“What have you got for us this time?” Tawny asked the figure striding into the manor house.
“Well, it’s not much but… There’s a rogue vampire just on the outskirts of town. Goes by the name of Raphael. Anybody that stumbles out of town gets wasted. It’s trash like that that need to be taken care of” the Southern twanged voice of Nate Rutherford said.
“You’re one to talk, mister. How many people in this room are rogues? Just you? That’s what I thought” Tawny said sweetly.
I still couldn’t believe it. Nate was a vampire. I’d known him since I was a kid. How could he be a vampire? I sat on one of the sofas in Libellule Manor, staring at him. He wasn’t aware that I was the “legendary half-blood” and none of the other vampires had thought to tell him. They seemed to regard themselves as higher than him, almost as if they were the nobility and he was a pauper. The only person who seemed to treat him as an equal was Tawny. She was the one who had broken the news to us when Nate stormed round to the manor demanding to know who had been trashing his square. She’d known all along that he was a vampire, ever since the day she walked me to school. And it was her that had welcomed him into the gang, reassuring him that “The Union doesn’t have to know”. Any mention of “The Union” sent him into a panicked frenzy. I had been living with the vampires for the best part of a month and still had no idea what The Union was or what it did and whenever I asked any of them about it they managed to find a way of skirting around it.
“Yeah but I don’t go around killing defenceless humans” Nate said as he sat next to Tawny.
Tawny smiled and shook her head. Her hair had gotten longer over the past few weeks. I didn’t think vampires could grow their hair. Then again, lately I’d learnt not to pay attention to what the movies said about vampires. For a start, vampire life wasn’t all sex, drugs and blood. Blood sustained them just as food sustains us. Us being humans. Although lately I hadn’t been eating as much. I didn’t feel the need to. Tawny said it was because more of me was becoming a vampire each day. That could only mean one thing: eventually I would have to depend on blood entirely. Fang had tried giving me some blood the other day, disguising it as some kind of juice. It had just made me sick. He spent three days apologising and asking how he could make it up to me.
“Do The Union know about him?” Aya’s deep voice asked.
I hadn’t seen him much. He spent most of his time with Morrigan, whether it was missions or relaxing and I have to admit I was a little jealous.
“Yes, and they’re willing to turn a blind eye as long as he leaves enough humans alive” Nate said with disgust.
“So what exactly do you want us to do? If The Union’s turning a blind eye then so should we”.
Aya had always treated Nate the worst. Fang acted better than Nate as a sign of who was in control and the twins did because they thought the English were better than the Americans. Aya, however, had no reasoning behind it. Daily he would beat him down and find some way or another to belittle him. It wasn’t the Aya I knew and it scared me how much he could unjustly hate one person.
“So you’re fine with him slaughtering humans? What if it was Hallie?”
“Well if Hallie was on the outskirts of town, one of us would be there to protect her. You know, it really amazes me just how stupid you really can be”.
The two vampires glared at each other. Aya’s hostile eyes easily overpowered Nate’s gentle pale green eyes. Nate was forced to look away. Aya glared for a while longer before looking away. I caught his eye. He didn’t look too happy about it.
“Aya, can I talk to you for a second” I asked, standing up.
He sighed and followed me out of the room.
“What?” he asked, sounding like an uninterested teenager.
“Is… Have I done something wrong?”
He frowned. “If you’re just going to ask stupid questions then I’m going back in there”.
“Seriously. Did I do something to upset you?”
“So, I did do something”.
“No. It’s… It’s complicated. Is that all you wanted?”
“If I didn’t do anything then why are you ignoring me? Ever since the thing with Apollo you’ve been avoiding me and I want to know why”.
“I told you, it’s complicated”.
“I think I’m living beyond the border of complicated, Aya”
He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. I’d never seen him do that before.
“You really want to know?” he shouted.
“Yes I really want to know”.
“Fine. You wont like it but fine. I’ve been ignoring you for two reasons. Firstly because I promised Morrigan and Fang and secondly because, well, because I don’t care for you anymore. Blade’s gone, why do we still need to protect you? In a few months time you’ll be a vampire anyway and you wont need our protection. I couldn’t care less if you walked out of here right now” he said angrily and stormed into the other room.
Six words rang through my ears. “I don’t care for you anymore”. I’d gotten along best with Aya and Morrigan. Had his friendship been a lie? How could he just stop caring about someone? Had the others stopped caring too? One of the only friends I had had basically just become my enemy. O at least, I’d become his enemy. I stumbled back into the room and sat on another of the many sofas. The silence in the room was deafening. In the end it was Tawny who broke the silence.
“Same plan as usual?”