“Greta. Can I help you today?” Stefan asks sounding annoyed as he watches her drag her finger along a counter. She acts like she hadn’t heard him, but they both knew the steps to this strange dance.
“As a matter of fact, Stefan, you can help me. Have you seen Bonnie? She was supposed to help me with a charm. She said I could use her Talisman, but she hasn’t remembered to tell me what it is.”
“So you thought she might be here? Greta you know Bonnie doesn’t even like to come here when she’d been invited. You, on the other hand, seem to come whenever you please.”
“Vampires are the ones who need to be invited in, old man. Not witches. We can pretty much go where we want, because we make the rules.” She said, taking a seat, making herself comfortable on his father’s couch.
Stefan licks his lips and looks out of the huge window, cattycorner to where Greta is perched. “Greta, if you wouldn’t mind, Bonnie’s not here. I don’t know where she is. So if you would excuse me, I’m going to finish my reading.”
“Wait, Stefan. Maybe you could help me with my problem.”
“I don’t know what Bonnie’s Talisman is.” He continues with no real intention of helping her.
“No, not that.” Greta says with a wave of a hand and turns around, digging her knees into the cushions while leaning against its back. “I need to ask you something.”
Stefan let out a breath and rests the spine of his book against the couch. Greta turns her head away from Stefan to look out of the window he’d looked through, not a few seconds earlier. She then stretches her neck in the opposite direction to see if the door way was clear. He tries not to notice the pull of her skin as it stretches across the pulse point just below her jaw, and let his gaze drop down to the tawny hue of her arms. He finally decides to rest his eyes on the book in his hands instead.
“I heard ... you had a list.” She said. He almost forgot she was there.
“A list?” he says and is suddenly aware of how close she is to him. He won’t let himself back away. He knows she’ll only take it as a sign of weakness. And Stefan doesn’t want to appear weak in front of her. She’s still new to their dynamic. The waters haven’t quite settled.
“You know,” She says leaning in closer. “A list of the dead ones. The ones you murdered.” She says staring directly into his eyes with a smile that causes his hands to flex so hard the couch beneath them groans. The sound breaks their gaze as Greta looks down to investigate. He is ashamed to think that it is a relief when she looks away, but at least he didn’t flinch or lash out -at least not yet. But he can feel it then. The ghosting touch of her fingers barely grazing his skin. All the hairs on his body stand at attention and he reaches out to catch her hand, touching her before she can touch him.
His movement is so fast that it makes a loud slapping noise as his hand connects with her arm. Immediately Greta’s body slacks with a rush and she sinks slowly down to the couch grabbing Stefan’s other arm, digging her nails in with furor. She lets out a little gasp that turns into a giggle. A strange tingling sensation crawls up his arm.
Stefan’s had enough and pulls away. He doesn’t care about looking weak anymore. Greta falls back onto the couch with a small thud and a fit of giggles rolling out of her. His book is now in her lap and he doesn’t know when that happened or when he let go. And now he’s wary of even reaching for it. The hand that grabbed her comes to brush away the crawling feeling on his arm. The sensation fades a little too slowly for his liking. He wants to ask her what that was, what she did to him.
“There’s so many of them. So many ... and you enjoyed them all.” She says rolling onto her side, biting her lip to keep the sounds in.
“It’s time for you to leave.” he says spying his now forgotten book lying now on the floor.
Her left hand -the one he’d grabbed- fell against her breastbone and it was then that he notices the discoloration he’s left there. And she’s still laughing; now her eyes are closed. She doesn’t care. “And now you’re trying to be good? You’re fooling yourself, old man.”
Greta stretches out like a cat on the couch. Her smile softens at the sound of Stefan’s retreating footsteps. She turns over onto her belly with a sigh. One day she’d get him to play; she thinks as she fingers the book he’d dropped on the floor.