"This hurts." I growled through my teeth.

Xavier rolled his eyes, ignoring me.

"Xavier, can we stop?" I asked, squeezing my eyes shut.

"We're almost done." He said in his low voice.

I winced and yanked my arm away. "Dammit! That hurts!"

"You wanted it!" He said, trying to hold my arm down.

"Can't you make it not hurt?" I asked, wiping my cheek.

"Sorry, I can't." He said, tightening the belt around my wrist. He buckled it and pushed the last of the liquid into my veins.

I cried out in pain and turned my face so he wouldn't see me cry. I bit my lip hard.

"There. It's done." He said, taking the belt off my arm.

I relaxed, rubbing my arm. I still wouldn't look at him. I wasn't going to let him see me crying like this.

He knelt down beside me, brushing my cheek with his thumb. "Amanda?"

I didn't answer him.

"Why are you crying?" He asked, knowing exactly how to make me feel better. It was working... a little.

"People cry when they're hurt. It's how they show when they're in pain." I said, keeping my eyes from him, too.

He picked me up in his arms, wrapping my legs around his hips. He kissed me gently. "I'm sorry I hurt you."

He didn't know pain. He couldn't feel it. He would never be able to. Being inhuman kept him from feeling big emotions. He hadn't known love until he fell for me. Pain was far more intense than love. He would never find it.

I rested my head on his shoulder and stayed quiet.

"Let me take you to your room." He said in my ear.

I nodded even though it wasn't a question. He still would have wanted to know that's what I wanted, too.

He carried me up downstairs into the basement and laid me in my bed. "Do you need anything?" He always wanted to help me. And knowing now that my pain was bad, he would be extra nice for the rest of the day. It was just in his nature.

I held my hand out to him and looked up into his eyes. Stay, my head screamed.

He took my hand and laid down beside me. He pulled me into his arms and kissed me softly.

"I'm grounded." I said, plopping down on the couch.

"For what?" Xavier asked, wrapped his arm around my shoulders.

"Yesterday. My mom found out what we were doing."

He laughed. "It didn't hurt you; it can't hurt you. It's not a drug or anything."

"It's not human! How can that not be a drug? She still wouldn't believe you anyway."

"It's not, trust me. Besides, she'd have to believe me. It's not like your parents even know what it does."

"My mom thinks I was shooting up." I said, resting my head on his shoulder.

He chuckled, thinking he could hide his laughter from me. "The side effects aren't nearly as... interesting."

I rolled my eyes. "You really don't care that I'm grounded, do you?"

"I do, honestly. It ruins the very fun day I had planned."

"Like what?" I asked, leaning my head back to see his face.

He shrugged. "Something... gushy."

"Gushy? You mean like overly romantic?" I asked, moving so my head was in his lap.

"Something like that." He said with a smile.

"Can't you, like, transport us out of here or something?"

He brushed my bangs back from my face. "I don't work that way."

I frowned. "You're useful."

He kissed me, his eyes closing slowly. I couldn't help myself. I kissed him back, wrapping my hand around his neck to pull him closer.

My heart practically threw itself at my ribs and lungs the way it was hammering. My breathing was loud, heavy, and most of all, embarrassing. I couldn't quiet myself.

He smiled against my lips as he pulled away, always too early.

I stared up at him with wide eyes. He was breathtaking. His green eyes weren't too dark or too light. They were almost neon. They stared back at me, sparkling with a smile.

I sat up, glad I wouldn't have to look at him as I blushed. I ran a hand through my hair before taking his hand in mine. "Your birthday's coming up."

"Birthday, what's that?"

Right. He didn't know. "It's the day you were born. Each year, on that day, you have a little party."

"Did I forget yours?" I would have answered him easily, making it no big deal. But he was watching me. He would notice the hurt in my eyes if I just acted like it was nothing. I couldn't hide anything from him.

I smiled, thinking back on that day. It was almost a full year ago. The day he finally decided to be in a human relationship. With me. I leaned up and kissed him. "Not entirely. That was the day you finally said yes."

He frowned. "You should have told me."

I shrugged. "It's not a big deal." There I was, acting like it didn't matter. Gosh, I was so stupid.