‘Time for bed’ grinned Marina and yawned in an over-exaggerated way ‘and Sarah will be pleased to know that this house has an attic and a basement. Take your pick, you guys!’
‘So which would you prefer us to take?’ Michael said, eyeing me with nervous apprehension.
‘Um….actually I was banking on one of those comfortable bedrooms?’ I replied, raising my eyebrows hopefully.
‘It’s the attic or the basement’ Michael said firmly, his face set in stone and eyes dark. I could tell immediately that he hadn’t forgotten our argument from the night before and my insistence that I’d rather be on my own, than share a room with anyone else, which of course meant him.
There was a few awkward seconds where we faced-off and I could feel my brain whirring over, racking itself with thoughts of what the hell I could do to get out of this and coming up with nothing. I had no excuse because I was being offered a room to stay during the day, without having to bed down with the other vampires but still having Michael by my side. I thought about complaining that maybe had had bad breath, and therefore I couldn’t possibly share a room with him, but I realised I would look completely brattish, not to mention downright rude so I found myself opening and closing my mouth in a weird goldfish action and finally mumbling ‘attic’ in a non-committal and slightly sulky way.
Michael rolled his eyes and shook his head in irritation and I could see from his expression that he was more than a little offended by my unenthusiastic response. One by one the vampires left the room and I followed Michael upstairs, dragging my feet in woeful dismay at my sheer bad luck. On the landing upstairs, he tugged at a hatch in the ceiling and as the door opened, a step ladder fell down. I watched as he disappeared from view into the room above and heard an audible click and dim light suddenly shone through the hatch opening, lighting up the floor of the landing. He poked his head out of the hatch and looked at me with that same tiresome expression.
‘Do you need some help? Only I would like to be safely asleep before sunrise if you don’t mind’
I narrowed my eyes at him.
‘A little sun would do wonders for your complexion’ I sniped nastily and his face darkened.
I skittered up the ladder in fear that he might grab me up by my hair and found myself in a large converted attic room that had four mattresses laid out on the floor. I couldn’t help but jump when I heard the scraping of the ladder being pulled into the room behind me and the hatch door snap shut. Michael walked over to one of the beds and sat down, removing his jacket but not bothering to take off his boots. I guess he felt better to have them on, should he need to escape quickly. He looked over at me with amusement.
‘Do you sleep standing up?’ he smirked ‘must be terribly uncomfortable’
‘Well it’s better than hanging upside down by your feet like a bat’ I snapped back and he laughed heartily, revealing sharp fangs; the sight of which made me hold my breath for a second.
He grabbed hold of a blanket and threw it onto the mattress next to him.
‘Here’ he said ‘I don’t need this, but you might want it if you get cold’
I hesitated, realising that he meant for me to sleep next to him, further jeopardising my plans to get out of here for the day. I walked over and nudged gently at the mattress with my foot, hoping to move it a little further away from him in a really casual ‘you-didn’t-see-that’ kind of way, which of course he did and shook his head at me and promptly turned over and faced the wall. I settled down the best I could, feeling my heart hammering hard in my chest at the thought of how the hell I was going to get out of this attic without waking him.
‘Any chance you could shut it up?’ Michael said through gritted teeth ‘it’s not that easy to sleep when I have a human heart tempting me to stay awake. It’s very distracting, and not in a good way. Well, not for you anyway’
‘And that is the whole reason I would rather stay in another room!’ I said sharply, sitting up and clutching a hand over my chest.
He looked round at me and shook his head, almost in disgust, before turning back to face the wall; conversation obviously over. I lay down and tilted my head slightly so I could see him. I liked the way his hair curled slightly at the nape of his neck and I imagined his fringe falling slightly across his face as he slept. I had an urge to reach across and touch a finger to the skin on his neck and run it along the hairline. I heard him exhale deeply; a bit like a long drawn-out sigh and I turned away quickly, irrationally worried that these thoughts might be carried over into my dreams and there he would find them as he sneaked around my head as we slept.
Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2011