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The Deceivers (Chapter 1)
“Do me a favor”
“Keep this hair out of your face, it takes away some of your light.” He says as he pulls it behind her ear and to the other side of her neck. She looks back down, as if she were embarrassed.
“Seriously, you’re so gorgeous, and you have this certain…glow.”
She lifts her head back up, and he pulls her hair away and caresses her shoulder down to the bottom of her shoulder blade, giving her goose bumps. When he lets out an almost silent chuckle she feels his cool breath soft on her skin.
She turns to look into his eyes, searching, looking for any signs of a lie in among his gentle words. She had been taught not to trust. Not by a person, but from past experiences. She learned how to tell when someone’s lying, the eyes tell all. Mystery, guilt, innocence, lies. And since she could find none, she gave in when he put his hand behind her neck, and pulled her into a kiss.
He tasted of sweet, rich, strawberries, and…what was that? She thought, then she recognized it, ‘promise’. The promise of pleasure, but also security, and trust. All of a sudden, she couldn’t see or feel whether it was false, or a trick. So she gave in as he rained her with kisses. Up her jaw, nibble on her ear, down her neck, his tongue was sweet in her mouth again. She heard a moan low in his throat as she put her arms around his neck and he drew her closer.
Elena woke up.
“Argh, those stupid dreams.”
My memories had been turning into dreams for a month now. I look back on the days when I dated Andrew, or rather, I found out later, he called himself Túrran (roll your tongue with the r’s). – And he was with me to get my necklace. It was a silver chain and my family crest. But mine was different. It increased my power and I never took it off. He was a deceiver, and I should have known, but there was no way I could have.
I had been beating myself up for a long time over it, and when I stopped the dreams started. the night before I had a dream about the day I found out he was a deceiver, and he deceived me.
November was just turning cold and I met him in the barn down Vladimir St. When I got there, I could tell he was impatient.
“Nothing, I’m fine.”
“Are you sure? You seem stressed.”
“My boss has set a ridiculous deadline.”
“Oh, you couldn’t talk him down like last week?”
“No. I have something for you.”
“Oooh, what is it?” I said, totally forgetting about the previous conversation.
He moved behind me and took something out of a small box.
“Do you mind if I take this necklace off real quick?”
“I’ve never taken it off.”
“Well there’s a first time for everything.”
“I just can’t okay?!?” I said a little too harshly.
Then he yanked it off my neck. “Sorry boss said I had to get it today. Oh, and by the way, my boss is me.”
He ran with inhuman speed out the barn door. Oh, did I mention, whatever increases my power, gives others power if they have it? Well, yeah. I ran after him, but my stride broke when I realized he’d deceived me, when I realized there may be no decent person in this world, no one to trust. So that’s when I stopped. I crumpled on the ground as it started to rain.
My stomach hurt insanely, and I felt like I’d just been trampled on.
“Zafrina” A soft, human, male voice urged.
“Zafrina” It sounded kinda familiar.
“Zafrina…Zafrina, oh please wake up.” He swept me up into his arms like a fork lift and hugged me to his chest. Being brilliant me, I said, “Wha?”
“Oh thank goodness.”
“Who…who are you?” I ask.
“And I’m here to stay.”
I passed out again in his arms and woke up in my bed. I saw him staring intently at me, while he sat at the end of the bed.
“You called me Zafrina.” I said weakly.
“Yes I did…Zafrina.” He smiled at me.
“How do you know that name?”
“It’s the name your grandmother called you isn’t it?”
“Yes, but how do you know it?”
“I knew your grandmother, and she said that if ever anything happened to you, I was to stay with you.” Stating the obvious he said, “He took your necklace.”
“Yes, he did.”
“Are you okay?” He looks concerned, but you can never be sure. I do my usual assessment, trying to tell if he’s a deceiver. It’s much easier when you’re watching other people, and not someone you’re talking to. Not that it’s ever easy.
“My stomach hurts a little and my head is pounding.”
“Aspirin and water on the table beside you, and soup’s cooking downstairs.”
“How old are you?”
“How old do you think I am?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, I’m only a year older than you.”
“How do you know my grandmother?”
“Do you remember living in the village, at all?”
“Well, I used to come over a lot.” He smiled, “I remember learning archery together.”
“I still practice.” I surprised myself. I suddenly felt close to him.
“Good. I do too. Maybe we can go one on one some time.” he said smiling hugely.
“I’ll kick your a**.”
“Oh, really. Ha ha, you’re funny.”
“No. I’m serious.”
“You don’t seem to remember how good I was.”
I wave my hand away, “Years ago.”
“Oh, so you believe me.” He said a little skeptically.
“Just wondering. I mean, I know you have trust issues.”
“How would you know that?” I asked.
“I’ve been here for 2 weeks, and besides, I used to have the same problem. Kinda still do, but I know I can trust you.”
“Yeah. What’s your element?”
“Ummm…fire, and water.”
“Opposites?!? D***. That’s rare.”
“Do you want anything else?”
“No, I’m fine, but I’m going to go take a shower.”
“Are you sure you’re okay to be alone?”
“You are not taking a shower with me.”
“I’m just being concerned, that’s all. Jeez.”
“Right. Well, you may as well just go find something to do.”
I walked into the bathroom, got undressed and got in the shower.
“Hey, I need to get something, is it all right if I come in?” Jake said from the other side of the door.
“Yeah, but no peeking.”
He was laughing as he came inside. “I wish you’d trust me.” Jake said, his voice leaking with seriousness.
“I do.” I said quietly.
Okay, so I admit it was a little awkward me being naked in the shower and all, but it felt right, like old times. I guess I just forgot the good things, or suppressed them for some reason. Once I got out of the shower, he was sitting in the living room, watching a movie, eating popcorn. I came up behind him.
“Mind if I intrude?”
“Nope. Not at all.”
“Good.” I was wearing sweats and as I sat next to him, felt comfortably warm.
“I’ve got some hot chocolate” he said handing me a cup.
“God, it’s not winter yet.”
We finished the movie in silence and when it ended, Jake stood up.
“You don’t mind if I stay here do you?”
“All right. I’ll be on the sofa if you need me.”
“Okay, goodnight.” A second later his arms were around me his voice soft and whispering in my ear, “Goodnight.” And just like that, we were off to bed.
“Good morning sleepyhead.”
“I made pancakes.”
“I have to go.”
“What do you mean?”
“I packed last night before going to bed.”
“Sit down. Eat. You’re not going anywhere just yet.”
“Yes, I am. He’s going to get further and farther ahead, I can’t let that happen.”
That’s where the dream stopped, but I’ll keep going until you’re caught up.
“We need to sit and talk about this” Jake said.
“No. I need to go.”
“I am not packed.”
“You’re welcome to use the bed while I’m gone.”
“I’m going with you. You are not going on your own. It’s too dangerous.”
“Trust me; I think I know a little more about danger than you do.”
“You’re too impulsive. You’ve always been too impulsive!”
“Shut up, you don’t even know me!”
“Yes I do, and you know it. I thought you said you trusted me.”
“Whatever. That has nothing to do with you going.”
“No.” We were in each other’s faces now.
“Yes. Now I’m going to go get packed. Eat.”
“No. I’m leaving. You eat.”
“Da**** Elena, why do you have to be so stubborn?”
“Because that’s who I am. Deal with it.”
“You were never this stubborn, at least not to me and Grandma.” His voice had grown soft.
“Well maybe I’m not that person anymore.”
“Zafrina Rose!” Chills went up my spine “of course you’re still ‘that person’ you always will be at heart whether you think so or not.” Jake was practically shouting now, if it was anyone else he was shouting at, they would have been scared. But not me.
“Your intuition is on the fritz.” And with that, I turned and walked out the door.
“Elena!” Jake yelled after me.
I just kept walking.