“Yes, you did,” she said firmly. “How dare you?! Take off without a word! Then turn up and give me a note before leaving again! Where the hell have you been?” she demanded.
“Look, Beth, I’m sorry, about leaving. I don’t really have an excuse for it, I just... I panicked, okay?”
“You panicked? About what?” she said in a softer tone. The look in his eyes tugged at her heart.
“What do you think? Beth, we kissed. Do you have any idea what Alex would do to me if he found out? Well, what he would try to do at least. He’d try and kill me, and I’d have to defend myself. I don’t want to have to kill my little brother.”
Beth stared up at him. She’d never heard Robert say something like that.
“But... did you not like it?” she whispered, blushing. Why was she even thinking about that right now?
“Of course I did, angioletto. Why do you think I left? I’ve never... I’ve not cared about any of the girls I’ve kissed for a hundred and sixty years.”
“Who was the last?” Beth asked quietly.
“Catalin. And I only cared about her because she’s my sister. I loved her, but like the sister she is, not anything else.”
“But I thought... I thought you two had, you know...” Beth blushed.
Robert’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. “Of course not; we’re siblings. We shared blood, yes, but nothing beyond that.”
“Oh,” Beth murmured, looking down at the grass.
“Besides, I’ve never...”
“Really?” Robert’s pale face took on the slightest shade of pink. He was as embarrassed as Beth was. “Let’s not talk about this,” she said quickly.
“Let’s not,” he agreed.
“Where did you go?” she asked.
“I went to stay with a friend for a little while. I came back on Wednesday and gave you that note. I’m sorry about not coming to at least talk to you. I just had some things that needed doing.”
“‘Things’?” Beth asked. She smiled to herself; that had been one of the first things Robert had said to her.
“Spying, mainly, to be honest. Not you, don’t worry,” he said hurriedly when she looked worried. “Mainly on a certain trio of vampire hunters. Speaking of which, would you care to assist me with some breaking and entering?”
Beth’s eyes narrowed and Robert laughed. “Who’s house?” she asked.
“Miranda and Liam Perry, the hunters your teacher told us about.”
“Would we be burgling?” Beth asked cautiously.
“No, just snooping.”
“Let’s go then,” she said enthusiastically, making Robert chuckle.