Basilic looks pretty gutted as the new guy refuses to talk to him, but then as he moves seats... next to me... it’s definitely my turn to be gutted. And with this guy, that’s a literal possibility. He scowls at the back of the chair in front of him and I press myself up against the side of the bus, doing my best not to get too close.

I can feel the bruising fading on my ribs and to test it, I poke them tentatively.

‘Christ, what was on that knife?’ I wheeze, mainly just talking to myself – yeah, I know I’m a nutter, you don’t need to tell me. But I kinda hope, as I speak, that the guy with the answer next to me will actually tell me. The guy was silent for a while before he answered.

‘Monksbane. Deadly to anything, so I’m told.’ He says coldly, but I’m sure I can hear him fighting back a hint of guilt. I smother a smile.

‘Whoever told you that,’ I reply, ‘is a bit of an idiot. Either that or they had never tried killing a vampire with it.’ I finish poking my ribs. ‘I’m fine, now.’ I tell him bluntly.

‘Yeah, well my uncle is not an idiot; he’s just never had trouble with your kind. He probably meant things that were already alive to kill.’ He spits the words at me, disgust spiking through each one. I get the sense that he’s a little incredulous that he’s even sitting next to me. I look up and see Basilic still glaring at the guy next to me.

‘I think that Basilic wants a word with you...’ I trail off, unable to finish my sentence as I don’t know the guy’s name.

‘Tough,’ the guy says, not even glancing at Bas. ‘What do I care whether he wants to talk to me or not?’ I look at Bas who replies:

‘You should. You won’t get far on this bus without friends.’ He growls. Marco doesn’t look up.

‘Friends? Why would I want to be friends with any of you lot? I prefer to keep acquaintances to my own species, as much as possible,’ he replies, his voice cold. I gape at him, hardly daring believe my own ears.

‘Isn’t that a tad narrow minded? Basilic isn’t so bad. And I don’t really care if you don’t like me, but hating me just cause I have a dietary requirement that you don’t is a bit harsh.’ I scowl at him and hope he feels even a little bit guilty.

The End

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