Twisted Choices 03: Ben and Claire
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I wrote this piece some time ago. After writing the original ending I couldn’t help wondering what else might have happened (in my twisted imagination) and so wrote two additional endings. The ending here is in keeping with the group (I hope) but if you would like to explore the other endings I envisaged then have a look at my writing or find out where and what the others are at the end of the story. I hope that you enjoy it/them and would love to hear any comments you might have.
Claire was already a little drunk by the time she got there. Ben had been going on at her for weeks about this bar and about how way out it was. He had told her he had seen Bud Atkinson there. Bud was a local hard man. She knew of him a little because of Ben. She had seen him a few times but spoken. He was much older than they were, in his fifties, over six feet six tall and stocky. His expression was always angry and he had a way of getting his point across without ever needing to speak much. Claire had never seen him fight but Ben had told her that he was very violent and had hurt a lot of people. He was often getting arrested but nobody ever dared report anything to the police so he never got caught.
The bar itself was nothing special and Claire was quite disappointed. She had expected much more the way Ben had spoken about the place but to her it just looked like a local late night bar. She had worn a shirt black dress with her hair down. She now felt self conscious. She would have worn jeans and a t-shirt if she had known what the bar would be like and wouldn’t have stood out so much. Ben liked the place though, mainly because of the people that were there. He always had this gangster fascination and to him Bud Atkinson was like the Gambino’s.
Ben introduced Claire to the few people he knew and then left her fir a while to go and drink shots with one of them. She stood about for a while talking to people she hardly knew. When she had finished her drink Ben was nowhere to be seen. She went to the bar and asked for a small red wine. Ben had most of the money but she had enough for one. The girl behind the bar went to get it.
She was standing at the bar facing the dance floor with her back to the entrance and the toilets. She turned around to wait for Ben. He must have turned at the same time. Claire remembered recognising him immediately. He stared at her so intently that she laughed nervously. He was huge. He oozed menace and it was clear just from looking at him that this was the way he expressed himself.
Claire didnt know if it was his reputation or just him. He just glared and scowled. His skin was rough, his greying hair cut very short. He wasn’t good looking but he radiated so much aggression that made he made her tongue dry and her legs weak He was intimidating.
‘Who are you?’ He growled. There was nothing pleasant about his manner.
I’m Claire,’ She managed to say. She wanted to tell him she was with Ben, or that she wasn’t from round here or something else but she stalled under his gaze and just felt stupid. It was stupid. She had no more reason to be nervous around this guy than any other one. The only difference was what she had been told, what she knew. It was that and her own mind that created the fear of meeting him. It was like meeting someone famous. She felt silly because she was clearly a little star struck.
‘You getting a drink?’ He asked. When he did he seemed to look her up and down, not undressing her, more like he was trying to figure her out. Claire nodded and opened her mouth to speak. He cut her off.
‘I’ll get it.’ He said flatly. She didn’t think to argue. She just looked at him and smiled.
‘Thanks,’ She managed to say.
When the girl behind the bar put the drink down Claire thought she saw a nervous glance over at Bud but couldn’t be sure.
‘I’m getting hers,’ said Bud. The girl looked at him briefly and then with a small nod began collecting glasses off the bar. She wasn’t expecting him to pay and she eventually walked off.
Just then Ben turned up standing beside her. She took one look at him and knew immediately he was getting very drunk. His eyes were gone and he had a stupid expression on his face. He looked from Claire to Bud as if he wanted to be introduced. Bud took a sip of his drink and glowered at Ben.
‘Whose this?’ He said, clearly to Claire.
‘Ben,’ she answered, ‘my boyfriend.’
‘Hey,’ said Ben trying to sound relaxed.
Bud scowled at him again. Ben tried to smile and held out his hand. Bud reluctantly took Ben’s outstretched hand and gripped hard as he shook it. She could see it hurt but Ben tried not to show it. Ben was a Bud wannabe. He didnt have any of the attributes but it hadn’t stopped him finding the bar. Talking to Bud and having that kudos rub off on his was exactly why he had dragged her there.
Bud was laughing now. Ben looked distinctly uncomfortable. When he let go Claire saw Ben favouring his hand.
‘Wanna hakkari seks hikayeleri drink?’ he asked Ben who immediately smiled. Bud looked at Claire again. Ben didn’t seem to notice.
While Bud gave off that air of aggression and although he didn’t speak about himself much if at all he turned out to be reasonably friendly, almost pleasant to talk to. He was interested in Claire. She told him she was training as a nurse and that she was from out of the city. Ben was local and he was delighted to mention mutual friends, most of whom Claire suspected Ben knew of rather than actually knew. When Bud finished his drink Ben bought him one. She wanted to tell Ben that bud didnt pay for his drinks in any case but there was no opportunity. Bud listened to both of them talking with what appeared to be genuine interest and when he left them a little later Claire was left with the feeling that he was more friendly than I had first though. He was borderline interesting. Ben was positively beaming.
‘He likes us.’ Ben declared while he watched Bud talking to a rather rough looking group by the toilets. Bud looked over at Claire briefly.
‘Yes,’ she said thoughtfully.
‘He’s alright isn’t he? He’s a good bloke?’
Claire recalled his shaking Ben’s hand, that and the way he looked at her. She wasn’t about to nominate him for a Nobel prize just yet.
‘I thought you said he was really violent and couldn’t be trusted?’
‘Well yeah but get in with him and it’s big time stuff.’
Claire shook her head slightly. ‘Ben you really need to be careful. I’m not sure if he is likely to be your best friend.’
‘Don’t worry.’ Ben scowled. ‘I know what I’m doing.’
Claire sensed him getting defensive at which point talking to him wouldn’t be worth it.
‘Okay,’ she said in a calming tone, ‘but just remember sometimes people like Bud Atkinson are only interested in themselves. That’s all I’m saying.’
Ben scoffed. ‘I’m getting another drink.’ He told Claire and turned to the bar.
Claire noticed that others looked at her and Ben now. It could only have been because they had been talking to Bud. It made her feel a little more secure than she had before but couldn’t help thinking that some of the looks she got were of something other than respect. Ben didn’t seem to notice. Instead he began to drink heavily and got louder as time went on. Claire could see where he was heading and tried to get him to slow down. He said he would but didn’t. He went to the bar regularly and each time he came back with drinks for them both. He then drank his followed but ones Clair hadn’t started. When she tried again he accused her of spoiling the night. By about 1am Ben was bickering. He began to lose it soon after. The bouncers came over twice to tell him to cool down. He told them it was all Claire’s fault and as they left for the second time he called her a stupid bitch, swayed drunkenly knocking into a table sending drinks over a group of people all of whom began to argue with him. As he squared up to them he was stopped by the bouncers. It looked like the night was about to come to abrupt end.
Ben and Claire.
Twisted choices. Ben and Clair stay.
As they pulled him towards the door Bud moved out of the crowd towards them. They stopped when he spoke to them. They were deferential towards him. They spoke briefly and then standing Ben up they brushed down his shirt and allowed him to walk over to Bud who seemed to thanks them as they walked off.
I collected my things and walked over. I was still angry at Ben but I was also concerned. I wasn’t exactly sure why.
Bud had his arm around him and was saying something. For some reason I didnt feel that I should go over so I stopped short and watched. Bud seemed to scowl but that wasn’t unusual I don’t suppose. He was leaning in with his head close to Ben’s. It was Ben’s expression, one of fear, that I was most drawn to. Ben was being told off and left in no doubt that he was to sort himself out. I wasn’t sure if I was imagining it but he appeared to be upset.
I walked over slowly and stood by them. I felt like I was intruding but wasn’t told to leave.
‘Okay?’ I heard Bud say.
‘Right, now you and your girlfriend come and have a drink with me.’
Bud looked at me for the first time since I came back over. His stare was intense and I tried to smile back at him. There was something about him that frightened me but it was also exciting. I felt a rush as he looked at me. The way he had treated Ben, the way the doormen had backed off as he approached. He oozed danger and confidence.
We stood at the bar with him drinking. I could tell that Ben felt awkward now. He didn’t speak much and left the talking to me. His head was down and he shifted often on his feet. Bud noticed too. We had a couple of drinks with him and then he asked Ben if he wanted to help him with something. Ben immediately perked up.
‘What?’ he asked.
Bud looked at us both. ‘I need to collect some money from a friend tonight. Why don’t you two come along and then we can get some drinks and go back to mine.
‘Oh I don’t know,’ I began.
‘Yeah,’ said Ben. He looked at me briefly and had some of his normal self back. I didn’t want to crush him again and while I had reservations about going to Buds house I didn’t push it.
‘Have you got money for a taxi?’ I asked Ben. I wanted to know how we would get home.
‘I’ve got my car,’ said Bud. ‘I’ll drive.’
I wanted to ask if he meant to collect the money or to get us home but before I could we were collecting out things and leaving the club. The bouncers nodded politely as we walked past them and down the stairs.
I’ll ask Ben in the car. I thought.
Bud drove a rather expensive BMW. It wasn’t what I had expected but then I wasn’t sure what I had expected. I certainly never thought that I’d be in it on the way to his house. I wondered how much he’d had to drink and if he should be driving but said nothing. I told myself that he wouldn’t drive if he had too much though I knew that it probably wasn’t true. I sat in the back, Ben in the front with Bud. I couldn’t talk to him and sat quietly as he and Bud talked for a change. He told Ben he was owed money and that he had arranged to collect it tonight. Ben seemed happy with the explanation but I couldn’t help but wonder why he was collecting a debt at almost two on a Saturday morning after clubbing. Little alarm bells were sounding in my head. I decided to talk to Ben when Bud made his collection.
We stopped outside of a terraced house on a hill just outside of the city centre. The house wasn’t particularly special and all of the lights were off. Bud wasn’t put off.
‘Come on,’ he said to Ben who looked surprised but responded and got quickly out of the car. I wasn’t asked to go. Ben began walking towards the path that led to the house and then he noticed that Bud had walked up the street and seemed to be going in a different way. Ben turned and followed without question, like a puppy. I had a knot in my tummy.
I sat for twenty minutes in the car as the engine and the inside cooled in metallic pings and clanks. Nothing seemed to be happening but when they returned I could tell by Bens face that it had. He got back in and was white and had a glazed expression. Bud looked completely calm. The car started and we drove off.
‘Everything all right?’ I asked not knowing really where to start.
‘Yeah,’ said Bud gruffly. ‘All sorted.’ He patted the pocket of his jacket and continued driving. Ben said nothing. I thought about asking if his friend was okay but decided against it. A bit like his driving I decided that it might be better not to ask.
We stopped at a garage. Bud took some cash out of his coat and handed it to Ben telling him to get some drinks. He wanted Jack Daniels and he told him to get whatever we wanted to drink. Ben left and I was unable to speak to him again. Bud looked and me in the rear view mirror. He held my gaze until I turned away.
‘How long you been together?’ he asked.
‘Two years,’ I told him. ‘We are getting engaged.’ I wondered why I thought I needed to add the last bit. It seemed somehow wrong. Bud nodded. I looked at him and noticed how thick his neck looked from the back. He reminded me of a bull.
I nodded. ‘Yeah.’ I felt something like relief at being able to confirm this fact. I didn’t have time to figure out why.
‘He’s a lucky man,’ said Bud. He was looking at me in the mirror again.
‘Maybe I’m the lucky one.’ I replied. Bud turned in his seat and looked directly at me. He looked briefly down and I felt conscious that my dress was short and my legs were stretched across the centre of the car in front of him. When he looked back into my eyes I realised that I was intimidated by him. I felt stupid, annoyed. I also felt a little turned on.
‘He’s got the better end of the deal, believe me.’
The door opened and Ben got back in with a bag full of clanking bottles. He was oblivious to what had just happened and had fully recovered his earlier happiness. He began chatting to Bud about the girl behind the counter asking if Bud was with him. She had recognised the car. Ben was so very pleased about this that he talked almost non stop until we arrived at Buds house. I was nervous now.
Buds house was basic. The door seemed to have been damaged and repaired a number of times and I was surprised that he hadn’t locked it and walked straight in. I half expected there to be others in the house but it was empty. I asked to use the toilet and Bud pointed it out upstairs. The hallway was dated and the bathroom had a beige bath, a white toilet and green shower curtain. It was definitely a mans house. When I came out I heard them laughing downstairs and had a quick peek in the rooms. I was curious how he lived. One room I took for his had an unmade bed, ashtray that was overflowing and dark curtains that didn’t appear to get drawn often. The second was better if only because it didn’t seem to get used. There were some boxes in the corner next to a double bed. A wardrobe stood opposite the window. Its door didn’t appear too attached to its body.
When I got downstairs I found them in the living room. It was the same worn tired kind of room but warm and fairly comfortable. There was a sofa and two single seats. An older TV that was unplugged suggested Bud wasn’t two fussed about the wider world.
They were both drinking Jack Daniels and coke. I didn’t like Ben on whisky but I didn’t say anything. There was a sparkling wine poured for me and I drank as they talked. After a while there was a lull.
‘Were your friends okay?’ I asked. I guessed the wine was making me brave. Ben seemed to stop still. Bud just looked at me and smiled.
‘They weren’t expecting me after all,’ he said. ‘I didn’t think I was going to get my money at first.’
Ben snorted and that made Bud smile more.
‘What?’ I asked.
‘They were a bit shocked,’ said Ben, ‘to see Bud.’
Bens drink was refilled, mine too. The measures were large and the coke limited. I wanted to ask what had happened but I got the feeling Bud didn’t want to discuss it. I decided to ask about the taxi. I knew given the way they were drinking that we would need it soon.
‘Shall I order a taxi Ben? Its getting late and we might struggle to get one if we wait too long?’
‘Stay.’ Said Bud. I wasn’t sure it was an offer. ‘Use the spare room and I’ll take you home tomorrow.’
There were so many issues involved in that statement that I didn’t know where to start. I looked at Ben and saw that he was smiling.
‘Thanks Bud.’ He said enthusiastically.
‘Ben we can’t really stay. I’m sure Bud is just being polite but we should go really, and in any case we haven’t got a change of clothes or anything.’
I felt Bud looking at me. I was willing Ben to agree but his face screwed up into a look that I knew too well. He really wanted to stay and be able to tell everyone about Bud, his new friend.
‘He doesn’t mind Claire. We can last for one night without a change of clothes and in any case we are having fun. Don’t spoil it. Come on, have another drink.’
Ben filled my almost full glass up and sat down like it was settled. I took a big gulp. Bud was still looking at me. Ben never noticed.
Around four I was a little drunk. Ben was too but Bud seemed to be in the same state as when we started drinking. I was sure that if he had wanted too he could have driven us home then. My wine was gone together with most of the Jack Daniels. Id had just one of those and realised that they were very strong. My head was spinning a little. I had also relaxed and began laughing with them about nothing. Bud had a dry sense of humour though I couldn’t always tell if he was being serious or not. I told Ben I was going to bed and he decided to come with me. I thought he might stay down with his new buddy and was a little surprised when he didn’t. We left Bud finishing off his drink. With nothing to wear I took off my dress and got into bed in just my knickers. Ben stripped off completely, something he didn’t always do and more often when he wanted sex. He cuddled right up to me and his hands drifted up my stomach to my breasts. He began kissing me.
‘Ben we can’t.’ I told him.
‘He will hear.’
‘So?’ Bens tone was playful, as if maybe he’d like Bud to hear. I wondered if he was trying to show off.
‘Ben we hardly know him. We can’t just start shagging in his bed.’ Bens hands were groping my breasts. My nipples had hardened. I tried to stop him before it went too far. ‘Ben we shouldn’t.’ His hand dropped between my legs stroking my pussy through my knickers. I began to ache. I knew I was getting wet and Bens cock was hard against my thigh. He kissed me again and I let his tongue slip into my mouth.
‘You had better be quiet.’ I told him. Ben was nodding at the same time he was pulling my knickers to one side. I felt for his cock. He was hard despite the alcohol. I knew it was something to do with being here. He got between my legs and I guided him into me. He groaned as he pushed into me.
‘Shush,’ I said. He began fucking. The bed began to creak alarmingly. Ben didn’t seem to care and after trying to slow him a little I let go and gripped the bedsheets. My eyes closed and I heard myself moaning. Perhaps Ben was right. There was something quite erotic about fucking in Bud Atkinson ‘s spare bed. I wrapped my legs around his ankles and enjoyed the feeling of him inside me. My pussy was slick and my mind wandered. I remembered the way Bud had looked at me in the car. I don’t know why but it turned me on. I cried out. Bens hands were under my bum squeezing. His mouth kissed and bit my tits. The bed creaked under us and I knew that it would be obvious what was happening. I thought about Bud knowing I was being fucked in his spare room and my pussy tightened. I groaned and enjoyed the thought. I wondered if that was what Ben was thinking about.
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