Hope U R Ok
It took an hour to get everything closed, and locked. The house had metal shutters that could be pulled down. And even though the doors where thick, she also had wooden sleepers and brackets so that they could be barred.
And when we were done, the vampire giggled like a child, patted me on the head and said.
“Was that, strictly speaking, necessary?”
“Was any of this? It’s not me he’s apparently trying to kill. This is to protect you, Amber and Frankie.”
She looked at me slightly annoyed.
“Was your father not given orders by The Elders to take care of him? Does he strike you as the kind of man that would A, let that sort of thing go, and B, not enjoy the excuse to cut loose with his newly acquired power?”
She had a very good point and it got me wondering.
“If you knew about it, about him and my uncle, then do you think The Elder’s knew?”
“It’s always safest to assume they know everything that’s going on.”
“Then why was it allowed to happen?”
She stared at me for a few seconds, I think trying to puzzle something together then said.
“He really didn’t teach you much did he. Werewolves are temporary. As dangerous and annoying as your father was and now is, most everything else will outlive him with a bit of patience. Is it inconvenient, yes, does it really matter in the grand scheme of things? No.”
She patted me on the head, again, smiled and was gone. It only then occurred to me that I’d just spent an hour locking myself and Amber in a house with an insane, very old and very powerful vampire.
A cold shiver ran down my spine and I quickly made my way back to Amber’s room. Which was possibly the safest place in the world at that very moment.
Bastian looked strange when he walked back into my room, somewhere between thoughtful and really confused.
“What? Oh, yes, I mean probably. But, just to be safe, don’t invite Belinda back in here for a bit.”
I had been trying to puzzle something out while he was gone, and really only one question kept popping into my head.
“Oh, kay? Hey, what happened to your phone?”
“No idea, it wasn’t with me when I woke up, why?”
Another cold rush washed over me and I could feel my jaw tighten as the look on Bastian’s face went from confused to concerned.
“Well, because I did text you a few times and, I mean you didn’t reply but they have all been read.”
He took three quick steps and he was next to me with his hand out.
“Can I see?”
I handed him my phone and I could see his eyes quickly flash over the messages.
-100% not Ghosting. Just insane right now.
-Hey, hope U R ok?
-Bastian? Is everything alright?
Nothing incriminating but the last message had been sent only a few hours before he arrived at the house, and all three had apparently been read.
“Who, who have I been texting?”
“If I had to guess I’d say my dad.”
I saw the muscles in his arms ripple and for just a second, I thought he might throw my phone across the room, or just, I don’t know, crush it. But instead, he let out a long-tired breath, handed me back my phone and gesturing at the bed said,
“Can I join you?”
I butt shuffled into the middle of the bed and he lay down next to me, then squirmed around to slip an arm under me, and rested his head on my stomach. Which was made even more adorable because it meant his feet dangled off the edge of the bed.
“Maybe the most comfortable I’ve ever been.”
Unconsciously I started running my fingers through his hair, and just listened to him breathe.
“I should definitely go shower or something though. But I don’t want to move.”
“I don’t want you to move either, but you should definitely go shower.”
It was such a clear and pure moment, uninterrupted by annoying vampires or the world outside that I forgot any of that stuff was there, and we just laughed. Not throw your head back roaring, not mean just a simple honest happy sound dancing out of us.
Then he rolled, kissed my stomach and got to his feet.
“Which way do I go?”
I pointed to a door in the far corner and watched him grab the towel I’d given him at the start of the insanity, and he headed off.
I stood outside her room listening to them laugh and it hurt, it hurt more than any tackle, car crash, vampire violence sunlight bullshit ever could. It reminded me of what I lost, what was taken from me. It sucked the hope from my soul and as I stood there, I felt more alone than I’d ever felt in my entire life.
But mostly it hurt because in all the years Amber and I had been together, never once had I heard her sound so at ease, so comfortable and calm. It hurt because even through my rage, and jealousy and pain, I knew it was real, and that we was really over.
I waited until I could hear water running then knocked on the door.
“Can I come in?”
“Can you not? Like, are you not able to?”
I turned the handle and pushed the door cautiously.
“Doesn’t seem to be anything stopping me?”
We looked at each other for a second and she gestured impatiently.
“Yes, yes come in, it’s weird when you just leer at the door like that. Unless you’re here to pick another fight?”
“Don’t worry that’s not the plan, not that it was exactly the plan this morning. But no.”
She nodded and smiled.
“How’s your hand?”
I held it up to show very light scarring but it was almost back to normal.
We sat for a moment and both stared at my hand. I had been almost obsessively watching it heal and I think Amber was doing the same. But I hadn’t just come to hang out.
“Can, can I ask you something, a favour?”
She looked at me and her face was just, open. She was listening and engaged and somehow, even though it was just the two of us I knew something had changed. Bastian being there put something between us.
“I know it’s not really my business anymore, or anything like that. And I’m really trying to not get in the way or be that guy, I really, really am. But could you not, like, be … uummm, intimate with Bastian in front of me. I mean, not that you actually have been or anything, but. Like, we were a couple last week, and honestly, you’re not really the one who got dumped. So, could you maybe not?”
“Of course, I mean, I totally get it. And I know that you got the short end of the stick, I’m still really sorry. I was actually thinking, before shit got weirder, that we’d be heading back home soon.”
“Back home? I’m not going back home.”
Her eye lids dropped and her eyebrows went up, the way they always did when she heard something unexpected that she didn’t like. I’d never say it, not even now, but it was the exact face her mother made when she was about to spout disapproving passive aggression.
“What do you mean you’re not coming back? You’re just going to stay missing presumed dead forever? What about your parents, your friends?”
“But Amber, I am dead. I can’t go back like this. Cold, can’t go into the sun, no reflection? What do you expect me to do, just lie to everyone constantly?”
I knew the look on her face, I’d seen it many times before. I’d hit a nerve, and I wasn’t sure which bit of what I’d said had done it.
“Well, that’s apparently what you expect me to do! Just lie to everyone who loves and misses you, and pretend like I don’t know you’re actually fine!”
Frustration flash boiled in my veins and a distant part of me realised that my temper had never been this volatile in the before times. But still I gestured at myself and yelled.
“What part of this looks like fine! To you Amber!”
“And I’m sorry about that, I really, really am! But that’s no excuse to hurt everyone else around you.”
“I’m dead! Just fucking accept it, I have to, and so do you!”
I could see my words hit home, and I mean hit. She gasped and leaned back as if I’d just slapped her, or something. Which instantly chilled my temper. I wasn’t sure if I’d crossed a line with what I’d said, but I sure as hell had with the way I’d said it. I took a deep breath and made an effort to calm my voice.
“Amber, I’m, I’m sorry. But we can’t pretend like things are just going to be normal.”
I looked at her then turned to see Bastian standing, again in a fucking towel in the corner of the room.
“I’m… I’m gonna go.”
For a moment Amber looked like she might say something, but she stopped herself and I went off to go punch a few walls on the other side of the mansion.