Hiya, guys and gals. I’ve been diligently working on my piece for #SaturdayStory and have finally finished what I’ve been working on. I think this can, and I think I will, expand it into a full-blown novel. I rather like where my muse was going with this.
And since it’s his birthday today, and he sort of inspired another of my works, I will dedicate today’s piece to the delicious, and very sweet, Ben Barnes. Happy Birthday to you, Ben! ❤
So without further ado, I present to you my #SaturdayStory, Compromise of the Soul. I hope you all enjoy what I’ve written.
(Oh, and before you ask, my character’s last name is Ashcombe . . . Dorian Ashcombe.)
Compromise of the Soul
Reaching up to brush back a lock of dark hair that had fallen over her lover’s brow, Celia Waters felt her heart race as she gazed into his eyes. A knowing smile played about his lips as he bent down to brush his mouth against hers.
“Open your heart to me,” he whispered, gently coaxing a response from her.
“You shouldn’t be. I will never hurt you.”
She pulled herself out of his embrace, her brow furrowed. “That’s a lie and you know it.”
Staring deep into her eyes, he drew upon his powers of persuasion in hopes of stilling the trepidation that had started to roil within her. Her body soon relaxed as he settled his long, lithe frame against hers. He was aware of the great risk that he was taking in drawing her under his spell, yet he couldn’t help himself. “Nay, I do not.”
She settled back onto the pillows that lay underneath her and ran a fingertip across the curve of his mouth. “Why did you come here?”
“I’ve missed you.”
“I don’t believe you.”
He buried his face against the gentle slope of her shoulder, inhaling the sweet, citrus fragrance of her skin. A frisson of awareness filtered down her spine as the tips of his fangs grazed her tender flesh. “Trust me.”
She shook her head in hopes of clearing it. “I can’t.”
He pressed a line of kisses across the expanse of her neck, nipping lightly as he did so. “Don’t fight me,” he said, the timber of his voice deepening as he sought to gain her acquiescence.
Pushing at his shoulders, Celia refused to do as she was bidden. “Please! Let me go.”
The sound of something crashing broke through the fog of her desire and jolted her awake. She sat up, the sweat-soaked bed sheets plastered against her skin. Untangling her limbs from her silken prison, she slid off of the bed and blindly searched for the lamp’s switch. The tumescent glow stung her eyes momentarily.
Grabbing the discarded robe that she’d draped across the chair that sat in front of her vanity earlier that night, she slid her arms into its sleeves. Tying its sash into a knot at her waist, Celia picked up the lantern that lay upon her chest of drawers and tentatively exited her room. The hairs on the back of her neck rose as she made her way down the darkened corridor. Something was amiss, but she knew not what it was.
A sharp gust of wind arose as she neared the stair’s landing, extinguishing the lantern’s glow. A loud curse burst from her lips as darkness descended upon her, for she’d left the box of matches atop the cabinet. Not wanting to make the long trek back to her room in order to fetch them, she set the beacon down and carefully made her way down the staircase.
Taking small, deliberate steps, she set off in the direction from whence the flow of air came. She found herself standing in the middle of her parlor, gazing at the scene that spread out before her eyes. The fenestella’s had been opened wide, the harsh winds causing the lace curtains to flap angrily back and forth. Marching forward, she grasped the window’s edge and slid it closed. Pulling the drapes into place, her hackles rose even further as she felt the brush of someone’s fingertips across the back of her neck.
She whirled about in search of the intruder. Her eyes were not yet accustomed to the meager light and it was not enough to allow her the luxury of finding what she was looking for.
“Who goes there?” she asked.
A thick silence was her only answer. Wrapping her arms about her waist, she tucked her chin against her chest and moved forward in the direction of the fireplace. Try as she might, she could not dispel the notion that someone was in the room with her. Reaching out, she curled her fingers around the base of the fire iron and drew it close.
“I warn you! I’m armed and dangerous.”
A soft chuckle burst forth from the upper left corner of the room. She swallowed, knowing that she was not alone. Swinging the poker out in front of her, she knocked one of the lamps to the floor. Bits of glass cut into the skin at her ankles as it shattered about her feet.
“Bloody hell!” she cursed, rooted to the spot for fear of trampling the broken crystal.
“Silly girl,” the voice admonished. “You should have left well enough alone.”
Holding the rod tight within her hands, she tried to pinpoint the trespasser’s location. “Who are you?”
He laughed. “I’m the stuff your dreams are made of.”
Celia froze. She felt the color drain from her cheeks as she pondered his very words. There’s no way that he would know what I’ve been dreaming of, she thought. Is there?
“I sorely doubt that,” she replied, her voice barely a whisper.
She felt a slight yank upon the back of her head as the pins within her hair came loose. Her long, lustrous curls cascaded onto her shoulders as they clattered to the floor. The intruder lifted a fragrant lock and drew it towards his nose, inhaling the flowery scent that accompanied the silken tresses.
“Celia . . .”
Her heart began to hammer within her chest as she recognized the voice. “What do you want?”
He let go of her hair and materialized across the room. Her mere presence made it hard for him to concentrate on the task at hand. “You already know the answer to that.”
She swallowed nervously. “You’ll never have it.”
“Not now, but some day. Perhaps.”
“I won’t let you.”
His warm laughter made her more aware of his presence. “You can’t fight me forever, Celia.”
“Yes, I can.”
“But you won’t.”
“I sure as hell intend on trying.”
He moved, once more, and came to stand behind her. Leaning towards her, he brushed his lips against her ear. He summoned a short burst of compulsion as he wrapped an arm about her small waist. “Yield to me.”
She swayed against him, blinking rapidly as she tried to rid herself of the delicious warmth that had begun spread all over her body. “Never.”
He playfully nipped at her earlobe. “You know you want to.”
Shaking her head, she did her best to resist him. “No.”
Her eyes closed of their own volition as he turned her around and crushed his lips against her own. He dug his fingers into the soft flesh of her hips, unable to stop himself from dropping his compulsion and delving into the deepest reaches of her mouth. She struggled against him as the fog lifted and she became cognizant of his actions.
Pushing hard against his chest, she disengaged herself from his embrace. Her feet slipped across the wooden floor, a shard of glass embedding itself within her heel as she backed away from him. The scent of her blood assailed his senses, breaking through the murky haze of his longing. Cursing loudly, he ignored the sudden pang of hunger and drew upon his powers of coercion to ease her trepidation.
Her eyelids drooped closed as he bent down to wrap his arms around her. He carried her towards her room, fighting the ache that arose as he continued to yearn for her blood. Depositing her onto the edge of her bed, he rummaged about within her chest of drawers in search of something to staunch the flow of blood. Ripping apart one of her camisoles, he returned to her side and carefully extracted the glass out of her heel. He bandaged it as best as he could and settled her back upon the bed.
Leaning towards her, he whispered several words against her lips and gently tucked her into bed. Her eyes began to close even further as he wrapped the duvet about her shoulders. Glancing down at her with regret, he strode towards her window and flung it open. Pulling himself onto its ledge, he slid it closed behind him and dropped to the grounds below. He soon slunk into the shadows, leaving her behind.
Sinking into the deepest throes of sleep, she rolled onto her side and curled her arms about her pillow. Her mouth parted to whisper a name belonging to the one person that would haunt her forever.
Dorian . . .