A smile spilled across my face. I knew him before I turned and saw him.
“Raven,” I sighed. My smile fell the moment I looked. A stranger stood before me. “Who are you?” I asked.
“You know who I am.”
“I don’t…” I tried to remember.
“This is how I really am.”
And all at once, too clearly, I saw them both. The man who was in this realm. And the man I saw him as. And all at once, the fantasy split from the truth.
“I don’t love you,” I said, shaking my head. “I don’t know you.”
“No,” he said. “You don’t.”
I recalled my dream from last night. Too well I remember his face, aged… Worry. Then the panic. He approached me as if he didn’t know me… until… “Our friends departed,” I said. “And only then did you make any sign that you knew me. In that moment…”
A fog filled my head and I couldn’t think. I couldn’t move. I felt stupid and distance as if I floated in nothing…
“Nothing more. Nothing here. Nothing e’er again…” I mumbled. “I loved you then in that moment… and all at once,” I slurred in my daze… “I can’t thing. I wish but to obey. To shred this skin and make sweet love to you,” I said.
I looked again at the face I didn’t know. At the stranger before me and the daze was gone. I was grounded again. “But you aren’t him,” I said. “You aren’t my Raven.”
“Just the hallowed shell of what you saw…”
“Did you read Broken?” I asked him and held my breath awaiting his answer.
* * *
Angel glared at Ian across the room. He still hadn’t made his move.
“What is it you want?” she snarled. Ian only smiled.
“What is it you think I want?”
“Sex!” She hissed like a cat ready to lunge, to kill just for the sake of killing.
Ian only sat, widening his grin.
“We shall see,” he said. “I have all the time in the world to sit here… and wait.”