When they were leaving the motel, Jon had handed Mac a pair of the sunglasses he had bought. "You’ll need these now," he told her softly. She only snatched them from his hand and angrily put them on. He pocketed the extra pair he had gotten in case she had thrown or broken the first pair.
The ride to the airport had been tense to say the least. Richie had tried to keep a conversation going, but after a few minutes got tired of talking to himself. He had hoped to lighten the mood some so that Jon’s temper would cool enough for him to realize that Mac had every right to be angry. Sometimes that method worked, but this time Jon’s temper was too far gone. He knew that Jon was more angry at himself than he was at Mac, but Richie had no idea how to help his friend. He started hoping for one of those flashes of brilliance that Jon claimed he had. And, finally he too was just staring out the window at the passing scenery.
At the airport, their celebrity status helped immensely, and soon they were in the air. Jon and Richie were sitting side by side in the main part of the plane, but Mac had refused to sit with them once the jet had taken off. She had moved to the rear of the plane that was usually reserved for the more important crew members and card games.
"You should really try to talk to her," Richie suggested into the uncomfortable silence. The hum of the engines was all he had heard for long enough it was starting to rub on even his good humor.
Jon’s voice was sharp with anger. "That’s probably not a good idea right now."
"The longer you let her temper fester and boil, the worse it’s going to be," Richie advised.
"Fine," Jon said in exasperation, then reached out to Mac.
Mac, are you ready to talk about this yet? he asked, not even trying to sound apologetic.
Nope, she answered quickly.
They were both silent a moment but Jon didn’t want to break the link between them, and she didn’t push him out of her head. Jon refused to beg, however.
Mac was the first to break the silence. I’m too angry now, Jon. I don’t wanna say something I might regret later.
Jon took hope from that simple statement. Okay, I can live with that, he told her.
Good, then could you butt out of my damn head, and give me some privacy? she asked him, anger still in her voice.
Abruptly, Jon was gone, and she went back to her silent fuming. She had admitted to herself that more than anything she was scared. Not only of the changes that had taken place in her, but also of what would happen now. As uncomfortable as being a witch had always been to her, it was still her heritage and part of what made her, well, her. Had she lost that with the change that had made her a vampire? She hadn’t had any of her visions, but they didn’t happen with any kind of regularity either, so she couldn’t judge by that. Mac decided to try something simple. Moving over to the table used for the poker games, she got out a stack of poker chips. She laid ten chips in a pile on the edge of the table and laid one several inches from the others.
"For my simple test, would you please join the rest," she told the chip.
When the poker chip slid across the table to join the others, she smiled in relief. Maybe she still couldn’t sing along with the radio, but at least she was still herself. Underneath whatever it was that now made her a vampire, at least she still had Mac.
In the main part of the plane, Jon smirked at Richie after retreating from Mac’s mind. "She’s still not ready to talk to me," he told the guitarist, in an I-told-you-so kind of tone.
"Jon, you can’t let her keep pushing you away," Richie advised.
"She said she didn’t wanna say something in anger that she’d regret later," Jon told him. "I’m going to respect that for now."
"I’ve had one of my flashes of brilliance," Richie informed him.
"Is that so?" Jon asked dryly.
"Yeah," Richie nodded sagely, "tell her you love her. You’d be surprised how that sentiment will cool a woman’s anger."
"Maybe," Jon agreed, "but," he paused dramatically, "only if said woman believes the sentiment."
"You don’t think she’ll believe you?" Richie asked in amazement. "Why would you lie about something like that?"
"Oh, I don’t know, Rich," Jon said sarcastically, "to save my ass?"
"But, you wouldn’t be lying," Richie pointed out.
"Try telling her that," Jon replied.
"No thanks," Richie said, grinning and holding his hands up in mock surrender.
"Coward," Jon chided.
"Yep," Richie nodded, still grinning unabashedly.
The plane landed in Las Vegas and the trio made their way through security with relative ease. Once back at the hotel, Mac entered her suite and slammed the door. Finding great satisfaction at the look on Jon’s face right before the door close in it, she almost laughed. Almost. She was too angry though to give into something as frivolous as laughter. How could he do this without her permission? He knew she hadn’t wanted to be a vampire. She had made her feelings on the matter completely obvious.
Mac walked to the mirror in her bathroom. She expected to somehow look different, considering the changes in her, but strangely enough, she still looked the same. Except for the light blue eyes. She leaned forward to get a closer look. Other women might spend a small fortune on colored contacts to have this color eyes, but Mac had liked her green ones. She had considered her eyes her only good quality, and he had taken even that from her.
Angrily, she scrubbed her cheeks with her hands to wipe away tears. She refused to dissolve into sorrow. No, she wanted to hold on to her anger for a little longer. At least long enough to make him regret doing what he had done.
Briefly, a thought flashed through her mind. He had said that she would only be able to feed from him. What if she left? She was supposed to be dead now anyway. That was supposed to have been her fate, but Jon had thumbed his nose at fate and saved her so that he could live without going rogue.
Furiously, Jon had spun away from her door. Richie had decided now was a good time to disappear and left quietly, leaving his friend to pace and fume. Jon decided he was done with the pacing though, and that it was definitely time for a confrontation. He marched across his suite and jerked open the connecting door. Not finding her in the sitting room, he continued on to her bedroom, only to come to a dead stop in amazement at what she was doing.
"What the hell are you doing?" he demanded angrily.
"What does it look like I’m doing?" she asked. "I’m packing."
"And where in the hell do you think you’re going?"
"Home," she tossed over her shoulder as she threw some shirts into her suitcase.
"Mac," he said softly, "if you leave me, you’ll die."
"So?" she questioned, without even looking at him. "What’s your point?"
"You’ll starve, it’s quite a painful way to die," he informed her.
"I’m suppose to be dead anyway," she told him, "and by painful means. What difference does it make?"
He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. She hadn’t even paused in her packing to talk to him. "Mac, please listen to reason."
"You mean, your definition of reason," she said angrily, as she turned to face him, placing her hands on her hips. "I’m tired of you laying out the rules and expecting me to just blithely follow them. I’m tired of everything being your way. I’m tired of never having a say in anything. But most of all, I’m tired of you!"
"Really?" he questioned arrogantly. "You don’t mean that."
"Yes I do, Jon," she countered. "Your arrogance amazes me!"
"I won’t let you leave here, leave me, just to die a horrible death. I saved you from it once, and I’ll do it again if I have to, even if it means locking you up ‘til you’re ready to see reason."
"You didn’t do it to save me," she repeated what she had said in El Paso, "you did it to save yourself."
"That’s not true," he defended.
"Then why did you do it?"
"You wouldn’t believe me if I told you," he said, turning to leave her room. Only to freeze in his tracks when a vase full of flowers crashed into the back of his head. Furious, he spun on his heel. Mac stood with her eyes wide in shock and her hand over her mouth. "That was a mistake," he informed her angrily. He strode from the room slamming the door behind him with his mind. Using his powers he kept it and the door into the hallway closed. He wasn’t going to let her do something foolish by leaving. He heard her trying to open the door from her side, and her small fists beating on the door, screaming for him to let her out, as he stormed out of his own room.