“We came to get you. We’re worried about you,” I told her as sincerely as possible. I put my hand on her arm, but she pulled it back from me.
“We?” Jane squinted harder in the darkness, trying to see who I brought with me, and pushed herself to sit up. Her skeletal arms were stretched out behind her, holding her up precariously so she didn’t fall back on the bed.
“That was your little brother I saw grinding up on some boy on the dance floor! I thought that was him, but I didn’t believe you were letting him date yet.” She gave a laugh, and Milo scowled at her. “That’s just like him to narc on me anyway. I bet you just ran home to tell her right away, didn’t you?”
“This isn’t the kind of life you want to have,” Milo said, his cheeks reddening.
“Tell that to your boyfriend,” Jane laughed again, but it was a tired, hollow sound.
“Jane, come on. This is enough. Let’s get you home.” I got up off the bed and reached out for her, planning to throw her over my shoulder if I had to.
“No! I’m not going with you!” Jane yelled. “You’ve barely even talked to me since you got Jack, and you have the balls to condemn me for doing the exact same thing as you?”
“I never did this!” I shouted. “And I was avoiding you to protect you, and then you avoided me. I called you like a million times but you wouldn’t answer!”
“Doesn’t that tell you something?” Jane smiled darkly at me. “I don’t want to be your friend anymore, Alice! You don’t need to save me from myself! I am just fine without you!”
“You are not fine! And I’m not saving you from you! I’m saving you from vampires!” I knew that sounded really dumb since I planned on bringing her back to a house full of vampires, and Jane laughed at the stupidity of my argument.
I bent down and scooped her up. She yelped in protest, but I tossed her easily over my shoulder. I was much stronger than before, but it was almost too easy. As soon as I had her, she hit at my back and screamed at me.
“Put me down, you stupid bitch!” Jane shouted, pounding her tiny fists as hard as she could against my back. Of course, it didn’t hurt at all, but that didn’t stop her from trying.
“She doesn’t want to go with you!” Jonathan made a step towards me.
Jack and Milo moved closer to him. Jonathan held his hands up in a gesture of peace, but his face contorted with contained rage. If I tried taking away food from a starving wolf, I imagine that he would make a similar expression.
“What’s going on?” Bobby asked, terrified.
“Everything’s fine,” Milo told him unconvincingly.
“You can’t kidnap her,” Jonathan said.
I hadn’t moved towards the door yet because I hoped Jane would calm down, but he was right. I couldn’t take her kicking and screaming onto the city streets.
“Just put me down!” Jane shouted. Sighing, I set her on her feet next to me. She slapped me once more for good measure, and I had to remind myself that she was my best friend. “You are such a control freak, Alice! Just because you’re a prude doesn’t mean I’m wrong!”
“I don’t want any trouble but she is mine,” Jonathan exchanged a look with Jack, and Jane puffed up.
Jane misinterpreted his use of the word “mine.” She saw it as something resembling love, like he cared so she belonged to him. All he really meant was that he had bitten her first, so he laid claim on her until he gave her up.
She reached out in the darkness, feeling around for Jonathan to protect her. Milo moved, allowing Jonathan to walk to her. He put his arm around her in something that she perceived as affection, but it was nothing more than ownership.
“We’ll talk later,” I said finally.
“Fat chance,” Jane scoffed.
Milo comforted Bobby, who frantically clung to the door. Jack put his arm around me, escorting me from the room.
I looked back over my shoulder at Jane. Thin and frail, she hung onto Jonathan just to keep from falling over. Before we had even left the room, he tilted her head back and sunk his teeth into her neck. She moaned and her blood filled the air.
Jack tightened his arm around me to prevent me from rushing at Jonathan and getting myself killed. He pulled the door shut behind us and drug me down the hallway, past all the rooms where vampires were feeding on other people’s best friends.
I spent the entire car ride home sulking and glaring out the window. Jack tried to talk to me and cheer me up, but I wanted nothing to do with it. It wasn’t his fault that Jane wouldn’t come home with us, or that vampires were such horrible creatures, but he was the only one I had to take it out on.
When we pulled in the garage, I slammed the car door behind me and stormed into the house, noticing that Milo and Bobby hadn’t returned yet.
“Alice!” Jack called after me, but I didn’t slow down.
Matilda waited at the door for us, but when she greeted me, I pushed past her. Jack indulged her more than I did, but he was trying to keep up with me so he made it quick.
“Alice, come on. I know you’re upset, but you didn’t really think you could swoop in there like Batman and save the day, did you?”
“I don’t know what I thought,” I muttered.
I reached the kitchen and stopped. I wanted to eat something. Not that I was actually hungry, not for human food, but whenever I had come home frustrated, Milo always fed me. It was probably for the best I turned into a vampire, otherwise I would’ve ended up as a very fat stress eater. Out of habit, I opened up the refrigerator, which actually had food in it again, thanks to Bobby.
“What are you doing?” Jack asked.
“Making Bobby a snack.”
Since I’d never had a conversation with the kid, I had no real clue what kind of foods he might like, but Mae stocked the fridge for him, so it was a safe bet that anything in it would work. I hadn’t really meant to make him anything, and it was a well known fact that I couldn’t cook, but it would give me something to do.
The crisper was filled with fruits, so I grabbed them all, thinking that chopping them up for a fruit salad might go a long way to alleviate my anger.
“Do you need any help?” Jack asked, watching me drop the armload of fruits onto the island.
I shook my head and searched the kitchen drawers until I found a large butcher knife. I couldn’t tell the last time anybody had used it, so I rinsed it off. Then I realized I hadn’t washed off any of the fruit, either, so I grabbed it all and dropped it in the sink to clean.