Beth looked over his face for a moment and turned to look out of the window. It was too dark to see anything other than her own reflection. She was pleased with her hair and was glad that she didn’t look too tired.
“Beth?” Robert said hesitantly.
“Hm?” she replied, turning to look at him again.
“I was thinking, maybe it would be safer if you stayed at mine on a more... permanent basis.”
Beth’s eyebrows shot up. “You mean, move in?”
“It’s stupid isn’t it?”
“No,” Beth said, shaking her head vigorously. “I’d love to move in with you, Robert.”
Beth couldn’t help her grin and loved his answering grin.
“When?” she asked.
“Whenever you want.”
Robert grinned at her, his eyes glittering with something she hadn’t seen in him before: joy. Beth was so excited she was practically bouncing in her seat. She was planning out in her head exactly what she would need to stuff into her largest overnight bag.
When Robert pulled up outside her house, she let go of his hand and climbed out of the car.
“Wait here. I’ll be back in five minutes,” she told him.
He nodded and she shut the door. Bouncing up the path, she opened the door and started upstairs before she was called back by her mother.
“Did you have a nice night, Beth?” she asked.
“Yeah.” She looked around for her father, who was nowhere to be seen. “Mum, I’m moving out.”
“Oh, are you? When?” she asked.
“Now? But... where are you going?”
“Not too far.”
“Is this about Robert?”
“No,” she lied.
“Beth, I know he’s a vampire,” she said firmly.
“I know you know but I just don’t care.”
Her mother stood up abruptly and began shouting.
“You are not leaving!”
“I’m legally allowed to,” Beth responded at normal volume, trying to stay civil.
“You’re not moving in with a vampire!”
“I don’t care what you say, Mum.”
Beth turned around and hurried up the stairs, ignoring her mother’s stream of shouting. She pulled a large bag out of the wardrobe in her room and starting dragging things out of drawers and shoving them into the bag. She looked around her room for anything she’d missed. There wasn’t anything really. She had her phone, laptop, chargers, et cetera. She grabbed a couple more sensible pairs of shoes and put them in too.
She’d just finished when her mother walked in.
“I’ve just called your father. He’s on his way home right now to stop you.”
“Mum. You can’t stop me leaving. I’m legally allowed to move out.”
Of course, more shouting ensued. Beth finally gave up trying to be civil and started shouting back. Her mother moved to slap her but suddenly Robert was standing in front of her, Mrs Stuart’s wrist in his grasp. Beth could feel the anger rolling off him in waves. Beth was still shocked that her mother had been about to slap her.