Thankfully, Alexander's parents had consented to his request of not telling others of his homecoming until the following day. Alexander wanted at least one day of rest before the townspeople began to ask questions.
After two hours of talking, though he didn't share too much of his personal life, Alexander had retired to his room, where he'd simply written - something he hadn't done in a long, long time. His parents had respected his need to be alone, something for which Alexander was extremely grateful.
But one thing remained: Alexander hadn't told his parents about his baby girl.
It grew dark, and after Thomas and Laura had bid Alexander goodnight, Alexander lay in bed, not even bothering with the blankets. He simply lay there, still contemplating what the next day would bring, when a pebble hit his window.
It had better not be Eve.
"Alexander," Eve whispered, and though Alexander couldn't see her well in the moonlight, he was able to to make out some distinctions.
Such as the fact that time had only served to harden Eve's already harsh beauty. Any innocence she might have had had been thoroughly lost. Her long hair blew in the wind, and her frame had been well curved and defined over the past few years. Her smile was hard. There was no purity to it.
"Alexander, come out here where we can be alone."
"Are you kidding me? You've got to be! We're adults, Eve."
"Then come out the front door. I have to talk to you." Eve smiled and winked at Alexander.
Irritated, Alexander was about to close the window when an errant thought popped into his head. Miriam wouldn't have to know. You left Miriam because, like it or not, part of you knew you'd go groveling back to Eve.
The thought had been completely uninvited, but Alexander stood there, greatly enticed by the sight of the woman who had become his downfall. After a long pause, he climbed out the window - it wasn't as easy as it used to be - and found himself face-to-face with Eve.
"Alexander, hello," Eve whispered, tracing Alexander's face with a chilling fingertip. She kissed his jaw and leaned into him. Alexander could feel the furious pulse of her heart as she stood there. "I saw you come back home. I was hurt that you didn't come to find me."
"Why would I come to find you?"
"Remember how we used to be in love?" Eve whispered, and her voice was the most intoxicating thing Alexander had experienced since he'd chosen sobriety.
Cursing himself for considering Eve's unspoken offer, Alexander allowed Eve to relax in his arms. No, he had never fully overcome his so-called "love" for this woman. He felt inexplicably possessive of her, something that frightened him to no small degree. What's the use of refusing her?
Eve smiled and drew away, casting a coquettish glance at Alexander before turning away.
"Wait," Alexander whispered hoarsely. He caught Eve and roughly pulled her to himself, hating himself for giving in. Kissing Eve with a hunger and passion that had been pent up within himself for the past six months, he allowed himself to rake his hands through Eve's hair and claim her lips. I want this. God help me, I want this so bad.
Struggling greatly, Alexander groaned and broke the kiss. Almost unable to breathe, he faintly heard Eve laugh. That was all he needed to make his next decision.
Shoving Eve aside, Alexander gathered whatever courage he had left and shook his head. "There. I wanted to do that one last time."
"What?" Eve exclaimed, shell-shocked. "What are you talking about?"
"It's over, Eve," Alexander said, without so much as a glance behind. "I'm tired of hating myself. I'm tired of falling prey to your wiles whenever I weaken. Go home, Eve."
Eve looked as though she was about to faint. "That's it?" she shrieked. "That's it, then?"
"Yeah, Eve. That's it." And with that, Alexander walked in the front door and shut himself inside, leaving Eve out there by herself.
Heaving a weary sigh, Alexander fell back against the wall and sank to the floor. How close he had come...
But he hadn't.