Compromise Of The Soul
Please Note: The story has been newly revised. (11/14/2012)
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! <3
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
Celia Waters reached up to brush back a lock of dark hair that had fallen over her lover’s brow and 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.”
He drew upon his powers of persuasion in hopes of stilling the trepidation roiling within her as he stared deep into her eyes. Her body relaxed as he settled his long, lithe frame against hers. He was aware of the great risk 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 tucked beneath 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 upon her skin. A frisson of awareness filtered down her spine as the tips of his fangs grazed her tender flesh.
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.
Celia pushed against his shoulders as she 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. Celia sat up, the sweat-soaked bed sheets stuck to her skin. She untangled her limbs from her silken prison and slid off of the bed, blindly searching for the lamp’s switch. The tumescent glow stung her eyes momentarily.
She grabbed the discarded robe she’d draped across the chair in front of her vanity earlier that night and slid her arms into its sleeves. She tied its sash into a knot at her waist and picked up the lantern propped in the middle of her chest of drawers. The hairs on the back of her neck rose as she exited her room and made her way along the darkened corridor. Something was amiss, but she wasn’t sure as to what it was.
A sharp gust of wind rose as she neared the stair’s landing and extinguished 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 aside and carefully made her way down the staircase.
With 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 had been opened wide. The harsh winds caused the lace curtains to flap angrily back and forth. She marched forward and grasped the window’s edge to slide it closed, yanking the drapes into place.
Her hackles rose 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 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. She wrapped her arms around her waist and tucked her chin against her chest as she moved toward the fireplace. She could not dispel the notion that someone was in the room with her. She reached out and 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 as she realized she was not alone. She swung the poker out in front of her, accidentally knocking one of the lamps to the floor. Bits of glass cut into the skin at her ankles as it shattered around 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.”
Celia held the rod tight within her hands as she tried to pinpoint the trespasser’s location. “Who are you?”
He laughed. “I’m the stuff your dreams are made of.”
She froze. The color drained from her cheeks as she pondered his words. There’s no way he could 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 toward 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. He leaned toward her and brushed his lips against her ear. He summoned a short burst of compulsion as he wrapped an arm around her small waist.
“Yield to me.”
She swayed against him, blinking rapidly as she tried to rid herself of the delicious warmth now coursing throughout her body. “Never.”
He playfully nipped at her earlobe. “You know you want to.”
She shook her head and did her best to resist him. “No.”
Her eyes closed of their own volition as he turned her around and crushed his lips against hers. 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.
She pushed hard against his chest and disengaged herself from his embrace. Her feet slipped across the wooden floor and a shard of glass embedded itself within her heel as she backed away from him. The scent of her blood assailed his senses and broke through the murky haze of his longing. He cursed aloud and ignored the sudden pang of hunger as he drew upon his powers of coercion once more to ease her worry.
Her eyelids drooped closed as he bent down to wrap his arms around her. He carried her toward her room, fighting the ache rising within him as he continued to yearn for her blood. He deposited her onto the edge of her bed and rummaged within her chest of drawers in search of something to staunch the flow of blood. He ripped apart one of her camisoles and returned to her side to carefully extract the glass out of her heel. He bandaged it as best as he could and settled her back upon the bed.
He leaned toward her and whispered several words against her lips as he gently tucked her into bed. Her eyes closed further as he wrapped the duvet about her shoulders. He glanced at her with regret before he strode toward her window and flung it open. A forlorn sigh escaped him as he pulled himself onto its ledge and slid the window closed behind him. He then dropped to the grounds below. Within the blink of an eye, he slunk into the shadows and left her behind.
Celia rolled onto her side as she sunk into the deepest throes of sleep and curled her arms around her pillow. Her mouth parted to whisper a name belonging to the one person that would haunt her forever.
Dorian . . .