Chapter 11 - Stay Awake
It had been a day, 24 hours and I was slipping, I felt it. I would catch myself constantly with my eyes half-mast, slowly drooping closed. I never left my home, never ever, but eight hours ago I did. I did the unthinkable and went to Coles for energy drinks. I needed them, needed something to keep me up. Though no matter how long I held off, I knew I could not stay awake forever. Eventually my body would give out, and when it did, I had no doubt he would be waiting for me.
Maybe he did not want to hurt or kill me. Maybe he did actually care and want to protect me in that world, but why would he keep something like himself being a beast from me. Remembering the hurt that flashed in his eyes when I pulled away, when I call him one of them. My heart felt like it was ripping, ripping into pieces, but I was scared. What was he doing when I left, those teeth protruded through his gums. They were huge and I had no doubt he meant to bite me, to bite my neck. It was like those stories with vampires, did he want to drink my blood, eat me? I did not want to find out. I had cared for him, developed feeling for him, and he… he wanted to bite me.
The cold water continued to pelt against my skin, My back felt like it was burning just from the cold, but even this was not working anymore. One and a half days since I got back, upwards of fifteen cold showers. A ridiculous number of energy drinks, loud music, aircon blasting and I was running out of ideas and I was no doubt on the edge of getting a cold. Sneezing not a second later, I reassessed, I had a cold. My mind was fuzzy, my knees trembling as I slumped to the floor of the shower.
Trying to get back up, I found my hand slipping causing me to collapse back onto the cold tiles with a slap. My face pressed against the cold glass, fatigue was getting the best of me. Trust my body to be like this now, I remember a time where I would not sleep for days and I would still not be the least bit tired. I would just focus on my business, now all I could think about was Tantore’s ripped body turning into a fucking bear, and how good it would be to just close my eyes and sleep. Eyes drooping, the burning cold water continuing to flow over my naked body, unable to hold off any longer I did the unthinkable, I closed my eyes.
Everything hurt, my skin, my head, my eyes, my whole body. All I felt was pain as the outside of my body remained cold, the water spraying against me in a continuous stream. My inner body heated with no doubt a fever. Okay I was just going to keep laying here for two more minutes, then I would get up, get dressed and bite the bullet and go to bed. I needed to face him at some point. Unable to move a muscle in my body I stayed where I was under the steady stream of water. My body was weak, I could no longer keep my eyes open as I involuntarily surrendered to the darkness.
“PAIGE!!!” A voice shouted out, the noise and volume of which vibrated through my body. Heavy steps stormed towards me. I knew that voice, the gruff roughness of it, the woodsy scent, the large warm hands that now gently gripped at my body. It was Tantore, he was here, or I was there, but I could still not bring myself to open my eyes. It was like they were glued shut, held closed by an invisible force. I was tired, so tired, so heavy, so sore, everything hurt. His warm hands pressed against my forehead as I felt my body lift off the ground. I was instantaneously surrounded by warmth, enveloped within the safety of his body.
Once again, his voice sounded, at almost a shout, clearly panicked. “Paige!! Can you hear me? …Paige?”
Though we were not in the best relationship currently, and had no understanding between us as to where we stood. I did want to answer. To respond to his words that were so clearly full of fear and worry. I could only imagine the face that went with that voice, that tone, that pain and panic. Maybe he did care.
His voice continued to sound comfortingly as I felt my body being dried off. I could only imagen how atrocious I must look, naked, wet, hair plastered to my skin. Within a couple minutes I felt my body being move once again as I was wrapped with material. A warm body pressing against my own. A hardness pressing into my body with a hand quickly guiding it away a second later. Calling my name gently, “Paige?”
Once again, I wanted to answer, but my eye lids would not budge. My mouth unable to move an inch to produce sounds. Slipping back into the darkness of the abyss, Tantore’s voice grew weaker and weaker, eventually silencing altogether leaving me lost and alone.
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