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Glamorous Business
Damien was content to wait and watch as Spectra preened for the adoring flock of pernicious crows squawking their approval. He indulged her and played the part of the star-struck man lucky enough to catch a whisper of a dream. He said nothing for a long while as they walked. Her beauty had snared him at first but her words and actions intrigued him beyond idle indulgence. What to make of a doll of porcelain that possessed no heart?

Her pulse confirmed her words when he monitored her heartbeat with a trickle of the Light. It was a practised method he had found much in favour of. Prison had left him detached from the spinning wheels of the world; the first disadvantage he had needed to remedy. That he had found other uses for this particular talent was an added bonus he would not regret even if tonight was the last time he applied his technique.

After they had left the bulk of the paparazzi behind, he lied. “Yes, I think I have found my sky.”
The smile on his lips was genuine if not for the most apparent reasons. He spent another moment admiring Spectra’s dark eyes and silky smooth face. “A convict you say?”
The word was a poison which he wiped aside with a scornful laugh. “I have no use for such distinctions. They have as much truth in them as your frozen heart.”

He made sure his voice was playful enough to take the sting from any conceived insult and turned his back on her in the direction of the river. Night held her full sway in the emptied park that they now stood in. The dim light of lamps and blue moonlight reflected off the river gave the scene a ghostly cast. The sounds of the city were left behind; even the air hung motionless, waiting. “Are you afraid? Bored? Disappointed?”
Damien asked without turning. He focused his mind on the Light that suffused his being and took a deep breath of balanced calm. “I’m sure you have seen all kinds of decadence I have no desire to compete with any fool with enough money.”

When he turned, Damien held Spectra’s eyes in a grasp that brooked no distraction. “Instead, I will show you true pleasure, if you wish.”

To Spectra, a frozen heart was not the same as an absent one. Freezing what was once warm and soft was a far different description than to be empty of compassion. Her ire deepened the intensity of her scrutiny, one that grew with every passing block they walked without conversation. What she earlier found captivating in Damien, now that the lights of their stage and the acting before an audience was lost to the curtain at the end of a show, she now found to be a waste of her time. He was the footstool upon which more powerful men rested. To maintain her interest in such an individual required the promise of more intrigue than a pretty face; pretty faces were abundant in the glitzy world of celebrities.

"Tengo frío,"
her reply bit sharply, but she added the English translation, "I am cold,"
as amends. Yet at the same time she observed his oblivion to her position. Such was the ignorance of men. Hood gave her his coat for warmth to endure the few steps between a building and the car parked in front of it. Damien lured her into the Moscow city streets, far from the lights of Manifesto's block, in a club dress and heels with not but a fur coat wafting tentacles of cold up her legs.

A fire began in her eyes, and she saw him with crystal clarity. In the depths of his question, she met his gaze with equal fearlessness. His attention grated like scars on her skin. He could have had her all this night, but he failed to impress, and Spectra suffered nothing less than perfection in her treasures. True to her promise, every man in her life would be compared to someone else, and so far, they were coming up short.

"You could have had all of me, Damien."
She teased him like a spider entertaining the idea of a mate, only at the last minute deciding to devour him instead. "But you will not,"
she decreed with no more compassion than sentencing a man to his beheading and wishing to be done with their business.

She unfolded a phone square from her handbag, intending to request a car. She was not going to walk back.
A flash of anger passed like an errant wind across his face which turned into a sad smile. Could he have misjudged her? It was quite possible he had been blinded by the glamour. It would not be the first time, and likely not the last.

“My condolences,”
he replied, meeting her relentless gaze. Did she seem more than disappointed?

He had to know.

The Light welcomed him but it appeared he was too late. His observations were delicate and vague at best. Without a constant monitor on the pulsing that circulated the body he could do little but guess.

He remained quiet as she rummaged through her bag, taking the opportunity to gaze at the cloudless sky. The mysterious beauty of the ephemeral, denied to him just as Spectra would deny him.

Damien angled his gaze downwards once more and spied the goose prickles rigid along Spectra’s flawless arms. A simple thing. Ordinary. Something to kindle the fire he had kept leashed.

Damien bathed in the Light and twisted it to his will. “I sometimes forget the frailty of our own bodies, forgive me.”
The Light twisted the air around Spectra creating a capsule of heat. Steam rose as hot air clashed with cold in a circular bubble around Spectra’s form and Damien approached slowly with the grace of a tiger in the long grass.

“It really is unfortunate,”
he mused with genuine regret. “I had thought you were simply coy, but it seems you spoke more truth than you intended.”

He stopped just beyond reach and used a flicker of Light to caress her cheek and ran it down the sensitive pulses along the inside of her neck and throat with delicate sensuality. He smiled fondly before releasing the flicker making sure the absence was stark and unrelenting.

“Return to your cocoon, little butterfly, it is truly impressive,”
he leaned in closer, but not too close to feel the warmth of his body and spoke in a whisper. He let the words hang for a mere moment before sparking the Light inside him and allowed it to blaze like a beacon. His skin glowed with a faint light that hummed and crackled like minute storms raging throughout the cool air. He watched as Spectra’s hair rose across her body and knew well the effect of warmth and allure his spell cast. “Perhaps one day you will break free and see your own sky. I only wish I could have shown you it myself.”

With that Damien released the Light and spun on his heels leaving Spectra alone with her thoughts. He would not leave until she was safely home of course, but he turned his attention to the days ahead and a grin of anticipation curled upon his lips.

The flash of misinterpretation painted itself across Spectra's flawless face as though perhaps she did not understand his use of the word. Condolences?

Her suspicion transformed into concerned study when the air suddenly changed temperature around her. Wisps of steam curled soundlessly around the capsule of sudden warmth. The air tickled her lungs with humidity, but despite the comforting reminder of home, her gaze narrowed upon Damien. All the more did the offense of being referenced her frailty. There was never a woman to live upon this earth who was stronger than Spectra. Her life was hell, but rather than wilt in the flames, she encapsulated them, and bent their scorching to her will.

The reason she had no heart? Because she was done with the graceless thing and cut it out with her own two hands.

A butterfly in a cocoon. A delicate woman. She broke from the prison of the Colombian jungles, and would not settle for the ordinary life in Bogotá. She wanted to devour the stars themselves, and become something that the mortals of this planet marveled for a thousand years. The dry lightning crackling his skin cast a white glow upon her neck, uplighting that drank the line of her cheeks and the holes of her eyes in ominous shadow.

The light dissolved like the storm collapsed upon itself. He walked away, and Spectra's throat tightened, strengthening itself as though to withhold the snap of the noose by rigidity alone. Her heart beat bitter in the cage of ribs. He turned his back on her and judged her for it? Nobody dismissed her.

Spectra's shock gave way to animosity. Virulence turned the red in her veins black. She was worth his groveling that her majesty would entertain his company for a night, but all he could offer was a pretty face and shallow reputation. He was unworthy of her, not the other way around. He would learn. Everyone will learn.

The sound of his footsteps faded, and the park was silent.

Lust was a powerful motivator, but what Spectra turned to for retaliation was a far greater sin. At one moment, starlight in the distance, but the next standing on the surface of the sun itself. It illuminated her world, and the night suddenly became day in her eyes. Damien was distant, but not yet out of earshot.

First, sound funneled to his ear. "Damien,"
the whisper carried as though her mouth were pressed against him. The pause to follow gave her time to approach. Dead grass crackled like crunched insects beneath her every step. There was a smile on her face that suggested a change of heart, but as Spectra frequently alluded, she had none.

She came to stand before him. She wanted to look into his eyes when their light died, when he clutched his chest and fell to his knees and knew in the silent pleas to follow that she was his fatality. "A convict does not dismiss a Queen."
Spectra's derision was a fearful declaration, but unlike most contemptuous women, Spectra's cause for condescension was validated by genuine threat.

It was simple as breathing for her; as simple as being beautiful. The Light became an ice-like grip, stabbed between ribs and molded around the heart as though she would rip it from its cage as she had her own so long ago.

She smiled, cold, but pleased, "A man should kneel before his queen."
The merriment in her words was palpable.

The sound of his name whispered as if in his ear sent a chill down his spine and he stopped in his tracks.

The air grew cold and the night seemed to darken around him as he turned to see Spectra approaching with a seductively sweet smile which would have set his heart racing. Yet he could not shake his discomfort and made to rub his arms.

As it was he had little time. Pain shot through his chest and he fell to his knees. He let out a faint sigh and gasped for air.

He rolled his eyes upwards to see Spectra standing over him. Her eyes glowed with a fire that, even as he was wracked with pain, impressed him.

So, he had been right. She was more than a doll.

"A convict does not dismiss a Queen."

Her words dripped with malice and contempt, more than anything he had ever witnessed before. The look alone would have frozen a man's heart.


That word again, like claws tearing into his skin. The veil of pain was torn from his mind and his eyes narrowed with grave intensity as the Light burned in him. This was no mere heart attack, nothing natural.

He felt...something...twisted around his heart, squeezing tighter by the moment.

And then she smiled.

"A man should kneel before his queen."

The pleasure was plain. She must have known. How?

Damien lowered his head and winced at the ever-present pain. He grasped at the Light until he hung by a thread above a pit of oblivion. The Light twisted around him and hit on something unpassable that clutched his heart like an iron first.

When he raised his head to Spectra once more, gone was the pleasant gaze, gone was the sad disappointment. His face was a rod of titanium, an alabaster tower in the ghastly glow of moonlight.

He cut through the blockage with swift force. His rise was not as swift, but implacable. His mind was singular that he barely saw Spectra's face. He twisted the Light once more preparing a force of power.

As he approached, his smooth voice was replace with one of Russian winter. "That was a mistake."

He unleashed the folds of Light and the air whipped into a frenzy.

Edited by Damien, Apr 26 2014, 11:11 PM.
Gods, it was ecstasy greater than any drug could be. Thrill sparked her veins and shuddered across her skin like lightning. Any conscious thought, or sane consideration, were absent as light between the stars.

She threw her head back and laughed with a greater pleasure than any orgasmic tickle between her legs could induce. Life infused her as she crushed it from another, a man, a dancing devil now brought to his knees.

But that breath of life was suddenly crushed from her lungs. She gasped as though punched in the chest. That crystal globe of pleasure shattered, and the dimness that followed was a poor reflection of the glory from before.

She clutched her chest as the world was hurled around her until she thudded against an impenetrable column. Surprise was quickly replaced by the wide-eyed look of fear, but darkness always preceded the dawn, and she would be damned before admitting fear.

The starlight was out of reach however desperate she reached for it. She was alone in the cold, at the mercy of this man, a beastly creature to whom she refused to submit, but if he chose to drop her at that moment, she was likely to snap an ankle over the instability of dangerously high heels hitting the ground.

Damien's words dangled threateningly as he approached and her mind raced for what to do. She struggled against what held her from the ground, but she did now bow her head in defeat. Nor would she admit being overpowered if her body were crumpled and mangled at his feet, for there was no doubt in her mind that he was the source of her captivity.

"You're right,"
she replied between clenched teeth, "That was a mistake."
Her lips parted into a smile that was a silent vow of redress.

Conversation between them forced laughter to break once more. She underestimated this man. His wielding of her like a doll crushed her sense of hatred, and instead, ignited something more. Her imagination of what they might have done to each other replaced the panic, and suddenly the light no longer seemed so out of reach.

"Come here."
She curled a finger toward herself.
<small>[[Added with Damien's permission]]</small>

As he came closer, so did the light. The second it filled her, that ecstasy returned, and she grew bold with desire. She bit her lower lip with anticipation, and lashed out with all the force of a sadistic lover.

Her mind whipped a rope of the light around his back and pulled him close enough to wrap her arms around his neck and pull his lips upon hers.
Damien made his way towards Spectra's hanging form at a sedate pace. He watched her face, which remained impressively defiant and showed not a glimmer of fear.

It may well have been she truly held no fear in her deadened heart. If so, he did not know if he felt pity or contempt.

In another world, he would have ground the broken remnants of the woman's malice into dust, but he was not dealing with convicted criminals.

She was a curious puzzle; one he intended to solve now more than ever.

Spectra managed to find her voice sooner than he would have expected when he had first beheld her. Now it was but another oddity to discern. "You're right,”
she said. "That was a mistake.”

Damien was wary, but the admission served to placate his residual anger.

When she then threw her head back in raucous laughter Damien pulled up short and eyed her with idle curiosity. Yet again he was taken by surprise as she met his eyes with a smouldering gaze and curled her finger. “Come here.”

Something roped itself around his waist and forcibly pulled him towards Spectra. Her wanton passion was almost palpable in the air as she kissed him. Damien responded in kind, allowing a moment of pleasure to take him before pulling back, her breath warm against his cheek.

Looking into her eyes filled him with something he had not felt in a long time. Genuine concern.

She would have torn any other man to pieces. What had created this...predator? Had she been broken or reforged? And that power...

“You are a most curious woman, Spectra Lin,”
he said with a smile that did not touch his eyes. His voice now smooth as silk. “Perhaps we should go somewhere more...comfortable. I am still unused to the chill here.”

To kiss him was to be embraced by the sun.

Her skin prickled with every graze. Bewitched by power and taken by the spell of passion and fire, they were caught up in one another's bliss, yet neither truly submitted to the charms of the other. Damien held himself back like his mind were splintered between beguilement and awareness of the danger. A sleeping dragon stirred within Spectra's mind, and the prisoner in her stronghold was rattling his chains, taunting her into the chase. He may regret provoking her into the quest.

They parted, but Spectra's tilted eyes remained closed a few moments as she savored the taste of him, the heat of his proximity, perilous as it was.

She could not say when her feet returned to the grass, enveloped as she had been in his arms, but her breath fluttered like she were still soaring through the air.

"Take me where you will,"
she told him. Although the rope of light disappeared, her hands grasped his waist, cinching his clothes within her palms, so he would not back away so quickly.

She wanted to lease the vicious creature she'd discovered. A fascinating pet, and so long as he did not turn his jaws upon her again, his heart was safe from her deadly clutch.
Spectra clung to him even after she had accepted his invitation. Instead of wresting himself away from the woman, he grasped her hands and pulled them into his, squeezing them in a gentle but firm grip. “I am staying not far from here,”
he whispered into her ear, scanning the silent park with Light enhanced vision. Nothing.

He pulled his head back and gave Spectra a playful grin. “Not far at all.”

Linking an arm through Spectra’s he leaned close enough to feel the perfect curve of her delicate body and made his way through the empty streets along the riverfront. He set a leisurely pace and filled the time with flirtatious chatter and idle promises.

It was not until they ascended to his fourty-fifth level apartment in the luxurious Statislavika Hotel that Damien detached himself from Spectra’s luxurious form. The lights came to life in shades of muted blue as they entered the sleek modernity that the rooms of the Statislavika represented. The couches smelled of clean leather arranged in colour coded schemes of black and white creating a smooth and static atmosphere.

“Please, have a seat,”
he said with a wave of his hand. “It may not be quite what you are accustomed to, but you will find it has a certain appeal.”

Without waiting to see if Spectra had taken his offer, Damien seated himself on one of the black recliners, resting his arms on the smooth leather. He glanced at Spectra with a raised brow. “I have certainly experienced much I am not accustomed to.”

Damien neither reclined nor bent forward. His back was straight and his gaze penetrating. “Tell me, have you always been so...vigorous?”

Edited by Damien, Apr 30 2014, 10:00 AM.

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