“What?” she asked innocently. “I'm just curious as to how good my gaydar is,” she shrugged. I contemplated dragging her back to the house, but doubted it would make much difference. I opened my mouth to say something, but stopped when I heard William laughing.
“It's been a while since I've met someone so blunt,” he said, still laughing softly. Just like before, the sound surprised me. “Two actually, counting your friend,” he added. I tried to take that as a compliment and felt the flushing come back. Luckily there was a cold wind outside, so he probably didn't notice. Who was I kidding? He's a vampire, of course he goddamn noticed.
“Well?” Diane pushed, leaning forward and resting her chin on the raised back of her hands. I pushed away the urge to groan and hauled her up by the arm.
“Okay, let's go back inside,” I said.
“What? But I want to ask him more questions!” she whined. I rolled my eyes at her and pressed on. I was aware of William following and hesitated.
“Erm, you should probably wait out here while I explain,” I said. And tell Naomi to stop ranting about breaking the treaty. Though at this distance, he would've heard it anyway. I pushed open the kitchen door, pulling Diane in with me and interrupted a full-blown argument.
“-Your as cowardly as Davis! More interested in working with the things than just destroying them all!” Naomi yelled.
“They're hundreds of them Naomi. And a lot of them have lived a long time. At least with the treaty we can control how much they hurt humans,” Bryan countered, forcing his voice to stay calm. She made titch sound at him and glanced at me.
“What about you? You seemed pretty big on defending them earlier. You can really think its safe to let them exist,” she said, narrowing her gaze at me. I'd never felt so much like a deer caught in headlights. I was aware William was outside, and he would've definitely heard all of this.
“I wasn't defending them,” I said, matching Bryan's calm tone. “I was just saying we're a lot better off with the treaty than without,” I finished. “And the vampires are helping us. They sent someone to hold here until they've got Diane's family out.” Naomi's face paled instantly and her hands moved to cover her mouth. Her eyes darted outside, but William had obviously stayed out of sight while I'd explained.
He emerged from round the corner now and I opened the door. I completely forgot about the barrier, which he now hit. He raised an eyebrow at me and I hesitated, glancing at Bryan. Last I checked, it was hard to revoke an invitation. Not that we couldn't handle ourselves if anything happened. I needed to stop being paranoid, William was as much for the treaty as I am. Why else would he come here? Unless the other council members just made him.
“Come in,” Bryan said, his jaw clenched. Naomi had backed away to the other side of the kitchen, close to the door that led to our three guest rooms.
“I'm going to my room,” she said, her face scrunching up like she smelt something bad. If it insulted William he didn't show it. Admittedly most of the time, vampires do smell bad. Especially the younger ones. Vampires don't have to do a lot to attract humans. Just another part of their innate abilities. Something that resulted in an alarmingly high number of them not to bother with hygiene as much. William definitely did, and my nose was grateful.
“I should probably go as well,” Mark said, excusing himself quietly. Bryan nodded and Mark followed Naomi. Bryan glanced at William, a mixture of unsurity and general dislike on his features, though he tried to hide the latter. I had a feeling William sensed it anyway.
“Diane, why don't you stay in Penny's room. I'll wait up for dad,” Bryan said. I frowned at that. Diane usually took a guest room. If he was worried about her safety it would've made more sense to put her in with me. Or would've if he knew I was gay maybe. I was starting to get a bad feeling.
“Luca, you've met William before. So how about he just stays with you,” Bryan suggested offhandedly. He had to of seen my eyes widen as I silently pleaded with him not to do this. “Come on, take one for the team,” he said with sheepish look. I narrowed my eyes at him for that, but he wasn't going to change his mind. I just knew when I glanced at William he'd have that one eyebrow raised thing going, looking mildly amused. I sighed, knowing there was no point arguing. He'd just pull the alpha thing on me.
“Follow me,” I said, with about as much enthusiasm as a dead mouse.