I know who you are. Where you live. How you think. What you dream. I possess all the knowledge necessary to change who and what you are at any given time. I am the power you should fear. The power that frequents dark alleys and moonless nights. I live in the shadows of your mind and visit the deepest chambers of your soul. Feel me tonight and know me for what I am.
Kavi woke in a cold sweat, saline droplets dripping down his forehead and between his shoulder blades. His groin throbbed with desire even while his heart raced in terror. Such a sexy voice, one meant for a 900 number, shouldn't be so sinister. He tilted his head back and sighed. A cool breeze shifted over his skin. Once again he'd forgotten to shut the bedroom window. At least he thought he'd forgotten. Events blurred these days just before he fell face down in bed.
Silvered moonlight slanted through the window, gilding the room in an ethereal glow. Crickets, frogs and bats performed their nightly chorus in the chilly night air. Kavi wondered if they ever felt terror at unknown forces. Or if they had nightmares. At least strange black dreams inhabited only by an equally dark voice. Yeah, some nights he knew he was losing his mind. In the blinding light of day, he wondered if he merely overreacted to dreams. Albeit persistent dreams without images or events. Just that voice promising and warning.
Shaking his head at his loopy thoughts, Kavi untwisted the sheets from his legs and swung his feet to the icy wooden floor. One day he was going to invest in a rug or start sleeping with socks on. Which would be interesting considering he slept in the buff every night. One of the many things his ex-girlfriend bitched about before she packed up half their apartment and moved in with a priggish doctor more focused on being renowned than being a good doctor. Women baffled the hell out of him.
Shoving thoughts of Cassie from his mind, he stood with a fluid stretch of muscles and walked to shove the window shut. The action failed to warm his skin or the room but the night air no longer intensified the sensation. He leaned his forehead against the cold window pane and stared down at the overgrown lawn spreading away from the house. The grassland look lasted for a couple of yards each way before ending at the equally overgrown forest ringing the entire plot of land.
Not for the first time, he wondered what possessed him to move into the middle of nowhere with no access to civilization save for the rutted dirt alley that claimed to be a road. With the unlikely moniker of Sunlight Way Road. Obviously someone had a sense of humor, considering only the most valiant of sunbeams ever dared to break through the canopy of tree branches covering the road.
A city lover by nature, he'd resisted the persistent call of isolation and nature for six months, the six months between being dumped by his shack-up of three years and buying this house at the end of Sunlight Way Road. Ever since he'd moved in with the meager possessions left behind by Cassie, Kavi dealt with the eerie but sexy voice of his black dreams.
A muffled thump downstairs brought Kavi out of his thoughts. Grabbing his discarded jeans from a wing-backed chair, he pulled them on and hurried down stairs while still zipping them up. The sight that greeted him caused him to pause in mid-jog and forget to button the jeans.
A heap of clothing and hair took up the floor at the foot of the staircase. Kavi glanced at the front door and noted, in the brightness of the moon, it remained closed and locked. Moving slowly, he approached the heap and nudged it with a bare toe. He expected anything but a feminine groan and then the heap rolled over. A darkly beautiful women sprawled on his floor with a gash on her temple and a rip down the bodice of a dress better suited to a Renaissance fair.
Squatting beside her, Kavi laid a hand to her forehead in a vague attempt to check her condition aside from the obvious. At the touch of his cold palm to her warm, but not feverish, flesh, her eyelids opened. They didn't flutter or slit open. She simply opened her eyes to reveal piercing green iris around oval shaped irises. Eyes Kavi would expect to see on a black cat. The unidentified woman's raven hair suited the comparison but her skin was alabaster white.
"Who are you?" She rasped out the question then winced. He guessed her throat was sore.
Sitting back on his heels, Kavi tried to assimilate the question asked in a voice that had tormented his sleep. Distracted by the realization the voice belonged to a living breathing person, Kavi shrugged. "I'm Kavi. Shouldn't that be my question seeing as you're sprawled on the foyer floor of my house?"
Sitting up with more grace than an injured person should possess, the woman shoved a hank of hair away from her face and winced again. "Runa. Damn, I hate portal traveling."
"Uh, yeah. Don't we all? Why are you in my house, Runa?" Obviously she needed psychological help.
Muttering about the ravages to her clothing and the pain in her head, Runa ignored his question while dusting herself off and attempting to stand. Kavi straightened to catch her as one of her legs gave out. "Easy there, honey. Let's get you over to the couch."
Stiffening at his touch, Runa tried to pull away. "How can you touch me?"
"Is that a trick question? Women have a whole store of those. Probably programmed into their DNA in the womb." Leading her resisting body to the overstuffed plaid couch in the living room, Kavi sat Runa down and pulled a nearby end table over to prop up her legs.
"Trick question? What need would I have to trick you? Humans are easy enough to deceive and confuse." She watched him intently as he lifted the hem of her gown and probed her ankles.
"I'd say you sprained it but we probably need to get it x-rayed to make sure it's not broken."
"It will heal on its own. I must have landed harder than expected. What can one expect when transported in the middle of battle?" Running a finger over the oozing gash on her temple, Runa sighed as the pain subsided.
Kavi felt his jaw unhinge as the wound's ragged edges drew together, puckered, then smoothed away, leaving no trace of having ever been. "Good God! What the hell are you? Portals, battles, and magical healing?"
"Not magic. Science. We're capable of controlling nature's laws in ways your generation hasn't discovered."
"If it's not magic or some supernatural crap, why do you refer to me as 'human'?" Kavi shoved his hands in his pockets, unaware of the tempting picture he made in his low slung jeans and cut torso.
"I'm not human but neither am I magical. The accurate term would be scientifically gifted. For now, humans are still slaves to their abbreviated lifespan. In a few thousands years, we're able to extend the youth and vitality of humans for hundreds of years. Given a few more advances, we will have achieved immortality, even for humans."
"Fascinating. I've got to make a phone call. Just sit there and heal yourself." Shaking his head at her lunacy, Kavi made for the phone in the kitchen. No point in her overhearing his call to the authorities.
"I know who you are. Where you live. How you think. What you dream. I possess all the knowledge necessary to change who and what you are at any given time. I am the power you should fear. The power that frequents dark alleys and moonless nights. I live in the shadows of your mind and visit the deepest chambers of your soul. Feel me tonight and know me for what I am."
At the words, Kavi stumbled to a halt. "Who the hell are you?" He turned on his uninvited guest only to watch her begin to shimmer and fade.
"I am what I always have been. Your greatest dream and your deepest fear."
"You're claustrophobia? Marriage? What?"
With a curl of her full lips, Runa said, "I'm immortality. Life with no end, with no escape from your past mistakes." With that she vanished as if she'd never been.
Feeling sweat drip between his shoulder blades once again, Kavi felt an odd stiffening pervading his body. Glancing down he watched his body becoming stone.
Early afternoon sunlight streamed through the windows of the living room to spill into the foyer. A deliriously happy couple chatted with their real estate agent and admired the way the natural light entered into the foyer. "It's gorgeous. The design is so open and spacious. Makes the most of the natural light from both the east and west." The real estate agent espoused the virtues of the house despite the papers already being signed. Somehow, even in the light of day, darkness hung over the house but the agent guessed the couple didn't notice.
The woman moved from her position by her new husband's side to take in the foyer one last time. "It's absolutely perfect. Especially the statue by the foot of the stairs. Yet, I feel like I know the artist or the subject of that statue." Vaguely puzzled, she moved closer to the statue to gaze into sightless eyes that didn't seem quite so blind.
Kavi screamed in his head as he was forced to stare directly into the warm gray eyes of his biggest regret, his mistake. A living reminder of his past. Cursing Runa, cursing ancient lore which is truth and visits vengeance upon men on behalf of women neglected or scorned, Kavi stared into Cassie's eyes.