I begin to breathe a sigh of relief as the vampire woman runs off. At least, I do until I realize there's a wet patch on my back where Alex has his head pressed against me. I push aside my own bruised feelings and turn on his lap so that he's crying into my chest and I can hug him properly. He doesn't argue, he just clings to me, trying to stop his tears.
It takes a while, but he finally calms down and wipes his eyes, apologizing. He leans back in the chair and lets go of me, sniffing, trying to rub the puffiness from his eyes.
"Don't be stupid," I mutter, "you've been amazingly strong, considering everything that's happened."
"Yeah," he sighs, "let's get going, hmm? Before they find me like a sitting duck." I just nod. I'm not about to start a fight with him about resting up somewhere now, am I?
I get out of the car and open his door, pulling him out. He kinda flops out, rolling onto the barbiturate. Standing over him, I gaze down into his eyes and he stares blankly up at me. I let out an exasperated sigh, and make sure he's on the right side of the rumble strip, before kneeling down over him, straddling his chest. I lean down and prod his nose. When he doesn't do anything, I slap him hard across the face.
"Don't do this now!" I yell. I dunno how to make him get up and keep going. He doesn't say anything. In fact, he doesn't even wince when I smack him. A small bubble of panic blossoms in my stomach, pulling the muscles in my face into a worried frown. "Alex," I whine, "you have to keep moving."
"I don't have to do anything," he growls, his eyes snapping to mine. I flinch at the anger in his gorgeous blue orbs, but I don't get off him, even as he moves to push me off. I just hold his arms down by his sides.
"If you give in now, they'll have won. You've spent more or less the last decade of your life fighting to win - you can't just throw that all away," I tell him, forcing my voice to be calm as I remember that yelling at him has no effect. But hey, we all lose it sometimes, we all need to yell at someone about something.
"Let them win. I don't give a shit anymore," he tries to pull out of my grip and if it weren't for the fact that he was in such an apathetic mood, he could have thrown me off like a rag doll. Hey, just because I'm not a hunter, doesn't mean I haven't seen vampires in action. I get roped into stupid plans that involve me finding some way of getting cut up when the vampire being hunted is nearby. One sniff of blood out in the open and they home in on it like a moth to light. I suppose that's why I don't have any fear of him being a vampire - I'm always pulled out before it turns ugly.
Some stupid part of me is still expecting that safety net to be there for me.
"You do give a shit. If you had a reason to go get revenge on the bastard before, you have even more reason to now. And look at it this way; you're more evenly matched now."
"I don't want to be evenly matched, Max. I want to be human. I liked being normal, okay?" Oh yeah. The pride thing. He likes being the tortoise that beats the hare, as it were.
"Please, Alex," I half whisper.
I'm not under any illusions that he would stay alive just for me.