Chapter Twenty-Eight: Cat Faeries by the Body

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Ari's smile looked off. 

I wasn't sure why, but it looked weird and something in the back of my mind told me to make a run for it. 

"And this is why no body wants you to tell their story," Dexter said. 

"It's true though," Ari said. "Not my fault you couldn't keep your cool." 

Dexter made an annoyed grunting sound. 

Someone was going to half to fill in the details for me. Ari laughed and it sounded almost real, but something really did feel off. The muscles in his face relaxed and the smile looked more real. He really did have a pretty smile and I could see him as a sixteen-year-old boy. It would've been easy for someone to fall in love with him. 

"Jesus christ, Ari," Dexter said. "I'm going to get you some water, Matty." 

"You don't-" I tried, but he slammed the door behind him. 

Ari chuckled. "Ignore him, he hates everyone thinking he has a soft spot, but it's true. Oracle inspires that." 

"No one can inspire that," I said. I had absolutely no idea what he was talking and Ari looked a little too high to talk about philosophy. 

"Come on," Ari said, "didn't you get tired of being alone? Isn't that why you fought so hard for your friend when he got stuck in Faerie?" He had to be talking about Lowell. "And look at you now, you're alone even now. Even with half of the faerie courts chasing after you." 

So he did know. 

And that meant he lied to Oracle. 

"Why did you lie-"

"Because Oracle would do something stupid to want to help you," Ari said as he pulled out another joint from his pockets. This one looked thinner. He lit it up. "That's what the old man does. That's what he did with me."

"What does that mean?" I asked. "Naomi came by at my work. Does that have to do with this?" Ari's eyes widened slightly, but relaxed after a second. He wasn't as good with his masks as Antonio was.

"Ah, sorry about that. She's a little messed up right now and my old man probably isn't helping with that." Ari said. His voice sounded light. He titled his head back and smiled. "So what did she tell you? Did she tell you the truth?" 

"She said you met Oracle and you kind of just ran away from her," I said. "Which is kind of an asshole thing to do. If you don't love someone-"

"Of course I love her," Ari said. "You've met her, right? I mean, you'd have to be blind not to fall for her." 

Okay now I was really confused. 

"What is wrong with you? She's madly in love with you!" I said. I stood up and the muscles in my legs shook. 

Ari bit down hard on the joint. "Antonio killed my father." 

God damn vampire. 

"If you want to hear the rest of the story, you might want to sit down." Ari suggested and I sat down. I was kind of getting tired of the vampire leaving out crap like this. 

I need to talk to you! Antonio had said that to me, hadn't he? 

Oh hell. 

Ari took another drag from his joint and blew the smoke out of his mouth like some sort of dragon who decided to tell his secrets. 

"I wanted to see my dad," Ari said, "I cut contact with him when I was a kid. He wasn't happy that I was the one to survive in the car crash." I felt a cold shiver and thought about my own dad. "I'm sure Antonio told you that, but when I grew up I wanted to see him. I went to Antonio and asked if he knew anything. You know how vampires are, noisy fuckers. He surprisingly doesn't know anything." 

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