“They go insane, or they’re killed,” Ezra said simply. “They learn but can’t mature. They get old but can’t grow. They get impulses they can’t control. They’re volatile and strong and never really understand the consequences of their actions. Other vampires don’t like having them around, and they don’t like being alive.
“It never ends well.” He ran a hand through this blond hair and breathed in deeply. “And if Mae were to change her, to get even more attached to the child than she already was, she would either die trying to protect her, or kill herself after the child died. And I have no interest in being a part of that.”
“And Mae doesn’t see that?” I asked, even though I knew the answer. She was too blinded by her love for her family to see any rational thought. Her only concern was keeping the girl around for another day, at any cost.
“No.” He gave me a sad smile. “She mistakenly believes that I can do anything. But I can’t this time.” His expression was far away. “I cannot save the child. There is only one type of death versus another. The child will suffer and then die, either way. But Mae cannot accept that.”
“Are you going to go talk to her? Maybe you can help her accept this. I mean, she’s just going through the seven stages of grief, and it sounds like she’s at bargaining,” I said.
“Maybe, but unfortunately, she actually has something to bargain with. Most people have no other recourse, but Mae does. Would anyone really move past bargaining if God would actually talk to them and listen to their pleas?”
“Did you just compare yourself to God?” I raised an eyebrow at him.
“Accidentally,” he admitted, looking disgusted at his own choice of words. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to. But I don’t think I have anything to say that can help Mae through this.” He sighed heavily. “But… my clothes are in the room, and I should get dressed.”
“Are you two going to split up?” I was surprised how nervous I sounded, but really, they were the only stable couple I had ever met. And if they split up, what hope did the rest of us have?
“I will stay with her as long as she’ll have me, and as long as she doesn’t turn the child,” he said, but that was the kind of answer people gave when they weren’t ready to tell the kids they were breaking up.
I started to think that maybe it was only a matter of time before things ended between them, and that was terrifying. I loved them both, and I couldn’t imagine a life where they weren’t both in it.
Ezra went down to his room. For someone who was completely obsessed with the idea of family, I couldn’t believe how rigid he was being with Mae. He was right about not turning her granddaughter, I’m sure, but he was inflexible when talking to her. He had been willing to die to save Peter, but he wouldn’t allow the same irrational passion in her.
Maybe it was because this was his way of protecting the family. If she did this, it would certainly devastate everything around her, himself included. I don’t know what would happen to our family unit. If we would split up between them, like children of divorce, or… I don’t know.
It was strange, because even though I knew I was going to live a very long time, I somehow had expected that everything would stay the same forever. Ezra had once told me that everyone I know would die, and that I would outlast everything. But I had never believed that I would outlast this family.
- 19 -
When Milo and Jack finally came back from their blood run, I told them about the fight. Milo went to talk some sense into Mae, and we let him. Jack still invited Peter to watch a movie with us, but after all the drama, we decided to watch something lighter than an epic British mini-series. So we went with the opposite and put in Futurama.
As the night wore on, I decided to go to bed, and I wanted to invite Jack to stay with me. The fight between Mae and Ezra had left me feeling shaken up, and I wanted to hang onto something that I knew would be around forever. But Peter was lingering around us, giving me a weird look, and I didn’t feel right about asking him.
The next morning, he tried waking me bright and early the next day to take Matilda to the dog park, but I wanted to sleep in. The joke was on me, though. After he left, I couldn’t fall back to sleep, but I blamed that on how hungry I was.
It had been a dull ache growing in the pit of my stomach since yesterday. When we had been watching TV with Bobby, I found myself more fascinated by watching the pulse pounding in his jugular than in the images on the screen.
Today was even worse. I had a dryness in my veins and my throat. My limbs felt crackly when I moved them. I had no energy, but I felt strangely frenetic. I knew I had to eat soon, but for now, I decided to just avoid Bobby.
Milo and Bobby were going to have to go to the club again soon to check on Jane, but I didn’t feel up to being around humans. In fact, I could hardly stand being this close to Bobby. Heartbeats echoed in my ears, and the faint scent of Bobby permeated through my walls. I was going to have to distract myself before I went insane.
I went about getting ready, but I couldn’t find the energy to shower. I just brushed my teeth, got dressed, and pulled my hair back in a messy bun. I tried to call Jane again, but she still wouldn’t answer.
I probably should’ve considered eating, but I really, really had to control myself. Because I really, really wanted to be alone with Jack, and this was the only way I could trust myself. I knocked on Peter’s bedroom door and chewed my lip. I stood a better chance of not biting him than I did Bobby, and even if I did bite Peter, he stood a better chance of living.
“What?” Peter opened his bedroom door, looking irritated. “Is the house on fire?”
“No. Can I come in?” I tucked a stray stand of hair behind my ears. His green eyes were bewildered, but he relented and took a step back from the door so I could go in.
When I brushed past him, I inhaled deeply. He smelled so good, and I had almost forgotten that. His blood used to be my favorite scent in the world, before I really knew that’s what it was. When I had been human, the tangy scent he left behind always intoxicated me, and I hadn’t realized that it was his blood I was lusting after. Now I did, and the smell was even stronger and more delicious.
“You look hungry.” Peter shut the bedroom door behind me when I came in, and that might have bothered me if I had a clearer head.
“Yeah, well,” I tried to play it off like nothing. For him to notice meant it had to be getting bad. My skin was ashen, and my heart beat too fast.