S for Soul Mate
If Damian had possessed a beating heart, it would have leapt out of his throat in shock. As it was, he merely grew as stock-still as the hard clump of ice in his chest that he had for so long thought was incapable of feeling anything.
Did she know that he was following her? Why else would she stop so suddenly and stare right at where he was standing?
He was not able to make himself invisible, but as many others of his kind he had perfected the art of blending in and cloaking himself with matter so as to not attract any attention. Dressed in black and ensconced in a corner well out of the reach of the street lights, he wasn’t more than an indistinct blur, although his emerald eyes glowed with emotion.
There she was, looking right at him and not through him. His Sheila, his obsession.
While part of him was still wondering and worrying—Had infatuation made him careless? Was he losing his preternatural gifts?—a much bigger part reveled in being able to study her face clearly. He hardly ever caught a frontal view of her because he was reduced to spying on her, and her beauty seemed out of this world.
Tonight she was wearing her chestnut hair piled high on her head, the longest strands cascading down to tickle her shoulders. It left her tantalizing neck exposed, and he could feel his fangs elongating with the acute need to sink into that column of flesh.
Damian feasted on her features, determined to drink her up with his eyes and memorize her for a lifetime because he couldn’t break the Law and actually drink her blood.
More than physical beauty—of which she lacked none—it was what her facial features told about her personality that fascinated him. Her eyes were full of a secret fire, somewhere between feminine warmth and fierce power, and they shone not only with intelligence but also with determination. Her pupils were slightly dilated, and he could see her delicate nostrils flare a little. Her luscious lips were pressed into a thin line, and his superhuman eyesight saw the blood rush through the soft tissue. If he could just scrape the tips of his teeth ever so slightly across those lips and lick away a droplet of her taste, if he could just…
He actually shook himself, something that seemed all too human and uncharacteristically weak. She, on the other hand, looked strong and in control, if you disregarded the way her teeth pressed into her lower lip, fueling his desire to bite her.
She was standing proud and erect and taller than every clueless person around her. Her pale skin was almost luminous in the street lamp’s glow; her hands were fisted but not clenched.
She was a mystery.
Everything about her spoke to him, pulled at him, as if she had sunk tiny hooks into his very soul. She wasn’t just an obsession, she wasn’t just a source of wonder and a fount of delicious blood that would go to his head like the best designer drug. She was his soul mate. He could feel it deep down inside where nothing had been felt for centuries.
But how on earth could a vampire and a human ever bond? As per the Law, they weren’t even allowed to speak because he was no hunter and she was no prey.
Just when Damian had decided that he needed to get a grip on himself and vanish before he brought trouble upon them both, she shocked him again.
I can see you.
Her lips remained shut, by the looks of it pressed together even tighter now, but her voice was ringing inside his head, wreaking havoc with the last fleeting bit of reason.
Frozen in place, awash with the glory of her silent voice invading his mind but also alight with more confusion than he had ever felt, he was unable to react. Her voice spoke silently again, a caress more intimate than any touch could have been.
I see you. I feel you. I know you, yet I don’t know you.
Shivers slithered up and down his spine. If her thought voice could make him shudder, what would a touch, a taste, do to him? Was she his doom, sent from the devil?
Who are you? The question penetrated deep, more a command to reveal himself than a plea for knowledge.
Damian jerked into action as if he had no will of his own.
He threw off his shield and took three measured steps into the street, mindless of whoever might see him apart from the only one in the world who mattered now.
The moment he stopped, Sheila lifted her hands, palms facing him. To stop him? To ward off evil? To ensure his attention?
He could feel her gaze on him, wandering over his body like searching hands, crawling in torturous slow motion, making him tingle. She took in every single inch of his form, and he could sense invisible fingers slide around in his head too, as if her gaze held X-rays to scan him.
The moment dragged forever, and he felt helpless and enthralled at the same time.
Sheila dropped her hands, and the next moment her mouth relaxed and stretched into a slow, secretive smile that made his blood boil with need.
Damian the Dark, her voice whispered in his head.
When he automatically executed a small bow and raised his eyebrows in a silent question, her smile widened.
You and I were meant to meet.
Her statement jolted him out of his reverie, and he took some less measured steps closer, sending his own thought voice out to her.
Who are you?