“You said I could have her!” Ben screamed. “You said she’d have no choice but to come to me.”
“No, what I said was she would be helpless against you,” Thomas corrected. “The trick is getting her out of the house so we can bring her here. Next to impossible considering she and the others know everything. ” Not to mention her deep seeded fear of his young companion. He poured his new house mate a drink and leaned against the wall, watching the crazed thoughts reel through Ben’s head. Some fools. “You know, staying so close to her all these nights may be why she still feels the way she does. What is it they say? Ah, absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
“In this case my absence may cost me,” Ben groaned. He’d picked up on a couple of things during the past few days. One, Thomas was in this for Thomas. Two, that rat Nick wanted to get Alana into bed. “You two had a plan way before you turned me. She’s nothing but a game to y’all.”
“Oh, make no mistake.” Thomas smiled. “Nicholas wants her. Mind, body and soul wants her. He usually gets what he wants. Not this time though. I’ll make sure of that. I want to see his desires crumble before him. Once I get that she’s all yours. She’ll be easier to break then anyway.”
“Who says I wanna break her?” Ben asked.
“After the things you did to her, breaking her down is the only way you’ll ever get her to come to you.”
Seeing his point Ben shrugged and looked down at the glass he’d been handed. A deep frown furrowed into his forehead. “What the hell? This isn’t blood.”
“It’s better,” Thomas chuckled. “Trust me.”
“Why’d you do it?” Alana asked Nicholas. He turned to look at her, stunned. A week had passed without as much as a glance his way. “Ben. Why did you go there? What made you think you had the right to do what you did?”
“His sentence wasn’t enough,” Nicholas answered. “There’s no hope of rehabilitation for a man like that.” He turned back towards the window and sighed. “I did it because I thought you and the world in general would be better off without him.”
“How noble of you,” she said sarcastically.
“I never said it was noble,” Nicholas said, keeping his eyes on the grounds. “Doing what I did makes me no better than him.”
Alana propped up on her elbow. “Then why do it?”
“My nature perhaps?”
“I see.” She rolled over and pulled the covers back up over her shoulders. “Let’s not take responsibility for our own actions. Play the vampire card.” Nicholas turned and in a flash was kneeling on the floor beside her. She jumped out of bed; scared and angry. “Don’t do that!”
“Understand this. I never use the vampire as an excuse for anything I do. When I suggested my nature, I meant me as a man. I’ve never been able to stomach men like Ben. They are cowards. They use people to make themselves feel better. They have a hole inside themselves they think only meanness can fill. Cruelty is easy. Kindness takes work.” He stood up and walked to the end of her bed. She eased back under the covers. “Forgive me if I scared you, but I won’t have you thinking I’m something I’m not. You, like everyone else are entirely too quick to judge.”
“Can you blame me? You said yourself you’ve seen what I’ve been through. You were even ready to kill him for putting me through it.”
“Now who’s using excuses?” He almost smiled when he saw the fire light up her blue eyes. Almost.
“It’s not the same thing!” she fumed. Her face flushed bright red. “He killed my friend. He tried to kill me. I think I have a right.”
“To judge him. Not others.” He returned to his post knowing what he was about to say would hurt her. But the words needed to be said to help her heal and nobody was willing to say them. “The attack was committed by one person. Yet you hold everybody at arm’s length. You deny yourself love, companionship. You stay locked inside this house away from the wonderful world you’ve been given. You allow the pain, the hurt to rule you. You have in a sense let him win.”