My head was pounding as I fell asleep. The bed sheets smelt musty and old but there was this inconsolable sadness that had descended upon me the moment Rayne had shunned me. He said he didn't want me because that strange vampire had kissed me. That somehow made me broken inside. I didn't love him- so why did it hurt so much? I closed my eyes but there was no relief. Images of him floated in and out of my head.
I don't love him.
I don't love him.
I don't love him.
I could hear crying. Was it me? In the blackness I saw the girl crouched on the floor rocking back and fourth clutching her patchy head. Clumps of hair lay around. She didn't seem to notice me standing there.
"Are you having problems too?" I asked.
Still she didn't move.
I sat down beside her and placed my hand on her shoulder. I once read that a person touch is very therapeutic, a simply touch can make people feel better. A small bubble of light appeared out of the dark. It was small but very bright.
"Hey look." I said trying to grab her attention. The light glided through the air and swirled me and then landed on her shoulder where I had touched her. The light seemed to sink into her skin and immediately the girl stopped crying. The dark receded revealing an ordinary bedroom. The curtains were drawn, the bed was unmade and a clock flashed 19:15 in the corner. The girl sat up rubbing her eyes and called out, "I'm coming Mom!"
This was amazingly vivid for a dream. I watched as the girl got up and left the room. As door clicked too the room began whirl. I felt like I was being shaken. Drowsily I opened my eyes.
I wish I hadn't. Rayne was stood over me. As soon as I made eye with him, he stepped back. My heart gave a heave and I told it to stop being so stupid.
"How long was I asleep for?" I murmured.
"It's about quarter past seven." Rayne said.
"Oh my god! Your back!" I yelled sitting up straight. It should have come out as a question but it seemed to tumble out as something else. Rayne shrugged.
"Good. Oh and thank you for saving me earlier."
"Whatever. It's in my contract."
The words stung me and my mind went blank. Looking down at the floor I reminded myself- I do not love him. Suddenly the room felt like it was pressing in on me. I needed to get away from him. I needed a break. Sliding out the bed I muttered, "I need to get some air."
Rayne grabbed my arm, "I'll come with you."
"No!" It came out more louder than I had wanted it. Forcing a smile and pulled my arm out of his grip. "No. Please don't trouble yourself."
Rayne's eyes froze over and for a split second he looked like he was going to say something. But then he shrugged. "Whatever."
I virtually ran out the corridor into the alley gasping for air.
"Greetings!" A tuneful voice sang. Turning I saw the vampire from the night before, Rudolph.
"You shouldn't be here!" I hissed at him.
"Poppycock! I've brought my best girl a housewarming gift!"
"You really shouldn't have."
"Oh don't be so modest! I can't have the prettiest princess in the land living below the poverty line."
"I'm not that poor."
"Do you have one Louis xvi furniture piece in your box apartment?"
"Uh, I don't think so..."
"Well that is below the poverty line."
I didn't believe him but I nodded in the vain hope that he would go away. Rudolph strode towards me holding out a gloved hand. I stared at it for a few minutes before he irritably grabbed my hand and kissed it.
"My gift will be coming tomorrow along with his team."
"I've had him flown in from Milan. He is the best designer."
"Designer? I don't understand?"
"Imagine extreme house makeover but up the budget by a couple of million."
"Million? Rudolph I can't afford fancy furniture."
"But I can and Gino will make this place into a palace."
"I don't know if I should except this."
"See it as compensation for that wonderful kiss-"
Rudolph didn't finish. He was lifted up into the air by an unseen force. A hand rested on my shoulder.
"Good evening Skyler, I hope this man wasn't bothering you for too long." Loki drawled eyeing up Rudolph.
"He wasn't bothering me." I lied.
Loki raised an eyebrow, "Really? Is he the man who kissed you?"
"Yes." I said.
Loki left my side and walked over to Rudolph. Leaping back Rudolph hissed at Loki bearing his fangs. Loki smiled and without touching Rudolph flipped him up in the air.
"Please watch this for future reference." Loki said striding over to me. In one fluid movement Loki grabbed my waist and pulled me into him. Numbness flooded me. I had a horrible feeling what Loki had in mind. He whispered something in a language I had never heard of and leaned in to kiss me. I almost let it happen. But I saw him- Rayne in the reflection of a store window watching. His head bowed down and his body turned as Loki was about to kiss me. Was Rayne turning away because he couldn't bear to watch? My heart tripped and my hand flew to my mouth, covering it.