As a siren there was not many things that she couldn't control, her fragility and fey femininity already acting like honey towards her conquests before she even opens her lethal mouth. People, obviously, were numero uno on her list and were a great sport back in the past. Now she's retired, now she's trying to keep her mouth shut again but it's so, so hard. There was nothing she felt barred from doing and just yesterday she discovered with delight that her voice even works on animals.
She is vexed. Her avian-like body is tired and sodden as the clouds decides to bucket down on her and she stares up spitefully, the yellow taxi cabs blaring angry in front of her and she waves her hand dismissively . She makes her way over to the opposite end of the road and stays there, feeling very lost. Brooklyn was not like LA. She doesn't have a car for starters, she ran out of petrol and left her Ferrari in the middle of nowhere, Oklahoma. She had arrived on a train, first class of course and all expenses paid for by...she's forgotten his name. Not that it matters, they don't remember hers either.
She licks her lips, thirsty and hungry and clutches the useless watch on her wrist. This is what's truly annoying her, time had stopped and she could not make it start again, she could not control that, nor the weather. Sighing she stops a stranger.
"Can you tell me where I can get my watch fixed? A good place." She adds. It was a Rolex after all. The woman thinks and then gives her directions helpfully. She takes her umbrella as thanks, she needed it more then her...but then passes it over to someone more needy as she reaches her destination.
That was nice of me, see?
An old watch repair shop, Gray & Sons, stands on the corner and she dashes into the arched, deep set entrance and sighs as the gloom brings it's dry coolness. A black board is placed on the wall outside the door, informing the opening and closing times. He stays open late, even on a Saturday. Her slim hands push the heavy door open and the sweet tinkling of a bell proclaims her presence.
Clocks of all shapes and sizes hang crowded on the black walls, placed on shelves. They are so numerous that some have spread out onto the floor. They all tell different times and they all run smoothly. The sound is what moves her though, more then the sight. Within it's intoxicating calm, sweet and relentless, she finds herself just standing stationary and listening, sucked in by it all.
Tick-tock tick-tock, ding-dong, tick-tock tick tock, ding-dong, tick-tock tick-tock, ding-dong, tick-tock tick tock, ding-dong, tick -
"Can I help you?" His voice is soft, pleasant and low and she opens her eyes to see him standing beside a curtain, a frosted glass partition on his other side. He is not old like she expected but he is not young either, like many of the timepieces in his shop he is an anarchism. She puts a finger to her lips and shushes him and he closes his mouth, surprised. It is a juicy, curvy mouth that it belays the rest of his nerdy attire. He stands there awkwardly until she sighs and finally comes forward with a polite, blissful smile.
"I'm sorry, it just sounds so peaceful. I needed it."
He smiles shyly, trying not to look down and nods in agreement. "Some find it monotonous but I don't." He chuckles as he stands back from her, "I even hear it when I'm not here."
She comes to a stand still again, very close and he drops back down into his chair. The table beside him is cluttered but organised and under a lamp is a red cloth with glittering, small silvery pieces of a timepiece.
"S'all shiny," she bends down and with a tip of her finger taps a wheel, "and so tiny. You must have steady hands." He splays them out and they're large, fingers long as he wiggles them with another smile.
"I've been trained for a long time...Is there something that you need fixed?" He says gently, staring into her eyes and the simple words does something to her. Her sloe eyes, almost too big for her small face, gaze deeply into his as her heart suddenly starts to pump and hurt. Hard. The wickedness that she's become so accustomed to closes in on itself like a deadly flower and she feels a pressure of grief and loneliness under it, a lake down there in the dark. The siren inside rises to the surface and bobs there in the water with distaste and she pulls herself together before it can climb out on the rocks and start trouble.
"I hope so! My watch has stopped, I don't know if I need a new battery or what..." She lifts her skinny arm and shows him it, which he takes with a red face. She had got to him already. The gold watch is beautiful but it dangles off her wrist and he gently lays her hand in his own and swiftly unbuckles it from her. She hears him grunt and she looks into his face, sees his eyes shine as he lets go of her hand and lays her watch down on the cloth.
"What is it? It is real right?" She says mulish and he looks up, smiling broadly and she feels her stomach trip up a cloud of butterflies.
"Yes it is, god yes. This is actually very rare and obviously very well made. Wow, I'm actually touching it..." He breathes excitedly and she can't help smiling at his enthusiasm.
"Well at least someone's happy."
He looks up, trying to restrain himself with a flush. "Sorry, I just haven't seen one before. But I can still fix it, that's no problem." He adds quickly and opens the casing, humming as he puts on some bifocals and takes a look. Straight away he nods and takes the glasses back off again. He has some very thick eyebrows, very dominant and again it hints at something other then meekness and social awkwardness. She wants to see what's underneath. She moves closer to him, her gullet moving strangely as she swallows, licks her lips again.
"What is it?"
"I'm afraid it's more then a battery you need. Some pieces need to be replaced, they've been worn out." He swivels on his chair and looks at a calendar on the wall. "If you want me to fix it then I can probably have it ready in a few weeks."
"A few weeks? I'm not planning on staying here that long." She says sharply and he winces. She sighs and leans against the dark wooden partition that houses the frosted glass and spots a gold fish bowl by her head and taps it gently. The fat fish doesn't move. She looks back at the repair man, biting her lip inconsideration.
"What's your name?"
Feeling an inward flutter of pleasure at his name she looks at him seriously. "How much would it cost Gabriel?" Again he tries not to wince and she doesn't have to hear anymore. She could make him get the needed pieces, do the repairs and then just steal it but then she would have to find someone to buy it. She doesn't have the will to do that anymore, she doesn't want to. "Ok, do you buy off people? Would you be willing to do that?" Wiling? Ha!
He stares at her watch with longing and then up at her with something like the same expression. But not quite. "I would, yes."
"Will you give me a good deal for it?" Of course he will, she can see that he will treat her right.
"Yes..." He breathes, his shyness not covering his yearning and she leans off the wood and slides her body close, half sitting on the table and he stares up at her, a little unsure. She looks around the walls and spots a bed in the corner, a chest of draws that must be full of his clothes and an old TV set. She looks back at his blushing face and for the first time in months feels a deep, lacerating stab of sympathy and affection.
"You're very alone, aren't you?"
"Well I, uh well I guess you could say that..." He's extremely embarrassed and it just makes her feelings more intense. She cocks her head and then lays her hands against his cheeks. He stiffens, inhales sharply as she leans forward until she's inches from his face.
"Can I stay with you awhile?"
The unease changes to confusion with the speed of a rubber band snapping. "W - what?"
"Take me home with you."
Her soft, light voice is replaced with the siren sound and it echoes around him, irresistible and it snares him up as she kisses his delicious mouth. She pulls back from his dazed and lusty face and whispers into his ear.
"My name is Eden...but you can call me Sarah."
"It belonged to a little old lady, she was sick and wanted to be buried with it. I convinced her otherwise..."
She lays in his bed, the sheet around her hips to cover that modesty but her small pale breasts are visible. She had taken his virginity the night before and he sits in the armchair, his thick hair a mess and he holds his glasses by an arm. He stares at her with a mixture of enchantment and confusion.
"What are you?"
She smiles in that sphinx way and shrugs a small shoulder. "Just a girl from out west."
"Far, far out west...Sarah?" She feels a strange sensation every-time he calls her that, sadness but also a sense of closeness. She was humbled.
"Yes?" She watches as he stands up, dressed in an unbuttoned shirt and boxers. He was a tall man and thinner then she thought. But with nice broad shoulders and a hairy chest, she had left her mark on them. She blinks when he stands by her side, looking down at her languid state.
"Are you...do you really want to stay with me?" He whispers and looks so nervous that she pities him. She sits up and pulls down on his arm so he sits next to her. She brushes her slim fingers through his tasselled hair.
"Of course...I told you my name." Expecting this to explain everything she runs the back of her fingers down his cheek and lays her lips against his lightly before getting out of the bed. He watches her stretch before his blind drawn window, sunlight casting her into a pixie silhouette and feels something in his mind skip a beat.
She wants to do her part, make him feel that she wasn't an interloper. She helps him get dressed, brushes his hair how he likes it and sits him down at the small table in the kitchen. She makes him scrambled eggs and toast and it's delicious.
"I had years to perfect it." She says lightly but her eyes sear strangely. She sits down opposite him and he watches her as she picks up a fork and starts to eat. She catches him visibly relaxing and she bursts out laughing.
"What? Didn't think I ate?"
"I uh, god I don't know what to think anymore." He's lost at sea but instead of being marooned on her rocky island she's decided to stowaway on his boat.
"I'm just as human as you are Gabriel." She says with a smile and continues eating. She eats like a bird, as to be expected. After they've washed up the dishes he goes to work and she stays there and explores, day after day until almost a month has passed. When she had first entered his apartment she thought for a second they had stepped into a library, a very austere and ordered one. Shelves lined every wall with books, even in his bathroom. They were mostly a collection of antique and rare books and she guesses that this is his passion, collecting things from a bygone era.
But he does not have a TV set and she grows very bored very quickly.
Go get one then. Some of those books might get us something...
Deep, persuasive voices ring up from the water and she listens to the reasonable, echoing cadence that's always backed up by more then one whispering voice. Eden would make sure she got a good one for his spare but pretty milieu.
A TV set ends up accompanied by a computer but well, he was running a business and it would make things run more smoothly for him.
"You sold them?! Are you crazy?!" He shouts and she quivers a little at the beastly nature that's surfaced up in him. She had wanted to see it, she had even witnessed it when he had been pounding her against the mattress but never angry.
Go get a rolled up paper and whack him on the nose. Bad puppy.
"I'm sorry! I thought I was helping! God, don't be upset." She pulls her sleeves over her hands, an old nervous habit and he watches her do it, red faced until a long shaky sigh blows from his lips. He looks at the gap in his book collection with sadness and she feels herself well up. Crying was not something she does, not since the 'siren song' had first taken over and sent her bewildered.
"I just really wish you had told me before you did it...but I'm thankful I actually got to read them."
"What were they about?" She moves closer and gingerly touches his arm. He rubs a hand over his face and laughs.
"I can't remember."
She grins up into his face and he grows serious, looking deep into her eyes before lowering his head down to kiss her. It grows hot and he picks her up in his arms and she wraps her legs around his waist, laying her head against his shoulder.
Her mamma, now long dead, had been a heartbreaker but she was just starting out. She liked to collect hearts back in Los Angeles, keep them as bloody mementos of her power and share with others like herself. Except there was no one like her, close but not close enough.
But it would make her sad when she didn't drink, when her mind was clear and bright with the pain she had inflicted on others and herself. She ran away, again, until she had come to this city. She just wanted to never be sad again, to just be part of a real loving family.
Gabriel was in much need of that as she was. She thinks she loves him and she thought he would fall hard and quick but there was something...different about him. Hidden away is a wolf he keeps curled up asleep, and he tries very hard to make sure it stays that way. He was very scared that if he finally had to share his life with someone they would leave him and his fragile chains would snap and he would loose control. He doesn't want to hurt anyone.
"You mate for life." She teases and he nods seriously as they hold each other in bed.
"You...you could stop me, if you just promise to stay."
She smiles and there's something off there. "Are you sure? I could break your heart, I don't want to but I could. Maybe I won't be the one running."
He leans up over her and stares hard into her eyes. They're soft but when they catch the light in a certain way they burn so brightly. "You are like me, there's a dichotomy. Just keep that other one down, right down so you almost forget it's there. Just be my Sarah."
She smiles fully and it wavers with emotion and she strokes his hair. "I can be good."
I could be all you want and more and more...
The city lights are plentiful and bright and where once she would have been right in the centre of them now they're at her back as they sit in the dark park. Gabriel didn't like crowds, he wanted peace and quiet and so did she, now craves for it as long as he is by her side.
But she likes a little fun sometimes to, in small measures. And he needed to loosen up a little. She sits straddled on his lap, her makeup bag open on the bench below to them and she laughs loudly as she wipes the glitter off his eyelids, his face so red.
"It brings out your eyes Gabe!"
"I like them where they are thanks." He takes the wipe from her and cleans it all off as she pouts and brushes his hair through her fingers. Slipping his glasses back on he lays his head back to regard her, pinching the ends of her shoulder length bleached blond hair. "You roots are showing you know?"
"Very polite of you to notice." She says saucily and he smiles derisively, laying his hand around her neck. Sarah leans back and brings her hair up around her head. "I'm going to cut it all off, go back to my natural color."
"Yeah, this is my old hair." She says softly and he knows what she means by old. The siren is almost deathly still in the water now and she hadn't made so much as a peep. Sarah lets her hair down and rises off him, after feeling his arousal under her and smiles knowingly. But he hisses as he places a hand on his back, trying to stand.
"Sore?" He spends hours in the same position, fixing watches. He had a very straight posture but his back was a starting to bother him. Gabriel nods at her as he stands and draws her back to his side and she kneads the pain under his jacket, making him whimper. She looks up at him and speaks low and gentle. "I'll run you a bath...I'll bathe you."
He helps her get a job, in the place where he acquires most of his books. It's a cosy shop and the old spicy smell of it reminds Sarah of him, it makes her feel safe. She now feels almost normal, almost like the woman she could have grown to be if things had been different, if things had been smooth for her. She's grown up and the bad experiences she had been largely ignoring have made her serious, taciturn again. The feyness that had come with her sense of human detachment has past, even if she keeps a dusting of it in her short pixie hair.
"Don't turn around."
She smiles at the sound of his voice, gets a perverse thrill whenever he orders her to do something. She tilts her head, a book in her hands. "And why not?"
"Because I wanna steel myself up before you start laughing at me." She turns then, takes one look at him and is too shocked to laugh, her hand moving up to hover over her slack mouth.
"Oh my god! Gabriel! You look, you look so - your hair!" He lifts his hand and gently palms the messy, spiked look he now has it styled in. He looks so different that it's genuinely startling. But the shy smile is the same.
"Is it ok? I wanted to look different."
"Ok? God you look so sexy!"
"Who knew right?" He jokes and grins, even as his cheeks glow red. Sarah, almost growling with need, moves to him and runs her hands over his chest to his shoulders and he bends down to kiss her. The feel of his stubble was only something she feels late at night and in the early morning, never in the daylight hours for others to see. Drawing away from his mouth, which now very definitely matches the rest of him, she regards him gently.
"You didn't have to do this."
"I know, I just want to impress them."
"You will no matter what. You'll dazzle them." She whispers and giving him one last kiss runs into the back of the shop to get ready herself, with a dress she had bought brand new today. As she gets changed she smiles with pride and happiness but something foreboding and sharp comes to the surface.
I just saw what the wolf looks like without his fleece on...when I've cast mine back on.
But he strips it from her that night and doesn't call her my Sarah but my Eden.
"Just to pretend, just for one night."
And she did what he said. Proclaimed to every last man there that he was hers.
And she was his.
When he's hungry, when it rushes through him like lava, he has to lock himself away until it passes and keep her at a safe distance. Like a werewolf confronted with the moon. What these hungers are he couldn't say but Sarah was beginning to grasp it and she didn't want to admit that it scares her.
"When I slip up, when I use that voice I can see stars exploding in your eyes." She utters to him from behind his back and he stiffens. He had put away the black, predatory attire and never gone back to it after that strange hedonistic night. He was back to just her Gabriel again but oh she had seen, she had seen very well. She moves very slowly forward, the clocks ticking all around. "When I use it other people look frightened, confused or amazed. But none look like you."
"And what do I look like?"
"Like you're licking your chops." He turns then and his gaze is heavy and unreadable. He could be like that and the need to get him to open up screams up loud in her in many voices. But she doesn't, maybe she wouldn't like what she finds.
"I just appreciate what you can do."
"I don't." She says, finally reaching him and he looks into her eyes. There, she caught a shine of displeasure, a coveting wish that wasn't for Sarah.
"Because it makes people run away from me...but maybe that is a good thing, before they're completely destroyed."
He grabs her suddenly with a grunt and she gasps, siren stirring up. His hands are tight on her waist. "I would never run away from you, I've told you that before. But maybe you want to." He accuses and she feels her belly turning over and she looks down.
"I love you Gabriel, I do. I just don't know if I can keep myself quiet forever...because I can feel it surging up and up and one day it will explode out of me and then...then I'll be alone again. I'll hurt you and..." and maybe I won't care. She keeps those words where they belong, deep inside that harpy mouth.
He pulls her to him and then loosens his grip and she slips out, takes a step back. He looks at her with great understanding, which she is shocked by and his eyes rim with tears. "I know the feeling. But I don't think you could ever hurt me, not...not like the way I think I can, the way I dream about, sometimes."
Sarah smiles but there's nothing in it, just a bone weariness about her nature in the water and on the rocks. "I hope that we both never find out Gabe." She walks to the door and waits for him there as he tidies his things away. Today had been a strange one, she had felt low and the pressure had made all the bad water rise until she was wading through it. She tries to be good and she thinks he loves her the only way he can. She wants that to always be enough, to never touch a bottle or raise her voice again. Because she remembers how much she loved swimming in that sea and screaming out her siren song with no thought for others but that they be captured by her.
If that wolf turned on her one day, like she knows he dreads, then she would rise to match him and relish every syllable that slices through his heart.
'cause I'm evil.
'cause I'm evil.