Jane’s eyes had rolled in the back of her head, but I could hear breathy moans, so I knew she was still alive.
Milo’s fingers were knotted in her hair, pushing her neck hard against his mouth. He was turned away from me, so I couldn’t see his face, but I saw the way his mouth was on her, the way the blood leaked around it.
All I could think of was the time I saw a starving dog eating a dead raccoon on the side of the road. The way the dog held the leg in his mouth was the exact same way Milo held her neck.
“Okay, Milo, that’s enough.” My words came out small, sounding nothing like myself.
I had been bitten before, but it was an entirely different thing to watch a vampire bite someone else. It was terrifying and nauseating.
When he ate, it became obvious to me for the first time that vampires weren’t human. They may have possessed the appearance and some semblance of humanity, but that – my brother – feeding on Jane, that was pure animal.
“Milo! Stop!” I repeated. Jane’s eyelids fluttered, and her breath got shallower. She was passing out, and death wouldn’t be that much farther behind it. “Milo! You’re killing her! Stop!”
When he still didn’t stop, I knew I had to take action, but it scared the hell out of me. Tentatively, and almost gently, I slapped him on the shoulder. I figured that like a wolf, Milo would turn to snap at me and take my entire hand off.
He didn’t seem to notice though, so I slapped him again, harder this time. And again and again, until finally, he dropped Jane and collapsed back into the front seat.
Jane fell heavily onto the seat, hitting her head against the door, and she moaned softly. Milo had his eyes closed and looked like somebody that was incredibly, wonderfully high.
Absently, he wiped at the blood on his chin with back of his hand, and he mumbled something incoherent. All his features had softened, and he looked younger than he had in years. Resting his head on the driver’s seat, he faced my direction, but he was barely conscious.
“Jane?” I leaned over her and lightly slapped her cheek, trying to wake her. The bite on her neck was already pink and raised, beginning the first steps in healing. I slapped her face again, but she just turned her head away from me.
“Jane? Are you okay? Can you hear me? Jane?” Weakly, she slapped at my hand, trying to push it away.
I collapsed back on the seat, pressing my back against the cold window, and that’s when I finally cried. A pair of vampires had very nearly killed me. Jane and I had the scratches to prove how close Violet had come to hauling us off into the night.
I survived all that to have my brother consider killing both of us, but he just ended up feeding on her. They both promptly passed out, leaving me the only one awake in a locked car sitting in the dark behind a gas station in the middle of the night.
Meanwhile, we had no idea what happened to the vampires chasing us.
“Alice, Alice,” Milo mumbled without opening his eyes. “Don’t cry. We’re…” He trailed off and reached out for me, but before his hand got anywhere near me, he let it drop.
- 20 -
When my phone vibrated, I was sobbing. Both Milo and Jane were too out to even notice. The car was still running, blasting me with freezing cold air. I had lost some blood, and I was terribly thirsty, so I had a feeling that I was going into shock.
I barely even noticed the phone vibration over my own shaking, but when I did, I answered it quickly.
“Hello?” I said, doing my best not to sound borderline hysterical.
“Alice?” Jack said, sounding rather frantic himself. A lot of background noise was behind him, people talking and what sounded like a radio announcer. “Are you okay? What’s going on? What happened? I’ve been calling. Why didn’t you answer the phone?”
“I’m okay.” I sniffled. “I didn’t hear my phone. Are you coming home?”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m at the airport now,” Jack said. That explained all the sounds around him, and I heard Ezra asking him something. “What happened? Is everyone okay? When I couldn’t get a hold of you, Ezra tried Mae, and she said Milo was at your house. Is he okay? Did he do something?”
“No, he’s okay.” I swallowed hard to keep from crying again. “Milo came over, and he said I had to get out of the house, and then Jane texted me-”
“Jane?” Jack scoffed. “I should’ve known she’d have something to do with this.”
“She saved my life tonight, Jack!” I insisted defensively.
In all honesty, I had never felt closer to her than I did now. Looking at her passed out on the seat with faded red marks on her neck, I knew that she actually cared about me. She risked her life for me.
“She did what?” His voice dropped to a panicked growl. “What the hell happened tonight, Alice?”
“We went to a club, just a regular gay club,” I said quickly. “And we were dancing and it was fine, but then the vampires from the other club – Violet and Lucian – they were there. They chased us, and Milo fought them, and then we all got in the car and we’d been driving around all night.”
“Wait. They chased you?”
“Yeah. I don’t know when they stopped, though. Maybe after Milo fought with them.” I looked around, suddenly afraid that they were lurking around in the darkness, but the sky was definitely starting to lighten now. “Milo got hurt, though. And lost some blood.”
“He didn’t bite you, did he?” Jack sounded sick and afraid, and I heard Ezra booming in the background, “What is going on there?” But Jack didn’t answer him. He was too worried to stop talking to me, even for a second.
“No, he didn’t.” Fresh tears sprung in my eyes, and I tried to erase the image of my brother gnawing on Jane like a wild dog. “He bit Jane, though.”
“Oh.” He exhaled. “Is she… okay?”
“Yeah. They’re both fine. They’re just passed out in the car.” I wiped at my tears with the palms of my hand and wished this didn’t bother me so much. I had spent all this time with vampires and I wanted to be one, so it shouldn’t bother me.
“You’re still in the car?” Jack asked. “It’s almost…. It is after five there. You need to wake Milo up and get him home before the sun comes up. He’ll be too tired to do anything then.”
“They won’t wake up!” I cried. Jane stirred a little bit, but she was still out.