Gabby sprints away from the bus and before the snake guy can move I’m up out of my seat and yelling ‘I’ve got this!’ thankfully she was on the trail of a deer, when I caught up with her, and not the nearest human.

‘Seriously? Did Alex not teach you anything about how to control yourself?’ I ask, holding her at arm’s length by the shoulders. She’s crying but I ignore it. I shake her gently, digging my fingers in and she looks me in the eye without me having to ask her. She doesn’t need to answer my question, her expression is enough. I sigh. I should have tried to teach Alex stuff he needs to know. He wouldn’t have listened, though; he would have fought back and ignored me, and probably killed me if he had had the chance. He had been hunting me ever since, slowly losing control, giving me no chance to teach him. I grit my teeth. I know I’m just passing the blame off on him, when really I j know I didn’t try to help.

‘It’s my fault, Gabby. Sorry.’ I say, letting go of her. ‘Let’s go find something to eat, then I can help you. Hopefully.’ I start to walk off to hunt down a bunch of animals for us both, but I stop short, realising Gabby isn’t following.

‘What’s wrong?’ I ask. She’s looking at me oddly, her red tinted eyes menacing in the piercing sunlight. ‘Whatever it is, can we get out of the sun before I burn up?’

‘What do you mean “your fault”?’ she asks me slowly, not moving.

‘I will explain if you come out of the sun.’ I tell her, trying to draw her into the shade nearby. The sun’s tingle is quickly becoming a searing pain on the back of my neck. I’m regretting not putting my hoodie back on. My arms feel a lot like they are on fire and I growl at Gabby dangerously before tear off to the shade. Quietly and unhurriedly, Gabby follows me. She finds me leaning against a tree, rubbing my arms, wincing.

‘What do you mean “your fault”?’ she repeats. I look her in the eye.

‘Alex...’ I start quietly, dreading her reaction. ‘I was the one that turned Alex into a vampire.’ She hisses angrily. ‘I’m the one to blame, Gabby. I should have taken him in, taught him how to survive, but I didn’t. A mix of self preservation and cowardice.’ She launches herself at me without warning, trying to grab my throat. ‘Stupid half blood!’ I shout, holding her off. I pin her against a tree. ‘You think you can hurt me? You’re still half human! A mongrel, if ever I saw one!’ I spit on the ground at her feet and she screams at me. The sound reverberates around my ear drums, and though it hurts my ears, I stand my ground.

‘You monster!’ she screeches. ‘Filthy son of a b*tch! Do you have any idea how much Alex hated himself because of what you did to him? How hurt he was?’ she struggles against my forceful grip. ‘Let go of me!’ she brings her knee up to my groin and I recoil, my hands slipping from her arms.

‘Gabby!’ I roar, chasing her through the dense woodland. Keeping up with her is easy; it’s getting her to listen that’s the hard part. ‘Whatever you do, do not leave the bus until you know what you need to! Gabby!’ she doesn’t look at me, just keeps running. I look at her and delve into her mind. I can tell when I’m not being told something.

‘Wait!’ I shout in a commanding tone. I force Gabby to stop, flexing my powers on her. She freezes and I make her look at me. ‘You forced yourself on Alex, knowing just how much he hates what he is, and then made him turn you, so you could fulfil your sadistic dream of becoming a vampire? No wonder it didn’t work! He didn’t want to turn you!’ we stand in the thick woods, surrounded by nothing but trees, staring at each other.

The End

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