It's freezing here at the top of the sand dune in the dark with the wind off the lake. Alex pulls a hoodie out of his backpack and tosses it to me. I put it on and get a sudden shiver through my body. I tighten my arms around my knees to keep warm. He leans closer to me,
"What are you thinking?" Alex says for the second time tonight. I laugh at that.
“You’re a telepath. Don't you know what I’m thinking all the time?”
"You wonder why Talon chose you?” he says.
“My guess is he’s hung up on you because you’re wound so tight."
"Are you insulting me?"
"No. Just making an observation. Your repressed feelings; not crying for ten years. That’s a lot of tension. You’re a whole bunch of canned heat. You’re probably an amazing rush."
That sounds vaguely obscene like something scratched into the wall of the men’s room at the Cosmic Bowl. For a good rush call, Evie. I shudder to think. “Rush. Why do you call it that?"
"It’s the feeling you get as the energy sweeps through you. There’s nothing like it." Alex looks me in the eyes. I was addicted. I was a morphi, He thinks to me.
Was. Alex said he was an addict, but doesn't that mean he’ll always be one? I ask him how it works. How does a person take another person’s energy? What are the mechanics of it?
What’s the procedure? He says that the human body has energy vortices just like the Earth does. There are seven of them, basically starting in the pelvis and going up the spine to the crown. Morphi (energy addicts) access energy through the vortex at the neck. The throat is the easiest portal to access.
That sounds a lot like vampires to me.
"You girls and your vampire fetish,” he rolls his eyes. “I think it’s where vampire mythology started,” Alex says. “Morphi are the real vampires. Psi vamps. Cultures evolved the myth over time into bloodsuckers, but it all started with energy.”
“Describe it. What happens?"
He tells me to imagine what it’s like to be gasping for air and just when you think you can’t hang on anymore someone gives you oxygen. "It’s insanely satisfying, but hard to explain." He rubs his hands together.
"C’mon, I want to know," I pester him.
He takes my hand and rolls back the sleeve of his sweatshirt I’m wearing. He gently turns my palm face up. “Here.” He rubs his thumb in a circular motion on my inner wrist. "You put your pulse point on the base of the throat near the thyroid gland. It’s one of seven energy pools on your body." He touches his own throat, guides my wrist toward it, holds it against his skin for a moment. His skin is soft against the inside of my wrist.
"After a few seconds your wrist gets warm, your pulse quickens, your nerve endings start to tingle, your blood feels hot." He stretches my arm across his lap and squeezes my wrist. His grasp is strong. "The tingling feeling starts to move, slowly at first, all the way up, getting stronger and faster as it travels."
He slides his finger up my arm, holding me with his eyes and rests his hand on my shoulder. "It overwhelms you as it shoots through your heart and lungs. You gasp for breath and for a moment it feels like drowning. Scary, blurry, helpless. Then you stop gasping and you breathe deep."
Alex closes his eyes and I notice the corners of his mouth turn up as he remembers. "Electric energy floods your body from the top of your head to the bottom of your spine. It rushes through your mind, stimulates the pleasure center of your brain and suddenly you have unbounded energy to do whatever it is you will: manipulate water, control fire, levitate." His hand is still palm to palm with mine and he looks at me with those strange grey eyes. "When it’s over, you can’t think of anything else except how much you want it. Do you know what it’s like to want something so bad?” “Oh...um...I don't know," I lie.
I slide my hand away and wrap my arms back around my knees, but I’m no longer cold.