86. John's Confession
"John?" I finally force my mind to focus enough to form the strong thought. I have been lay in bed for over an hour, tossing and turning, chasing sleep that will never come. I have to face him.
"Oh, thank god!" His thoughts in my mind sound genuinely relieved. "Evelyn, I'm sorry. I-"
"It's just a bet. I get it. You want me to leave the X-Men, so you’re going to try pretty hard to get me to kiss you." Admitting it hurts slightly. Knowing that the emotions he shows for me are fake is slightly painful, though I'm not sure why.
"No! It's mo-" He stops himself. "Yeah. Just a bet."
"John, this isn't fair." I sigh, taking in the sight of the beautiful brunette sleeping beside me. "On anyone."
"I'm sorry. I just-" He stops himself again. "I'm sorry."
I stroke a piece of Scott's hair away from his forehead. He's gorgeous. And I am madly in love with him. So why is John so... Addictive? I shuffle closer to Scott and feel his body heat. I feel safe.
"Why can you get to me so easily?" I focus my mind to strengthen our connection, so much so that I feel his smile. I'm getting better at this.
"I know what you like." He sounds proud of himself.
"I noticed." The way he acts around me, it's like he's trying to be everything I want, which, I guess, makes sense if he wants me to ditch the X-Men that bad.
"As annoying as it is when your mind is giving me a running commentary on your time with that douchebag-"
"Not a douchebag." I cut in.
"Whatever," He shrugs off my comment. "As annoying as it is, it tells me what he does that makes you fall more in love with the guy. Like the way he strokes your hair. And it also tells me what you want that he can't give you that I can - like eye contact."
"That's not his fault." I jump to Scott's defence.
"Maybe not. But your thoughts are very clear - you like eye contact. You like looking into my eyes." It's true. Especially with this connection, it's magical.
"You can't use my mind to make me fall for you." I start. "Because if you do, I won't be falling for you, I'll be falling for what my thoughts made you." I try to remove the emotion from my thoughts, but fail. "Meaning, no one wins."
"If you kiss me, no matter the circumstances, it will be a win for me." His voice in my mind is low.
"You don't understand what I'm saying." He states firmly. "I don't care about the bet anymore."
"What?" I don't get it.
"That moment, that wasn't me trying to get you to kiss me for some stupid bet, Evelyn." He confesses. "I've been trying to hide it, but you're in my head, so you're going to find out at some point."
"What was it then?" I am extremely confused now. Why can't he just say what he means?
"That moment was me wanting to kiss you for you - for us." His thoughts increase in volume with the emotions he is displaying. "This isn't a game anymore, Evelyn."
"But- You- I don't..." I trail off. What am I supposed to say?
"When I hear the things you think about that jerk! I just- Argh! You deserve better than that!" He sounds frustrated.
"Scott's not a jerk." Is my only weak reply.
"He bosses you around; he treats you like a child. You can't say that doesn't hurt you! I hear your thoughts!" He sounds pained.
"Yes, he does those things. But I trust him when he tells me he does them to protect me. Before I even met you, I had died in his arms. Temporarily, of course, but I was in a coma for three days. They told him there was a chance I wouldn't wake up. He blamed himself for that. I think that gives him an excuse to be protective and controlling." I miss out the fact that Scott lost his family. No one needs to know that.
"I know you'd always choose him over me." His voice is quieter now. "But I want you to know, I'm always willing to be your second choice. I'll take that. It's better than nothing."
"You know you mean a lot to me, John. As much as I want to, I can't deny that." My mind is all over the place. Why is he telling me this? "But-"
"If he ever lets you down, I'll always be here for you. Just remember that." And with those words, our connection falls away.
"John?" I call out with my mind. There is no response. "John, you can't just ignore me. Please. Just talk to me."
I sigh. This is too much. I'm torn between two people who mean more to me than anyone else. I see that now. I love Scott. Of course I do, with all of my heart. But John... John is more than a friend. He is the other half of me. There is a reason we have the connection that we do, I just haven't quite figured it out yet. And although there is no doubt in my mind that I'd never leave Scott for anyone, I can't lose John. I need to-
"Dammit! I'm so stupid!" John supposed-to-be-private thoughts appear in my head. "Why did I do it like that?"
I choose to stay quiet, not letting him know I can hear him. Last time he discovered I was listening into his thoughts, it didn't go well.
"I could've done something romantic. Told her the truth face to face, instead of telepathically like a coward." I ache to reassure him and let him know that he's not a coward. "But I won't tell her how I really feel. How am I supposed to tell a girl with the most beautiful mutation and most committed boyfriend how I feel? How could I ever begin to tell her that I'm falling for her?"