Eye Candy – by N.E. Rule

Wyld FLASH – January 1st 2021

Silver balloons are trapped in a net overhead, ready to free-fall onto the dance floor at midnight. Couples cling together, moving in small circles. My sister, Alexa, sways to the music in her khaki-issued jumpsuit. It doesn’t look bad with the alterations she made. She offered to do the same to mine but I just couldn’t be bothered. Alexa’s laughing as Jon whispers in her ear. They stare into each other’s matching green eyes. I jerk my head away rather than watch him nip at her neck then follow with healing kisses.

Alexa insisted there’d be plenty of singles at this New Year’s Eve party. Just like she claimed I’d find a match in this new space-station, and that a fresh start would be good, and blah, blah. I stopped listening after that. Easy for her to say, Jon travelled across two light-years to be with her. But I am alone again. But I can’t dwell on it. So, I force thoughts of my last bloody relationship out of my head and fake a damn smile for my sister.

Here on Kepler Station, the pickings are as slim as the produce in Tier 13 after a cyclical black-out. Feeling desperate, I dance with one guy, Norman. Although he has blue eyes, his hair resembles that of a furry Feledaen. I expect him to morph any minute and tongue bathe my face. I’m not feeling a connection, despite the match. So I decline a second dance under the pretense of needing a bathroom. This means I have to at least head in that direction.

That’s when I spot a dark head of hair well above the crowd, and cool grey eyes scanning the room. I sigh placing him as a Venusian. Males from his planet have mad skills. Some compare them to Italians on Earth in the 20th Century. So, it’s unlikely he’s here alone. Norman watches me from across the room giving me sad-eyes. But I avoid his gaze like flying space-trash on a galaxy-cruise.

But Mr. Venus is on my radar and closing in. I watch as he continues to scan the room. When his eyes reach mine, I blink and a grey dye seeps into my irises to cover their natural blue. Bingo, my switch worked. He heads towards me, passing through the crowd like a shooting star through the milky way. My heart pounds when he takes my hand. He pulls me onto the dance floor as a remake of Hello starts. As the synthesized voice sings, Is it me you’re looking for? he sweeps me into his arms. He smells delicious. I realize I’m staring when he repeats closer to my ear, “I’m Chase.”

“Sorry,” I smile, “I’m Dora.”

“Where have you been all my life?” His voice is husky and his smile is a tiny bit leering. I try to ignore the pick-up line because wasn’t I just wondering the same thing? 

I answer his question with another, “Have you been on this station long?”

“I’m visiting a friend for the weekend, and you?” He cocks an eyebrow.

My stomach drops at the word “friend”. I turn my head to look past his shoulder. He dips his head closer to my ear. “To clarify, it’s just a buddy.” He tips his head to catch my eyes and watch my smile return. His grin widens, and he places his mouth next to my ear, “And, I know you’re really a blue-eye.”

“Oh, sorry, I shouldn’t—” I try to pull away but he steels his arms around me.

“No, I’m willing, if you are.” To prove it, he nips my hand that’s resting on his shoulder. A line of blood appears. I quickly put my own mouth over the wound and feel it tingle.

“That was hot,” he breathes close to my neck.

“Not here,” I say.

We don’t talk for a minute as he pulls me tighter. His thigh presses between mine, and the night looks promising. We dance to three more slow songs and his hands wander over my back and skim lower down. The room heats up, and sweat trickles down my spine. By the fourth song, I can’t hold myself back. My face snuggles into his neck, and I take a tentative lick to sample his salty taste.

“Hey,” he shivers. “Well now, tiger.” His lazy smile makes my saliva thicken. Everything is tingling including my teeth. I swallow hard as he asks, “Ready to leave?” But before I can answer…

“TEN, NINE, EIGHT…” everyone is counting, and the music is a drumroll. We don’t count. Instead, we’re kissing. We don’t stop when the balloons fall around us. He already has his tongue down my throat when my sister yanks me out of his arms.

“Time to go!” Alexa says dragging me away.

“Wait, I met—” I look over my shoulder but he’s gone.

Alexa turns my face back to hers and then sneers at my eye colour. Shaking her head, she says, “He’s not a proper match. Have you learned anything?”

“I can handle it!”

“Oh? Like last time? I know you’re trying to forget Tristan but I won’t clean up another mess!” she continues pulling me towards the door.

I brace my legs to stop her dragging me, and I take a look around at the same time. Chase is already grinding up against someone else. I want to climb between them but he’s whispering in her ear and her eyelashes are fluttering over golden eyes.

“See, he’s looking for eye-candy. Proving you can control your urges with him won’t change the past.” Alexa implores.

“I need to use the bathroom.” I stare her down when she looks skeptical.

“You have two minutes.” She releases my arm and walks out with Jon.

I turn away from Chase, letting out a hiss of frustration. Even though images of Tristan’s coffin being released into a blazar still haunt me, I wanted him. Then, I notice Norman is still watching me from the other side of the dance floor. Is a bland match better than nothing? I sidle up to him and whisper my dwell-ment number in his ear. He looks in my eyes, confused but nods.

I follow Alexa and Jon through a maze of corridors, and up the final elevator to our block. I punch my code into the keypad and wave good-bye as my door swishes up. It’s not long when I hear a quiet knock. I release the door latch and Norman stands there looking shy and unsure of the invitation. It’s kind of cute. I push everyone else out of my mind.

“Come in,” I pull him in and look down the hall before letting the door fall in place. I point to the beverage dispenser in the wall, but he shakes his head.

“Is this safe?” he stares into my eyes. I force-blink a wash of tears to rinse away the grey. Dye rolls down my face like cheap mascara. “Oh, there you are.” He smiles and smooths his thumbs over both cheeks.

 Not wanting to waste any more time, I pull him onto the couch and immediately kiss him. He isn’t terrible, and I can feel the hunger build in my stomach.My saliva is already thickening, and my fangs release from my gums. I drag my eyes up to his and watch desire darken his gaze. I snarl as my mouth moves to his neck. I lick the pulse behind his ear and drag my tongue to his throat. He’s moaning when I sink my teeth in. The blood rushes into my mouth and I gulp– then my door swooshes up. I lick once more when I hear a gasp and someone rush towards us.

“PANDORA!” Alexa pulls us apart. Blood spurts from his neck and sprays a red mist over the beige carpet. Norman covers his throat discreetly with his palm.

“What are you doing!” Alexa loses it. “You promised to wait for a match.”

“I think…” but now I’m flustered and I look uncertainly at Norman. Did I misread?

“Do you at least have healing pods?” Alexa asks but does a double-take when realizes it’s not Chase. Still, she keeps her gaze on Norman’s neck.

He knows what she needs because he pulls his hand away from his throat. The bleeding has stopped, and the puncture marks are already closing up.

“Oh,” Alexa looks away embarrassed. “Okay, never mind, carry on.” She rambles and hits the portal release on her way out.

Norman lifts his gaze to mine. The desire hasn’t faded, and his eyes have darkened to a blue matching mine exactly. He smiles and his fangs glisten as he reaches for me. Okay, maybe this match won’t be so bland after all.

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Author Bio: N.E. Rule attended Ryerson University for creative writing and business communications. Her portfolio includes software specs and marketing copy, etc., However, lately, the characters in her head are getting louder and refuse to wait for her spare-time to come out and play.

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