Music of Souls (Chapter 8, page 1 of 3)

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Chapter 8

It had been five days since Elisabeth. Jackson longed to erase her memory, but thoughts of her invaded him constantly. These feelings were totally foreign and unwelcome. While hunting, he compared each victim to her. No one came close. On three occasions, he merely influenced his victims, quickly fed, and made them forget him. The rest of the time, he just went through the motions. The fun ones seemed so stupid, they were pitiful and the smart ones were so tedious, he wanted to scream. His head was not in the game. How could this woman have so profound an effect in the span of five minutes? Her essence had gripped him; she haunted him. That damn dream appeared every night as well. The only relief he found came from composing. If nothing else, all this upheaval had given him back his musical voice.

He decided to take a walk to Coronet Park and grabbed a bag of bread on his way out for the ducks. Walking a path that led to the pond, he found the distinct smell of human. Must be crowded here today. Coming through the clearing to where the park benches were, he realized there was only one person. Elisabeth sat on a bench with her back to him. Both her scent and the fire running though her hair were unmistakable. He stopped, frozen in his tracks, feeling something he had not felt in many, many years-fear. Although totally unnerved, he knew he could not let himself lose it again, yet had to speak to her, see if he could figure her out. He noticed she held a sketchpad and was intently drawing-an artist? He approached, yet not close enough to spook her, and trying to sound nonchalant said, "Fancy meeting you here." She quickly closed her sketchbook and turned to face him with a shocked expression. So much for not spooking her.

"Hello," she said while clutching her sketchpad as if her life depended on it. He wondered if she felt as possessive of her art as he did his music.

"Do you mind?" He motioned to the bench next to her.

She shrugged. Spotting the bag, she narrowed her brow. "You don't strike me as the type to feed ducks."

"Oh, I have friends here." He sat down and ducks started to make their way toward him. Jackson began tossing pieces of bread. He couldn't remember ever feeling this nervous. "I tried to follow you the other night to apologize for my behavior."

"Really? Do you do that often?"

"No, I don't." He inhaled deeply. "The truth is I am very attracted to you and I thought you shared that attraction. I'm sorry I jumped to that assumption wrongly."

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