Gabby disappears off to the back of the bus in a strop or whatever and before I can be bothered enough to go apologise for being a dick, a new guy gets on. He looks like one of those self-assured guys that could make even the most confident feel insecure. I don’t know why, but as he looked around and sat down, I felt oddly threatened. The feeling went as quickly as it had come and I shook my head. I’ve spent too much time on this bus. It’s made me suspicious of every fool that gets on. He smells human, certainly, but there’s something that just feels wrong. Isn’t it supposed to be women that get weird little premonitions like this? I dunno. I shake the feeling off and, bored of arguing with Gabby, I get up and sit across from the guy.
‘Hi,’ I say. The guy looks up at me, suspicion in his eyes. I smile at him a little, trying to ease his mind a little, but he looks a lot like he would rather not talk for a moment and seems a little lost in his thoughts.
‘Hello,’ he replies slowly, weighing his speech, keeping his tone polite, rather than friendly. Which is a pretty big contrast next to my own friendly, relaxed speech and manner.
‘No need to be so hesitant,’ I laugh a little, for some reason his polite manner making me a tad nervous. I feel odd again, but I push it aside.
‘Isn’t there?’ the suspicion in his eyes creeps into his voice. ‘I have no idea who you are, why should I trust you?’ he watches me carefully. Creepy.
‘My bad,’ I say, ‘I’m Alex. And I never said you had to trust me right off! There’s just no need to be so... frosty...’ I bite my lower lip a little. He scowls a little, but hides it quickly.
'Yeah? Well, I still have no idea about you. I know your first name. That won't help me get anywhere. It's a good thing you didn't ask me to trust you straight away, because that would have led to even more mistrust. When you're me, you don't trust anyone... Even your uncle.' He loses his cold composure for a second, but he regains it in the blink of an eye. 'Let alone someone like you.’ I sigh.
‘Sorry, you sound like you would rather I left you alone. This bus gets a bit crazy, just so you know. I’ll maybe talk to you later,’ I get up to leave but his next words stop me short and I turn incredulously to face him as he speaks.
‘Well a bus that carries so many... unique people is bound to get a little odd, isn’t it? And how do you know there’ll be a later, vampire? Maybe you’re the one I’m here to... see.’ As he speaks, his voice becomes harder than a diamond and it takes a lot of effort to keep my jaw from hitting the ground.
‘You must be looking for Konrad, not me. He’s sure to have done more damage to the world than I have.’ I narrow my eyes slightly, trying to judge his demeanour, but he’s impossible to read. He falters and I smother a smile.
‘Who?’ he asks, surprised I was able to keep my head when he indicated he was a hunter.
‘Some hunter you are then,’ I let my smile show now. ‘Even I knew about the elders when I was a hunter.’
‘Who said I was a hunter?’ He asks, continuing before I can answer, ‘Who says this isn’t personal, between me and you, eh?’ He seems to have recovered that hostile composure again and I scowl at him, the answers to his questions ready for him the moment he finishes babbling. He peels the bottom of his hoodie up a little, showing me a long, particularly sharp looking knife. The knife was also rather ornamental and oddly enough it didn’t intimidate me at all. I could do worse with my hands than that knife could do. ‘Run, little vampire. Before you really get on my nerves.’ He flashes me a little smile, though his expression remains detached and cold. I just laugh.
‘Well, you sure act like a hunter. In answer to your second question no one did. Though if you annoy me enough, I’m sure I’ll be able to persuade Konrad to let me hurt you.’ I cross my arms and hold his eye contact with an icy glare. ‘But I’m not running anywhere, mate. Don’t bother trying to intimidate me with your fancy knives, you know as well as I do that I’m capable of doing twice the damage they’ll do with nothing.’ I change my mind about going back to my seat, instead I – in typical male fashion – sit back on the empty seats across from him, matching his calm, confident pose. I don’t feel quite as confident as he looks, but the feeling of threat that I got from him seems to have disappeared.