“You mean she killed it?”
When he said that she went after it, I had assumed that she chased it down because she was a little kid and they were cute. I had chased down hundreds of bunnies and squirrels when I was young in an attempt to make them my friends.
“She tried to eat it,” Peter said.
“No way! That doesn’t even… I thought animal blood wasn’t edible?”
“It’s not.” He gave me a meaningful look. “She just gets so crazy when she’s hungry, she can’t even differentiate animal blood from human.”
I had been around animals since I turned. Jack has a Great Pyrenees, Matilda, but I never once wanted to eat her, no matter how hungry I got. Her blood didn’t even smell right.
“Holy hell,” I said. “That’s intense.”
“She’s attacked both Mae and me on several occasions,” Peter said. “We feed her every day, but it’s not enough. I know she’s only been a vampire for a few months, and she was so young to start with, but I would’ve thought she’d gotten better by now. If anything, it’s worse.”
“What’s gonna happen with her?”
“She’s going to live out here forever, and we’re going to hope for the best,” he said. “There’s not much else we can do.”
What had happened today with Bobby wasn’t a fluke, and as cute and innocent as Daisy looked coloring at the table, she was equally as dangerous.
I stood outside with Peter for a while longer, but a tense silence fell over us, and I escaped back into the house. My bedroom was still too warm to sleep in, so I tried to put a fan in my window. Peter had brought a giant old metal box fan up from the basement, and it had to have come with the house.
Spider webs clung all over the fan, and when I tried to brush one off, I felt the familiar burning sting of a spider bite. It scurried away, not that I would’ve killed it anyway, and I stared at the red bump on my hand.
“Did a spider get you?” Bobby grimaced and leaned in my doorway.
“Yeah. The damn things are everywhere,” I muttered.
I went back to trying to get the stupid fan to fit in my window, and Bobby came in and sat down on my bed, as if I’d invited him in. Once I got it wedged enough where I thought it could work, I turned the fan on, and took a step back as dust sputtered out.
“Nice.” Bobby waved his hand in front of his face.
“I had to do something before I died of heatstroke,” I said once the dust explosion settled. The fan seemed to be working, so I shrugged and lay down on the bed. “I am so sick of this. It’s ridiculous.”
“Tell me about it.” He leaned back against the wall with his legs crossed underneath him.
His commiserating would’ve been more convincing if he wasn’t wearing purple jeans and a tee shirt. Admittedly, the tee shirt was paper thin, and I could see the black designs of his tattoos through it.
“You’re wearing pants.” I looked over at him. “You can’t be that hot.”
“Yeah, but they’re purple pants,” Bobby said as if that that made some kind of distinction. “Hence, I’m awesome.”
“Do you even own shorts?” I puffed my pillow up under my head so I could look at him more easily when I was lying down. “I don’t think I’ve seen you wear any.”
“Just swim trunks. Shorts aren’t my thing.”
“How does Jack’s wardrobe make you feel?” I asked, smiling sadly at the thought of him. Jack wore Dickies shorts almost every day of the year, regardless of the weather. He was ridiculously awesome that way.
“It works for him, so more power to him.” Bobby scratched at the bandage on his arm that covered up Daisy’s bite, and he wrinkled his nose at it. When he looked down, his black hair fell more into his eyes, and he brushed it back. “She bit down right into my nautical star! I bet I have a scar that totally wrecks it.”
Bobby had a sleeve of tattoos that ran all down his arms, but most of them were black and shades of gray. The only one with color was a green nautical star on the back of his arm, and that was the one that Daisy got.
“She bit the back of your arm?” I raised an eyebrow.
“Nasty little brat,” he said. “I don’t even know what she was thinking. All the good veins are on the underside of my arm. She doesn’t know anything about being a vampire.”
“She certainly doesn’t,” I agreed wearily. “You need to stop picking at it, though, or it will scar.”
Bobby continued scratching at it, so I kicked him gently in the knee, and he stopped. He leaned back, resting his head on the wall, and sighed.
“Between the spiders and Daisy, this trip is gonna be the death of me.”
“I really wish I hadn’t let Milo talk me into it.” I stared up at the ceiling. “What is he doing anyway?”
“Sleeping. He says it’s too hot to sleep during the day,” Bobby said. “He’s probably right. But luckily for me, I never sleep anyway.” Bobby’s insomnia had made him a perfect fit for our lifestyle. “I can’t believe I’m wasting my last week and a half of winter break here. When Milo asked me to go to Australia, I was thinking Sydney hot spots and kangaroos and coral reef diving.”
“I know, right? Mae said they were living off the grid, but I thought we’d at least visit the grid.”
“And just think, you could be wasting your time here and going to school when we get back,” Bobby grinned at me, but I shook my head. “Oh, come on. You should at least graduate.”
“I didn’t let Milo talk me into it, and I’m not going to let you,” I said firmly.
Milo dropped out of school at the beginning of his junior year because of the whole turning into a vampire thing, but he’d gotten under control enough and could handle going back. He’d enrolled in some swanky private school in Minneapolis to finish out the eleventh grade, and classes started on January twenty-first. The same day, Bobby started the new semester at art school.
“So you’re just gonna be a high school drop out? What are you gonna do with your life?” Bobby asked.
“What am I gonna do if I don’t drop out?” I asked. “I mean, it’s not like I can do eight years of med school still looking like I’m eighteen.”
“You can just pretend you’re Doogie Howser or something,” he suggested. “Or you can do something you don’t need as much school for. Like a dog groomer.”