I Am No Prey by Amal Clare May 25, 2021

19-Piazza del Popolo

After cloaking my wings with the shadows, we jumped out the window and flew into the night. I used to wonder why the windows were so tall, but now I was infinitely grateful for it. At least we didn't have risk bumping into Everard on the way out, although I had a feeling he already knew where we were anyway.

Any thoughts of escaping were gone as we soared over the city. Like before, it was breathtaking. 

"So, where are we going?" I shouted over the wind, flying next to Daniel. 

"You'll see." 

I let out a groan, and even though I didn't know where we were heading, I pushed myself harder and flew faster, beating Daniel. He let out a laugh and soon we were racing, and expectantly, it didn't take long for him to beat me. 

"I win," he gloated. 

"You've been flying your whole life, this is only my fifth time." 

He frowned. "Fifth, isn't it your fourth? Three times in the base and once right now?" 

I looked away. "Fifth time if you count when I tried to escape yesterday." 

His gaze turned distant and he was quiet for the rest of the way. I knew that he was upset. Why wouldn't he be? I was going to leave without any goodbye whatsoever, and friends didn't do that. 

"Hey, Daniel?" I murmured, flying closer until our wings touched. 

"Mmm?" 

"Sorry about trying to leave with no warning." 

He let out a sigh. "I get why you tried to, but if you ever do get successful, I'll always miss you." 

I mulled over his words until he landed on a rooftop. 

"This is the Piazza del Popolo." 

For a moment, I was distracted by how hot he sounded speaking in his language, the syllables rolling over his tongue differently than the way he spoke English.

 I thought of mentioning that to him but he would use that as an opportunity to tease me or say some comment, so I looked to the Plaza instead. People were milling around, a sea of bright colors and large wings, the scales glistening under the streetlamps. In the center of the crowd was what I assumed were the acrobats. From here, I could see that they were all wearing skin tight suits, the colors bright and matching their wings. They stood around a fire, they all wore bright red domino masks, and had sticks in their hands. One of them, a raven haired girl shot into the air. At first she did only slightly impressive stunts in the air, then she dipped down, letting the staff she was carrying set on fire. She twirled it in the air, spinning it and twisting her body in midair until it was impossible to track the movement of the fire.

She started flying upside down, the fire dangerously close to her skin, and her body moved in sync with the music, writhing and twisting at impossible angles. The rest of them joined her, their staffs on fire as well and bodies moving in sync with hers. I stared, my mouth agape, wondering how they managed to do that midair and start flying in impossible positions. 

"It's amazing, isn't it?" I heard Daniel say beside me. 

I turned my head to face him, his face much closer to mine then I expected, our noses touching. 

"Yeah, it is." 

His green eyes brightened and I felt him shift closer

"Voglio baciarti proprio ora."

Good lord. His words reminded me of silken sheets and musky smells. "What does-" 

He silenced my reply with his lips, crashing them against mine. For a moment I was shocked as he opened my mouth with his, hesitant, but sure against mine. Then instinct took over, or rather, I wanted this and acted on it. But was it for an escape or because of him? Maybe it was both and I wrapped my arms around his neck, bringing him closer. 

His hands started stroking the inside of my wings, and I shuddered, feeling a slow heat start in my lower stomach. He could be using me, it could be purely physical for him, but right now I didn't care because I had missed this. Being held by someone and cherished. 

When he had brought his lips to mine, I thought the kiss would be like everything else about him is, teasing. It wasn't even close. He memorized my lips with his, almost desperate as if he wanted to do this for a long time. 

He confirmed my thoughts when he broke away. "You have no idea how long I've wanted to do that for." 

I didn't say anything and pulled him back to me. He let out a growl of approval when I nipped his lower lip and took it between my own, intoxicated by the minty taste of him. My hands fell to his hard chest and he kissed me harder. The smell of smoke and his sudden gasp of pain pulled me back to see my hands on fire...and his shirt.

"Merde!" I shouted, and try to put out the fire on his shirt with my hands. 

I only made it worse and he pulled away, putting the fire out on his own. I kept my hands, which were still on fire, far away, wondering why I didn't feel a thing. 

"I am so, so sorry, I don't know what that was." 

He winced and nodded. "It's fine." 

I calmed down slightly and the fire encasing my hands disappeared. "How bad is it?" 

"Not too bad, the shirt is thick anyway." 

He pulled down his shirt to show me, and I let out a breath of relief. Other than being slightly red, his skin was fine. Except now I couldn't look away. With a smirk he let go of his half- smoked shirt and his skin was covered once again. 

He looked toward the plaza. By now the acrobats were finishing up and the crowd had thinned. How long had we been kissing? "I think we should head back." 

"Agreed." 

He looked to my hand and then the shadows covering my wings. "So fire and shadows?" 

I nodded and let out an exasperated sigh. Were my hands always going to catch on fire every time I kissed someone? "I don't want them. Like hands catching fire because I kissed someone? Oh God, what about in bed?" 

"Can't be too bad." 

I quirked a brow at him in question. "Oh really, and why's that?" 

"Because your clothes aren't fireproof and it's clear that the fire doesn't hurt you." 

"Pervert." 

"Is that all you can do?" 

I let out a sigh. "No, apparently I heal quicker too, and am faster and stronger, in a way." 

Faster and stronger maybe, but I never could beat Everard or Daniel since they had enough training to make that useless. 

"What about higher tolerance to pain?" 

I shrugged. "I don't know. Please don't tell me that you're going to start testing that out." 

His tone turned serious. "I would never hurt you." 

I grinned. "Even if you did, you know I'd hurt you back, and more." 

He laughed and shot into the sky. I followed, catching up to him. 

"Cerise?" 

"Mhm?" 

I turned to look at him, trusting that he would tell me if I was about to barge into someone else flying. 

"I'm going to get you out of that place." 

"I tried already." 

He grinned. "This time, it'll work, because I'm coming with you, and I have the perfect plan." 

*******

Author's Note: the following part has a somewhat mature scene, so if you don't like that kind of stuff, I am sorry, and you can skip. 

"Can you tell me the plan?" I whined for what must've been the tenth time today. 

After practice had ended, I expected Everard to show up and take me back to the medical rooms but he didn't, and Daniel stayed. Right now, he was helping me control my fire. And by practice I meant getting me aroused and making sure I kept my hands to myself so I didn't set him on fire.

It was torture. Mainly because I couldn't touch him and was no where close to controlling the fire. My shirt caught on fire five times already, and now it was half burnt and hanging on my body. The only reason the room didn't smell of smoke was because the window was open and it was windy. 

"Later," he murmured. "Trust me, it'll work, and this is way more fun." 

"For you," I mumbled. "And why do I have the distinct feeling that you're using me?" 

He looked up at me, his expression unreadable. "I can promise you that I'm not using you. If I was, why would I help you escape?" 

"You tell me." 

He let out a sigh and nuzzled my neck. I resisted the urge to run my fingers through his hair. 

"Answer me," I whined. 

He dipped his hands past the waistband of my panties instead and I jolted, smelling smoke again. 

"Keep on doing that and your hair will catch on fire," I breathed, solely focused on the movement of his hand. 

He only dipped it further. 

"Daniel," I half begged, half warned. 

The hand dipped further, fingers working my bundle of nerves until I was panting. He pushed one finger in me and my back arched. I fisted my hands to keep from touching him as he slowly dragged it in and out. 

"Tell me you like that," he rasped, adding another finger. 

I winced and nodded. He picked up the pace and I felt the tension in my spine and lower stomach increase. The smell of smoke was stronger and half of me wanted to escape the sweet torture he was giving me while the other half wanted to urge him to move faster, harder. When he abruptly stopped I let out a whimper. 

"Tell me." 

"I like it," I rasped, and cleared my throat. "I like it a lot." 

"Perfect." 

He went back to what he was doing before, but faster and harder until the pressure built and I couldn't take it anymore. It was too much and later I knew I would be embarrassed by the throaty moan I let out as I saw white and started spiraling down, down, down. 

When I came back from my euphoric state, he had already taken his hand out and was watching me with a look of satisfaction, his pupils dilated and wings slightly stretched open. I watched as he took a napkin from his pocket and wiped his fingers. I cringed. 

"That-" 

He was interrupted by the sound of his phone ringing and pulled it out. 

"Be right back," he murmured and swiftly kissed my brow, a gesture more intimate than what he had been doing moments before. 

He answered the call and left the room while I sat there, glaring at the white- hot fire covering both my hands. 

By the time he got back, I had managed to get the fire to go away. I looked up at him, hair still disheveled and the napkin still in his hand. I had a feeling he would pick up what he left off if I didn't stop him. Although I didn't want to stop him, other things were more important. 

"Now can you tell me the plan?" I asked. 

He snapped out of whatever daze he was in. "Yeah, that's probably a good idea." 

"And?" I prompted. 

"We're going to give Everard the perfect distraction; the Commander." 

I shivered at mention of the Commander. "And how are we going to do that?" 

"I'm going to create a big enough emergency here, so that way he has to come." 

"What's the emergency going to be?" 

He grinned.  "I have to go to him anyway once a week, since I'm Everard's second and when I'm there, I'll let it slip that you're still alive and that Everard's been keeping you here, that in itself is enough for him to come rushing here and while Everard's busy with his uncle, we escape. It's a risk though because if he sees you, he's going to know exactly what you are." 

If he did, then my life would careen to hell and I'd be hunted for the rest of my life. Well, what was life without the risks? 

"When are you going?" 

"Tomorrow." 

I leaned back against the wall. Tomorrow. If everything worked out, tomorrow I was escaping with Daniel and the Commander would know I was alive, maybe even that I was the one thing he needed to destroy the human race. But I'd be free.