“Anger, resentment and jealousy don't change the heart of others-- it only changes yours.”
The Beast walked Adeline out of the subway into the chilly night of Crestview, Florida. The sky was black tranquillity married to the poetry of stars. It was the softness that called the body and brain to rest and let the heart go to its steady rhythm. Night came as a reward of sorts, a restfulness above to calm the soul.
But, not for Adeline. She could not rest tonight, not until the beast revealed his identity to her.
Pulling out a cellphone, he sent a quick text, his hard gaze returned to her own. She could feel his eyes searching her, looking for any traces of fear but apparently coming up short.
Adeline had become much too skilled at shoving all the bad events deep down, and they later became a problem as those events became her nightmares.
A darkened car pulled up next to them and Adeline jumped as the driver’s window came down. Beast’s forest greens never left her own, and something flashed in their depths as he registered her fear.
The man in the driver’s seat conversed with the Beast who looked like a human in a language that she did not understand. Something short, the words were very guttural and strange.
He opened the back door for her and motioned for her to get in, which she did without hesitation as he climbed on the other side.
“Go.” The Beast ordered the driver, his accent sounded like he was pissed.
Adeline was rigid and cold the entire drive, her hands were clasped tight in her lap and she refused to look at him as she was already feeling his burning gaze on her.
She gnawed on the inside of her cheek, on her tongue, on her lip. Anything to keep the tears from falling, wasn’t she a cry-baby tonight, thought Adeline.
Well, she refused to cry in front of him or anyone else, she was stubborn that way.
They reached her apartment as Adeline had no idea about it until the Beast set a black jacket in her lap. Looking down at it in confusion, Adeline took time to understand when he pointed at her exposed skin.
Again, until then she had no idea her coat was tattered, he wasn’t worried about the tattered coat, but the fact that she was covered in dry blood. No way would go unnoticed. She slipped the jacket on and zipped it up, thankful it was way too big for her.
Stepping out of the car, he gave a curt nod to the driver before the man took off. The jacket hung much lower to her coat but provided no warmth against her cold skin. She felt completely numb with fear and worry.
Adeline was lucky to make it into her apartment without any neighbour watching over her. It was almost midnight and most of the people were enjoying their nights at their homes.
The Beast stood in her room silently as she slipped the large jacket from her body, and she didn’t even know when he got there. She could feel his eyes on her, but she was too pissed off and tired to look at him.
For years, she waited for him to come out of the dark and when he did she lost her interest, but for a moment or a few hours.
Adeline jumped and a startled squeak left her lips as she heard the ringtone on her phone go off. Completely forgot about her phone that had been stuffed in the pocket of the coat.
An unknown number glowed brightly on the phone and she fumbled to answer the call.
“Hello?” Her voice came out as a sigh.
“Adeline Martinez? Thank god you’re okay.” Someone’s voice emerged from the phone and she did not take time to recognise the owner of this voice, he was none other than Ace and Adeline immediately felt relief flooding through her.
“Ace-” She tried to speak but Ace cut her off in between.
“I don’t have time Adeline Martinez, you have got a very big problem on your head now. Attacking Archer Lewis wasn’t the wise choice he made for you. Now, fasten your preparation and we shall meet in the Victoria Coffee House tomorrow by 5:00 PM, be there on time.” The connection wasn’t too good, and his voice sounded clipped and filled with static, but she could make out what he said.
Adeline let out a long sigh and felt her legs give out. Her bottom landed on the soft material of her bed.
“I will be there Ace.” She replied and he cut the call.
Turning her attention back to the Beast, she stormed up to him, her anger taking control.
“What the f**k was that?” Adeline growled up at him. Her body was trembling with every emotion she refused to process at this moment.
He looked down at her, and she could see his black mask move as his lips twitched.
“What are you, huh?” She snapped, “And, most importantly, who are you?!”
Her anger felt like lava in her veins and actively worked to warm the chill that had settled in her bones.
His forest greens watched her in silence, and he shook his head in ‘NO’. Adeline was not having any of that. While she knew he didn’t respond to her anger, she did not care.
Adeline was confused, scared, angry, attracted, comforted, and traumatised. She did not know where to begin and where to end.
“You kept yourself hidden in the dark for five f*****g years of my life, helping me throughout. I know you have killed several of them who came after me. But, I want to know, WHO ARE YOU?” Adeline growled, pressing her finger against his hard chest. She knew she was much shorter than him, but none of that mattered.
She growled, “I will find out, you think you can hide it but I will find out.”
In the span of a few seconds, Adeline felt her back slam against the wall as his covered face was inches from her own.
He glared down at her, his forest greens flecked with gold. She glared back, trying to match his intensity. His hands were on either side of her head.
“Adeline.” His deep voice growled her name and made her even more confused. The way her name sounded in his mouth, coupled with his slight accent was intoxicating, her raze mingled with excitement and longing, in addition to her confusion. She did not know whether to rip his mask off and kiss him or threaten him some more. His dark eyes burned into her own, and she could see the flicker of something similar in his own eyes.
“What?” She growled back, silently challenging him with her honey browns.
They glared at each other for what felt like minutes, having a silent argument that left neither of them satisfied. He was the first to give in. He closed his eyes and let out a sharp sigh, when he opened his eyes, they were looking away from her. His hands dropped from the wall and he took a few steps back.
He made his decision.
Adeline was on her own now.
Giving her one last glance, that same flicker in the back of his eyes, before he turned and went out of her room.
What was he hiding?
Will Adeline be able to find out his identity?
Why did Ace call her to meet in the coffee house tomorrow?
Why was attacking Archer Lewis a bad idea?