For The Taking

Part I

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Tara turned off the shower faucet, but she wasn't ready to get out, not yet. Instead, she took a moment to revel in how good it felt to be clean. Having been deprived of a shower or bath for so long, she had nearly forgotten what it was like. It was such a nice feeling to have back and it was all thanks to Isaac that she did.

Goosebumps rippled across her pale skin, signaling her to get out and dry off. She pulled back the vinyl curtain and stepped onto the small patterned rug, which she used to shield her feet from the cold tile of the bathroom floor. Instantly, she spotted a fluffy beige towel sitting on the black marble ledge of the sink counter. She grabbed it and hastily wrapped it around her slender frame. 'Isaac must have brought it in,' she thought; it was still warm and smelled of lavender fabric softener. Tara proceeded to dry herself off, starting with her face, then her hair, and then the rest of her body, ending with her feet. Once she deemed herself sufficiently dried she looked around for any clothes her host might have put in here like he'd done with the towel. She didn't find anything and so figured there might be some in the bedroom. She draped the large cloth over her shoulders and clutched it tightly closed before touching her ear to the door. It didn't sound like he was in there.

Tara cautiously opened the door. She peeked out and found that Isaac was nowhere to be seen, but neither were any clothes. She realized she would have to wait for him to come back.

As much as she would've preferred retrieving what she needed herself (as opposed to letting her host and savior see her clad in nothing but a towel), she didn't know where anything was – rooms and objects alike; she had only been in his house for two hours at most, and besides, going through his stuff would be horribly rude, especially after all he'd done for her. The chances of him having anything in here that she could wear were nonexistent anyway; this was his bedroom after all.

Tightening her grip on the only thing she had to make herself even remotely decent, Tara stood in the doorway between the bedroom and the connecting bathroom she'd emerged from, waiting for Isaac's imminent return.

He was there within seconds.

Isaac came in no different than before; dressed in black jeans, a pressed white dress shirt which he never bothered to tuck in, and his long dark hair pulled into a ponytail as always. The only difference was that he was now carrying some red, square-shaped thing to his chest. He looked to Tara with his tender, otherworldly smile she was growing so accustomed to. She felt unworthy of receiving any of his godly, enticing expressions, much less one of kindness and praise, but she craved it all the same; it made her feel that for once in her young life she belonged. And yet as much as she adored his smile as it was, she wished she could see his teeth if only just once; she was certain they were just as perfect as the rest of him. But why wouldn't he let her see them? He never revealed more than a glimpse of his teeth when he spoke and when he smiled he didn't show them at all. Maybe he didn't think she was worthy enough to see them…

"Feeling better?" he asked, seemingly amused by the way she was reacting to her predicament.

His voice itself was startling, almost frightening, but at the same time, comforting. It was warm and alluring, but also sharp and ominous, soft yet invincibly strong. Intricate, to put it simply. A number of different, contrasting elements brought together to create the symphonic, ethereal reverberation that was his voice.

Tara nodded shyly in answer.

"Good." Isaac was about to give her the brightly colored object in his hand, but he chose to wait just a little while; there was something he wanted to do first. He moved further into the room and placed the item on a large dresser that stood beside a full-length mirror.

"Tara...would you come here?"

She complied without hesitation, crossing the room to stand before the man she called "savior". As was usual in being so near him, she felt incredibly humbled. The sculptured contours of his face, his long body and stance both so impossibly graceful and rigid, his deep, knowing eyes more beautiful than she thought possible…

He couldn't be real.

Tara noticed that Isaac had lost the humor in his air. He was thoughtful now though still just as calm and approachable, not intense at all. She wondered what it meant.

"Take off your towel," he prompted casually. The words weren't a demand, just a request, a simple request...

Tara's hazel eyes stared up at him incredulously, hoping she'd misheard him. She knew she hadn't. "Why?" she asked, far more timid now.

"I wish to see something, my little one. That's all."

Her face flushed instantly at the thought of him seeing her naked form. She didn't want him to see her, she didn't want anyone to see her. But even more than that, she didn't want to disobey him. He was all she had. Isaac had yet to utter a single cruel word to her and she didn't want him to start now, not ever if she could help it. She didn't want living with him to be like it had been with her parents. And if obeying him would prevent that from happening, she would do anything he asked without question.

With hesitant fingers, she slowly let her only cover fall to her feet. She kept her head down while her body tensed in embarrassment as she waited for whatever was to happen.

Isaac descended from his glorious height to kneel beside her.

"Thank you," he whispered, but she hadn't heard him. Her pulse pounding in her ears muffled the soft words.

It was then that she felt his velvet hands take hold of her shoulders. One of them stayed in place to steady her, the other roved down the length of her arm. His long fingers wrapped around the limb, keeping a firm yet gentle hold as though feeling for something as it slid downward. He didn't stop at her hand, he continued down her leg until he reached her ankle. He repeated the same action with her other side.

Tara tentatively looked into the nearby mirror, watching Isaac and the exposed ten-year-old girl that was her reflection with wavering eyes. She watched his hands move across her undeveloped body with the same flowing grace he bore with everything he did. He was paying close attention to every piece of her he touched, she could tell for his eyes followed his smooth firm hands at every turn. In those focused eyes, however, she saw something strange, something she had never seen in them before. She thought it looked like admiration but she couldn't be sure. Maybe she was just hoping that was what it was.

Aside mainly from her face, Isaac's caressing hands made sure to explore every visible inch of her. Internally she willed him not to, but she did nothing to object, she was too concerned about what would happen if she did. It wasn't that his touch felt bad, quite the opposite actually, she liked the way his strong hands felt but it was just…it didn't seem right.

Tara tried to make herself feel a little better by figuring that he wasn't doing anything wrong to her. She knew Isaac cared about her and she knew her parents hadn't. She also knew that parents were supposed to touch their children, but hers never touched her at all, much less like this. So logically, this was good…logically…

Isaac was aware of how extremely uncomfortable he was making her, especially when he passed over the more sensitive, taboo parts of her skin. But even though it wasn't his intention to have her so uneasy, he couldn't help but find her overt self-consciousness adorable. Still, when she began to look as though she couldn't take it anymore, he ceased. He was alright with embarrassing her for the sake of his own selfishness, but he wasn't about to torture her…not yet.

Tara had eventually strayed her gaze away from the mirror; she didn't want to watch anymore. Instead, she settled herself in a pool of uncertainty, unable to turn her focus away from her mortification. She hardly noticed when Isaac had ended her thorough examination. He caught her by surprise then when by the lightest touch to her chin, he guided her eyes to his own.

She shrank instinctively from them but was granted a bit of courage in finding a reassuring smile placed neatly on his handsome visage.

In regard to her courage, curiosity got the better of her. "W-what were you looking for?" she managed to say.

His smile widened. "Nothing in particular. Just..." he paused to think of an appropriate word, "...appreciating."

Tara could only stare back at him, triggering a barely audible chuckle from her savior.

When Isaac had first entered the room, he hadn't intended to lay even a finger on her, yet when he saw her so nearly exposed as she was, he couldn't resist the temptation of her soft mortal skin, warm from the flowing blood beneath.

"I'm sorry," he apologized suddenly, "you must be getting cold."

Tara hadn't noticed until now.

"Here," he reached to take the red item from atop the dresser and presented it to her, "these are for you."

Her glass-like hands grasped the object with caution. In doing so, she realized that it was made of cloth. It felt like satin to her. At least, she thought it did; she wasn't really familiar with the fabric.

Further studying her gift, she confirmed it to be pajamas – red satin pajamas folded into a perfect square. She held the clothes to her chest as her gaze once again sought her elegant host who stood already halfway through the bedroom door.

He turned swiftly to address her.

"When you're finished, my little one, meet me downstairs," he requested in his serene, orchestral voice. "I'll be in the kitchen."

He disappeared then, closing the door behind him.