I See Red @pancakesandbooks
Brightly May You Burn

Here you are. A little update on this story! A little short, I know! Sorry! But I have written nearly 8000 words today, just not on this story. Lol! I felt it was quite a nice ending right there, but more will come, rest assured!

Any mistakes are my own.

Aro saw her run for the door as fast as she could. He also knew that it was not fear that made her bolt for the exit. It was a whole new feeling inside her she was trying to run from. He let her go. She wouldn't make it far. Not with what he had seen in her eyes the split second before she turned from him.

Her boldness was quite intriguing, her audacity definitely fascinating. He swallowed thickly, licking his lips. Her sweet taste still lingered on him, and his gaze darkened as he suddenly felt desire flash through him. She would be back. He could sense it. Indeed he longed for it.

Revna ran out into the hallway, jumped over the banister, landing slightly awkwardly on the floor below, her ankle twisting somewhat. She ignored the hot flare of pain that shot up her right leg and settled in her hip, and went for the next staircase, almost tumbling over in her haste to get out of there. Damn it all, why was his house so big? It felt like eternity before she reached the back door, and she scrambled out of there, hurtling herself out over the last few steps down, and began running across the field and into the trees. It wasn't much later before she stopped running, her body needing to collapse to the ground, and so she did. She was trying to calm her breath, and winced as her foot reminded her of her clumsiness. She sat up, wiping her forehead, looking down at her feet. Pulling off one shoe, she squinted through the darkness and saw that she most definitely had sprained it. It was throbbing violently and swollen around the ankle.

She hissed with annoyance and allowed herself to plop back onto the ground, staring miserably up into the inky night sky. The stars dazzled her with their lights, almost giving her comfort. Almost.

This was such an inconvenience! And she hadn't even gotten anything worthwhile with her to speak of! Fuck! Harald was gonna be so pissed with her. He had really wanted that gem, not that she could understand why. It looked like nothing special, though granted it had been quite dark. All she saw was the shiny surface. It looked like a normal onyx gemstone. Nothing special. Not to her eyes at least, and she wasn't exactly a novice in jewelry. She had stolen plenty to know when something was of huge value. She scowled as she realised she must face the volatile viking empty handed.

Another thought crept unbidden into her mind as she ran a hand through her tangled hair. Aro's words slithered into her messy thoughts.

She looked at her finger. How strange that it was perfectly fine now. She had been sure it had been sliced open by her stabbing attempt.

Could he really protect her?

She shook her head vigorously. Don't be absurd! The man knew nothing of the Viking's methods. How could he possibly protect her. And yet…

Despite his quite creepy demeanor, she couldn't help but know that he truly did care for her safety. He had known of her ordeal with… Him. She could barely think about it, it hurt her too much. But Aro had known. The sensitivity with which he referred to it, made her believe he truly meant no harm. Her body had certainly believed it. She had kissed the man. Actually kissed him!

Revna slung an arm over her face, trying to hide from the world. What on earth had she been thinking?! Well the fact was, that he made her lose her senses, her ability to think clearly. The thought made her shiver slightly. What was it about him that made her brain go blank? She couldn't tell. Now that she was away from him, she was clear headed again. Though, the feel of his lips against hers made her bite her lip. He had been so cold, yet so… Tender…

She shook her head violently, groaning.

Hush girl! You better get him out of your head! He's bad news!

Another more reasonable part of her cut in;

More bad than Harald?

She paused, frowning. Perhaps not. The viking was definitely not nearly as sleek and smooth as the dark stranger she had just kissed. And he was definitely more prone to violence as well. She had had the marks to show it too. She removed her arm from her still damp face. She was sweating profusely. The blackness of night swirled around her. This meant coldness. She huffed. She was hardly able to walk all the way home in her condition. Her predicament became quite clear to her that instant. She needed shelter. Perhaps she could return to Aro, and… Maybe even acquire that damn stone from him, without his notice… She smirked as a plan began to take form in her mind.

Little did she know that her mind was the least safe place once Aro was to touch her again.

Aro heard her approach from a mile away. He knew she was injured, he could hear the limp in her walk. He surmised that she had given up on finding her way home with an injury in tow. She was walking up the steps to his back door, her steps rather hesitant. He waited patiently for her to pick up the courage and knock. Finally there was a defiant huff and she knocked hard on the wooden surface.

Aro flashed down in a second, flinging the door open, and pulling her inside hastily. He closed the door and had her pinned against the wall in a matter of seconds. She barely had time to register his movements, and she only took a deep breath once she came to a standstill between him and the hard surface. She was breathing harshly, steadying herself as she tried to fix her gaze on his dark eyes, Though the darkness seemed to work in his favour.

"It is best not to linger outside these days," he said in a low voice, as he read the question in her mind.

The young woman frowned, blinking vaguely up at him. He smirked as he delved further into why she had returned.

"And as for this," he held up the dark gemstone she had been trying to steal. "You will not succeed in stealing it from me, my dear. I am very protective of it, you see."

She frowned at him, seemingly not understanding how he could know of her plans already.

"What is it, then?" She breathed out, her gaze fixed on it.

He smirked, but didn't answer her. Instead he glanced down at her feet.

"You are hurt."

Her frown grew even deeper, and she tried to wriggle out from under him, intending to get out after all. He pressed more firmly against her, keeping her thoroughly in place.

"No, mia cara," he admonished softly. "You may as well stay here. It is of no use to leave. I can tell you are curious about me. Come, let us go upstairs again, and have a chat." Without another word, he easily hoisted her up in his arms, holding her securely in place.

Revna gasped at his actions. "What are you doing?" She demanded, startled.

"I am lifting you upstairs. Unless you would rather walk on that injured foot again?" He said placidly, aiming for the stairs.

"But, I'm too heavy," was all she could respond with. Her brain was already going numb from his close proximity. She somehow felt so safe in his arms.

Aro chuckled. "My dear, trust me, you are far from too heavy for me. Besides, is that your only worry as of this moment?" He smirked, flashing his teeth for a brief second. They glinted at her through the shadows.

He could tell her mind was already muddled.

"Um, no…?" She managed, swallowing thickly.

"That is what I thought," he replied softly.

"How are you so strong? And fast?" She asked, as she looked around while he carried her swiftly up the steps.

"That is an answer for another time," he replied gently.

"But I deserve to know!" She demanded.

"Indeed you do," he agreed. "And you will have answers, my dear. But first, we shall talk about other matters."

She almost scowled at his ability to not be forthcoming about anything. She suddenly grew rigid, as she suddenly realised that she could feel that stone in his breast pocket. She looked around at it, frowning.

"I really would not, my dear. As I said, you will not succeed."

She flinched as she realised how obvious her thoughts seemed to be to him. Aro sat her down carefully on the couch, sitting down beside her. He immediately proceeded to pull her feet into his lap, and began to remove her shoes and socks.

"Whoa whoa, Romeo!" She burst out, almost bolting from the sofa. "What are you doing?"

He glanced up, keeping a firm grip on her lower legs, lest she actually should try and get up.

"I am treating your foot. Look at it, it is quite swollen," he commented as he tilted it back and forth to have a good look at it.

She was panting slightly. His icy hands lingered on her bare skin, and the feeling was quite soothing to her throbbing ankle.

"I can't really see anything in this darkness," she managed breathlessly.

A rumbling chuckle erupted from him, and she felt him lean in over her. She gasped when she realised how close he suddenly was, then the light was switched on, and their eyes locked. He was barely an inch from her face, and she blinked stupidly to gain better focus.

"See, swollen," he said in a low voice, though his gaze never left hers.

Aro saw her mind fill with their brief kiss again, and how she longed to close the distance between them. He was captivated by how easily she was distracted by his presence. Of course humans often found him attractive and distracting, but she was on another level entirely.

"What is the matter, young one?" He asked, his voice smooth as silk. He felt her shiver, and almost wanted to make her shudder for other reasons entirely. She was so responsive.

"Um… My foot really hurts," she managed, swallowing thickly.

Aro smiled, and leaned back so he could place both his hands on the affected area. His coldness was a balm to the aching joint.

"That feels amazing," she murmured, before mentally slapping herself for her candidness. He smirked at her, but didn't reply.

Instead he plucked a pillow from behind his back and placed it beneath her ankle to keep her foot elevated, and then proceeded to follow her inner dialogue curiously.

'What is it with this dude? Why does my brain turn to mush around him? He's sooo charming.'

Another part of her brain switched on.

'Charming is dangerous! He might be planning your murder right this instant! Yes look, he's smirking at the very idea!'

'I know, isn't he dreamy?'

'My god woman, get a grip! You have to get the damn stone and get out as fast as you can. Or die trying!'

'Geez, no reason to be so dramatic! He's simply smiling because he enjoys touching my… warm, sweaty foot.'

Her eyes widened as she realised she had been running for quite some time before this. She tried to pull her foot free, but he kept it in place, shaking his head at her mildly.

'I really should not allow him to touch me right now, I'm a mess!'

'Good lord, Revna! You need to get your priorities straight! Say it with me; You should not let him touch you because he's fucking dangerous!'

'But it feels so good!'

Aro almost laughed. She was practically swooning at his touch, but also berating herself for feeling like this. The whole dialogue was amusing to say the least.

'You realise he hasn't said a thing to you for more than two minutes, don't you?'

She snapped her gaze to his, searching his eyes.

'Why is he so quiet?'

Aro kept silent, waiting.

'Dude, it's eerie!'

She was starting to breathe in shallow bursts as they kept looking at each other silently.

'There's something in his eyes… It's almost like he knows…' She bit her lip nervously. 'What I'm thinking…?'

He didn't say anything, but merely kept her gaze locked. Her mind went blank as if she was waiting for something. Then he gave a single nod.

Let me know what you think! I love to hear your thoughts!

I simply adore this intense, slightly creepy Aro. I don't know why. Lol!


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