The gypsy is supposed to be hers.
Christina knows this from the moment that she sees him, another social outcast just like her. She's always been awkward – too shy, too unattractive – only the twins' protection keeping her from the absolute rock bottom of Hemlock Grove's social hierarchy. They treat her more like a pet than a friend but she endures it for lack of better options; she prefers condescension over outright bullying.
The twins are the ones who tell her about the new kid, the gypsy who moved into that old trailer in the woods. This town hasn't seen a new student in years and as the queens of gossip, the girls' vicious tongues start the rumors circulating.
But Peter doesn't seem to care that no one likes him, that most storekeepers watch him closely and even the cops sneer when he walks by. The boy just keeps on smiling, a sarcastic sort of smirk but kind around the edges, and indeed, he is kind to Christina when her curiosity finally gets the best of her.
She finds the trailer easily – she played there when she was younger – and when she arrives, Peter is lying in a hammock by the door. He is smoking lazily and she just watches him for a few minutes; he is the coolest and most gorgeous boy that she has ever seen. There's something a little rough about him, something a little wild, everything Christina has always wished to be.
The girl must make a noise then because Peter glances up and she is lost in the warmth of those brown eyes. She doesn't remember what they talk about once he waves her over; she just remembers feeling like she's met a kindred soul.
They talk a lot that summer, hours spent philosophizing on a dozen random topics and talking about the trips they'd like to take. Peter has been everywhere, back and forth across the states, and Christina envies him. She's never been anywhere but Hemlock Grove and she starts to dream of going with him the next time that he leaves. She imagines the gypsy sweeping her up into his arms like some sort of Disney princess, giving her the happy ending she's always thought that she deserves.
Christina doesn't tell Peter about her feelings. She doesn't say that she adores him, that she wants him, and she loves him, but she is certain that he knows. Peter understands her better than anyone and it's only a matter of time before he says what she cannot.
The girl doesn't know who starts the rumors about werewolves. There have always been paw prints in the woods – it is a forest – and Christina is completely blindsided when the twins drag her off to lunch one day to fill her in.
To be honest, she generally ignores their gossiping. However, she starts to pay attention when she hears the girls say “gypsy.”
“Can you believe that he's still here?” one asks her, not expecting a response. “I mean, he's kind of cute if you like hobos but they can't expect us to go to school together.”
“Yeah, I heard that he's a werewolf. What if he starts howling during class?”
The twins dissolve into giggles then and the conversation soon turns to other things. But the rumors keep on spreading and Christina can't get the idea off her mind. Peter being a werewolf is crazy and impossible, yet somehow she believes it. There is something a little fey about the gypsy, a little otherworldly and she wants some of that magic for herself.
Christina can't bring herself to ask him – she doesn't want to risk their friendship – so she turns to books instead. Books have never failed her and over the next few weeks, she reads everything on gypsies, Romania, and werewolves that she can.
Most of the stories say that they are monsters, but Christina knows that isn't true. Peter is much too nice to be some kind of demon so she ignores the warnings spread across the tales.
All she can think about is the way that he would treat her if she becomes a werewolf too. Then he'd have to love her, wouldn't he?
Which is why the girl finds herself drinking from a paw print in the woods one morning just after the full moon. She's a little worried about catching a disease from the dirty water – cholera, tetanus, or maybe just the plague – but she does it anyway.
The things you do for love, Christina thinks as she kneels down in the mud. But the girl doesn't feel any different afterward. Peter doesn't treat her any different, not like he's supposed to, and she can't stop the resentment from growing in her chest. If she were prettier, the boy would have noticed her already. If she were tall and blond and busty like one of the school cheerleaders, Peter would have asked her out on a date weeks ago.
By the time the leaves begin to turn, Christina burns with anger that she cannot seem to quench. When she sees a pretty girl, she wants to dig her teeth into their skin, rip their beauty into shreds. She dreams of it, of flesh and blood beneath her claws, and she wakes up unsettled on the first day of school. Maybe that's why she snaps at Peter when he tries to talk to her. Or maybe it's because she can see the twins watching and she can't afford to lose what protection she has left.
Christina doesn't know the answer but that doesn't stop her freak out. She shouts at him and runs as Peter's bitter, “I guess the summer's over,” chases her down the hall.
The words make her feel guilty but she doesn't turn around. The girl just frets about it, dwelling on her actions and the hurt in Peter's voice. She's so caught up in her failure that she barely even listens to the announcement that one of the cheerleaders has died; it's not as though she knew her anyway.
But she does know Peter and he's never gonna love her if she doesn't talk to him. He is supposed to love her, isn't he?
It takes the girl until the weekend to gather up her courage and then she makes her way to Peter's trailer like she's done so many times before. Christina spends the walk planning her grand declaration but the words choke in her throat when she arrives.
Because Peter's not alone. Someone else is in the hammock and she can barely believe her eyes when she recognizes Roman Godfrey lying next to him. Christina didn't think they even knew each other, let alone this well. But there's no space between them, their limbs so closely tangled that she can barely tell where one boy starts and one boy ends.
The two of them aren't kissing. They aren't even talking as far as she can tell. But there's something so intimate, so comfortable between them, and she can feel her heart start breaking when Peter takes a drag and then breathes smoke through Roman's lips. There's a look in both their eyes that she's never seen before. It reminds her of her parents when they get ready in the morning, two people so in tune that they don't even need to speak.
So while the two of them aren't kissing and probably aren't dating, Christina still aches with jealousy. Because they want to, she just knows it. Peter is supposed to be hers but Roman Godfrey stole him the way that these rich snobs steal everything.
She hates them. She hates Roman, she hates the twins, she hates every single person who's ever used their beauty and their money to get forward in the world. Christina hates everyone who's every told her that boys and sex would make her happy; she should have just ignored them and stuck to books instead. Then she wouldn't be here, feeling alone and foolish with a broken bleeding heart.
So she turns and leaves without a word, just a burning need for vengeance in her heart. Christina wants them all to suffer the way she's suffering right now.
A few days later, she hears that Peter is dating Letha Godfrey and she laughs until she cries. Of course the rich and pretty blonde managed to catch Peter, but that's not why she's laughing. She's laughing because she knows what she saw and while the gypsy may be dating Letha now, the relationship won't last.
That girl will be heartbroken and Christina wants to be there to stomp upon the pieces. She wants to watch the princess burn when her prince leaves for her cousin and with any luck, she'll bring down this whole damn town as well.