“Fine. Bryan will be in town anyway,” Penny shrugged. Bryan spent most of the car journey either shooting glances at the rear-view mirror at Diane or staring boredly at the road. At least he was a better driver than Penny.
“Don't do anything stupid,” he said to me when we reached the club. I rolled my eyes at him, not bothering to reply. I wasn't about to go anywhere near a vampire on my own. Inside dance music was blaring. Multi-coloured lights threw dizzying displays onto the dark walls.
“Drinks?” Diane suggested.
“I'll pass,” I replied. I wasn't going to risk the loss of hand-eye co-ordination until I was sure the vampires weren't about. She shrugged and headed to the bar while I found us a table. I watched people dance for a while, before checking on Diane. I felt my stomach lurch when I realised who was talking to her. She was smiling shyly at whatever he said. I stood up and headed over but a manicured hand on my chest stopped me. The owner of it standing to my side.
“What are you about to do, mutt?” I recognised the voice from yesterday.
“Stop my friend from talking to a dick,” I replied calmly. She laughed and spun me so I was facing her. I still shot glances over my shoulder at Diane. One caught the bulky guy's attention and he grinned, flashing fang.
“Don't you trust us to follow the rules? We won't kill her, so how about you just back off?” the girl suggested. Her straight, near-white hair matched her skin tone.
“Sorry, but you're not feeding on my friend,” I said. I tuned away and approached Diane and the guy. I managed to remember what William had called him. How I remembered William's name I wasn't sure.
“Francis,” I said. I saw mild surprise flint over his features. Diane looked at me, obviously seeing my clenched jaw.
“You two know each other?” she asked.
“Something like that,” I murmured. Francis smirked at me and pushed off the bar.
“Feel like another round?” he asked. The sensible part of my brain was saying I should ignore his comment, grab Diane's hand and leave. But the part that hated him for even talking to my best friend made me want to punch him.
“Wait, your the guy that beat Luca up?” Diane asked, straightening up as she added the conversation up. Francis blinked at her, confused by how she placed herself in front of me.
“Let's go,” I suggested. She glanced at me, mouth wide. Clearly she wanted to yell at him more.
“Luca-” I sent her a silent pleading look that cut her off. She clenched her teeth, her feet stomping a little on the spot. She let out a sigh and nodded. I couldn't get away and back to our table fast enough – I was mildly surprised someone else hadn't taken it. I could feel Francis' eyes on me the whole way there. The moment we were sat down Diane stared at me impatiently.
“He and his friends got into a fight with me and Bryan,” I explained with a shrug. I wouldn't mention Penny, otherwise Diane would go back over there and yell at him for hitting a girl.
“He looks a lot better than you,” she commented.
“You have no respect for my dignity, do you?” I asked, shaking my head at her. I had hurt him, I'd landed a pretty good attack on his shoulder. Vampires just healed annoyingly fast.
“Don't be such a guy,” she replied. “Shouldn't we call the police on them or something?” she asked, frowning. I followed her line of sight and saw he was flirting with another girl now. The girl, Karen, was talking to her friend. Neither of them had any clue they'd be bitten sometime later. I just hoped they'd meant what they said about keeping to the treaty.
“No. They should leave us alone now,” I replied. The police couldn't do anything to them anyway.
“If you say so,” she murmured. She stopped her crowd scanning as she spotted someone. “Be right back,” she said. I frowned then recognised Jason. I shook my head, smiling at how she stepped towards him. I hoped she slapped him hard.
“Now that your girlfriend is gone, perhaps you'll join us outside?” I started at Karen's voice, her giggle confirming she'd noticed. “If you say no, I might just invite her outside for some make-up tips,” she added casually. The threat was clear. I stood up and followed them to the back door. It was the same one we'd fought by last night. There was the clubs back wall and bins lining the dead end to the left. To the right the street led back to the town. Directly in front of me was the park that led to the forest. Somewhere far away on the other side of the forests was home. If it weren't for Diane I'd just shift and run for it.
“What do you want?” I asked, putting myself on the side near the park this time round. Karen smirked at the move. She jumped from the pavement and landed on the roof nimbly.
“Me? Nothing, same as Greg. Francis is the one who wants to a rematch,” Karen explained. I noticed the thin guy behind her now. I glanced to my right, hearing movement and saw Francis leaning against the wall, smoking. It was cliché enough that I rolled my eyes at them all. He stubbed the half-used cigarette out on the wall and left the shadows. I was aware of the new moon above, it meant my strength would be at its lowest. Not the best of situations to be in.