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Not Afraid

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The candle I had lit earlier flickered as Garrison looked at me. The soft breeze ruffle both of our hair and it made me want to laugh. It made me feel free. But then Garrison’s expression darkened a little. “We shouldn’t be alone together right now,” he said suddenly and I looked at him feeling a little shocked. “And why not?” I ask, truly confused as to why he had said that. “It’s dangerous to be alone with me. People get hurt. You have already gotten hurt because of me.” His finger extended, pointing to the scarred bite mark on my neck. Sighing, I told him that he hadn’t hurt me that much. It had been just a scratch anyways. A look of enraged fury came across his features and I looked at him surprised. I’d never seen him get anywhere close to angry before. “You don’t understand, Caroline. I’m a monster! I’ve killed people before and I can’t stop myself from doing it!” he yelled, eyes flashing with otherworldly light and I flinched a little. “In a way I’ve always known you weren’t human; that you were too good to be true. What exactly are you then? Because I refuse to believe you could be anything monstrous.” He looked frustrated and mumbled that he was a were-tiger. A tiger? Sounds beautiful, majestic. He was looking at me, judging my reaction and I had to hold back the smile. “ You don’t scare me one bit. Tigers are majestic creatures. It fits you perfectly.” A flash of surprise sparkled in his eyes and he asked, “Why aren’t you afraid of me? Everyone that hears about me, who sees me are afraid, scared that they’ll lose their lives. But you aren’t. I’d be able to smell the fear on you. Don’t you know the consequences?” I stare into his eyes and see a fear for me there. It makes me smile to myself. “I know the consequences for staying with you. But I also know the ones for myself if I leave you. Everyone’s got to die someday. I might as well live to the fullest, never give up on anything.” He looked numb almost and as I continued to look at him, I could feel that need to make him feel better rise up in my gut. His lips drew my attention and I slid a little closer to him. The amazing thing was that he didn’t move away. Slowly, I cup his cheek turning him to look at me.


“I’m not afraid,” I whisper and I kiss him. His lips were unyielding at first but they softened almost instantly. He began to kiss me back and suddenly His arms were around me holding me against him. His entire body was rigid with suppressed want. A soft guttural sound rumbled inside of him and I could feel the change in him as his hands moved across my back. Gasping softly, I felt his hands hesitate, not knowing if they should go on. So, slowly, I pulled out of the kiss. We were still so close, wrapped in each others arms and when I looked up I could see Garrison’s eyes were closed. As if dazed, he opened them slowly and I saw the inhuman gaze of a tiger directed at me.
“I thought you said that this was a bad idea,” I teased and he answered softly, “It is but I couldn’t stop myself.” Silence enveloped us as we stared at each other. “I……” he began but I pressed a finger against his lips to silence him. “Never regret it. It was the most amazing kiss I’ve ever had. And it should prove that I’m not disgusted or fearful of you. I……love you.” He looked at me, the golden tiger eyes looking confused. Suddenly he shakes his head, his eyes closed and when they opened again, they were once again those chocolate colored eyes I had grown to love. He looked at me solidly then and I could feel his arms tighten around me. “In truth, knowing you for a while, I think I might have come to love you as well,” he says and I lean against his chest, sighing. He thinks he loves me….


These words make me smile ear-to-ear. Then softly I heard him say, “This is the closest thing to true happiness I’ve ever experienced. You feel so good in my arms.” My heart flutters at this and I smile, burying myself into his chest. His heartbeat began pounding against his rib cage. I breathe in, taking in his scent. He smells like leather, and earth, and something more exotic that reminds me of the taste of falling rain. He spoke then, interrupting my thoughts, his voice sounding a little strained. “You’re scent is so strong. It’s like nothing I’ve ever smelt before.” He sounded surprised and I move, sitting up so that we could look at each other better. “What do I smell like to you?” I ask, my voice thick and low. A heat grew in his eyes and he said, “Like oranges, and the ocean. But there’s something sweet that smells like strawberries that’s completely you. It’s………intoxicating.” By the time he had finished, the quiver in his voice had disappeared to reveal a darkness underneath. A low growl echoed his words as he continued, “You make me want thing I shouldn’t even think to desire. It’s maddening being around you and I just can’t force myself away. I can’t because I’d crave your scent. I’m completely hooked. You trapped me without even knowing it.” Suddenly he gets to his feet, pulling me up with him. Both of us were looking at each other with new eyes. “What do I smell like to you?” he asks me and I look down, blushing. “You smell like the clean earth, and leather, and something spicy that smells like cinnamon, and something that reminds me of falling rain,” I say softly and he lifts my chin up so that I had to look at him.


Suddenly his lips were on mine, kissing me hungrily. I felt the passion rise inside both of us and could feel the release of my self-control. I gasp against his lips, feeling his sharpened teeth prick my lips as he pressed closer. His hands grip at my arms, pushing me back against the wall, jarring us apart for the tiniest second. He was on me again, advancing closer until our hips bumped together. I gasp and he moaned softly as the sudden rush of heat filled us up. Suddenly the door opened and Garrison quickly stepped away from me, a loud feral growl filling the room. “What was that?” Dad asks and I motion to my cell phone which was currently sitting on the bedside table. “New ringtone,” I explained, “Because you know tigers are my animal.” I could feel Garrison tensing as I stepped around him to “check” my phone. “Oh, well I came to tell you two that dinner is on the table,” Dad said, making a quick exit. Sighing, I turned back to Garrison and said, “That was close.” He slumped a little and I went to him and gave him a hug. “It’s okay. I was upset to when he opened the door. But we can always do more of that later. We have the rest of our lives if we want. But for now our presence is required downstairs.” I could feel him beating himself up inside but the absolute power within that growl was still sending shivers up and down my spine. I wasn’t kidding when I had said that tigers were my favorite animal. Garrison shook his head again, as if coming out of a trance and his eyes went back to normal. And I literally watched as his fangs retracted, becoming human teeth as he gritted against what seemed like pain. “What?” I ask and he looks at me looking completely drained. “I’ve never shifted past the eyes before,” he says wearily, “ You make me loose control of myself. Besides, the transformation always hurts reverting back the first time. My teeth won’t hurt me next time, if there is a next time.” Nodding that I understood, I take his hand and we headed downstairs.





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