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   Chapter 5 NO.5

Dancing With the Devil By windxdancer97 Characters: 25048

Updated: 2018-01-31 19:21


Alright, who loves me? This was originally planned as two chapters, but I couldn't stop writing!! So, enjoy this update that finally gives some action with they mysterious X! :)

Oh, and if you like this story, be sure to thank that girl right up there that bugs me daily for updates. Literally, every night she texts me about this story, and she knows that I love her for it!

Please please please vote, comment, and fan!! Especially COMMENT!!! :)

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I woke up shaking with fear. Nightmares had plagued my dreams all night. What would start out as a beautiful walk in a forest turned into a mad dash to get away from X. My mind conjured up gruesome images of his large, grimy hands reaching for me, his oily hair tickling my face, and his breath flowing down my neck as he laughed when he caught me, making me gag. I'd struggle uselessly, but he was far too strong.

"Don't worry, Princess, " he'd sneer. "I'm here now." Then his hand would lightly touch my cheek, almost lovingly, and I feared for my virtue. My hoarse screams gave way to chocked sobs as he dragged me away.

I would wake up sweating bullets, the sheets that were tangled around my legs like a snare soaked with sweat. My pillow had a pool of wetness where my head had been, a mixture of tears and perspiration.

Twice I'd had to sprint to the bathroom, making it both times just as I threw up my measly dinner. The first time, although disgusting, wasn't as bad as the second. The second time, since I had nothing left in my gut, was simply stomach acid, the little water I'd drank to wash away the taste after the first episode, and a lot of dry heaving. Tears leaked out of my eyes as I sat there, my head against the cool toilet seat, my throat rubbed raw.

Now, as I looked blankly around my bathroom, I knew I wouldn't find the courage to get a shower. Despite how terrible I felt after my torturous night, the thought of being surrounded by that steam, have that water run down my body, scared me to no end. What had that been? It hadn't been human, I knew that much. I blushed at the thought. To think I was entertaining the idea of magic! But there was no other explanation. Mere liquid couldn't have given me that rush of power and confidence, whatever it was. Water didn't swirl around my body with a mind of its own, as if gravitated to my presence.

People didn't disappear, either. X couldn't be human…could he? Was it possible for someone to possess such stealth, such precision, that they could watch someone for a length of time, and then simple vanish into the shadows?

I shook my head roughly, dislodging such thoughts of supernatural elements and beings. Magic didn't exist. I was losing my mind. Yet, even as I reassured myself, some part of me thrilled at the concept of such possibilities. What other things were out there that I didn't know of?

I padded down into the kitchen, hoping that my mom wasn't around to witness my clumsy appearance. Sadly, she sat at the table, drinking her morning coffee and reading one of her magazines that had those self-help suggestions that would cure all of your problems. She thoroughly believed in the home remedies; I thought they were a bunch of garbage. No one could tell my mom that, though.

"My goodness, Ivy!" my mom gasped. "Are you feeling alright? Well, of course you aren't! You look like the walking dead!"

"Gee, thanks mom, " I mumbled, wrapping my arms around my stomach at the thought of choking down a bite of breakfast. The thought of food stirred it warningly, daring me to rifle through the cupboards. I didn't take that dare. I slumped into the chair opposite of my mom instead, stealing her mug of coffee. It was black, causing me to scour up my face in disgust.

"Honey, didn't you sleep at all last night?" she prodded, touching underneath her eyes. I copied her motion, knowing that I had black, glaring bags.

"It was a rough night, " I admitted. She didn't comment anymore, even though she was obviously worrying over my hair, which I'd thrown into a messy ponytail, along with my haunted eyes, pale face, and baggy clothes. To sum it up, I looked like I'd been through a haunted, ferociously terrifying graveyard and back, scared beyond imagination. I shivered, the comparison just too close to the truth.

"Bye mom, " I whispered when it was time for me to go to school. I couldn't say, "See you later" since this was probably the last time I would see her. I hugged her tightly, mumbling, "I love you" over and over again. It was my last day.

"Are you sure you don't want to stay home?" she asked around my shoulder, since I still hadn't let her go.

It was such a tempting offer, but there was suddenly an echoing No… I looked around curiously, but no one was there. The sound bounced around in my head, getting softer and softer, like a fading note from an instrument. I opened my mouth to accept- what else could he do to me that he already hasn't?- but then that voice again interrupted. It wasn't anyone specific, and I couldn't even give it a gender, but it spoke very clearly as it snarled NO!

It was almost a warning, telling me to go to school for my own good. With shoulders slumped, I scurried out the door after pacifying my mom.

I found another note on my windshield. Heart pounding, I slowly unraveled it, nervously fingering the black silk tie between my fingers as I read.

Princess, Do you believe in magic? You should after your bath last night. It was water native to my people, designed to relax your person. I hadn't realized that it would have so much more of an impact on your weaker senses. You no doubt enjoyed it, though. That much I could tell, but I do apologize for your confusion afterwards.

All will be explained to you soon. I'm growing impatient, but I will wait. Break up with him. Today. This is your last warning.

I will finally be able to hold you soon. I can't wait. I love you.

-X

Inside of my car, when I went to sit down, there was another black rose on the seat. It filled the car with its sweet aroma and made my dingy car look prettier. When I took a deep breath, the scent along with dark confidence swirled up my nose and invaded my sense of smell. The dangerously enticing feeling swept throughout the entire confined space, much like the bathroom had last night. I worried that I would suffocate in its sensation once again.

My eyes widened when I realized that the rose had been the heart of the mysterious emotions assaulting me, not the steam. The steam had just lured me into the water, that demon water that had so smoothly and beautifully attacked me that I hadn't been able to fend of its black intentions. X claimed that it had simply been to relax me, but I was sure he was lying. He had been there as my mind clogged, my nerves went haywire, and I'd been helpless to the succumbing feeling that had literally seeped into my skin and took refuge in my veins, implanting itself in my very heart so that it spread effectively throughout my entire body. Who's to say that he hadn't been planning on taking me a day early? He obviously was beyond human, so would I have been able to fight someone so dark, so hellish, even if I had possessed the will to?

I took a cautious whiff of the beautifully lethal flower. As I suspected, I was filled with courage and power. As I rolled down my window to throw it out, that voice sounded again in my head. Don't do it… it cooed. I hesitated, but shook my head in shock. I was listening to a voice inside of my head! I had to have more sanity than that. Ignoring the feeling that I was betraying it, I wound my arm back to chuck it far away.

Don't test my patience the voice growled softly. I froze. It was a soft tone, but the strength behind the command was beyond defiance. I set it on the passenger seat curiously. The voice was silent. As if my life hadn't been shook up enough, now I had a voice telling me what to do inside my head.

"Perfect, " I grumbled sarcastically. "Stalkers, magic, voices, what next? Vampires? Werewolves?" That voice chuckled ominously, as if it knew a vital piece of knowledge that would clear this entire mess up. I ignored it, which I decided was a pretty smart move. Ignoring the voice in my head was probably a better way to go than talking to it.

I had so much to think about on the way to school that I almost ran my car off the side of the rode, twice. While I was lost in my thoughts, only the sudden bouncy surface of the dirt along the side of the rode and the sloping downfall alerted me that I wasn't driving straight. The clues were all leading up to a climax that was nearly tangible. X wasn't a normal kidnapper.

He had done his research about my life, focusing on the state of my love life. He'd demanded I broke up with Jake, reminding me every day to do so. When James had unknowingly provoked him, he'd ended up in the hospital, still suffering to the minute by X's hand, so he said. I had no reason to doubt him.

He'd stalked me meticulously, hiding himself so cleverly that I never would've known I was being watched if he hadn't revealed himself to me in the form of parchment.

His planted notes let me know that he was following me, forcing me to think about him just when I was beginning to forget.

The roses he left about me were to, what? Give me a sense of power? Fill me with their aroma so that I would become as dark as their lethally attractive petals that were soft to the touch?

And during my bath, I'd been so relaxed that I wouldn't have thought to deny him if he'd chosen to take me with promises that I would receive the same luxurious treatment daily.

By now, I had convinced myself that he wasn't human. He couldn't be. The way he talked was as if he was from a different time era, and he had mentioned that he ruled a kingdom and "his people" had culture that I wasn't aware of. I was a princess since I was his…what had been the word he used? It was something I'd only read in fairytales and fantasies. A mate! He'd called me his mate. As in, a soul mate? Or like a werewolf, the way animals refer to their partner? Oh, there were so many possibilities!

The most important question was, if he wasn't human, then, what was he? Vampire? Werewolf? Or a different type of creature? I tried to make a mental list of any mythical creature I'd thought to never exist: mermaids, dragons, elves, unicorns, fairies, sprites, or, wait, were fairies and sprites the same thing? Or had I heard that mermaids and sirens were essentially the same species?

"It's no use, " I groaned, hitting my head against the steering wheel in frustration. "There's too much I don't know!"

I refused to make eye contact when I entered the school. I felt like thousands of eyes were staring at me, although barely anyone glanced my way. When I saw Jake at the end of the hall, patiently waiting by my locker like he did most mornings, I turned tail and fled to my first hour without any books. I couldn't look him in the eye knowing what I had to do.

It was just my luck that I had a paper due first hour, and I blushed ashamed when my English teacher, Mr. Genter, glared at me. The voice in my head growled at my treatment, lecturing me on how I should be more confident, show him his place, and hold my head high. I ignored it, instead drifting off into thoughts of who X could be. The voice fell silent when I began thinking of him, as if listening to my thoughts. Strange little bugger, that voice was.

I didn't get a chance to see Violet until third hour, and she was fidgeting the entire time. When I peeked over at her more than once, she was staring at me worriedly. Finally, she thrust her hand in the air, and without waiting for permission, declared that she was going to the library to study. The quiet art teacher had a confused expression, stopping mid-lecture about Picasso. When my best friend passed by my desk, her hand gripped my shoulder tightly, an indication to follow her. Silently, I stood up and trailed behind Violet, giving Mrs. Trusock a gentle, apologetic smile.

"I think you bruised my shoulder, Vi, " I groaned, rolling it uncomfortably. Our footsteps sounded like we were stomping in the deserted hallway, and my voice echoed with the volume of a shout.

"S-Sorry, " she squeaked. Her eyes darted around us, as if looking for something. Or someone I realized. My eyes widened. In all of his notes, X had never mention

ed Violet. He'd explained about my mom, how Jake was to be handled, and where James had ended up. Never, not once, had he told me what was to become of my wild, impulsive friend.

The voice was strangely silent. I'd become used to his, or her, inputs whenever I'd tried to figure something out that pertained to X. Now, I couldn't hear it at all.

I stopped her when she went to round the corner, almost bumping her shoulder against the wall in her hurry. "What has you so jumpy?" I asked softly.

I hadn't noticed her muddled appearance. Her hair, like mine, was swept back carelessly into a hair tie. Her eyes, still unfocused and chaotically searching, were drooping with exhaustion. Makeup only hid so much of her bruise like bags. Her lips were thin and colorless, meaning she was lightheaded. Her hands shook in mine.

This was not my friend. Violet was never this frantic. She always made sure she controlled a situation, and the last time I'd seen her this way was a couple of years ago, when her mean cousin had slipped a spider down her shirt. She had arachnophobia, the fear of spiders. After she had exhausted herself by screaming, she'd curled up in a fetal position while her mother comforted her and removed the eight legged creature. She'd had to go to the hospital for some medication to calm her down; her heart had been beating too fast.

"Vi, it's okay, " I said now, pulling her head to rest on my shoulder. My hands unconsciously rubbed her back through the thin, raggedy pink shirt with cupcakes on it that she only wore when she was at her worse, usually sick or heartbroken. She'd had that shirt since she was ten years old, and it still squeezed on her small frame, her matured boobs the only obstacle. She strapped them down with a sports bra that I felt through the almost see-through material that had seen one too many trips through the wash to still be appropriate clothing. Nothing could make her give up that shirt.

Her tears made a wet spot on my shoulder. I soothed her while she broke down in my arms, scared beyond belief. My face hardened; whoever did this to her was going to have hell to pay.

"Did you see him?" she finally whispered. I barely caught it, but thankfully I didn't have to ask her to repeat her loaded question. Knowledge of the situation dawned on me. She had her own X.

"Yes, " I replied, my voice thick with suppressed emotion. Shivers slithered down my back. I could feel him watching me, and by the way Violet tensed, she could feel her own stalker too. Somewhere, two pairs of eyes mauled us while we were defenseless to do anything but wait them out. I glared over her shoulder, not seeing anything but hoping that they would feel my hate. I would rather die than let them see me cry.

"Are you scared?" she asked, whimpering as she dug her face deeper into my neck. I tightened my arms around her.

"No, " I lied. "He isn't worth it."

Don't be scared the voice said sadly. I would never hurt you. I dutifully ignored its reassurance.

You're on his side I responded bitterly, not realizing the voice was speaking in first person. Therefore, I'm not listening to you anymore. Anything else it said fell on deaf ears until silence soberly reigned in my head once again.

We stood there, holding each other and giving each other strength for an immeasurable amount of time. The only thing that broke us apart was the school bell, but we still stood rooted in the middle of the hallways, forcing the throngs of students to go around us, getting quite a few curious, annoyed, and rude looks. Past the warning bell, and past the start of the next hour, we were unwilling to part ways.

"He's coming, " she mouthed; she'd lost her voice after such harsh crying. "Today."

"I know." That set her off again, a whole new round of crying and sobbing when we'd thought that no tears were left. I was her rock in the same way as before, and she clung to me just as desperately. We didn't part again the entire class time. Throughout it all, we felt those eyes watching us.

It was all my fault. The mistake was so stupidly obvious.

During lunch, after we'd gone to the bathroom and dried our tears, damped under our eyes to shoo away the puffiness, and reapplied our heavy makeup which we needed even more now to accommodate for the night before and today, Jake had finally caught up with me. The voice acted up at the sight of him, snarling and spitting threats at him like an animal.

"Hey, Ivy, " he greeted, kissing my forehead.

Kill him! the beast in my head roared. Get rid of him before I do and do it permanently!

"C-Can I talk to you?" I squeaked, not taking the threat lightly. I knew, somehow, Jake would die if I didn't act quickly. I left Violet sitting at the lunch table all alone, her eyes refilling with the fear that I'd been able to chase away after hours of soothing.

"Sure, " he grinned, linking our fingers together comfortably. "I've missed you."

"You too, " I replied tightly. How was I supposed to do this again? Right after I thought that, the worst thing happened. The voice made me. It didn't choose the words that flooded my mouth, but it did shove my thoughts into action.

Now! Do it now… the voice urged excitedly.

I don't want to! I argued. Even as my mind opposed, my lips formed the words I didn't want to say. "You're an amazing guy, Jake…" I murmured, not daring to speak louder.

He's too shy, too insecure…

He respects me I objected. "I don't regret a second of our relationship…"

He was a waste! You need someone who's worth your time! The voice echoed in my head, now distinctly male and not sounding patient with my stalling anymore.

"But…" My voice, now a mere whisper, was weak. I was amazed Jake could still hear me. I chanced a look up, praying for him to put me out of my misery, but he just continued looking at me, waiting patiently and oblivious as I ended the best relationship I'd ever had.

JUST DO IT ALREADY!!

"I WANT TO BREAK UP!" I screeched, my tone accidently matching the octave of my cruel motivator. My hands clamped over my mouth as my voice bounced off the walls of the now silent cafeteria, carrying easily from the secluded corner I'd led us to. The voice inside my head hummed with satisfaction.

"You…what?" he asked, a painfully confused and hurt expression draping over his face like a curtain, masking his smile that I loved so much.

"You heard her!" a male snarled, the sound sounding so ferociously lethal that I shivered. It wasn't fear that slid down my spine like a snake, though. No, that voice was the most beautifully sinful voice I'd ever heard. And familiar. "Stay away from her! She's mine, human!"

I gasped, connecting it to the voice inside my head. I whirled around, stiffening at the impossible scene.

Growling, fluorescently bright flames swallowed the brick walls somehow, effortlessly reaching out with their sharp tongues of heat to smolder them away. They sprinted across the ceiling at an alarming rate, and girls screamed in fear of it collapsing on top of us.

Smoke curled around the figure, appearing within the flames. He was dressed in some type of skintight, black suit that was obviously resistant to the fire. The smoke filled the room almost instantly, making it hard to breath, although I didn't notice until much later how lightheaded I'd become. He appeared at home surrounded by the heat as it licked at his skin in a similar way dozens of overeager dogs greeted their master home with kisses. The dark gray smoke wound around and around him, encasing his figure like a swirling black blanket.

I became more and more appalled by his appearance the more solidified he became. First, the outline of his figure showed him to be a giant, towering over everyone in the school with his six foot four presence. Thick ropes of muscles coiled around every part of his anatomy, buffing out his neck, arms, torso, and legs scarily. Despite his obvious strength, he was lean in a way that suggested unexpected grace and poise from him. He stood tall and proud, his head held higher than anyone I'd ever seen.

Details were fading into clarity. His eyes were overshadowed by his low eyebrows. His nose was long and crooked, hinting at fights and giving him a bad boy look that appealed to me strangely, since I'd never been one to be attracted to bad boys. His cheekbones were high and his jaw angular; in fact, every plane of his body was individual, lines where they met covering his body in dents and shadows of sharp angles and defined muscles.

And he couldn't be a day over twenty years old. The youth was obvious on his face, not as much as my seventeen years old, but obviously still confident with his sex appeal, wild, and full of hormones. He was nothing like the old stalker I'd pictured him to be, and for that at least I was grateful.

His gaze that was boring into me with the scorching intensity of the fire around us. His eyes burned black with flames flickering in the empty sockets, acting like the eyeball that was missing. His hair had also been on fire, but now it laid in brunette locks on his head- short, but long enough for fingers to wrap around them- after the flames had been extinguished, blown out like a candle. His mouth turned up into a smirk that invited me in without words having to be said. I took a step towards him unconsciously. The creaking of the ceiling made me stop, glancing up at the red-hot fire that now consumed the entire room: walls, floors, and ceiling.

I smiled at the dancing flames that all hurried towards me in a race to my person. Fear didn't fill me like it should've as the fire surrounded me, blocking off all of my escapes and closed in on me faster and faster. Instead I felt…peaceful. I opened my arms, as if to embrace them.

"They like you, " he rumbled, making me snap my eyes back to the mysterious man that had come with the abrupt fire. A soft smile played on his full lips. "I knew you were the one, my mate." So distracted by his voice and devilishly handsome face, I hadn't realized he'd come towards me until his arms wrapped around me. They burned against my waist, making me scream. He felt as if he was the fire himself, scorching my skin through my clothes. With the painful touch came my rude awakening of where I was and what was happening.

"Please don't be afraid, " he whispered in my ear, his breath as hot as the fumes from a volcano. I struggled uselessly as the smoke that was wrapped around him snaked behind me.

"Let me go!" I protested, choking on the toxic air. My eyes watered now that I was in the heart of the fire. He was obviously the source, like the heart of the sun; he wasn't usually visible, but all of the aftereffects radiated from him and most only noticed the very outskirts of his power. He was fire, and every human was clueless to him every time they lit a calming candle or started a happy bonfire. "Please!"

"Don't fear me, Ivy, " he repeated over and over again as I watched the flames backtrack, crawling backwards from the walls and ceiling towards us. It didn't leave a trail, no burnt evidence that anything had happened.

"It's going to burn me! Let me go!" My voice was hoarse and raw. I gasped for breath, but every inhale only depleted my oxygen supply faster. My pleading was hopeless, as his determination stayed as strong as his arms that prevented me from escaping, not that I could run anywhere. The flames came closer and closer to us, warming the circle of smoke until I was sure I would pass out from overheating.

"Don't worry, Princess, " he cooed into my ear, his voice calm. I struggled more desperately as he repeated the words from my dream. "I'm here now. Everything will be okay now."

"You're trying to kill me!" I cried, sending my tiny fists into him as hard as I could. They looked so small against the wide expanse of his chest, a drop of water in an entire ocean. "I don't want to die!"

"Trust me." His hand cradled my face between the planes of his chest, the twin slabs of muscle on either side of my face. His shirt was bone-dry, while my clothes were soaked with sweat.

"Please, let me go…" I croaked one last time, tears running down my face as I accepted my defeat, slumping against his hard body. I had no more energy to hold myself up.

He whispered fiercely in my ear as the dancing flames submerged our bodies. "Never."

His declaration repeated over and over again as I mercifully sank into darkness.

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