Chapter Five: Hellcat Smoke 

Charlene perched, legs crossed, on her desk, one gleaming high-healed shoe resting on the chair between the legs of the boy in front of her, the other bouncing to its own rhythm. "So you want to be a famous actor, Nathan?" 

The boy shifted in his chair, moving his bits as far as he could from the pointed patent leather. He gulped out, "Yes... yes, I do. I mean, it seems like a great thing. Money, fame, girls… "

Charlene moved her foot forward, putting subtle pressure on what had been last night’s plaything. "What would you give to get that?"

"Well, anything, I guess." 

A gloom seemed to dim the lights in the office momentarily. Charlene got down from the desk and came around it to sit in her own tall chair. She opened a drawer and produced her black and gold lacquered case and a fresh velum contract. She unwrapped the ties holding it in a tube shape and pressed it flat on the desk in front of her.  

Charlene turned and told him "You can have everything that you want through this contract."

Nathan leaned over the document, squinting his eyes to read it. As he examined it, the cryptic alphabet transformed itself into English. At the top of the document was written Sales Agreement.  

Nathan stammered, "What is this?" 

Charlene shot back, "What do you think it is?"

A brief flash of red fire appeared in Charlene’s pupils as she held his gaze. "You will achieve everything that you have dreamed about and more. But for everything there is a price. You have to enter this agreement willingly, knowing the price."

Nathan looked back down at the contract and seemed to steel himself. "What do I have to do?" 

Charlene said, "Give me your hand."

As Nathan extended his hand towards her, she pulled the thin silver dagger from her case. Before he could move his hand she had expertly cut a diagonal slit across his thumb. She placed the black ebony blood well below it before any could splash on the contract.  

Charlene waited a moment, until the blood well was half full.  "Dip this in the blood and sign at the bottom." 

She produced the black feather quill pen and pressed it into his hand. He dipped the pen and signed on the line at the bottom of the page.  

Charlene grabbed his bleeding hand with a silk cloth, then raised it to her lips.  With a brief hellfire kiss and a hiss of searing flesh, the blood flow stopped. She wiped his hand free of stains just as her assistant came through the door.  

The assistant called to the new actor, "Nathan, there is a call from California for you, in my office."  

Charlene moved around her desk and Nathan leapt up to embrace her. Her planted sloppy kisses as his hands moved over and down her back.  

A deep, foggy blackness came over the room as he was flung back into his chair.  

Charlenes voice echoed deeply in the boy's newly renovated soul. "Sorry, lover boy. There will be no more of that. I don’t mix business and pleasure." 

The soon to be famous actor, eyes wide, picked himself up from the chair and went to take the phone call taking him to Hollywood. 


~~~~~

~~~~~

A week after their first encounter, Charlene and her entourage were walking up to Lucky’s just as Luc was coming out.  

She motioned her troop to go in without her. As Luc got into the driver’s side of his Challenger, Charlene followed behind him. As he closed the door, she tapped on the glass.  

Luc rolled down the window as she bent from the waist, resting her crossed arms on the window frame.  

Charlene said, " I’m sorry for my boys ruining the evening the other night." 

Luc replied with a "...hmphhh..." 

"I would like to make it up to you, but you don’t seem to like my company."

Luc finally replied, "Look lady, I’m not looking for company, anybody’s company. You’re not the first woman to cost me a lot of money and get me into fights.  How’s the boy, by the way? You’ll notice that I left him his teeth… "

Charlene responded, "Oh he’ll be OK, good sized goose egg. It’s not the last concussion he’ll ever have, I’m sure." 

Charlene shifted her weight from hip to hip, still fascinated by the trembling demons circling around Luc, unable to attach but unable to leave. 

She asked, "You’re not still mad about the speeding ticket are you? I mean, look at this car."  Charlene stretched back to look the machine up and down. She arched her back and dipped her shoulders as she did so. "Dodge Challenger Hellcat. Supercharged 6.4 litre, 707 horsepower stock. You don’t have a car like this if you don’t want to play.... "

Charlene leaned back in the window, her face coming close to his. "I see you even got the 6 speed. Well that’s one more thing we have in common."  

Luc was momentarily taken aback by her closeness and her perfume.  "Wa - What do we have in common?"

Charlene said slyly, "We both like to drive stick."  

Averting her eyes from his, she quickly looked over the rest of his tight, coiled body. 

Charlene locked onto his eyes again,  "So can we be friends?" 

Luc whispered because of her proximity "I guess we could, maybe, someday…" 

Charlene moved her mouth closer to his ear, "Good. Today’s the day, friend. Take me for a ride in your pretty car. Promise I won’t get you into too much trouble."  

Without waiting for an answer she walked around to the passenger side of the car, dragging her fingers across the hood as she cat walked around the car. As she sat in the passenger seat, she pivoted her long legs into the footwell and fastened her seatbelt. "Let’s go, Friend.." 

Luc hit the starter button on the dash and slowly reversed the thundering Challenger out of its parking space.  

Once straight on the road, he looked over at Charlene and dropped the clutch. Billowing smoke poured off the back tires before they gained enough traction to paint their way down the street and into something new for both of them.

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