Something swirled in the air, a haze of blood red and the smell of iron— Dark and heady, his head whipped to its origin.
But no, what met his gaze was a small head where two pale crystal like eyes settled deep. Small dainty nose and lips that seemed to be set forever in an pout.
His breath halted.
Where did he saw her before?
Something flashed in his mind— Of red eyes and pale gaze, a smile filled of mirth and fangs.
Who are you?
A twinkling laugh echoed in his mind, Silly boy.
In that second as he stared, she turned and their eyes met— He was hit by a tidal wave of memories, a trail of a song, fingertips grazing his skin, lips on his neck whispering sweet things as they dived deep into hell and came back as angels.
Her gaze didn’t waver for that second that seemed to stretch forever and too fast, at the same time.
Hot red anger flared in him. It was her.
His body was shaking from the force of it, vision tinted with red, fists clenched, aching to draw his katana from its place and pointed it at those small neck.
He realized, he only wanted to point it not snap those fragile pale neck of hers, that looked so small he could circle it with a single hand.
A vision flashed again in his mind, of his hand around her neck yet her gaze wasn’t scared, she was delighted, eyes trusting and elated.
What the fuck is going on?
His mind seemed to ached to the creases of his brain from the assault he received to his mind, to his soul, bombarded by every direction, to each one of his senses.
He could breath her red smell, those darkness, those glint in her eyes that sure was sadistic and scary to people who of the same kind, yet she wasn’t one of them. Of us.
He licked his lips and stared at her, unwavering, deep and boring into her soul. He could see those red tendrils curling around her arm, caressing like a lover, sticking to her very being like parasite and a dear child.
His eyes drifted from her crystal-like eyes to the curling red tendrils. What are those? He wondered, it made him awe struck and wanted to recoil in disgust.
Finally, he tore his away with a shudder. His hands were trembling as he fished for his zippo and closed his eyes, the familiar smell filling his nose instead whatever she was.
He took a grateful, lungful inhale from the cigarette and exhaled. Much better.
With a determined gaze, he settled back into the couch and didn’t let his eyes stray to the girl with the pale hair, pale eyes, pale skin, pale everything. He sighed and threw his head back, closing his eyes.
Whatever she is, it’s not good for him.
He felt like he had been torn apart by a single gaze from her. It set his limbs on his fire, eyes burning, heart heavy and power seemed to fly from his body to somewhere else— The depths of hell, probably.
Throughout the night, he felt her gaze lingering on him, on his body, on his fingers, on his everything.
Daniel was no prey, he was the hunter.
Yet, she made him feel like a prey to be hunted and toyed with.
He realized with a shudder that he wanted to be hunted by her, to be toyed under claws. Him, the big bad hunter wanting to be toyed with by a small girl who looked no older than eighteen with doe eyes and pouty mouth.
“Hello.” A tilting voice sounded too close to him, her voice was deep yet high at the same time, he couldn’t describe it properly. Daniel opened his eyes with a silent prayer to be strong to a god he didn’t believe in and opened his eyes, preparing his body to be slaughtered by emotions and pleasure.
He was right. When he opened his eyes and their gaze met, he felt like he was connected to a live wire, shocking his very core, his very soul, frying them alive with white fire.
Her smile was innocent but the canines peeking from behind her lips tell another story entirely.
“May I sit here? You looked a little lonely.” She said, voice sincere, innocent in its meaning.
Daniel stared at the two girls draped under each of his arms and despite his trembling nerves, raised his eyebrow at her. “As you can see, the seats are all occupied.”
She tilted her head, pale eyes catching the lights above and he swore those eyes became white and transparent, disappearing completely into the white parts of her eyes. Daniel looked away and dragged another puff of smoke deep inside him, closing his eyes as he forced himself to focus into the burn of the smoke in his lungs and not her.
He didn’t hear her say another word after that and he hatched one eye open, peeking hopefully and praying she was gone and still there at the same time.
She was still there, eyes no longer smiling but her mouth was grinning even wider, canines that was too longer from the normal human glinting dangerously. Isn’t it funny? We’re the same, yet why does she unsettles me so?
She nodded then, serious. “I see.” The she looked at him again with a smile and strode to him, right in front of him, between his long legs. She didn’t care about the stares of the two girls beside him at all.
She bent down, her hair was touching his shoulder as she trailed her fingernail down from his chest to his stomach. He felt her light touch like it was on his skin, catching on the thin shirt.
My soul has officially left my body, he thought, dazed.
His pupils blown wide, lips parted as he stare at her, gaze unflinching, he literally couldn’t tear his eyes away or look somewhere else because she was everywhere around him. Her scent, dark and heady— So red, he blinked repeatedly and her grin stretched wider, verging on completely looking like a Cheshire cat on crack.
A very hot Cheshire cat.
Without him noticing, she had landed on his lap, as light as a feather and looped her arms around his neck with a smug smile.
He heard faint giggles around him as the girls on each side of him seemed to speak with this girl on her lap and they left him in her claws, giggling away, twirling their fingers in a wave. Getting further away, leaving him completely alone in his booth with this—
You know what? I don’t even know.
He closed his eyes and gave up on trying to concentrate and hoped for a resemblance of strength. He took another drag and the smoke was snatched from him as lingered closely and took it into her.
Daniel sighed and opened his eyes.
“What do you want?” He asked her, as he said it, he was overcome with the need to bend down to her every will or run away before she can utter a single word. It was such a complicated feeling, wanting to please her yet some part of him wanted to run and hide.
Her smile fell, “Nothing.”
Alice was tired, she was bone deep tired, soul aching, mind heavy, it felt like darkness had clung to her and she didn’t have any hint of light yet. Everything felt dull, everything hurts, it wasn’t physical as much as an ache deep inside of her soul, a hole that couldn’t be filled, a wound gaping open, hollow.
She had nodded when her friends had asked her to check out the club on the edge of town and she had agreed, just wanting to fill that aching feeling in her chest— She didn’t like to drink but the pulsating, deafening, blast of music my distract her from all that ache in her soul.
It was almost a hole in the ground, brick walls outside with a giant neon sign in the shape of a magician’s hat and a rabbit inside it with an X as its eye. It looked great, she had thought initially.
The club didn’t have a bouncer, people freely came and go as it served as a pub with too loud music more than a night club. She had thought her hope for some good blinding music was out and she had deflated but as they pushed open the heavy steel doors —that looked like it was stolen from an emergency staircase or probably a high school gym door—
Red lights washed her immediately, neon lights pulsating like a living thing inside, the inside was tastefully decorated, only illuminated with various neon lights littered everywhere, the dancing area with only red lights, they looked like they were drenched in blood.
It was bigger inside that how it looked outside, they crammed a bar, stage, private booths and dancing area in the middle. The dancers on the stage were clad in leathers and spikes that for a second she wondered if she had mistakenly step into another kind of club entirely.
Not that she minded.
She followed her friends looked around and looked for a booth since their group was quite big, she rolled her shoulders, working out the ache and squaring her shoulders.
In the far corner, set on the brick wall was a neon sign of the same Rabbit with one eye, wearing a magician’s hat and one furred clawed finger set in Fuck you.
Set across, on the other side was a neon sign of Alice in wonderland, one of her feet kicked up in the air, skirts flowing around her.
They walked deeper into the club, which she later found out was named, the Lost Rabbit. She had thought it was fitting from how people seemed to get lost in themselves in that place.
Alice saw people on the dance floor looked like they were drunk from a different kind of substance entirely and somehow, her heart echoed in her chest, gaping wound filling with warmth.
She turned abruptly, for some unknown reason, knowing where the feeling had come from.
Her breath seemed to be taken from her as her eyes landed on him. Nestled deep on the left corner of the club, almost shaded by the stage, was a man. Long legs stretching, lounge in front of him, each of his arms draped around beautiful girls as they talked with each other, the man was content to do nothing except stare directly at her.
Who is it? Her heart screamed at her, demanding, terrifying in its intensity.
The hollowness of her heart suddenly filled, not with warmth, but something akin of hell fire, burning her from the inside. Like she was called by his stare, she had walked to him, her legs having their own mind and carried her to him.
She had stared at him some more as he exhaled, delicious looking throat gulping down smoke as it was food and those black eyes opened and landed on her again.
She didn’t know why, nor she understands, but something about this man— Sang to her soul, to her skin, worming its way into her bloodstream, claiming a spot deep in her without her understanding, staying permanently there, refusing to budge. She knew she wouldn’t ever forget him even with just that one stare.
So she knew, she would act, a one night without regret, embarrassing herself was more preferable rather than living the rest of her life regretting, not moving there, not saying anything to this man that looked like he was carved out of darkness.
So she didn’t care and she walked closer.
“Hello.” She greeted, earnest. She would kill for those arms to be around her instead. “May I sit here?”
His stare lingered and she felt like she was caressed from the inside, his black eyes looked half lidded— Lazy yet alert.
His answer felt to her deaf ears as she waved it away, too focused on
chasing how alive he made her feel. Still damaged yet alive.
“I see.” Her mouth had apparently answered. The man had pulled his long legs back the gap of his legs looked inviting so she went there, unashamed and wild.
She smiled at him and he looked like he was a starving man that was given a taste of meat for the first time. If that wasn’t an invitation she didn’t know what was.
Alice bent down and his scent hit her full force— She almost swayed on her feet from how heavy it was— She didn’t understand, yet he smelled delicious.
What is this feeling?
She was pushed by an invisible force to be closer— Closer to the man and a finger reached up and traced his soft grey Henley.
“Would you like us to leave you alone?” The girl on his left side asked her and Alice only glanced at her, flashing a smile as the girl leaned to her and smiled happily.
The one on the right answered, “Come on, Daniel doesn’t need us tonight.”
They stood up with a wink at her and promptly left them alone, illuminated by the red lights, he looked like he had crawled out of hell, if hell was where fallen angels were sent to.
His features were soft, angelic even. Yet years of hardships had shaped his jaw into hardness, the set of his eyes into a glare when they were kind from the beginning.
She wondered silently what had happened to make this man, who looked like an angel to be so heavily dented with darkness that he fell from grace?
Alice had this desperate urge to know every nook and cranny of his soul, every fragment, every chip and crack.
She landed herself on his lap and looped her arms around his neck, pulling him down as she chased his smoke with her mouth and inhaled.
Ah, she thought, Delicious.
She licked her lips like chasing the taste and gazed down at the bottomless black hole of his eyes.
This close his voice had taken a deeper tone and the tremble of his voice had sunk to her bones.
“What do you want?”
She felt unwanted, once again. Her adrenaline had seemed to fly away at that and she gained her sanity back for a hot second and answered, “Nothing.”
His eyes searched her face, gazing intently. At her answer, he let it sink then he finally nodded. Alice felt relief flooded her body and the live wire feeling was back inside her, lighting her up and she curled up her body on him and enjoyed the feeling of safe that seemed to settle deep into her bones.
She went boneless as she was content to watch the patrons walked around. Her friends had come over, looking for her and Daniel had spread his palm around her waist, curling and claiming and answered, “She’ll stay here.”
And Alice— Was feeling like she had known this man for all her life, maybe it was something in the air but her friends seemed to stay sane and normal as they looked at her with furrowed eyebrows, waiting for a confirmation from her.
She had looked up from the hollow of his collarbone and stared at them to show her friends that she was okay and more than sober, only a little less sane than when she walked in here.
“I’m good.” She had answered them honestly and they didn’t quite believe her yet, not leaving, so she added. “He’s an old friend of mine.”
The statement had came out of nowhere yet the truth was there, plain as day and her friends could sense it too. Yet, the ever loyal group of hers only said, “Alright, whatever you said. We’re seated across there,” She pointed to table on the edge of the dancing bodies, “Come find us whenever.”
Alice had smiled and nodded, laying her head against his chest again and inhaled, closing her eyes.
She had never felt this safe, settling deep into her and relaxing her. She had never felt this alive as well— Since… A long time ago. She sighed and curled tighter into a ball on top of him, if he could hide her into him and carried her with him— Safe, she would.
She didn’t realize how long it was but he had finished his cigarette and his other hand had came up to trace her nose, then lingered lightly on her lips before tucking a stray hair gently back to its place and stroked her hair.
And— She was so choked up with the overwhelming feelings, she didn’t know what to do.
What can I do? I want to stay here forever.
Was her only thought, despair filling her. To imagine that she was minutes away from losing him— The night will be over soon and they will part.
A voice at the back of her mind had whispered, voice small and sad and Alice had hung on tighter to his neck, wanting to just mold them together and not ever refusing to let go ever.
Are you lost, Miss Alice?
She had thought the voice came from inside her mind but it wasn’t— He had asked.
She answered and shook her head. “I’m not, I only wanted to stay with Mr. Rabbit.”
He snorted, chest vibrating with laughter. His voice was gentle as he said, “Am I Mr. Rabbit?”
She closed her eyes and emotions unknown to her, not of her came flooding in tidal waves and she hummed into the skin of his throat.
Mr. Rabbit take me away,
I’ll follow you into the dark hole
He continued, whispering it against the shell of her ear.
Ms. Alice is not lost,
She doesn’t want to leave the dreamland.
Her breath caught and she squeezed her eyes shut, This is not normal. Who is she? Who is he? Who are they? Why? How did this happen?
She didn’t understand a thing yet something had snapped and clicked into place when their eyes had met and now—
This song… This code…
I knew them and he had echoed the words in my own mind.
Who are they?
How did they know?
There was something hidden, curling, trying to get away from the fire filling rapidly inside her hollowed out heart— Not wanting to come to light and be found out.
Something about them.
She wanted to know what.