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Alex through Angela's eyes
'It's settled. They're going to get there at one. That means that we have to leave here at midnight.'
'Can you manage to get everyone out of the way before then?' Alex inquired, obviously thinking ahead. Luke, of course, sat dumbfounded. The three of them had caught up on their sleep- well, Alex hadn't, of course. He still looked more or less half dead. He always did nowadays. It was no wonder- Vivie had gotten slightly worse.
That was why Angela refused to put this off any longer. The sooner this was over, the better.
'They should all be conked out by then .if not, we can always sneak away like we did last time.'
'That's where you and Farrior have been disappearing to?'
'Are you sure you're up to this, Ange?' Luke asked, looking extremely concerned. It was very un-Luke-ish.
'My knees are fine.' Angela grinned.
Luke didn't look convinced, but he didn't bother her.
'What time is it?' Alex asked. His contacts needed to be changed again.
'Everyone's still out?'
'You talk about them like they're lights.'
'Shut up, Farrior.'
'I'm surprised. Well, Cerina and Austin already left. Lissy and Carson are probably asleep after that long talk they had last night.'
'Fisher's dead to the world. The guy's clammed up. He's probably traumatized for life.'
Alex's head snapped up. 'I heard him say something about his parents last night.'
'I'm kind of worried about him.'
Alex snorted. 'Oh, puh-lease, Farrior. He's feeling terrible enough, no thanks to you. What do you think he sees when he looks at you, the perfect and pampered on with parents? You're the only one that still has both parents, Farrior! He and I are orphans.'
Luke looked slightly hurt. 'You make it sound like a crime to have parents. I know I scarred him for life after the breakup, but I'm trying, Meyer. I don't have as many emotional problems as you do, but that doesn't make you superior to the rest of us.'
For a fleeting moment, it looked like Alex wanted to clobber Luke. The angry meter shot right up. And then he calmed down, tranquil setting in.
'You're right, Farrior. You're right. I'm being freaking annoying and stupid. His face and eyes softened. For the first time since Angela had met him, Alex looked like such a child. The last thing she thought of when she looked at Alex was small and young. But right now, although looking like he had aged a few decades, he still looked the very aspect of an insecure child. The only difference was that Alex was not innocent and he was broken.
'I'm just a burden. I should quit imposing on others. And you didn't choose your family. Neither did I. I have no reason to blame you for that. Fate is strange. But just because my life was bad doesn't mean that I have to ruin your life. Farrior, I have myself. I despise myself. I loathe everything that I am and everything I've done. I just absolutely hate myself,' he growled. 'I HATE MYSELF!'
Alex hardly ever raised his voice. It was almost as if he was melting into the shadows and nonexistent. He seemed to hate bothering people, relying on others, just the same as Vivie. The malice in his voice was shocking and terrible. Angela really didn't ever understand Alex at all. She was afraid of him.
'So you hate yourself more than you hate me?' Angela couldn't tell if Luke was joking or not. Apparently, neither could Alex.
'I don't hate you, Farrior. I wouldn't live with someone I hated' except my parents.'
Angela didn't want to look at his broken expression anymore. Alex abruptly stood up and fled.
Quietly, Luke admitted, 'I'm worried about Meyer.'
'Me too,' Angela echoed. 'Me too.'