There are a thousand different ways to love someone. And even though I knew this to be true, it didn’t make the way I felt any easier. Sure, I suppose I loved him, in my own way. He was terribly crafty in the manner with which he worked his constant presence into my mind, causing me to wonder if he hungered for me the in the same ways I did him.
It wasn’t his outward appearance that captured me. It was the heated way he looked at me, with those liquid green eyes, like he wanted to lock me up in chains and keep me only for himself. Even that I didn’t mind, quite the contrary. And for awhile, I was content with his eyes on me, stripping me down with his gaze. I loved him then, before I really knew it. Before I knew who he was, before I knew that he could make me into something I wasn’t. Before I really knew just what I was capable of.
It all seemed so simple, so harmless a flirtation.
He was a regular evening patron at my local coffee shop. My head buried in a late-night book, I would look up to see him there, leaning against the window, peering at me through smoked glass. His eyes on me caused my body to react in strange and beautiful wonderment. The way he forced my lips to pull into a knowing curve, the tickle of butterflies rushing through me, and the slow ache that developed in the pit of my stomach, gave me cause enough to desire him. My eyes always felt locked in a struggle of power with his. And it was this same battle of delicate pain that brought about the beginning, and the end, and then—the beginning.
The night he took me, or rather the night I gave myself to him, was one of those where the air felt like a satin sheet, slick and liquid. I sat at my usual seat in the coffee shop. After long hours of reading late into the night, my eyes were no longer able to define the words. I dog-eared the page of my novel and tucked it under my arm, heading out into the tepid oceanic evening. My thoughts lingered still on his presence, the staring man with the haunting eyes that so cunningly captured my longing. But he had left hours ago, and the street was empty of almost all life. It wasn’t an unusual night. Even as the fog settled into the street, misting my view, I felt no threat.
When slow footsteps scuffed the sidewalk behind me, I still didn’t panic, becoming only more aware of my surroundings—the slow pull of my breath, my muscles teaming and anxious. But as those steps grew closer and more defined, I felt my skin tingle with desire. I wanted it to be him, the man with eyes like poison. But as quickly as the footsteps had approached, they passed; just another fizzy night owl, enjoying a drunken midnight stroll. My body relaxed, dispersing the pent up energy in an exhausting release.
The brick buildings that guarded the street seemed to cradle the roiling fog. With quickened steps, I moved toward the one at the end of the street, the one that contained my apartment, and all of the trivial trappings of my life. It was an empty place, devoid of the laughter I had known as a child, once surrounded by the noise of family. But that was a long time ago. And I had found a strange sort of comfort in the silence, embracing my aloneness.
In a flash through the haze, my mystery man appeared before me, dressed in his customary black T-shirt and ripped jeans. “My, my, my, to what do I owe this most unexpected of pleasures.” His voice undressed me as easily as his eyes, with a sultry laze about it.
My throat closed in around my words. Blood thundering through my limbs, I attempted to breathe him into me. I had been secretly waiting for this moment, wanting. As it unfolded before me, it was perfection in real time, completely living up to my fantasy.
“We finally cross paths and you have no words for me? Hmm. That’s nice. The quiet type. You know what they say about quiet types…” He began to circle me in slow easy strides, like a hunter eyeing its prey.
I pulled in an agonizing breath. “Indeed. I do,” I whispered, feeling my face burn in reaction to his subtle chastisement.
After coming around to face me once again, he smiled, running his tongue slowly across his teeth. “You certainly are beautiful.” His long fingers brushed a loose hair from the side of my face, tucking it back behind my ear. Tenderly, he grazed my neck with his fingertips.
In the way that had become normal play between us, our eyes connected, unwilling to part from one another.
My mouth watered, longing to feel his lips brush against mine. I swallowed, attempting to squelch my unreasonable desire for him. “What’s your name?” I asked the first normal question that came to mind. Not wanting to ask him the one that was, quite literally, on the tip of my tongue.
His gaze caressed my entire form. “Mmm, enough of this idle chatter,” he said, taking a step closer to me. His body so close I could feel the rhythm of his heartbeat in the small space between us.
Purposefully, I took a step back.
He mirrored my action.
I took another step.
He drew closer, hovering above me like a dangerous angel.
The last and final step, I backed into a brick wall at the mouth of the alleyway. Gasping when the back of my head hit the wall, I pressed my body against its coolness. Not that I really wanted to escape his advances, far from it. But I think my body was reacting on automatic, fight or flight, and for those few meager seconds it was flight.
He bent his head, his mouth only inches from mine. When he spoke the sweetness of his breath filled my parted lips. “Why do you retreat, bunny rabbit? You know you want this as much as I do. Stop playing coy with me.”
My blood raced, burning its way through my veins. My body was on fire, hot and feverish and aching. Coaxing him with my eyes, I dared him to kiss me, pleading with my soul for him to make that first move, the one that would begin our downward falling spiral. Slowly, I licked my lips in preparation for the onslaught.
He laughed in a short, throaty burst then slid his finger from the middle of my chin down to the depth of my cleavage. “You look ready to melt out of these clothes. Would you like to take this someplace a little more comfortable?”
Bowing my head, I looked up at him with only my eyes, giving him my most seductive look, complete with a gentle batting of eyelashes. “No, please.” I whispered, allowing my lips to remain slightly open.
He exhaled with a low rumble in his chest, moving his eager mouth toward mine. He kissed me, soft at first and then increasingly more desperate. With feather light flicks of his tongue, he drew me in with willful intrigue, teasing and crafty.
I didn’t know how long I could last with the taste of him already filling my mouth, beckoning my soul to take him into me. But I continued to resist, enjoying the mild pleasure the physical contact his body was presenting me with, something that would be all too easily extinguished.
From soul plunging kisses, he moved his lips hungrily along my jaw-line, nibbling and traveling to my neck, to the front of my throat. His teeth were sharp and almost painful as they bit their desire into my flesh.
I arched my back, thrusting my breasts against the hardness of his well muscled chest, needing his touch.
A few more moments.
He obliged my desire, gripping the sides of my shirt and ripping it open to expose me to his mouth. With what seemed like starvation, he devoured me, meandering down my belly with his amiable lips, his sympathetic tongue.
The moment his knees touched the ground below us, I had what I wanted—his submission. I could no longer wait. The hunger for him, a pleasure so perfectly consumed by pain, was becoming more than torture. Gripping the sides of his face, I drew him to standing. My eyes gazed lovingly into his face, once more, to flesh out the electric light in his verdant eyes. I had loved him for so very long, in my own way. I was ready to adore him in a few more in those next moments. Want had quickly heightened, ripening into need.
Pulling his face to mine, I took my turn covering his mouth with the devotion of my soul. With each sweep of my tongue on his lips, his jaw, his neck, I whispered promises to love him always, to keep his heart with me forever. Harder my mouth pushed into his skin. My hunger stirred to new heights by his delicious fragrance, until I could wait no longer.
The way the buttery surface of his skin melted beneath the pressure of my teeth as I took that final kiss, was no different really than all of those before him. But the honey laced flavor of his blood pumping into my body, as I broke through the sinewy muscles of his throat was well beyond any pleasure I had ever experienced. And as he struggled within my passionate, unbreakable embrace, seeking reprieve from the pain, I continued to invoke promises to him. Promises I had every intention on keeping.
He was, in fact, different, my poison eyed plaything. Unlike any of the others I had toyed with and then consumed, he I planned to keep, for every moment of forever, loving him in a thousand different ways.