I ate slowly. I don’t know if it was because I didn’t want to talk or because I didn’t want to listen to what Alex had to say.
Either way Alex finished before I did and he watched me lift my fork to my mouth repeatedly. His eyes never leaving the fork.
“Do you enjoy that?” I asked.
His eyes flicked up to mine as if he’d just been chastised for doing something wrong. “What? I… Sorry. You have a sexy mouth.”
“Thanks.” I smiled but my eyes fell to my plate as I cleaned the last of the balsamic sauce up with the last piece of fresh mozzarella. I’d saved it for that purpose. Alex watched me but I didn’t try to put on a show – as much as I wanted to.
I set my fork down and grabbed his plate to clean up. He objected, “No, I got this.”
I shook my head, “You cooked, I clean. Wasn’t that the rule?”
“Ryan’s an idiot.” Alex said and grabbed the plates from me. “I invaded your house, so let me do the clean up.”
I held up my hands and let him have at it. I wanted to go to bed, curl up and die as I always did on stressful occasions, but I ended up on the couch pulling my book off the coffee table and sat in the corner where I always did reading and waiting for Alex to finish.
I was in the middle of one of my favorite parts of my favorite books. I’d read the series several times in the past 2 months. And my favorite character was being sassy and giving the three reasons why he didn’t make pie when Alex can in and sat down on the other end of the couch. I wanted to finish my chapter but I stuck my book mark back in the pages and closed the book. “So what is so wrong with your life?”
Alex sighed. “I’d hoped you’d forget that question.”
“Not a chance.”
“There are wars brewing. Kids being taken advantage of. Everyone looking towards you to solve a problem for reasons you don’t understand.”
“Reason I don’t understand. Like how you manipulate me, or how you come into my home without asking. Something gives you some right to just do these things?”
Alex shook his head, “Well no.”
“And like wars and kids being taken advantage are something that is prone to special people with special abilities like yours and your vampire friend. He was a vampire wasn’t he?”
“Who? Ant?” Alex nodded, “Yes, he’s a vampire – a very old and very powerful vampire.”
“And the two of you think you what? own this city?”
Alex sighed, “Maybe this was a bad idea.”
“Because I’m hitting the nail on the head or because I’m so stupid that I just don’t understand.”
“You are a real ass you know that?” Alex growled at me.
I smirked at him, “Tell me the truth Alex.”
“I have a family. I’m hung up on the man I loved and he’s just gone.” There was sadness in his voice, but he continued on without hesitation. “I visit the dream of a Pretty Boy who I can never get close to because he doesn’t know he works for me. I’m an asshole, a con man, who treats people like shit because I don’t want to get to close.” I felt like he was leaving out some things but I didn’t want to push it too far.
My grin grew with each truth. “Was that so hard?”
Alex growled, “Yes. Yes it was.”
“I don’t care if you have a family. I like kids. I want a family.” I revealed my truth to him, “I’m hung up on a guy in my dreams who never tells me his name, who refuses to let me tell him mine, and whenever we get close to each other he backs away and tells me he can’t. I don’t have any friends except Abby and Will and I want to keep them alive and happy and together at all costs. I’m nothing. But I want to help.”
Alex shook his head, “You aren’t nothing.”
“Then what am I? I’m not a vampire, I’m not a werewolf. I’m not a telepath or know any sorts of magic or supernatural thing. I’m just me. Just a guy wanting to something to help my friends.”
I smiled at Alex and moved a little closer towards his end of the couch, “I like my bosses boss. And that scares me a lot.”
“I scare you?” Alex asked calmly but his hand reached across the distance to the lay across my fingers.
“You don’t. What people might think because I’m dating the big cheese. Or what happens if it ends badly and I’m still working for you. Just things, not you though. You’re blue eyes are haunting, your voice does things to me I’m willing to explore with you. Your touch is electric.”
Alex stood up, there was a hunger in his eyes. “I can’t say it’s more than sex, Nox.”
His hand reached out to me in invitation. The heat was real. It was something I’d wanted for months. Both in dream and out. I still couldn’t believe that Alex was the guy in my dream. I could have misinterpreted his words, but this felt right. But it was only sex for him. I was still nothing to him.
Alex growled, “If you keep thinking like that I’m leaving.”
“Thinking like what?”
“That you are nothing.” Alex sighed, “Maybe next time, Pretty Boy.” And Alex was moving towards the door.
“I’m sorry.” I said softly, my head falling to my chest and I felt the sting of rejection. I let it encompass me and take the whole of me with it. It was real. He was real. And he didn’t want me.
When I looked up Alex was gone. I got the distinct feeling he didn’t want to deal with my problems. And I had many of them. Again realizing I was nothing to him.