A sense of wonder never stopped crossing his features whenever he saw her. Seeing her for the first time left him captivated, mesmerized, transfixed, and so was any other time he was watching her. His heart thudded in his chest, clenching tightly as the chambers released the rush of oxygen-rich blood throughout his body. He could feel the euphoria humming through his veins.
He was watching from a seat outside the coffee bar. His expression of one being forced to endure an unpleasant odor. His gaze was unwavering and unabashed. Those grey eyes behind gunmetal spectacles did not travel up to her face or down to her boots, but they followed her as if focusing on something a couple of feet further away.
“Hello, what can I get you?” a female voice disrupted his attention.
A brunette, hazel brown eyes, was standing in front of him, a flirty pearl-white smile on her face. Looking at her name tag, it read Josie.
“Black coffee,” he said, uninterested in the girl’s sexual advances.
She left swiftly, getting back with his order. He sat back and stroked his chin thoughtfully, enjoying his drink and most particularly, the view. He had been seated there for the last half an hour, watching her, like he had been doing for the last six months. He had been watching her Firey Enchantress.
Her beauty never ceased to captivate him; how she would smile when pleased with something, how her eyebrows furrowed when concentrating. To say the least, it was satisfying to watch her.
And she is mine, he thought, her beauty, her flaming locks, her pretty smile, a painting for my eyes alone.
‘Black-Eyed Jack’s’, was the name of the tacky shop she worked in. He never understood why she worked there, he considered it a waste of time. Surrounded by insolent customers and incompetent workers who never got their high school certificates, working to fix their unrepairable lives. They were all useless, except for her. She was exceptional.
Dressed in a pair of dark jeans and a green shirt, she looked tantalizing, without even trying. That was what captured his interest. Her shift would be ending in half an hour and she would make her way home, he knew.
He had gotten tired of watching from afar.
Nighttime, being the only time he could be with her, catching a whiff of her swift subtle scent, drowning him as she dreamt. It always managed to pull him like a fish on a hook, wheeling him in, trapping him. For him, it was undeniably sweet and addicting, so was the rest of her.
He had gotten tired of sneaking into her room just to watch her turn in bed, with her pajamas being the only thing blocking him from being with her skin-to-skin. Some nights, he would calm the excitement in his soul to prevent himself from waking up her Sleeping Beauty.
He had private investigators watch her every day. He knew her ring finger was size six, he knew her shoe size was seven, and the blood type was B positive, her allergy to nuts and seafood. He had thousands of photos posted on his wall. Her in the park, local supermarket, on the streets, from her window, in her workplace. She was perfect for him, he made sure to give her a good morning kiss and a good night one too, as he traced his finger over her paper cheeks. He loved her.
Most nights, he would fall asleep happily, knowing that one day, he wouldn’t be a mysterious guy loving her from the shadows; he would be her lover and she would be his. He would be the one to marry her, make love to her and she would bear his children. She would be his to love forever. Oh, how sweet that would be!
But his impatience was getting the better of him. Why not be his own cupid? They were bound to meet after all, so why not give the encounter a jumpstart?
Signaling for the waiter to bring him his bill, Josie appeared. Getting his receipt, her number was written at the top, by grinning Josie.
“What time do you get off?” he asked, faking interest.
“In twenty minutes,” Josie said flirtatiously.
“See you then.”
His mind shifted back to her goddess, he would have to have her in the next hour, his patience was running thin, and he was excited about their first encounter.
“You’ll soon be with me beautiful,” he said, eyeing her from her spot on the counter.
≫ ──── ««•◦ ✪ ◦»» ──── ≪
Watching the wall clock, time seemed to go at a slower pace. Elena couldn’t wait to get her shift over and done with. Twenty more minutes.
“Ella,” a voice called out, pulling her out of her anxiety.
The most unusual sensation brushed past her...it was cold and unnerving, it made her feel worried.
“Hey, you want to go to the movies tomorrow?” Maddie asked.
Maddie was her closest friend of three years. She wasn’t her best friend, they were just close. For several sweet hours with her, she didn’t have to hide behind a mask, not of happiness, not of coping, she could be honest and get heartfelt advice. They were each other’s release valve when they both needed it, and though they bore no relation, they regarded one another as sisters.
“Sorry Mads, I just want to stay in my bed this weekend,” she said, pursing her lips.
“Come on Ella,” Maddie insisted.
Elena was still hesitant. Not that she didn’t want to go, but she needed some time to herself. She needed to seek divine peace in stillness, heavenliness in soulful bodily movement, and creativity for her soul. In simple, she wanted to meditate. She was a social butterfly, yes, but she needed some time to reflect.
“Fine! I won’t push you!” Maddie huffed, already reading in between the lines.
The unidentifiable sensation stayed with Ella, even after their shift was over.
Glancing through the see-through windows, she became paranoid, scanning her surroundings with a frown etched on her face. She could have sworn she was being watched. But shook it off and finished up with the cleaning.
Locking up the small cafe, Maddie bid Ella goodbye as she started walking away, leaving Ella standing in the chilly night. Her house was half an hour’s walk from the restaurant, and her exhaustion having taken a toll on her, she decided to wait for a cab.
Sighing loudly, she sat at the foot of the cafe’s door, imagining the warmth of her small apartment, with a mug of hot chocolate in hand. Her hands wrapped around her knees, bracing her from the cold.
A black SUV came to a screeching halt crashing into the sidewalk lamp, making Ella jump.
“Hey! You might kill someone! Are you blind?” Ella yelled, as a man drunkenly got out of the posh car, coming towards her.
“I’m sorry milady, no harm meant,” he sluggishly said.
The hair’s on Elena’s back stood on end, as the man got closer to her.
“But what’s a pretty lady like you doing outside this late at night?” The guy asked, licking his chapped lips.
Elena found her feet taking her in the opposite direction, the drunkard running after him. He was pretty fast for someone intoxicated. She was running. She didn’t know where she was going. The streets were all empty, as she frantically looked around. She threw into a panic as she could feel the impending danger. Running a couple of blocks, she stopped at a dark alley, frozen from fear.
Her head was throbbing and the only thing she could hear was the pounding of her heart.
Thank God I got away, she thought.
Unbeknownst to her, a stranger was lurking in the dark, waiting for this exact moment. Watching her with his hawk-like eyes, eyeing her like prey in for the catch. Stalking up to her, he placed the rug on her face, grabbing her tightly by the waist.
“Shh, stop struggling, just give in, your safe with me.” His strained voice lulled her.
She could hear him breathe, the pleasure in his breath, like an animal in heat. Her scream was stifled by the cloth as she struggled to get out of his grip. An acrid smell invaded her nostrils as her eyes stung and vision began to get blurry and darkness began to seep through the corners of her eyes.
No! No! No!
The man’s grip tightened, as she continued struggling. Her eyes were soon consumed by darkness as she slumped to the ground.
‘Tie her up’ was the last thing she heard before she was consumed and accepted the unforgiving darkness.