Blood Rose: Ch. 9

Jay pressed his lips to mine as he took me in his arms. It was awkward at first. I wasn’t sure what I should do with my hands, or if I was just supposed to sit there and let him do what he needed to do. Was kissing a part of the process? I couldn’t be sure, but I didn’t want to stop him to check. I just wanted this to be over with already.

Eventually, I allowed my hands to tangle in the hair at the nape of his neck, opening more comfortably into the kiss. It was an unbelievably amazing kiss, but I couldn’t be sure if he was making it feel that way with his powers or whether he was just that good of a kisser. I was pretty sure the butterflies fluttering rapidly inside me were my own feelings, though, and I didn’t know how I felt about that.

After a good few minutes of kissing me, he began to trail his kisses down to my neck. My breath caught in my throat, anticipating the sharpness of a bite. I pushed him away, and he stopped to look at me.

“I’m sorry. I can’t. I just can’t,” I said.

“Hey,” he said, rubbing his hand along my arm. “It’s okay. You don’t have to be afraid.”

I felt gooseflesh dimple my skin as his fingertips prickled the flesh on my arm with some sort of dancing, electric current. 

“What are you doing to me?” I asked.

“What do you mean, love?”

“That thing with your hand on my arm. What is it?”

“I’m not doing anything with my hand, love.”

“Yes you are. I can feel it.”

“I promise you love, I’m not doing anything.”

I narrowed my eyes at him, certain he was lying to me. He lifted his hands in surrender. 

“I apologize, love. I won’t touch you anymore if that helps.”

I was surprised at the instant regret I felt hearing those words. What was I so afraid of anyway? Dying? Why would that frighten me? Why did it matter whether I lived or not? My family was dead. After everything, why should I be the one to survive? 

“No,” I said. “No, keep going. You can keep going. It’s okay.”

“We don’t have to, love. I understand if—“

I didn’t let him finish. I pulled his lips toward mine again, and kissed him with a new urgency. I could do this. I could risk this much for my family. After all, the worst case scenario was that I would wind up joining them in the afterlife. That wouldn’t be so bad, would it?

His lips moved back down to my neck, and I closed my eyes, tilting my head back, opening to him. I felt his grip on me get stronger, and a blanket of peace creep over my body. I was expecting a sharp pain or a slight stabbing, but instead there was only a rush of tingles, like the electric current on my arm times ten. It was like being caressed by a feather from the inside. Nothing else I had ever experienced had felt so intoxicating.

Then, suddenly, it was over, and Jay’s hands were cupping my face gently. I blinked my eyes open, and noticed that his pink lips had taken on the hue of a bloodstained red.

“Are you okay, love?” Jay asked, looking concerned.

“I’m still alive?”

“Of course, love. I promised I wouldn’t harm you, didn’t I?”

Tears spilled out over my eyes before I could stop them. Shaking sobs wracked my body as I curled my knees into my chest, and buried my face between them. In that moment, the full power of my grief consumed me. My family was gone, but I was still here. It was right. It wasn’t fair.

“Grace, are you hurt? What’s happened?”

“My family. I’m supposed to be with my family!”

He moved so that he could cradle me against his chest as I sobbed. To be honest, I didn’t fully register he was there. It was as if the grief had opened up a black hole in my chest that was swallowing me whole. I closed my eyes and leaned into the feeling, hoping, begging for it to take me away from here and to my family.

But of course it didn’t.

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