Sunday, 26 January 2014


Chapter 1

Her feet pounded on the pavement as she raced down the dirty backstreets of Deadwood; the night had turned cool turning each heavy breath into a misty vapor.
They’re so fast, she thought, why didn’t I stay in tonight? Just for some stupid party! Now I’m being chased by these... these... things. What are they?
Lexia turned the corner, stumbling on the uneven curb, and gasped as she came to a dead end.
She whirled around to see the three creatures circling her. Fear closed her throat; she tried to scream but nothing would come out. Her eyes widened in fright as they flashed their razor sharp teeth at her. Vampires?
They had blood-red eyes and pale ghostly skin stretched tight over hard angular bones; they looked like the living dead! And they were going to kill her.
Lexia backed into the wall, her hands grazing along the rough surface, wishing she could somehow melt into it. She felt so frightened and her body shook in terror as tears silently streamed down her face. I’m sorry, Dad, she thought as they all leapt at once; a whimper left her lips as she curled into a ball, their razor sharp nails slashing at her skin, gouging into her flesh. She cried out in pain, fear crushing her mind, blackness taking over, when...
Lexia felt her mind go blank and the pain... it was torture as adrenaline rushed through her veins, charging her muscles with strength, taking over her body. With a cry she stood up throwing the vampires off her; it all happened so quickly, she tore them limb from limb like a crazed animal until there was nothing left but her quivering body soaked in blood. A metallic bitter smell filled her nostrils; she could hear her heavy breaths, and looking around all she saw was red, death, and darkness.
Lexia stood for what felt like hours looking upon the scene before her; the torn bodies slowly rotted in front of her eyes, then panic bubbled to the surface as she finally got her voice back and she screamed, screamed so hard her throat burned. Tears ran down her blood-stained face as she realized what she’d done - she’d created this darkness, she’d caused their deaths.
People running to her cries could be heard in the distance; snapping back to reality, Lexia looked around one last time, how do I explain this? I can’t. She ran into the night not paying attention to the direction she took or the fact that she could now run faster than she ever had before. Lexia just thought of putting one foot in front of the other, of the vibrations travelling up each foot as it pounded on the pavement.
Lexia woke early the next morning on the forest floor; her body felt stiff with the dried blood that coated her skin. As her brain slowly remembered the previous night she shot up on her feet, spinning around, bracing to attack.
But she was alone, surrounded only by tall pine trees, their needles littered the floor and stuck to her clothes. Lexia glanced around herself one last time and then shot off through the trees to her home. ‘Dad’s going to freak if I don’t get home in time!’ As that thought drifted through her head, Lexia somehow found the energy to run faster. Five minutes later she stood at the edge of the trees that lined her garden. There were no signs of life in the old wooden house, so she ran to the trellis below her window climbing with an ease she’d never had before. She got back in her room and under the duvet as her dad poked his head around the door.
“Time to get up Lex, sweetie.”
Lexia’s dad, Mike, had raised her on his own since her mother, Lucy, had walked out when Lexia was 5 months old. Lexia had only one picture of her mother, it was taken when she had just been born; Lucy was looking down at her baby, her pale blond hair covering her face. Lexia didn’t know what she looked like but sometimes she would dream of a woman with blond hair singing to her.
Lexia had asked her dad if her mother had sung to her as a child but he would never answer her questions about her mother; he always closed up and snapped at her as if the mere thought of Lucy caused him pain. Lexia had tried to come to terms with the fact that she would never know her mother and the reason she’d been left behind; but sometimes, no matter how hard Lexia tried, she would long to meet her mother.
As her dad walked down the stairs, Lexia got up and looked at herself in the full-length mirror that hung on the back of the door.
Her long boots were torn and the leather stained darker on the toes and ankles; her hands trailed over her shredded jeans. The back of her blouse was also in ribbons. She took it off looking at her torn skin and where it had already started to heal, some gashes were just faint, red lines. Stripping off the rest of her clothes, Lexia stood looking at herself in her underwear. Even with all the muck and blood that stained her skin, she couldn’t miss the subtle changes to her body. Her stomach was just that tiny bit tighter, the slightest hints of a six pack showing. In fact her whole body just seemed more refined; as she moved forward muscles shifted under her skin. Lexia looked closely at a slash across her cheek and gasped as it started to heal. She watched in horror as the flesh knitted back together, felt the tingling, stabbing sensation, and then prodded her finger against the red scar line as it disappeared.
“What has happened to me?” she whispered against her fingers.
She wanted to hide, to run, to cry, but then she noticed her eyes and how they had changed. No longer were they just a clear, crystal blue but blue with a fine rim of gold lining the pupil. She couldn’t hide from this; there was something wrong with her, the evidence staring back at her every time she looked in a mirror.
Lexia started to back away from the mirror. She couldn’t seem to tear her eyes away from the person staring back at her. She could feel herself trembling and hear the galloping rhythm of her heart. So many emotions bombarded her as she decided whether to call for help or hide away from the world. She stumbled forward as the back of her legs hit the foot of her bed. “What am I?” she squeaked.
“Lexia, everything alright?” her Dad called up the stairs.
She didn’t answer at first. Am I okay?
“Yeah... fine, Dad. Just tripped,” she called. Her eyes hardening, she could never tell a soul.
Lexia dashed across the hall and locked herself in the bathroom. She stepped into the bath, turning on the shower and watched as the water turned red at her feet from the near-scalding cascade skimming over her body. She stared at the pale blue walls of the bathroom, the night before playing over and over in her head and she wondered whether she had gone mad, whether everything that had happened had just been a dream. Then she glanced down to the pink water pooled at her feet and realized she wasn’t mad. The blood washing off her body wasn’t make-believe and the cuts and scrapes that covered her skin had been made from the sharp nails of vampires, but the scariest thing of all - magically watching her skin heal. What am I? she thought again.

Chapter 2

The school day had dragged, and Lexia struggled to listen to anything in class. Thank god school’s nearly over, she thought. Her friend Alice was talking to her now as they walked down the bustling school hall, the sounds of lockers banging and the shouts and calls of students echoed off the walls. Alice was talking about a party later but Lexia was finding it hard to pay attention. She looked at her friend and thought about how quickly things had changed. Alice had now moved on to babbling about some boy but her voice just blurred into background noise and Lexia turned her thoughts to more serious subjects. What had happened to her eyes and how had she killed those vampires? Vampires existed - how was that possible?
“Lex, are you even listening to me? Lexia!”
Lexia focused on Alice’s petite face, her big brown eyes glaring at her in frustration. Alice had a sprinkling of freckles over her cheeks and nose and her blond hair was pulled back into a ponytail. Alice always dressed up-to- date with the latest fashion and spent most of her time worrying over her looks and the latest boy she liked. They had an easy friendship, one with no secrets or lies. Until now; why can’t I just go back to worrying about boys and which parties I should attend? God why do I have to keep replaying last night? Their blood red eyes, the feeling of power...
Sorry, Alice, can’t do the party, I’m working.”
She had a shift at the local diner tonight. It didn’t pay much, but she was saving for college so she could get out of this small town.
“Oh, that’s crap, I’m not going alone.”
“You could always come keep me company.”
“No, thank you, I am not sitting there bored all night.”
Lexia smiled to herself, Alice was allergic to hard work or being anywhere near it. They walked out of the school doors together. Lexia was lost in thought again, but she heard Alice this time. “Got time for a quick coffee before work?”
“It will have to be quick.” She smiled at Alice’s face, how hard she had it, having to spend a night alone.
They headed out of school and walked the short distance to the local coffee shop all the students used. The door chimed as they walked in and Lexia rushed for the last two remaining sofa chairs in the far corner.
“Grab me a sandwich and cake, too, please Alice.”
Lexia sat watching her friend impatiently tapping her foot on the polished wooden floors as she waited in line and Lexia smiled to herself; they were complete opposites, Lexia laid back and breezy and Alice impatient and fiery, but they complemented each other perfectly and had been best friends since the moment they met on the first day of school. Alice was the only one of Lexia’s friends who knew about her mother leaving her, the only one who knew Lexia was much older than all the other students in her year. Lexia told her everything and for the first time in her life she had something that not even Alice could know.
Alice put down their food and then plonked herself in the chair opposite. She looked at Lexia and frowned at her troubled expression, “Hey, Lex.”
Lexia looked up, “Yeah?”
“Are you alright? I mean, you seem really distant; you’d tell me if something was wrong?”
Should I tell her the truth? “I’m fine, honestly,” she said with a plastered smile on her face.
Lexia spent the next thirty minutes forcing herself to pay attention to every word Alice said. Fortunately Alice was the talkative one out of the duo and did most of the talking. As long as Lexia added a comment or two, Alice was happy and when they parted ways, Lexia thought she’d done a good job at convincing her she was okay.
As Lexia walked down the long driveway to her house she stopped; looking into the forest, she could have sworn someone was there. Quickening her pace she made it to the house and bolted the door behind her. The strangest feeling had come over her; the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end and every nerve in her body felt like it was electrified. Waiting, Lexia watched for movement in the trees but when nothing stirred, she ran up the stairs and threw herself on the bed with a sigh. “I’m losing my mind,” she muttered.
She’d never been one to be afraid of being alone, but right now she seemed to jump at every shadow. She felt as if her body was on high alert, ready and willing to attack at a moment’s notice. But if she wasn’t mad then that meant the world of the supernatural was real and Lexia couldn’t decide which was more frightening.
Three hours later, Lexia looked at herself in the mirror. She was hiding out in the bathroom at Lucky’s Diner. Everyone kept mentioning her eyes; she’d tried to avoid eye contact with people but that proved hard when she had to serve them. Taking a deep breath she stepped back out into the diner, chanting the lie she’d been telling everyone all night: it’s just a play of the light, it’s just a play of the light. Who the fuck am I kidding? You’re a freak, Lex. Well, only 5 hours left, she thought with a sigh.
The night turned out to be pretty busy, keeping Lexia from dwelling on her worries. Twenty minutes before closing, the door chimed; Lexia stiffened as a chill over her skin slivered over her skin. Looking up she saw a man take a seat in front of her. He was tall and well-built, the kind of man she and Alice would drool over, and his eyes were so light brown they could have been gold. He smiled at her but there was nothing friendly about it, the kind of smile that whispered of danger and excitement. Lexia gulped and the hairs on the back of her neck bristling.
“What can I get you?” She smiled back, squaring her shoulders.
“Just a coffee, black.” His voice was a deep, rough rumble that made goose bumps appear up her arms. Turning to fetch his coffee, she felt his eyes on her every move as a lion would stalk its prey. There was definitely something about this guy, but she couldn’t quite put her finger on it. He felt off but not in a run for your life way. He was dangerous, but enticingly so.
Shaking her head, she returned with his coffee. As he reached out to take it from her, his finger brushed hers sending a jolt of heat up her arm. Gasping she lost her grip on the mug and it started to fall. The man’s arm shot out so quickly all she saw was a blur. Chuckling, he said, “Careful now, love.” And placed the cup on the counter.
“S-Sorry.” She turned and started to head out back needing to put some distance between herself and this strange-eyed man.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
Lexia froze not sure whether to tell him her name. Argh, stop being so paranoid, he’s probably just being polite.
Lexia turned and looked at him again, his eyes twinkled in mischief as he slowly took a sip from his drink. They never left her as his lips touched the rim of the mug. She felt trapped by his gaze, like looking into the eyes of a great hunter before he made his kill. She was a helpless rabbit caught in headlights; she had no choice but to answer, “Lexia, but most people call me Lex.”
He snorted sending coffee splattering all over the counter. “You’re joking,” he laughed.
Lexia’s temper rose. Breaking eye contact, she walked towards him feeling her fists clench and her face harden. “No, I am not joking. Why is that so funny?” She glared at him, her eyes ablaze with anger.
He paused for a second, his smile faltering. “Lexia means ‘Man’s Defender,’” he answered.
“And that’s funny because…? Actually don’t bother. Finish your coffee and get out!” Lexia never saw his reaction; she turned and strode out back. When she returned five minutes later, he had left and the diner was empty.
“Do you wanna head off, Lexia? I’ll finish up,” said Jan, coming out of the kitchen door.
“Hey, are you all right?” said the small plump woman, her brown eyes scrunching up with concern.
“Yeah, just some jerk who was in here before got under my skin.”
“Will you be okay getting home?”
“Yeah, thanks, Jan, I’ll see you Friday,” she called heading for the door, wishing the day would be over already. All she wanted to do was crawl under her covers and hide.
Lexia walked along Main Street away from Lucky’s Diner heading  toward Upper Main Street; her home sat on the edge of town, about a fifteen minute walk from the diner. The house was set back off Upper Main Street with a long driveway enclosed by tall pine trees, a wall of dark greens hiding the house from view.
As she turned up the drive a sickening chill set in the pit of her stomach. Lexia lengthened her strides, each crunch of gravel making her cringe. There was movement up ahead in the shadows. She stopped while her eyes adjusted to the dark and then took a step back as she saw what waited for her.
A woman stood ten yards ahead blocking her path to safety, only she wasn’t a human woman; she had blood red eyes that glowed in the darkness and ghostly white skin pulled sharp over her bony face. Her clothes were torn and dirty, clinging tight to bones that seemed to jut from her skin. She held her hands by her side, each long nail curled and ready to strike.
“What do you want?” she called, surprised how strong her voice sounded even though she was shaking with fear.
“You killed my mate, bitch!” the woman spat, leaping for her with lightning-fast speed, closing the space between them in seconds. Lexia had no time to think over the woman’s answer or even time to draw breath and scream. She felt cold, hard steel grip her arms and then cool air rushing past her face. When she hit a tree, pain exploded throughout her body. She gasped as she connected with the hard, ungiving surface, all the air rushing from her lungs. For a second Lexia just laid there, stunned, unable to move even a finger; tears pricked at her eyes as she tried to deal with the pain. A voice screamed in her head, get up, it told her, you can’t just lay here and be killed! FIGHT. Scrambling to her feet Lexia mentally shook herself, I’ve killed three of these things before, I can do this.
Peering out into the darkness Lexia tried to find the vampire woman. Suddenly a ghostly fist appeared before her, Lexia tried to dodge it but wasn’t quick enough. The fist as hard as steel caught the side of her face; it slid off her cheekbone and past her ear as Lexia moved her head. She’d missed the full force of the punch but still felt dazed. She threw punches hoping the vampire would back out while her head stopped spinning.
Her fist connected but the vampire never flinched; each blow felt like hitting concrete. With each wave of pain coming from Lexia’s fists, she felt her sprits drop. Panting furiously Lexia tried again and again to cause the vampire injury, but she was formidable and soon Lexia grew tired. The energy and strength that she had felt drained away with each punch or block she made.
The vampire knocked her to the ground like a rag doll, her razor sharp teeth snapped near her throat. Lexia brought her knees up as a barrier, desperately trying to keep the vampire from her throat but her muscles ached and all the energy seemed to have left her; a dark gloom clouded her mind. There’s no point, Lexia just wanted it to just be over; this fight, the fear, the madness she’d felt gripping at her all day. She looked up into the savage face of the woman above her, the woman who would bring about her death. She no longer looked like a woman, she snapped and snarled like a savage beast and her blood-red eyes bulged from their sockets. Lexia closed her eyes feeling oddly calm preparing for the pain that would surely come with her death. But when her eyes closed she didn’t see darkness but the face of her dad, and then sadness enveloped her as she thought of how he would be alone if she died here now.
Picturing her dad gave her power; it raged through her worn-out muscles, pleasure and pain erupting throughout her body, giving her the strength to throw the vampire off. Lexia felt around on the ground desperately searching for some kind of weapon and as her fingers brushed across a sharp branch, she felt a surge of hope fill her; all light and goodness, she was strong, she was invincible and as the branch sank through the vampire’s heart Lexia smiled, feeling elated. The vampire woman slumped to the floor, the branch still protruding from her chest, her blood-red eyes widened in disbelief, looking at Lexia who stood above her. The adrenaline, the ecstasy rippled through Lexia and for just a moment she stood there feeling like a god, feeling alive, her prey dead at her feet.
And then the body rotted away and panic took over; like a great tsunami Lexia had no hope at stopping it. She ran towards the house feeling her chest constrict, her stomach twist, and with a trembling hand, she unlocked the front door.
Standing in the dark, quiet hall Lexia took huge gasping breaths and collapsed to the floor. There she laid, a trembling, frightened mess lost in the dark, frightening thoughts circling around and around her head.
She crawled up the stairs many hours later, careful not to wake her dad, and stripped off her clothes, climbing between her cool sheets. Closing her eyes, Lexia curled into a tight ball, gripping her knees as small tremors travelled down her body. She willed herself to sleep hoping she could shut out the horrifying images, hoping that maybe she would wake tomorrow and the past two days would have just been a nightmare.

Chapter 3

Her dad left early for work the next morning. Lexia laid there listening to him leave. Normally she would still be fast asleep but she’d tossed and turned all night; vampires and death had haunted her dreams. With no one home it made it easy to skip school.
Lexia couldn’t face the world today; she’d woken, laid in that blissful second before your memory resets, and then her eyes had focused on the hand curled next to her face. All innocent and relaxed until she’d seen the red dots sprinkled across her skin reminding her of the night before, of the death that hand had caused. Lexia thrust her hand under the covers and then pulled them over her head. She planned to stay there for most of the day; she wanted to wallow. School would be over soon anyway, so what did it matter?
When she finally crawled out of the pit of despair, Lexia made the decision to no longer hide from her problems, it was time to try and work out what was happening. Grabbing her laptop Lexia brought up a search engine and typed in ‘Vampire.’ She sat for hours filling her head with information. Most of it seemed to be fantasy, but she was beginning to find out that not everything was as it seemed. By late afternoon she’d ordered herself a stake and a silver knife from a site she’d found - they did next day delivery, too - she hoped nothing would attack her before then.
“I cannot believe they sell this stuff on the internet!” she muttered to herself.
Her phone vibrated again and she looked down to see ten text from Alice, the latest read:
Why aren’t you at school & why are you ignoring me? Up for going out later?
Lexia didn’t reply, she had no idea what to say, she never missed school and she always kept in touch with Alice.
Suddenly her room felt so small; the walls seemed to be closing around her. Vampires and the supernatural buzzed through her mind.
“I’ve got to get out of here.” Lexia ripped off her pajamas as if they were suffocating her, changing into her running clothes as fast as she could. She dashed from her house onto the trail near her home; she’d run this path so many times it felt like a second home.
She watched her feet move steadily over the forest floor until she fell into a steady rhythm. She found herself relaxing, inhaling and exhaling with the thud of her steps.
When a sheen of sweat covered her skin and her breathing grew heavy she turned onto a trail that would lead her back home. Lexia jogged slower, her senses becoming more alert. She got the feeling someone was following her. Someone or something? Her chest tightened and her heart rate doubled as she glanced around, her mind racing. It’s not night time. Vampires can’t go out in the sun? What else was out there if vampires were real?
Catching movement on her right she picked up her pace. Cursing for tiring herself out, Lexia pushed herself to the limit; her heart threatened to beat right out of her chest. She glanced back quickly seeing... What the fuck! Risking another glance, she definitely saw a sleek black panther prowling through the trees.
The panther was closing the gap between them. Lexia’s breathing labored with each hard footfall, but up ahead she could see the exit about 50 yards away.
I’m gonna make it... I am going to make it! she chanted in her mind. But she was growing tired now and panic was setting in making it harder to think clearly. She couldn’t keep up this pace for long; her lungs burned with fiery strain.
But you’re not just anyone a voice whispered in her mind. She pushed past the burn, increasing her speed, tapping into power that had always been there hidden away deep inside. No, not anymore, she thought pushing herself faster.
With the exit just yards away, a surge of hope filled her carrying her through the exit, but she had forgotten about the tree roots that snaked across there. Her foot twisted into a rut pitching her forward; she got her hands out just in time as she hit the ground and the air rushed out of her body.
A car screeched at her side stopping centimeters from her face and scattering gravel into her eyes; her vision blurred as her eyes watered. Lexia scrambled back, wiping at her eyes whilst trying to catch sight of the panther that must surely be on top of her. But in the tree line she saw a blur of midnight black, its gold eyes seemed to glow at her then it turned and vanished back into the undergrowth. Lexia let out the breath she’d been holding.
“Lex! Lexia! Oh my god, are you alright?” Her dad shouted running to her side, shaking her lightly. “Lexia, what were you doing?”
Tearing her eyes from the forest, she focused on her dad’s distraught face. “I...I...I thought I saw something, chasing me, a-an animal.”
Lines of confusion marked his face. “What kind of animal?”
Looking into her dad’s face she thought she might tell him everything. He’d always been there for her, kept her safe, given her the best life… But as he looked at her now like she had lost her mind, she realized that this was a secret she could never tell.
“Lexia, are you sure you’re… look at your eyes... they’re…?”
Lexia tore her eyes away from her dad, his last question lingered in the air. Panic twisted her gut and she jumped to her feet quickly, afraid of the way he was now looking at her. “Yes, yes, I’m fine, must have run too long.” Turning, she dashed to the house and unlocked the door heading for the bathroom, leaving her dad standing in the driveway staring at the spot she just ran from.
He didn’t bother her after that, not even to make her tea, which he did most nights when he made it home in time. She felt lost and confused, his face kept floating across her mind. She couldn’t quite grasp his expression, he looked at her like she was a stranger or his worst nightmare come to life. He felt miles away from her, even though in reality he was just down the hall. She just couldn’t shake the feeling that in that moment, as he had stared into her new eyes, she had lost him forever. The feeling settled heavy in her stomach, twisting at her insides.
She had to get out of the house; there were too many thoughts and feelings churning around inside her, slowly growing and twisting, threatening to consume her.
Lexia was looking at herself in the mirror; she’d put on a short, tight dress that clung to her every curve, it was made in a soft grey material. The color seemed to make her eyes sparkle even brighter, the new ring of gold muted against the crystal blue; she smiled feeling more like her old self.
She tied her long, wavy brown hair over one shoulder, ringlets curling together over her breast, a few escaped curls framing her face. She then paired her dress with long leather boots that stopped just below her knees. She stared at the person before her, the person she used to be. This person in the mirror looking back at her was her old self; she didn’t understand what death was or what it felt like to be utterly lost like a plastic bag floating in the wind. She was young and free; her only worry - to get out of Deadwood.
For a brief moment Lexia wondered if she could pull it off, whether she could climb out of her window like she’d done so many nights before and meet Alice and be an ordinary teenage girl. Fuck it! I can’t sit around here with all my thoughts.
Slipping her fake ID into her purse, she sent a quick text to Alice asking her to meet at the club and then pulled up the window and climbed down. Leaving her worries and troubles behind her, she felt her gut unravel as she landed softly on the ground.
Alice turned up an hour after Lexia arrived. Lexia had already had a few drinks and different men kept coming up to buy her more hoping they would get lucky.
“Jeez, Lex, what are you wearing?”
“It’s new, you like?” She smiled sweetly.
“Well, I see plenty who do,” Alice said, glancing around and glaring at the men who were openly drooling over her exposed thighs.
“You okay, Lex? You’ve not been with it lately. And since when did you dress like a slut?”
“Hey, enough abuse! I just want to have fun! Isn’t that why we came?”
“Ok, I suppose, get us a drink then.”
For the next hour they chatted about boys and school. Lexia felt herself relaxing, the crazy events from the last few days a distant memory. Alice mentioned the amount of drinks she was throwing back a few times but Lexia brushed it off insisting everything was fine.
“Let’s dance!” She pulled Alice up, dragging her toward the dance floor.
“Lexia, it’s eleven, maybe we should head out?”
“I climbed out the window, Dad thinks I’m in bed,” she giggled. “Come on, one dance. Please?” Lexia smiled the kind of goofy smile you smile when on a happy high from too many drinks.
Lexia sauntered onto the dance floor wiggling her hips then she turned around to face Alice. Alice swayed stiffly in front of her. “Come on, Alice, loosen up!” She grasped her hand making her twirl around.
“Stop it!” Alice said.
“Fine!” Lexia dropped Alice’s hand. Turning dramatically she wiggled off into the crowd of bodies until she reached the middle of the dance floor. When she looked back, Alice was walking out the door. She paused for a second giving Lexia a pleading look that said ‘come home with me’ and then disappeared into the night.
For a split second Lexia felt bad but then her happy drunken haze banished that thought and she stomped over to the bar. She didn’t want to think about the fact that Alice was normally the silly one out of the two of them or about the look she’d given her, so Lexia ordered another drink and washed Alice from her mind with the sharp taste of vodka.
Many drinks later, Lexia was well aware she’d had too much to drink but the alcohol had numbed her brain just like she had intended it to. The pounding beat jerked at her body as she swayed to the music. She felt like a puppet being controlled by an invisible master; her hips moved on their own accord under the spell of the music that swirled around her.
Twisting around, she noticed strange brown-gold eyes watching her from the bar. He smiled, noticing her look. As he walked toward her a warning bell chimed in a distant part of her brain, but before she could think of what it meant, his warm hands touched her hips sending sparks across her skin. Drowning in sensation Lexia twirled around, hands in the air, moving along to the hypnotic music, his body pressed along the length of hers, making every nerve come to life. The lights and sounds all seemed to blur together, bodies brushing by hers as they swayed and danced around her, their energy seemed to crackle in the air around them making Lexia’s skin tingle; it was a heady feeling and for once Lexia let go, surrendering to the sensations.
His hands trailed up and down her body leaving a scorching trail. He spun her around, pulling her close till their bodies touched and her breasts rubbed against him. His eyes widened as she gave a slow seductive twist of her hips. She smiled, taunting him; it was so unlike her but she felt as if someone had taken over her body. It felt good, empowering, to feel how she affected him, to see his eyes focus on her only. In that moment as they both swayed and twisted as if one, they felt spellbound, lost in the fever of lust that spun around them like a magical web.
But when someone bumped into Lexia, a jolt ran through her body. Spinning around she looked for the person that had radiated such darkness but she couldn’t see anything; only dancers surrounded her, all lost in their own worlds oblivious to the danger that had just passed by. When Lexia felt hands skim over the curve of her hips, wrapping themselves around her waist and pulling her close, she pulled away. The spell now broken, her vision cleared and shivers that had nothing to do with arousal slid down her spine. Looking up into his eyes now, they seemed so familiar but there was something not quite right about her mystery dancer. Stumbling back she staggered to the exit; he held out his hand to her, a questioning look in those golden-brown eyes but didn’t follow.
Cold air hit her as she stepped out into the dark night. Wrapping her arms around herself, Lexia headed for home realizing how stupid she’d been tonight; getting so drunk when danger seemed to be following her around every corner. She knew she had to do more than just type ‘vampire’ into a search engine; she’d changed and now she was seeing the world for how it was. Had there always been darkness around her and she’d only just noticed it? She couldn’t carry on being so reckless, otherwise she may wind up dead.
Lexia managed to walk home without seeing anyone and as she snuggled into bed she felt as if she was finally coming to terms with the events of the past few days. Feeling suddenly exhausted, sleep claimed her almost straight away and she drifted off dreaming of a golden-eyed stranger drawing tingling trails across her skin.



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