Authors: Elliot Mabeuse
Tags: #Erotic, #Romance
An Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publication
ISBN # 1-4199-0493-0
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Helene Blackmailed Copyright© 2006 Elliot Mabeuse
Edited by Shannon Combs.
Cover art by Syneca.
Electronic book Publication: January 2006
This book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the publisher, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.® 1056 Home Avenue, Akron OH 44310-3502.
This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the authors’ imagination and used fictitiously.
The following material contains graphic sexual content meant for mature readers.
has been rated E–roti
c by a minimum of three independent reviewers.
Ellora’s Cave Publishing offers three levels of Romantica™ reading entertainment: S (S-ensuous), E (E-rotic), and X (X-treme).
love scenes are explicit and leave nothing to the imagination.
love scenes are explicit, leave nothing to the imagination, and are high in volume per the overall word count. In addition, some E-rated titles might contain fantasy material that some readers find objectionable, such as bondage, submission, same sex encounters, forced seductions, and so forth. E-rated
titles are the most graphic titles we carry; it is common, for instance, for an author to use words such as “fucking”, “cock”, “pussy”, and such within their work of literature.
titles differ from E-rated titles only in plot premise and storyline
execution. Unlike E-rated titles, stories designated with the letter X tend to contain controversial subject matter not for the faint of heart.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of the following wordmarks mentioned in this work of fiction:
Taurus: Ford Motor Company
Volvo: Volvo Personvagnar AB Corporation
The windows of the motel office were dusty and fly-specked. The neon sign was off and there were weeds growing through the cracks in the asphalt of the parking lot, nearly deserted now in the late afternoon sun. There were only a few cars here, a big van, a Volvo, and a Taurus wagon. Helene had her choice of parking spaces. She parked behind the van where she wouldn’t be seen.
She had come straight from work so she still wore her smart business suit, the one that turned heads at the office, and the concrete steps felt gritty under her shoes as she walked up to the second level, her purse clutched in her hand. She was way out of place in this part of town but she didn’t care about that now. She was flushed with anger and embarrassment and she just wanted to get this over with and get out of here as quickly as possible.
She’d left work as soon as she was able to make an acceptable exit from her last meeting of the day, but even so she was twenty minutes late. Silly, waste-of-time meeting, something about departmental productivity, the same old bullshit. She’d sat on the edge of her seat, feigning rapt interest, yet all the time her face had been on fire and her mind burned with the photos she’d just seen in her email. They’d made her feel naked and exposed, as if the men and women sitting around her putting up their slides and giving their presentations could all see right through her, could see her as she was in the photos, reclining half-naked on her rooftop with her top off, her hand inside her bikini bottoms, face turned to the side in obscene pleasure as she masturbated. One shot especially—her heels drawn up and her knees apart, her back arched over the beach towel as her naked stomach knotted in the throes of a racking, self-induced orgasm. What the hell had she been thinking?
Room 232. A wooden door whose robin’s-egg blue paint was already flaking off, a grimy patch around the doorknob. She knocked and nothing happened. A car honked out in the avenue.
Then from within, a voice said, “It’s open.”
She had expected some sort of sleazy punk, a two-bit type who would think it clever to engage in something like this, something between a prank and outright blackmail. But there was nothing young or punkish about the man in the expensive suit who watched her walk into the darkened room with curious, dangerous eyes.
He was in his forties, maybe older, with that tautness of body that made her think of the military—maybe an ex-officer, someone in the habit of taking care of himself. He had dark hair and a beard, both streaked with gray in a way she automatically categorized as “distinguished”. His eyes were brown and intelligent and not without humor, but he wasn’t laughing now. Instead he looked at her with cold and wary appraisal and just a hint of malice.
He was so unlike what she’d expected that she lost her composure, and the speech she had prepared on the drive over just evaporated under his gaze. He was formidable, not at all what she’d expected. Someone to be dealt with.
He had a book on his knee, closed now with his finger holding the place. A glass of whiskey and ice and a bottle sat on the table next to him. She recognized the brand, a rare and expensive single malt scotch. It was freshly opened. Another glass, empty of whiskey but also filled with ice, stood by the bottle.
“Close the door,” he said. “You’re late, Helene.” His voice was deliberately patient, with just a hint of condescension.
“I’m sorry, I had a meeting and I couldn’t get away…” She broke off. That was none of his business. What was she apologizing for? The man was a blackmailer and a sleaze.
“The pictures are over there,” he said. He nodded to a buff-colored envelope setting on the cheap dresser on the other side of the room. “They’re prints of course. I have the originals in a safe place.”
She went to the dresser and picked up the envelope. She started to open it and then stopped.
“Go ahead. Don’t you want to see them?”
Clutching the unopened envelope, she turned to face him. “Who are you?” she asked. “How did you get these? How do you know who I am?”
He placed his book on the lamp table and sat back in his chair. “Those are rather moot points, Helene. Let’s just say that when you expose yourself in public like that, you rather invite this sort of thing. As to who I am, you can just call me the Doctor. That’s close enough.”
His gaze made her uneasy. At work she had no trouble taking command and the people under her deferred to her natural authority, but this man was not at all intimidated. He looked at her as though she were some sort of specimen.
She nervously opened the envelope and drew the sheaf of pictures partway out.
They must be in sequence, for the first one showed her on the roof sitting up and reaching for her iced tea, her sunglasses on her nose. The story she’d downloaded from the internet was clasped against her breasts, the pages folded over. Just a girl taking the sun and doing a little reading. He must have been watching her the whole time she was up there—half an hour, maybe more.
“Do you always go around invading people’s privacy with your little camera? Is this a thing of yours?”
He wouldn’t be baited. “I carry a camera with me. It’s part of my job. I shoot what I see.”
A vision came to her mind of the high-rise under construction across the street from her apartment, a garish new building with a construction crane rising from it like a gallows. But she had been sunbathing on a Sunday when no one was working there. What had he been doing there then?
“You’re sick,” she said. “Perverted.”
He smiled and raised his glass to her in mock salute.
He didn’t seem to be the least bit nervous about this and Helene felt a twinge of fear. She reminded herself to keep her cool, she was dealing with an unknown quantity.
“What did you expect?” he asked. “And I hardly think you’re in a position to talk, Helene. At least I have the sense to confine my vices to the indoors, rather than taking care of myself out on the roof where anyone could see. Or was that the whole idea?”
She felt herself flush and bit back her anger. She reminded herself that the point was to get this over with as quickly and painlessly as possible.
“All right, all right,” she said. “What now? I suppose you want money or something.”
He sighed. He leaned back in his chair and poured some of the whiskey into the second glass. “Drink?”
She mustered her dignity and said, “No thank you. I’m tired. I want to get out of this rat trap. Now just tell me how much you want.”
“Oh, I don’t want any money.” He smiled pleasantly. “I really don’t need any money. I want something else. I want your cooperation.”
“Cooperation? What kind of cooperation?”
He stared at her until she felt her stomach knot.
“Oh no,” she said. “No. No way. Fuck you.”
She had considered this possibility, that he might want something sexual, but had dismissed it as being too melodramatic, and even now as she felt a sudden throb of fear in her stomach she felt the urge to laugh in his face. It was absurd. It was entirely too much like a bad porno story, the kind of thing she’d been reading that day on her rooftop.
He was still looking at her, his eyes patient.
She gave a snort of contempt. “You’re joking, right? You’re not serious.”
The laugh had been a mistake. His eyes hardened and he took a slow sip of his drink and Helene felt her sarcastic sneer die on her lips. “Well then you can just go fuck yourself, because I assure you that I’m not doing anything of the kind. You can shove those pictures up your fucking ass!”
She threw the envelope on the bed and turned to walk out.
The Doctor nodded sadly, as if in complete sympathy, and put his drink down.
“Let me tell you how this will work,” he said quietly. The calm and measured tone of his voice stopped her in her tracks. “The first batch of photos will go out to your sister back in Ohio, just to show you I’m serious. The next batch will go to your secretary, Miss Champion. She’ll be shocked, but she’s very loyal so she probably won’t tell anyone. Well, she is given to gossiping, isn’t she? So maybe she’ll tell just a few people, like Mrs. Gruber, your boss’ secretary. The next batch will go to your parents in St. Petersburg and some of their friends back home in Indianapolis, on Douglas Avenue? And the next batch will go to your bosses and coworkers at Foster Fredericks.”
Helene froze, facing the door. She could see him in the mirror. He was staring at her and his eyes were full of concern, as if he regretted all of this so very much.
“How do you know all this about me?” she asked. “Who told you?”
“It’s business, Helene,” he said. “Nothing personal. I don’t make judgments. You gave me a lever, and I just used it. It would be a shame for you to lose that promotion. And your job.” He held the glass out to her. “Drink?”
She almost laughed. “Look, you’ve got the wrong girl. I don’t know how you found out all this stuff about me, but I’m not playing your little game. I don’t do ‘sex’.” She emphasized the word, giving it a little flip of contempt.
It was laughable, really. She hadn’t really thought about sex since college. She’d spent the last seven years working her ass off, making a way for herself in public relations, and sex was at most a nuisance, something you had to take care of every so often like flossing your teeth or going to the bathroom. He’d might just as well told her he wanted her to run a marathon or solve a quadratic equation.
He sighed deeply and shrugged. “Well then, I suppose that’s that.” He put her drink back down on the table and opened his book.
She looked at him curiously. “You’re serious about this,” she said. She said it softly, as if she were talking to herself.
She looked into his eyes and she could see that he was. “I have the pictures and the addresses. Stamps are cheap. I’ll ruin you.”
Through the split in the window curtain she could see the bright, afternoon sunlight outside. Down below a fat man was getting sample cases out of the back of the Taurus, laughing, talking to someone she couldn’t see. There were two sweat patches on the back of his white shirt. The neon light in the fly-specked office was on. It all looked so bright and normal outside. It was all so bizarre.
He picked up the glass and held it out to her again, and Helene found herself walking over to him and taking it from his hand.
“Why?” she asked.
He shrugged. “Fate. Opportunity. Because I liked what I saw, and I liked what I found out. And because I want to. And I can. You’re wasting yourself, Helene. Even you know that.”
The story she’d been reading on the rooftop was about a woman who’d been forced at gunpoint to strip and service a man, and she wondered if he knew it, like he knew so much else about her. It had become her favorite fantasy, the idea of being forced and compelled. The more responsibility she was given at work, the more exciting she seemed to find the fantasy of having her power taken away from her.
The irony of finding herself in that very situation wasn’t lost on her, but this didn’t feel like her fantasies. She felt remote and far away.
She sipped from the drink. Her head was buzzing but nothing of any practical use was coming out.
“What do you want me to do?” she asked.
“Take off your clothes.”
He said it calmly, deliberately, and once the words were out, it didn’t seem so very unreasonable. Here in this sleazy motel room with the bright light of late afternoon seeping through the thin curtains, it didn’t seem unreasonable at all.
“Do you really think I’m worth it?” she asked.
He looked at her intensely for a long moment, then nodded his head. Helene felt a sudden sharp thrill spear through her body.
He put his book down and got out of his chair, and Helene watched as he came to her and took the drink from her hand and set it on the table. He took hold of her arm and pulled her away from the door. He didn’t squeeze her hard, but the strength in his hand and the way he held her was unmistakable. She felt the blood surge into her face.
“I’m really in no mood to negotiate,” he said. “I’ve told you what I want you to do and now I’m giving you the opportunity to do it. If you don’t care about the pictures then just walk out the door and you know what will happen. Otherwise take off your clothes and stop wasting my time.”
He said it calmly, with complete self-assurance, but in his voice she could hear a barely suppressed anger that spread heat through her already warm body. It was something like her fantasy now. It was the anger that did it, and before she could stop to think about what she was doing, her hands went to the smoothness of her silk blouse and she began to work at the top button.
He let go of her, and for a moment he was standing so close that she could smell his cologne and see his chest lifting with his breathing. His clothes were expensive and out of place in this seedy room, like his book and his whiskey. The knot in his tie was perfect. He must have taken an inordinate amount of time getting it just so when he’d dressed this morning, getting ready to come here and do this to her. He took a moment to straighten it now, then let out a long, slow breath, releasing his tension, as if an agreement had been reached.
He stepped behind her and she felt his hands on her shoulders. With a start, she realized that he was waiting to help her out of her jacket, and she reached up and parted the lapels so he could slide it off her arms. It was a gesture she had performed countless times in the presence of helpful gentlemen. Strange that she’d never stopped to think of what else it meant, its sexual connotations.
He folded her jacket and placed it on the dresser, then went back to his chair. He sat down and steepled his fingers together in front of his chin. “Stand over here where I can see you.”
She was numb now, her gray silk blouse felt transparent. Inside, her mind was whirling, but on the surface some sort of shock had set in and she was resigned, even placid about what she was about to do. Her fingers worked on the next button on her blouse, the one that was level with her bra, and she undid that, then the next. She opened all the buttons she could reach, then automatically unbuttoned her sleeves, just as she would do if she were home alone, changing out of her work clothes.