Kessa had never known a man like Master. He took her breath away with his mysterious sexiness and spontaneity. The night they met, Kessa had been invited to the house of the Ritual by a lone hitchhiker she dared to pick up on a gloomy rainy night. Master had watched from a dark corner as man after man begged to touch Kessa, tried to kiss her, and attempted to charm his way into her life. The young woman could not resist the reclusive charmer, and she left with him that night, though she knew nothing about him or the dark life he led.
Kessa’s car came to a stop in front of the house, and Ace wasted no time hurrying to the door. They slopped through the rain and the slippery mud to the door of the house and Kessa followed Ace inside. He took her jacket and disappeared into a small room. As Kessa waited, she looked around and realized that the inside of the house was no better than the outside. The walls were bare, with torn wallpaper hanging loose, and the furniture was worn and filthy.
When Ace came out of the room, he was wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and Kessa thought he was absolutely gorgeous. The man’s hair was black, his eyes a deep blue, and he was very well proportioned, at least what could be seen of him. Still, there was an air of mystery that surrounded him. He did not smile, and when he spoke to Kessa, he ordered her.
“Come with me, Kessa,” he said, not bothering to wait for a response.
Kessa followed Ace through the dark damp house, the floor creaking as they walked. She swore the creaking sounded like an eerie message, but she couldn’t make out what it was trying to say. They turned and walked down a long hallway, with Ace glancing over his shoulder from time to time to make certain that Kessa was following him. At the end of the hallway Ace opened an old rotted door and led Kessa down a long staircase to what appeared to be a darkened room. In the corner of the room was one lone naked red light bulb. It was somewhat blinding in the darkness and Kessa blinked her eyes several times as they adjusted to the light. In the shadows she could see the naked outlines of men and women, and in the darkness of the room the men and women became real and passed by Kessa one at a time. Some of the men reached out and tried to touch her, but Ace would not allow it. He whispered seductively to her, “You are very beautiful, Kessa. Everyone wants you.”
Kessa slept alone in Master’s bed. It was a fitful sleep, filled with strange dreams. She dreamed of when she had first met Master and she remembered the men who had come to her for nothing more than a chance to touch her. Master had come to her late that night, waiting before making his move. But his move had been much different than the others. The mysterious man had taken her to his private sanctuary in the mountains. Master had promised her everything in exchange for only one.