Damien Night Ch. 03byAutumnRayven©
Sorry this has taken so long, and for the formatting. I still can't upload word documents. And it's not done yet. This could be good or bad depending on how you want to look at it. Hope you enjoy it either way.
He kept his end of the bargain. Annabelle woke with a fully risen sun glaring at her through her one window and no Damien to be found. They spent the remainder of the evening in silence last night and he made no attempt to amend that. It was strangely comfortable while she finished her coffee, and then she left without saying a word. It was confounding as to what exactly he was trying to do there which was probably the point. He would doubtless do anything to wear her down for what? Did he really just want to fuck her as he'd so callously stated in her bathroom that first night? Lying in bed she was suddenly regretting not asking more questions.
She laughed and shook her head after she'd stared at the white plaster ceiling for another 20 minutes. He might not have been there, but he still managed to wake her earlier than she would have liked. Most responsible adults would have clucked their tongues at the fact that she was still in bed at 9:30 in the morning on a weekday, but she wasn't exactly a normal responsible adult.
She reluctantly climbed out of bed, slipped on a pair of black yoga pants and thin pink tank top, and meandered into the kitchen in search of something breakfasty. She was frowning over the expired date on her gallon of milk in the open door of her refrigerator when that dissonant chord in her senses chimed. She didn't even bother looking this time.
"It's still early." She mumbled.
"But you are already up so I'm good. I also brought a peace offering."
She heard the crinkle of a paper bag as he set something on the counter and sent the scent of butter, cheese and sausage wafting across the tiny kitchen. She knew the smell of a good breakfast sandwich anywhere. She turned around to find him sitting on what little cream colored counter there was next to the twin steel sinks. She was relieved to see the sandy blond hair she was used to, but today he wore a simple black duster over his t-shirt, boots and jeans. Strange since the weather still hadn't turned cold.
"Peace? As in you've decided to leave me alone?" She asked without much hope. There was no way she was turning that sandwich down though.
"No, trying to butter you up. Is it working?" He reminded her more of an imp than a demon at that moment. That was a good thing. Imps weren't really sexy and the sex was the part she was having the hardest time resisting.
"So, you like you're meals basted?" She asked unable to the resist the bad pun as she took the sandwich from him. It was a mistake. The smile he flashed her in response effectively evaporated all imp-like qualities and made her knees weak. Damn him.
"Come on, we're going to Galveston today."
"I have to work." She said more to the sandwich than to him.
"No you don't."
"And how do you know that?"
"You write everything on your calendar. How do you think I found you before?"
"And before that?"
"Followed the cab home."
The guy could randomly completely change his appearance and appear anywhere he wanted to. Suddenly her concern over how he found her anywhere was meaningless.
"Then the answer is just 'no, thank you'. There I even said it politely." She gave him a half smile then continued to devour the breakfast he'd brought.
"Because being cooped up in a small space alone with me is so much more appealing?" He asked, dropping down off the counter and leaning back on his elbows.
Annabelle finished chewing the bite she'd just taken, and then glared at the sandwich like somehow it could be blamed for all of this. The prospect of being alone with him for an unknown number of hours was dangerously tempting.
"Galveston sounds lovely." She answered, putting the sandwich aside. "When do we leave?"
He cocked his head to the side and looked her up and down casually.
"After you change?"
'Yay! Another round of stare at the naked girl', Annabelle thought to herself. You would think a supernatural being who gave the impression of being considerably older than anything she knew would be more than a godforsaken pervert. She gritted her teeth and turned to make the short walk to the bedroom. At the door she looked back to find him still leaning against the cheap Formica countertop.
"Not coming?" She asked with a tight smile thoroughly against him holding any sort of pretense in this situation.
Damien laughed but refrained from voicing his first thought on that.
"Do you want me to?"
"No. But you..." She started, their first meeting in her little bathroom still fresh in her mind.
"Then I'll wait here. I told you, play nice and I'll reciprocate."
"Right." She walked into her bedroom more than just a little flustered wishing she had the emotional stamina, or even capability, to be pissed at him 24/7. She picked out a pair of jeans, her green top with the empire waist line, and black flip-flops. Changing quickly she headed back to the main living area while taking deep breaths and telling herself she could do this. Whatever he had planned for her she could resist.
"What, no black?" He asked playfully as she emerged from the bedroom.
"I'm only a part time goth. So how exactly are we getting to Galveston?" Getting out of the little apartment wasn't such a bad idea even if it was with some otherworldly sex crazed entity, but still... "I've yet to see you drive a car and my travel-by-thought skills are a little rusty."
"Really? I seduce women for a living in the literal sense and you don't think I have a car? You don't spend much time with your own kind do you?"
"No." She said flatly. How could he know anything about her kind? She wasn't a superficial Barbie Doll on the lookout for her next sugar daddy. She didn't even like things. She wasn't sure she really liked anything. Oh well, she didn't give a rats ass about other women anyway.
"Come on. Let me show you why women like cars."
Annabelle rolled her eyes but followed him, locking the door behind them on the way out.
It wasn't hard to figure out where they were heading the second she hit the parking area. It was a deep pearl black, all smooth curves hugging the ground like a panther preparing to pounce on some unsuspecting victim. She had a feeling it would share the deadly feline's low growl when he started it up as well.
"Ferrari." She noted when the familiar prancing pony on its yellow background came into view. "Shock surprise."
"Hmmm...sarcasm; your defense mechanism of choice." He fired back as he opened the passenger door for her.
She slid into a leather seat softer to the touch than any she'd encountered before. A swift glance around the small cabin after he shut the door produced more details than she cared to consider. You didn't have to be an aficionado to see the consideration put into every inch of this particular car masterpiece. So this was luxury? She wanted to care less though having nearly every control right on the wheel instead of off various protrusions sticking out to the side was nice. There were no cup holders, though.
"What do you think so far?" She heard from the driver's side as he slid in and shut the door.
"Nothing I'd sell my soul for."
"I should hope not, Annabelle."
"Really? Then why do you have the car?"
"I just like the reaction it gets."
His thumb brushed the red button on the wheel and the car immediately responded to his touch. Even expected the low rumble made her jump. Of course while Damien did a lot of things to her, making her comfortable wasn't on the list so nearly everything around him made her jump.
"Fast or slow?" The car started to back up prompting her to click her safety belt into place.
"Slow please." She answered quietly, a nervous tremor in her voice as she eyed the car with the same wariness as the panther it reminded her of.
He stopped there in the middle of the parking lot and stared at her until she looked back at him.
"How about if I guarantee you that nothing bad will happen to you while you are in this car?"
"What? What's so great about going fast?" She asked a confused frown on her face.
"It's about not being in control all the time. You barely even lose your temper. Haven't you ever wondered what it's like just to let go?"
'Every. Fucking. Day.'
"And how is being in a car going fast doing that?" She asked with mild contempt.
"It's a new experience, an adrenaline rush, a situation in which you have no control...take your pick."
Life was exactly as she planned it; a controlled orderly placement of events. Those around her were nothing more than random objects that bounced off her well placed barriers. Emotions were small blips; empirical evidence recorded distantly as data and summarily dismissed. Anger, sadness, happiness, desire; they may peak for a moment but the next they were gone. She was numb to the world and had been for years, other than the annoyance she found in people. Sometimes she wondered if she was even human. Since he showed up things had changed. She was jumpy, her heart raced, she fought desire when it had never been an issue before. It wasn't that she'd never felt them, but now they seemed to penetrate that barrier between her and the rest of the world. They lingered. Yes the unerring control was still there, but now it seemed to have a purpose.
Annabelle shook her head suddenly. It was a bad idea. Everything with him was a bad idea.
"You can't possibly guarantee nothing bad will happen."
"And four days ago you would have said that demons can't possibly exist, yet here I am. I think your sphere of possibility is a little larger than you'd like to believe."
'And growing daily', she thought to herself.
"Fine. Let's go."
Damien smiled to himself as he put the 458 Italia in drive. He was finally giving her a ride. No it wasn't the one he was driving towards, but it definitely got him a step closer. He took it easy at first. Even midmorning on a Monday traffic on Westheimer had a tendency to be thick. Hopefully he'd get lucky and find clear sailing all the way to Galveston once he hit 610. Putting the car through her paces would take the edge off some his hunger. While most of the marvels of technology from the current century and the last had passed him by without so much as a nod in his direction there was something about sports cars, and it wasn't just the edge it gave on some female psyches. Sleek power that responded enthusiastically to the slightest touch, they were the technological equivalent to lust.
He watched her shift uncomfortably out of the corner of his eye as he maneuvered through traffic.
"It's not really meant for city driving unless you just want to show off."
"Oh? What else is it meant for?"
"Speed, pure and simple, and it does it well. That's what it was built for. It is a travesty to waste this much power cruising some traffic laden side street."
Damien cleared the on ramp to the 610 loop giving the Ferrari a little nudge as he started slipping through checkered traffic. There were still too many cars to really open her up, but the intention was evident in that first gentle thrust as his foot tapped the accelerator.
"Fast enough I think."
"We're barely breaking 80. She's not even warmed up yet, and you are not in control this time."
"And the possibility of getting pulled over?"
"Promise you it's not a problem." He answered focusing on dodging traffic while pushing 90 mph.
He had to slow to merge onto 45 and again at the beltway - dammit Houston traffic sucked – but the road on the other side of the line of cars waiting to enter was as open as it ever got in this city.
"Ready for this?"
"Not really." She had a white-knuckle grip on the edge of her seat. Funny that a strange creature showing up in her bathroom in the middle of the night scared her less than a car.
He downshifted and pressed the accelerator to the floor causing 570 horses to suddenly, and eagerly, lunge forward. The force thrust her back against the seat to the sound of an engine that was felt as much as heard. Annabelle had to wonder what the hell scaring the shit out of her – again – was going to accomplish, then the machine relaxed into the momentum like it was born to. The other cars were nothing but a flash of color as Damien slid through them with the skill of a Formula 1 racer and a smile on his face. That familiar adrenaline rush burned through her, quelling the fear. She could almost taste it; what it might be like to throw her head back and howl, to just let go. Maybe she just needed to scare herself badly enough that whatever emotional lockdown was activated every time things started to build to high just broke. It took an act of will not to tell him to go faster. He was right. By the time he reigned the Ferrari back in just before Highway 6, Annabelle liked this car.
A few minutes after they had slowed he inclined his head towards a black and white sitting on the side of the road. "I fear the ride is over."
"How did you know he was there?" She asked, the smile in her voice and the way her breath came a little harder surprising her.
"Thoughts travel far." He answered with a sly grin. "I think we'll start at this coffee shop on The Strand and go from there."
"And what exactly do you hope to accomplish on this little venture?" She queried a few moments later, staring out across Galveston bay as they passed over the causeway.
She saw him smile out of the corner of her eye as he downshifted to slow them for the approach to Harborside, something else obviously crossing his mind before he answered. "Thought I'd get to know you since I can't do anything else with you at the moment."
"Oh? And are you going to return to the favor?"
"Of course. I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm sure you'll find me intriguing and your interest is exactly what I'm after."
She could smack him for being an arrogant prick, but he was also annoyingly right. The more he came around the more questions she had though he flat out refused to answer the one that burned the brightest. She should just sit silently until he left. The last thing she needed was to cultivate any sort of interest in him beyond how to get away from him, but she'd done that once and found herself regretting it. And he didn't seem interested in leaving no matter what she did.
He said nothing else as they passed gas stations, industrial stock yards and a half-built barge on their way to a piece of the city that had barely changed in the last century. She absently wondered if he'd seen it in its heyday before that storm she was always hearing about hit and nearly destroyed the island. When the dirty industrial streets gave way to tall brick buildings and trolley track lined roads she gave in and ended the silence.
"So, where are you from?" It was a perfectly sensible question that probably had the least sensible answer possible.
"Good question." He deftly inserted the black sports car in between a white Escalade and red Prius parallel parked against the high curb, killed the engine, and turned toward her. "Tell you what, for every question I answer I get to ask a question that you will answer. Truthfully. Deal?"
Annabelle sat there for a few minutes considering his offer. She was going to break one of those cardinal rules again, but wow what an opportunity.
"Really? You don't sound Egyptian." Not that it should matter considering he wasn't even human. How exactly was a demon supposed to sound?
"Let's see that was about the time they were building some of their first pyramids so it's been a while." He stepped out of the car while she stared at his empty seat in disbelief. His door shut and hers opened with him standing on the street. "Coming?"
"The pyramids? That makes you..."
He stepped to the side as she started to climb out of the seat.
"Your history books place them around 3000 BC so somewhere around 5000 years old."
Five thousand years wasn't possible. Not even a little possible. There were rocks younger than this guy.
"Why did you say our 'history books'?"
"My kind doesn't tell time the way you do so it's the best guess I have." He shut the door as she walked to the curb considering the possibility that she'd gone mad and all of this was somehow happening solely in her head. She started to ask another question when he cut her off. "I think it's my turn."
She stopped and turned toward him, impatient to hear his enquiry so she could get on with hers. Five thousand years? Where the fuck would she start? He stepped to where she was and leaned close to her ear so she could feel his breath across her neck sending chills down her spine. Of course he couldn't just politely ask what her favorite color was.
"What do you think about when you pleasure yourself, Annabelle?"
She stepped back and gave him an indignant look. There was no way he was getting the answer to that. How the hell was that 'getting to know her'? When she opened her mouth to tell him as much nothing came out. She couldn't speak.
"You made a deal, love. If I answer your question you are required to answer mine."
He got the 'if' and she got the 'required'. He made sure she didn't miss that fact. Damn she'd been short sighted when she said 'yes' this time. Annabelle tried to request a more private place to answer but not even that worked. If she didn't answer she did not speak. At least the easy truce that was developing between had been upended on this one.
"You, Damien, I thought of you. Happy?"
"And before me?"
Again she was mute. Damn getting carried away with the questions. In a manner of speaking the answer was still the same. Human men had never really been that interesting to her. It was always something else. God she was a nutcase.
"I don't know. Aliens. Other things. Please don't ask me this." She put her face in her hands trying to hide her embarrassment. The emotion was unfamiliar to her. At least feeling it this strongly was. He said nothing else and when she looked up he was messing with the parking metre. It spit out a receipt a few seconds later even though he'd never inserted a card or cash.
"Yes." Annabelle answered without hesitation. Finally a question she was happy to answer. In order to avoid that happening again she would have to avoid questions altogether. Five thousand years' worth of questions. That was just...evil.
Damien led her to the front door of a rather large coffee shop with "MOD Coffee Shop" silk screened in white letters on the glass inset framed by brown wood. Off to the right at another entrance sat a man with a pretty dog and woman with an obnoxious black fur shrug drinking white wine at the café style metal tables. There was greenery, large elephant ears and pretty ferns, set everywhere.
Rough hardwood floors greeted her feet when she stepped through the door he held open for her, and the moderate tones of individuals from all walks of life chatting greeted her ears. There was a brief lull as people stopped talking momentarily to note the Adonis standing next to her before returning to their conversations. The place was amazing.
"Two coffees, please." He paid the barista who smiled to much as she set down to oversized cups of coffee, then he led her to the left where, among the clutter of memorabilia and teas for sale, sat cream and sugar any way you might want it. After customizing their beverages it was off to another part of the shop.
"Any other questions?" He asked once they'd found a pair of comfy seats situated around a little coffee table and away from everyone else in the adjoining room.
"No." Annabelle concentrated on her coffee trying to ignore the flush that graced her cheeks now. The emotion was lingering. It should be gone now.