“The promise I made to my parents,” Bobby said, his voice low and gravelly, “the promise to rid this city of the evil that took their lives, may finally be within reach.” He crouched low on the bars that surrounded the roof above Olivia’s penthouse, surveying the city lights of downtown Minneapolis.
“What are you talking about?” I asked, pushing Violet off me. She’d nearly had me pinned to the ground, but I had put my hands flat on the ground and pushed up, almost doing a hand stand, and used my legs to kick her back.
“Are we gonna do this or are you gonna goof off with that idiot?” Violet asked, pushing a strand of her blond hair behind her ears. She hadn’t even fallen back when I pushed her, and she stood in front of me, ready to pounce.
“Can’t we do both?” I asked as I stood up.
“Alice, you’re not even trying tonight,” Violet said and her stance relaxed. “You shouldn’t have brought him with you. He’s just a distraction.”
“No, he’s not the problem.” I shook my head and brushed gravel from the roof off my jeans. “And even if he was, that’s good. I need to learn to fight with distractions.”
“I guess,” Violet muttered, kicking a stone with her foot.
She hadn’t been happy that I’d brought Bobby with me tonight, but after we’d run into Jonathan the other night, I decided that Bobby needed to work on his defense training. Unfortunately, he wasn’t really feeling it either.
“What are you going on about?” I asked Bobby as I walked over to him. He had one leg resting on the bar as he leaned over, and if Milo caught him doing that, he’d probably freak out and kill us both, but I didn’t say anything.
“I’m Batman,” Bobby repeated in that same gravelly voice.
“Oh, you’re an idiot,” I rolled my eyes and leaned on the bar next to him.
“Don’t you ever feel like a superhero up here?” Bobby asked, his voice back to normal.
“Not even a little bit?” Bobby stepped down off the bar, probably tired of crouching, and pulled his Member’s Only Jacket tighter to him. “Or how about a superhero with hypothermia?”
“I like the cold,” I reminded him.
“So neither of you are gonna practice at all?” Violet put her hands on her hips and glared at us. She wore a tank top and yoga pants to train, and her pale arms had a bluish tint from the cold.
“Guess not.” I turned to face her, leaning my back on the bar. “Where did you say Olivia was again?”
“I don’t know.” Violet shrugged. “She just left and said she’d be back in a few days. But she doesn’t tell me much. I don’t think she likes me.”
“She left you alone in her penthouse and her club,” I said. “I’m pretty sure she likes you.”
From the way Olivia had been looking at Violet, I’d say she liked her a whole hell of a lot, but I didn’t want to be the one to say that. I wasn’t sure if Violet reciprocated those kinds of feelings, and I didn’t want to screw up the arrangement they had if Violet felt weird about her benefactor having a crush on her.
“Since we’re not training, do you think it’d be okay if we went inside?” Bobby asked through chattering teeth. He wore a knit cap, which kept his hair pinned back out of his eyes for his change, but the narrow scarf around his neck didn’t do anything for him.
“Yeah, come on,” Violet said and went over to the door that led downstairs to Olivia’s place. She trudged down the steps, and Bobby scampered ahead of me, eager to get out of the cold.
“You still need to do combat training eventually,” I told him as he pushed past Violet to get into the warmth of the apartment.
“I know. And next time I’ll wear a cape!” Bobby declared. He ran into the apartment, rubbing his hands together. Olivia kept the place at about sixty degrees year round, but after the roof, it had to feel pretty good for him.
“You’re gonna wear a cape?” Violet laughed, raising an eyebrow. “Oh yeah. Combat training is so gonna work for you.”
“I’ll take it off to fight,” Bobby said defensively. “I just wanna survey Gotham with my cape flapping in the wind.”
“Okay, I’m ignoring you, because you’re just too stupid,” Violet said and turned to me. “Hey, you have a car, right?”
“Oh, it’s more than a car.” I grinned broadly.
Peter was back and using his Audi to run around, Milo had the Jetta for school, Ezra was using the Lexus to do lord only knows what, and Jack wouldn’t let me drive the Delorean. Which meant I finally got to take the bright red Lamborghini out on my own.
“Excellent. I don’t have a car, and we’re low on blood.” Violet walked towards her bedroom. “Just let me change real quick, and we can run to the blood bank.”
“It’s only a two-seater,” Bobby said, but Violet ignored him as she went into her room and shut the door behind her. “There’s only room for two.”
“You can make it work, or you can stay here,” I shrugged.
“I don’t wanna stay here,” he scoffed. “I’ve never been to the blood bank.”
“It’s not that exciting.”
“I don’t care. I’ve never been, and Milo won’t let me go.” He looked at me severely. “I’m going.”
When Violet came out, she informed Bobby that he would be sitting bitch. He tried to argue it, but she glared at him, and then he shut up. In the car, he sat in the middle over the hump, which proved to be quite problematic with the low ceiling. He had to crunch up, almost in the fetal position to manage it, and his feet were on Violet’s lap, which did not make her happy.
Luckily for him, the blood bank wasn’t that far away from Olivia’s. It was a small, white box of building with an even smaller parking lot next to it. I had to park half a block down in front of a meter, but Bobby didn’t mind the walk because he got to stretch out his legs.
Inside the building was white and sterile. Plastic chairs filled the waiting room, with battered magazines lying on a few. The posters on the wall of red crosses were purposely misleading. The vampire blood bank did everything it could to associate itself with the real blood banks.
To the casual observer, the only thing really strange about the place was that it was open 24-hours. Of course, it actually helped draw in donors, and the location helped too. The blood bank paid their donors, so a lot of them were junkies and drunks who needed fast cash.