Twin Hearts

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 14

Danny eased back in the padded black art deco chair and flexed her feet under the table before her wondering if she could slip of her stylish new shoes for a few minutes. Her feet were killing her even though the heels weren’t that high, she was a sneaker and hiking boot girl and the heels were killing her feet, not that they weren’t pretty and weren’t great for dancing.

Around her couples filled the round tables and talked in hush whispers as the band that had been playing dance music took a much deserved break. Danny and Liam had been dancing for two hours to a varied selection of foxtrot, tango and waltz music. Liam was an excellent partner who from the moves he knew had been dancing for a long time, he was also amazingly light on his feet for such a big man.

Danny looked up as Liam approached the table, she gave him a smile as he set a glass before her then eased into the chair to her right.

“Ginger ale no ice for my lady and a coffee for me.” Liam said setting a steaming white cup down before him.

“Thank you, you might have saved my life.” Danny said taking a sip of the ginger ale. “You’re a marvelous dancer by the way, I thought you were good when we danced at the wedding but until tonight I didn’t know how good.”

“Thanks, I was being careful of your ankle before and I love to dance. It’s hard to find any women these days who actually know how to ball room dance. I’m afraid it’s becoming a dying art.” Liam took a sip of his coffee then gave Danny a smile. “Thanks for coming with me, normally I find these events tedious and stuffy. But having you here has made this night amazing, I don’t remember when I enjoyed an opening more.”

“Your welcome and thank you for asking me. I’m having a wonderful time too.” Danny replied taking another sip of ginger ale.

Liam gave Danny a smile then took a sip of his coffee as he looked about the room and then back at Danny who gave him a questioning look.

“What is it, you have a strange look on your face, I’m guessing you want to say something or ask me something and you are not sure how I’ll act. So just get it over with and then we can both go back to relaxing.” Danny took another sip of ginger ale as Liam shook his head.

“You are right, I can see why you are so good at your job. I have wanted to ask you for some time now, what is it like to, well I mean your ability how does it work if you don’t mind me asking?” Liam asked and hoped he hadn’t offended Danny.

“Oh, ok well first off not many people know about it. Matt and his partner Joe know about it only because we work together and we are close. We don’t advertise I have abilities because we don’t want any attorneys to question my work or findings.” Danny replied pushing at the plastic glass of ginger ale as she pondered what to say. “But I don’t think you’ll out me so I’ll answer your question. My ability works in a few ways, first I can sense things, bad things, evil things, I also see the dead. Sometimes it’s images of them or events that happened that were horrific or traumatic so that the energy released from the event left what is like a recording to the spot. Very violent murders or battles leave impressions that repeat throughout time and I can pick up on them. I can see what happened in my mind just like watching a show on a television when the antenna is out of tune and it’s grainy.” Danny took another sip of ginger ale. “ The dead I see are sometimes sentient, they know they died and they have unfinished business and can’t move on till they get help. I also see none sentient dead, they are mindless and just repeat the last few minutes or hours of their lives they are the saddest and I like to help them move on whenever I can. I also see things that were never alive, what people would call monsters or demons, and sometimes I see well changes in reality, holes in time and space portals if’d you like from which bad things come out.”

“Wow, that’s a lot to think about but I believe you, I’ve gotten the heavy jeevies myself more than once before something bad happened. Thank you for being honest I know it wasn’t easy for you, it makes me like you even more and it has raised my esteem even more, I don’t know how you do what you do then, it must be terrifying.” Liam replied. Liam meant what he said he couldn’t imagine seeing dead people nor undead things. He’d lived long enough to know that some people were born gifted with abilities that he didn’t understand. In his long life he’d more than a few witches and warlocks, not the weak self-proclaimed ones of today that dabbled with crystals and candles but ones that had the ability to control plants and animals, he’d even met a few who could make fire or move small objects with their mind. Besides as a shape shifter who was he to judge another.

“Your welcome and sometimes it is, since we are being honest I should tell you when you took me to see those properties the last one there was something evil there, something bad, very bad.” Danny took another sip of her ginger ale.

“That’s why you told me not to buy it, I took your advice and I didn’t make an offer on it, what was there?” Liam asked.

“Death, I saw something evil lurking in the shadows of the trees. I knew if people lived there it would go bad for them, very bad. Did you know about my abilities then?” Danny gave Liam a questioning look.

“No, I didn’t have you looked into until we’d been seeing each other for about two weeks and knew I was serious about you. But I had respected your judgment and now after talking to you I’m glad I did. The band should start up again, I’m having a great time but it’s nearly midnight. How about one more dance then we go, it will take a while to get you home.” Liam said.

“Sounds good, Liam I really am having a great time, I can’t remember when I had so much fun.” Danny gave Liam a warm smile making him smile in return, then he leaned forward to kiss her gently on the lips.

“The same here.” Liam sat back as the band started up with a foxtrot. Liam stood and held his hand down to Danny. “Ready to wow these stiffs I have a few moves left we haven’t done.”

Danny slid her hand into Liam’s letting him help her up. “ Sounds good where ever you lead I shall follow.”

“I like the sound of that, ready to blow a few minds?” Liam asked leading Danny to the dance floor.

“You bet big boy.” Danny gave Liam a wink making him break into a huge grin as he spun her into his arms.

Stavros stayed in the shadows watching as Enil and Set finished slashing the tires on Liam’s car, and Rashida poured sugar into the gas tank opening effectively rendering the car useless.

Stavros didn’t like what was happening, he didn’t like it one bit but he’d been ordered to come with Set, Enil and Rashida to be sure they didn’t get too carried away and stayed on task. The three had wanted to grab some females from the college campus while they were in another city but Raaga and Saahir had forbid it, not wanting to draw to much attention yet. Their mission was to capture Liam Cherevin’s female and bring her back alive for questioning followed by torture and death. Stavros had been wracking his brains for some way to derail the plan to warn Liam that his female was in jeopardy but he couldn’t without putting his own life and that of his mate at risk. If the little female was indeed Liam’s fated mate and they took her from him all hell would rain down on them when Liam discovered would taken her.

The others didn’t know how great a warrior Liam was, the others had never fought beside him, never seen what the big lion shifter could do. The others thought that because Liam was respectable business man now that he’d grown weak, but Stavros wasn’t fooled. Stavros had been with Liam when he’d cut a swath through fifty Turks to get to his fallen twin when their Templar strong hold had fallen, four arrows had been embedded into Liam and still he’d fought to rescue his twin.

They hadn’t been there when Liam had been tasked with rescuing a female that was important to his liege in ancient France. Liam had been a one man wrecking crew taking out forty warriors would had captured the woman and held her for ransom. When Liam had realized they’d beaten and raped the woman Liam had ruthlessly killed every male in the castle, then he’d gently wrapped the woman in blankets and taken her to a convent to have her injuries treated. No the others would be sorry they had underestimated Liam.

The sound of breaking glass drew Stavros’ attention to the right and he turned to see Enil break a second street light with a rock, before easing back into the shadows. They’d broken the two street lights in front of the museum plunging the front of the parking lot into darkness. The front of the museum was still brightly illuminated by flood lights but where Liam had parked was in the shadows. At the front of the museum a sleepy valet roused from where he was in a chair to look about for a few seconds before settling back to sleep. Set had wanted to kill the two young valets but Stavros had managed to overrule them on that, there was no need to take lives and the two young humans were harmless.

“It’s done.” Enil said coming to stand beside Stavros who was leaning against the high chain link fence.

“I see.” Stavros replied.

“Now what?” Rashida demanded coming to join them in the shadows.

“We wait.” Stavros replied not taking his eyes off the front of the museum.

“I say we go in there and grab her, who would stop us, it’s just a bunch of week humans.” Rashida said jerking his head towards the museum.

“When Utu made you he must have forgotten to give you any brains, true they might be week humans but there are many inside, as well as cameras. And do you think you can just walk in there and grab the female without any one trying to stop you?” Stavros growled in annoyance. “We are to do this by stealth, we aren’t even to kill Cherevin, just incapacitate him and then grab the woman.”

“You are weak and a coward, we should just kill Cherevin and have done with it. I say we go in there and take as many females as we want, it is time to expand our collection area.” Rashida sneered.

Stavros’ left hand shot out lighting fast to grab Rashida by the throat and smash him back against the fence without making a sound. Stavros lifted the smaller shifter off the ground and squeezed him by the throat before turning to face him.

“You jackal shifters have no sense, no logic when Utu made you he made a mistake in that he gave you no intellect. Cherevin has a brother, a very dangerous brother, he is also very close to the prince. If you go in there and just kill him you risk bringing the full wraith of all the Enki warriors down upon us as well as the human police.” Stavros eased his grip on Rashida’s throat as the shifter struggled against his iron grip. “I will release you if you promise to keep your foolish mouth shut, otherwise I shall rip your stupid tongue from your mouth and you won’t be able to speak till it grows back. Now blink twice if you understand.”

Behind him Enil and Set snickered softly and Rashida had the sense to blink twice. Stavros gave his throat one last squeeze then released him letting him drop to his feet. “While you recover go take a walk you are annoying me.”

Rashida pushed himself to his feet his hand at his throat. “Stupid cat shifter, one day you shall pay.”

“Perhaps, but not from you now go before I rip out your tongue anyway, and remember I have twice your speed and strength.” Stavros glowered at Rashida who slunk away like the whipped cur he was.

“Enil follow him and be sure he doesn’t get into trouble, if we fail it will because of you and the others.” Stavros said.

“Fine, but what are you going to do?” Enil demanded sullenly.

“Wait and watch.” Stavros snapped. He looked down the line of the fence and saw a thick over hanging oak branch, he crossed to it in two steps then leapt straight up to grab the branch and in one smooth move swung himself up onto the branch. Stavros paused for a moment to adjust his feet then with the grace of an alley cat walked along the foot wide branch to the trunk of the oak, where he turned and sat down on the branch. He was turning his gaze onto the front of the museum when he heard Enil murmur “stupid cat” before stalking off.

Stavros didn’t care what the others thought of him, once he did but no longer. He’d been forced to endure their company for thousands of years because he’d been made by Utu as had all of the Ninmah. But it didn’t mean he liked them or they him, he was a cat and they were jackals. But he also didn’t fit in with the Enki, they were lion shifters and he a jaguar. Deep within them was the sense of the pride of belonging together, he was a loner or he had been till his Rebecca. He would do anything for her, knowing how he felt about his mate and how she thought he knew he couldn’t let the others take Liam’s female. He’d have to find a way to warn him without giving himself away, but for now all he could do was sit and wait and enjoy the night and the sounds of the forest behind him. Stavros didn’t mind waiting he was a cat after all and had infinite patience.

Liam pulled Danny against him the moment the elevator doors closed to give her a quick but thorough kissing. How he’d managed to keep his hands off her for so long was now a mystery, but now that he’d kissed her he couldn’t stop. She was like a fresh chocolate chip cookie, sweet and savory all at the same time. The elevator came to a smooth stop and Liam stepped back giving Danny a wink as she flushed prettily .

“We just have to say a quick goodbye to Francis and Jacob and then we can go.” Liam took Danny’s hand as the elevator doors slid open on the ground floor.

Danny followed Liam out of the elevator and looked around to see they were in a niche between the gift shop and the western gallery, on her right was the entrance foyer with the bar and curving ramp. Danny could see people mingling about the bar, while standing a few feet from the door were the brothers who were apparently deep in conversation with an older couple. As they approached Jacob broke off the conversation to turn and face them.

“Ah Liam I was hoping to speak to you, you aren’t leaving already are you?” Jacob asked as Frances also turned to greet them.

“I’m afraid so, it’s a long drive home. But I’d like to thank you, both Dr. Troy and I had a marvelous time and the exhibition looks wonderful.” Liam released Danny’s hand as he gave the two men a polite smile.

“I’m glad you are pleased, your generous loan as you are aware makes up most of the exhibit. Which brings me to another point, Frances and I were hoping to speak to you about designing a new wing for the museum. Because of your generosity we obtained numerous sizable donations tonight, enough to allow us to pursue the idea of expanding.” Jacob said glancing at his brother and then back to Liam.

“I see, well that is excellent news, but it is very late.” Liam protested, then felt Danny touch his arm.

“Go ahead and talk, you can at least get some ideas of what they want. I’ll go look in the gift shop windows.” Danny offered and after heartbeat she saw Liam give a nod.

“Thank you Danny, all right gentlemen five minutes.” Liam said thinking how he’d make it up to Danny latter. Liam saw the brothers smile and he stepped to Jacob’s left so he could watch Danny while still talking to the brothers. As his new official girlfriend Liam planned to spoil Danny, the problem was he still didn’t know what she liked that well. She was a bit of a tom boy, but she was also a lady and could be either glamourous or care free in her appearance as the situation required. She liked chocolate ice cream and dark chocolate candy and plants as well as weapons, and she’d mentioned once or twice she liked lions which was good for him.

Unlike Rita she didn’t gush over shoes, jewelry or fancy cars, she also liked John Wayne and kicking back to just watch movies, a collection of John Wayne DVD’s would be a fine gift for a friend but not a woman he wanted to get close with. Perhaps a spa day or a sword, but what kind of message would that send to her. Liam turned his attention back to the brothers and listened to what they wanted in the new wing and where they hoped to put it while closely watching Danny to see if anything in the gift shop window caught her fancy.

Danny peered in the window of the large gift shop and gave a wistful mental sigh that it was closed, it had so many lovely things in the windows featuring Lions and ancient cultures and she wasn’t able to buy anything. She actually had a little extra money to spend for the first time in years and nothing to buy, a stuffed lion toy sitting and a small leather purse showing a reclining lion both caught her eye. The toy was adorable and not one she had in her collection, and as for the purse it just called to her. She only had a few purses all plain dark colors and serviceable, nothing as cute as the lion.

Danny moved further down the wall of glass peering into the shop to see several racks of clothing as well as a wall covered in women’s shoes in what appeared to be jungle theme patterns. Perhaps she could convince Liam to bring her back to the museum again during the day and she could wander through the shop and look at all the pretty things. At the moment she felt rather like Tiny Tim starring in the shop window at all the lovely toys he could never hope to own.

“See something you like?” Liam’s voice started her and she turned to see him stepping up beside her. “ I’m sorry about just now, so what do you like? Come on I need ideas, I haven’t had a girlfriend in well, forever and I want to spoil you.”

Danny gave Liam a bemused look not sure if he was telling her the truth or not. Liam and Keith were two of the few people she’d never been able to read, all she ever got off of them was age, power and Lion which made her scratch her head in confusion.

“I can’t tell if you are serious or not.” Danny shook her head. “And don’t worry business is business, are you going to design the new wing?”

“I’m going to work up some ideas, we can talk about them on the drive home. I’d like your impute you have a good artistic eye and your ideas on my other project were great. And I’m serious, I haven’t dated in a very long time so what do you like? I ruled out a boxed set of John Wayne DVDs and knives, at least at the moment so throw me a bone.” Liam gave her a pleading look.

“Okay if you promise not to laugh” Danny pointed through the window to where the stuffed lion sat on a shelf next to the lion purse.

“Why would I laugh, nothing wrong with lions. I have to come back in a week or so and take some measurements and photos of the space out back where they want the new wing built. How about you come along and I can buy you whatever you want.” Liam gave Danny’s his most roguish grin and saw her give him a sheepish look in return. “What, what is it?”

“You must have read my mind, I was going to ask you to bring me back, not to make you buy me anything but so I could get those.” Danny blushed in embarrassment at her honesty.

“I’d be happy to bring you back any time and I’d be happy to buy you anything you want. I paid off Keith’s last credit card bill, you could buy half the store and not even come close to what he has spent on Rita. She’s a terrible gold digger and I’ve tried to tell him but he won’t listen.” Liam held his hand out to Danny who slid her hand into his.

“You don’t have to tell me about Rita and I don’t want half the store. Besides I don’t like you for your money, I like you for you and for how you see me. I like that you see me as a woman yet still your equal, I like that when you ask for my opinion you actually mean it and listen to my answers.” Danny replied as they walked towards the museum door.

“And those are all some of the reasons I’m crazy about you” Liam replied holding open the large glass door and letting Danny step past him and into the cool night.

A sleepy valet looked up from where he was resting on a stand while the other jerked awake and pushed to his feet so quickly the plastic chair he had been sitting in rocked on its feet.

“It’s okay boys, I can get my own car.” Liam said slipping his hand about Danny’s waist and felt her shiver.

Danny had felt the evil the moment she’d stepped outside the museum, it hit her full in the face as if had been carried on the cool night wind. Malice, hatred and violence came at her in waves making her shiver and stop to look about the dimly lit parking lot and then across the road to the college campus. Danny felt Liam’s hand on her waist as she let down her shields and pushed her mind out something was wrong, defiantly wrong.

“Your shivering, I’ll get you into the car and the heater turned on in just a few minutes.” Liam guided Danny down the carpeted walkway and left towards where he’d parked.

“No, that’s not it, something is wrong, very wrong.” Danny turned to scan the black forest beyond, then the road noting the two dark street lights.

Liam didn’t bother to argue, he slipped his hand under Danny’s right elbow and began walking towards his car his eyes scanning everything his senses on high alert. If he’d been alone he would have done a partial shift to expand his senses but he couldn’t not yet, it was too soon to tell Danny what he was.

“Are you sure?” Liam asked guiding her around the end of a row of cars.

“Yes, something is watching us, from the woods I think and not the campus, and those street lights are out. The others are all lite but the ones closest to the parking lot are out.” Danny stopped nodding her head towards the street lights.

Liam felt it then the feeling someone was watching him, and Danny was right the lights should have been lite. “I’m taking you back to the valet stand, I’ll get the car and pull it up and don’t argue.”

Liam gave the woods a quick look then turned about and hurried back to the valets who gave him an odd look.

“I think someone is hiding near my car, can you two watch my girl while I get my car?” Liam pulled two twenty dollar bills from his pants pocket and handed one to each of the valets.

The one who’d been leaning on the stand nodded, from his appearance Liam guessed he was about nineteen or twenty and skinny as a rail, his sleepy companion was also young but had a bit more muscle.

“Sure thing, you want me to call the cops?” The first one asked pushing long brown bangs back from his face.

“Maybe.” Liam replied. “Danny stay here I’ll be right back.”

Liam saw Danny nod and step back as the more muscular valet rose from his chair and step towards Danny.

“We’ll watch your girl mister don’t you worry.” The second valet said earning a nod from his companion.

“I’ll be right back.” Liam turned and walked rapidly through the parking lot towards his car, as he neared it he once again felt the feeling he was being watched. He fished in his outer suit pocket and pulled out the tiny flash light he always had with him, for a tiny light it was very powerful and would help him see in the darkness. In his human form his senses were only slightly better than a normal human, which were weak and pathetic at the best of times.

Stavros watched from his tree perch as Liam turned and walked his girl back to the valets’ then turned back towards his car, he stepped forward and leapt effortlessly to the ground landing cat quiet next to Enil.

“Something is wrong, we should just rush him.” Enil hissed.

Stavros shook his head as the others stepped away from the fence and closer towards the p[parking lot. Stavros feigned nonchalance and reaching into his pocket pulled out several pebbles he’d collected earlier, his eyes never leaving Liam he flicked a pebble making it hit a car a few feet from Liam who stopped to look about.

Stavros saw the others tense getting ready to act the moment Liam reached his car, he needed to be sure Liam was aware he was being watched. He flipped another pebble, this time at the back of Enil’s head. The pebble hit him square in the back of the head and Enil jumped as he smacked the back of his head.

Liam heard a soft thunk and paused to look about as the feeling of being watched continued to wash over him, he was now about twenty feet from his car which was sitting in a patch of darkness. He flicked on the flash light and ran the narrow beam over the front of his car and mumbled a curse. Even from where he stood he could see his right front tire was flat, and not just a little flat the car was resting on its rims. He could also tell from the angle of his hood that the left front tire was flat which was impossible, at least not without help. Franky had given the car a complete go over before he’d left home, so there was no way he’d have two flat tires.

Liam took a few cautious steps forward and heard another soft think and then a pebble skittled across the black top to land a foot from his right foot. Liam’s mind began to race, someone had sabotaged his car and was probably lying in wait to attack him. But the pebble hadn’t been an accident someone had thrown it to try and alert him that something was wrong which meant he might have a friend as well as an enemy watching him for he was defiantly being watched. If he kept going towards his car he’d likely be attacked by an unknown number of people, while he was practically invulnerable if he was injured Danny would be vulnerable to attack and the fact he was invulnerable would give away his secret. He therefore couldn’t keep walking forward, but if he just turned about however was watching him would know he was onto him and again might attack.

Liam was trying to decide his next move when he heard a soft slapping sound and the crack of a branch off to his left he was definitely being watched. he couldn’t wait any longer it was time to act. Liam slipped his hand into his jacket pocket and flipped it on, he’d have to fake a phone call to give himself an excuse to go back inside.

“Why yes, this is Liam Cherevin, you found my wallet at the bar, why thank you I’ll be right in for it.” Liam said to the thin air then dropped his phone back into his pocket before turning about and walking briskly back towards Danny at the front of the building. As he approached Danny he held up his right hand and shook his head imperceptibly.

“Don’t say anything someone seems to have flattened my tires and I think they are hiding in the shadows watching the cars we need to get inside.” Liam said in a hushed tone so that not only Danny but the two valets heard him. Liam slipped his hand about Danny’s waist pulling him tight to his side as he pulled open the door of the museum and stepped inside followed by both valets.

Stavros suppressed a smile as Liam went back inside the museum with his female, they would both be safe for now and it was time for him to go home. He didn’t like leaving Becca alone too long she loved their new home and the enclosed yard but got lonely easily, she’d also been having cravings that kept her awake late into the night. Once he was alone in his car he’d call her to let her know he was on the way home and see if she wanted anything.

“Damn it we almost had them both.” Rashida snarled stepping out of the shadow and looking towards the museum.

“Something gave us away, he’s suspicious.” Stavros said. “I’m not waiting any longer. I’m leaving.”

“It was Enil’s fault he flinched I heard him.” Set said turning to glare at Enil.

“A bug hit me on the back of my head, I say we just go inside and take what we want.” Enil snarled as he pushed Set hard.

“You are all a bunch of idiots, I’m going before we are seen or the humans call the police. Stay if you wish this failure is on you.” Stavros gave Enil a contemptuous look then without a backward look broke into a run heading for the street. I the distance he heard sirens and suddenly light flared behind him and to his left as spotlights went on in the forest lighting up the car park. Stavros increased his pace running along the outside of the fence as he heard sirens growing closer, he saw flashing lights approaching and turned to the fence and leapt effortlessly grabbing the top and then pulling himself over to drop into the forest as two police cars went past. Stavros melted into the blackness of the forest and froze for several heartbeats as he smiled, all would be well for tonight, Liam’s female was safe for now. The problem he faced now was how to let the Enki know what the Ninmah were up to without threatening Becca.

Continue Reading

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.