Call me Nightingale by Katherine Pietra
When leaving the art studio, Alana bumps into Gale, a survivor burned victim. She immediately senses he’s lost in darkness and wants to know him better, but he slips away. When they meet again, they are caught in a night of pure desire. Will Gale fall deeper into the darkness, or will he find in Alana a reason to catch the light again?
~~ SAMPLE ~~
Autumn was always my favorite time of year. I think the why is pretty much out there to everyone to feel it too. In a way, everything simply feel magical. Especially the walks and the coffee. We seek out the warmth of the sun or maybe from a loving and tight hug. But autumn, somehow, was different this year. Everything felt different. I could smell it in the cold air of the night while staring at the moon.
A terrible amount of colorful leafs seemed to make a path for me to follow. The colors screamed, begging for attention. It was as if the universe itself was trying to tell me something... more importantly, trying to lead me somewhere, to someone... I was an artist, so it was easy for me to imagine things that maybe weren't really there. I liked to create, to imagine, to dream, and to give things life.
I never thought of myself as someone who could predict the future, but I felt as if something was suddenly dropped to my chest when I was leaving my art class that night. The moment I stepped into the street and the cold air greeted me, I knew my life was about to change. I smiled, because somehow I knew it was for the better, finally.
I said goodbye to my colleagues and then I started to walk along the side of the street, where the moon provided enough light to feel comfortable with. It was midnight and the wind was singing. I closed my eyes and took a very deep breath. A crazy amount of satisfaction hit me and...
"Oh, God! I'm so sorry!" I practically yelled when I bumped into someone I haven't seen in a dark corner of the street. Surprised as I was, I dropped my notebooks and my bag, which was one of those that didn't have a zipper on it. Everything fell to the ground like a heavy rain. As I dropped to my knees to start picking everything up, a dark shadow kneeled in with me. "It's okay. It was my fault. You don't need to help me," I said, my face numb with an embarrassed smile.
"I was the one that didn't see where I was going," said the stranger with a gentleness so deep in his voice that made me stop what I was doing.
I finally looked up. His appearance hit me with a powerful and invisible force. It was dark, but there was enough light for me to see that the left side of his face was deeply scarred. Burned. It didn't reach his left eye, but it reached some great portion of his cheek and neck. That wasn't what made my heart beat like a drum, though, it was the intensity of his eyes, which were the color of honey. His beauty was something I had never seen before, as for his gentleness. I knew just by looking at him that he was one of those men that would never hurt you, but would do the opposite to those that did hurt me. I liked him instantly.
"Sorry," he said in a hurry, already standing up and looking scared.
Great job of scaring the shit out of him!
"My name is Alana," I managed to say the moment he turned his back to leave me there. I forgot about all my things on the ground and stood up, begging inside my mind to make him stay. "I apologize, it wasn't my intention to stare."
The entire world seemed to stand still, as if everyone's eyes were turned to that precise moment. The only thing I could hear was his heavy breathing as I wondered what he was thinking as he stood still with his back to me. It took several painful seconds for him to turn around, and when he did I seriously thought I was in heaven.
His dark hair was so long it reached his shoulders. The air was cold, but somehow he wore a simple grey t-shirt with long sleeves. He was tall and a little bit muscular, and his jeans hugged a pair of amazing and thick thighs. He literally made me breathless, something I thought it only happened in romance novels.
"You are staring again," he whispered, making me blink and come back to reality. I took that moment to look at his lips, which were thin and red and amazingly kissable.
When my attention moved to his eyes, I noticed he was staring too. He was staring at me so openly that I felt bare. There wasn't much for him to see though, because my overcoat covered my entire body and my curves were all hidden away. But he wasn't looking at my body, was he? No, his eyes were on my neck, my jaw, my cheekbones, my lips and my blue eyes.
Suddenly we were much closer than I ever thought we were.
When I thought he was about to kiss me, he simply kneeled down and with an amazing speed, he put every single thing inside my bag. Then, while standing up, he gave me everything I had dropped to the ground.
"Thank you," I murmured while awkwardly taking my belongings from his hands.
He didn't smile in return, he only gave me a small nod and turned his back. Without knowing what to do, I stood there, watching as this enthralling stranger left me alone with my thoughts and wonders. He hadn't given me his name and I felt the need to know that. His hair blew with the wind as he walked farther and farther away from me.
The world came crashing down and then I realized I wasn't the only one on the street anymore and neither was he. He was very far away now, but I could see that the people who looked at him looked with disgust while others turned away as if they had seen something terrible. That was what made me move forward, what made me run to him in long steps even though my legs were too short. I hugged my notebooks to my chest until I reached him. I moved in front of him and put a hand on that hard and beautiful chest to stop him from moving. He was so surprised to see me again that he stopped walking, but remained speechless.
"Do you...Do you want to get a cup of coffee?" I asked, close enough to touch him again.
I saw him frown, like I had asked something impossible. He opened his mouth to answer, but when a woman passed near the both of us and looked at him, he turned and dropped his head to his chest, making his hair hide both sides of his face.
"I don't think that's a good idea," he said, softly.
With long steps he left me again, but this time I didn't have the strength to follow him. When I turned around, he was gone and an amazing amount of disappointment crushed into me, making me sigh.
"Stupid, stupid girl," I murmured to myself as I started to make my way to my apartment that was only a few blocks from the art studio. "If at least I had gotten his name..."
For the rest of the night, he was all I could think about. As a result I spent hours drawing him, trying to catch every little detail I could possibly remember. I didn’t want to forget him. I drew his hands, his body and every detail of his face. I tried capturing that puppy dog look, but I simply couldn't do that. I spent hours in my living room, trying to make him alive, and it was in that moment I realized how small his eyes were. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen in a man before. He was possibly my age, about twenty six years old, and I desperately wanted to know him.