Inner Animal Ch. 05byRavenMoon©
Here is Chapter 5! I'm exhausted as I post this but I hope you enjoy the (hopefully longer) chapter!
Jason once again walked her to her door after the date. She hovered at her door unsure of how to act. Glancing up at his face, she saw his warm eyes gaze into her face and gulped. Feeling as though she was on the edge of something major, she refused to look away. As he reached down and stroked the hair out of her face, her skin tingled at the touch. Reaching forward she tentatively pressed her lips against his to which he gently responded. His warm fingers on her neck sent pleasant tingles down her spine as she allowed herself to be wrapped in his presence and earthy scent. Pulling away, she dabbed her lips with her tongue and saw his eyes smoulder.
Her voice was unintentionally husky. "Thank you for tonight."
He smiled gently. "It was my pleasure."
He swept the hair out of her face once more before brushing the back of his fingers against her cheek. "Goodnight Danielle."
As he walked away, she watched him: the way in which he carried himself- how there was an ease to his stride and yet an undeniable confidence. Turning around, she put her key in the door and entered the flat. Noticing Mark stretched out on the sofa bed, she quietly locked the door and slipped off her shoes.
"Hi..." The groggy voice from the sofa caught her attention.
"Hey, sorry did I wake you?"
Sitting up underneath the duvet, his messy hair stuck up at different angles and he rubbed at his eyes. "No, I couldn't sleep. How did it go?"
"Good, can I get you anything?"
"A hot chocolate would be amazing."
She smiled at him before carrying herself over to the kitchen. Turning on the kettle, she grabbed two cups. "So have I missed anything?"
She saw him check his phone before running a hand through his hazardous hair. "Not really."
"Any word from the landlord?" The sink in the bathroom had been broken for the past couple of days and had yet to be fixed.
He pulled a face at her. "Nope."
Grimacing along with him, she finished making the drinks before carrying them over to the sofa. He shifted his position so she could sit down before covering her with part of the duvet. Passing him the cup, he took a grateful sip. Danielle snuggled down and began to savour the creamy flavour.
"So are you seeing him again?" She nodded. "So he left a good impression."
Unable to help laughing, she nudged him with her foot. "Yes," She shrugged. "He's a good kisser."
They both laughed quietly to avoid waking Gina and Charlie in the next room. When Mark was unable to suppress a yawn, she frowned. "Is there any particular reason why you couldn't sleep?"
He sighed. "I've just something on my mind."
"Something or someone?" She teased.
He rolled his eyes. "Alright, someone." He snuggled deeper into the comfort of the mattress. "It's just this guy I met the other day..."
A shy smile tugged at his lips. "It sounds stupid but I can't stop thinking about him."
"Did you get his number?"
He seemed to lose focus for a moment. "No. I would have asked for it but I got the feeling that he didn't want to give it- like he was uncomfortable or something. Don't get me wrong he's definitely gay but it was like he was worried that people might figure it out..." Danielle snuggled up to him and gave him a hug. He rested his chin on the top of her head. "Thanks."
"No problem. What are we like, hey?"
He laughed shortly before giving her a quick squeeze and releasing her. "So this Jason, is it starting to get serious or...?"
She held up a hand. "Don't even go there- I don't even want to think about it."
"What do you mean?"
Danielle seemed to ponder over her words for a moment. "If I start thinking about it in terms of us having 'a relationship' I may have to run for the hills."
Mark raised an eyebrow. "Isn't it meant to be the guy who reacts to commitment like he would a circumcision without anaesthesia?"
"You always did have a way with words." Picking at the duvet, she felt Mark's curious gaze on the side of her face. "I don't want to feel trapped into something- and there'd be so much pressure and..."
"Dan, he's already interested- he's made that much clear by asking you out in the first place. You don't have to prove yourself to him." He smiled slightly. "You know, I don't think I've ever seen this side to you before."
"The vulnerable side." When she rolled her eyes, he persisted. "No, seriously- I've seen you upset once or twice but never like this."
"Well trust me you won't be seeing it often." When she grabbed both of the mugs, she stood up and rinsed them.
Mark lay back and rested his head on her hands while watching her move. "Why not?"
"Hm?" She blinked out of her thoughts before looking at him. "It's just the way I am."
"Sure it is..." She gave him a withering look which caused him to grin. "OK, OK, I get it: it's a no go."
Danielle rubbed the back of her neck in agitation. "It's just... things have happened and I don't like talking about them." She began to mumble. "I don't even like to think of them."
"Hey," Danielle looked up at him to see that his grin had faded into a gentle smile. "We love you exactly the way you are."
A feeling of warmth spread through her. "Thanks and right back at you." Sighing out a deep breath, I ran my hands over my face. "Anyway, I'd best head to bed- we've got a nice long shift tomorrow."
He grunted in agreement before lying back down. "Goodnight."
"Goodnight." Making her way over her room, she shut the door.
The beginning of the next day started out smoothly enough. Danielle spent her day looking after Charlie with Gina while Mark went out to get some food. The little boy seemed to love all of the attention and giggled as Danielle began to tickle him while Gina sorted out his dinner. It was later when the trouble began. It was Gina's night off so Mark drove himself and Danielle to the club. The conversation was light as they travelled, with Mark singing along to the CD playing.
Danielle pretended to wince. "Mark, please, this night is going to be long as it is..."
His eyes briefly left the road to pull a face at her. "I'm not that bad." Mark was a brilliant singer and guitar player but had little faith in his abilities.
"No, you're not. Seriously, why don't you do any gigs?"
He shrugged as they pulled up before he turned off the ignition. "I've just never thought I was up to it."
As they made their way into the building, they swapped brief goodbyes before each going to their own areas.
Danielle walked into the changing room to be met with Lily, Justine, Becky, Olivia and Carley.
"How did it go?" Lily asked as she strolled over to lean against Danielle's locker as she began to change.
"Yeah, it was alright."
"What's this?" Justine interjected.
Lily looked back towards her. "Danielle went on a date with a guy."
Justine's eyes looked towards Danielle. "Was it that guy again?"
Shifting slightly, Danielle replied. "Yeah."
Carley bounced on over. "Go Danielle! I'm so proud of you- getting back on the saddle!"
She rolled her eyes at her. "It's not like that."
Justine frowned. "So what is it like?"
Danielle sighed. "I don't know- I'm trying not to over think it."
Becky gave a kind smile. "Just go with the flow."
After some more idle conversation and teasing, Danielle made her way out to the main room and wondered over to the bar where Mark was casually chatting to the other barman. As he saw her a smile came across his face and he kissed her cheek. "You look gorgeous as always."
As a coloured light came across the bar to illuminate the bar in the dark room, he began to sort out the bottles on the shelf behind him. Danielle rested her arms across the smooth surface of the counter. "How long until we open?"
"About ten minutes."
Nodding, she made her way over to the stage and began to stretch against the pole in the centre of the stage. Feeling the familiar pull and movement of muscle beneath her skin brought warmth and satisfaction to her soul. Beginning some basic spins she noticed the others approach the stage from the corner of her eyes.
It wasn't long before the doors opened and the trouble began. At first it wasn't so bad: some nights were worse than others. Guys gathered around the stage and began to wolf whistle and shout out. The place was particularly busy and a silent tension began to build. Danielle saw the bouncers become agitated and shuffle in their places, their eyes warily taking in the surroundings.
Trying desperately to separate herself from the crowd, Danielle tried to shut off the sound of name calling and crude language as a group of men began to jeer at the stage. She noticed one of the security approach the group and speak to them, he was met with swearing and shouts. As another member of the security came over, they began to haul the men out.
Finishing her performance, she made her way off the stage and towards the bar; on her way there she was blocked by a large man who staggered on the spot. "Alright, darling? Fancy a dance?"
Trying to sidestep him, she sighed when he blocked her movements. As he reached for her, she stepped back. "No thank you."
"Come on, don't be like that. I know you love it." He slurred and she gritted her teeth. When his hand stretched out towards her, she gripped his wrist and with a quick manoeuvre had him on his knees with his back towards her.
Dom walked over with a big smile on his face. "Is everything alright over here, Midnight?"
She smiled sweetly. "I said no."
He chuckled to himself before crouching down to face the guy. "You only get one warning here and I think that Midnight here has delivered it quite nicely. If we get any more trouble from you, you're out. Got it?"
When he remained silent, she tugged at his twisted arm and he yelled. "Well?"
"Yeah, I got it- I GOT IT!"
Slowly, she released him and he pulled himself up. Turning around he sneered. "Bitch." She barely had time to shut her eyes before he spat in her face. Wiping her face with the back of her face she watched as Dom dragged the guy to the entrance.
Grimacing, she made her way over to the bar where Mark passed her a napkin so that she could clean herself. "Thanks."
"Are you OK?"
"Oh, I'm wonderful." She remarked sarcastically. "I think I need a fag."
He quickly passed her cigarettes and lighter and she made her way outside. Ignoring the freezing air, she lit up and savoured the temporary peace. There seemed to be no one else around her as she huddled in on herself and she rested her head against the brick wall behind her. Closing her eyes, she listened to the sounds of nature around her and the gentle whisper of wind through bare trees. She hated nights like this.
The sound of muffled shouts and scuffling had her frowning. Quickly distinguishing her cigarette, she made her way back inside. An argument was brewing near the bar but the sound of pounding music drowned out the angry words. She was about to intercept when Carley came over. Even her energetic demeanour had been quashed by the events of the night. "You're up, sweetie."
Pulling a comforting smile across her features, she made her way over to the stage and stepped up. Her leather boots seemed to gleam in the dim lighting and she made her way over to the centre of the stage, ignoring the harsh remarks of the men close by, she tried to get into the rhythm of the song. As Nickleback's 'Something in your mouth' began to play, she focused on the sound of her breathing and movements while trying to keep an eye on the situation at the bar.
Finishing with some simple floor work and a steamy look, she steadily got up and quickly began to make her way to the bar. She was nearly there when a pair of arms wrapped around her and pulled her back. A loud laugh came from behind her as she attempted to pull herself out of the hold before a sweaty forehead was pressed against her neck.
"Get off me!" She demanded but he ignored her protests as he pulled her towards the crowd. Danielle saw some of the girls try and make their way over but were blocked by other men.
As panic began to set in, she elbowed behind her to hear a small cry before he tugged at her harder. "Stop moving, slut."
Dom came over and tugged his off, breaking the iron grip and dragging him away, at the same time Danielle saw a stocky man lash out and hit Mark knocking him to the ground. Running over, she desperately weaved through the people to get to him. The other bartender, Greg, was crouched down next to him. When he saw her approaching, he returned to tending the bar while she looked him over. Mark blinked slowly while he tried to drag himself up.
"Mark, are you OK? No- just stay still for a minute."
She saw him dab at his split lip with the back of his hand before looking up at her. "Yeah, I'm fine."
Carefully, she helped him up. He staggered slightly and she steadied him before beginning to lead him towards the back rooms. Walking into the women's toilets, she ignored Olivia who was reapplying lipstick to get some tissue. Mark carefully leant against the sinks while Olivia looked between the pair wide eyed. "What happened?"
"It's nothing." Mark sighed.
"It doesn't look like nothing."
"It's just the usual: a guy had too much to drink."
Danielle soaked the tissue in warm water before carefully wiping the blood off Mark's lip. He rolled his eyes before taking it off her and doing it himself. "It's fine."
Sighing, she leaned against a stall and turned to the caramel haired girl. "How's your night going?"
She grimaced. "I'm looking forward to getting home and seeing Becky."
"Is she staying over at yours again, tonight?"
Her eyes seemed to light up when Danielle mentioned the girl's partner. "Yeah."
Danielle couldn't suppress her smile as she chirpily put her make-up away and headed towards the door. She wasn't gone long before she popped her head around the door. "Hey, Mark? Dom's just told me that the manager is coming in and that he's said you can go early."
Mark tried to smile but winced when his lip stretched. "I'm fine to work till the end of my shift."
She seemed sheepish before scratching the back of her neck. "Erm, well I didn't really want to say this but he's kind of insisting that you go. He doesn't want you to sue."
When Danielle saw that he was about to argue again, she quickly interrupted. "Enjoy the break, go on go home and get some sleep."
"I'd need to wait for you anyway."
"No you don't, I can catch the bus back."
"No buts! Go on! I'm not taking no for an answer."
He frowned before giving her a quick hug. "Alright, but you call me as soon as you leave and when the bus arrives."
"Ok," She pulled out of his embrace and gently pushed him towards Olivia. "Now go."
As the pair left, Danielle took a moment to compose herself before walking out.
Leaning back into the comfort of his seat, Jason frowned. The pressure was mounting to write up a contract which would be agreeable to both parties and the alpha from the other pack was getting impatient. Gazing out of the window, he frowned at the downpour which tapped relentlessly at the pane. How was it that the day had once again passed so quickly?
A lone figure in the rain caught his attention. The woman shivered by a bus stop and as the vehicle passed she looked up.
"Stop the car." At Jason's swift order, the car slowed to a stop and he opened the door. "Danielle?"
Her wide green eyes focused on his face and he noticed how her lower lip trembled. "Jason?"
As she hurried over, he made room for her and she gratefully slid in. Her hair hung limply around her pale face and she shivered.
"How long have you been stood there?"
"About half an hour, I think." Noting the slight purple tint to her lips, he slipped off his coat and placed it over her shoulders. As she snuggled deeper into its warmth, he signalled the driver to continue.
"Any better?" He asked as he pulled the material tighter around her.
"A little," She sighed. "It looks like my luck is improving."
"What do you mean?"
When her eyes met his he noted a tinge of sadness which she quickly covered. "It's just been a long night."
Sensing that she was withholding information his brow creased. "Why, what happened?"
He face fell into a frown. "Just the usual: some guys felt the need to call us every name under the son." When he gave her a stern look, she seemed to give in. "A guy spat in my face, another grabbed me and a drunk decided to kick off at Mark."
Jason took a deep breath to try and smother the inferno of rage that was burning through his veins. "Are you alright? And Mark?"
"I'm fine but Mark got a split lip." He shoulders dropped and he saw a glimpse of vulnerability in her. "It's more tiring than anything."
Cut deeply by her despair, he pulled her to him so he could rest her head on his chest. Rubbing a hand up and down her arm, he tried to provide extra warmth. "I'm sorry you had to go through that."
"It's not your fault."
Resting his head on top of hers, he inhaled her sweet scent. A warmth in his chest blossomed at the aroma. "How about you have a bath and something to eat at mine before you go back? That way you can relax a little before having to face tomorrow?"
She moaned into his chest and the sound sent a shot of lust to his groin. "That sounds AMAZING." He quickly asked the driver to take them to his cabin and Danielle looked up at him; her brow wrinkled in confusion. "Cabin?"
"It's where I stay when I want to get away from it all."
She settled once more before reaching inside her pocket and trying to dial with numb fingers. He watched her try for a few more moments before speaking up. "Do you need a hand?"
Glancing up at him, she briefly bit her lip before giving a quick nod of her head. "Can you phone Mark, please? He wanted me to let him know when I was travelling back."
Carefully taking the mobile from her icy fingers, Jason looked through her contacts before he found Mark's number and dialled.
The voice on the other end was sleepy and gruff. Quickly, looking at his watch he noticed the time. "Hello?"
"Hello Mark, it's Jason Evans."
"Oh hi," He heard him yawn. "Is Danielle OK?"
"Yeah, she's right here with me. I heard about what happened, how's the lip?"
"It's fine- I've had worse."
"I'm glad to hear it. I'm taking Danielle to mine so she can have a break before tomorrow."
"Right, thanks it'll do her some good. Can I have a quick word with her, please?"
"Sure." Passing the phone to Danielle, he smiled.
"Hello? Hi Mark, no it's fine. Honestly. OK, yep, I'll see you in a bit. OK- try and get some sleep. Ok, bye."
Clumsily, she ended the call before slipping the phone back into her pocket. Resting against him once more, the rest of the trip took place in a comfortable silence. As the car began to pull up beside a forest, he saw Danielle quickly lift herself up to peer out of the window. He head her breathing accelerate along with her heartbeat as she looked, her hand reached up to gingerly hover near the door handle. As her scent seemed to become stronger with her excitement, he became amazed at how well tuned her was to her. The pull towards her was undeniable and he couldn't seem to bring himself to put space between them or to break contact. What was this woman doing to him?
She looked over her shoulder with wide eyes. "Is this yours?"
He smiled. "Yes."
A glow seemed to light up her face and as the car stopped, she quickly opened the door and jumped out. Following her out, he followed her past the few trees that provided a small amount of privacy before coming across the front door. Pulling out a set of keys from his pocket, he unlocked it and opened it for her.