I'm here on the edge again
I wish I could let it go
I know that I'm only one step away
From turning around
"You should keep your eyes on the road, Phoenix."
Her voice was calm and relaxed, never revealing just how much my reckless driving was making her heart rate increase.
But I did not fulfill her simple request. No matter how convincing her seductively smooth voice sounded, I couldn't give her the satisfaction to see me obey her like some clever golden retriever would have, although, it might have been the rational thing to do – slow down, keep my eyes on the road. You know, all that traffic 101 shit… but the last thing that was going to happen was me crashing my Aston Martin. I could drive the vehicle with my eyes closed.
I locked my eyes into hers, a smirk on my lips as I let my right foot push down the gas pedal ever so lightly. Immediately, the car accelerated and I watched her one hand grip tighter onto her silk covered thigh. A discrete movement she never would have thought I'd noticed.
Determined, her chocolate brown eyes stayed focused on my icy blues, her mouth slightly parted with a teasing smile. "I'd never forgive you if we crashed just because you felt like showing off."
I smiled and let her feel the hard tug as the speedometer passed a 100 miles per hour.
And there it was. For a fleeting second, I heard it – her heartbeat. Battering wildly and thudding flutteringly as a butterfly's wings avoiding terror. Too soon, however, the sound eased its way back to a normal, steady rhythm and I can't help it but feel a little disappointed.
"So how long will you be able to drive like this?"
I returned that mischievous smile of hers with one of my own as I shrugged and watched her arch her back against the leather seat, her lips forming a dangerously hot smile. She grabbed the seatbelt, pulled, and shifted herself closer to me in one smooth emotion.
I knew a dare when a saw one.
Her eyes were hawking mine to make sure that I wasn't cheating in this pointless game by stealing a quick glance through the windshield. It almost made me laugh. Like I needed to be able to see to drive…
Again, I listened to her heartbeat but it was unnaturally calm, and not beating frantically as it had done seconds ago.
"Aren't you afraid?" I asked her teasingly.
Instead of giving me a voiced answer, she just shrugged and stared intently into my eyes, and at that very moment, I suddenly felt very tempted to deliberately crash my car, but of course, I didn't. I've grown quite fond of my Vanquish and I didn't feel like wasting 250.000 dollars on nothing.
With one hand on the steering wheel, another lazily placed on the gearshift, still paying no attention to the car filled road ahead of me, I switched lanes effortlessly. While I did it, I made sure to hold onto my companion's eye contact, but as expected she failed to stay in the game. Her attention was snapped from me and her wide eyes quickly turned to fixate on the road before us as she prepared herself for a possible crash… but I never let it get that far. I only drove past a slow moving car and stayed in the much preferred fast lane.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the look of horror in her eyes, even if she only showed it for a second.
"Please, it's Daniel," I interrupted smoothly.
She scowled, but quickly managed to turn her fierce glare into a more soft expression. "Daniel," she echoed in a tone I found extremely condescending. My name was being sugarcoated, I could tell. What she really had been calling me were either jackass, jerk or something seemingly unflattering. It's funny how people do that sometimes.
Well, that was probably my cue to switch tactics.
"Looking forward to the charity ball?" I started casually. I pretended to adjust the rear view mirror, but in reality I was checking her out without her knowing. After all, she was beautiful. No point in denying that. Her long, blood red dress hugged her small frame perfectly. Wavy, auburn hair were draped along her naked shoulders and it actually bothered me that it shielded most of her face as she turned her head to look out at the pitch black night. I almost reached out to brush the silky locks away from her face… almost being the keyword.
"I'm not exactly looking forward to it, but I'm not dreading it either." She sent me a soft smile and turned her attention back to stare at the cars we passed.
"Nervous?" I offered. I desperately tried to hold back my trademark smirk, but failed miserably.
She sighed, but in a playful manner. Yet, it wasn't the first time I had heard her swallow a defeated breath, only to replace it with a forced smile. "No, I just… I hate rich people and the ball will be packed with those snobs."
I shifted down a gear and raised my left eyebrow inquiringly. Now, she didn't know much about me, but I was sure she had guessed my economy was pretty stable. In her eyes, I might even be a rich bastard, and that's fine with me.
She gave me an apologetic look and shook her head repeatedly, perhaps to shake off the faint blush that had appeared on her cheeks. "Sorry, I'm not saying you're a snob—"
"No, I think you just did," I retorted, feigning mock hurt. "What's wrong with rich people?"
"Nothing, really. I just can't stand it when people talk with their chin raised a little too high, y'know?
I raised my chin, nodding teasingly. "I see… well, for your sake I'll try to keep my arrogance bottled tonight."
Mikaela brushed a few dark strands away from her face and stared at me through narrowed eyes. Suddenly, her heart skipped a beat. "You're… not arrogant."
Before I could decide whether or not I should thank her for the comment, she had turned on the radio and started zapping through the different stations, but it didn't take long before she gave up her search for, well, whatever it was she was looking for. Annoyed, she threw herself back in her seat, pouting childishly when she caught sight of her own reflection on the tinted window. I wondered what possibly could bother her. If it was her appearance, she must have either been blind or have a fucked up perception of beauty.
"You know, we could always ditch the ball," she suddenly suggested. She had begun fiddling with her dress by both wrinkling and smoothing the silk fabric at her thigh. It was probably her nerves that were starting to get to her. Her heart was also starting to pound faster, not in fear, I told myself, but more likely because of excitement. I preferred it better when the thudding sound was being caused by fear. It just sounds better.
"As tempting as it sounds, I think it's best we make an appearance along with the rest of the snobs… 'Wouldn't want your brother to worry about where you've gone, if you failed to show up."
"Yeah, can't have that," she murmured sarcastically.
I stopped at a red light and rested my elbow at the window frame, my head leaning comfortably against my closed fist. While a wallowed in my own impatience, I subconsciously started drumming my finger against the steering wheel, and as over observant as I sometimes tended to be, I noticed how Mikaela almost looked as if she recognized the tune of her own heartbeat. It wasn't until I broke the repeated rhythm, she averted her attention elsewhere.
It was probably just a coincidence.
As we neared the core of the city, it no longer appeared to be night. Sharp, colorful lights from expensive hotels, the busy traffic, gigantic casinos and even exaggerating lamp posts were flickering the dull, black night to life. People and crowds were walking on the sidewalks, making catcalls and loud conversations to both strangers and friends. If I wanted to, I could hear everything, but eavesdropping on people's conversations just wasn't my thing.
We were only a few minutes from our destination and I knew we were headed the right way when a stream of expensive cars joined the same road as us. Curiously, Mikaela tugged her seatbelt close to her chest and watched every ostentatious vehicle we passed.
"Deciding what car you should buy next?"
"Mhm," she murmured distantly. "I'm thinking Ferrari. I like red."
I nodded at her dress. "Looks good on you too."
She granted me with a shy smile, but failed to conceal the sadness hidden behind it. Naturally, my scrutinizing gaze fell on her curtained face as I wondered what she was thinking and why she was acting so secretly, but I couldn't come up with a reasonable explanation for her mysterious behavior. And did it really matter?
Brushing my unimportant thoughts aside, I drove up to the historic hotel and waited behind the line of cars that kept the valet guys busy. The young employees were formally dressed in black and white to match the boring-looking building – Hotel D'Angleterre. It was one of Copenhagen's most luxuriously hotels, but it honestly looked pretty plain and small from the outside. The whole structure was painted pale white and decorated with a shining black roof. On the top floor three Danish flags were swaying lightly in the lukewarm air, making it look slightly majestic and patriotic, but still plain. If it hadn't been for the black lettering that were spelled along its center – HOTEL D'ANGLETERRE – I could have mistaken it for a large apartment building or maybe a fancy embassy.
"Godaften," a young Dane greeted Mikaela as he helped her alight from the Vanquish. He was probably in his early 20's. Tall, blond and oh so Danish. I didn't like the way he were looking at her, but I couldn't really blame him. She must have looked like a poster taken right out of his bedroom wall as she stood beside the sleek black Aston Martin, completely oblivious to her goddess-like characteristics. As he snapped back to reality and remembered his job, he greeted me with a polite smile.
I handed him my keys along with a nice tip, but the valet paid no attention to the bills he had received. His eyes discreetly wandered back to Mikaela, looking her up and down as if he was taking a last mental picture of her, and Mikaela just seemed too absorbed by our surroundings to notice this. But, well, if it hadn't been for my watchful eye, I wouldn't have noticed it either.
"May I?" I gestured towards her thin jacket.
"Oh. Of course," she insisted and went to stand with her back against me.
I draped the clothing over her shoulders and gathered her long silky locks at her left side, but the moment my hand accidently touched her neck, she quickly averted her eyes from the flow of cars, and looked at me with a startled gaze.
"Something's wrong?" I asked her, smiling.
She shook her head and smirked weakly as she turned around to face me. "No, no, I'm fine."
Her heart was suddenly beating fast again, and this time it was the kind of beat I liked. Fast and frightened – so alive. But the reason for why it jumpstarted in that frantic rhythm, I didn't know. I saw no reason to fear a charity ball, or me for that matter… well, the latter was discussable.
Feigning normalcy, she hooked her arm around mine and gave me a dashing smile. "So Daniel… shall we?"
I figured I had the whole evening to figure out why she was acting the way she did, so I shrugged casually and returned her smile with a smirk. "Let's."
We slowly joined the flock of people that headed towards the entrance in an unhurried pace. For every step we took, it was as if her heart was beating harder and faster, and it bothered me that I didn't know why. Through two layers of clothing, I could even feel her pulse vibrating against my arm and it was so strong and frantic, I nearly found a reason to justify sin. My mouth suddenly felt dry and hungry for anything liquid, but I would do nothing to satisfy that thirsted craving. I was too controlled and disciplined to break my own rules.
As we entered the hotel I carefully strolled past the crowd of colorful suits and dresses and smells of strong perfumes and colognes. When my fellow snobs smiled in greetings, I returned their fake smiles, as did Mikaela – her smiles were even more false than mine. To me concern, her heart rate had not yet calmed and naturally I grew more suspicious when she seemed to scan the place in the same manner I had before entering the gallantly decorated ballroom. Maybe I was being paranoid. Maybe she had just been looking for her brother but somehow, I doubted it… Something was wrong, but nothing – except Mikaela – had alarmed my radar yet.
Hisses and whispers of 200 people talking at once felt like a violent attack on my hearing, but after having gotten accustomed to silence and its pleasures, it didn't come as a surprise. However, my lack of concentration to block out all the sounds did.
"Hello Danny," a voice drawled dangerously low amongst the volume of voices – and suddenly it wasn't that hard to sort out every unfamiliar noise I encountered. Stiffening in my steps, I turned to look at Mikaela and right there, I envy her for her humanely deafness. She was busy pretending to be engulfed by the high ceiling and unknown paintings. Her eyes were wide in awe and excitement, but I saw right through her. She was scared, but she hid it well. Pity, her heartbeat gave her away.
"It's been a long time, hasn't it?" the voice cooed sweetly. I didn't even bother to search the crowded room for the voice's righteous owner. It would be a waste of time to look for the unseen.
Blindly, I followed the crowd where people tried finding their reserved tables, and just as Mikaela found ours, I steered her away, dragging her with me as pushed through the rich and famous.
"Daniel, what are you––"
"Quiet," I hissed.
A shrill voice laughed loudly through the room, but only I could hear it. "Oh, dear Danny, please… stay! Enjoy your night. Don't let me ruin this glorious evening."
"You already have," I muttered mutedly.
It might have appeared as if I was talking to myself, but Mikaela did not stare at me as if I was one call away from a mental institution. Instead she froze and panicked in silence by staring suspiciously at everything around us. Her hand clenched tightly around the crook of my arm, and I could almost hear how the flow of her blood rushed through her veins in panic.
God, I could smell her fear.
I pulled her out of the ballroom, ignoring the nosy stares as we rushed past familiar and unfamiliar faces. Avoiding making a scene would probably be a bit of a pickle, but at this point I didn't really care. It's not like it's the first time these people have seen drama in their lives, and they probably just mistook me as a jealous boyfriend, husband or lover. Ignorant people.
Carelessly, I dragged Mikaela over to the quietest corner I could find and threw her up against the wall as gently as my rage would let me.
"Who are you?" I demanded in a threatening whisper.
Mikaela swallowed a pained moan and stared helplessly at the valet employees stationed near the entrance.
"Don't even think about it," I warned her. "Now… speak."
"You're being awfully rude, Danny. Where's your manners?"
I ignored the voice.
"Daniel, I swear I don't know what's going on! I– I––"
"Oh, you don't?" I growled furiously. Maddened, I pounded my fist into the wall, startling her into complete stiffness. Testing her, I lowered my head down to her pulsating neck and exhaled a breath of cold air onto her skin. Immediately, her hands were on my chest, shoving and clawing as she tried pushing me away, but her strength proved to be useless against me.
"Please don't," she pleaded tremblingly.
"Please do," the stalking voice mocked in an appealingly, girly voice.
I huffed in annoyance and leveled myself in front my date, watching her as she blinked back her tears. Her breath was hot and sweet on my lips, almost inviting as she breathed hard and uncontrollably. Before I could stop myself I brushed my thumb over her lower lip and caressed the side of her face.
"Wanna pretend like you still don't know what's going on?" I sneered, irritated.
Mikaela closed her eyes and nodded reluctantly. Her hands tensed against my chest and she actually had the nerve to hit me right above my heart with a closed fist. It was a strong, hard punch, but I did not flinch, nor did I cringe. I remained stoic and calm as I stared at her in distrust.
Slowly, she opened her eyes and reluctantly met my fiery glare. "I––"
I shushed her quiet and moved closer toward her, caging her between my arms. A couple of the hotel's valets walked past us, but halted in their steps as they caught sight of us. Quickly, I camouflaged my predatorily stance into a lustful embrace by closing the distance between us and resting my head on her shoulder. It probably appeared as if I was kissing her along her neckline, showering her with love and affection, but what appeared to be sweet caresses were in fact just whispers of threateningly instructions of what I wanted her to do.
"Loosen up. Don't scream. Relax," I instructed calmly. The last thing I needed was my date screaming rape, but I was pretty sure she was too afraid to try something that reckless. She wasn't stupid. When I placed my hand on her waist, she writhed against the wall in protest, but it only contributed to our fake act of passion. Flustered, she turned her head far to her left to avoid facing our audience, and it left her neck vulnerably exposed, and so deliciously inviting. As if she'd read my thoughts, she stiffened slightly, but only to whip her head back so quick and drastically fast, I nearly failed to avoid a collision with her forehead.
I smirked evilly and brushed a few loose strands away from her eyes. "Don't flatter yourself," I sneered and slowly backpedaled my way away from the wall. With our audience gone, we were left alone in the dark once again, but I had a feeling that someone was still watching and as long as that person wanted to remain hidden, there was nothing I could do to escape my stalker.
Dumbstruck, Mikaela hugged her arms around herself self-consciously and stared at me with pure fear in her eyes. But then she did a 180 and glared at me furiously, her arms going stiff at her sides. "If you plan on killing me... then go right ahead and get it over with, you sick sonofabitch!"
In the blink of an eye, I had my hand clenched around her throat. "Contrary to what you believe, Mikaela, I will not harm you. I will, however, leave you here, alone and unprotected, and whoever hired you will come for you." I let go of her throat and looked at her down my nose. "They enjoy playing with your kind much more than I do, so have fun. Tell them I said hi."
Without further explanation, I turned on my heel and rushed out from our hidden corner, thereby abandoning my chance of satisfying my curiosity. Knowing her name – her real name – who she was, and what her mission had been would not have helped me in any way, so the wise thing to do was simply to let her be. I had more important things to do than to question someone's pawn.
I loosened my tie and unbuttoned the first three buttons of my shirt as I turned slowly. And for the second time, I witnessed Mikaela being silenced by getting a hand clamped around her throat. This time, though, I could not take credit for it.
Hovering deadly in front my former date, stood a tall dark figure. Its dark eyes were assessing its prey with such arrogance and nonchalance, I could almost imagine this being the picture you'd see when looking up the word 'pompous'.
"Leaving so soon?" the voice asked me, disinterested.
I shrugged, feigning boredom with a slow roll of my head – there were four close escape routes. "I just remembered I forgot to feed my fish…"
I had a feeling it was Mikeala there was referred to and not my imaginary pet. Struggling, the girl uselessly tried to kick and wiggle her way free from her attackers grasp, but the more she fought, the harder the hand grasped her neck. 30 more seconds, and she would faint into a comatose state, she might never wake up from again.
"Skylar," I called with a hint of authority in my voice. "You're in a public place."
A loud gasp escaped Mikeala's throat as the hands around her neck loosened. Her attacker watched her in awe and curiosity, and maybe even in slight jealousy.
"Such a strange thing, isn't it? Breathing… do you miss it, Danny?"
"I'm still breathing."
Skylar snickered and threw me an amused glare. "I wouldn't call that breathing. The purpose for inhaling air we do not need is entirely different." She took one deep breath close to Mikeala's neck and closed her eyes in delight. "Mmm. Aren't you just the slightest bit tempted?"
I decided not to grant her with an answer. I heard Mikeala swallow a broken sob as she tried to melt deeper into the wall, but it was no use. Instinctively – and stupidly – she recklessly tried to hit Skylar's pale face with her right hand, but her knuckles only got slammed into the wall behind her as Skylar easily caught her wrist and hammered it into the white marmoreal paneling. A pained expression flashed across Mikeala's beautiful face but she held back the river of cuss words that obviously were seconds away from slipping from her tongue.
I readied myself to blur my way towards them, to stop Skylar from playing with her potential food, but before I'd taken my first step, three more figures suddenly joined our deserted spot. Unwillingly, I quickly took a submissive step back.
"Ah… so that how it is," I nodded and threw my hands up in mock surrender, smirking as I saluted my welcome to Skylar's entourage. They were all men, dressed in casual clothes and armed with deadly weapons I couldn't see. I could however smell the heavy metal. I knew none of their faces, but obviously they knew mine and then some; the hatred in their eyes revealed everything. They knew my background and my history, and they probably wanted to tear me to shreds as revenge for all of my misdeeds.
"Yes Daniel. That's exactly how it is," Skylar confirmed dryly. She opened her mouth to speak again, but suddenly her attention traveled to the crowd of people we couldn't see yet, but hear coming our way. Disappointment and annoyance crossed over her flawless face as she turned to stare condescendingly at Mikeala.
"Hm," she spat, disgusted. "Filthy humans… but thank you for your help tonight, Mikeala. I'll tell your brother you said hi." Before vanishing, she turned to look at me through her cat-like eyes. "See you around, Danny."
And with that, she was gone along with her followers of trusty bodyguards.
A/N - okay, so I wanted to try to write something supernaturael'ish and I also wanted to see if I could manage writing in first person - success or not, I don't know. And I'm actually not a fan of vamp fics and all that jazz. It's been overdone, I guess.. and yet I couldn't help myself.
I've posted this as being in-progress, but I don't know if this is something I will continue because honestly... I have no freakin' idea of what I was writing when I wrote this. You guys would be more than welcome to give me suggestions and come up with a plot. I'm all ears, darlings.