Back again with Tuesday Tales. This weeks Prompt is Stutter. We’re taking another peek back at Riella and Nate from my work in progress Shadow Play. They may have gotten past the bouncer last time we visited them but is there any trouble lurking inside for them?
Riella took a sip of her drink as she surveyed the crowd. She didn’t have to look towards the balcony to feel the eyes of the second Penumbra demon they had met outside on her. “Micha is keeping a close eye on us.”
“How can you tell?” Nate sipped his scotch next to her.
“He’s trying to get a read on me. Doesn’t realize I can feel his attempt to read my mind.”
“Y-you can feel it?” Nate jerked back.
A giggle escaped as she grinned over at him. “Don’t stutter Nathaniel . It feels like the faintest whisper of a touch in the back of my head. Right now he thinks he’s getting away with it. Mom knew a Penumbra when I was little. Haven’t seen him in years though.”
“He digs too much and it could put you in danger. You going to let him dig?” Nate’s brow puckered in concern.
“Not for long.” Her gaze lifted to meet the demon’s eyes across the room as she directed her thoughts to him. “Tad rude to go poking through a new customer’s head don’t you think? Looking for something specific? Or just trying to be proactive with my next drink order?”
“My apologies Miss. I only wanted to ensure that you were really here of your own volition. My intent was not to offend.” Micha’s voice filtered into her mind.
“I would completely understand but I did just reassure you that I am under no duress. In fact if anything he is the one here against his will. I had to practically drag him here.” It felt as if her mind floated towards his while they had their telepathic conversation.
“You forced him to accompany you here?”
“No.” She answered abruptly.
“May I ask why you brought him with you then?” Curiosity lingered in his tone.
“Your questions are starting to feel more like an interrogation than a worry for my safety. As I explained to Jonah…I can take care of myself.” Riella smirked at him from across the room.
“Not my intention Miss. Merely curious as to why you would allow a killer to accompany you.” Micha remained rooted in his position on the balcony.
“You are just as capable to try and kill me and yet here I am having a conversation with you. Which is becoming tiresome. Most people have a face to face conversation not a telepathic one across a club.” Riella swirled her straw around in her drink. “Now if you’ll excuse me I am the one being rude to Nate. I am here with him after all.”
“My apologies Miss. May we speak later?”
“Perhaps.” Riella closed her eyes for a moment and envisioned the walls strengthening in her mind. Brick by brick they settled into place until she felt any attempt to touch her mind collided with it. As the last piece settled into place she felt the residual shock from the demon. She gave Micha a quick wink and turned her attention back to Nate.
“You haven’t heard a word I’ve said have you?” Nate leaned in close to her ear. To everyone else in the club it held the appearance of the two of them being a couple.
“Sorry. I think I shocked him.” She set her watered down drink on the bar and leaned in just as close. “Dance with me.”
“Don’t feel like talking about it?” His eyebrow quirked up.
“Not that. The bartender is a Penumbra as well.” With her fingers laced through his she tugged him towards the dancefloor.
“If I didn’t know better I’d think you were trying to make him jealous.” Nate pulled her close as they started to move to the music together.
Her arms encircled his waist and she leaned in close to his ear as her hips moved against his. “You know me better than that. In our line of work I don’t need any other complications.”
“You like him.”
It was Riella’s turn to raise an eyebrow. “Seriously Nate when was the last time you saw me interested in anyone?”
“Not since Alexander.”
Riella narrowed her eyes at her dance partner. “Asshole. You could have just given a timeframe. You didn’t have to bring that up.”
“Hey,” Nate took her chin in his hand, “I know it still hurts and you know I’m only teasing you about liking him but it’s not good for you to be alone.”
“I’m not alone. I have you.” She replied too quick. There had to be a way to steer him away from that topic of conversation.
“That’s not the same but I’ll leave it alone. What did Shadow boy want?” Nate tucked a lock of hair behind her ear as he kissed her forehead.
“Not sure what he was more curious about. Me being here with you, how I knew he was attempting to scan me or how I effectively locked him out of my mind.” Riella’s shrugged as she turned her back to him and continued to move against him.
“You think he’s going to be a problem?” Nate’s lips hovered by her ear.
“I don’t know there’s just something about him.” Riella bit her bottom lip when she caught Micha still watching them intently.
“So you do like him.” Nate’s arm snaked his arm around her waist to keep her tight against him.
“It’s not that. Almost like I feel like I’ve met him before. I need to talk to Mom and see if she has anything on him since she’s had dealings with Penumbra before. Maybe she knows something about his clan.” A shiver ran through her as Nate’s lips made contact with her throat.
“Mmhmm.” Nate’s grip tightened.
Riella turned in his arms and met his eyes. “You need to feed.”
“I’m fine.” He continued to nuzzle her neck.
Her fingertips danced along his scalp. “You are far from fine. You are about to take me on the dancefloor. Need a little to get the edge off until I can find you a proper meal?”
Nate jerked back, his pupils dilated and his breathing heavy. “I won’t hurt you.”
“Then let’s go get you dinner hmm? Let’s not give them a reason to throw us out. They have a donor lounge in the back.”
“Good idea.” Nate squeezed his eyes shut as he composed himself. “Thank you Ella.”
“Stop that. We watch out for each other.” Riella lead him towards the back of the club.
“You mean like me pointing out you like him?”
“Oh hush you that’s not up for discussion.”
“I gave you your soul back do you really want to piss me off and see what else I can do?”
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