She lit the candle, and saw more, forming a circle around the room and she proceeded to light every single one. There had to be over a hundred candles.
Nothing. No furniture, no decorations, nothing else in the room, but for something large hidden under a sheet that might’ve been white at one time. There also was a fireplace with more candles on the mantel. Clair went over, lit them, and saw the only decoration in the room—a large, oval mirror positioned over the fireplace.
Turning around she faced the sheet. With a hard yank, it came off and she frowned. A large toy soldier that, if smaller, would be a nutcracker, stood in the center of the room facing the fireplace.
It was the strangest thing she ever saw. In fact, Clair never saw a nutcracker this big in her life. They were always small.
A cold draft hit her and Clair had the sudden urge to start the fire. The chill seemed to penetrate the whole house.
She filled the fireplace with logs, found some paper, and matches, and began to work at it. It was weird how the thing didn’t seem to want to light at first. Almost as if, something might be preventing the flame from catching.
“Come on,” she mumbled, striking another match. This time it caught.
A gust of blue flame ignited, shot out, and knocked Clair backwards onto the hard floor. The single flame seemed to burst out of the fireplace, moved around the room, snaked around the soldier. She watched it, fascinated by the way it moved, eventually returning to the fireplace and lighting the wood and newspaper she’d stuff inside the hearth.
It crackled, burned, and heated the room nicely. Clair slowly got back up to her feet, not taking her eyes off the fire.
“Maybe I’ve had too much to drink with my medicine,” she said to herself, pressing her hand to her forehead. “Or maybe the damn tumor is finally starting to fuck with me now.”
Her eye caught the mirror, and her breath left in a rush. Standing behind her, she saw a man—a naked man, watching her as she watched him.
In complete panic mode, she turned only there wasn’t a man just the toy soldier, but the soldier felt as if it was watching her. She could actually feel his eyes upon her, and it was a bit nerve racking. She hated being watched.
“What the hell is going on with me?” Her hand shook as she reached out to touch the goy soldier. Right before she touched it a hand shot out, grabbing hers, the wooden arm and hand crumbling to the floor at her feet. She screamed.
The man she’d seen in the mirror showed from inside the toy soldier. He held onto her wrist as the rest of the soldier crumbled, revealing his entire body. He took a step forward and left the shell of the toy behind as he came to life. Then the wooden shell simply fell apart around his feet and crumbled into nothing more than wood.
She went down to her knees in shock.
“Clair Meloni,” he said once he was fully out of the tin soldier’s frame, the pieces everywhere around him, his voice so thick, and so deep, it made her shiver.
His body was a brick of muscle, not an inch of fat upon him. The hair upon his head screamed sex appeal. Long blond locks streaked with black, touched his shoulders. Big blue eyes looked down at her, long sexy lashes touched his face, his lips full and sensuous He looked like some mythical God—a very naked one, standing before her!
His deep, rumbling voice murmured, “It’s time.”