She stands on the edge of the water. Waiting for something, anything, to stop her. She sighs. The water lulls her, as if to sleep, with its hypnotic dark mysterious depths of pure emptiness; and she takes a tentative step towards it.
The moon is full on this lonely night. She gazes up at it momentarily, as if lost in memory. Vacant orbs as lifeless as the one glowing in the sky reflect off the water's surface, too dark to be seen by human eyes. As if the lifeblood of the very Earth itself, the swiftly flowing river flows as a silky raven vein. She stares at the water's surface as if mesmerized. Her face blank, she starts removing her shoes. She is most certainly about to dive into the water, but even more certainly not for the purposes of a midnight swim.
"Certainly a most intriguing time to take a dip, miss." a voice speaks, its intonations clearly betraying its owner's mirth.
"What do you want?" In stark contrast to him, she's annoyed. She turns around to glare daggers at the owner of the deep mysterious voice. "Can't a person die in peace these days? Or do they have to pay the local spirits homage first to be allowed to die so on this oh-so-holy ground?"
"I most certainly do not understand a word you are saying." the man replies calmly. "If you want to die, I can most certainly help you, though." Flashing her an impish grin that she barely manages to see, she hears a metallic click as he aims something right at her forehead. She squints at the object, vaguely familiar in shape and...
With a screech she falls backwards, feet making arcane patterns in the air as they trip over themselves in their astonishment. The next moment, everything is black, and cold. She closes her eyes as she starts to sink. There is no fear, no regret. She closes her mind and waits for the breath to leave her body for the very last time.
But it's not to be. Before she even begins to feel the straining in her lungs as they scream silently for life-sustaining oxygen, she feels her body rising toward the surface, propelled by an unknown force. She feels vaguely as if hands are pulling her up, pushing her around, and she gasps as her head suddenly breaks the surface. With astonishing speed the man leaps out of the water as if a dolphin or other such aquatic creature born to the sea, and pulls her out of the water and unceremoniously dumps her on the gritty shoreline sand. Coughing a few times, she struggles to stand up with her clothes that have become bags of water. She wishes she can shake herself off like a dog and become dry just like that, but no such luck. She feels disgusting, soaked, sticky and cold, but more than any of that she is pissed.
She focuses her attention on the man who is standing there looking somewhere between vexed and annoyed in an utterly drenched suit. Not that she can see anything much, but even in the monochromatic dimness of the full moon she can tell that he is less than amused at the present moment in time.
She tries to smooth over the situation with some humour. Her late mother took it upon herself to make her entire life a joke, and she would like to think she inherited at least some smidgeon of her prodigious sense of humour. "Aren't you going to give me CPR?" she says, closing her eyes and pouting her lips in an exaggerated manner, leaning forward provocatively into the freezing air.
"Controlled Punishment Regime?" he retorts, "I guess that can be arranged."
She recovers her posture and shoot him a glare. "So who the hell may you be, anyway?"
He throws up his hands in exasperation and shake his head. He starts taking off a shoe to drain it of its undue water content. "Oh, you know, just your average mythical creature, yourself?"
"Oh, you know, just your average suicidal teenage girl with a bad temper and insomnia who takes a dozen types of pills that don't work and is trying to kill herself and would appreciate that the mysterious handsome stalker who tries to save her ass in the middle of the night from drowning in an unnamed river in the middle of nowhere not do such senseless things and just bugger off."
"I lost you after the first three words, miss." he says, starting on his other shoe.
"Why do you have an illegal firearm? Last time I checked this is not the United States of A and we don't do guns here." she says sarcastically.
"I told you, I'm a mythical creature. I don't even exist, so I'm exempted from such trivial things as the law." He grins at her impishly, and she swears that she's seeing things, like how his teeth are unnaturally sharp. Walking over casually to retrieve his abandoned weapon, he inspects it quickly and it vanishes into some unbeknownst compartment of his suit.
"Let me guess, werewolf?" she asks.
He scowls at her. "What the hell? Are you crazy?" he demands, gesticulating wildly at her with his arms before pointing at the glorious moon floating in the cloudless sky, "This is the full moon, you utter imbecile! The. Full. Moon. Do you have any idea what wolves do on the full moon?"
"You mean they don't save damsels in distress after they point guns at them randomly and stop them from committing suicide?" she asks innocently, looking around trying to find her shoes. She shivers uncontrollably, the cold slicing her open and leaving her ready to die. Although all motivation to kill herself has temporarily disappeared, oddly enough.
The man makes a strange sound as if he's so stupefied he doesn't have any words left to say. But the next moment his eyes focus themselves on her left arm as she awkwardly pulls her shoes on, and he frowns. Quickly closing the few steps between them, he roughly grabs her left shoulder, and lets his hand run down along the length of her arm. Her one and only arm. She groans, as if she's gone through this a million times.
"Was it... because of this?" he asks, all amusement and lightness disappearing from his voice in shocking solemnity.
"Ugh. Don't treat me like a disabled freak, you moron!" She takes a step back and slaps his hand away.
He looks troubled for a moment, before looking down at the ground and nodding to himself a few times. His head raises as he stares at her with a steely gaze. She takes a few more steps back as she raises her eyebrows at him.
"What's your number?" he suddenly asks casually.
Her freezing and sordidly drenched state suddenly forgotten, her mouth falls opens wider than that of a beached whale of its own accord and she stares at him incredulously. Words start to come out in gasping breaths as she tries to process what the hell is going on. "Wha... What?"
"Your phone number." he clarifies.
All of her sanity suddenly returns to her at once and her feet step forward by themselves and she pulls back her hand to slap him across the face. She closes her eyes and puts all of her strength into her arm. She waits for the resounding satisfying slapping sound to reverberate like a bell across the silent ephemeral night air.
But it never comes. She opens her eyes and suddenly realize that he's caught her hand by the wrist.
"Is this where I'm supposed to pull you in and kiss you?" he asks, amused. "Is this that kind of scene?"
"What... Get away from me you perv!" she yells and pulls her hand back as if it had touched a burning coal. He chuckles. She backs away a bit and gives him a look like he's a raving lunatic.
"What's your name?" he asks.
"Why should I tell that to a pervert like you?" she retorts.
"Oh, I don't know, because this pervert just saved your life, or something?" he replies, amused.
Her mouth pops open and she gives him a look like she's contemplating whether to roast him alive or skin him alive. "And who asked you to do that? Did you expect that I would fall over knees over heels in love with you and live with you forever happily ever after, or something?"
"I don't think that's quite the right expression, dear." he says. "By the way, I'm Equinox. But you can call me Nox. Only cute girls get to call me Nox, you know?"
"Yeah, because I'm totally cute standing here more drenched than if I were standing on the Himalayas when the monsoon season begins." she replies sarcastically, throwing her hands up in exasperation. "Whatever, I'm going home." She walks past him and doesn't look back, as if to make a point.
"I'm not letting you go without your name." he says, "I'll shoot." he adds. Her head whips around she yelps, putting her hands up, staring with sudden fear at the pistol aimed squarely at her face.
"My name is May." she says, and as soon as he puts the gun down she starts sprinting away. "I hope you die you pervert!" she calls back.
"Tomorrow." he calls out to her retreating form. "Same time. Same place. I'll be waiting, May. Don't die in the meantime."
He smirks to himself before taking off his drenched suit with smooth motions. He closes his eyes as he focuses his senses outward. He can still hear her footsteps. He can still smell her lingering scent. He takes off his pants too. When he had heard a human he wasn't sure if it was a good idea to interfere. He smiles to himself as his wings come into existence onto his back with nary a sound.
"It was a good decision, after all."