Lana stood off to the side to observe the comic show that humans provided on occasion. A massive yacht had tipped onto its side, and a large crowd had gathered. They were curious to see how the people who owned the yacht would right the beast, then get the vessel back into the water.
It never ceased to amaze her what humans with money tried to do to achieve happiness. She sighed. Didn’t they understand? Money and material items never filled the void in your heart, no matter how much you wished they did.
Admitting that was easy for her. She had spent centuries watching over them. She experienced firsthand what money and material items did. Fame didn’t give them the attention they sought. Once you had a hole in your heart, it wasn’t easy to fill.
A feeling she was too accustomed with. For as long as she could remember, a huge part of her was missing. She had never managed to fill that bottomless pit. Not with anything. Not with money, men, fame. . . . Fame she never wanted.
She hid from fame. Fame and attention were for him, not her. Lana remained hidden in the shadows. He craved the attention. At least, she figured he did. Mason had been placed front and center and never tried to hide from the recognition. Only the world didn’t know him as Mason.
The world knew him as The Master of the Night. Newspapers talked about him. TV showed images that could’ve been him, but were vague. People had him on their tongues forever. Forever because like her, he was immortal. They were destined to cross paths sooner or later.
Lana came across him once by complete accident. The shadows overwhelmed the alleyway that day, and the power drifted over her skin as soft as a lover’s touch, but far from as gentle. They felt as harsh as harsh could get. Her entire body had shivered, her hands turned to ice.
A few men tried to murder a woman they had grabbed from a nearby parked car. They stole everything she had, raped her, and planned to kill her. The men brought The Master of the Night down upon them. The woman passed out, and the men had not survived. No sign from them ever again.
Lana went to intervene until she had felt those heavy shadows around her. The cold produced by his appearance paused her advancement. She watched him in action, awestruck. Part of her had a hunch he knew of her as well. How can two immortals live in a world without knowing about the other? Or sensing the other?
Mason didn’t mind the attention because nobody knew his true identity. But she did mind the attention. She avoided it as much as possible.
The world loved to refer to her as The Black Witch. Why, she never knew. She didn’t harm them, despite people who said they remembered her doing so. She had never hurt a human being in her existence. Only did her best to save them. If it made them happy to believe that, she didn’t mind. Allow the world to think of her as they wished. She still protected them because they needed protection. Trivial descriptions meant little to her.
Almost every day Lana remained hidden amongst the crowd. She kept to herself and never allowed anyone to get too close. They never knew who she was, never suspected. She became good at hiding herself behind illusions. What was the point of getting close if she never died, and they would? Sure, many came and went, but nobody that she wanted.
Nobody . . . like the man who caused her heart to skip a beat.
The crowd parted and Lana stepped up to study the boat. The crowd around her was smaller than the one across the river. They wanted to see if the rich men would figure out the problem on how to tip the boat back into the launcher. From there they could get it into the water so the crew could take the vessel out to sea.
Lana grew bored and went to leave. A deep husky voice stopped her in her tracks, “I will never understand the point.”
His friend joined in and beneath the laughter, he said, “They’ll never get it upright without massive damage done to the hull.”
The deep voice slid through Lana’s body and her cheeks warmed. Why did it seem familiar?
Lana couldn’t resist a check to see whose voice reached her. She risked a casual glance behind her, then around the crowd. The faces all merged into one until she found the source of the voice. The brown eyes captured her, and held her in their embrace. Those eyes refused to let her go.
Lana whispered, “I can,” as though the words were pulled from her whether she wanted to give them up or not. Her voice didn’t have to raise louder to have him hear.
Despite never having set eyes on that dark salt and pepper haired man who sported a noon shadow, she knew that burly man anywhere. The power surrounded him and rolled off of him in waves. The power sent her nerves into hyper drive, and revealed his secrets to her.
The Master of the Night.
Mason, her mind whispered. His lips quirked at the corner. His eyes twinkled and delicious creases formed along the sides. Age was so much kinder to men. If he were younger, those creases wouldn’t exist, and that would be a shame.
Before Mason could speak, his friend laughed and cut in. “Never happen.” Lana stole her gaze from Mason.
Same six-foot tall statue as Mason, yet the similarities ended there. This guy was blonde haired and blue-eyed. The strength that seeped from him interested her. He wasn’t immortal, but his aura spoke danger as much as it did from Mason. He seemed much younger, though looks could deceive.
Lana bristled. If there was one thing that she hated most, it was anyone who had the audacity to tell her she couldn’t do what she wanted to do. Especially not right after she said she could. She clenched her teeth. Mason seemed amused. The smirk on the man’s face promised to disappear if she proved him wrong.
Recognizing the challenge in Mason’s demeanor, Lana felt the need to put them in their place. They were too arrogant for her taste.
She spun around and her golden brown waves whooshed behind her and shimmered beneath the sunlight. A few onlookers around her watched in awe. They had overheard what she had whispered. A few of them dared to whisper, “she’ll never accomplish it.”
All cameras died within a mile. A man close to her muttered a curse word under his breath and her lips twitched. They thought their batteries died. They could continue to think that.
In truth, she didn’t have to use her hands. Still, it entertained her to play a role and never allow anyone to know what she was capable of, like Mason and his friend. She didn’t trust anyone, and never let them know everything. Her arms rose toward the ship and she whispered a bunch of words so quiet that all anyone heard was murmuring. If they dared to come close enough.
The immediate people around her laughed. She stood in her spot with her arms raised for a few minutes and nothing happened. Mason’s friend joined in with the laughter. After a non-determined amount of time, Lana dropped her arms. Then she cast her magic.
An invisible blast hit the crowd in the face. A few people stumbled backward. Hair flew backward, jackets flapped in the wind, one person lost his hat. He ignored it.
The massive yacht’s lights flickered and turned on, turned off, on and then stayed on, and brightened to a blaze. The massive beast more the size of a ship than a boat, tilted upward and splashed into the river. The huge waves crawled over the river like a beast, and slammed against the wall beneath the onlookers’ feet.
Everyone around the yacht scrambled. They thought they had fixed the problem themselves. They were unaware that they had help from across the river. The laughter around her cut off the moment the yacht had lit up.
Lana turned back around to face Mason and his friend. His friend’s laughter died. Lana sauntered over to Mason, gazed up into his eyes, and slipped the briefest glance at his luscious lips. She smirked.
Lana ignored the sudden electricity that crackled between them. If he wanted to take her right then and there, she wouldn’t stop him. Nobody would remember seeing what happened. The moment she left the area, they would forget they saw her.
All . . . except for Mason.
He never forgot, did he? She couldn’t alter his memories.
Mason watched her with a devious look in his eye that unnerved her.
“Don’t tell me what I can . . . or cannot do. I always do what I want.” With that, she reached up and wrapped her hand around his head to pull him into a kiss.
Lana had never experienced a rush of desire from anyone else like the one she received with Mason’s kiss. But when her lips touched Mason’s, she felt that . . . and far more. The world disappeared around her and she chanced the moment she may never get again. She deepened the kiss. It appeared Mason had waited a long time for this moment because he seemed uninterested in letting her go.
In fact, his arm came up around her waist and pulled her further against him. Heat scorched Lana’s body and she heard a small sound that she realized was her own soft moan. The strength Mason possessed in his one arm, secured her solidly in place until he wanted to end the kiss. A man who took charge. A man who she would allow to take charge any day.
Mason let her go at last and the thoughts of him taking her in front of everyone were echoed back to her. Refusing to give in and acknowledge how much his kiss affected her, Lana pressed him away. More so to have the ability to think once more. To think of anything, but continuing the kiss.
She took in the age lines, the slight scruff along his jaw that had scratched her skin when he kissed her, and the strong jaw. When she brought her attention back up, he grinned. He knew how the kiss affected her.
Lana shook her head, don’t be so smug, playboy. Not everyone will bow down to you. She shoved past him and his friend to head back to the oblivion of shadows where she belonged. Before she moved away from the crowd, the shadows slipped around her and obscured her from view. Once more she erased her presence from everyone’s memory. Once more the Black Witch became a myth of fear.
Behind her, his friend muttered, “You’re breaking my heart, sweetie. Don’t leave so soon.”
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