08 - Motivation

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"Be careful," Erebus whispered. "You want me to stay close?"

Phobos shook her head. "No, I'll be fine."

Shades was getting on her nerves, but her intuition told her that she didn't have to fear for her life. Not yet, at least. 

"Okay." Hesitating, he looked at her. Then he stroked her cheek with his thumb, giving her a kiss. 

Something he had never done before. Phobos felt the urge to push him away; this weren't the kind of games she liked to play, no matter what horrible things Shades had done. She wasn't some kind of object he could claim, no matter how much he considered this new guy as a threat. 

Her ex-fiance. 

She gave him a cold glance before she aimed her attention to Shades. He was standing next to the door, his shoulder leaning against the wall. A smirk crossed his face, as if he thought that Erebus' attempt to kiss her was funny. That arrogant grin had a nasty effect on her; it caused an itching underneath her skin and despite her former concerns she now did feel the need to press her lips on his. She however doubted Shades' smirk would fade – he would undoubtedly be satisfied that he evoked such a reaction at all. 

Without saying anything to anyone, she walked out the door. She heard Shades' footsteps right behind her. There was a knot in her stomach, which felt much tighter when they were standing next to each other in the elevator. The doors were closing. He stood a little too close; his elbow was touching hers and it took all her willpower not to pull her arm away. There was no doubt that he was trying to provoke her and she kept staring forward stubbornly. 

The silence was depressing. Phobos heard her heartbeat resonate in her head. When the bell rang, she almost jumped. 

Shades chuckled softly. "Deep in thoughts?"

She shrugged her shoulders and left the elevator. His voice had sounded neutral, even friendly. As discreetly as she could, she wiped her clammy hands to her pants, although she was sure nothing escaped his attention. She stood still for a moment to see which direction she had to go, and Shades nodded to the right. Walking past a row of cars, they went deeper and deeper into the parking garage. In front of a shiny, black car Shades stood still. 

Phobos' eyes followed the smooth curves. It was a nice car, she had to admit that. 

"It's a Chrysler 300C," Shades told her. His voice sounded careless, as if he possessed a dozen of these cars. "I bet you don't remember. You used to love cars, you were a true speed demon." He flashed her a wide grin. 

Phobos didn't answer. Her hand glided across the paint. She tried to feel something – a longing, proof that what he told her was true so she would find back a piece of herself. But she felt nothing but his obvious presence. 

She opened the door and sat down on the seat. Shades started the engine, laying his hand against the headrest of her seat as he looked over his shoulder, rolling the car backwards. 

From the corner of her eye she looked at him as they left the parking garage. He looked relaxed, even normal, and now she took the time to study his face she had to admit that he was definitely good looking. Regarding his looks alone, she understood why she had felt attracted to him. 

"And? You like what you see?" He showed her a grin, giving her the feeling that she wasn't the only one with abilities and that he was well trained in reading other people's minds.

She turned her head away and stared out of the window. Still she couldn't fully believe that she had agreed to have dinner with a murderer. 

Shades didn't insist on a conversation. When they arrived at a classy restaurant, he did open the car door for her and laid a hand on her lower back as they walked towards the building. Inside he shoved back her chair very gentlemanly; her silence didn't seem to bother him at all. 

With a nod he took the menu cards from the waitress, ordering two glasses of red wine. Then he shoved the card towards her. 

Phobos eyes wandered down the list. The names of most dishes didn't ring a bell at all.

"As an appetizer, you would have chosen oxtail soup."

That was reason enough to choose another meal, but she nodded nevertheless. She was here to find answers, not to have a good night. Taste could trigger memories, so it was worth a shot. 

"Okay. Ox tail soup it is."

She looked around as they waited until the waitress returned to take their orders. It was a building with large windows that were surrounded by dignified curtains. Chandeliers were hanging on the ceiling, burgundy table clothes were draped across the tables. 

"Did we do this often?" she wanted to know. "Having dinner in fancy restaurants?"

"We usually took a quick bite at a snackbar when we ate outside. You never felt very comfortable around expensive restaurants."

"Why? Did my family lack money?"

He lifted the corner of his mouth. "On the contrary. You're parents were loaded with cash. I was the poor one in our story."

She frowned slightly at his words as she thought about the club he possessed and the luxury penthouse they had just come from. "Well, as it seems you have achieved a great deal thanks to my dead."

The look in his eyes was cold as he looked her. "Yeah. There's no better motivation than revenge."

 Phobos didn't look away and thought of Morpheus. 

Yeah, he had a point.

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