On the couch in their living room, Everett and Katie were watching a movie when they heard someone clear their throat behind them. They turned, then got up.
“What do you think?” the girl in the party dress twirled, smiling.
“My goodness, who are you even!? You cannot be my little girl!” Everett exclaimed.
“Oh look at her Rett, a beautiful young woman!” Katie swooned.
“Girl! GIRL! She is still a girl! My girl! And yes, you look … amazing. Different.”
“Thanks. I am so excited!” Everleigh beamed.
“Do you need me to pick you up from Carol’s tomorrow morning or will her mom drive you?”
“Carol’s? Oh yeah, yeah .. no, her mom, she’ll drop me off.” Everleigh had almost forgotten her cover up lie about where she would spend the night. No way she could go up to her parents and burst her daddy’s last fragments of the bubble by telling him his ‘little girl’ is spending the night after the school dance at a hotel. With her boyfriend.
The thought alone made Evey queasy. Maybe she wasn’t ready.
Or maybe it would come to her, once the excitement wore off. The music and dancing and all … maybe that would do the trick. Hopefully.
“Smile baby!” Katie began snapping pictures as Evey posed while Rett looked on, his facial expression reflecting his inner roller coaster.
Why had nobody told him how horrible it feels when they grow up?
And his own parents went through this four times! Six, if you count the two adopted daughters, who were now young women in college.
Poor mom and dad!
The doorbell rang.
“Ooh, that’s Tyler! Quick, do I still look all right?” Everleigh asked hurried.
“Beautiful baby!” Katie hugged her daughter while Everett went to answer the door. There he was, the boyfriend. Nice kid. But his daughter’s BOYFRIEND.
Urgh. Had Everett known how all THIS felt, he would have never complained about having to change one single diaper.
Everett managed a smile, inviting Tyler in. A few pleasantries were exchanged, a quick hug for the boyfriend from Everleigh, a kiss for the parents and off they went.
After the door shut, Everett told Katie
“Just shoot me now. I don’t think I can do any of what comes after this.”
Katie hugged him while telling him
“Oh, come on, you wimp. She is happy, she is growing, healthy. We are doing everything right, babe! And you KNOW you want to walk that girl down the aisle one day.”
“Nope. I am now beginning to see my grandpa’s problem with weddings. Horror! Right now, I am glad we only have ONE girl. So glad the other kid is a BOY! And that we never had more children after Josh!”
“See. Aren’t you glad I keep you straight?” Katie smiled.
“I need a drink!”
Katie smiled, shaking her head. Poor Everett.
All the cousins plus boyfriends/girlfriends had shared a limosine. As they pulled up to the dance hall, as they all climbed out of the limo the girls were giggly, boys grinning.
Everyone’s first big dance event.
Four hours after that, everything was in full swing. Everybody had fun.
Until the first couples started disappearing. Tyler asked Evey for the fifth time now if she wanted to go to the hotel and she was running out of excuses and just nodded.
They took a cab over to the hotel. Walking up to the entrance Everleigh felt queasy again, her knees were shaky. ‘Strong woman’ she repeated in her head.
When the automatic doors of the entrance opened and they walked through, Evey felt like she was being lead to her execution. Was this feeling normal? Did everybody feel this way?
Her heart was beating fast, her knees shaking as he unlocked the room door and let her go in.
They stood there, both looking overwhelmed when he asked her if she wanted a soda. She shook her head.
‘Do something, you fool! Anything!‘ Evey told herself in her mind then kissed Tyler’s cheek.
This put things into motion. Encouraged by her kiss, Tyler pulled her closer, they started to make out.
The kiss grew more intense, he began to touch her, pull her to the bed with him, where they continued, while slowing beginning to peel away the first layers.
In between making out, now only in their underwear, he whispered in her ear
“Don’t worry, I have condoms.”
She stiffened. Somehow this had all become too real for her and she began wiggling away from him, slipped off the bed and stood awkwardly, then began dressing.
“What? I thought girls like it when the man is prepared. We don’t have to use it, if you don’t want to …”
“I can’t do this. Sorry Tyler …” Everleigh meant it.
He came over to her.
“What do you mean? Just come back. We can do it quickly to get it over with, so it is not so scary …”
“WHAT?” Everleigh looked like she was offered a cockroach sandwich, shaking her head, she turned on her heels and ran.
Out of the room, down the hall, down the stairs, out of the hotel, down the street. Silent tears were running down her cheeks.
This was not how she wanted it. How she had imagined it.
She had wanted it to be right, romantic, both of them really ready … the circumstances and location, everything just perfect.
Just like in the movies.
Wait … what? What the hell? Movies weren’t real. She knew better. Hell, her aunt was an actress and her uncle a screenwriter. She KNEW that was not how things went down. Idiot. Poor Tyler. This was all new to him too.
Of course he would say stupid stuff, just like she did.
She stopped on the spot, wiped her face, then turned back. What was she doing? This was stupid.
It would happen.
Just as planned.
Tyler had been so sweet and understanding, patient with her. He did not deserve this. Strong woman.
As she arrived back at the room, about 40 minutes later, hoping he had not left, she knocked.
The door opened, she smiled, but her smile faded when she realized Tyler was in his boxers and his dress shirt unbuttoned. As he stared at her in disbelief, she saw the girl on the bed, only in her lacey underwear and messed up hair. Everleigh wasn’t sure who that was, but knew her from school.
“Evey! I thought you were room service. Oh shit, I am sorry .. I … thought … you ….”
“What the hell Tyler?” Everleigh did not know what to say or think.
“Come on, what do you expect? I already paid for this room, wasn’t cheap. And you cannot keep doing this to a me, getting me all the way there all the time, then just leave me hanging. I thought tonight would be different. I have needs too….”
“You need a new girlfriend. Fuck you. Both of you!”
Evey ran again, but this time she would not come back.
Blinded by her tears she ran, then walked down some streets, mostly dark. She had no clue where she was, nor did she really care. A knife to the heart could not hurt worse than this.
“Little Leigh…” she heard a soft, deep voice.
“Heath!” she turned towards it and felt herself pulled into an embrace, where she remained, crying against his chest for what seemed like hours. He let her, never said another word, until she pulled away, all out of tears.
“Who hurt you so?”
“Nobody. Definitely a nobody. An asshole. Dick. Fucker!”
“A nobody by many names. Did he … touch you when he should not have?”
“No. He touched someone else when he shouldn’t have. But that’s okay now. Done. Over.”
“I see.” his calm deep voice worked soothing on her.
“I have never been more glad to see someone Heath. I am so glad you are here. I missed you.” her eyes began to well up again.
“Hold on to me, Little Leigh…” she wrapped her arms around him and heard the blurry sloshing sound she remembered from the one time when they were children. Just as it did not surprise her to find that he had taken her to the same location.
“I wanted so much to come back here again. Just didn’t know how to get here. Without you.”
“Every bit. Even the pinky swear. Hold me. Please.” she smiled at him.
“For as long as you need me to, Little Leigh.”
She looked up into those blueish purple eyes and suddenly, it didn’t even hurt so much anymore.
Weeks had passed since the Dance, school had started in the meantime and a sense of routine had set in. Everleigh avoided Tyler like the plague, and vice versa.
Evey dug around in her bag for the keys, then found them, turned them in the lock when someone grabbed her from behind, covering her mouth.
She was pulled backwards against her assailant, rendering her completely unable to move.
She was held tightly and pulled along into the now open door, which was then kicked shut behind them.
Her heart was racing, her eyes wide with fear, the grip still tight all when a voice hissed next to her ear.
“Not a sound.”
She nodded and was released. Immediately she turned and took a few steps backwards.
“KC!??!” her eyes grew even wider.
“Shhh… please. I am sorry about that. But … you know …there wasn’t another way.”
“What the hell, dude?! What are you doing here? Did they let you out early?”
“Sort of. I kinda helped them decide they wanted to.”
“OMG. You broke out of prison. OMG!”
“Calm down, please. I am sorry. I … did not know where else to go.”
“Did you … shoot anybody?”
“Shoot? With what? No, I did not kill anyone. I took the dump truck out. Long story. Please Evey, help me.”
Staring at him in disbelief, breathing heavily, Everleigh finally found her words
“Umm … how?”
“Can I hide here until dark. Please?”
“I … guess.”
“Please don’t be mad at me.”
“Mad at you? You broke out of prison and scare me half to death. Nah, why would I be mad, right?”
“I’ll go. Sorry … about everything.”
Resigned he headed for the door.
He stopped in his tracks, his eyes begging her.
“Thank you.” he looked relieved.
“You picked a good day, lil brother is away for the week on a school trip, my parents won’t be home till late, working dinner tonight with some clients. Speaking of, are you hungry?”
“All right. You go shower, cos man you stink, and I’ll make sandwiches.”
“Can we eat first?” his stomach growled loudly like a hungry wolf.
Evey watched him devour 4 loaded sandwiches, an entire bag of chips and two bananas until he finally seemed satisfied.
When he leaned back in his chair, she hit his leg.
“Nuh uh. Shower Stinky, NOW!”
“OK. But won’t do much good, my clothes stink too.”
“Take them off and I’ll wash them quickly.”
“Right here?” he smirked.
“NO! I don’t want to see THAT! Leave them outside the door of the bathroom, duh!”
He walked off, when Evey cleaned up the kitchen, put down her school bag in her room upstairs where the bathroom was, then grabbed his clothing and stuck it in the washing machine downstairs, grinning broadly as she added two extra scoops of fabric softener.
“Hope you like smelling extra ‘April Fresh’, cos you know, payback is a B.” she giggled, when she heard a car pull up to the driveway. When she saw her mother’s red car disappear in the garage she ran up the stairs and into the bathroom, luckily he had not locked up.
“Shit, shit, shit, shit!” she mumbled while locking the door, then leaning against it when KC stuck his head out of the shower. She put her finger against her lips, when someone knocked against the door.
“Evey, honey, are you in there? Don’t be startled, it’s mom, came home early, I have a migraine from hell. Can I get my meds please?”
“I’ll bring them out with me, when I am done, mom.”
“Just let me in.”
“I’m in the shower!”
“Dammit!” she whispered, then unlocked the door and jumped into the shower joining a very surprised KC, who opened up his mouth to say something at the same time the door opened, so Evey put her hand on his mouth.
“Evey, since when do you shower after school?”
“The bus was filthy today.” she said while KC pulled her hand off his mouth, suppressing a chuckle for which he earned a jab.
“Oh really? I thought Cameron drove you guys home. Oh well. I’ll be out in a sec.” Katie mumbled, it was obvious she wasn’t feeling well.
They listened to Katie rummaging through drawers, mumbling to herself, evidently not finding the pills, when Evey blushed in deepest shades of red as her eyes met KC’s, who was grinning from ear to ear, after he had caught her eyes wandering down his chest and below.
“OK, I’ll leave you to it then.” Katie called out, Evey heard the door open.
“Thank god. I mean thanks mom! Feel better!”
The door closed, Evey jumped out and locked it again. Standing in the middle of the bathroom, dripping wet in full clothing, when KC turned off the water and exited.
“Cover up, will you?!” she protested turning around.
“I figured there was not much left to surprise you at this point.” he grinned while wrapping a towel around his waist.
“Shut up. I was just … thinking in there. I didn’t see anything.” she blushed. It was a lie. She had seen a lot and it had discombobulated her.
KC was behind her now, leaning in, his voice low.
“If THAT helps you think … you want a refresher, let me know.”
“No thanks! And for your information, I have a boyfriend.” Evey did not know why she told him that.
“I’d have been surprised if you didn’t.”
A knock on the door.
“Goddamn it what now?” she whispered.
“Evey honey, are you running the washing machine?”
“Oh shit!” she hissed, out loud she said
“Yes mom, my ballet stuff…”
“OK. I am going to lay down now. Wake me if you need me. Daddy has that dinner tonight.”
“Okee dokee, mommy.” Evey yelled back.
“Okee dokee mommy???” KC mouthed grinning as she hit him.
“Shut up! This is not funny. All this is to save YOUR ass.”
He just raised his hands in defeat, smirking.
She stuck her head out into the hall, then pulled KC with her into her room, locking the door. He looked around.
“So you like dancing? Like tippy toeing and shit?” he asked looking at the framed art.
“I don’t tippy toe, I dance ballet. You wanna see?”
“At least 20 things I’d rather see you do come to mind, but yeah, sure, hit me with it.”
“Urgh.” Everleigh shook her head and sat down on her bed.
“So, you are not gonna do it now?”
“No. It’s an artform and no use wasting it on you, if you cannot appreciate it.”
“So you do not want to be a …. whatever your father is … anymore?” he asked sitting down next to her.
“Architect! Learn words, will ya? And yes, I still do, and will. I can do both.”
“Why are you so mad at me?”
“Are you serious? I am sitting on my bed in my room in my parents’ house with a near naked convict who just escaped from prison, while my mom is practically sleeping next door.”
“When you put it like that …”
“What other way is there?”
“Helping a friend…and me being near naked was YOUR idea, not mine. I would still be dressed and stinky if you hadn’t made me shower ….”
Everleigh facepalmed herself.
“If any of this comes out, I am so dead. I am in so much trouble…”
“YOU will be in trouble? I will be manhandled into solitary for at least a week while they tack at least 3 more years onto the 2 that I have left.”
“You could not have sat there for two more years and then just gone free?”
“No, Evey, I could not. I needed out. I needed air. Freedom.”
“I’ll go check on your clothes. You stay here. Actually no. If my mom comes in here and sees you …. so much of you… oh gawd no. You come with me.”
“Sounds good. The kitchen is downstairs. I could eat something if you got any more of those sandwiches you made. They were really good.”
“Do you have a tape worm?”
“I got a worm all right. I’d offer to show you, but think you already snuck a peek at him in the shower.”
“You are GROSS!”
“Nothing gross about it. All natural. And really clean.”
“Shut up! And I told you, I have a boyfriend.”
“Not like I asked you to marry me, Barbie.”
“Quit calling me that. I am not a Barbie!”
“Combat Barbie.” he chuckled.
“No such thing. Knock it off. And shut up. We need to go downstairs now.”
She made him more sandwiches that he inhaled just like the ones earlier, leaving Evey to wonder if he had a hollow leg. Where did he put all that food? There was not an ounce of fat on his body. OMG, she should not even know that. Erase, rewind.
The dryer was finally done and Evey could not stop laughing at KC’s face when she handed him his extra fluffy and very fragrant clothing.
He said nothing but smirked, with a ‘well, played’ expression on his face.
“You are definitely a very evil and dark Barbie these days.”
“Hanging with convicts will do that to a girl.”
“Looking at their goods in showers too.”
“Can you just let that go already?!”
“No, no I really cannot. I have had to share showers more times than I care to admit, but cannot remember one time where it was this fun.”
Luckily the migraine medications usually knocked Katie out cold for hours and she was still asleep when it got dark.
“Where will you go?” Everleigh asked KC as they were standing outside, he was about to make a run for it.
“Don’t know yet, but I will try to get in touch when it is safe.”
“Bad idea.” they heard a different voice.
KC took a combative stance, shielding Everleigh, who pushed him aside and ran into the new arrival’s arms.
KC stood by, motionless, his jaws clenched.
“I am so glad you are here!” she told Heath, who had folded his arms around her, eyeing KC, who was shooting Heath death stares.
“Heath, we need your help. He … umm..” Everleigh tried to explain
“I know. I’ll take him.” Heath replied as calmly as always.
“Thank you. KC, all you have to do is put your arms around Heath like so…”
“I am not hugging that!” KC looked upset, and was shaking his head.
“KC, he can take you away.”
“I am not going anywhere with him!”
“I don’t trust him. He is …. that’s a …. what the hell are you doing with one of those, Evey!?”
“He is my friend, like you. And stop arguing. Go.”
“I do not like this idea much myself, but she is right.” Heath stated.
“I ain’t huggin’ your dead ass and I am definitely not going anywhere with you. How stupid do you think I am!?” KC’s eyebrows were lowered, giving him a dangerous appearance.
“VERY stupid and ungrateful! Do you not realize that I risked my butt to help you and after all that you think I would let you go with him if I didn’t trust him?! I trust Heath with my life and he would never do anything to hurt me, meaning he won’t do anything to you, as I would never forgive him! You keep whining about not getting chances and when I try to help all you do is complain like a whiny little bitch!” Everleigh had talked herself into a rage, tears of frustration had started running and the two young men just looked on, stiffly, in amazement.
“Relax, I’ll go … sorry Evey ….” KC said stepping towards the vampire.
Heath just smiled and before he vanished with KC Evey heard him say
“You certainly enjoy smelling fresh.”
“Where the hell are we? What is this place?”
“We are obviously underground and apparently in a cave. So the answer should be just as obvious: an underground cave.”
“Smart ass! I can see why you and Evey get along. So .. how did you meet?”
“Long story. And a long time ago.”
“Do you have any food?” KC looked around the darkness.
“Hardly, since I do not eat and was not prepared for company.”
“Great. Starving in a dark underground cave with a vamp. I must have really pissed off Barbie this time.”
“She does not like it when you call her that.”
“How would you know?” KC asked annoyed.
“I know Evey.”
“Please do not tell me YOU are that boyfriend she keeps bringing up!”
“Of course not. You know that would be against the law.”
“Ok, Undead Captain Justice, since you seem to know everything, what is gonna happen next?”
“I cannot forsee the future.”
“I meant, what’s your plan?”
“I do not have a plan.”
“Then what the hell am I doing here?”
“For starters, being a nuisance.”
“Oh, I am so sorry, prissy. Forgot you probably have to go out and hunt some rats so you can digest them hanging upside down during the day.” KC barked at Heath, who did not even flinch.
“Ignorant people like you are what is wrong with this world.”
“No, the fact that you are dead, yet here I am arguing with your ass is what is wrong with this world.”
“If it were not for my ‘undead ass’ yours would be back in prison already.”
“You really think you are all that and a bag of chips, don’t you, you freak? I can fend very well for myself and would probably be sleeping in peace somewhere with a full belly. In fact, on that note, tell Evey I will get in touch when I can, but I am out of here now.”
“Ah, and what is going to stop me? Your pale skinny ass? Dream on.” KC tried to push past Heath, who with one hand around KC’s throat now lifted him straight off the ground, holding him up as he kicked, gargling.
“For a street kid you are very inept at anticipating the opposition. Never, ever underestimate a vampire. No matter how slight their appearance, even a toddler could take you out without much effort. For all I care you could walk out that door and straight into the cops’ arms. I care nothing about you. But I care a great deal about Everleigh and she asked me to look after you, to keep you safe, I gave her my word, which means something, so you will stay right here. For years, if must be. I have nothing but time. Forever.”
Heath tossed KC to the ground like a ball of paper. Then disappeared into the darkness of the cave, leaving KC shaken up as he laid on the ground coughing, trying to catch his breath.
Weeks later, in the open kitchen at their house, Katie leaned in closer to Everett as they were doing the dishes together, watching their daughter on the couch in the living room.
“I am concerned about Evey. She has been acting very strange these days. And large amounts of food keep going missing, I know it’s not Josh as he will whine for hours before making his own food, yet she is still skinny as a rail. I am worried she developed an eating disorder. She has become so secretive….”
“She is a teen girl. I don’t even want to fathom what goes on in her head right now…”
“I could tell you, but think you would have a heart attack.”
“Mercy. I have an idea and do not like it AT ALL.”
“I don’t think I have to tell you. Every time Tyler comes over he blushes when one of us talk to him. Not rocket science what he is thinking about. Actually, I haven’t seen Tyler in a while. Maybe they had a fight?”
“Do you think our little girl and he … have … you know …?”
“I don’t want to know that answer any more than you do Rett!”
“What have we done? We should have adopted a dog, not tried raising children! This is going to be the death of me.”
“And you wanted another one ….”
The TV show Everleigh had been watching was over, she looked at her wristwatch, then got up.
“Bye mom, bye dad. I’ll be back later…”
“Where are you going?”
“The park with my cousins.”
“I don’t think so, honey. That escaped convict is still out there. I think you should stay home until they caught him. He sounds dangerous.”
“Oh, he’s not. I mean, pretty sure they’re just exaggerating it all.”
“I still don’t like you going out alone. Why don’t you all meet at one of you guys’ houses. Or over here. That way if it gets later, there are parents to drive you.”
“You want to change my diaper, too?”
“For that comment you will stay here. You are NOT going anywhere young lady!”
“What? I am grounded for NOTHING? Are you kidding me?”
“Call it what you want, your butt is staying home. The end. If you want your cousins to complain to them, call them or invite them over.”
Everleigh exhaled. She didn’t want to see her cousins anyway. She wanted to go see Heath and KC. With a sack of food. Now what?
She sat in her room, watching it get dark when she saw Heath outside. She grabbed the bag with the food she had squirreled away, snuck out back, then climbed down the raised deck by the pool and ran into Heath’s arms.
Entering the cave she mimicked a French accent and called inside
“Room service … Monsieur McCoy … room seeeervice…”
“Oh thank god! I am starving! Hey Evey!” he hugged her and took the food from her, unpacking while already sampling and moaning with pleasure.
“This is some good shit!”
They spoke about trivial things when KC finally stopped eating.
“Jeeze dude! Are you pregnant?! This was supposed to last for several days.”
“It was good. Unless your pale friend raped me while I was asleep, I shouldn’t be pregnant. Can’t even remember the last time I got laid.”
“OK, topic change … TMI.”
“Why are you so uptight about all things sexual. Don’t tell me you are still a virgin. OMG you are! How is that even possible!? Is that Tyler dude gay?”
Evey’s face had almost deepened to a shade of purple.
“You are an asshole!”
“Sorry Barbie. Don’t be mad. I was just teasing. I’ll stop.”
“And how do you even know about Tyler? I never told you his name.”
“Your monochromatic sidekick did.”
“How does Heath…. never mind. And what did he tell you? I’m going to have words with him.”
“Why? Is Tyler supposed to be a secret?”
“No, but he is none of your business.”
“Why? I thought we are friends. Or is he so pathetic that you are ashamed?”
“No. For your information, he is very good looking, smart, kind, polite, my parents adore him,…” ‘and a no good sunnovabitch but that is none of your business either…‘ Evey added in her mind. She cared a lot about KC, but if she told him and he would lay his jokes on her, she would have a mental breakdown. Still a very sore subject.
“Excuse me? What they hell should I be dating according to you then? A Hell’s Angel?”
‘Me!’ KC thought, but just grinned about her outburst.
“Fine, I’ll show you a picture.” Evey pulled out her cell phone and held it up to KC’s face.
Staring at the grinning, hugging couple, a wave of jealousy went through him, but he forced a smirk when he said
“Looks exactly like I thought he would.”
Heath joined them now, so KC grabbed the phone from Evey and held it up to him.
“Evey’s flame!” he said gleefully. He knew that Heath liked Evey a lot more than just as a friend, too, and wanted to share the ugly feeling of jealousy he still felt.
Heath face remained unmoved.
“I know what he looks like. But why are you showing him a picture of your ex?”
“Shut up Heath! And how do you even know about him?”
“I told you that I keep an eye on you.”
“Fine. Ex. We broke up at the Dance, when I didn’t want to sleep with him and he already had a replacement handy. So now you know. Let the jokes begin.”
“No jokes. I know this hurts. I have been there. And Count Dracula probably has been too some hundred years ago, right bud?”
“Everybody faces their own heartbreak eventually.”
“There you have it, the oracle agrees. Not sure why you felt you had to lie about it. I don’t care if you have a boyfriend or not.”
“I just felt like such a loser, so replaceable. I thought he loved me.”
“Well, blue balls and raging testosterone make guys do the dumbest things. Also speaking from personal experience.”
“Blue … what?”
“If you keep dangling yourself in front of a guy, but never put out. Blue balls. Every man is familiar. Right Q-tip?”
“I do not engage in discussions about my most personal experiences.”
“OMG – I do not even know how to get through the school year. On top of all this mess, my parents are already babying me now, whenever they figure out Tyler is history … and that I didn’t tell them, because if I do, I’ll probably have to hold their hands whenever I leave the house …. oh boy. I cannot wait to be 18.”
“It’s not all that it’s said to be. Not much changes …” KC said, thinking ‘only that I could go to jail if I even as much as touched you’ and the irony of his thought made him chuckle.
“Hey, whitey, in your infinite wisdom, did you know that our little Barbie here is also a ballet dancer?”
“Of course I knew that. Very graceful at that.”
“You have watched me dance?”
“More than once.”
“Creep alert!” KC said.
“Her dance studio has floor to ceiling windows. Anybody can watch her.” Heath replied defensively.
“Touchy much?” KC grinned.
“Guys… you are both equally creepy. I do not even know why I try with you.”
“How am I creepy?!” KC protested.
“Want me to pick up one of your wanted posters? Or prefer the news alerts they still put out warning how dangerous you are? You are creepy all right!”
“I was hoping they would have forgotten about me by now. And how the fuck am I dangerous? I hid in a fucking dump truck and they drove me right out the gates. Did I squish an eggshell to death laying in that stench or what is their fucking problem with me?! Maybe I should try faking my own death.”
“Why fake it…?” Heath grinned.
“Look who thinks he has a sense of humor now. I should punch your lights out for being so arrogant!”
“I’d love to see you try.” Heath smirked.
“And I would love to go home now.”
“Evey .. not yet. We’ll stop.” KC looked scared, but caught himself and managed a smile instead.
“I have to. My parents are totally on edge about … well … you actually.”
Once back home, climbing in the same way she got out proved harder. While trying to pull herself back up, Evey was struggling to get a good grip when she saw a hand before her face. As she looked up, she looked into her father’s face. Not a happy face.
“I cannot believe you Evey! Sneaking out at night when you KNOW there is a dangerous man on the loose! Your mother and I were beside ourselves! We called the police. How embarrassing when we have to call them back to tell them out daughter had snuck out to see her cousin.”
Katie joined them now, her face a stern mask.
“Try again. Just got off the phone with Cailean. She asked to tell you she accidentally packed your green pen in school. She was very surprised when I asked why she did not give it to you earlier. Wanna guess why?”
“What?! Does that mean … ? Where were you then!?” Everett was fuming.
“Windenburg…” Evey told the truth, since she could not think of anything better.
“You went to … did you sleep with him?!” Katie asked shocked.
“What? No!? He is way too old for me.” Evey protested.
“Tyler is 16. Not even 5 months your senior. What are you talking about Evey?!” Katie was confused.
“Oh right … Tyler. Ah … umm … You know mom at my age, 1 month is like an eternity.” Everleigh stuttered, after she had almost exposed herself thinking about someone else, not Tyler.
“You are grounded! If you sneak out again, we will take away benefits. Phone, computer, TV, … you get the message?!”
Laying in bed that night she wondered what she had gotten herself tangled up in. And moreover how this was supposed to continue.
“Just come inside, that way I won’t get a trauma from constantly looking over my shoulder!” Evey whispered at Heath.
“No need. I would warn you. I can sense them. And you should never invite a vampire into your home.”
“I am not inviting ‘a vampire’ but my friend. And why the heck not?”
“You cannot keep saying ‘long story’ every time you do not want to talk about something. Be honest and say you do not want to talk about it.” Everleigh was tired of his evasive answers. She had asked him dozens if not hundreds of times about New Breed vampires, but he rarely answered anything.
“All right, I do not want to talk about it.” Heath smirked.
“Funny. I can tell you are spending time with KC. His smart ass ways are rubbing off on you.”
“He tells me the same thing about you and I.”
“You know what they say, Heath. Better a smartass than a dumbass.”
“Nobody would ever accuse you of the latter. All right, I’ll come inside with you.”
They snuck into her room, where she locked the door.
When she turned around she found Heath just standing there, calmly as always, smiling. In the bright lights of her room his purple eyes looked stunning. Her heart raced.
“Wanna sit?” she pointed at her bed, he nodded and sat, she joined him.
Trying to calm her nerves with him so close, right here, in her room, on her bed, she closed her eyes, then opened them wide when she felt his hand gently stroking her cheek. Her heart was about to beat out of her chest.
Kiss me, please please please just kiss me now. she thought to herself.
But he didn’t. Why did he have to be such a gentleman? Evey had known all along, but never admitted to herself that she had a major crush on him.
Her voice nearly failed her and sounded strangely raspy when she told him
“Please stay with me tonight.”
“I will stay until you fall asleep, Little Leigh…”
“No, I mean … can you … hold me?” Why was he not getting her drift?!
“I should go. Good night, Little Leigh…”
“Heath no, please. You don’t understand … what I meant was …” Evey struggled for the right words to say what she was trying to say without being too direct. Not like she was some cheap hoe throwing herself at some boy.
He put his finger against her lips, leaning forward Evey closed her eyes, expecting a kiss, when instead he whispered into her ear
“You know that is not possible. You deserve so much better. Until next time, beautiful angel.”
When she opened her eyes he was gone.
Silent tears of frustration and rejection began to stream.
Goddamn rules about interspecial relationships between mortals and New Breed vamps. And who would ever know? And why was she not pretty and tempting like those women on TV, whom no man – or vampire – could refuse.
Letting herself fall backwards onto her bed, mumbling to herself
“Great. The one who wanted me, I didn’t want which ruined the Summer Dance, and the one I want does not want me. If this is what life is gonna be like, kill me now!”