around him. He saw the ceiling, the paper peeling off it. He saw a bare fluorescent light, a cabinet packed with CDs, a stereo and pamphlets, and countless memos stuck to the wall. The morning light spilled through the blind, illuminating a plastic basket filled with dirty laundry. Nothing is out of the ordinary. It's just my dirty one-room apartment, the same as always, he thought, going to get out of bed, but for some reason he couldn't.
His right arm resisted. Something warm was wrapped around it. Sitting up and looking over, he saw a blonde woman sleeping beside him. The blanket slipped off as Vincent moved, exposing her skin. It was amazingly smooth. She wasn't even wearing underwear.
The blonde woman held onto Vincent's right arm with both of her slender arms. She looked about twenty years old. Her shapely eyebrows were scrunched up.
"Who is she...? Wait, is she that girl...?"
Images flashed through his head. The night before, after Jonny and Toby had left, Vincent stayed behind and drank by himself. It was approaching midnight, and few patrons remained. That was when she appeared. Her outfit, decked out in lace, was really more something you would call underwear than clothing. Most of her was exposed. An eye-catching red ribbon was tied beneath her breasts. Completely normally, she sat down in the seat opposite. Just like Vincent, it looked like she'd already had a lot to drink.
"...Getting married is some kind of custom, right? I don't wanna be tied down, but it's aaall my parents and friends talk about. It's like if you don't you're only half a person, you know? Why does it matter, as long as you're with someone you love? Freedom is the most important thing for people, isn't it?" she said, holding her knees and resting her chin on them as she spoke. Her voice had a hint of youth in it still. Vincent watched her vacantly with his drunken eyes.
"Didn't expect that..."
"I just mean that girls, you know - when they grow up, they just naturally start thinking about getting married. I'm kinda shocked that there are actually girls like you out there."
"It's not that weird, is it? Guys aren't the only ones who feel suffocated."
He was glad to hear it. It definitely wasn't the kind of thing Katherine would ever say to him.
"Right? You don't wanna get mixed up in that kind of hassle."
Vincent lit a fresh cigarette. Glancing up, he saw that the girl who had been opposite him had disappeared. Maybe she got fed up of being in the company of a middle-aged man and went home, he thought, but then caught the whiff of a sweet scent from right beside him. She had moved to the seat directly next to him. She was closer than was necessary, their hips almost touching.
"Great. We agree on that."
The bewitching smile she showed him caused the words to stick in his throat. She tipped back her cocktail glass, drinking it down in one go. Sound came from her white throat as it moved faintly. Her long, closed eyelashes fluttered. Her underwear-like outfit accentuated the contours of her body. She let out what sounded like a sigh, putting the glass back on the table. Her white cheeks were flushed, her eyelids half closed. Vincent swallowed. Noticing his stare, she gave a soft smile.
"What is it?"
His head wasn't working properly. He couldn't think things through calmly. Her smile deepened, and she rested her elbows on the table. Leaning on them, she began to move closer to Vincent, but her elbow slipped. Losing her balance, her petite torso collapsed on top of Vincent. Reflexively, he wrapped his arms around her. He felt her perfect weight, and the warmth and softness of her skin.
"A-are you okay?" His voice was high-pitched.
"Yeah. Thanks," she said, giggling again in his arms. "Am I soft?"
"No, I, uh... sorry."
Flustered, he tried to push her off, but she put her hand against his, gripping and covering it.
"Oh, um... I have work tomorrow."
She's so hot, he thought. But he had a girlfriend, and things would get really messy really quickly if things carried on this way.
"I'd better leave soon. I had fun today."
He tried to stand, but she wouldn't let him. She strengthened her grip on his hand, entwining her fingers with his.
"I..." He could feel her warm breath on his cheek. "I asked if I could sit beside you because it was busy in here. That was a lie."
Her hand guided Vincent's. His fingertips brushed against her arm, tracing its curve.
"W-wait a minute... There might be someone from work here or something," he said, but couldn't fully resist. His stare was drawn to her cleavage.
"What're you looking at?"
She gazed up at him.
"I-I'm not looking at anything."
...Yes, he could even remember that. But he couldn't recall what came next. Had he drunk even more? Maybe he'd gotten carried away and got himself drunk. Maybe that was why he'd passed out. And that was when another scene played in his head.
It wasn't like his memory had come back. It was more like he was being forced to watch a video of something he had absolutely no recollection of whatsoever. Vincent walked around the nighttime town. She - the blonde woman lying beside him right now - was next to him. Vincent was wearing the same thing he had been wearing in the bar. She was wearing a long, light coat. They were both totally drunk. It was hard to believe, but their fingers were tightly entwined, holding hands. They both staggered, bumping shoulders and giggling each time they did so.
He recognised the scenery. There was an office building with its lights out and a shop with its shutters down, amongst other things. It was the route from the bar to Vincent's apartment. Each time they stopped at a traffic light, they pressed their bodies up against each other. Their cheeks brushed. When there were no other pedestrians around, they would sneakily press their lips together, devouring each other's tongues. Both of their saliva tasted of alcohol.
Entering the apartments, Vincent - surprised at how daring he was being even in such a place, however drunk he was - was still enveloped by her. Taking her by the shoulders, he turned her exquisite body around and pressed her up against the wall beside the entrance. He buried his face in her neck, sinking into her white skin. Her skin was flushed. Her breathing was shallow and rapid. From somewhere he heard a faint voice mingled with a scream. Vincent's heart, too, was bursting. The sound was painfully loud inside his ears.
He pressed his lips against hers. Her mouth opened slightly as he did. Acting on impulse, Vincent thrust his tongue inside. Surprisingly she drew her tongue back, but quickly wrapped it around Vincent's. Their saliva mixed again. Their tongues went noisily in and out of each other's mouths. It steadily became harder and harder to breathe. She pulled away slightly, their lips parting. Saliva fell from Vincent's mouth and trailed down his chin.
She smiled, her eyes vacant. She kissed Vincent's chin, licking the dribble of spit, their lips meeting again. She sucked up the spit, gulping it down. Vincent opened the front of her coat. He touched her breast, cupping it in his hand. In contrast to her petite physique, her breasts were so large they spilled over his hands. Their form smoothly changed shape between his fingers, undulating as they shook. She made a sound like she had been tickled. He became aware that he couldn't stop his hands. He was absorbed in massaging her breasts. Each time he did so her body moved as though convulsing, bending slightly backwards.
Vincent put his other hand on her buttock. He could faintly feel the heat of her body through the fabric. He gently slid his hand down the fabric, touching her thigh. Her skin clung to Vincent's hand. He rubbed it, slipping his hand under the hem. He touched flesh even softer than her thigh. He felt the roughness of her underwear. It seemed moist. His hand moved upwards. He touched the top of her underwear, then grabbed it. She twisted her body, whispering something and acting as though resisting. Regardless, Vincent devoured her lips, gripping her breast with his right hand and pulling down her underwear with his left.
The entrance door opened, outside air blowing in. With a start, Vincent hurriedly pulled away from her. It took a moment for him to unhook his left hand from her clothes. An ageing man in large sunglasses entered. He glanced at the two, then walked towards the elevator as though nothing had happened. A mechanical sound echoed through the room, and he heard the elevator door open softly. They exchanged glances. Both laughed. Taking a breath, Vincent roughly wiped his mouth. She traced her lips gently with her hand, then reached it out to Vincent. She put her fingers through his index and middle fingers, holding on as though wrapping them around.
Standing in front, she began dragging Vincent behind her towards the stairs. About three steps up, she began climbing facing him. It was the march of the drunk. Several times she bumped against the handrail, each time bouncing off it like a ball, laughing in amusement. Even still, she didn't release Vincent's fingers. Instead, whilst swinging wildly from side to side, she seemed to be enjoying the recoil. Vincent watched her behaviour with amusement.
Suddenly, she came to a stop on the landing. She made a serious face, abruptly letting go of Vincent's hand. Turning towards the wall, she bent over and began to squirm. She poked her right leg out of the coat, then put it back to the floor. She lifted her left leg, then put it back down. Losing her balance she fell, and Vincent hurriedly held his arms out in front of him. He just about managed to wrap his arms around her waist. She turned around, looking up at Vincent's face, and laughed, embarrassed. Quickly she slipped her right hand inside her coat pocket. She was holding onto something whitish.
In a moment, Vincent knew what it was. She had taken off her half-removed underwear completely, feeling uncomfortable, and put it in her pocket. This time, she began climbing the stairs as though dancing. Vincent followed. As she tried to go further up he grabbed her, turning her around, pushing her lightly on the back towards the hallway. The hem of her dress fluttered. She wasn't wearing anything beneath it. He stopped himself from reaching up there, looking up and down the hall. Vincent quickened his pace, for the first time the one being followed, and arrived outside his room.
Searching around in his trouser pocket, he pulled out the key to his room, but he was so flustered that he couldn't get the key in the lock properly. She approached, standing right beside Vincent and wrapping one arm around his waist. Her movements caused Vincent to hurry further, roughly jamming the key into the lock, but the point clicked against the lock, refusing to budge. Then he noticed another metallic sound besides the lock. Something in front of his stomach felt unusual.
Taking a look, Vincent saw that Catherine had begun to remove his belt. It took her a mere second to slip the metal from the leather hole. She looked up at Vincent as though demanding something. Her dainty fingertips grabbed onto his zip, pulling downwards. It caught momentarily, but she pulled harder until it reached the bottom. Vincent's hips went weak. The key went into the lock.
Vincent fixated on unlocked the door, holding her in his other arm. Gripping the handle with the hand holding his keys he pulled the door open, practically pushing her inside. His sagging trousers made him fall forwards into the mostly-dark room, the only light a faint beam from the hallway. Quickly he rolled over, turning towards the door.
He heard the rustle of clothing. Her coat fell to the floor. Silhouetted by the light from the hall and bathed in black, she approached. She stood over him, surprisingly close-by. From that position, she could tuck Vincent's face between her thighs. He smelled a unique scent - sour, but not unpleasant. Vincent looked up slowly. She reached out, holding Vincent's face, guiding it towards her...