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Tall, Dark & Mysterious *

Warning: The following story contains mature themes and is not suitable for younger readers.

Alana’s eyes scanned the room, searching desperately for a familiar face in the crowd. Every so often she’d spot one of her friends through the throng of people, but every one of them was wrapped around a man, oblivious to everything else. Damn she was lonely. Everywhere she looked there were couples, so engrossed in each other they appeared to have entirely forgotten that they were in a room full of people. But Alana would have given anything to be one of them. She hated being alone, especially at times like this. It wasn’t as if her friends had meaningful relationships, but at least they would all have someone to keep them warm tonight, whilst Alana would be going home to her cold lonely bed, just as she had every night for way too long.

As if they had a mind of their own, her eyes strayed to a man she’d seen as soon as she’d walked through the door. He was the stereotypical tall, dark and handsome, but there was just something about him that set him apart from all the other good-looking men in the room. It could have been the thin scar that ran across his cheek before disappearing beneath his slightly too long hair, that made him look just a little bit dangerous, but though she couldn’t put her finger on it, Alana knew it was something else. And when his eyes met hers across the crowded room, she knew what that something was. Despite his dark complexion he had the brightest blue eyes she had ever seen, so unique, she knew they had to be real. Knowing she was staring, yet unable to tear her eyes away, she looked deeper, seeing the spark of intelligence and underlying passion that smouldered just beneath the surface, as if just waiting to be set free. She stumbled as someone bumped into her from behind and by the time she had regained her balance, the man in the corner had vanished.

The following morning, Alana awoke from a haunting dream to hear a pounding sound that she couldn’t quite place. Lost in thoughts of the mystery man and his mesmerising eyes, it took her a while to realise there was someone at the door. Pulling on her robe, she went to investigate, hoping to get rid of whoever it was so she could enjoy the rest of her Sunday in peace. Twenty minutes later, she knew that hope had been futile. Her best friend, Zara, was halfway through recounting a detailed description of the previous evenings events with a man named Dave. Alana was only half-listening, just adding the odd comment at random intervals. It wasn’t that she didn’t care about her friend’s dilemma over whether she should see Dave again; she just had other things on her mind. However hard she concentrated on Zara, Alana just couldn’t get those eyes out of her mind. She’d tried her best the previous evening to find out more about him, but though everyone had noticed him, no one seemed to know anything about him.
“Did you see that guy with the scar and the bright blue eyes last night?” Alana asked, belatedly realising she’d interrupted Zara mid-flow, proving how little attention she’d been paying to the conversation.
“No, why?” Zara said, crossly.
“No reason… So Dave said he’d call today…?”
Conceding that Alana had been listening, Zara continued with her story, oblivious to the fact that Alana’s mind was still focussed almost entirely on the stranger from the night before.

Over the next few weeks, though she had very little free time, Alana found that the mysterious stranger had taken up permanent residence in her thoughts. Friday night arrived and she got ready with just a little more care than usual. It wasn’t that she truly expected to see him again, but just in case, she had to make the effort. Unfortunately, this didn’t go by unnoticed by her friends. Alana deliberately avoided the subject whenever it was raised, greatly relieved that Zara had been too interested in Dave to listen to her comment after the party. She wasn’t exactly sure why she hadn’t confided in her friends with whom she had always shared everything, but this time she wanted to keep him all to herself, at least until she’d learned his name. Because how could she explain how deep the connection between them had felt when she had only caught his eye across a crowded room. It was insane and she knew it, but she could no more ignore the feeling, than force the reoccurring image of those eyes from her dreams. The dreams from which she had awoken, night after night, desperately needing to feel his skin against hers, see those eyes looking down at her as they made love, overflowing with the passion she had only glimpsed in them.

The party that night was no different to all the other parties of the previous weeks, and though her friends were having the time of their lives, Alana was seriously contemplating leaving by the time the clock reached midnight. Looking around, she tried to locate Zara to tell her she was going. Just as her eyes found her friend, something diverted her attention. She glanced around and saw a man standing with his back to her. His broad shoulders were covered by a worn leather jacket and his hands were thrust into the pockets of his black jeans. She was sure she had never seen him before, no one she knew dressed so casually, but there was something familiar about him that she couldn’t put her finger on. Just then he turned and all thoughts of leaving were wiped from her head. Suddenly she found herself falling into those eyes that had haunted her dreams for so many sleepless nights. It was as though she was drowning in their depths, with little hope of escape, yet she had no desire to even attempt it. Then, just as suddenly, he turned and walked out the front door. For a moment she was frozen to the spot, desperately attempting to claw her way out of the sensual haze that had assaulted her the second their eyes had met. Finally coming back to life she began to push her way across the room to follow him but before she had even made it halfway Zara intercepted her. By the time she had made her escape, Alana knew that following him now would be futile. Crestfallen that she had missed what could be her one and only chance to speak to him, she made her way to the bar to grab a glass of wine. Leaning against a nearby wall, she lifted the glass to her lips and took a quick sip. Then a longer one as she resigned herself to yet another evening alone.

He saw her as if he were standing right in front of her, instead of across a roomful of people. It was exactly as it had been the first time he had seen her. She was alone, looking completely out of place with her delicate frame and exquisite features, and she’d been staring straight at him. He’d overheard someone call her Alana, and now as he walked across the hard packed earth to his car he thought it over in his mind. He liked it. It seemed so at odds with the fire he’d seen burning in her eyes as she’d looked at him, refusing to drop her gaze, even when he’d stared straight back at her. He knew she was a woman he’d like to get to know a whole lot better.

Putting her now empty glass down on a nearby table, Alana started to make her way over to where Zara sat dangerously close to a man she assumed must be the infamous Dave. As she moved closer, her friend leaned even closer, engaging her companion in a considerably amorous embrace. Not wanting to intrude, Alana moved over to the door to wait for a more suitable moment to approach her friend. Feeling a presence behind her, she turned to find herself face to face with her mystery man.
“Hi there.” His voice was deep with a rough edge that only added to the air of danger he had about him.
“Hi.” She hardly recognized her own voice; it was so low and husky.
Yet again she found herself looking deep into his eyes, drawn in by the fierce intensity of his gaze. She hardly noticed as he lifted a hand to brush back a strand of hair that had fallen across her face. Then his fingers brushed her cheek and she almost gasped at the searing heat she felt throughout her whole body. Forgetting everything but him, Alana was lost in a sea of sensation, from the simplest of touches. She longed to find out what would happen if she closed the distance between them. And as if of its own accord, her body swayed towards him until he caught her in his arms. She was so close she could feel his breath on her face. There was little more than an inch or two between them and suddenly even that small distance seemed unbearable. With a tiny moan she pressed her lips hard against his. He responded in kind. Hauling her flush against him, and kissing her with all the smouldering passion she’d seen glittering in his eyes.

The journey back to her apartment passed by in a haze and soon Alana was standing in her room, her arms wrapped around him, their lips locked together in a searing kiss. Feeling his hands stealing over her back under her shirt, she lowered her arms, tearing at his clothes in her desperation to feel his naked body against hers. When finally they were both rid of their clothing, she pulled him onto the bed, refusing to break the contact between them for even a moment. Their lovemaking was fast and passionate and when she came, she cried out loud, digging her fingers into his broad shoulders as her body trembled against him. She fell asleep soon after, the tangled sheets binding her to his side. When she awoke several hours later, just before dawn, she found him looking down at her through the half-darkness, his eyes full of the intensity she had come to associate only with him. This time when they made love, it was long, slow and tender, their eyes locked together by some unknown force. And afterwards they lay in each other’s arms, not saying a word, not needing to. The connection between them was so strong; Alana couldn’t help feeling as though she’d found her soul mate.

When she awoke the following morning, she knew she was alone, even before she opened her eyes. Knowing it was pointless, yet unable to prevent herself, she searched the whole apartment, before returning to the comfort of her bed armed with a steaming mug of coffee and the newspaper. Pulling the duvet up to her chin she caught the hint of his scent on her sheets. And it was only then that she realised she hadn’t even asked his name. Ignoring the paper entirely, she let her mind drift back over the previous night’s events. She remembered everything so clearly it was almost as if she were reliving it. She could feel all the passion and intensity as if he were sitting right in front of her. Squeezing her eyes tight shut, she could almost reach out and touch him. The ringing of the phone jolted her back to earth with a thud. It was Zara with further updates on the Dave situation. Again, Alana neglected to mention her mystery lover. It was still too fresh in her mind for her to deal with her friends’ light-hearted ridicule. It was so unlike her to take a man home that she didn’t know, never mind one whose name she hadn’t even asked for, there was no way she could explain the intensity of the link to her friends. She knew they would never understand.

Several days later, Alana was meeting Zara at a local bar after work. As usual Zara was late and Alana was already halfway through her drink by the time her friend arrived to tell her she wouldn’t be joining Alana after all. Within five minutes of arriving, Zara was gone again off to meet Dave, who had finally asked her on a real date. Determined to at least finish her drink before she went back to her lonely flat, Alana rested her elbows on the counter, staring blindly at the row of bottles along the back wall of the bar.
“Is this seat taken?” A deep gravely voice said from just behind her.
Spinning around, she almost fell off her stool. She would have recognized that voice anywhere, and if there had been any doubt, the electricity that shot through her as he reached out a hand to steady her assured her that it was really him. Their eyes caught and held, and she saw the deep, dark passion blazing inside him. Without a word she followed him out to the darkened street. Stopping beneath a lamppost he turned towards her.
“Alana…” Her name slid off his lips like an endearment, as he brushed his fingers over her cheeks.
“H-how do you know my name?” She whispered shakily.
“I made it my business to find out.”
“Oh…” For the life of her she couldn’t think of a single thing to say.
And then it didn’t matter because his lips were on hers and all rational thought had been pushed from her mind.
“I feel like I’ve been searching for you my whole life.” She murmured when he lifted his mouth from hers.
“I feel the same.” He said simply before crushing her against him once more.
Tangling her fingers in his hair, she held him close, opening her mouth to his sensual plunder.
“Just one thing…” She said when she could speak again, a slight smile on her face. “What’s you’re name?”
“Darcy… Pleased to meet you.” He replied, ducking as she swiped at his head. “Come here.” He growled pulling her against him once more. And it was some time later before another rational thought entered her brain.

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