Erin had a helluva lot of thinking to do. Deep serious, matters of the heart style thinking. And in her mind, there was one vital component missing for a night of contemplating her sins. Chocolate. And luckily for her, there was an M&M store within walking distance from the hotel.
She expected an easy escape. Since neither one of the pilots were trying to convince her to commit some random act of mayhem, she assumed both had found some other form of entertainment.
Through the casino. Past the lion cage…and NO stopping to watch the kitties. Then out the door and onward to chocolate!
Her steps slowed as she walked past the lion exhibit. The glass was lined with children eagerly placing their hands on the glass, hoping the cats would turn towards them. The lions, of course, pretended not to be interested. Resolutely she moved away…until a flash of silver caught her eye.
Her breath caught when she saw him.
Aristocratic sculpted features silhouetted against the sunlight-bright glare of the lion cage. A face filled with strength that he doubted existed inside his soul. Wounded yet strong. Guarded, yet in his own way, compassionate and caring. He turned, making no attempt to hide the metal that supposedly marred his face.
He watched the crowd for moment, then bowed his head. Was that how I looked to him when he found me there last night? Does he feel as lost as I do?
She was moving towards the glass box, her desire for chocolate forgotten. Biting her lip, she watched his shoulders move in a sigh, his head resting in his hands. Why is he so hurt? Could I have…but he hates me. Why would last night bother him if he hates me now?
Maybe he didn’t hate her for what she had done…
Silently she slid onto the bench beside him and tentatively cleared her throat. "Um…Ton?"
I have to forget her. She’s made her choice. She doesn’t want me. She probably doesn’t even like me. She’s… A soft nervous voice spoke; slowly he raised his head. She’s sitting beside me…
Ton blinked at her as if surprised by her presence. Erin thought it seemed strange how his eye would blink but the optic never faltered. It should have been unnerving but she had accepted the prosthetic as part of him within a few minutes of their first meeting. Color washed his high cheekbones, making a handsome contrast to his goatee.
"You’re in my spot," she announced.
That caught them both by surprise. One golden brow arched upward. "Am I really?"
She pretended to be nonchalant while her mind gibbered wildly. "Yes, that’s my brooding spot."
He glanced at her sidelong. "Then you’re in my spot."
"Only because you’re in mine," she countered, suddenly fighting the urge to giggle.
The goatee twitched with his faint smile. "Then we must remedy the situation somehow. We could change positions."
"Or we could go eat chocolate," she blurted. Why oh why did I invite him?
He chuckled and stood, offering her his hand. "A wise man never refuses chocolate. Especially when the alternative is brooding. Let’s go find some."
Erin laughed as he pulled her to her feet. "Don’t you know chocolate is an essential ingredient to proper brooding?"
"No I didn’t," he drawled. "Perhaps you can show me all the best uses for chocolate."
Erin paused, fighting the blush that was trying to attack as uses for chocolate syrup ran through her mind. No thoughts of chocolate sauce, mousse, fudge or any other toppings… She caught his hand and began dragging Ton off before he realized she was thinking of him covered with hot fudge, whipped cream, with a cherry on top…
Erin reached into the bag of M & Ms situated between her and Ton, studiously avoiding the green ones. If the myth about them being an aphrodisiac is true…well I’ve got enough NC17 thoughts, thank you very much. I don’t need any more help.
Munching on her candy, she watched Ton from beneath her lashes. It was strange seeing him act nervous. Of the two Wraiths, he always seemed to be the one that was in total control, but now he seemed as nervous as she was.
Perhaps I misjudged him. She looked away from the pilot, sipping at her Coke. Maybe he doesn’t hate me…Maybe I….
When she looked up, she found Ton staring intently at her. The red optic that replaced his left eye completely unsettled her. For some reason she thought he was attempting to read her very thoughts.
She squirmed and looked away.
"Are you sorry that you kissed me?" His voice was frigid, carrying no trace of emotion. It almost frightened her, the person who had attempted to make her smile, who had given her a pep talk. The man she had so shamelessly kissed in public was gone, replaced with some frigid clone that seemed to not care about anything or anyone.
Erin couldn’t help shivering at his tone, feeling absolute misery that she had hurt him. Bowing her head, she finally managed to whisper, "No, I’m glad I kissed you. I’m only sorry that I hurt you. I never meant…"
Tentatively, his hand stretched across the table to touch her fingers. She remained absolutely still until he clasped her hand, giving it a gentle squeeze. Slowly, she looked up, trying to read his expression. The coldness was gone. Pain, uncertainty, doubt, the emotions that has always plagued her life. She gave him a weak smile, trying to find the words to beg for forgiveness. Gods, when did my life become this complicated? "I know you never meant to hurt me. I was inconsiderate. I shouldn’t have just blurted out…"
"Ton," she sighed. "Stop before we spend the entire night apologizing."
He smiled at her and mischief glowed in his blue eye. "I’m sorry."
Erin kicked him.
"No fair, I’m wounded."
"Were wounded," she corrected. "You’re fine now."
"Except the spectacular bruise forming on my shin. Thank you very much," he grumbled.
She decided to ignore him, looking over her shoulder to study the sky outside the curved glass windows. It seemed strange to be sitting inside a gigantic Coke bottle. Only in Vegas.
Only in Vegas would she be able to meet someone like Ton or Face…
The thought thrilled her and made her uncomfortable. She was having the time of her life, but in a few short days this amazing lifetime would end and she would be forced back into an existence she was growing to despise.
Shutting down that thought before it could throw her into another fit of brooding, she considered the rapidly fading sunlight. It was later than she thought. Dusk would soon be settling over Sin City. Suddenly she had an idea. "Hey Ton, have you ever seen sunset in the desert?"
"Only on Tattoine which is hideous any time of day."
"Then it’s time you saw it in a desert that doesn’t have two suns."
He pretended to be terrified. "Yes, Mistress whatever you say. Just don’t hit me again."
Sticking out her tongue, she reached for more chocolate, studiously ignoring the fact that she had somehow managed to grab a handful of the green candies.
Continued in Part Nineteen