It was always the same. The dark-haired man atop the tall horse, who would swing her up by the waist and pull her hard against his chest, galloping, running. The forest trees whipped past them faster than the fall night wind. They rode forever, until both were drenched in sweat and the saddle had rubbed her raw. And then he helped her down, onto a ground damp with leaves and moss and old trees, pushed her skirts up, and fumbled with the laces of her bodice. His face was in shadow, but she knew every inch of it, had kissed those firm lips in moments when no one watched.
Strong fingers pushed aside lace and cotton, seeking the wetness there. She arched up, wanting more than his fingers, needing him to release her from the confines of the desire that had haunted her with such frequency since they’d met. The head of his penis nudged her, taking the place of his fingers, harder as it pushed into her wet folds. Her breasts thrust against tight laces, and she couldn’t catch her breath. He plunged in as incoherent words of love tore from her. She strained, reaching, reaching toward him…
Heather Merwin shot up, gasping, body drenched in sweat, and the sheets tangled around her. Just as it had been in the dream. A heavy-lidded glance at the clock told her it was midnight. Every night the same time, the same dream. The one she’d had on and off since she turned eighteen.
Heather shook herself, her heart still pounding. Her breath came in short pants, and she could still feel the tight binding against her ribs, almost as if she still wore the corset from her dream. But she was alone in her apartment, in her bed, with her need. Heather pressed her pillow between her thighs, too tired to even finish what her mystery man had started, and turned away from the clock.
She hated this time of year. It always brought back too many memories, and there was only so much she could do to bury them. The weekends were the worst, although she knew it was partially her fault. Her bed didn’t have to empty, as the discreet and not so discreet advances from her fellow professors and even students suggested. But deep down, she knew they wouldn’t compare to that hard cock just waiting to thrust deep inside her. Not right now.
* * * * *
The moon shone brightly as Heather hurried across the campus. Midnight on a Sunday night, and the only thing keeping the shadows at bay was the brightness of the full moon and Heather’s firm grip on her imagination. Several students milled about, adrenaline pumping from the late-night horror movie and too many hormones. She’d hoped the film would distract her and keep her from dreaming again, from feeling the same sexual frustration for at least one night. Wrapping her light jacket closer to her body, she ignored the suggestive looks from some of the older students.
The grounds were quieter than usual at this hour. She could hear the rustling of the leaves and trees, which sounded eerily like footsteps behind her. Head down against the wind, she nearly tripped over a fallen tree branch, only to realize it was the jean-clad leg of young male. She gasped slightly, and the man moaned.
A female’s high-pitched squeal followed, and the leg twitched and jerked. About to call for help, she heard an, “Oh baby,” and jumped back, her cheeks burning with embarrassment. Clearly, the student was not in need of assistance. Then she noticed a rumpled top thrown over the bushes, along with a bra and a set of boxers.
She left the couple to their frantic grinding, ignoring the woman’s increasing cries that reminded her of a trapped rabbit.
The night air seemed chillier than usual. It seeped into her bones, past her defenses. Another noise sounded behind her, and she wished she hadn’t parked so far. Since moving from New York to California a few years ago, she’d finally let her guard down, although she knew the only monsters in L.A. were the ones on the news.
The noise grew louder, coming up through the damp ground, until it almost seemed on top of her. Startled, Heather glanced around, her instinct to run almost overpowering. But the empty student commons area, with its stained concrete benches and overflowing trashcans, offered no place to hide. Not even the shadows were dark enough or long enough to conceal her.
The car came out of nowhere, taking the turns at breakneck speed, its black hood and body seeming to absorb the light around it. There were no headlights, just pinpricks of red above the dark metal grill.
Heather backed into one of the cool stone benches, feeling it press into the soft spot behind her knees. The car took the curb easily, before halting close to where she stood. Her whole body thrummed in time to its powerful engine. The windows were shaded, and she could just make out the shape of a driver, male, before the door swung open, and someone, something, climbed out.
He was tall, muscles bulging beneath dark pants. But more than that, she couldn’t tell. A black-hooded sweatshirt obscured his face, which even the brightness of the moon failed to penetrate. The car idled behind him, a low thrum, which seemed to pull something deep inside her. Her mouth worked, but no scream came. Nothing but a pathetic gasp as he loomed over her.
“Where is Samantha?” His voice was deeper than anything she’d ever heard. It echoed around them, bouncing off the pavement and buildings, before settling in the pit of her stomach.
“I…I don’t know who you mean.” Her voice trembled, and she hated it. Weakness was something she’d thought she’d banished.
“I was told she’d be here. I have to see her.” And from the tone of his voice, whichever person had given him that information was going to regret it.
Heather shook her head. The place was deserted. Which meant they wouldn’t find her body till morning. “I’m sorry. I don’t know where…”
“Dammit, don’t play games with me!” He grasped her arms, and his hands were like steel, crushing her tender flesh. It felt as if her chest were being crushed, too, although he hadn’t moved any closer.
Don’t struggle, she told herself. Though for some reason, her body didn’t need convincing. Her nipples hardened against the tight confines of her bra. It was almost like déjà vu.
“You don’t look like one of Eleanor’s kin, but that could just be one of your family’s little tricks.”
The concrete of the bench was now biting into her, and her legs trembled as she struggled to stay upright, to not collapse from fright…or something else. Trying to regain some of her ground, she straightened, which brought her in close contact with his chest. His heart thundered against hers, and he stiffened, almost as if he wanted to run as well. She felt the bulge under the heavy pants he wore. Or it might have been the engraved silver belt buckle that dug against her thin skirt and even thinner panties.
“I’m not Samantha or Eleanor or whoever it is you want. My name is Heather. I’m a… I’m a teacher here.”
“I see. A teacher. An honorable profession, at least nowadays. But your voice is trembling. Are you afraid of me?” His voice had dropped to a rusty whisper. Her arms suddenly seemed lighter, and she realized he’d released them, although he hadn’t moved away from her.
“No. I don’t know who you are, but I learned long ago not to be afraid of what goes bump in the night.” She held her breath on the lie, hoping that would preserve a little distance, so she wouldn’t have to feel the heat from his chest and groin, or the corresponding heat working its way up from where he still pressed against her. So she wouldn’t have to think about what lay beneath those pants, thrusting into her… Already she could feel the dampness there, and it wasn’t due to the sweat now beading her upper lip. “Besides, if I jumped over every costumed freak this time of year, I’d have to stay indoors the whole month.”
“A costumed freak?” He sounded amused. “Is that how you see me? I suppose it’s appropriate. But that’s an attitude that could get you in trouble with the wrong person, Miss Heather…?”
Her name sounded loud in her ears, and then cold rushed in as the warmth and hardness against her vanished. Her legs finally gave way, and she sank onto the bench, her mind taking a minute to realize her captor had disappeared.
A red light suddenly blinded her, and she blinked, barely able to make out the black car now in front of her, almost where the man had been. She could feel the heat of its exhaust up her skirt, the compressed energy against her legs. Her breath coming in little pants, she waited for the driver to make the next move. She heard the click of a door latch. Then, without warning, the car backed up, leaving her feeling…empty.
Tires groaning, the car took the curves of the quiet street at inhuman speed, gone as abruptly as it had appeared. Strangely, there were no tire tracks on the dew-ridden grass.
Shivering, Heather wasted no time getting to her little green Accord, although she couldn’t shake the feeling of that car breathing down her neck, her skirt, her thighs.
© Melissa L. Robert
All Hollow's Eve
Author: Melissa L. Robert
Publisher: Cobblestone Press
Heather Merwin has spent most of her adult life trying to escape her family’s past, one that included legends she no longer believed in. Except every night around Halloween, she dreams of making love with a mysterious man on horseback.
A teacher in New York in the eighteenth century, William Crane was in love with the sister of local Jesse Merwin. After a night of passion, they planned to run away, but were discovered by Jesse. Since William had taken his sister’s maidenhead, he decided the punishment must fit the crime. With the help of a local witch, Jesse Merwin cursed Crane.
Now the Horseman rides again, determined to find the one woman who can break his curse. But Heather’s dream lover also turns out to be her nightmare, since she is the descendent of Jesse. Can she overcome her reservations and break the curse? Or will she lose him forever?