FEATURE: Alexa Whitewolf

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I was born in Romania (yep, Dracula’s country!) in 1992. As a curious kid, I devoured every book I could on Greek, Roman, Ancient Egyptian mythology.
I studied university in Canada, in political science and languages. I speak five of them: French, English, Romanian, Italian, Spanish and hope to eventually return to Europe.

My current hobbies outside of writing? Training dogs, running, reading. I have 2 dogs, a husky and a lab, that occupy all my free time when I’m not writing

Excerpt from Avalon Dreams

Vivienne opened her eyes, appreciative of the inky sky, and a heat behind. She tried to get up, too hastily, and a settling hand came into focus.

“Easy, take it easy.”

“What happened?” she groaned, clutching her head, at the same time sagging against Sébastien’s chest. She sat between his legs, his arms wrapped around her, facing the lake.

“You passed out,” was the gentle answer.

Vivienne stopped moving at the words, afraid to even comment. Silence surrounded them, whilst she attempted to figure out if she should enlighten him this was a daily occurrence, nothing to worry about, or rather explain what truly happened.

On top of that, the déjà-vu the young woman had woken up from was very much present in her head, and she was having a distressing time separating the Sébastien holding her from the one in the flashback.

He shifted Vivienne in his arms, so she was in his lap, facing him. She could not help gawking like an idiot, summoning back the regard in his eyes, from so long ago.

Sébastien had been busy with a quick examination to ensure his beloved was awake and unharmed, but peering closer, he detected a peculiarity behind her regard – the shadows of the past dancing within.

He tried to quiet the excitement threatening to overflow, but when he stroked Vivienne’s shoulder, an electric current zapped his fingertips.  

They both froze, staring at each other. The young woman’s eyes darkened with desire, and each fibre in his body responded. With a groan, Sébastien pulled her close to him, dragging her mouth to his.

When their lips grazed, it was a detonation to her senses, and before long, Vivienne pressed against him, deepening the embrace. It was what she craved and more, the world tilting right on its axis, no longer torn between reality and fiction. The only truth existing was Sébastien’s lips, moving against hers, melting, coaxing, plundering, giving and taking, over and over.  

It was moments before Sébastien compelled himself to withdraw, body groaning in agony. “I know this is crazy, but I never want to let you go,” he murmured.

Vivienne bit her lip, confusion warring within. His words were a promise, much like long ago. Meanwhile, she was still attempting to understand what was happening, desperately perceiving only pieces of the puzzle that had now become her life. And yet he was so strong, so sure of himself, she let herself be swept by the surety exhibited.

Sébastien’s eyes raked over his beloved’s features, noticing the now normal gleam of her eyes, and he forced a reassuring smile. The moment was gone, uncertainty looming, and his excitement had to be quieted. “Would you like to watch the rising moon together?”

Vivienne’s gratitude shone in her eyes. “Nothing would please me more.”

She settled in Sébastien’s embrace, and enjoyed the first truly normal hours of the last couple of days.

♥♥♥

The couple was returning to the Jaguar, when Sébastien froze, surveying the surroundings. His pose, the way he scoured the area, immediately reminded Vivienne of Alistair, or any guard dog, for that matter.

“What’s wrong?” she wondered aloud.

His hand tightened on hers, manoeuvering Vivienne behind, his own body now becoming a shield.

“Reveal yourself.”

Vivienne shivered at the ire in his voice. It was unfamiliar, as she had not been aware of it even in her visions.

There was a snap of a twig, and a shadow detached itself from the trees, followed by another, and another.

It was the first Vivienne saw of them: long black cloaks billowing in the wind, blank expressions, as though not masters of their own bodies. They were all men of various ages, under a dozen.

Sébastien let go of her, this time effectively placing the rest of his body to shield her. “Who the hell are you!?”

Vivienne could only glimpse the back of his head, but the crackling fury emerging, surrounding them, was stifling and violent. How the men could not perceive it was beyond her.

“We come for her.”

The young woman froze at the man’s words, peeking from around Sébastien to view the stranger effectively pointing her way. Me and my damn luck, it just keeps getting better.

“Like hell you do.”

Before Vivienne could dispute Sébastien’s words, he was covering ground, advancing and engaging them in a fight. He did it so admirably, somehow getting himself in their midst, yet keeping them far away from her.

He acted swiftly, with a feral grace reminding of a panther attacking. The young woman had never witnessed such a man. There was imminent danger here, but all she could fixate on was Sébastien, eyes drawn to his fluid form, to the vigor exhibited.

The guardian thrust one opponent in a tree, ducked another’s punches and slammed a shoulder into one’s stomach. The remaining men hesitated, evidently not having expected the fight. One of them contemplated Vivienne, with blank and unfocused eyes.

What the hell kind of drug are they on? she wondered, shivering despite herself. His unblinking regard raised goose bumps on her arms.

Like a force of nature, Sébastien was there, dragging Vivienne in a run to the car. He pushed her in, closed the passenger door, ran to his, shifted into gear, and they were gone before the attackers were any wiser.

Once they had put some distance between them, Sébastien slowed down a bit, and clasped her hand. “Christ, you have a will of steel, babe. You’re not even shaking.”

“No… I just haven’t yet processed the fact this truly happened.”

“Vivienne,” he squeezed her hand, “this is not one of your dreams. Are you alright?”

She nodded, but recognizing he could not detect it in the dimness, replied a faint, “Yes.” Biting her lip, the young woman squinted behind them, but did not distinguish anyone. “Who the hell were those guys?”

“Not friends of yours, I take it?” Sébastien’s query sounded more like a grunt.

Vivienne shook her head in denial, throat closing up, tears filling her eyes. “What the hell is going on?” she choked out, right before bursting into tears.

Realizing the shock must have hit home, Sébastien swore, and pulled over on the side of the road. It was risky, since they had not put enough distance between their attackers, but Vivienne’s sobs were wrenching at his soul.

He scrutinized the obscurity behind them and around for figures hiding in the shadows, but not sensing anything, gave up and concentrated on his beloved.

Sébastien unbuckled the seatbelt, dragging her in his lap. Both hands went to Vivienne’s cheeks, as he stared in her eyes.

“I’m not sure what’s going on here, but all I can say is, I want to care for you. So whatever’s happening, I’m going to be by your side, not letting you go. You have to trust me, and I’m begging you to let me bring you to my place tonight. Whoever those guys were, they might have an idea of where you live. Is that alright?”

Vivienne shook her head in assent silently. “Brave girl,” he praised, with a rapid peck on the lips meant as a reward. Sébastien then moved to capture the waist to manoeuver her off him, and they both froze as the electricity hit again.

The conflict was apparent on Sébastien’s features, the sudden lock of his jaw, the tightening of the hand on her hip. The reasoning was simple: Vivienne was too vulnerable, and he preferred not to go there.

They stood frozen for a beat of a second, before Vivienne’s body betrayingly tilted towards his. It was all the encouragement Sébastien needed, as he dragged her mouth down to his with the free hand, and they were making out again, in a way different from before. It was insistent, arduous, and all she yearned for was to experience something, anything.

When he plundered her mouth, taking over like a conquistador, Vivienne surrendered with a moan, her softer body glued to his chiselled muscle.

Sébastien broke it off again, panting. His eyes roamed her visage, searching, and she muttered, “Guess you felt it too, huh?”

His laugh was a calming wave, washing over Vivienne, taking the angst and desire with it. When Sébastien shifted her back into the passenger seat, she gave into the warmth of the seat, settling peacefully as they took off.

♥♥♥

Sébastien’s house was actually not far away from Vivienne’s, a fact she quickly pointed out to him as they parked. “The coincidences keep on coming… But I don’t actually live here; it’s only a rental for a short time.”

He got out of the car and opened the door, not noticing Vivienne’s stricken expression. When they entered the house, Sébastien directed her to the couch, and poured a shot of cognac. “Drink.”

Vivienne gulped it down, and it immediately went to her head. “So if you’re renting, where do you live?” she probed, trying to keep an even voice.

“Here, there, everywhere,” Sébastien shrugged, serving himself a glass too. “My job brings me different places.”

When Vivienne did not respond, he glanced to see her tearing up again. “What’s wrong?” the guardian frowned, sitting down and pulling her in his arms.

“For some stupid reason, I presumed you lived here… I…” She shook her head, tried to get up, but his iron grip kept her. “Please let me go. I should go home.”

“Vivienne, babe, talk to me.” He urged her chin up with his index, anxiously raking the young woman’s features for a clue that would explain the sudden change. “What happened?” He stifled the panic at the thought of her leaving, especially after witnessing the danger courting.

She breathed in deeply, as if preparing to plunge somewhere deep, and returned the stare. “You cannot be making promises of protection if you’re here temporarily. I think this was a big mistake. We both get the attraction is there, but I don’t do short term affairs. And considering my life has attained a new high on the complication index in the last couple of hours… It’s best I leave.”

Sébastien frowned, and his hold loosened enough for Vivienne to get up and head to the door. Soon, he was up following, tugging the closest wrist, circling her back to him.

“Wait.”

He observed silently, noticing how Vivienne was fighting back tears, biting her lip. Sébastien knew the behaviour well enough, and the stubborn will behind it. The tightness in his chest became more pronounced. How could he reveal this was an old enemy, when she was not even acquainted with the different past they shared?

“You’re right,” Sébastien started, fighting to find the words to console, without lying. “We both perceive the attraction. But I do not lie when I promise to look after you. Though my assignment here is only temporary, I’d like to get to know you, spend time with you, and protect you after what we saw tonight. I’m not asking we jump into anything. Just… Please, stay for tonight. I cannot explain it myself…”

He trailed off, unsure of how much more to divulge. At the mention of the night’s events, Vivienne bowed her head.

“I’m so sorry.”

“What for?”

“For tonight. And what happened.”

“It’s not your fault,” Sébastien immediately noticed the emptiness of the words, and tried to cover it by adding, “But I would like any information you have on those guys, who they are, etc., to better shelter you.”

“I honestly don’t know, but…”

The young woman peered at him, green eyes earnest and wondering if she could trust him. He stared right back, showcasing his concern and intent. Once her body relaxed, he was able to hug her.

“This is going to sound insane,” Vivienne begun, and Sébastien noted she was warring with the idea, “but you and me, I’m under the impression it’s already happened. In the past.” She paused, but glimpsed no incredulity in his eyes.

“In another life,” she finished off, but Sébastien’s facial expression still did not change. “Either you think I’m crazy, or you actually give credence to this, and I can’t fathom which to fear more.”

At this, he winked, relieved to be able to admit at least this much, and the arm around her tightened. “You’re not crazy. I’ve sensed something between us from the moment I first laid eyes on you. That’s what I was having such a hard time explaining to you. I can’t guess what it is, but I would like to find out more. I’m not the type to give up easily, or to make promises I won’t keep. Right now, I promised you safety. And I would like, in the meantime, to be with you. So for the time being, I suggest to go with it, and see what happens. I’m willing if you are.”

For all response, Vivienne snuggled into him, resting her head on his chest. Exhausted from the day’s events, she passed out in a matter of moments.

Sébastien listened to her breathing, vowing that before he left Avignon, her life would be secured once more, all menaces eliminated.  

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