I smell the blood before we're even there. I feel sick and try to hold my breath, but I know I'm only feeling sick because I'm really bloody hungry... No pun intended.
We'd cleaned up after the whole Mickey thing. I'm not sure who had hated that more, me or Gabby. Probably Gabby, I mean, she's not used to this. But then again, I killed someone I didn't really want to kill once more, and I'm too used to all this. The sharp reminder of what I've dragged Gabby into wasn't fun.
She didn't like it, but we took the car back. It gave me shade, and by that point, I really needed it.
So anyways, we're getting close to the hotel, the shining replacement bus not far ahead of us, and we both smell this blood. Gabby swears under her breath and glances up at me anxiously. My grip on the steering wheel is too tight, my knuckles turning white as I crush it, and I use my other hand to cover my nose.
It doesn't work, by the way. I've already smelt it, and the memory of the taste is in the back of my throat like a bad dream. And - I've still not got used to this feeling - but I want it so bad.
"Umm... Mind if we go somewhere else for a bit? As much as I love everyone on the bus, I don't think it'd be a good idea for me to go in there like this..." I catch sight of myself in the rear view mirror and almost crash into the cars on the other side of the street. I look like something out of my worst nightmares. Red eyes, pallid skin and unwashed, unshaven.
"Sure... are you okay?" She bites her lower lip, that nervous look still in her eyes. I'm not surprised, now I've seen how I look!
"Just hungry," I try to smile reassuringly, but it fails. Epically. She reaches forward and pushes one side of my mouth up with her finger.
"Smile." I do love that girl. I half laugh, pushing a full smile onto my face.
"Better?" she nods and half smiles, and I can't resist. I reach over and prod the corner of her mouth up gently. Her lips part and she bites my finger lightly. I scowl and she giggles, not letting go. I leave my finger in her mouth, rolling my eyes, but the smile on my face is at least a bit more genuine as I drive to the other side of the town.
She licks finger thoughtfully for a moment before announcing: "You taste nice."
"Why thank you," I laugh, pulling up at the edge of the town, not face from the shops.
"So, who are we gonna eat today?" she asks brightly, attempting to sound cheerful, but she can't hide the small cringe. I sigh and lean over, kissing her on the cheek before pulling the key out of the ignition.
"Dunno. See who takes our fancy, hmm?" I ask in an equally falsely happy voice.
"Yay," she grimaces and I smile weakly.
"C'mon," I mutter, getting out of the car, "let's go before I kill the whole town, eh?"
"Probably a good idea," she smiles and gets out of the car. I walk around and take her hand, not bothering to lock the car as we wander off to hang around outside a shop, as seems to have become a routine now.