Claws and fangs. They glistened in the pale moonlight. Snarls rose around me, echoing in the dark clearing and drowning out the bubbling of the creek than ran between the trees. How did this happen? It was only yesterday that everything in my world was normal. A simple blind date. I’d taken a full two hours to get prettied up and now my black dress was in tatters, my hair caked in mud, and the carefully applied nail polish was chipped.
“You should calm that heart of yours,” a slick voice said from the darkness.
I couldn’t see the man but his words sent a shiver over my body. Trying to hold what was left of my dress to my body, I growled at him. “This is your fault.”
“No my dear.” The man tsked. “You wanted adventure, wild romance. Was that not what you said?”
I spun around trying to pinpoint the voice.
A laugh. “Over here my pet.”
****** you,” I snapped.
Tall and lean, he stepped out from the shadows, spreading his arms wide in a show of mock grandeur. “Here it is pet. Wild, untamed.” His eyes began to glow a deep red. “Raw.”
I wanted to run but I was frozen in place. Fear shook my body as I tried to calm the tremor in my hands. He was going to kill me. That I knew for certain and I was going to let him. His power washed over me like silk, tender and seductive. The weight of his gaze forced me to my knees, my dress flapping in the wind like a wounded animal. I couldn’t fight it. This was it.
“Darrion,” I whispered.
The monster in front of me jerked to a stop. “What did you say?”
“Please,” I pleaded.
Red filled my vision, pressing in on all sides. I wanted this to be over. If I had to die…like this… I wanted it to be quick. The man who would snip my life short was only a few feet away now, his breathing heavy and coming in quick bursts. What was he waiting for?
“Where did you hear that name?” he asked after several long heart beats.
Where had I heard it? Had he told me at the bar? No, we barely spoke. Stupid me, didn’t even get his name before I blindly followed him to his car.
“Where?!” he demanded.
I shook at the pure anger that poured from him. Crumpling to all fours I begged. I never thought I would go out this way, weak and pleading but I suppose you never know until you’re face to face with death. I couldn’t give the man what he wanted. I didn’t know where I knew the name but I knew it was his name like I knew my name was Elizabeth.
“You will pay for your silence.”
Before I could even muster a whimper he was on me. His arm tight around my middle, crushing my ribs. Decay and death wafted from his mouth as his hot breath beat against my skin. Tears streamed down my cheek. The man licked at them as they fell, trailing them down my neck. I squirmed against him which only succeeded in him tightening his grip. I gasped as pain radiated below my breasts.
“My dearest pet,” he hissed into my hair, “I like it when they struggle. I was going to kill you but now I think I will claim you.”
Pain, hot and searing shot through my neck moments before warm liquid poured down my shoulder. The monster jerked my body, his mouth latched tight against my skin, a low groan escaping his lips. Lights danced before my eyes, white then grey before growing black. They grew from small pinholes to splotches of midnight ink.
A whistle echoed around me and suddenly I was free. I collapsed to the ground, sucking in great gasps of air. My limbs were cold and my heart beat weakly against my chest. Straining to see behind me, I craned my neck only to be blasted with a new wave of agony. A thud sounded beside me but I couldn’t bring myself to care what caused it. I curled in on myself praying to be left alone. My vision grew hazy and I slid in and out of conciseness.
“Easy kitten,” a smooth voice said from somewhere near my face. “I got you.”
Strong arms lifted me upward sending my head swimming. My stomach churned as the arms holding me swayed left then right. Every jostle and bump urged the contents of my stomach to empty.
“Almost there,” the voice said after what felt like an eternity.
“Where,” I croaked.
“Shh, don’t speak.”
Another few painful minutes passed when I heard a second voice. “What in the hell is that Rike?”
“Shut it James.”
Gently, I felt the arms around me shift and I was sat on something soft. I tried to listen to the conversation around me but soon found I couldn’t keep up with the words. I let the dark claim me, grateful for the temporary relief.