I flop down on my bed with a sigh. I stare up at the ceiling, linking my hands behind my head.
When I catch myself wondering if what I did to Dustin was wrong, or too much, I have to give myself a mental slap. I never meant to get close enough to be caught out. But in those few minutes, I genuinely thought that maybe the breeding pits weren't so bad.
Cut me some slack, I was starving.
But now they're making me drain two or three humans a night, and while most of me isn't enjoying it, there's a small part of me that's revelling in the extra blood intake.
Once I'd adjusted to what I am and faked my death, it wasn't so bad, I mean, sure, controlling myself when I feed was hard to begin with, and I still miss being able to walk in the sun as freely as I used to. But it wasn't so bad once I'd gotten used to it all.
I can't help being a little concerned about the part of me that's enjoying this.
Grimacing, I pick up a remote and wave it in the general direction of my stereo, hoping that whatever CD I left in there will drown my thoughts out.
After a few tracks, it becomes clear that my thoughts - and my increasing thirst of blood - aren't going to be shut up by music.
I sit up and grab an old, probably stale, packet of cigarettes and lean out of the window to light it. The flame is barely to the end of the cigarette before I notice a blonde figure hanging around by the main door, hesitating. I sniff the air past the stale tobacco between my lips and sure enough, the familiar scent of a wolf I know all too well drifts up towards me.
I move away from the window and buzz him in, holding the button down long enough for him to realise I'm letting him in. A few minutes later, he walks in.
"I don't want to be here anymore," I say, not giving him a chance to speak.
"You need to stay, Brody, or they'll know something's up, and follow you all the way back to us." I shake my head and turn to look at him.
"I'm not staying."
"You have t-"
"No!" I shout, stunning him. Just because we're friends, doesn't mean I've raised my voice at him since I was a new born. "I don't want them to end up converting me, and that's exactly what's going to happen if I stay."
There must have been something about me that reeked of truth, or more likely desperation, because he agrees to cover my scent as I leave for the pack.
"You stink," Kito points out as I sit down in the front room. Well done there, so observant. "How much have you been drinking lately?"
"Brendon had me draining up to three people a night," I tell him, doing my best to ignore the part of me that growls for more. I don't need to say any more - just that was enough to spark an argument over what to do with me.
After a while of listening to their irritable debating, I feel a pair of eyes on me, and look up to meet them. Fate's stood in the doorway, just staring at me. I glance back at the wolves, wondering if they'd notice if I got up and went over to Fate.
"Hey," he says and I glance at the wolves again and get up, walking over to Fate. He plants a small kiss on my lips that I'm almost tempted to not return, but I find myself kissing back anyways. "I missed you."
"Did you fuck him?" I ask quietly.
"Lazarus. Did you fuck Lazarus?"
"What? No," he says and I relax a little, nodding to myself. I dunno why it ever wound me up so much - it's not like Fate's mine or ever will be. "Why?"
"It's nothing, I was just being wound up, hearing all about how you tried it on with him, and... It doesn't matter," I shrug, just wanting to forget about it.
"Hearing about... What?" he asks, confused.
"Brendon and Dustin,"
"Who's Dustin?" he questions suspiciously. No one you need to be worrying about, Fate, trust me.
"He's a little shit. Brendon's... sidekick or something. I dunno, but I know it was a miracle I put up with him as long as I did."
"Hang on, why were you with Brendon?" bless him, he's even more confused.
"Y'know how the plan was to watch and make sure it didn't get too bad, or whatever it was? I might have ended up getting caught. And I might have ended up being a recruit."
"You smell weird," he says with a small frown.
"So I've been told." He buries his head in my neck, sniffing me.
"It's like death."
"Probably has something to do with the amount of blood Brendon was forcing me to drink," I mumble, trying not to notice the kind of horrified look on his face. My stomach really picks its moments sometimes, doesn't it? Just as he looks down at his feet, it lets out a quiet growl. He looks up, meeting my embarrassed gaze.
"I'd offer you some of mine but I think I need to give it a break for a while," he says, gesturing at his neck when I give him a curious look. I arch my eyebrow a little bit, and he looks back down at his feet.
"S'okay. I shouldn't be hungry as it is." He keeps looking at his feet and I hesitate for a moment, "I should..." I mutter, gesturing back at my vacated seat.