Chapter Eleven

Eye Contact

Noah wanted to hunt the vampire down and rip him limb from limb. Elli wasn't even opposed to it, but that could have been from the exhaustion she was experiencing after feeding a vampire. Desmond felt completely drained after healing her and went straight to his room. Elli almost crashed on the couch, but didn't want to explain it to Addy in the morning, so Noah assisted her to her bedroom. She climbed in bed and collapsed, praying to the gods that Kate wouldn't wake her up again. She didn't think she had the energy to run.

Her sleep was interspersed with nightmares about Blake and about what would have happened if she had lost control. It was some of the least restful sleep that she'd had in quite some time. That was saying something considering she hadn't exactly been sleeping in a bed for so long.

She woke up at six-thirty am, enjoyed a long shower and finally changed her clothing, which seemed almost like a luxury. At seven-thirty, she headed downstairs to grab breakfast. The scent of coffee reached her nose the moment she exited her bedroom and she knew that someone else was up. It smelled heavenly and she realized that she hadn't exactly eaten since before the full moon. Mostly, she'd been sleeping. Her stomach growled and she took the stairs two at a time to get to the food.

Addy sat in the living room, sipping coffee that was so diluted it smelled more like sugar and reading the Wednesday newspaper. Elli paused on her way to the food when she realized what day it was.

"Don't you have class today?" Or work… Or something… Addy was never home during the week and very rarely on the weekend.

"I don't. I mean, I do, but it's September 2nd. I have…other obligations today, so I'm skipping. Richard and Kate only have one class and they decided to sleep instead of taking the bus."

"Other obligations?" she wondered, confused and a little curious.

"Mhmm." There was a knock at the door and Addy stood, folding the newspaper and setting it on the coffee table. She kept her coffee cup in her hand and move to let the visitor in. "In fact, this would be them."

She opened the door. "Hey, guys. Come have some coffee before we go. This is Elli, one of my housemates. Elli, this is Peter."

A tall, muscular, Mexican male entered the house. He looked like a quarterback for a college football team. Maybe he was; Elli wouldn't be surprised. His dark brown hair was buzz cut, none of it hanging in his hazel eyes. He wore jeans, a nice, white button-up, and dress shoes. He gave a small smile and waved at her. She politely smiled back.

"And this is Jasper," she introduced the second one as he entered.

This boy was tall, but very scrawny. Light grey eyes sat behind a set of small, rectangular, black framed glasses. Short, messy black hair topped his head. He wasn't as tall as his companion, but he still towered over Addy. In comparison to Peter, he seemed underdressed, in jeans, a baggy T-shirt with the quote, "May the force be with you," written on it, and tennis shoes.

Elli saw all of this, but she really noticed none of it. The moment he set foot in the house, she had made eye contact with him and it was her downfall. Suddenly, he was the only person in the room. He was the only person in the world and she wanted him. She wanted to hold him and hug him and kiss him and love him and never, ever let anyone else have him. He was hers and why wasn't she holding him yet?

All of those things crossed her mind in the span of seven seconds and 'Son of a bitch,' followed immediately after them as she unexpectedly knew how her brother felt.

"Uh…H-hi," she stammered. She felt as though she was staring like a deer caught in headlights.

He smiled at her awkwardly and oh gods that boy had a lovely smile and she was fairly certain her heart literally skipped a beat. Well that wasn't healthy.

"Coffee's in the kitchen, boys. You know where to find everything. I'll be there in a minute," Addy said. Her friends entered the kitchen and Elli couldn't help but watch Jasper leave. It was a nice view. Addy turned to face her housemate.

"Are you feeling alright?"

"Fine," she answered, brain still on the boy in the kitchen. If she listened closely, she could hear his heartbeat. It was a comforting sound.

"Are you sure? Do you want me to take you to the doctor? You seem ill. And I'm going to have the car all day so if you don't go now, you won't have transportation."

"I'll be fine. What are you doing today?" she wondered, trying to distract herself before she began to feel like a complete stalker.

Don't bolt into the kitchen. That's not okay. Don't do it. Stay here. Talk to Addy. Addy's nice. She's talking. You should listen to her. Or you could listen to him. He's in the room next door. Gods damn it! Focus!

"It's the anniversary of Peter's mom's death. We go to her grave every year and then we come back here and have pineapple pizza and orange soda, because those were her favorites. It's become a tradition. We all take the time off to do it." She suddenly became aware of the fact that Addy was a little dressed up herself. A simple, elegant black dress and a pair of black flats adorned her body.

"Oh. What happened to her?"

"She passed away five years ago from cancer. It was really hard on all of us. She practically raised the three of us. My parents worked all the time and Jasper lived with his grandma until last year. Faith was like another mom. Peter misses her the most, but we all do."

"I know the feeling," Elli replied. "I'll leave you to your tradition."

"I'll see you later," Addy answered and exited to the kitchen. Elli headed upstairs to Noah's room, barging in like he did to her. Of course, he'd been nice enough to let her sleep in but she couldn't contain herself and Desmond needed the sleep more than her brother did.

He was lying in bed and chose to bury his head under a pillow when he heard her enter.

"Fucking eye contact!" she snarled after shutting his door.

"Who was it?" he asked, voice muffled by the pillow he refused to remove.

"One of Addy's friends. One of her human friends. And not the muscular one- no, gods forbid that! It's the scrawny, fragile, nerdy one."

"You can't just assume he's nerdy because he's scrawny," he mumbled. She could hear how tired he was but this couldn't wait. It couldn't.

"He was wearing a Star Wars T-shirt. Damn it, how is this fair?"

He sighed, but sat up. His shaggy blonde hair stood up at all ends in a potentially humorous manner, but she currently felt rather humorless. All he had on was a pair of grey sweatpants, but she thanked the gods he had that much on.

"It's not fair. It's a universal karma and it sucks." He ran his fingers through his hair, organizing the chaos, and patted the bed beside him. She came over and plopped down.

"He's so fragile, Noah. Even for a human. Like damn it. And he's so human. He has no clue about werewolves and vampires and seers and banshees and wizards and all the other terrible or wonderful supernatural beings out there. He has no clue! And I can't tell him. I can't. We've never seen a scenario where that goes over successfully. Which means I can't be with him, because I can't keep such a huge gigantic secret from my mate! But I'm not his mate and damn it this is awful." His arms encircled her and she sighed. "It's just so terrible."

"I know. I know exactly how you feel. I'm so sorry that it happened to you, but it did. We don't get a redo with our mates and, despite how shitty the scenario is, I wouldn't want one. Richard is perfect for me. There's a reason he's my mate and there's a reason that Addy's friend is yours. We have to deal with the hand we've been dealt. You may not be able to be with him, but you can be friends with him, can't you? It's better than nothing, isn't it?"

"And what do I do when he dates someone else? Werewolves aren't exactly known for their forgiving nature and copious amounts of self-control. What do I do when I smell someone else on him and I just want to rip her throat out?"

"You leave, get away, and cool down for a while. And you don't screw up that friendship because it's going to be your saving grace. Our situations suck, but we might as well make the best of them."

"When did you get so smart?" she wondered. It was half serious, half teasing.

"When I had to figure out how to keep my mate in my life when I couldn't be with him. I'm not sure I'll be able to take my own advice when push comes to shove, but we'll see. I know I'm right, but it's easier said than done. Always is."

"It sucks."

"Seriously. Want to go get some ice-cream?" he inquired.

It wouldn't make her feel better, she knew, but there was something about enjoying ice-cream during a rough time that felt extremely appealing, so she nodded. He informed her that he needed to shower and dress first and then they could go.

"I want lots of chocolate," she replied.

"You can get whatever you want," he responded. "Just give me fifteen minutes."

"No problem. I only took five when you needed ice-cream," she teased.

"You didn't shower," he retorted.

"Fair enough. I'll see you in a few."

She went down to wait for him in the living room. It was looking nice; the household must have been working on it while she'd been… preoccupied. She plopped down onto the couch and suddenly froze. The trio was still in the kitchen. He was still in the kitchen. How the hell did Noah do it? How did he live with his mate without being with him? Like, damn.

Her fingers drummed on her thigh, trying to keep her distracted, but well, he was the most distracting thing around.

"Are you ready to go?" she heard him ask his companions.

"Yeah," Peter replied.

"Are you sure you're up for this?" he questioned.

"Wouldn't miss it if our lives were in danger," Addy responded.

"Alright then. Let's go. Are we taking the Sonata or the Ranger?"

"The Sonata, of course. I hate packing us all into the Ranger."

"Where are your keys?"

"No, not there. The next drawer. Yeah. Um, hand me my damn keys. Hell, no, Jasper. You do not get to drive my car."

"But I hate your driving," he whined.

"And I hate yours. Besides, it's my car."

"Let Peter drive, then."

"Jasper, just give Addy her freaking keys and let's get going. You know how I feel about being late."

He sighed and she heard keys jingle as they were passed around. The trio briefly reentered the living room, passing behind her and heading out the door.

"See you later!" Addy called.

"Bye!" the boys shouted. She rather liked his voice, she noticed. It was…pleasant. Just listening to him made her happy. Stupid mating.

Noah came downstairs, dressed and ready to go. She sighed.

"You'll be okay. Come on, let's go get some chocolate ice-cream with chocolate fudge and sprinkles and anything else your heart desires."

She smiled slightly, thinking about how good that sounded. It couldn't really solve anything, but she would never turn down ice-cream for breakfast. She stood and they headed out, but her mind was still on Jasper. She had this really annoying feeling it always would be.

A/N: SHE MATED. :D And Jasper's all fragile and stuff. Gods forbid she mate with the muscular human! And cute Noah/Elli moment! I hope you enjoyed this chapter. I absolutely love it because asdfjkl; ELLI MATED. that happened... . Happy reading!