Alice shields us from the rest of the bus with her wings. I reach behind my back, searching for any sign of a feather, but I find nothing. Completely human. Completely weak. I squint up into the morning sunlight. The vampires will be covering up soon.
‘Do? Do about what?’ I ask, my voice betraying a slight hysteria. She looks at me with genuine concern. ‘Alice, do you have any idea how weak I am now?’ I laugh. ‘I’m weaker than my own servant!’ my stomach growls. ‘And I’m hungry for human food!’
‘We should get some food then.’ Alice says simply. She gets up, pulling me with her and she half drags me down the aisle. ‘We need food,’ Her voice takes a commanding tone, one that I realise now I admire – I always have, ‘is there somewhere we can stop nearby?’ Beth grunts a reply and the bus shudders to a halt outside a diner. There’s a shopping centre close by, just within sight, too.
Alice steers me into the diner and I snap at her to stop pushing me around. Out of habit, she apologises and complies, but the moment she lets go of me, I wobble on my feet, unused to carrying any real weight with me, and far too weak to hold it up. She catches me again and we take the nearest seat to the door. I rest my elbows on the table surface and ball my fists up, putting my head on the curl of flesh and bone.
Alice orders something for me and when it arrives she pushes the plate towards me, but I don’t look up, or at the food. I glare at the cheap table as people from the bus come and go, getting food, carrying shopping. I can hear them all talking happily.
‘Sir... you need to eat.’ Alice says quietly, concern lacing her voice. Something tugs in my stomach. It’s not the hunger; it’s a reaction to her tone of voice. I flick my eyes up and meet hers.
‘Why are you still loyal, Alice?’ I ask, not touching the food.
‘Eat and I’ll answer.’ She says, a small smile lighting her false features. I hesitantly pick up the fork and look at the pile of... well they call it food. I would call it a pile of crap, personally, but my stomach grumbles again and I suddenly realise I don’t care. I shove the stuff in my mouth and try not to gag, waiting for her answer.