“You better,” he whispered.
Finally, he kissed me. I had thought that I had truly lost him, and there was this panicked insistence to the kiss. I wrapped my arms around his neck and held him to me. His mouth was warm and wonderful, and I knew nothing in the world tasted better than he did.
My thirst peaked at that, and my heart pounded hungrily in my chest, but I denied it. I just wanted to be with him, physical and present, in the moment.
“Run away with me.” He rested his forehead against mine and knotted his fingers in the thickness of my hair.
“What?” I asked, thinking I’d misheard him.
“Run away with me,” he repeated and moved back a little so he could look me in the eyes. “I don’t wanna stay here anymore. Everyone lied to me. Peter is still going after you, and Mae tried to kill me. There’s no reason for me to stay. Let’s run away together.”
“What about Milo?” My mind scrambled. There was something exciting about the idea of just running off with him, but I couldn’t just pick up and leave like that. “And Jane?”
“Jane?” His brow furrowed. “What about Jane?”
“She’s here, in Peter’s room.” I had forgotten that Jack hadn’t been around. “Milo saw her on Halloween, and she was doing really terrible. So we’re helping her out, I guess.”
“Peter’s room?” Jack looked appalled.
“Yeah, he’s sleeping in the den. Everyone is playing musical beds,” I waved it away.
“This house is too small for this many people,” Jack pointed out. “And that’s just another reason why we should move out.”
Running away might be too extravagant for me. I didn’t have a job, and Jack worked with Ezra and Peter. I didn’t want to leave Milo, but I didn’t think that Jack couldn’t support the four of us, since I’d probably have to include Bobby in the equation. Maybe he could, but if we were running away from Peter and Ezra, I wasn’t sure if that meant he’d quit his job too.
Not to mention I was still having issues with bloodlust, ones that could prove potentially fatal to everyone.
“What are you thinking?” he pushed a strand of hair off my forehead.
“I don’t care if we leave Peter, but I don’t think I’m ready to leave everyone else,” I said finally.
“I can’t live with Peter anymore, and I don’t think you should either,” Jack said. “And I don’t really want to be around Mae.”
I chewed my lip and looked up at him. He’d just come back, and I really didn’t want to lose him again, but I wasn’t ready to sacrifice everything else just to be with him.
“Okay,” he said. “How about this? I keep working with Ezra, and we start looking for a place of our own in the Cities, with room enough for Milo and Bobby to stay with us as often as they want. We’ll still be close to everybody, and Milo can go back and forth if he wants, but me and you will finally have some privacy.”
“Okay,” I nodded, but the idea made me nervous.
After seeing what Milo did to Bobby and Jonathan did to Jane, I wasn’t so keen on the idea of privacy with Jack. Yes, I really, really, really wanted to do things with him, but I loved him too much to kill him.
“I have barely slept in three days,” Jack yawned. “And it’s not even noon yet. What do you say we get some sleep?”
“Sounds good,” I smiled and gave him a kiss on the lips.
He pulled off his tee shirt and shorts, opting to sleep in his boxers, which was fine by me. Few people in the world looked as amazing in their underwear as Jack did. I crawled into bed, and he climbed in after me. He lay on his back so I could curl up in his arms, resting my head on his chest.
“I missed you so much,” he said, running his fingers through my hair.
“Me too.” I squeezed him tightly, then thought of something. “Where did you sleep for the past three days?”
“Hotel,” Jack chuckled a little. “I just got a room at a hotel downtown, and I didn’t leave until an hour ago. I couldn’t take being away from you anymore, so I came home.”
“You should’ve came home the first day.”
“I know, but I had some thinking to do,” he sighed. “And it worked out okay. I mean, I’m here with you now, aren’t I?”
“That you are.” I kissed his chest, then lay my head back down.
Jack must not have been kidding about not getting any sleep, because within seconds, he was sound asleep. I stayed awake longer than him, thinking about all the things he said, and trying to come up with a solution.
I promised him that I would never hurt him again and living with Peter might be too great a temptation for me. I couldn’t explain it, but that made it all the more dangerous. If Jack thought it was best to leave, it might actually be. And even if it wasn’t, it was what he wanted, and after everything I’ve put him through, didn’t I owe him that much?
Nobody seemed that surprised to see Jack when we got up. Unlike me, they had all known he was coming back. Jane greeted Jack with a shocking amount of indifference, and that’s the same way Jack treated Mae. Mae rushed over to apologize, and he all but pushed her back. Her face crumbled afterwards, but I couldn’t really encourage him to forgive her. He had to do it in his own time.
Peter had stepped out for the evening, but nobody really knew where. I suspected that he had known Jack was around and disappeared before things got ugly.
Jack took Ezra back to the den so they could “discuss” things in a very mysterious fashion. It was probably business talk and about moving out, but apparently, Jack didn’t want everybody else to know of his intentions yet.
Mae got over being snubbed by Jack because she had Jane to distract her. In the dining room, she had thrown down a giant towel on the floor and set up an impromptu hair salon. Mae always cut everyone’s hair.
Jane sat in a chair with foil and dye in her hair, and she languidly flipped through an issue of Cosmo. While waiting for Jane’s hair to set, Mae cut Milo’s hair. For the first time in weeks, Mae seemed to brighten up. A discussion about lip-gloss had done what the rest of us couldn’t.
“Would you like a haircut too, love?” Mae smiled up at me over the top of Milo’s head. Her own hair was clean and pulled back neatly. Jane made some comment about shoes, and Mae laughed, her eyes sparkling. “What do you say, Alice?”