Auron learns that Lulu is not a woman to be toyed with, as the tensions between them finally come to a point.
She had ceased to be an enigma. Her shameless smile had presented him with a challenge, and Auron had brazenly accepted.
The stars closed their eyes in elegant discretion, offering them the graceful seclusion of the universe. Her fingertips grazed his bare arm, halting a nonexistent pulse, and the earth slowed in its revolution as her touch breathed into his veins. Thirsting for emotions that had long since abandoned him, he let her pain soak through his skin and cool the agonizing fire at his core.
You’ve seen more than a woman your age should.
Would I be as strong as I am today if I hadn’t? Would you be as strong as you are without having learned the cruelty that governs existence?
Not all existence is cruelty.
Don’t patronize me.
He quickly learned that arousing Lulu’s aggression was not wise when her eyes held domain over his body. His head pounded, thunder coursing through his skull.
What can you hope to accomplish by hurting your fellow Guardian?
Respect. I am not one to be toyed with, Auron, nor am I one to be underestimated. If I seem lonely, if I seem restless, it is because I have earned the right.
Her voice was a silken whisper, woven of a hundred sighs and a thousand disappointments. Her words hovered in the night air and mingled with the pyreflies to circle in elegant spirals. His mind slowly wandered into the echoing realization that they had spoken more in the last two minutes than the rest of their journey.
I don’t want to hurt you, Lulu. If you think that you’re a game to me, an amusing diversion from the sorrow of the task at hand, you are sorely and sadly mistaken.
For the first time, his hand closed over hers. The nerves in his fingers seemed to have been aching for an eternity to glimpse ivory skin, and the torturous release that surged through him was like the unexpected answer to a prayer that had long since been deserted.
I don’t want our imaginations to run away with this. Our only priority is protecting Yuna.
I know. Distraction is not an option.
But even as he let the words fall from his lips, Auron knew he was lost. She had made him vulnerable; she had stripped him of all pretense, and he could only hope that distraction did not consume him. He knew he would have to be careful of her. Letting Lulu take control of the emotions he had kept so carefully secret was a disaster staggering on the brink.
She paused in her query, silence hanging in the air.
Will I what?
She stared up at him, threads of black satin trailing down her cheek, her dark scarlet eyes filled with the question she had not asked. The silvery moonlight cast a haunting shadow across her mouth.
Lulu, you’re a dangerous woman.
Are you saying you’re afraid?
He let his glasses slide down the bridge of his nose, giving her the glance of one stern eye. Weathered and calloused fingers slipped across her tender throat and under her chin, tilting her face upwards.
I’m simply being perceptive.
You’re right. I am dangerous.
She was barely breathing. Her words danced across pools of starlight.
She echoed her own words with a sudden softness that melted into the darkness surrounding them.
His eye traced the contours of her lips before grazing them with his own.
"Don’t trust me for a second
Don’t even try to tame me
Never turn your back on me
Never close your eyes
I’m gonna bring you down"
Aren't they cute? :) I hope this chapter came out OK, because I wrote it from 2:30-4:00 a.m. It's got more dialogue than usual, which will likely become even more prevalent in future scenes. It's also a little longer than past installments, but I was trying to get the transition from uncertainty to romance just right. I know the dialogue is fairly dripping with cheese, but I'm hoping it fits the scene. They're both stepping outside of themselves into new experiences that they'd closed themselves off from, and their words can be as uncharacteristic as the emotions they're feeling. PLEASE let me know what you think, because any constructive criticism on this chapter will be vital in the next one. Thanks!