I decided to sunbathe.
There had been too many weeks of worries, tension and grief and all I felt like doing right now was simply relaxing and soaking up some rays. The sun in France differed an incredible amount from the gloomy, dark streets of London and it was pure bliss. I lay on my back with my arms out, palm side down, and my eyes closed. I focussed on each individual caress the sun made with my skin, each waft of the warm summer's breeze that tousled my hair slightly and each happy chirp that the bird's made.
Someone came and lay beside me.
'Hey Ana,' Jester murmured.
'Hey Jester,' I smiled, rolling my head over to face him. 'What's up? You look worried.'
He sighed. 'Something's going on with Adder. I can sense it.'
'There's always something going on with him,' I rolled my eyes.
'No, I mean seriously. He told me that he overheard Calla talking with Demrin about something. He never told me exactly what it was, but I get the impression Adder's jealous. I don't mean petty, irrational jealousy, I mean complete rage-filled murderous resentment.' Jester's voice dropped slightly and he leaned in to almost whisper. 'I also saw him with Stephanie... I think something's going on between them.'
'With Stephanie?' I blinked. 'No, that can't be right. Adder wouldn't do that to Calla. He loves her.'
'Yes but what if he feels she doesn't love him? He's a vampire Ana, with pure, unadulterated emotions. Remember the other day, when you stormed out of the house?'
I blushed, recalling my mini hissy fit.
'You felt pissed off then, didn't you? Adder's going to feel a thousand times worse. Once you make that transition from human to vampire, your emotions are intensified drastically. Anger becomes rage, jealousy becomes vengeance and everything else spins into turmoil. I have a feeling he's gonna end up doing something stupid.'
I pursed my lips, considering everything Jester had just said. It made a lot of sense, I tried to imagine how I would feel if someone I loved had betrayed me. Well, how did I feel when Reuben tried to kill me? He was possessed, but it was still the worst feeling in the world. Or how would I feel if I felt that I had lost someone close to me? I suddenly remembered Jester laying on the wooden floor, a huge gaping hole in his chest, and how panicked and grief stricken I had felt then..
I stood up, starting to head back inside when Jester grabbed my wrist. 'Where are you going?'
'We need to tell Calla.'
'And say what? Your lover may or may not know that you possibly slept with Demrin ages ago and therefore could be on killing spree but hey, we don't know that for sure?'
'Maybe. Another thing we're not certain of. We should stay out of this and let them fix it between themselves.'
'I don't know...'
Jester stood up and took my hands in his. 'We don't want to cause any unnecessary arguments. A relationship is meant to be between two people, and I'm sure Adder and Calla wouldn't want us nosing in.'
'We're not nosing in,' I protested weakly. 'We're just trying to help.'
'But still. Let's just stay out of it and enjoy the sun for now.'
Jester sat back down, pulling my arm lightly. After another doubtful glance back to the house, I finally caved in and sat beside him.
'Are you feeling happier? From the other day?'
'Yeah,' I admitted. 'I'm sorry about that. It's really embarrassing to think about the way I treated all of you. I was just so annoyed and I think it all came tumbling down on me. I know I'm not the only one being affected by this.'
'It's gotta be hard though. Not seeing your brother.'
'Yep. But at least I know he's safe,' I smiled. 'What about you? You're handling this well.'
'It just makes a nice change, from everything else. I was so used to the darkness it was a relief to finally see the light. To have my world suddenly shining so brightly, it was as though things had become a lot clearer. But a part of me will always be afraid. It feels like they're going to come after me.' He looked away. 'To kill me.'
It broke my heart to hear Jester talking of darkness. I couldn't imagine how he must have felt, spending his life being somebody else's slave, fearing death and not being able to see another, more positive outlook to the world. I yearned to comfort him, to change that almost permanent crease between his eyebrows, the slight tilt of his mouth that told me he was miserable. I know he tried to hide it as best as he could, but he couldn't fool me. I was used to understanding pain and grief by now.
'You don't have to be afraid forever,' I murmured. 'You're safe here.'
I trailed one hand up his arm, along his collarbone, rested on the side of his face. He looked straight at me, clasping his hand to mine.
'You've changed everything Ana,' he told me. 'Everything.'
I leaned forward to kiss him. It felt like the most natural thing in the world and I wondered why I hadn't done it sooner. His lips were soft, warm and welcoming and they melted against mine. When I pulled away, he was smiling, and it was as though all the pain had dissipated from his eyes. He looked the happiest I had seen in in ages.
After that, we lay together in the sun, fingers entwined with one another, just enjoying the moment.