A nurse sat at the reception desk in the center. She had bulletproof glass around her to protect her in case people tried to rob her, and from the scratches on the glass, I’d guess that people had tried.
“Hello.” I smiled at her and leaned up against the desk.
“It’s nice to see you again, Miss Bonham,” the nurse smiled brightly at me, making me feel guilty for forgetting her name. I think it might be Janice or Francine.
“It’s nice to see you,” I nodded. Her skin looked too white under the fluorescent lights, and her blond hair was hidden under one of those nurse’s hats that always come with Halloween costumes but nurses never wear in real life.
“How many bags will you be needing tonight?” Nurse Janice or possibly Francine asked.
“Um…” I tried to think. We weren’t completely out at home, but we could use some. “Like… ten bags?”
“Very good.” She punched something in on the computer. “And for you, Miss Williams?”
“Like twenty,” Violet said.
“Very good.” The nurse punched in a few more things, still smiling so wide. She reminded me of a Stepford Wife sometimes. “Will you be paying together?”
“Nope,” I shook my head.
“Will you be charging to the Townsend account, then?” she asked, and I nodded. “Miss Williams, will you be charging to Olivia Smith’s account?”
“Yes,” Violet nodded.
“I just wanted to remind you that I sent an invoice out to Miss Smith last week,” the nurse informed Violet, and then looked to me. “The Townsend account has been settled as of the fifteenth of January.”
“Alright,” I shrugged. “Good to hear.”
“I’ll be right back with your orders.” Nurse Janice or maybe Francine got up and went through a door in the back to get our blood.
“How much does the blood cost anyway?” Bobby asked. He leaned on one of the plastic chairs behind us, and I turned back to him.
“I really have no idea. Ezra pays for it,” I shrugged.
“I think it’s kinda expensive,” Violet said. “I know, before, I could never afford it. But I couldn’t afford much of anything.”
“This place isn’t as exciting as I thought it’d be,” Bobby said, looking around. “It’s all kind of… ordinary. It reminds me of the Planned Parenthood where I get tested at.”
“I told you.” I leaned against the desk with my back resting on the glass, so I faced the front of the blood bank. “Was it worth sitting bitch for?”
“Maybe.” Bobby picked up a nearby magazine. “Ooo, one of the Olsen twins might be pregnant!”
“I don’t think they like being called the Olsen twins anymore,” Violet said. Using her long fingernails, she carved a heart in the glass next to where she stood.
A bell chimed as a vampire pushed through the front door, and I smacked Violet’s arm so she would stop making graffiti. I wasn’t sure that anybody would care, but I didn’t want to start trouble. The vampire was followed by two more, so I straightened up. Vampires in groups always scared me.
The first one that came through was tall with black hair and black eyes. He wore a leather jacket with a black shirt underneath. He might’ve been attractive, but all that black made him look like he was trying too hard to be a vampire.
The vampire that followed right behind looked like a young James Spader, like when he was being a dick in Pretty in Pink before he got all bloated like on Boston Public. He dressed like 1980’s James Spader too, with the popped collar on his blazer.
The only female vampire in the trio looked oddly proper next to the two of them. Her hair was shoulder length and smoothed back, and she wore sensible flats with a pencil skirt. If she had a day job, I would peg it as a court stenographer.
“Hello,” the black haired one said, and I decided that he was probably their leader.
Then I wondered if they even had a leader. Just because the three of them were together didn’t mean they were a gang. Violet, Bobby, and I weren’t a gang, but they didn’t know that either. Maybe he thought I was our leader, or maybe Violet looked tougher.
“Hi,” I said, because I wanted to establish myself as the leader, in case they thought they we had one.
“What you got there?” Young James Spader asked and stole the magazine out of Bobby’s hands.
“Hey!” Bobby stood up to defend his magazine’s honor, and I stepped forward.
“It’s a rag mag. Like I care.” Young James Spader tossed the magazine back at him. Bobby caught it, but he crumpled it up in the process.
“That wasn’t very nice,” I said, and Violet rolled her eyes at my attempt at standing up for Bobby.
“What are you gonna do about it?” Young James Spader stepped towards me.
“Dane.” The dark haired vampire put his hand on young James Spader’s chest, and I assumed that his name was Dane, and not Young James Spader.
“We don’t mean any trouble,” the woman said, stepping out from the shadow of the other two. Her eyes were large and innocent, but I sensed something sinister about her despite her button down appearance. “We just want to know if you’ve seen anything.”
“Seen anything what?” I asked. Bobby had taken a few steps back, standing more behind me and closer to Violet. I’m not sure that he really needed to, but it made me feel safer.
“We’re looking out for you. That’s our job,” the dark haired vampire gestured to himself and his comrades. “We just want keep you safe.”
“I have no idea who you are or why you’d want to keep me safe,” I said, but I stood taller. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Violet tensing up too.
“I’m Thomas,” the dark haired vampire said. “And this is Dane and Samantha.”
“So?” Violet asked.
“We’ve seen you,” Samantha said. Her eyes were on me and only me.
“You’ve seen me what? What are you talking about?” I asked, and I hoped I kept the fear out of my voice.
“We want to know what you’ve seen,” Samantha said.
“Okay, look. I seriously have no idea what you’re talking about.” I held my hands up, palm out. From the look on Dane’s face, it wouldn’t take much to set him off. “I was here, with my friends, getting some food. That’s it. We didn’t see anything. We don’t want to see anything. We’re all good here.”