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The rhythmic clickety-clack, and the gentle swaying of the train car echoed his loneliness. All his friends were going out tonight. Halloween. What a night to spend on a commuter train, alone with a briefcase full of work. The briefcase open on the seat next to him was like a giant’s open mouth, waiting to swallow him whole, just like this job did. Hank tossed the contract into the giant’s gaping mouth and rubbed the fatigue from his eyes. He glanced around the car. It took a moment to adjust to the surrounding darkness. Besides his reading lamp, red exit signs were the only other light, casting their eerie glow on empty seats.
Hank craned his neck, scanning the car for another traveler. His spine tingled as he realized he was the last passenger in the car. He considered moving to another car. Even the company of strangers seemed better than the cold loneliness of an empty train car. He’d traveled this route many times and knew the train was now speeding through a long winding stretch of uninhabited woodlands. There would be no more stops before the train reached its destination.
A quick glance at his watch confirmed the train was on schedule. There was more than an hour before the train would emerge into populated areas, and then it would be a short distance to his destination. He could read the contract again, or he could rest. He yawned and stretched muscles sore from hours of cramped travel. He might not be able to sleep in the train car, but he could give his brain a rest. His hand gripped the open lid of his briefcase when he noticed the card lying on top of the contract he’d tossed in earlier.
Where had it come from? He lifted it, smoothed the heavy card stock between his thumb and middle finger. Expensive. He’d seen invitations like it before and knew someone had gone to a lot of trouble to make the letters just so. His fiancé had hired someone to pen the wedding invitations. Maybe that was what it was, one of the samples she’d obsessed over for weeks before choosing one. This one must have fallen into his briefcase at some point. He turned the card over expecting to see the calligraphers name and rate schedule, instead, his name was scrawled as neatly as the strange invitation on the flip side.
Hank turned the card over again and read the invitation.
YOU ARE INVITED TO ATTEND
A HALLOWEEN PARTY
MADAME PENELOPE’S PRIVATE CAR
He tossed the card back into his brief case. It had to be some kind of joke. Perhaps Annie had put it there, her way of telling him that she missed him.
He flicked off the overhead light and closed his eyes. A nap would do more good than studying the contract again. His thoughts went automatically to Annie. She’d be out on the town now, having fun while he was stuck in the middle of nowhere on a deserted train.
They’d planned to go out together tonight as a Victorian Corinthian and his Lady. When they’d tried on the costumes weeks ago, Annie had been so happy. Hank patted his coat pocket where he carried the snapshot they’d taken that day. The owner of the costume store had asked if he could take a photo to post, hoping to sell a few more of the same. Laughing, they’d agreed. The shop owner had sent a copy for each of them, along with the tailored garments.
The strange invitation came to mind. It was almost midnight. What if it wasn’t from Annie? Even a drink with strangers would be better than sitting alone, wishing he was somewhere else. He made his way toward the back of the train, gripping the empty seatbacks as he went to steady himself against the gentle swaying of the car. If there was a private car attached it would be at the end. Hank passed through several empty cars. He laughed at his earlier thoughts. Apparently, everyone had been invited. How stupid that he’d been the only one to ignore the invitation.
Hank opened the connecting door and stepped into a Victorian sitting room. The door swooshed shut behind him. Hank took in the elaborate decorations. Whoever Madame Penelope was, she’d spared no expense. The furnishings looked authentic, down to the gas light sconces mounted between the evenly spaced windows.
Oh man. Annie would love this. As an English Lit professor, Annie had a real interest in the Victorian period. He’d have to tell her all about it when he got back home. Hank took another step into the car. His eyes catalogued the elaborate furnishings so he could tell Annie about them. He could take a few photos and send them to her. He reached in his pocket for his cell phone, and his hand came up empty.
Hank pulled his coat open, intent on finding the phone he knew he’d slipped into his pocket before he’d left his seat. His hand stilled. Hank stretched his arm out. He smoothed a hand over the thick material, down to the heavy cuff. A shock of white lace draped from his wrist to cover his hand. His heart hammered as he realized he was wearing his costume, the one he had picked out with Annie.
He searched for the photo. It was nowhere to be found. Confused, Hank searched his surroundings for an explanation. Where were the other passengers? Who was this Madame Penelope, and where was she?
“Hello,” he called out. “Anyone here?”
“I’ll be right out, darling. Make yourself at home.” The female voice came from a walled area at the rear of the car. He knew the voice.
“Annie? What is this?”
She stepped around the wall, and he sucked in a ragged breath. She was more alluring now than she had been in the costume store, and he’d thought she’d been magnificent then. The soft, honeyed light from the gas lamps gave her pale skin a creamy tint, much different than the harsh fluorescent lights of the costume store. She’d swept her dark hair up in an elaborate concoction of waves and curls and crowned it with feathers tinted to match her dress – a deep rose that complemented the burgundy cuffs of his coat. She’d applied her makeup carefully. He suspected that even up close her face would look natural, without artifice.
He swept his gaze over her. Her waist was cinched so small he knew his hands would easily span it. Her skirts billowed over the wire underskirt, creating hips where she needed none. He knew the shape of her body. His hands itched to touch every curve concealed by the yards of lace and satin. Hank’s eye moved back to her waist and up. The dress ended just above her nipples, leaving much too much skin exposed above. Annie’s shoulders gleamed creamy white. Puffs of rose satin draped low on her arms passed for sleeves.
He was sure the original dress had covered more. Suddenly, he was glad there were no other guests. Annie was his. He didn’t want others to see her like this. He’d always laughed at the ridiculous fashions Annie was so taken with. Now he understood why men had found them arousing. Her breasts teased and taunted him while he was left to imagine all that the dress concealed.
“Annie, what…?” Her skirts swished as she came closer.
“Not now. Your questions will be answered later.” She took his hand and led him further into the car. “Come.”
Hank no longer cared about the why or how. Annie held him in her spell. His knee breeches fit snug, outlining his body. Annie had remarked about how well they fit him, even better than his favorite jeans. The cutaway jacket made it impossible to conceal his desire for her. His cock was hard, and bent down his leg in the confining breeches. He winced with every step, longing to adjust his erection.
He must have made a sound because Annie stopped and turned to him. Her eyes went to the bulge riding down his leg. “That must be uncomfortable. Here, let me help you.”
Her hands went to the placket of his breeches. Hank sucked in his breath as her delicate fingers slipped the buttons from their moorings. When she had one side open, she slipped her hand inside and closed it around his steel hard flesh. His knees threatened to give way. He gripped her shoulders to keep from falling as Annie pulled his cock free of the tight breeches.
She didn’t release him as he supposed she would. Her hand slid along his length, up and down. Her thumb circled the heavy knob at the end. Hank looked down, his view blocked by the absurd pink feathers in Annie’s hair.
“No. Let me.”
Annie sank to her knees. Her shoulders slipped from his grasp. Hank stood, feet braced, fully clothed. His balls were trapped in his breeches, only his cock was free. Feathers danced across his waistcoat as Annie took him in her mouth.
Hank clenched his hands at his side. His body swayed with the train car. The rumble of steel on steel vibrated through his legs. Annie sucked his cock deep into her throat. Her tongue played along his length. Her teeth scraped over the sensitive skin, sending liquid fire through his veins. Hank fought to stay upright. Between the motion of the train, and Annie’s mouth on him, he stumbled. Her hands closed around his ass, holding him against escape. The tight fabric provided little barrier between his heated skin and her questing fingers. She drew a finger down the cleft of his ass, then around his hip to his balls.
Confined by his breeches, his sac ached for release. Annie closed the twin orbs in her hand and squeezed. The train swept around a curve, and Hank lost his battle for control. He shot his cum into Annie’s throat. She drank it down, her tongue lapping eagerly at the salty fluid. His legs trembled. Annie released him, but remained on her knees. She released the remaining buttons on the placket. Her soft hand gently cupped his balls and eased them from the confining garment.
Hank reached for Annie, dragging her up by her shoulders. His hands dove into the scant bodice of her dress, seeking out the hidden jewels that matched her dress. He found the tight rosebuds and pushed the fabric down, exposing them for his pleasure. He closed his mouth over one delicious mound. She tasted like heaven, a mixture of sweet innocence and wanton temptress. He sucked on one sweet nipple and rolled the other between his thumb and index finger.
Annie arched her back, pressing herself against him. Her hand on his cock coaxed it to stiffen once again. His hands snaked around to the back of her gown. He groped for the zipper, found a dizzying row of buttons instead. He slipped them free as if he’d had years of practice. Her bodice gaped open and slid to her waist, arrested in its downward fall by her wide skirts.
Her wet nipples glistened in the unsteady gas light. It took all his self-control to tear his gaze away and concentrate on getting Annie out of the costume. His fingers fumbled with the ribbons holding several layers of petticoats. Annie stood before him in a tightly laced corset. Her silk stockings were held above her knee with lace-trimmed garters. Hank swept her into his arms, leaving the costume in a donut shaped heap on the floor.
“The bed?” he asked.
Annie pointed to the partition. “There.” She tucked her cheek against his chest as he balanced her in his arms and paused a moment to acclimate to the rocking of the train car. His steps were careful and sure. He carried her to the daybed, piled high with ruffled pillows and covered with a thick feather mattress. Hank gave little thought to the authentic details beyond a moments wonder. The woman lying on the bed was all he could see.
He shrugged his shoulders to remove the tight fitting coat. Her soft command stopped him before he could get it past one shoulder. “No. Leave it. I need you now.”
Hank smiled at her bold confession. He glanced down to see his cock rising from the open placket. His balls hung loose below. He’d do it her way, this time. He came over her. His fingers went to the slit in her pantaloons. She was wet for him. He guided his cock to her pussy.
“Now.” She lifted her hips. Hank flexed. He couldn’t stop. The walls of her channel closed over his throbbing flesh. Hank buried deep inside her. His heart thundered to the beat of the rails beneath them. He held still until she moved against him. Whatever self-control he’d garnered shattered. He slid his cock out and drove in again. Need replaced reason. He flexed again and again. Annie’s moans and sweet groping urged him on.
His hands slid beneath her soft ass, shifting her to take more of him. He had no thought, save the need to claim Annie as his. She tensed beneath him. Her sheath clutched his cock, sucking him in. Hank’s heart tripped over, and he let loose his driving need. He drove into her, hard and fast, until the unbearable pleasure overcame him. He gave one last push before spewing his seed against her womb.
Hank woke slowly. Annie’s scent tickled his nose. He smiled at the gentle reminder. The train continued its clickety-clack rhythm. His head tossed as the car rocked side to side. Startled, Hank opened his eyes. The car was dark, illuminated only by the occasional streetlight as the train passed through a small town. He sat up and looked around. He was alone. He looked to his watch, but in the darkness he couldn’t make out the time.
It took a moment to get his bearings. He patted his coat pocket and found the reassuring bulge of his cell phone. He flipped it open. One a.m. Had he dreamed of Annie? The photo was in his pocket. Hank gazed at the photo. Could it have been a dream? He leaned his head against the seat back, and closed his eyes. He could still taste her on his lips. Her scent lingered on his coat. His hand went to his sleeve, ran down to his cuff. The smooth, cool feel of a man made blend met his touch.
He flinched at the harsh scraping of the connecting door. His eyes flew open. The conductor ambled sure footed down the aisle, and stopped a row in front of Hank. “Sleepy Hollow, coming up.”
Hank smiled at the uniformed man. Still, he couldn’t shake the disturbing thought that he hadn’t dreamed the whole thing.
“Say, Mister, are you okay? You don’t look so well.”
“I’m fine, just had a disturbing dream. I must have had too much Halloween candy,” he laughed at his own joke.
“A dream you say? Would that have been Madame Penelope’s Halloween Party, by any chance?”
Hank jerked his gaze to the conductor. “What do you know about it?”
“Only that others have reported similar goings on. Always on Halloween, always on this stretch of rail. Who was she this time?”
“What do you mean?”
“She’s someone different every time. One guy reported she was a dancer, you know, a stripper. Another said she looked just like his wife. There was one guy who said she looked like his sister. I hope he was joking. From what I hear, you wouldn’t want her to look like your sister.”
Hank thought of all the things she’d done to him, and him to her. “No, you wouldn’t want that.”
“So, who was she?”
“Annie, my fiancé, or a Victorian version of her. We were supposed to dress as a Victorian couple for Halloween this year. Instead I’m here, and she went out with friends.”
The conductor shook his head. “It’s always like that. She only invites the lonely ones.”
Hank dismissed the conductor’s story. It was all nonsense. He’d gone to sleep and dreamed of Annie in her costume. His over active imagination had filled in the details. That was all it was. He’d have to tell Annie all about it when he talked to her later.
The train pulled away in a familiar symphony of screeching metal and displaced air. Hank crossed the platform to the dark station. His hotel should be right across the street. He searched his pockets for the slip of paper with the name and address of the hotel. His fingers closed over the paper, and something else. He pulled both from his pocket. In the light of the street lamp, he recognized the piece of paper he sought, neatly folded around a scrap of pink feather.