Chapter Eight: The Real Sapphire Dreamer
Ariel looked out her sliding glass backdoor at the quietness of her backyard. A shadow appeared in her yard and walked towards her door. She watched in shock as the masked man stood just outside her door and tapped on the glass. She took a deep breath, then opened the door.
“Hello.” He said as he watched her.
She stared at him. He wasn’t using his voice disguiser. His voice didn’t sound like she thought it would; it sounds…young.
“Hi.” She said as she watched him step into her home.
“You wanted to interview me?”
“Um, yes.” She said with a nod as she smiled at him.
“Well, here I am.” He said as he stood just in front of her.
“Okay, so, let me get my notebook…” She said as she moved to get her notebook and a pencil.
She sucked in a shocked breath when he grabbed hold of her arm and yanked her back to him.
“Don’t turn from me.”
She stared up at him in shock.
What was he doing?
“You’re pretty; you know that? Even with these ugly scars…”
“Um, thank you.” Though she knows that’s a lie. She has never been pretty, and now she’s hideous.
“How would you like to do it with a killer?” The masked man asked as he pulled her closer.
“Uh, no, thank you, just the interview, please.” She said as she pushed against him.
“Ah, come on…”
She let out a scream when he yanked her into his arms and tried to kiss her. She looked towards the front hall when she heard someone shoving against the door. Another shove and the door flew open. She stared at Detective Gunnar as he ran into the room and tackled the masked man, knocking him away from her.
“And here I thought you only harm those who have harmed others.” Luka said with a growl.
The masked man screamed like a girl as Luka pinned him to the floor.
“Let’s see who you are.” Luka said as he pulled the mask off.
“It’s just a kid.” Ariel whispered.
“I’m not him, I swear.” The boy cried as Luka pulled him to his feet. “And I’m nineteen.” He said as he looked at Ariel, longingly.
“Come on; you’re getting locked up for a few days.” Luka said as he dragged the boy out the front door, then turned and looked at Ariel. “Close and lock this door and don’t let anyone in.”
Ariel nodded, then pushed the door closed and pressed the latch into place, then rushed to the back door and pushed it closed and locked it.
She sighed as she leaned against the glass door, then moved to her kitchen to fix herself a drink to take the edge off. That couldn’t have been the real Sapphire Dreamer.
She heard a soft tap on her back door and looked around the corner, then froze, not another one.
“Miss Lawson.” The voice from the cellar said when he saw her peeking at him.
She moved to the glass door and opened it. “Is it you this time?” She asked as she looked at him.
“I wouldn’t be here, except I know what happened, and I wanted to show you it was not me.”
“How did you find out about it so soon?” She asked as she stared at him.
“I have my ways.” He said as he leaned against the glass door’s frame. “Would you like to do that interview now?”
“Oh, yes, please.” She said as she rushed to her desk and pulled out her pad and grabbed a pencil. She sat in one of her chairs, and he stayed in the doorway.
“What would you like to know?” He asked as he watched her.
“Why do you kill?”
He stared at her. “Don’t you watch the news? I’m taking my frustrations out on those who deserve it.”
“I would rather hear it straight from you.” She said as she watched him.
His red eyes watched her intently. They were so creepy yet comforting at the same time.
What the hell?
“Okay.” He said as he stood up from the door frame. “I despise those who kill and those who let them free, and I believe someone has corrupted the system. So, I take out the trash. And you can quote me on that last part.”
She wrote what he said, then looked at him again. “Why sapphires in a dream catcher?”
“Dream catchers catch and hold bad dreams. Well, what’s worse than a killer? The sapphire holds their soul. Keeps them in torment.”
“So, sapphires hold souls?” She asked as she wrote what he was saying.
“Any major gem would do. Ruby, Diamond, Emerald. But sapphires are my favorite.”
“Why?” She asked as she wrote in her book again.
“I like blue.” He said as he walked into her home.
She looked up at him and sucked in a breath.
“And just so you know, I would never attack you.” He said with a smile, though she could not see his mouth.
“Glad to know.” She breathed.
“Is that all you wanted to ask?” He asked as he watched her.
“Um, no.” She said as she looked back down at her notes. “Why the innocent bloodshed?”
“I don’t kill the innocent.” He said as he watched her.
“But those who have done nothing…” She stopped talking when she felt him close to her. She looked up and sucked in another shocked breath.
“I haven’t killed an innocent.” He said as he continued to watch her. “They accused me of it, because they didn’t know who else to blame, or someone framed me so that they could get away with it. Some were even an actual accident that I had nothing to do with, no one did, really. Or a suicide that no one wanted to believe, even when they found a note. They said that I must have forced them to write it.”
“Oh.” She breathed. “I am so sorry…”
“Not your fault.” He said as he turned and walked back to her back door. “Anything else?” He asked as he turned back to her.
“What do you do when you’re not killing?”
She placed her hand over her mouth. She couldn’t believe she had just asked that. She hoped The Sapphire Dreamer didn’t get mad.
He tilted his head back and laughed.
Okay, so he wasn’t angry, she hoped.
“I research and look for those to kill.” He said as he walked out the door. “I must go, your detective is here.”
She looked at the front door; she hadn’t heard a car. She looked at the back door and found it closed. The masked man had left.
Wow, what an interview.
Ariel looked back at the front door when she heard a knock. How had he heard the detective before she had? Ariel got to her feet and looked through the peephole. She sighed with relief to see it was the detective, then unlocked the door and opened it for him.
“Piece of crap.” Luka grumbled as he entered her home.
“What’s wrong?” She asked as she closed and locked the door behind him.
“The kid. He had dressed up as The Sapphire Dreamer; in hopes, you would sleep with him. He has had a thing for you since they published your picture with one of your articles a few years back.” Luka said as he stopped just inside her living room.
“But why would he have a crush on me? There are so many reporters out there who are attractive. Unlike me…” She stopped talking when he spun on her and gave her the oddest look.
“Do you really think that about yourself?” He asked as he stepped towards her.
She couldn’t speak; she just nodded and watched him approach her. She sucked in a breath when he stood mere inches from her. She studied his face as his hand came up to touch a scar on her cheekbone.
“You were always pretty, Ariel Lawson. And the scars don’t cover that fact.”
She stared at him in shock. Was he just telling her this to make her feel better? She saw the sincerity in his eyes and sucked in a breath as his hand moved across the scar. It didn’t hurt, but they were sensitive to the touch, not painful sensitive, more like she could feel every stroke of his fingers as they touched her scars.
“You’re just trying to be nice.” She said as she closed her eyes. “It’s sweet…”
He cut her words off with his lips. She kept her eyes closed, just in case this was a dream. She didn’t want to wake from it, not just yet.
Luka pulled back from the kiss with a smile and watched her. Her eyes were still closed as she took in what had just happened. He watched her eyes open and continued to smile as she looked at him.
“Thank you for being so nice.” She whispered.
He growled and yanked her into his arms. He wasn’t trying to be kind, damn it, he was trying to show her she is still attractive, always has been.
He smashed his mouth onto hers and kissed her.
She sucked in a shocked breath but didn’t pull away as he played with her lips with his own. When his tongue ran across the scar on her lips, she whimpered and leaned into him.
He smiled as he slid his tongue into her mouth.
She kissed him back, but her body was stiff. He sighed as he pulled her body even closer to his. When she groaned, a spark of light flashed through his body. He wanted her; he has wanted no one so powerfully before.
He broke the kiss before he took her away to the bedroom. He wasn’t ready for that kind of intimacy yet; he was just showing her she’s still desirable. Wasn’t he?
“Okay.” She said as she tried to catch her breath. “Not the interview I was looking for.” She said as she took a step back from him.
He smiled at the pink splotches on her cheeks.
“Not what I had come here for either.” He admitted.
“Oh.” She said as she turned from him.
He noticed the sadness in her eyes before she had turned from him and grunted. She was taking what he had said the wrong way. He took a deep breath. He couldn’t let this happen again. Not right now, anyway.
“You’re taking my words how you see them, and not how I mean them.” He said as he watched her move away from him.
“I am, am I?” She asked as she continued to walk away from him.
“Ariel.” He said as he took hold of her arm.
She turned to him. He noticed the tears on her cheeks and grunted, then pulled her into his arms and kissed her again. One more kiss wouldn’t hurt anything, would it?
Ariel melted against him as he took her into his arms again. If he kept doing this, she would turn into gooey mush on the floor.
When he pulled back from the kiss, she looked up into his eyes and saw genuine arousal. But as fast as it had appeared, it was gone, and he let her go.
Was he telling the truth? Did he find her attractive?
Why else would he keep kissing you?
“Now, about that interview.” He said with his rugged smile.
She cleared her throat and took a step away from him. “Yes, the interview.”
She hadn’t expected to get an interview from anyone tonight, let alone The Sapphire Dreamer, and the man chasing him.
“Let me get my bearings, and I’ll fix us a drink.” She said as she headed for the kitchen.
Luka watched her as she walked to the kitchen. Maybe kissing her hadn’t been such an excellent idea. She seemed flustered. He caught a brilliant smile on her face and watched her as she prepared the coffee cups and grinned.
No. Kissing her had been the right thing to do.