Dance with the Devil
Chapters one through four (maybe five, I can't remember) are not beta'd by Joa. All errors are mine.
Rated T, even though there are some adult situations. Rating is likely to change.
"You look like the walking dead."
"And you shouldn't be joking about something like that." The two brunette teenagers looked at each other, one a little worried and the other simply pissed. "Unless, of course, you want to end up like good old Megan did last week."
"Shut up, Liz, you don't have any idea what really happened to her."
Liz smirked, her pink lips barely lifting. A slight wind picked up, blowing her brown hair in front of her azure eyes.
"Maybe it was just a regular murder, not some creepy 'otherworld' attack," the other girl continued. A few more steps and the pair had reached the end of the block.
Liz reached out, taking a gentle hold of the other girls arm. "You can't ever be too careful, Aubrey." Liz's eyebrows furrowed at Aubrey's attitude, it was obvious that the younger girl was brushing off the topic as unimportant. "I'm being serious. I don't want anything to happen to you; you're all that I have left."
"I'm all you've ever had to begin with," Aubrey mumbled before shaking her arm out of Liz's grasp. She glared at her older sibling for a few moments and then walked around her, bumping her shoulder roughly against the other girl's.
"Don't talk to strangers," Liz yelled, her eyes following Aubrey until the young girl turned a corner a few yards down the street.
The constant beep of items being scanned was permanently etched into Liz's brain. Even as she walked down the candy isle of the local Skagway, that annoying sound never seemed to stop. Work... she hated it. Everyday of every week, from nine to six with lunch at one. The ridiculous routine was getting incredibly old. And on top of that, her younger sister thought she was completely insane.
Aubrey always scoffed at her crazy mumblings about creatures of the night. But what was she supposed to do? She had the lovely experience of seeing the damnable bastards at work fifteen years before, and no matter what she did or how long she argued with her sister that those things were alive, and VERY real, the little brat wouldn't believe her. Aubrey had even taken to being cautious when they talked, as if she expected Liz to attack her at any given moment. Maybe her sister was right, maybe she was going crazy. But, dammit, she hadn't lost her mind so much yet that she would physically fight with her sister. They argued a lot, yes, but only about 'those' creatures.
"Ah, Lizzy, are you off or just on lunch?"
Liz stopped walking and looked up, not having realized her gaze had dropped to the tile flooring in the first place. A short, white haired, and a somewhat hunched over elderly lady stood at the end of the isle, smiling softly to her as she waited for Liz to reach her.
"I'm just on lunch, Alice, you should know that by now," Liz joked as she started walking again. She turned at the end of the isle, continuing the walk to the break room with the older woman. "I'm surprised you're here so late."
"I had to take Jerry to the hospital this morning, his chest was bothering him," she answered politely to her implied question. Liz glanced at the older woman from the corner of her eyes, taking a good look at her boss. She hadn't noticed before how tired Alice looked, or how troubled her eyes seemed.
"Oh, is he having more heart problems?" Liz asked. Alice nodded, not saying anything aloud. They walked past the camera department in silence as they made a sharp left and entered the break room. The room was fuller than usual, a good number of people on break or lunch. Alice walked over to the timecard machine to clock in for her four hour shift as Liz walked to the old, white refrigerator in the far right corner of the room.
She seriously hoped no one was stupid enough to mess with her sacked lunch. Liz grabbed the bad and peeked inside, smiling at the sight of the untouched meal.
"Liz, you wanna grab some ketchup while you're over there?" a loud, masculine voice yelled from the other side of the room. Liz straightened up and glanced over her shoulder, trying to figure out who had yelled the request. She rolled her eyes when she realized it was the young man in the farthest booth.
Alex, one of the biggest asses that worked with her, was sitting there with a smirk on his face. He was twenty-one and only worked there to earn some extra cash. He rarely showed up and when he did, it was only because he needed some money to buy something 'fucking awesome' for his car, as he so often put it. He was a self-centered dick who believed he could hook up with any woman he wanted to. Liz wasn't afraid to admit it, he was cute – but that was the end of his good qualities.
Leaning back down, Liz searched the filled shelves for a bottle of ketchup and found it after shoving a good portion of the junk around.
"Hurry up, woman," Alex yelled as she swung the fridge door closed. Turning around, she glared at him, but seeing the smirk he sent back, she was sure he had ignored it.
"You're such an ass." Maneuvering around the tables set up for employee's to eat at, Liz slowly made her was to Alex's booth, sitting down on the empty seat opposite of him. "You're welcome" she mumbled, holding the ketchup out to him. Alex merely rolled his eyes.
"Justin told me you two were going to hang out after work," Alex said as he snatched the ketchup, squirting it on the opened wrapper that his McDonald's hamburger was sitting on.
"Yeah, we're going to Staci's house."
Alex snorted. "What the hell is there to do there?"
Liz put an elbow on the table, resting her chin on her hand. It was a known fact that Staci hated Alex with a passion; however, he was one of Justin's best friends and it was strange for them not to hang out together. She almost smiled at the thought that whatever he had planned would have to be put off for another night.
"Don't be jealous." Liz smirked at the glare she received. It was so easy to annoy him.
"Shut up," he muttered before taking a bite of his hamburger. Liz rolled her eyes, sighing and leaning back in the booth. Lunch was always so boring, no matter who was back there with her. "Aren't you going to eat something?"
"I'm not that hungry," she said with a poke at her sacked lunch.
Alex eyed her skeptically, clearly not believing her excuse. "Have a fry." Liz smirked as he waved a french-fry in front of her face, but instead of taking the offered food she merely smacked his hand away. Alex shrugged and put the fry in his own mouth. "Who else is going to Staci's?"
"Why? Are you considering going?"
"Justin invited me," he answered quickly.
Liz raised a delicate eyebrow, surprised that Justin had done that even though he knew how Staci despised the man. "Really?"
Alex nodded. "So, who's going to be there?"
Liz studied him for a moment, trying to see if he was being serious. "I think it's just Staci, Justin, Corey and me." Corey was Staci's boyfriend, a nice man who got along with pretty much anyone. But, of course, he was another person Alex had trouble getting along with.
"Well, one of my old friends is going to be back in town and he wants to meet Justin, so you might want to tell Staci that I'll be dropping by," Alex said, not leaving any chance for an argument.
Liz nodded and put her elbow on the table once again. "Who is your friend?" She leaned forward, resting her head on her palm as Alex took another huge bite out of the hamburger.
"His name's Alik, he moved out of Nebraska a couple years back. He's just coming back to visit some family, I think."
"Why'd he leave?" she asked curiously. Alex shrugged, dismissing the question.
Liz looked over her shoulder at the sound of the break room door squeaking open, her eyes widening as she took in the man who entered.
Mr. tall-dark-and-handsome to the tee.
He was extremely well built, with a black shirt that was tight against his muscular chest, showing off his chest nicely. The khakis he had on, however, were a little baggy, not really allowing Liz to see how muscular his legs truly were. His skin was an unnatural pale color and his eyes were like ebony. His hair was a little shaggy, dark brown bangs reaching his eyes.
A nice piece of eye candy, that was for sure.
Liz jumped, her eyes swiveling back to Alex as he suddenly stood up from the booth and walked over to the stranger, shouting out a greeting that was too muffled for her to understand as they shook hands. She watched curiously while Alex brought the man over to their table, squeezing back into his seat and sliding his food down. The stranger didn't speak as he sat down and he kept his eyes downcast, not sparing anyone else in the room a single glance. His shoulders seemed far too tense to be considered normal and he was breathing rather quickly.
Liz looked away, not wanting anyone to notice her staring.
"How've you been?" Alex asked, eating another fry.
The man clasped his hands together on top of the table, his black eyes locked on his fingers. "Alright, I guess," he replied, his voice a deep timbre. Liz leaned back in her chair, starting to feel a little awkward. "And you?"
"Good, I'm seeing this girl-"
"I'm just going to go," Liz interrupted.
"Uh, okay, I'll probably see you around," Alex said as he watched her grab her sack and slip out of the booth.
Liz smiled politely at Alex then glanced at the man once more. He still had yet to look up.
He may have been nice eye candy, but he was a bit strange.
Elizabeth glanced at the clock on the old computer monitor, growing more irritated at how slow time seemed to be passing. She still had one fucking hour.
After glancing down to the end of her check stand to make sure no customers had snuck up on her, she turned and walked to the supervisor's podium. Alice stood there, looking over the break sheet as she tried to decide which check stand to send another employee to.
"We're dead, Alice," Liz complained.
The elderly woman looked up at the sound of her name and rolled her eyes at Liz's impatience. "And I suppose you want to go home?" Alice smirked.
"You know me so well." Liz smiled back, the expression in her eyes clearly begging for the older woman to let her leave. Alice looked back at the sheet, taking a pen and crossing Liz's name out.
"Go ahead, see you Monday." Liz's smile widened and she walked back to her check stand. She hit the sign off button twice on the keyboard, pulling her till out as soon as the drawer bellow the monitor slid out. As if in a hurry, she grabbed her purse before turning back to Alice and saying a quick thank you, she then walked to the courtesy desk to hand her drawer in.
"Wow, how in the hell do you get off early everyday?" Alex asked as he walked up next to her, setting his own till on the counter and leaning his elbows on it.
"This is my first time in two months," Liz defended herself. "You shouldn't even be talking; everyone was surprised you even showed up today."
Alex glared at her. "Fuck off."
Liz smirked, moving her gaze back to the woman working the counter.
"Thanks guys, I'll put them away," the woman said, giving them a polite smile as she helped a customer.
Alex placed his till on top of Elizabeth's and swiped his timecard before turning around.
"Come on, walk out with me," he said without waiting for Elizabeth. She swiped her own card and followed a step behind him, fighting with her purse as she tried to put her card back in its proper pocket.
"Alik wants to meet you."
Alex looked over his shoulder, his eyebrows furrowed in irritation. "Are you deaf?" He glared for a couple more seconds then looked ahead once more. "He wants to meet you."
"I heard you the first time," Liz mumbled, not very loud, but he heard her anyways.
"Then why the hell did you ask?" he asked in mock irritation. She rolled her eyes, deciding not to say anything. "You should feel lucky, I've seen women fight just to talk to him."
"Oh yes, I'm very honored."
"You shouldn't feel honored."
Liz's eyes widened in surprise, not sure if she heard him right. "And why not?" When Alex didn't reply she quickened her pace to walk next to him, her eyes glued to his expressionless face. They moved silently out of the store, turning right towards the employee parking.
"Ask him, he's waiting for us." Liz's eyes snapped forward, her gaze locking with the man's who was leaning against Alex's navy blue mustang.
She was a little surprised; she had expected to meet him later that night at Staci's, not right after work. Although as she continued to look at him, it didn't seem as though meeting her had any meaning to him at all. His expression remained completely blank: his lips set in a firm scowl, his eyebrows drawn together as though he was agitated, and his arms were crossed over his chest.
He was an intimidating man, and she wasn't even halfway to her car yet.
"Is he mean?" she muttered quietly to Alex, feeling a little scared of the man waiting for them. She wasn't totally sure, but she thought she saw said man smirk a little.
"If you piss him off, yeah, he can be," Alex answered honestly. Liz watched the stranger closely, not at all doubting that her fear was noticeable. There was just something wrong with that man.
Finally, after what felt like a lifetime, they were standing directly in front of Alik. Liz refused to look him in the eyes, instead opting on staring at his chest – his well defined chest.
Alex thankfully broke the uncomfortable silence. "Alik, this is Elizabeth. Elizabeth, this is Alik."
A pulling – that was the only way she could describe what she was feeling. Something was pulling her to look up, to look at his dark eyes. She gave in rather quickly.
As she expected, his eyes momentarily stunned her - their darkness a little staggering.
"You," he spoke quietly, "are not what I expected my mate to be like."
That simple sentence was all it took to break Liz out of her daze.
Mate? Did he actually say that?
"Excuse me?" She glanced at Alex, hoping he would clear things up a bit for her. Maybe laugh and say that Alik was actually insane and that she shouldn't take him too seriously.
That didn't happen, as Alex looked just as confused as she.
"That's what you came back for?" he asked, his voice a little loud for it to be a casual question.
Alik turned his gaze on his friend, shrugging his shoulders as if it didn't matter.
"It was time," he answered simply.
It was time? Time for what?
"What the fuck is going on?" Liz finally snapped, her eyes wide and her body shaking. "What in the hell do you mean 'mate'?"
"You're my mate, and I'm here to claim you." As if to prove that he could, he pushed himself away from the car, dropping his arms to his sides and using his height to his advantage. Liz stepped back, trying to get behind Alex and use him as some sort of shield. Her actions merely seemed to irritate Alik even more. He stepped forward, placed his right hand on Alex's left shoulder, and effortlessly pushed him to the side. "You're coming with me, Elizabeth."