“I’m sorry. I didn’t… I don’t know.” He looked away from me and shook his head. “That’s not who I am now. That was just me coming to terms with being a vampire, and being cool and sexy in a way I never was before.”
“I see.” I swallowed. It wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t as good as I had hoped. Like under five would’ve been an acceptable number for me.
“I’m really sorry.”
“No, it’s okay. You have nothing to be sorry for. You didn’t do anything wrong.” I wrapped my arms tightly around myself and I couldn’t meet his gaze. “So… did you… have you like actually had relationships since you turned?”
“Kinda, once,” Jack said, looking more comfortable with this. “A couple years ago. But other than that, for the past like fourteen years I’ve been celibate. So I think that counts for something.”
“Mmm.” I refused to confirm or deny that, because I wasn’t sure. “Why did you stop?”
“You had sex with a lot of girls, and then you became celibate. Why?” I tried to concentrate on the fact that that was a long time ago, and he stopped. He wasn’t still some kind of rich playboy that just went out and hooked up with hot girls just because he could.
“It was boring. It wasn’t who I was, and it didn’t feel right,” he shrugged. “What about you? What’s your story?”
“I don’t have a story,” I said, and he laughed. “What? I don’t.”
“Really?” Jack gave me a stern look. “Cause I’m pretty sure I just picked you up the other night, and you had been making out with some guy.”
“Well, that’s it. That’s all there is to tell.”
I grimaced at the thought of it and felt even worse talking about it sober. Regardless of what our actual status was, it felt like cheating, and it was stupid and pointless. I vowed to never drink alcohol again.
“That’s the only time you’ve ever kissed a guy? I mean, other than me… or Peter.” He was dubious, and my hesitation made him nervous, but he didn’t understand that there really wasn’t anything to tell.
“No, I’ve kissed guys before,” I admitted. “But everything is exactly the same. I’d go to some party with Jane, and there’d be some guy there that I would kiss for a little bit. But it’d never be anything more than that. I’ve kissed a couple guys when I was drinking. The end.”
“Really?” He had moved on from skeptical to bewildered.
“Why is that so hard to believe?”
“I don’t know.” He settled back into the couch again, furrowing his brow. “I guess I must just be impartial.”
“What are you talking about?” I turned to face him more, gently pressing my knee into his leg as I did.
“Well…” Jack laughed nervously, but that didn’t affect how perfect it sounded, or the way it sent happy shivers down me. “Like tonight, when you walked into that room, everybody turned and stared. You’re kind of irresistible.”
“That’s different,” I said. “That’s just because of my blood.”
No sooner had the words fallen out of my mouth then a painful realization gripped me. My heart ached and the color drained from my face.
“What?” He moved closer, unsure if he should touch me and console me or if that would only make it worse.
“It’s my blood.” I bit the inside of my cheek as I worked it out in my head. “That’s it, isn’t it? That’s why you’re…”
Jack was attracted to me for the same reason Peter was, but on an entirely different level. And unlike Peter, who should feel bonded to me no matter what, Jack’s would all but disappear when I turned. My blood would stop smelling so sweet, and all my appeal would disappear.
“This is all because of the way I smell and taste and the way my stupid heart beats!”
“No!” Jack looked offended. “No! That has nothing to do with the way I feel about you!”
“I walked into a room full of gorgeous people, and they all turned to look at me, plain, ordinary me.” An awful lump swelled in my throat, making it difficult to talk. “The only thing that makes me irresistible to them, to you, is my blood.”
“Alice!” Sitting up, he looked at me directly. “Okay, fine, you want the truth? Yes! The vampire in me does want the blood in you, more than you can ever imagine.
“But if that was it, then I would’ve just bitten you a long time ago, or just forgotten about you. I’ve been hungry before. I’ve tasted things better than you, okay? You might be a fine wine in the vampire realm, but you’re not the only one and you’re certainly not the finest on the shelf.”
“Is that supposed to make me feel better? Because it’s really not,” I mumbled, and he shook his head.
“No, I’m just saying your blood isn’t that amazing,” Jack said. “It’s not the only thing binding me to you. If it were, then I wouldn’t want you to turn so bad, and I cannot wait for you turn. You, not your blood, are amazing.”
“You really can’t wait for me turn?” I looked at him hopefully, biting my lip.
“Are you kidding?” Jack laughed. “I’m dying to kiss you.”
“Humans are capable of kissing just as much as you are.” I leaned in towards him, and while he didn’t move in closer, he didn’t move away either. His breathing had deepened and his eyes met mine, searching for resistance.
He placed his hand on my cheek, resting his thumb on my skin, and leaned in to kiss me. I’m sure it was supposed to be a sweet, short kiss, but whenever he touched me, it ignited something inside me I couldn’t control. I threw my arms around his neck and kissed him greedily, and I loved the frantic feel of his tongue against mine.
Wonderful hot tingles spread through me and my stomach fluttered. He sat back on the couch, and I moved onto his lap so I straddled him. His hands searched all over me, smoldering against my skin.
He kissed me so desperately, as if he was terrified to stop. I dug my fingers into his hair, pulling him as close to me as I possibly could.
I stopped kissing him just long enough for me to pull his shirt off. He looked at me questioningly, but I pressed my mouth to his before either of us could think about it. Pushing myself against him, his fingers dug hungrily into my flesh.