Divinely Led

SL. Williams

Alyssa bit into the end of her pen and studied the personal ad she was about to place in tomorrow’s edition of the Daily Message. She wanted it to be just right! Looking for a relationship meant there was no room for error! It was going to run a total of six weeks, and she wanted to make sure that it was a good six weeks. The ad read, “Attractive curvy 30 something African American human female looking for love. Enjoys long walks, Italian food, and all types of music. Please send email with a picture if interested to Sunnydays@mailcrypt.com. PS. Having a nice voice is a plus!”

She heard a shuffle of papers, and sheepishly looked over at Antonius Goldfinger the advertising clerk for the newspaper. The sleeves of his crisp white shirt rolled up over furry arms, and he watched her with an impatience that only goblins could have. Feeling chastised she handed over her ad. Cheeks warming beneath her shoulder length coils at the slight smirk that tugged at his lips. Her hand self-consciously smoothing out her vintage Hendrix t-shirt, and dark wash jeans. Praying he would hurry with his assessment of the ad’s suitability.

Alyssa’s attention was stolen momentarily as someone came up behind her. Mr. Goldfinger coughed before she could turn around, and she returned to getting her money. Becoming all thumbs as she rooted within the cavernous confines of her bag. Finding the money, she finally turned to apologize to whoever was having to wait on her. Although when her chance to say sorry came, her voice stuck in her throat. Her gaze landed on the darkest pair of eyes she had ever seen. He appeared to be Asian, but in her haste to turn around and not ogle the man she missed her chance to find out. She almost threw her money at the goblin in her haste to leave the news office. She barely missed knocking into the handsome gentleman that was holding a flyer for Club Holloway behind her. It was about something called “Sirens” it looked like a play. Another apology was halted when she heard another cough. A turn of her chin told her it was Mr. Goldfinger with her change. She took the change with a nod to the stranger, and left as quickly as her embarrassment allowed.

Sandaled feet hit the pavement, and a deep breath of air was taken. Full lips spread into a wide smile at her sense of accomplishment. She had done it! She had told her friends that she was going to give it a try, and did. They had advised against it, but she knew she would regret not trying. She moved down the city street with a skip. Waving to a kappa holding her baby, while her other children played double dutch on the street, the rope barely missing the tops of their shells. She had a good feeling about the ad. It was a beautifully sunny Saturday afternoon. She had a standing date with her friends at the “Ouroboros”. A teahouse run by a grumpy Anansi, and she didn’t want to be too late.

The door opened with a soft tinkle announcing to the room, and her friends that she had made it none the worse for wear. Meredith waved energetically from her spot next to Vivica, the English mermaid’s long bright red hair a stark contrast to Vivica’s short Egyptian bob. Jason looked over at Meredith, and also began to wave. He was sitting next to his boyfriend Brandon. The two gnomes had been inseparable since high school, and were still groing strong. She wanted that for herself, and hoped that the ad would help her get there.

“I see you didn’t take our advice and placed the ad anyway?” Vivica returned Alyssa’s gaze curiously. Vivica was a sphinx she had met in college. She was an Egyptian fashion photographer, and typical of a sphinx every statement they made had to be spoken in the form of a question. “Lyssa, I know literally thousands of models I could introduce you to! Why not let me fix you up instead?”

Alyssa shakes her head quickly, and shrugs off Vivica’s slightly disgusted scoff. Ignoring the way Vivica’s hands smooth over her white suit causing her gold bangles to jingle in annoyance. They had tried that route. “Don’t be mad Viv. We tried it your way. The few dates I went on weren’t my type.”

“You hardly gave them a chance! Which ones weren’t your type?” Vivica smiled lazily at the memory of the list of models in her head. As far as she was concerned they were all her type. “What about Sebastian?”

“The vampire with the dreads that would shout at me for moving around in the morning?” Alyssa placed her order, and turned her attention back to a vigorously nodding Vivica.

“Yes, him! What was wrong with him? He was physical perfection. Sure, he was a little cold, but you could warm him up. Right?” Vivica’s rapturous smile telling everyone that she had spent long lazy hours doing just that.

“I’m a morning person Viv, and I have to eat! I can’t change 3.6 billion years of human tendencies! So no, he was not my type.” Alyssa looks over to her other brunette bestie for help, and Brandon smile told her she would find none.

“Don’t be a sore head, Vivica. Remember when you set her up with that Basilisk? The one that kept trying to turn her into stone so she wouldn’t leave him?” Brandon’s eyes rolled heavenward, and Vivica’s arms crossed plaintively. However, the look on her faces said she had to concede, that had been a pretty rotten match.

Jason laughed and shook his golden head. His arms staying wrapped around Brandon’s waist, but smiling over at me good naturedly. I wasn’t sure, but I was pretty sure Brandon had been Joan of Arc in another life to snag him. “There was also the Lamia who was the Sadist.”

Alyssa side eyes the sphinx on that one, and Vivica had the good grace to look away finding the gold hoops in her ears to be particularly fascinating. That particular date had been a disaster! Alyssa could barely move for weeks after that night.

“Okay then. So, you placed an ad in the paper. What are you hoping to find?” Meredith’s food came out, and I watch as the waiter uses one of his hands to bludgeon her fish to death at the table. His second and third hand twisted lemons, and passed out other plates, and his fourth served Meredith’s sides with a flourish. He was attractive, but he was out of luck. Meredith had been dating a gargoyle for about six months now. 

Alyssa waits for the waiter to leave, and shrugs absently. Pulling out her copy of the ad to show them “Mere, I just want to find a man who can love me, and I can love in return. I’m tired of dating and searching.” She knew she wasn’t perfect, and she wasn’t asking for perfection she just wanted someone who was perfect for her.

“Who happens to have a nice voice!” Brandon reads the ad and laughs causing Alyssa to take an active interest in her fries.

“Well, why not? A girl can dream right?” They laugh, and Alyssa relaxes into her seat ready to chow down on her burger. Being proactive was hungry work after all.             

“As hard as you can, but don’t rush into anything, yeah? It’s a big wide world out there. Be careful.” Meredith waits to see if Alyssa agrees before they all go silent in appreciation of the food that was brought out. The conversation soon turning onto other topics like which troll market they should go to.


A week later having uglied down into sweats. Alyssa and Vivica were watching television. Alyssa could tell Vivica was bored from all the restless tossing. Suddenly Vivica rolls over on the couch, and smiles lazily at her.

Alyssa began to look around frantically. “What?”

“Don’t what me! How is the ad coming along?” Vivica’s knees pull up to her chin, and she bounces in her seat excitedly. For someone who hated the idea, she seemed pretty gung ho about it.

“I honestly hadn’t checked yet. Should I check? It’s only been a week…” Alyssa frowns, and Vivica rolls her eyes with a shake of her head.

“Of course you should check! Not only should you check, you should let me screen them, yeah? Come on!” Vivica takes my hand, and leads me over to the computer.

Vivica waits in her version of patience as Alyssa navigated the browser to the email account, she set up especially for the ad responses. Once in, they see no less than twenty responses. Vivica squeals, and contents herself with sorting through the emails by date. She made soft disapproving noises at each unacceptable email that was sent. Alyssa wasn’t sure she would have any left at this rate.

“Let’s see… this one is an ogre, who likes cage fights. His name is George and he’s into death metal, but isn’t really into long walks. He doesn’t speak much, but says he’s a good listener. His favorite food is long pig… Why don’t I pass on that one for you?” All Alyssa could do was nod as Vivica started placing emails in the trash bin.

“Shouldn’t I at least read the ones you are randomly throwing away? What if you just put my prince charming into the trash bin?” Granted, the guy with the dyed blue beard, that needed a discreet companion who didn’t ask too many questions sounded like a loser, but she could at least send a polite no thank you.       

“Oh, how about this one? His name is Edmund. He’s a ghoul from Southwark. He likes long walks in very still environments, hmm? He also enjoys grave rubbings, and he has all his hair and teeth. He’s a little pale, but hey you can’t really beat having all of his own hair and teeth though. Right?” Vivica creates two more folders, and one marked “Maybe” and the other marked “Dating”. She placed Edmund in the dating folder.        

The doorbell rings, and Alyssa gets up with a shake of her head leaving Vivica to her dissection of her dating pool. They were expecting some pizza from a little Italian place down the street called “Stregas” It specialized in seafood dishes. What she found was Meredith holding their order with a smile. Alyssa laughed, and stepped aside allowing the mermaid to enter with the pizza. She waved over to Vivica, and took the food to the kitchen to get plates, and silverware.

Alyssa could hear the soft stirrings of an argument, and made her way back to the computer so she could referee the women at her desk. “What’s going on?”

Meredith glares at Vivica and takes her plate with a nod. “I just met the perfect guy for you Alyssa! He’s from Cambodia, and…”

“No fair! If I can’t set her up with anyone neither can you! Remember that demon from Norway with the sword collection, or the Boggart from Cardiff, who only wanted to have sex in the dark?” Vivica cuts her off with a shake of her head. “At least the psychos I set her up with were attractive! Right?”

“Well meow to you too Viv! Someone is feeling their feline heritage tonight.” Was all Meredith could say, she had brought the Boggart to the table.

I pat Meredith on her back consolingly. “Don’t worry Mere. The way Viv keeps cutting out my possible suitors I may get to meet your friend sooner rather than later!”

Soon Meredith was holding Vivica’s hand so she could read one of the emails she was about to delete. “Oh, how about this one Lyssa. He’s a Jumbie from Brixton! He’s gonna have a nice voice for sure! That was a stipulation, right? And nothing is nicer than a Caribbean accent.”

“Why not, I have nothing to lose right?” Alyssa looks between them, and they nod encouragingly.  We put a few more into the “Date” pile, and finish off the evening with pizza and a movie about the Titanic. Meredith wondering why they just didn’t get a mermaid to grab the jewel from the ocean.

Text week Alyssa gets to the coffee shop, and sits down with an aggravated huff in her customary jeans and band t-shirt. The world of personal ad placed dating was not going well for her.

Jason looks her over, and adjusts his red fedora. Leaning forward with a wide smile.  “So princess, any knights trying to storm your castle walls?”

Brandon scoffs, and pinches Jason’s cheek. “Honey, with her lack of sex life it’s more like desecrating a sacred temple.”

Jason nudges Brandon, and Alyssa gets comfortable. She was very proud of herself for not flipping Brandon off as she gave the Anansi waitress her order. “Keep talking like that, and I won’t tell you how any of my dates went.”

“Okay, no more from Brandon! I’ve been waiting to hear about this all week! Haven’t you?” Vivica glares over at Brandon, and turns back to Alyssa with an eager smile.

“True that. How’s it going?” Brandon leans in as well, and Alyssa just shakes her head at them.

“So, first off there was the Ghoul that Viv picked.” Alyssa tried not to laugh at the crash and burn sound that Brandon was making with his lips. The sound earned a glare from the sphinx. “He is a cemetery real estate salesman…”

“Wait, he’s a mortician?” Vivica’s face scrunches, and Alyssa shakes her head quickly.

“No, he goes around the world locating suitable resting places for the high end dying and formally living. Apparently, he’s doing very well.” Alyssa shrugs, and laughs at the triumphant look on Vivica’s face.

“I knew it! When’s the next date?” Vivica gives Brandon an up and down that he returns, and Alyssa only feels slightly bad about bursting her bubble.

“There isn’t one. I’m too alive for him. He kept asking if I had any terminal diseases, or if I planned on getting any. Then there were all the intrusive questions about my family’s medical history.” The table groans, and Alyssa nods in agreement.

“Mmm, On to the next one!” Brandon side eyes Vivica, and she doesn’t refrain from flipping him off.

Alyssa jumps into the next one before Vivica can make a response. “Then there was Mere’s pick!” Alyssa ignores the slight sniff from Brandon. Apparently, he was feeling salty about being left out of the date picking session. “He was a succubus from a Westminster.”

“That’s a nice area, not too shabby Mere.” Brandon nods approvingly of what he hears so far, and Meredith beams as Vivica scowls intensely at him.

“Actually, he’s a no go too. He just kept trying to get me into bed. He would yawn all evening, and complain that I was keeping him from eating. When I asked why he was so tired, he told me that he feeds off of sexual energy. So, me not allowing him to pressure me into sex was not cool.” Alyssa laughed at the crestfallen look on Meredith’s face, and tried not to roll her eyes at the large smile on Vivica’s.

“Loser! Next?” Vivica’s hands shook out her hair triumphantly.

“The last one was a mage. He makes his living as an illusionist. We spent the evening with him showing me his tricks, and demonstrating how to use his equipment.” Alyssa hurriedly continues to the next date to stop whatever response Vivica was about to make.

“That doesn’t seem too bad. Did he have handcuffs?” Brandon leans in eagerly waiting on details that Alyssa didn’t have to give him. “Did he pull his rabbit out of a hat, if you know what I mean?”

Jason pats Meredith on her back as she starts choking, and chuckled appreciatively at his lover’s bad joke and turns to me. “That doesn’t sound too bad. Are you seeing him again?”

Alyssa laughs with a shake of her head. “Unfortunately, no.”

“Aren’t you being a tad picky?” Brandon frowns, and leans back disapprovingly, and All Alyssa can do is shake her head.

“He sold his soul to a demon in Greenwich to get his powers! Some chick named Lilith gave him 20 years to be the man of his dreams. Excuse the hell out of me if I don’t want to share! I want till death do us part. Not till Lilith comes to repo my husband.” Alyssa scowls in frustration, and Vivica pats her on back with a smile.

Meredith smiles, and picks up various bits of fish from her sushi plate with gusto. “Well on to round two! I still have that Cambodian friend who…”

“She’s passing! Remember the deal?” Vivica stops rubbing my back long enough to glare over at Meredith who relents with a sigh.

“What deal?” Jon looks between the two with a slight frown.

“Since we have all epically failed at hooking Alyssa up we decided that none of us could interfere with her dating process.” Vivica smiled brightly over at Brandon clearly waiting on him to say something so she could hit him with the Selkie who had a history of girlfriends who were in water related accidents.

“Yeah, yeah” Brandon grumbled and leaned back against Jason with a frown. Clearly remembering the debacle very clearly.

The topic changed, and Alyssa looked over to Jason who gave her a reassuring smile. She smiles in return and forces herself to relax. This was only her first week after all. Maybe the next round wouldn’t be so bad. Mr. Right had to be out there somewhere. Right?


Alyssa barges into her apartment and throws her purse on the stuffed chair near the couch. Her leather boots caked with mud, and her top had been ripped into an off the shoulder number. Her leggings were soggy, and she had grass in her hair. It was week 5 of her foray into dating, and this last one was horrendous! She hobbled on her broken heel. It had come off because she had been running from her date. Mrs. Karstoferson the Salamander that lived next door had offered to dry her off with fire, and she had declined as politely as she could. Her phone rings, and by the tune she could tell that it was Jason.

“Hey beautiful, I was just trying to see how Brandon’s pick did? Was he a good’un?” Jason’s cheery voice made Alyssa break down into tears.

Brandon had chosen a werewolf from the Ukraine. Alyssa hadn’t paid attention to the lunar cycle when she made the date. Since she scheduled the date on the full moon. Chase, the werewolf thought she liked it extra rough and chased her through the park. And over a parking lot, through a mall, and up Mockingbird lane. She had placed that ad over a month ago, and she was no closer to finding Mr. Right.

Alyssa continued crying as she relates the whole evening to him. “I don’t get it Jason. Why can’t I find one! Just one man I can spend my life with? Am I really asking for too much?”

“Too much? No, but you are asking for a lot. You are asking for God to align the stars and the heavens just right, so that you can find the perfect match for you out of billions. Kind of a tall order hun.” Jason makes soft hushing noises, and all Alyssa can do is sob harder. She had a bruise on her ankle where she hurdled over a couple of trash cans.

“So, I should just give up?” Alyssa was beyond caring what she looked like right now, she probably had no makeup to speak of, and her eyeliner would probably be smeared in gothy streaks over her cheeks.

“No, just take your time and relax. It’s not a race. In fact, go on one more date. I’ll pick this one. If it doesn’t work out we’ll try something else okay?” Jason’s soothing voice convinces her to get up from her couch and march over to her computer letting the screen light up before searching through her emails for the last time.

Alyssa begin reading some of the contenders out loud, and Jason doesn’t seem too impressed with any of them. Some of the cracks he was making was causing her to giggle. She was full on laughing at Boris the berserker from Lambeth who wanted to get married to have a live-in back scratcher. Then there was Nwasu, a zombie from the Bromleyt, who wanted to pick the right woman’s brains. She finally gets to the last one and Jason stops her.

“Wait, read that one again for me?” Jason was so adamant that Alyssa reopened the email, and began to read it once more.

“Lets see, his name is Kentaro Park. He’s a siren from province of Prey Veng. He’s 5’11, and he works as a motivational speaker.” Alyssa kind of trails off, but hearing no criticism thus far from Jason she continues. “For fun he enjoys walking around new cities trying to learn about the culture that lives there. He loves Italian food, and for fun he performs as a spoken word artist.”

“Okay that’s my pick. Try that one, and call me after it’s over. I have a good feeling about this one. Just relax and have fun. Can you do that for me?” Jason sounds so excited, that Alyssa just laughs and reassures him that she would send out an email that moment. She hangs up and tries to concentrate on what she was going to say.

She sends a picture of herself with a quick message about how she would love to meet him in person. After hitting the reply button, she immediately gets up to go change when her email pings letting her know that she had received another message. Sitting back down she blinks at the speed at which Kentaro had answered. She opens the letter with the subject “Will you come?” The email is filled with the flyer she saw the day she placed the personal ad. She responded with an affirmative, and closed her computer down. She had to get out of her ruined clothes, and figure out what she was going to wear. She didn’t have any experience with sirens but it couldn’t possible be as bad as an overzealous werewolf right?


Alyssa gets to Club Holloway, which is more like a large speakeasy. It was located in Shoreditch, and not to far from her flat. A knocker with a nametag that said “Dave” checked her in. Waving off the cash she tried to hand him for the ticket.

“Forget it girly. Ken covered you. Just have a seat.” Dave sneezes and she blesses him. Passing him a tissue from her purse before moving to a seat towards the center of the room.

Alyssa pulled away the shrug that matched the red strappy heels she wore.  Leaving her shoulders bare in her figure skimming black halter dress.  She figured if this was going to be her last date from the newspaper she would go out with a bang! Bare legs crossed as she idly looked around the room. The tables were set in a semicircle around the softly lit stage. Giving the audience a very intimate feel. A human waitress named Tammy came over to take her drink order, and Alyssa asked for a bottle of water. Tammy nods and sets a program down, and Alyssa starts looking over the names. She notes that Kentaro’s name is towards the middle of the program. So, she relaxes, and tries to quell the butterflies that flit around in her stomach.

She sits through about six artist of varying talent until Kentaro takes the stage.  She suddenly finds herself sitting up a little straighter, and her hands gingerly lift to the curly fro that was held back by a red hair band. She wasn’t sure how Jason did it, but physically at least he had picked a “good’un” as he would say. He was all graceful strides and caramel skin. Gentle smiles, and smoldering dark eyes. His hair was cut short on the sides, but left a little longer on top. Inky tendrils waving just above his ears, that made her want to brush them back. Alyssa found that she had to forcefully stop herself from staring at him.

When Alyssa looked back she thought he saw him watching her. She couldn’t be sure because there was a whole audience around. But she couldn’t help but hope that she was the reason that his smile grew just a little bit wider. She knew she knew him, but she couldn’t come up with an answer to where under the onslaught of such random perfection.

“Hello, My name is Kentaro. Thank all of you for coming tonight. My poem is called “Divinely Led”. I hope you enjoy it. The room goes very still, and Alyssa’s heart stops as he begins to speak. “The stars, the sun in perfect alignment wed. My soul to you has been divinely led. Though I know not how your mystery ends. I pray my tale to its happiness lends. No longer savage cries are sung. Nor scrounging, grasping fortunes wrung. For my soul has searched only for you. Starving for you voice. Weeping for your kiss. Denied this long your comfort’s bliss.  My life is yours. My thoughts are shared. With you hunger for connection fed. To you I’ve been divinely led.”

The room seems to take the same deep breath Alyssa takes, and suddenly explodes in a torrent of cheers and snaps. The lights come on, and Kentaro is no longer on stage. Alyssa feels a bit disappointed, but something makes her look around. The audience was a large amount of women who looked just as sad if not sadder that he was no longer there. She sighs, and runs her fingers through her hair before tossing a few bills on the table. She watches the women searching for Kentaro for another moment and if by a power she can’t explain she angrily picks up her purse, and begins to stalk out of the club.

Alyssa steps out into the cool night air, but her skin is warmed by anger and embarrassment. Not for the first time she wondered how she could have been so stupid! Her arms wrap around herself against the chill of the evening she had left her shrug at the club, and was not planning on going back to get it. She gets about a block away from the club when suddenly she feels soft warm leather blanketing her shoulders. She turns and sees Kentaro smiling down at her a little tightly with her shrug in hand.

They watch each other in the streetlight, and Kentaro looks away first. Shoving his hands into the pockets of his jeans, and rocking on the balls of his feet a bit nervously. “Look, just let me walk you home. Once I know you’re safe at your place, you’ll never have to see me again.”

“You don’t have to do that Kentaro. I’m sure your fans will miss you.” Alyssa said the words before she could stop them, and bit her bottom lip. Willing the words to have never been said. She had no right to be this waspish or possessive of someone who didn’t even belong to her.  She knew she was lashing out, but she didn’t seem to be able to stop herself.

Kentaro’s lips twitched in amusement. Apparently he was used to jealousy. His arm lifted to drape over Alyssa’s shoulder, and he began leading her away from the club. Only stopping to ask what her address was. “You can call me Ken, as I will be calling you Alyssa or any myriad of cutesy baby names I can find for my future girlfriend.” Alyssa could only side-eye him as they continued to walk. He laughs at the look she threw him, and continues to talk. “The life of a siren is fraught with many dangers. Overly devoted fans being one of them.” They stop, and his fingers curl under her chin so that he could level her gaze to his. “Even jealous ones.”

The tip of her tongue roughly stroked against the inside of her cheek. She guessed she deserved that. “Who says I’m a fan?” Being her only pouty reply to his statement.

Kentaro laughs and they continue to walk in companionable silence. “You look amazing by the way.” His long expressive fingers self-consciously brush over his clothes as if trying to clear away the insecurity. “I feel way underdressed”

It’s Alyssa’s turn to laugh. She shakes her head waving off his comment. “I’m probably overdressed. Since this was the last personal ad date I was going to go on. I thought I’d do it big!”

Kentaro stops right before they enter the park her apartment was on the other side of. “You were going to stop dating from the ad? Man, am I glad I sent in my email!” He shakes his head, and some of his hair falls over his eyes, causing Alyssa to give into the urge to brush them away. Her fingers tingling at the touch of his skin. “I almost didn’t send the email in, you know.”

Alyssa looks up at him, and her head cants slightly a soft frown on her lips. “Why?”

Kentaro looked guilty, but something in him must have said to tell her the truth because he smiled and rocked on his heels again. An obvious nervous quirk that Alyssa found endearing. “I was there the day you placed the ad. I was the one you almost ran into.” At her nod, he smiles and shakes his head “I was just about to ask you out, but you took off so fast I didn’t get the chance.”

Alyssa dissolves into giggles, and covers her mouth at the slightly grumpy look on Kentaros face. “I’m Sorry, but I had to get out of there! Mr. Goldfinger was silently judging me!”

“That guy! Yeah, I tried to get your information since you were placing the ad, and he told me I would just have to wait until it ran! He said if I wanted you bad enough then I’d wait for you.” They walk quietly for a few moments, and he turns to her with a smile. He was right. I couldn’t stop thinking about you!”

Alyssa bows her head shyly at him from beneath her lashes. “I’m glad you contacted me.”

“I am too.” His hand caught hers, and held it as if he was afraid she’d let go they continued to walk to her apartment.

They walk down her street barely keeping from bumping into the pixies that hung around the lampposts like moths surrounding flames. Most of the time spent on random topics.  Like the time his mother caught him using his voice to get good grades in class. He had been soundly beaten, and had to go to summer school to make up for the semester he had spent goofing off.  Then they had talked about how her brother had moved to Canada for love, and how much she missed being able to see him all the time. By the time they reached her door, she was pretty content with the idea that she was going to let him in. So, when he stood in her apartment looking around, she just moved to her bedroom to get rid of her heels.

By the time she got back he had pulled the curtains back so that he could see the sky. Alyssa sits down next to him marveling at how natural it felt when his arms wrapped around her pulling her into his side. Her feet curling up beneath her on the couch. They start talking again, and by 3 am they had moved onto more recent topics and disasters like their date life.

“I can trump the ghoul. I dated a specter that liked to be tied up, but couldn’t hold her corporal form for more than five min. I spent most of time having to retie knots that she kept fading through!” Kentaro playfully poked her in her side, and she squirmed away only to have him haul her back to him.

 Alyssa laughs with a shake of her head at his dating story. “Uh no, still winning. Dated a dragon that kept dropping diamonds and rubies when he shook his hair. He said that the jewels itched, and would fling the damn things all over the place. I had to replace my computer and my television. Worse case of dandruff ever!”

“Oh yeah? I dated a medusa that kept all her exes in a private museum in her basement. Every time she broke up with a guy she froze him, and put him on display. I waited till she went to make drinks, and I snuck out through her twostory window!” Kentaro looked at Alyssa daring her to do worse, and she found that she couldn’t.

“Holy kitten whiskers!” Alyssa could only blink and hold up her hands in surrender. “Worst date ever.”

 “Case rested.” His thumb idly began to stroke the back of her hand, and Alyssa could feel herself relax back into him. A soft smile curling her lips, as she watched the stars slowly begin to lose some of their sparkle with the approaching dawn. He seemed to hesitate, and Alyssa nudged him with her shoulder letting him know to go on with whatever it was. “Next question. What is your worst flaw?”

Alyssa lifts her chin as if imparting a secret that only he could know, and he leans in ready for the worst. “I watch movies made during the 50’s and 60’s for fun, and I sing out loud to musicals at the top of my lungs. That includes when I’m showering and driving.”

“Hmmm, almost a deal breaker.” He smiles wide, at the scoff she makes, and leans over to place a kiss at the top of her head. His fingers finally finding their home laced between hers. “I’m going to let it slide though because you’re beautiful.”

“Aww thanks! You’re not too shabby yourself darling!” With that understatement, she moves to her knees on the couch facing Kentaro. Playing with the fingers that were wrapped in hers. “Your turn.  What is your fatal flaw?”

His smile loses some of its voltage, and for a moment Alyssa was afraid she had said something wrong. He stayed silent for so long that Alyssa was starting to get nervous, but soon he found his voice. “My flaw is that girls don’t give me a chance because I’m a siren. They see the line of chicks addicted to my voice, and head for the hills. I can respect that though. No selfrespecting woman wants to be second to a league of groupies.”

Alyssa watches him through her lashes, and nods slowly. She had almost made that mistake. Would have made that mistake if he had not come after her. “Ken…”

Whatever she had been going to say was cut off by the touch of his lips against hers. He broke the kiss, and the look in his eyes made her heartbreak at the sadness she saw there. It looked so much like her own. “Please give me a chance before you walk away. I promise you will not regret it.”

Alyssa can only nod, and watch in fascination as his lips rest against hers once more. He pulls her into his arms, and they stay locked that way for some time. Her hands lift to curl into his hair as his arms move about her waist. They break apart, and at some point during their kiss the sun had lifted enough to turn the sky a soft grey. Alyssa could hear the morning birds chirping outside.

“It’s morning.” Alyssa looked out of the window, and back to Kentaro gauging his reaction to being there for so long.

His fingers trail over her lips and along her jawline, and he looks out of her window with a smile. “Can I stay until the sun rises? It’s one of the things I miss being away from home.”

Alyssa nods, and turns to look out of the window with him. She was far too warm to move away from her spot in his lap anyway. “Where is home?”

Kentaro placed a quick kiss behind her ear, and continued to watch the sunrise with her. “Cambodia.”

© 2023 by SL. Williams

© 2017 by SL. Williams

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