The beer gave me the kick that I needed. Remembering Justin’s words about vampires listening in to human heartbeats to get their emotions, I steady my heartbeat and drink some more. Alex doesn’t push me to keep asking him and I know why. It’s uncomfortable for him. He probably curses at not being able to control me.
“Have you thought of biting me?” I asked when I noticed him eye the TV.
“Yes,” he said after a moment.
“Why didn’t you try? I mean I’m a weakling and blood is your food right?” I asked.
“I get my food elsewhere,” Alex replied.
“Enough for tonight, I take it?” I asked.
“I didn’t mean to make you upset,” I said then, putting my hand on his. “Do you want to play a boardgame?”
“Sure,” Alex said, probably to keep the peace.
Alex parked his ‘family car’ outside the shooting range and I note Justin already smoking his cigarette and eyeing us by the front door.
I ignore Alex’s observant gaze over the old man and get out to run up to Justin. “Morning!”
“Morning sweetheart,” Justin replied and hugged me. His smoking habit is going to be the end of me.
“Sweetheart?” Alex questioned.
I smile. “Justin’s like a father to me. He helped out my aunt when I was little and then helped me take care of her. So, guess you’ve just met dad.”
“We’ve met,” Alex said.
“Oh,” I said, keeping my heartbeat steady. “Good. Too early to start shooting? My husband wants to see me shoot at something.”
“You didn’t invite me to your wedding,” Justin said, dropping his cigarette on the ground and crushing it with his foot.
“We eloped,” I said and tilted my head, but then noticed a quick look that he gave. Justin loves his games.
“Your aunt approved of this chump?” He asked.
“She practically handed me over to him,” I told him and laughed. “You two chat, while I choose my favorite gun and headset.”
I walk away from them, figuring that those two would want to chat. Both know that I didn’t tell either one that I knew their big secret and I hoped that Justin would keep our sparing a secret, too.”
After I put on the headset, I try to listen in to the boys, but that skill wasn’t yet fully developed. The only thing that I caught was, “she… vamp?”
“No,” Justin said. I guessed then of what Alex asked and smile.
“Boys,” I muttered to myself and point at my target with the gun. I steady my breathing and let go.
After emptying the magazine, I press the button that brings the target to me and note that several shots went through his head and two through the heart. I lay the gun on the counter and take off my headset, fixing my hair.
“How was that?” I asked Alex.
“Not bad,” he replied.
Then, Justin’s assistant enters, carrying two bodies over his shoulders. “Boss, I caught our lunch. They were trying to break in the safe.”
“Hastings,” Justin growled.
“What?” He asked. “Oh, hey Amy. I’ll be with you in a second after I feed.”
Alex looks from Hastings to me and then finally to Justin.
“Okay, okay. I told her about me and Hastings. I didn’t tell her anything about you,” Justin said in his defense. “Hastings, shut up and take those two to my office.”
Hastings looks confused but does what he’s told.
“So, you lied?” Alex asked.
“Amy didn’t want me to tell you,” Justin strapped me to the train racks.
“I, well, don’t know how you deal with others and I wanted to protect Justin since you know he’s like a dad to me even though now I know what he is,” I stammered.
“What was Hastings supposed to be helping you with?” Alex then asked.
I swallow. Damn his sharp senses! If I continue to lie to him, Alex will surely change his mind and actually bite me.
“He’s umm,” I paused.
“What?” Alex asked.
“Well, you are busy and I didn’t want to bother you since well you already do so much for me so I asked dad and dad asked Hastings to spar with me,” I said without looking at him.
“Excuse me?” Alex asked. “Sparing with a vampire will get you killed? How are you hiding your bruises? Justin? What salve you giving her?”
“She doesn’t need salve,” Justin said and I glare at him because he’s clearly amused.
“Side-effect,” I said then. “From Acton’s bite long ago. Justin helped bring out the inner strength.”
“I want to see it,” Alex said.
“Hastings!” Justin yelled. “Get over here!”
I walk over to Justin and whisper, “Considering that idiot made me talk, if I end up killing him, you wouldn’t mind right?”
“You think that you’re strong enough to rip his heart out?” Justin asked.
“I better be because I don’t want to be afraid of Acton anymore,” I replied.
Hastings sticks his head out of the office.
“Sparing time,” I said with a smile.
“Am I in trouble?” He asked.
I nod and take off my jacket, throwing it to Alex. “Very.”
Hastings eyes Justin who raises his eyebrow questionably. “We don’t have all day. Attack Amy. Don’t hold back.”
Hastings then disappeared from my sight and I am sent flying. A yelp escapes my lips and I cough out some blood. After I wipe my mouth, I focus my senses and the next time he attacks, his arm cracks from my grip and I knee his stomach.
The fight continues with me getting angrier and angrier, though I do find enough time to calm down. Both of us pause for a breather, eyeing each other.
“You’ve improved,” Hastings complimented.
“You just messed up,” I snarled and fix my shredded shirt. After as second, I note that my black bra is for the world to see and snarl again. “You’re going to pay for that.”
He charges at me and I pin him to the ground.
“It’s time,” Justin whispered into my ear and then gets back fast to his spot.
“What?” Hastings was confused.
“Sorry,” I said then. “You did break a law. Talking about feeding in front of humans.” Then my hand delves into his chest like a knife and I pull out his heart.
“That’s my girl!” Justin laughed wholeheartedly.
I get up and let the heart fall out of my hand. Vomit slithered up my throat and I quickly pick up a trash can. Alex holds up my hair and after I empty my breakfast, I wipe my mouth and see a white napkin and a bottle of water. I take them gratefully and finish the bottle in minutes.
“Thanks Alex,” I said and he helped me get up from the floor.
“I’ll clean up here. Take her home. First kill can be a little much,” Justin said.
Alex nods and helps me to the car.
I run through the door, drop my shredded shirt into the trash bin, pick up a glass and pour myself some orange juice.
“We need to talk,” Alex said.
I roll my eyes. “After my shower. We got four hours till all hell breaks loose and I smell like death.”
“Okay,” Alex said, watching me closely.
I walk past him, unpin my bra with one hand, but not take it off yet and enter the bathroom. Quickly, I take my shower, rubbing my skin everywhere until it burns. I feel so embarrassed for what happened after I finished him off. Throwing up? I mean who does that? How could I have killed him and on command? Justin just said - It’s time - and I went for it. I breath in, feeling relief because nothing is left in my stomach to get rid off and then brush my teeth.
After wrapping a towel around my body, I walk out to see Alex on the bed watching me like a hawk.
“Can I change first?” I asked.
“I laid out your outfit,” Alex said.
I eye the bed and notice a black dress with a clear cut at the chest area, my new sexy red intimates.
“You went through my drawer?” I asked.
He laughs. “Our drawer dear. Nice choice.”
I quickly gather the clothing and punch him on his arm before disappearing into the bathroom again.
In the bathroom, I leave the dress on the hanger, put on the intimates and cover myself in my new silk robe. It’s too early for the dress and my hair's still wet. Then, I exit the bathroom and notice Alex smiling.
“I forgot the slippers in the hall,” I said and rush to get out of the bedroom.
Alex is in front of me in moments. “We need to talk.”
“So I hear,” I said. “Let me pass. My toes are cold.”
Alex smiles cockily so I push him against the door and run into the hall. He follows fast and so I punch at him to only be caught inside his arms. I then step onto his foot, he lets me go a little and I run again. His laugh follows me and I finally get the slippers.
“I haven’t had this much fun in a long time,” he told me.
“The slippers feel wonderful,” I said ignoring his comment. “So, you mad at me?”
“Why would I be mad?” He asked.
I fix my robe and shake my head. “Never told you about me trying to figure out if I had other abilities besides not being able to be controlled.”
“How did he help you?” He asked me.
I cringe at my memory. “Pain… a lot of it… near death type of pain.”
“You’re nuts. You could have died,” Alex growled.
“But, I didn’t,” I argued and fold my arms at my chest. “All’s well that ends well.”
Alex’s phone buzzes.
“You should check that,” I told him.
He rolls his eyes and checks his phone. “Matt and Megan will be crashing our party tonight.”
“Great!” I replied happily.
“So you almost died because you didn’t want to be afraid of Acton?” Alex asked me, killing my moment.
“I almost died because I didn’t want to be afraid of vampires. I almost died because I did not want to become his toy. I almost died because I did not want to be protected by you. What we have is different. We don’t even have a name for what we are doing together. I needed I something for myself. I needed to see if I would be able to protect myself,” I answered him.
Alex comes closer and runs his fingers through my hair. “I’m proud of you for doing what you did. Not any human is willing to die. Most would run scared or just roll over and die.”
Shivers run down my spine and I close my eyes. “Thank you.”