Ant was shaking his head as we walked out of the AU building. “Are we going to walk the whole way?” He asked.
I shrugged. “You want me to lose what little I’ve eaten today?”
Ant grinned and shrugged at me. “I do love the sound of you retching.”
I rolled my eyes. “After we get down stairs.” I said. I just wanted some time before I actually did have to lose my lunch. And walking down the stairs was calming enough. And I didn’t have to worry whether or not the vampire beside me was in shape or not. Though he could be hungry.
Ant interrupted my thought, “I’m not though. Hungry that is. I feed before I came.”
“Didn’t expect I’d feed you?” I asked curious.
“I didn’t want to make a big deal of it, if you were still playing to what your boy said.” Ant smiled, “I don’t want to be the reason that shit ends for you.”
I shook my head, “It has nothing to do with you Ant.”
He grinned at me, “I am devilishly handsome, have that foreign accent.” He sighed, “Sadly I don’t have those blue eyes you like to fall for. And you lack…” Ant pantomimed big boobs bouncing as we walked down the stairs which made me laugh.
“I think I’m missing a few other body parts too.”
“Somedays I wonder.” Ant quipped.
“Fuck you.” I said as Ant wrapped his arm around my shoulder.
“You know I love you.”
I pulled away from my friend in mock disgust. “You only wish.”
Ant grinned at me. “You are tense, you do really need to get that all out before it makes you insane.”
“I have things to do.” I said.
“I know. But let me help, Nox.” Ant sounded almost like he was begging.
“I know you want to beat the shit out of me but I don’t really think I have the time, Ant.”
“There is always time for taking care of yourself, Nox.” And not Ant was angry with me.
“Apparently taking care of myself is selfish.” I growled back at him.
Ant stopped suddenly and I stood staring up at him from the landing. “Who said that to you?” Ant was one thing, and that was protective. “No, I know who did. What happened Nox?”
I shook my head. “I don’t know. We had a great night, even though it was us fighting before that. Woke up naked in his bed, I knew I needed to do yoga and shower and get him breakfast. Maintain some sort of semblance of my life or I’d regret it. But he nudged me back to sleep and then he left me and I had a nightmare. It was after 4am and the eyes were blue.” I hung my head and started walking down stairs as I recounted the fight we had. How we tried to have breakfast and I left him sitting at the dinner because he refused to talk about himself after accusing me of not caring. That pissed me off more than anything.
Ant touched my arm and squeezed. “That, right there. We need to focus on.”
“On me being pissed at him?”
Ant shook his head. “No, but on that anger. Nox. He was right about one thing, you need to stand up for yourself but not to him, or me or even the fucking world. To yourself. My Dad told you to fix what’s wrong, right? There’s nothing wrong with you. We just need the backbone that everyone else sees, you need to believe it.”
We were walking out of the AU building and no one was even looking at us. “You stand up to the world.”
I sighed. “Ant, I didn’t want to be strong and mighty with Alex. I wanted to be able to be myself. And I’m broken, beaten and unloved. You know that’s me.”
And wrapped his arm around my shoulders and pulled me close as we headed down the alleyway. “I love you, you know this. You don’t need to fix you, you just need him to know you. I’ve never known anyone with a big a heart as you. He’ll see it, but Nox, I gotta tell ya, you are a lot of work. Give him a chance to learn that.”
I sighed. “It might be too late. But he hasn’t told me to fuck off yet, so I guess that’s a plus.”
Ant chuckled as he stepped into the shadows and the next thing I knew I was hunching over dry heaving in the shadows of Sage’s house with Ant pressing his hand into my shoulder so I wouldn’t tip over.
“Fuck you.” I spit out. My stomach was empty – it hadn’t had anything in it for a while from the feel of things.
Ant laughed. “Come on, your friend is waiting.”