A Cure for Moonlight Ch. 05byEdenVanEver©
Stella awoke and the first thing she noticed was the emptiness of her apartment. Had it all been a dream? She was hung over and giddy. She'd never been with anyone before and she certainly hadn't pegged herself as bisexual. She showered, brushed her teeth, dressed, and made herself breakfast. Lately, she really hadn't been feeling herself. She tidied her place up and began checking her emails. Her boss had agreed that the latest story she'd forced herself to finish just wasn't right for their company to publish. He sent her a few more manuscripts and she checked the rest of her messages. The lawyer said he would still be showing up as planned. Aimes sent a message to say she got caught up with double shifts. She junked a few spam emails. She didn't want a bigger cock or a Russian Bride, thank you very much.
The afternoon lulled by as she read through her work and knitted the rest of her shawl. She still felt so bad as to never want to drink again. Amelia would call her a lightweight. Unable to concentrate, she found her mind wandering. She thought about her grocery list, bills she needed to pay, everyday things flowed through her mind and distracted her from her work. She drank cup after cup of coffee, hoping to feel a little more alive.
She thought about her mother, remembering a memory she never knew she had. She had gotten up from her bed, very, very late at night and her Mom was gone. She walked outside, thinking she would find her, but she didn't. Instead, she heard singing from the woods. Stepping cautiously through the forest, she came to a clearing. Her mother, Viola, and several other women seemed to be praying through song. They all were pale, glowing in the full moon and seemed perfectly at peace. Stella remembered not being able to take her eyes away. She remembered a man telling her she should be in bed. He seemed to appear at her side. He lifted her up and carried her so fast through the forest that she barely had time to breathe. He had earthy green eyes and dark hair. Something about him made her feel safe and with him in the cottage, she remembered falling asleep quickly.
Shaking herself from the daydream, she got up and stretched. She still wasn't allowed to move her ankle or foot too much and that made her feel stiff and almost trapped. It was nearly time for the attorney to arrive and she made herself another cup of coffee. Why had she thought about that evening? Did it even happen? She found herself doubting a lot of things recently. Not least of all, herself. Some strange man with green eyes carrying her from her mother worshipping in the woods seemed a little far-fetched. Her Mom wasn't very religious, at least, Stella couldn't remember her being of one faith or another.
A knock on the door came right on time. She let a short man in with glasses and snowy hair. He had a box and a briefcase with him. She took his coat and hung it up for him and showed him to the sofa. He sat down silently and she was surprised to hear a deep southern accent roll out of his mouth.
"Stella, I have here a parcel that is meant to be delivered to you on your twenty fourth birthday. That is next week, is it not?" he drawled.
"Yes, it is, I guess I had forgotten. When you have no family, birthdays aren't much to celebrate," she said.
"Well perhaps you might find something in here worth being happy about. It's the deed to your family home, a few letters and I'm guessing heirlooms. I was instructed not to open the box. I just need you to sign here, here, and here and I'll be on my way," he held a pen and a stack of papers to her.
"My family home? Letters?" Stella paused, overwhelmed.
"Yes, Ma'am. They were left in my care nearly twenty years ago and I am a man of my word, go on and sign, now."
Feeling confused and shocked, Stella signed the papers and the man bid her farewell in an old fashioned way and let himself out. He seemed to be awfully eager to get on with whatever he had to do. She looked over the deed to the cottage and it's land, about 300 acres, and couldn't quite bring herself to look at anything else. She suddenly felt alone and for the first time in years, missed her mother with a hollow ache that seized her throat. Her apartment felt as though it were threatening to close in on her. She put her cold hands up to her face and tried to compose herself.
She paced back and forth and wanted to scream. It wasn't quite dark enough for her to leave and the idea of it was driving her mad. She had to get out, get away from the box and it's secrets and the letters and their words. She felt certain that if she tried to read them now, it would be like trying to read some exotic language, not spoken in centuries. She paced some more, and then she went in her room to get dressed. Something had taken her emotions over and she didn't quite feel like she was in control of herself. She didn't know where she would go, but she had to go. Now. She slipped on some dark jeans and a silvery tunic. She pulled her red hair up into a messy ballet bun. As soon as she felt she could without burning, she burst from her front door like a race horse in the Kentucky Derby.
The frigid blast was welcome and it cleared her head up some. She skipped down the stairs as fast as she dared on her crutches and walked. She walked and felt herself becoming angrier and that anger was a comfort. It was an emotion she could recognize and control. It was like all the swirling vortexes of undefined feelings were melding together inside her into a ball of frustration and mad and she breathed through it. She focused on her breathing until she realized she wasn't quite sure where she was.
She stopped and looked around. The artsy, hippy part of town that she lived in had morphed into a more hostile scene. Not knowing how long she had been walking, she attempted to turn around and try to head the way she came, only, she wasn't certain of the way she came. She felt like a pissed off rat in a very complex cage. She knew looking lost or confused might make her a target, so she put on her most determined face and carried back the way she thought she came.
"Looky here," she heard from behind her, "I think this is our pasty little snitch, come to us, special delivery, like."
Her paced quickened with her heartbeat and she cursed herself for swearing off cell phones. Her crutches made her feel like she was moving slower than if she ditched them, so she put weight on her foot. She felt the burns stretch and scream at her and the adrenaline of hearing them closer behind her made her not care if her leg fell off. As long as it fell off after she'd gotten somewhere safe. She heard them behind her start to run. So her body sprang forward like a gazelle, her hair beginning to fall out of her pins and wave in front of her eyes.
Suddenly there was someone next to her and she swung one of her crutches that she didn't realize she was still carrying. She thought it made contact, but she didn't break her stride. Pushing her feet forward, she breathed in the icy air and then she felt something grab her arm and pull her to a stop. She fought as hard as she could, reaching for eyes, kicking for that golden area between a man's legs that would free her. The grasp was like iron and she stopped fighting when she looked up and saw eerily familiar green eyes boring into her. She regained her balance and watched as he paced back to the two young men trailing her. They had stopped, obviously eyeing the situation up.
Seeming to think they still had the upper hand, one of them threw a punch, which was dodged and Stella saw a silver flash in the other's hand. The first boy nearly lost his balance and the second came in with the knife. Just as quick as a blink, the knife was thrown into the street and the kid took a punishing knee to the face. Swinging around from putting the second boy down, the green-eyed man turned and knocked the first guy out. They were on the ground and Green-eyes stormed back to her with a look like emerald death on his face.
He grabbed her arm and led her home. The whole way she pulled and struggled against the grip. She demanded answers and fought for the anger she had earlier, willing it to keep her from going easily. For some reason, she felt an unwanted calm pushing it away from her. 'Who are you?' seemed to find a constant rotation in her protests and questions and as they came to her door she exploded.
"It was YOU, wasn't it?" she demanded, refusing to unlock the door.
"Me what?" he said, sounding exasperated.
"It's YOU who came into my home when I was asleep and left my curtains open and burned my foot!"
"No. He came into your apartment?" the man was obviously pissed now.
"Who's he? It was you, you knew where I was, you knew where I lived, how else would you have known to bring me here?" Stella began to get confused.
She studied his face and found that it went through a whole prism of emotions from anger, to frustration to sadness. She realized that her foot was now screaming in agony and suddenly, all she wanted to do was open her door and bury herself in her bed. At the same time though, she had an unexpected feeling of wanting to curl up in his arms and cover herself with him like a blanket and the idea of it nearly knocked her over. He was watching her and the electric green of his gaze made her want to die in it.
"Go inside, lock the door and go to bed," he demanded and turned on his heels.
"You're not my father," she hissed at him and he stopped dead in his tracks, but not turning.
"No, Stella, I'm not, but he would tell you the same thing given the circumstances."
She felt her jaw drop and in a blink, he was gone. He knew her name? She was standing in the hallway, shivering with adrenaline, pain and cold. She had nothing left to do besides open her door and go inside. She slid down the wall in her entryway and cried. She sobbed uncontrollably and felt like her chest would explode from the gasps and moans that came out of it. She cried about her mother, the men who chased her, the pain in her foot. She cried about giving herself to a stranger, she cried about liking it. Once she had exhausted her supply of tears, she numbly got up, threw some painkillers down her throat and limped to bed. She simply didn't have anything else left to feel. Before she could think about her head hitting the pillow, she was sound asleep.
He found himself drawing her face on his sketch pad. Over and over. He wouldn't go see her tonight. He didn't want to ruin the plan. He planned on the time away from her being both a test of his will and a punishment for his excitement making him sloppy. Seeing her face in his mind, the only way he felt he could purge himself of her was to get her out of him on paper. Looking up from his frantic drawing, he found himself surrounded by her face on scraps of paper, napkins, and he'd even created her likeness on the bedroom mirror with a dry erase marker. She was staring up at him from the floor, the desk, the wall, everywhere.
Eventually, he talked himself into just peeking out the window when he heard woman's voices outside. There she was with a blonde woman. He wanted to turn away, but he couldn't. He watched her walk, slightly drunkenly, to her building. He was glad that it was her and also glad she'd hadn't let someone else have her before he got to her. He found himself staring at her building long after she'd disappeared, longing to get a glimpse of her again, but she didn't come back out. He sighed and turned around. Suddenly angry at how long it was taking and how weak he was. He ripped her down from the walls and scattered her across the room. He pressed his fists into his temples, hard and growled to himself. Stupid bitch for making him feel this way.
Seeing her ripped face on the floor, he immediately felt a surge of guilt wash over him and he tried to tape her back together. He felt as though he had ripped the essence of her being in half and part of him felt a twinge of arousal at hurting her, the other part of him cursed himself for ruining the photographs and drawings that he had spent so long on. What would she think when she saw that he had ripped her up?
He suddenly remembered being locked in a closet, bloody and bruised. He remembered begging to be let out and tearing at the door until he ripped his own fingernails off. He deserved it, she had said. He would stay in there until he learned some self-control. He grabbed the leather strap and pulled his shirt off. He swung it backwards, hard, feeling it bite into his skin. 'I deserve it,' he thought and swung it onto his bare back again. 'I need to learn some self-control,' he thought as he struck himself again. He wouldn't stop until he felt blood. This was his punishment for being too hasty, for peeking at her after he swore he wouldn't. He struck himself because he obviously couldn't keep to his own word, and there had to be ramifications for weakness.
He struck, harder and harder, until he couldn't swing his arm anymore, he felt the skin on his back welted and blood running down it with a tickling crawl. 'Have I learned my lesson?' he asked himself. 'Yes, I think I have.' He stood and folded his shirt, placing it in the hamper, he pulled his pants off. He wanted to be delicate in how he moved, but he didn't give himself the benefit of it. This was his punishment and he would take it like a man. He turned the shower on, screaming hot. He folded his pants, socks and underwear and placed them in the hamper as well. He did not allow himself a moment to brace for it, and stepped into the shower with his raw, splayed back to the steaming hot and unforgiving jets. He concentrated on the pain and focused it into a tight ball in his mind. Then he thought about her back and what her face would look like, giving her pain to him. He found himself erect, even through the searing pain and jerked himself off, just like the entire night, it was rough and unforgiving. He visualized strapping her creamy back and the idea of her dark, red blood against the cool ivory of her skin brought him over the edge.
He washed, let the soap sting the swaths of flesh on his back, rinsed and then fell into bed, face first. He was ready for her, he knew it. He would begin making the final arrangements and then she would be his. She needed him to make her a more perfect version of herself. He would give her the gift of discipline and care, and she would give him all of her. Whether she appreciated it or not, she would. He comforted himself with the thought that soon, she would be his. He drifted off into a dreamless sleep.
The next day, he picked up his mail, had a cup of coffee and whistled tunelessly as he cleaned the apartment. Things must be right, things must be perfect. He ironed his pants and pulled on a black shirt, just in case there was bleed-through on his back. He mustn't look sloppy. He pulled on his socks and set about his day. Absentmindedly day dreaming about having her to himself, finally, completely, his excitement was building back up and he felt practically giddy. He had to be at work tonight, but absence makes the heart grow fonder. He would have to make do, because all good things come to those who wait.
He swept the floor at work and arranged the chairs. He made busy with the people who came and went. He busied himself with reorganizing his office in the back. Straightened the paintings on the walls and when he came back to the front, he saw a petite blonde. She turned to look at him, her curls bouncing with the slightest movement. He knew exactly who she was, he saw her coming home with his moon princess. He put on his best smile and went to greet her casually, yet professionally.
"I have something you want," she said, with a smile, before he could speak, "And I can help you get it."