Slightly tipsy because of the wine, Alice opened the door to her apartment. The familiar smell of patchouli penetrated the air and found her nose. She breathed deeply in, held it in for a few seconds as if she wanted to taste the smell, and let the air escape through a sigh out of her mouth.
The front door fell shut when she let the door handle go. Alice kicked out her heels in the small hall. By now, her feet and little toes did not know better than to be trapped in shoes like those all day, every day of the week, but she would've be lying if she had said it was not satisfying to walk around bare-footed over the black granite floor of the living room. Her feet made sticky sounds as she walked towards the wall-sized windows that decorated one entire wall of her apartment. Alice looked down to the streets of Amsterdam. The street lights were enough to light up her entire living room.

It was winter in the Netherlands. Early January, to be exact, which meant that anyone who dared to leave their houses, was bundled up in deep fur coats, with scarves knotted around their necks like they were about to hang themselves. A late Saturday night, but the shopping street at which her apartment complex lay was still buzzing with energy. The shopkeepers had shooed the late-night shoppers away only a couple of minutes ago, who were now contently walking back towards their cars or towards the small cafés that were still open and willing to pour them some hot cocoa. Big, wide smiles decorated their faces, knowing they had bought out-of-season clothing for a fourth of its price.
And then there were the younger people. Most youngsters walked in the other direction; they were heading towards the centrum of the city, flocked in groups of 5 or more, to annoy the local bars before they went, almost completely drunk already, to the clubs, located in almost every corner of the streets to blow the little money they had earned with their boring side jobs and waste it on alcohol. They just wanted to dance, Alice knew. They just wanted to escape from their dull lives to dance and feel alive. If only they could remember it the next day, it might still have meant something.
Only a small percent of the people on the street did not belong to those two categories. If you looked well, you could sometimes see elderly couples, slowly strolling through the shopping street. They always walked in the middle of the road, irritating both the youngsters and the busy shoppers, since their pace wasn't what it used to be. But they did not care, still believing that anyone remotely younger than them should give them the respect they deserved. So, they kept on walking, hand in hand, through the street, enjoying the Christmas lights that the community service workers had already put up to make the enormous, with criminality and addictives filled city seem cozier.
The annoying couple were not always old enough to be called grandma and grandpa. Sometimes it were teenagers, or divorced thirty-somewhat-year-olds that had found new love. Either way, there was always at least one disturbing couple that had to marvel at the lights and Christmas decorations, as if they had never seen them before. But they had, only love made it so much more beautiful. Alice knew that at least half of them had replaced their boyfriend or girlfriend the next year with a new one, only to perform the same dumb behaviour again, this time with someone else.

Next to the shopping street laid the street that was equally as busy, despite it being half pas ten at night, only now it was filled with all kinds of vehicles instead of people. Shoppers going home, tourists taking a cab back to their hotel, students riding busses back home after a long day at work. The cars honked at suddenly passing pedestrians or bikers that undertook dangerous events just to make it to the traffic light before it'd turn red.
Amsterdam was a city that never slept, especially on a Saturday night. But even though the streets were still buzzing with activity, a strange melancholy crept upon Alice. With her gaze focused on the happily smiling people fifty meters down, she could not imagine what it would be like walking down that street, her hands intertwined with a man I loved, or her arms hooked through those of a friend or a relative. Her life was way too different, so different that those people would never understand what went through her mind. It was too much to wrap her head around, knowing that most of them were happier than she was.

Alice did not feel lonely, not in the least. She liked being alone; loved it, even. Family only brought drama, friends came and went so it was wasted effort to even try to make some and she did not need a lover. If you were as rich as she was, you could get anyone with a flick of your wrist. Love would never be sincere, even if you thought it was, and she would never be able to truly trust someone. And on top of that, lovers only brought trouble as well. Break-ups made you act irrationally and made you less productive for a certain time being. Love made you think weirdly. Once you had fallen in love, logic suddenly had a very different meaning. Alice would die first before she'd let love ruin her career; my father's empire.

No, love was not for her. Not in the slightest.

But on cold Saturday nights like these, even a woman like Alice Richmond craved company. Touches. Kisses. Lust.
Which was why she turned away from the window, took her phone from her purse and dialed the one number she knew who would cure her from her melancholy. Or perhaps tire her out enough to fall asleep and indulge myself in the sweet darkness that took all the pressed emotions away.
The phone rang only once before it got picked up.
"I will be there in a quarter," a deep voice said, coming from the other end. There was no greeting or any chit-chatter. He knew it just wasted her time, especially if he knew what I wanted from him. He knew what I liked, as he had played this game countless of times in the last few years.
"I will leave the door open," Alice replied, before ending the call.
As she let the phone fall on the couch, she decided to better get ready. Alice walked to the bedroom, checking if the maid had done her work in making up the bed. It looked spotless as ever. The black sheets were pulled tight against the mattress and the pillows looked like a whole extra bag of feathers had been stuffed into them.
Contently, Alice walked on towards the bathroom. Her feet met the cold stone ground; this was the only spot in the apartment that didn't have heating running under the floor, which always resulted in cold feet. If she wasn't showering, she hated being in her bathroom, as it resulted in more cold body parts than was necessary. She walked towards the sink and let my hands rest upon the rough, natural stone.
A force made her look up, even though Alice knew she looked bad. She always looked bad on Saturday nights. The circles underneath my eyes betrayed that she did not sleep well. They were mostly covered by make-up, but by now her body was so exhausted that they couldn't be fixed anymore. Dead, chocolate-coloured eyes stared back at her, following the contoures of her face. High cheekbones, a fair skin with not even one pimple to be seen. No freckles or anything, just plain pale. Alice used to have an olive-coloured skin, but because of the lack of sunlight, it had turned sickly pale and therefor she had been able to beat most white women when it came to the colour of her skin. In a world in which white men held the power, it only worked in her favour, though, as it did not accentuate her Asian heritage.
Medium brown hair running 'till half past her neck, a few inches away from her shoulders. Alice liked her hair short. Perhaps it was a show of dominance, as men had short hair too. Men dominated the world. Alice, too, wanted to dominate the world. Other than that, it was practical and stylish as well.
Perhaps she would have given off a better statement if she had her hair running down to her butt, but she simply liked this. It accentuated her face, which had been worth accentuating a couple of years ago. It still was beautiful, but it was too sharp. Her cheekbones too boney, her face to emaciated, her eyes too shallow.
Her eyes lowered, past her lips, her thin neck and stopped at her boney collarbones. They were sticking out more than usual, which could be said the same of her hips. Alice had gotten thinner over the past couple of months. It might only be a couple of kilograms, but she had always been thin of nature, so the loss of that extra weight hit her body hard. Her hip bones were visible through her dress and her cheeks had fallen in. By now, Alice had surpassed the standard of beauty and her fragile appearance together with her milky skin had made her look sickly.
But make-up had concealed her poor health for the past few months well and it would continue to do so, but she had to keep updating it to hold onto her façade. And if else, her employees would never dare to say she looked bad, but it was a comfort to herself that she knew she looked good.

Alice heard the front door open and close a couple of minutes after she had finished updating her make-up. She was going through a new edition of National Geographic that had come in at the beginning of the week and was just reading a piece about how glaciers might be related to volcanic eruptions when the noise made her look up. She stood up to meet her personal guard.
Elias Thompson stood in front of her, his hands casually in the pockets of his plain black pants. He had already taken off his jacket and had laid it across the sofa and was now eyeing Alice with a lustful expression. His green eyes had turned darker, which was something she liked.
Elias had been her personal guard for the past four years, since the moment she had started working at Rilex Industries. How secret rendez-vous like these had flourished was not because there had been a forbidden spark between her, the CEO, and her bodyguard. It was a show of dominance, of power. Even in her own apartment, she continued to be the one in control. She always was.
He was a good-looking man, with slick dark brown hair which was always pushed back and light eyes. He always had some scruff on his somewhat arrogant face, with soothed his sharp jawline. His voice was deep when he spoke, which happened rarely. His shoulders were broad and his arms as thick as bench screws. His clothing outside of work - in which he was required to wear a formal suit - was mostly the latest fashion, which had been donated to him by Alice herself. If he were to work with her and even come to her apartment, she wanted him to look his best. Elias knew that and always dressed up in the clothes Alice had given him. A black trench coat, a formal jacket, a black turtleneck, tight chino's and black Van Bommels.
Elias Thompson was the grandson of a known investor of Rilex Industries, who had played a big part in the founding of the company. Now that they did not need is money anymore, his influence had grown considerably smaller which had resulted him to be kicked out of the Board. But every now and then he asked for favour that was actually too much for a man with so little prestige. Every time Alice had wanted to refuse, he had written an angry e-mail that he ought to have his way, as he had helped her father build this foundation and raise it to the big international it was nowadays. Alice knew he was too afraid to face her openly and simply granted him his favours, as a show of mercy.
A couple of years ago, the old Mr. Thompson had only ought it to be proper that his grandson, who clearly was not as smart as he wanted him to be, was offered a job at Rilex. He had already been working there for a couple of months when Alice joined the company. Elias had been an intern then, as he still had to finish his education. The day Alice met him, was the day he was just beginning his internship with one of the elderly bodyguards. He hobbled after them most time of the day and sometimes roamed the company's Headquarters on his own when he was bored or too lazy to stand by the entrance doors all day.
Since Mr. Thompson knew as well as Alice did that the boy had no future once he had finished his training, he had pleaded Alice to take him in as part of her security team. That had been one of the favours that had actually come in quite handy, as there were still a couple of old rods participating in the security team. Since her father's death, there had been few new bodyguards and it might bring new life into the team if Elias Thompson joined them. Back then, he was still only 19 years old with muscles that seemed too big for someone his age. Now, a few years later, he had matured well. He had grown a few more inches and that made sure his arms looked more appropriate for his body structure than back in the days when he had just started his career at Rilex. He had started as just a rookie, helping out with the overall security of the building. But Elias turned out to be rather motivated now that he had gained a real job and turned out to be quite useful. In less than half a year he started helping out with press conferences and soon her head of security had recommended him to her as her personal guard.
Elias had been her personal guard now for little over a year. That meaning that he stood by her door as she worked, made sure to escort her guests over to her office, called her personal Uber driver and only let someone into her office when she was not around if she had given him permission beforehand. At work, he was merely a pioneer that Alice bossed around, just like David and all the other employees that did not have any significant importance. But he did not talk, unlike David. He wasn't shy or insecure or anything; he simply understood what was needed from him at work and what the weekly rendez-vous meant.
It had surprised Alice at first that he hadn't sought more after a couple of times. Even the most annoying men tended to 'fall in love', especially with women who were rich in power and money alike. He had not tried anything, though, which Alice was glad for. She that she would never fall for someone like him, despite the fact that he was the perfect picture; handsome, relatively rich, muscles over brains. A mannequin that she could dress up how she pleased. Another puppet to control effortlessly. But he did not intrigue her, as almost no one did. Until now, Alice had never met anyone in her life who had blown her mind, which had already shaped the idea in her head that she might be alone until her death. The idea was as well scary as comforting and she had already made her peace with it. But romance was different from sexuality and even Alice had to admit that she needed people like Elias.

And now he was watching her with those darkened eyes, probably already imagining what was going to happen soon. Alice stepped forward and he stayed still; exactly how she wanted it to be. He knew his role, Alice knew hers.
"Do you want a drink?" she asked him, her voice slow and sensual. She tried to put a little more feelings in it, but it was hard as she not only had to turn on Elias but also herself.
"Yes, please," he replied, his face remaining neutral. Only his eyes spoke and they told her - no, screamed at her - that he already was excited. Alice needn't even look at his crotch to confirm it. She walked past him, feeling his eyes sting in her back as she took two tumblers from the cabinet in the kitchen. She took a bottle of whiskey out of the cooler. It was half empty already; a result of their previous meetings. Alice added ice to both of the glasses, then poured the drink until half of the tumblers were filled.
She walked back. Her feet were silent on the floor. Alice handed Elias his drink and held her own up for him to toast to. The glasses clang when they met. Elias put his to his mouth at the same time she put hers to her lips. She sipped, but he poured the liquid down his throat like it was lemonade. He kept his face straight whilst his throat burned and turned to Alice. It was a clear signal he wanted to get it over with, that he was impatient for me to start. He was eager. Too eager.
Alice looked him straight in the eye and took another sip of her drink, reminding him that he was not the one in charge here. She could see the annoyance shoot across his face. It was only for a split second, then it disappeared, and he acted as if nothing had happened. He waited for her to finish her drink, which took her almost ten more minutes. She did not like whiskey, except on nights like these, but she had to drink it slowly, especially because she had already consumed a whole bottle of wine previously this evening.
As Elias waited, Alice turned on some music. It was her favourite piece, Wagner's Entrance of the Gods into Valhalla, or Einzug der Götter in Walhall. The play talked about Donner, a young Norseman who dispersed the clouds with one hit of his miraculous hammer. The Valhalla opens itself and for a moment, even the gods are perplexed. Then they ascent and take their place in the heavens.

She eventually put her empty glass down and signed with a nod of her head that he should follow her to the bedroom. He followed closely, from which Alice knew he was excited. But he did not pass me, he stayed behind as she walked towards the bedroom.
"Take off your clothes," she said to him, as soon as the door fell shut. Elias nodded and took off his sweater, his shoes and his pants. Alice could see his member already up and proud through his underwear. When he also took off his boxer shorts, he expectantly looked over to me, waiting for further instructions.
"Take the stool and sit down."
He took the stool from my bedside table and sat down, his legs already spread a little and his lower arms resting on his thighs. Alice's hand curled over her back, reaching up for the zipper of her dress. The fabric immediately fell on the ground when she pulled it down, as her thinned body did not have the volume anymore when she had bought it. She stepped out of the piece of clothing and undid her bra by herself. It fell on the ground as well.
She let Elias take in her body in with his eyes. He looked as if he had never seen it before, with such lust that it almost seemed he would explode if she would not act soon. A deep sigh left my mouth as she stepped forward and placed both of my hands on his shoulders.

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