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Toxic #14: The Dangers of Pie

Apr 16, 2014

Great. Just great. This angel-faced, devil-lipped guy, this guy that I’d been talking to willingly, was one of the monsters. He had to be if he knew I was meeting Vincent. And I didn’t care. I mean I did, but I didn’t. It was his eyes. His t-shirt. Damn it, it was his everything.

I tried to scrunch back against the couch, but there was nowhere for me to go. This was why I shouldn’t date, why I shouldn’t talk to anyone. Not because I might freak out over a monster like I’d always told myself, but because I had the worst taste in guys in the history of ever. First Vincent, and now him? I was zero for two. “Am I who you’re babysitting?”

“God, no. I wouldn’t be complaining about that.”

I licked my lips. Even knowing he was a supernatural, it was hard to want to run. “You’re one of them. Like Scott.”

“I don’t have a shaving problem, thanks. Now relax. I’m exactly what I look like.”

“You look like a regular guy. But if you know about Scott and Vincent, I doubt you are.”

“Why? Because monsters and humans can’t mix? That’s speciesist. Besides, you look like a regular girl and you know them. Are you telling me you’re something else?”

He had a point. “So what are you saying? You’re like me?”

“I’m telling you we may have a few things in common. And that I don’t bite. Unless you want me to.”  He gave me a sly smile, and went back to watching the dance floor.

I forced myself to relax on the couch, slumping down like him. I’d been desperate to meet someone like me for so long that just the tease that he might be was like seeing the exit to an endless maze. But I didn’t know anything about him beyond his shirt and his smile. What if I trusted him and he was lying through his pouty mouth? What if I let my guard down and he dined on girls with frizzy hair?

Damn it, this was hard. I didn’t know what I should do.

“What would you rather be doing than hanging out here?” He’d slid closer on the couch when I wasn’t paying attention, his shoulder close enough to mine that I could feel his warmth. So he wasn’t undead. That was one point in his favor.

“Dentist visit?”

“Seriously—what would you have done tonight if you hadn’t come here?”

I gave in, the warmth too much to fight. Plus he smelled like fresh, warm baked pie. Smothered in whipped cream. Full of sugar. “Probably watch a movie and work on my blog. Eat my weight in junk food. The usual.”

“What movie?”

“Horror flick.” I risked a glance at him, feeling my face burn. “I seem to be on a monster kick lately.”

His lips twisted up, making my face burn hotter. “And are you a ‘Wolfman’ kind of girl, or ‘Poltergeist’?”

“‘Nosferatu,’ probably. He always gets me.”

His eyes danced. “Vampires. But not ‘Dracula’?”

My heart stuttered. He was amused by my vampire pick. A not-so-quick check of his lips, or rather the teeth behind his lips, told me he didn’t have fangs. Thank God because that would’ve been humiliating. And made me certifiable for thinking he was cute.

I took a deep breath, picking up hints of cinnamon and cherries. Dangerous, whatever he was. I was a sugar addict and this guy made my sweet tooth sing. “If you mean the atrocity with Winona Ryder, no. Vampires aren’t wussy love-struck morons. Max Schrek in ‘Nosferatu’ will always be the ultimate vampire.”

“Is that how you like your vampires? Evil and ugly?” He slid closer until our sides touched from shoulder to knee.

“No, not really. They’re just predators, not lovers.” It was getting harder to think with him sitting so close. I had the stupid urge to lick him and see if he tasted like he smelled. “Since I’m in the category of vampire chow, that’s a problem.”

He studied me with liquid metal eyes. When had his face gotten that close? “Would you say a lion is nothing more than a predator?”

“I’m sure an antelope would.” I sounded surprisingly coherent considering it felt like my brain was melting. “Vampires are the perfect sociopaths. I mean, they’re kind of human but they don’t feel guilty for what they do. It’s murder without remorse.”

“You sound like you have some personal experience with them.”

I shrugged, my shoulder brushing against his shirt. I didn’t need to share that story with someone who’d know it was true. “I’m going off books and movies.”

“That’s kind of dangerous if the movies are crap, don’t you think?”

The tip of his tongue came out to lick his bottom lip, and everything inside me stopped. “I try to pick good ones,” I said, my voice fading.

His tongue retracted, leaving his open lips too close to mine. Worse, his deep, slow, indrawn breath pulled me toward him. And I didn’t want to stop myself, didn’t want to stop my fall. He was a stranger, probably a monster, but it was one of those moments when you knew something was going to happen that would change your life. I hadn’t had many life changing moments. I hadn’t any that were positive.

I fell forward in slow motion, thinking only one thing: I was about to kiss a guy who might be a monster. And I didn’t care.

© A.M. Schilling  2014. All Rights Reserved.

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