“Peter, why don’t you just bite me?” I asked breathlessly.

“No,” Peter responded hoarsely. “That’s a horrible idea.”

“No, Peter! Listen!” I walked over to him, willing my heart to beat harder and faster, so the sound would overwhelm him. “I know you want to! You can just bite me, and this will all be over with. I’ll be out of your lives forever, and I won’t even care. And what do I even matter to you? I’m just another stupid weak human, and you’ve killed them before.”

“I’m not going to kill you.” He tried to sound disgusted, but the hunger was at the back of his throat. When he looked away from me, I grabbed his arm and forced him to look down at me.

“Please,” I pleaded.

He still resisted the idea, so I remembered what had sent Jack over the edge. I bit my lip, hard, and before I could even tell it was bleeding, his eyes had widened. For him, my scent and taste were irresistible.

“You really want this?” Peter murmured huskily. His eyes looked conflicted, both sad and ravenous. “Do you even understand what you’re asking?”

“I know that I can’t live the rest of my life without you.”

If my mind wasn't an absolute mess from its intoxication over Peter, I might have been able to handle things better. Even if my body hadn’t been insisting that I was incapable of surviving without Peter, it would still have been devastating.

I truly planned to spend forever with Jack. It’d be impossible to go to school, to college, to go about my tedious little life and spend every day getting older, sicker, dying, and trying to forget them. I couldn’t do it, and I didn’t even want to try. It hurt far too much.

“Forgive me,” Peter whispered.

Before I could say anything more, I felt his lips pressed hotly on my neck, and then this sharp pain shot into me, like the prick of a needle. It was quickly replaced by this wonderful, warm pleasure spreading through me. It felt so intensely marvelous that I couldn’t even imagine ever having felt pain.

My body trembled and went limp in his arms, and I heard myself moaning. Ecstasy rippled through me, and I wanted this moment to last forever.

Faintly, I became aware of how weak I felt. At first, it had just been because the pleasure had struck me so forcefully, and even though it still felt amazing, I could feel my life draining away.

Some part of me knew I was dying, but there was nothing frightening or bad about it. I felt oddly at peace, and I let myself succumb to the drowsy, perfection that flooded over me.

My thoughts were dissolving. There were incoherent images of the sun shining over the tops of the building, and Peter’s green eyes, and Jack’s laughter. I thought of my brother, and I hoped he understood.

Then there was nothing except the way I felt, buried underneath a warm blanket. My heart had slowed considerably, and my lungs felt empty.

The sharp pain of separation hit me suddenly, and an intense chill. My mind felt strangely alert, but I didn’t even have the strength to open my eyelids.

I could hear the commotion going on around me. Peter wasn’t holding me anymore, but I couldn’t tell where I was. I just knew that his arms weren’t around me and his mouth wasn’t pressed to my neck. He had stopped too soon, and I was still alive.

There were banging noises and the sounds of rustling feet. Voices were shouting, and it took a minute for me to able to focus in on them clearly.

Jack was shouting at Peter, calling him all sorts of hateful names, and Peter was saying very little in his own defense. Then Ezra’s voice boomed in, and the movement stopped. He had broken up the fight.

“He tried to kill her!” Jack cried, and I could hear the terrified desperation in his voice.

“But she’s not dead,” Ezra told him soothingly. I felt his strong hands touching my face, feeling my pulse and inspecting the damage. I wanted to yell at them, to tell them to leave me here to die, but I barely even had the strength to breathe, let alone speak. “She’s lost a lot of blood.”

“She wanted me to do it,” Peter muttered, and this was followed by a loud smacking sound.

“Jack! Peter!” Ezra roared. “If you want to save her life, then you have to listen to me!”

“I don’t know if I want to save her life,” Peter told them quietly.

Ezra let go of my face so he could rush over to separate the fight. I could hear their bodies slamming against each other, and Jack growling viciously.

“Peter, step out,” Ezra commanded. “And tell Mae that we need type AB positive. We should have some in the cooler downstairs.”

“She’s going to be alright?” Jack whimpered.

“Peter’s right….” I managed breathlessly.

Jack crouched beside me, and I could feel how devastated and powerless he felt. He started saying something to me but forcing myself to speak had used up at the last of my energy. Everything around me fell black and silent.

Slowly and somewhat reluctantly, I felt myself rising to the surface. I blinked several times, letting my eyes adjust to the dim light of the bedroom. I had rather expected to open my eyes and find myself in purgatory.

Instead, I was in the room in the turret, the bedroom that had been mine. A weird weakness washed over me, as if I was lying underneath a weighted blanket, and I still had residuals of the intense pleasure from when Peter had bit me.

I also felt relieved and apprehensive, but I couldn’t understand why. They seemed out of place with everything that had happened, but then I stirred a little and found the source of the emotions.