Lourdes made her way to the back of the auditorium. She managed to ditch Corey and Alby in the crowd of people at the very beginning. They had been sending each other random text messages all morning, letting them know each others whereabouts. Lourdes of course, gave them phony locations. And if they were smart, they already knew she was lying. And to be honest, who was she kidding, if there was a possibility that she could get a glimpse of Alex, without him knowing that she was there, then she was going to take it. It took her all of five minutes, to find the room with the panel interviews and she sat all the way in the back, so as to not be seen.
She watched Alexsander smile and charm the fans and press with complete grace and ease, for almost an hour. Despite everything that happened last night, something had changed in her and she didn't know what. She felt completely out of control.
After the press asked their questions, it was time for the fans to ask theirs. Lourdes tuned out most of the questions asked and focused on the ones directed at Alex. There was no wrong answer with him. They loved every word that came out of his mouth.
More and more hands were being raised to asked questions, but there was one particular person that stood out.
Lourdes squinted, leaning forward in her seat. She was pretty sure that one of the hands that she saw raised was...
Albear turned around in the middle of the audience, looking directly at Lourdes all the way in the back. He smiled at her as one of the convention workers tapped his hand to let him know he was next to ask a question. Lourdes bugged her eyes and shook her head slowly, pleading with him, not to do anything. Alby turned around waiting for his turn.
"What the fuck are you doing?" Lourdes said under hear breath. Her cell phone chimed. She pulled her phone out. Fancy meeting you here, I thought you said you were on the other side of the convention?
"Fuck you Albear." Lourdes said under her breath jamming her phone back into her purse. She stood up, getting ready to leave, she wasn't going to be apart of this. She would kill Alby later.
It was too late.
"Yes I have a question for the thousand year old, vampire." Albear's voice boomed.
Lourdes stopped in her tracks and turned around. It was like watching a car crash, she didn't want to, but she just had to look.
"I heard your vampires character is actually bi-sexual," Alby said, "Do you suck much cock in real life?"
"Oh my god!" Lourdes said to herself as she saw Alex recognize Albear in the crowd. Lourdes kept going, she couldn't bear to watch any more.
"You're dead meat Albear Sebastian." She mumbled to herself.
A fan tapped her on the shoulder, bringing her out of her thoughts. Once the auditorium had cleared out, then it was taking pictures and signing autographs time. Lourdes had regained the courage to get another glimpse at him. Especially since Albear was nowhere to be found this time.
"Don't you just love the show!" She said. "I'm completely obsessed, isn't it the best?"
Lourdes smiled and looked at Alexsander. "The best." She said. "I'm completely obsessed too."
"What are you going to say when you get up to them?" The girl asked. "Who do you want to take a picture with?"
Lourdes giggled. "I don't know," she said, "to be honest, I'm completely starstruck, and I'll be lucky if I can get any words out at all."
"Me too!" The fan said. "I know just what you mean."
Lourdes smiled again. But what the hell was she doing? This was insane. She should totally get out of here. "Excuse me." She said. "I think I need some water."
"What?" The girl asked looking confused. "You'll lose your place in line and miss your chance!"
"It's okay." Lourdes said. "I'll just come back."
"Okay." The girl frowned. "Well if you come back before I get up there, I'll save your place."
"Thanks." Lourdes said. "I appreciate it."
Lourdes got out of line and started walking away. But what was the point? She had made it this far. She could either chicken out and live out the rest of her life in peace or...
She turned around.
Lourdes walked slowly, smoothing out her labeless dress from last night and looking down at her black stilettos, wishing her feet forward to make it to the front of the line.
She was maybe ten steps away from him and every step was becoming harder and harder to take. All kind of thoughts were running through her head. Would he see her? If he did see her, would he talk to her? Or would he act like he didn't even know her at all?
He was taking a picture with a fan, oblivious to the fact that she was only a few feet away. She was getting closer. He was bending down to talk to the fan as she approached them. Lourdes stood there only for a second, before she kept going, she didn't want anybody to think she was cutting the line.
He hadn't noticed her.
Lourdes remembered to start breathing. She kept moving, slowly picking up the pace, when her cell phone chimed loudly. She looked down at the phone. It was a message from Albear. Are you still being a stalker? Let's meet up in an hour, this place is complete torture...Lourdes smiled sticking her phone back in her purse. He had no idea what kind of torture she had in store for him later. She looked up and Alex was staring right at her. Her heart started pounding. She smiled at him. Then she turned and continued walking. She was almost to the end of the hallway when she turned around slightly.
He was still watching her.
Lourdes smiled again, and stood there a moment too long, so he could get the message.
She turned the corner and stood out of view. She leaned against the wall, trying to figure out her next move. It wouldn't be a problem for him to excuse himself for a bathroom break, if he wanted to. If he came after her, then it definitely meant that he wanted to see her. She figured if he stayed and continued working, then he was still pissed at her for storming out last night. She would count to ten and hopefully she could come up with an answer.
One. Two. Three...
She pushed herself off the wall.
Four. Five. Six....
She got ready to leave.
Seven. Eight. Nine....
Alexsander turned the corner.
Lourdes' mind went blank as she tried to think of what to do.
Alex walked past her not breaking eye contact. He walked ahead a few feet more, then opened the door to a private room.
Lourdes followed slowly. She stopped when she reached the door. He left it open for her. She lingered in the doorway for a moment. She glanced around quickly. No one seemed to notice. Lourdes walked in and closed the door.
It was an empty convention room. Alex stood off to the side, pacing back and forth. He stopped when he saw her.
"Nice dress." He said. "Walk of shame?"
"No." Lourdes shook her head. "No time for a change of clothes."
"What are you doing here?" He asked. "Did you and your friend plan that little stunt back there?"
"What stunt?" She asked innocently.
"You weren't inside the panel room?"
"No." She said.
"Where did you go last night?" He asked irritated.
"Does it matter?" She said.
"Yes." He nodded his head. "It kind of does."
"To a friends." Lourdes said coming closer to him.
"I'm working." He said. "You can't just ambush me like this."
Lourdes stopped in front of him. "It wasn't intentional." She spoke softly. "I had no idea that you would be here."
"Is that a fact?" He said. "This doesn't seem like your thing.
Lourdes nodded her head. "That's a fact. I didn't even know that I would be here, until Corey showed up this morning with passes."
"Let me guess, he invited you and Albear."
"You got it." She tugged on the bottom of his blazer, then looked up at him, smiling with her eyes.
"You drive me fucking crazy." He said looking angry.
Lourdes rubbed her hand up and down his shirt. "The feelings mutual buddy." She smirked.
"I'm not kidding!" He said.
"Be nice," she said smiling and continuing to feel on him, "if you're sweet, I might even give it to you family style."
Alex snatched her hand away from his body. "Get away from me," he said starting to walk away from her, "I don't want any part of your games."
"Too bad," Lourdes called after him as she leaned back against the wall, "cause it's a good game."
Lourdes tried to keep herself from smiling. She could be arrogant too. Generally she didn't think that cockiness and arrogance was an attractive trait on a woman, but between Alby and Alex, some of it was bound to rub off. He turned back around and marched up to her angrily. He stopped right in front of her ready to spew obscenities, but Lourdes stopped him with her smile. He was all worked up, but she was on a mission. Generally he used his powers of seduction on her. Courting her, sweet talking her, all the letters, all the messages...But she already knew that he loved it when she pursued him too. And she knew how to manipulate him as much as he did her. His face was angry, but his eyes were already telling her something different. He still wanted this. It wasn't going to take much work to make him be all over her again.
"Last night you never wanted to lay eyes on me again." He said.
"I changed my mind." She said running two fingers across her cheek.
"You hate me."
"What about all the other bullshit?"
"I can get past it. I already am."
"This is some kind of trick?" He said.
Alex studied her looking confused. "Then tell me why?"
"Why what?" Lourdes asked.
"Tell me why I should believe you?"
Lourdes looked around the room taking a deep breath. Should she tell the truth? How vulnerable did she want to be?
"If I wanted to say..." She trailed off. "That I wanted to see you still...that I wanted to see those eyes one more time...or have the freedom to call you up whenever I wanted...in spite of all the damaged we've done..."
He was silent. Not sure how to take her words. "Talk to me." He said quietly.
"It's not that I don't want to have you in my life, it's just, I'm the one I need to be true to." Lourdes offered.
He looked as if he was taking in what she was saying.
"I think you know some real bad tricks and you need some taming. And I gotta let you know, before I completely let you in... that I'm not looking for you to complete me. But that doesn't mean, that I don't want to be with you."
Alex watched her silently, contemplating what to say. "I don't get it." He said. "What has changed?"
"I don't know," she shook her head and shrugged her shoulders, "the sunlight, maybe the moon and stars..."
"Your having a laugh at me." He smiled.
"I'm not." She protested. "Maybe I'm just finally willing to let myself feel the feelings that I have. Whether it's right or wrong."
"And what are those?" He asked.
She walked into that one. "Right now their undefinable." She shrugged.
He shook his head. That wasn't good enough for him. "In your mind, what do you tell yourself that we are?"
Lourdes was quiet for a moment. She sighed softly. "I tell myself that we are having this great affair. Because it is an affair Alex. As fucked up as this situation is, I keep thinking, this how it outta be. And it's so easy to be with you, but how do I know what you feel for me isn't just from the excitement of sneaking around?"
"See that's where we think differently," he said, "because I never once thought of it as us having an affair."
Lourdes was silent.
"I never once categorized it as an affair, because affairs end. They end in chaos and disaster and usually both parties end up getting hurt. I think of you as my friend, my lover. You belong to me."
Lourdes started to protest but...why did it sound so nice to hear him say that?
"Well your more mines than you are Gabe's." He said. "And he won't be around forever."
She wasn't sure she fully understood his meaning. "Alex, I don't-"
"What I'm trying to say is," he continued, "is that none of this ever seemed like an affair, because it always felt right. Didn't it?"
She slowly nodded her head.
"No matter how far away I am," he said, "each time I come back, it always feels like I'm coming home. I know what I have to look forward to. You."
Lourdes smiled. It was nice to see things that way, even if it was a little romantic and sentimental. And naive...
"Having said that," he paused, "since we're putting our cards out on the table, I do have a confession..."
Lourdes crossed her arms over her chest, bracing herself. More reality?
"You wanna clear the air," he said, "you want to start fresh? Then you should know the truth about why I never told you about Celia."
Lourdes stood still and waited for him to continue.
"When we met last summer, I was so into you and you were very good at masking your feelings for me. But when I saw how independent your relationship with Gabriel was....I knew it wouldn't be hard, to try and make you fall for me. I saw all the things that were missing from your relationship and I made it a point to fill in that void. And once you finally started reciprocating, I knew that I had you."
"So what are you saying?" Lourdes asked. "Are you trying to tell me, that you've just been playing me?"
"What I didn't know," he went on, "is that once you saw all sides of me, once I broke your heart, would you still want to be with me."
She waited for the punch line, but he was dead serious. Stone face, blue eyes unwavering.
Lourdes had a knot in her throat. She swallowed hard and chose her words very carefully. "You didn't brake my heart," she said, "you deceived me, you betrayed me."
"Yes," he said, "and it was unforgivable."
"Yeah," she nodded, "and now you're saying that you intentionally never told me about Celia, because you wanted to hurt me?"
He started smiling. "At first I wanted your unconditional trust. Then I wanted your unconditional love."
"Your a piece of shit!" She whispered furiously.
"Yes," he said seriously, "I am sometimes. You see, I can be a piece of shit. I can be worthless, and a lowdown dirty bastard. But right now, I would do anything to hear you say that you want to be with me again."
Lourdes stood there stunned. Alex was known to be a bit of a mind-fucker, but this was too close to the bone. She decided he was a liar. She decided to call his bluff. Lourdes shook her head slowly. "I'm sorry." She said. "I think, I made a very serious mistake."
She turned to walk away....
Exactly thirty minutes on the dot and Lourdes was back alone with Alex.