Chapter Twenty One: Animal Instinct.
NOAH GAZED BACK AT US questioningly, oblivious to his best friend’s former sexual relationship with his sister. And at that moment, I knew I had to keep this secret for him. “Loved who?” asked Noah, confused.
“I, er—um,” I climbed off of Darien. “No one . . .”
Not much else was said along the drive, but when we pulled up at Darien’s house, it was clear on both of our faces that there was a lot we wanted to say. We both sat in the back of the car, almost awkwardly. Noah eyed us both and said, “I’ll give you two a moment,” as he climbed out of the car, shutting the door behind him.
“Look, Helena, I don’t know what you saw but I—”
“It’s fine,” I interrupted him, swallowing hard as I met his dark gaze.
He stared at me, seeming a little confused. “It is?” he raised his eyebrows. “Really, just like that? It’s just magically . . . fine?” He seemed most sceptical, as though he secretly thought I was testing him or something.
I pursed my lips together and shrugged. “Yeah,” I made a face. “It’s just fine.”
Darien seemed to be at a loss for words as he stared at me questioningly. “Oh,” he appeared to relax. “It’s just that I was expecting for you to yell or scream or at least some kind of sarcastic comment.”
It was the strangest thing, but I wasn’t angry. If anything, being inside his mind and experiencing the world through his eyes – it helped me understand him better. “I’m not mad at you, Darien.”
Those words seemed foreign to him and I imagined he didn’t hear them often. “Well, good,” he gave a quick nod. “That’s good then.” With that all said and done, he went to get out of the car and I grabbed his arm, pulling him back inside.
“Wait,” I released him. “Do you want to—uh, talk about . . . it?”
“Talk about what?” he asked with a scoff. “What’s there to talk about?”
My lips pulled down at the side. “Darien, I don’t know if you realise it or not, but you more or less had a breakdown back there.”
“That wasn’t a breakdown,” he retorted, smiling. “Believe me.”
“Okay, well, still,” I held my ground. “It’s all right to be upset. She was your first love. I always presumed it was Annabelle, but it wasn’t, it was Roxy. It mustn’t be easy watching her getting betrothed to some human.”
“Honestly, Helena, I’m fine,” he wore his mask, and he wore it well. But I refused to drop this. I wouldn’t let it go. Sooner or later his past would catch up with him. I think he realised that I wasn’t letting this go, because with a deep sigh he slowly closed his door and faced me front on. “It was a long time ago,” he said. “Roxanne and I, we had a thing a long time ago. But that’s all it was—a thing. And it ended the day I died. There’s nothing more to say, nothing to grieve, because there was obviously nothing there to begin with.”
“All right,” I nodded, smiling tightly. “But if you ever want to talk—”
“Thanks,” he cut me off. “But really, I’m fine.”
We both jumped out of the car after that and Darien discreetly mentioned ‘keeping his former thing with Noah’s sister quiet’ because apparently Noah (even after all these years) was still unbelievably protective of his sister. And, well, my ex-Maker gave me the impression that he’d beat up anyone who even breathed on her.