Vanessa stood looking up at the brownstone. iPhone in hand she pressed send and waited. The neighborhood was quieter than her last visit. She looked around and smiled. Her heart thumped in her chest, not unlike her last visit to this address, but she felt slightly more under control. That feeling of control stayed with her until she heard the footsteps on the tile approaching the door. Her mouth went dry and her knees buckled slightly as she heard the click and David appeared at the door.
“Hello” he said.
Vanessa tried to smile. Vanessa tried to move. Vanessa tried to do anything other than stand there staring and found she could not.
David smirked and stepped back. He motioned for Vanessa to come in and that action propelled her to exhale and walk. She ascended the steps commanding her legs to move, wondering if he was watching her ass. She was sure that he was so she tried to put a twist in her walk and tripped over the last step on the landing before his door. David caught her before she could fall. The warmth of his hands on her hips through her sundress made her heart skip a beat, and then a second. He steadier her and then took her hand. He leaned her against the wall while he opened the door to the apartment. Vanessa closed her eyes and reminded herself to breathe.
David walked in the door and didn’t look back. He placed his keys on the hook next to the door and walked towards the kitchen. Vanessa watched then followed. She closed and locked the door behind her. She set her wallet on the counter closest to her and lifted her pink sundress over her head. She folded the dress carefully, slipped off her sandals, and kneeled. She held her dress in hand above her bowed head as offering and waited.
She listened as David poured a glass of wine. She imagined his stance but dared not look. The History Channel played in the background. She could hear porn coming from the bedroom. Glasses clinked and ice dropped into them. She reminded herself to breathe as she heard him pour water for her from the pitcher. Seconds later the dress was taken from her hands. Vanessa looked up and took the glass of water from David’s hands. He’d taken off his shirt and she could see his tats. He smiled at her and walked to his chair.
That was her cue that she could move from her spot at the door and take her seat on the sofa.
She curled up in her spot and sipped, “You were right. It helped.”
“This is the place where you will let go. This is your sanctuary. You shed everything at that door. Everything. You will be empty and I will fill you.”
Vanessa blushed and looked down. “Thank you.”