I suppose this is under the right rating.

Cherry Pie and Menthol Cigarettes


. . .

"So. . . what are the rules?" he whispered, breathing a soft laugh. His fingers found their way into my hair while he brushed it away from my face to place his lips against my ear. I could feel the soft tingling of his breathing against my skin and it left a chill to twirl down my spine. His hot breath danced across my flesh as he breathed against it.

"There are no I love you's," I said in a clear-cut, cold tone.


. . .


When dusk descended upon the city and its monotonous flow of life began to cease it was time; time for me to watch his tall, slender form move towards me, panther-like. He would always wear a black suit: jacket agape, tie hanging loosely around his neck and two buttons of his shirt unfastened, just slightly revealing his creamy skin and well defined physique. Dark glasses were placed upon his impeccably formed nose, hiding the emerald eyes I often found myself lost in. A smirk would grace his downturned lips, with a menthol cigarette dangling dangerously on the edge. His strides were graceful and his body moved as though it was dancing to some unheard melody. He was entrancing.

We would always meet in a place somewhere on the deserted side of the city. Most of the times it ended up being some aphotic, turbid coffee shop or there were the rare occasions where he opted on renting a cheap room at a hotel. "Adds a sense of mystery," he would always claim.

However, tonight was different. It had never happened before but the urge to claim him went deep and the marble steps we took, the ones leading up to the large mahogany door, led to no other place than the one I called my home. With a swagger that oozed confidence and fortitude, he strode behind me. "Fancy place you have, dear. You're not as frugal as I've been led to believe," he remarked with his low baritone voice.

Amused I turned, his eyes flickered upwards and he shut the door gently with the heel of his shoe. Darkness flooded our senses and we waited in silence, each content with the moment. No matter how beautiful the beast, one should never let your heart get seduced by it. It puts you in that vulnerable place where you end up giving everything to it; to the beast who will consume you, lash out and bite you and maybe, one day when you've fallen hard, it may even end up killing you.

I slid my feet out of my shoes and heard him do the same, then I heard something drop and knew it had to be that expensive handmade jacket of his. "Please do watch where you throw your things, I am not very fond of my home being untidy." The sound of his laugh echoed from the walls and I flicked the light switch that would light up most of the house. The reliable businessman that led many companies and dominated most of the city threw a wicked smile.

He crossed the space between us with two large strides and a hand slipped around my waist, resting by my lower back. With a smirk that barely managed to conceal his intent for the remainder of the evening, he began to tug at the buttons of my blouse. It felt weird, feeling the heat wafting off of him and not being in a miniature excuse of a room, one of those small rented spaces too small for either of our egos. We were locked away from all prying eyes and low, sneered whispers; alone and more at ease than I'd ever managed to feel around anyone.

"Honestly, contain yourself. You know very well that I do not appreciate doing it on anything other than a bed," I said, swatting his hands away. He snorted in response, but there was no disappointment. To him, this was all just a game of foreplay and to me, it was a way to numb my mind in the best way possible. Grabbing a hold of his loose tie, I pulled, leading him down a series of wide hallways, which were graced by many different paintings that hung against the off white painted walls.

"You are not much of the furniture type, are you love?" he whispered so gently I could barely hear him. I knew he wouldn't be impressed by the lack of decorations in my home, though, it somehow managed to look every bit as posh as the absence of earthly possessions would allow. Still, as expansive and exorbitant it all may look to someone, I was not at home here. "Quite an excessive cleaner, are we? Reminds me of a surgeon's table."

I led him by the kitchen with its dark mahogany wood, and the speckled granite counters, gleaming in the low shine of light that flickered from the hallway. He chuckled, wrapped his arm around me for just a moment before he let his warmth fall away again, as though he had never touched me to begin with.

Walking down another hall was brutal for him, I knew this very well. Although he liked to savour every minute with me, like he often savoured the wine in one of the restaurants we would meet at, he would always end up choosing one that had an uncanny resemblance to blood, waiting wasn't something he was too fond of. "You speak too much," I murmured.

"And you are too endearing," he answered in return, picking up his pace. For a few seconds, I couldn't repress a rolling snicker. He grabbed my hand, dragging me behind him as though he knew where to go. His fingers played around with mine. "Where to my queen?" he sang.

I've had my fair share of men before him, but none of them had ever given me the kind of silent, unnerving worshiping he did. As many liked to believe, I did not sleep with everyone that threw their money my way. Our strip club didn't work like that anyway. I choose who I allowed to touch me and who wasn't. And the lanky, lightly muscled businessman who never broke eye contact when he spoke to me, the same man who made sure I knew exactly the source of his pleasure was the only one who had ever managed to walk home with me. To actually capture me in a sense I would never understand.

"Just right"—I pulled at his hand, efficiently stopping him—"here."

"Seems more fitting to a chamber of sanctuary, rather than a bedroom door," he stated, pushing the dark wood with its intricate designs open. For a moment he stopped, turning every which way as he took in his surroundings. "I've always been quite curious as to where you slept at night," he said facing me. "I suppose I am not the only man who spends all his money for a private dance from you."

"Maybe so," I answered, smirking up at him. I flicked the hallway lights out and we stood in the small stream of moonlight that shone through the smallest of gaps from the closed curtains.

Gradually walking towards him, I noted him taking slow steps backwards, towards the dark wood with its individually made, thousand-count Egyptian cotton sheets that had golden threads woven into it. He no longer cared to let his eyes wander from the majestic mirror placed above the dresser that had the same intricate, sweeping designs cut into the wood to the large closet; though his eyes did occasionally dart towards the large, fluffy white carpet placed in the middle of the room.

"Are you done gawking at my apparent wealth?"

He suddenly stopped moving and his eyes narrowed. My own movements came to a halt as well. We were so close to the bed that it would be easy enough to just give him a push and watch him fall onto it. But I couldn't move, for those emerald eyes had me frozen as they took in every inch of me. "How many have shared a dance with you in that bed?" He mused. His hands slid across the wispy canopy that hung from the four posts and glided down the fabric until they caressed the sheets.

"I don't share my bed with fools, and I most certainly won't be sharing it with you if you continue with your inappropriate probing," I hissed. For a moment, he seemed pleased, smug even. He had no problem whipping off his shirt and tossing it with his tie, and certainly less a problem about attacking me with heady desire. My blouse joined his and he thought it only right to help me with my skirt, dropping to his knees and freeing me of the fabric. He ran appreciative hands up my legs, without breaking eye contact they glided towards my hips and up further, until his fingers cupped my face.

And I stood, frozen in delight. He pulled me into his arms so quickly I barely had time to realise I had moved at all. Then, I found myself thrown onto the bed, staring up at him. He ran his hands roughly up my stomach, holding me down to make sure that I knew who was the physically stronger one. "Would this be comfortable enough for you?" he breathed against my ear.

The corners of my mouth twitched up into a wry grin as my arms encircled his neck, forcing him to face me once more. "You're the only one I've shared a bed with for a while now," I murmured against his lips. "Not many get the honor," I said, letting my breath ghost across his skin. I began to kiss down his neck and nibbled on his collarbone.

That was all the invitation he needed: he did not say anything further, only began to fiddle with his belt and let his pants fall from his hips. Then, with a swift kick the last remnants of his suit hit the ground. His fingers danced over my skin, taking in every inch before he finally decided to rid me of my undergarments and his own. I shivered with his every touch.

I used to think I didn't need anyone. I used to think that I could be complete all on my own, that I did not need anything. There had been too many times where I found myself shutting my eyes to the cold life I had been introduced to, until I sank deep enough to be blinded by an illusion I presented myself with: being alone was the key.

I had no possessions, so I had nothing to be obsessed with. That was the only way I could keep myself going, the only thing that comforted me against the doleful truth. . . I was lonely.

He lined his body up with mine: bare chest against bare chest, lips to lips, hand in hand. Then began to rock his hips, and the sensation of sweaty flesh against sweaty flesh started to set in. He could not save his back from my nails digging into it, leaving long red streaks behind. My head pounded with my heart, my body tingled and pulsed. And then he was kissing me.

A laid waste was what I was. I didn't even have a name to call out to when I was left to face the darkness that was my own soul. I was supposed to be utterly complete. He grabbed my cheeks in his hands, then his fingers moved up to glide through the locks of my copper hair, twirling them around his fingers. It was a passionate, hot flash of tongues whirling in union. He grounded me, clutched onto me and possessed me. Gradually, he increased our pace.

I wanted something deeper, better. But I couldn't call out, and so I blocked all these thoughts, protecting the only thing I could: myself. I clasped it tightly to my chest, for I couldn't afford to let anyone take it away from me. With a muffled cry, my back curled upwards with a feline-like ease and molded against his chest. Biting down on my lip I kept myself from screaming out, for shouting for a helping hand. I had been gasping for breath for so long, bundled up within myself that all I could do was keep holding on.

"Love?" he whispered. I groaned, slamming my palm into his shoulder, ignoring the worry in his tone. Over and over I kept hitting him. He ignored the violence and placed his hand against my skin, running it over my stomach and up the bumps from my ribs that protruded every time I inhaled. His fingers swept across my chest, and went further up until they curled around the back of my neck. And in that moment, I wanted to tell him that I did not want to go back to that cold and frozen, snow laden world I had lost myself in.

Between his steadfast glare, heaving chest and haggard breath, I knew he was having trouble upon deciding what to do. In the end, his mind must have come to a conclusion because his hands snaked down my body, showing me that I was still alive.

His body rocked harder into mine, eliciting pained grunts. It was an orchestra of low groans and high gasps with which both of us were rewarded with. "Don't stop, don't ever stop," I shouted, though in reality it was nothing more than a quiet murmur and I wasn't sure if he had actually heard me say it. His scent engulfed me, a musky hint mixed with the ever lingering smell of menthol cigarettes.

I bit down into his shoulder and the flavour of sweat and mint chewing gum invaded my taste buds. He moaned into the night, slamming harder into him and pushing me further into the mattress; and it hurt, the pressure of his body against mine.

I cursed his name and he smirked. Those were exactly the words he'd been waiting to hear as I writhed beneath him. His temper flared ever so slightly and the speed increased yet again as that self-righteous smirk fought its way onto his features. The strength and brutality struck a nerve within me, one that left me with the want to plead for him to never ever let go.

But neither of the things he was doing could hold me down. "Come on, is this the best you can do?" He slammed into me in response, and another choked cry slipped from my throat. He didn't quell his pace, but I wouldn't give him the satisfaction of triumph in this dangerous game we tended to play. The headboard knocked against the wall with every thrust made.

I was both in Heaven and in Hell. Lost in a world of groundless pleasure and double the pain. And his taste, his scent, his touch, it all swallowed me whole and wouldn't let me go. The odor of menthol cigarettes wouldn't disappear and the flavour of his skin, that sweetly minty tinge of mint chewing gum stuck to the roof of my mouth. "Now, don't go breaking my furniture," I mumbled between pained pants.

He laughed, a sound that should be downright illegal. "I wouldn't doubt that it was with my money that you bought it. Though, perhaps we could settle the debt of me breaking it another way?" My hands wrapped around his neck and his nose rested against my collarbone; his breathing washed across my being, causing ripples of shivers to go down my spine and halt my own breathing for but a moment. He would never understand why I goaded him to hurt me.

He clutched me closer to him, never stopping. "Is that it my Cherry Pie, are you only sticking around for my money?" His voice went deeper and the question dug its way into my flesh until it met bone. A gasp left my lips, and it was not one of pleasure or pain, rather one of incredulity.

He nuzzled my neck and kissed the pulse that raged underneath my skin. I felt a shudder rip through me, I knew he felt it as well. My fingers found their way into his hair, stroking his scalp lightly, almost tenderly. What he did not understand was that what he wanted from me was hidden in the deepest parts of myself, that I couldn't even reach it anymore. It was so far gone, so that no one could ever take it from me, not even I.

I couldn't answer him, and he would probably never know how scary it was for me to even try and cling to another being. He was clueless. "Is that really it?" His question hung in the air, dry and uncomfortable, unlike the sticky reality of our situation. "It must be fun to give a man a taste of Heaven, just to shove him back to Hell."

This possessive instinct of his felt a lot like the things I'd often wished for. He expressed his desires to hold me gently, dip me into pleasure and swallow me whole with every ounce of his existence. Yet still, I was too afraid to question that there was more than just this. I'd never been freaked out over anything, nor had I hesitated the way I did with him.

"Don't worry," he muttered. He had probably felt how my body stiffened beneath his, and he most likely had a hunch on how I worked by now. It was as if he knew my cover was being blown by my actions tonight. As though he finally realised that I would never voice anything. His pace slowed as he rocked back and forth, and I memorised every slow and gently movement he made while little hiccuped breaths escaped my lungs and brushed against him.

Then, his lips were against my own again and he ravaged me as if in desperation. Minutes or maybe even seconds passed before I grabbed a fistful of his hair and threw my head back into the pillows. A moan ripped through my throat and waltzed from my tongue. My eyes fluttered shut and his groan filled me as he pressed me against his chest and started his incoherent mumbling that I never managed to decipher.

Moments of silence swayed as we both lay still, trying to catch our breaths. His body was still resting on top of mine and I could not pull myself free. Just once, I would have liked to hear the affectionate whispers that lovers often mumbled after their high, but I settled for the silence. I was on the verge of falling, on the brink of cracking and healing.


. . .


In the mornings when we were barely awake, in-between the brink of reality and falling asleep again, I was more than just okay. He hummed quietly into my skin, tangling our limbs within the sheets and wrapping his arm around me while nuzzling his head against the crook of my neck. I had not even noticed when we fell asleep, neither had I felt him move me under the sheets to keep me warm.

"Did I hurt you, love?" he whispered, placing gentle pecks along my neck until he reached my earlobe. His tongue swirled across it, smothering me in the essence of his saliva and he bit into it ever so gently.

"Yes, but that is the way I want it to be," I assured him, turning my head away from his physique. I felt his embrace tighten around my waist, his fingers softly digging into my flesh.

"I know what you are, dear," he murmured into my ear, pulling me into his chest. "A porcelain doll with never-ending milk legs, soft lips and dimpled cheeks." A shiver ran down my spine as his words resounded right in my soul. A dim flicker of light, by a filter of the rising sun, found its way through the curtain drapes and illuminated the crevsses of his eyelids, forehead and his awry smirk. "Shall I buy a voluminous cage and keep you in it during the day?" He filled my eardrums with his soft breath and covered the gaps I never knew I had, while my mind fluttered between the imaginary and the unpalatable reality of who I really was: cheap wine and deep aches in a smutty one star hotel room.

He fingered the fabric of the sheets, slowly revealing those emerald eyes, but never really seeing; letting the haze of our previous event wash into a myriad of unspoken desires. "Emaciated by sleepless bruises beneath your eyes and the willowy hips of a king's bride." He turned me completely, forcing me to face him and placed a kiss on the edge of my mouth. "I could shatter you like hail does glass," he said quietly, as his eyes lazily wandered along my features. His skin still tasted of sweat and mint chewing gum, a flavour I will always find myself drawn to thanks to him.

Mornings with him were like luke-warm tea and burnt toast, drenching me in the sense of drowning in smoke. I couldn't help but feel like a beggar pleading with wispy thoughts and watching him as though he was a foreigner screaming for attention with ostentatious colors.

I leaned into him, licking my cracked lips and tasting the metallic bitterness of my nearly gone lipstick, accompanied by the taste of sweat. He held my used frame as though he meant to merge with me, sucking at the skin on my neck as I tried to escape my mind, drifting into a world of vacancy. The warmth of his fingers against my hips made my skin tingle. His touch drew little bumps to the surface. It felt like the feathered wings of a dove, disrupting my stomach and bringing a soft smile to my otherwise sombre lips. And his breath washed me clean of any doubts while his cool nose pressed into my skin.

A warm sensation blanketed around me, clinging to the surface of my flesh and knitting itself into quilt of complacency; one I could not remove. The shield I used to block these feelings and realisations had long blinded me. In these moments it was he that made me feel invincible.

The faces that used to tear holes into my skin and burned the will to stand back up simply moved on whenever I decided to grace him with my presence, and he held me afloat with a promise of an endless light-headed sensation. It was only in moments like these that there was something better than the numbness that had consumed me in the past. He shifted, rubbing his thumb across my cheek in a small show of affection. It was enough to make me close my eyes and lean further into his touch.

The accelerated beating of my heart was somehow comforting and the one of his beneath the palm of my hand was a wonderful match to that of what music would have been. "Your skin is the match of faultless pearls; jaundiced excitement to the darkest for the world. You ignite spite as stage fright locks you away. You re-write confession, not too impressed," he snarled while turning us over, efficiently pinning me beneath him. I could feel my body start to tremble, my heart started to sink.

"You are a delight of your own. A goddess I must say, but under these sheets you're just a girl," he whispered so quietly I could barely hear him. The tender touch of his hand caressed my body with a heat that demanded chills upon its chant of passion. His hair waved before his face as he looked down at me, emerald eyes consuming the blue pit that were my own. I felt myself sink into them, the illusion only shattered when his lips pressed lightly against mine and a sigh slipped between us.

His soul drenched kiss filled me as the drowsy smile wilted upon my lips when the words I wanted to utter were caught before I could release them into the stillness of the air. A woven web conjured up in my mind, conveniently sticking to my ability to speak and holding time and space with a groundbreaking accuracy that stung the moment his lips parted from mine and his gaze studied me, rearranging my organ functions, shifting the rhythm of my heartbeat.

There was so much I needed to say but the silence was too loud and I couldn't part my lips to do so. "You always seem to taste of cherry pie, the sweetest flavour I've ever been permitted to indulge in." I barely heard the sound of his voice, but his moving lips were a clear and definite sight. Just his presence curled my toes and laid bare my fears, I was safer here with him than anywhere my mind could imagine and my heart still twinged when I noted the sideway glances I've constantly had with him.

I longed to brush my lips against his skin but I was too terrified of shattering everything and I couldn't let go of the grip of control I had over myself. The impact of reality still tongue tied me. His face was beautiful in the light but stunning in the dark, made by an architect that knew his way around the Gods and had the intensity of an archeologist, molding him with such accuracy that he was left peerless.

I couldn't help myself any longer and I was breaking the one rule I had set to begin with. I flipped over onto my side, leaving him to stare at the pillow. He understood immediately, it was the sign that it was over. It was time for the well established businessman to head back to his own place.

I felt him move more than seeing it, my eyes never left the mist that clung to the dirty glass of the window that was revealed from the tiniest gap through the curtains. "Would you like to stay the night?" I murmured into my forearm, quickly biting down on the sides of my cheeks and drawing blood in the process of doing so. They were such strong words, but I was certain this time. I put every ounce of my emotions out there with them and for once, I didn't feel all that scared about it. Though I felt him tense in-between half sitting up and half lying down.

The flavour of his skin that would probably always taste like mint chewing gum, and the ever present smell of menthol cigarettes, which wafted off of him like the strong fragrance of perfume does off of a cheap whore is comparable to an obsession. It was a sweet, maddening venom that danced over my sensitive tongue and invaded my nostrils like a nauseating aroma of Heaven. It was like taking a sip of the dark, steaming liquid of caffeine that would wake every sense inside me.

"I doubt my presence is required anymore," he spoke in that low baritone voice of his.

"You are right, it is not," I hissed.

He rose to fully sit and I felt him lift the blanket. I had my back turned to him, but I knew that it would take a moment for him to actually get up. Likely, he was ready to go to some other girls home and I would lay wrapped up in a cocoon of warmth with the entirety of my inner ugliness hidden. As always: tempted to take the easy route out.

I would wallow in the flavour of his skin, and cry to the taste of menthol cigarettes that would still cling to the cold air no matter how long ago his departure had been. It would suffocate me and I could only drown in its taste, while the heavy downpour of continuous fragments of memories with him would sent samples of the things I could not have. A poison for the mind.

I wanted to shout for him to get up and go already, but I couldn't bring myself to do so. Whatever he was thinking of while silently sitting on the edge of my bed, still holding the blanket high enough for it to fall from my shoulders, was probably something that had nothing to do with me. I had no right to disrupt his moment of thought and neither did I have the courage nor will to do so.

It was then that I realised that I had been graced by another piquancy. I used to think that someone else's lips on my own wouldn't taste like anything, but now I am clinging to a taste that is so vivid and nothing more than a ghost of what could never be. It was a painful flavour. I couldn't explain why I cried and it didn't really matter because I was good at it, good enough that no one would ever notice. Not even the man behind me, so I kept crying.

The weight on the mattress shifted and I felt him move towards me again. He wrapped his arms around my waist, placed his head between my shoulder blades and just stayed still, breathing in my scent. He held me gently, and I couldn't help the quivers that started going down my body as his warmth engulfed me again. "I'm done for tonight," I whimpered into the silence.

"It is time to re-write that rule, dear," he whispered into my back, placing a kiss against it. "Would you mind if I did stay?" There was a moment where I thought my heart would stop, where I figured I would begin to hyperventilate, but it never happened. This was more than I could have asked for.

"I don't care. Stay, if you wish," the words stumbled from my tongue in an arrogant manner that I had not intended. But he did not care at all, he understood and his arms clenched around my stomach as he moved closer. "I may change my occupation," I whispered into the dimly lit room. He chuckled.

It had taken months of playing a role for different men, pleasing everyone but myself to finally come to the conclusion, and to my senses, that I had already lost all paths to escape from the claws of the beast lying behind me. I could barely feel the tiny, shaky exhales that escaped through my own lips as I tried to make sense of everything. He kissed my shoulder and I wondered when, if ever, I would finally admit to myself that I actually loved him and had long broken that rule of mine. I wasn't complete without him.

"Goodnight, Cherry Pie," he whispered against my skin, causing a shiver to run down my spine as his breath danced against it. I refused to give in to his affection, but I couldn't help the small smile that graced my features nor could I stop myself from wanting his warmth. Sometimes, it was okay to love.


. . .

Author's Note:

I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I have enjoyed writing.
Please do feel free to review; constructive critique is well appreciated.

It was written on the basic though of:

Taste: Mint chewing gum and Cherry pie