Late last night yet another message from the Devil pops up on my phone. Not a big deal usually but this time Ben was plugging my phone in on the dresser and he got to read it first. He shook his head, read it again and then deleted it. Then he made some lame, obvious excuse about needing his glasses out of the truck, that he would be right back.
Lame because I was standing there holding his glasses because I had grabbed them on the way up the steps.
Loch walks in and sees the look on Ben's face and asks him if he had a good sleep because Ben's been completely oblivious to Caleb's manipulations all spring. We're happy he woke up at last. He's made such a concentrated effort not to be the loose cannon anymore, I'm proud of him and at the same time frustrated that I can't ask him to deal with the monsters I make.
Tonight I didn't even have to ask and I wish he would pick a side already instead of hiding behind some magnanimous effort to see me sort out my life on my own when he's happy to throw wrenches into the works every chance he gets.
He came back an hour later tightly wound and unwilling to discuss it. I handed him his glasses and he took them and I asked if everyone was okay, sort of code for wanting to know if he's hurt Caleb, if I should go and check on him, if he needs a doctor or an ice pack or last rites. Ben stopped me before I could wind up too much and said all they did was talk and he didn't know what I had done but Caleb is a man haunted and driven by all of this turmoil lately.
Please, Ben. He plays you like my fucking fiddle.
Does he, Bee? Does he really? How many men have fallen for you exactly and how is he pretending when the rest of us are brought to our knees?
You can't even recognize when the Devil forces you to take his side. Ben, come ON. He doesn't have that power over you. You're not his to use.
Ben stares at me for what seems like forever and then eventually gives me a nervous almost-laugh. Fucking Christ. I don't even know how he puts things into my head.
That's how he does it. It's frightening.
Ben looked doubtful but relieved. Yeah, it is, actually.
Don't spend time with him. He'll get under your skin.
I just...yeah. I know. Fuck. I know.
But Ben didn't look like he felt better and so the moment I could extricate myself from his presence I sent a message to Caleb.
What the FUCK did you do?
Exactly what I warned you I would do, Princess. You chose to do things the hard way. I am just facilitating that for you.
Hell, Babydoll. I'm just getting started.