My whole body froze and it took everything in me not to see red at the threat. He laughed at my reaction and left. I yanked my hand away from the table the moment it was free, my whole body shaking from my emotions. I glanced behind me, but Diane was still talking to the guy. I couldn't stay in a confined space when I felt like this. I stood up and left, not even bothering to finish my hot chocolate. I knew he wouldn't do anything to her now, not during the day. I walked along the streets until I reached the park and flopped onto the grass. I shut my eyes and concentrated on my breathing, silently counting in my head. It wasn't working and I was starting to panic. I grabbed my phone and texted Bryan to pick me up. I didn't say why, but he'd sense it was urgent. Ten minutes later he turned up, watching me carefully as he approached me.
“What happened?” he asked. He'd been there, so he knew what it was like to fight back the anger.
“One of the vampires,” I murmured, my fist clenching at the thought of Gregory, and that smug son of a bitch Francis. “He threatened Diane,” I explained. I heard Bryan suck in a breath at the words. I could just imagine his face. It was probably as pissed as mine had been. Even more so considering the bond.
“Why did he threaten her?” he asked, his voice tight. His breathing hadn't changed, proof that he was a heck of a lot better at this than me.
“Francis wants a rematch,” I replied.
“Shit,” he muttered. I snorted at the understatement and lifted my head at the same time as I lowered my hands to my sprawled legs. My muscles were still taut, but nowhere near as bad as they had been. “Is she still at the the coffee shop?” he asked. I nodded and he took off. I wondered how he'd feel if he found her still flirting with that guy. I let out a slow breath and stood up. I walked to the other side of the park where Bryan had parked and waited there for them both. Diane seemed a little confused when she followed Bryan.
“Anyone going to explain things to me?” she asked as she got inside the back. I joined her there, worried Francis and his friends would find a way to get her if I sat in the front with Bryan.
“It's a long story,” I said. “But you should try and stay home for the next few weeks.” Her eyes widened slightly at the words and she sighed.
“That guy. I thought I saw him hanging around with the one who beat you up at the club. I saw him talking to you. I wasn't sure if I should do anything. I didn't think he'd do anything in the shop though,” she said.
“Gregory wouldn't,” I replied. They would wait till it was dark and she was out on her own. Heck, even if she was with her girlfriends they wouldn't care. It was all a game to Francis.
“I'll tell mum to get out of town with the monsters,” she said, pulling out her phone. “She can stay with my aunt or something.”
“Good plan. I'll even drive you all there now,” Bryan said. She didn't miss the inclusion of her in that statement. Just as we hadn't missed the exclusion of herself when she'd spoken.
“Hey, that guy's creepy friend tried to hit on me. I am so sticking around to see the police lock him up,” Diane said. I saw Bryan's body stiffened at her words. I hadn't mentioned that to him before, for a very good reason. Now he shot me a look that said we were talking later. That was going to be fun.
“Can't I just stay with you guys for a while?” she asked. “It's not like I haven't before,” she added. A very good point.
“This could take longer than a few days to sort out,” Bryan said. If we were doing it through official channels it could take weeks. And even then there was no guaranteeing Francis wouldn't pull a loose cannon anyway. “And we have family coming down in a few weeks.”
“I don't mind meeting new people. Besides, it's not like I haven't known Luca long enough for it to be justified,” she said. I groaned, she was completely right. Except she didn't know about us and there was no way we'd be able to keep it from her with that many people around. She would grow suspicious at least, and that was never a good thing. Diane loved a good conspiracy story.
“This isn't just family, but old friends as well,” he pushed. I froze at his words, completely forgetting about Diane.