Survivor’s Diaries: Chapter 19
“You’ve gone quiet, Fiona. Are you okay?” Jesse asked, rubbing my back and playing with my hair as I laid naked on top of him beneath the sheets.
“Yeah. I’m okay,” I responded quietly, tracing the contours of his shoulder with my fingers, not elaborating.
I could tell he wanted more of an answer but I wasn’t ready to give him one just yet.
I was in deep thought.
The sex we were having was amazing. For me, earth shattering — seismic. It felt like my heart was rising from the ashes. I was so full of wonder at the intensity of love I was able to receive and behold, so full of euphoria that this perfect, heartbreakingly gorgeous creature had fallen in love with me too.
Yet for some reason, I didn’t know why, but I’d hoped, that at this point my. . . nightmares — wince — would just magically go away. That the twin force of being in love and being the object of someone’s love would change things.
After all, how could there not be a little magic around someone like Jesse? Someone so happy go lucky and sunny and full of light?
I knew there was, because he made me feel like I wanted to be alive again. That was the most powerful magic there was, if it ever existed.
My wings would always be broken, I knew I would never be able to fly again. But now it was like Jesse was carrying me on his back, high above the void where I used to live, through an endless vault of light and warmth.
It was the next best thing.
So somehow, during sleep, I thought that this golden aura would continue to enchant, to fling out from his body and cast over me like a bubble, a pulsing, living thing that would repel the demons from the apex to the edges, so long as I stayed within the radius of his gravitational pull.
That was too much to hope for. I knew it was an improbability — certain things just can’t be erased — but was still a little crestfallen regardless.
I didn’t want him to think my quasi-sadness had anything to do with him, so I burrowed my head into his shoulder, hiding my face.
“Please tell me what you’re thinking,” he begged. “I want to know.”
I smiled. “I don’t think you do.”
Frustration colored his voice. “Of course I do. Why would you say that?”
I started to shrug but he scooped up my jaw and angled it towards him.
I stifled a gasp.
The sight of Jesse against the break of day made me stop breathing.
His long, midnight hair was beaming with blue and violet light from the sun’s rays — that’s how black it was — a gush of oil from roots to ends, pooling at his shoulders, a magnificent liquid crown that defied gravity.
His irises were amber and bronze against the break of dawn. The gold from the harp. The gilded kind.
And his lips were red. Two strikes of wine against a snow white canvas.
I probably should have been trying to keep the gawking to a minimum but in the sight of Jesse it was impossible.
“W-what?” I stammered.
He smiled bigger, still holding my jaw. “I asked why you don’t think I’m interested in what you’re thinking.”
“Oh.” I reached for an excuse. “I’d just rather listen to you is all. My thoughts are pretty boring.”
He sighed in frustration. “Stop doing that!” he chastised, a little harsher than I expected.
I winced within his clasp, my eyes widening. “Doing what?”
He leaned his head back against the headboard. “Just. . . talking down about yourself. And changing the subject. You do it all the time.”
“I’m sorry, Jesse,” I soothed with an assuaging smile.
It was the easiest way to pacify someone.
He bit his lip and glared. Whether out of anger or frustration I didn’t know. Maybe both.
The venom in his expression increased.
I shrunk backwards at the sight.
“I’m sorry, Fiona,” he sighed, seeing my recoil.
I nodded. “Me too.”
“Ah!” he laughed. “There you go again.”
He tightened his grasp on my jaw.
“See, and now I can’t get mad at you,” he continued, scanning my face back and forth. “When you look at me with those big, ocean eyes and that innocent look on your face that you do so well, I just — I just can’t.”
“Wow,” I mused cherubically, looking to the side, seizing a chance to deflect and change the subject. “Ocean eyes. I’ve received a lot of compliments about my eyes before but I’ve never heard that. I like it.”
He continued as if I hadn’t spoken.
“You do it on purpose don’t you?” he asked in irritation, squinting. “The whole shy, wide-eyed, apology routine. To get people off your back. You do it all the time with me. You think I don’t notice?”
I shrugged and smiled angelically.
He kept waiting for more of a response, which I did not provide.
His expression hardened.
I thought of what I could do to annoy him further.
I started pretending to be a mime, alternating between a series of dramatic facial expressions, from ecstasy to despair to surprise, transitioning between each through the cover of the sheets.
Jesse clenched his jaw. He was trying really hard not to smile — and to his credit he held out longer than I had expected — but eventually gave in, his lips quivering and finally surrendering into a magnificent beam.
That did it.
I was undone.
This smile was something else. I didn’t ever think a set of teeth could be described as sexy until I first saw Jesse’s beam.
Aside a full complement of snowy white ivories, his fang teeth were two hyper sharp chisels, stronger and more pronounced than any other pair I’d ever seen in my life. They were so arousing I knew I could not control my racing heart so I didn’t even try. Combined with the pale skin and long black hair he was like the sexiest vampire of my wildest fantasies. The blood red pigment of his lips only compounded this perception.
Jesse was so beyond gorgeous it was shocking, leveling — offensive even. He was more than just beautiful — he was violently beautiful. Because it hurt to watch. It was, on some level, painful to behold.
And inhumanly beautiful.
It felt like I was seeing something I had no right to see, like an archangel in broad daylight, without the cover of invisibility.
He laid me to waste.
I didn’t deserve him.
I had no idea what such a creature was doing with a white trash piece of shit like me.
He wrapped his hands around my shoulders so they completely overlapped, interrupting my marveling session. “You drive me crazy, girl. But you’re going to let me in. One day, you are.”
I just smiled seraphically back.
It was never going to happen.
He laughed, breaking the tension, then moved on to a different topic. “So I was thinking. . .” he began excitedly.
I sighed in relief. “Yes?”
He grabbed my hands. “I’ve got all this vacation time from work I haven’t used and I thought that, I don’t know, we could take a trip somewhere, just you and me.”
My heart leaped.
I tried to hide my smile but it was becoming impossible.
“Really?” I asked in shock.
I’d never had a guy offer to take me on a vacation before. Most of the guys I’d dated in the past were broke college students though, so that probably explained it.
“Of course,” he replied with a shrug, like it was nothing.
My whole face lit up.
“Okay,” I replied ecstatically, trying to hide my excitement.
It wasn’t working.
He grinned. “Where do you want to go? Hawaii?”
Oh my god.
I blinked twice.
This was not happening.
“Are you serious?”
“You would do that for me?” I asked in disbelief.
He shrugged again. “I love you. All I want to do is spend time with you.”
Euphoria surged through my being with an intensity so violent I did not think I would survive it.
Then, before I could respond, he leaned in and pressed his lips against mine, kissing me with a passion that could have set the whole city on fire.
I wouldn’t have noticed.