• Alice moved her body in sync to the beat of the music pounding around her. Lost in the rhythm, the sounds, the feeling. All around the bonfire bodies gyrated against one another, voices spoke, and cravings were discovered and met. It was Omah, the clan’s celebration of life. They showed their thanks and devotion in many ways. A grand feast, magnificent bon fire, dancing, music, and of course the sating of desires.

    Alice’s hands moved down her body in a sensuous movement, her partner in this particular dance was delightful, but uninspiring. Most women would grasp at the chance to dance with Liam, unfortunately he was not the one Alice wanted. The one she burned for. Her gaze inevitably found the cause of her traitorous thoughts. He was taking part in the dance as well, but as usual he was broken apart from everyone else. Even in his indulgence of the festivities, he hid himself in the shadows. The music wound down as the song ended, then sped back up as another one began. Alice gave her partner a slight wave as she snuck away from the group of dancing. Away from the light. Without the fire to light the night, Alice relied on the moon to light her path. She skirted around trees, the voices, and the occasional moans she heard. It was a night of possibilities, partaking in carnal desires was a big part of the clans way. When a woman reached of age, she almost always immediately gave away her virginity. It was how you proved you were a woman. Those who didn’t were frowned upon. Like Alice was.

    Unfortunately Alice was in love with a man who viewed her as something he should protect, not bed. And even all these years later she found the thought of being with any man, but him, repulsive. He was dark, mysterious, and knew almost everything about her. With black hair and dark green, sometimes black-looking, eyes. He scared most others away. He was silent and brooding most of the time. But as one of the deadliest killers their clan had, no one was brave enough to befriend such a man. Well, no one except for Alice. Something about knowing he was all dark, and dangerous male sparked her excitement. Deepened her desire, and there wasn’t a damn thing she could do about it. She had tried. Shed avoided him like the plague for a full two years when they had left to help in their clan’s on going battle. Yet, when they returned and met once again. It was like her feelings had multiplied, not dwindled like she had wanted.

    She stopped her flight from the festivities when nothing but the sounds of nature greeted her. She felt like banging her head against a rock or something. Maybe then she would give of her foolish want of an unattainable man. As the daughter of the clan leader, Alice must marry. There was no choice. Whether she loved or not, by the end of the summer she would have to pick. It was her time. Alice had became a woman, and as such, had to follow the ways of the clan. Even if they were barbaric and nonsensical. Why couldn’t she just wait until she and another man had fallen in love? Why couldn’t she at least wait until her feeling for Damien diminished to naught? It was a subject that was constantly invading her thoughts. Suddenly a dark shadow was cast on her.

    “What?” Alice snapped. She wasn’t in a good mood. Unrequited love could do that to a female, she silently fumed. In the dim lighting she almost thought she could see amusement flash in Damien’s eyes.

    “Why Alice, I do believe you are angry at me.” He claimed innocently, yet looked at her knowingly. There were times she thought that somehow, he just knew her feelings for him. Then other times, when he acted so oblivious that she wasn’t sure. One thing was for certain, she would never tell him of her own accord. Alice raised her chin in a defiant manner.

    “As if you could be so lucky.” She lied. She was pissed. So what if they were best friends, and he knew almost everything about her. Men should never try to assume what a woman is feeling! That was the excuse she was sticking to for her perceived anger at him. She wouldn’t ever risk telling him the truth. It could possibly destroy her. She had a feeling it might make him decide to leave, and as much as she wished her feelings for him would go away. She didn’t want him to. He was like her life boat. After her mother had died, he was the one that had pulled her through it.
    It was funny really. The man everyone thought was so harsh and brutal, nursed a female’s grief for her family. He didn’t go into battle for two years, instead opting to stay with her. Taking her for strange adventures. Swimming in a hot spring, running through the forest, climbing trees, teasing, playing, and of course she had fallen in love. Stupid, stupid! She knew he didn’t do the relationship thing, so why did’t her heart realise that and count it’s losses before it was to late?

    “You sure?” He said a with a smug grin. Alice wanted to slap it off his face. He didn’t get to feel high and mighty. But he soon let the grin fall, his usual expression of dark pensiveness returning. His green eyes were a bit darker than usual. She looked away. I will not say anything. I will not ask him about her. I wont even bring her up. I will not say a wor-

    “So, did you have fun with Charlotte?” God damnit! Alice silently fumed, her hands fisted at her sides. Now that she said the words, she couldn’t take them back. She felt as if she was waiting on the edge of a cliff awaiting his answer. Did he like her? Did he think she was prettier than Alice? She wanted to wring the girls neck for daring to dance with him. Alice took a calming breath, forcing herself to relax. Jealousy was not a pretty emotion.

    “I don’t know, did you have fun with Liam?” He turned the tables on her, his green eyes intense, and focused wholly on her. Alice swallowed. She felt as if she couldn’t breathe.

    “Of course I did.” She said looking at the floor, refusing to meet his gaze. “Liam was- is a wonderful man. He could make any woman happy.” She said. Yea. Any woman, but her. Why bother kidding herself? She shouldn’t be here though, not with him, not right now with her desires battling to the fore. She felt as if she was suffocating, a bite of anger bled through her voice. “I’m going back to the celebration.” She declared before making her move to leave. She didn’t even get a step before she found herself pushed up against the tree, Damien’s breath fanning her cheek. Anger rose up in her.

    “What’s the matter, miss Liam?” He taunted her with a dangerous glint in his eyes. his arms blocked her in with one on either side of her waist, against the tree. She was well and truly trapped. Just terrific, she felt her anger boil up.

    “So what if I did?! It’s none of your damn business either way!” She fumed at him. Her eyes spitting fire at him.

    Alice almost didn’t catch the dark, lascivious look he cast her before saying, “That’s where your wrong.” Then pulled her to him, slanting his mouth over hers, sealing their lips in a fierce kiss.