[adj] not securely held or in position; dangerously likely to fall or collapse

I started to wonder if that moment with Seth had been a fluke. After that bit of uneasiness and fear, Seth had returned to his normal self. We had gone back to normal.

Despite this, however, I still felt constantly on edge. I had a couple more girls’ nights but I was more cautious. I didn’t drink as much, didn’t wear my sexiest club dresses, turned down any free drinks that came my way.

I did whatever I could to make sure that Seth would remain happy, because I wanted him to be happy with me. He was my dream come true. He was what I wanted most.

But sometimes I couldn’t help but feel that things had changed. Well, I mean, things obviously have changed… just not in the way that I had originally anticipated. In a sense, everything was perfect. I just... didn’t quite feel like myself anymore.

I felt on edge, buried beneath the surface of my skin, aching to be set loose. That intensity I had felt with Seth didn’t seem quite as intense and I felt like something was missing. It was a familiar feeling that I had experienced prior to having Seth.

I wanted something. I just wasn’t sure what it was yet.

I ignored that unknown wanting though. I forced myself to move forward, to make things work with Seth. The sex was still great but our relationship was quickly changing. Things were getting more serious and before I knew it he was asking me to move in with him.

I sat frozen for a moment, staring at his expectant face, his eyes bright and his lips upturned in a smile. We were out to dinner when he decided to spring the question on me and I felt that fear that I was getting pulled into a trap come over me. Did I really want to move in with Seth? Did I want this to become serious? And honestly, could I get out if I ever wanted to?

I smiled back, acting calm, cool, and collected while on the inside I was squirming with the desire to get away. It was starting to dawn on me that this relationship really might not be something I wanted anymore.

“I love the idea,” I lied, taking a steady breath. “But let me just think about it first. It’s a big step.”

I knew immediately that I had said the wrong thing. His eyes grew dark and his smile faltered momentarily. But the smile returned quickly.

“Sure,” he said. “Take all the time you need.”

His eyes were still dark and I trembled at what might happen next.


I tried to persuade him that I needed to go home and couldn’t go back to his apartment after dinner. But in the cab on the way to his apartment he was gentle and kissed me tenderly, something that didn’t happen often.

“I need you,” he mumbled against my lips. I exhaled through my nose, knowing that despite my fears there was still a part of me that wanted Seth. Plus, maybe things would really be fine.

But of course they weren’t. Anybody with a brain could have figured that out.

The moment we had stepped into the apartment, he pushed me hard into the nearest wall. Same as last time. His face was distorted with anger as he moved close to me. I shut my eyes and turned my own face away, shaking.

“Look at me!” he yelled. I felt tears coming fast and I sniffled as I tried to hold them in. “Look at me, Sophie.”

He gripped my chin hard and turned my face roughly and I opened my eyes in shock.

“You’re moving in,” he said. “Tell me you’re moving in.”

“I-I,” I let out a sob, unable to form a sentence. I tried to push him away, shoving hard against him suddenly. He stumbled back slightly and looked at me in surprise.

Another mistake. His hand flew at me and made loud contact with my cheek, forcing my head sideways. It stung and my eyes clouded over with fresh tears.

“I don’t like treating you like this, Sophie,” he said pacing in front of me as I leaned against the wall, crying and wishing I could just leave. “You have to understand, I want you all to myself. I think it’s safe to say now, that I love you. I want you to live here with me so that we can be together more. Don’t you love me?”

I wanted to scream at him, tear out his eyes and burn his fucking apartment to the ground. But I was afraid.

“Answer me, please, Sophie,” he begged, his face suddenly showing despair. I knew it could snap back to anger just as quickly. “Do you love me too?”

I hesitated a moment before nodding slowly.

“Say it.”

“I love you,” I whispered. He smiled and moved closer to me, his hand coming up to cradle my cheek. I flinched at the contact but either he didn’t notice or was ignoring it.

“Then it’s settled,” he said. “You can move in next week if you want.”


As soon as I had managed to get away from Seth and back to safety of my own apartment I was on the computer trying to look up the items I needed to summon the crossroads demon again. I needed out of this deal as soon as possible and I knew that my own safety counted on it.

I was surprised Seth had even let me leave so soon, but I had told him I wanted to get a head start on packing.

I was trying to find the website where I had found the bone of a black cat when I heard a noise behind me. I jumped a little and looked behind me but there was nothing there. I turned back to the computer screen, studying the website I had pulled up.

“You don’t need to go through all that again,” said a voice right behind me. I jumped again, knocking a stack of books off of my desk. I stood up quickly, knocking my chair over as well and turned to face my intruder.

And of course, it was Pete, the demon.

“What the fuck?” I asked, glaring at him.

“Don’t get mad at me,” he said. “You were going to summon me anyway. This is just easier.”

“Well you didn’t have to just appear in my apartment and scare me,” I said.

“I’m a demon,” he said, shrugging. “I like being scary.”

I rolled my eyes and crossed my arms.

“So what seems to be the problem?” he asked, picking up one of the books I had knocked off my desk and studying it briefly before gazing at me.

“The deal I made with you seems to be backfiring,” I said. “You screwed it up.”

“I don’t see how I screwed it up,” he said. “You said you wanted your boss to want you. Does he not want you?”

“He does,” I said. “Just too much. His want is a little too possessive for my taste. I want you to fix this.”

“You never stated how much he was to want you,” said Pete. “So there’s really nothing to fix. If you want to change your deal, it’s going to cost you.”

“Cost me?” I asked.

“See, us demons are generous with the first deal,” he said, smirking. “We give you 10 years to live after you make the deal. However, to make a new deal or change an existing deal, we’re not so generous.”

“So what?” I asked. “Would I just have to give up my soul in five years?”

Pete laughed.

“Less than that,” he said, smiling.

“Less than five years?” I asked. “I think I’ll pass.”

“If that’s what you want,” he said, now studying my face. “Nice bruise by the way.”

My hand instinctively went to my cheek and I flinched at the pain from touching it. I stared at Pete as he watched me.

“There’s no way you can just fix this for me?” I asked.

“Only if you want to give up your soul sooner,” he said. “Otherwise, you’re on your own with this.”

“And if I change my mind?” I asked. “How can I summon you?”

“Just call my name or think about summoning me,” he said. “I’m usually paying attention—I like to keep an eye on my investments.”

In the blink of an eye he had vanished and I was no closer to being out of this mess I had gotten myself in to.