She sighed in my arms. She kissed my chin and got up out of my lap. I looked out the window. The sun had been hidden by the clouds all day.
"Where are you going?" I asked her.
She stopped. "I don't know."
"How about we go shopping? My treat."
"Yes, please. When's council?" she asked.
"Starts on Friday night."
"Where is it?"
"We'll have to get Riley to take us. Darran won't be happy about going but if we miss this one as well, we'll all have our heads stuck on spikes. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration."
"What will I need to wear?"
"There's no dress code, and besides, most vampires spend council with their clothes off anyway. Most girls wear dresses because that's what they feel the most comfortable in. You're in quite a good position because there's more women than men. Always has been."
"Bet you've been spoilt for choice then," she mumbled.
"I've never been to council before."
"Then how do you know so much about it?"
"Riley's been a few times."
"Oh. Are we going shopping then?"
I stood up and put my arms around her waist, kissing her neck.
"Come on then."
I took her hand and led her out of the house, sending Darran and Riley a telepathic message, telling them we were going out. I unlocked the car and we got in. I started the car and smiled at the sound. I pulled out of the drive and onto the main road. I headed back into the city.
"Why have I changed?" Zoe murmured.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"I was really shy yesterday, now I'm like this."
"It's part of the change. I don't know why, or how, but that's what happens. It was the other way around for me. But my circumstances were... different."
She nodded and looked out the window. We got to the city and I drove into a multi-storey car park. I got out and shut the door. Zoe did the same, the sound echoing through the building. I locked the car and took Zoe's hand.
"Are you not worried about that being stolen?" she asked.
"This is America; everyone drives big muscle cars, not Ferraris."
"Then why do you?"
I grinned at her. "'Cause I'm not an American anymore."
"How do you talk to the others without actually speaking?"
"Telepathy? Everyone gets that. You just have to be taught."
"Who taught you?"
"The Russian? Speaking of that, do you actually speak Russian?"
"Yeah. As well as French, German, Spanish, Italian and, obviously, English. There are a few others but I'm not completely fluent in them."
"You've had way too much free time in immortality," she muttered.
"I learnt all of them before I was 16."
"It wasn't hard. I have a photographic memory and I knew people who spoke the languages. My mum and dad used to operate on people from all over the world."
We didn't talk until we got to the shops.
"Right, where do you want to go? Money isn't an object so no worrying about prices," I told her.
She dragged me into one of the nearest stores and I was already beginning to regret our trip.