I sank to my knees, letting go of Thorn. Whose idea had it been anyway, to come and actually show Alex we were 'dating'? I loved him too much: that was it. I was still under the ludicrous impression that he might fall in love with me again.
"Please," I whispered. "I love him, Emilia. Like you love, Alex: you do love, Alex, don't you?"
"Hmm, I won't touch him. I had no intention of it. Though I am curious, Thorn, indulge me. Why are you here?"
Thorn swallowed nervously. His Californian accent disappeared and he replied "I'm here for Flora."
I winced. "Can I confess, Emilia? I'd much rather you heard it from me - and Alex too." I glanced at him and felt sympathy wash over me. Oh, Thorn had released me from his mental suggestions. Well, that would make things easier.
"Thorn... are you afraid?"
"Yeah," he muttered, looking at the floor. I knew how much he hated suffering his pride.
"Why?" She laughed slightly; her voice was like a warm autumn breeze and as soft as silk.
"You actually pose a threat to me. There's nothing the werewolf or Flora can do. And I've no intention of dying. Certainly not before I've accomplished my goal."
"Well relax; I'm not in any habit of starting fights... although, you underestimate Alex." She laughed, turning her attention to Alex. "You called for me..." He remained silent. "We'll discuss it later then."
"Your werewolf would ask you to kill me if he knew my purpose here," Thorn said, his voice tight and his muscles tensed. I reached out and stroked his leg. He didn't pay any attention to me. "Anyway, how can you stand being around that thing? We're so much better than them. They're like the Indian Untouchables."
She simply smiled in return, "I keep a werewolf round for protection whereas you keep a witch around... why?"
"I don't keep her around in the sense that you mean. She's my ex-girlfriend. At some point in the near future, I'm going to kill her."
I sighed, resting my head against him. He continued to ignore me.
"Of course, well, I'm very busy. Luckily, I had trivialities in Miami. I will be back, at some point," she murmured, glancing at Alex who sat unmoving.
"Promise he won't die," I said, speaking up bravely. "Either by your hand or Alex's: promise Thorn won't die."
"I will promise nothing, Alex's hand is his own. Mine? Only if Thorn forces it. He's kinda cute, it'd be a great loss," she smirked.
Thorn looked un-amused. "If your werewolf attacks me, I can't promise he won't be unscathed. You understand, don't you, the instinct for self-preservation?"
"Thank you," I murmured to Emilia. Then, loudly enough for Alex to hear, I said "If Thorn dies, so do I. So no attempts are to be made on his life. Even though I'll die anyway."
"Your witch is an idiot and I perfectly understand. But know that if my wolf dies, via you, you will be mine instead," she warned, though I couldn't tell if she was flirting, or warning him.
Thorn looked grudgingly respectful.
"You've really explored your powers, haven't you? I can see now I've only touched upon the surface." He surprised me by saying "And don't insult the witch." That was, until he added "She's getting a long, painful death from me and I'd rather know all of it was down to me."
"I'm not stupid," I murmured, with no real hope of anyone paying attention to me. "I'm still in love with Thorn and if I can't have him, maybe there's no point to life."
Thorn growled quietly but I ignored him.
"Of course, what's the point in having powers and not using them to their full strength?" She glanced at her watch irritably throughout her speech.
"Sorry, I'm keeping you." He bowed his head. "If only I'd met you before I met Flora," he said quietly. "You're beautiful and you seem to understand."
"I understand," I protested.
"Shut up," he said, kicking my back.
"We'll meet again Thorn, I just can't be sure when," she smiled warmly to him before disappearing in a blur.
I curled up with my knees against my chest.
"You can't see? Even after I tried to protect you?"
"Your protection means nothing," Thorn said. "Now you've told several lies in the space of this afternoon. I'm going to follow through on what I said yesterday."
And with that, he pushed me under his control, so that I couldn't think or feel of my own accord.
"We're going home," he announced, and wordlessly I rose to my feet and followed him to my car.
"Flora," a weak whisper called before I had left the garage.
I didn't turn around. I was totally under Thorn's power.
"Don't look into the sun. It will blind you."
Back at home, Thorn and I went up to my room. The previous day he had spent kissing me and sending me pleasant thoughts and images, by use of his psychic abilities. Today he pointed to my bed and, when I was sitting down, him beside me, began to drink my blood without hypnotising me so that I felt the full extent of the pain.
But one thing he had forgotten was the pleasure I felt in giving my blood. As I had done so many times in the past, I felt like this was a sign that I trusted Thorn and that I cared about him enough to want to sate his thirst. I felt close to him as our minds touched lightly, though of course, this particular experience was tainted by the coldness of his thoughts. Still, I didn't really mind as he lapped rhythmically at the puncture wound he'd made in my neck. The movement against my skin was almost soothing, and also felt a little like he was kissing me. It was definitely reminiscent of our favourite night time activity.
I wasn't at all surprised that tears flowed down my cheeks during the blood-drinking, even though my mind had been suppressed. So much I hoped that Thorn would realise that I truly, deeply cared for him. If that happened before I died, even better.
Maybe Emilia had had a point about my intelligence back in the garage...
After he had drunk, I was allowed a little taste of Thorn's blood so that I didn't feel too dizzy or ill and then he put me to sleep, without any supper.
I awoke in his arms, a torturously familiar position.
I shed a few more tears, whispering "Oh, you have to see; you have to see."