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Christina McKeefry

            Shanette’s silvery hair glistened in the moonlight like the stars above as she walked home to her empty apartment still a block away. She was distracted by the beauty of the night, too distracted to hear the footsteps behind her. They had been following her for the last three and a half blocks, urgent but careful. Shenette didn’t know, but he was the man that was forever going to change her life.

            At the door to her tall three story, brick apartment building, he finally stopped her by calling her name. She turned to face him. Her porcelain pale face was soft and her dark blue eyes curious. He himself was tall with caramel skin, gray-blue eyes, and medium length black hair. His figure was wrapped in firm lean muscles and his strong jawline was set, determination filling his eyes. Shanette couldn’t deny how handsome he was, but she couldn’t help but wonder what he could want with her. She’d never seen him before around her building, though little did she know, he’d been there before, needing to understand her and who she was before this moment.

            “I’m Rumor,” he said, his tone wavering more then he approved of. Shanette hadn’t noticed though. All she heard was the low rhythmic melody in his tone that filled her mind with memories that were too far gone to recall.

            “How do I know you?” she inquired, her voice barely higher than a breath of air. But as she asked, she knew. Shanette had been hearing his voice in her dreams, ones she’s been having for the last few days. In her dreams, he kept telling her to be careful, to watch out. The words were always different, but the message was always the same, a warning. Her heart began to pound erratically in wonder and fear. Perhaps, she thought, this was just another one of those dreams. Though, in her dreams, she had never seen his face, had never known his name.

            “Destiny,” he replied, his face more serious than a heart attack as his eyes pierced deeper than her core and stared right into her soul. She wanted to laugh at him, walk away, and even pretend this encounter didn’t happen. Rumor has to be crazy, Shanette thought. But he reached out and touched her hand. She felt calm swimming its way into her heart, calm that didn’t feel like it came from her. She was on the right track. The calm was coming from Rumor’s touch. He is an empath; someone who can control emotions. It was one of the many powers he was going to use on this night.

            “Can we go inside?” he asked, not letting go of Shanette’s hand. She nodded mindlessly and reached for her keys, unlocking the front door. Her apartment was on the second floor. Shanette opened her apartment door and let him in, her trust not feeling like her own as she did so.

            “Is there anything I can get you?” she offered as he closed and locked the door behind her. Rumor shook his head as he sat down on her old floral patterned couch she had picked up at a yard sale. He motioned for her to join him, but she declined, standing there with her arms crossed over her chest. Now that he was away from her, Shanette felt uncomfortable and her eyes continuously fleeted from her phone to him. She wanted him to leave.

            “It is my destiny to save you tonight,” Rumor told her, his voice void of emotion as his eyes roamed her apartment. Though that was not true for what was going on inside of him. Emotions were running rampant throughout his mind. For years, Rumor had been preparing for this moment. Rumor had known what he was supposed to do since he was a young child.

            “From what?” her voice squawked with the panic that was beginning to raise her heartbeat even further. She couldn’t stop herself from taking a few steps back.

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