6 Maneater


Blindknyttstories: JP is back at the helm with this chapter, I assume she isn’t going to torture Nick with animal piss this chapter…But who knows? Anyway JP did a great job with this chapter, and no I’m not being forced to say that, why would you think that? (First Escape attempt failed, attempting the second one tonight.)

JP: he says forced, I say “persuasion”… Either way, no methods need be enforced until he’s back in the writer’s hot seat!;)

(p.s. I left hints galore but wondering if anyone can guess who the mysterious femme fatale here is?)

The Borscht Bowl Club – June 28, 2024



Time was running out.

“Refill?” The bimbo blond server asked the customer, in what must’ve been the phoniest, most nerve-grating Southern twang she’d ever heard. The waitress had been trying to get her to try some of the owner’s authentic borscht all night, but the last thing this bar-fly needed was food.

She needed booze. And a helluva lot of it.

“Another whiskey,” she mumbled, and held out her empty glass towards the other woman, who swiftly filled it up, and then took off.

She brooded over the refilled glass, staring sightlessly at the wall as she listened to the carefully placed and at times, wrong tunes coming from the piano, while she wallowed in her misery. The haunting tune was achingly familiar yet abstruse. She doubted if anyone else would have recognized it.

Not that there was anyone else around.

The pub was empty except for her and the fair-to-middling pianist in the corner. And it was a Friday night too.  She wondered how the place stayed in business.

The air was downright icy down in the basement pub. She guessed that the lack of customers was mostly due to the cold environment, and reckoned that the 5° C room temperature was to create an authentic Russian atmospheric experience.

It’s colder than a dead whore’s twat in here!

When she’d stumbled upon the bar earlier, she’d been happier than a clam to discover the lack of people. It only added to her existing feelings of desolateness. She’d spent the entire evening there, listening as the songs the musician played become more sad and obscure as the night went on.  Well, the songs weren’t unrecognizable exactly – they were mostly hard to discern due to the man’s mediocre pianist skills.

But oddly enough, the more glass bottles that accumulated next to his feet as he played on, the surprisingly better he seemed to get! She’d very clearly been able to make out the last three songs, all with the same angst theme, within the last half hour.

Against All Odds by Phil Collins.  

Someone Like You by Adele. 

All By Myself by Celine Dion.

It would have depressed any other patron to no end, but she didn’t mind. Quite the contrary – she loved it! It matched her lugubrious disposition perfectly and thus made this the ideal place to embrace the cold and her self-pity.

Tonight was a new record, however. She’d been drinking now for about four hours straight and still felt every inch of the suffering pain and agony that had quelled her to drink in the first place.

Nonetheless, she must have been having some fun, as despite her melancholic state the time had flown right by.

A quarter of an hour was all she had left now. The last call at the bar was in 15 minutes.

That was all the time she had left to completely lose herself and obliterate this God-awful night, along with its tormenting recollections, from her memory, her existence.

That was alright, though. She’d double–fist if she needed to. It wasn’t 2:00 AM yet. She’d been there for most of the night and already had enough booze inside her to float battleships.

Or, at least, hopefully, numb her into sweet oblivion.

So far, success had not been reached. She could still remember the events that had led her to this watering hole as clearly and painfully as though it had just happened.

It was unbelievable; without warning, that callous, heartless bastard had unceremoniously dumped her! 


It was too humiliating for words.

She who had always brought even the mightiest of men to their knees with her very presence! hen subsequently, when she grew bored of them and no longer saw their use, she would chew them up, cough them up, and spit them out like wads of gum.

Her last boyfriend had been a Chiclet!

Except for this time around, she’d been the one chewed, instead of the chewer.

It was quite a blow to her ego – it’d never happened before in all her 38 years.

Was she losing her alluring mystique that normally drove the men wild with want?

Was she losing her famous, trademarked beauty? Getting, heaven forbid, too old to be a cougar on the prowl?


She was still as toned and fit as she’d always been, well preserved and youthful-looking, with not even a touch of grey in her silken caramel mane, she assured herself.

All her adult life, she’d forever prided herself on three things: her sharp ability to read people, her beguiling good looks, and her expertise on male psychology, despite having never been a shrink nor studied the science.

However, she’d put her hands-on skills to good use, along with that insightful knowledge as a detective in another lifetime.

In her current one, those same skills were still aptly put to use as a Private Investigator. There was a reason she was la crème de la crème at tracking down and exposing liars, cheaters, philandering bastards.

Most of them were of the male persuasion.

Men were animals, but like all animals, they had their uses. In this case, their flawed ways of life paid her bills. Handsomely.

According to her, three things controlled the actions of men; hunger, the need to sleep, and sex.

Men weren’t too complicated. You see a man walking towards you who isn’t yawning or packing wood? Make him a sandwich!

Being the beautiful, cunning woman that she was, she knew how to use this to her advantage, especially the third rule.

Despite all her attributes, though, that son of a bitch Jake Marshall had left her like she was yesterday’s news the minute he’d been sprung from the clink.

Right back into the arms of his undeserving fellow jailbird ex, Lana Skye, The two-faced wimpette who’d never deserved him in the first place!

Exactly what was that spindly, uptight bitch doing for that bastard sexually that she couldn’t, or wouldn’t?!

She snarled into her liquor and tossed it back as though it were water.

Perhaps her entire MO was off, and she should be focusing on floating another type of boat entirely.

Preferably, within her.

After all, the best way to get over someone was to get under someone, was it not?

A slow leer played over her coral lips as her eyes rested on the pianist in the corner of the nearly deserted bar.

She supposed if she hadn’t been so busy lamenting the loss of her rhinestone cowboy ex-lover, she’d have noticed what a fine specimen was right in front of her thirsty eyes.

Goddamn, that is one sexy beast, she ruminated to herself, feeling a slight tingle jolt through her that had nothing to do with the alcohol she’d consumed. In escort slang, he was DDG. 

Drop-dead gorgeous.

The beanie-wearing piano player looked to be in his late-20’s to early 30’s – younger than her, but they never seemed to mind age any more than she did. After all, it wasn’t as though she wanted him for anything more than a short-term rental! 

As he raised a distracted hand to scratch his head under his cap, she caught a glimpse of what appeared to be a full head of thick, black hair, which she was suddenly aching to run her scarlet lacquered fingertips through…and soon after, scratch them down his back, while hoping that wannabe rancher felt it!

Suddenly, as though sensing her prolonged gaze, he looked up and spotted her standing by the bar, not even three feet away.

“That’s a pretty sad song you’re playing there, stud,” she murmured, giving him a coy smile as she held the glass to her full lips. “Why so blue?”

He cocked a masculine eyebrow at the query as his hooded dark blue eyes lifted and cast her a penetrating gaze, roaming from head to toe.

Had she been more of a lady, the deliberate elevator eyes gesture would have made her blush. He certainly hadn’t taken any visual shortcuts!

But this lady prided herself on being more of a vamp, and hence, just made her smile and preen.

Also, being checked out in such a lascivious manner had turned her on so much you could have drowned a toddler in her panties…

Still, the mysterious man didn’t speak.

That was fine by her. She rather liked the strong, silent type. And what she had in mind didn’t require much conversation anyhow…

She was feeling a lot warmer now with the heat of that piercing gaze, which was now so unapologetically explicit that she almost felt as though he’d reached out and touched her with those large, oh so manly, piano-playing fingers.

The striking blonde woman casually leaned back against the bar. The fur collar of her clean, alabaster jacket tickled her throat, and her arms were folded over her chest, enhancing the view provided by the low-cut, slinky black dress she wore beneath it. She licked her lips like a predator about to devour its prey and was torn between being glad she was wearing her customary jacket over her clothing due to the cold, or being annoyed that it hid her braless, exposed cleavage from his view.

Deciding on the latter, she shifted against the stool so the open sides of the coat fell wide open, giving him a full view of the hardened twin peaks straining against the clinging fabric, and left it to his imagination to determine if they were jutting out due to the cold…or from the warmth of his penetrating stare.

It could have gone either way.

The musician wore a baggy hooded sweatshirt that was halfway unzipped, despite the frigid temperature, displaying a fitted gray t-shirt that clung to his rigid pecs. The aqua color of his beanie made the intense deep blue of his eyes pop. Black track pants highlighted muscular legs and lean hips.

Presently, he was situated by the piano and playing what she assumed was supposed to be Ask the Lonely by Journey. Sadly, it was performed with hardly any recognition. It was a miracle she’d identified it, and that was only due to an obsessive addiction to the steady stream of woebegone warblers she’d been listening to all afternoon before her arrival there.

Gulping down the majority of her glass in one swish, she instantly regretted it.  She was finally a bit woozy, more so than to her liking.

Also, it seemed they were doomed to nothing but a mutual, silent staredown unless she upped the game a notch.

This would not be an easy conquest at all; this aloof hunk was going to be a tough nut to crack.

It’s a good thing I liked challenges, as well as men of few words. 

“Damn, I hate bourbon,” she muttered darkly as she took yet another sip. She didn’t even know why she’d let herself start hitting the amber bottle anyway. After all, Jake was hardly going to evade any sleep or sanity over losing her. And she was going to have to contend with the mother of all hangovers in the morning.

“Yeah, I’m more of a grape juice person, myself,” he replied with a smirk, his voice low and laced with amusement as he reached for the bottle next to him and downed the remains as, at last, the tunes stopped.

She tilted her head to the side and noted how the pianist was now eyeing her with a crooked smile.

Sweltering shit on a shovel, this is one hot AF guy.

“Why’d you stop?” She flashed him a lopsided grin. “I was about to start singing along.”

“The song’s over.” He shrugged and looked at his watch. “And now, so is my shift.”

“Play the chorus again, please,” she breathed, coming over and leaning over the base of the piano while giving him a tantalizing glimpse down the low V-cut of her dress. “Play it for me.”

He shrugged again but obliged, and as he tickled the ivories, she began to sing along in her husky, throaty voice.

Hang on, ask the lonely
When you’re feeling love’s unfair
You just ask the lonely
When you’re lost in deep despair
You just ask the lonely…

The pianist smiled broadly, which brightened his brooding expression countenance and somehow made him look even more delectable.

“I’m impressed. That’s one of Journey’s lesser-known ditties.” There was an admiring note to his voice. “And you sang it with such meaning.”

“You played it with enough passion for me to give it all I had. Definitely a man after my own heart.” She gave him a knowing look. “You never answered my question, sexy. Why so blue?”

“Oh?” His smile faded. “What makes you say that?”

“Because I know men, honey.” She remained in her leaned-over position and gave him a sassy wink. “Happy fellows don’t play remote, sad 80’s songs like Ask the Lonely.”

“You’re very presumptuous, lady,” he replied curtly, his good nature fading abruptly as he stood up from the bench, revealing his full height. “Considering we’ve only just met, I can’t say I care for that too much.”

She’d not yet seen him standing up, as he’d only been sitting by the piano during her visit. Sweet Jesus, he was tall! Together with his broad shoulders and stubble, she could’ve swooned right there.

Instead, all she could do was stare forlornly at him, as she’d somehow ruined their mating dance before it’d even begun!

He chortled humorlessly as he stepped away from the piano, gave a curt nod of dismissal, then turned as if getting ready to leave.

NO! Please don’t go!

She panicked. Somehow she’d pushed too far – he’d taken her innocent flirtations the wrong way and now he was going to just up and leave! He couldn’t! He mustn’t! She couldn’t be alone – not tonight!

Something drastic needed to be done to salvage things, and fast!

“Usually I’m more of a wine or nothing gal, myself,” she purred, hoping she sounded more sultry than desperate as she swirled her glass so the contents swished around. “But those won’t get you drunk fast enough. Therefore, desperate times call for desperate measures.”

He stopped then and turned to glance at her over his shoulder, the wry smirk back on his face.

“You seem to have had a very desperate night, then,” he commented with a chuckle. “I would’ve guessed you liked what you’d been ordering all night.”

She felt her toes curling inside her stilettos. So Mr. Hard to Get had noticed her after all! Certainly enough to notice what she’d been drinking the whole time. Moreover, earlier in the night there actually had been other people in the bar he could have paid attention to!

That unconquerable hard shell was starting to split. It was time to go big or go home. Better whip out the nutcracker.

“Guilty as charged,” she sighed dramatically, affecting her most forsaken expression as she peered down at her glass, her full lips beginning to tremble, as though fighting back tears.

If this man could resist her damsel in distress act, he had ice water rather than blood in his veins.

She pretended to sniffle then, her long hair falling into her face so he wouldn’t see the sly smile on her painted lips as she raised her full bosom off the baby grand and ‘accidentally’ stumbled so she bumped into it when she went to move past him.

The grazing of her soft curves against his hard body was brief but effective. It was long enough for him to have to lean in closer to reach out a hand to steady her, reaching around so his arm  ‘accidentally’ brushed against her waist while taking in the intoxicating scent of her magnolia perfume, the one that had never failed to make men fall under her spell and at her feet.

No man could resist coughing his heart up to the Cough-Up Queen.

“Oops,” she tittered. “How clumsy of me.” She continued moving past him, as though deciding she was going to beat him to the door so he wouldn’t see her ‘break down’.

She knew the game. Hell, she’d practically invented it.

If all else failed, play hard to get. Men were hunters and lived for the chase. A man this hot was probably used to the horny bitches sniffing around and panting after him and was likely tired of it … which meant he most definitely preferred to be in the role of the hunter.

Or at least be led to believe he was.

She moved away from the bar, her heels tapping against the solid wood floor as she made her way towards the exit. She glanced back at him, her honey-blonde hair flipping to cover her turbulent right grey eye and exposing the sincerity of her other brown one.

“Sorry to have ruffled your feathers, handsome,” she drawled regretfully, with just the right amount of ruefulness in her tone. “I was so sad to be all by my lonesome, and sought nothing more but the innocent pleasure of your company, but I see that it’s impossible, even though you’re now off the clock. Whenever you finally do relax, feel free to come and find me, and maybe the offer will still stand…”

Her steps continued, laboriously slow, like a gazelle grazing, taunting the lion who laid in wait… or was it the lioness, pacing before she pounced on her victim? One elegantly manicured, tanned hand reached for the door handle.

“I’m in the phone book if you want to look me up. My name is…”

She felt her fingers slide against the cold metal and waited with bated breath.

Come on… he has to take the bait… 

And he did.

“Hold it!”

The next thing she knew, he’d caught up to her within only a few strides of his long legs.

She paused, smiling smugly to herself. Well, it seemed she had his attention now. All of it.

“You can stop the games now, Hiccup Heiress,” he stated firmly. Despite the lighthearted nickname, there was zero amusement in his disposition; the jagged brows were knitted in a palpably unimpressed glower.

Strong fingers wrapped around her wrist, and she spun around in shock at the alluding to her old title and with a jolt realized he was suddenly very close – and right behind her!

When had that happened?

Her hand fluttered to her throat as she stared up into unsmiling, deep sapphire eyes, which were currently boring holes into her own widened ones.

H – how, w- who…” she stammered, losing her composure entirely as her eyes roved over that completely unfamiliar handsome face, its square jaw set and determined.

“Cut the crap already! It’s been nearly ten years, but I know exactly who you are, Angel Starr! So…Take that!”

Journey – Ask The Lonely

Hall and Oates – Maneater





Filling The Void Copyright © by JordanPhoenix. All Rights Reserved.

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