“Luca. been a while, mate,” Miles said. He had fun over-pronouncing my name. Gavin looked like he was already bored of the conversation. “How have you been?” he asked.
“Fine,” I replied. Silently adding the 'until now'.
“I heard you got beat up at some club last week,” he joked, “I didn't believe it but those bruises look bad,” he laughed, whistling low. “What did you do?” He sat at the table next to ours and waited. Gavin slumped in the seat next to him. I wondered if he was bored of Miles as a friend, or bored of being a bully.
“Does it really matter when alcohol's involved?” I replied. He barked a laugh that felt too sharp to my sensitive hearing.
“What did you do? Hit on a some guy's girl?” he pushed. I let out a sigh, hoping it showed how immature I thought he was. I had a feeling it didn't work. I could tell Bryan was uneasy next to me. But so far it was just word sparring. Growing up with a pack makes you pretty good at that.
“Nobody mentioned anything about boyfriends,” I shrugged. I figured it was better to play along with his story until he grew bored. Miles raised an eyebrow at the word and I got a bad feeling.
“Or did you hit on a guy and he took it badly?” the words sounded smug as he spoke them and I couldn't help an involuntary glare. “You always seemed a bit too girly,” he added, his grinning growing wider.
“F-off Miles,” Bryan muttered, shaking his head. “My brother ain't a fag, go annoy someone else.” Miles frowned at Bryan, looking like he'd just had a new toy taken away.
“Whatev,” Miles muttered. Even he wasn't dumb enough to go against my brother in a fight. He and Gavin stood and left quickly.
“Idiots,” Bryan muttered, shaking her hand out of the fist it had formed. I was too busy trying to control my face. I'd heard the nicknames before, usually throw at others by random strangers. I knew Bryan had been defending me, but I couldn't help feeling hurt. He could've just told them to leave. The insult didn't need to be thrown in as well. “You okay?” Bryan asked when I didn't say anything. I left my thoughts and forced a shrug.
“I'm not going to get offended by anything Miles has to say,” I murmured, my voice surprisingly hoarse. Instead I was getting hurt by something Bryan had said. Something he probably hadn't thought twice about.
I left Diane in Bryan's company to go to my next class and paused in the corridor. After the random confrontation I didn't exactly feel up to class. I remembered William's unanswered text and pulled out my phone.
Company sounds good, the library?
I left through the back entrance so Diane and Bryan wouldn't spot me and headed into town. At this time of day walking was faster than taking a bus. I didn't mind, though I couldn't help being aware that Francis and his goons could pop up at any time.
I can't right now. Vampire business. Talk later?
I groaned at the text, shutting my eyes and burying my head in my hands.
How far away is later?
I tapped my foot impatiently, waiting for a reply. If it was vampire business that meant he was with the council. Which meant it could take forever. It's not like vampires had old age to worry about. My phone vibrated and I glanced at the answer quickly.
I sighed, gritting my teeth.
FYI - Your job sucks
I didn't get a response to that. I was ready to go into town anyway when I heard thunder overhead.
“Brilliant,” I muttered, just as cold sheets of rain began to fall.