Eric watched his brother and Helena teasing each other across the table.
She was all over him, and it was distracting. It wasn’t that he wanted the attention himself (he reminded himself that daily. He was not interested in her. That night they spent together was just one night, even if he thought he remembered bits of it.
It was surreal. He practically killed her brother, yet less than a week later she was making love to him.
No, not love. That implies it wasn’t spur of the moment drunken lust. They fucked. Yeah, that’s it.
“So intense.” Rob said, snapping Eric out of his thoughts.
“You’re thinking so hard I was expecting you to burn a hole through Lena’s breasts. I’d argue that you were staring at her breasts, but you’ve returned to your asexual state since you ditched the bitch.” Rob continued.
Eric rubbed his eyes. Honestly, he had been staring so hard they’d dried out a bit. “Really, was that necessary? I mean, I know you lived through the Dark Ages, but there is as a lady present.”
“Hey, they called them the Dark Ages for a reason.” Rob replied, “Why so surly?”
“I need a reason?” Eric countered. He stood up, taking his plate with him to the sink.
He felt them watching him as he emptied half the plate into the trash and rinsed it off.
“I think I got it,” Helena said, “He needs to get laid.”
Eric turned suddenly, “What?”
“From what I hear you were having sex constantly and now you’ve gone off it cold turkey. It’s been months.”
He hadn’t thought of that and it was true, he really wanted sex. With someone, anyone. He remembered the sounds Helena had made that night…
“I could probably get you a whore.” Rob was saying, “I learned a couple tricks back in the Dark Ages. Also I think Dad represents a Madam.”
Eric shook his head, “No, I don’t think that will be necessary.”
“Come on, Ric,” Helena said, “lighten up. Live a little.”
His eyes narrowed on her, “I lived for four years as a drug addict who raped others of something far more vital than sex. I’ve lived enough. Excuse me.”
He hurriedly left the room. There were other things he needed to do. There were the calculations he needed to double check, and he had to revise his admissions essay. He was trying to finagle his way into the Fall semester. He’d lost too much time drinking blood. At one point he’d had a goal of having his doctorate by the time he was twenty, the chances of that happening were slimmer than an eel.
He got to work, hoping the complex math would distract him but his mind was more than willing to multitask between the work and contemplating his own convoluted sexual history. His first time with Alessa, his first time with someone else – they didn’t survive the encounter and marked his descent into vampirism.
He didn’t even notice Rob had followed him upstairs until he realized the room had gotten markedly warmed.
“Do you need something?” Eric asked.
Rob leaned against the doorframe, “No. I’m just worried you might be feeling a little overwhelmed.”
Eric gave him a sideways glance, “I’m perfectly whelmed.”
Rob looked doubtful, “Really? Cause when you’re whelmed you don’t freeze every surface of the room.”
He had chilled the room down. Every surface was coated with moisture and many of the of the images he’d scrawled on the wall to get them out of his head were smearing.
“Okay, maybe I’m a little overwhelmed.” Eric admitted, “but it’s nothing I can’t handle. I’ll be fine.”
He tried to find his place in his work. but he was well aware of his brother staring at him.
“I don’t think you’re okay. You have that look about you.” Rob said, stepping inside the room and sliding into the other chair.
“I look the same as always.”
“No. You’re keeping something from me.” Rob replied, “I don’t know what, but you’re keeping something from me.”
Eric bit his lip, “Where’s Helena?”
“Restroom.” Rob answered.
“Is it odd that she’s taken Gabriel’s death so calmly.” Eric asked, continuing the problem he’d been on.
Rob shrugged, “Everyone handles death differently. Some people don’t need to publicly display their emotions.”
“Has she privately displayed her emotions?” Eric asked.
“Not to me…” Rob said, ” Gabriel isn’t giving you trouble from the other side, is he?”
“No. He tried, but I learned a long time ago how to deal with that type of spirit.” Eric replied, “But didn’t her … I don’t know, acceptance of me seem a little odd?”
“She’s a very accepting person.” Rob said. Eric was shocked how straight he kept his expression.
“The woman who joined you on your ramage against the horde of vampires is accepting? The woman who has sworn a blood oath against our step-sister, my former lover, is accepting?”
“Yes,” Rob said, “She understands that you weren’t doing it by choice.”
“Arguably, Alessa isn’t doing it by choice. She’s an addict.” Eric interrupted, “I’m just as much to blame as she is.”
“Well, then there’s the other thing.” Rob said absently fiddling with a pen,
“She thinks you’re cute.” he rolled his eyes at Eric’s reaction, “Oh, come on. You know she was looking for you the first time we met. You just wisely refused to give her the time of day.”
“But! You! Her! Relationship!”
“What?” Rob shrugged, “We’re a type. Blond hair, blue eyes,” he glanced in the mirror, admiring himself, “I mean black hair, blue eyes.”
A wave of realization flooded over Eric. His hand started shaking, he wasn’t sure if it was rage or unaduterated sorrow.
“Whoa,” Rob had stopped fiddling with the pen and the mirror was forgotten, “What’s wrong?”
“She needs to leave.” Eric said, his voice breaking, “she needs to leave now.”
It was destined, at that moment she turned the corner and stepped into the room, “Why do I need to leave?” she asked innocently.
She was completely unprepared for the response.
Eric said something, but it was lost in the rush of frozen energy that tore out of him. Helena brought up a shield of energy to protect herself, which collapsed in a clatter of ice when she hit the wall across from his room.
“What the hell?” She demanded, but Eric was already in front of her, violent rage marring his features.
“You did it on purpose.” He accused, grabbing her and throwing her towards the kitchen. She caught herself and roughly was able to stand.
“I did not.” She said, her own anger flaring to life.
“I will not let this happen again.” Eric screamed at her, “I will not be tortured by some woman who thinks she can control me. Get out.”
Helena stared at him blankly, “What are you talking about?”
“You raped me, bitch.” he said flinging her across the room towards the door. This time she didn’t catch herself. She slammed against the wall next to the door.
She staggered to her feet, “No, Eric, we were both drunk.”
“Were we? I’m starting to remember more of that night and you seemed pretty in control of yourself.” Eric said, about to charge at her.
Rob grabbed him and held him, “No, Ric. No killing her for being a whore.”
She flashed angrily at him, but it was without conviction. The cat was out of the bag, he’d clearly heard them speaking.
“It was mutual. We were both drunk.” She said, watching as the anger drained out of Eric replaced by grief. He collapsed as Rob slowly lowered him to the ground.
“I meant to tell you. I … there just never seemed to be a good time.” She said half-heartedly. It sounded terribly lame with her partner sobbing fifteen feet away.
“You need to leave.” Rob said, not looking directly at her. He was blinking too much, but he was covering it well.
He didn’t look at her as she calmly returned to her room for a few things before leaving silently. Eric continued to cry, uncaring of his surroundings.