“No, but if Ezra left, I didn’t think it would be that bad,” Bobby said.
The kitchen smelled completely of coffee, and I felt an odd pang of knowing I couldn’t have any. I had never really liked coffee, but I loved the smell of it. My stomach gave me a sharp pain, reminding me that I didn’t want any of that anyway.
Bobby suddenly seemed to smell stronger, and I pushed it back. This was just my body’s attempts to convince me I was hungry, but I shouldn’t be yet, and even if I was, I had to learn to get control of my hunger instead of letting it control me.
“You okay?” Bobby asked.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine.” I shook my head to clear it. “I think I’m just gonna get a shower. But, um, it was nice talking to you, and I’ll see you later.”
“Yeah, alright,” Bobby said, but he still looked worried.
When I went upstairs, Matilda followed me again. She assumed that every time I went anywhere, Jack would be waiting. Maybe I spent too much time with him.
Although lately, it wasn’t really feeling like I spent any time with him. I had just gotten back from a trip, and then he left. In his room, with all his things, my heart throbbed at the thought of him. Matilda jumped on his bed, covering his blankets with her white fur, and sniffing about, as if he was hidden amongst them.
I sighed and started rummaging around the room for something to change into. I’d most likely spend the day watching TV or reading or something. Nothing worth getting gussied up for. Maybe if I was lucky, I could get Milo and Bobby to hang out with me, if they weren’t too busy with each other.
What kind of cruel world was it where my little brother got to have sex and mess around with his boyfriend any time he wanted, and my boyfriend was stuck sleeping in the den every night? Sure, I was still sorely lacking in self-control, whereas Milo had always been a master of that, but come on!
While Jack was gone, I vowed to work on getting myself under control, so when he came back, we could move onto the next phase of our relationship. Namely, the really fun stuff.
Instead of doing anything fun, I spent my time curled up in Mae’s bed with her. She was unnaturally quiet, so we mostly sat in silence. Milo came in her room later on, and that helped. He was always much better in a crisis than I was, and for some reason, he was incredibly close to her. I think that maybe he was her favorite, but that didn’t bother me so much. I was Jack’s favorite, and that’s all that really mattered.
Bobby didn’t feel comfortable hanging out with Mae when she was like that, and that made sense. She was nearly inconsolable, and he hadn’t known her that long. I ended up making an escape once Milo had her sitting up.
He put on Houseboat starring Raquel Welch on her TV, and that got her talking about her plans to buy a houseboat someday. Her cheeks were puffy from crying, but I hadn’t seen a real tear in hours. With Milo there, she had even hinted at a smile a few times.
That left me to further bond with Bobby. We played some war game on the Xbox, which I seriously sucked at, but he didn’t yell at me once. When I played with Jack, he could usually manage about twenty minutes of it before suggesting that I sit out a turn and let Milo play instead. It was nice being tolerated and killing Nazis.
Before going to bed, I called and texted Jane a few times. She didn’t answer or reply, but I hadn’t expected anything different. I’m pretty sure she was pissed at me, although I didn’t know why.
Maybe she hated me for introducing her to vampires, or maybe she hated me for not introducing her sooner. I don’t know. She was usually easy to get a read on. Her life revolved around boys, clothes, and getting drunk or high. I hadn’t interfered with any of those things before today, so she didn’t have anything to hold against me.
Jack texted me letting me know he loved me and they’d be getting on a plane soon. I thought about staying up to wait for him, but then I figured that falling asleep would make the time go faster. I crawled in his bed and couldn’t wait for him to get back.
I felt him the instant he came in the house. My heart pounded with happiness, and I opened my eyes.
- 17 -
As soon as I stepped out of my room, I heard them arguing. They weren’t shouting, but they weren’t doing anything to be quiet either. I wanted to run down and greet Jack, but I decided to wait at the top of the steps, eavesdropping.
“Oh, come on, Jack!” Peter said, sounding frustrated. “I did not take your pillow!”
“You did too!” Jack insisted. “You were flirting with the stewardess and conned her into giving you the last pillow on the plane, which happened to be mine.”
“Even if that is true, I didn’t know it was the last pillow. And she shouldn’t have given it to me if it was your pillow,” Peter said. “And I think they prefer the term ‘flight attendant.’”
“Or, maybe, just maybe, you could’ve given me that pillow when you realized what she had done,” Jack said, ignoring Peter. “Maybe she was a shitty stewardess, but you saw what happened. You could’ve done the right thing for once in your life.”
“Why? I wanted the pillow, and I had the pillow. It didn’t have your name on it. Why should I give it to you?” Peter asked. “Or are you the only one allowed to take things?”
“I didn’t take anything!” Jack snapped. “I had one blanket and no pillows. What exactly was there for me to take?”
“I don’t know, Jack. What in the world could you have possibly taken that didn’t belong to you?” Peter replied icily, and I could hear both of their heartbeats speed up.
“Will the pair of you knock it off?” Ezra asked warily. From the sounds of it, they were somewhere near the bottom of the steps, in the kitchen maybe, but Ezra was walking past, going to his room. “People are sleeping, and I am so sick of hearing about the damn pillow.”
“It’s not about the damn pillow,” Peter said.
“Why don’t you tell me what this is really about?” Jack asked, but he knew exactly what it was about. I was getting a hint myself, and it made me nervous.
“I know you two are having some kind of … scuffle, but so help me, if either one of you wake up Mae or disturb her in any way, you’ll be sorry. Do I make myself clear?” Ezra warned them.
There was silence, then I heard Ezra walking down the hall to his room. Jack and Peter waited until they heard his bedroom door shut before speaking.
“You’re an asshole,” Jack said when Ezra was gone.