By Hank Eder
Trey sat at the City News Café on South Beach, surfing the web and sipping latte. He tried to ignore the four Goth posers at a nearby table prattling about some bodies that had washed ashore on the jetty. “No evidence of foul play,” a green-haired, pierced-lip, maybe female droned nasally. Trey shuddered and took a sip of his latte. “They look like they all just walked into the ocean.”
Trey tuned her out, sat back and visualized his perfect lover. She would be a pixie with a turned-up nose, elfin ears, and spiky hair. Seconds later he sat dumbstruck when his vision fluttered into the room. She sensed his fixation and walked right up to him. The gleam in her emerald eyes rendered him speechless. His eyes fixated on the Tinkerbell tattoo gracing her toned left arm.
“Aren’t you going to ask me to sit down?” she chimed.
Trey blinked stupidly several times, but managed to find his wits, and he smiled and pointed to the seat next to him. He’d been coming to this café for three months, hoping to meet a woman, but not quite expecting it to happen.
“Please join me.” She sat down and Trey waved for the waitress. His new friend ordered a Kahlua mocha latte and gazed into Trey’s eyes. “I’m Trey,” he announced. “Who are you?”
“Dahlia. I came here looking for you.”
Trey smiled, drinking her in with his eyes. “Okay. Whatever you say. I’m just glad you’re here.”
Dahlia’s smile was at once inviting and forbidding. Trey was uncertain what he saw in her eyes. “No, really,” she insisted. “I came here looking for you.” For a split second, Trey thought he saw something flick across her eyes, like those clear, extra eyelids on an alligator. No, just a trick of the light.
Dahlia’s drink arrived. She took a small sip and licked her lips. “I guess you want an explanation. There is none. I just knew I had to come here tonight to find you.”
“Just like that?”
“Yes. Just like that.” Her eyes locked his and held him captive, until the drone of the green Goth girl broke the spell.
“It creeps me out,” she hissed. “I don’t know. It just does.”
Dahlia reached across the table and touched Trey’s hand. He felt a jolt all the way to his feet. “Let’s finish our drinks and take a walk, okay?”
Trey nodded, and a few minutes later they were walking down Ocean Drive. A nearly full moon glittered all the way across the ocean, inviting them to walk in the sand near the water’s edge. Before they reached the shore, Dahlia pulled Trey close and kissed him. He yielded and kissed her deeply, breathing in her scent. Her patchouli left him breathless, but there was something more, almost like salt mist and seaweed in her hair.
Dahlia took a step into the water. “Swim with me,” she said.
“With our clothes on?”
Taking hold of his hand, she pulled him toward the dark water. “Yes. Come on, Trey. Spontaneity really turns me on.”
In the cold blanket of moonlight, Dahlia looked unearthly, like some evanescent faerie haunting his lonely dreams. Except here she was, scented of patchouli and dark mystery, at once alluring and dangerous. She beckoned him into the water with the siren song of her eyes. Trey took the bait. He would dash himself to pieces on her rocks if she asked it of him. Willingly, he followed her into the pounding surf.
It took a long time for the water to get past their waists. When they finally cleared the sandbar, the water was up to their necks. Trey stopped and tried planting his feet firmly into the sand. Dahlia turned and smiled.
“Why are you stopping?”
“I know what you are,” he announced.
“Of course you do. You called for me.”
Her dark eyes mirrored the moonlight. She wrapped herself around him and kissed him deeply. He did not resist.
“Are you going to kill me like the others?”
She held him tightly with her legs and stroked his hair. “Why should I kill you?” she whispered. “You called me, and I came. You are my mate.”
She kissed him again and they sank beneath the surface of the sea, leaving only the faintest of ripples.