Peter walked over to lean against the wall, and Jack moved smoothly around me, putting himself between Peter and me. This was the way things would go for awhile, and it was too early to already get annoyed by them. I went over and sat on the couch.
“Since you brought Peter back, I assume it was a rousing success.” Milo looked at Peter out of the corner of his eye. He’d only met Peter once, and that hadn’t gone that great.
“You could say that,” I said
Jack sat next to me, and Peter glanced around the room diffidently, managing not to look happy or upset. I pulled my knees up to my chest and leaned in closer in the crook of Jack’s arm, but he was unnaturally tense.
I would’ve loved to ease his fears, but I was preoccupied by this Bobby character that was all but sitting on my little brother’s lap.
“It looks like you’ve had a pretty busy time without us,” I said as casually as I could.
“You could say that,” Milo laughed.
Milo shared one of this disgustingly sweet looks with him. Bobby leaned down and kissed him on the lips, and I could hear his heart race faster. My stomach twisted in knots, out of disgust and hunger, and I didn’t appreciate that combination at all.
It wasn’t the fact that Milo was kissing a dude that I found so upsetting. It was that he was kissing anyone.
“I think I’m gonna crash,” Peter said. He looked to Jack, who tightened his arm around me, as if he expected Peter to tear me from him. “Is my room in the same place?”
“It’s exactly as you left it,” Jack said as evenly as he could.
“Alright.” Peter nodded at Jack, then he turned and went upstairs.
“That guy has weird vibes,” Bobby said, speaking for the first time since I’d met him.
He stared after the space where Peter had been and shook his head to toss his bangs out of his dark eyes. To comfort him, Milo rubbed his back, and Bobby smiled, settling back into the chair with him. Is it too early to say that I really hate Bobby?
“So Bobby,” I said, and he smiled clumsily. “Are you gay?” Jack laughed, filling me with a familiar glee. Once Peter left, he relaxed a bit.
“Alice!” Milo snapped, embarrassed.
“What?” I asked.
Nothing was overly gay about Bobby, other than the fact that he had kissed my brother. His clothes were fashionable scene apparel, skinny jeans and slip on Vans. He might be wearing eyeliner, but he might just have dark eyelashes too.
“No, it’s okay,” Bobby laughed. “Yeah. I am gay.”
“How old are you?” I asked pointedly.
“Twenty,” Bobby said, and I bristled.
Milo was a vampire, and thanks to they’re rapid maturation, he looked about nineteen or so. In actuality, he was barely sixteen, and he was making out with a twenty-year-old guy. Not cool. In fact, it was so not cool that I planned to freak out on Jack for letting this happen while I was away. (At this point, it had not occurred to me that Jack was born over 40 years ago, and I wasn’t yet eighteen.)
“Alice, you were in Finland for weeks!” Milo exaggerated, sensing my growing anger. “I’m pretty sure you have more exciting things to do than interrogate my boyfriend.”
Boyfriend? They were already up to that terminology? It had been months and months until I started referring to Jack as my boyfriend. In fact, in conversation, I still don’t think I would use that word. It sounded too weird to say about him. Once you’re over the age of twenty-five or you’re no longer human, the word “boyfriend” no longer fits.
“Yeah. What happened in Finland?” Jack turned to look at me.
“It’s too much to talk about right now,” I brushed him off.
“Seriously?” Jack raised an eyebrow. “That’s what you’re giving me? After weeks of this? You’re gonna come home and tell me it’s too much to talk about?”
“Well, I just don’t want to upset you needlessly.”
“You were in Finland with Peter! And you wouldn’t answer my calls!” Jack was all but yelling. “You’ve upset me plenty already, and it didn’t bother you then!”
“Of course it bothered me.” I pulled away from him. “I thought about you constantly. But I knew if I said anything you would rush over there and get yourself killed.”
“I would get myself killed?” He turned to face me more and his expression got even more severe. “What the hell were you involved with, Alice? And what happened to Ezra?”
“Yeah, what is the deal with him?” Milo asked unhelpfully.
“It’s all very complicated.” I shook my head, afraid that if I told Jack what had happened he would… I don’t know. Yell at me a lot and then try to beat up Peter and Ezra.
“I know you were with lycan. That’s who had Peter.” Jack bit his lip, looking down at me. “I should’ve gone over as soon as you told me but…” If he had gone there, everything would’ve turned out much worse, and I think he kinda knew that.
“Lycan?” Milo sat up sharply, almost knocking Bobby off the chair. “You mean werewolves?”
“Not exactly,” I sighed. “Not at all, really. They’re just vampires that live in the woods. They were after Peter, but Ezra made an exchange with them, and we came home. End of story. Most of the trip was spent just looking for Peter.”
“What was the exchange?” Milo asked, but by Jack’s expression, he’d just figured it out.
“Peter let them do that?” Jack whispered.
“He didn’t have a choice. Ezra… did what he had to do,” I explained as best I could.
“What are you talking about? What happened?” Milo demanded.
“Nothing. Never mind,” I said. Jack stared at me intently, his blue eyes full of too much anguish. “Nothing happened to me. Okay? I barely even left the hotel room. Nobody tried to hurt me. I never got in any fights. Everything was fine. Honest.”
Jack wasn’t completely convinced, but he wrapped his arm around me, so I would curl up to him. Milo was perplexed, but he dropped the subject.
Milo had never been out of the area, either, so he pressed for more information about traveling. I told him what little I had seen and how terrified I had been on the plane.
Once Bobby started falling asleep, Milo decided it was time to excuse himself and head up to bed. He scooped Bobby up in his arms, carrying him upstairs to their room, and I gaped after him. We had to have a very long talk about all of this as soon as I had the chance.