“You have to be careful,” Olivia cautioned him. “What were you thinking bringing her here?”
“I don’t know.” He scratched his head and looked at the ground. “I’d never brought anyone here, and the girls I’d met here never seemed like they in were any danger.”
“That’s because they’re whores.” Olivia looked at Jack like he was an idiot. In response, he kicked an empty bottle with his foot. “They let people bite them! If you had wanted to share her, you probably wouldn’t have had a problem.”
“What the hell happened in there?” Milo asked.
“I don’t know really.” I shook my head. “There were these vampires, Violet and Lucian. And they were into me, and Jack went to look for you, so they pounced.”
“What were you doing?” Jack lifted his head to look at Milo. “You disappeared in there.”
“I was dancing,” Milo said. “I didn’t know we’d have to run out ten minutes later because you didn’t realize it wouldn’t be a good idea to bring a human to a vampire bar!”
“You guys can sort it out later,” Olivia interrupted. “You should get out of here.”
“Yeah, you’re right,” Jack said. “Thank you. You’ll never know how much I appreciate what you did tonight.”
“Yeah, well, I’ve been there,” Olivia shrugged, but her expression got more severe. “You need to hurry up and turn her, unless you’re ready to bury her.”
“It’s complicated,” Jack sounded exasperated, and I knew it touched the same raw nerve it did me.
“Maybe, but death is simple.” She pointed to the end of the alley. “Now get out of here.”
“Thank you,” Jack repeated.
“Thanks,” I echoed.
“Take care of yourself, kid,” Olivia smiled at me before going back down the stairs, into the darkness that led to the hidden vampire club.
Jack took my hand as we walked towards the car. All the clubs downtown were letting out, so the streets were more crowded than before. Milo and Jack had put me in between them, and Milo scoured the crowd, as if a vampire would attack us on a crowded street.
Neither of them said anything until we reached the car.
“Well, that was fun,” Milo sighed as he leaned back in the seat.
“I am so sorry.” Jack started the car and wouldn’t look at me. “I should’ve known better.”
“It’s okay,” I reassured him. “Everybody’s okay. And it was a really interesting night. I learned a couple things, and that’s something.”
“There’s easier ways to learn,” Jack said.
“I had a blast!” Milo interjected. “I mean, until the whole Alice-almost-getting-slaughtered thing. That wasn’t fun. But the running away kind of was. I felt like Matt Damon.”
“What does Matt Damon run away from?” I looked in the backseat at him, but he gave me cockeyed grin.
“I don’t know. I just felt like him,” Milo shrugged.
It was such a 180 from how he used to be. Everything I did used to make him nervous and scared, but I had almost been murdered, and he made jokes on the ride home. He was still sweet and geeky, but he’d lost his insecurities and paranoia.
“At least you wore your pajamas here,” Jack said as we got closer to his house.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because you’re spending the night at my house tonight.” He swallowed hard and looked at me out the corner of his eyes. “I just want you there tonight. Okay?”
“Okay,” I nodded.
“Oh, slumber party,” Milo said, but Jack didn’t even crack a smile.
The night had really gotten to him. On top of what had already happened, he wasn’t thrilled about explaining it to Mae. Even I was dreading it, and I hadn’t really done anything wrong. Neither had Jack per se, but neither of them saw it that way.
After Mae lectured Jack about his careless behavior, she’d wept over what could’ve befallen me and held me close to her while listening to Etta James. Jack hid and Milo tried to lighten the mood.
Eventually, everyone just showered and went to bed. I don’t know how they all faired at sleeping, but I did terrible. Maybe it was the adrenaline of the night, or all the new questions I had swirling in my head.
After seeing all the gorgeous vampires at the club, I knew that Jack had to have hooked up with at least one or two of them for sex or blood.
As Mae had pointed out before we left, vampires and men only think about thing one thing, and while she’d implied that vampires only want blood, Jack couldn’t completely turn off the man part of himself.
It shouldn’t matter to me, since we’re not together, and even if we were, that was a long time ago. Or if it wasn’t, it was still before he met me, and I can’t really blame him for not being psychic.
But I was a virgin in almost every way (except for once when Peter had bitten me, and Jordan had made it to second base the other night). It intimidated me to be with someone so much more experienced than me.
Plus, Jack had tasted my blood at the club, and that left this lingering maddening desire. Finally, I gave up and went downstairs.
Milo slept in his room next door so I was careful to tiptoe out. Milo’s hearing had greatly improved, and he found it distracting to sleep, so he had a white noise machine in his room anyway.
Even though it was after seven in the morning, every shade in the house was drawn so no natural light could sneak in. Everything was submerged in pitch black, except for Jack’s room, which they had outfitted with a night light for me.
I maneuvered the stairs without making a sound, but I stubbed my toe three times. I couldn’t make it farther without help, so I flicked on the kitchen light at the bottom of the steps, and I went into the living room.
The dim light didn’t faze Jack, who lay curled up on the couch underneath a dark comforter. Matilda slept on the floor next to him, and she lifted her head when I came into the room and thumped her tail.
“Jack?” I whispered. “Jack?”
“What?” Jack mumbled, moving his head against the pillow. He became aware that he talked to someone, and he opened his eyes and looked at me. “Alice? Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, everything’s fine.” I sat down at the end of the couch, next to his feet. “I just couldn’t sleep.”
“Yeah?” Jack moved so he faced me more. “What’s going on?”