“I have plans, remember?” I said, giving her a look that meant she should know what plans I was talking about. She looked at me blankly for a few minutes, but then she remembered and nodded.
“Yeah, I know a club we could go to.” Dale agreed and Sue and Chase nodded in agreement.
“So, when should we meet up there? About eight, nine?” I asked, happy now and starting again on my food.
“Do I have any say in this?” Louis asked, still a little angry.
“You act like we’re making you go. We’re not making you do anything and you can choose whether or not to show up.” I said, looking at him. He glared at me again and then looked down at his food. After that, no one talked, only eating until the bell rang and then we went our separate ways.
Louis and I went to Math together, but we didn’t talk to each other and there was a tense silence between us. Then, when the bell rang, I was glad to get out of there and I ran straight into Connelly’s arms. And the surprising thing was that he didn’t tense like Ivan had. My guess was that he had expected it.
“What’s the hurry?” he asked, his arms around me and his voice at my ear. I smiled as his breath raised the goose bumps on my neck and he laughed softly. He always seemed to find something so amusing about giving me goose bumps or raising the hairs on my neck. Just seeing him and being in his arms calmed me down, like his emotion controlling thing worked on me after all. Kinda.
“I needed you.” I said and then heard someone make a disgusted sound behind us. I turned around and saw Louis passing us.
“Oh shut up Louis.” I snarled and he didn’t look back as he continued down the hall with a stiff back.
“What’s going on between you two?” Connelly asked and I looked at him. He took my hand and we headed to gym.
“Oh, nothing really. He’s just being a butthead.” I said, looking down angrily.
“How?” he asked.
“He’s just aggravating is all. He gets all weird and upset when we mention you and me being together.” I said, looking up at Connelly for a second and then back at the floor.
“Oh. I don’t like him, but I never meant to mess up your friendship.” Connelly said, looking at me.
I looked at him and said, “No, don’t be sorry. It’s not your fault he doesn’t like you. If he can’t get past this or at least stop talking bad about you in front of me so we can still be close, then he never deserved to be my friend in the first place.”
He smiled and opened the gym doors for me. We went into the gym where the other students were doing their exercises and went through the doors across the room that led to the track. All the other students in our class that were doing the dance competition were out here, all the guys playing football and all the girls in groups either watching the boys or just talking.
We went to the bleachers and sat down, holding hands and me leaning back on Connelly’s chest. “So, anything I need to know before we go to meet your parents?” I asked, watching as Ivan played football with the boys while Sue sat and watched, Mira doing the same but up at the top of the bleachers opposite us. Ivan was quite well, but I suddenly worried if he would unintentionally overdo it and show what he was, but as I watched him throw the ball and play, it was obvious he wasn’t putting anything behind it, though it soared the length of the football field.
“Um, well you’re not meeting them tonight.” he said and I leaned away and looked at him.
“Why not?” I asked.
“Well we had some company with us last night — that’s why Amelia called me when she did. And well, they aren’t like us.” he said and looked at me, trying to tell me without saying the words. I gave him a confused look and shook my head.
“They don’t get their blood from animals.” he said and I gasped. I could feel the color drain from my face and I put my hand to my heart, it beating furiously.
“They don’t? They-They get it fr-from us?” I said, shock rising up to my ears and my eyes widening. These vampires were dangerous.
“Don’t worry, they’ll be gone by tomorrow.” he said, taking my hand and kissing it. I smiled softly, still a little shocked but better. I leaned into him and he put his arms around me.
“You see how dangerous this is for you? My family might be the good ones, but not all the company we have is like us.” he said this sadly, like a warning. I didn’t understand why he was saying it like that and I was scared of what it meant.
“What does that mean? Are you breaking up with me?” I asked, my face shocked and scared.
“No, no.” he said quickly. “It’s just that it’s very dangerous for you. You need to be careful because we can’t always tell when they’re going to show up. I mean, Ivan has some warning with his gift, but that might not be enough time for us to get you to safety. You understand?” He looked at me softly.
“Kinda.” I said and to my surprise, he laughed softly. I looked at him curiously, but he pulled me to him even tighter.
“Don’t worry. I’ll take care of you.” he said, his voice on the top of my head. I squeezed him tighter and snuggled my head against his chest, letting out a happy sigh.
Soon after that, Mrs. Peters came out and called us to separate, two groups going to the gym and two groups staying out here. We all practiced our dances and then Connelly drove me home. He walked me to the door, rubbed his cheek on mine, and brushed my lips softly with his hand. “Until Saturday.” he said, a smiled spreading across his face, lifting up to his eyes, my favorite cherry red. He then kissed my hand and suddenly disappeared home. I stood, star struck, for a moment, and then retreated inside.