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Enchanted by the Dark
The emotion came off of Dane in waves. It was suffocating. The thought of pulling the bubble up around her skated past in a quick blur of motion as Dane grabbed her hands and everything he felt came through even stronger. The rare emotion. The usually fleeting feelings was boring into her with the intensity of his gaze.

His emotions spoke more to her than his words. She didn't understand why he was jealous of Nox, but she could feel it to her bones. She was his - always had been his. There had never been a doubt in her mind - even with Lucas there was always that pull of Dane - always.

"Always yours."
Her voice came out a bare whisper - lost in his emotions Aria could barely find her own. "But you left."
Aria knew she should be angry, but she couldn't find the emotion in the swath of his. It came out more pleading than she had intended feeling his yearning - his need - his desire. The one touch she had desired for so long - gone and now returned.

Aria pulled a hand free of his grasp and caressed his cheek. "No one calls to me like you do."

Edited by Aria, Dec 16 2016, 07:01 AM.
That was better. He smiled when she touched his cheek, only slightly wincing at the unexpected touch.

"I forgive you,"
he said softly, only to let his gaze roam away from hers. Her pining after him was only slightly pathetic, but not so much that he would discourage it. He uncrossed and crossed his legs, settling more comfortably into himself. Forgiveness was easy to say, but harder to practice. Despite what he said, something pinched his gut. Like eating spicy food, he thought it might bubble to the surface any moment.

"Only if you promise me something, Aria. If you truly loved me, this would be a simple promise."

His eyes moved softly, slipping from the profile of the pianist and back to her face. "Never see him again. Why do you need friends if I am here?"
That wasn't fair, he thought. She was going to be offended, he guessed. So he changed his strategy on a whim. He turned to face her, opening up to her, and settling his hands upon hers, stroking her boney knuckles. "I am here now. I won't leave you again. In fact, I'll never leave you again. We can be together."


Surprisingly, he actually meant it.

Aria wasn't sure what the accompanying feeling from Dane and forgiveness meant. Dealing with people and their emotions was never something she truly understood - or even knew how to handle. He forgave her but for what? For having a life outside of him. Aria pushed the rising anger away. Dane was back... Lucas was gone. Life was like it had been before falling into the darkness. The darkness Dane had caused. It fluttered insider her like a dark butterfly wanting to get out. But the moment of hope was dashed with is request.

Never see Nox again? Could she do it? Aria already knew the answer but there was one problem. Aria knew that Dane would lead down a path she couldn't return from. The darkness fluttered harder. It wanted free.

Together? Forever? There was sincerity in his emotions.

Aria smiled with a nod to affirm visibly her thoughts. Aria knew the moment he'd asked what she'd say. But the problem still was there. Nox was the anchor now. She could stay away, but that didn't mean she wouldn't leave him breadcrumbs to follow. He was her safety net - if she became what she feared Nox would save her. He would return her to the depths of hell where she belonged - and Dane with her. Aria had no doubt in her mind he would.

Aria spoke softly taking in the feeling of Dane's hands on hers, the level gaze he gave her, the soft undercurrent of calm of his senses. It wouldn't be hard to pour the devotion she had for that first touch. Dane had done something no one in her life up to that point had done and he fused him into her soul. It was a little thought, a small push of her power through the touch of the hands, as she smiled at him. "If I asked the same of you?"
Aria leaned closer and whispered. "I don't know what you two did, but short of the power, I can offer better hunts."
The darkness inside flapped its little wings and filled Aria's soul. It stretched inside her and Aria embraced it. Nox would clean up her mess - it was why she became friends with him - ever the bleeding heart...
Dane's face wrinkled low. Emotions skittered across his soul like a strand of broken pearls. Anger that she might deem to tell him what to do. Confusion as to what she referenced. Jealousy that Nox told her about him. It was a torrent until finally they all dissolved into the acid that was his soul.

He shrugged, answering her question blandly. "I don't care about Nox. Tell me to never see him again and I will agree. But I have a better idea,"
his voice twisted, roots of an evil tree delving into the darkness.

Yes. Something stirred within. Deep in his gut. A warmth that beckoned and teased. He hadn't killed anyone in weeks. Mexico had been an ample bounty, but the prey was too passionate and the weather too hot. He liked Moscow. The cool air stung his lungs and sharpened his gaze. He thought of Declan's corpse then. The image of his older brother's body preserved in a tomb of ice and snow rooted his desire to remain in colder climes.

"Let us keep our friendship. Let's nurture it, in fact. I liked him anyway. You like him. Let him see us together. See us be normal. He will come to trust you with me and me with you. Then.."

He didn't say it. This was a public place after all, and the Mockingbird was not completely careless. But he held Aria's eyes, his own lit with anticipation and eagerness. He felt his cheeks flush with it, even as his nails dug painfully into the skin of Aria's hands.
There were emotions so many coming from Dane and then slipped into the calmness that was the reason she saught him. Why she craved him. Aria started to relax when he went back on his prior words. But confusion set in as he finally finished with his plan for Nox...

Surely she was mistaken - why on god's green earth would Dane want to kill Nox. Not that it wasn't nearly impossible. Nox was a reborn god - far more dangerous than Dane. But there was a feeling if she voiced that thought - she knew Dane could and would likely turn that anger upon her. His nails were already digging into the backs of her hands as he eager awaited her response to killing her best friend - and for what?

Aria didn't want Nox dead. But the desire to please Dane overrode near everything else, but Aria had hope in Dane - maybe he'd like Nox too much to kill. She knew it was unlikely but she had to try.

Aria's voice was quiet. "It won't be easy. He doesn't trust us together. He knows what we are capable of."
Aria's smile grew dark with the recollection of the influence Dane had on her. It was like fighting two sides of the same coin - never wanting it to land on either side - fighting to walk the edge constantly. A fine line between good and evil - the gray area. "And unless you know of a way to shield his power or keep him from touching it, we'll be dead in an instant. The moment he knows we are dead."
Aria was certain of Nox's capabilities.

Aria's smile darkened. "Nox might be willing to help you find a solution to our problem."
Her grin grew wider. "Under the pretense of fighting others like you. He loves to experiment."
Aria laughed inside - the darkness swallowing the small beacon of light - to pit her two men against one another - to watch them fight. It could be glorious.
Dane's mouth twisted thoughtfully. Nox was dangerous, he admitted to himself. He was nothing compared to Damien, however, and Dane had lesser motives for pretense with the felon than he had for Nox and Aria right now.

Looking into her eyes, he imagined the light fading from Nox's, and Aria's blazing with glory at the conquest.

"Alright. I agree to it. Tell him I want to practice 'dueling'."

With that, they continued to make plans well into the evening.

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