, Genetic engineering
, alien invasion
, Alien Contact
surveyed the room once again, looking intently around the darkened corner of the bar. She didn't find the stranger, but instead, resting on the table he had occupied the evening prior was a single, perfect red rose.
She walked over to it slowly and she ran her fingers over the silken softness of the petals before picking up the flower. She couldn't resist inhaling its sweet scent. She inhaled deeply but what she smelled was a combination of the rose and a unique, sensual scent that must have belonged to the stranger because it was the same scent she remembered wafting from across the table. “Mmmmm,” Charlotte let out with a sigh. She had no idea why she would find the scent so intoxicating after such a strange encounter with the giver, but it was arousing, nonetheless.
When the tables were cleaned and the last of the dishes washed and returned to their shelves, she grabbed her coat from its hook and locked the bar's door on her way out. Unfortunately, she had been so busy that evening, she hadn't been on the lookout for the other creeps who often frequent the establishment.
Charlotte had only walked a block when she heard a sound behind her. She turned quickly, but when her eyes found nothing, she picked up her pace. She had made it too far away from the bar; there was no point in returning to its safety now. A moment later, the sound returned and when she turned this time, she came face to face with a dark, sinister face. He was big and burly with muscles clearly evident beneath his form-fitting shirt. He smelled of cigarette smoke and alcohol, and looking beyond him, she spied two men, equally as minacious-looking staring on. She knew without a doubt that they intended to harm her. A hand came up to clasp over Charlotte's mouth, stifling her scream, while another swiftly wrapped around her waist and pulled her tight against his body. In that moment, Charlotte knew real terror.
But, in the next moment, she was free. Her captor had been thrust back, thrown to the ground. She didn't move. The two sinister onlookers still stood less than a foot away from her and she was too afraid to turn her back to flee. And then, the dark figure that had so quickly dispatched her captor made short work of the other two. His hands came around their necks and he lifted them off the ground as if they weighed no more than a bag of potatoes. He threw them back on the ground and moved to follow to where they had landed. All three, likely realizing they were the ones now in grave danger, rose quickly and ran. The dark figure watched for a moment, probably to ensure the menaces continued on their course, and then he turned to Charlotte, moving toward her carefully.
“Are you alright, Charlotte?” the figure asked, and she recognized the voice instantly. It was the stranger from the bar last night. He came into the light just seconds later, confirming it was who she suspected. He looked more vicious now, his prominent features hardened even more by anger, but there was a gentleness in the way he looked at her, and she somehow knew she had nothing to fear from him.
“You...But how? How did you know? And how could you? You picked up those men like they weighed nothing.” Now that the moment of terror had passed, Charlotte was flooded with emotion and a lone tear rolled down her cheek as she spoke. She could only imagine the horrible things they might have done to her.
“Please stop thinking those things,” he pleaded with a pained look on his chiseled face.
“I was watching you. Figuring out how to approach you, talk to you...to show you. And then I heard them, Charlotte, and I had to intervene,” he tried to explain emphatically.
She should have been frightened to learn that he'd been following her, particularly given the display of strength she'd just witnessed, but she wasn't. The gentleness in his eyes held her captive now and she could not reconcile that gentleness with violence in that moment. “Why,” was the only thought