Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t a dream at all. It took me a couple of days for it to sink in that Lucas and that Jesse guy weren’t kidding. Lucas even walked around outside for a bit to get burnt, just to prove it to me. Of course, that’s when I thought I was the one that was bat shit insane. If vampires were real, then we’d all be dead. All of us were just food to them. Lucas was living in a house filled with food. When Lucas and Jesse had, together, proven over and over to me that they were in fact vampires and not a figment of my imagination, I really did begin to panic.
“Snap out of it!” Jesse shouted at me, slapping me across the face. “If we were going to kill you, we would have already done it.” I was sat on my bed, my curtains shut for them. Lucas was sat in my desk chair, my computer monitor quietly disproving the myth that vampires have no reflections behind him.
“That’s not a comfort,” I whimpered, rubbing my cheek.
“Lucas and I are not here to hurt you. We need to survive, not get ourselves noticed. Lucas needs you to help him stay hidden and live like a human,” he told me, his tone still reverberating with frustration. “We’ve shown you we’re not just in your head; you know it’s all real. Now help your brother.”
“How am I supposed to help?”
“Feed him, tell your parents and sister he’s giving up drugs and will be spending a lot of time in his room recovering, keep him safe, and help him learn to survive on his own.” I stared at him.
“Feed him?” I asked, incredulous.
“It’s a lot to ask, I know, but Lucas won’t trust anyone else to do this for him. You have to put your differences behind you, now,” Jesse told me. One glance at Lucas told me that he was not happy about having to let on that he actually trusted me. He wasn’t the sharing type, you could say.
“I’m not letting any of you feed on me. I’m not your fucking dinner!”
“You won’t be hurt by it,” Jesse sighed, looking a lot like his patience was wearing thin, “if we hurt everyone we fed from, we’d lose our life support. We take a couple pints every few days, nothing you’ll miss. It’s no worse than giving blood at a hospital. Better than that, maybe.”
“Alex, please,” Lucas spoke for the first time all day. I looked up at him. For the most part, he had let Jesse do the persuading and talking since he came back. The expression on his face was totally lost and hidden in his eyes was fear. For some reason it reminded me of the day he first turned up on our doorstep with one suitcase filled with all he owned. I was just as resistant then, too. He was dealing with something I couldn’t get my head around, so I didn’t want anything to do with it. Dad spent just as much time talking for him as Jesse is now.
“What about when he gets carried away and tries to kill me?”
“I’m told you’re getting rather good at mixed martial arts, am I right?” Jesse smiled a little. He could see me changing my mind. I don’t think he cared what exactly was making me reconsider, but he was more than willing to jump on the chance to land me with a newborn vampire that was a completely volatile character as it was. “You know what he’s like. It won’t be much different.”
“Just that he’ll be bloodthirsty now,” I scowled, “just to add to the multitude of anger issues he has anyway.” Jesse snorted out a short laugh.
“I’m sure you’ll cope. From what I’ve heard about you, I have no worries about you being able to deal with it. I’ll even practice with you, if it’ll help your confidence. But until Lucas can find somewhere of his own to live, he’ll be relying on you.” I arched an eyebrow slightly. I suppose he probably had heard a fair bit about me. I was, um, kind of well known these days. My best friend, Maxxie, had a bit of a bully problem at school, and I may have dealt with it. Violently. I was actually the one parents warned their kids to stay away from, instead of people like Lucas. Lucas would get you in with the wrong crowd, I would put you in hospital if you pissed me off or upset Maxxie.
“Fine,” I crossed my arms, not quite able to believe what I was about to say, “you practice with me and help me get better at MMA, and I’ll help Lucas.” Of course I wasn’t going to admit that I was mostly doing this because I actually cared about the idiot.