Hearing that an experienced, mature goddess had to think on the problem didn’t exactly inspire me with confidence. I trusted her, but what if she couldn’t come up with a solution either?
And if she was right, kicking him the balls wouldn’t cool his ardor at all. So far nothing had, except to make him more inclined to take me by force. Or guile. He was a shapeshifter, after all, and while I was pretty sure I could spot him, pretty sure wasn’t absolutely sure.
Heck, he might decide he’d have a better chance with me as a woman. That way, though, lay paranoia. He probably wouldn’t insert himself as a student again.
I had a shoot after school, and I surreptitiously checked everyone I didn’t recognize and even most of those I did.
“You seem nervous,” Monica noted.
“My stalker’s back.”
“Oh, ew. The guy who sneaked into a shoot before?”
“Yeah. I don’t need him in my life.”
“No, you don’t, especially not when you already have a…girlfriend.” She paused on the word, as if it didn’t really come naturally to her.
“I got a restraining order, but you know how much they stop people like that.”
“Not at all. Zip me up?”
At least she trusted me to do that even though I had a girlfriend. A couple of the other women I’d worked with didn’t want me touching them. And it would be insulting to point out that they weren’t my type. I’d gone for trying to emphasize that I was taken and trying to be faithful.
Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t. I zipped Monica up. She turned around. “Ta-da.”
“You look fantastic. Then again, you look fantastic in anything.”
“You aren’t so bad yourself.”
It was a little cold in the dressing room for the summer clothes we were wearing. Better out under the lights.
Then the power went out. The photographer swore like a sailor. The room we were using had no windows. It was pitch black.
Somebody screamed. I tried to listen, tried to work out what was going on without the luxury of vision. I should be able to use other senses, I told myself firmly. The scream had stopped fairly quickly.
Hopefully somebody was just a little bit afraid of the dark. The door was this way. I moved slowly towards it, bumped into Monica.
“…it’s Jane. I’m trying to get to the door and open it so we can see.”
For a moment, the lights flickered on, illumination like lightning, then they went out again.
“Looks like they’re working on it.”
I knew that wasn’t the case. I could feel him as strong as if he was touching me. “Or somebody’s messing around with the circuit breaker.”
I moved towards the door again, found it. It would not open.