"I'm honestly surprised that you called me," Ethan said reaching out for my hand across the small antique table and gave it a little squeeze. I didn't flinch away even though I felt like it. There was no spark or tingling feeling when our skin touched. It just wasn't there.
However, I knew I had to give him a chance, something I had to repeat in my mind. "Well, I'm surprised that you even agreed to go to dinner with me after how I treated you," I looked down not wanting him to see how embarrassed I was about the other night. I was wearing the 'E' necklace he gave him hoping it would give me encouragement to forgive me. I rubbed it so he noticed it.
"Oh you are wearing the necklace!" He seemed excited as a sweet smile appeared on his face. With the low candlelight, he looked even more tan when I had met him this summer.
"Yes, I love it." I admitted. Then, the conversation stopped completely. It wasn't even the good silence, just the awkward kind.
"Estelle." My eyes met his hazel ones. I did not know if he was going to continue his train of thought or not. He seemed to just be staring. He finally broke it just to look around to his surroundings, like he was afraid that someone would be listening. "Aly told me about the dress, and then all about him. You do not need to feel embarrassed in the least bit. I'm here for you now." His thumb slowly moved up and down the side of my hand.
I really did not know who to be angry at, Aly or myself. I should have been the one to tell him about it, but it was my own fault for not doing it sooner. He should not be completely out of the loop when my ex-boyfriend still seems to occupy so many of my thoughts. "Thanks," I said softly. I did not know what else to say. I had someone here for me now, something I severely needed ever since a month ago.
A smirk began to appear on Ethan's face, "Also I couldn't resist an invitation to this fabulous restaurant." I could tell he was trying to lighten the mood, but it wasn't really helping.
"Well my dad suggested this place, so you will have to thank him when you see him." I decided to bring up something I had been wondering for a while. "I'm really surprised how well you get along with him. Many people don't like him to be honest. He also seems much happier now that you are around." The difference between what my father let me do with Ethan and with Henry is stark. The sun had already set; we would have had to stop being together hours ago.
Ethan let go of my hand. "Many people like you?"
I definitely wasn't expecting that from Ethan. "Like me." I had no reason not to be honest. I felt like it always read on my face how much I disliked my father. He was never there except to discipline me.
"You really should lighten up on him. We seem to click fairly well. That's good for you that we do though. This way you will never have to work to get us to be friendly with each other, and less rules." Ethan pointed out as he took a sip of his Coke.
I sighed. I was tired of talking of my father, "Very true. I'm ready to order, where is our waiter?" I hated being so impatient, but this dinner was not what I was expecting at all. In the past conversation, Ethan has brought up the two people I hated the most: my father and my ex. If I'm not hurrying to hook-up with him it seems as though we have nothing to speak about.
Small talk about Chicago and the rest of the summer thankfully occupied the rest of the time we had left at the dinner table. However, when we were walking outside in the crisp summer air back to his car, he did get serious again. "It seemed that you didn't have the best time tonight." I was ready to keep walking and quickly deny such a claim. Ethan grabbed my hand and made me look him in the eyes.
"I didn't. I don't know where to go with this thing now that we are being honest. I really need some time to think, and I know that you are probably tired of hearing me say..."
"We have plenty of time." Ethan was quick to reassure me. "Our relationship, whatever it turns out to be, is just beginning okay? We still have four years or more at Chicago. How about I just take you home?"
This is why I could not resist Ethan; he was such a nice guy. Henry would have fought for me to stay with him, or go try something different, even though it is not always bad to fight for what you want. Except it is different, Ethan respects how I am feeling and wants me to be comfortable. Since he was so accommodating, the car ride back to my house was so much better than the heated dinner. It was the perfect in-between of small talk and serious conversation. There were laughs and what seemed to be the start of some longtime inside jokes forming. Ethan, being the gentleman he was, walked me to my door. "I'm sorry that our date had to end early." I said giving Ethan a hug, liking him more by the second.
"I was happy for the time that we had." Ethan had a huge smile on his face that I don't think could prove that he was any more genuine in his words.
The front door quickly opened beside us. "Well you two are home early." My dad said almost too concerned.
"Hi Father." I said as I gave him an awkward hug before walked past him. "Bye Ethan." I blew Ethan a kiss goodbye. Afterwards, it felt wrong. That is what I always did when I said goodbye to Henry. As Ethan waved goodbye, a shiver ran down my back. I shook it off and ran upstairs, as I could hear the background sound of Ethan and my father chatting. It seemed like they had more to talk about than us.
I was so happy to be back in my cozy room. I instantly flicked of my flats as they hit the closet door and slipped on my fuzzy, pink slippers. I took the barrette out of my hair and let it fall on my shoulders. I was about to unzip my dress when I saw Ethan in the mirror standing in my doorway. I quickly turned around, confused to what he was doing up here. "Estelle," Ethan said with a smirk something that was extremely out of character for him.
If it was possible, I believe that my creeper factor had elevated to the next level. Sean and I were waiting outside of Estelle's house as they pulled up in Ethan's car. It was easy to hide with all the shrubbery and the sounds of the fountains. However, this was the last thing I wanted to be doing. I was ready, or at least I believed I was, to let Estelle move on and have a life with whoever she wanted to love. Sean had different plans for me unfortunately. "They are back so early; the date must have not gone well. Look at her face." I had pointed out to Sean, trying anything to delay me from deceiving Estelle again. Even though, 10 p.m. was much later than I was ever allowed to keep Estelle out.
"Even better." I should have guessed Sean was not going to take excuses. "It will make it easier on you to ruin their relationship. Now shh...let's listen to what her father is saying to Ethan." As Sean perked his ears, I just sat there. I wouldn't mind to hear their conversation, but I no longer had the power too. I stopped taking the pills that Sean had given me whenever I had the chance to. It was the only power I really had over my actions anymore. Most days when we train he makes me take them in front of him because I believe he notices that I don't anymore. I definitely have noticed. Slowly all the powers that I was so used to were fading away. I also have less control over myself. I was slowly becoming a regular vampire again, which I really was fine with. The power was extremely gratifying until I really saw what it did to me. I would miss most being out at night without terrorizing everyone with blood running through their veins though. "Well, it is not the best situation as he told him to come back again tomorrow, but we should go ahead and go through with it anyway."
I looked up from my thoughts and saw Ethan drive off. "I'm not so sure about that. Wouldn't Estelle's dad question why Ethan was back so soon?"
Sean did not even seem to listen to anything that I said. "We don't have much time. They are leaving for college in only two weeks. We have to act now, Henry. Now go."
I instantly felt a sharp pain around my temples. I knew if I didn't say something soon, it would continue until it was unbearable for me to even speak. "Ahh, stop!" I screamed. "I'm shifting now." I quickly shifted into Ethan. I feel like turning into him was getting easier each time. "How do I look?" I ran my hand through Ethan's hair.
"Don't mess this up. No funny stuff, Henry." Sean threatened.
Honestly, I did not want to be around him any longer, so I walked up to Estelle's front door. Before I even rang the doorbell, Estelle's father opened the door. "I knew I liked you for a reason," he said. "If we let her sit and think any longer, her mind would instantly go back to him, and we can't let that happen."
Estelle's father surprises me every time I am Ethan. I surely expected him to be angry or confused or just anything other than eager for me to see his daughter. "That is what I was thinking, sir."
"That's my boy." He said giving me a pat on the back. With that I made my way upstairs to Estelle's bedroom.
I took the steps two at a time wanting to get this over with as soon as possible. I also didn't know how long I could keep the facade because of my weaken powers. When I reached her room, it seemed that I caught her while she was just about to undress. I wanted to catch her before she did completely.
"Estelle." Her name blurted out of my mouth and I smiled at her. However, on Ethan it appeared more to be a smirk as I saw my reflection in my mirror. I don't want to make her love Ethan; I want her to hate him. I had to remind myself, as the last time I had shifted into Ethan my objective was for selfish purposes only. Now that I was looking at her it made it so much more difficult not to be in love with her. She grew more beautiful each day, and being away from her made me forget some of the features I once loved.
"Ethan! What are you doing?" She quickly spun around and raised her eyebrow in confusion.
The ringlets of her hair fell softly on her delicate shoulders. Her brown eyes glared at me, as I wasn't responding. I quickly shook my head to focus. "Well, I realized how young the night still was." I said raising my hands in the air. This was complete improv as I was hoping to get out of this, so planned nothing. "Let's seize the chance to have a good time!" I plopped down on her bed and gave her a wink. Okay, maybe I'm overdoing it, I thought. She definitely thought so as well. I cleared my throat as I sat up a little on her bed. "I mean.." I struggled for the right words to say, "We shouldn't be wasting a perfect summer night. Soon we will have papers, exams.. I don't even want to think about how much more work college will be."
She took a deep breath and then sat down on the bed besides me. I could smell the sweet rose perfume that she always wears. She finally turned to me and stared me in the eyes. She opened her mouth to speak, but then stopped. Her eyes widened as she jumped off the bed still staring at me. "Did your eyes change colors?"
My eyes were now the ones that were widening. Oh crap, the shifting was already wearing off. My condition had gotten worse than I thought. "They do sometimes actually," I quickly rubbed them hoping they would return to Ethan's natural color. "Mostly to this really vivid green color. It is strange the difference. You know hazel eyes sometimes..." I knew my playing it off wasn't the best. I had to get out of there before I started to ramble, or anything else started to shift back.
"I'd say so." Estelle said, still not sitting back down on the bed. I was sure that she didn't believe my story.
I knew I blew it. The nerves of what Sean were going to do to me started to get to me. I had to think of something to say quickly, except I couldn't say anything to hurt her too bad again. I couldn't bring up anything about me. "I thought you were more fun. I guess I'll be going." I said quickly. It wasn't the best excuse, but it worked. I practically ran out of the room sure that it was less than a minute that I was going to be able to remain as Ethan.
Estelle's father was waiting for me at the bottom of the staircase. He didn't have the friendly smile on that he did when I had first walked in. "Goodbye, sir." However, he did not reply as I opened the door and left. All the events were almost too much to process. I couldn't go back and face Sean just yet. I took a couple of steps and sat down on the steps to Estelle's front door.
"That son of a bastard!" I could hear being yelled from the inside. It was Estelle's dad. "I should have known. We will have to be more careful now. I know he is not working alone. I just do not know with who yet." Hearing this, I sprinted from the door. I knew it was a poor decision to go tonight.