"The Kiss" retold in Death's POV
She was defending me. Intelligent, honest, talented, and compassionate. No one had ever defended me. The silly blond in my arms let out a trill of giggles unappealingly similar to the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard. This isn’t where I wanted to be. I’d stayed because of Pagan. Being near her, watching her, touching her, those were all the reasons I’d made this choice. Yet, here I stood forcing myself to tolerate the annoying girl draping her body against mine.
The door to the gym opened as Pagan shot one last look my way then disappeared outside. What was she thinking? She didn’t need to be alone. She knew this. Glaring angrily toward the boy she’d left behind, I almost felt sympathy toward him. He hadn’t meant to upset her. But the simple fact their fight was over me gave me some ridiculous amount of joy.
“Go play with your friends for awhile Kendra,” I ordered before detaching myself from her claws. I needed to guard Pagan.
If I didn’t know better I’d swear she wasn’t real. The gulf breeze caused her hair to gently dance around her shoulders giving her an ethereal appearance. The confusion, sadness, anger were all rolling off her in waves. Knowing I had something to do with those emotions pained me.
“Why aren’t you inside dancing with your date?” I asked. Her head snapped up and relief flickered in her eyes before she shrugged and turned her gaze from mine so she could stare at her feet.
“He’s looking rather forlorn sitting at a table all alone,” I said softly hoping to defuse the real reason I was here. She did’t need to know how desperately I needed to be near her. She shrugged again and continued to study her feet. I couldn’t keep from letting the amused laughter escape me. Her attempt at acting as if she wasn’t just as happy to have me alone as I was to have her all to myself was cute. “So, have you decided to try the ignoring me thing again, to see if I go away?”
Biting her bottom lip, she shook her head no. “I know that doesn’t work with you.”
“Why are you out here, Pagan? What’s wrong?” I wanted to hear her say it. Why? I wasn’t sure. It would only torture me further. But I needed to know she desired me too. “Nothing that concerns you,” she tartly replied.
Grinning at her attempt to act indifferent when I could hear her heart racing in her chest, I managed to keep from out right laughing.
“Really?” I asked
I closed the distance between us, “Seeing me dance with Kendra doesn’t bother you?”
She shook her head and her chest began rising and falling erratically with each quick breath. I let my eyes travel down her dress and enjoyed the simple fact she’d bought it for me. I’d suggested this color. This dress hadn’t been bought for the quarterback. The need to growl my approval was overwhelming.
“I knew pale pink would suit you. Most girls can’t pull it off but on you it’s perfect.”
Her pale throat constricted as she swallowed hard. I affected her. I reveled in that knowledge.
“You think I don’t want to touch you the way I touch Kendra. You’re right.”
Pagan stepped back away from me. The pain in her eyes almost brought me to my knees. I hadn’t meant to hurt her. Immediately, I reached out and grabbed her hand and pulled her against me. This was what I’d tried so hard to keep from happening. The more we touched the stronger my need to possess her became. But right now, I needed to erase the look in her eyes. Nothing else mattered.
"When I touch Kendra I mentally cringe at having to continue to pull off the farce of being interested in her. When I can’t control my need for you and allow myself to touch you it ignites a monster inside of me that I’m afraid I’ll lose control over. You make me feel things I’ve never felt before. Something happens,” I paused and let my gaze drop to her full pink lips, “when I’m near you like this.” I couldn’t stop myself. I needed more. Gently I ran my thumb over her bottom lip. The silky texture caused a sharp hot painful need to grip me. I closed my eyes from the intoxicating sight of her mouth and tried hard to fight for control. “And when you react the way you do, I feel the clawing inside me to take what I want.”
The soft warm breaths against my thumb might as well have been iron bars wrapping around me pulling me toward her. Making me hers. Opening my eyes, I stared directly into hers. I needed her to understand. To let me go.
“You’re the one thing I want the most in the world yet the one thing I cannot have. Because to have you completely would be impossible. You can’t go where I walk.” Unable to step away, I cradled her face in my hands. “The purpose of my existence is not to have a mate. It is lonely and cold. Until now it has been all I’ve known. Then you became the appointed and everything changed.”
Something irreparable was happening. I couldn’t harm her. I wasn’t meant for her. Terrified I’d gone too far, risked her life with my obsessive need, I quickly stepped away from her. Desperate to save her from myself.
“Go, Pagan. Run, please, run. I am not what you think I am. I am not ‘intelligent, honest, talented, and compassionate’ although hearing you say those words in my defense felt like warm liquid pouring through my cold veins. You want to know what I am and I can’t tell you. If you knew, I wouldn’t have to beg you to run.”
I needed to leave now. This was a mistake. As I began walking off, I heard her running after me. Didn’t she hear me? I’d told her so much more than she was supposed to know. Stopping, I slowly turned back around and glared at her. Maybe fear was the only solution. But the instant I saw it flicker across her face, I recoiled. I couldn’t scare her. Souls feared me. But not her. Never her. That wasn’t what I wanted.
“I don’t care what you are,” she stated loudly taking a step toward me, “You can’t scare me off and I’m not running away. What is it the song you sing to me says? ‘Yet you stay. Holding on to me, yet you stay, reaching out a hand that I push away. The cold is not meant for you yet you stay, you stay, you stay. When I know it’s not right for you’."
She’d memorized my words to her. My chest felt as if someone had ripped it into.
“Go, Pagan. Now. I can’t control myself much longer,” I managed to whisper through my pain.
Instead, she took another cautious step toward me. The pleading look in her eyes was my undoing. How could I stay away? A growl erupted from my chest and I seized her in one swift movement. My mouth was on hers instantly. I needed to know her flavor. To experience it. This was the only chance I’d have to taste her and I wanted it all. I nipped her bottom lip then gently soothed the bite with my tongue. She was delicious. She was exotic. I needed more. Her small hands grabbed handfuls of my shirt and I wanted to roar in triumph. I was no longer in control of my choices. Pagan was. I’d do anything to keep her. The sweet taste that I could give no label because it was uniquely hers consumed me.
Somewhere in the haze of the ecstasy I sensed danger. But Pagan controlled me now. Her soul owned me. I began tasting the soft skin along her neck as words Death should never promise anyone spilled from my lips. The touch of her hands sent a tremble through me as she grabbed my face and claimed my mouth. More. I needed more. Mine. She was mine. Then I recognized the danger. Her soul was releasing from her body. With each hungry touch from Death she relinquished herself to me. Terror washed over me as I jerked out of her embrace and stepped back.
“I can’t, Pagan. I want this so damn bad. But I can’t.”
Before she could stop me, I fled.
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