Chapter Nine part twoMature

“He doesn't know,” Rowan said, putting the plate back into its cupboard.
“Then how does he plan to find out?” Rowan glanced back at her and sighed himself.
“I don't know. I'm not a mind-reader like Leon. Though even he struggles to intrude Caric's thoughts. Ancients are all a little odd and hard to predict. A side-effect of living so long I guess,” Rowan said. He saw the questioning look and answered the unspoken question.
“I don't know the exact figure, but he was around when places like London were still villages,” he said and Zoe felt her jaw physically drop.
“It's creepy to think my mum slept with a guy so much older than him,” she muttered and heard Rowan burst into laughter. The easy sound of it took her by surprise and she found herself watching him as he tried to recompose himself, the traces of a true smile still on his face.

“What about you? Are you a few hundred years old too?” Zoe asked with a raised eyebrow. Figuring she may as well go with the easygoing mood while it was there.
“No. I'm not like Caric. And I'm not turned like Jarred. I'm a born vampire. What you and Glenn would be if it weren't for your heritage,” Rowan explained. If he was thinking before he spoke Zoe couldn't sense it.
“Born vampire? So what would that mean for me and Glenn if it had been a normal vampire who had been our dad?” Zoe asked. Rowan slid down the side of the counter and sat on the floor with crossed legs and thought.
“It would've meant that during adolescence you would've gone through a vampric change as well as puberty,” Rowan said. Zoe eyes widened.
“On top of puberty? Wow, bet that was fun,” Zoe muttered sarcastically. Rowan laughed again, though not as loud as before. All the same the sound made Zoe wonder about him. Up until now she had thought of Rowan as emotionless.

“So seriously, how old are you?” she asked, because otherwise it'd bug her for days.
“Twenty-one, but I changed at fifteen. Young for most,” he replied. So in vampire terms he was wiser than most? Zoe wasn't sure how this supernatural world worked, but knew she'd need to figure it out.
“So does Caric mean we can never be vampires?” Not that Zoe had any intention of becoming a blood sucker. She just wanted as many answers as she could get while Rowan was being forthcoming about it. Rowan shook his head and she saw the mask return. For some reason she found that upsetting her. She dismissed it as being upset by her probable lack of explanation from this point on.
“You could be turned. But you wouldn't be like other turned vampires. The ancient blood means you'd be fully consumed by blood lust. There wouldn't be a shred of humanity left in you,” Rowan explained. His voice empty as he spoke. He raised his chocolate eyes to her blue ones.

“It wouldn't be a life,” he said. And something about the softness and the way his eyes studied her made Zoe waver.
“I, I wasn't thinking about. I would never want that. I was just. I want to know about this stuff,” Zoe stumbled. Wondering why she was feeling so flustered all of a sudden.
“Well, Caric wants certain things censored. So if you want to know everything there is to know. You're going to have to word some of your questions well,” Rowan said, standing up and flashing a forced smile. Zoe noted his words and wondered why he'd try to help.
“So, you want to go out? It's dark now, so most we can do is help the acts get ready,” Rowan said. Zoe hesitated before giving a small nod. She stood up and followed him. Immediately shivering against the cold wind. She glanced to her side to find Rowan gone then he reappeared with a jumper. It was a lot bigger than hers and she knew from seeing Glenn earlier that it wasn't his.

“It's clean, so no icky boy smell,” Rowan said with a barely contained laugh. Zoe felt herself grow flustered again and quickly mumbled a thanks as she took it. Telling herself to stop acting foolish as she pulled the material over her head.
“You've been talking to Glenn?” Zoe asked and Rowan shook his head.
“No, but your face is as easy to read as a book,” he replied and Zoe felt a wave of indignation spread through her.

The End

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