Traced Memories

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The car windows still dripped dewy with condensation as the street lamp’s glow flickered. Sarah stared at her phone, breath still ragged. ‘Call ended: 2:47 a.m.’ Her cheeks burned. Skirt and panties were still tangled around her ankles. Her thoughts swirled in a frenzy. She still knew nothing about him. Yet, he had such a hold on her–he’d coaxed her into a lurid public display. Twice. And this time, without his physical presence. Just a phone call.

A metallic clang jarred her to the present. She scrambled to right her clothing as her eyes skirted across the street, scanning the building for any signs of life. Nothing.

The rest of the night was spent tracing the call’s origin. No luck, of course. A burner phone. The building remained empty. No sign of any activity. Only the phone call. And she sure as hell wasn’t telling anyone about that.

After exhausting her resources for leads, she found herself slumping over the steering wheel, eyes drifting closed. She struggled to fight the weight of sleep, straining her eyes to scan the street and vacant building, but fatigue soon won over. Sleep won out, and her eyes no longer held as she slipped into dreamscape as the early dawn crept in.

The sun was beating through the car’s windows brightly and birds chirped the sound of early morning when she finally awoke. She scrambled up from her seat, grabbing her phone. Shit. 10 a.m. and three missed calls from the office. She was supposed to have checked in earlier. They’d want to know what, if anything, she’d learned from her watch last night. Ha. Nothing.

After making a quick check-in with the office, she started the car and made her way back home. She wasn’t expected to go in today, so she’d at least have some time to rest. And did she ever need rest. If only to laze around.

As she pulled into her drive, her phone buzzed an incoming call. She just couldn’t catch a break today, could she? She checked the caller ID and smirked. Amelia. She guessed what her devilish best friend wanted. It was Friday. They’d made plans a week ago to have a girls’ night out.

“Hey, gal. Whatcha up to?” Sarah answered as she shuffled through the front door.

“We still on for tonight? And don’t you dare back out. You’ve given me every excuse in the book for the past month and a half. I don’t wanna hear it.” Her friend paused for a second, then bubbled into her usual infectious laughter. “Plus, you need to get laid. You know it’s true.”

“Ames. I am sooo tired. Do you have any idea–“

“I don’t wanna hear it, Sarah. How ’bout this. I’ll meet you over at your place around 7, kay? We’ll get dressed together. We’ll pre-game with some cocktails. Don’t worry. We won’t stay out too late. Go take a nap. I’ll catch ya later, soul sister. Love ya.” Her friend hung up without waiting for an answer.

Well, so much for negotiating. Ugh. Amelia was right, though. She did need to get out of the house. She’d been stuck in a rut–a vicious cycle of work, sleep, work. And to be honest, more work than sleep. Last night certainly didn’t help anything, either.

She stretched her arms behind her as she dropped her keys and purse on the counter. A nap did sound good. Maybe she’d try to get a little one in before Amelia showed up later. It was still early afternoon, and she didn’t have much else to do before then.

After forcing herself to take a quick shower, she fumbled into an old nightshirt and comfy cotton shorts before throwing herself into the soft embrace of her bed. She set her alarm for 6, and tossed her head back into the pillows. Her eyes closed automatically as she curled into the blankets. She was exhausted, and her body lay limp and drained, but her mind raced. She shuffled in her blankets, trying to find that comfortable spot, struggling to shut her thoughts off.

This silivri escort was her ritual. No matter how tired, she could never seem to turn off her mind. Sleep was a long-distant friend for her. She wanted to sleep, and even at the brink of complete exhaustion, she could never seem to sleep on command. And her thoughts. Those had always a rapid fire of anxiety, and when all the lights and noise of the world were gone, they would race in unbidden. Lately, it seemed it had only gotten worse. Given the recent events, it was no surprise.

She pressed back into the pillows and slipped a hand under the covers. She would turn to self-gratification at times like this. Instant relief of pressure and anxiety. Her fingers crept under the band of her cotton panties and trailed a path along the crevice of her folds. Thoughts went dark, and she focused on nothing but her hand. The touch. The sensation of skin against skin.

Her finger pressed and rolled over her growing clit as her mind floated in black nothingness. That tight coil of tension grew, and her breath quickened. Fingers pressed harder, quicker, and her mind hurtled forward, clinging to images flashing unbidden. Bodies pressed against a car. Her body arched, groin pressing against her desperate finger, as she flicked harder. His voice, low and dark echoed. “Cum for me.”

Her hand reached upward beneath her shirt, fingers pulling and pressing against her breast and nipples. Again. “Cum for me, Sarah.” Her finger rolled and dipped into her moist folds before streaking upward again, rolling and rubbing in an intense fury. “Tell me what you are, Sarah.” Burning ripped through her, tension building into fiery surges.

And then, another voice. Older, fiercer. Angry, dark and dangerous. “Be a good girl. Thank me as you cum.” Her hand froze, as her body jerked and spasm in orgasm. “Say ‘thank you, sir.’ Be a good girl.” Ecstasy ebbed into terror, the rippling tension slipping into panicked breaths. “You’re a good slut, Sarah. Tell ‘sir’ thank you.” Her hand jerked from the covers.

She pushed herself upright and sat dazed, panicked breath and glazed eyes staring into nothing. That terrible voice she’d wanted to forget. Her hands clenched the sheets and her throat clenched, breath frozen in a ball of panic. Then, a more calming, demanding tone–last night’s stranger echoed through her head. Knuckled whitened as she fisted the sheets tighter. “Sir.” And with a slow breath, her fists unclenched.

The terror slipped quietly as she sunk back into the sheets. She pressed her eyes closed once more, focusing on nothing. Panic fled and swapped with exhaustion once more. Finally, she drifted into sleep. Nothingness. No thoughts. No dreams. Just sleep.


The buzzing phone jarred the silence, rattling the wood of the nightstand. Sarah jerked up and blinked sleep away as she pawed for the phone.

“Hello?” Sarah’s voice cracked with muddy lethargy.

“Open the door! I’ve been outside for like, 5 minutes banging. Jesus!” Amelia huffed through the receiver.

“Shit. Sorry. Hold on. I’ll be right there.” Sarah stumbled out of bed and to the door.

Amelia pushed through with a bundle of brown bags. Sarah closed the door and stood dumbly as her friend busied herself with making her unique cocktails, as promised. The friendly pep of her friend’s voice rattled on, and Sarah nodded mechanically. Sleep still fogged her thoughts, and she stood dazed for a second. Darkness still lurked in corners of thoughts. Shaking herself, she propelled her mind forward. Tonight would be good. Alcohol. Noise. People. Perfect distractions. Just what she needed.

“I’m gonna go brush my teeth, and I’ll be out in a sec.” Sarah said as she wandered bakırköy escort down the hall.

“Sure thing. I’ll just be in here putting on my make-up. Your drink’s on the counter when you’re ready.”

Sarah slipped into the bathroom and shut the door. She wasn’t going to think anymore tonight. Her hands gripped the edge of the vanity as she stared at her reflection. ‘You hear me?’ she muttered to herself. ‘We’re gonna have fun.’

“What was that?” Amelia’s voice echoed from down the hall.

“Nothing!” Sarah shouted. That’s right. Nothing.

She brushed her teeth and ran a splash of cold water over her face. Thank God for Amelia. She knew everything about her. Everything. And Amelia had a sixth sense when it came to Sarah’s mood. She’d always pop up and force her out, and up, from the darkness.

Yeah. Amelia was definitely her best friend. Soul sisters.

Sarah ripped through her closet for something to wear. Too formal. Too casual. Too sexy. Why did she even still own this? Didn’t fit. Too boring. Finally, she decided on a simple black dress. A silky-stretchy blend of slick black fabric cut into a form-fitting A-line, accentuating her waist and hips before flaring into a knee-length skirt. Just a subtle dip of a neckline to show her decoupage, tapering into quarter length sleeves. Perfect.

She slipped the dress on, and looked around for shoes. The red heels were kicked in the corner. They were her go-to heels. The gold studs on the ankle straps always added the extra pop she wanted, and bonus: she could walk in them. She fumbled with the ankle straps as she listened to her friend wailing a pop song in the living room.

“We’re not going to that karaoke bar again, are we?” Sarah shouted.

“Nah, girl. Get in here and I’ll tell ya.” Amelia cranked the music up on her jam box she carried everywhere.

Sarah tousled her hair and clipped on a pair of red and gold earrings. She debated for a second before reaching into her make-up bag. Just a little mascara and red lipstick. She wasn’t going through all that tonight.

“So tell me where we’re going?” Sarah yelled over the music as she grabbed the cocktail waiting for her on the counter.

“It’s this new dance club. A friend of mine’s the DJ tonight . He said he’d put us on the list. He said it was pretty hip. Down on the North Side.” Amelia’s eyes twinkled with mischief.

“Please tell me you haven’t set me up on another date, have you?” Sarah chucked the glass back, chugging the rest of the alcohol in one fell swoop.

“Noooo…No.” Amelia giggled. “Well, okay. There’s this guy from work. Mike. He’s hot as hell. And I invited him and his friend, Tom, out tonight, too. So…not a date. They’ll just be there. If you don’t like him, you don’t have to talk to him. Promise.”

“Is he cute at least?” Sarah poured a straight shot of rum into the bottom of her glass.

“Yeah, yeah. Of course he’s cute. He’s new to the firm, but driven. Intellectual property law or some shit. And he has a nice car. A red Porsche 911.” Amelia cackled as she looked at Sarah’s red heels. “Look. Your shoes will match!”

“Fuck you.” She waved the glass toward her friend menacingly before tipping it back. She’d need to be drunk for this.

“Whatever. You’ll have fun. Okay, I’m ready.” Amelia shut her jam box off and grabbed her purse. “Come on. Let’s go tear it up.” She swatted Sarah on the ass. “Let’s go dance our booties off, girl. The Uber should be here any minute.”

They stumbled outside and found the inconspicuous silver Prius waiting at the end of the drive. A ten minute cab ride later, and they were crosstown, to a part of the city Sarah was familiar with. The factories and warehouses of last century were all newly renovated to house college kids şirinevler escort and chic diners, hip clubs, and upscale shopping–gentrification at its finest.

They hopped from the cab and walked briskly through the crowded parking lot. Brightly dressed college kids mingled with the casual chic of career minded singles in a long, winding line from the doors of a red brick warehouse. It looked a lot like the warehouse she’d watched the night before. Sarah smirked. How long would it be until that one would be transformed into the next hipster fest?

The two women followed each other closely as they trotted to the head of the line. A few scantily glad girls shoved into them, eyes shooting daggers, as they pushed forward. Sarah and Amelia smirked and returned their stares, steady and menacing.

“You girls don’t wanna get into it with us tonight,” Amelia cooed sweetly through a dangerous grin. Sarah shook her head and pushed forward to the bouncer. “Oh, here we go.”

“You on the list?” The bouncer grumbled, large frame blocking entry through the metal industrial doors of the club. The muted bass of the music boomed through the solid walls, and neon lights flashed through the upper windows, hinting at the hedonistic cliché waiting inside.

“Yes, sir. Of course.” Amelia’s southern twang kicked into overdrive. Both of them had a habit of throwing on the genteel Southern charm whenever they wanted their way. “Taggard, please.” Both of the girls folded their hands over their waists and smiled, demure and sweet.

“I got ya right here. Come on, sweethearts.” The guard opened the door and placed his huge hands on the smalls of their back, ushering them inward. The music thrashed louder, deafening all outside noise, and they slipped into the dark, expansive room. Lofty ceilings with flashing strobe lights illuminating the throng of dancers pulsing in the center. “Have fun, ladies.” The guard winked as he stepped back outside. The doors slammed shut with a metallic clang, and they stood in awe of the scene before them.

Glassy bars lined the perimeter of the dance floor, dozens of bartenders rushing behind them in a fluid dance of shakes and twists as they filled square tumblers and twisting martini glasses with libations for the waiting mass of clubbers, eagerly awaiting their return to the dance floor. On each end of the warehouse, stairs led to high balconies filled with dimly lit booths, anonymous bodies nestled in the comfort of dark.

The dance floor pulsed and writhed in time to the music, the lights above strobing through a thin haze of smoke. A square stage sat in the middle of the tiled dance floor, a stack of speakers and fog machines flanking each side like sentries.

“Hey! There’s Dave! The DJ I told you about. Isn’t he great?” The music switched seamlessly into a faster paced track, overdubbed voices intoning erotic innuendos while dub-step rhythms geared the dancing masses into a higher frenzy.

“I’ll say. This is awesome.” Sarah looked around cautiously, scouting exits and walkways. Force of habit.

“Sarah, chill out. Here, let’s go get a drink–hey! It’s Matt and Tom!! Let’s go say ‘hi,’ okay?” Amelia grabbed Sarah’s hand and led her over to the bar. “Hey guys! Glad you could make it.”

Two men in sleek sports coats and black slacks waved in return. The taller of the two, a blonde 30-something man with broad shoulders and scruffy grizzle dotting his jawline, slipped his hands around Amelia’s waist and cooed in her ear. His friend remained leaning against the bar. His sandy brown hair was coifed expertly, and his freckled cheeks wrinkled into a grin as his eager eyes raked over Sarah. He pushed himself up and strode over, his hand outstretched.

Sarah smiled and extended a polite hand, shoulders rigid and expression cool. “Pleasure to meet y’all.”

“The pleasure’s all mine. I’m Tom.” He gripped her hand firmly, his eyes still raking over her. “That’s Mike. He seems preoccupied…” They both glanced over to see the two of them engrossed in a battle of tongue and spit. “Looks like they’re having fun.” He grinned. “Sarah, is it? Let me get you a drink.”

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