Things were happening-- unnatural, unexplainable things. I was beginning to question my sanity... until I saw him. His dark silhouette surfaced the animal in me. I felt the need to protect her and that feeling took over me. - Drake
My eyes shot open, darting to the French double doors that faced the yard. My curtain was drawn back slightly, allowing only a glimpse into the shadowy, green yard. I narrowed my view, oblivious to what made me look over there.
I felt a sudden unnatural, unexplainable paranoia—as if I was not alone. I swallowed, the saliva traveled slowly, roughly down my dry throat. My heart began to race as I began to walk toward the doors. The tile beneath me felt cold and there was no comfort there. I walked with a feeling hanging over me—something was out there.
I couldn’t explain the feeling but I just knew that another pair of eyes watched me. It was the same feeling from earlier this afternoon, the same eerie, unwelcoming stare I felt eating at me.
My hand touched the white curtain and without thinking I yanked it to where I could see the entire yard. My eyes searched feverishly, the pool was lucid, the clearing smooth and lonely, the gazebo empty, and the swing set creaked back and forth in the wind.
I let out a sigh, allowing the curtain to fall back in place. Was I going insane? It could be the stress building up into this veil of uncertainty, but something inside me told me otherwise. I had this gut feeling that something was behind these glass doors but reality proved otherwise. I went over into the hall, ready for a steaming cup of tea.
Rounding the hall into the dimly lit kitchen she caught me off guard. I paused behind the swinging kitchen door that was left ajar. She was leaning against the kitchen counter, stirring her drink—which let out strings of smoke—with a spoon. Her hair was loose and I took in her black and white striped pajama pants and white tank top.
She turned suddenly, her eyes meeting with mine as she pressed her lips into a thin line, her brows pulled together, her lips parted ready to speak—but she said nothing and neither did I.
Our eyes held their lock for seconds as I walked toward the cupboard above the sink, retrieving a red mug. I poured some of the boiling water she prepared and her hand hung in front of me with a tea packet, flavored peppermint bliss.
I dropped the packet into my mug, pulling at the string, watching the packet float up and down again into the water. She mimicked me.
“Amber,” I said without noticing. My words came so smoothly, knowingly, like a rehearsed script that had been written by my subconscious.
She looked at me, her eyes narrowing.
“Amber, I, please, just let…” My mind went blank, completely black as her hazel eyes searched my face for understanding.
“I am here, just know that,” I said and her eyes turned down slightly as she twisted her gaze to the floor again. I did my best to breathe evenly, to gather myself as I waited for her to say something.
She looked up at me and her face was only inches from mine. Her eyes were like nightfall, completely empty, yet, I saw a bit of light in them and I wished with everything that I was the reason for that light. Her lips parted and her face came closer. Her nose graced mine and my body shot hot. Our foreheads touched and we leaned on one another as my neck boiled; my ears sizzling with flecks of fire. I lifted my hand and cupped her jaw within my trembling fingers.
She sighed and I pulled her closer. It was overwhelming having her so close. It was more than just lust, it was our childhood together, it was growing up side by side, it was battling relationships and love together, it was having her here when no one else was near, it was her friendship—her loyalty and goodness that lured me in. I rubbed my face against hers and her hands gripped my elbows, pulling me in.
I had always felt like I had a hole dug up inside of me somewhere—never being able to fill it up. Amber located the half of me that was incomplete and little by little was throwing herself in, filling me up. Our lips were only inches away and I was going in for what I wanted, selfishly I was taking her all for myself.
I stopped. Her eyes shot open as her body stiffened at the sight of my bulging eyes. My palms began to sweat and I felt a shrill of ice flow through me, draining the color from my face. A dark figure—the same one from the other night, lurking behind the tree—ran through the hall behind her and into the back of the house. Her hands gripped my elbows harder.
“Drake, what is it?”