Author Note:As usual, sorry for it being so long between updates. I honestly have no excuse for how late this is. Sorry. Anyway, as always special thanks to me IRL friend Elevanya, because she is made of pure win, and to Ashamaly, SaiMero Celestel, ImmortalIncarnate, Carmel March, and Crimsonlotus for reviewing. Here it is!
Damien sat me down on his couch, then walked into his bedroom. "Take off your shirt," he called to me from the other room.
"Excuuuseme?" I asked, giggling and then wincing at the pain in my chest. My wound was healing quickly, but I was still bleeding. Also, the blood I had drunk from the witch was still making me high. But it was a different kind of high. Things were clearer. Not just my senses, but mentally, too. Things were making more sense. But not everything. Some things were hard to focus on, distracted as I was by the vibrant, glowing colors around me that seemed to sparkle if they moved. The combination of clarity and confusion was nearly overwhelming. The end result was a giggly mess who occasionally spoke the truth, but mainly babbled.
"Nothing sexual," Damien said as he walked back into the room with gauze and bandages. "But I need to patch you up, and that shirt's in the way. Also, never having been stabbed in the chest, I can't say for certain, but I think that your shirt is ruined."
I pouted as I wriggled out of my shirt and threw it onto the floor. I started to unhook my bra.
"No, leave your bra on."
I stopped what I was doing and gave Damien a coy smile. Well, that's what I was going for at the time, anyway. I probably just looked a little crazy. "You don't want to see me topless, Damien?"
Damien gave a sad smile as he averted his eyes from my face, concentrating solely on trying to bandage up the whole in my chest. "Oh, trust me when I say that I do. But not like this. Stab wounds aren't exactly a turn on."
I fidgeted slightly under Damien's touch. "And what would you do if I weren't bleeding all over the place?"
Damien shook his head. "You're intoxicated. It'd be like sleeping with a drunk girl. I wouldn't take advantage of you like that. I know you already don't trust me because I turned you, but I did that out of love. You might, someday, forgive me for that. But you would never forgive me for taking advantage of you. And more importantly," he paused and looked into my eyes, "I'd never be able to forgive myself."
Now it was my turn to smile sadly. "Your sadness is making you translucent, Damien, and the wall behind you is reflecting your favorite shade of blue." I touched his face. "My trust is indecisive. Like a puppy. Maybe a red one. And maybe it's just because the witchy is making my blood tingle, or what's left of my blood, um...." I lost my train of thought, distracted by the idea of tingling blood and how that would taste. "Oh. Right. I trust you. For now." I stared into Damien's dark eyes and for a moment he continued to look back into my emerald ones. Then he averted his eyes and went back to tending to my wound. I used my hand on his cheek to lift his face so that he was looking at me again.
"You know that I love you, right?" he asked quietly.
I nodded. "I can see the pink cloud around your eyes."
"How do you feel about me?"
"Red puppy, remember?"
"Then what are you doing?"
I shrugged. "Only the stars in me know." And then, to both mind and Damien's surprise, I leaned down and kissed him. The kiss didn't last very long, because after Damien got over the shock, he pulled away from me and stood up. "What's wrong?" I asked. "I can see your pink clouds getting darker, so I know you want to feel this."
"You're high. I can't. I just - goddamnit, Callie, why now? You don't know what you're doing, so I have to be the one to stop it. And I don't want to." Damien shook his head. "It doesn't matter. You don't know what you're doing, so I can't."
"No. Things are clear now. I'm angry. I'm paranoid. You love me anyway. And maybe I liked you. Maybe I will never be able to because of what you did. I know that I'm not me right now. But I'm better! This is the me that makes decisions!" And then, suddenly, my mind made this all about the nightmare I had had a couple of days ago. "I know that you need someone who can be decisive, and even though I'm not me, this shinier me can choose. Maybe she'll choose wrong, but at least nothing bad will happen."
"What are you talking about?" Damien asked.
"I know you need me to make up my mind, or you'll get sick. But my mind is broken after my short, little life. Life broke little, human Callie. You broke new, confused Callie. And something's that broken can't do anything well, but I know I need to try."
"Why do you think I need you to make decisions?" Damien asked, looking hurt and confused by this turn of the conversation.
"You told me! Well, dream you. You said I was killing you because I couldn't decide. So now I'm making decisions. Maybe they're bad ones because of the new, internal shine. Maybe once I'm dull again, I'll change my mind again. But I can't know, because the shine tells me that the price for clarity is sanity."
Now Damien was the one who looked broken. "Callie, it was just a dream." He gripped my shoulders loosely. "I don't want you to decide anything if you're not sure about your decision."
"But the inner stars-!" I began.
"The inner stars aren't real. You're no different than you were at the beginning of the night."
"With the exception of the new space between my ribs. I can feel it pulling my emotions to fill the gap."
"Right, with that exception." He handed me a t-shirt of his that I hadn't even noticed him bring into the room. I put it on to cover my bra and bandages. "It's just the witch's blood that's making you think like this. We've had a long night. I'm going to go to bed. You should try to sleep, too, and hopefully you'll be sober by tomorrow."
I nodded. "I can feel my fire fading."
"Good night, Callie," Damien said, then went into his bedroom and closed the door.
I was suddenly very tired and didn't even have the energy to change into my pajamas. I just slowly and painfully laid down on the cough in Damien's shirt and the jeans I had been wearing that night. Within five minutes, I was fast asleep.
Halfway through the day I awoke with a start. I felt hungover, or at least what I imagined being hungover felt like. I had never been hungover when I was human, and it wasn't likely that I was going to get drunk as a vampire. And in addition to my post-witch hangover, the hole in my chest was excruciatingly painful. I could feel it closing. I knew that vampires healed far more quickly than humans, I just hadn't know how painful that healing process would be. And without the magick in my system, there was nothing to distract me from the pain.
I could tolerate the pain, but I also couldn't fall back asleep because of it. The rest of the day, while Damien slept, I just laid on the couch, occasionally gasping and clutching my chest. As I was lying there, I thought about the night's events.
Damien had mentioned witches before, but I hadn't know that they were a real threat to us. At least not here and now. But now I knew better, and the hole in my chest was serving as an excellent reminder. Had the stake been a couple of inches to the left, I would have been lying dead on the floor of the Pit, not the redheaded witch. I thought about the witch's blood, and how the magick had felt and tasted. I couldn't imagine having it running through my veins.
I guess if you've lived your whole life that way, it wouldn't feel all that different, I thought, then chuckled. The toddlers must be Hell, though.
I thought about Autumn. About her pure determination to save Damien, and her pure hatred of me. I especially thought about what she had said at the end of her fight with Damien.
"You do something this stupid after my letter?"
"Don't say I didn't warn you."
Now, more than ever, I was curious as to what Autumn had written to Damien. Whatever it was, I got the feeling that I wouldn't like it. Seeing as I wasn't going to find out at the moment, however, I let my mind wander through the rest of the night's events. I was almost to the point where I would have laughed at the stupid things I had said, until I remembered the stupid thing I did.
Shit! I kissedDamien! I groaned. What the Hell was I thinking? He loves me, and I kiss him because I'm high! That's it. No more witches for me. I sighed. Why would I do that? I don't love him I don't even know if I like him. I'm too pissed off to like him! Right?
But before I could follow that train of thought any further, Damien walked into the room. "How're you doing?" he asked.
"Wound pain or hangover pain?" he asked, sitting down next to me and putting his arm around my shoulder.
"Yeah. Witches will do that to you."
"Why did the witch blood effect me so much more than it did Autumn?"
"She's older than you. She has more experience and tolerance. Plus, you know, she only drunk a little for extra strength, where as you drained a whole witch to save yourself. Just a slight difference."
I sighed. "Yeah, I guess." I groaned again. "It still hurts like a bitch, though."
Damien chuckled. "That's to be expected, really. We should probably stay in tonight."
I nodded. "Definitely sounds like a plan."
End Note: And there you have it. It's been a long time coming, and I'm sorry that it's not very long. I start college soon, so I'm not making any promises when it comes to the next chapter, either. Thank you very much for reading!