Book 2 – Ch.# 6
With a thud, the dagger hit its mark perfectly Only… it wasn’t a threat like I was expecting. No lurking assailant,
No, it was a tree.
Truthfully, as I went to retrieve my weapon, I couldn’t help but feel somewhat relieved. This wasn’t the streets, nor was this a mission requiring deadly force. I was at a goddamn party, What the hell had gotten into me tonight?
It was if rational thoughts and behaviours were absent. What if the sound I’d heard was simply an animal who wandered in from the forest nearby?
But… that feeling of something being wrong. It was rare for my gut to be incorrect. And right now, my instincts were still screaming at me that something was happening, that something was approaching… that someone was….
Another sound of movement behind me instantly made me react, only now it was significantly closer. In fact, it was right behind me. I knew if it were only a patron from the event, they would have called out to me or made their presence known before approaching. But this? This was something else. This was as if someone was intentionally sneaking up on me.
I pulled the dagger from the tree and wielded it immediately, spinning around to defend myself against whoever was there. Against whatever was going to attack.
…And, instantly, it grabbed my wrist.
Moving faster than I expected, they managed to pull my hand backwards, disarming my dagger in one swift movement. A technique that would need significant speed and skill to accomplish. After all, my own ability was unnatural.
But there was no mistaking the situation now… He had me trapped. Disarmed, alone and basically pinned against the tree behind me. My only chance was that I could kick him in the stomach, create some space, assess the situation and
And then the world seemed to just… stop.
Piercing through the panic in my mind, the feeling of sparks erupting along my arm soon became impossible to ignore. Like pleasurable tingles dancing along my skin… stemming from where the man still held my wrist. In confuston, my eyes slowly trailed upwards, starting from where his hand still held me, up until, finally, I looked upon his face. Until I met his eyes. His dark eyes, staring into mine. Invoking an overwhelming sense of longing and familiarity inside me. As if I knew him… as if I always had… and as if he were….
As if he were….
The word was whispered inside my head. But it didn’t feel like it came from me.
Mine… mine… mine….’
It kept repeating, becoming stronger, almost as though it was trying to force itself past my lips. To speak aloud, for whatever reason. But I pushed it back. “Not quite the moment I always envisioned,” he said. His voice quickly hit me and resonated inside. Like honey melting away my pain, melting away the burning that had been there just moments before. Now there was only him. Only his presence that overwhelmed and threatened to make me forget everything I knew.
What was I doing again? Those lips of his drew my attention… Watching them with a newfound curiosity. Would they be soft? Or perhaps more coarse?
And that dark brown hair…what would it feel like to touch? To run my fingers through it?
“Do you often pull knives out on strangers?” he asked jokingly, his lips turning in a smile.
A small expression that made me forget how to breathe for a second. It was the most perfect smile I’d ever seen. If that was the last thing I ever saw, I would have no regrets.
“…Hello?” he prompted when I still hadn’t spoken. I quickly looked back up to his eyes, finding their colour now different. No longer the dark orbs I’d first witnessed… but hazel in colour. A mesmerising combination of green and brown.
“…Pardon?” I managed to ask, having not taken in anything he’d just said to me. “I said ‘do you often pull knives out on strangers’?” he repeated.
And I immediately pulled myself out of my trance.
…Seriously, what the hell was wrong with me? I snatched my arm away from his grip and squeezed by the tree, making a foot or so distance between us. Putting aside my odd fascination, I couldn’t refute the facts of my current situation. One where I had stupidly let my guard down against someone who had stalked me from the dark
“Woah, calm down,” he said, gently holding his hands up. The sentiment was partially lost though as one of those hands still held my dagger. “I didn’t mean to scare you.” “Do you often sneak up on vulnerable women without announcing yourself?” I asked, turning the question back on him. “Attack them out of nowhere?” He laughed a little at that, a sound that made my body react accordingly. It was almost silky, coercing me to relax despite my resolve to remain guarded.
“Vulnerable’ women?” he queried. “Seems to me that the only ‘vulnerable person being attacked here is myself. I wasn’t the one pulling a dagger. You were. I guess I didn’t realise it was that kind of party.”
*Party.* Oh, f**k.
It was then that I took a moment to look at his attire and noticed the tailored suit he was wearing, one that was fitted perfectly to his body shape. Moulded along every curve to show off every one of his muscl *Enough*
I pushed away those thoughts again, just long enough to piece together what this meant. …That I’d just tried to kill a guest.
A guest of one of the most prestigious events of the year, hosted by none other than the mayor himself. An event that I, myself, was meant to be leaving good impressions and working towards gaining information. Getting myself thrown out now would mean instant failure.
…It meant punishment. It meant… I needed to get out of here. Hastily gathering up my dress in hand, I took several cautious steps away, never taking my eyes off him as I tested to see if he planned to follow. But when he simply looked back at me confused, I knew it was now or never.
…And so I ran.
I started running back towards where the house was up ahead, cursing the heels I’d been obligated to wear, cursing my stupidity and strange behaviour. Cursing my body, my mistakes, my emotions.
And when I reached the steps, I started running up them without even looking back. I just needed to make it inside first. So long as I was the initiator, I could still maybe turn this story around.
I’d just tell them he attacked me. That I was the victim. That I left for some air in the garden and he pulled a knife on me. Anyone could see how he was twice my size, surely people wouldn’t find it too difficult to believe.
I ran through the door and into the ballroom once more, scouring the room around me until I made contact with a set of eyes staring directly at me.
Cold blue eyes that made me shiver.
My father. He took one look at me and must have realised something was wrong, if not just due to my short absence from the event. And to my dismay, he started making his way over to me. “Raven… where were you? What’s going on?” “I uhh… I’m…,” I started, feeling the confliction building inside.
What was I meant to say? I needed time to think this through properly. But if the man came upstairs and completely exposed me, then I needed to be building my version of events now.
However, every time I went to open my mouth to start explaining the lie, it was as if something inside me would instantly close my mouth again. Just what was this insane obsession I had with him? “Raven? What’s going…,” my father started, but his voice slowly trailed off. It trailed off as he caught sight of someone entering the door behind me. The very person I’d just nearly killed. “Well, this is unexpected,” he mused quietly to himself, his brow furrowing. The man’s eyes instantly locked back to my own and I felt another shiver of longing spread through me. Something I quickly tried to shake off given that it was definitely not the time for that.
“Kieran,” my father greeted, walking towards him. It was only then that those hazel eyes snapped away from me. “I wasn’t expecting to see you here.”
That was his name.
Kieran… ‘Kieran’… it fit him perfectly. I kept repeating it in my head, relishing the small bit of information I was now given. “Apologies, have ‘we met?” he asked my father, still accepting his hand to shake nonetheless.” My memory can be terrible.”
He didn’t know who my father was? I tensed up at that reaction. Managing to find someone who didn’t know my father was pretty absurd. Who in this city *didn’t* know him? Unless…. “Not for some years,” my father laughed. “You were still quite young when your father and I briefly met. How is Victor, these days, anyway? Is he not here tonight?” Oh… Double f**k …And just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse.