Once inside the gate, I ease the car down the drive and park in front of the massive oak front door that looks like it belongs on a fifth-century Austrian castle. Then I get out, open her door and lead her inside.
“Make yourself comfortable, Mr. Forsythe, but not too comfortable. I’m going to my room to shower and change, then I’m going to sleep. You can wait in the kitchen for my father to get home. It’s through there.” She points to a door, beside which hangs what I could swear is an original Picasso, then turns toward the massive curved stairway and stalks away from me. My mouth goes dry as I watch her ass move under the satin dress as she lifts the front, looking every bit like Cinderella as she takes each step in her delicate crystal-looking shoes.
It’s cold inside the house, almost colder than outside, but the thought of her naked in the shower sends hot blood surging down into my already hard cock. I’m sure she’s deliberately trying to be distant with me, and I have no idea why, but it’s not having the effect she’s going for. If anything, it’s only making me more intrigued. I watch her from behind until she disappears through a doorway at the top of the stairs, then I draw in a deep breath and wander into the kitchen.
Her family may not like to spend money on heating, but it’s not because they’re lean in the wallet. I know from the size of this place, the decadence of the party, and the Picasso hanging in the hall—and the rest of the house from what I can see is just as opulent. You could park twenty Bentleys in the kitchen and dining space. Its cabinets match the carving on the front door, and the surfaces are all white marble. The dining table glitters with crystal and porcelain, as if Gatsby himself, along with a party of fifty, is expected any moment.
My footfalls are nearly silent on the stone floor as I walk to the refrigerator and pull the door open, curious about anything and everything that touches her lips.
Inside, the appliance is nearly empty.
No ketchup and mustard. No bottles of soy sauce or balsamic vinegar. No milk or eggs. None of the staples most people keep on hand.
What I do see only adds to the low hum of confusion that’s building inside my head. In neat Cryopaks are pounds of fresh beef. The clear plastic sleeves filled with blood and red flesh line the entire bottom shelf in neat rows.
The remainder of the refrigerator is sparkling clean, looking like it’s never been used, and when I reach down and pull out the bottom drawer where most of us store our lettuce and tomatoes, the chill I felt entering the house is nothing compared to the shiver that runs down my back now. My muscles twitch and tighten as I extend my hand and trace a finger along one of the small bags labeled beef heart stored in blood, with yesterday’s date.
I swallow and close the refrigerator, stepping back and looking over my shoulder, then make my way to the door at the side of the room. I close my hand around the cool brass handle and pull it open to find a walk-in pantry as large as most bedrooms.
Except along one shelf at the back, there are boxes and boxes of Cheez-Its. Fifty at least.
I shake my head, trying to process the odd clues about Seleme and her family from my kitchen snooping. I work my way through the dining room. Over the set table hangs a chandelier nearly as large as the one that fell at the party, only it is filled with candles instead of electric bulbs, and I wonder how the hell someone can get up there to light them all.
As I exit the dining room and enter the grand hallway under the curved stairs, I take in a wall of photographs of Seleme and her parents.
I step closer, inspecting them, and a thrill courses through me to see Seleme as a child. As stunning a child as she is an adult. Almost otherworldly in a way, but that’s not what makes me rub my jaw and squint closer at each photo.
Each photo is of one or a combination of the three but no one else outside of Seleme and her parents which seems a bit odd but that seems to be becoming a theme around here.
Her parents are unchanged over the years. There’s a shot from their wedding day, Seleme’s mother already round with a pregnant belly but looking not a day younger than she did tonight. Her father is the same, perfectly persevered, and I make a note to ask them if their unique diet is the key to the fountain of youth.