Delude

Casey just wanted to have a normal life. She would only be so lucky. She despises school, especially after she meets Evan Fynn. In seconds, he's undone everything she's worked hard to maintain; he's taken everyone from her, filled their minds with lies to drive them away. She is desperate to find out why, even if the truth is more terrifying than she expected.

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12. Exchange.

I kept my eyes on his face as we entered my house, only to find it empty. I watched the slow smile form on Nixon’s lips as he looked at me. I rolled my eyes at him and went to the fridge, realizing I hadn’t eaten and it was late.

“Your mom will be home soon,” he assured me.

I looked back at him, started to ask how he knew that, but then just brushed the question away. There were most important things to worry about than his weird extra senses.

When I set a lot of food on the table, he examined it, and then looked at me.

“What?” I snapped.

He shook his head and lowered his feet from the table top. “Why so much?”

I had a piece of chocolate cake shoved in my mouth already so I glared. “I’m sorry, but when someone told me I’m not human, I got a little weird.”

“Weird?” he said, raising an eyebrow.

I watched his snake-bites move as he smirked. I shook my head and put my hand up. “Stop doing that!”

“I’m not doing anything,” he said, placing his hands behind his head. “I think that cake is the only thing going into your mouth the rest of the night anyway.”

When I swallowed, I stared at him, my temper building. I didn’t think it would be too long until I exploded, but I held myself together. I couldn’t yell at Nixon for fear he would leave, then I would be―

“You won’t be alone,” he said. His arms slid around my waist and he pulled me closer. “I won’t leave your side. I can’t. I have to protect you. It’s my job, Casey.” He lifted one of my hands and laced our fingers together.

I watched as his pupils dilated and he stared at something behind me. As I looked around, I could see things growing hazy, and I shook my head thinking it was a trick of the eye.

Suddenly, there was this intense pressure in my head. It pounded, blinding me, and bringing me halfway to my knees. I could hear a voice talking, but I didn’t know who it was.

“Fight it.”

I gripped where I thought the table leg was, but all I felt was cold air. Then, as quickly as the pain had come, it dispersed, leaving me to see small dots in front of my face when I opened my eyes.

“What―” I gasped.

“It hurts like hell the first time, I’m sorry.”

Everything around me was normal again, and as I straightened up, I saw Nixon’s worried face. When he reached for me I backed away.

“What did you just do?” I demanded.

“Touch me,” was all he said.

“Why?”

“Just do it.”

“No.”

“Fine!” he shouted. He grabbed my hand and held it tightly. When he refused to let go, I continued to fight him.

“Let me―” I started to say but something stopped me. I blinked a few times. “Oh, no way,” I whispered.

He dropped my hand.

“I wanted to prove that I wasn’t lying to you,” he said. “This was the only way to make you believe.”

“Your dad,” I said, my eyes swimming with tears. “Nixon, I’m sorry. Why didn’t you tell me?”

He shrugged. “You already lost your own father; I didn’t think it was important. At least not until you trusted me enough.”

“I trust you,” I whispered.

He smiled and I kissed him again. When I stepped back, I heard a car pull into the driveway.

___

We sat in the living room, waiting. Nixon was standing next to couch as I fidgeted on it. He looked at me, his eyes telling me to relax, and I obeyed. I stared at the TV, seeing us reflected in its screen.

When my mother walked in, she stared at us for a moment before addressing Nixon. “Is your last name Ford?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Your father was Charlie?”

“Yes.” He glanced at me, watching my expression. “Did you know him?” He looked at my mother. She hadn’t seen his eyes shift.

She smiled and then looked at me, frowning. Here it was. I was grounded forever.

“Why didn’t you tell me you knew your father’s friend’s son, Casey?”

“I didn’t know,” I said, glancing at Nixon.

“Nonsense,” my mother said, waving a hand dismissively. “You must have forgotten.” She looked at him again. “Tell me, is your father well?”

Nixon shook his head. “Didn’t you hear? My father died.”

“Oh,” my mother exclaimed. “I’m sorry. He was a nice man. How is your mother doing?”

“We have a strained relationship,” Nixon replied. “I haven’t talked to her for awhile.”

“That’s unfortunate.” She yawned and glanced at me. “It’s very late and I have to get up early tomorrow. Nixon, it was so good to see you. You should come by again.”

“Oh, I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot of me,” he promised, smiling.

When she went upstairs, I turned to him. It was hard to be angry after what I’d found out he’s been through. Instead, I walked over and took his hand, leading him outside.

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