I did leave his room, but I didn’t get any father than the hallway before I crumbled. Two feet from Alex’s door I pressed my back against the golden wallpaper for a second time and I slide down to the floor. I wanted to cry. I wanted to fall and drown but what I wanted most was Alex. I pulled a veil around myself my shields tight. I didn’t want anyone to find me. This was as close to Alex as I was going to get ever again.

When I pulled my shield around me Alex’s door opened and he was staring in the direction I sat, but he didn’t see me. “I hate when you do that.” Alex spoke into the hallway not really looking at anything. “Since you haven’t left, and your last thought was about me, I’ll just say one last thing. I shouldn’t but I will.”

Alex sat down against his door frame facing the far window. Not looking in my direction. He leaned his head against the wood and stared up. “You disappeared, Nox. At the diner, you were gone from my head and I short of the time with the vampires you were never far from my head. I always feel you, even if you are far away, you are like this constant buzz that I just can’t read, and even if I could find you in the dreams I always had that. But you take it away when you shield so hard. It hurts. And then at the diner you crossed the road and disappeared. Like you are now. Fuck, I don’t even know if you are still here. If I’m talking to myself.”

I dropped the veil and the shield but Alex didn’t turn to look he just gave me a smile. “Nox you disappear on me all the time. Everyone leaves. It’s life. I’m sorry I ran away. But then again I’m not. I learned something talking with The prince of darkness. I learned that what happened between you two was nothing but magic, and magic neither of you can control. I’m glad he was there for you when I couldn’t be. I ran because if you could so easily disappear what was keeping you from doing it again later when I was deeper involved, when it would hurt more. So I left so you couldn’t hurt me again.”

“I don’t hurt you intentionally.” It was the truth. I hated to hurt him. “I just need time, Alex. Not time away from you. Time with you, to adjust to everything.”

“I don’t know if we can survive time. All we do is fight. I set you off, you set me off. It can’t be good.”

“So you don’t even want to try?” I asked.

Alex looked at me then. His eyes were filled with sadness, but he wasn’t crying. “Do you?”

“Alex, I told you already I was in for whatever you could give me.”

“And if I never feel the same about you?” Alex asked.

I crawled over to him and put my head on his shoulder. It was awkward but I needed to touch. “You already do.”

“The floor is nice and all, but watch another movie with me?” Alex asked.

I shrugged, “I’d rather just go to sleep.”

“It’s still early.” Alex said. “Come on.” He stood up and helped me to my feet. Alex pulled me into his room and let go of my hand once he shut and locked the door behind me. “Let’s start over.”

“How, Alex? It’s not like you can’t just read me. You know everything about me.”

Alex grinned at me. “I won’t read you. I’ll pretend I can’t hear you, I’ll shield so you don’t have to. I know it hurts you. Tomorrow, I’ll take you out for breakfast, we’ll get in Serenity and drive. Just me and you. You have till after the 4th off right? Ant already promised he’d take Benji and his family home. Even giving them places to stay. He’s a hell of a friend to have.”

There were so many things to say about that little bit of Alex speak. My heart raced at the thought that he hadn’t really ignored me, but then why didn’t he answer me. But instead I focused on the part taht wouldn’t start as much of a fight. I didn’t want to rehash it all. So I asked about my boyfiend met my best friend without my knowledge. “How do you know Ant? I thought you hated him.”

Alex nodded. “I did until a few days ago. We ran into each other downstairs in the bar. He called me out on running away from you. Said he couldn’t believe he was right. Told me to leave you alone. And some how we got on the whole what happened 5 years ago. And he told me how it wasn’t your fault. He pushed his way past my shields and I felt more than I should have for him. I wanted a fucking vampire to bite me.” Alex shook his head as he sat down and pulled off his jeans.

I couldn’t help myself as I watched the reveal. He wasn’t doing it to be sexy, he was just getting comfortable. When my eyes finally reached his again he was smirking. “Even if I’m not in your head I know what you are thinking.”

“Really?” I asked.

“You are an open book Nox.”

“Yeah, I want you. Is that a problem.”

“Not at all.” Alex chuckled. “But we are starting over. And I’m not going to be just some guy you fuck and leave.”

“Never in a million years.” I said happily.

“Ant took me to a club. Apparently vampire clubs are a thing?” Alex looked at me questioningly and I shrugged and nodded. “So you’ve never been?”

“I didn’t say that. I know Johnny Rose – Il Cane’s only childe vampire runs a club catering to vampires and vampire group life style called letting. There are a few in New York. I expect they have them everywhere as it’s easier to feed that way. I’ve only ever willingly wanted to go to a place once in my life to be fed on anyway.”

“When was that?” Alex asked. I couldn’t tell if he was angry or sad.

“A few days after my birthday 5 years ago. I went to a frat part with my brother and Henry. And there was a vampire den nearby. I could feel their power and I wanted to drown myself in it. But Ant found me and that’s when he started kicking the shit out of me. Channeling that self hatred into physical survival.”

“Did he tell you why he came to you?”

“He said something about feeling my pain cause of our most recent feeding.”

“Has he mentioned it since?”

I shook my head, “No. I don’t think so. Why?”

Alex sighed. “I don’t know if wants me to tell you or not, but I can’t imagine he’d tell me if he didn’t already know I’d tell you. He knows how much you hate lies and secrets too. He says he’s your chevalier. I’m not exactly 100% what that means.”

“I’m not a vampire.” I exclaimed more out of shock than anger.

“He said it was the closest he could describe it. The night he fed on you, you shared blood and instead of him taking you, you took him.”

“Chevalier aren’t taken by mistake. Things have to be chanted I’ve asked many times.” I was confused.

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