…“When I uncover your mouth, don’t scream.”

A charismatic smoke gray eye peered down at Alysia.  Long strands of hair fell forward almost to his chin, covering half of the stranger’s face. The burnt orange of the street lamp prevented her from seeing the exact color of the windswept hair.   Her enigmatic attraction to him was instantaneous.  The allure hovering all around his presence floated over Alysia’s mind like a gentle, yet alarming, caress.  

Despite these comely features, his intelligence must have been severely lacking – of course she was going to scream.  The minute he removed his big hand, she was going to wake every living soul within the next ten blocks from their sound sleep.  She was being held against her will with the body of a mutilated man on one side and a woman, who was quite possible dead as well, on the other.  A strange man whom she had never met before was sending wave after wave of sensual chills throughout her body; therefore, her natural reaction was going to be quite simple.   When he unhooked his palm from her lips, she was going to let loose at the top of her lungs.

“No…you won’t.”  His voice was eerily low and undeniably soothing.

Alysia’s re-evaluated her options.  Perhaps he wasn’t as dim-witted as she had been counting on.

“I’m not…plus my reflexes are much faster than yours.”  The attractive man curved his mouth up into a shrewd grin after he spoke.

Alysia swallowed lightly.  Her fear was now bordering on the fringe of mind-altering hallucination; there was no way he could be reading her thoughts.  Psychic powers and all that telepathy crap were just hokey carnival games.  It simply wasn’t logical or possible.

The mischievous smile widened.  To be on the safe side, and just in case he did have some way of reading her facial expressions, she shut out the rest of her wandering theories.

“I can do much more than that, Alysia, which is why I’m asking you to keep quiet when I remove my hand.”

Oh, shit.  The cursive raced across her brain.  How did he know her name?  Her breathing became erratic.  Alysia quickly nodded in agreement; anything to get him far, far away from her.

He continued to study her for another second, perhaps trying to judge whether there was truth in her eyes.  Then again, if he could do what he was claiming and what she was experiencing first hand, the man already knew that she wasn’t lying.  Right now, her main goal was trying to get him to let go of her without further delay.

Slowly – too slow for Alysia’s frazzled nerves – the stranger lifted his heavy palm and unhooked his long, muscled arm from around her shoulders.  As soon as she was free, Alysia used her hands and her heels to perform a frantic backwards swim.  She scooted herself away from him and up against the wall behind her.   When her back touched the cold brick, Alysia’s upper body jerked forward while her head banged against the solid surface.  A splitting pain ran a circle around the crown of her head.  She pressed her fingers at the front of her tangled hair.  When she pulled her hand back, her fingertips were dotted with a crimson liquid.  Suddenly remembering the warm splash from earlier, her other hand shot up to her cheek.  After she drew back, lighter splotches of the same color were covering these fingers as well.

Her eyes darted up to the crazed man.

“What did you do to me?  Is this my blood?

“No, Alysia, it’s his.”  His response was too calm to be spoken by a normal person.  He replied with the apathy of a sociopathic killer who was eyeing his next target.

Her anger and hysteria suddenly exploded.

“Stop doing that!  Stop saying my name like I know you.” 

She couldn’t believe she was yelling at him, a stranger who had clamped her small body with the strength of ten or more men and who could easily do the same damage to her as what he had done to his bloodied former partner in crime. 

“I wouldn’t hurt you.”  A tiny bit of relief came when he didn’t say her name this time.  “That thing over there,” he pointed her square chin toward the dead man, “was never a friend or an ally.  He was a sworn enemy…and now he’s met his end.”

The wind downshifted and a frigid cold blast dragged over the naked skin of her legs.  Alysia’s eyes went down to her torn clothing and the feeling of being absolutely vulnerable washed over her once more.  The man stood from his crouched position and motioned toward her and she cringed, forcing her body further against the wall.   From her cowering vantage point, he appeared abnormally tall and burly.  If she had the power to do so, Alysia would have pushed herself straight through to the other side and out of the reach of this maniac.  He stopped mid-step and she assumed he was reading her fear.

“I promise I’m not here to harm you in any way.”

He opened his two palms and pushed them out toward her as a sign of peace.  For the first time, Alysia took notice of what he was wearing.  He was dressed in midnight black from head to toe and fingerless leather gloves covered his hands.  His whitish shade of skin and the golden tint of his hair were the only splashes of color she could make out.  The beam from the lamppost was better at this angle and Alysia saw that his long tresses were of a blond or light brown hue.

His appearance was both magnificently enthralling and irrefutably terrifying all in the same breath.  Alysia pulled her knees together and folded them close to her body.

“Then what do you want? Why are you still here?”

“I was following the two…goons…who attacked you.  I do apologize to you, Alysia.  There is the possibility that if I had arrived sooner, they might not have had a chance to catch you and the other female.”

“So, you’re a police officer? A detective or something?”  Her voice was hopeful.

“No,” his reply was flat.

He didn’t seem to want to elaborate any further.  Instead, he took several more speedy steps forward and Alysia’s vision missed most of them.  He was leaning down before her in seconds, faster than she could push herself to either side or run away.

“Thank you for helping me…whoever you are,” she stumbled over her words as they rushed out, “but I can manage from here.”

“Look at your legs.  You won’t be able to get three feet without stumbling.”

“I can walk just fine.”

Despite her firm declaration, she chanced another peek downward and confirmed his observation.  Adrenaline must have helped her moving around as much as she had already been able to.  Long and jagged tears lined the tops of her brown thighs.  The crazy man who had ripped off her pants must have really been hyped up on some serious medication because his lashes had dug deep and opened up her skin to form bleeding lacerations.  It’s funny how the human mind operates.  She had no trouble moving until her eyes connected with the nasty gashes to her body.  Now that she was beholding how horrible they were, Alysia became overtly overcome with agonizing jolts of pain.  Dizzying aches pushed out from her wounds and her vision faltered.

The stranger hooked his solid arms under her knees then lifted both her and himself from the bone chilling concrete ground with natural agility and speed.  A strange impulse seized Alysia and she cuddled closer to the shadowy man for comfort.

“Trust me, this is much faster,” he whispered down to her.  “Where do you live?”

The razor sharp stabs in her legs kept her lips mute but she managed to focus long enough to recall the address to her apartment in her thoughts.  Her flash must have been enough for him to read.  Before the throbbing sting of her injuries forced her to completely drop away from the conscious world, Alysia felt the rush of cold wind as she was whisked along the abandoned lengths of the gloomy city streets…

from ‘Marked’ by Kiana Lee 

Part of Silhouettes of Alysia & Dakken

©2011. All Rights Reserved.


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BWWM Paranormal Romance

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