Burning Love


It was the sound of heels clicking that made everyone look up. Standing in the doorway of the old, rundown bar was a young woman clad in all black. She wore a long black taffeta skirt, a long sleeved top that cut across her shoulders, black silk gloves and black leather granny boots.

The bartender frowned when he seen her. Yeah, they got some weirdoes in here but she was entirely different. She was too small, too quiet, too strange.

As if reading his thoughts she looked over at him. “You should talk.” Her odd gold eyes seemed to say.

True, with his assortment of tattoos, pale demeanor, piercing green eyes and long red hair he was a bit out of the ordinary as well.

She was paler than him, her skin had a marble-ish look to it. Like she was made of stone and not human tissue. Long hair so black it bordered on blue, her clothes complimenting a shapely, hour glass figure.

Rolling his eyes, Mark turned his back on her. He went back to wiping down the counter.

The mysterious woman silently walked over to the bar, sitting down on one of the stools and folding her arms on the counter. “May I get a drink please?”

The sound of her low, throaty voice sent shivers down Mark’s spine. Quickly hiding it, he looked at her over his shoulder. “In a minute honey.” He took his time making his way to her. “What can I get ya?”

“A light screwdriver, please.”

Grunting, he started making her drink. “Here.” He set it down in front of her.

Her eyes narrowed as some of the alcohol splashed onto the counter. “You don’t like me much, do you Mark?”

Mark’s mouth curved into a frown. “How the hell do you know my name?” He demanded. “I’m fairly certain we’ve never crossed paths before.”

The woman smiled innocently. “I don’t know. You just look like a Mark.” She took her drink and moved to a small table in the corner.

Mark stared at her a moment before tending to another customer. He quickly pushed all thoughts of her out of his mind. He sighed when he heard someone else walking in, looking towards the door.

There was a man dressed in an old-fashioned black suit with a cape slung over his right shoulder. He wore a top hat, white kid gloves and even carried a cane. He wasn’t old though, he looked like he was in his mid thirties. He glanced over everyone with cold blue eyes before settling his gaze on the woman.

She was staring back at him appearing somewhat alarmed. She moved as if to get out of the seat but the man held out a hand. With a look of despair she sank back down. Smiling, he joined her.

“Seraphina, here you are my dearest.” He said in an oily voice. “I was quite worried when I discovered you had left.”

“Worried? The idea that you, Raoul, might actually worry disconcerts me.” She sneered.

He feigned hurt. “My darling Seraphina! Your harsh words wound my heart with an indescribable pain. Why must you fight me at every corner?”

“Call it my human sense of pride.”

Raoul curled his upper lip disdainfully. “Don’t test me. I will put you back in your place, no matter how much it pains me to do so.”

“I’m so very frightened.” She replied sarcastically.

He got up. “Let’s go Seraphina. It’s time for you to come home.”

Seraphina stood up and backed away. “No.”

“What did you say?”


Raoul’s countenance darkened. “You insolent little wench! How dare you speak to me in such a manner!”

Mark looked up when he heard a slap. He found the strange woman holding her face while the even stranger man berated her angrily. When the guy went to slap her again Mark lept over the counter and hurried over.

“Mister, I see you hittin’ the lady one more time and I’m gonna be doin’ some hittin’ of my own.” He threatened, grabbing the man’s hand.

Seraphina looked up at Mark bewildered. Raoul cursed.

“You fool! Let me loose! You have no idea what you are messing with!”

“You’ve had one too many drinks.” Mark dragged the man to the door. “Leave.”

Raoul straightened himself up, glaring at Seraphina. “You will come home, my Seraphim.” He told her before taking his leave.

Mark looked around at the other bar patrons, they were staring at Seraphina like she had sprouted another head. “All right people, the show is over.” He announced. “Either go back to what you were doin’ or hit the pavement.”

Seraphina scanned the room warily. “Is there another way out of here?” She asked softly.

Mark stared down at her. “Yeah, there’s a back door. Are you gonna be okay lady?”

“I’ll find out.”

“What does that mean?” Mark asked himself.

“It means exactly what I said, I’ll find out.” She said absent-mindedly.

Mark frowned. “I didn’t say nothin’.”

“Hmmm? Oh yes, it was the look on your face.” Seraphina pulled out some money. “This is for the drink. Will you please show me the way out?”

Confused, Mark led her to the storage room. “This way.”

“Thank you.”

“Can I ask you somethin’?”

“You may.”

“Is that your name? Seraphim?”

She smiled, amused. “No, my name is Seraphina. I must leave now. Thank you again Mr. Callaway.” Then she slipped out the door.

Mark stepped out only to find darkness. “I never told you my name!” He shouted. He could have sworn he heard her laughing at him.


A month went by and Seraphina never came back. For some unknown reason, Mark often found himself looking up whenever the door opened. He was secretly hoping that she would come back. He didn’t know why though.

On one of his nights off, Mark decided to ride his Harley out into the country. He sped along the road, letting the wind clear his head. He frowned at the sight of smoke coming from some woods. Mark went even faster to see what was the cause of it.

He couldn’t take the large motorcycle into the woods, the trees were to close to each other, so he parked it behind some bushes. Mark made his way threw the brush until he reached a clearing. There was a large fire blazing away. With the way it raged, it should have gone out of control by now, but it didn’t. Mark looked around for the person responsible for the fire. A flash of black caught his eye.

“Hey! Come back here!” He yelled. The person took flight, springing through the woods. Mark chased after them.

“Ah!” Came a woman’s scream.

Mark skidded to a stop at the edge of a large hole. He peered down to see Seraphina looking up with large, frightened eyes. “Seraphina?”


“What the hell are you doin’?” He demanded. “Was it you that started that fire?”

“Please, get me out of here.” She whispered.

“Answer my question.”

“It was.”


“Mark, please, help me out of this hole.” She pleaded.

Mark reached down and took her underneath the arms. He lifted her out then set her on the ground, he didn’t let her go though. “Now, tell me why you started that fire.”

“It was an experiment.”

“Experiment? You call settin’ the entire woods on fire an experiment?”

“Please, don’t ask me to explain. I don’t think I could.”

Looking over her outfit, Mark decided to change the subject. “Woman, it’s hotter ‘n hades out here, what are you doin’ in velvet?”

Seraphina looked down at her long black velvet dress. “I don’t feel hot.”

“Let’s go.” Mark grabbed her arm and roughly pulled her away.

Seraphina let out a shriek of pain when he forced her to walk. “Mark, please!”

“What’s it now?”

“My ankle. I think I sprained it when I fell.”

“Serves you right.” He thought. “Next time you won’t run.”

“But I will.” She contradicted.

“How’d you do that?” He demanded.

“Do what?”

“It’s like you can read my mind.”

“I read your face.” Seraphina gingerly sat down on the soft ground.

Mark kneeled down before her and raised the foot she was favoring onto his knee. He pushed back the dress. “No wonder you hurt yourself. Don’t run in high heeled boots.” He reprimanded.

“I shall remember that.”

He carefully removed the boot, aware of the pain Seraphina felt. Her ankle had swollen up. “You really did hurt it.”


Mark handed her the boot. “You carry this and I’ll carry you.”

“No, I…” She was cut off as he scooped her into his arms. “You’re incorrigible Mark.” She whispered with a small trace of a smile.

“I can be.” He replied softly, staring into her eyes. “Seraphina, anyone ever tell you that you have the most amazin’ eyes? I’ve never seen that color of gold before.”

Seraphina smiled and started to say something but the flash of lightening stopped her.

“Son of a…” Mark groaned as it started to rain hard.

“There’s a cabin not far from here.” Seraphina told him. “If you set me down I’ll lead you to it.”

“You’d better just tell me.”

“I’m no good with verbal instructions.”

“We’ll make do.”

With a slightly curious look, she raised her fingertips to the side of Mark’s face. She traced his cheekbones gently, watching for signs that he didn’t like it.

Mark sighed when he felt a small tingle flow through him. Then he got a mental picture of the cabin. For some unknown reason, he suddenly knew how to get there.

“Don’t ask Mark, just go.” Seraphina whispered.

Nodding he took off in what he knew to be the right direction. After about ten minutes of walking in silence a cabin came into sight. Mark hurried to it. More than once he had looked down to see if she was still breathing, she was so still. Each time he had met her unblinking, odd golden eyes.

When Mark finally got them inside, their soaking wet clothes were matted to both their bodies. He quickly surveyed the surroundings.

It was a large, one room cabin, There was an old fashioned, four poster bed in one corner, a fireplace that took up most of one wall, a bin with enough firewood to keep the cabin heated for several nights and a stand with a porcelain pitcher and wash basin.

“Is this your place?” He asked.

“No. Just a cabin I come too.”

Mark gently set Seraphina down onto the bed. “Stay put. I’ll start a fire to warm us.” He ran his hands down her shoulders. “You’re a block of ice woman.”

Seraphina smiled somewhat. “I don’t doubt it.”

A little unnerved by her smile, Mark turned to the wood bin. Soon he had a roaring fire going. He stood there for a moment, wondering why she seemed to be able to read his mind. Mark went to ask her about it but was stopped by the sight of her wet clothing clinging to her every curve.

“Seraphina, you had best get out of them clothes before you catch cold.”

Seraphina looked at him startled, eyes wide. “I don’t think so.”

“I won’t look.”

“I’d still rather not.”

Mark sat down next to her. “I give you my word that I won’t touch you.”


“I promise. Unless, course,” He smiled mischievously. “You want me too.”

Seraphina’s hand flew to strike him but Mark was quick enough to catch her. “You’re a cad!” She hissed.

“Hittin’ isn’t very nice. Now stop actin’ like a kid and do as I say.” He let her go and rose from the bed.

“Don’t treat me as such then.” Seraphina sneered. She removed her cape but hesitated at the buttons of her dress. “Turn around please.”

Chuckling, Mark did. Once he heard her resume undressing, he followed suit. He quickly stripped down completely.

Seraphina slowly took off her dress, now clad in just a white chemise . Once naked, she pulled the quilt around her body. Feeling vulnerable, she looked up at Mark. A gasp escaped her lips when she seen his magnificent form, a blush spreading over her cheeks.

Mark turned slightly when he heard Seraphina’s gasp. He caught her staring at him in a mixture of fascination, fear and a little bit of longing. “Like what you see?” He asked softly.

Seraphina averted her eyes to the quilt, studying the patchwork. She didn’t say a word.

“Seraphina, look at me.”

“I don’t think so.”

He sat besides her. “Why not? Are you afraid too?”

“Mark, why do you plague me with these pointless questions?”

“Because you plague me.” He reached out to caress her shoulder, to see if it was as cold as it looked. “You haunt my dreams, my every thought, my every desire if of you. I don’t know why thought. Have you enchanted me?”

Seraphina looked up into his dark green eyes. “Have I?”

“Yes,” He whispered, bending down to kiss her. “You have.” He lifted her mouth to meet his and softly touched her lips, taking his time in building a sweet pressure on the tender flesh. He moved his lips gently, raking her lower lip.

Seraphina’s eyes were opened as he did this, examining his face. When he moved his kisses down to her neck, she sighed in pleasure.

Mark slowly pulled the covers away from her and laid her down gently. Only then did he take a moment to pause and look over her body. “Seraphina, you’re beautiful.” He whispered.

Seraphina gazed up at him cloudy eyed for a minute. It cleared immediately as he laid out on her, careful though not to crush her with his massive size. “Mark, I…” She was silenced as he claimed her mouth again.

Mark explored her body with his hands. He caressed her breasts, fondling them gently, marveling at their perfection. Not satisfied with just touching, he moved to taste. He fastened his lips on a pink orb, tugging at it gently.

Seraphina moaned softly and buried her hands in his long hair, arching her chest to him.

He trailed a hand down her body farther, laughing quietly as he felt her stomach muscles tighten in expectation. Mark soon reached his desired destination. He slipped one finger before her moist folds, sighing at the slickness and hear he felt.

Seraphina tensed when she felt him invade her most intimate spot. “Mark, no!” She gasped urgently, reaching down to pull his hands away.

Mark pulled back, supporting himself on his elbows. “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t want this. Get off me.”

He sported his confusion on his face. “If you didn’t want it then why let it go this far?”

“Just get off me.” She ordered firmly, through her eyes betrayed her true thoughts: fear and desire for him to take her.

“You did this on purpose, didn’t you? Is that your game? Leading men on then turning cold on them?” He demanded.


“Then what the hell is wrong with you?” Mark cupped her chin with one hand, forcing her to look at him. He searched her eyes intently. “You’re a virgin aren’t you?”

“Yes. Are you happy now?” Seraphina closed her eyes to hide the tears. “I didn’t mean to lead you on Mark, honestly I didn’t. But I don’t want you to touch me anymore.”

“Are you sure?”

“Y-yes.” It sounded more like a question then a resolution.

“Then so be it.” Mark rolled off her.

Seraphina laid there, not daring to move. “Mark, I am sorry.” She whispered.

“Shut up.”


He pulled her on top of his body. “Why are you so frightened of me? Do I scare you?”


Mark smiled seductively. “You want me though. I can see it in those golden eyes of yours. Eyes that are windows to your soul. Do you fear your desires Seraphina?” Before she could answer her took her hand and moved it down, wrapping her fingers around his manhood. “Is that what you want?”

Seraphina stared at him, her cheeks going pink as he started moving her hand up and down, making her stroke him. She couldn’t help but enjoy the feel of his male hardness in her hand and he knew it.

“Say yes Seraphina.” Mark whispered threw gritted teeth. “Say it!”

Seraphina was now touching him of her own accord.. “Yes.”

He quickly flipped her onto her back and buried himself deep into her core.

Seraphina cried out at the sharp pain only to find her cries stifled by his mouth on hers.

Mark moved his hips, evoking pleasure that Seraphina had never dreamt possible. Soon the pain was gone and she was arching up to meet his every thrust.

Outside the wind blew harshly, the rain pelted everything and thunder boomed.

But inside the warm cabin the two lovers were oblivious to all but the sparks of lightening that they were creating.


Mark awoke to the feel of warm sunlight on him. He looked next to him expecting to find Seraphina but instead found only an empty space.

“Seraphina?” He called, rising from the bed. He wrapped the quilt around his waist and looked around. Mark found that her clothes were missing. On top of his shirt was a piece of paper. With a sinking feeling, Mark picked it up and read.

My Darling Mark,

Please, pardon me for leaving you like this. After what took place last night I realized that I must go and never see you again. I care about you too much to bring you the danger that comes with me.

Mark stared at the paper for a moment before dropping it to the floor. What danger could she ever bring?


Seraphina looked out the small window of the shabby motel that she had checked herself into. She wasn’t sure how much longer she could continue running. She didn’t want to run anymore. She was tired of being chased all over the world, hiding in fear. She desperately wanted to go back to Mark. To be safe and sound in his warm, comforting arms.

She turned away, unable to look at the sunset any longer. She probably should have told him why she was leaving before she had left but why involve him? This was her problem, her fight. Seraphina cared about him to much to get him hurt.

She leaned against the wall, fighting the tears that threatened to spill over her eyes and down her cheeks. She closed her eyes, slumped to the floor and fell into slumber.


(Mark was working at the bar when she walked in. He looked up at her, his eyes meeting hers. “Seraphina!” He called out, coming over to meet her.
Seraphina looked up with a smile. “Mark.”
“You came back. Why’d you leave?”
“I had too. But it’s all over now my darling, I don’t have to run anymore.”
Mark frowned. “Run? But why were you runnin’ in the first place?”
She ran her fingertips over his lips. “I’ll tell you in good time but I…” Seraphina was stopped as Mark burst into flames. “Mark! No!” She screamed.
“What have you done?” He cried, writhing on the floor in agony. “What’d you do Seraphina?”
“I didn’t mean too!” She choked, tears streaming down her face. “I can’t control it!” She looked down at her hands, they had small blazes of fire burning at the palms. “I didn’t mean too!”)


Seraphina woke with a start. She raised her palms to her face, sighing in relief when there was no trace of fire or smoke. “It was just a dream.” She murmured. “I didn’t really do it.”

The dream only served to concrete her decision to never see Mark again. She never knew when the power would present itself or on who it would unleash upon. She didn’t want to take the chance and hurt him.

Maybe one day when she had learned to control the power, then maybe she could come back. Until then, Seraphina would just have to keep running.


Raoul eyed the run-down motel with a look of disgust. “My Seraphim, why do you hide in these dreary places?” He asked aloud. “When you are meant for so much better?” Shaking his head he started towards the room he knew she occupied. Raoul stopped at the door, reaching out with his mind.

He saw her laying on the bed, knees drawn to her chest, weeping.

“Poor girl,” He whispered. “All alone.”

Seraphina looked up as the door burst open. “Raoul!” She exclaimed. “How’d you find me?”

Raoul examined the contents of the room before answering. “You never learned how to block your thought Seraphim, just how to read others.” He held out his hand to her. “It’s time for you to come home.”

“No.” Seraphina moved off the bed to the opposite side of the room. “You will not make me. I’ll burn us to the ground before I go back!”

“Don’t make me hurt you.” Raoul cautioned. “You are no match for me Seraphina and you are severely trying my patience. Enough is enough. It’s time for you to stop running. Just come back and I promise that it’ll be different this time.”

“Oh, you’d use my abilities to burn entire towns instead of just part?” She challenged. “I refuse to be your instrument of destruction. Killing doesn’t satisfy me like it apparently does you.”

Roaul’s expression went from mildly annoyed to furious. “Seraphina, you will come back with me. I am the only one who can help you control that precious gift. I can also use it against you as well. Don’t test me anymore child.”

Anger and fear conflicted for control of her features at his threat. “Raoul., please, I can’t go back to that. Don’t make me!” She pleaded.

He shook his head exasperated. “Seraphim, you need to realize your purpose in life. You have an extraordinary gift my dear. I can help you use it to benefit all of mankind.”

“Benefit to war you mean!” She contradicted. “You’d unleash it on people you hate just because they mocked you. You and your plan for world peace. All the freaks like us in control while the rest of the population was stuck doing your bidding.”

“Freaks? That’s such a harsh word.” Raoul reprimanded. “There are, or were only a select few that had gifts like yours. Because they could not control them, they perished by them. Would you like the same fate to befall you?”

“Rather me than anyone else.”

“Face it love, you’re a pyromaniac whether or not you want to be. I know that you’ve been attempting experiments with these powers of yours. I can help you, Seraphnina! I can teach you how to use your telekinesis to control your gift of fire. Who knows? Maybe you could hone your psychic abilities.”

Seraphina made a face. “I’d rather not. It’s bad enough to be able to read into other people’s minds without meaning too. I’d really not want to probe any deeper or see spirits. You leave that to the women on the 800 hotlines.”

“Fine, since you’re obviously not going to come with me willingly…” Raoul closed his eyes. “Force will be used.”

“No, Raoul! Stop it!” Seraphina cried, covering her head with her hands. She sank to the floor. “Please, not again!” A few minutes later, Seraphina slumped onto the carpet.

Raoul opened his eyes and peered down at the unconscious woman. With a barely audible sigh, he picked her up. “Time to come home Seraphim.”


Seraphina woke up feeling dazed and disoriented. She raised her head and looked around. She laid on a soft bed of down feathers and was covered by a silk comforter. A large white vanity took up one wall, a chest of drawers another. “Oh no…” She moaned. She was in her old room. No doubt the door was bolted shut.

Seraphina got out of bed and ran to the door. It was.

“Seraphina, good to see you’re awake.” Came Raoul’s voice. “Did you sleep well?”

She looked around. “Where are you?”

“Behind you.”

Seraphina turned around to see a panel of black glass. “Behind there?”

“A new addition. I need to know what you’re doing at all times and a camera is just so tactless.”

“I suppose you consider this the better alternative.” Seraphina gestured to the glass with a smirk.

“I do. Are you ready to cooperate?”

“Has hell frozen over?”

Raoul laughed. “Such insolence! Just what I expected. I was ready for this though. I have a little surprise for you my dear.”

Seraphina peered suspiciously through the glass. “What is it?”

“Dress for dinner. Dress nicely.”

“Raoul? What for?”

No answer.

“Raoul?” When she got no reply, Seraphina pulled her hair in frustration. She stalked over to the wardrobe. After rifling through it she came up with a black gown. She hurriedly dressed, not knowing if she was being watched. Unsure of what to expect, Seraphina tried the door, unsurprised to now find it unlocked. She stepped out into the hall, braced her shoulders and marched to the dining room.

Raoul was sitting at the head of the table. He smiled when he seen her. “You look fabulous. Come sit down.” He gestured to the chair next to him.

Seraphina reluctantly did as she was bid. “What is this about?”

“Patience is a virtue.”

“You make me a sin.”

“Tsk tsk tsk. Have you no faith in me whatsoever?” He feigned hurt. “You wound me my lady.”

“What’s this so-called surprise?”



“Whom is the surprise you mean.”

Seraphina stared at him blankly. “What are you on about now Raoul?”

“Ah, curiosity!” Raoul swept back away from the table with a flourish. “And what’s behind door number one?” He pointed to a large black door. “Go see.”

“Who’s in there?”

“Go and find out.”

Seraphina stood and slowly approached the door, a sinking feeling engulfing her. She turned the heavy brass knob and pushed the door open. “Oh God!”

Laying strapped to a white medical table was Mark. He had an I.V. in his right arm. Little monitors covered his head and bare chest, a white sheet covered the lower half of his body. The machine next to him was printing out reports of his heartbeats, breathing patterns and brainwaves.

“What have you done to him?”

“I stunned his mind. Quite by accident I assure you. It wouldn’t have happened if he hasn’t resisted me so.”

“But why?”

Raoul leaned in the doorway, crossing his arms in a casual manner. “You have been out cold for a week and a half. I was probing your mind and found something rather useful. You have an attraction to this Mark fellow. I figured he could be useful in helping me persuade you to yield to me. I went to him tried to convince him to assist me in an experiment but he refused. Then I mentioned your name and he clammed up. Seeing that wasn’t getting me anywhere I tried to manipulate his mind. That didn’t work either. The harder he fought me, the more power I used. This is the result.”

Seraphina crouched down by the table, folding her arms on the edge. “Oh Mark… How long has he been out?”

“Three days.”

“Can you help him?”

“It’s not a question of can I, but will I?” Raoul was now standing directly over her. He ran his fingers through her silky hair. “Seraphina, you help me and I’ll help him.”

“Don’t ask this of me!” She begged.

“Make your decision now.”

“Raoul, please.”

“You can walk out those doors right now and I won’t stop you. Never again will you see my face. But you’ll never see his either. He’ll just lay there, a breathing vegetable. Never to know what it is to hold the woman he loves.” Raoul lowered his voice an octave. “Or… You could be part of my work. I’ll bring him out of this state and he could stay here with you.”

“This is your idea of a deal?”

“It’s the only choice you have my dear. Choose.”

“No.” She whispered.


“I said no. I can’t go back to that, I just can’t.”

Raoul turned her to face him, dropping down to her eye level. “Seraphina, maybe you don’t understand what I just said. If you don’t, he will stay this way until he dies. Or I’ll just dispose of him sooner. You would be so selfish as to condemn this man to a life of living… in that shell?”

Seraphina looked back at Mark. Could she walk out of here and leave him like this? She just couldn’t imagine herself doing it. “Fine, I’ll stay.” She whispered, her voice trembling.

Raoul chuckled softly. “I knew you would.”

“But you must bring him too.”

“Of course. Anything else?” He asked mockingly.

“He doesn’t stay here. As soon as he’s able, he leaves.”



Seraphina waited anxiously in her bedroom for news of Mark. Raoul had set to work just as soon as she left Mark’s side, locking the door so she couldn’t get back in.

More than once she had asked herself what was she doing? She was submitting herself to more tests, more midnight massacres, more hopelessness.

But in her heart she knew she could do no less. It would be wrong to make Mark suffer the rest of his life, trapped in a body that would never know the joys of movement, touch, pleasure or even pain. And Raoul had been right, she cared to much for Mark to ‘condemn him to a life of living in that shell.’

The idea of escaping with Mark once he had been restored to normal frequently entered her mind. That thought was always quickly extinguished. She had attempted that several times before but to no avail. There was one exit and that was only accessible by Raoul. It would open only upon voice command, his voice. There were no windows to the mansion/lab. That was probably what Seraphina always missed the most, the sunlight. Whenever Raoul had taken her out, it was always at night. When they could be concealed under the guise of darkness.

She sat on the white chaise, recalling the last ‘outing’ Raoul had insisted upon. They had traveled to a small town way out in the middle of nowhere. They went to the only gas station, it was closed for the night. The pumps were rather old fashioned and the smell of gasoline was everywhere.

That should have tipped her off.


“Focus all your energy towards the pumps.” He had instructed her.
“But they’ll blow up.”
“No, my dear. The pumps have been shut off. Nothing will happen.”
Seraphina was doubtful. “This is going to be another Brighton isn’t it?”
“Nothing of the sort!” Raoul smiled gently. “You won’t kill anyone this time, I promise. Now focus, I’ll help you.”
Seraphina turned her attention to the pumps, all thoughts directed towards them. She could feel a force in her mind, building the flow of power. Seraphina seen bright flashes of red and orange, she knew then Raoul had lied.
She tried to stop herself but it was to late. The pumps flew sky high, fire shot up from where they had been, fueled on gas. The wind caught sparks, carrying them to the houses,, telephone poles and trees. Everything soon was ablaze.
“No! Raoul you promised!” She cried, falling to her knees.
“I also lied.”
Seraphina could only watched as people rushed out of their houses. The stench of human flesh burning was most prominent. Sounds of crying surrounded her, as well as the dying screams of those who had not been able to escape their infernos. It all stayed with her, al stored in her memory.
But the sight that had stuck out the most was a little boy.
He couldn’t have been more than six years old. He had been rescued from the fire but not without some damage. He lay on the grass crying out in pain. There was nobody to attend him, everyone was trying to put out the fires. His face was smoke stained, save for the streaks where his tears flowed. His entire left leg had been burnt severely, to a black crisp.
After about ten or twenty minutes it had begun to bleed and pus. The sight of his leg was enough to make her vomit. But it was the howls of agony that came from that little boy that would haunt her always.


Seraphina was snapped out of her memories by the sound of the bedroom door opening. She looked up to find Raoul standing there and quickly got up. “Is he awakre?”

“Yes. He’s resting in the guest room. You may go see him if you’d like.”

Seraphina went to go past him but Raoul grabbed hold of her arm in a vise-like grip.

“But you will not say a word of what goes on here to him. If he wishes to stay, he can. But you will play the happy and contented hostess. He is not to pry into what we do either. I brought him out of that coma for you. But know this: If you cross me, he is disposable. Understand?”

“Perfectly.” Seraphina replied coolly. She jerked away and hurried off.


Mark had no idea where he was. The last thing he remembered was some guy talking about Seraphina and how she was in danger by herself. The next thing he knew he had woken up in a strange bedroom.

“Did I get drunk and sleep with some chick?” He asked himself.

That would explain all this, plus why he was naked save a sheet. He heard someone at the door and groaned.

It wasn’t what he expected.

Seraphina walked in, closing the door behind her. “Good evening, Mark.”

“Sera…” He went to get up but froze when she took a step back. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing. Please, stay there.”

“Why? I want to hold you baby.”


“What’d I do?”


Mark’s face became a mask of anger. “Wait a minute, it’s not what’d I do? It’s what the hell did you do? You’re the one who left me, not the other way around!”

Seraphina opened her mouth to speak but Mark was off the bed, sheet and all, and over to her in a heartbeat. He pinned her to the wall, grabbed her underarms and lifted her so she was eye-level with him. “Mark, let me go! You’re hurting me!”

“Poor you.” He snarled. “Is this all some kind of game with you? First you show up at my bar followed by the whack. Then we sleep together, you leave and I don’t see hide nr hair of you for months. Then the whack shows back up asking me for help. Next thing I know is I’m waking up in some bed wondering what the hell is going on. Then you come walking through the door all calm like, not expecting me to care that you ran off that night.”

“It isn’t like that Mark, I had to leave. If you let me, I can explain.” She insisted, frightened by the anger in his eyes.

“You’d better start talking then.”

“Set me down.”

“I’d rather not.” His grip tightened. “And you even think about nailing me in the gems., I’ll rip your throat out.”

Seraphina swallowed hard at the threat. At this moment, she believed that he would actually do it. “That man you seen at the bar, his name is Raoul. He has mental abilities beyond any normal being and…” Her eyes rolled up into her head and she went slack in Mark’s arms.

“Seraphina?” Mark pulled her to him. “Honey?”

“She’s out.”

Mark turned to see Raoul sitting calmly on a chest. “What the hell is going on here?” He demanded. “What’d you do to her?”

“Me? Who said I did it.” Raoul peered at Seraphina’s lifeless body. “For all you know, she could be faking it.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Clever man. You’re right, I did do it.” He admitted freely. “But with good cause. Be a nice chap and lay her out on the bed, will you?”

Mark held her even closer. “For what?”

Raoul laughed at Mark’s over protectiveness. “Good god man, I’m not going to rape her!”

“How’d you know what I was thinking?” Mark demanded.

“I read your mind.” Raoul watched as Mark gently laid Seraphina down, then sat next to her. “I’m not about to rape her, though given the chance to be with her, I’d take it.”

“You best stay away from her.” Mark growled. “She’s mine.”

“Don’t threaten me Mark, I’m not your enemy. I need your help.”

“With what.”


“What bout her?”

Raoul took a deep breath. “You most likely won’t believe this but Seraphina is a pyromaniac. She has the capability to set fires with her mind. She can’t generally control this ability but when she can…” He shook his head. “She’s dangerous.”

Mark looked down at Seraphina. Asleep she didn’t appear dangerous, if anything she looked like an angel. “I don’t think so.”

Raoul held up a hand in a gesture of truth. “I swear it. I’ve been witness to her outbursts. I once even tried to stop her. Before I could do anything the deed was done. Seraphina is a pyromaniac.” He said the word slowly, like he was tasting each letter.

Mark’s mind was reeling. He remembered that day in the forest. She had set a huge fire, an experiment she had called it. Could Raoul be telling the truth?

Sensing the doubt, Raoul focused his thoughts towards Mark.

Mark grabbed his head between his hands as horrible visions filled his mind. The sounds of people screaming vibrated all around him along with the smell of burning flesh. He seen Seraphina staring at some little boy, smoke surrounded her. The scene jumped back and he seen her staring at gas pumps. Suddenly they rocketed into the sky followed by flames that seemed to reach the heavens.

“No…” Mark whispered. “You’re lying to me. Seraphina wouldn’t kill innocent people like that.”

“Ah Mark, she would.” Raoul contradicted softly. “She might not look it but she is a cold blooded killer. And her method of destruction is fire.”


“Sad but true. I have been attempting to help her channel this sick obsession but every time I try she just seems to get more out of control. That’s why I asked you for help that night at the bar. When you refused, I… I stunned your mind. It was the only way, I need you.”

Mark sat there quietly, absorbing all this. “What do I hafta do?” He asked finally.


Seraphina woke up in a pair of strong arms. She looked up to see that she was being held by Mark. He was leaning back against the headboard, gazing down at her. “Are you still angry with me?” She asked in a hushed whisper.


“I’m sorry about passing out on you, I have no idea what happened.”

“That’s okay.” He bent down to kiss her forehead.

Seraphina sighed and snuggled against him again. “You need to leave here. You’re in grave danger.”

“I think I’m going to stay for a spell, I don’t want to leave you right now.”

“Was Raoul in here?”

“For a minute or two.”

“What did he say?”


“Sarcasm isn’t a quality I find attractive.”

He smiled. “Yet I’ve seen you use it quite often. Especially on me.”

“You deserved what you got.”

“Is that so?”

“Yes, it is.”

Mark flipped her around so she was sitting in front of him, then he pushed her down onto the mattress. Seraphina’s eyes grew wider as he grabbed the front of her dress.

“Now wait a minute! Don’t you dare!: She exclaimed, seeing him getting ready to tear it.

With a loud rip, the dress was neatly split up the middle all the way up to her waist.

“You were saying darlin?” He asked with a mischievous smile.

“Oh Lord, you are a Neanderthal. You know that right?”

“I’ve been told.”

Seraphina groaned as he ran his hands over her bare thighs. “Mark, this isn’t a good idea. There could be video cameras hidden in here?”

He pulled back. “Cameras?”

“Yes. You know, they record what’s going on.”

“I know smartass.”

“I’d rather not be filmed making love if it’s all the same to you.”

“Well…” Mark looked around the room before bending down to kiss her. “I hope they get their films worth!”

“Mark, no!” Seraphina shrieked as he ripped the rest of her dress of. “I’m going too…” She was stopped by him trailing his kisses down to her breasts.

“Goin’ to what?” He asked, looking up at her.

“Hurt you.”

“Burn me you mean.” He thought.

Seraphina shot up, pushing him away from her. “Get away from me!”

Mark looked at her bewildered. “What did I do?”

“Burn you?” She wrapped the sheet around her body. “Where do you get the idea that I would burn you?”

“Why are you readin’ my mind?” He demanded.

“I couldn’t help it., that was a particulary strong thought.”

“I didn’t mean it like that Sera.”

She got off the bed, backing towards the door. “You did talk to Raoul.” She whispered. “You let him fill your mind with lies. How could you? I thought you cared for me!” Tears filled her gold eyes.

“Seraphina, I… I just wanted to help you.” Mark said lamely.

“You sure messed that one up!” She spat with a look of contempt. Without another word she ran from the room, leaving Mark sitting on the bed wondering where he had gotten screwed over at.


Raoul looked up from his desk as the door opened with such force that it banged into the wall. “Ah Seraphina, why don’t you come in?” He gestured to a chair. “Sit down and lets talk.”

“You played me Raoul.” She accused, standing in front of the desk, now fully clothed. “You lied to him.”

“Oh damn, you read his thoughts. That wasn’t very nice of you.” He tsked. “Prying into your beloved’s mind…”

“Come off it Raoul, what do you want with me?”

He shot to his feet. “Don’t be stupid! You know exactly what I want. You’ve known from the moment I brought you here from that hellhole you set ablaze.”

“I refuse to be your murder weapon. You want to kill people, you do it yourself.”

“I would if I could but since I can’t, guess what? You’ve been nominated.”

“Drop dead. I’m leaving.”

“I don’t think so. We had a deal.” Raoul frowned.

“The deal is off.”

“Seraphina, don’t make me do something I’ll regret later.”

She sneered at him. “Regret? How could you regret doing anything? You don’t even know what regret is.”

“And I suppose you do?” He challenged.

Suddenly Seraphina looked sad, tired and extremely exhausted. “Yes, I do know what it is to regret.”

Sighing, Raoul slumped back into his chair. “I honestly don’t know why you fight me Seraphim. I don’t require much of you. If you’d just be cooperative. You’d have leave to do whatever you like, go wherever you wanted. You could even raise a family if you so chose. I’d take care of you and whomever you’re with. All you have to do is cooperate.”

“I don’t think so.”

“If you’re going to back out on the deal then I sadly, must do the same. That means though, unfortunately, that Mark will be returning to life as a vegetable.”

“That’s not fair Raoul!”

“Neither is life, get used to it.”

Seraphina clenched her fists together. “God, I despise you!”

Laughing, Raoul got up and came over to join her. “Face it Seraphim, you can’t win. All the cards are in my hand. If you don’t play by my rules then you will lose. That of course will force me to kill you, along with any of your friends, which you don’t have many, that get in my way. Do we understand each other?”

“I’ve always understood you Raoul.” She hissed. “But know this: children who play with fire always get burnt.”

“And you’ve set to flame a good many children.” He replied cockily.

With a low cry of rage, Seraphina slapped him as hard as she could. Raoul stared at her in disbelief. It quickly turned to anger.

“You little bitch!” He hissed.

Seraphina smirked before stalking out of the room.

He watched as the door shut after her. Cursing, he got up and followed.

Seraphina turned around when she heard footsteps. The look on Raoul’s face said she had crossed a line. Becoming fearful, Seraphina hoisted the front of her skirt and took off running. She hadn’t gotten all that far when he tackled her from behind.

“Get off me you oaf!” She screamed.

Raoul flipped her onto her back. “You’re getting too brash for your own good Seraphim.” He sneered, pinning her arms down. “I think it’s time I did put you back in your place.”

Her eyes grew wide as a grin spread across his face. “You wouldn’t dare!”

“I would Seraphim.” His eyes ran down her lithe form. “Many nights I’ve wanted your company. Tonight I shall have it.” Raoul climbed to his feet, pulling her up by the hair with him. He tossed her over his shoulder and started for his private rooms.

“You’ll burn in hell for this!” Seraphina screamed, pounding on his back with her fists. “I’ll set you on fire myself you bastard!”

“Hell. Batard. Seraphina, you’ve developed quite a mouth.. Learn any of this from Mark?”

“Leave him out of this!”

“Oh but why? It’s so much fun to torment you.” Raoul kicked open the door, walked across the room and deposited her onto his bed. “Don’t fret so Seraphim, you can always pretend it’s him on you and not me.”

“I’d rather have the reality!” She spat, scrambling backwards on her hands.

Raoul crawled on the bed, moving towards her. He reached out and grabbed her legs then pulled her to him. “You’re a bothersome little bitch. The only reason I haven’t killed you yet is because you have the power that I require.” He cupped her breasts in his hands, squeezing them painfully. “And something else I need.”

Seraphina dug her fingernails into his arm. “I will kill you for this offense!” She vowed. “I swear it!”

Laughing he claimed her mouth with his own..


Mark had finally gotten up from the bed, wondering how he was going to get himself out of this one. “Opened my mouth and inserted my damn foot.” He thought ruefully. He didn’t know what to believe anymore. Did he trust Raoul or Seraphina? Or neither of them?

It wasn’t easy to do either. Gut instinct told him that Raoul was definitely not to be trusted. He had thought he could trust in Seraphina but after seeing what she had done…

Mark stood up and left the room. All he knew was he needed to get out of this place.

As he was walking past one of the many rooms, he thought he could hear the voice of Seraphina. Frowning, he pressed his head against the door and listened.

“Get off me!” She was screaming.

That was all the incentive Mark needed to break down the door.

Raoul and Seraphina looked up from the bed. Raoul was slightly peeved while Seraphina was relieved. Mark quickly got up from the floor, anger creasing his face.

“Mark, help me!”

“Shut up bitch!” Raoul slapped her.

“Don’t you ever hit her!” Mark growled, lunging for Raoul.

A devious look flickered in Raoul’s eyes. He held up his hand and Mark froze in place. “Don’t forget Mark, while I’m not as physically strong as you my psyche surpasses yours beyond your comprehension.”

“Seraphina…” Mark groaned.

Seraphina rose to her knees. “Raoul, let him alone!”

“Now now dearest,” Raoul glanced at her. “Just lie back down… I’ll finish with him then you and I can resume our activity.” Raoul’s words were confident but the strain of keeping Mark in place was beginning to show.

She clambered off the bed and moved off to the side. “I mean it Raoul. Let him alone!”

“Or what?”

Seraphina shut her eyes in concentration.

“Seraphina! What are you doing?” Raoul hissed. “Stop that at once! Do you hear me? Seraphina!”

Seraphina’s eyes flew open, blazing red. Behind her the lace drapes had caught flame.

Raoul lost his hold on Mark in his astonishment.

Mark stumbled back a moment before regaining his balance. He immediately set to pounding on Raoul. Stunned, Raoul wasn’t able to fight back, mentally or physically. Not that he was a match for Mark anyway when it came right down to pure strength.

Seraphina stood there watching as the fire spread throughout the room. The light silks and satins that covered most of the room quickly caught fire.

Mark took careful aim and punched Raoul in the throat.

Raoul’s eyes widened in pain. His hands flew to his neck as he strained to breathe.

“We have to run.” Seraphina said calmly.

“What about him?”

“With the way you hit him, he’s dead.”

Mark stood up and took her hand. “I’m not sorry I did it.”

“Neither am I.” Seraphina led the way from the room.

Flames licked the sides of the doors, catching the hallway walls and ceiling on fire. Smoke followed the two.

“This place is goin’ fast!” Mark exclaimed, covering his mouth with his hand. “How do we get out?”

Seraphina showed him a panel alongside a steel door. “This is the only way out and it’s voice activated.”

“Raoul’s voice?”

“If it were mine, I’d of escaped quite some time ago I assure you.” She replied sarcastically.

“Think Sera! We need to get out of here.” Mark surveyed the approaching flames warily. “Or else we’re gonna be barbecued.”

Seraphina closed his eyes, her face taking on an intense look of concentration. She imagined the inside of the panel. The controls, switches and wires.

Mark waited in nail biting silence. He cursed as the heat from the fire assaulted him. He shielded Seraphina’s small frame but she didn’t appear to notice anything.

They both jumped when the door slid open.

Without asking how, Mark tossed her over his shoulder and ran for it. He didn’t stop until he was outside the gates. Even then he kept going, running straight into a cluster of trees.

“You can put me down now!” Seraphina shouted, hitting his back.

He did.

She smoothed out her dress while watching as the lab went up in flames. “This is a day I never thought would come.”

Mark sat down with his back against a tree. “What will you do now?”

She sat in between his legs, resting her head against his chest and pulling his arms around so they were encircling her waist. “I don’t know yet. I’ve never been this free before. All the other times I had to worry he’d find me.”

“You could come with me.” He suggested.

She twisted her head to look up at him. “You wouldn’t be afraid I’d set your bar on fire?”

“No. I’ll sell it. You’ve been trapped here for most of your life haven’t you?”

A nod.

“You and I could go see the world. How’d that be?”

Seraphina smiled brightly. “I think I’d like that very much.”

“Just do me one thing though.”


Mark kissed the tip of her nose. “Don’t ever get so pissed off at me that you set my bedroom on fire.”

Seraphina kissed him back, smiling against his lips. “Don’t worry…” She murmured, pulling back just a tad. “I’ll set a fire all right.”

“You already have love.”