Anarchy (Hive Trilogy, #2)(8)

Written By: Jaymin Eve & Leia St

I don’t know why I bothered to keep waiting. I had all but decided that Tessa wasn’t ever going to show up here again. Downing my blood, I bopped my leg as I waited. Then the door handle moved. I held my breath, only letting it out as my bestie walked in, platinum blond hair perfectly curled, make-up expertly painted, designer clothes exquisitely chosen.

“Tessa,” I nearly choked. So much had happened since we last talked. I stood quickly, but as I tried to cross the room to hug her, she flipped up her hand in the universal sign for “halt the hell up.” Her lips had that tight firm line they always got before I was about to get bitched out.

“Charlie, I need you to understand something because clearly this place has warped your brain.” Her voice was all business. Ouch.

I just nodded.

She started pacing. “Thanksgiving is coming up, and then Christmas.” My heart dropped when I saw where this was going. Tessa’s family was rich. Her father died when she was little but her mother had inherited all the money—her mom who had no idea how to love Tessa properly, thinking buying her things would do it. Every holiday season her mother would jet off to Paris or some other exotic location with her current boyfriend and Tessa would spend those holidays with my mom and me.

“Are you going to be able to get an entire day off and come home and help cook with your mom and me?”

My hands flew to my hips, in what I hoped was a defiant pose. “Yes, I will.” I had an all access pass now.

Tessa nodded, a bitter smile across her lips. “What about in twenty years? Fifty? Your mom will be dead and so will I. But you will remain young and strong and you’ll stop coming to see us. You and I won’t talk about boyfriends anymore. You have Jayden now.”

She crossed her arms as tears welled in her eyes. Shit. Fuck. Fucking shit.

“No, Tessa!” I held her as the cries racked her body. Whoa … I had not spent much time around humans since I turned. She felt so warm and fragile in my hands. Everything came crushing down on me then—my old life. It was lost to me now.

Pushing her back, I made her face me, waiting until she stared directly into my eyes. “Getting old is a good thing. Being human is a good thing. You don’t want to be in this shithole and be dependent on blood and deal with the politics and power struggles. You can’t have children if you become infected and turn into a vampire. You can’t have a lot of things.” I pulled one of her bouncy curls and watched it spring back perfectly, just like I had a hundred times before.

Tessa’s chuckle was low and strangled. “I can have you, my best friend. You don’t get it! You clearly don’t miss me like I miss you. Your life with Ryder and Jayden is fine and you’re fine without me.” She pulled back from me, turning away.

“That’s not true. It kills me not to live with you anymore, to make sure you’re up for class and you don’t drink four-day old molding coffee or get roofied at a party.”

A burst of laughter rang from her then and I smiled. The tension which had been plaguing my insides, pretty much since we’d had our last fight, started to ease.

“Withdraw the request to be changed, please,” I begged.

Whatever mirth had been on her face faded away as her expression became a hundred percent serious. “It’s not just for you, Charlie. I love Blake, and I have nothing holding me to the human world. I never wanted kids, you know that. I’m not withdrawing it.”

Anger and fear lit up inside of me, and words fell from my lips before I could think them through. “Tessa! Don’t be stupid. You don’t understand this life at all!”

Tessa flinched back like I had slapped her. “Stupid?” she screamed. “Thanks for listening to my problems. Some best friend you are!”

She stormed out.

Dammit! I collapsed to the ground and dropped my head into my shaking hands. Way to go, Charlie. Piss off one of the few people in this world who love you. It had been going pretty well up to that point too. I just lost my mind whenever she mentioned becoming a vampire.

Since my time was up in this room, I couldn’t wallow in my pain any longer. I stormed out and gave Jayden a little wave before leaving the feeding room. I just wanted to be alone. Maybe go outside, maybe run away on my own and leave everyone behind. Seriously, how the hell had my life gotten so intense and complicated? Opening the large double doors that led to the hallway I was taken aback. Sam was just standing there like a creepy sentinel, face completely void of emotion. We silently observed each other for a brief pause, before some of his statue-like pose eased.

“Outside,” he said, jerking his head and beginning to walk.

Well, hello, once in a lifetime moment. Had tall, dark and silent actually sought me out and spoken directly to me? Like actual speaking? Okay, it was only one word, but for him that was practically a novel.

My eyebrows creased as I followed him into an open elevator. There was a vampire in there, so we both stood quietly as we made our way down to the ground level. The vampire inhaled deeply and I turned to see his eyes pulsing. For shit’s sake, not this again. Sam turned hard eyes on the bloodsucker, all of us in a weird stare-off. The male vampire swallowed hard, and when the doors opened at level five he all but ran out. Then Sam and I were alone.

I had no idea what Sam was going to say to me. Was he fetching me for Ryder, or was this to do with that look he wore the other night in the forest? Surely he didn’t want to talk about the weather or how insane the last episode of Supernatural was. If I knew anything, it was that this enforcer did not do the small talk thing. He hardly did the big talk.

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