Demon of Desire
By Chloe Waits
"You must be ready to face all the desires of your heart...and know which ones are real."
Sarah heard the costume store owner's warning, but didn’t heed it. Tonight of all nights was Hallowe'en - a time of magic and make believe. She has an invite to the largest party in Chicago - in a beautiful Renaissance dress reputed to bring her heart's desire.
Why should she be cautious? After all, where had it gotten her except alone on a Friday night? It certainly hadn't gotten her a date with her adorable neighbor, Tim. So when she meets a dark, magnetic man in a mask claiming to know her every desire, she surrenders to his seductions...and for the first time engages in a steamy one night stand with a stranger.
Little does Sarah know that her new lover wants much more than one night with her. Much more...
Her every pleasure will be indulged...but at what price?
“Are you having fun tonight?”
She jumped at the sound of the voice, spinning around. A man cloaked in black stood towering behind her. The same man who had caught her attention earlier.
“Good evening. I did not mean to startle you. I was enquiring whether you were enjoying the party.”
Sarah’s breath caught. His size was not the only thing that was imposing. Even masked, with his strong jaw and black hair, he was darkly attractive.
“Yes, I am having a good time. Th-the manor is beautiful.”
“Your dress...is beautiful. So is the lady wearing it.”
Sarah’s skin heated behind her mask at her confusion. “Thank you, you’re very kind.”
“I am anything but kind.”
Behind the mask, his eyes burned into hers. Black, fathomless orbs. The polite, innocuous words suddenly took on more meaning, hinting at danger. His voice had a trace of an accent that was hard to place.
“You caught my attention with your drink order. It’s one of my favorite vintages, Italian reds. I had to come over and see the lady who ordered it.”
“It’s my first time trying this wine,” she admitted.
“And––do you enjoy the taste?” The way he inquired sounded as though he was asking something else entirely.
Sarah cleared her throat. “Why yes, the wine is kind of smooth and mellow, maybe from the tannins.” Sarah cringed inwardly. Why was she pretending to be a wine expert? She was trying too hard. If he agreed he gave no clue. Instead, he smiled enigmatically, as though he expected her response.
There was a pause as the stranger continued to look deeply into her eyes. I feel so warm, Sarah realized.
“So, what do you do?” The question was a bit cliché, but she wanted to fill the silence that was stretching out. His formality and manner came straight from another era, yet were directly at odds with his open appraisal of her. He had moved easily into her space, much closer than polite acquaintances. It forced her to gaze up at him.
“My life is not what interests me. I would much rather know about you. Besides, this is a night for mystery and masquerade. It’s All Hallows Eve.”
“Perhaps then, I shouldn’t share my secrets.” Sarah smiled playfully at him.
“Oh, I don’t know. I have a feeling I know all about you.”
Sarah laughed lightly but felt stirred at this man’s claim of knowledge about her. He stared at her intently, and his dark orbs glittered. What color were they? Sometimes they flashed blue or green. Even amber.
This wine was potent. Too potent. She wrapped her arms around her waist. The stirrings of desire flickered like flames now, running throughout her body.
“Oh, do you? Okay, what is my favorite color then?” Her voice was a bit coy.
“You think your favorite is blue, but it should be yellow because that color is most becoming on you.”
“It is blue. Okay, you have my attention now. But blue is pretty popular. What else do you know about me?” she teased.
“This dress—” He touched the sleeve reverently, “Is meant to be worn by you. You have the build of a woman—lush, feminine, and yet you let society dictate what is attractive. Society that changes its whims based on fashions that come and go.”
Sarah lowered her gaze.
“I did not mean to embarrass you. It’s just you are a truly beautiful woman and I don’t sense you see it.”
That he saw her beauty made Sarah’s heart beat erratically. His voice became smoky as he continued. “I know you enjoy bubble baths by candlelight.”
Her neck snapped up.
“Many women do,” she said shakily.
“I am sure none look as you, though.”