“I can’t believe I’m stuck here. With you,” Nikoli sneered at Jessa, his eyes flashing in annoyance of the close proximity of his nemesis.
“Like I’m happy about this. Besides, there are ways we can pass the time, you know,” Jessa countered, smirking as she went to go sit on one of the small recliners in the torture chamber.
Nikoli snorted and rolled his eyes, his hand rubbing his jaw absentmindedly, as he muttered bitterly, more to himself than her, “Of course. This is just unbelievable.”
“Oh come on,” Jessa said crossing one leg over the other and leaning her head against the back of the oversized grey chair.
“Why do you keep coming back to harass me? You just keep fucking up my life! Why can’t you stay gone, you vile little thing?” Nikoli raised his voice at her, no longer needing to worry about hurting Leila accidentally if things got violent with Jessa.
Jessa lifted her head to look at him, hurt resonating in her eyes, “I would think that’s pretty obvious, Nikoli.”
“No,” he reasoned, shaking his head and covering his eyes, “That would require for you to have a heart, Jessa. Of that, you are sorely lacking, I’m afraid.”
“That’s what I used to think, too, Nik, but it turns out that I’m not as strong as I thought I was,” Jessa croaked, looking down at her hands in her lap.
“You see? There you go right there?” he gestured at her, even though she wasn’t looking at him, “Love is not a weakness. Nor is it selfish. If you truly loved someone, you wouldn’t torture them. You would want to do everything in your power to make sure that they were happy. Nothing else, aside from that, would matter to you. Not even you’re own happiness. You don’t love me. You’re just infatuated,” Nikoli countered passionately, forcing her to look up at him by leaning down and tipping her head back with his hand.
“Infatuated?” Jessa spat, ripping her head from his grasp and standing up quickly, hands clenched into fists.
“Yes,” Nikoli put his hands on his hips and gazed down at her pityingly, “You want what you can’t have. You don’t want to be alone, you just want someone to worship you.”
“Why do you do that? Why do you turn everything around on me, like I’m the bad guy?” she said, getting in his face.
“Look at what all you’ve done, Jessa. You are the bad guy,” he pointed out matter-of-factly.
Jessa exhaled in a whoosh, her anger fading quickly as she turned away from him, crossing her arms, “Just leave me alone, Nik.”
“Not until you admit it,” Nikoli retorted softly, her unwillingness to fight deflating him a bit.
Jessa whirled around to face him, nostrils flaring, arms out to her sides, “Admit what? That i’m the bad guy? Fine! You win! I’m the bad guy. You’re right, I didn’t want to be alone. I would kill for someone to look at me the way you look at, Leila. Happy?”
“Thrilled,” he spoke softly, his words lacking conviction.
“Whatever happened to “i’m just looking for a meal,” Nikoli? Huh? Why’d you have to go falling in love with a human? Is your own kind not good enough or something?” Jessa’s words were angry, but her eyes were pained, tortured.
Nikoli sighed, running his fingers through his hair and looking at her unwillingly, his words not containing their usual edge, “You’re right. I wasn’t planning on falling in love with her, but I couldn’t help it. She’s unlike anyone i’ve ever met.”
“Thanks. That’s makes me feel a whole lot better,” Jessa muttered, going back over to the recliner to pout.
Nikoli walked swiftly to the couch that sat directly in front of the recliner, taking a seat, “I’m not trying to hurt you purposely. I know that is what you probably think, but I’m not. I’m sorry that I am not the one for you, but I’m sure he’s out there.”
“Thanks. That helps I suppose,” Jessa stole a glance at him, humbled.
“Besides, there has to be someone out there willing to love your crazy ass, right?” Nikoli smiled at her, his white teeth flashing in the bright lighting.
“Right,” Jessa chuckled, her expression changing back to one of complete seriousness in an instant, “But if you ever tell anyone about this conversation, I’ll kill you.”
“Noted,” Nikoli said, suppressing a smile to match her stony-faced expression as he patted her hand.
“So….do you think she feels the same way?” Jessa asked unenthusiastically, picking at her jeans.
Nikoli sighed, sitting back against the couch, his head leaned back to look up to the ceiling, “That is the question, isn’t it?”
“Can’t you just read her mind?” Jessa asked incredulously.
“Compel her to tell you the truth?”
“Seriously?” Jessa asked, her light tone curious.
Nikoli lifted his head to look at her, “Yes. Seriously. Nothing works on her.”
“Weird….” Jessa trailed off, her eyes looking through him.
“I’m curious about something, “Nikoli leaned forward again, resting his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands.
“Hmmm?” Jessa said distractedly, turning her attention back on Nikoli.
“How did you get her here, anyways?”
“I just carried her. She barely moved,” Jessa snorted in remembrance, “In fact, she nuzzled against me and said your name.”
“Really?” Nikoli said, amused.
“Yes, it was really disturbing,” Jessa said pointedly, squinting her eyes at him.
Nikoli laughed loudly, no longer able to contain himself, “Yeah for someone like you, I bet it was.”
“I’m sorry if you think I’ve ruined your life. It wasn’t my intention...at first,” Jessa looked at him soberly, her tone somber.
“Thank you...for the apology, I mean,” he said, his finger on his chin.
“What apology? It never happened, remember?” Jessa pointed out, a smirk on her lips.
“Right, right, right. Got it,” he said, smiling as he stood up to survey the room, “Do you have any alcohol down here? I think it’ll help pass the time.”
“Yes. Over there in that cabinet. Bring me a glass too,” Jessa pointed to the cabinet, reclining back in the fluffy chair.
Nikoli chuckled, “Still the same old bossy you. Good to see some things never change, I suppose.”
“Why mess with perfection?”
“I suppose you’re right,” he said as he dropped ice into the glasses and poured the whiskey, not spilling a drop of the cool liquid.
“Do you ever miss the sun, Nikoli?” Jessa mused, her tone light as she closed her eyes.
Nikoli closed the bottle and returned it to the cabinet, picking up the two cups. As he carried the refreshments gracefully over to the small coffee table that rested in between Jessa and the couch, the liquid sloshed around and the ice clinked against the glass.
“Do you think….that we could be friends?” Jessa picked at her long nails, daring a glance at his expression.
“Honestly, I don’t know. You kidnapped the woman I love. It’s probably best if we don’t speak for awhile after this,” Nikoli said cautiously, not wanting to cause a fight as he handed her the glass.
“Yeah….” Jessa exhaled loudly, taking the glass and looking away from him, “That’s what I figured you’d say.”
“Are we able to get out of this basement turned torture chamber and go upstairs at least? I mean, I know we’re confined to the house because of the sunlight, but are we just going to sit down here all day?” Nikoli teased, trying not to poke the bear since she tended to be emotionally unstable.
“Well...I just moved in here recently. I haven’t exactly had time to create the correct barricades we’d need from the sun’s rays upstairs yet,” Jessa inhaled through her teeth, grimacing.
“Why haven’t you had time?” Nikoli took a sip of his drink, laying down to rest on his side on the couch, head propped in the hand not holding the drink.
Jessa pressed her lips together and turned her head away from him, looking at him sideways and took a sip of her whiskey instead of answering right away.
“I uh...I’ve basically wasted my time stalking you and didn’t go buy supplies,” she looked down to stare into her drink, watching the ice bob up and down in the liquor.
“Although, I’m flattered, that is probably not the most responsible thing you’ve ever done.”
“True, but it’s also not the most irresponsible thing I’ve ever done either,” Jessa looked at him pointedly, her anger seeming to have dissipated for the time being, stretching her glass out to him.
“Touche,” He said, leaning over to clink his glass against hers.
With nothing to do, this was going to be a long boring day and unfortunately for him, he was stuck with the most unpredictable being he could possibly imagine. Taking a long swallow of his drink to drain the cup, he lay on his back to look up at the ceiling and contemplate the mess he had gotten himself into. He wondered what he could have done to make this situation turn out any different, knowing that he was just tormenting himself by not accepting reality. There was nothing more he could have done. How do you tell someone you’re a vampire and then just go on to live a normal life? The truth was that he would give anything to take it all back, to have a chance to start over with Leila, but he knew it was impossible. Nikoli only hoped that he could show Leila how deeply he felt for her without scaring her off. Losing her would be losing himself and failure was just not a thought he wanted to entertain.