I shifted uneasily and looked over Jack, who had suddenly become very nervous. His blue eyes flitted over me, then he turned to Ezra and Mae for help.

Ezra had discarded his book on the chaise, and Mae smiled helplessly towards us. I knew they didn’t have a good answer. Things had been set in motion, and while they didn’t really have any plans to change them, there was no real reason for them to move forward anymore.

“He’s not gonna want me, Jack,” I said miserably. “What’s the point of me turning?”

“What’s the point of anyone turning?” Jack scoffed and looked away from me. “Come on, Alice. There isn’t a point to any of this!”

“There has to be a point!” I shouted, surprised by the quavering in my voice. It was just starting to hit me what I was saying, what I was rejecting, and I could tell by the stunned, hurt expression on his face that it was sinking in too. “If I’m going to destroy my brother’s life, it has to be for a reason!”

“You’re not going to destroy his life!” Jack rubbed his forehead and closed his eyes. “So what if Peter doesn’t ever change his mind? Good! I hope he doesn’t! They want you here! I want you here!”

“Doesn’t that give me even more of a reason not to turn?” I gave him a hard look. The kiss wanted to replay itself in my mind, but I couldn’t let it, or Jack might react to my heartbeat.

“That doesn’t even make sense.”

He tried to pretend like he didn’t understand, but the quick movement of his eyes led me to believe he did. That kiss had been incredible, and the risk of us doing it again was too great. He would’ve bit me if Mae hadn’t walked in, and we couldn’t count on her to walk in at just the right moment every time we were alone.

“Jack, it’s not good for either of us for me to stay around,” I told him with tears in my eyes.

“No!” Jack insisted fiercely. “That’s just stupid! I don’t know what went wrong. I don’t know why your blood is for him, but it’s a mistake! Okay? You’re not supposed to be for him! And there’s gotta be a way around it! It may take time, but we have all of eternity to figure it out! You really wanna throw that away just because I don’t have the answer right now?”

“Why did you even introduce me to him?” I blurted out. “If I had never met him, this wouldn’t have happened! This wouldn’t have mattered! Why did you push me on him?”

“I never pushed you on him, never!” He took a step towards me, then changed his mind, and took a step back. Shaking his head, he breathed deeply. “I didn’t know any of this. I wasn’t reacting right to you, and they thought that you were for Peter. And I didn’t realize what I…” He trailed off, looking at the floor.

“You two had connected in a way that none of had realized,” Ezra elaborated. “It wasn’t until he started feeling threatened by Peter that we appreciated what was happening, and by then it was too late.”

Slowly, he got up and walked over to us, attempting to relieve some of the tension.

“None of us are trying to pressure you into a decision, but Jack has made valid points,” Ezra continued. “You turning isn’t about Peter, and it shouldn’t be. You have a future with us, if you choose it.”

He nodded once at me, and then made an imperceptible motion towards Mae. She rose quickly and they left the room, leaving Jack and I alone.

We were supposed to hash things out and come up with some kind of resolution, but I didn’t know how. It wasn’t until I was yelling at Jack that I even knew it hurt me that he’d ever wanted me to be with Peter.

I’d doubted everything since Ezra had claimed that Jack had fallen in love with me. Because if he truly loved me, then why would he ever want me to be with his brother?

“I’ve made a lot of mistakes with you,” Jack admitted quietly. “But I need a chance to rectify them. If you give me time, I swear I can make it up to you.” He looked at me, his wounded blue eyes pleading with me to stay.

I wanted nothing more than to be with him, but would it really be worth it? I’d have to give up my brother, and I’d still be trapped in something painful and inexorable with his brother. We couldn’t actually be together, no matter what decision I made.

“If you give me time, I know that between Ezra, Peter, and I, we can find a solution to this.” Jack took a step towards me, trying to decide whether or not to touch me, before finally deciding against it. “I promise you. There is a way for it to work.”

“That doesn’t answer everything,” I said. In fact, that didn’t really answer anything. It was just a vague promise to solve something someday, but it was still a hard offer to resist.

“Milo’s your brother, and he’s a bright kid. He’s not gonna need you forever,” he pointed out gently. “In a few more years, when he starts dating and going to college, he’s not even gonna wanna be around you. It’s just for right now that he needs you.”

“That’s probably true.” I was about to argue that it didn’t change anything, but then I understood what he was getting at. “I’m still really young. I could stay with Milo for another three or four years. I could still turn, and I’d still be younger than you are.”

“And we don’t have to move for another three years or so,” Jack nodded in agreement. “Until then, you can keep living with Milo, and Ezra and I can figure out what we’re gonna do about all of this.”