And here we are at another Wednesday. I can't believe how fast the week has gone. It's been quite a hectic one and I'm waiting for the weekend to relax - except of course I have so much to do there will be little chance of relaxation. Writing has always been my therapy, the thing I do to relax and de-stress. Gods know recently I've needed that. I'm having real fun writing this one. The good stuff starts next week in time for Halloween, but there's no end in sight yet so just about anything can happen. Anyone who reads my work will know how literally that's true.
“Are you alright?”
His voice was like liquid chocolate, deep and smooth with the hint of an accent she didn’t recognise.
“Yes I…I thought….”
“That I was someone else? Yes, this much I had worked out for myself.”
Still lost in the deep, blue eyes, Emma found herself smiling. The smile was returned, lighting up the rather pale and serious face, making it even more breathtakingly beautiful.
Realising, with a shock, she was still in his arms, Emma stepped back, embarrassed.
“I’m sorry. I’m so rude. Thank you, I—”
“Think nothing of it. I am glad I could help. I am Tristan and I am very pleased to meet you.”
“Tristan? That’s an… interesting name. Do you live near here?”
“I… used to. I have been away.”
“Then I’m glad you’re back. My name’s Emma, Emma Benson. We’ve just moved into that house back there.” From a rather disappointing start, the prospect of the move was getting better and better.
“And who is Ash? Is he your boyfriend? Husband?”
Emma laughed. “God no, he’s my brother.”
The look he gave her sent heat rushing through her body. She shivered with more than cold and smiled, suddenly coy. Tristan tucked a strand of hair behind her ear, leaving his hand resting against the side of her face.
“You are very beautiful, Emma Benson.”
She ducked her head, more embarrassed than ever. “No I’m not, I’m just ordinary.”
Tristan’s smile faded. His eyes were intense, bright splashes of blue in a frosted out world. “No, you are not ordinary, Emma Benson. You are very far from ordinary as is evidenced by the very fact that you are here, with me.”
Emma blinked. It was one of those winter nights when the moon rises before darkness falls, and hangs low and bright, casting magic all around and turning the ordinary world into one of mystery and danger. She could sense danger in this man, in what he was doing to her senses, but she was powerless to resist.
“What are you doing here Emma Benson, in the wood at twilight?”
“I told you. We’ve just moved into the house back there - my Dad, my brother and me.
“We were taking a look around and Ash got this crazy idea he could hear music. He went rushing off and—”
“Music?” Tristan’s eyes widened, his expression going flat. “He heard the music? And it was leading you here?”
Emma was startled by the change in him and stuttered when she responded, fear beginning to creep into her body with the cold mist that was rising around them in the shadow of the moon. “Yes. Why? Did you hear it too? Is there something wrong?”
“How did you come by the house?”
“What? Why? What has that got to do with you?”
Tristan’s face was intense, his eyes boring into hers. “It is important, Emma, more important than you know. Did your father buy the house or did you inherit it?”
“I don’t….” At first she was affronted by the question. What did it have to do with this stranger how they’d come by the house? But there was something in his voice and his eyes that compelled her and, all around, the forest had fallen silent, as if waiting for her answer. “I…. We inherited it from some relative of my mother. It came out of the blue.”
Tristan took her by the shoulders and stared hard into her eyes. “Your mother, Emma… is she a Loughbridge?”
“That was her maiden name, yes. The house was technically left to her by some aunt or something, but she died when we were very young so it came to us.”
“And your brother? He is a Loughbridge too? Not a half-brother? Not adopted?”
“No, I mean yes. He’s my brother, my full brother. What does this—”
“And he is grown? Not a child?”
“He’s nineteen, the same as me. We’re twins. Now what the hell—”
Tristan gripped her shoulders, his bright blue eyes boring into hers with an intensity that scared her. “Then you must listen to me carefully, Emma Loughbridge. Your brother is in danger. His life may depend on what happens next.
“You must run to the summerhouse. Run as fast as you can and do not be diverted by anything. Do not stop and do not turn aside. You must find your brother and get him as far away from here as you can. Do not ever let him come to the summerhouse, or to the woods ever again. And if he hears the music you must not let him follow it.”
“Because if you do, you will lose him. There is no time to explain. Run Emma, run.”
He was still holding her shoulders, gazing into her eyes, infecting her with his intensity. She turned to obey but he held her a moment longer.
“Be careful, Emma. Do not try to fight alone. I will come to you tonight. Look for me at midnight and I will tell you what I can.” With one last, long, smouldering look, he kissed her and was gone, calling “Run, Emma, run.”
And she ran.
And now, go ahead and take a look at my fellow flashers. There are some awesome tidbits this week.