“You can look wherever you want. I ain’t got nothing to hide.” His voice is smoky.
I sit down next to him and rub some of the sticky stuff onto his cuts, deliberately ignoring the blackish veins. “How long?” I ask, not meeting his eyes. I’m crazy, not suicidal.
“How long what?”
I tape the gauze pads to his chest. “How long since you got laid, Alex?”
“By you?” He flashes me a sexy-as-hell smile. “Too. Damn. Long.”
“I’m not going to fall for your shit, Alex.”
The playfulness in his eyes flickers out of existence. “You sure you and Pony-Boy aren’t exclusive?”
I untangle my hair tie and put it on the nightstand. “This DeLuca obsession of yours is getting real awkward. Want me to call him and see if he’s up for a date?”
He leans against the headboard. “What a funny bunny we are today.”
I turn and look him in the eye. “Cut it out, Alex. I don’t wanna fight.” Not after the news I just got. Not after the shadow I saw. Not five days before he goes to hell. He raises his brows. “Are you okay?” I climb under the sheets. “Yes, hunter-heroic. I am.
Now move to your bed.” He turns on his side, resting his head on one elbow.
“Are you really throwing me out of your bed when I only have five days to live? That would be plain cruelty.”
I pull the blanket over my chest. “Do whatever the hell you want, but make no mistake, this ain’t no invitation for sex.”
He smiles. “Damn shame.”
I frown. Sure, it’s dumber than dumb to sleep next to a guy who drives my lady parts crazy, but he’s hurt and I don’t want to sleep alone. Maybe I did hallucinate, and there was no shadow. Maybe the bulb flickered because it was about to burst. But what if my mind hasn’t played tricks on me? What if there really was someone in the hallway? One of the hunters looking for me or worse, the demon from Rick’s Cabaret?
I reach for the lamp. “You good to sleep?” He nods and I switch off the light, bathing the room in darkness.
For a while, we’re both quiet, me trying to sleep, him watching me like a hawk. I literally feel Alex’s gaze roaming over me. It makes me all kinds of giddy and restless.
His leg brushes against mine. “Manda?” “Hm?” “What’s with you and your family?” I dig my nails into the sheets and glare at the ceiling. What is it with him and his sudden interest in my personal life?
Exasperation simmers under my cool façade. “My sister and I, we don’t get along. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re from two different planets.”
“What about your mom?”
Why do I feel like I’m being interrogated by Detective Bitcher? I mean, I don’t ask him about the mysterious sister Diana mentioned. “Haven’t seen her since she threw me out of the house four years ago. It’s very unlikely—as in demons-and-angels-make-out unlikely—I will see her anytime soon. Can’t ruin her picture-perfect family for her new rich husband.”
He sighs loudly. “Wow, she really threw you out of the house?” He pauses, probably wrapping his head around the reality I call life. “What could possibly justify a mother treating her own flesh and blood like that?”
I don’t want to talk about Mother Dearest or my past. Alex is a stubborn son of a bitch, though. He’ll never let me sleep until he gets what he craves—an answer. “Before I was born,” I explain, voice trembling. “My mom had a vision.”
“She had the same gift as you?” Alex queries.
“No.” I’m not sure why the hell I’m telling him any of this. “She only had visions when she was pregnant with me. Anyway, I was some sort of queen of the underworld, bringing upon the end of the world.” I turn, facing the bathroom door, and close my eyes. “Probably doesn’t surprise you, huh?”
His hand travels from my shoulder down to my fingers. “I’m sorry,” he whispers, his breath warm against the nape of my neck. “No kid deserves to grow up like that.”
I swallow the desire to conquer his mouth. I ignore the heat rising in my belly. “Get some sleep, Alex.”
He throws an arm across me, pulling me against his warm chest. I try to resist, but it’s been a while since I felt so good. “Night,” he whispers, his body melting with mine.
I stare into the darkness and try to get a grip on my heartbeat. Why does he have to be so close? Why can’t he see having him in my bed, knowing I will never have him in my life, is fucking torture? I close my eyes.
Alex’s hand wanders over my ribs, down to my hips.
His fingers brush my leg.
He draws tiny circles on my inner thigh.
Ah, fuck the sheep!
I throw the blanket to the side and sit up on the edge of the bed, my feet dangling over the gross carpet.
“Move your ass back to bed,” he orders, patting the free spot next to him.
“The mattress is too soft,” I lie. “I’ll try the other one.”
He murmurs something about me being full of bullshit, but I ignore him because I can no longer ignore the need in my loins.