Somehow I had found myself hovering on the edge of the forest.Various scents tainted the air, but one stood out among them all. I had no idea why it was so poignant to me, why I was easily able to detect it. It startled me, allowed something uneasy to churn within my stomach. Doubt began to gnaw away at me. My somewhat still heart felt like it should be pounding furiously against my chest.
I could see him, a little way off. He was brooding against the bark of a willow, staring straight into the forest. He hadn't detected me yet. I could go. I could leave. He would never know.
But I knew despite all of this, despite my fear and my conscience screaming at me to get out of there, I took a step forward. Then another. And another.
His head shot up, his eyes burned straight into mine. It knocked all the breath out of me; I was frozen on the spot. I tried to show confidence in my stance, but was rendered completely useless.
'You shouldn't be here,' he whispered, his eyes searching behind me.
'I'd like to say the same to you,' I murmured.
I had no idea what I was doing. Communicating with a sanguine vampire was strictly forbidden. I had been taught to distrust them. It was all I had ever known. Yet, right now it felt like I was caught in a riptide of alien emotions and complicated feelings. I couldn't put it into words, but standing there in front of him felt...normal. It felt okay.
This all wavered when he growled at me.
'Seriously. Get out of here.'
I took an unsteady step backwards, involuntarily. But I refused to let myself get frightened. He wouldn't hurt me. He couldn't. I could easily defend myself. Besides, I got the distinct impression that all of this was for show. It was a facade. I could taste that bittersweet feeling of wonder and anticipation emitting from him in astounding waves. He was also curious. Afraid of getting caught though.
'You must have known I was going to come. Otherwise you wouldn't be out here.'
Something flitted across his face. Eyes so dark they might have been black simply stared at me. 'Who are you?'
'Who am I?' I debated whether or not to tell him my name, but decided against it. 'Who are you?'
'I asked you first.'
'Are we five years old?'
He sighed. 'My name is Aaron. That's all you're getting though.'
'Now we've got all the introductions out of the way, do you want to tell me what you're really doing here?'
'Curiosity?' I shrugged. 'Does it really matter?'
'Yeah, it kind of does.'
I smiled. 'Maybe I was just out for a walk.'
His eyes flashed in anger. I felt something like a thrill run through me. I knew I was playing with fire here; I hadn't yet assessed how temperamental he was, I had just made assumptions. This could go one of two ways.
I guessed I was about to find out.