Seeking Danger pt. 2
Helena bit into her pizza slice like a starving lion. She couldn’t remember when food had tasted so good. It almost reduced her to tears. Simple things in life really do matter. Realising her unladylike behaviour, she stole a peek at Andrew from under her lashes and noticed him staring.
She swallowed the lump of food in her mouth and took the glass of cola to help wash it down. “Aren’t you going to eat?”
Andrew sat back in his seat and quirked a brow. It took a full three seconds for her brain to put the pieces together, and she muttered an apology.
“There’s no need to be sorry. We can eat solids. Alexander said the acidic concentration in our stomach can dissolve bone, but we prefer not to since it’s a painful process.”
His words made her think of Lucious who so happily ate her mother’s cooking and didn’t complain once about his discomfort. She frowned. Why didn’t he say he wasn’t hungry?
“Are you thinking about him again?”
Helena was stunned he knew exactly what was going through her head for about the dozenth time that day. “How?”
“I don’t have to know you well to read your face. Every one of your thoughts pops up like a neon sign. Plus, when I see you frowning or worried, it’s usually got to do with him.”
“I don’t always frown when I think about Lucious!” she complained, drawing curious glances from the nearby patrons.
“Alright. Give me a time you were remembering him with a smile on your face.”
She bit into her pizza slice, giving herself more time to assemble her answer. There hadn’t been a time when she wasn’t concerned about Lucious. While hanging out with Andrew brought out her cheerful nature, being with Lucious summoned forth strange possessiveness she didn’t know she had.
She sighed and looked at him in defeat. “You’ve made your point.”
“I’m not sure you understood it the way I wanted you to.” He sipped his coffee.
“How about we change the subject to something else?” She lowered her voice after scanning the occupied tables around her. Everyone was busy nattering about their workday. “How did you overcome your thirst so fast? It took Lucious two years to do it. How did you manage it?”
She mumbled a ‘yes’ and kept on devouring her food.
“I don’t know. Alexander says I have an abnormally strong will, whatever that means. He’s still looking into it for me. I’ll tell you more once I find anything out.” He finished his drink and pushed the cup away. “My turn. You’ve spent the night with Lucious, I can’t change that. But, do you love him?”
The food she was eating took the wrong turn. She coughed, swatting at her chest until the piece of pizza resumed the correct path. Grating pain formed in her throat. She downed her drink, avoiding eye contact with her dinner partner.
“Are you alright?” he asked.
Helena forced a smile and pushed the rest of her pizza away. She wasn’t about to risk choking a second time.
“Good, now you can answer my question.”
She scowled at him. “Do I have to?”
Andrew leant in, resting his elbows on the table. “I wasn’t joking when I said I’ll be by your side from now on. Be it as a friend or more that’s your choice. But, I would like to know where I stand. Wouldn’t you?”
“You’re right. I’m sorry.” She reclined, creating more distance between them.
She was trapped and vulnerable to his piercing eyes that seemed to read her every twitch. Was he always like this? I guess, he really did change. Andrew was no longer just her best friend. He was a man. The black shirt he wore hugged his toned arms and chest that seemed wider than she remembered. His collarbone peeked out from the gap where he left the top two buttons undone. She couldn’t deny it, he was handsome. His lips were full, eyes the colour of freshly cut emeralds and the emotion reflected in them was unmistakably love.
Could she hurt him by telling him the answer she knew he feared? Helena wished the seat she sat on had an eject button so she could escape this situation or, at least, leave it until later. With the unpredictable direction her life was taking, she had to stop running and face things head-on.
She balled her hands in her lap and looked Andrew in the eye. “I can’t explain it. The bond we share, the feelings, everything.” She shook her head. “No. I’m running away.” Her nails dug into her palms, informing her this situation was real. “I love him,” she whispered, knowing it was enough for him to hear.
Andrew’s hand landed on her shoulder. She stole a peek at his pained face that morphed into a blank. “Don’t look so distressed, Thorn. You’ll get wrinkles.”
“I’m here for you, and I want you to know that. I don’t want to be the one who brings you tears and if that means I have to back off, I will. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t swoop in and take you away when he starts being anything less than a man of your dreams.”
Helena finished the rest of her meal in silence. Her hunger from before was gone, but she forced the food down, anyway.
As they left the pizzeria, his phone rang. He glanced at the caller ID and answered. “Hey, Alexander, did the meeting go well?” Without looking, Andrew took her hand. It must have been a subconscious action because he seemed too engrossed in the conversation he was having. So, she didn’t bother protesting and followed him to the car that was waiting for them around the corner.
“What do you mean a saint is waiting for her?”
Helena tugged on his sleeve, and he paused. “Is Nadine with Alexander?”
Andrew moved the phone away from his mouth. “He said she’s dangerous. Is that true?”
“She’s never harmed me.”
“That doesn’t mean she won’t!”
Helena jerked her aching hand out of his crushing hold and cradled it with the other. “We have to get back.”
Andrew told Alexander that he’ll pass the information on and shoved the phone into the pocket of his trousers. “Are you seriously asking me to bring you to where the danger is?”
She crossed her arms, ignoring the pain in her hand. There was no way she was going to let anyone control where she went and who she met. The fact every vampire had done exactly that to date drove her up the wall. With her annoyance rising, she narrowed her eyes. “We need to get back, Andrew. She might know how I can kill the demon.”
“I thought it was sorted. You have the weapon. So, the next time he shows up, I’ll help you kill the bastard.”
“It’s not that simple. Angels and demons are not physically present in our realm,” she explained. Although, she still couldn’t figure out how Lazarus showed up when he changed her soul-string’s colour. Since he hadn’t appeared like that every time had to mean it was a rare occurrence.
Andrew ran his hand over his face and let out a curse. “Are you sure she won’t do anything?”
“Yes,” she lied and held her ground. She knew if she made any wrong movements or broke their eye contact, he would drag her somewhere safe, keeping her there until the danger passed.
“Alright. Let’s get going.”