Chapter 22 "Unhinged"
Standing in the bathroom looking in the mirror, pressing my hands down on the sides of the sink, I’m looking at this face... a face I can’t recognize. There are two different people in my eyes; one is scared and confused, disoriented, and the other man is completely cracked. There is blood on his lips and scratches and bruises left by all those he’s killed, fading in and out, as if taunting me. He’s smiling at me. There are two things he has that the other lacks-and those things are direction and confidence. Which of these men am I...?
I hear a crunch noise and look down. I’ve broken some of the sink...! I back up and look in the mirror again. There’s a different face there now. A man wearing a black zipped-up jacket. His hair is blonde, parted at the side and he has a strong jaw. His eyes are a dark, almost red color. Just in that second, he’s gone. I blink quickly at my reflection. What was that? Was it real? Who was that? It must be my mind playing tricks on me. It must be. I’m already thinking unstable thoughts.
“Gabriel?” Addison calls. I glance at the sink again. I pick up the pieces and set them on the side of it, realizing this is a sink made of cheap ceramics. How did I do that...? “Gabriel?” I turn, and when I see her walking into view, she peers in past me in a startled way. Seeing this arouses that strong urge in me to attack, tear and destroy; the images of doing these things keep flickering in my head. Stop! Get out of there. Get out! I don’t WANT YOU! I imagine myself hitting both sides of my head and ripping my hair out, screaming. But in reality, I only stare at her with growing eyes. She’s nervous and her voice is smaller when she asks, “What was that noise?” I hum in a low thoughtful tone and move slightly to look in the bathroom, then I turn back to her. “Broke the sink... by accident. I’m sorry. I don’t... I don’t know how I did it.” How could I have done that? Mind over matter? Is it really true and possible? She sees it and looks back to me. I blink again and slowly walk past her.
I go into the living room and stare out the window for a few moments. I really am a danger here. If I leave, what will happen to Addison? Would I be leading Reuben away from here? “AHH!” I spin around quickly to hearing that. Why did she scream?
I run back to the bathroom and see her standing at the mirror, staring directly into it. She’s as still as a statue. Her eyes are fixed. I also look in the mirror and see the blonde, faceless man again. He’s looking right at me. “Hello Gabriel... I hope you remember me. How are you today?” I can’t respond right away, as Jack’s warning repeats in my mind. Are you... Reuben? I think. Somehow, I’m beginning to feel strangely obligated to respond to him in a kind and casual way; “...I’m alright, but could be better.”
“Please,” he says, “do tell me what would make your day better.” His voice is soft. His demeanor is extremely calculating. But, I don’t reply.
He hums, and lowers his head as if looking at Addison’s profile. I step closer to her. He takes a lock of her hair and smells it. She takes a short breath, a small fearful whimper escaping past her quivering lips. How is he doing this to her reflection? I flare my nose, emitting a low grumble and I feel a fast vibration in my eyeteeth. This is a feeling that throws me off. I feel my teeth and touch my gums. They’re wet with a clear gooey substance. I gasp to myself and feel behind my canines. There are soft, pillow-like spots where the teeth come out of the gum, and every time I press on them, more liquid comes out the tips of my teeth. They feel sharper the more I push around in there. This makes him laugh.
I growl and say, “Please don’t do anything to her. I like her.”
“You like her... Is that so?”
“She is good. She has a good heart. Leave her alone.”
He puts his hand down. “Well if you insist... What a hero you are.” She’s shaking now, making those faint stuttering sounds; is she seeing him too?-Or something totally different than me? What could she be seeing? I feel a little pain in the back of my neck. It’s making me want to move my head around. My neck pops and cracks. An image flashes in my mind; I’m floating over Addison in the middle of the night, watching her every move, changing the temperature of the room to so hot she has to uncover herself. Then I see darkness going down on her, swallowing her. She purrs my name in her sleep. So seductive... The taste of blood is on my tongue - it’s sweet, delicious, addicting...
I unconsciously wrap my arms around her small form and hug her close, smelling her. She’s intoxicating... If I could just get a taste. Just one taste... of you... You, Addison...
A shiver runs up my spine and I close my eyes, opening my mouth close to your pulse point. Oh... I want to taste you...
I love how you breathe in through your mouth, and I bite down into your soft, fragile neck. You yelp and I slide my hand across your mouth, “Shh shh...” Hush sweetheart, calm... calm down now. I know you weren’t ready, but you relax at my voice and touch, soon holding the side of my head so carefully. I suck gently, yet I taste nothing.
I lazily open my eyes and see blood on your neck but it feels like my mouth is completely dry. The man in the mirror is watching us closely, resembling a mannequin. I bite harder and still, nothing. I drape you over my arm and look into your eyes, blood dripping from my lips on your sweet, beautiful worried face. You feel immobilized, in the hands of the angel of death. But you have the need to look over and up at the mirror again, and suddenly more intense fear sweeps across your face again. “N- no! No! He’s there!” you shake your head and struggle in my grasp, “He’s there! He’s there!” I blink a couple times as this happens, snapping out the moment and hear Addison repeat ‘he’s there!’ nonstop while her face grows paler by the second. The man in the mirror is putting his hands together behind him, humming a little tune to himself and seems to be getting louder and louder.
I look down at Addison again and realize the damage I’ve done. Her blood is everywhere. But I still can’t fully take it in. I am numb and my mind is blank. Addison... I pull her close and whisper in her ear, “Darling... there’s something wrong with me. Something so wrong. Please, I don’t want you to die...” I rub my fingers over the bite marks, tracing my fingers through her blood and slightly pushing into the wounds. She grabs my shirt in pain and cries out, “Gabriel stop! Heal me, please, please do it now-! Don’t let me die! He’s coming, he’s coming!”
“Oh Gabriel... you know that’s not in you.” I hear the man say. “You are a vampire; you don’t care about her. You are indeed a monster. You’re want her blood and you want it now.” I quickly look at him. Before I can react any more, memories of all the murders committed... I see that the one responsible for it all... was me.
The memory of when I first saw you from my apartment window, the diner, the hospital-every one of these memories come back to me like it was dangling over my head the entire time but I never looked up. I remember everything, except, I only have a familiar feeling about this man. Every time I try to help myself understand who he is, I suddenly fail; the thoughts disappear. My suspicion of him being Reuben is slipping away.
In each of these returning memories, I’m consumed by ecstasy; hunger and lust. The euphoric feeling of blood all around me, in my mouth, on my body, in my body, watching the horror pulsing in your eyes and the light fading from them as I drink in your sweet red nectar, and I would bring you back just to do it all over again and again... and AGAIN! It would be a nonstop circle of pure happiness. I’m so lost in it all. There is no conscience; I’m an animal. I love it. I want you now-I want to taste you NOW! I squeeze you as I feel these thoughts taking control of me. They’re so strong a hiss jolts out of me and my fangs are ready to bite and rip into flesh. You scream and I chomp down. I jab my nails into your arms and tear through your skin.
Your tones are so tasty and unique I have never heard something so satisfying and addicting. You feel my venom going into your bloodstream and it makes your heart pump faster. Your heart is working so hard kitten. You’re going to die. I lick and suck on the hanging pieces of skin on your arms, tearing into it more of it and then I grab your wrist and snap it backwards, and when you let out this loud glass-shattering sound, I moan against your neck and drag my tongue over it. I’m getting hard. I can’t wait to be inside you. But not yet baby, not yet.
“Hm hm hm hm... hahahahaha!!!!” I hear the man cackling a maniacal, demonic noise. It breaks me out of the moment and I see what I’m doing. Addison?! She’s all torn up! She has passed out. She’s close to death! Oh no-! NO! NO! She’s going to die! I can’t KILL HER! I sweep her off her feet and take her out of the room.
I take her to the couch in the living room. There, I fall to my knees and that man’s words about what I am are repeating in my head, buzzing and pulsing around in there. I need to get away from here before I prove him right.
I put one hand on the bite marks and the other on your arm, then I hold your wrist and as your body heals, I stare deeply at your closed eyes. I’m being manipulated. He wants me to self-destruct. I know you’re doing this, Reuben. You can try to hide but I will find you, and I will destroy you. I will.
I place my hand on her forehead as soon as she’s done healing, then I stand up and turn around. I stay in this position with my head down for a while, trying to make a decision on where to go. Addison fascinates me. Her appearance and personality is very alluring to me, and that’s why I want to do so much more to her-with her-than anyone else I’ve ever taken. I really, really... want to take her body apart and- STOP! Stop doing that! I punch myself in the head. My instincts are screaming at me to do these things but a smaller half of me is holding this beast in a cage, in chains, in the dark. I need to get away before these chains break and let this thing out. I need to go now.
Looking over at her again, I think... I should return to my apartment. I can watch her and contain myself in there for the meantime, which makes things safe for both of us. If something happens, I will be close by. I will have to fight this.
I can only watch, prepare and wait... for now...
“Addison, I won’t be far.” I walk over and gently kiss her on the forehead, then I leave her apartment and head across the street to my own. I’ll be watching for you... Reuben.