She moves nervously and explosively, when she moves at all -- sharp angry motions like she's got nowhere to go.
Most days, she just sits still, though. That was the first thing he noticed about her -- the first time he ever met her -- she has the most indescribable ability to sit still and watch the world. Watch and wait and analyze.
It's scary when she moves, but it's scarier when she sits still. So Jordan's glad when she moves, even if it's horrible ...
Watching her is like watching the sky right before a tornado; something horrible and inevitable and totally and completely unavoidable. It makes him feel hot and cold at once; fire and ice and total utter emptiness all wrapped up in one beautiful package ... It's scary and it's twisted and it's impossible for Jordan to draw his eyes away from her.
Like a car wreck in motion, only this is Reed. And she has never believed in accidents. He has seen her silently pour out a glass of water -- exactly a third of a liter, without even having to measure -- he has seen her walk out of a room and casually throw a paper ball behind her, and he has seen the crumpled wad land in the trash can every single time.
Reed does not believe in wrecks.
Not unless they are deliberate.
But Jordan doesn't think this much -- he does not like the idea that the girl he --
-- Likes? Loves? --
-- is determined to ruin her own life.
He goes to talk to Toria about her one morning. He's not sure why he goes to see her, as he knows perfectly well that Toria hates him, but Reed and Toria are friends, and maybe, just maybe ... and that night before ...
But Toria has no soft and easy words for him this time; she laughs at him, and her voice is molten quicksilver, burning away in his chest. She tells him in neat, easy concise words just how stupid he is -- how he is. so. very. stupid.
She says some other things after that, but he can't stand to hear them, so he leaves first. The only thing he remembers is her clear quiet voice telling him that he'll destroy Reed either way.
But he doesn't listen, because he knows Toria is right.
And Reed comes to his room that night, and he can't quite turn her away ...
Each time she looks at him, he swears he can hear the gears grinding away in her head.
That's scary. But it's even scarier the way she looks at herself in the mirror each time she climbs out of his bed. Because when she looks at him, he can't read anything in her eyes but the carefully blank anger there -- but when she stares at her own reflection, the loathing's so palpable that even she can't hide it.
She's beautiful, and she knows it, and maybe that's the worst thing of all. Because the knowledge is there in her eyes; she wields it like some kind of weapon. The beauty and the knowledge both. Kisses him hard and sinks back onto the bed with him and mumbles what she knows that he wants to hear her say. And out the window in the morning, legs long and pale in her slender transparent skirts.
Jordan's not sure why, but he thinks maybe he loved her more before she ever decided to sleep with him.
It sounds horrible and it sounds cheap -- it's not like she's some kind of fucking conquest -- one of those silly trashy beautiful girls at school whom guys sleep with and discard, but oh, Gods, it's true. Because she wasn't quite real in the before -- she was amused and distant and silly, but she had been there, surreal and faded out.
And this girl, the one that curled up silently next to him and lay awake all night long -- that was her. All Reed, no lies, no nothing, no distance. Her, next to him, totally empty and blank.
At least before he'd had the idea that maybe she might like him. Not love, but like.
She's getting quieter and quieter each day, colder and colder and more and more angry.
Something's dying inside her. It's scary, and it's not just because she knows it. It's scary because Jordan can't seem to look away from it, no matter what he does.