I decided to head to class instead of dick off and stay in bed with Curtis all day. It was sorely tempting but I need my head on straight and giving into the stupidity of romance and love wasn't going to be the way either of us stayed alive. So I slipped off to the neurology course I'm responsible for and watched the students in the first years range from bored to exhausted to overtly attentive. Only one or two stared at my bruise eyebrow or the cut on my forearm.
No one asked me questions anymore. Stories always traveled around, between me being a gangster to being in an abusive relationship to me self harming. It used to bother me. Now usually I smile when I catch someone staring and say I'm in therapy. They interpret that however they want.
As I sat and listened to the parts of the autonomic nervous system be described and attributed to branches of the spinal cord, I drifted into thoughts about the deaths of the hunters. The heart I held in my hand. I had ripped it out of the demon. No sword needed. Just the bloodlust and rage. It's heat was still fresh in my hand. Merov had ate a heart, exactly like that one, raw.
Was that still Merov?
The question haunted and I decided it needed an answer. Merov and I had never been the best of friends. He had given me weapons when I needed them, and I had given him the lay of the land for the unnatural world. Somewhere in there, I had thought we connected. Probably because I felt myself inextricably pulled towards him, a magnet in my mind I couldn't escape.
When I arrived I was brought to his office. He moved with a newer, easier grace than I remembered upon my first meeting with him. The dragon. It was growing comfortable in his human skin. And I made him uncomfortable, at least, by the way he looked at me for weapons and the way he moved with some unease around me.
I opened conversation with a concern for his humanity and like any true politician, he turned it back on me. It was a game I was used to with demons, fae, and the odd vampire I had met. Politicians at their core. So I answered honestly and waited to see if it made him reconsider. It did something. We openly admitted our fear of each other, of the inevitable fight that was always circling our minds. Neither of us were confident in who would win. It was as enticing as it was terrifying. To show I wasn't here to murder him, I tossed my knife on the desk. Peace. I was here, I supposed, in some sort of peace.
Then he asked why I didn't trust him. I told him why. Being played and used as a political pawn was something that always pissed me off. He laid it out as he saw it. That it wasn't what I thought. That we had just come together by fate and we had both done what we naturally do. I hunted and killed. He conquered.
The thought made my insides hurt after the hunt the night before. It was true. There was a base nature to my existence that he saw. It complimented in his own in a way that had so far resulted with him with more power and demons in the city. I wanted to feel assured that it was a good thing, that the dragon was doing as I had asked, reforming the city to be peaceful.
But he conquered. I killed.
The very real possibility that we were the villains, not just he, began to form in my mind. Together, we could make the city new. Even without me, he probably could do it. I would just make the way easier, destroy and cause chaos in just the right amounts to give him a chance to seize power. Like with the lions.
There are only a very few people to put faith in. The city was struggling to find leadership and harmony, as all unnatural communities did. My choices were Merov or Maeve. Curtis had chosen Maeve. Why? I will never know.
Merov had shown vulnerability in an attempt to offer trust. He had talked of destiny, of his dragon, of Curtis' dragon... and that there was one resting inside of me as well. There was a ritual. He could awaken it, solve the mystery of why I found myself constantly drawn towards him. I didn't want the answer. I had to focus on trying to figure out the dance between Curtis and myself.
So instead I agreed to help with his mission. On the condition he tried to stop too many casualties from happening, and that Curtis was left out of it as much as possible. He agreed to try to prevent casualties. And he said that it was always Curtis who killed him.
That tug towards him pulled at me again. I felt the need to touch him, to reach for him. Instead of fighting it, I did. He had turned to see me out and I reached for his arm to thank him, I guess, for his time. The touch tried to encourage the tug. Instead, I let him go and grabbed my knife from his desk. I had placed my bets on Merov. He was the horse that would win the race to power. And I had said I would be his weapon to forge.