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She was His
The girl ran through the forest, heart pounding with terror. Her bare legs kicked aside undergrowth, her thin nightdress snagging on twigs and branches, the silk tearing without her noticing. Rain flooded from the sky and dripped from the canopy of leaves, drenching her face and scant clothing.
He was coming.
She could hear him keeping pace with her, never falling far behind, his footsteps echoing, almost mimicking hers as she fought to keep ahead of him. She stumbled several times, catching herself before she fell, and struggled onward, hoping for nothing but escape.
But there was no escape. He would catch her.
She stumbled again, tripping over something hidden in the underbrush, and sprawled on the ground. For a moment, she couldn't do anything but lay on the muddy ground, sobbing in exhaustion, but then she heard him, slowed to a walking pace, still pursuing her. Quickly, she forced herself to her feet and threw herself against a tree, turning to face him just as he came into view.
She gasped for breath, cold raindrops spilling down her flushed cheeks and dripping from the ends of her shoulder-length black hair. Her back was pressed against the tree behind her, and she wished fervently that she could back up farther, get farther away from him. He was nothing more than a silhouette behind the curtain of rain that fell from the black sky, standing yards away from her but slowly coming closer.
A flash of lightening lit up the scene for an instant, harsh white light gleaming momentarily on his pale, deathly handsome face. She shivered as he took another slow step forward, another slow step closer to her shaking, tired body. She couldn't run anymore, and it wouldn't do any good anyway. She couldn't hide. She couldn't escape. She could do nothing but wait as he approached.
"Have you given up?" he asked, his voice as cold and smooth as a blade. She shivered again, wrapping her arms around her chest to try to fend off some of the cold that seemed to be seeping into her very bones. "I'd expected something more interesting from you, Avery."
"Please," she whispered, flinching at the sound of his hypnotizing voice shaping her name. He took another step towards her, her heart speeding up dangerously the closer he came. "Please..."
"What's the matter, Avery? Are you frightened?"
He clicked his tongue, as if disappointed or scolding her. "Tsk, tsk. I'd really thought you were more than this. I thought you were strong." He was so close now that she could almost make out his face through the rain. He would be smirking, she was sure, or simply gazing at her with his usual expression of ownership, his red-black eyes glowering menacingly. "I thought that you would be a challenge, Avery." Suddenly, his hand lashed out from the darkness, striking her face with such force that she tumbled to the ground, hand clasped to her cheek in pain and shock.
"I didn't know you were weak." Now, his voice was almost a growl. He was standing over her thin body, hands clenched loosely at his sides. "You're pathetic. You've given up," he said, disdainfully. "You're not even worth the trouble of letting you live."
"What's the point? Why bother living when you're so weak, so powerless, so pitiful?" Avery stared, terrified and pleadingly, up at him. His face held nothing but amused contempt as he looked back down at her. She couldn't speak but shivered, cowering on the ground. A sadistic smirk lurked on his lips, and he lowered to a crouch beside her, laughing cruelly as she shrunk back fearfully. He reached out, and his long, cold fingers traced the line of her jaw, his red eyes locked on her brown ones.
"Wouldn't you like to have power, Avery?"
She shuddered at his touch, finally finding the strength the jerk away from him. "Not yours, Bryant," she whispered. His expression didn't change, the corners of his thin lips turned up slightly. Avery shivered again, from cold this time, as the rain continued to saturate her thin, near-transparent nightgown. If nothing else, she envied that he wasn't affected by the cold that weakened her even farther in comparison.
He noticed her shivering, and the blue tint coming to her lips. "Wouldn't you like to be stronger than anything you've ever been? To be stronger than the mere flesh that controls you now?" Bryant gripped her wrist with one hand and rose to his feet, pulling her up with him. "I am stronger, Avery."
"I know." she said, her voice no more than a faint whisper.
"Don't you want to be?" asked Bryant, his breath cold against Avery's face.
"Don't you want to be powerful?"
"Won't you give in to me?"
He laughed, suddenly, startling her. Then, with the hand that wasn't gripping her wrist, he gently stroked her cheek, a pleased smile on his face. "Excellent," he said in a voice like a contented sigh. "You're not quite as weak as you seem. And you seem very weak, indeed."
She felt herself weaken under his steady gaze. Just being next to him, she knew she would never be as powerful, nor as commanding, nor as beautiful. He stood before her, rain washing over his pale face and soaking the unbuttoned black shirt that hung from his muscled shoulders. She trembled as his fingers caressed her face, wanting to pull away but unable to do so. He had absolute control over her, and he knew it. Anything she did to try to escape him was futile. She couldn't choose whether or not to obey him anymore than a dog could choose whether or not to obey its master. When he called her name, she answered.
"Avery," he whispered, seeming to have read her thoughts.
With her last ounce of strength, she tried to resist him. "No..." His eyes narrowed ever so slightly, but his smile widened, enjoying the prospect of a challenge. She took a step backwards, trying to tear her gaze from his captivating one, but his grip on her wrist tightened firmly. Bryant pulled her back towards him, and his lips met hers eagerly. She tried to struggle, weakly, but he held her against his chest while he kissed her passionately again and again, each kiss increasing his hold on her until her entire mind was consumed by him. She was unable to do anything but comply to his every wish and every movement.
Then his lips left hers, trailing kisses down her cheek and neck, until they came to rest at the base of her throat, where her pulse beat incessantly beneath her skin. She trembled beneath the gentle touch, her breath quickening.
"No." He raised his head to look her in the eye, surprised that she was still able to protest. Avery's eyes were closed tightly, her whole frame shaking. "Please, Bryant...anything...but not..."
"But not what, Avery?" he demanded.
"Don't what?" He was beginning to get tired of her resistance, and pressed her back against the tree again, causing her eyes to snap open in fear. "Don't what? Don't give you power, don't give you strength, don't give you immortality? Are you so devoted to being the weak, worthless scum you were born as? So eager to mean nothing?"
"I will mean nothing anyway," she replied, amazed at how steady her voice was. He raised a perfect eyebrow questioningly, and she managed to meet his gaze. "I will always be yours. Always. Nothing I can do will change that. Nothing you can do will change that."
He smiled again, the unpleasant, knowing, controlling smile she was too used to. "How right you are, my dear. You will never resist me. You will never equal me. And you will never," he said, lowering his head again so his lips were almost touching hers, "/never/ disobey me."
"No!" she cried out, too late, as his head jerked lower and his teeth sunk into her neck.
She was his.