HM DS Cute – Moonlit Encounter

Claire slowly walked through the desolate town of Forget-Me-Not-Valley, humming a song to herself. Her bright blue eyes roamed the empty street, lit only by the moonlight. A stray kitten paused to stare at her, mewling loudly as she started to pass. The young woman squatted, offering a bare hand for the gray tuxedo to sniff.

It inched closer, one hesitant step at a time. A smile played about the her lips, a lock of longish pale blonde hair falling over her shoulder. The kitten pounced, swatting at the strands with it's tiny white paw. Claire slowly picked the feline up, allowing it to cuddle against her chest as she stood. A loud purr was soon audible, the kitten kneading her faded blue overalls and long-sleeved lilac flannel as she began walking again.

She stroked the kitten's soft pelt, ignoring the occasional pinpricks that went through her garments. A slight click, just loud enough to be heard, caught her attention. Claire half turned, brow arched. To meet someone this late was unusual. She strode up the path to Romana's mansion, the heels of her brown work boots clicking on the cobblestone.

Someone was standing in front of the fountain, nearly motionless. Her pace slowed, not recognizing the young man. She could feel her 'instincts' from living in the city waking again. Wariness gnawed at the back of her mind.

Yet this man's presence sent an unexplained shiver down her spine. But not of fear. It seemed the allure of mystery was cloaking him, like the folds of the night.

He finally turned as she reached the open gates, calmly taking in her appearance. Claire uncomfortably shifted her weight, returning the gesture.

Chin length hair that grew to the shoulders at the back, swept in casual disarray, as pale as the celestial sphere that hung in the star speckled sky. The ends of his frayed locks were like ivory, coated in transparent gold. A pale complexion, offset by icy blue eyes. The top of his long-sleeved, silken white shirt, imprinted with black rose designs, was roguishly unbuttoned. Revealing more of his chiseled chest than modesty allowed, despite the bracing night air. A slight flush was appearing on Claire's cold cheeks.

Silver glinted at his throat and wrist; A simple sliver chain and an odd bracelet. The latter clashed with his midnight blue slacks, something bulging in the left pocket. A suave smile played about the young man's lips.

"Good evening … It is not every night that I have the honor of meeting a beautiful young lady such as yourself," he said with a slight bow of his head, his tone pleasant. Charming, even. Claire swallowed, blush deepening.

Still, what one could find attractive about semi-outgrown and worn out clothes bemused her. The only prominent possibility was that they were tight across her mediocre chest. Seeing as she remained silent, the young man spoke again. "Nonetheless … I am surprised to see someone else at this hour. You could get hurt," he pointed out calmly, yet teasingly.

An uneasy smile touched Claire's lips. "I can take care of myself," she replied, though stepping back as he moved forward.

One of the double doors behind him suddenly swung open, an enraged Lumina striding out. The brunette glared at the young man, fingers curling into fists. "Give it back!" she snapped, hazel eyes flashing.

His hand slid into his pocket, unconcerned. When he withdrew it, a necklace dangled from his fingers. "You mean this?" he inquired calmly, giving it a slight shake. The strand of diamonds glittered in the moonlight, the moonstone pendant gleaming. Lumina's jaw clenched.

"You're the thief that always sends a notice ahead, aren't you?" the brunette asked coldly, his amused calm angering her further.

He nodded. "You are correct. I am known as Phantom Skye," the rouge admitted with a shrug, his expression nonchalant. His smile became teasing, playful. "A prince for all the ladies to love," Skye added sweetly, a hint of sarcasm underlying his tone.

"Very funny," Lumina said, her tone clipped. Claire suppressed the urge to roll her eyes, marveling at the rouge's ego. The brunette strode forward, intent on retrieving the necklace.

"Now, now … Such a beautiful face should not be marred by raw anger," Skye said charmingly, calmly taking a step back. Scarlet flooded Lumina's cheeks. He half turned, noticing Claire had stiffened. A twinge of jealousy. The rouge winked at her, shaking his head slightly as his gaze flicked back to Lumina.

Claire followed his eyes, curious. The brunette had stopped, staring at the Phantom thief. A slight breeze toyed with their hair, sweeping through the nearly silent area. Only the fountain's running water was audible.

Skye suddenly broke into a run.

"Hey!" Lumina shouted, startled out of her daydream. The rouge's fingertips brushed against Claire's skin as he passed, sending a chill through her body. She shivered, turning as the brunette dashed after Skye.

Claire sighed, staring after the duo. It was said that mystery was as powerful as attraction. She was experiencing both – The Phantom's teasing gaze dancing in mind's eye.