Good old Harvey!
She was breathing heavily now and I could smell her readiness. “I used to come down here,” she said, “when Harvey was at work and look through these old files. I’d get myself so worked up I was like a steam engine. Then I’d ambush Harvey when he came in the door.”
“Look,” she said, and pulled out a file. The folder was dark from much handling. She spread half a dozen pictures out for my inspection. In the background was an open window with curtains blowing inward, with makeup on a bureau and a couple of stuffed animals on the floor beside the bed. A bedroom in somebody’s home, not a motel room. The woman on the bed was small, slim, and dark. The man was young and muscular. He had taken her in various positions. Some were imaginative, and some looked painful. One involved tying her hand and foot to the bed, spread eagled. Laura Jacks moved that picture to the top of the stack. The photography was good. I could clearly see the expression on the woman’s face. She was fighting the ropes, but she was having a wonderful time.
“When Harvey first got started, I used to help him with his business.”
“I can see that.” The woman in the picture was younger, but she was clearly Laura Jacks.
“I miss it, but Harvey made me quit. Funny, for a man who did what he did, and screwed around on me besides, he was really jealous. Possessive, I guess you’d say.”
“Possessive,” I repeated.
“I was afraid to screw around on Harvey. He would’ve killed me. So I would come down here and spend hours on a slow burn. Harvey got the benefit of that. He liked having me hot all the time. And I was!”
She paused, rubbing her hands over her thighs. “It’s been months since Harvey died,” she said. Her voice echoed in the basement and in my singing head.
She passed her hand lovingly over the photograph. “I really like this one,” she said. “I still have the same bed, upstairs, and some soft ropes I kept for Harvey to use. He liked it; he hurt me sometimes, but I didn’t mind.”
She pulled the Tee shirt over her head, turning it as she did so that it formed a twisted manacle around her wrists. Her breasts were small and her face shone with need. She extended her bound hands toward me. I shook my head. She stood up and pushed down her shorts, and stepped out of them. Naked, she pushed her bound hands toward me again, and said, “Please!” Again, I shook my head.
She went to her knees at my feet and leaned forward, placing her bound hands on my feet in a gesture of final submission.
That was the way I left her, and it wasn’t easy.
* * *
I drove two miles north and parked overlooking the public beach off the end of Golden Gate Park. I had left my soot stained boots at the warehouse and changed into running shoes. It was a good thing; I needed to run. Badly. I slogged down to the water’s edge where the sand was hard in the retreating tide and ran southward. After a mile, I turned back. I just wouldn’t feel right running all the way back to her house.
Back at the car, I had worked up a sweat even in the chilly ocean wind, but it had barely taken the edge off my energies. more tomorrow