A few minutes later, I had eaten, spent some time in the bathroom and gotten changed. Now, I was standing outside with Rory in the April sun.
As promised, Rory had kissed me after finishing breakfast and now I was feeling giddy with ardour, hyperactive and as if I were standing on the top of the world.
Suddenly, I heard a whisper. 'Charlotte,' it hissed. 'Charlotte.'
"What is that?" Rory asked, at the same time as I thought it.
"You can hear it too?"
"Yeah: it's transmitting directly to your mind."
"My mind?" I was suddenly worried. "What d'you think it is, darling?"
"I've no idea. I'll follow the sound. Stay there."
The voice became more and more insistent as Rory searched, curiously, the ground for the source of it. It also became louder and soon, I had a headache.
"Ow, any luck?"
Rory was squatting by a bush. "Um, come look at this, Charley."
I walked over to him.
Down on the ground was some sort of stone.
"I think that's turquoise," Rory said. "But why should it be sending you telepathic messages?"
I reached down but Rory said "Don't touch it! It might be dangerous."
Instead, he took a clean handkerchief out of his pocket and used that to pick up the stone.
He stood up and we examined it together.
"I don't get it," I said. "Who's trying to give me a turquoise?"
The mental voice had stopped now.
"And moreover, who knows how to transmit telepathic messages?" Rory said grimly. "I really hope it's not another vampire. Although, it wouldn't make sense that the turquoise was the one doing the communicating."
"Let's take it home and see if anything happens," I suggested.
Rory nodded. "Good idea."
So instead of going out as we had planned, we returned to my house to try to work out the mystery of the turquoise.