Title: Eyes Wide Shut
Author: Janine
Fandom: The Hollow
Pairing: Rachel/Ivy, some Rachel/Kisten
Rating: R
Disclaimer: I don't own them.
Summary: An uncomfortable incident leads to Rachel being forced to deal with her feelings for Ivy.


I pulled the blanket higher and clutched it protectively against my chest. I told myself it was to protect myself from the chill of the cabin, but the truth was I was using it as a security blanket, trying to sooth myself and hide myself at the same time.

I turned to look at Kisten and my eyes met his back, just as they had the last few times I had looked at him. He was still naked, but instead of lounging beside me holding me, he was sitting at the edge of the bed hunched over with his head in his hands, his back moving up and down slowly as he took deep, measured breaths.

We'd been like this – me clutching the sheet against myself as I leaned against the headboard while Kisten was hunched over sitting at the edge of the bed – for almost five minutes, and the silence and the tension were getting to me. I wasn't good at doing nothing. I wasn't proud of it, but I had accepted the fact that I was not a patient person. I positively sucked at waiting, and could never hold myself back for long.

I shifted on the bed leaning forward with my hand outstretched to touch his back. However, before I was even close to making contact with his skin he moved, using his vampire quickness to elude my touch.

I stared at the empty space where he had been for a moment, and then turned to look at the foot of the bed. The elastic of his boxers was just snapping into place when my eyes found him again, and when my gaze finally landed on his face I wished that I had never lifted my eyes. His jaw was clenched, and the blue eyes that I loved so much were black with anger and misery. He was pissed. No, that was being unfair. It wasn't like he was upset because I had used the last of his shampoo or something. He was hurt; deeply hurt and I couldn't blame him. What I had said … god, I hadn't meant to say it. I didn't even know why it had come out of my mouth. It just had. It didn't mean … I was just … it was just on my mind because of what had happened earlier. It didn't mean …

"Kist," I said softly, hating the wet, wispy quality of my voice as I spoke. I could barely meet his eyes. "It wasn't like that," I continued as he stared at me with dark, unblinking eyes. "It's doesn't mean anything, I was just …"

"Do you really believe that?" He asked interrupting me. His voice was a low rumble. "Do you?" he repeated, his tone hard and more than a bit incredulous.

"Of course I do!" I exclaimed immediately. "I didn't want to … it's just, with everything that happened earlier … I mean it's hard just to block that out! It doesn't mean …"

"Of course it does!" Kisten yelled, his voice surprising me into silence.

I stared at him, my eyes wide with shock as I tried to keep my heart rate down. I had never heard him yell before, and I have to say that I didn't like it. I deserved it, but I didn't like it. It was scary. Kisten was supposed to be the safe one … well, as safe as a vampire could be. I wasn't used to being on the razor's edge with him. Terror warring with affection had always been a characteristic on my interactions with Ivy, not Kisten.

"You said her name," Kisten said a few moments later, his voice softer and calmer, though no less angry and hurt. "I was inside of you, your teeth were at my neck, and when you came you said her name," he continued, his voice dropping as his features contorted in pain. "That means something, Rachel. That means some …" he stopped speaking and angled his face away from mine.

I breathed in deeply and closed my eyes as a wave of shame washed over me. I wanted to deny what he was saying, but I couldn't. I had said Ivy's name. I wished I hadn't, but I did. I could remember it clearly. Kisten had been inside of me, and my body had been flushed with pleasure. My breath was coming in quick pants, and I was nipping at his skin almost uncontrollably as my passion mounted. I'd pulled back and looked at his face, and my vision had blurred and shifted. Ivy's face and Kisten's started to trade places. I would breath in and be looking at Kisten, and breath out and be looking at Ivy. Blond hair was replaced by straight, inky hair with golden tips. I was with him, but I couldn't stop thinking about her. I could feel of her arms wrapped about me in the sanctuary earlier. I was with him, but I couldn't forget the press of her body against mine or her kiss. Oh god, that kiss had been … and then I was cresting, and Ivy's face was in my mind, and as I crashed into orgasm I had clutched at Kisten and moaned Ivy's name as my body shook.

"It was just," I started weakly.

"It wasn't just anything," Kisten said turning around to face me again. There was a ring of blue showing in his eyes, and I breathed a little easier. Things weren't close to being resolved between us, but at least he was clamping down on his anger. He was in control. "You want her," he continued.

"I don't!" I declared immediately, the speed and forcefulness of the response embarrassing me. "Not like that," I added my skin reddening as I acknowledged that I responded with a suspicious quickness. "I don't want to have sex with Ivy."

"Yes, you do," Kisten said, and when I looked up to glare at him indignantly I saw that he was already staring at me intensely. "You do," he repeated softly, before squeezing his eyes shut and angling his head away from me. "Why are you doing this? To me, to Ivy, to yourself?" he asked a moment later, frustration coating his tone as he looked back over at me. "Why do you deny it, when it's so painfully obvious to everyone that you want to fuck her?"

"Kisten!" I exclaimed sounding like a scandalized suburban soccer mom. I didn't like it when he swore.

"What? You're allowed to call out other people's names during sex, but I can't swear?" he asked arching a pale eyebrow at me, his voice positively dripping with sarcasm.

I quieted down and looked away from him. When he put it like that, it did seem kind of ridiculous.

"What are you so scared of?" he asked finally, breaking the silence that had descended between us.

I looked up at him and saw that he was staring out of the small window at the side of the bedroom. He wasn't looking at me, but I knew that he was very aware of me. In fact, because of his vampire senses I was certain that he was probably more aware of what was going on inside of me than I was.

"I'm not scared," I said even though the tightening of my stomach made me suspect I wasn't being truthful with him or myself. "I just don't want to," I continued, shifting uncomfortably on the bed, suddenly very aware of my nudity under Kisten's thin sheet.

"Where did she kiss you?" Kisten asked turning around to face me.

"What?" I asked, surprised into stupidity by the unexpectedness of his question.

"Where were you when she kissed you?" he said, clarifying his question.

"Kist," I started, not sure that it was a good idea to be talking about the kiss with Ivy after what had just happened. He was clearly upset and I didn't want to agitate him. I couldn't say that I had never poked an angry vampire with a sharp stick before, but I was feeling more in control of my need to irritate people than I usually was and I didn't want to irritate Kisten.

"Can you just answer the question, please," he interjected before I could say anything else. He sounded irritated, and I sighed before looking down at the sheet covering me. So much for not irritating him, I thought grumpily.

"The sanctuary," I said softly.

He was already irritated as hell with me, and frankly I owed it to him to see the conversation through wherever he wanted to take it. I didn't mean to hurt him, but I had. He was the injured party, and I had to do what I could to make things better. No matter how uncomfortable it made me.

"Tell me what happened," he said.

I looked up at him then, but he was staring out of the window again. His posture wasn't relaxed, but he wasn't wire tight either and I knew that he was in control of himself and his emotions. I was hesitating because of my own unease, not his. I didn't want to talk this, especially not naked in his bed, but I would.

"We had been talking," I said, my stomach clenching with anxiety. "She was upset because … she was close to me and my scar was acting up. We were talking …" I trailed off and shifted uncomfortably once again. I could practically feel Ivy's fingers on mine again, holding them gently as she had earlier that day and a shiver ran through me. Her touch had been so gentle, and so unexpected. We so rarely touched each other that when we did I couldn't help but be incredible aware of her.

"We were talking about a blood balance," I said, forcing myself to continue. I'd been silent for a while and I knew that it wouldn't escape Kisten's notice. "I wanted to try again, but she was being stubborn as a brain damaged mule about the whole thing," I went on, frowning as I thought back to the conversation we'd had. Ivy was so infuriating sometimes. "She got mad and stormed off into the kitchen," I said, remembering the way her pupils had dilated when I insinuated that she had given me Rynn Cormel's book because she wanted me to seduce her into biting me. In hindsight, it had been kind of an asshole thing to say, but I was angry. "I followed her into the kitchen and pissed her off again and then she ran away into the sanctuary."

Kisten breathed in deeply and his posture stiffened a little, but he didn't say anything so I continued.

"I kept pushing her. I really didn't understand why she wouldn't try, at least just one more time. The effort to hold herself back has been killing her, and … but she kept insisting that it was too dangerous," I continued, my voice trailing off a little as I remembered the pain in her voice, the loathing and disgust directed at herself as she talked about how Piscary had twisted her into something monstrous. How he had made it so that she couldn't separate sex from blood. I wanted to ease her pain. I wanted to show her that she wasn't a monster, that I loved her and trusted her. I wanted to show her that she was beautiful, and that we could create something beautiful together, but … "She said she wouldn't try again unless I promised that I would hurt her," I said, shuddering a little at the thought.

Kisten simply nodded as if the idea made complete sense to him, and I felt a swell of irritation before I forced myself to let go of it.

"She jumped me," I said, my heart spiking at the memory of Ivy suddenly being on top of me, wrestling me to the floor. "She wanted me to prove that I could use my magic to hurt her. But I couldn't. I didn't want to. I don't want to," I sighed. "When I refused to take action against her, she gave me an ultimatum."

"What was it?" Kisten asked softly, speaking for the first time since I had started to recount the story of Ivy's kiss. His voice had a resigned quality to it, and I suspected that he already knew what she had told me. He knew her better than anyone, better than me, I thought surprised at the way the thought made my heart ache. If he understood why she demanded I hurt her, then he was probably able to guess what her decree had been.

"She said that we could share blood without love if I hurt her, or that we," I paused, my breath coming a bit raggedly, "that we could share blood without hurt if I loved her," I finished blinking rapidly, not quite sure why my eyes suddenly burned, stinging from tears that I refused to shed.

"And then she kissed you," Kisten prompted. Immediately I raised my eyes to him, but he still wasn't looking at me. I hadn't even realized that I had trailed off into silence for so long.

"Yes," I said. "She wanted to show me … what I could have," I breathed out, my skin flushing at the words and the heat suddenly flowing through my body as I remembered her kiss.

The kiss had felt sudden at the time, but it wasn't. She had time to pull me to her and to whisper to me how good I'd smelt. I'd had time to turn in her arms so that we were facing each other, and I'd had time to study her perfect face.

Her eyes had been as dark as absolute midnight. They were fathomless and wild and I had felt like I was falling inside of her as I stared at her. Her beautiful lips had been parted, ragged breaths of air escaping from between them, each exhalation pulsing with her desire for me. But deeper than the want, than the lust for blood and sex, had been an aching vulnerability. Ivy didn't just want to sleep with me. She loved me, and she wanted all of the things that came along with that.

The kiss had felt sudden at the time, but there was time for me to think about her in Kisten's van. There was time for me to remember the feel of her lips against my neck, and for my scar to flare to life at the thought of her mouth against my skin and her body pressed again mine. There was time for me to remember the ecstasy of her pulling what she needed from me, and the deep feeling of satisfaction it gave me. There was time for me to remember how close to her I had felt, and how full of love. We had been so perfect at that moment, so very wonderful together and I longed to feel that again.

There had been time for her to talk to me. She had reassured me that she wouldn't bite me, even though she wanted to and I wanted her to. She had moved closer and whispered to me to close my eyes and keep them closed.

I shivered at the thought.

I had to have known what she was going to do, I had to have. She was so close, and her voice was so gentle, and her desire was so very obvious. I had to have known, but I swear that I wasn't consciously aware of it, even after she had made me promise that what she was going to do wouldn't change things between us.

And then her lips had been on mine, and the world had shifted and quaked. I had thought that I should pull away, but my body had just relaxed into her arms, and when she felt my lack of resistance she had deepened the kiss. A few seconds later her hand found my scar and I my body was on fire as I moaned her name, my mind and body swimming in pleasure as she pressed me against the wall and I trembled. I was completely at the mercy of her lips and the aching pleasure they were producing in me, and I never wanted her to stop.

"Tell me you don't want her," Kisten said, his voice a low pained hissed.

He was staring at me, his eyes almost completely black and when he moved towards me I flinched back, pressing myself against the headboard.

"Tell me you don't want her," he demanded more forcefully, shoving something in my direction.

I blinked in surprise until I was able to focus on the object in his hand. It was a mirror. My brows creased in confusion. Why was he showing me a mirror? What did he want me to look at? I stared at my reflection in the mirror for a moment, suddenly realizing what he wanted me to see a few second later. He wanted me to look at myself. He wanted me to see how flushed my skin was, and how dilated my eyes had become. He wanted me to see my chest rising and falling rapidly as I panted more than breathed, and see the thin sheen of sweat that had formed on my forehead.

I looked away from the mirror, shocked at the portrait of desire and arousal that I had just been staring at. I shifted on the bed, and then with an agonizing burst of clarity I realized why I was shifting and forced myself to stop.

"It was the scar," I said softly. "She was playing on my scar. You know what that does to me," I continued trying to ignore the pulsing between my legs.

"Maybe," Kisten said pulling the mirror back from me. I'd seen what he wanted to show me. "But she's not playing on your scar now, is she? She's not even here," he said moving over to his dresser to put the mirror back down. "There're no pheromones coating this room to manipulate your scar," he continued turning back around to face me. What he had produced during sex had long since dissipated, and he hadn't been producing any since then. The boat was a pheromone free zone at the moment.

I said nothing and shifted again unable to help the movement. I was hot and tight, and it was uncomfortable. My thighs squeezed together providing a moment of relief, and I forced myself to sit still again.

"Look at you," he said, his hand flinging out to wave at him. "You can't even sit still. I can smell your desire."

"We were just," I began, surprising myself with how meek my voice was. It wasn't from before and I knew it.

"You know I can tell the difference," he said not willing to indulge my denials. "The whole time you were talking you were thinking about her, and it got you hot. No scar, no pheromones, just Ivy."

I opened my mouth to object, but I closed it before a sound came out. I shifted, tightening my grip on the sheet covering me, and was surprised when a shiver ran through my body as my arm grazed my nipple. It was hard, and sensitive, and as I looked down at the sheet I could see that the firmness of them was visible through the sheet. They hadn't been like that when I started talking and … oh god, Kisten was right. I did want Ivy. For the love of god, thinking about her had been enough to make my nipples hard. He was right, all of freaking Cincinnati was right! I was wet, and my clit was throbbing, and it was taking all of my willpower not to shift on the bed again. I was painfully turned on, and all I'd been doing was thinking about her.

A choked sound emerged from my throat and I drew my legs up and wrapped my arms around them, curling in on myself.

"Go to her," Kisten said softly. I couldn't tell what he was feeling from the tone of his voice, and I refused to look over at him to see if his expression would give anything away.

"I don't know where she is," I said miserably before I could think better of the response. I hadn't seen Ivy since she had fled after she kissed me.

"Then go home," he sighed, his exhalation the very definition of weariness. "I'll get a message to her," he continued softly.

"Why?" I asked finally lifting my head to look at him. He had encouraged me to try deepening my relationship with Ivy before, but that was before we had become lovers and I'd assumed he was just being self-sacrificing, putting the feelings of his friend before his own romantic pursuits. Things were different now, we were together, but he was pushing me towards her again. Hell, he wasn't just pushing he was shoving me at her like she was the exit and I was the last one in the bar after closing.

"Because I need to know," he said. "You need to know. We all do. This situation, the way it is, it isn't fair to any of us." He sighed, and ran an agitated hand through his hair. "I love you, Rachel," he continued, "and I want to be with you. But you and Ivy," he stopped and shook his head as if he wished he could shake whatever thoughts were plaguing him right out of him through his ears. "You need to see. You need know. I can't keep doing this, knowing that you love her … waiting for the day when you finally realize just how much and leave …" he tugged at his hair as his words trailed off, and then took a deep breath. "Go to her. If it's not what you want, then at least you'll have tried and you'll know for sure and we can … move on. All of us can move on."

"And if it is … if I like it?" I asked him, my voice barely a whisper.

"Then … that's that," he said turning his hands up in the air helplessly. "I'd say we could all share," continued running his hand through his hair again. "Ivy and I have in the past, but it's different with you," he said shaking his head. "She loves you too much, and you've never been onboard with the idea of open relationships," he continued. "If it's good between the two of you, you won't want a third anymore than she will."

"Kisten," I said helplessly. I had no idea what I was going to follow that up with, but I needed to say something. "I love you."

"Yes, I think you do," he said, offering me a weak smile. "But you love Ivy too. You love her more," he added softly.

"I don't!" I exclaimed, but even as I did my heart clenched powerfully at the thought of her.

"You do," he said, his voice full of pain but not doubt. "You'll realize that once you two are finally together. I'll be here … but after you two finally … I don't expect you'll come back." He sounded so sure. How could he sound so sure? How could he be more confident about what I was feeling than I was? Hell, he wasn't even just confident about what I was feeling, he was confident about what I would feel, and I was struggling to form a complete sentence.


"Go home," Kisten said moving towards his closet. He disappeared inside of it a moment later and I could hear hangers rustling. "I'll make sure she knows you're waiting for her," called out, his voice drifting to me from the depths of his closet.

When he emerged from the closet a few seconds later, he was fully dressed and I knew that very soon I would be alone.

"Kisten," I said desperately, feeling things begin to spiral completely out of my control.

I didn't know what else to say however, so when he moved towards the bed he did so in silence. He stopped at the edge and stared at me for a moment, and then he braced his hand on the mattress and leaned forward to press a soft kiss to my forehead.

"Go home," he whispered gently, his lips moving against my skin as he spoke, the warmth of his breath and inevitability of his departure bringing tears to my eyes.

"Kisten," I breathed out wetly, my heart pounding beneath my breast.

I looked up desperately after his name had passed through my lips, my hand twitching at against my chest with the desire to reach out for him, but when my eyes lifted I saw nothing but his bedroom wall. He was already gone.

To be continued ...