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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11. Explanation.

Nixon tugged a hand through his hair and shook his head. He watched my expression for a few more minutes, and then smiled thinly. When he reached over and touched a piece of my hair with his fingers, his hand brushing my cheek, I recoiled.

“Sorry,” he said, drawing back. “It was loose.”

I stared at him with a strange feeling in my stomach and frowned.

“Your hand is cold,” I said.

He smiled and rubbing his hands together. I was less than surprised when he touched my face again. This time, however, he pulled me close. I was close enough to see that his pupils had dilated.

“You’re scared,” he muttered. “You think if you do what you want that it will complicate things.”

“What do I want?” I asked, my voice shaky.

He did not answer. Instead, he pressed his lips against mine softly and I closed my eyes. Warmth spread through my body the instant he had done that, and my head felt light. His tongue nudged my lips apart, and I complied all too willingly. He tasted sweet. Far too sweet.

When he sat back and looked at me with his head tilted, I felt my face heat up. There was no use hiding anything now. He smirked and folded his hands in his lap.

“Now what?” he said.

I just stared at him, not understanding.

“I kissed you,” he explained. “You seemed to enjoy it, unless you’re trying to cover up that little emotion.”

I nodded. “I haven’t―”

“I know. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, there’s something else you need to be aware of.”

I leaned forward.

“There are more like Evan Fynn out there. I know of one – a girl – she possesses the same ability as him, plus another; she’s a Sleeper.”

“What is that?” At this point, I thought I could figure it out.

“Do I really need to tell you?” He sounded frustrated.

“I guess not,” I mumbled.

He frowned at me. “You’re not too quick on the uptake, are you?”

I felt something inside me quiver at his words. I stood up and stared at him, my eye narrowed. “You can’t just spill all of this on me and expect me to understand. Even if this is true, it would still sound like bullshit to other people. If I told anyone, they’d think I was crazy and lock me up.”

He blinked at me, and if it were possible, his eyes darkened more as he rose from the chair. He glared at me.

“You don’t understand. You’re too fucking scared to see what’s right in front of you. If you don’t want to do this, then you’re probably going to die, along with the people you care about. I didn’t think I was wasting my time. I thought you reached your potential by now.”

“By now?” I said, ignoring everything else he had said. “What the hell does that mean?”

Nixon looked at me, his eyes shone disbelief. He looked as though he were thinking of what to say, how to say it.

“Just say it!” I shouted. I could feel the hot tears building behind my eyes. I knew what he was going to say. “You don’t think I can do this, that I’m too stupid and won’t survive.”

“Actually,” he started, “what I was going to say this that you’re not human.”

My face paled and I blinked. “Yes I am,” I argued.

He shook his head. “No, you’re not. What you are, I don’t know, but I was sent to protect you. You’ve been alone for over one-hundred years, until now.”

“You’re lying,” I hissed, tears sliding down my face. I felt sick. “You fucking bastard.”

“Why would I lie to you after exposing myself?” He stared at me, his eyes warm. “I’m keeping you safe by telling you what you need to know.”

“Telling me…that…proves you’re crazy.” I reached out and pressed my palms against his chest, intent on shoving him, but he stopped me by wrapping his hands around my wrists.

“Stop,” he instructed.

My body complied and I sank back down into the chair behind me. I stared at him as he looked at me. When he crouched down and took hold out my face again, I did not resist.

“Come with me,” he whispered. He took my hand and pulled me up.

With every piece of me vulnerable to him, I followed him out the door.

***

Nixon had taken me back to the trail near the school, and as we walked through the woods, the shadows from the now present moon seemed to jump out at us. I wondered where the time had gone.

“Sit,” he commanded.

The ground below was cold as I knelt down, blinking up at him. I watched him pace, my tongue burning with questions again. I seemed to forget that I was angry. All I wanted now were answers.

As he joined me on the ground, I said, “Why did you bring me here?”

He smiled thinly. “Did you really think you came here of your own free will for years because it comforted you?”

“I guess you’re going to explain that too,” I said, staring into his face. I had the thought to lean over and kiss him again, but brushed it away. There were more important things than my hormones.

“You came here because this is where I felt safest.”

“Of course it was.” I expected that.

“I needed you to be completely at peace when I came here, and you were. How else do you explain feeling so calm around me?”

“You pose no threat,” I said. “I was compelled to trust you.”

“There it is!” he exclaimed, seeming excited. “That word. How many times have you felt compelled to do anything you wouldn’t normally do?”

“Well none before I―”

His eyes lit up and he nodded. “You see, don’t you? Finally! I knew you would.”

My eyes widened.

“You’ve been controlling me? I asked.

“No, no.” Nixon shook his head. “There’s something else I’m able to do – I can manipulate emotions. I can make you feel how I want.”

“So, you’ve been controlling me to feel trusting and obedient?”

“I wouldn’t use the word controlling,” he said. “I was able to access parts of you while you were sleeping. I helped loosen your distrust of me before we met. Do you understand?”

“What about my wanting to kiss you?” I asked. I stared at the ground as if expecting an answer from the still leaves that had fallen.

He reached out and touched my chin with his hand, startling me. When he lifted my head, his eyes gleamed as the moonlight slid across them. When he leaned over and kissed me, my breath caught in my chest. Something stirred inside me and I found myself straddling him, my fingers in his hair.

“That’s all you,” he grunted, his lips firmly locked on my neck now. His tongue swept against my pulse and it seemed to speed up. My head swam with images as he wrapped his arms around my waist.

“Is this dangerous?” I asked as he pulled away.

“No,” he said. “This is good.”

“My mom is going to be worried,” I said suddenly. I went to stand but he grabbed my hand.

“How come?” he asked, tilting his head.

“It’s late.”

“Let me take care of that.” He smiled and brought my mouth to his once more.

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