Since he died, she’d traded it all in for a normal, pretty look, going back to her natural blond hair and subtle makeup. I’d seen her around the club a few times, but I’d only ever talked to her once. She seemed too afraid of me, and after what Peter did to her friend, I didn’t really blame her.
“Sorry,” Violet said quickly, even though I was the one who had run into her.
“Hey!” I said as cheerily as I could and stopped her from scampering away.
Sure, she had tried to kill me, or at least attempt to facilitate my kidnapping, but she seemed like a lost kid. She had turned when she was only fourteen because she was love struck with some stupid boy, and that’d only been two years ago. If I were being perfectly honest with myself, I saw a lot of Jane in her.
“Hey, sorry.” Violet talked to me to be polite, but her eyes scanned everywhere else. “I’ll try and watch where I’m going next time.”
“No, it was my bad,” I apologized, and she gave me a funny look. “How are you doing?”
“Great.” Her strange purple eyes eyed me up for a minute, then her face softened. “I heard about your friend. I’m sorry.”
“You heard about her?” I asked and my heart sped. “What’d you hear?”
“Um, nothing, really,” she said took a step back. “I just… I knew that she’d died. I saw her picture on the TV, and I met her once, when she was with you.” Violet used the term “met” loosely. She’d nearly killed Jane that night, too.
Something in my gut twisted. Peter had killed her friend to save me. Would Violet stoop so low as to kill Jane to get back at me? My expression must’ve changed, because Violet blanched and her heart beat faster.
“I don’t know anything about it! Honest!” Her fear made her look younger. “I just… I thought… I was trying to be nice.”
“Yeah, no, I know,” I shook my head, trying to shake away any hint of an accusation. “Yeah. Sorry. Thanks. I mean, for your condolences.”
“Yeah,” Violet nodded. Chewing her lip, she stared at me for a minute, then gestured vaguely to the left of her. “I’m gonna… go. Dance or whatever.”
“Yeah, alright,” I nodded and smiled at her. “Have fun.”
The dance floor swallowed her, and I wondered why exactly I forced that conversation with her. Just because she was lost didn’t mean I had to find her. It wasn’t like I had been that helpful to Jane.
In fact, I never seemed to help anyone. I just made their lives worse, and I seemed to get everyone I cared about in near death situations. It was probably in Violet’s best interest if she avoided me.
Milo and Bobby found me a minute later. Bobby was wearing a sexy black Member’s Only Jacket that Milo had to buy off another vampire. Milo grumbled about it the entire way to the car, but Bobby just chattered on about his awesome dance moves.
With Peter gone, I had taken to driving his Audi, since I had finally gotten my license. The Audi didn’t have a backseat, so we had been forced to take the Jetta tonight, but I drove, because as it turned out, I loved driving. I had spent all this time fighting it, and it was awesome.
In the car, I blasted the music to drown at the beginnings of Milo and Bobby’s bickering.
But my mind wasn’t on them. I pushed the car as fast it would go, despite Milo’s protests from the backseat, and thought about what I had said to Olivia. I had been training for over two months. I wasn’t the best, but I could definitely take out Jane’s killer. I mean, he only preyed on weak, human girls. That was no match for me, right?
Now, all I had to do was figure out who it was.
Jack slept sprawled out on his stomach across the bed, and I curled up next to him, resting my head on his back. We both slept soundly after another rough morning trying to get to sleep. I’m not sure if it was still jetlag from Australia, but I had a terrible time falling asleep, and Jack forced himself to stay up with me.
Milo burst into the room without knocking. He’d just gotten home from his first day at of his new school, and he overflowed with excitement. Bobby was still at college and he had nobody else to talk to, so he woke us up. Or at least he tried to.
I was happy for Milo, but I’d only been asleep for a few hours when he rushed in. Jack managed to sit up and engage in conversation, but I curled up closer to Jack and learned things through osmosis.
The teachers appreciated Milo’s genius, and the girls kept hitting on him. He debated about whether or not he wanted to be openly gay, or fly under the radar. Jack gave him some sage advice about just being himself, and people could make of him what they wanted.
Jack was awake after that, but he knew I slept better when he was around, so he grabbed the laptop and sat in bed next to me. I couldn’t really sleep either, but I loved lying in bed next to him. Then, abruptly, he slammed the laptop shut and hopped out of bed.
“What’s going on?” I asked, watching as he rushed into the walk-in closet. I sat up when he didn’t answer, and he came out a few minutes later, pulling on a tee shirt. “Are you going somewhere?”
“Yeah,” he nodded. He grabbed his wallet off the dresser and shoved it in his back pocket, and when he turned to look at me, he grinned like a fool. “I’ve got something awesome to do.”
“What does that mean?”
“You’ll see.” He came over and kissed me quickly on the cheek. “I’ll be back in a bit.”
“Okay?” I asked, but he just laughed as he walked out of the room.
After he’d gone, I showered and got ready for the day. When I got done, I checked on Milo and Bobby across the hall, in Peter’s old room. Peter had actually packed up his stuff because he left this time for good. I hated to admit it, but I felt a pang in my heart every time I saw his empty room.
Well, it wasn’t empty completely. His four-post bed had been dismantled and sat propped up in the corner, with the mattress and bedspring shoved in the walk-in closet. His empty bookcases lined the walls, and all his furniture and other belongings were gone.
Peter had also left a copy of his book A Brief History of Vampyres behind on his bed, and I know he’d done it for me. But I couldn’t keep it. I’d taken it before Jack could see, and shoved it in the box with the rest of Peter’s odds and ends stuff, burying it below a shirt and some old records.
With Peter gone, the boys had turned the empty room into a playroom. Before Christmas, Jack and Bobby had discovered a massive sale on Star Wars Legos at the Toys R’ Us, and they “had” to buy them all. That somehow translated into them bringing them all into Peter’s old room to put them together.