Flutter / Page 64

Page 64


“Life isn’t fair, Alice!” Peter looked at me intensely, his eyes glowing green. “If life were fair, you wouldn’t be with Jack!”

“No! You don’t get to be mad at me for that!” I shook my head. “You had your chance! I wanted you first, and you wouldn’t have anything to do with me!”

“I never had a chance!” Peter shouted. “You always wanted him! I saw you in the hot tub with him!”

“What are you talking about?”

“The night we met, you came up to my room, and I didn’t want to meet you. I didn’t want to want you, but the instant I saw you…” He looked away from me. “Before I even saw you. I felt you as soon as you walked in the house, and it was overwhelming.

“I reacted poorly when we met, so Mae took you away, out to the hot tub with her and Jack. I watched you when you weren’t looking. You were sitting with him, laughing, and the way you looked at him… You’ve never looked at me that way.”

“How did I look at you?” I asked thickly.

“Like you had to, like I was a magnet you were pulled to. There was no choice,” he said. “And when you look at Jack, it’s because when he’s around, why would you want to look at anything else? You love him the way you could never love me.”

I swallowed hard, knowing that was true. While that should have been comforting, it was painful. I felt like I had hurt Peter without ever giving him a chance.

“But I love you in a way that he never can.”

“No, Peter, you don’t love me,” I shook my head.

“Alice, I am many things, but I’m not naïve,” Peter said breathlessly. His voice had changed to something I had never heard before, desperate and earnest, and I looked up at him. “I love you, more than I’ve ever loved anyone, even Elise. As much as it kills me to do it, I can’t stop.”

“I can’t be with you.” My voice quavered.

His eyes were so beautiful and pleading. Part of me really wanted to be with him, but I could never hurt Jack again. I refused to. And Peter was right. Despite anything that I might feel for him, I still loved Jack more.

“I would never ask you to,” he whispered.

“But you would love it if I offered,” I smiled sadly at him.

“Yes. I would.” He stared at me a moment longer, then exhaled shakily. “But you can’t.” He finally lowered his gaze and ran his hand through his hair. “I can’t do this anymore, either. I suppose I should start packing up my things.”

“No, you don’t have to go.” I reached my hand out, meaning to touch his arm and comfort him, but I realized how dangerous just touching him would be, so I dropped it. “This is your home. We have no right to keep kicking you out of here.”

“What do you mean?”

“Jack and I are moving out. You can stay here,” I smiled, trying to be hopeful, but his expression changed to one of dismal understanding. I had expected this to be at least kind of good news, but he didn’t take it that way.

“Of course,” Peter looked at Jack’s room, our room, with jealousy and disgust. “This had already been planned. You’re going to run away and live happily ever after, and I will stay here. With them. Forever.”

“It’s not meant to be a punishment!” I said, surprised that I was somehow hurting him even when I meant to be helping.

“Neither is my existence, and yet, it is.” He shook his head and took a step toward the stairs. “I should go. We shouldn’t even be talking. If Jack caught us, that would be disastrous, and I don’t want to put a damper on your honeymoon.”

“Peter!” I shouted, but he just kept walking. I stood in the hall for a moment, trying to catch my breath and clear my head.

“So…” Milo poked his head out of his room. I blushed, forgetting that he was in his room and had been able to hear everything. “I guess you really do need to move out.”

“You think?” I laughed hollowly.

Peter vanished after my conversation with him, but I was grateful for it. I couldn’t handle anymore run-ins with him, especially with Jack around. Milo, Jane, and I camped out in the living room watching bad chick flicks until Jack and Bobby made us stop.

When I had a moment alone with Jack, I asked him how the apartment hunting went, and he hadn’t found anything exciting yet, although he had some promising ones to look at tomorrow. He told me to cross my fingers about them, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to.

Jane never mentioned her fight with Peter, but she was acting weird. All fidgety and twitchy. She complained of being hot and cold more than usual, and she added complaints that didn’t even really make sense. Like the fabric on the couch was too rough for her skin, or that the air in our house was making her itchy.

Her mood swings were intense, too. One minute she’d be laughing, and then next she was threatening to smother Bobby with a pillow.

Bobby had put Sid & Nancy on the TV in the living room, because he claimed it was a love story that we could all relate too. I think Gary Oldman is a fox in it, so I didn’t protest. I curled up next to Jack on the couch to watch it.

Milo laid a blanket down on the floor, and Matilda tried to take it over, but Jack convinced her to lay by his feet instead. Since Milo wasn’t that interested in the film, he laid out long ways on the blanket, and Bobby rested his head on Milo’s stomach, facing the TV.

Jane sprawled on the chaise lounge, with her current lament being that bracelets were too confining. Mae didn’t want anything to do with the movie, so she opted for a bubble bath instead.

“Are all the doors locked?” Ezra appeared in the living room. He didn’t seem anxious, but something wasn’t quite right.

“Uh, I don’t know?” Jack shrugged looking at him. “Do we ever even lock the doors?”

“You have to lock the doors!” Jane yelled, sounding tremendously worried. “People will steal your stuff!” Our stuff must really have meant a lot to her.

“Maybe, but someone is always here, and we’re vampires, so…” Jack trailed off.

“I locked the French doors after I let Matilda out,” Milo said.

“Why? They’re glass. Anything that really wants to get in can get through them,” Bobby pointed out.

“Regardless, I want you all to start locking everything,” Ezra said.

“Alright. Don’t we have an alarm or something?” Jack asked. “You had one put in when you built the place, didn’t you?”

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