Fear twisted through me. What was happening? Where was I?
“Are you okay?” the shout sounded distant. “I’m coming down.”
A sudden loud thump resounded next to me and I jumped. This put strain on my ankle and I involuntarily shouted. Something grabbed me and my first impulse was to push it away. The world around me was still dark and I could hear a buzzing sound.
“Focus; are you okay? Jane, it’s me, Stephan. You’re safe.”
I forced my eyes to focus and suddenly I could see Stephan’s beautiful pale face hovering over me in the darkness.
“Yeah,” I winced. “I think I’m okay.”
Stephan quickly moved several large pieces of flooring off of me. He went to pick me up when I winced.
“My ankle. I think it’s sprained,” I said.
“Oh,” He sounded depressed. As he turned, I noticed his left arm hung loosely from his shoulder, as if it was lifeless.
“I jumped down. It’s a two-story fall; ended up breaking my arm. It’s okay. Don’t worry; it’ll heal pretty quickly.”
He turned away from me.
“Thanks,” I responded.
“For what?” He shook his head. “I’m sorry.”
“For what?” I replied back, smiling.
Stephan turned to me, his face serious. “I’ve been unable to be harmed for so long. It’s caused me to become callous, even reckless. I forget sometimes what it’s like to be so vulnerable. I dragged you into this stupid house, even though it’s falling apart. I brought you out for bait and got you kidnapped by a werewolf, too. I keep putting you in dangerous situations and I haven’t even been thinking about the consequences.”
“I’m alright. Besides, I agreed to do these things too.”
“Still, when I saw you fall through that floor, I thought it was over. I was so terrified. Terrified of losing you. When I saw you here, still alive, my heart felt like it’d burst out of my chest.”
“You don’t have a heartbeat,” I joked to lighten the mood.
“I don’t, but it still aches. It aches for you. When I’m near you, I feel like I am alive again. You bring me back to life, make me feel and care and love. That’s all you,” Stephan moved closer to me.
“Stephan?” his body was so close to mine, I began to tingle.
“Could you do something for me?” Stephan licked his lips nervously.
“I’ve never kissed a girl before. I… no, never mind. It was stupid of me to ask.” Stephan tried to look away, but I grabbed his arm before he could.
My heart began to beat loudly. If Stephan said anything after that, I couldn’t hear him. Instead, my eyes were transfixed on his lips. He started to move closer and closer to me, both of us unable to glance away. His beautiful pale face was illuminated in the darkness only by the lights above. My lips parted; I breathed in the fresh floral scent of his body. I wanted to taste him.
His lips came closer. My body trembled. His hand gently glided over mine. He grabbed it. He was just inches from my lips. Then centimeters. Then millimeters.
“Hey, are you guys okay?” a shout came from above us. I pulled away instinctively.
Stephan gave me a sad smile that said it was okay. He broke contact, although it still felt almost like I was hyperventilating. Too much dust in the air. I hoped it wasn’t asbestos. A head popped out from the hole in the floor just above ours. It was Andrew.
“Are you okay? Jane? Stephan?”
“Jane’s injured her ankle,” Stephan responded.
“Can you carefully pick her up and pass her to me? It might be safer than finding a stairway in that dark basement.”
“Is that where we ended up?” Stephan shook his head, looking down at me. “Are you up for this?”
I gritted my teeth and nodded. He bent over and picked me up. I gave him an odd look.
“What is it?” he smirked.
“Well, it’s just…you’re not as muscular as the other guys. I kind of thought…” I blushed.
“Being a zombie has some perks. For example, my internal limiters are off. It means I can do things at full strength. Most people can’t because you can hurt yourself that way. I heal so quickly though, that any damage it does is short lasting. See? My arm is already healed.”
Stephan carefully lifted me up. The ankle tinged slightly, but the two men moved me carefully, and before long I was in Andrew’s arms. Andrew looked down at me with deep concern in his eyes.
“Are you alright? I was so worried when I heard the crash. This place is dangerous; you shouldn’t have come here.”
His voice had an intensity and deepness I had never noticed before. The calmness he used to have seemed almost nonexistent. He set me down, still looking into my eyes.
“I’m okay now, can you go help Stephan?”
A flash of annoyance appeared on his face, but he turned anyway and reached down. After a brief second, he came up with Stephan. Well, I had almost made out with a dead man in a basement. I suppose if you were going to make out with a dead person, the underground was the place to do it. I looked up at the ceiling and the hole I had made on the second floor as Stephan flopped down beside me.
“Thanks, Andrew,” Stephan smiled reassuringly.
“Should you act so smug after what you’ve just done?”
Stephan’s smile slipped, a look of concern on his face.” I’m sorry?”
“You dragged her into this place and then, under your watch, she almost dies. Did you think no one would notice?”
Stephan winced. He looked generally hurt by those words. “I’m sorry…”
“Don’t apologize,” Andrew snapped. “Just go find the others. I’ll bring her back to the main entrance.”
“I can help…” Stephan began.
“Haven’t you done enough?”
“Andrew!” I admonished.
“No, it’s okay,” Stephan responded. “It’s no less than I deserve. I will see you shortly.”
Stephan turned and moved off into the darkness before I could say another word. I glared back at Andrew, who put on a mischievous grin before turning back to me.
“That was wrong,” I told him sternly.
“He’ll be fine, kitten.”
Kitten? What had come over Andrew? Andrew leaned over and picked me up. He was quicker and rougher than he had been earlier, and it tweaked my ankle. I grunted in pain. He began walking down the hall in the direction Stephan had gone. He turned into another hall and kept walking.
“I don’t think the main area is this way,” I told him.
He stopped suddenly, smiling down at me. His eyes seemed so different than they usually were. He opened up a door and carried me in. It looked to be some kind of bedroom. Before I could react, he laid me on the bed, then moved back and shut the door, locking it.
“Andrew, this isn’t the front door.” My voice grew an octave higher.
Andrew smiled at me. “I want you, Jane.”
“You know my secret now. There is nothing holding us back. I know you want me. So, there is no point in keeping back our passions for each other.”
Andrew crossed the room and, in a second, he was on top of me. He was so cute; his chiseled body, his beautiful face. His smile… he wasn’t smiling now. The look on his face seemed more desperate than happy. This wasn’t the Andrew I knew. The thought was buried by the hot, beautiful man on top of me.
“This is too fast,” I barely managed to get out in a whisper.
Andrew’s hand began to glide and move up my shirt. No, my body told me this was wrong. His other hand went around the back of my head. He pulled me up and, in a single swift move, his lips touched mine. I could taste his cherry flavored lipstick. Wait, cherry flavored. The door suddenly flew open with a resounding snap.
“Get the hell off her,” a firm voice demanded. I pushed Andrew away from me and looked at the door to see another Andrew standing in it.
The one at the door possessed the cool confidence I had come to admire. His face looked angry, but still kind and beautiful at the same time. I looked back at the face of the person on top of me. For a moment, it shimmered and I could see another face. A pale translucent face of a different boy, slightly younger than Andrew. Then the Andrew seemed to explode. White smoke shot from his body. It rose up and then squeezed through the cracks of the ceiling above it before disappearing. The person who was on top of me with their legs wrapped around me shimmered again. Then, it turned into me. No, not me; Alex.
Alex looked down at me, utter shock and confusion on her face. Suddenly, she broke into a wailing cry as she collapsed onto my chest, whining and sobbing as she clung to me.
“What just happened?” Rune asked, only having just entered the room.
“Possession,” Andrew said calmly with pity in his eyes as he watched Alex shudder and cry. “I don’t think we’re alone in this house.”