Enjoy! For those that missed it, I uploaded my prologue on the last post.
Chapter 1: First Encounter
“May I sit down?”
Startled eyes looked up and stared at me as if I had awakened him from some sort of trance. I wondered at that moment what I must have looked like to him, staring up into my face as he sat at the table by himself.
I was tall for a girl, perhaps a sliver under six feet. Caramel-colored skin gleamed under the bright lights in the restaurant. Pitch black sunglasses covered my eyes, which were framed by a disarray of chocolate-colored ringlets. I wore a white short-sleeved shirt and white pants, the silk of the material softly caressing my skin as I moved. Perhaps it looked strange to be all in white—it was night after all. But my attire was normal where I came from, and at least I was dressed appropriately for the weather. Being summer, the wind easily had access to my skin warmed by the humidity of the night.
Although perhaps I should have worn something that would have blended better in my surroundings.
I saw him try to pinpoint my accent, unsuccessful in finding my place of origin. He said nothing, only nodded his head in the direction of the chair across from him as he accepted my company.
Taking the seat across from him, I examined my mission. He was tall, lean to a point of almost being emaciated. His shoulders were broad, his face regal and proud with brown hair and blue eyes. But the one thing that I couldn’t miss about him had nothing to do with his appearance at all. It seemed to permeate from his pores.
He was sad.
He still had not uttered a word, so I tried again. “What’s your name?” It was not like he could nod his way out of this one.
He glanced up from the piece of chocolate he held in his hand and locked gazes with me. It was strange, considering I was wearing sunglasses, so logic would seem that he couldn’t see my eyes, but I knew for a fact that he was staring directly into mine.
I blinked, looking away.
Bringing my eyes back to him, I was careful this time to not look into his again as it unnerved me. It was really quite the first time I had dealt with someone such as him.
I nodded at his response. “Michael. That’s a nice, strong name.” He smiled at that—almost. As quickly as it came, it was gone just as fast.
“And what’s your name?”
I smiled. This was good—him showing an interest in me. Just according to plan.
His brows furrowed in confusion at my response. “Excuse me?”
“My name,” I said, internally rolling my eyes, “is Bless.”
I could see him contemplating that for a moment as my strange name rolled off his tongue silently. I sighed, waiting for his reaction. There wasn’t much else I could do—it wasn’t as if I could give him my real name.
I didn’t remember.
“Bless.” I tried to snap out of my internal dialogue as I chastised myself for not giving all of my attention to him. I listened on, focusing on his mouth. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
I nodded, smiled softly. “Likewise.”
He moved his position in his chair slightly, as if to find a more comfortable position, and interlaced his fingers together in front of his face. His bony elbows rested on the table as he nestled his chin against the tops of his hands. “Now what do I owe the pleasure, Bless?”
Slowly, I reached across the table, as if to touch him, but moved my hand toward the piece of chocolate placed on a glass plate in front of him. I picked it up, holding it out towards him. I spoke quietly, as if to myself, but I knew he could hear clearly. “It’s magnificent. The things we create in this world. Everything and everyone is special. Take this chocolate, for example. Looks like just a piece of brown food—insignificant.”
I wasn’t looking at him, just focusing on the chocolate, but I knew he heard every word I said. I brought the chocolate closer to me, inhaling softly. “But imagine the smell of the chocolate as you bring it towards your mouth. Imagine the intense pleasure you get from tasting the richness of this chocolate from your tongue.”
I demonstrated by placing the delicate piece into my own mouth as a burst of flavor erupted, my taste buds in overdrive. The chocolate instantly melted and I had to bite my lip to keep from moaning. Surprised, my eyebrows practically rose off my face.
Chocolate had never been like this before. I would have definitely remembered if that was the case.
Opening my eyes once more (I hadn’t realized I had closed them) I stared over at Michael. He stared back at me, his own brows raised with a small smirk on his lips. I sat up straight and went on, “Sorry about that. I was slightly distracted for a moment.”
Michael didn’t say anything for a moment then cleared his throat as he ignored my reaction to the chocolate. “What was that little monologue about anyways?”
I tried to keep things simple. “I like chocolate.” That went without saying. “I was just marveling over the fact that I’m in a chocolate restaurant. It’s just wonderful what the world can offer. I was drawn to you when I came in and so I asked to sit. And here I am.”
He looked over me skeptically. “You were drawn to me. Why?”
“Honestly?” He nodded so I decided to answer as truthful as I could. “You looked sad. I wanted to cheer you up.”
He laughed at that. “What are you, Ms. Philanthropist?”
“Of course not,” I said in all seriousness. “Just like that piece of chocolate,” I gave a wry smile at the memory, “you’re special and unique in your own way. There’s no reason for you to be sad anymore.”
His demeanor instantly at my response. I could practically see the anger radiating off from him as he turned defensive, a deep frown forming between his brows. “What makes you think I’m sad? And even if I was, although I’m not saying I am, I would have every right to be sad.”
I didn’t answer him at first, just sat there in silence for awhile before finally deciding to speak again.
“You know, she’s in a better place now.”
He looked up at me in shocked silence, blue eyes wide. “What are you talking about?” he spat.
I sighed and before he could move, I reached for his hand, stroking the surface. “The girl who takes up the constant presence in your mind? Although she’s not in this world anymore, she is okay.”
It was as if my touch had burnt him like a stove top because he quickly withdrew his hand from my contact. “I think you’d better go, Bless.”
I realized that perhaps he wasn’t quite ready yet and I chastised myself. I said too much too soon. He seemed to withdraw within himself, and I quickly had to scorch a piece of my own anger that developed within me.
He wasn’t getting it.
But just as I was about to further explain myself, a sudden darkness passed over me and I knew that we were in danger. They had found us.
That was quick.
Not wasting any time, I took a firm hold of Michael and pulled him in the direction of the back of the restaurant. Shocked at my apparent strength, he looked at me and uttered, “What the hell are you doing? Are you crazy? Let go of me!”
I ignored him as well as the strange looks being thrown our way by the many people mingling in the restaurant as we continued to move. That was the only thing on my mind—move. I managed to pull him through the kitchen and out the back door which lead to the back alleyway.
I looked back at him, not slowing my pace. “We have to go.”
Michael finally managed to pull himself from out of my grasp and moved to walk away from me and back into the restaurant. I could hear him muttering under his breath about some crazy bitch.
I scowled. Yeah, sure. He thought I was the crazy bitch? Wait until he met Jinx.
I eyed him. “I wouldn’t go that way if I were you.”
He turned around and with a raised brow, replied, “And why is that?”
I looked him dead straight in the eye. “Because if you go that way, an evil force will find you and kill you, distinguishing the Light from within. And then the world as we know it will cease to exist, allowing the Dark to take over.”
He shook his head. “I don’t even know why I asked you. Look,” he said, pointing in the direction in front of him. “The mental institution’s down the street. I could walk you to it, no trouble at all.”
“You don’t believe me.
Michael ran his fingers through his hair, exasperated. “Are you kidding me?”
“Look, we don’t have time for this.” Before he could move, I approached him quickly, pressing his back against the wall of the building. He couldn’t break away even if he tried. “I can see you’re one of those people that have no faith and need real, physical proof in order for you to believe. Look at me.” I had taken off my sunglasses at this point, looking the Light directly in the eyes.
I interrupted, feeling exasperated. “Just look.”
He had finally raised his eyes to mine and we locked gazes. At first his eyes widened in disbelief then slowly turned to fear and I felt his body start to shake against mine.
I knew what he saw. It was what I saw when I looked into the eyes of all the other Guardians. My irises were void of any color. There was a thin black line surrounding the iris that I should have. But instead of blue or brown or hazel eyes, it was all white, making my pupils stand out, as if hypnotizing.
His voice died off as if he didn’t know the words to form. Then he shook his head, as if to clear his head, backing away from me slightly although he didn’t really have anywhere to go. “Are those some kind of funky contact lenses you’re wearing? What are you suppose to be, some vampire?”
I sighed, looking up into the stars. Why did You have to give me a thick-headed one? How was I supposed to keep my emotions in check with someone like him? I was so over it. Putting my sunglasses back on, I muttered, “I guess you have to see the Evil in order to believe.”
“What do you mean?”
I placed my hand over his chest, and pulled him a few feet away from the building. I held him in place. “Stay still.” He must have heard the power in my voice because finally, his body ceased struggling to get away. There was just a moment of silence, absolute stillness, when all of a sudden an explosion erupted from within the restaurant.
“What the hell?” Michael instantly dropped to the ground and he covered his head with his hands, the building that we were just in crumbling around us. I heard screams and shouts coming from a distance, people trying to get away. I looked over to see a gaping hole, showing the destroyed contents of the restaurant that we had just been sitting at only moments ago.
It was pretty hazy, with the smoke enveloping us all around, but I pulled Michael’s arm up and forced him towards the direction of the hole. He looked scared out of his wits, his eyes squeezed tightly as if that little act alone would make all the destruction around him disappear, coughing all the while.
“Open your eyes.” I gave him a little shake to snap him out of his apparent distress.
Slowly I saw him lift up his eyes as he adjusted to his current surroundings. It wasn’t so much the hole that I wanted him to see—that was quite apparent. It was what was in the hole.
Or better yet, who.
He stood very tall, almost ridiculously so, probably at least 7 feet. His features were rough, accentuated with his bald head and facial tattoos on his cheeks and forehead. His eyes were a scary red, as if you could see the depths of hell where he originated from. Dressed in black pants, his bare chest displayed even further tattoos of signs and symbols of pure evil. He didn’t have any weapons, because the pure essence of him was an entire army.
He didn’t even look at me, just zeroed in on Michael as he recognized Michael for what he was. All of a sudden his eyes began to glow and the tattoos imprinted all over his body and face followed suit, as if coming alive on his skin.
I knew now was the time to get out of here. Michael wasn’t ready yet.
Heck, I wasn’t ready yet.
I stood in front of Michael and as if in a Tai Chi stance, pushed my arms out towards the big, burly one and chanted, “Be blind to thee.”
All of a sudden, Big, Burly One’s aura seemed to dim all at once, as his face looked confused. He glanced around in frustration, eagerly searching for us. I looked at Michael, telling him with my eyes to not utter a sound.
It was also helping that my hand was covering his mouth to smother back his heaving coughs from all the smoke. We stood utterly still, as Big, Burly One stepped forward, not yet giving up on his search for us. Not wanting to believe that we had just magically disappeared before his eyes.
He may be powerful, but his kind sure was stupid.
He took another step forward and was literally a breath away from me, his face mere inches from my own. Up close I saw the tattoos of his face more clearly but wasn’t sure what the symbols translated to. I also noticed that under the tattoos were numerous scars carved over both cheeks.
I think I had an idea on who did that to him.
I continued to stay ever so still as his breath covered my face, breathing deeply, and I had to bite back my gag reflex.
Then finally he retreated back, slowly walking away until he eventually disappeared into the smoke.
We were finally safe—for now.
I let go of Michael whose legs instantly collapsed from the shock. He sat sprawled on the ground, coughing hard, a complete mess in my opinion. I regarded him calmly for a moment before speaking.
“We can leave now.”
Thought I’d post another chapter up to celebrate the weekend. This week has been the longest, yet each day went by so fast, I hardly had time to do ANYTHING. I’m exhausted, was actually going to take a nap after work but got distracted with episodes of Boy Meets World. Talk about reminiscing. 🙂 Well, I’m about to put some eye drops in and get to working on my WIP (Sage) which is supposed to be out next month. Let’s hope, shall we?
Until next time,