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The Sanguine Girls - Enter Luke

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“You’re seriously telling us that you don’t know how to change a tire?”

Scarlett threw her hands up and glowered at Kamal. He sighed, exasperated, and ran a hand through his hair. Erin was leaning against the back of the car, looking back and forth between the other two with amusement.

“I’m sorry, but I’ve never had to. Believe it or not, I’ve only been driving cars around for about twenty years. Before then, it was horse-and-buggy or you walk. I’ve never been in this particular situation,” Kamal said apologetically.

“Well, we can’t just stand here doing nothing!” Scarlett said.

“First things first: we get the tire out of the trunk,” Erin said, turning and pulling the trunk open. She yanked the trunk’s floor up and tossed it aside. Kamal came forward, his eyes wide.

“So that’s where they store the extra tire?” he exclaimed. Scarlett smirked and Erin rolled her eyes as she dragged the tire out. She rolled it around to lean against the car and then withdrew several metal tools out of the trunk as well.

“Okay, that’s as far as my fancy mechanic skills go.”

They stood back several feet from the car, all staring at it forebodingly.

“Somethin’ tells me that you all are in a clinch,” a voice called from behind them. Scarlett and Erin turned quickly, while Kamal immediately whirled and took a fighting stance.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa! I come in peace, man,” the stranger said in a cheerful voice. He came into the moonlight and they saw that he was a young man, no older than Kamal appeared to be. His hands were raised in a comical surrender and he was grinning widely at them. He stopped approaching when he was about a yard from them, lowered his hands, and shoved them into the pockets of his brown leather jacket.

“Can we help you?” Kamal said carefully, eyeing the strange boy.

“I was going to ask you the same thing,” he replied, pointing to the busted tire and the spare. Kamal straightened up and Scarlett smirked when she saw his cheeks go slightly pink.

“We are kind of at a loss here,” Erin admitted, biting her lip. The boy grinned at her and she smiled back slightly. Scarlett looked back and forth between them, rolled her eyes, and went around the car to get a bottle of blood out of the backseat.

“Anyone want something?” she called, lugging the cooler up from the floorboard.

“Does that include me?” the boy asked. Erin and Kamal looked at him sharply, and then exchanged a glance.

“I don’t think we’ve got anything you’d like,” Erin said quickly.

“What, no human?”

Erin opened her mouth and then closed it again, her jaw clenched. Kamal sprang forward, taking hold of the boy’s collar.

“Who are you?” he hissed.

“Lucky me, I don’t need air to talk,” the boy joked. Kamal growled slightly and released him, retreating to stand protectively in front of Erin and Scarlett. “I’m Luke, I’m a traveling vampire, and I happen to know how to change a tire on a car.”

“And how are we supposed to know we can trust you?” Kamal asked suspiciously. Luke smirked, gesturing to their small group.

“Even I know not to challenge three vampires at once. I’m outnumbered, and after that…well, I guess we’ll see, huh?” he replied, grinning. Scarlett, who was picking through a back of crackers, looked up at him.

“He’s got a point, Kamal,” she said. Kamal threw her a disparaging look and Erin grinned.

“C’mon, Kamal, we need the tire changed anyhow.”

“Now, I think it’s you who’s outnumbered,” Luke commented. Kamal sighed, glanced again at Luke, and nodded.

“Okay, good, so you might wanna get to work,” Scarlett said. Erin rolled her eyes and went over to Luke, who had taken off his jacket and was trying to work the jack to lift up the car.

“Subtle, isn’t she?” she joked, crouching down beside him.

“Tactfulness has lost its touch in the past few years, wouldn’t you agree?” Luke smiled over at her. She grinned back and picked up one of the metal tools.

“Okay, put me to work. Or is this a one man kind of job?”

“You can take the busted tire off, if you want. It’s a bit of a messy job,” Luke warned her. She grinned and rolled her eyes.

“Not all girls that where eyeliner are afraid of a little mess,” she said.

“Good to know.”

Luke started directing her on what to do and eventually sat back, watching her work. She followed his directions well, all the while joking and talking with him. The other two had opened the trunk again and were seated inside it, sharing a bottle of blood. Half an hour later, Erin jumped to her feet, followed by Luke.

“Be in awe!” Erin exclaimed, bounding around to where Scarlett was sitting. She grabbed her friend’s hand and dragged her out of the trunk to see the tire.

“Not bad,” Scarlett said, grinning.

“Not bad? Oh, c’mon, that is a work of art,” Erin objected. Luke laughed and crossed his arms over his chest. Kamal came around and snorted when he saw the tire.

“What?”

“Look at the tire! It looks idiotic compared to the rest of the car. So…out of place,” he replied, smirking. Scarlett looked closer and burst out laughing. She fell silent when Erin cast her a dark look. Luke chuckled, clapping Erin on the back,

“Not bad for an amateur,” he complemented. Erin smiled at him and then turned back to Kamal and Scarlett.

“So, now that our tire is officially not busted, we can get going, I guess,” she told them. Scarlett nodded enthusiastically and Kamal pulled the keys out of his pocket. Erin hesitated as she started to follow them around the car, glancing back at Luke.

“Erin, c’mon!” Scarlett called.

“But…don’t you think we should give Luke a ride or something?” Erin replied, biting her lip. Kamal shook his head.

“No, we don’t have time. I’m sorry, Luke, but we’re in a bit of a rush. Scarlett, Erin, we’ve got to find the nearest hotel soon, before any Shin-tor catch up with us.”

“Great, more hotels,” Scarlett complained, scowling. Kamal rolled his eyes and climbed into the car.

“Y’know, there’s a place not far from here where we would be safe,” Luke put in, looking between the three of them.

“Is it a hotel?” Scarlett asked suspiciously, and Luke laughed.

“No, it’s my aunt and uncle’s place. Maybe…half an hour’s drive from here,” he replied. Erin and Scarlett looked to Kamal, who sucked in a deep breath. After a moment, he let it out in a rush and nodded. Erin smiled widely and led Luke around the car before getting in herself. Scarlett was almost skipping as she headed to the front passenger seat, her expression ecstatic.

“You don’t know how much you’ve saved us from more hotel breakfast torture,” Erin joked as Kamal started the car. Luke grinned at her, his beautiful blue eyes shining like the stars overhead.



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