CHAPTER ONE

LONDON 2014
JULY 23rd. 6.04pm

JUDITH

Floyd Carrey is my philanderer-of-choice tonight.

I’m snuggled in the backseat of a copper coloured Mulsanne, a beautiful thoroughbred of a vehicle the interior of which is, in my opinion, comparable to the velvet lining of a mother’s womb.

I’m sipping a glass of Bollinger, observing Floyd through a pair of race-track field glasses and at times I feel as though I could reach out and stroke the stubble on his gorgeously sculptured chin. He’s a specimen alright. In less than forty-eight hours I’m going to rip the marriage from under his feet, but right now I’m perfectly content to spy on him from the comfort of my car.

The windows of the Bentley are tinted a deep shade of blue and so there’s no chance of being observed in turn. I’ve had my chauffeur discretely park the vehicle across the road from the Red Heritage Restaurant in Swiss Cottage. Floyd is currently dining in the restaurant with Marnie, his wife of five years.

Traffic is light. It rained a little earlier in the evening and the road is slick as a result, reflecting streetlights and the pink and blue and yellow glare of passing cars, and it all looks a little like a Leonid Afremov painting, minus the fairy tale ambience of course.

I’m looking forward to devouring Floyd’s marriage, belly-first, the way a big cat might devour an ailing wildebeest, recording every fickle moment of our co-joining on a buttonhole spy-camera I acquired from a deliciously tech-savvy acquaintance of mine.

I always record my liaisons, my little tête-à-têtes, partly for posterity’s sake, but largely so I can furnish the betrayed wife with evidence of her loving husband’s infidelity.

Some women would charge a fortune for the kind of service I provide.

I charge nothing, of course, which only goes to show you the kind of charitable soul I am. I offer my services without prior solicitation, like some angel of marital karma swooping down on potential philanderers everywhere. I am a bird of prey and I feed on the flesh of insincerity.

Most women would rather I’d left them in their ignorance, they call me “homewrecker” and worse, but they’ll thank me one day, when they’re over the initial shock of betrayal and moving on with their lives, and looking back they’ll come to realise what a cheap two-timing rat bastard their ex-spouse really was, not at all the kind of person you want to squander a lifetime on.

The only thing worse than being lied to is when you’re the one doing the lying.

*

The married man I’m currently in the process of seducing is quick and easy on the eye. He has a rather foppish love for tailored suits and silk, hand-made ties. He is only twenty-seven years old but he dresses like a much older man. Floyd Carrey, you may recall, is an up and coming Tory politician, a man who has, ironically enough, made a political career out of espousing “family values”. According to his own press releases he’s going to take “…Britain back to a time when “Till death do you part” actually meant something.”

Hoo-bloody-rah!

Don’t get me wrong, I admire Floyd’s intentions, I just don’t think he’s the right candidate for the job, he’s been married five years without so much as the whiff of a scandal, but I’m going on predatory instinct here when I say the man is overripe for seduction.

I can see all the signs.

Even sitting here, sipping Champagne and watching him through the restaurant window, I can see the fault lines in Floyd’s marriage as clearly as if he’d hung a sandwich board around his neck.

He’s seated at the table closest to the window, his wife sitting opposite him and they’ve barely said a word to each other since they arrived. It’s something of a ritual with them. They sit at the same table every Tuesday night; just so potential voters can see how strong their marriage is. If they had kids they’d display them as well. Voters love kids.

I’m watching Floyd as he makes a thousand-and-one-calls on his mobile phone, busy-busy bee that he is; his wife texting away on her own phone, her finger stabbing at the screen with almost manic speed, they’re about five feet from each other but they might as well be poles apart. It’s all in the body language, no kids, no responsibilities, no pressure, their marriage like a frictionless partnership that only requires them to turn up and answer present, after that they pretty much do what they want, he loves her, he tells her that a hundred times a week, but it’s a perfunctory statement, like something you say, not something you truly mean.

I sigh.

‘The only thing holding some marriages together is the rust,’ I say out loud.

George, my chauffeur, sits rigid and detached in the driver’s seat. He looks immaculate in a black tailor-cut suit, his salt and pepper hair trimmed to a fine, masculine stubble; his brown eyes appearing almost somnolent beneath heavy lids. He is a handsome man but not an especially communicable one and at times I tend to think of him as just another part of the vehicle. Like a sentient ashtray or something.

‘Yes, ma’am,’ he replies.

The consummate professional will fade into obscurity when he is not needed, becoming a mere object, something that can be switched on when required and safely ignored the rest of the time. George will not move, nor speak, nor give any indication that he’s even there, until the moment I decide to switch him back on again.

‘What do you think of him?’ I ask as I continue to observe Floyd through my field glasses.

‘Ma’am?’

‘Don’t play coy with me, George,’ I snap, ‘you know exactly what I mean.’

George shrugs. ‘I think he’s a safe bet,’ he says

‘You think he’s a philanderer?’

‘Not yet. But I’m sure he will be.’

I smile at this response. ‘Why are men so predictable?’ I ask.

He doesn’t reply.

I didn’t expect him to.

I have Floyd’s file sitting next to me on the seat.

I’ve read it a thousand times.

His wife, Marnie, is thirty-one; four years her husband’s senior. She works with a software publishing company in Ruislip and she likes to host charity functions most weekends, just like every politician’s wife who ever lived.

But how thick is her skin?

I suppose that really depends on how ambitious she is.

If she’s power hungry then no number of indiscretions on her husband’s part is going to derail their marriage, she’ll grieve in private and continue to act the devoted wife in public.

But if she really loves him, as I strongly suspect she does, then the betrayal will spark a crises of faith in her marriage, and chances are she’ll ruin Floyd’s career out of sheer spite.

I think she’ll choose the latter course of action.

I’ve had occasion to study her over the past few weeks, I’ve attended a number of her charity functions and they’re not cheap, I’ll tell you, one thousand pounds per table, but I’ve been assured it’s all going towards a good cause. But the functions have afforded me the opportunity to study Marnie up close and personal and this has presented me with valuable insight into her character.

She is a proud woman, I can say that much, it’s in her bearing, the way she squares her shoulders and pushes her lower jaw out when she’s trying to hide her displeasure at something, or the way she talks about the poor starving children of some South American banana republic, like she actually believes her little tea parties in Kensington are going to make any difference to their lives.

But there’s no denying the woman’s passion, she talks with such conviction, such emotion, that at times I actually think she’s going to burst into tears.

A woman like that won’t take a marital affair lying down.

She’s far too naïve to tough it out.

I lower the field glasses and settle back in the seat of the Bentley.

‘Take me home,’ I tell George.

*

CHELSEA

JULY 23rd. 7.36pm

I live in Chelsea, just off Sloan Street, in a handsome penthouse suite that takes up the entire top storey of a Georgian style apartment block. At thirty two I am independently wealthy and happy enough to remain that way, my cosmetics business has turned into a major brand, my ancillary interests are prospering, and I must admit it sometimes feels as though the world has been handed to me on a platter.

I should be content.

But instead I feel driven.

…By impulses….

…Uncontrollable obsessions….

I want to destroy other people’s marriages.

Jesus, that sounds cruel.

But how else can I describe it?

Can anyone describe the obsessions that drive them? My mentor, Yasmin, tells me that some women are born natural predators; that we hunt alone, rarely in packs, and always in the shadows, using subterfuge rather than brute force, charm in favour of conflict, and the art of seduction instead of the threat of violence.

Yasmin calls me a she-wolf.

I think that’s a really posh term for “bitch”.

*

Men are whores.

All men, no exception, no excuses, it’s in their DNA, and sure, when you’re empire building and squandering your resources on wars of expansion that’s probably a good thing, you need armies of man-whores to repopulate your cities, but in the modern age, with empire building a thing of the past, suddenly you’re faced with generations of men consigned to marital straight-jackets, maxing out on porn and visiting the odd hooker on a Friday night.

Men are whores and women are fools if they ever think they can control them. Show me a man who’s faithful and I’ll show you a man who simply lacks the means and opportunity.

*

I’ve come home to prepare for the night’s hunt.

It is seven thirty-six pm.

I strip my clothes off and pad naked through the apartment. The lights are keyed to detect my presence, brightening as I pass, dimming again behind me. I am bathed in a soft golden aura that follows me into the bathroom where I stand staring into the full length mirror.

My body?

Pure temptation, darlings, and I’ve worked ridiculously hard to keep it that way, the subtle imprint of abdominal muscles patterning my torso, breasts resting high and proud on a broad ribcage, near perfect orbs with silver studs decorating each nipple. My hips look as though they have been contoured by the wind, my limbs long and deceptively slender.

What man can resist me?

What woman can compete?

As I stare into the mirror I allow my breathing to slow until it scarcely seems I’m breathing at all.

A moment later the lights in the bathroom begin to flicker and my skin grows cold, a slow shiver rippling along my spine as the air grows thick and oily with tension.

The change is coming, I sense it.

I feel the wolf stirring in my belly, the hunger growing acute to the point of discomfort. I must feed – not by choice, you understand, it is more of a compulsion, this need to sink my teeth into the exposed throat of a stranger’s marriage, I want to fill myself with its vital forces, drink until I’m fat and bloated, the only way I can stay strong, the only way I can feed my dolls….

My dolls…ah, yes, it’s about time I brought those up, my multiple personalities, my alters; call them what you like, but I assure you they are far more than the simple aberrations of a fractured mind, I am possessed by spirits. I have been diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) because psychiatrists have a compulsive need to pigeon-hole the things they don’t fully understand.

If I do suffer from DID then perhaps those same psychiatrists might care to explain how it is that each of my splinter personalities is powerful enough to completely alter my physical appearance, effectively turning me into a different person.

It is a phenomenon that might have been labelled “shape-shifting” in less enlightened times, and I would undoubtedly have been condemned as a witch.

I am a witch.

I am descended from the first bitch, she who was cast out of Eden long before Eve, and it is easy to rationalize my condition, this is, after all, the age of reason, but I know that what I suffer from transcends reason.

I am damned.

Just like my mother before me.

I’ve made a vow that unlike her I won’t lose control of my dolls. I won’t end up in a lunatic asylum. Just so long as I continue to feed my armies of personae, like a bird tending to its fledglings – so long as I feed the dolls I should be ok.

*

I feel the blood grow hot and sluggish in my veins as I continue to stare into the mirror, my flesh crawling with a million ice cold fingers – the change is coming – I don’t know whether I’m freezing or burning up, my thoughts feel as though they’re hazing over, growing muddled, like a cell phone that’s losing its signal, and voices begin to boom in my skull, all of them female but no two the same….

I feel the change come over me like a nightmare menstrual cycle, my belly knotting and convulsing, as though trying to disgorge something that violently disagrees with it, my muscles are beginning to quiver, head pounding with the force and volume of all those voices, it is the sound of multitudes, my skull buzzing like first day of the Harrods Christmas sales, and its getting louder, more piercing, I can actually feel my personality being squeezed into a tight corner of my mind, a new personality rising from the depths of my subconscious, seizing control of my flesh….

The face reflected back at me begins to change.

It is like a dream, my features becoming vague and blurry, my outline beginning to warp and glitch, and as I continue to stare into the mirror I can see my normally black hair ripen and bleach, my breasts growing larger, my hips widening….

God help me, I can’t help myself.

I need to feed.

ALICE

Alice stared at her naked flesh in the bathroom mirror, touching her breasts, the flat of her belly, running her hands over the firm contours of her legs.

The overhead lights were still flickering.

The air was still boiling with invisible tension.

Alice giggled.

She was beautiful and sleek as a panther, not an inch of flab visible whichever way she turned to look at herself.

Judith took good care of her body.

Alice appreciated that.

But this was no longer Judith’s body, for the time being it had been entrusted to Alice, and already she’d imposed her own changes upon it, the breasts were larger, her belly more rounded, her hair was light brown, bordering on blonde, and slightly wavy whereas Judith’s hair was midnight black and straight as a ruler. But it was her features that registered the most changes, in the span of the last few seconds her eyes had become a light hazel colour, her cheeks rounder, her chin more pointed, and her lips narrower, less generous, than Judith’s full pout.

Judith possessed a warm Mediterranean beauty, but Alice’s beauty was colder, more Nordic, and yet behind the surface details they were inarguably the same woman, the same heart beating in their shared breast, it gave Alice a warm feeling, like a fugu rush to the quim, and she purred gently as she continued to stroke her flesh.

‘I’m gorgeous,’ she said out loud.

‘Yes we are,’ Judith whispered in her head. ‘But let’s not forget our little appointment.’

‘Are we fucking him tonight?’ Alice asked.

‘What do you think?’

Alice sighed. ‘I think we’re fucking him tonight,’ she said.

‘So wear something sexy,’ Judith advised her, ‘I want him drooling from the moment he lays eyes on us.’

‘I don’t like him….’ She complained, ‘he’s creepy….’

‘I don’t care, Alice, the only thing I care about is wrecking his marriage, we’ve talked about this before, you’re my doll, you live and die at my say so, do you understand?’

Judith was angry; Alice could feel her anger like a vicious little migraine pulsing away at a corner of her brain. It made her feel queasy.

‘I understand,’ she gasped.

‘Good, now go and get ready, there’s a good girl.’

*

After a cold shower, Alice sat down at the bedroom dresser and attempted to apply makeup, but it was a near impossible task, she wasn’t used to having a physical body and Judith had to step in and take over before she made a hash of it.

After that she put on a yellow diaphanous dress with silver embroidery. The dress was a simple design and Alice would have preferred something more decorative but Judith assured her she looked mesmerising as she pranced around the bedroom, the dress sliding across her statuesque proportions like a layer of tissue-thin skin.

At Judith’s insistence she complimented this little number with golden ankle strap shoes with one inch stiletto heels, that nudged her five foot ten frame to just over five eleven and left her looking all the better for it.

She had to practise walking in those heels for almost twenty minutes before she got the hang of them, they were so narrow she felt like she was walking along a tightrope, prompting her to fling her hands out to either side in an effort to keep her balance.

She swept her hair over her left shoulder, allowing the soft waves to tumble down across her chest with the subtle use of an applique, pausing to admire herself in the closet mirrors.

Judith said, ‘tick-tock, we’re on a schedule, darling.’

*

‘Good heavens, you look ravishing this evening,’ Floyd Carrey slid a seat out from the table and kissed Alice on the cheek before seating her. ‘You are a very beautiful woman, Alice,’ he said, ‘every time I see you I think I appreciate that fact a little more.’

‘Thank you, Floyd,’ Alice replied, ‘and you, of course, look yummy enough to win a general election.’

He laughed. ‘Well, I’m not campaigning tonight,’ he said, ‘I’m just looking forward to spending a great evening with a beautiful lady,’ he sniffed appreciatively at the air, ‘what is that fragrance?’ he asked, ‘Jean Patou?’

She looked surprised. ‘You have a good nose,’ she said.

Floyd’s Bayswater apartment was one of three luxury properties he’d inherited from his industrialist father, the split level interior, the palette of cool, almost glacial colours, the fifth floor patio covered in a wraparound glass canopy, the temperature warm enough to allow several exotic plants to spawn from ceramic vases. Every aspect of the apartment looked stage managed for seduction.

There was soft, slightly Celtic sounding music playing in the background as Floyd led Alice onto the balcony, a woman’s voice crooning the words to an ancient love song that seemed strangely familiar even though Alice knew she’d never heard it before.

He’d arranged the dining table out on the patio, complete with a red satin tablecloth and pink roses arranged in a fluted vase, the lights of the city glittering like starlight through the tinted glass of the canopy.

The patio was populated by a number of Etruscan-style statues posed on solid marble plinths. They looked slightly creepy with heavy featured faces, their limbs hoary with age, seeming to watch Alice as she stole a glance around the room.

‘This is beautiful,’ Alice said, ‘did you decorate it yourself?’

‘Yes, I’m pretty hands-on when it comes to interiors,’ Floyd smiled at her, ‘my mother was a designer. She instilled in me a certain appreciation of home and hearth.’ He raised an eyebrow, ‘red wine or white?’

‘White, please.’

‘Jadot Louis Le Montrachet?’

‘Excuse me?’

‘The wine, it’s a Grand Cru.’

‘Oh, yes,’ she smiled apologetically, ‘that’ll be fine.’

As Floyd got up to fetch the wine Judith’s voice whispered in Alice’s head, ‘that’s almost four hundred pounds a bottle; please act as though you appreciate it.’

‘He’s making a real effort,’ Alice silently noted.

‘He’ll be expecting a reward at the end of the meal,’ Judith reminded her, ‘make sure he’s not disappointed.’

Floyd returned with the wine bottle, uncorked it, and presented the cork to her.

She sniffed at it and nodded appreciatively.

He half-filled her glass and then his own before raising it and announcing, ‘a toast, to a lovely evening.’

‘Hear-hear,’ Alice said as they clinked glasses together.

Floyd was good looking in a bland kind of way. He had a face peculiarly suited to mass consumption, a politician’s face; there was nothing intimate or warm about it, it seemed mask-like, conditioned to display only a limited number of emotions.

He was prematurely greying around the temples, his hair cropped close to his scalp; his eyes steely grey, softened only by the faint laughter lines that had already started to crease the corners. He was only twenty-seven but he looked considerably older.

Sipping the wine, Alice said, ‘mmhhh, that’s absolutely divine….’

‘I’m glad you like it,’ Floyd said, ‘I had a feeling you preferred red wine, I have a theory…just a theory mind you, that extremely passionate people prefer red….’

Alice was amused. ‘You think I’m passionate…?’

‘I think you have a passionate taste in wine.’

*

Following on from a starter dish of cold meat hors d’oeuvres, arranged to resemble the petals of an opening flower, Floyd served an entrée consisting of Coq au vin-chicken braised in red wine.

‘Oh, my God, that looks mouth-watering,’ Alice gushed.

‘I braise the legs for roughly an hour,’ Floyd explained as he served the dish, ‘it gives them a nice robust texture, the breasts I add to the pot only for the last 20 minutes, if you cook the tender parts too long they’re inclined to get too mealy….’

He was playing the perfect host, pouring on an extra dose of unctuous charm, and Alice could imagine she wasn’t the first woman Floyd had brought here to seduce behind his wife’s back, and it was an even safer bet she was not going to be the last.

‘Why did you choose to get into politics?’ She asked.

‘Power is an aphrodisiac,’ he replied as though he’d been half-expecting the question.

She laughed, ‘are you serious?’

He smiled and shrugged. ‘I’m not going to tell you I’m doing it for the well-being of my fellow man,’ he said, ‘I like that idea, but in this day and age I don’t think anyone’s naïve enough to fall for it.’

‘You look good on TV,’ she admitted.

‘I know.’

‘The papers say you might be prime minister one day.’

‘Would you vote for me?’

‘I’ve never bothered with elections….’

‘Smart of you,’ he said.

‘…But in your case I might make an exception.’

He inclined his head, acknowledging the compliment. ‘What about you?’ He asked, ‘you said you were a dancer….’

‘Pole dancer,’ she corrected him.

‘Is there a difference?’

‘It’s not something I’m likely to put on a resume.’

He frowned almost imperceptibly. ‘You could have told me you were a ballet dancer and I’d have been none the wiser,’ he said, ‘I’ve wondered about that, why you were so upfront….’

‘Does it bother you?’

‘The fact you’re a pole dancer?’

‘No, the fact I didn’t try to hide it.’

‘I’m an aspiring Conservative MP running on a platform of family views,’ he said, ‘I’m seeing a beautiful woman behind my wife’s back, the disclosure of which would completely obliterate my career, I think the fact you’re a pole dancer would merely be the icing on the cake.’ He grinned and shrugged, ‘besides,’ he added, ‘I’ve always had a thing for pole dancers.’

She laughed lightly.

He stopped smiling abruptly, his eyes narrowing slightly as he stared across the table at her. ‘Does it bother you?’ he asked.

‘It doesn’t bother me,’ she said with a determined edge to her voice.

He stared at her so long she grew uncomfortable. Then he started grinning again but there was a hint of cruelty in his eyes now. ‘You’re a very beautiful woman, Alice,’ he said at last.

‘I know.’

His grin broadened. Now it looked almost predatory. He held her gaze a moment longer before lowering his eyes and taking a sip of wine. ‘The best part of beauty is that which no picture can express.’ He quoted.

‘Tennyson?’

‘Bacon.’

‘Wasn’t he a proponent of state sponsored torture?’

‘Careful,’ Judith’s voice echoed in her skull, ‘let’s not sound too bloody intellectual.’

‘He likes “intellectual”,’ Alice thought.

‘Right now he’s only interested in getting into your knickers,’ Judith countered, ‘keep the conversation basic.’

Aware Judith could snatch back control of her body at any moment; Alice gave a near invisible nod of acquiescence and said nothing.

‘Yes,’ Floyd was saying, ‘he did support torture to a certain degree, but he was still an old romantic at heart, he composed several poems on the subject….’

‘It’s a lovely night,’ Alice said in an attempt to change the subject, ‘I saw the most incredible sunset this evening, there must have been a hundred colours splashed across the sky….’

‘You really want to know why I got into politics?’ Floyd interrupted her, ‘…I was eighteen the first time I delivered a speech in front of a live audience, I was nervous as a kitten, there were only twenty people in the auditorium but I’d never done anything like that before, I was scared witless, managed to mess up the opening part of the speech, but then I started to feel really amped around the halfway mark, as though someone had shot a load of adrenaline into my arm. By the time I’d finished the speech I was hooked, people were applauding and I felt like a bloody rock star… I realised this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. The way people hung onto my every word, the fact I was the centre of attention, the adrenaline rush…It was better than….’

‘…sex?’

‘I was going to say drugs.’

‘I know the feeling,’ she said.

‘Is that why you got into pole dancing, because you like being the centre of attention?’

‘Be a little saucy,’ Judith advised her, ‘say something to make his balls tingle.’

Alice smiled and lowered her voice. ‘It turns me on,’ she told Floyd, ‘the way men look at me when I dance.’

‘How do they look at you?’ He wanted to know.

She hesitated for a split second, and then she said, ‘the way you’re looking at me right now.’

He leaned forward and she noticed his breathing had grown heavier.

‘Would you dance for me?’ he asked.

‘After dinner?’

‘Right now,’ he rumbled, ‘Jesus…You have no idea how badly I want to see you dance, Alice….’

She closed her eyes and nodded. ‘I’d like to dance for you,’ she said.

*

She stood up slowly, maintaining eye contact with Floyd as she reached towards the back of her neck, unclipped her necklace, and gently pulled it free. She had already begun to sway, her hips gently undulating in harmony with the music.

‘I’ll just have to imagine the pole,’ she said.

She crossed over to one of the Etruscan statues and suspended the necklace from its outstretched fingers, then, without turning around, she said, ‘unzip me.’

The chair scraped backwards as Floyd stood up and Alice shivered slightly at the sound of his approach, her belly fluttering with apprehension. A moment later his hand touched her right shoulder, soft and hesitant as they moved to the nape of her neck, his fingers fumbling slightly as they undid her clasp and then she felt her dress loosening as Floyd slid the zip all the way down to the small of her back.

She shivered again as his hands briefly touched her hips, his breath warm against her neck.

‘Sit down,’ she commanded him.

She listened as he returned to his seat.

She continued to sway and as she did so she slowly teased the dress down over her flesh, peeling it over her hips, her buttocks, the powerful curve of her thighs, and then stepping out of a puddle of soft silk at her feet, standing in her lingerie now, sensing Floyd’s gaze as it slid greedily across her body.

She turned and glared at him, haughty, confident now she was in motion, acutely aware of the effect she was having on him as she flung her arms above her head, allowing her breasts to rise and push forward against their half cups, shifting her weight slightly from one foot to the next and exaggerating the curve of her hips as they continued to swivel and grind.

He was hungry for her.

As he gazed back at Alice Floyd’s face was gradually darkening with lust. He looked unrecognisable as the man she’d seen so often on TV, championing the sacred institution of marriage with almost evangelical passion. Here he was, sordid with passion of another kind, and she fed off that energy, letting his lust wash over her as she writhed and slowly gyrated, her fingers caressing the perfect orbs of her breasts, thumbs gently brushing against the indentations of her nipples, causing them to swell and push against the flimsy material of each bra shell.

The music peeled off into a haunting sax solo, Alice sliding around the long sinuous notes, her voluptuous body rolling like a slow wave of water, pelvic muscles segueing into the muscles of her belly, her belly continuing the motion through her breasts, shoulders, arms, like a ripple that disturbs the very surface of the air, every part of her body was responding intuitively to the music, and she had no idea where she’d learned to dance, had no memories beyond the ones Judith had implanted in her several weeks ago.

She was a phantom, a ghost passing through this flesh, she knew the moment her mission was accomplished Judith would have no further use for her, would consign her to the basement of her subconscious where all the other discarded dolls were kept.

But right now, in this moment, Alice felt as though she was going to live forever, the joy of flesh had no equal, the ability to move like this, her body trying to interpret emotions her intellect dared not acknowledge, dark emotions and grey emotions and emotions bright as the desert sun, and one moment she was soaring high above the earth and the next she was plunging into gulfs of endless night fall, twisting and contorting with gypsy grace, whirling in helpless raptures, her hair like auburn fire as it whipped and snapped around her face.

Floyd was like a wolf as he sat and watched her, so entranced he seemed to have stopped breathing altogether.

She moved towards him and instinctively he reached out towards her, but she hovered just beyond his reach, her flesh glistening in the low light as she danced slowly now, rolling her belly with almost preternatural skill, until it trembled like the restless surface of a lake, and Floyd made a choking sound and half rose from his chair, snatching at her, but she easily evaded his grasp, her hips pitching and tossing, her feet stamping the ground defiantly as she laughed at him, motioning him towards her….

He stumbled forward and again she melted through his grasping fingers, forcing him to lurch after her with increasing desperation, his face growing red and angry as time and again she slipped away from him.

His pants were tented around his thickening prick and he was unbuttoning his shirt with such haste he popped several buttons, but that didn’t matter now, she could see it in his eyes, all he cared about was the supple flesh that continued to elude him, grinning as he snatched at her, trying to back her into a corner, but she was too wily and kept circling away from him.

She stripped her bra off as she danced around the room and flung it back at him.

He caught it with a growl.

‘You’re fucking beautiful,’ he wheezed, ‘you don’t know how badly I want you….’

‘Do you always get what you want?’ she taunted him.

He made another desperate grab at her and this time she allowed herself to be caught, his fingers circling her arm and yanking her towards him, one hand crushing her left breast as he lowered his head and pressed his lips to hers.

The kiss that followed left her breathless; it actually felt as though he was trying to devour her, his tongue squirming aggressively against hers as his hands slid down the long line of her back to cup her buttock cheeks, cruelly squeezing them as he pulled her against the jutting arrogance of his prick.

He was a head taller than Alice and her back was bent uncomfortably as he held her against him, her head tilted upwards as he ravaged her lips, bruising and nibbling at them with his teeth, his tongue probing the warm cavity of her mouth, a kind of primal fury awakened in him now, the thin skin of the politician had been shed, the beast had emerged with talon and fang

Still she danced, her hips pitching and tossing, her belly rippling and flickering against his bulging crotch, and all the while her fingers were unbuckling his belt, his pants, letting them drop away from him like ballast.

He made a grunting sound as his cock sprang up against her belly, and then she was unbuttoning the rest of his shirt and pulling it from him, his hands exploring every inch of her flesh, forcing a gasp from her lips as his fingers slid into her panties with unceremonious haste and began to stroke her moist centre.

‘Oh, Jesus, you’re hot….’ He moaned.

She shuddered uncontrollably, her belly quivering with tiny butterflies of lust as Floyd rolled his thumb against her clit, and at the same time he lowered his head to nibble at her neck, sending gentle waves of pleasure coursing through her body. He knew how to please a woman, that much was certain, he teased her throat between his teeth, just hard enough to excite her, not hard enough to cause her pain, his fingers softly frigging her quim, seeming to know exactly what turned her on, his other hand grasping her left buttock cheek and crushing her against him.

‘I’m sorry,’ he whispered into her ear.

‘For what….?’ She moaned.

He withdrew his fingers from her sex and hooking his thumbs into the elastic of her knickers he gave a quick violent jerk and ripped them off her.

‘Fuck!’ she was excited by this show of force but horrified that he’d just ruined a pair of Faire Frou Frou couture knickers.

He didn’t seem to care about courtier knickers.

He drew her down to the ground, naked and squirming lustily beneath him, his chest curiously hairless, his arms braced on either side of her as they kissed with almost feverish passion, and reaching between his legs Alice grasped his cock and rubbed the engorged head against the nub of her clit.

‘Mmmmmhhhhh,’ Judith sighed in her head, ‘that feels ravishing, darling….’

Alice was jolted by the sudden reminder that Judith could feel everything she felt. She’d almost begun to think of herself as an independent soul, but even in the thick throes of passion she realised she was still nothing more than a fragment of someone else’s mind, a cypher through which Judith’s desires could be channeled.

This was Judith’s desire.

The destruction of this man’s marriage.

His career.

His life if possible.

That was the only reason Alice had been created.

To utterly destroy Floyd Carrey.

‘Put it inside you,’ Judith commanded her.

Alice spread her legs and pressed the head of Floyd’s cock against her quim. It felt powerful and ugly in her hand, a weapon rather than an instrument of passion, and as though sensing her thoughts Floyd drew his head back and grinned down at her.

‘Put it in,’ he urged her.

She bit her lower lip as she slowly fed his cock into her, the sensation exquisitely intrusive and so intense she released an inadvertent sob, she was opening up to him and it felt like nothing she’d ever experienced before, and perversely enough she’d never experienced anything like this before, she had been created mere weeks ago and she only had snatches of Judith’s memories to fall back on, third party intimacies, no direct experiences of her own.

She was a psychic virgin.

But she was designed for this one act, the sole reason she existed, and she relaxed as Floyd slowly eased himself into her, her hands falling to her sides, grasping at thin air, and it was as though every cell in her body had suddenly become a blazing eye and every eye was glaring back at her.

‘God, it feels so good,’ she groaned.

…As though she was losing sovereignty of her body….

…As though he had possessed her….

His hips gave a sudden jerk forward, thrusting his full length into her without warning.

She cried out and he laughed cruelly. ‘Now you’re pole dancing,’ he hissed. ‘Jesus, you’ve got a hot little snatch….’

She reached around him, grasping his muscular buttock cheeks, sinking her nails into the bronzed flesh as the pain sliced through her. No, not quite pain, there were flashes of pleasure too, an impossible heat filling her, an indescribable sense of abandon….

He slowly withdrew his cock, gazing down at her with steel grey eyes that seemed devoid of feeling.

‘Tell me you want it,’ he rumbled.

The head of his cock was resting at the entrance to her quim, like a sword poised an instant before the killing thrust.

‘Tell me you want it,’ he snarled.

‘I want it….’ She whimpered.

‘Good girl.’

He stabbed his cock forward and it went in so deep and so hard that she arched up off the ground, a startled scream ejected from her lips, the pain like a doorway opening inside her skull, Judith’s laughter echoing out of the darkness beyond that door, hard and scornful….

Floyd was pulling out again.

She felt tentacles of pleasure crawling away from the pain, micro pulses of ecstasy, rare as diamonds in a coal mine, but as Floyd continued to withdraw his cock the pulses grew more intense, more numerous, and suddenly Alice jerked her hand between their bodies, her fingers rubbing desperately at her clit as a sudden orgasm hit her like a bolt out of a clear blue sky.

She came with a howl, clawing at Floyd’s flanks as her body twitched and convulsed uncontrollably beneath him, and it seemed her flesh had turned diaphanous in that moment, that the bliss had made her see-through, her bones glowing white through her skin, her organs bright as a meteor shower, and every muscle simultaneously short-circuiting, and the thoughts in her head so badly scrambled they sounded like an idiot’s prayer.

‘Ooooh,’ Judith moaned out of the confusion in her head: ‘Jesus, that hit the spot.’

“Shut up! Shut up! Just shut up!” Alice wanted to scream at her. She wanted this moment to be hers’ alone; she didn’t want Judith sharing it, or belittling it.

It was her first orgasm.

God, why couldn’t she feel this good all the time?

‘You’re an insatiable little slut, aren’t you?’

Alice opened her eyes and gazed up at her lover.

He was grinning down at her.

She was confused, her body was filled with the echoes of that orgasm, still wracked by pleasure, but Floyd’s tone had startled her out of her stupor. He looked like a different person all of a sudden. He appeared years older and his clear grey eyes looked muddied and resentful.

‘I can’t stand the cunt,’ he said and thrust his cock back into her.

It entered her with the force of a battering ram, cruel and intrusive, slicing a path towards her uterus like a spear thrust to the gut, and she gasped and clutched at him.

‘Slowly….’ She hissed.

He didn’t seem to hear her. ‘I hate my wife’s fucking guts,’ he said as he withdrew his cock, ‘Jesus, why am I telling you this? You’re all the fucking same….’

‘The same as what….?’ She began but Floyd slammed his cock back into her before she could finish the sentence and she writhed in pain and cried out for him to stop, but he barely seemed aware of her, he was staring at her but there was no light of recognition in his eyes.

‘I’ve got to fuck little tarts like you just to remind myself I’m still alive,’ he growled, ‘just so I can forget I’m married to a frigid cunt – its fucking worse than castration….’

‘Ah,’ Judith whispered in Alice’s head, ‘now we see his true colours….’

‘He’s hurting me….’ Alice thought desperately.

‘Deal with it,’ Judith said dismissively.

‘…The things I do for Queen and Country,’ Floyd was saying, ‘you imagine I’d stay married to that bitch if I didn’t have a career to worry about….?’

Alice reached up and tried to stroke the side of his face but he angrily slapped her hand away.

‘Don’t touch me, you fucking tart’ he growled, ‘don’t you fucking touch me….’

He actually looked as though he was going to hit her.

She was frightened but she tried not to let her fear show. Instinct told her that reacting with fear was absolutely the wrong thing to do.

‘Go along with him,’ Judith advised her, ‘soothe his ego….’

‘You’re right,’ Alice said out loud.

Floyd blinked down at her. ‘What did you say?’ he demanded.

‘You’re right,’ Alice repeated, ‘your wife is a dumb cow, she has no idea what she’s missing,’ she forced herself to laugh, ‘if you were mine I’d be shagging you three or four times a day….’

He continued to stare at her.

‘Are you going to punch me or fuck me?’ she asked boldly.

He kept staring at her and then he broke into a grin and shook his head incredulously. ‘You’re fucking ravenous,’ he said, ‘I think I like that.’

She reached between them and grasped his cock, positioning the head so it rested at the portal to her cunt, and before he could react she shoved her body down onto him, impaling herself like a fish on a fisherman’s spear, the pain lanced with pleasure this time as she wrapped her long tawny legs around Floyd’s hips and ground her pelvis against his.

He grunted, surprised by her aggression, and then he laughed.

‘You really want it, don’t you?’

‘Yeah, I do,’ she groaned, ‘I bloody do….’

‘You reckon?’

‘Yeah,’ her eyes flashed a challenge at him, ‘I want it….’

His hips began to make slow circular motions and she vented a deep sigh as she felt him stretching her, filling her, the walls of her quim distending to make room for him, the way a serpent can dislocate its jaw to swallow an egg several times larger than its own head, her nerves were on fire, her belly swooning with passion, and reaching up she grabbed the back of Floyd’s neck, at the same time slipping her other hand between their bodies to rub at the oyster-slick nub of her clit.

‘Mmmmhhh, fuck….’ She sobbed, ‘uhuh-uhuh, oh, Jesus, that feels so good…..’

Aroused by her groans Floyd quickened the tempo of his thrusts, his cock slicing clean into her, aided by her secretions, and he closed his eyes and shook his head, his brow furrowing as if with deep concentration, his buttocks jerking powerfully as he pummelled her quim.

‘Fuck, you’re hot….’ He snarled and his voice trembled slightly as he tried to regain the upper hand.

Alice moved like a dancer beneath him, her body serpentine and graceful, her fingers caressing his shoulders, the columns of his arms, light, butterfly strokes that belied the urgency with which she slammed her pelvis up against him, and each thrust igniting her to the core, each lunge of his hips opening her up to sensations she could barely fathom, as though every nerve ending was being recruited into a series of arias and epic operas that soured and pitched and rolled into sonorous and ancient echo, and images flashed through her head like sudden cannon fire, memories that were not her own, going all the way back to childhoods she’d never lived.

Deeper and deeper, Floyd’s groans like thunder teasing the edge of a storm, faster and faster, his hips slamming down into her with brutal, almost mechanical precision, but she clung to him and flowed around him and drew him into her, and he felt at times as though he was pounding his fists against the ocean, his anger, his aggression, somehow neutralized by the way Alice rose to meet him each time, her tongue tracing a path across his chest, her teeth nibbling playfully at the flesh of his throat, and her fingers inscribing invisible runes across his flesh, that bewitched him, and bound him to her, and slowly, and inexorably, turned him into her slave.

He was losing himself in her and she was losing herself in him, their bodies seeming to merge, anatomically impossible now to distinguish the one from the other, her hands migrating through the solid wall of his chest, massaging the naked mass of his heart, slowing it, speeding it up, stopping it for long moments in which he gasped and cried out and flopped about like a beached fish, and at other times his fingers seemed to slip beneath the very fabric of her skin, plunging down between the muscles until they grazed bone, and his cock grew sluggish inside her, sticking to the walls of her pussy, fusing with the lining, and then it stopped moving altogether, and through the gasping head of his prick she infected him with the dark ideology of the mantis.

Self-sacrifice, sexual cannibalism, she urged him to give up his flesh, his body parts, to feed every inch of his being to her, because true love could only end in the death of the lover, and he sobbed as this dark realisation filled him, and he whimpered and called her “mother,” even as he fucked her, even as he tried to possess her, but the more he tried the more hopeless he became ensnared in her flesh, like a fly trying to crawl its way out of amber.

‘Who are you….?’ he moaned, ‘what are you doing to me…?’

The lights began to flicker on the balcony and an intense chill entered the air, the music becoming warped and ugly, filled with whispering, sibilant voices and the Fascist sound of marching feet.

Suddenly Judith’s voice emerged from Alice’s lips, ‘I am the she-wolf,’ she mocked him, her words heavy and malicious with echo, ‘I am the bitch majestic, Floyd, the invisible whore, don’t you recognise me…?’

Foyde stared down into Alice’s face and he tried to recoil when he saw the insanity that lurked in her eyes, but to his horror he found he was fused to her, their bodies inseparable parts of the same mutant anatomy, her hands buried in his back, grasping the delicate column of his spine, his cock merged with her quim, unable to proceed, unable to withdraw, and he screamed in terror but Alice only laughed in his face, caressing the nerve bundles that lined his spine, inducing mind numbing pain in one instant, and the sweetest ecstasies in the next, and she laughed even harder when she saw the way his face twisted and contorted in response to this treatment.

‘Men are such puppets,’ she crooned and then she pushed her fingers into a particularly dense bundle of nerves and squeezed and instantly Floyd howled like a mad man and ejaculated so hard into her his tanned flesh turned pale and his eyes rolled up in his head and his lips peeled back from his teeth in a macabre death’s grin.

His whole body was shuddering with the effort of his ejaculation, every cord standing out on his neck as his body whipped from side to side, and then he choked twice and pitched forward on top of Alice.

*

Floyd was unconscious.

Alice left him lying on the ground as she stood up and crossed to the Etruscan statue, recovering her necklace and clipping it back around her neck.

The pendant that formed the centrepiece of the necklace concealed a £40,000 state-of-the-art military grade micro spy camera, complete with sound recording facilities and night vision capabilities.

‘We have what we want,’ Alice said.

‘Any regrets?’ Judith asked her.

Alice turned and stared back at Floyd’s recumbent form. ‘No regrets,’ she said.

‘Good girl. Get dressed and let’s go home.’

‘Will he be alright?’ Alice asked.

‘He won’t remember much of what happened tonight,’ Judith said, ‘but I’ll guarantee he wakes up with one hell of a headache.’

‘Are all men like that?’ Alice continued staring down at Floyd.

‘No,’ Judith said, ‘just the ones I hunt.’

*

Alice returned to Judith’s penthouse suite in Chelsea.

She showered and changed and Judith rewarded her with a glass of pink Champagne that she sipped on the west facing balcony as she gazed out over the lights of the city.

‘You did a splendid job,’ Judith assured her.

Alice nodded mutely.

‘What’s wrong?’ Judith asked.

‘You’re going to get rid of me now, aren’t you?’ Alice said. ‘The same way you get rid of all your dolls…once they’ve served their purpose.’

‘You’re getting attached to being alive,’ Judith said, ‘but you’re not alive, Alice, you’re just a fragment of my psyche…..’

‘I feel alive….’

‘Nevertheless, you’re not,’ Judith insisted, ‘now, if you’ll finish your shamps, my dear, I’ll be taking my body back….’

‘Could I ask a favour,’ Alice said softly.

‘Go ahead.’

‘Could I just have one night,’ Alice said, ‘just me, out on the town, like I’m a real person, like I’m going to grow old someday, have grandchildren,’ she hesitated, ‘like I have a future….’

‘Out of the question,’ Judith retorted, ‘I can’t spare the time, now, chin-chin, Alice, we need to put you back in your box.’

Alice sighed. She hadn’t really expected Judith to say yes but her refusal still came as a huge blow. She realised that now she had tasted life she was scared to let go. She wanted more, she wanted to experience everything; she didn’t want to die, she didn’t want to go back to that dark, formless void from which she’d been drawn.

She stared down into her Champagne glass.

Will it hurt? She wondered.

She lifted the glass to her lips and finished her drink.

‘I’m ready,’ she said.

There was silence for a moment.

‘Oh, very well,’ Judith snapped, ‘you can have one night on the town, just bring me back before dawn, and in one piece if you don’t mind.’

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