The camp was a little quieter when we returned in the evening. Torches were burning along the main walkways. Tents of various kinds were set up. The caravan's all sat to the edge of the field. Penny and Naomi went into their tent, leaving us guys to get in ours. It was an amalgamation of three tents, but with some cutting and stitching from my mum. I was sharing a side space with Bryan and Lewis, while Mark and Keiran were stuck with Kevin. The fading sunlight and humid air walking back had dried our skin, so I just had to pull on some fresh clothes. I stuck to jeans and a shirt. I was the first to get dressed and hung around out the tent unsure what to do. Uncle Peter and dad weren't about. They were probably with the other alpha's and beta's discussing politics, or getting drunk. I wondered away from the tent, exploring the camp and getting an idea of the layout. This blue moon gathering was definitely bigger than my first one.
“Lucas right?” I turned at the voice and recognised the guy from earlier. There was no forgetting those eyes.
“Luca, “ I corrected automatically. “How'd you know?” I asked.
“Ah, guess I shouldn't be surprised you don't remember me,” he laughed. I hesitated, squinting my eyes at him. It took me a second but a memory clicked in place.
“Riley. The last blue moon,” I said. “Wow, you look different,” I added. So that was why I'd noticed him and felt all weird. I'd just recognised him.
“You too,” he added, his eyes studying me openly. It didn't feel the same as the stares other guys gave me. I shifted nervously a little, wondering if I was blushing again. Why the hell would I be blushing?
“The others we hung out with aren't here. My older bro's stuck in Australia, and Mike ...” He trailed off.
“I remember them both now. We ran around playing stupid pranks on complete strangers,” I laughed, shaking my head. We were worse than Kevin. “Where's Mike then?” I asked, confused by him stopping.
“Vampires,” Riley finished, his teeth gritting together. I felt my eyes widen, then what he was saying sunk in. Mike was dead. I could hardly remember him, and now I would never get a chance to recall those memories with him.
“Oh,” I murmured, my shoulder dropping as I joined him in staring at the dirt. “We're lucky I guess, vampires haven't bothered us,” I said.
“Glad to hear it,” Riley said with a forced laugh. “Would hate to hear you'd been hurt, or worse.” I shuddered at the idea.
“Likewise,” I said, returning his grim smile. We walked side by side in silence, following a trodden in path beside the trees.
“Want to go in and find the biggest tree to climb like we used to?” I suggested, wanting to lose the negative air.
“You'll have to help me, I sucked at it back then and I haven't been trying since,” Riley laughed. We started walking through the trees when I paused.
“Wait, we'll get lost,” I sighed.
“You haven't turned yet?” Riley asked, blinking his surprise. I shook my head. “Oh, well don't worry,” he shrugged. So Riley had turned and could make sure we weren't lost. Even Riley had turned and he was the same age as me.
“This is the first blue moon we've ever had where there was no nearby civilisation you know,” Riley said as we ducked under low branches and explored.
“I know, it's awesome,” I said, grinning. Riley didn't share it though, his eyes looking concerned.
“Is it? If the vampires wanted to do a huge attack-”
“They wouldn't dare, all our alphas are here,” I interrupted. Riley blinked at me, apparently he hadn't expected me to interrupt him. I looked ahead and grinned. That was definitely the biggest tree in the forest so far.
“Race to the top?” I asked.
“Then you'll win, and have to come down to help me,” Riley pointed out. I climbed the tree easily, finding a thick branch to sit on halfway to the top. I glanced down between the intertwining branches and leaves. I couldn't help giggling a little at his red face as he tried different routes to travel the short distance to where I was.