When I woke, I was alone. I pushed the coffin lid open and sat up. Phoenix was sat on a chair. I smiled at him but it wasn’t returned. The smile wavered and fell.
“Who’s Tyler?” he asked.
“What?” I asked, confused.
“Who is Tyler?” he asked again.
“Matt’s not the only one who talks in his sleep. You were talking about him. So who is he?”
“He’s my human ex-boyfriend.He was here last night. He’s obsessed with me.”
“We went out for a year. He didn’t listen to me when I told him it was over, two weeks ago. He began stalking me. That seems to be getting worse since I died.”
“Are you sure he’s an ex?”
“Of course I am,” I laughed.
He nodded and stood up. He lifted me out of the coffin and put me down. He kissed my cheek.
“What do you want to do?”
“Well, what time is it?”
“I guess about 10. The sun’s been down an hour or so.”
“Let’s go hunting. Just us.”
He grinned. “Let’s go. Window or door?”
“I like it.”
He opened the window and jumped down, not making a fuss. I went after him. He caught me in his arms. He put me down and held my hand. We walked out the gates.
The streets were desolate. Eventually we came across a group of teenagers, about my age. I nodded to Phoenix. He looked around, making sure we were alone except for the teenagers. There was no one else. He ran up the side of a building and crouched down on the roof.
I silently made my way to an alleyway. One of the boys noticed me in the shadows. I beckoned to him, curling my finger. He looked around and pointed at himself. I nodded.
He hurried over. I walked further into the shadows. He followed me. He was right behind me. I pushed him against the bare brick wall. I trailed my fingers down his chest. I pressed against him and moved my hips slightly. He gasped.
I moved my head, as if to rest it on his shoulder. I drove my fangs into his artery. I heard a whoosh as Phoenix dropped from the roof. He landed next to me. He joined me in draining the boy. When the boy was dead, he fell to the floor.
“Well that was horrible to watch,” he said.
“What was?” I asked.
“The way you drew him in. It was quite unnecessary.”
“You’re just jealous,” I taunted.
I moved closer to him and flicked his thigh. He laughed awkwardly.
“See? Jealous little Phoenix.”
“What have I got to be jealous of? He’s a human. And he’s dead.”
“So are you,” I reminded him.
“Yes, but he’s permanently dead.”
I smiled at him. I traced the veins on his face.
“Your eyes are red.”
“Yeah. Fully-fledged now, babe.”
His arms were around my waist. He pulled me to him and licked the blood from my lips.
“Waste not, want not,” he said.
“What does that mean?”
“No idea. My dad used to say it.”
“And mine. Must be a dad thing.”
“Must be. Let’s go for a walk.”
He kissed me gently and held my hand. We walked out of the alley and just wandered aimlessly. After a while, I started to recognise things. That tree, that house.
“Vanessa!” I heard someone shout.
I ignored it and carried on walking.
“Vanessa!” someone else shouted.
I looked around this time. It was Nate and Ben, leaning out of the door of my old home. I glared at them. Mum and Dad came rushing out of the house. They saw me and rushed to hug me. I dropped Phoenix’s hand. They were all in their pyjamas. I tensed as they hugged me.
“Vanessa?” asked Mum. She looked at Phoenix. “Who’s this?”
I gave Phoenix a panicked look that said, ‘Go home’.
“Who’s who?” I asked.
They looked at where Phoenix had been. Their eyebrows drew together but they shrugged.
“Come in.” They shoved me into the house.