What made Jesse who she was, a woman in love?
|1073 entry into December's Paranormal Romance Contest. Prompt - enhanced human
“Jesse is pure witch if you ask me,” Emery said into the brooding silence.
No one was asking. Everyone was fantasizing about her, wanting their version of her, though. Jackson threw more wood on the campfire before revealing his thoughts. “She’s a ghost of herself, so fragile, ethereal when I’m by her side during our moon walks. Bleached into a pale whiteness that is transfixing.”
Alan looked up with a glint of the fire in his eyes. “Bosh. She’s a vampire. I can’t shake her off now that she has her fangs in me. Bleeding for her is all my heart does. None of us are getting anywhere with her. Who is her real love?”
Grant lay asleep, head on his breast, back shored up by the tree he leaned against. He woke with a start as the fire popped a pine cone like it had been shot. “Jesse?”
One chuckled, another sneered as was his nature. All gave vent of intensely held emotion in the manner that was their preferred want. “She’s a shape shifter is what she is. Anything our fantasies dictate,” grunted Harry Bell, rubbing the heat of the crackling blaze from his arms.
There were nods, some slower with realization than others around the circle of light. All had tried their best to make Jesse reveal who she was and how she really felt, tell who had won her as their lifelong prize. The closest any came was to dream her into being. A tempting lass who promised all and vanished with the first stroke of dawn.
“Demon, angel, both at once? What magical limit is there to her allure?” The newest member of the band of young men wondered aloud. He shivered, moving closer to the rising sparks, miniscule shooting stars rising heavenward. They revealed a face so full of yearning none other could stand to look at it. All eyes turned away.
Silently now, lost within inner vision, each licked, rubbed or touched their lips, tasting again Jesse’s kiss that bound them to her body and soul. All were captive to the same lost cause.
“She is never late. What time is it?” Emery peered into the surrounding darkness.
This night had brought these rivals for her affection together, she, the only thing they had in common, so different to each one. A shiver of shadow turned moonlight into Jesse. Liquid flowing curves stroked a heated response in one man, then another as her pale gray eyes were met.
“Hello, then.” Her flaming hair cascaded into motion as she drew into the group. There was now fire reflected in all the men’s eyes. Jesse flirted with the moment knowing her true power over these subjects of desire. Her scent, as she brushed by each male statue, loaned her the super human ability to be the chameleon she was. One silent breath became intoxicating. One kiss to taste her was enough to offer up their soul.
One careless brush of warm touch lingering is the trap women instinctively possess. A man’s eyes close in surrender. A moment’s involuntary flash ignites within, then inner sight opens to see the changeling before them appear as beauty reborn.
Jesse came to announce her will. None had yet conquered her spirit. It would be cruel to lead them on. Time might heal a broken heart, or not. All would dream her alive in their most restless nights.
Her words of betrayal to many an unspoken promise lay upon her lips when a strangeness happened. She looked puzzled and paused. “Who is that stranger who comes to the fire? He is not invited.” Jesse’s hand raced to her breast.
“Sorry, there. Saw the light. Heard the sound and came to see what’s going on. Just a fellow traveling in the night back to my camp. All too human a mistake thinking I’d be welcomed unannounced. Name’s David. Should have shouted out first.”
Jesse gasped, caught her breath. Her eyes widened, flickered, closed, opened. All was lost. There was no other world fantasy of the mind twisting, turning her into something else she could not be. This was the ‘real thing’.
It was not intentional what happened next. The woman in her made the tremble in her legs unbalance her body. The step she took forward made her fall. All her powers of feminine persuasion were focused on this stranger, but at what cost?
The statues of men around her stood frozen in place. It was the stranger who caught her from landing in the fire and made one of his own. “Easy there, bright eyes. Almost lost it, didn’t you?”
“I think I’ve found it. Thank you.” Jesse became lost in the feel, the scent, the strength of his arms. When their eyes met it was an all too human gaze reflected between them. It struck her very soul, transforming her into herself and nothing more.
“Yes. My pleasure, indeed. I heard these men talking about you. Curiosity brought me here. I had to meet such a woman. Now, I am glad that I did.” David casually shook her, “Are you all right? You appear a little stunned. I do.”
It was impossible to let him go. She found her hand gently embraced within his. There was a new appraisal in what had just happened to the group, now going on. Each of her previous suitors saw her in a new light, none so beguiling as what each had seen before.
There was no need for the telling, no waste of words need be said. The true and lasting love light in the eyes between a man and a woman had been seen and met. Jesse and David were so focused on each other their own magic made everyone else disappear. “Would you like to walk a while in the moonlight? My camp is not far from here.”
The men left to themselves slowly gathered themselves, stirred, looked one to another, each seeing the same loss within. Emery leaned to kick a dead branch into the fire. Alan leaned back whispering a curse as embers flew his way.
Jackson breathed a deep empty sigh, before turning to gaze at the darkness around them. “Thought she had me, didn’t she? Did for a bit. No harm no foul.” There was an unfilled hunger burning within. There the fire burned as bright as it ever had. There, the fantasy dream of Jesse’s promise flourishes, feasting on more than one broken heart's remains..