Chapter 17

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I stared at him wide eyed, attempting to comprehend his words, had he just asked me out or had I misheard? I'd most definitely misheard, why on earth would someone like him ask someone like me out. He was everything I wasn't, I was clumsy, slightly erratic, arguably boring and quite plain whereas him, he was ethereally beautiful. I didn't particularly care that I was plain looking, appearances had never mattered to me too much, but between the two of us, it was just one more thing that set us worlds apart. He was the type of good looking that caused people to do a double take, or even just blatantly stare, but I wasn't. No guy had ever been attracted to me, not in high school and not in my two years of university. There was nothing outstandingly wrong with me, just nothing attractive either.

But he, he possessed grace one wouldn't expect a man his size to have, wherever he went eyes followed him, admittedly at times in fear, but it was more than that he raised curiosity. He was the most enticing of mysteries, but no one dared to get close enough to solve him.

He took a step forward, now impossibly closer his eyes baring into my own, and I looked up at him, still contemplating my response. His melting silver eyes, held a hope, and an odd fear, it had me stumbling for words.

"I-I can't." I finally blurted out, and the hope in his eyes diminished turning his melting silver eyes to a dark hard steel, the childish hope his eyes once held now completely gone and I found myself wondering if it had even been there.

"Why not?" Mr.Night demanded his jaw clenched tightly, and my eyes widened how ever could I respond to that? I stared at him like a deer caught in headlights how does one tell a mafia leader feared by millions that they don't want to go out with them because they're scared, or that they don't approve of their daily activities. There was no way I would get out of here alive.

I gulped nervously trying to take a step back, pressing myself further into the bookshelf, but he just took a step forward, eliminating any distance I had created. I near trembled with fear, and as he stared into my eyes seeing how afraid I was, his harsh expression dropped and a broken vulnerable look showed in his eyes, but it was gone before I could even make sure I had seen correctly.

"Are you afraid of me?" He questioned through clenched teeth, I was trapped in his grey eyes, I couldn't lie despite how much I wanted to.

"Yes." I said quietly, but my voice seemed to resonate through the cafe in the deadly silence, he shut his eyes tightly leaning closer to me so that he was at eye level with me.

"Why?" He asked gently his voice quieter than usual, his warm breath blowing into my face gently, the smell of him had me stunned. I had lost my train of thought he smelled like the forest after rain with something a little spicy but also sweet. There was a deep masculine musk to it, and something indescribable that was all him, no perfume no body wash could smell like this, and I stared at him dumbfounded.

"Why?" He asked, more demanding now.

"You're a criminal, you've hurt people." I said stupidly before I could think about my words they simply spilled out, he released me from the hold of his eyes, but not before I caught the maddening agony burning within them. I felt as if I could breathe again, when he took a step back, my senses no longer clouded by his overpowering presence.

"I would never hurt you." He said quietly, looking down.

I didn't respond and he looked up,
"You don't believe that." He said speaking more to himself than me, and I didn't know what came over me but I wanted to comfort him, to comfort the broken man that stood before me, or perhaps it was just the fear, I didn't know what it was but something made me take a small step forward and cautiously reach out to touch his arm. I was so scared he would pounce, he was like a wounded lion, I didn't know what he would do.

"Mr.Night I-" I started but he interrupted me.

"For god sakes Raine, at least call me Xavier, you don't have to call me Mr.Night." He said his voice back to its resonating volume, and I flinched back in fear at the blazing primal hurt and anger in his eyes. At my reaction his expression grew softer, remorseful.

"What am I going to have to do to get you to stop being so afraid?" He asked closing the distance between us, his outburst had me nervous again, and I moved away when he reached out to me.

He put his hand down, his jaw clenched, a deep longing in his eyes, as he stepped away from me.

"Take care of yourself amica mea." He said quietly before turning away and striding out the door his hands in the pockets of his dress pants.

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