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           J.W. Phillips
 

  “You can have it. Just what is it?” His voice was slowly getting louder. Catherine perched on the edge of her seat, ready to calm him.

  “Your button,” she whispered, timidly. He moaned. She noticed the vein in his hand slithering about. She reached to touch his face, but he jerked away. “You can go if you need too. I understand.”

  “I need you more than this hurts,” he said, holding her close to his blazing hot body. They laid there holding each other; the only noise was the game on the television.

  Dear Diary,

  I can hardly put two words together. I got a taste of the price of sin today. I don’t want it. I also don’t want the man I love to have it either. I’m more determined than ever to save him from himself. How could you love anybody and let them fall into that kind of misery?

  Julie

  Every time Julie closed her eyes that night the pain washed over her. She had visions of the veins in his hand and couldn’t help but wonder where he was and what he was doing. A thousand times she reached for her cellphone, but each time would have a different reason not to call. It all boiled down to she was afraid which Trucker would answer. She was even more afraid which Trucker would be making an appearance that morning.

  After laying there as long as she could, she crawled out of bed and scurried to the window. The sun had already broken through the night sky. A new day, a day of new beginnings.

  “Trucker, am I even going to see you today?” Julie spoke out the window.

  “I never left.”

  She spun around, to find him leaned against the door-jam, one leg crossed over the other, watching her. He looked exhausted. Julie could tell he was still on the verge of turning.

  “Where are my parents?”

  “They left for work a few minutes ago.” He picked up a glass of water off her bedside table, and slowly made his way over to her. She reached out to touch his unshaven face. He tried to smile but his face was soulless. “Will you talk to me?” he asked, despairingly.

  “Yes, of course. Why are you acting like this?” She reached out for his hand, but he shoved his arm behind his back. “What’s wrong with you?”

  He handed her the glass of water. She reluctantly swallowed the warm stale liquid, just to give her something to do, anything to avoid the cold glare coming from Trucker.

  “Julie, please just answer me one question. Do you still care about me at all?” he asked, never looking at her. She touched his face, his scorching skin scalding her fingers. He shook her hand away.

  “Of course I do, I love you.”

  “Don’t lie, how bad does it hurt?” he asked, his tone severe.

  “A lot.” She wanted to comfort him, but knew that he understood how bad it hurt. “What’s wrong with you?

  “I’m about to change into a hideous monster. You already know that,” he said, short and hateful. “Julie, I never wanted you to feel the horrible hate that rages in me. I hoped you would never see that side of me. I’ve taken great joy in other people’s pain, but not your pain.”

  “Shhhh,” she shushed him. “Baby, they made you. It was a test and we passed it.”

  “I failed you.”

  Julie already crushed, wanted to soothe him, but her heart couldn’t take much more.

  “Will you take a ride with me? I need to talk to you,” he asked. She closed her eyes. His voice was so cold it terrified her. She just nodded her head. “Good, get ready.”

  The frigidness that whirled between them was stark. The passion he held for her was void from his eyes. There was no warmth in his touch. She placed a hand on his face, he yelped.

  “I can’t take your touch right now.”

  She drew her hand back as if she was the one who had been burnt. The words he never uttered, but the words she dreaded hearing; were coming from his lips, ‘I can’t take your touch.’

  Julie leaped in his arms. She was not going to let him do this to her. “Make love to me, mark me, hell, I don’t care, I just want you inside of me. I need to know you are mine,” Julie pleaded.

  His smile yanked at the corners of his mouth making his dimples crease deeply in his cheeks. His smile, however, conflicted with the worry lines imbedded around his eyes. “Baby, please Angel, we need to talk.”

  She tightened her legs around him and sealed his mouth with hers. He forcibly ripped her t-shirt from her body. His wings burst from his back and his eyes went black. There was no turning back, and Julie couldn’t have been happier. Her legs quivering just thinking about finally having him inside of her. She could feel the wetness between her legs as she pushed her groin against his hard cock. He growled when he yanked her panties from her body. There was no barrier covering her body. He flipped backwards while holding on to her. They landed on the bed with him covering her body.

  She started to unbutton his shirt as she shoved his pants to his feet. In a flash, he was naked and had his muscular body tangled with her. Her mind had played tricks on her, and she had forgotten how truly big he was.

  Julie had never seen anyone as perfect and chiseled. She ran her hands across his chest and moaned. Trucker grabbed her ass and pulled her tighter onto his body. “Keep purring, my sweet kitten, and I will not last very long.”

  The sounds she was making was driving him insane. He was going crazy. He leaned in to kiss her, stifling her moans. Her lips were sweet. He had never enjoyed kissing before. He saw it as a waste of time. But Julie was different. Julie’s lips were pure and tasted perfect. He couldn’t enough of her lips on him.

  He cupped her breast and realized she was fully naked and opened to him. His head was screaming for them to slow down, but his body wouldn’t listen. She yanked the hair of the back of his head and purred into his mouth. The sounds coming from her sweet lips somehow sounded wicked to his ears, and only made him unwilling to stop.

  Fuck, I can’t take her like this. She needs to know everything first. He pulled away from her a fraction of an inch. He closed his eyes, taking in her scent and warm breath as it washed across his face. “Angel, oh God, I want this. I can’t believe I’m being so selfless. But damn, baby, I need you to know everything first.” He tried to smile her favorite half grin.

  She nodded her head, and that was all he needed. Letting go of her was harder than he imagined. His wings recessed, and he reached for his shirt that was thrown on the floor. When he looked back at her, he was relieved she had pulled a tee-shirt over her head. Damn, he wanted her.

  “I need to take you to the pond. We are safe from prying ears there.” Trucker leaned to kiss her forehead. Her smell calmed him. “Get ready, my beautiful love. I will meet you downstairs.”

  He stood up and pulled his pants up, snapping them he looked at her. “I hope I can kiss you like that in fifty years.”

  He left uncharacteristically at a snail’s pace down the stairs and she suspiciously shook her head. She tried to take it all in. Our whole story, what more was there. She got up and sat down in front of the mirror. She looked horrible and still wondered how they must appear together. She was lethargic as she combed through the mop of hair on her head. After throwing on some old clothes, she decided it was time to face the utter confusion that was now her life.

  Julie entered the living room where Trucker sat on the couch knotting his fingers together and slowly nibbling on his tongue. His eyes were downcast. The past month had been a roller coaster of emotions, but none like that.

  “Ready?” He got up and held out his hand for her, still never meeting her eyes. The coldness was depressing as he slammed the door behind her.

  Chapter 19

  Their pond was exceptional that day. The wind softly blew ripples in the water. The wildflowers swayed almost in the same rhythm as her beating heart.

  “It’s beautiful,” Julie said as she pointed out a sunbeam dancing across the water.

  “It’s nothing special,” Trucker answered, shrugging his shoulders.

  He gently caressed her back with his hands, sending shivers down
her spine. She was willing to listen to him but then he was going to fuck her until she collapsed in total bliss.

  “The only beauty my eyes can see is yours,” Trucker said.

  With a hard, long breath, he pressed his cheek against hers. He started lightly biting down her neck when she saw the two men standing on the other side of the pond - the mind-sweepers. She gasped and started shaking. He held on to her as she twisted his shirt in her fists.

  “They won’t touch you, except if you want them too. They can’t even come on this side without you asking them too.” His face was in her hair flooding her with his aroma.

  “What?”

  “This pond is protected. I owe a high priestess a favor, but I needed a safe place for us.” He guided her to sit down under the weeping willow. She marveled at the way his skin was cooling. She turned and straddled him. Julie couldn’t get close enough. Trucker took a deep breath, searching for words. “The first time I saw you was not when you thought, but it was August eighth of last year,” he said and kissed her forehead.

  “Huh?” she asked, floored.

  “We came down to look at where they were going to build our house. I was paying close attention to everybody’s auras that day, when you walked out of the bank. Yours blinded me. I’ve seen true angels that didn’t glow like you. It was confusing because you appeared human.”

  She held up her hand to stop him. “I am human.” Something about that statement panicked her.

  “I know, but it was hard for me to believe that a human could have a glow like that. Then you looked my way and smiled.” He pushed the hair off her face, and beamed thinking about that day.

  “I never saw you.”

  “But I saw you. My beat-less heart sparked when you smiled. My human side was on fire. I had to know you. But my demon side was scared. That one little heartbeat was terrifying to it.” He stopped. “If this gets to be too much stop me, promise?”

  “I like it so far.” She placed her head on his shoulder as he wrapped his arms around her.

  “I started finding reasons to come here to see you, and then started following you. First, it was out of curiosity. I’ve always watched people, amazed at their ways, but you were different, you were better. The more I watched you, the more my human side came alive. I had feelings come up inside me that I didn’t understand. My demon side was torn. The feelings were too much for it. The more I came, the more I needed you. Your whole life is in your face. My demon side became fascinated with you too. I got to a point where I couldn’t function. All I could manage to do was sit there in the woods beside your house listening to you.”

  “Listening to me?” she asked. She saw the seriousness in his eyes, but also he was in awe at the first memories of her.

  He kissed her forehead. “Yeah, I can hear a whisper up to a mile away if I listen closely. I could hear everything in your house. There was the time when you fell and hurt your ankle.”

  She thought back, that had been in May. She had fallen off a chair and fractured her fibula bone.

  “It took everything in me not to run to you, to heal you. I had never wanted to protect anybody. My miserable life had been about my pleasure, my comfort. Not some girl. I got angry. My other side came to the surface and I stayed that way. I wanted to make the feelings go away. If you feel the good ones . . . you also feel the bad ones. My other side magnifies them. I decided I had to stay away from you. I did for four long weeks. I was in misery, everything reminded me of you. I talked to my dad. He has no true feelings, but he knows my human side is a very important part of his plan. He told me to attack you and get it over with.” He cringed. “I came that night. You were reading outside in your backyard. I stepped out of the tree line. I was going to take you. I didn’t know how innocent you truly were.” He held her close to him as she started trembling. “Your dad came out, you looked up at him and smiled. I could no more hurt a hair on your head then I could hurt myself. I left and drove for days. I needed to figure out what to do. I knew I had to know you. I went back to both of my parents. My dad agreed that if I proved you could handle my lifestyle, I could have you. I coerced your friends to not show up for your birthday. I wanted you to myself.”

  “My birthday, it was you?”

  “Angel, I’m sorry. I wanted you so bad and you turned me down. It crushed me. I’ve never been told no before. I started to believe you were my own personal demon. I ached for you for days, both parts of me. I decided I would summon you. I called for you for weeks. I needed you to know I wanted you.”

  “I never felt it, your call.” She snuggled closer to him.

  “Yeah, you did. You just didn’t realize it. The night you first called me, I was elated. When I saw you sitting in my car, it was the greatest high in my life. I wanted you to see me. I could use coercion on you, make you see anything I wanted, but I needed for you to see me, the real me. I wanted you to meet my mom, sister, even my grandmother.”

  He paused and took deep even breaths as she started unbuttoning his shirt and raking her teeth over his collarbone.

  “I knew that if you were going to see the darkness in my life, you would need to see the bright side of my life as well,” he said through hard breaths. “I wasn’t ready for you to find out yet, but the council gave me no choice.” His fingers brushed down her spine, sending a charge through her. “I asked you to stay that night, so we could sit down with you and explain it all. Then I don’t know what clicked at the park, but it threw me. He . . . my demon was enthralled with you. He wanted to come out and take you away for himself.”

  He cupped her face, forcing her to stop.

  “When you told me you love me, he had already taken over. No one had ever told him that.” His hand gripped the back of her neck, his fingers dug in almost painfully. “Angel, he’s more powerful than you can imagine. You ask me if I’m immortal, and I’m not, but the demon in me has lived before. Only one other of my kind is more powerful and you’ve read about him in that bible of yours.” He expected her to run, scream, at least cry, but she stared at him wide eye like a newborn bird. “I can keep him under control most of the time, but he was in charge that day and then . . . How can you even love me when I’m like that?” He didn’t give her time to answer, he continued on. “When I saw your hand and realized what had happened, there’s not words.” His hand slid down her arm and he lightly held her wrist.

  “I try not to question you. But what you did, when you broke my wrist. What kind of control of that do you have?”

  “Baby, I thought I had one-hundred percent control of that. I’d never lost control before. I don’t know why I did that day. I do know I’ve never experienced that range of emotions before. The thought I just hurt you even if I could fix it. The emotions racing through my body were mind blowing. For the first time in my life, I truly hated myself. Then you said you loved me. How could an angel like you love me? I’ll never hurt you like that again.”

  “You can control it?”

  “Yes.” His gaze darkened and his voice lowered almost eerily.

  “What is it?”

  “Do you want to see it?” he asked, fearfully. She started rubbing her wrist. “Not on you, never again.” He promised.

  “Yes,” she answered and moved from his lap.

  He walked over to the pond and closed his eyes. He took a deep breath and held up his left hand. Rays of light slowly began to radiate from his hand. She looked closely. It appeared that he was bouncing a small sun in them. A bolt of lightning sprung forward, and across the water. She winced, thinking about the burst of light that coursed through her wrist. She glanced out over the water and about two dozen dead fish floated to the top. He turned slowly to face her. His expression was full of regret. Her mind stunned to the point that all she could do was stare at him, perplexed.

  “Julie,” he said in the softest tone, slowly walking toward her. Her eyes filled with fear. “Don’t be scared, Angel. I won’t hurt you. I know you’re terrified, but I can’t.” He hesita
ted. “I won’t hurt you again.”

  She rubbed her wrist, remembering the intense pain, and slowly backed up from him. He screamed out and blasted a tree into splinters. She turned, needing to take a break. She would never run from him again, just step away and breathe. He flashed in front of her.

  “I won’t touch you, just don’t leave?” He held his hands out so she could see them.

  “How, why?” she asked and took a step backwards.

  “Self-preservation, I’m a selfish creature by nature. It’s one of the ways I have to protect myself.” He spoke slow and soft. She twisted her hand around her wrist. “Baby, I’m in complete control of myself. I’m in control of that. Please, just feel my skin.”

  Julie slowly raised her hand to him. “You won’t hurt me,” she said, her voice nearly inaudible. Shivering, she reached out to touch him. He groaned. Pausing before slowly touching his forearm, she felt the coolness of his skin as she ran her fingers down his arm to hold his hand. She turned his hand over to inspect it and traced his palm with the tips of her fingers. She thought of falling asleep in those arms, those hands tenderly stroking her hair, trailing down her back, holding her. “You’ll never hurt me,” she said as conviction filled her. “Trucker?”

  “What, Angel?”

  “You love me?”

  “Most definitely.”

  “Make love to me?” she asked and leaned willingly into his arms. His smell wrapped around her. It was the most relaxing and stimulating scent all balled up into one creature, her monster.

  “You’re too damn perfect to be my mate. I’m a beast, just like my murdering father.”

  “Trucker, your dad has. . .” She hesitated. “Killed?”

  “Yes, Angel” he whispered.

  “Emily?” Julie asked and held on tighter to Trucker’s waist.

  “Yes,” he said with much regret.

  “Have you?”

  He didn’t answer. She raised her head to look him in the eyes. They were tight and hard.

 
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