When one is cursed to live for eternity, two weeks is like the breath of a spring breeze. It barely caresses your face, and then it has danced away, never to be felt again. I'd grown accustomed to sort of sailing through life, a blur of moments that happened mostly around me. I was untouched by most everything, and of the few things that did phase me, the scars soon healed. There were but a few pains I would hold to forever.
However, the next two weeks dragged on in a slow hell. I found myself alone, mostly, and I realized in that time that I'd never really had a friend. Lovers, yes, but no one whom I could turn to and simply be with. No one.
Adder avoided me at all costs, keeping to his room and the shadows there. Ana was still away on her hunt for Jester. Demrin coddled me as though I was some exotic princess who must be kept satisfied, lest the whole island would burn. And something had shifted in him too, some dark secret I knew he was keeping. I'd bandaged up his hand and chest as best I could, yet he still hadnt given me an idea as to where the cuts had come from.
Selfish. I was so goddamned selfish. Here I sat in solitude before my piano, when the first lights of dawn were streaking the sky, and the shadow of the day was splattered across the French countryside. I remembered the days when Everette had taken me around the world, and I had marveled at the beauties it had to offer. But I'd barely stepped out of our mausoleum mansion once.
Perhaps it was my disgust at myself, or something deeper. But all at once a wave of nausea hit me. Hard. I doubled over and toppled of the piano bench, fell onto my knees. I tried, with one hand, to hold back my hair but it was too late. When the vomit came, it was in horrid wretches that shook my body and brought tears to my eyes.
Three or four times I must have puked. Tears streamed down my face, derived from both embarrassment and the twinging pain that moved through my stomach.
"Calla?" The door swung open. I could just barely raise my head to see who stood in the doorway, and when I did it was the last person I'd have expected.
"Reuben," I managed, but the mere effort of that brought on another wave of heaving.
He was at my side in a moment, holding back my hair and wiping at my face. His own expression was a mixture of concern and something deeper, something I couldnt quite figure out."What's the matter?" he asked softly, rubbing at the back of my neck. We'd never said two words to each other, yet that one gesture made me feel closer to him than many before. Because he was there. And no one else was.
"I..dont.." I couldnt even finish that sentence. I repositioned myself so that I was sitting crosslegged, oh so aware of the way my body was trembling. Reuben was still holding my blonde hair between his fingers.
Without a second thought, I yanked up the hem of my dress and pulled down my gray silk thong. It was all it took to bring more tears to my eyes, to stop my heart beating in my chest. The inside was dotted with a think streak of pale pink blood.
Reuben looked away, a sigh falling from his lips. "Oh, Calla.."
I was shaking my head without even realizing it. "That's not possible," I whispered. "I cant...that cant happen."
"I have fucked a hundred men or more!" I shrieked, shaking him off of me. "How in GOD'S NAME is this possible? I am a succubus. My soul purpose in life is to have sex, over and over and..."
I broke off, collapsed into his chest and let the sobs overtake me. "I dont know how," Reuben murmured, rubbing circles into my back. "But I'm sure Demrin will-"
"Shit." One word. I cut him off mid sentence. I could feel his gaze heavy upon me but couldnt bring myself to look at him.
"Calla." There were so many emotions uttered in my name. "Demrin is the, well, only person...right?"
I let out a slow hiss of a breath. Memories flooded my brain of that one night, of how Adder had pulled me into his arms and pushed himself deep into me. How we'd held each other and his name had fallen from my lips as my blood ran between his teeth.
"No," I finally said. "I slept with Adder, too." The words made it all sound so final. So real. This was really, really happening. This wasnt just some dream that I would wake up from, and everything would go back to normal.
I looked to Reuben then, who only brushed back my hair and tried to muster up the brightest smile he could. "Perhaps it will not be so bad," he said. I could tell how forced his enthusiasm was. There was no bright side to this. There was no fairytale hidden behind this horror film.
"I have to tell Demrin," I mumbled. I felt so weak, so incapable. All the strength had left my body. It hurt just to breath."And Adder. I have to tell them both."
Reuben nodded, rising to his feet and extending a hand to help me as well. I smiled at him, however pitiful and wistful it must have been.
"I'll clean up," he told me. I nodded numbly and started toward the door. Every step I took, it felt more and more surreal to me. Like I was watching a movie in which I was the star, but it wasnt really me. It couldnt be, because this was most certainly not in the script. Nowhere in the write ups had there been anything in which I, Calla Wiles, was pregnant.