“I was never a bloodwhore,” Bobby said quickly. “I did like the way it felt, being bitten.” He looked at me. “You’ve been bitten, right?”
“It’s pretty wonderful,” he smiled. “But it’s even better when you’re in love. All their feelings rush over you, and if the guy biting you is a douche bag, it can feel pretty dirty and terrible, even when it feels so good.”
That was exactly why Ezra had been in such horrible shape in Finland, but I wasn’t eager to think of that, so I nodded for Bobby to continue.
“Anyway, I started hanging out around V, looking for vampires, and then I met Milo.” Bobby looked at the ground. “It was like love at first sight. That sounds like a line, but it’s true.”
“So you just saw him, and that was it?” I asked.
“Pretty much. He just walked over to me and we started dancing, and kissing, and talking, and we’ve been together ever since.” Bobby smiled wider. “Milo’s a pretty great guy.”
He ran his hands through his hair, trying to smooth out his side bangs. His dark eyes had that weird wistful quality to them and his cheeks were reddening lightly, so I knew he was thinking about Milo. I didn’t doubt that he really did care about my brother, but I just couldn’t seem to like him.
Well, that wasn’t even it exactly. I actually did kinda like Bobby, or I was starting to at least. I studied him closely, trying to figure out what about him was really bothering me. Was it just that he was Milo’s boyfriend and I wouldn’t like anybody he dated?
That’s when it finally dawned on me. I didn’t like Bobby because I didn’t like him. My first reaction to him had been suspicion. That had just been because I was surprised he was human, and I was protective of Milo. Dislike was perfectly reasonable, but I shouldn’t have been able to feel that way. Not if Milo and Bobby were really supposed to be together, the way my blood had been meant for Peter.
The reason everything had gotten so complicated with Jack and Peter was because of how fluid the bond is. Jack, Peter, and Ezra, and now Milo and I, were held together by a similar blood bond.
Milo and I were especially bonded because we were siblings in real life as well as in vampires. That meant I should have a great affinity for whoever he was bonded with. It would be impossible for me to hate who he was meant for, and yet, I had instantly disliked Bobby.
I understood transference in all of this. I had broken my bond with Peter, and I knew that love could be stronger than blood. But that probably wasn’t the case with Bobby. He was just a nice guy that Milo would be into for awhile, but not forever.
I suddenly felt sorry for Bobby, because, Milo would break his heart. Not the other way around.
“And you don’t have to worry about us,” Bobby was saying, drawing me from my thoughts. He tired of trying to straighten out his hair and flipped up the hood of his sweater. I hadn’t really been listening to him, so I just stared, hoping he would elaborate. “I mean, Milo, I guess. He’s not like that guy Jane was with, and I’m not like her, either. That’s not our thing.”
“No, I get that,” I nodded. Maybe at first the idea had crossed my mind, but I didn’t think so anymore.
“I understand the appeal of her lifestyle. It’s something that you can fall into pretty easily.” Bobby twisted the drawstring to his hood around and looked at the ground.
I had a feeling that despite all his protests, it was a lifestyle that Bobby had come precariously close to getting into, and when things ended with Milo, there was an even greater chance that that’s how he would end up. Thanks to Milo, he’d be even more hooked on the feel of being bitten.
“So, you know what it’s like, probably better than anyone in the house.” I leaned across the island, looking at him more intently. “You get where Jane is coming from. If the situation were reversed, if you were a bloodwhore, what could somebody say to get you to stop?”
“That’s a good question.” He exhaled and stared off, thinking. “I don’t know really. As long as it still feels good, it’s a pretty hard thing to convince somebody to stop. I think it has to start hurting her, and then you have to keep reminding her how much it hurts.”
“How does it hurt her?” I asked. “I know that it’s killing her, but she’s unaware of that. Like, any time she feels like crap, she just gets bit, and then feels better, right?”
“Not exactly,” Bobby shook his head. “Immediately after, you feel really good. But shortly after that is when you feel the worst. The loss of blood really damages your body, and you start to feel what it’s going through. And you have the residuals of the vampire you’re with, and if she is picking up random guys at the club, they’re probably dicks. Meaning she’s left with none of the euphoria but all of their emotions and how they feel about you, which is usually pretty shitty.
“It’s after that, after the bad feelings fade and you get your strength back, that’s when you go back to the club,” he went on. “You forget how bad they made you feel, how incredibly weak you were, and for some reason, all you can remember is the pleasure of the bite.”
“Huh.” I eyed him up, and he noticed, so he shrugged sheepishly. “Not that your information hasn’t been helpful, but I’m starting to think you picked up a lot more vampires than you let on.”
“It’s different with Milo,” Bobby insisted with a wounded look in his eyes. “Honest. You don’t have to believe me, but it’s more than biting and fooling around. So… Please don’t tell him, okay? He knows that he’s not the first vampire I was with, but he doesn’t know how many were before him. I don’t want him to think that’s what this is about, because it’s not.”
“I won’t tell him unless I think it’s relevant. So just don’t make it relevant,” I said, staring at him evenly. He nodded, realizing that was about the most he could get from me.
“This is a pretty awesome place,” Bobby said, changing the subject. He moved onto making coffee, and the coffee maker looked brand new. Mae had probably bought it especially for him, so he must not be all bad if she approved of him. “And Mae is amazing. How is she doing today?”
“I haven’t seen her.” I looked over my shoulder toward her room, and I tried to listen for the sound of her over the coffee pot gurgling, but I couldn’t hear anything. “Have you?”