Chapter Three

Alexander and Alianna drove in silence, listening only to the soft purr of his car's engine. He had said it was a Maserati Quattroporte. She had tried starting a couple conversations with him, but he always cut them short with quick answers. He obviously wasn't happy she was leaving, but why? She thought it better not to ask. After all, it could have just been something small. Maybe he was lonely living in that secluded house, although he did have a sort of maid to keep him company.

They pulled into the parking lot of her apartment complex. They were a series of buildings, all gray. Each had a letter over the front door to indicate which building was which. Compared to the luxury Alexander's home offered, her place looked like crap. There were a couple cars in the parking lot she recognized and some balloons hanging outside the door of her D building. As soon as they pulled into a space and she opened the car door, Shana bolted out of the building and ran to her, hugging her tightly.

"I missed you! How are you? Are you okay? What happened? Who is that?" Shana asked all these questions without waiting for an answer, the last one meaning her driving companion.

"Shana, Alexander. Alexander, Shana. He let me stay with him while I was recuperating."

Alexander walked up to Shana and kissed her hand. "So you are the one I spoke to on the phone constantly. You seem to care deeply about your friend."

Shana just stared up at him, practically drooling. All she could do was nod. Shana was a very pretty girl and definitely had a way with men. She was 5'6", 24 years old, with long blonde hair, chocolate brown eyes, and a curvy figure in all the right places. She could get any guy she wanted, yet here she was, completely dumbfounded in front of Alianna's rescuer.

Other people came out of the apartment now and were all surrounding her, hugging her and looking her over like she was a car that needed to be inspected. "You look good," Derek said, smiling at her warmly.

Alianna smiled back and hugged him; she had missed him a lot. "I feel good, thanks."

Her boss, Otis, came up next, hugging her quickly. "I'm glad you're okay, Alianna," he said. "I'll let you have a couple more days off, but Rhea just quit so I can't afford any more than that."

She nodded. She had figured Rhea was on her way out anyway after the many fights she had heard between the two of them concerning her pay and hours. "That sounds fine, Otis. I can work tomorrow, actually, if you'd like."

"Nah, you need your rest."

Regina, her roommate, swooped in and hugged her as well. "Oh my gosh. I'm so glad you're alright. I was afraid I wouldn't have a roomie anymore and you've always been my favorite."

"Thanks, Regina," she said. Regina was also quite gorgeous. She had flame red hair, brown eyes like Shana, and was curvy like her as well. She was 26 years old, had been dating a guy for almost a year, and didn't currently have a job. Thankfully, her parents had given her a lot of cash for her past couple birthdays and she was very good at budgeting her money – a trait that Alianna hadn't been able to pick up herself.

After that, they all went inside and Alianna started forward but stopped and looked back at Alexander. He was watching her again. "Would you like to come inside for a little while? There might be some food or something to drink, if you'd like."

"No, I'm alright, thank you. I have to start heading back anyway." He stepped up to her, moving a little too closely and causing her to cheeks to flush. "If you ever need anything, anything at all, here is my number." He pulled a small business card out of his pocket and handed it to her. Then he surprisingly bent his head and kissed her cheek softly. When he pulled away, he stared into her eyes for what felt like an eternity. And it seemed like eternity was looking back at her. "Goodbye, Alianna. It was a pleasure having you stay with me."

She gawked after him when he drove away. He was such a strange man. But when he had kissed her cheek, she felt a rush of heat through her entire being and her heart had thundered beneath her chest. So strange. She turned around and went inside her apartment, feeling slightly dazed.

"Bye, guys!" Alianna called after everyone. They had had a small party for her return and she had to start cleaning up what was left. She went into the kitchen and started rinsing off some of the dishes, but Regina came up to her and grabbed the one in her hand.

"Oh, no, missy. You just got into a car accident. Let me handle all this."

Alianna grabbed the plate back. "That was practically a week ago, and I'm fine now." Besides, she needed something to take her mind off of Alexander. She hadn't stopped thinking about him since he left her three hours ago. There was just something about him.

"Fine," Regina said. "I'll take care of the trash then. Are you going to eat what's left of this cake?" She asked and when Alianna said no she threw it into the garbage. It hadn't been a large cake so there were only a few pieces left meaning that she didn't have to feel bad about wasting it. "So… What did you think of that Alexander guy?"

The question seemed innocent enough, but with Regina she could never be sure. "He saved my life and helped me get better. He's a very good person."

"Oh," was all Regina said, but Alianna knew there was more; you got to know someone very well when you lived with them.

"What?" Alianna asked.

Regina looked around as if someone were there and said, "Shana said she thought he was really hot, but she's too afraid to ask your permission."

"Permission for what?" Alianna replied even though she already knew the answer.

"If she could, you know, 'get to know him'."

Alianna shrugged, looking away to hide her expression. "I don't care," she said. And she didn't. Did she?

Regina was silent for a couple seconds. "If you say so."

Two months had passed since the attack and everything seemed like it was getting back to normal in Alianna's life. Well, all except one thing, Alianna thought as she watched Shana and Alexander walk through the door of the bar. The two had been seeing each other for a little over a month. They sat down at the counter and she went over to them. "Hey, Shana, Alexander. What would you like?"

"Hmm, I think I'll go with an apple martini this time," Shana said.

"Bourbon, please" Alexander said. He was wearing a gray t-shirt that barely contained the muscles in his stomach and arms. Though he was wearing jeans, she could clearly see how solid his legs were.

"Coming right up," Alianna replied, getting their drinks and placing them in front of the two as quick as possible; she had other customers to attend to. It was a little past midnight, when all the alcoholics came out to play.

One man ordered a gin and tonic and his date asked for a glass of Bacardi Dragon Berry. Another man asked for a shot of Jameson, and another woman wanted an Absolut Evergreen. And on it went. After a half hour Shana had ordered her second drink and a basket of onion rings. She went to place the order, noting that Alexander was, again, watching her every move. It was like this almost every week. Shana would come in to see her and bring Alexander with her every so often. And he would watch her closely. She had stopped feeling freaked out by all the attention after the first couple of times, but still his gaze made her curious. Why did he stare at her constantly?

Alianna leaned against the wall in the backroom, checking items off the inventory list. This was usually Derek's job, but he was out sick tonight. They had gotten a stand-in bodyguard, but he didn't know much about the company. At least Alianna knew a little. The only things left to fill were the napkin caddies.

She looked around, seeing a high shelf to her left with the label "Napkins". She went to it and reached her hand up, feeling around until she felt the bottom of the plastic that held the napkins. They were just a little out of reach so she stood up on her tippy toes, stretching her body. "Come on," she whispered.

Just then a hand reached out and grabbed the napkins. She jumped back in surprise, almost tripping over one of the boxes behind her. Alexander grabbed her arm and she squeaked in shock when he pulled her back against him. He stared down at her while she stared up at him. Being in such close proximity to him made her heart pound in her chest.

She pulled back away from him, this time kicking the box to the side so she wouldn't end up hurting herself. He continued to watch her until she cleared her throat. "Why are you here? The bar closed ten minutes ago." Plus, she had seen him leave with Shana long before.

He handed her the napkins and finally looked away from her. "I don't know. I just felt that I needed to see you."

"Well, you've seen me," she said, keeping her face neutral. She wasn't exactly comfortable being alone in a low lit room with someone she didn't know all too well.

Alexander looked back into her eyes then took a step towards her, causing her to back up. "I want to see you all the time, Alianna. I think about you constantly. You cause me so much confusion." He reached his hand out to touch her face and her back hit the wall, leaving her with nowhere to go.

When his fingertips touched her skin, she felt warmth spread through her. It was like breathing in fresh air after being underwater for too long. She suddenly felt so alive. She wanted more. Her eyes closed slowly and she rubbed her face against his hand. He moved closer to her, pushing her body further against the wall.

He bent his head down, running his lips against where his fingers had just been, his hand running down her arm slowly, causing her to shiver. She moaned softly, her body taking on a mind of its own and rubbing against his. She could feel his excitement against her stomach.

This wasn't right. He was seeing her best friend. She turned her head, suddenly sick to her stomach at what she was doing. She wasn't the kind of girl who would even kiss a guy she hardly knew, let alone fool around with a man she hardly knew in the backroom after hours, especially when he was dating her friend.

"I think you should leave, Alexander," she said, the words shaky and timid.

He stood there, his hand still on her arm. She wouldn't look at him, couldn't look at him. A couple seconds passed and then he did exactly as she said. When the door closed she blew out the breath she had been holding and put her hand against her cheek. He was so warm, his lips so soft against her skin. What was going on with her?

Alexander sat inside his car, staring into the darkness. Why did this woman have such an effect on him? Yes, she was beautiful but he had had many beautiful women in his long life and none of them made him feel the way Alianna did. Just being near her got his heart throbbing. Touching her made him feel something he had never felt before. Something deep inside him called to her, he could feel it.

He hungered for her. Wanted to taste her. Wanted to sink his teeth into her. His fangs slid out in response to the vivid image of him drinking from her throat. He could practically taste the sugary sweetness of her blood. He knew she wanted him too, but she held back. She was afraid. He slammed his hand against the wheel, letting out an animalistic growl, his breath suddenly coming out in soft, short pants. Wanting her so badly and not being able to have her was driving him insane. He needed to make her his.

Alright, there is chapter three. I wasn't sure if I wanted them to move too fast this time, so I didn't have them kiss. They are starting to feel the effects of the whole soulmate thing. I guess. I don't know, I'm just going along with whatever comes out. I haven't even planned chapter four yet so it might be a couple days before it's up. Or maybe longer. Hopefully not. I hope you like this chapter because I sure enjoyed writing it.

Review please!

Sahara (a.k.a- Moonlit Promise)