Chapter 20: Sleepover
Eliminate physical clutter. More importantly, eliminate spiritual clutter. ~Terri Guillemets
I walked all the way home. By the time I unlocked my apartment door and flopped on my unmade bed, it was 6:30 AM. A little after dawn. All vamps would be in their velvet-lined coffins fast asleep by now. What a comforting thought. I felt so tired. So very, very tired…The phone rang. I didn't move; I tried to ignore the annoying ringing. My voicemail hadn't been set up yet, so the phone kept ringing. Finally giving up, I glanced at the caller ID. It was Micah.
"What do you want, Micah?" I mumbled. Micah chuckled, "I'm amazed you're awake. Have you been up all night?"
"Something like that. So, what do you want?" He sighed, "How are you?"
"Just answer the question, please…honestly." He sounded genuinely concerned. Great. I frowned, "I'm fine."
"Micah, just drop it. I've had a long night."
"Uh-huh. Hey, can you answer a question for me?"
"Is it the reason you called?" I put a hand over my eyes. Micah paused before he replied, "Maybe. Okay, why did you get rid of Henri's Mark? I mean, why did you let someone else Mark you? Who is this person, anyway?" I raised an annoyed eyebrow and sat up, "That's three questions. Am I obligated to answer all of them?"
"Fine." I took a deep breath and told Micah everything, "…I thought I was doing a good thing…"
"Until?" Micah prompted after a prolonged silence.
"Until I saw him the other night. Henri looked so…"
"Angry? Anguished? Aggravated?"
"In love," I replied.
"Oh," was Micah's answer. Then he added, "Well, Toni, he actually came to my restaurant the other night." That caught my attention. What?
"What'd he say?"
"He was…crying…Toni." Just imaging Henri crying made me sad.
"I thought vampires don't cry."
"Well, he did, Toni," Micah lowered his voice, "Are you okay?"
"Y-…" I actually thought about my answer. Things hadn't been right since I'd last seen Henri. So, I wasn't okay. I groaned, "No, I'm not okay, Micah. I need…something."
"You need Henri."
"No!" I said quickly, and then cleared my throat, "What I need is…" I didn't get to finish. Micah had hung up. Either that or we'd lost connection. Huh.
"Micah?" No answer. Weird. I turned off the phone and snuggled back into my bed. I just needed sleep…Sleep…sleep…sleep…slee-
Ding dong! Oh, great. Not again.
"Your furry friend, come to cheer you up!" Micah. I flung the covers off and trudged toward the door. A glance at my clock told me it was after 5. I'd slept almost 12 hours. Damn. I opened the door to find Micah…and Rinka. My eyes widened, "Hi, Rinka."
"Hi, Toni." Something caught my eye, and I looked at Micah. He was holding a large basket (He looked like Little Red Riding Hood) in his hands and a bouquet of black and red roses. I raised a suspicious eyebrow, "What's all that? And are those flowers from you?"
"Henri." Micah stepped into the room, "So, are you up for a sleepover?"
"Sleepover?!" I gaped. But I'd just woken up.
"Yeah, a sleepover. Ever had one before?"
"Y-yes. Of course." It just that my last sleepover was seven years ago. I felt inexperienced.
"But why tonight? It's only sunset."
"We want you to have a good night. A night of makeovers, movies, pillow fights…" Rinka replied, smiling slightly.
"We know you and Henri are hitting a…rough patch," Rinka admitted, dropping her gaze, "And we're here to take your mind off of my brother." I wanted to tell them it was useless. Nothing I did could get Henri from my mind. Without the Mark, it was easier, but not by much.
"Toni, Henri's conflicted. He doesn't know whether to kill you or kiss you. He even wants to kill Rara." I could believe that. Henri always did have an on-and-off streak. That's why vamps are so bipolar. He didn't know whether to hate me or love me. I'd be happy if those were my intentions, but they weren't.
"So, can we get this sleepover going or what?" Rinka asked excitedly. I tried to smile at her tone, but my chest was aching with each breath. My world was getting more complicated. Well, no duh.
"Why are we watching Twilight, Rinka?" I asked, annoyed at the images on the TV screen. Of all the vampire movie flicks we could've watched…
"I thought it'd make you feel better. You know, Bella and Edward's relationship is more complicated than you and Henri's."
"I highly doubt that." I nearly gagged when the movie star-crossed idiots made out in Bella's bedroom. Ugh. This didn't make me feel any better about my love life.
"So cheesy," I muttered. Micah rolled his eyes, "If it bothers you so much, we'll do something else. What do you have in mind?"
"Vampires do NOT sparkle," I grumbled, ignoring Micah and glaring at the screen.
"They got all the facts wrong. Ignorant Stephenie Meyer…"
"Toni!" My eyes went to Micah, "What?"
"What's next? If you don't want to watch a movie, what do you want?" He threw popcorn at me and laughed. I didn't laugh back. I just sighed, "Micah, this sleepover thing isn't working. Doing makeovers, watching a stupid, inaccurate mess of bullshit movie…What is next?"
"Pillow fight!" Rinka called from behind me. She reached above her and pulled a pillow from my bed. She chucked it at me, and the pillow exploded on contact with my face. I coughed and gagged as the pillow guts rained down all over me. Rinka's tinkling laugh filled the air and I yelled, "That's it!" I took the pillow I'd been sitting on and slammed it into Rinka's face. She only laughed louder and grabbed the pillow, wrenching it from my hands.
"Hey, that's not-…" She hit me with the pillow. It too exploded.
"Rinka, stop destroying Toni's pillows! Henri paid for those." The mention of Henri brought it all back Henri… I sighed and landed on my back, splayed out on the carpet near my bed.
Micah looked at the door, his eyes narrow. I glanced at him, "Who's at the door?"
"Roland and Connor." Oh. I sighed as Micah stood and went over to open the door.
"Hey, Mikey, I heard there was a party going on!" Connor beamed, squeezed in the doorway.
"Not a party-party. A slumber party. You know, sleeping over?"
"You mean with pillow fights?" He asked, looking at the mess of feathers that used to be my pillows. Micah nodded and walked away from the doorway, allowing Connor to enter. Roland followed. Connor ran over to my bed and jumped onto it, belly down. The impact made the springs in the bed squeal with tension. Roland walked over to me and poked my cheek.
"Why are you on the floor like that?" Roland asked, lying down against me, his head on my shoulder. I stared up at Micah for an explanation, but he only shrugged. Thanks a lot, werewolf. I patted Roland's head and murmured, "I don't really know."
"Why don't you know?"
"I guess I-…"
"Toni, were you watching Twilight?" Connor asked, now in front of the TV. I rolled my eyes, "It wasn't my idea." I looked at Rinka, who frowned.
"I thought it would help," she admitted.
"Okay, anyway. Now that we have more…guests, what are we gonna do?" I looked at all of their faces. I let out a long sigh, "Can we just go to sleep now?"
"We just got here…" Connor whined, his body slumping. I shrugged, "I'm actually really tired." I wasn't actually tired, but I was beat down. Everything took energy, and I'd lost a lot in the last 24 hours. I just wanted to rest.
"Toni, if we go to sleep, you have to promise me that you'll go talk to Henri. You guys need to sort stuff out. Okay?" Micah called from where he sat. I nodded slowly. I agreed with what he said. I did need to talk to Henri. I needed to settle things. I climbed into bed, Roland and Connor following me like puppies. I think they wanted to sleep in the bed with me. I shook my head, signaling my discomfort.
"Sleep on the floor," I whispered, my eyes drooping. It was weird. I was getting tired…fast. Connor and Roland backed off. I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the mattress. There were no more pillows left intact.