My blood approves, p.23
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       My Blood Approves, p.23

         Part #1 of My Blood Approves series by Amanda Hocking
 
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I wanted nothing more than to be with him, but would it really be worth it? I’d have to give up my brother, and I’d still be trapped in something painful and inexorable with his brother. We couldn’t actually be together, no matter what decision I made.

  “If you give me time, I know that between Ezra, Peter, and I, we can find a solution to this. ” Jack took a step towards me, trying to decide whether or not to touch me, before finally deciding against it. “I promise you. There is a way for it to work. ”

  “That doesn’t answer everything,” I said. In fact, that didn’t really answer anything. It was just a vague promise to solve something someday, but it was still a hard offer to resist.

  “Milo’s your brother, and he’s a bright kid. He’s not gonna need you forever,” he pointed out gently. “In a few more years, when he starts dating and going to college, he’s not even gonna wanna be around you. It’s just for right now that he needs you. ”

  “That’s probably true. ” I was about to argue that it didn’t change anything, but then I understood what he was getting at. “I’m still really young. I could stay with Milo for another three or four years. I could still turn, and I’d still be younger than you are. ”

  “And we don’t have to move for another three years or so,” Jack nodded in agreement. “Until then, you can keep living with Milo, and Ezra and I can figure out what we’re gonna do about all of this. ”

  “Would that be okay?” I asked, looking up at him.

  “Why wouldn’t it be?” He shrugged, and he had calmed enough where he could grin at the idea. “It’s just a couple years. It means nothing to us. ”

  “You don’t care what I say as long as I agree to be with you,” I smiled.

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  “That’s probably true. ”

  “What if I decided not change? And I got all and old wrinkly? Would you still want to be around me then?”

  “How wrinkly are we talking about?” Jack teased.

  I tried to swat him playfully, but he grabbed my arm and pulled me to him. His arms were strong and reassuring around me, and he rested his hand on my cheek, gently forcing me to look into his eyes. His skin was warming up, but he tried not to notice.

  “This will work out. Somehow,” he promised.

  After talking it all over with Mae and Ezra, they agreed with my decision. Time was inconsequential to them, and Mae wanted me to have more time to consider everything.

  They also agreed that for both Jacks sake and mine, it would be better if I stayed at home until we got things straightened out in the whole Peter arena. Mae had filled Ezra in on the kiss, and he chastised us for such risky behavior. Peter was a much stronger vampire than Jack, and a rather large threat to both of us.

  When I walked in the door with the massive duffle bag slung over my shoulder, Milo was sitting at the computer. As soon as he saw me, his entire face lit up and he rushed over to me, throwing his arms tightly around me and almost knocking me over.

  “You’re back!” he squealed.

  “Sure am. ” I pried him off, smiling at his exuberance. “Do you think Mom’ll mind?”

  “I don’t know why she would!” Milo looked like he was going to explode. He had truly believed that I wasn’t coming back, and for awhile, so had I. “She’s at work right now, but I’m sure she won’t care. ”

  “I hope not. ” I knew I had some penance to do with her, and I wasn’t looking forward to that. Or getting up for school the next morning, especially since I had spent the last few nights on a vampire sleeping schedule.

  “Why did you come back?”

  “I figured that somebody had to be here to help take care of you. ” I reached out and ruffled his hair, and he pulled away, just like I thought he would.

  “I’m not a little kid. ” He smoothed out his hair, but I hadn’t even really messed it up. “And besides that, I spend more time taking care of you than you do me. ”

  “That is true,” I smiled.

  Milo had never really needed anyone to do anything for him. He just kinda wanted somebody to be there, and I could at least manage that.

  “On the subject of which, I should probably whip us up some supper. ” He went over to the fridge, talking amicably about the extravagant meal he had planned for us tonight. Leaning against the kitchen counter, watching him as he worked, I knew that I made the right choice to stay with him.

  When I went to school the next day, Jane looked pleased to see me. I’d been standing at my locker, juggling my books, when she walked past me, smiling in her overly seductive way, and murmured, “Good to have you back, Alice. ”

  Admittedly, it’d only been three days since I’d last been to school, but it had much longer than that since I hung out with her, and I’d barely been active in my own life. At school and at home, I’d been a zombie.

  There was no separation in the two lives, though. They were all part of me and what I was doing. I went to high school, hung out my brother, gossiped with Jane, and in my free time, I hung out with vampires.

  Nothing about me had really changed, and even as mind boggling as the events of the last month had been, I was still just plain old Alice Bonham, and that’s the way it was going to stay. For a few more years at least.

  So when Jane walked past me, I got my books together and bolted after her. She must’ve really missed me, because she actually stopped to wait for me when I called her name. After a few friendly jabs about being missing in action lately, I filled her in as best I could about what had been happening my life lately, conveniently leaving out the stuff about vampires.

  At home, I let Milo help me with the Calculus homework, which really seemed unnecessary. I would make it my life’s mission to never, ever find a use for that particular information. Milo made something delicious with salmon for supper and enlightened me on his progress (or the lack thereof) with his new crush, Troy.

  All in all, my life felt like it had hit some kind of stride, and maybe I really could get comfortable with all of this.

  Jack text messaged me, saying he’d be over in twenty minutes to pick me up. I got ready, and Milo warned me that I had to be up early for school, and I promised I’d be back before one. That still seemed too late for him, and six hours of sleep did not sound like enough to me, but I had to find a balance.

  While outside waiting for Jack to pick me up, something startled me. I was waiting outside for Jack. No matter how fast I rushed through getting ready, he was invariably waiting for me. But I had been waiting for so long, that I’d actually gotten a little chill and had to pull my sweater around me.

  I dug out my phone to text him just as a silver Audi slid up in front of me, and my heart twirled nervously.

  Even through the dark glass of the car window, I saw Peter’s green eyes burning at me. That incessant pull that had slowly faded the last few days returned with a vengeance.

  My body started to shake, but not because I was cold. My heart started beating in the way that drove Jack mad, and I wondered if Peter felt the same way. I opened the car door and got inside, preparing myself to find out.

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  Instead of saying anything to me, Peter squealed away from the curb, keeping his eyes locked on the road in front of us. His jaw tensed, and he gripped the wheel tightly.

  The car was completely full of the tantalizing scent of him, and my mouth actually started to salivate. We had never been in such close quarters before, and it felt like a bad idea.

  Even as close as I was to him, my heart tugged on me to move closer, to reach out and brush my hand against his flawless skin, so I clasped my hands together.

  “I just got back,” Peter said at length.

  The silence felt thick and overwhelming, but I couldn’t think of anything to fill it with. My head swam. I felt the hunger for him, burning and frantic, like a rush of adrenaline, only much more intoxicating. By the time we’d get to his house, I’d be delirious with him.
>
  “We need to talk,” Peter murmured huskily, allowing his haunting gaze to settle on me for a moment.

  “I know. ”

  In my mind, I’d been imagining the conversation with him over and over again. Although since I’d kissed Jack, I’d been envisioning it with me rejecting him, instead of persuading him to be with me.

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  Once I was with him, filled with his lust, I couldn’t imagine not being with Peter. Every part of me screamed that I really had been made for him, no matter what my heart said when he wasn’t around.

  Despite his proclamation that we needed to talk, he said nothing for the remainder of the car ride.

  I couldn’t take my eyes off him, and I barely noticed his lack of attention towards me. The days away from him had made me forget how absolutely breathtaking he was.

  When we got to his house, the tiniest part of me that wasn’t completely enamored with him felt trepidation at seeing Jack. I had no idea how he would react, but fortunately, he wasn’t around. I imagined that he was in the house somewhere, but since Peter eclipsed everything for me, I couldn’t feel him anxiously hiding nearby.

  Mae and Ezra were in the living room, but I barely noticed the tentative way they eyed us up as we walked up the stairs to his room. Peter still hadn’t said anything to me, but I followed one step behind him, as if he led me on a string.

  “I don’t know what they’ve been telling you while I was gone,” Peter told me finally. I had sat down on the edge of his bed, and he stood on the other side of his room, his arms crossed firmly over his chest and refusing to look at me. “But this cannot work. ”

  “What?”

  I tried to play innocent, but there was already a welling despair inside me. It seemed ridiculous since I had survived all this time without him. There had been a constant dull ache, but it was nothing that I couldn’t live with.

  But when I was with him, the thought of being without him felt unbearable.

  “It’s not the same as it was before,” he explained quietly. “The way I feel about you, it’s not right. My body insists that it’s you, but the rest of me…” He shook his head. “I don’t think I should be around you anymore. ”

  “Are you banning me from the house?” I had just come to terms with what was happening, and he was going to take everything away from me.

  “I think that this is an impossible situation. ” He looked over at me, his eyes betraying the hurt and want he had for me. “I can’t be with you, and Jack can’t be with you. He’s tried to hide his feelings about you from me, but I know he feels something for you. Neither of us can be with you, so having you around would be torture. ”

  “That isn’t fair!” I jumped to my fee, and already hot tears sliced down my cheeks. He had a finality to his voice that devastated me. “Do they all agree with you? They can’t! Ezra-”

  “They support my decision,” Peter cut me off decisively. “All of them are very fond of you, but it can’t work. And since you are ‘mine,’ it’s up to me what we do with you. ”

  “‘What you do with me?’” I sobbed. “This is my life! Why do you get to decide what is done with me?”

  “Your life is my life. That’s how this works. ”

  “Then isn’t your life mine?” I clenched my fists, trying desperately to find some ground to stand on.

  “That’s not how this works,” Peter shook his head. “You are human. You have no standing over us. ”

  “So you’re all just …”

  The room was spinning, and I rested my hand on the bed to keep from collapsing. He was going to take everything from me. The insistent way my body begged for him, the way my heart longed for Jack, the comfort I gained from Mae and Ezra, and the glorious future I had just mapped out for myself.

  With his simple, cold words, he was ripping everything away. The ground felt like it was giving way from underneath me, and I had to swallow hard to keep from vomiting.

  “Alice, we never meant to hurt you. ” He sounded sad, but I could barely see him through my own tears.

  Part of me wanted to run through house searching for Jack. I knew he would fight for me, make them change their minds, but I felt too weak. More than that, if Peter didn’t want me, it didn’t even seem worth fighting for.

  “You’re killing me,” I mumbled.

  Then it dawned on me. It felt like he was literally killing me. Every part of me, physical and otherwise, was in pain. But I knew that inside him there was a primal hunger for me. I saw how fierce it had been in Jack’s eyes, and it had to be stronger in Peter.

  “Peter, why don’t you just bite me?” I asked breathlessly.

  “No,” Peter responded hoarsely. “That’s a horrible idea. ”

  “No, Peter! Listen!” I walked over to him, willing my heart to beat harder and faster, so the sound would overwhelm him. “I know you want to! You can just bite me, and this will all be over with. I’ll be out of your lives forever, and I won’t even care. And what do I even matter to you? I’m just another stupid weak human, and you’ve killed them before. ”

  “I’m not going to kill you. ” He tried to sound disgusted, but the hunger was at the back of his throat. When he looked away from me, I grabbed his arm and forced him to look down at me.

  “Please,” I pleaded.

  He still resisted the idea, so I remembered what had sent Jack over the edge. I bit my lip, hard, and before I could even tell it was bleeding, his eyes had widened. For him, my scent and taste were irresistible.

  “You really want this?” Peter murmured huskily. His eyes looked conflicted, both sad and ravenous. “Do you even understand what you’re asking?”

  “I know that I can’t live the rest of my life without you. ”

  If my mind wasnt an absolute mess from its intoxication over Peter, I might have been able to handle things better. Even if my body hadn’t been insisting that I was incapable of surviving without Peter, it would still have been devastating.

  I truly planned to spend forever with Jack. It’d be impossible to go to school, to college, to go about my tedious little life and spend every day getting older, sicker, dying, and trying to forget them. I couldn’t do it, and I didn’t even want to try. It hurt far too much.

  “Forgive me,” Peter whispered.

  Before I could say anything more, I felt his lips pressed hotly on my neck, and then this sharp pain shot into me, like the prick of a needle. It was quickly replaced by this wonderful, warm pleasure spreading through me. It felt so intensely marvelous that I couldn’t even imagine ever having felt pain.

  My body trembled and went limp in his arms, and I heard myself moaning. Ecstasy rippled through me, and I wanted this moment to last forever.

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  Faintly, I became aware of how weak I felt. At first, it had just been because the pleasure had struck me so forcefully, and even though it still felt amazing, I could feel my life draining away.

  Some part of me knew I was dying, but there was nothing frightening or bad about it. I felt oddly at peace, and I let myself succumb to the drowsy, perfection that flooded over me.

  My thoughts were dissolving. There were incoherent images of the sun shining over the tops of the building, and Peter’s green eyes, and Jack’s laughter. I thought of my brother, and I hoped he understood.

  Then there was nothing except the way I felt, buried underneath a warm blanket. My heart had slowed considerably, and my lungs felt empty.

  The sharp pain of separation hit me suddenly, and an intense chill. My mind felt strangely alert, but I didn’t even have the strength to open my eyelids.

  I could hear the commotion going on around me. Peter wasn’t holding me anymore, but I couldn’t tell where I was. I just knew that his arms weren’t around me and his mouth wasn’t pressed to my neck. He had stopped too soon, and I was still alive.

  There were banging noises and the sounds of rustling feet. Voic
es were shouting, and it took a minute for me to able to focus in on them clearly.

  Jack was shouting at Peter, calling him all sorts of hateful names, and Peter was saying very little in his own defense. Then Ezra’s voice boomed in, and the movement stopped. He had broken up the fight.

  “He tried to kill her!” Jack cried, and I could hear the terrified desperation in his voice.

  “But she’s not dead,” Ezra told him soothingly. I felt his strong hands touching my face, feeling my pulse and inspecting the damage. I wanted to yell at them, to tell them to leave me here to die, but I barely even had the strength to breathe, let alone speak. “She’s lost a lot of blood. ”

  “She wanted me to do it,” Peter muttered, and this was followed by a loud smacking sound.

  “Jack! Peter!” Ezra roared. “If you want to save her life, then you have to listen to me!”

  “I don’t know if I want to save her life,” Peter told them quietly.

  Ezra let go of my face so he could rush over to separate the fight. I could hear their bodies slamming against each other, and Jack growling viciously.

  “Peter, step out,” Ezra commanded. “And tell Mae that we need type AB positive. We should have some in the cooler downstairs. ”

  “She’s going to be alright?” Jack whimpered.

  “Peter’s right…. ” I managed breathlessly.

  Jack crouched beside me, and I could feel how devastated and powerless he felt. He started saying something to me but forcing myself to speak had used up at the last of my energy. Everything around me fell black and silent.

  Slowly and somewhat reluctantly, I felt myself rising to the surface. I blinked several times, letting my eyes adjust to the dim light of the bedroom. I had rather expected to open my eyes and find myself in purgatory.

  Instead, I was in the room in the turret, the bedroom that had been mine. A weird weakness washed over me, as if I was lying underneath a weighted blanket, and I still had residuals of the intense pleasure from when Peter had bit me.

  I also felt relieved and apprehensive, but I couldn’t understand why. They seemed out of place with everything that had happened, but then I stirred a little and found the source of the emotions.

  “Hey,” Jack whispered. He’d been sitting in a chair in the corner of the room, but when he saw me waking up, he came over and climbed on the bed next to me. “How are you feeling?”

  “Really, really tired,” I groggily, and when he smiled, I saw there were tears in his eyes.

  He brushed the hair from my eyes, and his fingers traced down the side of my face, past my jaw line, and lingered on the trace of the bite Peter had left on my throat. His expression hardened painfully, so I swallowed and looked away.

  “Am I gonna have to go?” I asked.

  “You can stay as long as you want. ” He moved his hand from my neck, resting it on the covers over my stomach.

 
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