“Oh,” he said. “Well he obviously wasn’t worth it.”
A faint smile appeared on my face. “Obviously.”
“Does your name happen to be Vanessa?” he asked.
I paused. “Why?”
“You remind me of someone from my school. She went missing about a week ago.”
“Vanessa Casella,” I whispered.
“Yeah, that’s her. You know her?”
“She was murdered a few hours ago.”
He paled. “How do you know?”
“I was there.”
“W-where did she go when she vanished?”
“She lived with some new friends. You’d call them freaks.”
“How do you know what I’d call them?”
“Vanessa talked about you a lot, Kai Davidson.”
“What’s your name?”
“’Vein’? As in, V-E-I-N?”
“That’s me. Do you know Tyler Chadfield?” I asked, already knowing the answer.
“Yeah, he’s my best friend.”
“Will you make sure he hears that Vanessa was murdered?”
“Okay. So this bastard for a boyfriend of yours, how did you find out he was cheating?”
“I came downstairs, and... He had his hands all over her. He doesn’t know that I know.”
“He lives with you?”
“Technically we live in a house with several others.”
“So are you one of the friends that Vanessa lived with before she was...” He couldn’t even finish the sentence.
“Yeah. She was welcomed into the Coven,” I whispered, in a world of my own.
“Coven? Are you, like, part of a cult or something?”
“You could say that.”
I sighed and dropped my head into my hands. I pushed my hair right back. Kai glanced at my neck and took on a wary expression.
“Are you part of the cult that’s going round and biting people?” he asked guardedly.
I looked at him. He was startled by my red eyes. “Why you ask?”
“You have a bite mark on your neck.”
In a move so fast he didn’t have time to register it, I grabbed his hair. I hissed at him and turned to smoke. I watched him from the ground. His face was white. He looked around, picked up his backpack and ran off. I put myself back together and sat on the bench.
“Why leave him alive?” asked a deep voice from the shadows.
When I didn’t answer, they stepped into the light. It was a man, about 30 years old. His skin was tanned. His eyes were a pale blue. The nails on his hands were torn and short.
“Why leave him alive?” he asked again.
I continued looking over him. His clothes were dirty but his overcoat was clean. There was a ring on his left hand. The ring was bronze and held a small dragon. I back flipped over the African violets and crouched down. I hissed at the man and back away.
“Neonian,” I whispered maliciously.
“What?” he asked.
“So you are a vampire. How many of you are there?” I didn’t answer.
He glanced at my arm, which was covering my pistol. I pulled it out and aimed it at him. He stopped still. He looked over my head.
Something hit the back of my head and I fell to my knees. I looked up just in time to see the man kick me onto my back. I lay there on the hard concrete, unconscious.