Letters to Elise: A Peter Townsend Novella / Page 19

Page 19


He’s excited about everything. The whole world is new to him, and looking at it through his eyes, it feels new to me too. The past month has been the best month I’ve had in a very, very long time. Turning him might actually be the best thing that’s happened to me.

Although, the past few days have been a bit insufferable. Some rock star that Jack was quite fond of has apparently died, and Jack’s been quite upset about it. This wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t acutely aware of everything that he feels. Every moment of fear or intense sadness, I get a wave of panic all my own. I come rushing into the room to find him watching a music video and crying.

Still, I can’t complain much. I feel like I have a real and true purpose, and not like when I went to war. This gives meaning to my everyday life. I am helping shepherd him into something, and life feels more complete.

Even Ezra and Mae seem happier. I thought that Ezra might be disappointed, but he’s not. Jack has filled out the family in a way that we needed. Ezra and I are too grave and serious. We’ve been alive for too long and seen too much, and we’ve become world weary.

Jack reminds me of the lightness in the world. That there is still enjoyment in it. That there is still more to hope for. That life is worth living.


March 27, 2009

There’s something the matter with Jack. He came home the other night saying he’d met a girl, and at first, he wouldn’t stop talking about her.

Both Mae and I were pleased, mostly because it would get him out of the house. Since he broke up with Aisha last year, he hasn’t been himself. He hasn’t exactly been mopey, since Jack doesn’t really mope, but he was sedated and didn’t leave the house much.

I don’t know why Jack always insists on dating humans. It’s not that I have any problems with humans per se, but they’re too frail. I don’t want to make connections with something that he’ll outlast by several millennia.

But Jack and Ezra are so drawn to them. With Ezra, I know it’s because of how much he still longs to be human. With Jack, I don’t completely understand it. But he’s never been quite right in that he’s never really been a normal vampire.

Maybe it’s because of how he turned. He doesn’t remember turning, and he doesn’t even have many real memories of his human life, which didn’t end all that long ago. I’m starting to think maybe he really was dead when I turned him, but that doesn’t make sense. Once you’re dead, you’re dead…

He has always been strange, but he’s acting even weirder than normal. He met this human girl, raved about her for days, then just completely stopped talking about her. At least to me. He and Mae would have quiet little conversations in their room, and when I tried to talk to Jack about it, he changed the subject.

This is bizarre because Jack tells me everything, far more than I’d ever really want to know. Whenever I went on a trip with Ezra, he’d be waiting by the door for me to get back, looking as lost as that dog of his without me.

If I’m being honest with myself, I was always grateful for that. Ezra and I have a strong bond, stronger than most vampires I’ve met, but there’s always been something special about mine with Jack. Even after all these years, the urge to protect him hasn’t faded, and his hero worship hasn’t waned.

“That boy thinks you walk on water, you know,” Mae told me the other day.

I’d been helping Jack fix the dining room table that he’d accidentally broken when roughhousing with his dog. He went back out to the garage to return the tools, but Mae had stayed sitting in the living room with me. She was reading a book, but she always managed to keep half an eye on us.

“What are you talking about?” I asked, running my hands over the table to make sure the crack had been smoothed out seamlessly.

“The way he watches you when you’re not looking,” Mae said. “He adores you.”

“We’ve always been close,” I said, feeling uncomfortable with her claims. “Why hasn’t he been talking me lately? He usually tells me everything.”

“It’s complicated.” Mae shook her head and looked back down at her book.

“Mae.” I turned to her and folded my arms over my chest. “If there’s something going on with him, I should know. I can help him.”

“Not this time, Peter,” she sighed.

“What does that mean?” I asked, growing irritated. I couldn’t stand of the idea of something hurting Jack and being unable to help him. “Is it about that human girl he’s after?”

“I suppose you’ll find out anyway.” Mae closed her book and set it on her lap. “But you can’t tell him I said anything to you. He wanted to wait to sort this out on his own, but it won’t hurt if you know.”

“Know what?” I asked.

“The girl, there’s something about her that draws him to her,” Mae said.

“Like he’s bonded to her?” I shook my head. “But she’s human. She can’t have a blood bond with a vampire.”

“No, she’s not supposed to, but we don’t completely understand how these things work,” Mae said. “And I don’t think she’s bonded with him.”

“But you said…” I trailed off, confused. “You think it’s a transference bond, like the one Jack and I have with you because you’re bonded to Ezra?”

“Maybe,” she admitted.

“But Ezra has you,” I said. “And I had Elise.” I swallowed after I said her name. I’d gotten better about it since Jack came around. He asked so many questions, and I’d been forced to really talk about my past for the first time. In the long run, it had made life better.

“I know, but I don’t know what else it can be.” She shrugged. “Jack’s beside himself over it.”

“Why?” I asked. “And why didn’t he tell me about it?”

“Because he likes her, Peter.” Mae gave me that look, the one she used when I didn’t realize I’d hurt Jack’s feelings or been rude. “He’s afraid she’s bonded with you.”

“She can’t be bonded with me,” I said firmly. “I had Elise, and I lost her. That part of my life is over.”

“Mae,” Jack groaned as he came back into the living room with Matilda at his heels. The dog followed him everywhere. “You told him?”

“He knew something was wrong, Jack,” Mae said apologetically. “He only wants to help.”

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