The Eyes of a Predator
The wide, heavy doors opened with a clank and many turned their eyes towards her. The male’s pupils enlarged and the ladies narrowed their eyes. She felt exposed and adjusted the shawl tighter around her shoulders. With each breath, she took a step deeper into the elegance of the ballroom. Lights were half staffed glowing a warm orange throughout the room and graceful couples twirled to the swing of chipper melodies.
She lingered her eyes on the guests. The men looked stylish in tailed black tuxedoes and women frocked in spectacular, colorful gowns. Jewels, exposed necks and shoulders abounded.
She grabbed a glass of champagne from a serving tray; the second of the night, then took a deep breath and relaxed rolling her shoulders back. Feeling more at ease, she removed the mask which covered her dress and stood proudly. Soon thereafter a few young men surrounded her. Their eyes shifted from the red of her lips to her bosom in a constant alluring game Taal wanted to be a part of, yet, she did not dare as she did not understand how it was played.
A tall, handsome stranger asked for a dance, and Taal accepted stretching her gloved, delicate fingers. Her great-grandmother’s ring flashed a smile at the pair and she smirked looking into his eyes.
He whisked her away. A firm hand reached across her waist toward her back and pressed on the delicate space above her rounded buttocks. Taal bit her lip and closed the small gap between their bodies. He felt warm and comforting. A few unfriendly glances from a few ladies she knew well, caught her off guard and promptly she realized, the gentleman, was not alone.
Overheated by longing, before she caused any trouble she was ready to leave even if it was scarcely 10:00 p.m.
“Thank you, my kind sir,” she said with a curtsey. “I’ll be right back. Could you excuse me?”
The clueless chap took a courteous bow. “I’ll be waiting, M’Lady,” he said softly kissing her hand.
The highwayman expertly scaled the rock wall and through masqued eyes beheld the fancy folks in the distance. He held on to his cocked hat and rubbed the stubble on his chin salivating at the idea of gathering treasure from an unsuspected aristocrat, or two that evening. A horned owl hooted above perched on a long, leafless, oak limb. For a moment, it caught his attention.
“All in due time, my friend. All in due time,” he sneered.
His eyes focus toward the estate. He and his new feathery friend perked when our damsel’s lovely frame appeared alone and in a hurry. A sumptuous lady in black, he thought as his eyes followed her briskly walking toward a horse-drawn carriage.
His heartbeat pounded at his chest. The excitement of the game aroused him. Slow fingers slithered down his side and he reached down to stroke—the pistol at one of his side and his sword at the other. With graceful elegance, George kept to the shadows casually following alongside the cart careful not to be noticed as his plan was already in motion.
Her eyes flew to the sky. Taal’s noticed a great big owl hooting below the starry night sky but her mind was consumed by thoughts of handsome Devon. He still ignored her, she observed in frustration. She watched him from the open carriage window at her left. His fingers firmly grabbed the horse’s leather reins and she flushed feeling a slight heat at the nape of her neck. It ran forward and stain her cheeks then lowered to her abdomen like butterfly wings.
A brutal halt flung her body forward and she tossed around the burgundy, velvety seat. A commotion and deep voice startled her and before she could question Devon, he was sprinting cowardly towards the woods.
Confused she flung the door open. They’d reached the bridge on Abbott’s Chase. A thin long log blocked the grounds pathway. Coming towards her, a dark figure. Quickly she closed the door and hid in the darkness of the cabin.
Laughter rumbled in his throat and she shivered.
“Step out,” he said and pulled the door open.
“Don’t hurt me, please!” she whispered. Her voice trembled with fear.
Wickedly he chuckled snatching the purse off her hands. It was heavy and thick. He licked his lips savoring the riches he was about to earn. His sword—not the one you might think, but the one out of metal, pointed straight out poking her at the waist.
“Huh!” she breathed excitedly but also with dread. Her chest heaved rapidly with quick up and down movements.
His eye drifted to the swell of her breasts almost hypnotized by their drift. His hand slowly reaches out ... yet her necklace brightened his eye. The jewels sparkled like the moon above.
“Don’t touch me!” she pleaded.
“Don’t flatter yourself. I—want that necklace adorning your pretty, long neck,” George said.
“Give it!” he closed the gap between them.
Taal inhaled his breath. It smelled of whiskey and cloves. The man was mysteriously alluring and obscure. She was excited by him but also fearful and for the first time, she cursed. Even this man whos eyes ogled her over, wanted her gems, and not her body.
“This trinket?!” softly she chuckled. "I’m surprised you would be fooled by the fake gems.”
His laughter echoed at the same time the old familiar horned owl hooted with pleasure and caught their attention.
“You can’t take this necklace. It—it’s not mine!”
“Better yet,” he winked a blue eye. “You won’t miss it.”
She gritted her teeth. “I lied! It is mine but an heirloom. Please, I beg you, Sir. Please!”
He came closer to her neck. His warm breath caused her skin to prickle. “Give it. Or I’ll take it.”
“You would not dar—”
Before she finished the sentence, the necklace was tugged off her neck.
“Ah!” she gasped in shock.
“And give me the tiara while we’re at it!”
One by one George stripped her of her jewels. His long sharp sword sticking at her side. The curious owl swept down to take a better look at what glistened but soon realized he was safer if he stayed above them.
“You’ve stripped me completely!” she cried.
He sinfully grinned. “Not quite.”
“Sir!” she covered her bosom with crossed hands.
His eyebrows wiggled. “Oh yes!”