A Dark Night with a Dark Stranger Ch. 09byBellstoires©
Thank you once again for all the wonderful feedback! And thank you to Raylee for helping me edit this one. I hope you enjoy!!!
Chapter 9- Date Night...
When Ragon and Sandra finally joined the others in the living room, he had completely forgotten about the concerned look which had plastered Bell's face previously. Now as he looked at her, this thought rushed back. Bell sat on the couch, her legs and arm's crossed, and there was a look in her eyes of mistrust. Her hair was wet, as though she had washed it a few hours ago, and it had not yet fully dried. She wore a pair of navy blue tights and a black long sleeve button up dress shirt, which made her seem to blend into the black leather of the couch. Had he not been surrounded by the rest of his coven, Ragon would have asked her what was wrong. Instead he rehearsed over and over in his head, the various ways that he might ask Bell out on a date.
"So what's the plan for tonight?" Clyde asked adding, "another club or maybe we could stop by Kiara's for drinks?"
Only Sameth laughed at his words, while Ragon and Sandra snarled. Bell stared up at Clyde. He was tactless, there was no doubt about it, but there was something fun about his sense of humour that lightened her mood. He looked even more gorgeous today than normal. He was wearing a pair of long light coloured cargo pants and a well fitted blue long sleeved shirt.
"Just joking," Clyde said defensively, realising his comment had hit a sore spot and placing his hands palm outwards to the group.
It was Sandra who spoke next saying, "why don't we go somewhere low key tonight? I could use a nice quiet drink."
Her mate stared back at her, nodding his enthusiasm. Thomas's hair, which was usually tied in a ponytail, moved in concert with his head. His ponytail was so auspicious that Bell had almost entirely forgotten it was there. Now however, as his long beautiful hair adorned his face; it was difficult for her to believe she had failed to recall it until now. His hair wasn't exactly long and only just reached his shoulders.
"Ragon you can stay here and keep an eye on Bell," Sandra said, giving him the slightest of winks that was unobserved by all except him.
"Well just give me a moment to get ready," Larissa said, jumping off the couch and running enthusiastically to her bedroom.
The entire coven followed Larissa's example and soon it was just Bell and Ragon left on the couch together. Ragon knew that it was now or never. He appreciated Sandra's subtle hints, and made a mental note to thank her later. He moved a fraction of a millimetre towards her. His hands were uneasy beside him, and if he could sweat; they would probably have been covered in nervous beads of perspiration. Fortunately his immortal traits hide most of these very mortal failings. Only the look in his eyes betrayed his emotions. They were wide, his pupils large and dilated; like a cat watching a snake, unsure if it should pounce or flee.
"Bell," Ragon asked, catching her attention so that she turned to face him, "would you consider, I mean would you want to go out tonight?"
Bell considered his words for a moment and replied, "Thanks, but I think I have had my fair share of hunting for a while."
"No, I mean, would you want to go out with me, on a, err, date?" Ragon asked, his eyes wide in anticipation.
Did Bell hear him correctly? How many times had she wanted for him to say something like this to her? Though her face broke in relief, this was almost instantly overshadowed by a look of concern. It was a pained look; her eyebrows forced closer together as her eyes raked over Ragon's face, as if searching for an answer. Her hesitancy was bought about by her recollection of the diary entry which portrayed Ragon as a monster, which she had read earlier that day. She allowed herself the briefest of moments to consider her options. Instantly she looked away from Ragon's hopeful face, instead focusing on the fair bianco white of the walls. Perhaps back then he had been no better than Clyde and Kiara, but now he was different. Hadn't he proved that to her, time and time again? Unresolved she realised that at least if she said yes, she could potentially find out more about him. So often had she felt a connection with him that it seemed wrong to dismiss him just because of some stupid journal?
"Sure," Bell replied, and watched in delight as Ragon's eyes were suddenly lit with relief.
"Well let's say half an hour?" Ragon asked.
Bell was a little shocked at his enthusiasm. She had expected him to suggest a date sometime in the near future, but not tonight.
Still no time like the present, she thought.
"Ok, sounds good... where are we going?" she asked, suddenly realising that she needed to start getting ready: immediately.
"It's a surprise," Ragon answered.
Bell couldn't hide her smile, but asked, "well what am I supposed to wear?"
"Anything you want," he replied, "you look beautiful in anything."
She moved quickly after that to her room, and began throwing outfits from her closet onto the bed in distress. A soft knock at the door made her hurry over and open it.
"So you said yes?" Sandra asked, her deep Southern accent bringing with it a sense of relief.
"What?" Bell asked, pausing for only a moment before recommencing her search for the perfect outfit.
"You're going out with Ragon," Larissa replied, the large wide smile on her face barely contained.
"It's just a date... But how did you know?" Bell began, and seeing Sandra tap her fingers to her ears, nodded in realisation.
"Only the walls have secrets from us," she replied.
"So, have you picked something to wear?" Larissa asked, her eyes raking the bed where the majority of Bell's clothes now lay, crumpled in a heap.
Bell too glanced over to the pile and smiled sheepishly, shaking her head in a firm no.
Sandra and Larissa exchanged a knowing look, then pushed past Bell and began inspecting her outfits.
"I think this one," Larissa said, picking up a pair of dark black shorts and matching them with a pair of black sheer stockings and boots.
"Ohh, good choice," Sandra said, now moving over to Bell and holding up a long sleeved, silk, maroon shirt.
"Hmm," Sandra said, admiring Bell's outfit, before racing from the room and returning a moment later with a long silver chain which held a small metallic pyramid.
"Perfect," she said, after placing the necklace onto Bell and stepping back to see its affect's.
Larissa nodded in agreement, and began applying copious amounts of blush and mascara to Bell's face, only pausing to re-touch her lipstick, which was a bright pink. When both girls were finally finished, they directed Bell over to the mirror. Once again they had managed to turn a pumpkin into a princess, and Bell smiled appreciatively back at them. A knock at the door made Bell jump, and Larissa moved over to open it.
"What's going on in here?" Clyde asked, looking at Sandra with a wide smile lighting his face, until his eyes fell on Bell.
His mouth was slightly open, and he looked at her in awe, appreciating her curves and the way her body looked in her outfit.
"Where are you going?" Clyde asked, regaining his composure and moving to sit down on the bed, where the remaining items of clothing lay abandoned.
"Out with Ragon," Bell replied.
She had thought that she would feel uneasy admitting to Clyde. There was something about him that continued to attract her. Still, now as she stood in front of him looking fabulous, and about to go on a date with Ragon, it felt perfectly acceptable that she should tell him and not be concerned by his reaction.
"Want some company?" Clyde asked, his mischievous grin returning to his face.
"Two's company," Larissa said, shooing him away from the bed and out of the room, "and three's a crowd," she added slamming the door in his face.
Ten minutes later, after Sandra and Larissa had painted Bell's fingernails black, and matched her outfit with a long sleeved charcoal jacket; Bell left her room feeling excited. The others had already left to go hunting, and walking into the living room, she saw Ragon waiting at the front door with his back to her. On hearing Bell's heartbeat louden and fasten, Ragon turned quickly and gasped.
Wow, he thought to himself, watching her move over to him.
The same thought mirrored Bell's mind. Ragon looked even more stunning than normal. He wore a pair of dark dress pants with a blue collared long sleeve shirt and a black belt.
"Ready to go?" he asked.
He had been too preoccupied with Bell's beauty to actually compliment her. Still, Bell smiled to herself, seeing the look on Ragon's face made her even more appreciative of Sandra and Larissa's efforts, and the look in his eyes conveyed his impressions of her a thousand times better than a simple, you look beautiful, ever could.
"You still haven't told me where you're taking me," Bell said, allowing Ragon to hold the front door open as she walked past.
Ragon grinned, but did not reply.
He had moved quickly over to his car, and opening the door once again, waited for Bell to sit in the passenger seat. A second later and the pair were screaming out of the driveway. Ragon did not try to make conversation with Bell during their drive; he was far too nervous, and the only thing on Bell's mind was confronting him about the diary entry she had read earlier that night. But the night was too young to start off with such horrible accusations, so she bit her bottom lip and kept her mouth shut.
One particularly steep drive later, and Ragon and Bell were standing outside the planetarium attached to the Botanical Gardens, just outside the City. Bell recognised the large circular glass building instantly from her website searches, having wanted to visit it for years.
"This is great," she said, looking up expectantly at the building, and then to the night's sky, which she realised was pitch black, bar the tiny diamond stars that twinkled down at her.
Happy with Bell's response, he opened the door leading into the building. By now his nerves were screaming at him, and he thought longingly of reaching out to hold her hand. Bell however was preoccupied with her surrounds, and missed Ragon's attempt to reach for her, when she pointed enthusiastically up at a large telescope. Using his inhuman reflexes, he withdrew his hand so quickly, that Bell was none the wiser he had ever reached out for her.
On the wall's hung large photographs and paintings of the solar system. A large image of a mass of purple and blue swirls, around a white central light caught Bell's attention. Her eyes remained locked on this as she ascended a large dark wooden staircase. Upon reaching the top, the pair was greeted by a tall man with a thick black moustache.
"Welcome to the planetarium," he said before pulling a clipboard from a podium and asking, "Reservations?"
Ragon moved over to him at this point and whispered something low in his ear. The moustached man smiled greedily back at Ragon, and the pair exchanged a firm handshake, which Bell thought had been lined with fifty dollar notes; how many she was not sure.
"Right this way sir," the man said after pocketing his hand shake's contents.
Ragon turned to Bell and gestured for her to follow the man. They walked past several large booths, all of which contained couples that were partaking in a meal, else lying on their backs on soft couches and gazing at the stars while holding hands. Looking up once, Bell realised that the glass roof of the planetarium was magnified, bringing the nights sky into even greater focus. The usually small moon occupied almost half of the large glass panels; outshining Venus or any other star that dare try to outcompete it. The planetarium at night obviously had been converted into a restaurant, allowing the partakers to enjoy a meal while observing the stars.
Bell's late night googling had missed this. The website she had found described the City's Planetarium as being a communal star gazing experience, where patrons lay on horizontal couches, with specialised magnified glasses on and watched the stars, while a tour guide described the various constellations. Reaching a small metallic door labelled 'Staff only' in bold glowing green lighting, the moustached man retrieved a small group of keys from his waist belt and thrust one into the lock. A moment later and the door pushed forward.
"Just up to the top level; you should find everything that we discussed earlier waiting for you," he said, now holding the door open as Bell and Ragon walked through it.
Bell lead the way up yet another steep staircase, and she felt Ragon place one hand on the small of her back, offering support. Until now, the fact that this was a date had escaped her notice, and yet this intimate gesture bought this reality crashing down on her. With her mind preoccupied, her foot caught on the last step and she tripped. In an instant Ragon's outstretched arms steadied her, and she blushed furiously. It was amazing how strong he was. He must have been supporting her full weight with his outstretched hand, and yet he held her up as though she were as light as a feather. After that she steadied herself, and upon reaching the landing looked around. They were standing in a very small, poorly lit, concrete room that fit them both, but not comfortably.
"Are we supposed to be up here?" she asked sheepishly, breathing in a deep whiff of stale air, lined with the faintest trace of brick dust.
Ragon smiled, and without considering it enough to lose confidence, took her hand and directed her to the small door that would lead them out of the room. He pushed it open and Bell gasped. They were standing on top of the building, the warm night's air brushing Bell's hair across her face, causing her to use her free hand and tuck it behind her ear. Though there was no roof to magnify the heavens, the sheer height of the accent made the sky feel closer than ever before. Ragon guided her over to a small table, where a single red rose sat in the middle and a bottle of champagne lay in wait, chilling. Bell let Ragon direct her to the nearest seat, and releasing her hand, held the chair out for her. She sat down quickly, feeling slightly uneasy as he pushed her chair closer to the table with ease.
"This is insane," she said, her head pulled all the way back, so as to admire the stars above.
The absence of City lights, road lights or residencies, made the night sky appear magnificent. There was nothing around for miles that might be capable of distracting them from the heavens.
"Insane in a good way? Or insane in a mass murderer kind of way?" Ragon asked, laughing slightly to himself.
Bell however did not laugh. Instantly his words touched a nerve and she moved her neck so that she was staring at him. Mass murderer; was that what Ragon was? She was just about ready to ask the question she had come here to, when she heard a loud popping noise. She had been so preoccupied with her thoughts, that she had not noticed Ragon opening the champagne and letting the cork fly off into the distance. For a while the sound reverberated off the building's roof. This was only silenced when Ragon had reached for her glass and began pouring; the splash of the fizzing alcohol stifling all other sounds. Sipping quickly at the liquid, Bell realised that only this morning she had been complaining of being hung-over, and yet here she sat, drinking champagne on top of the planetarium.
"Are you hungry?" Ragon asked.
Bell thought for a moment, her mind recalling the delicious meals that had been served to the couples in the booths below. Yes she was hungry, but she felt uneasy at the thought of eating while her date sat and watched, and so she replied, "no, not really."
Ragon seemed satisfied, and moved his chair a little closer to her. There was something that he wanted to tell her, something that he needed to confess. But as he sat admiring her he realised that tonight was not the night for such revelations. He had thought that perhaps he would come clean about his past, but seeing the look in her eyes made him only want to satisfy her, not push her away; which his confession would surely do. So he continued to sip at the expensive bottle of champagne he had ordered, while wondering desperately what Bell was thinking. A few awkward moments greeted this silence, and Bell continued to indulge in her 'hair of the dog', building up the courage to ask Ragon about the diary entry she had read earlier that day.
"Would you like to get closer?" Ragon asked.
Bell snorted in response, some of the champagne forcing its way down her trachea and she coughed loudly, as a few sparse drops of burning carbonated liquid forced their way out of her nose.
"Wh... what?" she blurted out, quickly retrieving the napkin besides her and dabbing at her mouth and nose.
"To the stars," Ragon said, indicating the large telescope off to the side.
To the stars! Offcourse to the stars, Bell thought to herself, nodding in response.
Ragon moved quickly over to the large telescope and sat in one of the chairs, while Bell moved to another chair next to him. For a moment he fiddled with the focus and then finally pulled a constellation into focus.
"Do you know much about stars or planets?" Ragon asked.
"No not really," she replied.
Bell loved the stars and the moon; there was something sensual and romantic about the heavens. Yet she had never taken the time to research them; to learn the many names of the twinkling lights that shone down on her every night. As she looked into the telescope at the constellation Ragon had bought into focus, she lamented this fact. There was so much that she didn't know; so many things in heaven and hell: more than she might ever have thought possible. Didn't knowing Ragon prove this? He was a vampire, a walking, talking, breathing; well maybe not breathing; but he was real. If blood drinking night creatures were real, what else might be out there?
"This is the constellation Grandor. It is said that Grandor was the father of four lovely daughters, whose beauties were so great so as to challenge Aphrodite herself. Hearing of the girls, a jealous demon known as Lillith cursed the women. She gave each daughter a power so terrible, that they would never be able to find a love that would accept them. Distraught with misery, and unable to find their soul mates, the four girls died alone, with only their father to love them. The daughter's swore vengeance on Lillith." Ragon said, cutting Bell off from her thoughts and redirecting them to the constellation before her.
Looking up, Bell saw the four smaller stars all focused around a larger central one. The stars were beautiful, each shining brightly in their own unique way, and adorned by the central star; whose glow though bright, was no match for theirs. Just off to the side of this was another large star. Bell couldn't be certain, but thought perhaps that this one had almost a greenish ting to it. Upon finishing his story, Ragon had glanced at Bell, who continued to stare mesmerised up at Grandor. He sat for a while admiring her like this, occasionally changing the settings on the telescope, so as to bring another star into focus for her to enjoy.
When finally the last dregs of the champagne had been drunk by Bell, Ragon motioned for them to leave. He stood before her, pulling her chair out slightly so as to allow her to stand. Looking up at Ragon's eyes, Bell lost all thoughts. Only her desires to be with him played any role in her mind, and she leaned in just a fraction of a centimetre closer. Ragon saw her movements; felt her body pull towards his and her heart beat quicken. Reaching down boldly he placed both his hands on either side of her face, cupping her cheeks, and returned her longing look. Pulling her closer to him, he kissed her. It was a longing kiss, which Bell returned enthusiastically. Their tongues danced in each other's mouths, caressing each other adoringly. Bell wasn't sure how long the kiss lasted; just that she didn't want it to end. Ragon had removed his hands from her face and placed them behind her back, urging her forwards. Reaching up, Bell locked her hands around Ragon's neck, pulling his hair slightly, in a desperate attempt to get even closer to him. Never before had she had a kiss like this; never had her core been so struck that she felt weightless and absent to her surrounds. Ragon too was lost in euphoria; completely blinded by his need to be with Bell, until suddenly a horrible thought crossed his mind.