Page 7

"Or drop you."

He smiles. "Exactly, but we're taking it to the next level. You fall first, then you can do it to me."

My stomach is swirling in knots, both good and bad. This scares the hell out of me, but I nod. Dean ties the blindfold around my eyes, and the world goes black. Then I feel something stiff wrap around my wrists. "Dean, what are you doing?"

"The same thing you'll get to do for me. Trust me, baby."

He ties my wrists together and tugs the seat belt all the way out. It snaps back, locking in place, holding me still. I'm blind to what he's doing, but it feels good. His fingers trace my curves, gently touching my stomach and trailing a line up to my neck. My pulse beats faster and faster. I like it. I like what he's doing and how he makes me feel. I'm not sure how much time passes but my wrists start to hurt.

He trails his lips to my waist and unbuttons my jeans. I stiffen and tell him to stop, but he doesn't. "It's your turn to fall, baby."

In that second, everything changes. Dean doesn't listen to me anymore. The more I tell him to stop, the faster he moves. He shucks my jeans, and they're gone, along with my panties. I beg him. The words flow from my lips over and over again. "Stop," but he doesn't.

He touches me anywhere and everywhere. He tells me that I can do this to him when he's done. I keep thinking that this isn't happening, that it can't possibly be real, but I feel his fingers push into me followed by a sharp pain between my legs. I try to lock my knees together, but he forces them apart. Dean's jeans are open and his hard length presses into me.

I retreat into my mind. It's the only way to escape. I stay there, half a world away, but it's not far enough. Dean says things but his voice is muffled, lost in ecstasy. It hurts, it hurts, it hurts. Tears stream from my cheeks and I stop yelling. I whimper, silently waiting for it to end. But I don't know that it'll ever end, that this will replay over and over again every time I close my eyes. Dean shudders and goes still. He rests on top of me, breathing hard as I cry.

The dream blurs, fading to black, but my heart continues to race like it's going to explode. There are arms around me and a soft voice in my ear. Peter holds me, saying soothing words that don't register. I'm not fully awake, but I'm not asleep. I'm caught in between. My towel is wrapped around me, but I feel Peter's warm skin on my arms. He holds on to me with his face nuzzled in my neck. My cheeks are cold and damp like I've been crying forever. I wish it would stop, but it never does.

Drowsiness overtakes me and pulls me back under. Dreams swirl around me, but they don't ensnare me this time. The night passes, and when I wake up, I'm in the bed alone. I stretch and sit up, looking for Peter. He's lying on his back at the foot of the bed with a pillow under his head, breathing slowly, still asleep. I watch him for a moment, wondering if he was really next to me or if I dreamed it. If I was braver, I'd get up and lie down next to him, but things can't be like that anymore—not for us.


Peter is driving my car and I'm staring at the side of his face, lost in thought. He ignores me for a few miles and finally says, "Can I help you with something?"

I blink a few times and try to look the other way, but the sun is still low on the horizon and totally blinding. "No, I was just trying to burn a hole in the side of your face with my laser vision. It didn't work."

He smirks. "Very mature"

I raise my hand to my eye, line up Peter's face in the center, and pinch my thumb and forefinger together. "No, this is mature. I'm squishing your head. Go on, say something else and I'll do it again, bitch. I'm not afraid to use these puppies." I pinch a few more times while giving him the evil eye.

Peter slows the car and pulls over to the side of the road, brakes, and throws it in park. "Get out."

"What?" Is he insane? We're in the middle of nowhere just after sunrise on an alien abduction road.

"You heard me, Colleli. Get out. Now." Peter kicks open his door and slams it shut. I wonder what the hell he's doing, but I don't follow.

"It's my car, asshole! You can't tell me what to do!" Peter is at my door. I startle, and my heart tries to leap out of my chest. He yanks the door open and I practically fall out.

"Yes, I can." We're standing on the side of the road in the tall grass. Bugs are buzzing along with something else that I can't identify.

I get to my feet and glare at him. "What are you doing? You can't just stop the car and get out."

He looks at me like I'm crazy. "I kind of did…" A truck blasts past us, swallowing up the rest of his words and throwing my hair in my face. Peter's lips continue to move, and the next thing I hear is, "last night, so you're driving for a while." He shoves past me and sits down hard in the passenger seat.

What an asshole! He snaps at me to get back in the car. I grit my teeth together and hurry around to the driver's side. I leave my windows down and let the wind blast me for a while. When I can't stand it anymore, I blurt out, "Why'd you come?"

Peter has his arm over his face and is slumped back in the seat. He peeks out from under his elbow. "Excuse me?"

"You heard me. Don't pretend that you didn't. Why'd you bother showing up if you're just going to sit there and be pissed off for two thousand miles?" He doesn't answer. Instead, Peter covers his face again and acts like he's going to sleep. "Hey!" I smack his shoulder. "I'm talking to you."

"Why do you think? And stop hitting me. You're going to catch me off guard and I'll accidentally punch you in the face or something. Now, stop talking and let me get some sleep, all right?"

My pulse picks up the pace. Maybe I wasn't dreaming. "You didn't sleep well last night?"

"No." He doesn't move.

I throw around the idea of asking him if he was next to me, but I'm fairly certain he was. I'm the reason he didn't sleep last night. "Thank you," I say without looking at him. I stare blankly at the road.

This makes him look over at me. "For what?"

I press my lips together. I don't want to say it. I don't want to thank him for anything, but I should. Especially that. "For last night. I know you woke me up and calmed me down. Then you acted like it never even happened. I kind of suck at that. So thank you."

Peter puts his arms down. He's quiet for a long time. Scruff lines his cheeks, and his hair is a mess. He looks more like the pictures of Pete Ferro from the paper now. "Sidney, I…" His voice trails off as he sits up in his seat. "You better change lanes."

There's a flock of birds on the highway. They're sitting there sunning themselves like they're movie stars. I wave him off. "They'll move."

Peter is staring at the birds as he speaks. "I acted like it never happened because I didn't want you to think I was trying to take advantage of you." His hands lift to the dashboard and he wiggles in his seat. "You might want to slow down and go onto the shoulder."

"Are you afraid that I'll hit a bird? Do you know how hard it is to hit a bird, never mind a whole flock?"

"Yeah, well, I'm pretty sure you could do it."

"What does that mean?" I straighten in my seat and glance over at him.

"Do I really need to explain that after the squirrel attack? Seriously, Sidney, move over. One of those things looks like a turkey." Peter tenses and keeps looking between me and the road.

"There are no turkeys sunning themselves on the highway." Just as I say it, the flock of birds takes off, just like I thought, except for one huge bird that decides to walk across the lane.

"Uh, Sidney—"

"Why isn't he flying?" The bird is as big as a shopping cart and seems totally happy to be sitting in my lane. What the hell? I'm almost on him by the time I realize that he isn't going to fly away. I brake hard and swerve the car, but the damn bird keeps walking. It screeches like a cat in a trash compactor as the car nearly mows it down. I miss the bird and swerve onto the shoulder as we skid to a stop. Heart pounding, I turn around and look back at the damn bird. Peter gives me a look that says I told you so. I point a finger at him and say, "Not a word."

He grins. "I didn't say a thing."

"Who expects to see a goddamn turkey in the middle of the highway?"

"Uh, me. I told you, 'Hey Sidney, there's a turkey in the middle of the highway.'"

I glance back at the thing, and the animal is still in the lane like he's perfectly safe. If it was later in the day, he'd be splattered by now. "What the hell is wrong with him?"

"He must be one of those suicidal turkeys I'm always reading about."

Ignoring Peter, I kick open my door and walk back to where the demented bird is still happily gobbling in the left lane. "Here turkey, turkey. Get off the road, you retard." I make noises like I'm calling a cat.

Peter walks up behind me. "What are you doing?"

I stand up straight and the turkey looks at me, but the fat bird doesn't move. "Damn, he's stupid. I can't leave him there. Get something from the car to get him off the road."

"Like what? You didn't pack any food and I doubt he wants a Red Bull."

"I don't know. Go find something."

Peter walks back and digs around in the trunk. He comes back with something in his hand. I can't really see what it is by the way he's holding it. Peter stops in front of me. "You want me to save the turkey, right?"

"I can do it."

He holds up a hand and walks onto the highway. I keep glancing down the road, waiting for signs of life. Peter moves toward the bird slowly, and when he's a step away, he throws something pink at it. My face scrunches together when I realize what he has—my bra. A strap lands over the bird's head. Peter yanks and the bird comes toward him. Peter scoops the beast up and holds him under his arm while wrapping the other end of the bra around the bird. It holds his beak closed for the most part so the thing can't peck at us.