The building was just three floors. Three floors, three apartments apiece. Nine little habitats. Discounting her own dusty corners, that made for eight possible sources. Eight abodes which, from brief glances through left-open front doors were all fairly similar. Dingy, the wallpaper peeling, the damp creeping from ceiling to floor, the carpets stained. This was not a building one wished to remain in for very long. And most didn’t, moving on fast, treating the tumbledown London house as a temporary stepping stone to better things.
Isobel had been there for six months, scraping together tips from her waitressing job, desperately trying to save in order to move on from this hell hole. In that time she had seen four of her eight neighbouring apartments change tenants. The one above hers, twice. It might have been hard to keep up with the names and situations of so many people, coming and going, but Isobel was personable and friendly, and made a point of knowing those she shared the building with.
And so it was, as she ran her hand over his chest, catching her fingers in between the buttons of his shirt, she considered that it couldn’t be too difficult, by process of elimination, to work out exactly which of her neighbours was pressing her body to his.
Unfortunately, the fact of him being male – and very male – didn’t help much. Of the nine apartments, she was one of only three women; Mrs Fearnley, was the building’s oldest and longest standing tenant lived at the back of the house. No doubt, by this time of night, she would be snoring in her arm chair, another bottle of whiskey half empty. Isobel didn’t begrudge her neighbour for drinking since she did it in such a quiet and civilised way. And as for Alison? A young country girl, trying to break into the big city, she was rarely at home, having found herself a nice boyfriend to shelter her from the horrors of her own apartment.
This then, left six possible bodies. Isobel had already spent several nights in the arms of Max, the artist on the ground floor whose skinny body fascinated her. He moved like a woman, but fucked like a man. His whole being seemed to blossom into muscle and brawn when they were between the sheets. At first, hands slipping around her waist, breath on her neck, she had assumed it was him, not because it felt like him, but because sense told her only a man she knew, and knew, would envelope her in his arms, in the dark.
The fact of darkness, in London, was, in itself, surprising. But this was the second power cut they had seen in the space of a month. Isobel groped around her small apartment, seeking candles and matches, longing for some light to help her struggle through another night of insomnia, an affliction that had seemed like such a blessing at university – where time was so flexible, hours so minimal she barely needed to sleep – as it allowed her to remain ahead on every piece of reading she was given, for three years. But in this strangely dark city, insomnia would be unbearable.
This being the case, the feel of strong, broad, male palms sliding around her waist, across her abdomen, pulling her back against his powerful chest, which she was still assuming belonged to her lover, was a welcome relief, a happy alternative to darkness and solitude. He turned her, and she reached up to sling casual arms over his shoulders. Perhaps a little higher than usual. She frowned, and reached up her hand to trace his lips with her fingers, but found he was baring his teeth. This was not Max.
“My, what big teeth you have…” She murmured.
A rough laugh was all she was given in reply as he leaned down to press his coarse lips to hers. Thrilled by the intrusion, by the mystery, she thought to fight, but found herself lost in the lust of the moment, and kissed him back, letting her delicate, soft mouth meet and meld with his roughness. Who then?
Her meticulous mind scanned the faces of her neighbours. Liam. It must be. Ever cheeky, ever flirtatious, joking. The epitome of a London lad. He had a strange kind of prettiness about the eyes, especially when he smiled, and Isobel could only dream what that quick-witted, silver tongue might be able to do, running over the curves and contours of her body. But then again, would Liam have been able to resist the urge to whisper filthy jokes in her ear, to tease her with his words as much as his tongue?
Perhaps Charlie. A few years her senior. Well presented, fallen on hard times, and working harder to climb out of the cesspool. Isobel didn’t image she would call him her neighbour for very much longer. Wasn’t he married? Still the hands that pressed into her back seemed broad enough to belong to him in his impressive size. Businessman and athlete, he worked hard to maintain his physique. Isobel sunk into the dreamy lustfulness of kissing Charlie, of being held close by him, of being taken by him. Far from unpleasant, she felt her cunt moisten beneath her skirt. It was delicious to be held in such power. And not just physical power; his intellect, which had stimulated her thoughts – and aggravated her insomnia – was now a force that seemed to reach between her thighs and make her squirm. She pressed her body into his as he trailed his lips along her jawline and down her neck. And she felt his stubbled cheek.
Charlie had been known to skip shaving, but it was rare. A stubbled cheek seemed, more definitely, to suggest Mark. Ruthless, cunning, dark-eyed Mark, reminded Isobel of Bill Sykes. And wasn’t that disturbing, that reading Dickens at university she had always seen the delicious, seductive side of this killer? The idea of him scared and excited her. She moaned, letting this dream take over. Taken, possessed, forced by danger; by hands that made her malleable, that could crush her skull, or squeeze life from her throat. She gave herself to it and grew wetter, her nipples rising to arousal beneath her cotton shirt. And his rough hands were clasping her body, bruising her and delighting in her flesh. She moaned, grinding her body into his, hips to hips, purring her arousal. And yet more thoughts flickered, the possibilities of her lover; what of Assad? Dark, exotic, friendly, but ever with an edge to his compliments. He would tell her, in the voice of a gentleman, that today she was beautiful, and meanwhile, whilst he looked her up and down, his expression was barely above a leer. He almost fascinated her for being so much split in two; romantic and lecher. She shivered coldly in her higher self, but felt lustful curiosity beneath the surface. Somewhere in her body she longed to know how he felt. And now, as hands reached down to cup and squeeze her ass, she imagined Assad’s almost-friendly face pressed into the crook of her neck, bending and flowing with her.
And by the time his hand reached beneath her skirt and his voice growled at the discovery of her naked, bare sex, she had reached for his cock, unzipping him, and Milton’s face had appeared in her head. Old enough to be her father, all grey and gruff, the lust the preceding five faces had caused in her now seemed to twist and pervert her feelings towards this unlikeable neighbour of hers. There was something delicious about the idea of his unkind fingers piercing the folds her cunt, searching for her wetness. Holding his dick in her hand, running swift fingers up and down the shape of him, it wasn’t long before she had been pushed back, raised to sit on the lip of the sink, legs parted, the hardness of his erection plunging inside her. Still she had no real way to know who it was that thrust so mercilessly inside, who shook her and made her grip the edge of the counter. But somewhere in her darker mind, it was Milton, fucking her, grunting in his animalistic way, all carnality and force.
One hand on his shoulder, she balanced herself and reached down to tease her clit as he fucked her and fucked her and fucked her, growling and breathing heavily and using her cunt so completely. Other than her hand upon his shoulder and the meeting of their sexes, there was little contact. This was pleasure at it’s most primal. Just bodies, and more than that, just parts of bodies, touching and swelling.
It didn’t last long; he tensed and the feeling pushed her forwards. Nothing more arousing than a man stiffening between your thighs before he floods your cunt. She pinched her clit and found, to her great delight, that her timing set her clenching sex to squeeze his throbbing cock, and they came together. In fits and starts. She moaned and her breath caught, and from him emitted only the most involuntary, guttural noises, of a man at the uncontrollable apex of his pleasure.
Pulling back he receded into the darkness, and the last thing she heard was his zip, closing, before her left, Isobel panting at the kitchen sink.