Tuesday, 28 July 2009 - 5:53 pm

Girl talk

It had to happen sooner or later. I’m not proud to admit what happened today.

I decided not to go out with the foragers again, partly because I knew that I was running away from Ben and all the complications around him when I went out. I had hoped to spend some time with him, but he excused himself with a murmur about needing some space. I was thinking about feeling hurt and then he said that it was because he was hungry. That was enough to make me leave him alone.

I suppose I should be grateful that he’s not just going to Bree any more. I didn’t forbid him or anything like that. I think he knows I wouldn’t handle it well if he kept on with that.


I wasn’t looking for him when I went to find Bree, but there was a frightened swirl in my stomach that thought he might be there. He wasn’t. She was alone; her little friends had gone off to help Kostoya again. She didn’t look well and I tensed because I knew the reason for that.

The glance she gave me was so tired that I almost felt sorry for her. I have an idea about the position she’s in right now, stuck between the shadow of the Pride, my own memories and enmity, and the needs of survival. I don’t envy her any of it. I don’t think I’ve envied her since I found out about her sleeping with Cody.

“What do you want, Faith?” she asked when I came into her room and didn’t immediately turn around and walk out again. “Come to tell me to stay away from your fella?”

I had to clench my jaw to stop a number of angry responses spilling over onto her. I closed the door behind me and leaned on the edge of a desk. “I want to know what was going on between you and Ben.”

“He didn’t tell you?”

“I’m asking you.”

She looked at me for a long moment. “You know what he is now, don’t you?” Her tone was expecting a negative answer and I had to slide my hands under my thighs to stop them from curling up. Damn her, she knows how to get to me.


“Then you know what was going on. He was hungry. I gave him what he wanted.”

I knew she was doing it on purpose, lashing out with the worst wording possible. I think it’s the only arsenal she has left. It pricked at me and I had to keep a tight hold on my temper. “How did you find out about him?”

“Same way you did: I walked in on him feeding.”

I stared at her and tried not to feel sick. I failed. “Who?” Another girl?

Bree glanced away, showing that maybe there was an actual heart in there somewhere. “Steve.” It took me a moment to remember the Pride wannabe she had arrived with. He was just a kid, seventeen, eighteen maybe. “He got Sick. We think he died in the night sometime. Then I found Ben… eating him.” She shuddered delicately.

Steve had disappeared some time ago; she knew all this time? “Why didn’t you tell someone?” Tell me. Why didn’t she tell me?

“He asked me not to. I was too scared.”


“He’s a– he eats people, Faith. That doesn’t scare you?”

I shrugged. “He doesn’t scare me.”

“Well, maybe he should. You think I let him feed off me because I like it? I don’t. Does that make you happy?”

Actually, it did make it easier to deal with, though I wasn’t going to tell her that. “So why did you let him?”

“I told you – I was scared.” She got up and started pacing around the little room, rubbing her arms for warmth. I think it was someone’s office once. “You people – the rest of you – you barely look at us. Would anyone have noticed if he’d picked us off, one by one?”

I can’t even pin a firm date on when Steve disappeared from our ranks. “How long?”

“Has he been coming to me for this? A while. Few weeks, maybe, off and on.”

I didn’t know what to say. It’s been so long – all that time, he had come to her and hadn’t told me anything.

She smiled bitterly. “What’s the matter, Faith? The happy new boyfriend not all you wanted him to be? Why is it your men always prefer to come to me when they really need something?”

She was close enough that when I stood up, I only had to stretch my arm out to slap her. It made a satisfying, shockingly loud sound. “Why do you have to do this?” She was always taking away things that were mine. Things I cared about.

“Poor blind Faith,” she said, rubbing her cheek. “Never can see what’s right there, can you? Everything’s so easy for you; the things you want just fall into your lap, while the rest of us have to work for it. You don’t deserve any of it.”

I stared at her, trying to take all of that in and only getting shards. “I don’t deserve it? And you do? I’m not the one stabbing friends in the back. What the hell makes you think I get what I want?”

“You always do! The pretty boy with big prospects; the job from daddy. And now the pretty boy and a group that follows your every word, without question.” Her tone dripped with derision and made those things dirty somehow. “The world ended and everything changed, but you, you’re exactly the same.”

“You have no idea who I am.” The words came out more surprised than I had intended, but it was true. She didn’t know me, not if she thought I hadn’t changed. Maybe I didn’t sell out like she did but there are lots of ways to change.

I knew then that I wouldn’t get anything else out of her except abuse. There was already too much in my head and my handprint on her cheek, so I turned to leave.

“What are you doing to do now, little miss blind Faith? Huh?” she shot after me. “Tell him to stay away from me? What are you going to do when he’s hungry enough to bite down? What’s it like sleeping with a monster? How is your perfect little arrangement going to work then?”

I didn’t look back at her. She sounded so angry and I had no answer for her. I let the door close behind me and kept walking, up and up until I got to the roof. I stood there in the cold wind until my cheeks were numb and the clouds had ganged up overhead.

The worst part is, I think I understand her now.