“Come again?” I stared at Fate. Had those words really just come out of his mouth?
"I'm sorry," Fate’s face and voice were sad, really sad, but all I could do was stare, not believing he meant it. If he meant it, he wouldn’t have just said what he did.
"What did I do wrong?" I questioned.
"Nothing, I just..." he let out a sigh, "I don't know."
"If it was the drinking, I'll stop. I've done it before, I can do it again. Please, Fate," I pleaded, about ready to get on my knees and beg him.
He put his hand to my cheek, "I'm sorry, Blondie."
"Please don't leave me," I looked up at him with wide eyes, "we're mates. Doesn't that mean anything to you?"
"Of course it does,” he told me, looking morose.
"Then why are you leaving me?" His gazed became fixed on the floor between our feet and I wondered whether Brody had a hand in persuading him to leave me. It was Brody he had chosen after all. "Was something wrong? I thought we were happy. You should've told me you weren't happy." I could’ve tried harder to please him, and be there for him, and be a good partner. I was doing my best.
His eyes stayed pointing downward. "I was happy."
"Then why? I don't understand.” There it was. That burning, stinging sensation that builds up in the back of your throat and nose as your eyes start to fill with tears even though you do your best to hold them at bay.
"I..." he started and I waited a second before trying to get him to spit it out.
"What? You what?" He bit down on his lower lip. "The least you can do is tell me why you chose him over me." I was trying very hard to keep it together, but it wasn’t easy. Though I was glad Brody was elsewhere in the house. I think if he was here too, I’d be giving him a piece of my mind in the form of my hands around his neck.
"It's just something he said that made sense at the time,” he told me quietly.
“What did he say to you?”
"He said that the only reason you want me is because if I pick him, you can't have either of us.” His eyes returned to the floor and I stepped back a little because I didn’t trust myself not to punch him for a moment.
“Do you really think so little of me?”
"Like I said, it made sense at the time. I know how you feel about him."
“I picked you because I love you, Fate!” I reminded him angrily, getting more and more frustrated when he refused to look up at me. “You’re taking the word of an idiot that barely understands why he has to bother saying hello to people over mine?”
“It’s not just me that’s going to be upset about this, Fate. What about the pack? Your family?” They’d probably end up kicking him out if he insisted on staying with a vampire. He gave me this sad, submissive look, but it just pissed me off more. I needed to hit someone, but Fate was not who I wanted to hit. He’d done nothing wrong; Brody turned into a jealous dick and told him a bunch of lies to get him away from me.
“I know,” he said. I glared at him for a moment, before storming off upstairs to find Brody.
“I thought you were supposed to be my friend!” I shouted as I caught sight of the vampire. “You jealous dick.”
“I’m jealous?” he arched an eyebrow, “you’re the one that clings to him because otherwise you can’t have either of us. You know it’s true.”
I yelled something unintelligible and launched myself at him. I know I’m not much of a challenge for Brody when it comes to fighting – he’s taller, stronger and faster – but surprise and rage were on my side long enough to get in a good few blows before he started hitting back.
Fate, no doubt hearing us, followed us up and started trying to break up our fighting. Both of us ignored him. Brody had a hand around my throat and I had a fistful of his hair, forcing him to bend his neck at an awkward angle. I was determined to rip his head off. Fate just kept trying to get us to stop fighting, getting in the way. I think he was trying to stand between us. Realising this, and not wanting to hurt him by accident, I moved away, sporting a split lip, several bruises and a bright red hand print around my neck. I was too busy glaring at Brody to notice what state Fate was in.
“Get out,” I told Brody. He didn’t move. I shoved and tackled him to the top of the stairs, crumpling the front of his shirt in my fist. “Get out!” I yelled in his face.
"I'm not leaving til Fate's ready,” he said defiantly.
"Fate will leave when he goddamn wants to. You're not welcome here." I threw him down the stairs before he could read what I was about to do in my eyes. He landed with a heavy thud and a couple of cracks at least dulled the urge to rip his head off a little. Fate was just standing there looking upset as Brody picked himself up.
"I'll be outside when you're ready," he said, looking up at Fate before walking out. I looked at Fate too, realising I’d lost them both for good. The only thing I could think to do was to go into the bathroom and start cleaning up the mess Brody had made of me.
"I really am sorry, Lazarus," I heard Fate say as I inspected the split in my lip. It was already getting a little puffy.
"Please don't drag it out if you're leaving, Fate," I told him flatly, running a flannel under the tap. He wasn’t doing it deliberately, but the longer he stuck around, the more he was rubbing my nose in my loss.
"I still love you. I always will," he said as if that would make it better.
"I love you too."
"We can still be friends, right?" That’s a lot like saying ‘hi, I ran over your cat, but here, you can keep its corpse as a memento and a permanent reminder of how much pain the fucker caused you by dying’. I found myself nodding anyway and his lips met my cheek. I felt sick. I just kept cleaning myself up, watching him hesitate in the mirror. "Tell Lucky I said bye." I nodded, not sure where the hunter even was. “Bye, Blondie,” he murmured sadly.
“Bye, Fate,” I replied blankly. When I hear the front door close, I dropped the flannel in the sink and sat down on the edge of the bath. “God hates me,” I groaned, “what did I ever do to deserve this?” He said he wasn’t going anywhere. Why did he have to lie to me?