A Nefarious Engagement

Fan Fiction for Joanne Brothwell’s Stealing Breath series

It’s the last place I ever expected to be. My feelings are so foreign it’s as if they have a voice of their own; one that is far different than any that has ever inhabited my body before.

I lie to myself, pretending he is the one with all of the control. He drew me here by mentally imposing his desires over me, but I knew exactly why I was being summoned. I could have walked away, but I resisted freewill and surrendered. The only way I can rationalize the moment is that my hormones imposed a self-made mutiny. Since he deeply gazed into my eyes I have been captured, scarcely able to admit it to myself.

When he opened the door and escorted me inside I nearly fell mute. Then he raised my hand and drank in my essence through a kiss, his black orbs penetrating my soul.

“Why did you summon me?” I could barely find the coherency to ask.

His debilitating gaze told me all I needed to know. He desired me, and I followed along like a good puppy, all too happy to come to the man I long to be my master. Since his first glance sent terror through my being I irrationally wondered what it would be like to be his for eternity. But I should know better. Guys like him, the bad boys that awaken your senses, they know the power they possess. They can enrapture you, eat you up, and then spit you aside before you’ve even gotten out of the starting gate. Yet they always leave you yearning for more.

But with him I know what I am getting myself into. It is more than a night that he desires; it’s something far more nefarious. He longs to absorb my soul—to savor it, and drink in every ray of my light in an erotic dance of the spirit. But that’s not why he’s called me here now. Or is it?

Slipping his arm around me, he leads me to the bedroom, purring in my ear that he wishes to place me on his mantle of worship. At his caress of my back, my black dress swirls down as if it is the snow of the Devil. I have fallen under Stefano’s spell, enraptured by his touch, having never expected it to be so gentle. It makes it easy for me to close my eyes and pretend it is Evan. That is, until my hands wander down his rugged physique. Every part of his broad structure is stringently built. It causes the warm creaminess of my femininity to emerge, making my insides clamp at the thought of him. He enters me, and I push my hands into the bed, my fingers desperately hanging on to the covers that grace it. As my body reaches the apex of violence, the corners of his eyes crinkle in mirth.

When our dance has ceased, I am still in a stupor. Leading me to the door, he bids me good night. His touch upon the knob triggers memories of my arrival.

“You never answered my question. Why did you summon me? Was your physical gratification the only reason?”

A smile crosses his face with the violence of molten lava. His voice is enthralling. “Can’t you see how I have led you astray, Indigo? There are not two Valente, only one. Remember when Evan said I was part demon? Well, that is true. But I am also part Evan. Every time you are with him, you are with me.” As he cradles my jaw his eyes flash a brilliant blue. Evan’s blue.

“You’re one in the same?” I ask, my voice as faint as a whisper.

“Not exactly, my dear. You’ve heard of good and evil twins? Like twins, Evan and I are of the same pod. How do you eat your peas? Do you extract them one by one or do you wrestle with every bit of the seemingly inedible shell, biting through the crunchy and tough exterior to get to the sweet al dente pieces inside? The fruit is only part of the journey. But to truly experience the pea, you need to bite through the exterior. And you, my dear, what you want is the pod, not a single pea.”

“But if you want my soul, why are you not devouring it now while I feel so helpless?”

 

“Torment enhances the soul. Makes it tasty. Gives it power. Everything Evan ever did, every bit of love that he ever showed, was to create pain in your soul when you learned the truth about us. It makes the trophy sweeter to savor.”

My stomach twists like the string of a yo-yo that has gone off balance, causing bile to slither up my throat. Could it be true? Have I been deceived so cruelly?

Stefano opens the door and closes the evening with a repeat of his welcoming gesture of a kiss on the hand. “Good night, Sarah Ross. Sweet dreams. Until we meet again.”

As his lips again touch mine, a cold blade slices through my body, causing me to wake—senses tingling, body quaking, heart seized, breath stolen.

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