Beth was stunned.
“You don’t know anything, Jack,” she scoffed.
“So, you know more about Robert than I do?”
“Beth, I’m trying to kill him!” Jack shouted at her.
“I’m in love with him!”
Silence fell over the two siblings. Jack was staring at her in disbelief.
“You don’t love him,” he said, shaking his head.
“No, Beth, he’s just messed with your mind, forced you to love him.”
“If you know so much about him, you should know he wouldn’t bother doing that, just to get someone to fall in love with him.”
Jack’s eyes narrowed; he knew she was right.
“What about Alex?” he asked.
“I’m breaking up with him.”
“Alex is one of the good guys, Beth. He’s so much better for you than Robert is.”
“One of the good guys? If he’s so good, why did he lie to me about his original relationship with Robert? Robert tells me the truth all the time; I can’t trust Alex to do that.”
“It’s Robert you can’t trust. What makes you think he’s telling you the truth?”
“He promised he’d never lie to me.”
“And you believe that?” Jack laughed.
“Yes, I do believe it.”
Beth looked straight up at her little brother. He froze for a moment, before turning her head to the side.
“You’ve been feeding him,” he said, disgusted.
“Yes, I have. Jack, nothing you can say will ever be enough to make me stop loving him. You can try, if you really want.”
“Have you seen the bruises on your wrists?” he demanded. “God knows where else they are.”
Beth looked down at the hand-shaped bruises around each of her wrists. She touched one of them, remembering the moment of Robert holding her down as he kissed her. Jack grabbed her arm and held it up in front of her.
“Look at it, Beth,” he commanded. “He’s so much stronger than you are. Hell, he’s the second most powerful vampire in existence, only just behind their queen. But nobody knows what his powers are.”
“Jack, I really don’t care. Nothing you can say will make me change my mind,” she said again.
He sighed. “I can see that. But, please be careful, Beth. I don’t know what I’d do if you died, or if you turned.”
Beth pulled her brother into a hug.
“Don’t worry, I won’t,” she murmured.
“You can’t promise that.”
“I know. But, I do know that I need to talk to Alex.”
Jack moved away, nodding. He still really wasn’t happy, but he was giving way to her judgement.
When Beth was in her room, she readied herself. On her phone, there were a hundred and twenty-seven missed calls from the past two days, along with so many messages that her phone didn’t have enough memory to store them all.
She found Alex’s number and paused. Then she dialled. He answered immediately.
“Beth! Why haven’t you been picking up?” he demanded.
“Alex, we need to talk.”