Chapter 5.4Mature

I waved goodbye to Mark and thanked him quietly. I walked into my lesson and took my usual spot. I wasn't surprised to see Diane wasn't around. I half listened to the teacher talk, listening to the whispers of my classmates around me. The door threw open and a girl rushed into the class, mumbling an apology for being late. Se grabbed the nearest free chair. Which just happened to be the one Diane usually took. Right next to me. I hadn't seen her before so I figured she was new.

“Hi. I'm Kirsty” she said once the teacher resumed talking. Her smile had a child-like innocence to it. She dressed simply, in jeans and a shirt. I could just imagine Diane converting her to the gothic ways. It'd be easy with her pale skin and dark black hair.

“Hi. Luca,” I replied.

“Woah, cool name,” she said, tilting her head to the side a little. I raised an eyebrow at the comment.

“Thanks,” I said, unsure what else to say. After that she glanced at the board and – unlike me – paid attention to the class. It was psychology and the teacher was talking about Freud's crazier theories, making some of the class laugh. I wondered if William was old enough to have met the guy, somehow it wouldn't surprise me. When the class was over I walked out quickly, heading for the college entrance. I was nearing the doors when a arm grabbed mine.

“Hey, you walk fast,” she joked.

“Sorry,” I said. “Didn't realise you wanted to hang out.”

“You're kind of the first person who's been nice to me today,” she shrugged. “And I'm new to the area. Figure you could give me an idea of what the city's like.”

“Oh” I said, wondering if she realised I was gay. Considering I was used to hiding it, probably not. “Actually, I have stuff I have to do. Maybe another time,” I shrugged.

“Oh, okay,” she said, frowning. “Well, nice to meet you,” she added, her smile returning.

“Same,” I replied, waving and leaving.

I reached the city centre quickly. Even at mid-day there were dozens of people milling the streets. I should've realised with all the recent bad luck, that something was going to happen. A hand reached out of a side-street and I heard sizzling for a few seconds. Then I was yanked into the street and thrown a few steps back. I looked up and saw Gregory, smirking at me. He shook out his bruning hand, the skin healing within moments. I felt my firsts clench reflexively as I steadied myself.

People continued to rush by in the main street, completely oblivious to the monster hiding in the dark alley. I checked behind me and sure enough the other two were here as well. Karen and Francis were hiding in the back doorway of a café. Whilst Greg leaned against the wall, looking totally at ease. Karen smiled at me, but it didn't reach her eyes. Francis didn't, instead shooting side-glances at Gregory, as if waiting for him to do something. Somehow that didn't surprise me. Francis didn't strike me as the think-ahead type. I was pissed to see him out and perfectly fine.

“What do you want?” I asked. “And if you say a re-match, I'll tell the council,” I added. That earned a glare from Francis. Greg just laughed, pushing away from the wall. I wondered if the overcast clouds would move and burn him.

“Actually we want to know about William. You two seem to know each other quite well,” Greg said. I blinked at the words. Was he insinuating something? No, not even he would suspect that. Not when the idea was such an insane one on both sides.

“I'm pretty sure you would know a lot more than me, being a vampire,” I replied. Greg snorted, stepping closer.

“Clearly you know nothing about the elders,” he began. “They don't care about people. And yet William defended that friend of yours. Then he saved you that second time. By treaty laws, he only had to intervene once.” I stared at Greg, my mind struggling to processing what Greg was telling me. Somehow I doubted he read it the same way I did. I didn't know what to say. I'd never found answers to why William helped me or Diane.

“You're asking the wrong guy,” I shrugged. Greg apparently hadn't heard me.

“Whatever the elders are planning,” he continued, stepping close enough to invade my personal space. I fought the urge to back away and glared at him. “I want to know,” he finished, placing a palm flat on my chest and pushing me against the wall suddenly. I didn't even think, I slapped his arm away.

He narrowed his eyes at the move, and I realised what I'd just done. If they wanted to hut me, they had a case. I'd thrown the first blow, no matter how insignificant. Greg hadn't actually hurt me before. A predatory smile formed on Greg's thin, pale lips and I glanced towards the main street. Where sunlight was throwing waves of warm light onto the passer-bys. There was no way I'd get there fast enough. Not without shifting and revealing myself. Something Greg knew.

The End

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