Heart of the Night Part 6
Quatre sat up in his bed and frowned into the room, barely lit by the glow from the banked coals in the fireplace. Winter was setting in and the fire that provided warmth and light to the room was never allowed to go completely out. Shivering against the light chill in the room, he slipped from the bed and crossed the floor to the window. All around him echoed the soft sounds of someone crying as if their heart had been broken. Barely loud enough to be heard but as usual it woke him. He had lost count of the nights that the sorrowful sound had roused him in the middle of the night. Opening the shutters, he ignored the bite of cold air that flooded inwards and with a sigh he leaned on the sill and gazed out over the gardens.
Coming to live in this place had been the end of a waking nightmare for him. At times he still found it hard to believe that his life had taken this turn. A complete stranger had taken him off the streets and provided not only for him, but for his family too. His father now worked a respectable job with Lord Barton's shipping company and decent dowry's had been provided for all his sisters too. They'd be able to make decent marriages and secure their own futures along with that of their children. To add to all that Trowa had given him an education and a home and had asked for nothing in return.
He had a hard time understanding that. People didn't give so much to anyone outside of family, unless they wanted something for it. Then again, they rarely did this much for family either unless there was some benefit for them.
His thoughts turned to his benefactor. He'd lived in the same house with Lord Barton for a little over two years and he still knew just as little as he did when he first came here. The tall brunette was very careful no to reveal any information about himself to anyone. Sometime Quatre thought it was as if he were hiding something about himself, but from what he'd seen, the man's reputation was spotless amongst the ton. Surely there would be some kind of rumor about him.
All the blonde ever heard was that most of the women of the ton considered the Lord to be a trifle rude and boring. Even then most of them found him to be devastatingly handsome and the older women of society loved to throw themselves in his direction... if nothing else to try him out in their beds. It raised Quatre's hopes sometimes that Trowa seemed to be completely uninterested in any of them.
Quatre had tried questioning Sebastian numerous times, knowing that the older man knew everything there was to know about the Lord, but the old servant was just as tight lipped as his master. Eventually the blonde had given up on that too.
There were things that he wanted to know... felt a need to know. What kind of shipping business did he engage in that required him to work at night? In all his time here, Trowa had never spoken of his company or offered to show the blonde around it. It smacked of smuggling, but Quatre couldn't imagine him involving himself in such things.
There was also seriousness in the man that spoke of a deep sadness; of loss and possible regret. It drew the blonde to him like a moth to a flame, made him want to comfort the man, but Trowa never let anyone get close to him in any form. Especially as close to him as Quatre longed to be.
When he came here at sixteen, he'd developed an intense infatuation with the man that he assumed would fade with time. After all it was not unusual to have a crush on someone who'd in all likelihood had saved one's life. But now, at just past nineteen, he'd come to the startling revelation that those feelings had not gone away. They'd only grown stronger over time.
Two years ago, he thought he was in love... now, two years later, he knew he was. He prayed nightly for some sort of indication that the green eyed man felt something, anything, other than responsibility towards him. But, Trowa consistently held himself apart... cold and distant... almost as if he were devoid of emotion, especially one as complex as love.
Movement in the gardens below him drew Quatre from his silent musing. Leaning out the window he squinted, trying to see what, or who, it was. It was a person, but not the lord... not 'Bastian either... it was someone else, a girl. As the figure turned Quatre gasped, she was dressed in a long gown, the style many years outdated. Her hair was silver blonde, hanging in waves down her back and her storm cloud eyes held a sadness that almost made the boy weep. Her pale face glistened with the damp of her tears.
He drew back from the window and ran for the door, his only real thought was getting downstairs to see who the young woman was and if she was alright. Reaching the doors he threw them open, oblivious to the frigid air that tore at his skin. The blonde didn't stop running until he was standing in the very spot he'd seen the young woman, his eyes searching the area for any trace of her. There was nothing there. Only the sound of the night wind howling around the estate. He frowned; it was like she'd never been there. He wrapped his arms around himself, finally feeling the chill on his skin through the thin shirt. He shivered as he came to the decision that whoever she was, she had something to do with the strange crying he heard at night.
Casting one final look around him he turned to head back to the house only to find himself held in place by strong hands gripping his shoulders. With a startled cry he jerked away, stumbling backwards.
"What the hell are you doing out here?" Trowa's eyes sparked with a green flame. "And dressed like that!"
"I-I thought I saw someone." Quatre stammered trying to regain his composure. It was amazing that the brunette still could intimidate him without even trying.
"Who do you think would be out here at this time of night?"
"I don't know!" The blonde yelled, anger surging through him. "That's what I was trying to find out before you scared me half to death!"
"It serves you right." Trowa growled. "These gardens are dangerous at night; I've told you that before."
Quatre clenched his fists. "Why! I never see anything out here, except you! So... why are they dangerous?!? Because you are here? Are you the reason they are so unsafe?!?"
Trowa glared down at the blonde. "Get back to the house."
"No! I'm not a child or a servant to be ordered about! You've made sure of that!" He squared his shoulders. "Just once... answer my questions!"
"Yes! Dammit!" Trowa snapped, his temper flaring. "I am the danger to you!" He took a step forward noting the blonde's widening eyes. "If you had a single shred of common sense you'd run from here... lock your door and pray to your god to keep me away from you; to keep me from tainting you with my own curse!"
Quatre flinched as Trowa grabbed his upper arms, his fingers digging into his flesh, but his gaze never wavered.
"You little fool... even if you did, you're god can't protect you!" The brunette's mouth came crashing down on his.
Fingers like steel bands held the blonde in place, pressed against Trowa's chest as he kissed Quatre with a bruising force. His mouth worked against Quatre's, demanding the he allow him access to the inner recesses of his mouth. The blonde shivered and parted his lips, desire flashing through him as the man's tongue swept into his mouth. With a whimper he melted against Trowa's solid body.
Trowa trembled with violence; his body was aflame with need. It was a dark desire, tinged with a hunger that he fought desperately to keep control of. His control almost broke as he felt Quatre soften against him, offering him more.
If only he knew what he offered.
He moved from the blonde's lips to press his lips against Quatre's neck, drawing a startled gasp from the boy. Beneath the thin skin of his lips he could feel the wild, racing pulse of blood through the blonde's veins, strong... exhilarating... seductive. With a groan of primal want he tore his mouth from Quatre's skin.
He gazed down at the slim blonde, knowing that with a thought he could make the boy give himself to him, in every way. His eyes glowed with an unholy yearning as he watched the throb of the boy's pulse. NO!!! His inner voice screamed at him and he released Quatre stumbling backwards, struggling to regain control of his dark desires.
Suddenly free of his grasp, Quatre opened his eyes and stared at the brunette.
"Get out of here!" Trowa rasped. "Get away from me!!" He sank to his knees on the cold ground.
Something in his voice kept Quatre from arguing and as tears sprang to his eyes he fled for the house.
"Nothing can save you now..." The brunette whispered as he knelt on the freezing ground in the center of the dead gardens. "Now that I've tasted you... as long as I keep you near me... you are in danger."
Without a sound he got to his feet and melted into the night.
The back streets and alleyways of the city were often witnessed to the most unspeakable acts of the night. Tonight was no different. A young woman hurrying her way home after working long hours in one of the city shops, was perfect prey for the type of people that stalked the dark streets. Now, her tiredness forgotten she backed wide eyed into the rough stone wall of one of the dingy buildings. Terror drove all thought from her mind as five men advanced on her, their laughter ringing in her ears.
One of the men stepped closer grabbing her arms as another grabbed the neck of her gown and the sound of tearing fabric broke the night. She screamed and fought in desperation, but they just laughed at her as they dragged her to the ground. Hopelessness washed over her as she suddenly fell silent, clenching her eyes shut as she felt the weight of one of the men press against her.
But the attack never came.
The grasping hands of her attackers were wrenched from her and she scrambled backwards in terror. Cowering against the stone wall, she wasn't sure if the grim man standing over her was her savior, or another predator. His rage was evident on his pale face as his eyes of intense green locked with hers.
"Leave," He spoke flatly.
Without a sound she got to her feet and fled from the alleyway and he turned back to face the men. They stood at ready, weapons of various types drawn and ready to use on the fool who would interfere with their sport.
With a low laugh he surged forward, striking out at the first man. He felt particularly vicious as he tore open the man's throat and turned to the other four.
He'd feed well tonight.
The young woman ran through the deserted streets her tears blinding her as she fled the alleyway and the tortured screams of her assailants. Suddenly she tripped and fell against the hard stone of one of the shops, crying out in pain, clutching the torn shreds of her gown.
"Are you alright?" A low seductive voice whispered in her ear.
Turning her face she was struck by the most intense amber eyes she'd ever seen. She blinked as the young man... surely the most beautiful she'd ever seen helped her to her feet.
She nodded, dazed, as he helped her to her feet and wrapped his cloak around her.
"Here, tell me your address and I'll see you safely home."
Without thought she told him the name of the hotel she lived in and allowed him to pick her up and carry her down the street. He took her to her room and set her on the bed, drawing away his cloak. She made not a sound of protest as he removed the remnants of her dress and pressed his mouth to her shoulder.
A short time later the young man emerged from the hotel; a smile of satisfaction on his face. Behind him he left the woman lying lifelessly in her bed, her body all but drained of her life's blood.
He'd return for her shortly. When he had need for her.
In his room Quatre stared down at a small box sitting nestled in his pillows. Wiping the tears from his face, he sat on the bed and picked the package up and turned it over. It was very small, wrapped in black velvet with not an indication of where it came from.
He smiled softly. Despite all his harsh words, Trowa had cared enough to leave this small token for him. That must be how he'd known that Quatre wasn't in his room. He untied the gold cord holding the velvet in place and opening the box, he gasped.
Nestled inside the little box was a pendant the size of a sparrow's egg. Its surface glittered in the lamplight... the ruby as red as the blood that flowed with his veins. He held it up, letting the light dance over its faceted surface.
It was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen...
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