I see the look in his eyes as I'm telling him to go clean himself up and come back here and I realise I might as well be talking to a brick wall. A very thirsty brick wall... Ah, crap. It takes me a moment to notice that he's holding his breath too.
It's when he leans away from me that it stings.
I know, I know that you will think I should be in a padded cell for saying this, but I honestly don't think I care that my best mate is a vampire. I mean, I care that he's turned into the very thing he hates with every fibre of his being. Of course I care about that. But I know he won't hurt me.
It would kill him if he did, I think.
At least, that's what I'm counting on.
I'm not scared of him. I'm scared for him.
"Alex," I say in a firm tone. He looks at me warily and slumps back against the wall. "You know I always get my way, so just deal with it, ‘kay?" I pat him on the shoulder once - an encouraging, friendly, gentle thump - and drop my hand back down to my side. His eyes betray his reluctance to just go along with it. "I will frogmarch you back to your apartment and force you to change if you don't just do it," I tell him threateningly and he just sighs.
After a moment of hesitation, he nods, not particularly enjoying being defeated.
"I don't want to end up hurting you, Maxxie..." He mumbles and I barely catch the words, but I know. I know he won't hurt me.