A tiny voice of reason called out from somewhere in the back of his mind, to echo warnings he later knew should have been heeded. Robert was not hideous by any means, but he knew he was not a particularly attractive man. Any woman as beautiful as this would never be drawn to him - not in a million years. There was a catch, there had to be.
It was after midnight when they left the bar. By then, Robert was more than a little drunk. The monster hailed a taxi from the curb and they rode together through half-deserted streets to the outer edge of the city.
The ride ended in a well-kept old neighborhood with ancient two-story houses, green lawns and glass-globed streetlamps. Robert stumbled twice while he walked up the steps. She took his hand and steadied him on the way to the front door. Once inside, she guided him to a sofa in the living room, where he half sat and half collapsed in an alcohol fueled stupor.
Meredith put on soft jazz.
“Robert, can I pour you a drink?”
“I’d better not,” his words came out with slurred inflection. “I’ve done enough damage for one night."
“Too late.” She appeared before him with a tumbler of whiskey over ice. “Besides, what kind of man would have a lady drink alone?”
What the hell, he thought. Robert put the glass to his lips and tipped it back. The amber liquid tasted different somehow. Behind the warm bite was a slight chemical tinge.
Within moments he felt himself slipping backward. Even though he was lying on the couch, it was as if he were falling and his thoughts spiraled into an abyss.
Consciousness waxed and waned for him over the next few hours. There were faint visions that he grasped like distant memories. At one moment, hands moved over his skin and he thought he felt his clothing being removed. In another, he half dreamt that Meredith came into the room wearing a black negligee.
What he recalled after this had to be a hallucination. In the haze, he watched helplessly as Meredith came to him and opened the fabric. This was when he learned his captor was not human.
Later on, during the waking hours, he would struggle to find words to explain away the impossible. None came. He could only recall the words of madness that came to his lips when he first saw her unveiled: “My God, it has no eyes.”