Krista doesn't understand how this keeps happening – this being her waking up with her cheek on Marcus naked stomach, her palm on his chest and the feel of his hand brushing her hair off her face.
"This has to stop," she murmurs, knowing full-well he knows the difference between her being asleep and awake.
"Hmm, I've heard that said before. The previous night and the night before that," before he can continue, she cuts him off.
"Marcus," she groans into his skin and finally opens her eyes. He's smiling at her and, even though she wants to be angry, somehow, she smiles back. "You're a sick bastard, you know that, right?"
He gives a slight nod, "Love makes us do foolish things." Her heart tightens at the mention of that word again. He had said the word before, the last time she tried to kill him and found that she couldn't end it.
That's how it all began.
The moment he said it, she knew she felt the same – but instead of saying it back, she chose to spare his life.
How she managed to find him the next night and lie with him is somewhat of a mystery. The time after that, he found her. And they've been playing tag ever since.
And he has never expected her to say it back – he probably knows she doesn't need to, the fact he's still alive should be proof enough.
Still, she has to admit, she knows they should stop – he's still leading experiments that will cause vampires to walk in the light and she's still, sort of, working for Blade – but she doesn't want to stop.
She can't – not when being around him has brought her the smallest fragment of peace she's known since...since before she came home to learn her whole world had been turned upside down. Even though Marcus is to blame for all of it, if she sets him as her anchor, she knows he'll be fully capable of setting it all right side up.
She doesn't know if she can give that up.
"Krista," he's cupping her cheek. She leans into his touch, which makes him quirk a brow at the unexpected return of affection – unless they're having sex, Krista rarely cuddles with him. "I understand the conflict within you, to a point, and although I have asked you once to choose a side, I also swore I wouldn't ask again. If this is making you unhappy, then perhaps, you should consider..."
"Choosing? I know, Marcus," she sits up, letting the bed sheet fall off her naked chest with little care. "I just...don't know if I can."
"I see," his eyes are hard, "I didn't think the daywalker meant so much to you."
She rolls her eyes, smiling. Leave it to Marcus to remind her of her freewill but then get pissed when the possibility of her not choosing him comes up. "Cute. No, Marcus, it's not like that. They're doing the right thing. I wouldn't be helping them if they weren't. And you...you're not exactly Gandhi." She reminds him of the things he's done to get his way, none of which he's ever denied.
His face is passive, for once. "You choose Blade according to your own moral values and yet...you choose me because...?"
She knows she doesn't have to answer that question – he knows – but it does bring the problem at hand to light.
How can she play this game of going back and forth, of sleeping with "the enemy" and knowing full-well that if she killed Marcus, 30% of their problems would end. But she isn't. So, in reality, isn't she already attacking her morals by simply choosing to lie with him and letting him live?
She knows Blade would certainly have an opinion or two about that.
But she can't not be with Marcus. She's tried. But she cares about him – for him. Walking out is the easy part, but not coming back?
"I have to go," she swallows, walking around the room to pick up the pieces of clothing that were too easily removed the night before.
When she goes to pick up her bra – closer to the bed – Marcus pulls her to him and turns her in his arms until she's pinned between him and the mattress. She hates the fact that she's already ready for him – her body doesn't seem to rest around him.
"If this is the end, Krista, I won't let you leave without a parting gift," he starts trailing kisses down her neck and she closes her eyes, not wanting him to stop, but she doeshave to go.
"Marcus," she moans when he nips at her shoulder without hurting her, "it's not the end."
He smiles into his next kiss, licking the line of her breast, "I know."
She brushes her fingers into his hair, feeling something other than her ache for him twist inside of her. "Marcus, stop."
He does. As intent as he is in his desires, he always listens to her – always. He looks up, but doesn't move from his current place just above her breast.
She swallows, "I...I can't leave you. But I can't keep doing this, either. Either one day, I'll be put in a bodybag by Blade-"
"-you will not let that happen-"
"Or," she ignores him, "You will, and then what do you think will happen next?"
"What are you saying, Krista?"
"I'm saying that..." She knows she's not comfortable with being this open about things – about them– and he can probably feel it. "I feel safe with you. And even if I don't agree with you, ninety-nine percent of the time, I'd follow you almost anywhere." At least he hasn't made her bluntness disappear. "But I can't keep going with this."
He crawls up towards her again, his thumb caressing her cheek as he cups her face again, "Then what do you plan to do about it?"
"I don't know," she answers, truthfully, covering his hand with hers. "I don't know."
When he lowers his face to kiss her, she knows one thing: as much as the thought of being with Marcus terrifies her, the thought of being without him, of Blade succeeding in killing him and bringing him to ruin does much worse.
It makes some of her choices easier to bear.