Continuing on from “Dream Lover”, Nick has found the woman of his dreams. But just as he thinks he is close…he couldn’t be more further away.
Co-written with SA.
SA: Her fingertips kept moving along his chest gently, caressing his muscles under their feather-like touch, colder than ice, bringing both hands to his chest to only slowly lift them upwards, to his shoulders – Feeling each inch of his body, in her attempt to relax him while asking her question, to which she only got a non verbal response. A gasp escaped her at the rough tug, feeling his hands gripping her ass cheeks only to push her form so bluntly against his, until their bodies impacted together hard, with an audible noise between them. Chest pressed onto his bare torso, her hands clenching into tiny fists only to then loop them securely around his neck and shoulders, one moving even more upwards to clasp some of his raven strands between her long, slender digits. The kiss – That damned kiss of hers, scolding hot in comparison with the coldness of her body, those lips, scarlet and full, plump and sensually shaped now being genuinely molded with his, once more, only to let him know that the night they spent last night was no dream at all. To break apart from such a kiss seemed like an impossible task and yet she managed to, merely an inch away from his lips as they still brushed together ever so slightly as she mused out. “Why did you search for me…?” Sophia was genuinely surprise that he did. It was something new, something she never really experienced before – To be ~chased~. Usually, she would be the Predator chasing her Prey, the Crow chasing her Butterfly. Had the roles switched? Had she become the Butterfly?
RB: – The answer lay within her heated kiss. Right there, he felt that same passion that had been ignited only in what he thought was a dream. But this was no dream. The room was not of her making, and there were no illusions. She…was very real. Feeling her hands weave their way around his neck to help secure her to him, he was reminded of how well their bodies molded together. Almost like they were fused into one being – just for the shortest of time. And so the moth entered the flame, and the rage that had been built over the last half hour started to ebb away, like the waves withdrawing from the sandy shore. Only when she broke the kiss, and their lips were just touching; did Nick close his eyes and find an inner peace. He still maintained his grip upon her. One hand clutching her ass, the other now strumming the back of her neck – a favorite place where he loved to touch her. Her whispered words begged the question…~Why search for me?~ The answer was so very simple. That word that they shared, the same one they said to each other when they had fed on each other’s beings, kept playing over and over and over in his head. It was the reason he left the kingdom behind. It was the reason he was standing here holding her now. Nick’s eyes slowly opened as he continued to nuzzle her with his nose and lips. “You’re mine…” –
SA: That was a surprise, even for her, even for the Crow – To hear those so very possessive words muttered out by him even made her freeze in place, incapable of any other movement as she simply stood in front of him, her lips parted slightly as if wanting to speak, though there was no sound to come out, only a short lived inhalation of surprise. Her arms came back down from their coiled state around his neck only to rest at her sides, before her whole body turned around, as she’d eventually escape his grip. “Yours…?” She repeated, as another question rested on the tip of her tongue while pivoting on heels to turn around and walk over to the window. Her arms did something he hadn’t seen her doing so far – They hooked around her own form, embracing herself tightly while her head canted downwards, seemingly staring outside to the snow-topped mountains. There was silence – No light but the moonlight, creating a dim glow which contoured her perfect silhouette, back turned to face him while she faced the outdoors.
RB: – It was not the reaction he was expecting. He was so sure that when they had been together that she said that same word. That he was hers. Nick believed whole heartedly that she was now his. To feel her almost recoil was like a sharp slap on the face. At first he didn’t know how to take it. Watching her as she held herself within her own embrace. Walking away from him towards the bedsit window as though to contemplate the gravity of his words. Nick turned so he was now side on, his head turned towards her silhouette that was bathed only in the moon’s rays. “You changed me. That night, I have relived over and over in my head. Sophia, I know I was more than just a meal to you.” Nick still bore a dark expression. His emotions now all over the place. The vampire crossed the room to stand in behind her. As much as he wanted to touch her again, he refrained, as he made his point known. “I am yours as much as you are mine.” She was so deeply bound inside him that being this close to her was the closest he ever felt to being whole. –
SA: There were many who fell in love with the Wraith – Many who became entranced with her, after the first encounter – many more who promised her all the world’s jewels or the world itself, only to forget everything the moment the illusion shattered around them, the moment they were free from her embrace. Nobody actually took the effort to chase her down, nobody took the effort to try and relieve the night she gave them – but him. Why did he? Sophia had no answers to her question, even though he spoke the truth, the Wraith was incapable of understanding the meaning which lied behind those words. “This isn’t supposed to happen…” She wasn’t even able to grasp the sentence fully, when a wave of pain shocked through her body, from the inside out, making her yelp out suddenly. It was so odd to see a woman like her in actual pain, such agony that it made her lose balance and fall to one knee, one hand gripping at the middle of her chest while the other gripped the edge of the window, for support. Something went wrong – Like a short-circuit in her functioning system, for she was, indeed, more of a machine than a real woman.
RB: – How could she say that it wasn’t supposed to happen? Surely she knew, since she herself said that the cards never lied. He never lied. From the moment that he sat down at that table and accepted her game. Nick had to have done something that no other man had done before. Was this so shocking? The vampire brought nothing with him, but the clothes on his back and the card. The card of strength, that she herself had given him. He was not offering her gifts of untold wealth, castles in the sky. He offered her the one thing he had power over. Himself. The will to find her and know the truth had been all encompassing. “Before I met you, I was only hungry for blood of the living. Then you…” his voice trailed off as he watched her suddenly grip her chest and fall to one knee. In an instant he sped to her side, and caught her up in his powerful arms as thought he thought she was going to faint. Nick held her close to him as he walked her to the bed in the centre of the room, and laid her down upon it – his face etched with concern. Did he cause this? The beast in him could be cruel, and deadly in one moment, and then tender and caring the next. He reached up to brush her hair back from the black blindfold that covered her dazzling eyes. The ones that stared at him unblinking in his dreams. –
SA: That was when it all came down to the very moment of her collapsing into his arms, her body now resembling something that could even be categorized as frail, fragile. A fragile China doll, about to shatter in pieces, shaking and shivering in the male’s arms as arms came to loop around his neck in a sudden instinct to hold onto something, anything, those limbs shivering slightly against his flesh. He could feel her, looking at him even beneath that black mask which hid azure hues, he could feel her burning gaze on him, chilling him to the bone – She was pleading. “Don’t go… Please…” It was such an odd sight to see a woman who seemed so strong all throughout their little game since the Reading and until this very moment to appear so frail now, pleading for his company. When she was settled against the mattress, there was an audible sigh which escaped her, a pained sound as she curled up into a ball on her side, until nothing else was to be heard. To recognize whether or not she was asleep or even actually dead was a complex task, given her lack of breath, the way her chest remained still, immobile and without any respiratory function, making her appear fully dead now, that there was no sound coming from her. At all. Intuition was key in order to determine the fact that she was actually asleep, falling into a blackout state of exhaustion as only the digits of one alabaster pale limb moved in the air slightly, as she slept.
RB: It was hard to describe the feeling, when this bewitching woman whose power was so great that it had harnessed him – was now begging him not to leave her. Didn’t she just walk away from him when he said that she was his? Sending out such messages that it was confusing. Pushing away, then pulling him back. What could he do but stand over her as she let fatigue wash over her. Nick stood there, his lips drawn into a thin line. The woman looked so frail, so delicate in this state. Silver eyes swept over her form, and watched as her chest failed to move. Acting almost as though she was a corpse – devoid of life. Nick’s head tilted slightly before he let out an exasperated sigh, bringing his hand up to sweep back his wayward locks from his eyes. He had travelled so far, and finally caught up with her – but so many things were unsaid between them. So many things he wanted to say, to express. Now she was out to the count. Locked within her own being, be it from lethargy or something else. Surprising since she had just fed. The change in her was clear when she walked in the door. Had something he said triggered this reaction? He kept asking himself, why? Sophia wanted this…she had to. The wraith told him that he was hers. He was only telling her that he felt the same way, yet it was wrong. Spinning on the ball of his right heel, he wandered over to the window and leaned to touch his forehead to the chilled glass. His nails scratched downward creating an awful sound, that mimicked how he felt inside. Being ripped apart by this bevy of emotions. He’d left everything behind for her….was it for nothing? –
SA: To see a Wraith asleep was such an odd sight to see. There was an odd feeling of peace to her, to the way Sophia slept, when she barely got sleep at all, usually – To her, sleep was not something she truly needed except from moments of full exhaustion, which now made her appear so… alive. Curled up in a ball in a fetal position, like a small child trying to fall asleep, she looked so peaceful – unbothered by anything in the world, when, in her mind, she was going through Hell. Sleep. Most welcome it as a completely natural state of being, a state of being in which mind creates temporary relaxation upon body and ones guard drops, leaving themselves open for a sudden attack – Most of the times, there was no attack – But a perpetual feeling of apparent peace dominating upon body and mind and spirit, in between, like a constant balance between them both. In sleep, people allow their minds to take control, control which installs such things the vast majority categorizes as dreams and yet, dreams were more than just simple, fickle imagery of one’s mind – Oh, no. Dreams were much, much more that just that. Nightmares, now, nightmares were something far different, a very different stage of dreaming – One, foolish enough to do so, would believe that nightmares were nothing but another form of dreams, just a state created by one’s own mind and yet, there was something else to it, in addition. Such an odd visage. Snap. It was an audible snap as if bones cracked, followed by a loud, agonizing scream that could be heard through the entire rundown tavern. A scream which made everything FREEZE, just for a second. The scream of a frightened woman, waking up from a nightmare. Or so, it seemed. Azure eyes burned brightly, deeply as she looked around her surroundings only to recognize the visage of her own room in the castle, recognizing the Tavern she was in. One hand moved up instantly to her black mask, making sure it was perfectly placed over her eyes, hiding them from view of others. Paranoia, going haywire as she shook from each inch of skin.
RB: Those two hours that Sophia slept, the vampire hardly moved from his place by the window. As though the moon’s view might in some way bring him solace for the way he was feeling. Every now and again, he turned his head back to the sleeping woman, but she made no sound, nor moved at all. He made a silent promise that he would not leave her, and he didn’t. Though when she awoke it was going to be hard to know what to do, or even what to say. Though she still had this bizarre hold over him, he was starting to feel as though it was something that she did to all men. Enslaving them in this sinister way. Her blood pumping through his veins – so vital and addictive. It was like she had harnessed his very core. As he continued to stand at the window pane, there came a God awful cracking sound, like the splintering of bone. It was sharp enough to make Nick snap his head around, since the noise was coming from the bed. What came next was a blood curdling scream, that was so loud in pitch, that it tore right throughout the entire building. Anyone with sensitive hearing would need to cover their ears to save themselves from damage. Nick’s image instantly shifted across the room, like a blur as the very sheer veils around the bed were whipped up and then floated back down as he reached her side. He wasn’t hovering over her, but he was damn close to it. Watching as she pushed her hand up to the black bandanna that shielded her azure coloured eyes. You could see the terror in her facial expression, the sheer agony of whatever it was that had brought about this shocking display. Nick reached out and with the full size of his hand, placed it over her own to assure her that the bandanna never moved out of place. “You’re safe.” Nick uttered, keeping his hand over hers. –
SA: To an extent, she did this to all men, and not only men – It was her way of feeding, the Reading she performed being her way of actually choosing her victims, choosing the manifestation of Sin that she’d feed on. On many, she fed on Greed, Envy or Wrath, being the most common which she encountered towards her, and yet there were the very few she actually was impressed with, to choose Lust. To spend the night with them in a perpetual illusory state of mind, to offer them a night to never forget only to fill her own hunger. There were even fewer which managed to go past that level, their number barely managing to be counted on one hand. Nick was one of them – Impressing her throughout the Reading and to their oh so intimate private meeting to only break all the boundaries of true surprise when he followed her here. It was a shock, such a great shock that it massed up the natural balance of how things usually functioned, the system which she guided her action along with, the Woman who functioned so much like a Machine that it even needed to reboot. It was the only time he’d hear and see her breathing, her chest heaving sporadically and insanely strong with short lived gasps, breaths of air in such despair and agony that she’d almost lose it, soon enough. When she felt the hand onto her own, Sophia craned her head slightly to the side, looking at him beneath the mask to make grasp of his visage, close to her after such a nightmare. Instantly, she rushed into him, her body jumping upwards to bump against his, roughly pressing together, her head burying into his chest. Still shaking, still shivering – Still in such a fragile state.
RB: Nick could feel the turn of her head. See how it craned ever slightly towards him. He knew she could see through the bandanna in a way that no one else could. She could see straight through him. His facial expression remained unchanged. Deep concern shown through his black eyes as they narrowed. To come from an almost breathless coma to this quivering and shaking being that was in a state of panic was alarming. Nick had acted in a way to protect her in a sense. Hope that she would not feel so naked without her black eye coverage. What was surprising however was that she rushed at him – leaping from the bed in such a way that it nearly knocked him off his feet. Nick staggered about with her now pressed hard against him. Shaking and shivering as though feeling the death of cold. But he knew it was fright. The woman had always been cold to touch. The vampire’s natural reaction was to envelope her in his arms –bringing her in to the safety of his hold. Her head was nestled tight to his chest, and his hand instinctively moved to the back of her head, slowly brushing his fingers down over her hair. Sophia seemed to be so much smaller like this. Delicate…fragile like a wild flower. The protective side of the vampire came to the fore, and he released a low grumble like murmur that was a way to try and bring her some comfort. Nick brought his chin down so it just touched the top of her head, and he closed his eyes, swaying her gently. Hard to believe he had murdered an entire inn full of men just hours before, and yet was being so gentle with her now.-
SA: There was genuine fright in her actions, the way her body shivered, the way her flesh trembled against his. Genuine fright in her voice as it started breaking off even before she started to speak. Her hands came to his chest, clenching into small fists and gripping onto pieces of his shirt. “I feel.. so much pain…” Pause. She tried to gulp out gently, pushing down the node stuck along the column of her throat as she continued. “…he hurt me… I don’t remember.. I just feel the pain…” One of her hands slowly moved around to her front, gripping her own shirt in the middle of her chest, where the scar was – That small, vertical scar which was such a clean cut that it looked like an operation slice more than a brutal stab. She remained in his embrace, still shivering lightly yet beginning to slowly calm down after awhile, shivering much like a caged bird in the middle of winter.
RB: Bewilderment soon changed to anger, when Nick heard that someone had hurt her. A darkness not seen before started to appear in his eyes, and though he would never think to harm her, his grip around her became more intense. Fingers almost twitching as he tried to absorb what she was saying. Then she pulled on his shirt, her small hands closing into fists – her voice was shaking, stammering as though the words were too difficult to say. “Who hurt you?” His only words were a question that she may not even be able to answer. Sophia then showed the mark that he had seen before on her chest that lay between her breasts. So, she had been impaled by an object, possibly a sword of some description. The swelling of anger was building deep inside him and it was hard to make it stop, till he felt her drawing back into him – continuing to shiver like a frightened bird. Nick brought his hand around to place his fingers under her chin, in the effort to make her reveal her face to him. She would be able to feel the sharp rise and fall of his chest, as he swore then and there that he would protect her from all men – regardless of who they were. “No man will ever lay a hand on you again…so I swear. They do…they die.” He meant every word of it. –
SA: She didn’t answer. To Sophia, it was more than a choice not to answer the man’s question in regards to ‘who’ actually caused the wound at the middle of her chest, but an incapability of knowledge, a lack of it – She didn’t answer because she didn’t have an actual answer for it, the memory of what actually happened years, centuries ago being a faded vision through her mind, one that she could not grasp yet but in small snips which transferred themselves in the shape of nightmares. Her body, so close pressed against him as if desiring his protection and warmth where there was now, her voice breaking off with each syllable and those trembling gasps she let out between her scarlet lips made her all the more fragile to him, a side of her which she hardly put on display for many – Slowly, without even noticing it, Sophia was opening up to him, letting Nick in on a territory he would never step onto again – The territory of the truth, behind this abnormal woman, letting him stand right in front of that scattered puzzle, as if inviting him to try and place the pieces together. A task nobody ever accomplished, so far. There was a sob, the moment his hand went up to place under her chin, a small sniffled breath followed by two solitary tears, rolling along her cheeks, from those masked orbs under the black bandana. How odd to see that her tears were perfectly normal, compared to how abnormal she was – Just two droplets of saltwater trailing down until they reached and caressed the man’s fingertips as they rolled off her chin in its angled position held by him. His words echoed through her mind as she slowly began to make full sense of her surroundings, the last images of her nightmare fading away, seeing him much clearer now. “Nick…” She murmured out, mostly to be certain herself that it was him, standing in front of her, holding her now. The only word she would have been able to whisper now.
RB: The vampire towered over the diminutive wraith, his head bowed as he swore his undying oath to protect her from harm. The most bizarre thing then occurred. A great set of wings tore through his back and he had to suppress a roar of pain, though this was a natural part of his being. Large leathery wings flapped out proudly, nearly touching the roof and the floor, before they started to enclose around them both. It was his way of showing his true self – the real beast behind the man she knew. His hot breath could be felt as he let his head lower and he began to kiss away the tears that were falling from her cheeks. He was a such a contradiction. This beast was being so protective of her, a clear sign that he was of a greater power than he truly let on before. When Sophia whispered his name, he took this as acceptance of his oath. He brought his forehead to touch hers once more, his arms tightening around her form as he brought her hard up against his bare torso. His scent would be heady to her, if she remembered it from their last encounter. Nick’s sharpened nails drew along her back, but not so much to scratch her – he’d never want to hurt her, especially now. That word that he had said before and again was repeated. “Mine.”
SA: The wings were a nice added touch. It brought a surprise from her as her eyes roamed over the extra appendages, letting one arm extend out, brushing those soft fingertips of alabaster digits along its edges, feeling the feathers out ever so carefully. When they looped around the both of them so protectively, it only forced her body to press closer to his, her arms soon coming to wrap around his neck, in a possessive hold which only matched his. That word was muttered out, soon after, bringing a small murr out of her, a rumbled purring noise as her head moved in, only to allow their lips to press against each other. A deep, yet gentle kiss, lip on lip contact, mumbling into it gently. “Mine.”
RB: There it was. The word he had been waiting for, the one that he had heard her say in his mind over and over like it was a dream. He knew now it was so very real. She was his. The kiss only sealed it . Those soft lips that he had come to think of; and cherish were now his once more. “Sophia..” the word whispered as he broke the kiss, to look at her face one more time, before practically lifting her off her feet. Nick started to kiss her again, only this time it was fueled by pride, and passion. There was a rumbling sound from the pit of his stomach as it swelled up through him till reaching his throat. Animal like and fierce. The dominant nature now on display. He was marking his territory by the way that he kissed her, so that she may never forget what had transpired between them. No matter where she went, no matter what she did, Nick would be ever present. She was his….and she knew full well by now, that he was hers.-