Ava didn’t sleep that night. It’s not that she couldn’t. Not that she was thinking about the way Tessa looked at her when she finally regained herself, or even the way Alex said her name to try and wake her up. Unfortunately, her lack of sleep did not derive from any of that.

It was all because of Ian’s words, and the fact that he was currently seated on the edge of her bed, staring at her in the darkness. He was swinging his leg back and forth, each time hitting the mattress, and thus infuriating her.

“Will you stop?” she hissed into the darkness. “That is so annoying.”

A soft chuckle ripped through the silence.

“Is that what it takes to annoy you?” he asked. “Not the fact that your own family hasn’t come to see you yet, or that you might actually be crazy, but that? How utterly childish.”

Ava didn’t answer him.

Didn’t he know that he was a child, too, so maybe things like that would bother him?

“I’m not like you,” he said. “I don’t let my emotions get the best of me.”

Apparently not.

“Why are you here?” she asked, sitting up.

“Why not?” he muttered.

He got up off the bed and started to walk around. She heard him rummage through her things, and it bothered her. Before she was able to speak again, she felt his hands on her face, his blue eyes gleaming in the darkness.

“You shouldn’t have pushed Bridget,” she told him.

He chuckled softly. “That bitch deserved it. She’s been bothering you since you got here.”

“I could have handled it!” Ava hissed. “You could have hurt her.”

Another chuckle, but this one made her shiver and she didn’t know why.

“I’m sure you could have, darling,” he said softly. His hands left her face as he sat down beside her again. His shadow hunched slightly. “But I don’t believe you would have. Don’t you see? You’re so insignificant that no one will listen. That’s why you’re here, because no one took into consideration what you really wanted.”

“That’s not why,” she whispered. “I wanted to come here.”

“You did not,” Ian murmured. He reached over and turned on the light, staring at her, his lips curling into a smirk. “You only knew that you didn’t have a choice, so telling Dr. Hadley what she wanted to hear was good enough for you. Either way, you were going to end up here.”

“But I’m not—”

“Crazy?” He grinned slowly at her. “It’s what everyone already thinks, so why not just give them what they want, Ava?”

She squeezed her eyes shut, hoping he would go away. She kept them closed for a long time, and in her mind’s eyes, she saw him disappear into a cloud of dark mist.

“You’ve seen too many movies,” Ian replied, his tone suggesting boredom. He was now sitting on her dresser, next to her television. “It’s time to play the truth game, little girl. What do you really think is going on here?”

“I don’t know,” Ava said.

Ian ran a hand through his hair, growled, and clicked off the light, leaving her in darkness once more. He didn’t say another word. She moved her feet under the cover, toward the edge of the bed, but didn’t feel him, which only meant one thing.

He had finally left her alone.

She didn’t know how dangerous that was.

The End

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