Of course, Suzy didn’t want to hurt him. Of course, this wasn’t proof of diminishing love for her husband, but she couldn’t miss the opportunity of a night like this.
At first, her friend refused to give her the telephone number. ‘Because I know you,’ the friend said. Still, after a week of begging, Suzy received the instructions she needed, but only after having promised she would delete the number as soon as she had used it.
Less than fifteen minutes after sending the code, she was sent an anonymous address, account number and date. She had to wait for a month, but still. That very same day Suzy wrote a lie for him on the kitchen calendar. Under bold-faced ‘Thursday’, she drew a crown indicating a birthday party, and invented the name of a colleague. He never asked any questions about it, Suzy never saw a frown on his face when he took a look at the days ahead.
Now that the time had come, she watched for the slightest quiver in the corners of this mouth, any word of doubt he might swallow. When she said goodbye affectionally, first softly kissing the forehead of her toddler who was sleeping peacefully, then planting a passionate kiss on her husband’s lips, he just wished her a wonderful time, and when she said he shouldn’t wait up for her, he replied, ‘Don’t worry, I wasn’t going to.’
Suzy parked her car in the shadow of the train station, where every outside bench was taken by those who never take a train, approaching travellers every day, like short-lived hostages in exchange for some ransom. Clutching her sharpest key between her fingers, she hurried to the taxi stand, her eyes assailed by fumes of fresh urine and old wounds. Once upon a time, before she had a husband and child, Suzy lived nearby. Until she noticed that she wasn’t leaving the house for days on end, afraid of the virus of aggression that seemed to infect everyone here, passed on, perhaps, by them constantly spitting in each other’s faces.
The taxi driver who took her refused to enter the car park of the block of flats, unnerved by the mosaic of shattered glass on the asphalt. She had to cross the last ten metres between civilisation and the grey giant on foot. The door to the building was ajar.
As it swung open, Suzy found herself face to face with a boy half her age sporting a smug grin typical of someone who feels in control of his limited square metres. Without saying a word, he pointed her in the direction of the lift at the end of a stained corridor. Or rather, to a gaping hole where once a lift had been, without any indication of how she could go down. Was this a trap, she wondered, a plot involving her friend? Instinctively she took out her phone, but couldn’t call the police. No patrol car would venture anywhere near here. The last one that did was a burnt-out wreck in the car park, a monument to the war on the seventeenth floor.
She wanted to hear him one more time, the slight crackle in his voice, like a radio station imperfectly tuned. It was a while before her husband answered,
in the background the hiss of a pan full of fatty meat – his version of crisps, beer and football on the telly.
‘Is something wrong?’ he asked.
‘Is … is she still asleep?’
‘Who? Just joking. Of course, she is. Don’t you worry about us, okay?’
Suzy nodded before she realised that he couldn’t see her. She made a kissing sound and lowered the phone.
The glow of her screen created a light crack in the darkness of the hole, allowing her to see that the bottom, covered in trampled cardboard boxes, was just three feet below floor-level. Suzy jumped in, landed softly and heard the echo of beats coming from further down the concrete cave.
She proceeded with her head bent down until she reached a door, defenceless in the face of the onslaught of music. Stepping into the room, she found half a dozen men staring at her. But it wasn’t them Suzy had come to see, no matter how physically fit they seemed, their bodies only half-dressed in the underground heat. She had come for what they guarded in the next room, behind a metal door. The seniormost of them nodded at her, stood up, took out a key and opened the door.
It took a while for her eyes to adjust to the darkness inside. She heard him breathe before she saw him. Enveloped in shadows, she noticed the immensity of his body – more than nine feet tall. He was an imposing figure despite the fact that he was lying down with one wrist chained to the wall.
His origins remained a mystery. Some claimed he was an outcast angel, dumped on earth after a battle in heaven. The gang that owned him now and rented him out had found the creature among rubbish bins. Catching him had been like man versus mammoth – they had needed ropes and spears to subdue him, forcing him into surrender.
As he lay on his side, she could make out the charred scars on his back where his wings once were – two blackened stripes on flawless skin, the muscles around as if sculpted by a benevolent artist. When he discovered her presence, he turned around, making no attempt to cover his nakedness. Unable to tear her eyes away from his sex, she realised she had never seen anything so magnificent, equalled only by his wondrous eyes. Whispering words she couldn’t understand, his breath was soft
Suzy looked over her shoulder to check that the door was properly closed, and undressed. Using her hands and lips, she brought him to a glorious erection, shivering for a moment watching it, not sure whether she dared to go through with this, if she could stand the pain. But any doubt faded when she saw his gentle smile.
She felt only pleasure deep inside her, a sensation spreading throughout her veins. Forcing his free hand to stroke her all over, she was amazed at how tender he was for a creature so big. After she came, with his eyes of the brightest blue upon her, she nestled against his body and slipped into a blissful sleep, a throbbing glow in her
Hours later, after the men had forced her screaming into a taxi, she sat in her car, parked outside her home. Caressing a torn-off note with the next date on it as if it were a talisman, she thought of a new lie to put on the calendar.