Four – Torment
He couldn’t watch it without a drink. The computer was all powered up, sitting on the desk waiting for him to do something, to give it a command. David had slipped the flash drive into the tiny port, and the machine had done its thing, had examined the 4 Gb memory on the stick and revealed a single file. David sat at the desk and stared at the screen for ten minutes. Several times he seemed to steel himself, to ready his mind for what he might see. David’s hand slid towards the mouse, the cursor hovered over the command button, but he always balked.
Did he really want to see it?
<i>Nathaniel and Philip … Another woman? Tia? …And three more black men.</i>
That’s what Emma had said.
She also said she had fucked them all, had even had sex with the woman. The proof, Emma had said, was on the memory stick. The file was right there on the screen.
A mouse-click away.
David stumped out of the house, a man on a mission. He drove to Sainsbury’s and bought ten cans of Stella Artois. Returning home he abandoned the Audi at a crazy angle across the drive. He pushed nine tins into the fridge and popped the tab on the first one, had guzzled half the contents, throat working quickly before he slumped into an armchair in the living room.
He sank into in the familiar embrace of the chair. It felt like an old friend, hugging him as he tried to watch television and ignore the mocking from the computer upstairs. David drank the first beer and started on the second, talking heads going blah-blah-blah, soap opera dramas unfolding, their plots meaningless compared to the crisis in his own life.
The television blared on, unseen, unheard as the light faded outside. Four empty cans were on the coffee table next to the chair, two upright while the two others lay like damaged corpses, crushed and discarded.
David lurched to his feet, the fifth beer in hand. He swayed slightly, surprised by how effected he was as he examined the writing of the side of the tin through eyes bleary with drink.
He lurched across to the television, a flat-screened LG. David muttered as he went, taking exaggerated care not to nudge the television – he didn’t want to knock it of its stand and break the bloody thing. He took a quick look at the side of the unit, nodding vaguely as he registered the ports and slots. Then, still nodding and muttering he walked out of the living room, climbed the stairs and strode with determined purpose brought on by four and a half cans of strong lager into the room he and Emma used as a study. David snatched the flash drive from the dormant computer, turned, and then made the unsteady return trip down the stairs.
“Okay,” David murmured to himself after yanking the curtains across their rails to close out the world beyond the window. “Let’s see what you’ve been doing. Show me you doing your worst, you fucking slag.”
He went to the kitchen and grabbed a sixth can from the fridge, a reserve supply while he enjoyed the show. David then slotted the flash drive into the USB port on the television, fumbled with the remote until he found the right source, downed the remainder of the fifth beer, popped the tab on the can fresh from the fridge, and settled down to watch.
In the end, all ten beers weren’t enough.
That night David dreamt of water, gallons of water, lakes of the stuff; and no matter how much he poured down his throat it was never enough to satisfy his raging thirst. There was nothing representative in the dreams of unsatisfied desires, David had simply drunk too much alcohol, had glugged a bottle of red wine when the Stella ran out.
Which is why, the next morning, David woke to a killer, brain-fevered hangover.
He laid in bed, immobile, suffering while the throb behind his eyes matched the rapid lub-lub of his heart. He felt hot, his throat was parched; he was starving yet, at the same time, when his stomach growled for food, he couldn’t countenance eating a thing. The alcoholic paranoia, residual effects of lager and red wine, pushed his depression even further into the pit of despair. David began to sweat, nausea making him groan, guts churning, a sudden hot-browed queasiness forcing him to fling back the quilt and roll out of bed. He was trembling as he stumbled across the bedroom to the en-suite, his head a cotton-wool mess, reflexes shot to hell. Kneeling in front of the bowl David vomited liquid, his stomach heaving as he retched and spat out long ropes of foul-tasting drool. There was very little in the way of solids in the mess, which reminded David he’d eaten nothing since lunch the day before.
“Shit,” David moaned, spitting a last clinging thread of saliva last before reaching for the lever to flush his anguish away.
He rolled onto his backside, tiles cold through yesterday’s clothes. He hadn’t even undressed for bed. David sucked in deep draughts of air, eyes closed, with his palms flat against the floor.
Slowly, very careful to avoid any sudden movements with his head, David rose to his feet. First he kneeled, hands on the toilet bowl, head hanging before he gathered his resolve and pushed up. Standing upright he wavered, wobbling as a fresh wave of nausea rolled over him.
“Fuck,” he cursed. “Fuck it all.”
Twenty minutes later, weak and shaking, after unwisely getting behind the wheel to drive to the nearest McDonald’s he rolled into the drive through lane, scraping in before the deadline for the breakfast menu. David ordered hangover food. He sat in the car park after collecting his order at the window and managed a quarter of one sausage and egg McMuffin before he broke out in a fresh attack of the sweats. He gagged and then wrapped the remainder of the sandwich in the greaseproof paper it came in, dropping the package into the brown bag with the other sandwich he’d optimistically purchased. David left the coffee that came with his food order sitting in the round slot between the gearstick and the Audi’s console, the taste of it souring his mouth. Feeling only marginally better – at least the stodge had stayed inside him and not been regurgitated – David called into Sainsbury’s on the way home. There he bought a litre bottle of water and, despite his body’s disgust, a full case of twenty-four cans of Stella Artois.
He drove home, an empty hollow feeling gnawing at his vitals, hunger rather than emotion at the scenes he’d witnessed via his television the previous evening.
David felt well enough to eat the remaining three-quarters of the McDonalds bun after the first beer of the day. He ate the second McMuffin with the second can of Stella.
Then he sat down in front of the television.
Seeing it for the second time wasn’t as sickening as the first, and with some food and a hair-of-the-dog inside him David forced himself to endure a second viewing of his wife at the centre of a gang-fuck.
What was more surprising for David, as he sat there and forced himself to take it all in, was how drawn he was to Tia.
At least he assumed the other woman was Tia.
Anyway, regardless, he thought the blonde was fucking amazing. In fact, David was so taken with the gorgeous, potty-mouthed Scouser that, despite seeing his wife sucking and fucking black cock – one in her mouth while another fucked into her cunt – David unzipped his jeans and began to stroke his own dick.
He was hard for Tia, loved the way she looked, adored her accent, and found the obscenities that poured out of her an immense turn-on. The woman, in David’s opinion, was absolutely stunning, and he stared at the screen open-mouthed, tugging at his erection while Tia knelt on all fours, her derrière upthrust to accommodate Nathaniel’s impressive girth.
The camera work was shaky, obviously passed from hand-to-hand as the men changed places, diverting their attention between Emma and the platinum-blonde beauty. Yet despite the lack of cinematic finesse, somehow, the raw vulgarity appealed to David. So much so that, even as Emma, his unfaithful, traitorous wife groaned and moaned and begged for cock, as she squealed with delight and babbled on about how much she was enjoying her surprise, regardless that she was begging to be filled with semen, as Tia laughed and grinned and took a huge outpouring of semen on her own face and breasts, David grunted and sprayed the front of his tee-shirt with a copious load of his own.
Then his mind began to work, and David, sitting in the chair, clothing spattered with his own semen, lewd grunts and groans and excited yelps coming from the surround-sound speakers, let his imagination wander.
Emma Sykes didn’t return home until late on Monday afternoon. David saw the silver Mercedes pull onto the driveway, watched the back door open and his wife clamber out.
He was out of the front door and at the open door before Emma could uncurl from where she was leaning in to talk to whoever was inside the car.
“I need to talk to you,” David said. He leaned down to survey the car’s interior. Seeing Nathaniel lounging in the back seat, eyes wary, while Philip had swivelled in the driver’s seat to look back over his shoulder at the intrusion, and while Emma stood there, mouth slack, blinking in surprise, David added, “You, Nathaniel. I need to talk to you.”
The black man eyed David suspiciously, and with good reason. David was an unkempt mess. He appeared unwashed, hair all mussed, and with a dark shadow of his beard speckling his chin. The man’s eyes had a fevered shine to them. His grin was maniacal. To Nathaniel’s eyes David seemed slightly unhinged – a result of knowing his wife was enjoying herself while he stayed at home with a video file for company perhaps? David wasn’t the type to know where to put his hands on a shooter, he didn’t strike Nathaniel as that sort, anyway, but in his line of business Nathaniel had learned not to make assumptions like that. David could have been driven beyond despair. He’d had two whole days plus Friday night and all of Monday daytime to stew. Nathaniel knew that Emma had left the video clip behind with her husband. And who knew what effect seeing something like that could have on a man?
“What about?” Nathaniel replied, his demeanour cool.
Philip was already out of the car, moving around the long front of the vehicle while Emma just stood there, staring at her husband.
“That woman. The blonde. Tuh-Tia,” David stuttered.
Nathaniel’s face registered surprise – he hadn’t seen that coming.
“What about her?” he replied.
David stood by the open door, one hand on the upper edge as he leaned in to look at Nathaniel. He blinked and swallowed heavily, his chest suddenly too small for his lungs. Arousal surged through him, and his cock, albeit sore and bruised from his masturbatory frenzy, thickened.
David hadn’t bothered with work that day. He’d been at home, running through the video again and again. When he replied to Nathaniel’s question, his voice cracked, splintered by the desire that overwhelmed him. “I … I want to meet her. I want to be part of … of what I saw.”
The voice was Emma’s, and David uncurled, rising and turning to face his wife.
“She’s a Queen of Spades,” Emma said while Philip stood next to her, watchful eyes on David. Emma blurted a laugh, scoffed as though the thought of Tia with David was the most ridiculous thing she’d ever heard. “Trust me,” Emma continued, her upper lip curling, “there’s nothing <i>you</i> could offer Tia.”
Nathaniel’s voice drew David’s attention. He stooped and regarded the black man again.
“You want to be part of all that?” asked Nathaniel, a note of incredulity in his tone. “Shut your fucking mouth, bitch,” he added with a snarl when Emma interjected with a scornful comment.
The woman’s lips compressed into a thin line; she blinked and recoiled, taking a step back when Nathaniel leaned forward and pointed an aggressive finger at her.
“I-uh-I’m sorry,” Emma said, sniffing back sudden tears. “Please…”
“Shut it,” Nathaniel growled, adding, “Take her into the house, Philip.”
David watched his wife being led away. Emma glanced back over her shoulder as Philip took her arm and coaxed her over the threshold.
“Get it,” Nathaniel said. He patted the seat next to him. It was still warm from Emma’s buttocks when David eased himself down into the car. “So,” added Nathaniel, smirking, “you fancy Tia?”