Survive him, Thrive with him.

Claire Mathews had a particulary normal life; good friends, nice education. The only things thatmade her different was her paranoid friends, and complicated family life.
She never really experienced more than her little secluded box of life and comfort.
In an eventful short period of time, that little box is stretched far and wide, opening up past what her mind can comprehend and bringing her 'normal' life to a screeching halt. She wasn't Claire Mathews anymore, and she wasn't the same girl who did all her homework and kissed her mother goodnight over the telephone.
What happened? A certain man of myth decided to knock on her door.
A certain man with surprising news and a shocking, if not believable, story to tell.
A certain man with no face.

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16. Chapter sixteen

Trevor brutally splashes yellow paint on the canvas and I almost flinch.

 

Since yesterday, everything has been off, including Trevor. I woke up, I was taller by two inches. The robber was outside of the house, and the case was deemed an 'accident' because of the way the robber 'fell' on his knife. Trevor thought I was dead by the blood on the floor, but even the doctors that came by this morning oddly said that I was fine, they all said everything was fine.

 

Doctors, policemen.

 

I frown and dip my brush in paint, forming a green slash across the person I created.. Trevor was finally watching me paint with emotion, but I was painting a woman crouching in a forest, vines and branches clinging to her as she tries to run away in fear. Mom and Devon walked into my room and just stared.

 

"I'm going to guess that your situation with Dislen and Jacob hasn't been getting any better." She comments and I sigh.

 

"You're a lawyer, mom, not a phycologist." I remind her in monotone, dipping my paintbrush again and adding nore detail, making the vines look better.

 

"I must say, you're work is remarkable." Devon exclaims, but I ignore him.

 

"Hon, you haven't been the same since yesterday." Mom remarks.

 

"Breaking and entering, and stabbed. Where were you guys while I was screaming?" I snap, suddenly adding drips of blood running down a thorny vine clutching the girls leg.

 

"Taking a walk. We didn't know anything was happening." She defends and my shoulders lose their sharpness.

 

"I know you didn't." I mumble, making the blood darker.

 

"We didn't even stop in the house before we went on the walk." Mom continues.

 

"I get it. This couldn't have been stopped by you. I understand this now. I'm just...I'm just a little touchy right now." I exclaim

 

"Yeah. Your father, a new man in the family, friend problems, robberies. I'll back off." Mom lists, putting her hands up in surrender as she examines the painting more. She probably thought I was crazy, or depressed.

 

I didn't even know.

 

She puts a hand onto the side of my face and frowns.

 

"You look pale, are you feeling okay? Just stressed?" She asks and Devon leaves the room.

 

"Yeah, stressed." I lie. I actually wasn't very stressed, other than the fact that I was now pale and taller!?

 

Slenderman's blood? Is starting to turn me into Slenderman? Or just side effects if it?

 

I'll have to ask him later.

 

Mom leaves the room and Trevor looks at my painting, frowning and looking back at his own.

 

"Sorry, I've had a lot of practice." I giggle when his poor excuse of a tree doesn't even have a chance to compare to my scene, even as morbid as it is.

 

I clear my throat and look over the finished product, taking it down to dry in the kitchen. When I walk in, I almost drop the painting in shock.

 

Slenderman was talking to my mom, and she was smiling. So, right now he was Dislen...

 

Please don't say anything about the 'fight.' Please!

 

I force a smile and walk over, mom lighting up when she sees me.

 

"Hey! Look who came over to make sure you were okay!" She exclaims, gesturing to him. I wasn't sure where to look on him, actual height, or the height mom was looking at.

 

"Hey, thanks for coming over." I almsot grit out, the situation so awkward.

 

"Hey, Claire. Can I talk to you alone for a few seconds?" Mom asks, nodding her head to her bedroom.

 

"Sure." I drawl out, following her as she leads me away. As soon as we enter th room, she closes the door and looks at me like I was prey.

 

"Tell me the truth. Do you like Dislen?" She asks with a serious face.

 

My mind goes completely blank.

 

"Uh..."

 

"Don't stress over this question, but look carefully. Do you like him?"

 

"Like him how?" I ask.

 

"You know what I mean." She scolds, raising an eyebrow.

 

Should I say yes? Should I say no? Should I look into the feelings I really had for Slenderman? Then yeah, I like him, but in what definition of like? Like-like, or just like?

 

Is love even a possibility? I just met him a few days ago, and he tried to kill me first.

 

"You look like you're about to throw up." Mom remarks, snapping me from my thoughts with her concerned voice.

 

"Uh, I guess I like Dislen." I quietly reply. Mom doesn't look to convinced of anything, just a little worried, but she tries to brush it off.

 

"I hated young love. Come on." She comments, leading me back out the bedroom and into the dining room.

 

Slenderman turns and faces me.

 

"Well, Dislen here wanted to take you out to dinner. He said it was a surprise location." Mom enthusiastically exclaims, rubbing my shoulders. I just keep silent possible eye contact with him as he walks from behind the counter, holding out a hand.

 

"Uh, okay. Make sure Trevor cleans up the brushes. I won't be out late." I mumble, slowly reaching my hand out and taking Slenderman's, the cold-warm reaching up my arm.

 

"Have fun, but not too much!" Mom comments.

 

"Mother!" I hiss, looking behind me sharply. She giggles and covers her mouth like a child, but I let Slenderman take me down to the entryway and slip my shoes on, disappearing from the lawn as soon as we step outside.

 

We reappear in the forrest, the scary tree in view. I breathe in familiar air, bringing back terrifying memories of the page game, and being tossed out here after brutal kidnapping from those I call my friends.

 

But the warm hand in my grasp, plus the only slightly fading daylight, made everything much more normal. No cameras, no possible death situations.

 

I look up at Slenderman, who was still facing me, chin tilted downward. He looks away and our hands part, and I let him pull away, but not before noticing how close our skin colors were getting.

 

"What's happening to me?" I ask, watching the back of his head as he starts to walk away. He freezes, but doesn't move again, nor answers.

 

"Why did you save me?" I try asking. Slenderman turns around to face me, telling me that he was going to speak.

 

"The need to...protect you. I need to protect what is mine." He explains, suddenly appearing in front of me, hand on my neck.

 

"I desire you, Claire." He finishes, my body shivering at the way he said my name.

 

"How do you desire me?" I ask.

 

"I desire every inch. The smell of your blood, your pulse under my hand. I desire to hear your voice, and enjoy how you can see the world through my eyes." He whispers, starting to lean into my neck. My heart rate was speeding up, and he could feel it. He knew what he was doing.

 

But he suddenly backs away, taking his hand off my erratic pulse and returning to his straight posture.

 

"Claire. Just know that where ever you go, no matter how far, you will always... feel me possessing what it mine." He promises.

 

I swallow and nod.

 

Did Slenderman...love me?

 

What he just said obviously wasn't a friend thing.

 

He desired me...

 

My blood...

 

My voice...

 

But, did I love him back?

 

"You're fine with this?" He asks. I nod again.

 

"Can I try something?" I ask. Slenderman doesn't reply, and I take it as a yes, so I reach up and trace his jawline with my thumb, taking his face in my hands. He must see where this was going and hesitantly complies, leaning down so I could reach him, but instead of giving him a kiss on the cheek, I slowly lean in. Our faces reach millimeters apart, and he doesn't fight it. A sense of anticipation comes off him and I touch my lips to where his should be, closing my eyes like in the movies.

 

I actually...liked this.

 

The cold-warm sensation kept me going until I had one hand gently cupping the back of his head, the odd feeling of another pair of lips making this seem so real, so normal. His tendrils wrap around my waist and lift me in the air, closer to him and the same height to be level. My feet not touching the ground gave a whole new level to the moment, like I was flying.

 

We slowly part and I flutter my eyes open, a sense of enjoyment coming from Slenderman. He was probably wondering why he liked such a human sign of affection.

 

His tendrils slowly set me down and my hands lean on his chest, slowly trailing down as he lets me go until they stop at where his belly button would be, and my feet touch the ground. I take them off and bring them back to my sides, blush rising to my face when I realize what just happened.

 

I kissed Slenderman.
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