Alicia had healed too quickly for anyone to believe she had been assulted. She didn’t truely believe that she had been raped yet she held firm to the absolute certainty that she had had sexual intercourse of some sort. Her mind endlessly relived the first hours of her experience and she felt nothing but calm serenity. A week to the day had passed with no recurring incident. Her mind had refused to settle on any explanation. She had arrived home, made dinner, put a load of washing in the machine. Following her normal routine and not thinking about anything in particular, when a slow deep chill crept up from the base of her spine. The same window she had first seen open that evening, was now wide open. She hadn’t left it open in the morning.
Her breathing shallowed to a loud pumping thunder in her ears, the surrounding silence was suffocating in the paralysing fear.
“I will not hurt you,” assured a masculine voice from behind. Alicia swollowed hard but as quickly as the fear had set in, it had disappeared. “Who are you?” she asked tentatively before daring to turn around. “My name is Viktor Trevelian. I am your guradian,” he stated. It wasn’t an explanation or reply but more of a statement of fact that she was not allowed to question. Alicia took a deep breath and turned around. At first sight she was left breathless and speechless. The man before her was at least 6ft tall, with warm honey coloured skin, pitch black hair kept neatly trimmed.
His general appearance, if it had to be put into words, would be a cultured and restrained animal. He was or appeared to be, ferral, dominant, alpha. Why those words presented themselves before him was a mystery and his entire bearing was ancient and regal. He seemed to be an anachronism.
He grinned at her, mocking what must have been her gawking open mouthed appraisal. He was a man used to getting female attention, or in the very least getting these types of reactions. Alicia closed her eyes, gathered her thoughts and took a deep breath. “I’m a little old to have a guardian and I don’t recall inviting you in Mr Trevelian. What are you doing in my house, again and univited,” she had taken a chance with that last comment as she still wasn’t entirely certain about the events of the other evening.
He lifted his impressive chin, indignant that her tone carried an accusatory implication. He pursed his full lips as if trying to put the facts into an explantion she would accept. Finally he replied. “You called for me.” Alicia blinked at the unlikely and unexpected reply. “You will understand in time,” he added.
Alicia remembered the same comment from the night of the incident. Latching onto the fear and confusion of before, she asked ” what did you do to me?”. Viktor held her gaze, she could have sworn there was a glint of remorse in his eyes. “I did what I had to to protect you. I placed you under my protection,” it was not what she had hoped to hear and she wanted to push the issue when he approached her. Towering over her, supressing the urge to fight or fly. She felt weak and helpless and what was worse, she liked it.
He touched her cheek with an impossible gentleness for a man his size. It was soothing and comforting in a way that made her legs shake. She suddenly wanted more of his touch. She caught herself and moved away from him. “Excuse me but I dont even know you,” she said attempting to regain control of herself. Viktor seemed disappointed in her reaction, she saw a pain that she could not understand. “You do, you always have.” with that, he disappeared before her eyes. The only evidence that he might have been there was the soft flowing of the curtaining over the window she had not opened from a breeze that did not blow outside. She instantly rubbed her shoulders, suddenly cold with a preternatural chill. She could still feel the warmth of his touch on her skin.
Sleep would not come easily, as she now had a new obsession. Had she known him? Had she met him long ago? She had never been one to remember people. She was too logical to accept his sudden appearance and disappearance, yet he had been there. Something else lingered on the edge of her memory, it was the scent that hovered where he had stood. It was familiar, comforting, masculine.
It was a scent she remembered but couldn’t recall from where or when. She fell into a deep sleep, a dreamless sleep. Alicia woke up feeling refreshed for the first time in days. The thoughts and doubts from the day before were omnipresent. Glaring at the offensive window she decided to ignore it and go to work.