Chapter 26Mature

Chapter 26

“Do you really think that’s a good idea, Julia?” Tiffany asks. The strap to my bag digs into my shoulder, forcing me to mess with and get it lined up straight while she talks to me.

“It’s good for me. That way if we get caught, I’ll be the one who gets hurt and not Logan.” I’ll be the one who gets killed.

Tiffany points at something behind me. “She’s here.” She starts walking and I hurry to catch up, spotting Logan’s red jeep as we go. “You’re not just going to get hurt if that happens, Julia. You’re going to be killed. It’s not a game. You need to think about this.”

Her green eyes search out mine, her face tight and worried. I can’t help but wonder what she’s thinking. She’s been nothing but suspicious since I met her, yet she keeps helping us and seems to genuinely care. I can’t figure her out.

Out of the corner of my eye I see a black car coming, and stop before I reach the road so I don’t get hit, grabbing Tiffany so she doesn’t either. The car speeds past, barely missing us by a few feet.

“Idiots,” I hiss. They shouldn’t be speeding in a school zone like that; someone’s going to get hurt. But back to the matter at hand.

“I am thinking about it, Tiffany,” I say, stepping over a curb into the parking lot. “And I know that I could get killed. But if Logan lives then it’s worth it.”

Tiffany grabs my arm, pulling me to a stop. She puts her hands on my shoulders, bending over slightly so she’s eye-level with me. “Do you really feel that way? Would you really do that for your sister?”

I feel as if her eyes are looking straight into my soul. A ball rises in my throat, ensuring that I have to swallow it back down before I can speak.

“Yes,” I get out weakly. Tiffany just stares at me a second, and I can’t find it in me to push her off. I can feel the tears swelling in my eyes and I try to blink them away as Tiffany lets me go.

“You’re a good sister,” she says quietly. She starts walking again and I speed up for a few steps to keep up with her long strides. “I don’t know how you’re gonna convince Logan to go through with that. I can’t imagine anything that could make her do that, but...that’s up to you. I can’t stop you.”

We reach Logan’s car and Tiffany hops into the back. I get in the front, slamming the door as Logan starts it. Really, how am I going to convince her to do this?

 

We spend five hours training in the woods. Logan is still better than me at fighting, but I'm also still better at shifting. She did manage to shift over one time without having a meltdown though, so she's getting better. If we just had more time to learn everything, we could be great. I'd learn to fight better, she'd learn to shift. It would help a lot. Sadly, we don't have that kind of time.

Tiffany taught us moves suited for our werewolf forms, and I feel like I’ve learned an incredible amount of stuff in the past few days, but not enough. There’s more to fighting than just punching and kicking.

Now I’m at home, packing my bag to spend the night at Elijah’s house. I haven’t told Logan about my idea yet, but I did tell her I needed to talk to her before I leave. Right now she’s cooking us dinner, and it seems like Tiffany will be staying here tonight. She never did say where she went besides to get groceries.

“There’s chicken and rice in the kitchen,” Logan says from the doorway behind me. I zip my bag up before turning around. “What did you want to talk to me about?”

“Okay, so..um..I had an idea. I have a few things planned tomorrow, and I won’t be home until late. But I’ll be back before Sunday morning. I was thinking that..just to confuse Marcus, we could..switch places.”

“Switch places?” Logan asks, eyebrows raised. Shoot, how am I supposed to say this? What do I say to convince her?

“Yeah,” I say. “I was thinking that..just in case things go wrong, we can do that, you know, confuse ‘em. We can’t tell anybody though. No one. I don’t know if Marcus still has people following us or not, but I know he definitely will on Sunday. We can’t let them know that we switched.”

“So, you want us to switch, so you can...protect me?” she asks, a weird look on her face.

“Ahh...yeah, pretty much,” I say. We just stare at each other for a moment and I figure she’s about to go off on me, or at least tell me no, but she does the thing I least expect. She agrees.

“Okay,” she says, turning around to leave. What?

I take a step forward, saying, “Wait...that’s it?” She stops and looks at me. She was just joking, she’s about to tell me what she-

“Yep.” Then she walks out. That-that was way too easy. I’m sure she must be messing with me, but..I’m not gonna say anything. I’ll deal with this later. I’m not even sure we’ll need to switch at all.

I put my bag on my back and head into the living room, where I can see Tiffany eating at the bar. I’m about to walk over and eat some food myself when I see a message on the answering machine. I almost leave it but I figure that it could be Matt or Roman, so I stop and check it.

“Hey, it’s Roman. I called everybody and we can meet at Cecilia’s house tomorrow at one. Logan can even come if she wants. It’s 2823 Olive Street, the neighborhood near the skating rink. See you then.” The machine beeps off and I’m quick to make note of the address in my head.

“What was that about?” Tiffany asks as I walk by, putting a piece of chicken in her mouth. I pull a plate out of the cabinet and start fixing myself a plate of food.

“I’m meeting up with Roman and some more members of the pack tomorrow to see if I can talk them into helping us. You know, just in case we need it.” I hear the chair squeak as Tiffany gets up and makes her way toward the sink with her empty plate.

“Really? Who all are you meeting with?” The plate drops into the sink at the same time that I pull out a fork and a knife, talking all the while.

“Cecilia, John, Alyssa, and Roman.” I sit down where Tiffany was at before and dig in. Tiffany sits beside me and asks a few questions about our training today, and when I answer correctly she moves on to something else. We talk about my mom for a little while, how she should be coming home soon and we’ll have to explain a few things to her.

After a while, Tiffany leaves to go shower and I get a second serving of food before telling Logan goodbye and leaving. I take her bike from the garage, considering I don’t have one. Don’t have much use for one when you’re paralyzed.

It’s already dark out as I ride her bike to Elijah’s house. It feels amazing to stretch my legs like this. Now that I think about it...when was the last time I rode a bike? When I was seven?

There’s quite a few people out and about right now so I have to watch where I’m going, but for the most part we avoid each other well. The cool breeze feels great as I fly past houses and fences all the way to Elijah’s house. It’s wonderful.

I put my hand up to knock on the front door, but then decide just to walk in. It’s not like they walk around naked or something.

“Elijah?” I call out, shutting the door behind me. “It’s Julia.” I see movement out of the corner of my eye and look in it's direction, only to find Kai sitting in the recliner in the living room, watching television. His neck cranes around so he can see me.

“He’s in his room.”

“Thanks,” I say. I make my way toward the hall when he calls out my name.

“Julia?” I turn to look at him. He pushes the footrest down and sits on the edge of the seat, looking at me with his chocolate-brown eyes. “Have you thought about it?”

“Thought about-oh.That,” I say, realizing that he’s referring to Elijah. “I’m not sure. I’ll-I’ll let you know before tomorrow, okay? Just give me that much time with him.”

He sighs, still staring at me. I hold the stare until he gives in, looking away and throwing his hands up. “Fine. I need to know tomorrow. Otherwise, I’m just going to take him without any kind of goodbye, and I know neither of you want that. Plus it would be much easier to have him come willingly.”

“Okay, I’ll let you know before I leave in the morning.” I turn to go but he stops me one more time.

“Julia.” I stop and look at him. “You..um, you do know who that girl is at your house, right?” What? Then it hits me: Tiffany. They had that weird eye contact moment yesterday. I don’t know what that was about, but I guess he recognized her and wants me to know? Why?

“Who, Tiffany?” I ask. I notice his hair is now sticking up weirdly from how he was sitting and I want to go pet it down, but I restrain myself. That would be a new level of awkward.

“Yeah, I was just..making sure you knew who she was. I wouldn’t have thought you’d be hanging out with her after everything.”

“What do you mean?” I ask.

He shakes his head. “Nothing, never mind.” He lays back in the chair again. I want to push him and ask him what he meant, but I leave it alone. Kai doesn’t seem like he likes me very much, or at least, he wants me to let Elijah go and I haven’t done that yet. I don’t want to make him any angrier than I already have, so I just walk away.

“Elijah,” I say, knocking on the doorframe. He has his reading glasses on, laying on his bed while reading a book. During the day he always wears contacts, so I only get to see him in glasses at nighttime. I think he looks adorable, but he doesn’t like how he looks with them on.

“Oh, hey,” he says, closing his book and sitting up. “Come in, I’m glad you’re here.” He takes his glasses off and sets it on the nightstand next to his bed before standing up.

“Here, just set your bag wherever.”

“Actually, I was going to go take a shower first.”

“Oh, okay, that’s cool,” he says. “You know how it works?”

“Yeah, I just wanted to tell you I was here. See you in a bit.” I go to the bathroom, fiddling with the lock for about thirty seconds before giving up and leaving it unlocked. I get undressed and am figuring out the shower handles whenever I hear footsteps coming closer and closer to the door. I jump in the shower, sliding the curtain shut just as someone turns the doorknob and walks in. Shoot, shoot, shoot.

“Julia?” Milton calls from outside the shower. I’m already naked and wet, so I slightly open the curtain, just enough to peer my head out with the rest of me still covered. Typical Milton, I think.

“Yes?” I say, just wanting him to leave.

“I want to tell you about something. What are you doing?”

“I’m taking a shower. Can you, uh, can you leave so I can finish? We can talk when I’m out.” C’mon, Milton, just leave.

“Oh, yeah. You’re naked.” He giggles.

“Yes, I am,” I hiss. “Shut the door, too.”

“Okay,” he says. Thank god. He walks out, pulling the door behind him, but not completely shutting it. It starts to slowly swing open and I sigh, getting out of the shower to close it since he’s already gone.

I reach for a towel at the same time that Kai turns the corner, saying, “Milton, I told you to neve-” He stops short when he sees me standing there naked.

My hands fumble with the towel but it’s too late; he’s already seen me. His eyes quickly scan down my body once, and he freezes, his mouth gaping open. Then he spins around, looking as fumbled as I feel.

“I-I’m sorry,” he says. “I thought you were Milton.”

“Just get out!” I say, and slam the door behind him. Sighing, I bang my head against the door, feeling mortified. I listen as his footsteps fade across the hall into Milton’s room. This is the most embarrassing moment of my life, I think. My boyfriend’s brother just saw me naked.

I try to shake it off and not think about it, finishing my shower. It never leaves my mind though. And upon leaving the bathroom the first thing I see is him in Milton’s room on the other side of the hall. He’s talking to Milton, who’s lying in bed, before he looks up and sees me. When he gets up and heads toward me, I stop walking and anxiously wait for him.

“About what happened-” he starts.

“Never speak of it,” I say. I’m pretty sure I catch the faintest of smiles as he nods.

“Okay. And Milton refuses to go to bed without speaking to you, now that you’re here.”

“All right, I’ll go talk to him.”

“Thank you.” He sighs and rubs his eyes, and I realize just how tired he looks. He must be keeping very busy since getting back and I can’t help but feel a twinge of sympathy for him. He left to protect his brothers, then came back to do the same and ended up getting caught up in a lot of drama. He doesn’t know me but he protected me when I killed his dad: burying him out in the woods and making up a story to tell the police. Now he’s just trying his best to raise two kids without any help. He's only nineteen, it seems like he's had a hard life so far, only getting worse thanks to me killing his dad and forcing him to cover it up.

“Why is Milton still up anyway?” I ask. “It’s, like, ten o’clock.”

“Honestly, I don’t know. He’s managed to avoid his bedtime for about two hours now and I don’t even know how.” I laugh a little and the mood seems to lighten up a bit.

In this moment, something I’ve been thinking about a long time, something I didn’t want to admit, breaks through. I know what I have to do. Kai is right.

“I’ll do it,” I say quietly. “I’ll try to talk Elijah into leaving. You’re right. It’s for the best.”

He looks at me with an urgent look in his eyes and I can tell we’re thinking the same thing. “Thank you,” he says.

“Yeah,” I say nervously, fiddling with my hands. The moment of silence drags on a little too long, making it awkward.

“Um..I’m just gonna-” I cut him off before he can finish by hugging him. I wrap my arms and around his neck and my chin rests on his shoulder. I don’t know why I do it; something just propelled me to hug him, to thank him for what he’s done, even though  hated him at first. I couldn't understand how he'd leave Elijah and Milton with Marshall, but..I get it. He was afraid he'd hurt them himself. And he beats himself up for it. I don't need to make it harder.

“Thank you,” I whisper, my eyes clenched tight. I feel as if I’m about to cry because I know I’m going to have to talk to Elijah soon. I don’t know how I’m going to do it...but I gotta try.

I expect Kai to shove me off or awkwardly push me away, but he doesn’t. Everything I’ve learned about him up to now tells me that he doesn’t like being emotional or touching people, but instead of shoving me off, he lets me hug him. After a second I feel his hand on my back, actually embracing it.

“Okay,” I say, pulling away after a minute. “I’ll go talk to Milton now.” He nods and walks away as I grab my bag from the bathroom a few feet away, which I forgot about earlier.

“Hey, Milton,” I say, dropping my bag on the floor by his bed. “Why are you still awake?” I kneel down beside his bed and he sits up.

“I wasn’t tired.” He yawns, showing that he most definitely is tired.

“Mmmhhmmm. So what did you want to tell me?”

“What?” he asks, then seems to realize what I’m talking about. “Oh, yeah! Today, when Elijah and Kai were picking me up at school, there was this girl. She-she was really, really pretty, but..her eyes were weird.”

I shift on the floor. “What do you mean?” I ask, thinking about how he saw not only the color of my werewolf eyes, but Kai’s and Logan’s as well. It seems like, for whatever reason, he can see what people’s eyes really look like. So if he says someone’s eyes look weird, it could be because they’re supernatural.

“They were just-they were all white,” he says, seeming confused. “That’s not normal, is it?”

“No, sweetheart, it isn’t,” I say, shaking my head. All white? “So it was completely white? No color or pupil or anything?”

“What’s a poopil?

I bite back a laugh and answer him. “It’s the little black part in the center of your eye.”

“Oh. No, she didn’t have that either. Just white.”

“Huh. That’s weird,” I say. Normally I would write this off as something he made up or thought he saw, but I now know from experience that that’s not true. He can see things, things no one else can see. This girl could be supernatural, whoever she is. Whatever she is.

“Do you know who she is?” I ask. “What her name is?”

“No,” he says, shaking his head. I feel disappointed but he adds to it. “But she was with this boy. He was tall and had blond hair. Elijah said hi to him.”

My heart picks up. “He did? Do you know his name?”

“I think he called him Luke,” Milton says. Luke? What was Luke doing there, and who was that girl he was with? Rachel. It has to be Rachel. That’s his sister, and she did tell us all that stuff recently. It adds up. But I need to make sure.

“Do you have a yearbook in here somewhere?” I ask, looking at him.

“Under the bed,” he says. I move my head down and look under there, where I see a ton of random toys. He must put his toys here every time someone tells him to clean up. Under some of them, I see a book though. Upon inspection I see that it is a yearbook, and I grab it, putting it on top of the bed. I flip through the pages to our grade, searching out Rachel and Luke, who will be side by side since they have the same last name. When I find them I spin the book around for Milton and point to them.

“Is this the boy and the girl you saw?” I stare at him expectantly, and he slowly begins to nod.

“Yeah, that’s them.” I feel like a made some sort of breakthrough, but really, this is stuff we already knew. I notice Milton’s eyes are drooping and decide I need to wrap this up.

“Well,” I say, closing the book and sliding it back under the bed, “that’s weird, but nothing we can do about it. Now that you’ve told me, are you ready to go to bed?”

He yawns again, wide enough that I can see his uvula hanging in the back of his throat. “Yeah.”

“Okay. Goodnight.” I lean forward and kiss him on the forehead, and run my finger through his shaggy hair. He closes his eyes, not seeming to mind.

“Goodnight,” he says, and rolls onto his side. I pick up my bag and walk to the door, taking a good look at him before turning out the light. I’m not just losing Elijah, I’m losing Milton, too.

I shut the door and turn around, about to walk to Elijah’s room before I spot Kai. He’s leaning against the only other door in the hallway: the one that must lead to Marshall’s room His hand lingers on the doorknob, and his eyes are clenched shut, his head against the door. What’s he doing?

“Kai?” I say, tip-toeing toward him. “Are you okay?”

His eyes shoot open and he quickly looks at me. “Yeah, yeah, I’m fine.” He looks at the door again. “I was just- the chair in the living room has started hurting my neck at nights and I want to sleep in an actual bed. This is the only spare one and-and I tried to go in, I tried-” His voice breaks, and I move forward, putting my hand on his neck.

“Kai, it’s okay.” I want to hug him again but I don’t push my boundaries. I’m surprised I even got one out of him.

“I never wanted to go back in there again. All I want to do is forget him and every single thing he’s ever done to me and my brothers. But everywhere I turn, something reminds me of him. I want to get out of this house as fast as I can, but..but..” He never finishes what he was going to say. Tears are streaming down his face for the first time in who knows how long, and I’m the one he let see it.

Suddenly I can’t hold it back any longer and I force him to face me, look at me. I put my hands on either side of his face and talk to him.

“It’s okay. You’ll be out of this house soon and you won’t ever have to think about him again. He’s never coming back. I know you’ll never get rid of the memories of him, but you can make new ones. Stop hiding, Kai. Go out and make memories, make good ones. That’s the only way. That’s what we all have to do when times get hard. We have to keep going, and find something better. Find something to make you keep going.”

His hands somehow end up on top of my hands, and I do nothing to shake them off. I don’t know why I said all that. I don’t know what I’m doing at all. But I do know that I couldn’t stand to see him in pain any longer. I had to do something.

“I don’t know why I told you that,” he says. He’s stopped crying now, though his face is still wet, and he keeps his eyes on mine.

“And I don’t know why I said any of that to you either, but I don’t regret it.” We stare at each other for a long time-too long. I’m starting to think that he might kiss me, what with his frequent glances to my lips, but nothing happens. Do I want something to happen?


Something inside me wants to close the gap and kiss him, but all I have to do to shut that thought down is think of Elijah. Any place my brain was wandering to sounds uninviting now, and I pull away from Kai.

“I think we should go to bed,” I say, wiping at my eyes.

“Yeah,” he says, his head bobbing up and down. “Yeah, goodnight.” I go toward Elijah’s room and grab the doorknob, noticing that he goes back into the living room instead of Marshall’s room.

Elijah is listening to music when I walk in, and I let out a breath of relief. I was afraid he might have heard what was going on, though nothing actually happened that I should feel guilty about. He sees me come in and pulls the earplug out of his ears, and gets off of the ground, where he must’ve been doing sit-ups.

“Took you a while. Get lost?” he asks teasingly.

I smile, closing the door behind me and setting my bag on the floor. “Nah, I got caught up talking to Milton for a while. Finally got him in bed though.”

“Oh, good, he can be stubborn sometimes.” He steps forward and kisses me, melting away my worries and any unwanted thoughts from before. He pulls away too soon, and turns around, wrapping up his phone, that was playing music, in earphones.

“Hey, I got you something for your birthday,” he says, going to his desk.

“What? Elijah, you didn’t need to do that. With everything going on, I haven’t even thought about my birthday.” I sit down on the edge of his bed as he opens a drawer, pulling something out that I can’t see.

He walks over and hands me a little black box, one that would hold some kind of jewelry, like a ring or earrings. He sits down next to me, smiling as I open it to reveal a necklace. It has a sapphire blue teardrop-shape pendant, connected to a white gold chain. He had to have spent a pretty penny on this. He really didn’t need to do that. I know how hard he works for his money and there’s no telling how long he saved up for this.

“It’s beautiful, Elijah,” I say. “But you didn’t need to do this. How much did this cost you?”

“It doesn’t matter,” he says. He looks worried. “Do you like it?”

“I absolutely love it, but-”

“But nothing,” he interrupts. He turns my face toward him, one hand resting on my neck. His thumb runs across my cheek, similar to how I was holding Kai earlier. “I want you to accept my gift, Juliana. Please. For me.”

I sigh, closing my eyes. “You had to say that, didn’t you?” I turn back to the necklace. “Fine. Will you put it on me?” I pull it out of the box and hand it to him. The only reason I can bring myself to keep it is because I know he’ll be leaving soon, and I might never see him again. I want something to remember him by, more than just pictures. God, why does this hurt so bad?

I lift my hair up for him and he wraps the necklace around my neck, latching it behind me. I swallow back tears, choosing to focus on enjoying the time I have left with him.

I turn around, feeling captivated by his eyes, his mouth, his...everything. He’s perfect in my eyes. Including his mismatched eyes.

I close the gap between us, our lips connecting in an explosion of passion, the moment piquing for the both of us. It quickly escalates into us making out, and before I know it he’s on top of me on the bed.

“I love you so much,” I say as he kisses my neck. His lips land on my mouth again and I pull him closer, not wanting this to ever end.

“I love you, too,” he says, leaning back and brushing my hair out of my face so he can see it better. I rub my thumbs along his jawline, both of us studying each other for a brief moment. He kisses me again, and I think that if I don’t stop us now then I never will. I don’t want to, god, I don’t want to, but I do. I’m not going to do this here tonight, and then tell him to leave tomorrow. I won’t do that to him, to myself.

I stop us and head into the bathroom, where I spend some time admiring the necklace he gave me in the mirror. I really do love it.

I brush my teeth and comb my hair, then quickly floss my teeth before heading back to his room. He changed into a different pair of loose shorts and a baggy shirt: what he typically wears to bed.

I pull his computer chair out from his desk and plop down in it, spinning to face him on his bed. I see him arranging his pillows and laugh a little to myself. He always has to have them arranged a certain way.

I pull the book I found in my dad’s office out of my bag, saying, “Hey, look what I found today. It was in my dad’s office.” I go on to give him  quick run-down of the conversation Marcus and I held earlier.

“Where were you at to have this conversation? I don’t think you should be alone with him, Juliana. Anywhere. I saw what he did at your house. He has a temper, as do you. And with everything you told me, and from what I saw that day at the warehouse, I don’t doubt that you will get into a fight with him.”

“Yeah, I get that,” I say. “But I had to talk to him. I had to try, at least one time, to convince him not to do what he plans to do. It didn’t work, but I tried, so now I know to move on to something else.”

He nods. “Okay.” He motions to the book in my hand. “So let me see this book you’re looking at. There could be something in it that could help us.” I notice that he says us, instead of you, but I ignore it and hand him the book.

I let my head fall back in the chair, resting my eyes. I’m tired and ready to go to sleep, but I also figure I should at least tell Elijah part of what my plan is. I’m not sure if I can tell him that I want to kill Marcus; Elijah is just so nice, he wouldn’t understand the fact that I have to do it. He’d fight with me about it, tell me I couldn’t go through with it. With how easy it is for me to give in to things for him, I would agree to that to. So he can’t know about that.

He looks at it a little while, plopping down beside me on the floor. All of a sudden he gets onto his knees and spins the book around for me to see, pointing at something.

“Look at this,” he says, shoving the book in my lap. I take it from him and read where he was pointing. It starts at the top, in my dad’s handwriting.

 

Werewolves, along with other supernatural creatures, have been shown to exhibit special abilities that others, even some of their own kind, do not. Still unsure on whether it’s a mutation or something else, but whatever it is, it can be hard to overcome if one is against that kind of power. So I’ve conducted a series of experiments to see if one who doesn’t have these abilities could overcome these advantages. It took a long time, but I think I’ve figured out a way to prevent these abilities from being inflicted on others. I haven’t figured out how to prevent all of them, since there seems to be such a large variety, but for the few I have, I’ve had to use different ingredients and experiments for it to work. I’ve made a list below on what will be needed to prevent each ability, and which it works for.

 

When I look further down, I see that the first subject he decided to try out first, is mind control. Not only that, but it says he used Marcus to test it out. So it definitely works, if I could just get my hands on all the items on this list. The only one I recognize is Aconitum, and according to my dad, I’ll need a lot of it. In fact, so much that if this is given to a werewolf, like me, it could cause anaphylactic shock. And it’ll be extremely painful, ingested orally. But if it can help me fight Marcus, then I’m willing to take that chance.

“That could make Marcus’s mind control thingy that he does completely useless, right?” Elijah asks, excited.

I nod. “Yeah, according to this it should. But I don’t know where to get all of this stuff at, especially in such a short amount of time.” Some of them are plants, I could get those at the greenhouse, but I don’t know what the others are, nor do I know where to get them. It’s great that we have this, but it doesn’t look like it’ll be any help to me tomorrow.

When I turn the page, I see he has instructions for preventing several other abilities as well, which could be useful in the future, but not now. I wonder how long it took my dad to figure all this out, and where he even conducted the experiments to figure it out. He also shows he used to test it out on, but out of the five experiments he successfully conducted, I only know two of the test subjects: Marcus and Cecilia. This is insane. I can’t believe he really knew Marcus, and now Cecilia. How many times did he lie to us about where he was or what he was doing?

“Julia.” Elijah nudges me and I look up. “You were dozing for a second there. You look tired. Are you ready to go to sleep?”

I blink a few times, seeing that my vision is slightly blurry, and shake my head. “I’m-I’m tired, but...the last time I fell asleep I started having a nightmare and-and I don’t want to have another one. During the day I’m busy so I don’t have to think about it, but at night….at night everything comes into my mind. Diana...Marshall…” The bodies I saw in Logan’s memories, Rachel, what happened with Luke, all of it. I don’t want to sleep if this is all going to come in my mind.

Elijah tenses up at the sound of Marshall’s name, but then he grabs my hand. “I tell you what, we can sleep together, and if it looks like you’re having a nightmare, I’ll be there to wake you up. Okay? We can worry about this stuff tomorrow.”

I stare at him for a long time, but end up reluctantly giving in. I don’t want to sleep, but I need it. Like he said, he can wake me up if I’m having a nightmare.

“Okay. I need to use your alarm though. I have to meet someone in the morning, at the greenhouse. He’s gonna give me wolfsbane, so I can use it against Marcus if I need to. Maybe he’ll have some other stuff in this book, too.”

“That’s fine,” he says, getting up. He walks over to the alarm clock on his navy blue plastic nightstand. “What time?”

“Seven-thirty.” I put my dad’s book back in my bag, and then hop into Elijah’s bed, rolling over to the end against the wall. I see him laughing at me and grab his pillow, swinging it at him. “Laugh at me again and see what happens, punk.”

He kicks his head back and lets out a loud, fake laugh while plopping into bed next to me, and I grab his arms, struggling to shove them down. Since I’m now stronger than him, I get his arms down and then I shove him off the bed, laughing. He lands on the ground with a thump. I see him peeking over the edge of the bed.

“That’s just not fair,” he says, pausing. “Are you gonna let me get in bed now?”

“Yeah, go ahead,” I say, then when he attempts it I catch him off guard and knock him down again. After that I actually let him get in with me, and he curls up around me. His arm lands around mine and for the first time I think that sleeping actually sounds wonderful right now.

“Goodnight,” I say, closing my eyes as he says it back. I feel a pang of sadness as I realize that this will be the only night I ever spend with him, for tomorrow I have to get him to leave. Leave and not come back, too.

I push the thought away and soon fall into a blissful, dreamless sleep in his arms, all my worries erased for just one night.

The End

55 comments about this story Feed