Okay so I've decided to post the story for now so that I can get inspiration to write more, faster and get this story out to you in its complete form as soon as possible. I'm not sure how much I'll be posting and I don't have a schedule as to when the updates will be coming but they won't be as regular as I'm used to but wish me luck.

Chapter one

"Don't scream, stay calm and you won't die tonight."

Staring down the barrel of the gun pointed in her face Kassandra tried not to roll her eyes in annoyance. No one could be expected to stay calm with a gun pointed in their face, surely the men that were intent on robbing the small, isolated dinner where she worked knew that. Luckily for them it was in her best interest to stay calm with or without the gun and so she nodded slowly.

It was at times like this that she cursed her tender heart. It was Mary that was meant to be working tonight but the older woman had looked so tired that Kass had volunteered to take her place and work the last few hours in the diner alone. Still, she couldn't regret her decision. Mary had two young children that relied on her, their deadbeat dad had taken off long ago and Mary was all they had. Kass, on the other hand had no one. Only Michael would miss her if she died tonight. The thought made her heart constrict. The painful twinge was enough for her to divert her attention back outwards to the two gunmen.

She watched as they came behind the bar that was meant to keep mad men like them out and sighed. All she could do was focus on keeping her breathing steady, do as they asked and hoped they left her in one piece.

"Open the till."

She nodded, pressing the button that would allow the men to take what they wanted and leave. Her task done, she took a step back, her hands held up in surrender.

"Take what you want." Her voice was steady despite the fact that her body was trembling.

One of the gunmen smiled revealing a mouth of broken and missing teeth. "We will," he said as his partner ransacked the till.

Silence filled the air for a moment before the partner exploded. "Worthless!" he bellowed. He spun around, his green bloodshot eyes wild and the gun shaking in his grip. "There's almost nothing in there. Where the fuck is the money?"

Her heart sped into overdrive. How did they expect her to stay calm when the man in front of her looked very likely to shoot her? "That's all there is," she rushed.

Her answer clearly wasn't good enough. Pain exploded in her temple and spots danced before her eyes when the hard end of the gun connected with the side of her head. Gasping, Kass tried frantically to draw air into her lungs. The dark spots in her vision were getting worse and she knew all too well what would happen if she didn't manage to slow her racing heart.

"Where is the rest of the money," he demanded, spittle flying into her face.

Blood tracked down from her brow and she stood momentarily stunned. It had been a long time since she'd seen her own blood and she'd hoped to keep it that way. "I swear that's all there is. I wouldn't lie. I promise–"

The tinkle of the door's chime stopped her mid-sentence.

Eyes wide she let her gaze dart between the two men who were looking increasingly panicked. Gun barrels pressed into her sides as the men crouched behind the bar.

"Get rid of them," they whispered from her hips. "Don't try anything stupid or we'll kill you."

She nodded slowly and turned her gaze towards the man walking into the diner. His hair was dark, the wet strands plastered to his face but he didn't seem to care that he was dripping from head to toe. In the dim light of the diner she couldn't make out his eyes but she found herself entranced with his walk. He moved with an animal grace that under any other circumstances would have had her heart racing in fear. Fortunately she didn't think her heart could beat any faster without leaving her chest entirely. Her lips parted, her mouth ready to follow the instructions of the gunmen at her side but when he lifted a piece of cotton candy to his lips she found that she couldn't speak. It should have been strange for a grown man to be eating a children's treat but the way he made love to the small morsel with his lips and tongue made the sweet seem like an aphrodisiac.

She stood with her mouth open until he stopped directly in front of her and then she felt the unmistakable push of guns into her ribs and the words that she'd been struggling to say tumbled free. "I'm sorry, we're closed."

She'd said the exact same words to the men holding her hostage and they'd responded by pulling guns on her. She wondered briefly what this man would do but then it became more important to know what he looked like. His face was hidden beneath the wet strands of his hair but he didn't seem concerned in the slightest. She could just about make out a strong jaw through the unkempt beard on his face. His dark hair mingled with the wet strands so that his skin was almost invisible. He lifted his head and her brows drew together in confusion. He looked like he was sniffing the air. The small motion and his wild hair made him seem feral. Her legs tensed, ready to run from the predator in front of her but she soon found her sides being prodded reminding her of what a bad idea flight would be.

Clearing her throat she prayed her voice came out again. "We're closed. You have to leave." Cold metal bit into her flesh and words tumbled from her throat. "If you don't leave I'll call the police. I'll tell them you were harassing me. You'll be arrested."

"No. I won't." He licked his fingers, sucking each one carefully as he savoured the sugary taste that filled his mouth.

His voice was deep, rolling over her like thunder and touching strange places within her body. It sounded rough as though he didn't use it often or he'd worn it out screaming. Unbidden, her mind became filled with ways he could have lost his voice. Most of them involved tangled limbs and sweaty bodies connecting in the most intimate of ways. Unnerved by the effect three simple words had on her, Kass tried to take a step back. There was no way just the sound of his voice should have goosebumps appearing on her skin, her knees shouldn't be trembling just because he'd spoken and she sure as hell shouldn't be closing her eyes to better appreciate the rough quality of it. Another prod of guns into her defenceless ribs kept her feet rooted to the ground.

Get a hold of yourself, she mentally scolded. You don't know anything about him. He sounds dangerous and that is not a good thing. Now is not the time to be thinking about sex. He could be as bad as these two. She risked a glance down at her captors. No. He could be worse. He sounds as though he's not a stranger to taking people apart. With his bare hands. Glancing at his hands, Kass found that they were surprisingly enticing. Long, slender fingers that looked as though they were designed to bring a woman pleasure. Mind out of the gutter! Shaking her head to remove him from it, she wiped the blood dripping from her head away from her face. "Please. Just go."

He glanced at the door. Or at least that's what it looked like. It was hard to tell with all that hair. When he turned his gaze back to her, Kass' breath caught in her chest. His eyes were glowing and if that hadn't been enough to catch her attention the eerie yellow colour certainly would have been enough to scare her senseless. Her heart now racing uncontrollably she started to tremble. This was certainly not her day.

Hands reached for her, their grip strong but surprisingly gentle. Before she could protest she was pulled over the bar.


You don't have to tell me twice.

Her body shaking wildly Kassandra fled. The door slammed hard against the wall but she refused to look back. Her heart pounding furiously within her chest and black spots darkening her vision, she managed to make it to her car. Shaking fingers struggled to pull the keys from the pocket that kept them and it was even harder to open the door.

Hurry! She screamed at herself.

Breathing hard she threw herself into the car. The sound of a gun firing stunned her. She stiffened in her seat, unable to calm her racing heart or slow the advance of the thick darkness creeping over her sight. When the second gunshot rang through the air she knew her great escape was over. Her heart stopped before stumbling back into an erratic rhythm, her body falling lax against the wheel as her grip on consciousness slipped out of her reach.

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