h u n t e d

The river that ran through the City was a sheet of black glass, placid and undisturbed. The moon shone down, finding its twin staring up at it from the waters beneath. Wisps of cloud drifted across the yellow face, and the stars were only noticeable by their absence.

Alan moved along the banks of the river, the collar of his leather jacket turned up in the cool night air, the ruby silk shirt beneath it and his dark leather slacks providing scant protection against the elements. He barely felt the cold, of course, and the turned-up jacket collar was mere cosmetics, mere vanity. He headed towards the sounds of activity nearby. There were buildings on either side, converted warehouses turned into shops, restaurants, homes, in this part of the City. Further ahead, the electric lights, the sounds of music, the steady pulse of human voices. The need rose in him, responding to the anticipation he felt in his chest, and he picked up the pace of his stride.

Multicoloured lights reminiscent of Christmas were strung up on wooden frames that extended from the building that housed the pub. Tables and chairs were set up, little glass tumblers with wax candles set onto plastic red chequered tablecloths, tiny flames casting tiny glows on the faces of the people sitting there. There were people at the tables, sipping drinks, laughing, standing by the doorways, on the concrete banks looking down at the water below. They barely noticed another addition to their ranks, and he moved comfortably, invisibly, among them.

The voices mixed fluidly, interchangeably. Small talk. Niceties of conversation. Traditional opening gambits. Falling into each other until one could no longer tell where one thread began and the other ended . . . oh hello it's you how've you been I'm okay where have you been keeping yourself have you heard what happened to Melissa you look great who's Paul going out with nowadays what are you doing later really I didn't know thanks so do you that let's find a table how shocking poor thing . . .

He murmured unheard excuses as he nudged people out of the way. What he needed he could not find in these vacuous, tasteless, drawn out faces, cardboard people stretched so thin they had about as much substance as air. What he wanted lay further inward. Alan pushed aside the double doors that led into the pub and moved on.

Darker inside. Much darker. His eyes adjusted rapidly to the lowered illumination, the scent of cigarette smoke, drinks and sweat bundled together and intensified by the confined space. Alan breathed in the heady mixture of pheromone, alcohol and nicotine, momentarily relishing it before letting it pass harmlessly through his system with an act of simple will. He drifted further in, the music loud and pounding in his ears. Like the conversation it drowned out, the rhythms mixing and merging.

He saw her.

Among the cardboard-thin people, the stretched people, she stood out like a beacon. It was almost as if he could feel her isolation, her otherness from the crowd. Different. Apart. The sense of alienation was palpable and it drew his attention to her like a flame.

Alan watched her from across the room, between the heads and bodies and smoke that as yet separated them. Her lean, athletic form, wrapped in a red strapless cocktail dress, tight across her breasts and following the curve over her hips, ending halfway down her thighs. Long, dark-stocking covered legs crossed as she sat on the stool at the bar, heels dangling just off the floor. Soft black hair flowing down her neck in full-bodied curls, over her shoulders, contrasting with the fair skin. As he watched, her finger, tipped by a long red nail, absently traced a line down her throat, across her collarbone, and then down to the glass in front of her. Curling those fingers around the stem, she lifted the drink to lips painted a deep red that matched her dress.

She turned her head then, as if sensing eyes on her. Alan kept his position in a corner, studying her movements. Bright eyes shining in the darkness amidst the shadows and music, strong looking limbs, a heart-shaped face and soft, delicate features. Her eyes seemed to scan the crowd, and for a time they also seemed to alight on Alan himself in his corner, but the moment passed over, as did her gaze, and she turned back to sip lightly at her drink.

Sight the prey.

Alan moved out of his corner, stalking his way smoothly towards the bar. Attention was fixed, now, to the exclusion of all else. His jaw fixed in a purposeful stance, his eyes focused, his body tensing up like a panther's before a leap. Then it all seemed to change, to bleed out of him, as he took the seat next to hers, motioning to the bartender with a raised hand and ordering a drink of his own.

He sipped the mix of vodka and tomato juice, and gave a self-satisfied sigh. He turned around to lean back on the bar, looking out into the crowd. His eyes tracked across the pub, his head turning to face her. Her eyes reacted to the movement, looking to the side and for a second there was contact, a moment he took to smile warmly, white teeth briefly flashing in the light from the neon bulbs above the bar. A moment he took to reach out to her.

Their eyes met, and he held her gaze intently. She seemed to notice him for the first time. She took in the almost Arabian characteristics of his face, the shiny, jet-black hair slicked backwards, following the curve of his head and down his neck to end in a pony-tail. The eyes, deep brown, like an ancient well she could fall into forever. She felt something flow from him, brushing by the corners of her mind, a presence touching her with an intimate familiarity.

"Hello," he said, his voice deep, with a touch of huskiness, "I'm Alan."

She blinked slowly, as if waking from a dream. Her features composed herself and she smiled back, tentatively, "Diana," she replied, a little breathless.

Alan extended his hand and she reached out for it almost involuntarily. He bowed his head as he took her hand delicately in his, and she nearly jumped, feeling her own breath quicken. Suddenly, every nerve in her body was turned on to maximum sensitivity. She was aware of the warmth of his touch, the way each of his fingers was settled on her own. She was aware of a tingling sensation spreading through her body, electric, and briefly she felt as if she were going to faint.

"Goddess of the moon," he laughed lightly.

She blushed appropriately.

Let it take the bait.

"You seem out of place," he said, letting her hand slip slowly out of his own. Alan kept his eyes fixed on hers, never straying from her face, "Alone."

Diana gave a little shrug, but even that was graceful, "Perhaps... I like being alone."

"No one should ever be alone," he said softly, reasonably, but somehow she heard him over the sound of the pub. But it was as if the pub had grown silent, or nothing else existed but what was being played out between the two of them at the bar.

Diana glanced downward to her glass and ran a finger absently around the rim, then down, over the curve of the glass and stroking gently down the stem before sliding off the base onto the table of the bar. "Not tonight, at any rate," she said, looking up at him again.

Draw it further into your trap.

Alan grinned at her, a wicked grin suggesting a secret joke that had passed between the two, and raised his glass, "I'll drink to that."

She touched her glass to his, and their fingers touched again, lingering this time. They both drank deeply, draining their glasses, and replaced them. A note was placed on the counter, and Diana found her hand being taken again, and being led away from the bar.

Lure it away.

As he led her across the pub, the crowd seemed to part without any prompting, as if unconsciously sensing their approach and letting them pass. Diana felt him moving closer to her as they walked to one of the darker corners, what was a mere touch of her hand leading to intertwined fingers, then arm pressing against arm, then his strong hands on her bare shoulders. She shivered, but did nothing to move away.

Shrouded in shadows, she felt her locks being brushed aside, and the brush of lips against the nape of her neck. She stiffened, leaning back against his warm, hard body as his hand brushed against her side, then his fingers settled lightly against the curve of her breast. His mouth moved to the side of her neck.

Diana turned around, her arms rising up to come between them, settling on his chest. She whispered a soft protest, but his mouth covered hers, silencing her. Arms slid around her waist, as her mouth opened to his like a flower. Tongue on tongue, the smell of their bodies, the feel of them pressed together, filling their senses. Her hands came up to weave into his hair.

Alan broke the kiss, his tongue tracing a route to her ear, then down again, past the jawline. She moaned softly, then pushed his head back, shaking her head, her breathing heavy.

"No..." she whispered, "No... not here..."

Alan's own breath was also rapid, his hunger rising with every passing moment. He fought to keep the impulse down.

Exercise control. Play it out to the end. Not too quickly.

"My place..." she continued, "Nearby..."

Diana kissed him again deeply, hungrily, her eyes gleaming now with want that Alan could sense without even trying. He nodded quickly.

They walked to her apartment building nearby, one of those facing the river. His arm settled around her shoulder as she leaned against him for warmth. They kissed again in the lift, Alan pushing her against the lift walls. For her own part Diana kept her mouth pressed to his as their tongues fought for dominance.

She fumbled with the keys, her back to the door as they continued to kiss in the corridor, and it unlocked with a click. Both moved into the darkened room, not bothering to turn on the light. Diana giggled softly as she tripped over the sofa, bringing Alan along with her, tumbling to the cushions.

His hand drew up the side of her body, his thumb feeling the outline of her hardened nipple through the now too-tight fabric of her dress. Diana's hand crept between his legs, to run up his covered inner thigh to feel his arousal.

They rolled off the sofa, and he caught her as they settled to the carpeted floor. Together, they headed for the bedroom, Alan shedding his jacket as they did so. Diana's nimble fingers unbuttoning his shirt, moving over the firmness of his chest. He felt her lips close around his nipple, and he sucked in a breath.

In the darkness, near the edge of the bed, as her tongue played over the muscles of his belly, her hands undoing his belt. His pants fell into a heap around his ankles and he kicked them aside as she raised his erect organ to her mouth, her tongue running circles around the blood-engorged head. He placed his hand on the top of her head as she knelt before him, moaning in approval as she gripped the base of his shaft. She licked down across its length before lowering her mouth onto him, taking him deep inside her throat. She teased him, pulling, raking her teeth along the sensitive flesh before sucking hard.

Somewhere along the way she had divested herself of her own dress. On the bed, her legs straddling him, he sought out the moist folds of her sex. His hands gripped her buttocks, lowering her onto his mouth, nipping at her inner thighs, tongue-tip tracing her nether lips, seeking that secret button, tasting her nectar. Flesh on flesh, bodies sliding together, wrestling in various positions, they fell to touching, with hands and lips, explorers mapping out unknown territory, making the unfamiliar familiar. She moaned his name.

Don't lose your focus. Concentrate on the ultimate kill.

Her perfume seemed to permeate the room, mixed with the scent of her excitement, mixed with the pheromones that hung heavy in the air between them. They continued to touch, fingers roaming, hands caressing every inch of skin, every strand of hair, every detail taken down, charting each other in an exercise of sensual cartography. Their bodies shone in the pale moonlight streaming through the windows of the room.

Eventually, Diana's legs came up to wrap around Alan's waist. He felt her guide him into her warm depths, and she arched up against him, giving a high cry as he entered. He began to rock against her as she matched him stroke for stroke, her head thrown back, her delicate throat exposed. The hunger in Alan rose with Diana's own cries of passion, building higher and higher. Her neck, so white, the veins visible through the almost translucent skin, the arteries throbbing richly. Diana reached up with her hands, to grip the head-post, clawing at the bed sheets, beneath the pillow as her moans reached fever pitch.


Alan rose up, as Diana screamed out her climax, her breasts shining, heaving in the moonlight. Alan's eyes turned red as he bared his fangs, moving downward with lightning speed, right down onto the point of the stake.

Their two bodies held that frozen pose, his eyes wide in a mixture of pain and surprise, her face held in an expression of satisfaction and righteous triumph. A thin trail of blood dribbled from his mouth, and onto her body as she gave the stake a vicious twist, and he cried out in agony.

"Diana..." he gasped.

She moved out from under him, the stake still in both hands, and he tumbled to the bed, completely paralysed. She let him slip out of her and sat astride his waist, driving the stake further downward, through his body to pin him like a butterfly against the bed.

Take your trophy.

"Yes," she said silkily, "Goddess of the hunt."

His eyes followed her helplessly as she left the bed, to enter the bathroom. He heard the sounds of a shower, and she later emerged, dressed casually in a T-shirt and jeans. She looked very different, in her stance, her attitude as she moved across the room, in the hard look in her eyes. She approached the bed and leaned over him to draw aside the curtains fully. Out of the corner of his eye he could see the glimmers of dawn. Alan's skin began to smoulder as the first rays entered through the window. She listened to the whimpers that would turn to screams.

Diana leaned over and kissed him on the lips, tenderly.

"Don't worry, Alan," she whispered in his ear, laughter in her voice, "This way, I'll definitely respect you in the morning."

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