The Beautiful Beast


Original Story found at Lavy's Fiction Hub

Chapter One: The Memory

It was a bright night. The full moon and the bright stars lit up the night. It was chilly, and a naughty cold breeze kept tormenting my skin. Surprisingly, I didn’t shiver. I felt the cold bite my skin, but I stood boldly against the breeze resisting it and maintaining my firm posture and austere glare to the moon. I let my hair wild, loose and untamed, it was flowing with the wind and occasionally it covered my face. I didn’t struggle to put it back in place; it was the last thing in my mind. Myriad of thoughts flooded my mind. Who was I? Olivia Harper didn’t fit my description anymore. I kept resisting the urge to let the beast in me reveal itself. It has been so long, and the city was yet another wilderness. I stood at the top of a twenty story apartment. It took a while before I could compose myself and fulfill my purpose there. I wore a black, now oversized long and loose robe. I left it open, revealing my nudity beneath it. Over time, I got used to moving around in the buff and now, it only felt normal. What does it feel like to be human? I don’t remember. I circumspectly moved my body to the edge of the building. Half of my feet were on the perimeter of the top of the building, my entire body depending on the balance of my heel. I looked down the building and almost laughed at how everything seemed so tiny. The street was busy and colorful just as I remembered it. The height never scared me though, not with a whole two decade of training. It was beautiful how I gained so much control over myself. I felt I was ready to toil in that great jungle, in Washington D.C. Oh! How I miss that life. Of Course, I remember everything I ever learned and read; in fact I have a better memory now than ever. I frowned as my head transited into the darkest of my memories. How did I get to this point in the first place? She tried to keep me away from all this; I was just a stubborn teenager after high school and eager to make my cash. Thinking of her, at least I remember my sister’s name, Megan Scarlet. How could she be looking like now? She is probably in her fifties now, with a face as wrinkled as ever. I have not changed a bit, that doesn’t mean much though. Maybe she is a mother, a wife or none of those. Did she already forget about me? I had her in mind as long as it was necessary. That fateful day should never have happened. I curse that day whenever I remember it. I stared down at the well-lit streets, the moving cars and speck like people as I relived my last moments of normality as a human.

Chapter Two: The Teenager

“I wonder why you persecute yourself with such kind of work, Olivia.” “Gosh, you almost killed me with that. How do you do that?” I didn’t notice Megan’s presence. She startled me when she suddenly voiced behind me. I was busy working on the shelves of Kimberly store. “Do you ever take a break from all this, I mean, you work as if you earn a million dollars from that.” She was on it once again. I guess we’ve had that conversation a thousand and one times. I could almost spell out the exact words she would use on me. It always turns into a heated argument that has no effect on me, she gets mad, and wouldn’t talk to me for the next three days. But after that, we are friends again. “Stop it already, Megan. Don’t get to that please.” “Okay. But I don’t think you need to commit yourself to work so much, yet. I earn more than enough for both of us. I can afford your college if you choose to go my dear; these funny dreams of yours are just a candle in the wind.” “Don’t talk to me like that. I don’t know of any world’s richest people who made it past college. It’s all useless, I know enough and it can lead me to the sky. Just watch my space.” “Okay. Let’s pretend I said nothing for now.” “Your money is yours, Megan. I’m tired of ever borrowing from you whenever I need anything, and you approving its use before deciding if you are giving me or not. I want my freedom, my ability to do whatever without anyone giving a damn.” I remembered to shut my mouth on time when I realized I was raising my voice. Deep down I knew she had a point but my point was stronger. In my dreams I would one day run the largest company in the world, I didn’t even know what it would be dealing with. But the moment figures like Bill Gates crossed my mind; I felt I was on the right track. With barely a coin to my name, my dreams were valid. “Teenagers… I was there too you know.” That statement always displaces my tempers. “What brings you here, Megan? If you need anything from the store, I can help you with that.” She was becoming a nag. “I was just passing by, thought I would come pick you up today.” “I didn’t ask you to, besides it’s too early. I work extra time up to 10 pm. I thought you knew that?” Sometimes I felt Megan only worked hard to get on my nerves. She was my elder sister, yes, and she raised me ever since I was eight years old. She quickly forgets that I’m all grown and can make it on my own. I was eighteen for heaven’s sake, two years since I legally became an adult. “Olivia, don’t sound rude. You work all days of the week late, and I thought maybe you should get a break, at least once. Today is Saturday.” “I’m sorry, wrong thoughts.” I bent down to continue dusting the shelves, ignoring her. She knew what to do, in a few seconds later; I could feel her feet matching away, feeling triumphant. Who is she to decide what time I left the store. It was my life, and she had no right dictating what I do or I don’t. I had made working extra time an official business. That earned me the honor and trust of keeping the key to the store. My duty was to close up the place at 10.pm every night, all that for ten dollars per extra hour. That night was not going to be different. I moved around the store switching off the lights and making sure everything was in place. I finally stepped out and fumbled with the lock on the double metal door until I finally closed it. I turned to meet six gunmen, standing in a semicircle, with their guns trained on me. I gasped. How do I save myself from this? I wish I was a good girl for once and went home with Megan. I was quailing, not knowing what step to take next. I remained quiet; I moved back until I reached the door and wished the ground would swallow me. “The key and you get out of here alive.” One of them roared at me. They covered their faces with masks and had black clothing. I felt I could count the last minute of my life.

If you don’t kill me now, the Kimberly's will the moment they realize I traded my life with a key. I stood flinching at the door. I could feel my heart beating faster than normal. I tried to be brave; I knew I needed that, even though there was a probability of a dozen bullets being pumped into my body that night. “I…I…” I tried some words but my voice was shuddering, and my lips could not open to form any words. I could feel each part of my body trembling at the smell of death. “Last chance pretty face, the key or you die. Either way, I win so you choose.” He started moving closer. One step after the other, I had my bag on my hand, I tightened the grip. I thought of taking to my heels, but there was no way out. I couldn’t even think of how I could ever fight all of them. He raised his rifle, directly pointing my head. He cocked the rifle, ready to blow up my brains. “The key, stop wasting time, little witch.” “I don’t have it…” “Liar!” My heart skipped a beat. So this is how it feels to die. I had messed him up; he moved closer and hit me with his elbow, on my head. A sharp pain went through my spine as I fell on my knees. “Kill her, and let’s get this done. Time is not on our side.” Another cruel, merciless voice suggested among them. “Please don’t kill me, don’t, you can take whatever you want just spare my life…” I begged for mercy, directing my wet eyes into his. Before I knew it, he threw a hard kick on my stomach, making me bend down further, trying to hold the pain. He didn’t seem to understand the cry for mercy and my noise only irritated him more. I let go of my bag, showing that the key was inside there. He picked it up and poured its content on the floor, including the key. He lifted his giant feet in the air with so much energy, ready to crash my bones when I heard a barrage of bullets almost blasting my ears. “Shit! Kill it.” The giant feet guy had turned on impulse, forgetting about me. Before I could lift my head and see what suddenly diverted their attention, hoping it was the police, I heard a loud, thunderous growl. In a jiffy, I saw a shadowy image of some creature, moving at lightning speed, sweeping through the six of them at once. I held my breath. What was that? I couldn’t think twice, I ignored the agonizing, sharp pains and lifted my body. I ran as fast as I could. The cold numbed my body; my energy was draining, but I could not stop. My sister’s house was 30 minutes’ walk from Kimberly's Store. I couldn’t take a cab, all my money was in the bag, and I couldn’t think of it when it was time to run. I almost couldn’t stand the pain, I was worn out, tired, sweating, panting and in pain. My feet were sore, I left my shoes behind. Twenty minutes later, I stood at the door to meet another surprise. Double crap! My shoes, my bag and everything I left behind, while running away from some beast were at the doorstep. A sudden dizziness took the better side of me; I slowly went down and sat at the door, not able to make my way in. My sight got blurred, and then I heard someone open the door. “Ooh God! Olivia! Are you alright, Olivia, Olivia wake up…” blackout.

Chapter Three: The Customer

“Excuse me, Olivia, what the hell is wrong with you; you look like a walking zombie.” He startled me. Ben was a colleague. The truth is I felt like a walking dead. I couldn’t believe I just walked past death invisible. Who would believe that story? That’s why I kept it to myself. “Ben. I’m okay. I’m just worn out but with time I will be fine.” “Why don’t you take my place at the counter? That will allow you rest for a while before a customer shows up.” “Thanks, Ben. You are so kind.” Two weeks after the incident and I still couldn’t come to terms with it. What was that? It was nothing I had ever seen. Not even read of it in fiction books. I couldn’t explain it. Its head was that of a bear, but it walked in two. It was so huge; I have never seen a bear that big. Memories of that night plagued my mind. The shadowy image of the creature ravaging the bodies of the robbers, wrecking them and tearing them into pieces terrified me. Everything happened so fast, and I didn’t let myself figure out what it was. I couldn’t stay there the next second. It all felt like a live nightmare. “Even after you came back home in that state, you still want to get back to that place? What’s wrong with you, Olivia? Is all this for the love of money? It will kill you one day, young lady.” “You don’t understand me, Megan. It won't be easy to get another job if I quit that one.” It’s always a hard time convincing Megan. She never trusted anything I do. I bet she has her reasons. She was my daily morning headache; I had my way of dealing with her. “Don’t you see your life is at risk? How do you expect me to behave? You come home banged and in pain and you don’t offer any explanation. Two weeks later you wake up, and you are heading to the same place once again. Are you nuts?” “You are just too worried, Megan. Besides, I’m not doing the extra hours again,” she takes a deep sigh. The extra hours stuff always gets to her nerves. “I mean, at least not for now.” She frowned. “What!” I notice her agitation; I left the house in a hurry before she blurts some more words. That’s always a score for me. I felt I needed to leave the house. I thought some distraction would do me good, but again, clearly I was far from that. That store was threatening. It only made my memories more vivid. “Hello…” a customer brought me back from my reverie “Yes, how can I. How can I help you, sir?” I had to reconstruct my sentence when I lifted my head to meet him. Damn! I intently admired him, surveying his body from head to toe and back without ceasing. He had long straight hair that he neatly tied behind his head, making a ponytail. The rectangular jaws and the fat body gave him that virile look. He wore Khaki trousers and a loose white t-shirt that teased whenever it was against his skin, suggesting a well-built body beneath it. He intimidated me with his dark blue eyes that he shot at me, and seemingly had no intention of freeing me from them anytime soon. “Yes, I need you to help me find some few things around the store.” His voice was magical. It was smooth, yet deep and profound. I let myself get carried away with him first before I could answer him. “Sure, what do you need?” For a moment, I forgot all my hallucinations and nightmares and ugly thoughts. He graced my mind. “I need some paint and brush. Do you have some of that here?” “Yes. We have a variety of brands. You can be able to choose from.” I tried to stay on my course, hiding my fascination. “You look so young. How long have you been working at this store?” My goodness! That is an understatement. I have worked here for so long, and I’m a fully grown ass woman. “I’m not that young. I have been in this store long enough.” I don’t realize it when I frown. “I didn’t mean to offend you. It just crossed my mind.” I had no answer to that; we walked onto the shelf with paint. “I’m Dameon. Dameon Drake,” “Olivia Harper. It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Drake.” I get self-conscious when he intently looks at me and wears a charming smile on his face. “Here are the paints, which brand works for you?” The paints were on the upper shelf; I had to go up a ladder to reach them. But before he could select his preference, someone got his attention. “Mr. Drake, how nice to finally meet you, what brings you to our store today?” Melissa. One of the owners of the shop decided to interrupt, in the name of greetings. I had to remain on the ladder and wait for ‘the boss’ to finish talking to the customer. “Nice to meet you too…you are?” “Melissa Kimberly. I own this place.” Ooh, I have never seen that smile before. Actually, she never smiles, and this one was a mess. She didn’t have to show her molars. “That’s nice. I just stopped by to get some few things.” “That is awesome. What do you need I will gladly be at service to you. By the way, I’m a great fun of your company’s products. They are my all-time favorite.” What! So he has a company? Wait, he looks too simple to be so rich. How comes I don’t know him? “Really, I see. I appreciate your commitment, Kimberly.” “I would also like to congratulate you for your achievements lately. Your company is rated the best globally. That is a great achievement, Mr. Drake.” He is quite a something. Melissa motions her fingers to me, a sign that I should leave them alone. Is she planning to take over from there? “I appreciate it so much, thank you. But Olive here was doing just fine if you don’t mind. I already gave her my orders” He turns to face me. I can’t help noticing the frown on Melissa’s face when he says that. That means trouble. “It’s just that she already has a lot of work at the counter that needs to be done. I came to replace her so she could get back to her post.” She waves her fingers again, this time with a much more serious face. Of course, I get her right. I step down the ladder and move to the counter even though this Drake person seems displeased by that. That hurts, but I can’t risk losing my job. I don’t even look back. “I saw that.” “I’m glad you did Ben.” “Don’t worry, there’s no work at the counter. Most jobs have been completed by now. It was just an excuse.” She is such a… “I know.” He gave me his seat. It was not long before I saw Melissa and Mr. Drake emerge from the shelves. She only carried one can of paint, and there was no brush. She walked in front of him. “I hate this woman around me, so I will just leave the counter to you.” Ben never wastes time disappearing from her. Poor boy, theirs was a long story. She placed the can on the counter and was about to open her mouth to say something. “Olivia Harper, it’s nice to see you again.” He smiled as he directed his words to me, handing over his credit card. “I wish to talk to you again, Olivia if you don’t mind.” “Sure, why not?” I realized I sounded so casual with him. Melissa had that horrible face of hers in place. She shot sharp eyes at me, especially when she saw him hand over his business card. “Make sure you contact me tonight. Please,” Wow, I almost can’t describe his smile with words. It was a different kind of smile, a heavenly one to be precise. Somehow I felt as if his face was of an entirely different person when he smiled. I had just met him and yet he already sent signals through my spine. I was eager for that next meeting with him. Maybe he would offer me a better job at his company. I don’t even know what the name of Company is, and yet I already have anticipations. Apart from Melissa’s cold snake eyes, all was good.  

Chapter Four: The Mystery Man

“You never learn, do you?” Megan was not amused by the story of my mystery man. “Learn from what?” “Olivia, it’s barely three months before your boyfriend left you for your high school best friend. Was it not the same case, the boy was rich and had promised you heaven and all that?” Did she have to mention that? Shit! She never gets anything right. “Megan, don’t remind me of that story, ever.” She just fouled my moods that night. “I didn’t say Mr. Drake is dating me. Maybe he is trying to find a friend.” “I was not born yesterday, Olivia. It always starts from the friend zone, and it ends up in bed.” You are such a pervert. “I think you have harsh judgments.” I lower my voice, regretting why I mentioned it to her in the first place. “Don’t call it harsh judgment Olivia, by now you should know why I’m against such. All men are the same. He just saw a beautiful innocent young soul that he plans to devour.” “But…” “I know he did nothing to suggest his intentions. Don’t you think such a guy already had a flock of girls at his feet? I'm just being frank, I mean, if he is as beautiful as you describe him.” I didn’t know what to say to her. She is always good with arguments, and she always wins. “Megan, you don’t have to sound so scary, you know.” Dameon Drake didn’t fit any of her nasty descriptions. She was too general; too bad she never gave away what she believed in. She could give a million and one reasons why she was right. I guess that’s why she is so good in her profession, as a Public Relations Director. “Let’s be real, Olivia. I don’t have to use unknown examples. Maybe you are just not getting the message right. Remember the kind of marriage our parents had? Where did it get us? Thanks to it we now have our mother’s grave to visit and our supposed dad rotting in prison.” The mention of our parents made my heart sink. I missed my mom; my eyes got wet when I remembered all she had to go through in her marriage, in the name of giving her children a normal life. “Stop it, Megan. You have to stop being so harsh with your words. I don’t think I deserve all that, just because I mentioned a date with Mr. Drake.” “I could see that you are so much into him already. It’s all just an infatuation, my dear sister. I know how it feels. Remember what mom used to tell us, love is just an illusion for teenagers, but it doesn’t exist.” I didn’t say I love him. Yet. “Okay, I will be careful.” I left. That night I couldn’t sleep. I sat on my bed, taking coffee over and over. He was in my mind. One thing I didn’t understand is why he came to the Kimberly store that day. A guy so rich and distinguished like him should not do such shopping on his own. His assistants could call and make orders. His unique smile kept reappearing in my mind, and I didn’t notice when I smiled back at it. He was not making me go crazy. It was just something else. I stood at my open window that night, enjoying the cool breeze that hit my face. Buried in my contemplations, I saw a shadow against the moonlight on the balcony. It looked like an exaggerated nude human figure, with long arms and legs. I got the impression that someone was watching me. Then all of a sudden the image grew larger, thicker and longer, its head reshaped into that of a bear and its body got more muscular. I gasped out of fright and immediately flung the window shut.

“Hello Mr. Drake, it’s nice to hear from you again.” At the counter, and for once in the past three years working in that store, there was a call for me. It couldn’t be someone different. “Hi, Olivia, how are you today?” “I'm all right, Mr. Drake.” “I called to remind you of the dinner today. I hope you did not forget.” “I can’t forget about it. I’m looking forward to it.” “That is pleasant to hear. At what time will you leave work today?” “Oh, at around 4 pm.” I didn’t notice someone stealthily standing at my back. I was busy creating time for Dameon Drake, and not everyone gets such calls. What. I turned by chance and caught someone eavesdropping my conversation. I gasped. “Mr. Drake. I think I should. I think I should go now…” She had fumed up, and I tried to prepare myself for the worst. “We have a cord of conduct at this place that has to be followed.” She interrupted, once again. “I’m sorry, Ms. Melissa. It’s just once, I don’t do this often.” “That phone is strictly for work unless you contribute to paying that bill.” She was raising her voice. I wondered if she did that on purpose. She made me feel as if she had something personal for me. I didn’t understand her motives anymore. I looked at my watch; I still had four more hours to go. “You don’t have to look at your watch. You will not be meeting him today, unfortunately.” Holy cow! What is that supposed to mean? Why did that matter to her? “Today you will not be leaving at 4 pm. You have to compensate the time and money you have spent on that phone. You will leave at 8.pm today, no arguments about that.” I’m doomed. Now this is what Dameon obsession has done to me. 3.00 pm, I couldn’t believe I had to disappoint him on this first date. I kept thinking of all the words Megan had for me the previous night. I felt like reconsidering my decisions. She might have been right, but again she could also be wrong. I couldn’t blame her either. During our parents’ time, I was so little, and I understood less, compared to her. She was already grown up. Nothing made sense at all. I was busy organizing the shelves when I heard some commotion. I never resist that by the way. “I demand to see her now, Melissa if you don’t mind.” “I told you she is unavailable for you. She messed up with our property, and now she is working hard to be able to compensate that.” “What did she destroy, the phone? I can pay for a dozen of those out of market stuff. How much does she owe you?” he spoke so calmly, and yet he sounded so threatening, commanding and in control. “I can’t let you.” “I can’t stop wondering about your little deal, Ms. Melissa. Free advice, you shouldn’t treat your employees as though they are your servants. I overheard everything you had to say to her over the phone; she didn’t end the call. That’s why I’m here for her.” he turned his face and saw me, at some corner, still deciding whether to enjoy the conversation or to feel sorry about it. “Mr. Drake you have to…” “For your information, she made me come to this place. I don’t do this kind of things.” What was that? I did what? “She is nothing you said she was. You just played your cards wrong. Never mind, you don’t have to see her again.” He must be such a stubborn, gutsy guy. What money can do to someone? I didn’t understand him or what he said. But one thing was clear. That was not the place to stay any longer. “Hi, Olivia, sorry for that, please come with me.” He reached his hand; I couldn’t resist that. He led me to his car. That day, I earned myself a hard time at work henceforth. I’m sure the likes of Ben had enough to break their ribs. Almost every employee at Kimberly's would love to see her ashamed, and losing her fierce grip for once.

Chapter Five: The Visit

Standing in front of the Celtic Electronics Ltd was a dream come true. It was a business owned and run by Dameon Drake. Gosh, I could only imagine of ever getting there. It was a thirty-two story building with tinted glass making the most of its outer appearance. I couldn’t wait to get inside. “Hello, I’m Olivia Harper, and I’m here to see Mr. Dameon Drake.” “Olivia Harper is expected. You are welcome. Just take the elevator to the fifteenth floor, you will be served.” The lady at the counter was kind and soft, but I must admit, she intimidated me. She was a blonde, slim and tall. She had a dark green suit and was very professional at what she did. I decided not to look at myself and get embarrassed by the long sleeved, hanging blouse, the short flair brown skirt, and brown knee-high leather boots. I felt smart, by the way, just that I didn’t fit that executive environment. “Ms. Olivia, this way please.” At the fifteenth floor, this time, this lady made me brush my wild hair with my hands. She just confirmed that the place was not for people for me. I entered his office, marveling at everything I saw. It was a spacious room with excellent finishing. It was all glassy and cozy. “Finally, she is here.” I heard his voice from the far end of the room. He was playing golf in his office. It was more than an office, how incredible. “Welcome to my company, Olivia.” “Thank you, Mr. Drake; it’s a pleasure to be here. I appreciate this so much.” I spoke between breaths, trying to suppress my incredulity. “Please, feel free.” He directed me to a posh divan, and he sat next to me. “Excuse me, Mr. Drake.” The formidably elegant, voguish and glitzy lady closed the door behind her, leaving the two of us alone in the office. “At least today I didn’t have to come and drag you by force to afford some few minutes with you.” His words came out so tenderly, he almost whispered. “About that, she fired me this morning.” That got him laughing his ribs out. “What’s funny about that?” “I can’t believe she was serious. She visited my office over the same issue. I told her you could always find a place here at Celtic Electronics.” What? That witch was at his office? No wonder. Somehow I felt he was hiding a lot more, but I was too scared to ask. I remained silent, searching for a place to land my eyes except on him. “Olivia. Have I ever told you how beautiful you are?” I didn’t know how to react to that. I could feel my loin temperatures rising at a high rate. I almost couldn’t help it. “Do I scare you that much? Don’t worry, I don’t eat people.” Talking of cannibals, the mirage of the horrendous werebear crossed my mind. I continuously blinked my eyes, trying to shake that recollection off. “I’m not scared of you. I’m just not used to all this.” It’s because of the way you make me feel. I felt like shouting it to him, but, unfortunately, I could only say that to myself. If only he could read my mind, I wouldn’t have to say a word, and yet I would have to crave so much for anything. “Do you feel we should go somewhere that makes you feel at ease?” “No, I will be fine, thank you,” I said, stealing a glance at him. I noticed how he glued his eyes on me, and that smile, if only he knew what it did to me. It’s been two weeks knowing him. Two weeks of wretchedness and sleepless nights, with two things beleaguering my mentality. That beast that would never leave me in peace and this beautiful man that will not give my emotions a break. “Tell me something I don’t know about you, Olivia.” What’s there to say? My life is full of pain and grief. I stayed silent. “Do you believe in the existence of werebear?” A change of topic was all I needed. “I keep envisaging and hallucinating about them. I’m not sure if what I see is real or if it’s just my mind playing with my imagination.” “Do you get scared of them?” I gave him a long stare. Wasn’t the answer to that question so obvious? “What do you think? They are the creepiest thingamajigs I have ever imagined of, or seen. I’m not sure.” “Do they harm you, threaten you or something?” I have never thought of that. “No. just their ugly cannibal faces.” He stayed quiet for a moment; he rubbed his nose, then his eyes. Was that my imagination, did his eyes just change color? He closed them almost immediately before I could figure it out. Fuck my mind. I hope it’s still intact. It’s probably just the effect of my ingenuities lately. “Do you think it’s anything psychological? Should I visit a specialist?” “Why?” “I feel like I’m losing my mind” I whispered. Hoping he didn’t get that part of my story. He wouldn’t like to associate with an insane girl for any reason. “You shouldn’t be so scared. Yes, I know they actually exist, but few people believe that. If you create attention with that, they will think you are mad.” Listening to him speak always turned me on. Somehow I was sure that was how he felt for me too. I couldn’t help noticing how he cast those eyes on me, they were burning with desire. My emotions were getting intense; I completely lost my self-control. I could no longer look at him. I felt my face flush pink when he smiled again. I couldn’t even figure out what he was saying. It was so strong. I had to do something before I get stupid. “I have to leave. I was just passing by, and I thought I say hi.” I stood up, uncomfortable. “That’s too soon, Olivia. You just got here, please.” Just got here? It’s been over an hour. “I should leave. I have to.” How I regretted that move, but I felt I should do the right thing at least for once. I’m such a fool, crap! Fuck my guts. I cursed myself vehemently as I started walking towards the door. “Olivia, wait,” he came to me and held both my hands. I could see his lips struggling to form some words. His grip on my hands got stronger. “Olivia, I need you to come over to my place for dinner tonight. Please.” Tonight! I don’t do night visits, what if I meet that beast again? “I hate darkness. I no longer move around in the dark.” “Please,” he released my hand. But he kept his eyes locked in mine. I just had to do something about that. “I will see about that.” I gently whispered. Hoping he will let me go with that.

Chapter Six: The First Date

The dinner was exquisite. I couldn’t believe myself for getting to his place. I thought I wanted to stay away from him. But there was that part of me that craved for every moment I had with him. That side of me that is so uncontrollable got me dressed for the occasion. I couldn’t take back my steps, and I let my feet carry me to his place. “I’m so glad you accepted my invitation, Olivia. Thank you very much.” He let his charming smile bewitch me. “I just couldn’t help it.” I paused, took a deep breath before I found my next words. “I would kill myself if I didn’t come.” I looked intently into his eyes, waiting for his reaction. How about that smile that kept changing his look, from a handsome face to a more handsome one? “Come.” He took me into his hands, making me stand from my seat. From the planning of his living room, his dining room, and his office, I could guess that he had something for space. His walls were painted white, and something astonishing, he hanged framed plain canvas on his walls. “Why?” I asked as I cast inquisitive eyes on the walls. “I like them like that,” he didn’t have to ask what I was talking about. “Do you dance?” he searched for the remote and played some sweet instrumental. “I’m not a fun, and I used to…” “Come on,” he drags me by the waist and pulls me close to him. His one hand is around my waist while his other hand reached for my left arm. “Just let your body move with mine.” He tries to put his leg in front; I do the same. He swings his hips, caressing my belly with them. The next move becomes a disaster, and somehow my leg trips him, and he loses his balance. We are about to make it to the floor when he grabs me with his mighty strong hands, regaining his balance. I stay holding him tight for the next few seconds before I catch my breath. “Did you get hurt?” “No, it was nothing. I’m alright.” I felt ashamed, knowing that I was responsible for that. “It’s okay, don’t panic.” He reached out his arms to give me a hug. It always felt great to be in his arms. I rested my head on his broad, virile chest. His heart seemed to beat at the same rate as mine. He wrapped me in his arms, caressing my back with his thick palms. I could feel every inch of him; I knew my heart beat for him. “I love you, Olivia. I wanted to tell you this for a long time. I just couldn’t find my words.” he whispered. His words made me feel like I hosted a million butterflies in my belly. That came unexpectedly. I never thought I would ever hear him say that. I realized how much my ears longed to hear those words. I held my eyes in position, as though examining him deep inside. The glitter in his eyes, and the genuine smile he gave me in abundance made me feel he meant what he said. His eyes got brighter and his smile more enticing. How could I ever resist that? I gathered my breath, my strength and stabilized my mind. I could see that he was zealous to hear what I had for him. “I love you too, Dameon Drake. You won my heart from the first time I saw you, at the store.” I have never been so genuine with my words. I could feel his enthusiasm. He held me tighter, making me feel like I was about to burst with emotions the next minute. He held my chin and tilted my head up. His eyes were smoldering with desire as he lowered his head and placed his thick lips against mine. I felt tickling sensation taking the better side of me. I let go of myself, my silly controls, and resistant games and gave in to him completely. I let him be my master as I willingly surrendered myself to my desires. He lifted me up, and for a moment, I thought everything was fine until when I could feel his temperatures rising abnormally, and his skin became so hot, almost burning. He groaned more and more, for a moment I got scared. He buried my face in his chest, and I felt as if he was becoming hairy and brownish by the minute. I tried to pull away from his grip but all was in vain. His bones suddenly started relocating? He was growling so loud. My heart missed a beat when I saw him transform into a monster. I saw the same beast that came to my rescue the other day right in front of me. I felt my whole body tremble with fear as I saw his bear head, with its mouth wide open exposing those sharp canine teeth, ready to devour me. I let out a piercing shrill, trying to push his heavy body away from me. Seemingly that only got him more irritated; he repeatedly clawed me all over my body, sending sharp pains through my body. I couldn’t take it anymore. I never saw that coming; I went out of breath and passed out.

Chapter Seven: The Beautiful Beast

It has been twenty years of wretchedness, twenty years of hopelessness and wilderness. Two decades in the heart of the great Amazon forest only got me stronger, with more control over my beast. A deep scar ran across my chest, making it look like a tribal tattoo. Whenever I looked at it, it only reminds me of how I gained my beasthood. It held my most precious memories as a human. It was one of those times of the year when the full moon ruled the sky. This time I chose to have it differently. I chose to have it in style. Twenty years ago, around this time I lost my humanity. It took me that long to get to the same spot again. “What happened to you? Why are you all covered in blood?” I remembered my sister’s last words to me. I stood at the door, shivering from the biting cold. I couldn’t even mention a word to her; she ran back inside and came back with the first aid box. “I will take you to the hospital as soon as the cub gets here. You have to tell me who the hell did this to you.” Anger got the best side of me as I remembered what happened to me. How do I tell her I’m not normal again? Suddenly, I felt some strange force taking control over my body. Before my sister’s eyes, I transformed into a monster, I tear away my clothes, as I struggle to become human again. I failed terribly, scaring her to death. She dashed into the house and closed the door behind her. From very far I could hear the siren of the police cars racing down the highway. She never delays doing anything. Without a chance to tell her what happened, I vanish, finding my way to the wilderness. I had lost everything, my dreams, my home, and my sister. I had even forgotten how it felt like to be human. I was not there for any of those. I stood at the top of that building for just one reason that kept me going for the two decades. I was only a few meters away from it. I was never going to give up. I looked down the building once more, calculating my steps and let my body off the edge of the building. “I knew you would come back for me Olivia; I waited for you for so long. I could feel your presence you know. You have been around this building for the past few hours.” He had not changed even a bit. He still had his vibrant young face in place. I had just landed on his bedroom window balcony and found him there, sitting on the window. I had no words for him. I dropped the robe and moved closer to him, smelling his fresh, clean skin. I took a while, glancing deep into his eyes before I ripped off his clothes. “I missed you too, Dameon Drake,” I spoke at last. With so much zeal, he took me by his arms. This time we both transformed into were bears. I was there to stay.

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