Haunted Prey Ch. 03bypurefire©
The son of a bitch was blocking all of his moves. As many times as he tried to throw up a bolt of energy, the large black demon found a way to block his moves. Why couldn't this have been as easy as taking down the other four bastard demons? And then the demon used its talons to swipe at his chest. The pain was instant; the burn caused his pectorals to seize almost unbearably and it hurt to breathe. Shit, the demon was good.
The high pitched tortured scream made him refocus his attention on the goal. He had to get to her before it was too late. She needed him and he would do whatever it took to make sure she made it out alive. He finally found his opening and pushed the bastard demon back. The pain in his hands was nothing compared to the burn that came with shocking the bastard to hell. The beast was quick to disintegrate into ash. It wasn't enough to satisfy his bloodlust, but it would have to do.
She needed him.
She was screaming again, and the sound made his heart thud in his chest. It wasn't just adrenaline; no, fear and anxiety gripped him, forced him to neglect his surroundings and run down the long dark hall that led to the double doors of her torture. He didn't even bother to push the doors open; another blast of energy had the doors flying inward and crashing to the ground. He rushed in, his eyes darting along every wall and corner of the demon-infested room. They all stared at him disbelievingly, their yellow eyes bright with evil. He didn't care. He brought his eyes to the front of the room and felt his muscles lock into place at the sight before him.
The demon held the half-eaten human heart in its hands as it continually shifted shape and color. The change was taking place. The ritual had been completed. He looked at the lifeless body on the alter in front of the shifting demon, the shimmering blond hair and dull blue eyes, and felt his eyes close in despair. When he opened them, cold, menacing yellow eyes stared back at him, glittering with promise. His world shattered; his heart felt as if it stopped beating, and an overwhelming heaviness took hold of his body.
She was gone.
He wanted to die, wanted to lose himself in a never-ending abyss of numbness. He'd failed, and she had to pay the price for his mistakes. Rage unlike any he'd ever known surfaced and took hold of his body. The emotion paralyzed him, made him hungry for vengeance. He had to kill the ones who did this to her. He had to punish himself for not being able to stop it.
He felt his nerves calm at the lulling sounds of a nocturne. It was so beautiful, so peaceful Chopin. Yes, it was one of his works. Opus 27 no.2. There was no mistaking the earthy flow of the notes or even the romantic overtones of the music. An image of sepia toned hands and long, elegant fingers made his heart seize once again. This time, the feeling was pleasant, and made him forget about the despair threatening to take hold of him. The scent of pineapples filled his senses and soon, he was taken from the demon filled room and placed on a plush couch in a soft welcoming room, watching curly raven locks sway against her back as the nocturne continued. Sunlight filtered into the comforting room, illuminating soft skin encased in a flowing yellow gown.
She was beauty, she was life, and she was everything he needed to push the demons away. Through the music, her passion and life flowed from her fingers to the grand piano positioned in front of her. From the piano, the music washed over him, cleansed him.
He was renewed.
Lindsay opened his eyes and found himself staring at the far wall of his bedroom. He had been dreaming again. He remained still for a moment, replaying the hell-turned-heaven his mind created, and he wasn't certain which part of the dream scared and upset him more; the hell or the heaven. Demons were easy enough to deal with; he'd spent centuries fighting them, killing them, and even befriending them. Hell, one of his brothers was a half demon. They were easy enough to handle.
But Alauria... She was new, she was unknown, and she was absolutely addicting. She snuck up on him and made him want things he wasn't supposed to care about. How did she do that? The woman was like a drug in his veins, bonding herself to every fiber of his being. And he didn't mind.
Damn Alexis. As soon as he found the will to get out of bed, a very angry call was in order. His life was just fine the way it was before his darling brother came for a visit. Now he couldn't even have a damned nightmare without her invading them. Yes, his brother would get a nice earful once he got a hold of him. It was only right that Alexis understand exactly why he was hated and why vengeance would be sought.
Lindsay was not in the mood to have his life complicated by a piano instructor. A beautiful piano instructor who smelled like pineapples and had skin comparable to a goddess. "Shit," he muttered as he turned onto his back. Where was his resolve? Could he not go five minutes without letting her invade his thoughts?
The only option was to stay away from her. He was set in his ways and had no intention of letting her interrupt his life. These schoolboy urges were sure to run him into the ground if he didn't get a handle on himself. Lindsay wasn't ready to let himself become attached to someone, to have a weak link in his life. He'd heard about what his urges did to his brothers and he refused to let anything like that happen. He was better by himself.
The room smelled like pineapples.
* * * * *
She literally fell into his arms.
Lindsay hadn't meant to walk back to Jones Street, but as usual, he couldn't stop the unbelievable urge that washed over him. He'd lasted an entire week; seven days of forcing himself to forget the smell of her skin and the look in her eyes when she looked at him. Seven days of ignoring the fact that she invaded every single one of his dreams. Finally, he could take no more and decided to simply see if he could figure out how to get her out of his system. Lindsay figured that going at night would better work in his favor; her neighbors would be asleep because if the late hour, and she'd be too caught up in the music she played to even notice that he was standing outside of her opened window like some kind of stalker. She hadn't been playing, but he was able to make out the subtle sounds of her frustrated mumblings and the irritating sounds of a heavy object scraping against a hardwood floor. She was obviously moving furniture, and while he was tempted to go upstairs to lend a hand before she broke something, he forced himself to remain as he was.
She never even had the chance to scream out in fear; one moment there was a loud thud and crash and the next, she was hurtling out the window. Shock kept Lindsay from shouting at her stupidity; he simply braced his legs and waited for her to fall into his arms. "Tuck your knees to your chest," he instructed.
Alauria was sure that she was going to meet her maker when she fell out of the window. To hear his voice both surprised and relieved her. She did as he said and grunted at the shock of her body falling into his arms. His grip was incredibly gentle, but the rigid stance of his body gave away his true feelings at having to save her life. She didn't care, of course, and wrapped her arms around his neck. Alauria hugged him tightly and kissed his cheek in her gratitude. "Thank you so much."
Lindsay had to stop himself from throwing her off him. The alluring weight and heat of her body made his cock instantly harden; he wanted to bury himself deep within the depths of her body. This was exactly the kind of thinking that make him need to stay away from her. "Are you all right?" She nodded against his neck, marking him with her sweet scent. It would take at least a dozen showers for him to get the smell off him. Lindsay remained still, hoping that his rigid stance would make her uncomfortable enough to let go of him. But as he felt her shake in his arms, he only found himself tightening his hold. "Fuck."
"Is the front door locked?" She shook her head against him and he sighed before taking her inside. His mind continued to drift to the fact that she felt incredibly perfect in his arms and if she turned just a fraction of an inch, her succulent breasts would be pressed against his chest. His loins felt as if they were on fire and he knew that there were only two ways to alleviate the need; he had to either let her go or take what his body wanted. Neither option was acceptable at the moment. Lindsay carried her back to the studio and found himself frowning in frustration when she moved to disengage herself from his arms. As she stood shaking in front of him, he surveyed the room and noticed that she was attempting to move the piano away from the window and replace the empty space with one of the plush couches. "Couldn't wait until you could get some help?" He looked around and scratched his head in confusion. "How the hell did you manage to fall out of the window anyway?" She only shook her head, which he took to mean as her uncertainty as to how it happened. Upon closer inspection, he noticed that the window was wide and low enough for her to fall out of, but such a feat would require a shove. But she simply fell out.
Alauria was too busy trying to recover from her near death experience to question why her temperamental student was with her. She could only find the energy to be grateful to him for saving her life. "Thank you."
"You said that already."
"Yes, but..." She shook her head to clear her thoughts before she looked up at him. That was a bad idea. He was standing close to her, less than a foot away and his large and powerful body radiated heat. How could a man who looked so dangerous seem so comforting? "Thank you."
"You're welcome. Why don't you sit down for a minute?" He watched her drop herself onto one of the chairs and rest her head in her hands. She was still shaking, he noticed and for a moment, the overwhelming urge to pull her into his arms washed over him. Because he needed to put some space between them before he did something stupid, he moved to complete the job she'd started. Within the space of five minutes, he moved the room back to its original setting.
"No, I want to move the piano to the other side of the room." Alauria moved to stand but stopped at the warning look he gave her. She did not know this man; arguing with him in the middle of the night with no help around was not a good idea.
"It's better over here."
"But if I move it, I won't have to worry about bothering anyone when I play at night."
Which was exactly what he was trying to avoid. If she moved the piano, then he wouldn't be able to hear the music she played as clearly as he was accustomed to. "If your neighbors can't appreciate your music, they can go to hell."
"Tell me how you really feel."
Lindsay found himself smiling at the comment. Her voice was stronger, a clear sign that she wasn't as shaken. "You shouldn't have to turn your life upside down for people who don't even know you."
He made a point, she had to admit, but she didn't want to make enemies of her neighbors. "I was trying to be considerate."
"And look at what it got you."
Alauria said nothing to that. She watched as he adjusted the piano bench in front of the instrument before he closed the window. He seemed extremely unaffected by saving her life and she assumed that his day job had to do something with saving others. "I didn't think I'd see you again."
Lindsay turned sharply to look at her. Was she expecting him to return? Was she waiting for him? "Why is that?"
"The way you stormed out the last time I saw you didn't exactly showcase your willingness to return."
Lindsay didn't know what to say to that. If he told her why he really left, she would have thought him to be a perverted psychopath. At the same time, he didn't want to lie to her. There was something about Alauria that demanded honesty, and he didn't have the strength to deny her the simple courtesy. So he simply stared at her, wondering how she was able to affect him as much as she did. Her dark eyes seemed to suck him into her soul. They called to him, haunted him with their expressiveness. A subtle flush took over her skin and he held back a smile at the knowledge of his affect on her. She still stared at him like he was some sort of apparition but he wasn't uncomfortable this time. Lindsay glanced at the piano and found himself asking, "When do I get another lesson?"
"You actually want another lesson?"
He didn't, but he couldn't think of another seemingly innocent reason to stay. "I figure one lesson isn't enough to determine that I'm completely hopeless."
Alauria found herself smiling despite herself. The man was making her extremely nervous, but he also made her feel safe and comforted. It was most likely because he saved her life, but that didn't change how she felt. "You're not completely hopeless, but I wouldn't allow myself to dream of headlining with an orchestra any time soon." She felt her cheeks heat dangerously when he smiled at her. Good Lord, he was sexy. He only wore a black turtleneck and light blue jeans, but it was more than enough to make her mouth water. "You want me to give you a lesson at two in the morning while in my sweats?"
Lindsay allowed his eyes to sweep over her voluptuous body and felt his brow quirk in interest. He hadn't noticed that her clothes were extremely casual, but considering the time of night, it would have been ridiculous for him to think he'd have seen her in a blouse and slacks. "We're both here and we're both awake. I don't see why not."
She could think of a few reasons, and they all had to do with the fact that he had everything it took to make her forget that her mother raised her to be a lady. The innocent expression on his face made her give into his request however, and that only made her reach the conclusion that she was going to have to learn self control when it came to him. "All right, but only half an hour."
Lindsay nodded before he walked to the bench and sat down. He remembered her instructions on posture and corrected herself before she said anything. "What are we learning today?"
"We're just going to continue where we left off." Alauria pulled a fold-out chair from the back room and sat down next to him. "You are going to play the chord with your left hand on every second note of the scale."
"Do you usually stay up this late?" He asked while following his instructions. He had to wince when he hit the wrong keys, but said nothing to them. If she didn't comment, neither would he.
"No, but I like to play on nights that I can't sleep."
She was lying to him. He knew because he'd listened to her play enough to know that she was up at this time every day. What was she trying to hide? "Music calms you down?"
"Music is everything to me. Watch your wrist; there is too much tension."
Lindsay obeyed and remained quiet for only a moment before asking, "Your husband must be very-"
"I'm not married." Alauria wasn't sure why he was asking such probing questions, but they were making her extremely uncomfortable. "Let's move to the D major scale."
Of course she would move onto something more complicated to keep him from talking. He played the scale quite horribly and thus had to play it again and again until she was satisfied. The task left him no room to ask her any other questions, which was exactly what she wanted. Why didn't she want him to know anything personal about her?
"Let's try E major."
Was she serious? He'd barely gotten through D major. Lindsay begrudgingly plowed through the task, butchering what should have been a beautiful sound. It didn't take long at all for him to want to throw the piano out the window in frustration. Playing an instrument was not for him; his brother Giles, yes, but definitely not him.
Alauria noticed the frustration taking hold of her student and stood from her seat to stand behind him. "Try to relax." She placed her hands on his hard shoulders and once again felt the shock associated with static electricity. She ignored it and gently placed her hands on his. "You still aren't angling your wrist properly."
Lindsay stopped moving the second she placed her hands on him. Again, he shocked her, but she didn't seem as bothered by it as the last time. The scent of pineapples wafted toward him and all too soon, control went out of the window. In one quick move, Lindsay turned on the bench and pulled her into his arms. The look of shock mixed in with uncertainty brought out a fierce feeling of protectiveness. He ran the backs of his fingers over her cheeks and let out a sigh at her shaky breath. Her pulse radiated through her silken skin; he felt his pulse quicken in response. Alauria's dark eyes glistened and narrowed and while she did try to push him away, there was no force behind her efforts.
She wanted him.
Alauria felt her eyes go wide with shock when his lips descended onto hers. She made no response at first, only allowed herself to feel his hot lips as they slanted against hers. The heat of his body stifled any resistance she had and soon, she was gasping as his tongue brushed against hers. She closed her eyes, allowing the sensation of his body against hers. Hot, erotic bolts of electricity pulsed through her body as his hands slowly roamed over the contours of her back. She clutched his turtleneck and moaned when he pulled her closer. Alauria let her body take control, sucking on his tongue as he plunged it into her mouth.
The man was raw sex; he didn't hesitate to cup her bottom into his hands as he pulled on her lower lip with his teeth. He was also demanding; angling her body around his the way he wanted. It didn't surprise her that she was somehow straddling his legs as he pulled her hips closer to his. The startling presence of his arousal made her gasp in surprise. Then she felt his hands underneath her shirt, slowly working the lace cups of her bra off of her sensitive breasts. "Wait, stop." Alauria pulled her lips from his and would have jumped off him had his grip allowed it. His face was flushed and damn, did it make him look sexy. Intense, green eyes were narrowed in arousal and she was sure that he wouldn't hesitate to rip her clothes off if she let him. "You're my student." That seemed to have no effect on him as he'd taken to nibbling on her earlobe. He even went as far as to suck her silver teardrop earring into his mouth. The sounds of his uneven breathing made her hot and aching for him; she found herself wiggling to get closer to him. "Wait, wait, wait." She pulled away again, this time holding his head in her hands to keep him from sucking on anything else. "I don't even know you."
Lindsay slowly smiled at the amazed look on her face. Shit, she was addictive. Her skin even tasted like pineapples. "What's your point?" Her wide-eyed look reminded him of her innocence and while the attribute inflamed his loins, he knew it wouldn't be right to take advantage of it. With a frustrated sigh, he lifted her off him and placed a small kiss on her lips before he walked out of the studio. He felt the smile tug at his lips and this time, he allowed himself to feel the smile down to the depths of his soul. Lindsay had no choice; that was how deeply she affected him.
Alauria remained silent as she watched her student-turned-seducer leave. He had a thing for just walking out of the studio when he felt like it, she noticed. As much as she wanted to call him rude, she couldn't; his hot and cold nature was a bit of a turn on. Alauria tried to ignore the cold sensation that washed over her body from losing his heat but couldn't; she shivered as she set herself down on the piano bench. The tingle in her lips had her touching her fingertips to them. She'd never be kissed like that by anyone else.