[chapter four]

Disclaimer: If you've heard of them, I don't own them. Everything else is mine, so no stealing, pretty please. ;-)

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Jimmie bolted upright in bed, his lungs gasping for air and his forehead beaded in sweat. His eyes shot open and were met with inky darkness all around him.

He'd been dreaming about her.

Vrai.

He didn't even know her last name, and yet, he'd just been dreaming that they were naked and sweaty and…

Well, that was entirely too sexy a dream to be having about a woman he hardly knew.

As Jimmie's brain and breath gradually slowed to a more normal rate, he realized the darkness surrounding him was too dark. He glanced over and his clock was unlit, and no lights shone through the windows.

Great. On top of everything else, they were having a blackout.

Didn't that just figure, he thought wearily.

Jimmie rubbed his stubble-roughened chin as he swung his legs to the side of the bed and slowly climbed out. He knew he wouldn't be going back to sleep for a while as he tried to get the memory of the erotic dream he'd just had to fade from his mind, so he may as well find some candles and wait for the lights to come back on.

Of course, he realized, candles and matches were downstairs. And between here and there were boxes, stairs, and a hundred other objects he knew he wouldn't be able to navigate in the dark. Sighing, he tugged on a pair of boxers he felt on the floor and slowly made his way towards the door.

The house was still new enough to him that he bumped and bruised his way to the stairs, almost tripping down them on a pair of shoes laying at the top of the stairs.

In a flash, he felt…something. A guide…almost like having eyes in the darkness. Trusting his feelings of confidence, he wended his way downstairs to his stash of candles and matches in a kitchen drawer.

Just as he was ready to spark the match and light the family room, he reconsidered and raised his hands above his head, striking the match the way Vrai had instructed him the day he had first met her. The sudden brightness of the light hurt his eyes in the darkness just before the candle caught and warmly lit the room.

He noticed the emergency candle was red. Idly, he wondered if red had some special symbolism, like all the other colours Vrai had said did. He smiled at the memory of her chastising him about picking out candles.

Slowly, his eyes rolled back to the flame of the candle, and he tried to clear his mind and just concentrate on the flickering candle, as though Vrai were coaching him.

He didn't really believe, but he might as well take a look and see what he could find.

All he saw in the flame was her smiling face, her green eyes reflecting the light, her hair aflame in a darker red than ever before.

With a huff, Jimmie looked away from the flame.

He needed to stop thinking about her. About power. About candles and belief and nature and earth and everything else.

He had a job, he had a life, he had lots of other things to think about.

So why was he obsessing about a woman he barely knew?

Especially a woman who seemed to have such a hold on him.

He was the one in control, not some witch, not Mother Nature, not candles and chants.

Him.

Or so he'd like to think.

With a sigh, he settled against the sofa and waited for dawn or the lights to come back on, whichever came first.

chapter five