There was a minute of silence, and then I was the first to break it.
“Nope, not acceptable; that would be completely irresponsible behaviour.” I said, in response to his thoughts, wagging my finger at him.
“Oh, come on. You’ve hardly even felt the adrenaline rushes!” He complained.
“Remember what I said about irresponsible? This has irresponsible labelled all over it! We are not travelling all the way to Tasmania just to taste the Tasmanian devil! Besides, I’m supposed to be here when Mum wakes up.” I said, chuckling at the thought of Joe chasing a Tasmanian devil.
We turned the television off and went back upstairs to my bedroom.
“What are we going to do then, if you won’t come to Tasmania?” He asked.
“We are going to talk, like civilized human beings.” I said.
“I’ve got a problem with that.” He said.
“Now, let’s see. What on earth could that be?” I asked, teasing him.
“The fact that neither of us are human?” He suggested.
“Good point. But you did call me human earlier.” I pointed out.
“You’re not new to the fact that I’m vampire. For me, however it is a different matter altogether.” He pointed out.
“Besides, I didn’t get to choose this.” He said.
“Neither did I” I replied.
“You could have chosen death, instead.” He retorted.
“You still have the option of death.” I pointed out.
“I – I got nothing. You’ve got me speechless.” He said, sounding as shocked as I was pleased, that I’d got him speechless.
We talked for the rest of the night/early-morning, and Joe didn’t disappear to get changed at his house like I thought he would when I went down the stairs to make Mum’s breakfast.
When I got down the stairs, Amanda was sitting there in her wheelchair, beaming at me.
“Hi.” She said.
“Hi.” I said, trying not to inhale.
“Are you okay?” She asked.
“Fine; I just need some fresh air. I’ll be two minutes.” I said, and all but ran to the door.
“Zach misses you.” She said, following me outside.
“That’s nice.” I said, trying to inhale the pure air, which was pretty difficult with her right behind me.
“He loves you.” She said.
“Don’t I know that?” I replied.
“I know what you are.” She said, and I turned around.
“What exactly am I?” I snapped.
“A heartless user.” She said.
“Is this what you came here to rub in my face? The fact that I had to leave Zach through something that wasn’t even my fault?” I asked.
“No. I came to deliver a card for you. Zach’s had it bad; ever since you stopped seeing him, he’s been moping around. He’s exactly how you were when he first left you.” She said, pointing at Joe, who was now standing beside me.
Just then, Zach climbed out of the car, and I could have sworn that he was at least two feet taller than he was the last time that I’d seen him.
“Mum, chill. It really wasn’t Beth’s fault. What happened to me,” He said, indicating to his body. “It happened to Beth. Though we’re different monsters, we’re more alike than you know Mum.”
This shocked me; did she know about vampires and unicorns? According to her thoughts, her husband had gone through exactly the same thing as Zach, and he’d left to go to live with other unicorns.
“After you’ve finished scrutinizing me, listening to my thoughts, or whatever it is that you do, I suggest you say sorry to Zach.” She said.
“She can hardly talk!” Joe said to Amanda.
“What do you mean?” She asked him, bitterly.
“Your scent is driving her wild with thirst. You’re lucky that you’re still alive.” He snarled.
“Don’t talk to my Mum like that!” Zach said.
“Don’t make me fight you.” Joe growled, crouching down as if he was going to pounce, but I touched Joe on the shoulder, and he straightened up.
“Did you see that? She bewitched him!” Amanda exclaimed to Zach.
“No Mum; she stopped him from killing me.” Zach said.
“Ugh, whatever” Amanda said, rolling her eyes, just like a teenager.
“Come on Mum, let’s get out of here.” He said, wheeling her back towards the car.
‘Thanks; I owe you one.’ Zach thought.
“Too right you do; email me.” I said.
“Will do. See-ya.” He said, and got in the car.
I breathed a sigh of relief, and relaxed.
“Wow that was brave of you.” Joe said and pulled me into a hug.
“Thanks. I was going to have to do it some time, wasn’t I?” I asked.
“Yeah; but when you’re stronger.” He said, and kissed my forehead.
“Mum’s about to wake up; I should really go inside, and have breakfast on the table.” I said.
“Okie-dokie.” He said, and we walked back into the house.
I put an omelette on the table, with a tiny bit of coriander on the top, in Mum’s place and cleaned up the kitchen a bit.
I picked a rose from the garden outside, and put it into a long thin vase, and set that in the middle of the table.
Mum came down a few minutes later, and smelled the breakfast saying that it looked lovely.
“Mine was nice.” I said, licking my lips, while Joe just chuckled.
“I bet it was. Has somebody been here this morning?” She asked, noticing the unopened card on the kitchen worktop.
“Oh yeah, um, Amanda actually” I said.
“Oh, I thought she was coming all of this morning.” Mum said.
“Yeah, she still is. She wanted to see how I was doing; I haven’t seen Zach in ages, so she was just checking that I hadn’t fallen out with him or anything I suppose.” I said, trying to sound indifferent.
“Is she coming back then?” Mum wanted to know.
“Yeah, she’ll be here in about ten minutes.” I said.
I went upstairs, and stuck my head out my window. I inhaled the clean air deeply, and Joe laughed.
“Glad I amuse you.” I said to him.
“You do. When I first met you I wanted to stick my head out the window. Unbearable isn’t it?” He asked.
“Yeah, but you had more practice. I’m just a newbie.” I said, and came back in the house again, from the window.
“You’re pretty strong for a beginner.” He said.
“I think you might have said that once already. Shall we go to yours? Amanda will walk through the door to my house in two minutes and I don’t want to be anywhere near her. I’m sure Zach wouldn’t thank me.” I said.
“Good idea.” Joe said, and I went downstairs (he went through the window), told Mum that I’d have dinner at the McIvor's house, and I’d see her again at half past one.
We walked at human speed to the end of the road, just out of sight of the house, and then we were running, at vampire speed.
We got to the McIvor’s house about two minutes later; Charlie and Jordan were sitting on the front lawn, outside.
“It’s going to be cloudy tonight; perfect weather for us.” He said to me.
“Yeah, but isn’t it like, due to be boiling tomorrow? Won’t I have to stay inside?” I asked.
“No; say you’re having a sleepover with Finty, Freya, and Emily. We can go out in the sun; just not around humans.”He said.
“Why?” I asked.
“We become like real vampires; we don’t refrain from eating humans, and that’s why it used to be difficult for me to be around you when it’s sunny.” He explained.
“Does anything special happen?” I asked, remembering reading something in a book about vampire’s skin shining like a million tiny diamonds.
“Just the fact that our eyes glow up in the dark, later that night. It’s pretty cool.” He said.