I hadn’t admitted to myself that my life was going nowhere until I first had him.
Living back in my small mountain town, in my childhood home, with my older brother, working at the library wasn’t as exciting as I imagined.
That was until a stranger came to the library one night and turned my world around.
Night after night, month after month, I waited for him after dark.
He never let me see his face but he always showed me how well he knew me. No one had ever read my needs so well or pushed me so far and I was in too deep before I even knew who he was.
I just called him Daddy.
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I was in love with a phantom. Or maybe ghost was a better word for him. The love had come on like fire—nothing slow or subtle about it. One minute I’d been hot and the next I’d been burning. Ashes. Nothing more than the burn and aftermath he’d created. Reborn from his touch, to suffer until he decided to dote on me once more.
I hoped the snow wouldn’t keep him away. It had started falling after dark. The walk home would be long, even if it was only half a mile. I should have left half an hour ago but I couldn’t bring myself to.
Minutes ticked by, much too late for the library to be open, but I didn’t dare turn off the lights for fear of sending him the message that I’d given up hope. That I’d turned off the lights and walked home alone. To my empty cabin, to heat something in the microwave while I watched television.
I’d rather be here, with an old novel clutched in my hands. One I was only half reading, with one eye on the door. Waiting on my perfect stranger. On the man I wished I knew.
I craved him, missing all the ways I pushed his buttons, driving him to fuck me.
My back straightened and the book I’d been clutching fell from my fingertips, clattering across the floor.
“Yes?” My voice shook with the fear I felt the first time and ever. The gulp of terror, the bite of excitement in my gut. My breath hitched. I never wanted the panic to ebb.
It swallowed me with its intoxicating allure.
“I’ve missed you.”
My heart nearly beat out of my chest. “I’ve missed you,” I whispered, scared my imagination played tricks on me.
“Tell me, have you been good?”
I nodded before I realized he couldn’t see me and croaked out, “Yes, Daddy.”
Gray is a cynical Chicago native, who drinks coffee all day, barely sleeps, and is a little too fashion obsessed. He writes realistic and damaged characters because everyone deserves a happily ever after.