Pretty good. How are you feeling today? Milo texted.
Good. Better. What’s going on tonight? I responded.
We’re just working on some things here. You should probably just stay home and get some rest. Milo messaged.
I’m feeling better. I’d like to get out. This was, of course, only half the truth, but I wanted to see Jack.
Not tonight. Just get some sleep. I’ll talk to you tomorrow. Milo messaged back, and that was that.
They were shutting me out of their lives. If neither Jack nor Peter wanted me around anymore, it made little sense for me to be around. Milo could still talk to me. Just not at their house.
Peter could just move back home, and they could go on with their lives. Everything could go back to some semblance of normal if they just got rid of me.
I took more vitamins, drank another Red Bull, and paced the apartment.
In retrospect, all that caffeine would seem like a really bad idea. I was tired and weak, and instead of perking me up, it made me fidgety. When I finally decided to try to go to bed, sleep escaped me. Even though I was still suffering anemia induced exhaustion, my nerves and the caffeine made it impossible to sleep.
A cool mist seeped into my room through the open window, so at least I wouldn’t have to sleep in muggy ninety degree temperatures. I actually had cool comfort going for me, but I tossed and turned until the covers fell off, and then I was cold.
If only Jack would call me, then somehow we could straighten this all out. I could confess how much I really did care about him, and how little Peter meant to me.
Eventually, my body forced itself to shut down and go to sleep, and I was staring at the phone when my eyes finally closed. The last coherent thought I had before drifting off was that I really and truly loved Jack.
I heard a noise, a banging sound on my window, and my eyes flashed open. The scare from the bang drove away my fatigue, and I sat up, looking around for the source of sound.
Fog had permeated my room, sliding in from the open window. A curtain fluttered in a light breeze, letting in the light from the streetlamp, and it cast onto a figure standing in the corner of my room.
My breath caught in my throat, which was probably only a little better than screaming. I was about to ask who it was, but even in the dim fog of my room, I could see his piercing green eyes fixed on me. He knew that I had seen him, so he stepped out from the shadows.
- 24 -
He was still the most stunning thing I had ever seen. My heart fluttered, and that familiar painful tug pulled inside of me, almost demanding that I get out of bed and go to him. If I hadn’t been in shock, I might have. Instead, I just gaped at him.
“Peter,” I whispered breathlessly.
“I didn’t mean to wake you,” Peter said softly, and his voice sounded like velvet.
He moved closer to me, cautiously sitting on the edge of my bed. His thick, chestnut hair fell into his eyes, and he absently pushed it back. His skin was smooth and flawless, and his lips parted slightly, breathing me in.
He wanted to reach out and touch me, but fought it, gripping my blanket and balling his hand up into a fist. There should’ve been something menacing and frightening about him being in my room, but there wasn’t.
“What are you doing here?” I swallowed hard, gauging his reaction, but it was impossible. As always, his expression was impenetrable.
“I wanted to see you. I thought something was wrong.” His eyes flashed with something I couldn’t read, and I dropped my gaze. My mind was filled with the exotic haze of him, and I wouldn’t be able to think at all if I kept looking at him.
“Something wrong? You mean like when you nearly killed me?” I was startled that I’d even been able to say something that biting, but he clouded up whatever part of my senses controlled my inhibitions.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him flinch, and that delighted me somehow. He felt remorse about what he’d done to me, as if that were evidence that he actually cared.
“I can never apologize enough for that,” he said, and his fist clenched tighter onto my blanket.
“Funny. I haven’t even heard you apologize once.” I looked up at him, and he turned away from me, his eyes softening with guilt and shame.
“Alice, I never meant to hurt you. I just didn’t know how to protect you. Or myself.” He exhaled deeply, staring out my window for a moment before continuing. “I’ll never forgive myself for what I did. You deserve much better than me, so much better than my life, and that’s why I left.”
“I didn’t want you to leave.” I didn’t understand why but I was almost pleading with him. Part of me had never stopped yearning for him.
“Really?” Peter turned to me, surprised and relieved.
“I wanted to die when you told me you didn’t want me anymore. What does that tell you?” My hands trembled, and my heart pounded so loud I could barely hear myself speak. What was I saying? What was I doing?
“I’ll never stop wanting you. I just couldn’t hurt you again,” he said.
Gently, he placed his hand on top of mine, and electricity jolted through me. It took everything to keep breathing. All my senses went haywire.
“Why are you back?” I whispered.
“I don’t think I can stay away from you anymore.”
He leaned in towards me, but his lips bypassed mine. Instead they rested softly on my neck, kissing the skin running over my veins. A delirious moan escaped my lips, and a tantalizing heat went through me.
His hand that had been gently touching mine had changed, so it pinned down my wrist, not that I minded. I wouldn’t have fought back no matter what he did. I welcomed every touch he gave.
When the sharp prick of his teeth broke the skin, everything was more intense then I remembered. My blood surged through me, hot and silky, making my body quiver with pleasure.
I just started to feel his heart pump with mine, but this sudden darkness stung at me. Just like that, he stopped biting me.
The familiar cold shaking took over me, my body’s reaction to the separation. I collapsed back on the bed, but Peter still gripped my wrist. If he squeezed much harder, my bones would snap. He leaned over, spitting onto my floor.
“What did you do?” Peter turned me, breathing heavily. His eyes burned in agony, but his expression was completely bewildered. “Your blood was so bitter. What have you done? Did you let Jack…”
“Peter.” I shook my head and tried to reach out for him, but he let go of me and backed away.
“Alice, what have you done?” Peter repeated plaintively, and I had never seen anyone look as tortured as he did then. He ran a hand through his hair, and he looked as if he might be sick.