We talked about so many things over the next few hours while Alex supposedly watched a movie. I was in and out of sleep and I think that was why Alex kept asking me questions. He asked about the scars on my back as the credits ran, “You didn’t tell me about these?”
“I have.” I said. I didn’t want to talk about it, not this close to sleep. Not this close to when the nightmares would come like it would summon it.
Alex shrank down next to me pulling me up on to his shoulder and pressed a kiss to my neck. “Please?” Alex begged, “I want to hear it as if I’m listening for the first time. I can’t see it in your head, I’m not reading you.”
I nodded and starte telling Alex the story. I started at the beginning at the first time I had my dream of being a monster. And I told him about my mother, and Garrett. I told him how he hurt me, and I told Alex how I’d forgotten him.
“Wait, why don’t I remember that?”
“You made us all forget. You made Garrett forget he hurt you in my dream. You made me forget you completely. But I think that was more me than you. My need to protect you because I didn’t want to see you hurt. You forgot that day. You never mentioned it again.”
I told Alex all about my nightmares. I went into vivid details about the whole thing, the fog that crept in. The glowing red eyes. The tentacles of fire that rained down on my back. I told him about how my power manifested at night, and the theory that I did it to myself. How I learned to heal my scars but it never healed the old ones. Like it was taking my ability existing skin and learning from it. I never got new scars but the old ones never healed over right.
Alex rubbed my back in small circles. “So this thing comes every night?”
I nodded, “Yes. And since the night you never showed up, or Jace lied to me, whenever I think about you I get a double dose. The eyes turn blue and then red and it is worse each time.”
“Something stole you away from me every night in a blur of black. I stopped it once. I hurt like a mother fucker. I have scars on my back from it.”
I shook my head. “No, You got that from when Garrett hit you.”
“No, they showed up the night I stopped it.”
I shook my head. “No, you remember the night in the dark? When I explored your body. They were there when I touched you in the dark.”
I pressed a kiss to his lips. “Yes, I don’t know why you didn’t know.” I closed my eyes and pressed as close to Alex’s warm body as I could. “I really need to sleep.” I mumbled. “If I don’t, sleep soon I’ll just jump right into my nightmares.”
Alex pulled me close, “You’ve tried staying awake? Sleeping during the day?” Alex ran through several more options all of which I had tried. He wasn’t offering help, he was trying to see how he could help. But I was drained physically and emotionally and my ascent to his questions became weak and quiet and I drifted in the bleak room as a child playing with colored blocks.
The room whispered monster on the wind. I picked up a colored block with small hands and frowned. I wasn’t five. I wasn’t a monster. And as if the dream wanted to counter me the wind howled and the darkness and thunder outside grew. I yelled, “Get the fuck out!”
I heard a creek on the floor behind me and turned around quickly with a fireball in my hand. Alex took a step back with his hands in the air, “Calm down pretty boy it’s just me.”
He didn’t look like him, he sounded like him, his eyes were the same and looked strange in the borrowed face. I smiled at him and the fireball winked out with a small pop. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t yelling at you.”
“I know.” Alex said. His grin was his. I bit my bottom lip and glanced down at the floor. “Why do you always look away?” Alex came to me and put his fingers under my chin.
I shrugged, “I dunno. Habit I guess.”
“Don’t look away. Though I do admit to liking the shy look on you.”
“I’m not shy.” My smile brightened, “Well maybe only around you.”
“No need to be shy pretty boy.” Alex said pulling me close and kissing me hard. By the end of the kiss I was breathless and Alex was chuckling. “I know you want me.”
“Who wouldn’t? right?” I poked at Alex and wrapped my hands around his hips. I loved the feel of his body against mine, even though this wasn’t his body.
Alex bit my lip and I looked at him, I hadn’t realized I’d lowered my gaze again. “This is the first time I didn’t have to remind you who you were. But you aren’t playing the game anymore.”
“Should I?” I asked. “I mean I know who you are, does it matter now. Whatever we were hiding isn’t hidden anymore. And I can take care of myself now.”
“But I’m never me in the dream. Well…” Alex sighed, “That’s not completely true.” He took a step back and held out his hand. “Come with me?”
That was a no brainer. I took his hand and everything changed.