He had walked around the house from all accessible sides on the sidewalk and checked for lights. Once everything had been dark for a while, he went back to the window around the corner, picked up pebbles and threw until light went on and Leonie’s face appeared in the window.
She smiled and opened it, helped him climb in, giggling quietly.
They hugged and kissed.
She put her head against his shoulder holding on to him tight.
“I missed you so. I hate this. I see all my friends with their boyfriends – or girlfriend in Kimber’s case – all so happy and public. Why do we have to hide? My dad is such a … he is …” she sniffled, fighting tears.
“A stubborn old fool.”
“Yes, that! I wish my mom would stand up to him. But she never has. I really wish my parents were more like yours. They are both so cool – and so much in love still. I have honestly NEVER seen mine kiss, hold hands or anything. Sometimes I wonder if they found Steven and me somewhere.”
“If they did, I wish they had put Steven back and just taken you.” Liam grinned.
“Other way around. Taken him and be all jerks with him and maybe your family would have found me.” Leonie smiled back.
“Uh no, then we would be siblings and still not able to date.” he shook his head.
“True. Maybe that wealthy neighbor of yours. He and his wife seem nice.”
“Maybe, but I am pretty sure he would not let me date you either.” Liam smiled.
“Maybe we are just doomed. Liam I am cold – let’s get into bed. Come on. I need snuggles.” she pulled him along onto the bed. He stayed in his clothing but kicked off his shoes. Leonie took off her robe and put her head on his chest. It felt so good, so right.
Suddenly they heard the door open, the light went on. Both jumped out of bed, startled, when Leonie saw her father in the door. She grabbed her robe as he disappeared.
“You have to go, now! Oh my God, I think he saw us! Go! Quickly!” Leonie warned, but right as Liam had his shoes on and wanted to run to the window, there was her father already, now dressed and in the middle of the room, gun drawn. Leonie’s mother and brother behind him.
Leonie screamed, the man slowly put the gun down, activated the safety and stuck it into the waistband of his pants, all while keeping a close eye on Liam. While regular guns obviously did not harm vampires much, most police departments now had special bullets issued, which were made of various composites that could harm or even kill a vampire.
“Unbelievable! I knew it. Steven told me about seeing that troublemaker’s car a few blocks away, I just knew I better check. That’s it!” Mr. Hanson shouted.
He grabbed Liam, who tried to struggle free, but the man dragged him with and tossed him hard onto a chair warning him to get up and deal with the consequences. Everybody else collected around, Leonie crying and pleading, in vain, when she was rudely told to shut up by her father, before he continued his rant at Liam.
“I am calling this in. You’ll be nicely tucked away in jail, kid, where you belong! Breaking and entering, trespassing … and all in the Chief of Police’s home. Will look nice on that record of yours.”
“Sir, I wasn’t..” Liam tried to explain himself.
“Dad – it’s MY fault – I let him in. I told him to come! Please let him go!” Leonie interrupted him and tried pleading with her father once more.
“I will be dealing with you next, young lady! I thought I raised you better than to be a common whore!” he screamed at her, then slapped her face so hard that she tumbled backwards, where she stayed, crying, her hand barely big enough to cover the large red mark her father’s treatment left. Liam wanted to help but couldn’t, he tried to rise up and a firm grip of the police chief sent him back to the chair.
“Steven, take your sister to her room and make sure she stays there.”
Steven grabbed his sister roughly and dragged her with him, while Leonie was trying to break free, screaming, begging and crying.
“Dan, please … they’re just young people in love.” her mother pleaded now.
“You stupid bitch! If you could do ANYTHING right. You cannot cook even one decent meal, you cannot clean properly, and you certainly cannot raise decent kids. You are utterly useless. I will deal with you later as well! Now Sally, you get your useless fat ass to the kitchen and get me a beer. Hopefully you can manage that.”
“Dan, please let the boy go, I …” Mrs. Hanson tried one more time.
Chief Hanson slapped his wife hard, grabbed her by the throat before she could topple backwards and yelled obscene and derogatory remarks at her ear till Liam felt like he was deaf.
“Please Sir…” Liam pleaded once more. Liam wasn’t sure if he would be the next recipient of a beating but at least the man let off his wife that way, while he turned to Liam and yelled at him.
“Please Sir what? Let you go? HA! Forget about it! All this will end here. You have been a thorn in my side for the longest time. I had a feeling that you are still in the picture, after Steven told me about you and my slut of a daughter in the hallway at school all cozied up. For everybody to see! With scum like YOU! But no more. She is going to boarding school. Maybe there is hope yet to turn her into something decent. Luckily the man who runs it is my brother, so she will definitely be able to get in on short notice. Hope your little fuck in her bedroom tonight was worth it, cos there will be no more after tonight. On that note, Sally, tomorrow morning first thing call your woman’s doctor and get that whore of a daughter the next possible appointment to make sure he didn’t knock her up. And you go with her to that and bring me a written report from the doctor. I swear by all that is holy, if that little bitch is pregnant I will beat that brat out of her with my bare hands! That should teach her to never disobey me again!” he screamed at his sobbing wife.
“Sir, we never even had sex … I swear!” Liam told the truth.
“Spare me kid. Ah, there we go, they’re here. Your chariot awaits. Let’s see if this will wipe that arrogant smirk off your father’s mug once and for all.”
Mr. Hanson pulled him up from the chair and with another policeman in civil dress roughly dragged him to the waiting police car, instructing the officers on what to do.
Earlier that day – somewhere between Brindleton Bay and Windenburg
The car ride was mostly silent, until Blaine steered the car off the highway at the exit to Windenburg. Spring had sprung away temporarily and everything was covered in snow again. I was nearly fully recovered from my mystery illness.
“I just cannot believe you, babygirl. How could you keep that from me?” Blaine was shaking his head.
“Duh – because it was supposed to be a surprise.”
“Some surprise, I’ll say. I am surprised as fuck, that you would just go and do this. Without me. Or without even mentioning it in passing. And then make yourself so sick in the process, worrying me half into insanity.”
“Blaine … I meant well. And how was I supposed to know that paint fumes and paint thinner affect me so badly. I thought nothing can affect me unless it is one of the known culprits.”
“Still… if I only think about your lifeless body in the hallway. No, Vik, never do that to me again. ” Blaine shook his head again.
We finally arrived. Blaine turned off the car, inhaled deeply – which as I explained before, in vampires is always a sign of discomfort or dismay, since we just do not need to breathe – then opened the car door.
“Let’s do this.”
I handed him the key, he unlocked the front door of my childhood home. Soon we were engulfed in chemical smells, standing in a bare hallway, paint cans, brushes and other remodeling supplies as well as moving boxes everywhere. I just wordlessly followed a somewhat emotional Blaine through all rooms, where he opened the windows in each, until we ended in what used to be my room. All the old framed photographs were lining the floor. Blaine crouched down in front of a stack and looked through them. He stood back up rubbing the back of his head. I put my arm on him.
He turned to me, I was also emotional, then he just put an arm around me looking around the bare room, into the bare hallway.
We stood, wordlessly for a while until my sniffles from trying not to cry broke the silence.
“I am sorry Blaine-y. I should have told you, this was kind of your childhood home, too.”
He just pulled me close against him.
“Just why?” he asked
“It was going to be a surprise. For you. A big one.” I answered against his chest.
“You wanted to surprise me with chemical poisoning yourself? Or a made over house we will never use? Or are you trying to get rid of Liam this way?”
“Neither. I was going to sell it. I have on good authority that the owner of the Skyline is getting ready to sell. Don’t ask me how, but has to do with my work. So I was going to sell this for a good price and then put the money down to buy the Skyline for you.”
Blaine pushed me away from him just far enough so that he could look into my eyes, kissed me and pulled me back into an embrace.
“Oh babygirl. What am I going to do with you? You think I want to own a club? How am I supposed to deal with that when touring? Or is that your way of telling me you changed your mind about me leaving ‘Crashd N Burnd’?”
“Oh no. You do not have to be there to run it, you just own it and make money. The current manager is very happy with his job, and probably would not care who he reports to. Might as well be you.”
“Baby, you are just too much! I love you! Now, since the surprise is ruined anyway, might as well grab some brushes and get cracking. The sooner we sell, the faster we have the money to buy me a damn club. I don’t know how you knew that I had a pile of changes for it in mind already. Maybe you do know me better than I know myself. But once and for all – no more suicide missions just to surprise me, okay?”
We had just mixed some paint for swatches in what used to be the living room when my phone rang.
Unknown number. I answered, and my jaw dropped at the news.
“How do you like the view, kid? Better get used to it, this is probably where you will end up again and again for the rest of your life.” Chief of Police Hanson gleefully told Liam, who was looking at him from behind the bars of a holding cell, a scared teenage boy.
“But I didn’t do anything wrong … please … I did not touch your daughter … we love each other … I respect her … please!” Liam begged, but it would have been more fruitful to talk to a wall.
“Chief? The boy’s parents are here.” the hallway door had been buzzed open and a uniformed office stuck his head in.
“Let them wait. I’ll deal with them when I am damn well ready for it.” Hanson barked.
He taunted Liam some more, but eventually left. Liam felt hopeless.
Liam had been under the impression that having to be exposed to the heinous remarks of Hanson had been bad, but when he left, it became eerily quiet. There were no other prisoners in these holding cells, and it was so quiet that even the faintest sound echoed. Even his own thoughts felt like screams in this deafening silence.Eventually he sunk to the ground and cried, for desperation and frustration about all this injustice. Because he felt like a failure for having been unable to protect Leonie from all this. If only he were a full vampire yet. Teen vampires were no stronger than humans their age and had no special abilities, even their night vision was not too great. In the meantime Blaine and I had been sitting in the Chief’s office for almost 45 minutes now when he finally showed up.
Let’s just say that it did not go well. That man was not budging and even though Blaine and I remained as composed and courteous as we could, Liam remained in jail until a judge saw him. He was sentenced to a week of detention and then 2 months of community service after that, and this only with the help of Ezio’s attorney. But still – there would be a new entry on his juvenile criminal record.
We were not allowed to see him during his incarceration, and when we picked him up he was different. We feared he would have a relapse into his horror phase. Only time would tell.