Chapter 14 Mini - Mansion
As usual, I was unable to focus on my homework-and this time it was for a good reason. I'd finally met Alexander's parents and had a girls' night with his mother.
Still, I couldn't help but wonder what this meant for Alexander. He had been the master of the castle for months, so I imagined it was a hard transition for him now that they were occupying "his" space. I was sure that's why he'd been so grumpy at the beginning of our last date. I lay on my bean bag and wondered how my life would be if Sarah and Paul Madison lived inEurope like theSterlings and I had full run of our home.
I'd do a total makeover of the entireMadison house. All white walls would be painted black. Bright floral curtains would be changed to dusty velvet ones. I'd remove the catalog-ordered furniture and replace it with antique thrift-store finds. I'd live by candlelight but keep the electricity for much-needed necessities, such as a refrigerator, cable TV, and my hairdryer, Alexander's coffin would be next to my bed. I'd have a huge security officer by my door so my brother wouldn't be aware of Alexander's identity. We'd stay up all night watchingThehost Boys and pigging out on popcorn. Billy and Henry would inhabit the basement, under my strict curfew, and fire confetti-filled missiles at Trevor's house when I commanded.
I'd exist on CountChocula and caramel coffee lattes. School would be an optional part of the day.
My fantasy, however, was a far cry from my current living situation. I would never see such independenceuntil I was an adult. And though I craved it and wanted to spread my bat wings without boundaries, my conservative and governing parents were crucial to my existence. I didn't have enough money for my own apartment-or the wherewithal to shop for groceries or make my own dental appointments. And when I was really down about life and love, even though I barked at their sentiments, they were my safety net. If my parents weren't around for guidance and support, my world would be darker than it already was.
Dullsville's rail yard was built in the late nineteenth century. What once must have been a thriving and highly active station, importing and exporting coal, wheat, and corn, was now a graveyard. The rail cars looked like tombstones, marking a life that once was.
Planks from tracks were missing, and it was a mystery where some of the rail lines even led. Overgrown grass and weeds covered the rest.
Alexander asked me to meet him by the rail yard office tower. I found him leaning against a graffiti-laden boxcar whose door had probably been missing for years.
"Finally we are together," I said, squeezing him with all my might. Alexander hugged me, but he Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter,seemed distracted. "What's wrong?"
"My coffin is so empty now." His words hit me hard as I nestled into his chest.
"You resent your parents for intruding on our space. That's normal. My parents totally get on my nerves. You've been lucky. You had a vacation from them for months."
"It's more than that. But I'd rather focus on you."
I leaned my head back, exposing my bare neck. "Please, just do it now. Take me away from all this-"
"You are so dramatic. Besides, we aren't on sacred ground."
"Is that why you brought me here instead of the cemetery? So I wouldn't be tempted?"
"So I wouldn't be..."
The normal world would perceive me to be in the hands of a monster, but I knew I was in the company of a dark angel. Alexander grazed his fangs over my neck, sending me into wild giggles. Then he pulled away.
"You don't know what our lives would be like. Youconstantly needing me."
"But I already do."
"Believe me, Raven, I think about what it would be like. I imagine it every day."
"What do you imagine?"
"We'd sleep in my coffin together. We'd live in the Mansion-so you could see your family-but we'd travel the world together,Rome ,Paris,Greece . I'd paint pictures of you and we'd sell them in galleries across the world."
"Wow." I didn't have a clue that Alexander fantasized like I did. "Then could we? Make it everlasting?"
Just then we heard a dog bark.
"We'd better climb inside before someone spots us."
Alexander took my hand and lifted me into the rail car. I was the equivalent of a princess on a white horse being escorted by her handsome prince across a field of tulips. Except in my case everything was black and some of the flowers were dead.
I stepped into a dream world. Votives and candelabras lit the car.Crystal vases bloomed lifeless roses, and petals covered the wooden floors. The pictures of Dullsville and me that once hung on the Mansion walls were now fixed on the steel walls of the railroad car. The fragrant scent of lavender filled the air.
"I figured if I couldn't bring you to the Mansion, I'd bring the Mansion to you."
I stood frozen. My eyes began to well. Alexander's chocolate eyes gazed down at me, and his smile lit up his handsome, pale face as he waited for my response.
"I can't believe this!" I exclaimed as I examined each detail he had re-created. "This is the best present ever!"
I squeezed him so tight I thought I might pass out.
Alexander tickled my waist. His voice was soft and his lips tender. My heart filled with so much passion I thought it would burst. I wove my fingers through the length of his silky hair. We spun around, our bodies entwined, untilwe both became so dizzy we fell over onto makeshift throw pillows.
I didn't need a Mansion. I only needed Alexander.