Criss meets a girl on his way home. She's young, beautiful, and suddenly, he wants her.
He was riding the night owl route. The show had gone much later than he had anticipated it going. Criss rubbed his eyes, smudging his eyeliner just a little bit more, making him look all the more like a fallen angel.
She was riding way in the back of the bus. She looked like she still needed a bedtime. What the hell was she doing awake this late, much less on public transportation?
Her face was buried in a thick copy of The Chronicles of Narnia. It was that thick edition with all the books in one volume.
Interesting, Criss thought to himself as he slung himself into the seat next to her. How did she read with the bus being so rocky? He knew that it would make him car sick to read like that. Perhaps a more important question was; what the hell was a teenager doing reading? She must have been doing it willingly, as it was the dead of summer, and there was no way it could have been for school.
Unless it was some sort of summer reading program, he amended to himself. Criss peered at her from behind a curtain of thick black bangs. She didn't seem to notice him. Her left index finger was winding a lock of dark brown hair around itself. She seemed completely engrossed in the story, oblivious to anything that was going on around her.
"Is that a good book?" he asked, making her jump and drop said book on the floor of the bus.
"Shit!" she cursed, putting her hand to her chest. Criss saw that she wore no nail polish, no rings or bracelets. This was all just getting stranger and stranger, wasn't it? He smiled apologetically.
"Don't DO that." she glared at him, narrowing green eyes.
"Well, I am sorry. I didn't mean to startle you." he smiled again. She rolled her eyes and bent to pick up the book. She wiped some of the grime gingerly from the covers.
"Don't tell me you haven't read The Chronicles? How old are you?"
"Old enough than to know better than to answer that." Criss laughed. The girl looked him up and down. She took in the pleather pants and well-worn boots. She noted his black leather jacket and the skin tight t-shirt, along with the silver crosses, the make up, the styled hair.
"From the looks of it, I'd say you just peeled yourself away from the corner. Was it a good night?" she blinked, pretending to be innocent. Criss snorted and rolled his eyes.
"Better than the night YOU had." he saw her short plaid skirt and the white button down top. It wasn't part of a school uniform, but all in all it gave her the look of someone who is used to dressing in such a manner for their education, and doesn't quite know how to dress otherwise.
"Oh, hardy har har." the girl opened her book back up. Criss wondered if perhaps she had grown tired of hearing him talk and was going to dive back into the story, but instead she just marked a place, using a thick white ribbon as a book mark.
"So, if you're not really a whore, what do you do for a living?" she leaned forward on the seat, folding her arms on it and resting her chin on her arms.
"I am a magician. My name's Criss. Criss Angel,"
"A magician?" her eyes lit up, and she lifted up her chin. "Oh, are you really? How marvelous!" she seemed as pleased as any younger person would have been.
"Yes, really." Criss was amused that she seemed so mirthful at the discovery. She was almost childlike. It was quite lovely, actually.
"And what would your name be."
"Crayne Taylor," she held out a small white hand for him to shake. Criss caught it in both of his and pressed a kiss to the back of it. She giggled as she felt his lips on her wrist. He continued to hold onto her for a moment longer than was needed.
Oh yes, the energy was strong in this one.
"That's a pretty name."
"Thank you. Can you really do magic?" she blurted out. She held her book tightly against her chest. "Just like in The Magician's Nephew?"
"Well, I don't know what that book is like. I've never read those, my dear Crayne. But I CAN do magic, yes."
"Can you show me? Just a little? Please, oh please?" she begged so prettily. Even if she had asked with a mild interest, he would have been more than happy to show her. But with such an eager audience, well, how could he say no?
"For a lady, I do anything." Criss pulled out a white handkerchief from his pocket. He handed it to Crayne.
"Now, notice that there is nothing beneath that. It's an ordinary hankie, isn't it?" she examined it carefully and then nodded.
"Ah ha!" he held up one finger. "Just you watch and see." he laid it flat on his palm and closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them, he dramatically drew the cloth away.
Sitting there was an origami crane made out of pure white paper. The girl gasped and looked as though she wanted to clap her hands. Criss held it out to her.
"For me?" she whispered.
"For you," he nodded. She took it and cradled it in her hands as gently as though it were a real bird.
"It's beautiful." she beamed up at him. "Thank you, Criss."
"How else should I repay such a lovely audience?" he watched her touched the folded wings, fragile and beautiful. Her own skin was milky white. You could see the blue veins running below, threaded beneath her flesh. She looked delicate as the bird.
"How did you do it?"
"It's magic." he wanted very much to reach out and touch the silky looking hair that hung down her back. When she bent her head to look at the crane he'd given her, some of it fell down, putting half of her face in shadow. She looked childlike and seductive all at the same time.
Criss could tell she wasn't wearing any make up, but still her lips were full and red, pouting out just enough to be attractive. He wanted to reach out with his thumb and trace the lower lip.
"Magic," she repeated reverently. She had put her book on the seat next to her. "Can you show me more? Please?"
Criss lifted her book up and caught it in his hand, snatching it up from midair. Her smirked at the shocked expression on her face. He examined the well-worn mass of paper. Obviously she liked the books very well. He handed it back to her.
"That good enough?"
"You really ARE a magician!" she squealed. Criss looked at her. She seemed blown away. It really boosted his ego to have someone so impressed with what others had dubbed his "parlor tricks."
"I really am," he agreed. They continued to ride in quiet for a moment. He noticed the green eyes were fixed on his chest. He looked down, wondering what Crayne could be staring at.
"Do you like my crosses?"
"Yes," she admitted. "I'm sorry, I know I shouldn't stare. But they are so pretty." Criss leant towards her. She reached out and picked up one of the crosses, playing with it between her fingers, warming the metal with her skin.
"I love it."
"Oh?" he reached behind his neck and undid the clasp. The chain slipped from his neck, leaving the whole necklace in her hands. She looked up at him, eyes wide.
"But you've already given me one. I haven't anything to give you. No, I can't keep it." she sighed as she tried to give it back to him.
"I ask for only one thing in return, my fair woman." he quickly dropped into the seat next to her, putting The Chronicles in his lap. Gently, he snapped the chain around her neck.
He liked the way she looked in his jewelry.
"What? I'll give you anything you ask for." she promised almost rashly. Instantly, dirty thoughts were sprouting in the back of his mind. Things he knew he shouldn't be thinking about. She was Innocent.
"I ask only for one sweet kiss. It isn't every day I meet such a lovely girl on the bus." he gestured with one hand. Her cheeks pinked. Instead of feeling ashamed that he had asked her, Criss felt a stirring in his groin. She looked even more innocent and attractive like that.
"Okay," she looked up, biting down on her lower lip. "If that's what you want. But only because you've been ever so kind to me." Where in the world had she learned to talk like that? It made her sound like someone from a storybook.
"How old are you, Crayne Taylor?" Criss slung his arm around her shoulders, drawing her tightly to him.
"Seventeen," there was a significant pause. He knew she knew he didn't really believe that.
"I know. I look younger, but I have my ID...." she trailed off. He shook his head, strands of black hair clinging to his face.
"No, I believe you. If that's what you say, then that's what I believe." They were still. She evidently had never kissed a boy before, or if she had, he was making her forget all about it. She hesitatingly bent her head closer to him, stopping often. Finally, he put his hand to the back of her head, coaxing her forward. He pressed his lips gingerly to hers, taking but one sweet taste of the virginity. When he pulled away, she was blushing again. She turned her face away, looking out the window.
"This next stop is mine." she cleared her throat and looked at him, and he recognized the longing and curiosity, and maybe even the touch of lust in her gaze.
"Do you have a far walk?"
"Quite far," she nodded, hair falling in her face again. She impatiently reached up and flicked it out of the way.
"It's late. Don't you think it would be safer to come home with me? You could call your parents from my home, they could come and get you." Criss offered. She bit her lip again. It was clear that she was recalling every single story she'd ever heard of a girl being attacked or raped by a man who seemed lovely at the time.
"I don't have any parents." she confessed. "There isn't anybody who will miss me. No one ever goes looking for Crayne."
"Now that I don't believe." he touched her cheek. She leaned into the touch, almost as though her body was starving for it.
"You must believe me, Criss. No one wants me."
"No one ever goes looking for Crayne." he repeated. She looked away. He put his arm around her shoulders, pulling her tightly against him. She leaned her head against his chest.
"I would go looking for you. Come home with me tonight. I promise that you can leave any time that you like. I'll even call you a cab."
"If you could take a cab, why in the world would you ever ride a bus?"
"Because perhaps I knew I'd meet you. I am magic, you know." she giggled. He loved the feeling of that, the sound of it. He got the feeling that maybe she didn't get to giggle half as often as she should.
He held her as though afraid she would fly away until it came time to pull the cord. He helped her off the bus, carrying her book for her. She blinked rapidly as they stepped into the balmy night, her eyes not yet adjusting to the darkness.
"Come, my baby bird. Your magician has many things that he'd like to show you tonight."
They walked, arm in arm, through the neighborhood of houses hacked up into apartments. There were stray cats weaving through the streets. The paint was peeling from the houses, and the curtains always looked stained. Garbage was piled up in the cans, and even the trees looked wilted and exhausted.
"This doesn't seem too nice, Criss Angel." she wrinkled her nose.
"Only until the rest of the world believes I'm magic." he told her absently. He had buried his hand in the back of her hair while he fished in his tight pockets for his keys.
He led her up the wooden stairs that creaked no matter how lightly you stepped. They reached his apartment. Again, he unlocked the heavy wooden door and let her in.
Shabby though the place was, at least it was clean. There wasn't a speck of dust. Candles littered the coffee table top. Criss turned the light on dim. Crayne was able to make out all the books lining the shelves all around the room. They all seemed to have something to do with magic. She looked curiously at the older man, silently asking his permission. He gave it with a nod and disappeared.
Crayne roamed the room, still holding her origami bird in her hands. She examined all the titles, pulling out a book when it looked like it might strike her fancy. She was careful to put everything back just where she found it though.
"Find anything good?" Criss asked suddenly. She jumped and then laughed.
"You really MUST stop doing that to me." she scolded jokingly. Criss was holding two goblets in his hand. They were filled with a blood colored liquid. He held one out to her.
Uncertainly, she walked forward and accepted it. She set the bird down and took the glass in both hands. She examined it closely.
"What is it?"
"Wine," Criss dropped down onto the white couch. She shook her head.
"The nuns told me that I mustn't ever drink. It makes good girls do bad things, when they drink." she said regretfully, as she went to hand it back to the black haired man. He laughed.
"The nuns have probably never had a day of fun in their lives. Nothing that we could ever do would be bad, Crayne." She looked up at him.
"You trust me, don't you?"
"Well---well, yes, I suppose. I know it's foolish, but yes." almost without thinking, she turned the glass, making the liquid swirl in its container. She contemplated it almost anxiously.
"Come here," Criss put down his drink and beckoned to her. She walked over to him, until she was standing before him, between his knees. He took the drink from her.
"Watch me," he lifted it to his lips, tilted back, letting some of it go into his mouth. "Now would I drink it if I'd done something strange to it?"
"No," she was rather a logical little girl when she wanted to be.
"All right then." Criss gave it back. "Drink. Nothing bad will happen to you, I promise, Crayne."
Crayne perched on the edge of the couch cushion next to him, wetting her lips, sipping gently. He took it from her before she'd finished half of it and opened his arms. Immediately, she slipped into them, resting against his chest. If she closed her eyes, she could almost feel his magic thrumming through his veins.
It made her feel safe and wanted, protected and, maybe it was even love. She could feel her face growing hot at the thought of it. Criss bent his head near hers. His silky lips were practically against her ear as he spoke.
"You can feel it, can't you?"
"You have magic in you too, Crayne. Did any one ever tell you that? You're quite magic. If only you were trained appropriately..." he trailed off and snuggled her closer.
"Like an apprentice,"
"What do you mean?" the wine had made her feel quite lightheaded, and even a bit frisky. She wound her arms around his neck and buried her face in the crook of his neck, letting her lips rest against his skin. He smelled wonderful, like some sort of aftershave she had smelled, but never needed to buy, not having a man in her life. There was also the trace of smoke and beer, suggesting a bar. Perhaps wherever he had been working tonight?
"I mean it's time someone trained you properly. Nothing is out of your reach, Crayne Taylor."
"Nothing at all?" she knew she was being coy as she pulled her face from the warmth of his skin and let her fingers run through his hair. She adjusted herself so she could look at him fully.
"I let you have too much wine." but he sounded far from upset about this fact.
"Want to hear a secret, Criss Angel?"
"Yes," he nodded, fee linger her fingers tangling in his hair.
"I liked it when you kissed me. I liked it a lot. Would you like to know something else?"
"Oh, very much so."
"I want you to kiss me again." she was blushing bright red, but she really didn't care. Criss was smiling when he kissed her again, holding her. His tongue brushed against her lips, asking entrance. Uncertainly, she parted her lips, giving him what he wanted.
He tasted her. She tasted like Bubble Yum and the wine he'd given her. There was also something else there, some tantalizing and wonderful. Criss didn't think he'd ever had something so delicious before. His tongue memorized every detail of that dark little cavern, warm and wet.
"Was that good?" he asked playfully as he pulled away. Her cheeks were red still, but he didn't think because she was embarrassed.
"Oh," she murmured very softly. Criss laughed and pressed his forehead against hers. They sat like that for a moment, on the couch.
"Would you like to come back and see my bedroom?" he offered after a moment. She nodded without even thinking it over.
"I should like that very much!" she slid off of Criss. He stood up and then offered her a hand. She took it. He felt excited as he took her through the dark kitchen to his bedroom. Here he turned the light on dim as well.
"What do you think, love?" he looked at her reaction as she surveyed the room. He slept on a large mattress on the floor. It was covered by a black comforter, and there were two pillows. The walls were hung with various paintings. There were dragons, wizards, castles, and oddly enough, a few magnificent paintings of angels spreading their wings. These were done in such detail that Crayne sucked in her breath.
"It's beautiful." she stood there awkwardly as Criss dropped down onto his bed. He lay on his side as he patted the space next to him. Crayne cautiously went over and lay down. Normally, she wouldn't have dreamt of doing something such as this, but the wine did go to head, and the whole evening made her feel strange, especially the weight of the cross on her neck.
She lay on her side, facing him. She hugged a pillow and felt her eyes drift shut. She yawned.
"Are you very tired, Crayne?"
"Not so very," she shook her head, though she knew the drooping of her eyelids would betray her every word.
"I'll leave you here then." Criss rose. Her hands reached for him, caught his wrist. She shook her head no on the pillow.
"Stay with me, Criss. Don't make me sleep alone, please?" her eyes cracked open. Criss sank back down, secretly glad she had asked. He sat up after a moment, removed her shoes. She wore knee socks and black dress shoes. He dropped her shoes over near the edge and stripped off the socks. Her calves seemed to go on forever. He couldn't resist letting his palm run up and down her left one for a few minutes. A glitter of silver around her ankle caught his eye.
"What's this?" she opened her eyes sleepily. He was examining the anklet. Attached was a small silver butterfly charm. Crayne yawned and shrugged. Criss released her. He undid his own boots and then lay beside her. He wrapped an arm around her waist. Together, they slept like that.