I would’ve loved some time to catch up with Jack, but I felt drained from the trip. Being away from home had been much harder than I had thought. Jack wanted to go to bed with me, and even with my exhaustion, I would’ve been happy to oblige.
Except I knew the only reason he insisted so hard was because Peter slept across from me, and I refused to let his paranoia control our relationship. He had to get used to Peter being around, and I needed to get some rest before trying to be alone with Jack.
Jack walked me up to his room, kissing me on the forehead before going back down to the den to sleep. I curled up in his unmade bed, falling asleep in his mass of blankets almost immediately. It felt so good to be home.
When I woke up, I felt an instant relief being in my own bed. After a long trip away, nothing felt better than that. Well, almost nothing.
I stretched, working the stiffness from my limbs. My reunion with Jack had been anticlimactic. I allowed myself to get distracted by my brother’s new boyfriend and Jack’s worry over Finland. I’d have to have a very long talk with Milo about this Bobby fellow, but I had more pressing needs in mind.
Along with that familiar thirst burning just below the surface, I had a desperate ache for Jack. A bit of jet lag and stress made it too bittersweet for me to greet him the way he deserved, and I had to rectify that immediately.
When I walked out into the hall, I could smell Bobby. That sweet, delightful scent of hot blood coursing through his veins. His heart pounded quickly, like a frightened rabbit.
I tensed up, thinking he was in some kind of danger, but I realized he was just excited. This was confirmed by a happy moan from him, and a throaty laugh from Milo. My stomach tightened with nausea and anxiety as I thought about what Milo was doing in the room next to mine.
It was completely unforgivable that he would have a sex life before I did. The “talk” was becoming more imminent, but I did not want to walk in on whatever they were doing right now to administer it.
Peter’s bedroom door opened, making me jump. I’d brought him home, but it was still a shock to see someone in his room. It had been shut off for so long, like a shrine for a dead loved one, even though it was the exact opposite of that.
“Oh. Hey,” Peter said, nodding at me.
“Hey,” I replied. We stood across from each other, staring awkwardly, so I assumed I should make conversation. “Did you sleep okay? I bet its nice being back in your own bed.”
“Yeah. It is.” Peter nodded again and shifted uncomfortably.
“You’re up!” Jack announced too loudly from the bottom of the stairs and raced up to us. He was happy to see me, but the arm he threw around my shoulder was too tight to be anything but for show. “I thought you were going to sleep all day!”
“Sorry. I guess I had sleep to catch up on,” I smiled at him. His grip around my shoulders was borderline painful.
“I’m just gonna… go,” Peter said. He turned and walked down the stairs, ignoring the look on Jack’s face.
Once Peter was out of sight, I wriggled out of Jack’s arms. It felt weird to pull away from him, but I wasn’t a big fan of his jealousy. Jack realized what he was doing, and his expression changed to one of a little boy that got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He shoved his hands in his pockets and looked apologetically at me.
“Sorry,” Jack shrugged. “I’m just getting used to this. You’ve had all this time to readjust to Peter but the last time I saw him…” He shivered and looked away from me. I’m not sure what he was thinking about it exactly, but it was either Peter kissing me or trying to kill him.
“It’s okay.” I put my hand on his chest. His muscles felt warm and strong, and his heart beat gently. I leaned in towards him, preparing to give him the kiss I had been wanting to give him for ages, but a fresh scent completely diverted my attention.
Just down the hall, Milo had apparently drawn blood from Bobby, and the scent of his blood was so strong and intoxicating, my mouth instantly began to water. My stomach didn’t exactly growl, but it was suddenly ravenous. Bobby’s heart rate quickened even more, and I could associate the sound with the smell, making it irresistible. My body flushed with heat, and all I could think/hear/feel was his blood, and how badly I needed it.
The bloodlust had taken me over entirely.
- 12 -
I had my hand on Jack’s chest, and the next thing I knew, I was racing down the hall, to Milo’s room in the turret. I awoke in the moment with Jack’s hand tightly clamped on my arm. He stopped me from getting very far, but it was disturbing that I had blacked out for a second and had no control over myself. I’d been in a trance, and I wasn’t completely out of it yet. At least now I was aware of what was happening, but my desire to feed didn’t lessen.
“You need to eat,” Jack said.
“Yeah, no kidding.” I went towards Milo’s room again, but he stopped me.
“No, not him.”
He pulled me in the opposite direction, away from the blood. The rational part of me understood what he was doing, that I did not want to feed on my brother’s boyfriend. But my thirst made me irate that he would take me away from the blood.
“Come on, Alice. There’s food downstairs.”
“Not good food!” I protested.
I’d never had fresh blood as a vampire, so I didn’t have anything to compare with it. But fresh blood smelled so much better than bag blood. My body craved it far more intensely, making it almost impossible to resist.
Jack was stronger than me, and at least some of me knew he was right, so I let him drag me away.
Mae was just coming up from the basement when we got downstairs, her arms overflowing with cold bags of blood. Apparently, Ezra was eating more than normal too. She saw the look on my face and gave me a bag before I changed my mind about sparing Bobby.
As I gulped it down, loving the exotic rush of pleasure that ran through me, I overheard her talking to Jack. Ezra was still weak and required lots of rest and food, and Peter had left to do something. She was vague on the details, but I’m not sure if that was for Jack’s sake or because she really didn’t know.
By the time I finished my bag, she disappeared back into her bedroom to tend to Ezra, and that deep wooziness hit me. I’d just woken up, and I was preparing to pass out again.
I grabbed onto Jack, hoping that hanging onto him would make me more alert. He laughed at my struggle against sleep, and it resounded through me. He kissed my forehead and held me in his arms, and that was too comfortable for me to fight to stay awake anymore.